FSSPX Resistance-Traditional Catholics in England

FSSPX Resistance-Traditional Catholics in England




The SSPX Resistance is a loosely organized group of Traditionalist Catholics that grew out of the concern that the dialogue between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See was leading the Society of St. Pius X to accept the Second Vatican Council as a condition of the Society’s recognition by Rome. The SSPX Resistance has continued to celebrate the Tridentine Mass and the traditional form of the Sacraments throughout the world, though independent of the institutional Catholic Church and the Society of St. Pius X. They see themselves as holding true to the founding principles of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, opposing any drift towards liberalism and modernism perceived within the Society.



In May 2012, a private letter signed by Bishops Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, three of four bishops illicitly consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, leaked online.[1] The letter was written to Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior General of the SSPX and the fourth bishop Marcel Lefebve consecrated. It expressed the three bishops’ concerns with the developments of the Society’s rapprochement with the Holy See. Up to this point, suspicion concerning the Society’s discussion with Rome grew as the dialogue advanced. The leaked letter only exacerbated the suspicion and mistrust among pockets of the faithful and the clergy of the SSPX.

Though the dialogue with Rome ultimately failed in achieving reconciliation and recognition of the Society, the danger of further schism within the SSPX grew more serious. Bishop Williamson was the most prominent dissenter, challenging the authority and governance of the Society publicly on multiple occasions. For example, in August 2012 Williamson administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to about 100 lay people at the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, during an unauthorized visit to the State of Rio de Janeiro. The society’s South American district superior, Father Christian Bouchacourt, protested his actions on the SSPX website saying that it was „a serious act against the virtue of obedience.”[2] In early October the leadership of the SSPX gave Williamson a deadline to declare his submission, instead of which he published an „open letter” asking for the resignation of the Superior General.[3] In October 2012 the Society expelled Williamson in a „painful decision” citing the failures „to show respect and obedience deserved by his legitimate superiors”.[4] Immediately after his expulsion, he publicly called for the establishment of a loose network of what he called „Catholic Resistance” to any proposal by the Society to drop its opposition to Rome.[5]Williamson served as the de facto bishop for various groups of the faithful and clergy sympathetic to Williamson and opposed to recent developments within the Society.

The most notable and largest group in North America began to call itself the Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO). five priests were either expelled from the SSPX or renounced their affiliation with the Society, signing the „Vienna Declaration” and outlining their positions.[6] Since 2013, this group has become known by a number of names, including: Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO) and Apostles of Jesus and Mary but ultimately settled on Society of St. Pius X – Marian Corps. (SSPX-MC).[7] They are active, celebrating the Tridentine Mass and traditional form of the Sacraments throughout Canada and the United States. Another group within the SSPX Resistance movement, in the Indian, East Asian, and Oceanic regions, uses the same name (SSPX-MC) and is served occasionally by priests affiliated with the North American SSPX-MC.[8] The SSPX-MC continues to follow the constitutions and rules of the Society of St. Pius X but provides a refuge for Resistance priests and others who no longer believe they can fulfill their vows in the Society.

Another group within the SSPX Resistance is the Union Sacerdotale Marcel Lefebvre (English: Priestly Union of Marcel Lefebvre), founded at the monastery of the Avrillé Dominicans in Avrillé, France.[9] Relations between the Society of St. Pius X and the Dominicans of Avrillé soured after certain religious in the community were suspected of aligning with the Resistance. Bishop Fellay ultimately postponed ordinations scheduled for June 2014 as a test of loyalty.[10] On July 15, 2014, Bishop Williamson celebrated Mass at the monastery and presided over the meeting and organization of French priests associated with the SSPX Resistance.[11] Thereafter, the Dominican Friars of Avrillé formally declared their disassociation with the SSPX and, together with other French SSPX Resistance priests, formed the Priestly Union of Marcel Lefebvre by a „Declaration of Catholic Fidelity”, signed October 26, 2014.[12]

In 2013, A 501(c)(3) non-profit fundraising organization „for all purposes of the Catholic Resistance patronized by His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson” was set up under the title „The St. Marcel Initiative”.[13] The St. Marcel Initiative is overseen by David Allen White. and is based in Virginia.

2015 and 2016 Consecrations[edit]


Consecration of Bishop Jean-Michel Faure
Consecration of Bishop Jean-Michel Faure (March 19, 2015)

On March 19, 2015, Bishop Williamson consecrated Bishop Jean-Michel Faure at the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nova Friburgo, Brazil.[14] Father Faure was one of the first members of the Society of St. Pius X and was even initially considered for the Episcopacy by Marcel Lefebvre in the 1988 Consecrations, though Faure turned down the selection; Alfonso de Galarreta was chosen in his place. Faure served the Society as District Superior of both Argentina and Mexico for many years.[15] While both had already been expelled from the Society, the SSPX condemned the consecration.[16]

On March 19, 2016, one year after the 2015 Consecration, Bishop Williamson consecrated Bishop Miguel Ferreira da Costa, aka Fr Thomas Aquinas, at the same place. The SSPX did not comment the new consecration. [17]

Member of FSSPXR Anglia

John Godrich


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