SSPX Told to Stay Out of Philippine Diocese by Archbishop of Davao in Open Letter to SSPX
Rorate Caeli posted this letter to the SSPX from the Archbishop of Davao in the Philippines.
Someone else posted on a forum, that the open letter was in response to other letters that have been circulated (also below).
Apparently, this is an ongoing dispute. I don’t know all the details of this dispute, but it cannot be coincidential that this issue has escalated during the talks with the SSPX.
Is the SSPX doing anything differently than it has been doing? Why now?
What do you think?
08 November 2011
FR. FRANCOIS LAISNEY
Priests of the Society of Saint Pius X
# 9 Carpio Subdivision
Buhangin Road, Davao
Dear Father Laisney:
As the Archbishop of Davao and duly appointed shepherd of the Catholic faith of this local church I would like to remind you again of a basic and fundamental principle from the Code of Canon Law . This principle must regulate and guide our priestly ministry.
I am writing this reminder as from a friend and gentleman to another. This reminder is also directed to your Society here in Davao City and through you to some of our people who have innocently sought your ministerial services.
This fundamental principle is the authentic right and authority to minister here. If you then are validly ordained as priest you have this right undoubtedly. But without genuine authorization or approval from me as Archbishop and Local Ordinary, you cannot, and are not allowed, to exercise that right within my jurisdiction and territory. You do not have the canonical faculty or permit which can only be given in writing by me.
I assume that you know very well that priests not canonically incardinated in our Diocese must have required written faculty to minister here. You also very well know that even transient priests, who are not irregular, need to present a celebret or certification from their own bishop or superior when they come here to preside in liturgical celebration or administer the Sacraments. This you do not have. And even if you ask I cannot grant it because you do not have the canonical status.
The reason for this has already been given and explained by our Holy Father, pope Benedict XVI in his Papal Letter on the Society of Saint Pius X dated 12 March 2009. In reference to this point he clearly stated:
“The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status inside the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministry in the Church.”
It is very clear that you cannot exercise legitimately your priestly right to minister our Church territory or Diocese. And the reason – which perhaps you failed to explain to our people — is the grave error in doctrine committed by your Society against the authority of the Pope and the Vatican Council, a serious offense and crime against the unity of the Church, our unfortunate schism.
On this point I wonder why you did not explain to others that there are two types of excommunication: ipso facto or automatic (latae sententiae) and sub judice or under investigation (ferendae sententiae). Of course I can understand why you could not and did not explain that because of automatic excommunication which does not need official Church declaration you still remain excommunicated in conscience because of doctrinal error. This is the reason why you and your Society do not have canonical Status.
To push argument further, especially for the benefit of the lay people, this point means that you and your Society are not in the approved list of recognized ministers and society within the Church. No amount of reasoning, like the perceived necessity, the appeal to the people, the “salvation of souls”, the Good Samaritan Metaphor can confer ordinary jurisdiction or grant authorization to you except the local bishop. And you cannot apply one canonical provision and violate another in your argumentation.
Please, pardon me for saying that the logical consequence of the above points I presented is that as illegitimate minister you are intruding without permission into our communities and misleading our people. As official shepherd of the flock I cannot help saying that you are trespassing our private domain, sneaking into our fold and snatching away like wolves in sheep’s clothing our innocent sheep. (Mt 7:15)
As chief shepherd of the local flock I am aware of my own shortcomings and limitation and those of my clergy, religious and lay faithful. Yes, there are lapses and questionable practices and behavior in the liturgical, pastoral and moral lives in our communities. We are not ignoring them. They make us humble and conscious of God’s mercy and forgiveness, and encourage us to struggle for authenticity and credibility. Our Archdiocesan Liturgical Center under Fr. Joel Caasi will in due time prepare our people to celebrate the Missa Extraordiaria in Latin with propriety and dignity when needed.
I have to say this as spiritual leader and ultimately responsible to God and the Pope for the welfare of the flock entrusted to me. I am sorry I don’t enjoy and relish this public exchange of open letters which you provoked. But I am sure our people- priests, religious, laity especially the Latin Mass Society- will respond to your misleading statements in due time and in the appropriate manner.
With every good wish and prayer, I remain;
Your friend and brother in Christ,
(Sgd.) Fernando R. Capalla
Archbishop of Davao
A PRIOR LETTER FROM THE SSPX
An Open letter to Archbishop Fernando Capalla and all Catholics of good will in Davao City
The Catholic Faith is founded on the very divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, Who came down on earth to save men from their sins and lead them to Heaven with Him. He entrusted His apostles and their successors not only the Truth He taught but also the example of holiness He gave them and the seven sacraments as means of grace. That most Holy Deposit has been handled down faithfully through the ages in and by the Catholic Church, and shines especially in her saints. As Pope Pius IX taught, the Holy Ghost has been promised to Peter and his successors not to teach new doctrine but to keep entirely and expose faithfully this deposit of faith; they unite themselves to the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ and are fed by His very Body and Blood to become one victim with him so as to be glorified with him.
To these treasures the Society of Saint Pius X has been faithful from the very beginning. It was founded perfectly canonically by the local bishop in 1970, and grew steadily ever since. But this fidelity to the Tradition of the Church did not please those who were intent in changing everything after the Second Vatican Council. Persecution came upon the Society of Saint Pius X, trying to force them to take up the novelties, especially the new mass. But is it not right of each priest and layman to remain faithful to what he received from the Church? Nay, it is his very duty! That fidelity to the Mass of all times has been vindicated by Pope Benedict XVI, when he declared in Summorum Pontificum that the Traditional Latin Mass was never abrogated: this implicitly means that those who tried to suppress it in the 1970’s were doing the wrong thing. Pope Benedict thus wrote: “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of the sudden entirely forbidden or even considered as harmful. It behoves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer and to give them their proper place” This is what The Society of Saint Pius X has been doing all those years. When one says that the canonical situation of the Society of Saint Pius X is irregular, whose fault? Not the SSPX’s but it was the fault of those trying to suppress Tradition.
Now it is a fact in many places, these riches of the Tradition of the Church has been- abusively- forbidden priests were not allowed to offer the Traditional Latin Mass nor were the faithful allowed to assist. Many of these faithful had been wounded by the novelties, the scandals, – not only the moral scandals that have afflicted the Church after Vatican II, but the very scandals of novelties in the doctrine, priest s no longer believing in the necessity of the Catholic faith for Salvation, and even sometimes not believing in The Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The way they treat the Blessed Sacrament is often a scandal. Communion in hand has led many to lose faith in that Dogma. Local Levites passed by those souls wounded by these scandals and did not cared; local priests pass by and did not care; the society of Saint Pius X, like the Good Samaritan, came by and cared for these souls, healing them and teaching them the Faith of all times, giving them the sacraments of all times and the moral guidance of all times; that very same Faith, very same Sacraments, which you my Lord Bishop, received when you were a young boy.
Now what would you think of this local Levite and Priest turning around and telling the Good Samaritan, you can’t do this because you are a stranger and have no local jurisdiction? Is it not the model of the Good Samaritan that of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself? Yes, these Good Samaritan have jurisdiction, not normal one, but the one given in this time of crisis of Faith by the very principles of the Canon law, the first which is: “the supreme law is the salvation of souls”.
Pope Benedict XVI, conscious of this crisis of the church, is currently working for restoring a proper canonical status to the SSPX: he has given the freedom to the Traditional Mass as we had asked: he has suppressed the “excommunication” of 1988 (which we always considered it invalid), in such a way that no one can say we are not in the Catholic Church; he has done the theological discussions we had asked and now offering a proper canonical status. It is certainly not time for bishops to go in the opposite direction.
Catholics may reach the Priests of the Society of Saint Pius X at (Removed for the good of the souls of the faithful of Davao).
For the Honor of God and in devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a Rosary Crusade is being organized on October 7, 8 and 9 for three intentions: 1) to fulfill Our Lady’s request at Fatima to do reparation in honour of Her Immaculate heart2) to pray for Pope Benedict XVI to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and 3) to defeat the RH bill being debated in the Congress. For more information on the schedule and location phone Rosary Crusade secretary (Removed for the good of the souls of the faithful of Davao).
Fr. Francois Laisney, SSPX
Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer, SSPX
Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer, SSPX
Fr. Alexander Hora, SSPX
Sunstar Davao, October 2, 2011, Page 6