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Benedict XVI: The SSPX is not in Schism

David Martin | The Daily Knight

While we hear much today about the Society of St. Pius X being “schismatic” or severed from the Faith, much of this talk is being generated by modernists who have separated themselves from the Faith through heresy. For while the SSPX as a legal structure still awaits formal sanction from Rome its membership as a whole is already sanctioned.

We need to separate the SSPX from its members. The SSPX founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre is simply an organization or a religious order to be, it’s not a church or a religion. And while this corporate entity still lacks full union with Rome, most of its members already have full union in virtue of their baptism and the fact that they acknowledge the Apostolic lineage of the bishops and popes of the post-conciliar church. They confess that the Church under Rome is the House of God on earth and that the Sacrifice of the Mass takes place daily in the established diocesan churches where some of them attend *Mass themselves. This is not to mention that the SSPX embraces the whole of Apostolic Tradition.

The Best Bishops Endorse the SSPX

What is noteworthy is that some of the best prelates of our time including the late Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Schneider, Bishop Strickland, and Archbishop Viganò all endorse the SSPX. Schneider recently referred to Archbishop Lefebvre as “a prophet of our time” and Swiss bishop Vitus Huonder sent shockwaves across the Catholic world when he expressed his admiration for Archbishop Lefebvre, echoing his position on Vatican II and the crisis. These bishops all maintain that the SSPX has never been in schism, so simple justice would command that we lend our ears to them and not to Curial Pharisees that have nothing better to do than to spread gossip against tradition. Their criticism of the SSPX is rooted not in obedience but in a contempt for doctrine.

The foes of Lefebvre resent the fact that SSPX Catholics embrace the true doctrine of the Faith, whereby these modernists manifest their own disobedience and error. The wide body of the post-conciliar church has lost union with Rome by heeding apostate teachers with “itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3), as expressed by the Mother of God herself when she said: “Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them.” (Given to the seers of Garabandal, June 18, 1965)

Lefebvre's Only Real Mistake

It was in response to this crisis that Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX in 1970 but the one mistake he made was the setting up of “side chapels” all over the land, which unfortunately has fostered the mentality that the SSPX is the only Church from the Apostles and that its members are the sole keepers of the Faith and heirs of Christ. This is an issue that has been ignored through the years and one that has taken away from the good that Lefebvre and his true followers have tried to do. If there is anything that has leaned the SSPX toward schism it is their practice of the Faith outside the main hierarchical body. The enemy plan from the beginning has been to drive the good Catholics from the Church to facilitate their plan to take over the Church.

But as for the Society’s doctrine and practice, it is perfect. Their light and example is what the entire Church needs to see in keeping with Christ’s words: “Let your light shine before men.” (Mt. 5:16)

The Light of Tradition is Needed in the Main Church

So, while we must flee from false pastors and not assimilate with anything being proposed today in the Church (save tradition), it is important that we not abandon ship altogether but that we stay and fight with prayer, works, and good example. Our purpose for remaining in our parishes is to help dispel the darkness and set the Church right again with the restoration of the main altar and the old Mass, and this was precisely Pope Benedict’s objective in 2009 when he earnestly sought to procure official Vatican approbation for the SSPX. He was seeing them as special forces to send into the Church for the purpose of correcting and enlightening the Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger himself said the following of Archbishop Lefebvre in 2003:

“I consider him to be the most important bishop of the 20th century with regard to the universal Church.”

Ratzinger Furthermore said:

“From my current point of view, I have to agree with Archbishop Lefebvre in retrospect about having his own bishops. Today after the experience of ’15 years of Ecclesia Dei,’ it is clear that such a work as that of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X cannot simply be handed over to the diocesan bishops.”


The exemplary Bishop Strickland of Texas has said of the SSPX:


“As Bishop Schneider has stated, the SSPX is not in schism. The SSPX continues to hold Tradition out for the Universal Church. The Eucharist of the SSPX is held as valid by the Catholic Church."


Ratzinger’s mention of Ecclesia Dei references the commission that was established under Pope John Paul II on July 2, 1988, which announced the ipso facto “excommunication” of Archbishop Lefebvre on the grounds that he had consecrated four bishops against the pope’s orders on June 30th of that year. However, on January 24, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Cardinal Ratzinger) lifted the excommunications of the four bishops Lefebvre had consecrated.

Archbishop Lefebvre Was Never Excommunicated

Clearly, Pope Benedict XVI did not believe the SSPX was in schism but he fully supported them. By lifting the excommunication he simply made official what already was the case, namely, that Archbishop Lefebvre had never incurred the penalty of excommunication and that the SSPX was never in schism. At most, there was a loose legal screw that needed to be tightened to fix the problem, which Benedict was all ready to do in 2009, but unfortunately the Church’s enemies intervened by framing Benedict as a German “Nazi Pope” who was trying to bring in an “antisemitic” group of SSPX bishops to harm the Church.

Insidious Scheme to Discredit Benedict XVI

Three days before Pope Benedict XVI was to release the document lifting the excommunication of the four SSPX bishops, Swedish State Television SVT had already arranged to broadcast the story with the deliberate intent of discrediting Pope Benedict before the world. SVT had collaborated with Vatican insiders to pull this off.

The game plan was to first interview SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson about his views on the Holocaust because they knew he was a bit impulsive in uttering statements about the Jews that sometimes came off as antisemitic. More than once he had referred to the Jews of Our Lord’s time as “Christ killers” who committed “deicide,” which indeed they did. Who could deny it? (John 8:44)

Williamson Swallows the Bait

On November 1, 2008, Bishop Williamson, while in Germany accepted to answer the questions of journalists from SVT. Their plan was to elicit from him statements that were critical of the Jews or that denied the Holocaust. His words were captured on film and broadcast to the world on January 21, 2009, three days before Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of the four bishops.

And so, while the excommunication of the bishops was lifted, Benedict’s plan to officially incorporate the SSPX into the Church was shot down. Threats and hate-speech poured into the Vatican from across the world making it virtually impossible to move forward with this. As such, his sought-for approbation of the SSPX never happened.

On the flip side, it is conceivable to argue that the pope’s intention alone was sufficient to procure this sanction of the SSPX. After all, a pope acting in his true capacity answers to no one but has the power to waive any need for documents or signatures. In God’s eyes Benedict’s approval of the SSPX carried far more weight than the legalistic mutiny of rebellious bishops who were trying to smear the SSPX for their own selfish reasons.

The Real Reason Archbishop Lefebvre was Punished

For while Lefebvre’s consecrating of the four bishops is cited as “the reason” for the Vatican’s 1988 announcement of his excommunication, the real reason was Lefebvre’s rejection and open refutation of Vatican II. The consecrating of the four bishops was only an excuse or loophole to hang him with. Certain radical bishops pushed John Paul into taking action against Lefebvre because they were furious that an archbishop would dare to publicly denounce their “golden calf” of Vatican II.

SSPX was Initially Approved by Rome

In a July 2021 interview, Bishop Athanasius Schneider said that the SSPX Society was originally founded in Switzerland with the approval of the local bishop and of the Vatican, but later came “into conflict with the Vatican” for making critical statements of the Second Vatican Council. This was the real issue, that and their insistence to celebrate only the Traditional Latin Mass.

The SSPX’s rejection of Vatican II is perhaps its strongest point and it appears this has the rubber stamp of Christ Himself. Consider this excerpt from the apparition messages of Bayside given from the years 1970-1995:

“Satan himself, the deceiver of all mankind, sat in on Vatican II and maneuvered all the outsiders to come in and distort My doctrines and distort the truth.” (Jesus, June 18, 1986)

This echoes what Cardinal Ratzinger told the late Fr. Ingo Dollinger in 1990. Fr. Dollinger, a long-time spiritual child of St. Padre Pio was told by Ratzinger that the Third Secret of Fatima spoke of “a bad council and a bad Mass” to come.

Hijacking of the Council

Suffice to say, Vatican II was hijacked and used as an instrument of destruction and adherence to it is what has separated a major section of the Church from the Faith. The Council set in motion the Masonic plan to send the Church into apostasy and now we see this plan coming to a head under Pope Francis, dubbed “the embodiment of Vatican II.” (Fr. Linus Clovis, PhD)

In time, Archbishop Lefebvre’s denunciation of Vatican II will be universally hailed as noble and more than ever we see Catholics waking up to the sobering reality of the Council, but in the interim there are still confused Catholics and clergy that continue to grumble against Lefebvre. 

Archbishop Viganò Defends Archbishop Lefebvre

Let them consider the words of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Papal Nuncio to the United States who in summer 2020 revealed to Catholic Family News his truest thoughts about the SSPX and its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Viganò said he believed the SSPX “deserves recognition for not having allowed the flame of Tradition to be extinguished” and revealed that he considers them to be “a healthy thorn in the side” of the Modernist hierarchy. Viganò credits them for shining a light on “the contradictions and errors of the conciliar sect” and says that Archbishop Lefebvre’s critique of Vatican II is “more relevant than ever.”  

The Church Must Dump Vatican II

Archbishop Viganò has also said that before there can be a true and permanent restoration of the Catholic Church, the hierarchy must drop and separate itself from Vatican II. Certainly, the SSPX would have no problem with that. 

*Most SSPX members acknowledge the validity of the new Mass. Not that the liturgical changes since Vatican II are valid but the reenactment of Christ's Sacrifice nonetheless takes place in spite of them. This is what is meant by “valid.”




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