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The current disaster in the Church is chasing some unsuspecting souls right into the arms of breakaway schismatic groups.
The SSPX, for example — shorthand for the Society of St. Pius X — is one such group. It's not the only one, but the one that seems to get the most "love" from so-called traditionalists.
For the record, jumping ship into a schismatic group is never the answer, no matter how "Catholic" that group may look or sound. All schismatic groups look Catholic. That's how they fool and attract people to leave the Church.
For those unfamiliar with this particular group, the leader and founder was French Abp. Marcel Lefebvre. In 1988, he defied Pope John Paul II and illicitly consecrated four bishops, thus incurring automatic excommunication.
Things were getting so crazy, even back then, in the Church that he gave himself the authority to tell the pope to drop dead and do his own thing, so the Latin Mass could continue.
Martin Luther led people out of the Church using Scripture. Lefebvre led people out of the Church using the liturgy.
If you read the writings of both Luther and Lefebvre, they use the same terminology as they attack Holy Mother Church. They both said that "Rome has lost the Faith" and that "Rome is teaching a new religion." You see this repeatedly in the writings of Luther and Calvin — and Lefebvre. "New religion," "Rome has lost the Faith," "Rome is no longer Catholic," etc. etc. There's a parallel there. But I would say in the case of Marcel Lefebvre, it's almost more dangerous because the Protestants completely rejected the Roman primacy and made that a matter of doctrine, of dogma. Lefebvre claimed to accept it, but rejected it in practice."
John Salza knows a thing or two about this schismatic group. He innocently and unsuspectingly attended it for a number of years. Then he wised up, studied and came to understand the real nature of this outfit.
To this day, after multiple invitations, still no one — not a layman, not a cleric, no one — from the SSPX will debate Salza. They or their adherents will attack him, but they will not debate him. You will understand why when you listen to him.
For example, at the heart of every schism you will find a heresy — disguised, of course, but a heresy nonetheless. The same was true in the case of Abp. Marcel Lefebvre.
I can name a dozen, but one that just comes to mind is Abp. Lefebvre, in a 1991 letter, which is found on the Society website to this day, is he held that jurisdiction comes from the people. That is a heresy that's been condemned by Pope Leo XIII. In fact, Abp. Lefebvre's own patron, St. Pius X, if you read his catechism — I think it's question 48 — the question is, "Does jurisdiction come from the people?" in St. Pius X's Catechism, and the answer is "No," and to say it does is a heresy. Well, Lefebvre held that because he knew he wasn't getting his jurisdiction from the pope, and therefore he said because the people have the need of my ministry, they as a result confer jurisdiction on me, and hence I can ordain priests and consecrate bishops.
Likewise, during the illicit consecrations of 1988 which brought about his excommunication, there was defiance.
If you look at the historical record, one of the things that really began to trouble me when I looked into this was reviewing the correspondence between Lefebvre and Cdl. Ratzinger and John Paul II, and this is public — if you want to look at the facts, the Holy See agreed with Marcel Lefebvre, even after 13 years of disobedience, even after Lefebvre ignored all canonical warnings, ignored canonical censures, ignored prohibitions to ordain priests or to exercise the priestly ministry or to erect chapels, to send priest out without incardination, etc., etc., etc. Even after all of that, the Holy See agreed to give Lefebvre one bishop. They scheduled the consecration for Aug. 15, 1988. Lefebvre agreed to it orally and agreed to it in writing. And we know what happened. The very next day, he reneged on that said, you know what? I need three more bishops six weeks earlier. Now think about that. There is no possible way anyone could say that there was a case of necessity to require three more bishops six weeks earlier against the express will of the Holy Father. It's ludicrous, and anyone that wants to argue that isn't in reality. You know, God permitted this to happen, right, but I think if Lefebvre had been obedient, the Church would've been much better off.
Lefebvre even lied during the consecration liturgy back in 1988.
Bishops cannot be consecrated without what's called an apostolic mandate. Of course, Lefebvre did not have one. John Paul II, remember, had told him that if he went through with it, he and they would be automatically excommunicated.
When the point comes in the consecration Mass for the mandate to be read aloud, the instructions call for the principal celebrant — in this case, Lefebvre — to ask out loud, "Is there a mandate?" Lefebvre, knowing there wasn't one, asked it out loud anyway. His assistant, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, joined in the lie and responded he did have one. They did not.
The instructions for the Mass continue and Lefebvre instructs it be read out loud. He did that knowing it didn't exist. Then they just skipped over it because, really, what else could they do?
We have video of the back-and-forth lies, in Latin, at that illicit Mass of consecration. Lefebvre asks, "Habetis mandatum apostolicum?" This means, "Do you have an apostolic mandate?"
Schmidberger answers, "Habemus," meaning "We have one."
Lefebvre declares, "Legatur," or "Let it be read."
Church Militant understands all too well the crisis in the Church. We've been reporting on it and its true nature for years.
But going into schism can never be the answer. You cannot leave the Church to preserve the Church.
We did a wide-ranging interview with Salza on this whole topic. We invite you to hear what the SSPX is deliberately hiding from you. Please click on the link to learn more about this. Educate yourself.
A word of caution to others in the Catholic world, especially certain Catholic media promoting this schism — your intentions mean nothing. You will have to stand before Almighty God one day and give an account for leading souls out of the Church.
The SSPX is in schism, with heresy at its root and the consecration of illicit bishops based on a lie.
That is not Catholic — even if it is said in Latin.