The Silver Jubilee celebration in the USA of the 1988 episcopal consecrations was a great success. A dozen priests with one bishop celebrated two pontifical Masses on June 29 and 30 in the rectory garden of Father Ronald Ringrose in Vienna, Virginia, with some 250 to 300 faithful attending each Mass. Liturgically the ceremonies may have left somewhat to be desired, because no parish has the resources of a fully operational seminary. However, much more important, the mood of the people was tranquil, with no bitterness or anger in sight, only a clear understanding that something has gone seriously wrong with the Society of St Pius X, and that to keep the Faith they must do something about it. Many had come long distances to attend, even from abroad.
On the day before, Father Ringrose hosted a day-long meeting inside his rectory for the dozen priests coming from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Mexico and the United States. No extra organization was formed, nor was any further administrative mechanism put in place, but another Declaration was arrived at, concluding with a long quotation from Archbishop Lefebvre about the rebuilding of Christendom from ground level upwards. The mood of the priests was like that of the people, tranquil and resolute, with a unity of purpose in the simple determination to rescue what they can of what the Society leadership is now betraying.
Betraying? But did not on June 27 the three other SSPX bishops, Tissier, Fellay and de Galarreta, also issue a Declaration which seemed in large part to revert to what the SSPX has always stood for? Be careful. As the Latins said, “the poison is in the tail.” The 11th of the 12 paragraphs states that the three bishops mean to follow Providence “either when Rome returns to Tradition . . .or when she explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the faith and to reject the errors which oppose it.”
Now Father Ringrose has been for the SSPX in the USA a comrade in arms for some 30 years, but he is no longer keeping it company on its new and suicidal path. Here is what he wrote in his parish bulletin about the frame of mind expressed in this 11th paragraph:
“So even if Rome remains modernist, take us in anyway. We will be satisfied to be just another of the Conciliar pantheon, along with the heretics, ecumaniacs, pantheists, or whatever else is there. The Declaration sounds as if there has been a shift back to what the SSPX always stood for, but the door to a deal (between the SSPX and Rome) remains open. Nothing has really changed. It just sounds different. The contents of the can remain the same. The label on the outside just looks a little more like Archbishop Lefebvre.”
And the people seem to be voting with their feet. Reportedly there were only 200 to 300 people attending the Society’s own small-scale Silver Jubilee celebration in Ecône, and reportedly nigh on half the chairs were empty at Ecône’s annual priestly ordinations. It certainly seems as though the betrayal is making the Society steadily weaker while, as priests and faithful wake up to what is going on, the Resistance is going to grow stronger and stronger.