Fr. Bisig: “Archbishop Lefebvre is the Founder of the FSSP!”

When the announcement for a talk by Fr. Josef Bisig, Rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), was published in the bulletin of St. Joan of Arc, it induced the faithful to come with the teaser that “you will hear things you have not heard before”. In fact, the Sunday before the talk, Fr. Akers, in comments from the pulpit, encouraged his listeners to bring friends and family from the nearby Immaculate Conception Church of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

We can certainly attest to the fact that after 90 minutes (not including the Q&A session), we did indeed hear things from Fr. Bisig that we had never read or heard (much of which we will relate to you in this posting). That was the deferential part of the talk, which lasted about 30 minutes, wherein Fr. Bisig had many positive things to say about the prelate he calls his “spiritual father,” Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. In fact, after telling us a little bit of his background, he actually said the words with which we titled this critique: “Archbishop Lefebvre is the Founder of the FSSP,” Fr. Bisig said unequivocally, “and we continue the work started by him.”

  During the “soft sell” part of the talk, Fr. Bisig provided us with a selective history of the Fraternity of St. Peter. He discussed the “charisma” and goals of the FSSP, but managed to fit in desultory swipes at Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX, such as: “Due to the irregular consecrations, 12 priests, one deacon, and 20 seminarians left the SSPX” and they eventually accepted the “generous propositions similar to the May 5, 1988 Protocol of Accord that was originally signed by Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ratzinger.” (Fr. Bisig mentioned the May 5 Protocol on several occasions, never giving us the whole story, nor the specific reasons why the good Archbishop quickly repudiated it, only referring to a “lack of trust”. We will elaborate further on regarding the Archbishop’s decision that he could no longer trust that Rome was negotiating in good faith.)

  The softer, first part of the talk was clearly intended to show how devoted Fr. Bisig (and those who left with him) was to Archbishop Lefebvre. In a plaintive and sad voice, Father said that “Archbishop Lefebvre had become schismatic and we felt like orphans.”  But Fr. Bisig immediately reverted to the loving spiritual son: “You might be scandalized by my insistence on the important role of Marcel Lefebvre” in getting Rome to see the good works in favor of Tradition. He mentioned the two Apostolic Visitations that he witnessed, first as a seminarian at Ecône in the 70s, then years later in 1987. He lamented the fact that although both resulted in positive reports being provided to the Holy Fathers (Paul VI and John Paul II, respectively), Rome seemed to drag its feet. He defended the SSPX by telling how the lead Visitator in 1987, Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, had said that “every seminary in the world should be organized as the SSPX seminary.”

 And we were not through yet with the accolades. Fr. Bisig almost seemed to gush about the saintly Archbishop, giving his audience a quick historical fact, and sounding ever the admiring spiritual son, that Archbishop Lefebvre had been a model superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers. Father even went so far as to say that “unjust obstacles had been placed before Archbishop Lefebvre”.  At this point – before springing the trap – Father Bisig had his audience right where he wanted them. You could see on the faces of his listeners that they were a bit puzzled. Wasn’t this Father Josef Bisig, the man so famous for his vitriolic attacks against Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society he founded? Why was he being so conciliatory?

The answer to such questions will require a bit of a digression regarding tactics of persuasive speech and its darker cousin, indoctrination. In the 1961 classic, Public Speaking, by George Fluharty and Harold Ross, the authors define persuasive speaking as “the art of shaping conduct by using evidence, reasoning, and suggestion in connection with convictions, feelings, experiences, and motivations of audiences.”1  There is a less palatable side of persuasive speech referred to as “indoctrination,” wherein the speaker withholds information or provides selective facts, half-truths, and lies in order to further his agendum of changing the minds of his listeners.2

  As Fr. Bisig’s talk progressed, it was clear, for various reasons, that we were being subjected to an indoctrination. Primarily, the tactic of starting out with kind words for the individual/group that the speaker would ultimately be castigating is a standard format for indoctrinations. It would be much less effective to start out criticizing your subject. Instead, the very clever format of most indoctrinations is to start out praising some aspect of the subject of your talk (e.g., a person or group or nation), briefly dislocating the expectations of your audience and setting the hook. Then, you shift to criticizing your subject, sprinkling your discourse with some selective facts, half-truths, and even outright lies. The criticism becomes progressively more scathing, until your audience is nodding like bobble-headed car ornaments.

 The most conspicuous historical facts left out by Fr. Bisig were, of course, those that shed a more sympathetic light on Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions, beginning with the so-called Indult of October, 1984. Seemingly written by some Vatican attorney, in it, Pope John Paul II asked his brother bishops to grant a “wide and generous application” of his desire to provide for those Catholics “who are attached to some previous form.” Unfortunately, the local ordinaries placed draconian restrictions on anyone requesting a Mass under the terms of the Indult. When we requested such a Mass through the Military Ordinariate, we were informed, in writing, of the conditions, which were so undignified that we abandoned the request. This was the same for countless faithful who hoped that the Indult of 1984 would signal a new day, but instead discovered that the Indult was rather an insult.

  But Fr. Bisig never so much as mentioned the 1984 Indult, nor the persecution of the faithful during that sad period, and instead moved to the subject of the horrendous Assisi “inter-religious prayer meeting” of October, 1986. Far from concentrating on this awful event, however (which no doubt caused so many faithful to lose their Catholic Faith), Fr. Bisig wanted us to know that the real scandal occurred the previous Spring, when the good Archbishop – having learned of the upcoming Assisi gathering – made a comment during a sermon on Easter Sunday, 1986 (according to Fr. Bisig), that caused many of his seminarians to leave the Mass. “It may be,” the Archbishop allegedly said, “that in six months we might be forced to admit that John Paul II is not the pope anymore.” This was the grave “scandal” for Fr. Bisig: that a valiant defender of the Faith pointed out that it would be very difficult to reconcile such actions by the Vicar of Christ. But Fr. Bisig had not one critical word for John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger, and the other architects of one of the worst sacrileges ever to occur in Catholic churches, when, inter alia, a statue of the Buddha was placed on the altar of Assisi’s St. Peter church, above the tabernacle.3

  Now came “the tell of it,” as they say in Ireland. Fr. Bisig transitioned to a more anecdotal commentary: “If Archbishop Lefebvre was convinced that the pope was not the pope, then he could justify episcopal consecrations. I think he always had this in his head: this excuse that the pope is not the real pope.” Father said he had written a point paper for Monseigneur Lefebvre that concluded that “because of the primacy of jurisdiction,” consecrations without a papal mandate would be unjustified and therefore, ipso facto, incur canonical penalties. Furthermore, as he continued to paint himself as the voice of reason for his audience, Fr. Bisig opined that he could see clearly that the Archbishop was “in favor of sedevacantism as early as 1983.”

At this point, Fr. Bisig gave his own selective history of the events that led to the consecrations of June 30, 1988 that made his eventual departure from the SSPX look reasonable and justified. This was, really, the culmination of his talk, as it was, ostensibly, the issue of the consecrations that was the rationale, for those priests and seminarians who left, to soon form the Fraternity of St. Peter at such a whirlwind pace that Monsignor Perl reportedly said to Fr. Bisig: “There has never been a new order in the Church that has been erected as quickly as the FSSP.” The rest of the talk included the predictable justifications and rationale for Fr. Bisig and his confreres to leave the SSPX; however, since the consecrations were such a motivating force behind their departure, it would be good to revisit those events before closing this critique. In fact, as radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story.

 We were living in Naples, Italy in the late 80s, attending Mass at the SSPX chapel in the center of the city. We often hosted the District Superior of Italy, Fr. Anthony Esposito, when he came down to Naples for Mass on an occasional weekend.  In late November, 1987, Fr. Esposito told us that an apostolic visitation was in progress, involving several SSPX houses, but focusing on the seminary in Ecône, Switzerland. The apostolic Visitators were Cardinal Edouard Gagnon and Monsignor Perl. As mentioned earlier in this piece, the Visitators made it clear to Pope John Paul II (who had sent Cardinal Gagnon on the mission in the first place) that Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX were doing something very right. (It is of note that both Cardinal Gagnon and Monsignor Perl were at Archbishop Lefebvre’s Pontifical Mass in Ecône on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at which several seminarians made their first Engagement into the Society.4) To this day, the report of Cardinal Gagnon has never been made public.

  Unfortunately, the report collected dust on the pope’s desk for a couple of months until, tired of the maneuvering being played out in the Vatican, Archbishop Lefebvre sent a courteous but firm letter to the pope on 20 February, 1988. Cardinal Ratzinger responded in March, and representatives of both the Vatican and SSPX entered into discussions regarding what an agreement would look like for the Society to be “regularized”. Notwithstanding the fact that Rome continued to delay on a formal and specific promise to the saintly archbishop on the subject of bishops for the Society, he went to Rome on May 5. With misgivings regarding the Vatican’s refusal to commit to consecrations of bishops for the SSPX, Archbishop Lefebvre signed a “Protocol of Accord” with Cardinal Ratzinger. (Fr. Bisig said that when he met with Cardinal Ratzinger in July of 1988, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith said, “Marcel Lefebvre is not the only one responsible for this rupture.”)

  Archbishop Lefebvre, weary at the end of a long day, departed for the district house after the protocol was signed by both parties, and left our friend, Fr. Emmanuel du Chalard (the long-time SSPX envoy to the Vatican) to tidy up any last minute details and receive copies. It was at this time, Monsieur l’Abbé told us, that Cardinal Ratzinger’s secretary, Fr. Klemens, placed a sheet of paper in his hands.5 It was, they said, a “sample” letter of what they needed and forgot to bring up during the negotiations and the meeting — an apology for all the offenses Archbishop Lefebvre made against Pope John Paul II. Fr. du Chalard said he would take it to the Archbishop, who was by now in Albano Laziale. Once Fr. du Chalard arrived, he went right to the Archbishop’s quarters and told Monseigneur Lefebvre of the belated demand, handing him the pre-written apology letter. As Archbishop Lefebvre held it in his hand, he read over it and shook his head slowly, finally saying in a low, sad voice, “Ils sont méchants.” (They are wicked.)

  After a sleepless night, he repudiated the protocol the next day, feeling that if he couldn’t trust the Vatican authorities in such a matter as a demand for something he never did (alleged offenses against the Vicar of Christ), he certainly could not trust them to make good on their “promise” to consecrate a bishop for the Society sometime “in the future.” Archbishop Lefebvre said he was sure they were playing for time, hoping for his demise sooner than later, and then they’d be assured that his bothersome Society would die with him. Much has been made of the fact that a car and driver were sent to him on the eve of the consecrations; but as with so many things originating with the Vatican of our day, there was no explanation as to the purpose of the trip, nor any information about who he would be taken to see. Fr. Bisig is right about one thing: Archbishop Lefebvre lost trust in the Roman authorities, and would never regain it – for very good reason, in our opinion.

 As he drew his talk to a close, Fr. Bisig said he was perplexed about the Archbishop’s judgment regarding the need for bishops. “I don’t know why he was so adamant about consecrating bishops. I have never had a problem finding a [Novus Ordo] bishop to ordain FSSP priests. Lefebvre didn’t have the problem he thought he had.” This is very superficial treatment of perhaps the most significant aspect of the entire drama that played out between Monseigneur Lefebvre and the Vatican authorities in the lead-up to June 30, 1988: the matter of the consecration of bishops for the SSPX. Let us always keep in mind the immemorial Christian axiom regarding disputes, i.e., that the side with the greater authority and power is obligated out of Charity to show the greatest benevolence, largesse, and good will.  That most certainly did not happen, and the tragic results for Holy Mother Church are still evident. If only the malevolent forces at work in the hierarchy had shown just one iota of good faith, the story today – with Francis persecuting what he calls rigorists and neo-Pelagians – would almost certainly be different. If only . . .

As an aside, we noted with chagrin that Fr. Bisig increasingly used only the Archbishop’s surname, and made accusations of “schismatic” and “sedevacantist” much more frequently as the talk progressed. As the talk drew to a close, Fr. Bisig gave us a few heart-felt comments regarding dealing with modern Rome: “If you return too much to Tradition, you are suspect even today,” and he lamented Summorum Pontificum being superseded by Traditionis Custodes. He told us some anecdotes about meeting with the “pope emeritus,” who assuaged Fr. Bisig’s concerns with the admonition that “Jesus Christ is still in charge.”

  After the talk, we stayed for one question in the Q&A session; however, only four questions – apparently drawn from a hat – would be considered for answers.  As we thought back over the presentation, we noted that throughout the talk, Fr. Bisig never specifically discussed the issue of true and false obedience. We have observed that when the Fraternity priests speak of “obedience,” it is always an apologia for obeying a hierarchy that has no real use for what it views as the fringe traditionalists. Let’s be completely frank: what has really changed in Rome?  Like a Sword of Damocles, the next attempt to seal the fate of the Mass of the Ages is coming from Francis, Roche et al. We know this in our hearts. Rome is just as untrustworthy today as she was in July of 1988, when, after arriving back in Naples following the events we witnessed at Ecône, we read on July 3 of the pope’s motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, in which the very same pablum offered to us in October of 1984 was being served up once again.

  Dr. John Senior’s excellent reflection shortly after the consecrations attests to the mendacity and disingenuous attitude of the Vatican authorities.6  He poignantly wrote after reading the motu proprio: “This is a sample of standard Vatican prose these days – in Abbé Georges de Nantes’ acerbic phrase (I quote it in the French), it’s ‘blah, blah, blah!’ ‘Some older liturgical forms and disciplines’? That means the immemorial Mass of the Catholic Church which the Council of Trent says comes from the Apostles. And think what a union man would make of a contract which reads: ‘I would like to express my will…to facilitate…through the means necessary to guarantee respect for their just aspirations’!” Dr. Senior’s analysis still resonates with us thirty-five years later. The response from the Vatican was, as he points out, too little, too late!

FOOTNOTES

1. There are, according to the authors of Public Speaking, three main types of persuasive speaking: to convince, to actuate, and to stimulate. Unfortunately, there are errors that are made by public speakers. The argumentum ad populum might be called, “preaching to the choir,” as the speaker appeals to the general mindset of his audience. So, if you will be speaking to a room full of tradition-minded Catholics who value “communion with Rome” and who have been told that the SSPX is not, then you will have listeners eating out of your hand. Other abuses of persuasive speech include name-calling (e.g., “schismatic” and “sedevacantist”) and generalities – both of which Fr. Bisig employed in his talk.

2. The U. S. military has long warned those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are considered to be at a “high risk of capture” about the threat of being exploited through indoctrination. Any military member who has had the opportunity to undergo Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) training, knows just what indoctrination is and how to deal with it. The origins of SERE training can be found in the writings of Dr. Albert Biderman, a sociologist and government consultant who, in the 1950s, wanted to understand why 21 American Prisoners of War (POWs) elected to stay in North Korea after the end of the Korean conflict in June, 1953. Debriefs of the returning POWs revealed that frequent indoctrinations were held by both the North Koreans and the Chinese. The UN POWs were coerced into attending these through various means. Dr. Biderman originally called indoctrinations “brainwashing,” a term which eventually fell into disuse after a couple of decades. At least in part due to the Communist/Marxist emphasis on trying to change the thinking of American POWs, SERE schools were established in each of the services and the training was centered on learning how to comply with the new “Code of Conduct” developed during the Eisenhower administration. Those military members who went through SERE training were much less vulnerable to the Marxist-style indoctrinations to which they were exposed in Communist North Vietnamese prison camps, while those who did not – generally soldiers held by the Viet Cong – were gradually turned against their nation and their fellow POWs (cf: Survivors, by Zalin Grant).

3. Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, Abbé Daniel LeRoux, 1988, pp. 160 – 176.

4. SSPX: The Defense, Kennedy Hall, 2023, p. 161. A review of this excellent book will be forthcoming on these pages.

5. The entire “apology letter” and the reason for Monseigneur Lefebvre’s misgivings about it, can be found in Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican, compiled and edited by Fr. Laisney, Angelus Press, February, 1989.

6. The Glass Confessional, an analysis by Dr. John Senior of the situation as it stood in July of 1988, is beautifully written. He provides us with some clear understanding of the reality of the choices “traditional” Catholics had to make at that time.

12 thoughts on “Fr. Bisig: “Archbishop Lefebvre is the Founder of the FSSP!”

  1. No disrespect towards this historical priest, but what is really going on? He was just in Coeur d’Alene last night doing the same thing, which appears to be a cordial attack on the Society, or an effort to prevent the faithful from attending Mass at the Society. Why are Society priests not invited to these talks? Why are accusations of Sedevacantism issued toward Archbishop Levebre? If the Archbishop was a Sede, then why did Fr. Anthony Cekada separate himself from the Society? True Christian Charity demands a fair case be presented. The FSSP needs to stop acting furtive, respectfully. This has become a Jacob and Esau moment, it seems. Historically speaking, Fr. Bisig certainly agreed with all the principles of supplied jurisdiction in the case of necessity for over a decade. If the crisis of conscience was due to the consecrations in 1988, and not the ecumenical scandals of Assisi, then perhaps therein lies the problem.

    • Clint Uff,

      You ask: Why are Society priests not invited to these talks?

      But I’d like to know why the Society priests don’t just go along themselves: they should not need a personal invitation to attend an event – any event – which is advertised and is open to the public or Catholics locally.

      Knowing that they are likely to hear false information/unjust criticism of their Society, why would they not want to go along to guarantee that the truth is heard, even in the din of error and ignorance, whether deliberate or misguided? I’ve never understood their unwillingness to speak up in public to defend both the Faith and their own Founder/Society. I dare say they will claim that just being in existence speaks for itself but that’s like a Catholic failing to speak out about any moral issue or injustice, false teaching etc on the grounds that just being a Catholic speaks for itself. Nope! Not good enough.

      Not sure if I’m being clear here but if you want me to try again, I promise you I can be even MORE unclear second time around!

  2. Wow. So, it seems that Fr. Bisig needs to justify his stabbing the Archbishop in the back, betraying his friend and father, and the founding of this fraternity by a new narrative! Why have we never heard this narrative before, this accusation that the Archbishop was a sedevecantist? Are they running out of reasons to exist and taking even lower swipes? Is he really insinuating that he “heroically” began the FSSP because he believed his founder was sede??? Really? Since when? Why have we never heard this from other sources close to the Archbishop or tenured in the FSSP? And why did “the nine” separate if the Archbishop was sede? Why is he firing all canons at the SSPX? Why now? Has Rome paid him off to work at destroying the SSPX’s faithful following as they have no control to abolish their Mass? What is actually going on? Poor Fr. Bisig, he has committed a grave act —- unless he can prove his accusation, then it is slander, calumny, and utter detraction about a great son of the Church. He should be shaking in his boots. This is NOT charity. This is dark. I have NEVER heard any FSSP priest accuse the Archbishop of sedevecantism, yes, we’ve all heard the schism attacks , but not his denying that the pope was the pope. This is a massive accusation. And he needs to recant or provide proof. It’s as if he alone were close to the Archbishop and no one else could have known …..and to not mention the crisis jurisdiction and all the rest of what happened. If only Michael Davies were here to go head to head with him at a debate forum. Fr. Bisig wouldn’t last. How easy it is to tell “his story” after all these years and with the Archbishop dead 32 years and unable to defend himself. How scandalous!!!!! And, to be doing this at this point in time of utter crisis regarding the Mass of the Ages– I shake my head in sadness and disgust. But thank you, Fr. Bisig, for clearly making yourself known, I will not be able to seek your priests out to help form my children. There are many good priests in the FFSP, but do they understand they are under a man of deceit, who is not honorable, who stabbed his own mentor and father in the back and betrays him while he is in the grave? It’s stomach turning. There is a higher, dark force at play, to be sure.

  3. I agree with MrsM! Something is going on. I will add a notion of mine: underneath it all, it’s possible that the FSSP would like to ‘link-up’ again with the SSPX. If for nothing else, for the simple reason that Rome cannot demolish the SSPX, but it can ‘erase’ the FSSP and their Tradional Mass, if the local Bishop does not approve of them and reports it to Rome. FSSP seems to have to walk on ‘burning coal’ or eggshells. On the other hand, the SSPX has it’s own link to the anti-pope; listening to the recent Consecration of the Immaculata, they specifically called for ‘prayers for plenary indulgences’ by praying for “the Holy Father -Francis the Pope”! What? Would Mons. Lefebvre have agreed with that? No way; he would’ve recognized that this in Rome is NOT a legitimate Pope! It’s sad that the only 2 “oasis of Catholic Faith” …are both vacillating and muddier than ever!

  4. So what is the conclusion? Fr. Bisig is one of Traditionis custodes or not?

    • It would really not be appropriate for us to make a judgement concerning Fr. Bisig’s interior disposition. We can only say that publicly, he has committed detraction and probably calumny against Archbishop Lefebvre. When someone sprinkles his talk with phrases such as “It appears to me . . .” or “It seemed to us . . .” or “We received the impression . . .”, this is really just speculation. Moreover, it is very easy to tell stories about a deceased person who isn’t here to defend himself. Is Fr. Bisig “of Traditionis Custodes”? If you mean: does he like TC, we would say, probably not. He told his audience that he discussed his concerns about Francis with the “pope emeritus,” (whatever that is!) and you see in our report the response of Pope Benedict to Father’s concerns. Fr. Bisig even made a quip that not everything from a pope is magisterial, “even when he is saying these things at 40,000 feet”. So he tried to get his gentle licks in on Bergoglio, though it may have been that he simply wanted to disabuse his listeners of the contentions of many Catholics that the FSSP does whatever they are told by the hierarchy. It is, after all, the poison they have accepted since 1988: they must obey their local ordinaries, or else . . .

      • “Traditionis Custos” is not an internal disposition judgement but an objective role played (whether he likes it or not).
        “Fr. Bisig even made a quip that not everything from a pope is magisterial” – which is quite an obvious thing, even JM Bergoglio says it repeatedly. However, between “not everything from a pope is magisterial” and “the liturgical deform is illicit/illegitimate” there is a huge distance.

  5. Aaron Aukema

    “The Church and the anti-church exist in the same juridical and liturgical space” Fr. Linus Clovis

    That is the reality, and neither the SSPX or FSSP want to recognize that. Immediately after the ascension of Eugenio Roncalli as John XXIII, the anti church was formed. In its nascent stages, it was imperceptible, as bishops and priests still said the Oath Against Modernism, the Liturgy was, in essence, what it always had been, etc. V2 was the coming out party (there is a reason why Paul VI called the NO a “new Mass for a new Church”, and why JPII called himself a ” new pope for a new church”. At one point, there was no distinction. Then 1984 and Assisi happened, and the break was obvious. The Church is maintained through those groups who reject V2 and everything along with it. Rome has apostatized. That is the reality.

    • Hello, Aaron, we are letting this comment stand simply for us to seize this opportunity to remind all of our readers of our simple policy. While we appreciate your desire to comment on the content of our posting, please understand that this is NOT a sedevacantist site.
      To be clear: we do not subscribe to the idea that the See of Peter has been vacant since 1958. We are not saying that the strange events of October 26, 1958, should not be cause for concern for any Catholic, nor are we suggesting that the last six decades have not been catastrophic for Holy Mother Church. The explanation that the Church has somehow defected, or that it is no longer Visible, may be of interest to many who wish to explore sedevacantist arguments; however, we don’t agree and that is not what this website is for.
      We simply ask that you respect our wishes — expressed in the side bar — that this forum not be turned into an apologetic space for the sedevacantist position. We hope you understand. God bless you.

  6. dihydrogendioxide

    Another FSSP trying to smear and divide the clans. I hope the “invited SSPX” got up, dusted off their feet, and left mid-speech. Shame on Father (merely the rank of priest) Bisig… I’m not sure who he thinks he is. Smears and arrogance on display. Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have the TLM.

  7. Darrell Roman

    Francis had a special meeting with the FSSP and they became friends…. Don’t we think that his smearing of the Archbishop is one way to stay on the good side of Francis?

  8. I’ve had reading this article/report on Fr Bisig on my “to do” list for a long time and only now managed to read it right through.

    Obviously, Fr Bisig displays signs of duplicity in his rather un-subtle attack(s) on the SSPX, but it doesn’t sound like there was much fightback from the SSPX supporters in the audience. The weaknesses in Fr Bisig’s arguments could have been exposed in a sentence or two. The local SSPX people (and priests) should, surely, have organised a well prepared group to attend and speak out. Indeed, since instructing/correcting the ignorant is one of the spiritual works of mercy, I find it puzzling that the Society attendees seldom do this, in any context; whether it’s a known dissenter invited to publicly speak in diocesan premises, or, as in this case, an expected all-out assault on the SSPX, the response remains the same – silence. Not impressive, in my humble opinion. Wanted, Urgently: Soldiers of Christ! Help!

    Congratulations, however, to Tony & Vickie for an excellent report – I’d have been interested to learn the questions asked in the Q & A session, but that aside, the event was brought to life for me by the above first-class report Many thanks!

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