The Transalpine Redemptorists are connected to, though not part of, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). The SSPX is a group of Traditional Catholic priests who belong to a society founded in 1970 by the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre after Vatican II. In 1988 the Archbishop consecrated 4 of the order’s priests as Bishops, placing the group in a complicated situation and status within the Church. An interesting point is that Pope John Paul II sent none other than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to talk with Archbishop Lefebvre.
Recently, they have drawn the attention of many on both sides by entering into dialog with the Ecclesia Dei Commission – a commission set-up to care for former members of the SSPX. It seems that the Pope’s last muto proprio "Summorum Pontificum" which allowed for a more liberal use of the extraordinary rite has been accepted as a positive step toward possible reconciliation.
In response to rumors flying around the Internet, the group posted a document "Declaration On Relations with Rome" on their blog. It’s an honest, but not angry, statement of where they stand. Here is how it begins ... and ends:
"We hold firmly with all our heart and with all our mind to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to the maintenance of this faith, to the eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth.Nobody knows how the story will end, but I think most would agree that we lost an important part of the family in 1988. I do pray that we can welcome them home someday soon.
We refuse on the other hand, and have always refused, to follow the Rome of Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies, which became clearly manifest during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council, in reforms which issued from it.
That is why, without any rebellion, bitterness, or resentment, we pursue our work of the sanctification of souls in the spirit of Saint Alphonsus under the guidance of the never-changing Magisterium, convinced as we are that we cannot possibly render a greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to posterity."
. . .
"All these serious considerations, dear friends, move us to go and see what Rome has to say. Let not our contacts with Rome be understood as meaning that we will break off our friendship with the Society of Saint Pius X and the other traditionalist organisations around the world. On the contrary, we positively want with all our hearts to remain in contact, sharing all that we may learn with Bishop Fellay and the other heads of traditional orders for the good of tradition as a whole.
Only time will tell if the moment has come for an agreement with Rome. Prudence requires of us to proceed slowly and cautiously, reflecting well at each step of the discussions. In this, we will rely on the continued support and advice of our traditionalist friends. Our agreement must be founded upon the fundamental principles of the Church and the safeguarding of the Faith.
While asking for your prayers for this matter, we place ourselves under the patronage and protection of our Mother of Perpetual Succour, She ‘who by Herself has crushed all the heresies in the whole world’ qui cunctas haereses interemit. May She, whom St Alphonsus ever invoked as the Mother of Good Counsel, teach us to be "wise as serpents and simple as doves"5, while showing us how to "generously open our hearts to make room for everything that the Faith itself allows."
Here is a very interesting video where an atheist/agnostic gentleman spends 24 hours with the Transalpine Redemptorists and has a experience I don’t think he’ll soon forget. Be sure to watch it through to the end.
Genuine Charity: still the best evangelization tool around.