Wednesday, June 28, 2006

St. Pius X disagrees with the Vatican over Latin Mass, but that hasn’t stopped the Winona seminary from thriving

The Rev. Yves le Roux, rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, is clear about the role of the Society of St. Pius X, of which he is a member.

“We are Roman Catholic,” he said. [No, they're not!] “We are recognized by Pope Benedict XVI. [No, they aren't!] He is our father, but we are obliged to tell you we do not accept the teachings of Vatican II because it’s not an echo of the traditional church. The Church does not have the ability to teach something new.” [Wanna bet? "Whatever you shall bind on earth. . . ."]

St. Thomas Aquinas is one of six seminaries around the world run by the Society of St. Pius X, a fraternity of priests in disagreement with the Vatican.

On Friday, four of its seminarians were ordained as priests and another made a deacon at an outdoor ceremony on the seminary grounds. About 2,000 people from across the country attended the Mass, celebrated by Bishop Bernard Fellay. Fellay, who lives in Switzerland and is one of the society’s four bishops, was ex-communicated by the Roman Catholic Church in 1988.
As of 2005, the society had 470 priests serving in 60 nations. St. Thomas Aquinas, on Stockton hill just outside Winona, is its only U.S. seminary. [snip] Winona Daily News

The Winona Roman Catholic Diocese Responded on 29 June to this article:

St. Pius X Catholic in name only

By Rose Hammes | Winona

I am writing in response to Joe Orso’s article on the ordinations for the Society of St. Pius X, which appeared in the June 25 edition of the Winona Daily News. I believe that clarification is in order.

Father Yves le Roux stated in the opening quote that the group is recognized by Pope Benedict XVI. It is true that the Vatican recognizes this organization exists, but the founders, including Bishop Bernard Fellay who was in Winona last weekend, were personally excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

The excommunication was handed down because the Pius X society does not recognize the teachings of Vatican II, which brought sweeping and highly regarded change to Roman Catholic Church in the early to mid-1960s. Ecumenical relationships with other faiths, Mass celebrated in a country’s native language, and involvement of the laity in church efforts are but a few of the issues they contest.

Stories on such schismatic religious groups are confusing to Roman Catholics. Coverage of their illicit ordinations seems to place authenticity on a group that calls itself Catholic when in fact they are not in good standing with the Vatican.

The story was not balanced. Some simple fact-checking on the Vatican Web site would have uncovered the background information needed to tell both sides of the story.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Orso’s story, accompanied by a large photograph, was published on the same day when the Diocese of Winona celebrated its first ordination of priests since 2002. Fathers Brian Sutton and Tim Hall have studied diligently for eight years to prepare for a lifetime devoted to the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Winona. To have their vocation and achievement overshadowed by a group which is Catholic only in name was very disappointing.

Rose Hammes is the director of communications for the Diocese of Winona. Winona Daily News
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