The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pope lifts excommunication on SSPX Bishops

January 24, 2009
by Damian Thompson

The Pope has lifted the excommunication of the four bishops of the SSPX consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Here is the Vatican document:


By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988.
Read in full at the Holy Smoke blog.


  1. This has relevance for the Anglican Use for a couple of reasons:
    1) the always controversial Bishop Williamson who is one of the four bishops whose excommunication has been lifted is a convert from the Church of England;
    2) this demonstrates the Pope's determination to gather into the Church all those Catholics who have been separated in any way from the unity with the Holy See;
    3) it is also a further endorsement of traditional liturgical piety, which follows Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum, which piety has a natural home in the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.

  2. IN support of my 2nd point in the comment above, Fr. Hunwicke in his blog Fr Hunwicke's Liturgical notes writes: "What joy to see the SSPX excommunications lifted. I hope and pray that this augurs well for the reintegration of other sundered fragments of Latin Christendom."