In case you missed it — April 2024

Catholic Candle note:  Occasionally, we analyze the liberal statements of the SSPX.  Someone could wonder:

Why mention the SSPX any longer, since they are unimportant as merely one of very many compromise groups? 

It is true that a priest (or group) is of small importance when he (or the group) is merely one of countless compromisers.  By contrast, an uncompromising priest is of great importance, even though he is only one.

However, regarding the “new” SSPX: we sometimes mention them for at least these five reasons, motivated by charity:

Ø  New Catholic Candle readers might not be sufficiently informed of the “new” SSSPX’s liberalism to avoid that group.  Out of charity for them we occasionally provide these warnings to help these new readers appreciate the danger of the N-SSPX.

Ø  Some longtime Catholic Candle readers might forget the N-SSPX poison, or vacillate in their resolution to stay away from the N-SSPX if they never received a reminder warning about the danger of the N-SSPX.  This is like the fact that all it takes for many people to become conciliar is to never be reminded about the errors of Vatican II and the conciliar church.  Out of charity for them we occasionally provide these reminders for readers who would otherwise “forget” the danger of the N-SSPX.

Ø  The N-SSPX serves as an important study case to examine how leaving the truth often happens.  It is a warning to us all about a very common way to depart from the truth and become unfaithful.  Out of charity for ourselves we occasionally provide these insights about becoming unfaithful by taking this common road of compromise the N-SSPX is taking.

Ø  Over time, the N-SSPX provides us with a thorough catalogue of liberal compromises, and studying those compromises and errors with the contrasting Traditional Catholic truth is a helpful means of studying our Faith and guarding ourselves from the principal errors of our time.  This helps us to fulfill our duty of continually studying the doctrines of our Faith.  Out of charity for ourselves, we use the occasion of the N-SSPX’s liberalism to study our Traditional Catholic Faith better and the corresponding N-SSPX liberalism.


Ø  If the SSPX ever abjured its liberalism, it could do great good as it used to do, without the grave problem of doubtful ordinations like most other groups.


For those readers who are firm in their resolution to completely avoid supporting the N-SSPX, they can receive just as much of the substance of those Catholic Candle articles, if they substitute the phrase “a liberal could say” anytime they read “the SSPX teaches”.

The Liberal “New” SSPX Promotes the Error
That Everyone Is in the State of Grace

Sanctifying Grace is the soul’s participation in the Life and Nature of God. [1]  That is, Sanctifying Grace is God’s Life within us.  Thus, e.g., five of the Church’s seven Sacraments are called “Sacraments of the Living” because they must not be received by someone who does not already have God’s Life (Sanctifying Grace) within him.

Recently, The “new” liberal SSPX taught (heretically[2]) that we are all, always, unchangeably, in the state of Sanctifying Grace.  Here are the N-SSPX’s words:   

What never changes, no matter the state of things [is that] the divine life is in us.[3]

This statement is heretical for two reasons: 

v  First, it is false to claim that everyone possesses Sanctifying Grace – i.e., that the Divine Life Itself is within everyone – for the majority of men do not possess it.

v  Second, it is false to claim that for those who at one time possessed grace, this possession “never changes, no matter the state of things”, as if this Divine Life could never be lost.

Many, even of those who call themselves “traditional Catholics”, vacillate between the state of grace and the state of mortal sin, whereas, the N-SSPX says that “what never changes” is that grace, “the divine life”, is in us.

This N-SSPX teaching promotes universal salvation.  But it should not surprise us that the “new” SSPX promotes universal salvation, since that group promotes the vice of presumption in these words:

The virtue of hope gives us this certitude … we will see our God, that we will possess Him and willl [sic] be united to Him forever.

In other words, the “new” SSPX says Hope makes us sure we will go to heaven.[4]  Faithful and informed Catholics know that this is not the description of the Virtue of Hope but rather of the vice of presumption.

Conclusion: Let us fulfil our duty to regularly study our Catholic Faith.  Let us stay away from the “new” SSPX because it wars against that Faith!

[1]           God is His own nature and His own Life and by grace we participate in God’s Life and Nature.  Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas teaches this truth:

[T]he light of grace, which is a participation of the Divine Nature, is something besides the infused virtues which are derived from and are ordained to this light ….

Summa, Ia IIae, Q.110, a.3, respondeo

See also, St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church, where he teaches the same truth: Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 38, §4.

St. Peter refers to Sanctifying Grace as making us “partakers of the Divine Nature”.  2 Peter, 1:4.

[2]           Faithful and informed Catholics know that heresy is an error about the Catholic Faith.  Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this crucial truth:


We are speaking of heresy now as denoting a corruption of the Christian Faith.  Now it does not imply a corruption of the Christian faith, if a man has a false opinion in matters that are not of faith, for instance, in questions of geometry and so forth, which cannot belong to the faith by any means; but only when a person has a false opinion about things belonging to the faith.


Now a thing may be of the faith in two ways, as stated above; in one way, directly and principally, e.g. the articles of faith; in another way, indirectly and secondarily, e.g. those matters, the denial of which leads to the corruption of some article of faith; and there may be heresy in either way, even as there can be faith.


Summa, IIa IIae, Q.11, a.2, respondeo (emphasis added).


[3]           Here is the full quote, which is an ad for a book which the Angelus Press is selling:


The Courage to Be Afraid is remarkably different from other spiritual books.  It is a tour de force that examines many aspects of the Christian life, yet, always returning to a simple, powerful theme: we have to let God act.  Fr. Molinie addresses himself to us, children of the modern world, in order to recall us forcefully to what never changes, no matter the state of things: the divine life is in us, and will transform us if we surrender to it.  “God’s love is a consuming fire”.


Quoted from the Angelus Press sales flyer sent to its mailing list about February 20, 2024 (emphasis added).

[4]           Inside the front cover of the November-December 2016 Angelus Magazine, Fr. Wegner declares that the Virtue of Hope is being sure we will go to heaven (which is a pernicious conciliar doctrine).  Informed Catholics will immediately recognize that this is the vice of presumption, not the Virtue of Hope!  Here is Fr. Wegner’s entire statement, which he printed in extra-large letters:

Faith makes us know God: we believe in Him with all our strength but we do not see Him. Our faith, therefore, needs to be supported by the certitude that some day we will see our God, that we will possess Him and willl [sic] be united to Him forever. The virtue of hope gives us this certitude by presenting God to us as our infinite good and our eternal reward.

Emphasis added; bracketed words added at the SSPX typos.

For a fuller explanation of the Catholic virtue of Hope and the opposite and contrasting vice of presumption, read this article: