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The SSPX is an international union of more than 600 priests. Founded in 1970 by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the group maintains that the crisis in the Church is a result of the Second. The SSPX developed its policies, procedures, training for the protection of children Mass Centers — Find a SSPX Mass location, inquire about Mass times and relevant info Our Schools — Healthy environment to learn and to grow into strong personalities. Pius X, USA DistrictVisit us on the web at: www.sspx.org. Angelus Press produces the SSPX Podcast on behalf of the US District of the Society of Saint Pius X. Through these last 40 years Angelus Press has maintained an uncompromising adherence to Tradition and unflinchingly continues the work started by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The Sorrowful Heart of Mary Apostolate, SSPX- MarianCorps is currently serving mission chapels throughout the United States but also including Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand (sadly, contingent to travel restrictions as of 2020).

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ST. MARYS, Kansas (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is discouraging its members from speaking privately to investigators, even as a criminal investigation into sex abuse cover-up is underway.

In a recent letter authored by U.S. District bursar Fr. Scott Gardner obtained by Church Militant, the priest warns the St. Marys, Kansas community against speaking with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) without a lawyer present.

The KBI has been investigating the SSPX, along with all Catholic dioceses in Kansas, for at least a year as part of its criminal probe into clergy sex abuse and cover-up.

'If approached, decline to speak to them without an attorney present,' Gardner insists, going on to offer his email as well as that of SSPX attorney Dan Lane. 'If you have already spoken to law enforcement, please let us know right away.'

Gardner accuses the KBI of speaking with priests, staff and employees of St. Marys 'without our legal staff being present,' claiming that investigators 'have already ignored this warning.'

'The KBI is investigating allegations of criminal conduct made against the SSPX,' said KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood in a statement to Church Militant. 'As such, our agents are permitted to question any individuals who we believe may have information related to this criminal investigation.'

'We encourage anyone who has information related to these sexual abuse allegations to come forward,' she added. 'We can be reached at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or by emailing: [email protected]'

There is no legal requirement for state investigators to inform attorneys when questioning witnesses. Witnesses are free to speak with law enforcement with or without lawyers present, and thus critics see the letter as further evidence of the SSPX's heavyhanded tactics to control and direct the investigation, and prevent witnesses from offering potentially incriminating information.

The letter effectively bans witnesses from speaking privately with law enforcement.

'[Y]ou are always entitled to have legal representation at any interview, and all Priests, staff, and employees must insist on this if contacted,' Gardner orders.

The letter effectively bans witnesses from speaking privately with law enforcement, and prevents them from sharing incriminating information with investigators. Requiring that an SSPX attorney be present necessarily avoids the possibility of witnesses from sharing confidential information that could expose knowledge of abuse or cover-up, as the SSPX attorney exists not to protect witnesses' rights, but rather to protect the SSPX.

The tenor of the letter stands in stark contrast to the SSPX's promises of 'transparency' and 'accountability' stated on its website, and instead appears as an attempt to clamp down on communications with the KBI.


Several SSPX priests are currently under criminal investigation in Kansas, including Fr. Ramon Angles, former chaplain at St. Marys, alleged to have raped Michael Gonzalez when he was an adolescent. Gonzalez left written letters naming Angles as his abuser, and also told multiple family members, five of whom have spoken with the KBI. Gonzalez committed suicide in 2000.

In spite of the grave abuse allegations, the SSPX is not conducting its own investigation of Angles, who remains the top canonical advisor to the Society and has even crafted the SSPX's child protection policy. He resides in the palatial Villa Grifoni Sant'Angelo in Castel Gabbiano, Cremona, Italy.

Father Pierre Duverger, a priest formerly assigned in Kansas City, Missouri who is now principal of a school in Sanford, Florida, is also under criminal investigation. Several young women have leveled accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against Duverger.

While not a victim of abuse, Jassy Jacas was the first whistleblower to step forward and expose SSPX abuse cover-up. She reported Duverger's grooming behavior in 2018, and was assured by Fr. Jurgen Wegner, U.S. district superior, that severe restrictions had been placed on Duverger, including banning him from hearing women's confessions or conducting retreats or pilgrimages with women.

This claim turned out to be false, after Jacas saw a poster at an SSPX parish advertising a pilgrimage led by Duverger for men and women, with women making up around 50% of retreatants.

Wegner also admitted to Jacas that the SSPX never conducted an investigation into her allegations or those brought by other alleged victims, in spite of having known about them for years.


In fact, at least one SSPX priest admitted in writing that they had been made aware of allegations against Fr. Duverger going back more than a decade.

In an email dated Dec. 14, 2019, Fr. Hervé de la Tour admits to Jacas, 'We know of several victims already,' clarifying in a later email that the allegations go back as early as 2007 or 2008.

Chapels
We know of several victims already.

Shortly after Church Militant's April 22 Spotlightbreaking the news of the KBI's investigation of the SSPX, the website for St. Thomas More Priory in Florida released a statement falsely claiming Duverger was not under investigation, and also falsely claiming he had been completely exonerated by the SSPX of all wrongdoing.

After Church Militant reported on the falsehoods contained in the statement, the statement vanished from the website — although local sources confirm Fr. Marc Vernoy, prior at the chapel, continued to distribute hard copies of the statement to the SSPX community.

Jacas confirmed that approximately eight priests are under criminal investigation by the KBI.

The full letter from Fr. Scott Gardner follows:

It has come to our attention that certain law enforcement officers may be in and around St. Marys, conducting interviews regarding an investigation of Priests, staff, and employees of St Marys and/or the District. In particular, KBI has already been warned that they are NOT to contact any Priest, staff, or employee without our legal staff being present. They have already ignored this warning, and it is likely that they will continue to do so until they are sanctioned by the courts.

We remind you of your Constitutional rights concerning any interview conducted by law enforcement. You are not required to speak to them just because they ask you to or make veiled threats against you or tell you that, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Further, you are always entitled to have legal representation at any interview, and all Priests, staff, and employees must insist on this if contacted.

You will be provided with legal representation by SSPX. If approached, decline to speak to them without an attorney present, email me [email redacted] and call our legal counsel Dan Lane at [number redacted]. If you have already spoken to law enforcement, please let us know right away.

Thank you for your cooperation in this serious matter.

In Christo,
Fr. Scott Gardner
United States District Bursar

8/5/2020: This article was updated to include comments from the KBI.

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Having become Apostolic Delegate for all French-speaking Africa from 1948 to 1959, he was afterwards named Bishop of Tulle in 1962. During this same year, his colleagues elected him as Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers, the post from which he resigned following the aggiornamento begun by the Conciliar Church.

Having founded the Society of St. Pius X and undertaking its government as Superior General from 1971 to 1983, he continued to assist the Society by his wise advice until his death on Monday of Holy Week, March 25, 1991, anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Sovereign Priest, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The SSPX

The SSPX came into being after the Second Vatican Council, at the request of seminarians desiring to be true priests according to the Tradition of the Church. Then, in view of the fact that it would be impossible to remain an authentic priest when subjected to the ecclesiastical atmosphere of the dioceses, the idea of a priestly society was seen to be the best solution in order to be accepted by the bishops (i.e., to be incardinated into a diocese) and protect their priesthood, while fulfilling a ministry much the same as secular priests.

On November 1, 1970, the Society was officially recognized by Bishop Charriere, Bishop of Fribourg in Switzerland; its constitution was warmly approved by Cardinal Wright, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, the following February.

The traditional priestly formation accomplished at the seminary of Econe became known and eventually displeased and annoyed the French bishops who feared the arrival in France of these young priests, trained in a traditional fashion. Thence came the pressure on Rome that ended in the illegal suppression of the seminary (1975), and in the no less legal sanctions against the founder of the Society (1976).

The Society has expanded rather rapidly and now [as of January 2010] includes 511 priests and over 200 seminarians. The priests are distributed among the 6 seminaries and about 125 houses and churches, in 30 countries spread on the 5 continents.

With his residence at the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland, the elected Superior General since 1994 has been Bishop Bernard Fellay (he is currently serving his second term) and is assisted in his office by other priests of the SSPX. The SSPX is a society of common life without vows (meaning the vows of religion, as the SSPX is a secular religious congregation and not a regular, or monastic order), like the Sulpicians, the White Fathers, etc.

Members of the SSPX

Composed mainly of priests, the SSPX also has religious members who are brothers, sisters, and oblates, and by affiliation, Third Order members.

The priesthood in the SSPX

The seminarians and priests, after a year of spirituality, publicly pronounce their commitment on December 8, each year, and after 10 years of temporary membership may ask to make their final commitment.

The SSPX's brothers

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The brothers of the SSPX, after fulfilling a 1-year postulancy and a 1-year novitiate, help the priests with various functions, be they apostolic works (teaching catechism and in primary schools, assisting with the choir), or material tasks (sacristy work, cooking, upkeep of the priory), in order to unburden the priests from obstacles to their apostolate. They take the vows of religion, recite the Divine Office and are bound to other spiritual duties. Today [as of January 2010] number 104 professed brothers in the SSPX.

The SSPX's sisters
The Priestly Society of St. Pius X is also associated with a society of women religious: the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X, founded also by Archbishop Lefebvre in cooperation with his blood sister, Mother Marie Gabrielle. The SSPX sisters enjoy their own canonical autonomy and have their own mother superior, but work in close union with the priestly society.

After a 6-month postulate and a 2-year novitiate, they assist the priest with multiple tasks: primary schools, catechism, visit to the sick, sacristy, upkeep of the houses, especially in regards to the washing and if required, the cooking also. They also recite the Divine Office with the priests and brothers, and have a full hour of adoration each day. There are now [as of July 2009] 150 professed sisters dispersed amongst 19 houses of which the motherhouse, 4 novitiates, 7 schools, 8 priories, a seminary, a retreat house, a nursing home, and a mission.

The SSPX's Missionary Sisters of Jesus and Mary

The SSPX has recently helped establish a congregation of missionary sisters who assist the Society's apostolate in mission countries throughout the world. The exterior works of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus and Mary are directed to children and women through the teaching of catechism, in schools, fulfilling secretarial and accounting work, providing medical assistance as nurses or aids, sewing, housekeeping, farming or whatever else the apostolate requires.

Sspx

Sspx Us District Regina Caeli

Candidacy is open to ladies between the years of 16 and 35 and the postulancy lasts for one year, followed by a 2-year novitiate period, then the vows of religion. read more here or to apply [fsspx.org] >

The SSPX's oblates

The Society prudently realized the need of providing to religious sisters forced to leave their communities because of the post-conciliar reforms a place to continue in their dedicated state of life. He also wanted to offer a place for ladies desirous of entering religious life, but who would not be accepted by a religious institute due to advance age or having been widowed. For this purpose, the SSPX also has oblate sisters, who live in the spiritual setting of the Society and under the direction of its priests.

The SSPX's oblate sisters assist the priests in priories, seminaries, retreat centers and schools through various tasks, from housekeeping, sacristy care, teaching, secretarial or accounting work, and cooking. As of now [January 2010] there are 74 oblates in various houses of the Society throughout the world.

Sspx Usa Priests

If not already professed religious, the oblate has a year of postulancy followed by a year of novitiate. After living a year in community, the novices are admitted to the oblates.

Sspx Us

The SSPX's third order

Finally, for lay persons desiring to share in the spiritual life of the Society while yet remaining in the world, a Third Orderhas been established. Through their affiliation with the Society, members of the Third Order share in its spiritual benefits, and aid its members through their prayers, while striving to increase their personal sanctification.

The spirit of the SSPX

The dedicated spirit of the Society can be summarized as follows: To continue the sacred priesthood as it was instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ and the priestly apostolate, according to the 2000 year-old Tradition of the Church. But this Institution and Tradition teach us that a priest's reason for existence is to perpetuate the sacrifice of the redemption of Our Lord and to keep dispensing its fruit to all generations. From the pierced Heart of Our Lord flows the Church and all the Holy Sacraments through which Our Lord communicates His Own Divine Life to souls and washes them of their sins. Thus, the sacrifice of the Mass is recognized as the inextinguishable source of the Church’s life, the great mystery of Faith, the synthesis of all revealed Truths, the fountain of all graces. Sacrifice and Sacrament, the Holy Mass brings the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ among us, and communicates Him as a miraculous nourishment.

It is this sublime role of the priest that the Society has endeavored to perpetuate, being conscious also that this role is the source of the reign of Our Lord in our souls, in families and in society. It is to this 'Restoration of all things in Christ,' with all its zeal, that the Society engages itself totally through its seminaries, colleges and universities, academies, high schools and grade schools, through its chapels and communities where retreats are held, and especially the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; and through its priories, real centers of apostolic missions. To foster its fervor, the SSPX is attached to the Church's liturgy, the great mysteries of Our Lord Jesus Christ (especially His Sacred Heart), to the Blessed Virgin Mary (particularly to Our Lady of Compassion), to St. Joseph (our prudent guide in spiritual and material works), to the Holy Angels (our patrons against all diabolical influence), and of course, St. Pius X (to keep us in the Faith and sanctity and against the errors and vices of the modern world).