Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Ignis Ardens is a British forum for those interested in the work of the SSPX. I regularly look in to see what is going on. Normally the topic which by far excites the most comments is the issue of whether it is ever legitimate for women to wear trousers. I wonder whether women wearing trousers was discussed at the talks between the SSPX and the Vatican? It is clearly a topic never far from the minds of those involved with the SSPX. A recent close second has been whether it is OK for men to push prams? You could even debate over whether Jesus was a Jew!

In the last few months there was also a special thread devoted to something called Krahgate. This seemed to arouse quite a lot of comments too. I could never be bothered to read through it all to find out what it was all about. From what I can understand a man called Krah has been employed by bishop Fellay as a legal and financial advisor and a number of SSPXers weren`t happy about this. From what I can glean Mr Krah enjoys the music of the American singer Madonna who was rumoured to have recently fallen out with the Kaballah group she was involved with and has been talking to Opus Dei priests in London with a view to finding out more: Dan Brown has if nothing else raised the profile of Opus Dei! (H/T The Eponymous Flower) UPDATE 10.40pm: Tancred in the combox says this is not true

However the SSPX HQ has taken exception to the unfavourable comments about Krah and has threatened Ignis Ardens with legal action. Fr Paul Morgan the UK superior wrote:


The Ignis Ardens website states that 'it is a Traditionalist Catholic forum with a pro-SSPX bias... but that 'this forum's support for SSPX is not to be taken as evidence of the SSPX's support for this forum.'

The latter part of this statement is certainly true with regard to Ignis Ardens' involvement to date in a campaign which undermines the authority of the Society's General House.

I refer to the section entitled 'Krahgate,' which, under the cover of anonymity, raises serious allegations against Menzingen's lawyer, Maximilian Krah, and, by extension, against the Superior General himself.

Whilst this file, which apparently originated elsewhere, was recently removed at the initiative of the Ignis Ardens moderator, the damage caused will be much more difficult to repair given the public nature of the internet and the propensity for calumny and detraction to spread.

In this regard Bishop Fellay does not exclude having recourse to judicial process, and this should serve a warning to those who think they can commit public slander via the internet with impunity.

Father Paul Morgan.

All by way of saying that while it is hard being on the EF side of things in the mainstream Catholic church, it`s not all plain sailing in the SSPX either....


berenike said...

Ha, trousers and trads!

I cried with laughter reading these:

Pants: a manifesto
(blogger is American, she means trousers, it's not a lingerie post!)


Pants Pass.


FatherTF said...

A comments box on the subject of trousers would not be complete without a reference to the magisterial letter of Cardinal Siri on the subject in 1960. Perhaps the best environment to read it is the website "The Pope in Red" which also supports the "thesis (FACT)" that Cardinal Siri was elected Pope in 1958 and not Cardinal Roncalli. That surely lends an extra gravity to the instruction:

His Holiness on Modesty

A tree-climbing woman said...

To anybody who says women shouldn't wear trousers, I say 'You try wearing a skirt then, in wet and windy weather'. It isn't impossible. We all did it before 'slacks' (yuck) came in, but it can be cold, uncomfortable and unmanageable.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Thanks Fr Tim and Berenike for the lnks: essential reading I would say. Tree-climbing woman, thanks for the input. What I don`t want however is to open up the whole trouser debate here so I may not post all comments that come in on this topic.

1569 Rising said...

But, Father, of much more import...
Does the SSPX have a definitive answer to a question which has divided Christianity for well over a millenium -

Just how many Angels can stand on the head of a pin?

I have spent sleepless nights worrying about this, it is almost as important as the opposite to the trousers debate - is it licit for SSPX laymen to wear a skirt?

For my own peace of mind, we must be told.

Seeker said...

I now need to know if I'm still in good odour with the Church since I have to confess to pushing each of my four children in various prams and pushchairs. Any mitigation for the fact that amongst other destinations I did perambulate them to Mass regularly? If the SSPX can argue those sorts of issues then the fact that they create virulent argument over financial advisers is hardly surprising; that's a subject that raises suspicion in management teams of all stripes.

Tancred said...

Thanks much for the link, Father, but a point should be made that Miss Ciccone, aka "Madonna" is not going to join Opus Dei any time soon even as a cooperator, the post was a farce in the spirit of a previous "story" where the pornography star was said to be becoming a Methodist.

We suppose we should put a satire warning on the post, but our Orson Welles side ...

ScepticalBeliever said...

I am so sorry to learn that 1569 Uprising is having sleepless nights over the 'How many angels...? question. I am sure that should he contact an SSPX priest he would be given the (infallible) answer.
The answer to his question: 'is it licit for SSPX laymen to wear a skirt?' must be:'only if they are Scottish'.
In the 1960s (when I was quite young, of course) I remember the P.P.of a Newcastle church (known to Fr Brown) stating from the pulpit (that was the name of the platform thing priests used to preach the sermon from, before homilies came in) that he would refuse to give communion to any woman who was wearing trousers and that was long before the SSPX was spawned.I can't remember what he said about the mini-skirt but he might not have been in favour of it either.

1569 Rising said...

Further to the morality of modern times:

The famous Fr Malachy Mulligan (RIP) of County Monaghan and Hexham & Newcastle Diocese opined that the single biggest contribution to the disastrous decline of moral standards in the 20th century occurred when Working Men's Clubs began to admit women.

Among many other memories of Fr M. was his custom of preaching 40 minute impromptu sermons, especially at Benediction. He also knew more about horse racing form than the Jockey Club.

Crux Fidelis said...

I loved the trousers 'debate' but the wrangling over Christ's Jewishness had me in stitches. Do these people exist outside of cyberspace?

One of the posters is familiar to me from the Catholic Truth Scotland website. There you'll find plenty of disapproval of priests who go to football matches or play golf.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Brown,

You appear to have not understood what 'Krahgate' is about. Perhaps you could take the time to read the entire file.The information in it is factual and can be substaniated.

Bishop Fellay has evaded serious questions for months.

I'm sorry to see your comment box allow people to mock fellow Catholics.

If you read the note from Fr Morgan carefully, it never states the info in 'Krahgate' file is false and the calumny refers to the internet in general.

Tancred said...

Once upon a time, better times than this, priests weren't just against women wearing trousers [that was for sexual libertines like George Sands and Vita Sackville West], but it was considered improper for them to show their face at the theater and not just sporting matches.

1569 Rising said...

This is for those of an elderly situation:

During the Rome Olympics of 1960, the Vatican apparently forbade priests from attending any of the athletics events on the grounds that the female athletes wore shorts which were too brief.

When "South Pacific" was released, and was showing at the Queen's Hall in Newcastle, the famous Fr Cassidy of St Cuthbert's Grammar School fame instructed his charges that they were not to see the film, since there were women portrayed wearing bikinis.