Ecumenism With a Spine
SSPX 'Dialogues' With Lutherans

 - German District of the SSPX Website.

Article roughly translated from, the German-language Daily-Sun-like trad-newsportal.

"They are not ecumenical nice-talkers without spines"

The Society of St. Pius X, in conflict with the Vatican over reforms, organized spectacular Ignatian Exercises and Retreat in the Latvian capital of Riga in April 2008. Among those participating: the Lutheran Protestant regional archbishop of Riga. (

From April 20 until April 25 Father Karl Stehlin, district superior of the SSPX for Eastern Europe, preached a retreat in Latvia. The German district of the SSPX Website reported about this event on May 17, 2008.
Seven laymen participated, but also eleven Protestant clergymen and even the head of the Lutheran Protestant community of Latvia, the regional Archbishop of the Lutheran Diocese of Riga, participated.

In his sermons during the Ignatian Retreat, Father Stehlin SSPX preached about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, about the Mother of God, about divine grace, about the seven sacraments and the one Church which is alone sanctifying.

During the retreat different themes of faith and religious life came to be spoken about.

The Lutheran Pastors declared that they had asked a Traditionalist, because ecumenical meetings with official Catholic church representatives often consisted out of nice words, nice-talkers without any content and substance in their words.

Many said they had been given the impression, that Catholics these days are rather willing to imitate the Protestants.

In the meanwhile one of the Pastors said: "We are searching for Truth, for clarification about many ambiguities and contradictions within our own Protestant faith."

They wanted to learn the authentic doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. But this doctrine would only be clearly preached today by traditionalist clergymen:

"These are not ecumenical-nice-talkers without a spine, but they clearly preach the authentic Catholic deposit of faith." one of the Lutheran pastors said.

According to the website the gratitude of the participants was immense: "The pastors said they particularly loved the the method of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, which opened accession to Sacred Scripture to them."

The Lutheran Protestant pastors and archbishop were also touched by the Mariology preached by priest Stehlin: "With great intensity and piety, they also witnessed the Catholic rite of Mass [Tridentine Rite]."

The ardent desire for the fullness of Truth was clearly present among all of them, Father Stehlin declared.

After the Ignatian Retreat Father Stehlin received the notification that already one of the participants had converted to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Lutheran Regional Archbishop of Riga, leader of the Lutheran community of entire Latvia, asked Father Stehlin to come back soon and preach his Ignatian retreats to a larger group of Latvian Catholic and Protestant faithful and Lutheran Pastors.

The Retreat in Riga (Latvia at the Baltic Sea) has a history before it. Already in November 2006 Father Stehlin had preached Ignatian retreats for Lutheran Protestant pastors in northern, neighbouring Estonia.

One of the pastors present in November 2006 was from Lativa. He was particularly touched by Mariology and at the end declared: "I found my Mother!"

After that the contact and communication with him was lost, but a few months ago, Father Stehlin received an invitation from him, to come to Latvia and preach his retreats to a larger group of Lutheran pastors.

(Picture: Fr. Karl Stehlin FSSPX, in Poland.)

(Picture: Lutheran-Evangelical Protestant cathedral of Riga, Latvia.)

(Picture: Traditional Roman Rite Mass by the Society of St. Pius X during the Vadstena Pilgrimage in Sweden, inside a Lutheran church. Lutheran churches in Scandinavia, Danmark and the Baltic countries mostly conserved their Medieval high altar and statues.)

Pictures:, Ignis Ardens Forum

May God bless Estonia, Latvia
(flag) and Lithuania!