Within a decade of its founding in 1970, Msgr. Lefebvre's SSPX had become well established throughout western Europe and the Americas.

In the early 1980s, however, several of SSPX priests ordained by Msgr. Lefebvre either broke with him, or were forced to leave his Society, principally because they would not accept his insistence on using the 1962 typical edition of the Roman Missal and on accepting John Paul II as Pope.

One of these groups was lead by Fr. Clarence Kelly, the SSPX's Northeast District Superior in the United States. Fr. Kelly and eight other SSPX priests were expelled by Msgr. Lefebvre for their insisting on using the Missal as it was at the time of Pope Pius XII's death and for their maintaining that it is, at least, a debatable question whether there has been a Pope since 1958..

In 1983 Fr. Kelly and the other eight former SSPX priests organized as the Sacerdotal Society of St. Pius V.

Within a few years, though, about half of the initial nine SSPV priests had separated from Fr. Kelly, with most of the seceders, all sedevacantists, forming their own group under Fr. Daniel Dolan. The other seceders founded independent ministries.

In 1993, through intercessions from Fr. William Jenkins, who was one of the priests remaining in the SSPV , Bishop Alfredo José Isaac Cecilio Francesco Mendez-Gonzalez, C.S.C., the retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and also a former member of the Board of Directors of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, consecrated Fr. Kelly as a bishop. The consecration was not, however, publicly announced until a few days after Msgr. Mendez-Gonzalez's death in 1995.


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