From an interview with the Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, published on December 11 by the French regional daily Nice-Matin (via Le Forum Catholique). Due to copyright limitations, the following relevant excerpts are translated:
Nice-Matin: Isn't this division among Catholics an offense against the love of Christ?
-Mgr Fellay: It is true, love is the authentic sign of the Church. But Saint Paul also says, "Opportet haereses esse," there shall always be divisions and oppositions. The Church has as its aim saving souls, and for that it should remove them from a situation of war against God, related to Original Sin.
What do you ask for?
-For that which is the principle: that the ancient Mass be truly allowed. For a practical application [of the principle]: that all act in good faith. That we do not see, beforehand, the arrival of the ancient rite as a problem.
It is said you are on the verge of asking, in writing, for the removal of the excommunication against the Fraternity of Saint Pius X?
That is inaccurate. After the year 2000, we have already asked for it several times, including in writing.Cardinal Castrillón, in charge of the dossier, has publicly recognised that we were not schismatics.
Since your audience with Benedict XVI on August 29, 2005, what has happened?
-Last spring, the terms of an agreement were discussed at various times by the Cardinals and the officers of the Curia. The Fraternity has not returned to Rome in an official fashion, but contacts take place, we exchange letters.
An agreement with Rome, when?
-It is impossible to say. It had been assured to us that the text "liberalizing" the Tridentine Mass would be published in October 2005 [sic]. That has still not happened. The Pope wishes to proceed fast. We say to him: softly. It is an atomic bomb, which must not be exploded! Before landing, we make the effort of preparing the runway. We have proposed a roadmap. We do not set conditions for Rome, but the shattered confidence must be regained. The "liberalization" of the Mass and the removal of the excommunication would be a sign which would open a phase of doctrinal discussion. Efforts by Rome to remove the Church from its current situation of paralysis would also be a sign. I am sure of a "happy ending". But when? We pray. For us, the Church is supernatural. What is essential is of the order of grace.