The most respectable daily in Argentina, La Nación, published this Monday two articles based on interviews granted to its reporters by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay.
The most relevant excerpts of the first article, including Fellay's actual words:
"We have never moved away from the Church. We have always been and are Catholics, and we have always worked with the intent of remaining so. There are difficulties with the authority, but that does not mean that we deny it [the authority]."
..."There are men in the Vatican Curia who do not work for the Pope."
"The only problem which remains now is [of a] political [nature]. There is a part of the Church which does not love us, which considers us as dinosaurs, and Rome does not know how to manage this dialectic between the conservatives, as we are, and the progressives who do not want [to follow on] the same path. If [they] give us too much, the others would react."
He [Fellay] explained that, "until things improve", the links to the Catholic bishops and priests are very scarse. They do not maintain a dialogue, for instance, with Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio [S.J.], Archbishop of Buenos Aires and president of the Argentinian Episcopate. "Father Bouchacourt [head of the Latin American District of the FSSPX, whose headquarters are in Martínez, in the Greater Buenos Aires area] sent two letters to Cardinal Bergoglio, and did not receive an answer. That is, the silence comes more from him than from us," said Fellay.
"We have never intended to build a parallel Church or authority"..."The official Church has put us aside. We have been marginalized. That is true. Yet, they cannot say or prove that we are on the outside. It is interesting that in the motu proprio which rehabilitated the ancient Mass of the Tridentine Rite [Summorum Pontificum], the Pope says that the reason for his action is to work towards internal reconciliation in the Church. He is speaking about us. We have thus here the declaration of the Pope himself that we are not schismatics," he affirmed.
[On the current situation of the Church:]
"It is very complex," he answers. And he adds: "There are many currents which produce turmoils when they meet, and the authority has lost control over some of these currents. One example is the situation of a de facto schism which is noticed in North America, even though Rome wishes to prevent it from becoming a formal schism".
Part of the actual interview was published in the second article, whose questions and answers are available below:
To the question on whether a real opening [towards the FSSPX] or a state of confusion prevails in Rome, Bishop Bernard Fellay states that "it may be both".
"The Pope - he explains - wishes that all the body of the Church be in peace and he thus pursues the true union of all her members. The Church desires unity with all those who are outside her. But to effect this ecumenical movement without pursuing the internal union would undermine her credibility. There is a task [needed in order] to reorder things, and this takes time. It is very hard to reintroduce discipline. There is a fear of punishing. The Pope wants discipline with order, but I ask myself if he can accomplish it"
-[La Nación] Why would he not be able to do it if he wanted to?
-"Because there are men in the Vatican Curia who do not work for the Pope, but for others."
-[La Nación] For instance?
-"[They work] For groups. One of them is the mafia looking for money in dealings with the Church. There are terrible scandals in this area. Another group, more dangerous, are the Freemasons; there are three of four lodges specific for Vatican Bishops and priests which seek to use the Church to reach the union of all peoples and religions. The current Pope is against this [the current state of affairs] and works to clean it. He has done a part of this work in silence up to now, charging small faithful groups with studying a theme, as, for instance, the motu proprio on the Latin Mass."
-[La Nación] On what other theme?
-"The recently released review of the manner of electing a Pope. This corrects a rule by John Paul II which [had been] done under the direction of the Secretariat of State."
-[La Nación] Do you foresee the future extinction of the current Mass?
-"The Latin Mass appears now [to be] an extraneous body because it was said to be forbidden for 50 years. But one will take the place of the other. This motu proprio which rehabilitates the ancient rite will generate a movement which, at first, will be slow. It will demand time, but it will grow slowly. I am certain [of this]."
-[La Nación] But if so few understand Latin...
-"It is not necessary to know Latin to take part in the Traditional Mass. What is important is that the readings and the sermon be understood by the faithful."
-[La Nación] Is the new Mass valid?
-"It can be. But this is not important. What is important is that we see in it a danger which may lead to an erroneous thought. We say that this Mass has a Protestant flavor. Benedict XVI said that he regrets the excesses in the liturgy, but while we attack it, he defends it. The definition of the Mass which was given had three errors which are heresies. But it was so grave that they changed this definition." [Rorate note: Reference to the first version (1969) of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, number 7, altered in the official text of the 1970 Roman Missal (first Editio Typica).]