Rorate Caeli

Fellay speaks: I am confident

From an interview granted by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) to Paolo Luigi Rodari, in Il Riformista:

Fellay... has often been defined as the head of the more moderate wing of the Lefebvrists. The opposite of Bishop Richard Williamson, who would represent the more intransigent wing in the Fraternity, that [wing] of the "never and never again" regarding a compromise with Rome.

"Nothing could be falser - Fellay explains it -, Williamson and I are on the same line, that which believes that we could hardly re-enter a Church as is. And the reasons are quite simple. Benedict XVI has indeed liberalized the ancient rite, but I cannot explain for what reason he made such a decision if he then allows the majority of Bishops to criticize and disobey him regarding what he determined. What should we do? Re-enter the Church and then be insulted by all those people?"

And more: "Other than the ancient rite, the problem for us is in the words which Benedict XVI dedicated to Vatican II. We have read his wish to put in place an exegesis of continuity. But it seems to me that no concrete actions have followed this desire. because the rupture with the past is directly related, unfortunately, to some texts of Vatican II and these texts are what should be, in some way, reviewed. In the interview which opens the book of Cardinal Leo Scheffczyk, 'The World of Catholic Faith: Truth and Form', he [Benedict] declares that after the Council he was too fearful regarding the colleagues devoted to a clear line of openness to the world. That is fine, but, concretely, what actions does he intend to pursue to fix it?"

That is to say, Ratzinger should ready himself for a direct revision of the Conciliar texts, and not only for a denunciation of an incorrect hermeneutic. "Let us take, for instance - Fellay says - the declaration Dignitatis Humanae dedicated to religious liberty. In it, the Church places itself in a position of subjection regarding a civil authority that must assure it the right to free expression. Yet in my opinion it should be the opposite: it is the State which must submit to the Catholic faith and recognize it as the State religion."

If the liturgy is the heart of the dissent of the Lefebvrists regarding Rome, the divergences seem to have a wider scope which the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum can not solve by itself. "I - Fellay concludes - have met Benedict XVI only once, in the summer of 2005. From that day onward, I have kept an intense exchange of letters with Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, president of Ecclesia Dei. But there still is no common working document. I am nevertheless confident because all our dealings have otherwise been excellent."

38 comments:

irulats said...

Quod cum videret Simon Petrus, procidit ad genua Iesu dicens: “ Exi a me, quia homo peccator sum, Domine ”.

Anonymous said...

It would seem that doctrinal clarifications are a bit like putting the cart before the horse. If I am not mistaken, it has always been possible for clerics to submit what is called in Latin a "dubia" which, roughly translated, means a reservation on some matter of policy, discipline, wording, etc. But, don't they first need to be in full communion for their dubias to carry any weight with the Holy Father?

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with Bishop Fellay regarding the Hoyl Father's allowance of a freedom and return to the Tridentine Latin Mass, and the inaction against the Bishops etc. who have opposed it.
Pope Benedict XVI should move in all haste to quash the dissident liberal bishops and their objections to the Tridentine Latin Mass, because they are dangerous and forment discord.
I think however, that this is already about to be done.

Pascendi said...

Bp. Fellay presents a balanced and careful assessment of the situation.

His critique of Dignitatis humanae is well-founded. One has only to read the immediate history on this issue from the mid 50s onward to realize that something went wrong.

It would be interesting for the Holy See to publish the list of proposed condemned propositions that were drafted up by the Holy Office in 1958 to be then withdrawn (c.f. New Light on Vatican Two, Jared Wicks)

Anonymous said...

Fellay: "What should we do? Re-enter the Church and then be insulted by all this people?"

The Church needs your presence, Bishop Fellay.

Surely the threat of an few insults is not sufficient to stop you from doing what is right and holy?

You will assist our Pope in retoring the Church in no way whatsoever as long as you resist rapproachment by insisting on reverence and respect as a prerequisite.

WraithX said...

Anonymous: despite what many believe, I think that the Church already HAS the presence of Bishop Fellay and the SSPX - they are doing (from within the Church) what must be done to fix these problems - protesting.

Anonymous said...

"Fellay: "What should we do? Re-enter the Church and then be insulted by all this people?"

The Church needs your presence, Bishop Fellay.

Surely the threat of an few insults is not sufficient to stop you from doing what is right and holy?

You will assist our Pope in retoring the Church in no way whatsoever as long as you resist rapproachment by insisting on reverence and respect as a prerequisite."

You fail to realize the depth of the disagreement and ill-feeling that the Novus Ordo clergy feel towards the Traditionalists. They view the Council and the postcouncil as a real power struggle, and as good liberals they will confront to the death any attempt of the Church to inject tradition in the life of the Church.

In the present circumstances "reconcliation" between Rome and Econe will not bear fruits for the Church. Before this a lot more concrete steps have to be made by the Pope, to avow his real desire for purification of the corruption in the Church.

I do not believe this is the intention of Benedict XVI. He is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Anonymous said...

Eccleisia Dei was to publish clarification of SP re intansigent Bishops, who Archbishop Ranjith called "instruments of the devil". Whats happening with this?

Anonymous said...

"Fellay: "What should we do? Re-enter the Church and then be insulted by all this people?"

Obviously Bp. Fellay does not consider himself in communion with what he considers to be the Catholic Church. To which "particular church" does he profess adherence? He makes the point which detractors on both sides have been making for years: the SSPX has a schismatic mentality! Ah yes, the SSPX the great sifters of Catholic dogma and truth... "Whatever thou shalt sift upon the earth shall be sifted in heaven!"

Either Benedict XVI is the pope and the SSPX and its bishops should embrace him and his "church," or Benedict XVI is not the pope of the Catholic Church and he should be ignored and his "church" exposed as a fraud. It's black and white.

Anonymous said...

I said full communion not implying by this they are outside the church but that their status is irregular. If they can submit dubias on any theological point they wish, then what is the problem?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is just me, but I have moved from very sympathetic to the SSPX, to somewhat sympathetic to the SSPX, to, frankly, fed up with the SSPX.

Times and circumstances have changed.

It is about time the SSPX comes around and regularizes its situation. The longer the SSPX stay in their unacceptable, irregular situation, the farther they'll orbit away from the Church.

Today's "irragularity" will become tomorrow's schism;
tommorrow's schism will lead, thereafter, to heresy.

Anonymous said...

"Benedict XVI has indeed liberalized the ancient rite, but I cannot explain for what reason he made such a decision if he then allows the majority of Bishops to criticize and disobey him regarding what he determined. What should we do? Re-enter the Church and then be insulted by all those people?"

------------------------------

So Bishop Fellay would not have any other Bishops "criticize" or "disobey" the decisions of the Holy See? Doesn't this cut both ways?

schoolman

Anonymous said...

"We have read his wish to put in place an exegesis of continuity. But it seems to me that no concrete actions have followed this desire. because the rupture with the past is directly related, unfortunately, to some texts of Vatican II and these texts are what should be, in some way, reviewed..."

"That is to say, Ratzinger should ready himself for a direct revision of the Conciliar texts, and not only for a denunciation of an incorrect hermeneutic."

----------------------------

Are we to understand by this that there is no possible "exegesis in continuity" with Tradition regarding the texts of Vatican II? Are we do demand a formal "review" and "revision" of the council texts in order to correct their "errors" and bringing the Magisterium back into alignment with her own Tradition? What does all of this imply in terms of the dogma of indefectibility?

schoolman

Papa Beatus Pius IX said...

The fact that Fellay wishes to protect himself and his community, whatever quasi-Church status it may have - from ridicule and insult just goes to show you at once the pride and cowardice of the group.

If he were really on the side of the angels and not of Satan, then he wouldn't fear insult or ridicule or even martyrdom for the sake of doing the right thing.

Yes, Benedict needs to crack down - and hard - on those dissenting bishops. But it's the pot and the kettle, as far as we're concerned. If Fellay wants to champion submission to Benedict - and to proudly demand that Benedict demand submission from his bishops, Fellay should set the example and submit to the Holy Father himself.

Shame on you Fellay. Your pride is ever more clear now, and your heart is manifestly closed.

Anonymous said...

"Let us take, for instance - Fellay says - the declaration Dignitatis Humanae dedicated to religious liberty. In it, the Church places itself in a position of subjection regarding a civil authority that must assure it the right to free expression. Yet in my opinion it should be the opposite: it is the State which must submit to the Catholic faith and recognize it as the State religion."

------------------------------

On the contrary, DH draws the limits of state power by affirming that it has no right to restrain the free action of the Church in pursuit of her divine mission. That does not mean that the divine mission of the Church is somehow "subject" to the state! In addition, DH affirms the traditional teaching of the Church regarding the duty of the state toward God and the one true Church. Bishop Fellay's "opinion" here seems unfounded.

schoolman

Anonymous said...

In one spot, Fellay talks about the need for "review," in another the need for "revision." Well, which is it?

Does he want part of the text retracted in such a way that at least implicitly admits error? Or does he want the text authoritatively clarified so that people are no longer mislead into making erroneous interpretations of what it means?

If he wants the former, he must surely know that he's talking to a wall. If he wants the latter, he needs to start putting forward some ideas.

--with Peter

Anonymous said...

For the sake of accuracy, it should be noted that the only thing that Bp. Fellay mentions is a "review". While it is possible that he wants a "revision", the reference made to such was not a quote, but an editorial comment made by the author of the interview. Whether his interpretation of Bp. Fellay's stance proves true has yet to be seen.

Anonymous_Diocesan_Seminarian said...

To whichever "anonymous" wrote this:

You fail to realize the depth of the disagreement and ill-feeling that the Novus Ordo clergy feel towards the Traditionalists. They view the Council and the postcouncil as a real power struggle, and as good liberals they will confront to the death any attempt of the Church to inject tradition in the life of the Church.

In the present circumstances "reconcliation" (sic) between Rome and Econe will not bear fruits for the Church. Before this a lot more concrete steps have to be made by the Pope, to avow his real desire for purification of the corruption in the Church.


Those are mighty strong words to be using... accusing the entirety of non-traditionalist Catholic clergy including the Holy Father of malice concerning traditionalists and Catholic doctrine. Who are we to judge the motives and desires of the pope? I haven't met him, and I'd assume you haven't either.

So far as the clergy goes, it is opinions such as these that harm the traditionalist movement in general, ESPECIALLY the part that has chosen to suffer the persecutions from WITHIN the Church. There are many of us who would be glad to "inject tradition into the life of the Church" but are resisted constantly by those who write us off as among the schismatics.

I do not believe your opinion helps Rome, Econe, or anybody else except for the Modernists who thrive in confusion.

Anonymous said...

"We have read his wish to put in place an exegesis of continuity. But it seems to me that no concrete actions have followed this desire. because the rupture with the past is directly related, unfortunately, to some texts of Vatican II and these texts are what should be, in some way, reviewed..."

------------------------------

Whoever has followed the SSPX knows by now that they have consistently rejected Pope Benedict's "hermeneutic of continuity". The reason is that they see the "rupture" being "directly related" to the "texts of Vatican II". It is not possible to give such texts a positive interpretation in light of Tradition, according to this view. In other words, certain texts need to be altogether "erased" from the record ("tabula rasa", as put by Bishop Tissier) and some new "revision" put forward in its place. That is why the interviewer goes on to summarize as follows:


"That is to say, Ratzinger should ready himself for a direct revision of the Conciliar texts, and not only for a denunciation of an incorrect hermeneutic."

schoolman

Anonymous said...

Thank you Schoolman and anonymous. But then either Fellay's comments are disengenous or misleading. His words show a certain openness to a hermeneutic of continuity when he criticizes the fact that not enough concrete things have been done. He accuses them of being empty words.

Now, his opinion seems unduly negative. Summorum Pontificum and the ecclesiological clarification from the CDF are two very recent and powerful examples of the HOC in action.

If the interviewer adds the bit about "revision" while Fellay (speaking for Williamson) is talking "review," maybe SSPX is softening a bit on its hardline approach to the texts of Vatican II. Maybe we are seeing a certain openness to the possibility that what (according to them) was written in bad faith might be read in good faith.

--with Peter

Anonymous said...

Thanks, with Peter. I do think your assessment reflects a bit of wishful thinking. The SSPX rejection of the HOC was again recently displayed just after the CDF Document was published. Bishop Fellay has commented that the CDF clarification maintains the same "contradiction" inherent in the Vatican II text. In other words, they are looking for a "review" of Vatican II that includes the annulment and/or revision of certain texts that are supposed to be out of conformity with Tradition. I wish I could conclude otherwise, but this is my assessment of the situation.

schoolman

Michael said...

I don't claim academic or scholastic credentials to dazzle many of your devout mentalities. However, to suggest that a Magisterial approved document needs to be overturned because the Church dictates to the State the approved religion and allows or disallows freedom of religion is our problem with Islam. As Papa Benedeto points out the first 300 years of martyrs believed in freedom of religion for Jews, Pagans and Christians. Frankly, to go back to the mentality of the Papal States era is beyond common sense and gives fodder to the modernists. Self-destruction is not the path for orthodoxy.

Br. Anthony said...

All those commentators who go by the name "Anonymous", please stop. You are all driving me crazy. I don't know who is who. Please give an pseudo-name if you don't want to be identified.

Anonymous said...

Let me try to clarify the points I made relative to Bishop Fellay's comments on the recent CDF Document in connection with HOC. In a recent interview he said the following:

--------------------------------

This document seems to be a clarification of nothing but assuring once again that “Yes” means “No.”

Q: Your Excellency. Can you give us an example?

A: Sure. One example is precisely the question about subsistit. [The question is] “Why use the expression “subsistit in” and not “est”? You read the answer and you conclude nothing.

They say it is “est”and that there is an identity with the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church; and there is no change of doctrine. And then the next phrase is precisely a change in doctrine. So… It is a contradiction.

In his sermon in Ecône, Bishop Williamson said that in Rome they say something like two plus two makes four, but maybe it also makes five. And here you have a perfect illustration of that.

http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-2007-0715-bishop_fellay_on_summorum_pontif.htm

------------------------------

Unfortunately, such clarifications coming from the Holy See seem to be greeted by the SSPX as more of the same "contradictions". Indeed, the CDF commentary recognized a certain "paradox" in the mysteries involved -- but paradox has nothing to do with contradiction.

schoolman

Benfan said...

I do not know if it is possible to write a document so watertight that it is immune to misinterpretation. The fact is, if

1) you have people in positions of power who do not read with the eyes of Catholic faith

2) Who are not disciplined when they damage the Church

3) Who seem to have a powerful vehicle to frustrate Peter - (Bishops Conferences)

4) Who seem to hold sway over Northern Europe Britain and Ireland included

you have to admit we are suffering a massive strike at the heart of the Church. Historically, the people rose up and kicked them out or in the case of England went along with the regional Bishop and left Rome. SSPX needs to be very careful here. They are essential to the picture and it is really not as simple as get in line and get on with it.

They have a network set up to transmit tradition that has taken time and effort to build. Unless they can operate securely inside Rome it would be foolish of them to return. I do not think for one minute it is the prospects of insults that is keeping them away at this point in time. Nor do I think VII is going to be condemned.

Anonymous said...

"Nor do I think VII is going to be condemned." (Benfan)
--------------------------

I certainly agree with that -- and this involves the very charism of indefectibility. But consider the following from Bishop Fellay taken from the same Remnant Interview?

-----------------------------

"Besides that, it is a confirmation of what we say. This text tries to tell us that there is no contradiction between the doctrine of the Church of the past and of Vatican II. And we insist by saying that Vatican II is in disharmony—is in contradiction—is even teaching error opposed to the traditional teaching, especially on ecumenism. And here [in this new document on ecclesiology] you have both sides put together; that is, the past and Vatican II."

Brian Mershon Interview, July 15, 2007

-------------------------------

We see in this a very solid position relative to the texts of Vatican II themselves -- not only their proper interpretation. Where will this lead?

schoolman

Anonymous said...

"We see in this a very solid position relative to the texts of Vatican II themselves -- not only their proper interpretation. Where will this lead?"

The issue is not interpretation, the issue is application. We have had enought interpretation, now what we need now is that the correct interpretion of Vatican is applied by the Curia.

The Roman Curia has to be reformed so as to eliminate the feuds that have arisen in the different discasteries and make everyone work in unison: tradition.

This is not happening at present. The "prima donnas" who work in the curia have to be fired.

John said...

schoolman,

I'm happy that you've found a place to play, you may get along better here. I really hated to let you go from AQ, but it didn't work out. Bless you.

Michael,

This is really not that hard to understand. I'll try to make it simple.

Catholics believe that Christ is to be head of all nations, just as the Gospel reads. According to Vatican II, for the first time in Church history, we gave CATHOLICS permission to "opt out" of this very fundamental teaching.

Comparing Holy Mother Church's teachings to that of the heathen Moslems is insulting.

Can our teaching on sex outside of marriage be called into question because it happens to be similiar to what Islam teaches?

I realize that it's a hard pill to swallow in our post-enlightenment world, but the fact remains that nobody, NOBODY, has any "right" to reject the Church of Christ.

New Catholic said...

Hello, Servitium! We are really glad to have you visit us here!

Anonymous said...

The CDF document this summer seemed only to tell us that there was no contradiction, but it did not explain how the development was truly a development and not a contradicting change in doctrine. It seems that Fellay sees many apparent contradictions like this in the conciliar texts. It seems that he wants the Holy See to really examine these points and show clearly that they are developments and not contradictions. In this endeavor the Holy See would either succeed or fail. It seems that Fellay hopes for textual revision upon the failure of the enterprise.

This makes me nervous. I pray for Fellay and the Society. Their regularization could spell doctrinal clarification for all Catholics, and they seem unwilling to regularize without it. However it seems that the situation could realistically go two ways. Either “a continuity” could be shown or made by textual change, or a discontinuity on certain points could be explained away in terms of context. If the later happened we could see the contradicted pre-conciliar texts officially explained to be historically contingent and therefore non-applicable now.

I hope this does not happen, and that is why I think we should all pray, but I can’t quite rule out the possibility. I pray that when and if the issues are really examined and Peter has really spoken the final word, Fellay and the Society will regularize.

Anonymous said...

"We could hardly re-enter a Church as is."

So, they are out of the Church. For, why would he use the word "re-enter" otherwise?

Now, we all know that to belong to the Church is necessary for salvation.

I think it's a tragedy. We should all pray for bishop Fellay and his followers.

Anonymous said...

John said...
"schoolman,

I'm happy that you've found a place to play, you may get along better here. I really hated to let you go from AQ, but it didn't work out. Bless you."

----------

Hey Servitium. I have visited this Blog for a some time now -- and have posted here from time-to-time -- since it has some of the best news and translations around. Sorry you did not appreciate my arguments regarding Assisi. Of course, I don't have any issues with those who disagree with the Holy Father on prudential grounds. But, if a defense of Pope Benedict's actions (e.g., Assisi) are automatic grounds for being banned on AQ then perhaps you will consider adding that to the rules section (or at least a simple note). I certainly would have respected that if the rule had been disclosed -- but I can't read your mind man.

Also, I can't figure out the fear in discussing these issues like men. We can't simply bury these questions on AQ or anywhere else -- they keep nagging at the conscience of traditional Catholics and need to be delt with in a straightforward manner and without fear. That is my opinion, my friend.

God Bless,
schoolman

Anonymous said...

The response to the liberalizing of the traditional Mass has greatly discouraged me. Bishops misrepreenting and proscribing it with sneers, people leaping to adopt the term "extraordinary form," - a term that marginalizes it - the evidence of the clear victory of the protestant forces within the Church over the past 40 years...the MP was just a pebble into a very large...and Benedict has moved on to appoint more mediocre or destructive bishops and otherwise continue the project of ruin. I for one think the SSPX would be making a mistake to enter full communion with this mess of a situation.

Anonymous said...

That anon was me...should have been titled Chas

Brad C said...

Either “a continuity” could be shown or made by textual change, or a discontinuity on certain points could be explained away in terms of context. If the later happened we could see the contradicted pre-conciliar texts officially explained to be historically contingent and therefore non-applicable now.

I hope this does not happen, and that is why I think we should all pray, but I can’t quite rule out the possibility.


An astute observation. Unfortunately, based on some recent examples it appears more likely that a discontinuity would be admitted and the pre-conciliar teaching explained away by appeal to context. That seems to be the standard line for ignoring or dismissing the Syllabus of Errors, Pascendi, and Humani Generis--all of which contain some doctrinal teachings that are not relative to historical circumstances. It is also apparent in the recent document lifting the decree condemning 40 propositions allegedly found in Rosmini's writings. While the lifting of this decree was a good thing in itself, the rationale for it comes dangerously close to assuming a kind of historical relativism.

Be careful about asking for doctrinal clarifications of conciliar teachings: you might just get it.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't sound like the Bishop Fellay and the SSPX that I know. An odd set of comments, seemingly; I'm wondering if this interview has been translated correctly, or even if it is accurate at all. If it is accurate, it seems to me that Bishop Fellay was quoted during an odd moment.

We've seen some retractions in the press on various Catholic subjects lately, this may soon become another one.


Tim

LeonG said...

"You will assist our Pope in re[s]toring the Church in no way whatsoever as long as you resist rapproachment by insisting on reverence and respect as a prerequisite."

What complete nonsense! The quoted "prerequisite" does not concretely exist. Furthermore, without SSPX in the equation most NO catholics would still believe the The Latin Mass had been abolished in the 1960s. Without the considerable strength of such an organisation the SP would probably never have emerged as an issue. Moreover, the urgent need to seriously reconsider some of the deviations of orthodox Roman Catholic norms, values and mores of the post-conciliar church would also be sidelined & ignored.

Even now the SSPX form where it stands, has immense bearing on the entire liturgical situation. God's strength never relied on numbers but on those few who manifest the right disposition of the heart and mind in accordance with his Will.

No one can deny that many bishops and cardinals are at present demonstrating just where they stand, too: in diametrical opposition to the Holy See by their stubborn refusal to allow The Latin Mass the freedom it has always possessed but which they have sought to conceal from Christendom. They continue to undermine this process. They would wish it to become as a "fossil".

As an outsider to this, I would estimate that if SSPX are not careful then to precipitate a full communion now would seriously compromise not only their identity as completely traditional Catholics but would also make them vulnerable to the type of episcopal assaults already made on other traditional organisations such as the FSSP and other indultarian situations.

SSPX can work far more effectively from where they are at the moment. They must continue to be patient, persevering and prayerfully vigilant in every positive sensus catholicus.

Anonymous said...

When I read the comments of pro-SSPX people referring to SSPX or to their priest and leaders I cannnot help but always see the utmost reverence in almost like reverence shown in worship to some little gods of opposition to Rome. It is overwhelming. SSPX is certainly not in union with Rome, when you say something positive not matter how justified about Pope, Rome, post-Vatican2 Church you will realise talking to SSPX follower or priest that you committed great mistake and you can only see on their face disapproval and disgust. They cannot even hide it. This is how it is. They are more and more sede, this is reality.