A gesture that shakes things up and elicits admiration. Yesterday, Sunday, March 11, in the morning, Bishop [Jean] Bonfils [Emeritus of Nice], the Administrator of the Diocese of Ajaccio [Corsica] up until the installment of Bishop-Elect de Germay, went to the church served by the SSPX in Ajaccio. It was not simply a visit of courtesy or of pure diplomacy: Bp. Fellay being unable to come to Ajaccio for a very long period, his fellow bishop, Bp. Bonfils, proposed to him, by his own will, to carry on the confirmation of 19 candidates to this sacrament. The representative of the SSPX could not refuse the sacrament proposed by the Bishop in charge of the Diocese, even more so when he, naturally, conferred it according to the Traditional Rite. Bp. Bonfils celebrated the Mass of Saint Pius V afterwards.
"This act accomplished by a French Bishop, in the current context of the proposition made by the Pope to Bp. Fellay of a canonical statute of a universal personal prelature is not without meaning. [Rorate note: that is not the exact state of things; as we last reported, the whole matter is still under the consideration of the Holy See.] That he [Bp. Bonfils] was simply and normally received by the faithful of the SSPX is also very gladdening."
Addendum: Unfortunately, things do not look as rosy as reported above. We hear the following from trusted sources: (1) that the local SSPX priest, Fr. Hervé Mercury, was already involved in personal divergences with his superiors; (2) that, differently from what was mentioned above, the celebration was not conducted out of any sort of agreement with the SSPX General House; (3) that the same Fr. Mercury was already involved in discussions with Bp. Bonfils [updated information]. These things are not particularly bad in themselves, but they completely change the tone of what took place: not a disinterested pastoral visit, but a complex dispute between a priest who wishes to leave a society, his superiors, and a local diocesan bishop.
Rorate stresses once again the fact that Summorum Pontificum observatus is not correct when stating that the SSPX-Holy See matter is anywhere else than in the Holy See's own hands at the moment.