Rorate Caeli

Journalists are not canon lawyers - Fellay speaks once again

When we presented Andrea Tornielli's article in Il Giornale, in which he mentioned a project for a "prelature", we immediately remarked:

We do not know exactly who was Tornielli's source, but we believe that the canonical structure of the "Prelature" (or, in this case, the "Personal prelature") is not exactly what the decision-makers have in mind.
After receiving a couple of e-mail messages regarding this, we wish to add a few obscure comments. Sometimes, we cannot be too clear -- and Father Gabet's warning in his interview to Brian Mershon holds true: "Those who really know, don't say anything; and those who say, don't really know". Andrea Tornielli is not a canon lawyer, so he used the word which was forwarded to him.

In the second report, published by La Stampa the same day, the picture of the possible plans of Cardinals Castrillón and Herranz was much clearer and consistent. We knew then as we know now and as we mentioned a long time ago that a personal prelature was not, to our knowledge, seriously considered in the Sacred Halls.

Now, though the Pope is not a dictator and the Code of Canon Law (CIC) binds him, unless he first changes it (or establishes a particular canonical structure for a concrete end), it is obvious that he can enact specific measures which make use of familiar names without the restrictions those names entail -- there are several advantages, as many legislators know, of using familiar names with modified concepts... (sometimes, it is the best way of getting measures through...).


The FSSPX/SSPX official news agency, DICI, has released today an interview with Bishop Fellay, in French. The bishop insists that there must first be a period of experimentation and doctrinal discussion (he declares that, at this time, a "doctrinal discussion is not possible", along the lines of the Matt-Vennari February statement) and that a "canonical solution" will come only at the end (if it comes at all -- "only on the Greek calends?", the interviewer asks, and Fellay does not deny).

In a sense, it is the same argument presented to Cardinal Castrillón almost two years ago, in the very revealing letter bishop Fellay sent him. We believe most answers to those who are curious about what may happen to the SSPX are contained in this 2004 letter. [DICI's official translation of this interview will probably be released in the next few days.]

P.S. I will also be away for the next few days. Have a nice week.