Rorate Caeli

Fellay: "I am sure of a 'happy ending'"

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.


  1. "Isn't this division among Catholics an offense against the love of Christ?"

    Question: where did those divisions really have their origins? and
    Question: what is the nature of those divisions?

    Therefore, the sense of division resides in such postmodern phenomena in the church as the abomination and desolation we witness regularly in the holy places, stimulated by hierarchical support. The radical divisiveness of sexual perversion which has become systematic in the modern church and which is encouraged by some members of the hierarchy: must also constitute one of the major offences against Almighty God and most surely cries out for vengeance. Certainly the abandonment of The Faith by untold millions of Catholics as a consequence of needless changes and superficial novelties, promoted by the hierarchy & clergy has further enabled division. Moreover, 45 years of progressivist dumbing down of catholicism and propagation of false ideologies has exacerbated divisions even further.

    Mgr Fellay does not have a case to answer - perhaps the said journalist ought better look at the place where the divisions have been fomented. But he will not receive very honest answers by such parties.

  2. Anonymous1:29 PM

    It's obvious bp. Fellay is in a totally different mood than his fellow bishop Williamson has been for quite a while.

  3. Thank you for posting these words. ¡How true are the words of Bishop Fellay! May hearts in the hierarchy be moved and atonement made for the sins of the clergy.

    In Memory of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:

    "Oh Almighty God, who didst in the life and death of thy servant Marcel grant us a heroic model of fidelity to the one true Faith and to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, vouchsafe to grant also that, inspired by his example, we too may never be shaken nor waver in our fidelity to Thee, to thine Only-Begotten Son, and to his one true Church, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen"

  4. Anonymous1:49 PM

    I've always wondered whether Fellay and Williamson were'nt playing "Good Cop/Bad Cop."

  5. "the abandonment of The Faith by untold millions of Catholics as a consequence of needless changes and superficial novelties."

    I have been bothered by this, and the relative silence about those many, many millions, e.g. my wifes enitire, very large, French-Irish family in Massachusetts who simply left.

    I am not sure if ascribing this "abandonment of The Faith" to ["as a consequence of"] "needless changes and superficial novelties" is or is not a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc, precisely because of the author (Mack) himself, and millions of others like him, who did NOT abandon the faith of their fathers which remains whole and entire as received despite the needless, the superficial, the novelties, & the banal and prefabricated.

    Perhaps these things have been permitted by God as a winnowing fan to reveal hearts.

  6. Anonymous2:40 PM

    Oh, be a sport and explode the bomb. ;)

    Seriously, I don't think much is gained by waiting.

    All the councils obtain their authority from the same source, so it is impossible for one to contradict previous ones. Later councils must ALWAYS be read in the context of the older ones for this reason. It was wrong to believe somehow that V2 could *refute* earlier councils. If this understand leaves us with the information that V2 didn't contain much, then so be it. [In the end, that may well be what happens.]
    Meantime, little is served and considerable damage is done by withholding the patrimony of the Church.

    We will come to a final proper understanding of the councils in context. I trust God for that and believe it will happen. It is our job to help.

    It will not be done until we heal this most egregious liturgical wound. Restore the Latin Mass Please! Subito!

  7. The larger point, and good news, too, if His Grace is quoted accurately, is the presence of certain phrases. Such as "we do not dictate terms to Rome" and the talk of preparing to land, and the acknowledgement of ongoing contacts between the Society and Rome.

    I cannot tell you how I will celebrate should the Mass be freed and the excommunications be declared void!

    Sancta Maria, Dei Genetrix, ora pro nobis!

  8. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Remember that the great majority of Catholics are asleep at the wheel, going on as they were taught from the big shocks of v2. They are going on blindly with no questions they feel they can ask. Many have turned to other pursuits because the church no longer seems to make sense to them. Jar them awake and start them asking what V2 actually did say and how that fits with what went before. Get them to look to Benedict and people who know instead of the deadheads they have been following. It is necessary.

  9. Anonymous3:39 PM

    "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."

    Hmmm. We do not dictate terms to Rome...but we expect the removal of excommunicaton and the liberalizing of the Tridentine mass, and THEN we'll start to talk about doctrine (i.e., how the Church has it wrong since VII).

  10. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Maybe the men in the church,but not the Church itself have been wrong, and have used VatII as a smokescreen for all sorts of things. Also, what Dogma was defined at VII? None, all was left amgibious to be determined later on be whoever was strong, big-mouth and cunning enough to do so.

  11. Anonymous4:03 PM


    I don't quarrel with your position. I simply refute the statement that Fellay et al impose no terms on Rome. By his own statement they expect unilateral submission before even getting to the "dialogue" stage. Right or wrong, that sounds like imposing terms to me.

  12. P. Bunyan: I've observed the very same thing for about a year now, but ...shhhhhhh! Don't give the game away! It's working!!

  13. Simon Peter, please, get thee (further) behind me (famous rebuke, and look what happened to the first man to receive it). God wishes only good for his creations, and certainly gives them the free will to make poor decisions for themselves. But to the extent that the Church's poor decisions making had scandalized them, hurt them, disillusioned them, offended them, robbed them of their identity, it too is culpable.

    You move me to do what I would not have earlier, but I'll tell you the rest of the story of what I see on a weekly basis and have to stomach. Two weeks ago a girl of about 25-30 was invited, as a representative of the parish Goretti Group (promoting chastity among young women), was invited to give a talk at the end of every mass. Except at the 9:00 mass which is ostensibly a "Children's Mass", where she stood there telling her story in front of about 100 4, 5, & 6 year olds. I saw looks going back and forth between parents in the choir loft as she talked laudibly, if unwisely, about "how to channel your sexual energy;" about how group discussions had prompted more then one person to disclose that they were sexually abused;" and I sensed that she herself began to realise that this was not the place for that. That at their age it was a scandal against innocense that they should even hear of such things. I could just hear the kids when they got home: "Mommy, what is sexual abuse?" and "How do I channel my sexual energy?"

    Now I'm not a prude. But there's a time and place, and that wasn't it. The choir director almost took her young family out of the parish over it, and we both complained to the office, where I heard that others had raised their voice as well. Sure, when they're 12, 13, or 14, they can probably do (in today's society) with hearing of such things, but not at their age.

    The problem is that the parish is staffed by two old Vatican II'ers, well meaning, doctrinally orthodox, yet liturgically wild (one of them). It was he that I described in the posting in response to Fr. O'Leary ;(French Manifesto Blog). He would like to think himself under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and perhaps he is, the problem is that in being moved by the spirit in about six different directions, he tries to act on them all at once. It's called having diharreah of the "Will". He can't withold doing whatever comes into his mind. Manifold complaints have been made over the years to what he does to the mass, i.e. after gathering the children about the altar, girls and boys, and having them extend their arms and repeat a prayer about how they believe that "God has given the priest the power to change the water and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, alleluia, amen", he then cuts the words of the cannon and jumps directly to the words of consecration. Oh, and he also does this if the sermon runs too long. Lately he's been extending the arm raising and prayer to the whole congregation.

    This is not the mass. The pastor knows it, the Bishop knows it, but this otherwise good and holy priest has gathered a cult of personality around himself and appears undisciplinable. One other thing, the "Children's Mass" is 1/4 children and 3/4 adults, indicating that unless there are a bunch of three parent families out there, we've got returnees who don't belong there, and are continuing to indulge their taste for infantile liturgy, rather than growing up and putting away childish things. But then that can be said of much of the parish, the fruit is that they are being trained to remain children, rather than Catholic Adults. There's a difference between being Childlike, and Childish.

    Oh, and in the face of such abuses, when asked affably one afternoon while admiring the in situ High Altar whether we might have a Tridentine mass in the parish, the pastor replied curtly, as to salt in a wound, "I will never do it; I will never do it." "But why, Father?" I asked, innocently. "Because that is all over. We have a new mass now. That's why we have Vatican II." Well he certainly told me. But there is a Novus Ordo partly in latin mass once a month for which the curate claims an "indult has been granted by the bishop, so we have the traditional mass, the same as we used to always do it." Lie. Deliberate misrepresentation, and he knows it.

    Now, can you really wonder why your family left the church, forsook the faith of their fathers? Perhaps in their experience it was the faith that forsook them. Simon, you really are full of it sometimes. Perhaps a little understanding would go a long way towards getting them back! So as I say, God bless Good Pope Benedict, and roll on Motu Proprio. It can't happen a moment too soon.

  14. Anonymous5:05 PM


    Yes, of course, you are correct. And a number of fears and mechanisms left it in place, capitally the fear of looking wrong or setting off some kind of rebellion of some sort. But of course, they got some rebellions anyway didn't they? On both sides, predictably when they left everything so unclear and allowed such coercion to occur. Didn't help.

    The only real thing they can do now is "come clean." Appeal to lay intellectuals (which are the finest ones they now have because of what they've done) to understand and help bring it into line with the other councils, get it done and get back to business.

  15. Anonymous5:15 PM

    I'm not really certain most of the Vatican are really aware how badly the laity have been treated these last 45 years. I think they have cordoned off the sexual abuse from the rest of it--the liturgical and ritual abuse, the politics, the flat-out lying and all the rest of it.

    I think Benedict XVI has an inkling because he used to see some of the letters and videos people sent in. It's the #1 reason I cheered when he became pope. The laity have suffered and we need redress in the form of relief for the wounds perpetrated on us. The Motu Proprio is the medicine that will being the healing of the wounds. Bring it on!

  16. I know Michigan, it's tempting, o so tempting to set the punk to the fuse and just light it off! But patience indeed. I think you're right, Benedict has a very good idea of what goes on.

    Fellay demonstrates farsightedness and vision. Yet I do think there is much in Bunyan's observation about Good Cop/Bad Cop. Find the midway point between Fellay and Williamson and that's the real viewpoint and modus operandi. Which is a good thing, I think. They're saavy in the cause of Holy politics. But that's one reason why he's Bishop Fellay and I'm not:-).

    As to most in the Vatican, they're beurocrats. And they live in a city of big churches, which always lends dignity to the proceedings, and makes it easy to ignore or overlook what goes on in the suburbs. I'm not being mean spirited, just saying. It takes alot to get through to them. But the sex-abuse financial crisis is doing it for us, one very large reason. Again, not being cynical, just observing, and commenting on the Church's human side, separated from its supernatural one.

    Whatever the case, the staus quo isn't working.

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. Simon Peter,

    I've a cunning plan, m'lord.

  19. Anonymous7:39 PM

    And don't you suppose, hebdomadary, that the Church heierarchy operates in much the same way, with folks like Ricard playing the bad-cop role?

  20. Good point. Apologies to Simon Peter, didn't mean to be personal. As I said on a post under the Trad's of the world Unite post, Mt. St . Helen's is venting this morning, and so was I. Christmas cheer all 'round.

  21. I didn't take it personally. No worries.

    I started venting a little too, comparing the Church "elders & betters" with the British General Staff in 1914, you know, they took the finest, fastest, best trained, professional all-volunteer Army, where being a crackshot was expected, then proceeded to utterly destroy it in a few months of crass stupidity on the Western Front: "The Donkeys", the lot of them. Then I threw in a few quotations from Blackadder IV to illustate the lunacy of THIS 40 year order of imitating art imitating life.

    Then I removed the post before it caused offense.

    Sorry thetimman, someone might wonder to what you are refering.

  22. Like it or not, Bishop Williamson is a necessary voice which calls for caution and temperance amidst all the irrational ranting and raving about the forthcoming "Motu Proprio". In the first place, it has not yet been made official; secondly, we have not yet been able to see how it is framed and, thirdly, if and when it appears, there are many wolves in sheep's clothing in NO church even at the highest levels to undo it at the seams and neutralise it. Furthermore, once the progressivists & parish liturgical ignoramuses get their mischievous hands on one or other versions of the Latin Mass available it will not be long before we witness more relativised and pluralist abominations in the name of The Latin Mass.

    There is plenty of work to be done if the Latin Mass is "liberalised" - a word I have never had much trust in where The Latin Mass is concerned since it is a lexical item suggesting more progressivism, more liberalism: we have had enough of that.

    Moreover, beyond The Latin Mass there is a massive task to be accomplished in making modern catholics literate in The Faith, once more. This assessment includes, disgracefully, many a modern hierarch. Judging by the reports we receive and by conversations I have personally with "catholics" it looks as though The Church has been set back many years by all the post-conciliar deviations and permutations.

    I doubt if members of SSPX, or any other traditional group, would want to be associated with another period of misguided liturgical chaos performed in the name of a "restoration" of The Latin Mass. Indeed, one would like to see a reestablishment of proper Roman Catholic liturgical order and an authentic renaissance in The Church. If the Holy Father's measure achieves this then it is good but there is always the distinct danger that it could remain mere words on paper.

  23. Hey,

    I am all about the bomb!! Please light it and let the Church be the beacon which dispels this global crisis of innanity. And for those who die in the radius of the explosion, the good and the bad, let God sort em out.

  24. Anonymous2:57 AM

    I think the power of the liberals has been overstated for quite a while now. Perhaps back in the 60s it was possible for a clique to grab power like that, but I'm not so sure now. I think we're running from shadows and think that if this is done kindly and well, it will come around. People are starved for beauty and meaning now and know they can go where they need to in order to participate in it. These are not the 60s anymore.

    So, I still don't see what might be gained by waiting.

    I do believe that the SSPX is hesitant because they fear being dragged into another liberalizing scheme. I don't blame them, I suppose. They were torched pretty badly, but weren't we all? In order for this to regularize, we are going to have to try.

  25. Mack,

    Bishop Williamson is a necessary voice which calls for caution and temperance amidst all the irrational ranting and raving about the forthcoming "Motu Proprio".

    I find it oddly ironic than one could use the words caution and temperance to describe Bishop Williamson juxtaposed against those who are irrationally ranting and raving. I think most would consider the opposite to be true.

    God Bless,


  26. I think that it wouldn't be bad for the Church for the bomb to explode, but not a nuclear bomb, but the neutron bomb.

  27. Anonymous4:38 PM

    No, Humboldt, just a plain old liturgical bomb, but one which will have large consequences in this most un-liturgical of times.

  28. Anonymous2:45 PM

    The halls of the Vatican remain today with the walking relics of the disaster called Vatican 2, the 60's bugnini more protestant than catholic burocrats still crawl the halls of that once sacred & hallowed place called St. Peter's and the Vatican. When the bugnini/pauline novus ordo coterie of leftist liberal theologians prelates advisors, periti are purged from the highest places in the Catholic establishment, from Catholic universities, and especially Catholic seminaries, when the abominations that flowed from the council called vatican 2 in the liturgy in particular are eliminated and the protestant service which these days passed for a Catholic mass are abandon, when the Classic 1700 yr old LATIN CATHOLIC LITURGY IS RESTORED WORLDWIDE when people who call themselves catholic again reclaim their faith in Jesus Christ then Christs Church and Christ himself will again reign as King of the Universe amoung nations. Only when the abominations that take place daily around the wotld at the mass are stopped and the pedophiles driven from the Catholic priesthood, maybe then we as Catholics can begin to make reparation to Almight God for the abuses that have been committed in the Catholic church for the last 40 yrs. As usual the heresies and the abominations of the last 40 years are the result of hierarcal and priestly abuse as is the case throughout church history. The problems in the church have primarily been the problem of heretical & schismatic clerics not the laity---pacem


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