Rorate Caeli

Recess Notes: No response from Rome yet, apparently

1. In his sermon for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (and special day of national dedication in France), the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, did not add any new information on the ongoing negotiations between the Fraternity and the Holy See. The last publicly known act was Fellay's response to Cardinal Castrillón's five points.

2. The Holy Father remains at Castel Gandolfo until late September, except for the Apostolic Visit to Paris and Lourdes (September 12-15).


  1. Of course, there's nothing new! Everyone in Rome is on vacation at this time of year, to escape the heat. Many other Europeans are also enjoying time away from home.

  2. Anonymous7:11 PM

    The most exciting thing is that The superiors of the sspx appear to be abiding by the Holy Father's conditions; the rough language prior to the Holy Father's letter appears to have evaporated.

    I think it can be reasonably concluded that progress has been made. If the previous tone returns, then we know an agreement could not be reached.

    let us pray even harder.

  3. Certainly... We are also in Summer recess here at Rorate - yet we want our readers to know that there has been no new information regarding this matter.

  4. Anonymous7:22 PM

    While I don't want to 'obsess about dates', I note that 3rd September is the Feast of St. Piux X on the traditional calendar and the Feast of St. Gregory the Great on the new one. Let us pray that the Pope will lift the declarations of excommunication and other penalties soon.


  5. Anonymous9:08 PM

    The recent interviews in the Angelus, it seems to me, crossed the line relative to the 5 points. I wonder if the interviews were given before or after Bishop Fellay's response to Cardinal Castrillon...

  6. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Perhaps the saying "no news is good news" applies here.

  7. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Over at DICI, under News from Tradition, it announces that the next issue of Christendom (May-June number) will have an interview with Bishop Fellay in which he assesses the results of the Motu Proprio. But the issue isn't online yet, and it is August. Could the hold-up be because of some behind-the-scenes developments? Who knows? But the August issue of the Regina Coeli Report has appeared in a timely manner.

  8. Anonymous1:10 AM

    Interesting that when you go to the DICI site. It hasn't been updated since June 21. Not even for general Church news. Makes you wonder?

  9. Schoolman: the interviews of the three Bishops were granted after the five points were delivered to Bishop Fellay, but before the end of June, when the Superior General sent his response.

  10. Anonymous6:26 AM

    I think that there is a reasonable prospect that the Holy Father will lift the declarations of excommunication soon, possibly on 3rd September, the Feast of St. Pius X.

    But everyone here needs to understand that that, in itself, is juridically of little importance except to four bishop. The real question is what will come with it. Will the Pope extend his jurisdiction to their Masses and other Sacraments during a period of discussions? Will he erect an international diocese and offer the Society a place in it? These are more interesting questions.

    Anyway, all indications are that, should the penalties be lifted, the Society will not accept regularisation until doctrinal difficulties have been solved. The road ahead is likely a long one.


  11. franzjosf: an interview with Bishop Fellay concerning the Motu Proprio is online in French. Voila:

  12. Anonymous1:14 PM

    anonymous weirdly wrote : "the rough language prior to the Holy Father's letter appears to have evaporated". !

    Gosh ! It seems you read neither English nor French. The Angelus (July 2008) issued 3 interviews from Bishops Fellay, Williamson and Tissier de Mallerais.
    The Superior general's tone was negative but expressed with some care. Bp Williamson was same old, same old. But Bp Tissier de Mallerais drowned the Pope under an amazon of insults !
    - he stated John Paul II did nothing to restore the faith (!)
    - that SSPX is not the Church but the core of the Church and within the "occupied Rome" sacraments are "bastards" !
    - that we could have no pope and that would be better than to have Benedict XVI !
    - That pope Benedict is not only "liberal" as Paul VI but the Arch-Modernist, i.e. the most outrageous name you can possibly find
    - that SSPX doesn't want any "reconciliation" but only "fight" and is sufficient by itself.
    - to add an even more provocative touch, he asked for new consecrations of schismatic bishops because he is getting "old", he said being in his early 60's (!)

    If this isn't "rough language", I don't know what "rough" could be !!! Please Mr or Mrs anonymous.

    Moreover the August 15th sermon of Bp Fellay is not directly attacking pope Benedict's person like Bp Tissier did. That's true but otherwise when Bp Fellay is using this Melanie's "prophecy" and applying it to "the Church" and "Rome" :
    « L’Eglise sera éclipsée. Rome deviendra le siège de l’Antéchrist ». [the Church will be hidden. Rome will become the see of the Antechrist]. As far as I know, the Church has not been veiled and as far as I know "Rome" means "the pope and his Curia". So for Bp Fellay, the pope is ... the Antechrist ?

    I don't know if there are still any "ongoing negotiations" between the "Antechrist" and Bp Fellay or shall we say the New Peter and the New Saint Paul (Bp Tissier) ?
    The recent confusing declarations of the SSPX bishops will need to be clarified.The whispers from the Loggia I hear are more exasperation toward the aggressive stance adopted by several top leaders of the Society.

    Ultimately, it seems the FSSPX is afraid to make any move that would lead to the excommunications to be lifted.
    The Melanie prophecy quoted by Bp Fellay is currently used by a sedevacantist group, very well know in France, Virgo Maria and Louis-Hubert Rémy. In June, the superior of the SSPX French district was warning the faithful against this group ... and now the Superior general is taking his cues on their website (readers will remind this homily was delivered in French, for a French audience which is well aware of the "Eglise éclipsée" theory from Mr Rémy).
    It looks like a sort of awful "wink, wink" to me.
    No more "rough language", you say ? really ?

    Is this what all Catholics are waiting for less than a month before the papal visit in France ? I wish some more positive language will be heard before or during the visit of pope Benedict XVI.


  13. Anonymous3:54 PM

    For franzjosef and some others :

    - the French edition of DICI is regularly updated : you'll find the n°111 of Nouvelles de Chrétienté i.e. Christendom with the interview of Bp Fellay (in French). It does not say much expect that there is no "Eglise éclipsée" or "Antichrist" in it. Bp Fellay is speaking calmly and without "rough language". However the message is the same : Rome has not changed, Bp Fellay underlines he is rejecting large parts of Vatican II (religious freedom and ecumenism are mentioned specifically), he is waiting - without moving - the excommunications to be lifted and then, maybe, he will agree for doctrinal discussions.
    - DICI is also giving the whole homily of August the 15th in French.

    For Mr Perkins.
    It's dreaming in technicolor to fancy that Rome could lift anything after the ocean of insults and provocations of The Angelus, plus the present August the 15th homily. By the way, I'm puzzled by the "Antichrist" having the power to lift excommunication !!! That's for sure a NEW theology : never heard of that in the Catholic doctrine anywhere.

    Maybe the formal declaration that the whole SSPX has become schismatic could happen. I strongly wish that the Roman exasperation, after so many provocations in June, July and August, won't go that far. Lay people who follow the SSPX and have kept some common sense should contact their priests and bishops and politely request that insane declarations must end up quickly. The Vox Populi within the SSPX may be heard.
    I'd like people of rorate-coeli to understand how SERIOUS the situation is, due to the growing hostility against the Pope (and the Church at large) recently expressed by various leaders of SSPX.
    It's time for trads and Catholics of good will to stand up and do whatever they can to put a brake on the deliberate negative escalation we are watching since June. Let us pray that a constructive dialogue between Rome and Menzingen is not on the verge to be ruined by the latter.
    Ajutorium nostrum in nomine Domini !


    nb. Bp Tissier de Mallerais portraited Pope Benedict XVI as the Arch-Modernist as soon as Fall 2007 during a colloquium upon Modernism. In his interview, he spoke of his "horror" when thinking of the present pope !
    A Fr. Chautard, vicar at St Nicholas du Chardonnet wrote in June a pastoral instruction asking SSPX faithful to avoid any contact with "ralliés", i.e Ecclesia Dei Catholics : sharing the same table with one of these Satan creatures could endanger their souls !!! He asked them not to marry with them or speak with them ... This crazy man has not been disciplined, on the contrary his pastoral instruction had the honor of La Porte Latine, the official website of the French district.

  14. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Just to point out that "bastard sacraments" or "bastard rites" does not have the same connotation in French as it does in English. In France, "bastard rites" refers to the rites produced from the "marriage" of the Church and the revolution. Its not as disrespectful as many American commenters think.

  15. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Dear Alsaticus

    In recent weeks, since the delivery of the response, there has been silence and temperance.

    I pray these are signs.

  16. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Some of you really fancy yourselves and your opinions.

    Drop the pride. Try some humility.

  17. I find the silence on the part of the Holy See too dumbfounding for words and I hope Mr. Perkins is correct with regards to September 3rd. It's one thing to be on holiday and quite another to exhibit the Nero complex.

  18. Just a little word for any and all contributors here: as our gracious host has reminded us from time to time, discussion of the SSPX and matters related to the Fraternity is always sensitive and often contentious, so let us all try to be temperate and moderate in how we discuss these things and in how we interact with each other. I recommend that before posting our comments, we all pause, take a breath and invoke our patron saints and guardian angels, and then go back and rephrase things if God shows us that we might need to tone things down a bit. Rorate Caeli would like to approve every comment that you submit for moderation, and we hope we don't have to reject anything due to a deficit of charity or immoderate language.

    Thanks, and please continue to pray for me.

  19. Anonymous9:05 PM

    To those who addressed me: thank you for the information about the interview. Alas, I'll have to wait for the English translation. I have no French, even though Provence is one of my favorite places on earth.

  20. Anonymous9:54 PM

    We must let this runs it own coruse. Being nasty to one another is cruel. IF YOU LOVE THE LATIN AND THE TRUE REGILON. ALL IN GODS TIME....

  21. Anonymous9:42 AM

    I agree that Bps. Williamson and Tissier de Mallerais' comments are unacceptable, but what is there in the sermon by Bp. Fellay that is not true? The analogy of cancer metastatising through the body is a good description of the state of the Church today. A principal stumbling block it seems to me for the reconciliation of the SSPX is that the Vatican authorities will not be able to tolerate them pointing out unpleasant truths of this kind.

  22. Anonymous10:41 AM

    "bastard sacraments" are the original words of Bp Tissier de Mallerais : it seems nobody on this blog has read his interview on The Angelus, the interview is naturally ... in English in an American magazine. So it is as offensive as it can be, like the rest of the interview. Besides "bâtard" in French is a gross insult and I advise anybody to refrain using it in France ... you could be punched in the face.

    Before proposing any comment, I think it's good to be informed and to have read carefully the documents, all of them : I have.
    Otherwise it's wishful thinking or being deaf and blind like fr. Stefano :
    "In recent weeks, since the delivery of the response, there has been silence and temperance. I pray these are signs."

    - Silence in Rome : I agree but, believe me or not, numerous irritated whispers have been reported to me ; and I was worried by what I heard so I decided to post here, seeing that most people in this thread are unaware of this.
    - Temperance I guess you mean from the SSPX ? you must be kidding. We have heard in a few weeks the most violent (and scurrilous by the way) attacks I can recall for years ... If you call this "temperance", probably we don't put the same meaning into this word.

    Don't get me wrong. I am deeply in favor of a process of reconciliation between Rome and Menzingen. I feel some clarifications of Vatican II documents, some, are necessary : I fully agree that doctrinal questions have to be discussed. On the Roman side, proposals and various contacts have been made. I don't think both the 3 interviews at The Angelus and the August the 15th homily are adequate answers. They are endangering the possibilities of a reconciliation not paving the way for it.
    In 2002, cardinal Ratzinger proposed a doctrinal debate on the theology of Mass, after the SSPX critical book published in 2001. Bp Fellay said - publicly - he was not ready for these doctrinal discussions...
    I'm still expecting that something better will come from SSPX before or during the papal visit in France. As Mr Perkins put it, the reconciliation is "a long road" and why not a 30 year period as stated by Bp Tissier. However there won't be any reconciliation in 30 years if nobody makes one little step on this road. Is it a "deficit of charity" to remind that the Holy Father made a huge step in July 2007 with Summorum Pontificum ?


    nb. To Jordanes : so far I haven't read anything showing a "deficit of charity or immoderate language" in this thread, except naturally the quotations from SSPX bishops. But it was necessary to give the exact words they have used, as "immoderate" as they are. These words are not mine, only quotations.

  23. Anonymous1:41 PM


    I am neither deaf nor blind, i read italian and english, but only a little french, and a bit more latin and german.

    I know the sspx a little, sometimes a little closer, sometimes a little further My impression is that there have been changes in language, caution even, and silence on a number of things, perhaps even waiting. Perhaps what has been heard previously were final blasts of the trumpet, but I do detect something different now.

    At the risk of being provacative, I would encourage those who feel able, to attend a Mass with the sspx and their faithful during these times (in addition to their own usual Mass), to offer prayers for reconciliation. I myself am endevouring to do, all through this period.

    Fra Stefano

  24. Anonymous2:17 PM

    As one who has sided with the SSPX in this historic challenge to orthodoxy, it appears to me that Archbishop Lefebvre chose the right man to entrust the future of the traditionalist movement to. Bishop Fellay is usually profound and insightful, and quite studied in his assessments. If there be any excesses in his comments I find them to be superficial rather than essential. The other SSPX bishops are harming the movement rather than helping it as their excesses are the essence of their views. Rome was apparently ready to approve one bishop - would that the Archbishop had chosen Bishop Fellay and left the rest to providence.

    But who am I, and it is what it is. And what it is is not the language or the personalities, it is the battle between orthodoxy and modernism which will determine the future of the church. The Motu Proprio was an important battle, but it is only the end of the beginning, as they say. Those inside the diocesan structure have always been dependent on external SSPX pressure in this struggle, and it still doesn't appear that those in the dioceses are strong enough yet to even engage the hierarchy on doctrinal issues, much less win the war by changing the direction of the hierarchy. We need SSPX until the tipping point comes in the doctrinal arena, after which and only after which, SSPX must conform or decrease.

    But we're clearly not there just yet. Until we gain the upper hand on doctrinal direction, don't fire on our zealots, even those excessively so. Give Bishop Fellay the time and space to manage his charges as best he can. The battle has to be fought with who we have, and I don't see any on the diocesan side ready to take the lead on the doctrinal battle. That means that without SSPX, our position would be perilous indeed.

    Saint Pio asked for the Holy Archbishop's blessing. I have faith that he knew how much the church would need him and his cause. Be patient, not panicky.

  25. Anonymous2:24 PM

    My uncle is a priest in The Society and he has informed me that there are, at present serious discussions taking place betwixt His Eminience Cardinal Castrillon and His Excellency Bishop Fellay and we can look forward to the lifting of the decrees of excommunication very soon.
    Deo Gratias!

  26. nb. To Jordanes : so far I haven't read anything showing a "deficit of charity or immoderate language" in this thread

    Neither have I. I think we've approved all submitted comments so far. I was just offering a little preemptive counsel.

  27. If Dan Hunter's uncle is informed correctly with respect to discussions between Cardinal Hoyos and Bishop Fellay, I can only say: Deo Gratias. And, it would seem appropriate that these discussions take place privately and outside the realm of public scrutiny. Having said that, I still wonder why it is taking so long for Justice to prevail?

    Surely, neither Cardinal Hoyos nor Bishop Fellay denies any truth, doctrine, dogma or article of faith of the Catholic Church and there is, it seems to me, overwhelming evidence that a state of necessity was perceived in 1988 and persists even to this day. Is it all about the mechanics and the juridical structure being proposed? I wonder.

  28. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Paul Haley,
    My uncle heard this news from The former superior of Nrth America: Father Fullerton.
    As to the "state of necessity" argument in 1988, I do not see how the Society needed, out of necessity, to consecrate four bishops, when obviously Bishop Fellay is the only one needed and seems to be the only one of the four Lords that speaks with equanimity and logic.
    Granted he would have a lot more work ordaining priests and confirming, but he is still young.

    The FSSP the ICKSP, the Institute of the Good Shepherd, The Society of St John Vianney do not seem to feel the "state of necessity" to consecrate bishops.
    Only the Society of St John Vianney has a bishop, of the above mentioned societies, and they are all flourishing.
    It is always good to be inside the present structural heirarchy of the Church in order to be well placed to fight error.
    Deo Gratias!

  29. Dan Hunter said..."My uncle is a priest in The Society and he has informed me that there are, at present serious discussions taking place betwixt His Eminience Cardinal Castrillon and His Excellency Bishop Fellay and we can look forward to the lifting of the decrees of excommunication very soon."

    It is a shame that the only source for such news is in a combox on a blog entry.

    This kind of news is important to maintaining hope among traditional Catholics both inside the SSPX and among traditional Catholics in the Church in general.

    Can anyone else verify this?

    (Of course, such "news" falls into the same category as guesses as to when the clarification of Summorum Pontificum will be published by PCED.)

  30. Dan Hunter,

    I cannot speak for those involved in the 1988 consecrations but I submit that the archbishop knew the magnitude of the task facing these bishops, the territory to be covered, the possibility of death or serious illness to any of the incumbents, the intractability of many of the members of the hierarchy with respect to incardination, etc. So, they made the decision and who knows but that decision brought about the follow-on decisions by Rome to erect and approve the traditional societies you mention.

    Then, there is also the possible realization that Rome could reverse course at some future date and require full assimilation of these orders into what is, in my opinion, euphemistically called the "ordinary form" or some such "reform of the reform".

    I don't know but if the Holy Spirit is being invoked by modernist prelates as the driving force behind the reforms and the Council, could it not also be that the Holy Spirit was behind the decision to go ahead with the 1988 consecrations as well?

    I realize fully that this is incendiary logic but the fact remains that there is no worldwide juridical structure protecting traditional Catholics from such an event. That juridical structure is something which I have been advocating for quite some time and for which I pray every day, along with the plea for vacating the suspensions and excommunications levied against the FSSPX. God's Will be done.

  31. Anonymous7:04 PM

    You will recall St. Paul's references in 1 and 2 Corinthians to adulterated doctrine.

    In order to understand the SSPX, you must understand that in its considered judgment, the conciliar authorities, very much including the current Holy Father, teach adulterated doctrine, a gospel different from the gospel as taught before 1962.

    They are not being unpleasant. They are not exaggerating for effect. That is what they believe.

    It is, I suppose, possible to be more or less diplomatic about making this point. But the stakes are much higher than issues of manners. It is a matter of whether the Society is right or wrong in believing this.

    If the Society is wrong, you should stop the yelling and explain how it is wrong. Take you time; you're going to need it.

    If the Society is right, what can it do except more of less what it is currently doing?

    This orientation will also help you understand that reconciliation any time soon is just not in the cards. You can't strike a deal with the purveyors of adulterated doctrine.

  32. Anonymous8:47 PM

    On Alsaticus's remarks:

    Thank you for the update. I had not read the more recent remarks of the Society bishops, either in English or in French. It looks as if the Society bishops are digging in their heels.

    Bishop Tissier mentions being tired and suggesting more consecrations. I believe that he is 61 or 62 years old now. Williamson is, I believe 69 years old now (I haven't checked recently). I can certainly imagine a Bishop Schmidberger, although he's getting a tad old too.

    This raises an interesting question, does it not? If Rome lifts the excommunications and then the Society does not reconcile (and she will not: I am sure that that is not in the cards for decades), the problem will only return when new Society bishops are needed, which may not be that far off. Once they consecrate new bishops afresh, both the co-consecrators and the new bishops will incur the penalty (provided that it is valid, and Rome will not say otherwise).

    Nevertheless, the letter sent by Bishop Fellay to the Pope does inspire hope among us, even though we don't know what was in it.

    Whether the Pope lifts the excommunications or not, a more pertinent question is whether or not Rome asserts that Society Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation. The declaration of the P.C.E.D. on this is legally irrelevant for reasons already explained by me. But I've sent a letter to the P.C.L.T. on the matter.

    Still, it has become less important, has it not? I think that Rome can now afford to admit that Society Masses fulfil the obligation (or she might just as easily not bother), the reason being that S.P. Masses are overwhelming those of the Society, accoding to my statistics. It will be interesting to see if S.P. Masses continue their huge increase in Year Two.


  33. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Everyone is wondering whether or not the S.S.P.X will accept regularisation. Of course, if the Pope withdraws all the penalties, he can also simply restore the Priestly Union of St. Pius X. According to Michael Davies (in one of his books), the suppression of the Priestly Union by the Bishop of Sion (or perhaps Lausanne: memory fails me on this) at the time was clearly illegal. Rome could declare as much.

    Then the Society would be regularised without having to abandon its de facto independence--for the time being.

    I'm not predicting that this will happen, but it's an interesting possibility. Perhaps the Pope will get exasperated and simply *impose* regularisation.


  34. Anonymous11:59 PM


    “They have abandoned the Fort, those
    who should have defended it.” (St. John Fisher)

    Who held the Fort
    Till the Calvary came
    Fighting for all
    In His Holy Name?

    Who fed the sheep
    As the pastures burned dry
    A few Good Shepherds
    Heeding their cry?

    Who led the charge
    ‘Gainst heresy’s Huns
    Defending the degreed
    To His lowliest ones?

    Who battened down
    The hatch of the barque
    To warm cold souls
    From shivering-seas dark?

    “Who?” mocks Satan
    Delighting in doubt
    Fills you with questions,
    Never lets you find out.

    “Hoc est enum
    Corpus meum…
    …and for many…” who kept
    The dead words – Te Deum!

  35. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Confirmation of the doctrine of the 'communion of the saints' will resolve liturgical disputes facing the true Church founded by Christ and divinely constituted upon Peter and his Successors, who ALONE, among the human beings scattered throughout the world, possess infallible power in matters of faith and morals to speak in the name of the Triune God.

  36. Anonymous11:42 PM

  37. True, last anonymous. But Andrea Tornielli had already reported this on JULY 2... However, even though there has been a private response by Cardinal Castrillón, there has not been an official, publicly available response, and we will have to wait for the next OFFICIAL step - which is expected from Rome.


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