Rorate Caeli

New Fellay interview:
"The eventual separations will be minimal"

Interview granted by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, to French Catholic Magazine Monde & Vie. The noticeable line is Fellay's declaration that not all doctrinal positions have to be exhaustively discussed with no end in sight - what is needed is a "sufficient clarification" of doctrinal issues.
Did you expect, Your Excellency, this removal of the excommunication concerning you?

[Fellay:] I expected it since 2005, after the first letter requesting the lifting of the excommunication which I had sent at the request of Rome itself. Because it is clear that Rome did not ask for this letter in order to refuse to lift the excommunication. As for the moment when it took place, I did not expect it. These past few months, after the ultimatum affair [link], even after it had been minimized, we were mostly cool [in the mutual relations]. Then, I wrote the letter of November 15, which is mentioned in the decree and in my letter to the faithful... [sic]

Is this decree a sign of the Pope's will?

I ascribe it first of all to the Holy Virgin. It is a manifest sign, with an almost immediate response. I had just decided to go to Rome to deliver the result of the Rosary bouquet we had launched at Lourdes with this explicit intention when I received a call from Rome inviting me to go there.

Is the satisfaction displayed by you today tempered by the remainder of the path to follow?

It is too early to tell. An act of the greatest relevance, for which we are truly grateful, has just taken place, but it is very difficult to assess it at this moment. We still do not view all its ramifications. There still is a lot of work, but we truly have great hope for a restoration of the Church.

From what moment dates this change in your relationship with Rome?

From the accession of the current pope. I first evoked the Holy Virgin but, at a human level, there should be no fear of ascribing to Benedict XVI what has just taken place. It is the beginning of something, which had already begun with the Motu proprio [Summorum Pontificum]. I think that the Pope appreciates the work that we do.

In this development, this movement, some have held that you departed too late. Do you believe today that others, especially inside the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, may hold that you are departing too soon?

I cannot rule out everything, but, in case there are separations, they will be extremely minimal.

Do you believe that your situation will be first settled at a practical level?

Up to now, our roadmap has been to clarify first the doctrinal problems - even if it does not mean settling everything, but obtaining a sufficient clarification - or we risk doing things incompletely. Or it may end up badly.
And do you believe that, beyond Rome, your contacts will intensify?

It is the goal, as I explained in Rome, by saying that the situation, as we propose it, is certainly temorary, but it is pacifying, and that it will allow all souls of good will to catch up. This will thus be done gradually. And this will also depend on the reaction on the other side. But there is no a priori, the only a priori is that of Truth and of Charity.

Transcript: Metablog; Journalist: Olivier Figueras; Tip: reader