Rorate Caeli

Fellay speaks

The relevant questions and answers from the interview granted by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) to Austrian daily Die Presse (Sunday Edition):

Die Presse: How is the dialogue between the SSPX and Rome, which created so much dust in January?

Bishop Bernard Fellay: We have sorted out our ideas in early June. The decision of the Pope on the design of the talks will be announced in the next few days. It is true that a special Commission will be set up for the discussion - with some Roman theologians and some of our priests.

The other major sticking point between you and Rome is the Tridentine Rite. Due to the Pope’s re-authorization of this Rite, this has at least largely been defused. Is this enough for you, or would you have expected even more?

Fellay: I'm sure there will be even more coming. Not from us, but for Rome itself the liturgical situation must be improved. That will come.

In a reconciliation with Rome, you probably need to make some kind of declaration of loyalty. Can you do this even if the church does not in all points return to dressing herself in the pre-Vatican II garment?

Fellay: I would rather say: if Catholic principles have been clarified, even though not everything has been resolved, then it is possible. There is a very practical question, which is now evident and that is: how are we accepted? There is a very sharp blockade. That is presently stopping us from going on. If we see too much opposition, then we simply say: well, we will still wait a bit.

Would not it be prudent to suspend the ordinations in order to improve the climate?

Fellay: The problem exists only in Germany. In Rome, there is sympathy for these ordinations, even if they say it is illegal and not according to the canon law. We were told that we are in an intermediate state in which we can talk peace, in which Rome can also observe us. We have nothing against it, if Rome would send an observer to us. We have offered it, but perhaps not clearly enough.

You therefore do not recognize any repudiation by the Pope of your acts?

Fellay: That would be a wrong interpretation of the event. This is not a hostile act, I have written to the Pope and asked him to consider these ordinations not as a rebellion, but as a step of survival in difficult and complex circumstances.

However you wish to interpret the ordinations, the Pope is being placed, at any rate, in an unpleasant situation.

Fellay: I understand that well. This situation is very unpleasant for all. Let me repeat: this problem comes from the different currents in the church, which themselves can hardly endure. This problem can ultimately only be resolved by the Pope. But I'm not even sure whether it ever can be resolved.

What is Bishop Williamson doing now?

Fellay: He is in London. He prays, he is studying, nothing else.

Is there a foreseeable end to the internal exile?

Fellay: I see none. The whole matter depends on him.

You would probably like a greater distancing from his Holocaust-denial.

Fellay: If such statements recur, then it would be unbearable.

Tip and first translation: Catholic Church Conservation


  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    I've just seen the complete English translation over at Catholic Conservation. I don't see any indication that Bishop Fellay is about to request a temporary canonical structure. On the other hand, the converse is also true. The reporter didn't ask that q. and Fellay didn't try to supply information about it.

    There was one reference to a "Vatican observer" in the S.S.P.X being invited.

    That's about it.


  2. Anonymous3:23 AM

    I am tempted to say that this sounds like an encouraging interview, but after reading it again I do't know what to think.

    I just wish that someone would make a clear statement and back it up with action.

    Enough of this shell game.

    "Which shell is the prize under"!!

  3. John McFarland3:25 AM


    There was this remark from Bishop Fellay:

    "In Rome, there is sympathy for these ordinations, even if they say it is illegal and not according to the canon law. We were told that we are in an intermediate state in which we can talk peace, in which Rome can also observe us. We have nothing against it, if Rome would send an observer to us. We have offered, but perhaps not clearly enough."

    As in the Zenit interview, not a hint of the Society's taking any initiative with respect to going beyond this unilateral declaration of an "intermediate state" -- nor, for that matter, any suggestion that the Vatican itself in looking for something more than sending an observer -- a classic bureaucratic exercise in pretending to do something.

    I was interested in Bishop Fellay's remarks on Bishop Williamson in the full interview. I've ceased to think that Bishop Fellay believes that revisionism is moral leprosy. He just sees no way of avoiding persecution if he rehabilitates Bishop W, and he's not prepared to trigger that persecution over a matter that isn't de fide and doesn't have direct implications for the Faith. The tipoff is that Bishop W, when he was still talking of the matter, spoke of truth; Bishop F does not. Perhaps he's hoping against hope that Bishop Williamson's "studying" will lead him to recant, but I don't think he expects it. It's pretty clear that if Bishop W concludes that he was right the first time, and says so publicly, that would be "unbearable" and he'll be expelled. Would he do that? I think he might. Father Doran of the SSPX said in reviewing one of the volumes of Bishop W's letters from the seminary that he is a "provocateur," and a defense of revisionism with the whole world looking on would be a provocation indeed. The current situation does neither him nor the Society any good, and there's small to no prospect of its changing unless he recants -- which I'm morally certain that he won't. Why not ask to be released and then go public? But until now, there's been no hint of any such thing. Here again, we shall see.

  4. Anonymous3:41 AM

    I pray they move forward quickly and secretly, away from the press...Although I would like to be briefed on the happenings as most people, I think the press will twist it and try to swing public opinion away from what the Holy Father has suggested is a correct course towards full communion. I will have to patiently wait, and just to hope to hear one day it has all been resolved and this is the new status of the SSPX, with faculties WITHIN the Catholic Church. I trust they know what they are doing, and better left alone to do so without interference. For all who say the Holy Father is weak, they are wrong and I hope that Bishop Fellay summons the courage to regularize their situation for the majority of souls involved..I think this opportunity will not come again in another Pontificate..This issue is very close to Pope Benedict XVI's heart and will mark his Pontificate.

  5. On the whole, the tenor of Bishop Fellay's responses seems to provide grounds for cautious hope.

    So I will have hope and wait and watch. And, of course, pray.

  6. de la part de son petit soldat

    je souhaite a ce prélat que j'estime énormément la possibilité d'être libre et accessible a ceux qui le soutienne,je souhaite ardemment qu'il ne réponde pas au médiat qu'il soit amoureux du silence sur certain sujet.Je lui que du bien et non l'expulsion de la F.S.S.PIE X,je sais au combien dans la presse des sales journaux mentionne trop son nom au sujet de ses pensés.MÉFIEZ VOUS DE LA PRESSE qui galvaude et déforme tout pour le frique.CHERS AMIS ATTENTION PRUDENCE !


  7. Peter7:49 AM

    Bishop Fellay is surprised by the threats of German bishops, who were ignoring SSPX for 30 years. He also says that they probably didn't ask clear enough for an observer. Looks like a lack of experience in coping with the Roman Curia and the bishops. Hopefully the curialists will not take advantage of that in the discussions.

    It also seems that SSPX can manage with only 3 bishops. Probably the Roman Curia will remember that after the regularisation.

    Let's keep praying.

  8. Anonymous1:07 PM

    I agree with Mr. McFarland's latest observations here on a possible move this week. The latest interview gives me no cause for hope, really.

    Nevertheless, I think that pressure might be brought to bear to make some sort of a juridical arrangement. C.H. is running out of time and the Müller incident brings some urgency to the situation.

    I agree with others here that the press distorts everything and that we are all tired of a 'shell game'. But it would be good if Bishop Fellay released a statement on the situation, one not controlled by questions from others.

    Let us just watch and hope that this will all be resolved soon. It seems insane to me that, according to Rome, someone like Fr. Raymond Gravel offers all the Sacraments licitly but the S.S.P.X does not. That seems insane.


  9. Oliver1:13 PM

    So many inside and ouside the Society now think Fellay would go conciliar if he was sure of taking most of it with him. He seems to show greater confidence in thinking he has marginalised his main internal adversary, Bishop Williamson. However, with Bishop Tissier repeatedly condemning the "new religion" in Rome while ordaining more priests, the SSPX leadership may find itself at odds with the Society as a whole. Cosy discussions in Rome will never be the final word.

  10. Iakovos4:43 PM

    Some here have said that there isn't much to the interview, not clear, and so on. I think that's true. But I would note two things: 1) Bishop F acknowledges that not everything has to be neat and tidy between Rome and the SSPX before a reconciliation can take place. That's a thousand miles away from the mantra mentality of the past -"You can't trust Rome" And, 2), also from the past and apparently still present, Bishop F repeats, "This problem can ultimately only be resolved by the Pope." Not so on two counts: the SSPX has to be actively involved in altering its position mainly toward the Documents and their intent of the Second Vatican Council. When Msgr. Lefebvre and his followers decided to "accuse the Council" rather than the Modernists who interpreted and manipulated the Council, the traditionalist movement in their hands went off the tracks. This is huge distinction that the Pope will not change and will all about the SSPX leadership changing. Also, it has been shown from the past that this phrase, "only the Pope can... " etc., has been translated: "only if the Pope does what is demanded and pleasing to the SSPX. The last two Popes have already done a great deal to resolve the divide. It still remains the SSPX's turn to find a new way of dealing with Rome now when the time has never been better, less litigious and judgmental, more with heart and mind acting together.

  11. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Iakovos makes a distinction between the Council and the liberals who were charged with implementing it. That distinction is a valid one. However, it does not follow that the Council documents are blameless or even safe. Even if all the Council documents can and must be interpreted so as to support traditional teaching (with the possible exception of D.H.), we still have a problem of expressive rather than doctrinal defect in those documents.

    Now some neo-cons in the Church fail to appreciate how serious this is. To them, as long as the correct doctrine can be found in Vatican II and post-Vatican II documents, all is well enough. That is not true. The Church has a strict duty not only to teach the truth but to teach it clearly and univocally, and this in order to fulfil the highest law there is: to save souls. That is why pre-conciliar documents tend to be incredibly concise and clear as a bell. If a document, however orthodox in its true meaning, is open to heretical interpretation, IT IS NO GOOD. This may mean that it must be recast or else clarified by a notation, and then read together with that notation.

    It may be found that the degree of ambiguity is serious, which risks leading souls astray. If that is the case, the best course for faithful may be to avoid Vatican II documents, even on a permanent basis, unless they be theologicans or Church historians. If the same doctrines are better expressed elsewhere, it may be that, as an act of prudence, one should go to the second place for the same doctrine. We are no more bound to read Vatican II documents than we are bound to read those of Lateran IV--less so, I would argue.

    To conclude, even if every single word in Vatican II is entirely orthodox, ambiguity in expression may justify, nay, even recommend, that good faithful avoid some of or even all those documents.

    So this matter is not so simple. It will take time for the Magisterium of the Church to go through all the passages mentioned by the S.S.P.X, whether in conciliar or post-conciliar texts. In the mean time, those faithful who are genuinely and honestly worried about the sudden decline of the Church since the Council--worried that there might be a causal connexion between those documents and that decline--, are perfectly justified in avoiding the documents like the plague and relying on what was there before. We are not bound in conscience to read this document or that, only to know our Creeds and what the Church requires us to know on pain of sin, and to attend to what we hear in Church.


  12. Anonymous6:58 PM

    On Oliver's comments:

    I read Bishop Tissier as the bad cop in the 'good cop, bad cop' game. His constant condemnations of Rome give him the power to bring the hardliners over with the others in any temporary reconciliation. Therein lies the real stategem. Again, a temporary juridical structure entails few risks for the Society. The only real reason Society hardliners oppose it is because their hatred for all things Conciliar is intemperate. I don't write this to be censorious in the least. I feel the same way they do and I'm not even a Society supporter. But I see this week and this time as an opportunity which may not come again for many years. The Society would be strengthened by a temporary structure, not the reverse: owing to it, more faithful would be exposed to Society sermons and influence. Such an agreement would also help remove many local bishops' obstruction of "Summorum Pontificum". Insead of being an m.p. for bishops to oppose, S.P. would become a shield used by them to keep the S.S.P.X out of their dioceses (or, in some cases, to limit Society influence). The overall effect, then, would be to increase the number of Traditional Latin Masses. Fortunately, there are more than enough places on this earth to accommodate new T.L.M.s from both sources.


  13. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I am starting to seriously think that nothing is going to change for the FSSPX for a long, long time.

    Not despairing by any means, but somewhat sad and frustrated.

    I know it is always hard to be a Catholic, and Christ expects us to take up our cross daily and follow Him, but I would rather have that cross come from the world the flesh or the devil,
    not the Church.

    But who am I to say anything?

  14. Dan, everything will change (for the better), not only for the SSPX, but for the whole Church, when we've prayed 12 million Rosaries! Oremus...

  15. Anonymous11:21 PM

    Dear Mr. Hunter:

    The situation is very frustrating for me too. In my Diocese, we had perhaps the oldest indult Mass in all of North America; it was started in October of 1984. Then after nearly ten years, it was cancelled and remained cancelled for a very long time. Then it was revived. During the period of cancellation (and today) there was no every-Sunday S.S.P.X Mass in my City or its environs. The only recourse was the Ukrainian Byzantine Divine Liturgy, where we have a very sold church here. Thank God for the Ukrainians. Ukrainians are much better than Barbarians.

    I can't see what all the fuss is about, why liberal bishops are so animated by hatred for us. If the Society Masses were publicly declared licit tomorrow, it would make very little difference for some years. By the time it did make a noticeable difference, all the old liberal prelates would be retired or dead.

    They know that they have lost. Their reforms were a farce, a joke, and a calamity, and their attempts to suppress all things good and beautiful, and especially our Mass, have failed. And yet these old Age of Aquarius gas bags rage on and on.

    The statistics prove that the Traditional Mass is no threat to them, at least not in the foreseeable future. We are likely less than one-third of one per cent of the faithful worldwide. The only threat to the New Mass is the New Mass, and that is a lethal threat.

    Bishop Fellay still hesitates to do the right thing. He is afraid of the paper elephant at Rome. A temporary canonical structure--recognition from Christ's Vicar--, would become a point of contact to introduce some medicine into the diseased body of the Church. A little spoonful of medicine can cure even an elephant, although this might take some time. But you can't cure him until you convince him to swallow the bad-tasting remedy.

    The conciliarists want to infect the Society by a very slow process, by baby steps. Their problem is that they are themselves terminally ill and declining fast, whereas the Society is growing and getting stronger. By the time Rome is able to impose anything on the Society, she will no longer want to. Just imagine how impotent NewChurch will be twenty years hence.


  16. Anonymous1:22 AM

    "Bishop Fellay still hesitates to do the right thing. He is afraid of the paper elephant at Rome."

    Mr Perkins,

    Do you believe that Bishop Fellays fears, in your statement here are well founded?

    All I can say for sure in my limited experience about all this, is that the men, women and children that I have had the great honor to meet in the FSSPX chapels, that I have assisted at throughout the years, are the best examples of Catholics who live the Gospel message, as a group, that I have ever seen.

    God bless you all!

  17. John L1:48 AM

    'Now some neo-cons in the Church fail to appreciate how serious this is. To them, as long as the correct doctrine can be found in Vatican II and post-Vatican II documents, all is well enough. That is not true.'

    This is an excellent point, and you are right, Mr. Perkins, in drawing attention to it. Magisterial documents are not academic compositions; the reason for their existence is to teach the faith to people. So if such documents are not suited to this purpose, they are no good. So many neoconservatives think that if the documents can be shown to have an orthodox sense, then all is well - even if 99% of the Church understands them in a heterodox sense, and the Church is in chaos as a result.

  18. It seems insane to me that, according to Rome, someone like Fr. Raymond Gravel offers all the Sacraments licitly but the S.S.P.X does not. That seems insane.

    It does grate.

  19. Bishop Fellay still hesitates to do the right thing. He is afraid of the paper elephant at Rome.

    But I see this week and this time as an opportunity which may not come again for many years.

    Let's be serious.
    Although he's healthy, our Pope is a very old man. When he dies the liberals may do everything they can to elect another John Paul II - young liberal with a prospect of reigning for at least 30 years.
    And the SSPX bishops are getting older themselves. They will simply have to ordain new bishops for the SSPX in 10 to 20 years.

    When there will be no apostolic mandate this time, it will be a disaster. They all remember the atmosphere from 1988 to 2000, when due to the lack of contacts with Rome, it was hard to keep hope. I bet they don't want this to happen again.

    So they probably want to get new bishops while Benedict XVI still reigns.

    The FSSP was promised a bishop. Maybe they didn't ask again after the reconciliation, it doesn't matter. The fact is that no Ecclesia Dei institute has a bishop.

    So the SSPX probably really wants the reconciliation, but it's also badly afraid of it's future. I understand them, I think.

    When they reconcile, begin to spend money from Rome, make friends with the "Romans" and begin to cooperate on certain matters, which probably be important for whatever reasons (Rome knows how to bound people to itself) they will find it very hard to be "disobedient" again. And the may be doomed to extinction by lack of their own bishops.

    BTW, any new statements from the Church Left after Winona ordinations?

  20. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Here is a link to an interview between Father Tom Roscia of Salt and Light ministries and His Excellency Bishop Fellay.

    Amazing, an interview with a Canadian Diocesan priest and the Superior General of the FSSPX!

  21. Anonymous4:42 PM

    Two bits of information that might interest all of you:

    1. Concerning the question how long the doctrinal discussions are going to take:

    The German district superior and former superior general of the SSPX, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, seems to be more optimistic than Bp. Tissier. In a talk he gave on June 13, he predicted that the talks would take "months, maybe even years".

    You can listen to it on the German district website: and (in German, of course).

    2. Concerning Regensburg bishop Müller's excommunication threat farce:

    You all know that the bishop's spokesman opined that the Zaitzkofen ordinations would "almost certainly result in the excommunication of the ordaining bishop (Galarreta) and the priests ordained".

    Now Bp. Müller himself uttered the following (see, in German): the ordinations are "a severe sin against God" and "every mortal sin brings with it a sacramental, even if not always canonical excommunication".

    Is he maybe trying to give a new meaning to what his spokesman said earlier? Could this be in order to save face if the ordinations happen without Rome letting him excommunicate anyone?

  22. Peter5:29 PM

    Anonymous 23 June, 2009 16:42 :

    That's what I have thought. Bishop Muller is not going to excommunicate anybody. Gott sei dank! :)

  23. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Peter writes:

    "And the SSPX bishops are getting older themselves. They will simply have to ordain new bishops for the SSPX in 10 to 20 years."

    I'd give them thirty years maximum (since Fellay and de Galarreta are in their early fifties) but they'd likely need to replace at least Tissier de Mallerais in fifteen years or twenty at the most. So, yes, the bigger issue of consecrating bishops without a papal mandate looms.

    Peter continues,

    "When they reconcile, begin to spend money from Rome, make friends with the "Romans" and begin to co[-]operate on certain matters, which probably be important for whatever reasons (Rome knows how to bound people to itself) they will find it very hard to be "disobedient" again. And the may be doomed to extinction by lack of their own bishops."

    I agree completely on your first contention. However, by the time a reconciliation has become permanent (a permanent canonical structure) and has become a normal experience, the Church will have changed. First of all, given current trends, NewChurch will be even worse than it is. On the other side, its old liberal lions will be all gone by then, retired or deceased. The newer bishops are at least as liberal in personal perspective--even more liberal--but they can also dissociate themselves from the reforms of the sixties and seventies. That is what is crucial. In fact, given the state of the Church ten or twenty years from now, the tempatation to blame their predecessors will be irresistable. Therefore, they will be open to an acceptanace of the S.S.P.X and its spirit, at least as an 'autonomous option'.

    One thing it has taken me some time to realise fully is that personal opinions about doctrine are not crucial in this debate. What is crucial is saving face. Pride is what the bishops are all about. Most of those who implemented the reforms had the orthodox pespective they were raised in. But they became associated with the reforms and cannot separate themselves from the outcome of those reforms.

    On your second point about being doomed to extinction, well, the pressure here is on Rome, not on the S.S.P.X. Bishop Fellay has said in his interview at Winona that he would go ahead with new bishops if need be. The Society will not co-operate in its own extinction no matter what. So it is Rome which will want to find a way.

    I agree generally with Peter, however.

    As for the temporary juridical structure, I remain sure that it is coming but I'm less sanguine about it coming this week. I hate this: delay is deadlier than denial.

    I agree that Müller is now backing off, since there's no such thing as a 'spiritual excommunication' as distinct from a canonical one. He seems to be referring to the distinction made recently by the Pope in the Chinese issue (see Compendium of the Church in China).

    Much as I hate to concede to McFarland, I agree that a deal on a temporary structure does not look immiment, although I remain hopeful about it because the m.p. is being delayed for some reason. Such a structure does look likely soon, perhaps after the summer. Fellay is certainly now open to it (Zenit article). On the other side, I am convinced that C.H. will 'pull out all the stops' to achieve this before his imminent retirement, which must presumably accompany the motu proprio.


  24. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Anon. said:

    "The German district superior and former superior general of the SSPX, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, seems to be more optimistic than Bp. Tissier. In a talk he gave on June 13, he predicted that the talks would take "months, maybe even years".

    On the other side, Bishop de Galarreta's assessment was quoted directly as "several years". So two bishops are saying "several years" and "at least thirty years". There may be some delays owing to disagreements *within* the S.S.P.X


  25. John McFarland3:00 AM


    Polling the SSPX leaders on prospects for the talks is like asking a dozen different NYPD officers at three-block intervals along Fifth Avenue how many people there are at the St. Patrick's Day parade in the Big Town.

    In fact, it's worse. There have been a lot of parades in NYC, but there's never been conversations between the Vatican and those who contend that the Vatican is insufficiently Catholic, and aim to bring it back to the Faith, the whole Faith, and nothing but the Faith. How can anyone straightfacedly handicap the utterly unprecedented?

    As for your hint of substantive disagreements behind the prognostications, I'm still looking for credible evidence that anyone of note (and, indeed, much of anybody, period) in the SSPX is in principle opposed to the talks.

    My own view is that unless God decides to take an unusually direct hand in this game, it'll go as such things go in this vale of tears: slowly, off again on again, alarums and excursions, zeal and indifference, saints and sinners, fools and sages, for years. Think of the Council of Trent -- and it had some saints to fall back on. We don't have many saints at the moment.

    P.S. Is the motu proprio you've talking about the one purporting to clarify the 2007 MP? Since the 2007 MP was intended, among other things, to take the wind out of the SSPX's sails, bracketing its clarification with a move to regularize the SSPX would seem to represent a sea change in the Pope's thinking. Is there really evidence for such a sea change? That he's really prepared to let the SSPX roam the countryside, canonically speaking, when he's taken unshirted hell for the purely symbolic gesture of lifting the excommunications? And without demanding some sort of obeisance to Vatican II, since no such obeisance is in the cards? This is asking a lot of one of the junior architects of Vatican II.

    My own suspicion is that Bishop Fellay can be magnanimous on the issue because he's pretty sure that it's not in the cards now, if it ever was, other than as part of a capitulation in the manner of Campos or the Redemptorists.

    Finally, a question related to the last point. Have you ever heard of Bishop Fellay's ever mentioning the issue of status (or rather, the lack thereof) as something that seriously concerned him? He certainly often said that the excommunication was a problem, but I can't recall his ever dealing with anything beyond that until his statement in the Zenit interview.

  26. John McFarland3:08 AM

    As regards Bishop Mueller: am I the only one in the world who noticed that the spokesman never said -- or arguably never even really implied == that Bishop Mueller would do the excommunicating; and that either he or H.E. himself said later that H.E. was awaiting word from Rome on the matter? I know that the papers weren't going to let correctly reading what was said get in the way of a good story; but what was the excuse of the substantial number of excommunication Chicken Littles on this site?

  27. Anonymous11:50 AM

    I don't really know what to make of Mr. McFarland's latest comments.

    On the discussions, I expect that the attitudes of Society and Vatican adherents will vary from person to person. So what? I'm not sure what he's getting at. Statements made by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais and Alfonso de Galarreta suggest a very long process; others by Fr. Schmidberger, a less lengthy one. There is at least the possibility of interpreting Bishop Fellay's words to mean that a full canonical structure can be accepted after only some of the talks are completed. I think that Benedict XVI would like to make an arrangement in this pontificate, while he can. My own view, however, is that this is unrealistic. I think that it will take much longer. But this does not concern me all that much. My concern, as explained here many times, is to secure at least a temporary juridical arrangement, and for the reasons I've mentioned before.

    Substantive evidence of S.S.P.X opposition to the talks? No, I'd just say that it's reasonable to expect some, given the size of the Society and the different currents in it. Others have left the Society in the past (e.g. S.S.P.V) or have been expelled. Some who were associated with the Society have left that affiliation (e.g. Transalpine Redemptorists, Campos priests, I.B.P.) I think that it is likely, given human nature, that there will be some defections over the talks. But whether this means five or six people, on the one extreme, or a sizeable proportion, I have no idea. It seems to me that, so far, most Society priests are following their leaders and not rebelling.


  28. John McFarland: but there's never been conversations between the Vatican and those who contend that the Vatican is insufficiently Catholic, and aim to bring it back to the Faith, the whole Faith, and nothing but the Faith.

    There were official conversations in 1987-88, before the episcopal consecrations. Fr Tissier de Malerais was member of that commission. And they led to an agreement. And after both parties agreed, archbishop Lefebvre found out (or at least he thought he found out) that the agreement was never to be kept by the Roman authorities. And he moved on.

    Since the 2007 MP was intended, among other things, to take the wind out of the SSPX's sails, bracketing its clarification with a move to regularize the SSPX would seem to represent a sea change in the Pope's thinking.

    It wasn't, because this could be easily accomplished in a different manner (making Ecclessia Dei institutes exempt from the power of local bishops, making the TLM obligatory). Summorum Pontificum can be easily circumvented by the bishops, who will send "disobedient" priests to diocesan gulags. If the bishop wanted to have TLM, he could issue an indult before the SP already.

    Summorum Pontificum was courteous gesture to the SSPX. They wanted the statement that the TLM was never abolished, and any priest can always say that Mass. And they have it. They wanted to be free from the gravest ecclesiastical penalty (at least in the perception of the general mass of Catholics), and they have it.

    Now, that the two preconditions were fulfilled the SSPX can enter doctrinal talks, which they do.

    Pope is going along the line agreed with bishop Fellay.

  29. Anonymous12:22 PM

    McFarland writes a postscript to me:

    "Is the motu proprio you've talking about the one purporting to clarify the 2007 MP?"

    No, Bsp. Fellay repeated a rumour announced here, on this blog, which goes back to the 10th March statement of H.H. I believe that Cardinal Levada also mentioned it. I'd have to check. This is the m.p. which would merely subsume the P.C.E.D. in the C.D.F., and perhaps nothing more. You are referring to a different document, the 'clarification' often mentioned over the last year. Cardinal C.H. said that it has been on the Pope's desk for many months. There was a leak some months ago about its likely contents. It would clear up the meaning of 'idoneus' in Article 5 and comment more on personal parishes. It might also assert the right of the Commission to send priests 'di imperio' to bishops who cannot or refuse to implement the m.p. of 2007. Different documents.

    There is no evidence from Rome that EITHER document would include any 'recognition' of the S.S.P.X. However, the Vatican has mentioned this matter as well, and recently.

    "Since the 2007 MP was intended, among other things, to take the wind out of the SSPX's sails, . . .

    Where is your 'substantive evidence' for this? The 2007 m.p. was a response to a request of the S.S.P.X. So, was the Society trying to take the wind out of its own sails?

    ". . . bracketing its clarification with a move to regularize the SSPX would seem to represent a sea change in the Pope's thinking."

    I don't think so. The m.p. had a substantial effect for its first eleven months or so and then fizzled; it hit the wall. In my view, this happened when some of the bishops discovered how to block it. They do this not by getting legalistic but simply by threatening celebrants with retaliation: every diocese has its gulags.

    By unleashing the S.S.P.X through regularisation, pressure would be brought to bear for bishops to stop obstructing the m.p. The reason is that many bishops don't want to have active in their sees a Society which they can't control. So they'll authorise Masses to keep the Society at bay.

    Still, the effect of all of this is small. Even if you combine all 'approved' T.L.M.S and Society Masses, it's a drop in the bucket compared to New Masses. I estimate that our Masses combined are about one-third of one per cent of the total worldwide, and that's an excessively optimistic estimate. The T.L.M. is not much of a threat to the New Mass. Fortunately, there is a grave threat to the New Mass, and that is the New Mass itself.

    "Is there really evidence for such a sea change? That he's really prepared to let the SSPX roam the countryside, canonically speaking, when he's taken unshirted hell for the purely symbolic gesture of lifting the excommunications?"

    The hell only came owing to the Williamson Affair, which was cooked up by liberals. This Pope and the last one have been trying to regularise the S.S.P.X for about nine years now, and the evidence for this is quite substantial and has been openly admitted by Bsp. Fellay on several occasions, esp. in 2000, 2003, and earlier this year (and I'm not referring to the Angelus reference). The structure offered to them since 2000 would indeed allow them to roam the earth. Why would the Pope do this? It's because all the Society's priests and all the others who want to celebrate the Traditional Mass are but a drop in the bucket. Again: the old Mass is not a threat to the liberals. They only oppose it because it reminds them of their own failed reforms. To them, it is a reproach; it is a red flag in the face saying, You failed.

    The T.L.M. may indeed replace the N.O.M. one day but only because of the banality and vacuity of the latter. Rome has an army of priests; we have but a few.

    To be continued . . . .


  30. Anonymous12:23 PM

    P.K.T.P. continued (on Mr. McFarland's postscript):

    "And without demanding some sort of obeisance to Vatican II, since no such obeisance is in the cards? This is asking a lot of one of the junior architects of Vatican II."

    Bishop Fellay might agree to some sort of obeisance. The difficulty is to formulate something which has no trap in it. But there are things he could easily sign, such as an admission that V. II was an œcumenical council and that the magisterial authority of all the popes is equal. I don't see this as major.

    You might ask yourself why the Pope lifted the excommunications with no sign of obeisance--and yet he did. I think that the Pope's desire to have the old Mass back as an option is genuine. It was manifested, for example, in his participation at the 1986 cardinalatial commission. It is possible that he favours the old Mass and yet disfavours some of the pre-conciliar theology. I think that he would like to merge the two Masses (yes, there is evidence for this in previous comments he's made over the years), especially 'enriching' ours with the New Lectionary. But he must realise that this is not achievable in the foreseeable future.


  31. am I the only one in the world who noticed that the spokesman never said -- or arguably never even really implied == that Bishop Mueller would do the excommunicating; and that either he or H.E. himself said later that H.E. was awaiting word from Rome on the matter?

    It doesn't matter, because Bishop Muller wrote the column in die Tagespost himself. The column looks like the press statements were true.

  32. Anonymous12:28 PM

    McFarland writes:

    "As regards Bishop Mueller: am I the only one in the world who noticed that the spokesman never said -- or arguably never even really implied == that Bishop Mueller would do the excommunicating; and that either he or H.E. himself said later that H.E. was awaiting word from Rome on the matter?"

    His spokesman, Fr. Scholtz or something (no, I won't spend time looking up his name) said that excommunications would likely follow, even though there is no provision for this in the Code. I wonder who could impose them for something not foreseen in the Code? As you might say, 'there is no substantive evidence' that Rome was planning such an action. So who was? Santa Claus?

    Recently, Müller tried to make a distinction between a "spiritual" and a canonical excommunication, when no such distinction exists, since excommunication is a canonical penalty by its very definition. And you don't see this as a backing away from a previous statement? Come, come, Mr. McFarland. What will be next. Shall we debate was 'is' is?


  33. Anonymous12:46 PM

    Again, on the excommunicating of Müller:

    I am not about to spend time poring over the various documents right now. My impression is that his spokesman said that excommunications would likely follow. Müller himself did not say this but merely indicated that he would have to consult Rome for direction.

    Normally, one's spokesman speaks for one; otherwise, he's someone else's spokesman. Similarly, a diocesan spokeman does not normally deliver prognostications on what might follow from authorities he does not represent.

    This is becoming ridiculous. Müller clearly took action meant to threaten the S.S.P.X and embarrass the Pope, probably at the behest of the German Bishops' Conference. I think that he acted without due consideration.

    Just to change the subject, my own hopes remain unchanged. I expect that Cardinal C.H. will continue in his attempts to get the Society to accept a temporary structure this very month, something which Fellay has now indicated that he is prepared to "consider . . . definitely". C.H. does want to end his service on a positive note and not on the Williamson débâcle. But I also think that he is acting in good conscience.

    Again, in my view, a temporary structure would be good for the Society, good for "Summorum Pontificum", good for non-Society traditionalists and good for the Church. It would only be bad for Cardinal Mahony and company. Just a point of view.

    I close in noting that, starting in 2002, Msgr. Perl started admitting in private letters that Society Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation. This is now common knowledge. I see that admission as yet another preparation for recognising the Society and declaring faculties for it. From 1984 to the present, what I see is a series of steps from Rome which have been designed to restore the pre-conciliar liturgy and discipline 'on the side'. The trick is to restore it slowly enough that the old liberal lions don't lose face.


  34. Anonymous2:42 PM

    "The trick is to restore it slowly enough that the old liberal lions don't lose face."

    Mr Perkins:

    I do not think it matters who loses face.
    Rather it matters who loses their soul.
    And that is what will happen if the Society does not recieve faculties very soon.

    Th liberals can take a flying leap.
    They are are pipe cleaner thin and stringy wimpy in Charity anyhow.

  35. Anonymous3:12 PM

    From Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer:

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009
    Three points on the recent SSPX ordinations
    There really isn't any "news" associated with the recent SSPX ordinations in Minnesota--and there is certainly nothing surprising about them--though three comments seem in order.

    First, contrary to some reports, the Catholic Church does recognize these ordinations, by which we must understand, though, that 13 more men have taken the priesthood of Christ illegally from bishops acting in a schismatic manner. While there is no excommunication associated with such priestly ordinations per se (as there is for episcopal ordinations contrary to 1983 CIC 1382), objectively speaking, participation in these ceremonies was still gravely sinful.

    Second, any comments that I might have offered concerning excommunication for (what seem clearly to be) new acts of schism under 1983 CIC 1364 seem pre-empted by Rome's gratuitous lifting of the excommunications against SSPX leadership last January. Indeed, I am hard-pressed to think of any canons that Rome appears willing to enforce against the SSPX.

    But these two points suggest an ironic Third: the fewer sacramental acts that Rome defends against SSPX appropriation, the more the SSPX seems to resemble the Orthodox Churches and a few other groups--Rome recognizes the validity of their orders, too, but (per 1983 CIC 1) it does not attempt to impose canonical penalties on them for conferring those orders outside of its communion.

    I thought lifting the SSPX excommunications was meant to bring them closer to Catholic unity; instead, it seems to confirm their drifting more distant.

  36. John McFarland5:02 PM

    My remarks of last night are part of my mini-crusade to discourage Vaticanology and SSPXology on small to no evidence, which is the position of virtually all of us. Perhaps I'm overreacting, but we all have our crochets.

    A further mini-crusade is to get everyone to understand that ecclesiastical politicians and their underlings are like other politicians: they don't necessarily tell the truth, they're not above misleading even when they aren't lying, and spokesmen exist among other things to float trial balloons. We must be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.

    What is unprecedented about the coming conversations is their doctrinal character: the 1987-88 negotiations were an effort to cut a deal notwithstanding the profound doctrinal issues.

    I'm afraid I can't make much of Mr. Peters' comments. The SSPX's appeal to the state of necessity makes the notion that the SSPX is schismatic, or flirting with schism, completely untenable. The Society is NOT DENYING THE AUTHORITY OF THE POPE AND THE HIERARACH; IT IS REFUSING TO FALL IN WITH THEIR ABUSES OF THEIR AUTHORITY. Even if you reject the existence of a state of necessity, or do not think that its existence justifies what the Society has done and continues to do, I don't think you can characterize these acts as schismatic.

    There is, of course, the danger that the SSPX's position could elide into schism, or the sort of schismatic spirit evident in the Eastern church for centuries before the actual split.

    But no one is more sensitive to that danger than the the SSPX itself. At Winona, they hammer into the seminarians the principle that THIS IS NOT NORMAL, AND YOU MUST NOT LET YOURSELF START TREATING IT AS NORMAL.

    As for obeisance to Vatican II. The best that could be done is to speak of reading Vatican II in the light of tradition. But for the SSPX to say this would be disingenuous unless it went on to make clear that tradition is the scale, and Vatican II is what is to be ; and I don't think that the Pope can accept that. For him to accept that would be a matter not of negotiation, but of conversion.

  37. Anonymous5:48 PM

    McFarland writes:

    "As for obeisance to Vatican II. The best that could be done is to speak of reading Vatican II in the light of tradition. But for the SSPX to say this would be disingenuous unless it went on to make clear that tradition is the scale, and Vatican II is what is to be ; and I don't think that the Pope can accept that. For him to accept that would be a matter not of negotiation, but of conversion."

    Well, as already seen, the problem with agreeing that Tradition is the mean of interpretation is that Benedict XVI accepts a notion of Tradition which is itself at least suspicious. I mean his reference to 'living' tradition. So the S.S.P.X would be wise to avoid saying that it will accept Vatican II in light of tradition, at least for now.


  38. Anonymous5:53 PM

    On Mr. Hunter's reply to me about losing face:

    Of course, I was merely interpreting what I think is happening. Unfortunately, the players in this game are men and men are beset by pride. It has taken me a long time to realise that 'losing face' is often the prime motivator. It reminds me of the saying among politicians 'Never admit that you were wrong'.

    In my view, the Pope realises that mistakes were made, even if he does not realise the full extent of them. But he figures that such mistakes can only be reversed slowly because those who implemented them will not want to admit to error, and they still hold much authority. 'Losing face' is the new way of putting it. They used to call it pride. It's the primary sin.


  39. Anonymous6:37 PM

    Mr. Ed Peter comments:

    "participation in these ceremonies was still gravely sinful."

    I don't see how this follows. Are we not crossing here from Canon Law to Moral Law? If what is meant by "sinful" here is only 'an objective moral disorder' then, yes, perhaps one can say this. But even venial sin requires that one know that an act is wrong. The Society claims supplied jurisdiction in a case of necessity and, even if their assessment is mistaken, how can we be sure that it is dishonest? I think otherwise; I think that it is honest.

    I also don't understand why Mr. Peter quotes Canon 1 in reference to the Eastern churches, since there are other churches which are not Eastern but which are schismatical and yet have valid Sacraments(e.g. the Polish National Church).

    Mr. Peter asks how the S.S.P.X is unlike the Easter Orthodox Churches and these other schismatical communities. I suppose that the answer is that the Society never completed any schism objectively, since it has never established a parallel hierarchy. The Society, as Mr. McFarland points out, even teaches its seminarists that the present circumsances are not normal. So any objective schismatic acts are incomplete; and they also do not purpose schism.

    In closing, I don't think it reasonable to imagine that the Society will stop ordaining priests or administeringt other Sacraments just because Rome lifed a decree of excommunication the validity of which the Society never accepted in the first place. The Society asked for the remission for a practical reason, not a canonical one. The reason was that the censures declared in 1988 attached opporobrium to the Society in the minds of thousands of faithful. Many faithful, wrongly but honestly (in the Society's view), accepted the validity of the censures, and this has hampered the Society's work. I could write at some length about the statistics on this.

    (By the way, in this regard, I don't see how ordinations differ from other Sacraments. Why doesn't Müller or his spokesman fulminate against the Society for conintuing to celebrate Mass or hear confessions? To ask this question is to illustrate how foolish this is: neither ordaining a priest or hearing a confession is an act to which excommunication is foreseen in the 1983 Code.)

    It is precisly for the same reason that I want the Society to accept a temporary structure (or, at least, this is the primary of my two reasons). I see access to the T.L.M. as a right of the faithful which is still being obstructed by many bishops, despite "Summorum Pontificum". A 'freeing' of the Society will help combat this. It wiil do so both directly and indirectly. The direct effect is obvious. The indirect one is that many of these obstructing bishops will stop obstructing in order to keep the Society at bay, since they don't want the Society to move into their dioceses.

    Again, I pray the His Excellency Bishop Fellay will think about the rest of us: those traditionalists who are not Society supporters. Some of us are not attenders at Society chapels for merely practical reasons: we can't travel that far. Others are not supporters for other reasons, even if some honestly but mistakenly believe that the Society acts wrongly. A recognition of the Society by Rome--even a purely temporary and provisional one--would increase the number of 'approved' every-Sunday Masses by about 70% to my recollection. It would mean access for many traditionalists for the first time in much of Argentina and in all of India, Singapore and South Africa, for example. If Bishop Fellay is not a schismatic, he can prove this by acting for faithful both outside and inside the S.S.P.X. He should see himself as a bishop in the service of all the faithful, all of them.


  40. Peter6:47 PM

    It's a subtle difference between "schismatic act" and "act of schism".

    Schism is when you deny communion with other catholics - it's the case of Orthodox, not the SSPX, or when you're disobedient to the Pope - but only as a general rule, like the Orthodox who fail to understand the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, not as an exceptional, temporary situation - as it's the case of German, Swiss and French bishops.

    They're disobedient but not in schism (maybe except for a certain French bishop who said that Roman bishop is no supreme to any other bishop a few months ago).

    SSPX can be named "disobedient" only in popular terms, not in the precise language of the Church (St. Thomas Aquinas), where the virtue of obedience is primarily bound to a certain goal, only secondarily to a person, so when such person acts contrary to the purpose that he is supposed to act ("make your brothers' faith firm", or sth), ignoring his orders is not disobedience. Even if that person is the Roman Pontiff.

    SSPX is not treating this situation as normal, as the Orthodox do. Their constant criticism towards postconciliar mess proves it.

    There's much resentment against SSPX among postconciliar clergy. I wonder who will be "disobedient" after the reconciliation. Fr Z will be upset. What a pity. Boo-hoo.

  41. Anonymous7:40 PM

    I'd like to reiterate a point I made in passing, which is that "Summorum Pontificum" of 2007 (S.P.) has 'hit the wall'.

    France is not a good country in which to gauge this because most of its dioceses offered the Traditional Mass before 2007. The main hold-outs in France are in the north-central and north east region, these being the Archdiocese of Rheims and the Dioceses of Cambrai, Soissons, Châlons, Verdun, and Langres. Other important hold-outs have been the Dioceses of St. Denis (Paris region), La Rochelle (Atlantic coast) and Bayonne (Basque region). Four French dioceses gained every-Sunday T.L.M.s in the first year under S.P; three, in the second. 83% of the French dioceses now offer the T.L.M. every Sunday, and over 90% of French faithful live in them. Were the S.S.P.X to be recognised, these numbers would increase to 85% and 95% respectively. A recognition of the Society would gain every-Sunday Masses in the Archdiocese of Rheims [Reims] and the Dioceses of Langres, St. Denis, Bayonee, La Rochelle, and Tulle.

    While Society recognition would only make a small difference in terms of distribution (by diocese), it would make a great difference in numbers of Masses, since Society Masses greatly outnumber diocesan Traditional Massses. In fact, about one-quarter of all Society priests work in France (about 125 of 500). France is truly the centre of Society support.

    The effect of S.P. has been most stunning in Germany. In July of 2007, only one-third of the German dioceses offered the old Mass every Sunday, and many of the negative dioceses were in populous Catholic areas (e.g. Freiburg in Breisgau). Today, over three-quarters of those dioceses offer the T.L.M. every Sunday and they include all the Catholic areas. The only important hold-outs remaining are Hamburg and Essen, both of which would gain every-Sunday 'approved' Masses were the S.S.P.X Masses recognised. Also the sheer number of Masses has increased exponentially in this two-year period, and the dioceses now offer about the same number of every-Sunday Masses as does the S.S.P.X.


  42. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Peter said:

    "There's much resentment against SSPX among postconciliar clergy. I wonder who will be "disobedient" after the reconciliation. Fr Z will be upset. What a pity. Boo-hoo."

    Perhaps I should not comment on this. Suffice it to say that I can think of a whole tribe of neo-cons and semi-trads who will wail and screech if there is any canonical inclusion of the S.S.P.X. I can smell these people from a mile away. They have certain hallmarks.

    I can remember a certain priest on a certain blog who became irate with me in discussions of Msgr. Perl's admission that Society Masses fulfil the obligation. He wanted to insist that we can fulfil our obligation at such Masses only in cases of physical or moral necessity (the principle rightly invoked to excuse people for being unable to attend *any* Masses of obligation). I pointed out to him that, given Perl's statement, a faithful could walk right past an F.S.S.P. Mass and go to and S.S.P.X one to fulfil the obligation if the reason for the preference was merely better music or a more beautiful setting. That infuriated him, I think. Some of these people can hardly wait to add their own home-made restrictions to Church findings, as if they were popes themselves.

    There are non-Society traditionalists such as myself who only disagree with the Society about matters of strategy. The cause of the differences often have to do with our imperfect and differing conceptions of others' perspectives and motives.

    In the case of Benedict XVI, I think that different traditionalists read him in different ways, all of which must be imperfect. Some principles need to be kept in mind here. One is that we must look to his past record of positions. Another is that we must try to see if he has changed his position on anything over the years. A third is that we must remember that a change in position is not always admitted, and often for legitimate reasons. It becomes difficult to make assessments.


  43. Anonymous7:59 PM

    To continue with the German numbers, 91% of German faithful now live in a diocese which has at least one every-Sunday approved Mass. This figure would increase to 99% if the Society Masses were recognised.


  44. Anonymous5:08 AM

    I have been a bit too busy to get to the U.S. statistics. But I thought that bloggers might be interested in the folllowing world figures for July of last year. I have adjusted them imperfectly for 2009 but there has been little change since then in any event.

    1. Worldwide number of every-Sunday Traditional Latin Massses:

    offered by dioceses: 729.

    by S.S.P.X: 613

    Hence, if Rome were to recognise Society Masses, the total number would rise to 1,342, an increase of 84%. That's quite substantial. Note that the total number of Masses for each source is comparable, although the diocesan source is clearly in the lead.

    2. Now let us look at the number of sees (dioceses, &c.) in the territory of which there is at least one every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass:

    Offered by dioceses: 401

    Offered by the S.S.P.X: 282

    Now one cannot add them to get a total because there is a large overlap. Were Society Masses to be recognised, 63 new sees worldwide would gain approved every-Sunday Masses.

    So the merged total here is 464, a rise of 16%, which is substantial but certainly not impressive.

    3. About 14% of the world's sees offer the T.L.M. every Sunday. Were the Society Masses to be recognised, this would only rise to 16%. Still, 14-16% is not insubstantial when you consider the disparities: virtually no T.L.M.s for all the scores of dioceses in Africa and Asia and most of Latin America.

    4. What per centage of the world's Masses are Traditional Latin Masses? For this number, I have combined diocesan and Society Masses. A worldwide figure is useless because the dispersion of Masses is drastically uneven. So I divide the world into three sections to answer this, as follows:

    a. Western Europe, U.S.A, Canada, Australia, New Zealand: about one-third of 1% of all Masses.

    b. Latin America, the Caribbean, and Central & Eastern Europe: one-fifth of 1%.

    c. Asia and Africa: negligible: too small to provide a figure which imparts a sense of the situation. It is certainly well below one-tenth of one per cent. Also, dispersion within this region is wildly uneven.

    (Note that I have excluded China--except for Hong Kong & Macau & Taiwan--and North Korea, as the Church is suppressed in these places.)

    By the way, I can't remember at the moment my source for the total number of Masses worldwide. It's in my notes somewhere and it is reliable.

    Yes, Romanus, I do know a thing or two about the numbers. But for all other matters ecclesiastical, I shall, of course, defer to your anonymous expertise on all things great and small.


  45. picard12:50 PM

    To McFarland and PKTP:

    I think Mr. McF is right in his observation that Bf. Müller did not intend to excomm. the SSPXers himselfe but wanted to warn the SSPX that Rome could re-excomm them.

    Yes, it sounds silly and ridicoulous -- but it really sounds as if Bf. Müller expressed that idea.

    Well, it was a little bit of a game: he wanted to pressure, to browbeat the SSPX and perhaps (together with other bishops) also Rome.

    It did not work.

    And well perhaps it was also a little bit of naivety on his side (that Rome would do that) -- or, what I rather think and just said -- some sort of down-and-dirty gaming, scroupelous calculating and pressuring...

  46. Picard12:53 PM

    To McFarland:

    Do you belong to the family McFarland that uses/used to wisit/go to some priories of the SSPX in Germany, especially the Neustadt-priory (so perhaps I know you...)?

    Best greatings from Germany

  47. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Well, Mr. Picard, if that is what Bsp. Müller had in mind, he certainly went to some trouble to disguise it. The message was delivered so as to imply that it would be Müller himself who would do the excommunicating. Sometimes one can convey a message as easily but what one omits as by what one includes.


  48. Anonymous3:42 PM

    By the way, the consistently wrong Andrea Tornieli said on 10th June that the new m.p. on the placement of the P.C.E.D. was "imminent". In the Zenit article, "Bishop Bernard Fellay revealed to ZENIT that the congregation told him to expect the publication of a statement issued "motu proprio" (on his own initiative) by Benedict XVI on the new structure of Ecclesia Dei before June 20". There have been other recent statements to this effect, all in reference to the announcement first made by the Pope himself on 12th March.

    So where is this motu proprio? What is holding it up? The Pope announces an impending change like this and then nothing happens for nearly four months? Fellay is told by officials in the C.D.F. that it will come by 20th June and then it still has not come by 25th June? What the hell is going on here?

    Again, I am wondering it it is being delayed in order to give Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos a chance to work out something with Bishop Fellay over canonical structure.

    If not, one would also expect the P.C.E.D. to issue the 'clarification' of "Summorum Pontificum" which has, according to the same Cardinal C.H., been on the Pope's desk for "months". If so, where is *this* document? What is holding it up? Again, it looks to me as if delays are being imposed in order to give the Cardinal a last chance to settle the canonical structures.

    One would expect that the subsuming of the P.C.E.D. into the C.D.F. must mean the retirement of Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, and that he will want to leave on a positive note.

    Some have said that the Cardinal's retirement must come very soon, as he will turn 80 on 4th July. This is pure balderdash. Three of the other presidents of the Commisssion retired when they were some months past their 80th birthdays. One stayed on for nine months past that date. On those grounds, C.H. could remain with us until Advent, say. But, again, he presumably won't stay at his post after this "imminent" re-placement of the P.C.E.D.

    All of this looks to me like more word games filitered through journalisic distortions, just like the Müller 'excommunications'. But the quotation in the Zenit article does make me think that something must be afoot. Obviously, somebody in the C.D.F. changed his mind. Why so?


  49. Tornieli isn’t “consistently” wrong – his rumors usually turn out to be correct in substance, but are often inaccurate in their timing.

  50. John McFarland4:37 PM


    No, neither I nor anyone in my family has German connections, although I'm pleased to hear that there are other traditional McFarlands.

    Do you know if they are of Irish or Scottish origin? It is much more common among the Scots. My own family immigrated from the west of Ireland, although the name is originally from Ulster (northeast Ireland). No doubt my forebears were driven west by the Protestants in the dispossessions of the 17th century -- to Hell or Connaught (western Ireland) was the Protestant slogan epitomizing their strategy for dealing with Catholics in Ulster and elsewhere.

    In Scotland, McFarland (in various spellings) was the name of a sizeable clan in the central Highlands. They had a very bad reputation even by Scottish standards: they were outlawed in the 17th century, and still known as livestock thieves into the 19th century. So if your McFarlands are Scots, they have clearly turned over a new leaf.

  51. John McFarland4:48 PM


    I can't see why the hypothetical status process (HSP) should be affected by the reorganization, or vice versa. But then I can't make much sense of the reorganization.

    The clarification would be affected. If the SSPX had a new status, that might well affect what the Pope said in the clarification.

    But my problem is still that I see no concrete evidence. If there were something afoot, one would have expected the profession rumor mongers like Torniello to have got wind of it, if only in garbled form. The Vatican leaks like a sieve, and often enough the "leaks" are really just exercises in testing the waters. It does not compute that the only talk about the HSP has come from Bishop Fellay.

  52. picard5:06 PM

    PKTP: "The message was delivered so as to imply that it would be Müller himself who would do the excommunicating."

    I do not think so.

    It was clear that they suggested that the SSPXers could most probably be excommed -- but by whom? - by Rome, of course.

    (So McF is totaly right - no, you arre not the only one - I am another one who recognized it!!)

    Read the following:

    Dem Papst allein bleibe es vorbehalten, wie er mit der Priesterbruderschaft verfahren werde, sollte es tatsächlich zu den Weihen kommen. Das erklärte ein Sprecher des Regensburger Bischofs Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Eine mögliche Sanktionsmaßnahme wäre etwa die erneute Exkommunikation des weihenden Bischofs. (

    Or even more accurate on

    Kirchenrechtlich gesehen kann er als Diözesanbischof nicht unmittelbar einschreiten und auch keine Disziplinarmaßnahmen verhängen, wie Bistumssprecher Jakob Schötz am Montag in Regensburg auf Anfrage einräumte. Allein dem Papst bleibe es vorbehalten, wie er mit der nach wie vor nicht anerkannten Priesterbruderschaft in einem solchen Fall verfahren werde. Mögliche Sanktionsmaßnahmen wären etwa die erneute Exkommunikation des weihenden Bischofs.

    So the central sentences are: "according to the eccl. law he [Müller] as a diocesan-bishop could not ...impose censures / disciplinary measures... as the speaker... Jakob Schötz admited. It was reserved to the Pope alone ... a possible measure would be new excomms...."

    So it is clear they (Bf. Müller and his speaker) suggested that Rome could re-excomm the SSPXers -- and, as I said before, perhaps with the goal/objecive to put some pressure on the society as well as on Rome...

  53. picard5:09 PM

    BTW, picard is a nickname, so I am not "Mr.Picard" (outside the cyberspace) ;-)
    (But of course, you can call me so if you want to.... - but the "Mr." is not necesarry... ^^)

  54. picard5:14 PM

    To McF:

    Well, I do not know the McFarlands who came several times to the priory in Neustadt very well - but if I get some information, I will tell You :-)

    yes, seem to be more traditional McFarlands, isn´t it nice!

  55. Though Clan MacFarlane was eventually broken and outlawed for raiding other clans’ cattle and other public disorders, they actually stem, like most Scottish clans, from an ancient and noble lineage. The clan’s namefather was Parlan (Partholan, Gaelic equivalent of Bartholomew), son of Maldouen, Earl of Lennox, descended from the ancient Mormaers of Lennox who once were Scottish or Pictish subkings. The families of Lennox and MacFarlane/McFarland are very storied and they achieved many things not to be ashamed of. The MacFarlane chiefs are the male-line representatives of the ancient Earls of Lennox, which family came to an end in 1420 when Duncan, 8th Earl, was beheaded by a King James I for no other cause, apparently, than having a daughter who made the mistake of marrying into the family of Robert, Duke of Albany, James I’s uncle who had plotted to keep James in English captivity so he could have Scotland to himself (it’s interesting that my mother’s Scottish ancestry traces back to all three men, James, Robert, and Earl Duncan). James was eager to settle scores when he finally got his freedom, but his harsh and unyielding concept of justice only made him enemies, who assassinated him after a few short years of rule. After Earl Duncan’s execution, his male relatives the MacFarlanes attempted to press a claim to the Earldom, but the king instead granted it to his kinsman John Stewart of Darnley, who was related to Earl Duncan on the distaff side.

  56. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Ahem, Picard, normally, when one wishes to threaten canonical penalties, the implication is that they are being threatening by the one issuing the threat. That's just common sense. It is not prudent (as the facts now prudent) to threaten that someone else will hurl a threat at a third party.


  57. Anonymous6:03 PM


    Quick: Go here for news on a coming new m.p.:

    Catholic Church Conservation, 2 para. to follow what they presently have from "The Tablet":

    Thursday, June 25, 2009
    New Motu Proprio on the SSPX this summer?

    From the paleo-left-liberal, more Tablet than the Tablet, French magazine Golias

    According to our information, and on the eve of the SSPX ordinations on 27 June in Germany, the Pope wishes to write a second motu proprio in the coming months. The document to be issued this time is not only about the liturgy in Latin, but a more comprehensive reintegration of the SSPX into the Church. This will mean demanding, of course, conditions, but also by engaging the whole Church in this process. Serious!

  58. Anonymous6:04 PM

    To be continued: P.K.T.P.

    In other words, the bishops will no longer be entitled to express in a too overt manner open reluctantance and even less to slow the return of the traditionalists. One should understand that representatives of these currents regularly complain to the Pope posed about the obstacles placed to their reinstatement by the bishops and their entourage. Until now, Rome and the Ecclesia Dei commission have been bypassing bishops without, however, in general, openly disavow their views.

    Thus, in 1988, the Commission regularised very quickly and in a very caring manner the Benedictine abbey of Barroux, without informing or consulting the Archbishop of Avignon at the time, Archbishop Raymond Bouchex. More recently, Rome proceeded in the same way with respect to the Institut du Bon Pasteur, without informing the Archbishop of Bordeaux, in which it was located. Recently, another signal was given by the Vatican when restoring a traditional parish priest in dissent with his bishop in Calvados, just so as to remind the bishops. Following this Motu proprio, a bishop considered too reluctant to welcome the fundamentalists will certainly have his knuckles rapped.

    The bishops will no longer be able to express their reservations
    Benedict XVI and his advisers intend to enjoy the quiet summer to advance along the path of reconciliation. After the authorisation allowing celebration according to all the old liturgical books (Motu proprio of 2007), after the lifting of the excommunication of the four schismatic bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, a new stage is opening up, more delicate however: one on divisive theological ground in particular with regard to Vatican II and the Magisterium of the recent Popes. One should know that the Pope has chosen the new secretary of the International Theological Commission, the Dominican Father Charles Morerod, precisely because of his sensitivity towards traditionalist interlocutors. In fact Morerod is the author of a doctoral thesis submitted to the faculty of theology at the University of Freiburg, Switzerland, on the master general of the Dominicans, commentator on St Thomas Aquinas, Thomas de Vio Cajetan (1469-1534) and his polemic debate with Luther.
    Father Morerod for theological agreement

    But Father Morerod is especially noted for his work Tradition and Christian unity. Dogma is made a condition for the possibility of ecumenism (Word and Silence, Paris, 2005), and he kicks hard against more liberal ecumenism (fron theologians such as Fries, Rahner or Tillard) in emphasizing the essential nature of a true Catholic thought, which must be truly theological and philosophical.

    Hence, it accentuates the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism in a way that does not displease the most "tradi" circles. The same Father Morerod sought to comb the thought of a British Liberal Protestant, John Hick and in which work he specifically attacks the relativist spirit. Oh, this reminds us of someone else ... the choice of Father Morerod is therefore not by chance! In very concrete terms, the Ecclesia Dei commission will report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (cf. Golias Hebdo n ° 85). There was a question at one time of whether it should be joined to the Congregation for Divine Worship, but this would be to forget that the problem is not solely or primarily liturgical. The new Motu Proprio to come, which will be prepared by the principal drafter of the Motu proprio of 2007, Monsignor Nicola Bux, professor of theology at Bari and advisor of Joseph Ratzinger will justifies the importance accorded to the doctrine of the fundamentalist controversy. The role of Don Nicola cannot be stressed enough.

    Two paras to follow.

  59. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Here is the article on the new m.p. from Golias:

    VERS UN NOUVEAU MOTU PROPRIO pour les Lefebvristes


    Selon nos informations, et à la veille des ordinations lefebvristes du 27 juin prochain en Allemagne, le pape souhaite pour les prochains mois la rédaction d’un second Motu proprio. Document qui serait consacré cette fois, non plus à la seule liturgie en latin, mais de façon plus globale à la réintégration des Lefebvristes dans l’Eglise. En posant certes des conditions, mais également en engageant toute l’Eglise dans ce processus. Gravissime !

    Autrement dit, les évêques ne seront plus en droit d’exprimer de façon trop ouverte des réticences et encore moins de freiner la réintégration des traditionalistes. Il faut savoir en effet que les représentants de ces courants se plaignent très régulièrement au pape des obstacles posés à leur réintégration par les évêques et leur entourage. Jusqu’alors, Rome et la commission Ecclesia Dei court-circuitaient les évêques sans cependant, en général, les désavouer ouvertement.

    Ainsi, en 1988, la commission régularisa très rapidement et de façon très bienveillante la situation de l’abbaye bénédictine du Barroux, sans informer ou consulter l’archevêque d’Avignon d’alors, Mgr Raymond Bouchex. Plus récemment, Rome procéda de la même façon à l’égard de l’Institut du Bon Pasteur sans en informer l’archevêque de Bordeaux, sur le territoire duquel il siégeait. Récemment encore, un autre signal a été donné par le Vatican qui rétablit dans sa charge de curé un prêtre « tradi » en dissidence avec son évêque dans le Calvados, façon aussi de rappeler à l’ordre les évêques. Suite à un tel Motu proprio, un évêque jugé trop peu enclin à bien accueillir des ralliés intégristes se fera certainement taper sur les doigts.

    Les évêques ne pourront plus exprimer leurs réticences

    Benoît XVI et ses conseillers entendent profiter du calme estival pour avancer sur le chemin de la réconciliation. Après l’autorisation de célébrer partout selon les anciens livres liturgiques (Motu proprio de 2007), après la levée de l’excommunication des quatre évêques schismatiques ordonnés par l’archevêque Lefebvre, une nouvelle étape est en train de s’ouvrir, plus délicate au demeurant : celle qui concerne les dissensions théologiques de fond en particulier au sujet de Vatican II et du Magistère des derniers papes. Il faut savoir que le pape a choisi le nouveau secrétaire de la commission théologique internationale, le Père dominicain Charles Morerod, en fonction précisément de sa sensibilité proche du partenaire traditionaliste. Il faut savoir en effet que Morerod est l’auteur d’une thèse de doctorat, présentée à la faculté de théologie de l’université de Fribourg, en Suisse, sur le maître général des Dominicains, commentateur de Thomas d’Aquin, Thomas de Vio dit Cajetan (1469-1534) dans son débat polémique avec Luther.

    To be continued. . .

  60. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Continuation . . . P.K.T.P. from Golias:

    Le Père Morerod pour l’accord théologique

    Mais le Père Morerod s’est surtout fait remarquer par son ouvrage Tradition et unité des chrétiens. Le dogme comme condition de possibilité de l’œcuménisme (Parole et Silence, Paris, 2005), dans lequel il prend de façon très radicale le contre-pied d’un œcuménisme plus libéral (comme celui des théologiens Fries, Rahner ou Tillard) en insistant sur le caractère incontournable d’une vraie pensée catholique, indissociablement théologique et philosophique.

    Par là, il accentue la différence entre catholicisme et protestantisme d’une façon qui ne doit pas déplaire aux courants les plus « tradis ». Le même Père Morerod s’est attaché également à étriller la pensée d’un protestant libéral britannique, John Hick, dont il conteste précisément l’esprit relativiste. Tiens, cela nous rappelle quelqu’un d’autre... Le choix du Père Morerod ne relève donc en rien du hasard ! De façon très concrète, la commission Ecclesia Dei sera rattachée à la congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi (cf. Golias Hebdo n°85). Il fut un temps question de l’unir à la congrégation pour le culte divin, mais c’était oublier que le problème n’est pas seulement ni d’abord liturgique. Le nouveau Motu proprio à venir, que préparerait déjà le principal rédacteur du Motu proprio de 2007, Mgr Nicola Bux, professeur de théologie à Bari et conseiller estimé de Joseph Ratzinger, justifiera l’importance accordée à la dimension doctrinale de la controverse intégriste. Le rôle de Don Nicola ne saurait être assez souligné.

    Le prélat italien Nicola Bux pour le nouveau Motu proprio
    Consulteur à la congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi et en attente d’une promotion stratégique, Mgr Bux, un prêtre italien de 63 ans, cordial et discret, mais redoutablement conservateur et précis dans son argumentation, se veut l’artisan déterminé et infatiguable, non seulement d’un rapprochement avec les intégristes mais d’une restauration traditionaliste du catholicisme tout entier. C’est lui qui a rédigé le Motu proprio de 2007 sur la messe en latin. Dans son dernier ouvrage, sorti en octobre dernier en Italie, La réforme de Benoît XVI, préfacé par Vittorio Messori, Mgr Bux estime qu’il faut revaloriser l’essence de la « sacrée et divine liturgie », qui ne saurait être faite de main d’homme. Sinon, elle « ne servirait à rien d’autre qu’à se représenter soi-même et surtout elle ne sauverait ni l’homme ni le monde, elle ne le sanctifierait pas ». Il est convaincu que la liturgie de Saint Pie V honore davantage le sens du sacré que celle de Paul VI. Il critique d’ailleurs de façon très féroce la réforme baptisée du nom du pape Montini, une vraie « décomposition » de la liturgie selon lui, exprimant et aggravant ce que le théologien Louis Bouyer appelait la « décomposition du catholicisme ».

    Unfortunately, yet another continuation is needed because of these stupid blog rules:. . .

  61. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Seconde continuation: . . .

    En effet, Mgr Bux ne se cantonne pas au seul domaine liturgique. Il dénonce l’ouverture au monde qui souille le mystère chrétien et fustige la vie relâchée des prêtres en particulier en matière de vie privée (célibat...). Il s’en prend également à la déviance fondamentale selon lui de la théologie contemporaine, qui est d’opérer un « tournant anthropologique » (qu’il dénonce aussi, à la suite de Cornelio Fabro, chez Karl Rahner). Il lui oppose un nouveau tournant théocentrique et christocentrique comme symbolisé par le fait de célébrer à nouveau vers l’Orient, le dos tourné aux fidèles. On imagine aisément le contenu et le ton du futur et proche Motu proprio avec un tel rédacteur. Le cardinal William Levada, préfet de la congrégation de la doctrine de la foi, par ailleurs éprouvé par des problèmes de santé, exaspéré et affligé, démoralisé, n’a plus de pouvoir ni l’entrain nécessaire pour s’opposer à un tel revirement ultra-conservateur. Loin de se présenter comme une défense du Concile, le Motu proprio devrait en proposer une relecture minimaliste, gommant les nouveautés et en contestant l’esprit. En somme, un Concile « selon la tradition » tel que Mgr Lefebvre reconnaissait pouvoir l’accepter ! Est-ce encore le Concile dont un Paul VI proclamait l’importance en 1976 face à la dissidence intégriste ? Rien n’est moins sûr.


  62. Anonymous6:47 PM

    You know, bloggers, I've noticed over these last several posts, both from sources in English and in French, that there are more and more references to Rome 'recognising' rather than 'regularising' the S.S.P.X. This recent text also writes of 'integrating' (actually 're-integrating'), something which presumably can't happen unless the Society is recognised as legitimate. Fellay himself, in the Zenit article, referred to him having no problem with Rome 'recognising' the Society. While he did mention the possibility of asking for a canonical structure, there was no sense of urgency about this: he only said that he would "consider" this if certain safeguards were offered.

    So far, I have not given this any reflection. It presented an obvious problem but I figured that I must be missing something, so I just left it alone. The problem is this: How can Rome recognise a free-ranging Society which was suppressed in 1975?

    Let's be logical about this. One way would be for the Pope to annul all the censures of the 1970s, and simply reverse the suppression. This in no way implies that the suppression was unlawful in the first place: what one Pope can do the next Pope can reverse. He could do so on request from Bishop Fellay or simply on his own initiative. He could then extend the Society's faculties worldwide and put it under his own authority. He could even do so on a temporary basis: until provided otherwise.

    Another way would be to recognise its argument from supplied jurisdiction. I know that this sounds 'impossible' but keep in mind that, in law (at least to my recollection), such a claim can hang on merely an honest BELIEF that an emergency exists. There need not actually be such an emergency. In other words, Rome could 'find' that the Society clerics hold such a belief without agreeing with them, and that would invoke the principle here. I admit that this is a far-out possibility if only because Rome must not only act surely but also project the appearance of doing so; otherwise, her own authority might be disparaged.

    So I think that the first possibility is more likely than is the second; and I think that Rome (viz. C.H.) will at least try to get Fellay to lodge a request for a reversal of the 1975 suppression.


  63. Thank you. We had seen this.

    Golias is making wild guesses about what the new motu proprio - which Fellay himself first mentioned - will contain. Few people actually know what it will contain, and it is highly unlikely that those who may know would tell anything to people close to Golias.

    Thank you,


  64. Anonymous7:12 PM

    On New Catholic's comments:

    Well, I am a little confused at this point. It's becoming hard to keep one's forthcoming papal statements apart.

    1. There is, according to Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, a clarification of S.P. coming. It has been on the Pope's bureau now for many months. Why is it being delayed? Is it in order to integrate its contents into something larger?

    2. Then there is supposed to be a motu proprio which will simply make the P.C.E.D. responsible to the C.D.F. Odd, since many of the functions of the former are liturgical rather than doctrinal.

    A statement signed by the Pope on 12th March mentioned this. That was four months ago. In the Zenit article of 15th June, Bsp. Fellay revealed that official(s) at the C.D.F. told him that it would be coming before 20th June. Today is 25th June. So where is it?

    3. Some recent statements from the Vatican (and elsewhere) have also referred to 'recognising' the S.S.P.X. This looks like something which the Holy See would do unilaterally.

    4. Now we have a larger project from Golias. It includes some form of regularisation for the S.S.P.X as well as a large extension of S.P. In fact, it looks like a detonation of the time bomb which, I believe, is contained in Article 1 of S.P.

    For all these reports, however, there is no corresponding action from Rome, not even on things she mentioned months ago.


  65. Anonymous7:24 PM

    On my comments on 'recognising' rather than regularising the S.S.P.X:

    On second thought, it does look more like an acknowledgement from Rome of the operation of the ecclesia supplet principle mentioned in Canon 144: "In common error, whether of fact or of law, and in positive and probable doubt, whether of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and the internal forum."

    I suppose that Rome could simply recognise the Society's **claim** of supplied jurisdiction and thereby recognise faculties for it everywhere. This would in no way represent a grant for any Society member to exercise ministry, so it would not be incompatible with Rome's declaration in regard to Bishop Williamson.

    This looks more like a recognition (as opposed to regularisation) than does a papal act of annulling censures or granting faculties ex cathedra. Those are not acts of recognition but would be exercises of jurisdiction.

    Keep in mind, once again, that by recognising the Society's *claim* of acting in "common error" or "positive and probable doubt", Rome is in so way conceding that the Society's position is objectively correct.

    The next task, for someone who has the time, is to compile a list of exactly WHO has used the term 'recognise' rather than 'regularise'. I am sure that the sources include some emanating from Rome but I'm not sure at this point what authority they bear. A search needs to be done. It's interesting that Fellay also mentioned this term in the Zenit article, especially considering that he was answering in what is, to him, a foreign tongue, English. In other words, it seems as if he chose the term carefully. . . .


  66. Picard7:27 PM

    To PKTP (25 June, 2009 18:02)

    Well, perhaps unprudent - or/and perhaps, as I said, tactic and the attempt to put pressure on both the SSPX and Rome... so to awe the SSPX and put some pressure on Rome...

    well, but not so un-common, not against common-sense. It is often seen in such tactical "games" and fights like this one...

    it´s politics, diplomacy, imposing pressure, browbeating, spredding rumour, half-truth-telling, suggesting, ..... - all that more or less impure tactics...

    In some very new interviews Bf. Müller says clearly: No, the only thing that could happen (as according to law) is that they get suspended - what they still are.
    - So as if he would never have suggested a new excomm... - see the impure gaming (well, and perhaps naivety - so he perhaps really hoped that Rome would impose new excomms, or/and would bend under the pressure of German bishops?!)?!

    And note, the speaker only had said that the illegitime consecrations would "most likely en up in new excomms" - so that sounds clearly not as if bf. Müller himselfe will do them put he is sugeesting that they will follow, so that sbd else would "most likely" excomm. them.

    If not naivety I think that was (as regards to "most likely") a lie.

  67. Anonymous7:52 PM


    While I can't recall the source at the moment, in a recent statement, it is said that Bsp. Müller has made a distinction between a 'spiritual excommunication' and an canonical one--or perhaps it was his spokesman who said this again. How do you square this with your claims?

    A claim that there could be a 'spiritual excommunication', when such a thing does not exist separately, suggests to me that he is backing off from a previous threat.


  68. Anonymous9:16 PM

    I have gathered some evidence for my new speculation that the Pope might recognise that the Society honestly claims supplied jurisdiction in a case of necessity. By the way, I figure that this possibility will be more amenable to Mr. McFarland, since it could not threaten the Society in any way at all, even hypothetically, and yet would deliver the same benefits as a regularisation; namely, full faculties recognised (by supplied jurisdiction).

    I note first this comment of Bishop Fellay from 22/1/09, in which he comments on his audience with the Pope in 2005:

    "At a certain point [during the audience], the Pontiff himself put the matter on the table: pondering on [sic] the state of the Church in countries such as France and Germany, Benedict XVI recogni[s]ed as perfectly well-grounded the question of the subsistence of the state of necessity in such countries . . . . The Pope said this, not we."

    Comment: Here the Pope seems to admit that there is a state of necessity in such countries. However, in a future recognition, he needn't go so far. He need only admit that the Society clerics honestly believe such a state to exist.

    On 'recognition' over 'regularisation', Here's two excerpts from the statement of the Secretary of State, dated 4/2/09 (which numbers obviously can only mean 4 February, 2009):

    The S.S.P.X "at the current moment, does not enjoy any canonical recognition by the Catholic Church . . . . For a future recognition of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, the full acknowledgment of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and of the same Benedict XVI is an indispensable condition."

    Presumably, this means that, should Bishop Fellay recognise that Vatican II was an œcumenical council entirely approved by reigning popes, and should he recognise that the Magisterial authority of all the popes is equal, Rome could recognise that the Society has a valid claim to a state of necessity, valid if only because its clerics apparently do honestly believe there to be an emergency to justify it. Frankly, I don't see why Fellay doesn't agree to this: all Catholics must recognise the Magisterium of each pope, and Fellay is no sedevacantist. As for Vatican II, that worst of all œcumenical councils, to recognise it entirely is only to accept whatever authority the Pope declares for its differing documents. Nobody can deny the Pope the authority to interpret Scripture or œcumenical councils, unless he be a Baptist or something.

    Lastly, we have Bishop Fellay's own remarks in the Zenit article":

    "We have no problem with the Church recognising us."

    Perhaps Fellay has already signed a statement recognising the Magisterial authority of all the conciliar and post-conciliar popes, and perhaps he has also recognised that Vatican II was an œcumenical Council. In that case, Rome might soon recognise the S.S.P.X under an honest but not necessarily correct claim of supplied jurisdiction. This could come with the m.p. on subsuming the P.C.E.D. in the C.D.F. A summer treat.


  69. Anonymous11:57 PM

    Some Simple Figures for the Traditional Latin Mass in the U.S.A.:

    Sheer Numbers of Masses:

    From dioceses: 334 (up from 295 in just one year, 2007-2008)

    From the S.S.P.X: 108

    Numbers of Dioceses in which the T.L.M. has at least one every-Sunday Mass:

    From dioceses: 141 (out of 176: 80% of the total)

    From the S.S.P.X: 64 (36% of the total of 176)

    While the S.S.P.X leads the diocesan Masses in France, in the U.S.A., it's quite the reverse. Diocesan Masses outnumber Society Masses by a ratio of 3 to 1; and sees having every-Sunday Masses from the bishops' authority outnumber sees having Society every-Sunday Masses but a factor of 2 to 1.

    Most dioceses having Society Masses also have approved Masses. In fact, were Society Masses to be approved, we could add only four dioceses to our list. These are Las Vegas, Nevada; Jefferson City, Mo.; and Winona and Crookston, both in Minnesota.

    Easily 95% of American faithful now live in a see having at least one every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass offered by the bishops. Nevertheless, were the Society to be recognised, we could add 108 Masses to our 334, an increase of 32% in Masses, for a grand total of 442 Masses every Sunday. This would make the old Mass much more accessible, esp. in the more populous dioceses.



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