Rorate Caeli

Tissier de Mallerais speaks
The details of the doctrinal talks

Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, one of the four Bishops of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), granted an interview to French weekly La Vie in Écône, Switzerland. The following excerpt includes the full interview:

[La Vie:] How does the Fraternity of Saint Pius X prepares itself in view of the theological discussions which should take place with the Vatican?

[Bishop Tissier de Mallerais:] «The Superior General of the community has recently named a commission composed of ten priests who are experts in doctrine. They have studied theology in Écône or are professors in seminaries; they will be able to present our criticisms of the [Second Vatican] Council and to answer the objections that will be made to them. The four Bishops of the Fraternity are likewise involved; they have a function of supervision.»

Will it be possible to begin these discussions as soon as Rome establishes the framework?

«No, because it will first be necessary that we determine the order in which we will approach the different issues; it is necessary to advance in a growing level of difficulty, and to solve one point after the other. We will put our wishes forward.»

What are they?

«It is necessary to begin by the liturgy; that would be the simplest [issue], because it will be possible to point out the deficiency of the new rite of priestly ordinations, for example. A deficiency which, on the other hand, when we speak of the new mass, includes much contradiction, pure and simple; because it is a new theology which is expressed, hence a new religion. Afterwards, there should come ecumenism and religious liberty; issues that are much graver, because they are linked to faith. The question of the collegiality of the bishops cannot come but in the end, because it is the most difficult one.»

When you speak of settling the arguments, do you foresee the way of compromise, which would allow your positions and Rome's to coexist?

«We will never sign compromises; the discussions will not advance unless Rome reforms its viewpoint and recognizes the errors to which the Council has brought the Church.»

While you expect the resolution of conflicts, are you open, as Bishop Fellay [the Superior General] claims to be, to the adoption of an intermediate statute for the Fraternity?

«The sine qua non condition which we consider on the status to be given to the Fraternity of Saint Pius X is the resolution of our arguments. While we expect [that], we will preserve the statute which is our current one; there is no urgency which demands it to evolve, and we will change nothing in our apostolate. Consequently, the discussions should and must take the time that is needed.»