Rorate Caeli

Fellay speaks: the contacts continue

[UPDATE (June 10): Full translation of the interview, provided by DICI.] From an interview granted by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, on June 1, 2011, as he visited Gabon:

Allow me to end [this interview], Your Excellency, with two questions. The first is related to the relations between the Fraternity and Rome. Where are you in your contacts? A subsidiary question: can we expect, on a mid- term, a normalization of these relations?

The contacts continue. We are probably reaching the end of a phase of discussions. This is not yet completely clear. What will happen? What will be the outcome of this phase? This answers the second question. What does Rome foresee for us now? One should not be mistaken: we are truly within the crisis of the Church; it has certainly not ended. What is our fate in this crisis? I believe that, at some level, the Good Lord linked us with this crisis, because we work for the restoration of the Church, but this may still last for a decade, maybe two. It is necessary to have lots of courage and perseverance. This can be resolved tomorrow, this may be be resolved the day after tomorrow. All is in the hands of the Good Lord. Let us all remain simply faithful.

My second question is related to your feeling following the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

A very mixed feeling. The impression [that is given is that] of an incredible precipitation, that disregards all rules that the Church herself expressed before proceeding to these kinds of acts. The impression of imprudence. One example: when one wishes to beatify or to canonize, what was said and written by the candidate that is called "venerable" is very closely examined. Well, here, the greatest part of what was written by him is located within the secret archives of the Vatican, that have not yet been opened. We remain, therefore, uneasy. We fear seeing there a desire to cement a cause that John Paul II put in place, that he wished to continue throughout his Pontificate, of which he wished to be the apostle.
[Source: DICI]
[See also: Pozzo speaks.]


  1. "The contacts continue."

    I am surprised that whilst these contacts continue, the Holy See has not given permission for the Society to absolve sins.

  2. Anonymous5:51 PM

    The present talks were supposed to end "in the spring of 2011". According to my Almanac, they're done, then, in less than twenty days. Then it will take Rome another two years to figure out what was really said. Let's hope that some sort of joint declaration may be issued a tad sooner, before half of us die of old age and the other half, of boredom.

    Now Bishop Fellay refers to other "phases". This implies separation between the first phase and at least one subsequent phase. What could separate them? Merely time? Well, then they would not be phases but only recesses for hot Roman summers and the like. So I expect that Rome will take some juridical action after this 'phase' ends. It will likely not be a regularisation (too drastic and the S.S.P.X would refuse it) but it might be a termporary grant or recognition of faculties.

    So something is coming but don't hold your breath. This Pope has been told by his angel guardian that he has another decade or so to go. Will he pull at Leo XIII and reign in his nineties? AT this rate, he'll have to.


  3. Excellently oblique on JP II (RIP).
    The rush to beatify was indecent, to say the least.

  4. Castoro8:04 PM

    Of course, anyone who knows the Archivio Segreto Vaticano, knows that, for causes of beatification, those archives which are still closed are made available to the people working on the beatification cause.
    On the other hand, in the case of JPII, it would be impossible to examine all of the documentation pertinent even to his pontificate in the space of six years.

  5. Mickey4:52 AM

    Just a question as it relates to similarities between sspx and the orthodox church. It is said that since the sspx is not in full communion and therefore do not have juridical permission to exercise the sacrament of penance. Is it the same with the orthodox church whereby they do not have juridical permission to absolve? Is the orthodox Church's confessions invalid?

  6. Anonymous8:08 AM


    While the Holy Father has never come out and declared that SSPX confessions to be invalid, all we know for sure is that the SSPX priests do not possess ordinary jurisdiction, the comparison to the Orthodox is totally different. Because the Orthodox are in Schism, they possess their own jurisdiction outside of the Holy See. Hence, their confessions are valid, though illicit. The SSPX has never claimed ordinary jusisdiction for anything, confessions or marriages. Hence it is hard to label them schismatic. They are more like sacrament machines. The question is whether Ecclesia Supplet Extraordinary Jurisdiction to these sacrament machines. And if so, do they do it for everyone who goes to their chapel, i.e. will an 8 year old who just received holy communion have his sins forgiven because he doesn't know any better, but a 33 year old who is aware of the controvery won't have his sins forgiven because he does? It's a very sticky situation that would be BEST resolved if the Holy Father just personally granted the faculties and retroactively took care of past confessions. DISCLAIMER: Personally, I really hope they are valid as I go to SSPX, PCED fraternities, and Novus Ordo priests for confession as necessary based on schedule amongst other things. I look on the different traditional orders as branches of the military who are always complaining of one another but still fight under the same flag (or at least they should).

  7. Anonymous3:05 PM

    Just to complete my analogy: In my mind, the SSPX are the marines. They aren't pretty; and at times somewhat loaners. But they are hard core and when you need to establish a beachhead, you send in the marines first because they take the fire and get the job done. The FSSP is like the Army. They do everything pretty well and are very good with military theory, i.e thomistic theology. The Institute is like the Air Force. Very flashy, gets all the money and has the best toys, i.e 30 foot long cappa magna's and precious mitres. No one does liturgy as perfectly as the Institute.

    But just like in the military these groups constantly fight and bicker, usually it's everyone against the marines or Air Force (Chair Force they are called). The difference is that when the president calls them into action, the Four branches work together. In this case they do not. That needs to change. These polemics between the traditional orders only hurt the goal of the movement if you accept the goal is the elimination of the banal NOM. If the the president however starts changing the mission by doing something like introducing new prefaces or having the readings only done in English, then the the Mission Objective will be comprimised, and the Army and Air Force, in my analogy have serious decisions they must make.

  8. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Is the SSPX in schism? We are told they are not by the P.C.E.D. and they should know. We are informed, however, that they are not in full communion but exactly what does that mean? What exactly are they guilty of in that they profess to hold all that Holy Mother Church has held, taught and professed to be true for apostolic times? The P.C.E.D. says their masses are valid but the laity are cautioned not to attend them routinely. Other fraternities/orders are in essentially the same boat but they have full communion whereas the SSPX does not. What's the difference?

    I suppose I'll have to answer my own questions by saying the SSPX and many independents are not in "full communion" because they do not accept the abuses prevalent in the NO. What abuses? Oh, come on now, we all know about these, everything from communion-in-the-hand to altar girls to guitar masses, to clown-liturgies to modified canons to you-name-it. They are also not in "full communion" because they refuse to be told that they must not criticize the abuses, at least not publicly, and they must celebrate the NO if ordered to by the local Ordinary. They must do this even though they have qualms of conscience about the NO liturgical books and ceremonies themselves.

    In my opinion and only my opinion these doctrinal talks accomplished very little except that they gave the SSPX "faint praise" by the recognition they they have made some good points. In the final analysis it seems to me that either the SSPX is entirely Catholic and in full communion with all that Holy Mother Church has established as doctrine and dogma or, it is not. If they are, they should have faculties and jurisdiction; if they are not specific instances of doctrinal/dogmatic aberrations must be cited. And, it shouldn't take 10 or 20 years or interminable phases to sort this out.

    This situation literally cries out for creation of the Worldwide Apostolic Administration for Tradition, encompassing all traditional orders/communities including the SSPX, and it shouldn't take very long to accomplish the formalities and paperwork. But, that presupposes that both sides really want to solve the problem. Aha, there it is, the nub and nexus of the problem - what do they really want or, better still, what does God really want in these times approaching the Apocalypse?

    LtCol Paul E. Haley, USAF(Ret)

  9. Anonymous3:59 PM

    These talks will go nowhere in my opinion. Rome is still too wrapped up in ecumenism and doesn't have the humility to see that the changes they instituted have damaged the church. Even if they were made by people of good will and i seriously question this since all the doctrinal and sexual scandals, any person of any intelligence can see they failed. And i'm an FSSP attendee not an SSPXer

  10. Hope Springs Eternal1:04 AM

    Again, words of wisdom from Bishop Fellay.

  11. Anonymous3:03 PM

    As soon as Fellay tells his followers in one place that the talks are off, his minions arrange a press conference ( this time in Gabon!) for him to tell everybody that they are still on.

    This man has a following of hardly 125,000 yet he prances about like the Pope!


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