Rorate Caeli

Rome-SSPX - Important: Fellay speaks on Pentecost Sunday

In the course of a long sermon pronounced on Pentecost Sunday in Villepreux, France, during the pilgrimage of priests and faithful to Orléans (not Paris this year, in celebration of the 600th anniversary of the birth of St. Joan of Arc), the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, had some words on current affairs with Rome. The general context of the sermon is the birth of the Church in Pentecost and trust in Divine Providence when all seems lost, as they seemed in Joan's France, even if (and especially because) the future is unknown.

We transcribe below our translation of the portion of the sermon dealing with such matters, and apologize in advance for any mistakes. The general oral tone and sense of the words were kept as much as possible.

Another thing very similar is the lamentable, almost despairing, situation, not of a country, but of the Church, the Church, the Bride of Christ in such a situation! Who could imagine it? The demolition, the blows suffered, for, by and following the Council, they're there, right before us. Sad. Lamentable. We dare to think, "how will the Church rise again?" And, we dare say, humanly, it's over. But we don't have the right of saying "humanly" when we talk about the Church, because the Church remains, she remains, the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And, even if we see her in this lamentable state, we don't have the right to associate this lamentable state with the Church and then say, "the Church is no more". No! The Church remains, but as if disfigured, as if having generalized cancer, and we have this certitude that she will rise again. ...

When we say that Rome would like to give us a canonical  recognition, we are filled with mistrust. By seeing the way with which the authorities have treated Tradition and all that have a little bit of a traditional sentiment, or traditional leanings, when we see how they have been treated, we are filled with mistrust. And even with fear. Fear of the future, and we say, "but how will this be possibly done?" But do we have the right of feeling this way? Aren't they real, very true, feelings, and too human?...

Certainly, it is necessary to act with all prudence, certainly, by analyzing the dangers, by seeing if it is possible or not, but up to now, my dear brethren, we may say that a certain direction seems to appear, that might say that it might perhaps be possible that we be recognized, that we continue, but, up to this moment, I don't have, I myself, all the elements, one could say, the final elements, that may allow me to say, "yes or no". And thus up until today, and well that's where we are . ... That's all of it. If we have elements that are sufficient for deciding that, yes, it is possible, well then, we can reach the conclusion. And if we reach the conclusion that, no, it isn't possible, it's too dangerous, then, no, it's impossible, this cannot go on. And we'll say "no". That's it. It is not we who will try to impose upon the Good God our decision, our will. On the contrary, we try to search, by way of events, things that go on, what is His will, what does He want, the Good God? It is so surprising that we reach this point. It was not we who looked for it. Today, at least I reach this certainty, that the one who wants to recognize the Society is, in the end [bel et bien], the Pope. I see that, in Rome, everyone is not of the same mind. In Rome and elsewhere. But the Pope, yes. And then will he go until the end? Will he give in when faced with pressure, with opposition? ... Let us pray, let us continue to pray, let us ask for this light for all. That we may remain very united. Because it is true that such a decision, and it is also one of the reasons for this fear, it implies such a change of perspective... . From some parts we hear, "is that possible?" With all the elements I have in my hands, I say, "yes, it seems possible to me", but, once again, with the condition that we are left free to act. It seems clear that, if we are wanted, it is to reintroduce Tradition in the Church, if we can speak like this. Therefore not for us only, but also for all the Church, so that the whole Church may gain from it, from this magnificent thing, the Christian life.

There are certainly lots of questions, that remain open. This question of a non-entente on certain points of the Council, we are not in agreement. It is precisely this that is surprising: why then, why then offer us this path, there must well be a reason. ... the reason is this state of the Church. 

[Source: French original audio and image: DICI] A 17-minute English summary of the sermon was delivered in the end, following the much longer French sermon (comments on current affairs begin at 13:12).