Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bishop Fellay: Rome is Divided: Some Love, Many Hate the Society's Work

In fact the Society of St. Pius says there are two parties in Rome: "One always has to ask, who will have the last word" -- explained the Society's Head in an Exclusive interview.

[] Today Bishop Bernard Fellay -- the General Superior of the Priestly Society of St. Piux X -- on the occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary Jubilee of his Society.

He did this in the context of an exclusive interview with French Pius-Portal 'La Porte Latine'.

The Society of Pius X was recognized in 1970, November 1, by the then Bishop of Freiburg in Switzerland, Msgr Francois Charriere (+1976).

A little stream of light in the darkness

In terms of Church history, the last forty years has been a "painful epoch of decadence".

In this time the Church has lost its influence on the temporal world and of Nations.

The "Small work" of the Society was a "stream of light in the midst of darkness, an oasis in the wilderness a small life boat in a great shipwreck."

Msgr Fellay explained that the expansion of the Society " because of the absence of priests" is not frantic.

In more recent time the Society has received various requests from Africa: "but it is difficult for us to respond because we do not have enough workers for the vineyard."

The General Superior also expanded upon this by saying that the Society, if it had more priests, would also expand a great deal in Asia.

As in War

Msgr Fellay was also approached by some, who in the course of the years were turned away.

He compares this experience with a war -- "as when men fall under fire to the left and the right."

For himself he has no other choice than to continue the fight: "War has an unbelievably hard side -- our time is for those who have fallen without grace."

The Bishop insists that the pain is great -- "as well for those who leave us as for us, who see them go, without the possibility of holding them back."

Many Contacts

On the other side there has been, by the information from Bishops, numerous contacts between the brotherhood and other areas of the Church:

"No moment passes that some seminarian, priest or religious doesn't come knocking."

It also happens -- even if more seldom -- even already Bishops and entire Religious orders have written, "who give us their sympathy and even still other manifestations."

The Episcopal Wall

The majority of Ecumenism-Bishops against the Society has hardly gone on unaltered this year:

"The Society has been vilified by the great majority of the Bishops and treasured by a small herd of souls who have remained true."

For Msgr Fellay it is a "beautiful illustration of the degree of the past crisis."

Rome Divided

In Rome states Bishop Fellay, "there is a certain change" in the disposition to the Society -- "which still does not have a great effect."

"It seems to me that our work is valued by some, while the others hate it."

This divided disposition to the Society makes the relationship difficult: "One always wonders who will have the last word."

The Roman Mind
The Bishop is asked about the danger that the Society is beginning to return to its original situation:

"There is without a doubt a danger that becomes enclosed in a practical autonomy," -- answered the Bishop.

"So we work to broaden our field of view and to widen the care of the faithful, to whom we speak of the Roman Church."

For Msgr Fellay it is very important to retain the Roman mind: "Our independence on Rome must not only be symbolic, rather it must become concrete."

Cautious Optimism

As far as the negotiations with Rome and the Society Msgr Fellay explains with a view on its progress that they probably not be led to a surprising break to a solution to the immediate problem:

"There are two mentalities, but the will, to enter into a discussion on theological novelty, is there."

"Even when the development is long, the fruits of it could be promising."

Msgr Fellay sees in Rome a "seemingly clear will", to correct the past situation.

As well as in doctrine, as in Morals and Discipline, there are numerous agreements in the evaluation of the past difficult crisis.

Condemnation of the Pastoral Council is put off for later

In Rome, according to Msgr Fellay's mind, there is a tendency to downplay the guilt for the past calamity on the Vatican Council.

For that reason Msgr Fellay proposed to concentrate on the unalterable teachings of the Church and to delay a direct condemnation of the Second Vatican Council for a later time.

His particular mission to priests and faithful on the even of the Fortieth Jubilee of the Society is: "Truth!"

He proceeds: "The truth is the guarantee for the future." Truth in the small is the guarantee for truth in great things.

The faithful should also not let themselves be discouraged, "if the battle must still last longer, as it now appears."

"On the contrary, be stubborn and work continue with the work to renew the Church."

Link to original


Anonymous said...

His particular mission to priests and faithful on the even of the Fortieth Jubilee of the Society is: "Truth!"
maybe he should face the truth himself

Tancred said...

Your attitude is one of many who for one reason or another, seem to me to have no sense of sympathy or love.

John said...

You don't strike me as one who's interested in loving someone, unless it's done precisely the way you insist.
The Society is well known for its rigid interpretation of everything, as well as its loathing for Vatican II.

Tancred said...


I'm sure you're pretty rigid and unloving toward those who disagree with you.

Doesn't it depend on your point of view?

John said...

Doesn't WHAT depend on your point of view?

The Society didn't become notorious by accident; they became well known for angst because they rejected Vatican II, then insisted that the legally elected pope..wasn't.

What precisely do you expect me to say?

Tancred said...


I'd expect you not to put words in people's mouths or make judgments about their characters sight unseen, or, use words like "rigid" pejoratively in relation to moral principles.

I guess I expect you to defend the act of Sodomy next.

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest that you both would benefit from the perusal of a solidly good, humorous book? The book of "The Little Flowers of Saint Francis" is excellent!

Tancred said...

Anonymous, aside from your assumption that I lack a sense of humor, I don't see that the point of your comment might be.

John said...

I must say, your comments are quite..odd.

I haven't placed any words in anyone's mouths that I can see, nor have I cast unfair aspersions on anyone's moral character.

If you're looking for me to praise the bishop, praise SSPX, or dismiss Vatican II, I regret that cannot happen yet, nor will it likely be possible soon.
As for my use of "rigid", well, I'm saddened that you dislike it so badly, but I think it's accurate. SSPX doesn't seem willing to see anything virtuous at all in any action or practice since 1965. It's pretty tragic really.

Tancred said...

You accused me of being incapable of love, that's a pretty serious accusation, and from what I can see a very strong indication of pride if not outright malice.

Go cruise somewhere else.

John said...

Based solely on a fair critique of Bishop Fellay, you accused anonymous of being incapable of sympathy or love.

If you're going to inflict a charge that serious against someone else, I expect you to be subject to the same criteria.

Tancred said...


He made a glib and ridiculous comment which showed real malice.

Maybe you let people talk like that about your friends and benefactors, but I don't.

You on the other hand, I'm guessing, are saddened and maybe a titch angry about the "rigidity" of the SSPX and the Catholic Church. In fact, I've known people in the Society for years and I could see how a latent or not so latent dissident cleric from a cesspool like, say, Minneapolis, would be upset and threatened by them, but I'm not.

Like I said, go peddle your abuse elsewhere.

John said...

I didn't see any particular malice in anonymous' comment; more a disgust with a bishop who won't get off his righteous high horse.

As for the Church's rules, I don't have a problem. I mean the Church's actual rules, not the "rules" that various dissidents have made believe were the rules.

For what it's worth, I'd love to see Bishop Fellay et al come back into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and I think John Paul II sought this too. It'd be nice to see strong voices favoring traditions making themselves heard legitimately.

As it is, Bishop Fellay et al make themselves quite questionable by their continued refusal of Vatican II and Rome's authority.

Tancred said...


I think anonymous was being deliberately snarky and couldn't care less what traditionalists do. He's probably too busy defending the Magic Circle to his friends, or something probably worse.

Moreover, using words like "saddened" and "rigid" are shibboleths and are guaranteed to bring you nothing but distrust and probably contempt from one of us.

Based on my past experience with the official Catholic clergy, I'm not surprised that people are eager to make them into villains since so many of them are criminally negligent in their duties as Priests and Shepherds and treat their more Catholic laity with contempt and contumely, so no, I'm far and away more sympathetic to those who've joined with the SSPX, particularly priests, who couldn't take the heresy and heteropraxis of their Shepherds any more.

Some people can handle that kind of abuse and cognitive dissonance, but they shouldn't have to. Catholics have the right to receive the Catholic Faith from their Pastors.

Surely, you're not going to tell me that this has happened in the last 40 years. Verily, as bad as things were in the 19th Century, nothing could prepare us for what we saw in the wake of the unfortunate Council.