Skip to comments.Bishop Bernard Fellay, "No Deal with Rome in Sight"
Posted on 11/19/2004 5:42:24 PM PST by Land of the Irish
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bernard Fellay of the Priestly Fraternity of the Society of Saint Pius X, told parishioners at Saint Ignatius Retreat House in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on Sunday, November 7,2004, that no deal with Rome on the status of the Society of Saint Pius X is in sight. Bishop Fellay commented at length, both in his sermon during Holy Mass and in a two and one-half hour conference that followed a reception in his honor, that although there are some high ranking curial cardinals in Rome who are sympathetic to the cause of giving the Traditional Latin Mass a "little comer in the zoo," none want to examine the root cause of the crisis in the Church: the inroads made by Modernism in the Church's liturgy and in her teaching documents. "What we want, His Excellency said in very measured but firm tones, "is for everyone, not just for us." Bishop Fellay went on to say that an archbishop in the curia had told him, "Don't make an agreement with Rome now. The time is not right. The Pope is no longer governing the Church. We need you to stay where you are and to stand firm in defense of the Faith."
Bishop Fellay specifically pointed to the example of the Bishop Fernando Rifan of the Society of Saint John-Marie Vianney in Campos, Brazil, to indicate that the path of compromise with the Vatican as it is currently constituted leads to a loss of integrity. Bishop Fellay noted that Bishop Rifan has defended his apparent concelebration at an offering of the Novus Ordo Missae in Brazil by saying that he, Bishop Rifan, had extended his hands but did not actually mouth the words at the moment that the other bishops recited aloud the words of consecration. "Everybody gets cheated in this instance," Bishop Fellay said, noting that Bishop Rifan is giving the appearance to traditionalists of having compromised while giving the appearance of , 'unity" with the adherents of the Novus Ordo. Bishop Fellay commented quite specifically that lay women gave out Holy Communion in the hand in the presence of Bishop Rifan. "This is not the path we are going to follow," Bishop Fellay said, indicating that although he would like to think his priests would be immune to the pressures that have been exerted on priests in the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Institute of Christ the King and Campos to offer the Novus Ordo, he, Bishop Fellay, knows that human nature is what it is and that some of his priests might succumb to the pressure.
Bishop Fellay also said that he knows that Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and the President of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, was furious with him for the Society's irrefutable treatise on the errors of ecumenism. Indeed, the novelty of ecumenism was the focus of much of Bishop Fellay's sermon and conference. Bishop Fellay, who discussed at length the elements of authentic obedience, said that the Society of Saint Pius X could never accept the novelty of ecumenism that has gutted the Catholic Faith and has reaffirmed actual heretics and schismatics in their errors.
A full report of Bishop Fellay's magnificent and humor-filled conference will be carried in the November 30th issue of The Remnant. Suffice it for present purposes to note that His Excellency stressed that charity must prevail in all our dealings with our fellow Catholics so that they will see reflected in us the patience of Our Lord, who is so patient with us in the Sacrament of Penance. He reminded his listeners that we are living in the exact moment that God has known from all eternity that we would be alive and that His ineffable grace is sufficient for us to weather the storms besetting the Barque of Peter. His talk was uplifting and edifying. It will be given in other locales (Chicago, St. Louis, Post Falls) during His Excellency's American visit.
Bishop Fellay noted that Bishop Rifan has defended his apparent concelebration at an offering of the Novus Ordo Missae in Brazil by saying that he, Bishop Rifan, had extended his hands but did not actually mouth the words at the moment that the other bishops recited aloud the words of consecration i.e., "He did not inhale".
Great post, thanks.
The Novous Ordo mission is to crush the Ancient Catholic Faith.
Stand firm. Take no prisoners!
The SSPX is the living embodiment of the Church as it existed before the present debacle. It's hard not to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit behind this.
They have almost succeeded.
I'm glad to see Drolesky writing this. For the past couple years it seems that he has been dancing around the issue of the SSPX, gradually discovering Tradition for himself, but only more slowly coming to the realization that the SSPX has been there ahead of him all along. It's like climbing a new mountain and finding someone else's flag already planted there, and then climbing the next mountain and finding the same thing, and so forth. At some point shouldn't you wake up to the realization that you're not as much of a pioneer as you thought, and that maybe you should find out who is this person who has been one step ahead of you all along the way?
The Church is within YOU. As long as YOU live the True Catholic Faith will Live. Keep the laws and traditions of Pre Vatican II.
"Bishop Bernard Fellay, 'No Deal with Rome in Sight'"
Good news! Now if only the dissenting liberals would likewise break from the Church! But no, the liberals keep pretending to be Catholics, kind of like some of the SSPX'ers.
It certainly is good news. The SSPX continues to uphold the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
As far as I'm concerned, you and New Rome can continue to play hug-a-mullah, kiss-a-koran, hug-a-hindu, bow to buddha, kiss-a-koffi.
I don't lose sleep over it.
I'm Catholic, not Novus.
Thanks Bishop Fellay, I do need to be reminded of that at times.
I am not unsympathetic to the SSPX give that I attend the Traditional Mass celebrated with the indult. It is ine thing to recognize the problems with the hierarchy, icluding in Rome. It is one thing to resist error. But there is a line between resistance and disobedience that seems to be being crossed.
Are you aware of the errors of "blind obedience"?
LOI, the sad thing is most people under the age of 40-45 have never experienced real Catholicism. Those who by the grace of God get the chance understand what we have now are two different religions.
We get to choose the Catholicism of 19+ centuries or the new Catholicism of 40 years. We must choose between true obedience to God or false obedience to men promoting error.
The SSPX is not only thoroughly Catholic, but it is a scandal to fake Catholics everywhere who feel in its insistence on the faith, a repremand.
No, there is never an obligation to obey a command which does harm to souls--not even if issued by a popular pope.
"Just as it is licit to resist a Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, one who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed. It is not licit, however, to judge, punish, or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior." (St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine, doctor of the Church; De Romano Pontifice, 2,29)
Makes me wonder how a "deal" can ever be reached under these conditions.
Thanks for the ping, great article!
He reminded his listeners that we are living in the exact moment that God has known from all eternity that we would be alive and that His ineffable grace is sufficient for us to weather the storms besetting the Barque of Peter
The first 19 centuries you speak of were not all idyllic. There were many periods, if not most, when the light seemed almost to extinguish.
Name me one Saint that decided to start his own Church in order to combat the heresies. St. Athanasius? St. Catherine of Siena? Bl. Anne Catherine Emerich? Ummm, none of those.
St. Martin Luther? St. whathisname Calvin? St. Zwingli? yes!
What is needed is people like yourselves, and a million more, to face the problem from WITHIN. God, in His time, will raise another St. Athanasius, or St. Catherine, to gather the people and to counsel Popes. Don't settle for illicit, possibly non existant Sacraments.
As 'stubborn' has written in his tagline "it's all about the Mass", so has Jesus, in His mercy, given us a refuge in the indult Mass. That may be the niche in the Novus Ordo armour that will bring them down. The Tridenine Mass said by licit Priests.
I know you are all well read, knowledgeable Catholics, and have read St. Catherines "Dialogue", but may I suggest re-aquainting yourself wth it, specifically the chapters on fallen Priests, and the nature of the Church.
I would be very careful about being so cavalier in leading people away from the established Church. Those words might just have to be accounted for at some point.
I am all for 'opposing them to their face' to bring about change, but not as far as creating a man made Church. Go to the indult Mass and pray hard for the glory of Christ's Church on earth, but don't create your own Church.
I thought the Vatican's stance on the issue was that the SSPX priests were licit but their duties were "suspended".
As long as there are no changes which may lead to the re-establishment of this necessary communion, the whole Lefebvrian movement is to be held schismatic, in view of the existence of a formal declaration by the Supreme Authority on this matter ... As the Motu Proprio declares in no. 5 c) the excommunication latae sententiae for schism regards those who "adhere formally" to the said schismatic movement. Even if the question of the exact import of the notion of "formal adherence to the schism" would be a matter for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it seems to this pontifical Council that such formal adherence would have to imply two complementary elements: ... In the case of the Lefebvrian deacons and priests there seems no doubt that their ministerial activity in the ambit of the schismatic movement is a more than evident sign of the fact that the two requirements mentioned above (n.5) are met, and thus that there is a formal adherence. (Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Annex to Prot.N. 5233/96)
I don't know exactly what the legal standing of the Priests are. That is being argued back and forth, but I suspect one side is on firmer footing than the other.
I am of the belief that attending an SSPX Mass satisfies ones Sunday obligation, but the reception of Communion, or any other Sacrament, is not recognized.
Furthermore, exclusive attachment to SSPX is grounds for excommunication without notice (in sententiae).
The indult Mass I attend though is probably due in most part to the actions of the SSPX. Without them there would be no incentive for the Bishops to grant the indult. So possibly they do play a part in Jesus' master plan. But you know what they say about commiting a sin to achieve a good.
But since my Church is right across the street from an SSPX Chapel, I am convinced that people cross the street for Confession and Communion on some kind of regular basis. I hope that the avowed SSPX'rs of FR do the same thing. I think that would satisfy every requirement.
"The SSPX is the living embodiment of the Church as it existed before the present debacle . It's hard not to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit behind this."
I hope so but don't speak too soon. FSSP yielded. Campos yielded. Aulagnier yielded. Laguérie yielded. Davies yielded. Wickens yielded. The saying "put not your trust in princes or priests" I find very apt.
"But since my Church is right across the street from an SSPX Chapel, I am convinced that people cross the street for Confession and Communion on some kind of regular basis. I hope that the avowed SSPX'rs of FR do the same thing. I think that would satisfy every requirement."
Is this a joke or what? But what you say about some 'traditionalists' with a foot in each camp does not surprise me. Some people always manage to be on the winning side in any conflict.
All SSPX Sacraments are valid but technically illicit due to the Society's irregular situation with Rome. Yet this same Vatican gives permission to attend SSPX Masses. As noted above, even an archbishop in the curia identifies the SSPX as a remnant and defender of the Catholic Faith.
Sacraments such as Penance and Marriage which require jurisdiction are covered under supplied jurisdiction in Canon Law (explanation below)
Jurisdiction is ordinarily given by mandate from the Pope or diocesan Bishop, or perhaps delegated by the parish priest. The priests of the Society of Saint Pius X do not have jurisdiction in this way. Extraordinarily, however, the Church supplies jurisdiction without passing by the constituted authorities. This is foreseen in the 1983 Code of Canon Law:
· when the faithful think the priest has a jurisdiction which he does not have (canon 144) [common error]
· when there is a probable and positive doubt that the priest has jurisdiction (canon 144)
· when a priest inadvertently continues to hear confessions once his faculties have expired (canon 142, 2)
· when the penitent is in danger of death (and then even if the priest is laicised or an apostate, even though a Catholic priest is at hand) (canons 976, 1335).
Therefore, the Church, wanting the ready availability of penance, extraordinarily supplies jurisdiction in view of the needs of her children, and it is granted all the more liberally the greater their need.
Now the nature of the present crisis in the Church is such that the faithful can on good grounds feel it a moral impossibility to approach priests having ordinary jurisdiction. And so, whenever the faithful, need the graces of penance and want to receive them from priests whose judgment and advice they can trust, they can do so, even if the priests do not ordinarily have jurisdiction. Even a suspended priest can do this for the faithful who ask: for any just cause whatsoever (canon 1335). This is even more the case if a faithful Catholic can foresee his being deprived of the true sacrament of penance from priest with ordinary jurisdiction until he dies.
The extraordinary form for marriages is foreseen in canon 116,1. If the couple cannot approach their parish priest without serious inconvenience and they may consider as such his insistence on having the Novus Ordo Missae for the wedding, or their apprehensions concerning his moral teaching in marriage instructions and if they foresee these circumstances to last for at least a month, then they can marry before witnesses alone, and another priest (e.g., Society of Saint Pius X) if possible (canon 1116,2).
Even if one were to consider the above arguments as only probable, then jurisdiction would still be certainly supplied by the Church (canon 144). And so we must answer affirmatively. Traditional priests do have a jurisdiction that is neither territorial nor personal but supplied in view of the needs of the faithful.
---Most Asked Questions about the Society of Saint Pius X.
Right--they yielded--which is precisely why the Society will not. It knows the stakes.
The ones starting a new church are the modernists who reject Catholic Tradition, not the traditionalists who stick with the ancient faith. It is ridiculous to charge the very ones who cling to the faith, in the face of a destructive revolution, with starting something new. The novelties are coming out of Rome these days--and out of Rome's hand-picked bishops and cardinals, many of whom are openly apostate--not from traditionalism
These words are a sop compounding JPII's initial error. As such, the statement is, like the Pope's assumptions concerning the SSPX, a nullity. There never was a schism--though the Pope believes or pretends there was one. But the tragic fact is that Archbishop Lefebvre was obliged to consecrate without a papal mandate, not to deny the authority of Peter, but to protect the ancient faith.
Reception of Communion at an SSPX Mass is certainly permissible. It is absurd to think otherwise.
"It certainly is good news. The SSPX continues to uphold the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. As far as I'm concerned, you and New Rome can continue to play hug-a-mullah, kiss-a-koran, hug-a-hindu, bow to buddha, kiss-a-koffi. I don't lose sleep over it. I'm Catholic, not Novus."
Translation: "My little sect is the only true Church left. The contemporary popes, bishops, ecumenical council, and one billion followers are all heretics!"
How can one fulfill their Sunday obligation if, week after week, they don't receive Communion? I have never heard any church official claim that one could attend an SSPX Mass but not receive Communion.
When you are a) absolutely convinced of the righteousness of your position and b) not at all exercised about the need to be in union with the Pope, it must be hard to see any reason for a reconcilation. Indeed, the big surprise would be if a reconciliation were to take place.
The FSSP split has already taken away those who see union with Rome as an important issue and as a result, those remaining are probably never going to be too anxious to heal the rift.
Maybe Fellay wants to see who the next Pope will be. He might be pleasantly surprised. Then again, he might not. He may not even live to see the next Pope. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? The longer this drags on, the harder reconciliation becomes in my opinion.
Not according to Una Voce, Ecclesia Dei, or interpretations of Canon Law. The Mass is valid but illicit, the Priests are excommunicated. But one may attend and satisfy their Sunday obligation if the reason is only to assist at the Tridentine Mass, and not because they dissent from the Catholic Church. Sunday obligation (assisting at Mass) is not strictly the same thing as receiving Communion.
You put me in the awkward position of arguing with you guys, in which which I have absolutely no desire, because I agree with almost everything you have to say about Church teaching, and the problems in the NO Church.
But I also mistakenly thought you had everything figured out.
Also, if all SSPX Priests, Bishops, etc. are excommunicated, why are any of the Faithful allowed to assist at all? If the SSPX came into existence because of an act of disobedience, which then resulted in excommunication, how is it possible for the followers of the SSPX not to be tainted by that disobedience, and excommunicated as well?
There is a little Church very close to where I live, that I suspect is SSPX. I'm not sure, because the Church is not listed on the SSPX website. But the Church offers Mass on Sundays, and the talk is that the Church flies in a Priest every Sunday to assist at Mass. I'd like to attend, but I must confess to being a little afraid to.
SSPX sacraments are 100% valid but illict in the eyes of Rome.
Technically, only Archbishop Lefebvre and the four consecrated bishops incurred the alleged excommunications. A further argument could be made to apply the excommunications to the priests and Third Order, but it would be disproven as the primary charge has been. People who attend SSPX chapels are in no way, shape or form excommunicated.
All SSPX mission chapels should be listed on the website. The chapel might be independent. You could always call the SSPX US district headquarters in Kansas to find out if new mission chapels have been added. The demand for Society priests is high.
The priests are not excommunicated. That's where you are wrong.
He was wrong in so many areas it was difficult to pick just one.
Numbers are beside the point. So is your status, whether bishop or lowly parishioner. Only the true faith matters--and that, sadly, has not been in wide currency the past forty years.
But let me take your point one step further. What are your vaunted "contemporary popes, bishops, ecumenical council, and one billion followers", compared to all the preceding saints, popes and councils and faithful departed since apostolic times?
This New Church, after all, has been around a mere forty years. Traditional Catholicism has existed for two thousand. It is the essence of modernism, however, to think it knows better than all who went before--that politically correct moderns know better because they are more intelligent than those who went before. This is sheer arrogance, neither wisdom nor piety.
i attend the SSPX masses and also the so called legal novus order masses. When I miss the Sunday latin mass i have the longing to attend the mass , when i miss the Novus Ordo mass ...i just missed an obligation .
In my country ....the tridentine mass is never said since Vatican 11 ...i learnt and heard of latin mass through the media and the internet . The bishops has managed to suppress the Latin Mass...
Thanks to SSPX ...the latin mass is returning and the congregation is growing ....
Who says the SSPX or those who attend their Masses are "not in communion with the Pope"? This is patently absurd, especially since the Society and its followers pray for the Pope daily and reject any notion of sedevacantism. Claiming they are not in communion is based on a unilateral presupposition that the only motive Archbishop Lefebvre had for consecrating bishops without a papal mandate was to deny the Pope's authority. This is nonsense. The motive was to protect the ancient Mass from extinction and to save souls from perdition. This was wholly lawful and good--regardless of the spin placed on such an action by the Pope himself.
Bumpus ad summum
The FSSP has already split? I'm not surprised.
If you are unsure as to their status in the eyes of the Holy See, a very good response from the Ecclesia Dei commission (set up to manage or "contain" traditional Catholics) can be found at:
One quote from the letter is this:
His second question was "Is it a sin for me to attend a Pius X Mass" and we responded stating:It also states that a contribution is allowed in their collections. In other words, you are free to attend, as long as you do not adopt any "anti Rome" mentality in the process. I hope this have been of some help to you.
"2. We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin."
Then what is this thread about?
If SSPX is in communion with the Pope, then why does Fellay say "no deal in sight"?
When the excommunications were incurred, JPII made it clear that those who offered support to the excommunicated placed themselves in a serious postion.
Praying for the Pope does not constitute "communion." I pray for the temporal leaders of this world despite the fact that I disagree with almost everything they do. I am not in "communion" with them.
"Communion" has a much stronger meaning. It implies unity. Oneness.
It has, and thank you.
I currently belong to a Latin Mass Community. We have no Parish of our own. A local Church allows us to hold our Tidentine Mass there, which has been approved by our Bishop. It's a beautiful Church, St. Stanislaus, in Rochester, NY.
Renovations have recently been completed, and the Latin Mass Community contributed $21,000, which is pretty good, because we're a small group.
I'd like to attend at the other little Chapel as well for a couple of reasons. First, I'd like to see an SSPX Mass (if that's what it is) for myself, and secondly I'd like to contribute to the cause of the Latin Mass in general, and not just my own little Community, so that it may remain viable.
The Priests who currently assist at the Latin Mass are not young, and I'm not sure if younger Priests are being groomed to take their place. The Tridentine Mass hangs by a whim and a thread for that, and other reasons.
And while I do think His Holiness has failed in some of his Administrative and Governance duties, I have affection for Pope John Paul II, and in no way consider him 'illicit'.
Michael Davies was giant in the traditional world. He gave the second half of his life to the traditional cause, travelled the world, wrote 20 or 30 books, hundreds of articles. He always supported the Society of St. Pius X (remember his Apologia on Archbishop Lefebvre, who also confirmed his children). As president of Una Voce, he pretty much saved the '62 missal from being replaced by a later edition within the Indult community - something, for which, we can be eternally grateful. He did not agree with the consecrations, but still defended them from the charge of schism. Can any of us honestly hold a light up to all of this?
Davies' crime, it seems, is that is supported Catholic traditional wherever he found it, whether within the SSPX or within an "Indult" environment. I honestly believe we should do the same - the health of the Church will never be restored if we just watch from the sidelines. We also rely on good hard working priests in dioceses who are doing their best to bring their flock back to a sense of tradition. Without compromising themselves (e.g. the Campos news of late), traditional orders need to get involved and help drive out the smoke of Satan from the sanctuary of the Church. The liberals in the early 20th century didn't eventually get their own way by staying away and hoping the Church will adopt their heresy. Our Lord did say "so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves", and so must we.
Although what Bishop Fellay says is probably entirely correct, the fact is that it is regrettable that the SSPX finds itself having to stay outside - it is nothing to feel good about. The sooner the conditions are right and that an agreement is reached, then the sooner the Society can aid in the effort to drive out the smoke of Satan and restore some order. This is what Bishop Fellay is asking for - the freedom to do this, not a "reservation" or a high/low church mentality the Anglicans have that will never face the crisis. May the example of St. Athanasius always lead us in hope who never refused to return to his beloved city of Alexandria.
Finally, Bishop Fellay gave us pause for thought when he said:
His Excellency stressed that charity must prevail in all our dealings with our fellow Catholics so that they will see reflected in us the patience of Our LordAre all we trads doing the same?