Friday, May 11, 2012
SSPX BISHOP STRIKES A CONCILIATORY NOTE
Bishop Bernard Fellay speaks to U.S.Bishops's Catholic News Service:
"The move from the Holy Father is genuine"
"There are some discrepancies in the society," Bishop Fellay told CNS. "I cannot exclude that there might be a split."
"I think that the move of the Holy Father -- because it really comes from him -- is genuine. There doesn't seem to be any trap," he said. "So we have to look into it very closely and if possible move ahead."
"The thing is not yet done," the bishop said. "We need some reasonable understanding that the proposed structure and conditions are workable. We are not going to do suicide there, that's very clear."
"Personally, I would have wished to wait for some more time to see things clearer," he said, "but once again it really appears that the Holy Father wants it to happen now."
Bishop Fellay spoke appreciatively of what he characterized as the pope's efforts to correct "progressive" deviations from Catholic teaching and tradition since Vatican II. "Very, very delicately -- he tries not to break things -- but tries also to put in some important corrections," the bishop said.
Although he stopped short of endorsing Pope Benedict's interpretation of Vatican II as essentially in continuity with the church's tradition -- a position which many in the society have vocally disputed -- Bishop Fellay spoke about the idea in strikingly sympathetic terms.
"I would hope so," he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.
"The pope says that ... the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely," the bishop said. "The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?"
Insisting that "we don't want to be aggressive, we don't want to be provocative," Bishop Fellay said the Society of St. Pius X has served as a "sign of contradiction" during a period of increasing progressive influence in the church. He also allowed for the possibility that the group would continue to play such a role even after reconciliation with Rome.
"People welcome us now, people will, and others won't," he said. "If we see some discrepancies within the society, definitely there are also (divisions) in the Catholic Church."
"But we are not alone" in working to "defend the faith," the bishop said. "It's the pope himself who does it; that's his job. And if we are called to help the Holy Father in that, so be it."