Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Fr. Kevin Cusick interviewed Bishop Fellay of the SSPX for Rorate Caeili. I reprint the portion of the interview where Bishop Fellay speaks of the reality that the SSPX will be fully reintegrated with the papacy and thus the Church.

It will be done as a "personal prelature" similar the "Opus Dei." Bishop Fellay seems to be confident that it is a done deal.

Yet, the SSPX continues to disagree with certain aspects of the documents of Vatican II as it pertains to the reform of the liturgies of the Church, religious liberity, ecumenism and interfaith dialogue as well as dialogue with the world.

While I see his point on many of these things, I personally believe that the reform of the liturgy and the adjustment of the ecclesiology of the Church as envisioned by Vatican II were very traditional, minor and in continuity with what was organic development up until Vatican II. My concern has more to do with post-Vatican II contrived reforms that went beyond what was envisioned the bad fruit of which was a loss of Catholic idenity in the areas of reverence, mystery and awe, a more Protestant spirituality and ecclesiology than Catholic.

I am not opposed to ecumenism, interfaith relationships and dialogue with the world. But post-Vatican II extremists have led rank and file Catholics to think it doesn't matter what you believe because all things are equal. The Church to them has simply become a social human construct to do good works, a sort of NGO and that's it and others do good works too and thus all are equal because all do good works, so it doesn't matter if one is Catholic or not, simply do good works and work with others who do good works and hold hands and sing kumbaya. Eternal life based upon the TRUTH, who is Jesus Christ is seen as unimportant in this post-Vatican II contrived construct.

Finally when it comes to Relgious Liberity, I completely disagree with the SSPX  as it is necessary in a free and democratic society. The USA has been, up until the Obama administration, a shining light on how to live religious liberity. What Bishop Fellay and the French SSPX seem to want is a mentality similar to what was in France before the French Revolution. America's version of the French Revolution did not denigrate or disrespect or try to suppress religion but rather supported it.

In other words, we don't want the corruption that the melding of Church and State brings to any religion. We see it currently in its hyper form in Islam.

Finally, Bishop Fellay its the nail on the head when he calls out certain Catholics in the hierarchy who are of a certain age and who dogmatically insist that every things about the reform of the liturgy, ecumenism, interfaith relations and worldly relations as well as religious liberty are dogmatic or infallible and to be accepted as such. These people of a "certain age" were the ones who in the most authoritatian pre-Vatican II way forced implementation of their "spirit" of Vatican II mentality on the Church often using shaming techniques to do so. They are still alive and of the generation of Pope Benedict (who offered a different more wholesome vision of Vatican II and what it actually requested and that of Pope Francis' allies who long for the glory days of 1970's way of implementing Vatican II). But that generation is on the way out. The newer generation has less baggage in this regard.


I asked the bishop if he had good news to share about the status of the personal prelature rumored to be on offer in Rome in order to integrate the Society fully and permanently into the life of the universal Church. The bishop described the current arrangements as “almost ready” and one of “fine tuning”, his demeanor and expression exuding confidence and serenity. When I asked if the situation was one merely for prayer he was very quick to assert that developments in the canonical proceedings had progressed beyond that point. But, he said, “the problem is not there” but with the matter of Vatican II.

“There’s still some need of clarification.”

He went on to elaborate, however, that the documents of Vatican II are at issue, a matter with which many readers are already aware, the remaining sticking points being those documents treating religious liberty, ecumenism and reform of the liturgy. The Society has been very firm and consistent over the years that these teachings are incompatible with the integral tradition of the Church.

The bishop recommended three major interviews given by Abp. Pozzo and published by the French bishops’ newspaper La Croix as a good source for an adequate summary of the current status of talks between the Society and the Holy See because “these give the position of Rome clearly”. The most recent of these was published in July.

The bishop elaborated by describing the talks on the documents of Vatican II with Rome as being in a “clarification” stage. He mentioned this as being the case in particular because of the statement by Archbishop Muller that the Society must accept Vatican II, including the portions at issue.

“The Modernists”

The bishop said that “there is a lot of pressure from those which we call the Modernists” to make things impossible when it comes to integrating the Society.

He said that “a certain mentality” is involved here and “you know it can be very difficult to change mentalities”; it is the mentality of a certain generation” and these things “take time”. He said that we must arrive at a point where one can “disagree and still be a Catholic” when it comes to the mentioned points of Vatican II at issue.

It appears Bishop Fellay is prepared to wait if necessary, biding his time though not idle in the least, for the work of the Society continues to grow and flourish. I thanked him for his ministry as bishop and for the beautiful Mass and sermon which began this first day of a new phase in the life of the society.


John Nolan said...

Dignitatis Humanae (the decree on religious liberty) was the most controversial document of the Second Vatican Council. Originally authored by the American J Courtney Murray, it was forced through at the close of the final session, despite substantial opposition, and has been debated ever since. Some (Wojtyla included) saw it as defending the rights of believers under Communist governments. Note that the greatest issue of the 1960s, the spread of atheistic communism and the threat it posed to the Church was deliberately left off the Council's agenda - so much for its much-vaunted claim to be engaging with the modern world.

If it moves beyond the accepted principle of religious toleration (which is regarded as the hallmark of a free society) and appears to advocate a sort of relativism, then the SSPX is entitled to reject it, if necessary in toto. Since the strongest supporters of DH do indeed regard it as a new departure, then the SSPX has every reason to be suspicious.

'If every single document of Vatican II were to be declared null and void tomorrow, would the Church be any worse off? Discuss.'

rcg said...

I'll raise my hand: No, the Church would be no worse off. Would it it be better off? Only insofar as the changes done with Vatican II cited as the directive would have to find another rationale. However, a lot of the changes in Litugical practice, e.g. Standing for prayers and communion, removal of communion rails, etc. the reasons were mined from alleged ancient practices as justification. So many bishops feel justified in the current state without the need for Vatican II.

Anonymous said...

Why in god's name would the SSPX trust Francis about anything. The moment they are regularized Francis will appoint someone to "oversee" them and then he will try to destroy them. But newsflash for Francis the members of the SSPX don't fool around. Let one of Francis' henchmen try to impose something nutty on them. I guarantee the locks will be changed the moment that guy sets foot out the door.

On second thought I take back what I said. I hope the SSPX is formally recognized by Rome at least someone in the Church will speak up against the evil, sorry I meant to write HERESY, coming from the Vatican these days.

Anonymous said...

The SSPX is probably the core of the small Church Benedict XVI anticipates the Catholic Church of the future. The present day tradition friendly Cardinals and Bishops in our Church -a minority among their colleagues- would feel quite comfortable within the SSPX now and vice versa.

The SSPX are not the reckless protesters of settled Catholic teachings today but the modernists prelates or theologians. Funny thing is when Cardinal Muller calls them to repent of their heterodox teachings it is he who gets rebuked or ignored. So, yes, the SSPX are well within the norms of catholic Tradition. They can critique ecumenism as practiced today, while Cardinal Kasper et al., encourage far more doctrinal deformations such as on the "right" to receive the eucharist while living in adulterous or same sex "marriages".

Rood Screen said...

I do not support the SSPX. I do not support the LCWR. I do not support Donald Trump. I do not support Hillary Clinton.

I support sacred liturgy that is both noble and simple. I support politics that is both just and merciful.

Is there a place in this era for people like me?