What is the current position of Bishop Fellay? Has he learned the error of his ways? Has the display of overt in-your-face modernism by Pope Francis forced him to revert to the former position of the SSPX, or at least to pretend to have reverted? Here is a case-study. Near the end of 2013, Bishop Fellay sent this reply to a query from a concerned layman:
Once again, so as to preclude any complaints about “misquoting,” we have reproduce the letter in full. Please also note that it has been on the internet for a few months now, at the instigation (so we believe) of its recipient, and it contains nothing personal and much which is of public concern. Thus we are fully justified in reproducing it, and any moralising about printing other people’s letters is entirely misplaced.
Let us look a little more closely at what Bishop Fellay has to say for himself, and what he has to say to legitimate concerns about the direction of the SSPX.
“Do not listen!”
Bishop Fellay’s first piece of advice is standard and is that given by his “blind loyalist” priests all over the world “Do not listen to these outrageous accusations...” (“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”) Note carefully: he does not say “These accusations are untrue.” He just says “Don’t listen to the accusations...” - which is a way of saying “I cannot deny them because I know that at least some of them are true, but true or not I don’t want you to listen to them.”
The substance of the accusations made by the resistance is outrageous. We are, after all, talking about very serious (‘outrageous’ even) goings on. What is the substance of these accusations? The main accusation is that Bishop Fellay, the successor of Archbishop Lefebvre to has changed his doctrinal position and with it the SSPX’s doctrinal position, and that after more than forty years he has raised the white flag of surrender to modernist Rome. It is a serious accusation, but it is not unsubstantiated.
The proof can be found in an official document signed by his own hand whose contents have still never repudiated. In this document, dated 15th April 2012, Bishop Fellay declared that on behalf of all those whom he represents, he believe and accepts the following:
· Lumen Gentium 3 [III,1];
· The new Code of Canon Law[III,8];
· The conciliar “Oath of Fidelity” and “Profession of Faith” [II];
· That the new Mass was legitimately promulgated [III,7];
· That Vatican II enlightens and deepens Tradition [III,4];
· That all Vatican II, even the most modernist parts, including even its teaching on religious liberty, not only can but must be understood as being in harmony with Tradition, as being part of Tradition, and that nobody is allowed to say that Vatican II is in any way a rupture with Tradition [III,5];
· That therefore as a result, any apparent rupture between Vatican II and Tradition is to be overcome by “discussion,” “study” and “theological explanations” so as to make the pre- and post-conciliar Magisteriums “appear reconcilable” [III,6]
These are facts which anyone may check for himself. And yet still the man remains unrepentant, and to this day when asked about it his main response is to turn to whinging about how bad men have twisted his words! This is what is “outrageous”! What is the purpose for the SSPX even existing if it now accepts those things listed above?
In light of the above, much of the rest of Bishop Fellay’s letter can be seen as untruths -or even, dare I say it, lies (he must surely know that what he says is not true?) such as the following, for example:
“...We follow the line that our venerated founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, has given us.”
This is simply untrue. Do we need, yet again, to list what Archbishop Lefebvre said about the new counterfeit religion calling itself conciliar and about the need of all Catholics to separate themselves from this conciliar church if they wish to remain Catholic? Or Archbishop Lefebvre’s words about how one can accept either Vatican II’s teaching on religious liberty or what the Church had always taught about it, but not both? To better illustrate the rift between Bishop Fellay and Archbishop Lefebvre, let us take just one example, the Oath of Fidelity. Bishop Fellay has accepted it on our behalf without comment. Archbishop Lefebvre, on the other hand, said that this Oath of Fidelity amounted to “...making an official act of joining the conciliar church.”
“What it means in practice is lining up on what the bishops of the world today think. In the preamble, besides, it is clearly indicated that this third section has been added because of the spirit of the Council. It refers to the Council and the so-called Magisterium of today, which, of course, is the Magisterium of the followers of the Council.
As it stands this formula is dangerous. It demonstrates clearly the spirit of these people with whom it is impossible to come to an agreement.”
That would be the same sort of “agreement” that Bishop Fellay thought he had made by accepting this Oath of Fidelity, the same Oath of Fidelity which Archbishop Lefebvre condemned. How then can Bishop Fellay say with a straight face that he continues to “follow the line” of Archbishop Lefebvre? How can he even refer to the Archbishop as “venerable” while simultaneously trampling on his work and going contrary to his explicit warnings? Is this not the worst form of cynicism and deceit? Does the man have no conscience? How does he sleep at night!?
But there is more. Further revealing, or rather confirming of something that had shown itself already, is the following:
“...We recognise the legitimate authorities of the Church...”
Notice that there is only one Church. And that the authorities in that Church are simply “legitimate.” No distinction whatever is made. Whatever became the conciliar Church? There are only two possibilities: either the conciliar church has somehow ceased to exist these last twenty years, or it is the conciliar church which Bishop Fellay now considers “legitimate”, like the conciliar new Mass..?
“...the situation of our Society in the Church is not normal.”
Wrong! The situation in the conciliar church (i.e. not having the Faith, denying our Lord, working with the enemies of our Lord) is what is not normal. A Catholic who keeps the Faith and defends Tradition is “normal”, and all the conciliar bogus “excommunications” in the world will not change that. The normal thing is for someone who calls himself Catholic to actually act Catholic and believe Catholic. What matters more: having the Faith and fighting error, or being “regular” on paper? Who is normal?
“Following the example of Archbishop Lefebvre, we will never cut all ties with Rome. Otherwise we would simply cease to be Catholic.”
Contrary to the false impression given by this very misleading statement, the position and actions of Archbishop Lefebvre, the advice he gave to the four men chosen to be bishops and the example he left us with on the day he died was never that if we “cut all ties Rome...” “...we would simply cease to be Catholic.”(And besides, once again we must ask: which Rome? Conciliar Rome? Neo-modernist and neo-Protestant Rome?)
Like so many other examples before it, what this statement shows is that that Bishop Fellay has jettisoned Archbishop Lefebvre’s crucial distinction between neo-modernist Rome and Eternal Rome, between the conciliar church and the Catholic Church, and that he now recognises only the conciliar church and furthermore that, in effect, he believes himself to be outside of it. Once more, we see Archbishop Lefebvre’s name being taken in vain to support these false utterances.
“...our relations with Rome are somehow blocked.”
There it is again. How often have we heard that expression? Once again, If you yourself kill any agreement stone dead, can you then describe that agreement as “being blocked”? Surely the only way that this curious expression makes sense is if it implies that it is someone else, someone on the other side, who is responsible for the failure of a hoped-for agreement? What does the phrase imply if not a willingness on our part to make an agreement? Is this anything other than unrequited love?
Regarding the Resistance clergy,
“...their expulsion was because of repeated acts of disobedience and rebellion.”
Again untrue. Let us take a few case studies to illustrate the point.
Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Chazal each gave sermons against a SSPX agreement with Rome (an agreement which, according to Bishop Fellay’s spin-doctors, was never going to happen and has never been desired!)They were immediately forbidden entry to all SSPX churches in Asia and the USA, which effectively amounted to being expelled long before the official paperwork (two canonical monitions by letter) caught up with the fact. Thus also demonstrating, in effect, that Menzingen views the ‘official’ expulsion procedure as just so much window dressing, hoops which must be jumped through for the sake of form, so that everything looks in order on the outside. The effective expulsion happened in July 2012. The official expulsion did not happen until October of that same year. Work that one out!
The case of Fr. David Hewko is somewhat different. His only crime was giving a sermon which Fr. Rostand did not like. He had previously checked and been given the go ahead for the topic of the sermon, and in that sermon (which can still be listened to online) he did not give any opinion about Bishop Fellay, Menzingen, or the idea of an agreement between the SSPX and Rome. The sermon was about the Christeros fighting in Mexico in the 1920s, and his point was that although outnumbered and outgunned, they were winning until they made a compromise. And that once the compromise was made with the enemy, it proved fatal to their cause. The sermon could, of course, be read in a particular way by analogy, but it said nothing explicit. Because of it he was ordered to go to a monastery to “reflect” and not to pursue an active ministry any longer. At that point he went to join Fr. Pfeiffer. His expulsion papers to this day have never been completed, and on paper he is still a member of the SSPX.
The case of Fr. Fuchs is even less obvious. It would appear that he was placed ‘under suspicion’ in a manner of speaking, because it became known that his opinion was against any compromise with modernist Rome. For this he was increasingly treated as though there were a black mark against his name, though no formal charge was ever brought against him. He left of his own accord and joined the Resistance, at the prompting of his own conscience.
Fr. Patrick Girouard, likewise, gave a sermon where he quoted only from a book printed by Angelus Press. He quoted passages which seemed to suggest that an agreement with modernists is not a good idea (horrors!). He likewise received an unofficial black mark against his name, and in the end left of his own accord.
We all know (I think) of the case of Fr. Pinaud, tried in a kangaroo-court which was illegally constituted, which had no authority, and whose sentence was pronounced “null” and “pure theatre” by even the fervently pro-agreement Fr. Ramon Angles, who is Bishop Fellay’s own legal counsel. His only crime was correcting some spelling mistakes on a private document. Not only did he do or say nothing in public, his accusers were forced to hack his email account in order to gather what little evidence they had.
We could go on like this for a very long time. Suffice it to say that not one priest of the Resistance has committed any real crime of disobedience. If they had, we would be hearing about it constantly from the spin-doctors. The reason that Bishop Fellay and his followers are reduced to glib little phrases which in reality mean nothing, is that they have nothing else. And yet Bishop Fellay has the gall to claim that these priests themselves “are the only ones at fault”.
In view of this, Bishop Fellay’s claim that he finds it “sad and regrettable” that these disobedient priests had to be punished rings rather hollow. One suspects that Bishop Fellay is “sad” in the way that Stalin was no doubt “sad” that so many “disobedient” Russians had to be sent away to the Gulag Archipelago t die of starvation and overwork. I am sure that Stalin found it deeply “regrettable” that he had to torture, kill and ruin so many innocent lives, and I am equally sure that, like Stalin, Bishop Fellay has wept buckets over his innocent victims.
One final piece of deceit and cynicism concludes the letter:
“...our fidelity to the Church and to Archbishop Lefebvre.”
Fidelity to Archbishop Lefebvre is easy to say but not so easy to do. Bishop Fellay is supremely unfaithful to Archbishop Lefebvre. If he were open and about that fact, we could at least part company amicably. But that he can talk like this whilst acting the way he does shows that he is a liar, a cynic, a modernist and a danger to the Faith. We have taken just one little example here, one very short letter consisting of a mere four short paragraphs (plus an opening and a concluding sentence) to illustrate that his position remains unchanged and is, if anything, worse than ever. We could do this with every single utterance that comes forth from his mouth, but it should not be necessary. It is now surely beyond serious dispute: Bishop Fellay remains unchanged and unrepentant. Expect more damage and decay to follow.
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