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Bishop Tissier de Mallerais - "Faith Comes Before Legality"
Interview by Jerome Bourbon - published in Rivarol, June 13, 2012
Ten years ago we interviewed Bishop Tissier de Mallerais about the publication of his thick biography of Archbishop Lefebvre published by Editions Clovis: Marcel Lefebvre. A life. The former archbishop of Dakar in 1968 granted a long interview to RIVAROL which took place two years before founding the Society of St. Pius X. On the occasion of the republication of his book The Strange theology of Benedict XVI, Hermeneutics of continuity or rupture, by Editions du Sel, Couvent de la Haye aux Bonshommes, 49240 Avrillé (19 euros), we again asked Bishop Tissier at a time when serious divisions are emerging within the Society of St. Pius X on the question of an agreement with Benedict XVI. In this interview conducted on June 1, one can see that Bishop Tissier born in 1945 and one of four bishops consecrated by the prelate of Ecône June 30, 1988, the only French citizen, is clearly opposed to strategy of rejoinder to Benedict XVI of Bishop Fellay.
RIVAROL: Much of the "reintegration" imminent Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in the "official Church". What is it exactly?
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais: "Reinstatement": the word is false. The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has never left the Church. It is at the heart of the Church. The Church is where there preaching of the true faith. The project of "formalization" of the SSPX leaves me cold. We do not need it and the Church does not need it. We are already on the pinnacle, as a sign of contradiction that attracts noble souls, which attracts many young priests despite our pariah status. We would have to put our light under a bushel by our integration into the conciliar orb. This status being proposed is a personal prelature, similar to that of Opus Dei, a statute for a state of peace. But currently we are in a state of war in the Church. This would be a contradiction to want to "regularize the war."
R. : But certain people in the Society of St. Pius X think it would still be a good thing. Are you not bothered by this "irregular" situation?
Bishop Tissier: The irregularity is not ours. It is Rome’s. A Modernist Rome. A liberal Rome who has renounced Christ the King. A Rome that was condemned by all the popes until the eve of the council. On the other hand the experience of the priestly societies that have rejoined Rome as of today is that all, one after the other, including Campos and the Good Shepherd, have been required to accept the Second Vatican Council. And we know what happened to Bishop Rifan, of Campos, who now has no objection to celebrating the New Mass and has forbid his priests to criticize the Council!
R: What do you say to those who believe that Rome has changed with Benedict XVI?
Bishop Tissier: It is true that Benedict XVI has made some gestures in favor of tradition. Mainly by stating that the traditional Mass was never abolished and secondly in 2009 by eliminating the so-called excommunication which had been declared against us after our episcopal consecration by Archbishop Lefebvre. Both positive gestures caused Benedict to be the target of bitter complaints from the episcopate. But Pope Benedict XVI, while he is the pope, remains a modernist. His speech Program of December 22, 2005 is a profession of the evolution of the truths of the faith according to the dominant ideas of each era. Despite his favorable gestures, his real intention in integrating us into the conciliar orb can only be to lead us back to Vatican II. He told it himself to Bishop Fellay in August 2005 and in a confidential memo by himself, illicitly published, has recently confirmed that.
R. : But some think that Benedict XVI coming from Catholic Bavaria, and who is, as they have put it, "of a profound piety from his youth," inspires confidence. What do you say?
Bishop Tissier: It is true that this Pope is very friendly. He is a pleasant man, polite, thoughtful, a discreet man but with a natural authority, a man of decision who has solved several problems in the Church through his personal energy, for example, the morality issues of a particular priestly institute. But he is imbued with the council. When he says that the solution of the problem of the SSPX is a major task of his pontificate, he does not see where the real problem is. He’s looking in the wrong place. He sees it in our so-called schism. But the problem is not the SSPX, the problem is Rome, neo-modernist Rome which is no longer eternal Rome, which is no longer the mistress of wisdom and truth, but has become a source of error since the Second Vatican Council and remains so today. However, the solution of the crisis can only come from Rome. After Benedict XVI.
R: So how do you solve this disagreement between the SSPX and Benedict XVI, considered scandalous by many?
Bishop Tissier: It is true that the SSPX is a "stumbling block" for those who resist the truth
(1 Peter 2: 8) and this is good for the Church. If we were "reintegrated," we would, by that act, cease being the thorn in the side of the conciliar church, cease being a living reproach to the loss of faith in Jesus Christ, in His divinity, in His kingship.
R: But, Sir, you with your two colleagues have written a letter to HE Bishop Fellay rejecting a purely practical agreement with Benedict XVI. What are the reasons for the refusal?
Bishop Tissier: The dissemination of our letter is due to an indiscretion of which we are not guilty. We reject a purely practical agreement because the doctrinal issues are paramount. Faith comes before legality. We can not accept a legalization without the problem of faith being resolved. Submitting unconditionally now to a higher authority imbued with modernism would be to expose us to having to disobey. So why bother? Archbishop Lefebvre said in 1984: "we do not place ourselves under an authority when that authority has full power to destroy us." And I think that is wisdom. I would like for us to produce a text that, waiving the diplomatic finesse, clearly affirms our faith and, as a consequence, our refusal of conciliar errors. This proclamation would have the advantage of firstly speaking the truth openly to Pope Benedict XVI who is the first to have the right to truth, and secondly to restore the unity of Traditional Catholics around a combative and unequivocal profession of faith.
R. : Some believe that the proposed status of a personal prelature would offer you a sufficient guarantee of any danger of abandoning the fight for the faith. How do you respond?
Bishop Tissier: This is incorrect. Under the proposed prelature, we would not be free to establish new priories without the permission of local bishops and furthermore, our recent foundations would need to be confirmed by those bishops. It would thus enslave us quite unnecessarily to an overall modernist episcopate.
R. : Can you clarify this issue of faith that you want to see solved first?
Bishop Tissier: Certainly. This is, as Archbishop Lefebvre said, the attempt of Vatican II to reconcile the Church with the revolution, to reconcile the doctrine of faith with liberal errors. It is Benedict XVI himself who said it in his interview with Vittorio Messori in November 1984 when saying: "the problem of the 1960s (hence that of the Council) was the acquisition of the most developed values of the two centuries of liberal culture. These are values which, although born outside of the Church, could find their place, once purified and corrected, in his worldview. And this is what was done. "This is the work of the Council: an impossible reconciliation. "What fellowship hath light with darkness?” says the Apostle, “ And what concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Cor 6:15). The emblematic manifestation of this reconciliation is the Declaration on Religious Freedom. In place of the truth of Christ and the Social Kingship of Christ over all the nations, the Council places the human person, his conscience and his liberty. This is the famous "paradigm shift" that Cardinal Colombo confessed in the 1980s. The cult of the man who makes himself God in the place of the worship of God who became man (cf. Paul VI, Address at the close of the council, December 7, 1965). They made a new religion that is not the Catholic religion. We want no compromise with this religion, no risk of corruption, not even any appearance of reconciliation, and it is this appearance that we would give with our so called "regularization". May the Heart of Mary, immaculate in her faith, keep us in the Catholic faith.
Interview by Jerome BOURBON
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