The Recusant

An unofficial SSPX newsletter, fighting a guerilla war for the soul of Tradition!

Bishop Fellay's intverview with "Nouvelles de France"

(with commentary, in red)

By Pierre de Bellerive le 15 fév, 2013 @ 1:08
Bishop Fellay is the superior of the SSPX founded by Archbishop Lefebvre. He looks back, for Nouvelles de France, on the attempts to reconcile the SSPX with Rome which have marked the pontificate of Benedict XVI.


« Nouvelles de France » officially describes itself as “liberal-conservative” :

« ([NDF]se revendique comme libéral-conservateur »

Monseigneur, would you appreciate if the last major act of the pontificate of Benedict XVI were to be the reintegration of the SSPX?
For a brief moment, I thought that when announcing his abdication, Benedict XVI might make a last gesture as Pope towards us. Having said that, I have difficulty in seeing how that could be possible. We shall probably have to wait for the next Pope.  I might surprise you by saying that there are more important problems for the Church than that of the SSPX and it will be, in a certain way, by solving those problems that the problem of the SSPX will be solved.


Note that +F does not refuse the terms “appreciate” and “reintegration” and does not exclude a gesture from BXVI in this sense even if he finds it difficult to see such a gesture happen. A gesture toward “reintegration” however will probably have to wait for the next Pope to make. It is implicit that +F would “appreciate” such a gesture.


Quid of ABL’s warning in 1989? :


“That is why what can look like a concession is in reality merely a manoeuvre to separate us from the largest number of faithful possible. This is the perspective in which they seem to be always giving a little more and even going very far. We must absolutely convince our faithful that it is no more than a manoeuvre, that it is dangerous to put oneself into the hands of conciliar bishops and Modernist Rome. It is the greatest danger threatening our people. If we have struggled for twenty years to avoid the conciliar errors, it was not in order, now, to put ourselves in the hands of those professing these errors.”


Or of his desire to have nothing to do with with the conciliar church? :


 “We have been suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church and from the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong. (July 29 1976, Reflections on the Suspension a divinis)


 “…we do not belong to this religion. We do not accept this new religion. We belong to the old religion, the Catholic religion, not to this universal religion as it is called today. It is no longer the Catholic religion…” (Sermon, 29 June 1976)


 “I should be very happy to be excommunicated from this Conciliar Church… It is a Church that I do not recognize. I belong to the Catholic Church. (Minute  30 July 1976)


Which was also the position of the SSPX as a whole :


We have never wished to belong to this system that calls itself the Conciliar Church. To be excommunicated by a decree of your eminence…would be the irrefutable proof that we do not. We ask for nothing better than to be declared ex communione…excluded from impious communion with infidels.” (Open Letter to Card Gantin, 6 July 1988)


+F then considers the SSPX to be “a problem for the Church”. He repeats the new official SSPX trend not to distinguish the conciliar Church and Christ’s Church.


Some say that you want Rome to recognise that the Ordinary Rite as illicit; can you clarify this point?
We are quite aware that it is very difficult to ask of the authorities a condemnation of the new mass. In reality, if what needs correcting were to be corrected, that would be a great step.

“The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules... is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.”

Open letter to confused Catholics, ABL

How can something which is intrinsically poisonous be “corrected”?  Less than two months ago, +F qualified the NO Mass as “evil”. Are we to cohabitate with evil? Is that moral?

It could be done by an instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. It’s really not that complicated. I think there are important changes that need to be made because of the grave and dangerous deficiencies that make this rite reprehensible. The Church could make those important changes without losing face or her authority. But I remark for the time being that a number of bishops oppose the legitimate demand of the Pope to correct, in the canon of the mass, the translation of “pro multis” by “for many” and not by “for all” which is a false translation found if several languages.

“…the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent…


It is evident that the Novus Ordo has no intention of presenting the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent, to which, nonetheless, the Catholic conscience is bound forever.


…A complete evaluation of all the pitfalls, the dangers, the spiritually and psychologically destructive elements contained in the document—whether in text, rubrics or instructions—would be a vast undertaking.”



How is it that The Cardinals Ottaviani an Baci, echoed by ABL and +Castro-Meyer, speak of the new mass as a “striking departure from the Catholic theology” and that even an “evaluation” of its faults would be a vast undertaking”, but  for +F it’s“really not that complicated” for that same mass to be “corrected”?

Do you wish to speak about the Second Vatican Council?
Concerning Vatican II, as for the mass, we esteem that it is necessary to clarify and correct a certain number of points that are either erroneous or lead to error. Having said that, we do not expect Rome to condemn Vatican II any time soon. But she can recall the Truth and discreetly correct the errors whilst preserving her authority. All the while, we believe that the Society is making a contribution to the Lord’s edifice by denouncing certain contentious points.


“We believe we can affirm, purely by internal and external criticism of Vatican II, i.e. by analysing the texts and studying the Council’s ins and outs, that by turning its back on tradition and breaking with the Church of the past, it is a schismatic council.(Le Figaro, August 4, 1976)


“The Church which affirms such errors is both schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is therefore not Catholic.” (July 29, 1976, Reflections on the Suspension a divinis)


“This reform, since it has issued from Liberalism and from Modernism, is entirely corrupt. It comes from heresy and results in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is thus impossible for any faithful Catholic who is aware of these things to adopt this reform, or to submit to it in any way at all. To ensure our salvation, the only attitude of fidelity to the Church and to Catholic doctrine, is a categorical refusal to accept the reform.”   (Declaration 21 nov  1974)


Yet +F sees only “a certain number of points that are either erroneous or lead to error”, that he believes can be “discreetly” corrected?


In concrete terms, you know very well that your demands will not be satisfied overnight.
Sure, but little by little they will be, I think. And there will come a moment when the situation will become acceptable and we could agree with each other, even if today that doesn’t seem to be the case.


The only basis for agreement is this:

“Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? Do you agree with Quanta Cura of Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Leo XIII, PascendiGregis of Pius X, QuasPrimas of Pius XI, Humani Generis of Pius XII? Are you in full communion with these Popes and their teachings? Do you still accept the entire Anti-Modernist Oath? Are you in favor of the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these Popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless.”(Fideliter n. 66 nov-dec 1988, pp. 12-13).


Do you still agree with this declaration, your Excellency +Fellay?

You met with Benedict XVI from the beginning of his pontificate; can you tell us what your sentiment was toward him at that time?
I can tell you that I met with a Pope who had a sincere desire to bring unity to the Church, even if we were unable to reach agreement. But believe me, I pray for him every day.


What unity? The only worthy unity is unity of faith. Benedict XVI has never ceased to express his faith and his desire for the Church to embrace the spirit of the council that “comes from heresy and leads to heresy”. Are we to applaud this “sincere desire” or are we to flee it?

What was, in your opinion, the most important act of his pontificate?
I think without doubt the most important act was the publication of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum which gives priest throughout the world the liberty to celebrate the traditional mass. He did this, it has to be said, with courage because there was opposition. Furthermore, I think this act will bear positive fruit over the long term.


“Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lexorandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lexorandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lexorandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lexcredendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.” SummorumPontificum


How can positive fruits grow from a pontifical act that officially merges the Traditional rite of Holy Mass with the poisonous Novus Ordo? Whatever the appearances of Tradition in any fruit, will there not be ever-present the dangers of harmful intoxication?

Is it not dangerous and subversive to praise unconditionally the Pope for publishing such an act without underlining the poison it retains?

Likewise it might be added is there not danger and subversion when +Fellayexpesses gratitude to the same Pope to have “…supprimerles effets des sanctions canoniquesportéescontresesévêques, à la suite des sacres de 1988” (communiqué, Menzingen 11 Feb 2013) [erroneously translated by DICI “…to do away with the canonical sanctions that had been imposed on its bishops following their consecration in 1988.”? Sanctions that we have always believed to be invalid and therefore requiring an annulment not a mere lifting of their effects?