Calls for Resignation
“We Cannot Accept It Any Longer”
French SSPX Families Demand Resignation of Superior General Bp. Fellay
Now there is absolutely no denying it: The Society of Saint Pius X is in great turmoil.
On Feb. 15, 2014, the French blog Avec L’Immaculée (“With the Immaculate”) published a lengthy letter written by a group of French SSPX traditionalists who call themselves the Familles Catholiques Fidèles, or “Faithful Catholic Families.” The letter is addressed to the current Superior General of the SSPX, Bp. Bernard Fellay, who has been in his position since 1994.
In this open letter, an unidentified number of “faithful Catholic families” petition Bp. Fellay respectfully yet quite firmly to stop any and all attempts of reaching a canonical-theological agreement with the Vatican. Citing the Novus Ordo 1983 Code of Canon Law (can. 212) to the effect that they have a right in the [New] Church to bring grievances to their clerics and share them with other faithful, the writers of this letter accuse His Excellency of no longer being faithful to the original intent and mission of the Society of St. Pius X, founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (+1991) in Fribourg, Switzerland.
The authors reprimand Bp. Fellay for his attempts to reach an agreement with those “same Vatican authorities who persecute us and try to lead us into a different religion.” They clearly express their unwillingness to put up with the situation any further: “We cannot accept it any longer,” they exclaim, and issue a stern rebuke to the Swiss Superior General: “The SSPX isn’t yours!”
They then proceed to remind Bp. Fellay that it is they who are generously donating their time and money to the priestly fraternity of which he is the head; it is they who support the priories, chapels, schools, and their upkeep; it is they who prepare their children to discern the very religious vocations which, so their accusation, Bp. Fellay then “manipulates.” Clearly, these souls have had enough of the leadership of Bp. Fellay, whose term does not expire until 2018.
“Stop disposing of the legacy of Abp. Lefebvre as if you were the only one concerned!” the families sternly plead. They furthermore accuse His Excellency of attempting to divide the SSPX faithful in order to bring about union with Rome, “a Vatican [that is] in disarray,” as the authors of the letter call it. “We do not want to see our priests weeping any more.”
The central intent of this public petition to Bp. Fellay, however, goes farther than merely reaching a change in course among the SSPX leadership: The authors demand that the Superior General resign his office and step down!
We must say it now, even if we find it difficult: We do not trust you any more, nor, especially, your advisors, Your Excellency. We no longer want you to control the Chariot of Tradition amidst the turmoil of our disordered world.
Though they are certainly not mincing words, the authors also stress that it is not their intent to be disrespectful, nor do they wish to be revolutionaries. They are simply concerned Catholics, they say of themselves, who do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past; they do not want to be silent when they ought to speak. They are fearing for the integrity of their spiritual inheritance and want to take action in the face of a perceived threat of losing everything.
The “Faithful Catholic Families” of France proceed to criticize Bp. Fellay over his alleged bad treatment of clergy in the SSPX who disagree with his leadership, and they call to memory the many priests who have already left to join the so-called “Resistance” (that’s the so-called “SSPX-Marian Corps” or “SSPX of the Strict Observance”, with which Bp. Richard Williamson is affiliated) and others who, though they remain within the Society, are pondering whether they too should depart.
The authors of the open letter leave absolutely no doubt that no matter what happens, they will not follow Bp. Fellay into an agreement with the Vatican, which, so they claim, Fr. Niklaus Pfluger (Fellay’s First Assistant) has hinted at is again a possibility, “now that Rome no longer requires a doctrinal agreement as a precondition” for union.
The Open Letter to Bp. Fellay is available online at this point in only two languages:
- Faithful Catholic Families’ Open Letter to Bp. Bernard Fellay (French original)
- Faithful Catholic Families’ Open Letter to Bp. Bernard Fellay (German)
We will add a link to an English translation once it becomes available.
As a reminder: We provide this information only because it is of great importance to what is happening in the Novus Ordo Church and because it impacts in one way or another the cause of True Catholicism. We do not endorse the Society of St. Pius X or its false “resistance” theology; not the original Lefebvre SSPX, nor the current Fellay SSPX, nor the SSPX-Marian Corps of Bp. Williamson and the “Resistance”.
Whither the SSPX under Bp. Fellay?
A lot of commentary could be written on the contents of this public petition to Bp. Fellay, but this will not be done here. Rather, in the hopefully not-too-distant future, we will provide a separate and comprehensive analysis of the crisis within the Society of St. Pius X and its relations with the Vatican II Church. This commentary will explain exactly why the theological position of the SSPX is condemned tofail either way, and why what we are seeing now is merely the necessary outcome of the impossible “recognize-but-resist” position of the Lefebvrians.