Back to square one for the Lefebvrists
SSPX Bp. Fellay laments Vatican Turnabout:
“It’s like in the Game of the Goose”
Poor Bishop Bernard Fellay! The Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X had worked so hard to get his adherents all lined up to be led by the hand into the mouth of the wolf known as “full communion” with the Vatican II Sect, under “Pope” Francis no less.
To attain this goal, he had gone to great lengths:
- he made the SSPX officially acknowledge the validity of the Novus Ordo rite of episcopal consecration
- he participated in countless sessions of discussion and negotiation with the Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei Commission and gave endless conferences and sermons to prepare his lay adherents for union with Rome
- he subjected himself to the humiliation of Tim Sebastian on Conflict Zone
- he accepted the Vatican’s Personal Prelature proposal
- he happily proclaimed that “we are on the eve of important events”
- he ceremoniously dedicated an ugly-looking SSPX church in Madrid, Spain
- he disingenuously claimed that the SSPX “never wanted to be separated from Rome”
- he rejoiced that Francis “considers us Catholics” while admitting in the same breath that “doctrine is not that important to him”
- he tried to persuade his people that the recent ostensible Vatican concessions for hearing confessions and witnessing marriages were another step Rome was willing to take to fully integrate and regularize the SSPX
- he flaunted the permission he had received from Rome to “ordain priests freely”
- he pointed out that he had been given authority from the “Pope” to judge SSPX priests
- he immediately removed the seven recalcitrant deans in France when they publicly opposed his conciliatory course with the Vatican
- he gave credence to “Cardinal” Muller’s ridiculous claim that the SSPX was needed inside the Novus Ordo Sect to “fight the Modernists”
- he was very reserved in his criticism of Francis and Amoris Laetitia, offering only lackluster and minimalist opposition at a time when the Vatican’s apostasy has never been more obvious
- he approved Fr. Paul Robinson’s cockamamie defense of his program;
- he said that if the Vatican is ready to accept the SSPX “as we are”, then all that’s needed is the final stamp of approval, and the deal is done
Alas, all of this now to no avail.
As we reported on July 2, at the initiative of “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller (but approved by “Pope” Francis!), the Vatican has suddenly made a 180 degree turn: Now it is the SSPX that must accept the Vatican “as they are”. And that means: Every single SSPX priest must make the Profession of Faith of 1998, sign a declaration of acceptance of all Vatican II doctrines, and declare his acceptance not only of the validity but also of the lawfulness of the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI. In other words: The SSPX must become fully Novus Ordo, without any ifs, ands, or buts. This is what the last 16+ years of rapprochement, dialogue, and negotiation have produced. Congratulations.
On June 29, Bp. Fellay made his first public comments in response to “Cardinal” Muller’s June 27 letter informing him of the new requirements. The following is our exclusive English translation of a post that appeared on the well-informed medias-catholique.info web site.
Bishop Fellay Admits: The Discussions Between Rome and the SSPX Are “Like the Game of the Goose”
It has now been two months since Bishop Bernard Fellay had to face the deans of the District of France, who publicly rejected the liberal arrangements envisaged by Menzingen and Rome for administering the sacrament of marriage within Tradition. A public letter opposing these arrangements garnered close to 700 signatures in a few weeks. The numerous comments revealed the faithful’s exasperation in the face of the present SSPX superior’s intrigues. To attempt to save his negotiations and his authority, Bishop Fellay struck the recalcitrant priests with very harsh penalties.
Despite multiple acts of allegiance from the Swiss bishop, there is the let-down. Cardinal Müller has put an end to the negotiations. No regularization without full and entire adherence to the Second Vatican Council: each member of the SSPX will first have to make the 1988 form of the profession of faith, then, secondly, accept explicitly the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar period, and finally, thirdly, recognize not only the validity, but also the legitimacy of the new mass and sacraments of Vatican II.
This past June 29th, speaking after the ordination luncheon in Ecône, Bishop Fellay spoke of the “huge blow” and made known his disappointment: “It is like in the Game of the Goose. We were almost at the end and then we landed on the ‘go back to start’ square. Everything has fallen to the ground, it is necessary to begin again from square one.”
All of that fuss for what? The goose ought not to trust foxes. The backlash of Cardinal Müller, who intervenes after long years of more or less secret negotiations, speaks volumes about Bishop Fellay’s compromises during this goose game…
Bishop Fellay no longer has the trust of many of his priests or of many of the faithful. Henceforth he is snubbed by Rome. His term of office will expire next year…
[Source: Michel Lefranc, “Les pourparlers entre Rome et la FSSPX, « c’est comme dans le jeu de l’oie » avoue Mgr Fellay”, medias-catholique.info, July 5, 2017; our translation; some formatting changed.]
And thus the SSPX’s wild-goose chase has come to an abrupt halt, and they will once again have to start from scratch.
But why is Bp. Fellay surprised? That the “Holy See” should require anyone who wants to be in communion with them to accept the same faith, the same doctrines, and the same liturgical rites and disciplinary laws, stands to reason. It does, at least, for a Catholic. So, this latest episode once again exposes Lefebvrism for the absurd, non-Catholic, and dangerous travesty of traditional Catholic theology it really is.
In 1896, Pope Leo XIII reminded his bishops that “Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic…. You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held” (Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 13). Apparently this isn’t taught in Lefebvrist seminaries.
In 1873, Pope Pius IX wrote an encyclical letter that might as well have been written specifically for the SSPX because it fits them to a T:
…it has never been possible to prove oneself a Catholic by affirming those statements of the faith which one accepts and keeping silence on those doctrines which one decides not to profess.
…For any man to be able to prove his Catholic faith and affirm that he is truly a Catholic, he must be able to convince the Apostolic See of this. For this See is predominant and with it the faithful of the whole Church should agree. And the man who abandons the See of Peter can only be falsely confident that he is in the Church.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quartus Supra, nn. 7-8)
Unfortunately, this encyclical of Pope Pius IX did not make it into the catalogue of the SSPX’s official U.S. publisher, Angelus Press.
We have a memo for the SSPX leadership: Figure it out already. Your approach to the Vatican II crisis is flawed at its core because it is based on premises that are theologically absurd and anti-Catholic. You believe that the Holy See can defect and that it is up to you then to retain the True Faith and, when the opportune time comes, convert the Holy See to Catholicism again. The whole project is absurd and most certainly not reconcilable with Catholic teaching, as we demonstrate here. As Pope Pius IX said, “every schism fabricates a heresy for itself to justify its withdrawal from the Church” (Encyclical Quartus Supra, n. 13). Isnt’t that the truth!
The only possible way to reconcile what has happened since 1958 with Catholic doctrine is to hold, as we do here at Novus Ordo Watch, that the ostensible authorities in Rome are not valid authorities of the Roman Catholic Church but anti-Catholics who masquerade as Catholics. This is part of the Great Apostasy that God has allowed and predicted in preparation for the Antichrist, the arrival of the “operation of error … that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity” (2 Thess 2:10-11), featuring “false apostles [that] are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13), in order “to deceive (if possible) even the elect” (Mt 24:24).
Every solution begins with the correct diagnosis. Alas, too many find the correct diagnosis so terrifying that they are willing to affirm anything to escape it. But Heaven is not for wimps (cf. Mt 11:12; 1 Cor 6:10) — only “he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved” (Mt 10:22).
No, there is no reason to despair. God has put you into this period of time rather than any other because it is best for your soul. His grace abounds even today, perhaps more so than ever before. But we have to merit it through prayer and sacrifice.
It is important that we understand that the Great Apostasy we are witnessning today is not a victory of the devil over the Church but merely the fulfillment of prophecy. Just as our Lord seemed to be defeated on the Cross when this was in fact His greatest triumph, so too the true Catholic Church is victorious over the world and the devil even at this very hour:
- The Papacy and Sedevacantism: Have the Gates of Hell Prevailed?
- The Pope and the Antichrist: The Great Apostasy Foretold
- The Papacy and the Mystical Passion of the Church
- Fr. Berry on the Persecution of the Church in the Last Days (Part 1)
- Fr. Berry on the Persecution of the Church in the Last Days (Part 2)
- NOW WHAT?! How to be a Catholic in these difficult Times
So “be not faithless, but believing” (Jn 20:27).