At the site of the SSPX DICI, there is an interview with the SSPX Superior Bp. Bernard Fellay about the recently concluded General Chapter (which is a gathering in which the participants discuss policies, internal matters, etc.).
Read it all, but here are some highlights. First, Fellay said that they were able to get through their agenda and that they dealt with hard questions and clear up misunderstandings. He distanced the Society from “all those who have tried to take advantage of the situation in order to drive a wedge turning Society members against each other.”. Also, he said they will be able to communicate a response to Rome “very soon”.
Interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay on the occasion of the General Chapter (July 16, 2012)
DICI : What are your thoughts on the appointment of Archbishop Mueller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?
Bishop Fellay : It is nobody’s secret that the former bishop of Regensburg, where our seminary of Zaitzkofen is located, does not like us. After the courageous action of Benedict XVI on our behalf, in 2009, he refused to cooperate and treated us like if we were lepers! He is the one who stated that our seminary should be closed and that our students should go to the seminaries of their dioceses of origin, adding bluntly that “the four bishops of the SSPX should resign”! (cf. interview with Zeit Online, 8 May 2009). [While clearly the Prefect of the CDF has a great deal of influence in the dealings of the Congregation, it is also the role of the Prefect to snap to attention when the Roman Pontiff tells him to do something. At that point, the Prefect of any Congregation puts aside his personal positions and does what the Pope says. The role of the Prefect in the CDF is not to function so much as a theologian, but rather to make the trains run on time. Moreover, much of the work will have to be done by the newly appointed VP of the Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei“.]
For us what is more important and more alarming is his leading role at the head of the Congregation for the Faith, which must defend the Faith with the proper mission of fighting doctrinal errors and heresy. Numerous writings of Bishop Mueller on the real transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, on the dogma of Our Lady’s virginity, on the need of conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church… are questionable, to say the least! [I don’t buy that.] There is no doubt that these texts would have been in the past the object of an intervention of the Holy Office, [I wonder. And this is entirely hypothetical.] which now is the very Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presided by him.
DICI : How do you see the future of the SSPX? In the midst of its fight for the Church’s Tradition, will the SSPX keep to the same knife’s edge?
Bishop Fellay : More than ever we must maintain the knife’s edge traced by our venerated founder. [But, dear Bishop Fellay, will the SSPX do that in clear unity with the Roman Pontiff or from the margin?] It is not easy to keep, yet absolutely vital for the Church and the treasure of its Tradition. We are Catholic, we recognise the pope and the bishops, [Recognize, but don’t submit to.] but above all else we must keep intact the Faith, source of God’s grace. Therefore we must avoid all that may endanger the Faith, without trying to become a replacement for the Church, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman. Far from us the idea of establishing a parallel Church, of exercising a parallel magisterium! [Tell that to the Magisterium of Nuns!]
This was well explained by Archbishop Lefebvre more than thirty years ago: he did not wish to hand down anything else but what he himself had received from the Church of two millennia. This is what we want also, following his lead, so that we may effectively help “to restore all things in Christ.” [The motto of St. Pius X.]It is not us who will break with Rome, the Eternal Rome, [Sigh. “Eternal Rome”. There’s your “hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity” in another guise.] mistress of wisdom and truth. Nevertheless, it would be unrealistic to deny that there is a modernist and liberal influence in the Church since the Second Vatican Council and its subsequent reforms. In a word, we maintain the faith in the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and in the Church founded upon Peter, but we refuse all which contributes to the “self-demolition of the Church” acknowledged by Paul VI himself since 1968. May Our Lady, Mother of the Church, hasten the day of its authentic restoration! [May she hasten your submission so that you can raise the roof and do your work within clear unity!]
I was struck by his affirmation of the Church, and the Roman Pontiff, though his “Eternal Rome” smacks of a distinction that suggests they are in their own rupture and discontinuity with the very “Eternal Rome” they profess. You can go off the road and into the ditch on either side of the road, after all.
But what really struck me in that was yesterday’s Gospel for Mass, which all of the members of the SSPX would have heard or read.
(Jesus said,) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 7:21.
They say again and again, “Your Holiness, Your Holiness… Rome… Rome… ” but they also need to act on what they say. They need to come into clear unity with the Vicar of Christ… the one who stands in Christ’s place … vicarius… in this world in our Church.
I have been hopeful that the whole or most of the SSPX will come in. If they decide not, I hope the Holy See offers the canonical solution they have ready for those who would want to seek clear unity with Peter. The sacrifice and the transition would be very hard for the individuals, but I would welcome any of them that made the choice. Still, my prayer remains, and I ask our Lady of Mount Carmel today to help bring it about for all of them.