Brian Mershon posted at the site of The Remnant a story concerning the reaction of the SSPX’s Superior Bp. Bernard Fellay to the remarks published (made public) by SSPX Bp. Richard Williamson (which I examined here).
Let’s have a look with my emphases and comments.
Bishop Fellay Denies Any Knowledge of New Motu Proprio
Dubs Bishop Williamson Rumor “Gossip” and [NB:] “Unauthorized;” Doctrinal Talks Continue
by Brian Mershon
August 24, 2010—Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), one of four bishops whose excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2009, today categorically denied any knowledge of an alleged special motu proprio being planned by the Holy See for the SSPX as stated recently by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson. [SSPX Bp. v. SSPX Bishop. What is going on?]
“I’m very annoyed by the whole thing,” said Bishop Fellay. “Bishop Williamson’s statement is an unauthorized statement and is his own personal statement and not that of the Society.”
“It has never been the policy of the Society to base any kind of action or policy on gossip. I have absolutely no knowledge of any motu proprio.” [That, of course, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one, or that Williamson hasn’t heard there is one from a source he trusts. The point is that Williamson is out of step with the leadership of the SSPX.]
Earlier this week, Bishop Richard Williamson—who has allegedly been asked to refrain from publicly speaking on matters outside of faith and morals by the SSPX leadership—wrote a letter that was published initially on his website and then picked up by traditionalist internet Rorate Caeli blog. [Not only.]
In the letter, Bishop Williamson warns Catholics about the “danger” of a rumored motu proprio designed to lure the SSPX lay faithful into union with Rome and said, “…there is no way in which the neo-modernist teaching of Vatican II can be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of the true Church.”
Doctrinal Discussions Continue
Bishop Williamson also said that according to both Holy See and SSPX sources, the ongoing doctrinal discussions have allegedly “run into a brick wall.”
However, in today’s interview Bishop Fellay categorically denied this assertion. He said that the doctrinal talks with the SSPX representatives and Holy See theologians are ongoing and proceeding as planned with the next meeting scheduled in September.
“There is nothing changed,” said Bishop Fellay. “All of this is gossiping and rumors and I’ll have nothing to do with rumors and gossiping. All of this is void—empty.”
“For the time being, everything is fine and everything is going smoothly according to plan,” he said.
Bp. Williamson is out of step with the leadership of the SSPX and he is not helping the SSPX’s cause. Is this purposeful?
Most Catholics of good will hope that the SSPX will be able to join the fold formally and, once within, will be able to give their contributions to the whole Church. This wound must be healed. As I have written on more than one occasion, I look forward to the day when priests of the SSPX will be attending local diocesan deanery meetings and being elected to diocesan personal boards and presbyteral councils.
Perhaps you might offer for Bp. Williamson a prayer inspired by the psalmist: Pone, Domine, custodiam ori eius, et ostium circumstantiae labiis eius.
And, lest we forget, Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.