SSPX Bp. Fellay: “Der Teufel ist los! The devil is at large!”

At Rorate I saw this. My emphases:

Rome-SSPX – Fellay speaks

The Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, was in Salzburg (Austria) on Thursday, in order to confirm some local faithful on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. At the end of the sermon, he had some words to say on current affairs:

“Sure you, my dear faithful, would like to know something about what is going on with Rome. It is a delicate matter. You know, this matter deals with our future. Therefore, it is not an easy matter. What will happen? Will we be received? Or won’t we?

“I know there are many fears. We have witnessed so many things! We fear, precisely, that things may go wrong. For the largest part, these fears are understandable. We won’t just take a step with our eyes closed. That is very, very clear. But at this moment, I cannot even tell you if it will happen, or not! Because, it isn’t clear yet. We need assurances that we can continue to do what we have been doing so far. And in this respect, some things aren’t clear yet. Simply not clear.

“And I can tell you: the devil is at large! [‘der Teufel ist los’] And, well, really everywhere. So, for us, one thing is clear: pray! We have to pray as never before. We have for our whole history been consecrated to the Mother of God, she will surely not abandon us, especially if we pray this much, and if we only want the will of God. Therefore, we will continue to pray, with trust, with trust in God. That’s it. Let us not be unsettled by our passions, by unjustified fears…

“I tell you, really, the devil is at large! And, well, everywhere. In the Fraternity itself; throughout the Church. There really are people who do not want us. Those are the Modernists, the Progressives. And they, too, cause a lot of pressure in order to stop the right thing from being done, the right thing, that is: justice. That once again we will be officially recognised as being Catholic. And that does, of course, not mean that we will all of a sudden accept that which has caused the Church so much damage. One has to understand this correctly. That is not what this is all about. The matter at hand is that we may be recognised the way we are. That we can continue Tradition, that we cannot only show Tradition to others, but also give it to them.

“At the moment I don’t have anything else but this. So, let us continue to pray, let us entrust these big, big intentions to the good God. He will not abandon us! Here we must have this hope! Whoever asks from our Lord His help will not be left alone by Him! In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

You can watch the whole thing in Youtube in German:


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  1. heway says:

    What does that mean…we won’t all of a sudden accept that which has caused the Church so much damage…….will it be ‘pick and choose’?
    “We may be recognised the way we are” Disobedience has caused a great deal of pain and damage. I fail to find any remorse or willingness to extend a ‘hand’ in this discourse.
    Prayer along with ‘humility’ would help…..

  2. Mary Jane says:

    I believe I’ve been to that chapel…a few years ago…my aunt and I were on a trip to Salzburg, and my grandparents asked that while we were there we try to say hello for them to a priest they know who is stationed there. We waited for the priest in that chapel.

    We ourselves went to the FSSP St. Sebastian for Mass though – right near the cemetery where Mozart’s family has a tombstone.

    Anyway just thought that was an interesting tidbit. Praying for the SSPX and their reunion with Rome!

  3. FaithfulCatechist says:

    Don’t read too much into that word “Teufel”. “Der Teufel ist los” is a pretty common figure of speech, on a par with “that’s set the cat amongst the pigeons”, or “fasten your seatbelts”. I would only take it literally if it were applied to Georgetown:-) [On the other hand, this was used by a non-native speaker of German and it was repeated.]

  4. HighMass says:

    Hopefully with GOD’S Grace, Welcome Back SSPX:)
    Pope Benedict is the Pope Of Christian Unity!

    Viva Il Papa!

  5. acroat says:

    SSPX will split. Some factions will never return to the fold.

  6. GregH says:

    Bishop Fellay was born in Sierre — one of the three official bi-lingual towns in Switzerland. I bet he probably speaks German very well.

  7. Long-Skirts says:


    Freezing dark
    Wrapped gray chapel
    In a foggy-cold.

    But warm inside
    Yellow candles spark
    In the brilliance
    Of the Monstrance bold.

    A distinctive nature
    Knelt in prayer
    A Bishop cast
    In Our Lord’s Own mold.

    He’d never admit –
    Would never dare –
    “Just pray for me.”
    He’d scold.

    But this is a man
    A true Catholic Shepherd
    An Alter Christus
    To behold.

    And he will not hunt you
    Like a devouring leopard –
    But lure
    With his Fisherman’s Gold!

  8. GregH says:

    Long Skirts…is your poem true of Bishop Williamson as well?

  9. LouiseA says:

    Bishop Fellay has a brilliant mind. Twice I have heard him (once at Rome in 2000, and again at Lourdes in 2008) effortlessly give a long sermon in 5 languages in multiple parts with no notes. Very impressive. But more impressive is his undeniable simplicity, humility, charity, faith and confidence in God and Our Lady.

  10. Jael says:

    I can totally understand the SSPXers’ fear of coming home, then being betrayed by the liberal element in the Church. (Though I think that fear is unfounded…the FSSP has been allowed to remain TLM-only. However, maybe there are other issues I don’t know about.). Anyway, about the fear, I thought and prayed a long time before reverting to Catholicism from the Orthodox Church, because current Catholic liturgy is generally such a mess, especially where I live. Even the eastern rite Catholic liturgies here are lame compared to how the Orthodox do liturgy. I can understand why the SSPX would want to be really sure they won’t have to “dumb down” the liturgy or the calendar.

  11. Long-Skirts says:

    GregH says:
    “Long Skirts…is your poem true of Bishop Williamson as well?”

    It was originally written in honor of Bishop Fellay last Feb. 1, 2012 at my son’s receiving of his Minor Orders but of course it’s about any Roman Catholic Bishop who believes and cherishes the Catholic and Apostolic

  12. leonugent2005 says:

    Bishop Fellay should keep in mind that the SSPX will have to deal with 3 or 4 popes over the next 25 years who are totally unknown to them or anyone else for that matter. All I’m sure of is that Benedict XVI has done the Lord’s work on this matter.

  13. Mark R says:

    The apostate bishop should be careful. The devil may look like a traditionalist to a Traditionalist.

  14. Legisperitus says:

    Apparently in the minds of some Catholics, Bishop Fellay has now been promoted from schismatic to apostate. Dass der Teufel los sei, kann man wohl sagen.

  15. ContraMundum says:

    As any regular reader of this post will know, I am not in awe of SSPX, but to call them “apostate” is going way, way, way too far.

  16. Tominellay says:

    …he seems to me to be speaking responsibly, soberly…

  17. AnAmericanMother says:

    OK, everybody, let’s quit carping and parsing and quibbling, and pray for Bishop Fellay.
    And for unity.

    – I’m saying this as somebody who belongs to an OF parish that has an OF (partially) in Latin once a month, and who goes occasionally to Mass at the local FSSP parish. I hold no brief for the SPPX, but I have been around long enough to know an honest man when I see one.

  18. AnAmericanMother says:

    . . . and hear one, because I still can understand German well enough to judge his speech and especially his demeanor. He gathers strength and momentum as he goes; it is not possible to extemporize in this way without notes, unless you say what you believe and believe what you say.
    As I think I said before, if I were striking a jury I’d take him without hesitation.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    sorry same note, but wanted to add I think this is a positive step as I read the articles, and indeed, the devil wants to destroy the Church from within. Let us keep praying and be hopeful.

  20. Guglielmus says:

    Checkout the other remarks of Bishop Fellay, where the Pope is quoted directly, on Rorate Caeli Blog.

  21. jflare says:

    Hmm. I’d say this is one of those times when it can be tough to keep things in context.
    His Excellency declares that many in the Church do not want SSPX in the Church. He says the Modernists and Progressives wish to bar “the right thing” from happening.

    Well, speaking as one who began life AFTER the Council, AND who has struggled on many occasions with faith for particular reasons:
    Your Excellency, if we can agree that Moderns and Progressives have inflicted grave damage on the Church, I think we can ALSO declare that our Church has suffered because Bishop Lefebvre, yourself, and many of those who’ve been involved with or supported SSPX..have not precisely been willing to admit that you, YOURSELVES, could be wrong about anything.
    For the record, I’ve been all but openly accused of not even being Catholic–on the internet–precisely because I didn’t toe the exact line that the SSPX wanted to draw in the sand. Frankly, I’ve been more than a little insulted by this, PRECISELY because this has occurred before any of the traditionalist crowd have bothered to aid in providing appropriate catechesis or training.
    And you, yourself, have been more than a little needlessly contemptuous in the past towards those who disgreed with you.

    So please, before you go about accusing others of whatever, be bothered to acknowledge the damage that you and your colleagues have inflicted.

    You are all sinners in need of penance just as much as anyone else.

  22. Jason Keener says:

    I’m sorry, but it is very tiring to see the SSPX contingent always using the word Tradition as if they are the only ones who know what Tradition is and are the only ones clinging to it. There have been a lot of dumb things done in the Church over the last 50 years, but it is also just as dumb to imply, as Bishop Fellay does, that the mainstream Church is not clinging to Tradition. I don’t understand how this persistent arrogant attitude of the SSPX towards the rest of the Church and the Holy Father is going to be conducive to bringing greater harmony and unity to the Church. Oh well. Just have to keep praying.

  23. brotherfee says:

    Intense picture of the devil, certainly reinforced the Fear of the Lord in me. How can people be so lukewarm about their salvation when the alternative is an eternity in service to the beast? Lord Jesus, please forgive me, forgive my unworthiness.

  24. ContraMundum says:

    There have been a lot of dumb things done in the Church over the last 50 years, but it is also just as dumb to imply, as Bishop Fellay does, that the mainstream Church is not clinging to Tradition.

    In general I would tend to agree, but given where he made these remarks, I’ll cut him some slack.

  25. jflare says:

    “In general I would tend to agree, but given where he made these remarks, I’ll cut him some slack.”

    When I was in 8th grade, I did not take kindly to a liberal treating me as though I had the intellect of a 4th grader. I do not appreciate His Excellency behaving as though he has a monopoly on seeking Truth.

    If His Excellency wishes to engage his colleagues, counterparts, or opponents in an open debate, he’s quite capable of making arrangements for such an event. Barring that, it would be nice if he’d quit hinting toward his desire to over-rule the Pope. Then too, if His Excellency has a beef with his brother bishops regarding the way we live the faith or catechize others, there are appropriate means of doing so. They don’t really include subtle hints made to the public that he’s the only one who cares about Truth.

    Arrogance towards others in the vintage he’s displaying has been a PRIME motivator in persuading me to avoid the traditional Mass like the plague. It also dissuaded me from even considering learning Latin for 5 years.

  26. ContraMundum says:

    Then too, if His Excellency has a beef with his brother bishops regarding the way we live the faith or catechize others, there are appropriate means of doing so.

    Not really, at least not yet. Do you really think a cardinal would consider the superior general of a not-fully-regularized order fully a “brother bishop”?

    I’m sympathetic with your frustrations with SSPX, but between the “cowboy Masses”, the priests in open revolt, and cardinal himself slapping down the one priest who actually stood up against the appropriateness of having an openly practicing homosexual as a parish officer the Church in Austria seems to be a train wreck.

  27. chantgirl says:

    jflare- please don’t think that Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo are the only one who have come in for criticism from the SSPX, and in turn, let it turn you away from a beautiful part of our Catholic heritage. Those of us who attend TLMs celebrated by priests securely within the Church have also been on the receiving end of some contempt by the SSPX hardliners for collaborating with the modernist enemy.The Extraordinary Form is far too beautiful to let a few grumps ruin it for you. Honestly, as someone who attends mostly EF masses, I am with the SSPX right up until they decide to do something completely disobedient and ordain bishops without the permission of the Pope. No matter how Traditional they are, that puts them in the same company with Chinese communists and liberal wymnpriests. While I am grateful that they helped preserve the use of the TLM during the really bad years, the end doesn’t justify the means. I’m hoping for their return into full communion, and I hope that they will apologize for this seriously disobedient act, otherwise other groups with a beef with the hierarchy may feel justified in attempting their own illicit ordinations. Praying for reunion and healing for the Church and the SSPX, the reform of the Church’s worship, and the softening of hearts.

  28. jflare says:

    ContraMundum, for all that I understand your view, I cannot agree with your conclusion.
    Bishop Fellay, being the Superior General of a formerly legitimate Society of the Church, DOES have options that you or I would not. Had he wished, at minimum, he COULD have directed various activities and members within his Society to behave in a rather less..troublesome..manner. He could’ve acted a bit less contrary himself.

    I too have been appalled by the numerous abuses inflicted on the Mass. I must remind you though, Bp Fellay and his Society have been no less determined. If they haven’t hashed the Mass in the same manner, they HAVE adamantly patently refused to offer the Novus Ordo at all; some have insisted that the Novus Ordo lacks even a valid character. SSPX has also sternly implied on many occasions that any argument based on Vatican II must be summarily dismissed, even if based on the documents of the Council themselves. Suggestions otherwise have brought about either strong hints or open accusations of eager heresy. They’ve all but refused to even discuss the merits, unless they and they alone decide the terms of engagement.

    I AM quite interested in seeing Bp Fellay and SSPX reconciled with Rome; I think we have a great need for their passion for the more traditional aspects of the faith. I DO, however, object to this attitude that only they have any knowledge of or interest in the
    Church’s teachings.

    It’s ironic really: I suspect that the SSPX (and FSSP to a great degree) thought process likely would mesh fairly well with mine; I’ve found much of the approach of the obvious Church..logically incomprehensible. Even so, I’ve been severely wary of considering their view, precisely because they seem so determined to follow the Pope’s lead only when ABSOLUTELY needed.
    If more “modern” factions of the Church have abused the Mass, neglected discipline, or flatly refused to admit traditional practice exists, SSPX have tended toward straining obedience of the faith to the opposite extreme. In particular, if Bp Fellay and his associates had chosen, they COULD have behaved more like..Benedict XVI..for the last few decades. Don’t forget, Cardinal Ratzinger had little choice but to tolerate a great deal of nonsense from various factions of the Church, arguably even some of John Paul II’s efforts, for a very long time. If SSPX had wished to strike me as being far less hypocritical, they COULD have acted with the humility and patience that our current Holy Father has demonstrated. Bp Fellay certainly could have encouraged such an approach.

    As to whether a “normalized” bishop of the Church would listen to Bp Fellay, well, given the history of the Society’s behavior, I think I’d be pretty wary, even if I DIDN’T have problems with their overall frame of mind.

    In summary, if you think the Church in many circles has become a train wreck, I’d contend that the traditional realm has serious flaws too, simply in different ways. They’ve also allowed that train wreck to become all the more flagrant, precisely because, when you’re in a state of quasi-rebellion, you can’t properly provide a counter-balance against the madness you see. Had they demonstrated even a little bit of humility before now, it’s plausible they could’ve helped stave off some of the insanity we’ve suffered.

  29. ContraMundum says:


    It’s a nasty situation, all right. I’m glad I’m not the Pope!

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