Yet another CNS video with SSPX Bp. Fellay

In another entry I posted videos from Catholic News Service of interviews with SSPX Bp. Fellay.

Yet another!

These are “extras”, that is, short comments they did not have in other videos.

What is so amazing about these videos is that they would have been unthinkable – from CNS – even a couple years ago!

How times are changing.


Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Vincenzo says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  2. Jim of Bowie says:

    Please God let it happen soon. We need men like him in the Church.
    And ditto Vincenzo.

  3. ContraMundum says:

    Once again, the idea that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, working of Themselves and through all the Angels and Saints, and yes, us sinners in the Church too, are poor and needy, unable to accomplish their goals unless Fellay and SSPX deign to lend a hand.

    I’m not sure what religion could possibly hold that, but it’s not Catholicism.

    If that’s not what you meant, then leave off with the “the Church needs SSPX” type talk.

    (Note: I realize that is not a direct quote, but based on previous exchanges it seems to be an accurate paraphrase. All Jim of Bowie literally said was that he and at least one other person (who was not specified) need men like Fellay in the Church.)

  4. Maltese says:

    Catholic News Service sympathetically interviewing +Fellay!? What’s next, Daily Mirror?

    [Why would CNS sympathetically interview the Daily Mirror? Seriously, I am waiting for Fishwrap’s sympathetic treatment of Bp Fellay and the SSPX.]

  5. ContraMundum says:

    OK, I should not have been so grumpy in that last post. I still need my coffee.

    The Church is a hospital for sinners — sinners like Fellay and me.

    And yes, the more people are in the Church, the better, because the desire of the Church is to help all men, women, and children to Heaven. It would certainly be good for Fellay to be fully integrated into the life of the Church. It would certainly be good also for Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama, Charles Manson, and Kim Jong-un to be fully integrated into the life of the Church. In none of these cases, though, would I characterize the Church as needy.

  6. Jim of Bowie says:

    Give me a break. (expletive deleted)

  7. ContraMundum says:

    The last 30 times someone said “the Church needs SSPX” it got the same kind of objection. Did you think the 31st time would be any different?

  8. Jim of Bowie says:

    And exactly why would I care what you said 30 times? I’m entitled to my opinion.

  9. ContraMundum says:

    It wasn’t always me.

    Are you entitled to your opinion? If that opinion truly is that the Church *really* needs Fellay, or you, or me, or Fr. Z, then you are seriously in error. Does anyone truly have the right to obstinately hold to error? What would SSPX say of such a suggestion?

  10. ContraMundum,

    The position of many faithful Catholics–including me and (apparently) Father Z–is that it would be good for the Church for the SSPX to be fully integrated, because the Society and its priests can offer support for needed reform. My purely personal opinion–that of someone far from any contact whatsoever with the SSPX, and one certainly in disagreement (as I understand it) with many or most of its members regarding the new Mass–is that Pope Benedict desires the normalization of the SSPX to support his papal efforts for liturgical reform and authentic reinterpretation of Vatican II.

    Surely, neither you nor anyone else would make any such suggestion in the cases of the others you listed.

  11. acardnal says:

    Well said Henry Edwards.

    In the meanwhile, I very much appreciate these CNS videos and Bishop Fellay who is working with the Holy Father on regularizing their relationship.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    I see the joining of the SSPX to the heart of Rome as a step towards the healing of many other wounds in the Church. For example, how this group is treated may determine the future unity of the Orthodox Church. We on this side of the fence need to be the first ones to jump down and shake hands and get on with the real work at hand, saving souls for Christ.

  13. Timothy Mulligan says:

    “And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help; nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you. Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary. And such as we think to be the less honourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour; and those that are our uncomely parts, have more abundant comeliness. But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honour, That there might be no schism in the body; but the members might be mutually careful one for another.” 1 Cor. 12:21-25.

  14. ContraMundum says:

    Surely, neither you nor anyone else would make any such suggestion in the cases of the others you listed.

    If I follow you, you are saying that neither I nor anyone else would suggest that it would be good for the Church if Barack Obama were to become a faithful Catholic, or that it would be good for the Church if the Dalai Lama were to repent of the false religion he has lead, or even that it would be good for the Church if Charles Manson were to become a modern-day Dismas or imitate Alessandro Serenelli in repentance. You are wrong. Good could come of the repentance of any of those men, just as good could come of the repentance of Fellay.

    There is one and only one thing that God cannot do without our consent, and that is bring us to Heaven. As for the other benefits we get from specific converts, God could provide them in other ways, as Mordecai told Esther in Esther 4:13,14:

    He sent word to Esther again, saying: Think not that thou mayst save thy life only, because thou art in the king’s house, more than all the Jews: For if thou wilt now hold thy peace, the Jews shall be delivered by some other occasion: and thou, and thy father’s house shall perish. And who knoweth whether thou art not therefore come to the kingdom, that thou mightest be ready in such a time as this?

  15. ContraMundum says:


    I think the situation with the Orthodox will be little affected by what happens to SSPX. SSPX will be in the Roman Church; the Orthodox would not. A bigger issue for the Orthodox would be how, if at all, they would be merged with already-existing Eastern Churches in union with Rome. In the Ukraine, for example, there is a huge mess, with a Catholic Patriarch-in-all-but-name, the Patriarch of Moscow, and a Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarch. Still, the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church has already reunited with ROCOR is a sign that miracles of unity can still happen!

  16. ContraMundum: “If I follow you, you are saying that neither I nor anyone else would suggest that it would be good for the Church if Barack Obama were to become a faithful Catholic, or . . . the Dalai Lama . . . or Charles Manson . . . “

    Indeed, I do doubt that either you nor anyone else would suggest that the Church needs any of these to support “papal efforts for liturgical reform and authentic reinterpretation of Vatican II”, as I and others–ranging from blogsters to prominent churchmen (including the very most prominent, it might appear)–believe the Church needs the SSPX.

  17. ContraMundum says:

    No, I do not see how anyone from that list would be a help in liturgical reforms; their contributions would come in other areas, and may be large or small. For that matter, I see no reason whatsoever to believe that either Fellay or SSPX as a whole would be a meaningful positive influence in liturgical reforms.

    Fellay needs the Church, as you and I need the Church. Without the Church Fellay will perish forever. With or without Fellay, the Church will endure forever. With or without Fellay, the Church will continue to suffer until Christ returns.

    I’ll let Pope Benedict speak for himself, instead of taking your word on what “it might appear” to you that he believes.

  18. wmeyer says:

    I do not need the Church “needs” the SSPX, but I do believe that the Church will richer for their return to communion with Rome.

  19. wmeyer says:

    Make that: I do not think the Church needs…

  20. ContraMundum says:

    I can agree with that, wmeyer.

    However, I think any real benefit to the Church as a whole will probably take a generation to occur.

    Remember when Cardinal Mahony spoke out forcefully against the contraception mandate? What happened? Did people say, “At last! Finally Cardinal Mahony is behaving like a bishop should! How much richer the Church will be now that he is behaving responsibly!” Not so much. More like, “It’s about time.” Because he has been a bishop since 1975 and has a long record of … questionable decisions, he will probably never regain the trust of many people in his lifetime, regardless of his canonical status.

    Well, SSPX, and in particular their bishops, has a record of similar length of conflict with the Holy See. The disgrace of excommunication may be lifted, but that doesn’t automatically entitle them to, say, have one of their number appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Even if all 4 take their place with their 5000+ peers, it will take time for them to earn trust ( and not just from liberals), and their numbers mean their influence will be limited.

  21. wmeyer says:

    ContraMundum: Men may err; we are all sinners. I have heard of many good priests in the SSPX, and I pray they will become as beneficial in the Church as those of the FSSP. I can never agree with your wholesale scorn of the SSPX. I would, for example, be more inclined to support a priest of the SSPX, than to attend Fr. McBrien, or Fr. Richard Rohr, both of whom, as I see it, have been misleading the faithful for years. Certain of the bishops in the SSPX may have much for which to answer, but that is not for us to judge. I trust in Pope Benedict, and pray for him and for a speedy resolution to this matter.

  22. RichR says:

    I really am enjoying these videos. The quality is very nice, and the cinematography is very professional.

    His last quote about possibly helping the Pope combat doctrinal errors gives me goose bumps, much like the movie the Avengers: strong forces combining to fight Evil.

  23. Texas trad says:

    Why do you protest so against those here? If you do not see the hand of Providence in these negotiations between Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay, then you have not studied the history of these two. They are much closer friends than most people know. The decade of attempts to settle the marginalizing of the SSPX has much been on the mind of Pope Benedict even as Cardinal Ratzinger. Did you not read Msgr Bux’s open letter to all the priests of the SSPX and it’s bishops? “The Holy Father’s heart trembles; he awaits you anxiously because he loves you and because the Church needs you….”. “Because the Church needs you.” Please read this letter. Msgr. Bux speaks for Pope Benedict in this letter. The wording of this letter would not be as it is, if the pope had not consented directly.

  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    Texas trad,
    I agree with you — that letter from Msgr. Bux read like a love letter from a very great gentleman ardently but most courteously pressing his suit. Such a suit ought to be hard to resist –
    I continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of all involved, and that we may welcome as many of these good priests and people as possible.

  25. Maltese says:

    I am waiting for Fishwrap’s sympathetic treatment of Bp Fellay and the SSPX

    Lol! Yep, might have to wait until the end of the world for that one!

  26. Jim of Bowie says:

    Hmm. Msgr. Nicola Bux and the Holy Father. Pretty good company to be in.

  27. ContraMundum says:

    @Texas Trad

    Yes, I protest against those who insist that the Church needs SSPX and are offended to hear that SSPX needs the Church much more. The hand of Providence does not motivate such a mistake.

    Don’t misunderstand; I hold the same standard for every order. The Church does not NEED the Jesuits, or the Franciscans, or the Dominicans, or the Augustinians, or the Benedictines. Each of those orders — and many others, including a reconciled SSPX — can help the Church to prosper; none of them are essential for the Church to survive.

    So why do I take offense at someone implying that an order is superior to, or essential to, or “the last, best hope” for the Church? First, because it is false. Second, because it is a worrisome step in the direction of forming some sort of breakaway cult, like the Montanists. Third, because recent examples of such devotion — to, for instance Fr. Maciel and the Legion of Christ or to Fr. Corapi and his ministry — have been disappointing, to say the least.

  28. Ezra says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if there’s some backstory here. Did an SSPX priest kick your dog, ContraMundum?

    A wonderful video. Let’s hope something is announced sooner rather than later. Though Bishop Fellay has repeatedly told us to trust in Providence, I can’t help but get anxious about the opportunities afforded to enemies of SSPX regularisation – on both sides – by further delay.

  29. Jim of Bowie says:

    How about Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus. Did the Church NEED them?

  30. ContraMundum says:

    Never met one, and probably never will.

    No, there’s no backstory on my side. I don’t know if there’s backstory on those who insist that the Church needs SSPX and take so much offense at those who point out otherwise.

  31. ContraMundum says:

    @Jim of Bowie

    You left off Judas Iscariot.

  32. Jim of Bowie says:

    As does the Church.

  33. Could we say it this way?

    Yes, I think the Church needs the SSPX. I think the Church needs all of her members. We are all in this together.

    Yes, an emphatic yes, the SSPX needs the Church. The SSPX needs the Church more than the Church needs the SSPX.

    It’s that whole vine and branches thing.

    I hope the reconciliation comes quickly. It would be mutually beneficial.

  34. Texas trad says:


    So I sent you the quote of Pope Benedict as dictated to Msgr. Bux to Bishop Fellay (April 18, 2012) saying…”he (the pope) awaits you anxiously because he loves you and the Church needs you…” and you still say that even though the pope himself calls the SSPX to reconcile with the Vatican and that the pope says the Church needs the SSPX, you still persist is saying this is wrong though it comes from the pope? You persist in saying the Church does not need the SSPX, when the Holy Father is on record to the contrary..You can’t possibly be serious. Can you not let Pope Benedict speak for the Church? Why do you contradict the Holy Father? Please read Msgr. Bux’ letter to the SSPX.

  35. ContraMundum says:

    What, from the Litany of the Saints? From the Eucharistic prayers? Do you attend some kind of Church that lists Fellay in the Litany of the Saints, or demands that he be invoked in the Eucharistic prayers? But Judas Iscariot was one of the Apostles, every bit as surely as Marcel Lefebvre and Nestorius were both bishops.

    Matthew 10:2-4

    And the names of the twelve Apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

  36. ContraMundum says:

    Fr. Z, I could accept it this way: The Church needs SSPX to attain certain blessings that cannot be received any other way. There is nothing exceptional in this; each member of the Church, so long as he lives in a state of grace, contributes certain unique and irreplaceable blessings to the Church. This is the reason the Holy Father wants to end schisms and convert heretics and infidels; it would be to their eternal benefit, and it would bestow special blessings on the Church. No person or group, though, can hold the Church hostage, as though the Church would perish or cease to be blessed without their approval or participation.

  37. Legisperitus says:

    ContraMundum@10:28 – I don’t think anyone here is really saying more than that, except that the tradition-oriented charisms of the SSPX would be particularly useful at this moment for the Pope’s program of rebuilding Catholic identity. The Church is always the one necessary channel of grace.

  38. Texas trad says:

    Would all posters take just 2 minutes to read the letter from Msgr. Bux to all the priests and bishops of SSPX which was issued on April 20? In this letter he quotes directly Pope Benedict’s intense desire for a reconciliation. I don’t understand any Catholic who could read this and then openly oppose the Holy Father’s wish.

  39. jhayes says:

    Texas trad, I read the Bux letter back in April, but I have just read it again.

    Please note that he sentence that he sentence which you quote in part says:

    The Holy Father’s heart trembles: he awaits you anxiously because he loves you, because the Church needs you for a common profession of faith before a world that is each day more secularized and that seems to turn its back to its Creator and Savior hopelessly.

    The question is whether the SSPX is willing to make a common profession of faith with the Pope. If they are, of course they will be welcomed home wih great joy.

  40. jhayes says:

    22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

    23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

    24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

    Luke 15:22-24

  41. ContraMundum says:

    Texas Trad,

    If you are implying that the Pope is claiming that the Church unconditionally needs SSPX, you are reading more into it than is there. The promises of the Holy Spirit’s protection of the Church are not dependent on whether Fellay or any of his other fellow bishops and priests choose to reintegrate themselves into the Church or return to schism. No, the “need” which the letter references is made clear in the sentence jhayes references: it is to present a common front to an increasingly secular and hostile world.

    Not all “needs” are equal. If someone “needs” a heart transplant, that’s a pretty serious need. If in the 1st quarter a team gives up a 14-yard sack on first down and the announcer says they just “need” to pick up 7 or 8 yards on the next play, that’s not a very serious need; it’s something that would be helpful, but it will not necessarily determine who wins the game.

    The “need” of the Church for SSPX is of the second type.

    By the way, such a letter should be read bearing in mind its genre. It is not too hard to find similar statements, such as one referring to “the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness in facing these challenges” — collaboration and shared witness, that is, with the Church of England. This is almost exactly the same language as that describing the “need” for SSPX. Both are the language of ecumenical dialogue. Likewise, in the context of the Eastern Orthodox, the Holy Father said, “As evangelizers, we must offer Christ’s faithful not the image of people divided and separated by unedifying quarrels, but the image of people who are mature in faith and capable of finding a meeting-point beyond the real tensions …. Yes, the destiny of evangelisation is certainly bound up with the witness of unity given by the Church.” He says basically the same thing to the Church of England, the Eastern Orthodox, and SSPX.

  42. Texas trad says:

    Good Lord. I NEVER said unconditionally! You missed the point of Msgr. Bux’s heartfelt plea entirely. You are just looking for an ongoing debate and you won’t have one here. You second guess the pope himself and judge what he says through your own filter.

  43. ContraMundum says:

    You second guess the pope himself and judge what he says through your own filter.

    An interesting complaint from someone who presumably believes that we should understand current Church teachings in the light of Tradition.

    Regardless, no I am not just interested in an ongoing debate. I am sick of this, and frankly, completely turned off by the attitude of the SSPX fans on this blog. The Church has the TLM, with out without SSPX.

    Maybe the Pope needs SSPX. I don’t.

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