ASK FATHER: SSPX Bp. Fellay member of the Roman Rota

From a reader…


Did you know that [SSPX] Bp. Fellay is now on the Roman Rota? A judge of the First Instance.

No. It’s not that I didn’t know that. Rather, that claim is not accurate. Bp. Fellay would be better than many choices for such a role. However, he is not “on the Rota”.

From what I have been able to discern, it is possible that Bp. Fellay was temporarily granted the ability to deal with “more grave delicts” ad causam for a priest of the SSPX.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I have to say that I find Francis’s disregard for the rule of law, even in mercy toward the SSPX whose cause mine own heart bleeds its little blood, in line with that phrase between St. Thomas More and his son-in-law, Mr. Roper, from “A Man For All Seasons”…

    “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
    “This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?……………..Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

  2. arga says:

    Well this is curious. How is it that a group considered by the Vatican to be “schismatic” and disobedient, and which is far from being back in full communion, has a case before the Rota? This is baffling. Why is the SSPX reaching out to the Rota, and how is that the Rota is cooperating? Or perhaps I’ve badly misunderstood something here.

  3. This is baffling. Why is the SSPX reaching out to the Rota, and how is that the Rota is cooperating

    This should be pretty clear by now. The SSPX acknowledges the Roman Pontiff and the role of the Curia. There are certain things that the SSPX cannot handle on its own, and that, especially, has to do with the work of tribunals. There are three main tribunals in Rome, the Rota, the Signatura and the Apostolic Penitentiary (which deals with indulgences and internal forum matters). Congregations can have “tribunals” too, such as the CDF which deals with graver delicts. The SSPX is in union with Rome, though their status is irregular. It isn’t at all a surprise that in important matters they would reach out to competent authority, in Rome and locally, and that competent authority would work with them in important matters. After all, the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls.

  4. Hidden One says:

    Fr. Z said it implicitly, but to make it even clearer: the Vatican does not consider the SSPX to be schismatic.

    What some journalists report about the SSPX is something else entirely.

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