Bishop Fellay, Has He Changed?

We begin today the publication of a series of texts signed by a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X . Far from any personal attack or polemic, they only relate facts to the manner of palimpsest 1 who would regain their first senses …

Christian LASSALE

“Everyone knows anyway what we think, our positions. It has not changed, everyone knows …. This does not mean that I have softened our discourse, by political calculation, so as not to compromise the possibility of an agreement - which is not the right expression, rather: a canonical recognition - Just not true. The one who is attentive and looks at everything I write and say, will be able to recognize that I am just continuing. We are always the same.”

This recent statement by Bishop Fellay, in an interview on April 21 , encourages me to delve into his past writings, in order to respond once and for all to the grumpy people who keep repeating that Bishop Fellay has lessened or even changed his position towards conciliar Rome. So I begin my research on the various official sites of the Society, because I do not like rumours. The first I came across was a document written fifteen years ago, about the priests of Bishop de Castro Mayer of the Diocese of Campos, entitled: About Campos: The Superior General’s Word - March 2, 2002.

“The coincidence of the recognition of Campos by Rome - which some think is a recognition of Tradition - and of the day Assisi - which is at the extreme opposite of Tradition - presents such a contradiction that it obliges us to take a thorough look; The systematic demolition of everything traditional in the Church since the Second Vatican Council imposes a logical coherence in the work undertaken. Before welcoming the recognition of Campos as a return from Rome to Tradition, we are obliged to ask ourselves whether this event can not also, and must not, be inserted in the post-conciliar logic: Assisi provides a convincing argument in favour of this thesis. If post-conciliar Rome is capable of bringing together so many religions, we can even say all religions, for a common religious cause, how could it not also find a small place for Tradition?”

And I remember what Bishop Fellay said to us at Le Puy Pilgrimage in April 2016 :

“[The Pope] maintains that we are Catholics. He also said: You know, I have a lot of problems with you, I’m having problems because I’m good with you, but to those [who give me problems] I say: listen, I embrace the patriarch Cyrille, do good to the Anglicans, I do good to the Protestants, I do not see why I should do no good to these Catholics.”

Well, I am convinced: Rome has not changed. We find the same pluralism denounced by Bishop Fellay in 2002:

“The line of reforms is maintained as an intangible and irreversible principle … It is the entry into pluralism under the appearance of recognition on the part of Rome, which is imposed, it is not the return of the conciliar Church to Tradition …“

All this is hardly inviting! I try to reassure myself by saying that at least the canonical solution that Rome proposes today to the Fraternity is an ideal structure, which is granted to it without compensation. Besides, Bishop Fellay very happily assures me that he has not changed, and that he “is only continuing.” I shall therefore continue reading my document relating to Campos:

“It is in vain to boast of the advantages acquired by the new canonical structure, the right to the Tridentine Mass, for example, a traditional bishop, also the fact that, on paper, nothing substantial could have been imposed: the fragile nature of the Administration on the one hand, and the stability of the Vatican reform line on the other, are sufficient arguments to predict the fall of Campos despite all the declarations of the best of intentions. Moreover, it is necessary to distinguish between a lack of the virtue of faith itself and of a defect in the public confession of faith which is necessary in certain circumstances as was so well remembered by Bishop Castro Mayer on the day of the sacraments. Now a prevarication like that of Assisi demands this public confession, which we have not heard from Campos.”

This is so true … Bishop Fellay reacted firmly to the Assisi rehearsal in 2002, in a special statement stating that “there is no better way to provoke the wrath of God” ( January 21, 2002 ) . And for the 25 years of this sinister scandal, reiterated by Benedict XVI in 2011 , I search … longer, before finding some interventions here and there, but without without finding them. And finally, in 2016? Nothing, absolutely nothing from under his pen. An unsigned comment, a few reminders of old documents (truncated, please), a softened word from the Secretary General , and to fill the gap: a video about the highlights of this scandalous meeting without any warning or critique!

But then I no longer understand: Is Bishop Fellay always the same? Has he not changed? I will continue my research.

To be continued …

A priest of the Fraternity of St. Pius X

  1. Palimpsest: parchment of ancient authors which the copyists of the Middle Ages have erased to cover it with a second text. On the psychological level, this amounts to putting in place a mechanism such that the newly memorized facts replace those which pre-existed in their memory.