Father, thank you again for joining us. It's been six months since the
last interview. Since then, can you tell us what's new in the American
Since last time, six months ago indeed already, the US District has
received new priests. Young priests just ordained in June. Four of
them came to strengthen our District. That's very good news and a big
help, obviously. We were also able to open 2 new priories. Chicago
and then also Nicholville,
New York. Two new places where priests reside and serve the chapel there and
also other missions around. That's obviously a strength for the
I think I can also add that now the District is calm,
despite the difficult times we went through last year. I can also
notice that the unity of the priests has been strengthened. Every
crisis has times where we unfortunately suffer and even lose some
priests and so on. I'm sure we will talk about that later. But, every
crisis is also an occasion to re-unify ourselves around the
principles, the reasons of our existence and of our life, and the
So Father, since you mentioned the new priests and the new priories,
could you remind us how many priests and priories there are now in the
There are 85 priests of the Society in the United States, helped by a
few other priests who are working with us. And, there are now 20
priories in the United States.
Speaking of the new priories, is it true that Chicago will be hosting
the new home of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais?
Yes. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais arrived in the United States in the
beginning of December. He will reside now in Chicago. It's a blessing,
of course, for the United States District to have a bishop amongst us.
He will definitely help the District through his episcopal ministry.
From there, also, he will continue his work all around the world traveling
to places for ordinations, confirmations and so on.
Well, obviously, the subject of Rome dominated the majority of our
interview in June. The topic is still in the forefront of many of our
viewers' minds. Can you tell us if there is anything new and where do
things stand now?
I don't think there's anything new, nothing that has not been
disclosed already. The situation is that after discussions
we come to a point where the conditions they want to impose on us are
not really acceptable to us. Therefore, we are at, you could say, a
starting point again. There were some changes in Rome; Msgr. Pozzo, as
the secretary of the Ecclesia
Dei Commission, has been replaced by Archbishop DiNoia. And, of
course, Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation of the Defense of
the Faith, has also been replaced by Archbishop Mueller, who is not a
friend of the Society as we know. These put definitely a new team, I
would say, in Rome, but at this point there is nothing more than that.
There is nothing new.
Father, in light of what you just told us, is it fair to say the
Society has abandoned the question of canonical regularity?
No, I would not say so. It is clear that the Society is not looking
for the recognition as such. The canonical recognition is good in
itself. What explains the actual situation of the Society today is the
crisis in the Church. For decades we have been in this situation and
that has led us to the situation we are in today.
know if the Society was really looking for recognition, or a
regularization, that would already have been done by now. The problem
today is firstly a problem of doctrine and that's where the Society
stands, has always stood before and continues to stand today, is in
the defense of the entirety of the doctrine which is at stake today.
The difficulty we have with Rome today is because they do not
recognize that difficulty and therefore each time we come to a point
of possible recognition the same problem comes back and we cannot
accept these conditions. These matters have been discussed during the
and that's why we came up with some points that are necessary for us
to move forward in the future.
Can you discuss in some detail perhaps, the six conditions that were
laid out by the General Chapter in July?
Certainly. The General Chapter laid out six conditions for a possible
canonical recognition of the Society in the future. Some are
absolutely necessary conditions or points -
sine qua non. The first one
is the ability to keep the full doctrine of the Catholic Church while,
at the same time, also the possibility of denouncing those who are
promoting errors, heresies, even, in the Church. The second condition
is the ability to use the 1962 liturgy which is also there to
safeguard Tradition in its prayer life. And, the third sine
qua non condition is a bishop; to have the assurance that the
Society will have at least have one bishop to continue its work.
three conditions which are absolutely necessary are related to the
Faith, the liturgy and the safeguard of Tradition by episcopal power.
Absolutely necessary for the survival, I would say, of Tradition. And
then there are other conditions that are
necessary, but can change with circumstances.
first one is ecclesiastical tribunals that the Society would be
granted at the first instance of these tribunals. This is necessary
today that we may judge our cases, especially after the scandal of
annulments in the last forty years. The next condition is the
exemption of the Society from the diocese. In the actual situation of
the Church, it would be impossible for Tradition to continue to grow,
and even to exist, if we didn't have that exemption.
condition is an echo of the 1988 protocol. It's to have a commission,
a pontifical commission, in Rome with the majority of members from
Tradition, and even the presidency, from Tradition so that there is a
way to be protected from the neo-modernist and neo-protestant
tendencies in the Church today. We must look at these points and
realize that they are much stronger than what Archbishop Lefebvre
signed in 1988. I think it's a sign of the prudence of Bishop Fellay
and of the General Chapter when dealing with this possible canonical