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The question must be braved!

It was put to Bishop Fellay during the conference he gave on the afternoon of Sunday, January 9, in Paris: “Is the Society of St. Pius X obliged to remain discreet because of the theological discussions going on?”

Bishop Fellay

As usual, Bishop Fellay answered with great honesty, recalling first of all the context of the discussions with Rome...

They are taking place under the strong hostility of a large part of the Church.

These “progressivists”, as he calls them to put it simply, do not want the Society in Rome, do not accept that the Council be discussed.  For them, these conversations—if they must take place—can have but one goal: the total recognition of the Council, without any conditions from the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.

Moreover, the very powerful influence that the world (Freemasons and other) exercises over the life of the Church by the pressure of the media, obliges all discussion to be discreet in order to remain serene and efficacious.  Besides, it is of a common accord that Rome and the Society have established and kept this rule.

Bishop Fellay calls these discussions “unheard of”!  For it is unheard of for the Supreme Magisterium (Rome) to accept to discuss the doctrine she professes.  The doctrine of the Church, because it is revealed, and because Rome is its depositary, guardian and interpreter, is not open to discussion but only to adherence.

It is therefore unheard of for Rome to accept to discuss doctrine.  The progressivists know this and “they do everything they can to sabotage.... to indispose, to provoke”.  (This is in itself an admission that the teaching of Vatican Council II that is professed today is not the clear expression of the doctrine of the Church!)

After this introduction, the prelate entered into the heart of the subject. His response is clear and he explains it:

For our part, we wanted to trywillfully and deliberatelyto create a serene climate around the discussions.  Evidently, an indirect consequence of this can be that, concerning certain themes, unrelated or related to these discussions, for the moment one might have the impression that the Society will not have spoken with as much vehemence as on other occasions.  This is not impossible!

If we keep the whole picture in mind, then we understand.  If we lose this view of the big picture, and see only a particular object, then we say: “What is the Society doing?  It is capitulating, it is becoming silent!

In fact, it is a question of tactics.  Bishop Fellay uses a military analogy to explain this way of acting in what remains a true doctrinal combat.  Just as a bombardment is done not during an assault but well ahead of time, in order not to fire on one's own troops, in the same way in this war against error, the phase of discussions “momentarily” necessitates a reaction less “vehement than on other occasions”.


With psychological finesse, Bishop Fellay explains how the passion of an offended interlocutor hinders him from considering the argument presented.  Passion blinds the intelligence. “The offended person thinks of the offense, and no longer of the argument.”

The conclusion comes on its own. Since in Rome it is a question of bringing the light of the Catholic truth to the present authorities, it is prudent not to offend them.  Hence the fact that “on certain themes, unrelated or related to these discussions, for the moment one might have the impression that the Society will not have spoken with as much vehemence as on other occasions.”

As good strategists, we must distinguish the means: conserving a calm climate for the doctrinal discussions; from the end to be reached: “the triumph of Tradition, nothing else!” “We are still expecting there to be a cross over Vatican II at the end!”

That is what the Superior of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X calls a question of tactical prudence: it is nothing other than the application of proportionate means. If one wishes to discuss, a calm climate is necessary.

This appearance of change in the Society's position is explained by the fact that it is a phase of discussions. It is momentary: “This phase of discussions is not going to last forever.”

It does not undermine the doctrinal combat, nor the goal to be reached.  It is a different means used with the same intention.  And nor is it a silence that would be as it were a tacit consent or cowardly desertion: “When things must need to be said, we still say them!” Just read the sermon he gave only this morning, in which he commented upon the Pope's announcement of inviting false religions to pray for peace:

Yes, we are deeply indignant, we vehemently protest against this repetition of the days at Assisi. Everything that we have said, everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had said at the time [of the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in 1986], we repeat in our own name…

How can people hope to be able to receive His blessings when they insult Him, when they ignore Him, when they diminish Him? It is madness! How can anyone hope for peace among men when he makes a mockery of God?...

Psalm 96:5, “All the gods of the Gentiles are devils!” They are devils. And Assisi will be full of devils! This is Revelation, this is the Faith of the Church; this is the teaching of the Church!

Now where is continuity? Now where is rupture? What a mystery!...

These discussions enter into a vaster plan. The restoration of Tradition in Rome herself. “It is a question of reversing a movement of deleterious ideas that has nailed the Church down, that has paralyzed her!... It is a whole mentality that must be changed.”

Thus are these doctrinal discussions an intermediary phase in a movement that aims as a whole for the return to Tradition. “If we lose this view of the big picture, and see only a particular object, then we say: “What is the Society doing?  It is capitulating, it is becoming silent!”

“Will we ever see an end to this crisis?”

Lucid and abandoned to the will of Providence, Bishop Fellay claims not to expect from these discussions immediate and impossible fruits, such as, for example, the Pope declaring all of Vatican II void!

With no mistake about God's Omnipotence over hearts, he recalls the habitual course of Providence that uses human means and elements to progress slowly.  And to quote, in order to illustrate this gradual improvement, the now Cardinal Ranjith: “One cannot eliminate the New Mass in one blow, several steps will be needed, it will take 20 years, a generation...”

And yet we would all like such a dream to become a reality, but we must be realistic!

“Nevertheless, we are beginning to see certain elements, it is not without fruits.”

For Bishop Fellay, we are at one step in a movement that is beginning to move towards a restoration.  “In these intermediary phases, necessarily, there is a little bit of improvement and still much less good than evil! is a better step, that does not mean that all is good!”

Two traps threaten us.  That of a partial view of this still present evil that would lead us to reject what is better, to refuse to see the step that has been taken.  This is the talk of those who wish to see only the negative element: “...the Motu Proprio [of 2007]'s all bad!”

And on the other hand, that of shouting victory while the war still goes on, and rages!  The announcement of an Assisi III illustrates perfectly that the battle is not over.

One will notice the equilibrium of the judgments, that stand on a peak between two equally dangerous abysses. Between the temptation to the apocalyptical pessimism of sedevacantism and the starry-eyed optimism of a doctrinal ceasefire, the Superior General of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X invites us to a road where the light of the Holy Ghost is more necessary than ever to discern becomingly and to stand strong.

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