|An extract from Bishop Fellay’s conference given on November 10, 2004 in Kansas City, MO regarding Bishop Rifan:|
I just would like to give you some steps on one person who is the head of Campos. Before he was consecrated a bishop, Fr. Rifan, just a few months before, said in Rome to the Vicar General —who repeated it to Fr. Schmidberger, so we have it from a direct source —said, "I have no problem with celebrating the New Mass, but I don’t do it because it would cause trouble to the faithful." So when Rome is consecrating Rifan a bishop, they know already that he has no objection to celebrating the New Mass. I think it is important to see that. That is the first step.
I may say that there is even a step before. Before that, he goes with the diocesan Corpus Christi procession, and he says to those who oppose it, "If we would not have done that, we would have jeopardized the agreement with Rome." It shows you the direction.
The next step will be the jubilee of the diocese of Campos. For that occasion, of course, the local bishop is having a great ceremony, and Rome invites Bishop Rifan to go to that New Mass, to be there. And Bishop Rifan goes there. He does not participate in the sense of concelebrating the Mass, but he is there present with all his ecclesiastical ornaments, with a surplice and so on. He is really there at this New Mass.
The next step will be the Requiem [i.e., the Novus Ordo "Resurrection"] Mass for the bishop who had kicked them out, Bishop Navarro. At that Requiem Mass, you have Bishop Rifan there, and also the nuncio. The nuncio invites Bishop Rifan to go to Communion, and Bishop Rifan receives Communion at this New Mass.
The next step will be the Mass of Thanksgiving of the new cardinal of Sao Paolo. This time, Bishop Rifan is there again present at that New Mass; he is in the choir. He is not in his surplice; nevertheless, at the time of consecration, with the other priests and bishops celebrating, he raises his hands and says the words of consecration. A seminarian saw him.
And now, the 8th of September this year, we have photos and even a video of the Mass concelebrated by Bishop Rifan on the occasion of the centennial of the coronation of Our Lady of the Aparecida, who is the patroness of Brazil. He is concelebrating the New Mass, a New Mass where you have really scandalous happenings: ladies giving Communion in the hand, a ceremony of coronation where, among all the cardinals and bishops, there is a lady who is crowning our Lady, and so on. Trying to defend himself, he said "But I did not say the words of consecration." I may say, that makes it even worse, because that means he is cheating.
That’s the evolution: now he is two years a bishop, and he is already concelebrating the New Mass. You see, and that is the natural development which was announced from the start by the officials in Rome, Cottier, now Cardinal Cottier and Msgr. Perl. At the time of the agreement between Campos and Rome, Cottier said: "Now they have recognized the Council. The next step will be the new Mass." He even said, "There is a natural, psychological dynamic." And you see in Bishop Rifan a real, natural, clear demonstration of this phrase.
The full text of this conference will be available in the November issue of The Angelus magazine and on this website.