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Statement of Bishop Fellay
to SSPX Members & Friends
January 22, 2001
  1. In August, at the end of last summer's pilgrimage to Rome, Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos had a first direct contact with the Society's bishops.

  2. During the month of November the same cardinal, under a mandate from Pope John Paul II, invited the Superior General to come to see him "to prepare a visit with the pope".

  3. On December 29, Cardinal Castrillon proposed to Bishop Fellay different elements that could serve towards a possible agreement between Rome and the Society. The Superior General expressed his point of view, his distrust, his apprehension. (Although never before had Rome gone so far in favor of Tradition).

  4. On December 30, for a few seconds, the Superior General saw the pope in his private chapel. (No words of importance were exchanged).

  5. On January 13 there was a special meeting of the General Council, of the Society's bishops and of the delegate of Bishop Rangel, at which were established the principles to guide us in the present situation.

  6. On January 16, there was another meeting with Cardinal Castrillon, during which the Superior General exposed the necessity of having guaranties from Rome before going ahead in the details of eventual discussions or an agreement:

  • That the Tridentine Mass be granted to all priests of the entire world

  • That the censures against the bishops be declared null.

The principles that are to guide us through this rather new situation are the following:

  1. Given that Rome has initiated this effort, it is normal that the Society take it with the seriousness that it deserves.

  2. Our distrust is extreme, keeping before our eyes on the one hand the very recent example of the Fraternity of St. Peter, and on the other hand the continuity in the post-conciliar direction, which is constantly reaffirmed.

  3. The Society has in no way the intention of modifying its principles and its general goal. The so abundant fruits of grace, on the one hand, and the conciliar disaster on the other just go to reinforce its determination to conserve Catholic Tradition.

  4. If there were to be an agreement it could only be seen in the perspective of giving back to Tradition its rights of citizenship, even if the final triumph will only be obtained gradually.

  5. The prayers requested of the members of the Society for the duration of one month do not at all signify our expectation that this will be resolved within that time frame, or with any haste at all. This time of prayer is so that we can request more intensely of Our Lady that She open the hearts of those responsible in Rome and of the bishops; that She enable us to avoid every trap, and that She might enable the rights of Her divine Son to triumph in the Church.

+ Bernard Fellay
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