DICI: Your Excellency, what is your intention when you address
this document on ecumenism to all the cardinals?
Bishop Fellay: The fight for Tradition
which we have been waging, following the example of Archbishop
Lefebvre, for more than 30 years now, necessarily includes the
criticism of the errors which lie at the origin of the present
crisis. This work of theological criticism was undertaken by our
founder himself, and never failed to be present. It is maybe even
more necessary today when we see these errors produce more and
more poisonous fruits. It is from this point of view that were
undertaken the works of the 2nd Symposium of Theology in Paris, in
October 2003, the 6th theological congress of SI SI NO NO
in Rome, last January; as well as the book on The Problem of
the Liturgical Reform, and so many articles published in our
reviews and bulletins.
It is along this same line that was written the
denouncement of ecumenism which we sent to all the cardinals. As I
wrote in the last Letter to Friends and Benefactors, this
ecumenism, under the influence of Cardinal Kasper, is experiencing
a development which is close to sweeping away movement. And we
must acknowledge that these ecumenical breakthroughs are backed up
by the documents signed by the pope.
DICI: Was the publication of this
document opportune at a time when word went around about possible
agreements between Rome and Econe?
Bishop Fellay: It is true that since the
year 2000, under the impulse of Cardinal Hoyos, a change of
attitude has been manifested in Rome regarding Tradition. But, let
us be frank: it is only a change of practical attitude,
made manifest by interviews and exchange of mail; but we must note
that it does not change a thing as to the upsurge of post-Conciliar
errors. And, in fact, the discussions with Rome have been at a
standstill ever since the pure and simple refusal opposed to our
request of freedom for the traditional Mass, a freedom which we
consider as an indispensable prerequisite for any discussion.
It is not a "canonical sort of put-up job"
which can bring order back into the Church. And with this document
we want to remind them of the necessity of a debate on the root of
the problem. That is why, far from being untimely, our approach of
the cardinals aims at reminding them opportunely that this debate
DICI: Donít you think that it is
urgent nevertheless to try to come to an agreement with this pope,
because you do not know what his successor has in store for you?
Bishop Fellay: It is true that for the
Holy Father the day of judgment is approaching, and that he will
have to account for his pontificate. It is a work of charity to
try to help him to evaluate these 25 years of pontificate under
the eyes of God. For the blatant fact is there: John Paul II, at
the end of his pontificate, sees himself the state of silent
apostasy in which Europe now is. And leaning upon traditional
doctrine, we strive to show that this situation is caused by 25
years of ecumenism.
Of course, we are sure that the return of the
Church to her Tradition will happen only under the authority of
the Vicar of Christ. But when? We do not know. The only thing we
know for sure is that the Church has the promises of eternal life.
DICI: Nevertheless, isnít it a sign
of a certain hardening of the SSPX? Maybe even of the will to
cease all discussion with Rome?
Bishop Fellay: On the contrary. We
desire this discussion, but once again we want it on the doctrinal
level. It is impossible to envision a serious debate if we ignore
the root of the problem. Be it only to give a clear definition of
the words we use, and thus be sure that, beyond the words, we
agree on the same realities.
We do not want this "differentiated
consensus", within the framework of "unity in pluriformity"
in the name of which Cardinal Kasper is discussing with the
Protestants. This ambiguous expressions, this veritable
contradictions in terms show with evidence that the Conciliar
ecumenism does not care for the doctrinal demands, and even more
simply still for the demands of sheer logic. What would you say of
an agreement based upon the acknowledgement of a
"differentiated consensus", or of "consensual differences"?
DICI: The tone of the document may
Bishop Fellay: It is certainly austere
because the theological problems raised by ecumenism demand a
rigorous exposition without approximations. But the letter which
accompanies this document clearly indicates the meaning of our
endeavor: it is a respectful appeal to the pope and to the
cardinals asking them to give back to the Church her
Tradition, which has been contested and even attacked since
DICI: Do you really think that the solution
to the present crisis is purely on the doctrinal level? Do you,
a priori, exclude a more diplomatic and more pragmatic
Bishop Fellay: According to me, it is
being pragmatic, and in any case realistic to want to give solid
bases to a discussion. And whether we want it or not, these bases
are doctrinal. Pragmatism is not synonymous with "burying oneís
head in the sand", this voluntary blindness on the root of the
problem can only lead to "not being on the same wave length", or
even to being swindled.
The same dramatic realities are forced upon
everyone, the pope as well as us. We are in a state of silent
apostasy. We can get out of it only by a recourse to the
Tradition of the Church. The answer to the silent apostasy
must make itself heard with a strong and clear voice.
Before the extent of the evil, we cannot be content with
inefficient half-measures, measures which, in the end, are
accomplices of the evil which they merely soothe without ever
being willing to eradicate it.