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Open letter of Bishop Fellay
to Pope John Paul II concerning the Joint Declaration


Most Holy Father,

In 1986 Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer considered that it was their duty to publicly reprimand You, according to the example of St. Paul (Gal. 2:11), on account of the Assisi prayer meeting, to which You invited the principal world “religions”. This public sin against the first commandment of God and against the first article of the Creed, this great offense against the Sovereign Majesty of the only true God, One and Three, caused an immense scandal to the faithful.

How could You, Vicar of Christ, Vicar of the solus Sanctus, solus Dominus, solus Altissimus, place Yourself as one among the representatives of the “religions” which deny His divinity? How could You humiliate the Catholic Church, the only Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:26, 27) by bringing it down to the level of organizations founded not by God, but by the will of man (Jn 1:13)? How could You invite the followers of “religions” which refuse the only Mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus (I Tim 2:5) or which, by denying the existence of one only, personal God are nothing more than atheism and idolatry? How could You justify this invitation by affirming that the Holy Spirit dwells mysteriously in every man, whereas St. Paul teaches the contrary (Rm 8:9)?

At the same time as You are going to renew the Assisi scandal, on October 28, at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, we dare to solemnly protest against this sin and, invoking the authority of Your quite recent predecessors, and to confront You with the condemnation that they made of this, as well as of the underlying errors: Pius IX in the Syllabus (Propositions 16-18); Leo XIII condemning the Paris Congress of Religions (Letter of September 15, 1899) and Pius XI in Mortalium animos. By these “inter-religious” meetings You do not confirm Your brethren in the Faith. Much to the contrary, You promote an immense indifferentism and You provoke division within the bosom of the Church. Moreover, the humanist, earthly and naturalist themes taken up at these meetings cause the Church to fall down from its entirely divine, eternal and supernatural mission to the level of the Freemasonic ideals of world peace outside of the only Prince of Peace, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Lefebvre saw in this disastrous event of Assisi on of the “signs of the times”, which permitted him to proceed legitimately with episcopal consecrations without Your consent and to write to You that “the time for an open collaboration has not yet come”. The past thirteen years of Your Papacy have failed to wipe away these signs in any way at all, nor their disastrous consequences for the Church, nor the wound that they have inflicted on the hearts of faithful Catholics.

To this first cause of sorrow is to be added the signature, on October 31, of the Common Declaration of the Catholic Church and the World Federation of Lutheran churches on Justification. How can You permit signature of this declaration, after Cardinal Cassidy, in the name of the Catholic Church, has contradicted its text on serious points, uncovering its errors and ambiguities?

Your Magisterium, ratifying in this manner the anathematized error of the simul justus et peccator (at the same time just and a sinner), the ambiguity on the nature of grace, and on the free and merit worthy cooperation with it, loses its credibility.

These very serious words are inspired only by our love of our Mother, the Holy Catholic Church, of the Holy Apostolic See and of the pope.

Please accept, Most Holy Father, the expression of our filial devotedness.

+ Bernard Fellay
Auxiliary Bishop in the service of the Society of St. Pius X
Superior General

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