Bishop Bernard Fellay: For a moment I thought
that, with his resignation, Benedict XVI would perhaps make a final
gesture in our favor as pope. That being said, I have a hard time
seeing how he could do so. We will probably have to wait for the next
pope. I will even go so far as to say, at the risk of surprising you,
that the Church has more important problems than the Society of St.
Pius X, and in a way, it is by resolving these problems that the
problem of the Society will be solved.
Some say that you wish Rome to recognize that the ordinary rite is
illicit; can you tell us more on this point?
We know very well that it is very difficult to ask the
authorities to condemn the new mass. In reality, if what needs to be
corrected were corrected, it would already be a big step.
It can be done by an instruction from the Congregation
for the Divine Cult and the Discipline of the Sacraments. It’s not
that complicated, really. I think that important changes need to be
made because of the serious and dangerous deficiencies that make this
rite condemnable. The Church could very well make these important
corrections without losing face or undermining her authority. But at
present, I am aware of the opposition from a number of bishops to the
Pope’s legitimate request that the translation in the Canon of the
Mass of “pro multis” by “for all” be corrected and
replaced by “for many”, since the former translation which can be
found in several languages is false.
Would you like to say anything about Vatican Council II?
As far as Vatican II is concerned, just like for the
Mass, we believe that it is necessary to clarify and correct a certain
number of points that are either erroneous or lead to error. That
being said, we do not expect Rome to condemn Vatican II any time soon.
She can recall the Truth and discretely correct the errors, while
preserving her authority. Nonetheless, we think that the Society
contributes to the Lord’s edifice by denouncing certain disputed
Concretely speaking, you know that your demands will not be answered
Absolutely, but little by little they eventually will
be, I think. And the time will come when the situation will become
acceptable and we will be able to agree, even if that does not seem to
be the case today.
You met with Benedict XVI in the first months of his pontificate; can you
tell us what your impression of him was at that time?
I can say that I met with a pope who had a sincere
desire to bring about the unity of the Church, even if we were not
able to agree. But I assure you that I pray for him every day.
In your opinion, what was the most important act of his pontificate?
I think that the most important act was without any
doubt the publication of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum
which grants to priests everywhere in the world the freedom to
celebrate the traditional Mass. Might I add that he acted with
courage, for there was opposition. And I think that this act will bear
very positive fruits in the long run.
Translation by Mary Molline.