Bishop Fellay really said to Cardinal Canizares
Canizares, the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments, stated to the press on January 15th:
one occasion, Bishop (Bernard) Fellay, who is the leader of the
Society of St. Pius X, came to see me and said, “We
just came from an abbey that is near Florence.
If Archbishop (Marcel) Lefebvre
had seen how they celebrated there, he would not have taken the step
that he did”… The missal used at that celebration was the Paul
VI Missal in its strictest form.
Bishop Fellay has
kindly given sspx.org this clarification of what he actually said, and
the context of his words, concerning the Novus
As very often in
such circumstances, a phrase has been interpreted badly: I was
describing to Cardinal Canizares (and this was some five or six years
ago) that the abuses in the liturgy have caused a major reaction
amongst us. And this is still the case today, in the sense that the
abuses and sacrileges in the sacred liturgy have helped the faithful
and even priests to quickly and more fully understand the profound
defects and danger of the Novus Ordo - because there is a link between the New Mass and the
abuses. The abuses have helped to prove that our position is the right
one: that is, the New Mass is not good in itself.
But this said, from the beginning and before the abuses took place,
Archbishop Lefebvre had already refused to celebrate the Novus Ordo Missae. Because the serious omissions and the whole [conciliar]
reform, done in an ecumenical spirit, gives it a Protestant savor. The
New Mass puts at risk the Catholic Faith and the numerous examples of
faithful and priests who have lost the Faith directly linked with the
celebration of the Novus Ordo
are quite blatant. Nevertheless for a while - and until these new
damaging effects were clearly recognized - Archbishop Lefebvre did not
strictly prohibit attendance at the New Mass. It was only after a few
years that he prohibited the seminarians from going to the New Mass
while on their holiday’s vacations.
1 As reported
by Rome Reports on
January 16, 2013 in an article entitled, “Cardinal Canizares:
The most urgent reform is liturgical formation”.