SSXP Bp. Fellay speaks with Catholic News Service (no, really!) about the present outlook
I have been praying for a positive outcome for the SSPX with the Holy Father. I think I will add some fasting. I will also say a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit soon for this intention.
From CNS. Notice that SSPX Bp. Fellay is talking to CNS! Very interesting in itself.
My emphases and comments.
Traditionalist leader says group could divide over unity with Rome
By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service
MENZINGEN, Switzerland (CNS) — The leader of a breakaway group of traditionalist Catholics spoke in unusually hopeful terms about a possible reconciliation with Rome, but acknowledged significant internal resistance to such a move, which he said might lead to the group splitting apart. [As the night follows the day, I am sure that some will not go along.]
The society is hardly united behind its leader’s [Fellay's] position, however. In April, according to a letter which surfaced on the Internet May 10, the society’s other three bishops warned Bishop Fellay that the Vatican’s apparent offer to establish the group as a personal prelature — a status currently held only by Opus Dei — constituted a “trap,” and urged him to say no.
“There are some discrepancies in the society,” Bishop Fellay told CNS. “I cannot exclude that there might be a split.”
But the bishop defended his generally favorable stance toward the Vatican’s offer against the objections of his peers. [Yes, there are three other bishops in the Society, but Fellay is the Superior. They are not "peers" in that sense.]
“I think that the move of the Holy Father — because it really comes from him — is genuine. There doesn’t seem to be any trap,” he said. “So we have to look into it very closely and if possible move ahead.”
He cautioned, however, that the two sides still have not arrived at an agreement, and that unspecified guarantees from the Vatican are still pending. He said the guarantees are related to the society’s traditional liturgical practices and teachings, among other areas. [I am not sure that there are any real problems with the liturgical issues. Perhaps someone can clarify something for me. I am pretty sure that the SSPX generally uses the 1962MR, but did they integrate the new Good Friday petition for the Jews? As for doctrinal problems, I cannot image that there are going to be too many problems there, either. Catholic parishes and universities have been oozing all manner of rot for years now and that hasn't been a problem. Surely a starker Catholic position can be acceptable. And if people don't like it, they won't attend their chapels. Market forces, after all, work in the Church too, though slightly differently. Also, if the Holy See could reconcile Feeney without forcing him to recant his position about salvation outside the Church, then surely they can permit a somewhat divergent view about difficult matters such as religious liberty.]
“The thing is not yet done,” the bishop said. “We need some reasonable understanding that the proposed structure and conditions are workable. We are not going to do suicide there, that’s very clear.” [So, there is a proposed structure.]
Bishop Fellay insisted the impetus for a resolution comes from Pope Benedict XVI. [The Pope of Christian Unity. That is the point of that phrase, of course. He, the Pope, as Pope, gets to determine what true ecumenism is, for example. And in this matter, too, he, Peter, is the one who must be active to work with the SSPX in a way that, sad to say, the late Pope did not.]
“Personally, I would have wished to wait for some more time to see things clearer,” he said, “but once again it really appears that the Holy Father wants it to happen now.” [And, as we sing, "Tu est Petrus"!]
Bishop Fellay spoke appreciatively of what he characterized as the pope’s efforts to correct “progressive” deviations from Catholic teaching and tradition since Vatican II. “Very, very delicately — he tries not to break things — but tries also to put in some important corrections,” the bishop said. [A good description. "He tries not to break things."]
Although he stopped short of endorsing Pope Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II as essentially in continuity with the church’s tradition — a position which many in the society have vocally disputed — Bishop Fellay spoke about the idea in strikingly sympathetic terms.
“I would hope so,” he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition. [Everybody now! One cheer for... er... half a cheer for Vatican II!]
“The pope says that … the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely,” the bishop said. “The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?” [QUAERITUR!]
Insisting that “we don’t want to be aggressive, we don’t want to be provocative,” Bishop Fellay said the Society of St. Pius X has served as a “sign of contradiction” during a period of increasing progressive influence in the church. He also allowed for the possibility that the group would continue to play such a role even after reconciliation with Rome. [OF COURSE THEY WOULD! That is the whole POINT!]
“People welcome us now, people will, and others won’t,” he said. “If we see some discrepancies within the society, definitely there are also (divisions) in the Catholic Church.”
“But we are not alone” in working to “defend the faith,” the bishop said. “It’s the pope himself who does it; that’s his job. [Yes. That is HIS job.] And if we are called to help the Holy Father in that, so be it.”