Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Five Conditions For Fellay?

By Patrick Archbold

Andrea Tornielli writes on his blog that the conditions spelled out are not intended for the entire leadership of the SSPX, but for Fellay only. [Translation Rorate Caeli]
those conditions are not proposed to the Lefebvrists in general, but actually to their Superior, that is, Fellay himself. Who, in the discussions, displays a will to dialogue, but afterwards writes and undersigns very harsh attacks against the Pope. The five conditions are thus a prior step before reaching the cancellation of the excommunication
If true, the Vatican is looking to have a real negotiating partner. Not someone who will say the right things to the Holy See in private and then throws bombs to placate the wacko Williamson wing of the SSPX.

Rorate also reports on a hopeful (if extremely speculative) sign that perhaps Fellay will sign on.
Paolo Luigi Rodari on calls to the headquarters of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX):

[...]
A very small indication regarding the fact that, probably, the Lefebvrists [sic] will accept the conditions proposed by the Holy See (or that they are at least seriously thinking about them) came to me by way of a phone call I made yesterday to Ecône, headquarters of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X. As in other occasions in the past, I asked to speak with Bishop Fellay, the Superior of the Fraternity. In the past, particularly when he wished to respond that there was no news regarding their re-entry in the Church, he answered me quickly. Yesterday, instead, he made it known that there was nothing to say. Perhaps because he is seriously thinking about accepting the Vatican conditions but does wish to say so?
Fellay is in a tough spot. Does he do the right thing and risk internal division in the SSPX or does he cater to the hardliners? Prayers, more than ever, are certainly in order. Bishop Fellay needs all the grace he can get.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

We were always taught that schism is even worse than heresy...for the devil is precisely: he who divides.

There is one other thought I have and that is that there is such a thing (I believe firmly) as the sin of 'overcorrectness!' In other words, we can do everything perfectly...have the correct (perfect liturgy) Holy Mass, correct (ancient) celebration of all the Holy Sacraments, etc. etc. etc.---and yet have no charity. This is one of THE principal dangers of ALL such 'super-correct' groups. They have everything correct (right) except that which is most needful: the charity of Christ! Sad! Let us pray that they will return and bring their love for the Holy Mass and tradition back with them and share them with the entire Church.

In His Holy Name,
Fr. Pius

Brian Kopp said...

This is a fascinating development.

If these 5 conditions are in response to the relatively measured comments of Bishop Fellay, one must wonder what conditions they would place on the return of Bishop Williamson himself.

Chironomo said...

Is it necessary that the entire SSPX return to full communion "en masse"? Does any agreement have to be agreed to by ALL of their Bishops and leaders, or is it sufficient to appeal to enough of them to return that the others would be "left out in the cold" if they continue to hold out. Since many of the faithful now have the option of attending Mass at a TLM in full communion with Rome, and many will surely do so over time, would the SSPX not have a serious fear that they will become marginalized by their own faithful if they don't return to full communion? Surely Fellay is worrying about this...

Anonymous said...

These journalists get everything wrong. Bishop Fellay does not just represent Bishop Fellay; he is the superior-general of the S.S.P.X. Obviously, what he agrees to he will agree to on behalf of the Society, not just on behalf of himself.

I do agree with Tornielli that this is a preparation for a lifting of the declaration of penalties. Very soon, the three important anniversaries are arriving (of the unapproved 1988 consecrations, of the declaration of excommunication, and of S.P.). Rome, I think, hopes to take action by withdrawing the penalties. The reference in the letter to the Pope's generosity may be a signal that he plans to do even more than lift the declarations. Every word of such declarations is carefully considered and crafted in advance. Little is purely accidental. I think that the Pope plans to demonstrate--yet again--his charitableness; he plans to prove it to the world, thereby making it harder and harder for the Society hardliners to scorn Rome.

Once again, Rome needs a response from the S.S.P.X in order to justify lifting the declarations of penalties. Rome will look foolish to the world if she starts bargaining everything away without at least something token in return. The Holy See must not *appear* to be giving away the farm for nothing. Hence the five points.

When Fellay signs the document, he will do so on behalf of the entire S.S.P.X. Rome will then not only withdraw the decaration of excommunications of 1988 against the four bishops; it will annul all the other penalties imposed since 1976.

I am hoping that Rome will also declare authoritatively that Society Masses fulfil the obligation. I mean a declaration from the Pope and not some dubious opinion from the P.C.E.D. But that may be too much to hope for at this point.

It can be inferred from the indefinite article in the fifth point that more will be expected of the S.S.P.X before full regularisation occurs. This will require some agreement regarding the status of the Vatican II documents.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On one of the other comments here:

As superior-general of the S.S.P.X, Bishop Fellay has the warrant and the authority to negotiate on behalf of the S.S.P.X. While agreements on juridical structures and agreements regarding doctrine will, for practical reasons, require consultation with and probabaly even agreement from the other bishops, it is Bishop Fellay alone who speaks on behalf of the Society.

In the past, one superior-general of the Society was not even a bishop. At that time, Fr. Schmidberger was superior-general and the bishops took orders from him.

The Society has a constitution and a system of authority. Clearly, Bishop Fellay as the authority and right to sign these five points on behalf of the entire S.S.P.X. It is probable that he will not do so at least without consulting the other bishops and the other superiors of the Society.

P.K.T.P.

Stéphane said...

Hum, with respect I'd like to express skepticism about this report. First, Ecône is not the headquarters of the SSPX, it is Menzingen (near Zurich). And the point is that Bishop Fellay, as Superior General, resides at Menzingen, not Ecône.
So, how reliable is your report?...

Anonymous said...

In response to the last poster, it may be that Bishop Fellay was at Ecône and the reporter knew this. But I agree that the reliability should be questioned. Only yesterday, idiot journalists, lying as usual, 'reported' that a 'prelature', which is definitely not the right structure, was being offered. How wrong they were.

P.K.T.P.

Stéphane said...

In response to Anonymous P.K.T.P.: granted, Bishop Fellay may have happened to be at Ecône and Paolo Luigi Rodari may have known that but this falls short of a complete explanation. First, how reliable is a journalist how is desperately wrong about the HQ of a society he claims to inform his readers about? Second, Rodari says he called Felay in Ecône not just the other day but also "in other occasions in the past" (I checked the Italian original: "come altre volte in passato").

As P.T.K.P. says, there is a point in questioning the reliability of such a report. I am not saying the journalist is lying. I just don't know but as a matter of sheer fact, such a guy is hardly reliable.

Christopher Mandzok said...

"...If true, the Vatican is looking to have a real negotiating partner. Not someone who will say the right things to the Holy See in private and then throws bombs..."

Great summation sentence! I will have to borrow it as the sentence sums why I have become skeptical of SSPX after many years of support.

Anonymous said...

He who divides: Benedict XVI!