Sunday, September 28, 2008

Concerning the Ultimatum from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos

By Brian Kopp

The September 27, 2008 edition of the SSPX's DICI has the text of a sermon of Bishop Fellay from August 15, 2008. Part of his sermon provides further details (from his perspective) regarding the "Five Conditions" (emphasis added):

I would like to take advantage of the occasion to give you some news about what is going on presently in Rome with regard to the Society. You probably heard that there was a question of an ultimatum? Where do we stand now? First of all, this ultimatum is strange, because, usually when this type of action is taken, there is an object. In our case, we really wonder what the point was. At the beginning of the month of June, I was summoned by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos because the latest Letters to Friends and Benefactors of the Society of Saint Pius X was reviewing the situation and clearly stated that we were not ready to swallow the poison found in the Council. The Roman authorities did not like this. What displeased them was the fact that we said that we would not change; that we would resist, and that we would not drink the poison. Consequently, I was summoned to Rome, and there, I was handed a typed sheet. The meeting took place in the offices of the Ecclesia Dei Commission -- as a side note, it was the first and only time I went to these offices. So, in the room were present the Cardinal, the vice president of the Commission, Bishop Perl, the secretary Msgr Marini, and the Cardinal’s private secretary. I was accompanied by Father Nély.

We were handed a written note, and the cardinal asked me to read it aloud in front of everybody. In this letter which really sounded like an ultimatum, it basically said: “Up to now, I stated that you were not schismatics, but henceforth I will no longer be able to say so. Today, you must accept the clear conditions which we are going to impose upon you.” After having read it, I asked the cardinal what were the clear conditions, since they were not written. The cardinal answered nothing at all. So I asked the question again, saying: “What do you expect of me?”; at that moment, almost under his breath, he answered: “If, in conscience, you think you must tell this to your faithful, do so! But you must respect the person of the pope.” To this I retorted that I had no problem with this. And the meeting ended upon this. How can I affirm that the reason for the meeting was truly the latest Letter to Friends and Benefactors? Because I asked him, since he was referring to it. I said: “Could you tell me what is wrong in this letter?” He read it over in front of me, and the only reproach he could come up with was the fact that I had written that convents and seminaries were empty. He told me: “This is not true.” That was the one and only reproach.

So, what is the point of the ultimatum? What is its object? After the meeting, I told Father Nély that I felt very much frustrated, because I had witnessed a stage rehearsal. They had put on a very emotional show with the cardinal declaring: “That is the end of it! I call a press conference. I give it all up!” As to what they were really expecting of me, I had not the faintest idea. Consequently, I sent Father Nély back the next day to ask the question once again: “What do you want?” That is when they had him wait for half an hour, enough time for them to write the famous five points which were broadcasted on the Internet.

The first of the 5 points says: “Bishop Fellay must commit himself to give an answer proportionate to the pope’s generosity.” What could be the meaning of this? The sentence is extremely vague and could mean everything and nothing. We were forced to suppose that the generosity of the pope was the Motu Proprio. And the proportionate response was to thank him for it, while acknowledging that it was not made for us, since it was for all the priests of the Church. Otherwise we do not see what it meant.

Next, I had to commit myself, in this same letter, to respect the person of the pope. I suppose it meant that he must not be insulted, but if you consider it an insult to say that he is perfectly liberal, right after a visit to the USA, during which he did nothing but praise the American State, declaring that religious liberty was great… Truly, you cannot find a statement more liberal than this. I see nothing insulting in my words.

The third point is more “touchy” because they ask me not to set myself up as “a magisterium above the pope, and not to place the Society in opposition to the Church.” Once again, this can mean everything as well as nothing at all. With this sentence, each time we would present an objection, we might be told: “You set yourself above the pope.” This point makes us clearly understand that Rome does not at all agree with the fact that we dare say something against the Council. That is where the problem lies.
Speaking of "drinking the poison," Bishop Williamson is back on his blog, this time pontificating about the grand unifying 9/11 conspiracy. It's so bad, even Angelqueen had to banish his thread off the front page to their "Off Topic" subforum.

It seems, regrettably, that the days of holding out hope for the return of the SSPX, with all the graces for the Church that would entail, are over.

13 comments:

Chironomo said...

If this is what the SSPX feels it can contribute to the Church, perhaps it is best to let them be. It is somewhat like saying that you care about a terminally ill friend, but then behind their back tell others about how stupid they were for allowing themselves to get sick! Either they care about the church and want to help, or else they are satisfied to sit on the sidelines and criticize. I really don't get it, but have gotten over it instead.

pertinax said...

The SSPX "entering" the Church is non sequitur. Their position on Vatican Council II keeps them exiled from this neo-trad administration. I wrestled with this for years and after objectively researching their position and interviewing bishops who attended the council, reflecting after retirement, I've been led to the conclusion that to understand the council spirit and the SSPX position we need to understand the handling of the schema on the Virgin Mary and its theological underpinings. I was told to connect the dots of LaSalette/Fatima and the schema and that this is still in play today despite overtures to the contrary.

Barry said...

Let us all carry on praying to the Holy Spirit, only he can find a way though this mess

Dan Hunter said...

“Up to now, I stated that you were not schismatics, but henceforth I will no longer be able to say so"

So does this statement by is Eminence mean that the FSSPX is now officially schismatic?

Brian Kopp said...

"So does this statement by is Eminence mean that the FSSPX is now officially schismatic?"

It certainly reopens the debate.

Red-Letter Man said...

So does this statement by is Eminence mean that the FSSPX is now officially schismatic?

I don't see how a statement made in private can be official.

Charles said...

The phase “Up to now, I stated that you were not schismatics, but henceforth I will no longer be able to say so" attributed to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos was not made to anybody. It is Bishop Felley's personal interpretation of a note he was handed. It would have been more helpful if the Bishop had quoted from the note rather than from his impression of it.

pertinax said...

Does questioning a "pastoral council" that wanted to shove the Virgin Mary to the back of the bookshelf because of the "difficulty she presents to ecumenism" constitute schismatic behavior? All the debates as to the SSPX status are mute if you don't understand the well documented history of this council. They do have their eccentricities but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater as to their, and what should be all Catholics, fundamental concerns about the Church's duty to the status viatorus.

Red-Letter Man said...

The phase “Up to now, I stated that you were not schismatics, but henceforth I will no longer be able to say so" attributed to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos was not made to anybody.

Good catch.

Msgr. Fellay states:
Next, I had to commit myself, in this same letter, to respect the person of the pope. I suppose it meant that he must not be insulted, but if you consider it an insult to say that he is perfectly liberal, right after a visit to the USA, during which he did nothing but praise the American State, declaring that religious liberty was great… Truly, you cannot find a statement more liberal than this. I see nothing insulting in my words.

If the Pope really did praise religious liberty then yes, his statement is liberal (although I think one can easily find a statement even more liberal), but it is still insulting, and illogical, to refer to His Holiness as "perfectly liberal." Perhaps logic is not high on the list of subjects taught at Econe; logically, for the Pope to be "perfectly liberal" then he would have to make a liberal statement every time he opened his mouth! His Excellency also does not seem to distinguish between attacking the person of the Pope and attacking his words.

Confiteor said...

...he is perfectly liberal ...

He dares to say this about the Pope who has unshackled the Mass of All Time after its 40 years of imprisonment. He dares to say this about a Pope who has made Eucharistic Adoration a veritable symbol of his pontificate.

Not only is Bishop Fellay disrespectful, he shows all the intellectual nuance of a typical Benedict-basher on Angelqueen.

Confiteor said...

Let us remind Bishop Fellay of the following statement by Cardinal Hoyos, which clearly shows the mind of this "perfectly liberal" Pope:

It is now clear that Catholics have a juridical right to the more ancient liturgical rites, and that parish priests and bishops must accept the petitions and the requests of the faithful who ask for it. This is the express will of the Supreme Pontiff, legally established in Summorum Pontificum in a manner that must be respected by ecclesiastical superiors and local ordinaries alike.

Bishop Fellay needn't worry about a formal declaration of schism (although perhaps deep down he desires it). There is no need for it. The SSPX bishops seem to being doing everything possible to make themselves and the Society irrelevant.

DW said...

Summorum Pontificum is the reform of the reform and it is the faith that informs the liturgy. And as Bishop Fellay has pointed out, there is no evidence that Rome has abandoned its modernist convictions. Where is this reform of the reform leading? At the recent World Youth Day in Sydney in the crypt of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pope Benedict declared to an ecumenical assembly that “The road of ecumenism ultimately points towards a common celebration of the Eucharist… we can be sure that a common Eucharist one day would only strengthen our resolve to love and serve one another in imitation of our Lord…. We must guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world in which we live…. As ‘fellow citizens’ of the ‘household of God,’ Christians must work together to ensure that the edifice stands strong so that others will be attracted to enter and discover the treasures of grace within.”

So all schismatics and heretics are “fellow citizens of the household of God” that must have a “common celebration of the Eucharist,” indifferent to doctrine and dedicated to “improving the world in which we live.” With each new change to the 1962 Missal, every true traditional Catholic will undergo a crisis of conscience as to whether that particular change will constitute an unacceptable compromise of faith in the liturgical march toward a new ecumenical liturgy. So you think the SSPX are schismatics? Apparently the word has lost any meaning in Rome because we are all “fellow citizens of the household of God.”

Downey

Grider said...

The Vatican seems to have no understanding of the degree of seriousness which Bp Fellay has about the conditions necessary to allow the SSPX to return to full Communion with Rome.

I believe they thought they were dealing with a political hack, rather than a man of principle, who would cave the moment he was thrown a bone. They have failed to understand with whom they are dealing.

If and when they take the proper measure of Bp Fellay, progress can occur. At that point the Vatican must decide if it is willing to meet the stated conditions. If they are, then the SSPX will quickly be able to join with Rome to begin restoring the Church to its past glory.