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.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.
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.
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.