"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Friday, June 29, 2018



Interview with Bp Fellay to the German newspaper “Die Tagespost” on June 28, 2018
"We are a disruptive factor in the church"

In 1988, the SSPX superior Bernard Fellay was illegally consecrated a Bishop. Today he hopes for a reconciliation. An encounter in Stuttgart.

By Regina Einig

Excellency, how did you celebrate your episcopal consecration 30 years ago? Was that for you a definitive separation of the Society from Rome or an interim stage in conflict where you had the reconciliation in mind?

If it had been a separation from Rome then, I would not be here today. The Archbishop would not have consecrated me for that, and I would have rejected it. It was not a question of a separation from the Church, but of a demarcation from the modern spirit, from the fruits of the Council. Meanwhile, others confess that something went wrong there. Many thoughts and aspects that we fought and combat are now also confirmed by others. We never said that the council directly made heretical statements. (LEFEBVRE DID, FELLAY FAILS) But the wall of protection against error has been removed, and in this way error has arisen. The faithful need protection. This is the constant struggle of the quarreling Church to defend the Faith.
But not all those who criticize the "Council of the Media", including the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, are making it a conflict at the point of bring excommunicated. 

Why have you not strengthened the ranks of traditionalists within the Church and fought for the truth in unity with Rome?

This is partly due to the history of the French. Since the French Revolution, a good number of French Catholics have been fighting against the error of Liberalism. Therefore, events during and after the Council were perceived there much more sensitively and attention than in Germany. It was not about blatant errors, but about tendencies, about opening doors and windows. The reforms after that showed it more clearly than the Council itself. The problem crystallized in the New Mass. In Rome, Archbishop Lefebvre was told: "The one or the other. Celebrate the New Mass one day, and everything is fine." Our arguments against the New Mass did not count [for them]. The Missal of Paul VI was written in collaboration with Protestant theologians. If one is urged to celebrate this Mass, then there really is a problem. And we were urged [to celebrate it]. 

Did your rejection of the new Mass strengthen both you and Archbishop Lefebvre's view that the separation from Rome is the will of God?

I insist: we never parted with the Church.

But the fact of excommunication speaks for itself. Otherwise why did Pope Benedict XVI remove them?

In the Catholic law of 1917, episcopal consecration without the mandate of the Pope is not considered a schism, but only as an abuse of power, and without excommunication. The whole history of the Church has a different view on the problem of episcopal ordinations, which take place without the order of the Pope. This is very important.

Why is that so important? 

In 1988, the new Code of Law was already in force - and the Code of 1917 also irged the Bishop to be faithful to the Holy See.
We were in dire straits because Rome had appointed a Bishop for us. The meeting between Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Lefebvre on May 5, 1988, was about the date of the consecration. Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ratzinger could not agree. Archbishop Lefebvre had made a proposal. I am sure that if Cardinal Ratzinger had confirmed the date of 15 August as a dedication date without a change of candidate, the archbishop would have accepted it. But the appointment remained open. When Archbishop Lefebvre asked the cardinal, "Why not at the end of the year?" He received the answer, "I do not know, I can not say it." Therefore, the archbishop thought they were playing with him. That was certainly a point of mistrust. And mistrust is still a key word in our story. We're working to overcome that and then something comes up again - it's really hard.
(Editor's note: The emeritus Pope told the editors that he no longer remembered the details, but was fairly sure that the question played only a minor role.
John Paul II had firmly committed to the episcopal consecrations. At the end of the conversation, Archbishop Lefebvre had signed the Protocol, which, if he had remained at his ‘yes’, would have arrived to an agreement. An official of the Congregation of the Faith had reached Abp Lefebvre in Albano the following day. Abp Lefebvre explained to everyone that he had been unable to sleep through the night and had come to realize that in reality, the unity was only to be used to destroy his work.)

Why did not Cardinal Ratzinger, a renowned connoisseur and supporter of the Catholic tradition and a friend of the traditional Mass, reassure the archbishop's suspicions?

He did not understand how deep the Archbishop's motives were, and the insecurity of the faithful and priests. Many have simply had enough of the post-conciliar scandals and annoyances, as well as the way the new Mass was celebrated. If Cardinal Ratzinger had understood us, he would not have acted that way. And I think he regretted that. Therefore, as a Pope, he then tried to repair the damage with the Motu Proprio and lifted the excommunications. We are really thankful for his attempts at reconciliation.

But Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also had to consider the difficulties and irritations of the other believers: it is irritating, for example, that the members of the Society contradict each other in essential points such as the question of the validity of the Mass. Some of your followers believe that by visiting what they see as the "heretical" new mass, the Sunday duty is not fulfilled.

I do not agree with that. We are already talking about the invalidity of many [New] Masses. But to say that all Masses are invalid, that is not the line of the Society. We never said that. In the discussion with Rome, we have always emphasized that we recognize the validity of the New Mass when it is celebrated according to the books and with the intention to do what is required of the Church. There is a distinction between valid and good.

Where is the difference for you?

The New Mass has shortcomings and risks. Of course, not every New Mass is a direct scandal (FALSE, EVERY NEW MASS IS ILLICIT AND SCHISMATIC), but the repeated celebration of the New Mass leads to a weak belief or even a loss of faith. You see every day how fewer priests still believe in the real presence. At the old Mass, the liturgy nourishes the faith; one goes to the rock, one is strengthened in this belief; certain actions lead us further in faith, for example, in the belief in the real presence, in the sacrifice - only by kneeling, for example, by the silence, the attitude of the priest. At the New Mass one must bring the faith, one hardly receives anything directly from the rite. The rite is flat.

But even before the liturgical reform there were priests with weak faith, modernists and heretics. The Liberal Council Fathers you criticized all grew up with the old Mass and were ordained in the old rite. Do conversions that are promoted today through the New Mass - think of Nightfever - for self-deception?

No, I do not say that. All I'm saying is, if you receive a president and have the choice between a silver trumpet and a brass trumpet, will you take the brass trumpet? That would be an insult, you do not do that. And even the best New Masses are like brass trumpets compared to the old liturgy. For the good God, you have to take the best.

In a sermon you recently said, "How dare you make such a miserable, empty and flat Mass? That is not the way to honor God." And today, the new Mass is the most precious thing in the lives of Catholic believers, and even today the Church brings forth martyrs and saints. Why do not you differentiate in the predication?

I agree that one must distinguish in the theological discussion. But in a sermon one can not present everything so theologically. It also requires a bit of rhetoric to shake up the souls a bit and wake people up and open their eyes.

Pope Francis wants to give the Society a hand for reconciliation. Do you still expect an agreement or has this opportunity been missed?

I am optimistic. But I cannot anticipate the hour of God. If the Holy Ghost is able to influence the current Pope, then he will do the same with the next one. That's what happened. And also with Pope Francis. When Pope Francis was elected, I thought: ‘Now comes the excommunication.’ The opposite was the case: Cardinal Müller wanted to excommunicate us and Pope Francis rejected it. He told me personally: "I will not judge you!" The reconciliation will come. Our Mother Church is currently incredibly torn. The Conservatives want us and have said so in the Congregation of the Faith. The German bishops do not want us at all. Rome has to reckon with all these elements - we understand that. If we were simply accepted, there would be war in the church. There is the fear that we could triumph. Pope Francis told journalists: "I will make sure that it is no triumph for you."

But tensions and fears also exist within the Society members. In France, many priests and lay people have separated from the Society, because the negotiations with the Vatican have stirred up mistrust. How would the Society members reconcile with Rome?

That will depend on what Rome demands of us. Let's go ahead and give us enough guarantees - then no one goes away. Mistrust is based on the fear of having to accept the novelties. If you ask us to go into new ways, then nobody comes.

What makes you so sure that everyone could go along? But the announcement of the talks has already triggered massive unrest and resignations. Which conclusion could reassure their followers? The mistrust would not simply be gone after an agreement.

This is true. But goodness is there, benevolence. For years, we have been working with Rome to rebuild trust. (LEFEBVRE SAID THESE MODERNISTS COULDN'T BE TRUSTED FELLAY THINKS OTHERWISE) And we have made great progress despite all the reactions. If we come to a reasonable agreement with normal conditions, very few will stay away. I am not afraid of a new split in Tradition if the right thing is found with Rome. (LEFEBVRE SAID NO AGREEMENT WITH MODERNIST ROME UNTIL IT CONVERTS FELLAY DOES NOT BELIEVE THIS) We may question certain points of the Council. Our interlocutors in Rome have told us: “The main points - religious freedom, ecumenism, new mass - are open questions.” This is an incredible progress. Until now it has been said: “You must obey.” Meanwhile, curia workers tell us: “they should open a seminary in Rome, a university for the defense of Tradition.” It's not all black and white anymore.

What would a reasonable solution look like?

A Personal Prelature.

If the legal form has already been found and the talks in Rome are going well, what has failed the decisive step so far?

Last year, Archbishop Pozzo told us that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Congregation approved the text we were to sign. We should agree with a Personal Prelature. One and a half months later, Cardinal Müller decided to revise the text and demand a clearer acceptance of the Council and the legitimacy of the New Mass. First of all, we opened discussion channels, then they blocked them. What do you really want from us? This is where the devil works. It is a spiritual fight.

Do you personally trust the Holy Father Pope Francis?

We have a very good relationship. (YIKES GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE FREEMASON ANTIPOPE?) If we let him know that we are in Rome, the door is open to him. He is always helping us on a smaller scale. For example, he told us, "I have problems when I do something good for you. I help Protestants and Anglicans - why can not I help the Catholics? "Some want to prevent the agreement. We are a disruptive factor in the church. The Pope stands in between.
(He smiles and shows a handwritten, French-written letter from the Holy Father to him beginning with the address Cher frere, cher fils - dear brother, dear son).

Archbishop Lefebvre

“This Second Vatican Council Reform, since it has issued from Liberalism and from Modernism, is entirely corrupt; it comes from heresy and results in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is thus impossible for any faithful Catholic who is aware of these things to adopt this Reform, or to submit to it in any way at all. To ensure our salvation, the only attitude of fidelity to the Church and to Catholic doctrine, is a categorical refusal to accept the Reform.”