Bishop Bernard Fellay on the Rosary Crusade & doctrinal talks

Source: FSSPX News

Interview published on May 11, 2010 at The Remnant (

Brian Mershon: Your Excellency, what is your reaction to the Society’s request for 12 million rosaries with a result of more than 19 million actually being offered?

Bishop Fellay: First of all, I am very, very happy to see such enthusiasm and such an answer to our call. I’m certain that this number isn’t only from the Society’s faithful; I’m sure that many many others have joined for whom we don’t have the total figures. That’s the first thing.

Secondly, I’m pleased with the enthusiasm for understanding the importance of this matter. This subject matter is very, very important.

Brian Mershon: The two other rosary crusades resulted in rather quick and historic responses—the freeing of the Traditional Latin Mass to all priests everywhere in the world, and the dissolving of the excommunications of the Society bishops, which in turn led to the commencement of doctrinal talks with the Holy See. Do you anticipate a similarly dramatic response to this third rosary crusade?

Bishop Fellay: I leave it to be totally in the hands of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. But, probably not. One never knows, but I would be very surprised if the Pope consecrated Russia. It would be a great, great surprise. But, on the other hand, we have already been surprised before, so I would not be amazed if it were to happen so quickly. This time what we’re asking for is so important and so big and it is so directly involved in all the events of the history of our times.

Brian Mershon: Ever since Pope Benedict was elected and the new Russian Orthodox Patriarch was chosen, there has been an obvious thaw in relations, and for the better, I believe. The Russian Orthodox Patriarch even published a book of the Pope’s writings to be disseminated to his lay faithful! How do you read this? Is this related to the Third Secret of Fatima as well?

Bishop Fellay: I personally believe there is something on the move in Russia. There definitely does seem to be something moving in Russia. There is something in the air. How far and how deep? I do not know. But, there are many things that show there is a revival of religion in Russia.

Brian Mershon: Has the Society already sent the bouquet of rosaries?

Bishop Fellay: It is going to happen [soon].

Brian Mershon: What is the Society’s attitude on the worldwide media attacks on the Holy Father and the Church?

Bishop Fellay: I think we have there a good demonstration that the Church really does still have enemies. And these enemies have real names. You can see that through this ongoing campaign. It is very revealing. On the one hand, we have the old-guard U.S. enemies and, on the other hand, we have the leftists from Europe both working together.

Brian Mershon: Do you think these attacks are related to the chastisements foretold by Sister Lucia in the Third Secret?

Bishop Fellay: It’s too difficult to say. But if there is one quote from Fatima that I would quote that applies—it is this: “The Pope will suffer a lot. The Pope will suffer a lot.” And you have it there.

Brian Mershon: The ongoing doctrinal talks with the Holy See are occurring outside the media spotlight for obvious reasons. What do you expect to happen as a result of these? What has to happen in the doctrinal talks for the Society to agree to a canonical structure? Are the talks even related to a possible canonical solution?

Bishop Fellay: It’s impossible to say. Absolutely impossible. It depends upon too many factors right now. I don’t have the answer.

Brian Mershon: Some critics say that the Society’s rejection of a canonical or practical solution is a sign of obstinacy or ill will. How do you answer that?

Bishop Fellay: It is very simple. The Holy See has agreed that the doctrinal talks should happen, so that should answer the questions without putting the burden on me. Besides that, it is very clear that whatever practical solution that would happen without a sound doctrinal foundation would lead directly to disaster. We don’t want that. We want and need the security of a sound solution on the level of doctrine to go ahead. So to pretend there is something definitive prior to engaging in the doctrinal talks…

We have all these previous examples in front of us—the Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and all of the others are totally blocked on the level of doctrine because they first accepted the practical agreement.

Brian Mershon: Do you believe the Pope personally sincerely desires a canonical solution with the Society of St. Pius X?

Bishop Fellay: Yes, I think so. Yes, I do. I think the Pope desires this. He wants the Church to be better and he wants to complete the quest of the consecration of bishops with the Society.

Brian Mershon: You have mentioned in previous interviews that the Society has positive acquaintances or even friends as bishops, cardinals—and even in the Roman curia. What advice do they give you as these doctrinal talks are ongoing?

Bishop Fellay: Nothing at all. They are very discreet right now. I think the discussions we’re having are very good and are happening at a very discreet level. The next talks are taking place in May.

Brian Mershon: Are you aware of any group of priests, lay faithful or dioceses in the recent history of the Church who have offered such large bouquets of rosaries to the Holy Father as the Society has now done thrice?

Bishop Fellay: Not to my knowledge. It might have happened, but I don’t have any reference. But it is obvious that such a crusade is something unique. I believe that Fr. Gruner is now going to do the same thing.

Brian Mershon: What is your advice to Catholics who desire to open a chapel in their area? Is the Society putting on the breaks where expanding chapel locations is concerned, due to the doctrinal talks?

Bishop Fellay: First, the lay faithful should contact us and then we try to do something for them. Right now, we have so many requests that we can hardly fulfill them. This year, we have a good year for ordinations, but even so we are too short of priests [to fulfill all the requests]. We can hardly answer all the requests. But we continue our normal life as before. It would be totally counterproductive to think we would have to stop any increase in our life because of talks with Rome. It should be quite the contrary.

Brian Mershon: Your Excellency, Do you have any final thoughts?

Bishop Fellay: Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary have to continue. Some might think that since we achieved our rosary crusade, now everything is fine. No. No. No. It is now very clear that we are engaged in a battle with the real enemies of the Church. So Catholics, be ready! Gain the victory with the rosary!

© Brian Mershon