Bishop Fellay claims for clarity in the relations between Rome and the Society

Source: FSSPX News

The celebration of the Holy Mass

On January 29th bishop Fellay gave an interview to the TV Libertés a renowned television station in France. In the interview the Superior General of the SSPX gave answers to questions triggered by statements made by Mgr. Pozzo some days before. Mgr. Pozzo spoke about a canonical solution for the SSPX.

We have told Rome, very clearly, that, just as Archbishop Lefebvre used to say in his day, we have a sine qua non condition: if this condition is not met, then we will not move. And this condition is for us to be able to remain as we are, to keep all the principles that have kept us alive, that have kept us Catholic.

To the question of Jean-Pierre Maugendre, “And so today, concretely, what is still missing?”, Bishop Fellay answered:


The seal. And also the clear, straightforward statement that these guarantees will be respected.”

An Imminent Resolution?

Immediately some concluded that a canonical resolution for the SSPX was imminent. The day after, Archbishop Pozzo was reported by Andrea Tornielli in La Stampa as giving some credence to to the same news…as if everything depended on a simple statement.

Things are not so easy on the side of the Society. On January 26, in an hour-long interview with Fr. Alain Lorans, SSPX, at Radio Courtoisie, Bishop Fellay explained what he understands by guarantees and the condition “to be able to remain as we are”. (See Bishop Fellay’s text below.)

The problem is not a canonical structure which would not be acceptable. On the contrary, even though “there are details that need improving…[and] matters that still need to be discussed”, the Personal Prelature “is adequate and suits our needs” says Bishop Fellay.

A Battle of Ideas

“The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas,” he stated. These ideas, for example, are ecumenism, religious liberty, the relations between Church and State, and the reformed liturgy. As Bishop Fellay says,


...[we fight against] this modernist way of thinking, against which, or because of which, we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church....

Bishop Fellay giving a conference

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.”

New Roman Attitude

Bishop Fellay explains that, in the doctrinal discussions with Rome, there is a new attitude regarding these errors, which are doctrinal roots of the moral issues of today. These errors, the key points imposed since the Second Vatican Council as part of the new magisterium of the Church, would not be anymore “required criteria for being Catholic”. In front of this new attitude, Bishop Fellay wonders: “Is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path?” Here lay the guarantees to be able to remain as we are. “I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are?”

Bishop Fellay, in order to consider accepting a canonical structure, does not expect a complete, immediate change in the Church or a magical return to Tradition.


We understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired by now...”

Liberty to Continue the Fight

What is it expected then? A clear guarantee that the errors of the Council will not be imposed on the SSPX; on the contrary, we will be given the liberty to continue to fight them. The bishop asks the question for today: “Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?” For the Superior General, it is clear that we are not yet at this point. “And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, ‘No, no! No, we shall continue along the same lines.'”

So his attitude today is logical: “Until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.”