Press clippings: Aftermath of Bishop de Galarreta’s conference in Bailly

Source: FSSPX News

The last issue of DICI (no. 331, 26/02/16) published excerpts from the conference that Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta gave in Bailly, on January 17, 2016. With much prudence, the Argentinian prelate spoke of the possibility of a unilateral recognition of the Society of St. Pius X by Pope Francis. He stated, “I think that the Pope will lean towards a one-sided recognition of the Society, and that by acts rather than by a legal or canonical approach,” and he clarified, “But in this hypothetical case,—I am giving you my opinion based on conjectures, right?—in this case I think we will have the necessary graces to persevere and do the good we must do in our Holy Mother the Church.”

Fr. Albert Longchamp s.j.

His prudence was not reflected universally in the press. Le Temps on March 2 ran a headline, “Society of St. Pius X: towards the great forgiveness,” without even a question mark. According to the Genevan daily, “In the opinion of one of the Society’s bishops, Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, an Argentinean, the affair is settled,” and added, “Total absolution is just around the corner,” and also, “The light has turned green…” However, in this same article Fr. Albert Longchamp, S. J. expresses, if not a reservation, at least a concern about this hypothetical recognition, presented as certain and imminent. The Swiss religious wonders whether “the Pope has fully weighed the potential repercussions of such a recognition on Valais, as this fundamentalist (sic) movements convinces growing numbers of faithful.” Growing numbers of faithful… Duly noted.

La Croix on February 26 was more reserved, contenting itself with publishing excerpts from Bishop de Galarreta’s conference under the title, “The SSPX believes a unilateral recognition from the Pope to be possible.”

In the Italian edition of Zenit, on February 28, Bishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of Ecclesia Dei, gave the Roman point of view on the state of relations between the SSPX and the Vatican. He said, “The Society of St. Pius X is still in an irregular situation, because it has not received canonical recognition from the Holy See. As long as the Society holds no canonical status within the Church, its ministers do not carry out their ministry nor offer the Sacraments with legitimacy,” and emphasized “what is necessary to be in full communion with the Holy See, that is to say, the integrity of the Catholic creed, the bond of the sacraments and the acceptance of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church.”

Le Nouvelliste on March 5 ran a front-page headline: “It will take years for Ecône to return to the Church.” The Valaisan daily reported the words of Bishop Bernard Fellay, spoken over the phone, but the headline distorted them, because the Superior General did not say the Society of St. Pius X was outside of the Church, he said, “In my opinion, this is not for tomorrow. It could still take years,” adding, “In this situation, there can be no rushing. You know, these are things that have been ongoing since the year 2000 and which are slowly progressing. But it takes time.” The Nouvelliste reported, “’There are many wounds, and these must be attended to before we can discuss things serenely.’ He said he was nonetheless open to discussion with the Vatican, but not to concessions. ‘When the Faith is at stake, there can be no question of concessions. It is necessary to have a clear position and it is necessary to have unity. It could still take several years,’ Bishop Fellay added.”

With such gaps between the headlines and the articles’ content, instead of offering new comments to our readers, we prefer to give them the means of forming their own opinion of the matter, and so we will publish the full transcription of the conference of Bishop de Galarreta in Bailly, in the next issue of Nouvelles de Chrétienté (no. 158 – March/April 2016.) And we will soon interview Bishop Fellay on the exact state of relations between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome.

(Sources: Le Temps – La Croix – Zenit – Nouvelliste – DICI no. 332, 11/03/16)