Rome: Press conference by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais and Fr. Schmidberger

Source: FSSPX News


On November 19, Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais presented the Italian edition of his book The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre during a press conference at the Colombus Hotel in Rome. Were also present Fr. Franz Schmidberger, first Assistant to the Superior General of the Society, Fr. Alain-Marc Nély, district Superior of Italy, and Fr. Luigi Moncalero.

Some twenty journalists, Vatican specialists, attended the press conference at 10:30 am, in spite of the fact that pope Benedict XVI was granting a private audience to Silvio Berlusconi at 11:00 am, and the appointment of Mgr Sorrentino to the see of Assisi and the creation of a commission of control over the Franciscan friars of Assisi were announced at 1:00 pm.

Among the press organizations present, could be noted: Mediaset, Corriere della Sera, Repubblica, Sky tv, Il Messaggerro, Famiglia cristiana, Panorma, Catholic Herald, 30 Giorni, Agi, Reuters, Liberazione, the official newspaper of the Italian Communist Party, and Unita, the newspaper of the Socialist Leftist Democrats party…

After an introduction by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais on the historical figure of the founder of Ecône, questions were asked to Fr. Schmidberger on the state of the relations with Rome. The first Assistant of the SSPX confirmed that contacts with the Holy See had been continued after the August 29 audience. "Basic doctrinal differences and not mere questions of form" will have to be tackled in the discussions with the Vatican, and "we may hope to bring the discussion on the doctrinal field", added Fr. Schmidberger, specifying that it was not a matter of "being in a hurry" and that "the Society was seeking a solution not for its own sake but for the sake of the Church".

We quote here some answers given by Fr. Schmidberger and published by ANSA press agency.

The audience with the pope

"Benedict XVI is an affable man who radiates a certain spirituality. The contacts are good, but the pope is certainly a man of the council, and as such is attached to the points which we question. The difficulties are not human but truly doctrinal.

The council

"Gaudium et Spes" contradicts the Syllabus, we choose the Syllabus.


"The other religions – which I distinguish from their members – are false doctrines. There is  as great danger that their members be prevented from knowing Christ. And yet everyone has a right to know the truth. When the pope meets the other religions, he should remind them of the three conditions mentioned by Saint Peter for the salvation of souls: to repent from one’s own sins, to believe in Christ, and to be baptized.

The Mass

"There are positive and encouraging facts like the declaration of the Cardinals’ Commission in 1986 (to whom belonged among others, Cardinals Ratzinger, Sodano and Casaroli) according to which the Tridentine Mass is not abolished. This has since then been confirmed by a similar statement made by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos on May 24, 2003, during the Mass celebrated at Saint Mary Major’s. The Church is immersed in a great crisis and an immense confusion, and little by little, she is turning towards Tradition".

The new rite

"We do not demand the abolition of the conciliar Mass at first. With the liberalization of the Tridentine Mass, the conciliar Mass will disappear of itself. The Mass of Paul VI was made with six Protestant pastors, and so it is not Catholic. The pope may have the Church adopt reforms of the liturgical rite, but he cannot go against Catholic Tradition".

The recent confidential letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship asking for the abolition of the rite of Saint Pius V

"We know there was a confidential note denying the right to the Tridentine Mass, but we also know that Cardinal Castrillo Hoyos asked the Synod to liberalize the rite of Saint Pius V. We think that this document was not written by Cardinal Arinze, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, but by his secretary (Mgr Sorrentino, Ed.) and does not reflect the position of his superior. Likewise, I can affirm that a Cardinal from the Curia told me that the day will come for the solution of the doctrinal difficulties and that we must help the Church to bring about this solution".

The founder of the SSPX

"Archbishop Lefebvre may certainly be considered as a model of holiness and Christian life. I hope that one day we will be able to open his process of beatification.


At 15:30 pm, 130 faithful were crowding the salon of the Colombus Hotel, and Bishop Tissier de Mallerais signed an impressive number of books.