Bishop Fellay on Church & Pope…

For several weeks various rumours have been circulating in the press concerning the possible canonical recognition of the Society of Saint Pius X by Rome. Rather than compound these rumours with commentaries, DICI preferred to interview the Superior General of the Society, Bp. Bernard Fellay, to ask him to make an assessment – click here to view interview on video…

Comments invited…

The one thing, the first thing, the only thing that matters for the Church is to save souls!

The one thing, the first thing, the only thing that matters for the Church is to save souls!

84 responses

  1. I’ve still not viewed this video right to the end, but a reader emailed the link during Holy Week keen for me to post it, even without comments.

    What I’ve seen so far is very good, however, and quite encouraging. Bishop Fellay is no fool, that’s for sure, and won’t be drawn in to any regularisation which leaves the SSPX at the mercy of modernist bishops.

    What a pity the “resistance” people jumped ship – I hope some of the more intelligent among them will return without delay when they see the Bishop’s level-headed and faith-filled remarks in the Dici interview.

    • I completely agree. Bishop Fellay shows his mettle when he says the Vatican has to accept them as they are – quote:

      “It is absolutely necessary to avoid all compromising; “compromising” in both senses of the word. Compromise in the sense that each party gives up something in order to obtain something else. From the start I had told Rome that: “I do not want ambiguities. If you want to reach an agreement on a document that each party understands in a different way, that is setting us up for chaos shortly afterward.” Therefore it is absolutely necessary to avoid that. It is practically obvious, at the start, that in the current situation, given the divergent views, the document will tend to be ambiguous. And we want none of that.”

      Bravo!

      • Michaela,

        It was the fear of compromise that worried the resistance group. I also hope they will return after seeing the interview.

        • Sadly, I doubt that any will return as they are now so full of hatred for the SSPX, and for Bishop Fellay in particular, that they are will not read anything that shows the truth. They only believe the lies that are printed in the resistance newsletter.

    • Editor,

      I have to wonder whether the Society will accept any prodigal sons back, if indeed those sons have a change of heart. They have done considerable damage.

      Maybe they should publicly recite an “Oath Against Resistance-to-Nothingism” first!

      • RCA Victor,

        That’s a point. However, I don’t think they’d be turned away – I really don’t.

        Love the Oath, though – brilliant!

      • RCA Victor

        I hate to say it, but I agree with you. These “Resistance” folks are a sectish lot. It would have to be a miraculous conversion to deliver them from their delusionary and isolationist crusade. Bishop Williamson is already on his third episcopal consecration and they still can’t see the schismatic madness of their position. The SSPX, strangely enough, has been thriving since they left, certainly in Glasgow. I view their departure as a work of providence, a cleansing of bitter zeal and zealots that for too long formed a kind of Fifth Column within the SSPX.

        Yes, it would be good to see a real change of heart in these people. At the moment, however, my experience from corresponding with them is that they don’t do humility.

        • Athanasius, I agree completely. From what I have heard all the chapels from which resistance people have left have become much better places. They were particularly strong in London, so much so that it was once said that there should be a notice at the door saying “WARNING. CONTAINS NUTS.” Thankfully the nuts have gone and it’s a much happier place now.

          • If you believe that attendance at an SSPX chapel is the best way to work out one’s salvation, how can you be pleased to see ANYONE leave? Is it not a tragedy when even a single sheep leaves the fold?

            • Eileenanne,

              I am no spokesperson for the SSPX but I suppose if troublemakers decide to leave a parish, most of us would be glad to see the back of them! Nobody forces people to leave, and I suppose it’s the same at the SSPX, but if they are causing bad feeling (and I remember reading stuff on here written by the discontents on another blog, can’t remember the name of it but they did come across as unpleasant people) then it’s as well to see them off.

      • Gerontius,

        Gabriel Syme has already posted that, at 12.20pm today – you can see it at the end of the thread, and it’s on the sidebar – LOL!

        • Ach, am no often right ye ken, but I’m wrang again!

          So, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs and sit oan ra naughty step!
          (Thanks Margaret Mary….. put it dowm to “old age”)

  2. Thanks for that post ED. Reassuring hear Bishop Fellay state “no compromise.” The old dodge of divide and conquer has failed against the SSPX. And look what happened to those who accepted compromise the Fssp etc. Its was Rome that asked for these talks in the first place. The modernist’s would never have done that unless the knew/know that the real threat against them is the SSPX.

  3. I thought this was a good interview with Bishop Fellay, where he makes it quite clear he is open towards progress, but never to compromise. We can always rely upon what he tells us, which is not always the case with other sources. From his comments, it is clear things are proceeding slowly and cautiously and this is encouraging.

    In particular, I liked what the Bishop said to explain the seemingly paradoxical benevolence of Francis towards the Society: that he is impressed with the SSPX zeal for saving souls, especially when compared with the moribund and complacent “establishment” Church.

    I also liked his remarks regarding the vague criticisms the Society is oftentimes assaulted with:

    We wish that we could have a clear definition sometime of this term “full communion”, because you can see that it does not correspond to anything precise. It is an opinion…, you don’t really know what it is.

    Hopefully the interview should impress people who are watchers of the SSPX, but have never yet taken the step to attend a traditional mass. Hopefully this inspiring interview from Bishop Fellay will prove the catalyst which facilitates this important decision making.

    Incidentally, the interview can be read here in text form, incase anyone prefers that to watching the video:

    http://www.dici.org/en/news/interview-with-bp-bernard-fellay-march-4-2016-menzingen-switzerland/

  4. Seems Bishop Williamson is not impressed with the Bishop Fellay interview. I don’t usually pay attention to his Eleison Comments which come to me regularly (sometimes I just delete without reading – life’s too short) but I read this latest one thinking he may have relaxed his attacks somewhat, after seeing that interview. You kidding? Here’s his latest – no wonder he concludes by asking for mercy!

    Archbishop’s Legacy – I

    The Archbishop died, twenty-five years ago.
    Have his successors followed faithfully? No.

    Yesterday, March 25, was the 25th anniversary of the death of a great man of God, Archbishop Lefebvre, to whom so many Catholics keeping the Faith today have such a great debt. When in the 1960’s the Revolutionary demons of the modern world succeeded in bringing under their yoke the mass of Catholic churchmen either during or after the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), it was the Archbishop who almost single-handed stood by that Catholic Truth which Catholic Authority,
    blinded or cowed, was abandoning. For indeed to obey that Authority given over to the principles of the Revolution, Catholics had to abandon the Truth of the Church’s unchanging Tradition. Or else, to remain faithful to that Truth, they had to enter into “disobedience” to the Church Authorities.

    Of course neither the Archbishop nor the Society of St Pius X which he founded in 1970 were in real disobedience, because Catholic Authority is the indispensable servant of Catholic Truth: indispensable, because Truth without Authority is torn to pieces amid the warring opinions of fallible men, but servant, because Authority is a means and not an end, the means of protecting and preserving that infallible Truth of Christ which alone can save souls. To this immutable Church Tradition Archbishop Lefebvre remained faithful to the end, yet without scorning or defying those Church Authorities which condemned him to the end. On the contrary he did all he could have done, in fact at a given moment, on his own admission, even more than he should have done, to help them to see the Truth and serve it, for the good of the whole Church, but in vain.

    That is when, to ensure the survival of the Truth of salvation, in June of 1988 he consecrated four bishops without that permission of Church Authorities which is normally necessary. They must have hoped that his proceeding without their permission would spell the ruin of his Society, but on the contrary it flourished, because by now a significant number of souls had climbed out of their pre-Conciliar “obedience” to understand that Truth has to come first, and that truthful bishops are essential to the survival of the Church’s Truth.

    But what happened to the Society which he left behind him when he died two and a half years later? His Catholic wisdom and personal charisma were no longer there to protect them from the magnetic pull of pre-Conciliar “obedience,” which took the form of seemingly reasonable propositions of a diplomatic compromise between Conciliar Authority and Catholic Tradition. False “obedience,” preferring Authority to Truth, now crept back at the top of the Society from which the Archbishop had exorcised it, and within a few more years his Society was hardly recognisable as its misleaders went to Rome, cap in hand, begging for official recognition from the Church Authorities.

    Now Truth has no right to put itself in a position of begging for anything from a group of liars – “Catholicism is Revolutionary” is a dreadful lie – but the Society’s misleaders, then and now, justified their humiliating of Truth by appealing to the Archbishop’s example. For years, they said, he went down to Rome seeking official approval of the Society, and they were doing nothing else. But what might have seemed similar was in reality quite different. While they were going down to Rome in pursuit of some political agreement, by which, as became clear at the latest in the spring of 2012, they were ready to compromise doctrine, on the contrary the Archbishop only ever went down to Rome for the good of the Faith and the Church. For him the offical approval of the Society by Church Authority was only ever a means to help that Authority back towards Tradition and Truth, and when that Authority in the spring of 1988 demonstrated once and for all its refusal to look after Tradition, then the Archbishop broke off all negotiations and diplomatic contacts, and roundly declared that they would only resume when Rome returned to doctrinal Truth. In fact the Archbishop’s successors had never understood him. And today? See next week’s “Comments.”

    Kyrie eleison. END.

    “Liars”? If anyone is a liar – and demonstrably so – it is Bishop Williamson. Bishop Fellay doesn’t go ” cap in hand, begging for official recognition from the Church Authorities.” Very far from it.

    So, on reflection, if his followers are reading these falsehoods and being fed such lies on a regular basis, they’re unlikely to be able to see the truth of the situation.

    • Editor,

      This is yet more of the “resistance-to-nothing” party line, aka broken record, the creation of a confused, deluded egomaniac who has installed himself on the sidelines to take malicious potshots at every “red flag” within the Society which, to his paranoia, indicates a “compromise.” Pardon me for being cynical, but I strongly suspect that these incessant hollow cries of “compromise” are issued to generate funds among those credulous saps who have the misfortune to be his followers – funds, especially, that could have been given to the Society.

      (Speaking of which, why does the Society allow this group of misfits to call themselves the “SSPX Marian Corps,” when they have either been booted out of, or left, the SSPX?)

      In my opinion, Bp. Williamson needs to go on a long retreat and learn to keep his mouth shut. He has done enough of the work of the Devil for one lifetime.

      • RCA Victor,

        Well said. I also forgot to say that Bishop Fellay not only doesn’t go “cap in hand begging” but only and always in response to an invitation.

        Perhaps that’s what niggles Bp Williamson – he’s never going to be invited to Rome for talks and that probably irks him to death. Take it from one who knows 😀

          • PETRUS. I agree with you. From the comments here on Bishop Williamson, it is clear that he was no leader. The sad thing he conned good people into thinking he was.

          • Petrus,

            I learned last summer from one of our retreat-masters (who had to clean out “R” sympathizers from his own parish) that his bitter disenchantment began when he was removed from the faculty of the Seminary at Winona – which happened in the early 2000’s I think. This seems to point strongly toward the “revenge” factor behind that whole “movement.” It also makes me suspect that the notorious “Holocaust” interview was deliberately timed by him to disrupt the negotiations with Rome.

    • I think the issue with the rebels will now be that they are lapsed Catholics. They are brining their children up as lapsed Catholics and it probably suits them just fine to lie in bed on a Sunday morning !

    • While I really don’t care what Bishop Williamson thinks, I have to say that members of the resistance in the UK won’t be interested in his rantings either as they have fallen out with him, and he no longer celebrates Mass for them.

        • They’re not following anyone. They hardly have Mass and usually gather on Sundays for a Holy Hour. Once in a blue moon a priest flies in to say Mass and then flies out again and it’s back to Holy Hours. In their list of Mass Centres they include those run by Fr. King (although I’ve been told he insists he’s not in the resistance) and they are the only ones that actually have a Mass although he has now closed one of his Centres.

  5. I saw this short article by Fr Hunwicke (linked below) during Holy Week when our blog was closed to comments.

    He contrasts the unfair treatment of the SSPX with the doctrinal “free for all” which seems to exist in the mainstream Church.

    Having reviewed the fact that the teachings of post-Conciliar Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI (regarding communion for remarried divorcees and also homosexuality) have been under great assault, he goes on:

    it is my recollection that, at least at one stage, the Vatican asked the Bishops and priests of the SSPX to accept, not only the texts of Vatican II, but also the “whole post-Conciliar Magisterium”

    concluding with:

    Why are the Catholic Faith and the post-Conciliar Magisterium Table d’hote for Bishop Fellay and me, but a la Carte for other more Eminent people?

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/its-la-carte-for-some.html

    • Gabriel Syme,

      That’s been the issue all along – that “liberals” and every head-case under the sun can spout anti-Catholic nonsense without anyone batting an eyelid or calling them heretics, let alone schismatic – I’m thinking of some of the clergy we’ve had in Scotland writing rubbish, heresy, blasphemy etc, for years, not to mention the Mgr Loftus nonsense week in and week out in one of the worst of the so called Catholic papers. And the rest…

      So, that’s a key point which I’m glad seems to be more widely acknowledged now – at last.

  6. I did watch some of the video and was impressed with the Bishop but then I always have been. He comes across as humble and charitable.

  7. “Vianney says:
    March 29, 2016 at 10:52 pm
    While I really don’t care what Bishop Williamson thinks, I have to say that members of the resistance in the UK won’t be interested in his rantings either as they have fallen out with him, and he no longer celebrates Mass for them.”

    Perhaps some of his members will return to the SSPX. What would concern me about that is that they jumped ship so quickly, on Bishop Williamson’s claim that Bishop Fellay would accept compromise.

    • Jimislander,

      I’m not so sure that any of them would return to the Society. The bitterness of their departure some years ago, the terrible things they said about Bishop Fellay and others, not to mention the friendships they severed in their bitterness, makes it nigh on impossible, barring great humility, for any of them to return. Who knows, maybe some will eventually come back, and with greater appreciation for the SSPX, but it remains doubtful. My fear is that by depriving themselves of regular Mass and Sacraments, bearing in mind the bitterness that already exists in many of their souls, a majority may eventually lose the faith altogether, disillusioned by their failure and what they see as the failures of everyone else around them. That is truly my greatest concern for them, priests and laity.

      • Athanasius. Thank you for the information. I was unaware of the breakaway group until very recently or the bitter division it caused. All we can do is pray for them as you rightly say they do not fall away from the faith.

  8. Bishop Williamson makes the fatal error, an error common to all of his fellow bitter zealots, of comparing Archbishop Lefebvre’s circumstances of three decades ago with those of Bishop Fellay today.

    It is important for us to understand that Archbishop Lefebvre’s primary mission, as he himself stated, was to preserve the sacred priesthood and the ancient Mass of the Church. The two go together. Hence, as His Grace recalled, when Pope John Paul II asked him what he wanted, his reply was freedom to form priest in the Traditional way and freedom to celebrate the Mass of all time. The Archbishop lamented that no sooner had John Paul II agreed without hesitation to this request that his Secretary of State intervened with the objection that Archbishop Lefebvre only wanted these concessions in order to make them a banner for opposing the reform. At this point, Archbishop Lefebvre, the wekness in authority in this Pope showed itself. He left the room with a comment to the effect that they should resolve the matter between them. Of course that was never going to happen once the Pope had backed down.

    At any rate, the point is that at that time the Mass and the priesthood were seriously under threat of extinction. There were no Traditional seminaries in the world no Traditional Masses anywhere globally for the faithful. And so, as history tells us, the Archbishop found himself in an impossible position. If he had obeyed abusive authority and abandoned his seminaries and priests, the Church today would not have witnessed a ressurgence, as it has, in Traditional seminaries, priests and Masses. So it is clear that he made the correct decision at the time to disobey the Pope and proceed with the consecration of bishops, whose sole remit would be to ordain priests and administer confirmations.

    Today, Bishop Fellay is in the happier position of dialoguing with Rome with the success of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Mission evident to all. There are Traditional priests and Masses all over the world, as well as Traditional seminaries and a growing desire in the hierarchy for a return to sanity. Yes, the crisis is still very prevalent but not to the threatening degree it was during the life of Archbishop Lefebvre. Hence, Bishop Fellay seeks to obtain that Papal recognition and authoritative approval of the SSPX as a fully Catholic institution of the Church that was so unjustly removed in 1971 without explanation or recourse.

    In the meantime, the SSPX remains steadfast in its opposition to doctrinal and liturgical novelty, not having given an inch since the Archbishop’s death. To seek under those circumstances a recognition by Rome and by default the opportunity to help the Church in an even greater way to recover from the present crisis that afflicts her, is perfectly Catholic and in line with the spirit of the Archbishop. Those who try to twist the Archbishop’s intentions, by applying statements attributed to him out of context and in a vastly different time, are devious people. They are, in all truth, genuinely schismatic, and that is most obvious from the spirit of bitter zeal that drives them.

    For them, when Archbishop Lefebvre made a mistake in his delaings with the Modernist authorities in 1988 it was quite acceptable. When Bishop Fellay made a similar mistake in discussions in 2011, it was treachery and a sell out. And yet, after five years the SSPX still hasn’t sold out and is in a stronger position than ever before. Bishop Williamson, on the other hand, is a sad and isolated figure, ranting on a blog like a man demented and now on to his third illicit episcopal consecration. It’s like he’s trying to recreate the four-bishop scenario of the SSPX again to soothe his loss. But the loss is there for him, and it is great. Bishop Williamson, God have mercy on him, has a very great deal to answer for. Thankfully, his attempts to destroy the Archbishop’s Society have failed miserably, and will continue to fail.

  9. According to Rorate Caeli Bishop Fellay had a meeting with the Pope on Friday;

    “Greg Burke, Vatican Press Office vice-director, announced on Monday that a meeting took place in the Casa Santa Marta on Friday, April 1, between Pope Francis and the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX / FSSPX).

    We have learned that it was a very positive meeting.2

    • Argh Ive just posted the same on General discussion – I forgot about this thread, (sorry Editor!), Im glad you remembered Vianney!

      Editor: I’ve rescued your post from the GD thread – here it is!

      From Gabriel Syme…

      I am a little wary of this, given the alleged meeting took place on 1st April (!) but this news has just been posted today – 4th April.

      Pope and SSPX superior Fellay met Friday evening in Rome (updated)

      Greg Burke, Vatican Press Office vice-director, announced on Monday that a meeting took place in the Casa Santa Marta on Friday, April 1, between Pope Francis and the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX / FSSPX).

      We have learned that it was a very positive meeting

      http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/04/pope-and-sspx-superior-fellay-met.html

  10. Excellent interview with Bishop Schneider.” The Holy See asked me to visit the two seminaries of the SSPX ”

    “The “sentire cum ecclesia” of the SSPX is shown by the fact that I was received as an envoy of the Holy See with true respect and with cordiality”

    “To my knowledge there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition, meanwhile they should be accepted as they are. This was indeed Archbishop Lefebvre’s petition to the Holy See: “Accept us as we are”.

    Lets hope the Holy See responds in a positive manner

    • Jimislander,

      The signs are good that the Pope is responding very positively to the Society. Paradoxical as it may be, we need to remember the God does indeed work in mysterious ways.

      • Can it really be that if people personally approve of something that happens it is the hand of God, and if they don’t it is the work of The Devil?

        I don’t think The Church judges things at such an idiosyncratic subjective relativistic level.

        As you tell others The Truth is Truth. Gerragrip.

        • Father Arthur,

          Like everything, if we look at these issues and examine them in light of Catholic Tradition and the Faith, it is quite clear that personal opinion doesn’t come into play?

          Perhaps it is you who allows your personal opinion to cloud judgement and distort the Faith ? Perhaps something for you to think about ?

          • On the contrary I am one of the few who expounds The Catholic Faith on this blog. I have not said anything about abortion not consistent with the moral teaching of The Church. Abortion is wrong, but then so is calumny, arrogance and spiritual pride, and wilful rejection of The Teaching Authority Church, and its lawful, valid, liturgical Rites.

            • Fr Arthur,

              I spontaneously burst out laughing when I read your opening sentence about being “one of the few who expounds the Faith on this blog.”

              Listen, I know a man in Dublin who can get you a great price on a bridge over there. Just let me know asap before it gets snapped up.

              And again, you insist on mixing issues and belittling the gravity of abortion by comparing it to other sins.

              Nobody here rejects the teaching authority of the Church – name one of us who does that.

              Re: “liturgical rites” blah, blah – I guess you mean the new Mass which some of us (me, certainly) reject but Pope Paul VI insisted that it was only meant as an option. I don’t have to attend it or think well of it. I do neither.

              Does that make me an unfaithful Catholic?

              • I think you believe it is important that The Sacraments are validly, and licitly, celebrated. That limits choices I think.

                • Fr Arthur

                  It is extremely refreshing to see a modern priest place so much emphasis on doing things properly with regards to the liturgical rites. I take it you follow the rubrics scrupulously? I take the you don’t use Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion?

                  If I were you I would go and read Pope St Pius V’s Quo Primum. Then I expect you will be reaching for the crash helmet and hoping to avoid the wrath of Blessed apostles Peter and Paul!

                  • Unlike some I am not stuck in a time warp, and I follow Peter. Editor said her favourite document is the 1997 document “Instruction on The Laity” which she said banned EMHC. It doesn’t, and if people like you can misread one document you can misread others. Further, to return to an earlier discussion if you believe The Mandatum is central to The Mass you only started reading documents published since 1950. Or if you believe The Mass is unchanging how do you explain the changes in 1570?

                    I personally follow The Rubrics and listen to The Magisterium. The two go hand in hand. And every celebration is recognised by Rome as valid and licit.

                    • Most of your posts are incoherent and the rest are illogical. You aren’t stuck in a time warp? So you reject Quo Primum? You seem to be suggesting that we only need to look at what the current Pope is saying and are free to discard the rest? Thank goodness I don’t take my children to the New Mass when there are mixed up priests like you on the loose!

                      I take it you do use EMHC. Your know fine well that the 1997 instruction stated that they can only be used when the numbers coming for Communion are so great that there would be a considerable delay. Fat chance of seeing that at a Novus Ordeal!

                      By the way, that organisation you work for it….is it the Church of Scotland by any chance? You’re about as Catholic as a Church of Scotland minister!

                    • Speaking of which, you never favoured me with a reply to my repeated question asking what you thought of Cardinal Schonborn’s Mass with balloons and illicit matter.

                    • Off topic part of this post is seleted. When we have a thread on boarding schools and / or the living wage you can pose those questions. Until now, stop being so irritating and stick to the topic.

                      I don’t have to have a view on Balloon Masses. Editor: well, that speaks volumes. Makes a nonsense of your claim to be faithful to the rubrics – faithful to the rubrics yourself but don’t have a view on a Cardinal who makes a fool of the Mass? Strange kind of Catholic, let alone priest.

                      Editor: I’ve deleted a very nasty remark at the end of this post. You say to Petrus elsewhere that you do not need to answer questions on your “ministry” (which seems to me to be to close down this blog – won’t succeed) so don’t make remarks about anyone else’s state of life if you are not prepared to explain your own.

                    • Fr Arthur,

                      “Editor said her favourite document is the 1997 document “Instruction on The Laity” which she said banned EMHC.”

                      Falsehood. If I were to name ANY document as my “favourite” – which I’ve never done – Pascendi would be up there at the top, but not the 1997 Instruction which, from the outset, was ignored by the Bishops with the weak Vatican refusing to enforce it. Nor did I say those lay people playing at being priests were “banned”. Falsehood. My sisterly advice to you is to be careful not to publish falsehoods here because anyone who checks out your allegations will soon see that they are not true and may be tempted to label you a liar. Now, we really don’t want that, do we?

                      The key problem with the rest of your comment (and almost every other comment you post here) is that you write as though everything in the Church were normal; you do not acknowledge that the Church is in crisis, despite the fact that three recent popes have said so: Pope Paul VI, in hand-wringing mode, bemoaned the fact that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Temple of God” (the Church) and Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor used the word “crisis” to describe the lamentable failure of the Bishops to teach and preach the Faith & Morals, instructing them to take certain specific steps to put things right. Needless to say they didn’t bother their heads, nor did they take notice of Ad Tuendam Fidem. Then, of course, we find Pope Benedict XVI – on the very day of his election – asking us to pray that “I do not flee for fear of the wolves” – a reference to the apostates within the Vatican walls – and on a number of occasions addressed the growing problem of dissent.

                      We cannot, therefore, act and write as if there is no crisis in the Church.

                    • Editor

                      You may have said it tongue in cheek but I can assure you did say it!

                      Editor: I did say it and immediately corrected it. I had mis-quoted the document accidentally, but later corrected it, as well you know. You really do have a very dishonest streak.

                      I have not aware that either you or I have spoken of laity playing at priests.

                      Editor: that’s what they are doing when they totter about the sanctuary taking on the role of priests, as, e.g. in handling the Blessed Sacrament.

                      However, with 100% certainty I can say you said the 1997 banned EMHC but it was “never enforced”.

                      Editor: the 1997 document stated clearly that these people were not to be used except in very exceptional circumstances but they are used routinely, again, as well you know. Hence it is absolutely true to say that the Vatican did not enforce its own rules on this (as on so much else). Stop playing semantics.

                      The Church has always experienced crisis times.

                      Editor: this crisis is unique. Any past crises pale into insignificance next to this one.

                    • Petrus

                      In my one reply to your nonsense I cited three dates in three different pontificates, none the current one. That alone should indicate I am not concerned about the period a particular occupant was in The See of Rome!

                      Further, as you know as you have usually replied, and indeed in reply to you, I have cited documents from various centuries, and Holy Scripture, and indeed The Early Church.

                      You will also know that I, and The Church in general, believe we cannot base our teaching, and practice, on one document unless that document is understood to be part of Tradition, or unless it explicitly states it is seeking to define an infallible teaching.

                      With regards Quo Primum that changed the Liturgy of The Church and you can only base your stance on that if you accept that Liturgy can change, as change things it did. (That teaching was also changed within a relatively short period of time by his successors.)

                      I don’t need to answer questions about my ministry except to say that I faithfully adhere to the rubrics.

                    • Editor

                      I have said about 30 times that I adhere to The Rubrics, and that it is important all Sacraments are celebrated licitly and validly, and importantly, in Full Communion with Rome.

                      It is not my job to offer a running commentary on other celebrations of The Sacraments celebrated by anyone.

                      I have not read any specifics of the so called “Balloon Mass” nor watched, or wish to watch, and video evidence of such things.

                      Exactly then why can I be condemned for saying that The Sacraments have to be celebrated according to Church Norms, The Rubrics, and be recognised by Rome as licit and valid, and in Communion with The Pope?

                      Can I also refer you to an email I sent to you previously, and I have sent you another rone reminding you of its contents.

                    • Fr Arthur,

                      I’m afraid your dishonesty has caught up with you this time. I made time to search out my comment on the 1997 document and I am posting the exchange we had below, since you refuse to admit that I had corrected my initial mistake. I am also including your persistence in peddling what is now demonstrably a lie, (not merely a falsehood, perhaps by mistake), in one of your emails to me today…

                      EDITOR says:
                      March 14, 2016 at 10:20 am

                      The same Vatican Document (1997 Instruction on the roles of ordained and laity) that prohibited (without ever enforcing it) the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, also forbade the use of titles such as Chaplain to lay people – again never enforced.

                      FR ARTHUR says:
                      March 14, 2016 at 10:40 am

                      I suggest you carefully re-read article 8 of the 1997 document. It does, not , anywhere ban their use, but it restricts their use. Therefore, if restrictions are put in place their use must be lawful.

                      EDITOR says:
                      March 14, 2016 at 11:23 am

                      I should have said prohibited their habitual use (as we see it in parishes today) – Article 8 clearly states that a number of abuses are to be avoided including “the habitual use of EMHC at Mass, thus arbitrarily extending the concept of “A great number of the faithful”
                      In other words, a packed church (even if you can find one) is not a reason for their use.

                      https://catholictruthblog.com/2016/03/10/10-march-feast-of-st-john-ogilvie/#comments

                      EXTRACT FROM AN EMAIL FROM FR ARTHUR TO EDITOR, DATED 5 APRIL, 10.42. am.

                      NOTE: If you deny the following statement from your email, I will forward the email to anyone who requests it.

                      “Further, I can say with certainty you did NOT amend what you said about the 1997 Instruction. and you like it precisely because you placed overemphasis on its provisions.”

                      As clear a case of “game, set and match” as ever I’ve know. Apology due, methinks.

                    • Editor

                      As I cannot recall every reply you make, or find them electronically, as you can, is it dishonest to have poor recollection.

                      Editor: what are you talking about “poor recollection”? And it is not so easy for me to find comments without knowing the precise thread – I had to spend a long time last night searching for the exchange on EMHC. You must have had that exchange to hand when you took such a definite position on the matter, INSISTING that I had not amended my original post when, manifestly, I did.

                      However, in the light of questions of honesty, may I remind you have said to me privately you will not quote my emails publicly?

                      Editor: that unsolicited assurance was given by me in good faith. I withdraw it now, publicly, in the light of your frequent distortions of my comments; in future, you must quote precisely what I (or other bloggers) have said, our exact words, plus post the thread link so we can check your claims. In any event, you seemed very definitely to recall that I had not amended my comment about the 1997 Instruction! Why be so definite, if, as you NOW say, you “cannot recall every reply [I] make”? I think we can take it from your response here, that you know perfectly well that you fibbed in order to discredit me. Enjoy the fun while you may, because it’s drawing to a close now.

                      As for not quoting your emails publicly, in the same email I have just quoted above, without any qualm of conscience, given your persistence in trying to discredit me by repeating a falsehood about me, you say: “You cannot, in justice, ignore private insights I share with you.” So, which is it? I’m not to use anything in your emails publicly or, as in at least two cases that spring to mind, this most recent one included, I’m to use information in your emails to post on blog, in one form or another. Nope. If you want to give information to bloggers about your bishop, do it yourself, don’t use me as your personal assistant/messenger.

                • Fr. Arthur

                  I think you believe it is important that The Sacraments are validly, and licitly, celebrated. That limits choices I think.

                  Yes, it does. The new liturgical rites have been shown to be untrustworthy, open to all manner of abuses. That limits every true Catholic to just one choice, the choice of Tradition. There is no freedom to innovate in the Church’s Traditional liturgical rites. It’s really a no brainer for the truly faithful Catholic. And so the truly faithful Catholic, or at least the informed one, makes use of the option given by Paul VI and adheres with all his being to the ancient rites that sanctified the saints and martyrs. The new rites are by far inferior, not to mention extremely dangerous in the wrong clerical hands.

                  Most of us here have seen both sides and are therefore speaking from personal experience – witnessing to the truth, if you like!

                  • There’s no reply facility to Father Arthur’s bizarre post, so I will have to reply here.

                    Father Arthur,

                    Did you just say you have no opinion of the “balloon Mass”? Wow! This, more than anything else, tells us that you are not a worthy priest. In fact, I think the more you give away, the more reason one would have to question the validity of your Masses. If you have no opinion of the “balloon Mass” I doubt you truly believe in the Real Presence.

                    You are being downright silly insinuating that we thing the liturgy cannot “change”. The liturgy can, and always has, evolved. The vast majority of this evolution of liturgy has been through additions. Only someone who is an outright Modernist would claim that the butchering of the liturgy in 1969 was organic.

                    Regarding changes to the liturgy, I offer you these excerpts for your meditation, in the hope that you GAIN an opinion of novelties such as the “balloon Mass” and your eyes are opened to see the inherent problems with the New Mass.

                    “The desire to restore everything indiscriminately to its ancient condition is neither wise nor praiseworthy. It would be wrong, for example, to want the altar restored to its ancient form of a table; to want black eliminated from liturgical colors, and pictures and statues eliminated from our churches; to require crucifixes that do not represent the bitter sufferings of the Divine Redeemer; to condemn polyphonic chants, even though they conform to the regulations of the Apostolic See . . . This attitude is an attempt to revive the “archaeologism” to which the pseudo-synod of Pistoia gave rise; it seeks also to re-introduce the pernicious errors which led to that synod and resulted from it and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the “deposit of faith” committed to her charge by her Divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn. [53] For perverse designs and ventures of this sort tend to paralyze and weaken that process of sanctification by which the sacred liturgy directs the sons of adoption to their Heavenly Father of their souls’ salvation. [Pars. 66-68]”

                    Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei

                    “The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment. (Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104)”

                    • Petrus

                      As I said before,The 1570 Missal changed the liturgy, and successive occupants of The See of Rome changed The Missal long, long, before 1962, as indeed it was changed many, many, times before 1570. The “Mass of The Ages”, is, of necessity, the one celebrated in Communion with The Bishop of Rome, and recognised by Rome as wholly licit and valid.

                      You choose to quote Cardinal Ratzinger, who you may know, became Pope Benedict. You will also know that many of your fellow commentators see him as a corrupted source so to speak. A “Modernist” in their terms.

                      Therefore you can either quote him because you accept him to be a learned, wise, man committed to proclaiming eternal truths, or you can write him off as suspect. You cannot do both things at once. Further ,either way you cannot take one thing he says and say this is what he thinks and discard the others.

                      More especially, when elevated to The Papacy, and when he issued a Motu Proprio, which is considered to outrank an encyclical in its significance, you must surely take him seriously. If not why give emphasis to a lower ranking document, an encyclical, which may not, and does not usually, contain infallible teaching? Not only that a document specifically, and unreservedly, addressing the issue you claim to educate others on.

                      To quote Summorum Pontificum of 2005:

                      “Many other Roman pontiffs, in the course of the centuries, showed particular solicitude in ensuring that the sacred liturgy accomplished this task more effectively. Outstanding among them is St. Pius V who, sustained by great pastoral zeal and following the exhortations of the Council of Trent, renewed the entire liturgy of the Church, oversaw the publication of liturgical books amended and ‘renewed in accordance with the norms of the Fathers,’ and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.

                      One of the liturgical books of the Roman rite is the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and, with the passing of the centuries, little by little took forms very similar to that it has had in recent times.

                      “It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and when necessary clarified…….
                      But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms. These had so deeply marked their culture and their spirit that in 1984 the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by a concern for the pastoral care of these faithful, with the special indult ‘Quattuor abhinc anno,” issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted permission to use the Roman Missal published by Blessed John XXIII in the year 1962. Later, in the year 1988, John Paul II with the Apostolic Letter given as Motu Proprio, ‘Ecclesia Dei,’ exhorted bishops to make generous use of this power in favor of all the faithful who so desired……
                      Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the ‘Lex orandi’ (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi,’ and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.”

                      So a Motu Proprio outranks an encyclical in its importance, and significance, and this one was written by a source you favour, and cite?

                      Or do you accept Papal Teaching expressly stated and written to address current concerns?

                    • Again, no reply facility to Fr Arthur.

                      Fr Arthur,

                      You wrote:

                      “You cannot do both things at once. Further ,either way you cannot take one thing he says and say this is what he thinks and discard the others.”

                      Yes, I can. You clearly do not understand Modernism and have a mind that is about is clear as ginger beer. Take a look at what Pope St. Pius X wrote in Pascendi:

                      “For they double the part of the rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error.[15]
                      Hence, in their books you find some things that might well be expressed by a Catholic, but in the next page you will find other things which might have been dictated by a rationalist.”

                      It would seem from your comments that you, dear Father, are an enemy of the Church.

                      “That we make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuous they appear.[10]

                      [W]e allude… to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself,… and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church.
                      …And this policy they follow willingly and wittingly, both because it is part of their system that authority is to be stimulated but not dethroned, and because it is necessary for them to remain within the ranks of the Church in order that they may gradually transform the collective conscience—thus unconsciously avowing that the common conscience is not with them, and that they have no right to claim to be its interpreters.”[11]”

                    • Petrus

                      You write:

                      “Did you just say you have no opinion of the “balloon Mass”? Wow! This, more than anything else, tells us that you are not a worthy priest. In fact, I think the more you give away, the more reason one would have to question the validity of your Masses. If you have no opinion of the “balloon Mass” I doubt you truly believe in the Real Presence. ”

                      Are you the same man Editor rushed to protect because I apparently insulted you with reference to a supposed joke you made?

                      I assume Editor will ask you to unreservedly apologise. But probably not as the rules of truth and justice here differ even from those in Civil Society never mind those within The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

                      Editor: no I won’t ask Petrus to apologise. Although I will ask bloggers to try to keep the language respectful, hard as I’m finding it myself, because this trial by Fr Arthur will not last much longer. Any Catholic, let alone a priest, who has no opinion about a known dissenting Cardinal participating in a “Balloon” Mass really does have to explain himself. If you think that was a valid Mass, that those involved believe in the Real Presence, then you really do surprise me.

                    • Father,

                      Oh, sorry, were you joking when you said you had no opinion on the “balloon Masses”? If you were, you might need to work on your literary technique! However, could you confirm you were joking and then I will apologise for jumping to conclusions?

                      What is your opinion of the “balloon Masses”, the “clown Masses” or any other Mass with a “theme”?

                    • Petrus

                      When you play pick and mix with Motu Proprio, which outrank encyclicals, then I think you need to worry more about your grasp of the fundamentals of the faith, and how a Pope imparts authentic teaching to which a loyal Catholic would adhere.

                      Balloon Masses are irrelevant when compared to hot air coming from some and wrongly directed at lawful occupants of The See of Rome whose role is “to affirm the faith of their brothers”.

          • This is a response to Fr Arthur above.

            I’m now beginning to question your own intelligence. Your responses just don’t make sense.

            A Motu Proprio may indeed outrank an encyclical but that’s not the issue here. I’m so glad you’ve decided to blog here, Fr Arthur, because the world can now see the great confusion of the modern Catholic priest. Maybe this is why you aren’t a parish priest and have been sent to an organisation to keep you out the way.

            I’m afraid I wouldn’t trust you with my fish tank nevermind my soul.

            • It is entirely relevant. You quoted an encyclical from Pius Xll I think, The Motu Proprio has greater authority, and explores much the same issues, and gives the issue an entirely orthodox, and profoundly different, into the issue. Not only that it puts your second quote, from the then Cardinal Ratzinger, in its proper context and the wonderful thing the same man wrote both the M.P, and The Ratzinger quote.

              Follow Peter. Clearly not Petrus.

              • But surely you know that we read all these documents in light of the Deposit of Faith? These documents are not necessarily infallible in their entirety so there is a possibility that they contain errors. That possibility is greater today given the Church crisis. If you deny that then there is no hope for you and you really are a troll.

                • Clearly all documents/teaching are to be proclaimed as heard in the light of The Deposit of Faith. However, unless Jesus was a fool then it is “The Authorities”, as Bishop Fellay calls them, especially The Pope who are The Guardians, and heralds, of that Faith.

                  I doubt that God has changed the schema of things as that would contradict his own word.

                  So let me see, yet again you wish to argue you accept Pope Benedict when he says the old Missal was not abrogated, something in the same document, but not when he said all the other things I have quoted?

                  It is a marvel to behold that God has uniquely granted you such insights.

                  • I repeat, when parts of these documents are in harmony with the Deposit of Faith then we give our assent. It doesn’t take any special insight to recognise when modern documents do not reiterate the Deposit of Faith.

                    This is all very elementary.

                    • With respect, you are suggesting that individuals can pick and choose what lines are authentic. Even if the document isn’t infallible, as rubrics, and G.I.R.M’s are not, and Canon Law isn’t either, where do we decide which one’s we should follow? It is a very slippery slope you are on.

                      Exactly why would Bishop Fellay call these folks “Authorities” if, deep down, you believe they have no authority. It is a contradiction in terms.

                      Why would a priest who validly and licitly celebrated The Sacraments, each day, and is in Full Communion with Rome, have less credibility with some Catholics than clerics who don’t? Is it an expression of the Divine sense of humour, or does God contradict himself?

                  • Fr. Arthur

                    “Clearly all documents/teaching are to be proclaimed as heard in the light of The Deposit of Faith. However, unless Jesus was a fool then it is “The Authorities”, as Bishop Fellay calls them, especially The Pope who are The Guardians, and heralds, of that Faith.

                    I doubt that God has changed the schema of things as that would contradict his own word.”

                    So how is it that the Faith before Vatican II, as expressed both in parish worship and universal proclamation, is so vastly different from that of today, which latter presentation bears very striking resemblances to Protestantism?

                    There is no skipping around this reality. Our Lord said that the tree is known by its fruit. Well, the fruits of Conciliar reform are very bitter indeed, apostasy on a grand scale, no less.

                    So what say ye?

  11. I am going to be away from my computer for most of today, so have only managed to respond to a couple of posts.

    Father Arthur, I have inserted responses in a couple of your comments because the reply button again is not there due to the excessive number of replies already given.

    I am really irritated by your uncharitable and utterly dishonest tactic of distorting comments from past discussions and taking side-swipes at other bloggers, all of whom have been respectful in their replies to you, as far as I can see.

    Allow me to warn you that if I see this pattern continuing, I will block you from this site. I do not want visitors to read false statements about any bloggers, myself included, such as your allegation that I’ve said something which turns out to be inaccurate in previous posts, without adding that I later corrected my mistake. I am trying hard not to call you a liar, instead allowing for the possibility that you have not remembered correctly, but that charitable disposition is drawing to a close. If you are going to keep on accusing me of saying something that is incorrect, without adding that I later corrected the mistake, then – once I have reminded you of the correction – if you persist in your false claim, I am entitled to believe that you are deliberately lying.

    This makes the atmosphere on the blog unpleasant through to sour. It will not be tolerated. I’ve blocked others acting in a troll like manner for a heck of a lot less. And that without any warning. This will be the last hint, so take it or leave it.

  12. More encouraging reports regarding Francis and the SSPX.

    1) Matteo Matzuzzi, the Vatican expert of the Italian daily Il Foglio wrote of the recent Fellay-Francis meeting:

    It is a further step towards canonical recognition of the Fraternity to the Holy See in the form of an ad hoc erected Prelature on the model of Opus Dei, therefore with far-reaching and not only organizational autonomy.

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/rome-and-society-of-saint-pius-x.html

    (Though this might be speculation from Matzuzzi, as other reports say the canonical status was not directly discussed at the meeting – yet maybe he has other sources, or is simply recycling the prelature speculation from the time of Benedict)

    2) More concretely we have Marco Tosatti saying:

    “It is a common opinion in the Vatican, and particularly among those who are close to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which is responsible for the Lefebvrian dossier that the Pope will soon perform an arbitrary and spectacular gesture towards the Society of St. Pius X,”

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/why-is-this-pope-determined-to.html

    In the second link, Tosatti goes on to suggest this gesture will be as a result of either (A) Francis’ love of headline grabbing / spectacular gestures, or (B) that he considers tradition obsolete and the SSPX not to be numerically threatening.

    Perhaps both, even.

    Though, I daresay Francis and others are in for a shock, if they think tradition is obsolete.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      That would be very good news, whatever the motives. Pope Francis really DOES “arbitrary and spectacular” so, here’s hoping!

    • I remember reading an article just about the time the first talks began and the writer (can’t remember who) said that he was quite convinced that Archbishop Lefebvre was still guiding the society he founded. I have recently heard that the Pope has TWICE read the biography of the Archbishop by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, and so if the Pope is becoming more favourable to the SSPX, I think we know who can take the credit.

  13. Ha, look at this report, right after Francis’ document. It’s obviously the calculated sweetener, after the bitter pill.

    Its from Archbishop Pozzo, in the French paper “La Croix”:

    The difficulties raised by the SSPX regarding Church-State relations and religious freedom,the practice of ecumenism, and the dialogue with non-Christian religions, of certain aspects of the liturgical reform, and of its concrete application, remain the object of discussion and clarification, Abp. Pozzo [of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei] added, but they are not an obstacle for the canonical and legal recognition of the SSPX.”

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/04/main-vatican-ecclesia-dei-official.html

    My, what a turn around.

    From supposed justification for tarring the Society as Schismatics, to “not an obstacle” to recognition.

    • Gerontius has just asked what this means (above) and I’m wondering the same thing. What is the point of offering a sop to the SSPX after the dynamite in the Apostolic Exhortation? I wonder if they think the Exhortation means Bishop Fellay won’t talk to them any more and this will make him and the SSPX look unreasonable. I can’t help wondering what their game is.

  14. The US web site has an article about Bishop Fellay and his talks with the Pope and I thought you might find this part interesting, particularly the last bit.

    “According to Le Salon Beige, Bishop Fellay said that the Pope considered the SSPX Catholic, that he had no intention to condemn it, and that he wanted to extend the jurisdiction of SSPX priests, beginning with the faculty for confessions. During his meetings in Rome, Bishop Fellay has even been encouraged to open a seminary in Italy.”

    • Vianney,

      WOW! Poor old modernists. They must be running round in circles, wondering what Papa Francis is playing at. I know I am, and I’m no modernist!

      PS Michael Voris, eat your heart out!

  15. Eponymous Flower reports on a new interview with ++Pozzo, this time with “Zenit”:

    – he describes what Rome expects from the SSPX
    – claims that the issues surround V2 have undergone a “significant clarification” in “recent years”
    – reiterates that outstanding issues wrt ecumenism and religious freedom are “not obstacles”

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/what-rome-expects-of-society-of-pius-x.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheEponymousFlower+(The+Eponymous+Flower)

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