Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reuters: A Day Early And A Dollar Short

By Patrick Archbold

Reuters screams "Catholic rebel snubs pope call to rejoin Rome." This may eventually be true, but I don't think you could accurately say that as of this date.
PARIS (Reuters) - The leader of a breakaway traditionalist Catholic group has rejected a Vatican offer to rejoin Rome, accusing Pope Benedict of trying to silence dissenting voices.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) that broke with Rome 20 years ago, said conditions set by the Vatican amounted to muzzling the traditionalists who claim to be the only true Catholics since Church reforms in the 1960s.

Keen to end this schism, Benedict agreed last year to their demand to restore the old Latin Mass. But he insists they must accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) before he can lift excommunication decrees against them.

"Rome is telling us, okay, we are ready to lift the excommunications, but you cannot continue this way," Fellay said in a sermon last Friday now posted as an audio file on the U.S.-based Voice of Catholic Radio website.

"So we have no choice... we are continuing what we've done," the Swiss-born Fellay said in English at an SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota. "They just say 'shut up' ... we are not going ... to shut up."
They base the "snubbing" on Fellay's speech of last week where he said "So, we have no choice, we are not going this way, we are continuing what we have done, we have fought now for forty years to keep this faith alive...That's what we continue to say today." While this is certainly not helpful and obviously not a good sign, I do not think that it constitutes the definitive rejection of the offer of the Holy See. Further, we have no real idea what is contingent to the signing of the letter sent to Fellay.

I hope that since this letter was not public knowledge at the time, Fellay might have just been playing to his base preparing them. So that even if he is to accept the offer of the Vatican, they would know that he will still work to address their concerns, if not as publicly and vocally. But Fellay should know that those concerns are better addressed when seated at the table and not on the outside looking in. Like I said, hopefully. We shall see soon enough.


Anonymous said...

Journalists lied to begin with on this one and they continue to lie, lie, lie. They are trying to predict the outcome so that they can beat their colleagues to the mark. The first story included the 'condition' that the Society accept Vatican II and we see this repeated here. But the five points which Bishop Fellay is asked to sign make no mention of this 'condition'. It is probably not a condition specifically for the lifting of the excommunications. It probabaly is, in one form or another, a condition for a full regularisation. But that is something to be negotiated in the future, not now. Any fool who has been following the discussions to date can predict that some acceptance of Vatican II will be required for full regularisation, as it was for the Campos. Duh! But that is not this step.

The first journalists also spread the TOTAL LIE, as they did in 2000, that a 'prelature' was to be offered to the S.S.P.X. Eight years ago, after they lied over and over and over on this (or else irresponsibly reported this error), Fellay finally confirmed that it was not a prelature but an apostolic administration 'for particular persons' (cf. Canon 372.2) which was offered. The same a.a. was then given, a year later, to the Campos. There is a huge difference between the two structures. The prelature structure, owing to Canon 297, would be a disaster for traditionalists. But these idiot journalists have this stupid word 'prelature' in their notes and banging around in their empty braincases, and they keep hauling it out. They are stupid, mendacious and lazy: all three. They deserve no respect and we should ignore them.

It is true that Fellay's sermon of last week is not positive, but he needs to make it clear to the Society that he is not anxious to sign anything but, rather, to protect the Truth. Whether he will sign these easy pablum conditions, which really make him lose nothing and could help the Church, is something that he alone will decide after consultation and prayer.


Patrick Archbold said...

"Whether he will sign these easy pablum conditions, which really make him lose nothing and could help the Church, is something that he alone will decide after consultation and prayer."

Agree, however it is more than signing. His future rhetoric needs to match his commitment. Respectful and constructive. Unlike you know who.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Archbold:

I agree with your last message here.

Something has just occurred to me. It relates to the first of the five points: that Bishop Fellay respond with proportion to the generosity of the Pope. I and, I think, most of us here, have assumed that this refers to the past action of His Holiness; namely, "Summorun Pontificum". But I now realise that it might signal a soon-to-come act of generosity. I wonder, is the Pope preparing to offer the Society not only a withdrawal of the excommunications but also an ordinary structure (meaning a diocese or apostolic administration and NOT a personal prelature)?

Should Fellay then refuse this, the Cardinal could complain that he was not responding with proportion to the Pope's generosity and was therefore breaking his word.

Think about it. How--how can you imagine?--could Bishop Fellay refuse to 'respond with proportion' merely to a lifting of the excommunications? I mean, I can't image that H.H. would lift them and then Fellay would send him a nasty letter or would refuse to accept this action!

No, but he might refuse to accept a juridical structure. From the beginning, the Cardinal has insisted that the structure should come before the agreement on doctrine; the Society takes the opposite view. The structure could be only a society of apostolic life of pontifical right, to be incorporated into a new international diocese or a.a.

Whatever the case, however, Bishop Fellay should sign. After all, even if my speculation here is correct, Fellay can say that taking a structure at this time would not be a proportionl response but a dangerous one.

No matter what one predicts, Fellay should sign this and then get the declarations of excommunication lifted. Even if they are invalid (which is my view, by the way), their lifting will certainly help the Society and help the Church.