Vatican-SSPX Talks: Where We (Still) Are

I must confess of feeling a bit naive at having considered the agreement between the SSPX and the Vatican a done deal. At the same time, I think I am in excellent company on this, and in my defence I can also say that I had not really considered the possibility of the Pope either lacking the courage of doing what he  clearly wanted to do and indicated he would do, or being so thoroughly manipulated by those nearest to him that they can lie to him – indicating to Bishop Fellay the Pope was in agreement with the latest version of the Preambolo – with the certainty of impunity. Make no mistake, even in this last case I see the Pontiff as much more worthy of blame than every Gaenswein, because most certainly Gaenswein was never elected Pope.

We are, therefore, at this point in presence of a great quantity of broken porcelain, and whilst the porcelain can still be fixed in one way or other (one word of the Pope can, in fact, set pretty much everything right even today) , I wonder whether this fixing will take place.

We do not know whether the Holy Father changed his mind under the weight of the pressures and threats coming from Germany and elsewhere,  or whether the exchange of documents was a plot to divide the SSPX and allow the liberals to rise up like a man and promise open revolt if the Pope would not obey to their command. What we know is that there can be no doubt that (emphasis mine)

 On June 13, 2012, Cardinal Levada delivered to our Superior General [the] text from last April, but amended in such a way that it now reintroduces, substantially, the propositions of September 2011. Bp. Fellay immediately informed him that he could not sign this new document, clearly unacceptable. The next [General] Chapter will allow for an appraisal of the complete dossier.

One is baffled at this kind of “diplomacy”, then everyone who thinks the SSPX would accept today what they considered unacceptable yesterday just because they were allowed to smell the sweet (and difficult) flavour of the reconciliation does not understand much of the SSPX, let alone of moral integrity in general.

If, however, the main aim was to try to cause an open fracture and division within the SSPX, this will now surely backfire, as the resounding “no” the new/old text will receive in July – as it received it in September – will add to the credibility of Bishop Fellay and his friends even among those ready to doubt his actions or his motives.

Therefore, unless the Holy Father decides to take control of the matter, make a decision and accept responsibility for it, we will continue with the usual minuet of half overtures and hoped-for agreements which lead to nothing, if the Vatican is not ready to accept a workable and sensible agreement.

I would very much like to express to you the hope that the Holy Father will now rise to the occasion and actually act as a Pope; but in truth, I lack this hope as I write these sad lines, as I think the Holy Father has allowed himself to be taken hostage by liberals, or to be treated like a fool by his closest collaborators, all of them picked by him.

The SSPX General Chapter will conclude his work around mid-July. I do not doubt they will take the right decision, and the SSPX will go out of this matter as the by far more trustworthy – thought nobody is perfect, of course, and some SSPX member can also leak like plumbers have gone out of fashion – organisation.

Let us hope and pray. But I for myself will not believe anything less than the dried ink of the signatures, and even at that point will wonder how much even signatures are worth in the Vatican.


Posted on June 27, 2012, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Mundabor, Benedict has not been “taken hostage by the liberals.” He IS a liberal, of the highest order. When he publicly offers the Mass of all time, and consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (as she specified), then one might feel an inkling of hope that the winds of change are blowing……….so far it’s not looking good.

    • Louise Marie,

      I agree with you he is a man of V II and, as such, tarnished; but I wouldn’t call him “liberal of the highest order”. If we had people like Schoenborn as Popes you would certainly notice the difference, and I can think of people even worse than him…


  2. I do agree that Bishop Fellay’s reported ‘nay’ to what he is said to have received when he was interviewed at Rome appears to be to his credit. Heaven knows, he has not in the past couple of years been seen to be falling over backwards to bolster any general, good opinion of him. It is of course true that confidentiality and discretion are a sine qua non for any cleric but I gain the impression of his being verily too secretive, hiding things from his peers while conferring with his chosen elite in Switzerland, as though he owes no answers to any but God and as though the SSPX were his fiefdom by divine right.

    Bishop Fellay cannot complain that others suspect the worst when he closets himself with those who too often flatter him and who seek, by encouraging him, to achieve a possibly unworthy agenda.

    A saintly old Cardinal advised me when I was a Seminarian never to believe my own publicity – that falling into that trap was the fastest way to failure. Bishop Fellay has the Grace of the fullness of the Priesthood, it is true, but grace does not act against nature and over-confidence and arrogance do not give Grace much room to make itself felt in our acts, which is where it manifests itself in all its beauty. Bishop Fellay has too overblown an estimate of his infallibility and is sadly lacking in the humility and forbearance of an Archbishop Lefebvre. I knew the latter and I know whereof I speak, so swear I on my immortal soul.

    Our Holy Father may, too, be surrounded by equally self-interested people. I would be less than frank were I to fail to say that I do believe it far more than possible. It is always true to say that none may judge the internal forum unless the individual freely reveals it. We may only hope fairly and charitably to deduce motive from act. The Pope has appointed many of these people. Can it really be the case that he did not know what they are? It may be so that some of these mislead or manipulate the Pope. How horrible is the thought that the Holy Father might mislead or manipulate others – or us. yet all is possible, must we not admit?

    You are bang on when you say that some SSPX people can leak like plumbers. My information is that two people close to Bishop Fellay are expert at leaking and have done so to provoke others into comments that have then been misrepresented to Bishop Fellay as disloyalty. There is one deeply political and disturbingly wily Priest at Menzingen who has long had an agenda that would jettison far too much patrimony that is not his to discard – this man is far more Svengali than Eminence grise.

    Stables need cleaning, both at Rome and at Menzingen.

    • John, what is that you think Fellay should do? IN y eyes, he cannot start a “debate” concerning secret documents and confidential negotiations, nor can he accept a “democratic” principle within the SSPX to be pushed too far.

      I do not believe Pope Benedict played a game of deception, but I fully agree with you if he has surrounded himself with scheming people, he did it knowing what they were.

      I think if Fellay were to be Pope the Church would experience a phase of serious renaissance…


  3. I’d much rather Bernard Tissier de Mallerais as Pope because he is, I believe, well balanced, cool headed, wise and a good theologian. I hope that your hopes vis a vis Bishop Fellay might prove well founded but he would have to shuffle off the hangers on and flatterers that surround him, today. He would not miss them and would be better off without them. He would have the doubtful consolation of knowing they would swiftly be replaced by others. Truly, he would need the three other SSPX Bishops along side him to keep him on the doctrinal straight and narrow. He floats off into the ether of over-charitable goodwill towards others who are more devious than he and who flatter him. He dislikes Bishop Williamson with a veritable and thoroughly unChristian passion. Envy has much to do with this because he knows Bishop Williamson leaves him eating dust in the intellect stakes. His feelings toward + Tissier differ only in intensity, I must add.

    + Fellay is a fallible human being and a sinner, lacking in patience, charity and humility, as are we all. His real problem is that he does not really believe it and that he acts imperially and arrogantly. He thinks he is Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor but he is quite wrong because he is not at all like the Archbishop. He may act the ‘Patron’, as many Econe seminarians used most affectionately to refer to the Archbishop, but Bishop Fellay most decidedly is not like Archbishop Lefebvre and he needs around him people who would tell him the truth, The Archbishop once said to me “I do not ask you to agree with me. I ask you only to tell me, your Father, what you truly think”. Those who surround him serve him ill. In that he is to be pitied but we must also say he appointed them. While he lacks proper Counsellors he will not make a good Superior and he will defintely not be a worthy successor to the Archbishop.

    • John,
      I like Fellay ten times more than your proto-sedevacantist Tissier de Mallerais, who might be in good faith but talks – and gives interviews – as if the Vatican were Sodom and Gomorrah united.

      Fellay has been prudent and wise; has tried to reach an agreement until this was possible, and has not hesitated in calling it off when it was clear no agreement is possible (for now; Popes die…).

      I really can’t see how he can be criticised.


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