Monday, April 03, 2006

Fellay: We're Still Not Excommunicated

The Lefebvrist news service DICI has released an English translation of its latest interview with the head of the Society of St Pius X, the schismatic Bishop Bernard Fellay.

Some snips:
DICI: But the excommunication is a personal situation which affects you and your confreres?

Bishop Fellay: We are asking for the withdrawal of a decree of excommunication to which we never ascribed any canonical validity; otherwise it is obvious that we would not have exercised any ministry, neither conferred priestly ordinations nor confirmations... But we are very much aware of the practical consequences of this decree: it efficiently demonizes Tradition, its prevents traditional priests from doing any good in parishes. If a family calls upon us for a sacrament in the traditional rite, the bishop or the parish priest only has to say: "Do not even think about it, they are excommunicated!". This is how Tradition is concretely neutralized.

The two preliminary conditions: liberalization of the use of Saint Pius V missal and withdrawal of the excommunication – are meant, beyond the traditional faithful, for the good of the whole Church. It is a question of allowing Tradition to recover its right of citizenship in the Church and to prove itself in fieldwork. In this manner we can help Rome to solve the crisis in the Church. These two preliminary conditions work – according to the theological expression – as a removen prohibens, they must remove the interdicts which prevent Tradition from acting practically, pastorally.
So if the excommunication of the four bishops ordained by Lefebvre in obstinate defiance of the Holy See "demonizes Tradition," that would seem to imply that "SSPX = Tradition"?

That's arrogant.
DICI: Can we then surmise that, deep down, you are not seriously considering a dialogue with Rome?

Bishop Fellay: I would rather say that this dialogue must be both doctrinal and practical, with facts to support the theological arguments. Starting from the point upon which Rome and we agree – the common observation of a disastrous crisis –, we must attempt to resolve the disagreement by trying to make Rome admit the real cause of the crisis. The purpose of the doctrinal discussion is to obtain that Rome acknowledge this cause, but given the modernist principles with which Roman authorities are imbued, this discussion cannot take place without the help of a lesson given by the facts themselves. Or more precisely, it cannot be done without considering the concrete work that Tradition can accomplish for a solution to the crisis of vocations, of religious practice…

From our point of view, the results of traditional apostolate will show a contrario where the cause of the crisis lies. This is why these preliminary conditions seems to me to be indispensable for the smooth development of the doctrinal discussions.

The freedom of action given back to Tradition would enable it to prove itself and decide between the two sides, which cannot agree doctrinally on the cause of the crisis. This lesson given by the facts, which we ask Rome to please accept, is based first of all on our faith in the traditional Mass. This Mass in itself demands an integrity of doctrine and of the sacraments which is the pledge of any spiritual fruitfulness for souls.
As Fellay said earlier in the session, "[T]he way things stand, we must acknowledge that no doctrinal discussion is possible."

It's not just the liturgy they want -- it's the ecclesiology, stupid.