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 Bishop Fellay's Letter on the Crisis 
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New post Bishop Fellay's Letter on the Crisis
This letter is remarkable for several reasons, not least that it is probably the best two-page summary of the doctrinal issues which have created this crisis in the Church. It was refreshing to see that Bishop Fellay is not about to arange any "deals" with "rome" - it is even more refreshing to see that the doctrinal points are being emphasised as the reason for the schism between traditional Catholics on the one side, and "rome" on the other.

From: ... ltr_72.pdf

Society of Saint Pius X
Priorat Mariae Verkundigung
Schloss Schwandegg
Menzingen, ZG, CH-6313

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which acknowledged that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated, raises a certain number of questions concerning the future of the relations of the Society of St. Pius X with Rome. Several persons in conservative circles and in Rome itself have made themselves heard, arguing that, since the Sovereign Pontiff had acted so generously and thus given a clear sign of his good will towards us, there would be nothing left for the Society to do but to “sign an agreement with Rome.” Unfortunately, a few of our friends were deceived by such an illusion. We would like to take the opportunity of this Eastertide letter to review once again the principles governing our actions in these troubled times and point out a few recent events which clearly indicate that, basically, nothing has really changed except for the motu proprio’s liturgical overture, so as to draw from all this the necessary conclusions.

The fundamental principle that dictates our action is the safeguard of the faith, without which no one can be saved, no one can receive grace, no one can be pleasing to God, as the First Vatican Council states. The liturgical question is not paramount; it only becomes such inasmuch as it is the manifestation of an alteration of the faith and, consequently, of the worship due to God.

A notable change of orientation took place at Vatican II with regard to the Church’s outlook, especially on the world, other religions, the State, and even itself. These changes have been acknowledged by all, yet not all judged them in the same way. Until now, they were presented as being very profound, even revolutionary. One cardinal at the Council could even speak of “the 1789 Revolution in the Church.”

While still a cardinal, Benedict XVI phrased it thus: “The challenge of the sixties was to assimilate the best values expressed in two centuries of ‘liberal’ culture. These are values which, even if they originate outside the Church, can find a place, once purified and corrected, in her vision of the world. This is what was done.”1 In the name of this assimilation, a new vision of the world and its components was imposed: a fundamentally positive vision, which dictated not only a new liturgical rite, but also a new mode of presence of the Church in the world: much more horizontal, and more concerned about social and temporal problems than those of a supernatural and eternal character...

At the same time, the Church’s relationship with the other religions underwent a transformation. Since Vatican II, Rome has avoided any negative or depreciatory observations about other religions. For example, the classic term of “false religions” has completely disappeared from ecclesiastical vocabulary. The words “heretic” and “schismatic,” which used to designate the religions closer to the Catholic Church, have also disappeared, except when they are occasionally employed, especially the term “schismatic,” to label us. The same holds true for the term “excommunication.” The new approach is called ecumenism, and contrary to what everyone used to think, it does not mean a return to Catholic unity, but rather the establishment of a new kind of unity that no longer requires conversion.

Christian denominations are considered under a new light, and this is especially clear for the Orthodox. In the Balamand Declaration, the Catholic Church officially pledged herself to not convert the Orthodox and to collaborate with them. The dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation,” recalled in the document Dominus Jesus, underwent a reinterpretation for the sake of the new vision of things. They could not keep this dogma without broadening the limits of the Church, and this was accomplished by the new definition of the Church given in Lumen Gentium. The Church of Christ is no longer the Catholic Church, it subsists in her. They may say that it subsists only in her, but the fact remains that they claim that the Holy Ghost and this “Church of Christ” act outside the Catholic Church. The other religions are not without elements of salvation... The “Orthodox Churches” become authentic particular churches in which “the Church of Christ” is built.

Obviously, these new views completely disrupted the Church’s relations with the other religions. It is impossible to speak of a superficial change; for what they want to impose on the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is a new and very profound mutation. John Paul II consequently was able to speak of a “new ecclesiology,” admitting an essential change in the part of the theology that treats of the Church. We simply cannot understand how they can claim that this new understanding of the Church is still in harmony with the traditional definition of the Church. It is new; it is radically different and obliges the Catholic to observe a fundamentally different behavior towards the heretics and schismatics, who have tragically abandoned the Church and scorned the faith of their baptism. From now on they are no longer “separated brethren,” but brothers who “are not in full communion”... and we are “deeply united” by baptism in Christ in an “inamissible”2 union. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s latest clarification of the word “subsistit” is very revealing on this point. Even as it states that the Church cannot teach novelty, it confirms the novelty introduced at the Council...

Likewise for evangelization: the sacred duty of every Christian to respond to our Lord Jesus Christ’s command is at first upheld: “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk. 16: 15-16). But then it is alleged that this evangelization only concerns the pagans, so that neither Christians nor Jews need be bothered. Very recently Cardinals Kasper and Bertone, addressing the controversy over the new prayer for the Jews, stated that the Church has no intention of converting them.

Add to this the pope’s positions on religious liberty, and we can easily conclude that the combat for the faith has not slackened over these last few years. The motu proprio that introduces the hope of a change for the better in matters liturgical is not accompanied by the logically related measures that should follow in other domains of the Church’s life. All the changes introduced at the Council and in the post-conciliar reforms, which we denounce precisely because the Church had already condemned them, have been upheld. The only difference is that now they claim at the same time that the Church does not change... which amounts to saying that these changes are perfectly in line with Catholic Tradition. This confusion of terminology combined with the assertion that the Church must remain faithful to her Tradition might well be troubling to more than a few. So long as facts do not corroborate this new assertion, we must conclude that nothing has changed in Rome’s intention to pursue the conciliar course despite forty years of crisis, despite vacant convents, abandoned rectories, and empty churches. Catholic universities persist in their divagations, and the teaching of the catechism is uncertain while Catholic schools are no longer specifically Catholic: they have become an extinct species...

For these reasons the Priestly Society of St. Pius X cannot sign an “agreement.” It definitely rejoices at the pope’s desire to reintroduce the ancient and venerable rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, yet it also observes the opposition— sometimes very tenacious—of entire bishops’ conferences. Without giving up hope and without impatience, we can see that the time for an agreement has not yet come. This does not prevent us from continuing to hope, nor from following the line of conduct defined in the year 2000. We are still asking the Holy Father to annul the 1988 decree of excommunication because we are convinced that this would be a boon for the Church, and we encourage you to pray for this to happen. But it would be very imprudent and hasty to dash off ill-advisedly in pursuit of a practical agreement that would not be based on the Church’s fundamental principles, and especially the faith.

The new Rosary Crusade we have invited you to join, to pray that the Church recover and resume her bimillennial Tradition, calls for some clarification. This is how we envision it: let everyone pledge to recite daily a rosary at a fairly fixed time of day. Given the number of our faithful and their distribution throughout the whole world, we can be assured that at every hour of the day and night prayerful voices will be ascending to heaven, voices earnestly praying for the triumph of their heavenly Mother and the coming of the reign of our Lord “on earth as it is in heaven.”

+ Bernard Fellay
Superior General
April 14, 2008

1 Interview, Jesus, November 1984, p. 72.
2 [Theological term meaning “that cannot be lost”—Translator’s note.]

In Christ our King.

Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:49 am
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New post Re: Bishop Fellay's Letter on the Crisis
Pax Christi !

Now lets contrast this with benedicts recent comments about his trip to the USA.....the errors are so deep rooted and incompatible with the " Faith of our Fathers".........

" Reflecting on his pastoral visit to the US during his weekly public audience on April 30, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) said that America offers the world "a valid example of healthy laicism."

The Pope praised the US for its commitment to religious freedom, saying that in American society religious faith "is not only tolerated but turned to advantage as the 'soul' of the nation and the fundamental guarantee of the rights and duties of human beings."

Thu May 01, 2008 1:47 am
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New post Re: Bishop Fellay's Letter on the Crisis
I think the Rosary crusade was about the most sensible idea to come out of the traditional milieu in several decades. Much better than the witty and useful idea of multiplying loose bishops, for example.

Two things we need to keep firmly in view - prayer is our chief weapon now, more than at any time in the history of the Church, precisely because we have been disarmed of almost all other means, and also that when the crisis is resolved it will be in answer to prayer. Both of these points are completely beyond dispute and ought to be carved into our consciousness.

The Messias came because of prayer; the Holy Ghost came because of prayer; the Second Coming will be an answer to prayer. All of the goods that God gives to men He wants us to pray for and/or in gratitude for, inspires us to pray for, and grants in response to prayer. On Judgement Day I think many (including me) will be surprised to discover the true, proportionally important, causes of various events of history, most especially those we were confident in crediting to men of action. Anyway, the point is that if the SSPX and others pray for God to restore the Church through Benedict, He is certainly able and willing to restore the Church without Benedict and yet in answer to those prayers. And He might yet convert the old hippie and surprise us all. But in any case, we know that He will restore the Church in time, and that when He does, the credit will largely be due to those who prayed for that end.

It would be of enormous value in itself, plus a master-stroke of politics, for the sedevacantist clergy to preach the same Rosary crusade for the restoration of the Church, with the explicit exception that Benedict's claim to the papacy was denied. The sedeplenists would not know what to say about our actions, and whatever else they said, they could hardly think of us as in schism or as threats to the unity of the Church, and the Modernists would know that traditional Catholics are united with an infinitely greater unity than they are with each other or with the sedeplenist traditional Catholics. If a sedevacantist bishop initiated this he would be seen to be a giant.

In Christ our King.

Sun May 04, 2008 11:45 pm
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New post Re: Bishop Fellay's Letter on the Crisis
No doubt Bishop Fellay had this example in mind when asking for a Rosary Crusade:


Michele Ghisleri's [St. Pius V - May 5] sweet and fruitful government of priories, dioceses, and the Universal Church itself, was characterised by severe justice tempered by the unction of divine charity. His energy was astonishing. In six years he reformed the Breviary, codified the Roman Missal, promulgated the Roman Catechism (the Catechism of the Council of Trent), cleansed the City of Rome of public prostitution, reformed the Roman clergy, ensured that the reforms of Trent were carried through to success, and almost single-handedly gathered together a fleet of ships and an army to defeat the overwhelming forces of the Muslims which were threatening Europe.

The glorious battle in the gulf of Lepanto is rightly laid to St. Pius V's credit for more reasons than one. He it was, it is true, who bullied, implored, entreated, and convinced the various princes of Christendom to contribute to their common safety against the Turks. It is also a fact that he hand-picked the 24 year old genius, Don Juan of Austria, who led the Christian forces. But far more importantly, the saint instructed Don Juan to leave behind all of his soldiers whose lives were openly vicious, on the grounds that God's assistance was of infinitely greater value than that of a few more men. In addition to this, Pius organised public prayer for victory, and was rewarded for his perfect confidence in divine providence with a victory which continues to fascinate historians on account of its magnitude and thoroughness. The Christians were outnumbered ten to one. The Turks were better equipped and more experienced. And yet the rout was so total that more Christians returned from the battle than departed with Don Juan to begin with, because fifteen thousand galley slaves were released from captured Muslim ships by the Catholic forces.

Like a sacred mantle covering all of the preparations and details of this momentous event hovered the sweet power of the Holy Rosary. In Europe St. Pius and the faithful prayed the Great Prayer ceaselessly. On the ships Don Juan ordered his men to recite it also. As the ships sailed towards the massive crescent of Turkish vessels, which dwarfed the Christian fleet and would have terrified any man, the Catholics were not watching – they were praying as they had been ordered to do. Each had made his confession; each spent the last minutes before battle on his knees instead of checking weapons or worrying about carnal affairs. And by the intercession of the great Mother of God, herself terrible as an army set in array, the power of Satan was definitively crushed once more. In Rome St. Pius had ceased praying to confer with some of his cardinals about urgent matters when he stopped suddenly, moved to a window, turned his eyes to heaven and announced that the time had come to give thanks for a great victory. God had revealed to him the success of Don Juan's fleet.

St. Pius V added to the Litany of Loreto the title, “Help of Christians,” and instituted the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, in honour of she who had saved Christendom.

In Christ our King.

Mon May 05, 2008 1:00 pm
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