We have many enemies, many enemies. But look . . and that is very interesting. Who during that time was the most opposed that the Church will recognize the Society? The enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons and the Modernists. The most opposed that the Society would be recognized as Catholic: the enemies of the Church. Interesting, isn’t it? More than that, what was the point? What did they say to Rome? They said: “You must oblige these people to accept Vatican II.” That’s also very interesting, isn’t it? People, who are outside the Church, who clearly during centuries are enemies of the Church, say to Rome, if you want to accept these people, you must oblige them to accept the Council. Isn’t that interesting? Oh, it is! I think it is fantastic, because it shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s. They see—the enemies of the Church—their benefit in the Council. Very interesting! So, I may say, that is the kind of argument we are going to use with Rome, trying to make them reflect, trying to make them reflect.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX, December 28, 2012 (1:18:23-1:20:06)
“Very interesting, isn’t it?” This repeated phrase is supposed to let us know that there is more to what Bishop Fellay is saying than what he actually puts in words. In the world of traditionalism, the good bishop’s suggestion enjoys a certain amorphous plausability. That is all it needs. It has plenty of gas and will go a long way.
I do not blame the Jews for liking Vatican II, and if I were Jewish, I would realize that there is a problem, not only with Bishop Williamson, but also with Most Reverend Fellay. I also would be a bit worried about a Church moving in the direction of the SSPX. Fortunately, the Vatican has rejected the “Jewish peril” comments of Fellay.
“The Jews like Vatican II. Oh, that is a sure sign that it comes from Hell.” Yes, Your Excellency, very interesting, indeed.
Now with the Masons and Modernists he is on to something. Yes, they like a certain version of Vatican II, the hijacked one. But are they pleased with the papal reform of the reform and the hermeneutic of continuity? I don’t think so. Fellay misses the point. The Masons and Modernists are opposed to the Pope’s attempt to bring about a reconciliation with our past. Only in the traditionalist bubble does such a reconciliation require the rejection of Vatican II.
“Vatican II is not the Church’s thing, but the creature of the Jews, Masons and Modernists.”
Wow. That explains everything.
Not to say I told you so, but Bishop Fellay says pretty clearly that the Society was never near an agreement with the Holy See (48:38). That seemed obvious to me, because there is no possible universe in which the Society could accept Vatican II and the New Mass without repudiating the reasons that led them to schism in the first place. Unfortunately, the SSPX has shown no signs of such willingness.
Bishop Fellay spends most of an hour and a half, giving us the low-down and dirty on Vatican politics. It is quite excruciating and purely anecdotal. This says something about the tragic position of the Society. Its existence hangs so delicately in the balance that the Superior General has to resort to airing all the Church’s dirty laundry on a regular basis. A mixture of scandalizing the faithful and fear-mongering is the glue that holds this “remnant Church” together.
Just a couple of things about the politics: just so everyone knows, Vatican intrigue was not invented by the Jews, Masons and Modernists at Vatican II. What has gone on at the Vatican for centuries is a sure sign that the gates of hell will not prevail agains the Church. You remember the old story about Napoleon telling a cardinal that he could destroy the Church in one year? That.
The other remarkable thing is that Fellay got himself so entangled in the quagmire of intrigue. Most of what he relates boils down to this: the official organs of the Vatican were putting one thing in writing (“accept Vatican II or else”), but in the grand hallways and back rooms of Vatican City key players who had frequent contact with the Pope said something else (“the pope is going to regularize you with no requirements on your part”). First off, I find it breathtaking that Fellay would believe that the Ratzinger/Benedict’s public message for many, many years and his alleged private opinion could be so irreconcilable. Secondly, how could Fellay be ignorant of the fact that anything said in private by an underling, which he is neither willing to say in public nor sign his name to, is not worth the breath it was spoken with? It may be true, or it may not, but it certainly is not something to factor into one’s plans. But, again, the good bishop only has his anecdotes and axe to grind, so who knows exactly what went on?
So what was it that both the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were willing to put in writing to the Society? (BTW, Fellay says the pope agreed with the CDF that the text of the preamble should be strengthened [55:10].) According to the bishop, there were three conditions given for the restoration of the SSPX to full communion (54:43-56:39): 1) the SSPX must accept that it is the magisterium which is the judge of what is traditional or not; 2) the SSPX must accept that the Council is an integral part of Tradition; 3) the SSPX must accept that the New Mass is valid and licit.
Obviously Fellay did not accept conditions 2 and 3, and had to put his own spin on the point contained in condition 1. Notably, in respect to the New Mass, Bishop Fellay responded:
Well, we rarely use the word “licit.” We just simply say about the New Mass that it is evil (56:30-39).
I believe the history of the dialogue between the Holy See and the SSPX is both interesting and important because of the level of sympathy expressed for cause of the SSPX by ostensibly “modern Catholics” (as Fellay would call them). See, for example, the interview of Louis Verrecchio by Michael Voris and the soft-ball interview of the Catholic News Service of Bishop Fellay. In the more recent interview on which this post is based, Fellay notes the clandestine support he receives from “modern” priests and bishops around the world (1:14:00-1:16:30). But this is the nature of traditionalism, those who are completely honest about it separate themselves from Rome, those who do not separate themselves become mired in equivocations and mental reservations.
Bishop Fellay’s current position is nothing new. He has never changed his tune.
So there you have it folks: the SSPX on Vatican II. Nothing has changed. Or rather, if anything has changed it is that Fellay has left the bridge burning behind him as he walks away. Fortunately for the Society, there is a bridge-builder who is especially solictous that this particular bridge remains open for crossing.