Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Rome and Its "Scarecrows"

Continuing the series begun last night, here's some more interesting transcription from remarks given by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior-General of the Society of St. Pius X, at a Conference in Denver in mid-February. The Society's four bishops, ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 in obstinate defiance of the Holy See and the explicit pleas of the late Pope John Paul II, were excommunicated for manifesting schism in ignoring the authority of Rome.

Before running this bit, in which Fellay speaks of the interregnum and his audience with Benedict XVI last 29 August, I must say that I'm quite impressed. I wish my French was as brilliant as his English, and to hear this very enriching audio is, I must say, a real treat. (The SSPX's canonical position, however, remains unchanged.)

If only many of those bishops who have remained in communion with the Holy See could communicate this engagingly and intelligently, we might be better off.

That said, more snips -- all transcribed from the audio:
Since the year 2000, there is a mood from Rome which is more positive -- you have Rome who comes to us and says "We want to solve the provblem. We have a problem there, so lets's solve it." So it is something positive. I don't say totally but there is a certain goodwill on the side of Rome. And we said at that time, "Listen, we don't trust you. You've been so mean with us, we are not going into anykind of agreement. First, you show that you really want us. And we are not interested with words, we want facts. So give the proof that we can trust you again. And so we propose you two things -- you may do many more, but these two: First, give the freedom of the Mass, and take away this scarecrow? scarecrow? -- these bad terms which you use against us -- like 'excommunication,' 'schismatics,' and so on."

In fact, that does not touch us at all. The Mass: we have it. We don't need permission; we have it. And excommunication, it's about like water on the feathers of a duck. That means it neither makes us cold nor warm. We don't care because we very well know that it is not fitting....

We did ask for us, we did ask these as signs -- we wanted to see that Rome was ready to do at least that, to show that they are, and up to which degree they are, in favor of Tradition. Because as long as Rome is not in favor of Tradition -- and once again, not in words but in deeds -- there will be no agreement. Impossible! Because it means suicide.

And, once again, when we started by this, the answers from Rome were: about the excommunication, 'Well, we will lift it up when we make the agreement.' And about the Mass, as I told you, 'While the Pope does agree, all the heads of the Congregations, the Cardinals, agree -- but the secretaries, the undersecretaries, they don't agree, so we cannot give it to you.' .... Under John Paul II, we had several back-and-forth, but more or less always with the same topic: that is, we continuing to say 'You are very kind with us, it's very nice from you to think about giving us something, like an Apostolic Administration, but first, first, you have to regain our trust. And to regain the trust is not just to make us a nice smile, but to show in the church, in the direction of the church, in the life of the church, that you really do want to reintroduce the Tradition'.....

Precisely one week before the end of the Synod, someone who was working on the progject or very close to it was firmly certain that at the end of the Synod a text would be published allowing, at least partially, the old Mass. And nothing happened. Well, not exactly nothing -- what happened was a counter-action from the progressists. It is a letter written ans signed by the prefect and the secretary of the congrewgation for the liturgy. A letter -- they call it a note, a secret note. Of it we know that it has seven pages, and we know that it says to the Pope 'You cannot allow the freedom of the Mass -- of the Old Mass -- because it has been abrogated, abolished, by rhe new Mass.' And now, the author of this letter who is Archbishop Sorrentino -- secretary of the Congregation for the Worship -- ater this letter he has been kicked out of office. He is now the archbishop of Assisi. *LAUGHTER* But he's no longer in Rome.

And nevertheless, the same cardinal [Arinze] just a few days ago said again the same -- attacked again, again, the Pope, trying to prohibit or to prevent the Pope to give any easiness to the old Mass in the name of the new. So, we have these different things, and you see they don't happen.....

So if these projects become, one day, reality, wait and see. Don't believe that because you hear the rumor in Rome, this will happen tomrorow. Don't believe that. In part it's absolutely normal -- it's absolutely normal that these people in Rome which are the authority reflect on possible projects.

Now, of course, en plus we have big problems, and these problems mean that there's a fight in the church. You have different tendencies: you have the progressists, you have the conservative. And then also in Rome, you have certain other, other things, like "lobbies": Mafia, the Freemasons. So it's a whole thing, it's a whole combination of various things which makes that ideas, projects will find counter-projects, things put into the drawer, and so on. And so don't rush after these rumours -- don't!