RORATE CÆLI: Relevant / For the record: SSPX Superior General explains what happened and where Rome-SSPX relations stand

RORATE CÆLI: Relevant / For the record: SSPX Superior General explains what happened and where Rome-SSPX relations stand.

For information on the breakdown of discussions between the SSPX and Rome, Bishop Fellay’s sermon (check link above) gives a lot of information.  It is a long sermon, and should be read in its entirety at Rorate Caeli, but here is part of the information given:

Well, what happened?  I think that the first factor is a problem that has been around for several years and that I have mentioned at least since 2009.  I said that we find ourselves confronting the contradiction in Rome.  And there has been a manifestation of this contradiction in our relations with the Holy See for about a year, since September, inasmuch as I received through official channels some documents that clearly expressed the willingness on the part of Rome to recognize the Society, but it was necessary to sign a document that we could not sign.  And at the same time there was another line of information that I received, and it was impossible for me to doubt its authenticity.  This line of information really said something different.

This started in mid-August, whereas I did not receive the official document until September 14, 2011.  Since mid-August, a person at the Vatican has been telling us:  “The Pope will recognize the Society and it will be as it was with the excommunications, in other words, without anything [required] in return.”  So it was in this frame of mind that I got ready for the September 14 meeting by preparing arguments, by saying:  “But have you carefully reflected on what you are doing?  What are you trying to do?  That won’t work.”  And in fact, the document that was presented to us was completely different from what was announced to us.

But I didn’t have just one source, I had several notifications that said the same thing.  One cardinal declared:  “Yes, it is true, there are differences, but it is the pope who wants it.”  This same person who had given us this information told us, after we received the official document:  “This is not what the pope wants.”  Contradiction!

What were we to do?  Given the seriousness of the information indicating to us that the pope wanted to do something—but to what extent?—I was obliged to verify it.  But it was impossible to communicate that to the faithful.  This came through channels that were informal but very close to the Pope.  I will quote to you some of the statements that were conveyed to me.  First this one:  “I know very well that it would be easier both for me and for the Society for things to remain as they are.”  Which clearly shows that he knows that he himself will have problems, and we will too.  But how far does he want to go?

Other statements by the Pope:  “Let the Society know that resolving the problem of the Society is at the heart of the priorities of my pontificate.”  Or this:  “There are men at the Vatican who are doing everything they can to put down the Pope’s projects.”  And this one:  “Do not fear;  afterward you will be able to continue to attack as much as you want, just like now.”  And this other statement:  “The Pope is above the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;  even if the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith makes an unfavorable decision in your regard, the Pope will overturn it.”

This is the sort of information that reached me.

Please read the rest over there.  I will continue to hold the Bishop Fellay, and the SSPX, in my prayers.

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