In case readers think that the August conversation reported here last week between Dom Placide of Bellaigue in France and Society of St Pius X authorities in Switzerland is insufficient to prove that the Society is still sliding away from the defence of the true Faith, here is another report leading to the same conclusion: at about the same time as the Society’s Superior General (SG) gave his re-assuring interview of September 12, he presided over the appointment of a Commission of three to go down to Rome and pick up again the theological discussions with the Conciliar Romans which ran from 2009 to 2011 with no result. And what three representatives of the Society were chosen for the discussions? None other than Bishop Fellay and Fathers Pfluger and Nély, the Society’s ruling triumvirate from 2006 to 2018, when all three were voted out of office at the elective General Chapter of July, 2018! A little background is again necessary.
In the preceding elective General Chapter of 2006, the Society’s 40 leading priests remained faithful, less faithful than in 1994 (as Bishop Fellay once admitted) but nevertheless faithful, to Archbishop Lefebvre’s principle of Catholic common sense, that in the clash between the Society and Rome such important questions of the Faith were at stake that no merely practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement could possibly resolve the clash. Now by 2006 Bishop Fellay had himself long since ceased to take doctrine seriously. For him, like for Pope Benedict XVI, for all modernists and for the mass of the world’s inhabitants today, God’s Truth is less important than men’s unity, but he knew that inside the Society many members still followed the Archbishop in their respect for God’s Truth, and so he continued to ask Pope Benedict for doctrinal discussions to take place so that the Society and Rome could be united.
The request was intrinsically foolish from the very start, because the doctrines of Catholic Tradition and of Vatican II can no more be united than the doctrines of 2+2=4 and 2+2=5. But both the Pope and the SG apparently hoped that the two sides could settle for 2+2= four and a half, because for both of them unity was more precious than truth. And so “doctrinal discussions” took place between four representatives on each side, from 2009 t0 2011. However, back in 2009 Bishop Fellay had still had to appoint four Society representatives who took Catholic Truth seriously, while the Romans were adamant in their attachment to the anti-truths of Vatican II, so that the discussions went nowhere. Unity failed then to prevail over Truth.
But at the Society’s interim (non-elective) General Chapter of 2012, opinion had shifted among the Society’s 40 leading priests, so that the Archbishop’s principle of doctrine first was abandoned, and the Society officially accepted that unity should come first. However, a hard-core resistance movement of Society priests immediately arose, threatening Society unity. And so when at the elective Chapter of 2018 the 40 priests still loved the Truth enough to vote Bishop Fellay and his two Assistants out of office, the new SG picked up afterwards on the idea of doctrinal discussions with the Conciliar Romans, an idea still intrinsically foolish but always as appealing as it is to have one’s cake and eat it. Down he went to Rome, and both the Romans and the SG must still have been dreaming of four-and-a-half, so it appears that “doctrinal discussions” are back on the table.
But whereas in 2009 Bishop Fellay had had to choose lovers of the Truth to represent the Society, the new SG seems to have chosen the very three officials of the Society who presided over the Chapter of 2012 which put unity before Truth! So who is fooling who? If the new SG is fooling himself that a non-doctrinal unity is possible, woe unto the Society, now and for the foreseeable future. If he is not fooling himself, is he acting under pressure from Rome or fellayised Menzingen, or both? It is the same thing, because Bishop Fellay did all he could to put Menzingen and the Society under Rome’s power. It is Rome that is therefore calling the shots, and rubbing the Society’s nose in the Society’s own dirt. Honourable Fr. Pagliarani, if you do not like taking responsibility for such dirt, the honourable thing to do is to resign!