Ever since the summer and autumn of 2012 when it became clear that two of the three bishops of the Society of St Pius X were no longer taking the position towards relations of the Society with Rome which they had taken in their April 7 letter to Society Headquarters, followers of the Society, priests and laity, have wondered why. Few people, then or since, will have taken the bishops’ change of position to have been a question of persons or personalities. Since the letter warned severely against abandoning Archbishop Lefebvre’s clear refusal of contacts with unconverted Rome, most people took the two bishops’ change for what it was, namely a rallying to the Superior General’s new principle of contact before conversion. Yet since Conciliar Rome had hardly changed except for the worse between 1988 and 2012, why had the two bishops changed?
The question retains all of its importance for today. What is to be gained by the Society for the Faith – not by the Faith for the Society! – through friendly contacts of the Society with the Conciliar Romans still hell-bent on their Vatican II ecumenism, down to and including the Pope’s veneration of the Pachamama idol in the very gardens of the Vatican? One thing seems certain: for the last 20 years the Society has staked everything for its future on that friendship, and to give it up now would mean admitting that these 20 years had all been a big mistake. Therefore the Society, in grave need of new bishops for its worldwide Traditional apostolate, cannot choose and consecrate its own choice of Traditional bishops, because these would certainly displease the Conciliar Romans. Therefore the two bishops in 2012 laid a heavy cross on their own backs, heavier each year – they helped to drive the Society up a blind alley – in 2019 it cannot have, and it cannot not have, its own bishops.
Recent information became available that throws some light on the two bishops’ decision to abandon the Archbishop’s line of conversion-before-contacts, to which they had so recently adhered. As for Bishop de Galarreta, we learn that almost as soon as the April 7 letter appeared on the Internet, he hastened to SSPX Headquarters to apologise to the Superior General for its appearance, which he absolutely disclaimed. But how could he disclaim the appearance without also dissociating himself from the content? It seems that the publication made him fear the imminent implosion of the Society more than the content made him fear the blind alley of the Society, its essential abandoning of the Archbishop’s defending of the faith. Was the Society’s survival more important than that of the faith?
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais took longer to retract his signature, so to speak, of the April 7 letter, but by early 2013 that retraction was also clear. To a friend he then gave the following episcopal guidance: Rome’s conversion cannot today come all at once. Official recognition will enable us to work that much more efficaciously from within the Church. We need patience and tact to take our time so as not to upset the Romans who still do not like our criticism of the Council, but we are making our way gradually – is that not what the Saints did? We must continue to denounce scandals and to accuse the Council, but we need to be intelligent so as to understand the way of thinking of our adversaries, who do after all include the See of Peter. Bishop Fellay’s policy has not really failed: nothing was signed on the 13th of June, 2012, nothing catastrophic, nothing stupendous has happened for the last 17 months. A few priests left us, which I find deplorable, from lack of prudence and judgment, but it was all their own fault. In brief, try to be more trusting in others and less trusting in yourself. Put your trust in the Society and its leaders. All’s well that ends well. That should be the spirit of your next decisions and writings.
Here end the bishop’s reasons for recommending his friend to follow Bishop Fellay. But have either Bishop de Galarreta or Bishop Tissier de Mallerais or Bishop Fellay fully understood the Archbishop’s reasons for cutting contact with the Conciliar Romans? Do not all three of them gravely underestimate the unprecedented crisis caused by the Conciliar churchmen’s on-going betrayal of the Truth and of the Faith? How can doctrinal compromise or merely human politicking with Rome solve that pre-apocalyptic crisis?