Reading the two recent issues of these “Comments” on the mindset which induces the Superior General of the Society of St Pius X to pursue implacably a merely practical agreement with Church authorities in Rome, a good friend reminded me that the ideas driving him were laid out four years ago in his Letter of April 14, 2012, in which he replied to the Society’s three other bishops, who warned him seriously against making any merely practical agreement with Rome. Many readers today of these “Comments” may have forgotten, or never known of, that warning, or Bishop Fellay’s reply. Indeed the exchange of letters tells a great deal that is worth recalling. Here they are, summarised as cruelly as usual, with brief comments:—
The three bishops’ main objection to any practical agreement with Rome being made without a doctrinal agreement was the depth of the doctrinal gulf between Conciliar Rome and the Traditional Catholic Society. Half a year before he died Archbishop Lefebvre said that the more one analyses the documents and aftermath of Vatican II, the more one comes to realise that the problem is less any classic errors in particular, even such as religious liberty, collegiality and ecumenism, than “a total perversion of mind” in general, underlying all the particular errors and proceeding from “a whole new philosophy founded on subjectivism.” To a key argument of Bishop Fellay that the Romans are no longer hostile but benevolent towards the Society, the three bishops replied with another quote from the Archbishop: such benevolence is just a “manoeuvre,” and nothing could be more dangerous for “our people” than to “put ourselves into the hands of Conciliar bishops and modernist Rome.” The three bishops concluded that a merely practical agreement would tear the Society apart, and destroy it.
To this deep objection, as deep as the gulf between subjectivism and objective truth, Bishop Fellay replied (google Bishop Fellay, April 14, 2012):— 1 that the bishops were “too human and fatalistic.” 2 The Church is guided by the Holy Ghost. 3 Behind Rome’s real benevolence towards the SSPX is God’s Providence. 4 To make the Council’s errors amount to a “super-heresy” is an inappropriate exaggeration, 5 which will logically lead Traditionalists into schism. 6 Not all Romans are modernists because fewer and fewer of them believe in Vatican II, 7 to the point that were the Archbishop alive today he would not have hesitated to accept what the SSPX is being offered. 8 In the Church there will always be wheat and chaff, so Conciliar chaff is no reason to back away. 9 How I wish I could have turned to the three of you for advice, but each of you in different ways “strongly and passionately failed to understand me,” and even threatened me in public. 10 To oppose Faith to Authority is “contrary to the priestly spirit.”
And finally, the briefest of comments on each of Bishop Fellay’s arguments:—
1 “Too human”? As the Archbishop said, the great gulf in question is philosophical (natural) rather than theological (supernatural). “Too fatalistic”? The three bishops were rather realistic than fatalistic. 2 Are Conciliar churchmen guided by the Holy Ghost when they destroy the Church? 3 Behind Rome’s real malevolence is its firm resolve to dissolve the SSPX’s resistance to the new Conciliar religion – as of how many Traditional Congregations before it! 4 Only subjectivists themselves cannot see the depth of the gulf between subjectivism and Truth. 5 Objectivist Catholics clinging to Truth are far from schism. 6 Freemasons hold the ring in Rome. Any non-modernists have no power there to speak of. 7 To believe that the Archbishop would have accepted Rome’s present offers is to mistake him completely. The basic problem has got only much worse since his day. 8 Bishop Fellay’s spoon is much too short for him to sup with the Roman devils (objectively speaking). 9 The three bishops understood Bishop Fellay only too well, but he did not want to hear what all three of them separately had to say. Does he take himself to be infallible? 10 St Paul for sure imagined that Authority could oppose Faith – Gal. I, 8–9, and II, 11. Did St Paul lack “priestly spirit”?