21 November 2014

Bishop Fellay

Bishop Fellay's latest letter, dated today, has interesting features.

I think that the impact of members of the SSPX upon the wider Traditionalist constituency in the Church has sometimes, in the past, been considerably diminished by a tendency to speak in tones which, whether rightly or wrongly, many ears perceive as sounding schismatic. This is particularly true when an impression is given that it is very important indeed to keep expressing a totally negative view of Vatican II. And when appeals are made to a Platonic idea of 'Catholic Rome' which seem designed to exclude all possibility of engagement with the actual Rome.

Today's letter takes two of Joseph Ratzinger's most remarkable passages and makes them the basis of an interesting analysis of the position of the Church in the modern world.

If, in the past, you have avoided reading anything that emerged from the Society, you might well feel that this letter merits breaking your rule! It seems to me an interesting contribution to a very topical debate. I can see only one half of a sentence which some might feel it would have been tactful not to include.

And, incidentally, instead of ranting indiscriminately against the Novus Ordo (as the SSPX sometimes has given the impression of doing), it acutely puts its finger on the centrally questionable feature of that rite: the provision of alternative Eucharistic Prayers. Exactly. I wonder if Bishop Fellay has seen the Ordinariate Ordo Missae?


Don Camillo SSC said...

Alas, Father, you do not indicate where one may find this letter. So far Google is no help.

Doodler said...

@Don Camillo SSC


Fr John Hunwicke said...

sspx america

Athelstane said...

I often look at the Orrdinariate Order of Mass and muse: Oh, what could have been, had the vernacularized reform of the 60's looked something like *this* (sans the unfortunate 3 year lectionary and few regrettable calendar revisions, of course).

But that was never really in the cards, however much some prelates might have hoped to the contrary. Once the Liturgical Revolution got going, there was no stopping it, save perhaps by the man in the white cassock.

Jacobi said...


I have never been to an SSPX Mass although they have a church not far from me. Herself won’t allow it. She thinks they are a bit funny.

But I warm to them in this chaotic mess the Church is in today. As I have said before they and I and more importantly Benedict XV1, share the same Catholic Doctrine. So we can’t be that far apart. Their doctrinal position is pre-Vat11.

As Benedict said,
“The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council”

They must be received back into full union with the Church. When you consider the gross heterodoxy, let’s face it, heresy, that is being openly preached by prominent members of the Church, their faults are minor.

ps still can’t find this letter.

Stephen said...

This begs a few questions, that I wish somebody would answer. And please forgive that I am ignorant of what how exactly one knows that one is Roman Catholic.

Is the liturgy about faith or morals? If yes, and a Pope authorizes ANYTHING regarding changes in liturgy, isn't it binding for Roman Catholics to toe the line?

For if liturgy is not about faith or morals, then it's all just playacting a la the Episcopalians. If, on the other hand, it is, and one still has problems with a Papal ukase regarding liturgy, doesn't that either a) undermine Pastor Aeternus and other Papal claims or b) that person's personal honesty regarding whether or not they are truly Catholic?

In other words, can you reject the Rite of Paul VI and still honestly remain in communion with the Bishop of Rome?

Ann said...

If this is a parlour game, then I'm plumbing for

"...they are signs of weakness in the face of an enemy who is no longer outside, but now inside."

But I would add that knowing the enemy within is a sign of strength.

I don't know what you precisely mean by faith and morals, but I suspect that the liturgies are about both and more.
And as to the rites, it is not a question of rejecting one (valid) form so much as preferring another. Our Lord himself offered Judas some dipped bread during the ritual, and this did not affect the eucharistic course generally. Once having recognized the enemy within, we need to learn how to live with him. Pass the salt, please.

Long-Skirts said...

Jacobi said:

"Herself won’t allow it."


Take our churches
Take our pews
Orthodox prelates
Shun, refuse.

Take our schools
Take our kneelers
Fill your space with
P. C. feelers.

Shove Tabernacles
In a room
So bride can play
Without her Groom.

Some will run
Some will hide
Some defend,
“Flow with the tide.”

But like the Saints,
Many laity, before -
Joan, Athanasius,
Thomas More,

You can burn our books
Cast off to waste lands
Cut off His Crowned Head
Plop Him into our hands,

Confuse the weak,
“They’re men of smells, bells,
Not in full-communion”
Their lie impels

These, real men -
In the state of grace -
You’ve tried to shred
But they are steel lace -

“I am the Good Shepherd”
Laced-lambs to Him kneel
And they breed the True Faith -

I too am a "Herself" and couldn't keep the Faith from our children anymore...allowed!

rick allen said...

Bishop Fellay's letter says, specifically,

"The unity of the Faith and unity of the government of Holy Church are more and more thoroughly dissolving; and liturgical unity, with the “creative” options offered by the New Mass, particularly with the multiplication of Eucharistic Prayers, was long ago shattered."

I have to admit, Father Hunwicke, that I am at a loss to understand this. Yes, if I understand correctly, this is something new within the Roman Rite. But surely the unity of the entire Holy Church has never been compromised by a mere multiplicity of rites, east and west.

For that matter, was not Pope Benedict's authorization of the canon of the Ordinariate yet another "multiplication" which Bishop Fellay finds so prejudicial to the unity of faith? It seems to me that the provision of alternative canons was arguably a necessary precedent for the authorization of a new Eucharistic prayer within the Roman Rite. And I have my doubts whether, pre-Vatican II, a canon deriving from the work of Cramner could have been realistically contemplated. Vatican II's ecumenical policy, of looking to and selecting out Protestantism's positive qualities, as opposed to dismissing it wholesale as heretical, was a necessary step, surely, to the enterprise of discerning that part of the Anglican Patrimony that could be taken into the Church with spiritual profit for all?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I have to admit, Rick, that I am at a loss to understand this. What was authorised for the Ordinariate was the Roman Canon, the First Eucharistic Prayer. In an appendix, Prayer 2 is provided, but with strict instructions that it may never be used on Sundays or Festivals. This, surely, is a welcome step and a good example for the rest of the Roman Rite Churches, of the urgent need to move with determination to a situation in which the Roman Canon is the only Eucharistic Prayer used.

rick allen said...

Fr. Hunwicke, thank you for that. I was under the impression that the Ordinariate used a missal that was modified from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

Is the Ordinariate liturgy posted someplace on the net? Or published for purchase? As is often the case, I assume I know more than I actually do know.