Brian Mershon
Bishop Fellay denies any knowledge of new motu proprio
Dubs Bishop Williamson rumor "gossip" and "unauthorized:" doctrinal talks continue
By Brian Mershon
August 27, 2010

August 24, 2010 — Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), one of four bishops whose excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2009, today categorically denied any knowledge of an alleged special motu proprio being planned by the Holy See for the SSPX as stated recently by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson.

"I'm very annoyed by the whole thing," said Bishop Fellay. "Bishop Williamson's statement is an unauthorized statement and is his own personal statement and not that of the Society."

"It has never been the policy of the Society to base any kind of action or policy on gossip. I have absolutely no knowledge of any motu proprio."

Earlier this week, Bishop Richard Williamson — who has allegedly been asked to refrain from publicly speaking on matters outside of faith and morals by the SSPX leadership — wrote a letter that was published initially on his website and then picked up by traditionalist internet Rorate Caeli blog.

In the letter, Bishop Williamson warns Catholics about the possibility of the "danger" of a rumored motu proprio designed to lure the SSPX lay faithful into union with Rome and said, "...there is no way in which the neo-modernist teaching of Vatican II can be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of the true Church."

Doctrinal Discussions Continue Unabated

Bishop Williamson also said that according to both Holy See and SSPX sources, the ongoing doctrinal discussions have allegedly "run into a brick wall."

However, in today's interview, Bishop Fellay categorically denied this assertion. He said that the doctrinal talks with the SSPX representatives and Holy See theologians are ongoing and proceeding as planned with the next meeting scheduled in September.

"There is nothing changed," said Bishop Fellay. "All of this is gossiping and rumors and I'll have nothing to do with rumors and gossiping. All of this is void — empty."

"For the time being, everything is fine and everything is going smoothly according to plan," he said.

Seminary Expansion Plans Revealed

In related SSPX news, RealCatholicTV's Michael Voris today broke a story that Bishop Fellay had recently visited eastern Pennsylvania prospecting for a new potential seminary — a former Vincentian seminary in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that could hold up to 160 seminarians. The former seminary is now called Mary Immaculate Center.

Bishop Fellay would not confirm nor deny the specifics of the report, but did say, "It is true we are looking for a second place for our seminarians. That much is true."

He also added that over the past two to three years, the SSPX has been prospecting for new seminary locations in the United States and that, to date, they have viewed about 150 different properties.

According to the Superior General, the SSPX is exploring different possibilities and sizes of potential seminaries and land holdings.

"We have many vocations and right now, our current place is too small," Bishop Fellay said. "That is our starting point."

Remnant readers will recall that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) prospected many existing closed seminaries in the eastern United States years ago before settling on building a new one in the Lincoln, Neb. diocese. The reports were that more than one diocese and archdiocese refused outright to sell to the FSSP presumably due to their adherence to the Traditional Mass and Sacraments and theology.

Bishop Fellay said, "It will be a good test to see how cordial it can be [ecclesial relationships and prospective negotiations with the dioceses and archdioceses possibly selling their seminaries and land to the SSPX]."

Confirmed: High-Ranking Vatican Prelate Predicted End of Novus Ordo Missae

And finally, shortly after Pope Benedict XVI issued his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, thereby affirming the right of every Latin-rite priest to offer the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments without his bishop's permission and confirming they were never abrogated, a few reports included a statement by Bishop Fellay regarding his conversation with a Vatican official on this prelate's view on the potential effect on the future of the Novus Ordo Missae.

Despite the flood of news of a new translation of this missal being available for use in Advent 2011, a mere 41 years after the missal was initially promulgated, this new missal, as Remnant readers know, retained only 17 percent of the original orations from the 1962 missal.

Bishop Fellay today confirmed that after Summorum Pontificum was issued, "The high-ranking prelate thought we would have 20 to 25 years before the New Mass would disappear."

© Brian Mershon


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Brian Mershon

Brian Mershon is a commentator on cultural issues from a classical Catholic perspective... (more)


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