12 March 2009
Bishop Fellay's Response to the Letter of the Holy Father
of the Superior General
of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X [FSSPX / SSPX]
Pope Benedict XVI addressed a letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church, dated March 10 2009, in which he made them aware of the intentions which guided him in this important step which is the Decree of January 21, 2009.
After "an avalanche of protests was unleashed" recently, we greatly thank the Holy Father for having placed the debate at the level on which it should take place, that of the faith. We fully share his utmost concern for preaching to "our age, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel".
The Church lives, in fact, through a major crisis which cannot be solved other than by an integral return to the purity of the faith. With Saint Athanasius, we profess that "Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the Catholic faith: whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally." (Quicumque Creed)
Far from wanting to stop Tradition in 1962, we wish to consider the Second Vatican Council and the post-Conciliar magisterium in the light of this Tradition which Saint Vincent of Lérins defined as that "which has been believed everywhere, always, by all" (Commonitorium), without rupture and in a perfectly homogenous development. It is thus that we will be able to contribute efficaciously to the evangelization asked for by the Savior (cf. Matthew, 28,19-20).
The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X assures Benedict XVI of its will to address the doctrinal discussions considered "necessary" by the Decree of January 21, with the desire of serving the revealed Truth which is the first charity to be shown towards all men, Christian or not. It assures him of its prayers so that his faith may not fail and that he may confirm all his brethren (cf. Luke 22 32).
We place these doctrinal discussions under the protection of Our Lady of Trust, with the assurance that she will obtain for us the grace of faithfully delivering that which we received, "tradidi quod et accepi" (I Cor. 15,3).
Menzingen, March 12 2009
+ Bernard Fellay
Very encouraging reply. If only more Bishops in good standing expressed such sentiments, we would have a healthier Church. The money quote-- concerning the Second Vatican Council in light of tradition-- is the best part. Reconciliation on these terms is honorable to both sides and is indeed possible, if the saboteurs are not allowed to kill the process.