11 January 2011

Bishop Bernard Fellay's Comments on Assisi 3

These comments were posted at the SSPX site. The subject of SSPX General Superior Bishop Fellay's talk was the upcoming commemoration of the lamentable 1986 Assisi "World Day of Prayer for Peace". This event had been the occasion of scandal for many Catholics who saw it as practical syncretism, as even the more outlandish religions and pseudo-religions--including animists, voodoo practitioners, and others-- were allowed to conduct their rites, sometimes even in Catholic Churches. It is also worth noting that, for whatever reason, this 1986 event was not attended by Cardinal Ratzinger, then head of CDF.

Events like this certainly don't help the SSPX reconciliation effort, I will venture to say.


Bishop Fellay's First Comments on Assisi III

Remarks on the Feast of the Epiphany during a sermon given at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, January 9, 2011

After explaining the arrival of the Three Magi who traveled from the farthest ends of the pagan world to adore Our Lord Jesus Christ, Bishop Fellay contrasts this example of the Faith of the Magi with the unbelief of Herod and of the priests and the announcement of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in October 2011:

In theory they know, in theory they believe. But in reality, do they believe? Do they really believe that Our Lord is God? Do they really believe that peace among men, among nations, is in His hand? Do they really believe in all the immediate, direct consequences of His divinity? …Are they all going, like the Magi, the Three Kings, to adore the true God and to look to Him for that peace and to ask Him for it? Are they going to the King of Peace: Rex Pacificus?

Oh, how history repeats itself, alas!

Yes, we are deeply indignant, we vehemently protest against this repetition of the days at Assisi. Everything that we have said, everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had said at the time [of the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in 1986], we repeat in our own name. It is evident, my dear brothers, that such a thing demands reparation. What a mystery!

Yes, to adore: what does that mean? To adore means first of all: to recognize, to recognize the divinity. Adoration is given to God alone. And recognizing His divinity immediately implies submission; a declaration of submission to the sovereignty of God. It is to recognize that God has every right over us, that we are really entirely dependent, absolutely dependent upon God for our existence, our life, our ability to act, think, desire, and will. Every good, every good thing that happens to us, comes from the goodness of God. And this is true—not only for believers, not only for Christians—this is true for every creature, absolutely every creature.

God, the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, is also the One who governs this world, the One who sustains all things by the power of His Word, the One in whom everything has its stability! Lord of life and death, of individuals and nations! Almighty, eternal God, to whom all honor and glory is due! Yes, to adore is to put oneself in this posture of humility which acknowledges God’s rights.

Let us go, then, let us go to Our Lord; even though He hides His Divinity, even though He is a tiny Child in the arms of His Mother, He is truly God! He is true God, sent by the mercy of the good God to save us. For He was made man, and in becoming a man he became the Savior, and His name, given by God Himself, is Jesus: the Savior! The only name that has been given under heaven by which we can be saved. The only Savior! The only Holy One, “Tu solus Sanctus” [as we say in the Gloria], who comes to bring us something unheard of: the invitation to God’s eternal happiness.

How can people hope to be able to receive His blessings when they insult Him, when they ignore Him, when they diminish Him? It is madness! How can anyone hope for peace among men when he makes a mockery of God?

And here modern thinking makes truly bizarre sorts of projections: it pretends that all religions, ultimately, adore one and the same true God. That is absolutely false; it is even in Revelation; we find it already in the psalms, in Psalm 96:5, “All the gods of the Gentiles are devils!” They are devils. And Assisi will be full of devils! This is Revelation, this is the Faith of the Church; this is the teaching of the Church!

Now where is continuity? Now where is rupture? What a mystery!

Yes, my dear brothers, if we want to be saved, there is only one way, and that is the way of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

No more a bishop than Bozek is a priest. Shouldn't be listened to.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I would like to see Bishop Fellay call for a certain number of hours of Eucharistic Adoration over the next months in atonement for the past Assisi events. We don't know what will happen this year with Pope Benedict attending, but I certainly hope crucifixes will not be removed as they have been before. Pray for our Holy Father.

AEMG said...

Bishop Fellay is indeed a Bishop but without the office and voice to be able to preach his office "fully." We all pray for the gracious and imminent entrance into full communion of the SPPX but it does not help also if they always try to undermine the Holy Father and his choices. Yes, they have a right but not to the extent that IMHO always delves into outright disobedience which a lot of our brethren always use (and sometimes rightly so) against them.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has always shown outright courage, determination, patience, and an almost martyr-like humility when it comes to his detractors both inside and outside Holy MOther Church. I would rather trust his judgement with regards to the upcoming Assisi Event than those who always find faults and displeasure in everything that His Holiness decides. I do pray that no concessions be done to seem like the Church is not the ONE TRUE CHURCH but I also pray that His Holiness' voice be heard more with regards to the present plight of our beloved suffering brethren and the Church Universal as well.

Thank you for this wonderful blog and your faithful vocation!

Vivere in Pace!

elizabeth said...

He most certainly is a Bishop. Check your facts before you spout off. And a wise, holy leader of the SSPX.

StGuyFawkes said...

Here's the deal: Bishop Fellay can much better criticize Assisi from within than without. He needs to hurry up and regularize his relations with Rome and then boom forth on every occasion from a position irreproachable. I certainly do admire his dash and brio but sometimes one must be as "gentle as doves and cunning as snakes" and wait for the moment when your drum will bang the loudest.

Come on in brother and bang your drum even louder!

Long-Skirts said...

"After explaining the arrival of the Three Magi who traveled from the farthest ends of the pagan world to adore Our Lord Jesus Christ, Bishop Fellay contrasts this example of the Faith of the Magi with the unbelief of Herod and of the priests and the announcement of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in October 2011"


There can be no peace
If not of good will
There can be no race
For those who stand still.

Only she --
Full-graced the miracle
Anything less
Sinful, satirical

Did magnify
Her soul prepared
By God, her spirit
Never ensnared.

“Blessed art thou…”
Gabriel hailed
And at that moment
The enemy railed

For he remembered
In garden free
Tween him and a woman
God placed enmity.

But who the woman?
God did not tell,
Then Gabriel’s “Ave”
Shook the depths of Hell.

And Satan screamed,
Turned on a wing
To offer some peace
And will good to a king.

“Yes, some peace.” Herod said
“And good will…
I’ve a right to my reign,
If some Innocents I kill!”

Jerry said...

My prayer is that the Holy Father will use this occassion to call these false religions to conversion to Jesus Christ in His true religion.

Jerry Okonski

thetimman said...

Comparing Fellay and Bozek is not apt. But, surely, I pray that the SSPX will be brought to full regularisation and receive full canonical faculties without a hint of doubt upon them. Bishop Fellay is right about the original Assisi, and we have to wait and see about this one-- though commemorating the 1986 event at all without sackcloth and ashes doesn't appear to be a good sign.

I do think the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay--as the right pair among their many advisors--are the ones to get this done; I pray that this happens during this pontificate so matters don't deteriorate into too-hardened positions. And then, St. Guy, I agree that Bishop Fellay's pulpit will grow, and not diminish, as many SSPX supporters fear.

Anonymous said...

So the holy Father prayed with those of others religious faiths. Big deal. Get over it.

There are far more and relevant things (important to our Catholic faith) get upset over than this.


Oh, and Bp. Richard Williamson must be in 7th heaven, now that he's able to point to this issue in order to effectively say..."See! I told you so!" There's probably no one more grateful for the latest Assisi event than him.

thetimman said...


"Praying with" is not the point entirely, though "praying with" is problematic, when the "with" entails joining the prayers of those whose prayers are directed towards demons, dead ancestors, life forces, buddha and the like. I will leave aside questions of joint prayer with other Christians, Jews and Muslims for the moment.

To me, the bigger scandal was to allow false religious rites inside Catholic Churches. You can read about Assisi I at other places, but putting an idol of Buddha on a Catholic altar, or allowing the sacrficing of animals in a voodoo service, is appalling. Surely you can see this.

The point is, representatives of false religions were invited to participate as equal partners by the one Church, and were allowed to conduct their rites without rebuke, and were never even given the hint that their religions were indeed false. Hardly seems like evangelization.

There are many other problems with Assisi I. But to simply point to "praying with" others is too easy.

And I get your point about "bigger things to worry about", but that, too, can be an excuse to let lots of things go that the guardian of Christ's truth cannot simply let go by unanswered.