INTERVIEW WITH HIS EXCELLENCY
BISHOP BERNARD FELLAY
to DICI Presse on January 31, 2004.
DICI: Your Excellency, what is your intention when addressing
this document on ecumenism
to all the Cardinals?
BISHOP FELLAY: The fight for Tradition which we have
been waging, following the example of Archbishop Lefebvre,
for more than 30 years now, necessarily includes the
criticism of the errors which are at the root of the
present crisis. This work of theological criticism was
undertaken by our founder himself, and never failed
to be present. It is perhaps even more necessary today
when we see these errors produce more and more poisonous
fruits. It is from this point of view that were undertaken
the works of the 2nd Symposium of Theology
in Paris, in October 2003, the 6th Theological
Congress of SI SI NO NO in Rome, last January; as well
as the book on The Problem of the Liturgical Reform,
and so many articles published in our reviews and bulletins.
It is along this same line that was written the denunciation
of ecumenism which we sent to all the Cardinals. As
I wrote in the last Letter to Friends and Benefactors,
this ecumenism, under the influence of Cardinal Kasper.
is experiencing a development that is racing out of
control. And we must acknowledge that these ecumenical
breakthroughs are backed up by the documents signed
by the Pope.
Was the publication of this document opportune at a
time when there was talk about possible agreements between
Rome and Leone?
FELLAY: It is true that since the year 2000. under the
impulse of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. a change of attitude
has been manifested in Rome regarding Tradition. But,
let us be frank: it is only a change of practical attitude,
manifested by interviews and exchange of mail: but not
a change in the upsurge of post-conciliar errors. In
fact, the discussions with Rome have been at a standstill
ever since the pure and simple refusal opposed to our
request of freedom for the traditional Mass, a freedom
which we consider as an indispensable prerequisite for
any discussion. It is not a "canonical sort of
put-up job" which can bring order back into the
Church. With this document we want to remind them of
the necessity of a debate on the root of the problem.
That is why. far from being untimely, our approach of
the Cardinals aims at reminding them opportunely that
this debate is doctrinal.
Don't you think that it is urgent nevertheless to try
to come to an agreement with this pope, because you
do not know what his successor has in store for you?
FELLAY: It is true that for the Holy Father the day
of judgment is approaching, and that he will have to
account for his pontificate. It is a work of charity
to try to help him to evaluate these 25 years of pontificate
under the eyes of God. For the blatant fact is there:
John Paul II. at the end of his pontificate, sees himself
the state of silent apostasy in which Europe now is.
And leaning upon traditional doctrine, we strive to
show that this situation
is caused by 25 years of ecumenism. Of course, we are
sure that the return of the Church to her Tradition
will happen only under the authority of the Vicar of
Christ. But when? We do not know. The only thing we
know for sure is that the Church has the promises of
Nevertheless, isn't it a sign of a certain hardening
of the SSPX? Maybe even of the will to cease all discussion
FELLAY: On the contrary. We desire this discussion,
but once again we want it on the doctrinal level. It
is impossible to envision a serious debate if we ignore
the root of the problem. Be it only to give a clear
definition of the words we use, and thus be sure that,
beyond the words, we agree on the same realities. We
do not want this "differentiated consensus."
within the framework of "unity in pluriformity"
in the name of which Cardinal Kasper is discussing with
the Protestants. These ambiguous expressions, these
veritable contradictions in terms show with evidence
that the Conciliar ecumenism does not care for the doctrinal
demands, and even more simply still, for the demands
of sheer logic. What would you say of an agreement based
upon the acknowledgement of a "differentiated consensus,"
or of "consensual differences"?
The tone of the document may sound stern.
FELLAY: It is certainly austere because the theological
problems raised by ecumenism demand a rigorous exposition
without approximations. But the letter which accompanies
this document clearly indicates the meaning of our endeavor:
it is a respectful appeal to the Pope and to the Cardinals
asking them to give back to the Church her Tradition,
which has been contested and even attacked since Vatican
Do you really think that the solution to the present
crisis is purely on the doctrinal level? Do you, a priori,
exclude a more diplomatic and more pragmatic approach?
FELLAY: According to me, it is being pragmatic, and
in any case realistic to want to give solid bases for
a discussion. And whether we want it or not. these bases
are doctrinal. Pragmatism is not synonymous with "burying
one's head in the sand." this voluntary blindness
on the root of the problem can only lead to "not
being on the same wave length," or even to being
swindled. The same dramatic realities are forced upon
everyone, the Pope as well as us. We are in a state
of silent apostasy. We can get out of it only by recourse
to the Tradition, of-the-Church. The answer to the silent
apostasy must make itself heard with a strong and clear
voice. Before the extent of the evil, we cannot be content
with inefficient half-measures, measures which, in the
end are accomplices of the evil which they merely soothe
without ever being willing to eradicate it.
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