release from SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay
with respect to the priests of Campos
Feast of Saint
January 18, 2002, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will read, in
the cathedral of Campos, various documents by which Pope
John Paul II erects an apostolic administration for the
(traditional) priests of Campos and the faithful who are
associated with them. Bishop Rangel is recognized as a Catholic
bishop and named as the head of the new administration.
This administration will have the right to use the 1962
liturgical books, that is to say the Tridentine Mass. The
censures "possibly incurred" (sic) will be lifted.
The Pope accepts the offer from the priests of Campos to
combat heresy in the Church.
Bishop Rangel will make a profession of Faith, in the name
of everyone, and a declaration, in which he recognizes John
Paul II as Pope, the bishop of the diocese as the legitimate
bishop and Vatican Council II as a council of the Catholic
Church. He will nevertheless state that he reserves the
right to criticize in a positive way that which is not in
conformity with Tradition. Likewise for the New Mass, recognized
as valid in itself, but which also is subject to constructive
The Society of Saint Pius X remarks that this outcome is
the fruit of a peace separated from itself. In order to
obtain it, the Campos priests had to separate themselves,
to some extent, from the Society of Saint Pius X. The Society
takes note of the hastiness and the partially hidden character
of the negotiations that preceded the present recognition.
They have abandoned, for example, the condition concerning
the Tridentine Mass that would have granted every priest
the right to celebrate it freely. All of this is not good,
for strength lies in unity. We cannot say either that by
this act the crisis
in the Church has been overcome. It could be a step in this
direction. The future will tell us.
The Fathers from Campos affirm that they will continue the
combat for Tradition. It must also be acknowledged that
no substantial concession on a doctrinal level has been
made. Time alone will determine
how Rome permits the development of this work. With respect
to this, the choice of the successor for Bishop Licinio
Rangel will be of great importance. This question is not
decided. The same can be said for the juridical status of
the administration, also not decided.
What will be, henceforth, their relations with Rome and
with us? It is again time that will determine this. The
new situation that has been created will be a test for the
future. The Society remains very reserved, and watches apprehensively
as close as possible the development of the work, while
waiting to see its fruits. It is by its fruits that a tree
is to be judged.
must be acknowledged that, for the first time, a diocesan
kind of structure has been granted to Tradition. A traditional
bishop is now recognized as such, as fully Catholic.
pray that all this work together for the good of Tradition
and of the Church, despite the mixed feelings that we feel
for the time being. We only desire to continue our work
in the spirit and according to the principles handed down
to us by Archbishop Lefebvre.
the feast of Saint Marcel,