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SSPX leader: we cannot accept preamble in its current state

By and on Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Bishop Bernard Fellay, centre, pictured before an ordination Mass in Econe, Switzerland (AP Photo/Keystone, Olivier Maire)

Bishop Bernard Fellay, centre, pictured before an ordination Mass in Econe, Switzerland (AP Photo/Keystone, Olivier Maire)

The head of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X has said a “doctrinal preamble” presented by the Vatican needs changes before it can be accepted as the basis for the group’s reconciliation.

The statement by Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the society, appeared to hold out hope for further discussions with the Vatican, but it was unclear whether the Vatican would be willing to revisit the text.

“It is true that this doctrinal preamble cannot receive our endorsement, although leeway has been allowed for a ‘legitimate discussion’ about certain points of the [Second Vatican] Council. What is the extent of this leeway?” Bishop Fellay said in an interview posted on the society’s website.

In September, when Bishop Fellay was handed the preamble, the Vatican did not publish the document but said it “states some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity” to the formal teaching of the Church.

In his interview, however, Bishop Fellay said the preamble was “a document which can be clarified and modified, as the accompanying note points out. It is not a definitive text.”

“The proposal that I will make in the next few days to the Roman authorities and their response in turn will enable us to evaluate our remaining options. And whatever the result of these talks may be, the final document that will have been accepted or rejected will be made public,” he said.

Asked whether the past two years of talks with the Vatican have been pointless, Bishop Fellay said they have allowed the society to present their objections to the doctrinal difficulties caused by Vatican II “and consequently show why adherence to the Council is problematic. This is an essential first step.”

“In Rome itself, the evolving interpretations given to religious liberty, the modifications that have been made on this subject in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the Compendium of it, the corrections that are currently being studied for the Code of Canon Law … all this shows the difficulties that you run into when you try to abide by the conciliar documents at all costs,” Bishop Fellay said.

“From our perspective, this nicely shows the impossibility of adhering in a stable way to a doctrine in motion,” he added.

The eventual “canonical solution” envisioned by the Vatican for the society was expected to take the form of a personal prelature, or a Church jurisdiction without geographical boundaries. Bishop Fellay said such an arrangement would be pointless unless the doctrinal differences were resolved.

Last month Fr Paul Morgan, the British superior of the SSPX, said that the preamble had been deemed “clearly unacceptable” by SSPX leaders meeting in Italy. He made the comment in a newsletter posted line and then removed.

  • Sweetjae

    I would strongly argue that if not for God sending us two good shepherds of the Church, pope JPII and Benedict16 the situation of the Church would probably in much worse state. Don’t blame them and Vat2 for the decreased in vocations and Catholics in Europe and her satellites because primarily secularism and atheism started in your backyard way before Vat2 era. No other pope in recent history going to great lengths and different lands and tongues to spread and proclaim the Gospel of God even until the very last breath, bar none. Catholism is exponentially growing in Asia like Vietnam, phillipines, Korea, india and Africa. Stopped communism, liberation theology, culture of death mentality coming all from the west, started most of caring for the poor and needy, soup kitchens, hospitals etc. Which I don’t see from Traditionalists movement…..well aside from complains.

    The contradiction you seem to think exist between the past and present Councils of the church only in exist in your puny minds. So stop this nonsense of conspiracy theory and complains. Real popes believe in the Gospel and doing good for real people.

  • Benedict Carter

    “The contradiction you seem to think exist between the past and present Councils of the church only in exist in your puny minds”.

    How nu-Churchers love their insults! 

    Again: these views are not those of a few lay folk but are shared by many in the Curia, amongst the clergy, Catholic intellectuals, theologians and so on. 

    I am afraid that Catholicism is NOT just about “doing good” (though if you don’t think Traditionalist Catholics are doing this you are very much mistaken or simply deeply biased).  

    We are concerned with the TRUTH (that which sets you free? Heard of that?). Anything not built on that won’t last ten minutes -. as we see with the decline of nu-Church everywhere. 

    Well, long may it continue. Catholicism it is not.

  • Benedict Carter

    Idiot. Sheer ignorance. Tradition is not the Bible!!!!!! 

    Tradition is what has been handed down from the Apostles. The Bible didn’t exist until the 4th century!

  • Benedict Carter

    Rant, rant, rant, rant.

    You persuade nobody of anything except your ignorance.

  • AJ

    Your logic is astounding alright, do i have to enumerate tha vast difference between your example?

    Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, Jesuits etc have in common:

    1. They are official orders of the Catholic Church.
    2. They all submit fully to the Authority of the Pope and bishops with him (Magisterium)
    3. They are in full communion with the See of Peter and the church.
    Now for SSPX, Sede, Slaves of Jesus, Feenites etc. have in common:1. They are not official orders of the Catholic Church.2. They don’t submit (partially with SSPX) to the Authority of the Pope and Bishops with him (Magisterium)3.They are not in full communion with the See of Peter and the Church.4. They don’t agree amongst themselves with interpretations of Tradition.What do they have in common with the protestants, well the protestants believe they have the Infallible source of Truth – Bible which they all have the right to interpret it correctly and infallibly apart from the Magisterium of the Church and the traditionalists also believed they have the Infallible source of Truth – Tradition, which they have the right to interpret it correctly and infallibly apart from the Magisterium of the Church.

    You can deny and  twist but historical facts can’t.

  • AJ

    “That’s the sole nature of the “split” in the Traditionalist movement: entirely natural and beneficial.”Beneficial to whom? Division is from Satan himself. Unity is from God, what the heck are you talking about?

  • Benedict Carter


    Your line of “reasoning” would lump the Cathars alongside the Janseninsts on the basis that both were French. 

    Back to the drawing board with you!

  • AJ

    “The SSPX hold fast to the Church’s teachings of the ages.”
    Which version of traditional teachings are you talking about? According to you? According to Sede? Protestants also claim the same thing you do, holding fast to the Bible teachings of the ages…..Jehovahs? Mormons, baptists anyone?Yes, the pope and Magisterium has to guard and defend what has been handed to him however, it is not his sole purpose. If we are going by your dubious logic and just paraphrase past teachings going back up to some point in time???, we would end up with no Tradition at all. 

    What is your cutting-off period that you consider as “traditional”? Pre-Vat2? Let’s assume this is your judgment as the cut-off (protestants only up to 4th Council of the Catholic Church, yours obviously is only up to the 20th Council).If we then follow your logic, then catholics should trash all Papal Encyclicals, Apostolic letters, Pontifical Commission on like  Humanae Vitae, Teachings on Embryonic Stem-cell , Cloning, DNA manipulations and genetics etc, etc. because these topics are not taught and found in any “traditional” Councils before Vat2 you are so fussed about!.The incident about the witch doctor is a matter of lapse or poor judgment which might  consitute a personal sin (which none is exempted even Apostles Paul and Peter)  but has nothing to do with Articles of Faith or Vatican2. Beside the fact the incident happened without the full knowledge of the Roman See which you guys don’t give the benefit of the doubt. You condemned the good intention of the pope. Shame on you passing judgment on the Vicar of Christ! Repent!

  • AJ


    WHO said there are contradictions? YOU? Do you want to start the debate and see the cloud of lies your group put in your eyes?
    Are you even aware that the Doctrine of Church named, “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus means: “Outside the Church
    there is no salvation” which you strictly interpreted and espoused have also condemned you too???WHY? Here is the reason why:SCHISM:
    “is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion
    with the members of the Church subject to him” (Can. 751). Such ruptures
    from communion with the Church, wound the unity of Christ’s Body.”

    Noticed the Law didn’t distinguished between partial
    and complete withdrawal of obedience and submission primarily because they are
    the same.

    So brother by your very interpretation of “Outside
    the Church there is No Salvation”  condemns you, the very Dogma you try
    to defend. Sad and ironic isn’t it?


  • AJ

    Denial like Luther, Sede does not believe in the current Pope as legitimate, SSPX do, Society of
    St. Pius V does not believe in the Mass of 1962 edition but SSPX otherwise believe they do, the group of Istituto Mater Boni Consilii  believed that the See of Peter is vacant and Mass celebrated by SSPX is invalid. Do you want some more “natural and beneficial” stuffs coming from the so called “traditional movements”?

  • AJ

    See my reply above and the only difference between you and the protestants is the matter of “OBJECT” of protest. Theirs is the bible apart from the Magisterium, yours is the Tradicio apart from the Magisterium.

    You are on the same slippery slope as once Luther did, very careful, my friend.

  • AJ

    “Many theologians, intellectuals and clergy think the contradictions are real.”

    Yes from your side and bside the fact these people are not the Magisterium of the Church. Even the Great Doctors of the Church, Sts. Tomas Aquinas and Augustie made some very terrible errors which were later corrected by the Magisterium of the Church which they also had submitted their assent, is the same Authority you, SSPX, Sede have refuse obedience to. Repent or the Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus  will be applied.

  • AJ

    Visions, prophesies interpreted by whom? YOU again? No different than the Jehovahs and Mormons.

    The Church has the Authority to reform the Liturgy but NOT THE SUBSTANCE of the Mass.

    She even has the Authority to say which books are considered Divinely Inspired to form the bible.

    She even has the Authority to changed the 3rd Commandment of God written by His fingers himself that of honoring the 7th Day as Lord’s day from Sabbath Day to Sunday, the first day of the week, then tell me she can’t change the practices (not Substance and Dogmas) like abstinence, prayers, kneeling, receiving in the hands during communions?

    Did you ever ask, WHO is bp Fellay or you?

  • Tridentinus

    The point must be made that whilst the Novus Ordo is not in itself invalid or heretical (except perhaps Canon 4) it is capable of a Protestant interpretation and if celebrated by a priest who does not believe in the sacrifice of the Mass and there are such, it becomes a Protestant Service. The pre-Vatican II rite, however, is incapable of such an interpretation on account of the explicit sacricificial language it contains. The Tridentine Mass, even though celebrated by an heretical priest would always be valid in the same way as Baptism is always valid regardless of the beliefs or non-belief of the baptizer. An Anglican church I once attended used the  Novus Ordo as a matter of course, the Vicar (now a Catholic priest) believing in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Another priest who used to help out now and then was absolutely shocked that the Roman Canon was used on major feast days and swore he would never use it in a million years. He was, however, quite comfortable with Canons 2 and 3. I think this illustrates my point.

  • Anonymous

    Anything – including the Bible – can be open to a Protestant interpretation, and indeed by anyone, which is why it must be heard with the household of faith, and with all the assurances that flow from that.

    As is noted in the Vatican Newspaper in an article written by the second in command at Opus Dei:
    “This charism, this authority and this light were certainly present at the Second Vatican Council; to deny this to the entire episcopate gathered to teach the universal Church cum Petro and sub Petro, would be to deny something of the very essence of the Church (cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, 24 June 1973, nn. 2-5). ”

    I suspect you cannot claim the same authority as the current Pope, and his most recent predecessors, the Council itself, and someone put forward to speak for the Holy See, at a time the SSPX are in denial about Church teaching.

  • Benedict Carter

    You have no grasp of the issues at all, that much is clear. Therefore, any further conversation is without benefit.