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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.

  • Benedict Carter

    Nice try Amfotas but doesn’t work.

  • Benedict Carter

    He was an official advisor to, and close confidant of, two Popes. 

  • Anonymous

    Poems are made by fools like me but only God can make a tree.  Sgt. Joyce Kilmer, KIA, France, 1917, author of “Trees”.  Semper Fi.

  • Anonymous

    I happen to agree. So sad.  Once you do research on AB Giuseppe Siri, it gets even sadder. 

  • Anonymous

    I am a BC fan, albeit football’, and I too say “huh”!

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Quoting: “Pope Benedict launching the Year of Faith, to mark the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, October 2011:’I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning’.”

    You just could not make it up. Unbelievable – and he said this after 30 years at the CDF.  The stuff we, at Catholic Truth, sent him ALONE (about our apostate bishops and decadent clergy) should have been sufficient to alert him to the dire state of the Church. But no. The pretend games goes on… and on… and on….

    Anyone who thinks that Vatican II has been a “great grace” on the Church in our times is either stupid or lying. OR someone has a gun pointed at his head. 

    And before the papolatrists come to get me – popes may WELL be stupid or lie – there’s no guarantee that the Holy  Spirit will prevent them so doing.  Whatever, it is beyond incredible that Pope Benedict said what he is quoted above as saying.  Beyond incredible.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    If you think for a second that the SSPX will help with the so called reform of the reform (i.e. yet another new Mass) then you fail to understand the situation entirely.

    The only reform sane people are interested in right now, is a wholesale return to the traditional Mass, Sacraments, doctrine and morality. Nothing less.

  • John Harmsen

    We were told at the end of the Second Vatican Council that the changes which were to be brought about,would be an experiment and that the Holy Ghost would tell us whether these changes would be fruitful or otherwise. We have now had forty five years of experiments. These resulted in a steep decline in Mass’attendance,a lack of vocations to the Priesthood,the virtual disappearance of people
    going to Confession,catholic children leaving so called catholic primary schools being totally ignorant
    of the Faith etc etc. The Holy Ghost(I prefer this traditional phrase to the Holy Spirit) obviously is NOT
    pleased about these experiments.The solution to the problem: The repeal of ALL the things that came
    about after this ‘Satanic’ council and a full scale return to way things were under Pius XII and his
    predecessors.And this includes ending the FALSE ecumenism and the horrors of Assisi.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    I take it you think St Athanasius, now a saint and Doctor of the Church, was using a “Protestant tactic” when he refused to accept the Arian heresy, denying the divinity of Christ, and was excommunicated by the Pope for his fidelity to Tradition?

    Just curious.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    You are way off target, AJ.  You focus on the Bible where you should be focusing on that other foundation stone of Catholicism, Tradition.  The Church interpets the Bible for us, yes, and should SAFEGUARD (not change) Tradition. That’s what’s always happened in the past…

    You can’t possibly argue that every pope until Vatican II was wrong to prohibit ecumenical activities such as are now rampant in every parish, and that the same Holy Spirit who was behind that prohibition suddenly changed tack and assisted the modern popes to reach the point God intended all along, really, which is to pursue such activities - resulting in the widespread indifferentism and apathy we now see around us.

    Is that what you think?

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Yes but they’ll soon learn, amfortas, once they’ve been through another few “new Masses”. Then they’ll surely sit down and think “now, how come the SSPX have only had ONE Mass all this time, and ONE doctrine, and they’re still going strong and we’ve had a string of new Masses and lots of diversity and equality training and yet our churches are either noisy with chatter and guitars or empty?”  They’ll learn, worry not.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Wrong question, Honey Bunch.  Where is Tradition did it EVER say that a Catholic has to obey every utterance of a Pope, even when he is contradicting that very Tradition?

    Oh and forget about blaming secularism.  Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, even the Sun Worshippers with whom Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently spent time with (? “worshipping”?  “praying”? whatever it you do with sun worshippers, I suppose) – they’re all living in the same secular society. So that’s not the problem, Sugar Plum.  Tray again.  Hint: 1962-1965…

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Sorry for the typos in my pos above – would the Blogs editor please delete it and this sentence, and I’ll try again:

    Wrong question, Honey Bunch. Where in Tradition did it EVER say that a Catholic has to obey every utterance of a Pope, even when he is contradicting that very Tradition? Oh and forget about blaming secularism. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, even the Sun Worshippers with whom Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently spent time (? “worshipping”? “praying”? whatever it you do with sun worshippers, I suppose) – they’re all living in the same secular society. So that’s not the problem, Sugar Plum. Try again. Hint: 1962-1965…

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    So, are you saying that obedience to the Pope is the highest virtue? 

    Wrong. That is not – and never has been – the teaching of the Church.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Sticks and stones will break Benedict’s bones but nasty nasty nasty names will never hurt him!

    If you can’t answer with a reasoned argument, keep quiet.

  • Anonymous

    This report spells the end of any foreseeable chance of reconciliation between Traditionalists and the Vatican.

    Read TRADITIO for the best commentary on RC news.



    Neo-SSPX Negotiator Explains Benedict-Ratzinger’s Edict: Fellay Must Accept Vatican II as Tantamount to “Doctrinal”

    In a “nuanced” statement worthy of the Modernist Vatican II Council itself, one of Benedict-Ratzinger’s key negotiators with Bernie Fellay’s Neo-SSPX has proclaimed in the December 2, 2011, edition of Ratzinger’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, that the Neo-SSPX must accept the Modernist Vatican II Council as “doctrinal, since all pastoral activity is necessarily based on doctrine.” Newmonsignor Fernando Ocariz is the vicar general of Opus Dei, a Newchurch organization long ago exposed as a cult. [Some information for this Commentary was contributed by L'Osservatore Romano.]

    Ocariz did not explain why, if Vatican II’s pastoral provisions have now become “doctrinal,” Ratzinger himself has ignored most of the pastoral provisions of an undeniably dogmatic council, the Council of Trent! Ocariz played every Modernistic trick in Newchurch’s book to explain, on behalf of Benedict-Ratzinger, how a council declared “pastoral” by John XXIII, who called it, and Paul VI-Montini, who promulgated it, must now be accepted as “doctrinal.”

  • Alan_pavelin

    Either the SSPX support the teaching of the Catholic Church, which includes Vatican II, or they prefer their own teaching which is presumably as things were between 1910-60.  If the latter, this is arbitrary; they may as well choose any time in history and claim that then was the time of “true teaching”.  I don’t object to allowing SSPX to rejoin, but they cannot be allowed to dictate to the rest of us what we are required to believe.

  • Torkay

    Your post is extremely disrespectful, thus typical of sedevacantist exaggeration, arrogance and ignorance. Mgr. Ocariz nowhere states that the SSPX must accept the Council. Further, his statement disqualifies itself as a serious reflection on the negotiations, since it contradicts itself in numerous places. This statement will be ignored by the SSPX and the Vatican negotiators.

    And suppose you explain to us, since you apparently think there has been no Pope since 1958, how it is that Our Lady requested that “the Pope of 1960″ publish the Third Secret? Do you think you know better than Our Lady?

  • Anonymous

    Popes, Doctors, saints, theologians and canonists trained and approved by the Church have all told us that it is possible that an antipope should reign as pope from Rome. A heretic is excluded from the valid papacy by the divine law ltself. The same is codified in the canon law — both the traditional 1917 code and the 1983 code of the Vatican II sect. I clearly have the weight of authority behind me on that score.



    Austin Dowling: “Though since Urban VI none but a cardinal has been elected pope, no law reserves to the cardinals alone this right. Strictly speaking, any male Christian who has reached the use of reason can be chosen, not, however, a heretic, a schismatic, or a notorious simonist.” (Conclave, 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia)
    William H. Fanning: “A layman may also be elected as pope, as was Celestine V. Even the election of a married man would not be invalid. Of course the election of a heretic, schismatic, or female would be null and void.” (Papal Elections, 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia)
    Caesar Badii: “The law now in force for the election of the Roman Pontiff is reduced to these points: […] Barred as incapable of being validly elected are the following: women, children who have not reached the age of reason, those suffering from habitual insanity, the unbaptised, heretics and schismatics.” (Institutiones Iuris Canonici,1921)
    Maroto: “Heretics and schismatics are barred from the Supreme Pontificate by the divine law itself, because, although by divine law they are not considered incapable of participating in certain type of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, nevertheless, they must certainly be regarded as excluded from occupying the throne of the Apostolic See, which is the infallible teacher of the truth of the faith and the center of ecclesiastical unity.” (Institutiones Iuris Canonici, 1921)
    Wernz-Vidal: “All those who are not impeded by divine law or by an invalidating ecclesiastical law are validly eligible [to be elected pope]. Wherefore, a male who enjoys use of reason sufficient to accept election and exercise jurisdiction, and who is a true member of the Church can be validly elected, even though he be only a layman. Excluded as incapable of valid election, however, are all women, children who have not yet arrived at the age of discretion, those afflicted with habitual insanity, heretics and schismatics.” (Jus Canonicum, 1943)
    Matthaeus Conte a Coronata: “Appointment to the office of the Primacy. What is required by divine law for this appointment: The person appointed must be a man who possesses the use of reason, due to the ordination the Primate must receive to possess the power of Holy Orders. This is required for the validity of the appointment. Also required for validity is that the man appointed be a member of the Church. Heretics and apostates (at least public ones) are therefore excluded.” (Institutiones Iuris Canonici, 1950)

  • Tridentinus

    I hate it but I have to agree with you entirely. I am now nearly 70 but I can attest that from my earliest days up until Vatican II the Catholic Church was the rock upon which I believed absolutely nothing could prevail against. I studied to be a religious priest and spent a year in Rome during the first year of the Pontificate of John XXIII. If I remember rightly I was vaguely aware that there was an expectation in the air which sadly I was too young to appreciate, that something was about to happen after the relatively conservative but actually progressive reign of the Venerable Pius XII. Alas my love affair with the SRE (Sancta Romana Ecclesia) ended on my return home and I eventually lapsed. It wasn’t until I had a child and realised that I would have to give him the same religious upbringing that I had, yet when I went to my local Catholic Church I was horrified by what I saw; by its liturgy, the attitude of the worshippers and the informality of the celebrating priest. I knew the Mass was in the vernacular but never dreamt that it could have descended into such banality of language and lack of reverence. Nearby was an Anglican Church which advertised Low Mass, High Mass, Confessions, Evensong and Benediction. Thanks to this Church and its priests I was able to bring my children up in the same Catholic Faith as I was brought up in. My sojourn with the C of E sadly ended with the ordination of women. I would love now in the twilight of my years to return to the Church into which I was baptised but I cannot find this Church. Yes, of course, the present Pope has tried to make it easier but his Bishops seem to be determined to thwart him as far as the liturgy is concerned. It is more than just liturgy, however, it is the fact that Catholicism is no longer a coherent faith anymore, people believe what they like. There are people who call themselves practising Catholics who are described in the media as devout yet hold views and live lifestyles which would have been considered anything but Christian 60 years ago. Those who point to the fragmentation of Protestantism should look at the Catholic Church which has disintegrated into a virtual individualistic faith without splitting into sects. The SSPX, however, is pilloried for being formally schismatic.

  • Tridentinus

    If the SSPX support the teachings of the Church between 1910 -60 what are they doing wrong? The teaching of the Church does not change over centuries never mind a decade or two.

  • AJ

    “Where in Tradition did it EVER say that a Catholic has to obey every utterance of a Pope, even when he is contradicting that very Tradition?”

    Your logic is very dubious as always with SSPX, Sede and other Radtrads, we are not talking about “utterances” but rather the decrees, teachings and dogmatic constitutions of A LEGITIMATE COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH (Vat2), do we?

    The contradiction you guys always claimed that exist between past and present Councils of the Church are misguided and really only exist in your mind. The job for authentic interpretation of any Tradition and Scripture belongs only to the present Magisterial Authority of the Church, not you, nor SSPx, nor the Sede.

    The problem with you as with the protestants is, both are putting interpretive authority on your shoulders of what you seem to think Tradition (Bible-protestants) truly says.

  • AJ

    Again, the seeming contradictions you think exist between past and present Councils of the Church only exist in your mind. All your objections like religious liberty,  Unitatis Redintegratio vs. Unam Snactum, Novus Ordo vs. Papal Bull of Quo primum by the Pope Pius V are all misguided, misrepresented by the lies and fabrications of ultra Traditionalists who by the way don’t even agree with one another and just leading people astray from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    I would like to show you your mistaken interpretation and notion of the past documents that actually are in harmony with the present teachings of the Church.

    Both the Bible and Tradition make up a single Deposit of Faith..two pillars! And the job to interpret both belongs only to the proper Magisterial Authority

  • AJ

    “The magisterium was infiltrated by the devil”

    This is exactly the problem when SSPX and others distribute fabrications and lies….leading others astray, may God have mercy on the SSPX leadership.

    It can’t possibly happen that the Magisterium is infiltrated, my dear, as long God is God, it will never happen, so relax.
    Do you even ask yourselves this, did my interpretation and knowledge of Traditional teaching is absolutely right or also may have been infiltrated by the devil?????

  • AJ

    Your so called “evidence” is lacking and been rebutted by the very Tradition you espoused.

    Who said that any catholic can interpret and pass a judgment of who is right and wrong with Tradition? Is it found in very Tradition?

    Answer me this, Jesus Christ said and commanded us that if there exist a disagreement/dispute between 2- christians, we should go to His——-for settlement and final judgment. Choose one only:

    1.Ourselves2.SSPX, Sede and others3. Magisterium of the ChurchChoose wisely.

  • AJ

    “And before the papolatrists come to get me – popes may WELL be stupid or lie – there’s no guarantee that the Holy  Spirit will prevent them so doing. “Did you even ask yourself that question?I’ll rather be with the Magisterium of the Church (Pope and Bishops with him) anyday, anytime rather than some looney who thinks he is right with tradition and Bible.

  • AJ

    No i didn’t say that,  but rather being obedient to all officially declared teachings of ALL Councils of the Church with the pope and bishops with him is one of the highest christian virtue as found in tradition and bible.

    Your claim is nowhere found but in one, Canon Law 751:

    “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 (SSPX) and complete withdrawal (protestants) of obedience and submission primarily because they are
    the same.

  • AJ

    You are the one who do not understand fully.

    This sums up of WHAT the Sacred
    Tradition says so we won’t be led astray by our own interpretive

  • AJ

    If you say that you only follow what you have received before Vat2, then let me asked you this, like I did to other protestant apologists, WHOSE version of the Bible (in your case Tradition) are you refering to? And FROM WHAT AUTHORITY? Since everybody in the Protestant world (in your case all Traditionalists-including the Sede) claimed the same “clearness” of the same Bible (Tradition) yet arrived at diametrically opposing beliefs and doctrines?How are you going to explain the hermeutical chaos that exists in both the protestant world and now the “traditionalists movement”? You can’t ven agree with your fellow traditionalists and the five offshoots of SSPX, then tell us here you are infallibly right with your version of Tradition? SAD and ironic.

  • AJ

    I know the difference however you are the same with them of putting interpretive authority on yourselves like our protestant brothers. look at where are they now….splitting, now look ate where the traditionalists just 40 years after splitting from Rome…splitting. Do you even get the whole picture, brother? Go to the “ROCK” of God not SSPX, Sede nor anybody else.

  • AJ

    SSPX , Sede and other ratrads are the disasters leading people away from the One, True Church of God. You are reading too much hollywood stuffs of the likes of Malachi Martin, Hans Kung etc.

    Word of advise, listen only to the Living Voice of God……the Magisterial Authority of the Catholic Church (pope and bishops with him) nobody else. It si commanded and ordained by Christ found in the Bible. The last time I checked the Bible, I didn’t read and see your name nor the names you mentioned.

  • AJ

    As with other radtrads I encountered using St. Athanasius and Pope Liberius as a model for the modern day Bp Lefebvre and Pope John Paul II. Word of advise, please don’t, because you guys are very far away and in no way similar to that case. I can show you anytime of the day that your comparison was misguided and wrong.

  • AJ

    Yes Vatican2 was pastoral as with the 7th, 13th, 15th Councils of the Church and 80 percent of Church traditional teachings which form the Extraordinary and Ordinary magisterium which any abiding catholic must give their intellectual and religious will as taught by the same Tradition and bible, thus we just can’t refuse obedience to and trash them according to some devilish groups out there.

  • AJ

    What? there are 5-offshoots from SSPX alone aside from Sedes, Slaves of Jesus and Mary and many more that differ from each other with the same catholic Tradition!

    Protestanst are the same with the same bible yet differ from each other.

    The analogy with protestants is clear , it just hurts!

  • AJ

    You are the one who is constantly attacking and undermining the Magisterial Authority of the Church which God Himslef ordained. Read Exodus about a guy named koher doing the same way you do with Moses, where is he now?

    Be very careful my friend of who you put allegiance to and who you think has authority to speak for God, HINT: not SSPX, not sedes, not me!

    So who really is the one ranting??

  • Benedict Carter

    Tridentius, instead of making the ridiculous PC apologies to all and sundry, John Paul II should have apologized to one billion plus Catholics for the greatest sin in the Church’s history: Vatican II and its aftermath. 

    We are all victims of a giant cock-up of world historical proportions. Worse than that: it has undoubtedly cost millions their souls. 

    And still the blindness of these people is almost total and their Revolution proceeds. 

  • Benedict Carter


    There were NO “teachings” of Vatican II: it was an explicitly “pastoral” Council. Therefore it decided policy only.Policy can be challenged and policy can be changed. 

    As to schism, the Church itself is split on the issue. So who the hell are you to judge?

  • Benedict Carter

    Evidence lacking?

    Are you actually insane, or did you dig a particularly deep hole before sticking your head in it?

    There is so much evidence and so many books detailing it, that one wouldn’t know where to point you first. 

  • AJ

    Fabrication and lies calling a protestant a  validly ordained Catholic Novus Ordo Mass.

    But rather listening to your complains as with other SSPX, Sedes your assertions are just fallible human opinions! Without Apostolic authority of Peter and Bishops with him yours, SSPX and Sedes are just like that! OPINIONS! Nothing more no different than the protestants.

  • Benedict Carter

    And that’s exactly the point!
    ´We shouldn’t NEED to make a stand! The Popes and the Magisterium have always done that for us! Like rocks … until the 1960′s and beyond.

  • Benedict Carter


  • Benedict Carter

    The SSPX hold fast to the Church’s teachings of the ages. 

    A Pope’s sole role is to guard and defend what has been handed to him. These last three or four have been radical revolutionaries. 

    A Nigerian witch doctor chanting to his demon god in a consecrated Catholic Church (Assisi III) anyone?

  • AJ

    What does it stop from anyone reading the Books of Dan Brown (DaVinci Code) or TimLahaye (Gospel of Magdalene) as a reliable as true source to attack the Church and her Teachings as false?????

    Your logic is very convenient for you and rather very dubious.

  • Benedict Carter

    What are you on about?

    Have you never heard of the Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, Jesuits, Carmelites, Carthusians, Marists and the 101 other Orders of monks and priests in the Church?

    That’s the sole nature of the “split” in the Traditionalist movement: entirely natural and beneficial. So one has the SSPX, the FSSP, the Institute of Christ the King and so on. 

    Your analogy with protestant heretic sects, of which there are tens of thousands, doesn’t work at all.

  • Benedict Carter

    He’s just cutting and pasting, the editing is all over the shop.

  • Benedict Carter

    You are again wrong. The contradictions are REAL.

    Several attempts have been made to seam together pre-Vatican II teaching on religious liberty (for instance) and the document of Vatican II on the same subject. 


    Why? Because it can’t be done. The two positions are mutually exclusive. 

  • Benedict Carter

    See my comment above re religious orders. Your analogy with protestantism is null and void. 

  • Benedict Carter

    “The contradiction you guys always claimed that exist between past and present Councils of the Church are misguided and really only exist in your mind”. 
    Many theologians, intellectuals and clergy think the contradictions are real. 

  • Benedict Carter

    And what of Leo XIII’s vision of all the devils in hell descending on the Vatican?

    Which vision prompted him to sit down and compose the great prayer to Michael the Archangel.

    Which was said at the end of Mass at every Mass in the world until when?


  • Benedict Carter

    And John XXIII, who started the thing.