SSPX: A Glimmer of Hope?

Bishop Fellay
Bishop Fellay (photo: CNS/Reuters)

Germany’s Die Presse newspaper yesterday published an interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.

A number of commentators are casting Bishop Fellay’s remarks in a gloomy light, in terms of assessing the prospects of the SSPX returning to full unity with the Church. Understandably enough, given the intransigence Bishop Fellay displays about the SSPX’s plan to conduct ordinations later this month despite a clear statement from the Vatican that any such ordinations would be illegitimate.

But there are some glimmers of hope too in the interview, which has been translated here by the Catholic Church Conservation blog and here by the Rorate Caeli blog. For instance, Bishop Fellay indicates there’s a possibility the SSPX might be willing to accept the authority of all of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, something that Pope Benedict XVI has specified as a precondition for unity:

In a reconciliation with Rome, you probably need to make some kind of declaration of loyalty. Can you do this even if the church does not in all points return to dressing herself in the pre-Vatican II garment?

Fellay: I would rather say: if Catholic principles have been clarified, even though not everything has been resolved, then it is possible. There is a very practical question, which is now evident and that is: how are we accepted? There is a very sharp blockade. That is presently stopping us from going on. If we see too much opposition, then we simply say: well, we will still wait a bit.

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly a declaration of fidelity to the content of the Second Vatican Council. But at least it’s an improvement on the complete hostility Bishop Fellay evinced towards the Council in another interview earlier this year.

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