History is repeating itself. In the early 2000s, the Society of St. Pius X correctly argued that the priests of the Diocese of Campos were being re-molded, little by little, by the Conciliar Church. Now, in 2017, it is the Society that is slowly but surely being made anew.
In his January 6, 2003 letter to Friends and Benefactors, Bishop Fellay exposed for all to see the erroneous thinking of Campos and how they were falling into a trap. His remarks can now be re-applied to present day relations between the Society and Modernist Rome. Let’s look at three quotations from that letter in particular:
Here is Bishop Fellay speaking about Campos and how they claimed there were two different phases in the life of Bishop de Castro Mayer:
Bishop Rifan, in the course of a brief visit to Europe, went to see Dom Gerard at Le Barroux Abbey in France to present his apologies for having so criticized him back in 1988 when Dom Gerard condemned Archbishop Lefebvre’s consecrating or four bishops. In a lecture he gave to the monks, Bishop Rifan pretended there were two phases in the life or Bishop de Castro Mayer: up till 1981 he was supposedly a docile bishop respecting the rest of the hierarchy, from 1981 onwards he was a much harder churchman… “We choose to follow the pre-1981 de Castro Mayer”, said Bishop Rifan to the monks, some of whom were surprised at such words, and one of them was scandalized to the point of coming over to the SSPX.
This is precisely what the Society is doing today to Archbishop Lefebvre. They always highlight the Archbishop of the 1970s and early 1980s. Never do they quote the Archbishop from 1988 onward. Of course, we know why. The Archbishop of ’88 onward refutes the “regularization” efforts of the neo-SSPX. Let’s update Bishop Fellay’s 2003 quote to 2017:
Bishop Fellay, in the course of a brief visit to the United States, went to St. Mary’s, Kansas to update the faithful on the Society’s talks with Rome. In a lecture he gave, Bishop Fellay pretended there were two phases in the life of Archbishop Lefebvre: up till 1988 he was supposedly a docile bishop respecting the rest of the hierarchy, from 1988 onwards he was a much harder churchman… “We choose to follow the pre-1988 Lefebvre” said Bishop Fellay to the faithful, some of whom were surprised at such words, and many of them were scandalized to the point of coming over to the Resistance.
Second quote. Here is Bishop Fellay letting Society faithful know that some Campos priests accused the SSPX of being schismatic for condemning the Campos deal:
Bishop Rifan still says that he wants to be our friend, but some Campos priests are already accusing us of being schismatic because we refuse their agreement with Rome.
In Campos itself, everything positively traditional is being maintained, for sure, so the people see nothing different, except that the more perceptive amongst them notice the priests’ tendency to speak respectfully and more often of recent statements and events coming out of Rome, while yesterday’s warnings and today’s deviations are left out.
Is this not the exact thing the Society does today to those not in favor of “regularization”? Do they not accuse us of being schismatic and sedevacantist? Is this not what Bishop Fellay and others accused Bishop Williamson of being? A quick update to year 2017 would read:
Bishop Fellay still says that he wants to be our friend, but some SSPX priests are already accusing us of being sedevacantists because we refuse an agreement with Rome.
In the SSPX itself, everything positively traditional is being maintained, for sure, so the people see nothing different, except that the more perceptive amongst them notice the priests’ tendency to speak respectfully and more often of recent statements and events coming out of Rome, while yesterday’s warnings and today’s deviations are left out.
Lastly, here is what Bishop Fellay said in his 2003 letter about SSPX-Rome relations going forward. They are diametrically opposed to what His Excellency says today:
For our part we have no intention of launching out until we are certain that Rome means to maintain Tradition. We need signs that they have converted…To guarantee our future, we must obtain from today’s Rome clear proof of its attachment to the Rome of yesterday. When the Roman authorities have re-stated with actions speaking louder than words that “there must be no innovations outside of Tradition,” then “we” shall no longer be a problem…
Are there today signs that Rome has converted? Has Rome given “clear proof” of its attachment to the Rome of yesterday? Does Pope Francis give evidence he is going to maintain Tradition? Of course not. Yet week in and week out, there is Bishop Fellay at the Vatican speaking with the Pope about a deal.
It’s déjà vu all over again, folks. Stay strong. Keep reading and keep thinking. Don’t be one of the sheep, blindly trusting the authorities. As the SSPX District Superiors themselves said in 1988, Society faithful have “a strict right to know that the priests who serve them are not in communion with a counterfeit church, promoting evolution, pentecostalism and syncretism.”