“We are prepared to die to safeguard the Catholic faith, lose everything to safeguard the faith and Rome condemns us for this…,” said the Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, at the end of his homily last Sunday, when he celebrated the priestly ordination Fr. Bertrand Lundi in the Church of Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet, in Paris.
In his homily,
the Lefebvrian bishop also referred to the state of relations between
the SSXP and the Holy See, stating: “This is our story, the story of the
Fraternity, the story of our founder. And this story, my dear brothers, continues. I
would go as far as to say that given this sublime reality, it is
nonsense (“est une bagatelle”) to talk about an agreement, or lack there
of, with Rome.”
Fellay said this
after recalling the actions of Mgr. Lefebvre, whose “charisma” was
mentioned in a letter which the Vice President of the Pontifical
Commission Ecclesia Dei, Augustin Di Noia,
sent to Fellay and priests of the Fraternity before Christmas. The
letter attempted to break the deadlock in the dialogue between the Holy
See and the traditionalist group.
The letter triggered disputes, particularly with regard to one of the forums which has the closest ties with the Fraternity’s more hard-line wing.
What was frowned upon, was the fact that the newly ordained priest, who
comes from a family that has century-old ties with the traditionalist
group, wore a chasuble embroidered with a papal coat of arms that was
very similar to Benedict XVI’s (though it featured a tiara instead of a
Other disputes to do with traditionalist forums
involve a priest from the Institute of the Good Shepherd, in Rome, who
was apparently invited to the ceremony but was not allowed to enter the
presbytery to attend the ordination ceremony.
One should not place too much emphasis on Fellay’s
words, as it would be a mistake to draw conclusions from them regarding
the SSXP’s pending answer to the Vatican’s proposal delivered last 14
June. His comments do, nevertheless, offer some hints.