Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Never Thought I'd See The Day

Bishop Fellay speaking to the CNS? The journalistic arm of the USCCB? Holy Smokes.

Naturally, it's a shpiel that is full of prudence and caution.  He's got to be pretty careful now, I think, what with all this stuff flying about regarding these letters. His words are weighted with a lot of care.  Even moreso, though, there is hope.

"There are some discrepancies in the society," Bishop Fellay told CNS. "I cannot exclude that there might be a split."

But the bishop defended his generally favorable stance toward the Vatican's offer against the objections of his peers. "I think that the move of the Holy Father -- because it really comes from him -- is genuine. There doesn't seem to be any trap," he said.

"So we have to look into it very closely and if possible move ahead." He cautioned, however, that the two sides still have not arrived at an agreement, and that unspecified guarantees from the Vatican are still pending. He said the guarantees are related to the society's traditional liturgical practices and teachings, among other areas.

"The thing is not yet done," the bishop said. "We need some reasonable understanding that the proposed structure and conditions are workable. We are not going to do suicide there, that's very clear." Bishop Fellay insisted the impetus for a resolution comes from Pope Benedict XVI. "Personally, I would have wished to wait for some more time to see things clearer," he said, "but once again it really appears that the Holy Father wants it to happen now."

This is all very nice, but let's skip down to the most important statement of the whole talk:

Although he stopped short of endorsing Pope Benedict's interpretation of Vatican II as essentially in continuity with the church's tradition -- a position which many in the society have vocally disputed -- Bishop Fellay spoke about the idea in strikingly sympathetic terms. 

"I would hope so," he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.

"The pope says that ... the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely," the bishop said. "The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?"

That's a pretty huge deal considering some of the comments that have gone before. At the close of the article, he mentions how it's not just the SSPX who works to defend the Faith. The Pope does so as well since that's his job. It's also every other Catholic's job as well, so please pray for the success of the Holy Father's (and Bishop Fellay's) efforts in this endeavor.

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