Continuing with the clergy honors, today we present, in alphabetical order, the Tower of Trent Trophy to Bishop Bernard Fellay, who was not only one of the four famous priests consecrated to the Episcopacy that prompted the meaningless Ecclesia Dei canard, but also one of the youngest bishops ever at only 30 years old. He was elected Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X in 1994 and remained in that post for 10 years. Headquartered in Menzingen, Switzerland he has been responsible for overseeing the expansion of the SSPX worldwide in following the charge of the man who both ordained and consecrated him Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. While we have done extensive research in trying to find biographical information on His Excellency, we have unfortunately come up dry other than the basics. Therefore we shall share some of the highlighted works he has written in trying to provide the reader with some semblence of identity.
From our sketchy ferreting out of information, we were able to find out that Bernard Fellay was born on April 12, 1958 in western Europe and entered the seminary, quite possibly in 1972 when, at Christmas break, the Modernist French bishops went so far as to instigate graffiti and vandalism at the seminary. It forced Archbishop Lefebvre to move his students to Fribourg University for a while until the situation of the curriculum and leanings forced the Archbishop's hand and they were able to return to Econe. Father Ramon Anglais wrote, in a brief history of the Society, that Cardinal Jean Villot had told Cardinal Etchegarry that Econe would not last six months. Little did these progressives know the power of God in keeping Truth and Tradition alive. It gave young Fellay a good sense of how much to trust these men of modern Rome which would be important when he became head of the Society.
Villot, who some suspect of complicity in the cover-up and even murder of Pope John Paul I, was definitely the enemy and he sought with all his might to prevent Archbishop Lefebvre his mission. Fr. Anglais wrote that against the provisions of Canon Law, the Society was invalidly suppressed May 6, 1975. French Cardinal Villot, forced Cardinal Staffa to refuse the Archbishop’s rightful canonical appeal to the Supreme Apostolic Signature, the higher instance tribunal in the Church. The Secretary of State then wrote all the bishops of the world, asking them to refuse incardination to the members of the Society. Does this sound familiar? It should be a perfect litmus test to the sincerity of the Modernists to co-exist with Traditionalism. They will not and Bishop Fellay could see first hand how they were setting the traps. Without incardination there could be no priestly work, and since the Society was supposedly suppressed Archbishop Lefebvre could no longer ordain priests for the institute. They had backed His Excellency into a corner and a weaker man might have cowered, but knowing he was right in adherring to the perennial, infallible Magisterium of hte Church, he answered that illegal condemnation with a pilgrimage to Rome of the whole Society to gain the indulgences of the Holy Year in 1975.
Because he had the ear of Villot, and because he was, how else can it be said, a bad pope, Paul VI took the occasion of his consistory in 1976 to publicly rebuke a good man while advancing several rascals to the cardinalate. What were Paul's words? "Disobedient to the new liturgy." Not disobedient to the Pope, not disobedient to the Church, not disobedient to God, but to a "new liturgy" which was a fabrication and a Protestant rite. God bless the Archbishop and shame on the rest from the pope on down who have caused so much damage and destruction of souls. That is what the Archbishop and his seminarians were interested in - souls, nothing else. That is why Bernard Fellay longed to be a priest, not a modern priest, but a priest in the mold of the Cure d'Ars Saint John Vianney.
In 1982 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was appointed Prefect and the Archbishop sought his help, but left very disappointed because Ratzinger's lukewarm response is to accept the new mass and Vatican II reforms and just publicly admit the Society accepts it but doesn't like it as much as the old. Talk about bull, the Archbishop would have none of it and he told his young priests and priests-to-be, "Now we believe that the reform is evil, poisoned by ecumenism, and we refuse to accept it and we are obliged to advise all the faithful against it. God only knows how long the reformers will close their eyes to the destruction of the faith, of the morals, of institutions."
The year he was ordained, 1982, would serve Father Fellay well for his future encounters with Ratzinger himself and Cardinal Darian Castrillon Hoyos who initiated talks with Bishop Fellay and the Society after a Jubilee pilgrimage that so impressed the reverentless-Romans. Yet no matter what carrots were offered, Bishop Fellay always knew who was holding the stick and how fast they'd pull it back and replace it with rotting vegetables for there could be no fruit from anything that came out of the New Order. The Archbishop made the public statement as the policy of the Society: "We pray for the Pope, but we refuse to follow him in his errors on religious freedom, ecumenism, socialism and the application of reforms destructive for the Church. Our apparent disobedience is true obedience to the Church and to the Pope as successor of Peter in the measure that he continues to maintain holy Tradition... All the members of the Society have one desire, to be submitted in filial obedience to a Rome returned to Tradition."
After his ordination in 1982, we have no record of his assignments but we do know that the same year he was ordained, Father Franz Schmidberger was elected Vicar General with right of immediate succession as Superior General. Little did the young Father Fellay ever dream he would be filling such large shoes just a short twelve years later.
In 1983 Bishop Fellay realized the battle would get much tougher when Rome covered up the cover-up with a revised Code of Canon Law that tried to legitimize the illegitimate. Yet it was the Society and its priests who were called illegitimate, as the final nail delivered in 1988 had been rusting in its mark on the wormwood of lies for over 20 years. In 1987 Father Schmidberger presented the Pope with a petition signed by over 123,000 Traditional Catholics and Father Fellay held out hope that at last John Paul II would respond favorably. It was all part of the lie, part of the deceitful shell game which has lasted up to the present day.
After being consecrated a bishop on June 29, 1988 as Fr. Anglais wrote, fresh chrism of consecration still on his hands, Bishop Fellay visited Asia and Australia. He found an unexpected reception in Palayankottai, India, where the traffic was stopped for the solemn procession in which he was driven in a triumphal carriage of stupendous form, much like the throne of an Indian maharajah, accompanied by a band and firecrackers. The locals were enchanted, while the modernist bishop was not. Just as the modernist pastor in Grand Rapids summoned the police to stop Society priest Father Michael McMahon this year from saying the Rosary during the desecration of the church with the Buddhist syncretism, so also the Novus OrdinArian priest pressured the local police to forbid the confirmation ceremony. Bishop Fellay had to take refuge in the house of some Protestants, and finally he was allowed to visit the chapel for a few minutes escorted by the police. As Father Ramon wrote, "So much for post-conciliar tolerance and freedom of religion."
In July 1994, the 40-participants at the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X, assembled at Econe, proceeded to the elect Bishop Fellay as the new Superior General after a spiritual retreat. Just 12 years after his ordination and six years a bishop, he was chosen to lead the Society into the new millennium. It would be one rocked with schism and apostasy, but not from the Society. Those calling the Society schismatic fail to realize who is really in schism.
Bishop has remained in this post for the past 10 years. It has been wrought with peril, and dissension among some, but many fruits have been harvested as the seminaries continue to produce more priests, more good priests, more good and holy priests. After the fall of Campos, Bishop Fellay showed he would not compromise all that the Archbishop and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer had fought for when he issued his stark but true letter to all the Cardinals and the Pope this past feast of the Presentation of Our Lady FROM ECUMENSIM TO SILENT APOSTASY
What the future holds, only God knows, but Bishop Fellay has exhibited a leadership that will hold fast to Tradition. And so we honor today Archbishop Lefebvre's own hand-chosen apostle who continues what His Excellency had insisted on and we enshrine him in the Tower of Trent Hall of Honor
presenting him with the Tower of Trent Trophy and declare this day Bishop Bernard Fellay Day in all of Christendom.
For other charter members honored in this inaugural presentation of the Tower of Trent, see Charter Recipients of the Tower of Trent Trophy