"Bishop Fellay's consecrator Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre himself once defined the main problem. The Archbishop's own policy on this was really quite simple and straightforward. The policy he set for the SSPX to consider any future negotiations with the Vatican institution was, 'Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? Do you agree with Quanta cura of Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Leo XIII, Pascendi of Pius X, Quas Primas of Pius XI, Humani Generis of Pius XII? Are you in full communion with these popes and their teachings? Do you still accept the entire Anti-Modernist Oath? Are you in favor of the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless.'"
Mr. Spock Scotty Hodin
I begin this with an excerpt from the iconic television series, Star Trek and the particular episode "Mark of Gideon," which ran in season three on January 17, 1969.
SPOCK: I request permission to transport down to Gideon.
HODIN: Forgive me, Mr. Spock. No criticism of your equipment was intended, but it has sent your captain on some strange journey - a safe one we all still hope - but it could create for us serious incidents with your Federation. And now you propose to repeat this disaster with another officer. This would be madness.
SCOTTY: I'll not take that, Mr. Spock. That transporter was in perfect condition. I guarantee that myself. Transport me down right this minute, and I'll prove to those... gentlemen.
SPOCK: Mr. Scott, you will go to the Transporter room and await my orders.
SCOTTY: Aye, Mr. Spock.
HODIN: I could not quite make that out, Mr. Spock. Would you be so good as to repeat what you said?
SPOCK: Yes, Your Excellency. The ship's engineer was explaining that the… malfunction, which did exist, has now been repaired. We would appreciate an opportunity to test the equipment. I therefore request permission to beam down to your Council chamber.
Sometimes, in the world of diplomacy, one has to talk way down to another, as if they were a spoiled child, and even allow them absurd (but ultimately incidental) claims they plainly and conspicuously cannot legitimately make. When His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay first requested the Vatican Modernists to end their persecution of Tradition by acknowledging the fact that there never was any valid "excommunication" of the SSPX, he was rebuffed. But, on December 15 of 2008, he instead requested that the "excommunications" be lifted, which was finally granted on January 21, 2009.
One cannot legitimately profess to uphold Catholic justice unless one is willing to admit the truth that the supposed "excommunications" were altogether invalid, wrong, without any force either legal or canonical or moral, and an outright mistake from the moment the Modernists emanated them back in 1988. But now we see Bishop Fellay behaving very much like Mr. Spock in the above excerpt admitting, in the name of diplomacy, that the supposed "excommunications" (like the supposed "malfunction") "did exist," even though we all know they didn't.
So now, with the Catholic Mass "freed," thanks to the equally invalid 'Motu Proprio' of July 7, 2007, and the supposed "excommunications" withdrawn earlier this year, the last barrier preventing any "peace talks" between the Church (in the corporate "person" of the SSPX) on the one hand, and the Modernist Vatican on the other, can at last sit down at table and talk.
This, of course, is seemingly what Bishop Fellay could have been working towards from at least as far back as the time he took command of the SSPX as its Superior General, and may well have personally long desired previous to that. There are many who characterize this move on his part as a sell-out. I for one am inclined to be more charitable regarding Bishop Fellay's interior motives.
Bishop Fellay's consecrator Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre himself once defined the main problem. The Archbishop's own policy on this was really quite simple and straightforward. The policy he set for the SSPX to consider any future negotiations with the Vatican institution was, "Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? Do you agree with Quanta cura of Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Leo XIII, Pascendi of Pius X, Quas Primas of Pius XI, Humani Generis of Pius XII? Are you in full communion with these popes and their teachings? Do you still accept the entire Anti-Modernist Oath? Are you in favor of the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless."
Bishop Fellay's hope and plan now is to sit down with Benedict XVI (or at least some prominent representative of his who has his ear) and go over with said person such documents as Quanta cura of Pope Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Pope Leo XIII, Pascendi of Pope Saint Pius X, Quas Primas of Pope Pius XI, and Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII, to show how the Modernist Vatican has repudiated these papal teachings and presently is not in communion with these popes and their teachings. They for their part will either have to admit being out of communion with these popes and their teachings, or attempt to double-talk Bishop Fellay into thinking that they have (somehow) managed to retain such communion while in fact and in practice repudiating it in the most certain terms. Bishop Fellay therefore must see himself as the Church's missionary to the Vatican apparatus, thereby preaching to it one and all a Gospel it has thrown away and now long forgotten, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps they will listen and be converted and return to the Church, and then the end of the crisis would really be in sight. Alternatively, if they choose not to listen and it becomes clear to him that they are pertinaciously determined to remain in their error, even though they must know that it damns them, then he would be able to shake the dust from his feet and move on with a clear conscience. Anything has to be better than the grey ambiguity of the present and the past several decades. Be they truly and sincerely Catholic-at-heart, let them show His Excellency now, or let their true nature and colors manifest themselves to the one who still leads the SSPX.
There are four basic possible outcomes of these talks:
1) Bishop Fellay will convince the Vatican to abandon its errant course, to repudiate and revoke Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, and to return fully to the Catholic Faith and Church.
2) Benedict XVI (or his representative) will somehow persuade Bishop Fellay that all of the Church's concerns about the Modernism and heresy and so forth is of little or no real account, no real problem, and as such can simply be accepted as such, leaving there nothing left to do but carve out whatever side-chapel niche the SSPX is now going to content itself with, alongside that of the Indult/Motu side-chapel "enjoyed" by the FSSP and suchlike.
3) The talks will break down at some point as it becomes clear that the two cannot be reconciled and neither willing to give up their position.
4) The talks will be prolonged indefinitely with no clear winner or loser ever in sight, as diplomatic politeness overtakes truth as Bishop Fellay and his Vatican counterpart fritter away the rest of their lives in useless gestures, "dialog," and dishonest diplomacy of the sort illustrated above.
No matter how unlikely one may believe (1) to be, one has to hope (ever the perpetual optimist, that's me!). After all, in this case Bishop Fellay has the entire might of the Almighty behind him, together with all His Saints and Angels, and even miracles at his disposal, for the asking. If he were to say to his partner in discussion, as they sit at table to begin their talks, "You will not be able to leave that seat until I am finished and release you," I can assure you without the least fear of contradiction that the man will really find himself as if paralyzed from the waist down, and even if he calls upon others to remove him they will not be able to, as if he were being held down by some invisible seat belt. Only when Bishop Fellay has had his say and releases him shall he be able to rise as easily as he had expected to rise upon first sitting down.
For Bishop Fellay has earned his audience. He now goes in, like Elijah before King Ahab. If he tells the King there shall be no rain, then there shall be no rain. Let him only have the strength of character and charity to show a little backbone, and miracles will be possible, and manifested. But I know, it takes guts to put one's reputation on the line. I have no doubt that every saint who ever worked a miracle had to have wondered inside himself, "What if God does not decide to honor this request for a miracle? What if He doesn't come through?" But to His Excellency I say, "Ask yourself this: Is there any valid reason God should not grant you whatever miracle it shall require to persuade them that it is you that speaks truly at those talks for the interests of Christ and for the Kingdom of God?" All that he has done is because he knows that there is every valid reason for God to be totally and without reserve wholly on his side in those talks. This is it, your Excellency, your time to shine. Will you stand tall for righteousness or wimp out? Shall the Church enter the Promised Land or wander in the Desert for another 40 years? In this article speaks the voice of Joshua and Caleb.
Staying with the biblical analogy, will Bishop Fellay be a Gedeon and take up the horn of truth and the torches of Tradition and smash to smithereens the clay pots of Modernism, causing the Modernist majority to panic and be defeated by the remnant of Traditionalists - in numbers similar to Gedeon's forces which the Lord had pared back from 30,000 to 300 (cf. Judges 7: 7). Note, while the spelling is most often Gideon, in the Latin Vulgate it is Gedeon and it was this man whom God chose to bring down Israel's enemy the Madianites. But it did not come about until Gedeon kept testing God with the dry fleece of a sheep. As Catholics we equate the fleece as the Blessed Virgin Mary ("Hail, Gideon's fleece") at the Annunciation and the dew God sent as His only-begotten Son. Is Bishop Fellay the chosen one to bring the Modernists to their knees? We can only hope and pray that (1) is the one.
Unfortunately, as past is precedent, there is much room for doubt as to whether he will stand or fall. We have already seen above how he obtained this hearing on a false basis, namely of pretending to have accepted the "excommunications" as being at least in some limited way, valid. Furthermore, we have the long established precedent of the SSPX having accepted the Bugnini-tainted Mass of 1962, doubtfully ordained SSPX clerics (such as 'Fr.' Philip Stark, the first of perhaps a dozen or so more like him who have chosen to function as priests in the SSPX though they have never been validly ordained), unquestionably invalid Novus Ordo "annulments," and even of late the acceptance and pretended defense of a blatantly invalid "episcopal consecration" ceremony as though such a thing as a mere "installation ceremony" (useful only for installing an already-consecrated bishop into a new patriarchate office) could in any way ever impart the fullness of the priesthood.
And now the talks start off even more awkwardly with Bishop Fellay on the defense, having to apologize for some gravely silly and stupid comments formerly made by Bishop Richard Williamson regarding the total count of Jews who died during World War II and how they were exterminated. I would not be surprised to learn one day that the agreement to "lift" the supposed "excommunications" would not have been attained so soon had Bishop Williamson's unfortunate comments not been on record, and had there been no previous arrangement for some prominent Jewish representative to get all into a hissy fit over the lifting of the supposed "excommunications," particularly that associated with Bishop Williamson, and threatening to break off relations with the Vatican, just so as to get an "official apology" out of Benedict XVI, from Bishop Fellay, to have Bishop Williamson "silenced," and even to wrangle an "apology" of sorts from him.
All of this would be, of course, solely for the express purpose of putting Bishop Fellay off balance, thus making it psychologically all the more difficult for him to stand tall in union with all Tradition, and seemingly to weaken his grasp on the fact that all moral right and authority (and ecclesiastical and canonical authority as well, whether he chooses to accept that fact or not) resides on his side in all these talks, and categorically not with the Vatican Modernists.
Certainly, there is a most salient warning for all of us that we can draw from this series of historical events. Any one of us could one day find ourselves being asked to account for our foolish and idle words, and these things used to injure the cause of God's Kingdom. Bishop Williamson, acting no less the "agent provocateur" than he had acted as in his original visits to the Ridgefield Seminary back in early 1983, had on some occasion actually reiterated some holocaust-denier propaganda, and that without reservation or conditions. Now he has to eat those gravely irresponsible words (and positively scandalous, coming from an authentic Roman Catholic bishop). The fact that he had only been joking would have been something that should have been made abundantly clear at the time, if not better still, to avoid such insensitive humor in the first place.
And now look what happened as a result of Bishop Williamson's foolish and unguarded comments! Bishop Fellay, instead of being able to stride right in, staff in hand and cloak flapping in the stormy winds like some Old Testament prophet, must now instead edge in sideways, bowing and cringing as one who is most abjectly sorry for the bare fact of his own existence, and it was his job to evangelize the Modernist Vatican. How is he ever going to convey anything useful, even if he did somehow, against all odds, muster up the backbone to say anything at all?
There really is no room in the Traditional Church for anyone, especially any public figure, such as a bishop, to deny any obvious and indisputable historical fact as that of the Jewish Holocaust. Was the actual figure really, exactly 6,000,000? Are we to regard that figure as falsified if we should learn somehow someday that the actual figure turned out to be (for example) 5,997,412? Obviously it is only meant to be a round figure, an approximation. The final count could actually be more, especially if one (quite legitimately, in my opinion) adds those killed by Germany during World War I, or all those killed in the various Pogroms and Gulags of the Communist Russian regime. As it is, Yad Vashem has already catalogued and documented the life records and histories (and in most cases, photographs as well) of more than 3,000,000 of them right now, and more continue to be added as more relatives of theirs come forward.
Let those who deny the Holocaust go through the records there and see for themselves if there be any duplications among the photos or records of each of them, if they question or doubt these records. And let them, for all records with a photograph, look into the eyes of each slaughtered Jew pictured and ask of himself, "Could I really have willed this person's death?" Even if it is not actual heresy to deny such a holocaust happened, it is a mark of one showing himself to be detached from reality and as such not much of a creditable source of information, and gravely irresponsible when expressing such unverified claims in any official or public capacity. One might as well say, "Don't confuse me with the facts, the conspiracy theorists have already made up my mind." So let's not have any more of this attempt to actually defend his irresponsible remarks, as I would hope and expect that he himself has now learned better.
Bishop Williamson's own response was rather intriguing. He gave, as the main part of his "apology" for his wrongful statements, a passage from the Biblical Book of Jonas that reads, "Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you." Who can fail to see that he is leaving the door open for himself to leave the SSPX (on good and friendly terms), in case he might someday wish to lead those members and attached lay faithful of the SSPX who will not be willing to follow Bishop Fellay into any structure "approved" by the Novus Ordo establishment. At least I can give Bishops Fellay and Williamson credit for rolling with those punches as well as they have. But as many bloggers and those on several forums are beginning to say, it is time to move on to greater matters. I agree.
Does Bishop Fellay really understand just exactly what it is that went wrong at Vatican II? If he does, then he has shown no hint of it. All too often the Catholic response to the abominations introduced because of Vatican II have been merely to line up contrasting teachings of the Church on the one hand, and the Novus Ordo "religion" on the other. Such can only constitute a piecemeal approach that will never get to the bottom of what it is that is going on.
In particular, how hard will Bishop Fellay press the fact that it is the Council itself that is the source of all the trouble, not merely certain "interpretations" thereof? Will he back down on that once he is told that no further discussions will be permitted unless he accepts all the Council itself as genuine and valid and orthodox? If he does back down, then those talks can have no constructive purpose and scenario (2) must inevitably result.
If he does not back down, then it all comes to whether those of the Vatican apparatus will dare to listen to the Holy Ghost saying in their hearts exactly what he would be telling them. It seems quite clear that many in the Vatican apparatus are so very much inured against the promptings of the Holy Ghost that "not even God can instill the 'fear of God' in them." Given this, I have to suspect that (3) is also quite probable, even if Bishop Fellay were to use the miraculous power God indeed gives him to rain a series of ten plagues upon the unrepentant supporters of Vatican II.
One possible happy consequence of this however would be for Bishop Fellay to therefore come to accept the sedevacantist finding, or at least begin a serious investigation into that reality. Think of Archbishop Lefebvre signing that May 5 Protocol and then repudiating that signature once it was clear to him how it (and he) was being used. I have no doubt that if Bishop Fellay were to begin a serious investigation into the sedevacantist cause (under such circumstances that he can finally realize that such negotiations would still be pointless), and in time came to accept it, he would find it easy to get the other bishops and nearly all other clergy of the SSPX to follow him back to the Church. Then all that would be left for him to do at that point would be to find peace and reconciliation with his fellow bishops and canonical equals of the other Catholic orders and societies. Well, one can dream, anyway. Hope ever springs eternal.
Finally, I can see him (somewhat) ducking the question as to the validity or legality of the Council by questioning not so much it's original intents and so forth, but merely "some of it's looser expressions that have perhaps in some way allowed for certain grave abuses to occur," and therefore end up on some Commission of "theologians" (?) to go through all the documents of Vatican II, re-editing them to bring them to a form somewhat "closer" to authentic Catholicism.
Certainly, by far the best scenario would be for all the documents of Vatican II to be unconditionally revoked, wholesale, together with all that followed, follows, or even (without any valid basis) pretends to follow from them. If it will help, perhaps we the Church could promise to open for review all Vatican II documents for careful reconsideration, some day way in the future, when the fashions of "thought" that put its concepts so very much in vogue have long since lost their novel charms. And once the Church has reformed and regrouped and gathered true strength comparable to that possessed on the eve of the Council, and when there is again a real pope ruling real bishops and clergy and religious and laity throughout the world, and real theologians capable of truly evaluating with Catholic objectivity its questionable texts properly, then, perhaps. If at such a time any should wish to go trolling through that fetid carcass of obsolete and useless documents in search of diamonds of clever or worthy thoughts, I say, "let them."
Yet, Bishop Fellay must ask what is their real agenda. At the beginning of this article I relayed dialogue between the well-known Vulcan Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Jimmy Doohan) and and the Gideon leader Hodin (David Hurst). In that episode that aired the same year that Paul VI mandated the Novus Ordo, the Gideons (let's call them the "Modernists") invite Captain James Kirk (William Shattner) to be beamed down to their planet and only Kirk for the purpose of talking peace. Both Spock and Scotty thought their demands strange. Kirk complied but instead of being beamed to Gideon he found himself in an exact replica of the Enterprise, but empty. Kind of remind you of the empty words and trappings Ratzinger has offered with no substance to those who seek the sacred and Tradition? What Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise do not realize is that it is a trap for alone with Kirk on the faux-Enterprise constructed by the Gideons is Odona, daughter of Hodin. She had been charged with the duty of seducing Captain Kirk into remaining on Gideon to live as a disease source for population control. Why? The episode was a masked attempt back near the cusp of the revolutionary sixties and the culture of death seventies to introduce population control which, tragically four years later began in earnest with Roe vs. Wade. The calamities: 50 million and counting. Think of those souls the Modernists have eliminated and it's more than doubled, possibly tripled. Do you see the correlation? Does Fellay?
The problem is that those he is about to sit down with may have other agendas and so long as the passing fashion of thought that "inspired" them remains in vogue, they simply cannot avoid being politicized and polarizing to the Church, setting at war those who sinfully approve such fashions against the saints of the Church. Therefore, complete removal really is the only way to go, even if there were by any chance any ideas of actual merit contained in any of the documents. That, by the way that is exactly what happened in the conclusion of "Mark of Gideon". Kirk with Spock and Scotty's help managed to send Odona back to her own people on Gideon where she infected her own planet. Is that not what the Modernists are doing to each other? Infecting their own 'converts' with more heresies until they can in no way defend their position and will die off.
And so Bishop Fellay, with his new "approval", let him put it to use by lobbying continuously for the revocation of the Council. But realistically, a mere "modification" may well be the best to hope for under the present Vatican regime. And even that could one day prove at least slightly constructive, and the only possible (slightly) positive outcome of scenario (4).
In producing my series refuting Fr. Feeney and his followers, I have had the opportunity to review virtually all of the truly vast amount of material coming from the ancient Fathers, the Church Doctors, the Popes, the Councils, the theologians, and the saints regarding the whole question of salvation and its relation to the Church, namely the circumstance of those who are presently outside the Church, and what means of Grace might still be accessible to them, and under what circumstances, as agreed upon by all of the above listed magisterial sources in the Church. The Vatican II plank of "ecumenism" is therefore one I have the necessary scholarship to provide the necessary background and objectivity to.
Therefore, humbly before our Lord and Lady, I profess my willingness to be available to any participant in these discussions as a consultant, advisor, or fellow participant, as one providing another and most helpful view to such talks, that something genuinely productive may result. Do not anyone expect from me either silence or diplomatic deceptions however, for I am incapable of either. But if all findings and observations of the sort I have long been making are to be permitted no presence at the discussion table (even indirectly), one can count on there being no productive or worthwhile result, and the vacuous "diplomacy" that otherwise must then inevitably take place will be unable to avoid conforming to that most sarcastic description given by Mr. Spock at one point in the same episode "Mark of Gideon": "We must acknowledge once and for all that the purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis."
The question is, for the sake of souls, can we afford to prolong this crisis that has gone on for over half a century? If the parties truly want "peace" then let's cut to the chase.
Griff L. Ruby