A meeting between Cardinal Hoyos and myself was scheduled for December 29 . At this meeting I wanted to stress two things, the first of which was that whatever happensĖeven if there is an agreement with Rome Ėthe Society of Saint Pius X is going to "continue to fight against Liberalism, Modernism, and Freemasonry." Cardinal Castrillůn didnít respond at that time, but he kept this phrase in his report, which he later handed to the Pope. The Cardinal told me that when the Holy Father read that the Society insisted Ėno matter what Ėto "continue to fight against Liberalism, Modernism, and Freemasonry," he pointed at it with his finger and said in Italian, "Thatís us! Thatís us!" When the Cardinal told me this, I thought, "Touchť!"
But the Pope didnít mean what I thought he meant. The Pope did not mean that he represented the Liberalism, Modernism, and Freemasonry that we are fighting against. No, he identified himself as a fellow fighter in the fight the Society is waging! He was saying that he was fighting against these things with us! Weíre saying what the Pope does is Modernism, is Liberalism. In principles, heís linked to Freemasonry to a certain extent. Yet, the Pope says, "I am fighting the same fight as you." How can you understand that?! Thatís why I tell you, I donít understand this Pope. If youíd speak only of abortion, fine. But Assisi, for example, is a typical example of Modernism. And the Pope wants it. Itís his idea. The Society attacks Assisi with all its possible weapons; it shouts to the blasphemy, to the abomination we have there. How can it be said that we and the Pope are fighting together?!
The second thing I spoke about dealt with the Mass and the Fraternity of Saint Peter. The Cardinal said, "I donít understand the question of the Mass." I answered, "The Protestants do." From there, I tried to show whatís wrong with the New Mass, saying, "How is it possible that a Catholic Mass could be a Protestant service at the same time?" Does he know the Confession of Augsburg recently invited the different congregations of Lutherans to make use of the Catholic Missal for their Last Supper services? They did! There is a Protestant professor of theology who said, "Now that the idea of sacrifice has been lifted from the Mass a Protestant can feel at home with the New Mass."
I also gave him a quote from an ex-canon of the Church, Paul Roca, who died in 1890. In one of his books he wrote that the Mass will one day receive a deep transformation thanks to an ecumenical council which will bring it in harmony with the principles of this world. He died in 1890, and was able to make a prophecy so very precise. That is striking; that shows that hidden forces have been working, that have enough influence in the Church to do such things.
Renan [French intellectual, (1823-1892)], who wrote about the eventual death of the Catholic Church, was asked on his deathbed if he believed in the Catholic Church? Near death himself, he answered, "I believe in the Church of the future." To be able to say such things means occult forces have for a long time planned to transform the Church.
Alice Bailey, foundress of the New Age movement, wrote a book  entitled The Exteriorization of the Hierarchy. She said that toward the end of the 20th century the Catholic Church will have adopted Masonic principles. It will keep, however, the appearance of religion to avoid alienating the faithful. God knows how and why He allowed plans like these to be fulfilled. Itís surprising.
So I told all these things to the Cardinal and then he said, "So, hereís what Rome proposes to you: We want a solution in which we solve the problem of bishops, bishops who would be ordinaries, that is, true bishops, maybe with dioceses, and priests and faithful." He spoke about an arrangement like that of Opus Dei, that is, a personal prelature. He foresaw our difficulty in having the Pope himself choose the bishop to head this personal prelature, for this is the usual procedure. He said either the Societyís priests or the Societyís bishops should present three names to the Pope every time another bishop is needed for Tradition.
I must tell you this first proposal looked very, very interesting to me, especially since I had been very hard on Cardinal Castrillůn. I had dismissed his earlier attempt to make the May 5  Protocol a basis of discussion, saying to him, "Iím sorry, but this will not work now. That Protocol had been hastily authored. The current crisis and the high stakes demand more clarity." I re-stated all our objections to Vatican IIĖreligious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality. I spoke of the new Code of Canon Law. I threw a lot of punches and I was really amazed to see how much he was able to absorb and still continue in a pleasant way. I really admired that. I thought, well, he is really a mediator, because I really threw a lot of things at him.
One of my arguments was, "We donít trust you. You are very kind in what you say, but we donít trust you. Not you personally, but Rome." I let him know Romeís actions against the Fraternity of Saint Peter didnít help my confidence. Rome has tried to crush the Fraternity of Saint Peter. The Fraternity claimed to be with the Pope, with Rome, accepted the Council, accepted the New Mass, etc. The Cardinal explained to me why he had to remove Fr. Bisig: "I have nothing against somebody who wants to celebrate only the Old Mass, but Fr. Bisig wanted to make an oath against the New Mass. I cannot accept someone who defies a general law of the Church on paper." Actually, in fact, the story is that during a kind of reconciliation meeting of the Fraternity of Saint Peter [Fr. Bisig] tried to impose on the priests of Saint Peterís a promise to celebrate the New Mass only once a year.
I had been insistent with the Cardinal that I did not trust Rome because of what happened to the Fraternity of Saint Peter. "You make promises to the Society, but look at what you did to Saint Peterís," I said. Every time he gave a similar response: "Oh, itís not the same. Saint Peterís is against the New Mass. You are in favor of the Old!" Should we trust such an answer? The Cardinal says, "Yes, but...." Yes, but...what? But we are more of a threat than Saint Peterís! Another time he said, "Well, Saint Peterís wasnít protected." But the Cardinal was appointed their protector! Itís like a policeman who would shoot a child and then say, "He didnít have a bullet-proof vest on." But the job of a policeman is to protect the child, not to shoot him! So, here is Cardinal Hoyos saying they were not protected. So how can the Society expect to be protected?
The Cardinalís position is evident from his interviews such as in 30 Days: "Itís fine to celebrate either Mass, but please donít pit one against the other. Donít make use of one against the other." Well, the Society is definitely against the New Mass. We even say that it is "intrinsically evil." Thatís a delicate label that needs a little explanation. By this we mean that the New Mass in itself Ėthe New Mass as the New Mass, as it is written Ėis evil, because as such you find in it the definition of evil. The definition of evil is "the privation of a due good." Something that should be in the New Mass is not there and thatís evil. What is really Catholic has been taken out of the New Mass. The Catholic specification of the Mass has been taken away. Thatís enough to say that it is evil. And look at the terrible fruits.
What does Cardinal Castrillůn say about whether the New Mass is evil? "No, we cannot say so because the Pope has approved it." This reply is a reference to the infallibility of the Pope: "The Pope has promoted the New Mass, hence the New Mass is infallibly good." Thatís the final argument of Rome, and when Rome uses this argument, no discussion is possible. The only discussion that we can start at that point is to question that premise. Clearly, our next step in discussions with Rome will be to question this premise: "Did papal infallibility enter in the promulgation of the New Mass?" It will be delicate, but if we want Rome one day to question some things about the Second Vatican Council, we have to dig in on that point. And we will. We are continuing our studies on the Mass and preparing, so to speak, the next rounds of ammunition.
All this was our first meeting. The Cardinal seemed to be happy with my answers. I was really wondering what was going on in his mind. He even had said several times, "We want you to fight against Liberalism, Modernism, and Freemasonry in the Church!" I said, "What am I hearing?!" At the end of the discussion, he asked, "When will you be back in Rome?" I said, "Around January 15th." "Okay, come here, weíll have a formal meeting, and weíll sign an agreement." Done. Two weeks. I replied, "No, thatís not possible." He said, "Weíll have a little meeting with the Pope and once itís signed weíll have a formal meeting with the Pope." Without committing myself, I anticipated I would receive a visit around January 15th.
Meeting with the Pope
...I said, "This text of the Council hides the social kingship of Christ." But the under-secretary of the Pope did not know what the social kingship of Christ meant!
Later that evening on December 29th, I received a phone call from Cardinal Castrillůn: "The meeting with the Pope is scheduled for tomorrow at 11am." I said, "Iím sorry, but my planeís at noon." I asked if he could reschedule. "No," he answered, "thereís a general audience at Saint Peterís Square." I tried to change my plane, but couldnít, so I called back and said, "I canít, Iím sorry. Itís Saturday; Sunday, Iím busy. I cannot be there at 11am. There are no seats available on the planes." The Cardinal said, "Iíll take care of that." And he did. He got me on each plane from Rome to Zurich on that Saturday afternoon and night. I donít know how he did it. Itís unbelievable, really. So, I had no excuses.
At about 11am we were ready to see the Pope. It seems that there was a misunderstanding about the time between the papal secretary and Cardinal Castrillůn because, when we arrived at the door of the palace, there was a phone call from the secretary who asked, "Where have you been? The Pope is waiting for you. Saint Peterís Square Ė50,000 people Ėis waiting for the Pope who is waiting for you! Itís already been a quarter of an hour!" Obviously, there was a misunderstanding because we were on time.
The Pope had waited 20 minutes when we entered the chapel. For two minutes we were in silence together before the Blessed Sacrament. Then, the Pope recited the Our Father, stood up, and turned towards us. We greeted him. He asked the Cardinal, "Were you able to discuss, to meet?" The Cardinal said yes. The Pope wished us "buon anno," that is, "Have a happy new year." It was December 30th. He repeated it in French. He said, "I bless you." We received his blessing. He gave us his rosary. Again, "Buon anno." And thatís it. So, not much.
Cardinal Castrillůn had intended to hand to the Pope the relation of the discussion of the previous day. Some things in the report displeased me, especially the way he spoke about religious liberty. I had the feeling that it was not the same thing for him and for me. I wanted to emphasize that point and so I asked him to make a couple of corrections. The under-secretary of the Pope was called to make these notes. I said, "This text of the Council hides the social kingship of Christ." But the under-secretary of the Pope did not know what the social kingship of Christ meant! The Cardinal and I had to explain it to him. If the under-secretary of the Pope himself doesnít know this, where are we?!
I spoke now about the agreement of Brest-Litovsk as a possible model for a solution. Brest-Litovsk was the agreement which brought the Ukrainians back into the Catholic Church at the beginning of the 17th century. The Ukrainians said, "Okay, we are ready to come to Rome if you can accept us as we are, with our own liturgy, language, our own calendar, our own discipline, and so on." And it was granted to them. Thatís why I mentioned Brest-Litovsk. The papal under-secretary said, "If I understand you well, you would like to keep some of your traditions." I replied, "No! All of them!"
When we were finished with all our remarks, the Cardinal brought me to the window in the big hall which is just in front of the private apartment of the Pope. From that window, we looked down upon the Pope addressing the faithful gathered in Saint Peterís Square. That was very interesting.
The Society Responds
On January 13th, I convened a meeting of the bishops of the Society. I invited Bishop Rangel [of the Priestly Union of Saint John Baptist Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil ĖEd.] to come to reflect on this proposal from Rome with us. He was sick so he sent a priest of the Priestly Union, Fr. Rifan, to represent him. We talked the whole day about what we were going to do with this proposal from Rome that had come so unexpectedly. We agreed that we needed a sign from Rome proving it really wanted Tradition. The proposal [of an apostolic administration for the Society of Saint Pius X] 11. See Interview with Bishop Fellay, The Angelus, August 2001, pp.11-14. was something interesting in itself, but it wasnít enough. We had been cheated so many times before that we needed something clear showing us that Rome really wanted Tradition. Taking advantage of our knowledge that there is a movement in the Vatican in favor of the old Mass, we planned firstly to ask that the Latin Mass be allowed to be celebrated by all priests of the world as a rite which has never been abrogated. Secondly, because the Vatican has managed to marginalize us with this scare of excommunication, we requested that it retract the decree of excommunication.
..."Your Eminence, it is impossible for us to go forward into a practical agreement before we discuss doctrinal matters."
Here, we made use of the encyclical Ut Unum Sint. There the Pope explained why he has lifted the excommunication of the Orthodox. I paraphrase what he says: "You know, with such a penalty, itís difficult to have a dialogue, so we have taken it away." So we said, "Well, you want to dialogue with us, take the excommunication away, too." Why donít they? They did with the Orthodox, but with us they donít seem to do it.
Why did we use these two prerequisites? There are several reasons.
For one, a cruel injustice is done to the whole Church by maintaining that the Latin Mass is prohibited. To remove such an injustice will again allow the flow of graces to the Church. Secondly, we by no means want to be considered as a zoo. If we are the only ones with permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, we are in a zoo, that is, we are a secluded group. We donít want that. The Latin Mass is the Mass of the Church, not of a peculiar group. Thatís why we insist that every priest have the possibility of celebrating the Tridentine Mass. If Rome was to declare publicly Ėas we ask it to do Ėthat the Latin Mass has never been abrogated, it would be a public admission that the New Mass itself has not been strong enough to eliminate the Latin Mass. It would be security for the future that Rome will not take this old Mass away. Until now the popular line out of Rome is that the Tridentine Mass is a kind of indulgence. Itís tolerated. "It is just for a part of the Church. Its permission is only provisional, only temporary." Those were the words of Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re in 1986. By default, the general law of the Church is considered to be the New Mass. To avoid all seclusion and separation, we are asking that the old Mass be made the general law as well.
On this point, a further reflection evolved: There is a kind of identification between the Mass and the Society of Saint Pius X. If Rome is capable of standing up and fighting to defend the old Mass against all the attacks of the progressivists, we thought it might be also ready to stand up and to fight in favor of the Society of Saint Pius X.
On January 16th I returned to Rome to meet the Cardinal again for a half-hour to say that we were open to discussion but we needed proof that Rome was trustworthy. I wanted an agreement where we were sure the words meant the same for both sides, and that I would sign only when I had total peace of conscience. He seemed to agree with all this reasoning. All of this was put into a letter sent January 21st. On February 12th, Rome answered. Let me summarize the letter: "Basically, the Pope agrees to say that the old Mass has never been abrogated, that every priest can celebrate it. And so do Ratzinger, Sodano, Medina, and myself [Cardinal Castrillůn]. But, you know, the secretaries of the Congregations and the under-secretaries do not agree. They say it appears to blame Pope Paul VI and all the work they have done these many years. So we cannot grant this permission to you." When I read this, I thought, "Itís over." It was proof to us Rome was not ready to stand up for Tradition.
We prepared our answer on February 19th and sent Frs. Sťlťgny and Simoulin. I sent Fr. Sťlťgny because heís the Secretary General of the Society and co-author of The Problem of the Liturgical Reform on the New Mass,  2. Available from the Angelus Press ($9.95). a project on which he spent two years. I had called a commission back then to prepare some new arguments on the New Mass. They were preparing a 500-page book! I told them, "Thatís much too big. Make something 100 pages." Just at that time, the book was ready. I asked Fr. Sťlťgny to give it to Cardinal Castrillůn and that the Cardinal might give one to the Pope. I wanted them to know the enormity of the problem with the New Mass. The Society will never celebrate it. We want every priest in the world to be able to say it [the Tridentine Rite ĖEd]. We know that everybody can say it, but we want Rome to say they can and stop saying that it is forbidden. I told Fr. Sťlťgny to speak in my name at this meeting and tell the Cardinal that Bishop Fellay was suspending the discussions because Rome would not grant our prerequisites. The Cardinal was unhappy, of course, but he was told, "Your Eminence, it is impossible for us to go forward into a practical agreement before we discuss doctrinal matters."
The reason for this I give you now with a little example: Itís like Rome telling the Society, "Hmmm, look at your car. You have flat tires. You have a lot of dings and dents in your car. It really is a sorry-looking car... Let us give you a new car, a beautiful car!" And itís true, the car is beautiful. An apostolic administration is a fine "car"; itís beautiful. The Society tells Rome, "Yes, itís a very fine car and itís very kind of you to give us such a car. We receive it with great pleasure, but please, before we use it, remove the nails on the street. If you donít, even with your new car, tomorrow we will have flat tires again."
In other words, the same causes produce the same effects. Our relations with Rome are made difficult because of the behavior of Rome itself, which does unbelievable things and, on the other hand, allows bishops to do even worse things. As long as Rome continues like this, we will continue as we do. Even if Rome gives us a beautiful administration, weíll continue to fight where we must fight. That is why we request that we enter into real, true discussion on doctrinal matters. But they donít want to.
In January, Cardinal Castrillůn had incorrectly written that with some conditions I would accept Vatican II. Since I wanted him to know exactly what I think about the Council, I handed him Catholicism and Modernity, a booklet in French by Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau in which he studies the Council and shows how the spirit of the Council is radically opposed to Catholicism. It is, we may say, a total demolition of the Council.
During the month of March, something very curious happened. We continued to hear stories that we had not terminated discussions with Rome, that they were continuing to such a degree that the Pope was convening all the cardinals of the Curia to give advice on our question. The word came out that the Pope wanted the whole thing to be solved by Easter! I was wondering, "Is he going to do it without us?!" I thought, I have to do something, so I sent a strong letter to Cardinal Hoyos relaying all my discomfort and the severity of our position on the New Mass. I also mentioned that I was troubled to learn of a recent letter he wrote to the Sri Lankan Bishopsí Conference in which he said the Society was in "schism." In all our talks, he had carefully avoided that word. I asked him to explain how at the same time he could give me the impression we were almost normal but to others he was calling us schismatic. Well, I never got an answer to that letter.
On Good Friday  the Cardinal called and said the Pope cannot grant permission to all priests to celebrate the Latin Mass because of too much opposition from the bishops. In the meantime, we had heard that Cardinal Lustiger of Paris had gone to Rome and had spoken with the Pope and Cardinal Sodano. We know that to one or the other he threatened, "If Rome grants the Society freedom in France, 65 French bishops will enter into disobedience." That is to say, 65 French bishops will rebel against Rome if you allow the Society to work freely in France. This is the way France is treating Rome.
Please see, PART THREE of Bishop Fellay's candid account