BISHOP WILLIAMSON CONFERENCES- conference n°6
Vidéo en anglais :
We’re approaching the end of this conference of the Archbishop. “We find ourselves caught up in the continuation of the same fight and we thank God. That we are being persecuted is obvious. How could we not be persecuted? We are the only ones to be excommunicated. No-one else is. We are the only ones being persecuted, even in material matters. For example, our Swiss colleagues are being obliged to do their military service. That is persecution by the Swiss government. In France they are persecuting the Society’s French district by blocking legacies from being handed over to the district, and this is in the attempt to stifle us by cutting off our income. This is persecution of such a kind as history is full of. It is merely continuing, and God works His way around it. Normally our French district should have been stifled and you should have had to shut down our schools, to close down all the institutions which cost us money, but that situation has now gone on for over two years, and Providence has allowed for our benefactors to be generous and for the funds to come in, so we’ve been able to continue, despite this wicked persecution - wicked because the law is on our side, but there is a letter to the French minister from Cardinal Lustiger asking him to block our legacies, and this letter did not come out of nowhere. It was written under the influence of Monsignor Perl. It is he who is the mind behind it. He was all smiles when he came on the official visitation of the Society in 1987, but he was the evil genius of that visitation. He thought he had us where he wanted when he cut off our funds. So we must not worry, for when we look behind us we are still not as unfortunate as those Catholics who were expropriated, driven out of their properties at the beginning of this century, who found themselves out on the street with nothing. That may happen to us one day. I do not look forward to it, but the more we expand the more we will arouse jealousy on the part of all those who do not care for us, but we must count on the Good Lord. We must count on the grace of God.
“What is going to happen? I do not know. Perhaps the coming of Elias. I was just reading this morning in Holy Scripture, ‘Elias will return and put everything back in place’, et omnia restituit, which is the Latin, ‘He will put everything back in place. He will restore all things.’ Goodness gracious, let him come straightaway. I don't know, but humanly speaking there’s no chance of an agreement between Rome and ourselves at the moment.”
At Rome it was still the stick. Rome changes to the carrot and then we think there’s a chance of an agreement, but it isn’t because Rome is not changing its doctrine. It’s a problem over doctrine, not a problem of carrot and stick. The Romans have got to abandon their false doctrine.
“Someone was saying to me yesterday – ‘But what if Rome accepted your bishops and then you were completely exempted from the other bishops’ jurisdiction?’” In other words - “What if Rome offered you a sweetie-pie solution?” Answer - “Firstly the Romans are a long way right now from accepting any such thing, and then let them first make us such an offer and then we’ll think about it, but I don’t think they’re anywhere near making such an offer. What has been up till now the difficulty has been precisely their giving us a Traditionalist bishop. They did not want to. It had to be, according to the Romans, a bishop according to the profile laid down by the Holy See. Profile? You see what that means. It’s impossible. They knew very well that by giving us a Traditionalist bishop they would be setting up a Traditionalist citadel able to continue. That they did not want. Nor have they given a bishop to St Peter’s. When St Peter’s say they signed the same protocol at the founding of St Peter’s as we did in May 1988, it’s not true, because in our protocol of May 1988 there was one bishop and two members of the Roman commission, of which their protocol had neither, so they did not sign the same protocol as we did, although they pretended they did. Rome took advantage of drawing up a new protocol to remove those two concessions. At all costs they wanted to avoid giving a bishop away, and so we had to do what we did in June 1988. On the bright side, in any case I am happy to be able to encourage you and congratulate you on the work you are doing. The complaints now are rare, and how many people write to me of their gratitude for the work of the priests of the SSPX. For them the SSPX is their life. They have rediscovered the life they wanted, the way of the Faith, the family, the spirit they need, the desire for Christian education, all these schools together with all that our sisters and fathers are doing, and all our friends who work together to continue Tradition. All that is marvellous, given the age in which we’re living. The people are truly grateful, they’re deeply grateful, and so carry on the work and organise. I hope, though, little by little our various communities will be able to increase in number so as to provide more mutual support for you all, moral and physical, so that you can maintain your present fervour. I wish to thank all the superiors for their zeal and devotion. I truly think the Lord God has chosen the Society and has wanted the Society.
“In November we reached the Society’s 20th anniversary, and I am intimately convinced that it is the Society which represents what the Good Lord wants - to continue and maintain the Faith, to maintain the Truth of the Church, maintain what can still be saved in the Church thanks to the bishops, grouped around the Superior General, playing their indispensable part of guardians of the Faith, preachers of the Faith, giving the grace of the priesthood, the grace of confirmation - things that are irreplaceable and absolutely necessary. So all of that is highly consoling. I think we should thank God, and we should enable it to carry on so that one day people are forced to recognise that although the visitation of 1987 bore little fruit, yet it showed that we were there and that good was being done by the Society even if the Romans did not wish to say so explicitly outside of their circles after their visitation.”
That was before the consecrations. The deal was that the Romans would be able to go all over the world, and Roman visitors were admitted into all houses of the Society to check what the Society was up to, and then go back and report to Rome. They visited a lot of houses, and they said, “This is good work, this is good work, this is good work,” and then they got back to Rome and then said, “It’s bad work, bad work, bad work.” The Archbishop said, “What can you do with people like that?” When they’d got back to Rome they came back under the Roman pressure and they could not go on approving of what the Society.
“However, one day they will be obliged to recognise that the Society represents the spiritual force and the strength of the Faith, which is irreplaceable, and which they will have, I hope, the joy and satisfaction to make use of, but when they have come back also to the Traditional Faith. Let’s pray to the Blessed Virgin, and let us ask Our Lady of Fatima for all our intentions on all the pilgrimages we make in various countries that she may come to the aid of the Society, that it may have numerous vocations. Obviously we would like to have some more vocations. Our seminaries are not filled. We would like them to be filled. However, with the grace of God it will come. So once more, thank you, and please pray for me that I die a good and holy death, because I think that’s all that I still have to do.”
That’s the Archbishop. You can see his spirit, and you can see a basic humility there. He’s not setting himself up as the bee’s knees or the cat’s whiskers or anything like that, and he’s not boasting about the Society ever at all. Any questions before we leave that particular conference of the Archbishop?
What do you think the Archbishop meant when he said “complaints now are rare”?
Well, that the people are not writing to him to complain about the way his priests are behaving, so he’s not getting so many complaints as maybe he did.
There were complaints before?
There were complaints before, yes. I can remember one saying, “Your priests are so young.” The Archbishop said, “What can I do? All the old ones leave me.” You have to do what you can with what you’ve got, and that’s what he did. We have to deal with the Bishop Fellay we have. Bishop Tissier visited Menzingen to talk and discuss in April, I think it was, and Bishop Tissier said Bishop Fellay prays about what he’s doing. He believes in what he’s doing. I think he’s seriously misguided, but it’s understandable because he’s wanting to go the way of so many others before him. It’s wrong, but there it is. Any other questions?
Is there any possible outcome that would lead to priests within the Society having this fascination with Conciliar Rome, to leave the Society without taking the Society with them, as it were? Is there any possibility that that most favourable of outcomes could actually arise whereby the Society will be purified doctrinally yet not destroyed?
If the Devil has anything to do with it, no, because what the Devil is telling these people is that they must control the Society, that the Society’s a very good thing, it’s done great work, it’s the legacy of the Archbishop, and we must continue the work of the Archbishop by being open to Rome and by welcoming Rome, like the Archbishop himself did up until the consecrations, the Archbishop was always trying to get back with the official Church, and that’s what we should do, and we must not leave the Society in the hands of all of these retrogrades and nasty people who want to spit in Rome’s face. You get the scenario. That’s what the Devil is telling them, and therefore for them it’s a matter of honour and a matter of duty to take the Society with them, take as much of the Society as possible, except for a few unconvertible retrogrades and neo-Nazis, those we can leave behind, but the rest, as many as possible we must bring with us back towards Rome and back in with Rome, because if only we get back into Rome we’ll be able to convert Rome and change the whole situation in the Church.
It’s shocking how sincerely they believe in the cause. They’re not duplicitous. They really wholeheartedly believe this.
Yes, that’s what, I think, Bishop Tissier says about Bishop Fellay.
And the fact that so many of them believe in the possibility of a conversion of Rome.
You may remember in Bishop Fellay’s letter answering the letter of the three bishops, he accused the three bishops of being unreal and being un-supernatural. He accuses them of lack of reality, a lack of realism and a lack of supernatural. He’s convinced he’s in reality. He goes down to Rome and he sees little details here of a return to Tradition, a desire for Tradition. He puts it all together, and in his own mind it amounts to a real movement in Rome back towards Tradition. He’s leaving out of account the Freemasons and the fact that they are firmly and deeply lodged inside the Vatican, and they’re not going to roll over and play dead. They’ve taken hundreds of years to infiltrate the Church, to infiltrate the Vatican, to get their hands on the levers of power. They’re not going to give up. But somebody like Bishop Fellay does not believe in conspiracies or doesn’t take them really seriously. At one stage he did talk about Freemasonry inside the Vatican, but I don’t think he still thinks that the Freemasons are very important inside the Vatican. I think he believes that the Romans really do mean well and it’s not the Freemasons that are in control.
I think a lot of people, they have a problem distinguished between Freemasonry which they read about in books and then imagine that they’re all walking around in Masonic regalia and secret handshakes and all the rest of it, but when they meet these people in real life they wouldn’t know them from Adam and they can’t distinguish them by what they believe.
They don’t know enough about Freemasonry. There’s a photograph of Benedict XVI shaking the hand of Bishop Fellay, and that’s apparently a Masonic handshake. I don't know.
On the wrist or the thumb?
The thumb folding somehow over. I don't know about these things, but some people say that that was a Masonic handshake. I’m not sure. I don't know.
How much influence does national background have on the position of the Society as it is? If, say, the majority of priests were Italian or Japanese, to what extent do you think that affects them?
Well, national background influences a good deal. The English are bloody-minded. They’re all just bloody-minded. The Swiss tend to negotiate. They want to be neutral. They want to arrange things always so that they stay out of the war, so there’s an instinct of neutrality there. They’re not lacking in courage but they have an instinct of neutrality, the Swiss. The French - St Joan of Arc said they’re light but generous. They’re not serious enough but they are generous, so the French are frivolous in a way. That was her description. You could describe the French in many ways. Archbishop Lefebvre was French. There’s the French at their very best. At their worst they’re very nationalistic and narrow. At their best they are completely international in the true sense, not in the Masonic sense of being international. The Germans are again different. They’re a driving force wherever they are and whatever they do. The German contribution to the finances of the Church is very important. Germany and America, to a great extent, finance the Church, apparently. National character certainly is important, yes. It’s not decisive but it’s very important. God created the nations. God made the nations different, and God does not want national differences to be destroyed or wiped out. He doesn’t want nationalistic wars. He doesn’t want people to be so proud of their country that they despise other countries, but He does want people to love their own people, to love their own land. That’s the Fourth Commandment. To have characteristics of one’s country is absolutely normal. It’s the opposite which is not normal. To love one’s own country is absolutely normal, but it’s not decisive. What is decisive is the Faith.
What does Bishop Fellay say, or people who think like him, of the text you’ve just read out of Archbishop Lefebvre?
That’s a good question. The answer is that the Archbishop said things are going one way and going the other, because, like all Catholics ever since Vatican II, he’s torn between Truth and authority. There’s the Truth of the Faith on one side and then there’s crazy Rome on the other, but the Romans are the authorities of the Church. Even though they’ve got these crazy ideas, they’re still the authority of the Church. There isn’t another pope. There aren’t other cardinals. These are the cardinals, the bishops and the Pope. So the Archbishop never lost his sense of these officials being the officials of the Church, even though they’re crazy, and therefore the Archbishop always wanted to not be cut off, condemned and slammed by these Church authorities, even though they’re crazy, because they’re still the authorities, so he was torn. He went towards them because they’re the authorities. He was pushed away by their nonsense. So the Archbishop went backwards and forwards to quite an extent, as I say, until 1988. Then his mind cleared, and then he talks about the authorities in the way that you’ve heard, and it’s clear that there’s nothing to be done with these people, but until then, right up till the last moment, he hoped that something could be done with them. Therefore if you had Bishop Fellay here and now, he would give you all of those quotes of the Archbishop in the other direction - the Archbishop saying that he wanted to come to some kind of understanding if he possibly could with the Roman authorities. So there are those quotes, and what’s behind them is that right up until the consecrations, right up until then, he still hoped against hope that Rome would behave itself, that Rome would look after Tradition, that Rome would do something to help the Society, to approve the Society, to look after the Society. He hoped and hoped and hoped, because it would have meant so much if the mainstream Church had given its backing and approval, or some kind of backing and approval to the Society. He strove for it, even though they’re nuts. But what happened in May was that when he was in direct contact with Cardinal Ratzinger and negotiating for a bishop, negotiating for some help of Rome to ensure the survival of the Society, because he was soon going to die, and he died, in fact, two and a half years later, since he knew that death was coming he could not abandon the Society. He had to do something for it, so he again went to the very limit in negotiating with the Romans, and still the Romans said no. The Romans said, “No, you can’t have a bishop.” So then the Archbishop said, “OK, that’s it. From now on it’s no longer diplomacy. From now on it’s doctrine.”
There’s a famous quote. He says, “If the Romans want to pick up contact with us again” - suggesting that it’s not for the Society to try to contact Rome again, and that’s exactly what happened. With conferences like the one I’ve just read to you, the Society didn’t go back to Rome. For 12 years it stayed away from Rome, and it flourished, because the Romans are crazy, but the Romans, after seeing from the Jubilee that the stick was not working, that the excommunications had not finished off the Society, the excommunications had, if anything, made the Society flourish, then the Romans said, “Now we’ve got to start the carrot.” They started the carrot, and the carrot’s been for them much more efficacious then the stick. So the Romans are still and always working against the Society, but the Archbishop understood that, and from the consecrations onwards you get no more quotations about wanting to go with Rome. So what people who are against a practical agreement say is, “Look at the quotes.” There are quotes like that of the Archbishop before, for example, a quote of 1984 where the Archbishop says, “There’s nothing to be done with these people.”
I’ll read you this one, because it answers exactly this question. “Why the consecrations?” This is the question being set to the Archbishop in 1989, a year before the other one that I read to you. “‘Perhaps it would be good to recall why and for what purpose you took the grave decision to consecrate bishops when you knew at the time that it would cause a violent reaction on the part of Rome. You accepted to run the risk of being excommunicated, as being dismissed as schismatic, because you wish to guarantee by these consecrations that the priesthood and sacraments would continue to be handed on.’”
Archbishop Lefebvre – “It’s a long answer but it answers directly this question. Yes, obviously it was a decision that had to be prepared. The decision was not taken from one day to the next. For several years already I had been trying to get Rome to understand that as I was advancing in age I had to ensure my succession. I had to ensure that some day someone would take my place. One can’t have seminaries and seminarians without a bishop. The people, too, have need of a bishop to hand down the Faith and the sacraments, especially the sacrament of Confirmation. In Rome they were very well aware of that fact. I alluded to it several times, and finally I did so in public. That was in the summer of 1987. No-one in Rome could say that I took them by surprise, that they were caught unawares or that I acted under cover. They were clearly warned several years in advance by letters and by recordings of my sermons which they had in their hands, and by the letter which Bishop de Castro and myself had addressed to the Holy Father.” I think that’s 1985.
“I think that is what actually caused a certain change in their attitude towards us. They were afraid of the episcopal consecrations, but they did not believe that I would actually do them. And then on 29th June 1987, when I spoke about them in public, Cardinal Ratzinger was nevertheless a little upset. Rome, they began to be afraid that I really would get to consecrating bishops, and that is when they made the decision to be a little more open with regard to what we’d always been asking for - that is to say, the Mass, the sacraments, the pontifical services according to the 1962 rite of John XXIII. At that moment it seemed that they would not make any demands upon us to go along with the Second Vatican Council. They made no mention of it, and they even alluded to the possibility of our having a bishop who would be my successor. Now that was definitely a somewhat profound radical change on their part, and so the question arose - to know what I should do. I went to Rickenbach to see the Superior General” - that was Fr Schmidberger - “and his assistants to ask them, ‘What do you think - should we accept the hand being offered to us or do we refuse it?’ For myself personally I told them, ‘I have no confidence in them. I have no confidence. For years and years I’ve been mixing with these people. For years I’ve been seeing the way in which they act. I have no further confidence in them. However, I do not wish people within the Society and in Traditional circles to be able to say afterwards, “You could easily have tried. It would have cost you nothing to enter into discussion and dialogue.”’
“That was the opinion of the Superior General and his assistants. They said, ‘You must take into consideration the offer which is being made and not neglect it. It’s still worthwhile to talk with them.’” So the Archbishop’s collaborators were a little softer than he was. They had more confidence and hope in Rome than he did. He’s a wise, old bird. He’d been dealing with Rome for years and years. He didn’t have any confidence.
“At that moment I accepted to see Cardinal Ratzinger, and I insisted strongly to him that someone should come and make a visitation of the Society. I thought that such a visit would result in the benefits of maintaining Tradition being made clear at the same time that its effects would be recognised. I thought that that could strengthen our position at Rome, and that the request that I would make to obtain several bishops and a commission in Rome to defend Tradition would have more chance of succeeding. Very soon, however, we realised that we were not dealing with people who are honest. Immediately after the visitation, which took place, as soon as Cardinal Gagnon and Monsignor Perl got back to Rome, we feel under their scorn. Cardinal Gagnon made declarations in the newspapers, which were incredible.”
He’s a good guy, a Canadian, but he’s under that fierce Masonic pressure in Rome. The system in Rome is that you don’t make anybody a bishop that you haven’t got something on, either women, preferably boys, and money, one of those three, and when you’ve got something on them you can afford to make them a bishop because then you can always put the pressure. You can always blackmail them. They said that there was a cabinet in Cardinal Sodano’s office with what he had on every single bishop in the world. That’s what’s said. Se non è vero, è ben trovato - if it’s not true it’s in accordance with the truth.
“Cardinal Gagnon made declarations which were incredible. According to him, 80% of our people would leave us if I went ahead with the episcopal consecrations. We were looking for recognition. Rome was looking for reconciliation and for our recognising our errors. Those who had made the visitation to the Society’s houses said that, after all, they had only seen the externals, that God alone sees what is in men’s hearts, and consequently the visit was worth no more than it was worth.”
You see the trickery and the way the Romans are weaselling around. They’ve made the visitation, they see the good fruits, they get back to Rome, and they start weaselling to get out of having to say that they’re good fruits.
“In brief, they were saying things which did not at all correspond to what they had done and said during the visit itself. That seemed unimaginable. Just because they’d got back to the Vatican, came back under Rome’s evil influence, they adopted the mentality all over again, and they turned on us and scorned us once more.” What can you do with people like that? Cardinal Gagnon is a good guy but then he goes and does that. He’s under blackmail. I understand. Soon after that I think he left Rome. The evil men and Satan have got very considerable control, almost total control. Well, then what can you do with these people? The Archbishop concluded that you can’t do anything with them. That’s when he went ahead with the consecrations, and it’s by staying away from Rome for 12 years that the Society flourished, and then the Romans change tactics and the whole thing started up again.
“I nevertheless went to Rome for the conversations but without any confidence in their success. I wrote at the beginning of the month of January to Fr Aulagnier, ‘I am convinced that on 30th June I will be consecrated bishops. It will be the year of consecration of bishops because I really have no confidence.’ Nevertheless, I wish to go as far as possible in order to show what good will we had. That is when they brought up the question of the Council again, which we don’t want to hear of. A formula for an agreement was found, which was at the very limits of what we could accept.” That was the protocol.
“Then they granted us the Mass and the sacraments, the liturgical books, but concerning the Roman commission and the consecration of bishops they did not want to accept our requests. All we could get was two members out of seven on the Roman commission, without the president, without the vice-president, and I obtained only one bishop where I was asking for three. That was already virtually unacceptable. And when even before signing we asked when we would have this bishop, the answer was evasive or null. They didn’t know. November, they didn’t know. Christmas, they didn’t know. It was impossible to get a date. That is when, after signing the protocol, which paved the way for an agreement, I sat down and I thought. The accumulation of distrust and reticence impelled me to demand a nomination of a bishop for 30th June from amongst the three dossiers which I’d left in Rome on 5th May. Either that or I would go ahead and consecrate. Faced with such a choice, Cardinal Ratzinger said, ‘If that’s how it is, the protocol is over. It’s finished and there’s no more protocol. You are breaking off relations.’ It’s he who said it, not I. On 20th May I wrote to the Holy Father telling him that I had signed the protocol but that I was insistent on having bishops, and bishops on 30th June, but, in fact, there was no way of coming to an agreement. While I was facing Cardinal Ratzinger with that alternative, and while he was saying that he would give us a bishop on 15th August, he was asking me for still more dossiers in order that the Holy See might choose a bishop who would meet the requirements laid down by the Vatican.”
Now where was that going to lead us? The Archbishop presented three candidates of his choice, and Rome says, ‘No, we need more so that we can choose a man of our choice.’ You know what that would have meant.
“In fact, there was no way of coming to an agreement. Realising the impossibility of coming to an understanding, on 2nd June I wrote again to the Pope, ‘It is useless to continue these conversations and contacts. We do not have the same purpose. You wish to bring us round to the Council in a reconciliation, and what we want is to be recognised as we are. We wish to continue Tradition as we are doing.’ It was over. That was when I took the decision to give the press conference of 15th June because I did not wish to act in secret. There can be no durable Tradition without a Traditional bishop. That is absolutely indispensable. That is why the Society of St Peter and Le Barroux are in Wonderland because they do not have Traditional bishops.”
So you can see his mentality. He went as far as he could with Rome, and actually afterwards on another occasion in public he said, “I went even too far.” What they say in America, that you go the full nine yards. He went the full nine yards to come to an agreement with Rome. Rome said that it wouldn’t work, it wouldn't fly. They wouldn't give him a bishop, and it was the date of consecrating a bishop – “No, no. August, no, there’s nobody in Rome. The autumn, well, that’s not possible. November, no. Christmas, no.” They obviously weren’t going to give a bishop, and so the Archbishop said, “They have finally proved that they are not going to look after Tradition. In that case, we’ve got to look after ourselves.” So he gave, right up to the last moment, the full chance to Rome to behave itself, and that’s where you get these quotes of his desire to understand with Rome, a desire for recognition by Rome. That’s where all these quotations come from, and they’re the quotations now being used to say that we ought to go with Rome, but they’re not the last word on the matter. As I’ve said to you, from the consecrations onwards there was no question again of the Archbishop encouraging relations or contacts with Rome. This is the famous quote - “If they want to make contact with us then they must sign on to Pascendi, to the Syllabus, to Quanta Cura, to Lamentabili. If they don’t want to backtrack on the essential matters of doctrine and the Faith then there’s going to be no further contacts.” That’s what, in my opinion, Bishop Fellay should have been saying to the Romans during all of this time. The doctrinal discussions show the complete doctrinal blockage. At that point Bishop Fellay should have said, “Forget it. We said we want no practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement because a practical agreement without doctrinal agreement is going nowhere. It’s going, in fact, in the direction of reconciliation and compromise.”
The Archbishop knew that it would be a compromise so he said no, and that’s what Bishop Fellay should have said, in my opinion. He should have said, “Since the doctrinal discussions have shown once again that there’s a gulf between the doctrine of Conciliar Rome and the doctrine of the SSPX then I’m sorry, there’ll be no more contacts, no more discussions, no more anything.” But instead of that he suddenly said, “Well, after all we can make some practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement.” That’s when this good priest said, “I’m a soldier getting up every morning and going down in the battlefield and fighting. This whole thing is what I’m fighting for. I’m fighting to hold straight against the whole world, and the whole Church going crazy, and then suddenly I’m told after all we can go with this Church which is going with the modern world, it’s not so bad after all. Where does that live me? Who am I fighting for and what’s the fight all about? My orders are being changed overnight. What’s going on?” The district superior, he said, didn’t have an answer.
That’s what should have happened, in the line of the Archbishop in 1988, but what Bishop Fellay argues is that Rome has changed, Rome is no longer Conciliar in the same wicked sense. That’s what he thinks. That’s what he apparently sincerely thinks. “There’s the rub,” says Hamlet. That’s the point. Has Rome changed or has Rome not changed? If Rome had changed since 1988 you might argue for a practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement, because if Rome had shifted on doctrine, if Rome is coming back to the real doctrine then it would be a practical agreement with a doctrinal agreement, but there’s still absolutely no doctrinal agreement.
The very latest proposition of Rome, which was, I think, two weeks ago, the very last demand of Rome was that the Society should accept the doctrine of the Council. We’re back to square one. It is crazy. We’re going round in circles. In my opinion, Bishop Fellay should have realised he’s been run around in circles by these Roman foxes. I said back in 2000, “They’re foxes, wolves and sharks.” They are. The Masons are in control and they’re enemies of the Faith. They’re enemies of God. Some of them may be sincere, some of them may be well intentioned, God knows, but they’re not the ones that are in control. Rome could have chosen four theologians who would have been sympathetic with the Society. Our theologians said that the four of them understood what the Society was about. They understand this doctrinal position but they absolutely don’t accept it, because the very foundations of their thinking are not objective. They’re absolute subjectivists, and therefore while they can imagine what this objective doctrine means, they absolutely reject it, and that’s why they’re planets apart. How can you make a practical agreement with somebody on a planet the other end of the galaxy? It’s just not possible.
Question – “Some people say, yes, but Archbishop Lefebvre should have accepted an agreement with Rome because once the Society of St Pius X had been recognised and the suspensions lifted, the Archbishop would have been able to act in a more effective manner inside the Church, whereas now he has put himself outside.”
Reply – “Such things are easy to say. To stay inside the Church or to put oneself inside the Church, what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church then we who have struggled against the Council for 20 years” - and it’s now 40 years - “because we want the Catholic Church, we would have re-enter this Conciliar Church in order supposedly to make it Catholic? That is a complete illusion,” said the Archbishop in 1989.
That is what Bishop Fellay hopes for, and those who think like him. They really hope to get back inside the Church and then start making the Church Traditional, and the Archbishop said it’s a complete illusion, and here’s why - “It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors that make the subjects.” That’s it right there, and the proof is what’s going on inside the Society right now. Bishop Fellay has had a huge influence on many priests and many laity to make them think that we can go back inside Rome because he’s the Superior. He’s moulding the Society to think like he thinks - which is the most natural, normal thing in the world for him to do. It’s the superiors that make the subjects, and not the subjects that make the superiors. He’s got now some subjects, some priests who are protesting against what he’s saying, and he’s got three bishops who are protesting against what he’s saying. It has no effect because those are the subjects while he is the Superior. He says, “I am the Superior. This is what the Society must do, and this is what I’m going to make the Society do.” If the Society goes back into the mainstream Church, under Church superiors, even if it’s only the Pope, it’s still under them, and they will mould the Society, and not the Society mould the mainstream Church. It’s clear.
The Archbishop says elsewhere – “To go back under the Conciliar authorities is a sheer illusion. They have everything they need to strangle us. They have all the authority.” Why do you want to go back into the mainstream Church? Because they are the authorities. The authorities have the authority. If you put yourself under them, they’re going to use their authority to make you like them, to make you think like them, to make you obey them, to make you follow their line and not your own line. It’s obvious. How can you put yourself under superiors who think differently and not expect them to try to change your way of thinking?
Then the Archbishop adds – “Not only do superiors make the subjects, but they have everything they need to strangle us.” He goes on – “Amongst the whole Roman Curia, amongst all the world’s bishops who are progressives, I would have been completely swamped. I would have been able to do nothing. I could have protected neither the faithful nor the seminarians. Rome would have said to me, ‘All right, we’ll give you such and such a bishop to carry out the ordinations, and your seminarians will have to accept the professors coming from such and such a diocese.”
Of course, the seminaries are the growing point of the Society. That’s where you form your future priests, and therefore every bishop who’s concerned about the Church is concerned about the seminaries, and Rome is concerned about the seminaries. Therefore if we came under Rome, one of the first things that would happen is that Rome would start imposing certain teachers inside the seminaries, and those teachers would not be Traditional. They would be at least half Modernist so that the Modernist ideas would get in amongst the Traditional seminarians, and before you know where you are, you have Traditional Modernist priests. It would be over. To accept professors coming from such and such a diocese, that’s impossible. In the Society of St Peter they have professors coming from the diocese of Augsburg. Who are these professors? What are they teaching? It’s a huge principle. If by the agreement you don’t come under the Conciliar authorities then it’s not really an agreement. We’re still basically away from them, but if you combine with them you’re going to put yourself under them. You’re not going to presume that you’re going in above the Pope. You’ll be under at least the Pope. The Pope will be consulting with his cardinals and congregations. The Pope will eventually say one day, “All right, this no longer depends upon me. I’m going to deal with this through my congregation.” You go to the congregation, which is swarming with Modernists, but you’ve put yourselves under them.
Argument – “But we could get back out again. If we found that it didn’t work we could get back out again.” Once you went in, a lot of people would be throwing their hats in the air – “The problem is over. The war is over. Now we’re happy” - and, of course, for a while the Romans would not immediately gobble us up. They took ten years to gobble up the Society of St Peter, but they gobbled it up. They took time. They replaced the superior that St Peter’s wanted for itself, and they put in their man in his place because they had the authority, because St Peter’s had given them the authority. St Peter’s were priests of the Society who after the consecrations went to Rome and said, “We aren’t agreed with Archbishop Lefebvre. We agree with you. We want to be back with you. Let us come back with you.” The Romans said, “Oh, yes. ‘Come into my parlour,’ said the spider to the fly. No problem, come in, come in.” They didn’t immediately impose this, that and the other, but after a little while Cardinal Castrillon imposed the idea of a superior that Rome wanted, and there was nothing St Peter’s could do about it. They handed over their own control to the Romans.
If the Society of St Pius X went in with the Romans they would hand over the ultimate control to the Romans, and the Romans would use that ultimate control to make us follow the ideas of the Council. It’s as clear as clear can be. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to put oneself under them, and if you don’t put yourself under them then there’s no real agreement. How can you get round that? “Ah, but Rome has changed. They wouldn’t want to force us towards the Council.” Well, just a couple of weeks ago they said exactly that – “You’re going to have to accept the ideas of the Council.” Rome is bullying Bishop Fellay. It’s caressing him and then bullying him, alternately carrot and stick, carrot and stick. The poor man probably doesn’t know where he is any longer. I don't know. I pity him very much because it’s not an easy position to be in at all, but he’s got himself into this position. He should never have been talking with the Romans in the first place. And, wise after the event, I now say it was a mistake even to set the two preconditions for doctrinal discussions. The doctrinal discussions took place. They were meant to be a block if they didn’t work out. They did not work out. They should have blocked. What Fr Pfluger, the First Assistant of the Society, is now saying in public conferences is the purpose of the doctrinal discussions was to show everybody where they are and what they think. In other words, the purpose of the doctrinal discussion wasn’t to arrive at some kind of agreement. It was so that everybody knew where everybody stands, but once everybody knew where everybody stands then the way is good for a practical agreement. Fr Pfluger’s saying that in public. It’s just a complete change of mind on the part of the Society.
Do you think that having been used to the carrot for a number of years, there’s quite a bit of fear about the return of the stick?
Yes. The Romans have said, “We’ve got a nice offer to make you, but if you don’t accept it we’re going to excommunicate you. Honeybunch, I’ve got a lovely offer to make you, but I’m going to smash you to pieces if you don’t accept.” Is it really such a nice carrot if there’s the stick right behind it? Use your common sense. These guys are not out for our good, not at all.
What was Bishop Fellay’s reaction, if he got to hear about, from Fr Laguerie’s warning about not accepting a deal or not making a deal under any circumstance?
Yes, that’s the IBP. That’s the Institute of the Good Shepherd. What happened recently, and most of you probably know, the Institute of the Good Shepherd told us, or let loose in public, a recent document of Rome. Rome had recently visited them at the end of the statutory five years. Rome approved, and said that at the end of five years we’ll think again. The five years are up since 2006, and so the Romans came along and visited, and the Romans said to the IBP, “You’ve got to start teaching the Council in your seminaries. You’ve got to get together with the local bishop. You’ve got to be nicey-nicey with the local Conciliarists” and so on. I think the answer of somebody like Bishop Fellay is, “Ah, but that’s only the IBP. The IBP have no bishops of their own. They’ve not got 500 priests. They’re nothing like as strong as we are. We are strong and we will resist and we won’t go Conciliar.”
“And Benedict has given me a personal guarantee.”
Is that what he says?
I’m sure that will be it.
That’s the line.
The IBP were given an official written guarantee.
That’s it. Guarantees are not worth the paper they’re written on, with these characters. For them the end justifies the means.
Would the Society be in such trouble if the Superior General wasn’t a bishop and was just a priest?
I think the combination with being both Superior General and bishop gives him a prestige and a power which is dangerous. I do not know of the Archbishop saying that there should be no bishop made Superior General. I don’t think he said that. What he did say is that it doesn’t matter if a layman is the Superior General. That’s what he did say. That’s why he didn’t make Fr Schmidberger a bishop. For six years from the consecrations until the end of Fr Schmidberger’s term, Fr Schmidberger was a priest in command of four bishops, and the Archbishop said, “There’s not a problem with that because that’s what they used to have in the Holy Ghost Fathers. In Africa, we had a number of bishops to make sure ordinations and confirmations were all over the place, but the Superior General was a layman, was a priest.” So that’s not a problem. I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think the Archbishop ever said that the Superior General mustn’t be a bishop. It may be not wise for the Superior General to be a bishop because he then has both the superiorate and his episcopate, and it’s a heady combination. It’s a powerful combination, and it may have been too much for Bishop Fellay. The power may have gone to his head. I don't know. God knows. I’m not judging. It might be wise not to have a bishop as Superior General.
END OF CONFERENCE