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SSPX leader denounces Vatican II, Novus Ordo liturgy

October 15, 2013

The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has denounced Vatican II, described the post-conciliar liturgy as “evil,” and said that he is grateful the group never reached an accommodation with the Holy See.

In a provocative address to the Kansas City audience, Bishop Bernard Fellay said: “It is has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate.’” He said that although the Novus Ordo Mass introduced after Vatican II may be valid, “The New Mass is bad, it is evil.”

Bishop Fellay told SSPX supporters that talks with the Vatican, designed to regularize the status of the breakaway traditionalist group, collapsed last June because the Vatican insisted on acceptance of the teachings of Vatican II. The SSPX leader flatly rejected the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI that Vatican II statements should be read in the light of consistent Catholic teaching. “The Council is not in continuity with tradition,” he said. “It’s not.”

While the SSPX leader said that the “hermeutic of continuity” preached by Benedict XVI was unrealistic, he acknowledged that the former Pontiff was somewhat sympathetic to the concerns of traditionalists. Under Pope Francis, he said, the gap between the SSPX and the Holy See is widening.

“When we see what is happening now,” Bishop Fellay said, “we thank God—we thank God!—we have been preserved from any kind of agreement” with the Vatican.

The harsh words from the SSPX leader appear to signal an end to any realistic hope for a reconciliation between the traditionalist group and the Holy See, and an indefinite continuation of the schism that began in 1988 when the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ordained Fellay and three other bishops in defiance of orders from Pope John Paul II.


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Show 10 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: ColmCille - Oct. 16, 2013 6:43 PM ET USA

    All Pope Benedict asked them is to do what Catholics have TRADITIONALLY done for 2000 years; to accept the teaching and authority of the Church and be obedient. You cannot refuse to do that and call yourself a "traditional Catholic." You won't find any saint who responded to problems within the Church (and many saints faced much worse) by going into schism, refusing obedience to the pope and to an Ecumenical Council, etc. That is neither traditional nor Catholic.

  • Posted by: Antonius86 - Oct. 16, 2013 12:42 PM ET USA

    Traditores! They seek to hand down Tradition but are traitors instead, leading many sheep astray and handing them over to the Enemy!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 16, 2013 9:53 AM ET USA

    Yo, GymK, the FSSP was spurreed to existence as a reaction to the SSPX.

  • Posted by: Nuage - Oct. 15, 2013 9:52 PM ET USA

    SSPX Bishop Fellay claimed publicly that the Antichrist will take his seat in Rome and then basically calls Pope Francis a heretic who his leading the Church into diabolical error.Chick Comics could not do better.When is enough, enough? Fellay says the Holy Mass is not "legitimate" and that it is "evil."This is heresy.SSPX clergy may not administer Catholic Sacraments-under penalty of mortal sin.They brazenly defy the Holy Pontiff every day. They refuse to submit;they are in open schism.

  • Posted by: Athelstan - Oct. 15, 2013 8:45 PM ET USA

    Bishop Fellay has, if there had yet been any doubt, revealed himself to be totally self-deluded as well as a victim of the Devil. Anathema sit.

  • Posted by: New Sister - Oct. 15, 2013 7:42 PM ET USA

    What the SSPX says about the Liturgy they say for good reason. I, too, am grateful to the SSPX. I wish so badly I could belong to one of their parishes - I wish they were 'parishes' in the full sense (given Apostolic jurisdiction for all the Sacraments). This is what the devil does - pushes us to an extreme once he sees us going in the right direction. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Oct. 15, 2013 7:06 PM ET USA

    "And yet, without them, it's a certainty that TLM would be more or less dead now, so I thank them for saving it." Apparently this writer never heard of the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). He should Google their website and learn about the origin and mission.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 15, 2013 6:25 PM ET USA

    SSPX is doing nothing but showing its true colors, both through the judgments noted here and the funeral Mass offered for a former Nazi in Rome this week. This group has flirted with neo-Nazi politics and reactionary spiritual notions for decades. From the beginning its positions have made little sense to me and frankly I am glad that at last its ''cover'' is being blown for everyone to see.

  • Posted by: mario.f.leblanc5598 - Oct. 15, 2013 5:39 PM ET USA

    Saving souls within the true Church founded by Jesus Christ is more important than saving the traditional latin mass. The abominable comments posted on some forums by disciples of bishop Fellay are like so many whip lashes on the body of the Savior, however well intended they may be. The Council was the work of the Holy Spirit through the actions of popes John XXIII and Paul VI. Fellay is definitely working against the Truth.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 15, 2013 4:19 PM ET USA

    I will always be grateful to the SSPX, because I had been away from the Church for a long time, and finding them and their reverence for the Mass is what brought me back to the Church. My continued catechesis of all things Catholic eventually showed me the errors of their ways, and brought me back to full communion with Rome. Why the SSPX cannot see their own errors is truly a shame. And yet, without them, it's a certainty that TLM would be more or less dead now, so I thank them for saving it.