Bishop Fellay Interview: Looking Back and Moving Forward

October 23, 2018

At the Angelus Press Conference in Kansas City this past October, the former Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, reflected on his time at the head of the priestly society.

At the end of the Angelus Press Conference, where he was a keynote speaker, Bishop Bernard Fellay took the time to answer some questions regarding his time as Superior General of the SSPX, how Catholics can combat the confusion in the Church, and what role he has to play within the Society of St. Pius X today.

A portion of his interview is transcribed below, where His Excellency spoke about the state of the Catholic Church in 2018:

We are in a very, very special time. And it is in part, it was foreseeable. But something like, “It could happen, but let's hope it will never happen.” or even “No it can't happen. That's impossible! God will do something before.” This situation is highest dramatic at different levels. But I think the most dramatic level is at the level of the truth; of the teaching. The Church is, by nature, by mission – that one of the very first mission given by God to the Church: and it is master of teaching. She is really, that's Her role. To teach. But to teach what? The truth! The truth which we have received by revelation from God. God's Word – which the Church has the mission to give to the world. And it's so fundamental that without faith it's impossible to please God and to go to heaven, to be saved! And this mission is the mission of the Church.

If let's say the great privileges have been given to the Church (like the privilege of the infallibility), it's because of that. And if you look now how is this teaching going – it's going blurry, confusing, at the highest level. And if you go lower – the level, for example, teaching the Catechism – you wonder what remains from this Catechism in the practice! If you look what the result in the youth, they no longer know their Faith. Period. It's very, very serious.

The second implication, which is maybe the most visible, or touching, causing emotions in the Church today is at the level of morals. It’s the same question, same bringing in unclarity, making things confusing. To the point where nobody anymore knows what is true, what is wrong, what do we have the right to do or not on matters which are very serious.

And you start, of course, with Amoris Laetitia with the question, “Can divorced people, who live like in a marriage, can they approach the Holy Eucharist?” The teachings of the Church has always been very clear. And now the question mark has been introduced. I call it a gray zone. They have tried to create a gray zone between the “yes” and the “no”. And of course this is impossible and unbearable, and it's bringing with it a big fight. Division in the church – between those who say “yes you can” and those who say “no you can't”. Because the Church has always been clear there.

So this division then creates independence. Because people try to look who is talking; and the voice which should speak does not speak. And so they finally go on their own wings. That will be the result. So it's fostering exactly the contrary of obedience, or you turn obedience into arbitrary - and that's equally both bad.

So what can the faithful do positively and actively? At the level of the Faith and the morals, they need to know. To get the conviction, strong conviction, and the first strong conviction of morals will come from the doctrine. They need to learn. They need to read the good books, the good encyclicals, the good catechism. Into the 50’s, everything was fine. You can really go to any encyclical before the 60’s and you will be safe. You will find nourishment and you need that. But once again, you need to learn, and then you need to practice. This practice will come out of the conviction. But you will need the grace, so you need to pray.

There's a lot here to do but we have this certainty that when God allows something, a trial, He always gives the proportionate grace and help we need to survive to get through it; and even to grow in it.

So being conscious of the tragedy of the Church, we must not panic. It's not a time of panicking, but it's a time of taking things seriously and to continue. God's help will be there. There's no doubt about it, and I may say even the existence of the Society [of St. Pius X] and all the faithful around it, are the proof of it.