by John Vennari
Catholic Family News
Bishop Bernard Fellay warned on October 12, “The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”
He said this in an address at the Angelus Press Conference, the weekend of Oct 11-13, 2013, in Kansas City.
Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, gave an extensive lecture on Saturday afternoon that focused on the Third Secret of Fatima, and its apparent prediction of both a material chastisement and a great crisis in the Church.
This report will highlight some of the more dramatic aspects of the Bishop’s Saturday conference and his Sunday sermon.
Bishop Fellay quoted in detail Sister Lucia's words, those who have read the Third Secret, and those who have knowledge of the Secret. He noted Sister Lucia said that if we want to know the contents of the Third Secret, read chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse.” (details of the Third Secret will be contained in the upcoming November edition of Catholic Family News)
Sister Lucia’s reference to Chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse is particularly chilling, since the end of Chapter 13 speaks of the coming of Antichrist.
Bishop Fellay noted that Pope St. Pius X said at the beginning of his pontificate the ‘son of perdition’ may already be on the earth. He also noted the original prayer to Saint Michael of Pope Leo XIII mentions that Satan aims to establish his seat in Rome.
The bishop quoted Cardinal Luigi Ciapi, the Papal Theologian of all the Popes from Pius XII to John Paul II who said, “In the Third Secret we read among other things that the great apostasy in the Church begins at the top.”
He also spent a good bit of time on the famous and dramatic 1957 interview of Father Fuentes with Sister Lucia, in which she reiterated that “various nations will disappear from the face of the earth,” and that “the devil will do all in his power to overcome souls consecrated to God.”
Since the ministers of God are struck with this confusion and disorder, the faithful are left to fend for themselves for their own salvation. The help that should be provided by Churchmen is not there. This is “the greatest tragedy you can ever imagine for the Church.”
The times are very serious. We have to be serious about our salvation, “and to do this we are deprived of a very important element, which is the support of the [Church] authorities. What a tragedy.”
He spoke of Sister Lucia’s comforting words that God has given two last remedies for us: The Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
Bishop Fellay alluded to the SSPX/Vatican drama of 2012: “When we see what is happening now [under Pope Francis] we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. And we may say that one of the fruits of the [Rosary] Crusade we did is that we have been preserved from such a misfortune. Thank God. It is not that we don’t want to be Catholics, of course we want to be Catholics and we are Catholics, and we have a right to be recognized as Catholics. But we are not going to jeopardize our treasures for that. Of course not.”
He continued, “To imagine that some people continue to pretend we are decided [still] to get an Agreement with Rome. Poor people. I really challenge them to prove they mean. They pretend that I think something else from what I do. They are not in my head.”
As for the discussions with Rome: “Any kind of direction for recognition ended when they gave me the document to sign on June 13, 2012. That very day I told them, ‘this document I cannot accept.’ I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real. It is against the reality. So we do not accept it. The Council is not in continuity with Tradition. It’s not. So when Pope Benedict requested that we accept that the Second Vatican Council is an integral part of Tradition, we say, ‘sorry, that’s not the reality, so we’re not going to sign it. We’re not going to recognize that’.”
“The same for the Mass. The want us to recognize not only that the [New] Mass is valid provided it is celebrated correctly, etc., but that it is licit. I told them: we don’t use that word. It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity, so we tell them, ‘The New Mass is bad, it is evil’ and they understand that. Period!’” Of course the Roman authorities “were not very happy with that.”
He continues, “It has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate’”.
“The [April 15, 2012] text we presented to Rome was a very, shall we say, delicate text that was supposed to be understood correctly; it was supposed to be read with a big principle which was leading the whole thing. This big principle was no novelty in the Church: ‘The Holy Ghost has not been promised to Saint Peter and his Successor in such a way that through a new revelation the Pope would teach something new, but under his help, the Pope would saintly conserve and faithfully transmit the deposit of the Faith.’ It belongs to the definition of infallibility [from Vatican I]. That was the principle, the base of the whole document, which excludes from the start any kind of novelty.
“And so take any kind of sentences from the text without this principle is just to take sentences that have never been our thinking and our life. These phrases in themselves are ambiguous, so to take away the ambiguity we wanted to put [in] this principle [from Vatican I]. Unfortunately, maybe that was too subtle and that’s why we withdrew that text, because it was not clear enough as it was written.
“So it is very clear our principle is always the same to stay faithful! We have received a treasure. This treasure does not ‘belong’ to us. We have received this treasure and we have to hand it to the next generation. And what is requested from us is faithfulness, fidelity. We do not have the right to jeopardize these treasures. These are the treasures we have in our hands and we are not going to jeopardize them."
He said there is “definitely a ‘material’ chastisement of the world in sight. There is something big in front of us. "How? When? I have no idea. But if you put everything together, it is clear that God has had enough of the sins of man.”
He then spoke of those sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, such as abortion, and the sins against nature, which was an allusion to the unnatural ‘re-definition’ of marriage and related sins. He also spoke of what appears to be a coming persecution of Christians.
“What do we do? Don’t panic, because panic is of no use at all. What you need to do is your job – your daily duty. That is the best way to prepare.”
He continued that we are in “very scary times” but we are not helpless. He noted the “the situation of the Church is a real disaster. And the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”
“In the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I said, ‘the crisis in the Church will continue, but the Pope is trying to put on the brakes.’ It’s as if to say, the Church will continue to fall, but with a parachute. And with the beginning of this [Pope Francis] pontificate, I say, ‘he cuts the strings, and he put a [downward] rocket’.”
“If the present Pope continues in the way he started, he is going to divide the Church. He’s exploding everything. So people will say: it is impossible that’s he’s the Pope, we refuse him. Others will say [and this is presently Bishop Fellay’s position]: “Wait, consider him as Pope, but don’t follow him. He’s provoking anger. Many people will be discouraged by what people in the Church do” and will be tempted to “throw it all away.”
But, he reminded, God is “much, much bigger than we are. God is able to have the Church continue” and even can work through these imperfect ministers. “But once again”, he repeats, “don’t follow them. Follow them when they say the truth, but when they tell you rubbish, you don’t” follow them on those points. “Any obedience to be true must be related to God. When I say I obey to a person” he should be a “a mirror of God.” But “when mirror tells me contrary of God, it is no longer a mirror, then I don’t follow him.”
Bishop Fellay noted that we cannot simply obey the present Popes without question, because then we would destroy ourselves, we would endanger our Faith.
Following the warning of Sister Lucia, Pope Leo XIII and Pius X, Bishop Fellay further warned that we may be entering into the time of Antichrist, but we cannot know when, or how far off in the future this may be.
Bishop Fellay returned to these themes at his Sunday sermon at the Pontifical High Mass offered at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church in Kansas city.
He amplified a few points regarding Fatima, the Secret, the 2012 drama with Rome, and then spoke of some of the many grave problems with Pope Francis.
“From the start,” he said, “we have the impression that we have something wrong with this Pope. From the start, he wanted to distinguish himself to be different from anybody else.”
A small example of this is Francis’ insistence on wearing black shoes instead of the red papal shoes, but this is minor compared to greater issues. We must look, said the bishop, at what is his vision of the Church, his vision of the Council, and what is his plan.
It was around the time of World Youth Day, late July of this year, that Francis began an avalanche of talks, interviews, phone calls, etc. “We may not have the entire picture at this point, we have enough to be scared to death.”
As is typical of the Modernist, as Pius X warned in Pascendi, the Modernist will sometimes speak in a heretical fashion, and then speak in an orthodox manner. Bishop Fellay gave the example of one of these contradictions:
He spoke of interview in early October that Pope Francis conducted with the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari in Rome’s La Repubblica wherein Francis appears to promote a dangerous relativism:
Scalfari: “Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”
Pope Francis: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”
Scalfari: “Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.”
Pope Francis: “And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."
With a good deal of emotion, Bishop Fellay said of the Pope’s response: “That’s really not Catholic! Because whatever I think has absolutely no value if it does not fit with reality. We have a conscience, but it will only lead us to Heaven if our conscience is a mirror of God.” The conscience must be formed according to God’s law. “So to pretend that anyone can full his own idea is just rubbish,” said Fellay, “It has nothing to do with Catholic teaching. It is absolute relativism.”
About a week after this, however, Pope Francis spoke of the necessity of fighting the devil, the final battle with the devil, that nobody can fight the devil half way, and that we must fight relativism. Francis said the opposite of what he said to La Repubblica. “There is the contraction with him”.
Francis: A Man of the Council
Next: what is the vision of Pope Francis on Vatican II? This is found in his much-publicized recent, lengthy interview with the Jesuits, published in various publications throughout the world, and in the Jesuit’s America magazine in the United States
Bishop Fellay says that Pope Francis “takes it for granted that the Council was bright success. What was the main theme of the Council?” To re-read the Faith in light of modern culture. You could say, “to incarnate the Gospel in the modern world.” Francis “is very happy with this…” and believes “The Council brought forth many good fruits. The first example he gives is liturgy – the reformed liturgy. That is the beautiful fruit of the Council. That’s what he says. And he’s very happy with it.”
Francis tells us “this re-reading of the Gospel within the modern culture is irreversible, so we will not go back. We are in front of a major fight.”
Of the Old Mass, Francis speaks of the “Vetus Ordo” (Old Order). Francis believes that Pope Benedict probably helped restore the Old Mass as a prudential act for those who still hold to it. “But don’t expect Francis to come back to the Old Mass. Maybe he will ‘indulge’ it [let us celebrate it unmolested]. God knows.”
But Francis “sees there is a problem with this Old Mass. Because there are people who ideologize this Mass. Guess to whom he is aiming? I don’t need to say much. So what is going to happen with us? What I see: there is quite an obsession in him about those people who look to the past. Listen to the Pope’s words":
Pope Francis: “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation. … If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.”
Bishop Fellay continues, “The impression we have in the present Pope is that he has a zeal for the ‘more or less’, for the ‘about’; and he wants at all cost to escape what is too clear and too certain. But the Faith is like that [it is certain] because God is like that. Well, that’s not what he thinks.”
Another troubling quote from Pope Francis:
“If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt.”
Bishop Fellay exclaims in response: “What Gospel does he have? Which Bible does he have to say such things. It’s horrible. What has this to do with the Gospel? With the Catholic Faith? That’s pure Modernism, my dear brethren. We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.”
"How much time will be needed for people in the Church to stand up ‘by no means!’ [will we accept this new teaching]. I hope and pray this will happen. But that means an enormous division in the Church.”
He speaks of the Pope making a mess, and reminds us that this is what the Pope urged at world Youth Day: he urged the young people to “make a mess”. Bishop Fellay responds, ”Incredible. We have never heard of this [a Pope speaking like this]. But that’s what he wants."
Francis also tells us he is a greater admirer of the ultra liberal Jesuit Cardinal Martini (now deceased). Martini wrote a book calling for a total revolution in the Church. “And that is what Francis wants. And he told us the eight cardinal he chose to help him ‘reform’ the Church think like him."
The bishop says, "We could go on and on" with such examples.
The final example: Ecumenism.
Bishop Fellay says Pope Francis claims “very little has been done in this direction.” This is astounding, the bishop notes, because ecumenism has launched untold disaster to the Church, to Catholic nations. Yet the present Pope says, "very little, almost nothing has been done in this direction.”
As part of his summing up, Bishop Fellay says: “The mystery of the shadow on the Church has never been so great. We are in front of very hard times. Don’t have any illusions. And it is clear the only solution is to stick to what we have; to keep it, to not let it go by any means.
“Pope St. Pius X said that it was the essence of any Catholic to stick to the past. The present Pope says exactly the contrary: forget about the past; throw yourself into the uncertainty of the future.
“Definitely we need the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What are experiencing is the Secret of Fatima. We know what we have to do: pray, pray, pray, and penance, penance, penance. To pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the means given to us precisely in these hard times; and to pray the Rosary.
“Be certain,” says Bishop Fellay, “The next [Rosary] Crusade is not far off. Go to the Rosary. Pray it every day. We live in very dangerous time for the Faith, and we need this Heavenly protection.”
- Note from JV: I was present at the Kansas City conference both for Bishop Fellay's Saturday lecture and Sunday sermon. The report is taken directly from my notes and from the complete audio recordings of the talks. More on this topic will be contained in the upcoming November edition of Catholic Family News