Nearly a year has passed since I first set matters straight regarding the SSPX’s bogus claim that it was Bishop Fellay who rejected the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration of Rome, with this explanation on the discontinued ABLF3.com forum:
1) He signed it, and per Fr. Themann’s own “Resistance to What?” conference, expressed his willingness to accept a practical accord on that basis (e.g., Bishop Fellay said to Rome, “If you change one word, I can’t accept it.”);
2) In other words, he was willing to accept it as it stood, and in fact put his acceptance signature to it, and delivered it to Rome (the very day after being implored not to by the famous “Letter of the Three Bishops“);
3) Rome immediately perceived the beginnings of what they feared would become a massive revolt against their men in Menzingen;
4) They realized at that moment they had moved too fast; minds had not yet been adequately prepared;
5) The new priority became “recovering the honor” of Bishop Fellay, so as to keep him in power for another attempt later. But how?
6) Recalling Bishop Fellay’s ultimatum (“If you change one word, I can’t sign”), Benedict XVI gave Bishop Fellay an opportunity to appear to be holding the line, by making a last minute counter-offer (i.e., rejecting Bishop Fellay’s signed April 15, 2012 Dictrinal Declaration, and presenting him with a new offer he knew Bishop Fellay must reject: The acceptance of Vatican II);
7) This ruse allowed Bishop Fellay to pretend it was he who rejected the deal, when in fact, he agreed to the AFD, but by design, rejected Rome’s counter-offer. You may remember all the theatrics later (e.g., The letter to BXVI, restating his resolve and commitment to the plan, apparently ignorant of Rome’s reasons for saving his authority in the SSPX).
But Rome was watching the consequences of it: A new movement of Resistance, and knew that path was a dead-end. They would think up another approach (i.e., First the “recognition of tolerance, ad tempus,” and later the so-called “unilateral recognition”)
8) Meanwhile, Bishop Fellay could calm his restless clergy and laity by pretending to be the one holding strong: Had he not rejected Rome’s offer?
9) But it was the 2nd offer he rejected, not the first (and every indication suggests it would have been ratified by Rome, but for the “Letter of the Three Bishops” – something the Pfeifferites ought to keep in mind when stupidly trying to portray Bishop Williamson as an agent of Menzingen)!
10) So is it true to say, in the final analysis that not coming to a practical accord in the spring/summer of 2012 was Bishop Fellay’s doing?
Not at all.
Had Bishop Fellay had his way, and not been submarined by the “Letter of the Three Bishops,” Rome would not have gotten cold feet, and the deal would have been done.
Only the ploy of a Roman counter-offer, designed to stabilize Bishop Fellay’s power, and allow him to survive the June/2012 General Chapter, stalled the formal capitulation.
Fast-forward to 2017, with the recent uprising in France in opposition to Menzingen’s acceptance of the newly promulgated “pastoral guidelines” for diocesan marriages in SSPX chapels (and the personal prelature generally):
We have in Rome the same response to widespread opposition within the ranks of the SSPX: Declare the negotiations failed and ended, and allow Menzingen to appear to be the ones to be holding the line, as is the case with the recent letter of Cardinal Muller to Bishop Fellay (which demands the 1988 Profession of Faith rejected by Archbishop Lefebvre, and the full acceptance by the SSPX of the conciliar and post-conciliar reforms).
Quite obviously, Rome wanted the SSPX to declare “non possumus,” and they achieved it in Fr. Christian Thouvenot’s (SSPX General Secretary) letter of explanation to all SSPX priests:
The Priestly Society of St. Pius X does not seek above all a canonical recognition to which it is entitled because it is Catholic. The solution is not just legal. It is a doctrinal position that must be demonstrated. (…) Divine Providence does not abandon its Church whose leader is the Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ. This is why an incontestable sign of this restoration will be in the will of the Sovereign Pontiff to give the means to restore the order of the priesthood, faith and tradition – a sign which will also be the guarantor of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition.
Will the SSPX dupes be tricked a second time?
Probably, because they want to be tricked.
However, the old adage asserts “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
After the 2012 Roman maneuver achieved it’s aim of preserving Bishop Fellay in power, the clergy and laity went back to sleep, thinking disaster had been averted. Yet how much has been lost since the summer of 2012 and today!
Scroll down through this article (already 18 month old, and severely abridged even then for the sake of brevity!) to reacquaint yourselves with how much was lost since Bishop Fellay survived the 2012 General Chapter: here.
Rome has witnessed the strength of this tactic: Keeping weak/accordist leaders in power in order to keep draining the sap of traditional convictions from the entire Society. It has worked wonderfully, and as they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it:” They are reverting to the same tactic yet again.
Santanyana said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
But how will you know that Sodalitium Pianum is correct in this analysis?
Well, shortly after negotiations broke off in June 2012, a communique came quickly from Rome after Bishop Fellay (i.e., Rome’s man) survived the General Chapter, assuring the world that all was not lost, and negotiations and discussions would continue.
Here in 2017, I would look for the same thing: Sometime in the next couple weeks, a statement from Rome that “talks are ongoing…”
Rome cannot afford to let the growing faction of SSPX accordist clergy and laity become demoralized, and they will have to say something along these lines in order to continue dragging the SSPX slowly but surely along their trajectory towards overt conciliarism.
When they make this announcement, remember you heard it here first.