Bishop Fellay continues to impress

God bless Bishop Fellay. He is making it unequivocally clear – to Rome and to the world – that the SSPX has no place for anti-semitism, and that Bishop Williamson’s views on the holocaust are not welcome in the Society. After more encouraging statements made public yesterday, today it is being reported that Bishop Williamson will be further disciplined.

If I had to guess, I would say that Bishop Fellay has made a firm decision to remove all obstacles to full reconciliation with Rome – all obstacles, that is, which do not compromise Catholic doctrine and discipline. Like the Holy Father, he is showing a great deal of courage and seems willing to pay a heavy personal price. The English-speaking Williamson loyalists are already turning on him, and this faction of “traditionalism” can be particularly vicious. Just as the Holy Father is taking many blows from within his own Church, Bishop Fellay is already taking blows from those devoted to the SSPX. I suspect that long-term friendships and alliances will be shattered in this process; new enmities will develop; there will indeed be “separations”; etc. .

The evil one is evidently furious that a great wound in the Church is about to be healed. Some have asked how it is possible that Bishop Fellay could have changed so dramatically in so short a time. Clearly the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose role has been so prominent in this whole affair, is melting hearts all the way around. Furthermore it cannot be doubted that Bishop Fellay desires to be a loyal son of the Church, which means he must be a loyal subject of the Vicar of Christ, and the Vicar of Christ is demonstably willing to sacrifice everything in order to heal this terrible wound. I would be surprised if Bishop Fellay, in response to the Holy Father’s latest extraordinary gesture, is not now moved by the deepest filial love and piety that belongs to every truly Catholic heart. I hope he receives a cardinal’s hat.


8 thoughts on “Bishop Fellay continues to impress

  1. Excellent post. This is amazing to see. Ecce quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum.

    I have one tangential question, though. I noticed that you did not capitalize “evil one.” I noticed the same a few days ago with someone else writing about the “devil.” I think I’ve seen “satan” left uncapitalized as well. Is it a Catholic convention not to capitalize these proper nouns? It makes sense, I guess, in the way christopher hitchens and richard dawkins refuse to capitalize the name of the Deity out of disrespect (and I in turn refuse to capitalize their names).


  2. Joshua, I’ve always been uncomfortable capitalizing the name of our chief adversary. I’ve seen the name capitalized in Catholic literature, but haven’t discerned any real pattern for one usage or the other. What really annoys me is that the Vatican website does not capitalize pronouns for Our Lord in the English translations of papal documents.


  3. It seems to me that “Satan” ought to be capitalized under the normal rules (such as they are!) of English, since it is a proper noun.

    Similarly with “Evil One” (as with “Blessed Virgin” or “Antichrist” or “President”), as these are titles (or substitutions for the proper names) of individuals.

    This is distinct from the honorary capitalization of Divine Persons and Names.

    At least, that’s my understanding of how our language works!



  4. These separations are good for the Church. Indeed, there will be more volatile separations if the Extraordinary Rite becomes the sole Mass. These separations are cleansing. We need to purify the Church.


  5. I noticed last night that my breviary does not capitailze “devil.”

    Jeff writes, “What really annoys me is that the Vatican website does not capitalize pronouns for Our Lord in the English translations of papal documents.” That bothers me, too, but if I’m not mistaken, such capitalizations are a recent development (within the last few centuries), not that everything new is bad.

    I’ll stcik with you and avoid “capitalizing the name of our chief adversary,” and perhaps even minor adversaries like christopher hitchens and richard dawkins.


  6. “I’ll stick with you and avoid ‘capitalizing the name of our chief adversary,’ and perhaps even minor adversaries like christopher hitchens and richard dawkins.”

    LOL. I take your point, Joshua.

    However – as Hitchens and Dawkins, despite their vile ideas, are beloved by God and made in His image and likeness, possessing immortal souls for whom Christ shed His blood, I’ll be capitalizing their names. :-)


  7. You’re a better man than me! I’ll capitalize their names, too, but more from a love of the rules of capitalization, which are under assault as it is because of the Internet and email.

    Of course, you’re right about those two. An ex-atheist commented on my blog the other day. Hope is a theological virtue and prayer is a duty. Let us pray for their conversion.


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