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.