Bishop Fellay’s Conference at Paris, January 8-10, 2010
Please, let us not use the word negotiations, it completely misses the point. This has nothing to do with negotiating, bargaining—nothing at all…. For us, we must really see this opportunity for the discussions with Rome as truly a disposition of Divine Providence, as truly an amazing grace to be able to present to the highest authorities in the Church what that Church has always said and which, thanks be to God, we have kept; thus, to make it resound at the very top of the Church. To bear witness to the Faith is a great grace. And even at Rome, a certain number [of prelates] are expecting from these discussions—and it’s a direct quote— “very much good for the Church.”
…The situation in the Church is truly a nightmare, it’s truly a great tragedy, and so to be able to give utterance to what the Church has always taught at the very top of the Church is really something out of the ordinary, hence extraordinary. It is a great grace, and also a great duty, because, of course, we hear: “What are you going to do in that mess? You are going to get lost…you are going to sell out the Society.” It involves no such thing!
…Humanly speaking, you might say that we are in a bad way! We are in about the same shape as Gideon when he went out to attack 20,000 or 30,000 men of the enemy army with his jars, trumpets, and torches—three hundred men to attack tens of thousands of heavily armed enemy soldiers. They were really in a bad way. It is about the same thing when we go down to Rome with our jars, torches, and trumpets… but we are not counting on our human efforts, we are counting on the good Lord as Gideon counted on the good Lord. We are counting on the promises that our Lord made to His Church, we are counting on this duty… It is the good Lord who has given us the grace of still having the Faith, of not having lost it, of having received the instruments of this Faith, even natural instruments, a sound philosophy. Yes, it is a duty to go and remind them of these truths.
…[These are] extremely delicate theological discussions; [there are] a lot of preconceived ideas [a priori]. We can see very well that we are not at all known… there are all sorts of ideas about us.
…The boat is sinking; humanly speaking, the Church is lost; humanly speaking, the Church is not recovering—notice that I say, humanly speaking, for we know that there are the promises of God, so that she is going to recover. How is she going to recover? We may say that it is in the hands of the good Lord, agreed! But the good Lord asks everyone to act according to his strength and capabilities, in his place, for this recovery. We cannot say that the pope has only to do this or that. It is every member of the Church who must, once again, at his place, according to his powers, according to the grace of the good Lord, do everything he can for the Church’s restoration. Everybody must contribute his efforts—everybody. So let us make this effort precisely by our prayers, by our sacrifices, by all the means that truly give life to the Church. The means that the good Lord commonly uses to restore and uplift the Church is called holiness. It is the life of grace; it is faith. It is absolutely certain that every good action within the Church uplifts the Church. The greater the goodness of the act, the more the Church is uplifted.
…The good Lord doesn’t need numbers, but He does need holiness… He asks us for it, and I should say that this battle, these terrible, horrible difficulties that we have briefly outlined, should be for us a stimulant, a real stimulant towards holiness—let’s dare to use the word, it is a very Catholic word… That will be the best way we can contribute, collaborate, and co-operate in helping to bring about an end to the crisis in the Church.