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Full Version: The SSPX Deal: Is Bp. Fellay Really "The Decider"?
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The "canon law" aspect of the current SSPX/Rome negotiations naturally piqued my interest quite a bit.

In part 3 of his interview, Fr. Rostand insists very emphatically that the power to decide whether to accept or to reject the accord belonged to the SUPERIOR GENERAL ALONE, and that the Superior General would make the decision for the whole organization.

Some anti-accordists argue that only the GENERAL CHAPTER of SSPX, due to convene in early July, would have this power. Canon 631.1 of the '83 code (on the authority of General Chapters) was cited; it also has parallels in the pre-Vatican II legislation. The idea is that whatever affects everyone in a religious institute (as an accord would) should be approved by everyone (or at least, virtually everyone). Normally, this would be true in a religious institute, which SSPX claims to be.

But the Statutes of SSPX (at least the version I recall) and the management style of its superiors (Abp. Lefebvre, Fr. Schmidberger, Bp. Fellay) are "top down" in terms of authority (the Superior General rules all) and about as far from democratic as you can get.

So on the point of internal law and actual practice, Fr. Rostand seems to be entirely correct. The decision on the accord is ultimately only Bp. Fellay's to make.

This would also be consistent with Mgr. Lefebvre's method of proceeding. He certainly didn't consult any of us lower-downs regarding his negotiations with Rome in the '70s or '80s, and we would have never expected him to ask a General Chapter to vote on an accord.

Mgr. L., moreover, committed SSPX to the 1988 accord without reference to obtaining any approval from the General Chapter or anyone else.

So as regards making the decision without obtaining anyone else's approval, Bp. Fellay would have the precedent of Mgr. L on his side.

Whether this is A Good Thing or not, I suppose, depends on how you stand vis-a-vis the accord itself — and I hasten to add that these are just my observations as an outsider who is looking purely at the mechanics of the situation.
Interesting observation Father.  I guess that means that the Society, almost akin to the Jesuits, have a "Black Pope", not that Bp Fellay is the SG for life but that his decision cannot be bucked.  Hopefully those not for the accord, if it happens, will be able to continue their priestly apostolate without having to worry about dealing with the Vatican.

Joe
This is somewhat a distinction without a difference since it has been reported that Bishop Fellay will wait until the General Chapter to make a decision anyway. The General Chapter can give input and then Bishop Fellay can decide. Let's pray for both.

:pray:
It makes for an interesting study in leadership.  For external power to be exercised, a person needs the power to influence.  If they don't have it, the "authority" given to them means very, very little. 

If a truly influential man becomes Pope, he could actually utilize the authority given to him and wield considerably more power than another man in the same office without the ability to influence. 

The recent Popes have been dismantling the influence of the office humanly speaking according to Kung's suggestions from way back, but it's interesting that the tendency towards blind obedience that is demonstrated by conservatives and some trads is basically running on the capital of influence built up by the papacy over 100 years ending around Paul VI's reign.  It's being gradually frittered away since. 

So it makes sense that Bp. Fellay who does not have the requisite power of influence to merit the obedience due his office would resort to the same tactics and appeals that the conciliar Popes and bishops have adopted. 

That's not to say that Church leaders who did have the power to influence didn't at times exercise their power brutally.  I would think the power to influence can even make the situation worse when someone with the power to influence also wields awesome authority.  Secular history is full of examples of this we know.

(06-19-2012, 11:58 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]So it makes sense that Bp. Fellay who does not have the requisite power of influence to merit the obedience due his office would resort to the same tactics and appeals that the conciliar Popes and bishops have adopted. 

???

Explain this please. Most priests that disagree have been told to shut up and banned from preaching double fast, so not sure 'he lacks influence', also almost all superiors agree with him and quite a few priests so not quite sure where you got the idea he lacks 'influence' from.
(06-20-2012, 03:59 PM)TrentCath Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-19-2012, 11:58 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]So it makes sense that Bp. Fellay who does not have the requisite power of influence to merit the obedience due his office would resort to the same tactics and appeals that the conciliar Popes and bishops have adopted. 

???

Explain this please. Most priests that disagree have been told to shut up and banned from preaching double fast, so not sure 'he lacks influence', also almost all superiors agree with him and quite a few priests so not quite sure where you got the idea he lacks 'influence' from.

I had essentially the same reaction to this statement.  Aside what I believe is a rather vocal minority of the SSPX clergy, most actually have been rather supportive of Bishop Fellay's handling of the situation, or at the very least recognize and submit to his authority as their leader.

However, I don't agree with the idea that most who disagree have been silenced and banned from preaching.  As far as I know, that treatment has been reserved for a few who have openly (and forcefully) criticized Bishop Fellay from the pulpit or through some other public forum (like an open letter of denunciation of +Fellay).  In those cases, the preaching is disruptive by definition, and curbing it is the natural course of action.
(06-20-2012, 05:36 PM)IrishCowboy Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-20-2012, 03:59 PM)TrentCath Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-19-2012, 11:58 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]So it makes sense that Bp. Fellay who does not have the requisite power of influence to merit the obedience due his office would resort to the same tactics and appeals that the conciliar Popes and bishops have adopted. 

???

Explain this please. Most priests that disagree have been told to shut up and banned from preaching double fast, so not sure 'he lacks influence', also almost all superiors agree with him and quite a few priests so not quite sure where you got the idea he lacks 'influence' from.

I had essentially the same reaction to this statement.  Aside what I believe is a rather vocal minority of the SSPX clergy, most actually have been rather supportive of Bishop Fellay's handling of the situation, or at the very least recognize and submit to his authority as their leader.

However, I don't agree with the idea that most who disagree have been silenced and banned from preaching.  As far as I know, that treatment has been reserved for a few who have openly (and forcefully) criticized Bishop Fellay from the pulpit or through some other public forum (like an open letter of denunciation of +Fellay).  In those cases, the preaching is disruptive by definition, and curbing it is the natural course of action.

Thats what I meant, after all we can only know if someone disagrees if they manifest it publicly, and by that i mean a letter, sermon etc..
I think Gerard is saying a good leader should have "power of influence" by which he means convincing by argumentative reasoning. I think he's saying that the Pope and even Bishop Fellay are not good at arguing their case, which makes them rely on sheer force of authority of their office as opposed to creating buy-in or inspiring admiration from below. In any case, that's how I read it, Gerard can provide the correct interpretation of his own words.
(06-20-2012, 06:11 PM)Ray M Facere Wrote: [ -> ]I think Gerard is saying a good leader should have "power of influence" by which he means convincing by argumentative reasoning. I think he's saying that the Pope and even Bishop Fellay are not good at arguing their case...

Well if that is indeed what he means, thats total nonsense. He's made his case very well in the CNS interviews and the extensive DICI one, whether people accept it is a separate matter from whether its a good argument or not.

(06-19-2012, 11:58 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]So it makes sense that Bp. Fellay who does not have the requisite power of influence to merit the obedience due his office would resort to the same tactics and appeals that the conciliar Popes and bishops have adopted. 

This is not only cynical but also fallacious logic (sweeping generalization, complex question, and the slippery slope fallacy).   Who and where has it been stated that Bp. Fellay does not have the "requisite power of influence to merit the obedience due his office" when the issue here is not obedience but dissent from the three bishops who have their own thoughts about the Church?   These men would rather remain outside the Church rather than join what they "believe" is a corrupted Church.  This is
schism.  I cannot see how the words of Christ can be totally disregarded by the frailty of human thought and judgment.

Bp. George Hay stated:

"Denial of the infallible and inerrant words of Christ.

"The truths revealed by Jesus Christ are unalterable; that 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His words shall never pass away;' [Luke 21:33] and that, therefore, to corrupt these sacred words, though but in one single article, would be ' . . perverting the Gospel of Christ,' [Gal. 1: 7], a sin so grievous that the Holy Ghost, by His mouth, pronounces a curse upon anyone, though an angel from Heaven who shall dare to be guilty of it."

The Catholic Church cannot err because it is divine.  It is the fallible men administrating her who err.  It is just simply that Bp. Fellay sees that bringing in the SSPX will be the apex and summit of returning Tradition in its fulness rather than WAIT until these men change and turn away from their modernism which is unlikely to happen in any distant future because they have inurred themselves in their errors.  Not an impossibility because nothing is impossible with God who can change things around if He desired but it just so happens that it may be through the SSPX that He wants to achieve His purpose.  Do we need to ask Him, or can't we discern it through our faith in Him?




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