We reference a poisonous interview Bishop Tissier de Mallerais gave on March 21, 2016.
Bp. Tissier says,
Then Benedict XVI granted us two ‘preliminary requirements’: the recognition of the freedom of the traditional Mass and the lifting (more or less fortunate, for us and for him) of the 1988 excommunications.
Bp. Tissier is wrong on both counts. Summorum Pontificum does not free the Traditional Mass. Pope Benedict’s lifting of the excommunications 1) concedes nothing significant to the SSPX and 2) is not “fortunate”.
by virtue of the present Decree I remit the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae incurred by Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, and declared by this Congregation on 1 July 1988. At the same time I declare that, as of today’s date, the Decree issued at that time no longer has juridical effect.Emphasis added.
We firmly believe in the primacy of Peter and in his prerogatives, and for this reason the current situation causes us much suffering.
sociologically it was a disgrace.
But the Church against her past and her Tradition is not the Catholic Church; this is why being excommunicated by a liberal, ecumenical and revolutionary Church is a matter of indifference to us.Biography of Archbishop Lefebvre, by Bishop Tissier, p. 547. Unlike his spiritual sons, Archbishop Lefebvre took Our Lord’s teaching to heart:
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake. St. Matthew 5:11.
Bp. Tissier goes on to say:
it became clear, in May and June 2012, that Benedict XVI still required as a condition, as he had said plainly at the start, that we accept the Council and the legitimacy of the reforms. It was a failure. But now there is very clearly a disposition on Pope Francis’ side to recognize us without these conditions. ...
Already, doctrinally, they no longer force us to admit “the whole Council” or religious liberty; some of the errors we denounce are on the point of being considered by our interlocutors as open for free discussion, or continued debate. This is progress. We discuss, but they have to admit that we are not changing and it is unlikely that we will change.
Either Rome is moving toward the SSPX or the SSPX toward Rome.
We have proved dozens of times that the SSPX is becoming liberal and modernist like Rome. With no proof, Bp. Tissier insists that the SSPX is not changing. Therefore, he has to argue that Rome has changed.
So how does Bp. Tissier say that Rome has changed? Before, Rome insisted that the SSPX accept Vatican II right away. Now, Rome is willing to freely discuss Vatican II errors. How can Bp. Tissier call that
Why should Rome demand that the SSPX accept Vatican II, when the SSPX already accepts religious liberty and accepts 95% of Vatican II? Is Pope Francis so dogmatic that he can’t wait a few months for that last five percent?
Even Bp. Tissier cannot pretend that modernist Rome has converted. Just look at the synods on the family, and subsequently Pope Francis’s disastrous apostolic exhortation. To save face, Bp. Tissier resorts to falsehoods about Archbishop Lefebvre.
Bp. Tissier betrays Archbishop Lefebvre by these words:
Archbishop Lefebvre never laid down as a condition for us to be recognized by Rome that Rome abandon the errors and the conciliar reforms. Even if he did say something like that to Andre Cagnon in 1990, he would never have done so, because that was never his line of conduct, his strategy with modernist Rome. He was strong in the Faith, he did not yield on his doctrinal position, but he knew how to be flexible, patient, and prudent in practice.
Bp. Tissier makes two false claims here:
First, Archbishop Lefebvre explicitly taught that modernist Rome must return to the Catholic Faith before traditional Catholics can reconcile with Rome:
It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from the Conciliar Church for as long it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith.
Spiritual Journey. Ch. III, p. 13.
Bishop Tissier knows about this quote. Just a year ago, on January 1, 2015, he read this quote out in a sermon. After he read it, he said,
Let me repeat that, and read the quote again.
Here are a few other examples of what Archbishop Lefebvre truly taught:
To stay inside the Church, or to put oneself inside the Church—what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for twenty years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors who make the subjects.Fideliter. July-August 1989.
They are the authorities and we are the subordinates, so they impose these ideas on us. It is impossible otherwise. As long as they do not rid themselves of these errors—these errors of liberalism and modernism—there is no way we can come to an agreement with them. It is not possible. We cannot approach them because immediately we have to submit to their orientations.(September 22, 1988)
When we are asked when we will get an agreement with Rome, my answer is simple: when Rome re-crowns Our Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot agree with those who uncrown Our Lord. The day they will acknowledge again that Our Lord is king of peoples and nations, this will not mean that they join us, but that they join the Catholic Church, in which we have always been.Conference, Flavigny, December 1988, Fideliter No. 68, March-April 1989.
Second, Bp. Tissier falsely asserts that Archbishop Lefebvre
would never have acted according to this Catholic principle, even if he held it, because he always maintained a prudent practical flexibility alongside his strong theoretical Faith.
Archbishop Lefebvre is actually prudent for the exact opposite reason, because he publicly lived out his Catholic principles. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, prudence
applies universal principles to the particular conclusions of practical matters. Summa Theologica, IIa-IIae, q. 47, a. 6. True prudence applies true principles, that is, the Catholic Faith.
Shortly before his death, Archbishop Lefebvre declared,
The fight is not over for us. After I pass away, my successors will have to fight on. But nothing is impossible to our good God. (Fideliter No. 79, Jan-Feb. 1991). Twenty-five years later, Bp. Tissier is dishonoring Archbishop Lefebvre’s memory. Twenty-five years later, we have to commit irrevocably to living out our true Catholic Faith, as Archbishop Lefebvre did and Our Lord tells us to do:
Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock. And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.
St. Matthew 7:24-27.