Pope Francis met with Bishop Fellay


Rorate has learned and can exclusively confirm that Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint Pie X – FSSPX / SSPX), was received by Pope Francis in the Domus Sanctae Marthae sometime in the past few months. In order to protect our sources, we cannot detail the date and persons involved in the meeting, but only generally locate it in time – if the current pontificate so far can be divided into two halves, the meeting took place in the second half.

We can also add as part of this exclusive information that it was not a merely fortuitous event – that is to say, many off-the-record meetings with His Holiness have taken place since his election precisely because his being at Saint Martha’s House make him much more accessible and available than many previous pontiffs. No, that was not the case at all – the pope was previously duly informed and duly met Bishop Fellay. The meeting was apparently short and cordial.

The Pope has a true interest in resolving this situation, it seems to be understood by our sources.


Note to new readers: the Society of Saint Pius X is a society of common life for priests and the formation of priests founded by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre in 1970, and it was involved in the controversial episcopal ordinations of 1988, in Écône, Switzerland. The penalties incurred by the living parties with that act were rescinded by order of Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Doctrinal talks were conducted with the Vatican between 2009 and 2011, and the discussions fell through at the last moment on June 13, 2012. The Holy See considers the canonical situation of the Society as irregular and that, “as long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church.”

[When mentioning the content of this item anywhere and in any language, please mention Rorate by name and link to us, as a matter of courtesy. Thank you.]

Update: Italian version by Il Sismografo.
Labels: After the talks (Holy See-SSPX), Doctrinal Talks (Holy See – SSPX), SSPX, SSPX under Pope Francis, The Bergoglio Pontificate
Posted by Adfero at 5/10/2014 07:04:00 PM

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10 comments on “Pope Francis met with Bishop Fellay

  1. This should set the Resistance nutters a’ chattering.

  2. If Pope Francis is “interested in resolving the situation” it is because Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is interested in resolving the situation. Surely other people have figured out by now that Benedict XVI is the “man behind the curtain”….Pope Francis is merely a facade…. a front to satisfy the progressives and even liberals. He is not actually “running the show”…Benedict still is….

  3. andrew65 on said:

    I fail to see what Bishop Fellay thinks he’s going to accomplish by groveling to a clown like Bergoglio.

  4. Groveling? I’d bet on schooling. Bishop Fellay is not an idiot. He must know that Jorge’s game is putting SSPX in the same trick bag as FFI.

  5. ” not a merely fortuitous event”? I don’t think so!


    Secondo quanto apprende Vatican Insider, l’incontro sarebbe avvenuto nelle prime settimane dell’anno 2014. Monsignor Fellay era stato invitato a cena a Santa Marta dal vescovo Guido Pozzo, segretario della Pontificia commissione «Ecclesia Dei» e dall’arcivescovo Augustin Di Noia, vicepresidente della stessa commissione. Insieme al prelato tradizionalista era presente il sacerdote francese Emmanuel De Taveau, che fin dai tempi di Lefebvre ha mantenuto aperti contatti romani.

    Il Papa era seduto al suo solito tavolo nella sala da pranzo della Casa Santa Marta; Fellay, Pozzo, Di Noia e De Taveau erano a un altro tavolo. Quando Francesco si è alzato a fine cena, il superiore della Fraternità San Pio X ha fatto lo stesso ed è andato verso il Papa, inginocchiandosi per chiedere una benedizione. L’incontro è stato dunque breve, non c’è stata un’udienza, né un lungo colloquio a tu per tu. Vivere a Santa Marta permette e facilita a Papa Bergoglio questo tipo di contatti, più o meno casuali.


    Vatican – le 11/05/2014 | Par Agence I.Media
    FSSPX/Fellay : Mgr Bernard Fellay, supérieur de la fraternité Saint-Pie-X (FSSPX), a brièvement rencontré le pape François à la Maison Sainte-Marthe au Vatican il y a quelques mois, a révélé le site traditionaliste Rorate Caeli le 10 mai 2014 sans plus de précisions. Mgr Fellay, a appris par ailleurs I.MEDIA, était venu au Vatican avec ses assistants, le Suisse Niklaus Pfluger et le Français Alain-Marc Nély, pour une rencontre à la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi. A cette occasion, les 2 assistants du supérieur général de la FSSPX avaient assisté à une messe du matin célébrée par le pape François à la Maison Sainte-Marthe, sans pour autant participer à la concélébration. C’est d’ailleurs au même endroit, au réfectoire de la résidence du pape, que Mgr Fellay aurait brièvement salué le pontife à l’issue d’un dîner qu’il partageait avec Mgr Guido Pozzo et Mgr Augustin Di Noia, respectivement secrétaire et vice-président la Commission pontificale Ecclesia Dei, en charge des relations de Rome avec le monde traditionaliste.

  6. Straight outta the Chronicles of St. Athanasius!

    Mangia! Mangia!


  7. Here is the Tornielli’s article in english:


    and the quote:

    “Vatican Insider has learnt that the meeting apparently took place in the first few weeks of 2014. Mgr. Fellay was invited to dinner at St. Martha’s House by Bishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and Archbishop Augustin Di Noia, Vice- President of the same commission. French priest Emmanuel De Taveau was present alongside the traditionalist prelate. De Taveau has kept communication open between the Catholic Church and the fraternity since the days when Lefebvre was still alive.

    The priest was sat at his usual table in the St. Martha House dining room; Fellay, Pozzo, Di Noia and De Taveau were sat at another table. When Francis got up after dinner, the fraternity’s superior did so also and approached the Pope, kneeling down to ask for a blessing. Their encounter was therefore brief. There was no audience and neither did the two have along one to one conversation. Living in St. Martha’s House makes these kinds of encounters possible for Francis.”

  8. DICI responds:


    About a “meeting” between the Pope and Bishop Fellay

    Filed under From Tradition, News

    On May 10, 2014, the English-speaking blog Rorate Caeli published under the pseudonym “Adfero”, some “exclusive information” whose sources could not be – according to him – disclosed. This “exclusive information”, spread by the media, revealed that Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, met with Pope Francis. On May 11, the Roman agency I.Media published that Bp. Fellay’s two assistants, Fr. Niklaus Pfluger and Fr. Marc-Alain Nély, had attended the Pope’s private Mass.

    Fathers Pfluger and Nely have never attended the Pope’s private Mass, and journalists who claim otherwise would have a hard time to indicate the day of the alleged assistance. Here are the facts:

    On December 13, 2013, Bishop Fellay and his assistants went to Rome for an informal meeting at the request of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. Following this interview, the Secretary of the Commission, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, invited his counterparts for lunch at St. Martha House’s dining room where they were joined by Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation of the Faith. It is in this large refectory that the Pope takes his daily meals, away from other guests.

    Archbishop Pozzo insisted on introducing Bishop Fellay to the pope while the latter was leaving the refectory. There was a brief exchange where Pope Francis said to Bishop Fellay, according to the usual polite formula, “I’m very glad to meet you.” To this, Bishop Fellay answered that he was praying a lot, and the pope asked him to pray for him. Such was the “meeting” that lasted a few seconds.

    In the interview he gave to Le Rocher (April-May 2014), Bishop Fellay answered the following question: Has Rome made an official approach to renew contact with you since the election of Pope Francis? – “Rome made a ‘non-official’ approach to renew contact with us, but nothing more, and I have not asked for an audience as I did after Benedict XVI’s election. For me, things at present are very simple: we stay as we are. Some concluded from my close contact with Rome in 2012 that I regard the necessity of a canonical recognition as a supreme principle. Preserving the Faith and our traditional Catholic identity is essential and remains our first principle.”

    (Source: SSPX/MG – DICI 05/12/14)

  9. Does the Lion lay down with the Lamb? Is anything good to come from dialogue with one’s enemies, especially enemies within the Church itself? IMO dialogue can be fruitful when there is at least some basis for common belief. Bishop Fellay has expressed his fealty to the Successor to Peter and, by extension, to the Catholic Faith in all its fullness. It remains to be seen what Jorge’s response will be. The track record of Jorge’s treatment of Catholics who hold fast to Tradition does not bode well for our cause. The rather cold and uncaring response that “they do not possess any canonical jurisdiction” is, to say the least, unforgivable in my view.

  10. On both sides, the past two years have been nothing short of political opera buffa.

    John Vennari had Benedict XVI on satellite imagery from minute one in 2005 and yet a number of trads (moi, as well – for the first couple years) fell for the spiel coming from Rome. We went, in the course of our a-hopin’-an’-a-prayin’ days, from “Yaaaay!” to “What?” to “Oh,_____________!!! (fill in the blank)”

    Obviously, Habemus Pampas isn’t going to “give” trads anything but the back of his hand, based on 14 months, so far, of non-stop trash talking.

    Thus, barring a gift from the Great Beyond, absolutely nothing will ever arise from any contact between the SSPX and Rome during this pontificate nor in any of the next few, by my reckoning.

    Once one accepts the fact that trads themselves are as disparate, disconnected and discombobulated – to say nothing of poorly led – as are any of the numerous factions on the Left, such things simply fall into place; practical futility reigns.

    The wiser petition is one for endurance of the present and, in the very distant future, a return to sanity and Catholicity in Rome.

    Like prophets of old (which I am not for they were true men of God) we await what we cannot see, from afar.

    Illegitimati non carborundum, friends.

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