In this latest letter from the Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Fellay discusses the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
The joyous 100th anniversary of the apparations in Fatima are sadly shared by the 500th anniversary of events which caused the greatest loss of faith, save for the Eastern Schism of 1054. Bishop Fellay points out the seriousness and dire consequences of the actions of one man - Martin Luther:
He thus deprived millions of souls of the necessary means of salvation, separating them not just from one religious organization among others, but actually from the one Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, denying its supernatural reality and the necessity of it for salvation. He completely distorted the Faith, rejecting its fundamental dogmas, which are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the priesthood, the papacy, grace, and justification."
During the past months, Rome's attitude towards the anniversary of this tragic event has been weak. We may even go further to say that the Vatican seems to place more importance on this ecumenical "opportunity" than to celebrate and recall seriously the guidance and clear message of Our Lady to the three young children of Fatima. His Excellency continues:
Furthermore this new attitude, made up of praises for Protestantism and apologies for Catholicism, causes the loss of faith in countless Catholics—this is an observable fact. Every survey inquiring about the faith of Catholics shows the ravages resulting from this frightening alignment with Protestantism. How many Catholics are affected in the 21st century by what the Church condemned, until the Council, by the name of indifferentism? A fatal error that claims that the whole world is saved, whatever one’s religion may be. An error diametrically opposed to the teaching of Our Lord Himself and of the whole Church after Him. Nevertheless, if someone denounces this error against the two-thousand-year-old Catholic Faith, he is immediately branded as a fanatic or a dangerous extremist."
Bishop Fellay brings to mind the clarity provided by the venerable founder of his Fraternal Society, pointing ot how he saw with laser focus the Protestant-laden errors inherent in the Church during and after the Second Vatican Council:
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, from the Council on, denounced this new way of dealing with the Protestants that took shelter under the name of ecumenism. In fact, this very elastic term expresses a general manner of seeing and doing that was introduced into the Church at the time of Vatican II. We are talking about an ostentatious benevolence toward all human beings, a determination to no longer condemn error, a search all over the map for “what unites us” rather than what separates us....And what ought to have been only the first step in a journey toward unity, within the framework of a captatio benevolentiae [a rhetorical gesture to win good will], rapidly turned into a pursuit for its own sake that became an end in itself; an unending quest for an undefined truth. It then strayed from its objective purpose: the return to the Church of those who have lost unity with her. Thus the meaning of the word ecumenism was changed, the concept of unity was modified, and the means of arriving at it were falsified.
His Excellency clearly states the strong objection of the SSPX to any celebration or positive commemoration of the Protestant tragedy:
That...is why we cannot celebrate joyfully the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Quite the contrary, we lament this cruel division. Following Our Lord, we pray and work so that the lost sheep might find again the path that will lead them safely to salvation, the path of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
We pray also that this illusory irenicism will soon be abandoned and that in its place a true movement of conversion may be reborn, like the one that existed before the Council, particularly in English-speaking countries."