Letter of Bishop Fellay to Father de Tanoüarn - 3 mars 2005

Priestly Society of Saint Pius X
Schloss Schwandegg
CH 6313 Menzingen

Menzingen, March 3rd 2005

Dear Father,

I have received all your various messages and letters; you have asked me to review my decision to allow you to renew your commitment for a period of only three months, arguing moreover that such a commitment would be invalid; you express also your astonishment at what you consider to be my hostility since the beginning of last summer.
Allow me, then, to express to you my own astonishment. It seems to me that you do not grasp the situation at all. You should know that in sending me this message you have committed a decisive and irreversible act of blatant disobedience.
You know also the consequences of such an act; you know that this final provocation will cost you your membership of the Society. I speak, of course, concerning your participation in the Congress of February 6th in disobedience of the formal veto of your superior.
This last act was the culmination of an impressive series of violations against our statutes; you have not respected the numerous injunctions of your District Superior concerning the common life, and this is nothing new: I know of none of your superiors who has not had to call you to order.
Always you do as you please. Such an attitude makes us conclude that you have proved beyond doubt that the smallest submission to the common rules of our Society means absolutely nothing to you. Seeing no point in prolonging this life of disobedience, we are not going to issue any further warnings, but simply suggest that you continue doing what you are already doing and live freely in your own apartment, pleasing yourself, as you have always done.
Therefore you will not be permitted to renew your commitment on March 8th (2005).   
Why do you look for arguments against the validity of the act by which you committed yourself for three months while at the same time it would appear that you have been behaving as if the rule were a dead letter anyway? What is the point of requesting an extension? And concerning the validity of the commitment, I repeat that shorter terms of commitment do exist commonly in our Society, particularly in the southern hemisphere, despite the fact that there is nothing actually written down in the statues.    Custom has the force of law. Moreover, this measure was by way of benevolent exception in your case, considering the atmosphere of considerable distrust engendered by your behaviour; it was intended to give you another chance; unfortunately, a chance you wasted.    The interview you gave to Minute [a newspaper], in which you explained why you were to take part in the Congress of February 6th, even though you had in your hand a letter from Father de Cacqueray asking you not to participate has made me decide not to prolong an argument that now seems futile.   
Make your own arrangements from now on. Discuss insurance matters and your other material needs with Suresnes.   
With great sadness, I assure you of my prayers before the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.   

+ Bernard Fellay