.- Yesterday, the Society of Saint Pius X re-elected Bishop Bernard Fellay as their superior, at their headquarters in Econe, Switzerland.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, one of four priests illicitly ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, will remain superior of the group for a second, twelve-year term.
The election of Fellay, who is one of the bishops more amicable to reconciliation with the Holy See, came as a victory over Bishops Richard Williamsson and Bernard Tissier de Mallerais who are considerably more hostile towards talk of reconciliation. Both Tissier and Williamson have recently released interviews very critical of Pope Benedict XVI on the site www.unavox.it
In August of 2005 Fellay met with Pope Benedict at his summer residence at Castelgandolfo.
The Society of Saint Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, rejects the reforms of the Second Vatican Council especially those exhibited in the post-conciliar liturgy. Following the ordination of Bishop Fellay and the three others without his permission, Pope John Paul II proclaimed that Lefebvre and the four bishops had excommunicated themselves and referred to their disobedience as a “schismatic act.”
Many have been waiting for Pope Benedict XVI to grant a complete authorization for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass in order to facilitate the Society’s return to the fold of the Catholic Church. While such an universal indult has not been assured, Tuesday’s vote is seen by many as a positive step in amelioration between the SSPX and the Vatican.