Bishop Fellay writes to John Paul II on the occasion of his renewal of Assisi at Rome last October. Not a word is exaggerated.
In 1986 Msgr. Lefebvre and Msgr. de Castro Mayer thought it their duty to correct you publicly following the example of St. Paul (Gal. 2:11), because of the prayer meeting at Assisi, to which you convoked the principal "religions" of the world. This public sin against the First Commandment and the First Article of the Creed, this great injury to the sovereign majesty of the only true God, One and Three, was an immense scandal for the faithful.
You, who are the Vicar of Christ, Vicar of the solos Sanctus, solos Dominos, solos Altissimus, how could you mingle with the representatives of "religions" that deny His divinity? How could you humiliate the Catholic Church, unique spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:26?27) by degrading her to the level of societies founded, not by God, but by the will of man (Jn 1:l3)? How could you invite adepts of "religions" to pray to God, who reject the unique Mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5), or who, denying the existence of a personal and unique God, are nothing more than atheism and idolatry? How could you justify this invitation by affirming that the Holy Spirit dwells mysteriously in, each man, when St. Paul teaches the contrary (Rm. 8:9)?
At the same moment that you renew the scandal of Assisi, the 28 October, in St. Peter's Square, we dare to protest solemnly against this sin and, invoking the authority of your quite recent predecessors; we set against you the condemnation they pronounced against this sin and the accompanying errors: Pius IX in the Syllabus (prop. 16?18), Leo XIII's denouncement of the "Congress of religions" of Paris (Letter of 15 September 1899) and Pius XI in Mortalium animos.
By these "interreligious" meetings you do not strengthen your brethren in the faith, on the contrary, you promote an immense indifferentism and provoke division in the interior of the Church. Furthermore, the humanist, earthly and natural themes of these meetings are making the Church retreat from her mission--entirely divine, eternal and supernatural?-to the level of masonic ideals of a world peace independent of the unique Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Msgr. Lefebvre saw in the disastrous event of Assisi one of the "signs of the times" that allowed him to proceed legitimately with episcopal consecrations without your consent and to write to you that "the time for an honest collaboration had not yet come". The thirteen subsequent years of your pontificate have done nothing to remove these signs or their disastrous consequences in the Church, or the wound they caused in the hearts of faithful Catholics.
To this first cause of sadness can be added the signature of the Common
Declaration on Justification of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Federation,
of 31 October. After Cardinal Cassidy, in the name of the Catholic Church,
had opposed the text of this declaration on grave points, discerning it,
errors, its ambiguities, how could you permit your signature on it?
We hold ourselves bound to write these very serious lines only by love for our Mother the holy Catholic Church, for the Holy Apostolic See; and for the Pope.
Accept, Holy Father, our filial devotion,