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Superior General's Message of March 1st, 2002
Open Letter to the Priests of Campos
Bishop Fellay, "The Situation in Campos"
Bishop Fellay, "Rome, the SSPX, Campos, Assisi, continued
Letter to the Friends and Benefactors-No. 62 - June 2002
Two Years After the Consecrations-We Must Not Waiver, We may Not Compromise ABL
The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass-Archbishop Lefebvre
The Doctrinal Talks-Interview Bishop Fellay 2011
Great Britain-Letter To friends and Benefactors 2011
Bishop Fellay-Interview in Gabon
Contesting the Legitimacy of the New Mass
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 1
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 2
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 3
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 3 Continued
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 4
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 4 Continued
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 5
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 5 Continued
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 6
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 6 Continued
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 7
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 7 Continued
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 8
THEY THINK THEY'VE WON---PART 9
Great Britain District Superior Letter to Friends and Benefactors May 2011
Bishop Fellay-Doubts About the Canonization of JPII
Letter to Friends and Benefactors #78 Bishop Fellay
Sermon Bishop Fellay-The Society of Saint Pius the X is Part of the Church Militant
Letter to Friends and Benefactors #77-Bishop Fellay
Assisi A Hope!-Letter to Friends and Benefactors Father Yves LeRoux
Does the New Mass Fulfill the Notion of Catholic Liturgy?
Commentary of Msgr. Pozzo's Interview
Rome Burns, One Fights, One Fiddles Part 1-Archbishop Lefebvre
Rome Burns, One Fights, One Fiddles Part 2-Pope Benedict the XVI
The Matter and Form of Priestly Rite Ordinations Introduced by Pope Paul VI by Fr. Peter Scott
Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre-Vol.III Chapter LIV
62 Reasons Why Not The New Mass
The Conference-What Catholics Need to Know by Bp Bernard Fellay 2004
Letter of SSPX Superiors to Cardinal Gantin Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops July 6th 1988
Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre on Obedience
The Archbishop Speaks-The Church,The Priesthood and the Tridentine Indult
Bp. Fellay Prior to Announcement of Deal between Campos and Rome
Supplied Jurisdiction and Traditional Priests Part I- by Bishop Tissier
Supplied Jurisdiction and Traditional Priests Part II
Validity of Confessions and Marriages in the SSPX Chapels-A Canonical Study by Father Ramon Angles
Validity of Confessions and Marriages in the SSPX Chapels Part I Continued
Validity of Confessions and Marriages in the SSPX Chapels Part II
Validity of Confessions and Marriages in the SSPX Chapels Part II of II
Validity of Confessions and Marriages in the SSPX Chapels Part III
Validity of Confessions and Marriages in the SSPX Chapels Part II of III
To American friends and Benefactors-Letter From Archbishop Marcle Lefebvre April 28th 1983
Declaration of the SSPX General Chapter 2006
Can Obedience Oblige Us To Disobey? Statement of Archbishop Lefebvre March 29, 1988
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-PREFACE
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 1
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 2
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 3
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 4
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 5
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 6
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 7
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 8
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 9
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 10
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 11
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 12
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 13
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 14
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 15
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 16
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 17
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 18
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 19
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 20
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 21
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 22
OPEN LETTER TO CONFUSED CATHOLICS-CHAPTER 23
Archbishop Lefebvre on the New Code of Canon Law
A Letter to Pope John Paul II From Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio De Castro Mayer
SSPX Pamphlet-Who Are We and What Are We Doing?
SSPX Pamphlet-The SSPX and Tradition-What makes Our Fight Unique?
SSPX Pamphlet-Where is Obedience Today?
SSPX Pamphlet-Is the SSPX Schismatic? Excommunicated?
SSPX Pamphlet-Why the Latin Mass? Why Not the New?
LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Suppressed Interview With Archbishop Lefebvre 1978
Interview Archbishop Lefebvre Published in the French magazine Le Figaro, August 4, 1976.
Video: Rare Interview With Archbishop Lefebvre [ENGLISH]
197 page Compilation on a premature agreement with Rome by Stephen Fox
Fraternity of St. Peter Letter by Bp. Williamson in 1999
Conference by ABL to Seminarians at S.T.A.S. April 24th 1983 part I
Conference by ABL to Seminarians at S.T.A.S. April 24th 1983 PART V (final)
Bp. Fellay March 5th 2002 Talk Given on Rome, Campos, Assisi etc
Twenty Year Struggle-Conference Given by ABL September 1986-Priestly Retreat Econe
Roman Protestants by Father Basil Wrighton
Archbishop Lefebvre Last Sermon Lent 1991
The Instruction: "Universae Ecclesiae" Blessing or Trap? by Fr. Peter Scott
ABL March 30th and April 18th 1986
The Latin Mass an Update News Article Interview by Bp. Fellay Jan. 2008 PART I
Continued PART II
Continued Part III
Continued Part IV
Continued Part V
Continued Part VI
ABL Lecture in English Armada Michigan May 11, 1976 -Parts I & II
Sermon ABL on the Occasion of the Episcopal Consecrations June 30th 1988
Letter to Bp. De Castro Mayer from ABL December 4th 1990
Remarks by ABL Concerning New Bishop to Succeed Bp. De Castro Mayer- Feb 20th 1991
This document, dated March 1, 2002 is published by D.I.C.I.
The coincidence, not many days ago, of the recognition of Campos by Rome, which some think was a recognition of Tradition, and of the meeting at Assisi, which is to an extreme degree opposed to Tradition, presents such a contradiction that it obliges us to give it our profound attention; the systematic demolition of all that is traditional in the Church since the Second Vatican Council implies a logical coherence in the task undertaken. Before hailing the recognition of Campos as a return of Rome to Tradition, we are obliged to ask ourselves if this event could not also, must not also, be inserted in the post-conciliar logic: and precisely the meeting at Assisi furnishes a convincing argument in favour of this possibility. If post-conciliar Rome is capable of reuniting so many religions, one could even say all the religions, for a common religious cause, why couldn't it also find a small place for Tradition?
Should we see in this a dilemma for Rome: resolve the "schism of Tradition" in accepting it, whereas the latter has proved itself until now exclusive and condemning (and thus accept that they are right as opposed to modernist Rome) or continue in the line of the reforms? Quite obviously, the line of the reforms is maintained as an intangible and irreversible principle. Thus, the condition that Rome must set down for the acceptance of a traditional movement is the general accepting of the Council (one could discuss the nuances and certain conclusions). It is the necessary step. It is the entering into pluralism under the appearances of being recognised by Rome, that is imposed, and not the return of the conciliar Church to Tradition. Cardinal Castrillon reproached me for this argument. It would not be in the name of pluralism that Rome desires our return, they would not wish to place us in a pluralistic situation. But nevertheless.
The conditions for the realisation of this new prodigy had been expressed by Cardinal Ratzinger, acting in the Camposian agreement from before the beginning of the discussions, first in an article of 30 Days in autumn of 2000, then in the Nef, and finally at Campos, during a press conference, January 19, 2002. Moreover, the papal theologian, Father Cottier, had not used any other argument: the acceptance of the Council is manifestly the major and determining point (afterwards will come the acceptance of the New Mass). It is the principle from which started the revolution in the Church, and in fact all the rest follows. In view of this fact, it seems to me that we find ourselves before another ambiguity with regard to the conciliar Church: when we declare to accept the Council with restrictions (to refuse that which is contrary to perpetual teaching, to interpret the ambiguous in the light of Tradition, to accept what was always taught) it highly appears that we say something completely different than what is understood by the Romans. Because fundamentally, we consider the Council as the great catastrophe of the 20th century, the cause of immeasurable harm done to the Church and to souls, while they see it as the great miracle of the 20th century, the revitalising of the Church.
All the rest follows: Father Cottier announces the next step that "they" expect from Campos: the concelebration of the New Mass, of course. And Mgr. Perl says that this will be done piano piano, little by little. Piano piano, the priests and the faithful of Campos will return to the diocese and to the post-conciliar "Church". He also foresees that this will be done rather quickly, however. We cannot attribute these thoughts of Mgr. Perl as being solely inspired by a vengeance for having been excluded from the negotiations: it is the prevailing thought of conciliar Rome.
Campos does not wish to see this. The reality will present itself very soon, probably too late. They still think that on the part of Rome, it is the recognition of Tradition. Whereas the opposite has just happened. A part of Tradition, a traditional movement, has accepted, with some reserve, of course, the post-conciliar reality. Rome considers the step sufficient. It must also be remarked that for the first time, a non-dogmatic Council has been set up as criteria for determining catholicity.
We await the publication of the definitive statutes of the apostolic Administration, which have not yet been given to those concerned. Having been read the eve of January 18th to the priests of Campos, the text was brought to Rome for amelioration. One thing was missing, only the traditional Mass and breviary had been provided for, there remained the sacraments.
Concerning the nominations of the bishops of the Administration, it is dealt with by common law. For the nomination of diocesan bishops, the Vatican is not obliged to choose a priest of the diocese. For an administration consisting of 25 priests, one can easily understand that Rome does not wish to be bound by such a limitation. If the immediate successor of Bishop Rangel would be chosen again from amongst the members of the priestly Union of Saint John Mary Vianney, which is not certain, it would come from a special "mercy" and would be diplomatic. It should also be noted that the territorial limits of this personal apostolic Administration are very restricted: the diocese of Campos. So the return to the diocese, that was predicted by Mgr. Perl, will not be difficult.
We avow that we do not understand, in the situation in which we live, how Campos could have so rashly launched into this venture, without requesting or taking the least protective measure.
Whatever one may say to praise the advantages acquired through this new canonical structure, for example the right to the traditional Mass, a traditional bishop, also, the fact that on paper, nothing substantial would have been abandoned: the fragility of the Administration on the one hand, the stability of the reforming Vatican system on the other hand are sufficient arguments to predict the fall of Campos in spite of all the declarations of the best intentions. Furthermore, one must clearly distinguish between a lack of the virtue of faith itself, and a failing in the public confession of faith which is so necessary in certain circumstances, as Bishop de Castro Mayer so well remembered on the day of the episcopal consecrations. And yet a prevarication such as that of Assisi calls for this public confession... which we have not heard coming from Campos.
The situation will not regain a particular interest for us unless all of a sudden they begin to resist and arrive therefrom at a confrontation with modernist Rome.
This letter was written on October 30th ,2001, before the reconciliation between Campos and the Vatican, and was posted on the Internet. It was printed also in the Angelus, February 2002. Fr Fleichman was a monk at Le Barroux, France, when the accord was signed in 1988 between Dom Gerard Calvet and the Vatican. In conscience, he left the monastery in order to remain faithful to the combat for the Faith. He now serves an independent chapel at Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro.
(...) Here is the first similarity I see between Dom Gerard's attitude and yours: Archbishop Lefebvre had just refused an agreement because he had not been able to perceive in the Vatican's intentions the guarantees that would be necessary to assure the survival of Catholic Tradition. Dom Gerard, placing the particular interests of his monastery above the Church's good, accepted a separation from Archbishop Lefebvre in order to "normalize" his juridical and canonical status, thereby letting fall the sword of combat.
Today, equally, the Society has just rejected an accord for the same reasons as Archbishop Lefebvre, and you prefer to consider your particular interests and not the common good of the Church. You have grown weary of the daily fight and of being marginalized. (...)
I said in 1988 to Dom Gerard what I repeat to you today: thousands of the faithful anxiously wait for you to confirm them in the Catholic Faith, in the combat that divine Providence requires of us, without our succumbing to fatigue, weakness, or the siren song of legality. What our Lord requires is martyrdom endured drop by drop, and a clear and simple profession of Catholic Faith without compromising with the modernists in the Vatican. The Pope, yes; legality, yes; but above all, respond to God's clear call to the combat of the faith. The day the Pope really converts, it will appear more clearly than the light of day. Obviously, it is not by kissing the Koran or by going to pray in a mosque that he manifests this conversion. (...)
Reaction of the Traditional Benedictines
Father Thomas Aquinas, O.S.B. Prior of Holy Cross Monastery, Nova Friburgo, Brazil
4 December 2001 - Bulletin No. 23.
We share entirely the fears of Mgr Fellay and of the whole Society of St Pius X as well as of the whole family of Tradition throughout the world as we see our friends in Campos engaged in coming to an agreement with Rome without the doctrinal question having been resolved. That which Mgr Fellay refused is about to be accepted or has already been accepted by Campos. The Society of St Pius X has had ample opportunity to learn the ideas and intentions of Rome. If it wanted to, Campos could profit from this experience. But it must want to do so. Let us pray for our friends, our brothers-in-arms in so many battles. Have they forgotten these words of Mgr Lefebvre: 'Prepare yourselves for a combat which will last a long time?' The combat will be long. 'Rome' is not yet converted. Pius XII predicted that the principal temptation for Catholics in the years to come would be weariness. Let us not become weary of the fight that we might be able one day to say with St Paul: 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith' (2 Tim 4: 7). Nor should we weary of praying for Campos, for its priests and its faithful, that their combat might be equally marked by zeal and prudence."
Comments by the traditional transalpine Redemptorists Fathers
Catholic, March 2002 - Golgotha Monastery Island, Papa Stronsay, Orkney Isles, Scotland, UK KW17 2AR
On 22 August, 1999, the priests of Campos declared:
"There is not, on our part, a systematic refusal of submission to the pope and the bishops. We absolutely reject any intention, desire for, or spirit of schism. We constitute no 'Lefebvrist' or 'traditionalist' party. We are apostolic Roman Catholics. We repeat: our resistance to the ecclesiastical authorities is circumstantial, temporary, and limited to those points on which those same authorities distance themselves from the doctrine of all times. When the ecclesiastical authorities return without condition to teaching and doing that which the Church has always taught and done, we ... will all be at the complete disposition of those same authorities." (Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, 43).
These words could not better sum up our own position and that of all Traditionalists.
The ecclesiastical authorities have not returned "without condition to teaching and doing that which the Church has always taught and done"; Assisi II is proof enough of that. And yet, we are saddened to note that the authors of this declaration have now put themselves at "the complete disposition of those same authorities".
We do not think that their case can be compared adequately with that of Dom Gerard and Le Barroux, or of Fr Bisig and the Society of St Peter. (...) We share wholeheartedly the views expressed by His Lordship, Bishop Fellay in his statement of 16 January. Only time will tell whether the Priestly Union of St Jean-Marie Vianney will remain true to the principles of Bishop de Castro Mayer or simply come to guarantee the pluralism in the Conciliar Church.
The first is that they did not request any preliminaries from Rome as the Society did. That first step was necessary. Before you build the span of a bridge you must build solid footings on the banks to support it. Campos dismissed this step because they were in a hurry to have the thing. Now it has its beautiful car, and the nails are on the road.
The second reproach is the affair of the second Assisi Prayer Meeting [Jan. 24, 2002]. This affair of Assisi is such a scandal that it requires anybody who cares about the salvation of souls to stand up and say, "No way." Bishop Rangel did not stand up. The priests of St. John Baptist Mary Vianney did not stand up; they did not make any statement about Assisi. [JL: Neither did Bishop Fellay, about Assisi III. Fr. de Cacquerey managed to get Bishop fellay to approve his denunciation of Assisi III.]
Do you know what happened there? The different groups were asked, "What kind of room do you want?" So, for example, the Zoroastrians said, "We need a window because we are going to make a fire." So they got their room with a window. The Moslems wanted a room facing Mecca. They got it. The Jews said, "We want a room that has never been blessed." This is a direct denial of Christ because anything which is blessed is always blessed in the name of Christ. To say, "We want a room that has never been blessed," means, "We want something which has nothing to do with Christ!" What did Rome do? I don’t know, but they got their room.
All the crucifixes were removed from the monastery! And the crucifixes which they were not able to remove they covered. This was exactly the meaning of some drawings circulating in 1986 about the first Assisi Meeting where the pope is shown saying to Christ, "Go away. We have no place for you here". In order to have this meeting of other religions, Rome was obliged to remove Christ. It is horrible. It is really the abomination. They removed the Essential —the true God, the only Mediator, the only One through whom we can get anything good! They removed Him! And when you think that the animists at Assisi took a hen and they cut off the head of the hen —that is the way you can get peace? Oh, please! Unbelievable, the stories. It is absolutely ridiculous, but it is not only ridiculous; it is really a sacrilege, a blasphemy. The Society is definitely against it. From Campos, nothing! At the first Assisi Meeting, Bishop de Castro Mayer co-signed a letter with Archbishop Lefebvre against the meeting. They were together. They manifested this opposition. Now, the Society is alone. Campos doesn’t say anything anymore. Psychologically speaking, it’s perfectly understandable. You cannot smash the hand which has given you such a beautiful car, can you?
What kind of Rome do we have when it can sign an agreement with Campos and in the same week can do something like Assisi II? They definitely will not say "We recognize Tradition" in any universal sense. But Campos is contented because Rome has recognized Tradition in Campos. But has it, really? If Rome truly recognized Tradition anywhere it wouldn’t be able to have an Assisi II, the very contrary of Tradition. It is impossible to see in the recognition of Campos a recognition of Tradition.
On the contrary, Assisi II was extended to include Tradition! Rome is saying: "We have a place for the Zoroastrians, for Jews, for Moslems, for animists, Buddhists, Hindus, ...and we have a place for you!" That’s it. Rome has a place in the zoo for Tradition.
But that’s not the position of the Society of St. Pius X. Our position is that there is only one truth, the eternal truth. This truth is exclusive. Truth will not allow its contradiction to be made equal to it. In mathematics, it’s clear. Any student who would say, "Two plus two equals five," would fail, but ecumenism says, "It is whatever figure you like." We say, "No, it is four, period." Only one number is the true one. We say all the other religions are wrong, only one is true. This truth is exclusive. It is the only one by which we can be saved. All the others are just cheating the people. They cannot lead to God. And, I may say, just looking at Assisi II helps us to see the enormous problem in the Church today. The Society is not the problem; the problem is in Rome.
Rome is not to be considered more traditional just because they made this move towards us. Events of last year prove otherwise.
So now, let’s go to the facts. Let’s see if Rome has really changed its attitude towards Tradition. I would like to flash some light on different aspects of the situation. I could do this by reviewing chronologically the events of the Society’s recent relations with Rome while also including the Fraternity of St. Peter and even Una Voce. In fact, while Rome was making this new approach towards us, they engaged in very interesting behavior towards the Fraternity of St. Peter and Una Voce. Divine Providence was good enough to give us the necessary information to know what was happening within them so that the Society of St. Pius X could position itself correctly in its negotiations with Rome. [JL: Apparently, we are now deaf to the voice of divine providence telling us about what is happening within the Institute of the Good Shepherd.]
Finally, I will speak of Campos because I imagine some are asking the questions, "If Rome is granting Campos something so attractive, why not to the Society of St. Pius X?" or, "Why doesn’t the Society make the same move?" I hope the facts I will give you will provide the answers. Ecclesia Dei and the Fraternity of St. Peter ...It is apparent that Msgr. Perl’s intention is to oblige Ecclesia Dei to have an Old Mass which looks as much as possible like the New Mass.
In 1999, an interesting thing happened within the Fraternity of St. Peter. Sixteen priests signed a letter which they sent to Rome, accusing the Superior General of St. Peter’s of making it a Lefebvrist society. At the same time, some bishops complained to Rome that a certain number of priests of St. Peter refused to concelebrate in the new rite, or, when members did accept to concelebrate, the Superior General scolded and punished them. Rome moved against St. Peter’s and the other Ecclesia Dei societies with Protocol 1411 (July 3, 1999) [see The Angelus, Nov. 1999 —Ed.], which stated that the general law in the Church is the New Mass, and as such every Catholic priest has a strict right to make use of the general law. Conclusion? Any superior in an Ecclesia Dei society is forbidden to prohibit their priests from celebrating the New Mass. It was a knock-out blow in the sense that these societies did believe, as much as I can make of it, that they had an exclusive right to celebrate only the Tridentine Mass. We have to give credit to Fr. Bisig [Superior General of the Fraternity of St. Peter at the time —Ed.] that he had fought all these years to celebrate only the Tridentine Mass. When Fr. Bisig heard that decree, he went to Rome to appeal the Protocol with a fellow superior of an Ecclesia Dei society. They met with Cardinal Medina who told them, "I am your best friend." This was the cardinal who issued that decree! The following day they met with Cardinals Medina, Ratzinger, Felici and Msgr. Perl. They protested the Protocol. They begged to have it remain unpublished. Msgr. Perl replied that he did not see anywhere in the Fraternity’s statutes an exclusive right to the Tridentine Mass.
It’s terrible what I say now, but it is an example of how Rome is arbitrary. They know where they want to go, and they just go! They are above the law. There have been several examples of this. In 2000, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos intervened in the Society of St. Peter by removing Fr. Bisig as Superior General. The majority of the chapter made recourse against this decision of the Cardinal. Now, when you make a recourse, it is to a higher authority from whom you seek justice. In this case, however, the appeal was returned to Cardinal Castrillón. They were obliged to make the recourse to the same person who made the decision! Of course, it was a done deal!
It was also during this time that the Ecclesia Dei Commission —and especially Msgr. Perl —wanted to introduce the 1965 rubrics of the Mass to its societies. It is apparent that Msgr. Perl’s intention is to oblige Ecclesia Dei to have an Old Mass which looks as much as possible like the New Mass. This means to suppress, for example, the prayers at the foot of the altar, having lessons only in the vernacular, etc. There was even a rumor about introducing the new calendar.
In September of the same year, Michael Davies, representing Una Voce, and Cardinal Castrillón spoke about these matters. In an exchange of letters between them in October, you see affirmed by the cardinal an absolute power of decision without reference to any right or custom. Nothing! They just decide. In one letter he obliges all Ecclesia Dei priests to give Communion in the hand to faithful who request it. They base their argument on the fact that in the Roman Missal of 1962 nothing definitive is said about the faithful necessarily receiving Communion on the tongue. We could argue, of course, that in 1962 the 1917 Code of Canon Law then in effect clearly expressed how to receive Communion. But they just don’t care: they just go to their point.
In this letter to Mr. Davies was included a reminder that the first condition for an Ecclesia Dei community to be granted the Indult Mass is to have nothing to do with those who question the legitimacy of the New Mass. Well, that’s the Society of St. Pius X! Yet, barely a month later Cardinal Castrillón sent me an invitation to visit him in order to prepare a visit to the Pope!
The Most Reverend Bernard Fellay Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Catholic Tradition, in its relations with the Vatican, has truly lived through a number of important events over the last two years.
Since Rome first approached us at the end of the year 2000, it seems to us that the time has now come to take stock, and to reply to a number of objections or questions which the whole issue raises. However, we would also like to mention that if we go into these questions, they are not our main pre-occupation. Celebrating the Holy Mysteries, imparting grace in abundance to your souls, being the instrument of numerous and always very touching conversions, is at the heart of our lives, and these are facts which show us to be truly Catholic, whereas all the discussions and disagreements with the Vatican are merely the expression of our will to remain Catholic.
Recently, an important group of seminarians from Bombay joined us. For their seven years at the Seminary, the existence of the Devil was denied and the word "hell" never once fell upon their ears, any more than the words "Sacrifice of the Mass." Their coming over to us brought down on our heads the wrath of the Cardinal of Bombay, of course. In the US, several priests are either joining us or drawing closer. One of them said to me, "I did everything I could not to finish up with you." That is eloquent testimony: after exhausting all of today’s alternatives, from their own diocese through the Indult Mass to the various Ecclesia Dei congregations, these priests and seminarians have come to the conclusion, despite their disinclination and their initial fear of being connected with Traditionalists still being branded as schismatic, that to lead a fully Christian life we are the only way to go.
What confusing times! Good is condemned, evil is all too often blessed. That is the experience of numbers of priests today who simply wish to remain Catholic. What tribulations! Like the two seminarians rebuked by their Rector for being caught red-handed praying the Rosary! But when they were caught attending the Indult Mass, then they were hauled before the Cardinal in person... We would like to hear of at least comparable reprimands being handed out for all kinds of real misbehavior,
Yet while a number of priests draw closer to us, Campos is going back to Rome. We think that the decisive argument for Rome to win them over was the promise of a bishop alongside Bishop Rangel, now gravely ill. They wrote to me that they considered that they could not refuse the Holy Father’s wish to give them a bishop, because "that would be schismatic." By way of a bishop, all they have is a promise: "I shall give you a successor." Of course, nobody dares doubt such a promise, but the whole question turns on the identity of this successor: who will he be? Where will he be chosen from? One may well think that Rome will seek to ensure the future bishop’s faithfulness to Vatican II, because some of the Romans still have reservations as to the "orthodoxy" of Campos’s doctrinal stance. Suspicion reigns in Rome.
Campos had also been promised freedom to operate throughout Brazil, but when local bishops opposed the idea, then the freedom of action of the Administration granted by Rome shrank back to the limits of the diocese of Campos, period.
What will Campos do? While Campos sets out on its hazardous enterprise armed with ambiguous statements, we see something of great interest happening: at the very same moment, several Catholic communities in Brazil of men and women in no way connected with the priests of Campos have contacted the Society of Saint Plus X and wish... to join Tradition! And to send their future seminarians to the Society’s South American seminary. In fact, a significant number of faithful scattered all over the huge area of Brazil are beginning to react, and are asking for our help, not for the help of Campos. What a surprise development! It is as though suddenly Brazil was opening up to the Society’s apostolate. All we need are workers, meaning priests, and more priests...
Meanwhile, having succeeded in drawing Campos away from the Society and, little by little, from its doctrinal positions, Cardinal Castrillón sent us on April 5 of this year a written reply to our letter of June 22, 2001. In it he proposed to re-start the "dialogue." Before saying a word about it, let me recall the previous exchanges:
When Rome began by offering to the Society a juridical structure with official recognition, then, while expressing our readiness to open discussions, we emphasized the need to rebuild trust.
For indeed, tens of years of oppression, marginalization, threats, condemnations, and veritable persecution because of our remaining attached to the Catholic Church’s Tradition would not vanish all on their own. So we required by way of pre-condition for discussions a concrete gesture on the part of the Roman authorities: the recognition that the Tridentine rite of Mass was not abrogated, and that the Declaration "excommunicating" any members of the Society was null.
Cardinal Castrillón began by telling us that the Tridentine rite of Mass was liberated in principle, but not in practice. Later he told us it was liberated neither in principle nor in practice, because any such liberation would be to the detriment of the Novus Ordo. As for the nullification of the "excommunication," that was promised us as soon as there would be an agreement.
Following on this double refusal, further reinforcing the climate of distrust, the Cardinal wrote a letter on May 7, 2001, which I answered by saying that it was setting up a dialogue of the deaf and going nowhere.
To help things forward, I then proposed a different approach to the whole question. In brief, we laid out that our whole disagreement with today’s Rome was being caused by no culpable ill will on our part, but by a terrible crisis shaking the Church for the last 40 years, as clearly signaled by the Second Vatican Council and the postConciliar reforms; we mentioned some facts to show the reality and gravity of this crisis.
Now comes the Cardinal in his letter of April 5, one month ago, with a fivefold rebuke. Firstly, we are judging the Pope and the Holy See; secondly, we are stating that the Church has lost the Faith; thirdly, we are denying the Pope’s rights over the Church’s universal liturgy because we are stating that the Novus Ordo Mass is bad; fourthly, we no longer believe in the true concept of Tradition; and fifthly, we are incapable of grasping the continuity of the Church’s past and present, in particular that of Vatican II and the liturgical reform.
Obviously, these points require an answer.
But at the same time this letter clearly illustrates that the dialogue of the deaf is not over: how little this Rome understands our position! We might have been willing to go into these various points had the letter not been accompanied by maneuvers making us recall Archbishop Lefebvre’s words just before the Episcopal consecrations of June, 1988, when he said: "The moment for a free and open collaboration between the Society and Rome has not yet come," words as relevant as ever. The maneuvers were twofold:
On the one hand, the Cardinal stated in his letter that, given the gravity of the matter in hand, he had always abstained from giving public interviews; yet only a few days later in an interview given to the prominent Italian newspaper La Stampa, he declared that the Society was divided into two groups: "a large majority ardently desiring reconciliation with Rome to relieve its conscience (Letter of April 5), and a little group of fanatics wanting nothing to do with Rome." (Yet in his letter, the Cardinal expressed his desire not to divide the Society).
[JL: And now he has succeeded, a situation Bishop Fellay regards with a newfound equanimity.]
On the other hand, a few days after sending me the April 5 letter in strict privacy (double envelope, "personal," "confidential"), he faxed the same letter to three other members of the Society! There is no need to go looking for what he was up to, the facts speak for themselves; there is a real attempt here to divide us, which tells us clearly what we must do: keep our distance.
In such circumstances, to begin discussions with Rome is not reasonable. It is imprudent, impossible. Truly, these Romans have no idea what we are about.
For us, it is truly scandalous acts, deeds and statements that have forced us to refuse all novelties and to redouble our attachment to the centuries-old teaching and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church, our Mother. So here is the answer to the Cardinal’s fivefold rebuke of April 5:
Firstly, we are not setting ourselves up as judges of the Holy See by merely laying out the facts, such as the Pope’s visiting the synagogue or the mosque, kissing the Koran, pouring out libations in the Togo forest, receiving the tilac in India, gestures profoundly upsetting Catholics in their Faith. The same is true of numerous other statements and documents. If to mention such facts is to set oneself up as judge, then one must even slop thinking!
Then as to the liturgical reform of 1969, some Cardinals at the time went so far as to say that "it departed significantly from Catholic theology, both as a whole and in detail" (Ottaviani Intervention). And even recently Cardinal Ratzinger took it upon himself to say that this extension of papal power in the domain of the liturgy gave the impression that the Pope, basically, was omnipotent over the liturgy, especially if he was acting based on a mandate from an Ecumenical Council. The results of this impression were particularly visible after Vatican II. That the liturgy is in fact something given and not a reality to be manipulated at will, had completely disappeared from the consciousness of Western Catholics. Yet Vatican I in 1870 had defined the Pope to be, not an absolute monarch, but the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The legitimacy of his power was bound up above all with his transmitting of the Faith. This fidelity to the deposit of the Faith and to its transmission concerns in a quite special way the liturgy. No authority can "fabricate" a liturgy. The Pope himself is only the humble servant of its homogenous development, its integrity, and the permanence of its identity. ("Spirit of the Liturgy," Ad Solem, 2001, p.134)
Then as far as the continuity of modern doctrines with the past is concerned, here is what persons "above all suspicion" say concerning religious liberty, key text of Vatican II: "It cannot be denied that a text like Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty says, at least as far as the words go, something quite different from the Syllabus of 1864, in fact just about the opposite of sentences 15, 77 and 79 of the Syllabus" (Fr. Yves Congar, The Crisis in the Church and Archbishop Lefebvre [Cerf, 1976], p.51).
Then as to the definition of the Church in Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, again Cardinal Ratzinger says, "One cannot, when all is said and done, fully resolve from a logical point of view the difference between subsistit in and est" ("Ecclesiology of the Conciliar Constitution Lumen Gentium," in Documentation Catholique, No. 2223, p.311).
Then on the concept of tradition in Vatican II’s Dei Verbum, again Cardinal Ratzinger writes:
Vatican II’s refusal of the proposal to adopt the text of Lerins, familiar to, and, as it were, sanctified by two Church Councils, shows once more how Trent and Vatican I were left behind, how their texts were continually reinterpreted....Vatican II had a new idea of how historical identity and continuity are to be brought about. The static semper of Vincent of Lerins no longer seems to Vatican II adequate to express the problem. (L.Th.K., Vol. 13, p.521)
Then on the Council’s key text Gaudium et Spes, Cardinal Ratzinger describes it as a Counter-Syllabus, in other words the opposite of the Catholic Church’s authoritative Syllabus of 1864. The Cardinal writes (Principles of Catholic Theology [Téqui, 1982], p.42ó),
If we seek an over-all analysis of Gaudium et Spes, we could say that it is (linked with the texts on religious liberty and on world religions), a revision of Pius IX’s Syllabus, a sort of Counter-Syllabus... Let us recognize here and now that Gaudium et Spes plays the part of a Counter-Syllabus insofar as it represents an attempt to officially reconcile the Church with the modern world as emerging since the French Revolution of 1789.
Thus far Cardinal Ratzinger. For our part, we believe in the homogeneous development of doctrine, as the Church has always taught. But the Catholic Faith, which does not do away with the law of non-contradiction, obliges us also to reject any heterogeneous development of doctrine.
In conclusion, we see how far Cardinal Castrillón has gone wrong... All of us desire the Church’s unity, a unity grounded in the Faith, carried out around Peter confirming his fellow bishops in that Faith, and consummated in the union of Catholics in the Eucharist. To preserve that unity, all of us, to obey our Catholic conscience, have had to avoid driving onto the broad and easy highway proposed by the Conciliar reforms. It is to ease our conscience that we are where we are, and our conscience would be in no way eased if we were to suddenly set out on a path which, precisely in order to stay Catholic, we have refused for 30 years.
In the name of the Faith of our baptism, in the name of our baptismal pledges to which we promised to remain faithful, we say "No" to anything that does not ensure our salvation. Such is our right. Such is our duty. May the Sacred Heart fill you with His burning charity, with an unfailing love for the Church and for its hierarchy however much they are presently making us suffer, with a love for souls, souls to be saved at the price of our uniting with Our Lord’s Sacrifice, the Holy Mass that will make us ever stronger in the Faith and in Our Lord’s love, bringing about reparation and satisfaction. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all for souls.
+ Bernard Fellay Feast of the Sacred Heart Menzingen, June 7, 2002
Archbishop Lefebvre's address to his priests given in Econe, Switzerland on September 6, 1990. Transcribed and slightly adapted from the French.
Two years after the Consecrations: We must not waver, we may not compromise
Concerning the future, I would like to say a few words on questions which the laity may ask you, questions which I often get asked by people who do not know too much about what is happening in the Society, such as, "Are relations with Rome broken off? Is it all over?"
A lightweight solution
I received a few weeks ago, maybe three weeks ago, yet another telephone call from Cardinal Oddi:
"Well, Excellency, is there no way to arrange things, no way?" I replied, "You must change, come back to Tradition. "It is not a question of the Liturgy, it is a question of the Faith."
The cardinal protested,
No, no, it is not a question of Faith, no, no. The pope is ready and willing to receive you. Just a little gesture on your part, a little request for forgiveness and everything will be settled.
That is just like Cardinal Oddi.
But he is going nowhere. Nowhere. He understands nothing, or wants to understand nothing. Nothing. Unfortunately, the same holds true for our four more or less traditional Cardinals, Cardinals Palazzini, Stickler, Gagnon and Oddi. They have no weight, no influence in Rome, they have lost all influence, all they are good for any longer is performing ordinations for St. Peter's Fraternity, etc. They are going nowhere. Nowhere.
The heavyweight problem
Meanwhile the problem remains grave, very, very grave. We absolutely must not minimize it. This is how we must reply to the layfolk who ask such questions as, "When will the crisis come to and end? Are we getting anywhere? Isn't there a way of getting permission for our liturgy, for our sacraments?"
Certainly the question of the liturgy and the sacraments is important, but it is not the most important. The most important question is the question of the Faith. This question is unresolved in Rome. For us it is resolved. We have the Faith of all time, the Faith of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, of the Catechism of St. Pius X, hence the Faith of the Church, of all the Church Councils, of all the Popes prior to Vatican II. Now the official Church is persevering, we might say pertinaciously, in the false ideas and grave errors of Vatican II, that much is clear.
Fr. Tam is sending us from Mexico a number of copies of a piece of work he is doing, most interesting work, because he is compiling cuttings from the Osservatore Romano, hence cuttings from Rome's official newspaper with speeches of the Pope, of Cardinal Casaroli and Cardinal Ratzinger, official texts of the Church, and so on. It is interesting, because such documents of public record are irrefutable, being published by the Osservatore Romano, so there is no doubting their authenticity.
Ours an ancient struggle
Well, these texts are astounding, quite astounding! I shall quote you a few texts shortly. It is incredible. In the last few weeks (since I am now unemployed!) I have been spending a little time re-reading the book by Emmanuel Barbier on Liberal Catholicism. And it is striking to see how our fight now is exactly the same fight as was being fought then by the great Catholics of the 19th century, in the wake of the French Revolution, and by the Popes, Pius VI, Pius VII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and so on, Pius X, down to Pius XII. Their fight is summed up in the encyclical Quanta Cura with the Syllabus of Pius IX, and Pascendi Dominici Gregis of Pius X. There are the two great documents, sensational and shocking in their day, laying out the Church's teaching in face of the modern errors, the errors appearing in the course of the Revolution, especially in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. This is the fight we are in the middle of today. Exactly the same fight.
There are those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi, and there are those who are against. It is simple. It is clear. Those who are against are adopting the principles of the French Revolution, the modern errors. Those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi remain within the true Faith, within Catholic doctrine. Now you know very well that Cardinal Ratzinger has said that as far as he is concerned Vatican II is "an anti-Syllabus". Therewith the Cardinal placed himself clearly amongst those who are against the Syllabus. If then he is against the Syllabus, he is adopting the principles of the Revolution. Besides, he goes on to say quite clearly, "Indeed we have now absorbed into Church teaching, and the Church has opened herself up to, principles which are not hers but which come from modern society,"i.e., as everyone understands, the principles of 1789, the Rights of Man.
We stand exactly where Cardinal Pie, Bishop Freppel, Louis Vueillot stood, and Deputy Keller in Alsace, Cardinal Mermillod in Switzerland, who fought the good fight together with the great majority of the then bishops. At that time they had the good fortune to have the large majority of the bishops on their side. Bishop Dupanloup and the few bishops in France who followed Bishop Dupanloup were the odd ones out. The few bishops in Germany, the few in Italy, who were openly opposed to the Syllabus, and in effect opposed to Pius IX, they were the exception rather than the rule. But obviously there were the forces of the Revolution, the heirs of the Revolution, and there was the hand reached out by Dupanloup, Montalembert, Lamennais and others, who offered their hand to the Revolution and who never wanted to invoke the rights of God against the rights of man - "We ask only for the rights of every man, the rights shared by everyone, shared by all men, shared by all religions, not the rights of God," said these Liberals.
We must not waver
Well, we find ourselves in the same situation. We must not be under any illusions. Consequently we are in the thick of a great fight, a great fight. We are fighting a fight guaranteed by a whole line of popes. Hence, we should have no hesitation or fear, hesitation such as, "Why should we be going on our own? After all, why not join Rome, why not join the pope?" Yes, if Rome and the Pope were in line with Tradition, if they were carrying on the work of all the Popes of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, of course. But they themselves admit that they have set out on a new path. They themselves admit that a new era began with Vatican II. They admit that it is a new stage in the Church's life, wholly new, based on new principles. We need not argue the point. They say it themselves. It is clear. I think that we must drive this point home with our people, in such a way that they realize their oneness with the Church's whole history, going back well beyond the Revolution. Of course. It is the fight of the City of Satan against the City of God. Clearly. So we do not have to worry. We must after all trust in the grace of God.
"What is going to happen? How is it all going to end?" That is God's secret. Mystery. But that we must fight the ideas presently fashionable in Rome, coming from the Pope's own mouth, Cardinal Ratzinger's mouth, Cardinal Casaroli's mouth, of Cardinal Willebrands and those like them, is clear, clear, for all they do is repeat the opposite of what the Popes said and solemnly stated for 150 years. We must choose, as I said to Pope Paul VI: "We have to choose between you and the Council on one side, and your predecessors on the other; either with your predecessors who stated the Church's teaching, or with the novelties of Vatican II." Reply - "Ah, this is not the moment to get into theology, we are not getting into theology now." It is clear. Hence we must not waver for one moment.
A false charity
And we must not waver for one moment either in not being with those who are in the process of betraying us. Some people are always admiring the grass in the neighbor's field. Instead of looking to their friends, to the Church's defenders, to those fighting on the battlefield, they look to our enemies on the other side. "After all, we must be charitable, we must be kind, we must not be divisive, after all, they are celebrating the Tridentine Mass, they are not as bad as everyone says" - but THEY ARE BETRAYING US - betraying us! They are shaking hands with the Church's destroyers. They are shaking hands with people holding modernist and liberal ideas condemned by the Church. So they are doing the devil's work.
Thus those who were with us and were working with us for the rights of Our Lord, for the salvation of souls, are now saying, "So long as they grant us the old Mass, we can shake hands with Rome, no problem." But we are seeing how it works out. They are in an impossible situation. Impossible. One cannot both shake hands with modernists and keep following Tradition. Not possible. Not possible. Now, stay in touch with them to bring them back, to convert them to Tradition, yes, if you like, that's the right kind of ecumenism! But give the impression that after all one almost regrets any break, that one likes talking to them? No way! These are people who call us corpse-like Traditionalists, they are saying that we are as rigid as corpses, ours is not a living Tradition, we are glum-faced, ours is a glum Tradition! Unbelievable! Unimaginable! What kind of relations can you have with people like that?
This is what causes us a problem with certain layfolk, who are very nice, very good people, all for the Society, who accepted the Consecrations, but who have a kind of deep-down regret that they are no longer with the people they used to be with, people who did not accept the Consecrations and who are now against us. "It's a pity we are divided", they say, "why not meet up with them? Let's go and have a drink together, reach out a hand to them" - that's a betrayal! Those saying this give the impression that at the drop of a hat they would cross over and join those who left us. They must make up their minds.
We cannot compromise
That is what killed Christendom, in all of Europe, not just the Church in France, but the Church in Germany, in Switzerland - that is what enabled the Revolution to get established. It was the Liberals, it was those who reached out a hand to people who did not share their Catholic principles. We must make up our minds if we too want to collaborate in the destruction of the Church and in the ruin of the Social Kingship of Christ the King, or are we resolved to continue working for the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ? All those who wish to join us, and work with us, Deo Gratias, we welcome them, wherever they come from, that's not a problem, but let them come with us, let them not say they are going a different way in order to keep company with the liberals that left us and in order to work with them. Not possible.
Catholics right down the 19th century were torn apart, literally torn apart, over the Syllabus: for, against, for, against. And you remember in particular what happened to the Count of Chambord. He was criticized for not accepting to be made king of France after the 1870 Revolution in France on the grounds of changing the French flag. But it was not so much a question of the flag. Rather, he refused to submit to the principles of the Revolution. He said, "I shall never consent to being the lawful King of the Revolution." He was right! For he would have been voted in by the country, voted in by the French Parliament, but on condition he accept to be a Parliamentary King, and so accept the principles of the Revolution. He said "No. If I am to be King, I shall be King like my ancestors were, before the Revolution." He was right. One has to choose. He chose to stay with the Pope, and with pre-Revolutionary principles.
We too have chosen to be Counter-revolutionary, to stay with the Syllabus, to be against the modern errors, to stay with Catholic Truth, to defend Catholic truth. We are right!
Vatican II is profoundly wrong
This fight between the Church and the liberals and modernism is the fight over Vatican II. It is as simple of that. And the consequences are far-reaching.
The more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II, and the more one analyzes their interpretation by the authorities of the Church, the more one realizes that what is at stake is not merely superficial errors, a few mistakes, ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, a certain Liberalism, but rather a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based on modern philosophy, on subjectivism. A book just published by a German theologian is most instructive. It shows how the Pope's thinking, especially in a retreat he preached at the Vatican, is subjectivist from start to finish, and when afterwards one reads his speeches, one realizes that indeed that is his thinking. It might appear Catholic, but Catholic it is not. No. The Pope's notion of God, the Pope's notion of Our Lord, come up from the depths of his consciousness, and not from any objective revelation to which he adheres with his mind. No. He constructs the notion of God. He said recently in a document - incredible - that the idea of the Trinity could only have arisen quite late, because man's interior psychology had to be capable of defining the Trinity. Hence the idea of the Trinity did not come from a revelation from outside, it came from man's consciousness inside, it welled up from inside man, it came from the depths of man's consciousness! Incredible! A wholly different version of Revelation, of Faith, of philosophy! Very grave! A total perversion! How we are going to get out of all this, I have no idea, but in any case it is a fact, and as this German theologian shows (who has, I believe, another two parts of his book to write on the Holy Father's thought), it is truly frightening.
So, they are no small errors. We are not dealing in trifles. We are into a line of philosophical thinking that goes back to Kant, Descartes, the whole line of modern philosophers who paved the way for the Revolution.
Pope John Paul II's ecumenism
Let me give you a few relatively recent quotations, for example, on ecumenism, in the Osservatore Romano of June 2, 1989, when the Pope was in Norway: "My visit to the Scandinavian countries is a confirmation of the Catholic Church's interest in the work of ecumenism, which is to promote unity amongst Christians, amongst all Christians. Twenty-five years ago the Second Vatican Council insisted clearly on the urgency of this challenge to the Church. My predecessors pursued this objective with persevering attention, with the grace of the Holy Ghost which is the divine source and guarantee of the ecumenical movement. Since the beginning of my pontificate, I have made ecumenism the priority of my pastoral concern." It is clear.
Now when one reads a quantity of documents on ecumenism - he makes speech after speech on ecumenism because he receives delegation after delegation from the Orthodox, from all religions, from all sects, so the subject is always ecumenism, ecumenism, ecumenism. But he achieves nothing - the end result has been nothing, nothing at all, except on the contrary re-assuring the non-Catholics in their errors without seeking to convert them, the confirming of them in their error. The Church has made no progress, not the least progress, by this ecumenism. So all that he says is a veritable mish-mash, "communion", "drawing closer", "desire of imminent perfect communion", "hope of soon communing in the sacrament", "in unity", and so on - a mish-mash. No real progress. They cannot progress this way. IMPOSSIBLE.
Cardinal Casaroli's humanism
Take next Cardinal Casaroli, from L'Osservatore Romano in February, 1989, speaking to the United Nations Commission of the Rights of Man - just see what a speech it is! "In responding with great pleasure to the invitation extended to me to come before you, and bringing to you the encouragement of the Holy See, I desire to spend a few moments, as all of you will understand, on one specific aspect of the basic liberty of thought and action in accordance with one's conscience, religious liberty." Such things coming from the mouth of an archbishop! Liberty of thought and action according to one's conscience, hence religious liberty!
John Paul II did not hesitate to state last year in a message for the World Day of Peace, that religious liberty constitutes a cornerstone in the edifice of the rights of man. The Catholic Church and its Supreme Pastor, who has made the rights of man one of the major themes of his preaching, have not failed to recall that in a world made by man, and for man...
- Cardinal Casaroli's own words! -
...the whole organization of society only has meaning insofar as it makes of the human dimension a central preoccupation.
God? God? No divine dimension in man! It is appalling! Paganism! Appalling! Then he goes on:
Every man and all of man, that is the Holy See's preoccupation; such, no doubt, is yours also.
What can you do with people like that? What do we have in common with people like that? Nothing! Impossible.
Cardinal Ratzinger's way out
On to our well-known Cardinal Ratzinger who made the remark that the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes was a Counter-Syllabus. He finds it nevertheless awkward to have made such a remark, because people are now constantly quoting it back to him, as a criticism: "You said that Vatican II is a Counter-Syllabus! Hey, wait a moment, that is serious!" So he has found an explanation. He gave it just a little while ago, on June 27, 1990.
You know that Rome recently issued a major document to explain the relationship between the Magisterium and theologians. With all the problems theologians are causing them on all sides, Rome no longer knows what to do, so they have to try to keep the theologians in line without coming down too hard on them, so they go on and on, page after page after page in this document. Now in the presentation of the document Cardinal Ratzinger gives us his thinking on the possibility of saying the opposite of what Popes have previously decided one hundred years ago or whatever.
The Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, says the cardinal, "states for the first time with such clarity..." - and indeed I think it is true! -
...that there are decisions of the Magisterium which cannot be and are not intended to be the last word on the matter as such, but are a substantial anchorage in the problem...
- ah, the cardinal is an artful dodger! So there are decisions of the Magisterium (that is not just any decisions!) which cannot be the last word on the matter as such, but are merely a substantial anchorage in the problem! The Cardinal continues - "...and they are first and foremost an expression of pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional disposition..." - Listen! - definitive decisions of the Holy See being turned into provisional dispositions!! The Cardinal goes on -
...Their core remains valid, but the individual details influenced by the circumstances at the time may need further rectification. In this regard one can refer to the statements of the Popes during the last century on religious freedom as well as the anti-modernistic decisions at the beginning of this century, especially the decisions of the Biblical Commission of that time...
The magisterium dissolved
Those are the decisions the cardinal could not digest! Hence three definitive statements of the Magisterium may be put aside because they were only "provisional"! Listen to the cardinal, who goes on to say that these anti-modernist decisions of the Church rendered a great service in their day by "warning against hasty and superficial adaptations", and "by keeping the Church from sinking into the liberal-bourgeois world...But the details of the determinations of their contents were later suspended once they had carried out their pastoral duty at a particular moment" (Osservatore Romano, English edition, July 2, 1990, p. 5). So we turn over the page and say no more about them!
So you see how the Cardinal has got out of the accusation of going a bit far when he calls Vatican II an Anti-Syllabus, when he opposes the Pontifical decisions and the Magisterium of the past? - He's found the way out! - "...the core remains valid..." - what core? No idea! - "...but the individual details influenced by the circumstances at the time may need further rectification..." - and there he has it, he is out of his difficulty!
Servants of globalism
So by way of conclusion, either we are the heirs of the Catholic Church, i.e., of Quanta Cura, of Pascendi, with all the Popes down to the Council and with the great majority of bishops prior to the Council, for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ and for the salvation of souls; or else we are the heirs of those who strive, even at the price at breaking with the Catholic Church and her doctrine, to acknowledge the principles of the Rights of Man, based on a veritable apostasy, in order to obtain a place as servants in the Revolutionary World Government. That is it. They will manage to get quite a good place as servants in the Revolutionary World Government because, by saying they are in favor of the Rights of Man, religious liberty, democracy and human equality, clearly they are worth being given a position as servants in the World Government.
Our strength is in the Lord
I think that if I say these things to you, it is to put our own fight in its historical context. It did not begin with Vatican II, obviously. It goes much further back. It is a tough fight, very painful, blood has flowed in this fight, and in quantities! And then the persecutions, separation of Church and State, religious and nuns driven into exile, the sequestering of Church property, and so on, and not only in France but also in Switzerland, in Germany, in Italy - the occupation of the Pontifical States driving the Pope back into the Vatican - abominations against the Pope, frightening!
Well, are we with all these innovators, and against the doctrine professed by the Popes, against their voice raised in protest to defend the Church's rights, Our Lord's rights, to defend souls? I think we have truly a strength and a base to stand on which do not come from us, and that is what is good - it is not our fight, it is Our Lord's fight, which the Church has carried on. So we cannot waver. Either we are for the Church, or we are against the Church and for the new Conciliar Church which has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, or less and less to do with it. For when the Pope used to speak about the Rights of Man, to begin with he used to allude also to the duties of men, but no longer. No longer. The Rights of Man, and this insistence on everything for man, everything by man. Truly appalling!
The Society fights on
I wished to lay out a few of these thoughts for you to fortify yourselves and to realize the fight you are carrying on. With the grace of God, because it is obvious we would no longer be in existence if the Good Lord was not with us. That is clear. There have been at least four or five occasions when the Society of St. Pius X should have disappeared. Well, here we are, still, thanks be to God! And goodness gracious, we carry on. We should especially have disappeared at the time of the Consecrations in 1988. So we were told beforehand. All the prophets of doom, and even amongst those close to us said: "No, no, your Grace, do not do that, that is the end of the Society, you can be sure, we assure you, that is the end, it will all be over, you can close down." Yet we survived!
No, the Good Lord does not want his fight to come to and end, a fight in which there have been many martyrs, the martyrs of the Revolution and all those who have been moral martyrs by dint of the persecutions they underwent through the nineteenth century. Even in our own century, St. Pius X was a martyr. All there heroes of the Faith, the persecuted bishops, the sequestered convents, the exiled nuns; all these are to be nothing? That whole fight is to have been a fight for nothing, a fight in vain? A fight which condemns those who were its victims? And martyrs? Impossible. So we find ourselves caught up in the same current, in the continuation of the same fight, and we thank God.
The Society being persecuted
That we are being persecuted is obvious. How could we not be persecuted? We are the only ones to be excommunicated. No one else is. We are the only ones being persecuted, even in material matters. For example, our Swiss colleagues are being obliged again to do their military service. That is persecution by the Swiss government. In France they are persecuting the Society's French District by blocking legacies from being handed over to the District, this in the attempt to stifle us, by cutting off our income. This is persecution, of such a kind as history is full of, it is merely continuing. And God works his way round it. Normally, our French District should have been stifled, and we should have had to shut down our schools, to close down all the institutions which cost us money, but that situation has now gone on for over two years and Providence has allowed for our benefactors to be generous and for the funds to come in, so we have been able to continue despite this iniquitous persecution. Iniquitous, because the law, the state of the law is on our side. But there is a letter to the French Minister from Cardinal Lustiger asking him to block our legacies, and this letter did not come out of nowhere, it was written under the influence of Msgr. Perl. It is he, the damned soul. It is he. He was all smiles when he came on the official Visitation of the Society in 1987, but he was the evil genius of that Visitation. He thought he had us where he wanted us when he cut off our funds!
So we must not worry, for when we look behind us, we see we are still not as unfortunate as those Catholics expropriated at the beginning of this century, who found themselves out on the street with nothing. That may happen to us one day, I do not look forward to it, but the more we expand, the more we will arouse jealousy on the part of all those who do not care for us. But we must count on the Good Lord, on the grace of the Good Lord.
No easy solutions
What is going to happen? I do not know. Perhaps the coming of Elias! I was just reading this morning in Holy Scripture, Elias will return and put everything back in place! "Et omnia restituet" - "and he will restore all things." Goodness gracious, let him come straightaway! I do not know. But humanly speaking, there is no chance of any agreement between Rome and ourselves at the moment.
Someone was saying to me yesterday, "But what if Rome accepted your bishops and then you were completely exempted from the other bishops' jurisdiction?" But firstly, they are a long way right now from accepting any such thing, and then, let them first make us such an offer! But I do not think they are anywhere near doing so. For what has been up till now the difficulty has been precisely their giving to us a Traditionalist bishop. They did not want to. It had to be a bishop according to the profile laid down by the Holy See. "Profile". You see what that means! Impossible. They knew very well that by giving us a traditional bishop they would be setting up a Traditionalist citadel able to continue. That they did not want. Nor did they give it to St. Peter's Society. When St. Peter's say they signed the sane Protocol as we did in May, 1988, it is not true because in our Protocol there was one bishop, and two members of the Roman Commission, of which their Protocol had neither. So they did not sign the same Protocol as we did. Rome took advantage of drawing up a new Protocol to remove those two concessions. At all costs they wanted to avoid that. So we had to do as we did on June 30, 1988...
On the bright side
In any case I am happy to be able to encourage you and congratulate you on the work you are doing - the complaints now are rare, and how many people write to me their gratitude for the work of the priests of the Society of St. Pius X. For them the Society is their life. They have rediscovered the life they wanted, the way of the Faith, the family spirit they need, the desire for Christian education, all these schools, together with all that our Sisters and Fathers are doing, and all our friends who work together to continue Tradition. All that is marvelous, in the age we are living in. The people are truly grateful, deeply grateful. So carry on your work and organize - I hope that little by little our various communities will be able to increase in numbers so as to provide more mutual support for you all, moral and physical, so that you can maintain your present fervor.
I wish to thank all the Superiors for their zeal and devotion. I truly think the Good Lord has chosen the Society, has wanted the Society. In November we reach the Society's 20th anniversary and I am intimately convinced that it is the Society which represents what the Good Lord wants, to continue and maintain the Faith, maintain the truth of the Church, maintain what can still be saved in the Church, thanks to the bishops grouped around the Superior General, playing their indispensable part, of guardians of the Faith, of preachers of the Faith, giving the grace of the priesthood, the grace of Confirmation, things that are irreplaceable and absolutely necessary.
So all that is highly consoling. I think we should thank God, and enable it to carry on, so that one day people are forced to recognize that although the Visitation of 1987 bore little fruit, it showed that we were there and that good was being done by the Society, even if they did not wish to say so explicitly outside of our circles after the Visitation. However, one day they will be obliged to recognize that the Society represents a spiritual force and a strength of the Faith which is irreplaceable and which they will have, I hope, the joy and the satisfaction to make use of, but when they have come back to their Traditional Faith.
Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin and let us ask Our Lady of Fatima for all our intentions on all the pilgrimages we make in various countries, that she come to the aid of the Society, that it may have numerous vocations. Obviously we would like to have some more vocations. Our seminaries are not filled. We would like them to be filled. However, with the grace of God, it will come. So, once more, thank you, and please pray for me that I die a good and holy death, because I think that is all that I still have to do!
An Address Given by His Grace: Ottawa, Canada November 1975
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have come among you to primarily speak of the most pressing problem of our time, which is the preservation of our Catholic Faith.I am not referring simply to certain liturgical modifications, nor to certain aspects of renewal, which result from the Second Vatican Council. These details, of course, do have their importance. I am here rather to offer encouragement in the struggle to preserve the essentials of our Faith, for our Faith is vital, and before going on, I would like to bring your attention to what precisely constitutes the essentials of our Faith.
Essentials of our Faith
Our Lord Jesus Christ came down to earth to redeem mankind, and it was by means of the Crossthat He achieved this.The central point of Christ’s life on earth, the purpose for which the Son of God became man was to die on the Cross for the salvation of all men, not only the faithful, not only Catholics, but all men. Unfortunately, not all men have accepted Christ’s message but be they Buddhists, Moslems or Protestants, all – at least all who wished to be saved – are bound to achieve their salvation through the bloodshed for them by Jesus Christ.
No salvation outside the Church
This, of course, is very simple for us who are Catholics. This is our Faith, the Faith we have always been taught, and yet, in our own time, how many Catholics still do accept this truth, that salvation comes to all men through Jesus Christ, that outside of Christ there is no salvation? I find it extraordinary that Catholics will questions the age-old adage, “no salvation outside the Church.” This is precisely the most important question facing mankind today, just as it was in all ages. Indeed, there is nothing more vital to man than for him to know how he is to be saved, by whom he is to be saved, and in what manner he is to be saved.Can there possibly be a question of greater moment for those who inhabit the earth?
Now, it is quite certain that when we proclaim today that there is “no salvation outside the Church,” many Catholics rise up incredulously and affirm that this is nonsense, that otherwise those not in the Church must be condemned to hell. The fact is, however, that this remains a crucial tenet of interest to all mankind. As Catholics we are bound to affirm what the Church has always affirmed, because the Church is the repository of all truth: God made man and the Son of God was made man to be crucified for the salvation of all men. Can there possibly be any other source of salvation outside of the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ? Can we as Catholics accept that Luther, Buddha or Mohammed are also means of eternal salvation? Are they also in heaven seated at the right hand of God? Yet today, despite the absurdity, many Catholics no longer accept that there is “no salvation outside the Church.”
Protestants or Buddhists who achieve their salvation through an act of love for God – in effect, implicitly a baptism of desire – do so through Christ and His Church. The Church teaches that no man is saved except through Our Lord Jesus Christ. This, as Catholics, is what we must believe, for it is what the Church has always taught. There is no other God, no other truth, no other salvation but Christ Jesus. This is the center, the foundation, the goal of our Christian life, and it will one day be the crowning glory of our Christian life. There is nothing, in a word, outside of Christ Jesus who is our only joy on earth and in heaven.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
You understand, I am sure, how important it is to affirm these truths. Jesus Himself, and not ourselves, chose the means for us to receive His Grace. The means He chose was the Cross -, and He chose that the Cross – and His Sacrifice upon it be continued on earth upon our altars. There is no other place but upon our altars that Christ’s Calvary is continued in this world. Catholics in every age have understood the enormity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our ancestors most certainly understood it, our ancestors who built the worthy church buildings, which adorn your country, and the extraordinary cathedrals and basilicas of Europe. Visitors the world over come to these shrines to stand in awe before the splendor of the labor and genius of our ancestors of a thousand years ago. Why did they erect such monuments, expending decade upon decade of their fragile lives to bringing forth these magnificent cathedrals? For the sake of the altar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the sake of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is celebrated upon it.And it was Christ Himself who wished it.
Jesus Christ instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper on the occasion of the first sacrifice - for the Last Supper was indeed a Sacrifice, as the Council of Trent teaches – when He made priests of His Apostles and enjoined them, “Do this in memory of Me.” He did not say, “Tell this story, describe this action of Mine to your children and to future generations.” He said rather, “Do this, re-do this, continue to do this which I have done.” It is very important that we realize the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an action and not a narrative, not a story.I am sure you must realize why I am emphasizing: it is precisely because in our time Christ’s intentions are being subverted, contradicted and suppressed.
It is vital, therefore, that we insist upon what is essential to our Holy Faith and indeed to the very idea of Christian civilization, in which we have good reason to glory still, and which we hope with all our hearts to regain and to see revitalized as it was in medieval times. The world chuckles today about the Middle Ages. Modernman tells us it was an age of obscurity – the dark ages – but history itself tells us the medieval age was the greatest age in history, and the thirteenth the greatest century that mankind has ever known. Why? Because of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and because of the spirituality generated by the Mass. Today, more than ever before, our civilization needs its altars, needs its priests to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which in fact is a re-enactment of the Sacrifice of the Cross. The whole of our Christian civilization rest upon our altars. But if we destroy our altars and replace them with a table, and upon this table we simply prepare a meal which is but a memorial of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Last Supper, which is but a narrative of what He said and did on that occasion, then we have forfeited the basis upon which Christian civilization rests. The Catholic Church then ceases to exist, for the Church rests upon the dogma, upon the reality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, whence comes Holy Communion, which is Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. For Holy Communion – the Eucharist – transforms our very souls, civilizes us, disciplines us and imposes order upon our souls. Without the Eucharist we reek of disorder.
We frequently wonder why there are so few priests today. It is because there is no longer any preoccupation with the Sacrifice of the Mass.There is no more ideal, no more goal for the priest to pursue. His goal had always been to go unto the Altar of God to offer the Sacrifice of Calvary. That is precisely what made the sublimity of the priest, the ideal of the priestly vocation in a young man. Similarly, for the religious – nuns and brothers – the foundation of their vocation was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, just as it was for you, the laity.
The Mass is the Holy Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ
Essentially, a Christian is one who offers himself as a victim on the altar with Our Lord. That is what the Sacrament of Marriage is also: a symbol of Christ’s union with His Church. Just as Christ offered His life for His Church, so also do the spouses offer their lives for their families and for each other. This union is a vivid symbol of what occurred at Calvary, and thus the spouses derive the strength and courage required for the sacrifice of their union from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass there can be no Catholic spirituality, no Christian life, and all that has been the life of the Church through the ages will simply wither and cease to exist. We, then, do have a vital requirement for the true Sacrifice of the Mass, and this is of fundamental importance to us as Catholics.
I do allow that in recent centuries perhaps our catechetics have placed more emphasis upon the Eucharist as sacrament, than upon the Eucharist as sacrifice. There has been great emphasis placed on the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and for good reason, of course. We stage, for example, massive international Eucharistic Congresses throughout the Catholic world to provide the faithful with the opportunity to adore Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. And these Eucharistic Congresses were of unsurpassed splendor, living testimony of the profound belief of the faithful in the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Thus, while the Church has in recent centuries placed much emphasis upon the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist – the Eucharist as Sacrament – at the same time, perhaps unconsciously, the Eucharist as Sacrifice has to some extent been neglected. Let us come back to this idea of the Eucharist as Sacrifice, without losing sight of the Eucharist as Sacrament. I do think that today there ought to be a renewed emphasis on the Eucharist as Sacrifice because, after all, it is the Eucharist as Sacrifice, which is the source of the Eucharist as Sacrament. The Eucharist as Sacrament comes to us from the Sacrifice of the Cross. Without the Cross there would be no Sacrament of the Eucharist because the Sacrament is the Victim, and without the Sacrifice there is no Victim. And without the Victim there is no Real Presence, no participation, no communion by the faithful. In a word, when we receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist – Holy Communion – we are partaking of the Victim Who offered Himself on the Cross, and Who offers Himself in an unbloody manner daily on our altars for the forgiveness of sins.This, then, is the profound meaning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist: the Blessed Sacrament is the fruit of this extraordinary tree which is the Cross because the Sacrament proceeds from the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
We must therefore come back to this idea of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is essential to our salvation, and see in this Sacrifice precisely that element which has been the splendor of our civilization, and to understand why, today, this civilization – Western civilization, Christian civilization – is shaken to its very foundations, how the decline of our Christian civilization began when we came to express doubts about the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, when we began to attack, abolish and suppress the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This incredible phenomenon traces its origins to Berenger in the fourteenth century. Then in the sixteenth century, Luther boldly declared that the Mass is not a Sacrifice. Luther’s attack, therefore, was directed at the very heart of the Church, to its most precious dogma. And in thus undermining the Sacrifice of the Mass, he destroyed the priesthood instituted by Christ, because without the Sacrifice, what need is there for a priesthood, what ideal does the priest strive for? The priest becomes merely a functionary designed from among the members of an assembly to offer worship, to perform a communion, to break bread.
Luther’s reformation and the actual transformation of the Liturgy
That is what Luther achieved 450 years ago, and, as those familiar with the history of his reformation will recognize, that is precisely what is happening with respect to the transformation of the liturgy in our own time. Many of the elements of change are identical. During Luther’s reformation the vernacular, German, was adopted and, needless to say, there was great rejoicing: the youth became enthusiastic, the laity could now understand, they could return now to what appeared to be a more evangelical church, they could worship now more meaningfully. The laity, in a word, had discovered a new relevance in the life of the Church. But the euphoria of juvenile enthusiasm soon gave way to disillusion: the priesthood began to disintegrate, priests and nuns left their monasteries, the convents were emptied and the religious married. How could this be so soon after the fervor and enthusiasm of the early years? The whole phenomenon was but a straw fire because the reformers had attacked the essential elements of Christ’s Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
With the Sacrifice attacked, the traditional respect for the Eucharist did not remain long immune. The faithful began to receive Communion standing, then Communion was distributed in the hand, then the reformers began to openly deny the Real Presence, the Supreme Sacrifice, and to deny the priesthood, all that the Church had cherished most dearly.
The Precursors of the Modern Society
The Protestant Reformation struck our civilization at its very roots, and it was just a matter of time before the tenets of Liberalism were added to those of the religious reformation. Thus, in the seventeenth century, Descartes brought forward the notion of truth being relative, subjective, within ourselves. That is, truth comes from our consciences, and not from outside of ourselves. Descartes refused the notion of truth, which comes from God and from Christ. And in the eighteenth century, Rousseau, carrying Descartes a step further, directed his attack at the moral law: man is good, his conscience is good. Therefore, it is his conscience, which should guide him, and not the law.
These three – Luther who attacked Church dogma and the Faith, Descartes who attacked the concept of objective truth, and Rousseau who attacked the moral law – were the precursors of the modern society in which we live today.Today, as we all recognize, faith, truth and the law are all relative and subject to the conscience of the individual. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what Liberalism is all about. Man has become free, liberated, adult, guided now exclusively by his own conscience and by his own will.
What in reality has all this liberation meant for society, for our civilization? It has brought about the destruction of the human person whose very being comes from God and from Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose entire spiritual life comes from Christ, from His law of love, from the gift of His grace which transforms and moves him to adhere to His law. If there is no absolute truth, but rather our own which we create for ourselves, there is no more God, no need for God, because we are sufficient unto ourselves.We become in effect our own gods and accordingly refuse a God, which transcends ourselves. It is not long before nature destroys itself in a sense.
In the wake of Rousseau came the subjectivist philosophers of the nineteenth century: Kant, Hegel and the others, all contributing and advancing the destruction of the Christian Faith. Little by little these ideas made their way until the principles of Liberalism virtually destroyed the notion of Christian society.Already by the end of the eighteenth century it had become imperative in France to be liberated from the restrictions of Christian law, of Catholic kings, of Catholic society, in a word, of God. That is why in France, bankrupt of God, the Goddess Reason was formally consecrated by the State.
The Church, of course, resisted these tendencies. For a century and a half – from about 1800 to about 1960 – the Popes spoke out, issued encyclicals, used every conceivable means to prevent the destruction of the social and moral order by these tendencies. But these ideas, which had their origins in the Protestant Reformation and the advent of Liberalism, made their way little by little, and society became contaminated, and the dikes which hitherto had kept men in an ordered state, burst. Finally, like the Jews before Pontius Pilate, the states declared, “We have no king but Caesar,” and accordingly effected the separation of Church and State. They drove Jesus Christ from the courts, from the army, from the universities, from the schools. The crucifixes were withdrawn from public buildings, the clergy were relegated to their vestries, society was laicized.
Society had thus become free, free of God.There soon followed freedom of thought, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience. And now, a century and a half later, we find ourselves enslaved by pornography, enslaved by television and the other media of social communications, which have so thoroughly infused into our society the kind of freedom, which destroys morality, the family, and society itself.
For her part, until about 1960, the Church resolutely resisted Liberalism in all these forms. She continued to teach obedience and submission to Jesus Christ, to His Law, to His Sacrifice, to His Sacraments and to His grace.For it is there that we find truth, true freedom, freedom from the slavery of sin. Once free of sin, we become enslaved rather to saintliness.
We see to what brutal depths our society has been reduced. The catechisms, the Canadian catechism, is a perfect example of the process I have tried at some length to describe, to destroy, an entire catechism devoted to destruction.Catechism by its nature suggests a breaking with sin, but modern catechisms are directed towards breaking down tradition and social taboos, breaking the family, destroying the restraints, which have held our civilization together. These are the things your children are taught in catechism today. Do the Gospels teach us that we must destroy? On the contrary, the Gospels teach us rather that we are to forge bonds of charity, of love: love God, love your parents, love your neighbor. These are strong bonds, mandatory bonds. We are not free to love or not to love. We must love God, and our parents and society, to the extent, of course, that society is in accord with God’ s law.
This concept to teach our children to destroy, to break is a criminal concept because such notions will accompany them throughout their lives: through their youth and later when, by a sort of dialectic which will continue to gnaw at them and will always oppose them to others and consume them with the imperative to be “free” in order to grow, in order to be “themselves.” This is fraught with extremely serious consequences and we wonder now how we could even imagine such a system of catechism. The new catechetics are simply a natural long-term consequence of Liberalism.
Liberalism has overwhelmed the Church
And though our Popes opposed Liberalism and recognized it for what it is, today nevertheless one can safely affirm that Liberalism has overwhelmed the Church. It has permeated our culture, our society, our universities and our schools. No area remains immune, not even our families have been spared the poison of Liberalism. Our seminaries have been contaminated by ideas proposed by such men as Teilhard de Chardin, whereby truth is relative, evolving, personal. There is no longer an immutable truth, therefore no fixed dogma.
And this, tragically, is what has come out of Vatican II.Gaudium et spes best illustrates this: at least two pages are devoted to the idea of change, to the evolution of truth. Change is what “updating” is all about.Anyone who is a party to “updating” faces that as a premise: as a result of our new found mastery of nature, we must accept change in philosophy, in modes of expression and action, in the manner in which we conceive our religion, in the realization that the way ideas were understood in the past are no longer applicable today.
Thus, seminaries, for example, are told they must no longer proselytize, evangelize or convert non-Christians. They must, rather, engage in dialogue in order to direct their flocks toward self-discovery and the realization that their faith is, after all, as valid as our own. This, of course, is heresy, pure and simple, and has had the predictable effect of numbing in a very short time the Church’s entire missionary spirit. It goes without saying that, having killed the missionary spirit, the priestly spirit itself will cease to exist.
These are the factors, then, which leave Catholics with no incentive for the religious life today. People no longer know what the religious state of life is. Recently the Archbishop of Cincinnati, reporting to the Roman Synod on the crisis of vocations to the priesthood, solemnly declared that the lack of vocations apparent in the Church today stems from the fact that the priest has lost his sense of identity. What do these incredible words mean? Simply that the priest does not know what he is. Since when does the priest not know who or what he is? After 2,000 years of having priests in the Catholic Church we suddenly no longer know what constitutes a priest! Why have we come to this? Because we have destroyed our altars by changing them into “tables”, stripped them of their altar stones, which from the fourth century have harbored the relics of the martyrs. A sacrifice is traditionally offered upon a stone, a stone altar, but today there is no sacrifice, no stone, no relics. The Mass has become a meal. Relics signify that the martyrs had offered themselves as a sacrifice in union with Our Lord. You can understand just how grave it is to abolish these magnificent symbolisms, and to what extent all that is most sacred in the holy Catholic religion, is being tampered with. And all of this tampering penetrated the Church at the Second Vatican Council.
I am frequently criticized because I attack the Council. It is true that I am at variance with the Council because I realize that the liberal spirit is destroying the Church, the priesthood, the sacraments, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the catechism, Catholic universities and Catholic schools.And you yourselves are as firmly convinced as I am because you have the examples constantly before your eyes. Parents have come to prefer to send their children to non-Catholic schools, even to Protestant schools, because they are less subject there to perversion than in their own Catholic schools.
Is this not an incomprehensible scandal when we reflect on what Canada was twenty years ago at the proud invitation of Msgr. Cabana to visit his new seminary, finished in 1955, full of seminarians. This remained so until 1965. Today the seminary has been sold and there remains nothing of this work.What is happening in the Church the world over when seminaries like the one in Sherbrooke, not twenty years old, are disposed of in this way?
Recently I spoke with an Italian bishop who had just returned from a trip during which he had hoped to come into contact with priests anxious to maintain traditions of the Church to establish a common bond, to perhaps create an association of traditional priests in Italy. He had returned overwhelmed. Having visited nearly every diocese in Italy, he realized that seminaries are being sold everywhere, and that young priests are out and out Marxists. Though Italy has an average three times more priests than France, the seminaries are empty; Turin with a capacity for 300 has 80 seminarians from several neighboring dioceses. The Bishop of Casserta confided to me that his seminarians come back to him Modernists and refuse to obey him.What kind of diocese is he going to have in just a few years from now in the light of the state of the priesthood and the seminaries today?
In France there are approximately 100 new candidates who enter all the seminaries each year, for 100 dioceses.The only notable seminary left is at Issy-les-Moulinaux, near Paris, with 80 seminarians for 25 dioceses and four or five religious communities. And of these, how many will finish? And how many more are living in the hope that between now and their ordination Rome will have authorized a married clergy?
This situation, which took root at the Council, is vitally serious. The enthusiasm for liberation was evident throughout the Council.It expressed itself in the equivocal wording of the various schemas, through the idea of change for the sake of change, through the idea of the primacy of the individual conscience as opposed to established law, through the notion of freedom for all religions. This the Church has always regarded as contrary to her rights because, as she believes, she alone is Truth. And if a Catholic state places no obstacle to the spreading of heresy within its jurisdiction, then the state becomes a Protestant state in effect, with all its attendant errors, on marriage, for example, which leads to tolerance for divorce, contraception and abortion, all of which gently undermines Christian society, Catholic society. We recognize that it is precisely this, which has set the Church upon a course of full-scale self-destruction, which has become more and more obvious.
I have no choice but to resist this destruction
These, then, are the reasons why we are so attached to our traditions. This is why, in the face of the deluge, this universal destruction of the Holy Catholic Church, we affirm the will to preserve the Catholic Mass, the Catholic Sacraments, the Catholic catechism, our Catholic universities and our Catholic schools.We refuse to maintain liberal schools in which everything and anything goes. We insist upon Catholic schools in order that our children be raised as Catholics. We insist upon Catholic universities in order that our children not be perverted. We no longer dare send a young man or a young lady to a Catholic university.
We prefer to send them to a state university. Seminarians no longer know where to go. In seminaries today, seminarians come and go as they pleased, at any time of the day and night, go to daily Mass or stay away, as they please.
We are thus in a state of decomposition and we cannot accept this situation. This is why our resistance gives the impression that we are attempting to stand in the way of all this change. I have been requested to close my seminary at Econe. Why do I refuse to obey this order?Because I most emphatically do not wish my seminarians to become Protestants, because I do not wish my seminarians to become Modernists, because I do not wish my seminarians to lose their faith and their moral perspective. I am quite certain that were they to be released and sent to other seminaries they would lose their faith and their moral perspective. Accordingly, it appears to me that I have no choice but to resist this order.
I am asked how it is that I can refuse orders, which come from Rome. Indeed, these orders to come from Rome, but from which Rome? I believe in Eternal Rome, the Rome of the Sovereign Pontiffs, the Rome which dispenses the very life of the Church, the Rome which transmits the true Tradition of the Church. I am considered disobedient, but I am moved to ask why have those who issue orders which in themselves are blameworthy been given their authority. The Pope, the cardinals, the bishops, the priests have been given their authority for the purpose of transmitting life, the spiritual life, the supernatural life, eternal life, just as parents and society as a whole have been given their authority to transmit and protect life. The word “authority” means “author,” author of life. We are not authorized to transmit death; society is not permitted to pass laws, which authorize abortion, because abortion is death. In like manner, the Pope, the cardinals, the bishops and priests exist as such to transmit and sustain spiritual life. Unfortunately, it is apparent that many of them today no longer transmit or sustain life, but rather authorize spiritual abortion.
These, then, are the reasons why, in the face of an order to close my seminary, I refuse to obey. I believe that we all have a serious requirement for the type of priests who transmit the life of the soul. I am certain you do not wish to have priests who are apt to administer sacraments, which are invalid. From time to time I am asked to administer Confirmation which, of course, is irritating to local bishops who remind me that I have no right to confirm in their dioceses. Naturally, I recognize this, but I remind them in turn that they have no right to administer sacraments of doubtful validity to children whose parents want them to receive the sacramental grace. These parents have the right to be certain that their children are receiving the grace of Confirmation. This is, after all, a grave responsibility for parents. It is grace, which keeps the soul alive, and, to this end, I much prefer to see parents confident that their children have received the sacramental grace of Confirmation even when, by administering the sacrament in someone else’s diocese, I am acting illicitly. I may at least rest easy in the knowledge that the children confirmed in the manner prescribed by the Church for centuries truly carry the sacramental grace within them, that the sacrament is truly valid.
With respect to sacraments of doubtful validity, today bishops rarely confirm: they delegate their vicars-general or other priests, and many of these change even the new authorized formulas. Because the particular sacramental grace of each sacrament has to be signified explicitly, and as many of these changes of working do not signify the sacrament in question, it follows that the sacrament is invalid. In other words, it is not permissible to toy with the formula of the sacraments, just as in the Sacrifice of the Mass we many not tamper with the wording of the consecration. It is necessary to perform as the Church has always intended.
All of this, therefore, is of utmost importance and it is also the reason why we must maintain our traditions, and fear neither difficulties nor obstructions. We are living in a time of veritable agony. We must be careful, of course, not to offer violent opposition to our bishops and to our priests who refuse to understand the grave dangers under which the Church labors today. But in following the Church of all time, we must also pray for our pastors. We are not inventing anything new. I have not innovated at my seminary at Econe.
Those who condemn me are condemning their own formation, which is absurd. In the face of these absurdities, I can only close my ears and my eyes, and continue to receive seminarians.
In September , I welcomed twenty-five new candidates at Econe, five at my new German-language seminary near Lake Constance in German Switzerland, and twelve at my new house at Armada, Michigan. Vocations are surely not wanting and I am quite certain that were we encouraged instead of harassed and struck down, I would have not three seminaries, but seminaries in every part of the world. Make no mistake: there are sufficient good, young, wiling men – good and holy vocations in every country.
We are bound, therefore, to pray that we recover one day an understanding of the way of the priesthood because Christian society cannot live without its priests. The Church without the priesthood is no longer the Church. It is for this reason essentially that I ask your fervent prayers for young priests.Pray also to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for she is the Mother of priests and the Mother of the priesthood. Pray for the graces of holy vocations, and for assistance with respect to Rome, that one-day Rome itself may be enlightened.
Rome has become a great mystery
What is happening in Rome? It is surely Rome that constitutes the most serious problem. To say such a thing is neither calumny nor detraction, for if the crisis in the Church has spread to every country in the world, it is only sensible to seek a common cause at its Seat. There is something distinctly abnormal and sinister about Rome today, the workings of grace are being obstructed in Rome, there are men in Rome who are under the ascendancy of Satan. How else could the Church be strangled, as it were, and troubled to such an extent? Though we may not readily understand the problem, one can feel it, sense the atmosphere of today’s Rome. I am still frequently in Rome, and I have occasion to chat from time to time to priests of the different sacred congregations, the men who carry out the day-to-day affairs of the Curia. These men confide to me in private that Rome has become stifling, that a veritable terror reigns in the bureaus and the corridors of the Vatican, with always somebody listening, spying, ready to report, to criticize.Even the cardinals are not immune to the terror, to the veritable diabolical influence, which permeates every facet of Vatican life.
What has caused such a deterioration? Who are these sinister people? Are they hidden personalities, or are they clerics in important positions? Nobody seems to know, but what is absolutely certain is that this spirit permeates not only the Seat of the Catholic Church, but every one of us no matter how far we are from Rome.
The present state of Rome is just one more reason why we must not hesitate or fear to regroup.
In closing, I would wish to emphasize especially how important it is to remain united, and to avoid dissension at all costs. We are already so few who wish to hold onto our traditions, who understand, who have received the graces. There can be no question but that it is God’s grace, which has allowed us to keep our holy traditions, the very traditions, which have produced the saints. It is vital, therefore, that we proceed as of one mind, that we labor together in order to better insure a strong defense.
You most assuredly have it within your power, through grace, to build up something solid, which will last, which will attract the others, something which will allow you to form your children. You will find it easier to provide catechists to help you in your tasks. You will find it easier to organize your own schools, administered by laymen and fully Catholic, teaching the true catechism, celebrating the traditional liturgy, forming your children as strong and perfect Christians. It is this sort of arrangement to which we must come in order to protect our holy religion and our souls, for, ultimately, to save our souls is all that matters.
1. Your Excellency, you have decided to try doctrinal discussions with Rome. Could you remind us of the purpose?
You have to distinguish between Rome’s purpose and ours. Rome indicated that there were doctrinal problems with the Society [of St. Pius X] and that these problems would have to be cleared up before any canonical recognition, problems which obviously would be up to us to resolve, concerning our acceptance of the [Second Vatican] Council. But for us it is about something else: we hope to tell Rome what the Church has always taught and thereby to show the contradictions between this centuries-old teaching and what has been done in the Church since the Council. As we look at it, this is the only goal that we are pursuing.
2. What sort of talks are these: negotiations, discussions, or doctrinal explanation? You can’t call them negotiations. That’s not what they’re about at all. There is on the one hand an explanation of doctrine, and on the other hand a discussion, because we have in fact a Roman interlocutor with whom we are discussing the documents and how to understand them. But you can’t call them negotiations, nor a search for a compromise, for it is a question of Faith.
3. Could you recall the method that is used in the work? What topics have already been addressed?
The working method is the written method; texts are composed which then become the basis for further theological discussion. Several topics have been addressed already. But for the moment I will leave that question up in the air. I can simply tell you that we are coming to the conclusion, because we have made the tour of the major questions raised by the Council.
4. Can you describe the Roman panelists? They are experts, in other words, theology professors who are also consulting members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. One can say that they are “professionals” in theology. One is Swiss, the Rector of the Angelicum, Fr. Morerod, O.P., another is a Jesuit who is somewhat older, Fr. Becker; another is a member of Opus Dei, the Vicar General, Monsignor Ocariz Braña; then Archbishop Ladaria Ferrer, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and finally the moderator, Monsignor Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission,.
5. Has there been a development in the thinking of our dialogue partners since they read the presentations by the SSPX theologians?
I don’t think that you can say that.
6. Bishop de Galarreta, in his sermon during the ordinations in La Reja in December 2009, said that Rome had agreed that the Magisterium prior to Vatican II would be taken as “the only possible common standard” in these talks. Is there some hope that our counterparts will reconsider Vatican II, or is that impossible for them? Is Vatican II really a stumbling-block?
I think that you have to pose the question another way. Pope Benedict XVI made distinctions during his speech in December 2005, by which we see very clearly that one particular understanding of the Council is no longer permitted and therefore, without speaking directly about a re-examination of the Council, there is despite everything a certain intention to revise the way in which the Council is presented. The distinction may seem rather subtle, but it is precisely the distinction relied on by those who do not want to alter the Council and nevertheless recognize that, because of a certain number of ambiguities there has been an opening leading to forbidden paths, and that we must remember that they are forbidden. Is Vatican II really a stumbling-block? For us, no doubt whatsoever: yes!
7. Why is it so difficult for them to admit a contradiction between Vatican II and the previous Magisterium? The answer is rather simple. The moment you recognize the principle that the Church cannot change, if you want to have Vatican II accepted, you are obliged to say that Vatican II did not change anything either. That is why they do not admit that they find any contradiction between Vatican II and the previous Magisterium, but they are nevertheless at a loss to explain the nature of the change which quite evidently has taken place.
8. Besides witnessing to the Faith, is it important and advantageous for the Society of St. Pius X to go to Rome? Is it dangerous, and do you think that it might last a long time?
It is very important that the Society give this witness; that is the reason for these doctrinal talks. It is really a matter of making the Catholic faith understood in Rome and trying, why not, to make it understood even more throughout the Church.
There is one danger: the danger of keeping up illusions. We see that some Catholics have managed to lull themselves to sleep with illusions. But recent events have managed to dispel them. I am thinking about the announcement of the beatification of John Paul II or the announcement of a new Assisi event along the lines of the interreligious gatherings in 1986 and 2002.
9. Has the Pope been following these talks closely? Has he commented yet on these talks?
I think so, but have no specific details. Has he commented on these talks? During the meeting last summer with his former students at Castel Gandolfo he said that he was pleased with them. That is all.
10. Can we say that the Holy Father, who has been dealing with the Society of St. Pius X for more than 25 years, is proving to be more benevolent toward it today than in the past?
I am not sure. Yes and no. I think that as pope, he has responsibility for the whole Church, a concern about its unity, a fear of seeing a schism declared. He himself said that these were the motives that impelled him to act. He is now the visible head of the Church, which may explain why he acts like that. Does that mean that he is showing more understanding toward the Society? I think that he has a certain sympathy for us, but within limits.
11. To sum up, what would you say about these talks today? If we had to do them over again, we would redo them. They are very important. Of capital importance. If you hope to correct a whole movement of thought, you cannot do without these talks.
12. For some time now we have been hearing voices of ecclesiastics, for example Monsignor Gerardhini or Bishop Schneider, who even in Rome are producing genuine critiques of the documents of Vatican II and not just of their interpretation. Can we hope that this movement will grow and make its way into the Vatican?
I do not say that we can hope for it, but that we must hope for it. We must really hope that these initial critiques—let us call them serene, objective critiques—will develop. Until now Vatican II was always considered as a taboo [as something unquestionable], which makes the cure of this sickness, which is the crisis in the Church, almost impossible. We have to be able to talk about the problems and to go in-depth into these matters, or else we will never get to apply the right remedies.
13. Can the Society of St. Pius X plan an important role in making Rome aware of this? How? What is the role of the lay faithful in this momentous matter?
As for the Society, yes, we can play a role, precisely by presenting what the Church has always taught and by raising objections to the conciliar novelties. The role of the lay faithful is to provide proof in action, for they are the proof that Tradition can be lived today. What the Church has always demanded—traditional discipline—is not only relevant but really viable even today.
II. THE MOTU PROPRIO EFFECT
14. Your Excellency, do you think that the Motu Proprio, despite its deficiencies, is a step toward restoring Tradition?
It is a step of capital importance. You could even call it an essential step, even though so far it has had practically no effect, or very little, because there is massive opposition by the bishops. At the juridical level, the Motu Proprio has recognized that the old law, the one pertaining to the Traditional Mass, had never been abrogated: this is a step of capital importance in restoring Tradition to its place.
15. Practically speaking, have you seen across the world any important changes on the part of the bishops concerning the Traditional Mass since the Motu Proprio?
No. A few here and there who obey the Pope, but they are rare.
16. How about the priests?
Yes, I see a lot of interest on their part, but many of them are persecuted. It takes extraordinary courage simply to dare to apply the Motu Proprio as it was worded; and of course, yes, there are more and more priests, especially in the younger generations, who are interested in the Traditional Mass. It is very encouraging!
17. Are there communities that have decided to adopt the old liturgy?
There may be several, but there is one that we know about, in Italy, the community of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, which has decided to return to the old liturgy; in the women’s branch it has already been done. For the priests who are involved in ministry in the dioceses, it is not so easy.
18. What advice do you give to Catholics who, since and thanks to the Motu Proprio, now have a Traditional Mass closer to them than a chapel of the Society of St. Pius X?
My advice to them is to ask the priests of the Society for advice first, not to go with their eyes closed to just any Traditional Mass that is celebrated nearby. The Mass is a treasure; but there is also a way of saying it, and everything that goes with it: the sermon, the catechesis, the way of administering the sacraments… Not every Traditional Mass is necessarily accompanied by the conditions required for it to bear all its fruits and to protect the soul from the dangers of the current crisis. Therefore ask the priests of the Society for advice first.
19. The liturgy is not the basis of the crisis in the Church. Do you think that the return of the Liturgy is always the start of a return to the integrity of the Faith?
The Traditional Mass has an absolutely extraordinary power of grace. You see it in the apostolic work, you see it especially in the priests who come back to it: it is truly the antidote to the crisis. It is really very powerful, at all levels. At the level of grace, at the level of faith…. I think that if the old Mass were allowed to be truly free, the Church could emerge rather quickly from this crisis, but it would still take several years!
20. For a long time the Pope has been speaking about “the reform of the reform”. Do you think that he hopes to try to reconcile the old liturgy with the teaching of Vatican II in a reform that would be a middle term?
Listen, at the moment we know nothing about it! We know that he wants this reform, but where that reform is headed? Will everything eventually be blended together, “the ordinary form” and “the extraordinary form”? That is not what we find in the Motu Proprio, which requires us to distinguish the two “forms” and not to mix them: this is very wise. We have to wait and see; for the moment let us stick to what the Roman authorities say.
III. ASSISI 2011
21. The Holy Father has announced the next meeting in Assisi. You reacted in your sermon at St. Nicholas Church on February 9, 2011, and decided to oppose it, just as Archbishop Lefebvre had done at the time of the first meeting, 25 years ago. Do you plan to intervene directly with the Holy Father?
If the opportunity presents itself, if it can bear some fruit, why not?
22. Is it such a serious matter to call other religions to work for peace? In one respect, and only in that respect, no. To call other religions to work for peace—a civil peace—there is no problem with that, but in that case it is not at the religious level, it is at the civil level. It is not an act of religion, it is quite simply an act of a religious society that works civilly to promote peace. It is not even religious peace being sought, but rather civil peace among men.
In contrast, to ask people to perform religious acts during that gathering is absurd, because there is a radical lack of understanding among the various religions. In those circumstances, it is not clear what aspiring to peace is supposed to mean, when there is not even any agreement about the nature of God, about the meaning that you ascribe to divinity. Really, you wonder how you could achieve anything serious.
23. We might think that the Holy Father does not understand ecumenism in the same way as John Paul II. Isn’t this a difference in degree in the same error?
No, I think that he understands it in the same way. He correctly says, “It is impossible to pray together.” But we have to see exactly what he means by that. He gave an explanation in 2003, in a book entitled Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions (English edition: Ignatius Press, 2004). I find that he splits hairs. He tries to justify Assisi. You really wonder how that will be possible next October.
24. Some Italian intellectuals have publicly declared their uneasiness about the consequences of such a meeting. Do you know of other reactions within the Church?
They are right. Do we see other reactions within the Church? In official circles, no. Among us [SSPX members], obviously yes.
25. What about the reaction of the traditional congregations affiliated with Ecclesia Dei?
There is none that I know of!
26. How do you explain the fact that the Holy Father, who denounces relativism in religious matters and who had even refused to attend the Assisi meeting in 1986, could now want to commemorate such a meeting by repeating it?
It is a mystery to me. I do not know. I think that he may be under some pressures or influences. Probably he is alarmed by the anti-Christian acts [recently in the news], the anti-Catholic violence: those bombs in Egypt and Iraq. That is perhaps the reason that prompted him to propose this new Assisi gathering; I won’t call it an act of desperation, but a last resort…. He is trying something, anyway. I would not be surprised if that was it, but I know nothing more about it.
27. Is there a possibility that the Holy Father might give up this interreligious demonstration?
We don’t know very well how it will be organized. We will have to see. I supposed that they will try to minimize the event because, once again, for the present Pope, it is impossible for different groups to be able to pray together when they do not even acknowledge the same god. Therefore, once again you wonder what they are going to be able to do there together!
28. What should Catholics do with regard to this announcement about Assisi III? Pray that the Good Lord intervenes in one way or another so that it doesn’t take place, and in any case start making reparation now!
IV. THE BEATIFICATION OF JOHN PAUL II?
29. Does the announcement of the approaching beatification of John Paul II pose a problem?
A serious problem, the problem of a pontificate that caused things to proceed by leaps and bounds in the wrong direction, along “progressive” lines, toward everything that they call “the spirit of Vatican II”. This is therefore a public acknowledgment not only of the person of John Paul II but also of the Council and the whole spirit that accompanied it.
30. Has there been a new concept of sainthood and holiness since Vatican II?
Afraid so! It is a concept of holiness for everybody, universal sanctity. It is not wrong to say that there is a call, a vocation to holiness for all human beings; but what is wrong is to lower holiness to a level that makes people believe that everyone is going to Heaven.
31. How could true miracles be permitted by God to authenticate a false teaching, in the case of the many beatifications and canonizations that have been performed in recent decades?
That is the whole problem: are these real miracles? Are these prodigies? In my opinion, there are doubts. I am very surprised by the casualness with which they are dealing with these things, as far as I know.
32. If canonization involves papal infallibility, could one reject the new saints canonized by the Pope? It is true that there is a problem there, on the question of contemporary canonizations. Nevertheless one could ask the question of whether there is a true intention to invoke infallibility in the terms that are used by the Supreme Pontiff. They changed these terms for [the ceremony of] canonization; they have become much less strong than before. I think that that goes along with the new mentality that does not want to make dogmatic definitions by invoking infallibility. We should realize, however, that this is only a tentative explanation…. There is no satisfactory answer, except the one about the intention of the supreme authority to invoke his infallibility or not.
33. Can we choose among the saints recently proposed to the faithful to venerate? What about Padre Pio?
I think that we must not choose. However one can always keep the criteria that were universally recognized in the past as well; thus, when there is a massive popular devotion, for example, to Fr. Maximilian Kolbe or to Padre Pio; it should not cause any difficulty. But once again, these are only opinions, in the absence of a magisterial judgment to be pronounced dogmatically.
34. Do you have any examples of graces obtained by the intercession of Archbishop Lefebvre?
Yes, we know about some, indeed, quite a few. But I do not know whether they are really on the order of miracles, perhaps in one case or another. When we’re talking about healings, we don’t have, as far as I know, all the necessary medical documents. Many graces are obtained through the Archbishop’s intercession, but I will go no farther than that.
V. THE SOCIETY OF ST. PIUS X
35. The Society has just celebrated an important anniversary. How would you summarize these forty years?
An inspiring history… with many tears in the midst of great joys. One of the greatest joys is the joy of realizing the extent to which Our Lord allows us to be associated with several of the beatitudes that He preached in the Sermon on the Mount, like the one about being able to suffer for the sake of His Name. And through all the vicissitudes of the present crisis, we see that this work continues to grow, which, humanly speaking, is almost impossible. This is certainly the mark of God on the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.
36. Has there been an increase in vocations? If so, what are the reasons for it?
I think that there is great stability. I would like to see more vocations. I think that we will have to restart the crusades for vocations. The world as such is very hostile to the fostering of vocations; that is why we have to try to recreate everywhere climates in which vocations can once again develop. Because there are many vocations, but often they do not get to mature because of this materialistic world.
37. You reported recently, at the Conference in Paris sponsored by Le Courrier de Rome, on a meeting of around thirty diocesan priests in Italy that you attended. What do those priests expect today from the Society of St. Pius X?
These priests ask us above all for doctrine, which is an excellent sign. If they are with us, it is of course because they want the old Mass, but after discovering the old Mass, they want something else. They want something more, because they discover a whole world that they know is authentic. They have no doubt that it is the true religion. Then they need to brush up on their theological studies. And they are not mistaken: they go directly to Saint Thomas Aquinas.
38. This movement of priests who are turning to the Society, is it, in varying degrees, the same in all countries?
There are certainly varying degrees, and even different numbers depending on the country. But we see the same phenomenon almost everywhere: The priest, generally a young one, who approaches the Traditional Mass, who discovers with great enthusiasm this treasure, little by little travels a path toward Tradition, which finally makes him completely traditional.
39. Do you have hope that this sort of interest could affect some bishops, to the point where you foresee a future collaboration?
We already have contacts with some bishops, but for the moment everything is frozen by the bishops’ conferences, by the pressures all around, but there is no doubt whatsoever that in the future it will be possible for there to be forms of collaboration with some bishops.
40. Are you ready to attempt the experiment of Tradition with a bishop at the level of a Diocese? The time for that is not yet ripe; we are not there yet, but I think that it will happen. It will be difficult; we will have to look closely at how we can manage to achieve that. It will be absolutely necessary that this be done with bishops who have really understood the crisis and who really want to work with us.
41. The lay faithful [affiliated with the SSPX] are increasingly numerous. There are more and more chapels. The state of necessity is still present. Do you foresee the consecration of other auxiliary bishops for the Society? Do you think that Rome could be in favor of episcopal consecrations in Tradition today?
For me, the answer is very simple: there will either be bishops or else there will not, depending on whether or not the circumstances that prevailed at the first consecration [in 1988] are present again.
VI. THE EXPANSION OF THE SSPX IN THE UNITED STATES
42. Your Excellency, we have the joy of seeing you often in the United States. You like to travel here. Could you comment?
My comment: I love all the souls that the Good Lord has entrusted to us, and there are quite a few in the United States. That’s all!
43. Have you been able to meet Cardinal Burke yet?
I have tried several times to see him, but I have not seen him yet.
44. A large number of bishops in the United States showed their support for the March for Life; one of them even intervened forcefully against a [Catholic] hospital that was in favor of abortion. Is there any hope that they will understand that the current crisis involves the Faith also?
I think that, unfortunately, with modern clergymen you have to distinguish between faith and morals. Thus you will be able to find more bishops who are still responsive to moral problems than bishops who are concerned in questions of faith. However we can tell ourselves that if someone very courageously defends Catholic morality, he must have the faith and his faith will be reinforced by it…. That is what I hope, while recognizing that there are some exceptions.
45. The American bishops want to revise together the directives given by John Paul II for the universities. What, in your opinion, are the urgent measures that should be taken to turn today’s universities into authentic Catholic universities?
The first and most urgent measure is to return to Scholasticism. They have to get rid of those modern philosophies and return to the sound philosophy, the objective, realist philosophy. Saint Thomas must become the norm again, as at the beginning of the twentieth century. Back then the 24 Thomistic theses were obligatory. We have to return to them—that is absolutely necessary. And after this philosophical renewal, it will be possible to continue along the same line with theology.
46. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker Diocese (Oregon) recently recalled that the statements of a bishops’ conference could not be binding on a bishop in his diocese. Is this re-litigating [calling into question again] the line of thinking started by the Council?
On this question of collegiality, it is not just a bishop who has spoken up. The Pope himself, in addressing the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference, had some very strong words that put the role of Episcopal Conference in its place, and insisted on the personal authority of the bishops and on their direct relations with the Holy Father.
47. [Of all SSPX institutions,] the Seminary in Winona has the largest number of seminarians. How do you explain that?
I think that it is quite simply due to the generosity of this country, which is readily inspired by a good cause.
48. What can be done to increase the number of priestly and religious vocations?
Pray, pray, pray! Make sacrifices, too.
49. What are the strong points of the world of Tradition in the United States?
I think that there is this generosity that I just mentioned, and also the schools. It is true that there is an impressive number of priests and that we would still need more, but I would say above all that the schools are indispensable. We must also encourage aid to Traditional families. We have to start a movement for families, to support and form them. They are the primary cell of society. The family is fundamental in the natural order and in the supernatural order.
50. In your opinion, Your Excellency, what is the importance of the schools?
They are of capital importance. They are the future. The young people will be Catholic if they have a good formation, but for that we need Catholic schools.
51. When parents are generous and therefore have large families, they are sometimes forced to home school. What do you recommend to those who have access to good schools?
Those who have access to good schools should not hesitate one moment: let them put their children in those schools! Home schooling will never replace a good school. If there is no good school, that obviously that is a different matter.
52. Do you expect, Your Excellency, to call for another Rosary crusade? What do you recommend to the lay faithful today?
Yes! The situation of the world, the situation of the Church—as anyone can see—continues to be very somber, even though there are some glimmers of hope, and these distressing elements oblige us more than ever to redouble the intensity of our prayers, while turning to the Blessed Virgin. For the lay faithful today, the indispensable thing is prayer: especially family prayer which is frequently renewed, together with the essential thing that forms the Christian soul, that is, the spirit of sacrifice.
VII. BY WAY OF CONCLUSION
53. Your Excellency, next year you will celebrate thirty years in the priesthood, eighteen of them as the head of the Society of St. Pius X. What were the major events during all those years?
That is quite a novel! … Of course, I have first to mention the consecrations! Other major events are the joy of having been an assistant to Archbishop Lefebvre, the joy of having been an assistant to Fr. Schmidberger, of having learned a lot at their sides, also the joy of being able to work with the other bishops of the Society, as well as with all our priests, in that great burst of zeal for the Faith, for the preservation of the Catholic Church.
54. Any wish for the years to come?
That the Church will get back on track! This is a metaphor, but it is truly our wish. And for that to happen, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin has to come about. We need it so much!
Thank you, Your Excellency, for granting this interview.
The interview was conducted at the Seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas in Winona (U.S.A.) on February 2, 2011, the Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.
Our thanks to the Information Service of the General House and to the French and American editorial teams which translated and copyedited the answers of Bishop Bernard Fellay.
In the light of John-Paul II’s beatification last month the Society has published a book highlighting some of the principal reasons as to why he should not be raised to the status of blessed.
Previously Bishop Fellay had instructed one of our priests, the Abbe Patrick de la Rocque, to compile a document showing the obstacles to the pontiff’s beatification. This text was sent in due time to the ecclesiastical authorities responsible for collecting favourable and unfavourable testimonials regarding the reputation for sanctity.
However this document was conveniently put to one side, and was only discovered the day after the closure of the diocesan process, too late to be taken into consideration! Something very similar happened at Vatican II when Archbishop Lefebvre submitted to the competent authority the petition calling for a condemnation of communism, signed by 250 bishops…
So it was that on 19th December 2009 the Holy See declared that John-Paul II had practiced the virtues to a heroic degree. Undeterred by this development the document in question was presented to the Vatican commission in the course of the doctrinal discussions with Rome, with the indication that the Society would publish it thereafter. Interestingly, just a few days later, the beatification process was put on hold due to insufficient evidence to substantiate the alleged miracle cure obtained through intercession to John-Paul II. However, this ‘miraculous cure’ from Parkinson’s disease was eventually admitted several months later, with the ensuing beatification ceremony organised for 1st May 2011.
The document provides the basis for the book just published in French under the title ‘John-Paul II, doubts on a beatification,’ and is prefaced by Bishop Fellay. Hopefully an English edition will be available soon. Whilst elucidating the numerous scandalous events of his papacy, the work goes on to expose the heart of the problem, namely John-Paul II’s ‘humanism,’ which was the essential point and axis of his pontificate, the most striking illustration of which consisted in the inter-religious gathering of Assisi in 1986. In his preface to the book, Bishop Fellay says it presents ‘the fundamental unity of thought and action of Karol Wojtyla, whose compatibility with Catholic Tradition, one must unfortunately acknowledge, is difficult to establish.
And he concludes that at this moment in time, when the Apostolic See prepares to renew the scandalous episode undertaken by John-Paul II at Assisi in 1986, the work is as relevant as ever.
A commentary on the instruction Universae Ecclesiae is included in this newsletter. The document on the subject of the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, was made public on 13th May and is signed by Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith.
Whilst the instruction is said to represent an ‘important stage in recognising the rights of the Traditional Mass,’ its major flaw consists in re-affirming that there is doctrinal continuity between the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo Missae.
III Rosary Crusade
Please find elsewhere in this newsletter forms which can be filled in and returned to St George’s House. This latest Crusade began with Easter of this year, and will end at Pentecost 2012. Canterbury Pilgrimage
This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of our annual Rochester to Canterbury pilgrimage which is offered each year towards the conversion of our country. As always it will take place over the last weekend of July, and even those who cannot take part in person are welcome to support this public manifestation of Faith by making a donation towards the substantial costs of the event through a forthcoming second collection in each chapel.
As June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are reminded of that beautiful prayer made at the consecration of the family:
“Sacred Heart of Jesus, who didst manifest to Saint Margaret Mary the desire of reigning in Christian families, we today wish to proclaim thy most complete regal dominion over our own. We would live in future with thy life, we would cause to flourish in our midst those virtues to which Thou hast promised peace here below, we would banish far from us the spirit of the world which Thou hast cursed; and Thou shalt reign, over our minds in the simplicity of our faith, and over our hearts by the whole-hearted love with which they shall burn for Thee, the flame of which we shall keep alive by the frequent reception of thy divine Eucharist.
“Deign O divine Heart, to preside over our assemblies, to bless our enterprises, both spiritual and temporal to dispel our cares, to sanctify our joys, to alleviate our sufferings. If ever one or other of us shall have the misfortune to afflict Thee, remind him, O Heart of Jesus, that Thou art good and merciful to the penitent sinner. And when the hour of separation strikes, when death shall come to cast mourning into our midst, we will all, both those who go and those who stay, be submissive to Thy eternal decrees. We will console ourselves with a thought that a day will come when the entire family, reunited in Heaven, can sing forever Thy glories and Thy mercies.
“May the Immaculate heart of Mary and the glorious Patriarch, St Joseph, present this consecration to Thee and keep it in our minds all the days of our life. All glory to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father.
Bishop Fellay granted an interview to Professor Hugues Mouckaga on June 1, as he was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the SSPX's Mission in Libreville, Gabon (Africa). We reproduce here the translation of the last part of the interview.
Your Excellency, allow me to finish with two questions. First, what can you say about the relations between the SSPX and Rome? Where are your contacts leading? Also, as an aside, can we hope for a normalization of the relationship in a not too distant future?
The contacts are still ongoing. We have probably reached the end of a period of discussions. It is not yet totally clear. What is going to happen? What is going to be the result of this phase? Regarding your aside: What is Rome planning for us now? We cannot deceive ourselves: we are truly in a crisis of the Church. It is certainly not over. What is our destiny in this crisis? I believe that somehow the Good Lord has tied us to this crisis.
Bishop Fellay with SSPX's clergy in Gabon
We work for the restoration of the Church, but it may still last a decade or two. We need much courage and perseverance. Our situation might be solved tomorrow and it might be solved after tomorrow. Everything is in the hands of the Good Lord. Let us simply remain faithful.
The second question regards your thoughts about the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
I have very mixed feelings. There is an impression of a major hurry, despite all the rules that the Church provides before proceeding to such an act. There is a sense of imprudence. For example, when the Church wants to beatify or to canonize, she used to examine what was said or written by the candidate very closely. In this case, however, most of what has been written is still in the secret Vatican archives which have not been opened yet. Therefore we remain ill at ease. We fear a will to seal a cause that John Paul II began and wanted to follow during his pontificate, a cause for which he wanted to be the apostle.
Bishop Bernard Fellay with Gabonese faithful
Your Excellency, a last word for the faithful.
Above all [keep] the Faith. "Be firm in the faith". It is what St. Paul was already saying to his faithful. He also said: "Be faithful. Keep your traditions". Nothing is new. The best vouch for the future, is the past. The past teaches us everything, helps us in the new situations.
Today, in these difficult times, I invite everyone to put oneself under the protection and the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her Immaculate Heart. In Fatima, she wished [wanted] to introduce this devotion for the sake of the souls. Let us listen to Her.
Pope Paul VI holds the official copy of the Apostolic Constitution, Missale Romanum: that supposedly promulgated the Novus Ordo Missae
Universae Ecclesiae is the name of a recent Instruction which provides some precious clarifications on the four-year-old Summorum Pontificum, which signaled the liberation of the Mass of All Time. The Pope’s intention is that the Mass may receive “full citizenship” in the Church today, and not be ostracized as it has been in the last four years by the diktatof omnipotent episcopal conferences which reveal a rather loose conception of Catholic obedience. Time will tell whether they will toe the Roman line or do as they have done so far. Here we would like to expand only on #19 which states:
The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.
By so doing, the Instruction attacks any group of faithful doctrinally attached to the Mass of All Time even if they recognize in principle that the New Mass is valid. There may be nothing new under the Roman sun, but this document affords us the chance to go over the reasons why Archbishop Lefebvre always contested the legitimacy of the liturgical revolution of 1969. We will show this in three ways, of increasing importance: the legal aspect, the historical context, and the dogmatic context.
A. The legality of the New Mass
Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci
A law is legitimate only when it is duly promulgated by the lawfully constituted authority. But to this condition must be added another of supreme importance and essential to make it a law: it must be for the common good.1 And precisely on this score, the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) is most defective as was attested at the time of its promulgation by no less than Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci:
It is clear that the Novus Ordo no longer intends to present the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent… It represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the mystery.2
A concelebrated New Mass
The legal aspect here does not address so much the question of the suppression of the Old Mass, since its continuous existence was supported not only by the general norms of the new Code, (can. 20) but was openly admitted by Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum. Rather, the legal question we wish to study deals with the juridical validity of the promulgation of the NOM. Here, we are largely indebted to Itinéraires, the magazine of Jean Madiran, which was the French voice of Tradition years before the liturgical changes.
We need to look at the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969) which allegedly promulgated the NOM.3 Most of the document describes the novelties and the final part never declares clearly what the Pope commands, forbids, or concedes. As to the final “Nonobstant”, it is too generic to pretend to abrogate the perfectly clear legislative act of St. Pius V who promulgated the Mass of All Time. It appears that Paul VI never wanted to render his missal mandatory, with a truly juridical obligation. Why?
Itinéraires could say as early as 1970 that the future was already present: a constant process of mutation. Changed were the “original” edition of the Institutio Generalis (see below regarding the theological aspect), and the editio typica [typical edition―Ed.] of the NOM rite within months. The Apostolic Constitution in its second Latin edition was enriched with a new paragraph drawn from the French/Italian version, as we are to explain presently.4
The original Constitution concluded rather innocently with: “From all that has been said so far regarding the New Roman Missal, in the end, we are now pleased to draw a conclusion.”5 But, sensing that something was missing, the French and Italian translators (not to speak of other versions) boldly modified the text making it say: “We want (placet!) to give force of law (cogere et efficere!) to everything (quiddam!) which we have exposed above regarding the new Roman Missal.”
The same translators also completed the authentic Latin text of the Apostolic Constitution, adding: “We order that the prescriptions of this Constitution become effective on November 30th of this year, the First Sunday of Advent.”6 Both these modifications and additions objectively constitute a forgery. This alone manifests the essential problem of a Constitution which some wish to be mandatory, but which, in its authentic tenure, is not.
The question remains why Pope Paul VI seemed to substitute in fact another law to one which he did not abrogate by right. Worse is the other stunning question: why did he not say clearly that he did not want to abrogate the other? Why leave the minds of confused priests and laymen in the agonizing doubt that everything was taking place then as if the authors (which ones?) were imposing an obligation while letting you free to believe the opposite?
B. The Historical Context
Cardinal Gut, the Prefect who presided over the liturgical reform, gave a revealing insight into the pressure which led the Pope to promote the New Mass:
Cardinal Gut with Pope Paul VI
We hope that, now, with the new dispositions, contained in the documents, this sickness of experimentation will come to a stop. Until now, the bishops had the right to authorize experiments but, sometimes, such limits have been trespassed and many priests simply did what they wanted. Then, what happened is that, sometimes, they imposed themselves. One could not, very often, stop these initiatives taken without authorization because they had gone too far. In his great goodness and in his wisdom the Holy Father yielded, often against his will.7
As any decent legislator would do, Paul VI, in establishing his liturgical reform, elucidated the motives of such drastic changes. Here they are:8
The reform is an act of fidelity to the “demands” of Vatican II.
It is meant to revive the languid and awaken the sleepy.
It wishes to supplant the “opaque glass” of the old Mass by another which will be a “transparent crystal” for “the children, the youth, the workers, and businessmen.”
It wishes to be “a resolute gymnastic of Christian sociology.”
What about the “ecumenical” motive? As strange as it appears, Paul VI never invoked this motive. This omission rightly raised the eyebrows of Protestants and Catholics alike who, unanimously, recognized it on every page of the Ordo. Said an intimate friend of the Pope, Jean Guitton:
There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic, in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist service...9
Jean Guitton, friend and confidant of Pope Paul VI
As to the motives given by the Holy Father, the most important would be the first, stating, in a democratic fashion, that this was the will of the conciliar bishops. He directs us to #50 of the liturgical decree [Sacrosanctum Concilium―Ed.]. But was it really so? The said paragraph recommends indeed in generic terms a certain revision of the Mass. Yet, when these 2000 bishops signed this paragraph, did they wish the suppression of the Offertory? Did they wish the addition of ad libitumnew Canons to compete with the Roman Canon from the 3rd century? Did they want such ambiguous Ordinary texts of the Mass that these would immediately seem agreeable to men who have no faith in transsubstantiation, the sacrificial oblation, and the Catholic priesthood? No! Certainly, the Council never wanted such a revolution.
In the same context of the end of that fatal year, 1969, we need to add a letter addressed to the Pope, utterly unnoticed by the press, signed by 6000 Spanish priests.10
…We shall not speak of the doctrinal Catholic reasons; we could not expose them better than the document ABrief Critical Study of the New Order of Mass, which Your Holiness has recently received, accompanied by a letter signed by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, and which one would need to refute in details according to the doctrine of the Council of Trent if one wished to prove the orthodoxy of the Novus Ordo.
Pope Paul VI thanking the 6 Protestant ministers for their assistance in creating the New Mass. Max Thurian is circled.
We shall not speak of this, but we shall bring up the Protestant reasons. Mr. Max Thurian affirms in La Croix of May 30, 1969 that, with the Novus Ordo “non Catholic communities will be able to celebrate the Last Supper with the same prayers as the Catholic Church. Theologically this is possible.”
Thus, if the celebration by a Protestant is theologically possible, this means that the Novus Ordo expresses no dogma with which the Protestants are in disagreement. But the first of these dogmas is the Real Presence, essence and center of the Mass of St. Pius V. Could a Protestant pastor celebrate the Novus Ordo if he was to perform the consecration in the intention used by the Catholic Church? “Lex orandi, lex credendi”: the liturgy is the highest expression of our faith. Where shall we go if, in the best of cases, the Mass silences the Catholic truths? If the good people, with no knowledge and against their will, are thrown into heresy, as long as they preserve the Christian morals (unfortunately, they do not), they will save their soul. But this will not be the case of those who will have pushed them into it. Most Holy Father, we do not want to endure this responsibility. This is why we boldly address this letter to you, after we begged of you in a previous one (November 5, 1969) to allow the universal Church to preserve the Mass of St. Pius V together with that of the Novus Ordo.
In the name of the Pope, some Roman authority (which one?) demanded total submission and blind obedience from all these most devoted priests. The strangest thing is that none of them reacted and nothing was heard anymore of this tyrannical act. Moreover, an Italian committee was gathering signatures to petition Paul VI to abrogate the NOM. Behold the judgment proffered by Vatican Radio: “Do you wish to be sure of disobeying the Pope: sign!”11 Hence, whoever dares to make a petition to the Pope is in the state of disobedience! This idiotic idolatry to the goddess of false obedience, unheard of during twenty centuries of the Church, raised no protest.
This cowardly servility reigns almost universally: it is the sentiment of most cardinals who dare neither speak to the Pope nor ask anything from him, not even to beg: they would be tagged disobedient to the Pope, and they accept this slavish tyranny. Is it not true that where truth and justice cease to be upheld, arbitrary despotism reigns, with no basis and no limits? Does not the statement of Louis Veuillot [author of The Liberal Illusion―Ed.] express aptly the mindset of many a churchman: “there is no one more sectarian than a liberal.”
The Liberal Illusion: available from Angelus Press
C. The Theological Context
We have already alluded to the underlying dogmatic truths which the NOM has silenced or covered in ambiguous terms, so as to please heretical communities. These half-truths (and half-errors) were markedly expressed in what can only be called the definition of the NOM: “The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God gathered together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.”12 This text was found so offensive and raised such a worldwide uproar that Rome had to come up with something less heterodox. They revised the definition into something less heretical, but did not touch anything in the rite itself, the perfect expression of the early definition. Yet, this definition and this rite omits or denies the three doctrines which are at very heart of the Mass: the priest who, by his sacerdotal character, is alone capable of consecrating the Eucharist; the propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass; and the real and substantial presence of the Victim of Calvary through transubstantiation.
The Problem of the Liturgical Reform: available from Angelus Press
The SSPX has presented a book to the attention of Rome, The Problem of the Liturgical Reform. It explains how the new Mass is the plain expression of underlying principles drawn from the theology of the Paschal Mystery [NB: this refers to the false interpretation of the Paschal Mystery as found in the NOM, as opposed to the correct one expressed in all of the traditional liturgical rites―Ed.]. Here are the book’s conclusions:13
The propitiatory aspect of the Mass has been effaced from the new missal because the Paschal Mystery holds that there is no debt to be paid in order to satisfy divine justice offended by sin. But, by refusing to see that the Redemption includes the act by which Christ paid to God the entire debt of pain incurred by our sins (the doctrine of vicarious satisfaction), the theology of the Paschal Mystery sets itself in opposition to a truth of the Catholic Faith.
The structure of the new missal is that of a memorial meal that celebrates and proclaims the divine Covenant and not that of a Sacrifice. But, by considering the Mass as a sacrifice only insofar as it is a memorial which contains “in mysterio” the sacrifice of the Cross, the theology of the Paschal Mystery weakens the visibility of the sacrifice as taught by the Church, and can no longer “vere et proprie”—truly and properly—designate the Mass as a sacrifice. This cannot do justice to a truth of Faith, and seems thereby to incur the condemnation pronounced by the Council of Trent as regards the “Nuda commemoratio”—mere commemoration.
The New Mass has displaced Christ the Priest and Victim, and replaced it with the Kyrios who communicates Himself to the assembly, making the Eucharist no longer a visible sacrifice but rather a mysterious symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection. Insofar as it rests upon philosophies of the symbolic type, this notion of sacrament cannot be reconciled with the Church’s doctrine on the sacraments. Because this notion corrupts the branches of theology where it is introduced, it is dangerous for the Faith.
Now, even if one wanted to contest the heretical elements of the New Mass, the sole refusal to profess Catholic dogmas quintessential to the Mass renders the new liturgy deficient. It is like a captain who refuses to provide his shipmen with a proper diet. They soon become sick with scurvy due, not so much to direct poison, as from vitamin deficiency. Such is the new Mass. At best, it provides a deficient spiritual diet to the faithful. The correct definition of evil—lack of a due good—clearly shows that the New Mass is evil in and of itself regardless of the circumstances. It is not evil by positive profession of heresy. It is evil by lacking what Catholic dogma should profess: the True Sacrifice, the Real Presence, the ministerial priesthood. This deficiency had already been denounced by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci months before the New Mass was promulgated:
The recent reforms have amply demonstrated that new changes in the liturgy could not be made without leading to complete bewilderment of the faithful, who already show an indubitable lessening of their faith. Among the best of the clergy, the result is an agonizing crisis of conscience, numberless instances of which come to our notice daily.14
1 Michiels, Normae generales Juris Canonici (1929), p. 486, and in The Problem of the Liturgical Reform, Angelus Press (2001), p. 106. 2 The Ottaviani Intervention, p. 28, TAN Books (1992); cf. the PDF. 3 Itinéraires, #140, pp.39-2, February 1970. 4 Ibidem, p. 45. 5 "Ad extremum, ex iis quae hactenus de novo Missali Romano exposuimus, QUIDDAM nunc COGERE et EFFICERE placet." 6 Our version for the French, published from La salle de Presse du Saint Siège (sic, in Documentation Catholique, n. 1541, June 1, 1969, col. 1 initio). 7 Docum. Cathol. n.1551, Nov. 16 1969, p.1048. col. 2. 8 L'Osservatore Romano (Italian Ed.) of November 20-27. 9 December 19, 1993 in Apropos (17), p. 8ff. In Most Asked Questions About the Society of St. Pius X [online version on this site], Angelus Press (2011), p. 39. 10 December 11, 1969, Priestly Association of St. Anthony Mary Claret; see Itinéraires, #140, pp. 32 ff. 11 La Croix, Jan 6, 1969, quoted by J. Mardiran in Itinéraires, #141, p. 9. 12 Institutio Generalis, §7, 1969 version. 13 The Problem of the Liturgical Reform, Angelus Press (2001), pp.80-98 passim. 14 The Ottaviani Intervention, p. 28, Tan Books (1992).
Pope St. Pius X described Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies. From the beginning of this century, it grew and infected many of the clergy and laity. It teaches that our knowledge of God cannot be certain and that faith comes out of man's need of a God. From these principles, Modernism sets out to destroy dogmas and divine revelation. It seeks to reduce Christ to mere human dimensions, and makes divine inspiration a common gift to all of mankind. This modernism, the coming together of all heresies, is now the “official theology of Vatican II.”
PART ONE: THE APPARENT VICTORY OF MODERNISMEXPOSED AND DENOUNCED BY ST. PIUS X
St. Pius X, in his encyclical Pascendi (1907) denounced those modernist "partisans of error" who concealed themselves "in the very womb and heart of the Church" insidiously spreading destruction "from within the Church itself...So that the danger today lies in the very heart and veins of the Church."
This same saint added the pain of excommunication against anyone contradicting the encyclical Pascendi or the decree Lamentabili, which exposed and condemned Modernism.
He also insisted that all bishops and religious superiors be on their guard against modernist infiltration, to carefully screen those chosen as seminary professors, as well as prospective seminarians and priests, saying: "If any [priest] be found tainted with modernist errors...let them be absolutely forbidden from teaching anything whatsoever. Also any seminarian in any way even suspected of attachment to these condemned modernist novelties and doctrines, must be refused all access to Holy Orders" (Motu Proprio, November 18, 1907).
Pope St. Pius X knew that the modernists sought out followers in seminaries and religious houses, where the future of the Church was formed. In order to do this, they secretly organized themselves into hidden sects.
DENOUNCED BY THE GREAT THEOLOGIAN FR. GARRIGOU-LAGRANGE, O.P.
In 1946, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange wrote a brilliant article entitled: "Where is the New Theology Leading Us To?" To Modernism, he replied. He then proceeded to denounce this work of doctrinal corruption, saying that: "Typed sheets have been distributed among the clergy, seminarians and Catholic intellectuals, containing strange doctrinal assertions and negations." Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange quoted, at length, many parts of those secret sheets - a preview of all the heretical novelties that would emerge in this post-Vatican II era. One example will be sufficient: "A general convergence of all religions to a universal Christ, which will satisfy them all. This seems to me to be the only possible imaginable conversion for a Religion of the future." This is the very essence of today's ecumenism, which seeks to bring together all religions, in a Christ separated from His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.
Confirmation of this treachery comes to us today, from the very lips of those representing this New Theology. A mouthpiece of theirs is the journal Communio and in an article of November-December, 1990, the Jesuit Fr. Peter Henrici (born 1928) tells us that:
a) In Jesuit seminaries, contrary to papal instructions, the doctrine, method and principles of St. Thomas Aquinas were openly scorned and held in contempt. Henrici assures us that "the official scholastic studies of St. Thomas were merely thumbed through."
b) Behind that facade of official studies, modernist texts and tracts were secretly circulated to the most brilliant and promising seminarians. Those same modernist concepts, secretly passed around, would later reappear as the New Theology. Those who showed interest and promise in theology, would be given the modernist Fr. Henri de Lubac's book: The Supernatural - the most forbidden of forbidden books! Then they would receive another of his books, Corpus Mysticum. This was done to inculcate them with the principle that identical theological terms could have different meanings with the passage of time or when looked at in another context. Thus we say goodbye to unchanging divine and apostolic Tradition! Goodbye to the homogenous development of dogma! Goodbye to unchangeable truths!
Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange was right in saying the novelty of this New Theology would deprive the Church of its sound Tradition. Today, the ideas and assumptions of that novelty, make up the premises of the New Tradition, which, though it is living, is no longer coherent.
These treacherous modernist theologians, then condemned, were later rewarded at Vatican II. The aggiornamento (updating) spirit of Vatican II placed the Conciliar Fathers in a position where they had to rely upon the preparatory work done by theologians prior to the Council. In other words, those Vatican II bishops who succumbed to the siren song of the aggiornamento ended up having to rely upon the works of those who had concocted and cultivated a New Theology in direct opposition to Catholic theology.
A great number of these Conciliar Fathers did not know or understand the New Theology. It had been cultivated in secrecy, in closed circles. It was hidden behind traditional sounding terms. The Fathers, ignorant of these facts, gave this often traditional-sounding, New Theology a kind of ecclesiastical orthodoxy and acceptability.
A VETERAN’S TESTIMONY
Similar expressions of modernist triumphalism are found in the work of Fr. Henri Bouillard, S.J. - a veteran of the New Theology. On the occasion of the inauguration of a center known as the Maurice Blondel Archives at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, Bouillard stresses the influence of Blondel's philosophy on the New Theology: "Blondel's thoughts and ideas have, in their essential theses, progressively won the day." The orthodox teachings, brushed aside and dismissed by Blondel are "no longer valid today."
THE COUNCIL – VATICAN II
For Bouillard, the most conclusive and positive proof of the modernist victory is Vatican II, where "they abandoned the concept of looking at the natural and supernatural orders as two superimposed things neither having any kind of internal link with the other. It is interesting to note that, in none of Vatican II's major documents, will you find the use of the word, supernatural. Bouillard's affirmation is only too true, being well documented and easily proved by the official documents of Vatican II. Under the influence of Modernism, it has deliberately and studiously avoided in its most important documents (especially those dealing with ecumenism) the use of the word, supernatural. Thus its major documents implicitly approve naturalism, which is the essence of Modernism. This naturalism has also proved itself the basis of Blondel's philosophy and of De Lubac's theology.
So, we must ask ourselves today, what is being substantially proposed to us as Catholics in the name of Vatican II? The answer is that same New Theology officially condemned by Pope Pius XII. What lies hidden beneath this billboard? Nothing else but that same modernism condemned by Pius X and which leads to a radical denial of the existence of divine revelation, the divinity of Our Lord and the divine origin of the Catholic Church.
Still more recently, in 30 Days (December 1991), we find the same Fr. Henrici saying:
a) that the New Theology condemned by Pope Pius XII in the Encyclical Humani Generis, has now "become the official theology of Vatican II."
b) that the key positions in the Church are already in the hands of the actual representatives of the New Theology, whose mouthpiece is the journal Communio: "Nearly all of the theologians who have been named bishops in recent years, have come up through the Communio line. Their names form a list of important persons destined for the top careers: the Germans, Lehman and Kasper, the Swiss, Von Schonborn and Corecco; the Italian, Scola; the Belgian, Leonard and the Brazilian, Romer.” The Jesuit professor at the Gregorian University, Peter Henrici, slyly laments: "The founding members, Balthasar, De Lubac and Ratzinger, have all become cardinals. Many of the second generation have been chosen as bishops."
He also adds such important names as that of "the Dominican theologian in the Papal residence, Georges Cottier; also Jean Duschesne, press agent for Cardinal Lustiger; the Hegelian André Léonard, Bishop of Namur" who has charge of St. Paul's Seminary, the place where Cardinal Lustiger sends his seminarians. According to 30 Days: "These are the ones (they say!) who have won."
Similar cries of triumph and indirect confessions of treachery are found in post-Vatican II era, Neo-modernist literature:
A book by Fr. René Latourelle, SJ. entitled Vatican II-1962-87: Results & Views 25 YearsLater, was in fact "produced by the Jesuit Universities in Rome." (from the Italian magazine Avvenire). The book has 68 contributors from 20 countries (all, but two, are Jesuits) clearly illustrating the triumph of this New Theology and the favor lavished upon it by Pope Paul VI. One of these contributors, Fr. Martini SJ., says: "Though it's not quite a case of excommunications being followed by canonizations, nevertheless some notorious theologians who were reprimanded prior to Vatican II, later found themselves playing a major role amidst Vatican II experts, and thus had a great influence in the formulation of Vatican II decrees. In 1950, some of their books were officially removed from library shelves. After the Council, these same authors were named cardinals (De Lubac and Danielou)."
Thus do we see the Encyclical Humani Generis, of Pope Pius XII, quickly being repudiated and disowned by another Pope. Those who had always faithfully adhered to Rome's directives, now wondered to whom they owed obedience: to the Pope of yesterday who was in full agreement with his predecessors, or the present Pope, who had evidently broken with the constant and traditional direction of the Church.
More recently, on the anniversary of De Lubac's death, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano (September 1992) devoted an entire page to Cardinal De Lubac and “the great theses of a precursor of Vatican II.” In it we read: "Our thoughts turn to Blondel, Gilson, Mounier, Maritain, De Lubac, Chenv and many others, who prepared the philosophical and theological positions which later emerged in many themes of Vatican II."
Therefore, we must admit that the New Theology, officially condemned by Pope Pius XII, as being nothing but a heap of "false opinions, which threaten to overthrow the very foundations of Catholic doctrine," has now become "the official theology of Vatican II" (Fr. Henrici).
This open Neo-modernist war against the Church is a grave reality, especially since it is waged by persons occupying such high positions in the Church. The reason why we are exposing the current situation in such detail is to shake people out of their indifference or numbness, and to put them on their guard against this very real danger threatening their souls.
It is nothing less than that long-standing "often passive, but nevertheless real resistance" of the bishops themselves, which paved the way for the present crisis in the Church, a crisis that is simply the triumph of Modernism in the Catholic Church. Therefore, it is necessary to know a little more about those who think they have won and just what it is that they are after. They think that they have won the day simply because they do not believe in the words of Jesus Christ "And I say to thee: that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it! (Matt 16:18)"
PART 2: TRUE AND FALSE RESTORATION
MAGISTERIUM:The Church’s divinely appointed authority to infallibly teach the truths of Religion, “Going therefore, teach ye all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matt. 28:19-20)”
“The Church insists that its future priests be formed in the philosophical disciplines 'according to the method, doctrine and principles of the Angelic Doctor’ (St. Thomas Aquinas). The reason being that experience over many centuries has proven (to the Church) that the method of St. Thomas Aquinas, whether informing young minds, or sounding the depths of the deepest truths, stands high above all others by its singular merits; his doctrine is in complete harmony with Divine Revelation and in perfect accord; it is particularly useful and efficient in laying, in all safety, the foundations of Faith, as well as in reaping, in a sure and useful manner, the fruits of true progress.” - Pope Pius XII, Humani generis
Those who think themselves to be “winners” are those neo-modernist faithful (if we can use this expression) to the line of the founding fathers of the “New Theology,” and particularly to the (tortuous, involved and obscure) line drawn by the Jesuit Henri de Lubac and that of the ex-Jesuit Hans Urs von Balthasar. "The representatives of the New Theology are celebrated as if they constituted the cornerstone of the Church" rightly recorded the famous thinker and writer Dom Jules Meinvielle.
But before presenting you with these "holy fathers" of the post-Conciliar Catholic world, it would be most opportune and useful to briefly illustrate the very essence of the "new theology."
THE SIMPLE PRINCIPLE OF A COMPLEX HERESY
The German priest and theologian Johannes Dörmann, in his best book The StrangeTheology of John Paul II and the Spirit of Assisi writes:
"The 'New Theology,' although many-sided and varied, is really quite simple in its principle, and that is why its multiple forms can be grouped together under the same title. Its different forms ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON: THEIR STUDIED REJECTION OFTRADITIONAL THEOLOGY. (p.55)"
The author then provides us with a concise and effective explanation of what is meant by the "rejection of Traditional theology," referring to the last Council which deemed it necessary to abandon the Church's scholastic language or terminology for "pastoral" motives:
"The chief theologians (who were actually directing the Council) saw very clearly that in this question of scholastic language, both theology as well as the Faith itself were at stake. For scholastic terminology was indissolubly linked to scholastic philosophy which itself is linked to scholastic theology which is, in its turn, closely knit to the Dogmatic Tradition of the Church." (p.52)
And consequently, this abandoning of scholastic language would end up, in the last analysis, in saying farewell to the Divine and Apostolic Tradition so faithfully kept and guarded by the Church.
"This rejection or abandonment of the 'language of the Scholastic school' by the Council Fathers (Dörmann writes) constituted for them (those theologians directing the Council) the SINE QUA NON or indispensable condition which would assure a complete rupture from traditional dogmatic teachings, in order to set the 'New Theology' in place after having ceased using 'the previous traditional theology' and discarding it once and for all. (p.53)"
And just what was the motivation of this dumping of Traditional theology? ...They were motivated by "this simple and seductive idea: a 'New Theology' consonant with modern, scientific characteristics, as well as with the modern image of the world and history. (p.55)"
In other words they were motivated by the old and constantly recurring Utopia of the Church being reconciled with the modern world, that is with modern philosophical thought, and with which Pope Pius IX (Syllabus, Proposition 80) declared that the Church cannot and must not reconcile itself, seeing its essentially anti-Christian character and outlook:
"(Modern) men are, in general, strangers to truth and supernatural benefits and graces, thinking as they do to be able to satisfy themselves exclusively by human reason and in the natural order of things as they (vainly) expect to reach in them their own perfection as together with their own happiness" (Vatican I, preparatory outline of Catholic Doctrine).
"For those partisans of the 'new theology' (Dörmann continues), the slogan, 'aggiornamento' simply meant a resolute opening-up on the part of the Church to modern thought (which is totally alien to Truth as well as supernatural treasures and values) in order to end up with a completely new and different theology from which would be born a new secularized Church, adapted to its modern time. (p.54)"
This is nothing but modernist Utopianism. "Where is the new theology taking us? It is taking us in a straight line to modernism," wrote Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. in 1946.
And in fact, digging a little more deeply into the matter, we find beneath the simple principle of the new theology, that same perversion of the notion of truth which serves as the very foundation of modernism: "Truth is no more unchangeable than man himself, for it evolves with him, in him and by him. (Pope Saint Pius X, in his Decree Lamentabili, condemned proposition #58)"
From all this, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. who, laying aside all pretense at prophesying, simply came to these logical conclusions in 1946 (16 years BEFORE Vatican II): "And where is this New Theology headed with its new masters from whom they seek to draw their inspiration? Where is it heading if not for the road to skepticism, whims and heresy"? ("La nouvelle theologie. Ou va-t-elle?" In Angelicum #23-1946, p.136)
A BLAMEWORTHY UTOPIA
This attempt to reconcile the Church with the "modern world" cannot be considered an innocent utopia. The Magisterium of the Roman Pontiffs, has, over and over again, blocked the way to such moves, particularly Popes Gregory XVI (Mirari Vos, 1832), Pius IX (Syllabus, 1864), Saint Pius X (Pascendi; 1907) and, on the eve of the last Council, Pius XII (HumaniGeneris, 1950).
In this last encyclical, scorned, disavowed and buried by those very same persona whom it condemned, Pius XII, illustrating the (theological) climate preceding the Council, points out "with anxiety" and clarity the dangers of the "New Theology" which, seeking its basis outside the enduring philosophy, endangers the entire structure of Catholic Dogma. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Pope Pius XII does not hesitate one moment to underline in red the scorn heaped upon the Magisterium, an underlying scorn borne out by its attitude:
29. But reason can perform these functions safely and well, only when properly trained, that is, when imbued with that sound philosophy which has long been, as it were, a patrimony handed down by earlier Christian ages, and which moreover possesses an authority of even higher order, since the teaching authority of the Church, in the light ofDivine Revelation itself, has weighed its fundamental tenets, which have been elaborated and defined little by little by men of great genius. For this philosophy, acknowledged and accepted by the Church, safeguards the genuine validity of human knowledge, the unshakable metaphysical principles of sufficient reason, causality and finality, and finally the mind's ability to attain certain and unchangeable truth.
30. Of course this philosophy deals with much that neither directly nor indirectly touches faith or morals, and which consequently the Church leaves to the free discussion of experts. But this does not hold for many other things, especially those principles andfundamental tenets to which we have just referred (validity of human knowledge, the unshakable metaphysical principles, etc...). But never may we overthrow it, or contaminate it with false principles, or regard it as a great, but obsolete, relic. For truth and its philosophic expression cannot change from day to day, least of all where there is question of self-evident principles of the human mind or of those propositions which are supported by the wisdom of the ages and by Divine Revelation.
32. How deplorable it is then that this philosophy, received and honored by the Church, isscorned by some who today call it outmoded in form and rationalistic, as they say, in its method of thought. While scorning our philosophy, they extol other philosophies of all kinds, ancient and modern, oriental and occidental, by which they seem to imply that any kind of philosophy or theory, with a few additions and corrections if need be, can be reconciled with Catholic dogma. No Catholic can doubt how false this is, especially where there is question of those fictitious theories they call immanentism, or idealism, or materialism, whether historic or dialectic, or even existentialism, whether atheistic or simply the type that denies the validity of the reason in the field of metaphysics.
34. It would indeed be unnecessary to deplore these aberrations from the truth, if all even in the field of philosophy, directed their attention with the proper reverence to the teaching authority of the Church, which by divine institution has the mission not only to guard and interpret the deposit of divinely revealed truth, but also to keep watch over thephilosophical sciences themselves, in order that Catholic Dogmas may suffer no harm because of erroneous opinions."
Thus do we see confirmed that which we have been repeating for years: we have irrefutable as well as unmistakable proof that although they are members of the Catholic Hierarchy, the neo-modernists have disobeyed and continue to disobey the constant and therefore infallible Magisterium of the Catholic Church and their own "obedience" which they, in turn, seek to impose in their style of new Church, results in the moral obligation of the true and faithful Catholics to disobey the false orders of their new-style Church.