Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
Authority Crippled (II)
“Again I am being urged by a valiant participant in today’s Catholic “Resistance” to put myself at the head of it. The reason given continues to be that I am the only bishop yet taking any part in this movement of opposition to the internal collapse of the Society of St Pius X. But God gave the dying breath of true Church authority to Archbishop Lefebvre, whose successors have cruelly abused it. Why should he give it again? The crisis of the Church has far advanced between the 1970’s and the 2010’s. At the risk of annoying many of you, here are the good soul’s main arguments, with answers which I propose to anybody but impose on nobody –
1. “The wide diversity of opinion amongst Resistance priests confuses the laity.” * But to control opinions requires authority (see above). And maybe Catholics deserve to be confused after so many blindly followed Vatican II, and are now blindly following the SSPX. Maybe God has had enough of blind obedience. Maybe he wants Catholics to use their heads and think for themselves, and not just blindly “obey”, as a lazy way to Heaven.
2. “In particular there is confusion over whether to jump ship, i.e. stop attending SSPX masses.” * But why should one opinion fit all cases? All kinds of different circumstances can bear on such a question. Granted, to stay with the SSPX on its present false course involves a real danger of gradually sliding, but souls need sacraments, and by no means all SSPX priests are yet traitors. In France recently the first edition of a 350-page book, 90% of which consists of quotations from Archbishop Lefebvre, sold out in two weeks. It was put together by an SSPX priest, Fr. François Pivert. That is a positive sign of hope. God bless him !
3. “The friction between Resistance priests could make the Resistance self-destroy.” * There has always been, and there always will be, personal friction amongst priests. Doctrinal friction is much graver. It is doctrinal fidelity that mainly held the SSPX together until now, and doctrinal infidelity that is now destroying it. It is doctrinal fidelity that will guarantee our one and only Faith which is the basis of whatever will survive of Catholicism in the Church, or in the SSPX, or in the “Resistance”.
4. “There is no Church without a head or hierarchy. God wants us organized.” * Normally indeed there is no Church without head or hierarchy, but modern man has created an abnormal situation. Whereas the pagan centurion in the Gospels (Mt.VIII, 6-10) had a natural sense of how to command and how to obey (the two go together), “democratic” man has, in the name of liberty, wilfully unlearned how to do either. Thus arbitrary commands and excessive obedience are presently destroying the SSPX, as they have largely destroyed the mainstream Church. This is because both rulers and ruled lack the sense and love of that objective truth which is above both of them, and which when heeded has no difficulty in harmonizing their authority and obedience. Perhaps God wishes us to pursue doctrine rather than organization.
In conclusion, this exceptional trial of the Church will last for as long as God needs it to last for the purification of his Church. Meanwhile in the early 21st century there seems to me to be just not enough Catholic straw left to make a Catholic brick like the SSPX of the late 20th century. Patience. God will have his way. It is his Church, and he is looking after it. Patience.
N. 311, 29th June 2013
Donations to Bishop Williamson through the St. Marcel Initiative: bank transfer within France – RIB: 20041 01012 6704149J033 09; from outside France – IBAN: FR85 2004 1010 1267 0414 9J03 309
Sunday within the Octave of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
The thoughts of His Heart… to deliver them from death; and feed them in famine
Horrible Fall – I
The fall of the Society of St Pius X from what it was under Archbishop Lefebvre between 1970 and 1991 to what it has become over the last, say, 15 years, is little short of horrible. In a brief series let us see firstly why the horror is normal in the poor world around us, because to understand is to forgive, and we are all in need of forgiveness; secondly let us face the horror, not in order to be discouraged but on the contrary in order to gird our loins for worse almost certainly to come; and thirdly let us see what we can do to gird our loins, because beneath God’s Heaven he cannot have left us with nothing that we can do (but in this connection it is important not to pour into the sand the little water that we have). Let us begin with three fine Catholic minds taking the measure of our age, to see why horror is today the norm.
In his great Encyclical letter of 1884 on Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII marks how its evil principles advance from (#13) disregarding to (#14) injuring to (#15) destroying the Catholic Church, and then from (#16) the ruin of all positive religions to (#17) the ruin of all natural religion to (#18) the ruin of great natural truths such as God’s Creation and Providence and the immortality of the soul. In the 21st century we have, logically, gone further still, namely to the ruin of the very notion of truth. Minds have been turned into mush, even the minds of Popes,* Cardinals and Bishops.
* … The whole head is sick… there is no soundness therein, as the Prophet Isaias foretold (cf., 1.5-6). Cf., our post “Pope Francis Proclaims the Neo-Catholic Gospel of ‘Universal Salvationsim’” and related: “The Great Tribulation“, “A Perilous ‘Catholic’ Voyage“, “Our Lady and the Diabolical Campaign“, “Our Lady and the New Orientation in Rome“, “What is Truth?”, and “The Ultimate Delusion of Vatican II ‘Catholicism’”
In his great Encyclical letter of 1907 on Modernism [cf., our post “Vatican II and ‘Modernism’“], Pope St Pius X saw clearly the same ruin of all truth and thought by the modernists. It is beneath the dignity of Popes to shout, but in Pascendi Pius X uses the strongest expressions available to him to castigate the mind-rot by which the modernists rot out the Catholic Faith. In so many words he says that modernism is the end of the line. His dramatic warning obtained for the Church a reprieve of half a century, but with Vatican II the Faith-rot that he had flung out of the Church was by John XXIII and Paul VI made official doctrine within the [Neo-]Church! If Popes lose their minds, how should mere Superiors not do so?
A third Catholic mind, measuring the havoc wrought upon Catholic doctrine by Vatican II, was that of Romano Amerio, an Italian layman whose analysis of modern errors, Iota Unum, was highly praised by Archbishop Lefebvre. At one point Amerio says (could somebody find me the reference ?) that if things continue on the same path as now, eventually it will become impossible to speak or write any more, all that will remain is to keep silent ! This may seem unimaginable, but only recently a very good commentator in the USA, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, almost stopped writing, because it had seemed to him that there was no longer any public able or willing to think.
Truly, in this present dress rehearsal for the Antichrist, if these days were not shortened, as Our Lord says (Mt. XXIV, 22), we could all of us lose our minds and our faith. Then who may still feel inclined to throw the first stone at a Pope or Bishop today losing his mind ?
However, while Our Lord forbids us to judge-condemn (Mt. VII, 1), because God alone has that perfect knowledge of all the circumstances which is necessary if one is to judge without error, at the same time Our Lord commands us to judge-discern between true shepherds and mercenaries, or between sheep and wolves in sheeps’ clothing (Mt. VII, 15). Such is our responsibility as Catholics, and that is why we will soon take another look at the horror now taking place within the Society of St Pius X.
N. CCCVIII (308)
8th June 2013
The Doctrinal Declaration of April 15 of last year, drawn up by the Superior General (SG) of the [institutional] Society of St Pius X as a basis for the Society’s [formal] reintegration into the [mock Neo-Church]*, has emerged nearly one year later into public view. It was designed by the SG to please both the Conciliar Romans and Traditionalists (“It can be read with dark or rose-coloured glasses,” he said in public). It did please the Romans who declared that it represented an “advance” in their direction. It did not please Traditionalists who saw in it (what they knew of it) such ambiguity as to represent a betrayal of Archbishop Lefebvre’s stand for the Catholic Faith, to the point that they considered that the Romans need only have accepted it to destroy his Society.
* The “pseudo-[Church]” of the revolutionary dummies of the Synagogue of Satan (Apoc. 2.9; 3.9) – “something that resemble[s] the [Catholic Church] but was not the real thing” (cf., our post “The Year 1929“).
In fact when the SG met the Romans on June 11 in Rome to receive their decision, he fully expected they would accept it. Numerous observers speculate that if they did not accept it, it was only because the intervening publication of the April 7 Letter of the Three Bishops to the SG warned the Romans that he would not be able to bring the whole Society with him into the bosom of their Conciliar Rome, as he may have given them to understand he would do, and as they wanted him to do. They did and do not want another split to start Tradition all over again.
Be all that as it may, space remains here for nothing but one major argument that the proposal of the Doctrinal Declaration, had it been accepted by Rome, would have destroyed the SSPX. Archbishop Lefebvre declared, and proved, that Vatican II was a break or rupture with previous Church teaching. On that premise arose, and rests, the Traditional Catholic movement. So, confronted by the on-going resistance of that movement to his beloved Vatican II, Benedict XVI proclaimed at the outset of his pontificate in 2005 the “hermeneutic of continuity”, whereby the Council (objectively) contradicting Tradition was to be (subjectively) so interpreted as not to contradict it. Thus there would be no break or rupture between it and Catholic Tradition!
Now see the seventh paragraph (III, 5) of the Doctrinal Declaration. It declares that Vatican II statements difficult to reconcile with all previous Church teaching, (1) “must be understood in the light of Tradition entire and uninterrupted, in line with the truths taught by the Church’s preceding Magisterium, (2) not accepting any interpretation of those statements which can lead Catholic doctrine to be exposed in opposition or rupture with Tradition and that Magisterium.”
The first part here (1) is perfectly true, so long as it means that any Conciliar novelty “difficult to reconcile” will be flatly rejected if it objectively contradicts previous Church teaching. But (1) is directly contradicted by (2) when (2) says that no Conciliar novelty may be “interpreted” as being in rupture with Tradition. It is as though one said that all football teams must wear blue shirts, but football team shirts of any other colour are all to be interpreted as being nothing other than blue! What nonsense! But it is pure “hermeneutic of continuity”.
Now, do the soldiers holding the last fortress of the Faith that is organised worldwide realize what their Commander is thinking? Do they realize that his solemn declaration of SSPX doctrine shows him to be thinking like an enemy leader? Are they happy that they are being led to think like the enemies of the Faith? All ideas must be Catholic, while non-Catholic ideas will be “interpreted” as Catholic. Wake up, comrades! Enemy thinking* is in Headquarters.
* Cf., the outline of “The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita” (or the “Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church [from within]”) – which Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII desired published – in our post “A Perilous ‘Catholic’ Voyage“.
Part I (N. 300, 13th April 2013)