During the time of the Arian heresy, St. Athansius fought for and defended the Church of God, when the vast majority of the Catholic world, including the clergy, succumbed to the heresy of Arianism, the denial of the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We can find a parallel in today’s crisis, but today is much worse than at the time of the Arian heresy. Today, the Catholic world, including most of the clergy, have succumbed to the heresy of Modernism. Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies that exist. Nothing can be worse than the dreaded heresy of Modernism. Pope St. Pius X and Archbishop Lefebvre were two modern day St. Athanasius, for they were both prophets of God and both warned us of this Modernist heresy and the current crisis inflicting the Church.
Just as at the time of the Arian heresy, Arians occupied the churches with their heresies so also today do the Modernists occupy the churches. The following letter of St. Athanasius to his flock could have been written yesterday:
“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …
“You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.
Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.“
This reminds us of Archbishop Lefebvre, who I believe carried on the work of Pope St. Pius X. I believe it was Providence that convinced the Archbishop to name his Society after Pope St. Pius X. Archbishop Lefebvre encouraged Catholics to remain faithful to the True Faith, no matter what. Repeatedly, he condemned the direction the Church was taking, despite the hatred and persecution that came his way from all sides. This man will be honored and recognized as a hero when this crisis has done the last of its evil work, for the Archbishop will be recognized as the defender of the Church and the Mass during the greatest crisis in Her history. Here are a few quotes of his:
“We know now with whom we have to deal. We know perfectly well that we are dealing with a “diabolical hand” which is located at Rome, and which is demanding, by obedience, the destruction of the Church! And this is why we have the right and the duty to refuse this obedience… I believe that I have the right to ask these gentlemen who present themselves in offices which were occupied by Cardinals… “Are you with the Catholic Church?” “Are you the Catholic Church?” “With whom am I dealing?” If I am dealing with someone who has a pact with Masonry, have I the right to speak with such a person? Have I the duty to listen to them and to obey them?” (Archbishop Lefebvre, 1978, Ordination Sermon, “Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre”, Vol. 2, p.209, Michael Davies)
“I shall not give the Church’s destroyers an easy conscience by handing over to them what belongs only to God, to the Faithful, to the Church of all time. (1976)
We believe and accept our faith as the only true faith in the world. All this confusion ends up in compromises, which destroy the Church’s doctrines, for the misfortune of mankind and the church alike.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, interview, 1978)
I have preached and done what the Church has always taught. I have never changed what the Church said in the Council of Trent and at the First Vatican Council. So who has changed? It is the enemy, as Pope St. Pius X said, the enemy who is working within the Church because he wants the Church to be finished with her tradition.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Homily, Venice, April 7, 1980)
We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience […] St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we must always refer, goes so far in the “Summa Theological” as to ask whether the “fraternal correction” prescribed by Our Lord can be exercised towards our superiors. After having made all the appropriate distinctions he replies: “One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”, 1986)
You are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them.” (Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Ratzinger, 1987)
“In the Church there is no law or jurisdiction which can impose on a Christian the diminution of his faith. All the faithful can and should resist what interferes with their faith… If they are faced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey… It is because we judge that our faith is endangered by the post-conciliar reforms and tendencies, that we have the duty to disobey and keep Tradition. Let us add this, that the greatest service we can render to the Church and to the successor of Peter is to reject the reformed and liberal church… I am not of that religion, I do not accept that new religion. It is a liberal, modernist religion. Christians are divided… priests no longer know what to do; either they obey blindly what their superiors impose on them, and lose to some degree the faith, or they resist, but with the feeling of separating themselves from the Pope. Two religions confront each other; we are in a dramatic situation, it is impossible to avoid a choice.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, 1986, “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”)
“We are not of this new religion! We do not accept this new religion! We are of the religion of all time; we are of the Catholic religion. We are not of this “universal religion” as they call it today – this is not the Catholic religion any more. We are not of this liberal, modernist religion which has its own worship, its own priests, its own faith, its own catechisms, its own “ecumenical” Bible. We cannot accept these things. They are contrary to our Faith. It is an immense, immense pain for us, to think that we are in difficulty with Rome because of our faith! We are in a truly dramatic situation. We have to choose an appearance of disobedience – for the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon our faith; it is impossible, impossible! We choose not to abandon our faith, for in that we cannot go wrong.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Ordination Sermon, June 29, 1976)
On the Modernists, he states:
“So we are to be excommunicated by Modernists, by people who have been condemned by previous popes. So what can that really do? We are condemned by men who are themselves condemned…” ( Archbishop Lefebvre, Press conference, Ecône, June 15 1988)
The Archbishop cried out from he depths of his heart and soul because he cared about the souls of the Church and the world. His one goal was the salvation of souls and for this reason and this reason alone, he adhered to the True Faith and the True Mass.
What is Modernism exactly? It is nothing more than Protestantism and Naturalism in the Church. The Modernists seek to reinterpret the teachings of the Catholic Church in light of 19th century historical and philosophical ideas, especially those on the freedom of conscience. The Modernists seek to reinterpret Catholic teachings according to personal religious experience and the current spirit of the age. This heresy characterizes a break with the Catholic past. After all, who was it that robbed Catholics of their Sacred Faith, encompassed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the disciplines, traditions, all that made the Church and Christendom so great? It was the Modernists. The Modernists believed that they could fashion the Church into their image, hence the term “Church of Man” that we hear so often. The Church of Man is not the Church of God. We could say that the “Church of Man” is a church within the Church, for they both work for opposing aims. The True Church of God cares about only one thing – the salvation of souls. The “Church of Man” works to make the earth a paradise and it is all fashioned on naturalist ideas, on heresies (as demonstrated in the “Descent of the Modernists” chart. We can see that Modernism leads to Atheism). We were not made for this world. Modernism seeks to make man comfortable here, to make man “feel good” about themselves. The Modernists seek to change Catholic doctrine so it will please modern man. We saw this clearly at the recent Synod. The overall teaching of Modernism is that dogma can evolve over time, which means that the Church can change and “get with the times.” The Church is the same yesterday, today and forever. Truth doesn’t change. Our Lord is the Truth and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same can be said of His Church for He and His Church are one.
A Modernist believes that the expression of dogma/doctrine can change. For example, with the recent Synod we heard much talk of allowing people in mortal sin to commit sacrilege, but at the same time, we heard that the doctrine would not change. If we alter the expression, we alter the substance. This is the goal of the Modernists. They just do it subtly and slyly.
Pope St. Pius X said: “Attempting to reconcile our Faith with the modern mentality leads not only to weakening of that Faith, but to its total destruction.”
Pope St. Pius X outed the Modernists. This was a hallmark of his pontificate. He foresaw the incalculable damage the Modernists would do if given free rein and he did all in his power to condemn them. It is as clear as day that Our Lord allowed them to do that very incalculable damage to his Church, for the Modernists reconciled the Faith with the modern mentality, claiming that this was the best for the Church. I say, by their fruits you will know them! The fruits of their work are bitter, bitter for the world and for the Church. Whole nations have apostasied from the True Faith and offered their incense to their own gods, instead of worshiping Our Lord Jesus Christ and remaining faithful to the Catholic Faith of 2,000 years.
Pope St. Pius X, another St. Athansius of our time, cried out that the wolf was entering the sheepfold ready to devour all in its path.
Returning to the apostasy, on that subject Pope Pius X had this to say:
“Who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God… When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the ‘Son of Perdition’ [Antichrist] of whom the Apostle speaks.”
If he questioned whether the Antichrist was in the world in his day, what would he say today, seeing the fruits of the Modernism he tried so hard to banish from the Church?
“They want them [the Modernists] to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses. But they should be beaten with fists. In a duel, you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can. War is not made with charity: it is a struggle, a duel. If Our Lord were not terrible, He would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the traders: He scourged them with whips!”
One can see the similarities between these three great men of the Church, for they all fought during their times against the heresies of their times, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. Indeed, the world woke up to find itself Arian. Today, the Church woke up to find itself Modernist.
The wolf must no longer be allowed to lead souls to perdition.
Pray for the conversion of the Modernists to the True Faith, while they still have time to repent, for when they face the Just Judge they will not be “treated with oil, soap and caresses” because the Just Judge will ask then – “What have you done to My Church, my priests and bishops?”
~Damsel of the Faith