Tag Archives: SSPX

Four years of Pope Francis’ Pontificate: SSPX Press Release

Pope

From DICI:

On the occasion of the anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, the mainstream press has dedicated several articles to a status report on his first four years on the throne of Saint Peter. Rather than quote these incidental commentaries, it seems to us more helpful to reprint certain analyses that have appeared in recent months. Coming from very different perspectives, their authors all agree on the fact that a deep division in the Church is setting in.

During the sermon that he gave in Poland on March 3, 2017 (see our article here), Bp. Bernard Fellay declared: “There are many contradictions, there is a battle between the bishops, among the cardinals, this is a new situation…. Rome is no longer united, but divided.” The Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X is only confirming what the Pope reportedly said on his own, according to the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel on December 27, 2016:

“According to his own agenda, Francis no longer has much time to change things in the Church, for he himself said that he thought that his pontificate would last only four to five years, and that deadline has almost arrived. The Pope’s critics, in the Vatican and outside the Vatican, must nevertheless be prepared for other surprises. In his inner circle, Francis allegedly said about himself:We must not rule out the possibility that I will go down in history as the one who divided the Catholic Church.’”

de facto schism

On January 20, 2017, the Italian Vatican-watcher Marco Tosatti commented on an article by the German journalist Guido Horst that had appeared in the Tagespost on January 10.

Guido Horst, columnist for the German Catholic newspaper Tagespost, does not mince words in a short article on the state of the Church after Amoris laetitia. “A de facto schism,” he writes. If memory serves us, this term was already used in the recent past by the Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Athanasius Schneider.

The fact that at the same time the newspaper run by the Secretariat of the Italian Episcopal Conference, L’Avvenire, dedicates an article to saying, on the contrary, that in reality everything is going well, and wonders, “who knows what it will take to put an end to a debate that seems absurd to more and more Catholics?”, is an indication of a division that is widening every day, instead of diminishing.

But let us read what Horst writes, in his article entitled: “A de facto schism”. He interprets the statements made by Cardinal Müller as a confirmation that “there will be no answer to these questions from Francis, in particular to the dubia of the four cardinals.”

But the answer has already come from Malta, Horst adds. When the two bishops from that island “instruct the pastors of the little insular State that each divorced-and-remarried person can decide for himself with God to receive Communion, this clearly means that each local church can do what it wants. The split is getting deeper. Florence against Rome, Poland against Argentina, Malta against Milan. This is what is called a de facto schism….”

The problem, Horst asserts, is that the Pope is mute. “The Pope is silent about the letter from the cardinals, and thus he indirectly refuses to make a clear statement about how the disputed paragraphs of Amoris laetitia should be read in the light of the statements of previous popes.” And of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we might add. Thus “Rome is no longer an authority that brings clarity, but rather a calm observer silently watching how and how soon the unity of the Church’s pastoral ministry falls to pieces.” And the individual priests who are ultimately subject to all the pressures “are left alone”.

These are harsh words, particularly because they come from someone who certainly cannot be categorized as an opponent or critic of the current pontificate (Guido Horst contributes to the Tagespost, a liberal Catholic newspaper, and to the official website of the German Bishops’ Conference – Editor’s note.) Likewise, the commentary by Björn Odendahl on the German bishops’ website, Katholisch.de, is certainly in favor of the Pope; in it he deplores, as a progressive, the Pope’s silence: “In a way,” he writes, “the conservatives are right: the Pope’s words are not clear enough. He ought to speak up and quickly put an end to these developments that are harming the Church.”

In our opinion it is not very likely that he will do so, thus allowing the Church to undergo a division on a central topic like the Eucharist and Jesus’ words on marriage, a division that is probably unprecedented in modern times.

We think that he will not do it, because what he said to Archbishop Bruno Fort in April 2016 (to be precise, on May 3, 2016, during a conference on Amoris laetitia in which he presented what follows as a “jest” by the Pope. – Editor’s note) seems to us very eloquent. During the Synod, the Pope allegedly confided to him: “If we speak explicitly about Communion for the divorced-and-remarried, you have no idea what a mess those guys will make for us. Well, then, let’s not talk about it directly; do it in such a way that the premises are there, and afterwards I will be the one to draw the conclusions.”

Abp Forte was Special Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, the author of the controversial “interim report” that was disowned by the President of the Assembly, Cardinal Erdö, and to a large extent was not accepted by the working groups of the Synod. And Abp. Forte commented (on this attitude of the Pope): “Typical of a Jesuit.” He added that the Apostolic Exhortation “is not a new doctrine, but the merciful application of the perennial teaching.”

If the anecdote reported by Abp. Forte is true, and there is no reason to doubt it, we understand better the degree of confusion and ambiguity, as well as the diversity of interpretations, caused by the Apostolic Exhortation. In other words, a deliberate absence of clarity that is reminiscent of the secular polemics and accusations that have been aimed at the Society of Jesus for centuries. The product of a strategy implemented even before the proceedings of the 2014 Synod had commenced.

What does the “revolution” of Pope Francis consist of?

In the French weekly newspaper Valeurs Actuelles (January 7, 2017), Laurent Dandrieu wrote, in an article entitled “Francis, the pope who gives scandal”:

As unusual as it is, this quarrel at the highest levels (of the Church hierarchy) is no doubt not the last one of this pontificate: the leader of liberation theology, the Marxist version of the preferential option for the poor, who was sanctioned as such by John Paul II, Leonardo Boff has just declared that Pope Francis was “one of us” (meaning: in solidarity with liberation theology) and predicts other surprises from the Pope—particularly on the subject of married priests. Now the next Synod, in 2018, will deal with the theme of vocations. It is often maintained that a married priesthood would be the answer to the vocations crisis. But above all this is an issue brought up regularly by the adversaries of the Church, since priestly celibacy appears to them to be an intolerable sign of its refusal to bend the knee to the dictates of modernity. Which raises the question: Does the “revolution” of Pope Francis consist of bringing the Church back to its radical Gospel message, or of winning for the Church the favor of the secularized world? The judgment that history will pass on this pontificate will depend on the answer.

“Not to resist error is to approve of it.”

On January 18, three bishops from Kazakhstan, Abp. Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Abp. Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop and Bishop emeritus of Karaganda, and Bp. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, issued an appeal for prayer:

Considering that the admission of so-called “remarried” divorced persons to the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist without requiring them to live in continence is a danger to the faith and to the salvation of souls and furthermore constitutes an offense against God’s holy will; moreover, taking into consideration the fact that this pastoral practice can never be the expression of mercy, of the “via caritatis” [“way of charity”] or of the Church’s maternal way with regard to sinful souls, we issue with deep pastoral concern this urgent appeal for prayer that Pope Francis will revoke, clearly and unambiguously, the aforementioned pastoral guidelines that have already been adopted by some particular Churches. Such an act on the part of the visible Head of the Church would be a comfort for the pastors and for the faithful of the Church, according to the mandate that Christ, the supreme shepherd of souls, gave to the Apostle Peter, and through him to all his successors: “Strengthen your brethren!” (Luke 22:32).

May these words of a saintly pope and of Saint Catherine of Sienna, Doctor of the Church, be for everyone in the Church today a source of light and reassurance:

“Not to resist error is to approve of it; not to defend the truth is to stifle it” (Saint Felix III, Pope, †492). “Holy Father, God chose you in the Church so that you might be an instrument for eradicating heresy, confounding falsehood, exalting the Truth, dispelling darkness and manifesting the light” (Saint Catherine of Sienna, †1380).

When Pope Honorius I (625-638) adopted an ambiguous attitude toward the spread of the new heresy of Monothelitism, Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent a bishop from Palestine to Rome, telling him: Travel to the Apostolic See, where the foundations of sacred doctrine are found, and do not stop praying until the Apostolic See condemns the new heresy. The condemnation then took place in 649 by Saint Martin I, pope and martyr.

(Sources: Tagespost/Stilum Curiae/Valeurs Actuelles – based on the French translation by benoitetmoi and the blog of J. Smits – DICI no. 351, dated March 17, 2017)

 

~ Steven C.

 

Recent SSPX-Rome purchase rumors are False

Image result for sspx logo rumor

http://www.dici.org/en/news/society-of-saint-pius-x-menzingen-in-rome/

Over the past several days, there have been an abundance of rumors disseminated regarding the purchase by the Society of St. Pius X of a large building complex in Rome.  According to the original article, “The Pope is said to have intervened directly to speed the whole process, via Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Bp. Bernard Fellay (Superior of the SSPX), Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General Father Alain Nély are said to have stayed from January 17-20 at the Casa Santa Marta. The Superior of the Sisters of the Society also attended the talks. Father Nély is the person in charge of finalizing the purchase of the complex”.  The signing of an official agreement with Rome is also seen to be imminent.

These rumors are false.  Virtually everything in the original report is totally false.

Predictably, this “news” spread feverishly across conservative Catholic news sites and the infamous, calumny-filled anti-SSPX message boards.  The Society was this time finally going to “sell out”, as has been prophesied for 17 years and for a shorter period during the 1980s.

For the sake of justice, we have posted below the official response of the Society to this latest slander.  Hopefully this post will reassure those who may have been concerned.  As one can infer from Bp. Fellay’s latest interview(https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/bp-fellay-in-latest-interview-errors-are-killing-the-church/), as well as all of the Society’s official communication channels; the signing of a personal prelature is not to be considered until there are very clear, explicit indications from Rome that the Society remain exactly as they are.

Responses from DICI:

An Italian website announced: “A proposal issued directly by the Holy Father is supposed to appear before the end of the month to offer the Society of St. Pius X an official status in the Church.” The “information” was repeated the following day by an American website. And that same day, in a French online forum, one could read: “The rumor is being clarified.” The author of the message said that he had learned “through priests of the Society” that Bishop Fellay had traveled that week “to Rome with his two assistants for a very important meeting.” He might just as well have said that the Swiss bishop, who was in Menzingen (Switzerland) at the time, had the gift of bilocation !

A sedevacantist website, reprinting an article that had appeared on June 17 in Le Figaro Online, declared: “The doctrinal discussions between Rome and Écône are over. Betrayal [and accomplishment (?!)] by the authorities of the SSPX, who knew what they were doing and accept.” [Translator’s note: Careless grammar in original French article]. Whereas a Roman news agency, commenting on the same article, wrote on June 20 that “some voices in Rome do not hesitate to speak about a failure at the conclusion of the meetings between theologians” from the Vatican and Écône.

The two preceding paragraphs were published in DICI on June 25, 2011 ! We merely omitted the dates of the supposed “revelations” that the press served up as an “exclusive story” to its avid readers.

Today they are talking about the acquisition, in Rome, by the Society of a complex of buildings including a large chapel, with a view to an imminent agreement and a transfer of the General House, also very imminent, to the Eternal City. We respond to this “news” in the current issue of DICI, while keeping the conclusion of the 2011 editorial : “Rumors are the reflection of the good or bad humors of those who spread them.”

Fr. Alain Lorans

 

Society of Saint Pius X: Menzingen in Rome?

3-03-2017
Filed under From Tradition, News

In an article that appeared in the February 24 issue of Il Foglio and was reprinted by the news agency cath.ch on February 25, the Italian journalist Matteo Matzuzzi announced the imminent purchase by the Society of Saint Pius X of a building complex including a church in the neo-Gothic style, Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, in Rome. In his telling, this purchase is the sign of an agreement with the Holy See, which is not very far off either. He deduced from this that the General House will soon be transferred from Menzingen to Rome. Based on these “revelations”, Matteo Matzuzzi writes: “The Pope is said to have intervened directly to speed the whole process, via Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Bp. Bernard Fellay (Superior of the SSPX), Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General Father Alain Nély are said to have stayed from January 17-20 at the Casa Santa Marta. The Superior of the Sisters of the Society also attended the talks. Father Nély is the person in charge of finalizing the purchase of the complex.”

La Maison générale de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X.

It is true that the Society of Saint Pius X is Catholic, and therefore Roman, and that its founder, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, always wanted there to be a foundation in Rome. This is why one of its first houses was the one in Albano, not far from the Eternal City. It is also true that, in the relations that he had with the Roman authorities, Abp. Lefebvre—as a worthy son of the Rev. Fr. Henri Le Floch, C.S.Sp. (1862-1950), rector of the French Seminary in Rome—always proclaimed his romanità. This prompted him to write to Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, then envoy of Pope John Paul II, on November 21, 1987: “We willingly agree to be recognized by the Pope as we are and to have a headquarters in the Eternal City, to offer our collaboration toward the renewal of the Church; we never wanted to break with the Successor of Peter, or to consider the Holy See vacant, despite the trials that this has earned us.”

From a very practical perspective, the Society of Saint Pius X has been trying for many years to acquire a chapel in Rome to replace the one that it owns, which is unfortunately too small. If this chapel, or rather this church, had adjoining buildings, it could provide lodgings for priests who are passing through. But there was never any discussion about relocating the General House.

For these doctrinal and practical reasons, there have been plans for a purchase in Rome, there are some now and there will be others, as long as a firm acquisition has not been finalized. On the other hand, to respond to the “revelations” in the press, there is no plan to purchase a building complex at Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, as Matteo Matzuzzi writes. Neither Bp. Fellay nor Bp. de Galarreta nor Fr. Nély stayed at the Casa Santa Marta; they were not even in Rome from January 17 to 20. Of course Fr. Nély must travel frequently in Italy, because he is serving as interim replacement of the District Superior, but from January 17 to 20 he was in Menzingen. Not having the gift of bilocation, and most importantly not being Econome General, he is not in charge of finalizing any plan to purchase property. As for the Superior General of the Sisters of the Society, she visited the community of nuns in Albano in February, where she took part in no real estate negotiations.

Moreover on February 27 the Vaticanist for La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli, who has information from the best Roman sources, wrote: “Various rumors have spread in recent days about the possibility that the Society may buy a building with an adjacent church, in order to transfer its headquarters to Rome, and they spoke about the complex of Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, not far from the Lateran.

“The complex is made up of a neo-Gothic church built in the early 20th century for the Brothers of Charity and a building that has already been used in the past as an elementary and secondary school, which now belongs to a religious order. It was said that Francis and the Ecclesia Dei Commission facilitated the purchase. In fact, this was not the case: The Ecclesia Dei Commission was in no way involved, nor was the Vicariate of Rome.” Duly noted!

 

Bp. Fellay in his latest interview:

(Sources: IlFoglio/cath.ch/Stampa – DICI no. 350 dated March 3, 2017)

The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas. Is a Church that for 40 years has imposed a way of thinking, this modernist way of thinking against which we fight, against which, or because of which we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church; is this Church ready, yes or no, to let us continue on our path?

Archbishop Lefebvre used to speak of “letting us make the experiment of Tradition.” Are they going to let us, yes or no? Or are they waiting for us at a bend in the road, are they going to tell us tomorrow that we “have to fall into line?” To accept what we have been fighting against for forty years? That, we are not about to give up.

So it is all there, really; that is where the question lies. With these new, more open attitudes, when they tell us some things are not required criteria for being Catholic, there seems to be a path opening up. Now, is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path? I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are? For us it is obvious that this is not the end.

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.

And of course, we understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired now; even just bringing back the holy liturgy. We understand very well that it cannot be done overnight. So if things take time, that is one thing, but is the intention even there? Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?

And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, “No, no. No, no, we shall continue along the same lines.” So we remain outlaws. Well, tolerated outlaws, and we might even say, in the most astonishing way, with Pope Francis we are more than tolerated, but we remain on the outskirts.

So are things going to stay as they are? Are things going to move ahead? Or tomorrow are we going to be swallowed up by this movement that, once again, is killing the Church? That is the question. And until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.”

Bp. Tissier de Mallerais(http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bishop-tissier-interview-la-porte-latine-14983):

Things are becoming clearer. During our pilgrimage to Rome in the year 2000, we were charmed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who urged John Paul II to recognize the Society unilaterally. Then Benedict XVI granted us two “preliminary requirements”: the recognition of the freedom of the traditional Mass and the lifting (more or less fortunate, for us and for him) of the 1988 excommunications. In 2010-2011, we had planned doctrinal discussions: in total disagreement! Our Superior General Bishop Fellay pursued the negotiations and caused some worry, until it became clear, in May and June 2012, that Benedict XVI still required as a condition, as he had said plainly at the start, that we accept the Council and the legitimacy of the reforms. It was a failure. But now there is very clearly a disposition on Pope Francis’ side to recognize us without these conditions. We say “Prudence! ” For things are moving and progress is still needed.

Archbishop Lefebvre never laid down as a condition for us to be recognized by Rome that Rome abandon the errors and the conciliar reforms. Even if he did say something like that to Andre Cagnon in 1990, he would never have done so, because that was never his line of conduct, his strategy with modernist Rome. He was strong in the Faith, he did not yield on his doctrinal position, but he knew how to be flexible, patient, and prudent in practice. To achieve his ends, his prudence told him to push the adversary, to harass him, make him step back, persuade him, but without blocking him with conditions that he still finds unacceptable. He did not refuse dialogue and was disposed to take advantage of every door opened by his interlocutor. It is in this sense that a certain opportunism, a certain “pragmatism” has been seen in him, and it is true: it is a small virtue annexed to the cardinal virtue of prudence. Sagacity, practical wisdom, is the neighbor of solertia, mentioned by Aristotle, St. Thomas (2-2, q. 48) and the Gaffiot, which is a skill in finding means to obtain one’s ends.

Archbishop Lefebvre requested with acumen “that we at least be tolerated”: “this would be a major advance,” he said. And “that we be recognized as we are,” that is, with our practice that follows from our doctrinal positions. Well, today we see in Rome a disposition to bear our existence and our theoretical and practical positions. I say “bear” because one tolerates evil!

Already, doctrinally, they no longer force us to admit “the whole Council” or religious liberty; some of the errors we denounce are on the point of being considered by our interlocutors as open for free discussion, or continued debate. This is progress. We discuss, but they have to admit that we are not changing and it is unlikely that we will change. And in practice, we ask these Romans: “Recognize our right to reconfirm the faithful conditionally,” and “Recognize the validity of our marriages!” You see, these are serious bones of contention. They will have to grant us these things. Otherwise, how could our recognition be livable?

It may take some time, but there is a God!

And an all-powerful Mediatrix!

~ Steven C.

On “Fiftiesism”

Image result for pius x lukewarm

A common argument put forth by some Catholics in defense of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae is that weekly attendance at Holy Mass began to decrease in the 1950’s.  Thus, the “Novus Ordo” itself would be exempt from much of the blame for the current lukewarm climate in the Church, since it was implemented after the statistics started to trend downward.  

Response:  It is true that Sunday Mass attendance among Catholics in the West started to decrease about a decade before Vatican II.  On the one hand, we cannot ignore the errors of Vatican II and the New mass and the absolute chaos that has ensued since both have been implemented.  On the other hand, what then is the origin of the very beginnings of these “rotten fruits”?  It is amazing that as strong as the Church structures appeared to be in the 1950’s, they were almost totally demolished by Modernism a decade or so later. 

As the events in the life of Christ parallel those of His Church, we can draw a certain parallel between Palm Sunday and Our Lord’s Passion and the 1950’s and the post-Vatican II era.  In the Palm Sunday Gospel, Our Lord is greatly exalted and honored as he triumphantly rides into Jerusalem.  However, to say there were many who hated him was an understatement.  Plots to take His life were being dreamed of by the Jews, culminating in His capture only a few days later.  

Similarly, in the 1950’s, Christ’s Church was enjoying an almost unprecedented apparent rise to glory in the world.  I need not explain it in detail; everyone who is familiar with the period or has lived in it himself will know exactly what I mean.  The plans of the enemies of Our Lord to subvert the Church were already well-advanced though.  Still, one can wonder whether this was such a golden age for the Church as is often perceived.  If the Faith was held ever so fervent, then how did so many, if not most, of these same Catholics lose their faith and make such severe compromises with the world a mere decade later?

This leads to the discussion of the errors spread most prominently in the West particularly following World War II.  Although many hold “officially” that the West emerged victorious in this war, further research may prove the opposite.  For purposes of this post, let us just say that the true concept of authority was destroyed and the West made many compromises with evil.  It is simply a fact that many errors of the Revolution were firmly entrenched in the West by the 1950’s.  

Unfortunately, so many Catholics, if not the great majority, had fallen into many of these errors and were making compromises with the world, thus watering down their Faith.  Many traditional Catholic priests(particularly SSPX priests) have coined this perilous spirit as “Fiftiesism”.  Despite the apparent great growth of the Church, such a state could not last very long with such widespread lukewarmness.  God, however, in His infinite love and mercy, would provide graces for those Catholics of good will to remain faithful.  One very great grace was His gift of Abp. Lefebvre, who would continue to preserve the sacred priesthood and fight for the good Faith!   

In the letter attached below, Bp. Richard Williamson, then Rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary(SSPX), describes some of the main errors of “Fiftiesism”.  After dismantling these errors, he points out the simple remedy: to remain fully faithful to Our Lord and His Church.  Let us strive then to simply be found faithful!

From the August 1998 “Letter From the Rector”:  

         

Following on the mention of “Fiftiesism” in last month’s letter, a reader reasonably asked what it is, and if there is anywhere he can read up on it. Since Fiftiesism is a serious threat to “Traditional” Catholics, and since little has to my knowledge been written about it as such, let us examine it here.

“Fiftiesism” is a name for the kind of Catholicism that was generally practised in the 1950’s, between World War II and Vatican II. To many Catholics who can look back that far, the 1950’s seem like a golden age for the Church, because all kinds of Catholic systems were still up and running that crashed a few years later. On the other hand, precisely because so many Catholic systems crashed in the 1960’s and 1970’s, not all can have been well with the Church in those 1950’s. There must have been “something rotten in the State of Denmark”.

For instance the magnificent building now housing the Seminary in Winona was put up by the Dominicans, sparing no expense, in the early 1950’s, only to be abandoned by them in 1970, and sold for a song. And this Novitiate for their central United States Province was merely one Catholic institute amongst thousands all over the world that followed this path from riches to rags. Can the 1950’s really have been such a golden age as they seem?

Fiftiesism is then the name for what was wrong alongside – or inside – all that was right in the practice of Catholicism in the 1950’s. Church structures stood tall but termites were burrowing away within, so that with one strong push from Vatican II, the structures were all ready to fall over. Traditional Catholics today must take thought to avoid re-building a Church of the 1950’s all ready to fall over again!

To illustrate what was good as well as bad in the Catholicism of the 1950’s, let us think of English Catholicism in the 1520’s, just before the Reformation in England of the 1530’s and 1540’s.

On the good side, England looked in the 1520’s like a completely Catholic nation. It had been Catholic for nearly 1,000 years, with the result that for an Englishman then to be Catholic was the most normal and simple thing in the world. Young King Henry VIII was so Catholic that he was awarded by Rome the title of “Defender of the Faith” for his refutation of Luther’s errors! As for the English people, a scholarly book was written a few years ago to prove how Catholic they still were, as though the Reformation was none of their fault.

Alas, on the bad side, what were the fruits of this 1520’s Catholicism? By the end of the 1550’s Catholics were being persecuted, and Queen Elizabeth I was skillfully and ruthlessly maneuvering England into national apostasy, wherein to remain Catholic was a glorious but highly dangerous avocation. Catholic priests were hunted down by her secret police, hanged, drawn and quartered as traitors, so that while an English priest in the 1560’s had to have the same Catholic Faith and priesthood as a priest in the 1520’s, nevertheless in the transformed circumstances he was called upon to be a quite new kind of priest. Hence the Jesuit Order, “old and new”.

What had happened? The Catholicism of English Catholics in the 1520’s had been tried by the Lord God and found wanting. As events of the 1530’s and 1540’s proved, their Catholicism, which we might call “Twentiesism”, had been too much of a shell-game. The clergy had “lacked grace” (Thomas More). As for the people, they had resisted, for instance in the Pilgrimage of Grace, but not enough. So God punished English Twentiesism by letting it turn into the permanent shell-game of Anglicanism (known in the U.S.A. as Episcopalianism), founded on Elizabeth’s Anglican Establishment.

Now imagine a Jesuit priest in England of the 1560’s saying to the small congregations of his faithful remnant, “My dear people, all is changed, changed utterly, a terrible beauty is born. No more Twentiesism!”, and you can see why a Traditional priest would say to Traditionalists in the 1990’s, “No more Fiftiesism!”

In fairness to English Catholics of the 1520’s, the problem of their shell-game had been building up over many generations before them, and it did not mean that every English Catholic was losing or would lose the Faith, because of course there was a glorious first harvest of martyrs under Henry VIII, and a second under Elizabeth I.

In fairness likewise to the Fiftiesism of our own time, the pre-Vatican II shell-game was the end-product of 150 years of Liberal Catholicism blending Church and world, attempting to combine the values of the Faith with those of the Revolution, and not every Catholic of the 1950’s proved to be deep-down in love with the world, because, as in Reformation England, a by the grace of God faithful remnant pulled through Vatican II to constitute the bedraggled but glorious remains of the Tridentine Church known to us as “Tradition”, or the Traditionalists”!

At the heart then of Fiftiesism in our own time is that while outwardly the Faith in the 1950’s seemed to be lived, practised and defended, and the Mass was the Mass of all time, nevertheless inwardly too many Catholics’ hearts were going with the world. Thence it was simply a matter of time before all those strict priests celebrating the ancient liturgy with every detail in place, would throw away their birettas and loosen up with eucharistic picnics improvised from one moment to the next. Americans old enough remember how suddenly this change could take place, almost overnight. The inside was rotten. Many Catholics pretended to love God, but really they loved the world. God spat them out at Vatican II.

But why in the 1950’s were so many Catholics inwardly loving the world? Because the modern world, industrialized and suburbanized, is too much with us, all-glamorous, all-powerful, all-seductive. For even if a man and his family are intent upon remaining Catholic, still man remains a three-layered creature, not only individual and familial but also social, and all three layers are connected. Hence society exerts an enormous anti-Catholic pressure upon Catholics when it has been, like ours, largely in the grip of Masonic Revolutions for the last 200 years.

To illustrate Fiftiesism here in the U.S.A. (since most readers of this letter are Americans, but of course Fiftiesism was worldwide, as was Vatican II), let us quote three anti-Catholic principles firmly believed in by many American Catholics of the 1950’s (and 1990’s?), one social, one familial, one individual, amongst many others.

False social principle: separation of Church and State. This deadly error means that Jesus Christ is no longer King over society, He is only King of the sacristy. Society can supposedly do as it likes, and Our Lord has nothing to say! On the contrary read in the Bible the history of the People of God from Abraham and Moses through David, Solomon and Ezra to see if God’s religion tells peoples what as peoples they must do!

False familial principle: co-education. Boys are designed by God quite differently from girls because He has quite different parts for them to play in life. So the Catholic Church has always known and taught that from as early an age as possible, let us say no later than seven or eight, they should be taught differently and separately. Yet how many “Catholics” in the U.S.A. were accustomed to coeducation in the 1950’s and still see no problem with it in the 1990’s? Not even in the most primitive tribes will you find coeducation! They have too much sense!

False individual principle: the split between “religion” and real life. To how many “Catholics” in the 1950’s was “religion” what one did on Sunday morning while in real life the world was being saved, for instance from Communism, by the American Constitution, free enterprise, etc. etc.? No doubt the Faith was believed in, every article of it, but how many “Catholics” let that Faith form their character and define their view of the world? How many “Traditionalists” to this day really put their trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ to solve problems of home, family, politics, education, economics, the arts, etc., etc.? How many on the contrary seek to “enjoy” the world as much as they can, to have all possible “fun”, while keeping just short of mortal sin? That is pure Fiftiesism, and it will have the same disastrous results.

What is the solution to Fiftiesism, then and now? It is not complicated. The problem lies in pretending to put God first but not really doing so. The solution lies in obeying the First Commandment first, in loving the Lord God – Jesus Christ – with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind, and in putting no other gods or solutions before Him. Nor is it impossible to do so. The world, the flesh and the Devil may dominate our environment as never before in all history, but God remains God and we remain children of His Mother.

A powerful and practical means she obtained from her Son to help us put the First Commandment back in place is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. These were given only twice at the Seminary this year, but they brought forth a bouquet of testimonials from which we shall quote next month to encourage you to make use of one of the Society’s three retreat houses in the U.S.A.. Go to the retreats where you hear they really knock down, drag out the retreatants! Those are where the action is!

And may Our Lord pull all of us back from the world, the flesh and the Devil, lest His Chastisement catch us still in Fiftiesism, ready for Hell!

 

~ Steven C., “The Knight Of Tradition”

Bp. Fellay in latest interview: “Errors are killing the Church”

 

Speaking to Fr. Alain Lorans of the French Radio Courtoisie, Bishop Fellay discusses a wide range of topics, from Vatican II & Amoris Laetitia to the ungodliness of the modern government and the truth behind the latest talks between the Society and Rome. He also talks about the spiritual infertility in the modern church.  This man speaks so beautifully on the Faith and tradition, that it is well worth the read. I have posted his insightful interview from the Dici website, which you can read below. God bless Bishop Fellay & the Society of St. Pius X, and may our patrons keep them steadfast in the Faith always.

~Damsel of the Faith

http://www.dici.org/en/news/will-the-society-of-st-pius-x-be-truly-free-to-try-the-experiment-of-tradition/

Fr. Alain Lorans: Your Excellency, you have been the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X for over 20 years. Over this period of time, have you seen a change in the Church, in the Society, or in the world during your travels? You just returned from South America; where have your latest trips taken you? 

Bishop Bernard Fellay: My latest trips? First I went to the United States for the blessing of the new seminary. I also participated in a congress on the other side of the United States, the west coast. And then in December we had ordinations in Argentina. While I was over there I stopped in Peru to see how things are coming in Lima; we have a chapel there, too. Those were my two most recent big trips last year.

Fr. Lorans: Have you noticed an evolution over the last 20 years and more?

Bishop Fellay: It takes time to tell if something is really moving. There has been a certain evolution, but it is very gradual. Extremely gradual, practically imperceptible. I think there have been some changes, but the heart of the struggle – we will probably come back to this – the heart of the struggle is still the same. There are new elements and the battle of ideas has not changed. What has changed is men, or to be more precise, a generation has come and gone. The fighters of the early days are in a better world now – not all of them, but most of them. The older ones – I might say my generation (I was just in my twenties, and I remember it well) – the older ones lived in a much more aggressive climate than today.

But there is a new aggressiveness coming, but this time it is not coming from the Church – the Church is in such decline, there is no new aggressiveness, just the same things over and over. But with the governments, there is a sort of global ideology setting in worldwide; it is very left-wing and it is taking over; it wants to take over. It is the same ideas as always, but it is becoming more aggressive.

Governments increased aggressiveness towards the Natural Law

Fr. Lorans: In France we have seen “marriage for all,” “homosexual marriage,” and the “Gender theory.” Have you seen that everywhere in the world?

Bishop Fellay: Yes, it is universal.

Fr. Lorans: And are all the Catholics close to tradition protesting and fighting against these ideologies?

Bishop Fellay: There are not enough traditional Catholics to make up a political group or movement. An ideological group, yes. And there are others, the conservatives, who are reacting more or less. It depends on the countries. We try to help them, too, and even to participate, but it is different from country to country. We are in the fight, but perhaps not always at the head of it. From our point of view, of course, we are, because we always have something to say, but we cannot look only at ourselves. If we look at the overall picture, we are but a very small number. As far as numbers go, we have no weight, whereas as far as ideas go, we do. As far as the battle of ideas goes, we represent something very solid, and I think that is why we are feared.

Fr. Lorans: By whom? Who fears us? Who is afraid of tradition?

Bishop Fellay: Oh, everyone! I think it is very widespread. Certainly not just what we used to call the progessivists, or the ecclesial groups that tried to wreak havoc in the Church with Vatican II. They are there, they are still there, and that battle is still waging. But there are also those who helped inspire these changes in the Church or tried to establish them in the Church. And they are still as aggressive as ever, if not more so. It is easy to see that Freemasonry is behind these modern ideas. Something new that didn’t exist 30, 50 years ago is the homosexual lobby. At the time, it wasn’t very well known, it was rare, and no one talked about those things because they weren’t very well known. And then suddenly they came in like a wave, and they are trying to make everyone believe they are the majority. I do not think they are, but they have what they need to impose these laws that destroy society, because they destroy the laws of all society, the natural law. If things continue in this way, the world will die of sterility.

Fr. Lorans: Because there will be no more children?

Bishop Fellay: There will be no more children. People seek personal pleasure and have lost any sense of the common good, of a good that is greater than man, and to which each man must contribute – and that is called the common good. Everyone benefits from it, but it supposes everyone’s collaboration. The minute the personal good comes first, it leads to the destruction of society, and that is what is happening under our very eyes in the most stupefying way. I don’t think it is anything new. It began 20 years ago. Or maybe some 40 years ago. I think that 1968 was the start, but this anti-natural current was not yet visible. It came later, I think it came before the year 2000, in the 80’s and 90’s with what we call the New Age. That is when these new destructive ideologies came in.

The heart of the fight is the same as ever: it is the fight of those who are against God, who reject any law that does not come from men alone – the “social contract.” And yet it does not take much to see that there are laws everywhere. Take the physical laws for example; they weren’t written in nature by men. The same with human nature. There are laws that have to be followed for the normal development of human nature. There is no doubt about it: if you do not wish to respect them, it is like any law, any manual, any instruction booklet. If you have a washing machine and you do not wish to follow the instructions, well, you ruin your machine. And here they are ruining the human machine, be it the individual, the person, or society.

We are really coming to exceptional times. A time of dissociety. A sort of dissolution of society, a loss of the common good, the disappearance of the idea that there is a goal, that every society has a goal. And we have also lost the idea of authority, the need for an authority to unite men’s wills in order to reach this goal. Hence the need to submit to authority, and the need for authority to remain objective and not arbitrary. When you see how governments are behaving today, it seems like so many absolutely fundamental values are forgotten in favor of the individual or of whoever wishes to establish his own personal power or to keep his power. And we see this as much in society as in the Church. Today in the Church – and this is new – we are also witnessing a time of dissolution in the Church. The loss of unity in the Church today is absolutely staggering.

Sterility affects the Church

Fr. Lorans: You speak of a society marked by sterility in the most concrete sense of the word: no more children, no more fecundity; it is a form of suicide. And you even say that the Church is affected, too? Is she, too, heading towards a suicide through infecundity? Especially since there are so few vocations?

Bishop Fellay: Yes, exactly. We can see that adopting modern ideas, the modern mindset that came in with the Council – these ideas were at least latent before, and the Council more or less incorporated them, and so in the end they really entered into the Church with and thanks to the Council – these ideas of the modern world, these modern ideas have the same results. It may be less visible, but the result is there: empty seminaries, empty churches, convents, and religious societies that are extinct or going extinct. There are so many. It is a phenomenon that is very present today and that is parallel to what is happening in society. So far the Church seems to reject, more or less timidly, sometimes strongly, the attacks on the natural law. So there is still a struggle between the world and the Church. It still exists, so it is not exactly the same thing, but it is still a little bit of a parallel development. And we do not hesitate to say that when it comes down to it, the fruits, the evil fruits, come from the same spirit, the spirit of the world.

It is a spirit of independence from God, a spirit that wishes to free itself from the yoke of God’s law that is too harsh or too difficult. No more spirit of sacrifice: that is one of the marks of the modern Church. The Crucified Christ is taken off the crosses, they do not put Our Lord on the cross any more. They have taken Him down; they no longer want to see the Man of Sorrows. He has risen from the dead and Alleluia! But the world we live in remains a world of suffering, and oh, how we need to know that God Himself willed to share our sufferings, not only to lighten them, but to save us, to give these sufferings a redemptive value! But they have taken all that away and replaced it with a sort of new mysticism, the Paschal mystery. In reality, it is a mystification. It used to be very simple: there was Good Friday, when Our Lord died for us, for our Salvation, and then He rose from the dead because He is God. He is true man, He died. He is true God, He cannot die, and He rose again because He is God. Now they wish to forget death, they wish to forget that we have to go through death and mortification. They wish to forget it.

Fr. Lorans: They want to go straight to Easter Sunday and erase Good Friday? 

Bishop Fellay: The interesting thing is that in the economy of salvation, the order we have to follow to obtain salvation and eternal life, we have to die. That is what they no longer want. They want to obtain life without dying.

Fr. Lorans: So they refuse “unless the seed die?”

Bishop Fellay: Exactly. That is exactly it. That is the problem with the modern Church.

Fr. Lorans: And so the seed remains alone and bears no fruit. It becomes sterile.

Bishop Fellay: Exactly. They no longer bear any fruit and they have become sterile. It is all there. As soon as a conservative bishop opens a seminary in which he upholds order and requires a little discipline, the seminary fills up. But so few bishops have understood that. The others do not want to hear it; they prefer to remain sterile. And I am convinced that they do not understand why it doesn’t work. But we understand very well why.

Fr. Lorans: You say they refuse sacrifice; there was much talk of the family at the last Synod. Is it the same thing with the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia: a refusal of discipline, authority, the teaching of Christ and a sense of sacrifice?

Bishop Fellay: I don’t think it is out of principle. It is somewhat of an unusual event. I’ll try to explain it. What I see in our pope today, Pope Francis, is a care for souls, but especially souls that are rejected, so souls that are lonely, that are set aside or despised or simply in difficulty. What he calls the “existential peripheries.” So is it really the famous lost sheep? Is Pope Francis leaving the flock of 99 other sheep, thinking he is where he should be, taking care of the lost sheep? Is that maybe what he is thinking? I say maybe, I am not trying to give a complete answer. Let’s just say that we can see in everything he says that his attention is universal, he does not look only at the Faith. He looks at the homeless, immigrants, and prisoners. And yes, these are people who have been left aside by others, but one does not need the Faith to see that. One does not need the Faith to see that these people suffer. And then you have divorcees. They, too, suffer. And you have us, we are rejected, too. And in the end, we are all sort of in the same category, the category of those rejected by the common body. And he wants to care for those souls. He wants to try to do something. The problem is that for many of these souls in difficulty, they are there because they have butted heads with a law in one way or another.

So we have a pope who has a problem with the law that hurts some of humanity, so to speak, and who tries to see if there is not some other way, – not to get rid of the law, I do not think that is his idea – but to see if there is some other path for them. I’m trying to understand what he does, but it is not easy.

Cardinals’s dubia on Amoris Laetitia: work of public salvation

Fr. Lorans: It is so difficult that four cardinals voiced their doubts, saying that Amoris Laetitia presents serious doctrinal problems.

Bishop Fellay: And they are right. But look at how the exhortation is written – and that is the problem today – it opens up gray areas! The pope says things are not all black and white, some are gray, but the law is made to state things clearly! And it necessarily establishes a black and white, a yes and no. We know that in everyday reality, there can be exceptions, at least in ecclesiastical law – there is an important distinction between the law of God and the law of the Church, for God foresees everything, He knows all the circumstances, He knows all the situations men could find themselves in when He establishes the law, and His law has no exceptions: the law of God, His commandments have no exceptions. But in human law, even Church law, in other words the laws made by the Church, man does not have this infinite wisdom of God, and the Church knows there are bound to be circumstances in which the law, if applied, would harm souls, and these are exceptions, and in this black and white situation, we can say it is gray. When it is a matter of ecclesiastical law, the Church is ready to make exceptions very easily and very broadly; it is admirable to see just how broadly. But again, the law of God has no exceptions.

Fr. Lorans: So does communion for the divorced and “remarried” depend on the law of God or the law of the Church?

Bishop Fellay: The law of God. Our Lord explicitly spoke of the precise case of separated spouses. St. Paul said so clearly, – and when we say St. Paul, we have to be careful; he is one of the instruments of God who transmits the Word of God, so it is not St. Paul as a man, but God speaking through St. Paul. It is Sacred Scripture. In the Gospel and the epistles, there is no doubt, it is God speaking. It is God speaking through St. Paul. This law is very clear, there is no gray area: he or she who is separated from his or her spouse and lives with another in a marital way commits adultery. Our Lord says so (see Matt. 19:9). He has broken faith, his word given to his spouse; he violates this promise with someone else. It is a sin, and because this union is on the level of society, it is a public sin. Even if there are not many people around, it is a public reality. So it is a sin that is more serious because of the bad example, the scandal for others. That is why God, but also the Church, takes very severe measures: a public sinner, for example, is not allowed to receive burial in the Church. The Church is very severe. As well she should be, because it is about protecting healthy souls.

In fact, the problem we have today is that a certain number of bishops and priests have for years and decades blessed these false unions themselves. The Vatican even had to intervene in France to forbid these rituals . . . that still continue. That is what I was told in Rome. And for Rome to step in, it had to be pretty widespread. These are priests and bishops who have blessed people living in sin, and then you want to refuse them communion. It makes no sense! It is logical, but it is a logic in sin. And it is serious. Very serious.

The texts themselves are not going to be explicitly open to this perspective. In the text of Amoris Laetitia, it is not going to say explicitly: now we can give them communion. It is much cleverer than that. It opens the doors without stepping through them: others will step through them. That is what is so serious: where there was once a clear distinction between good and evil, it opens a gray area that does not exist. And then it says: within this gray area, each man is left to his own conscience or to who knows what. That is false! Simply false. So the cardinals who spoke out, we can say that they accomplished an extremely important work of public salvation. It is too bad they were so few, but I think that is part of human weakness. We know very well that there are many more, but the brave are not legion.

Vatican II and Amoris Laetitia present the same problem

Fr. Lorans: Cardinal Burke said we might see a form of fraternal correction from the four cardinals towards the Holy Father, but very recently, Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the Faith was not challenged in Amoris Laetitia and that [the dubia of the four cardinals] should not have been made public. What do you think?

Bishop Fellay: I think it is a perfect illustration of the problem we have today. We, the Society, with our objections to the Council. I think in a way it is the same problem. There are several levels. There is the level of the battle of ideas, and there is a second level, the level of those who spread these ideas, the people. And there is a back and forth movement between the two. You have people who see the problem but do not dare to say anything or to mention it for several reasons. Some distinctions are needed here: they do not dare to say anything because of the famous principle of the Holy Ghost’s assistance to the head of the Church. The Holy Ghost governs the Church through her head. The Holy Ghost cannot be mistaken, so it must be the same for the Vicar of Christ. Then, for lack of distinction and depth, perhaps out of superficiality or because it is easier, they begin to say, “Everything the Pope does is good.” Something he does cannot be bad. It must be good. Something he says cannot be false, it must be true. These are things we have been told about the Council. And even today, some reproach us, they tell us we cannot be against the Council. It’s not possible: it is a Council of the Church, there is the Holy Ghost, He is good, period, end of story! And we say that there are still problems. And they answer, “Yes, sure, some have misinterpreted the Council. But that is not the Council!” To which we answer, “Perhaps, but they understood it by going from the texts, and the texts were ambiguous!”

Those we speak with in Rome go so far as to admit, “Yes, it is true, some texts were ambiguous.” Even Benedict XVI in his famous speech to the Roman Curia before Christmas 2005 admitted: “Ambiguous texts were drawn up in order to obtain a greater majority, a greater consensus.” But they tell us that a Catholic has no right to read these texts in anything but a Catholic way. So he must eliminate all possible interpretations that go against what the Church has already taught, against the Faith. In theory, this is true, it is perfectly true, and it is exactly what we say. It is exactly the criterion Archbishop Lefebvre gave us on the Council: we accept everything in the Council that is faithful to Tradition. We accept everything that is doubtful or ambiguous insofar as it can be understood the way the Church has always taught it. And following the Archbishop’s example we say: there is a third category of documents that are not just ambiguous, but actually false. And since this category goes against what the Church has always taught – it is not our own little personal judgment; we are not Protestants; the Church had already spoken of these things and she even condemned many of the errors – we continue to condemn it, because the Church has always done so.

That is our position. We say, “In theory, it is perfectly right to state that the only Catholic way to interpret the Council is in the light of Tradition.” But the problem is that once this principle is laid down, they tell us, “That is the way it is, so everyone is interpreting it in a Catholic way.” But we answer once again, “Open your eyes, look around you! That is not what is happening. In theory, it should be like that, but in reality there is a huge problem. The reality is different.” That is what we see with Amoris Laetitia. You have Cardinal Müller who says, “This text does not go against the Faith.”.In other words, it can be interpreted in a Catholic way. Not only we can, but we must interpret it in a Catholic way. Those who do not interpret in a Catholic way are wrong. He doesn’t say it as clearly as that because if he did, he would be pointing a finger at his leader. What he leaves unsaid is extremely important . . . and the four cardinals rightly pointed out this gaping flaw in the doctrine that had been clear until now, really very clear. For the door that has been opened to the divorced and remarried had no right to be opened. Simply no right. And that’s why Cardinal Müller says, “We have not gone through the door, we have not abandoned divine law.” Officially, this is true, except that a certain number of Bishops’ Conferences have already shown the way out.

Fr. Lorans: And in a laxist direction?

Bishop Fellay: Obviously. And others, thank God, the Polish bishops, in a Catholic direction. So what happens? That is the present, the real situation. Faith and morals for a Catholic are on the same level. The Church and the Pope are infallible on these matters, if he wishes to call upon his infallibility. The teaching of the Church has always been: communion cannot be given to someone who is in a state of sin. It is very simple. So someone who is living with a partner as if married, which is necessarily a state of sin, cannot be given communion.

The only gray area, and it really is not gray, is that if these persons no longer live as a married couple but only as brother and sister – and today there can be some very complicated situations with all the reconstructed families, the children of both spouses, etc. For the good to be safeguarded, the good of the children for example, sometimes we have to tolerate two people living together under the same roof. And we tell these people, “If you wish to go to heaven, there is only one way: you have to live without sin. You have to live as brother and sister.” So not in the same bed, not in the same room, it is complicated, difficult, but at least you will be living without sin. And discreetly and privately we will be able to give you communion. But we have to be certain you are living as brother and sister, you have to be honest. This is God, and God knows everything. You can trick men but not God. Receiving communion is an act that signifies one’s union with God, and that one is at peace with Him. We must first go to confession before receiving Our Lord. And if we are at peace with God, then we can receive communion. But how many of these people who live as divorced and “remarried” couples, how many of them live as brother and sister? Some do, but it certainly is not the majority.

And so, to start making laws for these situations, classing them as a generalized situation, is a way of turning things upside down. It’s as if on the road, what counted was not the cars that drive correctly but the cars that have accidents. No. Laws are made so that cars will drive properly, not so they will run into each other. All the laws are made to avoid running into each other. It would be turning things upside down. Turning the particular into a universal. There is an inversion, and in the battle of ideas, this is terribly serious.

Are doctrinal discussions with Rome still useful?

Fr. Lorans: You said at the beginning that the battle of ideas is still the same as ever, and last year you declared after your meeting with Pope Francis that the doctrinal discussions would continue, that bishops would visit our seminaries and have discussions on things like religious freedom, ecumenism, and the New Mass. Are these discussions really continuing? And after what you just said, do you think these discussions are of any use?

Bishop Fellay: First question, are they still going on? The answer is yes; they are still going on. There had been a pause, but there needed to be, so we are going to start again, and continue the discussions. It is very interesting because we and Rome both want them. We want these discussions. Perhaps not exactly for the same reasons, but I think that in the end our reasons are similar. Why? Because for us it is very important, and we have said so from the start, when we said that we have a problem with some of the Council’s statements, not personally, but because they go against what the Church has said and done, against the teaching and practice of the Church. That is our problem. If you want to insist that the Church is infallible, you have to stick to the problem. If she is infallible, why could she suddenly contradict herself? So there are serious problems and they cannot simply be resolved by the authority argument. It is not enough to say that it is the authority speaking, so: Amen. Roma locuta causa finita. No. Obviously this authority – we admit it – can be infallible; it is an extraordinary privilege granted by God, but there is a condition! And that condition is for this teaching authority to be in keeping with a deposit, with all of the truths confided to her by God. And this authority’s mission is to transmit them. To holily preserve and faithfully transmit this deposit. So there is something absolutely objective that goes above and beyond this authority. It cannot arbitrarily decide what it likes and does not like about the deposit. No, it doesn’t work like that! That is the problem we present to Rome on these Council matters.

Fr. Lorans: In what you just said, we see your open opposition to Amoris Laetitia that troubles what used to be clear. In the same context, are the doctrinal discussions of any use?

Bishop Fellay: I would say yes, they are useful. Perhaps not immediately. But in the long run, ideas are what lead men. An error has tragic consequences in men’s lives, especially a doctrinal error. For a moral error, the consequence is more quickly seen. With a pure doctrinal error, it is more distant. If someone denies the Trinity, we see do not see the immediate practical consequence, or in what practical domain a moral fault will follow, but it will follow. It is impressive to see how closely it is all linked together. The Faith is like a sweater: every stitch has to be there. If you drop one stitch, the whole sweater comes unraveled. And there is nothing left in the end. So upholding the great principles in this confused situation we are living in, repeating them, even just repeating them, is already a very important work. We will not see immediate effects. But in the long run, it will gain strength, it will take over. But that means we have to keep fighting.

And so, in this sense, it seems capital to me that Rome agrees to discuss these things. Not only do they agree, they tell us: we need to discuss matters. And that, too, is something new ever since the last year and a half or two years. It is a position that is gaining strength: in these discussions, Rome does not try or no longer tries to force upon us the modern position on ecumenism, religious freedom, Nostra aetate, and even the liturgical reform. These four points have always been our great hobbyhorses, for the past 40-50 years, ever since the beginning. Well, now, all of a sudden, they are telling us, “Yes, we really need to discuss these matters.” First of all, they recognize that there have been errors, abuses, excesses; they do not go so far as to say that the conciliar text is wrong, but they do admit that something is wrong. They admit there are ambiguities that need to be eliminated. And Rome tells us explicitly, “These discussions are going to help us with that.” We are a little like a sort of catalyst to try to purify this magma of strange, false, mixed up, confused thoughts. And that is very positive.

But there is also another element that astonishes me and makes me very happy, and I would like to see – I hope someday it will show itself – yes, to see that what I am going to tell you now is really not just the thoughts of one or two people, but truly something that is taking over as the Church’s way of thinking. A short phrase sums up this novelty, a short phrase by Archbishop Pozzo who is our interlocutor in Rome, the secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, and who tells us that these matters like ecumenism, religious freedom, and even the liturgical reform and Nostra aetate are not the “criteria of Catholicism.” What does “criteria of Catholicism” mean? It means elements to which one absolutely must adhere in order to be Catholic. In other words, if these points are not criteria of Catholicism, then you have the right to think and say otherwise, and doing so does not mean you are no longer Catholic. And Archbishop Pozzo said that publicly. It is very important.

In my opinion, we are now going to see a debate arise for a time because of us. Will it be public or no, behind closed doors? But it is actually already here. A debate with the “super-progressivists,” those Pope Benedict XVI accused of trying to hammer into the Church that these points are absolutely obligatory. It is the Church of today, their foundation for the Church of today. And suddenly someone says, “Well, you do not have to adhere to that in order to be Catholic.” It is clearly crucial; it is a great struggle. If you look at the battle of ideas, this is an extremely important point. And so you have voices making themselves heard all over the place, saying that it is unacceptable to let the Society in with such a policy. We’ll see.

Canonical structure and freedom for “the experiment of Tradition”

Fr. Alain LoransSpeaking of letting the Society in, of course we can’t help thinking of the canonical offers that have been made; there was talk of a prelature and recently Bishop Schneider said he had invited you to accept the canonical propositions soon and not to be too demanding, or in any case, not to wait for everything to be perfect. Where does all this stand? Did you really receive this invitation? And in that case, would a doctrinal union become a secondary issue? What exactly is the Society’s position?

Bishop Fellay: As far as Bishop Schneider goes, he did write to me, but a long time ago now; a long time, I mean, perhaps a year ago. So I do not have anything recent from him. In any case, recently, no, I have not received anything from him.

Other than that, the structure is not the problem. The structure, I think, is well established; there are still some points, shall we say, some finer points. The main idea is, really, it is adequate, it suits our needs. So for that, I am satisfied. Again, there are details that need improving and matters that still need to be discussed. The problem is not with this structure that they are offering us. If that was the only issue, we would say “yes” in a heartbeat. But it is not the problem.

The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas. Is a Church that for 40 years has imposed a way of thinking, this modernist way of thinking against which we fight, against which, or because of which we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church; is this Church ready, yes or no, to let us continue on our path?

Archbishop Lefebvre used to speak of “letting us make the experiment of Tradition.” Are they going to let us, yes or no? Or are they waiting for us at a bend in the road, are they going to tell us tomorrow that we “have to fall into line?” To accept what we have been fighting against for forty years? That, we are not about to give up.

So it is all there, really; that is where the question lies. With these new, more open attitudes, when they tell us some things are not required criteria for being Catholic, there seems to be a path opening up. Now, is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path? I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are? For us it is obvious that this is not the end.

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.

And of course, we understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired now; even just bringing back the holy liturgy. We understand very well that it cannot be done overnight. So if things take time, that is one thing, but is the intention even there? Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?

And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, “No, no. No, no, we shall continue along the same lines.” So we remain outlaws. Well, tolerated outlaws, and we might even say, in the most astonishing way, with Pope Francis we are more than tolerated, but we remain on the outskirts.

So are things going to stay as they are? Are things going to move ahead? Or tomorrow are we going to be swallowed up by this movement that, once again, is killing the Church? That is the question. And until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.

Support from many bishops

Fr. Lorans: At the beginning of our interview, you told us that things have changed imperceptibly. Among these changes, we might mention the attitudes of Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider, or the Polish bishops who are fighting against a laxist interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. But have you personally heard from bishops who tell you, “Even though you are an ‘outlaw,’ ‘on the outskirts,’ what you are doing is important to us because we do not wish to contribute to the suicide of the Church either?” Is this sort of comment a dream or a reality?

Bishop Fellay: We have some contacts, yes. And they are even increasing. Obviously, it is not the vast majority. But we do have some. And that is a very important element in this battle, but perhaps within Tradition we do not have a very clear perception of it, because it is discreet. People continue to see that things are not good, and that is about it. They have a very hard time seeing something else that really is real and that for me becomes clearer every day: that there is – at least in some – a desire for renewal, for a return to Tradition to be precise. And so a certain number of churchmen protest, not as loudly as us, not as publicly as us, but as strongly as us on the level of ideas, they protest against the novelties. It exists.

I recently met with a bishop who on his own, for he had never celebrated the Old Mass – he discovered it with Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio, took an interest in it and studied it – on his own, he told me that with the New Mass, they had changed the “substance of the rite.” So all by himself, he came to this conclusion which is precisely our reproach to the New Mass. Well, there you have a bishop who comes to this conclusion, a bishop who is simply honest. Obviously, he draws conclusions and consequences for himself and for his diocese. And he is not the only one. I received a letter from another bishop telling me: “Hold strong!” on all these points: religious freedom, ecumenism, Nostra aetate, relations with other religions. When you say Nostra aetate it is not just the Jews, it is the Muslims, the Buddhists, and Hindus . . . all the non-Christian religions. It is much broader. And this bishop adds: “There are many of us in the hierarchy, many of us bishops think like you.” Obviously, they do not say so publicly, because they would be decapitated. But they think about it, they see the situation. And in fact, they count on us, they count on us as – it is a modern word, but let’s try to use it correctly – as a witness. To use a perhaps more traditional term, as a lighthouse, even if we do not wish put ourselves on a pedestal. They simply count on us to represent the light that was once the light of the Church. This light that has remained lit in our midst, they count on it. They say, “You take the blows, but we are with you. We support you.”

Fr. Lorans: Among these bishops who tell you: “Do not give in on ecumenism, on the liturgy, on religious freedom . . . ,” are there any French bishops?

Bishop Fellay: There are some, even if they are not quite as clear. But really, there are some! It is interesting to see. It is another universal phenomenon. There are some in every country, more or less, of course. There is a certain proportion – not very big – of bishops who are taking a second look at a good number of things today. Even if they are still in a system that holds them back and makes any reaction difficult since it immediately creates explosive situations that are difficult to control. There are many problems when it comes to knowing how to react, how to improve the situation. It is obvious that at a given time it will have to come from the top. And so long as the top does nothing, any reaction will be a source of conflict. We have known this for 50 years, but at a given time, God will make the supreme authority take the lead in this movement. Until then we have to hold strong. Of course, it is a question of prudence, so that our position may bear the most fruit. And that does not necessarily mean make the most noise. We have to understand that, too; it is very important.

Hasten the triumph of the Immaculate Heart with prayers and penance

Fr. Lorans: You say that we have to hold strong, and you asked the priests and faithful to have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin during this year 2017. For the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima, you launched a Rosary Crusade. Is this request for more fervent prayers a part of the battle whose outline you have drawn up for us in this interview? 

Bishop Fellay: It most certainly is a part of this great battle. And there is an element that we must never forget: the Church is not human. She has a human part because she is made up of men, but essentially, in her essence, in her nature, she is supernatural. She has elements, even fundamental elements that surpass men, men’s capacities, men’s reflections and men’s means. For the good of the Church and for our own good as members of the Church, if we desire the good of the Church, we must necessarily use supernatural means. It is the only way to fight this battle properly. And this battle obliges us first of all to call upon God Himself and His saints. The Blessed Virgin Mary has shown us so clearly that these times belong to her by the explicit will of God. We must have recourse to her, we must listen to her, and put her requests into practice. She tells us, “Prayer and penance, pray the rosary every day.” It is more important than ever. If you ask me, what we are seeing today is Fatima at its fullest. There are things we have not been told, but in the end, we shall see the triumph of Mary. God knows how. The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, by a papal act, an act of authority. We wonder how it is going to come about, but that is not our problem. We just have to beg for this triumph, to implore God: yes, that is our job!

 

 

 

Bp. Fellay: Clarity from Rome is needed regarding errors of Vatican II

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http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bp-fellay-clarity-needed-to-move-forward

To follow-up on a previous post (https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/on-the-latest-rorate-caeli-report-concerning-an-sspx-prelature/), the SSPX has released an article in response to this week’s rumors.  We have seen recently a slew of “reports” from various Catholic websites(Rorate Caeli, Church Militant, Catholic World News, and others) that assumed an imminent prelature for the SSPX without correctly evaluating both sides.  One may wonder with all of these sensational headlines whether some of these authors care more about receiving views than coming to a carefully researched conclusion.

Even the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei did little to address these rumors and mostly only encouraged them.  One should not necessarily trust statements from Ecclesia Dei, the purpose of its entire existence being to essentially serve as a “police force set over Tradition to regulate it”.(Brian McCall: http://archives.sspx.org/sspx_and_rome/wrong_or_right_conditions_for_the_sspxs_future10-2-2012.htm)  Statements from Abp. Pozzo, for instance, have not always stated the reality of the situation, as exemplified here: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/sspxs-relations-rome-pozzo-7571  

Bp. Fellay and the SSPX have again made clear that a personal prelature is not to be considered without ample assurance from Rome allowing the Society to continue opposing the errors of the “pastoral”, non-binding Second Vatican Council.  Unfortunately, too many in Rome still conduct themselves in a manner indicating the opposite, even if there may be some true progress in these discussions.  There is still quite a reluctance in Rome, to say the least,  “to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council “.  

For those who claim that all of these discussions have just been a “waste of time”, I would invite them to consider all of the positive advancements that have taken place since the beginning of the talks in 2000.  We now have the Traditional Mass officially “freed”(at least theoretically) for any priest to pray, the phony “excommunications” of the SSPX bishops are lifted, several bishops and cardinals are finally beginning to protest Modernist actions, and there is a significantly more conservative spirit developing in the Church, particularly amongst the younger priests.  All of these good fruits can be linked at least indirectly to the Society and their influence. 

Even in this troubled pontificate, it is necessary to maintain a connection with Rome.  As Bp. Fellay is criticized today for maintaining this link, so was Abp. Lefebvre in his day: http://archives.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre/archbishop_lefebvre_1979_seminary_conference.htm        It will ultimately be through Rome that this crisis will cease.  The balance and perseverance of the Society in maintaining these discussions is praiseworthy.  Rather than insisting on our own will in this situation and making rash judgements, we should endeavor to follow the mind of the Church and trust that God will always guide our path.        

Let us pray that the fruits of Tradition may keep harvesting and that our traditional priests always simply follow God’s Good, Holy Will.      

From sspx.org:    

Bp. Fellay: Clarity Needed to Move Forward

February 02, 2017

His Excellency explains that before the SSPX accepts a prelature, clarity from Rome is needed regarding errors of Vatican II.

 

On January 29, Bishop Bernard Fellay gave a 20 minute interview to TVLibertés. The Superior General’s answer on TV about the canonical structure of the Personal Prelature offered to the Society of St. Pius X was short:

We have told Rome, very clearly, that, just as Archbishop Lefebvre used to say in his day, we have a sine qua non condition: if this condition is not met, then we will not move. And this condition is for us to be able to remain as we are, to keep all the principles that have kept us alive, that have kept us Catholic.”

To the question of Jean-Pierre Maugendre, “And so today, concretely, what is still missing?”, Bishop Fellay answered:

The seal. And also the clear, straightforward statement that these guarantees will be respected.”

An Imminent Resolution?

Immediately some concluded that a canonical resolution for the SSPX was imminent. The day after, Archbishop Pozzo was reported by Andrea Tornielli in La Stampa as giving some credence to to the same news…as if everything depended on a simple statement.

Things are not so easy on the side of the Society. On January 26, in an hour-long interview with Fr. Alain Lorans, SSPX, at Radio Courtoisie, Bishop Fellay explained what he understands by guarantees and the condition “to be able to remain as we are”. (See Bishop Fellay’s text below.)

The problem is not a canonical structure which would not be acceptable. On the contrary, even though “there are details that need improving…[and] matters that still need to be discussed”, the Personal Prelature “is adequate and suits our needs” says Bishop Fellay.

A Battle of Ideas

“The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas,” he stated. These ideas, for example, are ecumenism, religious liberty, the relations between Church and State, and the reformed liturgy. As Bishop Fellay says,

…[we fight against] this modernist way of thinking, against which, or because of which, we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church….

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.”

New Roman Attitude

Bishop Fellay explains that, in the doctrinal discussions with Rome, there is a new attitude regarding these errors, which are doctrinal roots of the moral issues of today. These errors, the key points imposed since the Second Vatican Council as part of the new magisterium of the Church, would not be anymore “required criteria for being Catholic”. In front of this new attitude, Bishop Fellay wonders: “Is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path?” Here lay the guarantees to be able to remain as we are. “I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are?”

Bishop Fellay, in order to consider accepting a canonical structure, does not expect a complete, immediate change in the Church or a magical return to Tradition.

We understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired by now…”

Liberty to Continue the Fight

What is it expected then? A clear guarantee that the errors of the Council will not be imposed on the SSPX; on the contrary, we will be given the liberty to continue to fight them. The bishop asks the question for today: “Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?” For the Superior General, it is clear that we are not yet at this point. “And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, ‘No, no! No, we shall continue along the same lines.’”

So his attitude today is logical: “Until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.”

 

Bishop Fellay’s interview with TVLibertés with English subtitles, January 29, 2017.

We publish below an extract of Bishop Fellay’s hour-long interview with Fr. Alain Lorans on Radio Courtoisie, January 26, 2017.

Fr. Alain Lorans: Speaking of letting the Society in, of course we can’t help thinking of the canonical offers that have been made; there was talk of a prelature and recently Bishop Schneider said he had invited you to accept the canonical propositions soon and not to be too demanding, or in any case, not to wait for everything to be perfect. Where does all this stand? Did you really receive this invitation? And in that case, would a doctrinal union become a secondary issue? What exactly is the Society’s position?

Bishop Fellay: As far as Bishop Schneider goes, he did write to me, but a long time ago now; a long time, I mean, perhaps a year ago. So I do not have anything recent from him. In any case, recently, no, I have not received anything from him.

Other than that, the structure is not the problem. The structure, I think, is well established; there are still some points, shall we say, some finer points. The main idea is, really, it is adequate, it suits our needs. So for that, I am satisfied. Again, there are details that need improving and matters that still need to be discussed. The problem is not with this structure that they are offering us. If that was the only issue, we would say “yes” in a heartbeat. But it is not the problem.

The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas. Is a Church that for forty years has imposed a way of thinking, this modernist way of thinking against which we fight, against which, or because of which we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church; is this Church ready, yes or no, to let us continue on our path?

Archbishop Lefebvre used to speak of “letting us make the experiment of Tradition”. Are they going to let us, yes or no? Or are they waiting for us at a bend in the road, are they going to tell us tomorrow that we “have to fall into line”? To accept what we have been fighting against for forty years? That, we are not about to give up.

So it is all there, really; that is where the question lies. With these new, more open attitudes, when they tell us some things are not required criteria for being Catholic, there seems to be a path opening up. Now, is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path? I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are? For us it is obvious that this is not the end.

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.

And of course, we understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired now; even just bringing back the holy liturgy. We understand very well that it cannot be done overnight. So if things take time, that is one thing, but is the intention even there? Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?

And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, “No, no. No, no, we shall continue along the same lines.” So we remain outlaws. Well, tolerated outlaws, and we might even say, in the most astonishing way, with Pope Francis we are more than tolerated, but we remain on the outskirts.

So are things going to stay as they are? Are things going to move ahead? Or tomorrow are we going to be swallowed up by this movement that, once again, is killing the Church? That is the question. And until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.

The full text of the conference will be available in the near future.

 

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

On the latest Rorate Caeli report concerning an SSPX prelature

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http://www.onepeterfive.com/bishop-fellay-on-sspx-regularization-there-is-one-condition/

Yesterday, a blogger for the Rorate Caeli blog posted under the pseudonym of “New Catholic” the headline “SSPX Superior-General Fellay: “An agreement is possible without further wait”.”  The post itself was merely a one sentence “confirmation” from an Italian Catholic website of an interview given by Bp. Bernard Fellay to a conservative French network.

As insufficient and arguably out-of-context as the attached “confirmation” is, the headline itself does not even present it honestly.  According to this confirmation, Bp. Fellay states that an agreement is possible “without waiting for the situation in the Church to become completely satisfactory“, while the headline could appear to suggest that Bp. Fellay said that we do not have to wait at all for a possible prelature.  This has led to various internet “rumor mills” now pouring forth more of their typical venom, that “Bp. Fellay is now rushing to an agreement at all costs.”

It is unfortunate that some of Rorate Caeli‘s posts covering the Society are often not complete or even honest.  One infamous example, as many will remember, was the “exclusive information” spread, claiming that Bp. Fellay’s two assistants had attended a private (new) mass offered by Pope Francis.  The SSPX refuted the calumny (http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/about-meeting-pope-francis-and-bishop-fellay-4067), but neither the author of the post nor Rorate Caeli appeared to ever retract it.  We do not in any way wish to criticize all of the very many good articles Rorate Caeli features, but to simply defend what is good and true.

Thank God, Maike Hickson of One Peter Five has just posted a largely thorough and fair article summarizing this interview.  Hopefully, it may allay the concerns of those who had seen or heard of yesterday’s “buzz”.  The more important parts of the interview are posted below, along with an excerpt from one of our previous posts, explaining the current situation with the Society and Rome.  Our readers may see for themselves that Bp. Fellay’s recent statements do not contradict those previously made by Bps. Fellay and Tissier de Mallerais, detailing the conditions necessary for a future prelature.  It is additionally refreshing to hear his words on other issues related to the Crisis, such as on the dubia and the errors of Vatican II.

“Speaking for some 18 minutes with Jean-Pierre Maugendre for his televised program “Terres de Mission,” Bishop Fellay tries to explain on 29 January two seemingly contradictory events raised by Mr. Maugendre: namely, that Pope Francis, in November of 2017 in his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera, granted to the SSPX the extension of the faculty to hear confessions; and secondly, Francis published the post-synodal document Amoris Laetitia which, in certain cases, appears to allow some “remarried” divorcees to receive Holy Communion. In reply, the Swiss prelate says that these two acts “stem from the same movement, namely the concern of the Holy Father for the rejected people […] for those at the peripheries,” adding: “we are rejected […] and marginalized, forgotten or set aside.”

When asked about the dubia of the Four Cardinals – the first high-ranking resistance since the “Bacci-Ottaviani intervention” in the late 1960s concerning the theology of the Novus Ordo Mass – Bishop Fellay says that “something is changing” and that “things are getting worse […] not on the level of principles, but that the [bad] principles are bearing fruit, are having consequences.” He does not think that we have yet reached the “ultimate consequences” of those defective principles, but he sees that the general situation is now “so bad that a certain number of bishops and cardinals in their own consciences saw that they had to say ‘that’s it’.” Fellay added that, “privately, they [these resisting prelates] are even more numerous [than the ones who have spoken up publicly].” However, in Fellay’s eyes, “it is too early to say whether this movement will grow.” The prelate explains that “one has to hope, and I dare to hope that it will continue in this sense because we are not at all doing well”; and that, “once people begin to speak out, one will be able to reflect more seriously about the [deeper] causes of the situation” concerning the current and long germinating crisis within the Church.

Mr. Maugendre, the interviewer, then also refers to the recent intervention from Bishop Athanasius Schneider who asks the SSPX to accept now the proposal from Rome for a regularization, even though things might “not be 100% satisfactory” in the Church. The French interviewer then asks Bishop Fellay whether he expects “to sign a proposal soon,” and Fellay responds with the important (though somewhat unspecific) statement that “there is one condition sine qua non, namely, that we can stay as we are.” [my emphasis] Without this assurance, says Fellay, “we will not do anything.” For, the SSPX still has some “grave criticisms” concerning what has happened “in the Church since Vatican II”; as representative topics, for example, the Swiss bishop mentions the practical “integration of Communism”; “Religious Liberty”; the “relationship between Church and State”; and the question of toleration of other religions, one of which is today is to be seen, more and more, in the context and presence of “terror.” It now seems to Fellay that “we go in the right direction” and that, by way of alleviation of the pressure, “Rome has lifted a foot for two years now.” This apparently new attitude of Rome implies that some disputed questions concerning the Second Vatican Council are not strictly related to the binding “criteria of Catholicity.” Fellay explains: “That means that one has the right not to be in agreement [with some aspects of the Second Vatican Council] but still be considered to be Catholic.”

From previous Damsel of the Faith post:

Now, to briefly review, where does the situation with the SSPX and Rome currently stand?  Bp. Tissier de Mallerais, who was arguably the priest in the Society closest to Abp. Lefebvre, explains: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bishop-tissier-interview-la-porte-latine-14983         

Now, 25 years after the death of Archbishop Lefebvre, where is the future of the Society?

Things are becoming clearer. During our pilgrimage to Rome in the year 2000, we were charmed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who urged John Paul II to recognize the Society unilaterally. Then Benedict XVI granted us two “preliminary requirements“: the recognition of the freedom of the traditional Mass and the lifting (more or less fortunate, for us and for him) of the 1988 excommunications. In 2010-2011, we had planned doctrinal discussions: in total disagreement! Our Superior General Bishop Fellay pursued the negotiations and caused some worry, until it became clear, in May and June 2012, that Benedict XVI still required as a condition, as he had said plainly at the start, that we accept the Council and the legitimacy of the reforms. It was a failure. But now there is very clearly a disposition on Pope Francis’ side to recognize us without these conditions. We say “Prudence! ” For things are moving and progress is still needed.

Archbishop Lefebvre never laid down as a condition for us to be recognized by Rome that Rome abandon the errors and the conciliar reforms. Even if he did say something like that to Andre Cagnon in 1990, he would never have done so, because that was never his line of conduct, his strategy with modernist Rome. He was strong in the Faith, he did not yield on his doctrinal position, but he knew how to be flexible, patient, and prudent in practice. To achieve his ends, his prudence told him to push the adversary, to harass him, make him step back, persuade him, but without blocking him with conditions that he still finds unacceptable. He did not refuse dialogue and was disposed to take advantage of every door opened by his interlocutor. It is in this sense that a certain opportunism, a certain “pragmatism” has been seen in him, and it is true: it is a small virtue annexed to the cardinal virtue of prudence. Sagacity, practical wisdom, is the neighbor of solertia, mentioned by Aristotle, St. Thomas (2-2, q. 48) and the Gaffiot, which is a skill in finding means to obtain one’s ends.  Archbishop Lefebvre requested with acumen “that we at least be tolerated”: “this would be a major advance,” he said. And “that we be recognized as we are,” that is, with our practice that follows from our doctrinal positions. Well, today we see in Rome a disposition to bear our existence and our theoretical and practical positions. I say “bear” because one tolerates evil!

Already, doctrinally, they no longer force us to admit “the whole Council” or religious liberty; some of the errors we denounce are on the point of being considered by our interlocutors as open for free discussion, or continued debate. This is progress. We discuss, but they have to admit that we are not changing and it is unlikely that we will change. And in practice, we ask these Romans: “Recognize our right to reconfirm the faithful conditionally,” and “Recognize the validity of our marriages!” You see, these are serious bones of contention. They will have to grant us these things. Otherwise, how could our recognition be livable?

It may take some time, but there is a God!

And an all-powerful Mediatrix!”

The last paragraph is especially important and it seems that many Traditional Catholics may not be aware of this part of the Society’s position.  Rome must recognize that the Society will continue just as it has always been.  Rome must specifically acknowledge the Society’s right to reject not only the errors of Vatican II and the New mass, but everything that they have often found contention with such as accepting the Society’s right to perform marriages, conditionally re-confirm, baptize, and ordain (when necessary), for the faithful to receive their sacraments at SSPX chapels exclusively from SSPX priests and bishops, etc.

Bp. Fellay elaborates on this position in his recent conference in New Zealand here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oKWpVGirL0 (at approximately 6:30).  Virtually the entire Society is unified on this position.  It is clear that this position might be quite a “pipe dream” at the moment, but we shall see!  The Society wishes to have as many protections as possible; it recognizes the gravity of the situation.  None of our positions will be compromised!  We are Catholic and will remain Catholic!

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

Keep thy Priests

 

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“With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests. With all your strength, love your Creator, forsake not his ministers.”  ~Sirach 7:29-30

One of my favorite poems of all time is “Keep them, Dearest Lord,” a beautiful poem written for priests. I don’t know who wrote it. If anyone does, please comment below and let me know. I’ve always had a great devotion to the Priesthood and praying for priests. My trinity of devotions include the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Catholic Priesthood, for these three are equally the foundation of the Church. Without one, we cannot have the other and without all three, the Church would lost her supernaturality.  Hence, why satan has attacked these three so viciously and continues to do, for He knows that Christ gave the Church the means of salvation through the Priest, who offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for us, the Victim and fruit of that Sacrifice being the Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Let us love our priests and pray for them. I dedicate this poem to my own pastor, Fr. Greig Gonzalez, SSPX.  May God love and bless him, for his untiring love and dedication to his flock.

Keep them, I pray Thee, Dearest Lord,
Keep them, for they are thine,
Thy priests whose lives burn out
Before Thy consecrated shrine.

Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure,
Shelter them in Thy Heart.

Keep them, and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice for souls
Seems but in vain.

Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
They have no one but Thee,
Yet, they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.

Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress.
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, Dearest Lord, to bless.

IMPRIMATUR 

+Henry Joseph O’Leary, D.D., Archbishop of Edmonton

Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for Fr. Gonzalez and strengthen him! St. John Vianney, St. John Bosco and all patrons of priests, intercede for the Priests of God!

~Damsel of the Faith

“Honor God and respect the priest”  ~Sirach 7:31

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