A Treatise on Prayer

A treatise on prayer

by Fr. Wilberforce O.P.

– I –

Prayer in general

The whole spiritual life consists essentially in two grand duties, both of which, but especially the first, must be constant and unintermitting: prayer and mortification. These are the two wings by which we are to fly to Heaven, and without both, progress is IMPOSSIBLE.

Of these two, the first is now to be treated of and examined.

Prayer is the most noble and divine instrument of perfection or union with God, and by prayer alone we can attain to the end of our Creation and Redemption : union of spirit with God, our Creator and Redeemer.

The prayer chiefly to be discussed at present is that known as affective prayer, by which our souls offer and give and consecrate themselves and all they have and all they owe to God, giving him all love, obedience, submission, thanksgiving, etc.

What is prayer ?

Prayer is defined to be « an elevation of the mind to God ». By lifting or elevating the mind we mean making acts by which the soul moves and expresses, or at least implies :

1. An entire dependance on God as the Author and Fountain of all good.

2. A will and readiness to give Him His due, viz all love, obedience, adoration, glory and worship, by humbling an annihilating herself and all created things in His Presence.

3. A desire and intention to aspire to union of spirit with Him.

These things are included in all real prayer.

Prayer, then, is the most perfect and divine action of which man is capable. It is the only principal action the soul was created to accomplish, because the soul was created for union with God, and prayer is the only means to that union. Without prayer, no other means is effective. Therefore, of all other duties and good works that can be done, prayer is above all indispensably necessary.

The necessity of prayer

The following considerations, five in number, suffice to prove the necessity of prayer:

1. By prayer only, through which charity is aroused, strengthened and increased, can we be united to God. In this all good consists. Separated from God, we have only ourselves, viz, corruption, nothingness, misery.

2. By prayer only, all grace – our only good – is a) obtained, b) preserved, c) recovered if unhappily lost. The reason is: to obtain grace, we must have recourse to the Fountain of grace and good. God is that fountain. But recourse can only be had to Him by prayer.

3. By prayer alone can we make external things holy so as to render them means of uniting us to God. Works of zeal, charity, ordinary actions of daily life can only be made [supernaturally] good and acceptable to God so far as they are vivified by internal prayer. Because a good action is only meritorious inasmuch as it is raised and directed to God by an interior motion of the soul, and this interior motion is prayer. To be drawn interiorly to offer up an action to God by charity is therefore an act of prayer.

4. True prayer is incompatible with [mortal] sin in a way nothing else is or can be. A soul remaining with the will attached to sin may perform all other actions, e. g. fasting, almsgiving, joining in choral offices, keeping silence, visiting the sick, obeying superiors, hearing or saying Mass etc., but true prayer of the spirit and an affection to sin are absolutely incompatible and mutually destructive. The reason of this is that :

— internal prayer is the converting and uniting of the will to God;

— sin is averting and separating the will from God.

The two, therefore, being contradictory, cannot dwell together, but one must destroy the other.

5. Prayer is the one sovereign remedy and comfort in all kinds of miseries:

— wether of soul, as afflictions, guilt, remorse, fear, etc.,

— or of body, as pain, poverty, death, etc.

Because the only remedy and comfort for these ills is to rise above them, but this can only be done by union of spirit with God, a union brought by pure prayer.

Consequences

Three consequences follow from these truths:

1. Regarding God; 2. regarding the devil; 3. Regarding ourselves.

1. God gives us special commands about prayer in a way He does about no other duty except charity, which is the object of prayer. We are commanded always to pray as the one necessary thing. « We ought always to pray and not to faint » (Luke 18, 1).

2. The devil desiring our destruction directs all his efforts to make us undervalue prayer ; to disgust us with it ; to persuade us it is useless, too difficult, impossible, unnecessary – for if he can induce us to neglect and abandon internal prayer, by so much he does actually separate us from God.

3. We ourselves must see that prayer is the one thing that at all times and under all circumstances we must always cultivate, energetically pursue, determinately persevere in, because all our hope, all our good is found in prayer alone. We ought to have one aim and business in life, viz: to exercize and increase charity by internal prayer; or in other words to increase within ourselves the quiet but firm determination to please God by constantly an with ever increasing earnestness, raising our spirits to Him; will to will, mind to mind, heart to heart.

Prayer has been described by Father Baker as « an affectuous actuation of an intellective soul to God ».

From this two consequences follow :

1. Prayer of words only is not prayer. Prayer requires an inward attention and affection of soul, though by no means necessarily to the sense of the words uttered. In other words: vocal prayer that is not also mental is no prayer!

2. This most important consequence follows, that thinking, exercising the mind, reasoning, discoursing to oneself about a sacred truth, or meditation on a subject is not itself prayer but only a preparation for prayer, an incitement to pray: for prayer is only immediately exercised by the will, or affections adhering to, and being united to God.

There is, then, no such thing as merely vocal prayer, so that no one must be misled into this error by the division of prayer into vocal and mental. Merely vocal prayer is that pretence of prayer of which God says: « This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain do they honour Me » (Mt 15, 8).

But the distinction has a right meaning, for though all prayer must be mental to be prayer at all, some prayer is vocal also, some merely mental without any form of word, and, further than this, prayer may be made with blind elevation of the will to God without any express internal words or definite thoughts.

– 2 –

Vocal prayer

Sometimes vocal prayer can be an instrument conducting a soul to contemplation.

In ancient times many arrived at contemplation by means of vocal prayer, joining to it: 1) extreme abstraction and solitude, 2) rigorous abstinence, 3) immense diligence in prayer.

But we, not having these conditions, must supply them by daily set exercices of mental recollection, to bring about habitual recollectedness.

If God calls a soul to contemplation through vocal prayer, she must:

1. Practise still greater abstraction and mortification than is necessary by the road of mental prayer. Because vocal prayer is not so profound and inward, and does not give such light for regulating the affections.

2. Spend more time in it, for its efficacy is less.

3. If God draws her to internal prayer of aspirations, be ready to follow at once.

If a soul should be drawn (it is most uncommon) by the way of vocal prayer only, it is a secure way, less open to illusions, and less likely to hurt the head, etc.

But as this is a way nowadays almost unknown, mental prayer is necessary. Souls, therefore, must not be tempted to abandon mental prayer for vocal prayer, even if vocal prayers were « clear and undistracted », and the mentel recollections « painful and disturbed ». Persevere, and this will change. Little less than a miracle will make the vocal prayer of imperfect souls to become contemplation. Sudden apparent contemplation, then, must be vehemently suspected.

In the beginning of a spiritual course, vocal prayer is good :

1. For those who cannot manage discursive prayer.

2. For others, if it raise and better their attention to God, provided it yield to internal prayer when they are disposed for it.

3. Vocal prayer of obligation, public or private, must always be attended to.

Three kinds of attention in vocal prayer

Some kind of attention is necessary for all prayer :

1. Attention of mind to the sense of the words uttered, varying with each verse, etc. This is the lowest kind ; and the more imperfect the soul is, the easier it is.

2. To come to vocal prayer – viz, the Divine Office – with some efficacious affection of soul to God, or letting the vocal prayer raise the heart, and remaining in it as deep recollection as possible, without reference to the changing sense. This is far more perfect, being attention to God and union of affection with Him, which is the object of all prayer. No one should quit this for the first attention.

3. Certain souls in close union with God are able to be profoundly recollected and united to God, and yet to follow the sense without injuring, nay, increasing and simplifying their internal union. This is not before the soul has arrived at contemplation and habitual close union. This is by far the most perfect and uncommon.

– 3 –

Internal affective prayer

Mental or internal prayer is either :

1. Imperfect and acquired ; or

2. Perfect and infused.

The perfect and infused prayer is contemplation ; the imperfect, acquired and active is the preparation for contemplation, which is the end and object of all spiritual exercises.

Necessity of internal and affective prayer

Internal and affective prayer is the only efficacious instrument of perfect union of spirit with God, i.e. of contemplation.

Cardinal Bellarmine says: « This, I believe, I may most truly and confidently affirm, that without a diligent pursuit of internal prayer, none will ever become truly spiritual, nor attain to any degree of perfection. Many go often to the sacraments, and yet remain as imperfect as before. Nay, many religious and priests read Scripture, receive and celebrate often, perhaps daily, and yet are devoid of devotion and the Spirit of God, cold in love, earnest in love of vanities, full of impatience, envy and inordinate desires. Why ? Because they never seriously enter into their own hearts by exercises of introversion and true internal prayer. »

The same must be said of some religious who ought to be more contemplative, who, by profession, ought to aspire to contemplation, but who mistake the way. For they imagine, or act as if they imagined, that they can reach union by exact performance of outward observances, solemn offices, etc. joined to internal discursive prayer. These things are good as inferior and imperfect preparations to true prayer. But if religious rest in them, in external observance and meditation, or discursive prayer, little interior reformation or simplification of soul will result. For these active exercises shortly lose all power, if the soul does not go on from them to truly enlightening exercises of internal affective prayer. This prayer is a prayer of the heart and will, quietly and calmly produced, but by good affections, not by the understanding.

Internal affective prayer excels vocal and discursively mental prayer in many ways

1. Because by it alone, is our union in spirit with God perfectly obtained ; because by it, the will, with all the powers and affections of the soul, is fixed on God.

2. Because by it, the soul enters far more deeply into God, and is far more enlightened by Him, the Fountain of Light. She thus detects her imperfections, impurities of intention, and inordinate affections.

3. Because grace and strength to practice all we see to be God’s Will is obtained by this kind of prayer:

* by way of impetration, according to God’s promises;

* by the direct efficacy of this prayer itself. For, rightly understood, this prayer includes the habits of all virtues. Why ? Because first the virtue and merit of all external things comes from the interior soul exercising herself in charity and purity of intention, and this is done by internal affective prayer : further all internal exercise of virtue is, and become direct prayer of the spirit, e.g., internal humility is the soul seeing its nothingness, and adhering to God, its only good. Thus, as habits are formed by repeated acts, so constant internal affection will form the habits of all virtues.

4. To persevere in this prayer is universal mortification of a profound and perfect kind. Fot the will forces nature and the iferior powers to leave whatever pleases them, and give the affections to God, whatever disgust they may feel in this exercise. Saint John Chrysostom says: « It is impossible that whoever with due care and diligence prays can ever sin. »

5. Because this internal affective prayer is the only exercise that cannot lack purity of intention. Fasting, obediences, choir, etc., may come from impulse of nature. In fact, then, all virtue comes from internal affective prayer, that is, the will being fixed on God by charity. Now if any oblique or selfish intention should intrude itself into prayer of the will, it woud be observed, and unless expelled, no progress could be made in that prayer.

6. Because internal affective prayer is what makes all other things to be prayer at all. For without it, vocal prayer is mere sound, and meditation a mere intellectual exercise. God desires our wills, affections, hearts, and without them neither our tongues or our brains are of any value in His sight: « Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, etc. »; « Son, give me thy heart »; « This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. » The only profitable attention to prayer is that of the heart, taking the heart as the seat of love. The attention of the mind only is nothing, otherwise study of holy things would be prayer.

Attention cannot be wanting to internal affective prayer, for the attention itself is the very prayer. As soon as the mind wanders, prayer ceases.

Considering these six excellences of internal affective prayer, two things follow :

1. A right minded soul of good will must see that no exertion should be spared to acquire so invaluable treasure.

2. Religious superiors must acknowledge that nothing can more essentially belong to their office than to see that their subjects are thoroughly well instructed in it, and habituated to its use.

Saint Bernard says: « Let beginners be taught to pray spiritually, and to withdraw as far as may be from all bodies and bodily images when they think of God. »

— So also Abbot Nilus, a disciple of saint John Chrysostom, says: « Happy is the soul who, when she prays, empties herself entirely of all images and forms; happy is the soul that prays fervently and without distractions; such a soul increases daily in the love and desire of God ; happy is the soul who, when praying, altogether quits the use and exercise of her senses, and loses interest in all things but God. »

But much struggle and long endeavour is necessary to attain this purity of prayer, to overcome the obstacles from the world, self, and the devil of whom Abbot Nilus says: « The whole war between us and the demons is about nothing else than prayer. »

Fruits of affective prayer

Many and various are the effects of affective prayer in the soul :

1. Great love of God, showing itself in many acts of love of preference, complacence and benevolence

— The love of preference is that by which we prefer God above all things. « What have I in heaven? and besides Thee what do I desire upon earth? … Thou art the God of my heart, and the God who is my portion for ever » (Psalm 72, 25-26).

— The love of complacence, by which we rejoice that God is what He is.

— The love of benevolence ; wishing all good to God. And as God is wanting in nothing, we can make acts of the love of benevolence :

* by desiring Him to be loved by all,

* by desiring all good in an infinite degree for Him, even if He had not it already.

But desires must be completed by deed; love must be effective as well as affective:

— Love of preference. If I would prefer God to all, I must not offend Him to please a friend, I must not despise His Will to do my own.

— If I possess the love of complacency, I shall devote myself to Him.

— If I desire good to Him, and rejoice by the love of benevolence that He is so great, I shall work for Him and try to promote His glory.

2. A true desire to do the will of God in all things

« But yet not my will, but Thine be done » (Luke 22, 42).

This makes us consult, not our own lights and inclinations, but God’s Will; act from a motive of pleasing God, not self.

But how are we to know God’s will?

It is expressed by the law of God, by the Church, of the Order, or of Superiors. In matters neither commanded nor forbidden, we must consider what is best in itself for us. If we doubt, then, in matters of importance, seek light; in matters of small importance, avoid two extremes : one extreme is to take no pains to think which would please God more, the other to be too long doubting. Enter into yourself and consult God, and then decide at once. We do not weigh the lesser coins, neither should we waste time in weighing small actions that present themselves to be done. We should not serve a master well if we took as much pains and time in considering what we were to do, as in doing what was necessary.

3. Burning zeal for God’s glory. This desire must show itself in acts as Saint Dominic, Saint Vincent Ferrer, Saint Teresa, who vowed always to do the better or more perfect thing.

4. Great desire of Holy Communion. Saint Catherine of Siena burned with this desire, and Blessed Imelda also.

5. Great desire to bear in body and soul the mortification of Jesus-Christ. Directors have to keep souls in prayer of affection back rather than urge them forward. Exterior and interior advantage. Mortification of life and not mere external religion.

6. A true and practical desire to be united with God for His sake and because He wills it. This desire, in order to be true, and not an illusion, must be practical, by taking the means of union, dying to self in order to live to God.

« As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God. When shall I come and appear before the Face of God? » (Psalm 41, 1-2)

But the hart runs actually towards the water.

Friends & Benefactors Letter #20, April 2015

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrille

No. 19, May 2015

Dominican Life:   A Mixed Life

The Consecration at a Solemn Dominican High Mass.

The Consecration at a Solemn Dominican High Mass.

Dear Friends, Family and Benefactors,

“Seeing how great is the evil nowadays and how no human strength will suffice to smother the fire kindled by heretics – even though attempts have been made to organize opposition against them – as if such a great and rapidly spreading evil could be resolved by the mere force of material weapons, it seems to me, nevertheless, that we should now conduct ourselves as in time of war : The sovereign of the country retires into a fortified city, out of which, from time to time, he attacks and wins the battle thanks to the courage of the city’s elite warriors. Since this little castle of ours, our castillo, is the home of good Christians, no one must be won to the enemy’s cause. Therefore, the captains of the castle, namely, the preachers and theologians, must be eminent. Hence, it is indispensable, as I have already said, that the ecclesiastical arm, and not the secular one, come to our help.”

The above citation from Saint Teresa of Avila’s work, The Way of Perfection, well describes Saint Dominic’s motives in founding the Order of Friar Preachers.

Religious life is distinguished as belonging to two categories. The first category consists of contemplative religious who continue the role of Saint Mary Madeleine “seated at the feet of Jesus to listen to His words,” loving Him exclusively.

The second category consists of active religious who continue the role of Saint Martha, drawing out of their love of God the zeal to serve their fellow men, in whom they serve Jesus Himself.

However, Dominican life does not belong to either category.

Our friary some years ago before the fourth wing and a bell tower were built.

Our friary some years ago before the fourth wing and a bell tower were built.

In fact, Saint Dominic aspired to the apostolic life – the form of life of the Apostles themselves – in which the priests and religious would be “entirely consecrated to prayer and to the preaching of the Gospel” (Acts 6:4). Saint Thomas Aquinas, the most eminent son of Saint Dominic, summarized the apostolic life and spirit of the Order by the famous expression, “Contemplari, et contemplata aliis tradere – to contemplate and to give to others the fruits of one’s contemplation” (II-II, q.188, a.6).

Consequently, the friar preacher is neither a pure contemplative, nor a pure active – supposing that these two categories could exist in a pure state. Rather, Dominican life is a mixed life, which is not merely adding exterior action to contemplation. On one hand, after spending several hours at chapel, the hospital Sister, animated by the love of God, spends the rest of her day caring for the sick, yet her religious life remains active. On the other hand, for apostolic Orders, such as the Dominicans, the exterior action of preaching is the direct continuation of contemplation. Thus, the hospital Sister cares for the sick using medicine and bandages – and not what she had contemplated in prayer – whereas the friar preacher imparts to souls the truths and lights received from contemplation. In fact, the Dominican has the obligation to “shout from the housetops what he has heard in his ears” (Mt. 10:27).

Hence, the contemplation and exterior action of a Dominican are well united: firstly, due to the motive, which is divine charity; and secondly, due to the content: “the words which Thou gavest me, I have given to them” (John 17:8). Consequently, the Dominican preacher must be able to repeat the following words of Saint John: “We announce to you that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and which our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

The litany of the Blessed Virgin at the end of Compline on Saturdays.

The litany of the Blessed Virgin at the end of Compline on Saturdays.

Even theologians outside the Dominican Order consider apostolic life – or the “mixed” life – as the most perfect form of religious life, because priority is given to contemplation, and because exterior action is considered only as the continuation and fruit of contemplation. Here is a passage written by the Carmelite Fathers of Salamanca, Spain, cited in the work Une Journée à Saint-Maximin (A Day Spent at the Dominican Monastery of Saint-Maximin) by Bernadot O. P., Father Marie Vincent; Saint-Maximin, France, 1924, pp 11-12:

The mixed religious Order is more perfect than the other Orders, because it is similar to the life of Christ, the Apostles, and bishops. The mixed religious Order is not ordered firstly to preaching and teaching, but, rather, gives priority to contemplation, by principle, and, only afterwards, performs exterior works for the good of others as the overflow of contemplation. Without this principle, much perfection would be lacking in the preaching and teaching of doctrine… Therefore, it is wrong to teach that religious Orders dedicated firstly to preaching and teaching are apostolic. Their exterior activities do not come from the overflow of contemplation, but are, rather, works of the active life.

Thus, in order that our contemplation, preaching, and teaching of sacred doctrine may bear abundant fruit, the Constitutions of the Order provide four fundamental means to achieving the work:

  1. The religious state with the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience,
  2. The solemn recitation of the Divine Office,
  3. The life of regularity with its traditional monastic observances (silence, fasting, abstinence, chapter of faults, etc.), and
  4. The assiduous study of Sacred Truth.

These four means, according to the Constitutions, “have been given to us by our Holy Patriarch Saint Dominic to arrive at our goal, and, therefore, these four means cannot be suppressed nor modified substantially.”

From this general study of the basic principles of Dominican life, an important lesson for the spiritual life can be drawn out for the good of all.

We all have the tendency, unfortunately, to put action above, and before prayer, thus not only time-wise, but also in our esteem. Even if perhaps we do not have much time for prayer, we should nevertheless consider prayer as the most important work of the day. “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33)

Hence, let us make a real effort – at least in our esteem – to give priority to prayer, like Saint Mary Magdalene. If, however, despite all our efforts, we are crushed with work, like Saint Martha, instead of being annoyed, let us humble ourselves at the feet of Jesus, at least for a little while, in order to listen to what He has to say.

Community Chronicle

January 9: One of our Fathers assists at part of the Chapter of the Knights of Our Lady at the school of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Vendée.

February 5-7: Exams for our scholastic Brothers.

February 12: Father Marie Dominique is at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet Church in Paris for the funeral of Miss Claudine Germinet (Sister Marie Madeleine of Jesus, in the Dominican Third Order). Next June she would have celebrated her twentieth anniversary of profession in the Third Order.

February 25: Our boys’ school has their first rugby game against one of the biggest clubs of the area.

Our boys’ school rugby team on the pitch.

Our boys’ school rugby team on the pitch.

 

March 1: Rev. Fr. Faure gives a conference to our community on the fight of Archbishop Lefebvre.

March 19: At the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Brazil, Father Emmanuel Marie represents the community at the Episcopal consecration of His Excellency Bishop Jean Michel Faure.

March 28: Father Marie Dominique and Father Hyacinth Mary speak to several nurses, students in medicine, etc. about the moral problems of the present evolution of medicine. There will be regular meetings to form these young Catholics of the new St. Raphael group.

April 4: At the Easter Vigil this year we have the joy of the Baptism of an adult.

April 15: A community hike to strengthen the fraternal charity among the Brothers and Fathers during Eastertide.

The work site

After several years passed without touching his chisel, our Brother sculptor made a Sacred Heart statue in order to get the feel again. Now he will be able to sculpt the Blessed Virgin destined for the entrance of our cemetery in the woods (to replace the one that fell and broke a few years a go).

The statue of Our Lady in the woods that fell and broke and that we must now replace.

The statue of Our Lady in the woods that fell and broke and that we must now replace.

 

As for our library, built from 2007-2009, it is not yet filled with all the books. The cataloging and classing of the books has advanced thanks to several friends that come to help regularly. However there are still many books to enter on our lists and many shelves to put up.

We confide these projects to your prayers and thank all those who can help us to finish up the library by purchasing the last equipment necessary.

New information:

-Please take notice of our new US address. The address in Huntington, Indiana is no longer to be used (and please make things out to “Dominicans of Avrille”).

-For more about our life and apostolate, as well as to have some doctrinal and spiritual reading, you can now go to www.dominicansavrille.us

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FOR MORE INFORMATION

write to:

-Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

You may send donations to the address above, or:

– In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrille, Inc.
P.O. Box 23

Newman Lake, WA. 99025-9998

In Canada:

The Association of St. Dominic

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

201-21 Street East

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$:acc.#40-91531

In the U.K.:

The Association of St. Dominic

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Edinburgh Comiston Branch

17 Comiston Road

Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: Acc # 00105564

The Risen Jesus

“It’s very simple:  have your head cut off, rise from the dead the third day, and the whole world will believe in you!”  This is the ironic counsel that the Emperor Napoleon gave to his Deputy La Revelliere who was upset about the failure of the cult of the god of reason (or of the humanitarian god) launched by the Revolution (1797).

The Risen Jesus

Only God can resurrect someone who has died.  Therefore, if Jesus is risen, He is truly the Holy One sent by God.  Now it is historically certain that:

1. Jesus died crucified,

2. His tomb was found empty,

3. Numerous witnesses assert they had seen Him alive (risen).

1.  He died suspended

Jesus Christ in History

The life of Jesus is known by four contemporary accounts (the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John), some letters (the epistles of Peter, Paul, etc.) and by:

*  The Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus (37-97):  Jewish Antiquities, 18,3 and 20,8;

*  The Roman Historian Tacitus (55-118):  Annals, 15,44;

*  The Pagan Polemists Luke of Samosate (125-192) and Celsus (around 178);

*  All the converts who up until the 2nd Century had been contemporaries of Christ or who were close to them; the historian Suetonius (69-125) signals their presence in Rome under Claudius (Life of Claudius, 25,11) and under Nero, who delivered them up to tortures in 64 (Life of Nero, 16,3); Pliny the Younger (61-114) recounted them in Bithynia (Letter to Trajan, in 112); several have left writings:  Clement of Rome, († 97), Ignatius of Antioch (35-107), Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155).

Jesus died suspended on a cross

*  Crucifixion recounted in the Gospels (Matt. 27, Mk. 15, Lk. 23, Jn. 19), the Acts (2.23); St. Paul (1 Col. 1.23), etc.

*  Tacitus (who was proconsul of Asia):  Jesus “was condemned in the reign of Tiberius, by the procurator Pontius Pilate”.

*  Flavius Josephus:  “Some chiefs of our nation, having accused him before Pilate, this one had him crucified.”*  Luke of Samosate:  “The crucified sophist”.

*  Justin (who had lived both in Judea and in Rome):  “You can be assured that the facts are accurate in consulting the Acts which were registered under Pontius Pilate.” (Apology addressed to the Emperor Antoninus around 150, paragraph 35.)

*  Celsus (anti-Christian polemist, around 178):  “You say he’s God, and he finishes by dying miserably”.

*  The Shroud of Christ, conserved at Turin, attests in detail to all of the Passion (His image, resembling a photographic negative, remains unexplained by science).

2.  His body disappeared

Friday evening: Jesus is placed in the tomb

Dying Friday (the eve of the Sabbath), Jesus was buried immediately:

*  According to Jewish law, the burial must be accomplished before the beginning of the Sabbath (holy day of the Jews), meaning before sunset on Friday evening.

*  This burial – authorized by Pilate – occurred in public, so it was easily verified by everyone.  It has always been held as certain, including at Jerusalem, from the First Century, before numerous witnesses, without being able to find a single objection raised.

*   The Four Evangelists relate it, each one making their sources clear (Matt. 27.61; Lk. 23.55; Jn. 19.35). – Their accounts are sober, without trace of embellishments (the pitiful absence of the Apostles at the sepulcher would be inexplicable if the story had been invented).

*  This narrative is confirmed by archeology (the tomb carved out of the rock, the stone which was rolled), the Roman law (authorizing the deliverance of the body to near relatives), the customs of the Jews (their respect for the dead and the renown of Jesus requiring burial).

*  The location of the sepulcher has always been known, according to the testimony of Eusebius of Caesarea (Construction of a Church towards the end of the persecutions, in 325).

*  We even know the owner of the tomb:  Joseph of Arimathea, member of the Sanhedrin (unexpected detail, too easy to verify to be invented).

Sunday, at daybreak:  he’s no longer in the tomb

Sunday morning (the day following the Sabbath), the tomb is found empty:

*  The fact was noticed as soon as it was dawn (Mk. 16. 2-4).  It was necessarily verified by the authorities and by many of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, considering the controversy it sparked (the Apostles were arrested, Stephen was stoned, etc.).

*  The disappearance was tacitly confirmed by the enemies of Christianity (if they had been able to, obviously they would have shown the body of Christ to silence the rumors of any Resurrection).

*  The disappearance was confirmed factually by the development of Christianity in Judea (this would have been impossible if the tomb hadn’t been found empty).

*  Finally, the disappearance was confirmed by the controversy with the Jews in which Matthew is visibly engaged (Matt. 27 and 28):  1.  Accusation of the Jews:  the Apostles took the body.   2. Response:  the tomb was guarded.  3.  Reply:  the guards were sleeping.   Etc.  — this polemic would never have taken such a turn if the tomb had not been found empty.

False solutions:

The thesis that the body was stolen by the Apostles is untenable because it gives rise to the Apostles having:

1. Audacity, boldness, being coldblooded, and being organized.  (But instead they were distraught, terrorized, without a leader);

2.  A diabolical perfidy.  (Directly contrary to the teachings of Christ);

3. Deliberately violated both a sepulcher and the Sabbath.  (Things extremely sacred to the Jews);

4.  Become extremely lucky.  (Despite the guards, the stone that needed to be rolled, and the investigation of the authorities …);

5.  And all that without it profiting them personally, but at the price of their own lives, with the sole end being to assume a hypothetical posthumous triumph of an impostor, of whom they would be, in reality, the first victims!

The other theses of the rationalists are just as absurd (They got the wrong tomb, the body was swallowed up in an earthquake, – taken by Mary Magdalene – or by the Jews, etc.).

What must unbelievers not come up with in order to justify their unbelief!

3. Witnesses saw Him

They saw, heard, touched, and accompanied Him.  They gave their lives in order to testify to the same.

Firsthand witnesses

*  Dozens of men and women categorically affirm they have seen the resurrected Jesus, several times and in divers manners, at Jerusalem and then in Galilee, during 40 days.

*  On Pentecost (less than 2 months after the death of Christ) the Apostles testified publicly in Jerusalem:  “This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses.” (Acts 2.32). Which witness was asserted before the Sanhedrin as well (Acts 4.10 and 4.33).

*  Towards the year 34, Paul, having been converted, received from the Apostles at Jerusalem a formula of Profession of Faith which he transcribed in the Epistle to the Corinthians: “For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins,…..and that he rose again the third day…..” (1 Cor. 15.3-5, etc.).

*  In this same Epistle, written before 55, St. Paul mentions six apparitions of the Risen Christ, of which….    –  One “with more than 500 brethren, of which most are still alive” (a clear invitation to get information from the witnesses).    –  And that which he himself had while he was persecuting the Christians (related in detail in the Acts of the Apostles, written before the year 64)

.*  The Holy Gospels (written before the year 70) relate nine apparitions (7 at Jerusalem and 2 in Galilee), stating also that there had been others.

Truthful witnesses

*  If they had made it up, would the Evangelists have: — resisted the urge to describe the Resurrection itself in detail? – given to the women the honorable role, at the expense of the Apostles? – reduced the apparitions to such banal and commonplace scenes? – delivered narrations that were hard to reconcile, like pieces of a puzzle (which in the end, actually reveals that they were independent witnesses of a complex event)?

*  If they had made it up, would all the Apostles have maintained their false testimony even under torture, as much in Jerusalem (James), as at Rome (Peter), and at Madras in India (Thomas), etc.?

False solutions

1.  Myth? – The Apostles never preached the Resurrection as if it were a myth (as an allegory), but rather as an historical fact.  The word ‘myth’ doesn’t explain their conviction at all.

2.  Legendary deformation? – The historian Sherwin-White showed that a story doesn’t disfigure the hard nut of an historical fact before 3 or 4 generations pass.  Now, the Resurrection, central point of the Christian Faith, was preached immediately (Peter at Pentecost – the Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, written before 55 – etc.)

3.  Hallucination?  Hallucination requires a mental weakness or nervousness that is not to be found in these fishermen of Galilee, and which would have prevented them from being believed.  It can’t explain such varied apparitions during the space of 40 days (the disciples of Emmaus talking to him and walking with him for miles; Thomas who doubted his Resurrection, placing his fingers in his wounds; Jesus preparing a fire on the banks of the lake; etc.).

4.  Autosuggestion? – “Expectation ordinarily creates its own object” (Renan, denying the apparitions). – Other than the fact that that is false (except for the mentally ill), the Apostles weren’t expecting anything!  Mary Magdalene, not expecting to see Jesus at all, took Our Lord to be a gardener; the disciples of Emmaus thought at first that he was a stranger; Thomas refused to believe; etc.

4.  The real solution is something higher!

Four facts

1. – The disappearance of the body of Christ.

2. – The testimony of dozens of witnesses who categorically affirm having seen him again alive (resurrected).

3. – The sudden metamorphosis of the Apostles:  cowardly, fleeing, demoralized and disorganized due to the death of Jesus, and then all of a sudden proclaiming His Resurrection and heroically braving death so sure are they of rising with Him.

4. – Despite all the persecutions, the progressive conversion of the Roman Empire to the cult of a crucified Jew.

Considered individually, each one of the above facts is an enigma.  But when we put them all together, they tend towards the same and unique rational solution:  Jesus is truly resurrected.

If one refuses to believe in the Resurrection, then one has four insoluble enigmas.  If one admits the truth of the Resurrection, everything comes together and receives a crystal clear explanation.  This explanation imposes itself then on our reason, under pain of absurdity:He is Resurrected!

Objection:  Wouldn’t it be lapsing into the irrational to admit the Resurrection?

Reply:  Reason demands that the world has a first Cause:  God.  It’s logical that God can directly intervene in His own Creation (like a watchmaker can, with his finger, move the hands of the clock, independently of the mechanism).  The miracle has then nothing irrational about it. – Here, it even becomes the only rational explanation.

Objection:  But why this miracle?

Answer:  If God sends messengers, it’s logical that He will guarantee their mission by incontestable signs (prophesies and miracles). – Now, Jesus has presented Himself as the great Messenger of God (the Messiah) and He announced that His Resurrection would be the great proof of His Mission.

Let us compare:

The legendary deformation requires:

1.  Someone who is already well-known.

2.  Some time (several generations).

Thus….

*  Buddha already has the reputation of a master of wisdom while his philosophy transforms into a religion and a very late biography attributes miracles to him.

* Mohammed and his successors have already imposed themselves by the force of the sword when the Sira (biography of the ‘Prophet’) lends him (a century after his death) some curious wonders (the moon split in two, etc.), all the more surprising because, according to the Koran (13, 27-32; 17, 90-109; 29, 50), he refused to prove his mission by miracles.

* The cult of Jesus was already well spread when the Apocryphal Gospels (coming after the year 100, and not recognized by the Church) attribute extravagant miracles to Him.But the situation was quite different when the Apostles began to preach the Resurrection of the crucified Jesus who was nothing but one more false Messiah to the crowd (there had been a whole series of them who came and went ignominiously).  It was precisely the affirmation of His Resurrection which rendered His name famous throughout the entire world!  It was preached as the central and essential fact of Christianity from the very first sermon of Saint Peter (Acts 2) and the first Epistle of Saint Paul (1 Cor.), and cannot then in any manner be brought down to the level of developing legends affecting the lives of Buddha or Mohammed.

Of all these religious founders, only Jesus has confirmed His mission by a dazzling miracle, attested by eye-witnesses.

A Meditation on Easter

A Meditation for Easter

with Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fra Angelico’s “Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb”

The advantages of Our Lord’s Resurrection

From the mystery of Our Lord’s Resurrection, we can learn four things :

1.  First of all, we learn that we should strive to rise spiritually from the death of the soul which we have caused by sin, and rise to a life of justice [holiness] which is acquired through penance.

« Rise thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall enlighten thee » (Eph 5 14). « Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection [the one of the soul]. In these, the second death [eternal death in Hell] has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him » (Apoc 20, 16).

2. Secondly, [from Our Lord’s Resurrection we should learn] not to defer rising spiritually until death is upon us, but rise NOW AND PROMPTLY ; for Christ rose for our example on the third day.

« Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day » (Eccl 5, 8), because :

— you will not be able even to think of those things pertaining to your salvation, when serious illness comes upon you ;

— and also because by delaying your conversion, you lose part of all the good things which the Church accomplishes ;

— and, what is worse, you incur many evils because of your perseverance in sin.

Likewise, inasmuch as the devil possesses you for a longer time, so much the more difficult it  be for you to rid yourself of Satan.

3. Thirdly, we should learn to rise to an incorruptible life, so that we may not die again ; that is : having firmly resolved to do penance, we may not sin again.

« Christ rising from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him »  (Rom 6, 9). « So you also reckon that you are dead to sin but alive to God in Jesus-Christ, Our Lord. Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts of flesh. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin, but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice [sanctification] unto God » (Rom 6, 11).

4.  Fourthly, [from Our Lord’s Resurrection we should learn] to rise a new and glorious life, so that we may avoid everything which was before the occasion and cause of our spiritual death and of sin.

« That as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life » (Rom 6, 4). And this new life is a life of justice [holiness], which renews our souls and leads us unto a life of everlasting glory.

Interview with Bishop Jean-Michel FAURE – March 25, 2015

Interview with Bishop Jean-Michel FAURE

March 25, 2015

Your Excellency, there are some who are asking what the reasons are that led to your consecration having been done with so much discretion.  Wouldn’t it have been better to have given greater publicity to such a joyous event?

The consecration had to be done this way so as not to have been hindered. Bishop Williamson’s situation remains delicate.  We chose this monastery because it is a little distant and provides certain measures of security.  Moreover, there is adequate space here which makes it easy for liturgical ministers.  Overall, there was a need to avoid any type of disturbance, and this was accomplished successfully.

Your Excellency, can you tell us anything about the signature of the 1988 protocol? Were you with Archbishop Lefebvre in those days?

I was not; instead, I was made aware of these facts just like any other member of the Society.  On the 5th of May of 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre signed a protocol for an agreement with Rome, in which the pope recognized the right to consecrate one of the SSPX priests a bishop.  At this time, it was considered to be something necessary in order for the work of Archbishop Lefebvre to survive after his death, but such a thing was also the bait and the hook to obtain the Archbishop’s signature.  I think that when Archbishop Lefebvre signed this document he had a moment (temporary indeed) of weakness, as was the case with Saint Joan of Arc, and like her, he wrote, after the “worst night of his life”, a retraction letter to the Vatican representative, by which he nullified the protocol.  Bishop Fellay cannot take advantage of this moment of weakness which was later retracted to say he is imitating Archbishop Lefebvre’s conduct. “I went too far”, Archbishop Lefebvre would say later, referring to the signature of the protocol.  Archbishop Lefebvre had no illusion about the Roman diplomacy and the Roman interlocutors, as is demonstrated in many of his declarations and in the non-diplomatic determination that appears in the fundamental declaration of 1974 about the two Romes: the Eternal and the modernist, or the two churches: the Catholic and the conciliar. And Bishop Fellay, in so far as he confuses the current, official, modernist Rome with the Eternal Rome, he makes himself unfaithful to Eternal Rome, guardian of the Truth.  He confounds the conciliar church – about which Arch. Lefebvre spoke so much – with the Catholic Church.  For Bp. Fellay there is only one church and only one Rome: but this is the antithesis of Arch. Lefebvre’s position.

Your Excellency, recently we have been able to read many criticisms about yourself. For sure, the devil is not very happy with this consecration. What could you tell us about this?

What happens is that we intend to continue as much as possible the line of Arch. Lefebvre, and for this reason we receive attacks from the right and from the left, just like it happened to Arch. Lefebvre.

From the right and from the left?

Yes.  On the left are those that are carrying out the integration of the SSPX into the conciliar church, and on the right are the sedevacantists.  Sedevacantism is an excessive simplification of the situation (and sometimes it is not exempt of sentimentalism, even though this may be understandable).  That was not accepted, on a prudential level and after a deep examination, by Arch. Lefebvre and by theologians and canonists of high level that he was able to consult.  On this, one must speak about the true grace of state in Arch. Lefebvre, who had to some degree the same role of Saint Athanasius against modernism.  We have no doubt that Providence put him here to guide us in this crisis of the Church, that has only gotten worse after his death, but continues to be essentially the same. We cannot say that Francis has a greater responsibility than Paul VI or John Paul II for the development of the crisis that Arch. Lefebvre, Bp. De Castro Mayer, Fr. Calmel O.P. and so many other great theologians confronted.

On the other hand, Menzingen says that Your Excellency and Bp. Williamson do not  recognize the Roman authorities “except in a purely rhetorical manner”.  

No more and no less than Arch. Lefebvre. Hence the sedevacantists also attack us, and in a very violent way.

Your Excellency, in your Masses do you pray for Pope Francis? 

I follow Arch. Lefebvre’s instructions about this matter: pray for the pope and denounce his heresies, like Saint Athanasius and so many saints who had to oppose the popes of their times.

Concerning these liberal and modernist popes, and the question of the Catholic Church vs.  the conciliar church, does Your Excellency agree with the position of the Dominicans of Avrillé, as exposed in the article titled: “One Pope for two Churches”? 

Yes.

Let us continue with the theme of the pope. In the previous interview we asked  Fr. Faure what would he do if Francis invited him to go to Vatican. And now we ask you as Bp. Faure, what would you say to Francis?

Above all I must say that such an interview is practically impossible, since a sine qua non condition is the presence of Bp. Williamson and the other priests, any type of “negotiation” already being excluded as seen as a deal of any sort, as Arch. Lefebvre used to say, so long as there is no radical conversion on the part of Rome, accepting, in fact and in right, all the encyclicals prior to Vatican II, as well as the condemnations against liberalism and modernism that they include;  but this apparently will not happen before the third world war (that seems near).  I would say to the pope:  “What Church do you belong to? To the Catholic Church or to a falsification of the Church?”  His function is to confirm his brothers in the Faith.  I would remind him of the words of Saint Paul: your authority was given to you “unto edification, and not unto destruction”(2 Cor. 13, 10), to edify and not to destroy catholic faith and morals.  I would say to him the following, citing Arch. Lefebvre: “Do you agree with all the great encyclicals prior to John XXIII, and with all the popes up until and including Pius XII?  Are you in ‘full communion’ with those popes and with their teachings?  Do you accept the anti-modernist oath?  Do you agree with the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ?  If you do not accept the doctrine of these predecessors of yours, it’s useless to talk with you.  It is because we are faithful to the Eternal Rome that we are obligated to separate ourselves from the modernist and liberal, current and official, Rome.  Don’t think that just because Menzingen may let itself be seduced, that Bp. Williamson or I are going to fall for the same trap.”

Coming back to the critics and lies about yourself, some of them are extremely ridiculous. Therefore, forgive this question that we are asking with the purpose of honoring the truth and in order to protect some simple and excessively gullible souls: Can you tell us something about the circumstances of the burial of your father? 

In March 3, 1986, my father’s body was taken to my home for the wake. There he was placed upon my bed, and not upon the floor, as the slanderous sedevacantists falsely claim.  Let them say the names of the witnesses!  Personally, I can name Fr. Canale SSPX, who celebrated the Requiem Mass, Fr. Ricardo Olmedo SSPX, and the seminary professors who knew the facts, the seminarians that today are priests, Fr. Schmidberger SSPX, who was in the Mass and in the cemetery, and also the members of Mesuda family, who were great benefactors of the seminary when it began and who were present at the wake ceremony.  These ones later gathered in their field, moved by mercy, the twenty seminarians that left seminary during the sedevacantist rebellion of 1989.  My father was buried in the little cemetery of the Society where his his tombstone was made visible after the mass attended to by all the seminarians and many priests and faithful. In this incident there was nothing abnormal and nothing to hide; but what we have here is an example of the sedevacantist logic to say Bp. Faure is Jew: I was born in Algeria; Jews are numerous in Algeria; therefore, “I must be a Jew”.  But, as Muslims are much more numerous, maybe I am a marrano muslim?  Against all these very ridiculous calumnies and fabrications, I have a very good genealogical tree of my family in France that I will make public when I go back there.

And what can you tell us about the crisis of the Argentinian seminary, in 1989? They also blame you for this. 

About the crisis in the Buenos Aires seminary, I am making it clear that I arrived in Mexico in September 24th, 1985, five days after the terrible earthquake, after having been appointed Superior of the District of Mexico, but this crisis took place in 1989, in the period the sedevacantist rebellion against Arch. Lefebvre.  The director, one professor and many priests of this tendency had influenced half of the seminarians of La Reja, that waited the visit of Fr. Schmidberger in 1989 to leave wholesale the seminary and get into a “seminary” made by a secular group in Mexico.  A complete failure: a little group of them remained in an abandoned monastery near Cordoba, Argentina, and afterwards around Luján, and finally in El Bolsón (South of Argentina).  Therefore, it is an evident lie that the supposed  scandal around the burying of my father, that happened three years before, had provoked the immediate departure of these twenty seminarians.  Bp. Tissier writes about these facts in the biography of Arch. Lefebvre. (page 546, 2nd Ed., Edi. Clovis, 2002).

(Translation by Michael)

Menzingen’s avowal

Menzingen’s avowal

by Dom Thomas Aquinas OSB
March 22, 2015

The March 19th communiqué from Menzingen, although brief, informs us of a good number of things. Among them is the admission that Bishop Williamson was expelled from the SSPX for his opposition to the rallying policy of Bishop Fellay.

Up until now, Menzingen spoke of disobedience: Bishop Williamson was undisciplined, a bad subordinate who does not obey orders. Now Menzingen admits the real reason: “the violent criticisms” of Bishop Williamson concerning Menzingen’s relations with Rome. The same goes for Bishop Faure. That is their crime.

The incident of the letter written by the three bishops to Bishop Fellay and his assistants was not appreciated at all. Archbishop Lefebvre certainly had relations with Rome, but in the hope that Rome would correct itself and would come back. In fact, it was Archbishop Lefebvre who directed the negotiations with invincible certitude because his criterion was the Faith of All Times. Even so, he himself nearly fell into Rome’s trap. “I went too far”, he said.

But with Bishop Fellay, things are handled very differently. It is not he who directs the negotiations.  It is not he who has the strength to say to Rome:  “It is I, the accused, who should judge you.” No, Bishop Fellay does not present himself as judging the errors of Rome. Rather, he presents himself as being the guilty party, labouring under “an irregular situation, who needs to “fall into line”, but who’s having a hard time doing so because “his Society does not follow him.

Let us digress for a moment. Are we to judge Rome? Is that not the role of the superiors rather than of the inferiors? Of course. But it is the superiors who have already judged. It is Quanta Cura, Pascendi, Quas Primas, etc. that condemn the liberal popes.  It is Rome, the Eternal Rome, that has already judged the neo-modernist and neo-Protestant Rome. That is what Bishop Fellay seems to want to forget (and make others forget) with his “concrete Church of today”. End of digression.

Bishop Williamson blocked Menzingen’s moves.  He was a hindrance. Everyone knew it, but the General House gave another version.  Now they admit it.  “The violent criticisms of Bishop Williamson against Operation Suicide were the cause of his expulsion. It was about time Menzingen said it. Now it is done.

However, Menzingen falsifies the matter by saying that these violent criticisms were about “all relations with the Roman authorities. No. This is not true. They concern the rallying that would put the SSPX under the modernist and liberal yoke used by the devil to try to achieve what Corção called “the final sin: to bring down the last bastions in an ultimate and monumental offensive against God.

Under no circumstances will we support this effort. The devil will not achieve his goal because Our Lady is keeping watch: Ipsa conteret. This is our hope. It will not be in vain if we are faithful, by the grace of God: Fidelis inveniatur.

Sweetness and Bitterness in Menzingen

Sweetness and Bitterness in Menzingen

By Amicus Romanus ;  Translation provided by Michael Fuller

From the same mouth bitterness and gall and sweetness and honey is emitted, but not in the same direction.

— Towards Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure, it’s all bitterness.

— Towards Conciliar Rome, it’s all sweetness.

The communiqué from Menzingen regarding the March 19th consecration offers a truly impressive contrast.

PART I:  Only bitterness!

Joseph’s brothers could not speak peaceably to him, as much as they looked on (Genesis 37:4). From Menzingen, don’t expect one single kindhearted word of recognition or of charity towards Bishop Williamson or Bishop Faure, after their decades of good, loyal service.  Menzingen only thinks of denouncing them: “The SSPX denounces the episcopal consecration of Rev. Fr. Faure”.  At least this is clear, but why this denunciation?  What is reprehensible in this consecration?  This is something much more sinister.  A very strong animosity is felt, but many rational arguments are not discerned.  And even worse: it tastes of bitterness!  Menzingen seems unable to speak objectively simply respecting the facts about the two bishops. At all costs, they must deform and dirty the intentions, dirty the reputation of people.  The tendency seems unstoppable.

1. “Against any relations…

First example: the relations with Rome.  Everyone knows that Bishop Williamson and Bishop Fellay oppose each other on this point.  The former estimates (whether he is right or not is not the question here) that the latter lacks the necessary strength to decidedly oppose -face to face- the errors of the Roman authorities; instead of impressing his interlocutors -like Archbishop Lefebvre- by frontally reminding them of the inopportune truths, he lets himself be impressed by them.

More fundamentally, the opposition is about the finality of the negotiations. For Bishop Williamson, there is only one objective: that the Roman authorities abjure from all the modernist and liberal errors and everything that has resulted.  Meanwhile, Bishop Fellay dreams of a canonical recognition, even before the conversion of the authorities.

All of this is notoriously public.  The question is not to know if it is necessary or not to discuss with Rome, but how and with what finality to go about with these discussions.

Menzingen could easily say it in one word: Bishop Fellay and Bishop Williamson differ regarding the discussions with Rome.  This is clear, simple, true, and perfectly objective. But no! Menzingen could not be resolved to call it how it is.  The necessity to dirty the reputation was too violent.  Distrusting the evidence, Menzingen declared that Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure are:

“against any relation with the Roman authorities”.

But they have explicitly declared the contrary (still on the eve of the consecration), but that doesn’t count.  Apparently, Menzingen knows more about what the bishops themselves think!

2. “It is not at all comparable…”

Second example: the comparison between the 1988 consecration and the 2015 consecration.  The differences and similarities can be argued a long time. 1  At least it is unarguable that the nature of the act is the same.  There was a paternal link (through Bishop Williamson, Archbishop Lefebvre is now the “grandfather in episcopacy” of Bishop Faure).  Archbishop Lefebvre himself had contemplated consecrating Jean-Michel Faure.  The state of necessity in the Church has not diminished since 1988.  Finally, Bishop Williamson has the same discourse that Archbishop Lefebvre had at the time.

Different circumstances of times, places, or manner can always be disputed, but Menzingen doesn’t even attempt it.  Their communiqué simply declares that “the episcopal consecration of Fr. Faure is not at all comparable with the consecrations of 1988″.  You read that right: not at all.

Among all the ways of criticizing the 2015 consecration, Menzingen chose the most expedient, the most extreme, the most insupportable, to reject as a whole.  “It is not at all comparable.”  It is integral negationism.

3. “All the declarations…

We approach the apex.  And here finally:

“All the declarations of Bishop Williamson and Rev. Fr. Faure prove abundantly that they no longer recognize the Roman authorities”.

This is the accusation that kills: sedevacantism!  An outright accusation alleged without even a minimal, faint shadow of a doubt.  We are very far from interrogative-negative formulas or from the dimmed allusions of Bishop Fellay when he tries to emit reserves about Pope Francis (we don’t understand…”, “We have the impression…”).  Here Menzingen understands very well and is certain.  This confession was not made once, by surprise or by halfhearted words, it’s in “all the declarations” of the wicked bishops.  Yes all of the declarations!  Faith in Menzingen!

Moreover, Menzingen realizes that there might be, among the readers of the communiqué, some readers of Bishop Williamson that can be a little surprised because they have read exactly the opposite.  Not only does Bishop Williamson recognize the Roman authorities, but he has frequently argued against sedevacantism (and in a more convincing way than Bishop Fellay, who is content with presenting as a scarecrow).

Those who have read Fr. Faure (notably the interview before his consecration) can experience the same surprise, and even think that good Bishop Fellay lies, or at least that he says just about anything.

Happily, the bile reserve has not run dry.  To prevent against any embarrassing question, it is sufficient to accuse them, Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure, of lying.  All of their declarations affirm that they recognize the Roman authorities?  It doesn’t matter!  It is simply that they don’t believe what they say.  They are only words in the air, empty, rhetorical spins.  And Menzingen, which really knows better than what the bishops themselves are thinking, finishes:

All the declarations […] prove abundantly that they no longer recognize the Roman authorities, except in a purely rhetorical manner”.  [formatting emphasis is ours]

This is what we call, in good French, a judgment of intention.  It is the preferred tactic of subversives (communists, masons, etc.), because it is very difficult to counteract.  You all can respond however you like, it matters little, because we have put forward the principle that you all do not really believe what you say.  State ten times that you recognize the Roman authorities, undertake the work of refuting the sedevacantist arguments: we content ourselves with responding that your insistence on this point is suspicious and confirms, once more, that you all don’t absolutely recognize the mentioned authorities “except in a purely rhetorical manner”.

A simple question for Bishop Fellay:  Conscientiously and before God, is it truly correct that this polemical procedure is in complete conformity with the Gospel?

PART II:  Only sweetness!

But the most impressive is the contrast.

After all, Menzingen could be suffering from a toothache or had a bad night when they wrote up their communiqué.  This could explain the bitterness.

But the gall?

Well, reread attentively: is it not evident that they have left out from this communiqué any expression that could constitute a minimal possibility of risk of displeasing conciliar Rome?

1.  “State of necessity” without an identifiable cause.

“The Society of St. Pius X still maintains that the present state of necessity renders legitimate its action throughout the world”.

—But where does this state of necessity come from?  It seems to float in the air without a cause and without an explanation other than the evil of the times.  Menzingen mentions it as if it verifies the rain or the sun and does not remember even once that the harm comes firstly from the pope and the Holy See that propagate, since 50 years ago, mortal errors to souls.

- Shush! Shush! Warning! You are going to offend Rome!

2.  The limited bishops and the administering of the sacraments.

Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated bishops so that they could ordain priests, this is certain, but also to defend the faith and combat the current errors, moreover, the modernist and liberal errors spread by the conciliar hierarchy.

Apparently, this has ended.  For Menzingen, the bishops must no longer combat the errors.  The communiqué explains that Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated bishops in 1988 and:

“his sole goal was to make available to the faithful the sacraments which priests ordained by the bishops would offer”.  [formatting emphasis is ours]

“[T]he sole goal”: the state of necessity in the Church is limited to the sacraments- and what about the doctrinal crisis?  What about the errors of conciliar Rome, the neo-modernist and neo-protestant tendency so frequently denounced by Archbishop Lefebvre?

-Shush! Shush! Warning! You are going to offend Rome!

3.  Errors that “Who knows from whence they come”?

Nevertheless, there are errors. Menzingen indicates that it is necessary to oppose them.  In its martial fit of rage, the communiqué goes all the way to valiantly declaring that the Society must oppose the errors “from wherever they may come”!    And just from where do they come?  They won’t tell us anything else!

-Shush! Shush! Warning! You are going to offend Rome!

Bishop Fellay, accused by Bishop Williamson of gleaming in front of conciliar Rome, should have taken advantage of the occasion to prove otherwise.  Some words against the neo-modernist and neo-protestant Rome would have been particularly adequate.  The very situation even seemed to require it. But no!  Not a single word.  Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure are scorned, but modernist Rome is in no way denounced.

And regarding this, one of the two applies:

  • Either:  whoever is responsible for the communiqué from Menzingen was (a suspected plotter and) is a secret ally of Bishop Williamson, and he treacherously works to discredit Bishop Fellay – publishing, in his name, communiqués crafted liberally (sickly-sweet for the enemies of the faith, bitter for its defenders).
  • Or: the communiqué really expresses the way Bishop Fellay thinks, and so the joy that Archbishop Pozzo promptly directed to the SSPX for this beautiful communiqué is understood.

P.S. Secondary consideration

It is curious that Menzingen always expresses itself as if the state of necessity that afflicts the Church was its own territory or its private property.  Only the SSPX can seemingly invoke it in order to justify its apostolate.

Lastly, Menzingen seems to attribute to itself a supreme, extraordinary jurisdiction almost like the pope exercises the supreme ordinary jurisdiction.  This perspective would explain the reason that Menzingen believes it is authorized to “denounce” the consecration of Bishop Faure: an attempt against its Monopoly.

If this is not the case, well then what is it?  A personal prelature already agreed upon by Rome-secretly- to Bishop Fellay?