What should we make of the book The Poem of the Man God by Maria Valtorta?

What should we make of the book The Poem of the Man God by Maria Valtorta?

To answer to questions which were asked of us about Maria Valtorta, we publish here a text coming from Le Sel de la terre n° 7 (doctrinal review of the Dominicans of Avrillé).

For more details, you can consult the book of Fr Herrbach: “Des visions sur l’Évangile” on the website: http://www.clovis-diffusion.com/

Maria Valtorta died in 1961 “in an incomprehensible physical isolation” (in an insane asylum).

Her principal work The Poem of the Man God, which was written in the years from 1943 to 1947, took up 10,000 pages of note-books.

Her confessor Father Migliorini, claims to have been received in audience with Pope Pius XII alongside Father Berti, in February 1948 and the Pope is supposed to have said to them to publish this work, adding ” Whoever reads it, will understand“.  This oral authorisation of the Pope seems very unlikely: The Pope could only have given the authorisation of the work if he had read it and been assured of its orthodoxy; but how would the Pope have found the time to read these 10,000 pages?  This authorisation appears even less credible when the Holy Office forbade the work definitively (with no possible correction) one year later in February 1949.  The first four volumes were however published without Imprimatur from 1956 to 1959.  On the 16th of December 1959, the edited books were put on The Index [Editor: The Index of Forbidden Books].   The Osservatore Romano (official newspaper of the Vatican) published the placement on The Index accompanied with an article justifying the condemnation.  Here are some extracts:

“The four Gospels present us with a Jesus humble and full of reserve; His speaking is sober, incisive but supremely efficacious.  On the contrary in this sort of romantic History [Editor:  i.e. The Poem of the Man God], Jesus is excessively loquacious and resembles a man of propaganda, always ready to proclaim Himself the Messiah and Son of God, and to give out lessons of theology, using the same terms that a professor of theology would use today.

In the Gospel narratives, we admire the humility and the silence of the Mother of Jesus.  On the contrary for the author of this work, the most blessed Virgin Mary with the talkativeness of a modern lawyer, is always present everywhere and always ready to give lessons of Marian theology, perfectly up to date with the latest current studies of specialists on the matter…

Some scenes are rather indecent and make us think of scenes from a modern novel.  We will only give a few examples, such as the confession made to Mary by a certain Aglae, a woman of ill-repute (1st volume, p.790 and after1);  the not very edifying narrative from pages 887 and onwards in the first volume;  a ballet executed in an immodest fashion before Pilate at the pretorium (volume 4, p. 75) etc…

To finish let us point out another strange and imprecise affirmation where it is said of the Madonna, “You, all the time that you will be on this earth, you will be the second after Peter, in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. [It is we who underline, says the review]”

Here are some examples of the errors and improprieties of this book

  • Our Lord thinks that words tire now and we must have recourse to visions… of Maria Valtorta; 
  • The tree of life in the terrestrial paradise is only a symbol; 
  • The sin of Adam and Eve consisted in the use of marriage in a spirit of lust; 
  • Saint Anne gave birth without pain; 
  • Our Lady brags of her humility and her calm; 
  • She says that she redeemed women through her maternity; 
  • She said that she saw God at her creation; 
  • Satan became flesh in the form of Judas.

One can note numerous contradictions with the Gospel, for example:

  • Our Lord is supposed to have sucked with avidity the vinegar given by the soldier;
  • On the Cross Our Lord did not cease to cry out “Mommy!” and she replied: “Yes, my treasure, I am here”; 
  • Our Lady gets angry, cries out and becomes “almost” delirious after the death of her Son;
  • and this is not to mention the numerous sensualities which are spread throughout the work.

Let us finish by citing a talk by Archbishop Lefebvre at a retreat, where he expresses his reserve regarding Maria Valtorta:

It is better for us […] not to spend too much time on the material details of the life of Our Lord. […] These books which present themselves as revelations of the Life of Our Lord, in my opinion, can be a danger, precisely because they represent Our Lord in a too concrete manner, too much in the details of His life.  I am thinking of course of Maria Valtorta.   And perhaps for some this reading can do good, it can bring them close to Our Lord, to try to imagine what would have been the life of the Apostles with Our Lord, the life at Nazareth, the life of Our Lord as the visits of the cities of Israel.

But there is a danger, a great danger; that is to humanize too much, to concretize too much, and to not sufficiently show the face of God, in this Life of Our Lord.  This is the danger.  I do not know if we should recommend so much to people the reading of these books, if they are not forewarned.  I do not know if that would raise them up and make them know Our Lord, such as He was, such as He is, such as we should know Him and believe Him to be.2

Last advice : Rather than read these novels where errors abound, it would be better to read Holy Scripture with good commentary based on the Fathers of the Church3, or even good lives of the saints4.

(From Le Sel de la terre, n° 7)


MEDITATION FOR CHRISTMAS TIME (with Saint Thomas Aquinas)

MEDITATION FOR CHRISTMAS TIME

with Saint Thomas Aquinas


The Circumstances of Christ’s Birth

1. Christ willed to be born at Bethlehem because of two reasons:

First, because “ He was made … of the seed of David according to the flesh, to whom also a special promise was made concerning Christ. ”  (Rom. I, 3.)  Hence, He willed to be born at Bethlehem, where David was born, in order that by the very birthplace, the promise made to David might be fulfilled.  The Evangelist points this out by saying, “ Because He was of the house and of the family of David. ”

Secondly, because as Gregory says, “ Bethlehem is interpreted ‘the house of bread’.”  It is Christ Himself, Who said, “ I am the living Bread which came down from heaven ” (Jn 41, 51).

As David was born in Bethlehem, so also did He select Jerusalem to set up His throne and to build there the Temple of God, so that, Jerusalem was at the time a royal and priestly city.  Now, Christ’s priesthood and kingdom were consummated principally in His Passion.  Therefore, it was becoming, that He should choose Bethlehem for His birthplace and Jerusalem for the scene of His Passion.

Likewise, also, He silenced the vain boasting of men who take pride in being born in great cities, where also they desire especially to receive honor.  Christ, on the contrary, willed to be born in a mean city, and to suffer reproach in a great city.

2. Christ was born at a suitable time.

— “When the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Gal. IV, 4.)  There is this difference between Christ and other men; that, whereas they are born subject to the restrictions of time, Christ as Lord and Maker of all time, chose a time in which to be born, just as He chose a mother and a birthplace.  And hence, since “What is of God is well ordered,” and becomingly arranged, it follows that Christ was born at a most fitting time.

— Christ came to bring us back from a state of bondage to a state of liberty, and therefore, as He took our mortal nature in order to restore us life, so as Bede says, “He deigned to take flesh at such a time that, shortly after His birth, He would be enrolled in Caesar’s census and thus submit Himself to bondage for the sake of our liberty.”

— Moreover, at that time, when the whole word lived under one ruler, peace abounded on the earth.  Therefore, it was a fitting time for the birth of Christ, for “He is our peace, Who hath made both one,” as it is written. (Eph. II, 14.)

Again it was fitting that Christ should be born while the world was governed by one ruler, because “He came to gather His own, Children of God, together into one” (John XI, 52), so “that there might be one fold and one Shepherd.” (John X, 16.)

Christ wished to be born during the reign of a foreigner, that the prophecy of Jacob might be fulfilled (Gen. XLIX, 10), “This sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, not a ruler from his thigh, till He come that is to be sent.”  Because as Chrysostom says, “as long as the Jewish people were governed by Jewish kings, however wicked, prophets were sent for their healing.  But now, that the Law of God is under the power of a wicked king, Christ is born; because a grave and hopeless disease demanded a more skillful physician.”

Christ wished to be born when the light of day begins to increase in length, so as to show that He came in order that man might come nearer to the Divine Light, according to Luke I, 79: “To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

— In like manner, He chose to be born in the rough winter season, that He might begin from then to suffer in body for us. (3 a. q. 35 a. V and VIII.)

(From: Saint Thomas Meditations for every day, by Fr E.C. McEnery O.P., Columbus [Ohio], Long’s College book company, 1951)

Should we participate in the Jubilee of Mercy?

Should we participate in the Jubilee of Mercy ?

 

A.   It would appear that we should participate in the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:

1.  When the gates of mercy are made wide open, we must take advantage to receive it in abundance.   A Holy Year is a great grace for all the members of the Church.

2.  The Council of Trent “teaches and demands that the use of indulgences, which are greatly beneficial to Christian people and are approved by the authority of this saintly council, be maintained” (DS 1835); the code of Canon Law states: “All will give great importance to the said indulgences” (can 911).  It would be paradoxical to decide, just because we do not want to have anything to do with the failed council that was Vatican II, to dismiss a truth that was proclaimed by the Council of Trent, and encouraged by all that is Church tradition.

3.  According to St. Alphonse de Liguori: “To become a saint, it suffices to gain as many indulgences as possible”.

4.  Nobody risks his salvation by participating in the Jubilee of Mercy, unless one questions the power of the keys which are legitimately held by Francis.

5.  “Even though the remission of sins were to be done in a questionable way, the interested party would nonetheless gain the full indulgence” (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Suppl. Q.25 to 2, ad 1).

6.  For a circumstance to impact the Jubilee and denature it, it would have to become either the object of, or the specific goal of the Jubilee.  However, the conditions required to obtain the said indulgence are the traditional ones: visit to a Jubilee church, confession, communion, recitation of the Credo, and prayers for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff (such as the Our Father, or the prayer of the Jubilee).

7.   The joy of the Jubilee is not that one of rejoicing in the Vatican II council, but rather in the grace bestowed by the head of the Church who draws it from the treasure of the infinite merits of Christ and of all the saints.  The grace bestowed so abundantly will always be a reason to rejoice for those who are well disposed to receive it.

8.   Archbishop Lefebvre and the Ecône Seminary went to the great pilgrimage organized by Rome during the Holy Year of 1975.  So did the Society of Saint Pius X in 2000.  Yet in 1975 the Vatican had noted that the holy year “coincided with the tenth anniversary of the closing of the second ecumenical Council of the Vatican”, and the decree of the holy year 2000 noted that on the occasion of the entry to the new millennium, “one should return with a renewed fidelity to the teachings the Vatican II council”.

B. Counter arguments

This Jubilee is organized by the conciliar Church; now Archbishop Lefebvre wrote in his spiritual “testament” (Spiritual Itinerary with Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, 1990):

It is the strict duty of any priest wanting to remain catholic to separate himself from this conciliar Church, until the time it finds again the tradition of the Magisterium of the Church and of the Catholic Faith (…).”

C. Answer:

The morality of a human act is measured not only by its end, but also by the circumstances surrounding it (Summa Theologica-II q.18 a.3).  For example, carrying a pickax while going to one’s own field does not have the same moral sense as carrying the same pickax to a demonstration in front of Town Hall.

The Jubilee of the Year of Mercy is tainted by the following circumstances:

  • the date of the Jubilee has been chosen to celebrate the 50 years of the Council and
  • the “mercy” that Pope Francis advocates is a lax mercy which leads to sin.

Participation in the Jubilee cannot do away with these circumstances and therefore this participation is immoral.

Solutions to the above objections:  [Editor:  “Ad 1”, “Ad 2” are Latin shorthand for   “Response to point 1 above”, “Response to point 2 above”, etc.]

Ad 1.   Saint Hermenegilde refused to receive communion from the hands of an Arian bishop on Easter day, and for this reason he was put to death.  And yet there is nothing more sanctifying than Holy Communion, and Easter communion is obligatory under pain of mortal sin.  But in this case the circumstances made the act sinful: to receive the host from the hands of a heretic priest was a “communio in sacris” with a heretic.

Ad 2.   The objector is wrong in qualifying Vatican II as a “failed council”.  It is, on the contrary, a great success for the modernists who were able on this occasion to found their “Conciliar Church”.  To participate in this Jubilee would be to compromise with this pseudo-church as per the circumstances afore mentioned.  As for the indulgences, one can gain them in other ways than participating in the Jubilee: there are several ways to gain a plenary indulgence every day, for example by a half-hour of reading Holy Scripture or adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the recitation of the Rosary, the stations of the cross, etc.

Ad 3.  The objector does not give a reference from among the works of the Saint, but from a secondary source, which itself does not give any reference.  The oldest trace that we have found of this citation is in a book written to criticize indulgences1.  We would therefore allow ourselves to ask for a precise source to verify the authenticity of this phrase as well as its context.  Whatever the case may be, to become a saint, faith is needed to a heroic degree, and therefore avoidance of all equivocations in matters of Faith.

Ad 4.  We do not question the power of the pope, but we note that he uses it badly.  It is for this same reason that we refuse the new Mass, the new code of canon law, etc.

Ad 5.  The objector omitted, without due notice, part of the quote from Saint Thomas:  “If however, the remittance of punishment is done in an unreasonable way, so that for a pittance men would be turned away from works of penance, he [the one that confers the indulgence] sins in acting in such a way; the person in question does however gain the indulgence in its entirety”.    From this, one perceives that the unreasonable aspect considered by Saint Thomas is a simple disproportion between the penance required, and the indulgence accorded.  Here the gain of the indulgence is tied to the joy of Vatican II and to a false conception of the “mercy” of pope Francis, therefore being not only unreasonable but also immoral.

Ad 6.  The objector plays on the word “denatures”.  It is true that the Jubilee remains a Jubilee, the circumstances that make it bad do not change its nature of Jubilee.  But those circumstances do enter into the object that is being morally considered for they affect its morality.  The communion offered to St. Hermenegilde remained an Easter communion, but the circumstances made it sinful.

Ad 7.  Even if he who participates in the Jubilee does not have the (subjective) intention to rejoice in Vatican II, he participates in a Jubilee that has been objectively designed to rejoice in this Council.  One must therefore abstain from participation, unless one wants to be subjectivist.

Ad 8.  The Jubilees of 1975 and 2000 were ordinary Jubilees, as those regularly held every 25 years to celebrate the anniversaries of the Incarnation.  They were not therefore tied per se to the anniversary of the Council, or to a false conception of mercy.  The allusions to the Council mentioned by the objector remained secondary and did not affect the morality of the act of participation for he who would simply celebrate the anniversary of the Incarnation.

In 1975 the participation of Archbishop Lefebvre in the pilgrimage organized by the “Credo” association took place at a time when he was manifesting his opposition to conciliar Rome2.  There was therefore no ambiguity in this act.

We can ask ourselves if it was prudent to redo a pilgrimage to Rome in 2000.   For it is on this occasion that some contacts were taken up again with the purpose of an agreement with modernistic Rome, which ended with the fall of Campos the following year.  The SSPX tried to pull back, but the talks for an agreement continued and in 2012 the accord almost happened.  The communiqués that followed the Roman meeting of September 23, 2014, the one of Menzingen (“cordial meeting”), and that of the Vatican (“proceed by successive stages” … “towards resolving the difficulties” … “in the perspective of a full reconciliation”) were the point of departure towards a certain number of steps or stages and the participation in this Jubilee would be very clearly part of this process.


Satan’s master stroke (Part 2 of 2)

Satan’s master stroke (Part 2 of 2)

(Editorial of Le Sel de la terre 94, Autumn 2015)

(Continued)

4. Should we return to the old principle :

“No practical agreement without doctrinal agreement” ?

Today, under Pope Francis, it is no longer possible to argue for a supposed improvement in the situation in Rome, but this does not stop certain people from raising objections to a return to the “old principle”.  Here are some objections which are voiced and the responses which can be made to them:

Objection 1

Between “no practical agreement without doctrinal agreement” and “practical agreement without doctrinal agreement”, there is a middle way which is in conformity with the thought of Archbishop Lefebvre.

1st Response: The Devil fishes in troubled waters.  In a matter of such importance (since the Faith is in danger), we must be clear.

2nd Response:  The thought of Archbishop Lefebvre evolved with events.  The more Conciliar Rome showed itself to be stubborn in its adherence to Modernism, the more he took his distance.  After the failure of the negotiations, he took up a very clear position, which is the one we have explained above (i.e. in the first part of this article).  Those who today want to make a practical agreement with Rome while claiming to be faithful to Archbishop Lefebvre are obliged to suppose that Archbishop Lefebvre would have changed his mind.  It is more correct to think that Archbishop Lefebvre would, on the contrary, be even more wary of today’s Rome, because of the fact that it is even more Modernist than in 1988.

Objection 2.

But if the Pope grants us something (like the label of “Catholic Association” in Argentina, or even ordinary jurisdiction to confess validly and licitly during the Holy Year), without asking us for anything in exchange, then we are not going to refuse!  It binds us to nothing.

Response: “Timeo Daneos et dona ferentes”1, replies Virgil.  We should instead have the wisdom and prudence to at least recall that we remain separated by a wall – i.e. the wall which separates Catholic doctrine from Modernism.  Otherwise we could end up thinking that these little gifts are the proof that collaboration is possible2.

During the Communist persecutions, Catholics who wanted to resist chose rather the policy of never accepting anything from the Communists (see “Le piège des pains au jambon” by Rose Hu, in Sel de la Terre 61, Summer 2007, p. 703).

Objection 3.

By refusing to follow the Society of Saint Pius X, you are dividing Tradition, whereas it needs to be united vis-à-vis Rome, in order to be stronger.

1st Response: Our strength lies above all in the truth which we defend.  By “muting” this truth (by accepting a “practical agreement” with those who do not profess it), we lose our strength, just as Sampson lost his by allowing his hair to be cut.

2nd Response: Bishop de Galarreta had foreseen that if we continued down this path of a practical agreement, “many superiors and priests will have a legitimate problem of conscience and will oppose it4”.

3rd Response: Who causes division: the one who changes policy – without saying so clearly – or the one who does not want to change and simply explains why he does not want to change?

Objection 4.

But nothing has been signed!  So, we can keep the current situation, while waiting for a better Pope with whom we will be able to make an agreement.

Response:  Signing will be the end of the process.  But once you accept in principle to place yourself under the direct authority of Modernists, you are committing yourself to a process of rapprochement.  This is a process which is already well underway: in effect, since 2011, at least, there has been no serious condemnation of the errors and faults of Modernist Rome by the superior authority of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X.  Some underlings have been allowed to speak out, but even they less and less5.

Objection 5.

One cannot say, without further qualification, that principles – even practical ones – remain unchangeable.  As a result, you are exaggerating when you make of this principle an unchangeable rule6.

Response: It is true that prudence must take account of circumstances and that the application of the principles can vary.  Saint Thomas Aquinas (II-IIae, q. 49, a.2) shows that the practical syllogism of prudence contains a universal Major (a first proposition) and a particular Minor (a second proposition).

This Minor, which is the observation of a concrete fact, is changeable according to the circumstances.  But it is not a “principle” in the sense used here7.

The Major, however, is a principle, a general rule of action founded on human nature and therefore invariable:  it is in this sense that the word “principle” is used in the quotes of Cardinal Pie, Monseigneur Freppel, Fréderic Le Play, etc.:

Let us not hope to seize once more, by means of secret capitulations, that which Heaven itself refuses to give us.  The reign of expediency is over; the reign of principles is beginning (Cardinal Pie, First Pastoral Letter, 25 November 1849).

In a society which is everywhere collapsing, it seemed to me that the first thing to do was to straighten out ideas.  What is necessary is to concentrate on improving the fundamentals in light of the principles.  There is no other rule of reform than that of seeking what is true and confessing it, whatever may happen (Fréderic Le Play in 1865).

Let us know how to recognize that abandoning the principles is the real cause of our disasters (The Count de Chambord, 8 May 1871).

The greatest misfortune for any era or country is when truth is abandoned or diminished.  One can recover from anything else; one never recovers from sacrificing principles (Monseigneur Freppel, 19 January 1873).

It is clear that, for these distinguished minds, the principles of which they speak are not variable rules.

Conclusion: let us keep the “old principle”

Undoubtedly the principle “no canonical agreement before a doctrinal agreement” is not one of the very first principles of the Natural Law (like the Ten Commandments).  It is rather to be ranked amongst those common truths admitted by prudent people.

However, in the current circumstances, after more than 25 years’ experience of witnessing that those groups which have gone over to Conciliar Rome always end up abandoning the fight for the Faith, after observing that the situation in Rome, far from improving, is actually only worsening, it appears clearly that only the observation of this principle – left as a testament by Archbishop Lefebvre – will allow us to resist “Satan’s master stroke”.

Satan’s “master stroke” (Part 1 of 2)

Satan’s “master stroke”  (Part 1 of 2)

(Editorial of Le Sel de la terre 94, Autumn 2015)

1.  Satan Launches his “master stroke”

We know that Pope Paul VI spoke of the auto-destruction of the Church and of the smoke of Satan which had entered the Temple of God:

“The Church finds Herself in a time of anxiety, of self-criticism, we could even say of auto-destruction. It is akin to an interior upheaval, which is both acute and complex, and which no-one would have expected after the Council.”1

“Faced with the situation in the Church today, we have the impression that through some crack or fissure the smoke of Satan has entered into the Temple of God.  There are doubts, uncertainties, problems, anxiety, dissatisfaction, confrontation. The Church is no longer trusted. […] It was thought that after the Council the sun would have shone on the history of the Church.  But, instead of sun, we have had clouds, storms, darkness, searching, uncertainty. […] How was this able to happen?  An adversary power has intervened, whose name is the devil, this mysterious being to whom Saint Peter alludes in his letter.”2

Just as the High-Priest, Caiaphas, prophesied that it was necessary for Our Lord Jesus Christ to die in order to save His people3, but without understanding his prophecy, so Paul VI saw that the Church was auto-destructing via the action of Satan, but without understanding the process.

On 13 October 1974, the anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima, in a written work entitled “Satan’s Master stroke”, Archbishop Lefebvre described in a striking manner how the auto-destruction of the Church was happening.  Here are some extracts from that text:

“Satan’s master stroke will therefore be to spread the revolutionary principles introduced into the Church by the authority of the Church itself, placing this authority in a situation of incoherence and permanent contradiction; so long as this ambiguity has not been dispersed, disasters will multiply within the Church. […]  We must acknowledge that the trick has been well played and that Satan’s lie has been masterfully utilized.  The Church will destroy Herself through obedience.  […]  You must obey!  Whom or what must we obey?  We don’t know exactly.  Woe to the man who does not consent.  He thereby earns the right to be trampled under-foot, to be calumniated, to be deprived of everything which allowed him to live.  He is a heretic, a schismatic; let him die – that is all he deserves.”

“Satan has really succeeded in pulling off a master stroke: he is succeeding in having those who keep the Catholic Faith condemned by the very people who should be defending and propagating it. […]  Satan reigns through ambiguity and incoherence, which are his means of combat, and which deceive men of little Faith.  Satan’s master stroke, by which he is bringing about the auto-destruction of the Church, is therefore to use obedience in order to destroy the Faith: authority against Truth.“

2. Satan continues his “master stroke”

It is not only in the immediate aftermath of the Council that Satan used his master stroke.  He began all over again after the consecrations of 30 June 1988 in order to try to divide Tradition.  Here is how Dom Thomas Aquinas describes the scenario in the last Letter to the Friends of Santa Cruz Monastery:

“On June 30, 1988, after having prayed for a long time, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops so that Holy Church could continue Her mission.  This ceremony stirred up the predicted storm.  Rome thundered excommunication (invalid because Archbishop Lefebvre’s act was licit and necessary due to the situation in which the Church finds Herself) and the newspapers published the news with great gusto.However, Rome was not the only one to disapprove of these consecrations. Some within Tradition also opposed them: Dom Gérard Calvet, Prior of the Sainte Madeleine Monastery in Le Barroux, France, Jean Madiran, director of the Itinéraires magazine, Father Bisig4, and some others.  Dom Gérard said that it was necessary to remain within the visible perimeter of the Church.  In order to accomplish this, he regularized his canonical situation with Rome, abandoning Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, bringing with him the Benedictine nuns of the Annonciation Monastery in France.  He also tried to bring with him in his opposition to the 1988 consecrations the Brazilian foundation of Santa Cruz.

And what were his arguments?  They were subtle and threatened to undermine the monks of Santa Cruz:

You must obey me”, he said, “because this decision does not concern the Faith.  It is a prudential question.  You must obey me because of your vows”.

These are not his exact words, but that was the essence of his argument.  Dom Gérard had already declared:  “Rome is giving us everything and is asking nothing from us.  How could we refuse?”  He thus employed every means to convince his monks, the faithful and friendly priests: to disobey him would be a mortal sin, a sin against our vows.

What were we to say faced with such an argument?   “Our Faith is exposed to great risks by this agreement with Rome.  We cannot accept it”.

“You must come back to France”, Dom Gérard told me.  “There are fifty monks in the monastery to protect your Faith”.

Even though Dom Gérard said there was no risk for our Faith, even though Dom Gérard said that his decision was purely prudential, the truth was completely different.  Even though this decision was prudential, it had serious consequences for the Faith.  By submitting himself to authorities who were not professing the Catholic Faith in all its integrity, Dom Gérard was placing our monasteries in a situation whose harmfulness would be demonstrated over time:  the New Mass celebrated by monks, Religious Liberty defended by Father Basile, the departure of several monks as well as a new orientation for the whole monastery of Le Barroux.”

3. A means of resisting pointed out by Archbishop Lefebvre

Satan’s master stroke has been working well for about fifty years.  It is to be foreseen that the devil will continue using it.  How can we resist and not allow ourselves to be tricked by it?

Archbishop Lefebvre himself gives us some good advice.

First off, distinguish the two Romes:

“We can think that there is Rome and Rome: [on one hand,] there is the Rome which is eternal in Her Faith, Her Dogmas, Her concept of the Sacrifice of the Mass; [on the other hand,] there is the temporal Rome which is influenced by the ideas of the modern world, an influence which the Council itself did not escape.5

Then we must clearly manifest our refusal to follow neo-Modernist Rome. Some weeks after writing his text on “Satan’s master stroke”, in his famous Declaration of 21 November 1974, Archbishop Lefebvre returned to this distinction of the two Romes and explained his refusal to follow neo-Modernist Rome:

“We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this Faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth.

We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it. “

In his Spiritual Journey6,“written for us in 1990, as his spiritual will and testament7”, Archbishop Lefebvre reaffirmed with force the necessity of breaking with neo-Modernist Rome, once more called “Conciliar church”:

“It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith!”

As Archbishop Lefebvre also said: “it is the superiors who make the subjects8” and not the opposite. Whence the necessity of maintaining a respectful distance from the Modernist Roman authorities and of observing the principle which was that of the Society of Saint Pius X between 1998 and 2012: “No canonical agreement with Rome before a doctrinal agreement”.

This principle was bequeathed by Archbishop Lefebvre after the failure of the negotiations of 1988. Here, for example, are some extracts of the article entitled “À une reprise des colloques, je poserai mes conditions” (“If talks were renewed, I would lay down my conditions”), which appeared in Fideliter No. 66 of December 1988:

“I shall not accept being in the position where I was put during the dialogue. No more. I will place the discussion on the doctrinal level: “Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? Do you agree with Quanta Cura of Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Leo XIII, Pascendi Gregis of Pius X, Quas Primas of Pius XI, Humani Generis of Pius XII? Are you in full communion with these Popes and their teachings? Do you still accept the entire Anti-Modernist Oath? Are you in favor of the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these Popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless.” Thus, the positions will be clear.”

This principle was repeated very many times by the authorities of the Society of Saint Pius X, notably by the Chapter of 2006:

“The contacts made from time to time [by the Society] with the authorities in Rome have no other purpose than to help them embrace once again that Tradition which the Church cannot repudiate without losing her identity. The purpose is not just to benefit the Society, nor to arrive at some merely practical impossible agreement. “

In 2008, Bishop Fellay judged, correctly, that this principle is based on the order of the nature of things:

“It is so clear for us that the issue of the Faith and of the spirit of Faith has priority over all that we cannot consider a practical solution before the first issue is safely resolved. […] Each day brings additional proofs that we must clarify to the maximum the underlying issues before taking one more step toward a canonical situation, which is not in itself displeasing to us. But this is a matter of following the order of the nature of things, and to start from the wrong end would unavoidably place us in an unbearable situation. We have daily proofs of this. What is at stake is nothing more nor less than our future existence.9

And yet, in March 2012 Bishop Fellay announced that he was abandoning this principle, because of the improvement in Rome since 200610, and this abandonment was supported by the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X in July 2012: the condition of an agreement on doctrine no longer figures amongst the six conditions laid down for a canonical recognition.11

Since then, despite many pleas, Bishop Fellay has refused to return to the old principle. Whence the troubles which Tradition has been experiencing for three years now.

(Continue to Part 2)

  1. Paul VI, Declaration of 7 December 1968. Source in French: Documentation Catholique, 5 January 1969, Column 12.
  2. Homily of Paul VI of 6/29/1972.   Source (in French): http://notredamedesneiges.-overblog. Text in Italian: http://www.vatican.va/… Strangely, it is not the text itself which is reproduced, but a “report”, which is undoubtedly the work of the Curia offices.
  3. “It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people”(John XI, 50).
  4. Founder of the Society of Saint Peter
  5. « Le coup de maître de Satan » (“Satan’s Masterstroke”), 13 October, 1974.
  6. Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey, Angelus Press, 1991.
  7. Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais , sermon of 1 January, 2015.
  8. Fideliter, 70, p.6.
  9. Letter to Friends and Benefactors, No. 73, 23 October, 2008.
  10. “The Chapter in 2006 set forth a very clear line of conduct in matters concerning our situation with respect to Rome. We give priority to the Faith, without seeking for our part a practical solution BEFORE the doctrinal question is resolved. This is not a principle, but a line of conduct that should regulate our concrete action. […] If there were a change in the situation of the Church with respect to Tradition, then that might necessitate a corresponding modification of the conclusion. […] Now there is no doubt that since 2006 we have witnessed a development in the Church, an important and extremely interesting development, although it is not very visible. […] This requires that we take up a new position with respect to the official Church. […] This is the context in which it is advisable to ask the question about some form of recognition of the Society by the official Church. […] Our new friends in Rome declare that the impact of such recognition would be extremely powerful on the whole Church.” (Bishop Fellay, Cor Unum, 18 March, 2012).
  11. Sine qua non conditions to be laid down by the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X in the case of a canonical recognition: 1 Freedom to keep, to transmit and to teach the sane doctrine of the unchanging magisterium of the Church and of the unchangeable truth of Divine Tradition ; freedom to defend, to correct and to reprove, even in public, those responsible for the errors or novelties of modernism, of liberalism, of The Second Vatican Council and their consequences ; 2 Exclusive use of the liturgy of 1962. The retention of the sacramental practice that we have at the moment (including holy orders, confirmation and marriage) ; 3 The guarantee of at least one bishop. – Desirable conditions: 1 Our own ecclesiastical tribunals, in the first instance ; 2 Exemption of houses of The Society of St Pius X in respect of diocesan bishops ; 3 A Pontifical Commission in Rome for Tradition, dependent on the Pope, with a majority of members, and the presidency, from Tradition”. (Father Christian Thouvenot, Circular Letter to Superiors of 18 July 2012. French source: http://tradinews.blogspot.fr/2012/07)

Latinitas mmxvi, summer 2016 – Keep your Latin alive!

They want to kill it ?

Keep your Latin alive !

Latinitas mmxvi

Living Latin seminar, summer 2016

Quis ?   All those who have studied the elementary basics of Latin (declensions and conjugations) are welcome, even if you have never spoken Latin.  (Do not worry, you are coming to learn!)

Quid ?  A seminar where everything will be in Latin (conferences, workshops, meals, evening, recreations, interaction between those participating).  But do not worry: we will help you.  It will be a lot easier than you think.

Ubi ?      At the Foyer Saint-Thomas (Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes).
Nearest train station : Angers.

Quibus auxiliis ?    Recommended works to prepare yourself:
                             
1) Orberg, Lingua Latina, volume 1 : Familia Romana ;
                             
2) Desessart
: Le Latin sans peine (Assimil, old version).
A list of common vocabulary will be provided.

Cur ?    Because Latin is the language of our fathers (since the time of the Gallo-Romans), of our mother (the Sancta Ecclesia Catholica), of our brothers (French is only well understood through Latin) and of our cousins (even in English, more than half the words come from Latin). – And a language is meant to be spoken!

Quomodo ?   Conferences, for all, will alternate with practice in groups by level and recreational activities.

Quando ?  From Tuesday 16th of August (9AM) to Saturday 20th of August (6PM).

For any additional information:                  Latinitas mmxvi
Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes
49240
Avrillé
latinitas@mailoo.org

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