Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part 5)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part 5)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 5)

The Four Constitutions

Section II

Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum - on the sources of Revelation

What are the principle errors contained this constitution?

This Constitution makes an important step toward Protestant theology in refusing to distinguish clearly the two sources of Revelation.  It speaks of a progress of Tradition and utilizes the expression “living Tradition”, in the manner of the Modernists.

How does DV alter the doctrine of the two sources of Revelation?

DV leaves aside the doctrine of the councils of Trent and Vatican I on the “two sources” of Revelation (Tradition and Holy Scripture), for making Tradition and the Magisterium converge into Scripture alone: “sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture […] in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. […They] form one sacred deposit of the word of God” (§ 9 and 10).

Note in the passage the expression “in a certain way (quodammodo)”: things are left in flux without daring to affirm the error frankly.  We will find elsewhere this manner of speaking.

It is an important step toward reconciling with the Protestant heresy that denies Tradition as the source of Revelation.

How does DV speak of a progress of Tradition?

According to the infallible doctrine of the Catholic Church, Revelation terminated with the death of the last Apostle1: There is thus no objective progress of the deposit of the faith (by new truths that would be revealed); at the most, there is a subjective progress (a more precise definition of truths contained in the deposit of the faith).

Without making this major distinction, DV admits a progress of Tradition: “Now what was handed on by the Apostles […] develop[s] [proficit] in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. […] For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.” (§ 8).

How did DV introduce the Modernist notion of living Tradition?

In paragraph 12, DV says that Holy Scripture should be read taking into account “living tradition of the whole Church“.

This is also an ambiguous expression which could ultimately receive an orthodox interpretation (the immutable Tradition received from the Apostles also continues today to be transmitted by the current, living Magisterium of the Church), but which evidently, in context, favors the Modernist idea of a Tradition that is living because it is the expression of the sense of the faith of the people of God, and thus susceptible to evolution.

It is this latter meaning that will be used after the Council: In the name of living Tradition, the Conciliar Church will try to excommunicate Msgr. Lefebvre2  and to justify the ‘hermeneutic of renewal in continuity’ (the claim that post-conciliar Church is in continuity with the Church before the Council, because there is a continuity of the living subject, even if there is discontinuity on the doctrinal plane3).

Are there other errors in DV?

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Vatican II, Le Sel de la terre 55 (pp. 26-38) indicated as contestable points:

* A false notion of Revelation described as a dialogue of salvation and a conversation with God (DV 2), not as a deposit of supernatural truths;

* A new approach to the faith (DV 5) considered as a total abandonment of the person to God is reconciled with the faith-trust of the Protestants or the faith-sentiment of the Modernists;

* The protestantization of the Holy Church and in particular the abandonment of the traditional notion of inerrancy of the Scriptures for the benefit of a truth relative to salvation (DV 11).4

It could also be added that DV encourages ecumenical translations of the Bible,5 which is an unheard-of novelty in the Church.

(To be continued)

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): Feast: March 7

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)


Feast: March 7

Thomas the Apostle challenged the story that the Lord was risen, and his unbelief brought forth a glowing testimony of the reality of the Resurrection.

Twelve centuries later, his namesake, Thomas of Aquino, questioned—without doubting—the great truths of faith, and demonstrated for all time the rela­tionship of faith and reason.  As the first Thomas found by experiment (“Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side”) that the Man who stood in the midst of them was none other than Jesus Christ, so Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, proved for all time that there is no quarrel between reason and revelation.

Thomas, son of the count of Aquino, was first trained at the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino, and here, even in childhood, his great mind was wrestling with theological problems.  His passion for truth is expressed in his constant question, “Master, tell me—what is God?”

Better to train the boy’s mind, his father sent him at an early age to the University of Naples.  Here he studied under Peter of Ireland and, undisturbed by the noise and wickedness of the great university city, proceeded rapidly on his quest for God.

Meeting the Dominicans, he was strongly attracted by their apostolic life and petitioned to be received as one of them.  While recognizing the gifts of the young student, the friars refused him admittance to the Order until he was eighteen.  Acting deliberately, without a backward glance at the power and wealth he was leaving, Thomas, at eighteen, joyfully put on the habit of the new Order.

Like many a gifted young man, Thomas was bitterly opposed by his family when he attempted to become a religious.  Both threats and persuasion failing, he was kidnapped by his brothers and locked in a tower for more than a year.  His sisters were sent in to influence him, and he proceeded to convert them to his own way of thinking.  A woman was sent in to tempt him; he drove her from the room with a burning brand from the fire; afterwards, angels came to gird him with the cincture of perpetual chastity.  The captivity having failed to break the determination, his brothers relaxed their guard, and Thomas, with the help of his sisters, escaped from the tower and hurried back to his convent.

Given the finest education that his time could offer, Thomas studied first in Cologne (Germany), and later at Paris, under Master Albert the Great.  This outstanding Dominican teacher and saint became his lifelong friend and loyal defender.  They taught together at Cologne and became a mutual influence for good in one of the most beautiful friendships in Dominican history.

For the rest of his life, Thomas was to teach and preach with scarcely a day of rest.  He traveled continually, which makes all the more remarkable the amount of writing he did.  Death found him in a familiar place – on the road – where he was bound for the Council of Lyons in obedience to the pope’s command.  He died at the Cistercian abbey of Fossanova, in a borrowed bed – obscurity hardly fitting the intellectual light of the Order, but perfectly suited to the humble friar that Thomas had always been.

Overheard in a colloquy with the Master he served so well, with heart and mind and pen, Thomas was heard to ask as his reward, “Thyself, O Lord, none but Thyself!”

From the book, Saint Dominic’s family,

By sister Mary-Jean Dorcy O.P.

Dominican sister of the Holy Cross

Dubuque (Iowa), The Priory Press, 1964

Also see the article Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith  on this website

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Four)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Four)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 4)

The Four Constitutions


Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium on the Church

What is the importance of this Constitution?

It comes first, because the new theology being subjective, as we have said, the conciliar Fathers first focus their attention on the subject (the Church) before focusing on the object (the doctrine to teach).  But in modifying the conception of the Church, in adopting a “new ecclesiology” 1, the Council overturns the entire Church and commences its self-destruction.

What are the principal errors contained in this Constitution?

This constitution Changes the notion of the Church, and presents the principles of collegiality and liturgical revolution.

Wherein does this constitution change the notion of the Church?

Until Vatican II, the Church was a society into which one entered by valid baptism, and from which one left by apostasy, heresy, schism, or a major excommunication2.

In LG (Lumen Gentium), the Church is not defined in a precise manner:

* LG says that it is “like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race” (§1), which allows for adding to its proper finality (the union with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ) a second finality (the unity of all of mankind).

* LG also says that the Church is the “people of God” (an expression used forty times in LG), which allows for including :

non-Catholics who wrongly claim to be “Christians”, through the idea of connection (coniunctio: this signifies that a certain imperfect communion exists in Christ, which accomplishes a “real union in the Holy Spirit“, §15),

— and those not even claiming to be Christians, through the idea of ordination (ordination: this signifies more or less that there exists a certain communion, yet imperfect, in the same God) 3 .

Finally, LG says that the Church of Christ “subsists in” the Catholic Church » (§8), instead of affirming that they are identical4.

All these affirmations dilute the boundaries of the Church, and also prepare the way for ecumenism and interreligious dialogue such as what was practiced after the Council.

Where does this constitution introduce bicephalism [= The condition of having two heads]  into the Church?5

LG, after having recalled that the pope “has full, supreme and universal power over the Church“, immediately adds that “The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church” (§22).  While the Church was until then a monarchy with the single supreme power, that of the pope, LG suddenly affirms a double supreme power, a two-headed Church.  Next to the pope, the college of bishops (including the pope) also has supreme power.

This change of doctrine was so significant that Pope Paul VI believed it necessary to intervene and draft a “nota explicativa prævia” (preliminary note of explanation) to join to the Constitution, where he mitigated this change: “so that the fullness of power belonging to the Roman Pontiff is not called into question […] the College, always and of necessity, includes its head, because in the college he preserves unhindered his function as Christ’s Vicar and as Pastor of the universal Church.”

This note thus prevents the college alone from exercising supreme power in the Church, which is a condemned heresy, but it does not suppress “bicephalism”.  The new Code of canon law of 1983 ratifies this doctrine of double supreme power in its canon 336: “The college of bishops, whose head is the Supreme Pontiff and whose members […] is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church.”

Where does this Constitution present the principles of collegiality?

Other than the fact that LG attributes supreme power to the episcopal college, it also affirms that “consecration, together with the office of sanctifying, also confers the office of teaching and of governing” (§21) and that “one is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the body“, “The order of bishops” being “also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church” (§22).

Thus, LG suggests that the bishops already have a certain jurisdiction, at least over the universal Church, before receiving it from the Pope.  And the nota explicativa prævia does not correct this point.

On the contrary, the traditional doctrine, repeated again in 1958 by Pius XII 6, teaches that the jurisdiction over his own proper diocese comes to the bishop through the Pope, who gives him the power of jurisdiction really distinct from orders.  Moreover, the Pope, if he wants, can make the body of bishops participate in the supreme power of teaching and governing over the universal Church by uniting them in an ecumenical council, but only during the council7.

Where does this constitution present the principle of democracy and liturgical revolution in the Church?

Until Vatican II, the Church was considered essentially hierarchical, with a distinction of divine right between clerics, who alone hold the triple power (of orders, jurisdiction, and teaching), and the laity: “By divine institution, clerics in the Church are distinct from the laity” (1917 Code of Canon Law, c. 107).

LG begins by treating the “People of God” in general (chapter 2) before speaking of the hierarchy (chapter 3), as if it issued from it; it treats of the “common priesthood of the faithful” before speaking of the “ministerial priesthood“, as if there were two different forms of the same priesthood.

It is to forget that the hierarchy of the Church forms the faithful: Our Lord Jesus Christ formed a dozen Apostles who themselves founded the Church: “That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Mt. 16:18).

It is also to forget that only the ministerial priest is a priest in the proper sense of the word.  Sacerdos (priest) comes from “sacra dans“: he who gives sacred things, and only those who have received the power of orders can do this; the baptized laity only have a power to receive these sacred things.

Without saying it openly, the door was opened for the invasion of the laity, men and women, into the governing posts of the Church (from parish liturgical committees to Roman dicasteries) and the liturgical revolution was given a doctrinal basis, in relegating the priest to the simple role of presider over the assembly.  And thus Paul VI signed this heretical definition of the new mass:  “The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is the sacred meeting or congregation of the people of God assembled, the priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.  For this reason, Christ’s promise applies eminently to such a local gathering of holy Church: ‘Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst’.8

Are there other errors in LG?

At paragraph no. 29, this document opens the possibility of ordaining married deacons without requiring them to practice perfect continence, contrary to the use of the Church preserved in the West since the Apostles.  Paul VI will accomplish this in the motu proprio of 18 June 1967, Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, which expressly refers to this passage of LG.

To be continued (next time : Constitution Dei Verbum, on the sources of Revelation)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Three)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Three)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued, Part 3)

The Documents of the Council : Overview

What are the documents of the Council ?

The Council promulgated 16 documents :

— 4 Constitutions (documents of essentially doctrinal content, the first two being qualified as « dogmatic », the fourth as « pastoral ») :

* Lumen Gentium (LG) : the Church.

* Dei Verbum (DV) : Divine Revelation.

* Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) : the liturgy.

* Gaudium et Spes (GS) : the Church in the contemporary world.

— 9 Decrees (texts of the practical order and concrete application) :

* Christus Dominus (CD) : the pastoral duty of bishops.

* Presbyterorum Ordinis (PO) : the ministry and life of priests.

* Perfectæ Caritatis (PC) : the renovation and adaptation of religious life.

* Optatam totius Ecclesiæ Renovationem (OT) : the formation of priests.

* Apostolicam Actuositatem (AA) : the apostolate of the laity.

* Ad Gentes (AG) : the missionary activity of the Church.

* Orientalium Ecclesiarum (OE) : the Eastern Catholic Churches.

* Unitatis redintegratio (UR) : ecumenism.

* Inter Mirifica (IM) : the mass media.

— 3 Declarations  (texts addressed to all men) :

* Dignitatis Humanæ (DH) : religious liberty.

* Nostra Aætate (NA) : the relations with non-Christian religions.

* Gravissimum Educationis Momentum (GE) : Christian education.

Where did these texts come from ?

Before the Council an important preparation was in place.  About twenty preparatory schemas were released.  But the majority of the schemas were rejected by the Council fathers because they were judged too tainted with traditional doctrine1.  Thus the texts could be developed beginning with the schemas that adopted « the forms of inquiry and literary formulation of modern thought2, » as Pope John XXIII demanded.

Is this teaching complete ?

The teaching is extensive : the edition of the Acts of the Council by Centurion comprises more than 700 pages.  However, it lacks a key document : a text condemning the current errors imperiling the faith, as all the preceding councils have done.  There was even a schema prepared for a “dogmatic Constitution to preserve the faith intact”3, but it was rejected with the others.

Pope John XXIII called for “the medicine of mercy rather than the weapons of severity ; and, she thinks she meets today’s needs by explaining the validity of her doctrine more fully rather than by condemning.”4  Nevertheless, the « good pope John » recognized that « there are…false doctrines, opinions, or dangers to be avoided and dispersed 5. »  Among these false doctrines, there was the « new theology » condemned, among others, by the schema of the « dogmatic Constitution on the deposit of the faith, » and that one finds in a great part of the texts promulgated by the Council and the Conciliar Church 6.

(To be continued)

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 27: January, 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 27: January 2018


St. Thomas Boys’ School in the frost

A Canonical Recognition?

When Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of Saint Pius X in 1970, he had obtained its canonical erection as a “pious union” from Bishop Charrière of Fribourg, Switzerland.  The Archbishop’s work remained canonically recog­nized for five years.

However, on November 21st, 1974, after a canonical visit of Ecône by two envoys from Rome, Archbishop Lefebvre published a declaration manifesting his refusal “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.”

From that point forward, the dividing line between the two “churches” was drawn.  Shortly after, the “Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies” was given the name of the “conciliar church” by Bishop Benelli [letter addressed to the Archbishop on behalf of Pope Paul VI].  It has kept this name ever since.

The canonical “suppression” of the SSPX was decreed by Bishop Mamie, on May 6th, 1975.  Archbishop Lefebvre rightly stated that it was “irregular, and in any case, unjust.”

This “suppression” was therefore consid­ered as null and void by Archbishop Lefebvre and all those who follow the rules of the Catholic Church, whereas it was deemed valid by the representatives of the conciliar church.

Recently, however, there has been more and more talk of a “canonical recognition” of the SSPX from the present authorities in the Vatican.  Can such recognition be accepted?

Per se, canonical regularity in the Catho­lic Church is something that is good, and even necessary.  Archbishop Lefebvre sought this reg­ularity in 1970, and obtained it.  Nevertheless, today, if a canonical recognition were to be ac­corded, it would be in the framework of the new Code of Canon Law.  It is in this framework that the Pope has granted jurisdiction for marriages celebrated by priests of the SSPX.

That reason alone would suffice in order to refuse this recognition:

“We cannot content ourselves with particular guidelines for the Soci­ety; we refuse this new Code of Canon Law be­cause it is contrary to the common good of the entire Church, [which is what] we want to pro­tect.” [Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, Courrier de Rome n° 499, May 2017]

We may add that under present circum­stances, there are other disadvantages.  Just to name a few:

— It would make us enter into the con­ciliar pluralism, with Tradition being recognized on an equal footing with the Charismatic move­ments, the Focolari, Opus Dei, etc.  This would put Truth on a par with error, at least in the public opinion.

— It would bring into our chapels faith­ful who are determined to remain conciliar, modernist and liberal, along with all that this implies regarding their lifestyle (because bad ideas lead to bad morals).

— It would necessarily reduce any at­tacks against the errors professed by the authori­ties under which we would then directly find ourselves.  It’s rather easy for all to see that the superiors of the SSPX have already diminished their criticisms of the present errors coming from Rome (Year of Luther, Amoris Laetitia, etc.).

—Lastly, such a canonical recognition would place us directly under the authority of superiors who are themselves under Freemasonic influ­ence.  Indeed, various studies published in Le Sel de la Terre have shown that the conciliar church is an instrument in the hands of Freemasonry to force Catholics to work toward the establishment of the New World Order, willingly or not.  (See the editorial n° 101, summer 2017.)   Providence permitted Archbishop Lefebvre and those who followed him to be exempt from this Freema­sonic influence: it would now be a grave impru­dence to subject ourselves to it voluntarily.  Freemasonry was born exactly three centuries ago (June 24th, 1717).   After having destroyed all the Christian states (with the revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries), and subjugating the Church (with the plan of the Alta Vendita, accom­plished by Vatican II), will Freemasonry succeed in spreading its influence over the work of Arch­bishop Lefebvre?  This would certainly be its ap­parent triumph on earth.

Consequently, a “canonical solution” can only be foreseen in the case of a Rome that has converted doctrinally.  Moreover, this conversion will have to be proven by concrete efforts to work for the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, while fighting against the adversaries of this reign.

Chant of the Gospel at one of the “stations” (during the procession on November 2nd)


A Luciferian Religion

Last June 24th marked the 300th anniver­sary of the foundation of Freemasonry.  This sect constitutes a sort of “Counter-Church” offering worship to Satan (See especially the book by Jean-Claude Lozac’hmeur, Les Origines occultists de la Francmaçon­nerie).  Msgr. Henri Delassus, author of the mon­umental work, The Anti-Christian Conspiracy — The Masonic Temple Wanting to Build Itself upon the Ruins of the Catholic Church (1910), made a re­markable analy­sis of the progression of this Lu­ciferian cult as a preparation of the reign of the Antichrist:

Just as in pagan times there were se­cret ceremonies and an esoteric doctrine that were known only to the “initiated”, leaving to the crowd of “ordinary men” the things which they could handle, giving satisfaction to their religious instincts in a sort of natu­ral­ism, we see reborn today certain prac­tices and dogmas that constitute a properly Lu­ciferian religion for the “initiated”, whereas the public is little by little led to a purely naturalistic religion. […]

This is not the first time that Satanism has invaded Christianity.

In the 15th century, the Renaissance, which was the first manifestation of the anti-Christian conspiracy, was preceded by an extraordinary development of magic.  It grew everywhere that Protestantism took hold, and this led to an epidemic of witch­craft that throughout the 17th century was a night­mare for Germany, England and Scot­land, while the Latin countries remained practi­cally untouched.

The Revolution, as well, was preceded by a fever of Satanism.  Magnetizers, necro­mancies, as they were called, showed up everywhere. The corrupted nobles had themselves initiated in rites where Satan was invoked, and in the towns as well as in the cities people gave themselves up to all kinds of occult practices.

But never, since the times of paganism, has Satan been as alive and active as he is today, hav­ing been invited back into the domain from which the Cross of the Divine Redeemer had chased him away. (pp. 723-725)

Community Chronicle

August 16th:  After a beautiful feast of the As­sumption, with its Solemn High Mass and proces­sion, it’s time for Father Reginald and our two Brazilian Brothers to leave on a month-long mis­sion to Brazil: a total of 2,500 miles by car visit­ing the faithful of various Mass centers.

September 2nd and 3rd:  Five Fathers attend the annual Chiré-en-Montreuil book fair, in or­der to represent our community.  A conference given by Fr. Louis-Marie was a good opportunity to make known to the public some of the various books and articles published this year by Le Sel de la Terre concerning the Protestant Revolution and its disastrous effects on souls and society.  A group of several students from the Boys’ School came along to help out the organizers.

September:  Back to school for the children… and for the Fathers and Brothers who take care of the Primary school, the Boys’ school, Our Lady of Fatima youth club, etc.

September 4th:  Fr. de Mérode comes to stay for the week, for his annual retreat.

September 10th: Fr. Marie-Dominique gives a conference on Saint Dominic for about 30 mem­bers of the “Friends of the Sacred Heart,” a youth group of the Combat for the Faith.

September 11th: Three of our tertiaries from the Czech Republic are among us for several days, happy to immerse themselves in the prayerful atmosphere of the Friary, and the Dominican Liturgy.

September 14th: Father Marie-Dominique leaves to preach the start-of-the-school-year retreat for the seminarians of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Seminary.  It’s also the official start of the school year for our student brothers.

September 23rd/24th: Third Order meeting in Chartres/Paris.  In the weeks to follow, Brittany, Alsace, Lyons, and Avrillé will have their turn at starting up a new year of activities.

October 25th:  We have the pleasure of re­ceiving H.E. Bishop Zendejas for a few days be­fore he goes on to Fatima for the pilgrimage of Christ the King.

November 13th:  Arrival of Br. Agostinho O.S.B., from H.E. Bishop Thomas Aquinas’ mon­astery in Brazil, for two months of rest.

December 22nd – January 7th: Fathers Marie-Dominique and Angelico, accompanied by Br. Alphonse-Marie, travel to various Mass centers in North America.  It was the occasion to visit our tertiaries, friends and benefactors, as well as to help out Bishop Zendejas for the Christmas ceremonies.  On the list: South Salem, NY (NYC area);  Emmet, KS;  Houston, TX;  Northome, MN;  Newman Lake, WA;  Buffalo, NY;  Winnipeg, MA (Canada).  Congratulations to the five tertiaries who made their profession in presence of the Fathers during this trip!

News from our worksites

We don’t have much news to tell for the moment, except that our building project has been accepted by the municipality. Thanks to your help, we have already gathered a good part of the funds necessary to start building.  The preliminary work (surveys, soil tests, entry roads for the construction vehicles, etc.) should be able to start in the next few weeks. Thank You!


Parish Hall project


The finished Chapter room, with its new altar.


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An interview with Fr. Paul Morgan, Former Superior of the SSPX District of the UK

An interview with Fr. Paul Morgan, former superior of the SSPX District of the U.K.

The following is an English translation of an interview Fr. Paul Morgan gave in French on December 7, 2017.

English translation comes from:


I am Father Paul Morgan, ordained by Bishop Lefebvre at Ecône in 1988.  After that, I was 4 years in the district house in London as an assistant.  Following this, I was the 1st Superior of the Society of St. Pius X in the Philippines for 4 years, until 1996.  Then 2 years as a school principal at St Mary’s School in England and then 5 years as a prior at Post Falls in Idaho, USA.  And then 12 years as district superior of Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia, until 2015.  Then sabbatical year at Montgardin, which I had asked for.  And then 2016-2017, Prior in Vancouver, Canada.

What is your current situation?

Right now, I am outside the Society, since I resigned on August 9 of this year [2017] because of the marriage affair.

Why did the marriage affair make you quit?

It seemed to me, it always seems to me, that it is an essential compromise to accept the principle that priests representing modern dioceses come to us, in the bastions of Tradition, to receive the promises of the bride and groom. Even if in practice we are a little restricted in such things, we have accepted the principle. And that’s why, in concrete terms, I wrote my letter of resignation.

Why react now?

I think there were many of us, quite a few priests and superiors themselves, who had reacted against the new way of doing things, even before the 2012 chapter. There were many of us in Albano in 2011 to say to Bishop Fellay, very respectfully, that these steps should not be continued in order to reach an agreement with modernist Rome.  So, we have already done a great deal in the Society, among ourselves, with the superiors to denounce and oppose these approaches.  For example, in 2012, the district of Great Britain was ready, in its entirety, to break away if they made a false agreement with modernist Rome.  So it is not just this year that we have begun to react, but we have already for years.

Why didn’t you react publicly?

I think the manifesto, the statement of the 7 deans and superiors of friendly communities in France, was very, very well put.  So publicly, that was already explained.  And I can also say that I have done things in order and according to the rules, by sending a manifesto signed by several priests from Canada to Bishop Fellay and to Menzingen, explaining quite simply, the serious problems with these new directives for receiving marriage vows.  So right away we talked about it on the Internet, so it became public, etc.. So, I chose to do things that way.  Now, I speak more publicly, since I’ve had a little time to organize myself – and we left Canada with a suitcase in our hands, not knowing where to go because we never thought of being alone, on the outside like that.

What prospects for the 2018 General Chapter?

Unfortunately, I do not have much hope in the general chapter next year.  It seems to me that with the change of minds that has been taking place for several years now – so that we think that Rome is now kind, Rome loves us, we can make an agreement or do more good saying inside the Church, as if we were outside the Church until now, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it – so I don’t have much hope. And we can see that good priests like the 7 deans, for example, who have made a very good document – and a special hello to Father de la Rocque in exile in the Philippines, a country that I like very much but which is still in exile – we see what happens to priests who denounce problems respectfully and rightly: we punish them!  So I think the superiors in the chapter will simply do what Menzingen tells them to do.

What about your apostolate?

At the moment, I have no official apostolate. I am in contact with a lot of priests, in France and abroad, as well as with the faithful, encouraging and supporting them.  Also with priests who have left [the SSPX] already a few months or a few years ago, for reasons that are in the end quite similar.

It is very encouraging to see the strong religious communities in France, religious men and women. I am in contact with them but I understand that this is a difficult situation for these communities, which may be at risk of sanctions if they show themselves too publicly in agreement with priests like myself.

Nevertheless, we celebrate Mass, we pray, we visit confreres, we have been able to preach a retreat already, we have made visits on the right and on the left. I get a lot of invitations from other countries to come and help.  But at the moment, for rather practical matters we have to organise ourselves before embarking on any future activities. But I think, it seems to me that in June-July 2018, we are going to shoot into action. I think there will be more positive reactions in the coming year.

In connection with the bishops consecrated by Bishop Williamson?

Yes, if need be, of course, since we need bishops for Sacred orders and confirmations. Consecrating bishops in this emergency, as Archbishop Lefebvre himself had said, can be repeated. This is not something reserved exclusively for Archbishop Lefebvre. And yes, we are quite willing to collaborate with the faithful, with faithful Catholics.

In conclusion?

I conclude by saying that we always have hope in the Good Lord. I think of Archbishop Lefebvre who was alone. He resigned some the Holy Ghost Fathers so as not to have any part in the destruction of his congregation. So priests like him and certainly many others, did this for important reasons. Let us try to make contacts, to gather together in order to help other priests who, for the moment, remain within the Society, hoping to organize something to help them as also [to help] the sound faithful. There’s a lot of work to be done. We have hope.

And then, finally, Our Lady of Fatima spoke about diabolic disorientations. It seems to me that what is happening here is an example, right here in 2017, [an example] of this confusion of mind. So, as Archbishop Lefebvre said, we must remain faithfully, we must keep the principles of the fight for the faith, the good fight and then, if we have to suffer by doing this, God’s Holy will must be done.

No one is exempt (excused) from the fight!

No one is exempt (excused) from the fight!

By Fr Calmel O.P.

Christian spiritual combat, peace amid the struggle, joy in destitution when everything is broken and taken away: These images are too warlike, some say to us, and in any case, they only apply to bygone ages or reactionary people.

But we, in our turn, tell them, how long must you wait before you see, that in the Church militant, everyone, without exception, participates in the battle?

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves… I have come to bring a sword… In this world you will have persecutions… Know that the world will hate you.”

Since when do these words of the Master not apply equally to each of the faithful:

— to the cloistered sister, as they do to the missionary;

— to the monk in his monastery, as they do to the parish priest in his parish;

— to the Christian laden down with temporal duties, as they do to the old man lying on his death bed.

We just need to say that the combat training and methods used are not the same for, say, missionaries as they are for enclosed religious.  It would be absurd, even disastrous, to think they might be interchangeable:

* Thus it is that the missionary must spend enough time looking at Our Lord to then be able to uncompromisingly preach His word, in that way giving up his life for his flock.

* An enclosed nun’s duty, on the other hand, is to keep her eyes solely on Our Lord, without being occupied with holy preaching, leaving the Lord to place on her shoulders whatever burden He pleases, and for reasons known to Him alone; that’s the way a religious gives her life for the flock.  But she does still give up her life.  No one is exempt.

The troops are different yet again, and their method of combat is different, but they are nevertheless combat troops and the orders are always the same. “Do not surrender the position that has been entrusted to you by the King.”

Hermit or preaching friar, mother of a family, or virgin consecrated to God living out in the world, each has been given a position to guard, and for each the primary duty is to die at his or her post, rather than surrender the position entrusted to them by the King of Kings.


Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Two)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Two)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

Introduction (continued)

Insofar as popes and bishops spoke at the Council, should not one then obey and accept Vatican II?

The council Fathers decided to adopt “forms of inquiry and literary formulation of modern thought”1, i.e., the “new theology”2 founded on modern philosophy. Now, this philosophy is subjective: truth does not come from outside; it comes, at least in part, from the knowing subject. But if truth does not come from outside, the hierarchy cannot impose it: so, the Council inaugurated a new type of magisterium, a living and dialoging magisterium that has lost its binding aspect.

Why did the council Fathers adopt this new theology?

Since they wanted to adapt the teaching of the Church to the modern world, they had to find a way to modify this teaching. The solution was to adopt modern subjectivist philosophy, according to which, as we have said, truth comes, at least in part, from the knowing subject. And consequently it evolves with it. What was true yesterday (e.g., that the Church cannot adopt religious liberty) is not true today3.

So, thanks to this new theology, one could perform an updating of the Church and reconcile it with the modern world.

Are there calculated ambiguities in the Council?

Father Schillebeeckx himself affirms this in the Dutch review De Bazuin (23 January 1965)4:

A theologian of the doctrinal commission—to whom, already during the second session, I had expressed my disappointment in the face of the minimalism on papal collegiality—responded to me, to calm me down: “We will explain it in a diplomatic way, but after the Council we will draw the implicit conclusions.”

Were there external influences on the Council?

The power of the media exerted a very strong influence. It was the fear of this influence which made Pius XI and Pius XII abandon their projects to reconvene a council to pursue the work interrupted by the First Vatican Council.

There was also a more discreet but nonetheless real influence due to the more or less secret agreements with the Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Communists, and Freemasons5.

—With the Orthodox and the Communists: For inviting Orthodox observers to the Council, John XXIII committed to not condemn communism6.

—With the Jews: Jewish leaders secretly received, at the Community Center of Peace at Strasbourg during the winter of 1962-1963, Father Congar O.P., sent by Cardinal Bea in the name of John XXIII, on the brink of the Council, to ask what the Jews expected from the Catholic Church7; Cardinal Bea himself secretly visited the Jewish American Committee at New York, 31 March 1963, with the same aim8.

—With the Protestants and Freemasons: In September 1961 Cardinal Bea secretly met in Milan the pastor Willem A. Visser’t Hooft, secretary general of the Ecumenical Council of Churches (very masonic organization of Protestant origin). Later, 22 July 1965, the same Ecumenical Council of Churches published the list of its seven requirements regarding religious liberty: all of them were satisfied by the Council in the document Dignitatis humanæ9.

[End of the introduction]

(Catechism to be continued)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part One)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part One)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015


Vatican II is not a council like the others. This council, which was held in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in four sessions from 1962 until 1965 under the pontificates of Popes John XIII (1958-1963) and Paul VI (1963-1978), was the occasion, if not the principal cause, of the gravest crisis the Church has known in its history.

The studies concerning this council are numerous, but often voluminous and very technical.  We have thought that it would be useful to provide for Catholics of good will a relatively short text, explaining what Vatican II declared and what is unacceptable for Catholics who want to remain faithful to the traditional infallible teaching of the Church.

After a brief introduction on the authority of the council, we will briefly analyze each of the 16 documents, presenting them in a thematic order.


The authority of the Second Vatican Council

What is an ecumenical council?

An ecumenical council is an assembly of bishops of the entire world convoked by the pope, who conducts its meetings (called “sessions”), whether directly or via legates, and who approves the texts, so that they have a binding value for the whole Church. There have been in the history of the Church twenty ecumenical councils since the Council of Nicaea in 325 until the First Vatican Council in 1870.

Is Vatican II a council like the others?

Vatican II is an atypical council because the popes who convoked and conducted it, John XXIII and Paul VI, declared that it was not a dogmatic council, like all the preceding councils, but a pastoral council.  In other words, its aim was not to define doctrine against errors, but to perform an updating (aggiornamento) of this doctrine to adapt it to the thinking of our contemporaries.

Does Vatican II contain infallible teachings?

Here again, differently than all the preceding ecumenical councils, the Second Vatican Council does not contain any infallible teaching.  For a council to be infallible, it must pronounce solemn judgments, which this council refused to do.

Even if it is not infallible, can it not be admitted that Vatican II was assisted by the Holy Ghost?

Our Lord Jesus Christ promised the assistance of the Holy Ghost for the transmission of Revelation: “the Paraclete the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and suggest unto you all things whatsoever I shall say to you.” (Jn 14:26) [Rheims version].

But, without renouncing the transmission of Revelation, the Council proposed the aggiornamento of the Church, i.e., its adaptation to the modern world, notably by introducing into the Church “the best expressed values of two centuries of ‘liberal’ culture”10, and by working to “smooth the way toward unity of mankind.”11.

Why cannot the Holy Ghost aid the Church in acquiring the values of liberal culture, once purified and corrected12?

Liberalism is an error condemned by two centuries of teaching from the Magisterium of the Church.  Such a condemnation is infallible in virtue of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium of the Church.

As the Holy Ghost cannot contradict Himself, He cannot assist the council fathers in making these values of liberalism enter into the Church.

Why cannot the Holy Ghost aid the Church in working toward the unity of mankind?

The Church was founded to save souls and unite them to Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In so doing, the Church works indirectly for peace, propagating charity in souls: “Seek therefore first the Kingdom of God, and the justice of him [the union to Our Lord Jesus Christ by grace]: and all these things [including peace] shall be given you besides.” (Mt. 6:33) [Rheims version].

But today Freemasonry seeks to reshape the unity of mankind (“globalism”) by human means and by positively excluding Our Lord Jesus Christ in virtue of “secularism”.

As was especially seen after the Council (with the secularization of the States and inter-religious meetings), the men of the Church collaborate in this work by means of religious liberty, ecumenism, and inter-religious dialogue. The Holy Ghost cannot assist the Church in working toward an end that is not Her own.

(To be continued)

The Art of Confessing (Part 3 of 3)

The Art of Confessing

by Fr Henri-Charles Chery O.P.

(Part 3 of 3)


In this way, we are not likely to forget, as already mentioned several times, that in the sacrament of penance, the main merit comes from the purifying blood of Christ, not from the exhortation of the confessor, and this purification is obtained through our sorrow.

This truth affects the way in which you should bring your faults to the tribunal of confession: you should know that that it’s not just a matter of giving an account of your sins, but of truly being sorry for them.

However, every priest who hears confessions, is struck by the kind of indifference, or at least apparent indifference, with which many penitents state their faults.  They render an account of them, they make a list: and provided it’s accurately done, then it seems to them that they have done all that the Church requires of them.  All that is now needed is to receive absolution, and away they go, liberated from now on.  The formality is over and done with.

Now actually, it’s nothing of the sort.  Nothing is ‘formality’ when it comes to acts of religion – neither the Mass, which is not just a matter of our attendance, but requires our active participation, nor confession, which is essentially a sorrow for our sins, a renunciation of the evil we have done, in order to obtain forgiveness. It’s about love – a matter of the heart (that is to say of the will).  We come to admit that we have done wrong, that we have failed in the love we owe God by refusing to do His will in one way or another (His will that we should be faithful, or just, or pure, or loving, etc.).   That should come across in the way we confess our sins.

‘Confiteor…., ‘ is the formula which is recommended you say before confessing your sins: ‘I confess’, I admit, I’m sorry, it’s my fault, I am guilty, I beat my breast.  Your confession should be in line with this formula.  It’s not a matter of seeing that you’ve done wrong and bringing this observation to the priest’s attention, it’s about conveying real regret for having done wrong.

It would therefore be good (and this will be easy if we confess a limited number of sins) to repeat before confessing each fault, ‘I confess to….’.  Provided your heart is in it, this will prevent the dry indifference of those who merely recount their faults, instead of truly repenting of them.

A QUESTION: Should one confess sins from the past that have already been forgiven in previous confessions?

1) As an exercise in humility, if it doesn’t cause any turmoil or unease to your conscience, it can be good to acknowledge your guilt one more time for an old sin already absolved.  And not only as an exercise in humility;

2) but also for the grace of purification that the sacrament will bring in a special way, to the particular source of infection from which the sin originated, and which perhaps is not yet completely cleansed.

SIMILARLY, it can be good, at certain solemn times of life (before marriage, the religious life, during a retreat, etc.) to make what is called a “general confession”, bringing to it either the past year or a longer period.  But on one condition: that this is not done just for convention’s sake, but from a need;  not from being told, ‘It’s the thing to do’ – but rather because you feel interiorly drawn to doing it.  (This point is particularly relevant to confessions made during retreats.)

However, there are those who should refrain from delving back into the past: the scrupulous.  The scrupulous suffer from an illness, and their illness takes the specific form of an anxiety which makes them incapable of judging whether they’ve done something wrong or not; whether they’ve done this action well or badly.  They would like ‘to be sure’ and yet the more they seek this certitude, the more it escapes them.

In the confessional they want to be sure of having said absolutely everything, or of really having true contrition, and, never being sure, they repeat things indefinitely.  All this exhausting soul-searching aggravates their illness under the guise of soothing it.

There is only one way for them to be cured and that is to obey the confessor without any argument or discussion.  He will order them to completely shut their eyes on all the past, recent and far off.


AN OBJECTION: One form of anxiety that is experienced, not only by the scrupulous, but also by the honest or sincere, has to do with the quality of their contrition, and it is expressed in this way: ‘What’s the use of confessing this sin?  I surely can’t be repentant since I know I’ll fall into it again.’

We are now talking about firm purpose of amendment.

But let us carefully distinguish between ‘predicting that we’ll sin again’ and ‘wanting to sin again.’

* Undoubtedly, the penitent who wants to sin again, who has the intention of repeating his fault at the first opportunity, is not really a penitent.  He has no contrition at all.  He is abusing the sacrament and is also under the false illusion that absolution from a sin can be obtained without the repentance of the sinner.

* But this is not, thanks be to God, the usual case.  Most penitents have a keen awareness of their weakness justified by past experience of relapses.  They believe they know that their good intention, when put to the test one more time, will not be any more effective than it was in the past.  And they conclude: ‘I do not have true contrition’.

They are wrong.  Deep down, they call ‘evil’ the evil they have done.  They really wish they hadn’t done it.  They wish they were capable of never doing it again.

But that is contrition!

God does not require, in order to forgive us, that we be sure of never sinning again!  (That kind of certitude would strongly resemble presumption).

He asks us to have the intention of doing what we can, with the promised support of his grace, to avoid sinning again.  Do we have this intention?  Then we don’t have to worry about being hypocritical or insincere.  Our gloomy predictions do not change our intention.

All the more so since they are based on a blameworthy mistrust of the grace of the sacrament.  If the sacrament of penance is a means of making progress, it is not so much achieved by the psychological effort it requires of us: it’s because it applies to our sick soul the medicine of the saving and meritorious blood of Jesus Christ.

Jesus grants us the pardon He obtained for our benefit by his Passion, but He also gives us the graces of cleansing and strength to support us in future struggles, particularly in the area of the sins we have brought to Him for absolution.  It is in these graces we should put our trust, not in the doubtful capacities for resistance of our good will.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.  For tomorrow, tomorrow’s grace will be enough, provided that you keep trusting and praying.  For today you have today’s grace, the grace of contrition.  Wanting to imagine tomorrow’s temptations, is to want to carry a burden for which you have no help.  It’s not surprising then that it seems too heavy and overwhelms you in advance.

To say this is not, however, an invitation to heedlessness.  Confession should be finished with a resolution.  The carrying out of this resolution we entrust to God’s help, but we must also be willing to work at it.

The most efficient way of doing this is to make that resolution precise, dealing with one sin that we want to avoid, not on all the faults confessed, nor even, as a general rule, on several.

And better still, to try to anticipate, going by past experience, the circumstances which might lead us into a fall – those occasions, which, if we place ourselves into them, may sweep us along into sin again.  Let us make a resolution to avoid these occasions.

For instance, if we know:

— that this particular company drags us into malicious gossip;

— that that kind of reading turn our thoughts towards impurity;

— that this open drawer brings to mind old, barely dormant, grudges;

— that this kind of conversation gets us all worked up1.

The resolution will be:

— to flee from this type of company;

— to forbid ourselves this kind of reading;

— to keep that drawer closed, and to avoid this particular kind of conversation.

To act like this, is to realistically accept ourselves as we truly are, capable of falling where someone else would be strong in resisting.  In this way we avoid presumptuously ‘tempting God’, by laying ourselves open to temptation; it’s therefore being logical with our contrition.

Why not, from time to time, safeguard your resolution by putting it to the confessor at the end of your confession?  That will certainly help you to keep to it.

When done in this way, confession will no longer be the tedious repetition of ‘standard’ sins, which it only too often becomes, and which is sheer drudgery.  It will become one of the most powerful means of sanctification that the Church puts at our disposal.  In going to the tribunal of confession, we will be conscious of going to Christ on the Cross, who holds, in his crucified hands, the forgiveness He has obtained for our benefit; the blood with which he wants to cleanse us.

Conscious of our poverty, all the more so if we have taken a good, clear look at our daily weaknesses, and trusting in His mercy, having begged him to make us detest our sins, we will enter through the door of the confessional with the humble disposition of the prodigal child:

‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not worthy of being called your son.’

Because of that, we will be able to go away with renewed strength, founded on the liberating assurance:

‘Go in peace, my son, your faith has saved you.’