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


Preface

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.

Introduction

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 Canonical Recognition in Question

The Canonical Recognition in Question

About the Conciliar Church

(Editorial of Le Sel de la terre 101)

ON THE SUBJECT OF THE CONCILIAR CHURCH, its existence, and its nature, several studies have been published in Le Sel de la terre1.

[Editor’s Note:  See also the  May, 2015 article on this website:  Is there a conciliar church? ]

In Le Sel de la terre 59, the Conciliar Church is described as the society of the baptised placed under the direction of the current Popes and bishops so as to promote Conciliar ecumenism, and who, consequently, accept the teachings of Vatican II, practice the new liturgy and go by the new Canon law2.

In Le Sel de la terre 97, the Conciliar Church was shown as a transition between the Catholic Church and the Counter-Church. The conclusion of this article gave, as an example of this transition, the Hellfest, Hell Feast, right at the heart of the French Vendée region, where over one hundred thousand youngsters have come these past few years during the summer in order to celebrate the devil. Between their Catholic grand parents celebrating God on feast days like Corpus Christi and these demonic grandchildren, only one Conciliar generation was enough to make the transition.

Let us also mention the “Little Vatican II Catechism” published in Le Sel de la terre 93 (Spring 2015), which shows how Conciliar teaching was influenced by masonic ideas; warnings about the Counter-Church (see Le Sel de la terre 92, Summer 2015, p. 134-138); and “News from Rome” published in Le Sel de la terre 89, 91 and 94, exposing the Conciliar Church efforts to establish a secular globalisation in concert with Freemasonry.

From these various studies, we can conclude that the Conciliar Church is being used as an instrument at the hands of Freemasonry in order to compel the Catholic faithful to work volens nolens [Editor’s Note: “willingly but at the same time involuntarily”] towards general globalisation, i.e. the building of the masonic “Temple”.

Archbishop Lefebvre had seen it and clearly explained it in his “spiritual testament“:

This “Conciliar Church” is imbued with the principles of 1789. These are Masonic principles with respect to religion and religions in general and with respect to civil society. It is an imposter inspired by Hell for the destruction of the Catholic religion, of its Magisterium, of its priesthood, and of the Sacrifice of Our Lord3.

And he rightly drew the following conclusion:

It is therefore a strict duty for any priest wishing to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church, so long as she will not return to the tradition of the Church Magisterium and of the Catholic Faith4.

May we accept a canonical recognition?

When Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of St. Pius X (in 1970), he obtained a canonical erection for the Society as a pious union from Bishop Charrière, of Fribourg. It remained canonically recognised by Rome for five years.

Eventually, on November 21st, 1974, following a canonical visit to Écône by two Roman envoys, Archbishop Lefebvre made a declaration expressing his refusal of “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 moment on, a clear demarcation line had been drawn between the two “Churches”. The « Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies » would soon be called Conciliar Rome by Msgr Benelli5, a name which was to last.

The canonical “suppression” of the Society of St. Pius X was carried out by Bishop Mgr Mamie on May 6th, 1975. Archbishop Lefebvre used to say this was ”irregular and unjust anyway“6.

This “suppression” was consequently considered as null and void by the Archbishop as well as by those who follow the rules of the Catholic Church, while it was regarded as valid by those in line with the Conciliar Church.

Nonetheless, we hear more and more about a “canonical recognition” of the Society of St. Pius X by the current Vatican authorities. May this kind of recognition be accepted?

Per se, lawfulness in the Catholic Church is a good thing, and it is even necessary. Archbishop Lefebvre asked for this validation in 1970, and obtained it.

Yet, today, if a canonical recognition were to be granted, it would be according to the new Code of canon law, just like in the case of the jurisdiction which was recently granted by the Pope to the Society of St Pius X.

This would be a good enough reason to refuse such a recognition7.

Moreover such a recognition, under the current circumstances, would have other drawbacks such as:

— We would become part of Conciliar pluralism, Tradition being recognized as well as the charismatics, the Focolari, the Opus Dei, etc. It is truth put on the same level as error, at least in the public opinion.

— It would allow in our chapels a number of faithful who clearly mean to remain Conciliar, Modernist and Liberal, with all the consequences, since weakening of faith leads to bad morals.

— It would necessarily mean reducing attacks against errors professed by the very Authorities we would have to report to. It is anyway easy to realise that the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X have already reduced their criticism against current errors (Martin Luther Year, Amoris Lætitia, etc.)

— Finally such a recognition would place us directly under superiors who are themselves under Masonic influence. Divine Providence allowed that Archbishop Lefebvre and those who have followed him remain exempt from this masonic influence: it would be a serious lack of prudence to deliberately submit oneself to it. Freemasonry started exactly three centuries ago (24th June 1717). After destroying Catholic States (through revolutions from the 18th to the 20e century), and enslaving the Church (the Alta Vendita plan implemented by the Vatican II Council), will it succeed in extending its influence over Archbishop Lefebvre’s work? This would look like its victory down here on earth.

As a conclusion, a canonical solution could only be considered with a doctrinally converted Rome, a Rome that would have proven this conversion by working for the reign of Our Lord Jesus-Christ and fighting against its enemies.


Pope Francis and the marriages in the Society of Saint-Pius X: Non possumus – We cannot enter into a canonical structure submitting ourselves to a modernist authority

Pope Francis and the marriages in the Society of Saint-Pius X:  Non possumus – We cannot enter into a canonical structure submitting ourselves to a modernist authority

Sermon of Father Philippe François (FSSPX) given on Easter Sunday 16th April 2017 at Le Trévoux (Britanny, France) where he exercises the functions of chaplain to the Little Sisters of Saint Francis

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My reverend sisters, my dear brethren,

The grace of the feast of Easter is to fortify our faith.  And if our faith in Our Lord is fortified, by the same token our faith in His only and well-loved Bride, the Holy, Catholic and Roman Church is also fortified.  And that is very necessary in the testing times in which we live.

Two weeks ago, as you have learnt, Rome granted with certain conditions to the priests of the SSPX the jurisdiction to carry out marriages.  “Good news!” my cobbler said to me, “we are nearing the end of the tunnel.”

In reality, this jurisdiction was already given to us by the Church under the principles of the law which applies in times of crisis, in the state of necessity in which we find ourselves.  For almost fifty years, marriages which have been carried out in the priories of the SSPX and of Tradition have been valid.

But if one accepts the decision of Rome, one must accept the new code of canon law and the conciliar tribunals which apply this new code.

Now this new code destroys marriageIt changes the definition of marriage.  First of all this sacrament no longer has as its first end procreation and the catholic education of children, but it puts as its first end the good relationships between the husband and wife and their mutual support.  And this definition, you see, has led to tens of thousands of marriages being annulled during the last forty years, because, as the spouses no longer got on, the conciliar ecclesiastical judges said that there had been no marriage.  And these declarations of annulment of marriages, which had been concluded validly and then declared annulled, have accelerated again by the procedure which the Pope himself put in place eighteen months ago and which facilitates annulments even further.

This happened two weeks ago; and then almost two years ago it was the powers to hear confession which was accorded to the priests of the Fraternity, as if they did not already have these powers.  Now these powers to hear confession validly, the Church gives to your priests in a time of crisis, because canon law foresees supplied jurisdiction in the exceptional circumstances in which we live.  Archbishop Lefebvre often reminded us of one of the great principles of Saint Pius X’s code of canon law: ” the salvation of souls is the supreme law of the Church”

These two events and others show us that a process of canonical regularization is in train since the time of Benedict XVI and with Pope Francis in regard to the SSPX and also in regard to the whole family of Tradition since the time of Benedict XVI and with Pope Francis .

This process of canonical regularization at present underway can be compared to the process of setting fire to a log of green wood.  When one throws a log of green wood onto the fire, it is incapable of catching fire, for there is an obstacle: it is the sap.  So the flame begins to lick the log in order to heat it up and to drive out the sap.  Once the sap is driven off, the log takes fire.  It is the same in our case, there would be an obstacle to the canonical statute – the reciprocal mistrust between the conciliar world and us.  The Pope’s gestures of “ benevolence” have as their aim the removal of this obstacle.  These gestures do not formally imply canonical dependence on the Roman authorities.  Once the obstacle of mistrust is removed, not much will prevent the granting of the definitive statute, which is the statute of the personal prelature, which has been under discussion between the superiors of the SSPX and the Holy See for six years.  So there would be the granting of this personal prelature, this time with effective dependence on the Holy SeeNotably the bishop, superior of the personal prelature, will be nominated by the Pope and therefore will be able to be revoked by the Sovereign Pontiff.

So the question is posed: can we enter into such a canonical structure?

To answer this question, my dear brethren, we must ask ourselves if the situation in Rome has changed to such an extent that we could envisage a canonical solution, a thing which we regarded as impossible just a short while ago.  Alas!  We are forced to state that nothing essential has changed:

The actions of the Pope are more and more serious.  The accumulation of scandals during the four years of his pontificate makes us really think that with him modernism has become flesh.

The reaction of some conservative cardinals or prelates, although it is courageous and merits being praised, does not however call into question the principles of the crisis; on the contrary they cling to the Second Vatican Council which apparently was properly interpreted by Pope Benedict XVI .

— The attitude of the Holy See with regard to Tradition is not benevolent – far from it.  The experience of the Franciscans of the Immaculate reminds us of this as well as the treatment suffered by Cardinal Burke and the other cardinals who opposed, on the occasion of the synod, the post-synodal declaration on the family Amoris LaetitiaIn the end the demands of Rome with regard to us are basically still the same.  We must still, even if it is asked less insistently, accept the council with its religious liberty, its ecumenism and its collegiality.

So what precisely are the grounds for our previous refusal of an agreement with Rome?  More exactly can we accept an agreement with a neo-modernist Rome?  Such an acceptance would make us enter into conciliar pluralism.  It would silence our attacks against modern errors and would put our faith in immediate danger.

Consequently the canonical solution can only be envisaged with a Rome which has been doctrinally converted and which will have proved its conversion by working for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ and by fighting against the adversaries of this reign.

By putting ourselves in the hands of the Roman authorities we would put in peril our particular good no less than the common good of the Church.

* First of all our own good: for we are responsible for our soul and thus of our faith.  Now without the faith one cannot be saved ( Hebrews 11,6) and nobody can pass off this responsibility onto others.

* Next we would put in jeopardy the common good of the Church.  In fact we are not masters of the faith in the sense that we cannot modify it at our pleasure.  The faith is the good of the Church, because it is through the faith that she lives the life of her Divine Spouse.  The faith is a common good not only because it is common to all Catholics but also because the participation of everyone is necessary (although not in the same measure for everyone) in order to preserve it.  Confirmation makes of you, my dear brethren, soldiers of Christ.  Every Christian must be ready to run risks in order to defend the faith.  And the priestly character, joined to the mission of the Church, gives to priests the sacred duty of preaching the faith and of defending it publicly by combatting error.  We are members of the Church militant which is attacked on all sides by error.  To no longer publicly raise our voices against error is to become the accomplices of error.  And this is what we are living in Tradition, notably since 2011.  In 2011 the abominable scandal of Assisi was renewed and the superiors of the Society unfortunately, we deplore it, were silent.  In 2015 the unthinkable canonization of John-Paul II took place and the superiors of the Society were silent.

So it is impossible today to put ourselves, by a canonical solution, in the hands of the neo-modernist authorities because of their neo-modernism.  That is the true obstacle to our recognition by these authorities.

In doing this, take note my dear brethren, far from challenging the authority of the Pope, we are convinced that we render to him the most important service, which is that of truth.  By our prayers, we beg the Immaculate Heart of Mary to obtain for the Sovereign Pontiff the grace of doctrinal conversion, so that once again “he confirms his brothers in the faith” (Luke 22, 32).  For we are Catholics, so we are Roman, we are Roman Catholics attached indefectibly to the seat of Peter, to the infallible teaching of all the successors of Peter up to Vatican Council II.  We are of eternal Rome, which is the irreconcilable enemy of neo-protestant and neo-modernist Rome.  There can be no peace possible with conciliar Rome.

Also we pray every day for the superiors of the SSPX that they do not fall into the trap which is being tendered to our dear Society.  That they may rediscover the prudence, fearlessness and firmness of Mgr. Lefebvre in his fight for Christ the King!

So we cannot – non possumus - enter into a canonical structure submitting ourselves to a modernist authority.

We say this because it is our duty.  How so?

* It is our duty firstly with regard to Our Lord and HIs Holy Church. We do not have the right to run risks by making peace with those who betray them.

* Then it is our duty for ourselves, because we have our souls to save and we cannot save ourselves without the faith whole and entire.

* Finally it is our duty with regard to the faithful who have recourse to our ministry.  We do not have the right to lead them very gradually towards the poisoned pastures of Vatican II.

My reverend sisters, my dear brethren, in the present torment and confusion, we must remain faithful to authentic Catholic principles and stay rooted in them.  And so that it may be the light which enlightens us and guides our steps, we must draw the practical consequences and apply them rigorously in our every-day life and in our daily attitudes.  Coherence and non-contradiction are the logical consequences of full and entire adhesion to the Truth, which is Our Lord Jesus Christ.  As cardinal Pie said: charity which is the bond of perfection, must be dictated and regulated by the truth and it is in this spirit of charity which we must act.

So on this Easter Sunday, the present hour is the hour of the beautiful virtue of hope, for we see perhaps with more clarity, the insufficiency of human means.  But Our Lord rises from the tomb today, as yesterday, and with him His Church!

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, may Our Lady of Good Hope, who alone on Easter morning knew how to maintain hope, may the Blessed Virgin Mary maintain in our hearts the divine hope, the Holy Hope, that which pleases God, that which will not be disappointed for eternity!

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

(Sermon published in “Le Sel de la terre” n° 101)

Questionable priestly ordinations in the conciliar Church

Questionable priestly ordinations in the conciliar Church

— A letter of Archbishop Lefebvre:

[ Editor’s note:  In this transcription, we have left unchanged the spelling and style found in the handwritten letter of the Archbishop. ]

Ecône, 28 oct. 1988

Very dear Mr. Wilson,

thank you very much for your kind letter. I agree with your desire to reordain conditionnaly these priests, and I have done this reordination many times.

All sacraments from the modernists bishops or priests are doubtfull now.  The changes are increasing and their intentions are no more catholics.

We are in the time of great apostasy.

We need more and more bishops and priests very catholics.  It is necessary everywhere in the world.

Thank you for the newspaper article from the Father Alvaro Antonio Perez Jesuit!

We must pray and work hardly to extend the kingdom of Jesus-Christ.

I pray for you and your lovely family.

Devotly in Jesus and Mary.

Marcel Lefebvre

 

Handwritten Letter from Arch Lefebvre - necessary to conditionally ordain

Commentary

Archbishop Lefebvre relies on two principal arguments to assert that the new sacraments, especially ordinations, are henceforth questionable:

* the evolution of the rites;

* and the defect in intention.

The new rites of the sacraments promulgated by the conciliar Church, promulgated in the typical editions in Latin, are probably valid 1But that does not prevent numerous sacraments from being invalid in practice, for the two reasons quoted above.

Archbishop Lefebvre said that in his opinion a great number of new masses were invalid – while admitting the validity of the new rite in itself.

Bp Tissier de Mallerais, in his sermon from June 29, 2016 at Econe, spoke as follows concerning the rite of ordination for priests:

“Clearly, we cannot accept this faked new rite of ordination that leaves doubts concerning the validity of numerous ordinations done according to the new riteThus this new rite of ordination is not Catholic.  And so we will of course faithfully continue to transmit the real and valid priesthood by the traditional priestly rite of ordination.”

In an article that appeared in Le Sel de la terre 54 on the subject of the validity of the new rite of episcopal consecration, after showing that the rite in itself is probably valid, we added:

Due to the generalized disorder, both at the liturgical and dogmatic levels, we can have serious reasons to doubt the validity of certain episcopal ordinations.”

And we quoted the remarks of Archbishop Lefebvre on the subject of the episcopal consecration of Bp Daneels, auxiliary bishop of Brussels:

“Little booklets were published on the occasion of this consecration. For the public prayers, here is what was said and repeated by the crowd:

Be an apostle like Peter and Paul; be an apostle like the patron of this parish; be an apostle like Gandhi; be an apostle like Luther; be an apostle like (Martin) Luther King; be an apostle like Helder Camara; be an apostle like Romero.

Apostle like Luther, but what intention did the bishops have when they consecrated this bishop, Bp. Daneels2?”

“It is frightening…Was this bishop really consecrated?  We can doubt it anyway.  And if that is the intention of the consecrators, it is incomprehensible!  The situation is even more serious than we thought3.”

We could quote numerous examples of sacraments given in the conciliar Church that were certainly invalid:  confirmations given without using holy oils; baptisms where one person pours the water, while another pronounces the words, etc4.

This is why the position of Archbishop Lefebvre in the letter that we have quoted here, appears wise:  because of the particular importance of the sacrament of ordination, it is necessary to conditionally re-ordain the priests who come from the conciliar Church to the Traditional one.

(Taken from “Le Sel de la terre” 98)

Answer to Fr Simoulin SSPX: No practical agreement until there is a doctrinal agreement?

Answer to Fr Simoulin SSPX

“No practical agreement until there is a doctrinal agreement?”

Extracts from an article by Fr Michel Simoulin, SSPX

Published in le Seignadou (France), October 2016, with a few inserted comments inserted by Le Sel de la Terre, doctrinal review of the Dominicans of Avrillé

[Text by Fr Simoulin, in red:] I promised you some objections, and the responses we could make.

Here is the first objection, which is perhaps the only serious one, that of Archbishop Lefebvre’s statements, mainly made after 1988, to the effect that he wished to await the “conversion” of Rome before taking further steps towards reconciliation. This position is usually presented in this way: no practical agreement until there is a doctrinal agreement.

[Comments by Le Sel de la Terre, in black:]   This position was defended not only by Archbishop Lefebvre (firmly and on numerous occasions), but also by the four bishops of the SSPX after Archbishop Lefebvre’s death (1991) up to 2012.   In 2006, the General Chapter of the SSPX pointed it out again in a solemn way. (See the editorial from the fall 2015 issue of Le Sel de la terre: ‘Satan’s masterstroke’, which is also available as an article on this website.)

[Text by Fr Simoulin:] This is true and well-known, but the Archbishop himself recognized that this would take time, much time, and that it would be necessary to wait for Providence to signal the right moment.

Time, much time: well, then, why the rush?  Why not wait peacefully for Providence to signal the right moment?  Pope Francis with Amoris Laetitia, with his remarks on Luther ‘who was not mistaken’, etc, scandalized even conciliar ‘conservatives’.  Is it the right moment?

[Text by Fr S:] And in this he relied entirely upon the superiors of the Society.  He never stopped telling us:   “For me, it’s finished… you have your bishops, your superiors, your seminaries, your priories; I gave you everything I had received… it is now for you to continue without me!”

In 2012, three bishops of the SSPX solemnly warned Bp Fellay about the hazards of committing to a practical agreement. This warning led to the expulsion of one of them a few months later.

[Text by Fr S.] Moreover, and those who were the Archbishop’s first companions should not forget it, beyond his sometimes thunderous statements, even in the most tense moments with Rome, Archbishop Lefebvre always acted and reacted as a servant of the Church and of the Pope and as a son of Rome.  His heart was more Roman than many of ours, and even in his strongest interventions, those who knew him always sensed beneath them a genuine sadness: a sadness like that of Jesus Christ weeping over Jerusalem, but still filled with the desire to save the holy city, sadness for the state of the Church, sadness at having to act against the authorities of the Church, sadness at being neither heard nor understood.

The word “sadness” (italics added) is repeated five times: appeal to sentiment.   But here, it is reason and faith which should guide us.

[Text by Fr S:] He would never have taken the first step towards rupture with Rome, and it was always “conciliar Rome” which took the initiative in the measures of “separation,” which would only end up in separating him a little more from “conciliar Rome” and in pushing him to take refuge ever more in the heart of “Roman Rome!”

The consecrations of 1988 without Rome’s agreement – and even against the pope’s and cardinal Ratzinger’s express intentions –  were indeed an initiative of Archbishop Lefebvre, and resulted de facto in a separation from “conciliar Rome”.

[Text by Fr S:] Roman he was and Roman he remained to his last breath. Romanita is not an empty word, were almost the last words of his Spiritual Journey.

Many passages from the Spiritual Journey are very much opposed to an agreement with Rome before its return to Tradition.  A single example: “The establishment of that ‘conciliar church’ pervaded by the principles of 1789, by the masonic principles is a hell-fired imposture […].  It is therefore the strict duty of every priest and of every believer who wishes to remain Catholic to separate himself from that conciliar church until it finds its way back to the Tradition of the magisterium of the Church and of the Catholic faith.”

[Text by Fr S:] But let us review history briefly.  Firstly the SSPX–which was not founded to oppose the Council or Rome, but rather to give a structure in the Church for priests trained in the seminary of Fribourg-Econe–was recognized and established by and in the “conciliar Church.”

Father Simoulin reviews history his own way.  The expression “the conciliar Church” only came into existence in 1976.  Archbishop Lefebvre immediately said he did not want to be a part of it.  Up to that point, Catholics and conciliars had not been clearly distinguished, which explains why a bishop favorable towards conciliar ideas (Bishop Charrière, a personal friend of Archbishop Lefebvre) could approve a perfectly Catholic society like the SSPX – which surprised Archbishop Lefebvre himself.  But today, no bishop could be found with the courage to do that.

[Text by Fr S:] And there also was his proud response to the editorial of the Abbe de Nantes in which he was incited to break with Rome, in February of 1975.  It is in Archbishop Lefebvre’s letter to the Abbe de Nantes that he told him:  “Know that if a bishop breaks with Rome, it will not be I.  My “Declaration” says it clearly and strongly enough.”  This letter is dated March 19, 1975!

That letter dates from before the Roman condemnations.  Bishop Lefebvre did not want to initiate a rupture with Rome, as Abbé de Nantes1 asked of him, but Bishop Lefebvre did not submit to the dictates of this “neo-Protestant Rome” and, if he accepted the rupture, it was in order to remain faithful to “eternal Rome”.

[Text by Fr S:] The independent bishops of the “Catholic Church” are free to carry out this rupture, but let them not claim a so-called fidelity to the thought of Archbishop Lefebvre for this reason, and let them stop making us laugh sourly by talking of “the treason of the current authorities of the SSPX towards the thought and work of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre”.

Father Simoulin does not name the person he is taking to task here; it is Bishop Faure, who founded a sacerdotal Society last August 22nd, to allow the seminarians in his care to join a structure, just as Archbishop Lefebvre had done in 1970.  It is not a rupture.  Just like the consecrations of 1988, it is a measure dictated by a state of emergency:  the training of seminarians according to the spirit of the Church, without compromising with the errors of modernist Rome.

To avoid making Father Simoulin laugh sourly, we will rather speak of “the recklessness” of the SSPX’s authorities who are jeopardizing Archbishop Lefebvre’s work in moving closer to modernist Rome.

[Text by Fr S:] What did our superiors accept of the things Archbishop Lefebvre refused: the New Mass?  The conciliar ideas?  Religious liberty?

The answer is simple, and Father Simoulin knows it, since he has just mentioned it:  the superiors of the SSPX have accepted the possibility of a practical agreement – of normalization – with Pope Francis’  Rome which has not obviously not returned to Tradition, and they are even working to obtain this recognition.  Bishop Fellay’s text reproduced above and Father Schmidberger’s in Le Sel de la Terre 96 make it clear.

[Text by Fr S:] Instead of criticizing and condemning Bishop Fellay, let these men make positive and constructive suggestions.  What do they suggest as a solution?  Nothing but denial and rupture

The solution offered is to stick to the line set out by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, which is what the SSPX did until  2012:  no agreement with Rome as long as it keeps spreading modernism.

[Text by Fr S:] And there are also these words of the Archbishop to the future bishops:   ”I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all churches, in the Catholic faith of all time.”

In the same letter, Archbishop Lefebvre wrote: “I will bestow this grace upon you, confident that without too long a delay the See of Peter will be occupied by a successor of Peter who is perfectly Catholic, and into whose hands you will be able to put back the grace of your episcopacy so that he may confirm it.”  Could it be said that Pope Francis is “perfectly Catholic”?

[Text by Fr S:] And we can conclude with the words of the Archbishop himself, faithful to his first position until the end, from his address to the deacons on retreat in Montalenghe in June 1989, and therefore after the episcopal consecrations.  He gave them one last time the meaning of the declaration of 1974 [November 21]:   “I think that we need nonetheless, a link with Rome…”

The meaning of his words is suggested by the context:  Archbishop Lefebvre was sounding a warning against sedevacantism.  The “link with Rome” that he talks about consists simply in recognizing the current pope as validly elected.  It is not a question of asking for a canonical recognition.

In the conference that he gave shortly after the priestly retreat at Écône, Archbishop Lefebvre said:

“As to the situation of Tradition and Rome, it remains practically unchanged.  We can see it is more and more so.  The Vatican is committed to maintaining the Council above all, which is nothing but a transposition of the spirit of the Revolution in the Church.  This spirit they want to maintain at all cost, and all the concessions they can make, to the left, to the right, the appointments of seemingly traditional bishops, these are political and diplomatic means to be able to keep disseminating the spirit of the Council and the revolutionary spirit, certainly so.  Indeed it was the devil’s masterstroke to succeed in using the highest-ranking members of the Church to spread the Revolution’s ideasClearly, that has not changed.  [Archbishop Lefebvre then gives a few examples here, notably the appointment of Kasper, ‘a formal heretic’, as a bishop, with Cardinal Ratzinger’s blessing.]  As long as that spirit prevails in Rome, that spirit of ecumenism, liberalism, modernism, we cannot hope for anything.  So let us wait, pray, and work.  God will decide, He knows better than we do, (He) who creates all things, He is the almighty, He can change the situation in no time, let us trust in God.  But is impossible, absolutely impossible, today, to trust in the Roman authorities in any way.”

We believe that the situation is still the same and that Archbishop Lefebvre’s advice, (viz. “let us wait, pray, and work”) is still relevant.


For, or against the “agreements”?

For, or against the “agreements”?

A text published in Le Sel de la terre 98

Father Schmidberger, former Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X wrote arguments . in favour of the “ normalisation “ of the Society.  He was chosen by the mother house to preach two priestly retreats to the French speaking priests of the Society (in August and September) at the priory of Le Pointet (France) and in Ecône, which no doubt allowed him to advance his ideas.

Elsewhere the Superior General has broken his silence in order to argue for the structure proposed to the Society of St. Pius X ( see the text reproduced below).

Father Michel Simoulin has also defended the advantages of the “agreement”.

So, is there nobody against?  There is opposition of course.  But the opposition is discreet and is expressed privately, as if it were forbidden today, in the SSPX, to defend publicly the position which was its official position until 2012: ”no practical agreement before the conversion of the Roman authorities”.

The “super diocese” offered to the SSPX by a Pope who “wants the good of Tradition”

By Christian Lassale

This article was published by MCI-L’hebdomadaire de medias- catholique. Info n. 33 of the 8 September 2016. P.6-7

Umpteenth announcement and no real new development in the relations between Rome and the SSPX founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and led until 2018 by the Swiss Bishop Bernard Fellay

In a conference given in English on 24 August 2016, in Australia, the current Superior General of the SSPX explained to the faithful the nature of the personal prelature proposed by Rome to the SSPX.  Mgr. Fellay used the occasion of this canonical explanation to give his opinion on the Roman proposal:

(….)Rome is offering us a new body. At the head a bishop. This bishop chosen by the Pope from three names which are presented by the Society and taken from the Society. This bishop will have authority over the priests, over the religious who want to be members and over the faithful. The faithful who will belong to this body will have the strict right to receive all the sacraments from the priests of the society – all the sacraments, marriage included. This bishop will have the right to have schools, seminaries, ordinations, even to make new religious congregations and to accept inside others who would like to join.

It is something like a super-diocese, autonomous from the local bishops.  In other words for you no change from what you have now.  The only thing is it will be with the recognition that you are Catholics.

You can imagine that that will create a lot of conflicts with the local bishops – you can easily imagine that. So we have to remain prudent, but in itself you cannot imagine anything better than what is offered there and such a thing you cannot think it is a trap. It is not a trap and if somebody offers something like that it can only be because he wishes us well.  He wants the good of Tradition and for Tradition to spread in the Church. It is impossible to think that such a thing could be invented by our enemies. The enemies have many other ways to crush us but not that one.

You may say: if that is the thing, why don’t you accept? Because I want to be sure that it is true. I don’t have the right to live in a dream and so I must check each aspect (…) [End of quotation]

From a canonical point of view, there is nothing new under the sun, the above description being that of a personal prelature with extended powers such as Mgr. Guido Pozzo has already suggested (since 2012). It is moreover this possibility which was rejected by a majority of major superiors meeting in a hotel near Ecône at the end of June 2016.

The novelty of the words of Mgr. Fellay, if there is one, is found in the syllogism which completes the exposé. It is this:

impossible that such a thing could be invented by our enemies

- so it can only be a question of friends of Tradition, and :

… if somebody offers something like that, it can only be because he wishes us well.  He wants the good of Tradition and for Tradition to spread in the Church.

As a result, such a proposal cannot be but accepted, if it proves true.

In such an argument, the Tradition of the Church seems to become identified with the SSPX, since wishing well to the latter is to wish well to Tradition, notwithstanding the dramatic blows which Rome may inflict on Tradition elsewhere.  The reality in the Church seems as if dissipated by these good intentions with which present day Rome seems to adorn itself.

Moreover, these good intentions, even if supposed to be completely sincere, are they enough in themselves to necessitate the acceptance of a canonical agreement in the present conditions of the Church?  The benevolent intention is in no way sufficient; the propriety of the act still requires that it be, by its very nature, good. 

Now how can one envisage today a concrete dependence of the SSPX on Rome, even though the highest holders of ecclesiastical authority, with the Pope in front, are the destroyers of the Church?

Living in a state of concrete dependence with regards to an authority requires one to follow the same goal, the inferior putting himself at the service of the superior in order attain itThe least that one can say, alas, is that modernist Rome does not pursue the same goal as the Church of all time or of the SSPX.  Without this unity of purpose, and thus of faith, any practical agreement will prove most perilous for the SSPX.  This is doubtless what the general chapter of 2006 meant when it said: “no practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement”.

(End of the reproduction of the article by Christian Lassale)

Commentary by “ Sel de la Terre”:

One can add to these remarks that Rome is not giving to the superior of the “super-diocese” the ability to designate and consecrate bishops.  So it is obvious that the only bishops who will be able to succeed those bishops chosen by Mgr. Lefebvre will be those having the profile desired by “ Rome “.

The Rights of Truth, the “non-rights” of Error

The Rights of Truth, the “non-rights” of Error

[The report of R. P. Philippe C. S. S. R. November 30, 1922 to the Congress of the Apostolic League of Nations, which took place in Paris, and appeared in “La Documentation Catholique” of 24 March, 1923: No. 191]

If there is such a thing as a fundamental truth, it is certainly that of the rights of Truth and the non-rights of error.  It is astonishing that such a subject must even be dealt with, but the intellectual decadence of our times has reached the point that we no longer even wish to acknowledge Truth, but are willing to convince ourselves that Truth doesn’t even exist.  What is said about Truth must also be said of the authority which is based on the truth of the existence of the Supreme Being upon Whom we all depend.

By banishing in one fell swoop Truth and the authority of this Truth, the enemies of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church overthrow, upturn and destroy from top to bottom, not only Christian Order, but all order, be it simply natural, civil, familial, religious or any other.

Order based on nothingness cannot be sustained.  That is why we establish at one and the same time both the rights of Truth and the injustice of error.

We will not get involved here in overly speculative considerations.  Rather, we will limit ourselves to reproducing the simple facts of philosophy and theology.


1. Truth is the conformity of the intellect with the object

St. Thomas Aquinas concisely states the following: Veritas invenitur in intellectu secundum quod apprehendit rem ut est, et in re, secundum quod habet esse conformabile intellectui (Summa Theologica, I, q. 16, art. 5) : truth is in the intellect insofar as it grasps the object as it is.  Truth is in the object itself, insofar as being (that is, this object) can be intellectually reproduced.  In other words, for the intellect to possess the truth of an object (or to be true) that object must first exist, then the intellect must have perceived it just as it is, and intellectually reproduce it thus.  That is why St. Thomas says elsewhere : unumquodque inquantum habet de esse, tantum est cognoscibile (ibid. art. 3) for a thing to be known, it must exist, and can be known only insofar as it exists.

For Truth to exist in the intellect, it is therefore necessary for the intellect to reproduce intellectually (or by means of an intellectual image, if one prefers) objective reality in so far as it exists.  The latter is itself insofar as it reproduces the eternal concept of God who created it.  That is why St. Thomas defines Truth as follows:  Adaequatio rei et intellectus (ibid. art. 1), meaning by this that, in order to be true, the created object must correspond to the concept of the Divine Intellect and that the human intellect which possesses the Truth only possesses it insofar as it is intellectually in conformity with the object itself.

2. The object has the right to be known by the intellect precisely as it [i.e. the object] is

To assert that Truth alone has rights is to declare that the intellect, which is made to possess Truth, has the right not to be led into error.  It is to say, above all else, that the object which is known has the right not to be known other than as it actually is, as well as the right to be known just as it is.

The weakness of the human intellect can be such that it does not conceive the essence of a being in all of its perfection.  It remains no less a fact that whatever the intellect does in fact conceive must be in conformity with what is.

3. In error, nothingness takes the place of the object

What happens in the contrary situation when the intellect conceives, not in conformity with that which is, but with that which is not?  Its intellectual concept does not correspond to any existing reality, or, in the case of a partial error, it corresponds only partially to what that reality actually is.  As for the other part, it corresponds to nothing which is.

Who does not see the conclusion which must be immediately drawn from this?  An intellectual concept which does not correspond to any objective reality corresponds to nothing; that is to say, for it, nothingness has taken the place of the object.

4. Nothingness, therefore error, has no rights

Thus it is an obvious truth that nothingness (or non-being) cannot have rights, because it does not exist.

An intellectual concept which corresponds to no reality whatsoever cannot be the reproduction of a true reality.  Therefore, corresponding to nothingness (which has no rights), it participates in the non-rights of nothingness.

Thus, if the man whose intellect created these fictions and errors wishes to attribute to them rights which they cannot have, then these rights are the most fundamentally unjust that can possibly be.

5. To build on nothingness or error is disorder

What folly, then, to construct a life on nothingness! For this is what necessarily happens when, instead of taking Truth as the principle of this life, we choose error.  With nothingness as a guiding principle for all our acts, for all our feelings, for all our thoughts, what can there be that is true, just or well-founded in our lives?  Nothing.

Furthermore, if error is at the basis of social order, nothingness is the guiding principle of society, of governments, of the constitutions of peoples, of legislation and of everything else.  Let us say it again : what can be built on this?  What can be built on nothingness?  In a social order thus conceived, there can be neither Truth nor Justice nor Order.

Disorder is the inevitable result.

6. This is proven by experience

To better understand this phenomenon, let us see what practically remains as a guiding principle in both individual and social life wherever objective truth has disappeared :

* In the individual order, there remains only individual thought, captive to all of its fantasies.

* In the social order, there remains only collective thought, subject to every whim of the majority.

And when we have swept Truth aside, we have suppressed the Supreme Being who is the great guiding Truth of peoples and individuals.  When God has disappeared from the council of consciences and nations, when there are no more sanctions or responsibilities before the Eternal One, what is left to collective and individual human thought?  Logically, nothing.  In reality, though, in spite of everything, in spite of human fantasies and whims, there remain Eternal Truth and Eternal Justice which crush beneath all their weight those who, turning toward them, say: “You do not exist.”

7. Divine Truth always takes back its Rights

God proclaims these Rights and causes them to be respected by His Justice.

Oh Divine Truth!  It takes back its Rights – Rights which are marked with the seal of Infinity, with the seal of Eternity.  This God Whom man (in his folly) has desired to consign to nothingness in order to have nothingness as the principle of his life, is Creator.  Everything has been made by Him in the infinite splendour of His Beauty.  He reiterates all the conditions of Truth.  Furthermore, to the rights which He Himself has given to all Truth, He adds those with which He alone can be endowed because He alone is infinite, He alone is Creator.

How, then, can those who depend essentially upon Him rise up against Him and His Rights?  It is not astonishing that Eternal Truth which has been dumped on the scrap heap of nothingness surrounds itself with all the rigours of Justice in order to strike back.  Justice is the avenger of its Sister, Truth.

8. Divine Truth manifests itself in Christ

The Infinite goes even farther, so to speak.  God destines this creature for whom He has created Truth (in a word, this human being) to eternal happiness.  In order to lead him to this supreme end, He will become incarnate in the Person of His Word.  He will appear in this world, and, there again, He will manifest Himself as the Truth:  Ego sum Veritas!   Veritas et gratia per Jesum Christum factum est.   It is Truth which is tasked to lead man to his destiny, and see, therefore, what was required for this Truth to be realized in these conditions by Christ: nothing less than the Passion and Death of Christ.  This all-loving Master paid a great price for It, but after all It belongs to Him, It is identified with Him.  Behold this Truth, which is Christ and which has all the Rights of Christ, is launched into the world, bolstered by God’s own Authority.  It must enlighten consciences.  It must guide the social order.  Society must be impregnated with Christ because man, both as a citizen and as an individual, is a creature of God whose final end must be God and infinite beatitude.

9. God strikes those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ and His Church

What homage does man render, what homage does the citizen render, what homage do governments render to the Rights of Truth, to the Supreme Rights of God, to the Rights of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate?

Let us repeat it again: in order to establish nothingness (and consequently disorder in society and confusion among peoples) all the more securely as the guiding principle of peoples, they consign to this nothingness, with all the power their thought can muster, God and His Christ and the institution which continues Christ on earth: the Church.

Is it surprising then that God, seeing Himself despised in the very Truth which He has created, despised in Himself and in His Christ, is it surprising that He chastises peoples with the most dreadful scourges?  War and famine are minor things.  Confusion, upheavals in the political and economic order are a mild manifestation of the terrors which Divine Justice reserves for those who trample His Truth underfoot.

Let us endeavour to understand all this.  Especially let those to whom God has given the responsibility of governing society endeavour to penetrate themselves with these profound teachings and introduce them into the practical working-out of the social order for the good of humanity.  If this is done, both peoples and humanity will be saved.

Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith

Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith


A Sermon given in the Dominican Monastery of Avrillé (France)

“Thomas Aquinas was a light placed by Me over the Mystical Body of the Church in order to disperse the darkness of error.” 1

1. Saint Thomas, celestial patron of Catholic studies

On the feast of Saint Dominic, on August 4, 1880, and after having consulted the Sacred Congregation of Rites, Pope Leo III published the Brief, Cum hoc sit, designating St. Thomas the patron of universities, academies, Catholic colleges and schools. The feast was fixed on the 13th of November.2

The motives justifying the patronage of Saint Thomas for Catholic studies

This decision of the Pope, designating Saint Thomas patron of Catholic studies came immediately after his encyclical Aeterni Patris, dealing with the restoration of Catholic philosophy according to the principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas, written one year before, on August 4, 1879.  This patronage should have been its crowning point, and Leo XIII assigned three reasons for it.    Let us quote the Pope:

  1. The doctrine of Saint Thomas is so vast that it embraces, like an ocean, the entire wisdom of Antiquity.  Everything said in the past that was true, everything that was wisely discussed by the pagan philosophers and by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church as well as those superior individuals who existed before him; not only did he completely understand it, but he developed, completed and classified it with such an insight, with such methodical precision and with such a precise terminology, that he seems to have only left to his followers the ability to imitate him, while at the same time taking away their possibility of equaling him!”
  2. “There is yet a more important matter to consider: it is that his doctrine being formed and armed with principles containing a vast breadth of application corresponds to the necessities not only of one historical period but rather of all times and periods of history and is therefore very well suited to conquer the continually re-emerging errors.  Sustaining itself by its own strength, it remains invincible and causes a profound fear to its adversaries.  The perfect agreement between faith and reason [in the works of St. Thomas] must not be neglected, especially in regards to the judgment of Catholics.”
  3. “Finally, the Angelic Doctor, though great because of his doctrine, is no less great because of his virtue and holiness.  Consequently virtue is the best preparation for the work of the mind and the acquisition of knowledge; those who neglect virtue falsely imagine having acquired a solid and fruitful knowledge because ‘Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins’ (Wisdom 1:4).”

Furthermore, Pope Pius XI dedicated a very beautiful encyclical; Studiorum Ducem3, in order to demonstrate the link between ecclesiastical studies and holiness as exemplified by Saint Thomas.

Saint Thomas enjoyed a wisdom proportioned to his sanctity; furthermore he enjoyed a superior degree of sanctity which was especially true from the moment when the Angels bound his loins with the cincture of chastity.  The enlightenment of the intellect is, indeed, the special fruit of chastity while the result of impurity is to darken the mind.  Saint Thomas was so free from the fires of concupiscence that he was able to enjoy an understanding of divine things similar to that of the Angels who do not have a body.  That is why he is called the Angelic Doctor.

Saint Thomas is the fruit of the Dominican Order

At the same time, St. Thomas must not be separated from the religious order to which he belonged.  It was the soil of the Order of Preachers where he was allowed to show his true worth.  The necessary balance between the practice of the vows of religion, monastic observances, the choral singing of the divine office, and the contemplative study ordered to preaching for the salvation of souls: it is this entire wonderful ensemble that permitted him to develop his Angelic doctrine.  But, since a religious acts only out of obedience, Saint Thomas’ superiors must also be mentioned:

“Must we not acknowledge that they directed him as perfectly as possible in his scientific vocation?   For he was a superior intellect, a genius who during his period of development was not inhibited by his own brethren.   This is a

phenomenon rare enough throughout history even in Religious Orders to deserve to be mentioned and held up as an example.” 4

The Masters General under whose direction he lived his religious life5, and the great saint, Albert-the-Great (1206-1280) who directed him at Cologne are a few superiors of Saint Thomas who must be honored.

We can certainly claim that Saint Thomas is the most beautiful flower, the most beautiful fruit of the Order of Saint Dominic:  the Order whose mission in the Church is to spread the light of truth and combat error in order to save souls.

2. Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith

Therefore, it is clear from all that has been said how important Saint Thomas is in the contemporary battle for the Faith.  Let us quote Archbishop Lefebvre:

“We do not have the right to contradict the spirit of the Church which has always relied on Saint Thomas throughout its history.  God, Himself, raised up this admirable Doctor and the Church and the Popes have confirmed it, always proclaiming the power of Saint Thomas in rejecting error and heresy.  Since our contemporary age is one replete with heresy, error and paganism, we do not have the right to neglect papal directives. […]  It is very unfortunate that in today’s Roman Universities every possible and imaginable theory is floated without any correction from the authorities.  This is unfortunately due to the infiltration of ecumenism into philosophy as well as the idea of the equality of every theory.  Thomism is considered like everything else – relative – it was a system that was good during a certain period of time but, now we need something else more suited to the needs of the time.  (Archbishop Lefebvre)”6

Study

Saint Thomas is the remedy for the malicious illness of our time – which is Modernism

None other than Saint Pius X, in his encyclical Pascendi, written on the 8th of September, 1907, declares that the primary remediation for Modernism is the study of the philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas:

“Concerning the question of studies, We wish and order that Scholastic philosophy form the basis for the Sacred Studies. […] And when we prescribe Scholastic philosophy, We want to make it clear the We especially mean the philosophy left us by the Angelic Doctor. This is of paramount importance.”

Saint Pius X will again clarify his thought in his Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici of June 29, 1914, concerning the study of the doctrine of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

“It happened that since We said that the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas especially had to be followed without indicating that it had to be exclusively followed, a number of teachers convinced themselves that they were obeying Our desire, or at the very least, that it was not contradictory if they were to adopt indiscriminately what other scholastics taught about philosophy, even though it was directly in opposition to the principles of Saint Thomas.   But in doing this they were greatly deceived.  When we gave Our seminarians Saint Thomas as the sole leader of Scholastic Philosophy, it goes without saying, that we were talking especially about his principles upon which, as on its foundation, this philosophy rests. […] It is certainly not difficult to understand that if the doctrine of some author or some saint was ever recommended by Us or by Our predecessors with particular enthusiasm, […] it is not difficult to understand that they were recommended in so far as they were in agreement with the principles of Thomas Aquinas or at least they did not oppose his principles in the very least.”

Again, it is Saint Pius X who gives the reason for this:

We wanted to state to all those dedicated to teaching philosophy and sacred theology to be alerted that if they alienated themselves from Thomas Aquinas, in the slightest degree, especially in matters of metaphysics they would experience a tragic loss.”
 

Furthermore, the Church had taken precise measures concerning this matter.  The 1917 Code of Canon Law obliges seminary professors, as well as their students, to “adhere both in philosophy and theology to the method, doctrine and principles of Saint Thomas.” (C. 1366 # 2).  The Dominican Constitution even required professors, the Master of novices and the brothers during their course of study to take an oath to maintain that doctrine.   The doctrine of Saint Thomas is the Church’s doctrine, and the Church is suspicious of anyone straying from it.

The shipwreck of the Conciliar Church

Alienated from the Tradition of the Church, the intellect has no point of reference; it just wanders around (or it loses its way).  This is precisely the spectacle given by the Conciliar Church.

The new Code of Canon Law issued in 1983, does not even explicitly mention Saint Thomas when it comes to philosophical studies in the seminaries!   It only says:

“The philosophical formation ought to always relate to Tradition while at the same time keeping aware of on going philosophical research” (C. 251).

One cannot be more vague.

Let us also quote the incredible declaration of Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:

“I had difficulty in understanding Saint Thomas Aquinas whose crystalline logic appeared much too enclosed on itself, too impersonal and too stereotyped.”7

At any other time in history, he would not have been ordained a priest.  And in our times, he became the Pope!

One must read the text of Saint Thomas

Following the thought of Saint Pius X we readily see that he insists on reading the text of Saint Thomas itself:

“It is absolutely necessary to return to the ancient custom which, should have never been abandoned, that there be courses taught on the Summa Theologica itself, for the obvious reason that this highly reasoned book renders the Solemn Decrees of the teaching Church and its Acts that naturally follow more easily intelligible.  Because in the wake of the most blessed saintly Doctor, the Church has never held a Council in which he himself were not present with all the richness of his doctrine.  It daily becomes clearer and the experience of so many centuries has made it known, how true the affirmation of Our predecessor John XXII8is right on: [Thomas] enlightened the Church more clearly than all the Doctors, and, in his books, man profits more in one year than if he spent his entire life span studying all the others.”

In addition to the necessity of reading the text of St. Thomas itself, two cogent things should be retained:

  • The Second Vatican Council is the only council which did not rely on the doctrine of the Angelic Doctor; hence the disaster that flows from this omission.
  • Saint Pius X links the study of St. Thomas, in our times, to none other than the Acts of the Holy See.  This is something that was sadly lacking to the Thomists in our times.  Leaning on the principles of the Angelic Doctor, the Popes – up to Pius XII included – assiduously studied modern errors and condemned them.  These lessons were too often ignored and the lack of knowledge of the pontifical texts is an important cause for the lack of reaction against these errors in the Church:  hence their triumph on the occasion of Vatican II.

That is why Archbishop Lefebvre, in order “to transmit in its entire doctrinal purity, as well as in all his missionary charity, just as Our Lord transmitted it to His Apostles as also the Roman Church transmitted it up until the middle of the XXth century,”9 inserted in the first year course on spirituality for the seminarians, courses on the Acts of the Magisterium concerning modern errors which he himself gave in the beginning10.

Preaching

The study of the doctrine of St. Thomas, in itself, ought to be the principal inspiration for preaching for priests.  It is very important to nourish the souls with this doctrine in order to sustain their contemplation and love of God.

Saint Thomas himself, as a true son of Saint Dominic, had consecrated himself to the salvation of souls.  Furthermore, it is Thomas himself who developed the logo for the Order of Preachers: “Contemplari, et contemplate aliis tradere,”:  to contemplate and transmit to others that which you have contemplated.

It would be a grave error and detriment for the faithful to think that Saint Thomas is only reserved for priestsIt would also be wrong to think that, for the faithful, it is only necessary to give moral exhortations or, what is worse, considerations that appeal only to feelings.

Let us quote again the Archbishop:

Let us not think that Saint Thomas is too much for the faithful and that he is distant from their faith, for this is not true and damaging to the faithful.  The philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas are truth.  Therefore let us not say that the truth explained in all its simplicity, and clarity, in addition to its profound logic, cannot be understood by the faithful.  That would be condescension on our part.  This would amount to abandoning and despairing of communicating to the faithful – a profound tragedy.  It goes without saying that one must know how to express and expose these admirable principles.”11

Father Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. tells of having known a little lay sister, who was a contemplative, and who did not possess any human culture to speak of but who had been interiorly enlightened by interior trials:

“She had discovered among the saints two great friends: Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Albert the Great.  In spite of the fact that she lacked any philosophical or theological culture, she, nevertheless, loved to read how these saints prayed and furthermore, addressed them saying: “They are great Doctors of the Church and they enlighten the souls of those who entreat them for help.”  As a matter of fact, Father Garrigou-Lagrange continues to explain that it was St. Thomas who showed her where the obscure tunnel she was crossing would lead her!  And Saint Thomas enlightened many souls, as he had done to the little lay sister, if these poor souls appealed to him.”12

It was well known at Econe, that Msgr. Lefebvre came for a spiritual conference with a single volume of Saint Thomas, and he gave a commentary on an article of the Summa.  These formed the most pleasing lectures experienced by the Seminarians, and especially by the brothers!

It was not something rare, at the Monastery of Avrille, to be surprised to find our (now deceased) brother Marie-Joseph O.P. plunged into one of these same volumes.  He was particularly in love with the treatise on charity.

Conclusion

Let us ask of Our Lord what the Church makes us specially ask for in the Collect and the Postcommunion for the feast of Saint Thomas:

Da nobis et quae docuit, intellectu conspicere:

give us the grace to contemplate what he taught – that is, to nourish ourselves with his doctrine,

et quae egit imitatione complere; ut actus exterius piae operationis excrescent:

give us the grace to resemble him, in order that there may be an increase in our good works,

knowing that the first work of spiritual mercy consists in teaching souls the truth:

Docere ignorantes.