Ecclesia Dei

Why such a doctrinal evolution of the Ecclesia Dei Communities ?

This text was written several years ago by a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X. It was addressed to those of his confreres who had left the SSPX in order to receive an official canonical status from the Conciliar Church. He was trying to find a reason that would explain their doctrinal evolution.


There is an important difference between the clear, consistent declarations made by Archbishop Lefebvre right from his early days on Liturgical Reform, Religious Liberty and Vatican II, and the position presently held by yourself.

To explain this situation, there are only three possible hypotheses: 1) either you never knew the real position of Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX, and you followed him not properly knowing why; 2) you understood his position but did not approve of it, and so you hypocritically gave the appearance of remaining with Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX; or 3) your doctrinal position evolved between the period “before”, and the period “after” the Episcopal consecrations.

1. The hypothesis that you may be ignorant seems to be psychologically impossible and even absurd. It is simply impossible for any of you not to have read even one work by Archbishop Lefebvre, not to have heard even one of his sermons, and not to have known his firm official position. Your ignorance in this matter must be categorically rejected.

2. The hypothesis of hypocrisy may well be possible. Nevertheless, it seems highly improbable given the number of persons involved and their moral character. Furthermore, the hypothesis of hypocrisy represents an insult so serious that I would accept it only after hearing an explicit declaration upholding this position by the individuals in question. That is why I reject this hypothesis as the explanation for your evolution.

3. Therefore, if you know Archbishop Lefebvre’s position on Liturgical Reform, Religious Liberty and Vatican II (we reject ignorance); if you are not a secret opponent and liar (we reject hypocrisy); then that only leaves the third hypothesis as the right one: your change of position can only be explained by a doctrinal evolution of your position.

But where does this doctrinal evolution come from?

Here, two hypotheses are possible: either the cause is of a purely intellectual order, or it is of a moral and psychological order.

A. The hypothesis that the evolution is purely intellectual seems to fall under the heading of  miracles rather than factual history. One would have to imagine that there was a sudden change in thinking, an intellectual illumination, on the goodness of Liturgical Reform, on the truth contained in Dignitatis Humanae, or on the timeliness of Vatican II.  A serious historian must reject such an unlikely hypothesis.

B. The only valid hypothesis is that of a moral and psychological order, in other words, one that originates from exterior circumstances.  Only one conclusion is possible: it is your dealings with Rome and with diocesan bishops that have brought about this doctrinal evolution.

Indeed, all your Roman and diocesan contacts are in favour of the Liturgical Reform, of Dignitatis Humanae and of Vatican II. It is completely normal, obvious, and historically certain that once you negotiate with Rome and the bishops and once you demand certain concessions, you must then be silent, you must soften or altogether abandon your opposition to the Liturgical Reform, to Dignitatis Humanae and to the Council, or else you will find yourself in a position that will be psychologically unbearable. This is the one true cause of your doctrinal evolution: the moral weight of those with whom you dialogue and your own desire to achieve tangible results from these difficult negotiations where you are in a minority position. This situation forces you to make concessions, if only verbal concessions.

I do not claim that you are making these concessions out of cowardice. I simply claim that, once you have evolved beyond a certain point, you then start to think it possible and even necessary to temper your opposition in the hope of obtaining greater results. But, if I were to consider your present attitude objectively, I would be obliged to note that there has been a shift concerning points that have always been considered as vital in the combat for Tradition.

The conclusion is therefore extremely clear: in spite of your good intentions and your initial desire to remain faithful to Tradition, it was impossible for you to continue to firmly resist the Liturgical Reform, Religious Liberty and the Council, and at the same time to pursue negotiations with those who are firmly in favour of these three key points.

As things stand at present, negotiations and agreements with Rome and with diocesan bishops must necessarily end up, sooner or later, with the abandonment of the positions that were always held in Tradition and notably by Archbishop Lefebvre.

In other words, present-day Rome has but one goal: to lead all who negotiate with Rome towards the errors of the Council and Liturgical Reform. The truth is there for all to see: Rome is not in favour of Tradition. That is why they have not kept their promises. That is why Rome did not sincerely wish the negotiations to succeed.

* * *

The author of the above text has now “evolved” himself, as is shown in a statement in the December 2014 issue of a widely diffused publication:

« We wish with all our hearts for a speedy “reconciliation” that would benefit both groups and also the entire Church. The difficulties are objective and do not primarily depend on individuals, but we may always pray that Our Lord “gather His Church in unity”. That is what we fervently ask for every day. »

Conciliar Rome has not converted. The danger remains the same.

The Religion of Charity

The True Religion is recognized by its fruits: The Religion of Charity

 

Without Jesus Christ

With Jesus Christ

Infanticide

All of the pagan civilizations legitimized and practiced the murder of newborn babies: Greece, Rome, Carthage, India, China, Japan, North, South and Central America, Africa, Oceania, etc.

  • Constantine – (First Christian Emperor) takes away from parents the right of life and death over their children.
  • The Council of Arles (313) encourages Christians to take in abandoned children.

Slavery

  • In ancient Rome as at Athens, the vast majority of inhabitants were slaves.
  • Throughout its history, Islam has always practiced the mass trafficking of slaves (European or Black).
  • In Europe, slavery reappeared when the Christian spirit grew weak, at the end of the middle Ages.
  • “There is neither free nor slave” declared St. Paul.  From that moment, without trouble or revolution, Christian Charity began to snuff out slavery. Christians freed their slaves.
  • In France, the Queen Saint Bathilda (626-680) established the prohibition of slavery.

Cruelty

  • In Antiquity: Habitual massacre of those conquered.
  • Rome: Circus games, atrocious spectacles (under Claudius, thousands of men killing each other on Lake Furino to offer entertainment for the people!)
  • God is Charity announced St. John (first epistle) and the first Christians radiated this charity.
  • The pagans said of them: “See how they love each other!”

The Selfishness of the Leaders

  • Some philosophers praise charity, but practice it very little and without giving of themselves. (Tyrannical Rule: “In helping the destitute, the wise must remain indifferent to the evils he relieves: pity is a weakness, an illness.”)
  • Universal scorn or contempt towards the poor and the weak.
  • The poor are the center of attention Christians are invited not only to “weep with those who weep”, but to honor the poor, to whom they are indebted.
  • Even during the reign of the “Sun King” Louis XIV, Bossuet recalls this great thought in his sermon on “the eminent dignity of the poor in the Church of Jesus Christ” (1659).

Tyrannical Rule

The political power is absolute (Caesarism). Even if there were a few wise kings and emperors, the tyranny of a Nero or a Caligula or a Commodus, didn’t encounter any opposition.

Protection of the humblePopes and Bishops take up the defense of the weak in face of the strong. Multiple examples from the time of St. Ambrose (in face of the emperor Theodosius), up to Cardinal Mindzenty in face of Communism.

More details on the charity of the Church towards…

…The Poor

Since its birth, Christianity has been like an explosion of Charity. In Jerusalem, the first Christians sold their goods to give to the poor (Acts 4.32).

The pagan Lucien de Samosata (125-192) ridiculed Christians in his satire ‘Peregrinus’, but he acknowledged their “incredible enthusiasm” in exercising Charity: “They spare neither trouble, nor money, nor work.”

Before its persecutors, the First Christians emphasized this Charity.  Tertullian: “Has the State forgotten that it owes us the life of its poor, who would alas die if we didn’t come to their aid?” – Saint Lawrence, the Roman Deacon, gathering the poor that were helped by the Church, said, “These are the treasures of the Christians, we have none other.”

4th Century: Towards the end of the Persecutions, the wealthy Roman converts to Christianity sold all their goods to place themselves at the service of the poor: Pinian and Melanie, the Senator Paulinus, etc.

In the Middle Ages, the Christian Kings were well known for their Charity towards the poor: Saint Stephen of Hungary (†1038) washed their feet himself; Saint Edward of England (†1066) despoiled himself to help them; Saint Margaret, Queen of Scotland (†1093) and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (†1231) literally passed their lives in caring for the poor; Saint Louis, King of France (†1270) each week reunited the poor to serve them himself at table. – Saint Edmond, Saint Casmir of Poland, Saint Leopold of Austria, Robert the Pious, Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Hedwig, Saint Margaret of Savoy, etc.

To help the unfortunate, new religious families regularly sprang up, drawing hundreds and thousands of souls who sacrificed themselves entirely to charitable works: The Daughters of Charity of Saint Louise de Marillac in the 17th Century, the Daughters of Wisdom in the 18th, the Little Servants of the Poor (of Jeanne Jugan) and dozens of other Congregations in the 19th Century…..

You can search everywhere, but you won’t find this heroic Charity practiced anywhere else than in the Catholic Church.

…The Sick

Jesus “went about doing good”, especially to the sick.  From the beginning Christians followed Him in this.

252 A.D.: Epidemic of the Plague in the Roman Empire. Pagans fled from Carthage, abandoning the sick to the care of the Christians (under the jurisdiction of the Bishop Saint Cyprian who would be martyred by the same pagans in 258). – In 268, the same happened in Alexandria.

4Th Century: As soon as the anti-Christian Persecutions ended (Edict of Milan in 313), hospitals, orphanages, and hospices rose up throughout the Empire. The first known hospital was founded in Caesarea by the Bishop Saint Basil the Great, who cared for the sick there himself. – The first hospital of Rome was founded by Saint Fabiola. Something never before seen: this noble Patrician would go and take up the sick from the streets, wash them, bandage them, nourish them and spend her whole fortune on them. – The Senator Pammachius (friend of Saint Jerome) did the same: he died destitute, in the hospital which he himself had founded. – Likewise, Saint John the Almoner founded the first hospital in Alexandria, Saint Chrysostom, that in Constantinople, Saint Ephrem at Edessa, etc.

Throughout the Middle Ages, hospices and hospitals multiplied themselves in all of Christendom.  The Pope Saint Symmachus founded a new hospital in Rome in the beginning of the 6th Century. Pope Pelagius II founded another in 580. Pope Saint Gregory the Great (590-604) still another, in addition to an orphanage, etc.

The historian Hurter estimated that in the 13th Century, France possessed 20,000 hospitals which welcomed the sick, orphans, the poor and pilgrims.

A masterpiece (indeed to be visited!) of this Charity in action is the Hospital of Beaune, founded in 1443.

Century after century, thousands and thousands of religious gave themselves totally to Christ in the person of the sick: The Hospitaller Brothers (Saint John of God, 1537), Camillians (Saint Camillus de Lellis, 1584), etc. In only 30 years, 1584-1614, 220 of the first Camillian Religious died of sicknesses contracted from those whom they assisted.

Not only in Christendom, but throughout the entire world (India, China, Africa, and Islamic Countries) the Catholic Church is the true Mother of hospitals and of works of Charity. Other religions have more or less tardily imitated Her, but without ever preceding or equaling Her.

…The Prisoners

Slowly but surely, the Church brought about the abolition of slavery, not in causing slaves to revolt (which would have led to massacres), but in giving a Christian spirit to their masters. St. Paul recommended to masters this charity towards their slaves: “Forebear threatening them, knowing that the Lord both of them and you is in Heaven; and there is no respect of persons with Him.” (Eph. 6.9).

Hermes (Prefect of Rome under Trajan) freed his 1,250 slaves on the day of his Baptism.  Saint Ovidius freed 5,000 slaves, Saint Melanie 8,000, etc.

Pope Saint Symmachus (498-514) employed considerable sums in buying and freeing slaves in Liguria. His successors did the same, notably Saint Gregory the Great (590-604), and Saint Zacharie (741-752) who bought slaves as far away as Africa.

When the Pagan spirit revived, at the time of the Renaissance (15th-16th Centuries), Popes Paul III (20th of May, 1537) and Urban VIII (22nd of April, 1639) firmly opposed the slavery of the American Indians.  Several Popes equally opposed the slave trade (of Blacks): Eugene IV (January 13, 1435), Pius II  (October 7, 1462), Paul III (June 2, 1537), Blessed Innocent XI (by the intermediary of Cardinal Cibo in 1683), Pius VII (Congress of Vienna, 1815), etc. – Numerous priests helped the negro slaves, notably Saint Peter Claver (†1654) who added to his Religious vows that of consecrating his entire life to the service of the slaves, and who did not hesitate to sign (his name): “Peter Claver, slave of the slaves forever.”

During this time, thousands of Christians were reduced to slavery by the Berber Muslims of Algeria, Tunisia, etc.  The Order of the Trinitarians (founded by Saint John of Matha in 1198) and that of the Mercedarians (founded in 1218 by Saint Peter Nolasco) dedicated themselves to delivering them. – Saint Peter Pascal for example (Bishop of Jaen) gave all his goods, and then his own person to redeem the captives of the Turks. Some Faithful sent a huge sum of money for his ransom, but he preferred to use it to free women and children, and he died a captive in 1300.

Common law prisoners and convicts profited also from the Charity of the Church:  The 5th Council of Orleans (549) ordained that an archdeacon visit the prisoners every Sunday. Saint Damasus, Saint Wenceslas, Saint Leonard, Saint Peter Caracciolo, Saint Vincent de Paul, etc. devoted themselves particularly to this apostolate.

Read the encyclical In Plurimis of Leo XIII, 1888, regarding slavery.

“All the Institutions of Charity that mankind possesses today for the relief of the unfortunate, all that has been accomplished for the protection of the poor and weak in all of the circumstances of their lives, and for their different kinds of sufferings, owes its origin either directly or indirectly, to the Roman [Catholic] Church. It is She who gave the example, She who gave the impulsion, She who often still furnishes the means of execution.”  – (Frederic Hurter) *

(*)  The Historian Frederic Hurter (1787-1865), specialist of the Middle Ages, was converted to Catholicism after having noted the Charity of the Church throughout the centuries.

The confessions of the enemies of the Church

The Pagans:

In the 4th Century, the pagan emperor Julian the Apostate grieved: “While the priests of idols don’t have a thought for the unfortunate, these abominable Galileans (= Catholics) devote themselves to exercises of Charity.” (Letter 48). – “They nourish not only their poor, but even ours as well.” (Letter 49).

The Protestants:

The revolt of the Protestants against the Church in the 16th century was a catastrophe for the poor. In England, King Henry VIII closed all the monasteries and confiscated their goods. Now, these monasteries nourished the poor.  The extreme poverty became frightening, and brought about revolts.  Henry VIII took excessively severe measures: he caused thousands of vagabonds to be hanged. To replace the alms that had before been spontaneously given for the love of God and neighbor, England was constrained to institute a tax for the poor (which became progressively heavier and heavier). She enclosed the poor in Workhouses, the harshness of which moved public opinion. The same circumstances gave rise to the same effects in Holland, where they went so far as to organize veritable “Hunts for the poor”.

In Germany, the leader of the revolt against the Church of Jesus Christ, Martin Luther himself, was forced to admit, after the victory of Protestantism:

“While we were still serving the devil [sic] under the banner of the Pope, everyone was charitable and merciful, not only did one give, but one gave generously, with joy, with piety […]. Today […], there’s no one who doesn’t cry out or thinks he’s going to die if he gives but a mite.”  (Sermon of Luther, ed. Walsh, t. XI, c. 1758).

One of Luther’s first companions, George Wizel, left him for the following reason:

“I reproach the Lutherans for almost entirely destroying or rendering useless, the establishments founded at great expense by our fathers for the benefit of the poor, which is against charity and also against justice for our neighbor. I reproach them for appropriating for themselves the riches of the Churches without helping the poor […]. Everyone agrees and recognizes that the poor have a much harder and more miserable life now, than in the past, in the time of the Roman Church.” (George Wizel, Reiectio Lutherismi, 1535).

The Atheists:

While, in France, the Third Republic chased the Religious from the hospitals that they had founded, Dr. Armand Despres (1834-1896, hospital surgeon and famous unbeliever) testified:

“During my service, at the time the Sisters were working, the mortality rate was 1%. Now, with the lay people working, it is 5%. Why? Because the Sisters never left the Hospital, because they ran at the first call of the sick, because they accomplished not a profession but a duty. These brave girls were content with the 200 f. which they received annually. The lay persons receive 700 – 900 f. when they are boarded, 1500 – 2000 f. when they live elsewhere (…). Where before there was but one Sister, they have now placed two lay nurses. Where we are working, they have even placed three, and that didn’t suffice. These three women claimed they had too much work, and obtained the help of a fourth nurse. See how one has replaced one Sister.”  (Letter of Dr. Despres to The Hospital Gazette, September 7, 1888.)

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