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.


Is there a conciliar church?

Is there a conciliar church?

A study by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais

Presentation of the document

This study was first published in French in the tri-monthly review of the Dominicans of Avrillé, Le Sel de la Terre n°85 (summer 2013).

It reflects Archbishop Lefebvre’s true way of thinking concerning the mystery of a Pope presiding over the destruction of the Church: the Pope remains the Pope, but he is at the head of two churches; the Catholic Church, of which he was elected the head, and another society, the “conciliar church”, which has its dogmas, its liturgy, its new institutions, etc. The conciliar church is not the Catholic Church, but a counterfeit “church”. We must separate ourselves from it if we want to keep the Catholic Faith.

Ever since the authorities of the Society of Saint Pius X have been getting closer to conciliar Rome in the hopes of obtaining a canonical recognition, their language has changed. A new thesis contrived by a theology professor at Écône named Fr. Gleize, maintains that there is no conciliar church in the sense of an organized society; the current crisis is rather an “illness” affecting the men of the Church, and the Church presently at Rome is the Catholic Church. This is what Bishop Fellay says, for example in his ordination sermon at the seminary of La Reja (Buenos Aires, Argentina) on December 20th, 2014:

The problem of jurisdiction shows the importance of being recognized canonically. […] The official church is the visible Church; it is the Catholic Church, period.

To affirm that the official church is the Catholic Church, – something which Archbishop Lefebvre never did – leads one to look for an official recognition, because one cannot remain outside of the Catholic Church. With his new manner of speaking, this is exactly what Bishop Fellay is trying to persuade the priests and faithful to do, and that puts Tradition in grave danger.

This article by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais is therefore of crucial importance if we want to preserve ourselves from the confusion caused by the new language coming from Menzingen.

It is of interest to note that Bishop Fellay reproached the Dominicans of Avrillé for having published this study of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais. Likewise, Fr. Rostand (at that time district superior of the U.S.) had the Letter to Friends and Benefactors of the Dominicans of Avrillé of September 2013 removed from the press tables of all SSPX chapels, precisely because it contained an article treating this same subject. You will find it here in an appendix.

The article of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais

The publication of this text does not engage the responsibility of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais with regard to the presentation above, and to any other texts on this site.

Does there exist a conciliar church, a constituted society which is distinct from the Catholic Church, differing from it, if not in its members, then at least by its goals? And if this is the case, what is its relation with the Catholic Church? These are the questions conforting every catholic conscience since the 25th of June 1976, the day deputy Secretary of State of Paul VI, Bishop Giovanni Benelli 1 used this expression in a letter written on behalf of the Pope to Archbishop Lefebvre;

“[If the seminarians of Econe] are of good will and seriously prepared for a priestly ministry in true fidelity to the conciliar Church, we will take it upon ourselves to find the best solution for them.”

Many studies have appeared in the Sel de la Terre 2 on the subject since then. Let us formulate a new status quæstionis to respond to this.

An attempt to define the conciliar church

Let us try first of all to define the two churches in question, by their four causes according to Aristotle. A society is a moral being, of the [philosophical] category of relation. Relations create the link between its members. We can distinguish:

— The material cause: These are the persons united to each other within the society. We will say that in the case of the Catholic Church, as in the conciliar church, these are the baptised.

— The efficient cause is the head of the society: for the Catholic Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ, it’s founder, and the Popes who are his vicars; and for the conciliar church, the Popes of the Council, therefore the same Popes; in such a way that the same hierarchy seems to govern the two Churches.

— The final cause, which is the cause of causes, the common good sought by its members: in the case of the Catholic Church, the good sought is eternal salvation; in the case of the conciliar church, it is more or less principally the unity of the human race: “The Church”, says the Council, “is in Christ as the sacrament or, if you will, the sign and the means to attain the intimate union with God and the unity of the human race 3.”

— The formal cause is the union of minds and wills of it’s members in seeking the common good. In the Catholic Church, by the profession of the same Catholic faith, the practices of the same Divine worship and the submission to the same pastors and therefore to the laws they make, that is Canon law. In the conciliar church, it is by acceptation of the teaching of the Council and the magisterium which comes from it, and by the practice of the new liturgy and obedience to the new Canon law.

From these rough notions we can deduce the approximate definitions of the two churches:

* The Catholic Church is the society of the baptised who want to save their souls in professing the Catholic faith, in practising the same Catholic worship and in following the same pastors, successors of the Apostles.

* The conciliar church is the society of the baptised who follow the directives of the current Popes and bishops, in espousing more or less consciously the intention to bring about the unity of the human race, and in practise accepting the decisions of the Council, following the new liturgy and submitting to the new Code of Canon law.

If this be so, we have two churches who have the same heads and most of the same members, but who have different forms and ends diametrically incongruous: on the one hand eternal salvation seconded by the social reign of Christ, King of Nations, on the other hand the unity of the human race by liberal ecumenism, that is to say broadened to all religions, the heir of the conciliar decisions of Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Ætate, and Dignitatis Humanae, and which is the spirit of Assisi and the antithesis of the social reign of Christ the King. This is only a quick summary but what will follow show clearly the reality of this opposition.

Is it possible to have one hierarchy for two churches?

That the Catholic hierarchy governs at the same time the Catholic Church and a society which has the appearance of a counterfeit church seems to go against the assistance promised by Christ to Peter and his successors, guaranteeing the unerring magisterium and the indefectibility of the Church (Mt. 16, 17-19; 28,20).

If the Pope directs another church, he is an apostate and he is no longer pope and the sedevacantist hypothesis is verified. – We simply need to respond that “Prima sedes a nemine judicatur” and that by consequence, no authority can pronounce obstinacy, declaring the pertinacity of a sovereign Pontiff in error or deviance; and that on the other hand in case of doubt, the Church supplies at least the executive power of the apparent Pope (can. 209 of the Code of Canon law 1917 4). As for the magisterium it is only assisted if it has the intention to transmit the deposit of the faith and not profane novelties 5. And as for the indefectibility of the Church it does not hinder the fact that it can come to be that the Church, following a great apostasy as that announced by St. Paul (2 Thess, 2,3), is reduced to a modest number of true Catholics. In consequence, none of the difficulties raised against the existence of a society truly called the conciliar church and directed by the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy are decisive.

It is however preferable to avoid these extreme responses. One could thus try to deny the existence of the conciliar church as an organised society and which is directed by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, or to extenuate 6 the membership of it’s adherents to this conciliar church.

Is the conciliar church just a mind set?

One could say first of all that the conciliar church is nothing but a liberal and modernist “spirit”7 which penetrated the Church at the time of the Council, as Archbishop Lefebvre responded to Cardinal Seper who asked him:

“Your Excellency, in a preliminary note 8 to a letter addressed to the Holy Father, you wrote; ” Make no mistake of it, it is not about a quarrel between Archbishop Lefebvre and Pope Paul VI, it is about a radical incompatibility between the Catholic Church and the conciliar Church, the Mass of Paul VI representing the program of the conciliar Church.” This idea is rendered more explicit in a homily made on the 29th of June last during the Mass of ordination at Econe; “This new Mass is a symbol, an expression, an image of a new faith, a modernist faith… Now it is evident that this rite, if I can say, supposes another conception of the Catholic faith, another religion.” Must one conclude from these affirmations that, according to you, the Pope in promulgating and imposing the new Ordo Missae, and the body of Bishops who received it, have instaured, and visibly gathered around themselves a new conciliar “Church”, radically incompatible with the Catholic Church 9?”

Minimising the weight of his comments, the Archbishop responded:

“I remark first of all that the expression “conciliar Church” is not from me but from H.E. Bishop Benelli, who in an official letter asked that our priests and seminarians submit to the “conciliar Church”. I consider that a spirit of modernist and protestant tendency shows itself in the conception of the new Mass and in all the liturgical reform”.

We judge that the strategic backing off by the prelate of Econe is perfectly justified by the circumstances: the Holy office was entering into a process which could lead to his condemnation. In addition to this, the explanations which would have been needed for the support of his idea of the existence of a parallel and organised society called the conciliar church would have required too many documents and facts to cite and organise in a dialectic manner within the limits of a short response to a such a questioning. We cannot argue from his evasive response that Archbishop Lefebvre had really reduced the conciliar church to a “spirit”.

Is the conciliar church just an infirmity?

But, one will say, did not Archbishop Lefebvre invoke many times a simple debility which affects the body of the Church, a kind of “spiritual AIDS”, as he said, which weakens the capacity of resistance of the Church to contaminations? We respond that they are not mutually exclusive. The effects of the conciliar church on the Catholic Church are an effect firstly of poisoning, a paralysis and therefore a weakening of the Catholic Church in the face of it’s enemies. This is what Archbishop Lefebvre explained to the same Cardinal Seper in a letter preceding his interrogation.

“In this world, there are forces opposed to Our Lord, and to his reign. Satan and all the auxiliaries of Satan, conscious or unconscious, refuse this reign, this way of salvation and fight for the destruction of the Church. Thus the Church is engaged by her Divine Founder in a gigantic combat. All means were and are employed by Satan to triumph. One of the last, extremely efficacious stratagems is to destroy the combative spirit of the Church by persuading her that there are no more enemies, and that we must put down our arms and enter into a dialogue of peace and cordiality. This fallacious truce will permit the enemy to penetrate everywhere and corrupt the forces of the Church. This truce is liberal ecumenism, a diabolical instrument of auto-destruction of the Church. This liberal ecumenism will result in the neutralisation of the arms which are the liturgy with the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, the breviary, the liturgical feasts, the neutralisation and ceasing of the seminaries…”

It is obvious that the sickness or the “AIDS” of the Church in face of her enemies is not just a simple sickly diminution of the fight for the faith, but the result of the stratagems plotted by influential members of the Church, relayed by a part of the hierarchy, and supported by the Popes themselves. These Popes, victims of their liberalism, are nevertheless conscious and consenting actors of this liberal ecumenism, an ecumenism received with favour by the great majority of Catholics seduced the eases offered by this new kind of religion. All of this is precisely what we have defined as being the conciliar church.

But if one holds to calling it a pure sickness of the Church, the image of a cancer would be more realistic: is not the conciliar sickness the act of a parasite and the colonisation of the healthy tissue of the Church by a virus which provokes the proliferation of anarchy? We would have to therefore inquire about the existence and nature of the viral agent.

Is membership in the conciliar church doubtful?

On the other hand, if one accepts the image of a society, a counterfeit church, all while wishing to avoid affirming its existence, one could reduce the membership of most of its adherents to a simple material membership, from the fact that most of the members follow the movement by conformity, without knowing or sharing the goals of the conciliar church, which would be almost void of real members and reduced to the state of a phantom in that which concerns the members, and to a skeleton when it comes to the hierarchy. The truly skeleton-like state of the conciliar church, would confirm the hypothesis. We would have to further minimise the belonging to it, when we consider that the link which unites its members has nothing to do with the solidity of the theological virtue of the Catholic faith, which is entirely supernatural in its object, its motive and its end: it makes us “believe God, believe in a God, and believe in God 10.” For if many conciliarists approve the attempt of conciliation between, the religion of God made man and the religion of man quite simply, on the common base of the dignity of the human person, they do not perceive the ambiguity of this principle of conciliation stated in the Council by Gaudium et spes: “Believers and non-believers are generally in agreement on this point; everything on earth must be ordained to man as its centre and its summit.”11 The Catholic Church makes a precision along with Saint Ignatius Loyola: “All things on earth are created because of man, to help him in his salvation”, which is a completely different end! In comparison with the communion of saints, a fruit of the Catholic faith and of theological charity, what communion can be founded by the conciliarists with the mixture of principles so diametrically opposed? We call it, along with Saint Anne-Catherine Emmerich, the communion of the profane or the communion of the anti-saints 12.

Furthermore, to the ambiguity of its form, the Conciliar Church adds ambiguity to its end: ” The unity of the human race” by it’s essence earthly and natural, “in Christ”, using our Lord as an instrument at the service of a plotonic idea; tomorrow, by the wave of a magic wand, without effort, without the conversion of the world, “the Church will be the human race” ! The Church no longer needs to be missionary, it is enough to present itself to the world, to be media-friendly. The incessant publicity voyages of John-Paul II illustrated the reality of which Julio Meinvielle already described in 1970 as “the church of publicity”:

“This church of publicity glorified in the press, with bishops, priests and theologians publicised, can be won over to the enemy and change from the Catholic Church to the gnostic church, (as opposed to) the other, the Church of silence, with a Pope faithful to Jesus-Christ in its teaching and with some priests, bishops and faithful who are attached to it, scattered like the pusillus grex over all the earth 13. “

Until now, this pusillus grex has been missing its”Pope faithful to Jesus-Christ”! The post-conciliar Popes, elected Popes of the Catholic Church, have been above all Popes of the church of publicity!

From all that has been said, it is clear that the conciliar church is not only a sickness, nor a theory, but that it is an association of high ranking catholic Churchmen inspired by liberal and modernist thinkers, who want, according to the goals of the one worlders, to bring to fruition a new type of church, with many Catholic priests and faithful won over by this ideal. It is not a pure association of victims. Formally considered the conciliar church is a sect which occupies the Catholic Church. It has its organised instigators and actors, as had the modernism condemned by St. Pius X, whom we must cite:

Is the Modernist Sect dead?

“The partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but, what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom, and are more mischievous the less they keep in the open. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the safeguards of serious philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not even sparing the Person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary man. […] Hence the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibres. And once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree. […] What efforts do they not make to win new recruits! They seize upon professorships in the seminaries and universities, and gradually make of them thrones of pestilence14. “

50 years will go by; in spite of Pascendi of Saint Pius X in 1907 and Humani generis of Pius XII in 1950, the modernist sect will conquer influential positions in the Church and, on the occasion of Vatican II, will impose on the Church and present to the world the new type of church which we have described by its form and end. This sect will, by the magisterium and the reforms of the Popes who follow the Council, implement this new system of the Church. The roles of Paul VI, the liberal and contradictory Pope, and that of John Paul II, the philosophical and ecumenical Pope, are undeniable in the establishment of what is the conciliar church, with its hierarchy which, with rare exceptions, is exactly that of the Catholic Church.

The conciliar church: the work of a Masonic plan

Let’s take a backward step to look at 130 years before the council; such retrospection will help us understand that the establishment of the conciliar church is the fruit of a plan plotted by free-masonry, which did not even dare to believe in the accomplishment of its designs. Let’s cite extracts from the internal correspondence of the Carbonari, Italian freemasons of the 19th century, published by the Popes Gregory XVI and Pie IX:

“What we ask, what we must look for and wait for as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs […] you want to establish that the clergy walk under your banners while believing to walk under apostolic banners. […] You will have preached a revolution in Tiara and Cope, walking with cross and banner, a revolution which will only need to be spurred on a little bit to put fire to the four corners of the world.”

Here is another extract from a letter of Nubius to Volpe (code names to keep the secret which is a rule in Freemasonry) of the 3rd of April 1824;

“We have put a heavy burden on your shoulders dear Volpe. We must work for the immoral education of the Church and come to it, by little means in a gradual manner, to the triumph of the revolutionary idea by a Pope. In this project which has always seemed a superhuman calculation, we walk still groping.”

The triumph of the revolutionary idea by a Pope, this is truly the supreme criminal attack, as Archbishop Lefebvre says citing these documents in his book They Have Uncrowned Him 15 and commenting on them as follows:

“A superhuman calculation, says Nubius; he means to say a diabolical calculation! For it is to calculate the subversion of the Church by her very head, what Mgr Delassus calls the supreme criminal attack, because one cannot imagine anything more subversive for the Church , than a Pope won over to liberal ideas, than a Pope using the power of the keys of St. Peter to serve the counter Church! Now, is that not what we are living through at the moment, since Vatican II, since the new code of Canon law? With this false ecumenism and this false religious liberty promulgated at Vatican II, and applied by the Popes with a cold perseverance despite the ruins it has caused.

The occupied Church, incontestable status of the Church of the last fifty years

Archbishop Lefebvre said:

“Which Church are we talking about? Are we talking about the Catholic Church, or another church, a Counter church16, a counterfeit of the Church? Now, I think sincerely, that we are talking about a counterfeit version of the Church, and not the Catholic Church. It does not teach any longer the Catholic faith. It teaches something else, it leads the Church to something else other than the Catholic Church. It is not longer the Catholic Church. They are sitting in the chairs of their predecessors, […] but they are not continuing in the line of their predecessors. They no longer have the same faith, nor the same doctrine, nor the same morality as their predecessors. So it is no longer possible. And principally, their great error is ecumenism. They teach an ecumenism which is contrary to the Catholic faith. […] The Church is occupied by this counter- church which we know well and that the Popes 17 knew perfectly, and that the Popes have condemned throughout the centuries; for what will be soon four centuries, the Church did not stop condemning this counter-church which was born especially with protestantism, and which was developed with protestantism, and which is at the origin of all modern errors, which has destroyed all philosophy, and which has led us to all the errors we have known, that the Popes have condemned; liberalism, socialism, communism, modernism, sillonism 18. We are dying from them. The Popes did everything to condemn that, and now behold those who are in the chairs of those who condemned these errors are in agreement with this liberalism and ecumenism. Now we cannot accept that. And the more things become clear, the more we perceive that this program […] all these errors, were elaborated in the masonic lodges19.

In what we call the conciliar church, It is not necessary that the Pope (the Pope of the Catholic Church) be the head; he may only be the executor of directives coming from, if not a hidden power, at least a controlling core or pressure groups of collaborators or theologians under masonic influence. Let’s remember Annibal Bugnini and his mysterious influence over Pope Paul VI in the liturgical reform. This Annibal seems to have been a freemason. It is notorious that the masonic lodges worked among the members of the Curia of the Holy-See during the pontificates of Paul VI and John-Paul II.

The conciliar Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI participated actively in the Council, the first as a conciliar father and the second as a council expert, and pushed it in the direction of the new theology, that of a universal redemption and of a evolving faith. And they have as Popes applied these errors. But if they applied this conciliar program, there is nothing to prove that it was them who conceived it, and that consequently they have only applied, consciously or not, an agenda which comes from elsewhere. The directors of the Alta Vendita, who were preparing for the advent of a Pope according to their designs, had made very clear that they did not wish that this Pope be a member of their sect 20. Whatever may be the way the masonic sect influences the conciliar Church, its influence is undeniable.

Formal membership and material membership

The influence of the masonic spirit, or at least the penetration of the liberal spirit, being naturalist, ecumenical and globalist spirit among the members of the conciliar church is not obviously the same in all of them. Among the clergy and the religious, most of the bishops, the religious superiors, and the professors of the seminaries and universities, and the aged priests, most adhere formally, that is to say consciously and willingly, to the ends outlined, whilst a minority of young priests or religious and seminarians do not want to hear of the Council or at least don’t pay any attention to it, and desire a return to the theology of St. Thomas, the traditional Mass, classical discipline and Christian virtues. These latter, at heart, do not belong to the conciliar church. Between these two extremes, are the majority of Catholics, conciliar by habit, a spirit of conformism or ease who, as said above, belong only “materially” to the conciliar church. The haziness of the lines between these categories does not help the clear demarcation between the two churches.

Should we deduce two materially distinct churches: one Catholic and one conciliar?

From what has been said, it is good to draw two conclusions concerning the relationship between the two churches.

Firstly, the conciliar church is not materially separate from the Catholic Church. It does not exist independently from the Catholic Church. There is a distinction certainly between them, a formal one, without an absolute material distinction. The hierarchy of the conciliar church coincides almost exactly with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, the members of the conciliar church are all members at least materially of the Catholic Church. Just as one can say (with a pinch of salt) that liberalism is a catholic heresy, in the sense that it was born in the bosom of the Catholic Church and only exists and develops by “feeding off” the Catholic Church, so one can say that the conciliar church is born of the corruption of the Catholic Church and it cannot exist but by living of this corruption, as a parasite lives depending on an organism, sucking of the substance of its host to construct its own substance. There is a sort of transfer of substance, I would dare to say, from one to the other, in a metaphoric sense obviously and not in a philosophical sense. To become conciliar, there is no need to separate oneself from the Catholic Church, it is sufficient to allow oneself to become corrupted by the conciliar poison and to let one’s substance become absorbed by the conciliar parasite. It is sufficient to practice the Mass of the new religion and to adhere, formally or materially to the liberal ecumenism which gives it its form.

On the other hand, the conciliar church does not necessarily coincide with the Catholic Church, neither in its leaders nor its members. The leaders of one are not always leaders of the other. The members of the first can, by heresy, cease to be members of the second, but not necessarily. The Catholic Church is the only true Church, the only Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. But this does not hinder the conciliar church from being a social reality; not only a section, but a counterfeit church, led by a sect of directors, a sect whose ideology or system is the form of this conciliar church, and which manoeuvres it towards its ends, with its relays and its executors, formed of a large part of the hierarchy and faithful Catholics more or less conscious and consenting, to a diametrical overturning which it is trying to bring about. In this sense, Fr. Calmel O.P. was able to speak of the “church of Pirates”; this metaphor says it all.

“The conciliar church is a schismatic church!”

In 1971, 5 years before the “conciliar church” of Bishop Benelli, the same Fr. Calmel O.P.denounced in the French review Itineraires, the “new church that Vatican II has tried to show,the new post-vaticanesque church” and explained:

The false church which is showing itself amongst us since the curious Vatican II is diverging tangibly year after year, from the Church founded by Jesus Christ. The false post-conciliar church is splitting away more and more from the holy Church which has saved souls for twenty centuries (not to mention the support and enlightenment lent to civil society). The pseudo-church in construction splits away more and more from the true Church, the only Church of Jesus Christ, by the most strange innovations in the hierarchical constitution as well as in its teachings and morals 21.”

The expressions “false church”, “pseudo church” are very strong. And the verb “split away” indicates a formal mutation of a part of the Church, which detaches itself from the Catholic sphere to stray formally outside it. Father Calmel was truly a prophet. It was only five years later, after having received the famous letter of Bishop Benelli and having been struck by Paul VI with a a divinis suspension, that Archbishop Lefebvre affirmed even more forcefully the existence of this “counter church”, qualifying it as “schismatic”:

“How could it be more clear?! From now on it is the conciliar church one must obey and be faithful to , and not to the Catholic Church. This is precisely our problem. We are suspended a divinis by the conciliar church, of which we do not want to be a part. This conciliar church is a schismatic church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church of all time. It has it’s new dogmas 22, it’s new priesthood 23, it’s new institutions24, it’s new liturgy25, already condemned by the Church in many official and definitive documents. This is why the founders of the conciliar church insist on obedience to the church of today, making abstraction of the Church of yesterday, as if it didn’t exist anymore. […] The church which affirms such errors is at one and the same time heretical and schismatic. This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic. In the measure in which the Pope, the bishops, priests or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church. The church of today is the true Church only in the measure in which it continues and is one with the Church of yesterday and of always. The norm for the Catholic faith is Tradition26. “

Faced with the conciliar church, what becomes of the Catholic Church?

Archbishop Lefebvre seemed to admit the mutation of the Catholic Church into the conciliar church. What becomes of the Catholic Church? Archbishop Lefebvre responds that it is in the measure that, according to the degree which the authorities and the baptised adhere to this new kind of church, that constitutes a new church, characterised by its worldly, humanist, naturalist, socialist ecumenical and one-world goals, in such a way that this new church conceives itself as being more vast and universal than the Catholic Church. We must add the distinction between an exclusive adhesion of these sectarian leaders with these profaning goals, and the seeking of a compromise between these goals and the Catholic goals on the other hand, a compromise which was well expressed by the conciliar text Lumen Gentium (section 1); “The Church is, in Christ, a sort of sacrament, that is to say at one and the same time the sign and the means of an intimate union with God and the unity of the human race.” This ambivalence complicates in a singular manner the problem of the distinction between these two churches. The text of Archbishop Lefebvre has to be understood with precision; it is in the measure which the conciliars adhere exclusively to these profaning goals outlined, that they leave the Catholic Church. And of this measure we are not the judges. Despite its polemical style, with precisions, the text of Archbishop Lefebvre is irreproachable. It is with this very precision that the last sentence has to be understood: “The Church of today is only the true Church in the measure that it continues exclusively, and makes itself one exclusively with the Church of yesterday and of all time.” A church which covets at one and the same time a humanist and one-world goal along with a goal of supernatural eternal salvation of souls, is no longer catholic, it is the concrete everyday expression of the conciliar church in its attenuated viral state.

And beside this vulgar conciliar church, what remains of the Catholic Church? We respond that, even reduced to the modest number the sane faithful comprising its “healthy part”, and perhaps one only faithful bishop, as may be the case according to Father Emmanuel, of the Church at the end of time, the Catholic Church remains the catholic Church.

How the conciliar church was canonised

Six years will pass by and the promulgation by John Paul II of a new code of canon law will justify the view of the Archbishop on the conciliar Church. In his apostolic constitution, the Pope declares clearly to be imposing on the Church a “new ecclesiology”:

“[This] code […] put into act the spirit of the Council whose documents present the Church as “a universal sacrament of salvation”, as the people of God, and where its hierarchical constitution appears founded on the college of bishops united to their head. […] In a certain sense one can even see in this code a great effort to translate into canonical language the very doctrine of conciliar ecclesiology. […] The result will be that what constitutes the essential newness of Vatican II, in continuity with the legislative tradition of the Church especially in what concerns ecclesiology, and equally constitutes the newness of the new code. Among the elements which characterize the real and authentic 27 image of the Church, we must mention above all the following: The doctrine according to which the Church presents itself as the people of God. (Lumen Gentium 2) and the hierarchical authority as a service (Lumen Gentium 3); the doctrine which shows the Church to be a communion and which as a consequence show which sort of relations must exist between the particular Churches and the universal Church and between collegiality and primacy; the doctrine according to which all members of the people of God, each one according to his manner, participates in the triple function of Christ: the priestly, prophetic and royal functions. Alongside this doctrine goes that concerning the duties and rights of the faithful and in particular of lay people; and finally the engagement of the Church in ecumenism28. “

This outline of the conciliar church shows the ruin which it operates in the personal exercise of authority received from God, the lowering of the hierarchy to the profit of the lower ranks; the willful omission of the necessity to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved; the reduction of the priesthood and the priestly identity mixed in with the common priesthood of all baptised; the aspiration to a universal society more vast than that of the Catholic Church. All this is what we have indicated to be the form of the conciliar church. Rather than a society we should call it a dissociety, that is to say the ruin resulting from the dissolution of this divine and human society which is the Catholic Church, or better; if we can say, the new congregation whose governing principle is the disintegration of the Catholic Church. Does this not evoke the words of the revolution; “Solve, coagula29 according to a new principle? And this dissociety which is the conciliar church exists; the Pope, the quasi-totality of the Catholic hierarchy, the conscious or unconscious mass of baptised Catholics who are its members, either formally or materially.

However this dissociety headed for auto-destruction holds together by the strength of it’s agents. In the coagula, the promoters of this society uphold a pact: all must adhere to the Council and its conciliar reforms, in such a manner as those who do not accept it are “outside of communion” or “outside of full communion” with the conciliar church. This conciliar Church holds together by fear and violence; the Catholic Church holds together by faith and charity.

The methods by which the conciliar church continues to live

Destined for auto-destruction, the conciliar church does nonetheless continue to live on vigorously. What is the cause of this tenacity? It is that their hierarchy uses all the powers of the Catholic hierarchy which it occupies, detains and deviates.

Since the installation of the Mass of Paul VI, she continues to persecute the priests faithful to the true Mass, the true catechism, the true sacramental discipline, and the religious faithful to their rule and their vows. Numerous are the priests who died of sorrow for having been obliged by obedience – or so they thought – to take on the new rites and usages. Numerous also are those who died ostracised, canonically and psychologically relegated, but happy to give inflexible witness to the catholic rite, the entire faith, and to Christ the King. The threats, the fear, the censures and other punishments did not shake them. But alas, how many are those who ceded to these methods of violence: the threat of being labeled “disobedient”, the possibility of being destitute, all put on them by their superiors. It is here that we see first-hand the malice of liberalism and of its heads: Is it not right to say that there is no one more sectarian than a liberal? Not having principles to establish order, they rule with a regime of submission by terror.

The malice of the conciliar hierarchy is taken to its highest degree by the usage they make of lies and equivocation. Thus the Motu Propio of Pope Benedict’s XVI declaring the traditional Mass to have never been suppressed and that one is free to celebrate it, requires conditions contrary to this freedom, and goes so far as to qualify the authentic Mass and its modernist counterfeit opponent as “the extraordinary and ordinary form of the same Roman rite.”

The lies continue with the so-called “lifting” of the excommunications, supposedly incurred by the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, as if they had been really incurred.

But by a surprising contrast the conciliar hierarchy has never been able to make the fifth commandment of God “Thou shalt not kill” be respected, which is hardly ever preached by the bishops: the countries recently Catholic are the countries where abortion is most in use; and the encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI was hardly relayed by the bishops, so much so that the contraceptive pill is in widespread use among most girls and women in the Catholic Church. The filthy morals of the modern world are simply the overflow of the vices which the conciliar hierarchy has been powerless to eradicate. This conciliar church draws into its pseudo-communion a mass of Christians living in reality in sin and practical paganism.

To not belong to the conciliar church is a grace and a providential witness

Blessed are those who are not in this “communion of the profanes”, who are providentially excluded from it or threatened to be excluded from it! O happy relegation and dereliction! The vocation of the priestly Society of St. Pius X, since it’s erection by the Catholic Church in 1970 and the decree of praise with which it was honoured in 1971, has never been to receive the benedictions and recognitions of this conciliar church! It was without a doubt necessary that this priestly society, along with all the families of Tradition, be like the lighted torch not to be put under the conciliar bushel, but on the candlestick of the pillory, in order to enlighten all those who are in the house of God. It was certainly providential that according to the ways of providence, this healthy part of the Church having become like the divine Master, a stumbling block and a stone rejected by the builders of the conciliar ecclesiastical dissociety, be transformed into cornerstone and keystone30 of the indestructible Catholic cathedral. Our inflexible witness to the true Church of Jesus Christ, to the priesthood and the royalty of Christ, Priest and King, requires on the part of the conciliar church the exclusion and the ostracism pronounced against us and what we represent. But in the same way that Saint Joseph in his exile in Egypt carried the Infant Jesus and His divine Mother, so too does the traditional family in her exile carry the Church in her, without being exclusive in the glorious role, but having the marrow and heart of it, in integrity and incorruption. It carries in her by consequence the roman pontiff, who being the successor of Peter will liberate her someday from a long captivity31 and will come out of her great illusions, to proclaim as once the first Pope did at Caesar Philippi to his Divine Master; ” You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

Thenceforth, if we are complicated we will regret being deprived of the conciliar communion and its apparent ecclesiastical communion and will be unhappy and worried, always on the quest for a solution. If on the other hand we have the faith and simplicity of a child we will look simply for what witness we can give to the Catholic faith. And we will find that it is first the witness of our existence, of our permanence, of our stability, as well as the profession of our Catholic faith whole and entire and our refusal of the conciliar errors and reforms. A witness is absolute. If I give witness to the Catholic Mass, to Christ the King, I must abstain from conciliar Masses and doctrines. It is like the grain of incense to the Idols; it is one grain or no grains at all. Therefore it is “not at all” 32. And after this witness there is also persecution, which is normal on the part of the enemies of this faith, who want to reduce to nothing our diametrical opposition to the new religion, and this will go on for as long as it pleases God that they persevere in their perverse plans. Is it not God himself who put this enmity between the race of the devil and the children of Mary? Inimicitias ponam 33!

And so, as soon as we perceive in the collectedness of our contemplation this particular vocation which is ours, adapted by God to the current crisis, we acquire a perfect uprightness and great peace; uprightness incapable of cooperating with the enemy, and peace without bitterness. We run to it, we bond to it and we cry as with Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, “In the Church my Mother I find my vocation!” And we ask this great saint: “ Obtain for me the grace of having in the Church and for the Church the soul of a martyr or at least that of a confessor of the faith!

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DOCUMENT : The forbidden letter

Read this letter, not forgetting that this kind of discourse is now forbidden by Bishop Fellay. The conclusion is obvious: something changed in the Society.

One cannot deny it !

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 14, September 2013

The Conciliar Church

Dear Family, Friends, and Benefactors,

This summer we had the grace of three priestly ordinations. Deo Gratias! Three more priests for the Church. Yes, but for a Church that is in such a state that they must truly be “fighters for the faith” as Pope Honorius III called the first friars of the Order. Here are some reflections on the subject. Please pray that our new priests be faithful to their calling.

In a letter dated June 25, 1976, addressed to Archbishop Lefebvre on behalf of Pope Paul VI, Mgr. Giovanni Benelli (substitute for the secretary of State) was the first to use the expression: “The Conciliar Church”:

“[If the seminarians of Ecône] are of good will and seriously prepared for a priestly ministry in true fidelity to the conciliar Church, we will then take care of finding the best solution for them.”

Archbishop Lefebvre had noted this expression. Sanctioned by a suspens a divinis for having ordained candidates on June 29 of the same year 1976, he wrote on July 29:

“What can be more clear! In the future, one must obey and be faithful to the conciliar Church and no longer to the Catholic Church. This is precisely our problem; we are suspens a divinis by the conciliar Church and for the conciliar Church, of which we do not want to be a part

This conciliar Church is schismatic because she breaks away from the Catholic Church of all time with new dogmas, a new priesthood, new institutions, and a new form of worship already condemned by the Church in many official and definitive documents.”

Several defenders of Catholic Tradition commented on this expression. Among others let us quote Jean Madiran (from the special issue of Itinéraires April 1977: La condamnation sauvage de Mgr Lefebvre, p. 113-115):

“That there be at the present time two Churches with the one and the same Paul VI at the head of both, we can do nothing about it, we are not inventing anything, we remark that such is the case.”

Gustavo Corçao in the periodical Itinéraires November 1974 and then Father Bruckberger in L’Aurore March 18, 1976 publicly pointed out:

“The religious crisis no longer consists, as in the 16th century, in having simultaneously two or three Popes for one Church. The crisis today is to have one Pope for two Churches, the Catholic Church and the post-conciliar Church.”

Among the different studies that have come out on this topic let us note:

* An article on “Compared Ecclesiology” published in Le Sel de la Terre 1, summer 1992. The author follows up on some of Archbishop Lefebvre’s reflections concerning the four marks of the Church and the new ecclesiology (the new doctrine on the Church) which was exposed by Pope John Paul II at the time of the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law. The author shows that the Conciliar Church is a reality distinct from the Catholic Church, having four characteristic marks: she is ecumenical, humanist, believing, and conciliar (instead of being One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic).

* The editorial of Le Sel de la Terre 59 (winter 2006-2007), “One hierarchy for two Churches”, in explaining the four causes of a society, defined the new conciliar Church in this way:

“It is the society of those who are baptized and who submit themselves to the directives of the present Pope and Bishops in their desire to promote conciliar ecumenism, and who thus admit the teachings of Vatican II, the new liturgy, and the new Canon Law.”

Afterwards, the editorial answered the objection: “It is not possible that the same hierarchy direct two Churches”, because if one is in charge of a Church other than the Catholic Church, one apostatizes. If the Pope is in charge of another Church, he is no longer Pope; one falls into sedevacantism.

“The objection’s error is to imagine the conciliar Church as a society that formally imposes schism or heresy as the Orthodox or Protestants do. For example, if I adhere to the Anglican Church, I am formally a schismatic, and even a heretic, and therefore I am no longer a member of the Catholic Church.

Yet I can be conciliar – that is to say ecumenical – and still keep the Catholic Faith. Without a doubt I put my faith, and that of others, in danger, but I do not immediately abjure it.

Hence the members of the hierarchy, provided that they do not push their errors to the point of denying the Catholic Faith, remain members of the Catholic hierarchy even though they are conciliar.”

* Father Alain Lorans SSPX also makes some reflections on this topic in a conference given at the 8th Si Si No No theological congress and entitled “One Pope for Two Churches” (see Nouvelles de Chrétienté n° 115, January-February 2009). The author insists on the discontinuity between the two Churches, and shows that Pope Benedict XVI tries in vain to solve the dichotomy by his hermeneutic of continuity.

* The most recent and thorough study on this matter is that of His Excellency Bishop Tissier de Mallerais. It was published in Le Sel de la Terre 85 (summer 2013) and is entitled “Is there a Conciliar Church?”

It is certain that the Conciliar Church is not to be put on the same level as the Catholic Church. The latter is the one true Church, the only Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. This truth, however, does not stop the Conciliar Church from being a reality: a party, a system, a society that analogically resembles the Church, temporarily occupying it, and turning it away from its end. The dream that the Haute Vente (black lodge of Italian Freemasonry) puts forth has become a reality. Popes Gregory XVI and Pius IX published the Masonic documents on this subject. Here is an excerpt of these documents dating back to 1820:

That for which we must ask, seek, and await as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs. You want to establish (…) that the clergy marches under your banner while thinking that he marches under that of the Apostles. (…) You will have preached a revolution in tiara and in cope, walking with the cross and the banner, an almost effortless revolution setting the four ends of the world on fire.

Here is another excerpt of a letter from “Nubius” to “Volpe” (coded names in order to keep the secret which is the rule in Freemasonry), dated April 3, 1824:

“Our shoulders have been loaded with a heavy burden, dear Volpe. We must accomplish the education of immorality in the Church, and attain, by little means, well-dosed, although somewhat poorly defined, the triumph of the Revolution by the way of the Pope. We are still walking hesitatingly in this plan, which always seemed to me to be one of a superhuman calculation.”

The triumph of the Revolution by the Pope is truly the supreme attack, as Archbishop Lefebvre says quoting the above passages in his book They Have Uncrowned Him. Here is the commentary that he gives:

“Superhuman calculation” says Nubius, which means diabolical calculation! To calculate the subversion of the Church by the Pope himself is what Mgr. Delassus calls the supreme attack because one cannot imagine anything more subversive for the Church than a Pope won over by liberal ideas, a Pope using the power of the keys of St. Peter at the service of the Counter-Church! Are we not living this now since Vatican II, since the new Code of Canon Law? With false ecumenism and false religious liberty promulgated at Vatican II and taught by the Popes with frigid perseverance despite all the ruins provoked for more than twenty years!

The Archbishop said also:

The Church is occupied by this Counter-Church that we well know and that the Popes know perfectly, and that the Popes have condemned for centuries. It will soon be four centuries that the Church has not ceased to condemn this Counter-Church which began by, and developed along with Protestantism, and which is at the origin of all the modern errors, destroying every philosophy, and inducing us into all the errors that we know and which the Popes have condemned: liberalism, socialism, communism, modernism, sillonism. We are dying from all this. The Popes did everything in order to condemn these errors, and behold the men who are now on the seats of those who condemned these errors and who are now in agreement with liberalism and ecumenism. We cannot accept this program. And the more things clear up, the more we see that this program, (…) that all these errors have been elaborated in Masonic lodges (June 21, 1978, see Le Sel de la Terre 50, p. 244).

Alas, nothing has changed since these reflections of Archbishop Lefebvre. The ruins have accumulated for almost fifty years now. We have only to pray that Our Lord destroy the edifice of the Conciliar Church with the breath of His mouth and that, in the meantime, He keep us strong and generous in the fight for the Faith, and assiduous in the study of this mystery of iniquity.

Converted to Catholicism by studying the “Counter-Church”

Converted to Catholicism by studying the Counter-Church

To confront world-wide subversion [with its “Communist International”, or Comintern], there ought to be an “International of Truth”!

For one man, Swiss political philosopher Karl Ludwig von Haller (1768-1854), it was by thinking about politics and by studying the subversive forces (at work in the world to bring about the destruction of society) that he found the true religion.

Born into a Swiss Protestant family (a grandson of the famous biologist and poet Albrecht von Haller, and son of the statesman and historian Gottlieb Emmanuel von Haller) Karl Ludwig (Charles Lewis) made a trip to Paris in 1790. He was seduced by the revolutionary ideas of the time,

but not for long, for reflection and experience gradually disabused him of them.

As a member of the Council of Berne he was able to follow European political events closely and often went to Paris. It was from this city, on 13 April 1820, that he sent a letter to his family (at Berne, in Switzerland) to explain to them how he had discovered that the Catholic Church is the true religion.

The steps of his reasoning can be summarized as follows:

1. There exist in the world organized forces working for destruction.  (He is alluding to the secret society of the Illuminati of Bavaria, documents of which were discovered in 1785; today, one could cite the Masonic sects, globalist clubs, and all the other secret societies working to fight against religion, destroy the family, dissolve nations, and ruin any natural order.)

2. Since these evil societies derive their power from their organization, the men of good will ought to be organized in a society against them.

3. Since evil is universal (and international secret societies exist), there should be (were it possible) a universal society of men of good will for the defense of family, authority, the natural order, civilization, and so forth. And this society would have to have teaching authority, guardian of truth.

4. But in the natural order of things (the target of subversion), authority comes from above and not from below! (A father has authority over his son by nature, and not by the latter’s delegation!)

5. Therefore, if there has to be a universal society uniting men of good will, it cannot originate from below, but only from an absolutely superior man having great authority (both intellectual and moral). This man would have to group together disciples and transmit to them a trustworthy, reliable authority for the condemnation and combating of error, and an effective, perdurable organization.

6. Can such a high authority exist? It would seem superhuman. (Logically, a Divine intervention would be necessary.) Yet history shows that this has occurred. A man had enough authority to found a religious society both universal and durable that has maintained its organization for twenty centuries, and that continues still: the Catholic Church.

7. For Jesus not only preached, taught, healed the sick, and suffered crucifixion. He founded a society. To grasp this, one need only read the Gospels or the Epistles of St. Paul. (In the Gospel, Jesus repeatedly announces that He has come to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, a kingdom that will only be perfect in the here-after, after our death, but which already exists on earth in the form of the Church.)  The Protestants, who reject the Church founded by Jesus Christ, are thus in error.

That is why Karl Ludwig von Haller leaves them in order to join the religious society founded by Jesus Christ: the Catholic Church.

Having set out Haller’s argumentation, we give him the last word in an excerpt of the letter in which he explained his conversion to his family:

“The study of books about the revolutionary and secret societies of Germany showed me the example of a spiritual association, spread round the globe to teach, maintain, and propagate impious and detestable principles, but nonetheless become powerful by its organization, the union of its members and the various means they employed to achieve their end.

“And while these societies horrified me, nevertheless they made me feel the need for a contrary religious society, one with the authority to teach and to safeguard truth so as to put a brake on the divagations of individual human reason, to unite the good, and to keep men from being buffeted by the winds of changing doctrine.

“But I had not yet suspected and I did not notice until much later that this society exists in the universal or catholic Christian Church. […] All religious and honest souls, even in the separated denominations, approach it at least by sentiment. […]

“But it was especially my political reflections and studies that led me little by little to recognize the truths which I was far from foreseeing.

“Disgusted by the prevailing false doctrines and seeing in them the cause of every evil, my purity of heart compelled me to seek other principles for the legitimate origin and nature of social relations.

“A single idea, simple and productive, truly inspired by the grace of God—that of starting from above, of putting order in temporal affairs and in knowledge as it occurs in nature, to wit, the father before the children, the master before the servants, the prince before the subjects, the teacher before the disciples—led, from consequences to consequences, to the outline . . . of this body of doctrine . . . .

“I also pictured to myself, then, a power or pre-existing spiritual authority, the founder of a religious doctrine, receiving disciples, uniting them in a society to maintain and to propagate this doctrine, giving them laws and institutions, gradually acquiring territorial properties to satisfy the divers needs of this religious society, able even to arrive at an external or temporal independence, and so on.

“Then consulting history and experience, I saw that all of that had been realized in the Catholic Church; and this one observation made me recognize its necessity, truth, and legitimacy….

“The frequent and attentive reading of the Bible confirmed that I had not been mistaken; for […] I could not fail to recognize in countless passages that have to do with a kingdom of God on earth, that is to say, a Church or a society of faithful, whom St. Paul calls the Body of Jesus Christ, having its head and members, destined to keep and to perpetuate the Christian religion, to gather the good, to separate the wicked, and by their union to strengthen them, etc.; passages which our [Protestant] ministers never cite because, in the Protestant sense, it is impossible to give them a simple and natural explanation.”1

1   Extract from the Letter of Mr. Karl Ludwig von Haller to His Family, declaring to them his return to the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church (Paris, 1821), pp. 6-10. The letter was sent from Paris on 13 April 1820, and published the following year.