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.


On the Deposition of the Pope (Part 2 of 2)

ON THE DEPOSITION OF THE POPE  – continued  (Part 2 of 2)

Text of John of St. Thomas O.P.

Translated from the Latin and annotated by Fr. Pierre-Marie O.P. (Avrillé. France)

and published in Le Sel de la Terre [No. 90, Fall 2014]

Translated from French to English by Fr. Juan Carlos Ortiz


Response to the objections

It is easy to answer the objections of Bellarmine and Suárez against this view.

Objection 1. “A heretic is not a member, so cannot be head of the Church”

Bellarmine objected that the Apostle [St Paul] says that we must avoid the heretic after two admonitions, that is to say, after he clearly appears pertinacious, before any excommunication and sentence of a judge, as St. Jerome says in his commentary, for heretics separate themselves by the heresy itself (per se) from the Body of Christ.

And here is his reasoning:

  • A non-Christian cannot be Pope, for he who is not a member [of the Church] cannot be the head; now, a heretic is not a Christian, as commonly say the Fathers; thus, a manifest heretic cannot be Pope.
  • One cannot object that a character remains in him , because if he remained Pope because of a character, since it is indelible, it could never be deposed.  This is why the Fathers commonly teach that a heretic, because of heresy and regardless of excommunication, is deprived of any jurisdiction and power, as say St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose and St. Jerome.

Answer:  

I answer [to Bellarmine] that the heretic should be avoided after two admonitions legally made and with the Church’s authority, and not according to private judgment; indeed, a great confusion in the Church would follow , if it was allowed that the admonition is made by a private man, and that the manifestation of this heresy having been made without being declared by the Church and proclaimed to all, in order that they avoid the Pontiff, that all should be required to avoid; for a heresy of the Pope cannot be public for all the faithful on the report of a few, and this report, not being legal, does not require that all believe it and avoid the Pontiff; and therefore as the Church proclaims him legally elected by legally designating him for all, it is necessary that she deposes him by declaring and proclaiming him as a heretic to be avoided.

Therefore, we see that this has been practiced by the Church, when in the case of the deposition of the Pope, the cause itself was first addressed by the General Council before the Pope was declared “No Pope”, as we said above.  Therefore it is not because the Pope is a heretic, even publicly, that he will ipso facto cease to be Pope, before the declaration of the Church, and before she proclaims him as “to be avoided” by the faithful.

And when St. Jerome says that a heretic separates itself from the body of Christ, he does not exclude a judgment of the Church, especially in such a serious matter as the deposition of the Pope, but it indicates only the quality of the crime, which excludes per se from the Church, without any further sentence, at least from the moment he is declared [heretic] by the Church;  indeed, even if the crime of heresy separates itself (ex se) of the Church, however, in relation to us that separation is not understood as have been made (not intelligitur facto) without this statement.

It is the same thing from the reason added by Bellarmine.  A non-Christian who is such in itself AND in relation to us (quoad se et quoad nos) cannot be Pope;  however, if he is not in itself a Christian, because he has lost the faith, but if in relation to us he is not legally declared being infidel or heretic, as obvious as it may appear in a private judgment, he is still in relation to us (quoad nos) a member of the Church and therefore the head.   Accordingly, a judgment of the Church is required through which he is declared (proponatur) as being a non-Christian and to be avoided, and then he ceases in relation to us to be the Pope, consequently, previously he did not cease to be himself (etiam in se) [Pope], because all what he did was valid in itself.1


Objection 2. “The Church has no power over the conjunction of the Pontificate with the person.”

The points of this objection are these:

  • [a] The Church cannot have power over the conjunction of the pontificate with the person, unless you have power over the Papacy itself; indeed, when the Pope deposes a bishop he does nothing else than to destroy his conjunction with the episcopate, though he does not destroy the episcopate itself;  therefore, if the Church has power over the conjunction of the Pontificate with the person, consequently she has power over the Papacy and the person of the Pope.
  • [b] A confirmation of this argument is that the Pope is deposed against his will, therefore, he is punished by this deposition; but it belongs to the superior and to the judge to punish. Therefore, the Church who deposes or punishes through the punishment of deposition, has superiority over the Pope.
  • [c] Finally, one who has power over the united parties or their conjunction simply has power over the whole. Therefore, if the Church has power over the conjunction of the Pontificate with the person, she has simpliciter power over the Pope, which Cajetan denies.

Answer:

[a] We answer that it is not in the same manner that the Pontiff has power over the bishop when he deposes him, and the Church over the Pontiff: indeed, the Pontiff punishes the bishop as someone who is subjected to him, [the latter] being invested with a subordinated and dependent power, which [the former] can limit and restrict; and, although it does not remove the episcopate from the person [punished], nor destroys it, nevertheless he does it by the superiority he has over the person, including in this power which is subordinated to him.  That is why he really removes the power to [from] that person, and does not just remove that person from power.  On the contrary, the Church removes the Pontificate not by superiority over him, but by a power which is only ministerial and dispositive, in so far as she can induce a disposition incompatible with the Pontificate, as it was said.

[b] In response to the confirmation of the reasoning, the Pope is deposed against his will, in a ministerial and dispositive manner by the Church, [but] authoritatively by Christ the Lord, so that through him, and not by Church, he is properly said punished.

[c]  Regarding the latter reason, he who has power over the conjunction of the parties has power over the whole simpliciter, unless his power over the conjunction is ministerial and dispositive; we must distinguish between

  • physical realities when the dispositions have a natural connection to the very being of the whole, so that when the agent realizes the combination producing the dispositions binding the parties, it produces the whole simpliciter;
  • and moral realities, in which the disposition made by the agent has only a moral connection with the form, in relation to a free institution, so that he who does the disposition is not supposed to do the whole simpliciter;  for example, when the Pontiff grants to anyone the power to designate a place to be favored to gain indulgences, or remove indulgences by saying that the place is not privileged anymore, that designation or declaration removes or grants indulgences, not with authority and principaliter, but only ministerially.”

[End of John of St. Thomas’s text]



Some thoughts as a conclusion

The main argument of sedevacantists concluding on the vacancy of the Apostolic See is “the theological argument of the heresy of the Pope,” namely of a Pope who becomes a heretic loses the Pontificate.

In the “Small Catechism on Sedevacantism” (Le Sel de la terre 79, p. 40), Dominicus explained that this argument cannot conclude, on the one side because it would be necessary to prove the formal and manifest heresy of the Pope, on the other, because a judgment of the Church stating that heresy would be necessary.

The text of John of St. Thomas develops this second point: the need for a judgment of the Church for the deposition of a heretical pope.

But at the same time, it shows the difficulty of such a judgment in the present circumstances of the Church.  Indeed, it is easy to see that the vast majority of bishops share the Pope’s ideas about false ecumenism, false religious freedom, etc.  It is therefore impossible to imagine in the current circumstances, a judgment of a General Council which would declare the heresy of Pope Francis.

Humanly speaking we see the situation is hopeless.  We must wait that the Providence, in one way or another, shows the way to overcome this impasse.  Meanwhile, it is prudent to maintain the position of Archbishop Lefebvre and pray for the Pope, while resisting his “heresies”.


Annexes

Here we give some other texts from Thomist authors who share the view of Cajetan and John of St. ThomasBáñez, the Carmelites of Salamanca, Billuart and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange.

Báñez

Domingo (Dominicus) Báñez or Bannez O.P. (1528-1604) is one of the greatest theologians of the 16th century, the golden age of Theology in Spain (with Francisco de Vitoria, Domingo de Soto, Melchior Cano, Bartholomew Medina and Pedro de Sotomayor).

Báñez is regarded, rightly, as one of the most profound and safest commentators of the doctrine of St. Thomas. His style is clear, sober and nervous, without darkness or false elegance.  His erudition is abundant, without ostentation or clutter.  His logic power and intelligence of metaphysics are particularly noteworthy, and on this ground exceeds his teachers and his most famous colleagues. (P. MANDONNET, D.T.C., “Bañez”)

In his commentary on the Summa Theologica, he defends the view that:

If the Supreme Pontiff falls into heresy, he does not lose immediately the Papal dignity, before he is deposed by the Church. (In II-II q. 1 a. 10)

He explained that a number of theologians believe that the Pope, once he becomes a heretic, immediately loses his power.  But the opinion he defends is that of Cajetan, of which he summarizes the arguments:

  1. The other bishops, if they become heretics, retain their episcopal dignity until they are deposed by the Pope. […]
  2. If the Pontiff, once fallen into heresy, is ready to amend, he should not be deposed, as even those who hold the opposite view admit, so he does not cease to be Pope. […]

He then examines an objection against his thesis, and this is the most interesting passage for our study:

One objects that the Sovereign Pontiff ceases to be the head of the Church when he falls into heresy and therefore he ceases to be Pope.  Indeed, as soon as he falls into heresy he ceases to be a member of the Church, so to be its head.

One easily answers this objection with the doctrine we have given while explaining the definition of the Church.  The Pontiff is not said to be the head of the Church because of his holiness or his faith, because it is not thus that he influences the other members, but [rather] is said to be the head of the Church because of his ministerial office, which aims to govern the Church by defining the truth, by establishing laws, by administering the sacraments, all of which are carried out according externally according to a visible ecclesiastical hierarchy, and almost palpable.  Besides, the fact that the Pontiff, because of his heresy, ceases to be a member of Christ, for he ceases to receive from Him the spiritual influence for his own sanctification, does not prevent him of being called the chief member of the Church, namely its head, in relation to the ecclesiastical government.  Similarly, the head of a State is said to be the head of the Republic.  As the notion of membership is employed metaphorically, we have said above that there may be different points of view of the metaphor: according to one point of view [Editor’s note: from the spiritual influence received from Christ] the Pontiff is not a member of Christ or the Church, and from another [Editor’s note: the power of government] he is a member. (Venice edition of 1587, columns 194-196)

The Carmelites of Salamanca

The composition of the Cursus theologicus salmanticensis extends over seventy years, during the last three quarters of the 17th century. It is a renowned theological course composed by six Discalced Carmelite theologians of Saint-Elias Convent of Salamanca.  The convent was founded in 1581, during the life and under the counsel of St. Teresa of Avila.

They ask if the Pope, as an individual doctor, can become a heretic.  They cite some authors who think it is not possible (Pighi, Bellarmine, Suárez), and they continue:

The contrary view (which states that the Pontiff as a private doctor can err, not only in secondary objects, but even on matters of faith, and not just with a non-culpable error coming from ignorance or negligence, but also with pertinacity, so that he is a heretic) is much more probable (longe probabilior) and more common among theologians.

Among the reasons they give in favor of their opinion, there is this one:

Because the Church may depose the Pontiff of his dignity, as Cajetan shows in his Treatise on the Authority of the Pope (from chapter 20 to chapter 26) and Melchior Cano in his book De Locis theologicis (book 6, chapter 8).  But this power to depose is not vain in the Church, and it cannot be reduced to the act except if the Pontiff errs in the faith: so this error may be in the Pope as a private person. (De Fide, disp. 4 dubium 1, n. 7)

Billuart

Charles-René Billuart O.P. (1685-1757) is a French Thomist theologian.  He composed a Theology course which enjoys a high reputation.

In the Treatise on the Incarnation (De Incarnatione, diss. IX, a. II, § 2, obj. 2) Billuart defends the thesis that Christ is not the head of heretics, even occult.

It is objected that several doctors (Cajetan, Soto Cano, Suárez, etc.) say that the Pope fallen into occult heresy remains the head of the Church. So he must be a member.

Billuart denies the conclusion:

There is a difference between being constituted a head by the fact that one is influencing on the members, and being made a member by the fact that one is receiving an influx in itself;  this is why, while the pontiff [who] fell into occult heresy keeps the jurisdiction by which he influences the Church by governing her, thereby he remains the head;  but as he no longer receives the vital influx of Christ‘s faith or charity, who is the invisible and first head, he cannot be said to be a member of Christ or of the Church.

Instance: it is repugnant to be the head of a body without being a member, since the head is the primary member.

Answer:  I distinguish the first sentence: it is repugnant to a natural head, I agree; to a moral head, I deny it.  For example, Christ is the moral head of the Church, but he is not a member.  The reason for the difference is that the natural head cannot have an influence on other members without receiving the vital influx of the soul.  But the moral head, as the Pontiff is, can exercise the jurisdiction and the government over the Church and its members, although he is not informed by the soul of the Church, which are faith and charity, and that he does not receive any vital influx.   

In a word, the Pope is made a member of the Church through the personal faith which he can lose, and the head of the Church by the jurisdiction and the power which can be reconciled with an internal heresy. (Cursus theologiœ, Pars III, Venice, 1787, p. 66)

In the Treatise on Faith (De Fide diss IV to III, § 3, obj 2) Billuart defends the following thesis:   Heretics, even manifest (unless being denounced by name, or by leaving the Church themselves) keep the jurisdiction and absolve validly.

He considers the question of the case of a Pope, which is a special case, who receives his jurisdiction not from the Church, but directly from Christ:

It is nowhere stated that Christ continues to give jurisdiction to a manifestly heretical Pontiff, for this can be known by the Church and she can get another pastor.  However the common sentence [editor:  opinion] holds that Christ, by a special provision (ex speciali dispensatione), for the common good and peace of the Church, continues [to give] jurisdiction to a Pontiff even who is a manifest heretic, until he is declared manifestly heretical by the Church. (Cursus theologiœ, Pars II-II, Brescia, 1838, p. 33-34)

In the Treaty on the Rules of Faith (De regulis fidei, diss IV, VIII a, § 2, obj 2 and 6) Billuart defends the following thesis:  The sovereign Pontiff is superior to any council by authority and jurisdiction.

It is objected that the Pontiff is subject to the judgment of the Church in the case of heresy.  Why then he would not be subject also in other cases?

He replies:

This is because in the case of heresy, and not in other cases, he loses the pontificate by the fact itself of his heresy: how could remain head of the Church he who is no longer a member?  This is why he is subject to the judgment of the Church, not in order to be removed, since he is already deposed himself by heresy and he rejected the Pontificate (pontificatum abjecerit), but in order to be declared a heretic, and thus that he will be known to the Church that he is not anymore Pontiff: before this statement [of the Church] it is not permitted to refuse him obedience, because he keeps jurisdiction until then, not by right, as if he were still Pontiff, but in fact, by the will of God and accordingly disposing it for the common good of the Church. (Cursus theologiœ, Pars II-II, Brescia, 1838, p. 123)

Another objector remarked that the Church would be deprived of a remedy if she could not subject the Pope to the Council in the case that he would be harmful and would seek to subvert her.

Billuart replied that:

If the pope sought to harm her in the faith, he would be manifestly heretical, and he would thereby lose the Pontificate: however it should be necessary a declaration of the Church in order to deny him obedience, as we have said above. (Cursus theologiœ, Pars II-II, Brescia, 1838, p. 125)

If the Pope would harm the Church otherwise than in the faith, some say that one could resist him by the force of arms, however without losing his superiority.  St. Thomas Aquinas said it would be necessary to appeal to God in order to correct him or taking him away from this world (4 Sent. D. 19, q. 2, a. 2 q.1a 3, ad 2).

Billuart prefers to think that:

Whereas God governs and sustains his Church with a special Providence, he will not permit, as he has not permitted it so far, that this situation will happen, and if he permits it, he will not fail to give the means and the help appropriate. (Cursus theologiœ, Pars II-II, Brescia, 1838, p. 125)

St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), Doctor of the Church, devoted several writings in defense of Papal power against the conciliarist heresy (which gave to the councils a higher authority over the Pope).  Collected in one volume by a Redemptorist religious on the eve of Vatican Council I, (Du Pape et du concile; Tournai, Casterman, 1869) these writings have helped to prepare the definition of the dogma of Papal infallibility.  St. Alphonsus does not really treat the issue of a heretical Pope, and he excludes it so that it does not disturb his subject.  But, without entering into the details, he said repeatedly that the heretical Pope loses his authority only when his heresy has been confirmed by a council.   He clearly shares the view of Cajetan and John of St. Thomas.

In an essay on the authority of the Pope, added by St. Alphonsus at the end of the edition of his Moral Theology in 1748,2 the Holy Doctor vigorously defends the superiority of the Pope over the council, but beforehand he declares:

  1. It should first be noted that the superiority of the Pope over the council does not extend to the dubious Pope in the time of a schism when there is a serious doubt about the legitimacy of his election; because then everyone must submit to the council, as defined by the Council of Constance.  Then indeed the General Council draws its supreme power directly from Christ, as in times of vacancy of the Apostolic See, as it was well said by St. Antoninus (Summa, p. 3 did. 23, c. 2 § 6).
  2. The same must be said of a pope who would be manifestly and exteriorly heretical (and not only secretly and mentally).  However, others argue more accurately that, in this case, the Pope cannot be deprived of his authority by the council as if it were above him, but that he is deposed immediately by Jesus Christ, when the condition of this deposition [= the declaration of the council] is carried out as required.3

After presenting the views of Azorius (viz. that the council is above a manifestly heretical pope), St. Alphonsus nuances it and therefore ultimately follows the position of Cajetan and John of St. Thomas, considered as “more accurate”.   St. Alphonsus did the same in his apologetical treatise Truth of Faith (1767):

“When in time of schism we are in doubt about the true Pope, the council may be convened by the cardinals and the bishops; and then each of the elected Popes is obliged to follow the decision of the council because, at that time, the Apostolic See is considered vacant.  It would be the same if the Pope would fall notoriously and perseveringly, persistently in some heresy.  However, there are those who affirm with more foundation that in the latter case, that the Pope would not be deprived of the papacy by the council as if it were superior to him, but he would be stripped directly by Jesus Christ because he would then become a subject completely disqualified and deprived of his office.” (Truth of Faith (1767), penultimate chapter “On the Superiority of the Roman pontiff over the councils”, art. I, Preliminary Notions, 2°)

St. Alphonsus defends again the same idea in 1768 in his refutation of the errors of Febronius:

If ever the Pope, as a private person, falls into heresy, then he would be immediately stripped of papal authority as he would be outside the Church and therefore he could not be the head of the Church.  So, in this case, the Church should not truly depose him, because no one has a superior power to the Pope, but to declare him deprived of the pontificate.  (We said: if the Pope fall into heresy as a private person, because the Pope as Pope, that is to say, teaching the whole Church ex cathedra cannot teach an error against Faith because Christ’s promise cannot fail). (Vindiciae pro suprema Pontificis potestate adversus justinum febronium, 1768, Chapter VIII, response to the 6th objection)

Father Garrigou-Lagrange O.P.

Father Garrigou-Lagrange examines the question of the heretical pope in his treatise De Christo Salvatore. (Marietti, Rome-Turin, 1946, p. 232)  After explaining that Christ cannot be the head of a formal heretic, he concludes:

This is why a baptized formal heretic is not a member in act of the Church, yet the Church has the right to punish him, in so far as he does not hold what he has promised, like a king has the right to punish a deserter.

Bellarmine objects that a Pope fallen into occult heresy remains a member of the Church in act, for he remains the head of the Church, as taught [also] by Cajetan, Soto, Cano, Suárez and others.4

I answer that this case is quite abnormal, so it is no wonder that it follows an abnormal consequence, namely that an occult heretical Pope would not remain a member of the Church in act (according to the doctrine we have just described), but he would keep the jurisdiction by which he influences the Church by governing her.  So he would retain the reason [= the nature] of head vis-à-vis the Church, on which he would continue to influence, but he would cease to be a member of Christ, because he would no longer receive the vital influx of the faith of Christ, the invisible and first head.  Thus, in a quite abnormal manner, in relation to the jurisdiction he would be the head of the Church, but he would not be a member.

This would be impossible if it were a physical head, but it is not contradictory for a secondary moral head.  The reason is that, while a physical head cannot exert any influence on the members without receiving the vital influx of the soul, a moral head, as is the [Roman] Pontiff can exercise jurisdiction on the Church even if it [he] receives from the soul of the Church no influence from internal faith and from charity.

In short, as Billuart says, the Pope is considered a member of the Church by his personal faith, which he may lose, and a head of the visible Church by the jurisdiction and power that may coexist with internal heresy.  The Church will always appear as a union of members placed under a visible head, namely the Roman Pontiff, although some of those who appear to be members of the Church are internal heretics.  Therefore we must conclude that occult heretics are only apparent members of the Church, which [the latter] they profess outwardly and visibly to be the true one.



Little Catechism on Sedevacantism – PART 2

Little Catechism on Sedevacantism – PART 2

(continued)

By Dominicus

Le Sel de la Terre No 79, Winter 2011-2012

The Cassiciacum Thesis

Can you explain what is meant by being pope “materialiter”?

The main difficulty of sedevacantism is to explain how the Church can continue to exist in a visible manner (for she has received from Our Lord the promise that she will endure until the end of the world) while being deprived of her head.

The partisans of the so-called “Cassiciacum Thesis” have come up with a subtle solution: the current pope was validly designated as pope, but he did not receive the papal authority because there was an obstacle in him (heresy).  He is pope materialiter, but not formaliter.

Can you detail the arguments of this “thesis”?

Here are the arguments as summarized by a priest who professes them:

  • The starting point is an induction: the acts of Paul VI (because it was he at that time who was reigning in Rome) contribute to the destruction of the Catholic religion and its replacement by the religion of man in the form of concealed Protestantism. From this comes the certitude that Paul VI does not have the usual intention of obtaining the good / end of the Church, which is Jesus Christ plenum gratiæ et veritatis.
  • The usual intention of obtaining the good of the Church is a necessary condition (the ultimate disposition) for a subject elected pope to receive the communication of pontifical authority which makes him to be with Jesus Christ and hold the role of His Vicar on earth.
  • Consequently, Paul VI is devoid of all pontifical authority: he is not pope formaliter; he is not Vicar of Christ. In a word, he is not pope 1.
  • This necessitates the affirmation that if Paul VI is not pope formaliter, he yet remains pope materialiter, as a simple elected subject, seated on the Pontifical Seat, neither pope nor anti-pope.

Does this solution resolve the difficulties of “pure” sedevacantism?

It does not resolve the main difficulty of sedevacantism: how can the Church continue to be visible?  For some proponents of “the thesis”, there is no longer any hierarchy at all (“the nominations of cardinals and bishops are acts of pontifical jurisdiction, which is precisely absent and which nothing can replace”).  For others, the pope materialiter has power (how?) to constitute a hierarchy materialiter.  But such a hierarchy, devoid of its “form,” is not the visible hierarchy of the Church (no more than the Orthodox hierarchy is the hierarchy of the Church).  Moreover, this theory sets off new difficulties – at least for those who say that the pope materialiter has the power to constitute a hierarchy materialiter – because it implies that the pope materialiter, devoid of authority, still has enough authority to change the laws on papal election.

What do you think of the arguments upon which this solution is based?

This solution is not founded on Tradition. Theologians (Cajetan, St. Robert Bellarmine, John of St. Thomas, etc.) examined the possibility of a heretical pope, but no one, prior to the Council, ever imagined this theory of “the absence of the usual intention to obtain the good of the Church” that would form an “obex” (obstacle) to receiving the “being-with-Christ,” the form of the papacy.

It plays on the ambiguity of the word “intention”.  Proponents of the thesis recognize that the intention must be in the person of the pope (“this intention is the ultimate disposition of the subject to receive communication of the pontifical authority”), but at the same time they affirm that it has nothing to do with the personal intention of the pope.  We can agree with them when they say that recent popes harm the common good of the Church – and that is precisely what created the state of necessity – but it remains to be proven that such is truly the personal intention of the popes, and then that such an intention deprives them of authority.

The “Una Cum” Question

Aren’t the sedevacantists right to refuse to name the pope at Mass in order to show that they are not in communion with (“una cum”) a heretic (at least materially) and his heresies?

The expression “una cum” in the Canon of the Mass does not mean that one affirms that he is “in communion” with the person of the pope and his erroneous ideas, but rather that one wants to pray for the Church “and for” the pope.

In order to be sure of this interpretation, in addition to reading the erudite studies that have been made on this point, it is enough to read the rubric of the missal for the case of a bishop celebrating Mass. In this case, the bishop must pray for the Church “una cum […] me indigno servo tuo,” which does not mean that he prays “in communion with myself, your unworthy servant” (which does not make sense!), but that he prays “and for myself, your unworthy servant.”

What does St. Thomas Aquinas think of this?

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, when he comments on the prayers of the Mass (III, Q. 83, A. 4, corpus) equates “una cum” with the expression “et pro”: then the priest commemorates in silence [it is the beginning of the Canon] first those for whom the sacrifice is offered, that is [it is offered] for the Universal Church, and for “those who constitute it in dignity” [the pope, the bishop, the king]; then particular some who offer or for whom this sacrifice is offered [the memento of the living].

But doesn’t St. Thomas Aquinas say that in the Canon one should not pray for heretics?

St. Thomas Aquinas does not prohibit praying for heretics, but merely observes that, in the prayers of the Canon of the Mass, one prays for those whose faith and devotion are known to and tested by the Lord (quorum tibi fides cognita est et nota devotio) (III, Q. 79, A. 7, ad 2). For, he says, in order for this sacrifice to obtain its effect (effectum habet), those for whom one prays must be “united to the passion of Christ by faith and charity.”  But he does not forbid praying for a non-Catholic.  He only means that this prayer will not have the same efficacy as one for a Catholic, and is not provided for in the Canon.

All that can be concluded from this affirmation of St. Thomas is that, if the pope is a heretic (which remains to be proven), then the prayer for him will not have the foreseen effect, “non habet effectum”.

**

What final reflection can be taken from these discussions?

It is not suitable to declare that “the Pope is not pope” (materially or formally) in the name of a “theological opinion”.  On this subject, we refer to an interesting article by Fr. Hurtaud that appeared in the Revue Thomiste.  The author shows that Savonarole thought that Alexander VI had been elected with simony and, for this reason, he was not pope. However, as the invalidity of a “simonous” election was only an opinion, Savonarole asked for the convocation of a council where he brought proof that Alexander VI no longer had the Catholic Faith, and it is in this way that it was certified that Alexander VI had lost supreme jurisdiction.

In conclusion, what should we think of sedevacantism?

It is a position that has not been proven speculatively, and it is imprudent to hold it practically (imprudence that can have very serious consequences – think, notably, of people who deprive themselves of the sacraments on the pretext that they cannot find a priest who has the same “opinion” as they do). That is why Archbishop Lefebvre never entered onto this path, and he even forbade the priests of his Society to profess sedevacantism.  We should trust in his prudence and theological sense.

Translated from the original French article (online: www.dominicainsavrille.fr/les-dominicains-davrille-sont-ils-devenus-sedevacantistes) by filiimariae.over-blog.com.


Little Catechism on Sedevacantism – PART I

Little Catechism on Sedevacantism  –  PART I

By Dominicus

Le Sel de la Terre No 79, Winter 2011-2012

A first edition of this little catechism appeared in Le Sel de la terre 36.  This second edition, revised and noticeably enhanced, takes into account the debates and objections raised by the first edition.

Introduction: between Scylla and Charybdis

In the strait of Messina, between Sicily and Italy, there are two formidable reefs: Scylla and Charybdis. It is important, when crossing, to avoid both reefs. Many imprudent or unskilled navigators, wanting to avoid one, were shipwrecked on the other: they fell from Scylla to Charybdis.

Currently, facing the crisis in the Church, there are two errors to avoid: modernism (which, little by little, makes us lose the faith) and sedevacantism (which leans toward schism). If we want to remain Catholic, we must pass between heresy and schism, between Scylla and Charybdis.

In this “Short Catechism”, we study one of the two reefs. But the other must not be forgotten. Under pretext of avoiding the dangers of sedevacantism, the dangers of modernism disseminated by the conciliar Church must not be minimized.

The Position of Archbishop Lefebvre

The position that we are going to put forward is that of Archbishop Lefebvre and that which, at Avrillé, we have always defended.  Here is a short summary:

1)  Abp. Lefebvre publicly asked himself the question:

      • “We find ourselves truly before an excessively grave dilemma that, I think, has never arisen in the Church. That he who is seated on the Throne of Peter participates in religions of false gods, I do not think that this has ever occurred in the entire history of the Church (Easter 1986).  If someone says that the pope is an apostate, a heretic, a schismatic, according to the probable opinion of the theologians (if it were true), the pope would no longer be pope and, consequently, we would be in the “Sede Vacante” situation. It is an opinion; I do not say that it cannot have some arguments in its favor” (18-3-1977).
      • “It is not impossible that this hypothesis will one day be confirmed by the Church, for it has some serious arguments. Many indeed are the acts of Paul VI that, accomplished by a bishop or a theologian twenty years ago, would have been condemned as suspect of heresy, favoring heresy” (24-2-1977).

2) However, after reflection, he preferred the opposite solution:

      • “But I do not think that it is the solution that we should take, that we should follow. For the moment, I personally think that it would be a mistake to follow this hypothesis” (18-3-1977).
      • “But this does not mean, for all that, that I am absolutely sure to be correct in the position that I take; I am placing myself there in a prudential manner. It is rather under this area that I place myself, more than under the theological domain, purely theoretical. I think that God asks us to have clear ideas not only from a purely theoretical and theological viewpoint, but also in practice, when things are very difficult and delicate, and to act with a certain wisdom, a certain prudence that can seem a bit in contradiction with certain principles, not to be of pure logic” (5-10-1978).
      • “As long as I do not have the proof that the pope is not the pope, well, I presume that he is, that he is pope. I do not say that there cannot be arguments that can put one in doubt in certain cases. But one must have the proof that it is not only a doubt, a valid doubt. If the argument is doubtful, we do not have the right to take enormous consequences away from it!” (16-1-1979).
      • “The Priestly Society does not accept [this] solution, but, based on the history of the Church and the doctrine of the theologians, thinks that the pope can promote the ruin of the Church by choosing bad collaborators and letting them act, signing decrees that do not use his infallibility, sometimes even by his own admission, and that cause considerable damage to the Church. Nothing is more dangerous for the Church than liberal popes, who are in continual contradiction” (13-9-1982).
      • “In practice, this does not have influence on our practical conduct, because we firmly and courageously reject all that is against the faith, without knowing from whence it comes, without knowing who is guilty” (5-10-1978).

Questions and Answers

What are we talking about?

What is sedevacantism?

Sedevacantism is the opinion of those who think that the most recent popes, since Second Vatican Council, are not true popes. Consequently, the See of Peter is not occupied, which is expressed in Latin by the formula sede vacante.

Where does this opinion come from?

This opinion was caused by the very grave crisis which has been occurring in the Church since the last Council, a crisis that Archbishop Lefebvre justly called “the third world war.”

The main cause of the crisis has been the dereliction of the Roman Pontiffs, who teach or allow to be propagated very serious errors on the subjects of ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, etc.

The sedevacantists think that real popes could not be responsible for such a crisis, and consequently they consider them not to be “real popes”.

Could you briefly explain what the crisis in the Church consists of?

I will do this by quoting Fr. Gleize:

    • “That which speaks the most is all the speeches published in the Osservatore Romano that constantly reaffirm the principle of religious liberty, state secularism and ecumenism, a principle that is in formal contradiction with the constant and unanimous teaching of the pontifical magisterium from before Vatican II. […]
    • “In the past, it was possible that some popes were not equal to their mission. They could fail to keep, at one time or another, their pastoral role, putting in more or less serious, more or less direct danger the unity of the faith in the Holy Church. But this attitude explains itself for essentially moral reasons. None of these popes were attached to error by intellectual conviction. They all fell short without a fundamentally intellectual adherence to error, and this came sometimes from a lack of courage in the middle of persecution, such as with Liberius, sometimes from a certain naiveté and an excess of mediation, as with Honorius and Vigilius, sometimes even from a sort of theological intemperance as with John XXII. The most serious attitude of all, that of Pope Honorius, warranted the favens hæresim  [editor:  “favoring heresy”]  censure. It did not cause this pope to be condemned as a formal heretic […]
    • “But in view of these isolated cases, the consistent attitude of all the popes since the Second Vatican Council has an entirely different appearance. The daily preaching of these sovereign pontiffs is constantly spotted with false principles of religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality. These are grave errors, and they are the consequence of this “heresy of the 20th century,” to use the expression of Madiran, the heresy of neo-modernism. Constant and repeated errors, from John XXIII and Paul VI to Benedict XVI, errors that are not the consequence of passing weakness or naiveté, but, on the contrary, are the expression of a fundamental adherence of the intelligence, the affirmation of an informed conviction. This is why such a situation is really and truly without precedent.” – cf. Fr. Gleize, Vu de Haut 14 (2008), p.95-96.

Do the sedevacantists agree amongst themselves?

No, far from it. To use the terms of a sedevacantist: the “sedevacantists” are scattered along at least six dividing lines.

SEDEVACANTIST LINES / VARIATIONS

1 Total vacancy

as opposed to

formal vacancy and material permanence (“Cassiciacum Thesis”)
2 Acceptance of consecrations without apostolic mandate

as opposed to

refusal of these consecrations
3 Rejection out of the Church of all those who are not sedevacantists

as opposed to

refusal of such a rejection
4 Ecclesiastical laws keep their imperative force

as opposed to

the laws are stripped of executory force
5 Acceptance of the principle of a conclave outside of the Roman line

as opposed to

refusal of such a possibility

 

And one more cause of division among them is the question of just how long has the vacancy of authority lasted  (i.e. when did it begin)?

6 since the death of Pius XII since Pacem in Terris   [ Editor:  an encyclical by John XXIII (April 11, 1963) ] since the death of John XXIII since the proclamation of religious liberty (December 7, 1965) [and our sedevacantist forgot yet one more theory: since the replacement of Paul VI by a double]

This gives us, unless I am mistaken, 160 possibilities.

But that which is common among all sedevacantists is that they think that one must not pray for the pope in public.

Sedevacantist Arguments

On what arguments do sedevacantists base their theories?

They have a priori arguments and a posteriori arguments.   [Editor:  An a priori argument is (roughly speaking) an argument from the causes.   An a posteriori argument is (roughly) an argument by examining effects, and looking backwards.]

A priori, they say, the pope being a heretic, he cannot be a true pope, which can be proven in a theological manner (a heretic cannot be the head of the Church, but John Paul II is a heretic, therefore…) or in a legal manner (Church laws invalidate the election of a heretic, but Cardinal Wojtyla – or Ratzinger – was a heretic at the time of his election, therefore…).

A priori, they say again, the current “pope” was consecrated bishop with the new episcopal consecration rite invented by Paul VI, so he is not a bishop. But to be Pope, one must be Bishop of Rome. Therefore…

A posteriori, they say finally, we note that the actions taken by the popes are bad or erroneous, while they should be covered by infallibility.  Therefore, these popes are not really popes.

* The Theological Argument of the heresy of the Pope :

But isn’t it true that a pope who becomes a heretic loses the pontificate?

St. Robert Bellarmine says that a pope who formally and manifestly became a heretic would lose the pontificate. For that to apply to John Paul II, he would have to be a formal heretic, deliberately refusing the Church’s magisterium; and this formal heresy would have to be manifest in the eyes of all. But though the popes since Paul VI, and especially John Paul II, make heretical affirmations or statements that lead to heresy rather often, it cannot easily be shown that they are aware of rejecting a dogma of the Church. And as long as there is no sure proof, then it is more prudent to refrain from judging. This was Archbishop Lefebvre’s line of conduct.

If a Catholic were convinced that John Paul II (or another Pope after Vatican II) is a formal, manifest heretic, should he then conclude that he is no longer pope?

No, he should not, because according to the “common” opinion (Suarez), or even the “more common” opinion (Billuart), theologians think that even a heretical pope can continue to exercise the papacy. For him to lose his jurisdiction, the Catholic bishops (the only judges in matters of faith besides the pope, by Divine will) would have to make a declaration denouncing the pope’s heresy.

“According to the more common opinion, Christ, by a particular providence, for the common good and the tranquility of the Church, continues to give jurisdiction to an even manifestly heretical pontiff until such time as he should be declared a manifest heretic by the Church” (Billuart, De Fide, diss. V, a. III, § 3, obj. 2).

Now, in so serious a matter, it is not prudent to go against the common opinion.

But how can a heretic, who is no longer a member of the Church, be its leader or head?

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, basing his reasoning on Billuart, explains in his treatise De Verbo Incarnato (p. 232) that a heretical pope, while no longer a member of the Church, can still be her head. Indeed, what is impossible in the case of a physical head is possible (albeit abnormal) for a secondary moral head. “The reason is that – whereas a physical head cannot influence the members without receiving the vital influx of the soul – a moral head, as is the [Roman] Pontiff, can exercise jurisdiction over the Church even if he does not receive from the soul of the Church any influx of interior faith or charity.”

In short, the pope is constituted a member of the Church by his personal faith, which he can lose, but he is head of the visible Church by jurisdiction and authority that can co-exist with heresy.

* The canonical Argument of the Heresy of the Pope

The sedevacantists base their position on the apostolic constitution Cum ex Apostolatus of Pope Paul IV (1555-1559). But some good studies have shown that this constitution lost its legal force (even sedevacantist priests recognize it: “We cannot use the bull of Paul IV to prove that the Holy See is currently vacant, but only to prove the possibility that it can happen…” (Fr. F. Ricossa, Solalitium 36, May-June 1994, p. 57-58, note 1). That which remains valid in this constitution is its dogmatic aspect. And, consequently, it cannot be made to say more than the theological argument already examined.

Yet the Code in the Gasparri edition refers in a note to the Cum ex apostolatus constitution.

[Editor:   The “Gasparri edition” refers to a special edition of Canon Law compiled and annotated with footnotes by the Italian cardinal, Pietro Gasparri.  In those notes to the 1917 Code, he provides many links to the sources of that very code.]

Counter-Argument 1:  These notes of the code in the Gasparri edition mention the sources of the Code. But this does not mean that all of its sources are still in force!

Counter-Argument 2:  The 1917 Code says in Canon 6 (5°) that the punishments that are not mentioned in the code are abrogated. Now, the Cum ex apostolatus constitution was a penal law, because it inflicted the revocation of an ecclesiastical office, and the punishments that it prescribed were not picked up again in the code.

Counter-Argument 3:  There is more: even before the new Code, St. Pius X had already abrogated Paul IV’s constitution by his consitition Vacante sede apostolica of December 25, 1904 (§ 29), which declares null any censure able to remove the active or passive voice from the cardinals of the conclave. And Canon 160 of the Code declares that the election of the pope is regulated only by this constitution of St. Pius X.

Counter-Argument 4:  The constitution of Pius XII of December 8, 1945, Vacantis Apostolicæ Sedis, which replaced that of St. Pius X, takes the same position on this subject: “No cardinal may be excluded in any way from the active and passive election of the sovereign pontiff, under no pretext nor for cause of excommunication, suspension, interdiction or other ecclesiastical impediment. We lift the effect of these censures for this type of election only, keeping them in force for everything else” (n. 34).

* The Argument of the nullity of the Pope’s Episcopal Consecration

Some sedevacantists argue that the current pope was consecrated bishop with the new rite invented by Paul VI, a rite that they deem invalid; thus, Benedict XVI (or all the popes consecrated bishops with the new rite) is not a bishop or pope.

The new ritual of episcopal consecration comes from a prayer found in Apostolic Tradition, a work apparently from St. Hippolytus and dating from the beginning of the third century. Even if this attribution is probably, it is not agreed upon by all; some think that it is an “anonymous compilation containing elements of different ages”. As for St. Hippolytus, he is thought to have been an antipope for some time before reconciling with Pope St. Pontian at the moment of their common martyrdom (in 235). It is from that same work that Canon number 2 of the new mass issues.

Yet, this prayer of the consecration is taken up again with a few variations in two oriental rites, the Coptic rite used in Egypt and the Eastern Syrian rite, used notably by the Maronites. It was therefore adopted by post-conciliar reformers to manifest the unity between the traditions of the three great patriarchates: Rome, Alexandria, Antioch.

By reason of this closeness to two Catholic rites, it cannot be affirmed that Paul VI’s prayer is invalid.

Isn’t it true that the new rite of Paul VI is close to the Anglican rite that was declared invalid by Leo XIII?

It is true that the rite of Paul VI is close to the Anglican rite, but not to the rite condemned by Leo XIII. The Anglican and Episcopalian churches also introduced a new consecratory prayer, taken from St. Hippolytus, with the aim to have a rite acceptable to Catholics, after the condemnation of the Anglican ordinations by Leo XIII.

* A Posteriori Arguments

Don’t the sedevacantists claim to find a confirmation of their opinion in the errors of the Council and the harmful liturgical and canonical laws of the Conciliar Church?

Indeed, the sedevacantists think, in general, that the teaching of the Council should have been covered by the infallibility of the ordinary universal magisterium (OUM), and consequently should not contain any errors. But, since there are errors, for example, on religious liberty, they conclude that Paul VI had ceased to be pope at that moment.1

In reality, if one accepted this reasoning, then it would be necessary to say that the whole Catholic Church disappeared at that moment and that “the gates of hell had prevailed against her”.   For the teaching of the ordinary, universal magisterium is that of all the bishops, of the whole teaching Church.

It is simpler to think that the teaching of the Council and of the Conciliar Church is not covered by the infallibility of the ordinary, universal magisterium for the reasons explained in the article on “The authority of the Council” that appeared in Le Sel de la terre 35 (winter 2000-2001).

Can you summarize the essential parts of this argument [Editor:  that is, the argument given in that article from Le Sel de la Terre]?

The main reason for which conciliar teaching on religious liberty (for example) is not covered by the OUM is that the conciliar magisterium does not present itself as teaching truths to be believed or held in a firm and definitive manner. Conciliar teaching no longer presents itself as “necessary for salvation” (this is logical, since those who profess it think that it is possible to be saved even without the Catholic Faith).

Since it is not imposed with authority, this teaching is not covered by infallibility. The same thing can be said of liturgical laws (the new mass; new canonizations…) and canonical laws (the new Canon Law…) set forth by these latest popes: they are not covered by infallibility, although normally they should have been.

To be continued…


Translated from the original French article by filiimariae.over-blog.com     (online: www.dominicainsavrille.fr/les-dominicains-davrille-sont-ils-devenus-sedevacantistes  ).

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.

News of Occupied Rome

News of occupied Rome

In the traditional world the suspicion seems to be circulating:  You criticize the Pope, therefore you are sedevacantists, or at least you are beginning to become one.  We reply by citing an author who is not suspected of being a sedevacantist:

Some, to put us down, accuse us of being overly traditional or even sedevacantist. Well, I’m not a sedevacantist; we are not sedevacantists, because sedevacantism destroys the visibility of the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is visibly recognizable by its exterior characteristics, She is always One, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman.  The Catholic Church is visible because She is not a purely spiritual entity, She is not simply a gathering of persons who think alike, nor a movement of ideas or a school of thought but a true society having a juridical structure having a hierarchy coming from living men with a Head recognized by all, as in other human societies.  This Head is the reigning Pontiff Pope Francis, in whom we recognize the Vicar of Christ. But we know that, precisely because the Church is a visible institution, we must always make a distinction between the Church and the men of the Church: The Church is always visible, infallible and indestructible, immaculate, in faith and morals; men of the Church are not all and are not always impeccable nor infallible.  Even the Pope may be respectfully criticized.  The Pope is not Jesus-Christ nor His successor:  he is His Vicar, but it is Jesus-Christ who holds and governs the Church 1.

The Pope asks the blessing of a heretic

Pope Francis received, on June 14, the new Anglican “Archbishop” of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who was wearing

the episcopal ring offered to the “Archbishop” Ramsey by Paul VI. The Pope took advantage of the opportunity in order to ask to be “blessed” by this heretic, who is nothing but a simple layman because Anglican orders are not valid.

But that shouldn’t shock us if we recall that Benedict XVI allowed himself to be blessed by a Rabbi:

« At the end of an [inter-religious] encounter [at the Monastery of Saint Benedict in Sao Paulo on May 11, 2007], Rabbi Henry Sobel, 63 years old,

from the Jewish Congregation of Sao Paulo, declared: “The Pope [Benedict XVI] is a friend of the Jewish people”. […] The Rabbi explained that after having asked “very humbly” for the Pope’s blessing, the Pope, having given it, then accepted in his turn to receive a blessing from him. » (Zenit.org, May 11, 2007.)

The recipe of happiness for Francis

« What is the recipe for happiness? »

In answer to this question asked by the Argentinean journalist Pablo Calvo on July 7, the Pope reflected a moment, and then became animated.  Visibly relaxed, he delivered in 10 points his “recipe for happiness”:

1. Live and let live:

« The Romans have a saying that we can take as a theme which goes “Go ahead, and let the others go ahead”. Live and let live, it’s the first step towards peace and happiness. »

2.  Give yourself to others:

« Those who are isolated run the risk of becoming selfish.  And stagnant water is the first to become corrupted. »

3.  Be animated with kindness and humility:

« In “Don Segundo Sombra” (an Argentinean novel by Ricardo Guiraldes), the hero tells how, young, he was like a waterfall off a mountain which rushes over everything; become an adult, he was like a river which went ahead then, as an older man, that he advanced, but slowly, as if canalized.  I use this image of the poet and novelist Ricardo Guiraldes, this last adjective, canalized.  The capacity to move yourself with kindness and humility.  The elderly have this wisdom; they are the memory of a people.  And a nation that cares not for its elderly doesn’t have a future. »

4.  Play with children:

«Consumerism has led us to the anguish of losing a healthy culture of pleasure:  read, enjoy art…Today, I don’t hear many confessions, but in Buenos Aires, I heard the confessions of a lot of people and I asked the young mothers who came, “How many children do you have?  Do you play with them?”  It was an unexpected question, but it’s a way of saying that children are the key to a healthy culture.  It’s difficult for parents who go to work early and come home when their children are sleeping.  It’s difficult, but it must be done. »

5. Spend Sunday with the family:

« The other day, at Campobasso, I encountered University students and people from the workforce and, to each I reminded them that we don’t work on Sunday.  Sunday is for the family. »

6.  Help the young to find work:

« We should be creative with this part of the population.  Because of a lack of opportunities, they can end up falling into drugs.  And the amount of suicides is very high among the young without work.  The other day I read, but I’m not sure it’s a scientific fact, that there are 75 million young people under the age of 25 who have no work.  And it doesn’t suffice to just feed them:  we must make up for them classes of one year to become plumbers, electricians, tailors and seamstresses… It’s dignity that will help them bring food to the table. »

7.  Take care of the world we live in:

« We must take care of creation, and we don’t.  It’s one of our greatest challenges. »

8.  Rapidly forget whatever is negative:

« The need to speak ill of others is a mark of having little esteem for oneself. That’s like saying that I feel so bad, that instead of lifting myself up, I put others down.  It is healthy to speedily forget whatever is negative. »

9.  Respect those who think differently:

« One can go all the way to witnessing with another, as long as both make progress in this dialogue.  But there’s nothing worse than religious proselytizing, one that paralyzes:  “I dialogue with you to convince you”.  No.  Each one dialogues according to who they are.  The Church grows by its attractiveness, not by proselytizing. »

10.  Actively seek peace:

« We are living in a time where wars are numerous. […]  War destroys.  The call to peace needs to be cried out.  Sometimes the word “peace” brings to mind the idea of “calm”, but peace is never tranquillity:  it is always an active peace. »

God is not even mentioned.  It used to be, in illo tempore, that joy was a fruit of the Holy Ghost (Gal. 5, 22), but for the Pope, one has no need of the faith, nor of Our Savior Jesus Christ, to be happy!

Prayer for peace « was absolutely not a failure »

On May 29, the Pope, Rabbi Skorka and the Imam Abu (friends of the Pope who accompanied him during his whole trip in Israel) gave each other the accolade in front of the “Temple Wall” under the amused eyes of Jewish journalists who qualified the trio “the Holy Trinity”!  The rest of the story takes place on June 8:  in the gardens of the Vatican, the Pope, together with the Jewish and Palestinian Presidents “prayed for Peace”; the Muslim Representative, departing from the prepared text of his prayer, asked his “Master” (in Arabic):  « Grant us the victory over the infidel people ».  Two days later, Mossoul fell into the hands of the Muslims who then massacred the Christians.  And ever since then, the blood of Christians flows in the Middle East:  we see children decapitated, adults crucified, etc.

Without doubt God did not directly answer the prayer of the Imam, but He could have permitted this triumph of Islam to punish our sins, and especially the horrible apostasy of the Conciliar Church who presents Islam as if it were a respectable religion while it is nothing but an intellectual imposture (a tissue of contradictions) which imposes itself by violence2.

But the prayer for peace in the Holy Land « was absolutely not a failure », affirmed tranquilly Pope Francis on August 18 in the plane returning from Korea:

« Holy Father, seeing the war in Gaza, wasn’t the prayer for peace organized at the Vatican last June 8th a failure according to you? »

« Thank you, thank you for the question.  This prayer for peace was absolutely not a failure. Firstly, the initiative didn’t come from me:  the initiative of praying together came from the two Presidents, from the President of the State of Israel and from the President of the State of Palestine. […] These two men are men of peace, they are men who believe in God, and who have lived through so many horrible things, so many horrible things that they are convinced that the only way to resolve this story is through negotiation, dialogue and peace.  But now for your question: wasn’t it a failure? No, I believe that the door is open. […] The door of prayer was opened.  One says: “we must pray”.  It’s a gift, peace is a gift, a gift which is merited by our work, but it’s a gift.  And tell mankind that with the way of negotiation – which is important, of dialogue – which is important, there is also that of prayer.  It’s true.  Afterwards came what came.  But that is circumstantial.  On the other hand, our meeting was not [just] a circumstance.  It is a fundamental step of human behavior:  prayer.  Now the smoke of bombs, the wars, don’t allow us to see the door, but the door remains open from now on.  And as I believe in God, I believe that the Lord sees this door, and He sees all those who pray and all those who ask Him to help us.  Yes, I love this question.  Thank you, thank you for having posed it.  Thank you3. »

Errare humanum est, persevare diabolicumHow much time will it take before the hierarchy of the Church realizes the Utopia of Conciliar ecumenism?  And how long will God permit the infiltration of the hierarchy by the Masonic Lodges?

Construct an authentic brotherhood among people

We know that Tertullian said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.  As for the Pope, after the assassination of three religious of Burundi on September 7th, he hopes that « the blood spilled would become the seed of hope to construct an authentic brotherhood among people ».

Since the last Council, the Vatican actively works at the construction of this “brotherhood”.  As for Pope Francis, he established in Buenos Aires, while he was Archbishop there, a scholastic inter-religious and multi-cultured network of cultural integration called “Scholas Occurrentes”. On September 4, the Pope explained to the delegates of the Scholas Occurrentes the reason for this network:  to organize inter-religious football matches, to combat the unemployment of the young, to promote the “culture of encounter”, to struggle against “discrimination”, to promote dialogue between religions, to create a “human village” that brings peace and hope:  « Sports saves us from selfishness; […] let us walk through life together; […] the young must build the future; […] let us build bridges, not walls; […] let us share our experiences; […] let us enter into the spontaneity of life”, etc. »

This project has nothing specifically Christian about it, it is naturalistic (without reference to the supernatural end of man) and won’t displease the “brethren” [i.e. the Masons]. Indeed, we know that the end of Freemasonry is the “reconstruction of the Temple”, that is to say, to rebuild all humanity under a “universal republic” with no reference to the supernatural end of man, nor to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The “United Nations” of religions

The project of the Pope is in perfect harmony with those of the other leaders of the contemporary world.  It is thus that the former Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero proposed on July 15, at the time of the international symposium on World Peace at the University of Nebrija of Madrid, the creation of a “permanent alliance between religious denominations” joined to the “Alliance of civilizations” (one of his creations) and to the United Nations.

As for Shimon Peres, the former President of Israel, he met the Pope again on September 4, 2014 and suggested an “Organization of the United Nations of religions” to fight against all violence perpetrated in the name of the faith.  « The Pope didn’t engage himself personally, but listened carefully and expressed his respect for this initiative, assuring him of the attention of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia concerned – the Pontifical Counsel for inter-religious dialogue and the Pontifical Counsel Justice and Peace », specified Father Lombardi.

Evangelical Christians:  The Pope has gone to find his brothers

On August 12, 2014, Pope Francis affirmed: « the Pope has gone to find his brothers! », while visiting an Evangelical [= Protestant] Community.  He encourages them to walk « on the path of unity », in « searching for Jesus » because « when one walks in the Presence of God, one finds this brotherhood ».

Pope Francis gave a speech in which he indicated « the path of Christian holiness:  every day, seek Jesus to encounter Him and every day allow yourself to be sought by Jesus and allow yourself to be found by Jesus ».  Finally, the Pope asked pardon in the name of the Church for the persecutions perpetrated by Catholics against Evangelical Christians throughout the course of History: « Among those who wrote up these laws and persecuted, denounced our Pentecostal brothers because they were “enthusiastic” almost “mad”, there were some Catholics: I am the Pastor of the Catholics: I beg your pardon for what happened.  I ask your pardon for these Catholic brothers and sisters who have not understood and who were tempted by the devil and did as the brothers of Joseph.  I ask the Lord to give us the grace to acknowledge and to forgive…Thank you! »

The laws for which the Pope asks pardon are the laws which restrained the freedom of exercising a public cult of certain Evangelical sects in Italy, under Pope Pius XI.  They were perfectly in accord with Catholic doctrine…before Vatican II.

1Roberto De Mattei in the “Courrier de Rome”, June 2014, p. 6.  Roberto de Mattei presents himself as a disciple of professor Plinio Correa de Oliveira, Founder of the TFP (Work Family Property, see the “Sel de la terre” 28, p. 185; 39, p. 262 and 46, p. 266), which he frequented during about 20 years (1976-1995) and of which he wrote a biography.  He directed the “Alleanza Cattolica”.  He is president of the foundation “Lepanto” and he founded and directed the “centre culturel Lepante” (1982-2006). He writes regularly in the “Correspondance européenne”.  He is now in the “Ecclesia Dei” movement, but that doesn’t keep him from participating in the “Courrier de Rome” congresses presided by Bishop Fellay (for example the next one, in January 2015).  In the beginning of September 2014, he gave a conference during a Pilgrimage of the Society to Rome in front of an “audience of very interested Priests” (DICI #300, p. 10).

2See especially the works of Father Guy Pages (www.islam-et-verite.com <http://www.islam-et-verite.com/> ).

3Osservatore Romano en langue française, Thursday, August 21, 2014, 34, page 16.

Archbishop Lefebvre and the sedevacantists

Archbishop Lefebvre and the sedevacantists

(a little known document)

Concerning the position of Archbishop Lefebvre on the “non una cum” sedevacantist position, after the Episcopal consecrations of 1988; here is an excerpt from a conference given by Archbishop Lefebvre during a retreat preached to the sisters of Saint-Michel en Brenne 1, France, on April 1st, 1989 (AUDIO excerpt attached).

« … And then, he (Dom Guillou O.S.B. 2) goes through all the prayers of the Canon, all the prayers of the Roman Canon. He goes through them one after the other and then he shows the difference, he gives translations, very good ones. He gives, for example, precisely this famous.. you know, this famous una cum.., una cum of the sedevacantists. And you, do you say una cum? (laughter of the nuns of St-Michel-en-Brenne). You say una cum in the Canon of the Mass! Then we cannot pray with you; then you’re not Catholic; you’re not this; you’re not that; you’re not.. Ridiculous! ridiculous! because they claim that when we say una cum summo Pontifice, the Pope, isn’t it, with the Pope, so therefore you embrace everything the Pope says. It’s ridiculous! It’s ridiculous! In fact, this is not the meaning of the prayer.

Te igitur clementissime Pater. This is the first prayer of the Canon. So here is how Dom Guillou translates it, a very accurate translation, indeed :

“We therefore pray Thee with profound humility, most merciful Father, and we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, to accept and to bless these gifts, these presents, these sacrifices, pure and without blemish, which we offer Thee firstly for Thy Holy Catholic Church. May it please Thee to give Her peace, to keep Her, to maintain Her in unity, and to govern Her throughout the earth, and with Her, Thy servant our Holy Father the Pope.”

It is not said in this prayer that we embrace all ideas that the Pope may have or all the things he may do. With Her, your servant our Holy Father the Pope, our Bishop and all those who practice the Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox faith! So to the extent where, perhaps, unfortunately, the Popes would no longer have …, nor the bishops…, would be deficient in the Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Faith, well, we are not in union with them, we are not with them, of course. We pray for the Pope and all those who practice the Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox faith!

Then he (Dom Guillou) had a note about that to clarify a little:

“In the official translation, based on a critical review of Dom Botte O.S.B. 3, the UNA CUM or “in union with” of the sedevacantists of any shade is no longer equivalent but to the conjunction “and ” reinforced either by the need to restate the sentence, or to match the solemn style of the Roman canon. Anyway, every Catholic is always in union with the Pope in the precise area where the divine assistance is exercised, infallibility confirmed by the fact that as soon as there is a deviation from the dogmatic Tradition, the papal discourse contradicts itself.

Let us collect the good grain, knowing that for the rest, it is more necessary than ever to ask God, with the very ancient Major Litanies, that be “kept in the holy religion” the “holy orders” and the “Apostolic Lord” himself (that is to say the Pope): UT DOMINUM APOSTOLICUM AND OMNES ECCLESIASTICOS ORDINES IN SANCTA RELIGIONE CONSERVARE DIGNERIS, TE ROGAMUS, AUDI NOS.”

It is a request of the litanies of the Saints, right? WE ASK TO KEEP THE POPE IN THE TRUE RELIGION. We ask that in the Litanies of the Saints! This proves that sometimes it can happen that unfortunately, well, maybe sometimes it happens that… well there have been hesitations, there are false steps, there are errors that are possible. We have too easily believed since Vatican I, that every word that comes from the mouth of the Pope is infallible. That was never said in Vatican I! The Council never said such a thing. Very specific conditions are required for the infallibility; very, very strict conditions. The best proof is that throughout the Council, Pope Paul VI himself said “There is nothing in this Council which is under the sign of infallibility”. So, it is clear, he says it himself! He said it explicitly.

Then we must not keep this idea which is FALSE! which a number of Catholics, poorly instructed, poorly taught, believe! So obviously, people no longer understand anything, they are completely desperate, they do not know what to expect! We must keep the Catholic faith as the Church teaches it. »

Archbishop Lefebvre, retreat at Saint-Michel en Brenne, April 1st, 1989

1 — General Mother House of the sisters of the Society.

2 — A famous traditionalist benedictine monk, friend of Archbishop Lefebvre.

3 — A famous Belgian modernist monk. It is he who made the new rite of the consecrations of bishops.