The Canonical Recognition in Question

The Canonical Recognition in Question

About the Conciliar Church

(Editorial of Le Sel de la terre 101)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And he rightly drew the following conclusion:

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

May we accept a canonical recognition?

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

Eventually, on November 21st, 1974, following a canonical visit to Écône by two Roman envoys, Archbishop Lefebvre made a declaration expressing his refusal of “the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.“

From that moment on, a clear demarcation line had been drawn between the two “Churches”. The « Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies » would soon be called Conciliar Rome by Msgr Benelli5, a name which was to last.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

My reverend sisters, my dear brethren,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For, or against the “agreements”?

For, or against the “agreements”?

A text published in Le Sel de la terre 98

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

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

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

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

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

By Christian Lassale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

impossible that such a thing could be invented by our enemies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary by “ Sel de la Terre”:

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

A Major Event in Tradition

A Major Event in Tradition

A text available on gloria.tv aptly analyses certain consequences of the granting of an ordinary jurisdiction to the Society of St. Pius X by Pope Francis for the duration of the “Holy Year”.   We quote here some extracts from it.

 

5)  The forms of the concession are atypical:  the jurisdiction is awarded to priests of the Society according to an unusual procedure, moreover it is very limited and temporary in nature.  The act of September 1st 2015 is nevertheless a “canonical normalization” in the sense of the decision of the Chapter of July 2012, which did not make any distinctions between partial, complete, unilateral, consensual, temporary or final normalization etc…    Furthermore, the six “preconditions” imposed by this Chapter no longer have any reason to exist now that the papal measure has been accepted by the Superior General.

 

6)  On analysis, this “mini-normalization” ( two sacraments for one year) appears to be a first experiment in co-existence between the Society and its “conciliar” environment, and a test of its docility towards the holders of legitimate power in the Church. […]

 

7)  Last autumn, the risks of this process could not have eluded the General Council of Menzingen, thus making even more imperative the meeting of the Chapter foreseen in the communiqué of July 14th 2012.   And yet the Superior General did not convene this extraordinary Chapter.   So the procedure for authorization instituted by the supreme authority of the Society with the aim of its protection was not applied: and the reason for this omission has not been given.

 

8)  Having accepted alone and without the authorization of the Chapter this preliminary act of the Pope, will Mgr. Fellay be able to oppose the complementary normalization measures already envisaged  (cf. his sermon at the French pilgrimage of Le Puy on April 10th, 2016) or a more complete canonical recognition?   Will he be able to refuse to ratify the “fundamental accord” on “the value of the Council”, as the pope requires for the erection of a personal prelature for the Society (cf. interview in the French newspaper La Croix of May 16th).   On considering the evolution of events, we are not able to affirm this.

 

9)   The desire to remedy a canonical situation deemed “irregular” has led the Society to defer endlessly decisive confrontation on doctrine.   Not having demanded Rome’s renunciation of conciliar errors before consenting to receive the ordinary jurisdiction granted by the act of September 1st, the Society has fallen into a trap:  it will not be able to invoke the state of necessity and take, if necessary, without the agreement of the authorities, the measures needed to safeguard the faith and the priesthood, put in danger by Vatican II and its reforms.

Answer to Fr Bouchacourt (SSPX)

Answer to Fr Bouchacourt (SSPX)

On July 1, 2015, on the Porte Latine, website of the Society in France, Fr Bouchacourt, Superior of the District, published a communiqué warning against the Dominican community of Avrillé. The same communiqué was also published in Fideliter 227, September/October 2015, magazine of the Society in France.

The Dominicans answered respectfully on their Website.

As the Society is now spreading the English translation of the communiqué of Fr Bouchacourt, the Dominicans publish here their answer in English.

Here in part 1 is the communiqué of Fr Bouchacourt, followed by the answer of the Dominicans:

PART 1. Communiqué of Fr Bouchacourt

1. For more than a year the Dominican Fathers of the friary in Avrillé have been spreading and supporting defiance against the authorities of the Society of St. Pius X, especially with regard to Bishop Fellay and the General House.

During conferences, in publications and on their website, they have accused the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X of giving up the good fight for the Faith in order to drag the Society at all costs into an agreement with the Roman authorities.

We have tried, in vain, during various meetings, to prove to them the contrary and to show them that their attitude was imperiling the unity of Tradition by sowing doubt and division. This communique intends to re-establish the truth so as to defend the honor of our superiors and that of our priestly family.

2. The outstanding acts of this increasingly public opposition were the following:

  • On Sunday, January 19, 2014, the Dominican Fathers distribute to persons who came to attend Mass at the friary in Avrillé their “Address [Appeal] to the Faithful”, a document made public on January 7 of that year, accusing the General House in Menzingen of going “in the opposite direction” from the one pursued until now by Archbishop Lefebvre, “by getting closer to modernist Rome” and stubbornly continuing “on that path that leads to death”; the Fathers in Avrillé are among the signers of this document;
  • On that same day, Fr. Pierre-Marie gives a conference to the faithful who came to Avrillé, to explain and justify the validity of this “Address to the Faithful”;
  • The text of this “Address to the Faithful”, accompanied by an introduction justifying it, is published in the magazine Le Sel de la terre [The Salt of the Earth], no. 88 (Spring 2014), pp. 138-139;
  • Confidential correspondence exchanged with Bishop Fellay after the publication of the “Address to the Faithful” is published in Le Sel de la terre, no. 89 (Summer 2014), pp. 215-220;
  • The Dominican Fathers take a position in favor of the episcopal consecration of Bishop Faure on March 19, 2015, and publish a long dossier justifying this act in Le Sel de la terre, no. 92 (Spring 2015), pp. 139-169.

3. Like all the signers of the “Address to the Faithful”, the Dominican Fathers of Avrillé thought that they had to present:

“…not a declaration that they were breaking away from the Society of St. Pius X, but on the contrary, public testimony to their firm, faithful attachment to the principles that always guided Archbishop Lefebvre in the fight for the Faith.”

But in this they are laboring entirely under a delusion and are drawing into it all who follow them. For Archbishop Lefebvre always conducted this fight for the Faith not only in doctrinal fidelity to Tradition, but also in order, in unity and in peace, in the spirit of obedience.

The Fathers of Avrillé are not faithful to these principles, for they denigrate the authority of Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor and cast suspicion on the acts of his government so as to create a dialectic between the members of the Society and their superiors, setting even the priests one against another. In order to detach oneself [lawfully] from an authority, it is necessary for the latter actually to urge the subjects to sin against faith or morals.

Now the Dominicans of Avrillé cannot show which acts performed by the Superior General demonstrate that “Menzingen is betraying the fight for the Faith.” Therefore the General House is not the one that is currently betraying this fight for the Faith; rather, those who label themselves the “Resistance” are the ones who are weakening it by their subversive manoeuvers.

4. The consecration of a bishop by Bishop Williamson is altogether unjustifiable. Whatever may be the false pretexts whereby some try to make it plausible, it only aggravates this spirit of independence and division. Archbishop Lefebvre always expressed himself very clearly to warn us against such a state of mind. As he said during a meeting held in Econe on July 4, 1988:

“The Superior General is the one who maintains the ties with Rome and, in a word, takes responsibility for Tradition, for this is the structure of the Society that exists in the Church’s eyes. We never wanted any organization of Tradition or any presidency of such an association; nonetheless the fact remains that the Society is de facto the spinal column of Tradition, its providential instrument, on which all initiatives of Tradition must rely.”

In supporting the episcopal consecration of Bishop Faure, the Dominican Fathers of Avrillé make themselves accomplices in a harmful act and do serious damage to the common good of Tradition, inasmuch as the only reason mentioned to justify this act is based on the unproven accusation that the Society of St. Pius X had abandoned the fight for the Faith. 

5. It is obvious that no superior who is responsible in God’s sight for the good of his district can fail to react to these repeated provocations [prises de position]. We cannot allow distrust, division, or a partisan, disparaging spirit to become established within our ranks. This is a matter of the common good of the flock, and the first duty of a pastor is to preserve its unity and cohesion by putting it out of the reach of these troublemakers.

6. Consequently, given so many dishonest accusations, the District of France can no longer support the Dominican community in Avrillé which, by its subversive schemes, is sowing doubt and division in the ranks of Tradition and weakening its forces.

This situation is very regrettable. May the Holy Ghost enlighten the superior of the Dominican community in Avrillé, and may Our Lord and Our Lady keep us in the unity of truth and charity, faithful to the good fight for the Faith conducted by Archbishop Lefebvre, for the honor of Christ the King, that of Holy Church and the good of our souls.

Fr. Christian Bouchacourt, SSPX District Superior of France

July 1, 2015, on the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

 

PART 2. Respectful answer of the Dominicans in six points

Point # 1.   We read in the communiqué:

“During conferences, in publications and on their website, they [the Dominicans of Avrillé] have accused the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X of giving up the good fight for the Faith in order to drag the Society at all costs into an agreement with the Roman authorities.”

This is inexact.

Our disagreement with the Superior General of the SSPX arises from the fact that the superior is prepared to make a practical agreement with authorities who still profess the conciliar errors.

* From 1988 to 2012 the Society held this wise principle:

No practical agreement with Rome without a prior doctrinal agreement.”

This principle was again clearly affirmed by the Chapter of 2006:

“The contacts that the Society has from time to time with the Roman authorities has as its only goal to help them once again to take ownership of Tradition, which the Church cannot deny without losing its identity, and not the search for an advantage for itself, or to reach an impossible purely practical agreement”.

* In March 2012 Mgr. Fellay announced that he was abandoning this principle ( by affirming: “ it is not a question of a principle but of a line of conduct”). This abandonment was supported by the Chapter of 2012. Since then, despite numerous entreaties, Mgr. Fellay has refused to return to the former principle.

* On the 31st of May 2012, we wrote to Father Bouchacourt: “It is because we wish to keep this principle – which is the legacy of Mgr. Lefebvre – that you are preparing to condemn us.   Or rather that Mgr. Fellay is preparing to condemn us by your mouth”.


Point # 2.   We read in the communiqué:

‘The Dominicans of Avrillé cannot show which acts performed by the Superior General demonstrate that Menzingen is betraying the fight for the Faith.

The words in inverted double commas are wrongly attributed to us: we are not the authors ( see Le Sel de la terre  92, p.141).

What we do say (and it is obvious from point 1), is that Menzingen has changed its line of conduct in its relationship with Rome, engendering a loss of confidence amongst a great number of traditionalists.


Point # 3.   The communiqué reproaches us for having published “ a confidential correspondence exchanged with Mgr. Fellay” in Le Sel de la terre 89, p.215-22.

It is sufficient to refer to the published text to see that there is nothing confidential in these letters. Mgr. Fellay forbade us all collaboration with the Society, deprived us of ordinations and of the holy oils. It was normal that we should make known the reasons on which he purported to lean, and also that the rupture came from his side and not ours.


Point # 4.   We read in the communiqué:

“The only reason mentioned to justify this act [the episcopal consecration of Mgr Faure] is based on the unproven accusation that the Society of St. Pius X had abandoned the fight for the Faith.”

This is inexact.

We have expounded several grave objective reasons which justify the episcopal consecration of Mgr. Faure ( see Le Sel de la terre no. 92, p.139-170, and no. 93, p.200-208) and notably the fact that Mgr. Fellay refuses ordinations and even the holy oils (necessary for several sacraments, in particular extreme unction) to our community and to several others who do not share the new policy established in 2012.


Point # 5.   The communiqué relies on words said by Mgr. Lefebvre during a meeting in Écône on the 4th of July 1988:

“We never wanted any organization of Tradition or any presidency of such an association; nonetheless the fact remains that the Society is de facto the spinal column of Tradition, its providential instrument, on which all initiatives of Tradition must rely.”

As Mgr. Lefebvre said, it was a matter of fact (de facto) and not of right. This fact could have endured for a long time, if Mgr. Fellay had not taken the decision to break the unity of Tradition by changing the line of conduct with regards to Rome, and by excluding Mgr. Williamson from the Chapter of 2012, then by expelling him from the Society because he did not approve this change in the line of conduct.

 

Point # 6.   We read again:

“This communique intends to re-establish the truth.”

At the same time it accuses us of:

— spreading and supporting defiance against the authorities of the Society of St. Pius X;

— denigrating the authority of Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor;

— creating a dialectic between the members of the Society and their superiors;

— subversive manoeuvers;

— making themselves accomplices in a harmful act [the consecration of Bp. Faure];

— doing serious damage to the common good of Tradition;

— repeated provocations;

— [setting up] distrust, division, or a partisan, disparaging spirit;

— dishonest accusations;

— sowing doubt and division in the ranks of Tradition and weakening its forces;

— subversive schemes.

Is that all ? ….

The truth is something which accords with reality.

Also before “so many false accusations” we are happy to say to the readers of the communiqué: “Come and see, read our publications (Le Sel de la terre, our Letter to friends and benefactors, our English website), and see if what can be found there is compatible with the melodramatic description of the communiqué.

The reality is that despite the differences with the Superior General about his new policy towards Rome, on our part we remain friends of the Society, and we wish it to overcome the crisis which it has been undergoing since 2012.

Open Letter to the Faithful of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces by Fr Pierre ROY (SSPX)

Open Letter to the Faithful of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces


by Fr Pierre ROY(SSPX)

Lakeville, June 3rd, 2016

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

« The night is far advanced; the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day. » Roman, 13; 12-13

Dear brethren,

This letter is to notify you of my decision to leave the Society of St. Pius X.  In spite of my sermon on April 17th last, many of you will be surprised to learn of my departure.  I hope then that these lines will show more clearly the reasons why I am leaving.

I would like to say first that I did not wish that my sermon of April 17th be published urbi et orbi and that I myself did all I could to prevent its diffusion.  I was preaching merely for the chapel of Montreal, that portion of the Lord’s flock entrusted to me by my superior.  With that said, the Lord has willed that it be otherwise.  Blessed be his Holy Name!

I was born and raised in the arms of the Society.  I owe everything to the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.  This is why I am well aware of the gravity of the action I take before God and before yourselves, and aware also of the duty one day to account for myself before the Tribunal of the Just Judge.

For several years already the authorities of the Society – they no longer cloak themselves – have been organizing a reunification with Apostate Rome.  Is it legitimate to place oneself under authorities who do not have our Faith, or to accept from them a recognition, so long as they demand “no compromise”?1   I leave you to judge of it with these words of Pope Pius XI :

“Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment ‘Love one another,’ altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ’s teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him : God speed you.’ For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful?” (Encyclical Mortalium Animos against oecumenism)

You also know, dearest faithful, that the Society has always called it illegitimate to align oneself with those who have removed themselves from Tradition and no longer profess the Faith in its integrity.  Why, after all, have we permitted ourselves these last 30 years to criticize the Fraternity of Saint Peter?  Why have we more recently criticized Campos?  Why did we repudiate the agreement reached in 2006 by the Institute of the Good Shepherd? 

Having recently asserted to a superior that it will be necessary for us to cease criticizing these communities, I received the following response: “Ah, but we will continue to criticize them!” I then asked why, by what principle. I received no further reply.

No, either we have been wrong since 1988 and even since 1975, or we have been wrong since 2012.  Unless we too adopt a subjective conception of the truth, and what was true in 1988 is no longer.  A last solution – by means of which seemingly anything can be justified : the situation has changed. We are witness, says our superior general, to a turning point in the history of the Church : they no longer want to impose the Council upon us; Pope Francis “appears to be someone who would like to see the whole world saved, that everyone have access to God,”2  he continues. Did Jesus not say, “If you love me, keep my commandments”? (John 14:15)  One may seriously ask himself if Pope Francis, who practically denies the commandments before the whole world, truly seeks to save souls.  On the other hand, did Archbishop Lefebvre not write in his Spiritual Journey, his testament to his priests, “It is the strict duty of every priest and layman wishing to remain Catholic to separate himself clearly from the Conciliar Church, for so long as she does not profess the tradition of the Church’s Magisterium and of the Catholic Faith,”3 as we were reminded by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais not so long ago?

Some will say, “It is not yet done. Wait until it is done!” This is what I myself said to many among you, my dear faithful, for some years, hoping and believing sincerely that the authorities of our Society would turn back.  But I must face the evidence that they have not.  Day after day, declaration after declaration, they continue to inoculate into the souls of faithful and priest alike a pernicious error, which holds it legitimate to seek from the Conciliar authority a recognition and jurisdiction that is made exceedingly dubious by this authority’s daily betrayal of the FaithThis error, which insinuates itself in the spirits of each, causes even priests known for their doctrinal intransigence (this being a virtue) to become less and less combative to the point where they will soon be ready to betray everything.

This is accomplished in a gradual way and without us realizing the ambiguities introduced.  It began by convincing us that a Motu Proprio which puts the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on an equal footing with, and even subordinate to, what Archbishop Lefebvre very justly called the “mass of Luther,” was welcome and beneficial.  We thanked the conciliar authorities for this gesture, though timidly maintaining that solely the mass of St. Pius V is legitimate.  It was a first step, or perhaps a first misstep.  They say to us, “Does the Motu Proprio not produce marvellous results?”  But since when have practical results been more important than the purity of the doctrine of Christ? Since when has truth profited from human compromise?  “Do not do evil that there may come good,” the Apostle told us. (Romans 3:8)

Next they convinced us it was acceptable to sing a solemn Te Deum for the publication of a document which, in lifting the “excommunications” of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre, restated in principle that our bishops had been well and truly excommunicated.  This decree lifting the false sentence brought against our bishops is ultimately nothing but a fresh condemnation of the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre, whom we have still the insolence to call “our revered founder.”

Not putting in practice the advice of St. John nor that of Our Lord Jesus Christ (“Beware of false prophets,” Matthew 7:15), in discussion after discussion, and meeting after meeting, we eventually silence our suspicions, which are more than legitimate and healthy in the face of persons who deny the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus ChristThis is how our superior has become, according to Pope Francis, a man “with whom one can dialogue,” with whom he who currently directs the subversion and the destruction of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ believes he can do “good work.4  Is there any wonder then that they happily grant us jurisdiction for confessions (which was never lacking)?  How can we claim that we are asking for nothing, but that Rome gives everything?  Have we not just recently asked for the doubtful jurisdiction of conciliar Rome with respect to the other sacraments?  No, truly, we ask for nothing!  Rome, who scourges Our Lord Jesus Christ, wishes us well!  This is rather worrying: which side are we on?

The new direction of our Society is imposed on priests, on many priests who have never desired it.  Enforced silences, transfers, promotions, trials, threats, promises, exclusions, all become justifiable when they work do defend the “position of the Society,” which is in fact – as always in a revolution – the position of a minority which has taken power and which deftly manipulates the passive majority.  Following my sermon of April 17th, besides the desperate reactions of certain colleagues, they ordered me to be silent.  They wished me to swear on my priesthood (!) to speak no more from the pulpit on the question of an accord with apostate Rome.  “You have many other subjects on which you can speak,” they told me.  Naturally I am conscious that the principal subject of preaching is not the joining of our Society to Rome, but the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  But I would note – you are my witnesses, dear brothers – that that was the first time in five years of ministry that I had spoken on this question from the pulpit.  I refused to be silenced.  However, I promised to warn my superiors before treating the subject from the pulpit again. “If you intend to speak of it again,” they told me, ‘You will have the right to confess and to say mass, but you cannot preach.  Otherwise, leave the Society and say what you wish.”  That is what I am doing, brethren, because a priest must preach and alert his flock to the wolves who threaten to devour them.

I have no absolute certainty that the Society will join itself to Rome.  Nevertheless I have moral certainty that they will do so, given the clear, express, and reiterated will of both Rome and the Society to arrive at an arrangement, and given also the absorption these last months of the last episcopal voices which firmly opposed it.  That God preserve us from this tragedy – this will, in spite of my departure, continue to be my fervent prayer!

In the meanwhile, having on the day of my baptism renounced not only Satan and his works, but also his seductions, I cannot accept that my immortal soul be sold to the conciliar sect, nor accept even that it be put up for sale.  Consequently, the fact that the superiors of the Society have shown on numerous occasions their amenability to a practical accord (in the absence of Rome’s conversion) suffices for me to take this step, prudently, not before having prayed at length and taken counsel with wise priests.  There is no question for me whatsoever of remaining silent about what is being done.  I have kept silence too long, hoping and assuring you, brethren, that the Society superiors would eventually open their eyes.  But the more time passed, the more was I forced to accept the evidence that those who lead us do not intend to turn back.

I must confess that to speak openly of the treachery we are living through is a very delicate business if one remains within the Society.  Which is why I am leaving: for the ability to preach the truth in its integrity, since I must someday answer for each of the souls entrusted to me. To keep silent was no longer possible without making myself guilty before God.

In the past I have severely criticized those we call the “Resistance,” but whom others call the “Subversion,” and still others, “Fidelity.”  I must say that besides the fact that I did not at that time see things as clearly as (by the grace of God) I now do, I was reacting mainly to the misbehavior of certain colleagues who visited our province and who, though clear-sighted, were rather cavalier, much to the discredit of the courageous stance taken by those who refused the betrayal imposed on us.  I will try with God’s grace to avoid the attitudes I have denounced and to devote my energy to rebuilding rather than to badgering those who wish to place us in Rome’s hands.  With that said, to denounce errors and deceptions remains a necessary duty which with God’s aid I will fulfill.

Many clear-sighted priests do not dare for now to act against the imposition.  I believe the principal reason restraining them is the fear of breaking the unity of the institutions that have with such difficulty been built up.  How accept that in dividing the faithful, we risk contributing to the closure of a chapel?  The reply is that faithful priests are not the origin of the division brewing in our ranks, but the very authorities of the Society, who would have us believe that we are participating in a turning point in the situation of the Church, when in fact it is not the situation that has changed, but only their minds.  Dear brothers, if the directors of the Society continue to sow distrust and confusion by their mistaken ideas, the division will swell, and it may become necessary to burst it open in our region for the common good.

For my part, I would that the Lord spare me from having prematurely to break the unity of the few chapels we have in French Canada.  This is why I have decided to remain for the moment in the Maritimes.  The faithful in these parts lack frequent access to the true Mass and the true Sacraments.  They are mostly without spiritual help.  They raise their children without the support of the Church.  Therefore I thought it best to keep to this region and concentrate my efforts on developing these small groups that have so little access to the sacraments, hoping one day to return these communities to the hands of the Society, only made larger and more fervent by the grace of God and by my ministry.  For this is my greatest hope: that the Society turns back in a clear and unequivocal manner, that I may return these missions to it, and that I may myself re-enter its ranks, profiting anew from the priestly fellowship offered there.  I cling to no illusions, but miracles are always possible…

However, it remains clear that the more the situation deteriorates, the more it will become necessary to tend to souls in Quebec who feel betrayed and deceived.  My hope is that more priests arise and come carrying the truth to those who desire it for themselves and their children.  Because while it is obvious that the Society continues to disburse the help of the sacraments – of which it would be illegitimate to deprive oneself without very grave reason – it is no small thing in this crisis of the Church to have access to sound preaching and to continue to see clearly through the painful events we are experiencing.

Begging you pray for me, I also assure you, dear brethren, of my prayers at the altar and of my blessing.

“Serve ye the Lord with gladness!” Ps. 99

Father Pierre Roy

Mission Notre-Dame-de-Joie

1974 Route 134

Lakeville, E1H 1A6

New Brunswick

Should we participate in the Jubilee of Mercy?

Should we participate in the Jubilee of Mercy ?

 

A.   It would appear that we should participate in the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:

1.  When the gates of mercy are made wide open, we must take advantage to receive it in abundance.   A Holy Year is a great grace for all the members of the Church.

2.  The Council of Trent “teaches and demands that the use of indulgences, which are greatly beneficial to Christian people and are approved by the authority of this saintly council, be maintained” (DS 1835); the code of Canon Law states: “All will give great importance to the said indulgences” (can 911).  It would be paradoxical to decide, just because we do not want to have anything to do with the failed council that was Vatican II, to dismiss a truth that was proclaimed by the Council of Trent, and encouraged by all that is Church tradition.

3.  According to St. Alphonse de Liguori: “To become a saint, it suffices to gain as many indulgences as possible”.

4.  Nobody risks his salvation by participating in the Jubilee of Mercy, unless one questions the power of the keys which are legitimately held by Francis.

5.  “Even though the remission of sins were to be done in a questionable way, the interested party would nonetheless gain the full indulgence” (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Suppl. Q.25 to 2, ad 1).

6.  For a circumstance to impact the Jubilee and denature it, it would have to become either the object of, or the specific goal of the Jubilee.  However, the conditions required to obtain the said indulgence are the traditional ones: visit to a Jubilee church, confession, communion, recitation of the Credo, and prayers for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff (such as the Our Father, or the prayer of the Jubilee).

7.   The joy of the Jubilee is not that one of rejoicing in the Vatican II council, but rather in the grace bestowed by the head of the Church who draws it from the treasure of the infinite merits of Christ and of all the saints.  The grace bestowed so abundantly will always be a reason to rejoice for those who are well disposed to receive it.

8.   Archbishop Lefebvre and the Ecône Seminary went to the great pilgrimage organized by Rome during the Holy Year of 1975.  So did the Society of Saint Pius X in 2000.  Yet in 1975 the Vatican had noted that the holy year “coincided with the tenth anniversary of the closing of the second ecumenical Council of the Vatican”, and the decree of the holy year 2000 noted that on the occasion of the entry to the new millennium, “one should return with a renewed fidelity to the teachings the Vatican II council”.

B. Counter arguments

This Jubilee is organized by the conciliar Church; now Archbishop Lefebvre wrote in his spiritual “testament” (Spiritual Itinerary with Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, 1990):

It is the strict duty of any priest wanting to remain catholic to separate himself from this conciliar Church, until the time it finds again the tradition of the Magisterium of the Church and of the Catholic Faith (…).”

C. Answer:

The morality of a human act is measured not only by its end, but also by the circumstances surrounding it (Summa Theologica-II q.18 a.3).  For example, carrying a pickax while going to one’s own field does not have the same moral sense as carrying the same pickax to a demonstration in front of Town Hall.

The Jubilee of the Year of Mercy is tainted by the following circumstances:

  • the date of the Jubilee has been chosen to celebrate the 50 years of the Council and
  • the “mercy” that Pope Francis advocates is a lax mercy which leads to sin.

Participation in the Jubilee cannot do away with these circumstances and therefore this participation is immoral.

Solutions to the above objections:  [Editor:  “Ad 1”, “Ad 2” are Latin shorthand for   “Response to point 1 above”, “Response to point 2 above”, etc.]

Ad 1.   Saint Hermenegilde refused to receive communion from the hands of an Arian bishop on Easter day, and for this reason he was put to death.  And yet there is nothing more sanctifying than Holy Communion, and Easter communion is obligatory under pain of mortal sin.  But in this case the circumstances made the act sinful: to receive the host from the hands of a heretic priest was a “communio in sacris” with a heretic.

Ad 2.   The objector is wrong in qualifying Vatican II as a “failed council”.  It is, on the contrary, a great success for the modernists who were able on this occasion to found their “Conciliar Church”.  To participate in this Jubilee would be to compromise with this pseudo-church as per the circumstances afore mentioned.  As for the indulgences, one can gain them in other ways than participating in the Jubilee: there are several ways to gain a plenary indulgence every day, for example by a half-hour of reading Holy Scripture or adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the recitation of the Rosary, the stations of the cross, etc.

Ad 3.  The objector does not give a reference from among the works of the Saint, but from a secondary source, which itself does not give any reference.  The oldest trace that we have found of this citation is in a book written to criticize indulgences1.  We would therefore allow ourselves to ask for a precise source to verify the authenticity of this phrase as well as its context.  Whatever the case may be, to become a saint, faith is needed to a heroic degree, and therefore avoidance of all equivocations in matters of Faith.

Ad 4.  We do not question the power of the pope, but we note that he uses it badly.  It is for this same reason that we refuse the new Mass, the new code of canon law, etc.

Ad 5.  The objector omitted, without due notice, part of the quote from Saint Thomas:  “If however, the remittance of punishment is done in an unreasonable way, so that for a pittance men would be turned away from works of penance, he [the one that confers the indulgence] sins in acting in such a way; the person in question does however gain the indulgence in its entirety”.    From this, one perceives that the unreasonable aspect considered by Saint Thomas is a simple disproportion between the penance required, and the indulgence accorded.  Here the gain of the indulgence is tied to the joy of Vatican II and to a false conception of the “mercy” of pope Francis, therefore being not only unreasonable but also immoral.

Ad 6.  The objector plays on the word “denatures”.  It is true that the Jubilee remains a Jubilee, the circumstances that make it bad do not change its nature of Jubilee.  But those circumstances do enter into the object that is being morally considered for they affect its morality.  The communion offered to St. Hermenegilde remained an Easter communion, but the circumstances made it sinful.

Ad 7.  Even if he who participates in the Jubilee does not have the (subjective) intention to rejoice in Vatican II, he participates in a Jubilee that has been objectively designed to rejoice in this Council.  One must therefore abstain from participation, unless one wants to be subjectivist.

Ad 8.  The Jubilees of 1975 and 2000 were ordinary Jubilees, as those regularly held every 25 years to celebrate the anniversaries of the Incarnation.  They were not therefore tied per se to the anniversary of the Council, or to a false conception of mercy.  The allusions to the Council mentioned by the objector remained secondary and did not affect the morality of the act of participation for he who would simply celebrate the anniversary of the Incarnation.

In 1975 the participation of Archbishop Lefebvre in the pilgrimage organized by the “Credo” association took place at a time when he was manifesting his opposition to conciliar Rome2.  There was therefore no ambiguity in this act.

We can ask ourselves if it was prudent to redo a pilgrimage to Rome in 2000.   For it is on this occasion that some contacts were taken up again with the purpose of an agreement with modernistic Rome, which ended with the fall of Campos the following year.  The SSPX tried to pull back, but the talks for an agreement continued and in 2012 the accord almost happened.  The communiqués that followed the Roman meeting of September 23, 2014, the one of Menzingen (“cordial meeting”), and that of the Vatican (“proceed by successive stages” … “towards resolving the difficulties” … “in the perspective of a full reconciliation”) were the point of departure towards a certain number of steps or stages and the participation in this Jubilee would be very clearly part of this process.


Satan’s master stroke (Part 2 of 2)

Satan’s master stroke (Part 2 of 2)

(Editorial of Le Sel de la terre 94, Autumn 2015)

(Continued)

4. Should we return to the old principle :

“No practical agreement without doctrinal agreement” ?

Today, under Pope Francis, it is no longer possible to argue for a supposed improvement in the situation in Rome, but this does not stop certain people from raising objections to a return to the “old principle”.  Here are some objections which are voiced and the responses which can be made to them:

Objection 1

Between “no practical agreement without doctrinal agreement” and “practical agreement without doctrinal agreement”, there is a middle way which is in conformity with the thought of Archbishop Lefebvre.

1st Response: The Devil fishes in troubled waters.  In a matter of such importance (since the Faith is in danger), we must be clear.

2nd Response:  The thought of Archbishop Lefebvre evolved with events.  The more Conciliar Rome showed itself to be stubborn in its adherence to Modernism, the more he took his distance.  After the failure of the negotiations, he took up a very clear position, which is the one we have explained above (i.e. in the first part of this article).  Those who today want to make a practical agreement with Rome while claiming to be faithful to Archbishop Lefebvre are obliged to suppose that Archbishop Lefebvre would have changed his mind.  It is more correct to think that Archbishop Lefebvre would, on the contrary, be even more wary of today’s Rome, because of the fact that it is even more Modernist than in 1988.

Objection 2.

But if the Pope grants us something (like the label of “Catholic Association” in Argentina, or even ordinary jurisdiction to confess validly and licitly during the Holy Year), without asking us for anything in exchange, then we are not going to refuse!  It binds us to nothing.

Response: “Timeo Daneos et dona ferentes”1, replies Virgil.  We should instead have the wisdom and prudence to at least recall that we remain separated by a wall – i.e. the wall which separates Catholic doctrine from Modernism.  Otherwise we could end up thinking that these little gifts are the proof that collaboration is possible2.

During the Communist persecutions, Catholics who wanted to resist chose rather the policy of never accepting anything from the Communists (see “Le piège des pains au jambon” by Rose Hu, in Sel de la Terre 61, Summer 2007, p. 703).

Objection 3.

By refusing to follow the Society of Saint Pius X, you are dividing Tradition, whereas it needs to be united vis-à-vis Rome, in order to be stronger.

1st Response: Our strength lies above all in the truth which we defend.  By “muting” this truth (by accepting a “practical agreement” with those who do not profess it), we lose our strength, just as Sampson lost his by allowing his hair to be cut.

2nd Response: Bishop de Galarreta had foreseen that if we continued down this path of a practical agreement, “many superiors and priests will have a legitimate problem of conscience and will oppose it4”.

3rd Response: Who causes division: the one who changes policy – without saying so clearly – or the one who does not want to change and simply explains why he does not want to change?

Objection 4.

But nothing has been signed!  So, we can keep the current situation, while waiting for a better Pope with whom we will be able to make an agreement.

Response:  Signing will be the end of the process.  But once you accept in principle to place yourself under the direct authority of Modernists, you are committing yourself to a process of rapprochement.  This is a process which is already well underway: in effect, since 2011, at least, there has been no serious condemnation of the errors and faults of Modernist Rome by the superior authority of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X.  Some underlings have been allowed to speak out, but even they less and less5.

Objection 5.

One cannot say, without further qualification, that principles – even practical ones – remain unchangeable.  As a result, you are exaggerating when you make of this principle an unchangeable rule6.

Response: It is true that prudence must take account of circumstances and that the application of the principles can vary.  Saint Thomas Aquinas (II-IIae, q. 49, a.2) shows that the practical syllogism of prudence contains a universal Major (a first proposition) and a particular Minor (a second proposition).

This Minor, which is the observation of a concrete fact, is changeable according to the circumstances.  But it is not a “principle” in the sense used here7.

The Major, however, is a principle, a general rule of action founded on human nature and therefore invariable:  it is in this sense that the word “principle” is used in the quotes of Cardinal Pie, Monseigneur Freppel, Fréderic Le Play, etc.:

Let us not hope to seize once more, by means of secret capitulations, that which Heaven itself refuses to give us.  The reign of expediency is over; the reign of principles is beginning (Cardinal Pie, First Pastoral Letter, 25 November 1849).

In a society which is everywhere collapsing, it seemed to me that the first thing to do was to straighten out ideas.  What is necessary is to concentrate on improving the fundamentals in light of the principles.  There is no other rule of reform than that of seeking what is true and confessing it, whatever may happen (Fréderic Le Play in 1865).

Let us know how to recognize that abandoning the principles is the real cause of our disasters (The Count de Chambord, 8 May 1871).

The greatest misfortune for any era or country is when truth is abandoned or diminished.  One can recover from anything else; one never recovers from sacrificing principles (Monseigneur Freppel, 19 January 1873).

It is clear that, for these distinguished minds, the principles of which they speak are not variable rules.

Conclusion: let us keep the “old principle”

Undoubtedly the principle “no canonical agreement before a doctrinal agreement” is not one of the very first principles of the Natural Law (like the Ten Commandments).  It is rather to be ranked amongst those common truths admitted by prudent people.

However, in the current circumstances, after more than 25 years’ experience of witnessing that those groups which have gone over to Conciliar Rome always end up abandoning the fight for the Faith, after observing that the situation in Rome, far from improving, is actually only worsening, it appears clearly that only the observation of this principle – left as a testament by Archbishop Lefebvre – will allow us to resist “Satan’s master stroke”.

Satan’s “master stroke” (Part 1 of 2)

Satan’s “master stroke”  (Part 1 of 2)

(Editorial of Le Sel de la terre 94, Autumn 2015)

1.  Satan Launches his “master stroke”

We know that Pope Paul VI spoke of the auto-destruction of the Church and of the smoke of Satan which had entered the Temple of God:

“The Church finds Herself in a time of anxiety, of self-criticism, we could even say of auto-destruction. It is akin to an interior upheaval, which is both acute and complex, and which no-one would have expected after the Council.”1

“Faced with the situation in the Church today, we have the impression that through some crack or fissure the smoke of Satan has entered into the Temple of God.  There are doubts, uncertainties, problems, anxiety, dissatisfaction, confrontation. The Church is no longer trusted. […] It was thought that after the Council the sun would have shone on the history of the Church.  But, instead of sun, we have had clouds, storms, darkness, searching, uncertainty. […] How was this able to happen?  An adversary power has intervened, whose name is the devil, this mysterious being to whom Saint Peter alludes in his letter.”2

Just as the High-Priest, Caiaphas, prophesied that it was necessary for Our Lord Jesus Christ to die in order to save His people3, but without understanding his prophecy, so Paul VI saw that the Church was auto-destructing via the action of Satan, but without understanding the process.

On 13 October 1974, the anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima, in a written work entitled “Satan’s Master stroke”, Archbishop Lefebvre described in a striking manner how the auto-destruction of the Church was happening.  Here are some extracts from that text:

“Satan’s master stroke will therefore be to spread the revolutionary principles introduced into the Church by the authority of the Church itself, placing this authority in a situation of incoherence and permanent contradiction; so long as this ambiguity has not been dispersed, disasters will multiply within the Church. […]  We must acknowledge that the trick has been well played and that Satan’s lie has been masterfully utilized.  The Church will destroy Herself through obedience.  […]  You must obey!  Whom or what must we obey?  We don’t know exactly.  Woe to the man who does not consent.  He thereby earns the right to be trampled under-foot, to be calumniated, to be deprived of everything which allowed him to live.  He is a heretic, a schismatic; let him die – that is all he deserves.”

“Satan has really succeeded in pulling off a master stroke: he is succeeding in having those who keep the Catholic Faith condemned by the very people who should be defending and propagating it. […]  Satan reigns through ambiguity and incoherence, which are his means of combat, and which deceive men of little Faith.  Satan’s master stroke, by which he is bringing about the auto-destruction of the Church, is therefore to use obedience in order to destroy the Faith: authority against Truth.“

2. Satan continues his “master stroke”

It is not only in the immediate aftermath of the Council that Satan used his master stroke.  He began all over again after the consecrations of 30 June 1988 in order to try to divide Tradition.  Here is how Dom Thomas Aquinas describes the scenario in the last Letter to the Friends of Santa Cruz Monastery:

“On June 30, 1988, after having prayed for a long time, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops so that Holy Church could continue Her mission.  This ceremony stirred up the predicted storm.  Rome thundered excommunication (invalid because Archbishop Lefebvre’s act was licit and necessary due to the situation in which the Church finds Herself) and the newspapers published the news with great gusto.However, Rome was not the only one to disapprove of these consecrations. Some within Tradition also opposed them: Dom Gérard Calvet, Prior of the Sainte Madeleine Monastery in Le Barroux, France, Jean Madiran, director of the Itinéraires magazine, Father Bisig4, and some others.  Dom Gérard said that it was necessary to remain within the visible perimeter of the Church.  In order to accomplish this, he regularized his canonical situation with Rome, abandoning Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, bringing with him the Benedictine nuns of the Annonciation Monastery in France.  He also tried to bring with him in his opposition to the 1988 consecrations the Brazilian foundation of Santa Cruz.

And what were his arguments?  They were subtle and threatened to undermine the monks of Santa Cruz:

You must obey me”, he said, “because this decision does not concern the Faith.  It is a prudential question.  You must obey me because of your vows”.

These are not his exact words, but that was the essence of his argument.  Dom Gérard had already declared:  “Rome is giving us everything and is asking nothing from us.  How could we refuse?”  He thus employed every means to convince his monks, the faithful and friendly priests: to disobey him would be a mortal sin, a sin against our vows.

What were we to say faced with such an argument?   “Our Faith is exposed to great risks by this agreement with Rome.  We cannot accept it”.

“You must come back to France”, Dom Gérard told me.  “There are fifty monks in the monastery to protect your Faith”.

Even though Dom Gérard said there was no risk for our Faith, even though Dom Gérard said that his decision was purely prudential, the truth was completely different.  Even though this decision was prudential, it had serious consequences for the Faith.  By submitting himself to authorities who were not professing the Catholic Faith in all its integrity, Dom Gérard was placing our monasteries in a situation whose harmfulness would be demonstrated over time:  the New Mass celebrated by monks, Religious Liberty defended by Father Basile, the departure of several monks as well as a new orientation for the whole monastery of Le Barroux.”

3. A means of resisting pointed out by Archbishop Lefebvre

Satan’s master stroke has been working well for about fifty years.  It is to be foreseen that the devil will continue using it.  How can we resist and not allow ourselves to be tricked by it?

Archbishop Lefebvre himself gives us some good advice.

First off, distinguish the two Romes:

“We can think that there is Rome and Rome: [on one hand,] there is the Rome which is eternal in Her Faith, Her Dogmas, Her concept of the Sacrifice of the Mass; [on the other hand,] there is the temporal Rome which is influenced by the ideas of the modern world, an influence which the Council itself did not escape.5

Then we must clearly manifest our refusal to follow neo-Modernist Rome. Some weeks after writing his text on “Satan’s master stroke”, in his famous Declaration of 21 November 1974, Archbishop Lefebvre returned to this distinction of the two Romes and explained his refusal to follow neo-Modernist Rome:

“We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this Faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth.

We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it. “

In his Spiritual Journey6,“written for us in 1990, as his spiritual will and testament7”, Archbishop Lefebvre reaffirmed with force the necessity of breaking with neo-Modernist Rome, once more called “Conciliar church”:

“It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith!”

As Archbishop Lefebvre also said: “it is the superiors who make the subjects8” and not the opposite. Whence the necessity of maintaining a respectful distance from the Modernist Roman authorities and of observing the principle which was that of the Society of Saint Pius X between 1998 and 2012: “No canonical agreement with Rome before a doctrinal agreement”.

This principle was bequeathed by Archbishop Lefebvre after the failure of the negotiations of 1988. Here, for example, are some extracts of the article entitled “À une reprise des colloques, je poserai mes conditions” (“If talks were renewed, I would lay down my conditions”), which appeared in Fideliter No. 66 of December 1988:

“I shall not accept being in the position where I was put during the dialogue. No more. I will place the discussion on the doctrinal level: “Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? Do you agree with Quanta Cura of Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Leo XIII, Pascendi Gregis of Pius X, Quas Primas of Pius XI, Humani Generis of Pius XII? Are you in full communion with these Popes and their teachings? Do you still accept the entire Anti-Modernist Oath? Are you in favor of the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these Popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless.” Thus, the positions will be clear.”

This principle was repeated very many times by the authorities of the Society of Saint Pius X, notably by the Chapter of 2006:

“The contacts made from time to time [by the Society] with the authorities in Rome have no other purpose than to help them embrace once again that Tradition which the Church cannot repudiate without losing her identity. The purpose is not just to benefit the Society, nor to arrive at some merely practical impossible agreement. “

In 2008, Bishop Fellay judged, correctly, that this principle is based on the order of the nature of things:

“It is so clear for us that the issue of the Faith and of the spirit of Faith has priority over all that we cannot consider a practical solution before the first issue is safely resolved. […] Each day brings additional proofs that we must clarify to the maximum the underlying issues before taking one more step toward a canonical situation, which is not in itself displeasing to us. But this is a matter of following the order of the nature of things, and to start from the wrong end would unavoidably place us in an unbearable situation. We have daily proofs of this. What is at stake is nothing more nor less than our future existence.9

And yet, in March 2012 Bishop Fellay announced that he was abandoning this principle, because of the improvement in Rome since 200610, and this abandonment was supported by the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X in July 2012: the condition of an agreement on doctrine no longer figures amongst the six conditions laid down for a canonical recognition.11

Since then, despite many pleas, Bishop Fellay has refused to return to the old principle. Whence the troubles which Tradition has been experiencing for three years now.

(Continue to Part 2)

  1. Paul VI, Declaration of 7 December 1968. Source in French: Documentation Catholique, 5 January 1969, Column 12.
  2. Homily of Paul VI of 6/29/1972.   Source (in French): http://notredamedesneiges.-overblog. Text in Italian: http://www.vatican.va/… Strangely, it is not the text itself which is reproduced, but a “report”, which is undoubtedly the work of the Curia offices.
  3. “It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people”(John XI, 50).
  4. Founder of the Society of Saint Peter
  5. « Le coup de maître de Satan » (“Satan’s Masterstroke”), 13 October, 1974.
  6. Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey, Angelus Press, 1991.
  7. Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais , sermon of 1 January, 2015.
  8. Fideliter, 70, p.6.
  9. Letter to Friends and Benefactors, No. 73, 23 October, 2008.
  10. “The Chapter in 2006 set forth a very clear line of conduct in matters concerning our situation with respect to Rome. We give priority to the Faith, without seeking for our part a practical solution BEFORE the doctrinal question is resolved. This is not a principle, but a line of conduct that should regulate our concrete action. […] If there were a change in the situation of the Church with respect to Tradition, then that might necessitate a corresponding modification of the conclusion. […] Now there is no doubt that since 2006 we have witnessed a development in the Church, an important and extremely interesting development, although it is not very visible. […] This requires that we take up a new position with respect to the official Church. […] This is the context in which it is advisable to ask the question about some form of recognition of the Society by the official Church. […] Our new friends in Rome declare that the impact of such recognition would be extremely powerful on the whole Church.” (Bishop Fellay, Cor Unum, 18 March, 2012).
  11. Sine qua non conditions to be laid down by the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X in the case of a canonical recognition: 1 Freedom to keep, to transmit and to teach the sane doctrine of the unchanging magisterium of the Church and of the unchangeable truth of Divine Tradition ; freedom to defend, to correct and to reprove, even in public, those responsible for the errors or novelties of modernism, of liberalism, of The Second Vatican Council and their consequences ; 2 Exclusive use of the liturgy of 1962. The retention of the sacramental practice that we have at the moment (including holy orders, confirmation and marriage) ; 3 The guarantee of at least one bishop. – Desirable conditions: 1 Our own ecclesiastical tribunals, in the first instance ; 2 Exemption of houses of The Society of St Pius X in respect of diocesan bishops ; 3 A Pontifical Commission in Rome for Tradition, dependent on the Pope, with a majority of members, and the presidency, from Tradition”. (Father Christian Thouvenot, Circular Letter to Superiors of 18 July 2012. French source: http://tradinews.blogspot.fr/2012/07)

The Friary’s Position

The Friary’s position

  • The position of the Friary has not changed since the foundation of our community, that is, we continue the combat for the Faith summarized perfectly by the Doctrinal Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre of November 21, 1974.
  • More precisely, we hold the principle which has been the one of the Society from 1988 to 2012, and which was still clearly maintained in the General Chapter of 2006:

“The contacts that the Society continues occasionally with Roman authorities have for their only end to help these authorities to reappropriate the Tradition that the Church cannot repudiate without losing her identity, and not the search for an advantage for ourselves, or to come to an impossible and purely practical agreement. The day when Tradition will once again regain all its rights, “the problem of our reconciliation will have no further reason to exist and the Church will experience a new youth”. 1

  • We support therefore all the priests still in the SSPX who, not without difficulty, continue the good fight in this spirit. By the grace of God, there are a good number of them, especially in the French District of the Society.  The Appeal to the faithful of January 2014 was not a declaration of rupture with the SSPX, but a “public testimony of our firm and faithful attachment to the principles that always guided Archbishop Lefebvre in the combat for the Faith”.
  • If there are priests outside of the Society who, clearly and without ambiguity, continue the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, there is no reason not to support them. To support them does not mean “taking sides” for one Society against another. We have no intention to do anything “against” the Society, and do not wish its collapse : nobody wants that.
  • A suggestion for those who want to remain faithful to the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre: to the word “resistance”, we prefer the expression “combat for the faith”, not only because one does not define oneself by something negative; but because this expression exists since the beginning of Tradition, and includes all those who faithfully continue the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, no matter what organization they belong to.