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.

Society of Saint Pius X: visits of prelates (new addition)

Society of Saint Pius X: visits of prelates (new version)

On September 23, 2014, the Vatican published the following communiqué after a meeting between Cardinal Müller and Bishop Fellay :

Both sides […] agreed to proceed step by step, but within a reasonable time, towards overcoming difficulties with a view towards a full reconciliation.

What are these steps?  DICI number 302, October 10, 2014, seems to answer the question:

It was decided to work towards doctrinal discussions “within a wider and less formal framework than the previous discussions”.

Rome left the choice of persons and places to Bishop Fellay.

Cardinal Brandmüller and Bishop Schneider

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller:

The 86 year old Cardinal Brandmüller was president of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences from 1998 to 2009.  Along with Cardinals Müller, Burke, Caffara and de Paolis, he is the co-author of the book called Remaining in the Truth of Christ, which opposes giving communion to divorced and remarried people.

He is a fervent disciple of the last pope. His mindset is revealed in the work The keys of Benedict XVI for the Interpretation of Vatican II.  1  There in particular you will read:

The Society of St Pius X and the “Old Catholics” who rejected the Teaching on Papal Infallibility of Vatican I both have in common that they reject the legitimate developments in Doctrine and in the life of the Church.

On May 21, 2012, on the occasion of presenting his book to the press, the Cardinal issued the following statement to Radio Vatican:

Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra Aetate are not binding on the doctrinal level.  I do not understand why our friends in the Society of St Pius X are almost exclusively focused on these two texts.  I regret that they do this because these two texts are the easiest to accept given their canonical nature.

Can we forget that these texts are the result of secret agreements with the Freemasons, the battles that ensued in order for these texts to be passed, and the disastrous consequences these texts unleashed: the disappearance of Catholic States and the Judaization of the Church?

DICI number 307, December 19, 2014, announced that a meeting between the German prelate and Bishop Fellay, accompanied by several priests, was held on December 5, 2014, at the seminary in Zaitzkofen.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

The 53 year old Bishop Schneider is the auxiliary Bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan since February 5, 2011.

According to Sandro Magister, the well-known Vatican insider, L’Homme Nouveau number 1500 considers the Bishop to be “the best student of Benedict XVI”.  During the symposium Reunicatho held in Paris in January of 2014, Bishop Schneider made a resounding appeal for the reform as set out by Benedict XVI.  At various points of his intervention, Bishop Schneider stated his position on the principal points of today’s question.

  • The Council:

    It is the Vatican II Council that gave a wider understanding of the Mystery of the Church according to the Teaching of the Fathers of the Church […]. Thus, the Church has been seen as “a people made one with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Lumen Gentium 4) 2.

This is what Archbishop Lefebvre thought of this ecclesiology:

There is a new ecclesiology, that is clear.[…] In my opinion, this is exceptionally grave: it is absolutely impossible to say that there could be a new ecclesiology. We do not make the Church nor have we made the Church, and neither the pope, the bishops, history nor councils make the Church. She was made by Our Lord. […] This does not depend on us. Now, how can they say, all of a sudden: “Now because of Vatican II, there is a new ecclesiology”? It’s incredible. 3

  • Ecumenism:

    Ecumenism is necessary in order to be in contact with our separated brethren and in order to love them. From the depth of the challenge offered to us by the new paganism, we may and we must collaborate with non-Catholics who seriously wish to defend the revealed Divine Truth [which they reject!] and the Natural Law that God created [which they do not observe!] 4.

    Bishop Schneider is actively involved in the ecumenical movement in Kazakhstan, as shown by this photo published by the official website of the Canadian government. It was taken on March 18th, 2013 during an ecumenical meeting at the Canadian Embassy in Astana, gathering together the different Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox (schismatic) and Jewish “religious leaders” of Kazakhstan.

    On July 5, 2009, the French conciliar catholic newspaper La Croix (The Cross) published the following statement of Bishop Schneider during an interreligious “encounter” in Astana :

    “Anything that can bring about a mutual knowledge and respect between religions is a good thing.”

    It is important to note that a “parliament of religions” is held every year in Astana.

    03-18-2013: Mgr Schneider meets with various "religious leaders" of Kazakhstan.

    03-18-2013: Mgr Schneider meets with various “religious leaders” of Kazakhstan.

  • Pope Francis

In the same interview of May 30, 2014, with the Latin Mass Society, speaking of Pope Francis one year into his reign, Bishop Schneider said:

Let us be grateful to God that Pope Francis has not spoken in the manner that was expected by the media. Up to now, he expresses in all his official homilies the beautiful Catholic doctrine.

Bishop Schneider would do well to read the study done two months earlier by Alexander-Marie in Les Editions Du Sel and also published in Clovis: The strange reign of Pope Francis. The study reveals what the Pope believes on Islam, on Judaism, on laicizing of the State, on homosexuality and even on Freemasonry – in short – so much for “the beautiful Catholic doctrine”.

  • The Liturgical Reform:

In his work, Corpus Christi 5, which is widely spread among those in favor of a regularization, Bishop Schneider sees that at the heart of the current problem is the lack of reverence during the distribution of communion:

The deepest wound of the present crisis in the Church is the wound of the Eucharist, the abuses regarding the Blessed Sacrament.

True, this is extremely grave. However, is not communion in the hand the direct consequence of the New Mass of Paul VI? Bishop Schneider does not question that at all. He even believes – as does his mentor, Benedict XVI – that the New Mass ought to enrich the traditional liturgy:

The insertion of some prefaces from the new missal as well as the insertion of new saints into the traditional liturgical calendar [for example Mother Teresa or John-Paul II?] would be a beautiful and a useful initiative. 6

Let us add at this time that the Mass itself is but one aspect of the conciliar revolution – the most serious is the uncrowning of Our Lord.  We must always come to that because that is at the heart of our fight, just as Archbishop Lefebvre always said:

This is why we oppose [the present Rome], and this is why we cannot agree. It is not firstly a question of the Mass, because the Mass is just one of the consequences of the fact that they wanted to get closer to Protestantism and thus to change the worship, the sacraments, the catechism, etc.

The fundamental opposition between them and us is the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Oportet illum regnare, as St Paul tells us, Our Lord came in order to reign.  They say “No”, and we, we say “Yes” with all the Popes. 7

In Fideliter of January/February 2015, Fr Toulza addressed the issue:

The crisis will not be solved by people who are more or less adequate unless these people renounce their inadequate principles, (he says pointedly). The restoration of the Truth and of the good in the Church has not begun nor will begin unless we question the very principles on which Benedict XVI and Francis both hold to, but each in an undeniably different way. 8

Re-read also what the Archbishop said:

I can hear them say: “You exaggerate! There are many good bishops who pray, who have the Faith, who are edifying, etc”.  Were they saints, as soon as they accept the false Religious Liberty, hence the secular State; false ecumenism, and hence the admission of many ways of salvation; of liturgical reform, and hence of the practical negation of the Sacrifice of the Mass; of the new catechisms with all their errors and heresies, they officially contribute to the revolution within the Church and to its destruction. 9

Already in the spring of 2014, Bishop Schneider was received at the SSPX seminary in Zaiztkofen by the rector, Fr Schmidberger. While he was there, he gave a conference to the seminarians.

Within the framework of the meetings requested by Rome last September, two reunions have been scheduled:

  • One reunion was to be held at the Saint-Cure d’Ars Seminary in Flavigny (France). This reunion already took place on January 15, 2015, during which Bishop Schneider gave two conferences to the seminarians. He also visited the nearby school of the traditional Dominican teaching sisters of Pouilly-en-Auxois (Congregation of Brignoles), where he gave a conference to the sisters. Before visiting Flavigny, Msgr Schneider had a reunion in the Ecclesia Dei Seminary of The Good Sheperd, in France, where he gave a conference to the seminarians.
  • The next reunion was held at the St Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona (U.S.A.) in February, where he met 80 priests of the U.S. District.

Surprisingly enough, no announcement has yet been made of a visit to Ecône.

The relatively young Bishop Schneider, who is friendly with the Ecclesia Dei circles, is opposed to communion in the hand, does not mince words about the last synod, and likes the splendor and pomp of the traditional liturgy, and yet is imbued with “the strange theology” of Benedict XVI of whom he is considered the “best student”, no doubt has the ability to seduce more than one seminarian… or priest.

In the Philippines: Another Meeting

According to the November 25, 2014 official communiqué of the Episcopal Conference in the Philippines (CBCP), which published the following photograph, Fr Carlos Reyes, the secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue, visited on November 18 the SSPX priory in Manila in order to meet with Fr Nely, second assistant to Bishop Fellay, and also with the priests of the priory. They hoped to achieve this goal:

To develop cordial ties with this group, along the same lines as the September meeting held in the Vatican, and to reach full communion with the Church. Several canonical solutions were raised.

Fr Carlos Reyes, the secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue, visited on November 18 the priory in Manila in order to meet with Fr Nely, second assistant to Bishop Fellay, and also with the priests of the priory. They hoped to achieve this goal:  To develop cordial ties with this group, along the same lines as the September meeting held in the Vatican, and to reach full communion with the Church. Several canonical solutions were raised.

Fr Carlos Reyes, the secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue, visited on November 18, 2014 the SSPX priory in Manila in order to meet with Fr Nely, second assistant to Bishop Fellay, and also with the priests of the priory.

  1. Walter Brandmüller Le chiavi di Benedetto XVI per interpretare il Vaticano II, Sienna, Cantagalli, 2012.
  2. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Interview with a French newspaper, Présent, January 10, 2015
  3. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Spiritual Conference, Ecône, March 17, 1986.
  4. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Interview with the La­tin Mass Society, May 30, 2014.
  5. Athanasius Schneider, Corpus Christi, La communion dans la main au coeur de la crise dans l’Eglise, Editions Contretemps, 2014. Preface from Cardinal Burke.
  6. La Lettre de Paix Liturgique (a French “conservative” conciliar review) number 249, September 24, 2010.
  7. Archbishop Lefebvre, The Church infiltrated by Modernism, Editions Fideliter 1993, p. 70.
  8. Fr. Philippe Toulza, “the Tradition, the Church, the world”, Fideliter 223, January/February 2015, p. 70.
  9. Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey, Prologue.