The Motu Proprio
From Pope Francis
July 16, 2021
Dogs, Wolves and Sheep Skin
Editorial from Le Sel de la terre 117
Domini canes: was the pun likening the sons of St. Dominic (Domini-cani) to the dogs of the Lord (Domini canes) approved – even prompted – by Heaven itself?
The way in which the founder of the Preachers was announced to his mother in a dream, under the figure of a little dog, might suggest this.
In any case, this underlines the originality of a religious order that owed its birth to a heresy, that of the Albigensians, and was specifically founded to respond to it.
“Like a shepherd’s dog, Dominic preached: Bringing back to the path the lost sheep. And knowing how to bark when the wolf roamed.” (hymn to St. Dominic).
* Domini canes or Traditionis Custodes?
But if the eighth centenary of his entry into Heaven (August 6, 1221) provided a beautiful opportunity to evoke St. Dominic, a burning current event has caught up with this anniversary. This summer, in the Church, much more than Domini canes, there was talk of Traditionis Custodes: the sarcastic title of a Motu Proprio signed by Pope Francis on July 16, when the Latin text was still unknown – it still is – and was probably not even written. A minor detail, compared to the substance of the matter, but indicative of the ever-increasing cynicism of conciliar Rome.
There was a time when it tried to keep up appearances. Now it is displaying its Machiavellianism more and more openly.
When Francis sticks this fine Latin title on a text that despises Latin as much as it despises Tradition, when he invokes collegiality to impose his personal ideas, when he trumpets that he wants to restore the liturgical authority of the bishops, but in fact grants them only the right to forbid the traditional liturgy and denies them the right to authorize it more broadly, no one can be deceived. Such obvious lies do not even try to be believed. The situation at least gains clarity.
* The Wolf and the Sheep Skin
Since 2007, like a sheep’s skin, the distinction posed by Benedict XVI between the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the one Roman rite 1 masked the reality. Francis is tearing apart this pretense. An indissoluble link unites Vatican II, the new Mass of Paul VI, and the new morality of Francis (which only logically applies the principles of the Council). It is the new religion. The conciliar wolf is naked.
Archbishop Lefebvre had perceived its voice as early as 1965:
“This pastoral Constitution is neither pastoral nor emanates from the Catholic Church […] never has the Church spoken like this. […]. We know the voice of Christ, our Shepherd. This one we do not know. The garment is that of the sheep; the voice is not that of the Shepherd, but perhaps that of the wolf 2. “
* The Ecclesia Dei Institutes facing reality
When the shepherd turns into a wolf, resistance is a duty:
“When the shepherd turns into a wolf, it is up to the whole flock to defend itself. According to the rule, no doubt, doctrine descends from the bishops to the faithful; and the subjects must not judge their leaders in matters of faith. But in the treasure of Revelation there are essential points, of which every Christian, by the very fact of being a Christian, has the necessary knowledge and obligatory custody 3.”
For fifty years, Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer, Father Calmel O.P. and many others, have set an example of this resistance, clearly denouncing the errors of Vatican II (without, however, allowing themselves to judge and then recuse the leaders of the Church, as the sedevacantists want to do).
For thirty years, the Ecclesia Dei Institutes have tried to find a middle way, keeping the traditional liturgy without rejecting Vatican II. But the pope himself is dispelling their illusions, peeling off the sheep’s skin. Francis himself is destroying the famous hermeneutic of continuity, laboriously built up by Benedict XVI.
The Ecclesia Dei Institutes are up against the wall. Will they make the choice of consistency? Will they recuse Vatican II, like Archbishop Vigano or Bishop Schneider?
We need to pray for the future.
We must pray for this intention.
1 ‑ Benedict XVI, Motu proprio Summorum pontificum (July 7, 2007).
2 ‑ Excerpt from a text delivered by Archbishop Lefebvre to the Council Secretariat on September 9, 1965, concerning the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes.
3 ‑ Dom Guéranger, Liturgical Year, Time of the Septuagesima, Feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria.