Last week’s news of the expulsion of one of the four bishops of the Society of St Pius X brought in a large number of e-mails of support and encouragement. To every one of you, many thanks. Such a serious division amongst the Society’s bishops is a great shame, but God has his reasons for allowing it to happen, and it is obvious that a number of you understand that the Faith comes before unity. Not division, but loss of Faith is the ultimate evil (I Cor.XI, 19; I Jn.II, 19). As to how the titanic war between the friends and enemies of that Faith will develop, I myself can see at this moment only the broad lines. Let me resort to three favourite quotations of Archbishop Lefebvre, which I think still apply today.
Firstly, “We must follow Providence, and not try to lead it.” If it is true that “Charity hopes all things” (I Cor. XIII, 7), then the Society may be given a little time yet to right itself before it is written off as one more Traditional group gone over to the enemy. That is why I said last week that SSPX priests might lie low for the moment to watch how things develop, while the laity might continue to attend Society Masses, but both must watch out (Mt. XXVI, 41) for contradictions in doctrine, for slackening in morals. The temptation will be to prefer comfort and routine over hardship and upheaval, as did thousands of priests and millions of layfolk after Vatican II, so that they ended up by losing the Faith. We are entitled to wait for Providence to show us which way is the way forward. We are not entitled to lose the Faith.
Secondly, “Time respects nothing done without it.” In other words, it takes time to build something solid. We may be in a hurry. God is not. The Archbishop took his time to build the Society. Vatican II concluded its devilry in 1965. Only 11 years later did the first large batch of priests come out of the Archbishop’s first seminary. Patience. He had not rushed.
Thirdly, “Good is not noisy and noise is not good.” The public domain today is thoroughly poisoned. To try to reach a large audience of modern men is to lay oneself wide open to the risk of the tail wagging the dog, of the audience bending the message, and the messenger, to suit its own corruption. The archbishop rarely went after the media, but they were always after him, because his message was unbending, and that was proof that “Our faith is our victory over the world” (I Jn.V, 4), and not our making noise on the public scene.
In brief, I think that the situation of today’s Catholic Resistance calls for no hurried action, but for a thoughtful measuring of men and events until the will of God becomes more clear. I think – I may be wrong – that he wants a loose network of independent pockets of Resistance, gathered around the Mass, freely contacting one another, but with no structure of false obedience such as served to sink the mainstream Church in the 1960’s, and is now sinking the Society of St Pius X. If you agree, by all means make contributions to the St Marcel Initiative because they will certainly come in useful, maybe sooner than I think. For myself, as soon as my situation stabilizes in England, I am ready to put my bishop’s powers at the disposal of whoever can make wise use of them.
In the USA paper checks can be made out to St Marcel Initiative and mailed to St Marcel Initiative, P.O.Box 764, Carrollton, VA 23314, USA. Contributions by credit card or debit card or direct debit / bank wire may be made at www.stmarcelinitiative.com. For paper check contributions from the U.K. and the Eurozone, details as to where they may be sent will be provided as soon as possible.