In the latest issue of the Society of St Pius X’s internal publication (mainly for Society priests), “Cor Unum,” the Superior General publishes arguments to defend and justify his relentless pursuit of the SSPX’s incorporation into the mainstream Church. He argues that the Society is right to be talking to today’s Roman officials. He presents basically two arguments. These need to be examined if they are not to continue creating confusion.
The first of the two arguments runs as follows: The Catholic Church, as the Immaculate Bride of Christ, is much more than just its corrupt officials, because it is a whole of which these officials are merely a part. But the Catholic Society of St Pius X must remain in contact with the Catholic Church. Therefore it must maintain contact, and continue to negotiate, with the corrupt officials.
The argument is easy to refute, as soon as one brings into view the Faith. Indeed Catholics must draw from the Immaculate Bride of Christ whatever they need to get to Heaven, but it is never from the corruption of the corrupt Church officials that they will be able to draw their spiritual life. And if these officials are so corrupt in the Faith that contact with them positively endangers that faith of Catholics which is the very basis of Catholics’ spiritual life, then Catholics must positively avoid such officials. Now the neo-modernism of today’s Roman officials is highly corrupt and corrupting, all the more objectively dangerous for its being more or less, on their part, subjectively innocent. Therefore Catholics wishing to keep the faith must stay well away from these Romans. “Cor Unum” argues as though neo-modernists present no danger to the Faith!
Archbishop Lefebvre drew the correct conclusion. When in the spring of 1988 he did everything he could have done (even, one may say, more than he should have done) to get the Roman officials to do their duty to look after Catholic Tradition, and even after over 10 years of the Archbishop’s efforts, they still refused, showing that, far from wanting to look after Tradition, they merely wanted to absorb it into their Newchurch, then the Archbishop concluded thay they were so corrupt in the Faith that he would have nothing more to do with them until they professed once more the Faith of the great anti-liberal papal documents, such as the Syllabus, Pascendi, and Quas Primas.
For indeed the Faith does not exist for the appointed Church officials, but they exist for the Faith. So if their fruits demonstrate beyond any doubt that they are destroying the Faith, then, to defend the Faith, not only should the Society not be talking to the Conciliar officials, it should, while observing all charity and respect, be fleeing them like the plague, for fear of itself being infected by their dangerously infectious Conciliar errors, unless and until, exactly as Archbishop Lefebvre said, they show that they are quitting their Conciliarism and coming back to true Catholic doctrine.
The second argument is that Rome’s granting of bishops to visit the Society’s seminaries (including Écône) is proof of Rome’s “benevolence” towards the Society, because Rome is “at a loss how to deal with the Society.” And once more a swallow here and there is taken to be signifying the summer of Rome’s conversion. The naivete is breathtaking. Rome knows exactly how to deal with the Society: send Conciliar bishops into Society seminaries to show its future priests how nice the Conciliar churchmen are. Then eventually the Society will just flow into the Newchurch.
The SSPX has no business to be asking for anything whatsoever from these Roman officials, appointees perhaps, apostates certainly. And if it gives them to think that, objectively and collectively, they are anything other than apostates, it will be “like to them, a liar” (cf. Jn. VIII, 55).