“Keep therefore and do the things which the Lord God hath commanded you: you shall not go aside neither to the right hand nor to the left.” This instruction from the Lord God to be passed on by Moses to the Israelites (Deut.V, 32) is certainly valid for God’s Chosen People of the New Testament (Rom. IX, 25–26), but it is not so easy to apply in our own time when the Shepherd of the New Testament is struck, and we sheep are scattered (Zech.XIII, 7). Is the Pope so lightly struck that Catholics need not take care how they obey him? Or is he so seriously struck that he cannot be Pope? In any case the sheep are scattered and will remain so, until Russia is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart.
Meanwhile, as it seems to me, a letter published in the latest issue of the Angelus, official magazine of the Society of St Pius X in the USA, goes astray to the left. Fr. S. has several reasons for urging the SSPX to put itself “in the hands . . .of the Pope as soon as possible.” Firstly, to think that the Roman churchmen are intentional destroyers of the Church is implicit sedevacantism. But I need be no sedevacantist, implicit or explicit, to recall that their subjective intentions no way lessen the objective damage that they have done to the Church, and would do to the SSPX, if it came under their control. Secondly, for the SSPX to wait until the Romans’ full doctrinal conversion to put itself into their hands, is unrealistic. But one heresy is enough to make an enemy of the Faith, and modernism is an all-embracing heresy (Pascendi, Pius X). Too much contact with the Romans has already seduced the SSPX’s leaders.
Thirdly, the SSPX must give back to Rome as soon as possible the doctrine and practice of the true Faith. But if Rome were still only half modernist, such a giving back would be to throw pearls before swine (Mt.VII, 6). Fourthly, the SSPX has for so long kept its distance from Rome that it risks losing all Catholic sense of hierarchy, obedience and authority. But the true Faith must be kept at a safe distance from all-embracing heresy. If the heresy is not my fault, God can look after my Catholic senses, so long as I am faithful to him, for 40 years or more in the desert, just as he looked after the faithful Israelites (Exod. – Deut.). And fifthly, the so-called “Resistance” is dividing and weakening the SSPX’s true resistance to Conciliar Rome. But unity around any non-doctrinal understanding with modernists will be unity around error, fatal for Archbishop Lefebvre’s SSPX. In brief, Fr. S. has lost sight of just how seductive and deadly for the Faith is the error of modernism.
On the other hand, as it seems to me, a priest now refusing any longer to mention the Pope’s name in the Canon of the Mass is in danger of going astray to the right. If I see the deadly danger of modernism to the Faith, certainly I see the enormous objective damage done to the Church by Conciliar Popes. But can I truthfully say that there is nothing at all still Catholic left in them? For example, as Fr. S. would say, do they not still have at least good subjective intentions? Have they not all at least meant to serve the Church? In which case can I not celebrate Mass in union with whatever is still Catholic in them? The mainstream Church may be sick unto death, but I for one could not maintain that there is nothing Catholic whatsoever still happening within it. It is not yet completely dead.
“In things certain, unity. In things doubtful, liberty. In all things, charity.”