Just before Holy Week is a good moment to reflect on the passion (suffering) of the Catholic Church. A
reader writes: “Can you tell us what on earth is going on with SSPX, Bishop Fellay, and others? We’re hearing some weird stories down here, and we don’t quite know what to believe. THINGS ARE FRACTURED ALMOST BEYOND BELIEF – EVERYWHERE. Starting from (1) the Novus Ordo, we have (2) the SSPX, (3) the Sedevacantists, (4) the SSPX Resistance, and (5) Fr. Pfeiffer’s group, with more splits to come, no doubt! What on earth is “Pope” Francis up to? He spends all his time playing politics, nothing spiritual! And one hears that Fellay is chasing a scarlet hat! What does that mean?
Dear Friend, the Catholic Church is in a state of chaos, by a just punishment of God, because His Church is the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth,” but all over the world mankind is turning away from Him, including even His own churchmen. Nor is it any use God raising a good Pope too soon, because the churchmen would merely turn and tear him (Mt. VII, 6), as perhaps they assassinated John-Paul I. So the whole world is going to be in darkness (no light) and corruption (no salt), until enough men are so overwhelmed by today’s galloping chaos that they get back on their knees to beg God in His mercy to put the Pope back on his feet, who at the moment, as you say, is playing politics instead of religion.
The Pope is crucial because he is the rock on which the Church is built (Mt. XVI, 18), so that if he is fractured through wanting to follow the corrupt world instead of leading it out of its corruption, then as you say “things are fractured almost beyond belief – everywhere.” When Our Lord was struck in the Garden of Gethsemane all the Apostles were scattered (Zachary XIII, 7; Mt. XXVI, 31). Today Pope Francis is so deeply struck that authority throughout the Church is essentially dislocated.
The problem of Pope Francis goes back to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), because that was when and where the Popes gave up resisting the decadent modern world and decided to follow it instead. Up till Pius XII included (1939–1958), the Popes had resisted that decadence, but it was so glamorous and overpowering that John XXIII, Paul VI, John-Paul II and Benedict XVI all allowed themselves to be deluded (not without their own fault). They created your (1), the Novus Ordo or Conciliar Church, named after the New Order of Mass which has turned masses of Catholics into virtual Protestants. Pope Francis not only shares these Popes’ errors from the accursed Council, but he also puts them most destructively into practice, causing more chaos in the Church than ever.
Yet soon after the Council, God had raised a Catholic Archbishop to found a Congregation to look after all souls that refused to abandon Catholic Tradition which was then being abandoned by the Popes and the mass of churchmen. That was your (2), the SSPX, or Society of St Pius X, which flourished until the Archbishop died in 1991. But before he died there began also your (3), the “sedevacantists” who are so scandalised by the Conciliar Popes that they refuse even to believe that they are true Popes. And after the Archbishop died, his younger successors at the head of his Society, suckled on the modern world, fell foul of the same errors as the Council, notably Bishop Fellay who may well be seeking a Cardinal’s hat as a reward for his corrupting the resistance of Tradition to the Newchurch. This betrayal of the Archbishop’s true resistance from inside the Society gave rise to your (4) the SSPX “Resistance,” in which scattered priests hang loosely together to keep the Catholic Faith being now corrupted inside both the Novus Ordo and the SSPX. Good Catholics hanker for less looseness, but by now half a century of Conciliar Popes had essentially broken Catholic structure. However, your (5) now arose, Fr. Pfeiffer’s group, to which the (4) “Resistance”did not seem to be resisting enough.
In brief, within all five groupings there are scattered Catholic sheep known to God, who have the faith and want and mean to be Catholics, but Conciliar Popes are incapable of pulling Catholics together in the true Faith. And since nobody less than a Pope in his right mind can fulfil that function, then “what cannot be cured must be endured,” until God intervenes. For God to intervene, let any Catholic – or non-Catholic! – pray 15 Mysteries of the Rosary every day for God’s Mother to intercede with her Son.