By Eleison Comments in Eleison Comments on March 8, 2008
A young German friend asks me some questions which deserve straight answers. Here is how he expresses his main concern:—
Question:— Since the promulgation last July of the ‘Motu Proprio’ of Benedict XVI partially liberating the Tridentine rite of the Mass, there are various views and opinions as to what it means or can mean for the Society of St. Pius X. Some people are optimistic. Others say it is a trap for the SSPX. Some go so far as to say that the leadership of the SSPX is preparing a sell-out to Rome . . . I have the feeling that the average SSPX faithful are somewhat confused. What can you give me by way of a guideline, so that I don’t get lost in useless guessing-games or needless fears? Answer:— We must save our souls. To save our souls we must keep the Catholic Faith, because “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. XI, 6). The stupendous achievement of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre between 1970 when he founded the SSPX and 1991 when he died, is that he enabled many souls to keep the true Faith in a Church where millions of Catholics were losing it, consciously or unconsciously, because the leading churchmen had come to believe in the anti-Catholic ideals of the modern world. Ever since the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), these churchmen have behaved like ice-salesmen who are convinced they must expose their wares in bright sunshine! The Church has been melting before their eyes ever since!
Yet still they cling to the anti-Catholic ideas of Vatican II. Alongside the “Motu Proprio” apparently favoring the Mass of the true Faith, Benedict XVI organizes and presides over ecumenical meetings which, by placing the Catholic religion on a more or less equal footing with all other religions, officially represented and all necessarily more or less false, are a grave offence to God. So any apparent benevolence shown by Benedict XVI towards the true Faith or the true Mass can only mean that he wishes them to be reconciled with the Conciliar religion and all other religions! Therefore if he is not a conscious agent of truth-dissolving Freemasonry, at any rate he has no understanding of the true Faith, and so he cannot grasp how absolutely opposed it is to the man-centred religion of Vatican II.
Question:— Then was the ‘Motu Proprio’ a trap to draw the SSPX (along with others) towards reconciliation with this false Rome? Answer:— God alone knows for sure what were Benedict XVI’s intentions. Any benevolence of his towards Tradition, towards the SSPX, towards the true Mass, may, for all we know, be subjectively sincere. But objectively the Motu Proprio and the Letter to the Bishopswhich accompanied it, by no means recognize the full rights of the True Mass or the true Faith. So if someone suggested that either of these documents did recognize those rights, he would indeed be falling into a trap.
Question:— Yet there has been much praise and little criticism of the ‘Motu Proprio’ from within the SSPX.
Answer:— Catholics are so longing for the Roman churchmen to come back to the Faith that they rejoice at the least indication of Rome’s doing so, but, sadly, that can be a mistake. What use is it if an arithmetician says two and two are four when you know that alongside, and all the time, he is also saying they are five? He obviously has no grasp of true arithmetic. What use is it for Benedict XVI to say that the true Mass has never been abrogated, and (within limits) to set it free, when he is also constantly organizing ecumenical meetings? He obviously has no grasp on the true Faith.
Question:— What about the rumor of the SSPX preparing a sell-out to Rome? Answer:— Certainly the SSPX has no intention of betraying Archbishop Lefebvre’s defence of the Faith. So if any of the members entertain any serious thought of going in with Rome’s Neo-modernists, it is because they will have been deceived by the modern world, like so many before them. This time round the deceit will have taken the form that things have got better in Rome since the Archbishop’s time. But they have not. The apostasy at least objective is as wild as ever. So I cannot believe that the heirs of Archbishop Lefebvre would let themselves be deceived to that extent.
However, I have often made myself unpopular with colleagues in the SSPX by recalling the obvious fact that the SSPX does not have the guarantee of indefectibility that the Catholic Church has. The SSPX could fail. That is why, given what service it has rendered since 1970 to the Universal Church in guarding the Faith, and what service it can still render, Catholics must pray for it, especially for the leadership, that it may not fail.
Question:— If the SSPX were to be re-absorbed into the mainstream Church, would that mean the crisis of the Church had come to an end?
Answer:— By no means. The SSPX being “re-absorbed” or not is not the problem. The problem is the Roman churchmen, especially the Pope. When they come back to the true Faith, and only then, will the crisis be over.
Question:— And what if the SSPX is re-absorbed without the crisis being over?
Answer:— Our Lord says, “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, we will cross that bridge when we come to it, as the proverb says. However, one thing is certain: the Good Shepherd CANNOT abandon sheep that do not want to abandon him. Have no fear! If in His wisdom and providence He were to allow the SSPX to fail – and that is merely a possibility, not a certainty – he would offer to all sheep of good will, in some other form, all the guidance and support they would need to save their souls.
Question:— I have a strange sense of violent storms on the horizon. What do you think? Answer:— Nothing seems to me more likely. The financial storm has started, and is increasing every day in weight and speed. Storms economic and political are bound to follow, and, as a chastisement of God, I do believe, World War III, which will be terrible.
“In the world you shall have distress,” says Our Lord, “but have confidence, I have overcome the world.” (Jn XV, 33).