Brace yourselves, dear readers, for another piece of bad news. It is not the end of the world, but it is one more straw in an ill wind, one more indication that the wind is blowing in the wrong direction when we had hoped that the wind might have turned in the right direction. After all, when at the General Chapter of July last year a new Superior General was elected, was it not a sign that the firm grip of the liberals on the direction being taken by the Society was at last being loosened? That there was a hope that the new Superior General might take the Society in a rather healthier direction than that taken by the Archbishop’s two immediate successors?
This hope received a rude shock when we learned that just before the end of the Chapter it had created beside the Society’s normal governing body which is the triumvirate of its Superior General and his two Assistants, two brand new posts of Counsellor, to advise the triumvirate – and who did it appoint to these two posts? – none other than the two previous Superiors General! But in case we were afraid that this might mean that there would be no change in the Society’s increasing nightmare of the last 20 years, we were re-assured that the two new Counsellors would only be counselling on the inclusion or exclusion of Society members, or on the opening or closing of Society houses. And whosoever wished to believe that re-assurance did so.
Further to allay fears that at the top of the Society the more things changed the more they would stay the same, fears that the Society was still in the firm grip of its internal enemies, we were also told that the former Superior General would no longer be living in Society Headquarters in Menzingen, near Zurich, but would be taking up residence in the Society’s main seminary in Écône, with a range of high mountains between it and Menzingen. Such a move scared some of us by the shadow that would be cast over the whole Seminary by the former Superior General’s proximity to the priestly formation of the Society’s future French-speaking priests, but at least he would not be overshadowing his successor in Menzingen. At least in this respect we could hope that he would be leaving his successor as Superior General free to determine future Society policy on his own. And that is surely what the move from Menzingen to Écône was meant to make us think. Alas, it looks as though we were once more being taken for fools.
For indeed the latest news, coming from more than one source and surely easy enough to verify, is that the former Superior General has packed his bags in Écône and moved back to Menzingen. It does look as though he has calculated either that there was little potential reaction to his staying in Headquarters, or that the reaction had blown over, in any case that it was safe for the spider to return to the centre of his web, because none of the flies would notice.
Priests of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X, in his name we appeal to you: believe if you must that the policy of re-submission to Conciliar Rome is not suicidal for his Society and for the purpose for which he founded it, but in Hamlet’s words, “lay not the flattering unction to your souls” that the change of Superior General in July has made any real difference to that policy. It does look as though the same mafia of liberals is still in charge and is still intent – of course with the best of intentions – on undoing what he did.
The problem is profound, reaching far outside the little Society – stay tuned.