1 How can you be against any structure for the “Resistance”? Can anything Catholic thrive without it?
The strength of the “Resistance” is, firstly, the Truth, and secondly the very looseness of the connections between the various small groups resisting the revolution of Vatican II. That revolution swiftly overcame the large part of the Catholic Church because Catholics were too obedient to unfaithful authorities above. Likewise the large part of the SSPX was swiftly blunted in 2012 because its priests were too respectful of the authority of their official leaders above them, who wanted to get back in with apostate Rome. They were serving no longer the true Church or the true Faith, like Archbishop Lefebvre, but themselves. On the contrary, to capture one small pocket of Resistants will not necessarily mean capturing even a second pocket. Thus the Faith will survive until God chooses to restore Catholic structure, in His own good time.
2 Were the SSPX leaders who were deceived by the apostate Roman officials in the mid-1990’s driven by personal ambition?
It is always possible, but one may think that their problem was rather their lack of faith in the means of God to solve the crisis of the Church, and their excessive trust in merely human Vatican politics to solve it. Not grasping, as did the Archbishop, the divine and pre-apocalyptic dimension of the worldwide crisis, they conceive it in relatively small and worldly terms, missing the mark altogether. Contrast Archbishop Lefebvre, always pondering the full-scale collapse of the Church. Compare Archbishop Vigano, also reflecting constantly on the universal fall of Church and world, brought on by Vatican II.
3 Was there clear evidence of this insufficiency of SSPX leaders at the General Chapter of 1994?
Evidence, yes, but clear evidence, not yet. The participants at that General Chapter gave the impression of nice children playing games rather than of grown warriors fighting a gigantic war for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls in a highly dangerous environment. It takes a Saint to believe in evil, said Gustavo Corcao. That Chapter’s dear and pious young priests seemed not up to the gravity of the hour.
4 When, for you, did the two camps of SSPX Compliants and SSPX Resistants divide from one another?
Certainly in the 1980’s the elements of the division were already there. I know a priest who in 1982 after professing for five years at Econe, was sent across the Atlantic for more than a quarter of a century, most likely to get him out of the way. Young seminarians needed to be prepared to obey the liberals who already foresaw themselves taking over the SSPX from the ageing Archbishop. He had been wonderful in his day but, for the Compliants, was becoming steadily out of date by his implacable condemnation of the modernists of Rome, who were seen as the true Authority of the Church and as evolving all the time for the better. Nor will these liberal leaders of the SSPX have thought of themselves as liberals, on the contrary. They see themselves infiltrating modernist Rome and converting it to Catholic Tradition. Is that likely? They have little idea of how deep and serious is the crusade of the liberals to destroy the Catholic Church.
5 Has the Compliants-Resistants clash always been there inside the Society of St Pius X?
Surely, yes. Archbishop Lefebvre used to tell us that reading Fr. Barbier’s history of liberalism’s clash with Catholicism in the 19th and 20th centuries made him realise that the only difference between the same clash before and after Vatican II was that before, the Catholics were in command, whereas after, it was the liberals. For as long as the Archbishop was alive, his personal magnetism kept the SSPX Catholic, but as soon as he died in 1991, the constant magnetism of Rome for Catholics began to reassert its sway. Let us have patience. God will not be outmanoeuvred, by the Devil or by fallen angels or fallen churchmen.
Men can suppress reality for a while,
But on God’s face, a sad and gentle smile.