It will be recalled that in the Prologue of his book The Heresy of the 20th century Jean Madiran placed the blame for that heresy fairly and squarely on the Catholic bishops who led up to and followed straight after the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), notably on the bishops of France whom he best knew. Chapter I of his book showed, following St. Pius X’s great Encyclical Pascendi of 1907, how these bishops’ minds were rendered unfit for reality, let alone for Catholic doctrine, by the subjectivism of Kant’s philosophy, now reigning supreme in the philosophy departments of virtually all “universities.” In Chapter II Madiran tackles the French bishops themselves, in six loosely connected sections.
Firstly, he says that to follow these bishops we would have to throw away a veritable treasure trove of Catholic treasures, such as St. Pius X, Gregorian Chant, Thomism, Canon Law, Our Lady, patriotism, our Greco-Latin heritage, Marian piety and last but not least, the devotion of little old women praying. For our part, he says, we refuse to scorn any of these familiar features of the Catholic family. Behind all of them is the love of Christ, while behind all the talk of “recycling,” “renovations” and “renewal” is hate. And behind all achievements of “Western civilisation” is Christ, neither India nor Africa nor China.
Secondly, to all the world the Newchurch has proclaimed its apostasy: the Newbishops’ policy is no longer to convert anyone. Yet the basics of life and death remain exactly the same. Let the Church teach us how to live and die. We are all too full of the world. Let priests teach us how to get to Heaven!
Thirdly, these bishops say that “the change of civilisation” calls for “a more evangelical concept of salvation,” by which they mean not just “a new form of words,” which is what they say they mean, but a new content of the words, meaning a new religion. Your Excellences, our answer is “NO!” Moreover, as a baptised Catholic I am entitled to demand of you the true Faith, because your “new form of words” in pursuit of a new “concept of salvation” is bound to be heretical, not just clumsy, but a new religion, contradicting the true Faith.
Fourthly, up until 1966 these bishops had not yet defected from the Catholic Faith, but now they are claiming that theirs is at last the authentic Christianity, when in fact their “post-Conciliar mentality” is breaking with the true Faith. The truth is that we are in the middle of a war between two different religions. And actively or passively, all the bishops are supporting the new religion. Some Catholic bishop must speak up, because souls are perishing! Msgr. Lefebvre, are you listening?
We need no bishops to tell us to be modern. We are all too modern. But modern technology and modern philosophy are not the business of Catholic bishops! We know the moderns, and we scorn them. You do not know them and you love them. Marx, Nietzsche, Freud are mere fantasy-merchants. Wake up!
Fifthly, the Newchurch is now ruining all apprenticeship, teaching and education. By wanting to give to the youngsters only what is modern, which they already have, you give them nothing, while making them think they know everything. Thus abandoned, they will become tomorrow’s barbarians, so that you are betraying not only the Faith but all civilisation. Come back to Tradition! God, give us some true bishops!
Sixthly, the bishops’ authority is based only on truth, legitimacy and law. If these bishops were right, the Church of Tradition would no longer exist. But the Truth is primarily their business, so that they have no authority to change the Faith, and if they do so, they have no authority to be obeyed, nor will we leave them in peace. We expect from them the certainty, purity and sanctity of the unchanging Catholic Faith.
(In Section 4 above, Archbishop Lefebvre is not mentioned by name, but he was in Madiran’s mind. Two years later the Archbishop founded the Society of St Pius X, and the rest is history.)