When Authority abandons Truth in the Catholic Church as it has been doing ever since Vatican II, then it is easier said than done to walk the fine line between heresy on the left and schism on the right. So it is not surprising if an unusually sharp remark like that of Archbishop Lefebvre quoted in the last two issues of these “Comments” (“Hoist the ladder . . . ”) arouses interest.
One layman even doubted the authenticity of the remark – could the sweet Archbishop really have said such a thing? Oh yes, he did. The original words are a little less elegant than the polished quotation, but the substance is identical – “With that, all that’s left is to pull up the ladder. There’s nothing to be done with these people (the Conciliar Romans). What have we got in common with them? Nothing! It’s not possible. It’s not possible” (6 Sept. 1990). The 1990 audio tape reference is Audio – Retrec – PASCALE90 or SACERDOTALE90. (However, let anyone wishing to check the quotation for himself beware of “revised” collections of the Archbishop’s tapes, because any words of his strongly opposed, like these to the Conciliarists in Rome, may well have been cut out by “editors” of the pro-Rome Newsociety.)
Another reader who reacted to the quotation is a priest, from the Novus Ordo, but now firmly established in a Newsociety Priory in Switzerland (without having been conditionally re-ordained, as best we know).
He thinks that “things really look different today” because the present generation of officials in Rome are a different breed from those that the Archbishop was reacting to in the 1980’s, and the best of them want a genuine restoration of the Church. He concludes that to adopt the Archbishop’s attitude today leaves only two solutions – either the “Resistance” or sedevacantism.
But, Father, while the present breed of Church leaders may be different men from the traitor-priests of the Archbishop’s time, who did all they could to destroy the true Church, have they understood (or read) Pascendi? And what use are sweet and well-meaning Church authorities to the Faith or to the Church or to the SSPX or to the “Resistance,” if they have not grasped that the problem is rubber minds which cannot even conceive of truth condemning error or of dogma condemning heresy? A rubber mind sympathetic to Tradition is basically no more use to Tradition than a rubber mind condemning Tradition. Nor is it true that things are “really different” from the Archbishop’s time. The sign that a priest has really understood the problem is when – at least figuratively – he wants to go down to Rome with a machine-gun and send all sweetie-pies to meet their Maker, as Putin would say. In brief, the “Resistance” must stay on the road, otherwise the road will be torn up to provide stones to cry out the Truth in place of the silent shepherds and their non-barking dogs (cf. Lk XIX, 40). The “Resistance” must not, may not, give way!
Finally a good priest seeks to console us with the news from a Society Prior that the Newsociety Superior General told a meeting in February of all Newsociety Priors in France that discussions between the SSPX and Rome are at a standstill because the SSPX is still insisting on doctrine first – well done, Fr Pagliarani – while Rome insists on fixing first a practical agreement. But need Rome even be concerned? Need it not merely wait for the ripe fruit to fall into its lap? Bishop Tissier is now so unwell that reportedly a room is being hospitalised inside Écône for him to retire to. Only two SSPX bishops remain to look after its worldwide needs. So either the Superior General must submit to Rome’s terms for the consecration of further bishops, continuing his predecessor’s disastrous conciliating of Church leaders who, however sweet they are, have lost the Faith, as the Archbishop said. Or he must consecrate more bishops without the Pope’s permission, as the Archbishop did. But would the Newsociety still follow in the Archbishop’s heroic line, of defying the (at least) objective traitors in Rome? One may doubt it.