Some 650 words of a single “Eleison Comments” are by no means enough to make clear the enormous problem posed by the interview given by the Newsociety’s First Assistant to a Newsociety magazine in Germany towards the end of last year (cf. last week’s EC). Fr. Pfluger’s thinking springs from the poisonous modern mentality, so that it is not surprising if Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X (SSPX) is being poisoned from top to bottom and changed into Bishop Fellay’s Newsociety (XSPX). The poison consists in the move from God to man; from the religion of God to the religion of man; from the truths of God to the liberties of man; from the doctrine of Christ (“Going, TEACH all nations” – Mt.XXVIII, 19) to the uniting of mankind.
Like millions upon millions of modern men, thousands upon thousands of churchmen in high office and all too many priests and layfolk of what was once the SSPX, Fr Pfluger does not understand the crucial importance to the Church of Catholic doctrine. “INDOCTRINATE all nations,” Our Lord could have said. Why? Because all men are created by God to go to Heaven (I Tim. II, 4). This they can only do by Jesus Christ (Acts IV, 12), by firstly believing in Jesus Christ (Jn. I, 12), which they can only do by hearing about the Faith (Rom. X, 17), in other words by hearing Catholic DOCTRINE. For someone to be disinterested in Catholic doctrine means that he is not interested in going to Heaven. Good luck to him, wherever he will spend his eternity!
Now from start to finish Fr Pfluger’s German interview betrays his relative disinterest in Catholic doctrine, but as last week’s “Comments” declared, that disinterest is most clearly betrayed by his implicit disparaging (not too strong a word) of the great anti-liberal, anti-Masonic, anti-modernist documents, notably Papal Encyclicals, of the 19th and 20th centuries, let us say from Mirari Vos of 1831 to Humani Generis of 1950. To Fr Pfluger’s way of thinking, probably these “anti” documents seem merely negative, whereas Catholic doctrine is essentially positive. One might as well think that medicine is merely negative, while health is essentially positive. But medicine can be essential to preserving health, for goodness’ sake! However, why are the Encyclicals such necessary medicine for the health of the Church today?
Because man is not made to live alone (Rousseau’s noble savage), he is by nature a social animal (Aristotle) – observe the thousand ways in which men get together. Now the French Revolution of 1789, by spurning Aristotle and following Rousseau, overthrew the natural basis of society and placed it on merely man-made foundations instead, hostile to human nature as designed by God, and therefore hostile to God. Therefore as the Revolutionary ideas advanced, through France, Europe and the world, so the Catholic Church found itself in a more and more hostile social environment, because the profound influence that any society has upon the individuals belonging to it has been working more and more against God and against the salvation of souls.
For a long time the Catholic Popes were not deceived, and they revived the medicine of the Church’s true social doctrine to apply it through their Encyclicals to the sickness of Revolutionary mankind. Thus the Encyclicals teach nothing but the Church’s age-old doctrine on the nature of human society between man and God, that social doctrine which it had not been necessary to repeat for as long as it had gone without saying. Thus the Encyclicals are not an unfortunate accident of unfortunate times in the past. They are central to the defence of the Faith in the present, as Archbishop Lefebvre so well learned from Fr Le Floch. But then came “good” Pope John to declare that modern man is no longer sick, and now comes Fr. Pfluger. More next week.