In the context of the crisis engulfing the Catholic Church for the last half-century since Vatican II (1962–1965), two recent moves of the Church authorities in Rome can seem surprising, because both moves seem to favour that Catholic Tradition which Pope Francis gives so many indications of wishing to uproot once and for all. Is the Big Bad Wolf really wanting to be nice to the Little Red Riding Hood of the Society of St Pius X, or are these another two wily moves to trap her in his Conciliar lair? Is Rome also preparing for the Society’s General Chapter in mid-July?
The first of the two moves was in mid-February of this year when the Ecclesia Dei Commission, launched in Rome in 1988 to slow down Catholic Tradition because it was threatening to speed up, granted to the semi-Traditional Fraternity of St Peter the use of the highly Traditional liturgical rites of Holy Week. These are the rites that were used for centuries and centuries prior to that reform of the liturgy by Cardinal Bugnini in the 1950’s which paved the way for the New Mass in the 1960’s. As rites for Holy Week the old rites are becoming more and more popular with Catholics who repudiate the New Mass, because the new rites contain so many features of that modernist liturgy which Paul VI would impose by deceitful trickery on the Universal Church in 1969. Is Rome at last backing away from the New Mass?
Hardly. As the famous line of Virgil runs, “Whatever it may be, I do not trust the Greeks, even when they bear gifts.” This gift to Tradition can easily have been designed by Rome to persuade all kinds of Little Red Riding Hoods, especially participants in the General Chapter of July, that the Big Bad Wolf is not so bad after all. The Chapter is important to Rome – that bastion of the Faith erected by the Archbishop must be dismantled, because by Archbishop Lefebvre’s true fight for the Faith it was a real road-block for the onward march of the New World Order, out of all proportion to the Society’s size. The fight has been severely weakened since his death, but Rome must fear the Chapter reviving it. Rome wants either another liberal as Superior General, or a compromise candidate will do, but not a fighter for the Faith!
The other surprising move of Rome was on May 16, when a well-known Vatican journalist, Andrea Tornielli, highlighted an extract from a recently appeared book written by a Roman official on Pope Paul VI (1963–1978). The extract is a detailed account of the September 1976 conversation held between the Pope and Archbishop Lefebvre, within two months of the Mass celebrated by the Archbishop in front of a huge crowd in Lisle, France. That Mass marked the beginning of the Traditional movement, so the Pope wanted to rein in the Archbishop. The conversation lasting a little over half an hour was noted down by the Romans at that time, and it was described somewhat differently by the Archbishop afterwards, but the Romans kept the contents to themselves for the last 42 years. Why publish them now?
The answer must lie in the “somewhat differently.” The admirable Internet site from Latin America, Non possumus, has published the details now released by the Romans and the Archbishop’s own account of the conversation alongside one another. Readers of Non possumus can check for themselves how the Romans have whitewashed the blindness of Paul VI and their own villainy. Outstanding example: Paul VI accused the Archbishop of making his seminarians swear an oath against the Pope, which was absolutely untrue. The Archbishop declared his readiness to swear on a crucifix that the Pope had accused him of such an oath. A Roman spokesman then officially denied that there had been any mention of any such oath.
In like manner Rome’s version glosses over the gulf between the modernism of Paul VI and the Faith of the Archbishop, as though the Capitulants need not worry that there is any huge gap between Conciliar Rome and the Society – let them elect another liberal for their Superior, but a compromise candidate will do!