Tag: Bishop Bernard Fellay

Brave Priests

Brave Priests posted in Eleison Comments on June 14, 2014

As a number of you will know, Fr Fernando Altamira is a young Argentinian priest of the Society of St Pius X, working in Bogotá, the capital city of Columbia in South America, who several months ago took a clear and public stand against the betrayal of the Faith and of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society by Bishop Fellay and his team in Menzingen, Switzerland. Walking out of the Society’s Priory to found an alternative parish nearby, Fr Altamira was followed by the large part of his previous parishioners. As I was able to observe in mid-April, he is a pious, intelligent and hard-working priest, popular with the people. For his pains he is being “excluded” from the SSPX.

He wrote to Bishop Fellay, protesting that his “exclusion” is invalid. He sent a copy of his well-argued protest to a veteran priest of the SSPX who understands too well how the modern world operates to be fooled by Bishop Fellay. Here are Fr Jean-Michel Faure’s wise comments:—

“It is obvious that there is a problem in the Society of St Pius X. Liberals took control, and they want to be integrated into the structure of modernist Rome. And, as Fr Pfluger has said, they want to expel all anti-liberals opposed to their Operation Suicide. One more proof of the on-going Recognition of the SSPX by Rome is the churches that certain bishops of France offer to Bishop Fellay, for the Requiem Mass of Fr Lagneau, for the Jubilee Mass of Fr Marziac, on various occasions the Basilica of Lourdes, the Confirmations in Corsica, and so on.

“Secrecy is the mode of operating worthy of a liberal politician who wants to bring his electors around to a goal directly opposed to what he had promised in order to get elected. By a series of ambiguous statements skilfully graded to advance little by little, the politician brings the great majority of his followers to accept the opposite conclusion to what they were convinced of to begin with. It is Macchiavellian deceit, lying and hypocrisy, pure and simple. For this Superior General the end justifies the means, and to attain that end he does not hesitate to take positions repeatedly condemned by Archbishop Lefebvre. What would the Archbishop say of him and his two Assistants? That they are idiots, childish, naive and disobedient, that they are making the Society commit suicide and that they are betraying the fight for the Faith. And they are going to hand over to the modernists in Rome the fruits of so much generosity and so many sacrifices made by the faithful.

“The modernists in Rome have never backed down on their demands that we accept the Second Vatican Council and the legitimacy of the New Mass. In 1975 the Rector and professors of Écône advised the Archbishop to accept the Council in order to save the Mass, and they ended up rebelling and quitting the Seminary in August of 1977. Today the three ringleaders in Menzingen go so far as to accept the legitimacy of the Lutheran Mass. As the three of them say, the Society’s reluctance to go along makes us very annoying to our “new friends in Rome,” while to wait for the conversion of Rome is unrealistic, as far as they are concerned. For sure and certain God alone can clean up this situation, totally different from the situation of the Church when it was reformed by St Pius V. Like the Captain of the Titanic, Bishop Fellay and his headquarters will bring the Society’s Operation Suicide to a successful conclusion. Blind leaders of the blind. But anyone who is not blind must resist this suicide, and keep the Faith.”

If only the Society had more priests as clear-sighted and courageous as Fr Altamira and Fr Faure!

Kyrie eleison.

Resistance Policy – II

Resistance Policy – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 26, 2014

The Faith must be preserved despite the Shepherd being struck (cf. EC 348). If there was one man given to us by God to show us how to keep the Faith in stricken times, by preserving the true sacrifice of the Mass and the true Catholic priesthood, that man was certainly Archbishop Lefebvre (1905–1991). And since the disaster wrought upon the Church by the Conciliar Shepherds has not essentially changed since his time, then what he said and wrote applies essentially today, and any newcomer to the disaster cannot do better than read and study his words.

However, the disaster has also grown much worse since his death, and any so-called movement of “Resistance” today will do well to learn the lessons that are there to be learned from the threatening fall of that Society of St Pius X which it was the Archbishop’s stupendous achievement to found, within the collapsing mainstream Church, for the preservation of the Faith. Why is the leadership of the SSPX now taking it in a direction different from the Archbishop’s, a direction that must lead to the SSPX’s entirely similar collapse?

Because, in my opinion, the leaders which the SSPX chose for itself after the Archbishop’s death in 1991 at the General Chapters of 1994 and 2006, never took the full measure of the Conciliar disaster, because they were children of the undermined 1950’s or the Revolutionary 1960’s and later still. Having drunk in the Revolution with their mothers’ milk, so to speak, they never understood how it wrecks from within churchmen still seeming Catholic without. In brief, these leaders have either never studied modernism, or never understood what they studied, or have been too “pious” or “supernatural” to think that it could apply to the mainstream churchmen in front of them.

Thus where Archbishop Lefebvre saw clearly that the Conciliar Church, by losing all four marks of the Catholic Church (one, holy, catholic, apostolic), was not the Catholic Church, Bishop Fellay (Superior General since 1994) and Fr Nicholas Pfluger (First Assistant since 2006) insist today that there can only be one Church, and so the Conciliar Church is the Catholic Church. Naturally then, where the Archbishop kept the SSPX at a safe distance from the Conciliar Church, Bishop Fellay and Fr Pfluger want to abolish that distance and bring the SSPX back within that Church which is Conciliar. And neither Bishop Fellay nor Fr Pfluger will feel Catholic until they have achieved that end.

But the Faith is firstly in the mind and not in the feelings. It follows that whoever has, for whatever reason, begun to recognize that the present leadership of the SSPX is on the wrong track, must continue by studying the total problem of the Revolution, of modernism and of Vatican II. That is a tall order, because one can have a text-book knowledge of the Revolution and still not recognize it right under one’s nose. I feel so nice when I feel that everybody else is nice that I lose from view the objective falsity of almost all of us as seen by God. One may say that it requires a special grace from God to see that falsity as he sees it, without losing one’s compassion, but a soul can obtain that grace if it seeks God seriously, especially in prayer.

God is good to those that seek him, says Scripture in many places. Assuming he exists, what could he be other than supremely good to those that seek him?

Kyrie eleison.

Father Rioult – I

Father Rioult – I posted in Eleison Comments on November 30, 2013

Why was there not an uprising amongst priests of the Society of St Pius X when their leaders’ loss of grip on Catholic doctrine and subsequent betrayal of Archbishop Lefebvre’s work became absolutely clear from March of last year onwards? Fr. Olivier Rioult, trail-blazer of the “Resistance” in France, gave several good reasons last month in an interview accessible in French on pelagiusasturiensis.wordpress.com. The following summary is freely adapted from the original text:—

Basically, original sin: Once the original fight for Tradition in the 1970’s and ‘80’s had succeeded in guaranteeing the survival of the essentials of the Faith, Traditionalists sat back on their laurels to enjoy their cosy enclaves, and they settled into a comfortable routine which they are now reluctant to lose. They have lost the spirit of fighting for the Faith.

Secondly, that particular form of original sin which is liberalism: Over the last ten years Society leaders have given the lead in weakening the fight against liberalism, error and immodesty. But to cease swimming against the current is to drift backwards, and a number of SSPX priests – by no means all – have grown weaker in their convictions and their preaching.

Thirdly, activism: some colleagues can also let themselves be run off their feet by their priestly tasks, leaving themselves no time or inclination to read or study. Turning into mere administrators and communicators, they weaken their convictions and preaching.

Fourthly, Bishop Fellay’s trickery: for years his double-talk deceived everybody except a small minority of clear-sighted souls who could absolutely not get a hearing. Only last year did his mask come off with the March “Cor Unum” and with his reply of April 14 to the three bishops. The great majority of Traditionalists he had put to sleep (as he is now doing again).

Fifthly, fear of the unknown: when the whole world around you is going mad, and you find an enclave of sanity, and then that enclave also begins to go mad, it requires unusual strength of character to face up to the reality and not prefer some illusion or other, and of illusions there are plenty! Thus many priests realize that they are living through a drama calling for some crucifying decisions, but they lack the necessary fortitude to launch into the unknown.

And last but not least, bad leaders: of course there have always been liberals within the SSPX as within the mainstream Church, but for as long as the leaders hold firm, these can be held in check. However, when in the mainstream Church John XXIII and Paul VI favoured their liberalism, the result was a tidal wave , and now that SSPX leaders have turned liberal, liberalism is sweeping through the Society as it would never have done under good leaders, true leaders.

These reasons given by Fr Rioult are all true, but none of them are stronger than that Faith which is “our victory over the world” (I Jn.V, 4). Indeed one might say that all the reasons come down to the lack of a strong enough Faith on the part of the priests, because they are living in a world in which the grip on Truth of every soul alive has been loosened, and if Truth is not true, how can Faith be true?

Then what is the simplest way to strengthen one’s grip on Truth, as we absolutely need to do in today’s crazy circumstances? In my opinion:—

“Watch and pray, watch and pray,

Fifteen Mysteries every day.”

Kyrie eleison.

Falling SSPX

Falling SSPX posted in Eleison Comments on October 26, 2013

For the glory of God and for the salvation of souls it is essential to diagnose why in today’s circumstances an end is now threatening the 40 glorious years of the defence of the Faith by the Society of St Pius X. An article and a letter recently written may help in this respect: an article analyzing the Society’s fall, and a letter with a note of hope as to how it may rise again.

The article appeared in French on the Internet (see “Un Évêque se lève”). After reading a book on utopianism in modern education which compares it to the same unrealistic dreaming in modern politics, the article’s author found that the same pattern in six stages could be applied to the SSPX. Firstly, the pattern: 1 A refusal of human nature as a given to be worked with, and not against. 2 A dream of fabricating the child/man completely anew. 3 The exclusion of natural structures of family/society. 4 The total re-fashioning of the child to generate a perfect new society. 5 The disastrous results, despite all the initial good intentions – 6 Ignorant and perverse children, and a society apostatising and making war on God.

Secondly, the application to the SSPX: 1 Refusal of the reality of the unprecedented crisis in the Church. 2 Dream of fabricating a reconciliation between the Conciliar Church and Tradition. 3 Exclusion of natural interaction between leaders and led. 4 Total re-fashioning of Catholic authority to impose the dream. 5 Disastrous resulting Stalinization of the SSPX, despite all pious intentions – in education, politics or the SSPX, when the dreamer confronts unyielding reality, he is liable to use all the force he has at his disposal to crush the reality – his dream is so much more lovely. 6 Loss of fighting spirit, liable to lead to entire loss of Faith.

The letter, reaching me by e-mail, follows the same general line of analysis, but adds a note of hope. Pope Francis and Bishop Fellay being who they are (both utopians, one might add), the letter-writer thinks that a Rome-SSPX agreement is bound to come, and resistance to it will be crushed. If the SSPX thus falls, he thinks it will have been by its under-estimating of the laity and by its under-employing of them to help establish in society the Social Reign of Christ the King. The SSPX need only pick up again with the laity to work for that Reign, and – here is the hopeful note – it will rally and strengthen all kinds of Catholics who have kept the Faith despite all they have suffered in recent years,coming from the Novus Ordo, from Ecclesia Dei, from Fransiscans of the Immaculate, or wherever. Thus, concludes the letter-writer, “the SSPX by the action of those remaining faithful to it will not sink into chaos, quite the opposite.”

For myself, while I agree that clericalism (undervaluing the laity) has been one aspect of the problem of the SSPX, I do not think that it has been the root of the problem. I think that the root has rather been today’s universal turning to man instead of God (cf. Jer. XVII, 5,7), a falling away by no means confined to the SSPX, with the consequent loss of objective truth and falsehood, objective right and wrong. However, I do agree with the letter-writer’s vision of a new alliance being forged at some time in the future, of true Catholics from all corners of the Newchurch and the Church, to carry forward the Catholic Faith (cf.Mt.XIX, 30). May the SSPX shake off its present problems to play a leading part, or, better, a humble part, in that alliance.

Kyrie eleison.

Horrible Fall – III

Horrible Fall – III posted in Eleison Comments on September 21, 2013

Last June readers of these “Comments” were promised a third article on the horrible fall of the Society of St Pius X, to consider what can be done. Just recently there appeared on the website “Avec l’Immaculée” an article with some good answers to this question, starting with the question whether Catholics can go on attending SSPX Masses. I summarize and adapt:—

In 1984 an Indult from Rome allowed the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated, under certain conditions, within the framework of the official Church. Asked whether Catholics could attend these Masses, Archbishop Lefebvre replied soon after that they should not attend, because their re-entering the mainstream framework under those conditions was tantamount to accepting Vatican II and the subsequent reforms. The priests saying Indult Masses would not be able to speak freely, and by accepting implicitly the New Mass with the Indult, they would risk sliding into the new Conciliar religion and taking their people with them.

In 2012 Bishop Fellay declared that the New Mass was legitimately promulgated, which is tantamount to saying that it is legitimate. He stifles critics of Vatican II, and while still keeping priests and people as much in the dark as possible as to what he is really up to, he steadily pushes forward the ideas of his pro-Conciliar Declaration of April, 2012. Therefore just as the Archbishop ruled out attending Indult Masses, so now, as a general rule, attending SSPX Masses should be ruled out, because even if this particular Mass is still celebrated in accordance with Tradition, the SSPX is being remoulded in general as a framework within which the new Conciliar religion is less and less disapproved, so that there is more and more of a danger in attending its Masses.

However, particular SSPX priests vary from the genuinely Traditional to the virtually Conciliar. Obviously there is less danger in attending Masses of the former than of the latter, but if the priest concerned either defends and approves of the new direction being imposed by SSPX HQ, or if he persecutes and excludes from the sacraments anybody taking any part in the Resistance, these are two signs that his Masses should be avoided, especially if there is the Mass of a resisting priest not too far away. But circumstances do also come into play, so that if, for instance, one’s children risk being thrown out of a still decent SSPX school, that may justify still attending the local SSPX Mass. When the trunk of a tree is rotting, there can still be branches bearing green leaves.

The fact remains that the trunk of the SSPX is mortally stricken, without hope, humanly speaking, of recovery. Like the Synagogue between the death of Our Lord on the Cross and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D, it is carrying death within it, but it is not yet dead. Apostles preached there, and good Jews still attended, but they were all persecuted and eventually thrown out. If a Catholic can see today that throughout the body of the SSPX, from the head downwards, the deadly virus of a disguised Conciliar mentality is coursing, he must take action to help rescue as many souls as possible before they make shipwreck in the faith with the sinking lifeboat.

Let him, to forge his own convictions, read all he can lay his hands on, starting with the exchange of letters between the three bishops and Bishop Fellay in April of 2012. Let him talk to priests and fellow-parishioners, to co-ordinate, for instance, the putting together of refuges for priests who might not otherwise take action. There is much to be done, however few there are, at least for the moment, to do it. God is with these few.

Kyrie eleison.

Resistance, Organize?

Resistance, Organize? posted in Eleison Comments on September 7, 2013

The debate continues as to whether and how today’s “Resistance” should be organized (let us here define “Resistance” as former members or followers of the Society of St Pius X so upset with its recently manifest change of direction as to take action of some kind to resist that change). Broadly speaking, the (relative) youngsters want an organisation to co-ordinate action and make it more effective, while the oldsters tend to think that any structured organisation is no longer possible or even desirable in today’s chaotic circumstances.

To begin with, one must take the measure of the chaos. It comes essentially from the shepherd being struck and the sheep scattered (Zech. XIII, 7; Mt. XXVI, 31). Whether it believes it or not, whether it likes it or not, for the whole world that shepherd is the Catholic Pope. As we observe today, if he goes crazy then nobody in the whole wide world can restore order. This is because the Incarnate God made his Church the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt. V, 13–14), and he designed that Church as a monarchy, a design which not even Vatican II could undo. Therefore nobody can take the Pope’s place, and if he says things like, “Who am I to condemn a God-seeking homosexual?,” as the present occupant of the See of Peter said recently, then “chaos is come again,” and there is very little that one can do about it, besides praying for God to intervene.

Notwithstanding, Archbishop Lefebvre did all he could, and by the mercy of God he created an island of sanity and order, the SSPX. But, naturally, under pressure from one Conciliar Pope after another, his successors have given way. They ask, “How can we be Catholic and disobey the Pope?” – more confusion and chaos. However the Archbishop was so successful in organizing resistance to the Council that a number of those who understand what he was doing wish to organize the resistance to those betraying him. But can it be organized? That is the question.

A wise colleague, old enough to have campaigned hard and effectively at the Archbishop’s side in the worldwide expansion of the SSPX in the 1970’s and 1980’s, remembers from those early days a number of priests resisting the Council successfully all over the world, which they did independently of one another and of the Archbishop. They listened to him because he talked good Catholic sense, which is why many of them recognized his moral authority, but none of them obeyed him in the strict sense, and he demanded of none of them that obedience. Without the Pope, structured Catholic obedience was, and remains, impossible. My colleague goes on to point out that even the Archbishop’s Society resisted liberal Church and world for only 30, maybe 40, years, and the situation is rather worse now than it was in his day. When the homeland is occupied by an enemy army, my colleague concludes, it is impossible to organize an army of defence, all that remains is guerrilla warfare.

In my opinion he accurately portrays the increase of the chaos when he writes: “The hour of God and of the immaculate Heart will come (as she has said) only when everything seems lost, which must include the little SSPX. Bishop Fellay’s chief illusion was to have thought that the great SSPX would save the Church, to which the Devil added, “from within, like a Trojan horse.” All that we in fact needed to do was construct Noah’s Ark for the faithful remnant in accordance with the Founder’s plan, and to go on constructing it until the Flood. A deluded leader opened the Ark’s door ahead of time, and the Ark was flooded. God have mercy upon us all. The leader was not Noah, but the Captain of the Titanic.

Kyrie eleison.