Tag: Bishop Bernard Fellay

Discussions’ Aftermath

Discussions’ Aftermath posted in Eleison Comments on June 18, 2011

As the doctrinal Discussions which were held from the autumn of 2009 to the spring of this year between the Society of St Pius X and Rome drop back into the past, the question naturally arises of future relations between the two. Among Catholics on both sides there is a wish for contacts to continue, but since such pious wishes for union easily give rise to illusions, it is necessary to keep one’s grip on reality if one is not to join the whole modern world in its anti-God fantasy.

Originally the Discussions were wanted not by the Society but by Rome, as it hoped to dissolve the Society’s notorious resistance to the Neo-modernism of Vatican II. The great obstacle was doctrine, because the Society is well protected inside the fortress of the Church’s age-old and unchanging doctrine. It had to be lured out of that fortress. Now for Neo-modernists, just as for Communists, any contact or dialogue with an adversary in a secure position was – and remains – better than none, because he can only lose by it while they can only gain. So Rome agreed even to doctrinal Discussions.

Alas for Rome, the Society’s four representatives believe clearly and held firm. As one of the four Roman theologians taking part in the Discussions was overheard to say afterwards, “We do not understand them and they do not understand us.” Of course. Unless the Romans abandoned their Neo-modernism or the Society priests betrayed the Truth, it was bound to be a relatively fruitless dialogue. But Rome cannot stand its own betrayal of the Truth being shown up by the paltry Society, so it is not likely to give up. That is why we already hear of an Ecclesia Dei spokesman telling that Rome will very soon offer an “Apostolic Ordinariat” to the Society. Of course such a quote may be merely a trial balloon to test reactions, but it is also a tempting idea. Unlike a Personal Prelature, an Apostolic Ordinariat is independent of the local bishops, and unlike an Apostolic Administration, such as Campos in Brazil, it is not confined to just one diocese. What more could the Society ask for?

It asks that Rome should come back to the Truth, because it knows, as do Communists and Neo-modernists, that any practical co-operation which would skirt around doctrinal disagreement leads eventually, for all kinds of human reasons, to absorbing the false doctrine of the enemies of the Faith, in other words to betraying the Truth. Here is why the Society’s Superior General has in public more than once repudiated any canonical agreement with Rome that would precede a doctrinal agreement. But the Discussions have served at least to demonstrate the depth of the doctrinal disagreement between the Society and Neo-modernist Rome. That is why Catholics should be prepared for the Society to refuse even the offer of an Apostolic Ordinariat, however well-intentioned the Roman authorities may be.

But why is doctrine so important? Because the Catholic Faith is a doctrine. But why is Faith so important? Because without it we cannot please God (Heb.XI,6). But why must it be the Catholic Faith? Will no other faith in God do? No, because God himself underwent the horror of the Cross to reveal to us the one true Faith. All other “faiths” contradict, more or less, that true Faith, with lies.

Four future numbers of “Eleison Comments” will show, with all due respect, how disoriented in this respect is the way of believing of the present Pope, however well-intentioned he may also be.

Kyrie eleison.

Now Where?

Now Where? posted in Eleison Comments on April 2, 2011

If, as seems to be the case, the doctrinal discussions over the last year and a half between Rome and the SSPX have persuaded neither Rome to convert nor the SSPX to betray, then the question arises, where do we go from here? Surely the crisis of Vatican II proved if anything the need for Catholics to do some thinking for themselves on such a question, and not just follow their leaders blindly – are not millions of Catholics still being softly led into apostasy? That is why to the bishops of the SSPX a fighting Gaul puts a threefold question, surely serious enough to deserve an answer (his questions are abbreviated and adapted):—

In your opinion, does the recent announcement of Assisi III, solemn commemoration of John-Paul II’s ecumenical encounter of various religions held in Assisi 25 years ago, add anything new to what we already know of the ecumenical course being followed by Benedict XVI? Answer: It is one more proof that the Church leadership in Rome is intent upon persevering along the disastrous path of giving official Catholic approval to all sorts of false religions. “I do not think we can say,” Archbishop Lefebvre once said, “that Rome has not lost the Faith.”

In your opinion, does this announcement prove or disprove the opportuneness of doctrinal discussions being undertaken between the SSPX and Rome? Answer: It surely proves the opportuneness of their coming to an end. While they were going on, they did have collateral advantages, well enumerated by Bishop de Galarreta (see EC 156, July 10, 2010). However, their mere taking place at all also had the disadvantage of creating in souls either false hopes or true fears of a pseudo-reconciliation between doctrinal positions which are, in reality, absolutely irreconcilable. The announcement of Assisi III has helped to put an end to such hopes and fears, at least for the moment – but dreamers cling to their dreams!

Just as Assisi I was a major incentive for Archbishop Lefebvre to consecrate four bishops in 1988, should the announcement of Assisi III be encouraging the SSPX to consecrate more bishops? Answer: The SSPX’s Superior General answered this question two months ago in the USA. He said that if the circumstances of 1988 which drove the Archbishop to consecrate were repeated, then there would be more bishops. The question then becomes: are the circumstances of Assisi III repeating those of Assisi I? One can only reply, opinions vary. Many serious Catholics think the circumstances have grown much worse, but that is not necessarily the opinion of Bishop Fellay, who as Superior General is responsible for such a major decision for the SSPX.

Then back to our original question: where now for the SSPX? The answer is clear. It must continue along the path set for it by its Founder, namely firm resistance to the (at least objective) apostates in Rome, making known as widely as possible the Archbishop’s diagnosis of the otherwise insoluble problems of Church and world. His solution is simply to maintain Catholic life in accordance with the pre-Conciliar Catholic doctrine and morals of all time, for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of as many souls as possible.

Kyrie eleison.

Future Discussions

Future Discussions posted in Eleison Comments on March 5, 2011

To the relief of some, to the disappointment of others, it looks as though the doctrinal Discussions held over the last year and a half between theologians of Rome and representatives of the Society of St Pius X will after all come to an end this spring, because the main subjects of discussion will by then have been covered, without any real prospect of agreement opening up. Such is the conclusion tentatively to be drawn from remarks of the Society’s Superior General, Bishop Fellay, made in the course of an interview he gave on February 2.

Now let anyone disappointed be sure that there are Romans and important priests of the SSPX who will hardly give up their efforts to build a bridge between the churchmen of Vatican II and the churchmen of Catholic Tradition. But howsoever it be with such strivings to unite all Catholics of good will, strivings that ebb and flow, yesterday, today and tomorrow, Our Lord’s words are an anchorage: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mt. XXIV, 35). For on his life the Church’s life is modelled, and in his life there was an ebb and flow of human strivings and sufferings, culminating in the dreadful crucifixion, but while he felt every human urge to shy away from the crucifying will of his Father – “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me . . .” – still his human mind and heart were anchored in that divine will – “ . . .nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt.XXVI, 39).

So the same unchanging divine will that directed and anchored Our Lord’s human mind and will, must anchor also the life of his Church. So Popes, Councils, religious Congregations and Societies may come and go, but in order to be Catholic they must submit to that divine will to which Our Lord submitted, and they must tell the exact same truths that Our Lord transmitted from his Father to his Church. Like no other institution upon earth, the Catholic Church is so built around Truth that its survival is proportional to its fidelity to that Truth. It is because the Conciliar Church is putting human interests in the place of divine Truth, that it is disintegrating, and any Catholic Congregation or Society that would do the same will likewise fall apart.

It follows that whoever is faithful to the fullness of revealed Truth is in effect – not in principle, but in practice – in the driving-seat of the Church (See “Letters from the Rector” Vol. IV, p.164). Furthermore, whoever has that Truth and pretends he is not in the driving-seat would be what Our Lord would have called himself, had he denied his Father, “a liar” (Jn.VIII, 55). That is because any messenger disowning the divineness of his divine message is no true lover of his fellow-men, as he and they may like to think, but he has for his father the Father of Lies (Jn.VIII, 44).

There is a Truth, even if most people can barely recognize it. The right and ability of the Romans to govern the Church depends on their being faithful to that Truth. The right and ability of the SSPX to stand up to unfaithful Romans depends on the SSPX’s own faithfulness to the Truth. For now the SSPX has been faithful, so for now the SSPX will survive, but may Rome, by returning to the Truth, make that survival unnecessary!

Kyrie eleison.

Doctrine – Why? – II

Doctrine – Why? – II posted in Eleison Comments on September 18, 2010

Doctrine, or teaching, is of the very essence of the Catholic Church. Souls must firstly be taught how to get to Heaven, or they will never get there. “Going, teach all nations” is among the very last instructions of Our Lord to his Apostles (Mt. XXVIII, 19). That is why Archbishop Lefebvre’s heroic fight for Catholic Tradition (1970–1991) was first and foremost doctrinal.

That is also why, as quoted last week in EC 165, Bishop Fellay told Brian Mershon last May that doctrinal differences cannot be bracketed out in order to arrive at any practical agreement, however attractive, with Rome. Asked whether the rejection by the Society of St Pius X of a canonical or practical solution was not “a sign of obstinacy or ill will,” the Bishop replied (his words are accessible on the website of the “Remnant”): “ . . .It is very clear that whatever practical solution would happen without a sound doctrinal foundation would lead directly to disaster . . . We have all these previous examples in front of us – the Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and all of the others are totally blocked on the level of doctrine because they first accepted the practical agreement.”

The reason for Catholic doctrine being “blocked” by any practical agreement is common sense. Today’s Romans are still absolutely attached to their Council (Vatican II). That Council is essentially a slide away from Catholic Tradition, the religion of God, down into a new religion of man. If then they make a major concession to Tradition, such as would be any regularization of the SSPX, they are bound to ask for some concession in return. Now they know that the SSPX clings to Catholic doctrine, for all the reasons given previously. So the least that they can require is that the doctrinal differences be passed over, for the moment.

But that is enough for the Romans’ purposes! As to “for the moment,” once a practical re-union were to have been signed, the non-doctrinal euphoria of all the Traditional souls delighted to be no longer out in the cold (as they feel it) of Rome’s disapproval, would make it quite difficult for the SSPX to back-track if – just by chance, of course – the “moment” were to turn into an indefinite length of time. The trap would have closed on the SSPX.

And as to the “passed over,” to pass over doctrine, especially the radical doctrinal difference between the religion of God and the religion of man, is equivalent to passing over, or bracketing out, God Himself. But how can a servant of God possibly serve God by bracketing Him out, or passing Him over? If one thinks about it, that is the first little step towards a great apostasy!

As Bishop Fellay points out, 40 years of experience confirm these principles – the battlefield of Catholic Tradition is littered with the corpses of organizations which started out nobly, but failed to grasp the importance of the doctrinal problem.

Kyrie eleison.

Doctrine – Why? – I

Doctrine – Why? – I posted in Eleison Comments on September 11, 2010

Why is doctrine in general so important to Catholics? And why in particular does the Society of St. Pius X, following Archbishop Lefebvre and now Bishop Fellay, insist that agreement on doctrine must precede any other kind of agreement with Conciliar Rome? Why can the SSPX not accept to be regularized by Rome now, and leave the doctrinal differences to be worked out later? Here are two connected but different questions. Let us start with the general question.

The word “doctrine” comes from the Latin doceo, docere, meaning, to teach. Doctrine is a teaching. In our liberal world where everybody wants to think and talk just as he likes, the word “indoctrination” has become a dirty word. Yet to put an end to indoctrination, one would have to close down all schools, because wherever a school is open, indoctrination is going on. Even if a teacher is teaching that all doctrine is nonsense, that is still a doctrine!

However, everyone in fact agrees on the need for doctrine. For instance, who ever would climb into an aeroplane about which he was told beforehand that its designer had defied the classic doctrine of aerodynamics, and turned the wings upside down? Nobody! Aerodynamic doctrine which is true, saying for instance that wings must taper downwards at the back and not upwards, is not just words being spoken or written out of the blue, it is life and death reality. If a plane is to fly and not to crash, true aerodynamic doctrine, in fine detail, is essential to its design.

Similarly if a soul is to fly to Heaven and not crash into Hell, Catholic doctrine, teaching it what to believe and how to act, is essential. “God exists,” “All human beings have an immortal soul,” “Heaven and Hell are eternal,” “I must be baptized to be saved,” are not just words being imposed on souls to believe, they are life and death realities, but of eternal life and eternal death. St. Paul tells Timothy to teach these truths of salvation in or out of season (II Tim. IV, 2), and for himself he says, “Woe to me if I do not teach the Gospel” (I Cor. IX, 16). Woe to the Catholic priest who does not indoctrinate souls with the Church’s infallible doctrine!

But the question remains: surely the SSPX, to obtain from Rome that precious regularization which Rome alone has the authority to grant, could come to a practical agreement by which no Catholic doctrine would be denied, but by which the doctrinal differences between Rome and the SSPX would merely be bracketed out for the moment? Surely there need be here no betrayal of those great truths of salvation mentioned above? Bishop Fellay himself answered that question briefly in an interview which he gave to Brian Mershon in May of this year, published in the “Remnant.” Here are his words: “It is very clear that whatever practical solution would happen without a sound doctrinal foundation would lead directly to disaster . . . We have all these examples in front of us – the Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and all of the others are totally blocked on the level of doctrine because they first accepted the practical agreement.” But need that be so? Interesting question . . .

Kyrie eleison.

 . . .And If Ever . . .

 . . .And If Ever . . . posted in Eleison Comments on September 26, 2009

 . . .And if ever any discussions to be held between Rome and the Society of St Pius X did seem to be arriving at a non-doctrinal “practical agreement” between them, then all Catholics wishing to save their souls would have to study the “agreement” closely – especially the fine print – to see who would in future be appointing the leader or leaders, and their successors, in the Rome-approved SSPX.

He might be given whatever title pleased either party: “Superior General” or “Personal Prelate” or “Lord High Executioner” (a personage of noble rank and title) – the name would be of no importance. Crucial would be, who was to make the decisions, and who would appoint whoever would make the decisions? Would he be appointed by the Pope or by the Congregation of the Clergy, or by any Roman official, or would he continue to be appointed independently of Rome from within the SSPX as now, by a 12-yearly election through some 40 leading SSPX priests (next election in 2018)? Yet what would the “agreement” have gotten Rome if it had not gotten them control over appointing the SSPX leadership?

The history of the Catholic Church is littered with examples of the struggle between the friends and enemies of God – normally Church and State respectively, but no longer! – for control of the appointment of Catholic bishops. For as any intelligent friend or enemy of the Church well knows, the bishops are the key to its future. As Archbishop Lefebvre used to say, in defiance of all today’s democratic nonsense, it is the bishops who form the Catholic people and not the people who form the bishops.

A classic example of this struggle is the Napoleonic Concordat of 1801 by which the newly Freemasonic French State made sure that it acquired a significant degree of control over the choice of bishops in the Church in France. Promptly all pre-Revolutionary bishops were sacked who were still too Catholic, and the Church was then securely on its way to Vatican II. Similarly when in 1905 the Freemasons broke off the union of the French State with the Church, the better to persecute it, the heroic Pope Pius X profited by his unwanted new independence of that State to appoint, and himself consecrate, a mere handful of nine bishops, but their virile Catholicism so scared the Freemasons that as soon as Pius X was dead, they hastened back to renegotiate a certain reunion of Church and State, if only they could recover control of the appointment of French bishops – and Vatican II was back on track.

The pattern was repeated in 1988 when the heroic faith and courage of Archbishop Lefebvre alone saved the SSPX by his consecrating of four bishops independently of the explicit disapproval of Conciliar Rome. The same Conciliar foxes might now “give away the store” in order to regain control of the SSPX’s four “ugly ducklings,” and their potentially independent successors – ducklings make a dainty morsel for hungry foxes! God bless Fr Schmidberger and Bishop Fellay, and all their successors who will maintain that Catholic independence for as long as Rome is out of its Catholic mind!

Kyrie eleison.