Tag: conciliarism

Guideline Queries

Guideline Queries posted in Eleison Comments on March 22, 2008

A reader of “Eleison Comments” of two weeks ago had some reasonable questions. Here are some answers:

Q.1 If the Conciliar Church is proving defectible by its Conciliarism while the Society of St.Pius X is defectible by nature (not having the Church’s guarantees of indefectibility), then where is that indefectible Church?

A 1 Defectible plus defectible equals defectible. But defectible plus defectible plus God equals indefectible. In the Arian crisis of the fourth century, Pope Liberius was proving defectible by his support of Arian bishops while St. Athanasius enjoyed no guarantee of indefectibility. Yet the Lord God used both to carry the Church through until the Papacy came back to its Catholic senses. Even with the best of Popes, the Lord God alone is responsible for his Church’s indefectibility. In God’s good time he will rescue his popes from Conciliarism. Meanwhile the SSPX, amongst others, is playing the part of St. Athanasius, but even if the SSPX were to defect – God forbid! – it would be child’s play for the Lord God to raise other carriers of his Church’s indefectible Truth.

Q 2 Does the indefectible Church still exist outside the SSPX?

A 2 Of course it does. Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth, meant to be firmly united, were split by Vatican II, but the Authority continues through the line of popes (unless and until we have clear proof to the contrary, which we do not yet have, and may or may not ever have), while the Truth continues outstandingly (for the moment) through the SSPX. In God’s good time that Authority and Truth will be reunited. Meanwhile the SSPX’s function is to carry, and not betray, the Truth.

Q 3 But both the Conciliar Church is defectible, and the SSPX is defectible! I insist – how can the indefectible Church be continuing?

A 3 A river split into two streams still continues to flow. Normally the two streams rejoin. Certainly the stream of Catholic Authority and the stream of Catholic Truth will rejoin. Meanwhile the Lord God is obtaining the purification of his Church . . .

Q 4 Did not Archbishop Lefebvre sign on finally to all the supposedly heretical documents of Vatican II? Was he not then also a heretic? A 4 Firstly, the Archbishop always said that he never signed on to two of the worst documents, namely Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae, and when people used to say that he did sign on to them, he replied that he himself should know what he did or did not sign on to.

Secondly, what more than anything characterizes the Council documents is their ambiguity (see the first Volumes of Prof. Doermann’s series on the theology of John-Paul II, and of Atila Guimaraes’ series on the Council). Countless propositions in those documents can be read in a Catholic or in a non-Catholic way. Whatever the Archbishop signed on to, he no doubt signed on to in its Catholic sense.

Q 5 But where, if anywhere, did the Archbishop clearly repudiate the non-Catholic sense of the Council’s ambiguities? A 5 In most everything he wrote and said about the Council, he was attacking the errors disguised within the ambiguities. However, for as long as a heretic is still being ambiguous, he may not yet be clearly heretical, and it is correspondingly difficult for him to be clearly “repudiated.” Precisely here is the deadly character of Vatican II. Whenever the defenders of Vatican II are attacked for their Neo-modernism, they can scuttle back within the Catholic sense of their ambiguities, and the liberalism in which the mass of us are today marinated enables them to get away with it. It would follow that God alone can clean up this mess in his Church.

Kyrie eleison.

Latest Encyclical

Latest Encyclical posted in Eleison Comments on December 15, 2007

To illustrate what is appealing and what is most dangerous in Pope Benedict’s latest Encyclical Letter, Spe Salvi (“By hope we are saved” – Rom. VIII,24), here is a comparison.

In a river flowing fast towards a deadly waterfall, men are happily swimming and drifting downstream, apparently unaware of the danger. On the bank one man has tied a rope to a firmly rooted tree, and he cries out to the men in the water to grab hold of the rope which he is throwing out to them as their last chance of rescue. But the men in mid-stream seem deaf, and few grab hold of the rope.

Seeing this lack of response, a second man on the bank unties the rope from the tree, fastens it around his waist and begins to wade out towards the men in danger, hoping that by getting that much closer to them he can make himself heard. Alas, the current sweeps him too off his feet, and too late he realizes that he will share the fate of the doomed drifters.

The river is our swiftly passing life in this world. The men in mid-stream are the mass of its inhabitants, drifting blithely towards eternal damnation. The tree is the saving doctrine of Catholic Tradition, thrown out afresh to each age by the rope of the Magisterium. The first man represents Catholic Traditionalists. The second man represents Conciliar churchmen like Benedict XVI, who in their concern to reach modern man have untied their teaching from Tradition and tied it to themselves. But in this condition they can no longer rescue modern man, they can only perish with him.

The appealing side of Benedict XVI and his latest Encyclical is his evident and sincere desire to reach out to modern man by, for instance, his abandoning of the classic precision of concepts such as faith, hope and redemption (no less!), in order to “refresh” their content in a way meaningful to humanists today. However, such humanizing gravely foreshortens and distorts the Church’s divine doctrine. Immensely dangerous, to take just one example, is the strong suggestion (Section #46) that “the great majority of people” go to Purgatory, and so are saved. Our Lord said on the contrary, “Many are called but few are chosen” (Mt.XX,16), and “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat” (Mt.VII,13).

Holy Father, you are drifting to destruction, and you risk taking many souls with you. We pray for you!

Kyrie eleison.

Agreementitis – II

Agreementitis – II posted in Eleison Comments on November 10, 2007

The argument in favor of the SSPX “coming in from the cold” and “getting back into the Church” can also be expressed in this sort of double proposition: all great clashes in the Church have always finished in some sort of compromise – what other solution is possible for the long-standing discord between the SSPX and Conciliar Rome?

As to the first part of the proposition, one might agree to some compromise if it were not the Faith at the root of this discord. To help out the Pope, or to restore the good name or canonical status of the SSPX, some compromise might be conceivable, but not if the Faith is at stake, because the Catholic Faith is that body of objective supernatural truths without (an at least rudimentary) belief in which, no soul can be saved (Heb. XI, 6).

But is the very Faith involved in the so far 37-year struggle of the SSPX? Yes, says a distinguished German theologian, Professor Johannes Dörmann, who is quite independent of the SSPX. After prolonged and professional study of the complete speeches and writings of John-Paul II, he recognized and declared that “Lefebvrism” was not just about Latin or the liturgy, but about the very foundations of the Faith. Indeed. Being another form of subjectivism, Neo-modernism turns any rock of truth into plastic.

As to the second part of the proposition, there being no other solution possible than some kind of compromise, one may reply that there are problems which man can make and which God alone can solve. An elephant can fall into an elephant-trap, but not by himself climb out again. In Noah’s time, mankind had so “corrupted its way” (Gen. VI, 12) that the Lord God was driven to wash it out and virtually start all over again.

In the Sodom of today’s Church and world, have not merely human solutions been made similarly impossible? When in the troubles of the near future enough human beings get down on their knees to beg the Lord God to rescue them, then through his Mother he will do so. Meanwhile the bounden duty of all Catholics belonging to the “remnant chosen by grace” (underline the “by grace” – Rom. XI, 5), is not to let anything, love of Rome or family or life or whatever, take precedence over safeguarding the true Faith, which is an obedience to, and love of, the true God. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us!

Kyrie eleison.

“Pascendi” – II

“Pascendi” – II posted in Eleison Comments on November 3, 2007

Before the centenary year of Pope St. Pius X’s great anti-modernist encyclical, “Pascendi,” closes out, let us give two examples of the light which it throws upon today’s undiminishing confusion in Church and world: the primacy of objective truth, and the non-binding nature of sedevacantism (the disbelief that recent Popes are true popes).

Over the last two centuries, the modern world has fallen more and more into the grave error of subjectivism, whereby every man (or subject) makes his own truth, so that he is free from any supposedly objective truth imposing itself upon his mind from outside. One hundred years ago this error threatened to undermine the objectivity of all Catholic dogma – hence the Encyclical. Yet one hundred years later, despite Pius X’s efforts, the mass of Catholic churchmen are awash in this error – hence Vatican II, Religious Liberty, Ecumenism, etc.

In Pascendi, Pius X nailed the unhooking of the subjective mind from objective reality as the foundation of the coherent Newfaith of the modernists’ Newchurch. What mental rest and spiritual relaxation to be able to lean on the one true religion given to us from outside and above by the one true God, without our having to pay heed to the mass of modern fantasies!

However the Conciliar fantasies have taken such a grip on many of today’s churchmen that the temptation arises to consider that none of them are churchmen at all, in particular the last few Popes. But Pascendi can offer a way out of this temptation by its same teaching that subjectivism unhooks churchmen’s minds from reality. Are they fully aware of how mad they are, when virtually everyone shares in their madness? And if they are not fully aware, do they necessarily disqualify themselves as churchmen? Pascendi suggests at least to me that sedevacantism is not binding.

By no means everyone agrees with letting the Conciliar churchmen off the hook in this way, but that is of secondary importance. Back to Pascendi – what is of primary importance is to give glory to God and to save our souls by submitting our minds to that one objective Faith which God has revealed, and without which nobody can please God (Heb XI:6).

Kyrie eleison.

Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! posted in Eleison Comments on October 6, 2007

A recent case in Northern Italy confirms that in the Church’s ongoing difficulties, hope lies rather at grassroots than with the Hierarchy. Three mainstream Italian parish priests, seminary comrades of ten to fifteen years ago, have been learning over the last several months to say the true Mass. Two of them have resolved “never again” . . . . hmm . . . . to say the Novus Ordo Mass. One of these has smashed his Newaltar facing the people. A charming reversal!

They asked their bishop if they could say the true Mass in public. He said it would be alright, if it was alright by Rome. They went down to Rome to ask. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission said it would be alright “as long as there is no confrontation” – as though confrontation can be avoided in the war to the death between Catholicism and Conciliarism!

Sure enough. Their bishop has now written to them, requiring of them “to obey.” We all know what that means – “Shape up (Novus Ordo shape), or ship out.” Either they buckle under, or they are “suspended,” “excommunicated” etc., in any case expelled from their parishes. An old pattern.

However, in Italy the SSPX has had to send out on request 600 DVD’s, soon 700, on how to celebrate the true Mass, nine out of ten of them to priests and seminarians. This picture of a Hierarchy in darkness while light glimmers amongst humble priests and laity puts one in mind of a well-known English poem of yesteryear, accessible on the Internet under its title of “Say not the struggle nought availeth,” by Arthur Hugh Clough. Here are the last two verses:—

For while the tired waves vainly breaking

Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light,

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

But westward, look, the land is bright.

Almighty God, of your mercy look after the three priests.

Kyrie eleison.