Tag: conciliarism

Menzingen’s Mistake – I

Menzingen’s Mistake – I posted in Eleison Comments on July 8, 2017

Not all readers of these “Comments” may appreciate their regular return to what can look like mere “quarrels between priests,” but let such readers recall – or learn – that the Catholic Church exists as the one and only sure means of saving souls for eternal Heaven, while the Devil exists as a first-class agent for sending souls to eternal Hell. If then Our Lord chooses priests to be the agents of His Church, the Devil will attack them, and one of the best means to attack priests is other priests. In fact easily most of the Church’s arch-heretics have been priests, e.g. Bishop Nestor and Fr. Martin Luther. “Quarrels between priests” are only unimportant if nobody still wants to go to Heaven, but then the Devil has really won!

So let us look at the 20-page document put out on June 13 by the priests of SSPX HQ in Menzingen, Switzerland, to defend their having welcomed Conciliar Rome’s April 4 document which proposed more or less close participation by Conciliar churchmen in the celebration of SSPX marriages. Menzingen’s Letter to Clarify and Rectify Marriage Questions is well put together and quite persuasive if one does not notice the special pleading, but it suffers from the crippling defect of the Society’s present leaders in Menzingen, namely it mistakes Conciliar appearances for Catholic substance. In words the “Letter” condemns repeatedly Conciliar errors in general and on marriage in particular, but in action it treats the Conciliar churchmen as though they are normal Catholic churchmen, when in reality they are profoundly abnormal churchmen – they are modernists. In St Paul’s words for the last times, they have “an appearance of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (II Tim. III, 5). And he adds, “Now these avoid.”

Thus the whole first part of the Letter presents the involvement of the diocesan bishop or the parish priest or their delegate in witnessing Catholic marriages to ensure their validity, as classic practice of the Church and part of its law since the Council of Trent. Who disputes that? But the application of this law has been since Vatican II in the hands of churchmen who have had a steadily more abnormal view of Catholic marriage. The Church today is no longer in normal times! Has Menzingen not noticed? Or chosen to notice no longer? It took a few centuries for Protestantism to break the universal grip of the Catholic Church. It took a few centuries more for liberalism to work its way upwards inside the Church’s hierarchy, but once God allowed, as a just punishment, the elections of John XXIII and Paul VI to prevail, then the highest Catholic authority became liberal, and ever since then never has it been easier for all Catholics under authority to convince themselves, even sincerely, that they are remaining Catholic even while they are destroying the Church.

When in 1987 Archbishop Lefebvre called the Conciliar churchmen “antichrists” (Letter to four future bishops), he was by-passing their possible subjective sincerity and keeping a firm grip on their certain objective destructiveness. When in 2017 Menzingen highlights the normalcy of hierarchical Superiors’ involvement in Catholic marriages, it is taking for granted the hierarchs’ sincerity and by-passing their ruinous liberalism. But liberals they remain, with a concept of marriage that includes easy annulments, and so on. If once they get their foot in the door of Traditional marriages, what stops them tomorrow or the day after from applying even the Church’s Traditional law in accordance with their “renewed” idea of marriage? In fact, how can they not, tomorrow or the day after, apply their own sincere convictions?

For tens of years since Vatican II, according as Catholics have realized what was happening to the Church and become “Traditionalists,” so they have put a distance between themselves and the Church’s official authorities. Without necessarily lacking in courtesy or respect, they have moved away in order to protect their Catholic Faith and morals. Now comes Menzingen moving towards these authorities and wanting all Traditionalists to follow! Menzingen has forgotten the famous quote from Virgil’s Aeneid: “Whatever it be, I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.” Menzingen trusts the Greeks!

Kyrie eleison.

Church Predictions

Church Predictions posted in Eleison Comments on April 22, 2017

As might have been expected, there has been not a little reader reaction to the portrait of the “slowly declining” Society of St Pius X, as presented in two recent issues of these “Comments.” Reaction shows that not all Catholics are blind or unthinking. Here are two readers speculating, one on the Society’s near future, the second on the Church’s more distant future. Here is the first:—

“The destabilisation, confusion and softening of the minds of Society priests and laity will, alas, continue, and for many become even more painful, because the present leadership of the Society will persevere and continue straight on with the game it has set up with the Semiconservatives. Consecrating the bishops “urgently needed” (Bishop Tissier) will not be mentioned. And when the election of the Society’s top officials can no longer be avoided at the General Chapter normally due in July of 2018, the Society’s present leaders will do all in their power beforehand to make sure that their pursuit of recognition by Rome will continue uninterrupted.”

Depending on how many prayers are said for the rescue of the fortress of the true Faith built by Archbishop Lefebvre, Almighty God may intervene with a miracle to save it, but humanly speaking one would say that the rot is indeed too far gone for it to be saved. Thus the Society’s worldwide apostolate urgently needs some new and younger bishops, but how can they be chosen to serve the true anti-Conciliar Faith without alienating the Conciliar Romans who alone can give the Society the recognition so desperately pursued by Society HQ in Menzingen? Archbishop Lefebvre said in 1988 that that pursuit would be the Society’s “Operation Suicide,” but since when have crusading liberals ever backed down? The crusade for their Brave New World Order is their real religion, forget about Catholicism.

The second reader assumes that the Society’s suicide is a done deal, and he looks forward to the future of the Faith without the Society, more from a divine point of view.

“The silence coming from Econe concerning the ‘regularization’ at present is deafening. It would appear that the deal is, in actuality, a ‘fait accompli.’ In which case, may we now turn our attention to the long road of recovery and care that the Traditional Catholic Refugees will surely need. A restoration of order out of chaos and a life-raft to grasp, as the sinking ship of Rome sucks the weak in faith to the bottom of the sea. Is the Faith shrinking or just purging itself of those who have been unfaithful? God help us!

When we think of the future of the Church today, let us bear in mind that the situation is so dramatic that “all bets are off,” meaning, nobody knows, because if the Society is indeed sinking which has acted as a buoy for the true Faith for 40 years, then what indeed still prevents Conciliar Rome from sucking those weak in the faith down to the bottom of the sea? But God is God, and He can intervene at any moment and in a variety of ways to interrupt His Church’s headlong course to destruction. Nevertheless, this reader’s human pessimism does seem well justified right now.

Less easy to understand is his optimism for the future of a restoration of order and the launching of a life-raft, if the Popes stay Conciliar. For if there is any lesson to be drawn from the history of the “Resistance” since 2012, it is the extreme difficulty of founding a Catholic work without approval from what at least appears to be the official Church. Catholic Truth is immensely strong in itself, but without the backing and protection of Catholic Authority, which is Our Lord’s authority, Truth remains highly vulnerable. For instance, within a framework of authority a priest can easily submit to a proposition he disagrees with, but outside any such frame, he can easily dispute the wisdom of the wisest of propositions.

Patience. The problem is insoluble. Let us pray, and wait for Almighty God to stun us all with His solution!

Kyrie eleison.

Sedevacantism Again – II

Sedevacantism Again – II posted in Eleison Comments on October 8, 2016

For any Catholic soul realizing today the gravity of the crisis in the Church and agonizing over it, the simplicity of sedevacantism dismissing as invalid the Church and Popes of Vatican II can become a serious temptation. Worse, the seeming logic of the ecclesiavacantists’ and sedevacantists’ arguments can turn that temptation into a mental trap which can at worst lead a Catholic to lose his faith altogether. That is why these “Comments” will return in more detail to the main argument of the scattershot of arguments laid out in the article by BpS from 1991 mentioned here last week. Here again is that argument:—

Major: the Catholic Church is absolutely indefectible (it has God’s own guarantee that it will last to the end of the world – cf. Mt XXVIII, 20). Minor: But the Conciliar or Novus Ordo Church, overwhelmed by neo-modernism and liberalism, represents an absolute defection. Conclusion: the Novus Ordo Church is absolutely not Catholic and its Popes are absolutely not Popes. In other words the Church is absolutely white while the Newchurch is absolutely black, so Church and Newchurch are absolutely different. To minds which like to think in black and white with nothing in between, this argument has much appeal. But to minds which recognize that in real life things are often grey, or a mixture of black and white (without black ceasing to be black or white ceasing to be white), the argument is too absolute to be true. Thus in the Major there is an exaggeration of the Church’s indefectibility, and in the Minor there is an exaggeration of the Newchurch’s defection. Theory can be absolute, but reality rarely is absolute. Let us look at indefectibility and the Conciliar defection as they are in reality.

As for the Major, sedevacantists frequently exaggerate the Church’s indefectibility, just as they frequently exaggerate the Popes’ infallibility, because that is what they need to support their emotional horror at what has become of the Catholic Church since the Council. But in reality just as that infallibility does not exclude great errors of some Popes in Church history and only applies when the Pope is either, Ordinarily, saying what the Church has always said, or, Extraordinarily, is engaging all four conditions of the 1870 definition, so the Church’s indefectibility does not absolutely exclude some huge defections at given moments of Church history, such as the triumphs of Islam or Protestantism or of the Antichrist (Lk. XVIII, 8), it only excludes absolutely a total defection, or total failure (Mt. XXVIII, 20). Thus indefectibility is not as absolute as BpS pretends.

As for the Minor, it is true that the defection of Conciliarism is considerably more grave than that of either Islam or Protestantism because it strikes at the head and heart of the Church in Rome, which they did not do. Nevertheless even half a century of Conciliarism (1965 to 2016) has not made the Church totally defect, or fail. For instance Archbishop Lefebvre – and he was not alone – held high the Faith from 1970 to 1991, his successors did the same, more or less, from 1991 to 2012, and the embattled “Resistance” upholds his line still, and before the Church humanly collapses in a not too distant future, unquestionably its indefectibility will be divinely saved, just as before world’s end – Mt. XXIV, 21–22. Thus Conciliarism as a defection of the Church is not as absolute as BpS pretends, either.

So his syllogism needs to be recast – Major: the Church’s indefectibility does not exclude huge defections but only a total defection. Minor: Vatican II was a huge but not total defection of the Church (even if Catholics aware of its danger must totally avoid it, for fear of contamination). Conclusion: the Church’s indefectibility does not exclude Vatican II. In brief, God’s own Church is bigger than all the wickedness of Devil or man, even Vatican II. The Conciliar defection may well be of an unprecedented gravity in all Church history, but the Church’s indefectibility and the Popes’ infallibility come from God and not from men. Like liberals, the sedevacantists are thinking humanly, all too humanly.

Kyrie eleison.

Against N.O.M.

Against N.O.M. posted in Eleison Comments on August 27, 2016

The principle is clear in theory: to follow Our Lord we need, in the immortal words of St Augustine, to “slay the errors but love the erring.” That means that we should never so slay the errors as to slay also the erring (i.e. those who are in error, unless they are dangerous and incorrigible), and we should never so love the erring as to love also their errors. In practice it can be all too easy to slide from slaying the error into slaying the erring, or to slide from loving the erring into loving their error. In different words: “The Church is uncompromising in principle because she believes, she is tolerant in practice because she loves.The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe, and uncompromising in practice because they do not love.” That is well said.

In case anybody still thinks that the author of these “Comments” slides from compassion for the misled sheep within the Novus Ordo into love of the errors of the New Mass of Paul VI, here are extracts from the letter of an older reader whose own bitter experience has led him to the conclusion that Novus Ordo Catholics do not deserve to be given too much benefit of the doubt. He has obviously run into some of the worst of the Newchurch. By its fruits . . .

I was a typical grade school child in a parish of 2500 families in a neighbourhood that was nearly 60% Catholic.All of us were formed in the old religion, and when the Conciliar Revolution began destroying the Church in the 1970’s we all of us had to sense that something was wrong. All Catholics have a duty to be faithful to Tradition and to find out where it lies, for instance in the reading materials available to everybody. For 50 years I myself have pleaded, begged and prayed for my Catholic friends and family to read the things that I have read, but they simply do not want to.The great majority enjoy the Conciliar religion: divorce and easy annulments, accommodating preachers, feminism, democracy, adultery, homosexuality and LUV hold them fast to the Novus Ordo, just the opposite of a love of truth.

I would say I know the Novus Ordo mentality because for over two years I came into close contact with Novus Ordo judges and priests and laity. I can assure you that it is not love of truth that motivates them. These Church authorities can be trusted to do exactly what nearly all, if not all, Novus Ordo catholics want them to do, which is to ignore their sinful lives. It seems as though the only ‘sinners’ they dare to admonish, instruct or counsel are smokers, polluters, insensitive Tradcats and overpopulators. Remember, more than 90% of married Catholics use birth control and teach their children to do the same.The Novus Ordo has become a global organisation of conscience placation and novelty on a grand scale. Novus Ordo Catholics really do believe that everybody goes to Heaven. To ‘work out their salvation in fear and trembling’ (Phil.II, 12) is not a thought they entertain.

Birth control was in modern times a turning point from the will of God to the will of man. Not to use birth control for those living in a big city can seem almost impossible, but who got it wrong? God, or the modern city? God gave to his Church in 1968 a great chance to stay on track when he inspired a reluctant Paul VI to remain faithful to the Church’ s unchangeable doctrine, but a mass of churchmen were promptly unfaithful to the Pope. And the result was that “organisation of conscience placation” denounced above. And who can deny that the replacement of the true sacrifice of the Mass played from 1969 a huge part in Catholics giving up sacrificial lives to get to Heaven, in order to enjoy the easy life and go to Hell? What a responsibility of the priests!

Kyrie eleison.

Doctrinal Feelings

Doctrinal Feelings posted in Eleison Comments on May 21, 2016

Last week’s “Comments” (EC 461) will not have been to everyone’s taste. Readers may have guessed that the unnamed author of the long quote was of the same sex as the also quoted St Theresa of Avila (“suffer, or die”) and St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (“suffer and not die”), and the anonymous quote may have seemed excessively emotional. But the contrast with Pope Benedict’s feelings quoted the week before (EC 460) was deliberate. Whereas the man’s text showed feelings governing doctrine, the woman’s text showed doctrine governing feelings. Better, obviously, the woman putting God first, like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (“Father, let this chalice pass me by, but not my will . . .” ), than the man putting feelings first, and changing the Catholic doctrine and religion into the Conciliar religion.

The surprising contrast highlights that the primacy of God means that doctrine comes first, whereas the primacy of feelings means that man comes first. But life is not about avoiding suffering, it is about getting to Heaven. If then I disbelieve in God and worship Mammon instead (Mt. VI, 24), I will disbelieve in any after-life and I will pay for more and more expensive drugs to avoid suffering in this life, because there is no other life. And so the Western “democracies” create one ruinous welfare State after another, because the surest way for a “democratic” politician to get elected or not is to take a stand for or against free medicine. Care for the body is all that is left in the life of many a man who has no God. Thus godlessness ruins the State: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps. CXXVI, 1), whereas “Happy is that people whose God is the Lord” (Ps. CXLIII, 15). Religion governs politics and economics alike, any false religion for their ill, the true religion for their true good.

On the basis of his October interview (EC 460), Benedict might reply: “Yes, but what use is a religion that fewer and fewer people believe in? On modern man the Catholic religion of all time has lost its grip. Yesterday’s doctrine may be as true as true can be, but of what use is it if it no longer speaks to man as he is today, where he is today? Doctrine is for souls, but how can I speak to contemporary man of redemptive suffering or of the Redemption, when suffering makes no sense to him at all? The Council was absolutely necessary to recast doctrine in a form intelligible to men as they are today.”

And to this position implicit in Benedict’s interview, here might be an answer: “Your Holiness, doctrine is for souls, yes, but to save them from eternal punishment and not to prepare them for it. Doctrine consists of words, words express concepts, concepts are ultimately of things real being conceived. Your Holiness, are God, man’s immortal soul, death, Judgment, and the inevitability of eternal salvation or damnation realities outside my mind? If they are realities independent of myself, have any of them changed since modern times? And if they have not changed at all, then do not the doctrines expressing them express also, together with the doctrine of original sin, a real danger for every man alive of falling into Hell? In which case however unpleasant the realities may feel, what possible service do I do for my fellow-men by making the doctines feel nicer, so as to disguise the eternal danger instead of warning him about it? Of what importance are his feelings compared with the importance of his grasping, and assimilating, the true doctrines, so as to be blissfully happy and not utterly tormented for all eternity for all eternity?

But in our apostate world the mass of men want only to be told fables (II Tim. IV, 4) to put a cushion under their sins. The result is that to keep the moral world in balance, there must be a number of mystic souls, known to God alone, who are taking upon themselves acute suffering, for Christ and for their fellow-men, and it is a fair bet that most of them are women.

Kyrie eleison.

Archbishop’s Legacy – II

Archbishop’s Legacy – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 2, 2016

In 2012 the Archbishop’s successors at the head of his Society of St Pius X, having failed to understand his fundamental putting of Catholic Truth before Catholic Authority, claimed falsely to be following his example when at the Society’s General Chapter of that summer they prepared to put Truth back under Authority by opening the door to some political and non-doctrinal agreement with the liars of Rome – “Catholicism is Revolutionary” is a monstrous lie. For years now these successors have been spreading rumours that the agreement is imminent, but Rome has them where it wants them, by their own fault, and risks continuing to extract concessions such as, possibly, the disastrous interview of March 2 granted by the Superior General to a professional predator. Conciliar Rome never forgets what the SSPX seems no longer to want to remember – Catholic Tradition and Vatican II are absolutely irreconcilable.

However, the Archbishop has disciples who have not forgotten this. They are going under the name of the “Resistance,” which is a movement rather than an organization, as is only logical. Clinging to Truth against the false Authority both of Rome and now of the SSPX, any internal authority amongst them can at best be supplied, i.e. an abnormal authority supplied invisibly by the Church in case of emergency for the salvation of souls. But such authority, by the invisibility of its transmission (contrast the visible ceremonies by which many kinds of authority amongst men are transmitted), is that much weaker and more contestable than normal authority in the Church, which descends always, ultimately, from the Pope. Therefore the “Resistance” has the strength of Truth but a weakness of Authority normally essential to protect Catholic Truth.

Surely resistant Catholics, inside or outside of Tradition, have to take into account the many consequences of this split between Truth and Authority, imposed by Vatican II on the entire Church. God’s Supreme Shepherd being supremely struck by Conciliar folly, how can God’s sheep not be supremely scattered (cf. Zach. XIII, 7: Mt. XXVI, 31)? Not to be suffering, Catholics would have to not belong to the Catholic Church. Is that what they want? Then Catholics for the time being should be neither surprised by betrayals nor disappointed by divisions. The Devil is being given for the moment almost a free hand to cause divisions (“diabolein” in Greek), and when Catholics are all fighting for eternal salvation the divisions are frequently bitter. Patience.

Next, from Conciliar Popes there can no longer be the lifeblood of true Catholic Authority flowing down into Catholic institutions, and so Catholic persons can no longer depend upon Catholic institutions like they should normally be able to do. Rather, any such institutions have to depend for Truth upon the persons, as we have seen the SSPX depending on Archbishop Lefebvre. But persons without institutional backing or control are always liable to be fallible, and so it seems unwise to expect that any grouping of Catholics today for Truth is going to attract large numbers. Catholics may naturally long for structure, hierarchy, Superiors and obedience, but these cannot be fabricated out of thin air. Surely remnants are the order of the day. Patience.

In conclusion, Catholics striving to keep the Faith must take their well-deserved punishment, renounce all human illusions and fabrications, and beg in prayer for Almighty God to intervene. When enough souls turn to him for his solution instead of theirs, they will recognize that his Providence provided it for them in the form of the Devotion of the First Saturdays of the month, to make reparation to his Mother. For when enough reparation is made, then he will give to his Vicar on earth the grace to Consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and then order begins to be restored, as he has promised. For the practice of that Devotion, do not miss next week’s “Comments.”

Kyrie eleison.