Tag: Econe

Fortieth Anniversary

Fortieth Anniversary posted in Eleison Comments on November 6, 2010

Last Monday was a moment to be immensely thankful, and somewhat wary. It was the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Society of St. Pius X, when, on behalf of the Universal Church, Bishop Charriere of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg gave his official approval to the Society’s Statutes, submitted to him some months beforehand by Archbishop Lefebvre.

To anybody striving to keep and to live by the Catholic Faith amidst today’s soft global apostasy, the occasion for thankfulness is clear. Ever since Vatican II, the official Church has been in a state of collapse which is still going on, because the leading churchmen are clinging to the novelties of that Council by which man is to be put in the place of God. So the Catholic people are still being misled, and the pyramidal structure of God’s Church is crumbling from top to bottom.

Therefore for a devout but pyramidally-minded churchman to see the need for a minor counter-pyramid to be constructed within the falling ruins of the major pyramid was a first miracle. For him to succeed in erecting that minor pyramid beneath the papal weight of the collapsing major pyramid was a second miracle. And for the Archbishop’s successors to have upheld the minor pyramid for nearly 20 years since his death, is a third miracle. Now the SSPX has no monopoly on the defence of the Faith – God forbid! – but it has for many years up to today been the backbone of that defence. We owe boundless thanks to God for his goodness to every one of us that understands what a gift the SSPX has been.

But we must also be wary. Father Barrielle (1897–1983) was the Spiritual Director at the SSPX’s first seminary at Econe in Switzerland from its early days, and I can remember how often he quoted words of his beloved master, Father Vallet (1883 -1947), great preacher of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, and moulder of them in that five-day form so profitable to followers of the SSPX all over the world – through their transmission to SSPX seminarians by Fr. Barrielle. Fr. Vallet studied the Exercises and their history deeply, and one thing he observed was that if any Congregation was founded to preach the Exercises and did so successfully, then within a certain space of time the Devil would succeed in diverting, distracting or destroying that Congregation. What space of time, according to Fr. Vallet, as quoted by Fr. Barrielle? “Forty years”!

Now preaching the Exercises is not the SSPX’s only apostolate, so it may hope to be spared that concentrated attention of the Devil? On the contrary! If that minor pyramid is still the backbone of the defence of the Faith amidst the ruins of the Church crumbling all around, it can only be the object of his super-concentrated attention! Let all of us beware, and – because of that pyramidal structure of the Church – let us especially include in our gentle prayers the leaders of the SSPX.

Kyrie eleison.

Bishops Agree

Bishops Agree posted in Eleison Comments on July 12, 2008

Many friends of the Society of St. Pius X wonder what position towards an agreement with Rome is taken by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta. He is one of the Society’s four bishops, but what he thinks and says is not so often quoted, at least in English, a language which he may understand but which he prefers not to have to speak.

At the Society’s mother-house in Ecône, Switzerland, it was he who this year conducted the annual ceremony of ordinations to the diaconate and priesthood. Sections of his sermon are available on the Internet at christus.imperat, for instance. Here are two paragraphs, the first concerning the Society’s episcopal consecrations of June 30, 1988, because this year was their 20th anniversary; the second concerning Cardinal Castrillón’s “ultimatum” of June 4 and 5, one month ago.

From the truth no longer being preached, but merely looked for (as though one did not know it), there followed, said the bishop, “the importance and need for those consecrations to ensure the survival of the Catholic priesthood. We are proud of the consecrations, not as being a revolt against the Pope, but as being in reality the safeguard of the Catholic priesthood. We are also proud of the figure of Archbishop Lefebvre. We are not “Lefebvrists,” but we adhere to his way of thinking because it is Catholic. We are ashamed neither of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, nor of the unchanging Catholic Church, nor therefore of Archbishop Lefebvre.”

Further on, as to the Cardinal’s “ultimatum,” the bishop said that calling it an ultimatum was going too far. He went on, “We saw it rather as being meant to scare us, to put pressure on us to come to a purely practical (not doctrinal) agreement (with Rome). This is the way they want to make us go, but it is a dead end, and we will not go that way. We cannot undertake to betray our professing of the Faith, nor can we get drawn into an exercise in demolition. Our reply to the Holy Father is therefore to follow the steps laid down (complete liberation of the Tridentine rite of Mass and nullification of the “excommunications” of 1988) as preliminaries to a doctrinal encounter. Rome will react either with a slowing down or complete stop of contacts, or with a fresh condemnation – one wonders exactly what form that might take – or with a lifting of the ‘excommunications’.”

Firstly the Faith, then Rome – all four Society bishops follow substantially the Archbishop´s line of thinking, “because it is Catholic.” “Sooner die than betray,” he used to say.

Kyrie eleison.