excommunication

GREC – II

GREC – II posted in Eleison Comments on March 9, 2013

Before we continue with the story of GREC, namely the Parisian group of laity and clergy meeting from the late 1990’s onwards in pursuit of reconciliation between Vatican II and Catholic Tradition, we must consider the basic attitude of GREC participants. The Church’s future depends on those Catholics who will understand GREC’s error, i.e. how modern minds lose their grip on truth. To illustrate that attitude let us take at random four quotes, typical of dozens and dozens in the book For the Necessary Reconciliationby the Newchurch priest, Fr Michel Lelong, one of the founders of GREC. In a letter he wrote to the Pope in July of 2008 are to be found the first two quotes:—

“We also wish that the excommunications(of the four SSPX bishops in 1988) be lifted and that the SSPX recover its place within the Church to which it has so much to give. That is why we ask the authorities of the SSPX to put an end to the polemical statements and articles criticizing the Holy See.”Comment: (Has that not happened over the last 10 years?) But if polemics are so bad, why were a number of Church Fathers – and Archbishop Lefebvre – so polemical? Polemics are only that bad if unity is that good. But unity is only as good as that around which it unites.

“In our society so tempted by materialism, indifferentism and sectarisms, we think that in response to your request, Holy Father, all Catholics must strive together to be faithful to Christ’s recommendation, ‘Be united so that the whole world may believe’.”Comment: “United” around what? Around Catholic truth, or around the lie that Catholic truth is reconcilable with Vatican II? Then the primary and crucial question for Catholic unity is where Catholic truth is to be found. But GREC leaves questions of truth to the “theologians.” So non-theologians can be saved by lies!?

This letter of Fr Lelong was so well received by Benedict XVI that GREC leaders and sympathisers wrote again a few months later. Here are two more quotes from the second letter to the Pope:—

“For sure we were saddened that the Holy See’s recent proposals were not accepted by the SSPX authorities, but we know that to heal wounds amongst Catholics always requires generosity and patience to restore confidence on both sides and to make reconciliation possible.”Comment: Are wounds only ever to be healed, and never inflicted? Did Our Lord not twice use a lash across the backs of the money-lenders in the Temple? There is a God, his honour is to be defended above all things, and men can be wicked enough to understand nothing but the lash, be it physical or verbal.

“We think that lifting the excommunications would set in motion an irresistible process of drawing closer, with a view to an agreement between the Holy See and the SSPX, or at least an agreement with a large part of the SSPX priests and faithful.”Comment: indeed the friendly contacts between Rome and the SSPX were setting such a motion in process in January of 2009, and only an outburst from within the SSPX of the most horrible heresy of modern times – “anti-semitism” – stopped that process. But either Catholic reconciliation with Vatican II is no problem, or one has to say that that outburst was providential, because it also stopped, at least for a while, the false reconciliation.

In conclusion, GREC, like millions of modern Catholics, above all else seeks unity, non-polemics, reconciliation, agreement, etc. But where does the God of truth figure amongst all these sweet sentiments? Is he a sugar-daddy who blesses all men’s lies, just so long as they lie in unison?

Kyrie eleison.

GREC – I

GREC – I posted in Eleison Comments on March 2, 2013

Just over one year ago was published in France a little book of some 150 pages which has to be a big embarrassment for the leaders of a certain religious Society, because it shows how their promotion of union with the Newchurch goes back many years, at least to the 1990’s. Of course if they are proud of that promotion, they will feel no embarrassment, but if they have for many years been disguising that promotion, then let at least readers of the little book open their eyes.

“For the Necessary Reconciliation” was written by a Newchurch priest, Fr Michel Lelong, no doubt because he for one is openly proud of the leading part he played in GREC’s attempt to bring about the “necessary reconciliation” of Vatican II with Tradition, or of the Roman authorities with the Society of St Pius X. Ordained in 1948, and heavily involved in inter-religious relations even before Vatican II, he welcomed “with joy and hope” (does that ring a bell? – Gaudium et Spes?) the Council that would strive to relate the Church to modern times. One of the lay collaborators in his work was a distinguished French diplomat and high government official, Gilbert Pérol, French Ambassador to the Vatican from 1988 to 1992.

As a professional diplomat and practising Catholic, Pérol believed profoundly in reconciling the truly Catholic SSPX with the assuredly Catholic Vatican. How could there be such a clash between the two? Both were Catholic! The clash was not reasonable. So in 1995 he sketched out a solution in a brief text which would serve like a charter for what became GREC, a Parisian think-tank for Catholics, named from the initials of Groupe de Réflexion Entre Catholiques. Expressing the concern of millions of Catholics torn from the 1960’s onwards between the Council and Tradition, Pérol’s text deserves a moment’s attention.

Not being a theologian, he says, he thinks that the present situation of Church and world requires that the problem of the divisions between Catholics following on the Council “should be stated in entirely new terms.” It is rather as a diplomat that he proposes that on the one side Rome should admit that it has gravely mistreated the Tridentine rite of Mass, and it should suspend the excommunications of 1988, while on the other hand the SSPX must not totally reject the Council and it must recognize that Rome is still the highest authority in the Church.

In other words as a diplomat Pérol proposed that if only there were a little give and take on each side, then the agony could be emptied out of the clash between the Council and Tradition, and all Catholics could once more live happily ever after. Thus he and millions of other Catholics would no longer be faced with having to either abandon Rome for the sake of Tradition, or abandon Tradition for the sake of Rome. Lovely! Back to the comfort zone of the 1950’s! But the 1950’s are gone, and gone for ever. Then where is the flaw in his thinking?

It is at the very outset when he says he is no theologian. True, he may have been no professional theologian, but every Catholic must be an amateur theologian, or, better said, must know his catechism, because only in the light of its doctrine can he judge questions of the Faith. Our Lord’s warning to discern between sheep and wolves (Mt.VII, 15–20) was not addressed only to professional theologians! So Pérol’s renouncing “theology” in favour of diplomacy is yet one more example of modern man’s failure to grasp the importance of doctrine. This failure is the most important lesson to be drawn from this book on GREC.

Kyrie eleison.

Blasting Ahead

Blasting Ahead posted in Eleison Comments on January 7, 2012

If some readers found last week’s “Eleison Comments” a little dark for the beginning of a new year, I do apologize, and I promise that this week’s will end on a more hopeful quote. But the truth of the matter is that, as I am told, many people are still blissfully unaware of how serious is the world’s impending economic calamity. Worse, they do not grasp the pre-apocalyptic gravity of the crisis in the Church. Let us dwell for a moment on the latter.

The vision even of some priests within the Society of St Pius X is that the SSPX is a normal religious Congregation while today’s Rome is not excessively abnormal. It is true that Archbishop Lefebvre spoke very harshly of Vatican II and of the “antichrists” in the Vatican, but in the 20 years that have passed since his death, things have changed for the better. We now have a Pope, they think, who is a Traditionalist at heart, as is proved by his liberation of the Tridentine Mass and by his “remission” of the 1988 “excommunication” of the four SSPX bishops. So with just a little flexibility on each side surely Rome and the SSPX can arrive at some arrangement whereby Rome gives back to the SSPX that respectability which it should never have lost, while the SSPX can re-enter Rome in a triumphal procession on the way to the two together re-conquering the world for Christ. The Doctrinal Discussions of 2009–2011 may have highlighted an absolute doctrinal divergence, but that merely proves that the arrangement needs to be purely practical (!).

Alas, priests allowing themselves to be lulled by any such dream have either not read Pascendi or not understood what they read. In his great Encyclical Letter of 1907 St Pius X warned that Modernism represented a major threat to the Church’s existence, because Modernism is the end of the road in cutting off the soul from reality, natural or supernatural. It is the ultimate self-sealing of the mind within its God-less dreamland. Error can go no further. Here is an example of the self-sealing:—

Towards the end of the section on the Modernist theologian, Pascendi explains how the Modernist rejoices in being condemned by Church authority. Just as a garden-hose must not be separated from the tap that enables it to water, so the Church must not be cut off from its source in Tradition. The Church needs then to progress by an inter-play between Modernism and Tradition. Therefore the Modernists need authority to be Traditional, and to do the Traditional thing by condemning them as Modernists. So if the Pope does not condemn them, they will forge ahead, and if he does condemn them they will go ahead anyway because by their very condemnation he is contributing to the progress of the Church! Heads he loses, tails they win. That is self-sealing error. God cannot win.

Well, the great and good God has a surprise in store for those who think so. To save souls he washed out men’s whole wretched system in the time of Noah, and to save souls again he may this time round blast it clean. The blasting may or may not start in 2012. And the consoling quote? –

“When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift your heads, because your redemption is at hand.” (Lk.XXI, 28). The hour is darkest, they say, just before dawn.

Kyrie eleison.

“Greek Gifts” – I

“Greek Gifts” – I posted in Eleison Comments on August 20, 2011

On September 14 in a few weeks’ time is due to take place in Rome, so we are told, a meeting of Cardinal Levada and Roman officials with the Superior General of the Society of St Pius X and his two Assistants. Catholics who appreciate all that Archbishop Lefebvre and his Society have been given to do over the last 40 years in defence of the Faith need to be forewarned, because that Faith is ever more in danger, and “Forewarned is forearmed,” especially by prayer.

It was Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who was entrusted two years ago with overseeing the doctrinal Discussions that ran from the autumn of 2009 to April of this year, between Rome and the SSPX. It was Rome that invited the SSPX to this meeting. It seems reasonable to anticipate that the Romans on September 14 will be laying down as to future relations with the SSPX their decision emerging from the Discussions.

Now by all accounts the Discussions made clear that no doctrinal agreement is possible between the SSPX as cleaving to the age-old Church doctrine, and today’s Rome as set upon the Conciliar teaching of the Newchurch, and moreover persevering in this disorientation, as is clear from the Newbeatification of John-Paul II in May and from Assisi III due to happen this coming October. So the situation coming out of the Discussions remains exactly where it was two years ago, going into the Discussions: on the one hand, for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls, the SSPX strives to help Rome back to the true Catholic Faith, whilst for the glory of modern man and for the satisfaction of his ignoble media (as in January and February of 2009), Conciliar Rome is doing all within its power to induce the SSPX to blend into the mind- and soul-rotting ecumenism of the Newfaith.

What then can we imagine Rome imposing on September 14? Either carrot or stick, or more probably, as adjusted by their expertise in its reading of the current state of mind within the SSPX, both. The stick could be a threat of total “excommunication” for the SSPX, once and for all. But who that has the Catholic Faith could be scared by such a threat? When Archbishop Lefebvre was threatened for the first time with “excommunication” from the Newchurch, we remember his reply: “How can I be put out of a ‘church’ to which I have never belonged?”

On the other hand the cleverest carrot from Rome could be the apparently irresistible offer of “full communion with Rome” on the SSPX’s ownterms. Only there might be hidden away a little clause that would stipulate that future SSPX Superiors and Bishops might be chosen by a joint committee of Rome and the SSPX with the merest majority of members being – Romans. After all, would the SSPX be wanting to come under Rome, or not? “Make up your minds!” will be their reasonable demand, as Cardinal Ratzinger reportedly cried out in 2001.

Clear minds recall the saying of the wise – but scorned – Trojan who did not want the Greeks’ Horse to be brought into Troy: “Howsoever it be, I fear the Greeks, even when they bear gifts.” But the Trojan Horse was brought in. We all know what happened to Troy.

Kyrie eleison.

Contamination

Contamination posted in Eleison Comments on February 5, 2011

If liberalism in its broadest sense be defined as the liberation of man from God (see last week’s “Eleison Comments”), then the liberal Catholicism of the 19th century arising out of the French Revolution (1789) was, broadly, the successful liberating of politics from God, while the liberal Modernism of the early 20th century was the unsuccessful attempt to liberate the Catholic Church from God, attempt scotched by St. Pius X. However, that attempt succeeded half a century later way beyond even most liberals’ dreams, at the Second Vatican Council. Here below is another recent testimony I received, from Italy, observing how liberal Traditionalism is now at work to liberate Catholic Tradition from God (if only we had half the Devil’s perseverance!):—

“After the unchaining of the Tridentine Mass by Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio of 2007, a great quantity of Catholics came closer to Tradition, but their quality varied widely. As was inevitable, the increase in numbers brought towards Tradition many Catholics who had never been convinced of its importance, and whose idea of Tradition was still basically subjective, meaning it is optional for Catholics and not obligatory. In this respect even if Benedict did say some useful things in his charter speech of December 22, 2005, its effect was disastrous.

“Confidence in the Pope then made any critical thinking about the modern liturgy, catechesis or doctrine take second place. To draw distinctions or to clear up confusion made one widely unpopular. However, the announcement of Assisi III dealt a sharp blow to this broad and very fluffy spectrum of Tradition, and Catholics had to make up their minds. Contrasts came out into the open, and the first divisions emerged.

“Benedict XVI has succeeded in infecting the promising potential of young Catholics connected or close to Tradition, and he has succeeded in creating divisions. Much of that potential is now ruined, even if one may put one’s hope in God that many other youngsters will come to talk and behave in a properly Catholic way. So just how many Catholics will embrace whole-heartedly the Church’s just cause? We shall have to wait for the dust to settle, and for men of good will and fresh vigour to make their appearance.

“Witnessing to Tradition calls more than ever for clear and firm statements. Hesitating or vacillating only does damage. Meanwhile let us fight on, sharpening the tone wherever called for, and openly pointing out the evils of Benedict XVI’s Conciliar Newchurch. Public opinion in Italy is far from concerning itself with the Church’s true problems. Catholics here have learned for centuries to believe that what the Pope says is Gospel. They are children of our age.”

Surely this testimony suggests that the marginalization of Econe by the mainstream Church in 1975, and its outright condemnation with the “excommunications” of 1988, each helped to save Catholic Tradition from contamination. Will the Lord God for the same purpose need to permit another such division and marginalization? We devoutly hope not!

Kyrie eleison.

Assisi-Ism – No!

Assisi-Ism – No! posted in Eleison Comments on January 8, 2011

Some people are still afraid that Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X is on the way to a bad agreement with Benedict XVI’s Rome, but by the Pope’s Assisi-ism amongst other things, one might say that Benedict XVI himself is doing his best to prevent any such occurrence.

Six days ago he argued in theory that the world’s “great religions” can constitute “an important factor of the peace and unity of mankind.” Five days ago he announced in practice that in October of this year he will go “as a pilgrim” to Assisi to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Prayer Meeting of World Religions held there by Pope John-Paul II in 1986. But the theory of all “great world religions” contributing to world peace was absolutely rejected by Archbishop Lefebvre, and the practice of the 1986 Prayer Meeting in Assisi he condemned as a flagrant violation of the First Commandment, which, coming from the Vicar of Christ, constituted a scandal unheard of in all the history of the Church. Only the fear of too much repetition being counter-productive might have stopped him from castigating this latest piece of Assisi-ism.

However, the Archbishop did recognize that all too few Catholics then grasped the enormity of the scandal. This is because the whole modern world marginalizes God, brackets out the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, makes religion a matter of free choice and turns Catholic Tradition into a mere question of sensibility or feeling. Infecting even the Popes, this way of thinking has become so normal all around us that every one of us is threatened. Let us get back to basics:—

All being requires a First Cause. That Cause, to be the First, must be Being Itself, which must be all-perfect being, because any second god, to differ from the First, would have to have some perfection lacking to the First. So the true God can only be one. This one true God took human nature once, and only once, in the divine Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who proved his divinity by a quantity and quality of miracles that have accompanied no other man ever, but have accompanied his Church ever since: the Roman Catholic Church. Membership of that Church is by faith and is open to all men. If they believe, that is the indispensable start of their eternal salvation. If they refuse to believe, they are on their way to eternal damnation (Mk. XVI, 16).

Therefore if by their past and future Assisi events, Popes John-Paul II and Benedict XVI have encouraged souls to think that Catholicism is not the one and only way to a happy eternity, but merely one amongst many other promoters (even if it is the best) of mankind’s “peace and unity” in this life, it follows that both Popes have facilitated the dreadful damnation of countless souls in the next life. Rather than have any part in such a betrayal, Archbishop Lefebvre preferred to be scorned, rejected, despised, marginalized, silenced, “excommunicated,” you name it.

There is a price to be paid for holding to the Truth. How many Catholics are ready to pay it?

Kyrie eleison.