Institute of Christ the King

Conciliar Infection

Conciliar Infection posted in Eleison Comments on July 28, 2012

May Catholics who wish to keep the Faith attend a Tridentine Mass celebrated by a priest who is part of the Conciliar Church, for instance by his belonging to the Institute of Christ the King or to the Fraternity of St Peter? The answer has to be that, as a rule, a Catholic may not attend such a Mass, even if it is a Tridentine Mass, and even if it is worthily celebrated. What can be the justification for such a seemingly strict rule?

The basic reason is that the Catholic Faith is more important than the Mass. For if through no fault of my own even for a long time I cannot attend Mass but I keep the Faith, then I can still save my soul, whereas if I lose the Faith but for whatever reason go on attending Mass, I cannot save my soul (“Without faith it is impossible to please God” – Heb. XI, 6). Thus I attend Mass in order to live my Faith, and, belief going with worship, I attend the true Mass in order to keep the true Faith. I do not keep the Faith in order to attend Mass.

It follows that if the celebration of a Tridentine Mass is surrounded by circumstances that threaten to undermine my faith, then depending on the gravity of the threat, I may not attend such a Mass. That is why Masses celebrated by schismatic Orthodox priests may be valid, but the Church in her right mind used to forbid Catholics to attend on pain of grave sin, because, belief and worship going together, the non-Catholic worship threatened the Catholics’ faith. Now Orthodoxy has in the course of centuries caused huge harm to the Catholic Church, but can anything compare with the devastation wrought upon that Church within mere tens of years by Conciliarism? If then Catholics were forbidden to attend Mass in Orthodox circumstances, would not the same Church in her right mind forbid to attend a Tridentine Mass celebrated in Conciliar circumstances?

Then what is meant by Conciliar circumstances? The answer must be, any circumstances which, over a shorter or longer period of time, are going to make me think that the Second Vatican Council was not an utter disaster for the Church. Such a circumstance might be a charming and believing priest who has no problem with celebrating either the new or the old Mass, and who preaches and acts as though the Council presents no serious problem. Conciliarism is so dangerous because it can so be made to seem Catholic that I can lose the Faith without – or almost without – realizing it.

Of course common sense will take into account a variety of special circumstances. For instance a good priest trapped for now within the Conciliar church may need encouragement to start on his way out of it by my attending his first celebrations of the true Mass. But the general rule must remain that I can have nothing to do with even the true Mass being celebrated in a Conciliar context. For confirmation, notice how Rome began by allowing the Institute of the Good Shepherd to celebrate exclusively the true Mass, because Rome knew that once the Institute had swallowed the official hook, eventually Rome could be sure of pulling the Institute into their Conciliar net. Sure enough. It took only five years.

That is the danger of any practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement between Rome and the Society of St Pius X. So long as Rome believes in its Conciliar doctrine, it is bound to use any such agreement to pull the SSPX in the direction of the Council, and the context of every SSPX Mass would become Conciliar, if not rapidly, at least in the long run. Forewarned is forearmed.

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.