Tag: lefebvre

Hoist Ladder! – I

Hoist Ladder! – I posted in Eleison Comments on May 2, 2020

Many people who should be listening to Archbishop Lefebvre are no longer doing so, as though they know better, or as though at the end of his life, after he had bequeathed four bishops to the Society of St Pius X to ensure its survival, he had nothing more to say or to do of any importance. But in September of 1990 Providence granted him to give in Écône a retreat to his priests in which he could hand on to them – or at least to those that had ears to hear – his guidelines for their future. Let us quote again one of the most important passages, and sigh with sorrow that he was not listened to, or was not understood:—

This fight between the Church and liberal modernists is the same fight as that of Vatican II. It is not that complicated. And the effects are far-reaching. The more one analyses the documents of Vatican II together with the interpretation given them by the authorities of the Church after the Council , and the more one realises that the problem is not just certain errors like ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality or a form of liberalism, it is a whole perversion of the mind. It is a new philosophy, based on the modern philosophy of modernism. The book which a German theologian Johannes Dörmann has just published, and which I hope can soon be in your hands, is very instructive in this regard. He is commenting on the thinking of Pope John-Paul II, in particular on a retreat which he preached in the Vatican while he was still just a bishop. Dörmann shows that the Pope’s thinking is entirely subjective. And on re-reading his speeches, one realises that that is the case. Despite the appearances, it is not Catholic.

The Pope’s understanding of God, of Our Lord, comes from the depths of man’s consciousness and not from any objective Revelation to which he adheres with his mind. Man constructs his own idea of God. Recently for instance the Pope said that the idea of the Trinity can only have arisen very lately, because man’s inner psychology had to be capable of rising to the Holy Trinity. Therefore the idea of the Trinity came not from any outer revelation but from the inner depths of man’s consciousness. Here is a totally different concept of Revelation, Faith and philosophy, and it is a total perversion. How do we get out of it? I have no idea, but in any case that is the reality. These are no small errors. We are running into a line of philosophy going back to Descartes and Kant, the whole line of modern philosophers who paved the way for the Revolution. ( . . . )

The Archbishop then quotes Pope John-Paul himself saying that the ecumenical movement is his “prime pastoral concern,” as we see put into practice by his constant receiving of delegations from all kinds of sects and religions, and yet, says the Archbishop, all this ecumenism has not made the Church advance one little bit, nor can it do so – all it has done is to confirm non-Catholics in their errors without trying to convert them. Finally the Archbishop quotes the Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Casaroli, in a then recent address to the United Nations Commission for the Rights of Man, quoting in turn the Pope to the effect that religious liberty is like a corner-stone of the building of the rights of man. Man, and every man, is the central preoccupation of the Holy See, as he is undoubtedly also yours, concludes the Cardinal. And the Archbishop concludes, for the Society priests in front of him at the retreat –

All we can do is pull up the ladder (i.e. cut all contact) . There is nothing we can do with these people, because we have nothing in common with them.

This is the correct conclusion whenever one is faced by people who start out from a denial of reality outside the mind, or else of the mind’s ability to know that extra-mental objective reality. They are mentally sick, like swine in front of whom pearls should not be thrown, says Our Lord, “lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you ” (Mt. VII, 6). For has Conciliar Rome over the last 20 years done anything other than turn to attack the Society in its striving by contacts to obtain official recognition?

Kyrie eleison.

Archbishop’s Authority – II

Archbishop’s Authority – II posted in Eleison Comments on February 22, 2020

DCLV – in theory, the Pope’s authority is indispensable to the Church. DCLVI – in theory, priests need absolutely the Pope to unite them. DCLVII – in practice, Archbishop Lefebvre’s authority was seriously handicapped by his not having the living Pope behind him. DCLVIII – in practice, the Archbishop exercised the authority he still had in at least three different ways, depending on the subjects over whom he exercised it: those who asked him to exercise authority over them on his terms, or those who asked only for a partial authority on their own terms, or those who asked for none at all.

Notice first of all how the classification is not by the authority, but by those under it. In other words, the subjects are, to a certain extent, “calling the shots.” This abnormal situation in the Church is the direct result of Vatican II, where Catholic Authority radically undermined itself by its wholesale betrayal of Catholic Truth, when it attempted to replace God’s objective religion with a man-made substitute, and to change the God-centred Catholic Church into the man-centred Newchurch. By this Council all Catholic priests were essentially discredited, as they remain to this day, and so will remain, until the churchmen return to telling God’s Truth. Then they will recover their full Authority.

Those who asked the Archbishop to exercise his authority on his terms were of course the members of the Catholic Congregations which he himself founded, notably of secular priests but also of religious Brothers and Sisters and Tertiaries. These Congregations he made as normal as possible, with grades of obedience to himself as the Superior General, with vows at ordinations for the priests and solemn promises on formal entry of priests, Brothers or Sisters into their corresponding Congregations. The vows were to God, and in case of need have often been dissolved (discreetly) by Roman authority, as is normal. The promises have depended rather more on the choice of those who made them, and here the authority of the Archbishop was seriously undermined, as told in last week’s “Comments,” by his being condemned officially by the Pope and his fellow-bishops. If a priest decided to leave the Society for liberalism on the left or for sedevacantism on the right, the Archbishop could, as he said, do nothing more than cut off all future contact, in order that such priests could not pretend that they were still on good terms with the Society. They had chosen to do without him.

Those who, secondly, asked the Archbishop to exercise his authority on their own terms, for instance to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, he would readily satisfy, as far as he could within the norms of the Church, because of the Church crisis which makes questionable the validity of Confirmations conferred with the Newrite of Confirmation. On the one hand, he said, Catholics have a right to certainly valid sacraments, and if on the other hand they wanted nothing further to do with him personally, that was their choice and their responsibility before God.

And thirdly, for those who asked him in no way to exercise authority over him, like a large number of Traditional priests who were sympathetic to his Society but who never wanted to join it, he was always generous with whatever contact, friendship, encouragement or advice they may have asked of him, but never did he remotely pretend or behave as though he had any authority over them. And the same with the laity. Many Catholics never agreed with the stand he took, apparently opposed to the Pope, but he was unfailingly courteous and ready to answer questions, if only the questioner was remotely deserving of an answer. And it was the objectivity and reasonableness of his answers which turned many Newchurchers into Traditionalists who would put themselves under his ministry or the guidance of his priests.

In brief, the Council crippled Church Authority, but where there was a will there was a way, or at least a substitute way, for souls to seek eternal salvation, which is extremely difficult without priests. Through the Archbishop especially but not only, God guaranteed this substitute way for souls, which is still there.

Kyrie eleison.