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.

Agreementitis – II

Agreementitis – II posted in Eleison Comments on November 10, 2007

The argument in favor of the SSPX “coming in from the cold” and “getting back into the Church” can also be expressed in this sort of double proposition: all great clashes in the Church have always finished in some sort of compromise – what other solution is possible for the long-standing discord between the SSPX and Conciliar Rome?

As to the first part of the proposition, one might agree to some compromise if it were not the Faith at the root of this discord. To help out the Pope, or to restore the good name or canonical status of the SSPX, some compromise might be conceivable, but not if the Faith is at stake, because the Catholic Faith is that body of objective supernatural truths without (an at least rudimentary) belief in which, no soul can be saved (Heb. XI, 6).

But is the very Faith involved in the so far 37-year struggle of the SSPX? Yes, says a distinguished German theologian, Professor Johannes Dörmann, who is quite independent of the SSPX. After prolonged and professional study of the complete speeches and writings of John-Paul II, he recognized and declared that “Lefebvrism” was not just about Latin or the liturgy, but about the very foundations of the Faith. Indeed. Being another form of subjectivism, Neo-modernism turns any rock of truth into plastic.

As to the second part of the proposition, there being no other solution possible than some kind of compromise, one may reply that there are problems which man can make and which God alone can solve. An elephant can fall into an elephant-trap, but not by himself climb out again. In Noah’s time, mankind had so “corrupted its way” (Gen. VI, 12) that the Lord God was driven to wash it out and virtually start all over again.

In the Sodom of today’s Church and world, have not merely human solutions been made similarly impossible? When in the troubles of the near future enough human beings get down on their knees to beg the Lord God to rescue them, then through his Mother he will do so. Meanwhile the bounden duty of all Catholics belonging to the “remnant chosen by grace” (underline the “by grace” – Rom. XI, 5), is not to let anything, love of Rome or family or life or whatever, take precedence over safeguarding the true Faith, which is an obedience to, and love of, the true God. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us!

Kyrie eleison.