Tag: letter of the three bishops

Two Bishops

Two Bishops posted in Eleison Comments on December 21, 2019

Ever since the summer and autumn of 2012 when it became clear that two of the three bishops of the Society of St Pius X were no longer taking the position towards relations of the Society with Rome which they had taken in their April 7 letter to Society Headquarters, followers of the Society, priests and laity, have wondered why. Few people, then or since, will have taken the bishops’ change of position to have been a question of persons or personalities. Since the letter warned severely against abandoning Archbishop Lefebvre’s clear refusal of contacts with unconverted Rome, most people took the two bishops’ change for what it was, namely a rallying to the Superior General’s new principle of contact before conversion. Yet since Conciliar Rome had hardly changed except for the worse between 1988 and 2012, why had the two bishops changed?

The question retains all of its importance for today. What is to be gained by the Society for the Faith – not by the Faith for the Society! – through friendly contacts of the Society with the Conciliar Romans still hell-bent on their Vatican II ecumenism, down to and including the Pope’s veneration of the Pachamama idol in the very gardens of the Vatican? One thing seems certain: for the last 20 years the Society has staked everything for its future on that friendship, and to give it up now would mean admitting that these 20 years had all been a big mistake. Therefore the Society, in grave need of new bishops for its worldwide Traditional apostolate, cannot choose and consecrate its own choice of Traditional bishops, because these would certainly displease the Conciliar Romans. Therefore the two bishops in 2012 laid a heavy cross on their own backs, heavier each year – they helped to drive the Society up a blind alley – in 2019 it cannot have, and it cannot not have, its own bishops.

Recent information became available that throws some light on the two bishops’ decision to abandon the Archbishop’s line of conversion-before-contacts, to which they had so recently adhered. As for Bishop de Galarreta, we learn that almost as soon as the April 7 letter appeared on the Internet, he hastened to SSPX Headquarters to apologise to the Superior General for its appearance, which he absolutely disclaimed. But how could he disclaim the appearance without also dissociating himself from the content? It seems that the publication made him fear the imminent implosion of the Society more than the content made him fear the blind alley of the Society, its essential abandoning of the Archbishop’s defending of the faith. Was the Society’s survival more important than that of the faith?

Bishop Tissier de Mallerais took longer to retract his signature, so to speak, of the April 7 letter, but by early 2013 that retraction was also clear. To a friend he then gave the following episcopal guidance: Rome’s conversion cannot today come all at once. Official recognition will enable us to work that much more efficaciously from within the Church. We need patience and tact to take our time so as not to upset the Romans who still do not like our criticism of the Council, but we are making our way gradually – is that not what the Saints did? We must continue to denounce scandals and to accuse the Council, but we need to be intelligent so as to understand the way of thinking of our adversaries, who do after all include the See of Peter. Bishop Fellay’s policy has not really failed: nothing was signed on the 13th of June, 2012, nothing catastrophic, nothing stupendous has happened for the last 17 months. A few priests left us, which I find deplorable, from lack of prudence and judgment, but it was all their own fault. In brief, try to be more trusting in others and less trusting in yourself. Put your trust in the Society and its leaders. All’s well that ends well. That should be the spirit of your next decisions and writings.

Here end the bishop’s reasons for recommending his friend to follow Bishop Fellay. But have either Bishop de Galarreta or Bishop Tissier de Mallerais or Bishop Fellay fully understood the Archbishop’s reasons for cutting contact with the Conciliar Romans? Do not all three of them gravely underestimate the unprecedented crisis caused by the Conciliar churchmen’s on-going betrayal of the Truth and of the Faith? How can doctrinal compromise or merely human politicking with Rome solve that pre-apocalyptic crisis?

Kyrie eleison.

Bishops’ Letter

Bishops’ Letter posted in Eleison Comments on October 5, 2019

A reader asks what were the circumstances behind the writing of the letter of April 7, 2012, addressed to Bishop Fellay and his two Assistants, by the three other bishops then of the Society of St Pius X. The letter is fast becoming ancient history, but readers may remember that the letter played an important part in making Traditional Catholics aware of the significant change of direction of the Society that had been surreptitiously taking place over the last 15 years, and which many of them had not noticed. But in March of 2012 the animal had just broken cover, or come out into the open.

In that month in “Cor Unum,” the Society’s magazine appearing three times a year for priests, the Superior General (SG) wrote that it was time for the Society to change Archbishop Lefebvre’s policy of no practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement, because the hostility of the Roman churchmen towards Catholic Tradition was growing less, and so the Society’s trust in the Conciliar Romans should grow more. In fact since the early 2000’s, more and more priests and laity of the Society had been suspecting that the Society was being led in a different direction. Now the SG himself was confirming those suspicions. That “Cor Unum” caused quite a stir within the Society.

At the dinner-table in the Society’s Priory in London, England, the editor of these “Comments” wondered aloud about writing to the SG a letter of protest against the change of direction, and about sending it to Bishop Tissier for him to check the contents. A priestly colleague at table asked if the letter should not be submitted also to Bishop de Galarreta, in case it could go to Society Headquarters as a joint protest against such a serious departure from the Archbishop’s constant preaching and practice of “Doctrine first.” The colleague was right, and so the idea of a letter of the three bishops was born. When consulted on the project, Bishop Tissier recommended that a draft of the letter be written, and when a draft was submitted to him he gave to it his enthusiastic approval. The draft was then submitted to Bishop de Galarreta who also approved, but reinforced considerably the draft by rewriting the last part of it. A final text was then signed by all three bishops and posted to Headquarters in Menzingen with copies for the SG and his two Assistants.

Their reply came just one week later. Not for nothing had Headquarters been changing the Society’s direction while disguising the change. They genuinely thought that Conciliar Rome was becoming more Catholic, to the point that the Archbishop’s grave reservations as to co-operating with the Neo-modernists in Rome were in effect out of date. To Cardinal Ratzinger in 1988 the Archbishop had said that co-operation was impossible, because the SSPX and Rome were working in directly opposite directions – Rome wanted to de-christianise society while the SSPX was striving to re-christianise society. But in 2012, SSPX Headquarters were adamant that the situation had changed, and so by opposing the three bishops they were not opposing the Archbishop. But what would the latter have said about the shenanigans of Pope Francis? What would he not have said? Yet in a recently appeared book-interview of the now former SG, Bishop Fellay vigorously repudiates even the least criticism of Pope Francis.

And so on a pre-arranged date in June of 2012 the latter presented himself in Rome with a trusted adjutant to put the seal on an agreement with Rome which would at last put an end to what SSPX Headquarters must have considered was an unnecessary 37-year squabble between the SSPX and Rome. Unnecessary? Squabble? Conciliar Rome is at war with Catholic Tradition! And the Romans had obviously learned of the three bishops’ letter. In which case what use would it have been for them to trap the Society’s official leadership if the other three of its four bishops avoided the trap? Tradition risked starting up all over again. And so the SG in 2012 was sent away from Rome, empty-handed. He would have to get to work on those bishops to bring them round. He wasted no time . . .

Kyrie eleison.

Doctrinal Declaration – II

Doctrinal Declaration – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 13, 2013

The Doctrinal Declaration of April 15 of last year, drawn up by the Superior General (SG) of the Society of St Pius X as a basis for the Society’s reintegration into the mainstream Church, has emerged nearly one year later into public view. It was designed by the SG to please both the Conciliar Romans and Traditionalists (“It can be read with dark or rose-coloured glasses,” he said in public). It did please the Romans who declared that it represented an “advance” in their direction. It did not please Traditionalists who saw in it (what they knew of it) such ambiguity as to represent a betrayal of Archbishop Lefebvre’s stand for the Catholic Faith, to the point that they considered that the Romans need only have accepted it to destroy his Society.

In fact when the SG met the Romans on June 11 in Rome to receive their decision, he fully expected they would accept it. Numerous observers speculate that if they did not accept it, it was only because the intervening publication of the April 7 Letter of the Three Bishops to the SG warned the Romans that he would not be able to bring the whole Society with him into the bosom of their Conciliar Rome, as he may have given them to understand he would do, and as they wanted him to do. They did and do not want another split to start Tradition all over again.

Be all that as it may, space remains here for nothing but one major argument that the proposal of the Doctrinal Declaration, had it been accepted by Rome, would have destroyed the SSPX. Archbishop Lefebvre declared, and proved, that Vatican II was a break or rupture with previous Church teaching. On that premise arose, and rests, the Traditional Catholic movement. So, confronted by the on-going resistance of that movement to his beloved Vatican II, Benedict XVI proclaimed at the outset of his pontificate in 2005 the “hermeneutic of continuity,” whereby the Council (objectively) contradicting Tradition was to be (subjectively) so interpreted as not to contradict it. Thus there would be no break or rupture between it and Catholic Tradition!

Now see the seventh paragraph (III, 5) of the Doctrinal Declaration. It declares that Vatican II statements difficult to reconcile with all previous Church teaching, (1) “must be understood in the light of Tradition entire and uninterrupted, in line with the truths taught by the Church’s preceding Magisterium, (2) not accepting any interpretation of those statements which can lead Catholic doctrine to be exposed in opposition or rupture with Tradition and that Magisterium.”

The first part here (1) is perfectly true, so long as it means that any Conciliar novelty “difficult to reconcile” will be flatly rejected if it objectively contradicts previous Church teaching. But (1) is directly contradicted by (2) when (2) says that no Conciliar novelty may be “interpreted” as being in rupture with Tradition. It is as though one said that all football teams must wear blue shirts, but football team shirts of any other colour are all to be interpreted as being nothing other than blue! What nonsense! But it is pure “hermeneutic of continuity.”

Now, do the soldiers holding the last fortress of the Faith that is organised worldwide realize what their Commander is thinking? Do they realize that his solemn declaration of SSPX doctrine shows him to be thinking like an enemy leader? Are they happy that they are being led to think like the enemies of the Faith? All ideas must be Catholic, while non-Catholic ideas will be “interpreted” as Catholic. Wake up, comrades! Enemy thinking is in Headquarters.

Kyrie eleison.