Missal of 1969, New Mass

Momentous Decision

Momentous Decision posted in Eleison Comments on October 27, 2012

So the exclusion from the Society of St Pius X of one of the four bishops consecrated for its service by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 is now official. It is a momentous decision on the part of the SSPX leaders, not for any personal reasons, but because of the removal of what many people took to be the single biggest obstacle within the SSPX to any false reconciliation between Catholic Tradition and Conciliar Rome. Now that he is gone, the SSPX may the more easily continue its slide into comfortable liberalism.

If the problem was merely his person, there might be no serious consequences. He is 72 years old (and “more or less gaga”) with not too many active years left ahead of him. He could be safely ignored, or further discredited if need be, and left to rant and rave in his isolated retirement. But if indeed his exclusion does mean the repudiation of that opposition to Rome which he represented, then the SSPX is in trouble, and far from resolving its interior tensions by having made an example of him, it is liable now to be racked with silent dissension or open contradiction.

This is because Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX to resist the Council’s destruction of the Catholic Faith by its 16 documents, and of the practice of that Faith by the New Mass above all. Resisting the Council was built into the very nature of the Society. Now to undo a thing’s nature is to undo the thing. It would follow that with this exclusion the SSPX of Archbishop Lefebvre is well on its way to being undone, and it will be replaced by something quite different. Actually that transformation has been observable for many years. The exclusion is merely one final blow.

Not that the Archbishop was primarily, or only, against the Council. Primarily he was Catholic, a Catholic bishop, a true pastor of souls, as is clear from his writings prior to the Council. But once that unspeakable disaster for the Church had taken place, he soon saw that the most urgent task in defence of the Faith was to resist the Vatican II Revolution which was taking over millions and millions of Catholic hearts and minds. Hence his founding in 1970 of the SSPX which would use exclusively the Tridentine rite of Mass. Hence his famous Declaration of November, 1974, which was like a charter of the Catholic principles inspiring the SSPX’s resistance. Only the conversion and reversion of the Church authorities to the true Faith can justify the abandoning of those principles. And has such a conversion or reversion taken place? By no means. On the contrary.

And the future? To fill the vacuum left by abandoning the purposes of the Archbishop, probably the mainstream SSPX now hastens into the arms of Rome, especially if Benedict XVI’s conscience is driving him to end the “schism” before he dies. The bishop’s exclusion may or may not have been a pre-condition set by Rome for a Rome-SSPX agreement, but in any case it certainly favours one. SSPX priests who see clear might lie low for the moment and wait for a flock of chickens to begin to come home to roost. SSPX laity might attend SSPX Masses for the time being, but they should watch out for the moment when the transformation mentioned above begins to threaten their faith. As for the excluded bishop, any donations to him or his cause will have to wait a little until the necessary arrangements can be set up. But be sure of one thing: he is not thinking of retiring.

Hang tight, everybody. We are in for one “helluva” ride. Let’s just make that a ride to Heaven!

Kyrie eleison.

Sarto, Siri?

Sarto, Siri? posted in Eleison Comments on September 29, 2012

In a sermon for the Feast of St Pius X I found myself uttering « almost a heresy »: I wondered aloud whether Giuseppe Sarto would have disobeyed Paul VI’s destruction of the Church, if, instead of dying as Pope Pius X in 1914, he had died as a Cardinal in, say, 1974. Within the Society of St Pius X that must sound like a heresy because how can the wisdom of the heavenly patron of the SSPX be in any way flawed? Yet the question is not idle.

In the 1970’s Archbishop Lefebvre made personal visits to a number of the Church’s best cardinals and bishops in the hope of persuading a mere handful of them to offer public resistance to the Vatican II revolution. He used to say that just half a dozen bishops resisting together could have seriously obstructed the Conciliar devastation of the Church. Alas, not even Pius XII’s choice of successor, Cardinal Siri of Genoa, would make a public move against the Church Establishment. Finally Bishop de Castro Mayer stepped forward, but only in the 1980’s, by when the Conciliar Revolution was well ensconced at the top of the Church.

So how could the best of well-trained minds have been so darkened? How could so few of the best churchmen at that time not have seen what the Archbishop was seeing, for instance that the “law” establishing the Novus Ordo Mass was no law at all, because it belongs to the very nature of law to be an ordinance of reason for the common good? How could he have been so relatively alone in not letting such a basic principle of common sense be smothered by respect for authority, when the Church’s very survival was being placed in peril by Vatican II and the New Mass? How can authority have so gained the upper hand on reality and truth?

My own answer is that for seven centuries Christendom has been sliding into apostasy. For 700 years, with noble interruptions like the Counter-Reformation, the reality of Catholicism has been slowly eaten away by the cancerous fantasy of liberalism, which is the freeing of man from God by the freeing of nature from grace, of mind from objective truth and of will from objective right and wrong. For the longest time, 650 years, the Catholic churchmen clung to and defended reality, but finally enough of the engrossing fantasy of glamorous modernity worked its way into their bones for reality to lose its grip on their minds and wills. Lacking grace, as St Thomas More said of the English bishops in his time betraying the Catholic Church, the Conciliar bishops let men’s fantasy take over from God’s reality, and authority take over from truth. There are practical lessons for clergy and laity alike.

Colleagues inside and outside the SSPX, to serve God, let us beware of reacting like Giuseppe Siri when we need to be reacting like Giuseppe Sarto, with his magnificent denunciations of the modern errors in Pascendi, Lamentabiliand the Letter on the Sillon. And to obtain the grace we need in this most tremendous crisis of all Church history, we need tremendously to pray.

Layfolk, if horrors of modern life make you “hunger and thirst after justice,” rejoice if you can that the horrors are keeping you real, and do not doubt that if you persevere in your hunger, you will “have your fill” (Mt.V, 6). Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, and they that mourn, says Our Lord, in the same place. As for the surest protection against your minds and hearts being taken over by the fantasy, pray five, better fifteen, Mysteries a day of Our Lady’s Holy Rosary.

Kyrie eleison.

Six Conditions

Six Conditions posted in Eleison Comments on September 1, 2012

In an official letter of July 18 to Superiors of the Society of St Pius X, its General Secretary revealed the six “Conditions” for any future agreement between the SSPX and Rome. These were hammered out by discussion amongst the 39 capitulants of early July. Surely these Conditions demonstrate an alarming weakness on the part of the Society’s leaders as a whole.

The first “essential requirement” is freedom for the Society to teach the unchanging truth of Catholic Tradition, and to criticize those responsible for the errors of modernism, liberalism and Vatican II. Well and good. But notice how the Chapter’s vision has changed from that of Archbishop Lefebvre. No longer “Rome must convert because Truth is absolute,” but now merely “The SSPX demands freedom for itself to tell the Truth.” Instead of attacking the Conciliar treachery, the SSPX now wants the traitors to give it permission to tell the Truth? “O, what a fall was there!”

The second condition requires exclusive use of the 1962 liturgy. Again, well and good, insofar as the 1962 liturgy is no such betrayal of the Faith as is the Conciliar liturgy imposed by Rome from 1969 onwards. But do we not right now see Rome preparing to impose on Traditional Congregations that have submitted to its authority a “mutual enrichment” Missal, mixing Tradition and the Novus Ordo? Once the SSPX were to have submitted to Rome, why should it be any more protected?

The third condition requires the guarantee of at least one bishop. The key question here is, who will choose him? Readers, in the text of any future “agreement” with Rome, go straight for the paragraph about the appointment of bishops. In 1988 Rome proposed that the Archbishop present a selection of three candidates for Rome to choose one. Rome then rejected all three. When will people get it? Catholics must fight and fight in this titanic war between the religion of God and the religion of man.

The fourth condition desires that the Society have its own tribunals of the first instance. But if any higher tribunal is of the official Church and can undo the lower tribunals’ decisions, what Catholic decision of any Society tribunal will still have any force at all?

The fifth condition desires exemption of SSPX houses from control by diocesan bishops. Unbelievable! For nigh on 40 years the SSPX has been fighting to save the Faith by protecting its true practice from interference by the local Conciliar bishops, and now comes the General Chapter merely desiring independence from them? The Society is not what it was, dear readers. It is in the hands of people quite different from Archbishop Lefebvre!

The sixth and last condition desires a Commission to be set up in Rome to look after Tradition, with a strong representation from Tradition, but “dependent on the Pope.” Dependent on the Pope? But have the Conciliar Popes not been ringleaders of Conciliarism? Is Conciliarism no longer a problem?

In conclusion, these six conditions are excessively grave. Unless the Society’s leadership is shaken out of its dream of peace with Conciliar Rome as revealed by them, then the last worldwide bastion of Catholic Tradition risks being on its way to surrendering to the enemies of the Faith. Maybe bastions are out of date.

Friends, prepare to fight for the Faith from within your homes. Fortify your homes.

Kyrie eleison.

Grave Danger

Grave Danger posted in Eleison Comments on March 31, 2012

The desire of certain priests within the Society of St Pius X to seek a practical agreement with the Church authorities without a doctrinal agreement seems to be a recurring temptation. For years Bishop Fellay as the Society’s Superior General has refused the idea, but when he said in Winona on February 2 that Rome is willing to accept the Society as is, and that it is ready to satisfy “all the Society’s requirements . . .on the practical level,” it does look as though Rome is holding out the same temptation once more.

However, the latest news from Rome will be known to many of you: unless the Vatican is playing games with the SSPX, it announced last Friday, March 16, that it found Bishop Fellay’s January reply to its Doctrinal Preamble of September 14 of last year “not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems which lie at the foundation of the rift between the Holy See and the SSPX.” And the Vatican gave the SSPX one month in which to “clarify its position” and avoid “a rupture of painful and incalculable consequences.”

But what if Rome were suddenly to cease requiring acceptance of the Council and the New Mass? What if Rome were suddenly to say, “Alright. We have thought about it. Come back into the Church as you ask. We will give you freedom to criticize the Council as much as you like, and freedom to celebrate the Tridentine Mass exclusively. But do come in!” It might be a very cunning move on the part of Rome, because how could the Society refuse such an offer without seeming inconsistent and downright ungrateful? Yet on pain of survival it would have to refuse. On pain of survival? Strong words. But here is a commentary of Archbishop Lefebvre on the matter.

On May 5, 1988, he signed with then Cardinal Ratzinger the protocol (provisional draft) of a practical Rome-Society agreement. On May 6 he took back his (provisional) signature. On June 13 he said, “With the May 5 Protocol we would soon have been dead. We would not have lasted a year. As of now the Society is united, but with that Protocol we would have had to make contacts with them, there would have been division within the Society, everything would have been a cause of division” (emphasis added). “New vocations might have flowed our way because we were united with Rome, but such vocations would have tolerated no disagreement with Rome – which means division. As it is, vocations sift themselves before they reach us” (which is still true in Society seminaries).

And why such division? (Warring vocations would be merely one example amongst countless others). Clearly, because the May 5 Protocol would have meant a practical agreement resting upon a radical doctrinal disagreement between the religion of God and the religion of man. The Archbishop went on to say, “They are pulling us over to the Council . . .whereas on our side we are saving the Society and Tradition by carefully keeping our distance from them” (emphasis added). Then why did the Archbishop seek such an agreement in the first place? He continued, “We made an honest effort to keep Tradition going within the official Church. It turned out to be impossible. They have not changed, except for the worse.”

And have they changed since 1988? Many would think, only for yet worse.

Kyrie eleison.

Accursed Liberals

Accursed Liberals posted in Eleison Comments on December 3, 2011

Liberalism is a frightful disease, consigning to eternal Hell millions upon millions of souls. It “liberates” the mind from objective truth and the heart (will and affections) from objective good. The subject reigns supreme. It is man in the place of God, with man allowing to God only as much importance as man chooses to allow him, and that is normally not much. Almighty God is put on a leash, so to speak, like an obedient little puppy dog! In fact the “God” of the liberals is a mockery of the true God. But “God is not mocked” (Gal.VI, 7). Liberals are punished already in this life by becoming false crusaders, true tyrants, and effeminate men.

A classic example of the false crusader is provided by the revolutionary priests in Latin America, according to Archbishop Lefebvre. He used to say that priests losing the Faith under the influence of the modernizing movement in the Church made the most terrible of revolutionaries, because to the false crusade of Communism they would bring all the force of the true crusade for the salvation of souls, for which they had been trained, but which they no longer believed in.

The true crusade being for God, for Jesus Christ, for eternal salvation, then when it is no longer believed in, it leaves a correspondingly huge gap in people’s lives, which they attempt to fill by crusading for anything and everything: for a ban on tobacco (but freedom for marihuana and heroin); for a ban on capital punishment (but freedom to execute efficacious right-wingers); for a ban on tyrants (but freedom to bomb any country into “democracy”); for the sacredness of man (but freedom to abort the human baby in the womb) – the list can go on and on. The contradictions just highlighted are perfectly consistent in the liberals’ crusade for a total new world order to replace the Christian world order. They pretend they are not fighting Christ, but the pretence is wearing thin.

Liberals also become, logically, true tyrants. Since they have “liberated” themselves from any God or Truth or Law above them, then there remains only the authority of their own minds and wills to impose on their fellow human beings whatever it may be. For example, having lost all sense of any Tradition limiting his authority, Paul VI forced upon the Catholic Church in 1969 his New Order of Mass, to fit the New World Order, regardless of the fact that only two years before a significant number of bishops had rejected a substantially similar experimental rite of Mass. What did he care for the opinions of anyone beneath him, unless they were liberals like himself? They did not know what was good for them. He did.

Logically again, liberals become effeminate, because they cannot help taking everything personally. Yet any sane opposition to their authoritarianism is based on that Truth or Law above all human beings which the liberals are flouting. That is how Archbishop Lefebvre resisted the liberalism of Paul VI, but Paul VI could only think that the Archbishop wanted to take his place as Pope. He was incapable of understanding that there was a far higher Authority than his own, on which the Archbishop in all tranquillity was leaning. Who needs to worry that the Lord God will ever fail?

Sacred Heart of Jesus, grant us to deserve the good leaders who can come only from you.

Kyrie eleison.

Apples Rotting

Apples Rotting posted in Eleison Comments on May 14, 2011

In two ways a rotten apple may cast a little light in the darkness of today’s eclipsed Church. Firstly, we do not wait for every part of an apple to be rotten before we call it rotten as a whole, yet parts of it are still not rotten. In answer then to the question whether the apple is rotten, we must make a double distinction: as a whole, yes; in these parts, yes; in those parts, no. And secondly, while apple is not rot and rot is not apple, yet the rot is inseparable from its apple and cannot exist without it. Let us apply the first part of this common sense to the Novus Ordo Mass and the “Conciliar church,” the second part to the “Conciliar church” and the Papacy.

As for the New Mass, it is rotten as a whole by its Conciliar man-centredness, but while some parts are clearly not Catholic (e.g. the Offertory), other parts are Catholic (e.g. the

Kyrie eleison.). Because it is rotten as a whole and slowly makes Catholics into Protestants, it is not fit to be attended, but that part which is the Consecration may be Catholic and valid. So one can say of the Novus Ordo Mass neither that it is valid so it can be attended, nor that it cannot be attended so it is invalid. In truth it may be valid in its essential part, but that is not a sufficient reason to expose one’s faith to the danger of attending it as a whole.

Similarly, today’s Church is rotten as a whole insofar as Conciliarism is widespread throughout it, but that does not mean that every single part of the Church is rotten with Conciliarism. So it is as wrong to condemn any part still Catholic because of the Conciliar whole, as it is wrong to excuse the Conciliar whole because of those parts still Catholic. To fit one’s mind to the reality, one must distinguish both between the different parts, and between the whole and the parts.

And if we apply to today’s Church also the second part of the comparison with a rotten apple, we can say that it is genuinely useful to speak of two churches, the “Conciliar church” and the Catholic Church, because Conciliarism is to be found in real life all through the Church, although in their pure state Conciliarism and Catholicism exclude one another like apple and rot. But they are not in real life separable any more than are the rot from its apple or any parasite from its host. In real life there is only one Church, the Catholic Church, suffering today all over from the Conciliar rot.

Therefore as to a Conciliar Pope, it is a genuinely useful way of speaking to say that he is one head of two churches, because by his words and actions, sometimes Catholic, sometimes Conciliar, he places himself all the time at the head of both the Catholic Church and its Conciliar rot. But that is not to say that he is the head of two churches separate in reality. It is to say that he is head of both the Catholicism and the Conciliarism in the one real Catholic Church presently disfigured all over by the Conciliar rot.

And why in Heaven’s name are our Church leaders so enamoured of the Conciliar rot? Because of the modern longing for liberty. That is another story. But meanwhile we must pray with might and main for Benedict XVI that he may see once more the difference between apple and rot!

Kyrie eleison.