Two Errors posted in Eleison Comments on June 30, 2012
Whether or not the Society of St Pius X survives its present severe trial, liberals will keep coming back with false arguments to persuade it to commit suicide. Let us look at two more of them.
The first has come up constantly in recent debates over whether the SSPX should accept some practical (non-doctrinal) agreement with Conciliar Rome. It is simple: a Catholic leader (or leaders) has graces of state from God, therefore he should not be criticized but automatically trusted. Answer: of course God is offering to every one of us at all times, and not only to leaders, the natural assistance and/or supernatural grace we all need to begin fulfilling our duty of state, but we have free-will to co-operate with that grace or to refuse it. If all Church leaders always co-operated with their graces of state, how could there ever have been Judas Iscariot? And how could we ever have had Vatican II? The argument from graces of state is as foolish as it is simple.
The second argument is more serious. It was put forward last month in a ten-page article by a Mr. J.L. in a conservative Catholic periodical in England. It favoured a Rome-SSPX practical agreement. Here it is, abbreviated of course, but not distorted. The Catholic Church is today under heavy attack, from without (e.g. by the USA government) and from within (e.g. by bishops who love the good life but do not know their theology), and at the topmost level by a Vatican administration riddled with scandals and in-fighting. The Pope is besieged on all sides, and he is looking to the SSPX for help to re-establish within the Church the sane influence of the Church’s past, in which he believes, even if he also believes in Vatican II. Monsignor Bux gave voice to the Pope’s appeal: if only the SSPX would respond by accepting a practical agreement, it would immensely benefit not only the whole Church but also the SSPX itself. Fr Aulagnier, a former high-up SSPX priest, clearly sees as much.
Dear J.L., full marks for your love of the Church and recognition of its problems, for your concern for the Pope and your desire to help him, but low marks for your grasp of where those problems come from and of what the SSPX is all about. Like one zillion souls in today’s Church and world, including Fr. Aulagnier, you miss the absolutely basic importance of the doctrine of the Faith.
The USA government attacks because the Church is weak. The Church is weak because the bishops’ poor behavior follows on their poor grasp of the doctrine of Heaven, Hell, sin, damnation, redemption, saving grace and the Redeemer’s ever-present sacrifice in the true Mass. The bishops have such a poor grasp of these world-saving truths because, amongst other things, the Bishop of bishops only half believes them. The Pope only half believes them because the other half of him believes in Vatican II. Vatican II undermines all the true religion of God by the deadly ambiguities planted throughout its documents (as you recognize), and designed to put man in the place of God.
Dear J.L., false doctrine is the basic problem. By the grace of God the SSPX has up till now upheld Jesus Christ’s true teachings, but if it put itself under Church authorities only half-believing them at best, it would soon stop attacking error (as is already happening), and it would finish by promoting error, and with error all the horrors you mention. God forbid!