Novus Ordo

Conciliarizing Apace

Conciliarizing Apace posted in Eleison Comments on September 14, 2013

A good article arguing that the June 27 Declaration of three Society of St Pius X bishops is not as faithful to Catholic Tradition as it may seem to be, appeared in the August issue of England’s new Catholic monthly magazine, The Recusant, self-described as “An unofficial SSPX newsletter fighting a guerrilla war for the soul of Tradition.” A brief survey can hardly do justice to the article’s seven dense pages, but the main line of thought deserves to be known. Here it is –

At first sight the June 27 Declaration seems to be Traditional, but, as with the documents of Vatican II A, there is usually a loophole, a fatal flaw, which allows the rest of the document to be undone. Let us take a closer look, paragraph by paragraph:—

#1 “Filial gratitude” is expressed towards Archbishop Lefebvre, but only harmless and soft-sounding quotes of his are included in the Declaration, with nothing from his 1988 Consecrations sermon, and none of his hard-hitting reasons for creating bishops to resist the “antichrists” in Rome. #3 It is admitted that the “cause” of the errors devastating the Catholic Church is in the Conciliar documents, but that is not to admit that the errors are there, since cause and effect cannot be identical. Yet most serious errors are themselves in the Council’s texts, e.g. religious liberty. #4 It is recognized that Vatican II changed and vitiated the Church’s manner of teaching, or teaching authority, but the main problem is not authority, but doctrine – see #8. #5 Only relatively soft language is used to evoke the Conciliar Church’s “non-preoccupation” with the “reign of Christ.” In fact the Conciliar Church denies and contradicts the full and true doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ the King, battle-flag of the Archbishop and true Catholics today. #6 As in #3, it is admitted that the Council text’s teaching on religious liberty leads to the dissolving of Christ, but the text is that dissolving, or putting of man in the place of God. Vatican II is the fruit not just of human weakness or absent-mindedness, but of a diabolical conspiracy. #7 Similarly ecumenism and interreligious dialogue are not just “silencing the truth about the one true Church,” they are denying and contradicting it. Nor are they just “killing the missionary spirit,” they are killing the missions, and with them millions of souls, all over the world. #8 On the other hand the ruin of the Church’s institutions is blamed on the destruction of authority within the Church by the Council’s collegiality and democratic spirit. But the essential problem (as the paragraph’s opening sentence does weakly say) is the loss of faith. Authority is secondary. #9 While pointing to real faults and serious omissions in the Novus Ordo rite of Mass, no mention is made of the worldwide carnage of souls wrought by its falsifying of their worship of God. The Novus Ordo Mass has been the main engine of the Church’s destruction from 1969 until today. #10 In conclusion, timid and deferential language is used to “ask with insistence” that Rome return to Tradition. But of course, in accordance with the SSPX’s “re-branding,” the Newsociety wants no more fighters or fighting talk. #11 The three bishops “mean . . .to follow Providence,” whether Rome returns to Tradition or not. What can that mean other than the eventual acceptance of a deal that will by-pass doctrine? #12 The Declaration concludes piously, with another dovelike quote from the Archbishop.

And The Recusant arrives at the sad but all too probable conclusion that the Declaration is only an apparent step backwards from the Declarations of April 15 and July 14 of last year, which were two clear steps forward in the conciliarizing of the SSPX. Heaven help it!

Kyrie eleison.

Asian Journey

Asian Journey posted in Eleison Comments on June 15, 2013

A number of readers complained at the “Eleison Comments” of two weeks ago on authority being crippled. From its argument that on this side of the “imminent Chastisement” no further Catholic Congregation can be founded on a normal Catholic basis, they concluded that I believe there is nothing more for a bishop to do than to wait for God to intervene. But in that case why did I just spend two weeks in Asia, and why am I now in Ireland? Likewise they conclude that I will never consecrate another bishop. I say – God willing – just wait.

In fact there is a great deal for a bishop to do to visit and encourage souls striving to keep the Faith when Headquarters of the Society of St Pius X is obviously still intent upon taking it into the arms of Conciliar Rome. On June 17 Bishop Fellay wrote to Benedict XVI, “I do intend to continue to make every effort to pursue this path (of reconciliation with Rome) in order to arrive at the necessary clarifications.” And in the same vein, “Unfortunately, in the present situation of the Society” Rome’s counter-proposal of June 13 to his Doctrinal Declaration of mid-April “will not be accepted.” Then it would have been fortunate if the Society had accepted Rome’s terms?

Against this written evidence (made public by Headquarters) of Bishop Fellay’s on-going determination to sell out the Archbishop’s Society, we have quotes of his to the French District Superior that the “unfortunately” he only wrote “for the sake of the Pope,” and to the Carmelite Mother Superior in Belgium that he “never intended to pursue a practical agreement with Rome.” Alas, Bishop Fellay has such a track-record for adapting his words to his audience that quotes like these by no means disprove his intention to sell out the Archbishop’s Society. His astonishing ability to move the mental furniture around in his mind deserves an “Eleison Comments” all on its own, but in the meantime is it any wonder if what is coming to be called the “Resistance” is rising spontaneously all over the world?

Between May 24 and June 6 I visited with Fr Chazal a good part of his flock of some 400 souls, and I gave over 50 Confirmations in South Korea, the Philippines and Singapore. Fr Chazal is a character. He has brilliant insights and is very funny into the bargain. If ever you meet him, ask him to do his imitation of an Indian politician (he says the Indians are tough, and “can take it”).

In South Korea the Society’s change of direction caused a harsh split, with the result that the donor of the original chapel merely donated another. I had the pleasure of performing the marriage of the donor’s daughter. In the Philippines, just as I arrived, an older priest who fled the Newchurch years ago to work with the Society was fleeing the Newsociety to work with the Resistance. He looks like being entrusted with the beginnings of a seminary which Fr Chazal wants to launch, and he will in addition have his work cut out for him in centres throughout the central Philippines. In Singapore, a show-case in the East of Western-style materialism, still a good Chinese family with their friends have a firm grip on the change from the Society to the Newsociety. Truth will undermine this ExSPX, as Fr Chazal calls it, just as truth is undermining the Newchurch of the Novus Ordo.

Here are many souls to sustain on their way to Heaven. Do I have any candidates offering themselves for consecration as bishops?

Kyrie eleison.

Culture Alert

Culture Alert posted in Eleison Comments on December 29, 2012

As the leadership of the Society of St Pius X seems to be faltering, so Catholics who love the Society because they have received so much from it in years gone by might be tempted to think that there is nothing much that they as simple faithful can do about it. They would be wrong. Let them read these reflections from a friend of mine, and they should be able to read between the lines that if God does not rescue the Society for them, as of course he could do, then it has at least in part depended on them. My friend’s letter is adapted here below:—

“A practical agreement would be ruinous to the cause of Catholic Tradition. One need only look at what has happened to the Traditional Redemptorists in Scotland . . . The two Masses cannot co-exist. One will always drive the other out . . . At a Novus Ordo Mass I attended recently, the whole church was pervaded by chatter and continual clapping . . . The two sides are simply too far apart for an agreement to work. No meeting of the minds is possible between modernity and Tradition.

“Then there is the profound revolution which has overwhelmed modern civilization, including the Traditional movement, and which has for the most part been missed by the leadership of Tradition . . . Electronic technology has wrought a cultural revolution in our lives, especially of the younger generation. If it is not managed properly, it certainly weakens the faith because it can take over people’s whole lives. Youngsters are liable to be captured by it. They hang on it all day long. People too engulfed in it become dysfunctional, unable to get up in the morning, or to maintain a live conversation, or to hold down a job.

“Now if a sports team is not admonished by its coach, its playing standards begin to fall. If Catholics are not admonished on cultural issues like music, women’s dress, or watching television, their cultural standards begin to fall, which has profound implications for their faith. Traditional parents are being left to struggle alone with their families to keep the worldliness of modern society out of their homes, because the leadership of the SSPX has either missed this cultural revolution, or it is not giving it the attention that it deserves. I have had many long discussions with Traditional families who are concerned about the way that the Traditional movement is going. Religious movements must take a stand on cultural issues if they are to flourish. Tradition was strengthened when it used to take a stand on television. But if a stand is not taken on cultural issues, the stand on doctrinal issues soon begins to weaken.

“The latest Chapter of the SSPX may have pulled the organization back from the brink, but I cannot take much comfort from it. It spent much attention on defining the parameters of any future discussions with Rome in making an agreement. Yet, Rome is basically unchanged from 1988. In my opinion, the SSPX needs to recover the prophetic role that it performed when Archbishop Lefebvre was still alive. The Traditional movement needs to strongly denounce the modernism and liberalism that is leading the Catholic Church to its destruction. These denunciations lately have been muted. Perhaps many Traditional priests are distracted by the comforts that they think an agreement with Rome would bring them.”

Over to you, dear readers. Away with trashy and valueless music in the home. Get rid of the television set. Reduce electronics to a minimum. Mothers, wear skirts whenever possible, which is most of the time. Otherwise do not complain if God does not rescue the Society. He forces his gifts upon nobody. Blessed be his name for ever.

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.

Benedict’s Thinking – III

Benedict’s Thinking – III posted in Eleison Comments on July 23, 2011

After studying the roots of Pope Benedict’s thinking (EC 209), Bishop Tissier in his Faith Imperilled by Reason proceeds to study its fruits. If that thinking is rooted above all in the systematic subjectivism of Kant (1724–1804), those fruits cannot be good. How can the objective truths of the Faith be made in any way intrinsically dependent on the participation or reactions of the subjective believer? The Gospel, dogma, the Church, society, Christ the King and the Last Ends will be, one after another, mortally stricken.

Let us start with the Gospel. Its value lies no longer in telling the historical facts of the life and death of Our Lord, but rather in the power of its narrative to evoke existential problems of our own time. For instance whether Our Lord’s very own body sprang re-united with his human soul out of the tomb on Easter morning is not important. What matters is the modern meaning behind the narrative: love is stronger than death, Christ lives on by the force of love, and guarantees that we too will survive by love. Forget the reality or the facts. “All you need is love.”

Dogma needs likewise to be purified of the past and enriched by the present. Now the present-day philosopher Heidegger teaches that the person is a “self-surpassing.” Then Christ was the man so totally self-surpassing, so completely striving for the infinite beyond himself, that he fulfilled himself to the point of becoming divine. So the dogma of the Incarnation no longer means that God became man, but that man became God! Similarly the Redemption must mean no longer that Jesus paid to his Father by his terrible Passion the debt for all men’s sins, but that by his Cross he loved God in our stead as God should be loved, and he attracts us to do the same. Sin has ceased to be a mortal offence against God, it is merely a selfishness, a lack of love. So Mass no longer needs to be a sacrifice, and the priest becomes merely the animator of the communal celebration. No wonder Benedict believes in the Novus Ordo Mass.

As for the Church, since the existent person is the supreme value (cf. EC 209) and all persons are equally existent, then away with a Church of hierarchical inequalities, and away with the Catholic Church as the one and only Ark of Salvation, because the followers of every religion are existent persons. Let ecumenism replace all Catholic missionary efforts. Also, making the person into the supreme value will dissolve society by subordinating the common good to the individual’s rights, and it will undermine both marriage and society by putting the mutual company of the male and female persons in front of children. As for Christ the King, he will be dethroned by the bestowing upon every person such dignity that the State must protect that person’s right to choose his own religion.

Finally death, from a penalty, becomes a remedy for our ills. The particular judgment means only a reward. Hell is no more than an irrevocably selfish state of soul. Heaven will be “an ever new immersion in the infinity of being” – what being? – and so on. Here is a new religion, comments Bishop Tissier, rather more comfortable – at least vhere below – than the Catholic religion.

Kyrie eleison.