Whether or not the Society of St Pius X finally decides to by-pass the doctrinal disagreement and to enter into a purely practical agreement with the authorities of the Conciliar Church in Rome, souls concerned for their eternal welfare must understand as fully as possible what is at stake. In this connection a friend of mine just sent me an admirable synthesis of the heart of the matter:—
“From 2009 to 2011 so-called “Doctrinal Discussions” took place between Vatican experts and four theologians of the SSPX. These discussions made clear just how firmly the Roman authorities are attached to the teachings of Vatican II. That Council attempted to reconcile Catholic doctrine with the concept of man as developed by the “Enlightenment” of the 18th century.
“Thus the Council declares that by reason of the dignity of his nature, the human person has the right to practise the religion of his choice. Accordingly society must protect religious liberty and organize the peaceful co-existence of the various religions. These are invited to take part in ecumenical dialogue, since they all possess their own part of truth.
“In effect, such principles deny that Christ is truly God, and they deny that his Revelation, the deposit of which is guarded by the Church, must be accepted by all men and all societies. Thus the doctrine of religious liberty, as expressed in the Conciliar document Dignitatis Humanae#2, contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, of Pius IX in Quanta Cura, of Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and of Pius XI in Quas Primas. The doctrine expressed in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium #8, according to which divine Providence uses non-Catholic sects as means of salvation, contradicts the teachings of Pius IX in the Syllabus, of Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum and of Pius XI in Mortalium Animos.
“These novel doctrines which along with many others contradict the formal and unanimous teachings of Popes before the Council, can only be qualified in the light of Catholic dogma as heretical.
“Therefore since the unity of the Church rests on the integrity of the Faith, it is clear that the SSPX cannot come to any agreement – be it only “practical” – with those who hold such doctrines.”
When my friend accuses the 18th century movement of intellectual emancipation known as the “Enlightenment” of being at the root of the churchmen’s 20th century collapse, he is making essentially the same point as Archbishop Lefebvre when he said to priests of his, half a year before he died in 1991: “The more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II . . . the more one realizes that what is at stake is . . . a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based on modern philosophy, on subjectivism . . . It is a wholly different version of Revelation, of Faith, of philosophy . . . It is truly frightening.”
So how does one get one’s mind back in subjection to God’s reality? One way might be to get hold of the papal Encyclicals mentioned by my friend above, and study them. They were written for bishops, but Conciliar bishops are not reliable. Today’s laity must take in hand their own formation – and their own Rosary.