Tag: practical agreement

Discussions Renewed? – III

Discussions Renewed? – III posted in Eleison Comments on December 15, 2018

Many readers of these “Comments” may not be content if for the third time in succession they deal with what can seem to them mere arguments between priests, namely the meeting on November 22 in Rome between Cardinal Ladaria and Fr Davide Pagliarani. But every human being, Catholic or not, must suffer eternally in Hell if he does not save his soul. This can only be done in accordance with Catholic doctrine, and so that doctrine must be kept pure. Since the 1970’s the staunchest defender of Catholic doctrine against Vatican II confusion inside the Catholic Church, was the Society of St Pius X. But since 2012 the Society too has been wavering in its faithfulness to that doctrine. Therefore it is a matter of concern to every human being alive whether discussions with Rome today will or will not put an end to the Society’s faithfulness to the Church and to the doctrine of the one and only Saviour of men, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Two weeks ago these “Comments” (EC 594) presented in general the press release of November 23 in which Society Headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland, described the meeting on the previous day between the Society’s new Superior General, Fr David Pagliarani, and Rome’s head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ladaria. One week ago the “Comments” (EC 595) presented the full text of the third and fourth paragraphs of that press release, with their glimmer of hope that the Society will come back on its Founder’s track to defend the doctrine of the Faith. But when the fifth paragraph concluded that doctrinal discussions with Rome should be re-opened, the glimmer grew dark, not only because doctrinal discussions between Rome and the Society were already held between 2009 and 2011 (EC 594); not only because neo-modernists like today’s Romans cannot think straight (EC 595); but also because Rome has only one purpose in discussing with the Society, and that is to put a final end to the Society’s historic resistance to their own sell-out to Satan’s New World Order.

Thus whenever Communists wanted to take over a country, the main obstacle in their way was always the Catholic Church, which utterly rejects – doctrinally – the atheistic materialism of Communists. But Communists learned not to fight Catholics on doctrine, where faithful Catholics are too strong. Instead they invited Catholics to join them in a joint action, supposedly on behalf of the people, because once Catholics and Communists were collaborating in action, the Communists would exploit the practical contact to get around the doctrinal blockage. The one thing that the Communists did not want was for the Catholics to break off all contact. Then they no longer had the means of working on them.

Similarly, when Cardinal Castrillón was Rome’s man to deal with the Society ten years ago, he used basically the same tactic – “Let us first get together, and we will sort out all the doctrinal problems afterwards, once we are together. The important thing is first a practical agreement,” he said. On the contrary Archbishop Lefebvre always insisted on Catholic doctrine coming first. His successors thought that they knew better, and have time and again sought contact with the Roman apostates, who have been, logically, only too happy to oblige, with the result that the Society’s defence of the Faith has grown steadily weaker since 2000. The salt is losing its savour. Unless the Society seriously changes course it will become fit only to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (Mt. V, 13).

Another problem is if the Society is wanting discussions in order to obtain official permission for the consecration of the new generation of bishops that it needs for its worldwide apostolate. But if it does not want to consecrate them without Rome’s permission, then it can only agree to Rome’s terms, because it is making itself the beggar and Rome the chooser. But thereby the Society is putting the Conciliar Romans firmly in the driving-seat, where for the defence of the Faith, they absolutely do not belong. So is the new Superior General wanting to re-open discussions with a view to obtaining a Roman permission? God knows. But in any case, discussing with Rome means that the Superior General will be dancing with wolves. A dangerous occupation.

Kyrie eleison.

“Pious” Dreams – II

“Pious” Dreams – II posted in Eleison Comments on May 19, 2018

If there is one thing certain about Catholic Tradition and the Second Vatican Council, it is that they are irreconcilable. It is tempting to think that they can be reconciled, because of course the letter of the 16 documents of the Council does include a number of Catholic truths. But the spirit of the Council is driving towards a new religion centred on man, and as the spirit inspired the letter of the documents, so even the Catholic truths which they include are harnessed to the Conciliar “renewal” and are made part of it. Indeed, Catholic Truths (and Hierarchy) have been used by the Modernists as carriers for their liberal poison, as a Trojan horse for their heresies. Therefore even Catholic truths are poisoned in the Conciliar documents. Thus in 1990 Archbishop Lefebvre saw and said that Vatican II is 100% infected by subjectivism, whereas in 2001 Bishop Fellay said that the documents of Vatican II are 95% acceptable.

It is indeed tempting to pretend that Catholic Tradition and Vatican II are reconcilable. In this way I need no longer be torn apart by trying to follow both Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth at the same time, because ever since that Council, as the Archbishop said, Catholics have been forced either to obey the Conciliar Popes and depart from Catholic Tradition, or to cleave to Tradition and “disobey” these Popes. Hence the temptation to pretend by one means or another that Tradition and the Council are reconcilable. But the fact that they are irreconcilable is the most important reality now governing the life of the Church, and so it will continue to be until Church Authority comes back to the Catholic Truth of all time.

In the meantime however, the present Superior General of the Archbishop’s Society, Bishop Fellay, is adamant that Catholic Tradition and the Conciliar Romans can be reconciled with one another, and ever since he approved of GREC in the 1990’s, he has been striving to bring them together. His problem is that he does not understand how modernism maintains Catholic appearances for them to act like a Trojan horse to deceive Catholic souls, while there is no true Catholic horse beneath what appears to be one. But Bishop Fellay believes that the false horse has all the makings of a true horse so that, with the tender loving care of the Society, it will become once again a Catholic horse. All too many Traditionalists have allowed themselves to believe in this mistaken policy and to follow his lead towards the Conciliar Romans, but the Romans for their part have not been deceived. They have played along with his policy by making apparent concessions to the Society and to Tradition (e.g. authorizations to confess, ordain, and marry), and by repeatedly pretending to him that he is on the brink of obtaining canonical recognition for the Society, so that for instance “only the final stamp is missing from the agreement.” But unlike him they have it clear in their minds that Catholic Tradition is irreconcilable with their Council, and so every time they have led him to the brink, they have insisted on the Society submitting to their Council.

However, with each “concession” that Bishop Fellay has accepted for the Society, the Romans have lured him further into their trap, and it has become harder for him to turn back. With each “concession” the agreement with Rome has become more and more of a practical reality, with or without the “final stamp.” By holding it back the Romans, by Bishop Fellay’s own fault, can play him like a fisherman plays a fish – how can he now unravel the “concessions” granted, and admit that his policy of 20 years has been a mistake? Yet his policy was wrong from the start. Lacking the Archbishop’s faith, he misconceived the Church’s problem and the Society’s “problem,” and trusted in human politics to solve them both. But of course the Romans with 2,000 years’ experience have been the more skilful politicians – “Your Excellency, enough of these games. For years we have made all the concessions, you have made none” (a big lie, since to accept Conciliar “concessions” is itself a concession to Rome). “Before July you accept the Council, or we excommunicate you, and show you up to the world as a failure. Choose!”

That is no doubt a crude version of how the cunning Romans can put pressure upon the Superior General, but it is he that should never have gone begging to Truthless Authority. In the case of the Catholic Church, Truthless Authority is in fact toothless Authority.

Kyrie eleison.

“Pious” Dreams – I

“Pious” Dreams – I posted in Eleison Comments on May 12, 2018

In June of last year a colleague in France put together a good article on whether the Society of St Pius X should or should not obtain from the Church authorities in Rome a canonical status that would protect the Society’s interests. Obviously Society Headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland believe in obtaining such a status, and if the present Superior General is re-elected for a third term in July, that is the goal which the Society will continue to pursue. However, it is rather less obvious that such a goal should be pursued. An argument of eight full pages from Ocampo # 127 of June 2017, is compressed below into one single page.

The article’s position is that the Society can in no way put itself under all-powerful Church authorities imbued with the principles of the French Revolution as embodied inVatican II, because it is the Superiors who mould the subjects, and not the other way round. Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society to resist the betrayal of the Catholic Faith by Vatican II. By submitting to the Conciliarists, the Society would be joining the traitors to the Faith.

Church authorities are the diocesan bishops and the Pope. As for the bishops, those downright hostile to the Society might be less dangerous than those who may be friendly but have not understood the absolute demands of Catholic Tradition, which are not just the demands of the Society of St Pius X. As for the Pope, if his words and deeds show him to be working against that Catholic Tradition which it is his duty to uphold, then Catholics have the right and duty to protect themselves both against the way in which he is misusing his authority, and against their own in-born need to follow and obey Catholic authority. Now in theory a Conciliar Pope can promise a special protection for the Society’s Tradition, but in practice he must by his own convictions be striving for the Society to recognise the Council and abandon Tradition. Given then his great authority as Pope to impose his will, the Society must stay out of his way.

Experience shows that Traditionalists who rejoin Conciliar Rome may begin by being merely silent as to the Council’s errors, but they usually finish by accepting those errors. Their initial agreement to keep quiet is in the end deadly for their professing of the Faith. And by the natural downhill slide from one compromise to another, they can even finish by losing the Faith. It is the Faith that made Archbishop Lefebvre say that unless the Conciliar Romans return to the doctrine of the great anti-liberal Papal Encyclicals – which they have not done since his time and are not about to do – further dialogue between the Romans and Traditionalists is useless, and – he could have added – positively dangerous for the Faith.

The article also lists eight objections to this position, given here in italics with the briefest of answers:

1 With the Personal Prelature Rome offers the Society a special protection. Protection from the diocesan bishops, maybe, but not from the Pope’s own supreme authority in the Church. 2 Rome’s demands for the agreement have been diminishing. Only because concessions towards practical co-operation are more effective to obtain Catholics’ submission, as Communists well know. 3 The Society is insisting on being accepted by Rome “as we are,” i.e. Traditional. For the Romans that means “As you will be, once practical co-operation has made you see how nice we are.” 4 So the Society will continue to attack the Council’s errors. Nothing will change. Rome can take its time to insist on ever greater changes. 5 But Pope Francis likes the Society! As the Big Bad Wolf liked Little Red Riding Hood! 6 The Society is too virtuous to be fooled by Rome. Foolish illusion! The Archbishop himself was at first fooled by the Protocol of May 5, 1988. 7 Several Traditional communities have rejoined Rome without losing the true Mass. But several of them have gone over to defending major errors of the Council. 8 Pope Francis as a person is in error, but his function is sacred. To recognise the sacredness of his function cannot oblige me to follow his personal errors, i.e. the misuse of his function. The true Faith is above the Pope.

Kyrie eleison.

Menzingen’s Mistake – III

Menzingen’s Mistake – III posted in Eleison Comments on July 22, 2017

Another Society of St Pius X priest (Fr. PR, for public relations) has descended into the arena to defend his Superiors’ pursuit of official recognition of the Society by Rome. Fr. PR’s defence is also well presented, but again it suffers from the same essential fault as does the pursuit of the recognition which he is defending – a lack of realism. Principle is one thing, practice is another, even if it is governed by principles. To be a master of principles is not to be a master of practice, and vice versa. It is noteworthy how Fr. PR’s defence of his Superiors’ pursuit of recognition starts out by saying that in this defence he, Fr PR, is only interested in the principles: firstly, whether one can in principle accept recognition from a modernist, and secondly, just how far one can in principle collaborate with a modernist.

To prove that one can accept recognition from a modernist Pope, he argues that Archbishop Lefebvre sought it from Paul VI until the latter’s death in 1978, and in 1988 he only refused collaboration with John-Paul II in practice, but not in principle. Nor did the Society’s General Chapter of 2012 demand of Benedict XVI a profession of Catholic Faith, to do which betrays at any time a schismatic spirit. But, one replies, the clash between the Archbishop and Paul VI from 1974 onwards is well-known, and behind the Archbishop’s refusal in practice of the Protocol of 1988 were the principles of his Faith. 2012 was just the moment when the Society abandoned the Archbishop by abandoning his stand on the Faith in principle, and as for a schismatic spirit, who was in reality in schism? – the Archbishop or the modernists? As for Pope Francis, Fr PR argues that he is the Pope; that the Church is what not he, but what Our Lord, made it; that collaboration with him is with him only as Catholic Pope. But, one replies, in real life, as the rot of an apple is and is not apple, so the Conciliar Church is and is not the Church. In real life, the Society is not dealing only with the Catholic Church or a Catholic Pope, but directly with Conciliar rot.

Thus when Fr PR, examining secondly how far one can collaborate with a modernist, answers that one can do so insofar it is for the good of the Church, he constantly abstracts from today’s reality. Thus:—

* The Church is indefectible – Sure, but Conciliar churchmen are defecting all the time.

* The Society is serving the Church, not churchmen – Sure, but it has to go through false churchmen.

* A Catholic prelature could not be refused – Sure, but not if it is managed by false churchmen.

* The Pope need only stick to its terms – Sure, but what protects a piece of paper from such managers?

* The Pope’s authority is from God – Sure, but not in order to destroy the Church (II Cor. XIII, 10).

* The Society was right to accept jurisdiction for confessions and marriages – Fr. PR, are you so sure? What if that was just the cheese on a mousetrap?

* Such a practical question as this last question on our situation right now “is not in the power of this article to judge,” replies Fr. PR, but the very possibility that it might not be a trap proves for him that accepting or not Rome’s canonical recognition “should not be judged only on the basis of one’s unity with the Pope’s faith.” And so he concludes that “canonical recognition should be accepted if it is for the good of the Church and rejected if it is not, regardless of the Pope’s faith.”

But, Father, ask yourself – this Pope’s “faith” being what it is, would or would not a canonical recognition bring the Society under mainstream, i.e., modernist, Superiors? Yes, or no? In real life, do you really think that this Pope would grant a prelature which would not bring the Society under Rome’s control? In other words, under the control of people who no longer believe in objective truth? There is much beauty in Catholic principles, but they have to be applied in a real, often all too real, world.

Kyrie eleison.

Church Predictions

Church Predictions posted in Eleison Comments on April 22, 2017

As might have been expected, there has been not a little reader reaction to the portrait of the “slowly declining” Society of St Pius X, as presented in two recent issues of these “Comments.” Reaction shows that not all Catholics are blind or unthinking. Here are two readers speculating, one on the Society’s near future, the second on the Church’s more distant future. Here is the first:—

“The destabilisation, confusion and softening of the minds of Society priests and laity will, alas, continue, and for many become even more painful, because the present leadership of the Society will persevere and continue straight on with the game it has set up with the Semiconservatives. Consecrating the bishops “urgently needed” (Bishop Tissier) will not be mentioned. And when the election of the Society’s top officials can no longer be avoided at the General Chapter normally due in July of 2018, the Society’s present leaders will do all in their power beforehand to make sure that their pursuit of recognition by Rome will continue uninterrupted.”

Depending on how many prayers are said for the rescue of the fortress of the true Faith built by Archbishop Lefebvre, Almighty God may intervene with a miracle to save it, but humanly speaking one would say that the rot is indeed too far gone for it to be saved. Thus the Society’s worldwide apostolate urgently needs some new and younger bishops, but how can they be chosen to serve the true anti-Conciliar Faith without alienating the Conciliar Romans who alone can give the Society the recognition so desperately pursued by Society HQ in Menzingen? Archbishop Lefebvre said in 1988 that that pursuit would be the Society’s “Operation Suicide,” but since when have crusading liberals ever backed down? The crusade for their Brave New World Order is their real religion, forget about Catholicism.

The second reader assumes that the Society’s suicide is a done deal, and he looks forward to the future of the Faith without the Society, more from a divine point of view.

“The silence coming from Econe concerning the ‘regularization’ at present is deafening. It would appear that the deal is, in actuality, a ‘fait accompli.’ In which case, may we now turn our attention to the long road of recovery and care that the Traditional Catholic Refugees will surely need. A restoration of order out of chaos and a life-raft to grasp, as the sinking ship of Rome sucks the weak in faith to the bottom of the sea. Is the Faith shrinking or just purging itself of those who have been unfaithful? God help us!

When we think of the future of the Church today, let us bear in mind that the situation is so dramatic that “all bets are off,” meaning, nobody knows, because if the Society is indeed sinking which has acted as a buoy for the true Faith for 40 years, then what indeed still prevents Conciliar Rome from sucking those weak in the faith down to the bottom of the sea? But God is God, and He can intervene at any moment and in a variety of ways to interrupt His Church’s headlong course to destruction. Nevertheless, this reader’s human pessimism does seem well justified right now.

Less easy to understand is his optimism for the future of a restoration of order and the launching of a life-raft, if the Popes stay Conciliar. For if there is any lesson to be drawn from the history of the “Resistance” since 2012, it is the extreme difficulty of founding a Catholic work without approval from what at least appears to be the official Church. Catholic Truth is immensely strong in itself, but without the backing and protection of Catholic Authority, which is Our Lord’s authority, Truth remains highly vulnerable. For instance, within a framework of authority a priest can easily submit to a proposition he disagrees with, but outside any such frame, he can easily dispute the wisdom of the wisest of propositions.

Patience. The problem is insoluble. Let us pray, and wait for Almighty God to stun us all with His solution!

Kyrie eleison.

“Holy Priests”?

“Holy Priests”? posted in Eleison Comments on March 4, 2017

By a great grace of God, one reader of these “Comments,” immersed by family and work in today’s world, has nevertheless kept a true sense of what is going on around him – the great drama unfolding every day of the salvation or damnation of the souls which he meets. It is not a comfortable sense. He might wish that he could not see what he sees, but by another great grace of God, he does not want to go back to sleep. He knows what the Society of St Pius X used to represent, and he used to profit greatly by it. Now from a simple layman’s point of view, with no pretention of getting into the higher arguments, he observes that the Society is not what it was, but has joined the sleeping brigade, and he wonders what he is going to do. His words are not to be found on the Internet, but they must be in many a sad Catholic’s heart. Here they are, in italics:—

I have mentioned this before but I keep seeing it at work. Souls are starving and they are withering away under the weight of sin and the pressures of this anti-culture engulfing all of us. Almost all of the former Catholics I have talked to have either been disgusted with all the abuse taking place in the Church (I imagine though that many use this as a big rationalization for their own sins), or they have seen in the priests nothing but selfish men who have not died to self and put on Christ. Their view of the Church is clouded by so much unfaithfulness and so much sin.

No doubt the abuses in the Church serve as an excuse for Catholics to give up the Faith, but what a responsibility of priests who, even without causing grave public scandal, nevertheless by their example cease to inspire and uplift! Priests of the Society – you used to inspire and uplift – where are you now?

Honestly, I would dare say that The Angelus Press (magazine of the SSPX in the USA) no longer has a cutting edge. We need to be jarred from our complacency (I know I certainly do with my fallen human nature!). We need to be jarred from our intellectual sloth. It is all very well to write beautifully about spiritual and doctrinal issues, indeed I do not think anyone can accuse AP of promoting heresy but . . . . and here is the kicker . . .  if none of these ideas are woven into the fabric of daily life or address any of the problems of modernity, then the Church becomes just one “sweet thing” to soothe us from the realities of real life.

Here is the problem. Real priests deal in “the realities of real life.” “Lord, give us holy priests,” prays the SSPX. Alas, is not “holy priests” liable to mean soothing priests? And should priests be soothing souls so as to make them comfortable in this life, or should they not rather be making them uncomfortable in this “valley of tears,” so that all their desires go towards life eternal?

I am becoming more and more indifferent to what the SSPX does because we layfolk have no influence on what they do. So if they want to rush headlong into oblivion and obscurity and irrelevance, which is what I think will happen, then let them go ahead. The unique glory of the SSPX used to be that it was the only organized resistance against Conciliar shenanigans out of a principled rejection not of authority but of anything that was destroying the Faith. Alas, the SSPX is using the same principle of authority – good in itself – to co-opt any opposition to error, whereas authority is meant to be at the service of the truth. So quite honestly, I have no idea what I am going to do, practically speaking. We still attend the SSPX but (at least for myself) the fervor I had with the SSPX has almost been extinguished. Patience. Amidst all of this, Christ is the one who will give victory.

Is the Newsociety indeed not on its way to making itself as irrelevant for life eternal as the Newchurch?

Kyrie eleison.