Tag: practical agreement

New Bishop

New Bishop posted in Eleison Comments on March 28, 2015

Fr. Jean-Michel Faure’s consecration as bishop at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Brazil last week was a delightful occasion. The weather was warm and dry. The sun shone. Fr Thomas Aquinas’ monks and the nearby Sisters had excelled themselves in transforming a concrete and metal garage into a sanctuary worthy of the noble liturgy, which they had also very well prepared. Despite the late notice, a group of priests was present from all over the Americas and France, and a congregation of a hundred souls, also from many different countries, followed attentively the three-hour ceremony.

Since then all Catholics have rejoiced who see the need for at least one more bishop to help ensure the survival of a “Resistant Tradition.” Archbishop Lefebvre’s understanding of the defence of the Catholic Faith could not be left for very much longer to depend on one bishop alone. His consecration of four bishops in 1988 without Rome’s permission, by “Operation Survival” as opposed to “Operation Suicide,” had to be extended into the 21st century. Apologies go to all Catholics who would love to have attended if only they had had enough notice, but everything had to be done, including a measure of discretion, to make sure that the consecration would take place.

It had powerful adversaries. The official Church in Rome reacted by declaring the consecrator to be “automatically excommunicated,” but as in 1988 this declaration is false, because by Church Law whoever commits a punishable act does not incur the normal penalty, e.g. excommunication for consecrating a bishop without Rome’s permission, if he acted out of necessity. That is common sense, and there was certainly necessity here. As the world draws closer and closer to World War III, what individual on earth can be sure of his own survival?

Also the official Society of St Pius X in Menzingen, Switzerland, condemned Bishop Faure’s consecration in a press statement issued on the day itself. Worthy of note in it is the admission that the consecrator was excluded from the Society in 2012 because of his “vigorous criticism” of the Society’s contacts with Rome in recent years. Menzingen claimed for the longest time that the problem was one of “disobedience.” Now at last Menzingen admits that it was being steadily accused of “betraying Archbishop Lefebvre’s work.” Indeed. Betraying and destroying.

Rome itself confirms the betrayal. On the day after the consecration, Monsignor Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, besides declaring the non-existent “excommunication,” went on to say, Several meetings (between Rome and the SSPX) have taken place and more are planned with certain (Roman) prelates, to go into the problems still needing to be cleared up in a relationship of trust,” problems “doctrinal and internal to the Society.”

Monsignor Pozzo went on: The Pope is waiting for the Society to make up its mind to enter the Church, and we are always ready with a familiar canonical project (a personal prelature). A little time is needed for things to become clear within the Society and for Bishop Fellay to obtain a broad enough consensus before taking this step.

What more can anyone need to see the writing on the wall?

Kyrie eleison.

Archbishop Commented – II

Archbishop Commented – II posted in Eleison Comments on January 10, 2015

Before leaving Archbishop Lefebvre’s realistic remarks of 1991 (cf. the last two EC’s), let us comment further, in the hope of helping Catholics to keep their balance between scorning authority in the name of truth and belittling truth for the sake of authority. For ever since the churchmen of Vatican II (1962–1965) put their full authority behind the Church Revolution (religious liberty, collegial equality and ecumenical fraternity), Catholics have been thrown off balance: when Authority tramples upon Truth, how indeed is one to maintain one’s respect for both?

Now in the tormented aftermath of Vatican II, who can be said to have borne fruits comparable to that preservation of Catholic doctrine, Mass and sacraments for which the Archbishop was mainly (albeit not solely) responsible? In which case, the balance that he himself struck between Truth and Authority must be especially deserving of consideration.

Firstly, let us consider a simple observation of the Archbishop on authority: “Now we have the tyranny of authority because there are no more rules from the past.” Amongst human beings all with original sin, truth needs authority to back it, because it is a Jeffersonian illusion that truth thrown into the market-place will prevail all on its own without a disaster being necessary to teach reality. Authority is to truth as means to end, not end to means. It is Catholic faith which saves, and that Faith lies in a series of truths, not in authority. Those truths are so much the substance and purpose of Catholic Authority that when it is cut loose from them, as by Vatican II, then it is cut adrift until the first tyrant to lay hands on it bends it to his will. The tyranny of Paul VI followed naturally on the Council, just as by pursuing approval from the champions of the same Council, the leadership of the Society of St Pius X has likewise behaved itself tyranically in recent years. Contrast how the Archbishop built up his authority over Tradition by serving the truth.

A second remark of his from 1991 deserving of further comment is where he said that when in 1988 he tried to reach an agreement with Rome by means of his Protocol of May 5, “I think I can say that I went even further than I should have.” Indeed that Protocol lays itself open to criticism on important points, so here is the Archbishop himself admitting that he momentarily lost his balance, tilting briefly in favour of Rome’s authority and against Tradition’s truth. But he tilted only briefly, because as is well-known, on the very next morning he repudiated the Protocol, and he never again wavered until his death, so that from then on nobody could say either that he had not done all he could to reach agreement with Authority, or that it is an easy thing to get the balance always right between Truth and Authority.

A third remark throws light on his motivation in seeking from 1975 to 1988 some agreement with Roman Authority. Judging his motives by their own, his successors at the head of the SSPX talk as though he was always seeking its canonical regularisation. But he explained the Protocol as follows: “I hoped until the last minute that in Rome we would witness a little bit of loyalty.” In other words he was always pursuing the good of the Faith, and he never honoured Authority for anything other than for the sake of the Truth. Can as much be said for his successors?

Kyrie eleison.

Archbishop’s Sense – II

Archbishop’s Sense – II posted in Eleison Comments on December 27, 2014

Twelve weeks ago (Oct. 5) “Eleison Comments” presented a first series of extracts from the last public interview of Archbishop Lefebvre, given to Fideliter magazine in early 1991. Here follows a second and last series of extracts, slightly edited but only for the sake of brevity and clarity:—

Q: What conclusions can we draw from the Society of St Pius X after 20 years of its existence?

A: The Good Lord wanted Catholic Tradition. I am deeply convinced that the Society is the means that God wanted to keep and maintain the Faith, the truth of the Church. We must continue faithfully to keep the treasures of the Church, hoping that one day they may resume the place which they should never have lost in Rome.

Q: You often say that, more than the liturgy, it is now the Faith which opposes us to modern Rome.

A: Certainly the question of the liturgy and the sacraments is very important, but the most important is the question of the Faith. This is not a question for us. We have the Faith of all time, of the Council of Trent, of the Catechism of St. Pius X, of all the Councils and all the Popes before Vatican II. For years they have tried in Rome to show that everything in the Council was fully consistent with this Tradition. Now they are showing their true colours by saying there is no longer any Tradition or Deposit to be transmitted. Tradition in the Church is whatever the Pope is saying today. You must submit to what the Pope and the bishops say today. Here is their famous ‘Living Tradition,’ which was the only basis for our condemnation in 1988.

Now they have given up trying to prove that what they say is consistent with what Pius IX wrote or with what the Council of Trent promulgated. No, all of that is over; it’s outdated, as Cardinal Ratzinger said. It is clear, and they might have said so earlier. There was no point in our talking, in our discussing with them. Now we suffer from the tyranny of authority, because there are no longer any rules from the past.

They are showing more and more that we are right. We are dealing with people who have a different philosophy from ours, a different way of seeing, who are influenced by all modern subjectivist philosophers. For them there is no fixed truth, there is no dogma. Everything is evolving. This is really the Masonic destruction of the Faith. Fortunately, we have Tradition to lean on!

Q: You have emphasized that you are sure that the Society is blessed by God, because at several points it could have disappeared.

A: Indeed. It has kept coming under very difficult attacks. That is very painful, but we must nonetheless believe that the line of Faith and Tradition that we are following, is imperishable, because God cannot allow his Church to perish.

Q; What can you say to those of the faithful who still hope in the possibility of an agreement with Rome?

A: Our true faithful, those who have understood the problem and who have precisely helped us to continue along the straight and firm path of Tradition and the Faith, told me that the approaches I was making towards Rome were dangerous and that I was wasting my time. Yet I hoped until the last minute that in Rome we would witness a little bit of loyalty, so I cannot be blamed for not having done the maximum. So now too, to those who say to me, “You’ve got to reach an agreement with Rome,” I think I can say that I then went even further than I should have.

Kyrie eleison.

Archbishop’s Sense – I

Archbishop’s Sense – I posted in Eleison Comments on October 4, 2014

In last month’s issue of The Recusant (www.The Recusant.com) is a translation into English of Archbishop Lefebvre’s last interview, published in French ( Fideliter #79) shortly before his death in March of 1991. He is always refreshing to read. He is clear, because he thinks from basic Catholic principles. He is transparent, because he has nothing to hide. He is unambiguous, because he is not trying to compromise Our Lord’s Church with Satan’s Vatican II. But notice how the interviewer’s questions indicate that the readership of Fideliter was naturally inclining to take the direction which the Society of St Pius X would begin to take a few years after the Archbishop’s death. Here is a selection of the questions and answers, somewhat abbreviated:—

Q: Why can you not make one last approach to Rome? We hear the Pope is “ready to receive you.” A: That is absolutely impossible, because the principles which now guide the Conciliar church are more and more openly contrary to Catholic doctrine. For instance Cardinal Ratzinger recently said that the Popes’ great anti-modernist documents of the 19 th and 20 th centuries rendered a great service in their day, but are now outdated. And John-Paul II is more ecumenical than ever (1990). “It is absolutely inconceivable that we can agree to work with such a hierarchy.”

Q; Has the situation in Rome deteriorated even since the negotiations of 1988?

A: Oh yes! “We will have to wait some time before considering the prospect of making an agreement. For my part I believe that God alone can save the situation, as humanly we see no possibility of Rome straightening things out.”

Q: But there are Traditionalists who have made an agreement with Rome while conceding nothing. A: That is false. They have given up their ability to oppose Rome. They must remain silent, given the favours they have been granted. Then they begin to slide ever so slowly, until they end up admitting the errors of Vatican II. “It’s a very dangerous situation.” Such concessions by Rome are meant only to get Traditionalists to break with the SSPX and submit to Rome.

Q: You say that such Traditionalists have “betrayed.” Isn’t that a bit harsh?

A: Not at all! For instance Dom Gérard made use of me, of the SSPX and its chapels and benefactors, and now they suddenly abandon us and join with the destroyers of the Faith. They have abandoned the fight for the Faith. They can no longer attack Rome. They have understood nothing of the doctrinal question. It is awful to think of the youngsters who joined them for the sake of Tradition and are now following them to Conciliar Rome.

Q: Is there a danger in remaining friends with Traditionalists who have gone over to Rome, and in attending their Masses?

A: Yes, because at Mass there is not only the Mass but there is also the sermon, the atmosphere, the surroundings, the conversations before and after Mass, and so on. All of these things make you little by little change your ideas. There is a climate of ambiguity. One is in an atmosphere submissive to the Vatican, subject ultimately to the Council, so one ends up by becoming ecumenical.

Q; John-Paul II is very popular. He wants to unite all Christians.

A: But in what unity? No longer in the Faith which a soul must accept, and which calls for conversion. The Church has been distorted, from being a hierarchical society into being a “communion.” Communion in what? Not in the Faith. No wonder one hears that Catholics are leaving the Faith in droves. (to be continued)

Kyrie eleison.


GREC – III posted in Eleison Comments on April 6, 2013

Wishing to put himself in the place of God, modern man seeks to replace God’s order of the world with his own. But God’s order is real, outside of and independent of man’s mind. So modern man unhooks his mind from that reality, and selects from it only such pieces as he wishes to build into his own fantasy. Now the highest order of God’s Creation is best expressed in his Church’s doctrine. Therefore all churchmen or laymen today undergoing the influence of everything “normal” in the world around them suffer from a deep refusal or ignorance of the nature and necessity of doctrine.

Here is the essential problem of GREC, as presented in two previous issues of “Eleison Comments” (294 and 295). The Groupe de Réflexion Entre Catholiques was founded in 1997 in the salons of Paris to promote friendly meetings and exchanges between Catholics of Tradition and Catholics of the mainstream Church, in order to create a climate of mutual trust and respect which would facilitate a reconciliation between them, and an end to their unnecessary estrangement. Such a purpose gravely overlooks the importance of doctrine, not necessarily with malice aforethought, of which God is judge, but whatever foolish men may think, doctrine can no more be left out of account than can reality.

In Fr. Lelong’s book on GREC, For the Necessary Reconciliation, he tells how two Society of St Pius X priests and its Superior General “made a decisive contribution to the launching and continuance of GREC.” Even before it was launched, Fr. Du Chalard gave to Fr Lelong a friendly reception in his SSPX priory, and “in following years never ceased to support GREC in a discrete and attentive way.” At the launching of GREC, Fr. Lorans, then Rector of the SSPX Institute in Paris and exercising from Paris a decisive influence from then until now on SSPX publications, welcomed the idea of “dialogue between Catholics,” and very soon obtained from the SSPX Superior General in Switzerland approval for his participation in GREC. From then on Fr. Lorans played a leading part in all of its activities.

Those activities began on a small scale and in private. In May of 2000 was held GREC’s first public meeting to which Fr. Lorans contributed, with 150 people attending. Meetings became more and more frequent, with SSPX priests participating. Church authorities at the highest level were regularly consulted and kept informed. Fr. Lorans for his part made possible “a contact of deepening trust” and friendly exchanges with the SSPX Superior General. From 2004 GREC meetings were opened wider still to the public, and in September of that year a “theological working group” was set up with Fr. Lorans participating, and another SSPX priest and a theologian from Rome, both of whom would later be taking part in the Doctrinal Discussions between Rome and the SSPX from 2009 to 2011. GREC may well have seen in these Discussions the realization of its fondest hopes – at last the theologians were meeting in a climate which GREC had done so much to create “for the necessary reconciliation.”

Thanks be to God, the Discussions gave back to doctrine its proper primacy. They demonstrated that between Catholic and Conciliar doctrine is an unbridgeable gulf. But was GREC’s way of thinking then blocked within the SSPX? Far from it! SSPX Headquarters switched overnight from “We pursue no practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement” to “There can be no doctrinal agreement, so we pursue a practical agreement”! Alas, the springtime uprising of protest last year from within the SSPX was smothered and confused again at the General Chapter of July, but SSPX HQ’s continued pursuit of a practical agreement has hardly been smothered.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord,” in particular in the Consecration of Russia. Nowhere else.

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.