Whereas “Eleison Comments” ten weeks ago said that the split between Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth was responsible for today’s incomparable ruination of the Church, a recent objector said that such a split was unthinkable because Catholic Truth comes through Catholic Authority. The brief answer is: normally, yes; today, no. Let us see that the objection is mistaken, and then why.
That Truth and Authority are split is proved by the fruits (cf. Mt.VII, 15–20). Catholic Truth bears good fruit, but the Conciliarism that Catholic Authority has been pushing ever since Vatican II has borne only bad fruit – on all fronts the Conciliar Church is collapsing, unless one re-defines the word “collapse.” This collapse can be recognized by the laity more easily than by the clergy, partly because the laity do not usually undergo that heavy Conciliar indoctrination now normal for the clergy, partly because the laity have not usually staked their lives and reputations on the success of the Council, as by and large today’s Church authorities have done.
One way of describing the greatness of Archbishop Lefebvre is to say that he was one of the very few Church authorities who in the aftermath of the Council not only saw how Catholic Truth had been abandoned by Catholic Authority, but also at great personal cost stood by what he saw. How often we heard him say, in the 1970’s, “C’est inconcevable, c’est inimaginable,” meaning that the disaster going on in the Church was – “unthinkable.”
But that never stopped him from recognizing that it was the reality.
Why it had become the reality he used to explain by the preceding 500 years of Church history: Protestantism rose up against Catholicism, and once it had established itself in the face of Catholicism it gave rise to Liberalism, whereby all “truths” are as good as one another. For a time such nonsense was resisted by what remained still of men’s common sense and Faith, and especially by the Catholic churchmen – Authority still clung to Truth – but eventually, at the Council, these churchmen too gave up resisting. If the sun goes on sinking, eventually it sets. If you go on drinking, eventually you get drunk. If the tide goes on and on rising, eventually it goes over the top of all dikes built to hold it back.
St. Pius X’s great Encyclical on Modernism, “Pascendi,” portrays that final corruption of the mind which by spilling over all dikes spells the end of times, if not the end of the world. That corruption swamped the Catholic churchmen at Vatican II, and they abandoned the Catholic Truth. Has then Almighty God abandoned His Catholic Church? By no means (Mt.XXVIII, 20). But He never promised that His Church could not shrink to a tiny remnant, whether now or at the end of the world (Lk.XVIII,8).