St. Athanasius

Guideline Queries

Guideline Queries posted in Eleison Comments on March 22, 2008

A reader of “Eleison Comments” of two weeks ago had some reasonable questions. Here are some answers:

Q.1 If the Conciliar Church is proving defectible by its Conciliarism while the Society of St.Pius X is defectible by nature (not having the Church’s guarantees of indefectibility), then where is that indefectible Church?

A 1 Defectible plus defectible equals defectible. But defectible plus defectible plus God equals indefectible. In the Arian crisis of the fourth century, Pope Liberius was proving defectible by his support of Arian bishops while St. Athanasius enjoyed no guarantee of indefectibility. Yet the Lord God used both to carry the Church through until the Papacy came back to its Catholic senses. Even with the best of Popes, the Lord God alone is responsible for his Church’s indefectibility. In God’s good time he will rescue his popes from Conciliarism. Meanwhile the SSPX, amongst others, is playing the part of St. Athanasius, but even if the SSPX were to defect – God forbid! – it would be child’s play for the Lord God to raise other carriers of his Church’s indefectible Truth.

Q 2 Does the indefectible Church still exist outside the SSPX?

A 2 Of course it does. Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth, meant to be firmly united, were split by Vatican II, but the Authority continues through the line of popes (unless and until we have clear proof to the contrary, which we do not yet have, and may or may not ever have), while the Truth continues outstandingly (for the moment) through the SSPX. In God’s good time that Authority and Truth will be reunited. Meanwhile the SSPX’s function is to carry, and not betray, the Truth.

Q 3 But both the Conciliar Church is defectible, and the SSPX is defectible! I insist – how can the indefectible Church be continuing?

A 3 A river split into two streams still continues to flow. Normally the two streams rejoin. Certainly the stream of Catholic Authority and the stream of Catholic Truth will rejoin. Meanwhile the Lord God is obtaining the purification of his Church . . .

Q 4 Did not Archbishop Lefebvre sign on finally to all the supposedly heretical documents of Vatican II? Was he not then also a heretic? A 4 Firstly, the Archbishop always said that he never signed on to two of the worst documents, namely Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae, and when people used to say that he did sign on to them, he replied that he himself should know what he did or did not sign on to.

Secondly, what more than anything characterizes the Council documents is their ambiguity (see the first Volumes of Prof. Doermann’s series on the theology of John-Paul II, and of Atila Guimaraes’ series on the Council). Countless propositions in those documents can be read in a Catholic or in a non-Catholic way. Whatever the Archbishop signed on to, he no doubt signed on to in its Catholic sense.

Q 5 But where, if anywhere, did the Archbishop clearly repudiate the non-Catholic sense of the Council’s ambiguities? A 5 In most everything he wrote and said about the Council, he was attacking the errors disguised within the ambiguities. However, for as long as a heretic is still being ambiguous, he may not yet be clearly heretical, and it is correspondingly difficult for him to be clearly “repudiated.” Precisely here is the deadly character of Vatican II. Whenever the defenders of Vatican II are attacked for their Neo-modernism, they can scuttle back within the Catholic sense of their ambiguities, and the liberalism in which the mass of us are today marinated enables them to get away with it. It would follow that God alone can clean up this mess in his Church.

Kyrie eleison.

Agreementitis

Agreementitis posted in Eleison Comments on September 29, 2007

An argument often heard in favor of the Society of St. Pius X coming to some kind of agreement with the neo-modernists in Rome runs something like this: “You cannot expect Rome to come back to the true Faith overnight. Down all the history of the Church such returns have taken tens or hundreds of years. Do you want us to wait out our lives before we can be received back into the Church? You seem to like proverbs – how about ‘Half a loaf is better than no bread’? Souls without number are waiting for the Society to move.”

There are in fact several arguments here. Let us take them one by one:—

*What I expect Rome to do or not to do is of no importance. On the contrary the true Faith, complete, is as important as eternal salvation or damnation. The true Faith, because “Without the faith it is impossible to please God” (St. Paul to the Hebrews). Complete, because whoever denies one single Article of the Faith has lost the Faith altogether (Catholic doctrine), and Neo-modernism turns to mush every single Article of the Faith.

*It may have taken a long time for past heresies to be washed out of the Church’s system, but if Catholics faced with the Arian heresy had agreed to Semi-Arianism or even Quarter-Arianism, how would the Church have survived? The Church survived thanks to Catholics like St. Athanasius who insisted on the entire Arian heresy being washed out – see the Athanasian Creed.

*A wait of 30 or 50 years or even longer is of little importance compared with the purity of the Faith. As St. Athanasius famously said, “They have the buildings, we have the Faith.” It is for those who, by the grace of God, have the Faith to “receive back,” so to speak, those who have mushed it (nor does any SSPXer in his right mind presume that the SSPX has any kind of monopoly on that Faith).

*Half a loaf is still bread, and nothing but bread. On the contrary half a truth is necessarily accompanied by poisonous untruth, otherwise it would be nothing but truth.

*If the SSPX were ever to give souls a lead in mixing Catholic truth with error, it would be better if it had gone out of existence first. May it never come to that!

Kyrie eleison.