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.