In the month of August a journalist with Life Site News wrote to Archbishop Viganò in hiding in Italy an article concerning daily life in today’s world for Catholics wishing to keep the Faith. The title was Questions for Viganò: His Excellency is right about Vatican II. But what does he think Catholics should do now? The Archbishop began his reply of September 1st by assuring Stephen Kokx that he was happy to answer the questions, because they addressed “matters that are very important for the faithful.” The Archbishop’s reply is summarised here below, while at the end of it these “Comments” will highlight one point in particular.
Kokx asked the Archbishop, “Who belongs to the Catholic Church and who is separated from it?” The Archbishop replied, anybody who proposes any of the adulterated doctrines of the Council cannot possibly be Catholic. Nor can anybody be Catholic who accepts any of those doctrines knowing them to be in rupture with unchanging Catholic doctrine. On the other hand if a person is baptised, considers themselves to be a Catholic and recognises the Catholic Hierarchy, that does not necessarily mean that they accept the Conciliar doctrine, or adhere to the Conciliar team, knowing them to be in rupture with Catholic Tradition. Nor then are they necessarily outside the Church. But even office-holders who have authority inside the Church are doubtfully Catholic if they accept Conciliar doctrine knowing it to be contrary to Catholic Tradition. They have Authority in the Church, but they cannot exercise it. Only their Authority entitles Conciliarists to claim that they are Catholics, and not just members of a sect.
Therefore Traditional Catholics belong in the Church, and Modernists do not. Moreover laity faithful to Tradition often may and must seek out priests, communities and institutes that are likewise faithful to Tradition, especially in the celebration of Mass. In this respect the clergy are less free that the laity because they belong to a hierarchy which normally requires obedience, but they have the same right and duty to practise their Faith, that Faith which justifies and requires their use of the old rite of Mass. And if the Church is to rise again from the various horrors of the Newchurch, note that the fidelity of true believers under persecution is needed inside the Church, to defeat Modernism.
It was by staying inside the Church that Archbishop Lefebvre was a model of faithfulness under persecution. His Society of St Pius X was a standing reproach to Modernists, and it was enabled to survive by the episcopal Consecrations of 1988, so that eventually the true Mass could be set free again, and Vatican II could be shown up. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais is right that for the time being there are both the true Church and a false “church” under one roof, but that roof is Catholic, so that it belongs to the true Church while the false Conciliar Church is nothing but an intruder. We must hope and pray that a number of now sleeping shepherds will wake up to see how they have been deceived.
In this necessary fight for Our Lord and His Mother it is a privilege to take part, and by so doing to help to revive honour, fidelity and heroism. By the sacrament of Confirmation, we are soldiers of Christ, and Christians have had to take part in one great battle after another to defend the True, the Good and the Beautiful. Let us resist Modernists with Truth and charity. Those who practise Modernism are at fault, not we who denounce it! Let the laity by all means attend Masses which do not shock, but nourish their Faith. True pastors will be given back to us by God, untrue pastors will die off. Let the laity look after good priests, recreate charity, avoid division and rebellion, offer advice respectfully, calling in question not Church authority but how it is misused. God will not fail to reward our fidelity and to restore His Church, drawing vocations from families which will have kept the Faith. All serious problems are human problems. All human problems have a Catholic solution.
And the point to highlight? Notice how the Archbishop measures everything by Truth and Faith.