Monthly archives: November, 2016

Michael Matt (Almost) Joins the Resistance

I happen to know Michael Matt, and like him.

Though it has been a few years since we have spoken (in person, at least), I haven’t the least doubt that, from all outward appearances, he is a devout Catholic in the state of grace who, for one reason or another, has backed the wrong horse (Ecclesia Dei) in the drive for the restoration of the Church.

Perhaps the reign of Francis (who is quite possibly faceing the beginnings of a movement to depose him) is driving home that point quietly, and secretly, about now (as the reigns of BXVI and JPII ought to have).

But grace works at its own speed, and according to disposition.

That’s not to imply that Mr. Matt’s disposition is evil (far from it), just that sometimes it can be difficult to shake the positions of one’s father, especially when such is a man of some eminence:. How many of those we know are able to do it, even at the natural level (with couch potatoes for fathers)?

Yet, in one of my many internet surfing sessions, I came across a rather remarkable “moderator’s comment” on The Remnant Newspaper’s web page following the article “Pope Francis and the SSPX Regulrization” (http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/remnant-television/item/2900-pope-francis-and-the-sspx-regularization) which rather surprised me.

A certain Mr. James Cunningham made the following (astute) observation:

“Does anyone really believe that if the SSPX regularizes with Pope Francis’ Chaotic Church that somehow Pope Francis will embrace tradition and doctrine and not continue on his smash and burn anti-traditionalist march to the sea? Once the SSPX signs off on their authority, Chapel properties and seminaries the bridges allowing for them to return will all be burnt. It is a trap that will snap shut behind them and end their independence and Traditional apostolate. Miss White is correct in calling it an invitation to an internment camp. Those poor souls caught up in Novus Ordo Bergoglioism may never let go of their confused claim that they are inside the true Church because they are following Pope Francis’ dictates. The truth is that those who follow Pope Francis’ dictates have already left the Traditional Catholic Church for something else fifty years ago and are now, after “Amoris Laetitia”, in a state of Schism rivaling that of the Arian Heresy.”

Well, that comment summarizes my own thoughts so well as to leave scarcely anything to be said, except to note that, appearing on The Remnant website, I was surprised it was allowed to see the light of day (or, seeing it, that it wasn’t quickly deleted before readers’ vision could adapt).

On the contrary, the following response came from a “Remnant Moderator” (who can only be presumed to be Michael Matt personally, or one faithfully recounting his thoughts in response):

“Not naïve, but maybe missing the point, which is: What’s the point? What is to be gained from the SSPX signing on with Bergoglio’s Vatican fun-house right now? Those who think the regularized SSPX would then be in a position to REALLY fight against the revolution in the Church are simply choosing to ignore the hard reality that every single approved order of trad priests has been allowed to do one thing: provide the old Sacraments (for which we thank God). But, let’s be honest, not one of them is allowed to publicly speak out against the Vatican’s bizarrely anti-Catholic agenda. ‘So,’ you might say, ‘but that’s how we win this thing, by providing the old Mass and Sacraments to more people.’ Well, I hope so. But what about the fact that the traditional Sacraments and Mass were everywhere mainstream in the Church in 1965 and yet look what the Modernist-dominated Vatican did–ran over them like they weren’t even there. So why would this be any different? The only argument for regularization that passes the logic test starts with the premise that the SSPX is indeed in schism, and headed up by priests and bishops who are in the habit of the mortal sin of schism, and thus leading their people out of the Church and to hell. If that’s the case, then regularization can’t come quickly enough. But if it’s not the case–and I think we all know it’s not!– then what are we really talking about here? If they’re regularized there’s no going back. If regularization turns out to be all that we fear it might be, then half the SSPX priests will leave and the SSPX will be decimated. And . for. WHAT? The Vatican gains control of its opposition and the revolution sprints across the finish line. All of this is meant merely to express our opinion that the SSPX never left the Church and that Bishop Fellay is right to hold his ground, keep the lines of communication with the Vatican open, and wait for the Vatican to come to its senses.”

In Bishop Fellay’s recent tour to Australia, he assured the world (like all the dead orders before his) that “it is definitely not a trap.”

Yet here is Michael Matt, smelling salts in hand, offering the anesthetized pew-sitters of the SSPX some cold water.

I commend him for what I hope will not be a fleeting glimpse of courage and perspicacity of mind: 

Where John Vennari voluntarily donned the muzzle, so as not to distance himself from SSPX subscription money at the time of the Bishop Williamson expulsion, Michael Matt is, for the moment, showing a bit of Catholic common sense, while Bishop Fellay appears to have totally lost his Catholic mind.

Of course, the quoted passage of Mr. Matt is not perfect: Not only does he posit a 50% defection rate after the adultery of the mind is consummated in the flesh (a rate I think about 40% too high), but, he seems to be under the illusion that, thus far, Bishop Fellay has been “holding his ground!”

In order to maintain such an opinion, one must narrow the tunnel vision to focus only on the end result: If there is no signed deal, then Bishop Fellay is still holding his ground?

Meanwhile, all the sermons against Vatican II are gone.  No more distinctions between the conciliar and Catholic Church; no more criticisms of the New Mass; no more Bishop Williamson; the nearly heretical April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration; the acceptance of Vatican II as part of Tradition; the limited acceptance of religious liberty in the scandalous CNS interview; the overturning of “no canonical accord until the conversion of Rome;” etc, etc.

And of course, for all these compromises, Rome has willingly reciprocated: The granting of jurisdiction to Bishop Fellay to try his own priests (according to the 1983 CIC, of course!); the recognition of the SSPX as Catholics in Argentina; the granting or ordinary jurisdiction to hear confessions; permission to ordain priests; an approved SSPX Mass venue in Italy; etc, etc.

And still some have the audacity to speak of “no strings attached” deals, or claim there have been no compromises?

Take your soma, and repeat 500 times/night: Unilateral, unilateral, unilateral…

No.

Amidst the worst papacy in the history of the Catholic Church, I get to hear Fr. McMahon visit my St. Paul, MN chapel, and explain what baloney that idea is; how everyone thought their times were the worst times; how nobody can say with any objectivity Francis is the worst; etc.

Or if you are unfortunate enough to attend the SSPX chapel in Sanford, FL, you get to hear Fr. Vernoy tell you it is a mortal sin to refuse such a magnanimous deal from the Pope.

Well, Bishop Fellay agrees; meanwhile, Francis finds this Swiss “one with whom we can talk.”  

Meanwhile, we are asked to believe the SSPX (Pinterest site and all) is the same as ever it has been?

Please don’t insult my intelligence!

And as for Archbishop Lefebvre’s post-consecratory position viv-a-vis Rome (i.e.. No canonical accord before Rome converts)?

“Well, if we come out and say Archbishop Lefebvre was wrong, we will grow the Resistance.  Therefore, let us create a sanitized, perpetually negotiating Archbishop Lefebvre; a pragmatic rather than theoretical thinker, who was always open to diplomacy.”

Having progressed from hotels, airports, garages, and basement chapels, to fine baroque churches, Roman basilicas, beautiful rectories, and seminaries with fountains, few will bother to make much notice of the lie.

But it is just that: A lie.

Lie to me, baby.

Things are so much more comfortable in a conciliarized SSPX.

And best of all, they can’t say we are weird anymore!

Oh, to have shaken those dark days of sermons against TV, skirts, and the Sound of Music, only today to be “loved” by the Pope and world!

At last we are free!

Right guys?














Bishop Athanasius Schneider Joins the Four Cardinals


[On November 21, I published an article titled “Prelude to a Papal Deposition?” in which I observed that the public and formal process being taken by Cardinal Burke and his three Cardinal collaborators in response to the heresies of Amoris Laetitiae looked very much like that which would precede a papal deposition for heresy.  One of the steps in that process (i.e., That the bishops and Cardinals be notified of the Pope’s errors) implies that upon such notification, the Cardinals and bishops support and convene a General Council for the purpose of deposing the Pope.


This letter of Bishop Athanasius Schneider is an example of widening support for the four Cardinals’ actions.

If, against all hope, such support should spread, we would have to presume the process would continue to work itself towards a deposition (there being no other “public act of correction” available to the Pope’s inferiors besides a General Council to depose him).

As was the case in the article “Prelude to a Papal Deposition?” regarding the actions of the four Cardinals, we make here the same caveat regarding Bishop Athanasius Schneider: These men are all “hermeneuticists” (i.e., They do not perceive the doctrinl rupture presented by the documents of Vatican II and so many of the post-conciliar “reforms”), and though they do a good thing for the Church in opposing the heresies of Amoris Laetitia, our support for them is limited by, and directly proportionate to, their fidelity to the integral Faith (moral and doctrinal).

As an aside, who can help noticing (in both the Cardinals’ public interviews and announcements, and Bishop Schneider’s letter below) the similarity of arguments and authorities adduced in support of their resistance to the moral errors of Francis, and the arguments and authorities cited in Archbishop Lefebvre’s doctrinal resistance to the errors of Vatican II and the post-Vatican II reforms?

It would seem, from the obligatory references to Vatican II which begin Bishop Schneider’s letter, that he himself is conscious of the possible comparison, and makes those references to show his support of the Council, thereby distinguishing himself from the Archbishop who rejected it.

God willing, it will occur to the bishop (and the four Cardinals) that if a Pope can err in morals, he can err in doctrine.

********************************

(http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/11/exclusive-bishop-athanasius-schneider.html) 


Bishop Athanasius Schneider:
In Defense of the Four Cardinals

“We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor. 13: 8)

A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church
Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany), His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of  Bologna (Italy), His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, have published on November 14, 2016, the text of five questions, called dubia (Latin for “doubts”), which previously on September 19, 2016, they sent to the Holy Father and to Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, along with an accompanying letter. The Cardinals ask Pope Francis to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” concerning the interpretation and practical application, particularly of chapter VIII, of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and its passages relating to admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments and the Church’s moral teaching.

In their statement entitled “Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia,” the Cardinals say that to “many — bishops, priests, faithful — these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union.” Speaking so, the Cardinals have merely stated real facts in the life of the Church. These facts are demonstrated by pastoral orientations on behalf of several dioceses and by public statements of some bishops and cardinals, who affirm that in some cases divorced and remarried Catholics can be admitted to Holy Communion even though they continue to use the rights reserved by Divine law to validly married spouses.


In publishing a plea for clarity in a matter that touches the truth and the sanctity simultaneously of the three sacraments of Marriage, Penance, and the Eucharist, the Four Cardinals only did their basic duty as bishops and cardinals, which consists in actively contributing so that the revelation transmitted through the Apostles might be guarded sacredly and might be faithfully interpreted. It was especially the Second Vatican Council that reminded all the members of the college of bishops as legitimate successors of the Apostles of their obligation, according to which “by Christ’s institution and command they have to be solicitous for the whole Church, and that this solicitude, though it is not exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church” (Lumen gentium, 23; cf. also Christus Dominus, 5-6).

In making a public appeal to the Pope, bishops and cardinals should be moved by genuine collegial affection for the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth, following the teaching of Vatican Council II (cf. Lumen gentium, 22); in so doing they render “service to the primatial ministry” of the Pope (cf. Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, 13). 

The entire Church in our days has to reflect upon the fact that the Holy Spirit has not in vain inspired Saint Paul to write in the Letter to the Galatians about the incident of his public correction of Peter. One has to trust that Pope Francis will accept this public appeal of the Four Cardinals in the spirit of the Apostle Peter, when St Paul offered him a fraternal correction for the good of the whole Church. May the words of that great Doctor of the Church, St Thomas Aquinas, illuminate and comfort us all: “When there is a danger for the faith, subjects are required to reprove their prelates, even publicly. Since Paul, who was subject to Peter, out of the danger of scandal, publicly reproved him. And Augustine comments: “Peter himself gave an example to superiors by not disdaining to be corrected by his subjects when it occurred to them that he had departed from the right path” (Summa theol., II-II, 33, 4c).

Pope Francis often calls for an outspoken and fearless dialogue between all members of the Church in matters concerning the spiritual good of souls. In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, the Pope speaks of a need for “open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions. The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity” (n. 2). Furthermore, relationships at all levels within the Church must be free from a climate of fear and intimidation, as Pope Francis has requested in his various pronouncements.

In light of these pronouncements of Pope Francis and the principle of dialogue and acceptance of legitimate plurality of opinions, which was fostered by the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the unusually violent and intolerant reactions on behalf of some bishops and cardinals against the calm and circumspect plea of the Four Cardinals cause great astonishment. Among such intolerant reactions one could read affirmations such as, for instance: the four Cardinals are witless, naive, schismatic, heretical, and even comparable to the Arian heretics. 

Such apodictic merciless judgments reveal not only intolerance, refusal of dialogue, and irrational rage, but demonstrate also asurrender to the impossibility of speaking the truth, a surrender to relativism in doctrine and practice, in faith and life. The above-mentioned clerical reaction against the prophetic voice of the Four Cardinals parades ultimately powerlessness before the eyes of the truth. Such a violent reaction has only one aim: to silence the voice of the truth, which is disturbing and annoying the apparently peaceful nebulous ambiguity of these clerical critics. 

The negative reactions to the public statement of the Four Cardinals resemble the general doctrinal confusion of the Arian crisis in the fourth century. It is helpful to all to quote in the situation of the doctrinal confusion in our days some affirmations of Saint Hilary of Poitiers, the “Athanasius of the West”. 

“You [the bishops of Gaul] who still remain with me faithful in Christ did not give way when threatened with the onset of heresy, and now by meeting that onset you have broken all its violence. Yes, brethren, you have conquered, to the abundant joy of those who share your faith: and your unimpaired constancy gained the double glory of keeping a pure conscience and giving an authoritative example” (Hil. De Syn., 3).

“Your [the bishops of Gaul] invincible faith keeps the honourable distinction of conscious worth and, content with repudiating crafty, vague, or hesitating action, safely abides in Christ, preserving the profession of its liberty. For since we all suffered deep and grievous pain at the actions of the wicked against God, within our boundaries alone is communion in Christ to be found from the time that the Church began to be harried by disturbances such as the expatriation of bishops, the deposition of priests, the intimidation of the people, the threatening of the faith, and the determination of the meaning of Christ’s doctrine by human will and power. Your resolute faith does not pretend to be ignorant of these facts or profess that it can tolerate them, perceiving that by the act of hypocritical assent it would bring itself before the bar of conscience” (Hil. De Syn., 4).

“I have spoken what I myself believed, conscious that I owed it as my soldier’s service to the Church to send to you in accordance with the teaching of the Gospel by these letters the voice of the office which I hold in Christ. It is yours to discuss, to provide and to act, that the inviolable fidelity in which you stand you may still keep with conscientious hearts, and that you may continue to hold what you hold now” (Hil. De Syn., 92).

The following words of Saint Basil the Great, addressed to the Latin Bishops, can be in some aspects applied to the situation of those who in our days ask for doctrinal clarity, including our Four Cardinals: “The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers. We are not being attacked for the sake of riches, or glory, or any temporal advantages. We stand in the arena to fight for our common heritage, for the treasure of the sound faith, derived from our Fathers. Grieve with us, all you who love the brethren, at the shutting of the mouths of our men of true religion, and at the opening of the bold and blasphemous lips of all that utter unrighteousness against God. The pillars and foundation of the truth are scattered abroad. We, whose insignificance has allowed of our being overlooked, are deprived of our right of free speech” (Ep. 243, 2.4).

Today those bishops and cardinals, who ask for clarity and who try to fulfill their duty in guarding sacredly and faithfully interpreting the transmitted Divine Revelation concerning the Sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist, are no longer exiled as it was with the Nicene bishops during the Arian crisis. Contrary to the time of the Arian crisis, today, as wrote Rudolf Graber, the bishop of Ratisbone, in 1973, exile of the bishops is replaced by hush-up strategies and by slander campaigns (cf. Athanasius und die Kirche unserer Zeit, Abensberg 1973, p. 23).  

Another champion of the Catholic faith during the Arian crisis was Saint Gregory Nazianzen. He wrote the following striking characterization of the behavior of the majority of the shepherds of the Church in those times. This voice of the great Doctor of the Church should be a salutary warning for the bishops of all times: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for, excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing up again and revival of Israel by the influences of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interest, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance” (Orat. 21, 24).

When Pope Liberius in 357 signed one of the so called formulas of Sirmium, in which he deliberately discarded the dogmatically defined expression “homo-ousios” and excommunicated Saint Athanasius in order to have peace and harmony with the Arian and Semi-Arian bishops of the East, faithful Catholics and some few bishops, especially Saint Hilary of Poitiers, were deeply shocked. Saint Hilary transmitted the letter that Pope Liberius wrote to the Oriental bishops, announcing the acceptance of the formula of Sirmium and the excommunication of Saint Athanasius. In his deep pain and dismay, Saint Hilary added to the letter in a kind of desperation the phrase: “Anathema tibi a me dictum, praevaricator Liberi” (I say to you anathema, prevaricator Liberius), cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, n. 141. Pope Liberius wanted to have peace and harmony at any price, even at the expense of the Divine truth. In his letter to the heterodox Latin bishops Ursace, Valence, and Germinius announcing to them the above-mentioned decisions, he wrote that he preferred peace and harmony to martyrdom (cf. cf. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, n. 142). 

“In what a dramatic contrast stood the behavior of Pope Liberius to the following conviction of Saint Hilary of Poitiers: “We don’t make peace at the expense of the truth by making concessions in order to acquire the reputation of tolerance. We make peace by fighting legitimately according to the rules of the Holy Spirit. There is a danger to ally surreptitiously with unbelief under the beautiful name of peace.” (Hil. Ad Const., 2, 6, 2).

Blessed John Henry Newman commented on these unusual sad facts with the following wise and equilibrated affirmation: “While it is historically true, it is in no sense doctrinally false, that a Pope, as a private doctor, and much more Bishops, when not teaching formally, may err, as we find they did err in the fourth century. Pope Liberius might sign a Eusebian formula at Sirmium, and the mass of Bishops at Ariminum or elsewhere, and yet they might, in spite of this error, be infallible in their ex cathedra decisions” (The Arians of the Fourth Century, London, 1876, p. 465).

The Four Cardinals with their prophetic voice demanding doctrinal and pastoral clarity have a great merit before their own conscience, before history, and before the innumerable simple faithful Catholics of our days, who are driven to the ecclesiastical periphery, because of their fidelity to Christ’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. But above all, the Four Cardinals have a great merit in the eyes of Christ. Because of their courageous voice, their names will shine brightly at the Last Judgment. For they obeyed the voice of their conscience remembering the words of Saint Paul: “We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor 13: 8). Surely, at the Last Judgment the above-mentioned mostly clerical critics of the Four Cardinals will not have an easy answer for their violent attack on such a just, worthy, and meritorious act of these Four Members of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

The following words inspired by the Holy Spirit retain their prophetic value especially in view of the spreading doctrinal and practical confusion regarding the Sacrament of Marriage in our days: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4: 3-5). 

May all, who in our days still take seriously their baptismal vows and their priestly and episcopal promises, receive the strength and the grace of God so that they may reiterate together with Saint Hilary the words: “May I always be in exile, if only the truth begins to be preached again!” (De Syn., 78). This strength and grace we wish wholeheartedly to our Four Cardinals and as well as to those who criticize them.

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

Life at the Seminary of St. Louis de Montfort

[The following is a modified version of this post on the Reconquista blog: http://cristiadatradicinalista.blogspot.com/2016/11/la-vie-au-seminaire-saint-louis-marie.html
The translation is mine, and the pictures have been rearranged to better fit this platform]


Image result for Bishop jean michel faure coat of arms




The seminary of Saint Louis Marie Grignion wants to follow the spirit that Bishop Lefebvre gave to Ecône. 

This spirit is evidently a spirit of Faith, of fighting and defense of the Faith, but also of a spirit of charity. 

This is what the archbishop wanted for his seminaries:

Excerpt from Bishop Lefebvre’s lecture of January 18, 1977:

“So you are here to learn this wisdom, and not only to learn it, but to live it; it is useless to learn and not to live; a useless sknowledge that does not turn to charity: scientia inflat caritas.  Knowledge, if it is not based on inflated charity, gives pride, leads one to believe that one is a scholar, but true knowledge makes us humble, on the contrary, and makes us aspire to practice this knowledge in our life, and therefore to have charity, and this is of very great importance in all respects for your personal sanctification.

“When you are in the chapel, when you are in your cells, wherever you are, this knowledge is always in you; that this wisdom is always in you, that you live, that you did not go out, I would say, of this mindset, that you lived by this attitude of The life with our Lord Jesus Christ, life with all these mysteries, these great mysteries of which we live, these sacraments, that grace which is given to you, that grace you receive in the morning in Holy Communion from Our Lord, these Prayers that you make, those graces you can receive throughout the day in fulfilling your duty of state and fulfilling the will of God, all this fills you with graces.”

          
               A brave seagull                             The Monastery Refectory


       
      A Visit to Mount St. Michael                      Ping-Pong During Recreation Time

   
                      Crossing the Loire                              Walking Along the Banks of the Loire

   
  Politics Course/2nd Year Seminarians           Manual Labor for Everyone!


FIVE “DUBIA”

Four Cardinals obliged a Pope to tell –
His deep convictions come from deepest Hell.
In a scandal of a gravity unprecedented even in Pope Francis’ scandal-ridden reign as Catholic Pope since 2013, when challenged by four honourable Cardinals on his seeming denial of the very basis of the Church’s teaching on morals, he has just given answers in public which virtually affirm the freedom of man from the moral law of Almighty God. With this papal affirmation of the Conciliar religion of man as opposed to the Catholic religion of God, a schism in the Universal Church draws that much closer. For half a century since Vatican II, the Conciliar Popes have managed to remain in a way the one head of two opposing religions, but that contradiction could not last indefinitely, and it must soon result in a split.
In 2014 and 2015 Francis held Synods in Rome to consult the world’s bishops on questions concerning the human family. On March 19 of this year he published his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation on “Love in the Family,” the eighth of whose nine chapters raised controversy from the very start. On September 15 four Cardinals in particular sent to the Pope a private and perfectly respectful letter in which they asked him as Supreme Pontiff to clear up five “dubia” or doubtful points of doctrine, left unclear in the Exhortation. Here is the essence of the five points:—
1 From the Exhortation’s #305, can a married person living like husband and wife with a person not their lawful spouse from now on be given sacramental Absolution and Communion while they continue to live in their quasi-married state?
2 From #304, need one still believe that there are absolute moral norms which prohibit intrinsically evil acts, and which are binding without exception?
3 From #301, can one still say that a person living in violation of one of God’s commandments, e.g. in adultery, is in an objective state of grave habitual sin?
4 From #302, can one still say that the circumstances or intentions surrounding an act intrinsically evil by its object can never change it into being subjectively good, or acceptable as a choice?
5 From #303, must we still exclude any creative role of conscience, so that conscience may still never authorize exceptions to absolute moral norms which forbid acts intrinsically evil by their object?
To these five designedly yes-or-no questions the answer of the Catholic Church from Our Divine Lord onwards has always been clear, and has never changed: Communion may not be given to adulterers; there are absolute moral norms; there is such a thing as “grave habitual sin”; good intentions cannot make evil acts good; conscience cannot make evil acts lawful. In other words, to the five yes-or-no, black-or-white questions, the Church’s answer has always been, 1 No, 2 Yes, 3 Yes, 4 Yes, 5 Yes.
On November 16, just ten days ago, the four Cardinals made their letter public (cf. Mt.XVIII, 15–17). On Nov. 18, in an interview given to the italian newspaper Avvenire, Pope Francis gave the exact opposite yes-or-no answers: 1 Yes, 2 No, 3 No, 4 No, 5 No. (He did affirm each time that “Such things are not black-or-white, we are called to discern,” but he was merely attempting thereby to confuse the unmoving questions of principle with moving questions of application of principle, which come after the questions of principle.)
All credit to the four Cardinals for obtaining light and truth for many confused sheep that wish to get to Heaven: Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner. They may be immersed in the Novus Ordo, but they have obviously not lost all courage or sense of their duty. There can be no question of their having acted out of any but the best of motives in pressing the Pope to make himself clear. And where does that clarity leave the Church? It must be on the brink of schism.
Kyrie eleison.

The Ordination of Br. John


Dear Austrasian Faithful:

Wishing you a happy new 2017 liturgical year.

I am glad to announce you that His Lordship, Bishop Aquinas, will ordain Brother John on December 17th in Santa Cruz, Brazil.

Kindly offer thanksgivings to Our Lord and Our Lady for this big relief. 

We are still far away from guaranteeing a permanent priestly presence down under, but this event, and the stabilization that will come with it, is a good step in that direction.

In Iesu et Maria,

Francois Chazal+

Emergency Prayers Requested for John Vennari


I received an email informing me that John Vennari has undergone emergency surgery for a life-threatening colon blockage, that he has received Extreme Unction, and that he is requesting prayers.

John’s Facebook page also states:

“Please feel free to forward and/or post this, along with the link below that provides background and info for those who wish to share prayerful and financial support. http://www.oltyn.org/vennari.htm

“O Saint Peregrine, you who have been called “The Wonder-Worker” because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you, who for so many years bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more: you who were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction, ask of God and Our Lady the cure of John Vennari, whom we entrust to you. Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing praise to God for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.”
http://www.catholic-saints.info/catholic-prayers/catholic-prayer-for-cancer.htm 

Those who refuse prayers for our Catholic brothers in their hour of need, need not hope for any when our time comes.

Let us exercise Catholic charity, that we not be meted Catholic justice.

Prelude to a Papal Deposition?


Prelude to a Papal Deposition?
By
Sean Johnson
11/21/16
Introduction:
In the fall of 2014, the Dominicans of Avrille published an article in their French-language journal (La Sel de la Terre),[1] in which Fr. Pierre Marie, O.P. translated an excerpt from the work of John of St. Thomas’s Disputatio II , which considers the question “Can the Pope be deposed by the Church as he is elected by Her, and in what case?[2]in support of the latter’s contention that the Church could depose a heretic Pope.[3]   Avrille went on to cite several other weighty authorities in support of John of St. Thomas’s position, which included firstly Cajetan, but also Bannez, Billuart, Lagrange, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and the Carmelites of Salamanca.[4]
The primary purpose of the article was for Avrille to demonstrate, according to the opinion of John of St. Thomas and Cajetan, et al., that an heretical pope can only be deposed by declaratory sentence of a General Council (as opposed to the sedevacantists’ championing of the position of St. Robert Bellarmine, that an heretical pope is deposed from office for heresy ipso facto), 
In the course of developing their arguments, John of St. Thomas and Cajetan outlined not only the conditionsby which such a declaration would be possible:
1.       A pope could be deposed in the case of heresy;
2.       That such heresy be “public and legally notorious;”
3.       That the pope be “incorrigible and pertinacious;”[5]
They also outlined the processby which the deposition would take place:
1.       A “declarative sentence” by which the Pope’s crimes are declared must come from a General           Council.  This is not the deposition itself, but an announcement from the Church to the world that       the Pope has become a public and notorious heretic, and that he is pertinacious in his error. 
    As the article explains, “the declaration of a crime is like an antecedent disposition preceding the       deposition itself.”[6]
2.       Following upon this declaration, the General Council must take action to depose him in the name       of the Church.[7]
Interestingly, John of St. Thomas, in discussing who would have the authority to convene (i.e., organize) such a council, says that:
               
“I believe that this is not assigned to a specific person, but it can be done either by the Cardinals who could communicate the news to the bishops…”[8]
Moreover, John of St. Thomas says that “the Pope cannot annul such a Council or reject it…”[9]     
                                                                                                                                                                  
 Are the Cardinals Following this Process?
On November 14, Cardinals Burke, Brandmuller, Caffarra, and Meisner, made public a formal list of “dubia” presented to Pope Francis and Cardinal Muller two months prior, regarding certain heretical propositions contained in the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Latetia.  In addressing the Holy Father by this means, they instituted a formal corrective process (an acknowledgement made in an interview given to Catholic Action President, Thomas McKenna the same day).[10]
The following day, in another interview with the National Catholic Register, Edward Pentin asked Cardinal Burke:
What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve?”[11]
Cardinal Burke responded:
Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.”[12]
That sounds like the Cardinal is speaking of “next steps,” in which case, he clearly considers himself to be acting out a process.
A process for what?
The questions begin to get a bit scary, and after this last one, Edward Pentin abruptly decides to end the interview, with the 800lb gorilla lingering noisily in the room:
“If the Pope were to teach grave error or heresy, which lawful authority can declare this and what would be the consequences?[13]
Cardinal Burke:
It is the duty in such cases, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.”[14]
It is easy to see why the interview ends on that dramatic note, since the only logical follow-up question which naturally presents itself to the mind is:
                “What happens if the pope refuses to correct his error?”
And herein lies the most pertinent observation:
Cardinal Burke (and the other three Cardinals), in and of themselves, have no power or authority to correct or judge the Pope.  Yet, if Cardinal Burke is nevertheless speaking of proceeding to take a “formal act of correction,” it can only indicate –logically, doctrinally, and canonically- that he is alluding to his intention to “communicate the news to the bishops” to convene a General Council, condemn the Pope’s errors, and depose him.
There is no other recourse open to him at the formal and public level (i.e., the level at which he has declared his intention to pursue this matter).
This being the case, the question presents itself:
Are we seeing in the public and formal actions of Cardinal Burke and his allies, a prelude to an attempt at formal papal deposition for heresy?
It certainly looks that way.
The least that can be said is that, according to the writings of John of St. Thomas and Cajetan, were one theoretically to depose the Pope in our day, the process by which the Church would bring about that result would look remarkably similar to the course the Cardinals have already embarked upon.

Conclusion:
Unfortunately, we must regrettably concur with Fr. Pierre Marie, O.P. who observes that the prospect of ever convening such a Council in our day is extremely slim:
“But at the same time, it shows the difficulty of such a judgment in the present circumstances of the Church.  Indeed, it is easy to see that the vast majority of bishops share the Pope’s ideas about false ecumenism, false religious freedom, etc.  It is therefore impossible to imagine in the current circumstances, a judgment of a General Council which would declare the heresy of Pope Francis.
Humanly speaking we see the situation is hopeless.  We must wait that the Providence, in one way or another, shows the way to overcome this impasse.  Meanwhile, it is prudent to maintain the position of Archbishop Lefebvre and pray for the Pope, while resisting his “heresies.”[15]
Still, the reactions of the four Cardinals to the heresies of Amoris Laetitia seem to indicate that, if perhaps these have lost the traditional Faith doctrinally (i.e., They have swallowed the errors of Vatican II), they have likely done so in ignorance, rather than malice (or, materially, rather than formally): 

Their vigorous reaction to the heresies in the moral domain, on their stated basis of fidelity to their duties of state, suggests they would also oppose them in the doctrinal realm, for the same reason, were they cognizant of them. 
Good disposition is therefore present.
Lord willing, this good disposition, coupled with the opposition to Francis now brewing, will be the Providential cause of their further conversion.  

With God, all things are possible (however unlikely), and to pray for such a result is the practical application of the virtue of hope, the attainment of which we all ought to aspire, and the achievement of which is so necessary in our times: 

Look at what solutions are offered for the recovery of the Church amidst the present crisis when this hope is eclipsed by despair: Sedevacantism, practical accords, open capitulation, or loss of faith.

[1] La Sel de la Terre (No. 90, Fall/2014).  That article was translated from Latin into French by Fr. Pierre Marie, O.P. (Prior, Avrille Dominicans), who also authored a foreword to the article.  He also authored the conclusion to the article, as well as several “Annexes” to it.  The article was subsequently translated from the French into English by Fr. Juan Carlos Ortiz, and published on the Avrille Dominicans’ English-language website in two installments, available here: http://www.dominicansavrille.us/on-the-deposition-of-the-pope-part-1-of-2/
[2] Disputatio II, articulus III, in II-II, q. 1 a. 7, p. 133-140 in the edition of Lyon, 1663
[3]As opposed to the contention of Bellarmine and Suarez that an heretic pope is deposed ipso facto.
[5] That such heresy be “public and legally notorious;” That the pope be “incorrigible and pertinacious;”  http://www.dominicansavrille.us/on-the-deposition-of-the-pope-part-1-of-2/
[6]Ibid.
[7]Ibid.  Paraphrased.
[9]Ibid.
[12]Ibid.
[13]Ibid.
[14]Ibid.

Image result for eleison comments

EXCELLENT COMMUNIQUÉ?




 


Superiors putting cushions under lies
Make Catholics’ non-reaction no surprise.
On October 31 Pope Francis held in Sweden an ecumenical meeting with leading Lutherans to prepare for next year’s 500th anniversary of Luther’s revolt against the Catholic Church. After the meeting the Pope signed with the President of the Lutheran World Federation a joint Declaration, which is yet another utter scandal, coming as it does from the man who is meant to be the Vicar of Christ. On November 2, in protest, the Superior of the French District of the Society of St Pius X issued a Communiqué to condemn that scandalous Declaration. Much of the Communiqué is excellent, and it should be what is needed from Society Superiors in order to place a serious obstacle in the way of the Archbishop’s Society being betrayed to the Roman neo-modernists, but the conclusion is weak, and so the Communiqué may have the opposite effect.
Fr Bouchacourt opens his Communiqué by stating that the scandal of the Pope’s pro-Lutheran Declaration is such that he “cannot keep silent.” And the whole passage where he denounces Luther is beyond reproach. Here it is:—
How can we be “profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation” (quotation from the joint Declaration) , when Luther manifested a diabolical hatred towards the Sovereign Pontiff, a blasphemous scorn for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as well as a refusal of the saving Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ? He also destroyed the doctrine on the Eucharist by refusing Transsubstantiation, turned souls away from the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and denied the existence of Purgatory. No, Protestantism brought nothing to Catholicism! It ruined the unity of Christendom, separated whole countries from the Catholic Church, plunged souls into error, putting their eternal salvation in peril. We Catholics want Protestants to return to the unique fold of Christ which is the Catholic Church, and we pray for this intention. In these days when we celebrate all the Saints, we call out to Saint Pius V, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Ignatius and Saint Peter Canisius who heroically fought the Protestant heresy and saved the Catholic Church.
But compared with this denunciation, Fr. Bouchacourt’s conclusion is relatively lame:—
We invite the faithful of the District of France to pray and do penance for the Sovereign Pontiff so that Our Lord, whose Vicar he is, may preserve him from error and keep him in the Truth of which he is the guardian. I invite the priests of the District to celebrate a Mass of reparation and to organise a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, to ask pardon for these scandals and to beg Our Lord to calm the tempest which has been shaking the Church for more than half a century now. Our Lady Help of Christians, save the Catholic Church and pray for us!
Fr Christian Bouchacourt, SSPX French District Superior.
This conclusion is pious, and perfectly respectful towards Pope Francis, but does it give any idea of the gravity of the Pope’s disorientation when the Pope so praises one of the greatest anti-Christian heretics in all Church history? It is difficult to imagine Fr Bouchacourt not having obtained from Bishop Fellay prior permission to publish his Communiqué. Was it Bishop Fellay who had no problem with the Luther of 500 years ago being denounced, but insisted on toning down the criticism of the major wrecker of the Church here and now? In any case the Communiqué serves Bishop Fellay’s purpose of deceiving Traditional priests and laity and putting them to sleep by suggesting that the supposedly imminent Personal Prelature will prevent none of them from denouncing Papal scandals, etc . . .
Then does Fr Bouchacourt realize how, like his predecessor, he may be serving, even against his own will, the betrayal of the Society? Let us be “simple as doves” but also “as wise as serpents” (Mt. X, 16).
Kyrie eleison.

Context

[The author of the following article wishes to remain anonymous; his new blog is cited below]

https://psalm129.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/context/
The Society of St. Pius X recently held a conference in Portland, Oregon. It’s primary purpose was to convince the faithful that were he alive today, Archbishop Lefebvre would accept a deal with modernist Rome, and that Bishop Fellay, in dialoguing with Francis’ Vatican, is in no way betraying the Archbishop. The Society’s website describes the gathering as follows:
Mr. James Vogel’s talk centered around the chronology and happenings of the “Hot Summer,” helping the attendees to better understand what actually happened at that time since the events of 1976 are largely overshadowed by the more dramatic episcopal consecrations of 1988. Following Mr. Vogel’s discourse on the history of the “Hot Summer,” Fr. Jürgen Wegner ascended the podium to speak about the letters written between Archbishop Lefebvre and the rector of the newly-founded seminary in Econe, thus bringing to light more clearly some of the Archbishop’s thoughts and rationale in his interactions with the Holy See.
His Excellency’s discourse compared Archbishop Lefebvre’s situation with Rome in 1976 with the Society’s today and also showed how the SSPX can follow the Archbishop’s good example, glean lessons from it, and apply those lessons and experiences to the way the Society conducts its interactions with the Holy See today…
The Society is focusing on the Archbishop of the 1970s because they know full well that if the faithful’s attention is drawn to “the more dramatic” events of 1988, they will understand that the Archbishop was not, as a matter of principle, in favor of “regularizing” the Society with un-converted Rome.
High ranking Society officials are aware of this. Yet for whatever reason, they continue to press on in their re-education efforts. In their attempt to sell the faithful on their liberal ideas, they engage in three distinct behaviors.
  1. Remind the faithful about the “context” the Archbishop spoke in.
  2. Discredit those who use quotes from the Archbishop from 1988 onward.
  3. Emphasize certain things the Archbishop said during his life that support “regularization” while ignoring remarks he gave that reject “regularization.”
Two articles in particular reveal this three-pronged, long term strategy.
One essay is by Fr. Michael Simoulin, published on DICI.org in 2012. Fr. Simoulin, a liberal, writes, “let us be reasonable…simple good sense and honesty should lead us to consider the current situation with different eyes than in 1988!…we should not fall into ‘eighty-eightism.’”
In another article, “How to Interpret Archbishop Lefebvre” (published on the Society’s website several years ago) the stigmatizing of the Archbishop’s post-1988 remarks was accomplished in a different manner.
“In recent times,” the article begins, “it has not been uncommon for people to claim to know for sure what Archbishop Lefebvre would have done under present circumstances.” The author claims that there is a “war of quotes” that is used by some who “attempt to apply” words of the Archbishop “universally.” This, it is argued, “is a dangerous game.” Therefore, we must strive to “more deeply understand” him so we can see “why the Archbishop said specific things in certain situations and why the same prudential methodology is followed still today by Bishop Fellay and the Society of St. Pius X.”
While context undoubtedly matters, it should be noted that this choice of language mirrors almost exactly the methodology used by the architects of Dignitatis Humanae at the Second Vatican Council.
Fr. John Courtney Murray, an American priest, claimed Pope Leo XIII’s teachings needed to be taken “in their context.” Leo, Fr. Murray argued, was writing against the backdrop of the French Revolution. It therefore is entirely appropriate to disregard certain things he said about Church-State relations. In other words: “He was too mired by the times he lived in. We, the select few, are the only ones who know how to understand him.”
Murray also claimed that the Church in his time had a deeper understanding of the world and that by re-applying certain teachings of theologians during the Middle Ages to present circumstances the Church would be more relevant and be able to save the world from destruction.
Question: Is this not the same endeavor the Society is embarking on today? Are they not taking the Archbishop of 1976, freezing him in amber, ignoring his later remarks, and re-applying him to present circumstances to allegedly save the Church?
Notice also the words used in the Society’s description of the conference itself. Mr. Vogel, Fr. Wegner, and Bp. Fellay all helped attendees “better understand what happened” in the 1970s by “bringing to light more clearly” the Archbishop’s words in an effort to “glean lessons from him.”
Recall that at the Second Vatican Council, modernists and liberals claimed they too were going “deeper” into the faith so that a “better understanding” of the past could be “gleaned.”
In essence, what the modernists and liberals did was ignore the long development of the Church from its infancy to Her beautiful maturation during Christendom. They did this because they know that the more one’s attention is on St. Thomas Aquinas, the great encyclicals of the 19th century, and the teachings of St. Pius X, their ideas would be rejected.
Again, this is precisely what the Society is doing today, albeit in a slightly different manner. What is truly going on with the Society in 2016 is a sort of “archaeologism,” a term Pope Pius XII used to counter those who desired an “exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism” in regards to the mass. In the case of the SSPX, they similarly exaggerate the earlier views of the Archbishop towards Rome and fail to highlight the development he underwent until his death in 1991.
The simple fact is that Archbishop Lefebvre of 1976 is not the Archbishop Lefebvre of 1988, at least in regards to SSPX-Rome relations. His decades of experience with the Conciliar Church and their cunning ways provided him with wisdom that cannot be discounted. The Holy Spirit undeniably increased sanctifying grace in the Archbishop’s soul after the ’88 consecrations. Consequently, he could see more clearly the error “regularization” with an un-converted Rome was. To ignore the remarks he gave following the consecrations on the Society’s relationship with Rome and to exalt what he said almost 15 years earlier is quite possibly a sin of omission. Pray that in the future the leaders of the Society preach the words of the Archbishop in their entirety.

Has Bishop Fellay Just Accepted Doctrinal Pluralism (Part I)?



The SSPX and Doctrinal Pluralism (Part I)

By
Sean Johnson
11/17/16
On November 7, the Rorate Coeli blog posted an interview[1]of Bishop Fellay by diocesan priest (Fr. Kevin Cusick, of the Archdiocese of Washington), on the occasion of the blessing of the new SSPX seminary in Dillwyn, Virginia.  Not surprisingly, most of the Resistance commentary centered on this excerpt:

I asked the bishop if he had good news to share about the status of the personal prelature rumored to be on offer in Rome in order to integrate the Society fully and permanently into the life of the universal Church. The bishop described the current arrangements as “almost ready” and one of “fine tuning”, his demeanor and expression exuding confidence and serenity. When I asked if the situation was one merely for prayer he was very quick to assert that developments in the canonical proceedings had progressed beyond that point. But, he said, “the problem is not there” but with the matter of Vatican II.”[2]

Certainly, this passage is worthy of attention for many reasons:

  1. In letting the priest’s comment slide about a hopeful future integration of the SSPX into the universal Church, Bishop Fellay seems to have bought into the new ecclesiology of Vatican II, which features communion by various degrees, rather than the traditional “in or out” membership of Pius XII and Mystici Corporis Christii, et al;
  2. Bishop Fellay seems not to believe –despite his words to the contrary- that he is already fully part of the Catholic Church.  Were it otherwise, canonical recognition could not be for him the urgent issue it so obviously is.  He feels himself and the SSPX to be defective in some way; he believes that the SSPX suffers not merely from the appearance of illegality, but illegality properly speaking;
  3. Of course, the immanence of the practical accord is noteworthy;
  4. Most importantly, Bishop Fellay reaffirms that the canonical proceedings have eclipsed doctrinal considerations.
Regarding these doctrinal considerations, while the Resistance media has focused commentary on the above passage, it seems to have omitted commentary on what I consider the single most significant comment in the interview:

He said that we must arrive at a point where one can “disagree and still be a Catholic” when it comes to the mentioned points of Vatican II at issue.”[3]

And what are these “mentioned points of Vatican II?

Well, a few paragraphs prior, Fr. Cusick reveals Bishop Fellay’s thoughts on the matter:

“He went on to elaborate, however, that the documents of Vatican II are at issue, a matter with which many readers are already aware, the remaining sticking points being those documents treating religious liberty, ecumenism and reform of the liturgy.The Society has been very firm and consistent over the years that these teachings are incompatible with the integral tradition of the Church.”[4]

There is some incoherence here, because just after informing Fr. Cusick that the SSPX has always “been very firm and consistent over the years that these teachings are incompatible with the integral tradition of the Church,” Bishop Fellay nevertheless states the need to “arrive at a point where one can ‘disagree and still be Catholic’ when it comes to the mentioned points of Vatican II at issue!”

My friends, they have a name for this willingness to “agree to disagree” on essential matters of the Faith:

Its called “doctrinal pluralism.”

Yet doctrinal pluralism is so clearly contrary to the faith, that no Catholic may presume to accept it. Doctrinal pluralism is synonomous with religious indifferentism (which is itself a rejection of the idea of one true Church instituted by God, and membership in which is necessary for salvation).  In presenting itself to the world as a tolerant posture recognizing the (alleged) good in all religions, it is in fact a Masonic artifice derived from the rejection of them all (i.e., naturalism): 

If all religions are false, then what principled objection can there be to a co-existence of competing beliefs, (and all the more so within the same confession)?

If it is true that a certain pluralism can exist in matters liturgical (e.g., the different approved rites of the Church) or canonical (e.g., different codes of canon law for the Latins and Orientals), it is absolutely prohibited in the domain of doctrine, in instances where the Church has already spoken to settle the matter (as is the case with regard to the ecumenism and religious liberty mentioned by Bishop Fellay), and for obvious reasons:  

Not only would a freedom of opinion in decided matters of doctrine present a rupture of the unity of faith within the universal Church, but it would also represent an implicit attack upon the teaching authority of Peter (and therefore of the dogma of Papal Primacy)!

                “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”[5]

Of course, Bishop Fellay used to recognize and oppose (at least outwardly, and/or seemingly) this idea of doctrinal pluralism in the Church:

The authorities see there is a crisis, but they don’t want to use the right means to solve it. We are still here. I might say, we are stuck here! Currently, there is no conviction that tradition is the right way. They see the fruits; they even say the fruits are good! They say the Holy Ghost is there! (Not too bad!) But, they don’t say, “That’s the way to go.” Instead, they say, “Tradition is a way amongst other ways.”
Their perspective is pluralism. Their thinking goes something like this:
Oh, look, if we have progressive people who do silly things as members of the Church, then we should also have a place for those who like tradition – a place in the middle of this circus, of this zoo, a place for dinosaurs and the prehistoric animals
– that’s our place(!) – “But just stay in your zoo cage,” they will train us…”[6]

Almost two years later, Bishop Fellay was still condemning doctrinal pluralism:

I think Rome’s friendliness towards us is because of its ecumenical mentality. It is certainly not because Rome is now saying to us, “Of course, you are right; let’s go.” No, that is not the way Rome thinks about us. The idea they have is another one. The idea is an ecumenical one. It is the idea of pluricity, pluriformity.
Zoo cage Catholicism
To illustrate this ecclesiastical pluralism, I use the analogy of a zoo. Up until the time of the Second Vatican Council, there was only one species of member in the Catholic Church – genuine Catholics. If somebody did not want to be a Catholic, if someone wanted to teach something else than what the Church taught, he was excommunicated. However, if you read the theology books published since the Council, you can almost say and think anything you want and still be in good standing. At the Council itself there was a general will to broaden the limits – the borders – of the Church.”[7]
What a different position Bishop Fellay seems to take in the new interview!

The apparent metamorphosis is all the more striking when one stops to consider that the acceptance of doctrinal pluralism evinces an even greater evolution of position in the SSPX than had it “merely” accepted Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutic of continuity,” because in the latter, one agrees to pretend there is no contradiction, but in the former, one openly recognizes and accepts the existence of doctrinal contradiction (i.e., the acceptability of mutually exclusive doctrines somehow artificially co-existing within the same religion).

But the idea is not only a violation and attack upon the unity of the Church (which must always be united in the one true faith), but even an attack upon sound reason, in violation of the principle of non-contradiction (i.e., Two contradictory statements cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense).

Taken to its logical conclusion, violation of this principle would imply the entire world could be incorporated into the Catholic Church without any doctrinal conversion:

If the necessity and unity of faith is replaced by doctrinal pluralism, then what keeps the Pope from recognizing the Dalai Llama as “Catholic,” if all that is truly required is legal recognition?

In fact, Bishop Fellay acknowledged this consequence of doctrinal pluralism for the Church in the same interview just cited, when he observed:

This idea of broadening the Church’s borders, of putting everybody in, allows Cardinal Kasper to say what he said in L’Osservatore Romano: “The Orthodox, as they have all the means of salvation, do not need to convert.” He says it black on white. You have others like Mother Teresa, who said that the important thing for a Buddhist is to be a good Buddhist. Okay, so be a good Buddhist, or a good Hindu, or a good Muslim, and everybody goes to heaven.”[8]

And how did Bishop Fellay react to Rome’s plan to carve out a cage for the SSPX in the pluralist zoo?

“But if this is the new concept of the Church, then why not grant a little cage to the dinosaurs? If you already have all the birds and all kinds of animals, why not have a little place for the “fossils” which they think us to be? There is a condition, though: the dinosaurs have to stay in their cage. Imagine crocodiles or dinosaurs all over the zoo! Never!…So we come to them and we say, “Well, we are sorry, but there is no zoo.” The Catholic Church is not a zoo. This comparison may show you how deep is the difference of vision.”[9]

Yet 12 years later, Bishop Fellay can openly declare (apparently without adverse reaction from his clergy or parishioners?) that:

“He said that we must arrive at a point where one can “disagree and still be a Catholic” when it comes to the mentioned points of Vatican II [religious liberty, ecumenism, liturgical reform] at issue.”

That statement would appear to be a complete contradiction of his previous position, and a wholly unacceptable position for any Catholic to profess.

How does one account for such an apparent evolution in the Superior General?

One possibility is that there really never was any true evolution at all; that while the rank and file SSPX clergy and laity were led to understand Bishop Fellay as being opposed to a juridical recognition before Rome converted back to the Faith (among other reasons, because of the problem of doctrinal pluralism), the bishop himself planted little “time-bombs” in these conferences, which would later allow him to head in a direction other than the common understanding he was imparting to the world (yet another interesting parallel between the crisis in the SSPX and that within the Church after Vatican II).

It will be the object of “Part II” of this article to expose these “time-bombs,” and conclude that, if we are to study Bishop Fellay’s words carefully, and take them at their face value, we will arrive at the conclusion that it is very possible Bishop Fellay never really opposed doctrinal pluralism as an obstacle to juridical recognition to begin with.