Menzingen’s Mistake (Part II and III)

Menzingen’s Mistake (Part II and III)


Number DXXII (522)Printable PDF

Rome says, the Church’s crisis is not such.
Now Menzingen is likewise out of touch.

The problem of the June 13 letter from Society of St Pius X headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland, meant to “set the record straight on marriages” after Rome’s April 4 proposal to facilitate the integration of Society marriages into the Conciliar structure, is no small problem of merely this or that argument or this or that detail. The problem is the total Conciliar mentality of the churchmen making the proposal. In the immortal words of one of the three Society theologians who, led by Bishop de Galarreta, stood up to four Roman “theologians” in the “Theological Discussions” of 2009 to 2011, the four Romans were “mentally sick but they have the authority.” Such is the Romans’ (objective) “mental sickness” that many a believing Catholic is tempted to conclude that they have lost all Church authority. Alas, they still at least appear to have it, so that in the name of “obedience” they are objectively destroying the Church, whatever may be – God knows – their subjective good intentions.

Thus the first major part of Menzingen’s Letter on Marriages (see last week’s “Comments”) argued that Rome’s April 4 proposal was merely to bring Society marriages back into line with the Church’s ancient and reasonable practice since the Council of Trent. Yes, Menzingen, but what is reasonable law worth when it is to be applied by “mentally sick” administrators? A profound scholastic axiom says, “Whatever is received is received in the manner of the receiver.” Sane Tradition in the hands of (objectively) insane churchmen is liable to become insane. For instance in the third part of the Letter Menzingen claims that to officialise Society marriages will make them more secure. Secure, did you say? When today’s Church officials are virtually turning official annulments into “Catholic divorce”?

The second main part of the Letter sets up eight main objections to Rome’s proposal in order to refute them. The essence of most of the objections is that, in context, to accept Rome’s proposal means going along with the Conciliar betrayal of the Faith: with the Conciliar theory and practice of marriage (1,2), with the Conciliar condemnation of previous SSPX marriages (3), with the new Code of Canon Law (8), and so on. Menzingen’s answer is that taken merely in itself, abstracting from its context, the Roman proposal is doing no more than to make available to Society couples an extra way of getting married in harmony with the official Church. Yes, Menzingen, but how can a marriage be celebrated in real life without a context? And how can any official Church context be anything today other than Conciliar?

The fifth objection is a classic example of Menzingen’s Cloud Cuckooland reasoning which separates the inseparable: to the objection that Rome’s easing of access to the officialising of Society marriages is merely the cheese on a Personal Prelature mousetrap, Menzingen replies that “in itself ” cheese is only cheese! Menzingen even recognises that Rome’s proposal itself mentions that it is a step on the way to the Society’s eventual “institutional regularisation,” in other words that the cheese is, objectively, part of a trap. Menzingen’s answer is that to avoid all such traps, the Society would have to cut all contacts with Roman officials, which Archbishop Lefebvre said in 1975 that he would never do.

Yes, Menzingen, but that was before another 13 years of contacts and negotiations with the Romans finally proved to the Archbishop that they had no real intention of looking after Tradition. Then and only then did he consecrate four bishops to look after Tradition (as they did until 2012), but never did he refuse all future contact with the Romans. He only said that henceforth doctrine had to precede diplomacy, so that contact could only be resumed when the Romans returned to the great Papal condemnations of liberalism and modernism. And since 1988? Menzingen pretends that Rome has changed for the better, so that a trap is no longer a trap! Oh, Menzingen! You have caught the Romans’ “mental sickness”!

Kyrie eleison.


Number DXXIII (523)Printable PDF

Beautiful principles are not enough –
Practical application can be tough!

Another Society of St Pius X priest (Fr. PR, for public relations) has descended into the arena to defend his Superiors’ pursuit of official recognition of the Society by Rome. Fr. PR’s defence is also well presented, but again it suffers from the same essential fault as does the pursuit of the recognition which he is defending – a lack of realism. Principle is one thing, practice is another, even if it is governed by principles. To be a master of principles is not to be a master of practice, and vice versa. It is noteworthy how Fr. PR’s defence of his Superiors’ pursuit of recognition starts out by saying that in this defence he, Fr PR, is only interested in the principles: firstly, whether one can in principle accept recognition from a modernist, and secondly, just how far one can in principle collaborate with a modernist.

To prove that one can accept recognition from a modernist Pope, he argues that Archbishop Lefebvre sought it from Paul VI until the latter’s death in 1978, and in 1988 he only refused collaboration with John-Paul II in practice, but not in principle. Nor did the Society’s General Chapter of 2012 demand of Benedict XVI a profession of Catholic Faith, to do which betrays at any time a schismatic spirit. But, one replies, the clash between the Archbishop and Paul VI from 1974 onwards is well-known, and behind the Archbishop’s refusal in practice of the Protocol of 1988 were the principles of his Faith. 2012 was just the moment when the Society abandoned the Archbishop by abandoning his stand on the Faith in principle, and as for a schismatic spirit, who was in reality in schism? – the Archbishop or the modernists? As for Pope Francis, Fr PR argues that he is the Pope; that the Church is what not he, but what Our Lord, made it; that collaboration with him is with him only as Catholic Pope. But, one replies, in real life, as the rot of an apple is and is not apple, so the Conciliar Church is and is not the Church. In real life, the Society is not dealing only with the Catholic Church or a Catholic Pope, but directly with Conciliar rot.

Thus when Fr PR, examining secondly how far one can collaborate with a modernist, answers that one can do so insofar it is for the good of the Church, he constantly abstracts from today’s reality. Thus:—

* The Church is indefectible – Sure, but Conciliar churchmen are defecting all the time.

* The Society is serving the Church, not churchmen – Sure, but it has to go through false churchmen.

* A Catholic prelature could not be refused – Sure, but not if it is managed by false churchmen.

* The Pope need only stick to its terms – Sure, but what protects a piece of paper from such managers?

* The Pope’s authority is from God – Sure, but not in order to destroy the Church (II Cor. XIII, 10).

* The Society was right to accept jurisdiction for confessions and marriages – Fr. PR, are you so sure? What if that was just the cheese on a mousetrap?

* Such a practical question as this last question on our situation right now “is not in the power of this article to judge,” replies Fr. PR, but the very possibility that it might not be a trap proves for him that accepting or not Rome’s canonical recognition “should not be judged only on the basis of one’s unity with the Pope’s faith.” And so he concludes that “canonical recognition should be accepted if it is for the good of the Church and rejected if it is not, regardless of the Pope’s faith.”

But, Father, ask yourself – this Pope’s “faith” being what it is, would or would not a canonical recognition bring the Society under mainstream, i.e., modernist, Superiors? Yes, or no? In real life, do you really think that this Pope would grant a prelature which would not bring the Society under Rome’s control? In other words, under the control of people who no longer believe in objective truth? There is much beauty in Catholic principles, but they have to be applied in a real, often all too real, world.

Kyrie eleison.