Bishop Faure Resigns from USML Over Sedevacantism

Following months of intrigue, dissension, and unfruitful discussion, Bishop Jean-Michel Faure has resigned his membership in the USML.

At issue was the matter of sedevacantism.


  1. Whether sedevacantists were to be allowed in the USML
  2. Whether sedevacantists were to be allowed into the seminary via the USML

A few weeks ago, the sedevacantist members of the USML convened a meeting of debatable legitimacy to consider these two issues (but most particularly, the admission of Fr. Pierre Roy of Canada).

All non-sedevacantist USML members except one (Fr. Pivert) refused to attend the meeting in protest, but the sedevacantists were not to be thwarted.  They went through with the meeting, admitted Fr. Patrick Roy, and announced their decision to the abstaining members (some of whom also protested the maneuver after the fact).

Bishop Faure was not the only one to resign from the USML over the matter of sedevacantism:

Fr. Rene Trincado also tendered his resignation, and another resignation is expected to be submitted within the next week or so.

All told, 5 of 8 members opposed the admission of Fr. Roy into the USML, which is now being willingly surrendered to the control of the sedevacantists, who now comprise half its members.

The question will remain as to how and why Fr. Rioult and Fr. Pinaud were permitted to have become members in the first place.  A decision back in 2014 seems to have permitted a collaboration with such priests, but which ran squarely against Archbishop Lefebvre’s 1980 statement that:

“The Society of St. Pius X, its priests, brothers, sisters and oblates cannot tolerate among its members those who refuse to pray for the Pope”

Against this declaration, it is sometimes mentioned that the Archbishop violated this statement by ordaining Fr. Belmont, only to expel him a few months later for his sedevacantism.  Alternately, it is argued that Archbishop Lefebvre was willing to collaborate with sedevacantists like Fr. Coache well after 1980.

As regards examples like Fr. Coache (who was not a member of the SSPX), the explanation seems to be that Archbishop Lefebvre was willing to offer some occasional collaboration with sedevacantists ad extra (i.e., outside the SSPX), but not to tolerate them within the SSPX (i.e., ad infra).  As for those like Fr. Belmont, obviously, if Archbishop Lefebvre was willing to have ordained him, it was with the hope of Fr. Belmont’s amendment, or it would have been incoherent in the extreme to have ordained him against his own rule, only to have expelled him three months later for violation of the same!

In any case, though time has shown that admission of these sedes into the USML was a mistake, the loss of the USML is of marginal importance in the wake of Bishop Faure’s canonical erection of the SAJM (which will preclude in its Constitutions the admission of any sedevacantists -which includes those who refust to pray for the Pope in the Mass- into the seminary, or their incardination into the Society).

Those Constitutions will be published publicly soon.

Meanwhile, the preclusion of sedevacantists from the SAJM and its seminary makes curious this excerpt of the USML declaration posted today, which proclaims:

“When the need arises to administer the sacrament of Confirmation, the priests of the USML will call upon a bishop of the ‘Resistance’ to be kind enough to come to Quebec.”

Perhaps the Resistance bishops will continue to offer assistance to the sedevacantists with regard to confirmations, perhaps not.  But it is inconceivable -in light of Bishop Faure’s resignation, and the Constitutions of the SAJM which preclude sedevacantist admission to the seminary- that the Resistance bishops would ordain their priests.

This means that the NUC (“non una cum”) priests will be forced to accept the logical consequences of their position in the future, and seek out sedevacantist bishops (which they logically should not object to) to perform this office.

The surrender of the USML into the control of the sedevacantists also brings much needed clarity to the faithful:

The Resistance bishops do not support or condone sedevacantism, and the SAJM has no part with them.

This separation is also an act of charity on the part of Bishop Faure, in that the sedevacantists are made to feel the seriousness of their theological error, which they promote as a light and trifling personal choice:

“Having no intention to prevent anyone from reflecting or holding an opinion on the whys and wherefores of the crisis in the Church, the priests of the USML ask the faithful to respect the positions of one another and not try to impose their personal views. They reiterate their decision not to draw conclusions on the question of the Papacy, despite the enduring and unprecedented crisis, but rather to await the judgement of the Church.”

Hopefully, they will be humble enough to realize that they have painted themselves into a corner, and will repent of their erroneous position.

Meanwhile, a shot is fired over the bow of the naysayers of a certain Sect, who tried to pretend that Bishop Faure admitted known sedevacantists into the seminary (whereas the reality is that, with reference to the recent interviews given to Bishop Sanborn’s seminarians (skewed by followers of Fr. Pfeiffer to pretend Bishop Faure was “sede friendly”), Mr. Caleb Sons was never a sedevacantist while in Avrille, and Henry de La Chanonie was never even invited to join!.  The resignation of Bishop Faure, and the provisions of the Constitutions prohibiting the admission of sedevacantists makes foolish the idea that His Excellency has any tolerance for sedevacantism.


Victim Adorers of the Holy Face of Jesus: Building & Growing

[NB: This post was updated on 3/18 with 3 additional pictures just above the section beginning “Discerning the Call”]

The Sodalitium Pianum blog has been tracking the progress of Reverend Mother Irene’s fledgling Irish Carmelite hermitage for the last several months, because we believe -with Archbishop Lefebvre- that contemplatives are critical to the recovery of the Church from the present crisis.

Today, we bring you a couple more updates which seem to evince this new project enjoys God’s favor:

Firstly, March/2017 saw the arrival of the first postulant for the Victim Adorers of the Holy Face of Jesus.  The young community is now a “community” in the literal sense.  Moreover, this new postulant is not the only one with a pioneering spirit: Word reaches us that another aspiring postulant is trying to arrange her affairs to make the trip all the way from India.

God’s will be done!

Meanwhile, construction workers began enclosing the hermitage with a newly constructed fence, to facilitate the privacy and quietude so conducive to contemplation:


“Our enclosure not only guards against the world so peace, prayer and holiness can blossom, but it serves as a fortress where spiritual war is waged against sin and evil. Carmelites taste of struggle as much as they taste of the sweetness of contemplation and spiritual joy. We live an austere life of penance and renunciation to make reparation both for our own sins and those of the world to implore God’s pardon.”


“The Sisters normally work alone at their assigned task in the solitude of their cell, kitchen or garden. Whether they are in the cell or outside, they must, as soon as they hear the bell for the Divine Office, leave their work aside and begin praying the Liturgical Hour of Sext, and examination of conscience in the solitude of the Cell.”

“You must give yourself to work of some kind so that the devil will always find you busy…” -Holy Rule

Discerning the Call

Do You Have a Vocation to Carmel?

  • Do you long for a life hidden in union with Christ, and an apostolate of prayer?
  • Have you desired to unite your life sacrificially to Jesus for love of His Church?
  • Are you full of zeal for the salvation of souls and the sanctification of priests?

God calls faithful women to a life in Carmel. If you have pondered these questions, it may be that He is calling you to Carmel. As in the days of St. Teresa, the Church needs women who wish to spend their lives for the sanctification of souls. Free from all interior and exterior distractions, attachments or disquiet, Discalced Carmelites are totally united with Christ in a spirit of joy and adoration.

Today, women still feel this call of God in their hearts and follow in the footsteps of St. Teresa. Under the protection of the mantle of the Virgin of Carmel, this vocation shines as a means of reform for Holy Mother Church and for the world.

Real Love

Love does not depend upon emotional ups and downs. True love is a complete gift of oneself to the Beloved Christ. It is a free choice to love entirely. If you honestly want to know and do God’s will in your life, if you listen to Him in the Eucharist and in His Word, the Lord Jesus will make His will known to you personally. Then if you set your heart and hand to doing it, you really are loving God. You are uniting your will with His divine will – not only in words but in deeds. This is real love, the foundation stone of every vocation.

The “Tug of War”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, whose cause for canonization is underway, said, “A vocation necessarily creates a tension, a crisis, a tug of war in the soul. On the one hand, there is the call of God. On the other hand, a sense of personal unworthiness, or reluctance to give oneself completely to Him.”

When anyone begins to feel this inner battle, it’s good to do as St. Teresa did – think of Christ. Remember His words: “Remain united with Me and I will remain united with you…I have chosen you. Come follow me…find peace of soul in union with Me. Have courage; I have overcome the world.”

Confidence Conquers

The first world to be conquered is the little but mighty world within YOU. Prayer and confidence in Christ are your strongest allies when discerning a vocation. Everyone who is called by God to a religious vocation is given the courage to accept His invitation, even when the sacrifice He asks seems tremendous! Saints are not born; they’re made with the combined action of God’s grace and personal cooperation. You must be honest enough to admit that you are helpless by yourself and wise enough to depend on God alone for strength to succeed. To all He calls, God says, “My grace is sufficient for you…I will be with you always.”

“If I were to advise anybody as to their vocation, I would never counsel anyone to resist good inspirations on account of fear of the difficulty of carrying them through. For I know now by experience that if I resolutely persevere in my purpose…His Majesty rewards it…” St. Teresa of Avila

I seek Veronicas to wipe and honour
My Divine Face which has few Adorers


Women interested in our way of life should :

  • be prayerful, mature and not under 17 years of age
  • have a longing desire to consecrate one’s whole being to God and to serve Him alone
  • have good physical and mental health and sound judgment
  • have a good character and high moral principles
  • have a spirit of optimism and cheerfulness
  • have a great love and devotion for Our Blessed Lady
  • have a persistent call to Religious Life over a number of years
  • have a desire to live a humble and hidden life of prayer and penance in silence of solitude, and in community
  • have a love for the holy traditions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
  • have a willingness to work hard
  • have a willingness to live under obedience

For more information on the Victim Adorers of the Holy Face of Jesus, or to make a donation, please visit their website at:

In Response to “Arsenius”

A post recently appeared on Cathinfo by one calling himself “Arsenius,” which took issue with Bishop Williamson’s choice of Fr. Zendejas for episcopal consecration this coming May 11.

I post Arsenius’s comments below in their entirety, and then offer a polite response:

“I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for saying this, but I’m not too enthusiastic about this bishop-elect. I’ve attended Fr.’s masses on and off for the past 5 years and, while he seems to be a simple and devout priest, I’m not sure he has the intellectual foundation that [should] be prerequisite for the episcopacy. He gives the air of a Cure d’Ars – not an intellectual powerhouse.

He has little Thomism under his belt and doesn’t have a solid grasp of the legal/political aspects of the Crisis. Again, not a personal judgement of his character or sanctity (which, frankly, only God can judge) – merely an objective observation based on years of listening to his sermons and going to Confession with him.

If the Resistance is going to be relevant, not just merely survive, it needs intellectual muscle. It’s currently looking like an emaciated fugitive struggling to survive, not the future of Catholic Tradition and certainly not one of the leading contributors to the inevitable Catholic Restoration.

I was being very generous with that hyperbolic comparison. Fr. Zendejas seems devout but, again, not an intellectual, not a theologian, not a historian, not a liturgist, not a canon lawyer, and certainly not a politician. Frankly, he gives the impression of a Mexican rustic. Devout and dedicated? No doubt. Learned? I wouldn’t put my money on it. I would worry very much about the intellectual formation of young men discerning priesthood under Bishop Zendejas. During the height of the middle ages, priests who would spend their lives ministering to illiterate peasants underwent rigorous intellectual formation in classical philosophy. How much more do we need it today to minister to the pseudo-intellectual half-educated rabble of modernity? That includes people in traditional chapels, many of whom are just as “ignint” as their non-Catholic neighbors. You can’t give what you don’t have.

Williamson started out much more intellectual and cultured (who here remembers his literary/musical criticism?). For whatever reason, he seems to be either dumbing things down or old age is making him loose his edge. Perhaps it’s intentional, but those horrid attempts at heroic couplets with which he starts his newsletter are painful to read. Bishop Barron (Novus Ordo) gives more intellectually packed talks than post-Resistance Williamson.”


Dear Arsenius-

I recently came across your post on Cathinfo regarding your appraisal of Bishop-elect Gerardo Zendejas, and wanted to offer a few insights regarding the observations and concerns you addressed therein:

Firstly, If I conceded every point you made, what we would be left with in Bishop-elect Gerardo Zendejas, by your own admission, would be something along the lines of the Cure d’Ars.  If this is the worst a parishioner of five years can say of him, then my response is that we could do a lot worse.

Secondly, you worry that this alleged and perceived simplicity of Fr. Zendejas would be detrimental to his effective exercise of the episcopal office, particularly with regard to the formation of seminarians.  But I think perhaps some of your apprehensions in this regard are derived from a misconception of the duties of state of bishops.

For example, they are generally not seminary professors.  While I was in the seminary in Winona, Bishop Williamson only taught one low level class (“Acts of the Magisterium”).  I think at other times he has taught other classes, but he has never been a full-time teacher.  That’s not a bishop’s job.  Their job is to make sure that the right teachers are in place; that the right candidates advance; that those without vocations are weeded out; they act as effective administrators; etc.  In other words, the primary qualities of an episcopal candidate are precisely those which you -in as many words- attribute to Fr. Zendejas:

Solidity of character; simplicity; prudence; dedication; conviction.

And I can as much as prove it by reference to Vatican II: Of the 4,200 assembled bishops (each with his own periti), all that intellectual horspower, all those PhD’s, and all those D.D. degrees all served to facilitate the Revolution, not to stop it.

So much for the necessary link between intellectual ability and orthodoxy.

Even within Tradition, the best minds are capitulating (think Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, and the other two SSPX bishops), because for all their brilliant intellectual and doctrinal acumen, they haven’t the qualities you attribute to Fr. Zendejas.

Yet it is precisely these qualities which will safeguard fidelity to Tradition in the Resistance, and ensure the solid formation of priests, not great intellectual ability in men lacking these qualities.

Thirdly, could it be that perhaps you underestimate Fr. Zendejas’s intellectual abilities?  He is proficient in Latin, English, Spanish, and French.  Such a one would not generally be described as “rustic.”  Were you aware of that?  Those would be things which would generally not come out in sermons or confessions, which by your own admission, is the basis upon which you make your appraisal.  But that being the case, you should allow for the possibility that there is more to the man than you may be aware of:

“There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Hamlet to Horatio)

Fourthly, you state as a criticism that Fr. Zendejas has little Thomism under his belt.  May I ask upon what basis you make this claim?  Certainly you could not make this deduction from 5 years of confessions and sermons.  Or is this just your impression, based on those sermons and confessions?  If so, it is a dangerous presumption: Bishop Williamson is far and away the greatest Thomist among Resistance clergy, but he does not write about St. Thomas at length in his Eleison Comments; he does not give sermons on subtle Thomistic theology; he does not give intensive conferences on Thomistic theology.  But were one to deduce from all this that His Excellency is lacking in Thomistic formation, he would be making a rather large mistake.  The reality is that Bishop Williamson knows if he gets into the finer points of Thomism with the average layman, their eyes are going to glaze over, and he will lose them quickly.

I do not say this is certainly the case with Fr. Zendejas.  I do say be careful with negative deductions (i.e., Forming conclusions based on what you do not hear Fr. Zendejas talking about).  If we can agree that judgment is his strong point, then he may realize, like Bishop Williamson, that expounding on St. Thomas will be too much for the average pewsitter, in which case there lies your explanation.  Just a possibility to consider.

Regardless of that, it is God Himself who tells us in the Holy Scripture precisely what qualities a bishop is to have:

“For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre: [8] But given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just, holy, continent: [9] Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1: 7-9)

I doubt very much you would challenge Fr. Zendejas’s fitness for the episcopal office based on these criteria, and considering the one who gave them (i.e., God), perhaps it is best not to add to the list.

Let us not also lose sight of the fact that Our Lord Himself, in choosing His Apostles (i.e., the first bishops), did choose a couple educated men (e.g., Matthew was a tax collector, and Luke was a doctor), but the majority (7 of the 12, i believe?) were simple fishermen.

This historical fact imparts one important lesson:

The qualities of character (e.g., Those listed in Titus) transcended those of intellectual ability.

Nevertheless, I do not at all concede the accusation that Fr. Zendejas is lacking in that department; his linguistic abilities alone imply otherwise.

Pax tecum,

Sean Johnson


Fr. Gerardo Zendejas to be Consecrated Bishop!

Fr. Gerardo Zendejas (SAJM)

To be Consecrated Bishop May 11

St. Athanasius Church

Vienna, VA

Deo Gratias!!!

Eleison Comments #504: “Fourth Bishop”


Number DIV (504)Printable PDF

Bishops there must be, where souls strive for Heaven.
Try Vienna in Virginia, May eleven!

Ever since the summer of 2012 when the Society of St Pius X decided officially to change course and abandon the doctrine-first stand taken 40 years previously by Archbishop Lefebvre, it has been interesting to watch Providence in action to ensure the Church’s defence. One might have expected a widespread uprising in defence of God’s Truth. Resistance from inside the Society? Existent, but at least up till now, largely silent. And from outside? Existent, but only a scattering of layfolk and a handful of priests, riven by divisions for lack of a recognised authority. Catholics need authority. And that need is so great that even while Truth is draining out of the man-centred Newchurch and the Rome-centred Newsociety, still souls cling to each because of the remains of Papal authority in the former, and of Catholic authority bequeathed to the latter by the Archbishop.

But Truth remains the purpose of Authority and Authority is not the purpose of Truth. Given fallen human nature, Authority is the indispensable defender and guarantee of Truth, but it comes after Truth and not before. Take for example one of Our Lord’s last instructions to Peter before He will leave Peter behind to govern the Church (Lk.XXII, 31–32): “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you (plural), that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee (singular) that thy faith fail not (Truth); and thou, being once converted (Truth), confirm thy brethren (Authority).” And when on Palm Sunday a few days beforehand the Pharisees had attempted to rebuke Our Lord for the joyful noise being made by His disciples, so necessary is the adoration of God in Truth that Our Lord replied (Lk.XIX, 40): “I say to you that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.”

In today’s Newchurch, Authority is mixing Conciliar error with Catholic Truth in the engine of the Church, which is like mixing water with gasoline (petrol) in the engine of a motor car – the car is crippled, the Church is crippled. And whereas Archbishop Lefebvre defied that crippling, not least of all but rather above all, by his consecrating of four bishops to maintain a Catholic authority that would protect God’s Truth, his successors at the head of what was once his Society are doing their utmost to submit his protection of Truth to the crippled and crippling Authority of Rome! If these successors seriously think that once they are “inside the official Church” they will be in a position to convert the neo-modernists, they are excessively naive. Already they are holding their fire on Vatican II. Just when do they imagine they will be able to open fire again?

In these quite exceptional circumstances, there must be disciples of Our Lord who tell the Truth – so as to spare the stones the effort! These disciples may not be united as they would be beneath true Authority (always allowing for human weakness). They may be “straitened and cast down,” they may suffer “tribulation and persecution” (cf. II Cor. IV, 8–9), but they must be there for as long as Truth is held in captivity. Will that be a long time? God knows. Many of us expected Him to intervene long ago, but God has a very long fuse. However, intervene He will, if anything at all is still to be saved. Patience.

Meanwhile these disciples need a handful of bishops to ensure a minimal continuation in Truth of episcopal teaching and of the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders. In 1988 the Archbishop consecrated four of them for the same reason, two for Europe, and one each for North and South America. As of now the “Resistance” has two in Europe and one in South America. There remains a gap in North America. God willing, this coming May 11 Fr. Gerardo Zendejas will be consecrated bishop in the Traditional parish of Fr Ronald Ringrose in Vienna, Virginia, USA. Please pray for the blessing of Almighty God upon the ceremony – and for good weather!

Kyrie eleison.

SSPX: Teacher’s Pet?

A couple weeks ago, the SSPX (“indignant” over the appearance of 200 posters hung in various locations throughout Rome, taking Francis to task for his scandalous papacy) rushed to the defense of the Pope, claiming satire was not an acceptable form of apologetics in the battle for the faith.

Reaction in traditional circles was as swift as it was unanimous: Had not the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre himself, made effective use of satire (among other means) from the beginning?  Did not Archbishop Lefebvre himself send the famous Assisi cartoons directly to Pope John Paul II?

Had Menzingen suffered amnesia?  Was the article a blunder?

That was my first thought, but I no longer believe it to be the case.

Hold that thought a moment, while we jump to another, even more recent incident:

The website has been running a series of installments on “The Question of Papal Heresy.”  I had been curious to see what direction this series was going to take, and followed it from the beginning: Was it to be a condemnation of the sedevacantist position?  Or was it going to be a defense of Francis, and an attempt to save him from Amoris Laetitia?  The SSPX held its cards close to its chest until this most recent 5th installment (available here:, in which we finally get the answer:

Fr. Gleize (and the SSPX) concludes that we cannot say, on the basis of the “ambiguities” of Amoris Laetitia, that Francis is a heretic:

“Fr. Gleize’s precise distinction will surprise more than one. In short, it seems that Pope Francis cannot be considered heretical, since none of the ambiguous statements in Amoris Laetitia constitute “a rejection or contradiction of a truth that is not only revealed but also proposed as such by an infallible act of the ecclesiastical Magisterium.”

But is anyone really surprised?

Scandalized, yes; surprised, no.

As Bishop Fellay’s SSPX cozies up to Rome, it wants to portray itself as the “defenders of Rome” (to Rome, not to you and I) in the hopes of aggrandizing itself to the Pope in pursuance of the prize: Juridical recognition.

These gestures (i.e., opposing the Roman posters’ satire of Francis; defending Francis from the charge of heresy) are really intended to draw the notice of Rome.  The branded SSPX senses that it is so close to a deal, that it no longer even worries about Resistance outlets such as this blog calling your attention to this degraded groveling.

The puppy wants a pat on the head from the master, and he is sure to receive it.

If I said I was not surprised to perceive this new pattern of groveling emerge, it is because I have seen it before, and I was taught to perceive it by none other than…Bishop Fellay:

“So little by little the will to fight grows weaker and finally one gets used to the situation. In Campos itself, everything positively traditional is being maintained, for sure, so the people see nothing different, except that the more perceptive amongst them notice the priests’ tendency to speak respectfully and more often of recent statements and events coming out of Rome, while yesterday’s warnings and today’s deviations are left out.” (

What characterizes the branded SSPX more than this?

The SSPX could have spent its time and energy addressing countless subjects more important and nourishing for souls than complaining about satirical condemnations of Francis, or defending him from heresy in Amoris Laetitia.  But what it chooses not to address is as conspicuous and revealing as what is does choose to address.

But like I said, the SSPX is no longer really talking to you and I with articles such as these.

It is talking to Rome.

It is sending them a message: “Look what we are saying!  We have changed!  You can trust us not to go back to Archbishop Lefbvre’s old positions.  We have left all that behind!  Didn’t you watch the Conflict Zone interview?”.

A disgusting and degrading spectacle to see the once-mighty SSPX acting like emasculated beggars.

Look for more of the same, as Bishop Fellay races against the clock to consummate his infidelity, before his tenure runs out in 15 months.

Max Krah: Subversive of Catholic Modesty

NB: Samuel has translated Max Krah’s article here:

Max Krah Against Catholic Modesty

In the previous post, we contrasted publicly posted immodest pictures from Max Krah’s Facebook page, with Church teaching on modesty under each of the three pictures, to highlight the apparent contradiction.  In this post, we share with you Max Krah’s October/2015 contemptuous and subversive thoughts which serve to undermine all concept of Catholic modesty and femininity.  

Not even the Blessed Virgin is spared, as the pics in the article include a painting of a topless Virgin Mary (scribbled over to restore piety)!  

 One wonders whether Bishop Fellay fears to correct this man (or whether he is precluded somehow from doing so), who so flagrantly ridicules Catholic morality; particularly curious in the hyper self-conscious branded era of the NSSPX.  Max Krah does not portray himself as one who has any regard for the sensibilities of SSPX faithful (or a fear of repurcussions from Menzingen, for that matter, which is also curious).

You may use the translator bar in the side column of this blog to make a barely tolerable German translation, which is nevertheless sufficiently intelligible to make the point.

UPDATE: Samuel (of is going to try to find time to translate the German to English, so if you can’t bear the Google translation, check back soon



Von Mode und Moral

Warum eine religiöse Bewegung, die ihre Glaubensinhalte durch den Kult tradieren will, in ihrer Pastoral besonders die Kultur betonen sollte.

von Dr. Maximilian Krah, Dresden

Das Thema Mode und Moral ist ein Dauerbrenner im konservativen katholischen Milieu. Wie ich zu der fast immer verklemmten, teilweise grotesken, oft abstoßenden Diskussion stehe, habe ich nie verheimlicht. Entsprechend direkt habe ich auf die Fragen von Matthias für „The Cathwalk“ geantwortet. Die Wellen, die ich damit geschlagen habe, überraschen mich dennoch; offensichtlich beschäftigt das Thema tatsächlich viele Christen im Inneren, wirft Fragen auf und schafft Probleme. Ich will deshalb das, was ich im Format des Interviews notwendigerweise kurz, knapp und kontrovers gesagt habe, im Format des Essays differenzieren, begründen und fortführen.


Die Wellen, die Maximian Krah mit seinem Interview geschlagen hat, überraschen ihn: „Offensichtlich beschäftigt das Thema tatsächlich viele Christen im Inneren, wirft Fragen auf und schafft Probleme.“

Wer sich entscheidet, einen Teil seines Vermögens in Aktien zu investieren und sich in das Abenteuer der Börse stürzt, tut gut daran, im Vornherein die Kurse festzulegen, bei denen er wieder aussteigt – denn ist er einmal drin, geht ihm die Nüchternheit verloren, die er hat, wenn er noch nicht investiert ist. Ob Hoffnung auf die Kurskorrektur oder Gier nach einem noch höheren Gewinn – es gibt viele Ursachen dafür, den klaren Blick zu verlieren. Nichts anderes gilt auch, wenn man sich auf das katholische Abenteuer einlässt. Man sollte zuvor definieren, was unverhandelbar ist. Denn in unserer säkularen Gesellschaft ist das religiöse Milieu eine eigene Welt, und es besteht das Risiko, sich nur mehr nach deren Koordinatensystem auszurichten und die umfassenden Maßstäbe aus den Augen zu verlieren.

Ich habe für mich drei Grenzen definiert: meine Freunde sind nicht verhandelbar, meine politischen Überzeugungen stehen nicht zu Disposition und mein Kleidungsstil ebenso wie der meiner Familie geht niemanden etwas an. In allen drei Punkten gab es Konflikte mit religiösen Eiferern: Das Misstrauen gegenüber meinen jüdischen Freunde bescherte mir 2010/11 einen globalen Shitstorm unter dem lächerlichen Namen „Krahgate“. Meine politische Meinung – ich bin in gesellschaftspolitischen Fragen ein klassischer kontinentaleuropäischer Konservativer, ökonomisch ein angelsächsisch geprägter Neoklassiker und außenpolitisch ein Realist im Sinne Henry Kissingers – galt den zahlreichen Anhängern der verschiedensten, durchweg hanebüchenen und sich untereinander munter widersprechenden Verschwörungstheorien, zumindest darin waren sie sich einig, als verdächtiges Linksabweicheln. Und hinsichtlich Kleidung, Stil und Geschmack ist der Dissens eine Erkenntnis des ersten Blicks.

"Ich bin in gesellschaftspolitischen Fragen ein klassischer kontinentaleuropäischer Konservativer, ökonomisch ein angelsächsisch geprägter Neoklassiker und außenpolitisch ein Realist im Sinne Henry Kissengers"

„Ich bin in gesellschaftspolitischen Fragen ein klassischer kontinentaleuropäischer Konservativer, ökonomisch ein angelsächsisch geprägter Neoklassiker und außenpolitisch ein Realist im Sinne Henry Kissengers“

Dabei ist es natürlich vor allem die Kleidung der Frauen, die im besonderen Interesse steht. Und das ist Ausdruck des vorherrschenden Frauenbildes. Es beginnt beim Beten des „Ave Maria“. „In mulieribus“ heißt im heutigen Deutsch nun einmal „unter den Frauen“ und nicht „unter den Weibern“, weil die lateinische „mulier“ kein Pejorativ ist, das deutsche „Weib“ aber sehr wohl. Das mag um 1800 anders gewesen sein, seit mindestens 100 Jahren ist es aber so, und weil die deutsche Sprache eine lebendige Sprache ist, ist eine Übersetzung mit „unter den Weibern“ nicht nur falsch, sondern eine Abwertung aller Frauen, die Jungfrau Maria eingeschlossen.

Diese Frauenfeindlichkeit hat, soweit ich es sehe, zwei Ursachen; eine intellektuelle und eine sexuelle. Intellektuell wird einfach die Entwicklung der Geschlechterrollen nicht verstanden. Bis in die Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts wurde wirtschaftlicher Wert im wesentlichen durch physische Arbeit geschaffen. Und weil Männer nun einmal mehr Muskeln haben als Frauen, verdienten sie das Geld, während Frauen allein kaum ihren Lebensunterhalt bestreiten konnten. Aus dem wirtschaftlichen Ungleichgewicht folgte ein hierarchisches. Heute ist wirtschaftlicher Erfolg aber ein Ergebnis von Intelligenz, Kreativität und Kommunikation. Und hierin sind Frauen im Durchschnitt sogar besser als Männer, womit es an der ökonomischen Basis für ein Hierarchieverhältnis fehlt. Dieses kann man dann aber nicht religiös begründen, weil die Religion, zumindest im Katholizismus, nicht gegen die Realität steht, sondern auf sie aufsetzt: Gnade setzt Natur voraus.

Die Probleme im Umgang mit Frauen – selbstbewussten, intelligenten, attraktiven allzumal – haben aber auch eine sexuelle Ursache. Das religiöse Milieu leidet an einer Überbetonung des Sechsten Gebots. Theologisch wird es mit der „Materias-gravis“-Lehre begründet, wonach alle Verstöße gegen das Sechste Gebot schwere Sünden seien und deshalb das Sechste Gebot eine Sonderstellung im Dekalog einnehme. Diese Theorie ist schon in den 1950ern widerlegt worden; sie ist falsch und verkehrt die christliche Botschaft in ihr Gegenteil. Aus ihr fließt aber bis heute eine ungesunde Prüderie, die jeden unbefangenen Umgang mit Sexualität unmöglich macht und unsichere, verklemmte und notgeile Männer hervorbringt. Ihre Schwäche Frauen gegenüber versuchen sie durch Machogehabe zu kompensieren, die Forderung nach weiblicher Unterordnung ist mehr Rufen im Walde denn Ausdruck wahrer Stärke und Souveränität. Und dass es immer hässliche, enttäuschte und verbitterte Frauen gibt, die johlend dabei sind, wenn schwache Männer sich an ihren attraktiven, optimistischen und fröhlichen Geschlechtsgenossinnen abarbeiten, ist leider nichts Neues.

Beide Defizite kumulieren in der Modediskussion. Denn Mode ist, wie der Name schon sagt, zeitabhängig. Sie ist auf der Makroebene Ausdruck gesellschaftlicher Trends, Vorstellungen und Hierarchien. Auf der Mikroebene ist sie das Ausdrucksmittel des eigenen Charakters wie der Gruppenzugehörigkeit. Die Veränderung der Geschlechterrollen spiegelt sich in der Damenmode wieder, und zwar schon seit den 1920ern, weshalb es so lange schon absurde kirchliche Stellungnahmen zum Thema gibt. Auch die Überwindung einer übertrieben repressiven Sexualmoral sehen wir an den Rocklängen. Der Versuch, die Entwicklungen der letzten elf Jahrzehnte durch Kleiderregeln zu besiegen, ist ersichtlich untauglich. Er macht aus einer religiösen Bewegung einen Trachtenverein. Zudem ignoriert er die Individualität der Gläubigen, in dem er eine Art Uniform schafft. Damit bestätigt er die Kritik der Gegner und desavouiert das eigene religiöse Anliegen.

Die als Hilfsargumente vorgebrachten theologischen Begründungen machen es nicht besser. Gegen die Damenhosen wird eingewandt, diese seien „Männerkleidung“, und Frauen sollten nur „Frauenkleidung“ tragen. Woher nimmt die Theologie die Erkenntnis, dass eine Hose „Männerkleidung“ sei? Ja wohl nicht aus der Offenbarung, denn die äußert sich zu derlei Fragen nicht. Zu entscheiden, was Männer-, was Frauenkleidung ist, fällt nicht in die Definitionsmacht der Theologie, sondern muss von dieser aus anderen Wissenschaften übernommen werden. Hier kommt nur die Sozialforschung in Betracht. Diese arbeitet empirisch. Der quantitative Befund ist aber eindeutig: es werden mehr Damenhosen als Röcke produziert und verkauft. Damit lässt sich die Aussage, Hosen seien „Männerkleidung“, nicht aufrecht erhalten.

Jean Fouquet (1420 – 1481) war ein französischer Buch- und Tafelmaler. Er gilt als einer der bedeutendsten Künstler an der Schwelle von der Spätgotik zur Frührenaissance.
Hier: Die thronende Madonna mit dem Christuskind um 1456 (Königliches Museum der Schönen Künste, Antwerpen). Krah dazu: „Ich kenne viele Marienbilder, aber Maria im Sack mit Wanderschuhen habe ich noch nicht gesehen.“

Die immer gern ins Feld geführten „moralischen“ Argumente führen auch nicht weiter. Natürlich war in den 1920ern eine freie Schulter ein Aufreger. Aber das ist heute anders. Im 15. Jahrhundert wurde die Muttergottes auf Gemälden gern „oben ohne“ dargestellt – im 19. Jahrhundert undenkbar. Was moralisch als angemessen gilt und was nicht unterliegt Wandlungen. Als Katholik sollte man sich Extremen verweigern, aber ansonsten mit der Zeit gehen. Ein Einfrieren der eigenen Maßstäbe zu irgendeiner willkürlich festgelegten Zeit ist intellektuell dürftig und keinesfalls ein religiöses Gebot.

Das Christentum ist keine Gesetzesreligion. Das Konzil von Trient hat den Satz kanonisiert, dass alle alttestamentarischen Speisevorschriften mit Christi Tod ihre Gültigkeit verloren haben und die Kirche nicht die Vollmacht habe, neue zu erlassen – und was für die Speisen gilt, das gilt auch für die Kleidung. Wer also aus dem Glauben meint Kleidungsregeln ableiten zu können, der betreibt mit großem Eifer eine Religion, die er nicht versteht.

Das bemerkenswerte Interesse am Modethema lässt sich aber nicht allein aus einem theologischen Missverständnis erklären. Kein „traditionalistisches“ Internetforum kommt ohne mehrere einschlägige Threads aus. Ich erinnere mich an das deutsche „“, in dem sich ein Familienvater aus Niederösterreich ausgiebig zur Damenstrumpfhose ausließ. Diese sei nicht nur moralisch indiskutabel, sondern auch hygienisch abzulehnen, weil es zu einer starken Schweißbildung im weiblichen Genitalbereich komme – womit wir zumindest wussten, worum die sexuellen Phantasien dieses Moralisten kreisten. Die Modediskussionen sind, anders kann man es nicht erklären, das Ventil, über das viele sexuell unerfüllte und verklemmte Männer ihre Träume und Triebe artikulieren – und die Notgeilheit kommt zum Zuge, wenn dann irgendein Mädchen „zurechtgewiesen“ werden kann; wie peinlich, wie erbärmlich, ja wie abartig das ist, sollte man endlich diesen Typen klar machen.

Nur darum geht es. Ich kritisiere nicht diejenigen, die einfach keinen gesteigerten Wert auf Eleganz legen. Ich greife diejenigen an, die jene, die sich nicht nach ihrem Dresscode kleiden, verurteilen und sich moralisch über sie erheben. Wer meint, den Katholizismus dazu benutzen zu können, anderen Kleidungsvorschriften zu machen, der ist doof, verklemmt und verbittert. Und es ist nötig, dass diejenigen, die das nicht sind, das auch artikulieren und nicht um eines falschen Friedens willen schweigen und sich anpassen.

Mode ist ein komplexes Phänomen. Mode ist Kunst, Kultur, sie ist individueller Ausdruck, Bekenntnis zur eigenen sozialen Herkunft, aber auch ganz existentiell Wetterschutz. Ob man das Praktische, das Ästhetische oder das Soziale mehr betont ist eine individuelle Entscheidung. Ich persönlich denke, dass eine religiöse Bewegung, die ihre Glaubensinhalte durch den Kult tradieren will, in ihrer Pastoral besonders die Kultur betonen sollte. Vernunft, Schönheit, Nächstenliebe sind Kennzeichen richtig verstandenen Christentums. Zumindest modemäßig ist davon bei katholischen Traditionalisten kaum etwas zu erkennen. Die sackartigen Beinverhüllungen, gern zu irgendwelchen Wanderlatschen getragen und mit Regenjacken kombiniert, übertragen ihre Hässlichkeit auf das religiöse Anliegen. Wer will schon gerne beim Club der Hässlichen mitmachen? Frische, fröhliche, mutige Frauen braucht die Kirche, gut gekleidet, hübsch anzusehen, selbstbewusst und sexy – die Männer strengen sich dann schon von selbst an.

Max Krah: In Your Face(book)!

Bishop Fellay’s Business Partner:


Public Pics From His Facebook Page:

“One cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the indecency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God.” (Benedict XV, Encyclical Sacra Propediem, 1921)

I dare say Max does not look “shocked.”

“We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers’ breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper.”

(Detailed instructions on modesty of dress for women issued on September 24, 1928, by the Vicar General of Pope Pius XI in Rome, Basilio Cardinal Pompili)

(Note: The photo above was EXTREMELY immodest, with only the most feminine parts covered…barely.  We had to “cloud” the pic for your safety.)

“And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty.” (Encyclical Letter Sacra Propediem, Jan. 6, 1921.)

“Religion does not fear the dagger’s point; but it can vanish under corruption. Let us not grow tired of corruption: we may use a pretext, such as sport, hygiene, health resorts. It is necessary to corrupt, that our boys and girls practice nudism in dress. To avoid too much reaction, one would have to progress in a methodical manner: first, undress up to the elbow; then up to the knees; then arms and legs completely uncovered; later, the upper part of the chest, the shoulders, etc. etc.” (International Review on Freemasonry, 1928.)

The $1,000,000 question arises again:

Why has Bishop Fellay chosen a man with such blatant contempt for Catholic Tradition to control the finances and assets of the SSPX?

…or was he sent to the SSPX by another?

Happy 77th Birthday to Bishop Williamson

(Born March 8, 1940)

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

(The Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas Over Averroes)

The Sodalitium Pianum blog would like to wish all Dominicans a happy feast day, and encourage all to read something by or about St. Thomas Aquinas today, where you are sure to receive extra graces for having done so.

Here is a bit of feast day trivia:

St. Thomas Aquinas is often misquoted as saying “the argument from authority is the lowest form of proof.”

But did you know that is based on a mistranslation of what he actually said?

Consider the following:

“I once heard it suggested that there’s a sort of joke hidden in the Latin original of the Summa Theologiae that didn’t make it into the commonly used English translation: “the proof from authority is the weakest form of proof,” we read in the Benziger edition (I.1.8.2us), and yet we don’t see the words that follow in the Latin text: “secundum Boëtium.” In the original Latin, you see, Thomas argues that the argument from authority is the weakest form of argument on the basis of the authority of Boethius.

While we may certainly savor the irony, two things should be pointed out so as to grasp the real meaning of this assertion. First, although in human affairs the argument from authority is the weakest form of argument, it is still an argument; that is, the testimony of authorities can be of great assistance in our quest for truth, as we attempt to use our reason to distinguish truth from error. Further, although in matters of human reason the argument from authority is the weakest, when we are dealing with matters of divine revelation (to which no one can reason unless he is God), the argument from authority based on divine revelation is the strongest form of argument.”

[Monitum: The excerpt above is taken from a conciliar website, and we do not endorse the rest of the contents of this article.  That said, a broken clock is right twice a day.  I chose to quote from this article becuase I have not seen the same observation made by any traditional source.]