Allow me to apologise once again for the long wait between issues. The gap of more than three months since Issue 47 is, without doubt, a new record! What can I say? Things have been busy, not a bad thing in itself, and for a idea of what has been going on, you may wish to take a look at the pictures on pages 18 to 23. As always, it was a pleasure to meet many of you and to see everyone brought together, both here in England and over in the USA. Please forgive me if I am terrible at remembering names. As always, we are grateful to Frs. Pfeiffer and Hewko for putting so much effort into travelling, going out of their way to reach souls who otherwise might not be reached. If more priests showed this self-sacrificing attitude the Resistance would be five times the size it is; if there were a bishop with this self-sacrificing spirit, the Resistance would be twenty times the size it is, and the new SSPX would be toast. Alas, that is not the case. But rather than bemoan our lot we can at least be grateful for what we do have - it could be even less, things could be worse - have confidence in Divine Providence and in the meantime devote our energies to improving matters.
Some Good News
In recent weeks a priest formerly of the Fraternity of St. Peter has joined Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Boston, Kentucky. I had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Poisson recently, and am sure that he will make an excellent contribution to the fight. Will he persevere in the long haul? Time will tell, but I see every reason to suppose so. It was because of the liberalism and tolerance (particularly of the New Mass) that he left the Fraternity of St. Peter in which he was ordained and went off to spend time reading and studying, getting to grips with the crisis in the Church. And it is thanks to his time spent doing that, that he decided that the right thing to do would be to join the Resistance. Thank you Father, and welcome.
Of course, it will hardly come as any surprise to hear that Fr. Poisson was almost immediately attacked on UnCatholicMisInfo, where it was claimed (anonymously, of course) that he had been involved in clerical abuse. The details given are so wide of the mark that this accusation can easily be seen for what it is: a desperate attempt to throw mud, any mud, and that if no dirt can be found it might just as well be invented. It is said on that dubious website that Father was previously a member of the Society of St. John (he never was), that he fled straight from his diocese in Pennsylvania to Boston Kentucky (both untrue, he left the FSSP years ago, not in Pennsylvania either, and spent a few years on his parents’ farm in Canada, whence he came to join the Resistance) and that he ‘got out just in time’ before a report into clerical abuse in that diocese was due to be published (the report may be true, but it has nothing whatever to do with this priest who was not there, was not involved in any way and doubtless was therefore not mentioned in said report.) I could go on, but you get the point. All of which goes to prove two things. Firstly, that if a priest decides to help Our Lady of Mount Carmel seminary, he can expect to be attacked, not for anything he’s done, but for the unpardonable crime of helping the world’s worst reprobate, Fr. Pfeiffer. There can be little doubt that, had Fr. Poisson shown up with Bishop Zendejas, the Fake Resistance world would now be rejoicing at his arrival.
Secondly, that if no actual “dirt” can be “dug up,” don’t worry! Something can always be invented. And even if most people can see through it at a glance, there’ll always be someone who prefers to ‘play safe’ and not get involved with the ‘scandal’ of a priest who has been calumniated in the most transparent way, forgetting the duty which the virtue of Justice places on them to defend the innocent. “After all, there’s no smoke without a fire!” - which has to be one of the silliest sayings. There can be and often is smoke without a fire. And smoke, it seems, is one of the few weapons our opponents have. The third lesson to draw from this, of course, is that there is nothing to which the owner of UnCatholicMisInfo won’t stoop when it comes to making easy money. The more sensational the scandal, the more readers, the more clicks and views, and hence the more advertising revenue. Hey, I’m not responsible for what people write on my website, I didn’t write it, someone else did! (It beats working for a living, anyway!)
With the passage of time, I incline more and more to the view that Fr. Pfeiffer was really onto something when he wrote about our age being the age of the B-team, something important and not yet noticed by anyone else. This really is the era of the dribs and drabs, the odds-and ends, collected by Divine Providence to show that impeccable credentials and an immaculate CV are not what God needs right now so much as the Faith and a willingness to fight and to suffer for the common good. If you want impeccable credentials above all else, if what you are looking for is a priest who looks respectable on paper, who helps you to feel good about yourself, then you must look elsewhere. Your priority is not the Faith. Fr. Poisson may be ex- Fraternity of St Peter, but he clearly has the Faith, a love of souls, a missionary zeal, a readiness for battle. If that still isn’t good enough, then look elsewhere, not in the Resistance. There are several hundred SSPX priests whose credentials are spotless and who will help you to feel eminently respectable. But they will not give you the Faith or help you to save your soul. On the contrary: an outwardly ‘Traditional’ appearance serving as a cover for soft soap modernism is ten times more dangerous to a Traditional Catholic than a Novus Ordo priest.
Just as Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko have been attacked for giving sanctuary to others in the past, or even for allowing them to visit or being friendly to them (think Ambrose Moran, for example, or Fr. Roberts more recently. Or even the sanctuary they gave to Fr. Voigt...), it should not surprise us that Fr. Poisson has to be made into a fake ‘scandal’ too. It doesn’t matter that he has done nothing wrong: his crime is joining Fr. Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko, and that’s quite bad enough! No doubt there will be other such priests in the future and of course the same treatment will be given to them too. Any priest or faithful who has the Faith, loves Our Lord and wishes to join the battle against modernism will always be welcome within our ranks. Welcome once again, Father. We’re glad to have you on our side.
As in previous years, Ignatian retreats will be taking place in both the United States and Great Britain. I have never yet known one person who went on one of these retreats and regretted it; quite the contrary, usually it makes a noticeable difference in the fervour and zeal of anyone who takes part. Since, furthermore, we can never say for certain whether they will be able to happen again the next year, or how long it will be until the next opportunity comes around, I strongly urge all of you to make every effort to attend. In Great Britain, the new location will allow us to accommodate a greater number of retreatants than the fifteen or so we have had previously. We will fit you in, provided you let us know that you’re coming. Details are as follows:
Cost of a Retreat is whatever financial donation you can afford. If you cannot afford to make a donation, the Fathers encourage you to attend regardless of inability to pay. If you wish to attend, please contact the organisers in advance to let them know.
Most of you will by now be aware that the SSPX General Chapter has met, and the SSPX has, in theory at least, a new Superior General. I say “in theory” because, in reality, it makes very little difference who the figurehead is. That is not how the Revolution works. I am firmly convinced that the real power behind the proverbial throne is neither Fr. Pagliarani nor Bishop Fellay, as I have said before. But let us leave that be for the moment.
Nevertheless, it remains a fact that there is a new Superior General, Fr. Davide Pagliarani. Readers who feel that they remember that name from somewhere may wish to look back at Issue 13 (January 2014), p.21, and again at Issue 25 (April 2015) p.7, where they will find some interesting first-hand testimony (via then– Fr. Jean Michel Faure) about what went on at the General Chapter of 2012. Fr. Pagliarani, though an Italian, was the seminary rector of La Reja in Argentina, the ‘successor’ of Bishop Williamson in that post. Like Fr. Faure, he too took part in the 2012 General Chapter; indeed it would seem he played a fairly important role in its proceedings.
“At the July 2012 Chapter, Fr. de Journa proved that Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration was nothing other than Benedict XVI’s ‘hermeneutic of continuity.’ […] His presentation was met with not a single objection from any of the other members. After this presentation, Fr. Pagliarani stood up to support Bishop Fellay with the words:
‘Dear colleagues! Surely we’re not going to give our Superior General a slap in the face by forcing him to retract it! The retraction will be implicit in the final declaration of the Chapter.’
Of course, in the end the Chapter made no such “retraction,” implicit or otherwise. And it cannot be said that Fr. Pagliarani was solely responsible for letting Bishop Fellay off the hook - you will notice how his intervention was not contradicted by anyone, including Fr. Faure, Fr. Morgan, Fr. de Caqueray or the others, who allowed the Chapter to move on to other business when they should have screamed blue murder, stamped their feet, banged their fists, jumped up onto the table, thrown the furniture around and refused to settle down until the matter had been properly dealt with and a full line-by-line retraction made. Fr. Pagliarani was instrumental, but even his intervention would not have succeeded without the silence of the others. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. What remains unconfirmed is whether Fr. Pagliarani’s decision to intervene on behalf of Bishop Fellay was a carefully choreographed move which had been arranged beforehand or whether he was simply ‘moved by the spirit’ so to speak. Perhaps we will never know, and at this stage it hardly matters anyway.
What can we reasonably deduce from this evidence? Fr. Pagliarani, it would seem, did not agree with Fr. de Journa’s exposé of the problems with the Doctrinal Declaration; he saw nothing seriously wrong with the Doctrinal Declaration; were it otherwise, he would have agreed with Fr. de Journa rather than acting in such a way as to undermine his presentation. It would also seem that Fr. Pagliarani might be open to accusations of being a career priest and that, even if this is not true, he is certainly one who places a very high premium on authority.
He is a man for whom giving “the Superior General a slap in the face” is a far worse sin than accepting the false doctrine of the Council. If he felt so strongly that a Superior General should never be “slapped” or contradicted when it was someone else who filled that post, will he feel any differently now that it is he who occupies it? If he had an exaggerated view of the dignity due to the SSPX Superior General when it was someone else, will he have a less or a more exalted view of it now that he is the Superior General? Time will tell, but it does not look good.
The new First and Second Assistants are Fr. Christian “The-Jews-did-not-commit-deicide” Bouchacourt and Bishop de Galarreta. Political correctness is rewarded in the SSPX, it seems, even as it is in the outside world. To these two were added two more, via the creation of two new post which have never been seen before. These are two “General Councillors,” and are Bishop Fellay and Fr. Schmidberger, both former Superior Generals, meaning that in effect, although Bishop Fellay was removed after twenty-four years, in reality, he hasn’t left. He’s still there. And so is Fr. Schmidberger. This was announced in a press release by fsspx.news on 20th July, one day before the Chapter’s official closing date. Again, it is a sign, a little hint of how things really are. Again, in the long run will it make a great deal of difference? I tend to think not. There will of course be people who will seek to justify their own complacency and inertia, their failure to leave the SSPX and help the Resistance by claiming that everything has changed, that all is well again and that any problems in the SSPX have now been “fixed,” or that we need to “wait and see.” You may wish to point them to some of the information outlined above. Who knows, it might do some good. But don’t get your hopes up.
In the end, however, the question of which personality is appointed to what position, like the question of hidden powers behind visible thrones, does not really matter that much when we come face-to-face with the public profession of another Faith than our own.
To tell the truth, I long ago became bored to tears with the question of the General Chapter, who next Superior General will be and so forth. Worse still is the realisation that so many people still, still do not get it. Read the Doctrinal Declaration. (www.stmaryskssspxmc.com/wpcontent/uploads/2016/01/primary_sources_for_studying_the_crisis_in_the_sspx_2012.pdf) I don’t care if you’ve already read it - read it again! I promise, on your second reading you will discover hidden depths of wickedness and compromise and denial of Our Lord which you didn’t spot the first time! Forget the politics: the most important questions are always questions of doctrine. If the SSPX has compromised doctrinally (and without question, it has), it scarcely matters whether it also chooses to compromise politically. Once doctrine is tampered with, it’s all over. Either Vatican II is acceptable or it is not. Either Religious Liberty is Catholic or it is not. The SSPX used to lead the charge in rejecting and fighting against these things, not just Fr. Pagliarani. (Is it just me, or does he look remarkably like Bishop Fellay..?)
Page 6 Editorial the New Mass but the new Code of Canon Law, the new ‘Saints’ and all the rest of it. They no longer do. If we wish Christ to recognise us and confess us before the Father, we must confess Him before men. That includes the men of the conciliar church. And yes, that means confessing Him entirely, 100%, down to the last iota. Religious Liberty, Ecumenism and all the other foul heresies of the Council are the very antithesis of professing Christ before men; indeed, we could even say that Vatican II and its false teaching is tantamount to professing men before Christ. No institution which accepts such a thing, even in principle, even if it is slow to put it into practice, can ever hope one day to recover. It will always be fatal.
And don’t tell me that ‘the SSPX priests don’t say the New Mass, so all’s well.’ That’s not the point! The Society as such accepted the legitimacy of the New Mass in principle. A man who accepts abortion in principle is guilty even though he can truthfully claim never to have had one. Don’t tell me either that it was just some personal thing Bishop Fellay did privately. How can that be true when each paragraph begins: “We declare that we accept…”? Don’t tell me that he ‘retracted it’ - he didn’t! He claimed to have told Rome that a canonical agreement could no longer be made using it. That has nothing to do with the Declaration’s contents, which he consistently defended. I will allow Fr. Rioult speak for me:
“Since then, Bishop Fellay has not ceased trying to defend the contents of his seditious Doctrinal Declaration. He talks about an “extremely delicate” text which “did not achieve unanimity in the Society” “to such an extent that I said to Rome, that’s it, I’m withdrawing it, it’s not going to be any use if it’s not even understood by our own people, because, well, perhaps it was a bit too subtle. Well, too bad, we’re withdrawing it.” (Bp. Fellay, Lille, 7th May, 2013) “A minimalist text, which could have led to some confusion in our ranks.” (Bp. Fellay, Cor Unum 102) A text which “was not sufficiently clear” (Bp. Fellay, Écône, 07/09/2012) A Doctrinal Declaration which “excluded any ambiguity regarding our judgement of the Council, including the famous ‘hermeneutic of continuity’.” A Declaration which “was not understood by several high-ranking members of the Society, who saw in it an ambiguity, or even a false compromise with the idea of the hermeneutic of continuity.” (Bp. Fellay, Cor Unum 104, ‘Note on the Doctrinal Declaration of April 15th 2012’) Does Bishop Fellay’s description correspond to reality? YES OR NO?” (LaSapiniere.info 2014, translated The Recusant, Issue 13, January 2014)
Well, go ahead, read it for yourself and make up your own mind. In the meantime, here’s just one little example, taken from near the start of the Doctrinal Declaration, for you (or for your SSPX friend or relative still in denial) to chew over.
“We declare that we accept the doctrine regarding the Roman Pontiff and regarding the college of bishops, with the Pope as its head, which is taught by the dogmatic constitution Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I and by the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of Vatican II, chapter 3.”
I challenge anyone to explain how that is not an explicit acceptance of the conciliar error of Collegiality, which the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre fought against not so very long ago. There is no way around this. The SSPX has officially declared that it accepts a doctrine which it used to condemn. That acceptance has very serious consequences which makes questions of politics or power struggles or even striving for personal holiness pale in comparison.
- The Editor
"Charity which is the bond of perfection, must be dictated and regulated by the truth and it is in this spirit of charity which we must act." - Cardinal Pie