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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - March 1981
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 07:00 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors
March 1981

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Sadly recognising that the consequences of the Conciliar Revolution seems to be intent on becoming institutionalised and supplant the true Catholic institutions with the risk of arriving at the same results as in political society, which is sinking into a state of permanent revolution, our resolution to maintain and develop the divine institutions of the Church should be more firm than ever, for if political institutions can disappear, this can never happen to the Church.

On the other hand, it is with joy, and with thanks to God that we see traditional enterprises such as the Society of St. Pius X, and other societies, expanding in a way which is, humanly speaking, inexplicable. Another consolation and source of encouragement is the strengthening of the links between all the brave initiatives within the Society.

As you know, we have never wished to be considered as the leaders of the groups involved in this renewal of the Church, and in this resistance to the revolution in the Church. However, according to the measure of the increase in the number of our seminaries, houses, schools, and retreat houses, and since the number of our priests is increasing and will increase, especially from 1983 onwards, it is normal that the great hope which these young priests represent, inspires the confidence of all the traditionalist initiatives. Active, and contemplative religious, and secular priests feel the need to join themselves to this vigorous root which is filled with faith, truth and grace and deeply rooted in the Tradition of twenty centuries of the Church.

These close links in the faith and in the faith and in the apostolate seem to me to be very important for the future of the Church. For we wish to work in absolute confidence that Providence will permit that one day, decided by, and known to itself, the Sovereign Pontiff will recognise the incomparable benefit of all of these enterprises, and will give thanks to God for them. There is no justifiable argument which obliges us to cut ourselves off from the Pope. On the contrary, innumerable irrefutable motifs oblige us to remain united to him as the Successor of Peter and this will render our protestations and our refusals the more efficacious and justified. That does not in any way diminish our attachment to Tradition. It is through esteem for the successor of Peter that we cannot conceive any contradiction with the Magisterium of Peter as being possible.

In the midst of this great torment which calls down the malediction of God on humanity, let us go on with serenity and confidence in God in our work of restoration of the Church which is expanding by the multiplication of auspicious initiatives of reconstruction, but especially by the work of holiness which is that bonus odour Christi, that “sweet odour of Christ,” which rises straight up to God like the sacrifice of Abel, and which draws down upon us the blessings of God.

During our visit to Mexico, both I and those who accompanied me were able to see the. tragic situation of the people who number almost seventy-seven million souls and who are almost all Catholics. The shepherds have abandoned their people to give themselves over to politics and the Revolution, pushing the government, which is already linked with Fidel Castro, further to the Left. A certain number of the faithful have thrown progressive priests out of their parishes and are begging us to replace them. At Cordoba a young curate, dressed in a way that has nothing clerical about it, came to see me to make known his feelings to me in these term: “My Lord, you are right, and you have the grace of the Holy Ghost with you. We have nothing more than a religious mask, behind which there is nothing. I wanted to say this to you as you were passing through here. My Lord, bless me.”

Then he went away. I was stupified, but once again confirmed by the necessity to continue our actions for the salvation of souls. By the grace of God we already have fourteen Mexican seminarians, while there were only two young priests ordained last year for the whole of Mexico. May Our Lady of Guadalupe protect her beloved people!

Once again we recommend our enterprises to your prayers and to your generosity. At the moment we are building a seminary at Buenos Aires, we are enlarging the seminary at Ridgefield in the U.S.A., and soon we will be obliged to divide Ecône, which has become too small. We must start something in France. May St. Joseph come to our aid. We owe him our immense gratitude for all that he has helped us to achieve.

Wishing you a good Holy Week and a Happy Easter we implore Jesus, Mary and Joseph to fill you with blessings.

+ Marcel Lefebvre
Feast of St. Joseph 1981
[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - October 1980
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:56 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors

October 1980

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

This nineteenth semi-annual letter coincides with the tenth anniversary of the official approval given to our Society by His Excellency Mgr. Charriere, Bishop of Fribourg, on November 1st, 1970. How many events since that date have shown that the Church has been veritably seized and occupied by Modernism. Many books have described in a disturbing way the result of this penetration into Roman ranks and into episcopal curias.

In the face of this sad spectacle, which gets worse every year, one could even say every month, we put aside our expressions of indignation and sadness. Still, we could deplore the persecution whose object is the most worthy and venerable priests, such as our dear friend Canon Catta, treasurer of the Visitandines of Nantes for forty years, and dean of the chapter. More than eighty years of age, he was deprived shortly before his death of his function as dean of the chapter. Mistreated by his confrères at the rest home, he sought refuge for his meals with the Visitandines, who ended by asking him to return to the rest home where, broken-hearted, he succumbed to cardiac arrest, and all this because he persevered in celebrating the Holy Mass of his ordination. His burial was completely contrary to what he had requested. Thus, traditionalists are pursued beyond death, for the crime of fidelity.

On the tombs of these holy priests, over the graves of so many of the faithful, prematurely dead because of this grievous persecution, we should take our oath of fidelity, an oath which is none other than the profession of faith and the Anti-Modernist Oath of St. Pius X, the last canonized Pope. Supported by twenty centuries of Faith and Tradition, we can and must persevere without fear, in the conviction that Truth must triumph, because it is divine. Our Lord said it: “I am the Truth.”

Instead of complaining and being discouraged, let us thank God Who everywhere blesses the efforts of those who persevere in the Faith and in Tradition. It would be impossible to note in detail the countless blessings which we have witnessed, or which have been confided to us by those who have received them. The many vocations which are joining the Society or the many communities faithful to Tradition, each have their own moving story. They are flowers blooming amid the brambles and thorns.

Retreat masters of the Society could write books about the conversions they have witnessed. Priests who minister to summer camps tell us with deep emotion of the extraordinary return to the Faith and to the practice of religion recovered by contact with Tradition and above all with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Foundations such as schools, universities, seminaries all have a story which reveals the intervention of Divine Providence. And all the works faithful to Tradition bear witness in the same way. One small example: the bishop of Kansas City (USA), put on the market a large, spacious church, furnished with beautiful altar, organ and pews seating a thousand. The Father in charge of the Southern District made efforts to acquire it through a third party, but the bishop’s office got wind of who the buyer was, and his link with Archbishop Lefebvre. The answer was a categorical refusal to sell. A black Protestant bishop then appeared on the scene. Not only was this purchaser very welcome, but, in the name of ecumenism, the price was cut by half. Now, for reasons unknown, this Protestant bishop hastened to re-sell the church to our District Superior, who thus benefitted by the lower price. So the Society from now on can accommodate many of the faithful for beautiful ceremonies in a splendid church in the heart of Kansas City.

Let us keep our trust and our courage, as St. Paul says: “If God is with us, who can be against us?” This month let us pray to the Virgin Mary to deliver Holy Church from her enemies within, as she did at the time of St. Pius V from enemies without.

Help us with your prayers and your generosity to pursue the work of rejuvenating the Church with true and holy priests. May God bless you.

+ Marcel Lefebvre

1 October 1980

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - April 1980
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:48 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - Replies (1)

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors

April 1980

Dear Friends and Benefactors

Today, at the novitiate of the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X in St. Michel-en-Brenne, eight postulants took the habit and four novices made their profession. Next year eleven novices will make profession. One would have to be frankly prejudiced not to recognize the fervor and profound faith of this community, as well as its radiant joy, so clearly the work of the Holy Ghost. Here one is indeed far from Pentecostalism or the charismatic movement, but simply in line with the great tradition of the religious life in the Catholic Church.

What is important in the Church today, as yesterday, and tomorrow, is to live from faith, so as to live from grace and thus prepare oneself for eternal life. St. John, in his first epistle tells us, in today’s Mass, “He who was born of God has vanquished the world, and the victory which has vanquished the world is our faith. Who indeed has vanquished the world if not he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

If the above is the resume and substance of our faith, then we must honor Jesus as God in all our Christian life, and thus, as the Church has always taught and practised, we must refuse to make Jesus equivalent to the founders of false religions, which would be blasphemous. We must refuse to compromise with those who deny the divinity of Our Lord, or with any false ecumenism. We must fight against atheism and laicism in order to help Our Lord to reign over families and over society. We must protect the worship of the Church, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacraments instituted by Our Lord, practicing them according to the rites honored by twenty centuries of tradition. Thus we will properly honor Our Lord, and thus be assured of receiving His grace.

It is because the novelties which have invaded the Church since the Council diminish the adoration and the honor due to Our Lord, and implicitly throw doubt upon His divinity, that we refuse them. These novelties do not come from the Holy Ghost, nor from His Church, but from those who are imbued with the spirit of Modernism, and with all the errors which convey this spirit, condemned with so much courage and energy by St. Pius X. This holy Pope said to the bishops of France with regard to the Sillon movement: “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but the men of tradition.”

If only the innovators of the Council and those since it would understand this language which is, after all, that of the Church since the time of St. Paul.

One cannot hope for a real renovation of the Church without a return to Tradition. The Church cannot content herself with doubtful sacraments nor with ambiguous teaching. Those who have introduced these doubts and this ambiguity are not disciples of the Church. Whatever their intentions may have been, they in fact worked against the Church. The disastrous results of their industry exceed the worst examinings, and are not lessened by the apparent exceptions of a few regions. When Luther introduced the vernacular into the liturgy, the crowds rushed into the churches. But later?

It is consoling to note that in the Catholic world, the sense of faith of the faithful rejects these novelties and attaches itself to Tradition. It is from this that the true renewal of the Church will come. And it is because these novelties were introduced by a clergy infected with Modernism, that the most urgent and necessary work in the Church is the formation of a profoundly Catholic clergy. We give ourselves to this work with all our heart, aided henceforth by our eighty young priests, and encouraged by the presence of our two hundred and ten major seminarians. The countries of South and Central America give us hope.

The Church was saved from Arianism. She will be saved as well from Modernism. Our Lord will triumph, even when, humanly speaking, all seems lost. His ways are not our ways. Would we have chosen the Cross to triumph over Satan, the world and sin?
Our forty houses throughout the world demonstrate that God can bring much out of nothing. God wills to make use of us. He makes use of you, as well, dear friends and benefactors. May God bless you and keep you in His love and peace.

+ Marcel Lefebvre
St. Michel-en-Brenne

Low Sunday (13 April) 1980
[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - October 1979
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:46 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors

11 October 1979

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

I am writing this seventeenth letter to you from Montalenghe, the new priory and retreat house in Northern Italy, twenty kilometres from Turin.

This is the first retreat given at this house and those participating are the new aspirants for the Seminary at Ecône, twenty-seven of the thirty who are beginning their studies at the seminary this year; and for the seventy who are entering our four major seminaries. Speaking of this, I want to add that we have acquired a major seminary in the United States at Ridgefield, Connecticut. The former seminary at Armada will become a priory to serve the Detroit area.

The support of priests and the faithful to tradition grows rapidly. The 50th Jubilee ceremony in Paris was visible testimony of this. I again wish to thank those who sent gifts and especially for their prayers and sacrifices which contributed to this Mass of the action of grace.

Because we are surrounded by the ruins caused by the corruption of minds and hearts, the evidence of the vitality of the Church of all time takes on a priceless value. We are permitted to hope that we can restore destroyed altars, that we can offer again the true Sacrifice of the Mass.

By contrast, when one lives with an ecumenical Eucharist, democratic and liberal, the auto-destruction continues, despite all the calls to order, the statements most worthy of respect and the most spectacular of ceremonies.

Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eam – If the Lord does not construct the building, the builders work in vain.” Therefore, the altar of sacrifice of propitiation, the heritage of the new and eternal testament; the Body and Blood of Jesus are the foundation stone of the Church from whence gush the waters of eternal life.

Let us keep confidence in God, in Jesus and Mary, who will obtain that the authorities of the Church will restore the altars. While awaiting that day, let us pray and multiply the altars and the priests for the celebration of the Holy Mass where the Sacred Victim offers Himself, Ardent Furnace of Love, for the redemption of our sins.

This is the goal of the Priestly Fraternity of the Society of St. Pius X which already numbers 200 members.

You have already noted that the number of priories grows year by year. This is why it has appeared to me urgent to organize central headquarters for the Society by having a General House where the Secretary General and the Economic General (Treasurer) will establish the headquarters and where all correspondence for the Superior General will be sent. This action will place us more in conformity with Canon Law, the districts being the foundation of future provinces.

You may also note that we have divided the United States into two districts, and that the house of Brussels is now open. This has been desirable for several years. The magazine Fideliter from the French District will give you more information about priories and schools, as other bulletins and publications have in the past.

Young aspirants to the priesthood, or to the religious life as brothers or auxiliaries of the priestly apostolate, should contact the priories where they can obtain all the useful information they need pertaining to their vocation, either in the Fraternity, or in the numerous active or contemplative religious houses which are united the same faith and the same hope.

We pray that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whose feast of Divine Motherhood we celebrate today, become always more our Mother for our identification with Jesus, her Son.

We pray that St. Joseph, who will return your generosity a hundredfold, will help us for the development of our work which gives to the world the testimony it has so much need of today: that of saintly priests.
Affectionately united with in you in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

†Marcel Lefebvre

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - March 1979
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:44 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors

March 19, 1979

Dear Friends and Benefactors:

In response to your expectations concerning the relations between our Society and Rome. I think it is fitting to make known to you the text of the following letter which I addressed to the Pope on Christmas Eve.

Quote:Most Holy Father,

It is impossible that the audience which you granted me was not the will of God. For myself it was a great comfort to be able to explain quite openly the circumstances and motives surrounding the existence of the Society of St. Pius X, and its seminaries, and the reasons which led me to continue the work in spite of the decisions coming from Fribourg and Rome.

The flood of changes in the Church, accepted and encouraged by the bishops, a flood devastating everything in its path – faith, morals, the institutions of the Church – could tolerate no obstacle, no resistance.

We had, therefore, the choice either to let ourselves be swept away by this stream of havoc, thereby adding to the disaster, or to resist (against wind and tide) to safeguard our Catholic Faith and Catholic priesthood. We were not slow to decide.

Since May 5, 1975, the date of our decision to stand firm whatever the cost, three and a half years have passed and have shown us to be right. The ruins of the Church pile up: atheism, immorality, abandoned churches, the disappearance of religion and priestly vocations are now such that the bishops have begun to be worried and the success of Ecône is constantly brought to mind. Opinion polls show that a large number of the faithful, sometimes even a majority, are in favour of the attitude adopted by Ecône.

It is obvious to any impartial observer that our work is a seed-bed of priests such as the Church has always wished for and the true faithful have always desired. And one is entitled to think that if Rome would admit the fact and give it the legality to which it has a right, vocations would be even more abundant.

Most Holy Father, for the honour of Jesus Christ, for the greater good of the Church and for the salvation of souls, we entreat you to say one word, a single word as the Successor of Peter and as Pastor of the Universal Church, to the bishops of the entire world: “Laissez faire” — “Let them be”; “We authorise the free practice of what many centuries’ Tradition has made use of for the sanctification of souls”.

What difficulty would such an attitude create? None. The bishops would decide the places, the times reserved for this Tradition. Unity would immediately be restored at the level of the local bishop. On the other hand, how advantageous it would be for the Church: the renewal of seminaries, and monasteries; great fervour in the parishes — the bishops would be amazed in a few years to rediscover an outburst of devotion and holiness they thought had disappeared forever.

For Ecône, its seminaries and its priories, the situation would be made normal, as happened with the Congregations of Lazarists and Redemptorists. The priories would serve the diocese by the preaching of parish Missions, Ignatian retreats and by helping in the parishes, in complete submission to the local Ordinary.

The situation of the Church would be greatly improved by this very simple method which is so consistent with the maternal Spirit of the Church, not refusing those who come to the aid of souls, not extinguishing the wick which is still smoking, but rejoicing to see that the vitality of Tradition is full of life and hope!

This is what I believed I had to write to Your Holiness before appearing before His Eminence Cardinal Seper. I fear that long and detailed discussions will not lead to a satisfactory result and will merely prolong a situation which, I am convinced, must seem urgent to you.

A solution cannot, in fact, be found in any compromise which would in practice cause our work to vanish, thereby adding yet another contribution to the destruction.

Remaining at the entire disposition of Your Holiness, I beg you to accept my profound and filial respect in Jesus and Mary.

†Marcel Lefebvre

This letter and the replies given in the discussions at Rome form a dossier which calls the Holy See to take up a position. Let us pray with fervour that this position will be consistent with the good of the Church and the salvation of souls.

Thanks to the blessings God has bestowed and to your generosity, you can be sure that the list of foundations increases without pause; and that the ordinations and religious professions are constantly growing in number. This year especially, if God wishes, 37 new priests will be ordained, 29 of which for the Society. The reviews and periodicals in each district will keep you informed of these ceremonies.

It is indeed fitting that you rejoice to see that your gifts are truly being used for the renovation of the Church by the means she has always used for her growth and vitality.

We count a great deal on the prayers of our religious — brothers, sisters and oblates — but also on the prayers of the hundreds of nuns, whole convents who support and encourage us in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Mexico, and Argentina. They rely on our priests, because their vocations are multiplying; several of these communities have already established daughter-houses. This demonstration of holiness is a source of great hope for the Church. For all of them, their renovation is founded upon the continuation and a deeper understanding of the unchanged Sacrifice of the Mass, wherein lies the mystery of our faith.

Dear Friends and Benefactors, we know of your anxieties, your sufferings, your distress in this crisis without precedent in history; be assured of our prayers and our entire dedication. Holy Christian families will always remain the seed-beds of vocations. This is why we entreat you to remain strong in faith and sanctity amidst the corruptions of this world.

May God bless you by the intercession of Mary and Joseph.

†Marcel Lefebvre

Feast of St. Joseph


[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letter to Friends and Benefactors - September 1978
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:42 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors
8th of September 1978

Dear Friends and Benefactors:

Since our last letter a few notable events have arisen in the Church: the death of Paul VI and the election of John Paul I. To be sure, these events are far from leaving us indifferent! Our desire to see the Church free of modernists and progressivists that occupy it is all the greater. For close to twenty years we have prayed to God to give to His Church true apostles of the Catholic Faith- the Faith which has given the Church its martyrs, doctors, confessors, virgins and all the saints who illustrate her history and who prove the worth of her doctrine, Sacrifice and sacraments.

We tremble at the thought that the infiltration of modernism, that is to say naturalism, may continue in the Church. The consequences of this veritable cancer are the most serious that the Church has had to undergo during the course of her history; that is, the corruption of the Faith of numerous bishops and a great number of priests, monks and nuns. These clerics reason like the modernists and the protestants: witness the newly published book “Bishops Speak of the Faith of the Catholic Church.” The ideas of sanctifying grace, original sin, mortal sin and its consequences, of the expiatory Sacrifice of Our Lord which continues on our altars, are all spoiled. In their place one finds all the errors of liberalism, of Americanism, of Sillonism, and of modernism condemned by the Sovereign Pontiffs. Add to that the theology of liberation which is a Marxist interpretation of the Gospel—a sacrilegious and outrageous misinterpretation of Our Lord. Therefore, let us not be amazed that the patience of God is exhausted!

All seems to crumble around us because the foundation of all things has been abandoned; that is, the Way, the Truth and the Life—our beloved Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of these reasons, these truths, that we wish to be so much more faithful to Our Lord, to His reign, to His cross, to His sacrifice, to His sacraments and to His teachings which have been faithfully transmitted by the successors of Peter during close to twenty centuries.

Let us ask Saint Pius X to guide Pope John Paul I. May the Virgin Mary, desiring the purity of the Faith as well as sensitive to everything which betrays her Divine Son, come to the aid of His Church.

By the grace of God, the help of your prayers and your generosity, so many priests, brothers and religious have joined the Society that is has increased rapidly making it difficult to give you a complete report. We wish that every district superior, as well as every superior of autonomous priories, would complete the news for each region.

On June 29th, we ordained eighteen priests from which there will be two for the Monastery of Bedoin of Dom Gerard, and sixteen for the Society. All will begin their ministry in this month of September. It would be necessary to ordain four times as many in order to respond to the requests that come to us from all the continents and all the countries. Everywhere the Faithful feel abandoned or betrayed by their clergy. They no longer find the Catholic Church but a modernist cult and doctrine. Parents are fearful for their children.

Japan, India, Australia, South America, South Africa—without counting all the countries where we already have missionaries -beg us to send true priests. Vocations arise from everywhere. This last year has been especially marked by support from South America and Italy. There are 65 new seminarians who enter this year in our three seminaries. Our fourth seminary will open in the month of March in Buenos Aires.

Henceforth, the seminary of the German tongue is transferred from Weissbad to Zaiztkofen between Munich and Ratisbonne. Weissbad will serve for those who prepare themselves for the major seminary. Two more locations are now open in Madrid and Brussels where the Society will begin its ministry. Seminarians studying at Ecône will take their second year in Albano in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the Church’s Latin and Roman traditions.

The Society has acquired the important centre of Saint Mary’s, in Kansas in America, with its large sanctuary dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, suitable for pilgrimages, retreats and perhaps the site of a future college.

Eleven applications were received from young men wishing to enter the novitiate as brothers. Fifteen young women have applied for the novitiate at St. Michel-en-Brenne, and twelve for the Carmel in Quievrain, Belgium. If we added all the applicants to those congregations which have kept their sound traditions we would marvel indeed at this true renewal of the Church where the fruits of the Holy Ghost give forth their true radiance and not the aberrations of the charismatics.

Is it not obvious that where the Faith of the Church is, so also is its holiness; where the holiness of the Catholic Church is, there also is the Catholic Church. A church which no longer produces good fruit, which is barren, is no longer the Catholic Church.

We certainly do not amount to much, and the good which is done through our efforts comes from Our Lord. That is why we trust, because from nothing, He can do much. The whole history of the Church proves it. Our Lord does not demand success from us; this is His domain. He only asks for our willingness and readiness to serve Him in our crosses as well as in our blessings.

Should these few lines reach those priests, monks and nuns who are fighting to keep the Faith and Tradition—especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass let us tell them that the Society is ready with its means to assist them in matters spiritual, moral and material.

Dear friends and benefactors, how we would like to serve you in your sanctification and in the sanctification, education and spiritual support of your children. We wish to start schools, especially for boys. The future of Christian families depends thereon. We are fully aware of your needs. That is why we already have schools in New York and Houston, in America, and why we will continue the school at St. Michel de Chateauroux in France.

We trust that we will have your continued support, your prayers, your sacrifices and your generosity. May God repay you through Mary and Joseph in abundant blessings.

†Marcel Lefebvre

On the Feast of the
Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary
[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - March 1978
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:40 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors
The Feast of Saint Joseph, 1978

Dear Friends and Benefactors:

Providence has allowed this painful crisis in the Church for our sanctification and in order to give more brightness to the pure gold of its doctrine and its means of redemption. This passion of the Church is a great mystery, for it reaches chiefly its hierarchy, its scholars, who seem to no longer know who they are and the reasons of their being appointed.

Satan, the father of lies, as Our Lord Jesus calls him, has the extraordinary talent of finding out some words, to which he assigns a new meaning so that from their ambiguity, he achieves acceptance of the destructive falsehood which overthrows the best established societies. He found it in this “ecumenism” of the Council which has created an ecumenical liturgy, an ecumenical Bible, and ecumenical catechism, uniting truth and falsehood – marrying the true and the false.

The most disastrous result of this marriage is the Catholic-Protestant Mass, the poisoned source afterwards yielding countless ravages: relinquishment of the Church, of the true Faith, sacrileges, tearing of the unity of the Church, proliferation of diverse sorts of creeds unworthy of the Church.

But, there exists a consequence of which one does not often enough ponder on. It is the destruction of the Catholic nations which no longer find in the Holy Mass, the source of political unity based on the unity of the Catholic Faith. Therefore, the Catholic nation hereafter must, in like manner, convert itself to an ecumenical state – pluralistic, very soon finding itself securalized and neutral, if not atheistic.

The ecumencial Mass leads logically to apostasy. One cannot serve two masters, one cannot nourish oneself indifferently from truth or falsehood. It is falsehood that flatters our evil inclinations which will prevail over truth which is more austere and more demanding.

One must, at all costs, remain bound to truth without mingling. Pope Pius IX vigorously denounced these liberal Catholics who believe they can unite falsehood and truth, good and evil, in order to please their contemporary fellowmen.

Whether this poisoned ecumenism reaches us through the hierarchy or not, the channel is not important – it is the poison that one must refuse to swallow. It is a matter of strict obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Church of all times, to all the successors of Peter. We will, therefore, keep the Catholic liturgy, the Catholic Bible and catechism.

And it is for this reason that we must have Catholic priests and Catholic seminarians, Catholic monks nuns, active and contemplative. The Catholic Church will not perish!

Each one, at his time in the Church, must endeavour to remain Catholic and to maintain the Catholic Church. It is upon this resolution and its realisation that we will be judged by Our Divine Lord.

Dear friends and benefactors, we owe to your prayers and to your generosity, that we have been able to achieve the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X with its 40 priests (soon to be 56), its three seminaries including 150 seminarians, its brothers, its nuns and its oblates.

We are about to acquire the buildings required for our American and German seminaries. We hope to establish a college-seminary in Germany and one in France, a home for spiritual exercises in Northern Italy, the beginning of a great seminary in Argentina as well as a priory in Madrid.

Besides, the numerous vocations for the Carmel oblige us to provide help to the Carmel Foundation and soon to the Cistercian Monastery. Contemplative homes are necessary for the holiness of the Church. They will remain so inasmuch as they preserve their holy traditions.

You can address your correspondence to these foundations: for the Carmelites, to the Maison St. Pie X de Suresnes, and for the Cistercians, to Notre Dame du Pointet. The complete addresses are indicated below. Through this listing, you can realise our needs. We pray, during this month of March, our great patron St. Joseph that he create new benefactors, and we thank him for his paternal concern toward us. We have no debts and we do not capitalise. What is given to us serves without delay to the edification of the Church and to its real renovation.

We wish for our homes to be centres of fervour, of piety, of fraternal welcome, chiefly for the priests who wish to share the spiritual life and the apostolate of our priests. We also gladly welcome vocations of brothers who are auxilaries of our priests and lay associates who unite their prayers and works to the members of the Society. Like future priests, they may contact superiors of districts and priories who will introduce them to the houses of formation.

In this world, which ignores its Saviour and Master Jesus Christ, it is more than ever necessary that generous souls make themselves His heralds through speech, example and practice. Each destroyed altar, each closing parish or chapel, means a victory for the devil and results in lost souls. Let your prayers and sacrifices intervene with Our Lord Jesus through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin. Let them not cease but increase the preaching of Jesus Christ Crucified.

May God bless you.

†Marcel Lefebvre
[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - October 1977
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:39 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors

17 October 1977

Dears Friends and Benefactors,

At a time when the Synod of Bishops is meeting in Rome to study the question of Catechetics, one would wish that the introductory pages to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, drawn up by the very authors of that Catechism, might be re-read by the Bishops present at the Synod. They would learn therein how those authors meant to resolve problems of adaptation.

We have every reason for fearing that, in spite of some good interventions, the work of conciliar reform will continue. It will not be the Archbishop of Saigon who will “put on the brakes” since he considers that the only catechetics possible in a Marxist country are collaboration with Marxism. And in that, he affirms, he is taking his stand on the texts of the conciliar decree Gaudium et Spes (cf. Edith Oelamare’s article in Rivarol, 13 October 1977).

The facts show us no sign of a return to Tradition, but much to the contrary, a continual establishing of ecumenism and Marxism. The most inconceivable innovations are left without public reprimand, whereas only those who maintain the Catholic Faith are hounded down and condemned.

In the face of the constant progress of the auto demolition of the Church, the Mystical Body of Our Lord, which is the living Church, reacts and demands that the hierarchy help it to survive, not die. Numerous members of the Mystical Body go to extraordinary lengths in order to survive, doing all they can to find faithful priests and bishops who will give them the sources of life.

In such a predicament, it is the law of survival which commands, and no positive law, even ecclesiastical, can contradict this primary and fundamental law. Authority, law in the Church, as in all society, is at the service of life, and ultimately supernatural life, which is life eternal.

It is not surprising that, when authority fails or is used to annihilate that which it ought to be building up, the social body finds itself crippled, and that the reaction takes place according to different criteria which can be somewhat divergent. The important thing is to save the Catholic Faith inscribed in our catechisms, to save the means of living it by the grace of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the Sacraments, to save the means of passing it on to future generations through Catholic schools and seminaries.

This is what we are trying to do through our seminaries and priories.

The appeal of the faithful is ever more widespread. Besides Europe and North America, South America, Australia, the Indies and Japan are also calling out to us.

Would that this appeal might be heard by Rome and by a great many bishops, and that they might respond to this expectation through the means which the Church has always used!

As for us, we are trying to respond through the means Providence places at our disposal: our forty priests and 140 seminarians of every nationality, our Brothers, our Sisters, our twenty houses, of which three are seminaries, all founded within eight years, are a proof that God is with us as our Helper.

This year we must find larger premises for our German-language seminary and also for our seminary in the United States. The growing number of vocations makes this obligatory. Thirty-nine new students have entered Ecône, among them eight Americans, five Italians, and three Argentinians. Weissbad has received seven new-comers and the American seminary, sixteen.

Six have entered the Brothers’ Novitiate, and there are eight postulants for the Sisterhood as well as two oblates. In this connection we are taking part in the foundation of a Cistercian monastery for women, and also of a Carmel according to the most faithful traditions. Girls and women aspiring to a contemplative life can obtain the addresses of these two foundations by writing to us here at Ecône.

This is why we ask you, dear friends and benefactors, to continue helping us by your prayers and your gifts, persuaded moreover, that the difficulties with Rome will end well in a solution. But nothing can be done without a redoubling of fervour in prayer, in the Sacrifice of the Mass by the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin. She alone will vanquish all the obstacles which impede the Reign of her Divine Son from being extended over families and societies for the salvation of souls.

We remind you that the Rosary is recited every evening at seven o’clock in all our houses for the intentions of friends and benefactors living and dead. Unite with us in this supplication.

And may God bless you.

+ Marcel Lefebvre
[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - March 1977
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:37 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre

Letters to Friends and Benefactors

19 March 1977

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

We are going on with our work and with God’s blessing we will continue to go on, for Tradition cannot cease to transmit Revelation until the end of time. God has revealed Himself to us in Our Lord Jesus Christ. This Revelation is today what it was in the past and what it will always be. We must receive it such as it has been given to us.

The Revelation was brought to an end with the last of the Apostles in order that we might fix our gaze on Jesus Who is “the author and finisher of faith” (Heb. 12: 2).

Saint Paul summarises this Revelation which he himself also received in these words: “I judged not myself to know anything among you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).

The Cross of Jesus summarises the whole of our faith and therefore the whole of our conduct, all of our attitudes, our interior and exterior life. It not only teaches us the truths necessary for our salvation, but also the way to salvation and the combat, which must be waged to achieve it. It shows the way to wage this combat against all that is opposed to our salvation, whether it be within or around us. The Cross is therefore the leaven and the law of Christian civilisation which is that of the salvation of souls by Jesus crucified.

To attempt to diminish in one way or another the teachings revealed by the Cross under the pretext of the historical development of society, of historical conscience, evolution, etc. is to close the way of salvation and deliver men up to other men, with no divine hope, light or life. It is to make this world the antechamber of hell.

This is what is being prepared for us by the elimination of any idea of combat against error due to religious liberty, or against atheism, laicism, and communism. Likewise by an ecumenism which delivers the Church into the hands of her enemies, and lack of opposition to sin by wiping out law in favor of conscience.

This new attitude of the Church authorities is a negation of the Cross of Our Lord. To ask us to follow this attitude, which lay under the surface during the Council, and which is clearly expressed in the reforms and practice of the Conciliar Church, is as much as to ask us to deny Christ crucified. We cannot do so .

By the grace of God our seminarians and young priests understand these things well and do not wish to abandon the crucified Jesus either. They demonstrate this by their dress, their daily lives and their preaching: but essentially and above all by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Once again this year we have numerous candidates for the seminary and our novitiates to the Brotherhood and Sisterhood. The number of our houses continues to multiply as we now have one in the province of Quebec in Canada and another in Geneva. To satisfy all the requests for priests which we receive it would be necessary to ordain a hundred a year! This year, God willing, fourteen priests and twenty sub-deacons will be ordained. Five brothers as well as five nuns will receive the habit. Three of the sisters will make their profession.

We hope that we will soon be able to announce that the foundations of the seminary chapel at Ecône have been laid! This will be a very important enterprise. We know that we can count on you to help the seminary with a chapel worthy of the honour and adoration that we must give to Our Lord.

Above all we must pray and do penance to ask Our Lord, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, to deliver Holy Church from those who wish at all costs to ruin her and arrive at the great apostasy.

In gratitude for all that you are doing in favour or our work for a true renovation of the Church, may God bless you!

+Marcel Lefebvre
Feast of St. Joseph.
[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - October 1976
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:35 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre
Letters to Friends and Benefactors
7 October 1976

Dear Friends and Benefactors:

Since the appearance of our last letter, at Easter-time, so many more events have marked out of the history of our work which has since become a centre of universal interest: yet another proof, if such was needed, that the people of our time can still be stirred by religious problems and that these problems have a much more important impact on our society than is generally believed.

At the beginning of these events a great many among you have shared their sorrow, their sympathy, and sometimes their worries with us. All have assured us of their fervent prayers. We have received thousands of letters and telegrams and it has been impossible for us to reply to each individually. You will find, therefore, in these lines the expression of our profound gratitude. May they also be a source of encouragement and hope for you.

To help you make those persons who know little about us understand the reasons for our attitude, we insist on two things which seem to us to be very important: the disciplinary aspect and the theological aspect, or the aspect of Faith.

One does not condemn without judgement and one cannot judge if the cause cannot be given a hearing in the forms which assure its perfect and free defense before a tribunal. But we have been condemned without judgement, without being able to plead our cause, and without appearing before any tribunal. From this arbitrary and tyrannical condemnation of the Society of Saint Pius X and its Seminary follow the interdiction of Ordinations and the suspension which concerns us personally. Considering the evident nullity of the first sentence, we do not see how the sentences which are its follow-up can be valid. That is why we are not taking any account of the decisions of an authority which abuses its power.

If it was only a question of a juridical problem and if the unjust sentences only concerned us personally, we would submit in a penitential spirit. However, to this juridical aspect is attached a much more serious motive, that of the safe-guard of our Faith.

In fact, these decisions constrain us to submit ourselves to a new orientation in the Church, an orientation which is the result of an “historic compromise” between Truth and Error.

This “historic compromise” was brought about in the Church by the acceptance of Liberal ideas which were put into operation after the Council by the men of the Liberal Church who succeeded in taking the reins of power in the Church.

It is put into concrete form by the dialogue with the Protestants which has led to the liturgical reform and to the decrees concerning inter-communion and mixed marriages. Dialogue with Communists has resulted in the giving over of entire nations to Socialism or to Marxism, such as Cuba, Viet Nam, and Portugal. Soon it will be Spain, if not Italy. Dialogue with Freemasons has concluded in liberty of worship, liberty of conscience, and freedom of thought which means the suffocation of Truth and morality by error and immorality.

It is in this betrayal of the Church that they would like us to collaborate by bringing us into line with this orientation which has so often been condemned by the Successors of Peter, and by preceding Councils.

We refuse this compromise in order to be faithful to our Faith, our Baptism, and our unique King, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is why we will continue to ordain those whom Providence leads to our Seminary, after having given them a formation which is completely in conformity with the doctrine of the Church, and faithful to the Magisterium of the Successors of Peter.

This year we should have fourteen new priests and we are accepting thirty-five new seminarians, of whom four will be postulants to the brotherhood. We have the great pleasure of welcoming several Italians and Belgians. All of these candidates are on the retreat which starts the academic year.

During this time our priories are being slowly fitted out. Three of these will become active during 1977. We are being asked for everywhere. The groups of faithful Catholics are growing considerably and the priests are not yet numerous enough.

We are greatly counting on your spiritual and material support to permit us to continue the most necessary work for the renovation of souls, the formation of true priests, not to mention that of brothers and nuns.

On 26 September last, two brothers made their profession and two received the habit, while on 29 September we had the pleasure of receiving the profession of Sister Mary Michael, who is of Australian origin and is the first nun of the Society, as well as the blessing of the habit of three American postulants. Eight new women presented themselves to the postulancy on 20 September last.

Fortunately, we are not alone in maintaining the holy Tradition of the Church in this domain. The novitiates of men and women multiply in spite of the trials which they are suffering from those who should rather bless them.

With the help of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph we hope that the end of this persecution that we are unjustly suffering is forth-coming. God will not abandon His Church even if he allows Her to suffer the Passion of Her Divine Founder.

That in every domain we may make Our Lord Jesus Christ to reign!

This is our aim.

May God bless you by the mediation of Our Lady of the Rosary.

+ Marcel Lefebvre


[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - March 1976
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:34 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Archbishop Lefebvre
Letter to Friends and Benefactors

7 March 1976

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Amidst trials and opposition our Work goes serenely ahead, trusting in God and based on the Faith which does not change and cannot be shaken.

On April 3rd there will be 11 more deacons at Ecône, and many seminarians will on the same day be receiving Minor Orders. Together with the dozen seminarians doing military service, Ecône now counts 110 seminarians. We already have some 40 applications for next October.

In Weissbad, as in Armada in the United States, applications are so numerous that both houses will soon be filled.

Our Sisters in Albano include four Novices and five Postulants. The latter will receive the habit on Easter Sunday, and if one counts the four Americans who will be joining them soon, plus the ten or so applicants for October, then the House where they train will already be gathering together some 23 aspirants to the religious life.

They will be moving to France in October because the house at Albano, originally intended for young priests, will be occupied by the newly ordained sixth-year students.

Our Brothers have two Novices and seven Postulants. They will be gladly received in our various houses, increasing in number: four in the USA (Armada, New York, San José and Houston); two in England (Highclere and Sanderstead); one in Brussels; five in France, one in Germany (Munich); three in Switzerland; one in Italy (Albano).

It is thanks to your prayers and your generosity that in a year’s time we shall be able, please God, to have 26 priests at your disposal: 13 are already at work training students or ministering to souls.

How does it come about that a Work thus resembling all those of its kind existing before the Second Vatican Council should be harshly and pitilessly hounded down by the Roman Authorities, unjustly and illegally suppressed, accused of breaking off communion with Rome, etc.?

The reason is precisely that we are continuing to believe and act as the Church always has believed and acted. Hence the truth is that modern Rome has changed. And yet it was clear to see where the novelties already repeatedly condemned by the Magisterium of the Church would lead.

The balance-sheet for the ten years following the Council is catastrophic in all departments. Churchmen, herein following numerous bad examples, thought that they could replace what Our Lord instituted with institutions better suited to the modern world, forgetting that Jesus Christ is God “yesterday, today and for ever” (Heb. 13:8), and that His Work is suited to all times and to all men.

Saint Pius X condemned them in his masterly Encyclical Pascendi. Such innovators pervert the faith, bring supernatural means down to the level of man and destroy the hierarchical constitution of the Church.

For a long time now we have been warned by the Popes. Pius IX had the Documents of the Alta Vendita of the Carbonari published in which we read:

Quote:“In a hundred years’ time…bishops and priests will think they are marching behind the banner of the keys of Peter when in fact they will be following our flag.” (Masonic Infiltrations in the Church, Barbier.)

Fogazzaro at the beginning of the century, founder of the Modernist lodge of Milan, used to say: “
The Reform will have to be brought about in the name of obedience.” (The Church under Occupation, Ploncard d’ Assac.)

Now, when we hear in Rome that he who was the heart and soul of the liturgical reform is a Freemason, we may think that he is not the only one. The veil covering over the greatest hoax ever to have mystified the clergy and baffled the faithful is doubtless beginning to be torn asunder.

Now is the time then to hold more faithfully than ever to Tradition and the unchanging Church, and to pray to God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to St. Michael the Archangel to free the Church from the scandalous occupation of which She is victim.

“This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.” (I John 5:4.)

May God bless you through the intercession of His Holy Mother, and I wish you all a Holy Eastertide!

†Marcel Lefebvre


[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Letters to Friends and Benefactors - September 1975
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:29 AM - Forum: Letters to Friends and Benefactors 1975 - 1983 - No Replies

Letter to Friends and Benefactors
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3 September 1975

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

It seems to me that the moment has come to bring to your knowledge the latest events concerning Ecône, and the attitude which in conscience before God we believe we must take in these grave circumstances.

As far as the appeal to the Apostolic Signature is concerned: the last attempt on the part of my lawyer, to find out from the Cardinals forming the Supreme Court exactly how the Pope intervened in the proceedings being brought against us, was stopped in its tracks by a hand-written letter from Cardinal Villot to Cardinal Staffa, President of the Supreme Court, ordering him to forbid any appeal.

As for my audience with the Holy Father, it has likewise been refused by Cardinal Villot. I shall obtain an audience only when my work has disappeared and when I have conformed my way of thinking to that which reigns supreme in today’s reformed Church.

However, the most important event is undoubtedly the signed letter from the Holy Father (of 29 June) presented as the Pope’s own handwriting by the Papal Nuncio in Bern, but in fact typewritten, and which takes up again in a new form the arguments or rather the statements of the Cardinal’s letter. This I received on 10 July last. It calls on me to make a public act of submission “to the Council, to the post-conciliar reforms, and to the orientations to which the Pope himself is committed (orientations qui engagent le pape luimême).”

A second letter from the Pope which I received on 10 September urgently required an answer to the first letter.

This time, through no desire of my own, my only aim being to serve the Church in the humble and very consoling task of giving Her true priests devoted to Her service, I found myself confronted with the Church authorities at their top-most level on earth, the Pope. So I wrote an answer to the Holy Father, stating my submission to the successor of Peter in his essential function, that of faithfully transmitting to us the deposit of the faith.

If we consider the facts from a purely material point of view, it is a trifling matter: the suppression of a Society which has barely come into existence, with no more than a few dozen members, the closing down of a Seminary – how little it is in reality, hardly worth anyone’s attention.

On the other hand if for a moment we heed the reactions stirred up in Catholic and even Protestant, Orthodox and atheist circles, moreover throughout the entire world, the countless articles in the world press, reactions of enthusiasm and true hope, reactions of spite and opposition, reactions of mere curiosity, we cannot help thinking, even against our will, that Ecône is posing a problem reaching far beyond the modest confines of the Society and its Seminary, a deep and unavoidable problem that cannot be pushed to one side with a sweep of the hand, nor solved by any formal order, from whatever authority it may come. For the problem of Ecône is the problem of thousands and millions of Christian consciences, distressed, divided and torn for the past ten years by the agonising dilemma: whether to obey and risk losing one’s faith, or disobey and keep one’s faith intact; whether to obey and join in the destruction of the Church, whether to accept the reformed Liberal Church, or to go on belonging to the Catholic Church.

It is because Ecône is at the heart of this crucial problem, seldom till now posed with such fullness or gravity, that so many people are looking to this house which has resolutely made its choice of belonging to the eternal Church and of refusing to belong to the reformed Liberal Church.

And now the Church, through her official representatives, is taking up a position against Ecône’s choice, thus condemning in public the traditional training of priests, in the name of the Second Vatican Council, in the name of post-conciliar reforms, and in the name of post-conciliar orientations to which the Pope himself is committed.

How can such opposition to Tradition in the name of a Council and its practical application be explained? Can one reasonably oppose, should one in reality oppose, a Council and its reforms? What is more, can one and should one oppose the orders of a hierarchy commanding one to follow the Council and all the official post-conciliar changes?

That is the grave problem, today, after ten post-conciliar years, confronting our conscience, as a result of the condemnation of Ecône.

One cannot give a prudent answer to these questions without making a rapid survey of the history of Liberalism and Catholic Liberalism over the last centuries. The present can only be explained by the past.

Principles of Liberalism

Let us first define in a few words the Liberalism of which the most typical historical example is Protestantism. Liberalism pretends to free man from any constraint not wished or accepted by himself.

First liberation: frees the intelligence from any objective truth imposed on it. The Truth must be accepted as differing according to the individual or group of individuals, so it is necessarily divided up. The making of the Truth and the search for it go on all the time. Nobody can claim to have exclusive or complete possession of it. It is obvious how contrary that is to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.

Second liberation: frees the faith from any dogmas imposed on us, formulated in a definitive fashion, and which the intelligence and will must submit to. Dogmas, according to the Liberal, must be submitted to the test of reason and science, constantly, because science is constantly progressing. Hence it is impossible to admit any revealed truth defined once and for all. It will be noticed how opposed such a principle is to the Revelation of Our Lord and His divine authority.

Lastly, Third liberation: frees us from the law. The law, according, to the Liberal, limits freedom and imposes on it a restraint first moral and then physical. The law and its restraint are an affront to human dignity and human conscience. Conscience is the supreme law. The Liberal confuses liberty with license. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the living Law, as He is the Word of God; it will be realised once more how deep runs the opposition between the Liberal and Our Lord.

Consequences of Liberalism

The consequences of Liberal principles are to destroy the philosophy of being and to refuse all definition of things, so as to shut oneself into nominalism or existentialism and evolutionism. Everything is subject to mutation and change.

A second consequence, as grave as the first, if not more so, is to deny the supernatural, and hence original sin, justification by grace, the true reason for the Incarnation, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Church, the Priesthood. Everything Our Lord accomplished gets falsified; which works out in practical terms as a Protestant view of the Liturgy of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments whose object is no longer to apply the merits of the Redemption to souls, to each single soul, in order to impart to it the grace of divine life and to prepare it for eternal life through its belonging to the Mystical Body of Our Lord, but whose central purpose from now on is the belonging to a human community of a religious character. The whole liturgical Reform reflects this change of direction.

Another consequence: the denying of all personal authority as sharing in the authority of God. Human dignity demands that man submit only to what he agrees to submit to. Since, however, no society can live without authority, man will accept only authority approved by the majority, because that represents authority being delegated by the largest number of individuals to a designated person or group of persons, such authority being never more than delegated.

Now these principles and their consequences, requiring freedom of thought, freedom of teaching, freedom of conscience, freedom to choose one’s own religion, these false freedoms which presuppose the secular state, the separation of Church and State, have been, ever since the Council of Trent, steadily condemned by the successors of Peter, starting with the Council of Trent itself.

Condemnation of Liberalism by the Magisterium of the Church

It is the Church’s opposition to Protestant Liberalism which gave rise to the Council of Trent, and hence the considerable importance of this dogmatic Council in the struggle against Liberal errors, in the defense of the Truth and the Faith, in particular in the codifying of the Liturgy of the Mass and the Sacraments, in the definitions concerning justification by grace.

Let us list a few of the most important documents, completing and confirming the Council of Trent’s doctrine:

- The Bull Auctorem fidei of Pius VI against the Council of Pistoia.

- The Encyclical Mirari vos of Gregory XVI against Lamennais.

- The Encyclical Quanta cura and the Syllabus of Pius IX.

- The Encyclical Immortale Dei of Leo XIII condemning the secularisation of states.

- The Papal Acts of Saint Pius X against the Sillon and Modernism, and especially the Decree Lamentabili and the Anti-Modernist Oath.

- The Encyclical Divini Redemptoris of Pius XI against Communism.

- The Encyclical Humani generis of Pius XII.

Thus Liberalism and Liberal Catholicism have always been condemned by Peter’s successors in the name of the Gospel and apostolic Tradition.

This obvious conclusion is of capital importance in deciding what attitude to adopt in order to show that we are unfailingly at one with the Church’s Magisterium and with Peter’s successors. Nobody is more attached than we are to Peter’s successor reigning today when he echoes the apostolic Traditions and all his predecessors’ teachings. For it is the very definition of Peter’s successor to guard the deposit of Faith and hand it faithfully down. Here is what Pope Pius IX proclaimed on the subject in Pastor aeternus:

Quote:For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter, that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might individually keep and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith delivered through the Apostles.

Influence of Liberalism on Vatican II

Now we come to the question which so concerns us: How is it possible that anyone can, in the name of the Second Vatican Council, oppose the centuries-old apostolic traditions, and so bring into question the Catholic Priesthood itself, and its essential act, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

A grave and tragic ambiguity hangs over the Second Vatican Council which is presented by the Popes themselves3 in terms favouring that ambiguity: for instance, the Council of the aggiornamento, the “bringing up-to-date” of the Church, the pastoral non-dogmatic Council, as the Pope again called it just a month ago.

This way of presenting the Council, in the Church and the world as they were in 1962, ran very grave risks which the Council did not succeed in avoiding. It was easy to interpret these words in such a way that the Council was opened wide to the errors of Liberalism. A Liberal minority among the Council Fathers, and above all among the Cardinals, was very active, very well organised and fully supported by a constellation of Modernist theologians and numerous secretariats. Take for example the enormous flow of printed matter from the I.D.O.C., subsidised by the Bishops’ Conferences of Germany and Holland.

Everything was in their favour, for their demanding the instant adaptation of the Church to modern man, in other words man who wishes to be freed from all shackles, for their presenting the Church as out of touch and impotent, for their saying “mea culpa” on behalf of their predecessors. The Church is presented as being as guilty as the Protestants and Orthodox for the divisions of old. She must ask present-day Protestants for forgiveness.

The Traditional Church is guilty in Her wealth, in her triumphalism; the Council Fathers feel guilty at being out of the world, at not belonging to the world; they are already blushing at their Episcopal insignia, soon they will be ashamed of their cassocks.

Soon this atmosphere of liberation will spread to all fields and it will show in the spirit of collegiality which will veil the shame felt at exercising a personal authority so opposed to the spirit of modern man, let us say Liberal man. The Pope and Bishops will exercise their authority collegially in Synods, Bishops’ Conferences, Priests’ Councils. Finally the Church is opened wide to the principles of the modern world.

The Liturgy too will be Liberalized, adapted, subjected to experiments by the Bishops’ Conferences.

Religious liberty, ecumenism, theological research, the revision of Canon Law will all soften down the triumphalism of a Church which used to proclaim herself the only ark of salvation! The Truth is to be found divided up among all religions, joint research will carry the universal religious community forward around the Church.

Geneva Protestants, Marsaudon in his book Ecumenism as Seen by a Freemason, Liberals like Fesquet, are triumphant. At last the era of Catholic states will disappear. All religions equal before the Law! “The Church free in the free State,” Lamennais’ formula! Now the Church is in touch with the modern world! The Church’s privileged status before the Law and all the documents cited above turn into museum pieces for an age that has out-grown them! Read the beginning of the Schema on The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), the description of how modern times are changing; read the conclusions, they are pure Liberalism. Read the Declaration on Religious Freedom and compare it with the Encyclical Mirari vos of Gregory XVI, or with Quanta cura of Pius IX, and you can recognize the contradiction almost word for word.4

To say that Liberal ideas had no influence on the Second Vatican Council is to fly in the face of the evidence. The internal and external evidence both make that influence abundantly clear.

Influence of Liberalism on the post-conciliar reforms and trends

And if we pass on from the Council to the reforms and changes of direction since the Council the proof is so clear as to be blinding. Now, let us take careful note that in the letters from Rome calling upon us to make a public act of submission, the Council and its subsequent reforms and orientations are always presented as being three parts of one whole. Hence all those people are gravely mistaken who talk of a wrong interpretation of the Council, as though the Council in itself was perfect and could not be interpreted along the lines of the subsequent reforms and changes.

Clearer than any written account of the Council, the official reforms and changes that have followed in its wake show how the Council is officially meant to be interpreted. Now on this point we need not elaborate: the facts speak for themselves, alas all too eloquently.

What still remains intact of the pre-conciliar Church? Where has the self-destruction (as Pope Paul called it) not been at work? Catechetics – seminaries – religious congregations – liturgy of the Mass and the Sacraments – constitution of the Church – concept of the Priesthood. Liberal ideas have wrought havoc all round and are taking the Church far beyond Protestant ideas, to the amazement of the Protestants and to the disgust of the Orthodox.

One of the most horrifying practical applications of these Liberal principles is the opening wide of the Church to embrace all errors and in particular the most monstrous error ever devised by Satan: Communism. Communism now has official access to the Vatican, and its world revolution is made markedly easier by the official non-resistance of the Church, nay, by her regular support of the revolution, in spite of the despairing warnings by cardinals who have been through Communist jails.

The refusal of this pastoral Council to issue any official condemnation of Communism alone suffices to disgrace it for all time, when one thinks of the tens of millions of martyrs, of people having their personalities scientifically destroyed in the psychiatric hospitals, serving as guinea-pigs for all sorts of experiments. And the pastoral Council which brought together 2,350 Bishops said not a word, in spite of the 450 signatures of Fathers demanding a condemnation, which I myself took to Mgr. Felici, Secretary of the Council, together with Mgr. Sigaud, Archbishop of Diamantina.

Need the analysis be pushed any further to reach its conclusion? These lines seem to me to be enough to justify one’s refusing to follow this Council, these reforms, these changes in all their Liberalism and Neo-modernism.

We should like to reply to the objection that will no doubt be raised under the heading of obedience, and of the jurisdiction held by those who seek to impose this Liberalization. Our reply is: In the Church, law and jurisdiction are at the service of the Faith, the primary reason for the Church. There is no law, no jurisdiction which can impose on us a lessening of our Faith.

We accept this jurisdiction and this law when they are at the service of the Faith. But on what basis can they be judged? Tradition, the Faith taught for 2,000 years. Every Catholic can and must resist anyone in the Church who lays hands on his Faith, the Faith of the eternal Church, relying on his childhood catechism.

Defending his Faith is the prime duty of every Christian, all the more of every priest and bishop. Wherever an order carries with it a danger of corrupting Faith and morals, it becomes a grave duty not to obey it.

It is because we believe that our whole Faith is endangered by the post-Conciliar reforms and changes that it is our duty to disobey, and to maintain the traditions of our Faith. The greatest service we can render to the Catholic Church, to Peter’s successor, to the salvation of souls and of our own, is to say “No” to the reformed Liberal Church, because we believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God made Man, Who is neither Liberal nor reformable.

One final objection: the Council is a Council like the others, therefore it should be followed like the others. It is like them in its ecumenicity and in the manner of its being called, yes; like them in its object, which is what is essential, no. A non-dogmatic Council need not be infallible; it is only infallible when it repeats traditional dogmatic truths.

How do you justify your attitude towards the Pope?

We are the keenest defenders of his authority as Peter’s successor, but our attitude is governed by the words of Pius IX quoted above. We applaud the Pope when he echoes Tradition and is faithful to his mission of handing down the deposit of the Faith. We accept changes in close conformity with Tradition and the Faith. We do not feel bound by any obedience to accept changes going against Tradition and threatening our Faith. In that case, we take up position behind the papal documents listed above.

We do not see how, in conscience, a Catholic layman, priest or bishop can adopt any other attitude towards the grievous crisis the Church is going through. Nihil innovetur nisi quod traditum est – innovate nothing outside Tradition.

May Jesus and Mary help us to remain faithful to our episcopal promises! “Call not true what is false, call not good what is evil.” That is what we were told at our consecration.

†Marcel Lefebvre

On the Feast of Saint Pius X

A few lines added to the above document will inform you of how our work is progressing.

A dozen seminarians left us at the end of the academic year, some of them because of the repeated attacks on us by the hierarchy. Ten more have been called up for military service. On the other hand, we have 25 new seminarians entering at Ecône, 5 at Weissbad in the Appenzell Canton, and 6 at Armada in the USA.

Moreover, we have five postulant brothers and eight postulant sisters. You can see that young people, by their sense of the Faith, know where to find the sources of the graces necessary for their vocation. We are preparing for the future: in the United States by building a chapel at Armada with 18 rooms for seminarians; in England by buying a larger house for the four priests now dispensing true doctrine, the true Sacrifice and the Sacraments. In France, we have acquired our first Priory, at St. Michel-en-Brenne. These priories, including one house for priests and brothers, another for sisters and a house of 25 to 30 rooms for the spiritual exercises, will be sources of prayer-life and sanctification for lay-folk and priests, and centres of missionary activity. In Switzerland at Weissbad, a Society of St. Charles Borromeo is putting rooms at our disposal in a rented building in which private lessons are being organized for German-speaking students.

That is why we are counting on the support of your prayers and generosity in order to continue, despite the trials, this training of priests indispensable to the life of the Church. We are being attacked neither by the Church nor by the Successor of Peter, but by churchmen steeped in the errors of Liberalism and occupying high positions, who are making use of their power to make the Church of the past disappear, and to install in its place a new Church which no longer has anything to do with Catholicism.

Therefore we must save the true Church and Peter’s successor from this diabolical assault which calls to mind the prophecies of the Book of Revelation.

Let us pray unceasingly to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the Holy Angels, St. Pius X, to come to our help so that the Catholic Faith may triumph over errors. Let us remain united in this Faith, let us avoid disputations, let us love one another, let us pray for those who persecute us and let us render good for evil.

And may God bless you.
†Marcel Lefebvre

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]

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  Fr. Calmel - Of the Church and the Pope
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:17 AM - Forum: Fr. Roger Calmel - No Replies

by Fr. Roger Calmel, O.P.

This essay by Fr. Roger Calmel, O.P. (1914-75) helps us in these difficult times to preserve our love of the Church. More than 30 years after its first publication, this article retains all its relevance, so much so that it even seems to have been written for our time, in which the crisis in the Church deepens at an unprecedented pace. This essay will help the reader to think clearly, keep the Faith, and maintain serenity in the troubled times we are navigating.

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Fr. Roger Calmel

“My country has hurt me,”wrote a young poet in 1944 during the purge1when the head of state [Charles De Gaulle] implacably pursued the sinister job that had been in the works for more than four years. My country hurt me: this is not a truth that one shouts from the rooftop. It is rather a secret one whispers to oneself, with great sorrow, while trying nonetheless to keep hope. When I was in Spain during the 1950’s, I remember the extreme reserve with which friends, regardless of their political allegiance, would let escape certain details about “our war.” Their country was still hurting them. But when it is no longer a question of one’s temporal motherland, when it is a question, not of the Church considered in herself, for from this perspective she is holy and indefectible, but of the visible head of the Church; when it is question of the current holder2of the Roman primacy, how shall we come to grips with it, and what is the right tone to adopt as we acknowledge to ourselves in a low voice: Ah! Rome has hurt me!

Undoubtedly, the publications of the “good” Catholic press will not fail to inform us that, in the last 2,000 years, the Lord’s Church has never known such a splendid pontificate! But who takes these pronouncements of the establishment’s hallelujah choir seriously? When we see what is being taught and practiced throughout the Church under today’s pontificate, or rather when we observe what has ceased to be taught and practiced, and how an apparent Church, which passes itself off as the real Church, no longer knows how to baptize children, bury the dead, worthily celebrate holy Mass, absolve sins in confession; when we apprehensively watch the spread of Protestantizing influences swelling like a contaminated tide without the holder of supreme power energetically giving the order to lock the sluice gate; in a word, when we face up to what is happening, we are obliged to say: Ah! Rome has hurt me.

And we all know that it involves something other than the iniquities, in a sense private, which the holders of the Roman primacy were too often wont to commit during the course of history. In those cases the victims, more or less maltreated, could recover from it relatively easily by being more vigilant over their personal sanctification. We must always watch over our sanctification. Only, and this is what was never seen in the past to such a degree, the iniquity allowed to happen by the one who today occupies the throne of Peter consists in his abandoning the very means of sanctification to the maneuvers of the innovators and the negators. He allows sound doctrine, the sacraments, the Mass, to be systematically undermined. This throws us into a great danger. If sanctification has not been rendered all together impossible, it is much more difficult. It is also much more urgent.

At such a perilous juncture, is it still possible for the simple faithful, the little sheep of the immense flock of Jesus Christ and His vicar not to lose heart, not to become the prey of an immense apparatus which progressively reduces them to changing their faith, worship, religious habit, and religious life-in a word, to changing their religion?

Ah! Rome has hurt me! It would be truly meet and just to repeat gently to oneself the words of truth, the simple words of supernatural doctrine learned in catechism, so as not to add to the harm, but rather to let oneself be profoundly persuaded by the teaching of Revelation, that one day Rome will be healed; that the impostor Church will soon be officially unmasked. Suddenly it will crumple into dust, because its principal strength comes from the fact that its intrinsic lie passes for truth, since it has never been effectively disavowed from above. In the midst of such great distress, one would like to speak in words that are not out of phase with the mysterious, wordless discourse that the Holy Ghost murmurs to the heart of the Church.

But where shall I begin? Doubtlessly, by recalling the first truth touching the dominion of Jesus Christ over His Church. He wanted a Church having at its head the Bishop of Rome, who is His visible vicar and at the same time the Bishop of the bishops and of the entire flock. He conferred upon him the prerogative of the rock so that the edifice might never collapse. He prayed that he at least, among all the bishops, not make shipwreck of the faith, so that, having converted after the failures from which he would not necessarily be preserved, he confirm his brethren in the faith; or, if it is not himself in person who confirms his brethren, that it be one of his closest successors.

Such is undoubtedly the first consoling thought that the Holy Ghost suggests to our hearts in these desolate days in which Rome has been at least partially invaded by darkness: there is no Church without the infallible vicar of Christ endowed with the primacy. Moreover, whatever the miseries, even in the religious domain, of this visible and temporary vicar of Jesus Christ, it is still Jesus Himself who governs His Church, and who governs His vicar in the government of the Church; who governs in such wise that His vicar cannot engage his supreme authority in the upheavals or betrayals that would change the religion. For, by virtue of His sovereignly efficacious Passion, the divine power of Christ’s regency in heaven reaches that far. He conducts His Church both from within and from without, and He has dominion over the antagonistic world.

Modernist Strategy

The strategy of modernism has been elaborated in two stages: firstly, to get heretical parallel authorities whose strings they pull to be mixed with the regular hierarchy; then, engage in a self-styled pastoral activity for universal renewal which either omits or systematically falsifies doctrinal truth, which refuses the sacraments, or which makes the rites doubtful. The great cunning of the modernists is to use this pastoral approach from Hell, both to transmute the holy doctrine confided by the Word of God to His hierarchical Church, and then to alter or even annul the sacred signs, givers of grace, of which the Church is the faithful dispenser.

Indeed, there is a head of the Church who is always infallible, always impeccable, always holy, with no interruption or halt in his work of sanctification. And that head is the one head, for all the others, even the highest, merely hold their authority by him and for him. Now, this head, holy and without stain, absolutely separated from sinners and elevated above the heavens, is not the Pope; it is he of whom the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks so magnificently; it is the Sovereign High Priest, Jesus Christ.

Papal Authority

Before ascending into heaven and becoming invisible to our eyes, Jesus, our Redeemer by the Cross, wanted to establish for His Church, above and beyond numerous particular ministers, a unique universal minister, a visible vicar, who alone holds supreme jurisdiction. He heaped him with prerogatives:

Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mt. 16:18-19).

Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs....Feed my sheep (Jn. 21:16-18).

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren (Lk.22:32).

Now, if the Pope is the visible vicar of Jesus, who has ascended into the invisible heavens, he is nothing more than vicar: vices gerens, he holds the place but he remains another. The grace that gives life to the mystical Body does not derive from the Pope. Grace, for the Pope as for us, derives from the one Lord Jesus Christ. The same holds for the light of Revelation. He has a singular role as the guardian of the means of grace, of the seven sacraments as well as of revealed truth. He is specially assisted to be the guardian and faithful servant. Yet, for his authority to receive a privileged assistance in its exercise, it must not fail to be exerted. Besides, if he is preserved from error when he engages his authority in such a way that it is infallible, he can err in other cases. But should he do wrong in matters that do not engage papal infallibility, that does not prevent the unique head of the Church, the invisible High Priest, from continuing the governance of His Church; it changes neither the efficacy of His grace nor the truth of His law. It cannot make Him powerless to limit the failings of His visible vicar nor to procure, without too much delay, a new and worthy Pope, to repair what his predecessor allowed to be spoiled or destroyed, for the duration of the insufficiencies, weaknesses, and even partial betrayals of a Pope do not exceed the duration of his mortal existence.

Since He has returned to heaven, Jesus has chosen and procured 263 Popes. Some, just a small number, have been such faithful vicars that we invoke them as friends of God and holy intercessors. A still smaller number have fallen into very serious breaches. Yet the great number have been suitable. None of them, while still Pope, has betrayed nor could betray to the point of explicitly teaching heresy with the fullness of his authority. This being the situation of each Pope and of the succession of Popes in relation to the head of the Church who reigns in heaven, the weaknesses of one Pope must not make us forget in the least the solidity and the sanctity of our Savior’s dominion, nor prevent us from seeing the power of Jesus and His wisdom, who holds in His hand even the inadequate Popes, and who contains their inadequacy within strict bounds.

But to have this confidence in the sovereign, invisible head of the Church without straining to deny the serious failings from which, despite his prerogatives, the visible vicar, the Bishop of Rome, the key-bearer of the kingdom of heaven, is not necessarily exempt; in order to place in Jesus this realistic trust which does not evade the mystery of the successor of Peter with his heaven-guaranteed privileges and his human fallibility; so that this overwhelming distress caused by the occupant of the papacy might be subsumed in the theological virtue of hope we place in the Sovereign Priest, obviously our interior life must be centered on Jesus Christ, and not the Pope. It goes without saying that our interior life, while taking into account the Pope and the hierarchy, must be established, not in the hierarchy and in the Pope, but in the Divine Pontiff, in the priest which is the Word Incarnate, Redeemer, on whom the visible, supreme vicar depends even more than the other priests: More than the others, for he is in the hand of Jesus Christ in view of a function without equivalent among the others. More than any other, and in a more eminent and unique way, he cannot leave off confirming his brethren in the faith-he or his successor.

The Church is not the mystical body of the Pope; the Church with the Pope is the mystical Body of Christ. When the interior life of Christians is more and more focused on Jesus Christ, they do not despair, even when they suffer an agony over the failings of a Pope, be it an Honorius I or the rival Popes of the Middle Ages, or be it, at the extreme limit, a Pope who fails according to the new possibilities of failing offered by modernism. When Jesus Christ is the principle and soul of the interior life of Christians, they do not feel the need to lie to themselves about the failures of a Pope in order to remain assured of his prerogatives; they know that these failures will never reach such a degree that Jesus would cease to govern His Church because He would have been effectively prevented by His vicar. He would yet hold such an erring Pope in His hand, preventing him from ever engaging his authority for the perversion of the faith which he received from above.

True Obedience

An interior life centered as it should be on Jesus Christ and not on the Pope would not exclude the Pope, or else it would cease to be a Christian interior life. An interior life focused as it should be on the Lord Jesus thus includes the vicar of Jesus Christ and obedience to this vicar, but God served first; that is to say, that this obedience, far from being unconditional, is always practiced in the light of theological faith and the natural law.

We live by and for Jesus Christ, thanks to His Church, which is governed by the Pope, whom we obey in all that is of his purview. We do not live by and for the Pope as if he had acquired for us eternal redemption; that is why Christian obedience can not always nor in everything identify the Pope with Jesus Christ. What ordinarily happens is that the vicar of Christ governs sufficiently in conformity with the Apostolic tradition so as not to provoke major conflicts in the consciences of docile Catholics. But occasionally it can be otherwise. And exceptionally things can be such as to cause the faithful to legitimately wonder how they can hold fast to tradition if they follow the directives of this Pope?

The interior life of a son of the Church who would set aside the articles of Faith concerning the Pope, obedience to his legitimate orders, and prayer for him would have ceased to be Catholic. On the other hand, an interior life which includes yielding to the Pope unconditionally, that is to say, blindly in everything and always, is an interior life which is necessarily subject to human respect, which is not free with regard to creatures, which is exposed to many occasions of compromise. In his interior life, the true son of the Church having received with his whole heart the articles of the faith with regard to the vicar of Christ prays for him faithfully and obeys him willingly, but only in the light, that is to say, only while the Apostolic tradition and, of course, the natural law are preserved whole and entire.

Holy Church, Sinful Churchmen

Let us remember the great prayer at the beginning of the Roman Canon, in which the priest, having earnestly implored the most clement Father by His Son Jesus Christ, to sanctify the spotless sacrifice offered in first place for Ecclesia tua sancta catholica, continues thus: “...una cumfamulo tuo Papa nostro...et Antistite nostro....” The Church has never envisaged him saying: “una cum SANCTO famulo tu Papa nostro et SANCTO Antistite nostro,’“ while she does have him say, “for Thy HOLY Church.” The Pope, unlike the Church, is not necessarily holy. The Church is holy with sinful members, among whom are we ourselves; sinful members who, alas! do not pursue or no longer pursue holiness. It can even happen that the Pope himself figures in this category. God knows. In any case, the condition of the head of the holy Church being what it is, that is to say not necessarily that of a saint, we should not let ourselves be scandalized if trials, sometimes very cruel trials, befall the Church because of her visible head in person. We must not let ourselves be scandalized from the fact that, subjects of the Pope, we cannot, after all, follow him blindly, unconditionally, always and in all.

Layman's Right

The Lord, by the Pope and the hierarchy-by the hierarchy subject to the Pope-governs His Church in such a way that it is always secure in the possession and understanding of its tradition. On the truths of the catechism, on the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice and on the sacraments, on the fundamental structure of the hierarchy, on the states of life and the call to perfect love, let us say on all the major points of tradition, the Church is assisted in such way that any baptized Catholic having the faith clearly knows what he must hold. Thus the simple Christian who, consulting tradition on a major point known to all, would refuse to follow a priest, a bishop, an episcopal conference, or even a Pope who would ruin tradition on this point, would not, as some charge, be showing signs characteristic of private judgment or pride; for it is not pride or insubordination to discern what the tradition is on major points, or to refuse to betray them. Whatever may be the collegiality of bishops, for example, or the secretary of the Roman Congregation who uses subterfuge to arrange things so that Catholic priests end up celebrating the Mass without giving any mark of adoration, no exterior sign of faith in the sacred mysteries, every faithful Catholic knows that it is inadmissible to celebrate Mass making this display of non-faith. One who would refuse to go to such a Mass is not exercising private judgment; he is not a rebel. He is a faithful Catholic established in a tradition that comes from the Apostles and which no one in the Church can change. For no one in the Church, whatever his hierarchical rank, be it ever so high, no one has the power to change the Church or the Apostolic tradition.

On all the major points, the Apostolic tradition is quite clear. There is no need to scrutinize it through a magnifying glass, nor to be a cardinal or a prefect of some Roman dicastery to know what is against it. It is enough to have been instructed by the catechism and the liturgy prior to the modernist corruption.

Too often, when it is a question of not cutting oneself off from Rome, the faithful and priests have been formed in the sense of a partly worldly fear in such a way that they feel panic-stricken, that they are shaken in their consciences and they no longer examine anything once the first passer-by accuses them of not being with Rome. A truly Christian formation, on the contrary, teaches us to be careful to be in union with Rome not in fear or without discernment, but in light and peace according to a filial fear in the Faith.

For it must be said, first of all, that on the major points the tradition of the Church is established, certain, irreformable; then, that every Christian instructed in the rudiments of the Faith, knows them without hesitation; thirdly, that it is faith and not private interpretation which makes us discern them, just as it is obedience, piety and love, and not insubordination, which make us uphold this tradition; fourthly, that the attempts of the hierarchy or the weaknesses of the Pope which would tend to upset this tradition or let this tradition be upset will one day be overturned, while Tradition will triumph.

Tradition Will Triumph

We are at peace on this point. Whatever may be the hypocritical arms placed by modernism in the hands of the episcopal collegialities and even of the vicar of Christ, tradition will indeed triumph: solemn baptism, for example, which includes the anathemas against the accursed devil will not be excluded for long; the tradition of not absolving sins except after individual confession will not be excluded for long; the tradition of the traditional Catholic Mass, Latin and Gregorian, with the language, Canon, and gestures in conformity with the Roman Missal of St. Pius V, will soon be restored to honor; the tradition of the Catechism of Trent, or of a manual exactly in conformity with it, will be restored without delay.

On the major points of dogma, morals, the sacraments, the states of life, the perfection to which we are called, the tradition of the Church is known by the members of the Church whatever their rank. They hold fast to it without a bad conscience, even if the hierarchical guardians of this tradition try to intimidate them or throw them into confusion; even if they persecute them with the bitter refinements of modernist inquisitors. They are very assured that by keeping the tradition they do not cut themselves off from the visible vicar of Christ. For the visible vicar of Christ is governed by Christ in such wise that he cannot transmute the tradition of the Church, nor make it fall into oblivion. If by misfortune he should try to do it, either he or his immediate successors will be obliged to proclaim from on high what remains forever living in the Church’s memory: the Apostolic tradition. The Spouse of Christ stands no chance of losing her memory.

“Quod Ubique, Quod Semper...”

As for those who say that tradition is a synonym of sclerosis, or that progress occurs by opposing tradition, in short, those who conjure up the mirages of an absurd philosophy of becoming, I recommend the reading of St. Vincent of Lerins3 in his Commonitorium and the careful studying of Church history: dogma, sacraments, fundamental constitution, spiritual life, in order to descry the essential difference which exists between “going forward” and “going astray”; between having “advanced ideas” and “advancing according to right ideas”; in short, distinguishing between profectus (development) and permutatio (change).

Even more so than in times of peace, it has become useful and salutary to us to meditate on the Church’s trials by the light of faith. We might be tempted to reduce these trials to persecutions and attacks coming from the outside. But enemies from within are, after all, even more to be feared: they know better the weak points; they can wound or poison where or when it is least expected; the scandal they provoke is much more difficult to overcome. Thus, in a parish, an anti-religious institution will never succeed, whatever it does, in ruining the faithful as much as a high-living, modernist priest. Equally, the defrocking of a simple priest, though more sensational, has consequences far less baneful than the negligence or treason of the bishop.

Ultimate Scandal

Be that as it may, it is certain that if the bishop betrays the Catholic faith, even without abandoning it, he imposes on the Church a much heavier trial than the simple priest who takes a wife and ceases to offer holy Mass. What then can be said of the kind of trials that the Church of Jesus Christ would suffer were it to come by the Pope, by the vicar of Jesus Christ in person? Merely raising this question is enough to make some hide their faces in their hands and push them to the brink of crying blasphemy. The mere thought torments them. They refuse to face up to a trial of this gravity.

I understand their feeling. I am not unaware that a sort of vertigo can grip the soul when it is placed in the presence of some iniquities. “Sinite usque hue-Suffer ye thus far,”3 Jesus in agony said to the three Apostles when the rabble of the high priest came to arrest Him, drag Him before the tribunal and to death, Him who is the eternal High Priest. Sinite usque hue. It is as if the Lord were saying: “The scandal can indeed go that far, but let it go, and follow my recommendation: Watch and pray, for the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Sinite ad hue: “By my consent to drink the chalice, I have merited for you every grace while you were sleeping and left me all alone. I obtained for you in particular the grace of a supernatural strength that is up to every trial, even the trial that can come upon the Church by the Pope’s own doing. I have made you able to escape even that vertigo.”

On the subject of this extraordinary trial there is what Church history says and what Revelation about the Church does not say. For nowhere does Revelation about the Church say that the Popes will never sin by negligence, cowardice, or worldliness in the keeping and defense of the Apostolic tradition. We know that they will never sin by making the faithful believe in another religion: that is the sin from which they are preserved by the nature of their mandate. And when they engage their authority in such a way as to invoke their infallibility, it is Christ Himself who speaks to us and instructs us: that is the privilege with which they are robed as soon as they become successors of Peter. But if Revelation instructs us in the prerogatives of the papacy, nowhere does it say that when he exercises his authority below the threshold of infallibility, a Pope will never become Satan’s pawn and favor heresy up to a certain point. Likewise, it is not written in sacred Scripture that, though he cannot formally teach another religion, a Pope will never go so far as to sabotage the conditions indispensable to the defense of the true religion. The possibility of such a defection is even considerably favored by modernism.

Thus, Revelation about the Pope nowhere guarantees that the vicar of Christ will never inflict on the Church the trial of some major scandals; I speak of serious scandals, not just in the domain of private morals, but rather in the religious sphere properly so-called, and, so to speak, in the ecclesiastical domain of faith and morals. In fact, the Church’s history teaches us that this sort of trial inflicted by the Pope has not been spared the Church, although it has been rare and not prolonged to an acute stage. It is the contrary that would be astonishing, when we consider the small number of canonized Popes since the time of Gregory VII who are invoked and venerated as the friends and saints of God. And it is more astonishing still that the Popes who suffered very cruel torments, like Pius VI or Pius VII, were never prayed to as saints, neither by the Vox Ecclesiae, nor by the Vox populi. If these Pontiffs, who nonetheless had to suffer so much as Popes, did not bear their pain with such a degree of charity as to be canonized saints, how can we be astonished that other Popes, who looked upon their position from a worldly point of view, would commit serious breaches or inflict on the Church of Christ an especially fearful and harrowing trial. When they are reduced to the extremity of having such Popes, the faithful, priests and bishops who want to live the life of the Church take great care not only to pray for the Supreme Pontiff who is the subject of great affliction for the Church, but first and foremost they cleave to the Apostolic tradition, the tradition concerning dogma, the missal and the ritual, the tradition on the interior life and on the universal call to perfect charity in Christ.

St. Vincent Ferrer

In such a juncture, the mission of the Friar Preacher who, undoubtedly among all the saints worked the most directly for the papacy, that son of St. Dominic, Vincent Ferrer (1350?-1419), is particularly enlightening. Angel of Judgment, Legate a latere Christi (from the side of Christ), causing the deposition of a Pope after exercising towards him infinite patience, Vincent Ferrer is also, and from the same inspiration, the intrepid missionary full of benignity, abounding in prodigies and miracles, who announces the Gospel to the immense multitude of the Christian people. He carries in his heart of an apostle not only the Supreme Pontiff, so enigmatic, obstinate and hard, but also the whole flock of Christ, the multitude of the hapless, humble folk, the “turba magna ex omnibus tribubus et populis et linguis-the great multitude...of all...tribes, and peoples, and tongues” (Apoc. 7:9). Vincent understood that the major concern of the vicar of Christ was not, indeed was far from, faithfully serving the holy Church. The Pope was placing the satisfaction of his own obscure will to power ahead of everything. But if, at least among the faithful, the sense of the life of the Church could be reawakened, the concern to live in conformity with the dogmas and the sacraments received in the Apostolic tradition, if a pure and mighty wind of prayer and conversion were to unfurl upon this languishing and desolate Christendom, then doubtlessly there would come a vicar of Christ who would be truly humble, who would have a Christian conscience about his super-eminent charge, who would preoccupy himself with exercising it to the best of his ability in the spirit of the Sovereign High Priest. If the Christian people could rediscover a life in accord with the Apostolic tradition, then it would become impossible for the vicar of Jesus Christ, when it comes to upholding and defending this tradition, to fall into certain derelictions, to abandon himself to lying compromises. It would be necessary that, without delay, a good Pope, and even a holy Pope, succeed the bad or misguided one.

Worthy Flock, Worthy Shepherd

But too many of the laity, priests and bishops in these days of great evil, when trial overtakes the Church by the Pope, would like order to be restored with their having to do nothing, or almost nothing. At most will they agree to mutter a few prayers. They even balk at the daily Rosary: five decades offered daily to our Lady in honor of the hidden life, the Passion, and the glory of Jesus. In this vein, they have very little interest in deepening their understanding of that part of the Apostolic tradition that applies directly to them in a spirit of fidelity to that tradition: dogmas, missal and ritual, interior life (for progress in the interior life obviously is a part of the Apostolic tradition). Each in his station of life having consented to lukewarmness, they take scandal at the fact that neither is the Pope, in his place as Pope, very fervent when it comes to upholding for the entire Church the Apostolic tradition, that is to say, to faithfully fulfilling the unique mission confided to him. This view of things is unjust. The more we need a holy Pope, the more we ourselves must begin by putting our own lives, by the grace of God and holding fast to tradition, in the path of the saints. Then the Lord Jesus will finally give to His flock the visible shepherd of whom it will have striven to make itself worthy.

This was the lesson of St. Vincent Ferrer at an apocalyptic time of major failings by the Roman Pontiff. But with modernism we are in the midst of experiencing even greater trials, reasons all the more compelling for us to live even more purely, and on all points, the Apostolic tradition; on all points, including a real tending towards perfect charity. And yet, in the moral doctrine revealed by the Lord and handed down by the Apostles, it is said that we must tend to perfect love, since the law of growth in Christ is part and parcel of the grace and charity which unite us in Christ.

A Fundamental Mystery

There is indeed both transcendence and obscurity in the Church’s dogma relative to the Pope: a supreme pontiff who is the universal vicar of Jesus Christ, yet who nonetheless is not sheltered from failings, even serious ones, which can be quite dangerous for his subjects. But the dogma of the Roman Pontiff is but one of the aspects of the fundamental mystery of the Church. Two great propositions introduce us to this mystery: firstly, that the Church, whose members are recruited from among sinners, which we all are, is nonetheless the infallible dispenser of light and grace, dispenser by means of a hierarchical organization, dispenser governed from heaven above by its head and Savior, Jesus Christ, and assisted by the Spirit of Jesus. On the other hand, on earth, the Savior offers by His Church the perfect sacrifice and nourishes it by His own substance. Secondly, the Church, holy Spouse of the Lord Jesus, must have a share in the Cross, including the cross of betrayal by her own; but for all that she does not cease to be sufficiently assisted in her hierarchical structure, beginning with the Pope, and to be on fire enough with charity; in a word, she remains at all times holy and pure enough to be able to share in the trials of her Spouse, including betrayal by certain members of the hierarchy, while keeping intact her self-mastery and supernatural strength. Never will the Church be subject to vertigo.

If, in our spiritual life, the Christian truth concerning the Pope is rightly situated within the Christian truth about the Church, by that light shall we overcome the scandal of all the lies, not excluding those that can befall the Church by the vicar of Christ or by the successors of the Apostles.

When we think of the Pope now and of the prevailing modernism, of the Apostolic tradition and perseverance in this tradition, we are more and more reduced to considering these questions only in prayer, only in an unceasing petition for the entire Church and for him who, in our days, holds in his hands the keys of the kingdom of heaven. He holds them in his hands, but he does not use them, so to speak. He leaves the gate of the sheepfold open at the approach of thieves; he does not close these protective doors which his predecessors had invariably kept shut with unbreakable locks and bolts. Sometimes, as is the case with post-conciliar ecumenism, he even pretends to open what will forever be kept shut. We are reduced to the necessity of never thinking of the Church except to pray for her and for the Pope. It is a blessing. Nevertheless, thinking of our Mother, the Spouse of Christ, in this piteous condition does not diminish in the least our resolve to think clearly. At least, let this indispensable lucidity, lucidity without which all courage would flag, be penetrated with as much humility and gentleness as the vehemence with which we assail the Sovereign Priest, that He make haste to help us. Deus in adjutorium meum intende. Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina. May it please Him to charge His most holy Mother, Mary Immaculate, with bringing us as soon as possible the effective remedy.

Translated exclusively for Angelus Press and abridged by Miss Anne Stinnett from the French-language version of SiSiNoNo (Courrier de Rome, Nov. 2005, pp. 1-5). The original text was first published in the review Itineraires in 1973 and included in the anthology A Short Apologia for the Church of All Time (1987).

Fr. Roger-Thomas Calmel, O.P. (1914-75), was a prominent French Dominican and Thomist philosopher, who made an immense contribution to the fight for Catholic Tradition through his writings and conferences, notably as a regular contributor for 17 years to Jean Madiran’s Itineraires. His most enduring influ­ence is through the traditional Dominican Teaching Sisters of Fanjeaux and Brignole in France who operate 12 girls’ schools in France and the US.

1. Translator’s note: The epuration, a purge of “German collaborators” occurred after the Normandy invasion and the end of the war, resulting in the killing of a 100,000 Frenchmen. For example, acclaimed poet Robert Brasillach was executed on this charge (Cf. Sisley Huddleston, France: The Tragic Years, an Eyewitness Account of War, Occupation and Liberation [Devin-Adair Co., 1955]).

2. This was written in 1973-Ed. (1987 ed.).

3. Translator’s note: A monk and ecclesiastical writer of southern Gaul (d. c. 450), famous for the practical rule he enunciated, by which the faithful can steer clear of heresy in troubled times: “Magnopere curandum est ut id teneatur quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est-What all men have at all times and everywhere believed must be regarded as true.”

4. Translator note: Douay-Rheims translation. Alternate: “Let them have their way in this” (Msgr. Ronald Knox version).

Si Si No No Articles

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  Fr. Calmel - No one is exempt from the Fight!
Posted by: Stone - 11-21-2020, 06:13 AM - Forum: Fr. Roger Calmel - No Replies

No one is exempt from the Fight!
by Fr Calmel O.P.
[Image: ?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3...%3DApi&f=1]

Christian spiritual combat, peace amid the struggle, joy in destitution when everything is broken and taken away: These images are too warlike, some say to us, and in any case, they only apply to bygone ages or reactionary people.

But we, in our turn, tell them, how long must you wait before you see, that in the Church militant, everyone, without exception, participates in the battle?

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves… I have come to bring a sword… In this world you will have persecutions… Know that the world will hate you.”

Since when do these words of the Master not apply equally to each of the faithful:

— to the cloistered sister, as they do to the missionary;

— to the monk in his monastery, as they do to the parish priest in his parish;

— to the Christian laden down with temporal duties, as they do to the old man lying on his death bed.

We just need to say that the combat training and methods used are not the same for, say, missionaries as they are for enclosed religious. It would be absurd, even disastrous, to think they might be interchangeable:

* Thus it is that the missionary must spend enough time looking at Our Lord to then be able to uncompromisingly preach His word, in that way giving up his life for his flock.

* An enclosed nun’s duty, on the other hand, is to keep her eyes solely on Our Lord, without being occupied with holy preaching, leaving the Lord to place on her shoulders whatever burden He pleases, and for reasons known to Him alone; that’s the way a religious gives her life for the flock. But she does still give up her life. No one is exempt.

The troops are different yet again, and their method of combat is different, but they are nevertheless combat troops and the orders are always the same. “Do not surrender the position that has been entrusted to you by the King.”

Hermit or preaching friar, mother of a family, or virgin consecrated to God living out in the world, each has been given a position to guard, and for each the primary duty is to die at his or her post, rather than surrender the position entrusted to them by the King of Kings.

Source: www.dominicansavrille.us/no-one-is-exempt-excused-from-the-fight/

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  SiSiNoNo - Clear Ideas: On the Pope’s Infallible Magisterium
Posted by: Stone - 11-20-2020, 08:42 PM - Forum: Sedevacantism - No Replies

Clear Ideas: On the Pope’s Infallible Magisterium

Adapted from SiSiNoNo

January 2002 No. 44

What worries Catholics most in the current crisis in the Church is precisely the "problem of the Pope." We need very clear ideas on this question. We must avoid shipwreck to the right and to the left, either by the spirit of rebellion or, on the other hand, by an inappropriate and servile obedience. The serious error which is behind many current disasters is the belief that the "Authentic Magisterium" is nothing other than the "Ordinary Magisterium,"

The "Authentic Magisterium" cannot be so simply identified with the Ordinary Magisterium. In fact, the Ordinary Magisterium can be infallible and non-infallible, and it is only in this second case that it is called the "Authentic Magisterium." The Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique [hereafter referred to as DTC - Ed.] under the heading of "papal infallibility" (vol. VII, col.1699ff) makes the following distinctions:

1) there is the "infallible or ex cathedra papal definition in the sense defined by Vatican I" (col.1699);
2) there is the "infallible papal teaching which flows from the pope's Ordinary Magisterium" (col.1705);
3) there is "non-infallible papal teaching" (col.1709).

Similarly, Salaverri, in his Sacrae Theologiae Summa (vol. I, 5th ed., Madrid, B.A.C.) distinguishes the following:
Quote:1) Extraordinary Infallible Papal Magisterium (no. 592ff);
2) Ordinary Infallible Papal Magisterium (no. 645ff);
3) Papal Magisterium that is mere authenticum, that is, only "authentic" or "authorized" as regards the person himself, not as regards his infallibility (no.659ff).

While he always has full and supreme doctrinal authority, the pope does not always exercise it at its highest level, that is at the level of infallibility. As the theologians say, he is like a giant who does not always use his full strength. What follows is this:

1) "It would be incorrect to say that the pope is infallible simply by possessing papal authority," as we read in the Acts of Vatican I (Coll.L ac. 399b). This would be equivalent to saying that the pope's authority and his infallibility are the same thing.

2) It is necessary to know "what degree of assent is due to the decrees of the sovereign pontiff when he is teaching at a level which is not that of infallibility, i.e., when he is not exercising the supreme degree of his doctrinal authority" (Salaverri, op.cit., no.659).

Error by Excess and/or By Defect

Unfortunately this three-fold distinction between the Extraordinary Magisterium, the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium, and the authentic non-infallible Magisterium, has fallen into oblivion. This has resulted in two opposite errors in the crisis situation of the Church at the present time: the error by excess of those who extend papal infallibility to all acts of the pope, without distinction; and the error by defect of those who restrict infallibility to definitions that have been uttered ex cathedra.

The error by excess actually eliminates the Ordinary Non-Infallible or "Authentic" Magisterium and inevitably leads either to Sedevacantism or to servile obedience. The attitude of the people of this second category is, "The pope is always infallible and so we always owe him blind obedience."

The error by defect eliminates the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. This is precisely the error of the neo-Modernists, who devalue the ordinary papal Magisterium and the "Roman tradition" which they find so inconvenient. They say, "The pope is infallible only in his Extraordinary Magisterium, so we can sweep away 2000 years of ordinary papal Magisterium."

Both of these errors obscure the precise notion of the Ordinary Magisterium, which includes the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and the ordinary, "authentic," non-infallible Magisterium.

Confusion and Controversy

These two opposing errors are not new. They were denounced even before Vatican II. In 1954, Fr. Labourdette, O.P., wrote:

Quote:Many persons have retained very naive ideas about what they learned concerning the personal infallibility of the sovereign pontiff in the solemn and abnormal exercise of his power of teaching. For some, every word of the supreme pontiff will in some way partake of the value of an infallible teaching, requiring the absolute assent of theological faith; for others, acts which are not presented with the manifest conditions of a definition ex cathedra will seem to have no greater authority than that of any private teacher (Revue Thomiste LIV, 1954, p.196)!

Dom Paul Nau has also written about the confusion that has arisen between the pope's authority and his infallibility:

Quote:By a strange reversal, while the personal infallibility of the pope in a solemn judgment, so long disputed, was definitely placed beyond all controversy, it is the Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Church which seems to have been lost sight of. It all happened - as is not unheard of elsewhere in the history of doctrine - as if the very brilliance of the Vatican I definition had cast into shadow the truth hitherto universally recognized; we might almost say, as if the definition of the infallibility of the solemn judgments made these henceforth the unique method by which the sovereign pontiff would put forward the rule of faith [Pope or Church? Angelus Press, 1998, p.13].

On the temporary fading of a doctrine from Catholic consciousness, see the entry "dogme" in DTC (vol.IV).

Dom Nau also mentioned the disastrous consequences which flow from this identification of the pope's authority and his infallibility:

Quote:No place would be left, intermediate between such private acts and the solemn papal judgments, for a teaching which, while authentic, is not equally guaranteed throughout all its various expressions. If things are looked at from this angle, the very notion of the Ordinary Magisterium becomes, properly speaking, unthinkable [Pope or Church? p.4].

Dom Nau considered from where this phenomenon had developed:

Quote:Since 1870 [the year of Vatican I - Ed.], manuals of theology have taken the formulae in which their statements of doctrine have been framed from the actual wording of the Council text. None of these treated in its own right of the ordinary teaching of the pope, which has accordingly, little by little, slipped out of sight and all pontifical teaching has seemed to be reduced solely to solemn definitions ex cathedra. Once attention was entirely directed to these, it became customary to consider the doctrinal interventions of the Holy See solely from the standpoint of the solemn judgment, that of a judgment which ought in itself to bring to the doctrine all the necessary guarantees of certainty (ibid., p.13).

This is partly true, but we should not forget that liberal theology had already been advertising its reductive agenda. That is why Pius IX, even before Vatican I (1870) felt obliged to warn German theologians that divine faith's submission "must not be restricted only to those points which have been defined" (Letter to Archbishop of Munich, Dec. 21, 1863).

The naive ideas entertained by many on the question of papal infallibility after Vatican I played into the hands of the liberal theology. In fact, while the two errors are diametrically opposed, they are at one in equating papal authority and papal infallibility. What is the difference between them? The error by excess, regarding as infallible everything that comes from papal authority, stretches the pope's infallibility to the extent of his authority. The error by defect, considering only those things authorized that emanate from the ex cathedra infallibility, restricts papal authority to the scope of the infallibility of the pope's Extraordinary Magisterium. Thus both errors have the same effect, namely, to obscure the very notion of the Ordinary Magisterium and, consequently, the particular nature of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. It is essential for us to rediscover this notion and its nature because they are of the greatest importance in helping us to get our bearings in the time of crisis.

The Ordinary Magisterium in Shadow: Humanae Vitae and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

The lack of clear ideas on the pope's Ordinary Magisterium appeared in full with Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae, and more recently with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, in which Pope John Paul II repeated the Church's refusal to ordain women.

When Humanae Vitae came out, various theologians indicated that the notion of ordinary papal Magisterium was obscured. Generally speaking, those who supported the infallibility of Humanae Vitae deduced "the proof [of this infallibility - Ed.] on the basis of the Church's constant and universal Authentic Magisterium, which has never been abandoned and therefore was already definitive in earlier centuries." In other words, on the basis of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium (E. Lio, Humanae Vitae ed infallibilità, Libreria Ed. Vaticana, p.38). They should have noticed that even the notion of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and its particularity [its constancy and universality - Ed.] had been effaced from the minds not only of the ordinary faithful but also of the theologians.

Cardinal Siri commented:
Quote:By presenting only two possible hypotheses for the case in question [the encyclical Humanae Vitae - Ed.], namely, an ex cathedra definition [which was avoided - Ed.] that is, proceeding from the solemn Magisterium, and that of the Authentic Magisterium [which does not of itself imply infallibility - Ed.], a grave sophism in enumeration has been committed. It is in fact a serious error, because there is another possible hypothesis, i.e., that of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. It is very strange how certain people are at pains to avoid speaking about this….It is necessary to realize that there is not only a solemn Magisterium and a simply Authentic Magisterium; between these two there is also the Ordinary Magisterium which is endowed with the charism of infallibility (Renovatio, Oct.-Dec., 1968).

The same "sophism of enumeration" was pointed out 30 years later by Msgr. Bertone, speaking against the opposition to Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. On this occasion he explicitly denounced the tendency "to substitute de facto the concept of authority for that of infallibility" (L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 20, 1996).

In fact, it is not only the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium which has fallen into oblivion, but, since authority and infallibility have been equated, the distinction between Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and the ordinary Authentic Magisterium has also been consigned to oblivion. After Vatican I, as Dom Nau wrote:

Quote:Catholics have no longer any reason for hesitating about the authority to be recognized in the dogmatic judgments pronounced by the sovereign pontiff: their infallibility has been solemnly defined in the Constitution Pastor Aeternus ....But definitions of this sort are relatively rare. The pontifical documents which come most frequently before the Christian today are encyclicals, allocutions, radio messages which usually derive from the Ordinary Magisterium or ordinary teaching of the Church. Unfortunately, this is where confusions remain still possible and do occur, alas! all too often (op.cit. p.3).

Thus, we will devote ourselves, not to the Extraordinary Magisterium (whose infallibility is generally acknowledged), but to the Ordinary Magisterium. Once we have illustrated the conditions under which it is infallible, it will be clear that outside these conditions we are in the presence of the "authentic" Magisterium to which, in normal times, we should accord due consideration. In abnormal times, however, it would be a fatal error to equate this "authentic" Magisterium with the infallible Magisterium (whether "extraordinary" or "ordinary").

The Point of the Question[/u]

The infallible guarantee of divine assistance is not limited solely to the acts of the Solemn Magisterium; it also extends to the Ordinary Magisterium, although it does not cover and assure all the latter's acts in the same way" (Fr.Labourdette, O.P., Revue Thomiste 1950, p.38).

Thus, the assent due to the Ordinary Magisterium "can range from simple respect right up to a true act of faith." (Msgr. Guerry, La Doctrine Sociale de l'Église, Paris, Bonne Presse 1957, p.172). It is most important, therefore, to know precisely when the Roman pope's Ordinary Magisterium is endowed with the charism of infallibility.

Since the pope alone possesses the same infallibility conferred by Jesus Christ upon his Church [i.e., the pope plus the bishops in communion with him, cf. Dz.1839), we must conclude that only the pope, in his Ordinary Magisterium, is infallible in the same degree and under the same conditions as the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church is.

Thus the truth that is taught must be proposed as already defined, or as what has always been believed or accepted in the Church, or attested by the unanimous and constant agreement of theologians as being a Catholic truth [which is therefore strictly obligatory for all the faithful ("Infaillibilité du Pape," DTC vol.VII, col.1705).

This condition was recalled by Cardinal Felici in the context of Humanae Vitae:

Quote:On this problem we must remember that a truth may be sure and certain, and hence it may be obligatory, even without the sanction of an ex cathedra definition. So it is with the encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which the pope, the supreme pontiff of the Church, utters a truth which has been constantly taught by the Church's Magisterium and which accords with the precepts of Revelation (L'Osservatore Romano, Oct. 19, 1968, p.3).

No one, in fact, can refuse to believe what has certainly been revealed by God. And it is not only those things that have been defined as such that have certainly been revealed by God; the latter also include whatever has been always and everywhere taught by the Church's Ordinary Magisterium as having been revealed by God. More recently, Msgr. Bertone reminded us that the Ordinary Pontifical Magisterium can teach a doctrine as definitive [bold emphasis in original] in virtue of the fact that it has been constantly preserved and held by Tradition.

Such is the case with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis when it repeats the invalidity of the priestly ordination of women, which has always been held by the Church with "unanimity and stability" (L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 20, 1996).

Cardinal Siri, still speaking of Humanae Vitae in the issue of the review Renovatio to which we have referred, explains as follows:
"The question, therefore, must be put objectively thus: given that [Humanae Vitae] is not an act of the Infallible Magisterium and that it therefore does not of itself provide the guarantee of "irreformability" and certitude, would not its substance be nonetheless guaranteed by the Ordinary Magisterium under the conditions under which the Ordinary Magisterium is itself known to be infallible?

After giving a summary of the Church's continuous tradition on contraception, from the Didache to the encyclical Casti Connubii of Pope Pius XI, Cardinal Siri concludes:
This Encyclical recapitulated the ancient teaching and the habitual teaching of today. This means that we can say that the conditions for the Ordinary irreformable [i.e., infallible - Ed.] Magisterium were met. The period of widespread turbulence is a very recent fact and has nothing to do with the serene possession [of the Magisterium - Ed.] over many centuries (Renovatio, op.cit.).

It is an error, therefore, to extend infallibility unconditionally to the whole of the Ordinary Magisterium of the pope, whether he is speaking urbi et orbi or just addressing pilgrims. It is true that the infallibility of the Extraordinary Magisterium is not enough for the Church; the Extraordinary Magisterium is a rare event, whereas "faith needs infallibility and it needs it every day," as Cardinal Siri himself said (Renovatio, op.cit.). But Cardinal Siri is too good a theologian to forget that even the pope's infallibility has conditions attached to it. If the Ordinary Magisterium is to be infallible, it must be traditional (cf. Salaverri, loc.cit.). If it breaks with Tradition, the Ordinary Magisterium cannot claim any infallibility. Here we see very clearly the very special nature of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium, to which we must devote some attention.

The Special Nature of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium

As we have seen, Cardinal Siri observes that the Humanae Vitae, even if it is not an act of the ex cathedra Magisterium, would still furnish the guarantee of infallibility, not "of itself," but insofar as it recapitulates "the ancient teaching and the habitual teaching of today" (Renovatio, ob.cit.). In fact, in contrast to the Extraordinary Magisterium or the Solemn Judgment, the Ordinary Magisterium
does not consist in an isolated proposition, pronouncing irrevocably on the Faith and containing its own guarantees of truth, but in a collection of acts which can concur in communicating a teaching.

This is the normal procedure by which Tradition, in the fullest sense of that term, is handed down; ...(Pope or Church? op. cit. p.10).

This is precisely why the DTC speaks of "infallible papal teaching which flows from the pope's Ordinary Magisterium" (loc.cit.). So, while a simple doctrinal presentation [by the pope] can never claim the infallibility of a definition, [this infallibility] nonetheless is rigorously implied when there is a convergence on the same subject in a series of documents whose continuity, in itself, excludes all possibility of doubt on the authentic content of the Roman teaching (Dom Nau, Une source doctrinale: Les encycliques, p.75).

If we fail to take account of this difference, we are obliterating all distinction between the Extraordinary Magisterium and the Ordinary Magisterium:
No act of the Ordinary Magisterium as such, taken in isolation, could claim the prerogative which belongs to the supreme judgment. If it did so, it would cease to be the Ordinary Magisterium. An isolated act is infallible only if the supreme Judge engages his whole authority in it so that he cannot go back on it. Such an act cannot be "reversible" without being plainly subject to error. But it is precisely this kind of act, against which there can be no appeal, which constitutes the Solemn [or Extraordinary] Judgment, and which thus differs from the Ordinary Magisterium" (ibid., note 1).

It follows that:
the infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium, whether of the Universal Church or that of the See of Rome, is not that of a judgment, not that of an act to be considered in isolation, as if it could itself provide all the light necessary for it to be clearly seen. It is that of the guarantee bestowed on a doctrine by the simultaneous or continuous convergence of a plurality of affirmations or explanations, none of which could bring positive certitude if it were taken by itself alone. Certitude can be expected only from the whole complex, but all the parts concur in making up that whole (Pope or Church? op. cit., p.18).

Dom Paul Nau explains further:
In the case of the [Ordinary] universal Magisterium, this whole complex is that of the concordant teaching of the bishops in communion with Rome; in the case of the Ordinary pontifical Magisterium [i.e., the pope alone - Ed.], it is the continuity of teaching of the successors of Peter: in other words, it is the "tradition of the Church of Rome," to which Msgr. Gasser appealed at Vatican I (Collana Lacensis, col.404).

About this subject, A.C. Martimort wrote:
Bossuet's error consisted in rejecting the infallibility of the pope's Extraordinary Magisterium; but he performed the signal service of affirming most clearly the infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium [of the pope] and its specific nature, which means that every particular act bears the risk of error ....To sum up: according to the Bishop of Meaux, what applies to the series of Roman popes over time is the same as what applies to the episcopal college dispersed across the world (Le Gallicanisme de Bossuet, Paris, 1953, p.558).

In fact, we know that the bishops, individually, are not infallible. Yet the totality of bishops, throughout time and space, in their moral unanimity, do enjoy infallibility. So if one wishes to ascertain the Church's infallible teaching one must not take the teaching of one particular bishop: it is necessary to look at the "common and continuous teaching" of the episcopate united to the pope, which "cannot deviate from the teaching of Jesus Christ" (E. Piacentini, O.F.M. Conv., Infaillible même dans les causes de canonisation? ENMI, Rome 1994, p.37).

The same thing applies to the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium of the Roman pope on his own: this Ordinary Magisterium is infallible not because each act is uttered by the pope, but because the particular teaching of which the pope's act consists "is inserted into a totality and a continuity" (Dom P.Nau, Le encycliques, op.cit.), which is that of the "series of Roman popes over time" (Martimort, op.cit.).

We can understand why, in their Ordinary Magisterium, the Roman popes have always been careful to associate themselves with their "venerable predecessors," often quoting them at length. "The Church speaks by Our mouth," said Pope Pius XI in the Casti Connubii. Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, emphasized that "most of the time what is set forth and taught in the encyclicals is already, for other reasons, part of the patrimony of Catholic doctrine."

The very particular nature of the pope's Ordinary Infallible Magisterium was quite clear until Vatican I. While this Council was in session, La Civiltà Cattolica, which published (and still publishes) under the direct control of the Holy See, replied in these words to Fr. Gratry, who had criticized Pope Paul IV's Bull Cum ex Apostolus:

We ask Fr. Gratry, in all serenity, whether he believes that the Bull of Paul IV is an isolated act, so to speak, or an act that is comparable to others of the same kind in the series of Roman popes. If he replies that it is an isolated act, his argument proves nothing, for he himself affirms that the Bull of Paul IV contains no dogmatic definition. If he replies, as he must, that this Bull is, in substance, conformable to countless other similar acts of the Holy See, his argument says far more than he would wish. In other words, he is saying that a long succession of Roman popes have made public and solemn acts of immorality and injustice against the principles of human reason, of impiety towards God, and of apostasy against the Gospel (vol.X, series VII, 1870, p.54).

This means, in effect, that an "isolated act" of the pope is infallible only in the context of a "dogmatic definition"; outside dogmatic definitions, i.e., in the Ordinary Magisterium, infallibility is guaranteed by the complex of "countless other similar acts of the Holy See," or of a "long succession" of the successors of Peter.

Practical Application

Because it declared itself to be non-dogmatic, the charism of infallibility cannot be claimed for the last Council, except insofar as it was re-iterating traditional teaching. Moreover, what is offered as the Ordinary Pontifical Magisterium of the recent popes - apart from certain acts - cannot claim the qualification of the "Ordinary Infallible Magisterium." The pontifical documents on the novelties which have troubled and confused the consciences of the faithful manifest no concern whatsoever to adhere to the teaching of "venerable predecessors." They cannot adhere to them because they have broken with them. Look at the footnotes of Dominus Jesus; it's as if the Magisterium of the preceding popes did not exist. It is clear that when today's popes contradict the traditional Magisterium of yesterday's popes, our obedience is due to yesterday's popes: this is a manifest sign of a period of grave ecclesial crisis, of abnormal times in the life of the Church.

Finally, it is evident that the New Theology, which is so unscrupulous in contradicting the traditional teaching of the Roman Pontiffs, contradicts the Infallible Pontifical Magisterium; accordingly, a Catholic must in all conscience reject and actively attack it.

The Almost Total Eclipse of the "Authentic" Magisterium

The Church's current crisis is not at the level of the Extraordinary or Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. This would be simply impossible. Furthermore, it is not at the level of the Extraordinary Infallible Magisterium because the Council did not wish to be a dogmatic one, and because Pope Paul VI himself indicated what theological "note" it carried: "Ordinary Magisterium; that is, it is clearly authentic" (General Audience of Dec. 1, 1966: Encycliques et discours de Paul VI , Ed.Paoline,1966, pp.51,52). Lastly, it is not at the level of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. The turmoil and division in the Catholic world have been provoked by a break with this doctrinal continuity. Such a break is the very opposite of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. Thus Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, or John Paul II's intervention against women's ordination in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis caused no dismay to the Church's obedient sons.

The present crisis is at the level of what is presented as the simply "authentic" Magisterium, which, as Cardinal Siri reminds us, "does not of itself imply infallibility" (Renovatio, op.cit.). But are we really dealing with the "authentic" Magisterium?

The author of Iota Unum wrote:
Nowadays it is no longer the case that every word of the pope constitutes Magisterium. Now, very frequently, it is no more than the expression of views, ideas and considerations that are to be found disseminated throughout the Church...and of doctrines that have spread and become dominant in much theology ("Église et Contre-Église au Concile Vatican II," Second Theological Congress of SISINONO, Jan. 1996).

The Magisterium, however, even in its non-infallible form, should always be the teaching of the divine Word, even if uttered with a lesser degree of certitude. Nowadays, it is very often the case that "the Pope does not manifest the divine word entrusted to him," but rather "expresses his personal views" which are those of the New Theology. Here we are faced with a "manifestation of the decadence of the Church's Ordinary [`authentic'] Magisterium," a decadence which "is creating a very grave crisis for the Church, because it is the Church's central point which is suffering from it" (ibid.).

Can one really speak of the "authentic" Pontifical Magisterium, or would it be more accurate to speak of an almost total eclipse of the Authentic Pontifical Magisterium in the face of an analogous crisis at the level of the episcopal Magisterium?

The Danger of Being Drawn into Error

Catholic are least prepared to meet the crisis of the Authentic Pontifical Magisterium because of the confusion in their minds regarding the distinction between the pope's Ordinary Infallible Magisterium and his simply "authentic" Ordinary Magisterium. This problem was pointed out before Vatican II; it has caused and continues to cause Catholics to be drawn into error who wrongly believe that they should give equal assent to the pope's every word, neglecting the distinctions and precise conditions which we now review.

"The command to believe firmly and without examination of the matter in hand....can be truly binding only if the authority concerned is infallible" (Billot, De Ecclesia, thesis XVII). That is why a firm and unconditional assent is demanded in the case of the Infallible Magisterium (whether Extraordinary or Ordinary).

As regards those non-infallible doctrinal decisions given by the pope or by the Roman congregations, there is a strict duty of obedience which obliges us to give an internal assent ...that is prudent and habitually excludes all reasonable doubt, but this assent is legitimized [not by infallibility, but rather] by the high degree of prudence with which the ecclesiastical authority habitually acts in such circumstances" (entry "Église" in DTC, vol.IV, co1.2209).

This is why we owe the "authentic" Magisterium not a blind and unconditional assent but a prudent and conditional one:
Since not everything taught by the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, we must ask what kind of assent we should give to its various decisions. The Christian is required to give the assent of faith to all the doctrinal and moral truths defined by the Church's Magisterium. He is not required to give the same assent to teaching imparted by the sovereign pontiff that is not imposed on the whole Christian body as a dogma of faith. In this case it suffices to give that inner and religious assent which we give to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is not an absolute assent, because such decrees are not infallible, but only a prudential and conditional assent, since in questions of faith and morals there is a presumption in favor of one's superior....Such prudential assent does not eliminate the possibility of submitting the doctrine to a further examination, if that seems required by the gravity of the question (Nicolas Jung, Le Magistère de L’Èglise, 1935, pp.153,154).

Unfortunately, all these truths have disappeared from Catholic consciousness, just as the notion of the "authentic" Magisterium has. The Catholic world is all the more in danger of being drawn into error, since it nourishes the naive and erroneous conviction that God has never permitted the popes to be mistaken, even in the Ordinary Magisterium (and here no distinctions are drawn), and so imagine that the same assent should always be given to the papal Magisterium - which in no way corresponds to the Church's teaching.

Infallibility and the "Grace of State"

Our discussion of the "grace of state" of the sovereign pontiff proceeds in the context of the Authentic Magisterium. When the pope engages his infallibility, he enjoys a divine assistance that is entirely special, over and above the grace of state. Nonetheless, even infallibility does not reduce him to the level of an automaton. In fact:

The Divine assistance does not relieve the bearer of the infallible doctrinal power of the obligation of taking pains to know the truth, especially by means of the study of the sources of Revelation (Dz 1836).

That is why, in his Infallible Magisterium, the pope enjoys:

1) the positive assistance of the Holy Spirit so that he can attain the truth, and
2) the negative assistance which preserves him from error.

Ultimately, in a case where a pope, by negligence or ill will, were to fail in his duty of seeking out the truth by the appropriate means, infallibility guarantees that God, through a purely negative assistance, would prevent the proclamation ex cathedra of an error.

This guarantee does not exist in the case of the Authentic Magisterium because it does not enjoy the charism of infallibility. That is why everything is entrusted to the grace of state alone, which impels the pope to act with that "high degree of prudence" which, normally, shines forth from the Authentic Magisterium of the successors of Peter. If, however, a pope were to fail to attain this, no divine promise guarantees God will intervene and stop him.

In such a case, indeed, the Catholic world would run the risk of being drawn into error. But it would not be because the pope lacked infallibility; under the due conditions, he would enjoy infallibility just like his predecessors. Nor would it be because he was deprived of the grace of state, but rather that he had not laid hold of that grace. The risk of this is all the greater since the principles we are here setting forth have fallen into oblivion.

When the Catholic world had a clear grasp of these principles the danger of being drawn into error was far less. In the history of the Church, we find it was the justified resistance of cardinals, Catholic universities, Catholic princes, religious, and simple faithful which blocked the faux pas of a number of popes, such as Popes John XXII and Sixtus V, concerning whom St. Robert Bellarmine wrote to Clement VIII:

Your Holiness knows the danger to which Sixtus V exposed himself and all the Church, when he undertook to correct Holy Scripture according to the lights of his own personal knowledge. Truly, I do not know whether the Church has ever been subject to a more grave danger (entry "Jésuites: travaux sur les Saintes Écritures" in F. Vigouroux, Dictionnaire de la Bible, vol.III, cols.1407-1408).

This danger was identified and rejected by the Catholic world. In reality, those who attribute infallibility always to the pope are doing a service neither to themselves, nor to the Church, nor to the pope himself, as the present times are plainly showing us. A pope's faux pas are a severe trial for the entire Catholic world.

Normal Times and Abnormal Times

In normal times the faithful can rely on the "authentic" Pontifical Magisterium with the same confidence with which they rely on the Infallible Magisterium. In normal times, it would be a very grave error to fail to take due account of even the simply "authentic" Magisterium of the Roman pope. This is because if everyone were permitted, in the presence of an act of the teaching authority, to suspend his assent or even to doubt or positively reject it on the grounds that it did not imply an infallible definition, it would result in the ecclesiastical Magisterium becoming practically illusory in concrete terms, because the ecclesiastical Magisterium is only relatively rarely expressed in definitions of this kind (DTC, vol.III, col.1110).

It must not be forgotten (as it has been forgotten nowadays) that the security of the Authentic Magisterium is not linked to infallibility, but to the "high degree of prudence" with which the successors of Peter "habitually" proceed, and to the "habitual" care they take never to swerve from the explicit and tacit teaching of their predecessors. Once this prudence and care are missing, we are no longer in normal times. In such a situation it would be a fatal error to equate the Authentic Magisterium of the Roman pontiff with his Infallible Magisterium (Ordinary or Extraordinary). These abnormal times are rare, thanks be to God, but they are not impossible. If we are not to be drawn into error, we urgently need to remember that the assent due to the non-infallible Magisterium is

...that of inward assent, not as of faith, but as of prudence, the refusal of which could not escape the mark of temerity, unless the doctrine rejected was an actual novelty or involved a manifest discordance between the pontifical affirmation and the doctrine which had hitherto been taught (Dom P.Nau, Pope or Church? op.cit. p.29).

Dom Nau makes it clear that this prudential assent does not apply in the case of a teaching that is "already traditional," which would belong to the sphere of the Ordinary Infallible Magisterium. However, in the case of a teaching which is not "already traditional," the reservation which interests us does apply: "unless the doctrine rejected...involved a manifest discordance between the pontifical affirmation and the doctrine which had hitherto been taught." Such a situation would legitimize the doctrine's rejection and would imply no "mark of temerity." Is this kind of "discordance" an impossible hypothesis? Dom Nau, whose attachment to the papacy was without doubt, wrote:
This is not a case which can be excluded a priori since it does not concern a formal definition. But, as Bossuet himself says, "It is so extraordinary that it does not happen more than twice or thrice in a thousand years" (Pope or Church? p.29).

In such a case, refusing one's assent does not only not manifest temerity: it is a positive duty. The "discordance" with "doctrine which had hitherto been taught" dispenses the Catholic from all obligation to obedience on this point:

The general principle is that one owes obedience to the orders of a superior unless, in a particular case, the order appears manifestly unjust. Similarly, a Catholic is bound to adhere interiorly to the teachings of legitimate authority until it becomes evident to him that a particular assertion is erroneous (DTC, vol.III, col.1110).

In the case we are examining, evidence of error is provided where an act of the Authentic Magisterium is discordant with the Extraordinary or Ordinary Infallible Magisterium, i.e., discordant with the traditional doctrine, to which the Catholic conscience is bound for eternity.

Faith Does Not Require the Abdication of Logic

In conclusion we shall excerpt the text of a theologian, whose passing is much to be regretted, who had a very clear grasp of the doctrine we are recalling here, and who knew well that it had been brought into confusion by the New Theologians. In arguing against Joseph KIeiner on the manifest contradiction between Pope Pius VI's Auctorem Fidei, which condemns concelebration, and Pope Paul VI's Instructio, which encourages it, Fr. Joseph de SainteMarie, O.C.D., wrote:

Has it ever been known for the Magisterium to intervene against a declaration of the Magisterium? In his mind [i.e., ofJoseph Kleiner - Ed.] the reply must be in the negative: No, for the sake of the infallibility of the Magisterium. This infallibility does imply, of course, that the Church cannot contradict herself, but only under a condition which our author has forgotten, namely, that she engages the fullness of her infallibility in such an act; or, in the case of the Ordinary Magisterium (and we must take great care not to minimize the latter's authority), provided that it conforms to what the Infallible Magisterium teaches, either in its solemn acts or in its constant teaching. If these conditions are not respected, there is nothing impossible about one "intervention" of the Magisterium being in contradiction with another. There is nothing to trouble one's faith here, for infallibility is not involved; but people's Catholic sensibilities are right to be scandalized at it, for such facts reveal a profound disorder in the exercise of the Magisterium. To deny the existence of these facts in the name of an erroneous understanding of the Church's infallibility, and to deny it a priori, is to fly in the face of the demands of theology, of history, and of the most elementary common sense.

The facts are there. They cannot be denied. We have given an example of them, and others could be given. It will suffice to recall...the Institutio Generalis which introduces the Novus Ordo Missae, particularly its celebrated Article 7. There the dogmas of the Eucharist and the priesthood were presented in such ambiguous terms, and so obviously orientated towards Protestantism - to say no more - that they had to be rectified. This Institutio, however, constituted an "intervention by the Magisterium."

Should it be accepted on that account, when it was going in a direction manifestly contrary to that of the Council of Trent, in which the Church had engaged her infallibility? If we were to follow the approach urged by Joseph Kleiner and so many others, the answer would be: "Yes." But to do this we would have to swallow the contradiction by denying that there is a contradiction - which is in itself contradictory. This would be a real abdication of the intellect, and it would leave us defenseless in the face of a principle of authority that would be totally outside the control of truth. Such an attitude is not in conformity with what the Magisterium itself requires of the faithful....Faith demands the submission of the intellect in the face of the Mystery that transcends it, not its abdication when confronted with the demands of intellectual coherence which pertain to its sphere of competence; judgment is a virtue of the intellect. That is why, when a contradiction is evident, as in the two cases we have just cited, the believer's duty (and, even more, the duty of the theologian) is to address the Magisterium and ask for the said contradiction to be removed (L’Eucharistie, salut du monde, Paris , ed.du Cèdre, 1981, p.56ff).

To this, nothing need be added, except perhaps to invite readers to pray the Divine Pity, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to remove, as soon as possible, this exceedingly severe trial from the Catholic world. - Hirpinus


This article was translated by Graham Harrison for Angelus Press, edited and abridged by Fr. Kenneth Novak. For a more all-encompassing study, see Pope or Church? Essays on the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium

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