The Recusant #56 - Autumn 2021

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• True and False Obedience (Abp. Lefebvre)

• “Then And Now” (Abp. Lefebvre vs. modern SSPX)

• English Martyrs (September & October)

• Is ‘Quo Primum’ Still in Force?

• “What are we to think of the Society of St Peter?” (old SSPX)

SPECIAL: What do “Traditionis Custodes” and “Summorum Pontificum” actually say? (Analysis) Pages 34-49
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Excerpt from The Recusant #56:


Dear Reader, You will, no doubt, have heard a great deal about ‘Traditionis Custodes,’ the document from Pope Francis restricting the use of the Traditional Roman missal. I am heartily sick of hearing people talking about it, and most of all I am tired of hearing people bewailing and bemoaning it and pining after the golden halcyon days of ‘Summorum Pontificum’ of Benedict XVI. Back in 2007 the SSPX welcomed “Summorum Pontificum” but today they are complaining about ‘Traditionis Custodes.’ The Resistance rejects both - in order to understand why, please pay careful attention to our study beginning on p.30.

Back in 2007 the SSPX’s response to Summorum Pontificum must have been alarming for anyone who was actually paying close attention. I confess that I was not, along with pretty much everyone I knew, and it may have been that very few people indeed ever actually took the trouble to read Summorum Pontificum which would account for how Bishop Fellay got away with singing its praises without anyone reacting.

This is why it seemed wise to take a look at both and to compare the two. The reader may judge for himself, but everything that Archbishop Lefebvre said concerning the Society of St Peter and the Indult of 1988 seems to apply to both. The one represented a “liberalising” of a permission and the other a constricting of it. Both are based on a lie, because Rome cannot require “permission” to do what Catholics have always done, and nor for that matter is it right for Catholics to ask for such a “permission.” Furthermore, both documents place the evil and uncatholic New Mass on a pedestal where it does not belong, declaring it to be the “ordinary form” and the “only form,” respectively, of the Roman rite, neither of which was ever or could ever be true.

What has been the SSPX response?

Fr. Pagliarani’s recent letter has much to recommend it and makes many good points. He is right, for instance, to point out that this is not merely a question of which Mass one prefers, not a question only of the liturgy or aesthetics, but “a matter of Faith” which is “doctrinal, moral, spiritual, ecclesiological.” Likewise, he is right to say that:

Quote:“This battle that has been waged for the past fifty years, which has just seen a highly significant event on July 16th, is not a simple war between two rites: it is indeed a war between two different and opposing conceptions of the Catholic Church and of Christian life…”

And he also talks about the New Mass being the authentic expression of a Church at one with the world, although he stops short of naming it: the conciliar church. Nor does he actually say that the New Mass is a) illegitimate or b) poisonous and c) causes souls to lose the Faith.

It is when he begins to talk about the Traditional Mass that one begins to detect something of the recent attitude of SSPX superiors:
Quote:“Since Almighty God has allowed all this, it is certainly for a greater good. Firstly for ourselves, who have the undeserved good fortune of knowing the Tridentine Mass and who can benefit from it! We possess a treasure with a value we do not always appreciate. May this “shock”, provoked by the harshness of the official tests of July 16th, serve to renew, deepen and rediscover our attachment to the Tridentine Mass! This Mass - our Mass - must really be for us like the pearl of great price in the Gospel, for which we are ready to renounce everything, for which we are ready to sell everything.

This way of talking (“What a treasure we possess! Let us share this treasure with the rest of the Church!”) was begun by Bishop Fellay within the last ten years or so in an attempt to sell the idea of an agreement with modernist Rome. It is fairly easy to be taken in by it, because elements of it are true: the Tridentine Mass, the teaching of the Church etc are in a sense a great treasure, and yes, we do want everyone to have it. But it is extremely misleading to talk in this way. The problem with it is that one has to pretend that the Church has not been under assault by her enemies, that there has been no infiltration, that the modern churchmen are not teaching errors which in many cases were already explicitly condemned by the Church, that legions of souls aren’t losing the Faith, living lives of rank immorality and falling into hell. This kind of talk risks leaving the mistaken impression that somehow the Pope and bishops have been awfully forgetful, like an absent minded professor who can’t find his glasses: they’ve managed to mislay their tradition! Silly them! Here, let me help you, you've left it lying under that pile of papers!

What’s more, the astute reader might detect more than a little hint of Fr Paul Robinson in there, especially when it comes to talking about “a treasure...we do not always appreciate.” Again, there is a sense in which this is always going to be true, but Fr Robinson’s recent attempt to sell the-pandemic-that-wasn’t, the tyrannical lockdowns and The Great Reset as a good thing because people suddenly “appreciate Mass on a Tuesday” was less than honest and anything but helpful.

“Our Mass”

In a similar vein, it is potentially misleading to refer to the Tridentine Mass as “our Mass” - it is our Mass, but it is not only our Mass, it is everyone’s Mass. The New Mass is nobody’s Mass, because nobody has the right to it, is something evil which has done incalculable harm. To call it “our Mass” sounds very much like the Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and all the other one-foot-in-each-camp Ecclesia Dei / Indult Traditionalists: “our particular charism is to say the Tridentine Mass”..! You have your bongo and tambourines Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way have their weird, creepy, cultish “Mass,” the Anglicans ordinariate have their “Anglican Mass” using the “Anglican Missal.” The “Charismatic Renewal” have their “Pentecostal Mass” where they roll around on the floor and bark like dogs. There are even “gay rights” Masses in many major cities of the world, including London. The list of horrors could go on. But that’s their charism, whereas our charism is to have the Tridentine Mass.

The problem with this attitude is two-fold. First of all, it clearly means in practice the acceptance of pluralism, of the horrifying Vatican II “diversity” which plagues the Church - you’re OK, we’re OK, you do your thing and we’ll do ours. The real Traditionalist rejects such religious pluralism in principle and instead adopts the attitude of Archbishop Lefebvre. Yes, we use the Tridentine Missal. We have every right to and you can keep your silly permission, we don’t need it. Anyway, never mind us, we’re not the problem, we’re the ones doing what the Church has always done - what about you, you should be using the Tridentine Missal too, you’ve no right not to! You’ve no right to use that evil, illegitimate, uncatholic New Mass! We won’t rest until the New Mass is eradicated off the face of the earth and consigned to the dustbin of history! Any reader who cannot see what I mean here should re-read Fr. Pagliarani’s words in the paragraph quoted above and ask himself which of the two attitudes he detects the more strongly. If there is still any doubt, let him read what the SSPX used to say about the Ecclesia Dei / Indult Catholics (see “What are we to think of the Fraternity of St Peter?” on p.50) and see if it sounds any different.

The second problem with this attitude (“our Mass”) is that when one boils it down, it is essentially selfish because the main preoccupation is that we should be allowed to have our own little piece of “permitted” Traditionalism, and in return we’ll be good and obedient and we won’t disturb the Charismatics, Neocatechumenates, Anglicans or whoever else and make them feel bad, we’ll leave everyone else alone just as long as we get to keep our Mass. The real Traditionalist is the opposite of selfish. For the good of all souls (not just the ones who belong to our apostolate or our charism) he insists that no quarter be given to uncatholic or anti-Catholic practices or teachings, and in the meantime he is quite prepared to be treated with contempt, given the cold-shoulder and called intolerant, disobedient, a schismatic, a trouble maker, an extremist and every other name under the sun because he knows that ultimately it is not really about him. This is typified by Archbishop Lefebvre. Once again, it is instructive to compare the modern-day SSPX: the selfishness is all pervasive. It’s all about us, us, us, we this, we that… me, me, me. Where are the ringing condemnations of Pope Francis, of the local bishop? The priests of the modern SSPX are far more likely to be seen involving themselves in smiling, friendly visits with the local modernist bishop than saying anything critical of him in public. And that is because they now care more for the interests of their own organisation than for the interests of the whole Church.

Ready to renounce everything for…? The Tridentine Mass?

This surely doesn’t even need pointing out, but there is something fairly obviously wrong with equating the Pearl of Great Price with the Tridentine Mass, as Fr Pagliarani so unfortunately does. Think for one moment about what that would imply if it were true. Just how far are you prepared to go to justify attending the Tridentine Mass if you are a layman, or saying it if you are a priest? A little bit of glossing over of some of Vatican II’s less-than-orthodox passages? An acceptance in some sense of Religious Liberty? Sure, it’s basically heretical, and we used to condemn it in the most uncompromising terms, but the Tridentine Mass is what matters, we ought to be prepared to renounce everything for the Tridentine Mass, right? What about accepting the New Code of Canon law, or John Paul II’s 1994 modernist tome, the very pretentiously titled “Catechism of the Catholic Church” with the various bits of dubious morality it contains? Suppose that is the price of “permission” for “our” Mass? Well, then, we should be prepared to renounce everything, shouldn’t we?

This has essentially been the attitude of the Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, Le Barroux monastery and the whole Indult / Ecclesia Dei movement in general. As long as we can have the Tridentine Mass, that’s what matters most, and we’ll be prepared to renounce anything else, including the fight for the Faith, including any uncompromising position which we used to hold. The result is that they now accept the legitimacy of the New Mass per se and will never be found attacking or criticising it, indeed their priests will often concelebrate the New Mass on Maundy Thursday. Within a few years of signing an agreement with Rome, Le Barroux produced a book written by one of their priests attempting to defend Vatican II’s teaching on Religious Liberty. Devotions in their chapels are a mixture of traditional and modernist, the “Divine Mercy” abounds and the books they sell are likewise an unhappy mixture. The sermons and newsletters are all positive and no negative, all praise for the good and no warning to the faithful about the bad going on out there in the rest of the conciliar church; all carrot and no stick, in other words. Holy Mother Church historically has always used both, however, because She understands human nature and knows that error needs to be denounced and with it the people promoting error. These priests and faithful are no longer a threat to the conciliar authorities, they have been successfully side-lined. And yet they have the Tridentine Mass. Can it be then, that the Tridentine Mass is in any way equivalent to the Pearl of Great Price..?

Imagine that you were a Catholic living behind the Iron Curtain in the days of Communism. The infamous “pax priests” who had made a secret agreement with the Communist government were saying the Tridentine Mass - what would be wrong with going to their Mass, if it is the Tridentine Mass that is the pearl of great price? Shouldn’t we be prepared to renounce everything, including our opposition to Communism? Cardinal Mindszenty ought to have tried harder to get along with the Communist authorities, clearly, because then more of the faithful might have had access to this “pearl of great price” the Tridentine Mass. Cardinal Kung likewise: the “Chinese Patriotic” fake church had the Tridentine Mass for many years. It’s ludicrous. Any Catholic still possessed of a sensus fidei can see that there is something wrong here. It is the Catholic Faith that will get you to heaven, not the Tridentine-Mass-at-all costs. That is why, if there should ever be a choice between putting the Faith at risk, even slightly, in order to have a Tridentine Mass on the one hand, and on the other going without Mass in order to keep the Faith, we must always choose the latter. Not many things matter more than the Mass, but the Faith is one thing which does.

Finally, let us add that this is not to downplay the extreme value of the Tridentine Mass. But calling it the pearl of great price which we should renounce everything in order to obtain, this is not true and it betrays a very dangerous attitude. And yet this is precisely what all the Ecclesia Dei / Indult Catholics have done from the start, as far back as 1988. Now, we seem to see the same attitude at the top of the SSPX - is this now the attitude of the Society of St Pius X too? There is one more indicator which may perhaps give some clue. If one examines the list of locations and times of SSPX Masses throughout the country, and if one then compares it to a similar list from back in the 1990s, an interesting distinction becomes apparent. In the 1990s there were fewer priests but more Mass locations. Furthermore, whereas now most of the remaining SSPX chapels are every week, the average SSPX Mass in those days was once-a-month or twice-a-month, and only a minority had Mass every Sunday and Holyday. Also, for what it’s worth, most, practically all, of the remaining SSPX Masses are in actual churches and chapels, sometimes fairly fancy, luxurious ones (take a look at what they plan to build at St. Michael’s!), whereas back then the average SSPX Mass took place in very constrained accommodation, a conference room in a hotel, a village hall or community centre rented for the occasion, the ground floor main room of a private home, and so on.

Very well and good, but what does that tell us? What it ought to tell us is that the attitude of the SSPX was very different then to what it is now. If they used to provide many faithful with Mass less often than every Sunday (which they did), and if they used to tell people not to go to the New Mass or even to the Indult Mass (which they did, see p.50), then we will not be too surprised to learn that they encouraged the faithful to say the rosary, read the missal and make a holy hour while awaiting the next visit of a truly uncompromisingly Traditional priest (which they did), then there will have been a reason for that. The reason was precisely what we have discussed above. Such a model of organising the apostolate is entirely consistent with a “we’re -right-and-everyone-else-is-wrong” attitude, an attitude of uncompromising fight for the Faith. It is entirely consistent with being at war with the conciliar modernists who are destroying the Church. As the SSPX has grown closer and closer to the conciliar church, they have softened their attitude towards the Ecclesia Dei / Indult Masses and now tell the faithful that they can go there instead. So what happens at a monthly or fortnightly SSPX Mass centre? On the ‘off Sundays’ the faithful will end up going to their local Indult Mass. And eventually they will stay there. Even if they don’t, the modern SSPX priests, not possessed of the same amount of zeal as they once were, will then be happy to save themselves the unwanted effort of travelling all the way out to a Mass centre which is small and rare and whose faithful are most of the time to be found at the Indult Mass anyway. And truth be told they won’t see the point of keeping it going. But they can never admit that, of course: they will always have to spin it as “efficiency,” “cost-cutting,” etc. as though such terms have any place in a Catholic apostolate.

If the modern SSPX now see the Indult Mass as a legitimate alternative to themselves, then it makes sense that they would want to have more weekly Masses, even if this means fewer Mass centres overall, because they see themselves (without ever admitting it) almost as just another Indult alternative. The old SSPX, convinced that they were right and everyone else wrong, would go to the effort of parking their tanks on the lawn of this or that modernist bishop, of increasing their footprint, of lengthening their reach and covering as much of the country as possible, even if it meant Mass once-a-month in the evening, in a shabby rented hall at which fifteen or so people were present. By contrast, it is because the SSPX is no longer on a crusade to convert the rest of the Church from its modernism that they now are happy to have a smaller footprint and shorter reach. Were the faithful of Portsmouth told to go to the Indult Mass said by the Franciscans in Gosport, does anyone know? Or the faithful who would have attended Tunstall, were they told to go to the Indult Mass in Birmingham Oratory, for example? What are the chances that they weren’t even tacitly encouraged to do so?

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The rest of Fr. Pagliarani’s letter is nothing to write home about, it is more or less what you would expect: “the Holy sacrifice of the Mass is the supreme expression of a doctrinal and moral universe.” - True, but where’s your conclusion based on that? What are the implications? Later on, it is true, he does talk about “choosing the Catholic faith in its entirety and through it, choosing Our Lord Jesus Christ, with His Cross, His Sacrifice, His universal kingship.” But this is never elaborated upon. What does that actually mean, in practice? What is the link between the Faith and the Tridentine Mass, and what if the enemy tries to prevent us with a false choice of the one or the other? Fine sounding words, words which use all the traditional-sounding vocabulary but are in fact devoid of any real substance.

When he talks about the SSPX having a duty to offer all these other indultish priests “a sign of hope” which, says he, is that “the certitude that the Tridentine Mass can never disappear from the face of the earth” again, he does not elaborate. For instance: why might the Tridentine Mass be (or recently have been) in danger of disappearing? It’s almost as though there’d been some big, disastrous event in the Church and one bishop who suffered all sorts of unjust penalties to keep it alive. But no, there is no mention of that. There is in fact, very little in this letter to which a novus ordo “conservative” could object; its sins of omission are various. As already noted above, both Vatican II and the New Mass get a passing mention, but the letter does not properly explain what is wrong with either. Furthermore, it makes no mention whatever of:

• Modernism;
• Pope Francis, or any of the conciliar Popes (by name or in general);
• The conciliar church (by name);
• Archbishop Lefebvre
• Archbishop Bugnini, or any of his collaborators;
• Protestantism;
• ‘Quo Primum,’ Pope St Pius V or the Council of Trent

Indeed, there is in fact no direct criticism of Pope Francis. The closest he comes is at the start when he says that there has been “an upheaval in the so-called Traditionalist movement” (of what nature? Why?) caused by “a wave of the sleeve” (whose sleeve?) and that “the era of the hermeneutics of continuity is radically over” (again, why? Is that a good or bad thing? Who’s fault? etc.) before going on to say that it doesn’t directly affect the SSPX anyway. Look in vain for an attack on Pope Francis, or even mild criticism of him by name: you won’t find one here!

Imagine writing an entire two-and-a-half page letter about the Traditional Mass versus the New Mass and not mentioning Archbishop Lefebvre once, even in passing. That, let me venture to suggest, tells us all we need to know about the modern SSPX.

Well, for the reader who may wish to remind himself of exactly why no priest should ever say the New Mass and no faithful ever attend it (something which Fr Pagliarani doesn’t say, even obliquely), the reason is because the New Mass is man-made, by a committee comprising six Protestants and chaired by an alleged Freemason, because it is a non-Catholic and schismatic rite which expresses a heretical theology and which was condemned already by the Council of Trent itself, by Quo Primum of St Pius V, and by Auctorem Fidei of Pope Pius VI; oh yes, and because it causes souls to lose the Faith. Furthermore, nobody needs “permission” for the Tridentine Mass, as Quo Primum makes abundantly clear, to say nothing of one’s own common sense and the sensus fidei which every Catholic ought to possess. Once more, however, it seems, it is the Resistance who are left with the task of reminding everyone of these important truths, things which the SSPX don’t seem to be saying any longer.


Yes. That. Every betrayal has its own bad fruit. There is no doubt at all now that there is an official policy to allow these so-called vaccines on the part of the SSPX. The fact that Fr Frey, District Superior of Austria, was made to retract his Mitteilungsblatt warning against the covid “vaccines” and replace it in the following month’s issue with something which very much resembles the Fr. Selegny piece circulated in France and the USA, allowing people to get the jab, surely proves that once and for all. And if this latest bad fruit won’t convince people that the SSPX hasn’t gone astray and betrayed it’s mission, betrayed Archbishop Lefebvre and betrayed Our Lord, then I don’t know what will.

Is this injection the “mark of the beast”..? As is often the case, I suspect the answer may lie somewhere between exaggeration and a certain justified paranoia. (As one amusing quotation in late and greatly missed Ronald Warwick’s book The Living Flame put it: “Paranoid? Of course we’re paranoid! We’d want our heads examining if we weren’t paranoid! They really are out to get us!”). I don’t know any more than any of you, and perhaps a little less in some cases, but here is what I think is really going on. The so-called “covid vaccines” aren’t the mark of the beast. They are being pushed by people who are behind calls for radical world population reduction. And they are dangerous and generally harmful to health. It may not be that everyone will die directly as a result of them, however. I rather fear that they are a trial run for the real goal. ‘Let’s see how easy or difficult it is to make everyone get these dangerous and harmful injections. Then in a few years, when we mandate the microchip under the skin, we’ll already have worked out how to squash any opposition and achieve maximum uptake.’ Something like that. Of course, I could be completely wrong. Either way, I think it is safe to say that the more one gives in to an evil, the faster it will grow. So continue to resist. One thing is for certain: when you die, whenever that moment arrives, you’ll wish you’d done more - so let’s do more now, while we’re still alive! The rest is in God’s hands.

- The Editor
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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