Archbishop Lefebvre: Open Letter to Confused Catholics
Chapter 9. The New Theology

The ravages caused by the new catechism are already visible in the generation which has been exposed to it. As required by the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities since 1970, I had included in the plan of studies for my seminaries one year's spirituality at the beginning of the course. Spirituality includes the study of asceticism, mysticism, training in meditation and prayer, deepening the notions of virtue, supernatural grace, the presence of the Holy Ghost. Very soon we had to think again. We realized that these young men, who had come with a strong desire to become true priests, and having an interior life deeper than many of their contemporaries, and accustomed to prayer, were lacking the fundamental ideas of our Faith. They had never learned them. During the year of spirituality, we had to teach them the catechism!

I have many times told the story of the birth of Ecône. In this house situated in the Valais in Switzerland, between Sion and Martigny, it was originally intended that the future priests would complete only their first year (of spirituality). Then they would follow the university course at Fribourg. A complete seminary (at Ecône) took shape as soon as it did because the University at Fribourg could not provide a truly Catholic education. The Church has always considered the university chairs of theology, canon law, liturgy and Church law as organs of her magisterium or at least of her preaching. Now it is quite certain that at present in all, or nearly all of the Catholic universities, the orthodox Catholic faith is no longer being taught. I have not found one doing so, either in free Europe, or in the United States, or in South America. There are always some professors who, under the pretext of theological research, express opinions which are contradictory to our faith, and not only on points of secondary importance.

I have already spoken of the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Strasbourg, for whom the presence of Our Lord in the Mass can be compared to that of Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival. It is no longer a question of the Novus Ordo for him. The world is evolving so rapidly that these things are quickly left behind. He considers that we must foresee a Eucharist which will emerge from the group itself. What does he mean by this? He is not sure himself. But in his book, Contemporary Thought and Expression of Eucharistic Faith, he prophesies that members of that group gathered together will create the feeling of communion in Christ who will be present amongst them, but above all under the species of bread and wine. He scoffs at calling the Eucharist “an efficacious sign” (a definition common to all the sacraments). “That is ridiculous,” he says, “we can no longer say that sort of thing, in our day it no longer makes sense.”

The young students who hear these things from their professors and moreover from the dean of the faculty, and young seminarians who attend the classes, are little by little infected with the error. They receive a training which is no longer Catholic. It is the same for those who not long ago heard a Dominican professor at Fribourg assuring them that premarital relations are both normal and desirable.

My own seminarians knew another Dominican who taught them to compose new versions of the Canon of the Mass. “It isn’t difficult; here are a few principles you can easily use when you are priests.” We could go on with examples like this. Smulders, at the Theological Faculty in Amsterdam, suspects that St. Paul and St. John invented the concept of Jesus as Son of God, and thus he rejects the dogma of the Incarnation. Schillebeeckx, at the University of Nimjaegen, comes out with the most outrageous ideas; he has invented “trans-signification,” subjecting the dogma (of transubstantiation) to the conditions of each period of history; and he assigns a social and temporal definition to the doctrine of salvation. Küng, at Tübingen, before he was forbidden to teach in a chair of Catholic theology, questioned the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, of the Virgin Mary, and the sacraments, and described Jesus as a public story-teller lacking “all theological training.” Snackenburg, at the University of Würtzburg, accuses St. Matthew of having forged the confession, “Thou art the Christ,” in order to authenticate the primacy of Peter. Rahner, who died recently, minimized Tradition in his lectures at the University of Münich, virtually denying the Incarnation by always speaking of Our Lord as a man “naturally conceived,” denying original sin and the Immaculate Conception and recommending theological plurality.

All these people are praised to the skies by the leading spokesmen of neo-modernism. They have the support of the press, in such a way that their theories assume importance in the eyes of the public and their names are known to all. They thus appear to represent the entirety of theology and gain support for the idea that the Church has changed. They have been able to continue their subversive teaching for many years, interrupted sometimes by mild sanctions. The popes issue regular reminders of the limits of the theologian's competence. Pope John Paul ll said quite recently, “It is not possible to turn away and detach oneself from those fundamental reference points, the defined dogmas, without losing one's Catholic identity.” Schillebeeckx, Küng and Pohier have been reprimanded but have not suffered sanctions, the last-named for a book in which he denies the bodily resurrection of Christ. And who would have imagined that at the Roman Universities, including the Gregorian, under the pretext of theological research the most incredible theories are allowed, regarding the relationship of Church and State, divorce, and other fundamental questions?

There is no doubt that abolishing the Holy Office, which had always been seen by the Church as the tribunal of the Faith, has favored these abuses. Until then anyone--lay man, priest or a fortiori a bishop--could submit to the Holy Office any text, any article and ask whether the Church thought the writing was in conformity or not with Catholic doctrine. A month or six weeks later, the Holy Office would reply: “This is correct, this is false, that must be made clear; one part is true and one part false...”

Every document was thus examined and judged definitively. Does it shock you to learn that the writings of another person could be submitted to a tribunal? But what happens in civil society? Is there not a Constitutional Council to decide what is and what is not in conformity with the Constitution? Are there not tribunals to deal with cases affecting private individuals and groups? We can even ask a judge to intervene in cases of public morality, against an offensive poster or against a magazine sold openly, if the cover consititutes an outrage against public morals, although the limits of what is permitted have widened considerably in recent times in many countries.

But in the Church, a tribunal was no longer acceptable; we could no longer judge or condemn. The modernists, like the Protestants, have singled out from the gospels their favorite phrase “Thou shalt not judge.” But they ignore the fact that immediately after, Our Lord said: “Beware of false prophets... by their fruits you shall know them.” A Catholic must not make ill-considered judgments on the faults and personal actions of his brethren, but Christ has commanded him to preserve his faith, and how can he do this without casting a critical eye upon what he is given to read or to hear? Any dubious opinion could be submitted to the magisterium; that was the purpose of the Holy Office. But since the reform, the Holy Office has defined itself as “the Office for Theological Research.” A considerable difference.

I remember asking Cardinal Browne, former Superior General of the Dominicans, who had long been at the Holy Office, “Your Eminence, do you have the impression that this is a radical change, or merely superficial and outward?” “Oh no,” he replied, “the change is fundamental”.

This is why we must not be surprised if little or nothing is condemned, if the Tribunal for the Faith of the Church no longer fulfills its duty toward theologians and all those who write on religious topics. It follows from this that errors are everywhere. They spread from the university chairs to the catechisms and to the remotest parish presbyteries. The poison of heresy ends by contaminating the whole Church. The ecclesiastical magisterium is in a very serious crisis.

The most absurd reasoning is used to support the activity of these soit disant theologians. We have seen a certain Father Duquoc, professor at Lyons, travelling all over France giving lectures on the advisibillity of conferring temporary priesthood on certain of the faithful, including women. A good number of the faithful have protested here and there, and one bishop in the South of France has taken a firm stand against this controversial preacher. This happens occasionally. But at Laval the scandalized laity received this reply from their bishop: “It is our absolute duty in this case to preserve freedom of speech within the Church.” This is astonishing. Where did he get this idea of freedom of speech? It is completely alien to the law of the Church; yet he considers the defence of it to be a bishop's absolute duty! It amounts to a complete inversion of episcopal responsibility, which should consist of defending the Faith and preserving the people entrusted to him from heresy.

It is necessary to cite examples from the public sphere. I would ask the reader to believe that I am not writing this book to criticize personalities. That, too, was always the attitude of the Holy Office. It did not examine persons, but only writings. A theologian might complain that they had condemned one of his books without giving him a hearing. But precisely--the Holy Office condemned particular writings and not authors. It would say, “This book contains statements which are at variance with the traditional doctrine of the Church.” Just that! Why go back to the person who had written them? His intentions and his culpability are the concern of another tribunal, that of penance.
"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
Chapter 10. Ecumenism

In this confusion of ideas (in which some Catholics now seem to be quite at ease), there is a tendency especially dangerous to the Faith, the more so because it masquerades as charity. The word which appeared in 1927 during a congress held at Lausanne, Switzerland, would have put Catholics on their guard if they had consulted their dictionaries. “Ecumenism: a movement toward reunion of all Christian churches in a single church.” Now it is clear that we cannot combine contradictory principles. We cannot unite truth and error so as to form one thing, except by adopting the error and rejecting all or part of the truth. Ecumenism is self-condemnatory.

The expression has become so fashionable since the last Council that it has slipped into everyday speech. We speak of universal ecumenism, of exploratory ecumenism and whatever else, to express a taste or a preference for diversity and eclecticism. In religious language ecumenism has recently been extended to non-Christian religions and translated straightway into action. A newspaper in western France gives us a perfect example of the way this evolutionary process works. In a small parish near Cherbourg, the Catholic population showed concern for the welfare of the Muslim workers who had arrived to work on a building site. For this charitable action they can only be praised. In the next stage, however, the Muslims asked for a place to celebrate the fast of Ramadan, and the Christians offered them the basement of their church. Then a Koranic school opened. After a couple of years the Christians invited the Muslims to celebrate Christmas with them “around a common prayer made up of extracts from the Koran and verses from the Gospels.” Misplaced charity had led these Christians to come to terms with error.

In Lille the Dominicans have offered the Muslims a chapel to be turned into a mosque. In Versailles collections have been taken up in the churches for the “purchase of a place of worship for the Muslims.” Two other chapels have been handed over at Roubaix and at Marseilles, together with a church at Argenteuil. Catholics have become the apostles of the worst enemy of the Church of Christ--which is what Islam is--and are offering their money to Mohammed. It appears that there are more than four hundred mosques in France, and in many cases Catholics have given the money for their construction.

Nowadays all religions have the Freedom of the City within the Church. A French cardinal celebrated Mass in the presence of some Tibetan monks, dressed in their ceremonial robes and seated in the front row, bowing before them while a commentator announced: “The bonzes share with us in the Eucharistic celebration.” In a church at Rennes, worship of Buddha was celebrated. In Italy, twenty monks were solemnly initiated into Zen by a Buddhist.

I could cite endless examples of such syncretism going on around us. We see associations developing, movements being born which always seem to find an ecclesiastic as leader who wants to join in the quest to “blend all spiritualities in love.” Or astounding projects like the transformation of Notre Dame de la Garde (at Marseilles) into a place of monotheistic worship for Christians, Muslims and Jews, a project which fortunately was stopped by some groups of lay people.

Ecumenism in the strict sense, i.e., as practised among Christians, has motivated joint Eucharistic celebrations with Protestants, such as at Strasbourg. The Anglicans were invited to Chartres Cathedral to celebrate “Eucharistic Communion.” The only celebration which is not allowed, either at Chartres, or at Strasbourg, or at Marseilles, is that of Holy Mass according to the rite codified by Saint Pius V.

What conclusion can be drawn from all this by a Catholic who sees Church authorities condoning such scandalous ceremonies? If all religions are of equal value, he could very well work out his salvation with Buddhists or Protestants. He is running the risk of losing faith in the true Church. This in fact is what is suggested to him. They want to submit the Church to natural law; they want to put it on the same footing with other religions. They refuse to say--even priests, seminarians and seminary professors--that the Catholic Church is the only Church, that she possesses the truth, that she alone is able to lead men to salvation through Jesus Christ. “The Church is only a spiritual leaven within society, but the same as other religions; a bit more than the others, perhaps...” They sometimes grant it a slight superiority, if you press them.

If this is the case, then the Church is merely useful; she is no longer indispensible. She is only one of the means of salvation.

We must say it clearly: such a concept is radically opposed to Catholic dogma. The Church is the one ark of salvation, and we must not be afraid to affirm it. You have often heard it said, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”--a dictum which offends contemporary minds. It is easy to believe that this doctrine is no longer in effect, that it has been dropped. It seems excessively severe.

Yet nothing, in fact, has changed; nothing can be changed in this area. Our Lord did not found a number of churches: He founded only One. There is only one Cross by which we can be saved, and that Cross has been given to the Catholic Church. It has not been given to others. To His Church, His mystical bride, Christ has given all graces. No grace in the world, no grace in the history of humanity is distributed except through her.

Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved? No, it would be a second error to think that. Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian's formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is. There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit. Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God. As priests we must state the truth.

But at the cost of what difficulties do people in those countries where Christianity has not penetrated come to receive baptism by desire! Error is an obstacle to the Holy Ghost. This explains why the Church has always sent missionaries into all countries of the world, why thousands of them have suffered martyrdom. If salvation can be found in any religion, why cross the seas, why subject oneself to unhealthy climates, to a harsh life, to sickness and an early death? From the martyrdom of St. Stephen onwards (the first to give his life for Christ, and for this reason his feast is the day after Christmas), the Apostles set out to spread the Good News throughout the Mediterranean countries.

Would they have done this if one could be saved by worshipping Cybele or by the mysteries of Eleusis? Why did Our Lord say to them, “Go and preach the Gospel to all nations?”

It is amazing that nowadays certain people want to let everyone find his own way to God according to the beliefs prevailing in his own “cultural milieu.” A bishop once told a priest who wanted to convert the little Muslims, “No, teach them to be good Muslims; that will be much better than making Catholics of them.” I am assured and know for certain that before the Council the Taizé community wanted to abjure their errors and become Catholics. The authorities said to them, “No, wait. After the Council you will be the bridge between Catholics and Protestants.” Those who gave this reply took on a great responsibility before God, because grace comes often only at a given moment; it may perhaps not come again. At the present time the brethren of Taizé are still outside the Church, sowing confusion in the minds of the young people who visit them.

I have spoken of the conversions which have abruptly fallen in countries like the United States--where they used to amount to 170,000 a year--and Great Britain and Holland. The missionary spirit has faded away because of the wrong definition of the Church and because of the conciliar declaration on religious liberty of which I must now speak.
"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
Chapter 11. Religious Liberty

Among all the documents of the Council, it was the schema on religious liberty which led to the most acrimonious discussions. This is easily explained by the influence of the liberals and the interest taken in this matter by the hereditary enemies of the Church. Now, twenty years later, we see that our fears were not exaggerated when the text was promulgated as a declaration comprising all the concepts opposed to tradition and to the teaching of recent popes. How true it is that all false or ambiguously expressed principles will inevitably reveal their implicit errors. Later in this chapter, I shall show how the attacks on Catholic education by the Socialist government in France are the logical consequence of the new definition given to religious liberty by Vatican II.

A little theology will help us toward a proper understanding of the spirit in which this declaration was drawn up. The initial--and, in fact, new--argument was based on the freedom of every man to practice inwardly and outwardly the religion of his choice, on the basis of “the dignity of the human person.” In this view, liberty is based on dignity, which gives it its raison d’être. Man can hold any error whatever in the name of his dignity.

This is putting the cart before the horse. For whoever clings to error loses his dignity and can no longer build upon it. Rather, the foundation of liberty is truth, not dignity. "The truth will make you free," said Our Lord.

What is dignity? According to Catholic tradition, man derives dignity from his perfection, i.e, from his knowledge of the truth and his acquisition of the good. Man is worthy of respect in accordance with his intention to obey God, not in accordance with his errors, which will inevitably lead to sin. When Eve the first sinner succumbed, she said, “The serpent deceived me.” Her sin and that of Adam led to the downfall of human dignity, from which we have suffered ever since.

We cannot then make the downfall the cause of liberty. On the contrary, adherence to truth and the love of God are the principles of authentic religious liberty, which we can define as the liberty to render to God the worship due to Him and to live according to His commandments.

If you have followed my argument, you see that religious liberty cannot be applied to false religions; it does not allow of being split up in this way; the only right that must be recognized by the state is that of the citizens to practice Christ's religion.

This will certainly seem an exhorbitant claim to those who do not have the Faith. But the Catholic uncontaminated by the spirit of the times will find it quite normal and legitimate. Unfortunately many Christians have lost sight of these realities: it has been so often repeated that we must respect other people's ideas, put ourselves in their place, accept their point of view. The nonsensical “everyone to his own truth” has become the rule; dialogue has become the highest cardinal virtue, dialogue which necessarily leads to concessions. Through misplaced charity the Christian has come to think that he must go one step further than his interlocutors; he is usually the only one to do so. He no longer sacrifices himself for the truth, as the martyrs did. Instead, he sacrifices the truth.

On the other hand, the increase in the number of secular states in Christian Europe has accustomed people to secularism and has led them to adapt to things contrary to the Church's teaching. But doctrine cannot be adapted; it is fixed and defined once and for all.

At the Central Preparatory Commission before the Council, two schemas were submitted, one by Cardinal Bea under the title “Religious Liberty,” the other by Cardinal Ottaviani under the title, “Religious Tolerance.” The first filled fourteen pages without any reference to documents of the Magisterium. The second covered seven pages of text and sixteen pages of references, from Pius VI (1790) to John XXIII (1959).

Cardinal Bea's schema contained, in my view and in that of a considerable number of the Fathers, propositions not in accord with the eternal truths of the Church. We read, for example, “This is why we must praise the fact that in our day liberty and religious equality are proclaimed by many nations and by the International Organization for the Rights of Man.”

Cardinal Ottaviani, on the other hand, set forth the question correctly: “Just as the civil power considers it right to protect citizens from the seductions of error, so it may also regulate and moderate the public expression of other forms of worship and defend its citizens against the diffusion of false doctrines which, in the judgment of the Church, endanger their eternal salvation.”

Leo XIII, in Rerum Novarum, said that the common temporal good, the aim of civil society, is not purely of the material order but is “principally a moral good.” Man is organized in society for the good of all. How can one exclude the supreme good, i.e., the blessedness of heaven, from the scheme of things?

There is another aspect of the Church's role in denying freedom to false religions. The propagation of false ideas naturally exerts more influence upon the weakest, the least educated. Who will challenge the duty of the State to protect the weak? This is its primary duty, the raison d'être of an organized society. It defends its subjects from outside enemies, it protects their everyday life against thieves, murderers, criminals and aggressors of all sorts. Even secular states offer protection in the area of morals by banning, for example, pornographic magazines (although the situation in this respect has greatly deteriorated in France in the last few years and is at its worst in countries like Denmark). Nevertheless, civilized Christian countries long retained a sense of their obligations towards the most vulnerable, particularly children. People have remained sensitive in this matter and through family associations call on the state to take the necessary measures. Radio programmes in which vice is too prominent can be banned--although nobody is obliged to listen to them--on the ground that, since many children have radios, they are no longer protected. The teaching of the Church in this regard, which might seem excessively severe, is thus in accord with reason and common sense.

It is the current fashion to reject all forms of constraint and to bemoan its influence at certain periods of history. Pope John Paul II, deferring to this fad, deplored the Inquisition during his visit to Spain. But it is only the excesses of the Inquisition that are remembered. What is forgotten is that the Church, in creating the Holy Office (Sanctum Officium Inquisitionis), was fulfilling its duty in protecting souls and proceeded against those who were trying to falsify the Faith and thus endangering the eternal salvation of everyone. The Inquisition came to the help of the heretics themselves, just as one goes to the help of persons who jump into the water to end their lives. Would we accuse the rescuers of exerting an intolerable constraint upon these unfortunates? To make another comparison, I do not think it would occur to a Catholic, even a confused one, to complain of a government's ban on drugs, contending that it is exercising constraint upon drug addicts.

Everyone understands that the father of a family will bring up his children in his faith. In the Acts of the Apostles the centurion Cornelius, touched by grace, received baptism “and all his household with him.” King Clovis in the same way was baptized together with his soldiers.

The benefits that the Catholic religion brings with it show how deluded is the attitude of the post-conciliar clergy who renounce any pressure, or even influence, on non-believers. In Africa, where I spent the major part of my life, the missions fought against the scourges of polygamy, homosexuality, and the contempt in which women are held. The degraded position of women in Islamic society is well known: she becomes a slave or chattel as soon as Christian civilization disappears. There can be no doubt of the right of the truth to prevail and to replace false religions. And yet in practice the Church does not prescribe blindly and intransigently regarding the expression of false religions in public. She has always said that they could be tolerated by the authorities in order to avoid a greater evil. That is why Cardinal Ottaviani preferred the term “religious tolerance.”

If we put ourselves in the position of a Catholic state where the religion of Christ is officially recognized, we see that this tolerance can avoid troubles which may be harmful to the whole. But in a secular society professing neutrality, the law of the Church will surely not be observed. Why, you will then ask, maintain it?

First of all, it is not a question of a human law that can be abrogated or altered. Secondly, abandoning that very principle has its consequences. We have already noted a number of them.

The agreements between the Vatican and certain nations which had rightly granted a privileged status to the Catholic religion have been modified. This is the situation in Spain and more recently in Italy, where the catechism is no longer compulsory in the schools. How far will they go? Have these new legislators of human nature realized that the Pope is also the head of a state? Will he be compelled to secularize the Vatican and authorize the construction of a mosque and a Protestant church in it?

Catholic states themselves are disappearing. In the world today there are protestant States, an Anglican state, Moslem states, Marxist states--and yet they think there should be no more Catholic states! Catholics will no longer be entitled to work to establish them; they will be allowed only to maintain the religious neutrality of the state!

Pius IX called this “madness” and “the freedom of perdition.” Leo XIII condemned religious indifference of the state. Is what was right in their times no longer so?

We cannot insist upon the freedom of all religious societies, within human society, without at the same time granting them moral liberty. Islam allows polygamy; Protestants--depending on the particular sect--have more or less lax positions on the indissolubility of marriage and on contraception. The criterion of good and evil is disappearing. Abortion is no longer illegal in Europe, except in Catholic Ireland. It is impossible for the Church of God to condone these abuses by affirming religious liberty.

Another consequence affects Catholic schools. The state can no longer grant that Catholic schools should exist and that they should have the lion’s share of private education. It places them on the same footing, as we have seen, with the schools of non-Catholic sects, and says, “If we allow you to exist, we must do the same for the Moonies and every community of this type, even those of bad repute.” And the Church cannot argue! The Socialist government in France has taken advantage of the Declaration on Religious Liberty and tried to merge Catholic schools with the others and demand that the resulting institutions observe just the natural law. Or else they have been opened to children of all religions, congratulating themselves at having more Moslem children than Christians in some areas.

This is why the Church, by accepting the status of common law in civil society, runs the risk of becoming merely one sect among others. She even runs the risk of disappearing, since it is obvious that truth cannot concede rights to error without denying itself.

The Catholic schools in France have adopted--for the purpose of public demonstrations--a certain song, which is beautiful in itself, but with words betraying the pernicious spirit of “liberty, the only truth.” Liberty, considered as an absolute good, is a chimera. Applied to religion, it leads to doctrinal relativism and practical indifference. Confused Catholics must hold to the words of Christ which I quoted, “The truth will make you free.”
"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
Chapter 12. Comrades and Fellow-Travellers

Let us take up where we left off. Christian common sense is offended in every way by this new religion. Catholics are exposed to desacralization on all sides; everything has been changed. They are told that all religions bring salvation; the Church welcomes without distinction separated Christians and in fact all believers, whether they bow to Buddha or to Krishna. They are told that clergy and laity are equal members of the “People of God,” so that lay people designated for particular functions take over the clergy's tasks. We see them conducting funerals and taking Viaticum to the sick, while the clergy take up the functions of the laity--dress like them, work in factories, join trade unions and engage in politics. The new Canon Law supports all this. It confers unheard-of prerogatives on the laity, blurring the distinction between them and priests and creating so-called “rights.” Lay theologians hold chairs of theology in Catholic universities, the faithful take over roles in divine worship which were once reserved to those in clerical orders: they administer some of the sacraments, they distribute Holy Communion and serve as witnesses at weddings.

We also read that the Church of God “subsists” in the Catholic Church--a suspicious formula, because immemorial doctrine has always said that the Church of God is the Catholic Church. If we accept this recent formula, it would seem that Protestant and Orthodox communions form equal parts of the Church--which cannot be, since they have separated themselves from the one Church founded by Jesus Christ: Credo UNAM sanctam Ecclesiam.

The new Canon Law was drawn up in such haste and confusion that, although promulgated in January 1983, a hundred and fourteen modifications had been added by November of the same year. This too is disconcerting to Christians who are accustomed to think of Church law as something permanent.

If the father of a family (whether or not a regular church-goer wants his children to be well educated, he is bound to be disappointed. Catholic schools are in many cases mixed, sex education is given, religious instruction has disappeared in the higher classes, and it is not unusual to find teachers with Liberal or even Communist leanings. In one case which caused an uproar in the west of France, a teacher was removed owing to pressure from parents, then reinstated by diocesan authorities. He defended himself by saying, “Six months after starting at Our Lady’s (School), the father of one pupil wanted to get rid of me simply because I had shown myself from the start to be left-wing in every respect--political, social and religious. According to him, one could not be both a philosophy teacher in a Catholic school and a Socialist.”

Another incident occurred in the north of France. A new head teacher was appointed to a school by the diocesan authorities. After a short time the parents learned that he was a militant member of a left-wing union, that he was a laicized priest, married and with children apparently not baptized. At Christmas he organized a party for the pupils and their parents with the support of a group which was known to be Communist. In such circumstances Catholics of goodwill must wonder if it is worthwhile to make sacrifices to send their children to Catholic schools.

At a girls’ school in the heart of Paris, a chaplain from the prison at Fresnes came to the catechism class, accompanied by a young (eighteen-year-old) inmate. He explained to the pupils how lonely the prisoners were, how they needed affection, outside contacts and letters. Any girl wishing to become such a “godmother” could give her name and address. But no mention of this must be made to parents because they would not understand. It had to remain confidential among the young people.

Elsewhere there was a teacher about whom complaints were received--this time from a group of parents--because she had taught her children sections of the catechism and the Hail Mary. She was supported by the Bishop, as was quite right. But it seemed so unusual that the parents’ letter was reprinted in a teachers’ magazine as something sensational.

What is to be made of all this? Catholic schools, when the French government decided to do away with them, proved vulnerable because in almost all cases, they had in one way or another ceased to fulfill their mission. Their opponents found it easy to say, “What are you doing for the educational system? We are doing exactly the same thing as you. Why have two systems?” Of course we still find some reservoirs of faith, and we must pay tribute to the many teachers who are conscious of their responsibilities. But Catholic education no longer asserts itself clearly when confronted with state schooling. It has gone a good halfway along the road that the zealots of secularism want it to go. I have been told that at demonstrations some groups have caused scandal by shouting, “We want God in our schools!” The organizers had secularized the songs, slogans and speeches as much as possible in order (so they said) not to embarrass those who had come along without religious positions, including unbelievers and even atheistic Socialists.

Is it dabbling in politics to want to remove Socialism and Communism from our schools? Catholics have always rightly thought that the Church was opposed to these doctrines because of the militant atheism they profess. Communism holds radically different views about the meaning of life, the destiny of nations and the way in which society is moving. It is all the more astonishing, therefore, to read in Le Monde on June 5, 1984 that Cardinal Lustiger (Archbishop of Paris), in reply to questions put by the paper and while making some very correct observations along the way, complained of having seen an historical opportunity lost with Parliament’s vote on Catholic schools. This opportunity, he said, consisted in finding some basic values in common with the Socialist-Communists for the education of children. What basic values can there be in common between the Marxist left and Christian doctrine? They are completely opposed to each other.

Yet Catholics observe with amazement that dialogue between the Church hierarchy and Communists is intensifying. Soviet leaders and also a terrorist such as Yasser Arafat are received at the Vatican. The Council set the fashion by refusing to renew the condemnation of Communism. Finding no mention of it in the schemas submitted to them, 450 bishops--we would do well to remember--signed a letter calling for an amendment to this effect. They were referring to previous condemnations and in particular to the statement of Pius XI which described Communism as “intrinsically evil” meaning that there are no negative and positive elements in this ideology, but that it must be rejected in its entirety. We remember what happened: the amendment was not conveyed to the Fathers. The Secretariat General said they knew nothing about it. Then the Commission admitted having received it, but too late. This is not true. It caused a scandal which ended, on the Pope's orders, with an appendix to the Constitution Gaudium et Spes containing an additional remark on Communism.

How many statements by bishops have been made to justify and even to encourage collaboration with Communism, regardless of what Communism professes! “It is not up to me; it is for Christians who are responsible adults,” said Bishop Matagrin, “to see under what conditions they can collaborate with the Communists.” For Bishop Delorme, Christians must “fight for more justice in the world alongside all those who strive for justice and freedom, including the Communists.” The same tune from Bishop Poupard, who urges “working with all men of goodwill for justice in all areas where a new world is being tirelessly built up.” According to one diocesan magazine, the funeral oration of a worker-priest went like this: “He opted for a world of workers on the occasion of the local council elections. He could not be everybody's priest. He chose those who made the choice of Socialist society. It was hard for him. He made enemies but also many new friends. Little Paul was a man in his place.” A short while ago one bishop persuaded priests not to talk in their parishes about “Help to the Church in Need,” saying, “My impression is that this work appears in too exclusively an anti-Communist light.”

We notice with bewilderment that the excuse for this sort of collaboration lies in the intrinsically false idea that the aim of the Communist party is to establish justice and freedom. We must remember the words of Pius IX on this point:
Quote:If the faithful allow themselves to be deceived by those fomenting the present intrigues, if they agree to conspire with them for the evil systems of Socialism and Communism, let them realize and reflect, they are laying up for themselves treasures of vengeance on the day of wrath; and in the meantime there will come forth from this conspiracy no temporal advantage for the people but rather an increase of misery and calamities.”

To see the accuracy of this warning--given in 1849, nearly 140 years ago--we need only to look at what is happening in all the countries that have come under the yoke of Communism. Events have proved the Pope of the Syllabus right, yet in spite of this the illusion remains just as bright and strong as ever. Even in Poland, a profoundly Catholic country, the pastors no longer treat the Catholic Faith and the salvation of souls as primary importance, for which all sacrifices must be accepted, including that of life itself. What matters most to them is avoiding a break with Moscow, and this enables Moscow to reduce the Polish people to an even more complete slavery without serious resistance.

Father Floridi[7] shows clearly the results of the compromise policy of the Vatican’s Ostpolitik:
Quote:“It is a known fact (he says) that the Czechoslovakian bishops consecrated by Cardinal Casaroli are collaborators of the regime, as are the bishops dependent on the Patriarchate of Moscow. Happy to have been able to place a bishop in each diocese of Hungary, Pope Paul VI paid homage to Janos Kadar, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party and “principal promoter and authority in the normalization of relations between the Holy See and Hungary.”

But the Pope did not tell the high price paid for this normalization: the installation in important positions in the Church of “peace priests.” In fact, Catholics were stupefied when they heard Cardinal Laszlo Lekai, the successor of Cardinal Mindszenty, promise to step up talks between Catholics and Marxists. Speaking of the intrinsic evil of Communism, Pius XI added, “and one can identify no grounds for collaboration with it by anyone who wishes to save Christian civilization.”

This departure from the teaching of the Church, added to those I have already enumerated, obliges us to say that the Vatican is now occupied by Modernists and men of this world who believe there is more effectiveness to be found in human and diplomatic artifices for the salvation of the world than in what was instituted by the divine Founder of the Church.

I have mentioned Cardinal Mindszenty; like him, all the heroes and martyrs of Communism, in particular Cardinals Beran, Stepinac, Wynszinski and Slipyj, are embarrassing to present Vatican diplomats, and it must be said, are silent reproofs to them; they are now fallen asleep in the Lord.

The same contacts have been established with Freemasonry, in spite of the unambiguous declaration by the Congregation for the Faith in February 1981, which was preceded by a declaration from the German Bishops’ Conference in April 1980. But the new Canon Law makes no mention of it and deliberately imposes no sanctions. Catholics have recently found that B’nai B’rith Masons have been received at the Vatican and, recently, the Archbishop of Paris met for talks with the Grand Master of a Masonic lodge. In the meantime, certain churchmen are trying to reconcile this Synagogue of Satan with the Church of Christ.

They reassure Catholics by telling them, as for everything else, “The former condemnation of the sects was perhaps justified, but the Masonic brotherhood is not what it used to be.” But see how they go about their work. The scandal of the P2 Lodge in Italy is still fresh in people's minds. In France there is no doubt whatever that the civil laws against Catholic private education were above all the work of Grand Orient Freemasonry, which has increased its pressure upon the President of the Republic and his associates within the government and cabinet ministries, to the end that “the great unified National education service” may at last become a reality. For once they have acted openly. Some newspapers such as Le Monde have given a regular account of their maneuvers; their planning and their strategy have been published in their magazines.

Do I need to point out that Freemasonry is what it has always been? The former Grand Master of the Grand Orient, Jacques Mitterand, admitted on the radio in 1969, “We have always had bishops and priests in our lodges,” and made the following profession of faith: “If to place man upon the altar in place of God is the sin of Lucifer, then all humanists since the Renaissance have committed this sin.” This was one of the complaints against the Freemasons when they were excommunicated for the first time by Pope Clement XII in 1738. In 1982, the Grand Master Georges Marcou said, “It is the problem of man which is paramount.” At the forefront of his concerns when he was reelected was subsidising abortion by the National Health Service saying, “Women's economic equality depends on this step.”

Freemasons have penetrated into the Church. In 1976 it was discovered that the man at the centre of the liturgical reform, Mgr. Bugnini, was a Freemason. And we can be sure he was not the only one. The veil covering the greatest mystery hidden from the clergy and faithful has begun to tear. We see more and more clearly with the passing of time--but so do also the Church’s secular enemies: “Something has changed within the Church,” wrote Jacques Mitterand, “and replies given by the Pope to the most urgent questions, such as priestly celibacy and birth control, are hotly debated within the Church itself; the word of the Sovereign Pontiff is questioned by bishops, by priests, by the faithful. For a Freemason, a man who questions dogma is already a Freemason without an apron.”

Another brother, Mr. Marsaudon of the Scottish Rite, spoke as follows of the ecumenism nurtured during the Council:
Quote:“Catholics, especially the conservatives, must not forget that all roads lead to God. And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of freethinking, which we can really call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges, has spread magnificently over the dome of St. Peter’s."

I should again like to quote for you a text which throws light on this question and shows which side hopes to prevail over the other in the contacts advocated by Fr. Six and Fr. Riquet. It is an extract from the Masonic review Humanism, the issue for November and December 1968:
Quote:“Amongst the pillars which will collapse most easily, we mention the doctrinal power endowed with infallibility, which the First Vatican Council, one hundred years ago, believed it had strengthened and which had sustained some combined attacks following the publication of the encyclical Humane Vitae. The Real Presence in the Eucharist, which the Church succeeded in imposing on the medieval masses, will disappear with progress in intercommunion and concelebration between Catholic priests and Protestant pastors: the sacred character of the priest, which derives from the institution of the sacrament of orders, will give place to an elective and temporary role; the distinction between the hierarchy and the lower clergy will yield to the dynamic working from the base upwards, just as in every democracy; and there will be the gradual disappearance of the ontological and metaphysical nature of the sacraments and most certainly the end of confession, sin having become in our civilization one of the most anachronistic notions that we have inherited from the harsh philosophy of the Middle Ages, which itself was heir to biblical pessimism.”

You notice how interested the Freemasons are in the Church's future--in order to devour her. Catholics need to be aware of this, in spite of the sirens who would sing them to sleep. All those destructive forces are closely interrelated. Freemasonry describes itself as the philosophy of Liberalism, which in its most extreme form is Socialism. The whole comes under the phrase used by our Lord: “the gates of hell.”

7 Rev. U. Floridi, Moscow and the Vatican, Editions France-Empire
"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
Chapter 13. Religous Liberty, Collegial Equality, Ecumenical Fraternity

How does it happen that the gates of hell are now causing us so much trouble? The Church has always been disturbed by persecution and heresies, by conflicts with temporal powers, sometimes by immoral conduct of the clergy, sometimes even of popes. But this time the crisis seems to go much deeper, since it affects the Faith itself. The Modernism we face is not a heresy like the others: it is the main drain of all heresies. Persecution now comes not only from outside but from within the Church. The scandal of dissolute living, or just giving up, has become endemic among the clergy, while the mercenaries who abandon the sheep to the wolves are encouraged and honored. I am sometimes accused of painting too black a picture of the situation, of viewing it too disapprovingly, of taking pleasure at being disgruntled over changes which are perfectly logical and necessary. Yet the same Pope who was the heart and soul of Vatican II commented several times on the decomposition on which I have commented so sadly. On December 7, 1969 Paul VI said,
Quote:“The Church finds herself in a period of anxiety, of self-criticism, one could say of self-destruction. It is like an internal upheaval, serious and complex--as if the Church were flagellating herself.”

The following year he added, “In many areas the Council has not so far given us peace but rather stirred up troubles and problems that in no way serve to strengthen the the Kingdom of God within the Church or within its souls.” Then, going on to raise a cry of alarm, on June 29, 1972 (Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul), “The smoke of Satan has entered by some crack into the temple of God; doubt, uncertainty, problems, restlessness, dissatisfaction and confrontation have come to the surface... doubt has entered our consciences.”

Where is the crack? We can pinpoint the time with precision. It was 1789, and its name, the Revolution. The Masonic and anti-Catholic principles of the French Revolution have taken two hundred years to enter tonsured and mitred heads. Today this is an accomplished fact. Such is the reality and the cause of your perplexities, my confused Catholic readers. The facts had to be before our eyes for us to believe them, because we thought a priori that an undertaking of this sort was impossible and incompatible with the very nature of the Church, assisted as it is by the Spirit of God.

In a well known article written in 1877, Bishop Gaume gave us a personification of the Revolution.
Quote:“I am not what you think I am. Many speak of me but few know me. I am not Freemasonry, nor rioting, nor the changing of the monarchy into a republic, not the substitution of one dynasty for another, not temporary disturbance of public order. I am not the shouts of Jacobins, nor the fury of the Montagne, nor the fighting on the barricades, nor pillage, nor arson, nor the agricultural law, nor the guillotine, nor the drownings. I am neither Marat nor Robespierre, nor Babeuf nor Mazzini nor Kossuth. These men are my sons but they are not me. These things are my works but they are not me. These men and these things are passing objects but I am a permanent state... I am the hatred of all order not established by man and in which he himself is not both king and god.”

Here is the key to the “changes” in the Church; replacing a divine institution with one set up by man, in which man takes precedence over God. Man ruling over everything, everything having its beginning and its ending in him; to him we bow down.

Paul VI described this turnabout in his speech at the end of the Council: “Profane and secular humanism has shown itself in its own terrible stature and has in a sense defied the Council. The religion of God made Man has come up against the religion of man who makes himself God.” He immediately added that in spite of this terrible challenge, there has been no clash, no anathema. Alas! By making a display of a “boundless sympathy for all men” the Council failed in its duty to point out clearly that no compromise is possible between the two attitudes. Even the closing speech seemed to give an impetus to what we are seeing put into daily practice. “You can be grateful to it (the Council) for this merit at least, you modern humanists who deny the transcendence of the supreme things, and learn to recognize our new humanism: we too, we more than anyone else, subscribe to the cult of man.”

Afterwards we heard coming from the same lips statements developing this theme. “Men are basically good and incline towards reason, towards order and the common good” (Peace Day Message, November 14, 1970). “Both Christianity and democracy have a basic principle in common; respect for the dignity and for the value of the human person... the advancement of the complete man” (Manila, November 20, 1970). How can we not be dismayed by this comparison when democracy, which is a specifically secular system, ignores in man his characteristic as a redeemed child of God, the only quality which grants him dignity? The advancement of man is certainly not the same thing when seen by a Christian and by an unbeliever.

The pontifical message becomes more secularized on each occasion. At Sydney on December 3, 1970, we were startled to hear, “Isolation is no longer permissible; the time has come for a great solidarity amongst mankind and the establishment of a worldwide united and brotherly community.” Peace amongst all men, certainly, but Catholics are no longer acknowledging the words of Christ, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives, give I unto you.” The bond which unites earth to heaven seems to be broken. “Ah well, we live in a democracy! That means the people are in charge; power comes from numbers, from the people” (Paul VI, January 1, 1970). Jesus said to Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.” Power comes from God and not from numbers, even if the choice of the leader has been made by an elective process. Pilate was the representative of a pagan nation and yet he could do nothing without the permission of the Heavenly Father.

And now we have democracy entering into the Church. The new Canon Law teaches that power resides in the “People of God.” This tendency towards bringing what they call the base into sharing the exercise of power can be found all through present structures-synod, episcopal conferences, priests’ councils, pastoral councils, Roman commissions, national commissions, etc.; and there are equivalents in the religious orders.

This democratization of the Magisterium represents a mortal danger for millions of bewildered and infected souls to whom the spiritual doctors bring no relief because it has ruined the efficacy with which the personal Magisterium of the Pope and bishops was formerly endowed. A question concerning faith or morals is submitted to numerous theological commissions, who never come up with an answer because their members are divided both in their opinions and in their methods. We need only read the procedural accounts of the assemblies at all levels to realize that collegiality of the Magisterium is equivalent to paralysis of the magisterium.

Our Lord instructed individuals, not a collectivity, to tend His sheep. The Apostles obeyed Our Lord's orders, and until the twentieth century it was thus. These days we hear of the Church being in a state of permanent council, continual collegiality. The results have become apparent. Everything is upside down, the faithful no longer know which way to turn.

The democratization of government was followed quite naturally by the democratization of the Magisterium which took place under the impulse of the famous slogan “collegiality,” spread abroad by the communist, Protestant and progressive press.

They have collegialized the pope's government and that of the bishops with a presbyterial college, that of the parish priest with a lay council, the whole broken down into innumerable commissions, councils, sessions, etc. The new Code of Canon Law is completely permeated with this concept. The pope is described as the head of the College of Bishops. We find this doctrine already suggested in the Council document Lumen Gentium, according to which the College of Bishops, together with the pope, exercises supreme power in the Church in habitual and constant manner. This is not a change for the better; this doctrine of double supremacy is contrary to the teaching and Magisterium of the Church. It is contrary to the definitions of Vatican Council I and to Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Satis Cognitum. The Pope alone has supreme power; he communicates it only to the degree he considers advisable, and only in exceptional circumstances. The pope alone has power of jurisdiction over the whole world.

We are witnessing therefore a restriction on the freedom of the Supreme Pontiff. Yes, this is a real revolution! The facts demonstrate that what we have here is not a change without practical consequences. John Paul II is the first pope to be really affected by the reform. We can quote several precise instances where he has reconsidered a decision under pressure from a bishops’ conference. The Dutch Catechism received the imprimatur from the Archbishop of Milan without the modifications requested by the Commission of Cardinals. It was the same with the Canadian Catechism. In that connection I heard someone in authority in Rome say, “What can we do when faced with a bishops’ conference?” The independence assumed by the conferences has also been illustrated in France with regard to the catechisms. The new books are contrary in almost every respect to the Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae. The ad limina visit by the bishops of the Paris area in 1982 consisted in their getting the Pope to ratify a catechism which he openly disapproved. The allocution delivered by John Paul II at the end of the visit had all the signs of a compromise, thanks to which the bishops were able to return in triumph to their own country and continue with their pernicious practices. Cardinal Ratzinger's lectures in Paris and Lyons indicate clearly that Rome has not endorsed the reasons given by the French bishops for installing a new doctrine and orientation, but the Holy See has been reduced by this kind of pressure to proceeding by suggestions and advice, instead of issuing the orders needed to put things on the right track, and when necessary to condemn, as the popes have hitherto always done, as guardians of the deposit of faith.

The bishops, whose authority would thereby seem to be increased, are the victims of a collegiality which paralyzes the running of their dioceses. So many complaints are made on this subject by the bishops themselves, complaints which are very instructive! In theory the bishop can in a number of cases act against the wishes of the assembly. Sometimes even against the majority, if the voting has not been submitted to the Holy See for approval; but in practice this has proved impossible. Immediately after the end of the meeting its decisions are published by the secretary. They are thus known to all priests and faithful; the news media divulge all the essentials. What bishop could in fact oppose these decisions without showing his disagreement with the assembly and then immediately finding himself confronted with a number of revolutionary spirits who would appeal against him to the assembly?

The bishop has become the prisoner of collegiality, which should have been limited to a consultative group, not a decision-making body. Even for the simplest things he is no longer master of his own house.

Soon after the Council, while I was on a visitation of our communities, the bishop of a diocese in Brazil came very obligingly to meet me at the railway station. “I can't put you up at the bishop's house,” he said, “but I have had a room prepared for you at the minor seminary.” He took me there himself; the place was in an uproar--young men and girls everywhere, in the corridors and on the stairs. “These young men, are they seminarians?” I asked. “Alas, no. Believe me, I am not at all happy at having these young people at my seminary, but the Bishops' Conference has decided that we must from now on hold Catholic Action meetings in our houses. These you see are here for a week. What can I do? I can only do the same as the others.”

The powers conferred upon persons by divine right, whether pope or bishops, have been confiscated for the benefit of a group whose ascendency continues to grow. Bishops’ conferences, some will say, are not a recent thing. Pius X gave them his approval at the beginning of this century. That is correct, but that holy pope gave them a definition which justified them.
Quote:“We are persuaded that these bishops’ assemblies are of the greatest importance for the maintenance and development of God’s kingdom in all regions and all provinces. Whenever the bishops, the guardians of holy things, thereby bring their lights together, the result is that not only do they better perceive their people's needs and choose the most suitable remedies, but they thereby also tighten the bonds uniting them.”

Consequently, they were bodies that did not make decisions binding on their members in an authoritarian manner, any more than do congresses of scientists decide the way in which experiments must be carried out in this or that laboratory.

The bishops’ conference, however, now works like a parliament; the permanent council of the French episcopate is its executive body. The bishop is more like a prefect or a commissioner of the Republic (to use the fashionable terminology) than a successor of the Apostles charged by the pope to govern a diocese.

In these assemblies they vote; the ballots are so numerous that at Lourdes they have had to install an electronic voting system. This results inevitably in the creation of parties. The two things do not happen one without the other. Parties mean divisions. When the regular government is subjected to the consultative vote in its normal functioning, then it is rendered ineffective. Consequently the whole body suffers.

The introduction of collegiality has led to a considerable weakening in efficacy, in that the Holy Ghost is more easily impeded and saddened by an assembly than by an individual. When persons are responsible, they act, they speak, even if some say nothing. At meetings, it is the majority who decide. Yet numbers do not make for the truth. Nor do they make for efficiency, as we have learnt after twenty years of collegiality and as we might have presupposed without making the experiment. The fable-writer spoke long ago of the “many chapters which have been held for nothing.”

Was it necessary to copy the political systems in which decisions are justified by voting (since they no longer have sovereign heads)? The Church possesses the immense advantage of knowing what she must do to further the Kingdom of God. Her leaders are appointed. So much time is wasted in elaborate joint statements, which are never satisfactory, because they have to take everyone’s opinion into account! So much travelling to take part in commissions and sub-commissions, in select committees and preparatory meetings! Bishop Etchegaray said at Lourdes at the close of the 1978 Assembly, “We no longer know which way to turn.”

The result is that the Church’s powers of resistance to Communism, heresy, immorality, have been considerably weakened. This is what its opponents have been hoping for and that is why they made such efforts, at the time of the Council and after it, to urge her into the ways of democracy.

If we look carefully, it is by means of its slogan that the Revolution has penetrated the Church. “Liberty”--this is the religious liberty we spoke of earlier, which confers rights on error. “Equality”--collegiality and the destruction of personal authority, the authority of God, of the pope, of the bishops; in a word, majority rule. Finally, “Fraternity” is represented by ecumenism.

By these three words, the revolutionary ideology of 1789 has become the Law and the Prophets. The Modernists have achieved what they wanted.
"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
Chapter 14. "Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church."

The parallel I have drawn between the crisis in the Church and the French Revolution is not simply a metaphorical one. The influence of the philosophes of the eighteenth century, and of the upheaval that they produced in the world, has continued down to our times. Those who have injected that poison into the Church admit it to themselves. It was Cardinal Suenens who exclaimed, “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church” and among other unguarded declarations he added
Quote:“One cannot understand the French or the Russian revolutions unless one knows something of the old regimes which they brought to an end… It is the same in church affairs: a reaction can only be judged in relation to the state of things that preceded it”.

What preceded, and what he considered due for abolition, was that wonderful hierarchical construction culminating in the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth. He continued:
Quote:“The Second Vatican Council marked the end of an epoch; and if we stand back from it a little more we see it marked the end of a series of epochs, the end of an age”.

Père Congar, one of the artisans of the reforms, spoke likewise: “The Church has had, peacefully, its October Revolution.” Fully aware of what he was saying, he remarked “The Declaration on Religious Liberty states the opposite of the Syllabus.” I could quote numbers of admissions of this sort. In 1976 Fr. Gelineau, one of the party-leaders at the National Pastoral and Liturgical Centre removed all illusions from those who would like to see in the Novus Ordo something merely a little different from the rite which hitherto had been universally celebrated, but in no way fundamentally different: “The reform decided on by the Second Vatican Council was the signal for the thaw… Entire structures have come crashing down… Make no mistake about it. To translate is not to say the same thing with other words. It is to change the form. If the form changes, the rite changes. If one element is changed, the totality is altered.., of must be said, without mincing words, the Roman rite we used to know exists no more. It has been destroyed.”8

The Catholic liberals have undoubtedly established a revolutionary situation. Here is what we read in the book written by one of them, Monsignor Prelot,9 a senator for the Doubs region of France.
Quote:“We had struggled for a century and a half to bring our opinions to prevail within the Church and had not succeeded. Finally, there came Vatican II and we triumphed. From then on the propositions and principles of liberal Catholicism have been definitively and officially accepted by Holy Church.”

It is through the influence of this liberal Catholicism that the Revolution has been introduced under the guise of pacifism and universal brotherhood. The errors and false principles of modern man have penetrated the Church and contaminated the clergy thanks to liberal popes themselves, and under cover of Vatican II.

It is time to come to the facts. To begin with, I can say that in 1962 I was not opposed to the holding of a General Council. On the contrary, I welcomed it with great hopes. As present proof here is a letter I sent out in 1963 to the Holy Ghost Fathers and which has been published in one of my previous books.10 I wrote: “We may say without hesitation, that certain liturgical reforms have been needed, and it is to be hoped that the Council will continue in this direction.” I recognized that a renewal was indispensable to bring an end to a certain sclerosis due to a gap which had developed between prayer, confined to places of worship, and the world of action-schools, the professions and public life. I was nominated a member of the Central Preparatory Commission by the pope and I took an assiduous and enthusiastic part in its two years of work. The central commission had the responsibility of checking and examining all the preparatory schemas which came from the specialist commissions. I was in a good position therefore to know what had been done, what was to be examined, and what was to be brought before the assembly.

This work was carried out very conscientiously and meticulously. I still possess the seventy-two preparatory schemas; in them the Church’s doctrine is absolutely orthodox. They were adapted in a certain manner to our times, but with great moderation and discretion.

Everything was ready for the date announced and on 11th October, 1962, the Fathers took their places in the nave of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. But then an occurrence took place which had not been foreseen by the Holy See. From the very first days, the Council was besieged by the progressive forces. We experienced it, felt it; and when I say we, I mean the majority of the Council Fathers at that moment.

We had the impression that something abnormal was happening and this impression was rapidly confirmed; fifteen days after the opening session not one of the seventy-two schemas remained. All had been sent back, rejected, thrown into the waste-paper basket. This happened in the following way. It had been laid down in the Council rules that two-thirds of the votes would be needed to reject a preparatory schema. Now when it was put to the vote there were 60% against the schemas and 40% in favor. Consequently the opposition had not obtained the two-thirds, and normally the Council would have proceeded on the basis of the preparations made.

It was then that a powerful, a very powerful organization showed its hand, set up by the Cardinals from those countries bordering the Rhine, complete with a well-organized secretariat. They went to find the Pope, John XXIII, and said to him: “This is inadmissible, Most Holy Father; they want us to consider schemas which do not have the majority,” and their plea was accepted. The immense work that had been found accomplished was scrapped and the assembly found itself empty-handed, with nothing ready. What chairman of a board meeting, however small the company, would agree to carry on without an agenda and without documents? Yet that is how the Council commenced.

Then there was the affair of the Council commissions which had to be appointed. This was a difficult problem; think of the bishops arriving from all countries of the world and suddenly finding themselves together in St. Peter’s. For the most part, they did not know one another; they knew three or four colleagues and a few others by reputation out of the 2400 who were there. How could they know which of the Fathers were the most suitable to be members of the commission for the priesthood, for example, or for the liturgy, or for canon law?

Quite lawfully, Cardinal Ottaviani distributed to each of them the list of the members of the pre-conciliar commissions, people who in consequence had been selected by the Holy See and had already worked on the subjects to be debated. That could help them to choose without there being any obligation and it was certainly to be hoped that some of these experienced men would appear in the commissions.

But then an outcry was raised. I don’t need to give the name of the Prince of the Church who stood up and made the following speech: “Intolerable pressure is being exerted upon the Council by giving names. The Council Fathers must be given their liberty. Once again the Roman Curia is seeking to impose its own members.”

This crude outspokenness was rather a shock, and the session was adjourned. That afternoon the secretary, Mgr. Felici announced, “The Holy Father recognizes that it would perhaps be better for the bishops’ conferences to meet and draw up the lists.”

The bishops’ conferences at that time were still embryonic: they prepared as best they could the lists they had been asked for without, anyway, having been able to meet as they ought, because they had only been given twenty-four hours. But those who have woven this plot had theirs all ready with individuals specially chosen from various countries. They were able to forestall the conferences and in actual fact they obtained a large majority. The result was that the commissions were packed with two-thirds of the members belonging to the progressivist faction and the other third nominated by the Pope.

New schemas were rapidly brought out, of a tendency markedly different from the earlier ones. I should one day like to publish them both so that one can make the comparison and see what was the Church's doctrine on the eve of the Council.

Anyone who has experience of either civil or clerical meetings will understand the situation in which the Fathers found themselves. In these new schemas, although one could modify a few odd phrases or a few propositions by means of amendments, one could not change their essentials. The consequences would be serious. A text which is biased to begin with can never be entirely corrected. It retains the imprint of whoever drafted it and the thoughts that inspired it. The Council from then on was slanted. A third element contributed to steering it in a liberal direction. In place of the ten presidents of the Council who had been nominated by John XXIII, Pope Paul VI appointed for the last two sessions four moderators, of whom the least one can say is that they were not chosen among the most moderate of the cardinals. Their influence was decisive for the majority of the Council Fathers.

The liberals constituted a minority, but an active and organized minority, supported by a galaxy of modemist theologians amongst whom we find all the names who since then have laid down the law, names like Leclerc, Murphy, Congar, Rahner, Küng, Schillebeeckx, Besret, Cardonnel, Chenu, etc. And we must remember the enormous output of printed matter by IDOC, the Dutch Information Center, subsidized by the German and Dutch Bishops’ Conferences which all the time was urging the Fathers to act in the manner expected of them by international opinion. It created a sort of psychosis, a feeling that one must not disappoint the expectations of the world which is hoping to see the Church come round to its views. So the instigators of this movement found it easy to demand the immediate adaptation of the Church to modern man, that is to say, to the man who wants to free himself of all restraint. They made the most of a Church deemed to be sclerotic, out of date, and powerless, beating their breasts for the faults of their predecessors. Catholics were shown to be more guilty than the Protestants and Orthodox for their divisions of times past; they should beg pardon of their “separated brethren” present in Rome, where they had been invited in large numbers to take part in the activities.

The Traditional Church having been culpable in its wealth and in its triumphalism, the Council Fathers felt guilty themselves at not being in the world and at not being of the world; they were already beginning to feel ashamed of their episcopal insignia; soon they would be ashamed to appear wearing the cassock.

This atmosphere of liberation would soon spread to all areas. The spirit of collegiality was to be the mantle of Noah covering up the shame of wielding personal authority, so contrary to the mind of twentieth century man, shall we say, liberated man! Religious freedom, ecumenism, theological research, and the revising of canon law would attenuate the triumphalism of a Church which declared itself to be the sole Ark of Salvation. As one speaks of people being ashamed of their poverty, so now we have ashamed bishops, who could be influenced by giving them a bad conscience. It is a technique that has been employed in all revolutions. The consequences are visible in many places in the annals of the Council. Read again the beginning of the schema, “ The Church in the Modern World,” on the changes in the world today, the accelerated movement of history, the new conditions affecting religious life, and the predominance of science and technology. Who can fail to see in these passages an expression of the purest liberalism?

We would have had a splendid council by taking Pope Pius XII for our master on the subject. I do not think there is any problem of the modern world and of current affairs that he did not resolve, with all his knowledge, his theology and his holiness. He gave almost definitive solutions, having truly seen things in the light of faith.

But things could not be seen so when they refused to make it a dogmatic council. Vatican II was a pastoral Council; John XXIII said so, Paul VI repeated it. During the course of the sittings we several times wanted to define a concept; but we were told: “We are not here to define dogma and philosophy; we are here for pastoral purposes.” What is liberty? What is human dignity? What is collegiality? We are reduced to analyzing the statements indefinitely in order to know what they mean, and we only come up with approximations because the terms are ambiguous. And this was not through negligence or by chance. Fr. Schillebeeckx admitted it: “We have used ambiguous terms during the Council and we know how we shall interpret them afterwards.” Those people knew what they were doing. All the other Councils that have been held during the course of the centuries were dogmatic. All have combatted errors. Now God knows what errors there are to be combatted in our times! A dogmatic council would have filled a great need. I remember Cardinal Wyszinsky telling us: “You must prepare a schema upon Communism; if there is a grave error menacing the world today it is indeed that. If Pius XII believed there was need of an encyclical on communism, it would also be very useful for us, meeting here in plenary assembly, to devote a schema to this question.”

Communism, the most monstrous error ever to emerge from the mind of Satan, has official access to the Vatican. Its world-wide revolution is particularly helped by the official non-resistance of the Church and also by the frequent support it finds there, in spite of the desperate warnings of those cardinals who have suffered in several of the Eastern countries. The refusal of this pastoral council to condemn it solemnly is enough in itself to cover it with shame before the whole of history, when one thinks of the tens of millions of martyrs, of the Christians and dissidents scientifically de-personalized in psychiatric hospitals and used as human guinea-pigs in experiments. Yet the Council kept quiet. We obtained the signatures of 450 bishops calling for a declaration against Communism. They were left forgotten in a drawer. When the spokesman for Gaudium et Spes replied to our questioning, he told us, “There have been two petitions calling for a condemnation of Communism.” “Two!” we cried, “there are more than 400 of them!” “Really, I know nothing about them.” On making inquiries, they were found, but it was too late.

These events I was involved in. It is I who carried the signatures to Mgr. Felici, the Council Secretary, accompanied by Mgr. de Proenca Sigaud, Archbishop of Diamantina: and I am obliged to say there occurred things that are truly inadmissible. I do not say this in order to condemn the Council; and I am not unaware that there is here a cause of confusion for a great many Catholics. After all, they think the Council was inspired by the Holy Ghost.

Not necessarily. A non-dogmatic, pastoral council is not a recipe for infallibility. When, at the end of the sessions, we asked Cardinal Felici, “Can you not give us what the theologians call the ‘theological note of the Council?’” He replied, “We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters those which have already been the subject of dogmatic definitions in the past; as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations.”

Vatican II therefore is not a Council like others and that is why we have the right to judge it, with prudence and reserve. I accept in this Council and in the reforms all that is in full concordance with Tradition. The Society I have founded is ample proof. Our seminaries in particular comply with the wishes expressed by the Council and with the ratio fundamentalis of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education.

But it is impossible to maintain it is only the later applications of the Council that are at fault. The rebellion of the clergy, the defiance of pontifical authority, all the excesses in the liturgy and the new theology, and the desertion of the churches, have they nothing to do with the Council, as some have recently asserted? Let us be honest: they are its fruits!

In saying this I realize that I merely increase the worry and perplexity of my readers. But, however, among all this tumult a light has shone forth capable of reducing to nought the attempts of the world to bring Christ’s Church to an end. On June 30, 1968 the Holy Father published his Profession of Faith. It is an act which from the dogmatic point of view is more important than all the Council.

This Credo, drawn up by the successor of Peter to affirm the faith of Peter, was an event of quite exceptional solemnity. When the Pope rose to pronounce it the Cardinals rose also and all the crowd wished to do likewise, but he made them sit down again. He wanted to be alone, as Vicar of Christ, to proclaim his Credo and he did it with the most solemn of words, in the name of the Blessed Trinity, before the holy angels and before all the Church. In consequence, he has made an act which pledges the faith of the Church.

We have thereby the consolation and the confidence of feeling that the Holy Ghost has not abandoned us. We can say that the Act of Faith that sprang from the First Vatican Council has found its other resting point in the profession of faith of Paul VI.

8 Demain la liturgie, ed. du Cerf.

9 Le Catholicisme Libéral, 1969

10 A Bishop Speaks, The Angelus Press
"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
Chapter 15. The Marriage of the Church and the Revolution

The Revolution, it has been said, expresses “the hatred of all order that has not been established by man, and in which he is not both king and god.” At its origin we find that pride which had already been the cause of Adam’s sin. The revolution within the Church can be explained by the pride of men of our times who believe they are in a new age when man has finally “understood his own dignity,” and has acquired an increased awareness of himself “to the extent that one might speak of a social and cultural metamorphosis whose efforts have had repercussions on religious life. The very pace of history is becoming so rapid that one is hard-pressed to keep up with it. In short, the human race is passing from a mainly static conception of the order of things to a dynamic and evolutive conception. The consequence is an immense series of new problems which call for new analyses and new syntheses.” These wonder-struck phrases which, with many others of the same sort, occur in the Introduction to Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, are of ill-omen for a return to the spirit of the Gospel. In so much change and transformation, it is hard to see how this can survive.

And what is meant by the statement: “An industrial type of society is spreading little by little, radically transforming our ideas about life in society” except that the writer is prophesying as a certainty what he wanted to see appear: a concept of society that will have nothing in common with the Christian concept expressed in the social doctrine of Church? Presuppositions of that nature can lead only to a new Gospel and a new religion. And here it is!
Quote:“The faithful, therefore, ought to work in close conjunction with their contemporaries to try to get to know their ways of thinking and feeling as they find them expressed in current cultures. Let the faithful incorporate the findings of new sciences and teachings and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and thought, so that their practice of religion and moral behavior may keep abreast of their acquaintance with science and of the relentless progress of technology: in this way they will evaluate and interpret everything with an authentically Christian sense of values.”[11]

Strange advice, considering that we are commanded by the Gospel to shun perverse doctrines! And let it not be said that these theories can be understood in two ways: the current catechisms understand them in the way Schillebeeckx wanted. They advise children to listen to what atheists have to say because they have much to learn from them; and besides, if they do not believe in God they have their reasons, and these are worth knowing! And the opening phrase of the first chapter, “Believers and unbelievers agree almost unanimously that all things on earth should be ordained to man as to their center and summit” can also be said to be given a Christian meaning by what follows. It has, nevertheless, a meaning in itself which is exactly what we see being put into effect everywhere in the post-conciliar Church, in the shape of a salvation reduced to economic and social well-being.

For my part, I think that those who accept this proposition as a common basis for dialogue with unbelievers, and couple new theories with Christian doctrine, will simply lose their faith. The golden rule of the Church has been inverted by the pride of the men of our time. No one listens any more to Christ’s ever-living and fruitful words, but to those of the world. This “aggiornamento” condemns itself. The roots of present-day disorder are to be found in this modern, or rather modernist spirit which refuses to recognize the creed, the commandments of God and the Church, the sacraments, and Christian morality as the only source of renewal until the end of the world. Dazzled by “technical progress which will eventually go on to transform the face of the earth and already is embarking on the conquest of space” (Gaudium et Spes 5-1), churchmen who must not be confused with the Church, appear to think that Our Lord could not have foreseen the present-day technological evolution and that consequently his message is no longer appropriate.

The liberals’ dream for the last century and a half has been to unite the Church to the Revolution. For a century and a half also, the Popes have condemned liberal Catholicism. Among their most important documents, we can mention the bull Auctorem fidei by Pius VI against the Council of Pistoia, the encyclical Quanta cura and the Syllabus of Pius IX, the encyclical Immortale Dei of Leo XIII against the new Right, the acts of St. Pius X against the Sillon and modernism, especially the decree Lamentabili, the encyclical Divini Redemptoris of Pius XI against Communism and the encyclical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII.

All these Popes have resisted the union of the Church with the Revolution; it is an adulterous union and from such a union only bastards can come. The rite of the new mass is a bastard rite, the sacraments are bastard sacraments. We no longer know if they are sacraments which give grace or do not give it. The priests coming out of the seminaries are bastard priests, who do not know what they are. They are unaware that they are made to go up to the altar, to offer the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to give Jesus Christ to souls.

In the name of the Revolution, priests have been sent to the scaffold, nuns have been persecuted and murdered. Remember the pontoons of Nantes which were sunk out at sea after they had filled them with faithful priests. And yet what the Revolution did is nothing compared to the doings of Vatican II, because it would have been better for those twenty or thirty thousand priests who have abandoned their priesthood and the vows made before God, to have been martyred and sent to the scaffold. They would at least have saved their souls, whereas now they risk losing them.

It is said that amongst these poor married priests many have already been divorced, many have already applied to Rome for nullity of marriage. Can this be called the good fruit of the Council? And twenty thousand nuns in the United States and very many in other countries, have broken the perpetual vows which united them to Jesus Christ to run off and get married. If they had mounted the scaffold they would at least have born witness to their faith. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians, but the priests or simple faithful who surrender to the spirit of the world will not bring forth a harvest. The devil's greatest victory is to have undertaken the destruction of the Church without making any martyrs.

The adulterous union of the Church and the Revolution is cemented by “dialogue.” Our Lord said “Go, teach all nations and convert them.” He did not say “Hold dialogue with them but don't try to convert them.” Truth and error are incompatible; to dialogue with error is to put God and the devil on the same footing. This is what the Popes have always repeated and what was easy for Christians to understand because it is also a matter of common sense. In order to impose different attitudes and reactions it was necessary to do some indoctrinating so as to make modernists of the clergy needed to spread the new doctrine. This is what is called “recycling,” a conditioning process intended to refashion the very faculty God gave man to direct his judgment.

I have witnessed an operation of this sort in my own congregation of which I was for a time the Superior General. The first thing required is to “accept change.” The Council has introduced changes, therefore we also must change. Change in depth, since it is a case of adapting the reasoning faculties to make them coincide with arbitrarily conceived notions. We can read in a booklet issued by the Archbishop’s Office in Paris, The Faith Word by Word:

“The second operation is more delicate and consists of registering the different ways that Christians have of reacting, in these various changes, to the very fact of change. This registering is important because actual opposition is due more to a spontaneous and sub-conscious attitude in the face of change, than to precise issues involved in the change.”

“Two typical attitudes can be discerned, while allowing for the possibility of intermediate ones. The first means accepting a number of novelties one by one as they are imposed. This is the case with many Christians, many Catholics: they give in little by little.

“Those who take the second attitude accept a total renewal of the expression of the Christian faith at the threshold of a new cultural era, while always taking care to keep close to the faith of the Apostles.”

This last phrase is a typical rhetorical safeguard of the modernists. They always protest that their attitudes are orthodox, and seek to reassure by little phrases those who would be alarmed at such prospects as “the total renewal of the expression of Christian faith on the threshold of a new cultural era.” But one is already far gone when one accepts such reassurances; and much good it will do to venerate the faith of the Apostles when one has demolished the faith entirely.

A third operation becomes necessary when this second attitude is encountered:
Quote:“The inquirer cannot help feeling now that his faith is dangerously at risk. Will it not simply vanish, together with the problems that have brought it to that point? He therefore requires some fundamental assurance which will enable him to go beyond these sterile initial reasonings.”

So all degrees of resistance have been foreseen. What is the “fundamental assurance” that will be given the neophyte in the last resort? The Holy Ghost! “It is precisely the Holy Ghost who assists believers in the turning points of history.”

The goal is achieved: there is no longer any Magisterium, any dogma, any hierarchy, any Holy Scripture even, in the sense of an inspired and historically certain text. Christians are inspired directly by the Holy Ghost.

The Church then collapses. The recycled Christian becomes subject to every influence and receptive to every slogan; he can be led anywhere, while grasping, if he needs reassurance, at the declaration: “Vatican II assuredly shows many signs of a change in the terms of the inquiry.”

“The direct and immediate cause (of Modernism) lies in a perversion of the mind,” wrote St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi. Recycling creates a similar mental perversion in those who did not previously suffer from it. The holy Pope also quoted this observation of his predecessor Gregory XVI:
Quote:“It is a sorry sight to see how far the deviations of human reason will go as soon as one yields to the spirit of novelty; when, heedless of the Apostles’ warning, one claims to know more than one needs to know, and self-confidently seeks for truth outside the Church instead of within it, where it is to be found without the least shadow of error.”[12]

11 Gaudium et Spes, 62. Translation from Vatican Council II, ed. by A. Flannery, O.P., Fowler Wright Books (1975).

12 Singulari Nos, 1834 A.D.
"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
Chapter 16. Neo-modernism of the Undermining of the Faith

In the complete revision which has taken place in the Church’s vocabulary, a few words have survived, and Faith is one of them. The trouble is that it is used with so many different meanings. There is, however, a definition of faith, and that cannot be changed. It is to this that a Catholic must refer when he no longer understands anything of the garbled and pretentious language addressed to him.

Faith is “the adherence of the intellect to the truth revealed by the Word of God.” We believe in a truth that comes from outside and which is not in some way produced by our own mind. We believe it because of the authority of God who reveals it to us, and there is no need to seek elsewhere.

No one has the right to take this faith from us and replace it by something else. What we are now seeing is the revival of a Modernist definition of faith which was condemned eighty years ago by Pius X. According to this, faith is an internal feeling: there is no need to seek further than man to find the explanation of religion: “It is therefore within man himself that it is to be found; and since religion is one form of life, it is found in the very life of man”--something purely subjective, an adhering of the soul to God, Who is inaccessible to our intellect. It is everyone for himself, in his own conscience.

Modernism is not a recent invention, nor was it in 1907, the year of the famous encyclical. It is the perennial spirit of the Revolution, and it seeks to shut us up within our humanness and make God an outlaw. Its false definition of faith is directed to the destruction of the authority of God and the authority of the Church.

Faith comes to us from outside, and we have an obligation to submit to it. “He who believes will be saved, and he who does not believe will be condemned;” Our Lord Himself affirms it.

When I went to see the Pope in 1976, to my very great surprise, he reproached me for making my seminarists swear an oath against him. I found it hard to conceive where that idea had come from. It had evidently been whispered to him with the intention of harming me. Then it dawned on me that someone had maliciously interpreted in this way the Anti-Modemist Oath which until recently every priest had to take before his ordination, and every Church dignitary when he received his office. His Holiness Paul VI had sworn it more than once. Now here is what we find in this oath:
Quote:“I hold most certainly and I profess sincerely that Faith is not a blind religious feeling which emerges from the shadows of the subsconscious under the pressure of the heart and the inclination of the morally informed will. But it is true assent of the intellect to the truth received from outside, by which we believe to be true on God’s authority all that has been said, attested and revealed by God in person, our Creator and Lord.”

This Anti-Modernist Oath is no longer required before becoming a priest or a bishop. If it were, there would be even fewer ordinations than there are. In effect, the concept of faith has been falsified and many people without any wrong intention let themselves be influenced by modernism. That is why they are ready to believe that all religions save. If each man's faith is according to his conscience--if it is conscience that produces faith--then there is no reason to believe that one faith saves any better than another, so long as the conscience is directed towards God. We read statements of this sort in a document from the French Bishops Catechetical Commission: “Truth is not something received, ready-made, but something which develops.”

The two view-points are completely different. We are now being told that man does not receive truth but constructs it. Yet we know, and our intelligence corroborates this, that truth is not created--we do not create it.

Then how can we defend ourselves against these perverse doctrines that are ruining religion, all the more since the “purveyors of novelties” are found in the very bosom of the Church? Thank God, they were unmasked at the beginning of the century in a way that allows them to be easily recognized. And we must not think of it as an old phenomenon of interest only to Church historians. Pascendi is a text that could have been written today; it is extraordinarily topical and depicts the “enemies within” with admirable vividness.

We see them
Quote:“lacking in serious philosophy and theology and passing themselves off, all modesty forgotten, as restorers of the Church... contemptuous of all authority, chafing at every restriction.” “Their tactics are never to expound their doctrines methodically and as a whole, but in some manner to split them up and scatter them about here and there. This makes them seem hesitant and imprecise, when on the contrary, their ideas are perfectly fixed and consistent. One page of their writings could have been written by a Catholic; turn over, and you will think you are reading something by a Rationalist. Reprimanded and condemned, they go their own way, concealing a boundless effrontery under a deceitful appearance of submission. Should anyone be so mistaken to criticize any one of their novelties, however outrageous, they will fall upon him in serried ranks: the one who denies it is treated as an ignoramus, while whoever accepts and defends it is praised to the skies. A publication appears breathing novelty at every pore: applause and cries of admiration greet it. The more audacious a writer is in belittling antiquity and in undermining Tradition and the Church’s magisterium, the cleverer he is. Finally, should one of them incur the Church’s condemnation, the others will immediately rally round him, eulogise him publicly and venerate him almost as a martyr for the truth.”

All these features correspond so closely with what we are seeing that we could imagine them to have been written just recently. In 1980, after the condemnation of Hans Küng, a group of Christians took part in an auto-da-fè in front of the Cologne cathedral as a form of protest against the Holy See’s decision to withdraw from the Swiss theologian his canonical mandate. A bonfire was made, and on it they threw an effigy and writings of Küng “in order to symbolize the repression of courageous and honest thought” (Le Monde). Shortly before that, the sanctions against Père Pohier had provoked another public outcry. Three hundred Dominican friars and nuns signed another text; the abbey of Bouquen, the Chapel of Montparnasse, and other avant-garde groups leapt into the fray. The only new thing, by comparison with Pius X’s description, is that they no longer hide under the cover of submission. They have gained confidence; they have too much support within the Church to conceal themselves any longer. Modernism is not dead; on the contrary, it progresses and flaunts itself.

To continue with Pascendi:
Quote:“After that, we need not be surprised that the modernists pursue those Catholics who fight energetically for the Church, with all their malice and harshness. There is no limit to the insults they will heap on them. If the adversary is one redoubtable on account of his learning and intellect they will try to make him powerless by organizing around him a conspiracy of silence.” This is what is happening today to hounded and persecuted traditionalist priests, and to clerical and lay religious writers concerning whom the press, in the hands of the progressivists, never says a word. Youth movements too are shunned for the fact that they remain faithful, and their edifying activities, pilgrimages and so forth remain unknown to the public who might have been much encouraged by them.

“If they write history, they seek out with curiosity everything that seems to them to be a blot on the Church's history; and they expose it to the public with ill-dissimuIated pleasure under the pretence of telling the whole truth. Dominated as they are by their preconceptions, they destroy as far as they are able the pious traditions of the people. Certain relics that are most venerable on account of their antiquity they hold up to ridicule. Lastly, they are obsessed by the vanity of wanting to have themselves talked about which, as they well know, would not happen if they spoke as people have always spoken hitherto.”

As for their doctrine, it is based on the following few points which we have no difficulty in recognizing in current thought. “Human reason is incapable of raising itself up to God, or even of knowing, from the fact of created beings, that He exists.” As any external revelation is impossible, man will seek within himself to satisfy the need he feels for the divine, a need rooted in his subsconscious. This need arouses in the soul a particular feeling “which in some way unites man with God.This is what faith is for the modernists. God is thereby created within the soul, and that is Revelation.

From the sphere of religious feeling we pass to that of the intellect, which proceeds to elaborate the basic dogmas: since man is endowed with intelligence, he has a need to think out his faith. He creates formulas, which do not contain absolute truth but only images or symbols of the truth. Consequently these dogmatic formulas are subject to change, they evolve. “Thereby the way is open for substanstial changes in dogmas.”

The formulas are not simply theological speculations, they have to be living to be truly religious. Man’s feeling for religion, religious sentiment, needs to assimilate them “vitally.” “Living the faith” is a current phrase. Continuing in St. Pius X’s exposition of Modernism, we read,
Quote:“These formulas, if they are to be living formulas, must always be suited to the believer and to his faith. The day they cease to be so, they will automatically lose their original content, and then there will be nothing to do but change them. Since dogmatic formulas, as the Modernists conceive them, are of such an unstable and precarious nature, one understands perfectly why they have such a slight opinion of them, even if they do not despise them openly. Religious feeling, religious life are the phrases always on their lips.”

And in their sermons, lectures and catechisms, “ready-made formulas” are anathema.

The believer makes his personal experience of faith, then he communicates it verbally to others, and in that way religious experience propagates itself. Once the faith has become common or, as one says, collective, the need is felt to combine together in a society to preserve and develop the common treasure. This is how a Church is formed. The Church is “the fruit of the collective conscience, in other words, of the sum of individual consciences, which all derive from one original believer--who for Catholics is Jesus Christ.”

And this is how the modernists write the history of the Church: at the beginning, when the Church's authority was still believed to come from God, it was conceived as an autocratic body. “But now the mistake has been realized. For just as the Church is a vital emanation of the collective conscience, so Authority in its turn is a vital product of the Church.” Power, therefore, must change hands and come from the bottom. As political consciousness has created popular government, the same thing must happen in the Church: “If ecclesiastical authority does not wish to provoke a crisis of conscience, it must bow to democratic forms.”

You will now understand where Cardinal Suenens and all the talkative theologians got their ideas. The post-conciliar crisis is in complete continuity with the crisis which disturbed the end of the last century and the beginning of this one. You will also understand why, in the catechism books that your children bring home with them, everything begins with the first communities that were formed after Pentecost, when the disciples, as a consequence of the shaking-up which the meeting with Jesus provoked in them, felt a need of the divine and lived out a “new experience” together. And you can now explain the absence of dogmas--such as the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Redemption and the Assumption--in these books and also in sermons. The Texte de référence or teacher’s handbook for the catechism prepared by the French episcopate covers also the creating of groups which will be “mini-churches” destined to re-create tomorrow’s Church on the lines that the modernists thought they could discern at the birth of the Apostolic Church: “In the catechism group, teachers, parents and children contribute their experiences of life, their deep yearnings, religious imagery and a certain knowledge of the things of faith. A confrontation ensues which is a condition of truth to the extent that it stirs up their deep aspirations and produces an authentic commitment to the changes that any contact with the Gospel inevitably produces. It is only after the experience of a separation, a conversion, a sort of death, that by the help of grace a confession of faith can be made.”

So it is the bishops who put into effect, in broad daylight, the modernist tactics condemned by St. Pius X! It is all in this paragraph13--read it again carefully: religious feeling stirred up by a need, deep yearnings, truth that takes shape in the sharing of experiences, the changing of dogmas and the breach with Tradition. For the modernists the sacraments, too, originate in a need, “for as has been observed, in their system necessity or need is the great all-embracing explanation.” Religion needs a tangible body: “The sacraments (for them) are simply signs of symbols, although endowed with efficacy. They compare them to certain words which have a vogue because of their power of expressing and disseminating impressive, inspiring ideas. As much as to say that the sacraments were only instituted to nourish faith: a proposition which the Council of Trent condemned.”

One finds this idea again, to take an example, in the writings of Besret, who was an “expert” at the Council: “It is not the sacrament which brings God's love into the world. His love is at work in every man. The sacrament is the moment of its public manifesting in the community of the disciples... In saying this, I in no way intend to deny the efficacious aspect of the sacramental signs. Man fulfils himself by self-expression, and that is true for the sacraments as it is for the rest of his activity.”14

And the books of Holy Writ? For the Modernists, they are “the record of experiences undergone in a given religion.” God speaks through these books, but He is the God who is within us. The books are inspired rather as one speaks of poetic inspiration; inspiration is likened to the urgent need felt by the believer to communicate his faith in writing. The Bible is human work.

In Pierres Vivantes,15 the children are told that Genesis is “a poem” written once upon a time by believers who “had reflected.” This compilation, imposed on all catechism children by the French episcopate, exudes Modernism on nearly every page. Let us draw up a short parallel:
Quote:ST. PIUS X: “It is a law (for the modernists) that the dates of the documents cannot be determined otherwise than by the dates of the needs which successively made themselves felt in the Church.”

PIERRES VIVANTES: “To help these communities to live the Gospel, some of the Apostles wrote them letters, also called Epistles... but above all the Apostles related by word of mouth what Jesus had done among them and what He had said. Later on, four writers-Mark, Matthew, Luke and John--put into writing what the Apostles had said.” Dates of the Gospels: Mark about 70 A.D.? Luke about 80-90? Matthew about 880-90? John about 95-100. They recounted the events of Jesus’ life, His words and especially His death and resurrection to enlighten the faith of the believers.”

ST. PIUS X: “In the sacred scriptures (they say) there are many places where science or history enter, where obvious errors are to be found. Yet it is not history or science that these books are treating of, but solely religion and morality.”

PIERRES VIVANTES: “The book (Genesis) is a poem, not a science manual. Science tells us that it took millions of years for life to appear.” “The Gospels do not tell the story of the life of Jesus in the same way that today’s events are reported on the radio or the television or in the newspapers.”

ST. PIUS X: “They do not hesitate to affirm that the books in question, expecially the Pentateuch and the first three Gospels, were gradually formed by additions made to a very short original narrative: interpolations in the form of theological or allegorical interpretations, or simply linking-passages and tackings-on.”

PIERRES VIVANTES: “What is written in most of these books had previously been related orally from father to son. One day someone wrote it down to transmit it in his turn; and often what he wrote was re-written by others for yet other people... 538, the Persian domination: reflections and traditions become books. About 400 B.C., Esdras collects together various books to make of them the Law or Pentateuch. The scrolls of the Prophets are composed. The reflections of the Sages produce various masterpieces.”

Catholics who wonder at the new language employed in the “Conciliar Church” will be helped by knowing that it is not so new: that Lammenais, Fuchs and Loisy were already using it in the last century, and that they themselves had only picked up all the errors which had been current for ages. But the religion of Christ has not changed and never will: we must not let ourselves be imposed upon.

13 Texte de référence, para. 312.

14 De commencement en commencement, p. 176.

15 See Chapter VIII.
"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
Chapter 17. What is Tradition?

Modernism is indeed what undermines the Church from within, today as yesterday. Let us again quote from the encyclical Pascendi some typical features which correspond with what we are experiencing now.
Quote:“The Modernists say that authority in the Church, since its end is purely spiritual, should strip itself of all that external pomp, all those pretentious adornments with which it parades itself in public. In this they forget that religion, while it belongs to the soul, is not exclusively for the soul and that the honor paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who institutes it.”

It is under pressure from these “speakers of novelties” that Paul VI abandoned the tiara, bishops gave up the violet cassock and even the black, as well as their rings, and priests appear in lay clothes, usually in a deliberately casual style. There is nothing among the general reforms already put into effect or insistently demanded that St. Pius X has not mentioned as the “maniac” desires of the modernist reformers. You will recognize them in this passage:
Quote:“As regards worship (they want) to diminish the number of external devotions or at least stop their increasing... Let ecclesiastical government become democratic; let a share in the government be given to the junior clergy and even the laity; let authority be decentralized. Reform of the Roman Congregations, above all the Holy Office and the Index... Finally there are those among them who, echoing their Protestant masters, seek the suppression of priestly celibacy.”

Notice that the same demands are now being put forward and that there is absolutely nothing original. As regards Christian thought and the formation of future priests, the intention of the reformers of St. Pius X’s time was the abandonment of scholastic philosophy among the obsolete systems.” They advocate “that young people should be taught modern philosophy, the only true philosophy, the only one suitable for our times... that so-called rational theology should be based on modern philosophy and positive theology on the history of dogmas.” In this respect, the Modernists have got what they wanted and more. In what passes for seminaries, they teach anthropology, psychoanalysis and Marx in place of St. Thomas Aquinas. The principles of Thomist philosophy are rejected in favor of vague systems which themselves recognize their inability to explain the economy of the Universe, putting forward as they do the philosophy of the absurd. One latter-day revolutionary, a muddle-headed priest much heeded by intellectuals, who put sex at the heart of everything, was bold enough to declare at public meetings: “The scientific hypotheses of the ancients were pure nonsense and it is on such nonsense that St. Thomas and Origen based their systems.” Immediately afterwards, he fell into the absurdity of defining life as “an evolutionary chain of biologically inexplicable facts.” How can he know that, if it is inexplicable? How, I would add, can a priest discard the only explanation, which is God?

The Modernists would be set at naught if they had to defend their elaborate theories against the principles of the Angelic Doctor, the notions of potency and act, essence, substance and accidents, body and soul, etc. By eliminating these notions they would render the theology of the Church incomprehensible and, as one reads in the Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici,
Quote:“the result is that students of the sacred disciplines no longer even perceive the meaning of the words by which the dogmas which God has revealed are propounded by the Magisterium.”

The offensive against scholastic philosophy is a necessary preliminary when one wants to change dogma and attack Tradition.

But what is Tradition? It seems to me that the word is often imperfectly understood. It is equated to the “traditions” that exist in trades, in families and in civic life: the “bouquet” fixed to the roof of a house when the last tile is laid, the ribbon that is cut to open a monument, etc. That is not what I am referring to: Tradition does not consist of the customs inherited from the past and preserved out of loyalty to the past even where there are no clear reasons for them. Tradition is defined as the Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Magisterium down through the centuries. This deposit is what has been given to us by Revelation; that is to say, the Word of God entrusted to the Apostles and transmitted unfailingly by their successors.

But now they want to get everyone inquiring, searching, as if we had not been given the Creed, or as if Our Lord had not come to bring us the Truth once and for all. What do they claim to discover with all this inquiry? Catholics upon whom they would impose these “questionings,” after having made them “abandon their certainties,” should remember this: the deposit of Revelation concluded at the death of the last Apostle. It is finished and it cannot be touched until the end of time. Revelation is irreformable.

The First Vatican Council re-stated this explicitly:
Quote:“for the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention, to be perfected by human ingenuity; but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ (the Church) to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared.”

But, one will object, the dogma that makes Mary the Mother of God only dates back to the year 431, transubstantiation to 1215, papal infallibility to 1870 and so on. Has there not been an evolution? No, not at all. The dogmas which have been defined in the course of the ages were contained in Revelation; the Church has just made them explicit. When Pope Pius XII defined in 1950 the dogma of the Assumption, he said specifically that this truth of the assumption into Heaven of the Virgin Mary, body and soul, was included in the deposit of Revelation and already existed in the texts revealed to us before the death of the last Apostle. We cannot bring anything new into this field, we cannot add a single dogma, but only express those that exist ever more clearly, more beautifully and more loftily.

That is so certain that it forms the rule to follow in judging the errors that are put before us every day, and rejecting them with no concession. As Bossuet forcefully wrote:
Quote:“When it is a matter of explaining the principles of Christian morality and the essential dogmas of the Church everything that does not appear in the Tradition of all time, and especially the early times, is from then on not only suspect but wrong and to be condemned; and this is the principal basis on which all the holy Fathers of the Church, and Popes more than anyone, condemned false doctrines, there being nothing more odious to the Roman Church than novelties.”

The argument that is pressed upon the terrorized faithful is this: “You are clinging to the past, you are being nostalgic; live in your own time!” Some are abashed and do not know what to reply. Nevertheless, the answer is easy: In this there is no past or present or future. Truth belongs to all times, it is eternal.

In order to break down Tradition they confront it with Holy Scripture, after the manner of the Protestants, with the assertion that the Gospel is the only book that counts. But Tradition came before the Gospel! Although the Synoptic Gospels were not written nearly as late as some would have us believe, a number of years had passed before the Four Evangelists had completed their writing; but the Church already existed, Pentecost had taken place and brought numerous conversions, 3000 on the very day the Apostles came out of the Upper Room. What did they believe just at that moment? How was Revelation transmitted if not by oral tradition? One cannot subordinate Tradition to Holy Scripture, still less reject it.

But do not imagine that, adopting this attitude, they have an unlimited respect for the inspired text. They even dispute that it is inspired in its entirety: “What is there in the Gospel which is inspired? Only the truths that are necessary for our salvation.” In consequence, the miracles, the accounts of the Holy Childhood, the actions and conduct of Our Lord are relegated to the category of more or less legendary biography. We fought in the Council over that phrase: “Only the truths necessary for salvation.” There were some bishops in favor of reducing the historical authenticity of the Gospels, which shows the extent to which the clergy is corrupted by neo-Modernism. Catholics should not allow themselves to be imposed upon: the whole of the Gospel is inspired and those who wrote it had the Holy Ghost guiding their intelligence, so that the whole of it is the Word of God, Verbum Dei. It is not permissible to pick and choose and to say today: “We will take this part but we don't want that part.” To choose is to be a heretic, according to the Greek derivation of that word.

It remains no less a fact that it is Tradition that transmits the Gospel to us, and it appertains to Tradition, to the Magisterium, to explain to us the contents of the Gospel. If we have nobody to interpret it for us, we can reach several completely different understandings of the same words of Christ. We then end up with the free interpretation of the Protestants and the free inspiration of the present day charismatics which leads us into pure fantasy.

All the dogmatic councils have given us the exact expression of Tradition, the exact expression of what the Apostles taught. Tradition is irreformable. One can never change the decrees of the Council of Trent, because they are infallible, written and published by an official act of the Church, unlike those of Vatican II, which pronouncements are not infallible because the popes did not wish to commit their infallibility. Therefore nobody can say to you, “You are clinging to the past, you have stayed with the Council of Trent.” For the Council of Trent is not the past. Tradition is clothed with a timeless character, adapted to all times and all places.
"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
Chapter 18. True and False Obedience

Indiscipline is everywhere in the Church. Committees of priests send demands to their bishops, bishops disregard pontifical exhortations, even the recommendations and decisions of the Council are not respected and yet one never hears uttered the word “disobedience,” except as applied to Catholics who wish to remain faithful to Tradition and just simply keep the Faith.

Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation. We are deeply aware of this and nobody is more attached to the present reigning successor of Peter, or has been more attached to his predecessors, than we are. I am speaking here of myself and of the many faithful driven out of the churches, and also of the priests who are obliged to celebrate Mass in barns as in the French Revolution, and to organize alternative catechism classes in town and country.

We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus:
Quote:“The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the Bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law, institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practise spiritual abortion or contraception.

This is why we are submissive and ready to accept everything that is in conformity with our Catholic Faith, as it has been taught for two thousand years, but we reject everything that is opposed to it.

For the fact is that a grave problem confronted the conscience and the faith of all Catholics during the pontificate of Paul VI. How could a Pope, true successor of Peter, assured of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, preside over the most vast and extensive destruction of the Church in her history within so short a space of time, something that no heresiarch has ever succeeded in doing? One day this question will have to be answered.

In the first half of the Fifth Century, St. Vincent of Lérins, who was a soldier before consecrating himself to God and acknowledged having been “tossed for a long time on the sea of the world before finding shelter in the harbor of faith,” spoke thus about the development of dogma:
“Will there be no religious advances in Christ’s Church? Yes, certainly, there will be some very important ones, of such a sort as to constitute progress in the faith and not change. What matters is that in the course of ages knowledge, understanding and wisdom grow in abundance and in depth, in each and every individual as in the churches; provided always that there is identity of dogma and continuity of thought.” Vincent, who had experienced the shock of heresies, gives a rule of conduct which still holds good after fifteen hundred years:
Quote:“What should the Catholic Christian therefore do if some part of the Church arrives at the point of detaching itself from the universal communion and the universal faith? What else can he do but prefer the general body which is healthy to the gangrenous and corrupted limb? And if some new contagion strives to poison, not just a small part of the Church but the whole Church at once, then again his great concern will be to attach himself to Antiquity which obviously cannot any more be seduced by any deceptive novelty.”

In the Rogation-tide litanies the Church teaches us to say: “We beseech thee O Lord, maintain in Thy holy religion the Sovereign Pontiff and all the orders of ecclesiastical hierarchy.” This means that such a disaster could very well happen.

In the Church there is no law or jurisdiction which can impose on a Christian a diminution of his faith. All the faithful can and should resist whatever interferes with their faith, supported by the catechism of their childhood. If they are faced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey.

It is because we judge that our faith is endangered by the post-conciliar reforms and tendencies, that we have the duty to disobey and keep the Tradition. Let us add this, that the greatest service we can render to the Church and to the successor of Peter is to reject the reformed and liberal Church. Jesus Christ, Son of God made man, is neither liberal nor reformable
. On two occasions I have heard emissaries of the Holy See say to me: “The social Kingdom of Our Lord is no longer possible in our times and we must ultimately accept the plurality of religions.” This is exactly what they have said to me.

Well, I am not of that religion. I do not accept that new religion. It is a liberal, modernist religion which has its worship, its priests, its faith, its catechism, its ecumenical Bible translated jointly by Catholics, Jews, Protestants and Anglicans, all things to all men, pleasing everybody by frequently sacrificing the interpretation of the Magisterium. We do not accept this ecumenical Bible. There is the Bible of God; it is His Word which we have not the right to mix with the words of men.

When I was a child, the Church had the same faith everywhere, the same sacraments and the same Sacrifice of the Mass. If anyone had told me then that it would be changed, I would not have believed him. Throughout the breadth of Christendom we prayed to God in the same way. The new liberal and modernist religion has sown division.

Christians are divided within the same family because of this confusion which has established itself; they no longer go to the same Mass and they no longer read the same books. Priests no longer know what to do; either they obey blindly what their superiors impose on them, and lose to some degree the faith of their childhood and youth, renouncing the promises they made when they took the Anti-Modernist Oath at the moment of their ordination; or on the other hand they resist, but with the feeling of separating themselves from the Pope, who is our father and the Vicar of Christ. In both cases, what a heartbreak! Many priests have died of sorrow before their time.

How many more have been forced to abandon the parishes where for years they had practised their ministry, victims of open persecution by their hierarchy in spite of the support of the faithful whose pastor was being torn away! I have before me the moving farewell of one of them to the people of the two parishes of which he was priest:
Quote:“In our interview on the... the Bishop addressed an ultimatum to me, to accept or reject the new religion; I could not evade the issue. Therefore, to remain faithful to the obligation of my priesthood, to remain faithful to the Eternal Church... I was forced and coerced against my will to retire... Simple honesty and above all my honor as a priest impose on me an obligation to be loyal, precisely in this matter of divine gravity (the Mass)... This is the proof of faithfulness and love that I must give to God and men and to you in particular, and it is on this that I shall be judged on the last day along with all those to whom was entrusted the same deposit (of faith).”

In the Diocese of Campos in Brazil, practically all the clergy have been driven out of the churches after the departure of Bishop Castro-Mayer, because they were not willing to abandon the Mass of all time which they celebrated there until recently.

Divisions affects the smallest manifestations of piety. In Val-de-Marne, the diocese got the police to eject twenty-five Catholics who used to recite the Rosary in a church which had been deprived of a priest for a long period of years. In the diocese of Metz, the bishops brought in the Communist mayor to cancel the loan of a building to a group of traditionalists. In Canada six of the faithful were sentenced by a Court, which is permitted by the law of that country to deal with this kind of matter, for insisting on receiving Holy Communion on their knees. The Bishop of Antigonish had accused them of “deliberately disturbing the order and the dignity of religious service.” The judge gave the “disturbers” a conditional discharge for six months! According to the Bishop, Christians are forbidden to bend the knee before God! Last year, the pilgrimage of young people to Chartres ended with a Mass in the Cathedral gardens because the Mass of St. Pius V was banned from the Cathedral itself. A fortnight later, the doors were thrown open for a spiritual concert in the course of which dances were performed by a former Carmelite nun.

Two religions confront each other; we are in a dramatic situation and it is impossible to avoid a choice, but the choice is not between obedience and disobedience. What is suggested to us, what we are expressly invited to do, what we are persecuted for not doing, is to choose an appearance of obedience. But even the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon our faith.

We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience. A typical example is furnished by the “aggiornamento” of the religious societies. By obedience, monks and nuns are made to disobey the laws and constitutions of their founders, which they swore to observe when they made their profession. Obedience in this case should have been a categorical refusal. Even legitimate authority cannot command a reprehensible and evil act. Nobody can oblige anyone to change his monastic vows into simple promises, just as nobody can make us become Protestants or modernists. St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we must always refer, goes so far in the Summa Theologica as to ask whether the “fraternal correction” prescribed by Our Lord can be exercised towards our superiors. After having made all the appropriate distinctions he replies: “One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.”

If we were more resolute on this subject, we would avoid coming to the point of gradually absorbing heresies. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the English underwent an experience of the kind we are living through, but with the difference that it began with a schism. In all other respects the similarities are astonishing and should give us cause to ponder. The new religion which was to take the name “Anglicanism” started with an attack on the Mass, personal confession and priestly celibacy. Henry VIII, although he had taken the enormous responsibility of separating his people from Rome, rejected the suggestions that were put to him, but a year after his death a statute authorized the use of English for the celebration of the Mass. Processions were forbidden and a new order of service was imposed, the “Communion Service” in which there was no longer an Offertory. To reassure Christians another statute forbade all sorts of changes, whereas a third allowed priests to get rid of the statues of the saints and of the Blessed Virgin in the churches. Venerable works of art were sold to traders, just as today they go to antique dealers and flea markets.

Only a few bishops pointed out that the Communion Service infringed the dogma of the Real Presence by saying that Our Lord gives us His Body and Blood spiritually. The Confiteor, translated into the vernacular, was recited at the same time by the celebrant and the faithful and served as an absolution. The Mass was transformed into a meal or Communion. But even clear-headed bishops eventually accepted the new Prayer Book in order to maintain peace and unity. It is for exactly the same reasons that the post-Conciliar Church wants to impose on us the Novus Ordo. The English bishops in the Sixteenth Century affirmed that the Mass was a “memorial!” A sustained propaganda introduced Lutheran views into the minds of the faithful. Preachers had to be approved by the Government.

During the same period the Pope was only referred to as the “Bishop of Rome.” He was no longer the father but the brother of the other bishops and in this instance, the brother of the King of England who had made himself head of the national church. Cranmer’s Prayer Book was composed by mixing parts of the Greek liturgy with parts of Luther’s liturgy. How can we not be reminded of Mgr. Bugnini drawing up the so-called Mass of Paul VI, with the collaboration of six Protestant “observers” attached as experts to the Consilium for the reform of the liturgy? The Prayer Book begins with these words, “The Supper and Holy Communion, commonly called Mass...,” which foreshadows the notorious Article 7 of the Institutio Generalis of the New Missal, revived by the Lourdes Eucharistic Congress in 1981: “The Supper of the Lord, otherwise called the Mass.” The destruction of the sacred, to which I have already referred, also formed part of the Anglican reform. The words of the Canon were required to be spoken in a loud voice, as happens in the “Eucharists” of the present day.

The Prayer Book was also approved by the bishops “to preserve the internal unity of the Kingdom.” Priests who continued to say the “Old Mass” incurred penalties ranging from loss of income to removal pure and simple, with life imprisonment for further offences. We have to be grateful that these days they do not put traditionalist priests in prison.

Tudor England, led by its pastors, slid into heresy without realizing it, by accepting change under the pretext of adapting to the historical circumstances of the time. Today the whole of Christendom is in danger of taking the same road. Have you thought that even if we who are of a certain age run a smaller risk, children and younger seminarians brought up in new catechisms, experimental psychology and sociology, without a trace of dogmatic or moral theology, canon law or Church history, are educated in a faith which is not the true one and take for granted the new Protestant notions with which they are indoctrinated? What will tomorrow’s religion be if we do not resist?

You will be tempted to say: “But what can we do about it? It is a bishop who says this or that. Look, this document comes from the Catechetical Commission or some other official commission.”

That way there is nothing left for you but to lose your faith. But you do not have the right to react in that way. St. Paul has warned us:
Quote:“Even if an angel from Heaven came to tell you anything other than what I have taught you, do not listen to him.”

Such is the secret of true obedience.
"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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