Two Religions Confront Each Other – Catholics Must Now Choose…

Archbishop Lefebvre

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

“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 organised and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the mastermind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a masterstroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.” (Open Letter to Confused Catholics, page 133 – emphasis added.)

In conversation over the weekend with Catholics who sometimes attend the Traditional Latin Mass, courtesy of Summorum Pontificum, including those who are admirers of the FSSP clergy,  I have been astonished at the vitriol which is still hurled, mercilessly, at the Society of St Pius X.  The main gripe against the Society rests on their alleged “disobedience”, the fact that they are not under the authority of the local bishops,thus failing to comply with Canon Law. This is the be all and end all to those who remain, whether culpably or not I can’t say, ignorant of the history of the SSPX and the writings of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre – not to say the correct application of Canon Law in an emergency situation. 

I thought, therefore, that it might be worth returning to this subject, which we’ve often discussed on this blog, in the light of this most recent conversation, in which the Society of St Pius X was repeatedly described as being “outside the Church” with some pretty abusive name-calling directed at the Society bishops and priests.  Below, therefore, is the chapter on True and False Obedience, from Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics. But let me make my own position crystal clear at the outset.  I have long considered the crisis in the Church to be focused on the SSPX Vs Modernism. I’m now confirmed in that view. All the other allegedly “traditional” groups are mere distractions. They are (as one friend put it) “comfort-zoners” – they have compromised to gain admittance to the dioceses and, to a greater or lesser extent, have chosen to go along to get along with the Modernist Hierarchy.  You may disagree.  If you still disagree after reading the writings of Archbishop Lefebvre below, I’d jes LOVE to hear from you – Editor.

ArchbishopLefebvrequotepicture

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: “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.

archbishplefebvrequote if my work is of God

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: “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: “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 ac-cepted 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: “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. 

" ...pray insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart. Implore our Celestial Father that, for the love of the Eucharistic Heart of My Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity... He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those ominous times, and send to the Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of Her priests." Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana in the 17th century, foretelling the crisis in the Church in 20th century.

” …pray insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart. Implore our Celestial Father that, for the love of the Eucharistic Heart of My Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity… He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those ominous times, and send to the Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of Her priests.”
(Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana in the 17th century, foretelling the crisis in the Church in 20th century.) 

132 responses

  1. Editor

    The confusion has caused Catholics to think nothing of being disobedient to the doctrines of the Faith but will steadfastly defend obedience to local bishops and the pope no matter what.

    Our first obedience is to the Faith. Certainly it is a most Catholic thing to be obedient to the superiors of the Church. However, those superiors are human beings – our obedience to them is dependent on their obedience to the Faith. If there’s any contradiction between the two then I’m afraid the Faith must come first.

  2. Reblogged this on 2012-2019 and commented:
    “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 organised and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the mastermind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a masterstroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.” (Open Letter to Confused Catholics, page 133 – emphasis added.)

    • Thank you Pastoor Geudens. It’s great that you reblog from here at times, but maybe you will share your thoughts on the topics as well – especially this one!

      Waiting…. hint, hint!

      • 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…….. Zo dacht ik er vroeger ook over…. De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk is een kudde aan haar lot overgelaten geworden… En het wordt steeds moeilijker om aan de gewone gelovige uit te leggen hoe het nu wel moet…..

        • Pastoor Geudens,

          “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…….. “

          Exactly my own experience.

          ” Zo dacht ik er vroeger ook over…. De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk is een kudde aan haar lot overgelaten geworden… En het wordt steeds moeilijker om aan de gewone gelovige uit te leggen hoe het nu wel moet…..”

          Since I don’t trust online translation engines, I’ll have to sign up for lessons in Dutch before commenting on that part of your post! Please don’t tell me it’s paragraph one of your comment, in Dutch!

  3. There is obviously quite a bit of ill will within the FSSP toward the SSPX – despite several pleas from The Remnant that “we all get along.” I’ve experienced it twice, personally: first, out of the mouth of an FSSP priest who said the local “indult” TLM years ago, who referred to the local SSPX chapel, with a barely concealed sneer, as “our friends up the road.” Second, by an acquaintance in our chapel whose husband became vehemently opposed to the SSPX after imbibing various glib falsehoods, and whose marriage was threatened as a result. My acquaintance called an FSSP priest to ask for help in counseling her husband (who refused to talk to an SSPX priest), but all the FSSP priest could tell her was the same rubbish her husband was telling her: “I’m sorry, but your SSPX marriage is invalid.”

    I’m guessing that the source of this ill will is two-fold: first, it must originate from among FSSP seminary faculties. Second, it must originate from guilty consciences about personal cowardice, for these are the people who have sold out to the revolution in order for Tradition to be acceptable and allowable under certain highly restricted terms. In fact, I’d have to say the FSSP is comparable in many ways to the “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association” – the state-approved version of the Church.

    Having said that, I’ve also heard that there is quite a bit of discord within the FSSP about their forced acceptance of the Modernist revolution. Perhaps some day those who struggle with this institutional cowardice will do something about it and join the SSPX.

    Meanwhile, Deo gracias for Abp. Lefebvre, who has correctly identified the modern Church as a new religion. He was not fooled by the facade, nor would be permit himself to be coerced into obeying the facade, which is nothing more than another variety of Protestantism with just enough Catholic window-dressing to fool the masses.

    • RCA Victor,

      I think there are priests in the FSSP who regret leaving the SSPX.

      I agree with you about Archbishop Lefebvre correctly identifying the modern Church as a new religion. Unfortunately, the people attending the modern parishes don’t realise that. They’re like the Catholics at the time of the Reformation who drifted into the new religion of Protestantism at that time. It’s very sad indeed.

      • I think there are priests in the FSSP who regret leaving the SSPX

        I think that is most probably true, Michaela.

        I think that (at least some of the) the leavers probably maintain an affection for the SSPX, but had made a knee-jerk reaction / bad judgement call, at the time when they left. No-one is perfect!

  4. I agree 100 percent!!!!!!!!!!!! Bernadette Milliken True Catholic Rosary warrior

    Sent from my iPad

  5. I left Novos Ordo land the day Amoris Laetitia was published. Luckily I have sspx chapel near me, plus a retired 81 year old ‘independent’ priest who says Old Rite in a private chapel
    When I read the Archbishop’s letter I thought this was a saint writing it.

    My 9 year old is attending the sspx catechism camp soon

    • Editor, I thought “yawn, yawn” when I saw this thread. Again? My goodness, when will they get it? It is very sad indeed that adherents of the FSSP should rubbish other traditionalists who are simply trying to cling onto the faith of their fathers. Very sad indeed.

    • You certainly made the right decision wrt the Novus Ordo, Dominiemary!

      You are indeed blessed to have the SSPX close by. When I discovered tradition, it was my good fortune that there was an SSPX chapel just two street away from my home. Talk about divine providence!

      If possible, please give us on the blog some feedback as to how your sons SSPX Catechism Camp turns out. (Or perhaps as a post on your own blog?). These traditional summer camps are definitely something I am interested in for when my chid(ren) is older.

    • Dominie Mary,

      That’s wonderful news. I remember at the time of our previous (to the June) Conference, we had suggested you come up to Glasgow for the Conference and to attend our SSPX chapel – I think you were keen to have some questions answered – but you were unable to do so for practical reasons at that time. You’ve found your way to the SSPX anyway – that’s great news.

  6. Calling all Scripture Scholars…

    One of the arguments put forward by a critic of the SSPX to me, personally, at the weekend, was that, during His trials, while Jesus remained silent when questioned about his identity by both King Herod and Pilate, He did answer the High Priest, Caiaphas, out of respect for his office. So, when the High Priest dealt with Jesus’ initial silence, by putting Him under oath with the legal statement “I adjure you” – the formal Jewish manner of placing someone under oath – Christ answered his question.

    My reply was that this was not at all the same thing as obedience today to Modernist (through to apostate) bishops who are leading souls astray. There are, in my view, a number of reasons for rejecting this example, but I’m starving and must eat something within the next ten minutes, or else! In any event, I’d be interested to read other bloggers’ response to this argument before I deal with it a little more fully. It’s an argument which, I have to admit, I’d never heard before. I thought I’d heard all the criticisms of Archbishop Lefebvre, but this was the first time I’d heard of “Bishop Caiaphas”.

    More in due course…

    • I really can’t understand his point in making this argument. There is no logic to it. Jesus respected Caiphas’s office by answering his question, respectfully – not by obeying him. Caiphas surely expected the ‘obedience’ or assent of Jesus to the lie that He was not the Son of God. He did not get it. Any SSPX priest, indeed any of us layfolk, would respect a bishop’s office thus far.

      This whole obedience argument is in tatters, especially clearly since AL, when obeying a bishop in one diocese might mean disobeying the one in the next. When heaven has warned us that bishop will oppose bishop, what has to be our guide? Fortunately Archbishop Lefebvre reminded us.

  7. Editor,

    No Scripture Scholar here, but I believe the follow-up to this scene from the Passion is very relevant: Acts 4: 6-20, where Peter and John were brought before Caiaphas, esp. this:

    And calling them, they charged them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answering, said to them: If it be just in the sight of God, to hear you rather than God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

    That is, the Modernist traitors tried to order Abp. Lefebvre to do the very same thing that Caiaphas ordered Peter and John to do: deny Jesus and be silent. And, like Peter and John, Abp. Lefebvre refused, because he heard and knew Tradition, and knew that he was obliged before God to pass it down to the next generation, unblemished.

    Aside from that, I’d like to point out that Our Lord responded to Caiaphas’ abjuration by telling him the truth about Himself. Likewise, Abp. Lefebvre responded to the Chair of Peter by telling him the truth about the Church and about Tradition – and about the destruction inherent in the “new religion” which the Pope was promulgating.

    Therefore, in my opinion, to cite this Scripture to condemn Abp. Lefebvre is completely ludicrous. And I mean that in the most non-scholarly way….

    • RCA Victor,

      That’s an excellent response to the “Bishop Caiaphas” argument. In other words, the first pope “disobeyed” the High Priest.

      Remind me never to sack you, RCA. And I do mean never 😀

  8. Editor

    I haven’t been on the blog recently due to other matters beyond my control, but I have snatched a minute or two to contribute here.

    Our Lord did answer Pilate. When Pilate asked if He was a king, Our Lord responded “you have said it”. In other words, I confirm that I am. He then went on to tell Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world, etc.

    The only one Our Lord would not answer, nor indeed look at, was Herod. Religious historians have quite unanimously conjectured this to have been primarily due to Herod’s sexual perversions. Besides that, Herod did not ask a question of Our Lord that demanded a clear, firm and public answer. Herod was only interested in seeing a miracle.

    The High Priest and Pilate were different propositions altogether. They asked Our Lord direct questions which Our Lord was bound to answer out of respect for the religious and civil authorities as well as duty to uphold divine truth. It was respect for office and duty to truth, then, that constrained Our Lord to answer Caiaphas and Pilate, not obedience.

    • Athanasius,

      Yes, I’m aware that you have been absent from the blog for reasons well beyond your control, so it is very good indeed of you to take time to contribute to this thread.

      Your response is spot on. More typical of a Protestant than a Catholic, the critic of the SSPX who cited the “Bishop Caiaphas” argument, lifted one scripture verse out of context and used it as a stick with which to beat Archbishop Lefebvre. It is, of course, a ridiculous example, for all the reasons given by RCA Victor and your good self.

      The main FSSP critic kept repeating Caiaphas’ command: “I adjure you” to explain why, in his view, Christ answered him out of respect for his religious office, and demonstrating, he thought, that this legal framework is a sort of template for us today in dealing with modernist bishops. Let me clarify…

      The FSSP critic argued that if a Bishop commands, then the priest must obey. in the spirit of Caiaphas’ legal “I adjure you”. I asked for clarification as follows…

      What about the priest known to me, personally, who, some years ago, was told by his Bishop not to preach about Hell again, following a complaint from a parishioner. I asked the FSSP critic whether or not that priest was right to (as he did) ignore the Bishop’s instruction and preach again about Hell in due course. “Yes” of course he was right, the critics agreed. But,they said, I had to make the following distinction, in keeping with the Caiaphas model: if the Bishop tells the priest that if he continues to preach about Hell, his faculty for preaching will be removed, THEN the priest is bound to obey.

      This is the lesson the “Friends of the FSSP” take from Caiaphas’ command to Jesus to confirm His divinity.

      Thus, in theory, we could have a priest permitted to offer the TLM, all the traditional Sacraments, be wonderfully pastorally caring, but never preach the truths of the Faith. Given that St Paul teaches that Faith comes through hearing, this is a bit of a problem, methinks.

      No, it is quite clear that the Caiaphas model has nothing to teach Archbishop Lefebvre – or anyone else, really, about the legitimacy of refusing obedience to disobedient Bishops. Our obedience is, as has already been pointed out, first and foremost to the Faith.

      • Editor,
        Having heard the conversation you are referring to with the FSSP critic I would just like to clarify the point that was made about the distinction:

        “I asked the FSSP critic whether or not that priest was right to (as he did) ignore the Bishop’s instruction and preach again about Hell in due course. “Yes” of course he was right, the critics agreed. But,they said, I had to make the following distinction, in keeping with the Caiaphas model: if the Bishop tells the priest that if he continues to preach about Hell, his faculty for preaching will be removed, THEN the priest is bound to obey.”

        What the critic actually said was that you had to make the following distinction, in keeping with the Caiaphas model: if the Bishop tells the priest that if he continues to preach about Hell, his faculties for preaching will be removed, he is NOT bound to obey because under Canon law a Bishop cannot tell a priest what he is allowed or not allowed to preach about.
        So the priest can continue to preach about Hell even if threatened with having his faculties removed. However if the priest does continue to preach about Hell and the Bishop then tells him that his faculties to preach have been removed, then he has to obey.
        In other words the priest is not obliged to obey the Bishop on anything that is contrary to Canon law.

        • I don’t think this makes sense. The bishop is also bound by Canon Law and there must be “just cause” for a bishop to resort to punitive measures in Canon Law. Preaching about hell is not just cause. Therefore such a punitive measure would be unjust and the priest would not be obliged to obey.

          Since when did Catholics become so stupid and neglect common sense???? This seems pretty straightforward. In my line of work, if the head teacher ordered me to stop teaching addition I would not be obliged to obey that order because it is just plain stupid and contrary to good pedagogy and common sense.

          Sent from my iPhone

          • “if the head teacher ordered me to stop teaching addition I would not be obliged to obey that order because it is just plain stupid and contrary to good pedagogy and common sense.”

            You would be obliged to obey that order from the head teacher Petrus.

            The fourth commandment teaches us that “All true authority of superiors comes from God. Subjects must therefore respect their legitimate superiors and obey their just commands.” Baltimore catechism 3, p178
            The headteacher’s reasons for telling you to stop teaching addition may be very good and not necessarily unjust, for example your method for teaching addition may be confusing the children and the head teacher may quite rightly have decided to employ someone else to do this particular aspect of your job.

            On your other point, it does seem right in principle that :

            “the bishop is also bound by Canon Law and there must be “just cause” for a bishop to resort to punitive measures in Canon Law. Preaching about hell is not just cause. Therefore such a punitive measure would be unjust and the priest would not be obliged to obey”.

            This point accords with my comment that the conclusion I took from overhearing the conversation with the FSSP critic was that he did say that “the priest is not obliged to obey the bishop on anything that is contrary to Canon law”. He did not say that the priest would have to stop preaching about Hell if his bishop tells him to. He just said that if the bishop removed his faculties to preach the priest would have to obey. Unfortunately the conversation did not actually go on to cover the point that you,Petrus, make about whether the priest is obliged to obey if the punitive measure is unjust and I do not know the answer to this.

            Saint Padre Pio was not allowed to say Mass publicly for years and he obeyed. Was this an unjust command? He said:
            “Where there is no obedience there is no virtue; where there is no virtue there is no good, where there is no good there is no love, where there is no love there is no God and where there is no God there is no Paradise.”

            I am NOT applying these points to the SSPX or Archbishop Lefebvre, as I don’t know enough about it, I am just making the point that the Church has always taught that obedience is the foundation of all virtues. Obedience is not common sense at first…..try being somebody’s wife and you’ll soon find that out….

            • Well, I think if we apply this crazy logic then we must conclude that St Paul and St Catherine of Sienna were wrong to publicly rebuke the pope.

              Our first obedience is to the Faith. When a human authority orders us to do something contrary to the Faith then we are not bound to follow. I’m sure this is what St Vincent of Lerins referred to when he said that in the face of confusion in the Church we must cling to Tradition.

              I’m afraid you are grasping at straws and simply defending the indefensible .

              Sent from my iPhone

            • I must also take up your point about the head teacher and addition, as I believe it is a red herring.

              If a head teacher orders me to stop teaching addition because I am not teaching it properly, then that is very different to giving an unjust order to stop teaching it completely. To be honest, the point you tried to make was extremely weak.

              Sent from my iPhone

              • Petrus,

                Correct – I noticed that, about appointing another teacher to teach addition properly, as well. None of the examples given by anyone in this discussion, on the side of the key FSSP critic, either at the time or on this thread, prove the case for blind obedience.

                Mission impossible, folks, so give up. The FSSP critics were wrong to attack the SSPX on grounds that the Society Bishops and priests were/are “disobedient”. It’s patent nonsense.

              • Petrus – are you then saying that you will only obey your headteacher if you agree with the reason they give you for the command?
                What if you were a father and you asked your child to tidy their room and they say “why?” And you say “because it is not tidy enough.”
                And they say “well I disagree think it’s tidy enough.”
                Is that child being truly obedient?

                • No, I would disobey my head teacher because the command is wrong. I know it to be wrong because I am a trained teacher. Therefore, we can disobey the bishops if they give a command that is wrong because we are, or should be, informed Catholics. It really is quite simple.

                  Sent from my iPhone

                • Jane,

                  With respect, you are not seeing the key distinction between a legitimate command and an illegitimate command. A parent telling a child to do something to the parent’s satisfaction, and insisting on that, is within his parental rights (at least for the moment – once Nicola Sturgeon’s State Guardian scheme gets up and running, that will change.)

                  Similarly, bishops issuing legitimate commands should be obeyed. Of course. To tell a priest he must not preach dogma under threat of being banned from preaching, is NOT a legitimate command; it is illegitimate in the extreme, and no priest is bound to obey. Indeed, he is duty bound to DIS-obey the bishop in order to obey God.

                • Jane

                  If a priest discovers that another priest in his diocese has been abusing children, and his bishop has been aware of this but has decided to “deal” with the matter by covering it up, do you think it would be wrong for the first priest to inform the police of the crime which has been committed against innocent children, or should he obey his bishop? What comes first – his duty to the outraged innocent, or his obedience to his bishop?

                  • Therese,

                    I think you will find that the answer to that dilemma is, yet again, obey the bishop.

                    After that conversation at the weekend, I now know for sure that no matter what, obeying the bishop, blindly or otherwise, is the key to being “in” the Church! And I typed that with a straight face, would you believe…

                    Great saints like St Robert Bellarmine, St Athanasius, and St Thomas Aquinas (not to mention the cheeky Catherine of Siena who ticked off popes for not doing their duty) were out and out rogues. How they ever came to be canonised, is the 65,000 dollar question.

            • Jane,

              Are you being serious? I doubt if you are a parent, or you would not so lightly accept the morality of a teacher who thinks it’s more important to obey a ridiculous order from a Head to stop teaching a key part of arithmetic. “My pupils can’t add numbers, but, hey, I’m a model, obedient member of staff.” Get real.

              As for the Padre Pio example – that was mentioned in the throes of the discussion at the weekend but I didn’t get the chance to point out that it is not relevant, for the following reasons.

              Padre Pio was told not to offer Mass IN PUBLIC (not banned from offering Mass) and this because of the disruption of the crowds packing into see HIM – hardly to pray the Mass with reverence. I recall, as a girl, seeing TV news clips of the people racing up the aisles to find a seat as close as possible to the altar, hoping, no doubt, to see the stigmata. Actually brings to mind the example of Our Lord’s refusal to answer Herod because all Herod wanted was to witness one of Jesus’ miracles, he wasn’t interested in the truth.

              So, the Padre Pio example is not a good one, because Padre Pio was obeying a perfectly legitimate command, not given – as far as I can remember – to punish him unjustly.

              As a point of interest, it is useful to note that those who are keen to make Padre Pio a model of obedience (which he was – true obedience) twist his letter to Pope Paul VI to make it seem as if the saint is condoning and approving Vatican II. The letter restricted itself to expressing fidelity and obedience to Paul VI following the publication of Humanae Vitae when the Pope was being savaged in the press and broadcast media for repeating Catholic moral teaching on birth control. There is no shortage of evidence that Padre Pio was no fan of the Second Vatican Council, and, as another aside here is an interesting nugget about his brief encounter with Archbishop Lefebvre straight from the Archbishop’s own pen.

        • Jane,

          This is my reply to your comment posted at 10.55.a.m.

          I said exactly the same thing. To refresh your memory, I wrote:

          “The FSSP critic argued that if a Bishop commands, then the priest must obey. in the spirit of Caiaphas’ legal “I adjure you”. I asked for clarification as follows…

          What about the priest known to me, personally, who, some years ago, was told by his Bishop not to preach about Hell again, following a complaint from a parishioner. I asked the FSSP critic whether or not that priest was right to (as he did) ignore the Bishop’s instruction and preach again about Hell in due course. “Yes” of course he was right, the critics agreed. But,they said, I had to make the following distinction, in keeping with the Caiaphas model: if the Bishop tells the priest that if he continues to preach about Hell, his faculty for preaching will be removed, THEN the priest is bound to obey.

          Where is that different from your account?

          However, our conclusions certainly ARE different.

          You argue, rather confusingly, that “So the priest can continue to preach about Hell even if threatened with having his faculties removed. However if the priest does continue to preach about Hell and the Bishop then tells him that his faculties to preach have been removed, then he has to obey. In other words the priest is not obliged to obey the Bishop on anything that is contrary to Canon law.

          So, let’s see what it is that you are actually saying:

          1) the priest can legitimately disobey a command from his Bishop not to preach about Hell.

          2) if the Bishop then removes his faculty to preach, the priest MUST obey the command to stop preaching about Hell.

          3) Summary; the priest is not obliged to obey the Bishop on anything contrary to Canon Law…

          Er? So, both “disobedient” priest and “commanding” Bishop, are correct? And (changeable) Canon/Church Law (on ecclesiastical penalties such as withdrawal of faculties) is higher than (unchangeable) divine law (dogmatic teaching on Hell) ?

          No. Whether or not a Bishop invokes Canon Law when commanding a priest, no priest is obliged to obey any command that is contrary to the Faith. If “Faith comes by hearing”, and we, the people have a right to hear the Faith preached, then the priest has a duty to preach the Faith, and he cannot be obliged to obey a command from anyone, Pope or Bishop, not to preach. Every Catholic’s first duty of obedience is to the Faith.

          Canon Law must not be set against the dogmas of the Faith. You cannot say that any canon/rule imposing obedience to ecclesiastical authority, takes precedence over dogma.

          That’s why there has been a call from the Kasper School of Heresy to re-write Canon Law in the light of Amoris Laetitia! Heavens, I never dreamt that AL would actually be useful in clarifying anything, but here we have it, we can see that the rebels wish to change Canon Law in order to make it seem that unchangeable Catholic teaching on morality, is, after all, subject to change. You read it here, first. I was wrong about AL! 😀

          • OK answer me this.

            Under canon law, what are the circumstances in which a bishop can legitimately remove a priest’s faculties to preach?
            By ‘remove his faculties to preach’ I mean ban him from preaching altogether, about anything at all.

            • Jane,

              I suggest that you direct that question to any bishop you care to name, since most of the clergy today are preaching error through to heresy all the time, while the bishops do nothing. I’ve just heard from a couple on holiday in England who had to suffer the priest at Mass saying there’s no reason why we can’t call God “Mother” and use the pronoun “she”.

              Why has HE not been banned from preaching? He, and all the other heretics who are major contributors to the crisis in the Church. But note: the only priests ever discussed as being a “problem”; the only priests (like Father Gruner RIP) who are [unjustly/illicitly] “suspended” or [unjustly/illicitly] “excommunicated” are those who insist on holding to the Faith of our Fathers.

              I suggest you buy the book mentioned on this thread, “The Great Defender” to get a flavour of what happens to a priest JUST for refusing to go along with Modernism – and recall, Modernism is not a “heresy” – it’s a combination of ALL the heresies! Yet, trust me, that is what you are hearing in your parish and I can say that with confidence, not even knowing the name of your parish!

              Food for thought, perhaps?

            • Jane

              Under canon law, what are the circumstances in which a bishop can legitimately remove a priest’s faculties to preach?

              How about if he is preaching outright heresy (most of them are) or if his preaching is a danger to faith and morals. To my mind such clergy should be utterly forbidden to exercise public ministry. However, that is not the case. Think “Association of Catholic Priests” in Ireland, whose main goal is to rewrite the teaching of the Church when it comes to The Truths of the faith and especially Church teaching on the truth and meaning of human sexuality.

  9. Editor,

    In fact, not only is the citation of that passage ludicrous as ammunition against Abp. Lefebvre, it actually justifies his actions! So be sure to thank the person who tried that phony ploy, next time you see them, for exonerating beyond the shadow of a doubt our revered Archbishop…

    • RCA Victor,

      As it happens, I’ll be seeing some of those same critics during the week but I suspect that they’ll be reading this thread anyway, so I’ll don my raincoat and dark glasses and stick to discussing the weather (or “climate change” as it’s called these days!) and other trivia!

      I seriously do not see any point in discussing the Faith with them, as they really are pretty well in the category of “don’t know, don’t want to know”. So, I’m going to leave them to it!

  10. RCA Victor, the point made by both of you better than I made it, pecking away for nearly an hour with an overlarge finger on my squidgy android, with the odd interruption thrown in. Interesting point about Herod – I hadn’t heard that.

  11. There can be no doubt that we are in an unholy mess and that Lefebvre saw this crisis in all its theological and doctrinal poignancy whilst others–the vast majority–looked upon him, at best, as what the Americans call a party-pooper, and, at worst, as a traitor.

    At the heart of the debacle is, whether we like it or not, the extremely complex theological question of the relation between nature and grace. All other disputes in this battle are, believe me, purely secondary, even when they have the appearance of being primary. The elephant in the room is one Karl Rahner whose theology inspired and continues to drive the left in the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis. Until his positions are condemned, there can be no peace.

    Rahner’s extremely complex view of grace is an attempt to baptize secular modernity to the point where there is no (meaningful) distinction between nature and grace and, therefore, between the world and the Church. His theory of anonymous Christians is utterly heretical and is a direct threat to ecclesial faith as it has been conceived in the Church since her origins.

    This is why in Pope Francis and in the Church of his time there is so very little pastoral zeal for the salvation of souls. If one were to ask him and his ilk why the Catholic Church exists, let alone whether her existence is necessary, they would look back sheepishly and start rubbing their hands behind their backs. Because on the Rahnerian view of grace the incarnation of Christ and the on-going incarnation which is the Church are simply unnecessary. Man is destined to salvation by the very fact that he is man. Therefore it is ultimately pointless to believe that the means of salvation are in the Church, or, better, that one who is baptized in the Church has any advantage over one who is not.

    It is Rahner’s theory of grace which is the real poison in Church today and many, the vast majority, are under its influence even when they are unaware of being so. Rahner’s view did not win out at Vatican II, to which he was called as an expert, but it is ever present in the documents which are themselves very often accommodations between the prevailing factions. However, his view certainly won the day in the post-conciliar period as he became the theologian of reference of the Society of Jesus and of the Catholic intelligentia and pseudo-intelligentia. To some extent John Paul II tried to remedy the situation, but the Rahnerians simply went underground only to surface vengefully with Francis.

    On another note, I have always understood Jesus’s saying to Pilate ‘It is you who say it,’ as being the standard reply in Roman legal proceedings when the charges were put to the accused. In other words, it is up to you to prove it.

    • Prognosticum,

      “On another note, I have always understood Jesus’s saying to Pilate ‘It is you who say it,’ as being the standard reply in Roman legal proceedings when the charges were put to the accused. In other words, it is up to you to prove it.”

      That is very interesting – I’ve never heard or read that before.

      I told the FSSP critics of the SSPX that, in any case, I do not consider that by answering a question (about anything!) Our Lord was “obeying” or even showing respect for the office of the person asking the question. That is, of course, one interpretation but I don’t see it raised to that level. Answering a question is not the same as obeying a command – or so it seems to me.

        • Petrus,

          Me, too. I can’t see the connection between answering a question and obeying an instruction. Even though Jesus didn’t answer at first, and waited until the “legal” phrase “I adjure you”, that doesn’t mean he was obeying, it could just as easily be interpreted as Jesus deciding to answer when it suited him, not just because the high priest asked him.

    • Prognosticum

      “On another note, I have always understood Jesus’s saying to Pilate ‘It is you who say it,’ as being the standard reply in Roman legal proceedings when the charges were put to the accused. In other words, it is up to you to prove it.”

      If this were true then Our Lord would not have followed up His response to Pilate with an explanation that His Kingdom is not of this world. It seems clear to me that Our Lord was definitely answering Pilate’s question in the affirmitive and then expanding on the nature of His Kingship.

      • Your point is certainly valid and ties up well with how I. Howard Marshall interprets this verse: ‘The form of expression is not a direct affirmation; but it is certainly not a denial, and is best regarded as a grudging admission with the suggestion that the speaker would put it otherwise or that the questioners fail to understand exactly what they are asking.’

  12. I should add that since being received into the Catholic Church nigh on three decades ago I have never ceased to be struck by what I can only describe as the schizophrenia which has reigned and continues to reign since Vatican II. It goes something like this: ‘Before the Council we believed X; now we believe Y; but Y is just another way of saying X.’

    ‘But if Y is just another way of saying X, can’t I continue just to hold to X?’

    ‘No, because that would mean you deny Y.’

    I pray that that the FSSPX people return to the main body of the Church, but I cannot wait to find out what will be asked of them in terms of doctrinal adherence. They will never adhere to Y, but if the Pope admits them with their adhering just to X then it seems to me that Y’s days are numbered.

    I am going to bed. Good night to one and all.

    • Prognosticum

      My understanding is that Pope Francis and certain Cardinals have been making noises about the SSPX having to accept the Conciliar reform and the legitimacy of the New Mass. I think that may be why Bishop Fellay recently put out a statement saying that the SSPX must wait for a Pope who genuinely wants to restore Tradition to the Church before seeking a canonical solution. I can’t see anything happening under this Pope, especially in light of his recent scandalous apologies to homosexuals and his remarks about admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion.

      As Bishop Fellay said, and I paraphrase, the SSPX is not immediately concerned with a canonical solution, it is concerned with the proper formation of priests and the sanctification of souls. It therefore continues through this crisis to keep the old faith and administer to souls. For that it needs no canonical recognition from those destroying the Church.

      • Very interesting indeed. I hadn’t picked up on this, but I have been lying low recently owing to a bout of ill health.

        My sources–usually reliable, I have to say–were until very recently muting a solution that would have been very favourable to the fraternity. What has intervened in the meantime, I know not.

        Sad, in a way. But I cannot blame the Fraternity for keeping its distance from this poison.

  13. A night cap.

    The Pope is certainly the privileged interpreter of the Deposit of Faith which comes to us from Christ through the apostles. But he is only its interpreter, never its author, and he too is subject to the teachings of his predecessors.

    Doctrine does develop in the Church (the doctrine of grace is a prime example), but it does so in a manner akin to how English common law develops. Thus, in a matter of doctrine, if Pope A teaches C, Pope B can never teach D where D is the denial of B. Thus if the Church down to Benedict XVI never gave Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried outside the Church, we can take it as pretty certain that any inducement to do so, bar in the danger of death, does not come from Christ. And when such an inducement is mumbled out of the corner of the Pope’s mouth with Jesuitical artistry and he refuses to clarify what exactly he means, we would do well to consider if it does not come from the enemy.

    Sweet dreams.

    • Prognosticum,

      All so true, and all the more puzzling that even some of those adherents of traditional associations like the FSSP can make excuses for a Pope who is teaching “D”. In the weekend conversation, one FSSP person actually minimised the seriousness of Amoris Laetita by saying that it is “not clear”. I argued that, on the contrary, it is very clear. That’s why we are already seeing notices from priests in parishes, urging parishioners to bring their cohabiting and “remarried” relatives and friends to Mass and Communion. Clear as crystal. Sin [of a sexual nature] is no longer sin, now that we know all about “mercy”.

      The claim that AL is “not clear”reminds me of your remark at 2.05 am, quoting the Modernists’ case: ” ‘Before the Council we believed X; now we believe Y; but Y is just another way of saying X.’

      ‘But if Y is just another way of saying X, can’t I continue just to hold to X?’

      ‘No, because that would mean you deny Y.’

      Priceless!

      • And if the Magisterium is not about clarity, just what is it about?

        Matthew 5,37 springs to mind: ‘But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.’

  14. I believe Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics to be the greatest treatise to ever be written on the Modernist revolution in the Church. This must be read by all and any Catholic. In his letter, when I read of the similarities between the fruits of the Protestant revolution and the Modernist revolution, I think that history surely does repeat itself.

    • DOTF,

      “… history surely does repeat itself”

      Yes, it does. And – human nature being what it is (fallen!) – people learn very little, if anything, from the mistakes of history.

  15. Could this be the “mystery of iniquity” about which Leo XIII spoke?
    I do not actually know what it is with regard to Britain, however I can testify of the persecution against the faithful priests in the 1970s until now… and all this was happening “in a climate of dialogue and openness and generosity”!
    Thereafter, the popes who have endorsed and imposed the destruction of the liturgy and promoted apostasy were in full idolatry beatified and canonized… It is really incredible, the scandal does not bother the “lessons makers”; the true Charity is gone and has been replaced by a false brotherhood between exalted ideologues who poison and divide the Church as much as the civil and secular society…
    Yes indeed, we will have to bear their sacrileges and their insults and persecution as long as God permits it, but beware of Justice on the day He will have rung the “end of recreation”!…
    One can mock the faithful, but one cannot mock God with impunity.

    • Lionel,

      I’ve just been re-reading a book about a couple of priests who were persecuted in the 70’s – a book given to me by one of our readers, now deceased. It makes shocking reading, to see the extent to which the English hierarchy stooped, in order to silence these priests. So, you are right about the persecution of faithful priests right from the get-go post-Vatican II.

      And you are also absolutely right to say: “One can mock the faithful, but one cannot mock God with impunity”.

      Well said.

      • Editor,

        I would be interested in knowing what book it is.

        I remember many years ago picking up a book called ‘The Great Defender’ which was an account of one English priest’s attempt to remain faithful in the midst of the confusion after Vatican II. It was written and produced–rather badly, I have to say, by a nurse who was his faithful disciple. I don’t think I have read anything quite so sad in my whole life.

        This man, to take just an instance, had battled against communion-in-the-hand right to the bitter end, only for the pratice to be admitted at his own funeral in his own parish Church.

        I do not doubt that this faithful priest is in heaven and praying for the Church in this her flagellation.

        • Prognosticum,

          Yes, that is the book – ‘The Great Defender’ (by Sarah F. Morrison).

          As well as detailing the appalling treatment of Father John Flanagan, who founded the Association of Priests to combat Modernism, there is also an article about the shocking treatment of Father Jeremiah Daly: “The story of a priest who gave his life for his flock” according to Father Flanagan.

          It is truly a very sad story, as you say. Both Father Flanagan and Father Daly were heroes of the Vatican II revolution. No doubt, in time to come, we’ll discover that there have been many more such heroes, quietly doing their best to fight the plague of Modernism in their neck of the woods. The lengths the authorities went to in order to destroy these priests, even seeking to label Fr Daly a lunatic, is utterly shocking. What a price they will pay for that, in God’s good time.

          I have heard from very reliable sources that the weak clergy here in Glasgow are not slow to mock and ridicule sound priests. I know of one priest who is doing all he can to provide faithful liturgy and preaching and – as a result – has a vibrant parish despite the faith-LESS leaving in droves, to which “good riddance” I say.

          The names of these faithful priests, Fathers Flanagan, Daly and others yet to receive publicity, will be remembered long after the sheep brigade, with one eye on their next career move, are forgotten.

          Won’t Judgment Day be very interesting?

      • Editor, I too, would be interested in the title of the book you are reading.

        About the “umbrella” or Ecclesia Dei traditional orders, they want to have their cake and eat it! They won’t leave their comfort zones, that’s for sure. Their schizophrenia never ceases to amaze me; for example, they toe the line in the pulpit but say the opposite in the confessional! I’ve had many experiences of this.

      • Editor,

        There used to be a website on this side of the pond, Les Femmes, which detailed numerous instances of American priests who were persecuted for trying to keep the Faith and the liturgy. In fact, Dan Graham, who wrote the “Words That Count” article about the destruction of the Mass, also wrote a book (“historical fiction”) about one of these cases in his home diocese of, I believe, Arlington, Virginia.

        • RCA Victor,

          Ahem, cough, cough…. If you look more closely at that website – just scroll down the list of Catholic Media Coalition Members – you will see Catholic Truth listed. Cough. Ahem….

          And yes, they do detail instances of priests who are persecuted for the Faith, but there was one hilarious occasion in which they had a Scots priest claiming to be a victim on their site and he was recommended to contact Catholic Truth without delay.. He disappeared from the blog and I’m not surprised. Victim? Yeah right…

          • Editor,

            Are you taking anything for that cough? 🙂

            I haven’t visited that site in years, but I used to be a member of that Coalition also, when I was deviously engaged in writing my newsletter. Last I remember, though, some of the members had a habit of getting embroiled in heated discussions about the NO vs the TLM, until the site moderator, Marianne something, put the kibosh on it. Ah well, they weren’t really traditionalists, were they….

            • Editor, don’t take any notice of Dr. Victor if he tries to prescribe for your cough. He’s a quack. He recently recommended a crippling course of treatment for a hitherto perfectly healthy middle finger that I complained was merely too big for the mini keyboard of an 8″ tablet. I am reporting him to the AMA and will certainly pursue a claim for punitive damages.👋

              • Christina,

                I know what you mean about RCA Victor… quack, quack, quack quack slow… to be precise 😀

                Still, he IS an American, so you’ll be onto a good thing if you sue – they’re used to that across the pond!

                • Editor & Christina,

                  I might have forgotten to mention that my doctorate is in blog-ology, not medicine. Furthermore, I obtained my perfectly legitimate degree from Whattsamatta U., which allows me to pontificate on just about any subject about which I know nothing…

                  I should warn you, though, that I have a very clever lawyer with Sicilian connections, Nicky Pompaneece…so litigate, as they say, at your own risk!

  16. I am intrigued by the quote from Our Lady of Good Success and the link to that story at the final photo of Archbishop Lefebvre, top of this page.

    It is amazing to think that he must be the “prelate to restore the priestly spirit” that Our Lady said would come in the 20th century. I’ve read the link and it is just mind-blowing to realise that.

    IMHO, the Archbishop will be raised to the altars one day. He’ll be “St Marcel” and what will the critics say then?

    • Margaret Mary,

      While on retreat (SSPX) last July, we listened to recordings during each meal. One of them was of a priest reading an excerpt from a speech by Abp. Lefebvre on that very topic. He said something like this, after quoting the above: “I do not say that I am that prelate, but I acknowledge there is a strong possibility.” (My memory on the second half of that sentence is bad, but the first half struck me quite strongly).

      • MM & RCA Victor,

        It just HAS to be Archbishop Lefebvre – who else could Our Lady have meant? We’re not exactly falling over prelates desperate to restore the priestly spirit, are we? Goodness, we’ve been holding garden parties to celebrate the handful of prelates who mustered up the courage to tell Cardinal Kasper & Co that adultery is still a sin. Gimme strength!

      • RCA Victor,

        I heard that the Archbishop had acknowledged that he may be that prelate prophesied by Our Lady in the 17th century. To me, that shows that he is an authentic person, a man of true humility. I believe he was that bishop. There just wasn’t anybody else in the 20th century to fit that prophesy.

  17. I notice that nobody has mentioned the important fact that Canon Law allows for disobedience, in a state of emergency and even if there turns out to be no emergency, no penalties are to be imposed, if the bishop thought were was an emergency – so this applies to Archbishop Lefebvre’s consecration of the four bishops in 1988 when there was obviously an emergency situation in the Church:-

    6. Considerations of Canon Law: The Dispositions of Canon Law in Case of Emergency

    These canonical considerations are drawn from a study by Professor Georg May, President of the Canon Law Seminary at the University of Mainz, entitled “Legitimate Self-defense, Resistence, Emergency:” written in 1984. These considerations provide as it seems to us interesting points to help us think about punishments eventually incurred as a result of an emergency consecration of bishops.

    State of Emergency

    The Code of 1917 spoke of emergency in Canon 2205, paragraphs 2 and 3. The Code of 1983 deals with emergency in Canons 1323 paragraph 4, and 1324 paragraphs 1 and 5. The law does not state what it understands by this term. It leaves juris- prudence the task of saying precisely what it means, but from the context it is clear that an emergency is a state in which the goods necessary for life are endangered in such a way that to escape from it, the violation of certain laws is inevitable.

    Emergency Law

    The Code recognises emergency as a circumstance exempting Catholics from any penalty in case they have to violate the law (New Code 1323, paragraph 4), provided that the action is not intrinsically evil or prejudicial to souls; in this latter case the emergency would merely attenuate the punishment. But no punishment “latae sententiae” can affect someone who has acted in an emergency situation (New Code 1324, paragraph 5).
    http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/The-Episocopal-Consecrations.htm#5

    • Michaela,

      Thank you for that important reminder about the emergency provision in Canon Law. Crucial to understanding the SSPX position.

    • Michaela,

      I noticed that, too, that nobody mentioned that the SSPX points to the emergency clauses in Canon Law, so that even if Archbishop Lefebvre had wrongly assessed the state of the Church and consecrated his bishops when there was no real need, he still wouldn’t have been eligible of excommunication because he thought there was an emergency. It’s very clear, and he was obviously a prophetic person who could see that there sure was an emergency in the Church. Thank God for him.

  18. Editor,

    I’ve just finished reading a chapter in Fr. Malachi Martin’s The Jesuits (Christina: NB!) about the fabled Jesuit classical discipline of obedience. Since the VII revolution was largely designed and implemented by modernist Jesuits, I’m wondering whether this false idea of obedience originates from them, i.e. from a clever or disoriented distortion of their model of true obedience.

    I will come back later and post some excerpts from MM on Jesuit obedience…thus keeping you all in suspense while I go pubbing and clubbing. I mean, what are afternoons for, anyway?

  19. I think this is very interesting from the Remnant TV. It looks like they’re saying the same as here only a bit differently, that there soon won’t be any neo-Catholics left, only traditional ones! Hear hear! The rest will go with their new religion!

    • Lily, I’m especially interested that Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara are increasingly questioning Pope Francis’ mental state. I have thought for some time that his weird incoherent ramblings, impossible to construe, can only proceed from a very abnormal mind. How strange if it turns out that the Church is being wrecked by a pontiff who bears no responsibility or guilt because of insanity!

      • Christina,

        I hope there is some kind of explanation like that, because otherwise, he’s in for a very terrible eternity IMHO.

  20. Lily, thanks for posting this video clip from The Remnant. It is very enlightening indeed. The Pope could be mentally unbalanced or perhaps he’s carrying out a well planned agenda.

  21. Luther was mentally unbalanced as well, but as far as I know (which isn’t very far), he bears full responsibility for rending the Church, and Europe, in twain. In fact, I’m even tempted to say that now, at the height (hopefully – can it get much worse?) of the Passion of the Church, we have another Martin Luther sitting in the Chair of Peter.

  22. That’s a great video from the Remnant. In it was mentioned that “7 bishops” have been re-shuffled. The good guys, I mean. Does anyone know their identities? Also, has something nasty been done to Cardinal Sarah? I really must keep up!

    • Crofterlady,

      Guess what? The place to keep up with Cardinal Sarah is on the Cardinal Sarah thread, where RCA Victor has posted a very interesting link near the end of the page today, July 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm – click here 😀

  23. I am as readers are aware in the mainstream Church. I am a member of the Rosary Group which started in the 1980’s to pray for the Catholic Faith that it would return to our parish. Yes,there is a return to Adoration but not on a large scale and there are those who we know will be there and there are those we know will not be there. Put it this way, those who believe and those who do not believe. What I have come to understand is that we are part of an inclusiveness. See, we let the Romans practice their Faith. Meanwhile the Protestants have their Bible studies and are around to dismiss Catholicism in any talks on the Catholic Faith. WE are, I am told, a Parish of Faith, but as far as faith is concerned it teaches nothing. There is no attempt to teach the Catechism, 90% of children in the Catholic Schools have stopped going to Church by the time they are 13, but we are ‘community’ and you can do something in the parish in the jobs created to make you feel value. This we are told is what the Pre-Vatian Churh lacked, everyone being important. Now what an be done? Satan is the champion of division and a Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. So we should look for unity with others of the same view, who are loyal to the Pope and the Catholic Faith If the SSPX does indeed become regular that would be a wonderful step ahead for they could not be crushed easily. They could teach their Catechesis, the true Catechesis. This is urgent for since the 70’s Modernists have not just been destroying the Faith of the Children but as I have been pointing out they are destroying their lives.

    • John Kearney

      I recognise only too well your situation in the “mainstream” Church. It’s so protestantised that none of the great martyrs would recognise it if they returned to earth today.

      I’ve been reading through this thread and looking forward to reading Jane McIlshenaich’s responses to the answers she was given. Has she emigrated?

  24. Communiqué from the Superior General to All Members of the Society of Saint Pius X at the conclusion of the meeting of major superiors in Anzère (Valais), June 28 2016.

    Following the meeting of the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X, in addition to the statement he read on June 29, 2016, during the priestly ordinations in Ecône, Bishop Bernard Fellay, the day before, had addressed the priests in a statement that DICI publishes today exclusively.

    For the glory of God,
    for the honour of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Holy Mother,
    for our salvation.

    In the present grave state of necessity in the Church, which gives it the right to administer spiritual aid to the souls that turn to it, the Society of Saint Pius X does not seek above all a canonical recognition, to which it has a right because it is Catholic. The solution is not simply juridical. It depends on a doctrinal position that it is imperative to express.

    When Saint Pius X condemned modernism, he traced the whole argument of the encyclical Pascendi back to one initial principle: independence. Now the world makes all its efforts to change the axis around which it must turn. And it is obvious to Catholics, as it is to those who are not, that the Cross is no longer that axis. Paul VI said it very well: man is (See Closing Speech of Vatican II, December 7, 1965).

    Today the world turns around this, according to him, definitively established axis: human dignity, man’s conscience and freedom. Modern man exists for his own sake. Man is the king of the universe. He has dethroned Christ. Man exalts his autonomous, independent conscience, to the point of dissolving even the very foundations of the family and marriage.

    The Society of Saint Pius X has always opposed this project of deconstruction of the universe, both the political society, and the Church.

    To remedy this universal disorder, the Good Lord raised up a man, a Christian, a priest, a bishop. What did he do? He founded a society—a hierarchical society—the principle and end of which are just the antidote to this universal disorder: The Sacrament of Holy Orders. The purpose of the Society of Saint Pius X continues to be not only the actual remedy of the crisis but also thereby the salvation of all who cooperate in it. The Society is determined to keep doctrinal, theological and social rectitude, founded on the Cross of Jesus Christ, on His Kingship, on His sacrifice, and on His priesthood, the principle of all order and of all grace. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre fought his whole life long for the triumph of these fundamental truths. It is incumbent on us at the present hour to redouble our efforts and to intensify the same fight on the same principles.

    We are not “conciliarists”: for they deny that Christ’s cross is the world’s axis; neither are we dissenters who reject the social nature of the Church. We are a Society of priests of Jesus Christ, of the Catholic Church.

    Is this truly the moment for the general restoration of the Church? Divine Providence does not abandon its Church, the head of which is the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. This is why an indisputable sign of this restoration will be the express desire will of the Supreme Pontiff to grant the means with which to reestablish the order of the priesthood, of the faith, and of Tradition, sign which will moreover be the guarantee of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition.

    Christus regnat,
    Christus imperat,
    Deo gratias,
    Amen.

    + Bernard Fellay
    Anzère, 28 June 2016
    on the vigil of the Apostles Peter and Paul

    (Source : FSSPX/MG –DICI dated July 16, 2016)

    • Editor,

      Thank you for this post. His excellency Bishop Fellay’s recent communiqués, holding fast to the truth, lays out very clearly the SSPX position. However, in this latest communiqué Our Blessed Lord seems (working through Bishop Fellay) to hint at the beginning of the restoration of Holy Mother Church? If this so when is this likely to happen – who knows, especially with the celebration of Luther’s betrayal on the horizon.

      Then again, since with God all things are possible, this scripture came mind:

      31.And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32.But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Douay Rheims – Matthew 26:31-32

      I fully intend not only to continue but to intensify my prayers for our Holy Father Francis that he will pour the balm of peace on Our Lords dreadfully scourged mystical body.

      Quis ut Deus

      • Gerontius,

        I’m curious as to how you reached the conclusion that Bp. Fellay is hinting at “the beginning of the restoration of Holy Mother Church.” (Louie Verrecchio speculated somewhat the same thing in his most recent column, though his focus was strictly on the SSPX) I pretty much concluded the opposite, i.e. that he is saying that this Pontificate does not have the will to grant the means for a general restoration of the Church. Note the use of the word “general,” which implies a much larger change of course – a universal and radical change, in fact – than just the regularization of the SSPX. Not a complete “conversion,” but a willful and concrete turn back towards Tradition….though such a turn would clearly imply at least an interior conversion…

        It appears to me that, once again, Bp. Fellay is placing the needs of the SSPX within the needs of the Church as a whole. Which is, of course, the correct position.

        Meanwhile, Francis continues the completely opposite course, the latest sorry milestone being the reputed replacement of Card. Muller (whose orthodoxy was questionable to begin with) with Card. “Balloon” Schonborn. If true, I’m sure we will have more heretical “linguistic events” to look forward to, and very soon.

        • RCA Victor,

          Thank you for your reply. I thought to detect the first signs of a possible near future restoration in the last paragraph of Bishop Fellay’s communique.

          Extract:

          Is this truly the moment for the general restoration of the Church? Divine Providence does not abandon its Church, the head of which is the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. This is why an indisputable sign of this restoration will be the express desire will of the Supreme Pontiff to grant the means with which to re-establish the order of the priesthood, of the faith, and of Tradition, a sign which will moreover be the guarantee of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition.

          End of extract.

          My own opinion is that with this pontificate plus what some refer to as Team Bergoglio it seems unlikely to be anytime soon. However, the process of the triumph of Our Lady’s immaculate Heart, Like any journey, begins with a single step. Anyway, we shall see!

          In the meantime, what looks like Our Lord’s cleansing of his mystical body, by separating the wheat from the chaff, is likely to continue for some time yet.

  25. I have a great respect for Bishop Fellay. Perhaps if he continues his dialogue with the Pope it will bear fruit. But remember the Pope is surrounded by unfaithful and anti-catholic bishops and Cardinals. Pope Benedict failed to remove them or influence them which led to his departure. But one good voice in Rome inspired by the Holy Spirit can I believe banish the hold of Satan.

  26. John, I agree about the cabal that reside in the Vatican but you’re not suggesting, are you?! that the Pope is innocent in all this??

    • Helen,

      The Pope can’t be innocent – he’s the one who appoints the bishops and cardinals! LOL!

  27. I am beginning to detect online the growing view that the Pope will soon appoint Card. Schoenborn to succeed Card. Mueller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    Let us hope and pray that this is only a rumour.

    • Prognosticum,

      Someone (I think Gerontius) posted an article from Eponymous Flower claiming exactly that on another (I think) thread (scrolled quickly and can’t find it here) and I wondered if it were a piece of satire. If so, I said, I am not impressed, because things are now so bad that it is hard to identify the fiction (satirical) from the facts. You appear to confirm that this rumour may well be true – so I echo your concluding prayer.

      The appointment of Cardinal Schoenborn to the CDF would surely be the ultimate irony – to say the least.

    • There is an growing online view that Cardinal Schoenborn is to go to the CDF

      This is Eponymous Flower a day ago, so I think it’s a different article from the one that editor mentions – I think that was a few days ago.
      http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/muller-to-mainz-schonborn-and-maradiaga.html

      It’s terrible the way they play politics with these important appointments, especially the CDF. They should be picking someone who actually believes the doctrine of the faith himself!

      I do hope this is only a rumour but would no be a bit surprised if it’s true.

  28. I have now read that chapter from the Open Letter to Confused Catholics several times and it is just breathtaking. It is prophetic. I’ve highlighted one paragraph but the whole thing is just superb:

    “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.”

    That’s exactly true. If anyone had told me when I was young that everything would be changed, that the Mass would be different and that my family would be split because some go to the new Mass and others go to the old rite as they call it now, I just wouldn’t have believed it. We live in sorry times.

    It’s such a pity that the FSSP people seem to be so hostile to the Archbishop’s wonderful work. We should pray for their enlightenment.

  29. Yesterday I asked if Jane McIlshenaich has emigrated as she’s not replied to the answer given her about a bishop banning priests from preaching. I’d really like to know if the answers satisfied her, as I think they were really clear, or if she still thinks a priest has to obey a bishop who tells him to stop preaching even if he is preaching dogma.

    I hope you will answer me now, Jane McIlshenaich. This is not a trick question, as I’d really be interested to know if you have changed your mind after the really good answers to your questions given on this blog.

    • Josephine,

      I’d leave it now. I think we can safely assume that Jane now understands better the distinctions that must be made when discussing obedience. If not, she would surely have come back to us.

  30. God always asks for our full obedience, not partial obedience. Every single saint in the Catholic Church, without exception, manifested the virtues of humility and absolute obedience. Disobedience and all forms of deceit (appearance of obedience) are trademarks of Satan. God always gives us an “out” so that disobedience and deceit, no matter how well the intention, are not options. God’s Grace is sufficient for us.

    St. Paul clearly states that should “an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. So now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.” Nowhere does it say that we should only go so far as ignoring the message and then stop at that point. This is far more about the messenger than it is the message. And since neither an angel from Heaven nor a true pope could ever in essence be anathema, the intent of St. Paul’s words is that the message exists as a litmus test to determine the legitimacy of the messenger. The servant cannot be greater than the master, which is Truth. And if the message be not Truth, then we don’t just ignore it and sit around waiting for the next message to scrutinize, but rather we are commanded by God to trace it back to its primary source, recognize the instigator as the diabolical abomination it is and then distance ourselves completely. It is reprehensible not to give full obedience to a true messenger but it is far more reprehensible to give the appearance of obedience to a false messenger.

    • Micah,

      I’m very sorry but I don’t understand your point, with reference to this discussion.

      Are you saying that Catholics have to obey a pope completely, no matter what?

      • Laura,

        Christ promises us that if the message is false then one can be absolutely certain that the messenger is also false…“a good tree cannot bear bad fruit”. So if you find yourself surprised by error when the harvest time comes, know that it is not a good tree and you should disassociate yourself from it completely. A true pope would always have to be obeyed no matter what because Christ’s Promise precludes any possibility of the emanation of error. If error is being promulgated in any capacity that endangers the salvation of one’s soul, you have Christ’s Word that said person is not the pope but an imposter who should be recognized as such. And thus the obligation wouldn’t be that he not be obeyed, for who would ever pause to consider allegiance with iniquity in the first place. The obligation would be to flee from him like you would a wolf, never stopping to look back.

    • Micah

      I think you are a little confused about obedience. Even the very holiest of men can err in their judgments and words. If and when they do so it is imcumbent upon all in charity to correct them, or resist them if they persist in their error. Truth is paramount, the messenger is secondary. There are times when disobedience is virtuous.

      The Popes since Vatican II, most particularly Francis, have been preaching a Gospel other than that which has been preached to us, to borrow your example from St. Paul who resisted Peter to his face when the latter erred. Now, the fact that these Popes by their individual words and actions have departed from the teaching handed down does not at all impact on the truth of Traditional teaching or on the Papal office. It only demonstrates that Popes are human beings as likely to fall into error, even heresy, as anyone else. The problem the Church has faced these past 60 years or so is that very few in the hierarchy have retained either the orthodoxy or the charity to correct or resist them. I am only aware of two bishops since the Council who have acted as St. Athansius acted. The rest have lost their tongues, if not their faith.

      • Christ was the holiest of Men ever to walk the earth and was Truth Incarnate.
        And since His Church is an extension of Himself, It has Divine protection from every conceivable error in order that men be assured of the opportunity of salvation. Christ’s Church and error cannot exist side by side and thus the Vicar of Christ on earth can never depart from truth and teach error. So if a pope ever decides to teach error, he may do so but then he will no longer be the pope. Just as an unrepentant who wishes to die with their sins while wearing the brown scapular can most certainly do so but be assured the brown scapular will not be found on their body when they die.

          • Margaret Mary,

            If you are implying that the human element (Vicar of Christ on earth) of the Church still retains the possibility of teaching error then I’m afraid you’re sadly mistaken. A true pope, as evil as he may be, is still a true pope as long as he doesn’t promulgate error. Christ’s Divine promise of infallibility is an absolute guarantee that His Church cannot deviate from the Truth and teach error. The servant cannot be greater than the master so Truth is always going to be the litmus test. With nothing less than the salvation of our souls at risk, do you really believe Christ would leave us a Church that had even the slightest chance of becoming corrupted and teaching error depending on who was occupying the See of Peter at any given time? No, a Divine Promise is just that, a Divine Promise. And Christ was more than aware of our own weak human nature when He made that Promise.

            • Micah,

              Sorry, but it’s you who is mistaken if you think that the Pope never teaches error. That’s not true. The Pope is only promised divine help when he is defining teachings which are binding on us all. The stuff that he’s teaching in Amoris Laetita is error.

              • Margaret Mary,

                People can live an entire lifetime and die without ever hearing an ex-cathedra dogmatic definition. A Catholic doesn’t live his or her life merely from one dogmatic definition to the next with the idea that everything taught in the interim may or may not be true and thus never be able to make a true act of divine faith. The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church designates the teaching power of the pope and bishops to the rest of the world and contains the same protection of infallibility:

                “All those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and are proposed by the Church either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium to be believed as divinely revealed.”
                (First Vatican Council, 1870)

                • Micah,

                  That is correct. The quote from Vatican I is exactly right.

                  Pope Francis, however, is undermining – and often openly denying – “teachings of the ordinary and universal magisterium to be believed as divinely revealed.” That is the problem.

                  And that is why…

                  July 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Forty-five Catholic prelates, academics, and clergy have submitted an appeal to the Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome requesting that the cardinals and Eastern Catholic Patriarchs petition Pope Francis to repudiate a list of erroneous propositions that can be drawn from Amoris Laetitia.

                  The appeal will be sent in various languages to the 218 living Catholic Cardinals and Patriarchs over the coming weeks. Read entire report here

                  Happily, this Pope has not used any form of words that would seek to make his errors binding on the faithful, but he is spreading utter confusion and giving the impression that the Church’s teaching on moral issues has changed. He is a danger to the Faith. A disaster. There’s nothing Catholic about defending his undermining of Catholic doctrine and morals, as you appear to be doing. Christ said that to divorce one’s spouse and marry another is to commit adultery. The Pope is saying “wrong”. It’s just not possible to defend the Pope without insulting Christ.

                  Answer this, Micah: were your priest to permit the divorced and “remarried” and cohabitees, to approach for Holy Communion – as some are already doing – on the grounds that Pope Francis has given the green light to this as an act of “mercy”, in Amoris Laetita (AL) would your priest be correct to obey? And what if he disobeyed? Would he be wrong?

                  Remember, contrary to what the heretical Cardinal Schonborn says, none of the novel “teachings” in AL can possibly be binding on Catholics. And if its not binding, we may (indeed must) disobey – right?

                  • Editor,

                    Thankfully Christ’s Church on earth is not capable of “spreading utter confusion”, “giving the impression that the Church’s teaching on moral issues has changed”, or be a danger to the Faith. So if Francis is responsible for any of these things to the point where in good faith you are unable to apply the precepts of the above quoted Vatican Council I, then you have to ask yourself if it’s not disobedience you should be promoting but rather an honest search for the True Church. Look for the Church which holds the True Deposit of Catholic Faith in Its entirety….a Church that has nothing whatsoever to do with Francis.

                    You just said you agreed with the Vatican Council I statement quoted above which was a solemn binding precept stating we have to believe ALL in its entirety that comes from the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church. Disobedience is not an option. Picking and choosing is not an option. Resisting is not an option. Instead, look for the Church where you, in good conscience, have to do NONE of that stuff. Holy Mother Church will never lead us astray or put our souls at risk.

                    I’m sure you guessed it by now, I’m not a defender of Francis. He is an evil man (Ed: not your, or my, or anyone’s judgment to make) and not the true pope by any stretch of the imagination. This means you don’t bargain with him, you don’t compromise with him, you don’t rebuke him, you don’t look for recognition from him etc. You run as far away as you can from him and pray to Our Lady that she will lead you to the True Faith.

                    Editor: it is now clear that you are a sedevacantist. We do not promote that error here. Please do not persist with this. If you lack the Faith to see that Christ does not guarantee “good popes” but only that no pope will teach, as binding, any error, then you will not agree with us here. No posts of yours will be released from now on, which persist in promoting sedevacantism.

                    • Micah,

                      “Thankfully Christ’s Church on earth is not capable of “spreading utter confusion”, “giving the impression that the Church’s teaching on moral issues has changed”, or be a danger to the Faith.”

                      Then how do you explain the Arian heresy which caused St. Jerome to lament that the world awoke and found itself Arian”

                      And how do you explain the cowardly silence of Pope Honorius I which permitted heresy to flourish alongside orthodoxy? He was posthumously anathematized for this by two Popes.

                      You seem to forget that Popes have a great influence on the faithful, who are often more obedient to them than to the teaching handed down. That’s how heresy becomes universal in the Church without ever having been Magisterially taught against Tradition. There is not a single Magisterially binding document or statement since Vatican II that officially enforces a new Mass or new teaching. It has all been done through the appearance of Magisterial authority and false obedience. That’s how we know that even in this crisis Our Lord has not abandoned His Church to formal heresy. The Gates of Hell have not prevailed, and so your sedevacantist position is actually as dangerous and unjustified as that of the liberal reformers. You have a wrong grasp of what obedience means.

                    • Micah,

                      You would do well to read John Salza & Robert Siscoe’s new book, True or False Pope? Your erroneous sedevacantist position would soon be corrected.

                    • Athanasius and RCA Victor (and everyone else!)

                      Note that if you use Micah’s name in responding to any of his comments, your post will go into moderation, since I’ve had to enter his name into the moderation box. So, if he replies here, and I release his comment, try not to use his name. Try “hey you” or similar! 😀

    • Gerontius,

      I just couldn’t believe the comments under that article. How ignorant so many people still are about the Society. One of them actually listed the documents that the SSPX can’t accept and then made a comment about them having to become in full communion or something. He/she didn’t think of saying I wonder what it is that they can’t accept?!!!!!

      I don’t think the Society will accept anything right now with this unpredictable pope at the top. Who can blame them?

      • Margaret Mary,

        Yes their comments show how they think. As has been said many times before, Truth cannot dialogue or compromise with error. They are kidding themselves by thinking they are right.

        Perhaps those who promote and maintain the Modernist Heresy will come to the certain knowledge that St. Pius X has already EXCOMMUNICATED them latae sententiae. ( St. Pius X’s 18th November 1907 Motu Proprio Praestantia Scripturae)

        Reading Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter To Confused Catholics should help them return to the TRUTH.

      • MM

        Yes, the comments below the report show real ignorance. It’s just incredible how blind people are about the SSPX – and the worse things get in the Church, the more ignorance they display! A real mystery!

    • Gerontius,

      That is interesting, but I’ve just checked Dici.org, the online mouthpiece for the SSPX and there is no update to the communique of 28th June, so I suspect this is perhaps a regurgitation of previous speculation.

      I did laugh at this paragraph:

      “[Archbishop] Pozzo stressed the SSPX affirms the central decisions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). These included, for example, the doctrine of the sacramental nature of the episcopate, and “the doctrine of the primacy of the Pope and the College of Bishops together with his leadership.” The statements of the Council on interreligious dialogue, ecumenism and religious freedom have, in the words of Archbishop, a lesser degree of binding.”

      In other words, the SSPX accepts whatever is found in Vatican II that is in accord with what has always been taught and believed.

      WOW! Not exactly breaking news!

    • Gerontius,

      If you read this carefully, you will note that there is nothing new in the article. In fact, the draft of the Personal Prelature proposal has been floating around since 2011/12, but back then Pope Benedict’s insistence on our acceptance of the VII documents in toto effectively destroyed negotiations. Our former Prior had a look at the draft and declared that it was the most airtight arrangement since the Middle Ages!

      I believe Bp. Fellay has thus long ago accepted, in principle, the idea of a Personal Prelature, but as this article states rather deceptively, “details need to be clarified.” Ah yes, the devil’s still in the details!

      Just wait, the Wormtongues behind the Throne are sure to throw yet another Modernist monkey wrench into the works….aka “details.”

  31. “Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that ‘without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogma of faith and morals.’ But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.”

    (n. 5; http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9quanta.htm)

    You and Athanasius would do well applying this infallible statement to your “recognize and resist” position and you would begin to realize how truly untenable it is. If you really believe that Francis is your pope then it is reprehensible how much you abuse, mock and deride him. The entire SSPX position is telling people that it’s NOT okay to say Francis isn’t the pope but it IS okay to treat him like he isn’t.
    Ed: this shows you to be a papolatrist. You ignore the evidence given to you about the LIMITS of papal authority and from Scripture, Saints and Canon Law about our duty to resist, including to speak out against even a Pope if necessary. Here’s a quote from the Council of Trent (surely you’ll accept that!) where the Theologian Melchior Cano said: “Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decsion of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See – they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.”

    I don’t expect a response as this is meant more for your sake seeing as how you are the editor and the most responsible person on this blog. Just know that with an open heart and cooperation with God’s Grace, Our Blessed Mother will help you find the Truth.

    Editor: since Our Lady spoke always of “the Holy Father” when she appeared at Fatima, with no hint that there would come a time when a false pope was elected, it’s YOU who needs to pray to Our Lady to help YOU to SEE the Truth that you wilfully ignore. It’s not about “finding the Truth” – it was never lost, or I imagine Our Lady would not have misled us by telling us to pray much for the Holy Father and that, although late, he would consecrate Russia, etc. Listen, no sedevacantist is ever going to convince me of the truth of that nonsensical position, so I suggest you stop wasting your time trying. In case, however, you are determined to pester me with your nonsense, I’m removing you from moderation and putting you into another little-used section of our site where I won’t see your comments, they will be automatically consigned to the dustbin, so do not waste any more of your time. The reason we don’t welcome sedevacantists/”Roman Protestants” here is because that heresy is of a particularly vicious type and – in my own experience – it is incurable; no argument works with these people. Only if YOU open your heart to the grace of God will you stand any chance of restoring your Catholic Faith. End of discussion.

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