|Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church
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|Author:||John Lane [ Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:15 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
What did the Archbishop mean by this term, "Conciliar Church"?
http://strobertbellarmine.net/Archbisho ... Church.pdf
|Author:||Ken Gordon [ Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:40 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
Probably the same thing that one of their "cardinals" meant when he called it the "conciliar church": i.e., it is NOT the Catholic Church.
|Author:||John Lane [ Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:28 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
The pdf is a 12 or 13 page article explaining exactly what he meant, Ken.
|Author:||John Lane [ Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:03 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
Fr. Gleize contributes to the discussion: https://fsspx.news/en/content/23744
Interestingly, he avoids addressing the question of what Archbishop Lefebvre meant by the term "Conciliar Church." Why?
Fr. Gleize's argument turns on what amounts to a sophism (obviously unrecognised). He asserts, very reasonably, that men infected with Modernism to some degree or other do not necessarily depart from the Church. It is possible, and indeed it has been very common in the past sixty years, for Catholic priests and bishops to adopt a great deal of Modernist thought without themselves positing sufficiently clear words and/or actions to enable others to be sure that they have lost the faith and left the Church. But here is how Fr. Gleize uses this fact:
19. To the extent in which a ‘change of direction’ since Vatican II has occurred, we use the term ‘conciliar Church’. This expression is commonly understood, not as a distinct object or substance, but rather as a new spirit, introduced into the Church at the time of the Council Vatican II, and which constitutes an obstacle the end of the Church, in other words the Tradition of its faith and morals. And when this countercurrent is said to be at work in the Church, by this is meant that those who are united in seeking an end contrary to that of the Church have not openly broken the link that joins them to the other members and to their head, in the inclination of principle to the true common good. In the specific case of the pope, who himself is a part of this countercurrent, this means he has not demonstrably ceased to be pope. Even if, in acting as he does, he presents an obstacle to the Church’s end and prevents Tradition, his power remains in itself inclined to this end and to Tradition.
20. Therefore, there are not two Churches; there is only within the Church an antagonistic movement fighting the Church from within, working to neutralize the Church for its own advancement by impeding the accomplishment of the Church’s end.
Witness the sophism. "[W]hen this countercurrent is said to be at work in the Church, by this is meant that those who are united in seeking an end contrary to that of the Church have not openly broken the link that joins them to the other members and to their head, in the inclination of principle to the true common good." This is a true conditional statement. It is conditioned by "when ... those ... have not openly broken the link that joins them to the other members and to their head." But that is what the entire debate is about! Fr. Gleize begs the question at issue, then builds his case upon his own assumption.
To put the matter in its most succinct form, Fr. Gleize's case against the Conciliar Church being a real and concrete entity only applies if there are no open heretics at all in the hierarchy. And nobody believes that, especially not Fr. Gleize, unless I am very much mistaken.
Once it is admitted that there are indeed open heretics, non-Catholics who departed from the Church by their own act, amongst the hierarchy (i.e. still claiming offices in the Church), then the difficulty in admitting that there is really a concrete reality which is best described as "the Conciliar Church" disappears. Contrary to another of Fr. Gleize's assumptions, the question is not reducible to the associated yet distinct question of whether Paul VI or successors have been true popes.
We can cheerfully admit that in many cases it is difficult to judge whether an individual belongs to the New Church or to the Catholic Church, without having to deny that either body actually exists. Both bodies manifestly exist, and have undoubted members, visibly united to one and not to the other. Fr. Gleize comments, "we would say that an exclusively binary concept, or a sic et non approach, would not provide a sufficiently precise account of the current situation in the Church." I agree, yet it is clear that Fr. Gleize himself has adopted just such an approach to this admittedly very knotty problem.
|Author:||John Lane [ Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:01 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
Further commentary from the eminent Fr. Gleize. http://www.dici.org/en/documents/is-the ... nist-rome/
Is there a “neo-modernist Rome”?
The Courrier de Rome no. 365 (May 2013) published the French translation of an interview Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize gave to the U.S. district’s magazine, The Angelus. The interview allowed Fr. Gleize, professor of ecclesiology at the Seminary St. Pius X in Econe, to clarify some points of his study, “Can one speak of the ‘conciliar Church’?”, which was published in the Courrier de Rome no. 363 (February 2013); extracts were published in DICI no. 273 (12/04/13).
The Angelus: Father, you recently offered an explanation saying that the expression “Conciliar Church” does not signify an institution distinct from the Catholic Church, but rather a “tendency” within it. (See the February 2013 issue of Le Courrier de Rome, cited in part by DICI.) Wouldn’t the logical consequence of this theory be then that the Traditionalist movement should rejoin the official structure of the Church, so as to fight, from within, the conciliar “tendency” and thus to bring about the triumph of Tradition?
Fr. Gleize: I ask you in turn: what do you mean by “official structure”? Logically, this expression makes a distinction with some other structure that would be non-official: where is it, in your view? For my part, it seems to me that there is the Church and there is her visible structure; and in the Church’s structure there is the good spirit and the bad spirit, the latter having taken hold of the minds of the leaders and wreaking havoc under the pretext of government by the hierarchy. If there is an official structure to which we do not belong and which we should rejoin, then either it is the visible hierarchy of the Catholic Church and we are schismatics, and as such outside the visible Church; or else it is a visible hierarchy other than that of the Catholic Church and we are the Catholic Church inasmuch as it is distinct from the conciliar Church; but then where is our pope? Is our pope the Bishop of Rome and who is the Bishop of Rome in our Tradition?
The Angelus: We often hear the authorities of the Society say that it is necessary to “help the Catholic Church reclaim her Tradition”. Don’t you think that this sort of statement could leave the faithful confused? For the Catholic Church could not exist without her Tradition; she would no longer be the Catholic Church.
Fr. Gleize: If you consider the Church figuratively as a person, then your question makes sense. But the Church is not a person like you or I; she is a society, and then things are not that simple. “To help the Church reclaim her Tradition” is an expression in which the whole is taken for the part, that is, those men of the Church who are infected by the bad spirit. This figure of speech is legitimate and a person of good will does not misinterpret it. In the past, the popes have indeed spoken about “reforming the Church”. Now the Church as such does not need to be reformed. Therefore the popes meant not the Church per se but certain persons in the Church.
The Angelus: But Father, do you really think that we can talk about a “tendency” in order to describe the modernism that is wreaking havoc in the Church, since the liberal and Masonic ideas of Vatican II are so to speak institutionalized by the reforms affecting all aspects of the life of the Church: liturgy, catechism, ritual, Bible, ecclesiastical tribunals, higher education, Magisterium, and above all, canon law?
Fr. Gleize: You were right to say “so to speak….” This is indeed evidence (at least unconscious) that here again things are not that simple. Do not forget, in any case, that I am not the first to speak about tendencies to describe the current situation of the Church, occupied by modernism. Recall the 1974 Declaration, which Abp. Lefebvre wanted to make the Charter of the Society: Abp. Lefebvre speaks precisely about a “Rome with a neo-Modernist, neo-Protestant tendency, which clearly manifested itself in the Second Vatican Council and after the Council in all the reforms that resulted from it”. Abp. Lefebvre does not mean that there are two Romes or two Churches diametrically opposed to one another, as two mystical bodies and two societies would be. He means that there is Rome and the Church, the one Mystical Body of Christ, of which the visible head is the Pope, Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ. But there are also bad tendencies that have been introduced into this Church, because of the false ideas that are wreaking havoc in the minds of those who are in power in Rome. Incidentally this is the argument repeated in the recent February issue of Le Courrier de Rome. Yes, the reforms are bad; but the result of them is to instill these tendencies (which remain at the status of tendency) into the things that are reformed: thus we have a new Mass, new sacraments, a new Magisterium, a new canon law. And therefore a new Church also. But these expressions mean to point out the corruption that is wreaking havoc within the Church, not another distinct, separate Church. For example, in the examination that took place on January 11-12, 1979, in response to the questions posed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Abp. Lefebvre spoke about the new Mass as follows: “This rite in itself does not profess the Catholic faith as clearly as the old Ordo missae and consequently it may promote heresy. [...] What is astonishing is that an Ordo missae that smacks of Protestantism and therefore favens haeresim [is promoting heresy] could be promulgated by the Roman Curia.” You will note that all his words are carefully weighed: “not … as clearly as”; “may promote”; “smacks of Protestantism”; “favens, promoting”. These are the words of a wise man, the words of a man who pays attention to what he says. Abp. Lefebvre also said: “I never denied that these Masses said faithfully according to the Novus Ordo were valid; nor did I ever say that they were heretical or blasphemous.” Careful, therefore! Let us be firm, but let us not be simplistic. The bad tendencies become more or less encrusted on the life of the Church, yet we cannot say that there are always and everywhere new institutions completely foreign to the Church. In all the examples that you mention, it is a question of innovations devised by men of the Church. But the power that they employed (quite abusively) to impose those novelties is one thing, and the visible hierarchy to which they belong is another. The liberal and Masonic ideas of Vatican II have been “institutionalized”, if you want to use that term, but let us reflect on what we mean by that formula: precisely these are new ideas, which are at the outset of new tendencies. Ideas have enormous consequences, but they are subtly inoculated in people’s minds, they are not an institution, as an entire separate Church can be. Because otherwise, everybody would see it and everybody would say it, don’t you think? How can we explain the fact that many people, whom we can certainly suppose are nevertheless somewhat thoughtful and well-meaning, continue to think that the Church remains the Church, even though disorder prevails in it extensively.
The Angelus: No doubt, but these tendencies are not Catholic! They cause people to lose the faith and separate them from the Church. We are not the ones who left the Catholic Church; they are, even though they succeeded in taking command of the official structure. We are therefore confronting a structure, an institution different from the Catholic Church. If that were not the case, we would be members of it!
Fr. Gleize: If I follow your logic to the end, I must conclude that the conciliar Church exists therefore as a schismatic sect, formally different from the Catholic Church. Therefore: all its members are materially at least schismatic, including all those who have rejoined it; they are outside the Church; one cannot give them the sacraments until they have publicly recanted; the conciliar popes are anti-popes; if we are the Catholic Church either we have no pope (and then where is our visible character?), or else we have one (and then who is it and is he the Bishop of Rome?).
The Angelus: As for the place of the Pope in all this, we certainly must admit that there is a mystery here, a mystery of iniquity.
Fr. Gleize: No doubt, but a mystery is a truth that surpasses reason; that the Church should be habitually deprived of her head is an absurdity and contrary to the promises of indefectibility. One of the reasons that the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X could rely on to reject the sedevacantist hypothesis was that “the matter of the visibility of the Church is too essential to its existence for God to be able to do without it for decades; the reasoning of those who assert the non-existence of the pope places the Church in an insoluble situation.” Actually, your reasoning is more or less equivalent to sedevacantism. This is nothing new; but it is an old error that was already condemned by the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X. Pardon me if I disappoint you, but I will not run the risk of trying to be wiser than Solomon! … The forty years of Abp. Lefebvre’s episcopate matter, if not in the sight of men, at least in the sight of God. Abp. Lefebvre was a great man, a great bishop, because he was a man of the Church.
The Angelus: Thank you, Father Gleize.
 “Mgr Lefebvre et le Saint-Office,” Itinéraires 233 (mai 1979): 146-147.
 Abp. Lefebvre, Conferences in Ecône on December 2 and January 10, 1983.
 Abp. Lefebvre, Conference in Ecône, October 5, 1978.
|Author:||John Lane [ Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:23 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
This tidbit is fascinating.
Fr. Gleize wrote:
Recall the 1974 Declaration, which Abp. Lefebvre wanted to make the Charter of the Society
Here is how Michael Davies characterised the same text:
On 21 November 1974, in reaction to the scandal occasioned by these opinions of the Apostolic Visitors, Mgr. Lefebvre considered it necessary to make clear where he stood in relation to the Rome represented by this attitude of mind. "This," he said, "was the origin of my Declaration which was, it is true, drawn up in a spirit of doubtlessly excessive indignation."
It is also important to note that this Declaration was not intended as a public statement, let alone as a Manifesto defying the Holy See. It was intended to be a private statement solely for the benefit of the members of the Society of Saint Plus X.
However, the Declaration was leaked without Mgr. Lefebvre's permission, and because the text, or extracts from it, were being used in a manner which he could not condone, he authorized Itinéraires to publish the full and authentic French text in January 1975.
We see here very clearly displayed, one half of Davies technique for reconstructing Archbishop Lefebvre in his own image. The other half of the technique, which he employed repeatedly and with considerable success, was to suppress the more "extreme" statements of the Archbishop. (For the obvious reason this is not apparent here.) So the full technique consisted of suppressing inconvenient texts, and then characterising the remaining ones so as to de-fang them, to render them harmless (from an "Ecclesia Dei" perspective).
By photoshopping out of the picture anything more extreme than the 1974 Declaration, then characterising even that as a private text which was written in a spirit of "excessive indignation" (and only published at all because some trouble-maker leaked it) Davies was able to represent the Archbishop as significantly less radical than he really was.
Left-wing journalists and "historians" had nothing over Michael Davies.
|Author:||John Lane [ Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:49 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
Fr. Gleize, as always, gives plenty of food for thought. Apparently his recent work created some controversy, so we are informed that this “interview allowed Fr. Gleize... to clarify some points of his study, ‘Can one speak of the ‘conciliar Church’?’”
The fundamental question at issue is whether there really exist two distinct social bodies – the Catholic Church and the Conciliar Church – or merely an evil tendency affecting men who remain Catholics, and who continue to constitute the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The narrower question is what precisely Archbishop Lefebvre’s view of this question was.
In the first text linked above, Fr. Gleize is addressing only the fundamental question (i.e. the nature of the Conciliar Church). In this recent Angelus interview Fr. Gleize touches also on the views of Archbishop Lefebvre on this fundamental question. Having pointed out the subtlety of the Archbishop's choice and use of terms, he comments, "These are the words of a wise man, the words of a man who pays attention to what he says."
Yes, but is Fr. Gleize paying full attention to all of the words of the Archbishop? Fr. Gleize is still not purporting to comment upon, or summarise, the views of the Archbishop in toto. This is a pity, but it is also somewhat of a dodge, given that Fr. Gleize is also asserting that Archbishop Lefebvre’s understanding of the concept of “the Conciliar Church” was the same as his own. In order to make good this claim, Fr. Gleize quotes only one text of Archbishop Lefebvre’s, and that a very early one – the famous Declaration of 1974. This is manifestly a very narrow basis for such a big claim!
Before exploring this further, however, it will be useful to make some precisions.
It is impossible not to sympathise both with the interviewer from The Angelus, and with Fr. Gleize, as they grapple with this problem of the true meaning of the term “Conciliar Church” – precisely because it is really nothing more than the corollary of a truly vital question, which is what has really happened to the Catholic Church? On the one side, The Angelus points out that if the Conciliar Church is truly the Catholic Church, surely it is every Catholic’s first duty to ensure the greatest possible submission to its officials. Ought Traditionalists not to “rejoin the official structure of the Church, so as to fight, from within, the conciliar ‘tendency’ and thus to bring about the triumph of Tradition?” And on the other hand, Fr. Gleize, with the precision of one used to sacred theology, is keenly aware of the fact that whatever the true status of the various claimants to ecclesiastical offices, the movement away from the true Church has been on their part, not on ours, so that it is nonsense to suggest that we traditional Catholics need to “rejoin” anything. We have never moved, and therefore we certainly have never departed from the Church. Whatever else is true, this is an indisputable fact. The doubt remains exclusively over the status of the New Church officials and other prominent members. It does not touch traditional Catholics at all.
Fr. Gleize objects that on the theory of The Angelus, it follows that “the conciliar Church exists ... as a schismatic sect, formally different from the Catholic Church.” He is right to reject the concept of a sect, in the sense of one which has been expressly condemned by the Church. And it is clear that this is what he means, for he points out that if the Conciliar Church were truly a sect, then “all its members are materially at least schismatic, including all those who have rejoined it; they are outside the Church; one cannot give them the sacraments until they have publicly recanted...” – in other words, the canonical rules that apply to any sect such as the Anglican church. Clearly the Conciliar Church is not a sect in this sense. There can be no canonical presumption that all of those who remain entangled within the Novus Ordo milieu are not Catholics, precisely because there is no universal and public judgement upon which such a presumption would necessarily rest.
But by the same token, it is not necessary for a public judgement to be issued in order that true schisms occur. Pius IX declared in relation to certain Armenians, “[T]hey are schismatics even if they had not yet been condemned as such by Apostolic authority.” (Quartus Supra). On this principle it is certainly possible that some of those who have fomented the New Religion are indeed schismatics. Archbishop Lefebvre clearly thought so. “All those who cooperate in the application of this overturning [of Tradition] accept and adhere to this new "Conciliar Church", ... and they enter into the schism.”
So we must avoid two extremes of thought, both equally erroneous. The Conciliar Church is not a condemned sect, with the canonical consequences which flow from such a status. But neither is it true that there is no schism, and no schismatics. The schism is one which at present has a notoriety of fact, but not of law. And as Fr. Gleize would know, the law certainly attaches consequences to crimes which are notorious only with a notoriety of fact (cf. CIC 2197 for definitions of these terms).
Fr. Gleize is essentially asserting that the present crisis in the Church has been brought about only by “internal” enemies. That is, those bad Catholics who, whilst remaining within the Church, have wrecked her liturgy, her doctrine, her discipline. He is concerned to refuse the sedevacantist thesis, which he regards as alleging that all of those who have wrecked the Church have been non-Catholics. Neither view is true. As Pope Gregory XVI said in relation to a similarly complicated yet purely localised situation, “We mourn the pure spouse of the immaculate lamb, Jesus Christ, for it is pillaged by the attack of internal and external enemies and by the evils which oppress it and reduce it to this disgraceful captivity.” (Quo Graviora).
Let us step through Fr. Gleize’s argument, which continues upon the assumption that the alternatives are very much binary. He takes a sic et non approach, and it is my contention that this is not only incompatible with reality, it is also incompatible with the words and thoughts of Archbishop Lefebvre.
Fr. Gleize’s position is that the “Conciliar Church” is a complex of tendencies, not a social body, and further, that this is what Archbishop Lefebvre meant by the term. He begins by appealing to what is without doubt the most famous Lefebvrian text of all.
Fr. Gleize wrote:
Do not forget, in any case, that I am not the first to speak about tendencies to describe the current situation of the Church, occupied by modernism. Recall the 1974 Declaration, which Abp. Lefebvre wanted to make the Charter of the Society: Abp. Lefebvre speaks precisely about a “Rome with a neo-Modernist, neo-Protestant tendency, which clearly manifested itself in the Second Vatican Council and after the Council in all the reforms that resulted from it”. Abp. Lefebvre does not mean that there are two Romes or two Churches diametrically opposed to one another, as two mystical bodies and two societies would be. He means that there is Rome and the Church, the one Mystical Body of Christ, of which the visible head is the Pope, Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ. But there are also bad tendencies that have been introduced into this Church, because of the false ideas that are wreaking havoc in the minds of those who are in power in Rome. Incidentally this is the argument repeated in the recent February issue of Le Courrier de Rome. [That is, Fr. Gleize’s own arguments published in summary form on March 13 on DICI.org.]
The question: Is this true? Is this argument of Fr. Gleize’s really that of Archbishop Lefebvre’s in his 1974 Declaration (that he “wanted to make the Charter of the Society”)?
Several difficulties immediately present themselves. It is certainly true that Archbishop Lefebvre spoke of “tendencies.” But Fr. Gleize needs to show more than this. He must show that like himself, the Archbishop spoke only of tendencies, but not of results. For Fr. Gleize these tendencies, these Modernist ideas, in no case have resulted in any individual member of the hierarchy departing from the Church by heresy or schism. For Fr. Gleize, these tendencies somehow continue as tendencies, and never produce any final result. All of the effects of these tendencies remain intermediate, never final. Fr. Gleize does not say what the cause of this strange phenomenon is. Yet he is very explicit about this.
Fr. Gleize wrote:
Yes, the reforms are bad; but the result of them is to instill these tendencies (which remain at the status of tendency) into the things that are reformed: thus we have a new Mass, new sacraments, a new Magisterium, a new canon law. And therefore a new Church also. But these expressions mean to point out the corruption that is wreaking havoc within the Church, not another distinct, separate Church.
At first blush this would appear to be conceding that there is a new Church, “[a]nd therefore a new Church also.” Yet immediately we are told that there is “not another distinct, separate Church.” So this is unclear. But what is not unclear is the a priori thinking which insists that “these tendencies ... remain at the status of tendency”.
Archbishop Lefebvre, in the same 1974 Declaration, said that “[t]his reform, since it has issued from Liberalism and from Modernism, is entirely corrupt. It comes from heresy and results in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical.” Fr. Gleize rightly highlights the Archbishop’s precision in the use of words. This elegant comment stops short of asserting that any individual is actually a heretic; likewise, it surely does not say that none of those who fomented or promoted the reforms were heretics! In fact, this text very deftly avoids the question of persons and remains on the level of principles.
Shortly afterwards, in August 1976, the Archbishop pursued the same topic in an interview with Le Figaro, and this time touched on the question he had earlier avoided – the status of persons.
Archbishop Lefebvre wrote:
Le Figaro: Your Excellency, are you not bordering on schism?
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: "That is the question that many Catholics ask after reading of the latest sanctions taken by Rome against us! Catholics, for the most part, define or imagine schism as a rupture with the Pope. They do not go any further in their investigation. You have ruptured with the Pope or the Pope has ruptured with you, therefore you are going into schism.
"Why does a rupture with the Pope cause schism? Because where the Pope is, there is the Catholic Church. Thus, in reality, it is to depart from the Catholic Church. Now the Catholic Church is a mystical reality that exists not only in space and on the surface of the earth, but also in time and in eternity. For the Pope to represent the Church and to be its image, he must not only be united to her in space but also in time (throughout history), as the Church is essentially a living tradition.
"To the degree that the Pope departs from this tradition, he becomes schismatic, he breaks with the Church. Theologians such as Saint Bellarmine, Cajetan, Cardinal Journet and many others have studied this possibility. It is not something inconceivable.
“But it is the Second Vatican Council and its reforms, its official orientations, which concern us more than the personal attitude of the Pope, which is difficult to discern.
“This Council represents, both in the opinion of the Roman authorities as in our own, a new church which they call themselves the ‘Conciliar Church’.
“We believe that we can affirm, taking into consideration the internal and external critique on Vatican II, that is, in analysing the texts and in studying its circumstances and its consequences, that the Council, turning its back on Tradition and breaking with the Church of the past, is a schismatic council.
“All those who cooperate in the application of this overturning accept and adhere to this new ‘Conciliar Church’, as His Excellency Mgr. Benelli called it in the letter that he sent me in the name of the Holy Father last June 25, and they enter into the schism. The adoption of the liberal theses by a council could only have taken place in a pastoral council that was not infallible and cannot be explained except through a secret and meticulous preparation, that the historians will end up discovering to the great astonishment of the Catholics who confuse the eternal Roman Catholic Church with human Rome, susceptible of being invaded by enemies covered in scarlet.
“How could we, through a servile and blind obedience, go along with these schismatics who demand us to collaborate in their attempt at the destruction of the Church?”
As Fr. Gleize says well, these are “the words of a wise man, the words of a man who pays attention to what he says.” Contrary to the a prioristic stance taken by Fr. Gleize, the Archbishop was content to suggest that certain persons may well have ended in schism, that the tendencies he was describing had indeed hardened into actual results in specific cases.
Fr. Gleize’s analysis may be better or worse than that of the Archbishop, but clearly it is not the same.
Archbishop Lefebvre spoke often of the gigantic apostasy of our times. Apostasy is not a tendency, it is a crime and a resulting state of souls who commit that crime. Likewise, Archbishop Lefebvre recognised that there is an ecclesiological problem presented by the official approval of the false worship that is constituted by the Novus Ordo Missae. How is it possible for the Church to offer false worship to God? Is not the question itself bordering upon heresy? Whatever the political difficulties created by a consideration of the Archbishop’s more radical suggestions (e.g. schism, heresy, and the consequent possibility of a lengthy vacancy of the Holy See), surely at this late stage of the crisis it is incumbent upon all thinking Christians to admit all possibilities for discussion, even if only to ensure that the faithful know that one way or another, the Church has not defected.
One final interesting point is made by Fr. Gleize:
Fr. Gleize wrote:
Ideas have enormous consequences, but they are subtly inoculated in people’s minds, they are not an institution, as an entire separate Church can be. Because otherwise, everybody would see it and everybody would say it, don’t you think? How can we explain the fact that many people, whom we can certainly suppose are nevertheless somewhat thoughtful and well-meaning, continue to think that the Church remains the Church, even though disorder prevails in it extensively.
Obviously the truth is that the Church does indeed remain the Church. The situation is indeed mysteriously complex. The one thing which can be said with the greatest confidence is that in the face of an objectively complex problem, any purported solution which is truly simple, must be erroneous.
While the Church remains the Church, not every baptised man remains a Catholic. Some have left the Church by their own act, by pertinaciously adhering to heretical or schismatical positions. Absent the public judgement of the Church, legitimate debate will continue over individual cases, such as, for example, that of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (the “prefect without faith at the congregation for the faith”) or Jorge Mario Bergoglio (whose only book was co-written with a Rabbi). This should surprise nobody, especially not a son of Archbishop Lefebvre, who famously declared about Karol Józef Wojtyła, “ought we not, after the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which clearly affirms the new Church, and after his scandalous declarations concerning Luther, now affirm that Pope John Paul II is not Catholic? We say no more, but we say no less. We had waited for the measure to become full, and it is so henceforth.”
|Author:||John Lane [ Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:47 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Archbishop Lefebvre and the Conciliar Church|
Bishop Tissier weighs in.
This study was first published in French in the tri-monthly review of the Dominicans of Avrillé, Le Sel de la Terre n°85 (summer 2013).
Is there a conciliar church?
A study by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais
Does there exist a conciliar church, a constituted society which is distinct from the Catholic Church, differing from it, if not in its members, then at least by its goals? And if this is the case, what is its relation with the Catholic Church? These are the questions confronting every catholic conscience since the 25th of June 1976, the day deputy Secretary of State of Paul VI, Bishop Giovanni Benelli 1 used this expression in a letter written on behalf of the Pope to Archbishop Lefebvre;
“[If the seminarians of Econe] are of good will and seriously prepared for a priestly ministry in true fidelity to the conciliar Church, we will take it upon ourselves to find the best solution for them.”
Many studies have appeared in the Sel de la Terre 2 on the subject since then. Let us formulate a new status quæstionis to respond to this.
An attempt to define the conciliar church
Let us try first of all to define the two churches in question, by their four causes according to Aristotle. A society is a moral being, of the [philosophical] category of relation. Relations create the link between its members. We can distinguish:
— The material cause: These are the persons united to each other within the society. We will say that in the case of the Catholic Church, as in the conciliar church, these are the baptised.
— The efficient cause is the head of the society: for the Catholic Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ, it’s founder, and the Popes who are his vicars; and for the conciliar church, the Popes of the Council, therefore the same Popes; in such a way that the same hierarchy seems to govern the two Churches.
— The final cause, which is the cause of causes, the common good sought by its members: in the case of the Catholic Church, the good sought is eternal salvation; in the case of the conciliar church, it is more or less principally the unity of the human race: “The Church”, says the Council, “is in Christ as the sacrament or, if you will, the sign and the means to attain the intimate union with God and the unity of the human race 3.”
— The formal cause is the union of minds and wills of it’s members in seeking the common good. In the Catholic Church, by the profession of the same Catholic faith, the practices of the same Divine worship and the submission to the same pastors and therefore to the laws they make, that is Canon law. In the conciliar church, it is by acceptation of the teaching of the Council and the magisterium which comes from it, and by the practice of the new liturgy and obedience to the new Canon law.
From these rough notions we can deduce the approximate definitions of the two churches:
* The Catholic Church is the society of the baptised who want to save their souls in professing the Catholic faith, in practising the same Catholic worship and in following the same pastors, successors of the Apostles.
* The conciliar church is the society of the baptised who follow the directives of the current Popes and bishops, in espousing more or less consciously the intention to bring about the unity of the human race, and in practise accepting the decisions of the Council, following the new liturgy and submitting to the new Code of Canon law.
If this be so, we have two churches who have the same heads and most of the same members, but who have different forms and ends diametrically incongruous: on the one hand eternal salvation seconded by the social reign of Christ, King of Nations, on the other hand the unity of the human race by liberal ecumenism, that is to say broadened to all religions, the heir of the conciliar decisions of Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Ætate, and Dignitatis Humanae, and which is the spirit of Assisi and the antithesis of the social reign of Christ the King. This is only a quick summary but what will follow show clearly the reality of this opposition.
Is it possible to have one hierarchy for two churches?
That the Catholic hierarchy governs at the same time the Catholic Church and a society which has the appearance of a counterfeit church seems to go against the assistance promised by Christ to Peter and his successors, guaranteeing the unerring magisterium and the indefectibility of the Church (Mt. 16, 17-19; 28,20).
If the Pope directs another church, he is an apostate and he is no longer pope and the sedevacantist hypothesis is verified. – We simply need to respond that “Prima sedes a nemine judicatur” and that by consequence, no authority can pronounce obstinacy, declaring the pertinacity of a sovereign Pontiff in error or deviance; and that on the other hand in case of doubt, the Church supplies at least the executive power of the apparent Pope (can. 209 of the Code of Canon law 1917 4). As for the magisterium it is only assisted if it has the intention to transmit the deposit of the faith and not profane novelties 5. And as for the indefectibility of the Church it does not hinder the fact that it can come to be that the Church, following a great apostasy as that announced by St. Paul (2 Thess, 2,3), is reduced to a modest number of true Catholics. In consequence, none of the difficulties raised against the existence of a society truly called the conciliar church and directed by the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy are decisive.
It is however preferable to avoid these extreme responses. One could thus try to deny the existence of the conciliar church as an organised society and which is directed by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, or to extenuate 6 the membership of it’s adherents to this conciliar church.
Is the conciliar church just a mind set?
One could say first of all that the conciliar church is nothing but a liberal and modernist “spirit”7 which penetrated the Church at the time of the Council, as Archbishop Lefebvre responded to Cardinal Seper who asked him:
“Your Excellency, in a preliminary note 8 to a letter addressed to the Holy Father, you wrote; ” Make no mistake of it, it is not about a quarrel between Archbishop Lefebvre and Pope Paul VI, it is about a radical incompatibility between the Catholic Church and the conciliar Church, the Mass of Paul VI representing the program of the conciliar Church.” This idea is rendered more explicit in a homily made on the 29th of June last during the Mass of ordination at Econe; “This new Mass is a symbol, an expression, an image of a new faith, a modernist faith… Now it is evident that this rite, if I can say, supposes another conception of the Catholic faith, another religion.” Must one conclude from these affirmations that, according to you, the Pope in promulgating and imposing the new Ordo Missae, and the body of Bishops who received it, have instaured, and visibly gathered around themselves a new conciliar “Church”, radically incompatible with the Catholic Church 9?”
Minimising the weight of his comments, the Archbishop responded:
“I remark first of all that the expression “conciliar Church” is not from me but from H.E. Bishop Benelli, who in an official letter asked that our priests and seminarians submit to the “conciliar Church”. I consider that a spirit of modernist and protestant tendency shows itself in the conception of the new Mass and in all the liturgical reform”.
We judge that the strategic backing off by the prelate of Econe is perfectly justified by the circumstances: the Holy office was entering into a process which could lead to his condemnation. In addition to this, the explanations which would have been needed for the support of his idea of the existence of a parallel and organised society called the conciliar church would have required too many documents and facts to cite and organise in a dialectic manner within the limits of a short response to a such a questioning. We cannot argue from his evasive response that Archbishop Lefebvre had really reduced the conciliar church to a “spirit”.
Is the conciliar church just an infirmity?
But, one will say, did not Archbishop Lefebvre invoke many times a simple debility which affects the body of the Church, a kind of “spiritual AIDS”, as he said, which weakens the capacity of resistance of the Church to contaminations? We respond that they are not mutually exclusive. The effects of the conciliar church on the Catholic Church are an effect firstly of poisoning, a paralysis and therefore a weakening of the Catholic Church in the face of it’s enemies. This is what Archbishop Lefebvre explained to the same Cardinal Seper in a letter preceding his interrogation.
“In this world, there are forces opposed to Our Lord, and to his reign. Satan and all the auxiliaries of Satan, conscious or unconscious, refuse this reign, this way of salvation and fight for the destruction of the Church. Thus the Church is engaged by her Divine Founder in a gigantic combat. All means were and are employed by Satan to triumph. One of the last, extremely efficacious stratagems is to destroy the combative spirit of the Church by persuading her that there are no more enemies, and that we must put down our arms and enter into a dialogue of peace and cordiality. This fallacious truce will permit the enemy to penetrate everywhere and corrupt the forces of the Church. This truce is liberal ecumenism, a diabolical instrument of auto-destruction of the Church. This liberal ecumenism will result in the neutralisation of the arms which are the liturgy with the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, the breviary, the liturgical feasts, the neutralisation and ceasing of the seminaries…”
It is obvious that the sickness or the “AIDS” of the Church in face of her enemies is not just a simple sickly diminution of the fight for the faith, but the result of the stratagems plotted by influential members of the Church, relayed by a part of the hierarchy, and supported by the Popes themselves. These Popes, victims of their liberalism, are nevertheless conscious and consenting actors of this liberal ecumenism, an ecumenism received with favour by the great majority of Catholics seduced the eases offered by this new kind of religion. All of this is precisely what we have defined as being the conciliar church.
But if one holds to calling it a pure sickness of the Church, the image of a cancer would be more realistic: is not the conciliar sickness the act of a parasite and the colonisation of the healthy tissue of the Church by a virus which provokes the proliferation of anarchy? We would have to therefore inquire about the existence and nature of the viral agent.
Is membership in the conciliar church doubtful?
On the other hand, if one accepts the image of a society, a counterfeit church, all while wishing to avoid affirming its existence, one could reduce the membership of most of its adherents to a simple material membership, from the fact that most of the members follow the movement by conformity, without knowing or sharing the goals of the conciliar church, which would be almost void of real members and reduced to the state of a phantom in that which concerns the members, and to a skeleton when it comes to the hierarchy. The truly skeleton-like state of the conciliar church, would confirm the hypothesis. We would have to further minimise the belonging to it, when we consider that the link which unites its members has nothing to do with the solidity of the theological virtue of the Catholic faith, which is entirely supernatural in its object, its motive and its end: it makes us “believe God, believe in a God, and believe in God 10.” For if many conciliarists approve the attempt of conciliation between, the religion of God made man and the religion of man quite simply, on the common base of the dignity of the human person, they do not perceive the ambiguity of this principle of conciliation stated in the Council by Gaudium et spes: “Believers and non-believers are generally in agreement on this point; everything on earth must be ordained to man as its centre and its summit.”11 The Catholic Church makes a precision along with Saint Ignatius Loyola: “All things on earth are created because of man, to help him in his salvation”, which is a completely different end! In comparison with the communion of saints, a fruit of the Catholic faith and of theological charity, what communion can be founded by the conciliarists with the mixture of principles so diametrically opposed? We call it, along with Saint Anne-Catherine Emmerich, the communion of the profane or the communion of the anti-saints 12.
Furthermore, to the ambiguity of its form, the Conciliar Church adds ambiguity to its end: ” The unity of the human race” by it’s essence earthly and natural, “in Christ”, using our Lord as an instrument at the service of a plotonic idea; tomorrow, by the wave of a magic wand, without effort, without the conversion of the world, “the Church will be the human race” ! The Church no longer needs to be missionary, it is enough to present itself to the world, to be media-friendly. The incessant publicity voyages of John-Paul II illustrated the reality of which Julio Meinvielle already described in 1970 as “the church of publicity”:
“This church of publicity glorified in the press, with bishops, priests and theologians publicised, can be won over to the enemy and change from the Catholic Church to the gnostic church, (as opposed to) the other, the Church of silence, with a Pope faithful to Jesus-Christ in its teaching and with some priests, bishops and faithful who are attached to it, scattered like the pusillus grex over all the earth 13. “
Until now, this pusillus grex has been missing its”Pope faithful to Jesus-Christ”! The post-conciliar Popes, elected Popes of the Catholic Church, have been above all Popes of the church of publicity!
From all that has been said, it is clear that the conciliar church is not only a sickness, nor a theory, but that it is an association of high ranking catholic Churchmen inspired by liberal and modernist thinkers, who want, according to the goals of the one worlders, to bring to fruition a new type of church, with many Catholic priests and faithful won over by this ideal. It is not a pure association of victims. Formally considered the conciliar church is a sect which occupies the Catholic Church. It has its organised instigators and actors, as had the modernism condemned by St. Pius X, whom we must cite:
Is the Modernist Sect dead?
“The partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but, what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom, and are more mischievous the less they keep in the open. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the safeguards of serious philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not even sparing the Person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary man. […] Hence the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibres. And once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree. […] What efforts do they not make to win new recruits! They seize upon professorships in the seminaries and universities, and gradually make of them thrones of pestilence14. “
50 years will go by; in spite of Pascendi of Saint Pius X in 1907 and Humani generis of Pius XII in 1950, the modernist sect will conquer influential positions in the Church and, on the occasion of Vatican II, will impose on the Church and present to the world the new type of church which we have described by its form and end. This sect will, by the magisterium and the reforms of the Popes who follow the Council, implement this new system of the Church. The roles of Paul VI, the liberal and contradictory Pope, and that of John Paul II, the philosophical and ecumenical Pope, are undeniable in the establishment of what is the conciliar church, with its hierarchy which, with rare exceptions, is exactly that of the Catholic Church.
The conciliar church: the work of a Masonic plan
Let’s take a backward step to look at 130 years before the council; such retrospection will help us understand that the establishment of the conciliar church is the fruit of a plan plotted by free-masonry, which did not even dare to believe in the accomplishment of its designs. Let’s cite extracts from the internal correspondence of the Carbonari, Italian freemasons of the 19th century, published by the Popes Gregory XVI and Pie IX:
“What we ask, what we must look for and wait for as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs […] you want to establish that the clergy walk under your banners while believing to walk under apostolic banners. […] You will have preached a revolution in Tiara and Cope, walking with cross and banner, a revolution which will only need to be spurred on a little bit to put fire to the four corners of the world.”
Here is another extract from a letter of Nubius to Volpe (code names to keep the secret which is a rule in Freemasonry) of the 3rd of April 1824;
“We have put a heavy burden on your shoulders dear Volpe. We must work for the immoral education of the Church and come to it, by little means in a gradual manner, to the triumph of the revolutionary idea by a Pope. In this project which has always seemed a superhuman calculation, we walk still groping.”
The triumph of the revolutionary idea by a Pope, this is truly the supreme criminal attack, as Archbishop Lefebvre says citing these documents in his book They Have Uncrowned Him 15 and commenting on them as follows:
“A superhuman calculation, says Nubius; he means to say a diabolical calculation! For it is to calculate the subversion of the Church by her very head, what Mgr Delassus calls the supreme criminal attack, because one cannot imagine anything more subversive for the Church , than a Pope won over to liberal ideas, than a Pope using the power of the keys of St. Peter to serve the counter Church! Now, is that not what we are living through at the moment, since Vatican II, since the new code of Canon law? With this false ecumenism and this false religious liberty promulgated at Vatican II, and applied by the Popes with a cold perseverance despite the ruins it has caused.“
The occupied Church, incontestable status of the Church of the last fifty years
Archbishop Lefebvre said:
“Which Church are we talking about? Are we talking about the Catholic Church, or another church, a Counter church16, a counterfeit of the Church? Now, I think sincerely, that we are talking about a counterfeit version of the Church, and not the Catholic Church. It does not teach any longer the Catholic faith. It teaches something else, it leads the Church to something else other than the Catholic Church. It is not longer the Catholic Church. They are sitting in the chairs of their predecessors, […] but they are not continuing in the line of their predecessors. They no longer have the same faith, nor the same doctrine, nor the same morality as their predecessors. So it is no longer possible. And principally, their great error is ecumenism. They teach an ecumenism which is contrary to the Catholic faith. […] The Church is occupied by this counter- church which we know well and that the Popes 17 knew perfectly, and that the Popes have condemned throughout the centuries; for what will be soon four centuries, the Church did not stop condemning this counter-church which was born especially with protestantism, and which was developed with protestantism, and which is at the origin of all modern errors, which has destroyed all philosophy, and which has led us to all the errors we have known, that the Popes have condemned; liberalism, socialism, communism, modernism, sillonism 18. We are dying from them. The Popes did everything to condemn that, and now behold those who are in the chairs of those who condemned these errors are in agreement with this liberalism and ecumenism. Now we cannot accept that. And the more things become clear, the more we perceive that this program […] all these errors, were elaborated in the masonic lodges19. “
In what we call the conciliar church, It is not necessary that the Pope (the Pope of the Catholic Church) be the head; he may only be the executor of directives coming from, if not a hidden power, at least a controlling core or pressure groups of collaborators or theologians under masonic influence. Let’s remember Annibal Bugnini and his mysterious influence over Pope Paul VI in the liturgical reform. This Annibal seems to have been a freemason. It is notorious that the masonic lodges worked among the members of the Curia of the Holy-See during the pontificates of Paul VI and John-Paul II.
The conciliar Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI participated actively in the Council, the first as a conciliar father and the second as a council expert, and pushed it in the direction of the new theology, that of a universal redemption and of a evolving faith. And they have as Popes applied these errors. But if they applied this conciliar program, there is nothing to prove that it was them who conceived it, and that consequently they have only applied, consciously or not, an agenda which comes from elsewhere. The directors of the Alta Vendita, who were preparing for the advent of a Pope according to their designs, had made very clear that they did not wish that this Pope be a member of their sect 20. Whatever may be the way the masonic sect influences the conciliar Church, its influence is undeniable.
Formal membership and material membership
The influence of the masonic spirit, or at least the penetration of the liberal spirit, being naturalist, ecumenical and globalist spirit among the members of the conciliar church is not obviously the same in all of them. Among the clergy and the religious, most of the bishops, the religious superiors, and the professors of the seminaries and universities, and the aged priests, most adhere formally, that is to say consciously and willingly, to the ends outlined, whilst a minority of young priests or religious and seminarians do not want to hear of the Council or at least don’t pay any attention to it, and desire a return to the theology of St. Thomas, the traditional Mass, classical discipline and Christian virtues. These latter, at heart, do not belong to the conciliar church. Between these two extremes, are the majority of Catholics, conciliar by habit, a spirit of conformism or ease who, as said above, belong only “materially” to the conciliar church. The haziness of the lines between these categories does not help the clear demarcation between the two churches.
Should we deduce two materially distinct churches: one Catholic and one conciliar?
From what has been said, it is good to draw two conclusions concerning the relationship between the two churches.
Firstly, the conciliar church is not materially separate from the Catholic Church. It does not exist independently from the Catholic Church. There is a distinction certainly between them, a formal one, without an absolute material distinction. The hierarchy of the conciliar church coincides almost exactly with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, the members of the conciliar church are all members at least materially of the Catholic Church. Just as one can say (with a pinch of salt) that liberalism is a catholic heresy, in the sense that it was born in the bosom of the Catholic Church and only exists and develops by “feeding off” the Catholic Church, so one can say that the conciliar church is born of the corruption of the Catholic Church and it cannot exist but by living of this corruption, as a parasite lives depending on an organism, sucking of the substance of its host to construct its own substance. There is a sort of transfer of substance, I would dare to say, from one to the other, in a metaphoric sense obviously and not in a philosophical sense. To become conciliar, there is no need to separate oneself from the Catholic Church, it is sufficient to allow oneself to become corrupted by the conciliar poison and to let one’s substance become absorbed by the conciliar parasite. It is sufficient to practice the Mass of the new religion and to adhere, formally or materially to the liberal ecumenism which gives it its form.
On the other hand, the conciliar church does not necessarily coincide with the Catholic Church, neither in its leaders nor its members. The leaders of one are not always leaders of the other. The members of the first can, by heresy, cease to be members of the second, but not necessarily. The Catholic Church is the only true Church, the only Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. But this does not hinder the conciliar church from being a social reality; not only a section, but a counterfeit church, led by a sect of directors, a sect whose ideology or system is the form of this conciliar church, and which manoeuvres it towards its ends, with its relays and its executors, formed of a large part of the hierarchy and faithful Catholics more or less conscious and consenting, to a diametrical overturning which it is trying to bring about. In this sense, Fr. Calmel O.P. was able to speak of the “church of Pirates”; this metaphor says it all.
“The conciliar church is a schismatic church!”
In 1971, 5 years before the “conciliar church” of Bishop Benelli, the same Fr. Calmel O.P.denounced in the French review Itineraires, the “new church that Vatican II has tried to show,the new post-vaticanesque church” and explained:
“The false church which is showing itself amongst us since the curious Vatican II is diverging tangibly year after year, from the Church founded by Jesus Christ. The false post-conciliar church is splitting away more and more from the holy Church which has saved souls for twenty centuries (not to mention the support and enlightenment lent to civil society). The pseudo-church in construction splits away more and more from the true Church, the only Church of Jesus Christ, by the most strange innovations in the hierarchical constitution as well as in its teachings and morals 21.”
The expressions “false church”, “pseudo church” are very strong. And the verb “split away” indicates a formal mutation of a part of the Church, which detaches itself from the Catholic sphere to stray formally outside it. Father Calmel was truly a prophet. It was only five years later, after having received the famous letter of Bishop Benelli and having been struck by Paul VI with a a divinis suspension, that Archbishop Lefebvre affirmed even more forcefully the existence of this “counter church”, qualifying it as “schismatic”:
“How could it be more clear?! From now on it is the conciliar church one must obey and be faithful to , and not to the Catholic Church. This is precisely our problem. We are suspended a divinis by the conciliar church, of which we do not want to be a part. This conciliar church is a schismatic church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church of all time. It has it’s new dogmas 22, it’s new priesthood 23, it’s new institutions24, it’s new liturgy25, already condemned by the Church in many official and definitive documents. This is why the founders of the conciliar church insist on obedience to the church of today, making abstraction of the Church of yesterday, as if it didn’t exist anymore. […] The church which affirms such errors is at one and the same time heretical and schismatic. This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic. In the measure in which the Pope, the bishops, priests or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church. The church of today is the true Church only in the measure in which it continues and is one with the Church of yesterday and of always. The norm for the Catholic faith is Tradition26. “
Faced with the conciliar church, what becomes of the Catholic Church?
Archbishop Lefebvre seemed to admit the mutation of the Catholic Church into the conciliar church. What becomes of the Catholic Church? Archbishop Lefebvre responds that it is in the measure that, according to the degree which the authorities and the baptised adhere to this new kind of church, that constitutes a new church, characterised by its worldly, humanist, naturalist, socialist ecumenical and one-world goals, in such a way that this new church conceives itself as being more vast and universal than the Catholic Church. We must add the distinction between an exclusive adhesion of these sectarian leaders with these profaning goals, and the seeking of a compromise between these goals and the Catholic goals on the other hand, a compromise which was well expressed by the conciliar text Lumen Gentium (section 1); “The Church is, in Christ, a sort of sacrament, that is to say at one and the same time the sign and the means of an intimate union with God and the unity of the human race.” This ambivalence complicates in a singular manner the problem of the distinction between these two churches. The text of Archbishop Lefebvre has to be understood with precision; it is in the measure which the conciliars adhere exclusively to these profaning goals outlined, that they leave the Catholic Church. And of this measure we are not the judges. Despite its polemical style, with precisions, the text of Archbishop Lefebvre is irreproachable. It is with this very precision that the last sentence has to be understood: “The Church of today is only the true Church in the measure that it continues exclusively, and makes itself one exclusively with the Church of yesterday and of all time.” A church which covets at one and the same time a humanist and one-world goal along with a goal of supernatural eternal salvation of souls, is no longer catholic, it is the concrete everyday expression of the conciliar church in its attenuated viral state.
And beside this vulgar conciliar church, what remains of the Catholic Church? We respond that, even reduced to the modest number the sane faithful comprising its “healthy part”, and perhaps one only faithful bishop, as may be the case according to Father Emmanuel, of the Church at the end of time, the Catholic Church remains the catholic Church.
How the conciliar church was canonised
Six years will pass by and the promulgation by John Paul II of a new code of canon law will justify the view of the Archbishop on the conciliar Church. In his apostolic constitution, the Pope declares clearly to be imposing on the Church a “new ecclesiology”:
“[This] code […] put into act the spirit of the Council whose documents present the Church as “a universal sacrament of salvation”, as the people of God, and where its hierarchical constitution appears founded on the college of bishops united to their head. […] In a certain sense one can even see in this code a great effort to translate into canonical language the very doctrine of conciliar ecclesiology. […] The result will be that what constitutes the essential newness of Vatican II, in continuity with the legislative tradition of the Church especially in what concerns ecclesiology, and equally constitutes the newness of the new code. Among the elements which characterize the real and authentic 27 image of the Church, we must mention above all the following: The doctrine according to which the Church presents itself as the people of God. (Lumen Gentium 2) and the hierarchical authority as a service (Lumen Gentium 3); the doctrine which shows the Church to be a communion and which as a consequence show which sort of relations must exist between the particular Churches and the universal Church and between collegiality and primacy; the doctrine according to which all members of the people of God, each one according to his manner, participates in the triple function of Christ: the priestly, prophetic and royal functions. Alongside this doctrine goes that concerning the duties and rights of the faithful and in particular of lay people; and finally the engagement of the Church in ecumenism28. “
This outline of the conciliar church shows the ruin which it operates in the personal exercise of authority received from God, the lowering of the hierarchy to the profit of the lower ranks; the willful omission of the necessity to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved; the reduction of the priesthood and the priestly identity mixed in with the common priesthood of all baptised; the aspiration to a universal society more vast than that of the Catholic Church. All this is what we have indicated to be the form of the conciliar church. Rather than a society we should call it a dissociety, that is to say the ruin resulting from the dissolution of this divine and human society which is the Catholic Church, or better; if we can say, the new congregation whose governing principle is the disintegration of the Catholic Church. Does this not evoke the words of the revolution; “Solve, coagula” 29 according to a new principle? And this dissociety which is the conciliar church exists; the Pope, the quasi-totality of the Catholic hierarchy, the conscious or unconscious mass of baptised Catholics who are its members, either formally or materially.
However this dissociety headed for auto-destruction holds together by the strength of it’s agents. In the coagula, the promoters of this society uphold a pact: all must adhere to the Council and its conciliar reforms, in such a manner as those who do not accept it are “outside of communion” or “outside of full communion” with the conciliar church. This conciliar Church holds together by fear and violence; the Catholic Church holds together by faith and charity.
The methods by which the conciliar church continues to live
Destined for auto-destruction, the conciliar church does nonetheless continue to live on vigorously. What is the cause of this tenacity? It is that their hierarchy uses all the powers of the Catholic hierarchy which it occupies, detains and deviates.
Since the installation of the Mass of Paul VI, she continues to persecute the priests faithful to the true Mass, the true catechism, the true sacramental discipline, and the religious faithful to their rule and their vows. Numerous are the priests who died of sorrow for having been obliged by obedience – or so they thought – to take on the new rites and usages. Numerous also are those who died ostracised, canonically and psychologically relegated, but happy to give inflexible witness to the catholic rite, the entire faith, and to Christ the King. The threats, the fear, the censures and other punishments did not shake them. But alas, how many are those who ceded to these methods of violence: the threat of being labeled “disobedient”, the possibility of being destitute, all put on them by their superiors. It is here that we see first-hand the malice of liberalism and of its heads: Is it not right to say that there is no one more sectarian than a liberal? Not having principles to establish order, they rule with a regime of submission by terror.
The malice of the conciliar hierarchy is taken to its highest degree by the usage they make of lies and equivocation. Thus the Motu Propio of Pope Benedict’s XVI declaring the traditional Mass to have never been suppressed and that one is free to celebrate it, requires conditions contrary to this freedom, and goes so far as to qualify the authentic Mass and its modernist counterfeit opponent as “the extraordinary and ordinary form of the same Roman rite.”
The lies continue with the so-called “lifting” of the excommunications, supposedly incurred by the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, as if they had been really incurred.
But by a surprising contrast the conciliar hierarchy has never been able to make the fifth commandment of God “Thou shalt not kill” be respected, which is hardly ever preached by the bishops: the countries recently Catholic are the countries where abortion is most in use; and the encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI was hardly relayed by the bishops, so much so that the contraceptive pill is in widespread use among most girls and women in the Catholic Church. The filthy morals of the modern world are simply the overflow of the vices which the conciliar hierarchy has been powerless to eradicate. This conciliar church draws into its pseudo-communion a mass of Christians living in reality in sin and practical paganism.
To not belong to the conciliar church is a grace and a providential witness
Blessed are those who are not in this “communion of the profanes”, who are providentially excluded from it or threatened to be excluded from it! O happy relegation and dereliction! The vocation of the priestly Society of St. Pius X, since it’s erection by the Catholic Church in 1970 and the decree of praise with which it was honoured in 1971, has never been to receive the benedictions and recognitions of this conciliar church! It was without a doubt necessary that this priestly society, along with all the families of Tradition, be like the lighted torch not to be put under the conciliar bushel, but on the candlestick of the pillory, in order to enlighten all those who are in the house of God. It was certainly providential that according to the ways of providence, this healthy part of the Church having become like the divine Master, a stumbling block and a stone rejected by the builders of the conciliar ecclesiastical dissociety, be transformed into cornerstone and keystone30 of the indestructible Catholic cathedral. Our inflexible witness to the true Church of Jesus Christ, to the priesthood and the royalty of Christ, Priest and King, requires on the part of the conciliar church the exclusion and the ostracism pronounced against us and what we represent. But in the same way that Saint Joseph in his exile in Egypt carried the Infant Jesus and His divine Mother, so too does the traditional family in her exile carry the Church in her, without being exclusive in the glorious role, but having the marrow and heart of it, in integrity and incorruption. It carries in her by consequence the roman pontiff, who being the successor of Peter will liberate her someday from a long captivity31 and will come out of her great illusions, to proclaim as once the first Pope did at Caesar Philippi to his Divine Master; ” You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!“
Thenceforth, if we are complicated we will regret being deprived of the conciliar communion and its apparent ecclesiastical communion and will be unhappy and worried, always on the quest for a solution. If on the other hand we have the faith and simplicity of a child we will look simply for what witness we can give to the Catholic faith. And we will find that it is first the witness of our existence, of our permanence, of our stability, as well as the profession of our Catholic faith whole and entire and our refusal of the conciliar errors and reforms. A witness is absolute. If I give witness to the Catholic Mass, to Christ the King, I must abstain from conciliar Masses and doctrines. It is like the grain of incense to the Idols; it is one grain or no grains at all. Therefore it is “not at all” 32. And after this witness there is also persecution, which is normal on the part of the enemies of this faith, who want to reduce to nothing our diametrical opposition to the new religion, and this will go on for as long as it pleases God that they persevere in their perverse plans. Is it not God himself who put this enmity between the race of the devil and the children of Mary? Inimicitias ponam 33!
And so, as soon as we perceive in the collectedness of our contemplation this particular vocation which is ours, adapted by God to the current crisis, we acquire a perfect uprightness and great peace; uprightness incapable of cooperating with the enemy, and peace without bitterness. We run to it, we bond to it and we cry as with Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, “In the Church my Mother I find my vocation!” And we ask this great saint: “ Obtain for me the grace of having in the Church and for the Church the soul of a martyr or at least that of a confessor of the faith!“
Footnotes (numbering lost from re-posting)
Named Archbishop of Florence and created cardinal in 1977.
See notably Le Sel de la Terre 1, p. 25-38 (Brother Peter-Mary O.P., “Ecclésiologie comparée”), p. 114-118; Le Sel de la Terre 34, p. 248; Le Sel de la Terre 45, p. 36-41; Le Sel de la Terre 59 (Winter 2006-2007), editorial: “One hierarchy for two Churches”.
The Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 1.
The new code of 1983 limits supplied jurisdiction to that of the executive power.
In Gaudium et spes (11,2) the second Vatican Council declares to have the primary intention to introduce and assimilate into Catholic doctrine liberal values; this work cannot benefit from the assistance of the Holy Ghost and it is contrary to the object of the magisterium which is to “keep reverently and expose faithfully” the deposit of the faith.
Extenuate in the original sense “to reduce to the extreme limits”.
Response of Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Seper interrogating him about his letter denouncing the conciliar church.
A note of July 12th 1976.
Interrogation of Archbishop Lefebvre by Cardinal Seper, Prefect of the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith, 11th January 1979, in Archbishop Lefebvre and the Holy Office, the review Itineraires, number 233, May 1979, p. 144-145.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, II-II, q. 2, art 2
Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 12,1.
In her visions of the last ages of the Church, she saw on one side the destroyers of the basilica of St. Peter, who took away the stones, and on the other side those who rebuilt. In the end the destroyers ceased their work of destruction, and the reconciliation came.
P.J. Meinvielle, From the Cabal to progressivism( De la Cabala al progressismo), 2nd edition, Buenos Aires, 1994, p. 363-364.
Saint Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi, 8th September 1907, in initio. See also; “No bishop is ignorant, we believe, that a certain pernicious race of men, the modernists, even after the encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis ( 8th September 1907) had lifted the mask behind which they had hidden, have not abandoned their designs to trouble the peace of the Church. They have not ceased, in effect, to seek out new adepts, group them together into an association, and to inoculate with them, in the veins of Christian society, the poison of their opinions, by the publication of books and brochures of which they keep quiet or dissimulate the names of their authors.” Motu propio Sacorum antistitum of the 1st of September 1910, Éditions de la Documentation Catholique, Paris t. 5, p. 141.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, They have Uncrowned Him, 2nd edition, Escurolles, Fideliter, 1987, p. 148.
By Counter church we mustn’t understand the conciliar church itself, but the masonic sect and all the sects which have proceeded it in the same gnostic and anti-Christ spirit; and along with it the modernist sect, which is also gnosticism; a naturalist reinterpretation of the Catholic faith.
The Popes saw clearly.
The movement of Mark Sangnier in France at the beginning of the 20th century, to make the Church nothing more than a promoter of democracy, and which Pope Pius X condemned by his encyclical Our apostolic mandate.
Spiritual conference, Econe, 21st of June 1978, see Sel de la Terre 50, p. 244.
“That would be a ridiculous dream; and in whatever way the events turn out, if Cardinals or prelates, for example, of their own free will or surprise, should enter into a part of our secrets, this is not at all an incentive for desiring their elevation to the See of Peter. That elevation would ruin us. Ambition alone would have led them to apostasy, the requirements of power would force them to sacrifice us. What we must ask for, what we should look for and wait for, as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs….” (Instruction of the Alta Vendita, 1819).
Fr. Roger Thomas Calmel, O.P. “Authority and Sanctity in the Church”, Itineraires 149 (January 1971), p 13-19; reproduced in the Sel de la Terre 40, p.77 and 85-87.
e.g The dignity of the human person.
The common priesthood of the baptised.
The collegial institutions; Episcopal synod, Episcopal council, parish council…
The new Mass, which no longer appears as the Sacrament of the Passion of Christ.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, handwritten and photocopied, of July 29th 1976, to his friends; reproduced in the Sel de la Terre 36, p. 10.
We should note the pretention of the new code to present the “real image” (sic) of the Church, which it had without a doubt not known or dissimulated until now as an “image”, a model of the church which is besides “an essentially new thing”! Which is worse here, the incoherence or the audacity?
John Paul II, Apostolic constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges, 25th January 1983.
Fist dissolve what exists, then reunite the pieces under another head.
See 1 Pet 2, 6-8.
“And behold that an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the chamber; and the angel touching Peter at his side, woke him saying; Get up quickly (Surge velociter). And the chains fell from his hands.” Acts 12,7.
Fr. Roger Thomas Calmel O.P. Retreat of Holy Week 1974, preached to seminarians of Econe, 7th April, 1974, at 6 p.m. according to the notes of a retreatant.
“I will put an enmity between you and the woman, between your race and hers. She will crush your head, and you will lie in wait for her heel” Gen 3, 15.
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