Skip to comments.Background to the "flip-flops" of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Posted on 11/29/2004 11:33:53 PM PST by Sean O L
EWTN and other newsagencies covered the reconciliation with the Catholic Church of Bishop Licinio Rangel, 26 priests and 28,000 lay persons from Campos, Brazil:
EWTN Feature Story BRAZIL'S LEFEBVRE CATHOLICS OPT FOR FULL COMMUNION WITH ROME Rio de Janeiro (Fides)
On Friday January 18, the only schism in the Church on the most Catholic of continents, Latin America, is over. Brazilian Catholics who had followed the line of the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, are being welcomed back to the bosom of the Church after 20 years of separation. etc.
Back in the 1980's the SSPX produced a glossy brochure
"Sixty-two Reasons why, in conscience, we cannot attend the New Mass (also known as Mass of Pope Paul VI, Novus Ordo, new liturgy) either in the vernacular or the Latin, whether facing the people or facing the tabernacle. Thus, for the same reasons, we adhere faithfully to the traditional Mass (also known as Tridentine Mass, old Latin Mass, Roman Missal, Pian Missal, Missal of St Pius V, Massof All Time).
Based on the Sixty Reasons set forth by 25 diocesan priests of the Diocese of Campos, Brazil." (Emphasis added. Ed.)
There is not one GOOD reason to justify schism!!! Deo Gratias for the return of the Campos group!
On January 15, 2002, three days prior to the event, Fr. Peter Scott, (then) USA District Superior of the SSPX, issued a letter on the "reconciliation". He was NOT happy.
"Many of you have heard of the reconciliation between the traditional priests of Bishop de Castro Mayer, of the diocese of Campos, Brazil, and Rome, and some of you have asked what we are to think of it. In effect, negotiations have been going on for several months between Rome and Father Rifan, representative of the Priestly Union of Saint John Mary Vianney, and its superior, Bishop Licinio Rangel, who had been consecrated by the Society's bishops in 1991, after the death of Bishop De Castro Mayer. These negotiations were carried on without the knowledge, let alone the agreement, of the Society's superiors. As far as Bishop Fellay was concerned, the negotiations ceased after Rome refused to even respond to his letter of June 22. That letter, published in the August 2001 issue of The Angelus, responded to Rome's refusal to grant the conditions, namely that it be stated that all priests in the world have the right to celebrate the traditional Mass, and that the Society was never schismatic and neverbroke communion. In response to Cardinal Castrillon's refusal to accept that we have the right to reject the errors of Vatican II, he explained the state of necessity that is the basis of our refusal of compromise. The response to those who attack the Society for working on a hidden agreement is that there have been no discussions since then, since there is no common ground to work from, etc." [Emphasis added. Ed.] You can read the rest of the letter on the SSPX's website at http://www.sspx.com
The content and thrust of the letter has been discussed on many forums, including CTNGREG. Moderator, Bill Basile's analysis of Fr. Scott's position was a reductio ad absurdam (a reduction of Fr. Scott's argument to the absurd limit in order to expose its flaws. Ed.):
"If Vatican II is the 'Anti-Church' (something similar to the Antichrist perhaps), then it must be condemned and disavowed. There must also be 'unequivocal' signs of 'the conversion of the Pope'.
"I'd suggest", Basile wrote, "only that this conversion would require from the Pope he:
- Abolish and condemn the Novus Ordo
- Impose the traditional Mass worldwide in all Roman parishes
- Condemn the errors of Vatican II and reverse all teachings that make use of those errors
- Disavow and repent for all scandalous events like Assisi
- Disavow and repent for his own personal actions over the past decades
- Forbid all ecumenical gatherings
- Condemn the idea of diversity in liturgical expression"
Just in case some of the list members thought that the above was what Bill Basile personally thought ought to happen, he explained:
"Some listmembers have asked about these proposals.
"I guess it's not a very good joke if I have to explain it.
"No, this was a reductio ad absurdum, merely taking Fr. Scott's premises to their logical conclusion, and we end with something completely ridiculous.
"The Pope is not going to renounce Vatican II, nor do I believe he should do so.
"I don't believe that he should impose the traditional Mass on the entire Church either, but probably some do believe this, and some (Fr. Scott?) won't find any common ground with Rome until something like that happens.
"I'm just trying to illustrate some of the far- fetched notions that are prevalent in SSPX circles (remember this was an official letter from the SSPX district superior).
"If the Pope has to 'convert' according to the ideas given in this letter by Fr. Scott", Basile said, "it's safe to say that a reconciliation with the SSPX will never take place, at least during this pontificate. I'd suggest that there are no candidates for the papacy in the future who would do any of the things listed above."
Fr. Scott praised "Archbishop Lefebvre's clarity of vision..."
Please consider the following:
"These rubrics range rather freely from the Liturgy of St. Pius X to that of Paul VI in 1968. It is simply the 'Rite of Ecône,' a law unto itself...
"As for our seminary training, we were never taught how to celebrate Mass. Preparation for this rather important part of the priestly life was to be seen to in our spare time and on our own. The majority of the seminarians there seem never to have applied themselves to a rigid or systematic study of the rubrics, as may be seen from the way in which they celebrate Mass today ...
"At one time we were taught to reject the Vatican Council II entirely..."
The Roman Catholic, by Fr Daniel L. Dolan, June 1983.
A contemporary of Bishop Richard Williamson, Fr Daniel L. Dolan was one of nine U.S.A. Society priests expelled from the Society in 1980 by Archbishop Lefebvre ".... because "they refused to pray for the Pope at Mass, they refused to conform to the liturgy of the Church as it was immediately prior to the Second Vatican Council, and they refused to recognise the changes made to the calendar by Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII" "Catholic", Nov 83, p.3
The above and other documents may be viewed in the following links:
"He (Lefebvre) often says, in defence of his work, that the saints did not act differently.
"Whatever the prelate may say, the wild seminaries, the ordinations without dimissorial letters, confirmations and confessions without jurisdiction are practices contrary to what has always been done in the Church.
"With the exception of the heretical-schismatics who do not recognize the Catholic Church as the sole ark of salvation and do not belong to her, no bishop or saint whatever has ever opened a seminary, a university, a place of worship, even a private one, or administered the sacraments without the previous permission of the Ordinary, still less in defying his prohibition, without having first denounced him as a heretic and acting publicly in consequence, as did St. Athanasius in his day."
ECÔNE FULL STOP, Fortes in Fide, by Fr Noél Barbara
The following is a composite extract from:
Schism, Obedience and the Society of St. Pius X, and
Nice quote, OptimusPrime5. Can you let us know the prime source document?
In the meantime - there is much about the schism and excommunication of Lefebvre and Co. of which well-meaning persons are unaware.
I hope this helps those people back to communion with the only living person who qualifies as the Vicar of Christ in Rome.
Excerpt from Chapter 15 of Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre by Michael Davies, including comments on a Letter from Paul VI to the Archbishop.
[Pope Paul:]"When We received you in audience on 11 September last at Castelgandolfo, We let you freely express your position and your desires, even though the various aspects of your case were already well known to Us personally. The memory that We still have of your zeal for the faith and the apostolate, as well as of the good you have accomplished in the past at the service of the Church, made Us and still makes Us hope that you will once again become an edifying subject in full ecclesial communion. After the particularly serious actions that you have performed, We have once more asked you to reflect before God concerning your duty.
"We have waited a month. The attitude to which your words and acts publicly testify does not seem to have changed. It is true that We have before Us your letter of 16 September in which you affirm: 'A common point unites us: the ardent desire to see the cessation of all the abuses that disfigure the Church. How I wish to collaborate in this salutary work, with Your Holiness and under your authority, so that the Church recover Her True countenance.' How must these few words to which your response is limited and which in themselves are positive be interpreted? You speak as if you have forgotten your scandalous words and gestures against ecclesial communion words and gestures that you have never retracted."
As these "scandalous words and gestures" are not specified it is hard to decide to what the Holy Father can be referring. Is it scandalous to reiterate the traditional teaching of the Church; to protest against abuses; to demand that Catholic children should be taught their faith; to celebrate Mass in the manner utilized by so many popes and holy priests for five centuries-and in all essentials for 1,000 years? No, if we are to look for scandal we should look to those bishops who cooperate in the devastation of the Lord 's vineyard or, if they do not actively cooperate, make not the least effort to intervene in the interests of orthodoxy. Dietrich von Hildebrand writes:
"One of the most horrifying and widespread diseases of the Church today is the lethargy of the guardians of the Faith of the Church. I am not thinking here of those bishops who are members of the 'fifth column,' who wish to destroy the Church from within, or to transform it into something completely different. I am thinking of the far more numerous bishops who have no such intentions, but who make no use whatever of their authority when it comes to intervening against heretical theologians or priests, or against blasphemous performances of public worship. They either close their eyes and try, ostrich-style, to ignore the grievous abuses as well as appeals to their duty to intervene, or they fear to be attacked by the press or the mass media and defamed as reactionary, narrow-minded, or medieval. They fear men more than God. The words of St. John Bosco apply to them: 'The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good.' One is forced to think of the hireling who abandons his flocks to the wolves when one reflects on the lethargy of so many bishops and superiors who, though still orthodox themselves, do not have the courage to intervene against the most flagrant heresies and abuses in their dioceses or in their orders.But it is most especially infuriating when certain bishops, who themselves show this lethargy towards heretics, assume a rigorously authoritarian attitude toward those believers who are fighting for orthodoxy, and who are thus doing what the bishops ought to be doing themselves! The drivel of heretics, both priests and laymen, is tolerated; the bishops tacitly acquiesce in the poisoning of the faithful. But they want to silence the faithful believers who take up the cause of orthodoxy the very people who should by rights be the joy of the bishops hearts, their consolation, a source of strength for overcoming their own lethargy. Instead, these people are regarded as disturbers of the peace... The failure to protect the holy Faith leads necessarily to the disintegration of the Church."2
If we are looking for scandal we need only look as far as the campaign to destroy the Society of St. Pius X. It is in perfect conformity with the spirit of the Conciliar Church that legitimate resistance to an abuse of power should be termed scandalous, and not the abuse of power itself.
[Pope Paul]: "You do not manifest repentance, even for the cause of your suspension a divinis."
It is precisely the Archbishops refusal to submit to an abuse of power that caused his suspension. It is those guilty of the abuse of power who should repent.
[Pope Paul]: "You do not explicitly express your acceptance of the authority of the Second Vatican Council and of the Holy See and this constitutes the basis of your problem and you continue in those personal works of yours which the legitimate Authority has expressly ordered you to suspend."
The Acts of the Second Vatican Council are only Acts of the Ordinary Magisterium. The Council Fathers deliberately chose not to invest even one conciliar document with that infallible status which demands immediate and total acceptance. Mgr. Lefebvre's attitude is the correct attitude of a Catholic towards documents of the Ordinary Magisterium- to receive them with respect and to accept them where they conform with Tradition but to exercise a prudent reserve where they do not -for in such cases the possibility of error does exist.3 What Pope Paul demanded was that the Archbishop must accept the fallible Acts of Vatican II as if they were infallible. Not only was the Archbishop required to accept all the Acts of the Council itself -as has been shown in this book on several occasions, he was required to accept the post-conciliar orientations. Where the Acts of the Council themselves are concerned, there is no bishop in the world who, comes closer to implementing them than Mgr. Lefebvre. The only documents he refused to sign were those on The Church in the Modern World and Religious Liberty. His reasons for doing so are set out in Appendix IV:
[Pope Paul:]"Ambiguity results from the duplicity of your language."
Yes, it is quite true. Pope Paul VI is accusing Mgr. Lefebvre of ambiguity and duplicity after approving in forma specifica all the devious actions taken against the Archbishop -and this must include an invitation to a discussion which turned out to be a trial [which was illicit and which denied him due counsel or any means of self-defense as guaranteed by Canon Law.--ultima ratio.]
[Pope Paul:]"On Our part, as We promised you, We are herewith sending you the conclusions of Our reflections. In practice you put yourself forward as the defender and spokesman of the faithful and of priests 'torn apart by what is happening in the Church,' thus giving the sad impression that the Catholic Faith and the essential values of Tradition are not sufficiently respected and lived in a portion of the People of God, at least in certain countries."
As Mgr. Lefebvre made clear during his sermon at Lille, he has never put himself forward as the leader of the traditionalists (Chapter XIII). The Vatican thus invests him with a title to which he has never laid claim, and then attacks him for laying claim to it! Another example of the Conciliar Church in action!
If Mgr. Lefebvre has given the impression that the essential values of Tradition are not respected in certain countries, he is doing no more than stating a fact which has been so obvious for so long that it is something which truly faithful Catholics now take for granted. The fact that there is not a single hierarchy in the West prepared to uphold and teach the truths and traditions of our faith is now accepted as quite normal rather than a cause of scandal. Organizations such as Pro Fide in Great Britain of Catholic United for the Faith in the U.S.A.., which have never been connected with Mgr. Lefebvre, have produced thousands of pages of ducumented evidence detailing liturgical, doctrinal, and catechetical abuses which almost invariably remain uncorrected. This is a charge which I would not have the least difficulty in proving where Great Britain is concerned. When they are presented with irrefutable proof that their catechetical directors are preventing Catholic children from learning their faith, the reaction of British bishops is to ignore the interests of the children and leap to the defense of their experts. I repeat, this is something I can prove if challenged.
In a message to the People of God issued on 11 October 1977, the Synod of Bishops included the following:
" the vitality and strength of the entire catechetical activity of the Church is clearly felt almost everywhere. This has produced excellent results for the renewal of the entire community of the Church. ...Despite some areas which cause concern, the number of present initiatives in this field, visible almost everywhere, is striking. Over the past ten years, in all parts of the world, catechesis has become a primary source of vitality leading to a fruitful renewal of the entire community of the Church."
There is only one possible comment regarding this statement-it is quite untrue. As a result of the initiatives taken over the past ten years the results are indeed striking -the accelerating decomposition of the Church throughout the West. To paraphrase once more a statement by Tacitus with which I concluded my book Pope John's Council: "When they create a wilderness they call it a renewal."
[Pope Paul:]"But in your interpretation of the facts and in the particular role that you assign yourself, as well as in the way in which you accomplish this role, there is something which misleads the People of God and deceives souls of good will who are justly desirous of fidelity and of spiritual and apostolic progress."
When the Synod of Bishops met to vote upon the document just cited it was approved almost unanimously. If the Pope had wished to accuse bishops of misleading the People of God and of deceiving souls of good will, there was clearly no lack of suitable candidates for such a reproach-the fact that he reserved it for one of the very few bishops to whom it is not applicable is another example of the Conciliar Church in action.
[Pope Paul:]"Deviations in the faith or in sacramental practice are certainly very grave, wherever they occur. For a long period of time they have been the object of Our full doctrinal and pastoral attention."
What exactly did Pope Paul mean by his "full doctrinal and pastoral attention"? The manner in which he exercised his authority was well described by Hamish Fraser in the July 1977 issue of Approaches. He comments:
"Having promulgated the New Mass, which was intended by its authors to initiate a permanent liturgical revolution, Pope Paul undoubtedly bears a terrifying responsibility for the consequent liturgical (as well as doctrinal) chaos. Similarly, he bears grave responsibility for the subversion of catholic education. On the one hand, although details concerning catechetical subversion have been reported to the Holy See time and again, nothing has been done to discipline the bishops guilty of imposing heretical catechisms on the schools under their control. On the other hand, by sanctioning the continued use of the New (Dutch) Catechism (subject only to its carrying an Appendix adverting to its most egregious error, which Appendix is simply ignored by those who use this compendium of Neo-Modemist heresies), he gave great comfort to the New Catechists responsible for catechetical subversion Pope Paul must bear responsibility for the breakdown of Law within the Church and the consequent abuse of power at all levels. His pontificate, probably the most disastrous in history , has been characterized less by 'a suspense of the functions of the ecclesia docens' (teaching Church - Cardinal Newman's description of the state of affairs in the fourth century), than by a suspense of the ecclesia sanctificans (the sanctifying Church) and of the ecclesia gubernans (the governing Church) It is undoubtedly true that, but for this partial suspense of the functions of the ecclesia docens, and the near total chaos concerning the functions of the ecclesia sanctificans and the ecclesia gubernans there would have been no need for Mgr. Lefebvre to found the Econe seminary and there would certainly have been no danger whatsoever of his coming into conflict with the Holy See."
Mr. Fraser's allegations concerning the total inactivity of the Holy See in the face of liturgical, doctrinal, and catechetical abuses are fully corroborated by the letter sent to Pope Paul by twenty-eight French priests on 27 August 1976 and included in this book under that date.
[Pope Paul:]"Certainly one must not forget the positive signs of spiritual renewal or of increased responsibility in a good number of Catholics..."
With all due respect to the late Holy Father, there is not one indication of renewal anywhere in the Church which can be ascribed to Vatican II. There are, it is true, fruitful and inspiring apostolates such as that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta; however, this was not inspired by Vatican II but pre-dated it. An indication of the true nature of the fruits of Vatican II is provided in Appendix VIII to my book Pope John's Council:
[Pope Paul:]"...or the complexity of the cause of the crisis: the immense change: in today's world affects believers at the depth of their being, and renders ever more necessary apostolic concern for those 'who are far away.' But it remains true that some priests and members of the faithful mask with the name 'conciliar' those personal interpretations and erroneous practices that are injurious, even scandalous, and at times sacrilegious."
Take careful note: sacrilege is being committed; the Council is used to justify sacrilege; and it is the Pope himself who testifies to this fact. It is quite clear that any fault Mgr. Lefebvre might be guilty of would pale into insignificance beside a single act of sacrilege-but it was against Mgr. Lefebvre alone that the Pope took positive action.
[Pope Paul:]"But these abuses cannot be attributed either to the Council itself or to the reforms that have legitimately issued therefrom, but rather to a lack of authentic fidelity in their regard. You want to convince the faithful that the proximate cause of the crisis is more than a wrong interpretation of the Council, and that it flows from the Council itself."
Pope Paul was correct in stating that Archbishop Lefebvre claims that the Council is the cause of the crisis but the Pope contradicted all the available evidence in claiming that neither the Council nor the official reforms could, in fact, be blamed for the erroneous, scandalous, and indeed, sacrilegious practices which exist. It must be clearly understood that in making such a statement the Pope was expressing his opinion on a question of fact-i.e.: Have or have not the official reforms helped to create the atmosphere which engendered the abuses? Pope Paul said "No"; Mgr. Lefebvre said "Yes. In a dispute concerning a matter of fact we must base our decision upon the available evidence and not upon the status of the parties concerned. In his diary giving the background to the encyclical Apostolicae Curae, Cardinal Gasquet relates how, in January 1895, Pope Leo XIII explained to Cardinal Vaughan that a small concession on the part of the Holy See would bring the majority of Englishmen into communion with Rome. He asked for the Cardinal's help in achieving this objective. The Cardinal felt bound to tell the Pope bluntly that his opinion had no "foundation in fact." Subsequent events proved the Cardinal to be right and the Pope to have been completely mistaken -he had put too much faith in the opinions of ecumenically-minded French priests who were totally ignorant of the situation in England. No one in authority likes to admit making an error of judgment and there is a natural tendency among subordinates never to suggest that their superiors have erred. A prelate of lesser character than Cardinal Vaughan would not have spoken so bluntly; the same can be said of St. Paul, Bishop Grosseteste, and St. Catherine of Siena -to name but three of those who have rightly rebuked the Pope of their day for pursuing policies which harmed the Church (See Appendix II). Pope Paul's personal prestige had become inextricably linked with the Council and the post-conciliar reforms and orientations to which he was committed. It is an incontestable fact that never in the history of the Church had there been so sudden and so widespread a decomposition of Catholicism. Historians will certainly record that the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI proved to be the most disastrous during the history of the Church. There is, however, considerable scope for a difference of opinion on the reason for this collapse.
One version, and it is a version which deserves consideration, is that a series of sincere but misguided pontiffs failed to keep pace with an unprecedented advance in human progress, that they failed to adapt the Gospel to the profound developments manifest in every other branch of society and contented themselves with repeating archaic and stereotyped formulae that were meaningless to a mankind which had "come of age." The capital fault of these pontiffs had been to fail to "read the signs of the times." These particular signs were, through the intervention of the Holy Ghost, made manifest to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, who at last undertook the urgently needed task of adaptation. It is argued that due to the short-sighted policies of pontiffs prior to Pope John XXIII, the Church was totally unprepared for this process of adaptation and that, to a large extent, it had come too late. Thus, this school of thought argues, the decomposition of the Church would have come anyway; Pope Paul and his policies are in no way to blame (except where he tried to uphold the traditional positions as in the case of Humanae Vitae); and if it had not been for the post-conciliar orientations the disaster would have been even greater.
Archbishop Lefebvre's view is that it is precisely the post-conciliar reforms and orientations to which Pope Paul himself was committed, and the virtual carte blanche which this Pope had given to Modernists to undermine the faith in any way that suited them (rarely opposing them with anything more than pious exhortations), to which the present crisis is due. Humanly speaking, it would have been almost impossible for Pope Paul VI to admit this -even to himself. He would have thus admitted not simply that his pontificate had been the most disastrous in the history of the Church but that his policies had been responsible for the disaster. When someone in authority initiates a policy which does not succeed, the almost invariable reaction is to find some explanation other than that the policy itself was wrong. When an education official introduces a new system of teaching reading which results in illiterate children, he will blame the teachers, their methods, lack of parental cooperation -anything and anyone but his own judgment. The history of the papacy makes it clear that the popes themselves are only too human. We should not be surprised that Pope Paul attempted to justify the orientations to which he was committed -it would have been a miracle of grace if he had not. If we read the history of the papacy we shall find many occasions when we could wish miracles of grace had occurred but didn't!
This has been a long comment on a short passage in the Pope's letter -but it involves what is perhaps the most crucial issue for faithful Catholics in the whole controversy between the Archbishop and Pope Paul VI. The faithful Catholic tends to presume that anyone who disagrees with the Pope on any topic whatsoever must certainly be wrong -and he cannot be condemned for this attitude as it has been one that has been inculcated for centuries, particularly in Protestant countries. Keep the faith " has been equated with "Give uncritical support to every papal act and opinion." Now that it has come to the point that there can be a contradiction between keeping the faith and supporting the Pope, few orthodox Catholics are able to make the necessary distinction. I am not arguing here that the Pope's interpretation of the reasons for the crisis is incorrect and that of Archbishop Lefebvre correct, simply that the Pope could be mistaken. I will leave readers to examine the evidence presented in my book Pope John's Council and decide for themselves whether or not it establishes that the Council and the official reforms and orientations are responsible for the present crisis.
I will content myself here with citing just one specific example. I am sure that every orthodox Catholic, whatever his views about Mgr. Lefebvre, would agree that there has been a great decline in reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament, particularly among children. Pope Paul VI insisted that this has nothing to do with the official reform, Mgr. Lefebvre insists that it does. Before the reform children knelt to receive Holy Communion on the tongue from the consecrated hands of a priest. Now it is quite common for them to receive it standing, in the hand, from one of their teachers or even from a fellow pupil. How can it be argued that these revolutionary changes have not contributed to the decline in reverence? Yet these revolutionary changes were official orientations to which the Pope himself was committed.
Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us.
Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Padre Pio pray for us.
100 Michael Davies, 1000 Theologians, any number of canon lawyers or bishops do NOT = 1 Pope! Sorry about that! The Pope is the Vicar of Christ with the POWER to bind and loose; the Supreme Law Maker; the Supreme Interpreter of the Law - and HE has lawfully declared Lefebvre & Co as schismatic and excommunicated.
Get over it - and come back to the Church and fight the "good fight" within Her.
I have nothing to say to schismatic sedevacantists - save and ecept that you have done something which the Lord prohibited - you have made a judgement on the state of my soul. Of that, He stated "judge not that you might not be likewise judged."
We are all called upon to make prudential judgements - such as whether or not to obey the civil law of driving on the correct side of the road. However, we are absolutely prohibited from doing what you have done.
May the Good Lord have mercy on you and return you to your senses.
The epitome of arrogance - to infer you speak for "....us...." ( me ). But then, one should not be at all surprised. It was your pen that exposed your adolescent conceit.
.....like the Chinese communist atheist sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA-Official Church), embraced by Karol Wojtyla, and his socialist co-conspirators who control the United States Conference of Bishops?
Did you know these heretics - who only bow to Mao - are allowed to stand before the faithful at a consecrated altar and mock the Transfiguration with their evil hands?
Who rises to defend schismatic sedevacantists in the Vatican and within the ranks of priests and bishops throughout the world? Only the deaf, dumb and blind.
The pope has the power to bind and loose--but he does not have the power to condemn the innocent. Divine Law precludes this. You need to hone up on what it means for anyone in the Church--including a pope--to abuse power. You seem to think he can do whatever he pleases, according to his own whims. This is false. A pope may never act with injustice. This is because while no pope is bound from below, yet each is bound from above--by Heaven itself. A pope therefore may NOT declare what is false to be true; he may NOT unjustly accuse the innocent without evidence; he may NOT claim someone is schismatic or disobedient or rebellious who merely acts to protect the traditional faith.
By the way, I AM in the Church. I am in no way out of the Church simply because I criticize bad popes.
Here's another basic fact you need to comprehend better. While the pope is the supreme legislator and judge and jury in the Church--he still must act and legislate and judge justly. If he does not, even if his judgments have a LEGAL validity, they lack a MORAL effect--and may be treated as nullities by those he condemns. This is the case with the SSPX. There is no case against them whatsoever. They merely defend the faith against postconciliar factions which have done unprecedented damage to the Church. You need to thank God for this, not rail against it.
Using the criteria which you propose to judge Lefebvre's innocence (ie. grave fear for the true faith and acting for the salvation of souls rather than disobedience of papal directives), I see no way to conclude that Thuc excommunicated himself with this consecration. Who's to say that Thuc did not truly believe that he was acting in the best interests of the Church and for the salvation of souls? He more than likely did believe this. Yet excommunicated he most surely was.
This issue seems to me to be similar to the "conscience" question. It's often said that if a man's conscience does not accuse him of wrongdoing, then he has done no wrong if he does not know any better and is doing his best to follow his conscience. This is only half the story. The other half is that we have a duty to form our conscience in the light of authentic teaching and truth. So having a clear conscience is not, per se a free pass if we have not taken care to form our consciences with due care and attention. For that matter, it's quite possible that those presently committing atrocities in the name of Islam feel that they are protecting the "true faith".
Similarly here. Just because a bishop, any bishop, feels that a situation calls for the consecration of other bishops and he really believes this, does not give him carte blanche to do it. For implicit in this judgement is the assumption that he and not the Pope has a mandate to do this. It assumes that he and not the Pope is the guardian of the true faith.
Using your criteria, nobody can be judged guilty of flouting papal authority.
Furthermore if you claim that the Pope cannot know if Lefebvre is guilty, then you cannot know if Lefebvre is innocent. You cannot have it both ways.
The two cases are somewhat different. Archbishop Lefebvre acted to preserve the traditional Mass from destruction. He never recounced the Pope himself personally as did Archbishop Thuc. This said, perhaps the latter felt justified in conscience. We are living in terrible times. It is difficult to get at the real truth in these matters. Rome certainly is the last place to look if one wants to get the straight story about anything. It has its own very sharp axes to grind.
Your point about an informed conscience is true--but it is a leap to think that Archbishop Lefebvre, who had spent his lifetime as a missionary priest and bishop in Africa, whose entire lifetime was spent in strict obedience to the faith could not recognize the dangers posed to the Church by the postconciliar onslaught against Catholic Tradition. It is an absurd contention. Rather one has to wonder about postconciliar papal consciences--and how they may be reconciled to the disasters that have been so recklessly imposed on the Church.
Since you are new to FreeRepublic, you might not be aware that this kind of post needs to be labeled VANITY. Whenever you post your own writing that has not been published somewhere else, it is a vanity post. You'll notice that there are numerous vanity posts, but they are clearly labeled as such, and in general they are discouraged, since that is not the purpose of FR.
If you believe your thoughts on the SSPX or other topics are worthwhile, find an editor somewhere who agrees with you and get him to publish your writings.
I doubt that it will help to bring about the conversion of the princes of the Church who openly commit acts of disobedience and promote heresy, like Cardinal Mahoney.
OH wait, they are "in communion" with the Pope, never mind.
I am sure you realize the Pope is the authentic interpreter of Canon Law.
Canon 331 states: The office uniquely committed by the Lord to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, abides in the Bishop of the Church of Rome. He is the head of the College of Bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the Pastor of the universal Church here on earth. Consequently, by virtue of his office, he has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise this power.
Canon 332 §1 The Roman Pontiff acquires full and supreme power in the Church when, together with episcopal consecration, he has been lawfully elected and has accepted the election.
Canon 16 §1 says, Laws are authentically interpreted by the legislator (the Pope)and by the one to whom the legislator ( the Pope) has granted the power to interpret them authentically.
Canon 333 § 3 There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.
*Other than your usual appeal to your own perssonal opinions, you have no grounds for opposing the Pope and engaging in the same sort of private judgement which is no different than the behavior engaged in by protestants.
Please link to any Traditional Magisterial Teaching which endows laymen with any such authority which justifies your continued attacks upon the Pope and your continued refusal to obey.
One other point about informing one's conscience. Have you ever tried to get clear information from a Vatican source? The entire postconciliar edifice has been predicated upon obfuscation and denial of the principle of non-contradiction, as if past doctrines might be affirmed and denied at the same time. Even the Catechism is riddled with ambiguity. The last thing Rome gives anybody these days is a straight answer.
Archbishop Lefebvre, on the other hand, derived from a Thomistic theological background that prided itself on clear thinking. He was well aware that the doctors of the Church warned even popes must be disobeyed if their commands would be harmful to the Church. And he was fond of citing St. Paul writing to the Galatians: "If anyone--even an angel come down from Heaven--should preach to you a gospel other than the one I have preached to you, let him be anathema."
Schism, Obedience and the Society of St. Pius X, and The Story of the Vanishing Schism:
The Strange Case of Cardinal Lara
by John Beaumont and John Walsh
"...During the last twenty years a not inconsiderable number of Catholics have followed the lead given by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X founded by him, thinking that this was the way to defend what they believed to be the traditional Catholic faith in a time of crisis in the Church...
...The Consequences of These Errors
...How can the Society of St. Pius X still be in communion with the pope and the Church? Consider the following facts: The Society establishes seminaries, churches, chapels, and priories throughout the world without any reference to the local ordinaries in whose dioceses it carries out these acts. This is contrary to the Code of Canon Law (Canons 234, 237, 1215, 1223-1228).
It ordains priests without the dismissorial letters required by Canon Law (Canons 1015, 1018-1023).
It hears confessions and celebrates marriages without jurisdiction (Canons 966-976, 1108-1123).
It gives Holy Communion to persons who are well known sede vacantists (Canon 844). This is in spite of the fact that Archbishop Lefebvre himself regarded such movements as having a "schismatic spirit" (Open Letter to Confused Catholics (1986), p. 155). It refused Pope Paul VI's command to close the seminary at Econe and wind up the Society (see the letter of the Commission of Cardinals to Archbishop Lefebvre and that of Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop, dated 6th May, 1975 and 29th June, 1975 respectively. both of which are reprinted, together with the Society's responses, in Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, Volume One, pp. 57- 59; 112- 119).
It carries out confirmations in other bishops' dioceses. This is contrary to the Council of Trent which decrees that:
"No bishop is permitted under any pretext or privilege whatsoever to exercise episcopal functions in the diocese of another bishop, without the permission of the Ordinary of the place and with regard to persons subordinate to the same Ordinary. If any bishop does otherwise, he will be lawfully suspended from his episcopal functions . . ." (Sess. VII, cp. 5, emphasis supplied).
It purports to accept John Paul II as pope and yet rejects parts of the 1983 Code of Canon Law promulgated by him in his capacity as supreme legislator (see, e.g., Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican, ed. Fr. François Laisney (1988), pp. 176-178). Finally, in 1988 the Society consecrated four bishops, knowing that this was against the express will of the pope, and then in 1991 proceeded to consecrate a further bishop in a diocese (Campos in Brazil) where, as the Society itself recognizes, there is already a valid bishop. This is contrary to Canon 1013. Furthermore, the Society of St. Pius X cites not a single declaration of a pope or a council (to say nothing of theologians and Church fathers) stating that there may be a legitimate episcopal consecration against the will of the pope. But according to Pope Pius XII, who was so revered by Archbishop Lefebvre. an episcopal consecration done against the will of the pope is an offense against divine law. "No one may legitimately confer episcopal consecration unless in advance the particular papal authorization is in [the consecrating bishop's] possession. Through this criminal act there is carried out a most serious attack on the unity of the Church Itself. Therefore, for such a consecration performed against divine and human law, there is established the penalty of excommunication . . ." (Apostolorum Principis ).
To sum up, then, here is an organization which pays no regard whatsoever to the commands and laws of legitimate authority in the Church and which refuses to do the express will of the supreme pontiff in matters of great importance for use visible unity of the Church. Put all of these things together and what we have is an autonomous organization, a petite eglise, an independent Church. If this does not constitute schism, what does?...
*Of course, such facts wil be overlooked or ignored or rejected due to whatever....The more I read the posts of some on here the more it appears that some are incapable of seeing the simple truth before their eyes
'Isn't this Liturgy of John XXIII the one in which you priests were trained and ordained at Ecône?'
The answer is no. We received no appreciable liturgical training whatever at Ecône, and until the September of 1976 the Mass was that of the early years of Paul VI. (Indeed, concelebration was permitted in our first statutes.) The celebrant sat on the side and listened to readings, or himself performed them at lecterns facing the people. The only reason the readings were done in Latin and not in French, we were told, is that the seminary is an international one! (Interestingly enough, the Ordinances of the Society, signed by Archbishop Lefebvre and currently in force, allow for the reading of the Epistle and the Gospel in the vernacular - without reading them first in Latin.)
"It would be difficult to say what liturgy was followed at Ecône, because the rubrics were a mishmash of different elements, one priest saying Mass somewhat differently from the next. No one set of rubrics was systematically observed or taught. As a matter of fact, no rubrics were taught at all.
"The best I can say is that over the years a certain eclectic blend of rubrics developed based on the double principle of
what the Archbishop liked, and what one did in France.
"These rubrics range rather freely from the Liturgy of St. Pius X to that of Paul VI in 1968. It is simply the 'Rite of Ecône,' a law unto itself...
"As for our seminary training, we were never taught how to celebrate Mass. Preparation for this rather important part of the priestly life was to be seen to in our spare time and on our own. The majority of the seminarians there seem never to have applied themselves to a rigid or systematic study of the rubrics, as may be seen from the way in which they celebrate Mass today ...
"At one time we were taught to reject the Vatican Council II entirely..."
The Roman Catholic, by Fr Daniel L. Dolan, June 1983.
*What you claim for the excommunicated schismatic you follow is quite different from the facts.
"And you seem to think you have authority to declare whether or not the Pope is in compliance with Divine Law and Canon Law"
Try rereading my post. I said ALL popes, not just JPII, must obey Divine Law. To say this is not to wield any kind of authority, but simply to state a fact that people like you seem unaware of--that popes can sometimes abuse authority by acting unjustly. When they do, their actions have a legal, but not a moral effect. In other words, the victims of papal injustice would still be legally behind the eight ball--but morally they would be innocent and inculpable in the eyes of Heaven.
"What you claim for the excommunicated schismatic you follow is quite different from the facts..."
Once again, you get it wrong. Here you confuse the griping of a sedevacantist priest who was expelled from the Econe, with the "facts." These are not "facts", not by a long stretch.
The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) was founded in 1970 by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre under the jurisdiction of Msgr. Charriere in the Diocese of Fribourg, Switzerland.(on a 6 year expiremental basis )
Its first seminary was established in Econe, Switzerland.In 1975, after an investigation by Rome, Lefebvre was forbidden to ordain any additional priests and was told to close the seminary and disband the Society. The Archbishop refused, claiming that he had been made victim of an irregular canonical procedure. After illicitly ordaining some priests in June of 1976, he was suspended a divinis (from all priestly functions) by Pope Paul VI. From this point on he and his priests acted without faculties (contrary to what the Lefebvrites say).
*Again, the facts about Lefevbre are quite different that what his followers claim they are. He obeyed when he wanted to and he disobeyed when he wanted to - just like his followers. He - and his followers - are the ultimate authorities. They judge for themselves what they will obey and when they will obey. In that, they are no different than protestants.
You can't be serious. In all of history not one pope has ever abused his authority or acted unjustly. /sarcasm ; )
Seriously now, why is it believed that the current Holy Father is immune to this possibility? It's almost as if some people believe that each and every word and action of his are directly inspired by The Holy Ghost.
What about the abuse of authority by failing to use it when necessary?
You are proving the truth of my statement you posted. (Although you don't seem to realize it)
It is undeniably true the facts about the man you follow are radically different from the mythology about him you promote
If you look at the life stories of some of the more extreme traditionalists and sedevacantists in the church, such as Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher for example, one is faced with a conundrum. Reading his web site and those of others, one's first reaction is to laugh. However, behind the apparent farce of what is happening is a genuine human and spiritual tragedy.
When I read the story of his early life it appears, if I take it at face value, that he is a man with a genuine vocation and a man who had a genuine concern for the savation of souls. Moreover, he appears to have suffered badly at the hands of the modernists and liberals and to have undergone genuine hardship for the good of the faith. I think one can see certain parallels here with Archbishop Lefebvre, who can also be said to have experienced similar situations.
However, at some point-I'm still not sure what, when or how-something goes wrong. Badly. One thing leads to another and now Fr. Pulvermacher is up in the mountains of Idaho or Montana or somewhere claiming to be Pope Pius XIII. Tragic.
Similarly with Lefebvre. I have no reason to doubt the service which he gave to the Church during his time in Africa, nor that he had a genuine desire for the salvation of souls, nor that he suffered at the hands of modernists. However, at some point, something went wrong and the next thing he's consecrating bishops.
Salvation history is littered with the stories of people who lived dissolute lives only to find grace and forgiveness at the 11th hour. Sadly, it also seems to contain stories of people who labored in the vineyard for years but then went and threw it all in the dumpster.
"It is undeniably true the facts about the man you follow are radically different from the mythology about him you promote"
The mythology is the nonsense you spew. The truth about Archbishop Lefebvre is very little spoken of these days--that he was missionary priest living in poverty in Africa for most of his adult life, that he above all had been responsible for the burgeoning of Catholicism on that continent for the better part of the twentieth century, that he was a favorite of Pius XII who accepted his counsel and respected his achievment on behalf of the Church. None of this is mentioned much anymore. Instead everything is done to besmirch his reputation--just as the Pharisees did to Christ.
Tertullian (QUINTUS SEPTIMIUS FLORENS TERTULLIANUS).
Ecclesiastical writer in the second and third centuries, b. probably about 160 at Carthage, being the son of a centurion in the proconsular service. He was evidently by profession an advocate in the law-courts, and he shows a close acquaintance with the procedure and terms of Roman law, though it is doubtful whether he is to be identified with a jurist Tertullian who is cited in the Pandects. He knew Greek as well as Latin, and wrote works in Greek which have not come down to us. A pagan until middle life, he had shared the pagan prejudices against Christianity, and had indulged like others in shameful pleasures. His conversion was not later than the year 197, and may have been earlier. He embraced the Faith with all the ardour of his impetuous nature. He became a priest, no doubt of the Church of Carthage. Monceaux, followed by d'Ales, considers that his earlier writings were composed while he was yet a layman, and if this be so, then his ordination was about 200. His extant writings range in date from the apologetics of 197 to the attack on a bishop who is probably Pope Callistus (after 218). It was after the year 206 that he joined the Montanist sect, and he seems to have definitively separated from the Church about 211 (Harnack) or 213 (Monceaux). After writing more virulently against the Church than even against heathen and persecutors, he separated from the Montanists and founded a sect of his own. The remnant of the Tertullianists was reconciled to the Church by St. Augustine. A number of the works of Tertullian are on special points of belief or discipline. According to St. Jerome he lived to extreme old age.
*Any time anyone starts thinking they have the authority they do not have, trouble comes in waves.
Blessed are they who never have authority :)
Archbishop Lefebvre never "went too far." He adamantly refused to step over the line and reject the papacy of JPII. That said, I don't think people like Fr. Pulvermacher or people like him should be judged too severely. Of far greater culpability are those who drove these good men to the wall. Some went to far indeed. Others, like Archbishop Lefebvre, kept their equilibrium--and resisted the great forces which were arrayed against them--and against the true faith itself.
This said, I think it's even funnier how you don't seem to think the Pope himself "went too far" when he poured out libations to the Great Thumb or when he asked John the Baptist to bless Islam or when he had a naked woman read the epistle at one of his papal Masses. Funny how you think Lefebvre "went too far" because he refused to be complicit in the destruction of the traditional Mass, but don't think Paul VI "went to far" by destroying the Mass that had evolved over two millenia--in favor of a concoction that turned off millions of Catholics and began the precipitous decline in Mass attendance that followed. Funny how you don't think JPII "went too far" when he gave the red hat recently to a couple of German heretics, one of whom had openly doubted the Resurrection.
Then again, funny is as funny does these days. Archbishop Lefebvre did nothing really funny--except practice the ancient faith of our forefathers and preach the Gospel straight and undiluted--for which he suffered persecution by Vatican surrogates for two decades. JPII and his predecessor, on the other hand, did lots of funny things--indefensible things--shocking things--that nobody dares to blame them for openly and honestly. But we should.
Why bring up Tertullian? Dante placed six popes in Hell, one of them his own pontiff. Catholics appraised things more honestly back then. They used a simpler yardstick--who did or didn't defend the faith.
"They judge for themselves what they will obey and when they will obey. In that, they are no different than protestants."
Careful now, you may be excommunicated for harbouring such a thought. We are now all God's creatures belonging to churches of equal merit without distiction in the ability of being saved. Enter the spirit of Vatican II and Assisi and put aside your prejudices, embrace the ideas of that great spiritual humanist, Karol Wojtyla, and let us all go forward to the promised land. Sin and obedience is now redundant owing to the death of principle.
"...So this 'mass' of Paul VI, they tell me, is what Lefebvre celebrated at the tomb of St. Pius V, at Econe until talked out of it, and when in hospital at Bogota (concelebration with Aulagnier)...
* So, celebrating the N.O. is St. Peter's is ok when he wants to do it but it is wrong for others to do it....hmmmmmmmmmm :)
"Twenty Years of Struggle," during a retreat in 1986, the Archbishop anxiously argues his rights: "But we did not stop there [ordaining priests] with our apparently illegal actions with regards to the particulars of the law, such as the hearing of confessions, [or] the blessing of marriages performed in our presence in the dioceses. Many of the things which we have accomplished are of themselves and strictly speaking against the letter of the law, but why do we do these things? Quite simply because we believed that which was undertaken against us was illegal and that they did not have the right to suppress our Order."
.... Lefebvre writes a letter to the editor of the Journals Itineraires and Present:
"The plan announced in the documents of the Masonic Alta Vendita and published on Pius IX's orders, is becoming a reality day by day beneath our very eyes. Last week I was in Rome, at the summons of Cardinal Gagnon, who handed me the enclosed letter [from Ratzinger, quoted above]. A very well organized network is in control of all the Curia's activity, inside and outside the Curia itself."
"The Pope is an instrument of this mafia which he put in place and with which he sympathizes. We may hope for no reaction to come from him, on the contrary. The announcement of the meeting of world religions decided on by him for the month of October in Assisi, is the culminating imposture and the supreme insult to Our Lord. Rome is no longer Catholic Rome. The prophecies of Our Lady of LaSalette and of Leo XIII in his exorcism are coming about: Where the seat of blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up for a light to enlighten all nations, there they have established the throne of the abomination of their wickedness so that having struck the Shepherd they may scatter the flock in turn...."
"You will see, in the reply to our letter [again, that reply of Jan. 20 quoted above], that Cardinal Ratzinger is striving once more to make Vatican II into a dogma. We are dealing with people who have no notion of Truth. We shall from now on be more and more obliged to act on the assumption that this new Conciliar Church is no longer Catholic." (Letter to Mr. Madiran, Jan. 29, 1986)...
In 1974, he had told a confidante (now an ex-Lefebvrite priest) that he would never consecrate a bishop, "for this would mean I would do what Martin Luther did, and I would lose the Holy Ghost."
But by 1983 he was in the United States, sounding out his priests on the possibility of consecrating bishops. He asked each in turn for his view on the subject. Those Society superiors who had objected to what he and they knew would be a formally schismatic act, in a year's time were all removed from their positions. They were replaced by those priests who had gone along with the idea.
The groundwork was carefully laid among believers. At St. Mary's Academy in St. Mary's, Kansas every child and adult underwent a mandatory new "catechism" under the auspices of Society priests 1.5 years before the consecrations. They learned that following a false authority was evil; that the pope had lost any legal authority; that the schism and excommunication that were sure to follow the consecrations were not really schism and not really excommunication. How far-reaching was this new "catechism?" If variations of it were imposed on all believers in 1986 and 1987, it would account for the fact that so few people left the Society in the summer of 1988. On May 5, 1988, Lefebvre signed an accord with Rome that in principle gave the Archbishop most of what he wanted. He could have a bishop and thus provide for the Society's continuance after his death. The Society priests could say the Tridentine Mass. The suspension was lifted, and the Society could once again legally ordain its own clergy. Once again Lefebvre accepted the Vatican Council, "as interpreted by tradition," and the New Mass as "valid" if not welcome.
Some time around the May 5-6 disaster, Lefebvre had presented the names of potential bishops, and Rome had demurred. The selection of bishops is a touchy subject. With papal approval, it is perfectly legitimate. Without papal approval, it is a schismatic act and an excommunicable offense.
The real problem of the bishops, in this instance, was not when, but who? Who would be acceptable to the pope? Presumably the priests who eventually were chosen as bishops were on the list presented by Lefebvre.
Rome knew who these men were, and knew they held the same views Lefebvre did in his more incautious moments: the New Mass is blasphemous, the Council is heretical the popes that approve the Council are heretical, and maybe they are not popes at all.
Another revelation of what went on in and around the secret negotiations of 1988: at one point Lefebvre demanded as part of the accord that an the world's Catholic traditionalists (those who wanted the old Mass) would have to become members of the Society. It was an absurd demand, impossible to fulfill even if it had been granted, but it speaks to the condition of Lefebvre's (now feverish?) mind. Apparently in the last few years of his life Marcel Lefebvre was not always clearheaded. He was unmercifully manipulated by his lieutenants, Fathers Franz Schmidberger (superior general of the Society), Richard Williamson, and the others. When he returned from Rome after signing the May 5 accord, these bishops-to-be, perhaps seeing their bishoprics about to go down the drain, told the Archbishop that if he did not repudiate the accord with Rome the Society would split apart at the seams. There were too many in the Society (meaning Williamson and Company) who simply had no trust in Rome at all. Under that pressure, the Archbishop changed his mind and hardened his position against all possible future diplomacy with the Vatican.
This was his state of mind in mid-June: "I entered these negotiations because Rome's reactions in the second half of last year had raised in me a faint hope that these churchmen had changed. They have not changed, except for the worse. Look at Casaroli in Moscow! They have spiritual AIDS, they have no grace, their immunity defense system is gone. I do not think one can say that Rome has not lost the Faith. As for an eventual excommunication, its disagreeableness diminishes with time." (Private talks quoted in Williamson's Letter from Winona, Aug. 1, 1988)...
Among Pius X defenders, it is now common to refuse to admit that Lefebvre had gone into schism, or that he had really been excommunicated. Lefebvre historian Michael Davies, who at first denounced the June 30 consecrations, now defends them in a disappointing article (Angelus, December 1990). It is disappointing because Davies, for all his knowledge and intellect, descends to a swamp of special pleading to convince readers that 1) there was no schism, and, 2) there was no excommunication.
Sliding around the facts of schism and excommunication are typical for defenders of a group in schism. The same arguments were heard in the Schism of Utrecht, in the establishment of the Old Catholics, and during the creation of Protestant churches in the 16th century. Always a higher law is appealed to so that a specific law can be circumvented:
According to Martin Luther, "These [church laws] hold good only so long as they are not injurious to Christianity and the laws of God. Therefore, if the Pope deserves punishment, these laws cease to bind us, since Christendom would suffer."
According to Marcel Lefebvre, "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.... If they are forced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey."
... According to Martin Luther, "The Church of Rome, formerly the most holy of all churches, has become . . . the very kingdom of sin, death and hell; so that not even the Antichrist, if he were to come, could desire any addition to its wickedness."
According to Marcel Lefebvre, in his Aug. 29, 1987. letter to the four bishops-to-be, "The See of Peter and posts of authority in Rome being occupied by Antichrists, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below."
The point of such anathemas is that attempts to reform the Church from inside are futile; it is too late: and so we (Luther, Lefebvre) must go our own way and build our own true Catholic Church.
.... If Lefebvre was a saint, he was crafty and vacillating as well. He was crafty in polling Pius X superiors around the world and then getting rid of those who opposed the idea of his consecrating bishops. He was crafty in delaying the consecrations a year for mercenary reasons. It seems that Richard Williamson's new seminary in Winona, Minnesota, was just getting off the ground, and Williamson warned Lefebvre that the benefactor about to purchase the property for the seminary would withdraw his offer if he knew about any projected consecrations.
The benefactor was apparently one of those conservative Lefebvrites, who was no schismatic and would not risk "losing the Holy Ghost." So Lefebvre agreed to delay the consecrations a year until the property was secured.
Was Lefebvre a sede vacantist?
... In 1980 he wrote to the Holy Father and protested, "I have no hesitation regarding the legitimacy or the validity of Your election. I have already had to condemn these ideas and I continue to do so in the face of some seminarians who allow themselves to be influenced by ecclesiastics outside the Fraternity." ...
.. in the preface of his 1987 letter to the four bishops-to-be. Here he calls the pope an Antichrist, which is a vivid way -of saying the papal seat is empty. Moreover, there exists an audiocassette tape of a Lefebvre sermon given shortly after John Paul II's 1986 Assisi peace convocation. Basing his charges on that ecumenical gathering, the archbishop says, "I think that when a Pope or bishop honors God in this non-Catholic way, they have the intention of going to God as a non-Catholic, thereby renouncing the Catholic faith. Never has it happened in the Church before that he who sits on the throne of Peter has participated in the cult of false gods. Are we then obliged to believe that this Pope is not Pope? Because it seems impossible that a Pope could be a public and formal heretic."
The sede vacantist question brings us back to the United States. Three previously Lefebvrite priests, Fathers Cekada, Dolan and Sanborn, have now split from the Pius V Society, which Fr. Kelly had formed when he broke with Lefebvre, to become involved in varying degrees with the cult at Mount St. Michael, whose pretense to Catholicism rests on its connection to the Bishop Thuc (of South Vietnam) lineage. As Lefebvrite seminarians proposed for the priesthood back in the 1970s, these three encountered opposition because of their openly expressed sede vacantism. A delegation of American priests warned Lefebvre. But the Archbishop. knowing their standpoint ordained them anyway.
Then, in 1983, Lefebvre used that excuse, sede vacantism, to kick Fr. Kelly and the others out of the Society. The accusation must have rung hollow, given Lefebvre's own leanings. Especially since Richard Williamson, openly a sede vacantist as a seminarian at Econe, was later made bishop for North America.
... the strange doctrines coming from the mouth of Richard Williamson....
In his December 1, 1991 Letter from Winona "Rome cannot help keeping watch on the Society, or on any coherent group with large numbers of Catholics keeping the faith. The reason is not hard to find, such groups are the main obstacle to the advance of the Antichrist.... The One Worlders owed it to themselves to infiltrate Rome and harness it to the purposes of the anti-Christ. This with Vatican II they largely succeeded in doing.... To sweep all Catholics into the clutches of the One World Government, to switch them from followers of Christ into followers of the Anti-Christ, Rome, must deceive them....In this process. it is vital that the people should be persuaded that Catholicism is only what Rome says it is . . . [but] another form of Catholicism than that of 'Rome' is, after all, possible."
...Williamson from his early days in Econe has been a sede vacantist, that he has often said "there is no pope," and that today, in Winona, he teaches that the real Society position is that there is no pope, "but that because of the controversy this issue causes, we deny this position in public." If there is no pope and Rome's program is the program of the anti-Christ, and only the SSPX keeps the faith alive, then another Williamson teaching follows: "If you are not in the Society, you are not in the Church." This is also taught to the seminarians at Winona and the faithful at St. Mary's. Moreover, since Williamson holds the literal interpretation of the doctrine that there is no salvation outside the Church, it follows that there is no salvation outside the Society.
.... Williamson's salvation doctrine is even narrower than that. "Fr, Abel" has often heard the bishop claim that women are only good for drudge work and breeding, and that no woman can be saved. Hearing women's confessions is therefore a waste of time.
Retreats for women are worse than useless. There can be no forgiveness for the daughters of Eve. "What about the Virgin Mary?" asks "Fr. Abel. "That's her problem," says Bishop Williamson. If Williamson's salvation doctrine is a little cockeyed, his doctrine concerning the Jews is also. ...According to Richard Williamson's February 1, 1991, Letter from Winona, "Until [the Jews] re-discover their true Messianic vocation [by conversion to Christ], they may be expected to continue fanatically agitating, in accordance with their false messianic vocation of Jewish world-dominion, to prepare the Anti-Christ's throne in Jerusalem. So we may fear their continuing to play their major part in the agitation of the East and in the corruption of the West. Here the wise Catholic will remember that, again, the ex-Christian nations have only their own Liberalism to blame for avowing free circulation within Christendom to the enemies of Christ.... Remembering also that Annas and Caiaphas induced but never obliged Judas to betray Jesus, and that the Apostle's betrayal was a crime far worse than the Jews deicide, he will look at the state of the Catholic Church today and see why the enemies of Christendom are being given so much power...."
In 1989, Williamson ... In Sherbrooke, Quebec, "there was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel.... Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism."
A Letter from Winona (Nov. 3, 1991) quotes from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a scurrilous document purportedly written by Jews, describing a Jewish master plan to take over the world. The document keeps popping up in Jew-hating circles as if it were a newly discovered proof of Jewish malice. It is actually a piece of disinformation written by a Russian in the employ of the Czar's Secret Police, and has been known to be a fraud by all serious historians for nearly a century.
Along with many crack-pot historical revisionists, Williamson subscribes to the big lie that Hitler had no intention, nor much success if he did have the intention of exterminating the Jewish race in Europe. To believe that, you would have to believe in an impossibly far-ranging conspiracy of U.S. Army soldiers and officers; French and English soldiers and others; numerous investigating commissions, hundreds of thousands of faked reports, faked death camp records; faked photographs; faked testimonies; and faked dead bodies. It is an insane hatred that causes such fervid denial of historical fact, and which bestows an utterly superhuman power on diabolical conspirators (Jews, Illuminati, Masons) thought to be responsible for everything that has gone wrong in the history of the world.
.... The first American priest ordained into the Society of St. Pius X was one Father Gregory Post. One day, he took a plane flight and arrived at the San Jose, California, airport dressed in the fun regalia of an SS German army officer, complete with helmet, boots and swastika arm band. San Jose Pius X members who picked him up at the airport were indignant, and the then district superior of the society had to fly out to San Jose to reprimand the priest and cool off the situation.
There is a virulent sickness of hatred and Hitlerism running through the traditional Catholic movement. Why these folks have taken on the clothes of the very devil they detest is a matter for God to sort out. The strain runs through the Society of St. Pius X in France, whose priests see Marshall Petain as a hero and his pro-Nazi Vichy government of World War II as a paragon of virtue.
Catholic traditionalism as a whole in France is imbued with extreme right-wing politics. On the one side is the historical dream of a restored Catholic Monarchy, allied with pro-Hitler, anti-Semitic fascism. On the other side is Communism, liberalism democracy, the French Revolution, the Resistance and the Free French of World War II, and Charles de Gaulle. And this odd alliance of past Catholic glory and present right-wing extremism in politics finds a home in the special education program offered at St. Mary's Academy.
...most are so imbued with a hatred for Rome that they seem content to remain forever in schism. They don't realize it, but they have found their identity as new Protestants.
Williamson suggests the way in a bulletin of October 1, 1989: "In the 1970s He [God] inspired an archbishop [Lefebvre] to give the laity a fresh start of priests, and in the late 1980s fresh bishops. There is no way all these can give themselves a new Pope, but if they stay with the Truth, God will finally give them a Pope of Truth. Within the Truth is within the Church, and without the Truth is without the Church."
It will have been a meteoric rise for the Englishman. A student of languages at Cambridge, he was baptized at Econe in 1973. Three years later he was ordained a priest, and in 1988 he was consecrated a bishop. Will he soon join the club of anti-Popes that decorate the lunatic fringe of Catholicism?
*Declaring the Pope is the AntiChrist, Rome has lost the Faith and placing a Sede in power are examples proving, again, your mythology about lefevbre is contrary to all the facts
As long as it was in the body, it lived; separated, it forfeits its life. So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a heretic-the life of the spirit follows not the amputated member" (S. Augustinus, Sermo cclxvii., n. 4)
Lefebvre ... incurred the grave penalty of excommunication envisaged by ecclesiastical law."
Whosoever is separated from the Church is united to an adulteress. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ....He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation" (S. Cyprianus, De Cath. Eccl. Unitate, n. 6).
THE CREED Revised Edition of the BALTIMORE CATECHISM No. 2
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine 1941 158. Why is the Catholic Church catholic or universal?
The Catholic Church is catholic or universal because, destined to last for all time, it never fails to fulfill the divine commandment to teach all nations all the truths revealed by God. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a witness to all nations. (Matthew 24:14)
159. Why is the Catholic Church apostolic?
The Catholic Church is apostolic because it was founded by Christ on the apostles and, according to His divine will, has always been governed by their lawful successors. And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
161. What are the chief attributes of the Catholic Church?
The chief attributes of the Catholic Church are authority, infallibility, and indefectibility. They are called attributes because they are qualities perfecting the nature of the Church.
162. What is meant by the authority of the Catholic Church?
By the authority of the Catholic Church is meant that the Pope and the bishops, as the lawful successors of the apostles, have power from Christ Himself to teach, to sanctify, and to govern the faithful in spiritual matters. On behalf of Christ, therefore, we are acting as ambassadors, God, as it were, appealing through us. (II Corinthians 5:20)
165. What is meant by the indefectibility of the Catholic Church?
By the indefectibility of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until the end of time. And, behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:20) 169. Why is the Catholic Church called the Mystical Body of Christ?
The Catholic Church is called the Mystical Body of Christ because its members are united by supernatural bonds with one another and with Christ, their Head, thus resembling the members and head of the living human body. Again, he is the head of his body, the Church. (Colossians 1:18)
169A. What conditions are necessary in order that a person be a member of the Mystical Body in the full sense?
In order that a person be a member of the Mystical Body in the full sense, it is necessary that he be baptized, that he profess the Catholic faith, and that he neither separate himself from the Mystical Body nor be excluded by lawful authority.And if he refuses to hear them, appeal to the Church, but if he refuses to hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. (Matthew 18:17)
169B. How does a baptized person separate himself from full incorporation in the Mystical Body?
A baptized person separates himself from full incorporation in the Mystical Body by open and deliberate heresy, apostasy or schism.
169E. When does a baptized person separate himself from full incorporation in the Mystical Body by schism?
A baptized person separates himself from full incorporation in the Mystical Body by schism when he openly refuses obedience to the lawful authorities of the Church, particularly to the Pope.
A. The attributes of the Church are three: authority, infallibility, and indefectibility.
123. Q. What do you mean by the authority of the Church?
A. By the authority of the Church I mean the right and power which the Pope and the bishops, as the successors of the Apostles, have to teach and govern the faithful.
Authority is the power which one person has over another, so as to be able to exact obedience. A teacher has authority over his scholars, because they must obey him; but the teacher need not obey the scholars, because they have no authority over him. God alone has authority of Himself and from Himself All others who have authority receive it from God, either directly or through someone else. The Pope has authority from God Himself, and the priests get theirs through their bishops. Therefore, to resist or disobey lawful authority is to resist and disobey God Himself.
"Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the cunning statements of those who persistently claim to wish to be with the Church, to love the Church, to fight so that people do not leave Her...But judge them by their works. If they despise the shepherds of the Church and even the Pope, if they attempt all means of evading their authority in order to elude their directives and judgments..., then about which Church do these men mean to speak? Certainly not about that established on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone
"Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world." (Session 4, Chapter 3, n 2)
Whenever legitimate authority has once given a clear command, let no one transgress that command, because it does not happen to commend itself to him; but let each one subject his own opinion to the authority of him who is his superior, and obey him as a matter of conscience. Again, let no private individual, whether in books or in the press, or in public speeches, take upon himself the position of an authoritative teacher in the Church. All know to whom the teaching authority of the Church has been given by God: he, then, possesses a perfect right to speak as he wishes and when he thinks it opportune. The duty of others is to hearken to him reverently when he speaks and to carry out what he says.
Pascendi "It is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty; it is pride that makes of them the reformers of others, while they forget to reform themselves, and which begets their absolute want of respect for authority, not excepting the supreme authority. No, truly, there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride."
Just substitue "traditionalism" for Modernism
Pope Pius IX: Quanta Cura §5
"We cannot 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 dogmata 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."
1. That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time
*This is a Dogma you, and others like you, refuse to accept.
*Come back home, Robert
Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me" (Luke 10:16); and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
... 21. It happens far otherwise with Christians; they receive their rule of faith from the Church, by whose authority and under whose guidance they are conscious that they have beyond question attained to truth. Consequently, as the Church is one, because Jesus Christ is one, so throughout the whole Christian world there is, and ought to be, but one doctrine: "One Lord, one faith;"(22) "but having the same spirit of faith,"(23) they possess the saving principle whence proceed spontaneously one and the same will in all, and one and the same tenor of action.
22. Now, as the Apostle Paul urges, this unanimity ought to be perfect. Christian faith reposes not on human but on divine authority, for what God has revealed "we believe not on account of the intrinsic evidence of the truth perceived by the natural light of our reason, but on account of the authority of God revealing, who cannot be deceived nor Himself deceive."(24) It follows as a consequence that whatever things are manifestly revealed by God we must receive with a similar and equal assent. To refuse to believe any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all, for those at once destroy the very groundwork of faith who deny that God has spoken to men, or who bring into doubt His infinite truth and wisdom. To determine, however, which are the doctrines divinely revealed belongs to the teaching Church, to whom God has entrusted the safekeeping and interpretation of His utterances. But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. This obedience should, however, be perfect, because it is enjoined by faith itself, and has this in common with faith, that it cannot be given in shreds; nay, were it not absolute and perfect in every particular, it might wear the name of obedience, but its essence would disappear. Christian usage attaches such value to this perfection of obedience that it has been, and will ever be, accounted the distinguishing mark by which we are able to recognize Catholics. Admirably does the following passage from St. Thomas Aquinas set before us the right view: "The formal object of faith is primary truth, as it is shown forth in the holy Scriptures, and in the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the fountainhead of truth. It follows, therefore, that he who does not adhere, as to an infallible divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the primary truth manifested in the holy Scriptures, possesses not the habit of faith; but matters of faith he holds otherwise than true faith. Now, it is evident that he who clings to the doctrines of the Church as to an infallible rule yields his assent to everything the Church teaches; but otherwise, if with reference to what the Church teaches he holds what he likes but does not hold what he does not like, he adheres not to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will."(25)
23. "The faith of the whole Church should be one, according to the precept (1 Cor. 1:10): "Let all speak the same thing, and let there be no schisms among you"; and this cannot be observed save on condition that questions which arise touching faith should be determined by him who presides over the whole Church, whose sentence must consequently be accepted without wavering. And hence to the sole authority of the supreme Pontiff does it pertain to publish a new revision of the symbol, as also to decree all other matters that concern the universal Church."(26)
24. In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in relation to dogmas of which the obstinate denial cannot be disjoined from the crime of heresy. Nay, further, it is not enough sincerely and firmly to assent to doctrines which, though not defined by any solemn pronouncement of the Church, are by her proposed to belief, as divinely revealed, in her common and universal teaching, and which the Vatican Council declared are to be believed "with Catholic and divine faith."(27) But this likewise must be reckoned amongst the duties of Christians, that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the apostolic see. And how fitting it is that this should be so any one can easily perceive. For the things contained in the divine oracles have reference to God in part, and in part to man, and to whatever is necessary for the attainment of his eternal salvation. Now, both these, that is to say, what we are bound to believe and what we are obliged to do, are laid down, as we have stated, by the Church using her divine right, and in the Church by the supreme Pontiff. Wherefore it belongs to the Pope to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live.
*So, it appears Pope Leo would consider today's schismatics heretics...
Once again, you get it wrong. Here you confuse the griping of a sedevacantist priest who was expelled from the Econe, with the "facts." These are not "facts", not by a long stretch.No! Once again YOU have it wrong! There were a number of seminarians at Econe, including Daniel Dolan, who then had sedevacantist orientations. Nonetheless, Lefebvre (who vacillated between a sort of "respect" for Rome and on other occasions of calling the Pope and the curia guilty of heriesies and of being antiChrist) nevertheless, ordained those seminarians who were "fiddling" with sedevacantist opinions. AFTER their postings to the USA and after a period of time (when Lefebvre felt like cuddling up to the one he described as "antichrist") THEN he expelled the 9 in the USA. Your "facts" are "fiction".
Mother Church, Catholic, Roman, which has remained faithful to the constitution received from her divine Founder, which still stands firm today on the solidity of the rock on which His will erected her, possesses in the primacy of Peter and of his legitimate successors, the assurance, guaranteed by the divine promises, of keeping and transmitting inviolate and in all its integrity through the centuries and millennia to the very end of time the entire sum of truth and grace contained in the redemptive mission of Christ.
Never throughout the course of ages has supernatural power been lacking in the Church; never have the promises of Christ failed. They remain as powerful today as they were when they filled the heart of Gregory with consolation. Rather, having withstood the test of time and the change of circumstances and events, they possess even greater assurance...
*You trad-peeps invoke Pope St. Pius, but you believe differently than did he