|How Discern? – II|
How can I fight a strong and dangerous foe
When the first thing about him I don’t know?
After Joseph’s first question concerning confusion in the Church in general (cf. these “Comments” of last week), his second question concerned the Society of St Pius X in particular. Here it is:—
You wrote last week that judged by their fruits, Vatican II was not Catholic, while Archbishop Lefebvre was. However, in the Society of St Pius X which he founded, there seems to have arisen a new way of thinking which one might articulate in a series of propositions. For example –
1 However badly the Pope and bishops behave, they are still the valid authorities of the Church.
2 Pope Francis may be a modernist, but he still has the power to bring the SSPX back into the Church.
3 The Conciliar bishops are not all bad. They can have Christian reactions, show awareness of the Church crisis, defend Catholic morals in public, call for respect for God in the liturgy, show devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and so on.
4 An agreement with Rome can be envisaged as long as we are “accepted as we are.”
5 We are at fault if we are systematically refusing any agreement whatsoever with Rome.
6 It is more useful to speak of Archbishop Lefebvre’s piety than of his opposition to the Council.
7 Better to be on good terms with the SSPX than to get on bad terms for the sake of fallible opinions.
8 Conciliarists are indisciplined and disobedient. SSPXers need to be disciplined and obedient.
In conclusion, given the complexity of the situation in which Catholics find themselves today, can members or followers of the Society be blamed for thinking along the lines of these propositions?
Answer, it all depends on how much those members or followers know. For instance, older SSPXers knew that the Council was a new religion, and that therefore the Archbishop’s opposition to it was a m atter of Faith, intrinsically more important than piety, because how can there be piety without faith? Those veterans of the Society are much to blame (unless and until at last they react in public), because they are allowing what Joseph above calls “the new way of thinking” to take over the Archbishop’s Society, so that Society youngsters have that much less chance of grasping what is wrong with the eight propositions above. A new generation of Society priests is as pious as one could wish, but (always with exceptions) it is clueless as to the crisis now devastating the Church for more than half a century:—
1 True, the Pope and bishops, according to appearances, seem to be the valid authorities of the Church, but their behaviour as to the Faith is so bad that many serious Catholics call in question that validity.
2 Into what Church would the Pope bring the Newsociety? Into the Newchurch? “They have expelled me from the Newchurch?” said the “excommunicated ” Archbishop – “So what? I never belonged to it!”
3 Indeed the Conciliar bishops are not all bad, but they are nearly all modernists, which means that many of them have lost their Catholic faith without even realising it. Modern man is so corrupt that when his Catholic religion is made to fit his modernity, he does not even realise that it is no longer Catholic.
4 “Accepted as we are” was for the SSPX one thing in, say, 1987. It is quite another thing in 2017!
5 If only Rome were to come back to the true Faith, there would be no further need for any agreement.
6 Thanks be to God for the Archbishop’s piety also, but by far his most important quality was his faith.
7 “Fallible opinions”? There is such a thing as truth! Has anybody of any importance in the Newsociety actually studied the documents of Vatican II? Do they deny it represents a new religion?
8 SSPXers must be disciplined and obedient to what? To the new Conciliar man-centred religion?
The problem with all of these propositions is that the SSPX was born in the thick of the great war being waged by the modern world on God, but since the Archbishop’s death in 1991, its leaders have lost all effective grip on who is waging that war, and how and why. Joseph, read “Pascendi,” again and again, until you fully grasp it!