Reverend Superior General, Reverend First Assistant, Reverend Second Assistant,
For several months, as many people know, the General Council of the FSSPX is seriously considering Roman proposals for a practical agreement, after the doctrinal discussions of 2009 to 2011 proved that a doctrinal agreement is impossible with current Rome. By this letter the three bishops of the FSSPX who do not form part of the General Council wish to let him know, with all due respect, of the unanimity of their formal opposition to any such agreement.
Of course, on the two sides of current division between the Counciliar Church and the FSSPX much wish that the Catholic unity be restored. Honor to those on both sides. But since reality governs everything, and to the reality all these sincere desires must yield, namely that since Vatican II the official authorities of the Church have deviated from the Catholic truth, and today they are shown to be quite given to always remaining faithful to the Counciliar doctrines and practices. The Roman discussions, the “doctrinal preamble” and Assisi III are bright examples of this.
The problems arising to the Catholics by the Second Vatican Council are profound. In a conference, which seems like the last doctrinal will of Mgr Lefebvre, which was given to priests of the Society at Ecône a half year before his death, after having briefly summarized the history of the liberal Catholicism resulting from the French Revolution, he recalled how the Popes have always fought this attempt at a reconciliation between the Church and the modern world, and he declared that the combat of Society of St. Pius X against the Vatican II was exactly the same combat. He concluded:
“The more one analyzes the documents of the Vatican II and their interpretation by the authorities of the Church, and the more one realizes that they are neither superficial errors nor a few particular errors such as ecumenism, religious freedom, collegial structure, but rather a total perversion of the spirit, a whole new philosophy founded upon Subjectivism… It is very serious! A total perversion! … That is really alarming.”
But, is the thinking of Benedict XVI is better in this respect than that of John Paul II? It is enough to read the study made by one of us three, The Faith in Peril from Reason, to realize that the thought of the current Pope is also impregnated of subjectivism. It is all the subjective imagination of the man in the place of the objective reality of God. It is all the Catholic religion subjected to the modern world. How can one believe that a practical agreement can arrange such a problem?
But, some will say to us, Benedict XVI is really well disposed towards the Society and its teaching. As a subjectivist this can easily be the case, because liberals subjectivists can tolerate even the truth, but not if one refuses to tolerate error. He would accept us within the framework of relativistic and dialectical pluralism, with the proviso that we would remain in “full communion,” in relation to the authority and to other “ecclesiastical entities .” For this reason the Roman authorities can tolerate that the Society continue to teach Catholic doctrine, but they will absolutely not permit that it condemn Counciliar teachings. That is why an even purely practical agreement would necessarily silence little by little the Society, a full critique of the Council or the New Mass. By ceasing to attack the most important of all the victories of the Revolution, the poor Society would necessarily cease being opposed to the universal apostasy of our sad times and would get bogged down. Ultimately, what will guarantee that we will remain protected from the Roman curia and the bishops? Pope Benoit XVI?
One denies it in vain, this slip is inevitable. Doesn't one see already in the Fraternity symptoms of a lessening in its confession of the Faith? Today, alas, the contrary has become “abnormal”. Just before the consecration of the bishops in 1988 when many good people insisted to Mgr Lefebvre so that he reach a practical agreement with Rome that would open a large field of apostolate, he said his thoughts to the four new bishops: “A large field of apostolate perhaps, but in ambiguity, and while following two directions opposed at the same time, and this would finish by us rotting.” How to obey and continue to preach all the truth? How to reach an agreement without Society “having rotted” on the contrary?
And when one year later, Rome seemed to make true gestures of benevolence towards Tradition, Archbishop Lefebvre was always wary. He feared that they are only “maneuvers to separate us from the largest number of faithful possible. This is the perspective in which they seem to be always giving a little more and even going very far. We must absolutely convince our faithful that it is no more than a maneuvers, that it is dangerous to put oneself into the hands of Conciliar bishops and Modernist Rome. It is the greatest danger threatening our people. If we have struggled for twenty years to avoid the Conciliar errors, it was not in order, now, to put ourselves in the hands of those professing these errors.” According to Archbishop Lefebvre the characteristic of the Society is, more than to just denounce the errors by their name, but rather to effectively and publicly oppose the Roman authorities which has spread them. How will one be able to make an agreement and make this public resistance to the authorities, including the Pope? And after having fought during more than forty years, will the Society now have to be put into the hands of the modernists and liberals whose pertinacity we have just come to observe?
Your Excellency, Fathers, take care! You want to lead the Society to a point where it will no longer be able to turn back, to a profound division of no return and, if you end up to such an agreement, it will be with powerful destroying influences who will not keep it. If up until now the bishops of the Society have protected it, it is precisely because Mgr Lefebvre refused a practical agreement. Since the situation has not changed substantially, since the condition prescribed by the Chapter of 2006 was by no means carried out (a doctrinal change in Rome which would permit a practical agreement), at least listen to your Founder. It was right 25 years ago. It is right still today. On his behalf, we entreat you: do not engage the Society in a purely practical agreement.
With our most cordial and fraternal greetings,
In Christo and Maria,
Mgr. Alfonso de Galarreta
Mgr. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais
Mgr. Richard Williamson