Quo vadis, Pope Francis?

Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X recently gave an interview in Menzingen, Switzerland in which he expressed his opinion of Pope Francis. The interview is published in its entirety in the Society’s newsletter:

http://sspx.org/en/publications/newsletters/transcript-bishop-fellays-11-2013-interview-2894The arrival of a new pope

The following is simply a few excerpts with my comments, emphasis is mine:

Bishop Fellay addressed the issue of the Pope’s astonishing suppression of the Tridentine Mass in the Congregation of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, pointing out that this order based on the spirituality of St. Maximilian Kolbe is dedicated to the Immaculata.

Bishop Fellay:

“The prohibition against celebrating the old Mass for all the members, with a few exceptions and permissions, possibly, here or there…. This is directly contrary to the Motu Proprio, which spoke about a right, that the priests had the right to celebrate the old Mass and therefore there was no need for permission, either from the ordinary or even from the Holy See. Therefore that is quite shocking; obviously this is a signal.”

I believe that in attacking the Tridentine Mass, Pope Bergoglio went right to the heart of things. By striking at the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the one order which has actually thrived since Vatican II, Francis was not only attacking the Tridentine Mass; he was attacking the the Immaculate herself, in her Militia. The Tridentine Mass is the true Mass of Mary, and its ugly stepsister, the Novus Ordo is more of an anti-Mass than a true Mass. Many millions have lost their faith through that Mass.

Bishop Fellay went on to say that the the new Pope has managed to irritate many people, especially conservative Catholics.

On questions of morality, he has taken astonishing positions, for example that question about homosexuals: “Who am I to judge?” “Well, the pope, for one thing!” He is the supreme judge here on earth. Therefore if there is someone who can judge, who must judge and set forth God’s law to the world, he is certainly the one! What the pope thinks personally does not interest us; what we expect from him is that he be the voice of Christ and therefore the voice of God, who repeats to us what God has said! And God did not say, “Who am I to judge?” He really said something else: you see, the condemnations that we find in the writings of St. Paul, and not just those of the Old Testament — think of Sodom and Gomorrah — are very explicit. St. Paul and the Apocalypse speak very forcefully against that whole unnatural crowd. Therefore expressions like that, even if they have been “explained correctly” later on, give the impression that on many topics everything and the opposite of everything has been said. This creates a climate of confusion; people are thrown off balance: they necessarily expect clarity about morals, and even more about the faith; the two are connected. Faith and morals are the two points that the Church teaches and where infallibility can be invoked, and all at once we see a pope making hazy statements”. …

“It goes much farther than that: during an interview with the Jesuits, the pope attacks those who desire clarity. Unreal! He does not use the word clarity; he uses the word certitude, those who want doctrinal security. Obviously people want that! In dealing with the words of God Himself, Our Lord, who says that not even one iota should be abandoned, it is better to be precise!” …

“I think that one of the most unfortunate things about these statements is that they have spoiled his credibility; they have taken away much of the credibility of the Supreme Pontiff, so that when he has to speak about important things, now or in the future, those statements will be put at the same level as the others. People will say: “He is trying to please everyone: one move to the left, one move to the right.” I hope I am wrong, but you do get the impression that this will be one of the traits of this pontificate.”

Bishop Fellay said that Pope Francis’ remarks to the effect that, “The Council is a reinterpretation of the Gospel in the light of contemporary or modern civilization” call for an explanation of what contemporary civilization is. “For us and for average mortals, it is quite simply the rejection of God, the death of God … we see it in everything that the media propagate, in literature, philosophy, art:  everything tends toward nihilism, to the affirmation of man without God, and even in rebellion against God.”

“Then how can we reread the Gospel in that light? It is quite simply not possible; that is squaring the circle! We agree with the definition just given and from it we draw consequences that are radically different from those of Pope Francis, who goes so far as to show, to expose the continuation of his thought by saying: “Look at the fine fruits, the marvelous fruits of the Council: look at the liturgical reform!” Obviously that sends a chill down our spine!”

“Since the liturgical reform was described by his immediate predecessor as the cause of the crisis of the Church, it is difficult to see and to understand how all of a sudden it should be described as one of the finest fruits of the Council! It certainly is a fruit of the Council, but if this is a fine fruit, then what is beautiful and good or bad? It makes your head spin!”

The best part of his interview was when Bishop Fellay discussed the most urgent question perplexing faithful Catholics today, which is reconciling Our Lord Jesus Christ’s promise that “The gates of Hell will not prevail” against His Holy Church. As we look with sorrow on our wordily Bishops who manage their Church as if they were CEOs of a multinational corporation and who have utterly failed to safeguard the souls of their flock, it is hard not to be tempted to doubt. We feel dismay much as the Apostles must have felt as they saw their beautiful, strong Savior reduced to the weakest and most reviled outcast, dying in ignominy.

“Our Lord said it very clearly: the gates of hell will not prevail against her. You would love, on the basis of these very words, you would love to turn to Our Lord and say to Him: “But what are You doing?! Look, You are letting things happen that seem to go against Your promise!” In other words, we are bit surprised by what is happening. Here I am talking about the history of the Church. These words, I am convinced of it, have been for most theologians the source of statements about the impossibility of seeing in the Church precisely what we are seeing now. Considering that it is absolutely impossible, because of this promise by Our Lord. Well, then, we will not deny Our Lord’s promises; we will try to say how these promises, which are infallible, are still possible in a situation that seems contrary to them. It seems to us that this time the gates of hell have made a first-class entry into the Church. I think that it is necessary to be careful; we must not equivocate. Especially with such statements, prophetic statements by our Lord, it is necessary to keep the basic meaning. These are very forceful analogies; there is a reality being asserted here that is undeniable: the gates of hell will not prevail. One point, and that’s the whole thing. But this does not mean that the Church is not going to suffer. Well, then, to what point can this suffering go? And here there is room for interpretation; we are obliged to extend a bit further what we used to think.”

“When we think of St. Paul, who speaks about the Son of Perdition, who will have others adore him as God, it is therefore not just a military or, one might say, a civil Antichrist; this is a religious person, a person who has people adore him, who claims acts of religion for himself. And the abomination of desolation, is that connected with this? I think so. Therefore this means that there are, alongside this announcement of the promises of the indefectibility of the Church, the announcements of a terrible time for the Church, in which people will ask themselves questions. In fact, this very question: but then what about this indefectibility, these promises of Our Lord? The Blessed Virgin… the famous sayings at La Salette, which are repeated almost word for word by Leon XIII — these are not revelations, this is the Church and, we might say, the Church itself in an act: Leo XIII composes an exorcism, that famous exorcism of Leo XIII, but later on they deleted the most solemn expression of that exorcism, which announces that Satan will reign and set up his throne in Rome. Quite simply. Therefore the headquarters of the Church will suddenly find itself the headquarters of the Antichrist. These are the very words of the Blessed Virgin: “Rome will become the seat of the Antichrist.” These are the words of La Salette. Just like: “Rome will lose the faith,” “the eclipse of the Church”; thus very forceful words contrasting with the promise. This does not mean that the promise is null and void; obviously it remains, but it does not rule out a moment of such suffering for the Church that one could consider it as an apparent death.”

“I think that we have arrived at that point. The question remains: to what extent will the Good Lord ask His Mystical Body to accompany, to imitate what His physical body had to endure, which was even unto death. Will it go to that point, or will it stop short of it? We all hope that it stops short. I think — it would not be the first time — that the Good Lord will intervene to reestablish things, at the moment when everyone thinks: This time it’s over. I think that this will be one of the proofs of the divine origin of the Church. At the moment when all human efforts are over, exhausted, in other words, when everything is finished, that is precisely the moment when He will act. I think. And then it will be an extraordinary manifestation, indeed, of the fact that this Church is the only one that is really divine.

Bishop Fellay then explains that it is of paramount importance that the Faithful must stand firm in this time of persecution. This calls for much more than a “theoretical” faith; it must be informed by charity!

“Charity is what gives form to faith. Charity is the love of God and consequently the love of neighbor.  Therefore it is about a faith that turns toward this neighbor who is certainly in error and reminds him of the truth, but in such a manner that, thanks to these reminders, the Christian will be able to sow the faith, reestablish someone in the truth, lead this soul toward the truth. Therefore it is not a bitter zeal; on the contrary it is a faith made warm by charity.”

This loving faith is shown by the Christian in fulfilling their duties in their state of life.

“To keep the faith, a faith properly imbued with charity, profoundly anchored in charity, which will enable them to avoid discouragement, bitter zeal and spite, and instead to experience joy, the Christian joy that consists of knowing that God loves us so much that He is ready to live with us, to live in us through grace. This sheds light on everything that happens, and gives a joy that makes us forget problems and puts them in their place — problems that certainly can be serious. But what are they in comparison with the Heaven that is won precisely through these trials? These trials are prepared, arranged by the Good Lord, not so as to make us fall but so as to make us win. God goes so far as to live in us, as St. Paul says: “And I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me!” That is so beautiful! The Christian is a tabernacle of the Holy Trinity, a temple of God, a living temple!”

He then addresses the role of the Society of St. Pius X:

“Its primary concern is truly what keeps the Church alive: the Mass. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is really the concrete, everyday application of the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, everything that he earned, merited on the Cross, which is truly the totality of graces for all human beings, from the first ones, Adam and Eve, down to those at the end of the world. All graces were merited by Our Lord on the Cross. The Mass is the perpetuation, the renewal, the representation of this sacrifice; on the altar there is a sacrifice identical to the one of the Cross, which each and every day places at the disposal of Christians (by extension one could say at the disposition of mankind) the merits of Our Lord, His satisfaction, His reparation, so as to obtain forgiveness for all the sins, that ocean of sins committed every day, and also to obtain the graces that we need. The Mass really is the pump that distributes throughout the Mystical Body the graces merited on the Cross. This is why we can say that it is the heart that distributes by means of the blood everything that the cells of the body need. That is what the Mass is about: it is the heart. By taking care of this heart, we take care of the whole life of the Church.”

“If we want a restoration of the Church, and certainly we do want it, that is where we must go. To the source, and the source is the Mass. Not just any liturgy, but rather, I mean to say, an extremely holy liturgy. One that is holy to an unimaginable degree. One that has an extraordinary sanctity that was truly forged by the Holy Ghost over the centuries, composed by the holy popes themselves, and therefore having an extraordinary depth. There is absolutely no comparison between the New Mass and that Mass. They really are two different worlds and, I was about to say, Christians who are in the least sensitive to grace realize it very quickly. Very quickly. Alas, today, we observe that many people do not even see it any more! But for me it is obvious that the restoration of the Church must start there. Therefore that is why I am profoundly indebted to Pope Benedict XVI for having reinstated the Mass. That was of capital importance. It is of capital importance.

“The Society promotes the Mass, wants this Mass, and it also promotes the man who says it, and there is no other who can, but the priest alone. Therefore this is truly the very purpose of the Society: the priesthood, the priest, to form priests, to help priests, without any limitation, no limitations, no one is going to be ruled out, no! It is the priest as Our Lord intended him. By reminding him precisely of the treasures that many ignore today. It is tragic.

Bishop Fellay then concluded that the Mass “is what will impart the faith; this is what will nourish the faith.” … “But I think that already with these two elements (the true Mass and a holy, faithful priesthood) we have enormous resources for the survival of the Church.” …  “the most profound problem, I am convinced, is the loss of the Christian spirit.” Returning to his initial remarks that  “The Council is a reinterpretation of the Gospel in the light of contemporary or modern civilization”, he reminded us that our goal must be to avoid sin and obey God’s law in order to attain our heavenly home, and not to conform ourselves to this dying world.

The most beautiful part of his interview was the end, when he spoke of the absolute certainty of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” This is an absolute statement; nothing about it is conditioned by what happened before. And it is truly a statement that elicits hope and establishes it; it is a rock. Obviously, since it seems right that this triumph is connected with the consecration (of Russia), we are asking for the consecration; …  What we do know is that in the end there will be this triumph. And therefore this is a certitude. … it is a word given by the Blessed Virgin, and so we know very well what her word is worth! That is all. Stat!”

How lovely to hear Bishop Fellay’s encouraging words! Each week it seems that either the Pope or one of our Bishops provides another painful reminder that our hierarchy has been infected with the virus of this world and are indeed sick unto death. When I read that the Pope recently stated that the greatest problems the Church faces are unemployment of teenagers and lonely old people, completely ignoring the horrendous millions of deaths caused by abortion and Islamist terrorists, the scandals in the Church, and the spiritual deaths of so many Catholics who no longer know their faith, I was just astounded! But in Bishop Fellay’s remarks, I realize that in a small remnant, the true Church endures. “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” “And the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 6, 16)

The latest news from Pope Francis indicates that he has initiated yet another Vatican Committee to study the problem of “child abuse” which on the surface seems encouraging. However, the Committee is simply a response to the recent move by the U.N. to investigate the Church for its mishandling of the ongoing pederasty scandal in the Church. The problem is not child abuse but predatory homosexual priests who prey on young males, mostly adolescents. Until they correctly identify the problem, there is no chance that they will have any appreciable impact of this most disgusting aspect of the modern Church. Watch and see; nothing good will come of this for after all, “Who am I to judge?”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, hasten the day of thy triumph!
Sweet Heart of Mary, be our salvation, lead us to thy Son!

~ posted by evensong ~