Father Pagliarani Interview

 

On September 12, 2019, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, Father Davide Pagliarani, gave this interview, reprinted from FSSPX.news.

Interview with Father Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X

Father Davide Pagliarani

Rev. Fr. Superior General, a number of important events will take place before the end of the year, such as the Synod for the Amazon and the reform of the Roman Curia. They will have a historical impact on the life of the Church. In your opinion, what place do they occupy in Pope Francis’s pontificate?

The impression that many Catholics are currently experiencing is that of a Church on the brink of a new disaster. If we step back a moment, the Second Vatican Council itself was only possible because it was the result of a decadence that affected the Church in the years before its opening: a dam broke under the pressure of a force that had been at work for some time. This is what makes the great revolutions successful, because legislators are only approving and sanctioning a situation that is already a fact, at least in part. 

Thus, the liturgical reform was only the culmination of an experimental development that dated back to the interwar period and had already penetrated a large part of the clergy. Closer to home, under this pontificate, Amoris lætitia was the ratification of a practice that unfortunately already exists in the Church, especially with regard to the possibility of communion for people who live in a state of public sin. Today, the situation seems to be ripe for further excessively serious reforms.

Can you clarify your judgment on the apostolic exhortation Amoris lætitia three years after its publication?

Amoris lætitia represents, in the history of the Church in recent years, what the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are in the modern history of Japan: humanely speaking, the damage is irreparable. It is undoubtedly the most revolutionary act of Pope Francis and, at the same time, the most contested – even outside Tradition – because it directly affects marital morality, which has enabled many clerics and faithful to detect the presence of serious errors. This catastrophic document was wrongly presented as the work of an eccentric and provocative personality – what some want to see in the current pope. This is not true, and it is inappropriate to simplify the question in this way.

You seem to be implying that this consequence was inevitable. Why are you reluctant to define the current Pope as an original person?

In fact, Amoris laetitia is one of the results that, sooner or later, was to occur as a result of the principles laid down by the Council. Cardinal Walter Kasper had already admitted and stressed that a new ecclesiology, that of the Council, corresponds to a new conception of the Christian family.1

Indeed, the Council is first and foremost ecclesiological, that is, it proposes in its documents a new conception of the Church. The Church founded by Our Lord would simply no longer correspond to the Catholic Church. It is broader: it includes other Christian denominations. As a result, Orthodox or Protestant communities would have “ecclesiality” by virtue of baptism. In other words, the great ecclesiological novelty of the Council is the possibility of belonging to the Church founded by Our Lord in different ways and to different degrees. Hence the modern notion of “full” or “partial” communion, “with variable geometry”, one might say. The Church has become structurally open and flexible. The new modality of belonging to the Church, which is extremely elastic and variable, according to which all Christians are united in the same Church of Christ, is at the origin of the present ecumenical chaos.

Let us not think that these theological innovations are abstract, they have repercussions on the concrete life of the faithful. All the dogmatic errors that affect the Church sooner or later have an effect on the Christian family, because the union of Christian spouses is the image of the union between Christ and His Church. An ecumenical, flexible and pan-Christian church corresponds to a notion of the family in which the commitments of marriage no longer have the same value, in which the bonds between spouses, between a man and a woman, are no longer perceived or defined in the same way: they too become flexible.

A Pope Consistent with Vatican II’s Principles

Could you be more specific?

In concrete terms, just as the Church of Christ “pan-Christian” would have good and positive elements outside Catholic unity, so would there be good and positive elements for the faithful also outside sacramental marriage, in a civil marriage, and also in any union. Just as there is no longer any distinction between a “true” Church and “false” Churches – because non-Catholic Churches are good although imperfect – all unions become good, because there is always something good in them, if only love.

This means that in a “good” civil marriage – especially when it is concluded between believers – some elements of sacramental Christian marriage can be found. Not that the two should be put on an equal footing; however, civil union is not bad in itself, but simply less good! Until now we have been talking about good or bad deeds, life in grace or mortal sin. Now there are only good or less good actions left. To sum up, an ecumenical Church is an ecumenical family, that is, a family that is recomposed or “recomposable,” according to needs and sensitivities.

Before the Second Vatican Council, the Church taught that non-Catholic Christian confessions were outside the fold of the true Church, and therefore not part of the Church of Jesus Christ. The doctrine of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium (n. 8), opens a way to recognize them as partial realisations of the Church of Christ. The consequences of these errors are incalculable and still in full development.

Amoris lætitia is the inevitable result of the new ecclesiology taught by Lumen gentium, and also of the mad openness to the world advocated by the Pastoral Constitution on the Church In Today’s World, Gaudium et spes. And in fact, with Amoris lætitia, Christian marriage is more and more like marriage as modernity conceives it and profanes it.

Thus, Pope Francis’ objectively confusing teaching is not a strange aberration, but rather the logical consequence of the principles laid down at the Council. He takes these principles to their ultimate conclusions… for the moment.

Has this new doctrine on the Church manifested itself in a particular theological concept?

After the Council, the notion of the People of God replaced that of the Mystical Body of Christ. It is omnipresent in the new Code of Canon Law published in 1983. But a change occurred in 1985. It appeared that the term “People of God” was becoming cumbersome, because it allowed drifts towards liberation theology and Marxism. It has been replaced by another notion, also drawn from the Council: the ecclesiology of communion, which allows an extremely elastic belonging to the Church so that all Christians are united in the same Church of Christ, but more or less, which means that ecumenical dialogue has become like a conversation in Babel, as in the meeting in Assisi in 1986. Like the polyhedron that Pope Francis loves: “a geometric figure that has many different facets. The polyhedron reflects the confluence of all the diversities that, in it, preserve their originality. Nothing dissolves, nothing is destroyed, nothing dominates anything.”
 

Do you see this same ecclesiological root at the origin of the reforms announced in the Instrumentum laboris of the next Synod on the Amazon, or in the project of reform of the Roman Curia?

Everything comes down, directly or indirectly, to a false notion of the Church. Once again, Pope Francis is only drawing the final conclusions from the principles laid down at the Council. In concrete terms, its reforms always presuppose a Church that listens, a Synodal Church, a Church that is attentive to the culture of peoples, their expectations and demands, especially human and natural affairs, specific to our time and always changing. The Faith, the liturgy, the government of the Church, must adapt to all this, and be the result of it. 

The Synodal Church, which is always attentive, is the latest evolution of the Collegial Church, advocated by Vatican II. To give a concrete example, according to the Instrumentum laboris, the Church must be able to assume to itself elements such as local traditions on spirit-worship and Amazonian traditional medicines, which resemble so-called “exorcisms.” As these indigenous traditions are rooted in a soil that has a history, it follows that this “territory is a theological place, it is a particular source of God’s revelation.” This is why we must recognize the richness of these indigenous cultures, because “the non-sincere openness to the other, as well as a corporatist attitude, which reserves salvation only for one’s own faith, destroys this same faith”. It seems that instead of fighting paganism, the current hierarchy wants to assume it and incorporate its values. And the craftsmen of the next synod refer to these things as “signs of the times” – an expression dear to John XXIII – which must be examined as signs of the Holy Spirit.

The Church of Christ Is Not a Forum

And more specifically, what about the Curia?

For its part, the Curia’s reform project advocates a Church that resembles much more a human enterprise than a divine, hierarchical society, depositary of supernatural Revelation, with the infallible charism of guarding and teaching the eternal Truth to humanity until the end of time. As the text of the draft expressly states, it is a question of “updating (aggiornamento) the Curia,” “on the basis of the ecclesiology of Vatican II.” It is therefore hardly surprising to read from the pen of the group of cardinals in charge of this reform: “The Curia acts as a kind of platform and forum for communication between particular Churches and Bishops’ Conferences. The Curia gathers the experiences of the universal Church and, from these, encourages the particular Churches and the Bishops’ Conferences… This life of communion given to the Church is the face of synodality… The people of faith, the Episcopal College, the Bishop of Rome are all listening to each other, and they are all listening to the Holy Spirit… This reform is established in the spirit of ‘healthy decentralization’… The Synodal Church is ‘the People of God walking together’… The service provided by the Curia to the mission of the bishops and to the communio is not one of vigilance or control, neither one of decision-making as a higher authority[.]”

Platform, forum, synodality, and decentralization: all this only confirms the ecclesiological root of all modern errors. In this amorphous magma, there is no longer any higher authority. It is the dissolution of the Church as Our Lord has established it. In founding his Church, Christ did not open a forum for communication or a platform for exchange; he entrusted Peter and his Apostles with the task of feeding his flock, of being columns of truth and holiness to lead souls to Heaven.

How can this ecclesiological error be characterized in relation to the divine constitution of the Church founded by Jesus Christ?

The question is vast, but Archbishop Lefebvre provides us with an answer. He said that the structure of the new Mass corresponded to a democratic Church, and no longer hierarchical and monarchical one. The synodal church of the Franciscan dream is truly democratic. He himself gave the image he had of it: that of an inverted pyramid. Could there be a clearer manifestation of what he meant by synodality? It is a Church that on its head. But let us insist, it only develops the seeds already present in the Council.

Do you not think you are forcing your reading of the current reality, wanting to bring everything back to the principles of the Second Vatican Council, held more than 50 years ago?

It is one of the closest collaborators of Pope Francis who gives us the answer. This is Cardinal Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and coordinator of the “C6” group of cardinals. He says that, “After the Second Vatican Council, the methods and content of evangelization and Christian education change. The liturgy is changing… The missionary perspective changes: the missionary must establish an evangelizing dialogue… Social action changes, it is no longer only charity and the development of services, but also the struggle for justice, human rights and liberation… Everything changes in the Church according to the renewed pastoral model.” And he adds the following, to show in what spirit these transformations are being accomplished: “The Pope wants to bring the renewal of the Church to a point where it will become irreversible. The wind that pushes the sails of the Church towards the high seas of her profound and total renewal is mercy.”

However, it cannot be denied that many voices have been raised against these reforms and it is reasonable to assume that this will continue in the coming months. How do you rate these reactions?

One can only rejoice at such reactions and at a progressive awareness on the part of many of the faithful and some prelates that the Church is approaching a new catastrophe. These reactions have the advantage and merit of showing that the voice that advocates these errors cannot be that of Christ, nor that of the Magisterium of the Church. This is extremely important and, despite the tragic context, encouraging. The Society of Saint Pius X has a duty to be very attentive to these reactions, and at the same time to try to avoid misguidedness and failure to achieve anything.

Conciliar Pluralism Renders Opposition Structurally Ineffective

What do you mean by that?

First of all, it should be noted that these reactions systematically come up against a brick wall and one must have the courage to ask why. To give an example, four cardinals had expressed their dubia about Amoris lætitia. This reaction had been noticed by many and hailed as the beginning of a reaction that would produce lasting results. In fact, the Vatican’s silence has left this criticism unanswered. In the meantime, two of these cardinals have died and Pope Francis has moved on to the other reform projects we have just mentioned. This means that attention is shifting to new subjects, leaving, by necessity, the battle over Amoris lætitia in the background, forgotten, and the content of this exhortation seems accepted de facto.

To understand the silence of the Pope, we must not forget that the Church that emerged from the Council is pluralistic. It is a Church that is no longer based on an eternal and revealed Truth, taught from above by Authority. We have before us a Church that is listening and therefore necessarily listening to voices that may differ from each other. To make a comparison, in a democratic system, there is always a place – at least apparent – for opposition. They are part of the system because they show that we can discuss, have a different opinion, that there is room for everyone. This, of course, can promote democratic dialogue, but not the restoration of an absolute and universal Truth and an eternal moral law. Thus, error can be taught freely alongside a real but structurally ineffective opposition which is unable to replace the errors with truth. It is therefore from the pluralist system itself that we must emerge, and this system has as its cause, the Second Vatican Council.

In your opinion, what should these prelates and faithful do who have at heart the future of the Church?

First of all, they should have the lucidity and courage to recognize that there is a continuity between the teachings of the Council, the popes of the post-conciliar era, and the current pontificate. Citing the magisterium of “Saint” John Paul II, for example, to oppose Pope Francis’s innovations is a very bad remedy, one that is doomed to failure from the outset. A good doctor cannot simply use a few stitches to close a wound without first evacuating the infection inside the wound. Far from despising these efforts, it is a matter of charity to indicate where the root of the problems lies.

To give a concrete example of this contradiction, it is sufficient to mention one name among others: that of Cardinal Müller. He is presently the most virulent opponent of Amoris lætitia, the Instrumentum laboris, and the Curia’s reform project. He uses very strong language, even talking about “breaking with Tradition.” And yet, this cardinal who has the fortitude to publicly denounce these errors is the same one who wanted to impose the acceptance of the whole Council and the post-conciliar magisterium on the Society of Saint Pius X (in continuity with his predecessors and successors at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). Regardless of the Society and its positions, Cardinal Müller’s criticism, which focuses only on the symptoms without going back to their cause, gives rise to a most damaging and illogical situation.

The Charity of Transmitting What We Have Received

It is often objected that the Society only knows how to criticize. What does it propose positively?

The Society does not criticize systematically or a priori. She is not a professional misanthrope. She has a freedom of speech that allows her to speak openly, without fear of losing benefits she does not have… This freedom is essential in the current circumstances.

The Society has above all a love for the Church and souls. The present crisis is not only doctrinal: seminaries are closing, churches are emptying, frequentation of the sacraments is falling dramatically. We cannot remain spectators, arms folded, and say to ourselves: “All this proves that Tradition is right.” Tradition has the duty of coming to the aid of souls with the means given to it by Divine Providence. We are not driven by pride, but by charity to “transmit what we have received” (1 Cor. 15:3). This is what we humbly strive to do through our daily Apostolic work. And, it is in the course of this work that we denounce the evils that afflict the Church as being necessary to protect the flock abandoned and dispersed by bad pastors.

What does the Society expect from the prelates and faithful who are beginning to see clearly, in order to give a positive and effective follow-up to their positions?

It is necessary for them to have the courage to recognize that even a sound doctrinal position will not suffice if it is not accompanied by a pastoral, spiritual and liturgical life consistent with the principles to be defended, because the Council has inaugurated a new way of conceiving the Christian life, consistent with its new doctrine.

If true Catholic doctrine is reaffirmed in all its rights, one must begin to live a real Catholic life in conformity with what one professes. Otherwise, this or that declaration will remain only a media event, limited to a few months, even a few weeks… In concrete terms, one must exclusively embrace the Tridentine Mass and all that it means; one must exclusively embrace the Catholic Mass and draw all the consequences from it; one must exclusively embrace the non-ecumenical Mass, the Mass of all time and let this Mass regenerate the lives of the faithful, communities, seminaries, and especially let it transform priests. It is not a question of simply restoring the Tridentine Mass because it is the best theoretical option; it is a question of restoring it, living it, and defending it until martyrdom, because only the Cross of Our Lord can rescue the Church from the catastrophic situation in which it finds itself.

Portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam!
The gates of hell will not prevail against her!

Father Davide Pagliarani, Superior General
Menzingen, September 12, 2019, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

 

The Prophetic Silence of Knock

 

The crisis that Our Lady predicted in La Salette, in which Rome becomes the seat of the Antichrist and represents the eclipse of the Church, St. John also prophesied in the Apocalypse. It is this prophecy which is being fulfilled by  the present pope.

Today, we commemorate the eloquently silent apparition of Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, August 21, 1879. By her silence, Our Lady emphasised at once her displeasure that her message at La Salatte was being attacked, and as many believe, she was pointing to the silence recounted in chapter 8 of the Apocalypse.  But there is still another reason for the silence – it is a warning against silencing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and outrages against the Holy Eucharist and it beckons us with mysterious silence towards the visions of the Apocalypse.

Continue reading “The Prophetic Silence of Knock”

Lift up your hearts!

 

Two readers forwarded the following from the newsletter of the Society of St. Pius X. “You may find in this some encouragement” one remarked. And so I have. Many of us have prayed ardently for. someone strong to take up the banner for the Immaculata and lead us in a renewed devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is so encouraging to find this occurring just as we have prayed so ardently for leadership to arise!

Dear members of the Society, dear readers,

With joy we inaugurate a new spiritual practice that will be dedicated especially to the Blessed Virgin. We will do this on May 13, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady in Fatima, and during this year when we will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the consecration of the Society of Saint Pius X to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Abp. Marcel Lefebvre performed in Ecône on December 8, 1984. This twofold commemoration, however must not remain a pious memory, a bit sentimental and pleasant, of course, but without any effect on our spiritual life.

The reason for the existence of this new practice is to reawaken our souls, to rekindle our fervor, and to remind us vividly of the total dependence of the Society of Saint Pius X on Our Lady.

I wish to encourage you to read and to meditate on this consecration. The words pronounced by our founder were well-aimed and still have a burning relevance: the errors denounced in them certainly have not disappeared. On the contrary, they have grown and multiplied like cancer cells; they have gained ground and seem to have invaded the whole public square. My intention is not to make a negative, discouraging observation, as though everything that has been done was of no use. No, the battle continues as long as it has not been won; the struggle to drive out the sickness continues as long as there is any life. And we will fight as long as it takes, with the same weapons: recourse to the Virgin Mary, especially to her Immaculate Heart, the refuge of sinners and of combatants. Continue reading “Lift up your hearts!”

The Purification of the the Blessed Virgin 2019

 

The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the oldest in the Church and this year it falls on a First Saturday of Reparation. For those who have not begun making their First Saturdays, now is a great opportunity to start.

The feast of the Purification of Mary is also the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and both rites were observed in order to fulfill Mosaic Law; that is to say, this venerable old feast is all about obedience! The obedience of Mary, the most pure and perfect example of God’s creation humbly submitting to the ancient Mosaic Law of purification, and the Divine Infant, truly God as well as truly man, submitting in utmost humility to the Mosaic Law, consecrating God to God as it were.

As we consider the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine Child in the Temple, we note that it is in their actions, that is to say, in their choices, that we learn the essential truths of our faith and begin to grasp the significance of the choices we ourselves are required to make. For humility demands obedience, and wherever we see true obedience, there is humility in action.

It was a common sight in those days to see proud young fathers and mothers present their first born sons in the great Temple of Jerusalem. There was perhaps, little to distinguish the Holy Family as they brought in their infant Son, wending their way through the throng of devout Jews. However, in stark contrast to the other women  offering their sons, Mary’s consecration of Jesus under the Old Law was to be consummated on the altar of the Cross, the turning point in salvation history, fulfilling the Old Law and beginning the New Law. Thus, Mary’s offering was, on this day, nothing less than the obedient acceptance of the complete oblation of the Sacred Victim, her beloved Son.

For God so loved His creation that in order to save men from their sins, He spared not even His own beloved Son but delivered Him up to save us all, as St. Paul reminds us. God’s justice demanded that the Blessed Virgin Mary know in full every aspect of the sacrifice that was demanded of her innocent Son. This was, as St. Francis de Sales reminds us, so that “together with the sacrifice of the life of the Son, the heart of the mother might be sacrificed also. … although Mary, from the moment she was made mother of Jesus, gave her consent to His death, yet the Lord wished her on this day to make in the Temple a solemn sacrifice of herself, by offering solemnly her Son, and sacrificing to the divine justice His precious life.”

Continue reading “The Purification of the the Blessed Virgin 2019”

Archbishop Lefebvre a Conciliarist?

Recently, I came across yet another charge that Archbishop Lefebvre was guilty of the heresy of “conciliarism”. It seems that we traditionalists cannot ever get past this sort of wrangling, which appears to indicate the persistence of the diabolical disorientation Sister Lucia warned of.

To be precise, in the article at issue the quote came at the end of a discussion on the heresy of conciliarism, In the discussion, the author rightly condemned conciliarism:

“It is equally important to understand that when we confront such proposals as the superiority of a General Council over the Pope, or as having the power to judge a Pope or declare him deposed, we are in reality dealing with the same democratic principle in regard to the affairs of the Church – in the words of Pope Pius X, “power ascending from below, rather than from above”. In other words, Concilliarism is simply another form of thinly-disguised democracy in application to the Divine Constitution of the Church.”

Then, speaking of the Great Western Schism and the scandals of the anti-popes, we read,

“All during this time, however, the heresy of Concilliarism (and worse) cultured and grew in the minds and hearts of Catholics. In 1381, a work was published by Heinrich von Langenstein titled Proposition of Peace for the Union and Reformation of the Church by a General Council. Its proposals are summarized by (Dr. Ludwig) Von Pastor:

“. . .Henceforward this most dangerous doctrine of the natural right of necessity was the instrument used in all efforts to put an end to the Schism.” (Dr. Ludwig Von Pastor, p. 183-185).

So far, so good. But then the author inserts the following:

“It is worth noting, in regard to recent Church history, that it was precisely this principle – “necessity breaks the law” – which, in Archbishop Lefebvre’s mind, provided the justification for his ordaining four bishops expressly against a Papal mandate not to do so.”

This insertion is followed immediately by the author’s continued remarks on conciliarism:

“During this period leading up to the Council of Constance, these sort of tracts proliferated. The celebrated Canonist Zabarella, who afterwards became a Cardinal, wrote a treatise which, according to Von Pastor brought to fullness the Concilliarist heresy. In regard to the Pope, Zabarella wrote, “Should he err, the Church must set him right; should he fall into heresy, or be an obstinate schismatic, or commit a notorious crime, the Council may depose him.” (p. 187).”

I am not qualified to debate such respected commentators as the author we are discussing, who has chosen anonymity as I also have. I am, by my own account not particularly adept at the sort of intellectual disputation that makes the traditional Catholic commentariat such a contentious place. But as I have read of this conciliarist heresy, it appears to me to be, as quoted above, and in the words of Canonist, then Cardinal Zabarella, that should the pope err, “the Church must set him right, should he fall into heresy, or be an obstinate schismatic or commit a notorious crime, the Council may depose him.” ”

In none of that do I recognise anything ever espoused by Archbishop Lefebvre. In fact, here are some excerpts from Archbishop Lefebvre’s “Guide to Confused Catholics”

Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation. We are deeply aware of this and nobody is more attached to the present reigning successor of Peter, or has been more attached to his predecessors, than we are. I am speaking here of myself and of the many faithful driven out of the churches, and also of the priests who are obliged to celebrate Mass in barns as in the French Revolution, and to organize alternative catechism classes in town and country.

We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: “The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the Bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law, institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practise spiritual abortion or contraception.

This is why we are submissive and ready to accept everything that is in conformity with our Catholic Faith, as it has been taught for two thousand years, but we reject everything that is opposed to it.

For the fact is that a grave problem confronted the conscience and the faith of all Catholics during the pontificate of Paul VI. How could a Pope, true successor of Peter, assured of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, preside over the most vast and extensive destruction of the Church in her history within so short a space of time, something that no heresiarch has ever succeeded in doing? One day this question will have to be answered.

In the first half of the Fifth Century, St. Vincent of Lérins, who was a soldier before consecrating himself to God and acknowledged having been “tossed for a long time on the sea of the world before finding shelter in the harbor of faith,” spoke thus about the development of dogma: “Will there be no religious advances in Christ’s Church? Yes, certainly, there will be some very important ones, of such a sort as to constitute progress in the faith and not change. What matters is that in the course of ages knowledge, understanding and wisdom grow in abundance and in depth, in each and every individual as in the churches; provided always that there is identity of dogma and continuity of thought.” Vincent, who had experienced the shock of heresies, gives a rule of conduct which still holds good after fifteen hundred years: “What should the Catholic Christian therefore do if some part of the Church arrives at the point of detaching itself from the universal communion and the universal faith? What else can he do but prefer the general body which is healthy to the gangrenous and corrupted limb? And if some new contagion strives to poison, not just a small part of the Church but the whole Church at once, then again his great concern will be to attach himself to Antiquity which obviously cannot any more be seduced by any deceptive novelty.” (. . .)

“What is suggested to us, what we are expressly invited to do, what we are persecuted for not doing, is to choose an appearance of obedience. But even the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon our faith.

We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.

A typical example is furnished by the “aggiornamento” of the religious societies. By obedience, monks and nuns are made to disobey the laws and constitutions of their founders, which they swore to observe when they made their profession. Obedience in this case should have been a categorical refusal. Even legitimate authority cannot command a reprehensible and evil act. Nobody can oblige anyone to change his monastic vows into simple promises, just as nobody can make us become Protestants or modernists. St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we must always refer, goes so far in the Summa Theologica as to ask whether the “fraternal correction” prescribed by Our Lord can be exercised towards our superiors. After having made all the appropriate distinctions he replies: “One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.”

The entirety of Archbishop Lefebvre’s article is to be found in our sidebar; just click on his picture.

In summary, Archbishop Lefebvre, as I have said on several occasions, was attempting to preserve the sacred priesthood and the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is nothing less than the immense channel of God’s grace to this poor, satanically oppressed world. I am ashamed to be so poor a defender of him! But if you are in doubt on this, please do these two important things: First, pray Our Lady’s rosary for her guidance; she will never fail you! Second, please read his own writings, his own words, prayerfully. At one time, I too, sided with his detractors, but then, I read his works and was drawn to the Society’s Masses. The very first Mass I attended began with a sublimely beautiful benediction service, followed by a high Mass. I began sobbing during Benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament and occasionally sobbed silently through Mass, overwhelmed by the feelings of devotion flooding back after over forty years of horrid liturgical abuses that had left me spiritually numb. I have never looked back and thank God every day and throughout every day for so generously renewing the great gift of faith.

So many today are really caught up in disputations, and more intent on making divisive distinctions than finding ways to work together to obey Our Lady of Fatima’s Message. They are no longer willing to simply let themselves be led by the Immaculata, as Father Stehlin so aptly recommends. For the Society founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre is under her protection. Their priests are her devoted children and know that a Mother such as she will not allow her sons to go astray.

For those who doubt the Society, pray the Rosary and let yourselves be led by the Immaculate Mother of God!

The above article is only my attempt to defend Archbishop Lefebvre from yet another attack on him. I do wish that those who cast aspersions on him would simply note the beautiful fruits yielded by his works! Indeed, I am certain that the restored Church, after the evil ones are cast out, will promptly and unanimously recognize the holy Archbishop for his sanctity and valor in defense of the Faith.

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Choices and decisions

 

“It is paradoxical, but only the Society can help the Church, in reminding the popes and the bishops that Our Blessed Lord founded a monarchical Church and not a chaotic modern assembly. The day will come when this message will be heard. But, for the moment, it is our duty to keep this deep sense of the Church and its hierarchy, despite the battlefield and ruins that lay before our eyes.”

 

In this new interview, the Superior General of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, Father Davide Pagliarani, speaks of choices and decisions, contrasting those of the modernists who claimed victory at the Second Vatican Council with the decisions and choices of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and those priests who have followed him, remaining true to the Church’s perennial mission. To whom does the future belong? Father Pagliarani has some interesting insights.

La Porte Latine – It has now been five months since you were elected Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, for a twelve-year mandate. These five months have certainly allowed you to make a short overview of the work, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, complementing your already rich personal experience. What general impression have you made and have you drawn up your first priorities for the coming years?

Father Pagliarani: The Society is a work of God, and the more we discover it, the more we love it. Two things strike me most in discovering the Society’s labours. Firstly, the providential character of the Society: it is the result of the result of choices and decisions of a saint, guided only by a supernatural and “prophetic” prudence, whose wisdom we appreciate even more as the years go by and as the crisis in the Church gets worse. Secondly, I have been able to see that we are not some privileged people, whom God has spared: He sanctifies all our members and our faithful through failures, trials, disappointments, and in a nutshell, through the Cross – and not by any other means.

Continue reading “Choices and decisions”

The Immaculate Conception of Mary 2018

Today we are blessed to celebrate the great feastday of Our Lady, the feast  of her Immaculate Conception, the highlight of the Marian year and the time for us to renew our Consecrations. This year it is much more important than any previous year for us to continue on, earnestly living out each day our consecration to the Blessed Virgin as we prepare for the Rosary to the Interior, for the Purification of the Church on Feb 2, 2019. This year, significantly, February 2 falls on a First Saturday, thus emphasizing the importance of First Saturdays of Reparation.

To honor Our Lady on her great feastday, we offer this sermon by Archbishop Lefebvre on her Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8,1972..

My dear friends, my dear brethren,

As the whole liturgy of today shows us, God, in His wisdom, had long ago prepared for us the most Blessed Virgin Mary. It was not just at the moment of her birth on earth that God decreed to exempt her from all sin, and to make her the Immaculate Conception but already in eternity, which preceded the creation of the world.

The epistle today recalls this fact, applying to the Most Holy Virgin the words of the eternal Wisdom; already the Holy Virgin was in the mind of God: “Iam concepta eram—I was already conceived”—yes, conceived in the mind of God, and thus already in the divine plan God was thinking of the Virgin Mary. Already He wished to fill her with all His graces, and to give her this extraordinary privilege of the Immaculate Conception, exempting her from all sin: “Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te—Thou art all fair, O Mary, and there is no stain of original sin in thee.”

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

So already in eternity, before the creation of the world, God was thinking of this admirable creature, the first of His creatures after our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. All during the course of history which preceded the birth of the Blessed Virgin, during the whole history of humanity, God was thinking of the Blessed Virgin. We see it during the entire history of the Old Testament—already, immediately after the sin of Adam and Eve, God said to Adam and Eve, “I will place an enmity between thee and the woman: She shall crush thy head.” So already the Virgin Mary had been foreseen by the Spirit of God and her preparation, the preparation for her Immaculate Conception, was becoming more and more precise the whole time.

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary can also be found in the holy women of the Old Testament. Think of the account of Sarah, the wife of Tobias, on whose behalf an angel bound up the demon and cast him far into the desert. She is an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “before whom the devil must flee, and whom the devil fears.” The Virgin Mary was not under the empire of Satan for an instant, a single instant.

The story of Judith also illustrates the role of the most Holy Virgin Mary. She delivered the people of Israel from the hands of Holofernes. In cutting off the head of Holofernes Judith saved Israel, and in like manner the Blessed Virgin, by cutting off the head of the devil in a certain sense, saved the people of God.

Thus during the whole course of history God wished that we be reminded of the most Holy Virgin; the Blessed Virgin Mary was always present to God and in the plan of God and thus from her birth the Blessed Virgin Mary was exempt from all sin. At the moment of her birth she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and yet again even more so—if such be possible—at the moment when the Angel Gabriel came to announce that she would be the Mother of the Savior. Behold what the Angel said to the Blessed Virgin: “Thou art full of grace, overflowing with grace, and the Holy Ghost shall descend upon thee and overshadow thee.”

How could the Holy Ghost be present with the devil in the soul of the most Holy Virgin? There could be no stain in the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary; already God had decided that. And from the beginning of the Blessed Virgin’s existence, we see that, in fact, the Blessed Virgin is wholly filled with the Holy Ghost. She is shown to us as a contemplative, and living in the presence of God, speaking little, reflecting on all the words which Our Lord said. At times she deemed it right to discreetly intervene, as at the marriage feast of Cana, and this was to teach us her whole gospel: “Do whatever He shall tell you.” This is the gospel of our Holy Virgin Mary.

 

Again, she was present at Calvary as the Mother of the Eternal Priest, at the offering of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for she also was crucified with Our Lord. If St. Paul could say, “Confixus sure cruci—I am nailed to the Cross with Christ,” how much more could the Blessed Virgin Mary say it!

Again, she was also present at the moment of Pentecost, when the Apostles received the Holy Ghost—she who was already filled with the Holy Ghost, she did not need to receive Him again but through her mediation, the Apostles received Him.

Finally the Blessed Virgin Mary went up to heaven, not only in her soul but also in her body, and thus was this extraordinary life of hers completed; a life unique in the history of humanity, but foreseen by God from all eternity.

The influence of the Blessed Virgin Mary has not ceased. Even now in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary continues to be the Mother of the Mystical Body of Our Lord, the Mother of the Church, the Mother of our souls. She shows it, she proves it, she proves it in every one of us, but she also proves it in her apparitions. Is it not admirable to think that after the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as a revealed truth, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate from her Conception—already four years later on March 21, 1858, the Blessed Virgin herself said to little Bernadette, the little shepherdess, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Remember that Bernadette was incapable of understanding, she could not understand what these words meant, and she left the grotto on her way to her pastor’s house repeating these words which she did not understand, to make sure she would not forget them. The history of the life of Bernadette tells us that it was at that moment that the parish priest of Lourdes, Fr. Pomian, was truly convinced by the apparitions at Lourdes. He realized that the poor little shepherdess was incapable of inventing this herself, and that the dogma had been proclaimed four years before by the Sovereign Pontiff. Thus it was confirmed by the Blessed Virgin herself that she was the Immaculate Conception.

What lesson, then, must we draw from this history of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception? For all of us who have been baptized, we who in a certain sense have received more than others because of the offices we may occupy in Holy Church—all of us: If the Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate in her Conception it is because she was to be the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, because she had to carry within herself Our Lord, the Son of God, because she was charged with giving Him to the world, because she was to live in proximity with Him, to be His Mother.

We Christians, who receive Holy Communion, do we not receive the same Jesus Christ, the same Body, which was conceived by the Blessed Virgin Mary? We receive Him in us, in our bodies, in our souls. If it was decreed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was to be immaculate in her conception, so that she might receive the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His soul, His divinity, must we not also be pure? Not that we can be immaculate in our conception, but may our souls be immaculate, by our prayers, by our dispositions, by our efforts, by the grace of God… to win this privilege that the Blessed Virgin had by the gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may we by our prayers and by the grace of God obtain the grace of having immaculate souls to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must! We must live without sin, we must struggle against anything that might tarnish our souls, so that it can be said of our souls: “Tota pulchra est, et macula non est in te—Thou art all fair, and there is no stain in thee.” Let there be no stain in our souls so that we may worthily receive Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And if that is true for Christians, true for the faithful, true for every person, every soul receiving Our Lord Jesus Christ, how much more, dear brethren, is it true of you—you who are destined in a singular way to consecrate yourselves to God, to offer yourselves to God, and particularly those who offer themselves to God in the priesthood, who, in this world, call down Our Lord Jesus Christ upon the altar and, like the Blessed Virgin, touch Him with their hands, and give Him to others; how much more must your souls be immaculate!

With what joy, therefore, do we receive today the oblations of those who desire to offer their lives, offer their souls, for the service of God, the service of the altar. Let us ask in a special way of the Blessed Virgin to transmit, in a certain degree, this privilege she had, the graces which are necessary to keep our souls immaculate.

She is the creature that was created, designed by God to destroy sin. Thus there is no creature more free of sin than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She has crushed the head of the serpent. Therefore with the Blessed Virgin there is no compromise, no compromise with sin, no compromise with error; she is completely true, completely holy. She cannot bear error, or sin, or vice. Let us then ask the Blessed Virgin that we ourselves have this horror of sin, this horror of vice—but love for sinners, because it was for sinners that she was created, to save sinners. May we have this immense desire, this flame which must consume us, the desire to save souls from sin, to snatch them from the clutches of the devil, the clutches of the world, and the scandals of it.

Therefore let us all ask today that our Society be a sign, a sign of truth, a sign of holiness, a sign of flight from sin, and all the scandals of the world, and a sign of the presence of the Virgin Mary. We will truly be children of the Church, children of Mary, on this condition. But if, unhappily, we also become like the people who are drawn by the world and who want compromises with things of the world, with error—then we will no longer be worthy children of Mary, worthy children of Our Lord.

That is what we ask, for all those who are present at this Holy Mass, for all those who are present here, and particularly for those who, in a moment, will pronounce their oblation and their engagements in the Society.

Continue reading “The Immaculate Conception of Mary 2018”

Father Davide Pagliarani Interview

 

Recent interview with SSPX Superior General, Very Reverend Father Davide Pagliarani, from FSSPX News. (Link)

The following is merely a sampling from the interview which is well worth taking the time to read!

Q.: How do you regard the Society of Saint Pius X which you will have to supervise for twelve years?

The Society holds a treasure in its hands. Some have emphasized repeatedly that this treasure belongs to the Church, but I think that we can say that it belongs to us also by full right. It belongs to us, and this is why the Society is perfectly a work of the Church. Even now!

Tradition is a treasure, but in order to preserve it faithfully we must be aware that we are vessels of clay. The key to our future is found here: in the awareness of our weakness and of the need to watch over ourselves vigilantly. It is not enough to profess the faith in its entirety, if our lives do not express this integral faith regularly and concretely. To live Tradition means to defend it, to struggle for it, to fight so that it triumphs first in ourselves and in our families, so that then it can triumph throughout the whole Church.

Our fondest wish is that the official Church will stop considering Tradition as a burden or a set of outmoded old things, but rather as the only possible way to regenerate herself. However, major doctrinal discussions will not be enough to bring this work to completion: first we have to have souls ready for all sorts of sacrifices. This is true both for consecrated persons and for the lay faithful.

We ourselves must always renew our view of Tradition, not in a purely theoretical way, but in a truly supernatural manner, in light of the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. This will protect us from two contrasting dangers that often reinforce each other, namely: a pessimistic or defeatist lethargy and a kind of arid intellectualism.

I am convinced that we have here the key with which to confront the various difficulties that we may encounter.

Q.: Including the major problem of the crisis in the Church?

What are the important topics today? Vocations, the sanctification of priests, the care of souls. The tragic situation in the Church must not have such a great psychological impact on our minds that we are no longer capable of performing our duties. Our clear-sightedness must not paralyze us; if it does, it turns into darkness. Considering the crisis in the light of the Cross allows us to keep our serenity and to stand back, since serenity and objectivity are both indispensable if we are to have a sure judgment.

The present situation of the Church is a state of tragic decline: a sharp decrease in vocations, in the number of priests, in the practice of the faith, the disappearance of Christian customs, of the most elementary sense of God, which are manifested today—alas!— in the destruction of natural morality….

Now the Society has all the necessary means to lead the movement of the return to Tradition. More precisely, we have to confront two demands:

– on the one hand, to preserve our identity by recalling the truth and denouncing error: “Praedica verbum: insta opportune, importune: argue, obsecra, increpa.” “Preach the word: be instant [persistent] in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke” (2 Tim 4:2);

– on the other hand: “in omni patientia, et doctrina,” “in all patience and doctrine” (ibid.): attract to Tradition those who are walking in that direction, encourage them, introduce them little by little to the battle and to an increasingly courageous attitude. There still are authentically Catholic souls who thirst for the truth, and we have no right to refuse them the cup of cold water that is the Gospel by an indifferent or haughty attitude. These souls often end up encouraging us by their own courage and determination.

These two demands are complementary: we cannot separate one from the other, by focusing exclusively either on the denunciation of the errors resulting from Vatican II, or on the assistance that we owe to those who are becoming aware of the crisis and need to be enlightened. This twofold demand is profoundly one, since it is the manifestation of the sole charity of truth.

Continue reading “Father Davide Pagliarani Interview”

Thoughts of a dry brain

For some reason, readers have asked for an encore of this old post from 3 years ago. So much has happened since this was posted a few years back. But since you asked, here goes another trip down memory lane…

 

The Never-ending Springtime of Vatican II
The Never-ending Springtime of Vatican II

 

A funny thing happened today. Odd how little things can build up and suddenly, boom! Your life has changed irreversibly in just one small moment. For years now, my husband and I have been sneaking down to Mass at the SSPX Chapel an hour and a half drive from us. In heavy traffic, the drive can take twice as long. I say that we sneak, because most Sundays, we have to settle for a TLM at a Novus Ordo Parish we will call St. Nowhere in a city closer to us. The Latin Mass community at that Church has strong antipathy towards the SSPX and I was shunned for nearly a year after merely mentioning that I support them financially.  The priest at St. Nowhere, we’ll call Father X, told members of the TLM Community that the Bishop does not allow parishioners to attend SSPX Mass and inferred that to do so was grounds for excommunication. Now I did not hear him say that because as luck would have it, I was at SSPX Mass that Sunday.  But the same priest asked me once, why I missed Mass the previous Sunday. I am ashamed to say I did my infamous little, “Oh look, there’s a butterfly!” ditsy old lady thing and slipped away from him.

However, today, that viral video of the candlelight procession by the SSPX community in Kansas was sent to me by a prominent member of our local Latin Mass Society. I responded rather more strongly than I should have and just to be honest about things, I copied it to the St. Nowhere priest. After going that far, I was flush with the exuberance one gets from derring-do, and so I decided to forward my response to a couple other Catholics who attend St. Nowhere’s Latin Mass in case they might like to know of my wickedness. I attached an explanatory note to them as well. Since the cat’s out of the bag,  I may as well let you all in on it, in fact, just shout it from the housetops! Here is a merged version of what I wrote in both emails:

Thank you for the video, Marie (Not her real name). I have been a supporter of SSPX for years now and whenever I am well enough to travel, we make the grueling (for us) trip to (-SSPX Chapel_).

I have heard that Father _X_  has said we may not attend Mass there and also heard that the Bishop does not approve. So have tried to keep silent, but can do so no longer.

The neo-modernists of the Bergoglio/Kasper/Danneels faction are using homosexuals and divorcees not for the good of their souls, not for true mercy for these poor people, but solely to attack Our Lord in His Sacrament of Love. What a horrible hoax to play on poor sinners! Not to show them the way to true repentance and the fulness of grace and everlasting happiness in Heaven, but to further damn them to hell by compounding their mortal sins.

The pawns in all this are the sinners, who are being mislead by the very shepherds who should help them.
What kind of “field hospital of the faith” is P. Francis running? It deliberately infects poor sinners, already suffering mortal wounds, with more fatal disease, while denying them the simple cure!

It seems hypocritical for some who call themselves traditional Catholics to keep acting as though the SSPX is evil. I know them and they are genuinely the Remnant of the Faith that will, by their constant reparations and rosaries bring Our Immaculate Mother’s victorious return and restore the Faith.

At SSPX Chapel, there are prayers before every Mass for Pope Francis, they are respectful and I have personally been excoriated by Father _V_ for being uncharitable about the Pope. I am guilty as charged! Father V  urges us to offer penance and prayers for the pope and the hierarchy, as Our Lady of Fatima requested.

I love the Church and that is why I cannot continue to give tacit approval of what I see happening in this papacy. It is difficult to grasp how in the name of mercy, those living in a persistent state of mortal sin are being welcomed into receiving the Blessed Sacrament, yet I am to be cast out, for simply attending a Society Mass? Amazing.

In this farcical Synod, they are discussing institutionalizing Eucharistic sacrilege. To attempt to excommunicate me for attending a reverent Mass when all this sacrilege and desecration of the Blessed Sacrament is being rammed through, is beyond ludicrous. But we will see how it plays out. Meanwhile, we will go on down to (SSPX Chapel) next Sunday. There, we have Rosary before Mass with prayers for the Pope, a reverent Missa Cantata, followed by an hour of Eucharistic adoration with prayers for the Pope and the Synod. The congregation did their own Eucharistic Rosary procession last Sunday for the Synod. These people are praying and offering penances for the Church in this time of trial, so by all means, they should be excommunicated!

By the way, apropos Father Rosica at the Synod Press briefing, where he mentioned polygamy: If they open up to polygamy in Africa, that will destroy the beautiful, faithful African Church, the most vital and fervent ground of the Faith today, which is giving us saints and martyrs for the glory of God and His Church. It is a terrible blow, all in the name of Kasper’s damnable “mercy”. I won’t be a part of it.

Before long, I will be probably unable to travel to (SSPX Chapel)  for Mass. When that happens, Father will come here to offer Mass. If you know of anyone interested in attending, feel free to give them my contact information.

I will hush now. Thank you,

evensong

Well, it is now 1 a.m. and time for Matins, yet am still at the computer getting ready to post this. As I think back on the events of the day, I am having second thoughts. Some of our family still go there to the TLM at St. Nowhere’s and they will have to face the disapproval of Father X and the TLM community. Perhaps it was thoughtless of me. Then I wax indignant again. With all the problems facing faithful Catholics in this dysfunctional Church, why does it fall to me to be the stereotypical bad guy?

Wish I could recall that quote from Orwell, you know, the one about how subversive it is to tell the truth in a sick society? But it is late and I am old, and very tired, and my Church is in ruins.

Oh God come to my assistance, O Lord, make haste to help me.

 

[UPDATE, February 5, 2016: My husband and I are still forbidden to receive Holy Communion at the Diocesan Traditional Latin Mass. Father X has wholeheartedly embraced the new “Mercy Agenda” of Pope Francis. Those who still attend the TLM there never need fear they will hear the intolerant words of Jesus against adultery, for all that is cast aside in favor of the serene theology of Cardinal Kasper and the tender mercies of Pope Francis.]

“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

Queen of the most Holy Rosary, establish the reign of thine Immaculate Heart in my heart, in the Church, and in the world!

St. Joseph, protector of the Church, protect our priests!

Remember, pray the Rosary and confound Satan!

Note: the title refers to a poem by T.S. Eliot

~ posted by evensong, for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

An Open Letter from Father Vernoy

Breaking news from Vox Catholica.

Fr. Marc Vernoy: An Open Letter To My Brother Priests

 

 

On the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, August 29th, 2018, Fr. Marc Vernoy, Prior of St. Thomas More Church in Sanford, Florida wrote a letter to his brother priests in Florida. This letter is wide ranging in scope, and deals with the current crisis in the Catholic Church, and what priests can do to fight back against the overwhelming wave of corruption that is consuming God’s Holy Church.

Father’s suggested remedies (attending the Mass, praying our daily Rosary, adoration and contemplation, and sincere prayers to the Mother of God) are all things we can also do as lay Catholics to beg God for an end to the crisis, and a restoration of our Holy Mother Church.

Please share this video (especially to priests who aren’t in a Traditional order), and subscribe to the YouTube channel. This will be a great help to continue building this new apostolate.

† . † . † 

Dear Brother Priest,

Greetings in the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary. My name is Marc Vernoy, I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X on June 29, 1995. After having been sent to Asia, Europe and Africa. I was assigned in Sanford, Florida, eight years ago to establish our Priory.

We are “a priestly society of common life without vows, after the example of the Societies of Foreign Missions.”[1] Our “purpose is the priesthood and all that pertains to it and nothing but what concerns it; i.e., the priesthood as Our Lord Jesus Christ willed it when He said, “Do this for a commemoration of me.”[2]

Before founding our Society, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre led the largest Catholic missionary congregation, the Holy Ghost Fathers and was the Apostolic Delegate for West Africa. His experience showed him the necessity of a real common life to preserve and strengthen our priestly life against the challenges and dangers of modern life in this world.

As our Lord suffered His terrible Passion, so His Mystical Body, holy Mother the Church is atrociously suffering today through so many victims, children and young adults and in her immaculate and divine dignity. Some of her beloved sons, consecrated in the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, have appallingly betrayed her and have sorely defiled their persons with horrible crimes. Their unnatural depravation is so evil that Holy Scripture[3] places it among the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. In their sacrilegious abuses, they crucify the whole Church, they desecrate their holy Unction and even give up their fatherhood and their human dignity, as there is no dignity anymore when you depart so sinfully from God, our Creator and Redeemer.

As poor sinners, we all know that human nature is weak and wounded, always ready to fall into sin. Thus, our Lord Jesus Christ is alerting us, “watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”[4]. He constantly admonishes us against the perils of the world, whose Prince is Satan[5], and has no positive or “optimistic attitude” towards them. “The world does hate me, because I denounce it for its evil doings.”[6] “If you belonged to the world, the world would know you for its own and love you; it is because you do not belong to the world, because I have singled you out from the midst of the world, that the world hates you.”[7] “Have you never been told that the world’s friendship means enmity with God, and the man who would have the world for his friend makes himself God’s enemy?”[8]

However, after the Second Vatican Council and through the liturgical reform as well, these evangelical exhortations have been silenced in the Church. In the General Audience of July 3, 1974, Pope Paul VI explained this change as follows: “We have certainly heard of the severity of the saints for the evils of the world. Many are still familiar with the books of asceticism, which have a generally negative judgment on earthly corruption. But it is also certain that we live in a different spiritual climate, being invited, especially by the recent council, to take an optimistic look at the modern world, its values, its conquests.”[9] He then continues his speech praising modern materialism, comfort and technology and gave this advice: “We must maintain a line of demarcation between Christian life and secular life. Between the spiritual and the temporal there cannot exist this communion – or rather this confusion – of interests and ways of life that the old unitary conception of Christianity made easier and more habitual.”[10]

We Catholics, faithful to the Word of our Lord and to the holy Tradition of His Church have always been aware of the distinction between the spiritual and the temporal worlds, but not a separation, “a line of demarcation”, as we believe in the social Kingship of the Son of God. We are for a communion coming from subsidiarity, but certainly not for any confusion. We want divine Love to be known in this world, to spread and to be loved.

These words of Paul VI along with many others regarding a new “spiritual” attitude towards the “world” are very disturbing and confusing, as they frankly depart from divine doctrine and from the constant teaching and practice of the Catholic Church. The absence of God the Father in any society is at the root of all evils we may witness today. How could Paul VI open the gates of the Church to the fetid and evil spirit of the world, promoting a liberal and godless attitude with the world? This invitation has unfortunately been observed in what was called the aggiornamento of our Church. The holy Father, instead promoting the salvific influence of the Church in our world and caring for the spiritual good of his flock, exposed both to the sinful contamination of the world for their own ruin. At the first rank of this contamination have been the consecrated persons. 120,000 priests left the priesthood for the world and its corruption and many who stayed in their position have greatly suffered. Also, the changes in the liturgy contributed to a confusion regarding the identity of the Priest and even to a desecration of Priesthood. Every day of our life we need to be reminded about our sacred identity and divine vocation.

Paul VI concluded the Second Vatican Council with these words: “Indeed, an immense love for men profoundly permeated it. Human needs examined and considered in detail… have absorbed the attention of our Synod. You worshipers of humanity (cultores humanitatis) who renounce transcendental truths ought to pay tribute to the Council for at least this and acknowledge our new Humanism. For we also, and we more than anyone, are worshipers of man.”[11]

This new horizontal attitude, worldly and man-centered, forgetting the primal and preliminary vertical attitude towards God Almighty altered completely the meaning of Christian life and had enormous effects on Catholic doctrine and liturgy.

Nevertheless, the Apostle admonished the Romans regarding this very attitude leading to all perversions and abuses. “For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man… Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, that prompts them to disgraceful acts. They are versed in every kind of injustice, knavery, impurity, avarice, and ill-will; spiteful, murderous, contentious, deceitful, depraved, backbiters, slanderers, God’s enemies; insolent, haughty, vainglorious; inventive in wickedness, disobedient to their parents; without prudence, without honor, without love, without loyalty, without pity. Yet, with the just decree of God before their minds, they never grasped the truth that those who so live are deserving of death; not only those who commit such acts, but they also that consent to them that do them.”[12]

Let us keep in mind that Saint Paul is not targeting only abusers, but also those who cover for and promote this kind of behavior. As a consequence, it is quite clear that this new “optimistic look at the modern world” deprives the flock from any spiritual protection and abandon them to pride, idolatry, adultery, egotism, narcissism, “selfism”, blindness, contraception and abortion, addiction, practical atheism, abuse of power, irresponsibility, revolutionary feminism, social chaos, homosexuality and many other evils that we do better not to name.

In a society as large as the Church, there is a force of inertia that can still give the illusion of its strength, and cohesion for a certain time after a serious and disabling event. The Church is partially unplugged for half a century, as God did not fully abandon her. Confused and without a clear supernatural goal, her human side simply continued to roll thanks to the strength it had accumulated until those years and thanks to an intense and overwhelming emphasis on administration. Many societies deprived of fatherhood, a loving authority that gives a vision, have forgotten the “why” of their lives to focus on the “how” of their organization.

Today, we are witnessing the result of a disconnection with God the Father, the batteries are very low and the spectacle of the fall in shameful convulsions is lamentable. While Pope Paul VI approved and promoted the disconnection, some Roman Pontiffs tried to fix things, especially the moral life with cosmetic measures, which are worthless, as the only effective medicine, which is in the truth of our Faith in the Word of God and in His mystical Body. Very few in the Catholic Church are those who really believe in this article of Faith that She in union with Her Head Who is Christ, is the only One Who provides the necessary means of salvation to human beings[13].

The true Church and chaste celibacy cannot be the cause of today’s scandals. The crime comes from a carelessness for spiritual good, from an invasive anti-Catholic subculture and from the absence of true Shepherds and Fathers. The new collegial way of governing the Church deprived the Fathers of their full authority, responsibility and accountability and finally of their paternal heart.

The Second Vatican Council and its consequences were supposed to revivify the Church with a reformation, but it obviously favored a dreadful deformation. Never has a true Catholic reformation ever been liberal and confusing in its teaching, lax and permissive in its practice, as it clearly was in the last Council.

We know that a fish rots from the head, but we also know that the good outcome always comes from Peter and we must pray for the Pope. “Thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”[14]

However, in his Letter to the People of God[15], Pope Francis unfortunately avoids the deep causes of so many heartbreaking scandals. Three key words are missing: “homosexual”, “bishop” and “sacrilege”. We do not hear Peter warning us and taking any concrete measure against the liberal and homosexual subculture, corrupting from the highest prelates to the simple assistant priest. We know for years that many in the hierarchy are covering up for and even promoting this evil subculture, liberal in its theory and confusing and perverting in its latest practical consequences. We unfortunately know today that Peter is apparently tainted with this subcultural influence[16]. In the Letter to the People of God Pope Francis gives no concrete direction. Being accountable and responsible for whatever happens under their authority to the flock, Pope Francis is not asking his brother bishops to investigate, to inquire, to thoroughly and canonically visit their diocese. Where is the sense of Fatherhood? Though, “no man can serve two masters!”[17] and we expect our Holy Father to set a clear example, as the Vicar of our Lord and to act as a true Father in order to confirm His Brothers under the authority our only Master, Christ our Lord.

Background checks are a cosmetic measure. We need the help of God the Father, we need to beg the Holy Ghost for the grace to keep the Faith, the grace to persevere in His Charity and Love, the grace to be led by His Hope and to live in His Peace. This requires remaining in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. The very minimum we must do is to pray faithfully our Breviary, our Rosary, to reserve a quiet time of contemplation, another to savor Holy Scripture, to entertain a deep love for the sacrament of Penance and its frequent use and finally a supreme devotion for the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the summit of our lives and reminds us who we are. We must also ask for prayers. Traditionally, first Thursdays are dedicated to pray for priests, at masses, adoration, holy hour, etc. Our brother priests need our presence and comfort to avoid the curse of loneliness that affects many, which is a deadly danger and for some a foretaste of Hell. “Woe to him that is alone, for when he falls, he has none to lift him up.”[18]

We, first sons of our Immaculate Blessed Lady, need to ask her intercession to live a holy and chaste life. It is a gift that we must daily beg through prayer, fasting, corporal penance and ascetic life. “They that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences.”[19] Our Lord warns us, “unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish”[20]. The first move of a worldly life is to abandon the ascetic life and the splendid and radiating virtue of chastity. The gift of this delicate virtue is a fruit of our constant understanding, renewal and love of our consecration.

We have been set apart and we shall not take back what we have sacrificed and given to God Almighty. The holy sacrifice of the Mass is at the core of our fidelity and a necessity to continue to grow in the dedication of our own “fiat”. “Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.”[21] Our identity is a divine gift and we must have a vivid sense of it to live it wholly.

We, priests of our Lord Jesus Christ are expected to preach fully, courageously and without any ambiguity the mysteries of God and all the means He gives us to live these mysteries.

The doctrine regarding sin and the last ends are extremely efficient. “Sin is the one and only evil in the world. We mortals are accustomed to regard the sufferings and contradictions of this life as evils, whereas they are graces in reality; since, far from separating us from God, they bring us nearer to Him. Through sin man becomes worthless in God’s sight; through sin, he, who is made of nothing, returns to his original nothingness. St. John Chrysostom says: ‘Many consider eternal damnation to be the greatest of all evils; but for my part, I always assert that to offend Jesus Christ is a far greater evil’. Sin is a greater evil than the annihilation of the world, nay, of a million worlds, with their countless inhabitants. Sin is the only real disgrace.”[22]

We, priests and sinners, united with the Passion and Crucifixion of our Redeemer, alter Christus, must fulfil our duty of reparation and expiation for the sin of the world, the sin of our fallen brothers and set a good example for this purpose. In these troubled and confused times, we have the great duty to remind ourselves and the faithful about the evil of the practice of homosexuality and seriously fight against its unnatural contamination.

We pray to Mary Immaculate, who prophesized this crisis at Akita, Fatima, La Salette, Quito, etc. We pray to her for the Church and for you my dear brother priest, who are expected, after our necessary and certainly sorrowful purification, to be a key instrument in the absolutely needed conversion and reformation to return to the Love of Christ.

Sources:

[1] F.S.S.P.X Statutes (I:1) “approved by a decree of the Bishop of Fribourg, November 1, 1970, and praised in a letter from the Sacred Congregation of the Clergy, dated February 18, 1971”.

[2] Idem (II:1)

[3] Gn 18:20-21

[4] Mk 14:38

[5] Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Ap 12:9; etc.

[6] Jn 7:7

[7] Jn 15:19

[8] Js 4:4

[9] https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/it/audiences/1974/documents/hf_p-vi_aud_19740703.html

[10] Idem

[11] Paul VI, Homily of the closing Mass of the Second Vatican Council on December 7, 1965, from the original Latin version: http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/la/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651207_epilogo-concilio.html

[12] Rm 1:22-32

[13] Salus extra ecclesiam non est, St Cyprian Ep 4:4; Ep 73:21,2. Extraordinary Magisterium: Innocent III, 4th Lateran Council. Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam. Eugene IV, Cantate Domino. All Popes taught this dogma, especially from Leo XII to Pius XII.

[14] Mt 16:18-19

[15] http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2018/documents/papa-francesco_20180820_lettera-popolo-didio.html

[16] https://s3.amazonaws.com/lifesite/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL_VERSION_-_G-2.pdf : TESTIMONY by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana Apostolic Nuncio.

[17] Mt 6:24

[18] Eccles 4:10

[19] Gal 5:24-25

[20] Lk 13:3

[21] 1Tim 4:14-16

[22] The Catechism explained, Spirago, III Sin 2:3

 

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!