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!

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.

.

 

Thank you for reading!

  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 for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

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”

That the Church May Regain Her Splendor

Soon, we shall see another year’s commemoration of the sixth visit of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. There remains one final visit of Our Lady to come, but there are still several events yet to occur before that fateful day. For today, we focus on the words of a saintly prelate who devoted his life to counteracting the forces of revolution set loose in the Church as a result of the refusal of the shepherds of the Church to heed Our Lady’s message.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre set an example for all priests in his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in particular, to Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima. Today, we recall his pilgrimage to her shrine at Fatima on August 22, 1987.

 

Sermon by Archbishop Lefebvre in Fatima, August 22, 1987
Let us ask the Blessed Virgin then to unravel this mystery for us; it is a martyrdom for all who live in this era…

Let us give thanks to God and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for having gathered us today, on this feast of her Immaculate Heart, to sing her praises and to try for a few moments, for a few days, to live out our faith. For if the Virgin Mary wished to come to this land of Portugal, to Fatima, if She wished to appear to these few children to give them a message for the world, it is surely because She desired that our souls be lifted up toward heaven.

Let us try, then, my dear brothers and sisters, to place ourselves in the setting in which these little shepherds found themselves, like the persons who came to accompany them on the 13th of each month of that year 1917, until the month of October, when that extraordinary miracle took place, right here. Right here because, they say, this miracle was seen within a 40-kilometer [25-mile] radius of Fatima, and consequently, if we had been present on that day, October 13, 1917, we would have seen that extraordinary phenomenon of the spinning sun, shooting out lights of all colors, drenching the entire region with its magnificent colors. And it did this for thrice ten minutes! Finally, we would have seen the sun descending as it were from heaven to draw near to the faithful who were present, to manifest the truth of the apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to these children of Fatima.

So That Our Souls May be Saved
Once again, why this apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary? It was so that our souls may be saved, it was so that our souls may go to join her one day in heaven. In a few extraordinary pictures, She manifested to these children of Fatima the whole reality of our faith. Indeed, the children admired Her and admired Her in such a way that they were as if in ecstasy, rapt, carried away, not knowing how to express the beauty of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. However much anyone might have tried to provide them with comparisons, no comparison could be made in the sight of the beauty of the Virgin Mary whom they had seen.

And then the Virgin Mary was not the only one who was manifested. She wished to manifest something of heaven to them: Saint Joseph carrying Our Lord in his arms and blessing the world. She wished to appear also under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Sorrows, and generally She appeared as Our Lady of the Rosary. This was because She wished to inculcate in the children the necessity of praying the Rosary, the necessity of suffering with Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows. Thus She wished to manifest her interior sentiments so as to communicate them to these children, so that these children in turn might communicate these sentiments to all those who will have the opportunity to hear their message. Then the Archangel Michael appeared to them.

Our Lady spoke to them also about the souls in purgatory, when Lucia questioned her to find out where such-and-such a soul was, where a particular dead person was—“Was she in heaven? In purgatory?”—She sometimes told them: “No, that lady is not yet in heaven, she is in purgatory.” She wished also to show them the reality of hell. It is therefore right here, in this vicinity, that the Most Blessed Virgin wished to show what hell was to these horrified children, so as to encourage them to do penance, so as to encourage them to pray to save souls, thus showing that the Immaculate Heart of Mary is altogether directed toward the glory of Her Divine Son and toward the salvation of souls. To save souls is to cause them to go to heaven. Therefore it is our entire catechism in a way that these children saw in an image, and this happened through the grace of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer and Penance
Let us try then to put ourselves into this setting today too, because what happened in 1917 is still true today, and perhaps even more than at that time, because the situation in the world is even worse now than it was in 1917. The faith is disappearing, atheism is advancing everywhere, and the Most Blessed Virgin Herself announced it. For although She wished to show us a vision of heaven, She also wished to speak about the earth. She told these children essentially:

It is necessary to pray, it is necessary to do penance so as to stop the devastating effects of this terrible error, Communism, which will dominate the world if people do not do penance and if they do not pray and if they do not carry out my will.”

Her will was to broadcast the secrets that she had given to Lucia.
Alas, we are in fact obliged to note that since these secrets have not been broadcast, the error of Communism is spreading everywhere! Let us strive, then, my dear brothers and sisters, to put ourselves into this setting, in these dispositions so as to share the convictions of these children, so as to unite ourselves to the Heart of Mary, so that our hearts may burn with the desires that were in the Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and that still are there today, desires for the reign of her Son.

What else can She wish but to see Her Divine Son reign over the whole earth, over souls, over families, and over societies, as He reigns in heaven? This is why She comes down to earth, to beg us, every one of us: “It is necessary for Jesus to reign over you.” She wishes it, She desires it, and She gives us the means.

The first means is prayer. “It is necessary to pray.” The Blessed Virgin unceasingly repeated this to Lucia, because Lucia asked her the question each time: “O Lady, what do you want of me? What do you want me to do?” A fine question! There can be no better dispositions. Is this our disposition also? Mary! What do you want us to do? Then Mary said:

“It is necessary to pray, take your rosary, recite the rosary every day to sanctify yourselves and to save souls, to save the souls of sinners.”

She repeated this every time She came. She also encouraged Holy Communion, receiving the Holy Eucharist, since She even enabled the angel to come and give Communion to these children. Can Mary wish anything else but to give us Her Son, to give us Jesus in our hearts?

That We Might Keep the Faith and Grace in our Souls
Next: why these secrets? The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, in Her love for us, in Her gracious condescension toward us, wished to warn us. She wished to announce future events to us, so as to enable us to keep our faith, to keep grace in our souls. This is why She gave us Her secrets. The Most Blessed Virgin asked Lucia to broadcast the third secret as of 1960—and that this secret be broadcast by the Pope—and not without reason: it was because she knew that after 1960 the Church would have to go through the crisis of these very serious events in its history. She wished to warn us, and She wished to warn the authorities of the Church so as to avoid these misfortunes, so as to avoid the loss of faith and the perdition of souls. Thus we are warned, we know that after 1960 some serious events in Church history would cause a crisis, and particularly with regard to those who lead the Church. Unfortunately, this is probably why the leaders of Holy Church did not wish to broadcast the secret. They thought that it was not opportune to make it public. A great mystery, my dear brothers and sisters, a great mystery!

So you see, then, if the Most Blessed Virgin Mary wishes us to have in our souls dispositions of the love for God, dispositions of prayer, a readiness to unite ourselves to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, a willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the sinners of this world, well, then, let us ask for this grace today.

The Mystery of the Situation of Rome Today
Here you are, gathered around the Virgin Mary in Fatima, having in your hearts the dispositions of these little children who welcomed the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and saw Her: ask, let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to unravel this mystery, that She may come to our aid. The great mystery of Rome, the great mystery of the situation in the papacy today.

They often tell us: do not rend the Church, do not divide the Church, do not cause a schism; yet, my dear brothers and sisters, tell me: where is the unity of the Church? What causes the unity of the Church? Open all the theology books, open all the books by the saints, open all the books by the doctors and theologians: what causes the unity of the Church is the unity of faith. When someone no longer has the Catholic Faith, he separates himself from the Church. There you have it! And every person invested with authority in the Church since Our Lord founded it, every person who has some authority in the Church and particularly all the clergy, and particularly the bishops, and especially the Pope, all of them are at the service of this unity, they are at the service of this faith: “Go teach the Gospel,” not some other Gospel and not just any Gospel: “Go teach the Gospel.” Be at the service of this message that I have given you, but you must not change the message.

Well, then, we keep and cherish the whole faith; not for anything in the world would we want to remove one iota, the least bit of our faith; we want to keep it intact, absolutely intact. And it is because we want to keep this unity of faith that those who are losing it persecute us. This is the true current situation in which we find ourselves, a mysterious situation, probably announced by Our Lady of Fatima in Her third secret, saying that those who want to remain Catholics will be persecuted by those who, while having authority in the Church, stray from the faith; and since they stray from the Faith, they would like to drag us along with them. Because we disobey them by our unwillingness to lose the faith with them, they persecute us. But Our Lord said it, He predicted that there would be bad shepherds and said that we must not follow the bad shepherds; we must follow the good shepherds. This is the mystery that we are living through today.

Let us ask the Blessed Virgin then to unravel this mystery for us; it is a martyrdom for you, for us, for all who live in this era, a true moral martyrdom, perhaps worse than the martyrdom of blood, to see that those who ought to preach and defend the Catholic faith for the unity of the Church are abandoning this Catholic faith and seeking to get along with the world, with modern principles, with the principles of this society that is guided more by Satan than by the Good Lord.

Ask for the Grace of Fidelity
Let us make the resolution, here at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and let us ask her for the grace to keep the faith, to remain Catholics until the end of our days, to have this grace of final perseverance in the Catholic faith. Why did all the martyrs shed their blood? In order to keep the faith. If we must be martyrs, if we must be not martyrs by blood but martyrs in our souls, in our hearts, in our minds, well, then, we will be martyrs, and we will be the heirs of those who shed their blood so as not to deny their faith.

This is what we must promise the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and try to make everyone around us understand so that they might not lose the Faith… lest, in losing their faith, they lose their souls. These, my dear brothers and sisters, are the resolutions that we must make today: to pray, to sacrifice ourselves, to make the sacrifice of our life, to offer our life for the redemption of the world, for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of our souls, the salvation of the souls of our families, of the members of our family.

And Ask That the Church may Regain Her Splendor

And finally ask for the renewal of the Holy Catholic Church: that the Church might regain her splendor, that the Church might regain her unity in the faith, that the Church might regain her thousands and thousands of religious vocations as before, that once again novitiates might be filled, that seminaries might be filled so as to keep the Catholic Faith, so as to live the Catholic Faith! This is what we are striving to do, my dear brothers and sisters, together with those whom you see present here, these young priests, these young seminarians. As soon as people want to keep the faith, as soon as people want to keep the Sacrifice of the Mass and the true Eucharist, as soon as people are devoted body and soul to the Church, there are vocations, because we are in the truth. Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to bless our seminaries, to bless our young priests so that they might be apostles; to bless our religious, the Sisters of the Society, all the sisters who devote themselves to Tradition, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Benedictines…all these nuns who want to keep the Catholic faith and want to spread it.

And may the Virgin Mary deign to bless us so that we might continue courageously, despite the trials, to serve the kingdom of Her Divine Son. Adveniat regnum tuum, may Thy kingdom come, yes, O Lord Jesus, may Thy reign extend over persons, over families and over societies, so that this reign may continue in eternity!

† .  † .  †

The above sermon is from the August 18, 2017 edition of  FSSPX News.

I regret that I am not able to post new content at present and it is uncertain when I will be able to resume. Thank you for reading!

Please, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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 for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

Father Davide Pagliarani

The Blessed Virgin Mary has always been present in the history of the Society 

Fr. Davide Pagliarani, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, kindly accepted to answer the questions asked by FSSPX NEWS in a video interview. Here is the written transcription of his answers.

Reverend Superior General, how do you feel after your election?

Let’s say that I had, of course, heard some rumors beforehand. However, I was wondering how much of it was a joke or if there was anything to it at all. So I was waiting until today. I have to admit that even now, I’m not sure how much I realize what happened today.

It’s been a long day, but the week before, during our retreat, I left everything in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Divine Providence. I really think that she has always been present in the history of the Society. She is also guiding this Chapter and all of us. But maybe it’s too early yet for me to think about it.

Could you please introduce yourself?

I’m from Rimini, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, where there has been a priory of the Society for a long time. That’s where I first came in contact with the Society of Saint Pius X. I entered the Seminary of Flavigny in 1989. Then I did my military service. In 1996, I was ordained a priest. I spent seven years as a priest in the town where I was born, three years in Singapore, then I came back to Italy, and I have been in Argentina for six and a half years. And now I’m here.

Until now you were rector of the seminary in Argentina…

I think that what’s going to be hardest for me will be having to leave that place. I find that it’s the most beautiful place for a priest, and in particular for a priest of the Society. The heart of the Society is our seminaries. It’s not Menzingen! I think you know what I mean…

That’s where priests are formed and you can see how grace, still today, can completely transform a young man. Every vocation is a miracle, and I’m convinced that you fully understand what the Society is when you’ve worked in a seminary.

What do you expect from your two assistants?

I have to admit that they are two men for whom I have great respect. I know them fairly well because I knew Father Bouchacourt in Argentina, and I also know Bishop de Galarreta quite well. I consider myself quite lucky to work with people older than myself, people who give sound advice and, I have to say, with a priest as friendly as Father Bouchacourt.

Do you have any projects planned for the Society of Saint Pius X?

The goal of the Society is the formation of priests. However, at the same time, the priest has to continue to mature, to learn, and to sanctify himself his whole life long. I believe that’s where we need to concentrate all of our efforts to help priests persevere in the quest for holiness.

I really think that each priest, each priestly life, is a little bit like a violin cord that has to be correctly tightened and adjusted so that it can always produce the right note…the note that God expects from each one of us. So from seminary life and training to what is expected of the priest afterwards in the ministry, a certain unity and continuity in the quest for holiness must continue. I am convinced that this is the solution to the majority of our problems.

What do you expect from the faithful and what do you think that they expect from you?

That’s a good question. It’s easy to answer the first part. First of all, I would like to thank the faithful for all of their prayers for this Chapter and tell them that the Chapter has only just begun. So now we have to discuss with all the subjects on the agenda over the next few days. Thus I thank them for their prayers since the month of January, and I ask them now to generously redouble their efforts.

And then, what do they expect from me? I think that they expect the Society to be faithful to its foundational mission. I’ve already mentioned that it was founded to form priests, but the priesthood exists for the sanctification of souls, and so the fidelity of priests to their priesthood, to their own sanctification, necessarily affects the faithful. That’s what the faithful expect, not only from me, but from all the priests of the Society.

Reposted from the Society of Saint Pius X, here.

   

Return to Fatima Editor: And so we see that our new Superior General is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and faithful to the foundational mission of saintly Archbishop Lefbvre, which is to form holy priests and through those priests the sanctification of souls. I especially liked this quote:

I believe that’s where we need to concentrate all of our efforts to help priests persevere in the quest for holiness. . . . each priest, each priestly life, is a little bit like a violin cord that has to be correctly tightened and adjusted so that it can always produce the right note…the note that God expects from each one of us. So from seminary life and training to what is expected of the priest afterwards in the ministry, a certain unity and continuity in the quest for holiness must continue. I am convinced that this is the solution to the majority of our problems.

This is the man we have prayed for! Blessed be God forever! Now we must continue our prayers and sacrifices to support our priests but also, with those prayers, many joyful rosaries for thanksgiving for this blessing we are given.

Update, 8:15 am, A reader has pointed out that we should understand the inevitability of a particularly vicious attack from the ancient enemy, for this is his hour and the power of darkness. As Father requested, please redouble your prayers.

Please, Pray the Rosary for all our Catholic priests!

† . 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!
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.

Tradidi quod et accepi, 2018

Please do not dismiss this as just another repost! I present it again because there is an urgent need to dwell on the meaning of the legacy of this brave and saintly man. His goodness and wisdom must still guide us today if we are to follow him as faithful servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is offered without commentary because any words of mine would simply detract from it.

“Today, by consecrating these bishops, I am convinced that I am keeping alive Tradition, that is to say, the Catholic Church.”
'Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi" 1 Cor. 15, 3.
‘Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi”
1 Cor. 15, 3.
In one word, the life of Tradition is a life of contemplation of the Eternal Truth and love of the Eternal Good–not a constant change! (Abp. Marcel Lefebvre)

On June 30, 1988 Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X, and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, bishop emeritus of Campos, Brazil, consecrated four bishops at the seminary of Econe, Switzerland, in the presence of 10,000 faithful and hundreds of priests and religious.

In the July, 1988 issue of The Angelus, Rev.  Father Francois Laisney, then District Superior of the Society in the United States wrote about the historical Episcopal Consecrations. The following are some excerpts. I believe the entire article is available online at The Angelus Archives.

Christ has given to His Church the complete Deposit of Faith. Each individual may deepen his knowledge of this Deposit, but the Church had it all since its beginning. The Church may defend it more and more explicitly against the negators and the heresies, but neither adds to it, nor loses any parcel of this Eternal Truth.

The Church possesses, from the beginning, the Perfect Example of Virtue: the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. All the saints have imitated Him; we have to follow in their footsteps. The way to heaven is not to be invented; there is one, and only one; it is Our Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me!”

Therefore there can be no change in the Church’s morals, which are all summed up in these words of Our Lord: “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). The Divine Perfection is eternal and immutable. In heaven the saints “rest” in God, thus without changes, sharing Divine Eternity. On the contrary, in hell, the damned will be tormented by unrest: the unceasing succession and changes of torments, one worse than the other. Folly of those who love change for the sake of change! They might have an eternity of changes… in hell!

If there is some change in the Church as such, it is her wonderful capability of putting into practice her eternal principles to meet the needs of each era. This is particularly manifested in the many religious orders which have sprung up throughout the whole history of the Church. All of them follow the same Model: Jesus Christ, and the same principles of Faith and morals, but adapt them to their particular circumstances. In this regard, one can see Tradition living in the work of Archbishop Lefebvre and all the other traditional foundations. They have all come to the Eternal Principles to receive Eternal Life from them.

In one word, the life of Tradition is a life of contemplation of the Eternal Truth and love of the Eternal Good–not a constant change!

Injustices of the Condemnation
Those who condemn us, try to accuse us of not being faithful to the “living” Tradition. I hope the above reflections show that the true faithful to the Living Tradition are those who keep it and live it, without adulterating it with the spirit of the world. This is the very meaning of the word “faithful,” i.e., the one who keeps the Faith! Not the one who changes it! Liberal principles, which the Popes have repeatedly condemned, shall never be able to become a part of the Catholic Faith. In a time when so many have tried to marry the Church and the Revolution, it is urgent to keep Tradition, and to provide for its continuation. Therefore, according to the very principles of Canon Law, in cases of real emergency, there can be no sanction. Any sanction is unjust, since its motive is to destroy the Tradition of the Church, to refuse it the means to continue.

If any one still had doubts, the Good Lord in His divine providence, arranged some enlightening coincidences. On the very same day, June 30th, Rome was publishing a directory for “Celebrations Without Priests.” When Archbishop Lefebvre was providing for the continuation of the Catholic Priesthood, Rome was providing for the absence of priests! What will be these celebrations? They will be much like Protestant services.

Another coincidence, in the widely diffused USA Today, of July 1, the article announcing the Roman sanction against Archbishop Lefebvre was just above an article concerning Archbishop Hunthausen[5], entitled “Masses for Homosexuals”; the Archbishop of Seattle was resuming this abominable practice! If one had doubts about Archbishop Lefebvre’s rights, he had just to read a little further to get the answer: there is no justice in this current situation!

And Our Attitude Now?
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.” These words of St. Paul are for each one of us. When evil seems to reign, we must not be discouraged and fall into bitterness. Our Lord, at the height of the hatred of the Jews and compromises of Pilate, did not curse, but rather prayed for His enemies: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” This must be our attitude: pray for the Church, pray for the Pope, pray for the bishops, that they may come back, as the Apostles who had abandoned Our Lord on Good Friday came back to the Faith on Easter Sunday. But do not follow them in their abandon; stay at the foot of the Cross with the few faithful to Christ, to the Sacrifice of Calvary, to the Sacrifice of the Mass.

This is a time for heroism–heroic faith and heroic charity. “Do not render evil for evil, nor cursing for cursing, but, on the contrary, blessing” (I Pet. 111:9). “Love your enemies, do good to your enemies, do good to those who hate you: and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you” (Mt. 5:44).

Indeed, Tradition is not only the handing down through the centuries of the Deposit of Faith, but also the example of the holiness of Our Lord, the examples of the saints. May the Blessed Virgin Mary help all of us to be faithful to the whole of Tradition: to the Truth and holiness of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are what we have always been—Catholics carrying on. That is all.
We are what we have always been—Catholics carrying on. That is all.

The four new bishops, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais (born 1945, France), Richard Williamson (born 1940, England), Alfonso de Galarreta (born 1957, Spain), and Bernard Fellay (born 1958, Switzerland), were chosen by Archbishop Lefebvre among the members of the Society of St. Pius X because “they seemed to us the most apt, whilst being in circumstances and in functions which permit them more easily to fulfill their episcopal ministry, to confirm your children, and to be able to confer ordinations in our various seminaries,” as he explained in the sermon of the ceremony of consecrations.

Neither schismatic nor excommunicated
In the same sermon, Archbishop Lefebvre emphasized the extraordinary circumstances justifying his grave decision:

It is not for me to know when Tradition will regain its rights in Rome, but I think it is my duty to provide the means of doing that which I shall call “Operation Survival,” operation survival for Tradition. Today, this day, is “Operation Survival.

If I had made this deal with Rome, by continuing with the agreements we had signed, and by putting them into practice, it would have been “Operation Suicide.” There is no choice, we must survive. That is why today, by consecrating these bishops, I am convinced that I am keeping alive Tradition, that is to say, the Catholic Church.”

One year after the consecrations, in an interview published in the July-August 1989 issue of the SSPX’s magazine in France, Fideliter, the archbishop maintained that

We should have no hesitation or scruples with regard to these episcopal consecrations. We are neither schismatic nor excommunicated, and we are not against the pope. We are not against the Catholic Church. We are not creating a parallel Church. All that is absurd. We are what we have always been—Catholics carrying on. That is all.”

The role of our bishops
Their ministerial function being limited to the administration of the sacraments of holy orders and confirmation, our bishops neither received nor claimed any episcopal jurisdiction over priests or faithful.

In his 1989 interview by Fideliter, Archbishop Lefebvre stated that:

The four bishops are there to give ordinations and confirmations, to replace me and to do what I did for several years. For the rest, it is clearly the district superiors who are given a territory which is theirs and who, as far as they can, go to the help of the souls calling for them. For these souls have the right to have the sacraments and the Truth, the right to be saved. And, so we go to help them, and it is the request of these souls which grants us the right, as foreseen by Canon Law, to minister to them.”

In his letter to the four candidates, August 29, 1987, Archbishop Lefebvre had already explained that

The main purpose of my passing on the episcopacy is that the grace of priestly orders be continued, for the true Sacrifice of the Mass to be continued, and that the grace of the sacrament of confirmation be bestowed upon children and upon the faithful who will ask you for it.”

Archbishop Lefebvre insisted on their attachment to the Holy See and on their service to his priestly Society:

I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all Churches, keeping in its entirety the Catholic Faith as expressed in the various creeds of the Faith, in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with what you were taught in your seminary. Remain faithful in the handing down of this Faith so that the Kingdom of Our Lord may come.

Finally, I beseech you to remain attached to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, to remain profoundly united amongst yourselves, in submission to the Society’s Superior General, in the Catholic Faith of all time, remembering the words of St. Paul to the Galatians (1:8-9): ‘But even if we or an angel from heaven were to teach you a different gospel from the one we have taught you, let him be anathema.’

The Roman reaction to the consecrations
On July 1, 1988, Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, signed a decree of excommunication announcing that Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer, and the four new bishops had performed a schismatic act and excommunicated themselves latae sententiae (automatically) in accordance with the provisions of canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law:

“A bishop who consecrates someone a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.”

The following day, July 2, 1988, Pope John Paul II issued the apostolic letter motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei adflicta, confirming the excommunications and the existence of a schism.

The Society of St. Pius X has always contested the juridical validity of the censure. Besides other considerations, the excommunication was not incurred because a person who violates a law out of necessity is not subject to a penalty (canon 1323 §4), and even if there is no state of necessity, when one inculpably thought the opposite he would not incur the penalty (canon 1323 §7); and if one culpably thought there was such a state of necessity, he would still incur no automatic penalties (canon 1324 §3).

Accusation of schism
As for the accusation of schism, Archbishop Lefebvre always recognized the pope’s authority. Consecrating a bishop without pontifical mandate would be a schismatic act if one pretended to confer not just the fullness of the priesthood but also jurisdiction, a governing power over a particular flock. Only the pope, who has universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, can appoint a pastor to a flock and empower him to govern it. But Archbishop Lefebvre never presumed to confer anything but the full priestly powers of holy orders.

Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Canon Law, in La Repubblica, October 7, 1988, stated that the consecrations performed by Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer did not constitute an act of schism (“The mere fact of consecrating a bishop is not in itself a schismatic act”).

The Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Catholic Institute of Paris, Fr. Patrick Valdrini, confirmed that “it is not the consecration of a bishop that creates a schism; what consummates the schism is to confer upon that bishop an apostolic mission” (Valeurs Actuelles, July 4, 1988).

And Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has declared, on at least five separate occasions in public interviews (30 Giorni n. 9, 2005), that the Society of St. Pius X is not in a situation of formal schism. He has also affirmed that “the bishops, priests, and faithful of the Society of St. Pius X are not schismatics.” (Die Tagespost, February 8, 2007)

Finally, on January 21, 2009, a decree of the Congregation for Bishops, signed by its Prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, based on the faculties expressly granted by Pope Benedict XVI, declared the decree of July 1, 1988, to be deprived of any juridical effect. (Source)

The above posting is simply to honor the very brave act of Archbishop Lefebvre 30 years ago this month. It is not my intention to defend Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions, because they do not need defending.

Those who have the Latin Mass today, no matter their affiliation, owe this brave and saintly man such a huge debt of gratitude, for his actions, by saving tradition, saved the Church, saved the faith. 

Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

A Perpetual Crusade

“We should have a crusade …  supported by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by that invincible rock, that inexhaustible source of grace, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”  Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, September 23, 1979.

Yesterday, a very dear reader of ours confided his concern that the Rosary and Reparation Crusade of the Society of St. Pius X fell short of their goal. Although the Society had hoped for 12 million Rosaries, the figures, which are not complete, stand currently at 8.1 million.

The link to the Society’s notice about the results of the Crusade is here.   The latest crusade followed close upon the previous one, and it was suggested that perhaps the faithful were spiritually exhausted and becoming  resigned to our fate. There is possibly some truth in that.  The priests of the Society are experiencing severe trials, and the laity as well, with the uncertainty spread by constant rumors that Bishop Fellay would lead the Society into a trap set by the occupiers of the Vatican.  This strategy  is very well explained by Dr. Brian McCall at Catholic Family News. (A Society Divided Against Itself: SSPX Ranks Must Preserve Internal Unity)

While I agree that Rome’s strategy has indeed wreaked havoc by drawing away so many highly valued and in many cases, dearly loved comrades, I’d like to comment from a different perspective.  The quote at the top of the page is from  Archbishop Lefebvre, from his Sermon on the occasion of his Sacerdotal Jubilee, back in 1979.

Now, Bishop Fellay, in calling for the latest Rosary Crusade was following in Archbishop Lefebvre’s footsteps and I believe that the results of this last Rosary and Reparation Crusade were actually very good, considering the period we are in.  I’ll explain in a moment but first,  let’s recall the intentions:

Bishop Fellay stated that the Crusade is intended to follow the intentions of Our Lady of the Rosary herself:

(I) Jesus wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In order to do so, all the faithful are invited:

  • to recite the rosary daily, alone or as a family;
  • to accomplish the devotion of the reparatory communion on five first Saturdays, and to multiply their daily sacrifices in a spirit of reparation for the outrages against Mary;
  • to wear the miraculous medal themselves and to diffuse it around them;
  • to consecrate their homes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. [Family Consecration Prayer is in sidebar to the right.]

Besides the propagation of this devotion, we will also pray

(II) for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and

(III) for the pope and all the bishops of the Catholic world to consecrate Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And as a special intention we will add

(IV) the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Society of St. Pius X and all its members in addtition to all the religious communities of Tradition. (Source, SSPX)

The goal set by Bishop Bernard Fellay is a bouquet of 12 million rosaries and 50 million sacrifices for Our Lady of Fatima.

Now. admittedly, that was a tall order for all those who had just successfully completed an earlier Rosary Crusade.  And 8.1 million Rosaries is no small thing! The fact that Bishop Fellay called for this Rosary Crusade meant to me that he is acting in the same spirit as our beloved Archbishop Lefebvre and is relying on Our Lady of the Rosary and following her instructions at Fatima . That indicates most definitely that the Crusade is a success! For if we ask for her help, we are guaranteed success, she herself has promised it.

To be clear: If we obey Our Lady, we have already succeeded, because that obedience is what counts with Our Lord, not the results!  Obedience itself is what Our Lord asks of us.

We have her word, and we saw immediate results – Cardinal Mueller’s remarks made any further rapprochement with the Vatican useless and we were spared the constant “dialogues” and the treacherous rumors as well. Those rumors caused so much harm! And soon we will have the General Chapter for the priests of the Society and surely those millions of heartfelt rosaries will help that as well.

When I attend Mass at our Chapel, I am mindful of our holy Archbishop who preached all those long years ago:

And you, dear priests, who hear me now, you too must make a profound sacerdotal union to spread this crusade, to animate this crusade in order that Jesus reign, that Our Lord reign. And to do that you must be holy. You must seek after sanctity and manifest it to others, this holiness, this grace which acts in your souls and in your hearts, this grace which you receive by the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist and by the Holy Mass which you offer, which you alone are capable of offering.

I shall finish, my dearly beloved brethren, by what I shall call my testament. Testament—that is a very profound word—because I want it to be the echo of the testament of Our Lord: Novi et aeterni testamenti.

Novi et aeterni testamenti—it is the priest who recites these words at the consecration of the Precious Blood—Hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei: novi et aeterni testamenti. This inheritance which Jesus Christ gave to us, it is His Sacrifice, it is His Blood, it is His Cross. the ferment of all Christian civilization and of all that is necessary for salvation.

And I say to you as well: for the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the love of the Church, for the love of the Pope, for the love of bishops, of priests, of all the faithful, for the salvation of the world, for the salvation of souls, keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep the Mass of All Time!

And you will see civilization reflourish, a civilization which is not of this world, but a civilization which leads to the Catholic City which is heaven. The Catholic city of this world is made for nothing else than for the Catholic City of heaven.

Thus by keeping the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by keeping His Sacrifice, by keeping this Mass—this Mass which has been bequeathed to us by our predecessors, this Mass which has been transmitted from the time of the Apostles unto this day. In a few moments I am going to pronounce these words above the chalice of my ordination, and how could you expect me to pronounce above the chalice of my ordination any other words but those which I pronounced 50 years ago over this same chalice—it is impossible! I cannot change the words! We shall therefore continue to pronounce the words of the consecration as our predecessors have taught us, as the Pope, bishops and priests who have been our instructors, have taught us, so that Our Lord Jesus Christ reign, and so that souls be saved through the intercession of our Good Mother in heaven.

SOURCE

So when Msgr. Fellay called this latest Crusade and when those 8+ million rosaries were said, the Society was and is winning this battle and because of them, because of all the faithful within the Society and throughout the Church, the true children of Mary, we are all winning this perpetual Crusade which will continue until the enemy is ejected from the Holy Place. For the brief moment, the ancient enemy has obscured the true Church, but we know that the Immaculate Mother of God will triumph and Our Lord Jesus Christ will once again restore His Bride, the Church.

Readers, we can never be betrayed by Our Lady – as will be very clear before long.  In her own words on June 13, 1917, she said of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

 “He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne…my daughter…I shall never abandon you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God.” (Fatima in Mary’s Words)

I assure you, as long as the FSSPX is faithful to the Immaculata, she will be with them, and there will be no failures, although the world may not often grasp this.  For the successes of the world are often failures in eternity and Our Lord, in His actions as well as His teachings assures us that what the enemy perceives as His failures are  triumphs: “For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel, shall save it.” (Mark 8, 35)

Please, Pray the Rosary and live your Consecration – Souls depend on it!

  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 for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

 

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The Name Written on Her Heart

We offer, in preparation for tomorrow’s Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Lefebvre’s sermon in her honor.

The Name Written on Her Heart

Sermon by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, August 22, 1976

Dear Brethren,

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose solemnity we celebrate today is a com­paratively new feast and an example of what the Church can do and has done in relatively recent times to adapt the spirit and the riches of the Church to the present day. If any feast reminds us of the truths we need, of truths that when meditating we desire to apply to our souls, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary certainly does.

Immaculate Heart of Mary
“By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.”

This feast clearly has a special link to the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, and it was Pius XII who wished that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the octave day of the Assumption.

Ah, yes, since the 17th century devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary has existed. We just celebrated this week the feast of St. John Eudes, who founded congregations under the patronage of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. But if our Holy Father Pius XII decided to honor in a special way the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it was because our times had need of the devotion.

In these times of hardship, in these times where Christians are deprived of what they formerly had, we need the manifestation of the charity of Our Lord, which was so clearly seen during other Christian centuries. One saw religious houses everywhere. Throughout Christendom monasteries, convents, and hospitals were thickly sown. So many religious houses peopled our villages, our countryside, and our cities, that we had the impression—I imagine that the people who lived in those times had the impression—to be entirely surrounded by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. For His love was made manifest, as you might say, on every street corner. There were calvaries; there were images of Our Lady; there were hospitals run by religious; there were refuges for the poor, pilgrims, and those in suffering. Everywhere the charity of Our Lord was manifest.

But in our times, how harsh our world has become! We no longer find this charity of Our Lord in our cities or our countryside. Oh, there are still, of course, souls devoted to Our Lord, but how many compared to the total population? And how much work there remains to do in those countries that do not yet know of Our Lord’s charity, enormous lands like China, Africa, and many others that are still far from this charity!

The Divine Love which Fills the Heart of the Blessed Virgin

And so it seems to me that we need the Blessed Virgin Mary in our times. We need the Blessed Virgin to help us keep the faith, to feel the warmth of Our Lord’s love for us. We no longer see His love with our eyes, and as we see it less and less, we need to feel that Our Lady is near us. And I think that is why Our Lady asked at Fatima that we pray to her Immaculate Heart. We need the divine love which fills the Heart of the Blessed Virgin.

And we also need her Immaculate Heart: immaculate, that is without stain, without sin. God knows that we no longer have around us the example of lives entirely devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ, who carry out the law of Our Lord, His law of love, for the commandments of God are contained in love of God and love of neighbor.

But today, you are witnesses of what goes on in our society, where we murder children, where people commit suicide. Did you know that here in Switzerland, there are more suicides than fatalities due to car accidents? A newspaper recently reported that there were 1800 suicides last year, but only 1600 deaths due to car accidents: 1800 suicides! And mostly of young people. What does that mean? It means that these poor souls no longer felt the love of Our Lord around them; they were disgusted by the life that surrounded them, to the point that they committed suicide. And if what happens in a large number of other countries was made public, we would be horrified.

When one thinks about divorce! So many abandoned children who are torn between father and mother. We live painful lives in a harsh society, where charity is no longer practiced.

Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother

I experienced this personally when I was sent to the African nations, where I worked for 30 years. What struck me the most was the hatred one sensed there. The people were full of hate: one village hated another, one family hated another. The result of this hatred was suicide, poisonings and murders. The love of our Lord Jesus Christ did not reign.

We do not know how fortunate we are to have our Lord Jesus Christ as our Father and the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother. From these examples we must draw our love for God and for our models. For if the Blessed Virgin Mary had a most loving heart, her love was all for our Lord Jesus Christ and for all those “attached” to Him, and to lead all souls to our Lord Jesus Christ, to her Son Jesus. She lived for this love.

And because she loved Our Lord she was never able to offend Him; she simply couldn’t. She was conceived immaculate, born immaculate, and she remains immaculate all her life. She is then for us a model of purity of heart, of obedience to the law of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And because she loved Our Lord, she wanted to suffer with Him and share His sufferings. Sharing suffering is a sign of love. She saw her Son Jesus suffer and she wished to suffer with Him. When the heart of Jesus was pierced, so was hers, the heart of Mary! These two pierced hearts lived in unity for the glory of God, for the reign of God, for the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. They fought for that alone.

And for this reason we too must be ready to suffer for the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. He no longer reigns in our societies, nor in our families, nor in our own selves. Yet we need His reign. It is the only reason for the existence of our souls, our bodies, of humanity, and this earth and all of God’s creation: that Jesus Christ may reign; that He may give to souls His life, His salvation, His charity, His glory.

. . .

We must therefore be strong and ask the most blessed Virgin Mary on this day that we, like her, may have only one love in our hearts: that of our Lord Jesus Christ; only one name written on our hearts: that of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The above is excerpted. The entire sermon is well worth reading and can be found here.

Ed. Note: As we place Archbishop Lefebvre’s words about Africa in their context, we see that the passage of time has only proved his point; the hatred he witnessed in Africa was the result of the absence of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother. To the extent that the good African people embraced the faith, the hatred dissipated and contrariwise, to the extent that the hate-filled sect of Allah and other false religions  prevailed, so did hatred and violence. And now, as we survey the shambles of the dissolution of Christendom, we should be able to see even more clearly, the need for the pure and perfect love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

My words here are sometimes taken to be an endorsement of a sort of pacifism. To be quite clear: I am saying that our actions  must first be based on devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and once we have this solid spiritual footing under us, our Queen and Mother will give us guidance  to lead us to the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.  Attempting the material success without adequate spiritual preparation is  hubris and it never succeeds in spiritual matters! Have we learned nothing?

For it was in  Rianjo, August, 1931, that Sister Lúcia was reminded by Our Lord of His insistence on the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her words,

“… as I was asking God for the conversion of Russia, Spain and Portugal, it seemed to me that His Divine Majesty said to me: “You console Me a great deal by asking Me for the conversion of those poor nations. Ask it also of My Mother frequently, saying: ‘Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.’

At other times say: ‘By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world.’ “

At that same time, Our Lord assured Sister Lúcia,  “Make it known to My ministers that, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”  (Father Alonso in “Fatima Ante la Esfinge”, quoted by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité,  “The Whole Truth About Fatima, V. II”.)

As our readers have noted, today is also the day we remember the apparition of Our Lady of Knock, Ireland.

For previous posts on Knock:

Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II
The message of Our Lady of Knock
What John saw and what Lucia saw

And so, we urge as always,

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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 for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

I shall have to consecrate some bishops

“The situation is such, the work placed in our hands by the good Lord is such, that faced with this darkness in Rome, faced with the Roman authorities’ pertinacity in error, faced with this refusal to return to Truth or Tradition on the part of those who occupy the seats of authority in Rome, faced with all these things, it seems to us that the good Lord is asking for the Church to continue. This is why it is likely that before I give account of my life to the good Lord, I shall have to consecrate some bishops.”

(Archbishop Lefebvre, June 29, 1987)

NOTE: This post updated, see below for the update on SSPX Communique from earlier today.

In due time, history will note the truth about Vatican II and when that happens, Archbishop Lefebvre will be honored as the Prelate, who alone of all the men of the Church, provided for the continuance of the true Mass and sacraments, who alone preserved the sacred priesthood. The following sermon, given 29 years ago today, gives insight into the mind of this great and imminently holy man who will be honored as long as the Holy Catholic Church remains.

Archbishop Lefebvre’s Sermon at the Priestly ordinations in Ecône, June 29, 1987

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Tradidi quod et accepi – I delivered unto you that which I myself have received – I Cor. 15, 3
Tradidi quod et accepi – I delivered unto you that which I myself have received – I Cor. 15, 3

Dear Brethren, Let us give thanks to God who allows us once more to meet together again in Ecône to take part in the magnificent ceremony of priestly ordinations, ceremony which is the reason for our seminaries’ existence and their crowning glory. Seminaries without ordinations would no longer be seminaries of the Church. nor Catholic seminaries. For this reason, having the joy of imposing hands on the new priests, we give thanks to God for letting our seminaries continue to live and even to expand, since Ecône has had to split in two to enable a larger number of young men desiring the true Catholic priesthood, to find at Ecône and Flavigny the training and graces needed for them to become true and holy priests.

MASS AND THE PRIEST

Dear Ordinands, I shall begin by addressing to you a few words of edification and encouragement. You are going to be ordained within the celebration of the Catholic Mass, not a neo-protestant Mass, and this Catholic Mass has been, is now, and will always be the great programme of the priestly life, the great programme of Christian life. To change this Mass is to change the ideal of the priest and Christian, the Catholic ideal. For above all else, Holy Mass is the Cross of Jesus, the continuation of the Cross of Jesus. The veil of the Temple was rent because Jesus died on the Cross, the Old Testament was giving way to the New – was everything changed? Yes and no. Undoubtedly the whole ritual of the old law and a certain concept of God’s law was changed, but the essence of the Old Testament law was being transformed into a living vision of the law of love.

Continue reading “I shall have to consecrate some bishops”

The 1974 Declaration

On November 21, 1974 Archbishop Lefebvre, scandalized by the opinions expressed by the two Apostolic Visitors, drew up for his seminarians “in a spirit of doubtlessly excessive indignation” this famous Declaration as his stand against Modernism. Ten days before, two Apostolic Visitors from Rome arrived at the St. Pius X Seminary in Econe. During their brief stay, they spoke to the seminarians and professors, maintaining scandalous opinions such as, the ordination of married men will soon be a normal thing, truth changes with the times, and the traditional conception of the Resurrection of Our Lord is open to discussion.

'Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi" 1 Cor. 15, 3.
‘Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi”
1 Cor. 15, 3.
1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre

We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth. We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.

All these reforms, indeed, have contributed and are still contributing to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, to a naturalist and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries and catechetics; a teaching derived from Liberalism and Protestantism, many times condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.

No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries. “But though we,” says St. Paul, “or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).

Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church.

It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.

This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever. The only attitude of faithfulness to the Church and Catholic doctrine, in view of our salvation, is a categorical refusal to accept this Reformation.

That is why, without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity.

That is why we hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome.

By doing this, with the grace of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of St. Joseph and St. Pius X, we are assured of remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being the fideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto. Amen.

November 21, 1974

Econe, Switzerland

 

There has never been a better time to  Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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 for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!