Recently I had been attending Society Masses out of utter frustration with local "teen" masses and the like. I had also been reading a lot of books by Abp. Lefevbre. I had been having a crisis of conscience and of faith in which direction to go, as my wife is conservative N.O. and we had not been going to Mass together for some time.
Utterly frustrated I typed into a google search a question that had been on my mind regarding what spiritual path I should take for peace of mind. I don't know why I did it. I was in a doctor's office waiting room, so conflicted in my spiritual life, and desperately wanting an answer. The first search result that appeared was this article.
Out of curiosity, I started reading it. Then as the article wore on it became clear it was written by a Sede. "Ugh" I thought. I was secretly hoping God would use the opportunity to give me a sign. But obviously He doesn't want me to be a Sede. So I chalked it up to silliness/ boredom. Then, for some reason I kept reading...
Let me say that I have the utmost respect for SSPX frequenters. During my visits there, I found all of the faithful charitable, helpful, and very devout. Their Masses were top notch and they had an unparalelled respect for Our Lord in the Eucharist.
However, I personally, truly sense the presence of God in having me read this article. It is nothing new, written in 1994. However, for the first time, this Sede priest, totally unintentionally, got to the bottom of an itch I had that was bothering me re: the consistency of the Society's position.
Part of the reason I know in my heart this was from God is that, in my experience, He has a perfect sense of irony. Indeed, it is through a Sede
priest that, I believe God has chosen to communicate to me that I belong with Peter in this crisis. Still a Traditionalist, still fighting for Truth, but at the same time united with Rome and the Pope. For where Peter is, there also is the Church, no matter how imperfect and wounded. I finally feel that I have peace.
I know many will disagree with me and I do respect your opinions. Everyone must pray and follow their own path. I know the below article is long, but all I ask is that you read it. I thank the Fish Eaters family for all of the support and assistance they've given me through this time in my life.
Stevehttp://www.traditionalmass.org/articles/article.php?id=50&catname=12The Mountains of Gelboe
Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn
One of Abp. Lefebvre’s first seminarians mourns the fall of his Society.
At the end of the First Book of Kings, we read about the terrible defeat of the Israelite army in a desperate battle against the Philistines. Saul, their King, had been distracted for a long time by an obsession to kill David, for the pure reason that David had upstaged him in battle. Caught in unpreparedness, the Israelite army was slaughtered; Saul, mortally wounded, committed suicide by falling upon his sword. All of this happened upon the mountains of Gelboe(pronounced jell-bo-ay). And the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gelboe. (I Kings 31:1)
David, who had not taken part in the battle, was overwhelmed with grief. He grieved for Saul his persecutor, for the fact that he was his king. He grieved for Jonathan, his closest friend. He grieved for the valiant men of Israel who fell on that mountain. The illustrious of Israel are slain upon thy mountains: how are the valiant fallen? (II Kings 1:19)
The composer George Frederick Handel put this dramatic scene from the Old Testament to moving music in his oratorio entitled Saul. To dark strains of funeral dirge, these words bemoan the loss of the valiant youth of Israel:
Mourn, Israel, mourn, thy beauty lost,
Thy choicest youth on Gilboa slain!
How have thy fairest hopes been cross’d!
What heaps of mighty warriors strew the plain!
Every year, in June and July, the priest in reading his breviary frequently recites David’s lament of the events on Gelboe:
Montes Gelboë, nec ros nec pluvia veniant super vos, ubi ceciderunt fortes Israël.
O Mountains of Gelboe, may neither dew nor rain fall upon you, where the valiant of Israel have fallen.
Where the Valiant of Israel Have Fallen
When one considers that Israel in the Old Testament is a prefiguration of the Catholic Church in the New, and that the Philistines, the long-time enemy of the Israelites, are a prefiguration of the enemies of the Church, it is difficult not to make the comparison to our own time.
Never was there a time when the Church was more assailed by her enemies; never have they been more successful. Never before has the Church fought such a decisive battle against her enemies. It is truly the moment of her Gelboe.
The battle is a fierce one. The Philistines are, of course, the modernists. The Israelites are Catholics faithful to their holy Faith. Just like the Philistines who mustered a terrible force in response to their humiliation by the killing of Goliath, so the modernists have assailed the Church in our time with renewed vigor, having been humiliated under the reign of St. Pius X.
Yet the valiant of Israel — the faithful Catholics — are falling and are being slain in this fateful contest.
The Building of a Great Army
Walking home from Sunday Mass in November of 1964, I remember being severely disheartened. It was the first Sunday of Advent, and the first changes of Paul VI had been introduced into the Mass. The prayers at the foot of the altar had been dropped, as well as the Last Gospel. The Dialogue Mass had been introduced, and some Protestant-sounding hymns had been sung. Although tame by today’s standards of liturgical aberration, I nevertheless knew, then, instinctively, that something was deeply wrong in the Catholic Church. I felt, at the young age of fourteen, that the Protestant religion had crept into the Catholic Church.
My life would never again be the same. The interior disarray which the changes caused in me became worse and worse as time went on. More and more changes were made; more and more the Church — or what seemed to be the Church — became protestantized.
In 1967 I entered the diocesan seminary on the college level. Naively had I thought that the seminary would be a haven of orthodoxy and conservatism from the liberal parish. In fact, to my deep sadness, I discovered practically the first day that the opposite was true. I remember being horrified to hear older seminarians calling for married clergy and other liberal changes.
By 1970, I realized that I would never be able to function in the environment of the Vatican II religion of the future. I realized then what the Novus Ordo religion would become — exactly what it is now. The liberal seminarians are now priests and bishops, and there is yet more to come from them.
I and other seminarians started looking around for other dioceses which would be more conservative. At that time, all one looked for or hoped for was conservatism, a little niche in which to weather the storm of liberalism. Nearly all conservatives felt that the storm would soon pass, since the “Holy Father,” then Paul VI, would catch wind of the doings of the evil liberals, and would crack down on them. The “Holy Father” just did not know what was going on — that was the reason for all of the liberalism, we all thought. Year by year the seminary became more liberal; every year I thought to myself, “Next year they will crack down.” They never did.
There was always the implicit idea in every conservative’s head that the liberals were really Catholics who just got carried away. Once they saw that the changes were not working, they would go back.
It was during these years that I and other seminarians traveled to Fordham University in the Bronx to hear Dr. von Hildebrand speak on the changes. He was introduced by the now well-known Dr. William Marra. I also avidly read Triumph magazine, and just about every other traditional or conservative publication I could get my hands on.
But none of it was working. It just got worse and worse and worse.
Finally, in the Fall of 1970, a fellow seminarian had the idea of writing to The Voice, a traditional journal published in upstate New York, asking if anyone knew of a traditional seminary somewhere. The letter was published. A priest, by the name of Fr. Ramsey, responded. He said that although he knew of nothing available in the United States, he did know of a small seminary recently founded by a French Archbishop in Switzerland. Furthermore, he would be coming to the United States in the Spring.
Naturally interested, I wrote to him, and received a kind response from him rather quickly. He would be coming in March, and would be happy to meet with me and other interested seminarians. On Monday, March 15, 1971, I and two other seminarians met with Archbishop Lefebvre in New York City. Again, my life would never be the same.
This conversation with the Archbishop contained in seed form all of the strengths and all of the problems that would be part of the traditional movement in the future.
His Excellency was on his way to Covington, Kentucky, where he was to meet with another member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, the Bishop of Covington. The Archbishop hoped to obtain from him permission to found a little seminary of the newly founded Society in his diocese.
The Archbishop began his conversation with us by showing to us the approval for the Society which he had received from the Diocese of Fribourg. It was clear from this that he wanted to work within the framework of the Novus Ordo. At the time, no one ever thought of doing anything else — we were all just looking for a refuge, a place to be Catholic and mind our own business.
As the conversation progressed, however, Archbishop Lefebvre explained that it was necessary to retain the traditional Latin Mass exclusively, and that this was the Mass used in his seminary. While I welcomed the idea of the traditional Latin Mass, and hated the New Mass, the idea of retaining the traditional troubled me. Assuming that Paul VI was the Pope, which we all thought at the time, how can one resist him on this point? One seminarian, I remember, put the objection to him. The Archbishop gave a vague answer as to its legality, and insisted more on the necessity to retain the traditional Mass in order to retain the Faith. He was, of course, right, but the legal question remained puzzling and troubling.
The conversation contained in bud form all the events that would unfold later. The desire to work with the Novus Ordo would eventually war with the resolve to retain the traditional Mass, and the Catholic Faith in general. The Archbishop, and with him the Society, will spend an agonizing twenty-five years trying to wed these two contradictory elements: the Novus Ordo and the Catholic Faith. And because the Novus Ordo is promulgated by the “pope,” the Archbishop and the Society will seek an impossible middle ground between recognizing the authority of Christ in him, and resisting the authority of Christ in him.
These two contradictory strains in Archbishop Lefebvre, the one to work with the Novus Ordo, the other to preserve the Catholic Faith, will cause two factions to arise in Ecône: the soft-liners, or liberals, who favored compromise of the Catholic Faith in order to gain the approval of the Novus Ordo, and the hard-liners, who favored abandonment of hope of approval from the Novus Ordo, lest the Faith be compromised.
As I said in my article of ten years ago, entitled The Crux of the Matter, the Archbishop gave both sides something to work with. Some statements and deeds were very soft-line; other statements and deeds were very hard-line. The result was that each side could claim to be of the mind and spirit of the Archbishop.
In fact, the Archbishop pursued a course which was neither one nor the other. The method which he foresaw for solving the crisis in the Church was to build up a great army of traditional priests, send them out to say Mass everywhere, and attract Catholics to their Masses and apostolate. The Novus Ordo, he thought, would become weak for lack of vocations, and soon the Vatican and bishops would have to capitulate to the reality that the only priests left were traditional priests. Reluctantly they would return to tradition. On the other hand, the Archbishop felt that it was absolutely necessary to preserve Catholic doctrine, liturgy, and practice, and therefore to resist the Novus Ordo authorities, notably Paul VI.
From this double purpose was born the only possible conclusion: the “sifting” solution. Recognize the Novus Ordo authority as the Catholic authority, but sift their doctrines, their laws and their liturgy for what is Catholic, and reject what is non-catholic.
The Archbishop therefore sought to form the seminarian who would accept this solution, and, obviously, regard the Society — him — as the “sifting” authority. This is how the “cult of Monseigneur” got its start. The seminarian, unable to resolve the problem of authority, looked to Archbishop Lefebvre as the special voice of God in this crisis. Rome was not a problem as long as the Archbishop was around to interpret it, and to lead us through the various modernist obstacles given to us by Rome.
From 1970 to 1975, these three currents, the soft-line, the hard-line, and the Lefebvre-line, developed side by side, and only had occasional minor flare-ups with one another. The hard-liners openly made known their sedevacantist views about Paul VI. They also felt no need to hide their allegiance to the St. Pius X Breviary and rubrics, and seminarians could be seen with these breviaries all over the seminary.
In the classroom, the hard-line would do battle against professors of modernist tendency, a certain now well-known British bishop leading the hard-line pack. The soft-liners would defend the professors, and attack the hard-liners. The Lefebvre-liners would generally stay out of it.
In 1974, the Vatican decided to investigate Ecône by sending Visitors who interviewed a great many faculty members and seminarians. Perceiving that the report would be badly received, Archbishop Lefebvre issued his famous Declaration which infinitely pleased the hard-liners, and flattened the soft-liners. A year later, in May of 1975, Paul VI suppressed the Society. Archbishop Lefebvre resolved to resist him, and keep Ecône open. The hard-liners rejoiced, full of enthusiasm for the now open war with modernism, particularly located in the Vatican. They gave no care for the suppression, for they considered the acts of Paul VI to be null and void anyway.
The soft-liners were in turmoil. Many left. The Lefebvre-liners said nothing and loyally went along with the Archbishop.
The events of 1975 to 1978 gave every indication that the hard-line would gain the day. The Archbishop seemed to give up any hope, or even desire to reconcile with the modernist Montini. He called the Vatican II church “a schismatic church,” and the New Mass a “bastard Mass.” For a moment, it seemed that the dichotomy in Archbishop Lefebvre of the early years had resolved itself into a logical and consistent pursuit of war with the Novus Ordo. The Society would be the great army of the Catholic Church against its modernist enemies, the Philistines within the walls, primarily the walls of the Vatican. It would attract vocations from the whole world, form them according to the mind of the Church, Catholic and anti-modernist, and return them to the battlefield in every country of the globe. The future was bright, secure, and glorious.
Then on August 6, 1978, Paul VI did something which made a great many people happy. He stopped living.
John Paul II: The Bear Hug
Having gotten through the brief days of Luciani, the present and seemingly never-ending Wojtyla became the third Vatican II “pope” in October of 1978.
Archbishop Lefebvre wanted to see the new “pope.” Wojtyla saw him not long after his election. In the course of his historic conversation, Wojtyla told Lefebvre that he could live with “accepting the Council in the light of tradition,” the formula that the Archbishop had always used in his old attempt to arrive at coexistence with the Novus Ordo. For Lefebvre it meant sifting the Council for Catholicism; for Wojtyla it meant another color on the modernist spectrum of ideas. For Lefebvre it was the re-opening of the pre-Paul VI hope of receiving the approval of the Novus Ordo; for Wojtyla it was a way of reconciling the traditionalists into a High Church. For Lefebvre it was the hope of obtaining a side-chapel of tradition in the modernist cathedral; for Wojtyla, it was the same thing.
Coming together in this hope of reconciliation, Wojtyla gives the Archbishop a bear hug. The war is over.
At least that one. Emerging from this meeting, the Archbishop now has the task of transforming his hard-line Society in battle array into a supple instrument of compromise. Dialogue will be the order of the day for the years to come, and he needs clergy behind him not with sword in hand, but pen in hand to sign a peace with the destroyers of Catholicism.
A Reign of Terror ensued in the Society. Convinced that he had now to build an army of dialoguers and compromisers in order to achieve his long sought after approval of the modernist Vatican, the Archbishop realized that he had to either convert or eliminate the opposition. This he did with relentless resolve, and even cruelty. Sedevacantism was banned. Either you had to say that Wojtyla was pope, or leave and live in banishment and poverty.
To the soft-liners’ delight, every hard-liner in the Society was systematically demolished, either through conversion by pressure or expulsion. By 1986, with the expulsion of the four Italian priests, the process would be complete, and not a single person was left in the Society who was of the mind that Wojtyla was the enemy. The way was now clear for a compromise which would bring coexistence, the side chapel in the modernist Cathedral of Ecumenism.
Despite the setback of the Assisi meeting, and other outrageous ecumenical crimes on the part of Wojtyla, negotiations with the enemy proceeded on course until the fateful day of the protocol: May 5, 1988, the feast of St. Pius V, by no means a coincidence.
After months of negotiation with Ratzinger, a document designed to be preparatory to an ultimate, more formal agreement was presented to Archbishop Lefebvre for signature. In this fateful protocol, as it is called, Archbishop Lefebvre (1) promised fidelity to John Paul II and to the Novus Ordo body of bishops; (2) agreed to accept Chapter 25 of Lumen Gentium, thereby accepting Vatican II as the teaching of the Catholic Church, without any reserve; (3) agreed to dialogue with the Vatican over disputed points in Vatican II, the new liturgy, and legal matters, “avoiding all polemic,” i.e., abandoning the public denunciation of error; (4) recognized as valid the New Mass and the new sacraments, as promulgated by Paul VI and John Paul II in their official editions, thus implying that they are Catholic rites promulgated by the Church, and incapable of being invalid; (5) recognizes the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which he himself said is full of errors if not heresies.
In return, Ratzinger conceded a place for the Society in what Archbishop Lefebvre had always termed “the conciliar church.” Furthermore, Ratzinger agreed to suggest to the “Holy Father” to name a bishop, to be chosen from among the Society’s members.
The next day, May 6th, Archbishop Lefebvre violated the very agreement he entered into, by telling Ratzinger that unless the “Pope” named a bishop and prepared the Apostolic Mandate (the permission to consecrate) by mid-June, he would go ahead with the ceremony anyway. His reasons were that a postponement of this event would cause in the traditionalists a sense of disillusionment. Furthermore, he added, “hotels, means of transport, the immense tents which will be set up for the ceremony, have all been rented.”
Ratzinger and the Archbishop met on May 24th. Ratzinger convinces him that the “Holy Father” will select a bishop from the Society, and will approve of a consecration to be done on August 15th, a mere forty-five days after the much desired June 30th. Lefebvre responds in two letters, one to Ratzinger, the other to Wojtyla, insisting on three bishops and the June 30th consecration date, and that the “Tradition Commission” have a majority of Society members.
Ratzinger responded on May 30th by insisting on the terms of the May 5th protocol, and that the Archbishop submit to the decision of the “Pope” concerning the consecration. Lefebvre responds on June 2nd, denouncing the spirit of Vatican II, and tells Ratzinger that he intends to do the consecration on June 30th, claiming “permission” because Rome said it would permit it on August 15th.
The flip-flop continues. On June 15th, Archbishop Lefebvre gave a press conference in which he said that John Paul II was not Catholic, was excommunicated, outside of the Church, but is the Head of the Church. On June 16th, he told a reporter that he would change his mind if John Paul II — who the day before was not even a Catholic — would approve of his four bishops.
On the 30th of June, 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated the four bishops. On July 2, John Paul II excommunicated him, and those who follow him.
The Two Sides of the Archbishop
It is evident from his dealings with the modernist Vatican that there were two opposing sides to Archbishop Lefebvre, capable of dictating their own distinct and contradictory theory and course of action.
On the one side was the Archbishop’s faith. Having known him for many years, I can attest to the fact that, in his heart, he was deeply Catholic, anti-liberal, anti-modernist. He detested the changes of Vatican II, and, like all of us, longed for the days of the traditional Faith.
On the other side was the Archbishop’s diplomacy. A firm believer in this art, and well trained in it from having been Apostolic Delegate, he thought that he could solve the Church’s problems through diplomacy.
When unfettered by considerations of diplomacy, the Archbishop’s faith, enflamed by his fortitude, shown bright. His pronouncements in these undiplomatic and uncalculated moods were excellent. They were exactly what the Church needed — a simple, unambiguous declaration of the truth, a square-in-the-face denunciation of the modernists. a forceful program of positive action against them through the training and ordaining of traditional priests. In this side of him lay the Archbishop’s greatness.
When diplomacy dictated his thoughts and actions, however, another Archbishop appeared. Ready to make shameful surrenders for the sake of achieving his end, he would offer ambiguous statements to the modernists as bait, hoping that they would be appeased enough to set him a place at the modernist table. For example, despite the fact that he was death on the New Mass, he apparently accepted to permit a New Mass to be celebrated in the large Paris church of Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet:
Cardinal [Ratzinger] lets us know that it would be necessary to then permit a New Mass to be celebrated at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet. He insists on the one Church, that of Vatican II. Despite these disappointments, I sign the Protocol of May 5th. (Dossier sur les Consécrations Episcopales, Ecône, 1988, page 4.)
Under the influence of his diplomacy, his wonted courage was transformed into a frail and timorous weakness before the Church’s adversaries. Back in 1974, when he perceived that his brilliant Declaration was a diplomatic gaffe, to Cardinal Seper he offered the excuse, unworthy of his faith and fortitude, that he had composed it in a moment of anger.
To Ratzinger, in an attempt to move the Vatican to approve of his hoped-for consecrations, he offered the reason that the “tents were rented,” as if these consecrations were little more than a wedding reception.
Did he really think that the Vatican would be moved by a question of tents? Did Archbishop Lefebvre really think that the inconvenience of cancelling the tents had anything to do with the momentous questions at hand? Of course not. The truth is that in his heart the Archbishop knew that John Paul II was no more the pope than the man in the moon, and that his dealings with him were not in a spirit of submission to his “authority,” but rather an attempt to garner from Wojtyla what Wojtyla possessed: an appearance of legitimacy.
Proof of this is his attitude which he expressed to the four bishops-to-be on August 28, 1987, just before the long process of negotiation was begun: “The Chair of Peter,” he wrote in a letter to them, “and the positions of authority in Rome are occupied by anti-Christs.” (Ibid., page 1.) How, one asks, could he have honestly conducted negotiations with these anti-Christs, in an effort to have his Society approved by them, so as to work side by side with them? How could he call the Vicar of Christ him whom he condemned as an anti-Christ?
The answer lies in the two-sidedness of the Archbishop.
Like two discs playing at the same time, one coming out one speaker, the other out the other, so the Archbishop’s two sides, one of faith and the other of diplomacy, could been seen and heard simultaneously, perhaps on the same day, in his pronouncements, attitudes and deeds.
An Army Fighting for Coexistence with Heretics
It is often said that if it were not for Archbishop Lefebvre, there would be no traditional movement at all, no priests, no traditional Mass, nothing.
This statement is, for the most part, true. To Archbishop Lefebvre belongs the credit of conceiving the idea of a great worldwide army of priests, working in a coherent and unified fashion against the modernist clergy. To him belongs the credit of setting up a mechanism to accomplish just that, inasmuch as he set his mind to the founding of seminaries and the establishment of many religious houses, schools, convents, novitiates, etc. To him goes the credit of building up a finely equipped army, at least from the material and organizational point of view.
Owing to this material and organizational prowess, and to his charisma which naturally attracted so many people to him, he pulled to himself nearly every vocation to the priesthood among those who were resisting the changes. The formation of Ecône in 1970 was the trumpet call to the Church’s troops in her moment of ultimate battle with the powers of darkness, the gates of hell. Many responded and continue to respond. It is Israel’s choicest youth in fierce battle with the Philistine.
Like the battle on the mountains of Gelboe, however, our choicest youth are being slain, and the army is losing to the Philistine.
For as long as this army of Catholic priests of resistance to modernism does not perceive the Philistine as the enemy, it will be annihilated.
For although credit goes to Archbishop Lefebvre for raising and equipping the army, so also does responsibility go to him for having led them — as well as the lay people they serve — into the trap of the vast enemy. The trap of the enemy is to lure the resistance to modernism into being a “High Church,” a traditional branch of the modernist religion.
This trap, this “solution” of the problem of Vatican II and its reforms serves the purposes of the modernist perfectly. He captures within his reformed, heretical religion, like a spider in her web, virtually the entire resistance which Catholicism could offer it. It captures it, dictates terms to it, contains it, and emasculates it. Then the “Catholic” Church would look for all the world like the Church of England, where adherence to the Catholic Faith would be reduced to liturgical pomp and “Catholic make-believe” in communion with the heresy. Such a system reduces the Catholic Church to a sect, for the Catholic Church cannot lend the name Catholic to the modernist heretic, and at the same time call itself the true Church of Christ.
Yet the Lefebvrists see as the solution to the Church’s problems a co-existence between modernist and Catholic in the same Church, where they have their churches, and we have ours, all under the same pope, who would be Holy Father to both heretic and Catholic alike.
This attitude is not of God. Never, never, in the history of the Old Testament or of the New, has God ever compromised with His enemies. Never has God permitted the mixture of false religion with His sacred doctrine. In fact, the reason why the chosen people were continually punished in the Old Testament was because they sought to mix their divinely revealed faith with the pagan worship of neighboring peoples.
No, either Vatican II is of God or it is not of God. Either the changes brought forth by this Council are of the Holy Ghost or they are not of the Holy Ghost. If they are of the Holy Ghost, then they should be accepted, and our resistance is sinful. If they are not of the Holy Ghost, then they are of the devil, and there is but one response of the Church to it, and that is anathema, a thousand times anathema, and excommunication to all heretics. No co-existence with heresy and heretics. To call for such co-existence is to reduce the Church to a sect, like those of the Protestants.
We are not seeking, therefore, in this resistance we place to Vatican II and its changes, a side-chapel of tradition in the great modernist cathedral. No, we are raising a voice of rejection and denunciation of heresy, which is the voice of faith, against those heretics who have invaded our sacred buildings and filled them with the stench of heretical abomination.
Equipping them with everything except the proper theology of how to view the enemies of the Church, Archbishop Lefebvre created an army which does not know where the enemy is. Their struggle is a struggle for “recognition” by the modernist “authorities.” They seek to be absorbed by the Philistine, and not to conquer him. They want to work together with the modernist in the Vatican, and not drive him from it. Their battle is a battle for co-existence with the modernist, a battle to share the same Church with the heretic.
The spirit of “negotiation with Rome” continues in the Society. The very term sounds schismatic, for Catholics do not negotiate with Rome but submit to Rome. Shortly after the consecrations of 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre said that the negotiations would continue, and that perhaps in five years, all would be resolved. We have only recently heard of more negotiations, more moves toward Wojtyla. Veritatis Splendor, the new encyclical of Wojtyla, was praised by the Rector of Ecône [!] as being “radically anti-liberal, anti-ecumenical, anti-collegial” and as “having nothing serious in it in need of revision.”
The reason why the Society pursues the path of negotiation with the modernists, with the ultimate goal of being absorbed by them, is that they regard Wojtyla as having papal authority. They feel a need to submit to him and be recognized by him, as they would submit to Christ and be recognized by Christ. Papal authority is the authority of Christ.
At the same time, however, they regard nearly everything he says or does as either heretical, erroneous, scandalous or harmful to souls. They openly say that a Catholic cannot survive spiritually in the Novus Ordo. This means that the Mass and sacraments, doctrine, and discipline which has been given to us officially by the Pope (in their eyes) is so harmful to souls that it is spiritually death-dealing.
Because it is spiritually death-dealing, the Society feels that it has a carte blanche to carry on any apostolate it wishes in any diocese of the world. At the same time, they carry on negotiations with the spiritual death-dealers, in order that they might work side-by-side with them in dioceses, like the Fraternity of Saint Peter.
If the Society would abandon this impossible position, which is just like that of the Donatists, Jansenists, Gallicans and Old Catholics, and adopt the Catholic position, it would become the true and valiant army of resistance it was meant to be.
Their position is impossible, because, in their view, they are fighting the very Catholic Church they want to be a part of. But Catholics do not fight their Church, they submit to it, because it is indefectible and infallible. It is the Church of Christ, and its authority is the authority of Christ.
The Catholic position, therefore, is that it is impossible that the Catholic authority — the authority of Christ — prescribe for the whole Catholic Church false or death-dealing doctrines, disciplines, Masses, or sacraments. Because the Vatican II reforms are false and death-dealing, it is impossible that they come from Catholic authority, the authority of Christ. It is therefore impossible that Wojtyla have the papal authority he claims to have. He does not represent the Catholic Church. The reforms of Vatican II do not come to us from the Catholic Church.
The obvious practical conclusion from this Catholic position is one of no compromise with the heretics in the Vatican and episcopal chanceries. It is the duty of the Church to denounce the modernists as impostors in their claim to Catholic authority, and urge Catholics to pay no attention to them, and to refuse to give them the Catholic name. This denunciation of their false authority is essential to the Church’s indefectibility, since the Church would defect if she accepted as true a false spouse, and accepted as Catholic the non-catholic doctrines, disciplines and liturgy which have emanated from Vatican II, Montini, and Wojtyla.