On Bp. Faure’s recent Consecration

Resistance Madness: A Sedevacantist looks at Bp. Williamson’s Justification for Consecrating Bp. Faure

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We do not typically simply republish other people’s blog posts, but in this case, we will make an exception as the post shows the anti-Catholic ideas inherent in the justifications given by Bp. Richard Williamson for his recent episcopal consecration of Bp. Jean-Michel Faure, both formerly with the Society of St. Pius X.

The following is a repost from the blog Introibo ad Altare Dei. With a few minor exceptions, all formatting has been retained as in the original post, which is entitled Pater Noster?.

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On the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2015, Bishop Richard Williamson consecrated Fr. Jean-Michel Faure as a new Traditionalist Bishop. Pseudo-Traditionalist is more accurate. Bp. Williamson was one of the four priests consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 for the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The position of the SSPX has always been a rejection of sedevacantism and sedeprivationism. They hold the “recognize and resist” idea that you can recognize the post-Vatican II “popes” as legitimate Vicars of Christ, and yet “resist” their errors. In 2012, Bp. Williamson was expelled from the SSPX for his criticism of General Superior Bp. Bernard Fellay in his efforts to reconcile the SSPX to the Modernist Vatican. In reaction to Bp. Fellay’s “dialogue” with Rome, Williamson founded the Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO).

Did Bp. Williamson, and the priests who followed him out of the SSPX, embrace sedevacantism? No! They simply will do what the SSPX has been doing without the negotiations with “Pope” Francis. I’ve criticized Bp. Williamson quite a bit in my posts for his inconsistent positions and (at times) whacky ideas/behavior. The priest he consecrated, Bp. Faure, is only two years Williamson’s junior at age 73. You would think he would choose a successor a bit younger. That being said, why the need for this consecration? Remember, if there is a pope, you need a papal mandate for a bishop to be consecrated. Therefore, Williamson and Faure find themselves excommunicated from their “pope.” (For Bp. Williamson it’s the second time; the first was by [John Paul II] after his 1988 consecration, and it was rescinded by Ratzinger in 2009). In place of a mandate from Francis, Bp. Williamson produced one of his own making (!) which reads as follows:

We have a Mandate to consecrate from the Roman Church which in its fidelity to Sacred Tradition received from the Apostles commands us to hand down faithfully that Sacred Tradition – namely the Deposit of the Faith – to all men by reason of their duty to save their souls.

For indeed, on the one hand, the authorities of the Church of Rome from the Second Vatican Council down to today are driven by a spirit of modernism which undermines in depth Sacred Tradition to the point of twisting its very notion: There shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, turning away their hearing from the truth, turning unto fables, as St Paul says to Timothy in his second Epistle (IV, 3,5). What use would it be to ask such authorities for a Mandate to consecrate a bishop who is going to be profoundly opposed to their most grave error?

And, on the other hand, to obtain such a bishop the few Catholics who understand his importance might have hoped, even after Vatican II, that he could come from the Society of St Pius X founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, like the four consecrated for them in 1988 by a previous emergency Mandate. Alas, when the authorities of that Society showed by their constant turning towards the Roman authorities that they were taking the same modernist road, that hope proved to be vain.

From where then could these faithful Catholics obtain the bishops essential to the survival of their true faith? In a world making political war day by day more on God and on His Church, the danger for the Faith seems such that its survival can no longer be left to depend on a single fully anti-modernist bishop. The Church herself asks him to appoint an associate, who will be Father Jean-Michel Faure.

By this handing down of the episcopal power of Orders, no episcopal power of jurisdiction is assumed or granted, and as soon as God intervenes to save His Church, which has no more human hope of rescue, the effects of this consecration and of its emergency Mandate will be without delay put back in the hands of a Pope once more wholly Catholic.

You might ask, “How does this jive with the “recognize and resist” idea that Francis is pope? Answer: It doesn’t. Bp. Williamson continuously makes gratuitous assertions without one iota of theology and canon law to back them up. Everything he does runs strictly counter to what the Church teaches through Her approved theologians.

Here’s what the Church teaches:

1. The Pope has Universal and Complete Primacy Over the Entire Church

The name “pope” comes from the Greek word for “father.” Like an earthly father rules over the family, the Holy Father does the same for the Church in a more absolute manner. As taught by theologian [Mgr. Gerard] Van Noort, the pope’s power (as defined by the Vatican Council in 1870) is:

  • binding authority which demands obedience
  • universal in regard to place (everywhere) and business (faith, morals, discipline, and government)
  • ordinary–i.e., he possess his jurisdiction over the Church by virtue of the office he holds and may exercise it at any time he chooses
  • direct and episcopal–he can act not only on individual bishops but also on the faithful without any episcopal mediation
  • supreme–there is no other person (or persons taken collectively) that have a power greater than or equal to his
  •  absolute and complete in itself. He possesses in himself alone the plenitude of power, and not merely a portion of that power (See Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology 2:280-282)

2.  The Church, with the Pope as Her visible Head on Earth, is indefectible. Her teaching cannot change, and because She is infallible, Her laws cannot give evil

Again, from Van Noort:

The Church’s infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church. …But if the Church could make a mistake in the manner alleged when it legislated for the general discipline, it would no longer be either a loyal guardian of revealed doctrine or a trustworthy teacher of the Christian way of life” (Dogmatic Theology 2:114-115; Emphasis in original). Therefore all of what the Church [universally] legislates with papal approval is infallible; it cannot be evil or in error.

3. Rejection of a Command or Decision of a Pope Can Happen In One of Three Ways:

  • Rejection of the thing commanded. This occurs when one disobeys something (e.g., a fast or restitution enjoined by the Pontiff) because he considers it too difficult. This results in sin, but not separation through schism because he rejects a commandment of the Church, not the Head of the Church.
  • Rejection of the command when you regard the pope in his capacity as an individual. As the pope is not above human weakness, he might make a command moved by hatred, envy, or some other sinful motive involving an individual decision (not one affecting the whole Church). The pope might also command something sinful (e.g., kill someone he dislikes). In such a case neither sin nor schism is committed by this refusal to obey.
  • The rejection is based on his official capacity as pope. The person is guilty of schism and is no longer a member of the Church because he does not wish to submit to the authority of the pope who gave the command. (See theologians McHugh and Callan, Moral Theology 1:542-543)

Now, let’s consider the “mandate” of  Williamson when analysed under these principles.

Para. #1 We have a Mandate to consecrate from the Roman Church which in its fidelity to Sacred Tradition received from the Apostles commands us to hand down faithfully that Sacred Tradition – namely the Deposit of the Faith – to all men by reason of their duty to save their souls.

The Roman Catholic Church acts through Her visible Head, the pope, under normal circumstances. How can you get a mandate from the Church when you recognize Francis and he has not consented to give you one?  Are you suggesting the pope gave something evil? See principle #2 above.

Para. #2 For indeed, on the one hand, the authorities of the Church of Rome from the Second Vatican Council down to today are driven by a spirit of modernism which undermines in depth Sacred Tradition to the point of twisting its very notion: There shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, turning away their hearing from the truth, turning unto fables, as St Paul says to Timothy in his second Epistle (IV, 3,5). What use would it be to ask such authorities for a Mandate to consecrate a bishop who is going to be profoundly opposed to their most grave error?

The authorities–including the man they consider “pope” is in “grave error” that needs to be opposed? See principle #2 above. The Holy Ghost would not permit the pope to teach a “most grave error” and to be driven by “a spirit of Modernism” which is heresy.

Para. #3 And, on the other hand, to obtain such a bishop the few Catholics who understand his importance might have hoped, even after Vatican II, that he could come from the Society of St Pius X founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, like the four consecrated for them in 1988 by a previous emergency Mandate. Alas, when the authorities of that Society showed by their constant turning towards the Roman authorities that they were taking the same modernist road, that hope proved to be vain.

Lefebvre made up a “mandate” too! Salvation came not from the pope and his hierarchy with ordinary jurisdiction established by Christ, but through the SSPX set up in opposition to the appointed hierarchy! Now they “defected” by—-wanting to be united to the pope??

Para. #4 From where then could these faithful Catholics obtain the bishops essential to the survival of their true faith? (How about from the pope?) In a world making political war day by day more on God and on His Church, the danger for the Faith seems such that its survival can no longer be left to depend on a single fully anti-modernist bishop. (You mean the pope is not anti-Modernist? That would make him a heretic! But a heretic can’t be pope, so he’s either anti-Modernist, or a false “pope.”) The Church herself asks him to appoint an associate, who will be Father Jean-Michel Faure. (The Church–apart from the pope–asked for Fr. Faure to be consecrated? Imagine that!)

Para. #5 By this handing down of the episcopal power of Orders, no episcopal power of jurisdiction is assumed or granted, and as soon as God intervenes to save His Church, which has no more human hope of rescue, the effects of this consecration and of its emergency Mandate will be without delay put back in the hands of a Pope once more wholly Catholic.”

You mean we have a “partially Catholic” pope? Sounds like Vatican II ecclesiology! Doesn’t Williamson reject the idea of non-Catholic sects being in “partial communion” with the Catholic Church —as the heretical teachings of Vatican II tell us? Yet it seems Mr. Bergoglio can be in “partial communion” with the office of the papacy!

Bp. Williamson, and the newly consecrated Bp. Faure are of a Protestant mind-set. They recognize a man as pope, then apply their own made-up principles (alien to the Catholic Faith) to justify doing what they want. Then they go about as they please in the hopes that some day Bergoglio (or his successor) will do what they think is right. How sad… Only when there is a general rejection of the errors of Vatican II sect and its false “pope” can we come closer to an imperfect general council electing a real Pontiff whom we can obey and call “our father.”

[taken from http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2015/03/pater-noster.html]

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Novus Ordo Watch Commentary: The recognize-but-resist position is a dead-end, where each individual does as he pleases as long as he thinks himself justified by his understanding of Tradition, or what he thinks the Church would have done, all in opposition to — and this is the most important point — the (supposedly) legitimate and functioning hierarchy of the Catholic Church. It is this part that most essentially distinguishes the resistance traditionalist from the sedevacantist. For those who object that Sedevacantism has its own share of difficulties, we readily acknowledge that it is so, yet there is an essential difference: Difficulties in Sedevacantism are due to the absence of a reigning Pope, whereas Neo-Trad problems exist in spite of a Pope and a functioning hierarchy. Sedevacantist difficulties exist because the authority that can resolve them and is acknowledged as valid is absent, whereas Neo-Trads oppose and contradict the authority they acknowledge as valid and functioning. All sedevacantist problems are resolved, in principle, as soon as a true Pope is once again reigning. On the other hand, the resisters’ difficulties can never really be resolved because any solution is dependent, in principle, upon each resister’s personal agreement with the resolution. (For more on this particular issue, please see our powerful response to Fr. Francois Chazal, “You Can’t Have It Your Way”, and the article “When the Shepherd Is Struck”.)

For more on Bp. Williamson’s episcopal consecration of Bp. Faure, we also highly recommend the following article by Tom Droleskey:

There is no way out of the Novus Ordo absurdity except by positing that the “Popes” after Pius XII have been impostors. Only once this is recognized can everything else begin to fall into place. Any other attempt to understand or solve this crisis is doomed to failure from the outset.