For Heaven’s sake, wake up!
An Update: Francis and the Society of St. Pius X
The Society of St. Pius X, since 1994 headed by the intrepid Bp. Bernard Fellay, who considers himself the leader of Traditional Catholicism yet without even so much as a single significant theological contribution to back him up, has now released a statement on Jorge Bergoglio’s infernal exhortation Amoris Laetitia:
- Declaration of the Society of Saint Pius X Concerning the Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis
The Society’s reaction is entitled, “Enough to make one weep” — which about sums up all the SSPX has left at this point to put up against Francis’ in-your-face apostasy: tears, sobbing, and hand-wringing. This is no way to fight a battle, much less to win a war.
But then again, Bp. Fellay proved himself to be nothing but a lap dog who was completely clueless as to how to defend even his own semi-traditionalist position when confronted by an aggressive journalist back in late February. If you have not seen the interview Deutsche Welle’s Tim Sebastian had with the Society’s Superior General, embedded below, please be sure to watch it — there is a reason why you didn’t hear about this video from the SSPX:
If Fellay is the “leader” of Traditional Catholicism,
we’d hate to see what the followers are like…
Also, you will want to review our extensive commentary on this disastrous interview, found in the following post:
The fact that herculean efforts are being made for the Society to be fully integrated into the Modernist Church is undeniable. We recall some recent events and headlines:
- Fr. Schmidberger’s Case for Union with Francis’ Church
- Francis extends SSPX Faculties for Confessions beyond Year of Mercy
- Vatican: SSPX Need Not Adhere to All of Vatican II for Canonical Recognition
- Francis meets with Bp. Fellay at Vatican
- Bp. Fellay: “We are on the Eve of Important Events”
- Bp. Fellay: “I was appointed by Rome to judge SSPX Priests”
But there is more recent news still. On May 1, 2016, during a sermon on the occasion of a church consecration in France, Bp. Fellay gave an update on the relations between the Modernist Vatican and the SSPX. Here is our translation of an excerpt provided by the SSPX’s DICI communications service:
Excerpt of Bishop Fellay’s Sermon in Montréal-de-l’Aude on May 1, 2016: The Current State of the Fraternity’s Relations with Rome
On the occasion of the consecration of St. Joseph’s Church in Montréal-de-l’Aude, France, on Sunday, May 1, 2016, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, gave a sermon on the spiritual meaning of this magnificent liturgical ceremony. In the final part, he addressed the current state of the Fraternity’s relations with Rome.
Despite all of the human misery, see the presence of the infinitely good God
…Let us ask the good God [for the grace] to understand a little better this mystery, to understand that despite all human misery, despite that there would even be a pope who subjects us to unbelievable discourse on morality, who is in the process of telling us that sin is the state of grace—it’s unbelievable, unprecedented what one hears today! But despite this, this pope can still perform actions which sanctify, which save. The good God has not taken from him the power to bind and loose (cf. Mt. 16:19). He is able to do good, and he still does. It is the same thing for the bishops. These are great mysteries. That does not mean that one approves evil that is done; on the contrary, one rejects it, one protects oneself from it. But at the same time one recognizes that in the Church, there is something more powerful, there is something greater than the things one sees: there is God, God Who is infinite, infinitely holy, and infinitely good. There is a single way given to us in order to be saved, for there is no other. If one wants to go to Heaven, it is necessary to go through the Church, the Roman Catholic Church, there is no other way. One might try to invent what one wants, but it is doomed to fail. There is only this way. Thus, it is necessary to not let go of the Church.
There are scandalous things in what is happening today, it’s true, for what one is seeing now is a situation of confusion which is worsening, a situation which is more and more chaotic. One bishop is asked what he thinks, then another is asked what he thinks, and they give us contradictory answers, and on the essentials: the faith, and what is necessary to do in order to be saved. Therefore, this is extremely serious. And as one continues onward, the more one sees that the situation is spreading.
And at the same time, one sees how the good God is working in the Church. At the same time, one sees, especially among the younger people, that there is the beginning of a reaction, and even high up in the hierarchy. There are cardinals and there are bishops who are starting to say, “This is too much.” They are starting to talk. I would say that all of a sudden one sees that we are no longer the only ones protesting and reacting; there are others. This is something new.
Adherence to the Council would no longer be the criterion for belonging to the Church
And in the relations we have with Rome, there are things yet more surprising, and which bind us up to this chaotic situation. There recently, for the first time, we were able to hear in Rome that we were no longer required to accept the Council. Just think of that: this is enormous! We were told: “You have the right to hold this opinion.” This is not yet: “We were wrong,” and this is not yet: “The Council was bad,” but it is: “The Council cannot be obligatory.” No one is able to force someone to accept the Council in order to be Catholic, even though this is what we had been told prior to this point. Up until two years ago, it was: “If you want to be Catholic, you must accept the Council, you must accept the goodness of the new mass.” Well, now they tell us: “No, you do not have to, because that is not at the level of obligation” — they use imprecise terms. They tell us: “It is not doctrinal, it is pastoral.” This is a little of what we have been saying ourselves: “This Council is pastoral and it was not intended to be binding.” All of a sudden now they admit to us: “It is true, this council was not intended to be binding.”
What does this mean for us going forward? We shall see, but it is a step which, to me, is extremely significant. We are right now living in a moment which is, I think, a turning point in the history of the Church, in the history of this period in which we find ourselves, one might even say in the history of the Council. It is the first time we are told — and we are told this openly — that the non-acceptance of religious liberty, of ecumenism, and of the new liturgy, is not a criterion of rejection of the Catholic Church. One does not have the right to say that someone would no longer be Catholic if he disagrees with [the decree] Nostra Aetate, with relations with non-Christian religions, ecumenism and religious liberty. This is really the first time this has been heard in 50 years!
And for us, it already seems that throughout these proposals, which appear a bit strong… in fact, there has been a coherent line that has been emerging for a year and a half already, a truly new line with regard to us. Once again, we are going to see how things play out; we have learned to be rather cautious in all of these matters. Is this merely a moment? In our opinion, no! Since the moment that point was let go of, it can never be taken back. If the Council has been reduced to a matter of opinion, one can no longer say all of a sudden afterwards that no, it was still obligatory. These then are very important things that are in the process of taking place.
This does not at all mean, my dear brethren, that this is victory. This is a new phase in the war. This does not mean that since they are saying this we will now have peace. Absolutely not. Furthermore, I will go so far as to say that there is a part of Rome that says this, while there is another part continuing to say we are schismatic. The pope does not say it, he says we are Catholic, but others say no. It is truly an unbelievable situation in which we find ourselves.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in æternum
In such a situation, it is therefore obvious that it is necessary to grow in faith, to root oneself in the faith. And ceremonies such as these help us to do that. It is above all necessary to always have recourse to the good God, to supernatural means, to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, to the saints who are there, who are victors. They have won, they dominate the battle, the war we are in. They are victors. If we remain attached to them, to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, if we seek her protection, the protection of the saints, we put ourselves on the winning side. Obviously that does not dispense us from our obligations, the obligation to fight, the obligation to nourish our faith. But he who attaches himself to the good God has this consolation, and even this certainty that comes from the virtue of hope: he will not be confounded. At the end of the ceremony, we will sing the Te Deum, which concludes with: “In Thee have I hoped, let me not be confounded forever.” If we trust in the good God, it is certain that we will get to Heaven. Certainly, it is necessary to follow His commandments, to obey Him, but one is certain of getting to Heaven. Because the good God has promised His assistance, He has promised His grace, and he who wants it, this grace, who asks the good God for it, he shall receive it.
We are not on earth in a situation where there is a fifty percent chance of winning or losing! This is not true: a fifty-percent chance of going to Heaven, a fifty-percent risk of being damned. Absolutely not! The good God absolutely does not want us to be lost. It is He Who permits all of these sufferings, all of these trials, not in order to have us fall, but in order for us to go to Heaven, for through these trials we grow in virtue. Each time He permits a trial, He offers you the grace you need to be victorious. He wants you to be victors. He does not want you to lose. Do not allow yourself to have these defeatist and fearful ways of looking at things, which come from the devil. It is only him wanting to try to discourage you, by making you see your weaknesses—and we all have them! But the good God gives us His grace to make us strong, to make us victorious.
So today we lift our eyes towards Heaven. The Church is not only on earth. It is precisely in consecrating this church that we think of the Church of Heaven, what is called the Heavenly Jerusalem. So let us raise our eyes towards Heaven. We are on earth for this, only for this: to get to Heaven. And there is already in Heaven a myriad of men who were, like us, on earth, and who now are in Heaven, and who are our friends, and who are not at all indifferent to our situation. Let us ask for their aid, and once again and most especially that of the Virgin Mary. If she takes the trouble to come down to earth to remind her children of this urgent need for prayer and penance, it is in order [for us] to get to Heaven. May this place now consecrated be one of those places that truly opens the gate to Heaven, that leads you, all of you who will enter into this church, into Heaven, so as to marvel for all eternity in the glory of God, the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, united with all of the saints and angels of Heaven.
This sermon’s oral style has been maintained in order to preserve its original character.
(Bp. Bernard Fellay, SSPX, “Extrait du sermon de Mgr Fellay, à Montréal-de-l’Aude”, le 1er mai 2016, DICI.org, May 6, 2016; our translation; formatting as in original.)
There is so much wrong with what His Excellency says in this sermon that one could write pages upon pages of commentary, but practically all that needs to be said has already been said on this blog before.
Alas, one may surmise that these words from His Excellency will prove to be music to many ears. But once the swooning has stopped, we ask all to return to reason for a minute. Think about what Bp. Fellay is actually saying: He is saying that we can, and must, reject, either in whole or in part, the decrees of (what he believes to be) a Roman Catholic ecumenical council promulgated and enacted with the full authority of the putative Vicar of Christ — yet, on the other hand, we are to consider ourselves bound by and trust in the behind-the-scenes whisperings and verbal assurances to the effect that the Second Vatican Council does not have to be accepted by all Catholics.
Hello? Is anybody home? Does this make any sense?
Oh, and what about “Pope” Paul VI’s own clarification regarding the binding nature of the council?
In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document.
(Antipope Paul VI, General Audience, Jan. 12, 1966; trans. by John S. Daly; underlining added.)
Be that as it may, however, there is a much bigger issue here which is typically glanced over: The question is not so much whether a Catholic must accept Vatican II but whether a Catholic is allowed to accept it. Although the SSPX always likes to emphasize that the council is not obligatory, their real position is that a Catholic is not allowed to submit to it.
As usual, Bp. Fellay is not basing his convoluted and vague theological position on traditional Catholic teaching. The constant hemming and hawing is as tiresome as it is annoying: They want to be in union with Rome, but then they are already in union, if not with “present-day Rome”, at least with the made-up idea of “Eternal Rome”, which, however, present-day Rome is not in union with. The Pope is Pope, but one cannot submit to him — but then one is already submitting to him, and in any case he sometimes still says “Catholic things” — something even Martin Luther probably managed to do on occasion! And so, even though Francis is now declaring vice to be virtue and sin to be holiness, Bp. Fellay is delighted to proclaim to his hapless followers that all is well because the man he once denounced as “a genuine Modernist” has assured him, “You are Catholic”. The absurdity of the whole thing is almost beyond parody.
True Catholic teaching is a lot more black-and-white than Bp. Fellay’s Lefebvrianism allows. If Francis is the lawful Pope and validly occupies the Holy See, then there is only one thing for Fellay and his crew to do: submit. No negotiations, no “protections”, no concessions, no demands, no anything. Submission of intellect and will it is. Thus they can prove just how much they really believe in the papacy!
Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII had something to say about that, and since you’re probably not going to get this from The Angelus or any other Lefebvrian publication, we’re happy to help out:
What good is it to proclaim aloud the dogma of the supremacy of St. Peter and his successors? What good is it to repeat over and over declarations of faith in the Catholic Church and of obedience to the Apostolic See when actions give the lie to these fine words? Moreover, is not rebellion rendered all the more inexcusable by the fact that obedience is recognized as a duty? Again, does not the authority of the Holy See extend, as a sanction, to the measures which We have been obliged to take, or is it enough to be in communion of faith with this See without adding the submission of obedience, — a thing which cannot be maintained without damaging the Catholic Faith?
…In fact, Venerable Brothers and beloved Sons, it is a question of recognizing the power (of this See), even over your churches, not merely in what pertains to faith, but also in what concerns discipline. He who would deny this is a heretic; he who recognizes this and obstinately refuses to obey is worthy of anathema.
All who defend the faith should aim to implant deeply in your faithful people the virtues of piety, veneration, and respect for this supreme See of Peter. Let the faithful recall the fact that Peter, Prince of Apostles is alive here and rules in his successors, and that his office does not fail even in an unworthy heir. Let them recall that Christ the Lord placed the impregnable foundation of his Church on this See of Peter [Mt 16:18] and gave to Peter himself the keys of the kingdom of Heaven [Mt 16:19]. Christ then prayed that his faith would not fail, and commanded Peter to strengthen his brothers in the faith [Lk 22:32]. Consequently the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, holds a primacy over the whole world and is the true Vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christians.
Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, nn. 16-17; underlining added.)
…the Church has received from on high a promise which guarantees her against every human weakness. What does it matter that the helm of the symbolic barque has been entrusted to feeble hands, when the Divine Pilot stands on the bridge, where, though invisible, He is watching and ruling? Blessed be the strength of his arm and the multitude of his mercies!
(Pope Leo XIII, Allocution to Cardinals, March 20, 1900; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 349; underlining added.)
All those who are excited about union with Rome because of all the “concessions” and/or “recognition” they will receive, ought to heed the warning found in the Roman rite of the Holy Mass: “Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts” (from the Lavabo; Ps 25:9-10).
The reason Francis wants to — and can — accept the Society of St. Pius X into his church is that he ultimately does not care what people believe. In his universal church of apostasy, there is room for everyone, in reconciled diversity. The traditional side altar in the Modernist Cathedral is already prepared. Hence, his door is always open — just like the door to hell (cf. Mt 7:13).
It seems that at this point it is a given that the SSPX will reunite with the Vatican under Francis. The question is only whether it will take place before or after the “Year of Mercy” comes to a close in November of this year.
And what if it doesn’t work out? What if they join and their ministry is effectively gagged or suppressed?
Well then, Bishop Fellay can always… weep.