Daily Archives: July 4, 2012

SSPX Reblog

Mundabor's Blog

This man is certainly worth 17 minutes of your time and I’d suggest that you do not let your next meal come before having seen this video.

Father Yannick is obviously not an originally trained SSPX priest. He mentions both the formation in a state university and his experience in a (non-SSPX) seminary. He makes examples of what obviously was his life as a diocesan priest. He has nothing of the, let us say, “Williamson” style of being an SSPX member. This is a young, well-prepared, eloquent, sincere priest talking about the problems experienced in his trying to be a good priest.

Forget for a moment that he did become a member of the SSPX. This short document is disconcerting, because the very same words could have been said (were it not for the fear or retaliation) by almost any priest in Western Europe. There is not one word of…

View original post 207 more words

Archbishop Lefebvre About Obedience

Archbishop Lefebvre

What follows is the integral text of a statement from Archbishop Lefebvre, published in 1988.  As always, this good man of God surprises with his ability to explain complex concepts in a simple, easy to understand,but always extremely clear way. The contrast with the usual anodyne statements trying to please everyone by at the same time endeavouring to not openly contradict Catholic teaching, typical of our time, is more than evident.

Note the similarities between the situations then and now: Rome seems to want peace, and then turns out to be exclusively interested in the neutralisation of the SSPX. Where I live it’s called duplicity, and deception.

Emphases mine.


March 29, 1988

The rector of the Seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in Switzerland, Fr. Lorans, having asked me to help in drawing up this issue of the Letter from Econe, it seemed to me, in these circumstances, that it would not be without benefit to put before you again what I wrote on January 20, 1978, concerning certain objections which could be made as to our attitude with regard to the problems created by the present situation of the Church.

One of these questions was: ”How do you see obedience to the pope?” Here is the reply I gave ten years ago:

The principles governing obedience are known and are so in conformity with sane reason and common sense that one is driven to wonder how intelligent persons can make a statement like, They prefer to be mistaken with the pope, than to be with the truth against the pope.”

That is not what the natural law teaches, nor the Magisterium of the Church. Obedience presupposes an authority which gives an order or issues a law. Human authorities, even those instituted by God, have no authority other than to attain the end apportioned them by God and not to turn away from it. When an authority uses power in opposition to the law for which this power was given it, such an authority has no right to be obeyed and one must disobey it.

This need to disobey is accepted with regard to a family father who would encourage his daughter to prostitute herself, with regard to the civil authority which would oblige doctors to perform abortions and kill innocent souls, yet people accept in every case the authority of the Pope, who is supposedly infallible in his government and in all words. Such an attitude betrays a sad ignorance of history and of the true nature of papal infallibility.

A long time ago St. Paul said to St. Peter that he was “Not walking according to the truth of the Gospel” (Gal. 2:14). St. Paul encouraged the faithful not to obey him, St. Paul, if he happened to preach any other gospel than the Gospel that he had already taught them (Gal. 1:8).

St. Thomas, when he speaks of fraternal correction, alludes to St. Paul’s resistance to St. Peter and he makes the following comment: “To resist openly and in public goes beyond the measure of fraternal correction. St. Paul would not have done it towards St. Peter if he had not in some way been his equal…. We must realize, however, that if there was question of a danger for the faith, the superiors would have to be rebuked by their inferiors, even in public.” This is clear from the manner and reason for St. Paul’s acting as he did with regard to St. Peter, whose subject he was, in such a way, says the gloss of St. Augustine, “that the very head of the Church showed to superiors that if they ever chanced to leave the straight and narrow path, they should accept to be corrected by their inferiors” (St. Thomas [in the Summa TheologicaIIa, IIae, q.33, art. 4, ad 2).

The case evoked by St. Thomas is not merely imaginary because it took place with regard to John XXII during his life. This pope thought he could state as a personal opinion that the souls of the elect do not enjoy the Beatific Vision until after the Last Judgment. He wrote this opinion down in 1331 and in 1332 he preached a similar opinion with regard to the pains of the damned. He had the intention of putting forward this opinion in a solemn decree.

But the very lively action on the part of the Dominicans, above all in Paris, and of the Franciscans, made him renounce this opinion in favor of the traditional opinion defined by his successor, Benedict XII, in 1336.

And here is what Pope Leo XIII said in his Encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20,1888: “If, then, by any one in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law.” And a little further on, he says: “But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.”

Now our disobedience is motivated by the need to keep the Catholic Faith. The orders being given us clearly express that they are being given us in order to oblige us to submit without reserve to the Second Vatican Council, to the post-conciliar reforms, and to the prescriptions of the Holy See, that is to say, to the orientations and acts which are undermining our Faith and destroying the Church. It is impossible for us to do this. To collaborate in the destruction of the Church is to betray the Church and to betray Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now all the theologians worthy of this name teach that if the pope, by his acts, destroys the Church, we cannot obey him (Vitoria: Obras, pp.486-487; Suarez: De fide, disp.X, sec.VI, no.16; St. Robert Bellarmine: de Rom. Pont., Book 2, Ch.29; Cornelius a Lapide: ad Gal. 2,11, etc.) and he must be respectfully, but publicly, rebuked.

The principles governing obedience to the pope’s authority are the same as those governing relations between a delegated authority and its subjects. They do not apply to the Divine Authority which is always infallible and indefectible and hence incapable of failing. To the extent that God has communicated His infallibility to the pope and to the extent that the pope intends to use this infallibility, which involves four very precise conditions in its exercise, there can be no failure.

Outside of these precisely fixed conditions, the authority of the pope is fallible and so the criteria which bind us to obedience apply to his acts. Hence it is not inconceivable that there could be a duty of disobedience with regard to the pope.

The authority which was granted him was granted him for precise purposes and in the last resort for the glory of the Holy Trinity, for Our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the salvation of souls.

Whatever would be carried out by the pope in opposition to this purpose would have no legal value and no right to be obeyed, nay, rather, it would oblige us to disobey in order for us to remain obedient to God and faithful to the Church.

This holds true for everything that the recent popes have commanded in the name of Religious Liberty or ecumenism since the Council: all the reforms carried out under this heading are deprived of any legal standing or force of law. In these cases the popes use their authority contrary to the end for which this authority was given them. They have a right to be disobeyed by us.

The Society and its history show publicly this need to remain faithful to God and to the Church. The years 1974, 1975 and 1976 leave us with the memory of this incredible clash between Ecône and the Vatican, between the Pope and myself.

The result was the condemnation, the suspension a divinis, wholly null and void because the pope was tyrannically abusing his authority in order to defend laws contrary to the good of the Church and to the good of souls.

These events are an historical application of the principles concerning the duty to disobey.

That clash was the occasion for a departure of a certain number of priests who were friends or members of the Society, who were scared by the condemnation, and did not understand the duty to disobey under certain circumstances. Since then, twelve years have passed. Officially, the condemnation still stands, relations with the pope are still tense, especially as the consequences of this ecumenism are drawing us into an apostasy which forced us to react vigorously. However, the announcement of consecration of bishops in June stirred Rome into action: it at last made up its mind to fulfill our request for an Apostolic Visitation by sending on November 11, 1987, Cardinal Gagnon and Msgr. Perl. As far as we were able to judge by the speeches and reflections of our Visitors, their judgment was very favorable indeed, and the Cardinal did not hesitate to attend the Pontifical Mass on December 8th, at Econe, celebrated by the prelate suspended a divinis.

What can we conclude from all this except that our disobedience is bearing good fruit, recognized by the envoys of the authority which we disobey? And here we are now confronted with new decisions to be taken. We are more than ever encouraged to give the Society the means it needs to continue its essential work, the formation of true priests of the holy, and Catholic, and Roman Church. That is to say, to give me successors in the episcopate.

Rome understands this need, but will the pope accept these bishops from the ranks of Tradition? For ourselves it cannot be otherwise. Any other solution would be the sign that they want to align us with the conciliar revolution, and there our duty to disobey immediately revives. The negotiations are now under way and we shall soon know the true intentions of Rome. They will decide the future. We must continue to pray and to watch. May the Holy Ghost guide us through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima!

† Marcel Lefebvre

Priests, Pulpits and Sins

Reblog of the day



4th July: Thanks!

Scandalous Bishops And Angry Bloggers

Should he shut up, then? Michael Voris.



I read in the blogosphere invitations to the laity to avoid “judging” bad bishops in matters of faith, and feel the need to say one word or two about this.

1. If by “judging” we intend “subject to a trial in front of a tribunal” (as in an article I have read around, citing a father of the Church), I will agree that this is perfectly fine even today.  I would, personally, love to see Archbishop Mueller tried for heresy, but I do think that those who judge him should be religious. Preferably sound ones, like for example those of the SSPX.

2. If by “judging” we intend to reserve Bishops to the jurisdiction of canonical tribunals even in matters not of faith, I must disagree. Particularly in these disgraceful times, if a Bishop is, say, tried for child abuse I would be the last one to demand that he be judged by other bishops, rather than by the usual judges and/or juries like everyone of us.

3. If by “judging” we intend (which is to my knowledge not at all what that Father of the Church means) that a layman must shut up whenever a bishop disgraces himself, then I must disagree vehemently. Let us see why:

Even if we lived in normal times, I would see it as being accessory in another person’s sin if I saw blatant heresy or open error and would just decide that my duty is to shut up. My duty would be, on the contrary, to NOT shut up. Particularly if as a blogger I have, say, 20 or 30 readers (or, say, twenty or thirty times that number) who might be interested in reading what I write in order to draw from it some ammunition to use for their own benefit and for the benefit of their friends and relatives.

Adding to this, we do not live in normal times, and the reason why thousands of people like me are here at midnight writing on their keyboard instead of reading a good book or enjoy a good sleep is that the situation is so bad, that they can’t reconcile it with their conscience to simply sit on the couch and think of their novels. I have often said, and will repeat today, that the explosion of lay blogs would not exist in the first place, if the clergy had been able to do their job in a remotely decent way. I for myself would be reading my novel, for sure. 

If I were, therefore, to follow this principle of non ingerence in such matters, I would not follow Michael Voris; I would not approve of the blog of the excellent John Smeaton (extremely critical, and publicly so, of Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols in matters of homosexuality); I would not touch the excellent Messa in Latino, and I would not read the vast majority of the lay blogs worth reading. More to the point, I  would never have come to the idea of writing a blog myself.

Of course, and as in all things, caveat emptor. The reader looking for sensible blogs will have to make a decision as to which blogs he considers sound, and which ones are better left aside. In general, he will probably tend – as I do – to constantly visit blogs written by religious, and more power to him.  But this does not mean that the layman should simply shut up. He who doesn’t like the blog of the layman, or who thinks the layman should not criticise the clergy, should in my eyes simply avoid clicking it. He who thinks said layman is moved by personal resentments ofrdesire of making himself important instead of by love for the Church should avoid it even more carefully.

In addition, the concept that the layman must be vigilant in presence of bad teaching – or outright heresy – was in fact extolled by… the Second Vatican Council, and whilst obviously not being an infallible teaching of any sort, it makes a lot of sense even if it comes from such a bad place: the increase in literacy and the extremely cheap availability of literature opened to laymen a wealth of knowledge which only 200 or 300 years before would have been within the reach of only the clergy or the wealthy; today, every good intentioned layman can blow the whistle on his bishop or priests. Particularly so, when many bishops or priests don’t know the basics anymore.  I have heard with these ears a priest admit he did not know the ten commandments by heart and did not care to learn them, and I have known much worse priests than this one. These are the times we live in, that basic knowledge considered obligatory for a child of seven when I was a child of seven is now not considered obligatory by the parish priest, who has a degree in theology but can’t tell you the commandments. Will we, then, be surprised if many of them don’t believe in the Real Presence? And will we stay silent about it? Who will correct them: the Bishop?! 

Five or six hundred years ago a priest could have been openly  heretical and most of his lay parishioners wouldn’t even have noticed unless, so to speak, there happened to be some Dominican travelling around.  Nowadays, the same priest can’t con his people so easily anymore.

Even more crucially, the principle of the layman criticising the bishop is at the basis of the very renaissance of conservative feelings among young Catholics: feelings spread on the internet by posting, say, videos of cardinal Schoenborn’ laser-masses, and the like. The conservative revolution within the Church was born from laymen more attached to the Church than to wrong concept of blind subservience to their bishops. They reacted, because they had to. They voiced their concerns on the internet, because the clergy wouldn’t listen to them. Without them and without this mentality, we  would have clown masses at every corner, certainly no vibrant conservative Catholic world, and most certainly not even “indult” Traditional Masses.

Oportet ut scandala eveniant, and I thank God for the Internet and the many laymen who help to create the conditions in order that  this mess, created almost exclusively by the clergy, may be cleansed as soon as we can or, more probably, may allow us to go to our grave with the conscience that we have done what we could.

Having said that, I personally do not ask anyone to read my blog, or to link to it. If you pick a good blog written by a good priest, you can’t go wrong anyway. He will never be angry, I will, and he would never say that the Pope disgraced himself, I would. If you click here, you know you get a layman trying to do what he can, as best he can, with the poor lights given to him.

But I most certainly won’t shut up.


%d bloggers like this: