On the Vatican-SSPX matters, I have received a long message from Catocon, he of Hocestenim (excellent blog but, unfortunately for many of you, in German).
I sometimes delete such long messages without warning, and tend to dislike them.
Not this time.
This message is so profound, and so beautiful, that I publish it here in its entirety, with many thanks to his author:
the more loyal and loving a son, the more fiercely he will protect his Mother. Those who see their Mother weakening and do nothing but talk cheaply about hermeneutics and textual criticism of some fallible council for fear of being accused of “disobedience” do not love their Mother; they love their reputations. That is the difference between many “conservatives” in “full communion” and the FSSPX.
Yes, the Fraternity is disobedient. They won’t throw away the medicine capable of healing their Mother, even if their Mother orders them to. Therefore, there will be no deal until the Church clearly acknowledges that Her body is infested by the disease of modernism and starts expelling those responsible for it instead of obstructing those trying to fight it.
One last point: The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that this has never been, at its deepest point, a question of doctrine. You can, if you wish, twist the words of the Council until the end of time, and come up with some interpretation that fits Tradition. In exactly the same way, you can do the opposite and twist those words until they become the foundation for a new Modern Church complete with a New Faith and a New Mass. But whatever the officially taught doctrines may be, the real point is, this is not about the doctrine itself, it is about the practical fruits. If the Church were flourishing, if young people were learning the New Catechism by heart, if they were defending the teachings of this Catechism with their blood and their lives, if they were filling the seminaries, if those teachings of the Council and its Magisterium were earnestly defended, if the liturgy was celebrated according to the books and with utmost care and faithfulness to the letter and spirit of the Mass, if they were striving to become saints by living a life of prayer, penance, sacrifice, if all these things were happening, no one would be talking about some inconsistencies or problems in some of the conciliar texts. We would, of course, interpret them according to traditional Magisterium, and one or two professional theologians would be discussing them furiously, but they would pose absolutely no problem. And the FSSPX would fully accept them, as even Archbishop Lefèbvre signed them in 1965, as maybe imperfect, but fully legitimate expressions of Catholicism, and reconciliation would proceed apace. But we can see the fruit of the Council, we see an enormous apostasy among clerics and laymen alike, a vast desert of agnosticism and apathy, empty seminaries, churches and confessionals, beautiful altars vandalized like false idols of a hated heathen religion, almost as if the reformers had perceived them to be such, and when we see these fruits, we know something about the tree that produced them. We know that there is something seriously wrong with this tree. That this cannot be the real tree of the Catholic Faith. And from this knowledge we can deduce that the Council, having produced these rotten fruits, cannot have been a good thing, and that its questionable teachings were in fact novelties, even poisonous novelties, and not just some unfortunate way of expressing the Faith.
We shall know them by their fruits, because words are very flexible, but works are not. They have a crystalline clarity that cannot be obfuscated. We see the rupture of the Council in every average church we attend, hear it in every sermon, smell it in most liturgies, experience it in the divorce courts and abortion mills overflowing with Catholics, and can never believe in “continuity”, even if a proper hermeneutic can be found by theological study, because the fruits tell us a different story. Unless the fruits change, there can be no acceptance for the work that produced them, and therefore no agreement. If the fruits really change, the proper interpretation of problematic passages will follow as sure as night follows day, and the Fraternity will be in full communion before you can even pronounce the words.
Nothing to add and, as the Germans say, Hut ab!
I have written some time ago about Schattenschrift, a brilliant Blog in German. Unfortunately, no blog posts have been appearing on that blog since February, though the blog is still online and more than worth a visit.
In the last days, I have become aware of a new and brilliant blog, “Kreuzfaehrten”.
Besides being extremely well-written and a thoroughly well-thought product, this blog is of particular value because coming from a convert; not a convert from Protestantism – as I had originally thought – but from that kind of mocking Atheism with which we are increasingly more often confronted.
On this page (at the same time, the first message) the author gives a brilliant exposition – and explanation – of his individual journey from mockery to doubt, to possibility, to certainty. As it is typical for brilliant minds (intelligent people always understand submission to Truth; it’s the idiots who think they know better), this new convert hasn’t espoused any wishy-washy, made-to-measure, “what is truth”, “I am so proud of my doubts”-mentality in his approach to Christianity. On the contrary, he has recognised the Truth, and has embraced it whole.
As you would almost expect from a German, the completeness of all the usual side aspects of a blog (blogroll, graphics, various sources, & Co.) is in total contrast with the scantiness of the up to now not numerous messages, showing that this is a carefully planned and beautifully executed project.
Many of the links are to sites written in English, which will certainly not damage the site’s fruition from a vast number of German speakers but will be of use to the one or other of the non German-speaking ones. Germany does need as many of these blogs as possible, as if we exclude Bavaria the picture is one of a vastly tepid Catholicism, more inherited than actively lived, and rather firmly in the end of trendy bishops and priests. Last time I looked, the traditionally Catholic Cologne had the same divorce rate than the traditionally Protestant nearby Düsseldorf, and the German bishop’s conference is something difficult to talk about whilst remaining calm; granted, german Catholics hold their grounds more firmly than the now vastly secularised Lutherans, but to say that the Church in Germany is healthy would be a vast exaggeration.
I would suggest to those among my readers who can read the beautiful language of Goethe – not so few after all; and the author of this new blog apparently one of them – to visit this beautiful new blog and to, perhaps, introduce it to their German-speaking friends and acquaintances. Once again, as a non German-speaker you will find useful sources too. The author of this blog is, after all, the one who introduced me to the Sancta Missa site.
The work of letting a blog emerge from the vast mass of far less serious blogging enterprises is often a long and painful one, and it takes some time before even a very good blog can obtain visibility.
In this case, my impression is that the process deserves to be shortened as much as possible. Congratulation and best wishes to Catocon.