Thomas A. Droleskey
As I have noted several times on this site in recent weeks as the farce within the Society of Saint Pius X plays to its ultimate conclusion and Bishop Bernard Fellay completes his long march into oblivion (see Just Sign On The Dotted Line P.S. Don't Sweat The Details, Preparing To Sign On That Dotted Line?, Just About To Complete A Long March Into Oblivion, On The Terms Of The Enemies Of Christ The King, Trying to Stop the Waltz, "Yer Durn Tootin'", False Doctrine, Father Pfluger?, Uncrossed Ts and Undotted Is?, Oyster Bay Cove On Steroids, Oyster Bay Cove On Steroids, part two, Monkey Wrenches, Admit Bearer Only After Denying The Catholic Faith, Fret Not About Denying The Faith, Fret Not, Way, Way Over The Rainbow, Compromise With Error Must End In Disaster, Truly Needless Strife, and What Lines Are You Reading Between, Bishop Fellay?), it is important to escape from the needless strife that has as its root cause the false, Gallican ecclesiology that contends that Catholics have a right to "sift" through magisterial decrees an papal statements that might contain kernels of error before deciding to accept them. The Society of Saint Pius X has seen it as its mission to safeguard the integrity of the Faith against the errors of "Modern Rome" as its leaders adhere to what they call "Eternal Rome."
Alas, this is erroneous. This is no such thing as "Eternal Rome." There is the Catholic Church or there is apostasy.
Time and time again, my good, few and, at least for the most part, penurious readers, I have tried to point out that the Catholic Church cannot give us any liturgy that is an incentive to impiety, no less one that is invalid on its face and thus offensive to God and harmful to souls, or teaching that is erroneous or ambiguous, no less contradictory of articles contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith and that have been taught from time immemorial by Holy Mother Church. It is impossible for a true pope to embrace one anathematized proposition after another or to give joint "blessings" with members of the Protestant laity dressed up as clergymen.
Sure, it has taken some of us a lot longer than it should have to understand and accept this as being true. Granted.
At this late date, however, it does a disservice to the very cause of truth that some in the Society of Saint Pius X dearly want to advance with all of their Catholic might to keep insisting that the Society's "resist but recognize" is valid. It is not. It is false. This false view of Holy Mother Church and of the papacy has done as much harm to the truth of the nature of her Divine Constitution and the doctrine of papal infallibility as have the "new ecclesiology" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Adherence to error can never be the path to the restoration of the Church Militant in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was very courageous to have taken the stand that he did against the conciliar authorities. He was personally pious. Even though others, such as Father Gommar DePauw, had seen the problems with conciliarism as early as the mid-1960s, it was Archbishop Lefebvre who formed an organization that spread out across the world to attempt to defend the Faith and preserve at least a semblance of the traditional Worship of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church at a time of cataclysmic upheavals.
Archbishop Lefebvre did so despite being personally castigated by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI and his top lieutenants in apostasy. He did so despite being hated and denounced by conciliar bishops, many of whom were indeed true Successors of the Apostles in the 1970s despite their having defected from the Catholic Faith thereafter, and by "conservative" commentators eager to clothe their "papal" emperor with one rationalization after another.
To wit, I personally heard Father Benedict Groeschel, then still a member of the Orders of Friars Minor Capuchin, say in a day of recollection at Saint John the Baptist Church near Pennsylvania Station in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, New York, that the "problems" in the Church began after the "Second" Vatican Council with a man who had been a missionary bishop to Africa by the name of Marcel Lefebvre. Even though I was not ready to recognize that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was an apostate and that conciliarism was a false religion, I thought that Father Groeschel's observation (and I was a friend of his for a long time) was very harsh. Why the hatred for a man who simply was trying to defend the Faith?
All of this having been noted, however, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre embraced a view of the Church that was wrong. This takes nothing away from his courage and holiness. Not at all. We must, however, adhere to truth, not to persons, no matter how grateful we may be to them for all of their courage and no matter how respectful we may be of their personal holiness and zeal for souls. Archbishop Lefebvre was not infallible. Neither is the Society of Saint Pius X, which is not now nor ever has been the "true church" in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
While the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X have been stalwart, valiant defenders of the Social Reign of Christ the King and fierce opponents of false ecumenism and cultural liberalism, a disease that afflicts so many fully traditionally-minded Catholics and chapels, its ecclesiology is false.
Moreover, it does a grave disservice to the cause of truth to seek to adhere to the "mind" of Archbishop Lefebvre as he had been dead since March 25, 1991. Although it is entirely irrelevant to the cause of truth to seek to discern the mind of the Society of Saint Pius X's founder, none of those who are objecting to Bishop Bernard Fellay's pending "reconciliation" with the conciliar authorities can say with certainty what Archbishop Lefebvre's mind would be under today's circumstances. He did, after all, say different things at different times, including speculating publicly whether it might be necessary to say one day that "the pope is not the pope." None of those trying to adhere to the approach of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre can say with any certainty at all how he would view things now.
More to the point, of course, is the simple fact that truth stands on its own. We must embrace the truth regardless of the respect for and gratitude to others who did not in the past or cannot at the present time see things clearly themselves.
So many Catholic, are so very steeped in the emotionalism and sentimentality of our naturalistic culture that they are prone to view as "disloyalty," perhaps even "hatred," any disagreement with those they hold in high esteem and thus do not want to believe are capable of being wrong on a point of fact or guilty of the slightest decree of inappropriate behavior.
This is nothing other than a different kind of manifestation of the attitude that some parents have about their children, namely, that they can do no wrong and that anyone, perhaps a teacher, who points out a child's deficiencies of thought or conduct is the problem, not the child himself.
In other words, the "clan" must always stick together no matter what. Never admit error. Never admit wrongdoing. Never admit anything that might make one look "bad" in the eyes of the world and thus hurt one's "work." Never admit that one's most highly revered mentor (a father, a bishop, a priest, a teacher, a politician, a celebrity, maybe even a putative "pope") can be wrong about anything as to do so is be "disloyal" to the person held in such high esteem.
We must assess the truthfulness of a given proposition or the facts of any situation with dispassion. One of the sure signs of defensiveness on the part of those who are unwillingness to do so is the immediate resort to expletive-laden, hyperbolic denunciations of those who with they disagree or have cast aspersions on a position they hold or a person they revere and trust.
For example, many "conservative" Catholics and those in the "resist but recognize" camp just dismiss anyone who is known to be a "sedevacantist" no matter the arguments he may put forth. Such people have "made up their minds" on the subject and will thus dismiss everything that a person they stigmatize as as "schismatic" and castigate as "disloyal" or filled with a "Protestant spirit" of rebellion. Nothing said or written by a "sedevacantist" on any subject is thus worthy to consider, being dismissed out of hand
Others might dismiss anyone who criticizes or cannot reflexively follow or publicly support their "favorite" bishop or priest or writer, just "writing off" such people as being unworthy of any further human contact, perhaps even unworthy of prayer.
There are so many entirely emotionally-laden reasons, each of which has nothing to do with logic grounded in a complete and unequivocal commitment to truth, that can be employed to "write off" friends or former associates who are deemed to be "disloyal" to a favored mentor and/or an adherent of a position that could not, they keep trying to convince themselves, be true under any circumstances.
A variety of "supporting" reasons are given very frequently to justify a recourse to emotion as the ready defense against reason.
One of the most common used against "sedevacantists" is that many of them are arrogant and filled with righteousness bordering on a sense of absolute infallibility while others of their numbers are dismissed as not being very "nice."
Ah, being "nice" has nothing to do with being correct on a given point.
Mind you, every Catholic has an obligation to be charitable in his relations with others, it is nevertheless an obligation of the Spiritual Works of Mercy to admonish the sinner and to instruct the ignorant. While it is important to do in as Christ-like manner as possible, one must also remember that human beings are weak vessels of clay and that disordered passions may get the better of them, perhaps more often than not in the case of some people. Being "nice" is nice. Being "nice" has nothing to do about being correct.
If this is the case, you see, then Saint Jerome, whose Vulgate translation of the Bible is a "heretic" because he was not very "nice" by today's standards (see Putting Love of God Above All Else).
Saint Jerome denounced error. He called it by its proper name. He did not make any compromises with error. He did not have a "strategy" to be "nice" to its adherents in order to get them to accept his own position. He did not call those steeped in error as "confused." He simply denounced those who defied the clear teaching of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, hoping that his words of correction, of admonition, if you will, would help to warn others who wanted to associate with or who admired them that such associations were dangerous and such admiration was wholly unwarranted. Saint Jerome, a native of Dalmatia, did not care what people thought about him as he did so.
Saint Jerome was not unmindful of his own sins. He noted the following in a letter, written in the year 385, to Asella: "Some consider me a wicked man, laden with iniquity; and such language is more than justified by my actual sins" (Letter XLV, To Asella, as found in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume VI, St. Jerome: Letters and Select Works, reprinted in 1989 by William B. Erdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 102). He knew his sins very well. He knew that his work had suffered in the eyes of some because of his well-known temperament.
Saint Jerome also noted that those who were accusing him in this instance of inappropriate conduct with an upright woman named Paula, who lived a very penitential life of prayer and self-denial, were quick to find good in those who were bad in actual truth:
Yet in dealing with the bad you do well to account them good. (Letter XLV, To Asella, as found in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume VI, St. Jerome: Letters and Select Works, p. 102.)
Those in the Society of Saint Pius X and elsewhere in the "resist but recognize" camp seeking a "reconciliation" with conciliar authorities are very quick to castigate those who adhere to the truth of our ecclesiastical situation as "bad" while finding "good" in one who is actually bad, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI.
Is it a good thing to violate the First and Second Commandments openly and brazenly, thus catechizing Catholics and non-Catholics alike that God is not in the least offended by a putative "pope" calling false religions as instruments of "peace" when they are of the devil and for the devil?
Is it a good thing for a "pope" to attempt to give a "joint blessing" with a non-Catholic clergymen or to step into the temple of a false religion?
Is it a good thing for a "pope" to defy the anathematized proposition that the language used in dogmatic pronouncements is conditioned by the historical circumstances in which they were made, thus blaspheming God the Holy Ghost, under Whose infallible direction they were formulated?
Who's the "bad" guy? Those who read and pray, study and reflect on the state of apostasy and then come to the conclusion so well defended and articulated in Gregorius's The Chair is Still Empty? Or the man who denies the Faith repeatedly while claiming that "all" he is doing is "understanding" it anew in light of the circumstances in which "modern men" live and according to the "insights" provided by "developments" in "modern theology" (see What Lines Are You Reading Between, Bishop Fellay?).
We must abide by truth, not by persons. We cannot let our lives be dictated by "human respect," the desire to curry or to keep favor with those we "like" or trust or believe are beyond criticism or reproach of any kind at any time for any reason. Offending God and His Holy Truths? Putting into the jeopardy the eternal and, quite possibly, the temporal welfare of souls? This can be tolerated so as to not to offend creatures or to be considered "disloyal" to them and/or those who knew such people personally if now deceased?
This is what Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists).
Be attentive. Brethren, if we wish to save our
souls, we must overcome human respect, and bear the little confusion
which may arise from the scoffs of the enemies of the cross of Jesus
Christ. "For there is a shame that bringeth sin, and there is a shame
that bringeth glory and grace"-Eccl., iv. 25. If we do not suffer this
confusion with patience, it will lead us into the pit of sin; but, if we
submit to it for God's sake, it will obtain for us the divine grace
here, and great glory hereafter. "As," says St. Gregory, "bashfulness is
laudable in evil, so it is reprehensible in good"--hom. x., in Ezech.
But some of you will say: I attend to my own
affairs; I wish to save my soul; why should I be persecuted? But there
is no remedy; it is impossible to serve God, and not be persecuted. "The
wicked loathe them that are in the right way"--Prov., xxix. 27. Sinners
cannot bear the sight of the man who lives according to the Gospel,
because his life is a continual censure on their disorderly conduct; and
therefore they say: "Let us lie in wait for the just; because he is not
for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with
transgressions of the law"--Wis., ii. 12. The proud man, who seeks
revenge for every insult he receives, would wish that all should avenge
the offences that may be offered to him. The avaricious, who grow rich
by injustice, wish that all should imitate their fraudulent practices.
The drunkard wishes to see others indulge like himself, in intoxication.
The immoral, who boast of their impurities, and can scarcely utter a
word which does not savour of obscenity, desire that all should act and
speak as they do; and those who do not imitate their conduct, they
regard as mean, clownish, and intractable--as men without honour and
without education. "They are of the world; therefore of the world they
speak"--I. John., iv. 5. Worldlings can speak no other language than
that of the world. Oh! how great is their poverty and blindness! Sin has
blinded them, and therefore they speak profanely. "These things they
thought, and were deceived; for their own malice blinded them"--Wis.,
ii, 21. . . .
Wicked friends come to you and say: "What
extravagancies are those in which you indulge? Why do you not act like
others? Say to them in answer: My conduct is not opposed to that of all
men; there are others who lead a holy life. They are indeed few; but I
will follow their example; for the Gospel says: "Many are called, but
few are chosen"--Matt., xx. 16. "If", says St. John Climacus, "you wish
to be saved with the few, live like the few". But, they will add, do you
not see that all murmur against you. and condemn your manner of living?
Let your answer be: It is enough for me, that God does not censure my
conduct. Is it not better to obey God than to obey men? Such was the
answer of St. Peter and St. John to the Jewish priests: "If it be just
in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge yet"--Acts, iv.
19. If they ask you how you can bear an insult? or who, after submitting
to it, can you appear among your equals? answer them by saying, that
you are a Christian, and that it is enough for you to appear well in the
eyes of God. Such should be your answer to all these satellites of
Satan: you must despise all their maxims and reproaches. And when it is
necessary to reprove those who make little of God's law, you must take
courage and correct them publicly. "Then that sin, reprove before
all"--I. Tim., v. 20. And when there is question of the divine honour,
we should not be frightened by the dignity of the man who offends God;
let us say to him openly: This is sinful; it cannot be done. Let us
imitate the Baptist, who reproved King Herod for living his brother's
wife and said to him: "It is not lawful for thee to have her"--Matt.,
xiv. 4. Men indeed shall regard us as fools, and turn us into derision;
but, on the day of judgment they shall acknowledge that they have been
foolish, and we have shall have the glory of being numbered among the
saints. They shall say: "These are they whom we had some time in
derision. . . . . We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end
without honour. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God,
and their lot is among the saints"--Wis., v. 3, 4, 5. (Sixth Sunday After Easter: On Human Respect.)
As was his practice, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori drew upon the lessons given us by the saints to bear our tribulations in this passing, mortal vale of tears with gratitude and joy as we seek to save our immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church in this time of apostasy and betrayal:
Sixthly, tribulations enable us to acquire great
merits before God, by giving us opportunities of exercising the virtues
of humility, of patience, and of resignation to the divine will. The
venerable John d'Avila used to say, that a single blessed be God, in
adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts of thanksgiving in
prosperity. "Take away", says St. Ambrose, "the contents of the martyrs,
and you have taken away their crowns"--in Luc., c. iv. Oh! what a
treasure of merits is acquired by patiently bearing insults, poverty,
and sickness. Insults from men were the great objects of the desires of
the saints, who sought to be despised for the love of Jesus Christ, and
thus to be made like unto him.
How great is the merit gained by bearing with the
convenience of poverty. "My God and my all", says St. Francis of
Assisium: in expressing this sentiment, he enjoyed more of true riches
than all the princes of the Earth. How truly has St. Teresa said, that
"the less we have here, the more we shall enjoy hereafter"! Oh! how
happy is the mean who can say from his heart: My Jesus, thou alone art
sufficient for me! If, says St. Chrysostom, you esteem yourself unhappy
because you are poor, you are indeed miserable and deserving of tears;
not because you are poor, but because, being poor, you do not embrace
your poverty, and esteem yourself happy. "Sane dignus es lachyrmis ob
hoc, quod miserum te existimas, non ideo quod pauper es"--serm. II.
Epis. ad Phil.
By bearing patiently with the pains of sickness, a
great, and perhaps the greater, part of the crown which is prepared for
us in Heaven is completed. The sick sometimes complain that in sickness
they can do nothing; but they err, for, in their infirmities they can do
all things, by accepting their sufferings with peace and resignation.
"The cross of Christ", says St. Chrysostom, "is the key of
Paradise"--hom,.in Luc. de vir.
St. Francis de Sales used to say: "To suffer
constantly for Jesus is the science of the saints; we shall thus soon
become saints". It is by sufferings that God proves his servants, and
finds them worthy of himself. "Deus tentavit es, et invenit eos dignos
se"--Wisd., iii. 5. "Whom," says St. Paul, "the Lord loveth, he
chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth:--Heb., xii. 6.
Hence Jesus Christ once said to St. Teresa: "Be assured that the souls
dearest to my Father are those who suffer the greatest afflictions"/
Hence Job said: "If we have received good things at the hand of God, why
should we not receive evil?'--Job., ii. 10. If we have gladly received
from God the goods of this Earth, why should we not receive more
cheerfully tribulations, which are far more useful to us than worldly
prosperity? St. Gregory informs us, that, as flame fanned by the wind
increases, so the soul is made perfect when she is oppressed by
tribulations. "Ignis flatu permitur, ut crescat"--Ep., xxv. (Second Sunday In Advent: On The Advantages Of Tribulations.)
It is important to teach our children to eschew human respect, which
will be very difficult if we are in the constant companionship of
unrepentant sinners who are "nice," "tolerant," "compassionate,"
"charitable," and who shower our children with all manner of gifts and
other treats. "Uncle Bob doesn't agree with you, Dad. He says that there
is no God to Whom we must submit ourselves. Why should I listen to
you?" "Aunt Jennifer says that there are many different 'lifestyles' to
embrace. Why can't I try one, Mama?" "Aunt Matilda says that Benedict XVI is such a 'nice' man, that is so 'old' and 'frail,' that he really means to do well. Why do we have to be considered as outside the Church? Why can't we just live in peace with our relatives and not be thought by them as crazy?"
Oh, my friends, yes, it is very, very easy to lose our children to those who are so terminally "nice" that they are always and in all instances more than ready to keep their mouths absolutely shut about the offenses that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI commits against God while thus harming souls, doing so in order to "get along" with others and to have a nice, "peaceful" life in "good standing" in a false church that welcomes with equally open arms those who say that there are "traditional" Catholics and those, such as Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., and Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi, among so many others, who support one moral evil after another under cover of the civil law.
Accept the chalice of suffering that comes your way because you have embraced the truth of our ecclesiastical situation without regard for creatures. Embrace it. Embrace all of the suffering and rejection and ostracism and ridicule that you must in order to avoid making a single compromise with error as such compromise, no matter how seemingly "necessary" it may appear when chosen, leads to disaster. Always. Inevitably. Without fail. Our patient embrace of suffering and our fidelity to Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary might just win the day for those from whom we are estranged so that we might be able to enjoy a good reconciliation with them in eternity in the glory of the Beatific Vision even if such a reconciliation does not take place in this life here on earth.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary
now so that we can plant a few more seeds that might result, please God
and by the intercession of Our Lady, in the restoration of the Catholic
Faith and the vanquishing of conciliarism and all of its egregious
errors and novelties and blasphemies and sacrileges and heresies once
and for all? Just one Rosary more. Right now. Isn't it time?
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the Rosary, us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Ephrem the Deacon, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints