On March 26th, Bishop Richard Williamson began his weekly Eleison Comments article by posing a rhetorical question:
“The Archbishop [Lefebvre] died, twenty-five years ago. Have his successors followed faithfully?”
To which he immediately provided the answer, “No.”
Bishop Williamson went on to say of the “Archbishop’s successors,” meaning Bishop Bernard Fellay and those priests and bishops of the Society who haven’t joined ranks with the mutineers of the so-called “resistance”:
While they were going down to Rome in pursuit of some political agreement, by which, as became clear at the latest in the spring of 2012, they were ready to compromise doctrine, on the contrary the Archbishop only ever went down to Rome for the good of the Faith and the Church.
This raises some important questions:
– How exactly did it “become clear” to him that Bishop Fellay was “ready to compromise doctrine”?
– What “doctrines” in particular was he supposedly prepared to compromise?
– Most importantly, what objective evidence does Bishop Williamson have to support such gravely serious allegations?
These, my friends, are not just rhetorical questions.
Justice demands that Bishop Fellay’s accusers meet them with concrete answers; apart from which, we will have no choice but to conclude that Bishop Williamson, and those who repeat his allegations, are guilty of calumny.
As it is, there can be little doubt that if Archbishop Lefebvre was alive today to witness this sad spectacle he would most certainly reprimand Bishop Williamson for overstepping his bounds.
Even as the Society’s namesake, Pope St. Pius X, severely condemned the modernists for their duplicity and wickedness in Pascendi, even he saw fit to “leave out of consideration the internal disposition of soul of which God alone is the judge.”
Bishop Williamson, by contrast, boldly presumes to have so much insight into the internal disposition of others’ souls that he has no problem accusing Bishop Fellay of being motivated by something other than “the good of the Faith and the Church.”
How dare he.
Look, it’s one thing to find cause for disagreement concerning matters of prudential judgment; it’s quite another to question Bishop Fellay’s motives and his commitment to the good of the Faith. There may be room for one to engage in the former; the latter, however, is just plain sinful.
As if Bishop Williamson hadn’t given us enough reason to question his reliability in the matter, he continued:
False ‘obedience,’ preferring Authority to Truth, now crept back at the top of the Society from which the Archbishop had exorcised it, and within a few more years his Society was hardly recognisable as its misleaders went to Rome, cap in hand, begging for official recognition from the Church Authorities
Even the Kool-Aid drinkers among the “resistance” have to recognize this as hype.
If the Society is “hardly recognizable” today as compared to years past it is only in the degree to which it has grown. Its commitment “to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy” (cf Archbishop Lefebvre’s 1974 Declaration) remains unchanged; with every indication being that it is alive and well in its conferences, chapels and schools.
As for the idea that Bishop Fellay went running to Rome with cap in hand, if this was truly the case, then where is the official recognition that he supposedly begged of the Church Authorities?
The truth of the matter is that the primary instigator of the 2012 doctrinal discussions was none other than Benedict XVI, and they failed to result in any “official recognition” of the SSPX for the simple reason that Bishop Fellay was not then, and is not now, “ready to compromise doctrine.”
It’s only common sense, folks:
If Bishop Williamson’s accusations were true, including the contention that the Society’s leadership “prefers Authority to Truth,” then they would enjoy some regular canonical standing this very day. The reason they don’t is obvious – they refuse to abandon the true faith.
So, what is my dog in this fight?
To be very clear, it’s not that I’m on “team SSPX” or “team Fellay.” I’m on “team Catholic.” It just so happens that the Society of St. Pius X, under the leadership of Bishop Bernard Fellay, is on the same team. That’s it.
That said, if a day should ever come when it becomes objectively clear that the Society is compromising doctrine, or putting false obedience above Truth, then rest assured that I will spare no effort in condemning their errors.
If you, dear reader, happen to be among the “resisters” and have any doubts about that, try me by producing something more substantial than blind conjecture.
In the meantime, as it concerns Bishop Williamson and the so-called “resistance” one has to wonder, resistant to what?
All indications are that these persons are at war with nothing more than their own suspicions; at least, that’s where it seems to begin. Sadly, and as these latest Eleison Comments of Bishop Williamson indicate, they end up at war with the truth, perhaps even unknowingly; treating supposition as reality, engaging in calumnies, and sowing the seeds of sin and division.
I suggest you read the document below and many others available so you might get a better understanding of the situation. Its not black and white as you suggest.
The current SSPX has forgotten this:
The SSPX is fulfilling their apostolate appropriately. It should be apparent that the Holy Spirit chose the SSPX to maintain the link with Tradition. And now we are at the peak of the crisis. It’s hard to believe that the same Holy Spirit has chosen BW to carry on with a tiny rag tag group of purists.
They called the Cristeros in Mexico a group of tag tag peasants… Go figure..
I wish you had not wrote this blog but since you did I will respond. I still attend a SSPX Chapel. It is also clear the Resistance is Catholic. I spoke to Bishop Williamson face to face for almost 30 minutes about this a few years ago. I respect and support Bishop Williamson. He is Catholic. I respect and support Bishop Fellay. I view the events with Bishop Fellay and Bishop Williamson has very much being about personalities it is also about doctrine.
It comes down to this 1) is what Vatican II teaches on religious liberty heresy or not? 2) Can Vatican II be followed by degrees of accent once clarification comes from modernist occupied Rome? Can they dress up the documents or must Vatican II be tossed into the trash whole and entire?
3) Is the new mass a Catholic rite or a Schismatic rite?
When Bishop Fellay gave this interview to CNS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdnJigNzTuY in 2012 it sent shock waves through Tradition. I believe rightfully so. I believe Bishop Fellay misspoke in this interview. I see no malice in the man. I believe he means well. I would not want his job. Bottom line this interview was a mistake. The revolution can not be baptized. When it comes to religious liberty it can not be a “very limited” religious liberty.
Bishop Fellay is dealing with devils in Rome. We pray for him. That said. I do not think many of the actions of the Resistance & Bishop Williamson have been prudent. In short the Resistance is a disaster. The SSPX is a disaster. The whole Church is a mess. Diabolical disorientation is not limited to modernists.
Archbishop Lefebvre pray for us!
Blessed Mother Theresa pray for us!
Father Greogry Hesse pray for us!
Mother Angelica pray for us!
How is that for ecumenism?
Yeah, right. You really think Louie is not aware of stuff like this?
The “Resistance” is basically a cult of personality built around a few individuals absorbed in bitterness.
Here’s my own take:
I’d say we’re not at the peak of the crisis, but only nearing the end of the beginning.
“It comes down to this 1) is what Vatican II teaches on religious liberty heresy or not?”
The question is essentially nonsensical since DH doesn’t present any teaching definitively. On one hand it (definitely) seems to contradict Tradition but, then, turns around and affirms it – just as Cardinal Kasper admitted. So, the document itself is useless, as it is ambiguous and can certainly seem to be materially heretical, but this does not mean that Vatican II “teaches heresy”. It doesn’t teach *anything* because it both isn’t precise and did not intend to bind. That was (ultimately – he signed it) the position of Archbishop Lefebevre and is the position of Bishop Fellay, from what *I* see.
“2) Can Vatican II be followed by degrees of accent once clarification comes from modernist occupied Rome? Can they dress up the documents or must Vatican II be tossed into the trash whole and entire?”
This is nothing but a practical question. What if the documents were “dressed up” to clarify that the statements that seem to contradict Tradition are to be ignored?
**Why did Archbishop Lefebvre himself sign DH?** This fact alone undermines the entire position of the “Resistance”, really, doesn’t it? I mean, if DH were an encyclical published yesterday, and Bishop Fellay acknowledged it as congruent with Tradition – well!
“3) Is the new mass a Catholic rite or a Schismatic rite?”
Apparently you think the answer is “yes” which most definitely puts you at odds with Archbishop Lefebvre himself who always maintained that this new Rite, bastardized and deformed as it is, could be used to confect a valid Mass.
I must respectfully disagree with you, most strongly, that the SSPX is a “disaster”, or anything close. Honestly, perhaps the grass is much less green where you are, but where we are the Society is a bastion of true Catholicism, as it always was, in a world gone mad. It’s exactly as Archbishop Lefebvre left it: Cleaving to eternal Rome, and humbly begging temporal Rome to return.
Louie, thanks for this piece. “Resistance to what?” is exactly the question, and the answer, it seems, is “anything other than the way I think things should be done”.
The new mass would be valid if it was celebrated in Latin with the Roman Canon. The validity of the new mass in the vernacular with the so called Eucharistic prayers is not assured. The Church teaches that Catholics must always choose the safer course.
We are in a global crisis, not a regional one.
What Catholic source can you cite to declare that saying Mass in a vernacular tongue in itself puts validity in doubt? That is not the case.
I agree that the flat-out incorrect translation of the ICEL of “pro multis” called into question the form of the sacrament. That is now behind us.
I also completely agree that the new Rite is a danger to the faith. I have not attended one in years and cannot, in good conscience, ever again attend one, despite the fact that I’ve had some personally moving experiences at Novus Ordo Masses (such as in the Roman catacombs and in the presence of the incredible Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, Italy).
A Catholic Thinker,
I do not believe the new mass is a Catholic rite but it can be valid. I think Father Hesse gets the licit question correct. I do not know where the Archbishop came down on the licit question. His faithful sons taught me “it can be valid but it is doubtful and we are never to approach a doubtful sacrament ” The new mass is evil. It is a mortal sin to assist at the new mass once you know that.
Your words on DH drive the point home 2+2=4 and 5 in the document itself. I think Bishop Fellay and Bishop Williamson just disagree on how to deal with the mess.
I love the SSPX. I support the SSPX both financially and spiritually. That said I went on retreat with the SSPX one whole conference was dedicated to “is smoking weed a moral sin?” (clearly it is) The need for this conference comes from liberals in the SSPX (Priests) that tell souls that smoking weed is not a mortal sin. Many laymen were scandalized by this madness.
While I agree with you that the SSPX is a bastion of true Catholicism it is also a disaster because Catholicism is a disaster. Questions that make us make hard choices are not “nonsensical”. Archbishop Lefebevre repented of signing the Vatican II documents. Whole books have been written on the subject.
The idea the SSPX is just as the Archbishop left it is false. Read SSPX literature from the 1990’s and before read what is put out today. To say the SSPX is the same today is false. One of the Bishops has been tossed out!
I would not say that SSPX is as bad as the Resistance says it is but lets be clear the SSPX is changing. That is a fact. I view both the SSPX and the Resistance as Catholic.
Thank you for this link. I should make this my ringtone on my phone.
I totally agree with this article, but there is one point of contention that the “resistance” has that has not been exponded upon. Many of them think that because the hierarchy is so bad that it is not permissible to have any canonical recognition or regularity whatsoever even if there was no compromise and you could freely grow your society and establish new chapels. Many make this into the “doctrine” that Bishop Felley has “abandoned”. Two questions arise from this however: how is that attitude not a sort of veiled sedevecantism and would Archbishop Levebre have been obliged to break off canonical regularity with Rome, if Rome had never supressed his society and if he had been allowed to establish new seminaries and chapels freely? St. Thomas Aquinas said that if canonical regularity was unjustly taken form someone then that person would not be at fault or be in sin. However, he said, not to even desire that regularity is schismatic. It is also very interesting that they never cite any past authorities to justify such a position. Never did a saint or theologian ever say that if the hierarchy was bad enough, then you were not allowed to be in a canonically regulare situation, even if there was no compromise on your part.
“If you spend the whole of your day in the confessional, that is the most beautiful service that you could render, to souls and to the Church.”
“In any case, believe me that I can well understand that Catholics of good faith could let themselves be carried away by baneful ideas and that they fight me they who constantly use the word “love.” – Indeed, if one measures the formidable pressures of the modern world, the hostility aimed at me seems natural and even logical.
Unfortunately, what has been lacking, what is always lacking, is firmness, courage, self-denial by those whose mission it is to be firm as rocks, whatever the price.”
Archbishop Lefebvre, Vatican Encounter, 1976
If only we had a true pope who could put all of this nonsense to bed once and for all…then again if we had a true pope this dissension among the ranks wouldnt be taking place to begin with. I fundamentally disagree with the SSPX as a whole, but I have no doubt that Abp Lefebvre was a good man and a good bishop, though misguided (in his defense he wasnt alive to see the past quarter of a century….his views likely would be much different today). Regardless, he is likely spinning in his grave at what his order has now devolved into. The SSPX was set up to do SO much good but hasnt been able to follow through to its logical conclusion….which is obviously to declare the entire vatican 2 sect and all of its adherents heretical and therefore not Catholic. As long as there is still time there is always still hope.
The old and new code of Canon Law states that in case of emergency, jurisdiction can be supplied by the local Ordinary or by the Church. If Lefebvre could prove that the continuation of the Church depended on correct theology and real Catholic priests, he had the authority to do what he did. The very survival of the Church was on the line in 1988.
Resistance to what? – Modernist Rome, that’s what.
Nobody has a firmer grasp on The Modernist Heresy than Williamson, nobody.
How can you not admire a Bishop who can say with a straight face: “women should not wear slacks”. The guy comes from a Catholic world that time forgot. Of note: Williamson I believe has now validly (not licitly) consecrated 2 Bishops. He is outlandish for sure and perhaps surprisingly NOT a sedevacantist. He is a gifted historian with an unparalleled understanding of the historical context of the ‘modern’ world and the Vatican 2 crisis. His most recent post you reflected on points out: Truth trumps obedience. Indeed a formula for Sainthood.
As for Fellay. Another Charming churchman, and thank God for the both of them.
I think out of Charity Fellay answers the phone when Rome calls, where as Williamson probably would block Romes number. Williamson was tossed out of the SSPX by Fellay, some animosity is understandable. Strong men frequently have strong convictions and opinions. Perhaps out of Charity you should give Williamson 250 words on your blog to describe exactly what he is resisting.
It is my prayer that the infighting in SSPX would stop and go away. It really causes damage to SSPX’s reputation. For example if I want to join SSPX I don’t know if the chapels under Bishop Fellay or the Resistance hold to the Catholic Faith. There is a video online in which Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer picks apart the declaration by Bishop Fellay, supposedly. I use the word “supposedly” because I don’t know if I am competent to understand the issues raised by Fr. Pfeiffer. I don’t know the content of the negotiation but I am confused why would Bishop Fellay would entertain the idea of “negotiation” to begin with. If Rome bans the New Mass and condemns Vatican II, in other words come back to Christ, SSPX should not negotiate but give its full obedience to the Holy See because the relationship is of subject and superior, there should not be negotiation but obedience and submission. Benedict XVI never indicates his intention to ban the New Mass and condemn Vatican II. So why did Bishop Fellay even accept the invitation to any talks? Of course I do not know enough of SSPX and Bishop Fellay. I think one thing worries me is after reading the open letter of Bishop Fellay to the Holy Father on the Synod I came away with the impression “this is not what St. Paul meant ‘resist to his face'”, he wording should be something like the open letter from the Remnant which is clear, direct and “to his face”. But I am glad that Louie brought up this subject. So can someone comment on the comments of Fr. Pfeiffer on the declaration by Bishop Fellay please?
Again I am not part of the Resistance or regular SSPX I am glad that Louie brings up this subject I just want to learn from others who know a lot more on the situation. But one thing I can say is I love the sermons of Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer. God Bless!
God bless and protect Bishops Fellay and Williamson.
God bless and protect Louie Verrecchio.
You all know much more about this subject than I know and have expressed it with insight and wisdom, but on a very simple level:
I could never understand why Bishop Williamson was dismissed from the SSPX.
And I have TRIED to understand.
I read on wiki that his expulsion was because of disobedience, but it seems to ALSO be related to what he said about the Jews.
“Bishop Fellay stated that if Williamson again denied the Holocaust, he would be excluded from the society.”
Is that a reason to exclude him from the society? That does not make sense to me.
Resistance to what?
Maybe he is resisting the fact that he was dismissed from the SSPX.
Maybe he is resisting the fact that he cannot express his “opinion” on the number of Jews killed in the “Holocaust” without committing what appears to be the most serious mortal sin in all of the Vatican 2 church and world ……
and without being threatened with expulsion from the Society if he should “deny” one more time.
I am sorry —— It just does not make (Catholic) sense!
Thanks for your comment. Is there a link of SSPX press release of the reason Bishop Fellay ex communicated Bishop Williamson from SSPX? Maybe that would be a good start to sort things out. I am pretty sure Williamson was not dismissed because of he denied 6 million Jews killed in WWII (using the word Holocaust is wrong it is used for Sacrifice to God) because that is a fiction. What order from Bishop Fellay that Bishop Williamson disobeyed?
And am I reading it right that one of the comments here says there is no clear heresy in Vatican II documents, just something not very clear? How about the blasphemy in Lumen Gentium 16 that says “Muslims together with us (Catholics who believe Christ is God) adore the same merciful God”? There are some areas in Vatican II documents that are not clear does not mean they don’t contain clear heresies.
Even now after the change of the Consecration Prayer in English translation by Benedict XVI the Eucharist is valid it is still evil because it is a Protestant Mass people should still avoid it because it won’t fulfil the third commandment because the new Mass itself is not licit, it is evil.
I dont know if anyone else can see this but the resistance is clearly the work of Satan.
United we stand divided we fall.
I think the saying is “by its fruit you shall know me” or something along those lines
What is the fruit of the resistance?
Division in the family, between husband and wife, between parents and children
Division between the faithfull
Division between Priests, Bishops
Please let me know if anything good has come from the resistance, from where I stand i see nothing in my parish.
Talk: Resistance to what?
Vatican 2 is heretical in its entirety. Dont allow yourself to get caught up in the “some of it is valid” garbage. One drop of poison is all it takes. The documents of the vatican 2 sect are confusing for a specific purpose. The man who signed off on the council was a closeted homosexual….there really shouldnt be anything else that anyone needs to know as to who the true author of that sickening council was.
Yes Patstr, I agree. It’s really this document, The Doctrinal Declaration authored by the leaders of the sspx in 2012, which caused the problems we have. It was never formally retracted. It’s a position paper on what the hierarchy of the sspx believes. I would like to see this Doctrinal Declaration discussed openly and honestly, then we could make some progress. (I anticipate that some will say, “but he didn’t sign it!” . No cigar; if my wife writes a love letter to another man and then says, “but I didn’t sign it!” am I convinced of her fidelity?)
The article supposes that all who disagree with Bishop Fellay’s new position with Rome necessarily agree with Bishop Williamson and just blindly follow him! It’s not the case. What of those of us who don’t subscribe to Elieson Comments and think for ourselves when it comes to the Faith.
I really liked the articles on St Peter Damien. Keep up the good work!
100% spot on.
Personally, I think Bishop Fellay is the most IMPORTANT MAN IN CHRISTENDOM at present.
When I look around at all the Restoration efforts that are taking place throughout the world on the one hand and the growth of the SSPX on the other, I can’t help to think that Bp. Fellay as a worthy successor of Archbishop Lefebvre has played no small part.
It might be a counter-factual argument, however… if not for Archbishop Lefebvre, there would have been no Indult in 1984. And if the SSPX was not experiencing steady and consistent growth since 1988, the Modernists would have shut down the Ecclesia Dei Commission like they did the FFI.
So all in all, I think with Bishop Fellay, we Catholics (a.k.a. Traditionalists) are sitting in a sweet spot w/r/t the Restoration. And if it is working, why change anything?
PS Record number of subdeacons ordained throughout the SSPX seminaries this year. 🙂
Thankyou Louie for addressing this issue….It would be really helpful if someone from the Resistance would put forth a statement for all to read …if you would allow it. These circumstances are very disheartening and there are people like myself who never quite understood the depths of all this. I have a great esteem for both Archbishop Fellay and Williamson …the SSPX is Catholic without a doubt and I pray for a reconciliation for all ….these are the most diabolical of times !
Here you go:
Did not our Lord say, ” Do not think that I came to bring peace upon earth but the sword. For I came to set man at variance against his father, and daughter against mother, and the daughter in law against the mother in law.”?
Dear Louie, as always thank you.
“I say to you that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.” (Luke 15:7).
“As I live, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way live.” (Ezech.33:11)
Forgive me please, but some of you sound to me, as if you have lost your ‘holy hope’, as if Our Lord is not in control…….brick by brick, not all houses are built on sand. God in His love for us, allows evil to enter the hearts even of the faithful, so pride will not take a primary seat in our lukewarm hearts, so he in His Goodness, knocks us down (one by one, especially, the consecrated) from the high horse, down to our knees, to cleanse us from our enemies (seven Capital Sins), but only with our cooperation to His grace. The seed of ‘truth’ is being planted, in God’s time the’ good tree’ will blossom, all is not lost. St. Paul said ‘against hope he believed in hope.’ (Rom. 4:18).
Please, do not overburden yourself with some kind of ‘authority’ to presume that all (Bp. Schneider….etc, FSSP, SSPX, and in the Conciliar Church the good and faithful remnant) are weeds……except the bishops, and all the Resistance…..of course. Presumption of own righteousness is a danger to any soul, to say the least.
I cannot even tell you, how sad and how many broken hearts was and still is, upon hearing from the so-called ‘Resistance to what?’ priests, nothing but slander, hate and calumny, what division they have caused amongst us Catholics! (One cannot forget the ‘joy’ of the enemy). Where was the good bishop to stop this madness? Only God Knows what was their intention. The anger coming from their mouths was like a ‘machine gun’ piercing so many hearts of Catholics……what a horrible example, what a scandal……!!! Miserere!!!
Their ‘pride’ and self righteousness, self-justice was almost as an explosion that was bursting out uncontrollably. No Charity, No Humility………this scandal and outburst was NOT for the Love of God, but for their own vain Pharisee like ‘pride!, known to God and the accuser alone…….Thanks Be To God. Justice comes from God, He is Justice! The foolish outburst and back-biting (under the mask of false charity) was contrary to justice as well as to true charity. Even a Sunday Catholic can clearly see it. Is scandal upon scandal in the holy Church, pleasing to God?, especially, coming from those that many held in such high esteem, those who took pride of being so ‘just’, while judging with their lips and in their hearts! This is all I want to say…….God will sort us all out…..Ave Maria!
We reap what we sowed! The Hand of God has fallen ‘justly’ on us Catholics. The loss of legions of fallen souls, perishing for eternity – everyday, is known only to Him…….Miserere!
May God Have Mercy on us Catholics, may the scales fall off, especially, on the ‘learned, and the consecrated’, lest legions will perish!!!
Viva Cristo Rey!
True. But again, according to St. Thomas you must at least desire and work towards being in a canonically regular situation if you can. This is what Levebre did but it was unable to come fruition because his society would not have been sufficiently protected and free. I agree with what he did.
I highly recommend you read True or False Pope? or check out there website.
SHEEP KNOW ME
(in honor of Bishop Fellay)
They have struck the sheep
Just words they shout
Fleecing the flock
Confuse with fake doubt
They have struck the sheep
Hoots owl, “Who?”
“The sky is falling!”
Scream hysterical ewe
And facing the flock
They lure a white wedge
Eyes to eyes backing
Nearing cliff’s edge
But in the lower
A Good Shepherd guards
Each lamb a grace gleans
He stands, turns east,
He leads, they follow
Toward thunder’s roll
No time to wallow
Like others before
Crook and Mitred for attack
“Mine sheep know me”…
And we’ve got his back!!!!
Sodomy is the work of Satan.
The resistance is a quirky bunch of Catholics who believe that V2 is the root of the problems in the church today and that the V2 sacraments are at least ‘questionable’. I find their position far more palatable than the taste of a mohamadian’s dirty foot.
Re: Fruit. In my diocese it seems there is a ‘fruit’ in every rectory at this point. The ‘resistance’ has a wonderful and refreshingly manly web presence. I think the resistance also forces some conversations that need to happen. I have witnessed more Catholic destruction in one erroneous Novos Ordo homily than I have seen in several years observing ‘the resistance’. We need to be more concerned with the state of our soul than with the state of our parish.
This is Fr. Laisney in some letters addressed to resistance priests and Bishop Williamson:
“Catholic Truth is that, in spite of all the imperfection and some deep sins of the successors of the Apostles, some saints, some reprobates and Judases, we must be in communion with them, because they are the successors of the Apostles. Then you might say: Yes, we recognise the Pope, but we ought to keep our distances, since “it is Superiors who mould their subjects and not the other way around.” Here the great principle of St. Augustine is there to calm your fears: “in the Church, communion with the wicked does not harm the just, so long as they do not consent with their wicked deeds.” Such fear must not make us reject that which is in itself good (hierarchical communion, ORDER within the Church), the right positioning of
ourselves towards the possession of the authority that comes from Christ. Only when faced with the abusive exercise of that authority we should resist. What we ought to do – and this is what Bishop Fellay has been keen to do from the beginning of the offers of Rome, i.e. from the year 2000 – is to exercise
the virtue of prudence and provide for the protection and guarantees for the continuation of the work of Tradition.
Fr. Laisney, Open Letter to +Williamson, May 12, 2013
“Where is the problem then? It comes from the fact that many of those who possess authority in the Church today are infected by liberalism to diverse degrees. This neither Bishop Fellay nor any priest of the SSPX denies. But, while Bishop Fellay and the faithful priests of the SSPX, following the
example of Archbishop Lefebvre, make the distinction between being subject to the successor of Peter as successor of Peter and not as liberal, nay, while resisting his liberalism, those who oppose Bishop Fellay seems to be viscerally unable to make such distinction and persevere in their ignorance
of the teaching of St Augustine against the Donatists: in the Catholic Church communion with the bad ones does not harm the good ones so long as they do not consent to their evilness. The words bad ones translate the Latin mali. Put liberals in place of bad ones, since liberalism is bad, and the principle of St Augustine is exactly the position of Bishop Fellay and the refutation of those who
oppose him: in the Catholic Church, communion with the liberals does not harm the good ones so long as they do not consent with their liberalism.”
This is from a resistance priest replying to Fr. Laisney:
“For you, the best solution to avoid seeing heretics is to avoid seeing heresies, by preventing for instance the publication (in English) of Bishop Tissier’s book, a best seller in France, that proves Benedict XVI to be a heretic. Our channels of information have stopped to make a full investigation
of today’s Rome. I should have thought about it before: if a better Rome is what we want, all we need to say is that these are no super heresies and focus on the “traditional” actions of Benedict XVI while carefully avoiding to mention that he blessed an Islamic center in Rome, appointed a Mason in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, prayed vespers with Protestants at St. Paul outside of the
walls, prepared to beatify Paul VI, etc. …. More of these things are not to be found on DICI &
SSPX.ORG, but they must be painfully gathered from elsewhere. So how can you say that you are resisting liberalism when you refuse to expose heresies (something
much graver)? How can the General Chapter claim to keep the liberty to rebuke errors when, even before a regularization, all we have is a deafening silence about the scandals of today’s Papacy.”
“Here again you should have told us, ignorant readers, what is Donatism (a rigorist heresy: that people in sin must be altogether avoided and cannot perform any valid sacraments)
But no, liberals, novus ordo and non-catholics are welcome to talk to us and to attend our Masses, while we condemn the errors of their ways. This is what we do; I think its Catholic. Ours being a club of sinners , trying to intricate themselves by the grace of God, and welcoming sinners, including liberals, I don’t see how you make us Donatists except because you cannot stomach our refusal to call a heretic spade a heretic spade. All sinners are not heretics, but heretics are a very
particular and dangerous kind of sinner and heretics do need to be avoided (do I need to prove that?).”
Here is Fr. Laisney’s response to the resistance priest:
“The history of the Donatists precisely shows that: they were first schismatics, then heretics. Thus what you said about the Donatists, unfortunately, manifests your ignorance! The Donatists’ errors
were not merely about sacramental validity, but also – and even before – on the matter of “communion with the wicked”; they refused communion with the Church, under the pretext that by communicating with the (supposed) wicked Bishop of Carthage, Cecilius, the rest of the Church had “fallen”. And St. Augustine strongly rebuked them by stating the Catholic principle that “in the Church communion with the wicked does not harm the good, so long as they do not consent to the
wicked deeds.” But you have practically rejected this Catholic principle.
Then you go on judging the Pope (Benedict XVI) to be heretic, with no restrictive clause. It is one thing to point out evil deeds and teaching, as Bishop Tissier did in his study on this Pope, but it is another to pronounce a judgment on the person; especially a Pope. St. Thomas Aquinas says (ibid. ad 3m)It is one thing to judge of things and another to judge of men… when judging of things we should try to interpret each thing according as it is, and when judging of persons, to interpret things for the best as stated above. Who cannot see that you fail to do what St. Thomas teaches? Now evil deeds and modern errors are
mentioned on the site of Dici and of sspx.org, but so are the good ones…”
If Louie truly wants to understand the Resistance, then he should consider doing a little research. A good place to start would be the website for the Dominicans of Avrille, in France. Just do a google search, and their website can be easily found. This traditional order of Dominicans was started by Archbishop Lefebvre himself in the 1970’s. They are very devout, and they stay with what the Archbishop taught. They are Part of the Resistance, but they carefully explain their position.
I don’t mean any disrespect to Louie, but he sounds a bit like Michael Voris in this latest article.
By the way, they have appealed to Bp. Fellay, but Bp. Fellay will not deal with them. There’s another side to the story, Louie.
Here are some of Archbishop Lefebvre’s stronger quotes. You might google the quote to find the context:
“The Traditional Benedictine Prior, Dom Gerard, tells me that an agreement with Rome would have opened up for us a huge field for the apostolate. Maybe, but in a world of ambiguity, facing in two directions at once, which would make us go rotten in the end. They insist: “But if you were with Rome, you would have more vocations.” But vocations like that, if you breathed one word against Rome, would make life in our seminaries impossible!”
“…since they have put us out of an official Church which is not the real Church, [but] an official Church which has been infested with Modernism; and so we believed in the duty of disobedience, if indeed it was disobedience! To obey, but to obey the immemorial Church, to obey all the popes, to obey the whole Catholic Church…”
1980 Ordination Sermon, 27 June 1980
p. 210 – Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, Volume Three, by Michael Davies
“The Magisterium of today is not sufficient by itself to be called Catholic unless it is the transmission of the Deposit of Faith, that is, of Tradition.11 A new magisterium without roots in the past, and all the more if it is opposed to the magisterium of all times, can only be schismatic and heretical.
The permanent will to annihilate Tradition is a suicidal will, which justifies, by its very existence, true and faithful Catholics when they make the decisions necessary for the survival of the Church and the salvation of souls.
Our Lady of Fatima, I am sure, blesses this final appeal in this 70th anniversary of her apparitions and messages. May you not be for a second time deaf to her appeal.”
† Marcel Lefebvre – July 8, 1987 letter to Cardinal Ratzinger
“The Catholic faithful have a strict right to know that the priests to whom they have recourse are not in communion with a counterfeit Church which is evolutionary, pentecostalist, syncretist.”
(Abp. Lefebvre, Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops. Econe, 6th July, 1988.)
“Had we found ourselves in the times of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope would have been in agreement with us. There was not an occupation by freemasonry of the Vatican in its happier days.
Hence we declare our attachment and our submission to the Holy See and to the Pope. In accomplishing this act of consecration we are aware of continuing our service to the Church and the Papacy exactly as we have striven to do ever since the first day of our priesthood.
The day when the Vatican will be delivered from this occupation by Modernists and will come back to the path followed by the Church down to Vatican II, our new bishops will put themselves entirely in the hands of our Sovereign Pontiff, to the point of desisting if he so wishes from the exercise of their episcopal functions.”
“To stay inside the Church, or to put oneself inside the Church – what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for twenty years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors who make the subjects.”
“I believe that what has contributed to the loss of Dom Gerard was his desire to open to those who are not with us and who would profit from following Tradition. This was the theme of what he wrote in his letter to the Friends of the Monastery two years after his arrival at Le Barroux. He was saying, ‘We will strive not to have this critical, sterile, negative attitude. We will strive to open our doors to all those who, though they might not have our ideas, would love the liturgy, so that they too may benefit from the monastic life.’ From that period, I was worried, considering this as a dangerous operation. It was the opening of the Church to the world, and one must acknowledge that it was the world that converted the Church. Dom Gerard let himself be contaminated by the milieu which he welcomed in his monastery. Rome may be proud to have won a big battle and to have hit in the right place. It is sad.”
“This Council represents, both in the opinion of the Roman authorities as in our own, A new church which they call themselves the “Conciliar Church”. “We believe that we can affirm, taking into consideration the internal and external critique (review) on Vatican II, that is, in analysing the texts and in studying its circumstances and its consequences, that the Council, turning its back on Tradition and breaking with the Church of the past, is a schismatic council. The tree is known by its fruits.”
“We are suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church and for the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong. That Conciliar Church is a schismatic Church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship, all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive…. The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, Bishops, priests, or faithful adhere to this new Church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church…”
“In so far as the new Church separates itself from the old Church we cannot follow it. That is the position, and that is why we maintain Tradition, we keep firmly to Tradition; and I am sure we are being of immense service to the Church.”
“I believe that I have the right to ask these gentlemen who present themselves in offices which were occupied by Cardinals (who were indeed saintly persons and who were defenders of the Church and of the Catholic Faith) it seems to me that I would have the right to ask them, “Are you with the Catholic Church?” “Are you the atholic Church?” “With whom am I dealing?” If I am dealing with someone who has a pact with Masonry, have I the right to speak with such a person? Have I the duty to listen to them and to obey them?”
“How can one avoid the conclusion: there where the faith of the Church is, there also is her sanctity, and there where the sanctity of the Church is, there is the Catholic Church. A Church which no longer brings forth good fruits, a Church which is sterile, is not the Catholic Church.”
Father Laisney is the author of the book “Is Feenyism Catholic?” which is still being sold at Angelus Press. Around the time it was written SSPX priests were going around denouncing other priests, by name, from the pulpit. These were usually priests who wrote books taking a strong position on EENS. One of these priests, Father Paul Trinchard from New Orleans LA (RIP), a retired ex-Jesuit who went traditional, wrote a small book called “All About Salvation.” He was denounced by name in church. He asked for a retraction from superiors and did not get one. This type of thing is just not done. It is not theology it is politics with an agenda. My point? If Father Laisney and his superiors at the SSPX will go out of their way to attack and smear a tiny little group of staunch traditionalists as well as anyone who mentions them favorably, what makes anyone think that there aren’t some deeper problems in the official organization. Resistance? The resistance is obviously against modernist Rome. The best way to do that apparently, according to Bishop Williamson, is outside of the official SSPX. This type of thing happens, it can be explained reasonably, and as scripture says, by their fruits you will know them.
This could help you:
Nice to see you here again, Armaticus.
Do you think that such a quote can be blindly applied to bless any sort of disturbance of peace or “resistance”? Obviously not. Our Lord was speaking to the way that the world will, on the whole, respond to Him and His Church, not the way – *as a rule* – prelates are supposed to react to their superiors and the Church.
The Resistance has been accurately described here – they have no leg to stand on, *in reality*. Their basis is a cult of personality built on simply calumny.
As usual, your comments are so broad as to be meaningless or nonsensical. There is no reputable traditional theologian who would ever say the documents are “heretical in their entirety”; in fact large parts, in some cases most, of the documents are entirely orthodox.
Yes, it is the poison in them, the ambiguity, that robs them of holiness, purpose, and authority (which they make no pretense to – there is no intent to bind), but what you provide is emotional oversimplification.
To say that Catholics and Muslims worship the same God is itself ambiguous. What does it mean? There is only one God, period; anyone who worships God by definition worships the God that exists.
Here’s one traditionalist take:
The Church has never in her history claimed that no Muslim person can have any knowledge of the true God whatsoever. What she does say is that Islam is a false religion, and, yes, Vatican II’s false ecumenism obscures that, to great scandal.
These things may be some of the source of the ego problem he seems to have.
His accusations against Bishop Fellay are nonsensical calumny.
Good sermon and nicely produced as a video.
Give me the political incorrectness of Bishop Williamson any day.
Hey Johns 6, 314, and others – is link-spamming really necessary here? Google still works, as far as I know, for those looking for Bishop Williamson’s sermons (some of which ARE good, to be sure).
According to St. Alphonsus Liguori “it is de fide that men are saved by Baptism of desire.” (see page 121 of True or False Pope?) So when Father Laisney preaches against Feenyism, he is preaching against a heretical or seriously erroneous doctrine. That does not seem political to me. Maybe it is but I don’t think so. Personally the more time goes by without the SSPX compromising, the more disappointed I get in the “resistance”. Those priests took oaths to be obedient and they are going to have to answer to God for what they have done. They look less and less justified in their actions every day.
John6 and I are not the same person. I was simply chiming in that I enjoyed the sermon HE linked to.
By the way, in your response to Piokolby above you seem to be confused with the difference between a Catholic rite, a Schismatic rite, and validity.
Here is your response:
“3) Is the new mass a Catholic rite or a Schismatic rite?”
Apparently you think the answer is “yes” which most definitely puts you at odds with Archbishop Lefebvre himself who always maintained that this new Rite, bastardized and deformed as it is, could be used to confect a valid Mass.
A schismatic rite can be valid i.e. Russian/Eastern Orthodox. Canon Hess’s position was that the Novus Ordo is valid but a schismatic rite. Google still works for this as well as youtube.
We live in terrible and confusing times. No one has everything right or all this figured out. I like listening to Bishop Williamson but not all the time. I take what helps me and I move on. I’ve gotten use to doing this. I suggest the same for all who want to stay sane.
Like Fr. Hesse no one said every line of all documents of Vatican II is heretical. That is exactly the danger pointed out by Pope Leo XIII one drop of poison in a glass of water would kill you. That is why the Church would ban a book if there is one sentence is heretical. So that is why Vatican II has to be rejected in its entirety not just the areas that are heretical.
Powerful videos…the good Bishop Williamson is spot on….Our Lady of Fatima Ora Pro Nobis!
“Canon Hess’s position was that the Novus Ordo is valid but a schismatic rite.”
Really? Check the “here you go” link above.
Listen folks. I’m not a member of any of the following: SSPX, the Resistance crowed, SSPV, CMRI, FSSP, or any other solely traditionalist group, however; I will say I’ve been to nearly all of their Masses before. I only attend the Tridentine Latin Mass never the Novus ordo. The problem here is this. 1.The Church is in a Crisis. Can we all accept that? YES. 2. It appears to me nearly everyone of us, at some point, has been sucked into satan’s trap through following our principles only, ie: becoming to imprudent. Because of our rightly formed conscience, we feel the need and duty to speak out and point out where one maybe putting himself in danger of losing the Faith whether prudent or not. Can we accept this as a reality? You must because it is. 3. We as individuals have to accept the fact and I would even argue as a group or society that we cannot fix the problems in the church AT THIS POINT. Can we accept this as FACT? Yes we must or we would have to deny the Promises of Our Lady at Fatima, Therefore; 4. Only the Holy Father can fix the problems in the church by fulfilling Our Lady’s Promises. This may mean martyrdom but so be it. So lets stop splitting hairs. Let’s live like Catholic’s and live out the virtues daily. The question all traditionalist need to ask themselves is: Am I living the faith? or Am I forcing the Faith down the throat of my fellow brethren through my imbalance of Prudence and Principle? None of the following: SSPX, the Resistance crowed, SSPV, CMRI, FSSP, or any other solely traditionalist group will be able to fix the current crisis and unify the church again, however; working together and after the Consecration has taken place all of them unified may be the means Our Lord and Lady will use to fix Holy Mother Church banking on the possibility that traditionalist don’t send each other to the guillotine first.
Look people we don’t need more Traditionalist camps. If Bishop Fellay makes a deal with Rome WITHOUT any changes to the ambiguities to the Vatican II documents (which he has NOT) then there won’t be a difference any longer between the SSPX and the FSSP and if this event takes place, they should become one. Also, then the “Resisitance crowd” would be a prudent necessity. If no “deal” with Rome and the SSPX has taken place (which is the current situation) then the “Resistance crowd” needs to either humble themselves and get back into the SSPX camp or leave and join the Schismatic Sedevacantist camp ie: SSPV, CMRI because their going down that road already. The SSPX hasn’t changed their position and I would agree it would be toxic for them to come to any agreement without changes to the ambiguities of vatican II first. Benedict XVI Hermenutic of Continuity (or more correctly said Hermenutic of rupture) doesn’t cut it, because one then can also view the ambiguities with a Heremenutic of modernism or a Neo-catholic view like the church has done for the last 50 years.
Removal of ambiguities first. Then a Canonical agreement will no longer be necessary. This is the position all Traditionalist need to take! After all a Canonical Agreement isn’t necessary anyway for Catholic’s who haven’t ever abandoned the Doctrine of the Fatih, the Papal Position, or the Liturgy of All Ages! It’s only necessary for Heretics and true Schismatics. To accept a deal with Rome without changes to the ambiguities of vatican II may show loyalty to the Pope but it also portrays that the traditional position and Archbishop Lefebvre was mistaken and misguided and that is not true.
I’ve heard that talk many times. At 18:55 of that video Canon Hess states that the Novus Ordo mass is illicit i.e. against divine law. That is what he is talking about. I’ll admit that he is hinting that the N.O. is invalid by making statements such as, if they do such and such they are “cookie worshippers” etc., but he always said it was valid if said with the Roman canon and strictly according to the rubrics in Latin.
Now, what I think happened with Canon Hess is that as time went on people started questioning the validity of his own ordination which was in the N.O. rite. He then began to clarify his position further. You may listen to this link:
It is long, but the money quote is at 13:59.
After re-listening to other relevant portions of the video linked above, 34:40, 40:40, 44:21, I see that Canon Hess definitely, and with good reasons given, took the position that the N.O. is invalid in the vernacular (he comes to a different conclusion for the sacrament of holy orders though) and that ultimately we are left with a doubt as to certain validity. He bases his opinion on the faulty translation of “pro multis” to “for all.” Since this has been corrected at this time, the issue of the N.O. being illicit and schismatic remains since it is against divine law, which does not change. See 31:30 also on this.
Thanks for the link. I read the article before. That is the only article I read in the Remnant so far that is completely useless. It is very simple logic. The truth is objective and absolute. Christ is God, that is objective and absolute truth. Muslims reject Christ therefore reject God. St. Paul said all religions that do not worship Christ worships the Devil. So Muslims worships the Devil and that is the objective truth. So objectively Muslims worships the Devil and God is not the Devil therefore Muslims do not worship God. So therefore it is blasphemy to say Muslims together with us worship the same God because Muslims worship the Devil we worship God. Subjectively not only the Muslims, even the Jews and other religions think the worship God but the way it is worded in Lumen Gentium 16 sounds like a statement of truth. It is clearly a blasphemous statement as pointed out by Fr. Hesse.
thanks for the link.
Here is what is said in the article “In my opinion, the solution here is understanding that the Council, far from making some revolutionary statement on a changed nature of God, or proclaiming that Muslims are saved, was simply trying to cozy up to the press and be ecumenical by saying a few “good things” about the Muslims” This statement is indeed very troubling. V2 did intend to be revolutionary, in fact its “lack of proper intention” like previous Councils render it an invalid Council (Fr. Hesse), both the liberals and orthodox agree that Vatican II is the French Revolution of the Church. The article did a disservice to Catholics because though all the heresies of Vatican II on Ecumenism, Religious Liberty need to be condemned but to average Catholics it is not that easy to understand. The blasphemy against Christ’ Divinity would be something that Novus Ordo Catholics can grasp. Even a 5 year old Catholic boy would be able to tell you Muslims worship the Devil and We Catholics worship God. It is not a pointless argument suggested by the article.
Why do you feel the need to defend v2 in any way? What would it matter of 99% of it was orthodox?
I’m going to post the text of my Resistance rebuttal here. I just noticed that the author of the “Of Two Minds” essay I debunked as since removed his piece from the internet.
This short essay is a response to Two Conflicting Mindsets, which can be read here:
as well as to the “Resistance” position and movement in general.
Bishop Fellay certainly has no need whatsoever for my defense. With no disrespect intended, I believe there is a reason that the “Resistance” movement is largely ignored. Nevertheless, I have decided to put forth some effort here in a response, to combat the inaccuracies and calumny present in the statement I am responding to and in the “Resistance” movement in general.
[I am a layman affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X only by Mass attendance.]
I will begin by responding to the specific topics addressed in this essay.
Here is presented a quote from Archbishop Lefebvre stating that Islam is “nearer” to Catholicism than is [Talmudic] Judaism, and then a quote condemning John Paul II for praying in a synagogue with Jews (quite rightly, of course).
With these quotes are juxtaposed two extremely brief quotes from Bishop Fellay:
“Anti-semitism has no place in our ranks.”
“The Jews are our elder brothers.”
What damning evidence! Clearly the saintly Archbishop and the current leader of his Society are “of two minds”!
It is almost surreal to have to explain that the Catholic Church has always condemned anti-semitism. Anti-semitism (properly defined) refers to a hatred of people of Semitic descent – condemnation of people, as distinct from the theological errors of Talmudic Judaism.
Perhaps the “Resistance” is not aware that Pope Pius XII saved the lives of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews due to his rejection of anti-semitism; perhaps they are not aware that Pope Gregory X explicitly forbade depriving Jews of property or rights (even of public worship) due to his rejection of anti-semitism.
Do note that we must indeed differentiate anti-semintism properly-defined from the definition implied by modern Zionists. The latter is inherently anti-Catholic since it calls the dogmas of the Church Itself “anti-semetic”! But, of course, those familiar with the body of Bishop Fellay’s sermons and writings are quite aware that he does not subscribe to Zionism or Talmudic Judaism.
In a sense – the sense that Bishop Fellay meant it – it is a simple fact that Judaism is the “eldest” (and only) brother of Christianity. Does anyone deny that the New Testament – which is the Catholic Faith – is prefigured in the Old Covenant? Is Isaiah, who prophesied of Christ, an “elder brother”? Is Moses, who gave us the Ten Commandments? Of course they are – who would deny that?
Does anyone deny that Christ Himself was a practicing Jew – does not this simple fact alone make Judaism the “elder brother” of the Faith?
This is the reason that the Catholic Bible contains an Old as well as New Testament.
The “Resistance” asks “Do we see the difference here? Only one of the two sets of quotes above is in line with Church teaching.” We see differences, yes – two sets of random quotes without context, in response to different topics, different questions, that naturally do not have the same answer. As for the assertion that “anti-semistism” is “in line with Church teaching”, that is really only in the mind of the anti-semites.
So, because a quote can be found from Archbishop Lefebvre harshly criticizing Talmudic Judaism, he is “not of the same mind” as Bishop Fellay? And what of the latter’s reference to modern Talmudic Jews as “enemies of the Church”?
The reality is that Archbishop Lefebvre and the man he consecrated to the episcopate, Bishop Fellay, indeed are of the same mind regarding Judaism and the faith in general. Both men condemn the serious theological error that is Talmudic Judaism while in no means holding any personal animosity to Jewish people, instead always hoping and praying for their conversion as the Church as always done (or at least as She did before the Council).
Archbishop Lefebvre’s own father died in a Nazi concentration camp, which ought to lay to rest the deluded fantasies of Nazi sympathizers who would dare to count him among their ranks.
We see the mindset and the modus operandi of the “Resistance” quite clearly from the start: Logical errors and calumny. The journey from A->B here – from the quotes given to the conclusion – is not just weak, but nonsensical. And to draw negative, conclusive inferences about a man’s subjective disposition and belief from a pair of quotes that in fact are entirely consistent with traditional Catholic teaching is also illogical, and calumnious.
A further irony here is that the quote provided from the Archbishop – “Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and has great respect for Mary…” – could quite easily, using no looser logic than that demonstrated by our author here, be used as evidence that the Society’s founder was “pro-Islam”. Of course, that would be a preposterous contortion of his position.
In this section two quotes from the Archbishop strongly critical of the council are presented along with a pair of quotes from Bishop Fellay that are of a somewhat different character. From this it is asserted that these two men had strongly divergent views regarding this topic, but, once again, this is a matter of an entirely unfounded conclusion fed by illogical exegesis.
The root problem here is the assumption that what are essentially random quotes can be put against each other as if context were identical. In fact, while the Archbishop and Bishop Fellay have both made comments condemning the documents and the rotten fruit of Vatican II, they also both made comments that could be called “of a different sort”. As it is, it is not at all difficult to find quotes from the Archbishop of a tone different than those given in this extremely brief article.
In his well-known letter to Paul VI in December of 1976, for example, the Archbishop states that “I accept everything that, in the Council and the reforms, is in full conformity with Tradition; and the Society I have founded is ample proof of that. Our seminary is perfectly in accordance with the wishes expressed in the Council and in the Ratio fundamentalis of the Sacred Congregation for Education.” – Archbishop Lefebvre, Letter to Pope Paul VI, December, 1976.
The sentiment expressed in this note is not any more mutually exclusive with the given statements of the Archbishop any more than those statements are mutually exclusive with Bishop Fellay’s statements.
It should be immediately obvious to the reader that if a quote were produced from Bishop Fellay stating that Society seminaries are “in perfect accordance with the wishes expressed in the Council”, he would be quite readily and thoroughly condemned by the “Resistance” for it. And so on.
As many authors have pointed out, much – perhaps most – of the conciliar documents are perfectly orthodox. That is not surprising, given the goal of the Rhineland usurpers: Smuggle in a trojan horse under the cover of darkness. The trojan horse was the infamous “time bombs” in the documents and the cover was the fact that they were buried amongst mostly-orthodox prose that raised no eyebrows (even if it was almost always “pastorally” imprecise).
Archbishop Lefebvre described the conciliar documents as “things which now clearly admit all interpretations” (quoted in Davies, Pope John’s Council, p81). Likewise, Michael Davies states that “where and apparent ambiguity occurs we have a duty to interpret it, and insist that it is interpreted, in a sense consistent with the traditional teaching of the Church. The so-called ‘Spirt of Vatican II’ is certainly based upon a misinterpretation of the documents in the sense that the Holy Ghost could not have intended a general council to promulgate unorthodox teaching.”
Of course, the “Resistance” is not very interested in transmitting the many statements of Bishop Fellay that plainly express the Society’s position, then and now, such as: “The Council is not in continuity with Tradition.”
The assertion that Bishop Fellay does not have the very same essential view of Vatican Council II is completely without basis. Only by cherry-picking quotes can the uninitiated or those with a rigid, existing position be convinced of the opposite. The SSPX’s position on the council presented with completely clarity on its website, in interviews with its leadership, and in the sermons of its priests as clearly as it ever has been!
Sede vacantists and other more-trad-than-thou Traditionalists castigate the Archbishop himself for signing Dignitatis Humana and other supposed offenses. Archbishop Lefebvre claimed neither infallibility nor impeccability; he made mistakes, and acknowledged them as such. Without the need to admit any particular mistake on the part of his successor, the philosophy that if one should be found it undermines the authority of the Society is not defensible.
Vatican II Popes and Hierarchy
Next, we learn that statements such as “We have great expectations for the traditional apostolate, just as some important personages in Rome do, and the Holy Father himself” prove that Bishop Fellay and Archbishop Lefebvre are not of the same mind: “Again, Bishop Fellay doesn’t share the Archbishop’s position. The Archbishop did not hesitate to criticize the Vatican II hierarchy, whereas Bishop Fellay does not hesitate to praise them.”
Regarding what, exactly? The Archbishop did not live to see the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. If he had, to suggest that he would not have expressed some sense of hope and gratitude regarding monumental events such as the [relative] freeing of the true Rite of Mass and lifting of the “excommunications” is, to be frank, preposterous.
It would seem that the “Resistance” sees it as untoward or perhaps sinful to even hope for any good out of any body with regular canonical status. Such an attitude belies sheer emotionalism or a sense of defeatism and pessimism that lacks proper sensus catholic.
Those who are actually familiar with the entire body of the Archbishop’s writings know that at times he, too, expressed hope in the post-conciliar pontiffs and praised certain churchmen and their actions. One should perhaps read his own words regarding that infamous meeting with Pope Paul VI to understand the respect and filial love he retained for the pontiff, despite the completely horrid treatment he received at the hands of the modernists swinging their wrecking ball.
Now, let’s look at some other quotes from Bishop Fellay regarding the new pope, Francis, from October 2013:
“The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”
“When we see what is happening now we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. And we may say that one of the fruits of the Crusade we did is that we have been preserved from such a misfortune. Thank God. It is not that we don’t want to be Catholics, of course we want to be Catholics and we are Catholics, and we have a right to be recognized as Catholics. But we are not going to jeopardize our treasures for that. Of course not.”
The reason for the hope, now dashed: “In the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I said, ‘the crisis in the Church will continue, but the Pope is trying to put on the brakes.’ It’s as if to say, the Church will continue to fall, but with a parachute. And with the beginning of this [Pope Francis] pontificate, I say, ‘he cuts the strings, and he put a [downward] rocket’.”
And, of course: “We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.”
As with the previous topics, we see that there is really no difference at all in the attitudes of bishops Lefebvre and Fellay when it comes to the post-conciliar popes. Both men clearly and forcefully called-out and condemned error when they saw it, for love of the Faith. And yet both men retained their sense of Christian joy, of cautious optimism, and of love for their Holy Father regardless of how many times they were slapped on both cheeks.
Negotiations with Modernist Rome
We are presented with a statement from the Archbishop condemning in the strongest terms the apostasy that has gripped the Holy See. Then, we are led to believe that because he sought canonical status for the Society, Bishop Fellay somehow opposed this spirit.
Yet, after the Archbishop’s [accurate] statement of 1976, he himself engaged in numerous “negotiations with modernist Rome”:
– He met with Pope John Paul II in November of 1978.
– He met with Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome in March of 1982.
– In 1984 he met with Cardinal Gagnon (whom he also praised for his fidelity to the Faith).
– He met with Cardinal Ratzinger again in 1984, 1986, and 1987. (Gagnon, with a disposition in favor of the Society, being appointed Apostolic Visitor to the Society of St. Pius X in 1987 was one of the apparent fruits of these meetings.)
– In November 1987 Cardinal Gagnon and a Monsignor Perl visit Econe. In December, Gagnon even assists at Archbishop Lefebvre’s Mass welcoming new seminarians!
– There were multiple visitations by multiple negotiators in 1988 leading up to the episcopal consecrations.
These are readily-verifiable facts. So, why did the saintly Archbishop continue to meet with the supreme pontiff and his representatives of this “schismatic church” with which he had “no desire to belong”? Because, when the Archbishop referred to the “Conciliar Church”, he meant the teachings and constructs particular to the “fruit” of the council, and not the complete, visible Catholic Church headed by the pope. To assert anything else would necessarily imply that either the Church had, indeed, completely failed, in contradiction to Her Founder’s promise, or that the pontiff was actually an anti-pope. But, of course, the Archbishop believed neither of those things.
[Though he did allow for the possibility that some future pope or council might condemn the post-conciliar popes, he recognized the pope as such since he was clearly the validly-elected Catholic pontiff. The Archbishop always consistently rejected the sede vacantist position, which is that individuals can (and must) judge the canonically-elected man the Church calls pope to be no pope and no Catholic, apart from any judgement or action by the Church.]
Cardinal Ratzinger wrote after one meeting with the Archbishop that “The pope acknowledges the devotion of Archbishop Lefebvre and his fundamental attachment to the Holy See, expressed for instance by the exclusion of members who do not recognize the authority of the pope.”
The Archbishop met with pontiffs and their representatives throughout his life because he wanted canonical regularity for his Society and the return of Rome to the true, full Faith. Of course he did – to fail to even wish for regular canonical status would surely constitute schismatic spirit. Unless one adopts the sede vacantist error, one acknowledges that the Roman Pontiff, though he may be a material modernist, is still the Vicar of Christ. Resist him – yes, of course; that is the necessary purpose of the Society. But to ignore him, or despise him, would not be Catholic.
Bishop Fellay asks, “Is Benedict XVI still the legitimate pope for you? If he is, can Jesus Christ still speak through his mouth?” Can the “Resistance” movement answer these questions? It appears not sensibly! If he [now Francis] is, indeed, pope, who could possibly assert that we should refuse communion with him? Since the beginning of the Society, it has never been a case of the Society rejecting communion with Rome, but, rather, Rome rejecting communion with the Society (as Dr. Georg May put it). That is the way it must be, lest the Society adopt an orientation that is, indeed, “fatalistic”, as well as schismatic.
Of course, since the negotiations, we have been forced to endure a return to the headlong race to oblivion that is the “Spirit of the Council”. Bishop Fellay has responded appropriately, as he did with the historic actions of the previous pontificate.
The article concludes his treatise with this statement, which is has come nowhere near proving: “It is clear from comparing the quotes that Bishop Fellay does not hold the same mindset that Archbishop Lefebvre did, and thus, he has abandoned the principles of the Society’s founder.” A more accurate assessment, I think, is “I hand-selected quotes from bishops Lefebvre and Fellay from different times and different circumstances that convince me that Bishop Fellay and Archbishop Lefebvre are not the same person”.
Let’s be serious: no conclusions can be drawn here regarding Bishop Fellay without descending well into the subjective, at the very least. I would say actually that no conclusions can be drawn without descending into outright calumny.
It would appear that was is presented here is among the best evidence of the “Resistance”, yet it is really nothing – nada. It is nothing to those who are really familiar with the Archbishop’s own writings and not blinded by adherence to some cult of personality.
To infer from a given set of quotes that happen to be “positive” that criticism of the same object therefore does not exist is blatantly illogical – it is an assertion of a negative proof. Rather, it is possible that such criticism does exist, and, in fact, a study of all of Bishop Fellay’s public statements regarding the the topics above demonstrates this quite easily.
The fact is that the hopes or fears or whatever they are of the “Resistance” should have been entirely laid to rest the day it was announced that there would be no agreement with Rome, whose demands remained impossible to accept. Contra factum non argumentum est.
I have chosen this brief article to respond to because it seems to be representative of the “Resistance” position on the whole: On the whole, the position is based on rumor, poor deduction, subjective judgement, and calumny. In actual fact, it is preposterous to claim that Bishop Fellay and the rest of the leadership of the Society have abandoned the spirit or principles of its founder in any way. Their own words and actions make this clear for anyone who is properly objective and not bound-up in some cult of personality, fatalistic spirit, or simply led astray.
Danielpan, I essentially agree with you. The new Rite is not received & approved and was never properly promulgated. However, the Holy Ghost has not abandoned His Church to the extent that those who do not know better are left without the Holy Sacrifice.
All true. The conciliar documents are, on the whole, worthless, and a danger to souls. Thankfully not one iota of “new teaching” is binding.
St. Paul also told the pagan Greeks that the unwittingly honored the true God in their “unknown God”. So, back to the drawing board for you.
Yes, St. Paul did say that. But the Greeks did not hear the Gospels before St. Paul preaches to them. St. Paul said unknown God aka the Devil, he never said we worship the same God. But by the time of Vatican II Islam has existed more than 1000 years. Not only Islam know about Christ, in fact, Islam in its teaching specifically reject Christ as God incarnated. And the Popes and Saints and Doctors of the Church have condemned them. I know Neo Catholics like Catholic Answers has been using what St. Paul said to the Greeks to defend Vatican II and Taylor Marshall use the same tactic instead of deal with the simple question that can a religion specifically reject Christ (same goes for the Jews) worship God TOGETHER with us. In fact V2 used the word “together” if that is the case we even that sentence can not even apply to Protestants who actually believe Christ as God. Like St. Paul said our battle is not of flesh and blood but spirits in the air, so the Evil Spirit would protect Vatican II and come up with all kinds of reasons to make people believe its heresies, we need to keep condemning its documents and the Popes who refused to condemn its documents.
So what have they done that eared them ex communications? Or they left on their own?
Do you really believe that Archbishop Lefebvre, if still alive, would negotiate with Rome under Pope Francis?
How has the Church become less modernist now than it was when the Archbishop was alive? Just because Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications of the (then) four SSPX bishops and allowed more freedom for the TLM does not make Rome less modernist. If you believe that Rome is less modernist now, perhaps you can explain why.
That Pope Benedict was more sympathetic, to a certain extent, to tradition, did not make doing a deal with Rome more palatable. Here’s why: because Rome has been essentially modernist since the Council, the SSPX will not be safe being fully regularized, because they will be at the mercy of whatever new Pope is elected. All of the Popes who have been elected sine the Council have been modernist, Benedict only a little less so.
You may believe that the Resistance only justifies itself with quotes from the Archbishop which lend credence to their position, but I can tell that you don’t really understand their position. The truth of the matter is that the Archbishop never did regularize under modernist Rome, and that Bishop Fellay is now considering a deal with Modernist Rome cannot be justified. Saying that the SSPX will do a lot of good in the Church, if regularized, is wrong thinking. The FSSP are not allowed to say anything negative about the modernist antics of Pope Francis, and the SSPX will be expected to do the same. But then they rarely criticize Pope Francis now. They have already been effectively muzzled. I suppose that you are happy about that, too.
I really love Bishop Williamson and it hurts me to see him doing this. Objectively, it seems, he is in the wrong. Say a prayer for this good Catholic man.
I agree with your assessment of +Williamson, but do you not feel he’s going to far? The position of Archbishop Lefebvre was to resist to the least degree possible. That is, resist only so far as they are required to remain Catholic. Is this what +Williamson is doing? It breaks my heart, but I don’t think I can answer yes to that question.
Just to be clear, you don’t think this is explicitly heretical? This is ambiguous?
Lumen Gentium # 16:
“But the plan of salvation also embraces those who acknowledge the Creator, and among these the MUSLIMS are first; the profess to hold the faith of Abraham AND ALONG WITH US THEY WORSHIP THE ONE MERCIFUL GOD WHO WILL JUDGE MANKIND ON THE LAST DAY.”
That’s how I see it.
After finally coming to embrace the Society several years ago, I began reading a lot of what they’ve published. Several times I would come to the end of some extremely good piece to discover at the end that +Williamson had written it. He has much to offer.
Do you not recall the Litmus test sent to +Fellay by Rome (and/or its handlers)?
Thanks for quoting it. Exactly that is why Fr. Hesse said it is a outrageous blasphemy against Christ that any Catholic can point out without any theological background.
“his Society was hardly recognisable as its misleaders went to Rome, cap in hand, begging for official recognition from the Church Authorities Even the Kool-Aid drinkers among the “resistance” have to recognize this as hype.”
Yeah, well, LV, after that “cap in hand, begging for official recognition” interview w/Conflict Zone, I have to go w/Wmson here. BTW, it is your man Fellay who accuses himself of hype/rhetoric in that interview re: his statement that Francis “has made things 10,000 times worse.” In the interview Fellay (at least) compromises on sodomites in the priesthood (@19:30-59).
Wmson was a bishop of SSPX and thus privy to goings on that you aren’t aware, so I would trust him more than Fellay who also said in the interview that he too talks w/ “other religions” but discretely [24:20] (ha ha) i.e. he doesn’t tell the faithful what’s going on. Fellay labels his own sin as “talking too much.” [Most people don’t know what to make of this question, but it is the final heresy of VC2 that Jesus Christ is not God and didn’t die for our sins. Fellay surely flubs this question as he does most of them.]
Fellay has said he agrees w/95% of Vatican 2 — not sure whether that’s some doctrinal errors he’s agreeing w/or if he’s engaging in rhetoric!
“How is it possible to accept what you stated eight years ago (in an interview to the daily La Liberté on May 11, 2001, published by DICI n. 6, on May 18, 2001), that is, that “we go along with about 95% of the Second Vatican Council,” without being a liberal and modernist? “Far from wanting to stop Tradition in 1962, we wish to consider Vatican Council II and the post-conciliar teaching.””
What I believe Archbishop Lefebvre (ABL) would do is irrelevant, however; understanding that ABL always kept contact with Rome and the Pope and actually signed an agreement (which by the way is what the FSSP accepted) at one point and then went back on it due to the agreement being inadequate for the spread of freedom and liberty of tradition through the SSPX and moved forward with the 1988 consecrations, I would say ABL would 1. keep communication with Rome and the Pope, 2. If I were to make an assumption and it is only my assumption, I think ABL would make a very cautious agreement with Rome and the current Pope, BUT, and I mean a big BUT, ABL would first demand everything Rome has given the SSPX (Summorum Pontificum, lifting of the unjust so called Excommunications) I think ABL would also demand a Permanent authoritative position in Rome that trumps the multiple congregations (similar to the one offered to Bishop Fellay by Benedict XVI) but MOST importantly I think ABL would demand a new translation of any and all the ambiguities of Vatican II before signing ANY agreement because Benedict XVI hermeneutic of continuity doesn’t suffice and is definitely the same modernistic tactic.
You are going to have to do a lot better than that to show that the theological opinion of baptism of desire being sufficient for salvation (as opposed to justification) about which there has been no universal tradition is ‘de fide’. I love St Alphonsus – but his opinion is based on other opinions and there are contrary opinions. This is ‘de fide’: If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary in Baptism, and therefore interprets metaphorically the words of Our Lord Jesus
Christ: “Unless one be born again of water and the Holy Ghost”: Let him be anathema
Council of Trent Canon 2
If anyone saith that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary to salvation;
let him be anathema.
Council of Trent, Session 7, Canon 5. (Mar. 3, 1547).
You may be edified by this article – a response to Fr Laisney’s attack on Father Feeney’s position: http://www.marycoredemptrix.com/laisneyism.html
Over the last several years I have witnessed the Society’s decline in a variety of ways especially by its seeming inability to preach boldly about subjects that affect us all. For example, there are no sermons regarding the homosexual agenda, Hollywood perversions, the destructive ‘music industry’, Jewish perfidy, ‘gender neutral’ toilets and government corruption, etc. The Society has become extremely lax when it comes to addressing these issues. One only need glance at the last few years’ editions of the “Angelus” and one will search in vain for any in-depth articles about any of the aforementioned subjects. The most I have heard from the pew are statements such as “you know what the world is like out there so I don’t need to tell you…” Yes, you do! I believe it’s time we heard some specifics. Just what IS the world like out there? After Mass yesterday a young girl was complaining that it was too cold to go swimming which she wanted to do that day. Girls who are truly Catholic should not be going swimming exposing themselves in such a manner that it may become a near occasion of sin to someone else. If the young had been told these things from the pulpit maybe they would think twice about the implications of such activities. In today’s world an occasional comment by this or that priest once every few years does not help much. The young need this pounded into their heads frequently since they are constantly bombarded from every conceivable direction that such things are ’normal’ and ‘acceptable’. If they don’t hear it from their priests from whom are they to hear it? Incidentally, this girl’s mother was standing next to her and said nothing. This is not to suggest that sermons on the Epistles and Gospels are not important but these subjects could easily be woven into the fabric of any given sermon.
I happen to possess copies of the old “Angelus” when is was published in Dickinson, Texas. It was a plain vanilla, no-frills, publication. But there were scores of hard-hitting exposés written by Fr. Peter Scott and other priests of the Society. Since the so-called new ‘branding’ came into effect a few years back all this is gone by the way-side. All there is now are puff pieces, and an article or two about some saint, and lots of colour pictures used as filler since no one want to touch the really hard issues. The Society has grown soft: it is afraid to offend anyone. It does not want to incur the wrath of the Vatican because of all these so-called ‘talks’ nor the government especially in light of Federal charges brought against an archbishop in Spain who delivered a harsh condemnation of the secular agenda and is now facing possible prosecution for committing a “hate crime”. It will soon happen in this county of the ‘land of the free’. In addition, the Society also appears afraid of being labeled a ‘hate-group’ by the JDL, the SPLC, etc. The SSPX is not currently listed and it’s no small wonder since it hasn’t violated any of the rules laid-down by government and secular watchdogs. I recall St. Paul stating that one was to ‘preach the truth in season and out of season’, or did I misunderstand? In my mind the Truth encompasses more than sermons on the Epistles and Gospels. But, then again, I guess I’m just out of step with the times.
I have grown weary of lame excuses that ‘nothing has or will change’ or ‘we will not ignore these subjects but will continue to be critical about them as we always have’. This is an absurd claim since the priests of the Society are not critical of them NOW, at least not on my planet. Or, what is most astounding is the claim that the SSPX will convert Rome. Mostly likely, given man’s fallen nature, the SSPX will be the ones who will end-up being converted given the corrupt influences extant in the Vatican. The Society already has an excellent beginning given what was stated above.
Finally, what is most frightening is the loss of so many souls who will abandon the SSPX the more it sinks into the abyss of compromise despite its claims to the contrary. I fully realize that what I have written above will have absolutely no effect on anyone especially the bishop who is responsible for making these decisions but, nevertheless, I felt it necessary to air my frustrations.
Dduw bendithia chi!
PS: Just so there is no confusion I must state that I am not a ‘member’ of any so-called ‘resistance’ movement nor am I a sedevacantist. I attend Mass every Sunday and Holy day at an SSPX chapel; I am also a Sacristan.
I am late to this discussion and I have also been attending the SSPX for three years so my opinion might be useless. But very soon after I joined the SSPX I heard about the controversy with Bishop Williamson. I think it is really an ego problem with him. Sadly, it all comes down to the “Alpha Dog” when men are doing anything in a group. B.W. seems like not a team player and his feelings were hurt when he was passed over for Bishop Fellay. Just sayin’.
Your manifest lack of charity is NOT Catholic. Nor is your own presumption in judging the souls and motives of Bp. Williamson and those who look to him for guidance. Such as you need to take your own advice and stand down. Accept the possibility that you are neither omniscient nor infallible and that, in these troubled times, we should all spend more time praying and less time feeling self righteous.
Bp. Williamson is doing the best he can. Further, he does everything with an attitude of humility that it would benefit others to emulate. He is not objectively “in the wrong.” As a long time parishioner of an SSPX chapel, I am sorry to say that they are inching toward apostasy. I know many find that possibility intolerable, and therefore, they deny it. It is nonetheless obvious to people who look at the facts. I have had to observe some of our best priests and faithful driven from our parish for asking questions. This never would have been the case when the SSPX was sound; believe me, I know, having asked many a question in those days. Please pray for us and for the SSPX, that they may pause before they do this unthinkable thing and lead so many astray.
Thank you! You always provide the very best quotes of the Abp. and the best rebuttals to those who wish to sanction a very grave and terrible mistake.
“Catholic ” thinker-
Your comments are anything but Catholic. To criticize others for “link spamming “, is insulting and extremely presumptuous since many people find the links helpful to access topical information. And given your proclivity for comments that comprise many thousands of words, monopolizing whole threads as if to suppress every thought and opinion but your own, you have some gall to attribute the word “spam” to anyone else. If you have any ACTUAL intention to take part in Christian discussion and are not trying to merely be offensive, I would consider it a personal favor if you would allow others to have a voice, without your interference. If you are a troll, please consider, in the name of Jesus, moving on to trouble some other blog for awhile.