Traditionis Custodes: The SSPX makes its position plain

On July 22, Fr. Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the SSPX, issued a letter on the “profound upheaval in the so-called traditionalist movement” caused by Traditionis Custodes.

At last, the question posed at the conclusion to yesterday’s post has been answered: 

Will the Society of St. Pius X respond to the Motu Proprio by speaking the plain truth about the utter invalidity of Vatican Council II; the present claimant to the Chair of St. Peter; the institution that he heads and the bogus liturgy that it celebrates, or will they play the shrinking violet, subtly encouraging Our Lord’s enemies as they usher the naive all the way to Hell?  

The letter begins with a hopeful bang, a pull quote taken from the body of the text, presented in all capital letters:


The heart of the letter consists of Fr. Pagliarani’s description of two “Churches,” the one that clings to the Traditional Latin Mass, the other that insists upon the Novus Ordo.

Before doing so, however, he prefaces his comments by reassuring the faithful that the present state of affairs is, in a certain sense, to be expected, and not just because we live in the shadow of the conciliar revolution. 

He says that “we must remember that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the continuation in time of the most bitter struggle … between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.”

In this, Fr. Pagliarani would be entirely correct, at least insofar as he intended to echo the sentiments expressed in a previous post in this space:

The present assault on the true Mass is nothing less than a manifestation of Satan’s efforts, with the aid of those who have given themselves over to his service, like Bergoglio, to destroy the Catholic Church, the Kingdom of Christ on earth. 

I regret to say, however, that what Fr. Pagliarani appears intent on conveying is that one really shouldn’t be all that surprised that the pope, the Vicar of Christ, has declared war on the Traditional Latin Mass, the “pearl of great price for which we must be ready to sell and to renounce everything.”

He writes:

Since Our Lord’s victory was through the Cross and through His Precious Blood, it is understandable that its perpetuation will also be marked by conflicts and contradictions …

It is not surprising that the Mass, which perfectly expresses Our Lord’s definitive victory over sin through His atoning Sacrifice, is itself a sign of contradiction.

NB: And all of this, he insists, “within the Church itself.” 

Get that? Within the Church itself!  

Excuse the Hell out of me, but the notion that the Holy Roman Pontiff, the visible head of the Holy Catholic Church on earth – Peter himself! – is laboring to eliminate an ancient and eminently venerable sacred rite that perfectly embodies the one true Faith in favor of one that clearly glorifies man in opposition to that Faith – by Fr. Pagliarani’s own admission – is not “understandable” in the least. 

What I find most surprising is that anyone, especially those with even a shred of sensus Catholicus, might consider such a preposterous suggestion a reasonable explication of, much less a defense of, the one true Faith. And yet, I have little doubt that the Society’s cheerleaders will come out in full force to applaud Fr. Pagliarani’s reflections.

The Superior General went on at length to describe two opposing “conceptions” of the “Church” as “expressed” by the Traditional Roman Rite and the Novus Ordo respectively. Expressions and conceptions… This is a theme invoked repeatedly throughout the letter. 

Really? Is that all that the sacred liturgy does, express certain conceptions? Of course not. Be that as it may, Fr. Pagliarani does come rather close to speaking like a true leader of Christian soldiers, saying:

The Tridentine Mass expresses and conveys a conception of Christian life – and consequently, a conception of the Catholic Church – that is absolutely incompatible with the ecclesiology that emerged from the Second Vatican Council. 

The problem is not simply liturgical, aesthetic or purely technical. The problem is simultaneously doctrinal, moral, spiritual, ecclesiological and liturgical. In a nutshell, it is a problem that affects all aspects of the Church’s life, without exception. It is a question of faith …

On the other side stands the Mass of Paul VI. It is an authentic expression of a Church that wants to live in harmony with the world and that lends an ear to the world’s demands. It represents a Church that, in the final analysis, no longer needs to fight against the world because it no longer has anything to reproach the world.

Rest assured, his words were chosen very, very carefully in order to avoid the obvious, namely, the undeniable reality that neither the conciliar church nor its bogus “Mass” are Catholic. And if this be so, then what is one to say of the head of that despicable society? 

Yes, Fr. Pagliarani is at severe pains to avoid such questions and their conclusions, obvious though they may be. 

In truth, the Mass is much more than merely an expression of a conception. In the case of the Traditional Latin Mass, “the entire liturgy has the Catholic faith for its content.” Furthermore, the sacred rites “make it possible to tell genuine Christians from their false or heretical counterparts.” (cf Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 47, 23) 

Please, read those citations from Pope Pius XII again.

Sadly, Fr. Pagliarani is unwilling to identify Jorge Bergoglio – the one individual most responsible for, and vehemently committed to, establishing a liturgy that has not the Catholic faith for its content over and against the liturgy of the Church – as a false Christian, and the society that he leads as a false church.      

If Fr. Pagliarani really was prepared to treat the true Mass as a pearl of great price, he would be willing to suffer the slings and arrows that always land upon those who speak the truth plainly; he would repeat the words of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, albeit with greater conviction still in light of subsequent godless events, and in particular, Traditionis Custodes:

This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic. 

What began with a bang, ended with a whimper. Now we know, the Society of St. Pius X is content to play the shrinking violet, subtly encouraging Our Lord’s enemies as they usher the naive all the way to Hell.