I want to talk about a current issue. But before, let me introduce another issue that is related to everything we are living in this crisis of the Church, between the false "Conciliar Church" which has been formed with Vatican II, and us, the Society of Saint Pius X.
The topic is: THE PRIMACY OF THE TRUTH. i.e.: The Truth must be told and defended, because doing so is the same as preaching and defending Christ, Our Lord. He has said, and rightly so, "I am the Truth, the Way and the Life."
To talk about “the primacy of Truth is” the same as saying “the primacy of the Faith”because we are talking about the Highest Truth, i.e. Truth given by God, to which we must adhere. That is the Faith, that is what “keeping the Faith” is, the adhesion of my intelligence to Truths given by God “through the authority of God revealing it”, because it is God who reveals them and teaches them.
This primacy of Truth is what comes first and is the starting point. It preceeds Charity, piety and false obedience and diplomacy! Not to mention politics, or "politicking", which obviously must be preceded by and based on the Truth. Those things should serve, should be "servants" of the Truth, and not vice versa (with one exception which corresponds to Charity).
Charity, the supreme love due to God and to one’s neighbour as to oneself, is the most important, "the queen," of the virtues. But without question, it is based (and must be based!) on the Truth. As you can imagine, there can be no Charity based on lies or falsehoods, on error. Charity must be based on what things are (on the nature of things), and not on justifying errors, justifying evil deeds: that is a false charity.
Piety, for example in the prayers we address to God, the virtue of religion, cannot but be based on Truth: How am I to direct my prayer to a false God, to the Muslims’ Allah, to the Jehovah of the Jews?! Maybe this is done in good faith, but objectively it is an error. To have true piety and true religious virtue, I must know that the only true God is the Blessed Trinity, as Catholicism teaches; it can be said: “Yes, there is a Catholic God, and He is the only God who exists”: God is the Blessed Trinity. And Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, is God.
Obedience: Must be based on Truth, on the Faith: I cannot obey orders based on error or evil orders. That would be a false obedience, since OBEDIENCE IS FOR THE TRUTH; OBEDIENCE IS FOR THE FAITH, and not the other way round. God tells us in Scripture: “We must obey God rather than men”. And this prevails before any authority.
And let's not even speak about diplomacy: it is a false diplomacy, a diplomacy of the flesh, of sin, which ignores The Truth, which ignores The Faith, or worse if it is based on a lie, on falsehood, and likewise if it is based on ambiguity: Diplomacy is for The Truth and for The Faith, and not the other way round.
Consider that in any good and real Catholic education, the primacy of the Truth ought to be taught explicitly and highlighted. But that’s not how things are, this is not done.
And we can say that this is not highlighted or stressed, neither in the education of the Society nor in the education of the seminarians, to form them into priests. Teaching about the primacy of the Truth is done very little, or it is just passed over.
Let’s get onto the current issue.
In "the World of Tradition" we now have a new Rosary "crusade". The second intention of this “crusade” is wrong or at least ambiguous (as always: ambiguous language), and as such, it is not acceptable. Which is this point number two or the second intention? We should pray: “Pour le retour de la Tradition dans l’Eglise”: “for the return of Tradition within the Church.”
(A) If we understand the word "Tradition" in the strict, theological sense: "Tradition" is the set of Truths that God reveals in oral form, it forms THE DEPOSIT OF THE FAITH. We cannot ask for “the return to Tradition within the Church.”
The Catholic Church can never lose Tradition, because Tradition cannot ever be outside of her. To be truly “The Catholic Church”, she must have, as she always has had, the written DEPOSIT (written Revelation: Sacred Scripture) and oral DEPOSIT (oral Revelation: Tradition). It cannot be asked "the return to Tradition within the Church.
Once again: it is wrong then to ask for the return of Tradition within the Church: Tradition has never gone; Tradition can never leave the Catholic Church.
B) If, in the second intention of the Rosary Crusade, the word “Tradition” means us, the SSPX, then we cannot ask for the “return to Tradition within the Church” because WE HAVE NEVER LEFT THE CHURCH, because we have never changed one iota of Catholic Doctrine, of the Faith of always, of the Popes’ Teaching prior to Vatican II. This council did change the Faith, did change our Catholic religion, and created a false church "THE CONCILIAR CHURCH” as Archbishop Lefebvre called it.
All the problems we have had, the members of the SSPX, were because we did not change the Faith, because we kept the Catholic Faith.
If the second intention refers to us with that phrase “return of Tradition within the Church,” it is insinuating that we want to return to somewhere which we never left: the real Catholic Church, because we have changed nothing and we seek to change nothing of Catholic Doctrine, the same Doctrine of St. Pius X, St. Pius V and Saint Peter.
This expression, with AMBIGUOUS LANGUAGE, implies our return to “The conciliar church of Francis” to “the church of Vatican II.” Also implied is -perhaps- making an agreement with the conciliar Rome, once again, the negotiations again ... again...
(C) And all this instead of asking for: The return of ROME (Modernist Rome) to Tradition, her return to the true Catholic Church, which neo-Rome has really has left, thanks to the Vatican II and the things that followed it. It is necessary to speak clearly, we must speak out.
All this instead of asking for: The return of the Roman authorities, Francis, to the Catholic Faith, the True Catholic Church.
With this talk of “being in the Catholic Church,” of “RETURNING into the Catholic Church,” we should remember the words of Archbishop Lefebvre.
Where is there “a Catholic,” where can one see “a Catholic”? Wherever there is someone who keeps the marks of the Church, the marks of Catholicism. The Church is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic: two thousand years of theology teaches us about the four marks of the Church.
Any person will be “a Catholic,” and will be recognised as such, alone or in a community, who keeps those four marks.
Where is there a Catholic religious congregation? In any who keep the four marks of the Church. Does the SSPX have or keep the four marks? Yes. Well then, how can you talk about the SSPX returning to the Church? The SSPX never left the Church!
Does the New Church formed by Vatican II, i.e. the conciliar Church, keep the four marks of Catholicism? No, not at all. So then, who needs to return, who should “return to the Church”? The Protestant and modernist Neo-Rome, as Archbishop Lefebvre said, they are the ones who need to return. They must abandon all the falsehoods and heresies that have arisen since Vatican II, and return to the true Catholic Faith which they ought never to have left.
But listen to Archbishop Lefebvre himself with all these concepts. Here he is speaking to his priests in 1988 (you may already know this text from Fideliter No.66):
“My dear friends,
You continue to represent the true Church, the Catholic Church. I think you need to be convinced of this: you really represent the Catholic Church.
Where is the visible church? The visible church is recognized by the features that have always given to visibility: one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
I ask: Where are the true marks of the Church? Are they more in the official Church (this is not the visible Church, but the official church) or in us, in what we represent, what we are?
Clearly we are the ones who preserve the Unity of the faith, which disappeared from the official Church. One bishop believes in this, another doesn’t believe in that, their faith is different, their catechisms contain abominable heresies. Where is the unity of the Faith in Rome? Where is the unity of faith in the world? It is in us, we who preserve it.
The unity of the Faith made real in the whole world is what Catholicity is. But because this unity of Faith around the world no longer exists, there is practically no more Catholicity. There will soon be as many Catholic churches as bishops and dioceses. Everyone has their way of seeing, thinking, preaching, making his catechism. There is no catholicity anymore.
Where is the Apostolicity? They broke with the past. They do not want to know any more of the past before Vatican II. (...)It is not necessary to refer to before Vatican II which means nothing. (...) What happened, happened, it disappeared. (...) That is what allows them to say the opposite of what was said before (...)We would have a “wrong” concept of tradition, because for them, Tradition is living and therefore evolutionary. But this is a modernist error: the holy Pope Pius X in his encyclical "Pascendi" condemns these terms...
Apostolicity: we are united to the Apostles by the authority. My priesthood comes from the Apostles; your priesthood will come from the Apostles. We are the children of those who gave us the Episcopate. My episcopate descends from the saint Pope Pius V and for him; we go back to the Apostles. As for the apostolic faith, we believe the same faith as the Apostles. We do not change anything and we do not want to change anything.
Then the Holiness (...) Let’s consider the others and let’s consider the fruits of our apostolate, the fruits of the vocations, of our religious and the fruits of Catholic families. The good and holy Catholic families germinate thanks to your apostolate. It is a fact...
All this shows that we are the one who have the features of the visible Church. If there is still a visibility of the Church today it is thanks to you. These signs cannot be seen in the others. There is no longer in them the unity of the Faith; well, it is the Faith which is the basis of all the visibility of the Church. Catholicity is the Faith in space. Apostolicity is the Faith in time. Holiness is the fruit of faith (...) It is not us, but the modernists who have left the Church (...) It is wrong to equate the visible Church with “the official Church.”
It is in Rome where heresy has settled (...) This is the one reason why we cannot join with Rome. Whatever happens, we must continue as we have done, and the Good Lord shows us that following this route, we fulfil our duty. We do not deny the Roman Church. We do not deny their existence, but we cannot follow their directives. We cannot follow the principles of the Council. (...) You see that he [Caardinal Ratzinger] wanted to bring us into the conciliar Church. ..."
Fideliter: Some people say, "Yes, but Archbishop Lefebvre should have accepted an agreement with Rome...
Archbishop Lefebvre: 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. Amongst the whole Roman Curia, amongst all the world's bishops who are progressives, I would have been completely swamped.
Fideliter: Are you not afraid that in the end...little by little the split will grow wider and we will find ourselves being confronted with a parallel Church alongside what some call the "visible Church"?
Archbishop Lefebvre: This talk about the "visible Church" on the part of Dom Gerard and Mr. Madiran is childish. It is incredible that anyone can talk of the "visible Church", meaning the Conciliar Church as opposed to the Catholic Church which we are trying to represent and continue. I am not saying that we are the Catholic Church. I have never said so (...)But, we truly represent the Catholic Church such as it was before, because we are continuing what it always did. It is we who have the notes of the visible Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. That is what makes the visible Church (...)Obviously, we are against the Conciliar Church which is virtually schismatic, even if they deny it. In practice, it is a Church which is virtually excommunicated because it is a Modernist Church. (...)We are what we have always been - Catholics carrying on. That is all. There is no need to look for unnecessary complications.
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"Viva Cristo Rey!"