If there could be salvation outside the Conciliar Church, then is there salvation “outside the SSPX” or other traditionalist groups?
As Catholics we are always compelled to choose between Truth and “obedience.” Moreover, we must likewise choose between practicing the dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation” and the present ecclesiastical orientation, which thinks and believes otherwise—between the immemorial teaching of the Church, which states that schismatics and heretics are “outside the Catholic Church,” and the modern ecclesiastical orientation, which started with the spirit of the council (Aggiornamento). This Modernist spirit has been continued nowadays by the New Evangelization’s fever, and is being promoted by the attitude of the “Hermeneutic of Continuity” in traditionalist groups.
In the conflict between “obedience” and Truth, better-informed Catholics have chosen the Truth, as did Archbishop Lefebvre. In his thinking, with the Church according to Tradition, the Archbishop’s sensus fidei maintained that only Truth will ensure union with the invisible Head of the Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, he resisted the Post-Vatican II ecclesiastical orientation (religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality), in order to remain in the one Church of Jesus Christ. He continued to act “within the Church and according to the Church,” resisting the new ecclesiastical tide in the measure that it attempts to distance itself from the doctrines and practices of the Faith, kept and transmitted by the Catholic Church, and desiring—in spite of many disappointments—that union with the Vicar of Christ can be re-established as soon as possible without having to compromise on any point of doctrine. No matter what, this is what he stood for!
Hence, the apparent conflict between “obedience” and Truth rests on AMBIGUITY. For instance, at the time of Vatican II there were those ambiguous terms, which could be understood in one way by Catholics and in another (contradictory) way by Modernists, like some post-Conciliar prelates who want to preach about things like “unity in diversity,” or “silent apostasy while keeping the faith.” Certainly, deeds speak louder than words. In today’s Official Church Pope Francis is an ultra-Modernist prelate—a master of contrarieties, who says he is not against Catholic teaching and yet favors a humanistic world! By the same token, the ranks of traditional priests—in particular within the SSPX, the backbone of Tradition—are being infected again with such a dilemma between Truth and “obedience,” a note of our confusing time.
In the days of the Council, the teaching of novelties about humanism (man-centered Church) were opposed and then silenced by more or less honest means and men, but adherents thereof have since been installed in key positions of power during the post-Conciliar period, so that the new system DEMANDS obedience to such “personal” orientations against the whole previous Magisterium of the Church.
In this perspective, the break between the unity of faith and a pretended “unity of communion” with the hierarchy (to do what the Council says, or to be with the Pope), which omits, keeps quiet or alters the doctrine received from God and transmitted by the Church, creates in the Church militant an “extraordinary” situation—a state of affairs that is neither ordinary nor regular. Is this a crisis of Faith? Or is this a crisis of authority?
The normal and ordinary situation of the Holy Catholic Church is that the orientation, which is exteriorly commissioned to the hierarchy, should favor, or at least not contradict, the orientation which springs from the invisible Head—Our Lord Jesus Christ—and was given to the Church originally, continues to be given through grace.
The conflict is between the new orientation, which some strive to force upon the Church, and the Catholic sense of faithful; in other words, between the new direction which is imposed on the government of the Church, and the conscience that each and every bishop or priest should have in his mission of helping the salvation of souls.
In this state of “uneasiness,” the faithful find their religion attacked by those very people who are supposed to guide them, and so find themselves conscience-bound to resist those whom they would wish, in normal circumstances, to follow as Pastors, in particular the Bishops.
We could never appreciate enough the great blessing of having Archbishop Lefebvre to lead the battle for the Faith! Here is a reminder of his Catholic instinct as regards talks with Rome:
Among those words from the Vatican News on June 16, 1988, concerning the Protocol between Rome and the SSPX, there are certain expressions “to be used as a basis … for reconciliation.” At that time, the Archbishop himself, and the SSPX as well, were committed “to an attitude of study and of communicating with the Holy See, in avoiding all polemics on the subject of the points taught by Vatican II or with the reforms which followed and which they found difficult to reconcile with Tradition.” This was clearly to be “a pact of silence,” no longer to criticize the innovations of the authorities.
The bitter experience of the years following Vatican II has proven that to dialogue “in an attitude of study and communication” with the Roman hierarchy—even with different prelates and their various temperaments and ecclesiastical understandings—has been an utter drama, not only regarding the critical status of Catholic teaching throughout the world, but also in the decline of unity of teaching among bishops, priests and faithful related to the SSPX structure.
In fact, the only foreseen result of the “agreement” was the reduction to silence of the unique, authorized and solid voice, which made itself heard at the time by Archbishop Lefebvre’s battle on behalf of Catholic Tradition, confronting the auto-demolition of the Church.
As we know, Tradition does not mean exterior customs, such as Latin and rubrics. Indeed, Tradition conveys and transmits the TRUE REVELATION given to the Apostles by Our Lord Jesus Christ, in order to be kept with all its integrity and to be passed from generation to generation until the second coming of Our Blessed Lord. St. Peter, as the first Pope, did defend this Treasure and Deposit of Faith, until his martyrdom for Christ’s sake. As it was St. Peter’s duty, so must it be that of the present Pope. Evidently, that is not the case with Pope Francis.
Catholic Tradition is not to be regarded “as an SSPX-particular charisma,” as Cardinal Gagnon himself stated during his official interview with the Avvenire on June 17, 1988, “On our part [the Roman part], we have always talked of reconciliation; Archbishop Lefebvre, on his part, of recognition. The difference is not small. Reconciliation implies that both parties will make an effort to recognize past errors. Archbishop Lefebvre wants only that it be declared that he was right all the time, and this is impossible.”
In consequence, the Archbishop wanted not to be asked to recognize “errors” which he had not committed. His fight for the Treasure of the Faith should not be ended with surrender, because that would mean that Tradition would no longer be part of the Truth Revealed by God—in Whom there could be no change, Who is eternal Truth.
For the Archbishop it was clear that talking to Rome was impossible, so that “to collaborate” with a hierarchy that turns to a “living Tradition” as a way of adapting the Faith to the modern world would end—sooner or later—in some compromise or surrender, or at least in some cooperation by silence.
Unfortunately, this is the scenario in which many traditional priests and faithful are involved, in our current struggles to defend the Catholic Church. Needless to say, the real problem is still in Rome, wherein the “official authorities in keeping the true faith, but not in safeguarding there administrative individual authority in a frame which looks in exterior order yet is diabolically disoriented.”
In like manner, so it has been for traditionalist faithful (including priests and bishops) since the SSPX General Chapter of June 2012. During the three-year “theological discussions” all of us were told to keep silent. As a matter of fact, not only two SSPX bishops mostly wanted to keep silent but also very many priests desire to remain exteriorly so, and when circumstances brought pressure to bear they have chosen “obedience” instead of Truth.
So, Modernist tendencies work as virus in our blood stream, from the inside out, and from the heart to the head, and then to the members.
Was Archbishop Lefebvre right in dismissing the requirements of recognition? Could it be that his concept of Tradition is not as arbitrary as today’s superiors would like to assume? Could it be that Tradition as the simple transmission of the Deposit of Faith is not incomplete and contradictory at all?
He did not keep silent!
¡Viva Cristo Rey!
“Now they did not understand that he called God his father….
“Then Jesus said to those Jews that believed him: If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed:
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
“They answered him: We are the seed of Abraham, and we have never been slaves to any man; how sayest thou, You shall be free?
“Jesus answered them: Amen, amen I say unto you, that whosoever committeth sin, is servant of sin” (John VIII, 27, 31–34).
Human life is full of contrarieties between the Creator and we His creatures. Indeed, He has one will and we another; He declares one thing to be good for us, and we fancy other objects to be good for us, many times not useful for salvation. Men play games with human life in the modern world, not only building and maintaining an industry of abortion and euthanasia but also in framing a market for human trafficking. Is there a difference between slavery and this human trafficking which affects freedom and safety in today’s world after the 9/11 event?
In his touching letter to Philemon, while fully recognizing the claims of the master, the Apostle St. Paul exhorts him to receive Onesimus (a name which means “useful”) not only as his slave but also as his brother in Christ. While pleading for the slaves, he does not exempt Onesimus from the lawful service he owes to his master. This brief Epistle of twenty-five verses has served as a guiding principle to the Church in her solution of the issue of slavery. It has contributed immensely to alleviate the miseries of humanity, immersed both in pagan practices (such as witchcraft) and esoteric cults.
Slavery has always been a problem in human life. In a chain reaction, the rejection of Almighty God developed a dominating power in the conduct of men, in the individual as well as the social domain. Slavery in its most odious form is still openly upheld in some countries. As it was before in Paganism, so it is now in the Neo-Pagan World with its naturalistic worship and unnatural customs in today’s society. Let us remember that social problems are characteristic standards whereby to evaluate the moral and religious condition of families and nations—like those modern social problems of divorced families and same-sex partners, like abortion and euthanasia, like slavery and human trafficking, and so forth.
Among the many occupations of human life, transactions of worldly business and speculation in trade are among the most attractive to men during this earthly existence. Needless to say, ambitious people encounter public events to rouse degeneration and degradation of our human nature—that of creatures made in the likeness of God.
Many unhappy men, denying the need of God, reduce themselves to having unnatural appetites, not according to our dignity as rational beings. What is to be thought of people who are ever searching after novelties to make human life interesting to them? It seems that Christian activity cannot be kept up without opposition. Can we doubt that man’s will runs contrary to God’s will in today’s world in regards to our eternal destiny?
Numberless slaves were and are acquired by military conquest. Many others are purchased in the slave-market, or obtained by kidnapping. Children were and are being sold by impoverished or sordid traders; men are sold for debt or for a gambling problem; and certain crimes were and are punished by perpetual servitude, including the potential loss of one’s life.
As a matter of fact, the Roman historian Tacitus says, “An atrocious law ordained that if a master was murdered, all the slaves of his household, excepting those in chains and helpless invalids, should be put to death” (Annal. XIII, 32).
The wretched condition of slaves in pagan countries is often more intolerable due to aggravating circumstances. In truth, kidnapping and prostitution are most injurious influences on the populace in restraining physical freedom, but even worse in promoting sinful belligerence against Our Lord Jesus Christ’s teaching. There are men who denigrate labor, increase idleness and foster immorality, which are characteristic vices among Pagan nations.
For instance, slave marriage was not recognized by civil law. Their union was regarded only as a “living-together,” and they had no parental rights over their children, who belong exclusively to the master. So, the words of adultery, incest, polygamy, had no meaning for them. Are these words also meaningless for us?
Many people are enticing themselves from their easy-going life. They debarred others from honest labor, branding a stigma on them. They are betaking themselves to corrupting professions, including those of political spies and religious sermonizers. Therefore, debauchery and corruption of morals had been the worst features of depicting slavery in one way. And this is the case of our modern society. Human Trafficking is a problem, a very serious issue in today’s world.
Perhaps “Human Trafficking” sounds different, but is it the same thing as slavery. In fact, from Europe to Asia, and from Africa to America, there is an infrastructure of social networking that contributes to each favorite vice, swelling the common tide of depravity. And suddenly, an E-commerce became indoctrinated with the iniquity of this social network. Such marketing denied the privileges of a lawful family, and plunged men into the lowest depths of sensuality. Some mothers have ceased to train their own children. They have neither inclination nor capacity for such duties. The instruction of the youth is entrusted to electronic nannies, mistresses of violence and selfish pleasures.
As a result of the social decline with which today’s life is imbued, we are amply punished by the moral degradation, not only of each individual and family but also of a whole society and nation. There are men and women, children and adults, under the influence of an unscrupulous elite, with the terrible consequence of their being initiated into different species of vice.
With no protection, some people are abused by such modern psychological warfare in the media. Taught from childhood to adulthood, news and the truth are manipulated and often distorted from reality.
Years ago, to a certain extent, religion and the political power-game worked as the driving force of slavery. But in our times sensuality and witchcraft are leading to a different level of tyranny and satanic worship.
Those worldly accomplishments are seducing mankind into an excessive love of self, abandoning God and to the detriment of the love of our neighbor. We are too much inclined by nature to live for convenience’ sake, rather than by faith.
From this perspective, then, economic revenue is sufficient to seduce one even more. When vanities and pretentious ambitions lead men to love the materialistic, ungodly world, other people make the most of their time by plunging into an excess of sensual personal gratification. Others try to forget their human misery, both material and spiritual, in a continued round of intoxicating pleasures (drugs and alcohol). No wonder we see so often that, finding no satisfaction in pleasures or the society of meaningless persons, many of them often take refuge in a suicidal attitude. Suicide, unfortunately, is too frequently committed in our times, because they have emancipated themselves from truth in religion and in principle of life. They became SLAVES of passions and vices, and therefore they have despaired of losing their real freedom and security. If self-destruction is so common nowadays, it is because divine revelation is not part of human life. Absolutely, the existence of God as the Creator of Human Life must be restored in our daily duties. It is only through Our Lord Jesus Christ’s redemption that mankind will realize its ultimate end.
In concluding, here is an analogy: as the Jews in the time of Christ became carnal-minded even by the influence of their divinely-appointed system, and thereby rejected the Savior of their souls; in like manner, men of today’s world are hardened by looking at things created by God while forgetting their Creator, and thus reject Jesus Christ!
So, if we would like to be in the world to come, we must go back to our Creator, for we cannot expect that the present system of human interaction will return to God without practicing the Ten Commandments. It is a plain matter of self-interest in eternal salvation, to turn our thoughts to the means of changing our mind and heart, and to take serious care of our duty towards Our Lord Jesus Christ. Woe to us, if we make pride or selfishness, the standard of human life without practicing the Catholic Faith.
Indeed, familiarity with the ungodly modern world makes men discontented with Christian doctrine. Let us reject the slavery of sin-world-devil. As St. John said, the truth shall make you free!
¡Viva Cristo Rey!
“For now the axe is laid to the roots of the trees. Every tree therefore that brings not forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire.
“And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do? And he answering, said to them: He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do in like manner.
“And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do?
“But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you.
“And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay.” (Luke III, 9–14)
Indeed, the principal issue and element factor in the ills of our modern times is that most men have forgotten God. The failings of the human conscience, deprived of the divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of the modern world.
No matter how formidably war explodes and overturns cities and beliefs, no matter what successes it attains in seizing territories within or without each nation—it is doomed never to vanquish Christian Civilization, founded by Evangelization, which has been transmitted down through the generations until now. Of course, the New Evangelization is misreading Catholic Tradition, when it proclaims a new interpretation of it (the Hermeneutic of Continuity) for persons, families and countries in today’s process of De-Christianization.
The despondent attitude of Western countries taken by the spirit of war, afflicting Eastern nations, has sunk in a large measure due to the fatal error of believing that the only issue is that of nuclear weapons—whereas in reality the maintenance of peace reposes chiefly on stout hearts and steadfast men, not deprived of divine dimensions. The Catholic Church is needed for such dimensions because her Founder is a divine Person: Jesus Christ.
All the attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s problematic Modern World are fruitless without a repentant reorientation of our conscience and understanding towards the Blessed Lord, Creator of the world, Who sent Jesus Christ unto the world to redeem it by His Blood shed in the Holocaust of Calvary.
What shall we do? This question comes to many of us, not only once but very many times. We are sometimes overwhelmed thinking about it, and spinning in circles. Moreover, God wants us to collaborate with Him in the work of eternal salvation. No one but God has the power to heal in sickness, and to give peace to our convulsive world and Church. He wants us to believe Him, to ask Him for His love and pardon.
This is exactly what people were asking St. John the Baptist. He answered believers in the Messiah by giving them the precept of charity and poverty—it is better to give than to receive.
To the publicans, he gave wonderful advice: “do nothing more than that which is appointed.” That means to do our duty of state. It is difficult to practice our duties faithfully, to keep up our obligations and to be upright in our intentions. Indeed, it is the same as Our Lady’s words to Lucy, when she asked Her what penance we should do.
To the soldiers, he was concrete in guidance: “Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man, and be content with your pay.” As we know, often a war is deceitful because there is rarely a right reason for engaging in war against nations. Power or ambition have been causes for waging war. Belligerents frequently calumniate each other. Nations are not exempt from detraction and envy. Factors of instigation from ambitious men hungry for material pleasures are at work, but the ultimate calumny is waged against God. There is no more belligerent attitude than fighting for religious beliefs. The more antagonistic they are, the more pernicious war will be.
“The cause of all evils” (says Saint John Chrysostom) “lies in the fact that we consider as alien the things that concern our own body. No one is fulfilling his own duty if he ignores his neighbor’s salvation. If you dare to contend that you have nothing in common with your fellow member, if you think you have nothing in common with your brother, then neither have you Christ as your Head.”
What then shall we do? It is known that the divine Will is expressed in the Commandments of God and in the precepts of the Church. Yet, it is manifested in a more concrete and detailed way in our duties of state and the various circumstances of our daily life. These duties of state determine how we must act in our daily affairs so as to be always in conformity with the divine Will, not only as an individual person but also as a particular nation. One man’s duties, for instance, might be those required by his family life, or his profession or occupation, including social activities, even good citizenship. In the case of a priest, his duties are those of keeping his priestly obligations including the care of souls.
God’s will thus concurs with those circumstances of our life, whether important or not, to the smallest detail (health or sickness, poverty or wealth, desolation or consolation, success or failure, misfortunes or struggles) so that divine dimension will be present in our deeds, words and intentions. And from time to time, the Blessed Lord will ask us to fulfill special endeavors towards a specific neighbor.
However, modern “theology” cannot deny the transcendent goal of human existence, but it lets it fade away with up-to-date technological development, without resolving the puzzling effect of the materialistic life which is mastering human beings: modern man cannot function without being plugged into electronics and cybernetic life.
Within such a frame of life, modern culture undergoes a disjunction between material and spiritual issues. Materialistic life outstrips the spiritual, leaving it behind. Its point of view regards technology as basic social interaction (network); it builds upon an ever-increasing knowledge of the material world, with its wealth technological discoveries; and cybernetic weapons of instant destruction between nations provoke constant psychological warfare in today’s society.
In truth, the crucial distinction is rather between a culture that aims at the perfection of human nature, and the culture that seeks the perfection of the human person. Rejecting the supernatural end of mankind, the latter’s driving force drills in progressive human action, constantly changing and adapting to modern social developments, not only for individuals or families but also for governments and religious groups, including the whole Catholic Church.
After the Second Vatican Council, the post-conciliar church has had a tendency to include all the values of Humanism within the teaching and morals of the Christian Gospel. Frequent use is made of some expressions like, “human and Christian values,” “the Church has man as its center,” “religion makes man more truly man,” “New Evangelization in the context of the modern man and society,” and so forth. Those expressions demand of the Church its opening up to the world, and its attempts to put itself at the head of human progress. Therefore, modern men are in trouble. Here is a problem—Christianity wants to give rise to a new world that is more just and more human, which hardly keeps the spirit of Jesus Christ.
As a matter of fact, the New Evangelization is demanding a new leadership: churchmen imbued with Humanism based on the post-conciliar teaching, morals and liturgy. She talks about a new world, and a free society preaching about immigration of particular religions to other countries, in order to push people towards a unified worldwide society—the New World Order. In fact, the Catholic Church is regressing! It is seemingly returning to the Old Testament’s spirit of religious practice and the political intervention of the ancient law, inculcating a “Christ” which is not Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Consequently, let us remember what Our Lady of Fatima said to Lucy: “Pray and do penance.” And then, Lucy asked her, what penance shall we do? “The best penance is to keep and perform the duties of your state of life.” So, single people, be honest in word, thought and deed, not only in Faith and Charity but also in Continence and Purity. So, married couples, be faithful to your marriage vows over the whole extent of your household, including the dining-room and bedroom.
Therefore, our duty in this life is to save our souls. Hence, the excellence of the evangelical counsels represents the sacrifice on earth in seeking the Kingdom of God, as it is in heaven, in the private and the public sphere.
¡Viva Cristo Rey!