W. F. STROJIE
LETTER NO. 17
December 7, 1976 THE LEFEBVRE HERESY
I'd rather be done with the Affair Econe but it will not go away.
When I read about the June ordinations I realized almost instantly that something big and bad was up. Although protesting loyalty to the "Holy Father" right along, Archbishop Lefebvre defies the "Holy Father's" orders to close Econe and stop ordinations there. Then there was the much publicized Mass at Lille, an open defiance of Paul 6, with yet no word from Lefebvre about Paul's crimes to justify his defiance. A short time later, Lefebvre turns up at Castelgandolfo where he is received by Paul 6 "like a son." A curious denouement of this act of defiance on the one side, and of suspension on the other. It was at this point that I began to suspect that it was staged. And I recalled that quite some time ago Lefebvre had told the Abbe de Nantes, "My hour is not yet come."
I knew instantly, because disobedience, "revolt" is the never-failing sign of the devil. Lefebvre says NO to the orders of Paul VI to close the Econe seminary, but gives as reason only a general reference to Vatican II heresies. He has done nothing more to this date.
Not that straightforward revolt against Paul 6 as pope was the necessary conclusion that must follow. The attempt being made to identify Lefebvre with the Church, come alive at Econe, is a fraud. I had already begun to suspect Lefebvre's exclusive concern about the Tridentine Mass rite and sacraments. This leads up another dark alley, of which there are increasing signs today. The "sacraments-at-any-price" mentality of many Traditionalists, and regardless of the Church's divinely given authority to dispense and regulate the sacraments, is one of the oldest of heresies, that of Simon Magnus.. And whether they are aware of it or not these Traditionalists are on a converging course with all the occult and gnostic cults; they already keep company with several borderline "Catholic" Traditionalist organizations.
At Lille Lefebvre was quoted as saying "All these problems could be so easily resolved if every bishop gave over a church to faithful Catholics." What could that mean but joining Montini's ecumenical church as a Traditionalist sect. This possibility is suggested in The Remnant, 15 Sept. 1976, in which publication Lefebvre is quoted as having made the following abject plea on June 22nd: "...that we might be permitted to enter into dialogue with envoys which Your Holiness would choose from among those cardinals who we have known for a long time; with the help of the grace of God the difficulties will then without a doubt be overcome." Again no word about the heresies and Communist dealings of Paul 6, which apparently do not enter into Lefebvre's thinking at all. And no concern for the unity of Catholic worship. Note that it is Una Voce (which now pushes for multiple voices) and that kind of loyalty-to-Paul 6 people who have supported Econe right along.
So then I began to suspect an understanding between Paul 6 and Lefebvre; that while perhaps occupying different stalls they are of the same stable. And now I think Lefebvre is aiming at something bigger than the hardcore Traditionalists who will follow anyone who promises them "their Mass." I think his hoped-for bag is the large number of Catholics, especially in Europe, who despise the stupid and barbaric reformed liturgy of Paul 6 and the whole program of Vatican II.
In the United States are many thousands who do not like the Vatican II "changes" but go along, propelled by their pastors who slavishly follow Paul 6. "The pope is the pope" is the only doctrine now firmly held by these priests as they build more lavish rectories. In an interview with The National Observer, 11 Sept. 1976, Father Gommar DePauw is quoted as follows: "I know I speak for, well, in this matter of Catholics having a choice between attending the Latin Mass or Mass as it exists today, I speak for 90 percent of U.S. Catholics." Fr. DePauw estimates their numbers at about 15 million. Allowing for Fr. DePauw's exaggerations, undoubtedly there does exist a large percentage of Catholics everywhere who experience Vatican II as a bad dream.
Notice that Fr. DePauw speaks of a "Latin Mass," not necessarily the Mass of Trent, as desirable, and he would have it as a matter of individual choice. This masonic "church of your choice," or altar or table of your choice, follows the Vatican II program of "ecumenism" which Fr. DePauw used to denounce. In any case there are undoubtedly millions of Catholics who can see no farther than their parish church, the Mass or whatever they have put in its place, and these people are ripe for take-over by someone who will promise to bring back the "old Mass." This is true also of thousands who have dropped out. I have received some abuse by mail from Lefebvre supporters for suggesting that this might be his line of action, but I rely on Lefebvre's own words "just give us a few churches..." and "the difficulties can undoubtedly be overcome," that is, following the "dialogue" between Lefebvre and Paul 6.
I have just received "A Discourse On The Lefebvre Affair" by Father Noel Barbara, translated for the U.S. distributor by a Mrs. Bernadette Cohen. Fr. Barbara heads one of his sections "Archbishop Lefebvre is not the leader of a new sect. His guilt is only in the imagination of his calumniators." It may very well be that, as Fr. Barbara says, Lefebvre does not intend to head a new sect, not in the usual sense of that word. The signs are that he is looking toward that greater number of confused Catholics I have mentioned, and is only using the Traditionalists and their chapels as a start, and as a source of cash for the beginning of his grand plan which now is reported to include a big U.S. seminary. But if some of us fail to see in Mgr. Lefebvre the forthright leader of true Catholics against Paul 6 that Fr. Barbara and his Integrists see, that is because of Lefebvre's own failure to speak of Paul's works destructive of the Faith. Lefebvre not only evades all that but continues on "good son" relationship with Montini. Will any one of Lefebvre's supporters tell us for sure, from Lefebvre's dealings with Paul and the Vatican, just what he intends to do?
On page 2 Fr. Barbara has this heading: "Archbishop Lefebvre is not creating a schism. In denouncing the doctrinal errors of the pastoral Council, he is not tearing the seamless robe of Christ." Yes, Lefebvre can denounce the doctrinal errors of the Council, that is safe enough. But who signed the Articles of Vatican II and is carrying out the current program of destruction? That he must not say. And by his silence now and since the Council Lefebvre shares in the guilt of Paul 6 and the other tearers of the seamless robe.
Page 5 heading: "The justified battle of Archbishop Lefebvre." In view of Lefebvre's former shadowy deals with the Vatican and continuing cordial relations with Paul 6 a battle? I see no Lefebvre wounds on Paul 6.
Page 13, next to last paragraph: "The Econe affair is in reality, and in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre, an affair of resistance to the modernist subversion that is killing the Roman Church." It is not long ago that Lefebvre quoted Paul 6 as saying to him, "The poor Catholic people are being led astray by neo Modernism." And "We agree with the Holy Father that the smoke of Satan has entered the Church." Does Lefebvre or does he not, now think that Paul 6 is in any way responsible for the Modernist subversion? If he does, why doesn't he say so? It is Catholic doctrine that the pope is chiefly responsible. It is Catholic doctrine that Bishops share the Pope's responsibility, and that responsible persons sin when they remain silent about grave evils. If Lefebvre does not think Paul 6 is at fault, why is he defying him? I have received the reply that Lefebvre does not speak because he is reluctant to add to the present confusion. What nonsense! Confusion and divisions have tripled since the June ordinations at Econe.
Same page, 13, last paragraph: "It has been a long time since a plot was drawn up by the Freemasons to destroy the Church. This plan ws revealed through Masonic documents published by the command of Pope Pius IX, and exposed in issue No. 45 of FORTS DAN LA FOI. FORTS DANS is a bit late in exposing the Masons. As the Jew emerges from the shadows to direct, as he has long planned, the One World government and Church - become Synagogue, the secret societies will be phased out. It is certain that the would - be Masters of One - World government will suppress secret societies and Traditionalist chapels, too, by the way. I see signs that this process has already begun. Of course it will be by the usual gradualism, a word we use for the sneaky and deceitful operations of our time against our Religion and race. This is done partly by our enemies getting control and pretending to lead us against their own operations for our destruction.
Am I judging rashly? No. First, Archbishop Lefebvre has done nothing really to oppose Paul 6. As already mentioned, he speaks only in general terms against Vatican II heresies, leaving out of the picture him who signed the Articles of Vatican II. He hopes the "dialogue" with Paul 6, begun at Castelgandolfo, "will continue." Since the June ordinations at Econe Paul 6 has strengthened his position and gained five months time while the Econe - caused confusion has spread, splitting those Catholics who have been actively opposed to Vatican II. Some hint of what might be in the wind is, I think, contained in an RNS report, Wanderer, 4 Nov. l976, headed "Yves Congar Suggests 'Moratorium' On Dispute Between Vatican, Lefebvre." It was Congar who years ago, when the wilder Progressives were complaining against Paul 6, calmed his party members down, pointing out that while Paul 6 was making sounds for "the Right," he acted for the Left.
The clincher on Lefebvre appears in the October issue of Veritas whose editors clearly expose that heresy of Lefebvre which explains why he was received at Castelgandolfo, as "a son," by Paul 6.
Veritas quotes from the sermon delivered by Lefebvre when he ordained 13 men on 29 June 1976, first, this significant sentence: "There is only one Word, the Word of the Holy Ghost." Then, "...For Our Lord Jesus Christ is Priest for eternity...because the divinity of the Word of God was infused into the humanity which He assumed." In the following paragraph: "...this grace of the divinity itself descending into a humanity which is Our Lord Jesus Christ...The humanity of Our Lord Jesus was penetrated by the divinity of the Word of God, and thus He was made Priest. He was made Mediator between God and men."
There's more but this is enough. Veritas editors' comment: "In speaking those words, Lefebvre spoke heresy. His words are a neat gathering of the gnostic heresies so vigorously opposed by St. Athanasius...'The Champion of Christ's divinity.' Lefebvre is in error because his words contain (1) a denial of the two separate and distinct natures in Christ (the Divine and the human), (2) a denial of the Divinity of Christ, (3) a denial that Christ, the Son, is the Word of God." End of quotations from Veritas.
What Lefebvre said in his sermon cannot be explained away as overemphasis, such as writers or preachers sometimes use to stress one side of a neglected truth. The Lefebvre heresy appears, restated, in three paragraphs, two of which are taken up with it entirely. There can be no excuse of a slip of the mind concerning this fundamental Catholic doctrine: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God...and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." Before Vatican II, older priests had read this thousands of times, as part of the "Last Gospel."
A few years ago when I heard of this supposed - to - be champion of Catholic orthodoxy, I thought it strange that he had been Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, undoubtedly the wildest of the gnostic tribes of Vatican II. It is now evident that the man has not shifted his doctrinal, "There is only one Word, the Word of the Holy Ghost position," however much he now waves the flag of orthodoxy. The Holy Ghost Fathers surely didn't just suddenly become with Vatican II the wild pentecostal crowd they now are. However that may be, it is the basic Jew - Gnostic heresy that God would not stoop to become man, but that man could become divine.
In a long and scholarly article J. P. Arendzen, S.T.D. M.A., in the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia, tells us that all the Gnostic sects possessed the rite of Baptism in some way. He gives the form used by the Marcosians: "In the name of the unknown Father of all, in the Truth, the Mother of all, in him, who came down on Jesus." Surely here is that "divinity of the Word infused into the humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ," Lefebvre speaks of. "Confirmation," Arendzen says, "is a Gnostic rite which overshadows the importance of baptism" If there is "only one Word, the Word of the Holy Ghost," of course it would. Also from Arendzen, "By confirmation the Gnostics intended not so much to give the Holy Ghost as to seal the candidate against the attacks of the archons, or drive them away by the sweet odor which is above all things."
Gnosticism is defined as the doctrine of salvation by knowledge, magical knowledge. According to Fr. Arendzen, "Gnosticism threw itself with strange rapidity into Christian forms of thought, borrowed its nomenclature, acknowledged Jesus as Saviour of the world, simulated its sacraments, pretended to an esoteric revelation of Christ and His Apostles, flooded the world with apocryphal Gospels, and Acts, and Apocalypses to substantiate its claims."
Incidentally much of the Latter Days fantasies accepted by many Traditionalist Catholics have been taken from these Gnostic Apocrypha. The Gnostics gave the widest possible meaning to Christianity. In other words it was "ecumenic" and masonic and as such must take in all religions, rites, etc., including the Tridentine, which, of course, will be gradually distorted and corrupted, given an inner, or Gnostic esoteric meaning to start with, as in Leadbeater's "Science of the Sacraments."
Note the special interest of the Gnostics in the sacraments. It was Simon the magician who first tried to buy the powers of the Holy Ghost from St. Peter, and Simon's kind have done so ever since sought and obtained the powers of the Priesthood. Theosophist (Gnostic) Bishop Leadbeater of the Liberal Catholic Church (Old Roman Catholic offshoot), mentioned in other papers of mine, foresaw in 1917 a time (Vatican II) when there would be those "who will love His older Church." By this he surely meant to include those Catholics who are inclined to see the sacraments in a semi - magical sense. These are the sacraments-at-any-price Traditionalists I have cautioned about in my Letter 15 on Econe. Not knowingly but nevertheless leaning in that direction are perhaps the majority of active Traditionalists, who put the Mass and Sacraments, not the Papacy or the Church as a whole, first in their concerns. Lefebvre expresses this order of concern, a heretical, reverse order, in pleading at Lille with the Bishops "for a few churches" while he says nothing of Montini's synthesis of Gnostic heresies.
At Florence, Italy, 15 Feb. 1975, Lefebvre gave a lecture in which he went so far as to declare the Tridentine Mass the foundation of the Church and Christian civilization, thus putting the Mass and, logically with it, the scraments as foundation of the Church, not the Papacy. This is the order of Simon Magnus who had scant regard for the Office and Doctrine of Peter when he sought to purchase the sacramental powers. Lefebvre expressed the same kind of unconcern for the Papacy in his sermon on the occasion of the 29 June ordinations, preaching as he did of "wanting to keep the rite of all time" while ignoring the issue of papal orders received to close Econe and cease ordaining there. Lefebvre has constantly professed his allegiance to Paul 6 as true pope. In any case the corruption at the head should have been his first concern. The same reverse order is repeated, or the same setting aside of the papacy is repeated, by Lefebvre's followers as they have defended their Leader since 19 June. This heretical setting aside of the Papacy is implicit also in the defense of Lefebvre as the only hope for the Church's survival, whereas it is Catholic doctrine that the Church is founded on the Papacy until the end of time. I repeat here what is withut a doubt correct: Archbishop Lefebvre has absolutely no valid claim to any Catholic's obedience; which is to say that he has no valid claim, period.
Why did Lefebvre reveal himself in that sermon? He had done quite well in obscuring his Thing until that time, 29 June. But it is not posssible to hide our absorbing ideas entirely, for "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
Since I have written much that Lefebvre followers can use, I have thought myself obliged in conscience to show where I part company with the hardcore "Sacramentalists," the organizers of the Traditionalist chapels, etc. I would demonstrate, too, that my denunciations of the Paul 6 heresies and my insistence that everything depends on getting a true pope, is the doctrinally correct way of thinking. I do this mainly for those who have read my papers and who have reposed some confidence in my views of Vatican II and its meaning. Distortions of doctrine or of the relationships of the major truths of the Faith, are heresies. Thus the "Mass at any price" stand is a heresy. Given time it will lead to diabolism, for, as I have just indicated, all the theosophis - gnostic occultist sects are fascinated by the sacramental powers and rites, regardless of the source.
I am not really much concerned with the kind of heretic Lefebvre is. I set out a few months ago only to show that he is a most unlikely leader of the Catholic opposition to Paul 6, as his words and failure to speak against Montini amply show. The Veritas piece demonstrating Lefebvre's heresy is conclusive.
I know by now that anything unfavorable to Lefebvre (even a photo) is met promptly, from places in the southwestern U.S. especially, with the flat charge, "It's a lie." And as I was typing the Veritas piece word came in the mail that the Lefebvre sermon was falsified in translation. So I looked up two other copies on hand, one from a person whose native language is French and who has a thorough knowledge of English. Both copies agree substantially with the Veritas quotations. There is not the slightest internal evidence of tampering.
What is next on the Lefebvre program? It seems quite foolhardy to guess, judging by his words and actions of the past. I think much depends on what appear to be a few trial balloons launched since September. I give here what seems to me the most likely possibilities: (1) Lefebvre can continue in his present apparent opposition to the Vatican II demolition, leaving out Chief Demolitionist Montini, who thus gains yet more valuable time while much of the Catholic opposition continues to look to Lefebvre for salvation; (2) he might go ahead with his announced "four district" church of Germany, France, England and the United States, branching out into Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. Should this be decided on, his inner circle followers and propagandists will probably launch an open attack on Paul 6; (3) Lefebvre might, as I suggested in another paper, bring his followers into the Montini ecumenic-masonic church as a Traditionalist Rite. There might be a surprise move, but these seem to me the most likely possibilities. Whatever road is taken, I'm convinced that the destination intended is the One-World Gnostic "church of Vatican II. Amazing convergence? Not really.
My own opinion concerning Paul 6 and his Novus Ordo remains the same, that Paul 6 is demonstrably a pope (?) False to the Papal Office, and his Novus Ordo is of the devil, and that Paul 6 is responsible for imposing it on the Catholic people, which is what any true opponent of Paul 6 will say bluntly. I do not presume to provide an answer to the dilemma of the individual good priest, who on the one hand continues to have the right to offer the Mass he was ordained for, but who is forbidden by the standing laws of the Church to establish places for public worship. This, though, may have some bearing on the matter: Those Traditionalists who are demanding Masses that they can attend, as many do excessively, are themselves leaning overboard in the direction of Luther's error of necessary participation, as preached by Vatican II liturgists. I have put down some ideas on this in my booklet, "Pope, Council and Chaos," but that is as far as I dare to go. In accordance with my present state of thinking on this subject, I must refuse to have Mass in our house or to attend it anywhere until this matter is resolved by someone qualified to do so. Come what may, I intend to die an obedient Catholic.
I have never wavered in my opinion that Paul 6 is a pope false to his office; that his reforms have no validity, but that this does not justify our disregard of the standing laws of the Church, even if it happens to be Paul 6 who occasionally speaks them. As for "self-aggrandizement," as charged by one who is not altogether above suspicion in that regard, I have written the truth right along regardless of substantial rejections by the Traditionalists, and without any gain in readers from among the "Moderates." MORE ON THIS LATER.
IN THE MAIL: From clippings received: "Mass enhanced by liturgical dancing." Twin Circle, 14 Nov. 1976. A most ridiculous spectacle! Left to right, fat nun, fat priest, layman and woman; professional dancer, Gloria Weyman, in front. "A Miss De Sola, a convert to Catholicism from Judaism, added that interest in liturgical dance-prayers and celebration is growing rapidly in religious circles, most especially in the Catholic Church."
The Jew is everywhere. The dance was part of the Temple celebration at its corrupt final stage. We are surely near the END also.
+ + +
"Call to Action:" Typical Bishop's comment: "This process might eventually be the makings of a national pastoral council. Such an assembly might become a regular feature of Church life." Synagogue life is what he means, and what is intended. "Assembly" is Jew. This one showed Hell on the loose. It showed without the possibility of doubt the apostacy and insanity of the Bishops; or that they were, most of them, gnostic revolutionists planted years past in the seminaries. Pope Pius X in 1907 had already warned against this. But I think he would have died of the sight had he been given a vision of the actuality.
I have received a copy of "The Numismatist," coin collectors publication, of March 1975. On page 555 is pictured the Holy Year coin, inscribed RENEWAL AND RECONCILIATION, across near the bottom. The left half shows Paul 6 opening the Door, a hammer in his right hand, his bent cross to the left. The right side of the coin depicts Russian, Patriarchial, and other crosses, the Star and Crescent, the Hammer and Sickle, and, sharply defined but only two-thirds revealed, the six-pointed star as intertwined triangles. The partial concealment is symbolically correct, since while the Jew presence is now in the open, the control remains hidden.
I could fill several pages with interesting but mostly disturbing items sent by sympathetic and alert readers, but must stop with these few here. My thanks to all who have sent me helpful items this past year.
W. F. Strojie
December 7, 1976
Booklet of 20 pages, a "personal catechism," POPE, COUNCIL AND CHAOS. Questions and Answers by W. F. Strojie on the Vatican II Council, the "new Mass," and Paul VI and the Papacy. Attractive cover, a good source of information for those who are even now beginning to wake up to the corruption resulting from Vatican II Paul 6 reforms, and who are about to be taken in by the Econe movement.
W. F. STROJIE Letter No. 18 UPON THIS ROCK January 12, 1977
I will get to my main subject presently, approaching it indirectly. It seems useful to write something first about that which most directly concerns Catholics who have been resisting the Vatican II revolution, the Mass. And since in this Letter my remarks are addressed mainly to those who think of themselves as in some sense Catholic Traditionalists, to avoid confusion I will say here what I mean by that term. By Traditionalists, capital T, I mean those Catholics who in their concern about the destructive Vatican II reforms, look outside the Papacy for a Leader and Solution.
It would be very foolish to suppose that the plan for total destruction now evident is not to be applied against those who resist the evil reforms, and who se up for themselves substitute arrangements for Mass and Sacraments. It will be through this demand for Mass and Sacraments outside the law that the devil, always appearing as an angel of light, will approach these people. He will send those who seem to give a guarantee of preservation of the Mass, valid Orders, etc.; and in this, of course, he lies. Or he might arrange to lure them into the counter-church of Paul VI as a Traditionalist sect. I have written this before but it bears repeating. It is the final Great Deception for those who resist Vatican II.
In one of my early papers I expressed that it would be permissible to attend Mass at open-to-the-public Traditionalist chapels, but that these should be approached, if at all, with caution. I was more definite in saying that chapel groups ought to stay clear of outside organizers. I realized the danger of starting a schismatic chapel or movement regardless of original good intentions. Of course early during the Vatican II Mass changes the thoughts of my wife and I, like those of many others, were of how we could satisfy our privilege and obligation to attend a certainly valid Mass somewhere. In this first concern there was that which, if not restrained, would lead many in the name of Tradition into eventual rejection of the Church's authority. We are now in the last and greatest phase of that Traditionalist rejection. It is my concern that by my writings I might have contributed something toward this rejection of the Law; and it is this which impels me in conscience to write against the rebellious movement from Eocene, Switzerland. The issue is all the more confused because it is a law-destroying false pope who seems to oppose the Econe disregard of the Law.
The cautious approval I expressed about Mass arrangements outside parish churches and other approved places of public worship was based on the following considerations: 1, the right of a priest to continue to offer the Mass of Trent as given in the Quo Primum decree of Pope Pius V; 2, the precedent of house Masses in England, Ireland, and Mexico, and doubtless in other countries, in times of persecution by the civil authorities; 3, the proposition that the obligation of the Faith is prior to that of obedience; 4, the normal need we all have for the Sacraments.
So far so good; at least it looked good on paper, and we had the agreement of more than a few priests opposed to the corrupting changes in the Church. Even so, I was never comfortable about this way of thinking, soundly based though it had once seemed to be. But it was not until I turned my attention to a recent international movement to organize Traditionalist chapels that I saw clearly what now appears to be the truth that there is no essential difference between the larger public chapel and the small house chapel with some outside attendance, all being apart from any legitimate authority, all opening up Mass and Sacraments to many abuses, as I well know from numerous letters received.
According to a reliable source at hand, during the early centuries Mass was offered in the larger private houses, but the Church put an end to this practice because of abusesand what abuses and irregularities are to be expected now as compared to then! Even so, abuses are not such an absolute thing and might with care be eliminated at least theoretically. Practically not, what with the present general low level of spirituality, the general confusion which prevails, the presence of Traditionalists who hold some heresy, and the unwillingness at worst, the inability at best, of traditionalist priests to act as responsible pastors; and, sad to say, because some of these priests are traditionalists for reasons not the best. There is lacking not only authority but also sanctity of the kind the situation calls for. I write this in no sense of blame for anyone, or as following the Donatists in their false doctrine of necessary priestly perfection, which none of them ever came near attaining, I'm sure. I am concerned only with reality; actual conditions. St. Augustine imagined that in the Latter Days giants would arise to defend the Faith, which only shows how wrong even the great minds can be when exercising natural prediction.
I have said that the fact of abuses is not such an absolute thing; but lack of legitimate authority is, and I thereby come to the main Traditionalist temptation, which is not only schism but heresy, the belief that Mass and Sacraments can be had lawfully and priests be lawfully ordained outside the juridical order of the Papacy. As I wrote in another paper, this is the heresy of Simon Magus. It is not a sufficient answer to say the Paul 6 does not seem to be a true pope. True pope or false, vacant Chair or not, the authority remains lacking for these attempts to set up substitute parishes, chapels, and seminaries. The fact of a destroyer on the Papal Chair, and apparently apostate Bishops in seemingly all diocese, does not give anyone the right to disregard the Church's laws or bend them to his own purpose. This free interpretation of the Law, the putting of it aside as not now applicable, can serve to make any man Bishop, priest or laymana law to himself, and it opens a door for deliberate confusers and subversives. I know that a few papers of mine contain sentences that might be taken as encouraging this kind of disregard of the Law. I readily admit to some loose expressions and occasional unwise emphasis in one way or another, and this disturbs me. But if my papers are examined as a whole, and distinctions are noted with regard to the particular applications as I made them, I think unbiased readers will concede that I have not encouraged any free-wheeling disregard of the Law on the presumption that a false pope and apostate Bishops can justify this.
We have on the one side an unCatholic attitude of "the pope is the pope" blind obedience, of Paul 6 as the way, the life, and the truth. Against this attitude of the close followers of Paul 6 and the see-no-evil Moderates, are those of us who see the destructive reality of Montini's works and speak of them plainly. The Traditionalists have not closed their eyes but, noting Paul's words and works destructive of the Church, they say he has unpoped himself and lacks authority, and that they may therefore set up their own Traditionalist thing. According to this way of thinking, we are to suppose that any Bishop is free to set up what amounts to his own Church. Not much imagination is needed to see what this can lead to. With regard to a current claimant of this pseudo-pope status, Marcel Lefebvre, his followers assure us that we need not be concerned about his good intentions: Have faith in Lefebvre is their message. But all the faith in the world will not make him pope or do away with the Law. As a non-residential Bishop he hasn't an iota of authority over the least child in any diocese of the world. They are fools who give their allegiance to a Bishop without jurisdiction, for the whole plan of Salvation is founded on Authority. "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earthwhose sins you shall forgive," et. No true Catholic ever questions this. I myself have written that Paul 6 had unpoped himself; I said more that he had never assumed true papal authority, that he is Antichrist, but this is not to say or imply that there is no authority, that we are now free to do each his own thing. This is a truth that can be obscured when a Bishop's miter and a whole barrage of words, including vague twists of Canon Law, enters the picture.
To return to the question of the Mass in our time, the Church's official and public act of worship, until recently strictly governed as to manner of performance and place: How can any layman or priest and group of laymen dare to set up a public chapel, large or small? Let us examine here the four points previously mentioned, of possible justification. First the right of priests as guaranteed by the Quo Primum decree of Pope Pius V. Was this intended as an absolute right, regardless, say, of a Bishop's direct order to one of his priests to cease offering the Trent Mass? Or did it only protect the priest in good conscience against orders to perform a heretical rite, such as the Novus Ordo of Paul 6? I am not suggesting an answer here but only raise a question. I would suppose priests have certain definite rights to offer Mass, which is what they were chiefly ordained to do. Yet there does exist such a thing as an obligation to obey lawful authorities in what is not unlawful. An instance of this was the order of Paul 6 to close the seminary at Econe, and to cease ordaining there. I will get to the question of Pope Paul's authority or lack of it presently.
Number two of my four justifications, the precedent of "underground" Masses in times of persecution in England, Mexico, etc. Recall that this persecution was by civil authorities and that priests then were certainly acting under the authority of a true pope. The Mass they performed was not forbidden, as the Trent rite is forbidden today. Again I am only presenting a possible difficulty, possibly pertinent distinctions; two different situations. My main purpose in this is to make the average reader aware of the law and of our obligation to take due account of it.
Number three, the truth that our obligation to keep the faith is prior to that of obedience. This I do not see as applicable to the present Mass situation. The Faith can be kept for a long time without the Mass; therefore disobedience on this principle cannot be justified.
Number four, the normal need for the Sacraments; their place in the divine scheme of salvation. Here we are on more solid ground, again theoretically. The Council of Trent condemns those who say that the Sacraments are not necessary for salvation, but this is not to be understood in an absolute sense, but as against the teachings of the Reformers' doctrine of justification by faith alone. But however that doctrine may apply, and practically speaking, how can a few priests provide Mass and Sacraments for thousands of scattered faithful? And may they do this in disregard of the Church's laws? Those who are baptized and have received Communion have received the necessary Sacraments. Baptism and Matrimony are possible without a priest. Anyone may baptize in an emergency, which would surely apply in times or places where a doubtfully valid rite is being used in the parishes. Canon Law provides for marriage in cases of a certain time without a priest.
Now, all the Traditionalists have heard about Canon 209 and the Church supplying jurisdiction. They cite this frequentlyeven those who have never read itagainst the Bishops who are presumed to have lost all jurisdiction because of their apostacy. Let us see what 209 does say. From Woywod, Vol. 1 "JURISDICTION SUPPLIED BY THE CHURCH. 161. The Church supplies jurisdiction both for the external and the internal forum: (1) in common error; (2) in a positive and probably doubt whether of fact or law (Canon 209). Common error consists in the erroneous belief of all or nearly all the people of a place, parish, community, that a man has jurisdiction. The fact that the person knows that he has no jurisdiction, does not interfere with the validity of his acts if by common error he is believed to have jurisdiction."
There follows in that first section, from which I have just quoted, a few sentences of comment on the old Canon Law. The latter half of Canon 209, section 162, deals with doubtful situations, and I shall quote it in full; but first as to the above-mentioned essential part. The plain sense of "common error" or "erroneous belief" concerning jurisdiction, surely applies to the Bishops today, including Paul 6, whose jurisdiction nearly all baptized Catholics accept without question. Here is St. Robert Bellarmine's doctrine made Canon Law, that a heretic retains jurisdiction until his heresy becomes notorious and he is deposed by lawful authority. This law contradicts those who say that the Bishops have lost jurisdiction, and that, therefore, the Church will supply this authority to certain Traditionalist priests, most certainly to a Traditionalist Bishop if one comes along, acting on their own initiative. Quite definitely Canon 209 indicates the opposite, that the Bishops retain their authority.
Certainly Canon 209 provides for jurisdiction in its more common application, to a Religious community where the jurisdiction of a superior is doubtful, and to a priestany validly ordained priest--or absolving from sins, censures, etc. in danger of death, and probably it may be applied by priests to less extreme or less urgent cases in our time when the proper form of the Sacrament of Penance is being generally corrupted. But the plain sense of Canon 209 does not support the claims of those who are citing this law as justification for a general disregard of the Law.
Section 162 on Jurisdiction Supplied by the Church reads as follows:
"The Church supplies jurisdiction in a positive and probably doubt. Authors do not agree on the interpretation of the terms, "negative" and "positive" doubt. Generally speaking, a negative doubt means that one has no reason to serve as a basis for deciding a question, and it is about equal to ignorance on that question. A Positive doubt means that one has a good reason for deciding a question one way, but that there is also a reason in favor of a contrary decision of the question. For example, the reasons for and against the existence of jurisdiction in a certain case create a positive doubt; and, if the reasons on both sides are of such weight so as to create a bona fide doubt, the Church supplies the jurisdiction, even though the person did not possess it."
So ends Canon Law 209. I can see nothing in it to warrant a Traditionalist Movement with Mass and Sacraments, or the setting up of any kind of Sacraments-outside-the-law chapel or new Church, on the presumption that the works of Paul 6 have destroyed the true Church, now become a sect, as many Traditionalists are saying. Paul 6 and his host of heretics are not the Church. To imply that they are, is to fall into Paul's own monstrous trap, in company with all those in the parishes that he has deceived.
A priest writing in The Voice, 18 Sept. 1976, has this to say: "A few years ago Cardinal Ottaviani said that any priest who continues to offer the Latin Tridentine Mass has faculties anywhere in the world. Canon 682 affirms this." Date, place and occasion of this supposed decree of Cardinal Ottaviani were not given; neither were the Cardinal's exact words. Quite certainly Cardinal Ottaviani, wise and prudent head of the Holy Office under four popes, did not and could not give any such blanket authority to priests. And even were we disposed to believe this story, the writer conveniently omitted to mention the last part of Canon 682 which he cites in support of his argument. I give the whole law here: "The laity has the right to receive from the Clergy the spiritual goods and especially the necessary means of salvation, according to the rules of ecclesiastical discipline (Canon 682)." As I say, the latter part was omitted by The Voice writer. Those who are going to speak about rights and obligations should quote the whole law, not just the part which they can use.
I will not trouble the reader with other parts of Canon Law which I have seen mentioned as supposedly opening a gate for Traditionalist free-wheelers. Doubtless those who are intent on that kind of thing will manage to discover, without help from me, other loopholes for their illicit operations.
Long before this, I'm sure, the reader will have gotten the idea that I think we must all abide by the Law, not joining in with the followers of Paul 6 in rejecting it or changing it to suit one's own purpose. After much observing of developments since Vatican II, I am convinced that the Law is for our protection, especially against various charlatans who falsely come in the name of Orthodoxy and Tradition, always with a hand extended for large sums of money. Incidentally I have read recently that Cardinal Felice now has ready the Vatican II updated code of Canon Law,' ordered by "He who sits in the holy place, changing all laws."
In more than one of my papers I begged for a few Bishops to speak out against the destructive works of Vatican II and Paul 6. Two kinds of response are possible to such a plea:
1. From a Bishop who will speak out plainly against Paul 6 and his works, warning the faithful and demanding that Paul cease destroying the Church.
2. From a Bishop who sets up his own organization, in effect his own Church, for dispensing the Sacraments.
This first Bishop should be supported by good Catholics, but cautiously at first. The second must be avoided like a plague. He is schismatic and heretical, and this whether Paul 6 be false pope, invalidly elected, or what. Such a bishop is, without question, doctrinally wrong, and he knows it.
So what of the papal authority today, of the divine promise, the Rock on which the Church was founded? In other papers I have tried honestly to deal with this question. Unlike some Traditionalists who have simply declared Paul 6 as a manifest heretic and therefore without authority, I have not set aside the doctrine of Christ's promise to remain with the Church He founded, a visible Church with a visible head, nor have I closed my eyes to what is of the greatest significance and concern for Catholics today, the destructive program of the present occupant of the papal Chair. I shall here sum of my opinion of the matter as set down in other papers of mine.
I have followed the doctrine of St. Robert Bellarmine, that Christ the invisible Head of the Church will supply or sustain the jurisdiction of a heretic pope, until such a pope's heresy becomes notorious and he is induced to remove himself from office. Cardinal Montini was elected to the papal office according to long establish procedure, and no Cardinal of the Conclave which elected Montini has protested his election as being invalid. In any case, validly elected or not according to canonical procedures, Montini occupies the papal Chair, and although having no intention to act as true Vicar of Christ, he is the visible head all the samevisible head although a corrupted head. Embarking on a program manifestly destructive of the Church, Montini is unlike any other pope. How to fit this into Catholic doctrine? We have the definition of infallibility given at the First Vatican Council, a true doctrinal Council, and Montini has not taught error ex Cathedra; we have the Scriptural prediction of a Great Apostacy, and Pope St. Pius X's opinion that the Son of Perdition had already been born in 1903the Antichrist, one totally, "perfectly" opposed to Christ, which only a pope can be, and the taking away of the Continual Sacrifice, which only a pope can do. These things, I say, satisfy all the doctrinal requirements. I have seen no other attempt to do this completely.
In my booklet POPE, COUNCIL AND CHAOS I wrote that Christ the invisible Head of the Church honors the arrangements for electing a pope that He has approved through the centuries. He has given this privilege and responsibility to the chief officers of the Church, the Cardinals. Christ does not interfere with their choice, and if in time the College becomes composed of corrupt Cardinals, rejecting the divine aid they will surely elect one of their own kind to the papal Chair. Theoretically any male baptized Catholic can be elected pope, but with good reason the office had become open only to Cardinals. According to Canon Law, a known heretic, schismatic or simoniac would be ineligible. (Note the word "known" or "notorious" which legally amounts to proved as such.) But suppose such a one were elected, would his election be invalid? Quite likely, but the man would nevertheless occupy the Chair of Peter. And as I have pointed out, according to certain theologians, he could exercise jurisdiction for the good of the Church, as already mentioned. In other words, the evil election having been made, his jurisdiction would be sustained to the extent necessary for the maintenance of the juridical order within the Church, which is for the good of the faithful. As I mention in another paper, this is not to deny the teaching of a well-known Bull of Pope Paul IV, but only to give its application as taught by Cardinal Bellarmine.
Here it might be well to consider the word "invalid," so frequently spoken by the Traditionalists and others, including myself, opposed to the evil works of Vatican II and Paul 6. We speak of a Mass as invalid, meaning no Mass at all. The same with regard to, say, ordinations. By an invalid ordination we mean the sacramental action did not take place, and the man is not made priest. An invalid consecration of a priest leaves him a simple priest, no bishop. But a Cardinal elected and crowned pope receives no such new character, no additional powers of the priesthood, but remains a bishop. An invalidly consecrated "bishop" will not have the powers of a bishop to ordain; but an invalidly elected pope can carry on, set in motion, ratify, deputize, etc. the routine of the papal office. What are we to think, for example, of the eight years or so the Antipope Anacletus II occupied the papal Chair? Did the Church stop dead, with all action from the Papal Chair then made null and void? Whether or not set down then as Canon Law, the provisions of that law for maintaining jurisdiction in cases of common error or of doubt, certainly applied.
In his article POPE in the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia, Fr. George Hayward Joyce, S. J., M.A., points out that according to Old Testament prophecy and Christ's own words, Christ had attributed the foundation of the Church to Himself, and that it is in a secondary degree that He assigns to Peter a prerogative which is His own. So, despite Montini, the papal office remains: Christ remains as invisible Head, as He promised, until the end of time. "Outside the Church there is no salvationon this Rock, I will build My Churchthe gates of hell shall not prevail "Behold I am with you all days." It is impossible that the sins of any man, even the total heresy of a pope and a thousand bishops with him, can change one iota of this doctrine. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words will not pass away." There is no place in all this for a Traditionalist Sacramental Movement for the saving of the Church; no place for a separate function of the priestly office. Young men who go into such a thing do so at the peril of their souls. Likewise those who accept their ministrations.
It has been the neatest of diabolic tricks to get both the blind-obedience followers of Paul 6 and the Traditionalists to equate Paul 6 with the Papacy. The first group does this by approving or at least taking part in the destructive program of Vatican II and Paul 6, erroneously taking it to be the Law. The second group looks for a Solution and Leader outside the Papacy, and sets aside such laws of the Church as found opposed to Traditionalist initiatives. One enterprising young Traditionalist priest comes up with NECESSITY KNOWS NO LAW, grossly misrepresenting this from St. Thomas Aquinas, who applies it to a dying man's need for absolution. This twist of St. Thomas's "Necessity knows no law" is in complete harmony with Montini's action in completely revising' Canon Law. The Traditionalists see themselves as the Church, with the law as obstacle or advantage, depending on Traditionalist requirements of the day. In a talk at Portland, Oregon, an Econe priest repeated this idea, of Econe as the Church, several times; it was the main thrust of his talk, full of questionable statements. I give here these exact words of his, uttered in criticism of the Cardinal in whose archdiocese the seminary at Armada, Michigan, is located: "to attack us is to attack the Church." By "us" he meant Archbishop Lefebvre and Econe, as the manifest divinely chosen new instrument of salvation, obvious answer to Traditionalist prayers. I marveled at the glib presumption of the young priest-speaker, but considered that he was only echoing headquarters.
One gentleman has suggested that I wait and see concerning the Lefebvre affair. There is no need to see more. Lefebvre has ordained outside the Church's jurisdiction, he has gone into numerous diocese to confirm, a privilege only of Cardinals, and he has his priests operating as a separate Church in the United States and elsewhere, without jurisdiction. He thereby has excommunicated himself. This regardless of whether Paul 6 be validly elected or not, for it is the Church's own Jurisdiction Lefebvre rejects, not merely (as Lefebvre obviously sees it) the orders of Paul 6. Regardless of who occupies the papal Chair, and even if it be vacant, he who sets up a sacramental system on his own, puts himself outside the Church. That is where the Econe supporters are putting themselves.
The Great Temptation of the Traditionalists is nothing new. It is the ancient, so frequently accepted work of revolt, of disregard for Authority, doing one's own thing, that Satan offered to Eve. If those who resist the evil reforms of Vatican II and Paul 6 will not go to the left, Satan, appearing at a late hour as angel of light, will induce them to go with him to the right. The respectable Moderates, once so self-righteously obedient' in their refusal to say a word against Paul 6, will mostly join in the late-hour revolt. This will be a consequence of their failure to oppose the Montinian revoltof their silence concerning the guilt of that evil revolutionist, Paul 6, of their resisting and covering up for so many years the known truth about Paul 6.
I write for those who simply want to remain Catholic. Why then do I not stay in the parish and oppose those who are forcing on us the iniquitous changes? The principle of Vatican II Dialogue is evil, meant to destroy the faith of those who take part in it, raise doubts concerning every doctrine and practice, so I will have nothing to do with it.
I might be asked how, considering my insistence on the Law, I can justify my refusal to attend the Novus Ordo of Paul 6. The very words Novus Ordo, a New Order of Worship, ought to be sufficient reply. A Novus Ordo does not follow from unchanging doctrine and the basic laws of the Church; certainly this of Paul 6 does not. MORE LATER.
Part two, next letter: More on Church and Papacy today; the Abbe de Nantes and his Counter Reform; Sacramental validity; more on the Econe schism.
W. F. Strojie
January 12, 1977
Letter No. 18
W. F. STROJIE Letter No. 19 THE MIND OF THE CHURCH March 25, 1977
In recent Letters I raised questions about the application of the Churchs laws in this time of general disregard of the law by Paul 6 and his Vatican II Bishops. I shall here add a few paragraphs on that subject, attempting to complete what I left unfinished concerning basic principles.
Two priests have directed my attention to the principle, epikeia or equity. Which looks to the mind of the lawgiver in doubtful cases. In accordance with this principle there are times when we must ask: Does the law as presently applied obstruct or defeat the purpose of the lawgiver? Have present circumstances rendered a particular law harmful, impeding or making impossible the work it was originally intended to regulate?
In question 120, First Article, St. Thomas, affirming the virtue of Epikeia, has this: I answer that, as stated above (1-11, Q. 96, A. 6), when we were treating of laws, since human actions, with which laws are concerned, are composed of contingent singulars and are innumerable in their diversity, it was not possible to lay down rules of law that would apply to every single case. Legislation in framing laws attend to what commonly happens; although if a law be applied to certain cases it will frustrate the equality of justice and be injurious to the common good, which the law has in view In these cases it is bad to follow the law, and it is good to set aside the letter of the law and follow the dictates of justice and the common good. This is the object of epikeia which we call equity. Therefore it is evident that epikeia is a virtue.
St. Thomas thus states here what is in the mind of the Church on man-made laws. Three come quickly to mind: (1) The law which obliges attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holydays; (2) Canon Law requiring that religious writings be submitted to ones bishop for approval; (3) laws pertaining to residence in a Religious community by those who have taken vows, etc., With regard to Number 1, even in ordinary times many circumstances permit non-observance of this law on occasion. It certainly can never oblige us to attend a questionable Mass, those that are on good authority, or quite evidently, heretical or sacrilegious, or such as might in time weaken a persons Catholic faith. As to Number 2, concerning religious writings, it cannot be according to the mind of the Church that error should be allowed freedom of expression, as happens today, while orthodox traditional teachings are to be suppressed. With regard to number 3, no Religious is required to remain in a community which has lost the Catholic faith, or which in other ways no longer fulfills its original purpose of sanctifying its members. With regard to these three laws and some others, the basic principle that the obligation of keeping the Faith is prior to that of obedience, and that truth should be taught and error exposed, certainly applies.
Notice that these are laws made by the Churchs officers for the Church's individual members. We have the right in
certain circumstances to refuse to comply with one or more of such laws, holding to a higher obedience to God and the
mind of the Church. I think it helpful to mention here that nowhere does this obligation to NOT obey a particular law of this kind obliges anyone to initiate some other action to compensate. For example, the obligation to refrain from taking part in a corrupted parish liturgy does not require that we join in with others in setting up a substitute church or chapel. Actually it is forbidden to do this, for in this matter we come into conflict with that divine mandate by which the Church was made sole dispenser of the Sacraments. "Thou art Peter -- to thee I give the keys to the kingdom - whatever thou shalt bind on earth, will be bound in heaven, etc.," And so it has always been. Catholics have always recognized the sole Jurisdiction - the necessity for it - in all those fundamental matters pertaining to worship and the sacraments. This has
nothing to do with the moral state of those who have received jurisdiction through the regular line of succession. An unworthy or even heretic bishop may establish a parish church, which not even the holiest priest is permitted to do. Many of those who resist the heretical reforms of Vatican II and Paul 6 think there has to be an alternative course in a time of corruption, of a great apostacy. This is not so. The mind of the Church is clear on this: Behold I am with you all days, even until the end of the world. With regard to the present state of the Church under Paul 6, Christ Himself gives the example by His own compliance with what was lawful in the corrupt state of the Jewish hierarchy in His time. St. Paul
showed his regard for the office of the High Priest Ananias, a violent and rapacious man, who was then proposing an illegal outrage, very offensive from one Jew to another, against St. Paul. If I have shown a lack of reverence for Paul 6 it is because Paul 6, unlike Ananias, has consistently shown his contempt for and rejection of his own office. He has done this by consistently refusing to govern, by ostentatiously giving away the Tiara and Ring, symbols of the papal authority, by opposing himself to the popes of the past, and by abjectly putting himself at the service of the atheistic U.N.O. Assembly, calling that body the last hope of mankind, thus denying Christ before the whole world.
Does the Law, then, during the time of pope Montini, defeat the purpose of the lawgiver? I think not, if the necessary
distinctions are made. Those laws made by the Churchs officers for her individual members present no difficulty for those whose faith is lively. The divine mandate by which Christ gave exclusive jurisdiction to Peter and the Apostles, to be passed on to their successors, for regulating and dispensing the Sacraments, is another matter. This we may not disregard, for it carries with it the divine promise of lasting until the end of time.
It is this promise which is a stumbling block to nearly all the conservatives and traditionalists who try to explain the Vatican II Church. In a recent Traditionalist newsletter one writer quotes Christs promise to Peter that his faith with not fail. Just how this might apply to Paul 6 he does not clearly indicate. Another writer in the same paper finds Paul 6 an enigma. The Abbe Georges de Nantes who has filled a book with comments on Pauls heresies, schism and scandals, apparently sees in Paul 6 a pope like all the others, only suffering from some kind of twisted notion which he might at any time remedy. But of course it is quite obvious that never has the papal chair been occupied by a pope determined on a course of total change of the Catholic faith and practice, one who is on excellent terms with the Churchs ancient enemies, as shown so spectacularly by his visit and speech before the U.N.O., and in many other ways. To apply Christs promise that St. Peters faith will not fail in Paul 6, renders that promise quite meaningless in a Catholic sense. That Montini's faith has not failed is evident enough, but it is certainly not the Catholic faith.
The trouble with most of the Traditionalist leaders is that they, like the moderates or conservatives, refuse to see the signs of the time. The Abbe Georges de Nantes is a prime example in this, writing always of a counter-reform, a Vatican III. While preaching against general apostacy these traditionalist leaders disregard the Scriptural prediction of a Great Apostacy and general spiritual blindness. Were they to take due notice of the Scriptural prophecies they might come to a better understanding, for our time, of the Lawgiver.
We cannot fit Vatican II and pope Montini into the regular course of Catholic theology, not without closing our eyes to the facts of a total destructive reform, or by accepting the insane notion that the mind of Paul 6 has become the mind of the Church, which is what most baptized Catholics have come willy nilly to believe. The traditionalists get around this by setting aside the doctrine of a visible Church with a visible head, to last until the end of time. Resorting to mind of the Church arguments, they see themselves as having become a more or less visible, emerging Church, having lately acquired a Head and a dozen or so 30-year-old hieresiarchs. And so it is that the mind of the Church is seen by many as manifest in the traditionalist movement, with a Head lacking in authority over the least child. The mind of the Church easily becomes the mind of Father X or Fr. J or of Mr. B and so on without end.
There is never good reason to doubt that the mind of the Church is to be found at all times in her doctrines and laws, with a special Revelation which, while dating from the time of St. Paul and St. John, will, as St. Augustine believed, only be completely understood near the end of time; and then, according to St. Paul, only by a few, because of a great apostacy and general spiritual blindness.
Most of the traditionalists, no less than the conservatives and other followers of pope Montini, have been affected by the evolutionist fiction which sees this world as rolling on and on indefinitely. This was not according to the mind of the Church in the time of the Apostles. St. Paul corrected those who saw the Second Coming of Christ as imminent in his time, but was far from the modern attitude of putting the End out of mind. I do not think it is supernatural hope but, as already mentioned, evolutionist influence, and success club optimism, which has taken hold of even most traditionalists as they look for Vatican III or the Great Leader and a millenium of peace and prosperity. It is not mere chance that many of the traditionalists in the U.S. have a working agreement with a section of organized naturalism.
As regular readers of my papers know, I have written some things on the Latter Days. Unfortunately any theologic
approach to a study of the Church in the latter days has been confused in advance by the writings of those I have called apocalyptic fantasy writers. The whole subject and all who venture to write on it has taken on an aura of insanity. An advance trick of the devil for protecting his Antichrist from identification and rejection. Anyway the latest of my writings on this subject is a brief Forward to my Letters 4, 7, 9 and 11, with parts from 10, on the Latter Days, a copy of which I shall enclose with this Letter.
Someone might reply that this is all very well, but it might not be true and, anyway, in the meantime, here we sit. So what is there against a few faithful priests and people setting up some kind of chapel? Wouldnt this be acting in accordance with the mind of the true Church, against Paul 6? This sounds very reasonable, especially if we can hold to an ideal vision of the noble traditionalists over here, apostates there. But where is this true Church? We are back into the invisible Church idea, which is not Catholic. Yet I sympathize with the questioner. There might be several reasons why I do not know the complete answer, the first and biggest of which is that I do not know completely the mind of the Lawgiver, Christ Our Lord. For who has known the Mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor. It was He who established the divine plan, to last until the end of time, for regulating and dispensing the Sacraments. To thee I give the Keys.... We are concerned here with a divine mandate, not a man-made law.
But surely, someone objects (we can go round and round on this), it would be according to the Mind of Christ, and
therefore of the True Church, that as many as possible be in position to receive the Sacraments at all times. Not
necessarily, for if some few faithful do not join in the general apostacy, all contribute in one way or another, if only by having failed to become the saints they should have become in the good times. It is quite likely, too, I would suppose, that modern mans prideful self-sufficiency demands in divine justice that all, including the scattered poor specimens of Catholic faithful, be subjected to a trial of total trust in God, a dark night, with very few external helps, and to this end the Continual Sacrifice taken away. And of course the whole field of unregulated sacraments is wide open to evil influences in an age returning to devil worship.
When St. Paul spoke of those who would be lost in the latter days, he spoke of those who had not sufficient love of the truth, that they might be saved. Certainly we have in these words of St. Paul an expression of the mind of the Church. It might well be that the Traditionalists inordinate concern to get the Sacraments for themselves, not sufficiently caring for the truth and the general state of the Church, is not pleasing to God. Anyway, as the great spiritual writers have indicated, we are not to be solicitous, even about our spiritual wants. The greater virtue surely lies in resignation and complete abandonment to the will of God. The mind of the Church is shown in this by her display at all times of the Crucifix, the Churchs standard.
What we have the right and duty to do is to expose and oppose the foul works of Paul 6 and his Vatican II bishops.
Generally avoiding this or playing it down, the so-called Traditionalist movement has been mainly one of setting up
communities and chapels and let the devil take the hindmost. The Abbe Georges de Nantess organization could serve as a model of what ought to be done in every country, except that Fr. De Nantes has his own Vatican III dream to promote and Montinis Novus Ordo generally to defend. But Im getting into something here that, unless it be thoroughly explained, had better only be generally indicated as the correct course of action.
With regard to the individual priest and his privilege of offering the true Mass, I do not seriously question it. And Im sure that faithful priests may with discretion give spiritual aid and comfort to Catholic families, including the hearing of confessions in this time when the sacramental form is being corrupted in the parishes. I dare not go beyond what is said or implied in those two sentences.
When I cautioned against open-to-the-public traditionalist chapels three or so years ago, I had in mind the potential use of these as nuclei for a large schismatic movement. This concern of mine is shown to have been justified, by the fact that priests or eight or more such chapels in the United States all support the operation of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The rights and factions and law suits that have marred the operation of traditionalist chapels do not inspire confidence in this way of resisting the evil reforms of J. B. Montini.
With regard to this whole matter I do not think I can be justly accused of trying to make the mind of W. F. Strojie the mind of the Church, rather than the other way around, or that I am issuing instructions for priests. The argument I have presented here on the mind of the Church might be summed up by simply saying that the Church's doctrines and laws are a sufficient and sure guide through the present darkness.
THE GREAT PRAYER
From He-Who-Sits-Upon-The-Distant-Mountain the Waillanuit Tribes had received The Great Prayer.
To the Ten Tribal Chiefs with Walgainawa at their head, had been given authority to regulate and offer up the Great
Prayer. To the chiefs alone belonged the honor and complete responsibility for ordering the times, places, and manner of offering. This authority and all the rites were to be passed on to their successors.
Long before the New Age, Waillanuit temples, chief of which was that of Ocholobos, had been located and adorned, and
the altars set in areas restricted to the Chiefs. By all the tribes the Sanctuary at Ocholobos was venerated as the Holy Place. So it had been since time immemorial.
Then one October morning the high altar at Ocholobos was seen to have been defaced with crude black symbols, the
whole partly covered over with trashy tree limbs, and there had been dug in the middle of the Sanctuary an animal
roasting pit. Later in the week, runners brought reports of the same kind of desecration in all the other temples of the Tribe. Worse news yet, four of the ten Chiefs had gone over to the enemy who had done this; three were murdered, and three had fled in fear for their lives. In the Holy Place at Ocholobos an evil intruder presided over an assembly of all the worst elements of the tribes.
Waillanuits faithful to the Great Promise and the Great Prayer consulted among themselves what action to take against the intruder, what to do about his abominations and his evil followers. There was much debate among those concerned, and then a tentative agreement to move against the intruder, to take from him the Holy Place, and to restore the altars of their Fathers. It was agreed that not only should the altars be taken back and the Great Prayer resumed; it was of even greater consequence, so it was said, that they should not tolerate this continuing insult to He-Who-Sits-Upon-The-Distant-Mountain. How dare any Waillanuit ever lift his eyes to the Mountain who did not strive to eject the Intruder from the Holy Place!
At this time when the faithful were preparing to act there enters on the scene a little man, softly spoken, the Holy Man of the village of Ecu--Ecu. Let us not be hasty, the Holy Man cautions certain of the faithful on the edge of the action. After all, he speaks soothingly about the Intruder, it is the Great Prayer which matters. Let us go aside and set up our own temples, and leave the Intruder and his followers where they are except perhaps we might make a deal for two or three of our old temples. The Holy Man from Ecu--Ecu hinted that he had connections which might help to bring about this return of a few temples. The word spread, was taken up eagerly, until nearly all resistance to the Intruder had vanished.
But there remained a few Waillanuits faithful to the Great Promise. These insisted desperately that the Great Prayer had been given by He-Who-Sits-Upon-The-Distant-Mountain, to be passed on only by the Ten Chiefs and their Successors;
and so, they insisted, others of the tribes had no right to do this. They had been promised that for so long as the
Waillanuits remained faithful all would be well with them until the end of their days.
But such warnings were angrily rejected by the followers of the Holy Man; and those who spoke them were denounced
as traitors having no concern for the Great Prayer, which the majority were eager to join in again. This they did to their eternal disgrace as the Tribes declined into miserable quarreling factions. In the end the Great Prayer itself was lost to those who thought to preserve it without regard for the Great Promise and He-Who-Sits-Upon-The-Distant-Mountain.
Thunder and lightening have become incessant at Ecu--Ecu. And sulphur smoke arises from a growing great pit there.
Cardinal Leinart, Paul 6, Mgr. Lefebvre:
From Society of St. Pius X Letter No. 9 to Friends and Benefactors, page 10, the following by Marcel Lefebvre, who poses this question concerning his society. How do you justify your attitude towards the Pope? Answer: We are the keenest defenders of his authority as Peters successor, but our attitude is governed by the words of Pius IX quoted above. We applaud the Pope when he echoes Tradition and is faithful to his mission of handing down the deposit of the Faith. We accept novelties intimately in conformity with Tradition and the Faith. We do not feel bound by any obedience to novelties going against Tradition and threatening our Faith. In that case, we take up a position behind the papal documents listed above.
So speaks Mgr. Lefebvre about Paul 6, a pope who by his Populorum Progressio has provided a pernicious program for a complete Communist take-over, one who has tolerated every kind of heresy and heretic, who has radically altered every sacramental form. Does he suppose Pope Pius IX would applaud an occasional word in defense of Tradition from such a pope? Here is a deceitful use of Pope Pius IX who in a Syllabus of Errors condemned as Catholic and true Pope all that Montini stands for. Here is that praise and suppression I have pointed out time and again as the Moderates contribution toward providing smokescreen for the operation of Paul 6.
From the Society of St. Pius X, Letter No. 10: Now, when we learn in Rome that he who has been the mastermind of the
liturgical reform is a Freemason, we may legitimately suspect that he is not alone, writes Mgr. Lefebvre to his Friends and Benefactors. Might it not be possible that he who appointed Bugnini could be of the same secret society with Bugnini? Isnt that the usual thing among their kind? And doesnt Lefebvre know that this mastermind of the new liturgy was only putting into effect the liturgy which Paul 6 outlined in a pastoral letter as Archbishop of Milan? And isn't it the pope who is completely responsible for the Liturgy? It is very strange that a European Archbishop, one who was on the preparatory commission for the Council, would not know these things.
This quotation from The Remnant, 15 Sept. 1976, as reported by Mary Lejeune in her Sword of Truth: ...that we might be
permitted to enter into dialogue with envoys which Your Holiness would choose from among those Cardinals who we
have known for a long time; with the help of the grace of God the difficulties will then without doubt be overcome.
These are the words of Marcel Lefebvre.
Incidentally, I know nothing about the Veritas photo about which so much commotion has been made. I did not notice
any date given to the photo. But whether or not the photo was rigged or in any way altered by anyone, the above
quotation expresses Mgr. Lefebvres own frequently stated attitude toward his Holy Father, which the photo merely
From a sermon of Mgr. Lefebvre, 27 May 1976, in Montreal, Canada:
The Holy Father was educated in a Modernist environment...and, therefore, one cannot be surprised that, in the Council, the Pope did not react as Saint Pius X would have reacted, as Pope Pius IX would have reacted, or a Leo XIII. As a consequence, an atmosphere prevailed at the Council of a kind that there was no resistance against this Modernist influence which exercised itself by a group of cardinals, in particular which was commanded, which was directed in some sort by Cardinal Leinart...Now, two months ago, in Rome, the traditionalist periodical Chiesa Viva published -- I have seen it in Rome with my own eyes -- on the back side of the cover, the photograph of Cardinal Lienart with all his Masonic paraphernalia, the day of his inscription in Masonry, then the date at which he arise to the 20th, then to the 30th degree of Masonry, attached to this lodge, at this place, at that place. Meanwhile, about two or three months after this publication was made, I heard nothing about any reaction, or any contradiction. Now, unfortunately I must say to you that this Cardinal Leinart is my bishop, it is he who ordained me a priest, it is he who consecrated me a bishop. I cannot help it...Fortunately, the orders are valid...but, in spite of it, it was very painful for me to be informed of it.
This in the French also, from a completely reliable source. So, Lefebvre would thus explain away the evil actions of Paul 6 by saying that it was all a difference in Montinis environment from that of Popes such as Pius IX and St. Pius X. Here is much more of that "taking the heat off Paul 6" that I have often noted as the work of the Moderates or Integrists. I have many such soft-on-Paul 6 statements of Mgr. Lefebvre, none of the opposite kind.
Are the Archbishop's Orders valid? I do not concern myself about that. His operation remains illegitimate regardless.
And those who won't take heed of this for doctrinal reasons -- well, let them go. I am not trying to persuade Lefevrites who are madly intent on following their Leader, regardless of what he says or does, or omits to say or do.
Two more significant items: Cardinal Leinart was the leader of the October Revolution of those bishops who had
pre-planned the take-over by the destructive forces within the Council. Archille Cardinal Leinart of Lille was then
president of the episcopal conference of France. According to Abbe Georges de Nantes in his 1967 analysis of
Populorum Progressio, it was Leinart and Bea who in the Conclave proposed Montini for pope.
W. F. Strojie, Letter No. 19, March 25, 1977