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Saturday, November 12, 2022

Pope Francis Blather vs. Clear and Transparent Teaching

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, defender of Doctrine and Sacred Tradition

Have you waded through any of the recent Vatican documents that appear under Pope Francis' name? Let's face it; Francis doesn't write them. But he employs some of the most blathering voices on the planet. I try to read the documents, but bang my head on the wall when I see Laudato Si's 246 paragraphs or the 325 paragraphs of Amoris Laetitia. (Poor Topsy and Tuptim get totally bogged down wading through them.) Of course there is the tyrannical and short Traditionis Custodes, only two pages with footnotes. The fall of the guillotine only takes a few seconds after all.

I thought of all this while I was working on a timeline about the SSPX events this morning. Reading and contrasting the 1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre with the documents coming out of the Vatican these days is like looking at a clear crystal brook as opposed to a fetid swamp. But I'll let you read the short Declaration to see for yourself. It's easy to read, easy to understand, and totally transparent. When you finish you know exactly what Archbishop Lefebvre believes and why he did what he did.

First a little history. The Archbishop wrote the Declaration following an apostolic visitation of the seminary in Econe by two modernists assigned by the Vatican. Here is how Michael Davies described it in his book, Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre:

The Apostolic visitation of the seminary at Econe took place from November 11-13, 1974. The two Visitors were both Belgians: Bishop Descamps, a biblical scholar, and Msgr. Onclin, a canonist. The Apostolic Visitation was carried out with great thoroughness. Professors and students were subjected to searching and detailed questions concerning every aspect of life in the seminary. However, considerable scandal was occasioned by opinions which the two Roman Visitors expressed in the presence of the students and staff. For, according to Archbishop Lefebvre, these two Visitors considered it normal and indeed inevitable that there should be a married clergy; they did not believe there was an immutable Truth; and they also had doubts concerning the traditional concept of Our Lord's Resurrection.

In response to these scandalous statements, Lefebvre issued the Declaration about a week later which is crystal clear. My comments in red.

1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre

We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth. [It's clear that Lefebvre had no intention of leaving the Catholic Church. He was rejecting the modernist views of those in Rome taking Holy Mother Church hostage and abusing her.]

We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it. 

All these reforms, indeed, have contributed and are still contributing to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, to a naturalist and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries and catechectics; a teaching derived from Liberalism and Protestantism, many times condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church. [Anyone living through the insanity of the 70s and 80s with clown Masses, butterfly vestments, "hymns" that advanced heretical teachings, women all over the sanctuary, horrible catechetical books for children, etc. knows this is absolutely true.]

No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries. [Again -- Lefebvre had no intention of leaving the Church. He recognized the hostile takeover by her enemies.]

“But though we,” says St. Paul, “or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).

Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church. 

It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church. [Read Goodbye Good Men and recall the reality of seminaries riddled with homosexuality and gatekeepers to keep out orthodox aspirants to the priesthood.]

This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever.

The only attitude of faithfulness to the Church and Catholic doctrine, in view of our salvation, is a categorical refusal to accept this Reformation. [I would use the word "revolution" which is exactly what it was and continues to be. The revolution has escalated with the Orwellian move of filling the Pontifical Academy for Life with death peddlers.]

That is why, without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity.

That is why we hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome. [Eternal Rome is truly a dark place these days with holograms projected on the Vatican and scandalous nativity scenes.]


By doing this, with the grace of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of St. Joseph and St. Pius X, we are assured of remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being the fideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto. Amen.

November 21, 1974
Econe, Switzerland

________________________________________________

Let me reiterate once again. The SSPX is not in schism. Marcel Lefebvre had no intention of leaving the Catholic Church. The priests of the SSPX have faculties. You don't give faculties to priests who are in schism. The SSPX is in an irregular situation but have not left the barque of Peter. Now the question. If the Synod on Synodality results in one more Motu Proprio declaring that homosexuality is normal and good and calling for the recognition and blessing of same-sex unions, will the bishops go along like bobble head dolls? We know that some will likely rejoice: Cupich, McElroy, Farrell, Paglia, Coccopalmerio, etc. What about the rest? Archbishop Lefebvre recognized the crisis early on. Many are still wearing blinders. Meanwhile, souls are being lost. 

Lord Jesus, save us from the Church wreckers. If necessary, send the asteroid!

15 comments:

  1. I respect and love Abp. Lefebvre, but ultimately he got it wrong. Please listen to this short 25 min explanation.
    Recognizing and resisting a valid pope is not Catholic nor doable. It makes the society the arbitrator of truth and not the pope and in doing so destroys the papacy. Is sedevacantism perfect and all in union? No. But that simply gives testimony to the truth that we have no valid pope to be unified under. This is not a hard concept. Truth never is. Truth is sometimes difficult to accept, but it never contradicts.

    https://youtu.be/VP4zSFUbaTE

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    1. https://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-even-if-the-pope-an-incarnate-devil-we-ought-not-to-raise-up-our-heads-against-him-but-st-catherine-of-siena-94-86-24.jpg

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  2. Preach DEBBIE!!! ūüéČ.

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  3. If necessary, send the asteroid!

    And pray for Pope Benedict, that he do what is right in the face of overwhelming evil.
    Hold fast to that hope.

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  4. Cynthia,

    While we have our heads on the chest of the pope, should we not urge him to speak the truth? No pope is above being admonished when his actions confuse and hurt the faithful. That's why St. Paul resisted St. Peter over his hypocritical actions at Antioch scandalizing the flock. St. Thomas Aquinas, the angelic teacher, who I think deserves as much regard as St. Catherine, says this:

    "We can distinguish two things about a prelate: the person himself and his office, which makes him a sort of public person. If a prelate is evil, he should not be honored for the person he is. For honor is respect shown to people as a witness to their virtue. Hence, if we honored such a prelate for the person he is, we would bear false witness about him, which is forbidden in Exodus 20: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' But, as a public person, a prelate bears an image and occupies a position in the Church… that does not belong to him but, rather, to someone else, viz. Christ. And, as such, his worth is not determined by the person he is, but by the position he occupies....So, too, an evil prelate should not be honored because of who he is but because of the one whose position he holds. The case is similar to the veneration of images, which is directed to the things depicted therein, as Damascene says. Hence Zechariah compares an evil prelate to an idol: 'Woe to the pastor and idol who deserts the flock.'

    "An evil prelate is unworthy to be a prelate and receive the honors due to prelates. But the one whose image the prelate bears is worthy to have his vicar honored, just as the blessed Virgin is worthy to have a painted image of her venerated, although the image itself is not worthy of such respect." (pp. 70-71 of Quodlibetal Questions translated by Nevitt and Davies)

    May God give us all wisdom and charity.

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    1. I simply included that quote to show that we are not the first to deal with a dilemma regarding the Papacy. St. Catherine of Siena did speak out against the anti-pope of her time, supporting the true Pope and working to restore him to his rightful seat. She was opposed by others for her actions and beliefs, but eventually she succeeded in convincing people of the truth. But truly sedevacantism is not the answer. Most of those of us with eyes to see and ears to hear know that Bergolio promotes heresy and that Benedict has placed us in this difficult situation. Yes, we need to speak against the errors of our religious leaders. The answer though is in God’s hands. He often punishes us through our prelates.

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  5. Debbie, I watched the video and don't find the arguments for sedevacantism compelling. The fact is that legitimate popes can be wrong and can, indeed, be resisted just like St. Paul resisted Peter. The situation is very much like the Arian heresy.

    Not only that, but where is the papal authority that supports the sedevacantist position? They say the SSPX and others in the "refuse and resist" movement are not in union with the teachings of the Church, but where is their authority to say that since they dismiss all the popes for the past 60 years? Where do they get their authority? It seems to me they have painted themselves into a corner.

    I recently was reading an article about the sedevacantist groups and the divisions among them. They seem more Protestant to me than Catholic? Here's just a bit from the article. If true, these facts raise a huge red flag:

    "The variety of Sedevacantist positions is such that there is seemingly no end. MHFM, the RCI, SSPV, St. Gertrude, and CMRI are all in a rift with one another in unusual ways. For one, MHFM utterly condemns and damns the other four, and the SSPV will not grant members of the other organizations to receive Communion. Furthermore, the RCI does not allow those who hold the positions of MHFM to receive.

    "On the other hand, the RCI, St. Gertrude, and CMRI are in rift over ideas concerning the proper doctrine of the Papacy....Sedevacantists cannot say anything concerning the salvific position of those who are not Sedevacantists. Only those with Proper Authority can do so. Christ will not damn a man whose damnation has been decreed to him by an organization that has no authority, to begin with. Christ would not abandon His Church to be found in small remnants of people with no authority."

    https://catholicismcoffee.org/3-new-arguments-against-sedevacantism-1fa38e9fdaa2

    The very argument the sedevacantist use against the "refuse and resist" movement condemns their own position. I find it not intellectually reasonable.

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  6. Thanks for the clarification, Cynthia. I agree.

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  7. If an Abp. Lefebvre consecrated bishops without the permission of Rome, been excommunicated in say 1918, would you follow him? If what the world calls the Catholic Church was legit, there would be no SSPX with it's canonical "irregularities". There is no such thing as "canonical irregularities" IN the Catholic Church. Instead of embracing the hard truth that we've had no pope, the SSPX elevates Abp. Lefebvre as one. THEY determine what to believe what Rome puts forth.

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  8. Debbie,

    I think the history of the Church disputes your comment. Athanasias was exiled and excommunicated -- how many times? The Arian heretics essentially owned the Church for a time. Our situation is much like that today. How many followed and supported Athanasias? Many! I'm reading a biography of him at present.

    I think that Archbishop Lefebvre is the Athanasias of our day. And no, the SSPX does not make him pope. Lefebvre condemned the modernism invading the Church. The pope is the Vicar of Christ with the sacred duty to defend the flock and defend the Church from error. When he is leading the flock astray, his errors must be resisted. That is separate from recognizing his lawful authority.

    That's what Athanasias did. That's what Paul did. St. Polycarp was excommunicated by Pope Victor and his situation is interesting because it's much like the Lefebvre situation and St. Iraneus chided the pope for his action. At any rate, I am willing to read all the arguments in favor of sedevacantism, but I don't find anything so far even close to being convincing.

    Finally, the SSPX does not "determine what to believe what Rome puts forth." They simply expect Rome to uphold the faith of Our Fathers and Sacred Tradition. Can anyone seriiously argue that Pope Francis does that? He is a Judas, but remember that Judas remained an Apostle throughout Christ's entire public life. He was still an apostle at the Last Supper AFTER he betrayed Christ.

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  9. Either the pre-VII popes, Saints, theologians etc were wrong about the papacy in it's Divine protection against teaching error, or the post VII popes, theologians, priests, online celebrities are wrong.

    https://novusordowatch.org/the-catholic-papacy/

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  10. Mary Ann, comments: [Again -- Lefebvre had no intention of leaving the Church. He recognized the hostile takeover by her enemies.]

    "The hostile takeover by her enemies".....exactly. The Church is the Church because of her doctrines AND a valid pope protecting them. Over and over the good archbishop said "Rome has lost the faith". He didn't leave the faith (except for his erroneous belief that valid popes could do what they did)....Rome, led by false popes gave us "new" doctrines that are not Catholic. Lefebvre held both the sedevacante and R&R position simultaneously, it's no wonder he suffered from insomnia. This is NOT a criticism of the good archbishop. I firmly believe he did the best he could under the circumstances. St. Thomas Aquinas got the IC wrong, so there is no shame in Lefebvre getting something's wrong.....because he got the important parts right....Rome has lost the faith .

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  11. There have been many wicked popes who served the kingdom of the anti-Christ. Was the chair of Peter empty during all their reigns? I'm afraid I don't have any more time this week to spend on researching this. Maybe after Thanksgiving.

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  12. Both SSPX and sedevacantism leads to contradictions. Neither group can claim apostolic succession. Sedevacantists show the absurdity of R and R, but none of their bishops can claim to have a true mission as apostles. They can tear down other position but don’t apply the same theology to justify what they are doing. No random man on the street can claim to be a bishop just because he has true faith.

    Home alonism and conclavism are the most consistent variants of sedevacantism.

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  13. Wicked in their personal behavior and actions? Yes....but not in the Divine protections in handing down the faith once delivered.

    Thanks for allowing my comments Mary Ann. A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    May God bless and the Virgin protect us all!

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