THE INFILTRATION OF MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH (PART VII)

INFILTRATORS IN THE CHURCH TO DESTROY IT

Yes, I am a rebel. Yes, I am a dissident. Yes, I am disobedient to people like those Bugninis. For they have infiltrated themselves into the Church in order to destroy it. There is no other explanation.

Are we then going to contribute to the destruction of the Church? Will we say: "Yes, yes, amen'; even if it is the enemy who has penetrated right to the Holy Father and who is able to make the Holy Father sign what he wants? We don't really know under what pressure he did it. There are hidden things, which clearly escape us. Some say that it is Freemasonry. It's possible. I do not know. In any case, there is a mystery.

How can a priest who is not a Cardinal, who is not even a Bishop, who was still very young at the time and who was elevated against the will of Pope John XXIII (who had chased him from the Lateran University), how can such a priest go to the very top without taking any account of the Cardinal Secretary of State, nor of the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Worship? How can he go directly to the Holy Father and make him sign what he wants? Such a thing has never before been seen in the Holy Church. Everything should go through the authorities. That is why there are Commissions. Files are studied. But this man was all powerful!

It was he who brought in Protestant pastors to change our Mass. It was not Cardinal Gut. It was not the Cardinal Secretary of State. It was perhaps not even the Pope. It was him. Who is this man Bugnini? One day the former Abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls, a Benedictine who had preceded Fr. Bugnini as head of the Liturgical Commission, said to me: "Monseigneur, do not speak to me of Fr. Bugnini. I know too much about him. Do not ask me about him." I replied: "But tell me. I must know it. The truth must be uncovered." It is probably he who asked John XXIII to send him away from the Lateran University.

All of these things show us that the enemy has penetrated right within the Church, as St. Pius X already said. He is in the highest places, as Our Lady of La Salette announced, and as without a doubt the third secret of Fatima tells us.

Well, if the enemy is truly within the Church, must we obey him? "Yes, for he represents the Pope," is a frequent answer. First of all we do not know this at all, for we do not know exactly what the Pope thinks.

I have, all the same, some personal proofs that Pope Paul VI was very much influenced by Cardinal Villot. It has been said that Cardinal Villot was a Freemason. I do not know. There are some strange facts. Letters of Freemasons addressed to Cardinal Villot have been photocopied. I do not have the proof of it. In any case, Cardinal Villot had a considerable influence over the Pope. He concentrated all power at Rome within his own hands. He became the master much more than the Pope. I do know that everything had to go through him.

One day I went to see Cardinal Wright with respect to the Canadian Catechism. I said to him: "Look at this catechism. Are you aware of those little books, which are entitled ‘Rupture’? It's abominable that children are taught to break away. They must break with their family, with society, with tradition. ..this is the catechism, which is taught to the children of Canada with the Imprimatur of Monseigneur Couderc. It's you who are responsible for catechism in the entire world. Are you in agreement with this catechism?" "No, no," he said to me: "This catechism is not Catholic" -"It is not Catholic! Then immediately tell the Canadian Bishops' Conference. Tell them to stop and to throw this catechism in the fire and to take up the true catechism." His answer was: "How can I oppose myself to a Bishops' Conference?"

I then said: "It's over and done with. There is no more authority in the Church. It's over and done with. If Rome can no longer say anything to a Bishops' Conference, even if it is in the process of destroying children's Faith, then it's the end of the Church."

That is where we are now. Rome is afraid of the Bishops' Conferences. These conferences are abominable. In France the Bishops' Conference has been involved in a campaign in favor of contraception. The Socialist Government, which is constantly advertising on the television the slogan: "Take the pill so as to prevent abortions," got them involved, I think. They had nothing better to do than push crazy propaganda in favor of the pill. The cost of the pill is reimbursed for girls of only twelve years, so as to avoid abortion! And the bishops approve! Official documents in favor of contraception can be found in the Tulle diocese bulletin, which is my former diocese, and which bulletin I continue to receive. This came from Bishop Bruneau, a former Superior General of the Sulpicians. He is supposedly one of the best Bishops of France. It's like that!

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THE INFILTRATION OF MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH (PART VI)

THE LITURGICAL REFORM (continued)

Two Superiors General had the courage to speak out. One of them asked Fr. Bugnini: “Is this an active participation, that is a bodily participation, that is to say with vocal prayers, or is it a spiritual participation? In any case you have so much spoken of the participation of the faithful that it seems you can no longer justify Mass celebrated without the faithful. Your entire Mass has been fabricated around the participation of the faithful. We, Benedictines, celebrate our Masses without the assistance of the faithful. Does this mean that we must discontinue our private Masses, since we do not have faithful to participate in them?"

I repeat to you exactly that which Fr. Bugnini said. I have it still in my ears, so much did it strike me: “To speak truthfully we didn't think of that," he said!

Afterwards another arose and said: "Reverend Father, you have said that we will suppress this and we will suppress that, that we will replace this thing by that and always by shorter prayers. I have the impression that your new Mass could be said in ten or twelve minutes or at the most a quarter of an hour. This is not reasonable. This is not respectful towards such an act of the Church."  Well, this is what he replied: "We can always add something." Is this for real? I heard it myself. If somebody had told me the story I would perhaps have doubted it, but I heard it myself.

Afterwards, at the time at which this Normative Mass began to be put into practice, I was so disgusted that we met with some priests and theologians in a small meeting. From it came the “Brief Critical Study,” which was taken to Cardinal Ottaviani. I presided that small meeting. We said to ourselves: “We must go and find the Cardinals. We cannot allow this to happen without reacting."

So I myself went to find the Secretary of State, Cardinal Cicognani, and I said to him: “Your Eminence, you are not going to allow this to get through, are you? It's not possible. What is this New Mass? It is a revolution in the Church, a revolution in the Liturgy."

Cardinal Cicognani, who was the Secretary of State of Pope Paul VI, placed his head between his hands and said to me: "Oh Your Grace, I know well. I am in full agreement with you; but what can I do? Fr. Bugnini goes in to the office of the Holy Father and makes him sign what he wants." It was the Cardinal Secretary of State who told me this! Therefore the Secretary of State, the number two person in the Church after the Pope himself, was placed in a position of inferiority with respect to Fr. Bugnini. He could enter into the Pope's office when he wanted and make him sign what he wanted.

This can explain why Pope Paul VI signed texts that he had not read. He told Cardinal Journet that he had done this. Cardinal Journet was a deep thinker, Professor at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and a great theologian. When Cardinal Journet saw the definition of the Mass in the instruction, which precedes the Novus Ordo, he said: ”This definition of the Mass is unacceptable; I must go to Rome to see the Pope." He went and he said: “Holy Father you cannot allow this definition. It is heretical. You cannot leave your signature on a document like this." The Holy Father replied to him (Cardinal Journet did not tell me himself but he told someone who repeated it to me): ”Well, to speak truthfully I did not read it. I signed it without reading it."  Evidently, if Fr. Bugnini had such an influence on him it's quite possible. He must have said to the Holy Father: ”You can sign it". "But did you look it over carefully". ”Yes, you can go ahead and sign it." And he signed.

But this document did not go through the Holy Office. I know this because Cardinal Seper himself told me that he was absent when the Novus Ordo was published and that it did not pass by the Holy Office. Hence it is indeed Fr. Bugnini who obtained the Pope's signature and who perhaps constrained him. We do not know, but he had without a doubt an extraordinary influence over the Holy Father.

A third fact, of which I was myself the witness, with respect to Fr. Bugnini is also astonishing. When permission was about to be give for Communion in the hand (what a horrible thing!), I said to myself that I could not sit by without saying anything. I must go and see Cardinal Gut -a Swiss -who was Prefect of the Congregation for Worship. I therefore went to Rome, where Cardinal Gut received me in a very friendly way and immediately said to me: "I'm going to make my second-in- charge, Archbishop Antonini, come that he also might hear what you have to say."

As we spoke I said: "Listen, you who are responsible for the Congregation for Worship, are you going to approve this decree which authorizes Communion in the hand? Just think of all the sacrileges, which it is going to cause. Just think of the lack of respect for the Holy Eucharist, which is going to spread throughout the entire Church. You cannot possibly allow such a thing to happen. Already priests are beginning to give Communion in this manner. It must be stopped immediately. And with this New Mass they always take the shortest canon, that is the second one, which is very brief"  

At this, Cardinal Gut said to Archbishop Antonini, "See, I told you this would happen and that priests would take the shortest canon so as to go more quickly and finish the Mass more quickly."

Afterwards Cardinal Gut said to me: "Your Grace, if one were to ask my opinion (when he said "one" he was speaking of the Pope, since nobody was over him except the Pope), but I'm not certain it is asked of me (don't forget that he was Prefect for the Congregation for Worship and was responsible for everything which was related to Worship and to the Liturgy!), but if the Pope were to ask for it, I would place myself on my knees, Your Grace, before the Pope and I would say to him: 'Holy Father do not do this; do not sign this decree.' I would cast myself on my knees, Your Grace. But I do not know that I will be asked. For it is not I who command here."

This I heard with my own ears. He was making allusion to Bugnini, who was the third in the Congregation for Worship. There was first of all Cardinal Gut, then Archbishop Antonini and then Fr. Bugnini, President of the Liturgical Commission. You ought to have heard that! Alas, you can now understand my attitude when I am told; you are a dissident and disobedient rebel.

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THE INFILTRATION OF MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH (PART V)

REVOLUTION OF THE CHURCH

This is what happened at the Council. It is obvious that all the Council documents and texts were influenced by the liberal Cardinals and Commissions. It is hardly astonishing that we have such ambiguous texts, which favor so many changes and even a true revolution in the Church.

Could we have done anything, we who represented the traditional wing of the Bishops and Cardinals? Frankly speaking, we could do little. We were 250 who favored the maintenance of Tradition and who were opposed to such major changes in the Church as false renewal, false ecumenism, false collegiality. We were opposed to all these things. These 250 bishops clearly brought some weight to bear and on certain occasions forced texts to be modified. Thus the evil was somewhat limited.

But we could not succeed in preventing certain false opinions from being adopted, especially in the schema on Religious Liberty, whose text was redone five times. Five times the same opinion was brought forward. We opposed it on each occasion. There were always 250 votes against. Consequently Pope Paul VI asked that two small sentences be added to the text, saying that there is nothing in this text which is contrary to the traditional teaching of the Church and that the Church remains always the true and the only Church of Christ.

Then the Spanish Bishops in particular said: "Since the Pope has made this statement there is no longer any problem. There is nothing against tradition." If these things are contradictory then this little phrase contradicts everything, which is in the texts. It is a contradictory schema. We could not accept it. Finally there remained, if I remember well, only 74 bishops against. It is the only schema, which met such opposition, but 74 of 2,500 is little indeed!

Thus ended the Council. We should not be astonished at the reforms, which have been introduced since. Since then, everything is the history of Liberalism. The liberals were victorious within the Council for they demanded that Paul VI grant them places within the Roman Congregations. And in fact the important places were given to the progressive clergy. As soon as a Cardinal died or an occasion presented itself, Pope Paul VI would put aside traditional Cardinals, immediately replacing them with liberal ones.

Thus it is that Rome was occupied by the liberals. This is a fact, which cannot be denied. Nor can it be denied that the reforms of the Council were reforms which breathe the spirit of Ecumenism and which are quite simply Protestant, neither more nor less.

THE LITURGICAL REFORM

The most serious of the consequences was the liturgical reform. It was accomplished, as everybody knows, by a well-known priest, Bugnini, who had prepared it long in advance. Already in 1955 Fr. Bugnini had asked Msgr. Pintonello, general Chaplain of the Italian army, who had spent much time in Germany during the occupation, to translate Protestant liturgical texts. For Fr. Bugnini did not know German.

It was Msgr. Pintonello himself who told me that he had translated the Protestant liturgical books for Fr. Bugnini, who at that time was but an insignificant member of a liturgical commission. He was nothing. Afterwards he became professor of liturgy at the Lateran. Pope John XXIII made him leave on account of his modernism and his progressivism. Hence surprise, surprise, and he is found again as President of the Commission for Liturgical Reform. This is all the same, unbelievable.

I had the occasion to see for myself what influence Fr. Bugnini had. One wonders how such a thing as this could have happened at Rome. At that time immediately after the Council, I was Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and we had a meeting of the Superiors General at Rome. We had asked Fr. Bugnini explain to us what his New Mass was, for this was not at all a small event. Immediately after the Council was heard of the Normative Mass, the New Mass, the Novus Ordo. What did all this mean?

It had not been spoken of at the Council. What had happened? And so we asked Fr. Bugnini to come and explain himself to the 84 Superiors General who were united together, amongst whom I consequently was.

Fr. Bugnini, with much confidence, explained what the Normative Mass would be; this will be changed, that will be changed and we will put in place another Offertory. We will be able to reduce the communion prayers. We will be able to have several different formats for the beginning of Mass. We will be able to say the Mass in the vernacular tongue. We looked at one another saying to ourselves: “But it's not possible!"

He spoke absolutely, as if there had never been a Mass in the Church before him. He spoke of his Normative Mass as of a new invention.

Personally I was myself so stunned that I remained mute, although I generally speak freely when it is a question of opposing those with whom I am not in agreement. I could not utter a word. How could it be possible for this man before me to be entrusted with the entire reform of the Catholic Liturgy, the entire reform of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of the sacraments, of the Breviary, and of all our prayers? Where are we going? Where is the Church going?

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THE INFILTRATION OF MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH (Part IV)

THE APPEARANCE OF DIVISION (continued)

In effect, the battle began immediately, from the very first days of the Council. Cardinal Ottaviani had presented the list of members who had belonged to the preparatory commissions, leaving full freedom for each to chose those that he wanted. It was obvious that we could not all know one another, since each one came for his own diocese. How could one possibly know the 2,500 Bishops of the world? We were asked to vote for members of the commissions of the Council. But who could we chose? We did not know the Bishops from South America nor from South Africa nor from India. ..

Cardinal Ottaviani thought that Rome's choices for the preparatory commissions could help as an indication for the Council Fathers. It was in fact quite normal to propose these.

Cardinal Lienart arose and said, "We do not accept this way of doing things. We ask for 48 hours to reflect, that we might know better those who could make up the different commissions. This is to exert pressure on the judgement of the Fathers. We do not accept it."

The Council had begun only two days previously and already there was a violent opposition between the Cardinals. What had happened?

During these 48 hours the liberal Cardinals had already prepared lists made out from all the countries of the world. They distributed these in the letterboxes of all the Council Fathers. We had therefore all received a list proposing the members of such and such a commission; that is such a bishop and another etc. from different countries. Many said: "After all why not. I do not know them. Since the list is already ready we have simply to make use of it." Forty-eight hours later it was the liberals' list, which was in front. But it did not receive the two thirds of the votes, which were required by the Council rules.

What then would the Pope do? Would Pope John XXIII make an exception to the rules of the Council or would he apply them? Clearly the liberal Cardinals were afraid that he might apply them and so they ran to the Pope and said to him: "Listen, we have more than half the votes, nearly 60%. You cannot refuse that. We cannot keep going like this and hold another election. We will never be done with it. This is clearly the will of the majority of the Council and we have simply to accept it." And Pope John XXIII accepted. From this beginning all the members of the Council commissions were chosen by the liberal wing. It is easy to imagine what an enormous influence this had on the Council.

I am sure Pope John XXIII died prematurely because of what he saw at the Council, although he had thought that at the end of a few months everything would be done with. It was to be a council of three months. Then all would say good-bye and go home happy for having met one another at Rome and for having had a nice little meeting.

He discovered that the Council was to be a world of itself, a world of continual clashes. No text came from the first session of the Council. Pope John XXIII was overwhelmed by this and I am persuaded that this hastened his death. It has even been said that on his deathbed he said: “Stop the Council; stop the Council."

POPE PAUL VI GIVES HIS SUPPORT TO THE LIBERALS

Pope Paul VI came along. It is obvious that he gave his support to the liberal wing. Why was that?

From the very beginning of his pontificate, during the second Session of the Council, he immediately named four Moderators. The four Moderators were to direct the Council instead of the ten Presidents who had presided during the first Session. The Presidents, one of whom had presided over one meeting and then the second and then the third, sat at a table higher than the others. But they were to become honorary Presidents. The four Moderators became the true Presidents of the Council.

Who were these moderators? Cardinal Dopfner of Munich was one. He was very progressive indeed and very ecumenical. Cardinal Suenens, whom the entire world knows along with his charismatics and who has given conferences in favor of the marriage of priests, was another. Cardinal Lercaro who is known for his philocommunism and whose Vicar General had been enrolled as a member of the Communist party was a third. Finally there was Cardinal Agagianian, who represented somewhat the traditional wing, if I can say so.

Cardinal Agagianian was a very discreet and self-effacing man. Consequently he had no real influence on the Council. But the three others accomplished their task with drums beating. They constantly brought together the liberal Cardinals, which gave considerable authority to the liberal wing of the Council.

Clearly the traditional Cardinals and Bishops were from this very moment put aside and despised.

When poor Cardinal Ottaviani, who was blind, started to speak, boos could be heard amongst the young Bishops when he did not finish at the end of the ten minutes allocated to him. Thus did they make him understand that they had had enough of listening to him. He had to stop; it was frightful. This venerable Cardinal, who was honored throughout Rome and who had had an enormous influence on the Holy Church, who was Prefect of the Holy Office, which is not a small function, was obliged to stop. It was scandalous to see how the traditionalists were treated.

Monseigneur Staffa (he has since been named Cardinal), who is very energetic, was silenced by the Council Moderators. These were unbelievable things.

 

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The Infiltration of Modernism in the Church (Part III)

THE DRIFT BEGINS WITH THE COUNCIL

It was exactly the same thing for the Council. "I have the intention to hold a Council." Already Pope Pius XII had been asked by certain Cardinals to hold a Council. But he had refused, believing that it was impossible. We cannot in our time hold a Council with 2,500 bishops. The pressures that can exercised by the mass media are too dangerous for us to dare hold a Council. We are liable to get out of depth. And there was in fact no Council.

But Pope John XXIII said: "But it’s fine: we don't need to be pessimistic. You have to look on things with confidence. We will come together for three months with all the Bishops of the entire world. We will begin on October 13. Then everything will be over with between December 8 and January 25. Everybody will go home, and the Council will be over and done with."

And so the Pope held the Council! Nevertheless it did have to be prepared. A Council cannot be held off the bat just like a Synod. It was indeed prepared two years in advance. I was personally named as a member of the Central Preparatory Commission as Archbishop of Dakar and president of the West African Episcopal Conference. I therefore came to Rome at least ten times during the two years so as to participate in the meetings of the Central Preparatory Commission.

It was very important, for all the documents of the secondary commissions had to come through it so as to be studied and submitted to the Council. There were in this commission seventy Cardinals and around twenty Archbishops and Bishops, as well as the experts. These experts were not members of the Commission, but were only present so they could eventually be consulted by the members.

During these two years the meetings followed one another and it became clearly apparent for all the members present that there was a profound division within the Church itself. This profound division was not accidental or superficial but was even deeper amongst the Cardinals than amongst the Archbishops and Bishops. On the occasion of the casting of votes the conservative Cardinals could be seen to vote in one way and the progressive Cardinals in another. And all the votes were always more or less the same way. There was obviously a real division amongst the Cardinals.

I describe the following incident in one of my books A Bishop Speaks. I often mention it because it truly characterizes the end of the Central Commission and the beginning of the Council. It was during the last meeting, and we had received beforehand ten documents on the same subject. Cardinal Bea had prepared a text “De Libertate Religiosa,” “Concerning Religious Liberty.” Cardinal Ottaviani had prepared another, “De Tolerantia Religiosa,” “Concerning Religious Tolerance.”

THE APPEARANCE OF DIVISION

The simple fact the two different titles on the same subject was significant of two different conceptions. Cardinal Bea spoke of freedom for all religions and Cardinal Ottaviani of freedom for the Catholic religion along with tolerance of error and false religions. How could such a disagreement have been resolved by the Commission?

From the beginning Cardinal Ottaviani pointed the finger at Cardinal Bea and said, “Your Eminence, you do not have the right to present this document."

Cardinal Bea replied, “Excuse me but I have perfectly the right to put together a document as President of the Commission for Unity. Consequently, I have knowingly put together this document. Moreover, I am totally opposed to your opinion."

Thus two of the most eminent Cardinals, Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office, and Cardinal Bea, former Confessor of Pope Pius XII, a Jesuit having a great deal of influence on all the Cardinals, who was well known in the Biblical Institute and responsible for advanced biblical studies, were opposed on a fundamental thesis in the Church. Unity for all religions is one thing, that is to say that liberty and error are placed on the same footing; but liberty of the Catholic religion along with tolerance of error is something quite different. Traditionally the Church has always been for the opinion of Cardinal Ottaviani and not for that of Cardinal Bea, which is totally liberal.

Then Cardinal Ruffini, from Palermo, stood up and said; “We are now in the presence of two confreres who are opposed to one another on a question which is very important in the Church. We are consequently obliged to refer to a higher authority."

Quite often the Pope came to preside over our meetings. But he was not there for this last meeting. Consequently the Cardinals requested to vote: "We cannot wait to go and see the Holy Father. We are going to vote." We voted. Just about one half of the Cardinals voted for the opinion of Cardinal Bea and the other half for that of Cardinal Ottaviani. All those who voted for Cardinal Bea's opinion were the Dutch, German, French and Austrian Cardinals, and all those in general from Europe and North America. The traditional Cardinals were those of the Roman Curia, from South America and in general those of Spanish Language.

It was a true rupture in the Church. From this moment I asked myself how the Council could proceed with such opposition on such important points. Who would win? Would it be Cardinal Ottaviani with the Cardinals of Spanish or romance languages or would it be the European Cardinals and those of North America?

THE INFILTRATION OF MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH (Part II)

Clearly we were accused of being members of "Action Française," Nazis and fascists and every other pejorative label because we were anti-revolutionary and anti-liberal.

Thus an inquiry was made. The Cardinal Archbishop of Milan (Card. Schuster) was sent to the seminary. He wasn't the least of the Cardinals. He was in fact a Benedictine of great holiness and intelligence. He had been designated by Pope Pius XI to make the inquiry at the French Seminary so as to determine if the accusations of Francisque Gay were true or not. The inquiry took place. The result was: the French Seminary functions perfectly well under the direction of Fr. Le Floch. We have absolutely nothing to reproach the Seminary Rector with. But this did not suffice.

Three months later a new inquiry was begun, this time with the order to do away with Fr. Le Floch. The new inquiry was made by a member of a Roman Congregation. He concluded, in effect, that Fr. Le Floch was a friend of "Action Française," that he was dangerous for the Seminary and that he had to be asked to resign. This is just what happened.

In 1926 the Holy See requested Fr. Le Floch to kindly abandon his post as Rector of the French Seminary. He was overwhelmed with sorrow. Fr. Le Floch had never been a politician. He was traditional, attached to the doctrines of the Church and the Popes. In addition he had been a great friend of Pope St. Pius X, who had had great confidence in him. It was precisely because he was a friend of St. Pius X that he was the enemy of the progressive wing.

It was at the same time that I was at the French Seminary that Cardinal Billot was also attacked. He was a first class theologian at the time and remains today well known and studied in our Seminaries. Monseigneur Billot, Cardinal of the Holy Church, was deposed. The purple was taken away from him and he was sent away in penance to Castelgandolfo, quite close to Albano, where the Jesuits have a house. He was forbidden to leave under pretext of having connections with "Action Française."

In fact Cardinal Billot never belonged to "Action Française." He did, however, hold Maurras in high esteem and had cited him in his theology books. In the second volume concerning the Church (De Ecclesia), for example, Cardinal Billot accomplished a magnificent study of liberalism where he took, in the form of notes, several quotations from Maurras. This was a mortal sin! This was all they could find to depose Cardinal Billot. It is not a minor tragedy, for he was one of the great theologians of his time and yet he was deposed as a Cardinal and reduced to the state of a simple priest, for he was not a Bishop. (At that time there were still some Cardinal deacons.) It was already the persecution.  

OPE PlUS XI UNDERWENT THE INFLUENCE OF THE PROGRESSIVE WING

Pope Pius XI himself fell under the influence of the progressives who were already present in Rome. For we see a distinct difference from the Popes before and after. But nevertheless Pope Pius XI at the same time wrote some magnificent encyclicals. He was not a liberal. "Divini Redemptoris," his encyclical against Communism was magnificent. So also was his encyclical on Christ the King, which established the feast of Christ The King and proclaimed the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. His encyclical on Christian Education is absolutely admirable and remains today a fundamental document for those who defend Catholic schools.

If on the level of doctrine Pope Pius XI was an admirable man, he was weak in the order of practical action. He was easily influenced. It is thus that he was very strongly influenced at the time of the Mexican Civil War and gave the Cristeros, who were in the process of defending the Catholic religion and combating for Christ the King, the order to have confidence in the government and to put down their arms. As soon as they had put down their arms they were all massacred. This horrifying massacre is still remembered today in Mexico. Pope Pius XI placed confidence in the government who deceived him. Afterwards, he was visibly very upset. He could not imagine how a government, which had promised to treat with honor those who defended their Faith, could have then gone on to massacre them. Thus thousands of Mexicans were killed on account of their Faith.

Already at the beginning of this century we find certain situations, which announce a division in the Church. Slowly we arrived at it, but the division was very definite just before the council.

Pope Pius XII was a great pope well in his writing as in his way of governing the Church. During the reign of Pius XII the Faith was firmly maintained. Naturally the liberals did not like him, for he brought back to mind the fundamental principles of theology and truth.

But then John XXIII came along. He had a totally different temperament than Pius XII. John XXIII was a very simple and open man. He did not see problems anywhere.

When he decided to hold a Synod Rome they said to him, "But Holy Father, a Synod has to be prepared. At least one year is necessary and perhaps two so as to prepare such a meeting, in order that numerous fruits be gained and that reforms be truly studied and then applied so that your diocese of Rome might draw profit from it. All this cannot be done straight away and in the space of two or three months followed by two weeks of meetings and then all will be fine. It is not possible."

"Oh yes, yes I know, I know, but it going to be a small Synod. We can prepare it in a few months and everything will be just fine."

Thus the Synod was rapidly prepared: a few commissions at Rome, everybody very busy and then two weeks of meetings and all was over with. Pope John XXIII was happy his small Synod had been held, but the results were nil. Nothing had changed in the diocese of Rome. The situation was exactly the same as before.

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The Infiltration of Modernism in the Church (Part I) 

The following conference was given by Archbishop Lefebvre at Montreal, Canada in 1982. It demonstrates by personal experience the tragic corruption of modernism right from the time of Pope Pius XI. The Archbishop describes the extraordinary influence of Monsignor Annibale Bugnini in the framing of the New Mass and how his unprecedented daring brought about the "approval" of this protestantized liturgy. This account of his personal experiences is the very clear demonstration of why Archbishop Lefebvre had to disobey so as to not participate in the self-destruction of the Church. We present it to our readers to allow them to share a more personal viewpoint of the Archbishop's battle for the Church and for the Faith.

The Infiltration of Modernism in the Church (Part I) 

BRIEF HISTORY

I'm happy to remark that every where in the world, everywhere in the Catholic world, courageous people are uniting together around priests who are faithful to the Catholic faith and to the Catholic Church, so as to maintain Tradition, which is the bulwark of our Faith. If there is a movement as general as this it is because the situation in the Church is truly serious.

If Catholics and good priests, some of whom have served in parishes for thirty years to the great satisfaction of their parishioners, have been able to beat the insult of being treated as disobedient rebels and dissidents, it could have only have been so as to maintain the Catholic Faith. They do it knowingly, following the spirit of the martyrs.

Whether one is persecuted by one's own brethren or by the enemies of the Church, it is still to suffer martyrdom, provided it be for the maintaining of the Faith. These priests and faithful are witnesses of the Catholic Faith. They prefer to be considered rebels and dissidents rather than lose their Faith.

Throughout the entire world we are in the presence of a tragic and unheard of situation, which seems never to have happened before in the history of the Church. We must at least try to explain this extraordinary phenomenon. How has it come to pass that good faithful and priests are obliged to fight to maintain the Catholic faith in a Catholic world, which is in the process of totally breaking up?

It was Pope Paul VI himself who spoke of self-destruction within the Church. What does this term self-destruction mean, if it is not that the Church is destroying herself by herself, and hence by her own members. This is already what Pope St. Pius X said in his first encyclical when he wrote: “Henceforth the enemy of the church is no longer outside the church, he is now within." And the Pope did not hesitate to designate those places where he was to be found: "The enemy is found in the seminaries." Consequently, the holy Pope St. Pius X already denounced the presence of the enemies of the Church in the seminaries at the beginning of the century.

Obviously the seminarians of the time, who where imbued with modernism, sillonism and progressivism, later became priests. Some of them even became Bishops and among them were even some Cardinals. One could quote the names of those who were seminarians at the beginning of the century and who are now dead but whose spirit was clearly modernist and progressivist.

Thus already Pope St. Pius X denounced this division in the Church, which was to be the beginning of a very real rupture within the Church and within the clergy.

I am no longer young. During my whole life as a seminarian, as a priest and as a Bishop I have seen this division. I saw it already at the French seminary at Rome where by the grace of God I was able to study. I must admit that I was not very keen to do my studies in Rome. I would personally have preferred to study with the seminarians of my diocese in the Lille Seminary and to become an assistant vicar, and finally a parish priest in a small country parish.

I longed simply to maintain the Faith in a parish. I saw myself somewhat as the spiritual father of a population to which I was sent to teach the Catholic Faith and morals. But it happened otherwise. After the First World War my brother was already at Rome, for he had been separated from the family by the circumstances of the war in the north of France. Consequently my parents insisted that I go to be with him. "Since your brother is already at Rome, at the French seminary, go and join him so as to continue your studies with him." Thus I left for Rome. I studied at the Gregorian University from 1923 to 1930. I was ordained in 1929 and I remained as a priest at the seminary during one year.

THE FIRST VICTIMS OF MODERNISM

During my Seminary years tragic events took place, which now remind me of exactly what I lived through during the Council. I am now in practically the same situation as our Seminary Rector at the time. Fr. Le Floch. When I was there he had already been Rector of the French Seminary at Rome for thirty years. From Brittany, he was a very outstanding man and as strong and firm in the Faith as Brittany granite. He taught us the Papal encyclicals and the exact nature of the Modernism condemned by St. Pius X, the modern errors condemned by Leo XIII and the liberalism condemned by Pius IX. We liked our Fr. Le Floch very much. We were very attached to him.

But his firmness in doctrine and in Tradition obviously displeased the progressive wing. Progressive Catholics already existed at that time. The Popes had to condemn them.

Not only did Fr. Le Floch displease the progressives, but he also displeased the French government. The French government feared that by the intermediary of Fr. Le Floch and by that formation, which was given to the seminarians at the French Seminary in Rome traditional Bishops, would come to France and would give to the Church in France a traditional and clearly anti-liberal direction.

For the French government was Masonic and consequently profoundly liberal and frightened at the thought that non-liberal Bishops could take over the most important posts. Pressure was consequently exerted on the Pope so as to eliminate Fr. Le Floch. It was Francisque Gay, the future leader of the M.R.P., who was in charge of this operation. He came to Rome to exert pressure on Pope Pius XI, denouncing Fr. Le Floch as being, so he said, a member of.’Action Française" and a politician who taught his seminarians to also be members of "Action Française.’

This was all nothing but a lie. For three years I heard Fr. Le Floch in his spiritual conferences. Never did he speak to us of "Action Française." Likewise people now say to me: "You were formerly a member of Action Française.’”  I have never been a member of "Action Française."

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Liberalism has penetrated the Church (Part II)

Excerpts from a conference, Angers, France, 23 November 1980 — Part II (Finish)

I try to explain that we must return to Tradition, that there has been an error, that they are mistaken, that it is necessary to return to a solid foundation, to the things of faith, to the catechism of old, to the sacraments of old, to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of old. There must be a return, even if they do not abandon all that they have done since the Council immediately. A tree is judged by its fruits. Let them at least leave us freedom (i.e., which rite of Mass to use). I do not agree with those who say there is no pope. very grave thing to say that there is no pope. Because the Pope is Liberal, that does not mean that he has ceased to be the Pope.

I do not think that Pope John Paul II is as infected with Liberalism as was Pope Paul VI; but, unfortunately, in view of the fact that he himself professes to be the spiritual son of Pope Paul VI, that he follows the line of Pope Paul VI, that he is there to defend and continue the work of Paul VI, that he feels it his duty to continue all that John and Paul did, whose names he took, we are troubled and we wonder where it will all end? Must we wait yet again for a new pontificate [to initiate a return to Tradition]? Yet, despite all that, the Pope is nonetheless keen to return to Tradition insofar as seminaries, clergy, Church discipline, and religious discipline are concerned. When the Pope speaks of these things, he speaks well. We are pleased to hear him. If only the Pope wished to return in this way in all respects!

I tell you that, quite simply, because you could ask yourselves many questions, as I ask myself, wishing with all my heart, praying morning and evening, night and day, that Tradition might return to the Church. The Pope himself would be more satisfied and happy than anyone if it did. We can only live in Our Lord, and by Our Lord with the reign of Our Lord. Everywhere! Everywhere! In the Liturgy, in social, political, family life, we can do nothing without Our Savior Jesus Christ. Do you see what I am trying to tell you? We must keep a firm line and we must not deviate during these difficult times in which we live. One could be tempted, justifiably, to extreme solutions and say: “No, no. The Pope is not only Liberal, the Pope is heretical! The Pope may well be more than heretical, so there is no pope!”  

That is not so. To be a Liberal is not necessarily to be a heretic, and as a necessary consequence, outside the Church. We must know how to make the necessary distinctions. This is very important if we are to stay on the right path, to stay in the Church. Besides, where would this thinking lead us? If there is no longer a pope, there are no longer any cardinals because, if the Pope isn't pope, when he nominates cardinals these cardinals can no longer elect a pope, because they are not really cardinals. Well then, would an angel from heaven provide us with a pope? The idea is absurd, and not only absurd,but dangerous because then we would be guided perhaps to solutions which are truly schismatic. One might go to find the "pope" of Palmar de Troya who has been excommunicated. He has excommunicated me, he has excommunicated the Pope and everybody ! There are others. One could go to the church of Toulouse, to the church of Rouen, who knows ? To the Mormons, to the Pentecostals, to the Adventists, or everywhere. Souls are lost, and I do not wish to have such a responsibility.

There are those who find me severe perhaps, for insisting that those young priests who do not agree with us, do not agree with that line which I have always followed, leave us. But I cannot allow the wolf into the sheepfold. If today I say there is a Pope, this Pope, we are not obliged to follow him in everything. It is possible to have shepherds who are not always good shepherds in the full sense of the word, and we are not obliged to follow them in everything. But to go from this, to say that we do not have a pope, no! And so they introduce divisions among traditionalists. They introduce division into the Church, and I want nothing to do with this. I can have nothing to do with this, while regretting it profoundly.

 

(One day there will be a Pope) a pope truly like a St. Pius X, and there will be no more problems. Holy Church will find herself once more in the Truth, and we shall be in communion one hundred percent with the pope who will have found Tradition again. Oh, certainly, I shall probably not be alive when that happens, but we hope that an arrangement can be made with Pope John Paul II. I do not in any way despair of an arrangement being made with him. We ask simply perhaps not to get into too much discussion over theoretical problems, to lay aside the questions which separate us, such as that of religious liberty. We are not obliged to settle all these problems now. Time will clarify them and bring a solution.

On a practical level, I ask as I have done so many times, that we be allowed to experiment with Tradition (qu’on nous laisse faire l'expérience de la Tradition!). I might be told: “You can do it!"

Yes, but imagine that the Pope himself said: “Leave them in peace". If he would just say one little word to the bishops: "Let them do it! They are not doing anything bad. They are doing what we did ourselves for half or two-thirds of our lives. Let them do it, and we shall see what happens." That is the only thing that we ask of him.

At that moment I am certain that Truth would regain its rights, that Tradition would regain its rights, and that the Church would find a new youth.

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Liberalism has penetrated the Church (Part I)

The Teaching of Archbishop Lefebvre

Note: As the confusion is clearly growing in the Church today, a new temptation is now appearing which can be summarized like this: “Before Pope Francis, things were much better in the Church”. This would be the same as to say: although this tree is producing bad apples, the tree is still good!  Thus by reading various texts of Archbishop Lefebvre written between 1965 and 1991, one can see that the rot is primarily in the tree itself, that is in the text and spirit of Vatican II Council.  A good tree cannot give bad fruits.   Pope Francis is merely a fruit of the Council. ~ Fr. Daniel Couture

 

Liberalism has penetrated the Church

Excerpts from a conference, Angers, France, 23 November 1980 — Part I

The spirit of Liberalism has penetrated the Church. How can such a thing have happened? Do I really believe that Pope Paul VI had a Liberal mentality? It is not I who say it, but his great friend, Cardinal Daniélou. It can be found in his book, The Memoirs of Cardinal Daniélou, told by His Sister, where it is explicitly stated: “The Cardinal says of Pope Paul VI that he was one of his best friends, that he knew him well and that he had a Liberal outlook.” That is sufficient ! That explains everything that has happened during his pontificate, because the Liberal mentality is one which is tempted by the world, by all those liberties, as if by some sort of enchantment.

The Liberals were enchanted by the French Revolution. When, fifty years later, France found itself confronted with revolution it was also faced with a choice: must the consequences of the revolution be perpetuated or should they be opposed? There were evidently those who were quite opposed to the principles of the revolution, and others who simply said that one should simply oppose the excesses, the abuses, the violence of the revolution. Yes, but it was enough to Christianize the principles of the revolution a little, and one could come to terms with them quite well. Well, that was France’s loss. Pope Leo XIII did not realize that it was really the Masonic leaders that were controlling France at this time, and believed that terms could be agreed. The result was the Combe Ministry and all the monks and nuns expelled from France. The churches plundered, all the wealth of the Church seized. That is what Liberalism is. 

Well, the position with the Council is much the same. There are those who say that the principles could be accepted, but not the excesses. But the Liberal worm is in the fruit. It is a mistake to try to limit the excesses. If the disease is in the fruit it always comes back again. In fact, the worm which is in the fruit must be removed, as must the errors which are at the interior of Liberal thought. One day there will have to be a return to Tradition. We will be forced by events or by disasters which God will perhaps send as a punishment for not accepting the social reign of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. But they will be forced because there will no longer be anything, all will be destroyed, all will be demolished. There will no longer be seminaries, there will no longer be real priests, there will no longer be the Sacrifice of the Mass. Everything will have vanished.

So what is to be done? We are surely obliged to return to Tradition if the Church is to have a true renewal. That is why even without wanting to win, even without wanting to say that it is we who have won, deriving a kind of satisfaction at seeing that we are right - that is not what matters. What matters is the salvation of souls, the continuation of the Church, the duty which we have towards Our Savior Jesus Christ Who should reign. It is that which we uphold, as it is that which makes us steadfast. In any case, we are inevitably the winners from the outset. Were we have to die, were an atomic bomb to kill us all, what we have done, what we have taught, what we have said conforms with the truth, since it conforms with what has been taught, as St. Paul says, in the early Church. This truth cannot perish. It is not possible. So, quite simply, we must continue, as did our parents and our grandparents, to preserve our religion as it always was.  

We shed tears of blood to see the Church deteriorating to this extent, to see the wretched state of our churches, of our priests, of our seminaries, or of those religious orders which sell all their goods. Take, for example, the Sisters of the Order of the Visitation, founded by St. Francis de Sales. The Sisters of the seventy-five convents which remain in France met last year and decided to sell half of them, and use the others for homes for the old sisters. That is what is happening to the convents in France, nearly forty Visitation convents for sale!

Obviously, people write to me from everywhere. They write to me from Quimper: "Monseigneur, the minor seminary at Quimper is for sale. Don't you wish to buy it?"

“Monseigneur, the seminary at Legé is for sale. Couldn’t you buy it?”

This very morning someone said to me: "Monseigneur, the major seminary at Nantes is for sale. Won't you buy it?"

Incredible! And it is like that everywhere. Every week I am told of the sale of a major seminary, or a convent, or an abbey.

We must know how to draw distinctions. As you can well imagine, it was a profound sorrow for me to see some of my priests leave the Society because they do not agree with a line of conduct which I have followed since the foundation of the Society. I have always recognized the Pope. I went to see Pope Paul VI, and I have been to see Pope John Paul II. I am ready to see Pope John Paul II tomorrow, if he asks me, but I am ready to speak the truth.

(Continued next week)

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Abp. Lefebvre, Easter retreat, April 1988 (Part II)

I think it’s better to make ourselves known as we are rather than by means of the videos that we make, to make ourselves known by what we are doing today: a seminary here, a retreat house there, a school here, a priory there, and slowly but surely – with the grace of God, to be sure, it is God who sustains us since we seek to work for our Lord, since we seek to work for the Church, and Our Lord helps us, and that’s what happens. If we made this visitation by Rome, it is because, after 12 years of combat, from 75 to 87, Rome ended by saying that it could not consider us as if we did not exist. The Society is not nothing, traditionalists (including all those who fight the same fight as us and who are close to us), are not nothing. Thus, it is necessary that we do something and so the canonical visitation took place (note: by Cardinal Gagnon and Monsignor Perl, in November-December 1987), and I think that it is already a great victory for Tradition, because this visitation certainly was certainly favorable (at least it was so in words). The latest issue of Fideliter will tell you the details. The visitation was favorable; they expressed sentiments which were openly favorable to us, even to the point that Msgr. Perl said to the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux: “It is with works like yours that one will rebuild the Church.” You cannot make a more beautiful compliment than that! I think that when he said that, he extended it to everything that he saw in the course of his trip, because he more or less passed around the same compliments everywhere, and the Cardinal as well. At the conclusion, you saw it yourselves, the Cardinal officially assisted at the Mass for the renewal of engagements on December 8. To assist at a Mass of someone suspended a divinis is somewhat out of the ordinary for a Cardinal. That was the conclusion, that was the conclusion of his visitation. That is written in history; it cannot be changed, it is done. When they will write the history of the Society, the history of our resistance, the history of our fight, that will be part of the facts written down. That is clear.

            You can say whatever you want, Rome can do whatever it wants afterwards, even to the point of making a denial, “but it wasn’t for this or for that, but he didn’t do that…” It is done, it is said, it is accomplished, it is history. Rome is obliged to recognize the work for the continuation of Tradition as a work for the reconstruction of the Church, a work for the continuation of the institution of the Church. There are obliged to recognize it.

            But will our fight be sufficient, will the development of the Society be sufficient for us to succeed to establish Tradition even in Rome? That is the secret of God. It is possible, it is something possible in the sense that (it would happen) without changing, by continuing to condemn the errors, by remaining with the truth, and Tradition. Let Rome grant us what we ask: that we have an office in Rome, that we have an official representation (note: an official presence) in Rome, without concession, without compromise, without being asked to accept their errors. That would be a second victory for Tradition, a definitive victory for our Lord. For, why not grant us, once we have official representation in Rome by some sort of office, why not grant us a church in Rome? There would no longer be any reason to refuse us a church. There are so many empty churches in Rome. They could well grant us one and thus there would be the official return of Tradition to a church in Rome, with all the traditional ceremonies. That would be extraordinary. And there is no doubt that that would have a very great influence in Rome.

            So, just as I have just said, it would be a second step. It is doubtless a plan that is still more difficult to realize, but who knows? If they want to recognize the benefit of our seminaries, the benefit of our formation of priests, and give us a seminary in Rome, that would be the crowning of our work. We would take you all to Rome and we would make you do all your courses in Latin, dear professors! For then there would be no reason why there would not be seminarians, provided that they come with good intentions, not with the intentions of drowning us, of dividing us, of making their errors spread amongst us. But if there are young men who come from the entire world to Rome, because they want to undertake their seminary studies at Rome, and they come to us, to our seminary, we would do what Rome did throughout the centuries, at those universities: the Gregorian, the Angelicum, the Lateran. Those three great Roman universities have given 60 to 70% of the bishops to the entire world. (At least 60 to 70% of the bishops in the entire world have come from those universities) So! There is no reason why our seminary in Rome, if it pleases God, would not also furnish bishops for the entire world. As you see, we still have a bit of hope! All of that is possible with the grace of God. It is a beautiful dream, but who knows? God can make it happen. For the return of all Christendom to Tradition will only take place with the help of Rome. We can do all that we can, and we surely do all that we can for the return of Tradition. But it is necessary that Rome finish the work by taking up her own Tradition back into her hands. It is not possible otherwise.

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