originally appeared as an editorial by Jean Madiran in Itinéraires
for November 1975.)
The truth is
out at last: "The Second Vatican Council has no less authority
and in certain respects is even more important than that of Nicea."1
So speaks the new religion. Indeed it was a logical necessity that
one day it should openly avow its ambition and its arrogance. This
avowal is of great significance. The council of Nicea is the first
General Council. It lasted from May to June 325, it condemned the
heresy of Arius; that is to say, it affirmed dogmatically the divinity
of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It also promulgated the Nicene Creed,
the first part of the Credo of the Mass where the Son of
God is proclaimed consubstantial with the Father.2
Vatican Council promulgated no infallible and irreformable teaching.
It was pastoral and not dogmatic. But we have seen clearly that
in reality it has become the standard practice to impart to the
pastoral novelties of Vatican II as much authority and more importance
than the dogmatic definitions of previous councils. Here, then,
we witness this practice of conferring prestige by sleight of hand
and then announcing it in formal terms in a categorically affirmative
text. No matter how exalted the man whose signature adorns this
text it is still inadequate to transform falsehood into truth. But
it provides incontrovertible proof that this idea truly represents
the thinking of the party now holding power in the Church.
Those who cherish
and propagate this arrogant idea are the promoters, authors, and
actors of the Second Vatican Council. It is their own work that
they place on a higher level than the work of Nicea. They consider
themselves to have held a more important council! They are
not simply smug in their illusion; they proclaim it with an absolute
assurance. After all, we know how consistent their scheming has
been. Before Vatican II they announced the modest intention of holding
the most important council yet to take place. Evidently, if it is
more important than Nicea it must be the most important council
It was only
possible to entertain the idea of organizing a council of greater
importance than any yet held by totally eclipsing every vestige
of filial piety towards the history of the Church. It is nothing
less than an abuse of power, a public fault, a scandal, to persist
in this delusion after the event, confident of having succeeded,
and to seek to impose this idea on others under threat of excommunication.
novelties of Vatican II having been declared more important than
the dogmatic definitions of previous councils, it follows that henceforth
it is more serious to dispute the most trivial of these reforms
than to reject an irreformable dogma. The conciliar reforms are
so transitory that they are constantly becoming obsolete, moving
along with the current, with the course of evolution. But Mgr. Lefebvre
is pronounced outside the communion of the Church if he so much
as questions their value. At the same time those who deny the virginal
conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and those who teach that the
Mass is no more than a simple commemoration, are still very much
part of that communion. It is a novelty to define communion with
the Church on such a basis. This is no longer the Catholic communion
and so it is inevitable that sooner or later true Catholics must
be excluded from it.
are free to "re-interpret" every revealed dogma you are
now obliged to venerate as beyond criticism the human novelties
introduced into the government of the Church by the conciliar spirit.
Is this clear?
of the Council and its spirit is not ruled out providing it is to
the effect that Vatican II was not sufficiently revolutionary, too
timid in its innovations, too conservative, too attached to the
apostolic tradition. On the same principle, there has been no condemnation
of the new "music-hall" Masses with erotic dancers and
Marxist songs as a deviation from the Mass of Pope Paul VI. Mass
can be celebrated in any way at all as long as it is not according
to the Roman Missal. Similarly, it is permissible to deride the
Council as long as this is done in the interests of innovation,
with a progressive intention. For although the Second Vatican Council
is more important than the Council of Nicea, on the other hand it
is less important than the "conciliar-evolution " to which
it has given birth.
We must not
be duped by the apparent concession which permits Nicea to retain
at least as much authority as Vatican II, if not as much importance.
This concession of ''as much authority," now accepted at its
face value, is in itself an insulting comparison. A pastoral council
does not have as much authority as a dogmatic council. To recognize
it as having as much is arbitrarily to grant the same authority
to a transitory reform as to an irreformable dogma. It is subversive.
But it hasn't
stopped there. We have been able to see where they would like to
lead us since the years 1962-1966. When the review Itinéraires
declared that it accepted the decisions of the latest council
"in the context and living continuity of other councils"
and "in conformity with preceding councils and all the teaching
of the Magisterium," it was condemned by the French hierarchy
on the grounds that this constituted a "rejection" of
the Council. The review Itinéraires was condemned
because, not having appreciated that Vatican II wished itself to
be "more important than Nicea," it presumed that Vatican
II must be interpreted according to the traditional Catholic rule
of conformity to previous councils. This is the opposite of what
the party in power intends to impose upon us. Nothing is to be retained
from previous councils and the teaching of the Magisterium beyond
what can be reconciled with the process of "conciliar evolution,"
the offspring of Vatican II.
We cannot go
along with this.
A claim made by Pope Paul VI.
Since the Council of Nicea the word "consubstantial" has
been a touchstone of orthodoxy. It has been removed from the translation
of the Creed currently in use in English-speaking countries.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109