Si Si No No Title

June 1993 No. 2

Catholics in Surrender!


The monthly magazine 30 DAYS (January 1993, pp. 45-50) published a dossier on the “Lefebvris,”1 (reprinted herein on pages 3b-6b) yet in the same issue it had distanced itself from them in its Editorial, entitled: "In necessariis unitas" or "Keep unity in all necessary things." This comes down to saying that the "Lefebvrist" standpoint is not on matters of Faith, but on debatable theological questions, not yet settled by the Church.

Therefore they say, if the Church has not yet officially pronounced anything on these questions, theologians can freely discuss and debate them, and the faithful are free to believe any opinion.

The 3O DAYS Editorial puts forward three points. The first point bases itself upon a quote of Pope Pius IX taken from the encyclical Qui Pluribus (1846), in which the Pope affirms his confidence in the "marvelous providence" with which God guides and protects the Church, even "in such difficult times as these for Christian Society," employing "the most insignificant means in governing the Church."

The Editorial therefore concludes: "If the Lefebvrists were to consider these words of Pius IX of value, not only out of faithfulness to a great Pope of the past, but because they are ever true, they would adopt a very different attitude towards the current legitimate Successor of Peter and towards the last ecumenical Council, which was legitimately convened and celebrated."



Let us reply by pointing out the following:

1) Our attitude to evil and error: There is no doubt that Providence guides and protects the Church - even in its saddest and most difficult moments. Nor do we doubt that the Church can make use of "the most insignificant means," bringing good out of evil and even making use of bad persons to bring about good. Yet, neither is there any doubt that Providence does not magically turn evil into good, and error (which is an evil to the intelligence) into truth.

Evil is evil: error is error. Man, though free, is not free to choose evil. He must choose good and avoid evil. He cannot be freed from this obligation, for which he will be answerable before God. Therefore, with evil remaining the evil it is, and error being the error that it is, he is obliged to make a stand against evil and error.

It was certainly part of the providential plan that Jesus be betrayed by Judas, condemned to death by the Sanhedrin and renounced by a number of Jews. However, Judas, the Jewish leaders, and those who rejected Our Lord, carry with themselves a personal responsibility, for which they will have to answer. Jesus referred to His Passion as "the chalice the Father has given me." Yet he accuses the Jews of always resisting the Holy Spirit, and says of Judas: "It would have been better for him had he never been born!"

Man enters the Providential plan as a creature endowed with freedom, not under constraint. He is, therefore, responsible for the good or bad use of this freedom. Consequently, he is responsible for the stance he takes in the face of evil and error - things which God merely tolerates in furthering His unfathomable designs.

We cannot see why the words of Pius IX - not only true then, but forever true - should change our attitude towards the errors and destructive course upon which the Church has embarked upon, nor our attitude towards the Catholics who are knowingly and willingly partaking in these errors and destruction.

2) Our attitude toward Vatican II: We do not doubt that the last Council was "legitimately convened." Yet this legitimacy does not give the Council the power to make a Council dogmatic, when it explicitly stated itself to be merely pastoral! Consequently, one cannot afterwards evade the fact that the Council's teaching can be, and in view of today's circumstances, must be judged in the light of the constant and universal Faith of the Church - which no Council, Ecumenical or not, can contradict.

Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX


3) Our attitude toward the Pope: We are not here doubting the legitimacy of the present successor of St. Peter. The question bears more upon the legitimate use of some of the powers he has inherited. A person can unlawfully use a legitimate power and the mere fact of possessing this legitimate power does not make all his actions automatically lawful. This is even more true within the Church than in civil society, because the Church deals with something far more important than temporal goods - it deals with the eternal salvation of men.

"For we can do nothing against the truth," says St. Paul (II Cor 13:8). To the objection that Christ should not have publicly and severely rebuked and offended the priests and princes of the Jews because of the authority they held, St. Thomas replies (Summa Theologica IIIa question 42 article 2, ad 3), that when religious leaders publicly use their authority for evil purposes, then they deserve to be publicly and severely rebuked – as Daniel did to the two Jewish elders in the case of Susanna (Dan. 13:52), who used their lawful power in an unlawful way.

When the Faith is at stake, as it is today, St. Thomas expressly obliges the faithful to publicly reprimand their own prelates (Summa Theologica IIa IIae question 33, article 4, ad 2).

Even though we believe that Divine Providence will never abandon the Church and even though we accept the legitimacy of both Vatican II and the current successor of St. Peter neither of these are sufficient motives for throwing a cloak over the errors of Vatican II and the disasters that followed in its wake - errors and disasters which seriously threaten our Faith and that of our neighbor!



Secondly, the 30 DAYS Editorial seeks, with the help of St. Thomas, to offer a Catholic interpretation of paragraph 22 from the encyclical Gaudium et Spes, which says: "Filius Dei incarnatione sua cum omni homine quodammodo se univit" ("By His Incarnation, the Son of God has united Himself in some way to every man.")

According to the Editorial, the Council simply resumes St. Thomas Aquinas' treatment in the Summa Theologica. The expression "in some way" (quodammodo) states that which St. Thomas also says (Summa Theologica III question 8, article 3), which is that all men are called to unite themselves to Christ, and therefore, those who are not united to Him in act, are united to Him potentially, or virtually.

Yet if 30 DAYS wishes to establish such an interpretation of Gaudium et Spes, it should also:

(a) Prove that Catholic doctrine has not been ecumenically watered down or deformed in Gaudium et Spes.

(b) Prove that the post-Vatican II application of this passage (as well as the Vatican II documents on ecumenism) reflects the Catholic sense, which they now wish to give this passage.

In reality, St. Thomas' text, to which the Editorial has recourse, also states that even though all men are called and thus have the possibility of uniting themselves to Christ all, however, are not united to Him since for some this potential union with Christ will never pass into actual union. Yet, we must point out that, not only did Gaudium et Spes fail to clarify this mode of union (which 30 DAYS now takes it upon itself to do), but Gaudium et Spes passes over St. Thomas in silence, where he explains that this potential union remains merely potential and nothing more than that, for those who resist the call of Christ!

Furthermore, these clarifications should have been obligatory, since Gaudium et Spes (#22) speaks of "all men," thus placing itself within the context of individual subjective redemption, which is conditional; whereas objective redemption is universal and absolute. In other words, Christ died for all and therefore all can be saved, but each individual man can only be saved if he cooperates with God's grace.



The result (or perhaps the aim?) of this watering-down of Catholic doctrine, or deformation, is clear for all to see. We have the heresy of unconditional salvation for all men. Hell exists, they say, but it's empty! We have the ecumenical hugging and kissing with all those who, by virtue of objective redemption, are certainly called to unite themselves to Christ, but who in fact, in act, are not united to Him due to their culpable refusal to do so.

The desired or wishful attempt by 30 DAYS, at giving Gaudium et Spes (#22) a traditional Catholic interpretation, is belied by the heterodox ecumenical behavior that we have witnessed in the thirty years since Vatican II. If it really had a true Catholic sense, then could someone please explain why the Church today follows a "pastoral" path diametrically opposed to the path followed in the true Catholic sense for 2,000 years?

If Gaudium et Spes has a true Catholic spirit, then could somebody please explain why there is so much communicatio in sacris (“participation in non-Catholic worship") today? This is something that was always forbidden by both Divine law and Ecclesiastical Law - "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid! (Titus 3:10)"; Old Code of Canon Law, c.1258 § 1; c.1063; c.2319; c.1325 § 3, etc. Today, however, the Supreme Authority, and those under him, continually and publicly gives us a bad example (Yes, we can and must rebuke that!).

We have examples at Assisi, Brussels, etc.! We have the encouragement of mixed marriages as being models of ecumenism - something the Church has always discouraged! This change of direction clearly shows that Paragraph 22 of Gaudium et Spes is not understood in a Catholic sense. Virtual union, that is to say purely possible union, with Christ, which may or may become actual union (a dogma of Faith), is not looked upon as being an effectual and real union: "By his incarnation, the Son of God has united Himself in some way to every man."



The verdict to all this is that, if, as the Editorial insists, "The Council simply resumes St. Thomas Aquinas ' treatment in the Summa Theologica of the question if Christ be head of all men," then it has done so very badly, while its application of the doctrine has been even worse!

Sometimes, as in the documents quoted by 30 DAYS, the Pope also says Catholic things, speaking in a Catholic way - such as the necessity of the Church and Baptism. That we do not deny. Yet, the tragedy or irony of that statement is the word "also." For one should expect the Pope to speak only of Catholic things and only in a Catholic way, the word also should not come into it!

Furthermore, why are "Catholic things" presented to Catholics alone? Why, as in the case of Redemptoris missio, are they said after a total breakdown in the Catholic missionary field? What isn't surprising, is the fact that today's ecumenism does not mix the various "religious traditions," but, for the time being, limits itself to putting them all on the same level, as if they were all of divine origin!

When the need and necessity of Church and Baptism will once again be preached to everyone, Catholics and non-Catholics, without "ecumenical" exceptions being made of persons, then will we accept the defensive argument put forward by 30 DAYS!



The worst, however, comes out of the Editorial's third point of issue, wherein it deals with the problem of Religious Liberty and the relations between Church and State. The Editorial manifests a total ignorance of Catholic doctrine, or, to be more precise, it manifests the liberal deformation of the subject.

The Editorial quotes Dignitatis Humanae (#13), in "reproposing ‘Libertas ecclesiae,’ not only as a condition for its mission, but as the 'fundamental principle' in relations between the Church and the entire civil order" and it concludes: "If the followers of Msgr. Lefebvre were to adhere to this principle, proper to Church tradition, they would not be long in calling for the Christianization of laws - an impossible feat today - or in talking about Catholic nations. Such a call and such a lack of realism, might not only be a contradiction of the fundamental principle of 'Libertas ecclesiae,' but could even lend a hand to 'enemies bonded in a vile union' (as Pius IX said in his first encyclical) in combating what little remains of the Christian people."



The teaching of Pius IX, when unanimous and constant with that of all the other Roman Pontiffs constitutes part of the infallible Magisterium of the Church. If 30 DAYS knew, and referred to, the whole substance of that doctrine - and not just favorable excerpts of that doctrine - then 30 DAYS would also know that:

(a) Libertas ecclesiae is not the unique principle upon which Catholic doctrine, in Church-State relations, is founded. Neither does the claim of being a “fundamental principle” give it any right of annulling all other principles, especially those principles governing the duties of society, its leaders and its individuals, towards God; nor can it annul the principles governing society's duties in relation to the one sole religion that God has revealed to man (cf. Pius IX, Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors; Leo XIII, lmmortale Dei, Libertas, Diuturnum Illud; Pius XII, Ciriesce, etc.)

(b) They would also be aware of the fact that the Church has never considered the Christianization of civil law and the existence of Catholic nations as a threat to the freedom of the Church, as 30 DAYS seems to think. On the contrary, the Church has always considered, and rightly so, that such a Christianization of laws and nations, is the best guarantee for the freedom of the Church. We cannot see how the Church can be better protected in an agnostic State, which manifests religious indifference, rather than in a Catholic State!

(c) It would also be known to them that the Church has never had "a lack of realism," though taking into account existing situations or "the perverse times of today" (Pius VI), She has never renounced the unchangeable principles governing Church-State relations. On the contrary, "She does not dissimulate the fact that this collaboration of principles [between Church and State] is something normal nor does She think it an ideal for obtaining the union of all people in the one True Religion, nor ideal for unanimity of action between Church and State" (Allocution of Pius XII: Iis qui interfuerunt Conventui X lnternationali de Scientiis Historicis, September 7, 1955). Why should they, who are called "Lefebvrists, " think any differently to their Holy Mother, the Church?

(d) Furthermore, contrary to what 30 DAYS seems to think, principles on Church-State relations are not contingency norms given by the Roman Pontiffs to suit the circumstances of the day, but now no longer effective. Nothing can be further from the truth! These principles are the constant and universal teaching of the Catholic Church. They are founded upon Divine Revelation and right reason. They have been handed down, unchanged, by the Fathers of the Church (Ss. John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nazianzen, Augustine and Ambrose) to our present age, as seen in the encyclical of Leo XIII, lmmortale Dei. This encyclical was written in the face of apostasizing Catholic nations with the intention of also handing down unchanged the Catholic teaching "on the Christian constitution of States." For a deeper study on this matter, we refer you to the Dictionaire de Theologie Catholique, under "Eglise." As regards the immutability of Catholic doctrine, consult Leo XIII Diuturnum Illud and Sapientiae Christianae; Pius XI Divini Illius Magistri; Pius XII Summi Pontificatus, etc.

(e) Finally, they should see the errors of liberalism and modernism, which they are calmly reproposing by reducing Catholic doctrine on Church-State affairs only to that, which is contained in Libertas ecclesiae. Meanwhile avoiding the rest of Catholic doctrine merely to uphold this liberal and modernist notion of ecclesiastical freedom! For it contains the Catholic liberalism of Lamenais; the modernist notion of separation of Church and State; again, the modernist religious indifferentism of State whereby it gives equal footing to all religions (true and false), as long as public order is not disturbed!

These lamentable errors, Dignitatis Humanae, has made its own - errors that have been condemned by the infallible Magisterium of the Church and which errors consequently must be rejected. We refer you to Gregory XVI; Mirari vos; Pius IX, Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors; Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno; Leo XIII, lmmortale Dei, Libertas, Diuturnum lllud; Pius XII Ci riesce, etc.



In conclusion we can say that amongst "Lefebvrists" there is no "confusion between the contents of Faith, Catholic morality and proper and historical judgments on the contemporary world. (30 DAYS p. 45)"

The question is not historical, but doctrinal. No Council has the power to abolish a doctrine that has been constantly and universally taught by the Church and presented as unchanged and certain by a long series of Roman Pontiffs. How much more true is this when a Council tries to abolish such teaching when merely faced with unfavorable circumstances! Nothing is impossible with God! Even the rebirth of Catholic nations! Principles must be protected and maintained, something the Church has never failed to do, regardless of favorable or adverse circumstances!

Finally, we must remember that one cannot remain a Catholic by accepting some and rejecting other parts of the constant and universal (quod semper et ubique) teaching of the Church. This right of choice is equivalent to heresy, and, consequently, is something unacceptable to Catholics, let alone forbidden! It is even less permissible for a journal, which pretends to be of Catholic inspiration, to accept and reject whatsoever it wishes. The consequential responsibility before God is frightening! Pope St. Pius X already experienced the deviation of the Catholic Press in his own day. As regards the journals of these compromising Catholics, Pope St. Pius X had this to say about them: "Failing to convert any of our adversaries (who instead, laugh at their Catholic pretensions), they do the greatest harm to good souls! (Letter to the Provost of Casalpusterlengo, October 20, 1912)"


Translated from Courrier de Rome April 1993.

1. The Society of Saint Pius X rejects the label, "Lefebvrist," because of its false and derogatory implication that the Society is not Catholic. However, we retain its usage as it appeared in the 3O DAYS article reprinted here for the sake of authenticity.


Second article>> The Heirs of Archbishop Lefebvre and the Council


Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)

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