I: - AN ACCUSATION
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.
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
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
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."
reply by pointing out the following:
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
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.
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!"
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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!
II – THE MISINTERPRETATION
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.")
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.
30 DAYS wishes to establish such an interpretation
of Gaudium et Spes, it should also:
that Catholic doctrine has not been ecumenically watered down
or deformed in Gaudium et Spes.
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.
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!
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
DOCTRINE WASHES HELL AWAY!
(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.
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
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!).
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."
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!
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!
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!
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
III – DIGNITATIS HUMANAE
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.
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."
MEANS THE WHOLE TRUTH!
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:
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,
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!
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?
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.
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!
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.
- PRINCIPLES CANNOT BE ABOLISHED
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)"
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!
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)"
from Courrier de Rome April 1993.
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
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)