Negotiations with Rome

by Msgr de Galarreta
with the permission of Fr. Puga, from the Ecône seminary.
June 3, 2001


Msgr Alfonso de Galarreta, one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in June 1988, is presently Superieur of the Spain-Portugal District of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X. Here are a few words taken from the homily given at the Seminary of Econe on 3rd June 2001. Bishop de Galarreta gave his personal position on the recent contacts of the Society of St Pius X with Rome. (Paragraph titles have been added) Following is an unofficial translation, by Fr. Anthony Chadwick (priest and professional French to English translator).


Rome Refuses

I would like to give my point of view concerning contacts we have had with Rome. Rome has given an official reply in writing where the two conditions on which we insisted are refused. From the beginning we wanted a discussion on the problems of the faith, the present apostasy, doctrine, theology, etc. The Roman authorities have given a practical orientation to our contacts, purely practical. This no longer really interested us because we knew where all this would end up. In this letter, therefore, the Vatican imposed implicitly the same old conditions: accept the Council, accept the New Mass, the new litugy. In brief: accept all the reforms and developments stemming from the Council. We are back at square one, you see. This is of course impossible to accept. They give us everything and take everything away: it is a fool's market. They propose to accept us as we are, but forbid us to oppose the reforms. For us it is precisely a condition sine qua non. We say to them, since you want to put yourselves in a purely practical point of view in leaving doctrine to one side, then, do you recognise us as we are and will you give us freedom to speak against all those things. They, on the other hand, impose the same condition but in the opposite direction! Therefore the fundamental problem is manifest! Naturally, we expected this.

The Danger of Believing that Rome offers us What they are not offering us

It has to be said that we find that there are in Rome, among those who are interested in us, we could say essentially two different tendencies: those who are speculative modernists, more intellectual therefore more logical and coherent, also more sectarian. Then there are pragmatic modernists, more practical, who are obviously more conservative since they adapt to reality, and therefore more accomodating in our regard, but they are also less sincere, double faced. I speak objectively, not judging intentions, but looking at facts: as people are in reality, independently of intentions or desires. The great danger with us is not a question of letting up on doctrine - no-one is ready to let up on doctrine, this is out of the question - but that is not the problem. Our problem is not in this perspective, but to mistake our wishes for realities, to believe that the impossible is possible, and therefore to believe that Rome is offering what Rome is not offering us. This is now as clear as daylight, and no doubt is possible as they have just themselves imposed those conditions. The reality is as it is. We would like it to be otherwise, of course. It is a pity but that is how it is.

A New Mass Imposed on the Church by Practical Considerations

Therefore, at Rome, there is that more speculative modernist tendency and the other more practical tendency. Now, we must not forget that modernism was imposed on the Church by practical means. Look at the new mass for example, it was a group of theologians and liturgists, an elite, who concocted and created this new mass almost from nothing, and no-one wanted it! When Msgr Bugnini presented his normative mass to the bishops, after the Council, two years before the promulgation of the new mass, the majority rejected it. This was the same mass that Paul VI imposed because they had their idea, they had made a liturgy, a style of worship, in consequence with the new theology, with a new religion. So, to get this new mass accepted, they acted in practical terms, even though most of the faithful, priests and bishops did not want it. Therefore modernism was introduced into the Church by this practical way, not by conviction to begin with. Only the elite was rotten. In days of old, Cranmer acted in the same way to introduce protestantism into England. An identical situation.

Silencing the voice of Tradition?

That is what Rome is trying to do again. They give us everything, but you have to swallow the Council. It is like saying to the Police: you can talk against stealing, crime, etc., but you must not touch a single thief, not one criminal. You have to respect his rights and let him do what he wants. It would be just as good as saying: you can play at Don Quixote, go against the windmills, you can persecute intellects, in abstracto, but don't touch realities. No, we cannot do this. It is a problem of faith, as simple as that. It's not a question of people, obedience or charity, nor of respect or this or that - it's a problem of faith. Never will we accept a practical agreement that would be subject to the condition of silencing the voice of Tradition, the voice of the Catholic Faith. We can do nothing against truth but we must defend truth. We note: they ask us to be silent! Consequently our answer will be no. A door will meanwhile remain open to repeat our objections in doctrinal
matters of the faith.

Render to Rome even the Tesitmony of Truth

Some people could say: then there must be no contacts at all. I would say: no, or: it depends. It is a question of prudence. By principle, we ought to have them for it can happen that God may give His grace to some of them, we have no way of knowing. In this case, it is our duty to witness to truth and give the reason for our position and our attitude, this to Rome and elsewhere, but above all Rome...

+ Alfonso de Galarreta
Ecône, 3rd June 2001

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