In this year’s May-June issue of the French bi-monthly magazine “Sous la Banničre”, on page 7, there is a most interesting quotation attributed to Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. It reads as follows:
“A source in Austria, preferring to remain anonymous, assures us that Cardinal Ratzinger recently made the following admission to an Austrian bishop who is a friend of his: ‘I have two problems on my conscience: Archbishop Lefebvre and Fatima. As to the latter, my hand was forced. As to the former, I failed'.”
Of course if the “source in Austria” prefers to remain anonymous, we have no means of verifying whether the Cardinal truly said these things about Archbishop Lefebvre and Fatima, but the quotation is at least true to life, so it is worth dwelling on for a few moments.
As for what the Cardinal says about Fatima, we suspected back in June of 2000, when the Vatican – with the Cardinal in the forefront – supposedly released the third Secret, that there was some trickery going on. Either Rome was still hiding the true Secret, the one kept in his room by Pius XII but never looked at, or Rome was revealing the true Secret but twisting its interpretation. Either way, we said to ourselves at that time, Rome was wanting to have done with Fatima, and we saw Cardinal Ratzinger playing a leading part in the manoeuvre. Now comes the quotation from Austria confirming that the Cardinal was indeed taking part in a manoeuvre. Who “forced his hand”? Was it John-Paul II? Some hidden power behind both Pope and Cardinal? God knows.
As for what the quotation says about Archbishop Lefebvre, there too, if the quotation is not true it is certainly true to life. In May of 1988 when Archbishop Lefebvre was threatening to consecrate with or without Rome’s permission bishops for the Society of St. Pius X, it was Cardinal Ratzinger who represented the Holy See in the negotiations meant to head off the “break” that such consecrations would involve. We recall that the Cardinal almost “succeeded” on May 6 when Archbishop Lefebvre signed a draft agreement, but the Cardinal “failed” when the Archbishop after a sleepless night took his signature back on the following day. And now comes the quotation from Austria confirming that the Cardinal still sees the termination of those negotiations as a “failure”.
This confirmation is important as suggesting that the Cardinal will remain, now he is Pope, in the same frame of mind to deal with the Society of St. Pius X in the audience which this August 29 he is due to grant to Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor at the head of the Society, Bishop Bernard Fellay. In other words, it is highly likely both that the present Pope is sincerely convinced that the “break” between the Society and Rome must be brought to an end, and that he will give all the appearances of being of good will when he employs all possible means, including his long experience of Roman diplomacy and all the prestige of his now exalted rank, to bring the “break” to an end.
In fact, a Rome-SSPX agreement seems impossible. And of course if the Society rejoined Rome, the resistance of Catholic Tradition would carry on without it, and if the Pope “converted”, then instead of the gentle war now being waged on his right by Tradition, he would be faced with a savage war being waged on his left by the cabal of neo-modernists. Either way, the war goes on between the friends and the enemies of the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But what is important here and now for Catholics who will be following with interest the up-coming meeting between Rome and the Society, is not to fall into any of the traps that the Devil will be setting for them.
Firstly, the fact that the Society is asking to be received in audience by the Holy Father does not mean that it is on the point of betraying. If there is no contact between Tradition and Rome, now will the truth of Tradition ever make itself heard in Rome?
Secondly, there being a contact does not mean that an agreement is possible. Let all the Catholics who dream of fitting together Catholic Tradition and the present neo-modernist authorities of the Church come back down to earth. Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth will one day re-unite, but nothing for the moment indicates that that day is tomorrow – or the day after!
Lastly – and this is the subtlest trap of them all – let nobody think that because the Pope is of good will, therefore he cannot be a neo-modernist, or that because he is a neo-modernist, therefore he cannot be of good will. The present crisis of the Church would be much less grave and would deceive far fewer people if the neo-modernists were obviously of ill will. It is characteristic of these last times that bad principles are so widespread that few people are aware of the fact, and many people do evil convinced that they are doing good. That is why the Cardinal’s quotation is true to life in which he says that his “failure” of 1988 weighs “on his conscience”.
Let us pray to the Mother of God for Benedict XVI to see, above all the need to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and if we ourselves can see, let us pray to her that we too not go blind – “He who thinks he stands, let him take care not to fall”, says St. Paul (I Corinthians X, 12). The times are bad!
In Christ, + Richard Williamson
For previous articles in this same vein, see ARCHIVES