As was predictable and predicted, Rome is not leaving the Society of St. Pius X alone. As a Newchurch Cardinal puts it, "We can have no peace, as long as the SSPX is doing its thing." By carrot or stick, the Newchurch must somehow de-rail the SSPX, however numerically insignificant the SSPX may be, otherwise what the SSPX represents will sooner or later de-rail the Newchurch, as is already happening.
In the last few weeks two rumours have come flying out of Rome, one to the effect that three of the four SSPX bishops will be "re-incommunicated" at a public Tridentine Mass to be celebrated by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in a major Roman basilica on Saturday, May 24; the other to the effect that the Tridentine Mass Indult will be extended to all Catholic priests before the end of this calendar year, 2003. Whether Rome meant these rumours to be true, or whether Rome can make them come true, perhaps only God knows. In any case, both rumours are of a nature to put the SSPX under pressure, and since many more like them could be aimed at rocking the SSPX off its hinges, then we need to keep our Catholic wits about us. At the risk of saying once more things I have said already, even many times, let me attempt to explain why, even if Rome is seeming to be extremely generous, the SSPX must be extremely careful.
The root of the problem is the "modernization" of the Catholic Church launched - or at least manifested - in the 1960's by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) whose 16 documents revolutionized Catholic teaching, and by the New Order of Mass (1969) which revolutionized the essence of the Church's practice, namely the liturgy of the Mass. Since it is in Catholic principles that the Church cannot change, then the modernizers pretended and still pretend that the up-dating changed nothing essential., However, modernized "Catholics" bear so little resemblance to old-fashioned Catholics, that the change clearly was essential, and in retrospect Vatican II and the New Mass were clearly laying the foundations of what was meant to be a new religion.
Now the old God-centered Catholic religion and the new man-centered Conciliar religion contradict one another, and as all wars are ultimately religious, so a contradiction of religions can only mean war. The Conciliarists owe it to their new faith to root out and destroy the old Faith, while Catholics are in duty bound to refuse and to condemn the false new religion with all its pomps and all its works. That is why soon after Vatican II, Conciliarists were pretending that it was the most important Council in Church history, while a small number of Catholics were denouncing it as the introduction into the Catholic Church of the anti-Catholic principles of the modern world. Similarly in 1969 the Conciliarist Pope Paul VI pretended that the old Mass was done away with, while a handful of Catholic bishops and priests kept it alive, notably - but not solely - Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX which he founded.
Here is the heart of the problem which must never be lost from view. We have a war between two religions which can only come to an end with the death of the one or the other. The Catholics must fight this war with the weapons of Truth. The Conciliarists may fight it by any means available to them. By God's just punishment of many Catholics' lukewarmness, the Conciliarists have been allowed to occupy nearly all positions of power and influence within the structure of the Church. These they have used to the full to establish their new religion.
However, the Catholics had and have on their side the Truth, which "is mighty and will prevail." The Conciliarists were unable to stop Archbishop Lefebvre from denouncing Vatican II and from saving the old Mass. They have so far proved unable to stop his SSPX from continuing to do the same. But the survival of their new religion depends upon the destruction of that old religion which clearly shows Vatican II and the New Mass to be false. Therefore they must destroy, break up, cripple or corrupt the SSPX, which presents for the moment the largest organized resistance to Conciliarism.
One obvious strategy for the Romans is as old as the hills: "Divide and rule." Hence the first rumour, pretending that three of the SSPX's four bishops think one way, while the fourth thinks another way. But first one and then another of the three bishops said it was all nonsense, and the third would no doubt have publicly said so too, but he probably could not be bothered. (As for that fourth, he basked in the publicity!) And if, as the rumour had it, Rome thinks that 70% of the SSPX priests would be happy to be "re-incommunicated" with the supposed three bishops, then Rome knows our priests as little as it knows our bishops.
The second rumour represents another strategy, also as old as the hills: "Smother them in kindness," e.g. promise to grant in 2003 the pre-condition demanded in 2001 by the SSPX for entering upon negotiations with Rome, namely the permission for all priests freely to use the old rite of Mass. Now whether Rome could follow through on such a promise in the teeth of the opposition of a significant proportion of the world's Conciliar bishops, is less than sure. But if it could, then the SSPX would only rejoice that the free use of the true rite of Mass would mean a steadily increasing flow of grace throughout the Church, as priests realized what a treasure had been put back in their hands. However, even if Rome also "re-incommunicated" all four SSPX bishops, the other pre-condition of 2001, still the SSPX engaged itself in 2001 only to enter upon negotiations for its reconciliation with this Rome, and almost certainly the Conciliarists would now insist upon the SSPX in some way recognizing Vatican II, which the SSPX cannot do. The very documents of that Council, not just its aftermath, are shot through with the new religion.
Nevertheless, the strategy of "smothering with kindness" presents real advantages for Rome. Supposing Rome overrode its own bishops and unilaterally declared, "The SSPX is simply reconciled with Rome and re-admitted into the Church, including all four bishops, without conditions, without demands"!? What would the SSPX do then? If the SSPX refused, it would really look churlish. But if it accepted, there would be an end to our present protective marginalization, and there would be a mass of contaminating contacts with "Catholics" who, having no grasp of the problem of Conciliarism, have no real grasp on true Catholicism. It could mean the end of the SSPX's defending the Faith.
Such a proposition from Rome might be unlikely, or impossible, but, to cripple the SSPX, it might be the smartest thing that they could do. In any case it highlights the central, central problem. Even if these Romans were to speak exactly the same language as the SSPX still, by their modernist religion, they would not be meaninq the same things. Therefore the "reconciliation" would be verbal, not real, and the SSPX would have lost the protection of its present marginalization.
Then why even think of sitting down to negotiate anything with these Romans? Firstly, "they occupy the chair of Moses" (Mt XXIII, 2), so they have a huge influence upon the eternal salvation or damnation of millions of souls. Secondly, they have, with these huge responsibilities, souls of their own to be saved, and one or other of them may just be able still to profit from contact with anti-Conciliar Catholics. That is why Archbishop Lefebvre maintained contacts with the Romans all the way down to May of 1988.
However, these contacts came to an end with the episcopal consecrations of that June, by when, as the Archbishop said, Rome had demonstrated by its actions such an uncare for souls that the problem had decisively moved out of the domain of diplomacy, into the domain of dogma. So whenever a Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos now insists upon diplomacy, he is from our point of view queering any contacts before they even start. For were the SSPX to negotiate on anything less than dogma, the results would prove deadly for the Faith, as has just been seen once more with the priests of Campos, Brazil.
But can non-elastic dogma be even conceived by elastic minds, for which words have no non-elastic meaning? Personally, I think that the mass of minds today are so far gone in fantasy that only a Chastisement will bring them back to reality, and to do this it will have to take a large number of souls out of this life. Pray meanwhile, dear readers, that the SSPX do what God wants of it.
The special insidiousness of Conciliarism by its apparent resemblance to Catholicism will be a main object of study in the Mens Doctrinal Session to be held at Winona this summer from Tuesday, July 22, to Saturday, July 26. The subject will be difficult, three major encyclicals of John Paul II, on God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, but the books of Professor Dörmann will be our clear guide. These books are available from the Angelus Press.
Let us for the month of May especially implore the help and protection of the Mother of God, and let us pray her Rosary to help her obtain the salvation millions of souls floundering in a world of confusion.
With all good wishes, in Christ,
In Christ, + Richard Williamson