Reverend and dear Fathers,
The recent publication of the Doctrinal Declaration, addressed by the General Council of the Society of St Pius X to the Church authorities in Rome on April 15 last year, confirms our worst fears. We waited for nearly a year to know what it contains. It proves once and for all that the present leadership of the Society of St Pius X means to lead it away from the direction set for it by Archbishop Lefebvre, and towards the ideas and ideals of the Second Vatican Council.
However busy you may be with the daily ministry, this is bound to concern you because it means that the souls under your care are, through you, coming under Superiors meaning to lead them and yourselves towards, even into, the great apostasy of modern times. We recall that it is Superiors who mould their subjects and not the other way around – have we not observed a number of good Society priests, one after another, giving up the fight for the Faith as we know Archbishop Lefebvre led it, and instead going with the flow, with the strong and very different current flowing for some years now from the top of the Society downwards ?
Detailed analysis will confirm the danger of each of the Declaration's ten paragraphs, as outlined only briefly below: --
I Fidelity promised to the "Catholic Church" and to the "Roman Pontiff" can easily be misdirected today towards the Conciliar Church as such, and to the Conciliar Pontiffs. Distinctions are needed to avoid confusion.
II Acceptance of teachings of the Magisterium in accordance with Lumen Gentium # 25 can easily be understood, especially in conjunction with Rome's 1989 Profession of Faith which is mentioned in a footnote of the Declaration, as requiring acceptance of Vatican II doctrines.
III - 1 Acceptance of Vatican II teaching on the College of Bishops as contained in Lumen Gentium, chapter III, is, despite the "Nota Praevia", a significant step towards accepting Conciliar collegiality and the democratisation of the Church.
III - 2 Recognition of the Magisterium as sole authentic interpreter of Revelation runs a grave risk of submitting Tradition to the Council, especially when the interpretation of any break between them is automatically to be rejected (cf. III,5 below).
III - 3 The definition of Tradition as “the living transmission of Revelation” is highly ambiguous, and its ambiguity is only confirmed by the vague words about the Church, and by the quotation from the equally ambiguous Dei Verbum #8, which follow.
III - 4 The proposition that Vatican II should "throw light" on Tradition by "deepening" it and "making it more explicit", is thoroughly Hegelian (since when did contradictories explain and not exclude one another ?), and it risks falsifying Tradition by twisting it to fit the multiple falsehoods of the Council.
III - 5 The statement that the novelties of Vatican II must be interpreted in the light of Tradition, but that no interpretation implying any break between the two is acceptable, is madness (All shirts are to be blue, but any non-blue shirt must be taken to be blue !). This madness is none other than that of Benedict XVI's "Hermeneutic of continuity".
III - 6 Giving credit to the novelties of Vatican II as being legitimate matter of theological debate is gravely to underestimate their harmfulness. They are fit only to be condemned.
III - 7 The judgment that the new sacramental Rites were legitimately promulgated is gravely misleading. The New Order of Mass especially is much too harmful to the common good of the Church to be a true law.
III - 8 The "promise to respect" as Church law the New Code of Canon Law is to respect a number of supposed laws directly contrary to Church doctrine.
Reverend Fathers, whoever studies these ten paragraphs in the original text can only conclude that their author or authors have given up the Archbishop's fight for Tradition, and have gone over in their minds to Vatican II. Do you wish yourself and your flock to be moulded by such Superiors ?
Nor let it be said that the first two and last three of the ten paragraphs are broadly taken from the Archbishop's own Protocol of May 5, 1988, so that the Declaration is faithful to him. It is well known that on May 6 he repudiated that Protocol because he himself recognized that it made too many concessions for the Society to be able to continue defending Tradition.
Another error is to say that the danger is over because the Declaration has been "withdrawn" by the Superior General. The Declaration is the poisoned fruit of what has become a liberal mind-set at the top of the Society, and that mind-set has not been recognized, let alone retracted.
A third misconception is to say that since no agreement has been signed with the apostates of Rome, then there is no further problem. The problem is less the agreement than the desire of any agreement that will grant to the Society official recognition, and that desire is still very much there. Following the whole modern world and the Conciliar Church, the Society's leadership seems to have lost its grip on the primacy of truth, especially Catholic Truth.
Reverend Fathers, "What cannot be cured must be endured." Blind leaders are a punishment from God. However, the least that you can do about this disastrous Declaration is to study it for yourselves with everything that led up to it, otherwise you will lose your Society without realizing it, just as the mass of Catholics lost their Church with Vatican II, and did not realize it. Then having made the disaster clear in your own mind, you must tell the truth to your Society flock, namely the danger in which your Superiors are placing their faith and therewith their eternal salvation.
To all of us in that Society which Archbishop Lefebvre made into a worldwide fortress of the Faith, Our Lord is now putting the question of John, VI, 67 : "Will you also leave Me?"
Eclipse of the Church and Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday in the life of Our Lord was that day between His appalling death on the Cross and His glorious Resurrection, when His human body, lifeless without its human soul, lay in the dark tomb, unseen to human eye. Our Lord's enemies seemed so successfully to have crushed Him that the Incarnate God was in complete eclipse, and only the faith of Our Lady in her Divine Son remained unshaken. All His other followers she had to sustain, because even the most devout of them felt bewildered and lost.
Now as being the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church follows the life's course of His physical body. Down all its 2,000 years of history the Church has always been persecuted by the enemies of Christ, and in many parts of the world at various times it has been virtually wiped out. Yet surely it has never been going into complete eclipse like it seems to be doing today. God designed his Church as a monarchy, to be held together by the Pope, and we have just seen a Pope resigning, no doubt in part because he himself, mesmerized by modern democratic thinking, never fully believed in his own supreme office. Taking the papal tiara off his coat of arms, and signing himself always as "Bishop of Rome", whatever were his intentions when he resigned in February, he surely helped, humanly speaking, to undermine the divine institution of the Papacy.
Certainly by Benedict XVI's resignation and by the succeeding conclave the enemies of Christ will have been doing all they could for their part to undo the Papacy. By a just punishment of God for the universal apostasy of our age, they have received from Him a great power over His Church. They have been working for centuries to get a stranglehold over the Vatican, and they are now entrenched there. With no intention of giving way to a pious little Society, they are, as Anne Catherine Emmerich saw in a vision 200 years ago, dismantling the Church stone by stone. Humanly speaking, today's followers of Our Lord have as little seeming hope as they had on the original Holy Saturday.
But no more than Our Lord Himself is the Catholic Church a merely human affair. In 1846 Our Lady of Salette said about our own times:
"The righteous will suffer greatly. Their prayers, penance and their tears will rise up to Heaven, and all of God's people will beg for forgiveness and mercy and will plead for my help and intercession. And then Jesus Christ in an act of His justice and great mercy will command His Angels to have all His enemies put to death. Suddenly the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all those given over to sin will perish, and the earth will become desert-like. And then peace will be made, and man will be reconciled with God, Jesus Christ will be served, worshipped and glorified. Charity will flourish everywhere... The Gospel will be preached everywhere... and man will live in fear of God."
In other words, God will most certainly resurrect His Church from its present distress. When the eclipse becomes still darker, as it is sure to do, let us merely hold more closely than ever to the Mother of God, and let us resolve now not to weigh upon her then by our disbelief, as did Our Lord's Apostles and disciples on the first Holy Saturday. Let us undertake to rejoice her Immaculate Heart with our unshakeable faith in her Divine Son and his one true Church.
To any and all of you I gladly impart the episcopal blessing of your servant in Christ,
+ Most Rev. Richard N. Williamson
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MITERS THAT MATTER
EASTER WEEK EDITION
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 96