It is currently Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:09 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
 A Case in Point? 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post A Case in Point?
I am often struck by the vagueness and corresponding inaccuracy of the texts produced by the so-called Resistance to the SSPX. The following is a classic, and therefore offers an opportunity to illustrate how confused the entire matter is. There is no deal, and there is no prospect of a deal, and has been none since June 2012 at the latest, yet "the deal" is still being "resisted". Let's have a look at how.

From Ignis Ardens:
Quote:
Quote:
Question: Some people say, “Yes, but Archbishop Lefebvre should have accepted an agreement with Rome because once the Society of St. Pius X had been recognized and the suspensions lifted , he would have been able to act in a more effective manner inside the Church, whereas now he has put himself outside.”

Archbishop Lefebvre: Such things are easy to say. To stay inside the Church, or to put oneself inside the Church – what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for twenty years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors who make the subjects.


The above is an extract taken from an interview given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to Fideliter magazine and published in its July/August 1989 issue. Note how the Archbishop makes it clear that to think we could enter the conciliar church in order to make it Catholic is a complete illusion. Yet today we have the superiors of the SSPX stating the opposite of what the good Archbishop emphatically claimed, despite the fact that these same superiors were once on board with his position. These superiors now claim that we must join them in order to beat them! The irony of it all is that the way the current SSPX superiors have acted towards those who have spoken out against a canonical regularization and the way most of these priests (and faithful) have responded have only demonstrated how right the Archbishop was.

Back around the Spring/Summer of 2012, two bishops and several priests had spoken out against a canonical regularization, but where are they now? After the July 2012 General Chapter, they are no longer fighting the good fight. Some of them have even come to make excuses for the SSPX leadership or, even worse, have jumped on board the Bishop Fellay train. There are also those priests who watched from a distance and never took a public stance one way or another, but were privately against a canonical regularization. They cringed at the way their brother priests had been treated for speaking out. I am sure many of us know some of these priests as we had come to respect them in their preaching of the truth and defence of the Faith prior to this SSPX crisis. We thought them to be warriors. However, to our disappointment, they never took a public stance in agreement with their private one. Instead, they became either too busy making excuses for the SSPX leadership or have also jumped onto the Bishop Fellay train, albeit with one foot still not firmly entrenched on it. Then, several weeks ago, the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration of Bishop Fellay came to light. We thought we finally had what we needed to clearly demonstrate that Bishop Fellay had deviated, no longer simply from a position of prudence but from Catholic doctrine itself. Our confidence was even further strengthened when Bishop Williamson, unjustly booted from the SSPX, wrote an open letter to SSPX priests that they ought to speak out against Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration for the sake of the faithful. “Yes! The priests have to speak out now”, we declared. But….unfortunately….’til this day, there has been hardly a whimper coming from the priests. Instead, we hear Resistance priests telling us that they had spoken to several priests who had either defended Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration or had brushed it off. What a disappointment!

I ask, “What has happened to the SSPX of old? Where did it go?” Barring a miracle, I think it is now safe to say that it has gone down the memory hole. I hope to be proven wrong, but I am afraid not. The slide of the SSPX will continue until it is in the arms of conciliar Rome. And most of priests will go along for the ride until they find themselves at a point of no return. Very sad indeed – the years after Vatican II all over again.

Archbishop, you were right. The superiors do make the subjects. What has transpired in the past year within the Society you founded is just a case in point.


Now, a quick analysis by interjection.

Quote:
The above is an extract taken from an interview given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to Fideliter magazine and published in its July/August 1989 issue. Note how the Archbishop makes it clear that to think we could enter the conciliar church in order to make it Catholic is a complete illusion.


Well, this writer says that the Archbishop "makes it clear" but in fact there's ambiguity there, because we know that the Archbishop in the very same interview stated very clearly that he had no problem "entering the conciliar church" if that meant being given canonical recognition without compromise, but that what he would not do was enter into any kind of arrangement whereby the Fraternity would be able to be crushed. He said, "Realizing the impossibility of coming to an understanding, on the 2nd of June I wrote again to the pope: It is useless to continue these conversations and contacts. We do not have the same purpose. You wish to bring us round to the Council in a reconciliation, and what we want is to be recognized as we are." In other words, if JP2 had been prepared to recognize the SSPX as it is, Archbishop Lefebvre would willingly have kept to the Protocol he had already signed. He'd have "entered the conciliar church".

But does that mean he was being inconsistent? No, and to understand him one must be clear that for the Archbishop the notion "conciliar church" stood for two related but distinct ideas. On the one hand, in his mind there is a programme - the programme of Vatican II, and therefore of the Conciliar Church - which infects and afflicts the true Catholic Church and which leads men by stages from her and into either membership in the Conciliar Church or outright apostasy. On the other hand, there is a real body of men in a definite unity which is not the Catholic Church, and these constitute the Conciliar Church, a false church. In Archbishop Lefebvre's thought, it is clear that these men are not all of those caught up in the Novus Ordo milieu; they are not even all of the bishops of the Novus Ordo milieu; they are the most obvious and open Modernists, the Bugninis, the Suenens, the Villots.

So, when he said "we cannot enter the conciliar church" he meant, we cannot be subject to the enemies of the Church, including most of the ordinaries and the Roman Curia. On the other hand, if JP2 had erected a Commission, with a majority of members being traditional Catholics, and had granted the permission for at least one bishop to be consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre for the Fraternity, then the Archbishop would have "entered the conciliar church" on those terms. This is plain from the very interview cited above. Anybody who wishes to understand the Archbishop's mind on this matter needs to read the entire interview right through, without preconceptions: http://www.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre ... ations.htm

The other point to make here is how strikingly similar the position that the Archbishop took in that interview is to the stance taken by Bishop Fellay. In both cases - 1988 and 2012 - the deal foundered on prercisely the same grounds. In 2012 the Vatican, having learned from past experience, specifically offered to recognise the SSPX as it is. When this offer proved to be untrue, Bishop Fellay pulled out. Lefebvre: "We do not have the same purpose. You wish to bring us round to the Council in a reconciliation, and what we want [present tense] is to be recognized as we are."

Quote:
Yet today we have the superiors of the SSPX stating the opposite of what the good Archbishop emphatically claimed, despite the fact that these same superiors were once on board with his position.


No quotes are provided to support this assertion, and I suggest that this is because none exist. Its vagueness is absolutely classical in "Resistance" literature. A falsehood is thereby being intimated in terms sufficiently vague so as to avoid becoming obvious to the average reader. And if you think you've seen this technique before, you have: it's Vatican II speak.

Quote:
These superiors now claim that we must join them in order to beat them!


Again, this is false in its obvious meaning. In a qualified way it is true, but equally true of Archbishop Lefebvre's position when so qualified. If it means that if the Vatican recognised the SSPX as it is, demanding no compromise, then this would be a good outcome, well this is the position of both Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Fellay. If, on the other hand, it means that Bishop Fellay takes the opposite point of view to that of the Archbishop, then it's obviously false. In any case, even a school student would know to bolster such claims with quotes.

And now the central thesis of the piece appears:
Quote:
The irony of it all is that the way the current SSPX superiors have acted towards those who have spoken out against a canonical regularization and the way most of these priests (and faithful) have responded have only demonstrated how right the Archbishop was.


In plain English, the assertion here is that the superiors of the SSPX have brutally suppressed any opposition to their supposed plans, and those who have suffered from this terrible treatment have mostly reacted in a cowardly and supine fashion.

We have already seen that the "plans" of the superiors are totally misrepresented by this Resistance writer. The vague phrase, "the way the current SSPX superiors have acted towards those who have spoken out" is left without further support or clarification. The reader is meant to supply his own sanguine images. Now, what of the supposed cowardice of those who fail to protest against the long-dead deal?

Quote:
Back around the Spring/Summer of 2012, two bishops and several priests had spoken out against a canonical regularization, but where are they now? After the July 2012 General Chapter, they are no longer fighting the good fight.


So, Bishops Tissier and de Galarreta are "no longer fighting the good fight". No support is offered for this apparently self-evident assertion. It apparently means that these men are no longer protesting against a deal. Yet there is no deal and no prospect of one. I asked Bishop Tissier directly, a few months ago when he was visiting here, whether the danger has passed, and he averred that it has. So, there's no chance of a deal? No. Now, any individual may well form a different judgement from that of Bishop Tissier. Any individual may well judge that Bishop Tissier is mistaken, and that a deal is still in the offing. Such an individual would have to be in possession of occult data, for everything known publicly or privately indicates that the Vatican gave up last June and has no interest in reviving the deal, but I repeat, it is entirely possible for an individual to form a different judgement than Bishop Tissier has formed. But what is totally illegitimate and actually irrational, is to accuse Bishop Tissier of giving up a fight which he does not recognise to exist. I recall when I was a child several occasions on which the news media reported that a Japanese soldier from World War II had been discovered living on some island in the Pacific, unaware that the war had ended. The "Resistance" reminds me of those Japanese soldiers - but with a difference: I don't recall any of those soldiers turning and accusing their demobilised comrades of failing to keep fighting the war.

Quote:
Some of them have even come to make excuses for the SSPX leadership


No data is offered to support this assertion, which is evidently meant to be an allegation, but may well, and probably does, objectively constitute praise.

Quote:
or, even worse, have jumped on board the Bishop Fellay train.


What does that even mean? Vatican II was clearer than this!

Quote:
There are also those priests who watched from a distance and never took a public stance one way or another, but were privately against a canonical regularization.


And no canonical regularization occurred, so the point is?

Quote:
They cringed at the way their brother priests had been treated for speaking out.


Actually, I know a fair number of priests in the SSPX, and I can say that I do not know even one that took that view. Even those who were against the deal (that is, the majority) did not agree with the terrible things said about Bishop Fellay, or the open displays of dissent, and especially they didn't agree with Bishop Williamson's activities.


Quote:
I am sure many of us know some of these priests as we had come to respect them in their preaching of the truth and defence of the Faith prior to this SSPX crisis. We thought them to be warriors. However, to our disappointment, they never took a public stance in agreement with their private one. Instead, they became either too busy making excuses for the SSPX leadership or have also jumped onto the Bishop Fellay train, albeit with one foot still not firmly entrenched on it.


What a confused mess! We are being told that some significant number of priests privately expressed some view which is not stated here, and then publicly said the opposite, or perhaps didn't quite, or something.

In any case, given the vagueness noted above, there has been enormous scope for misunderstandings between individuals in all of this. A priest who was against the deal, when it was on, is perhaps taken as agreeing with public dissent, even though he did not dissent publicly himself and expressed no opinion on the decision of others to dissent publicly. That is just one possible misunderstanding. Then, his subsequent failure to support dissenting priests publicly is taken as cowardice. This would be malice resting upon confusion. Many other similar possibilities could be suggested, and this is because of the vagueness and confusion of thought which characterises the "Resistance."

Quote:
Then, several weeks ago, the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration of Bishop Fellay came to light. We thought we finally had what we needed to clearly demonstrate that Bishop Fellay had deviated, no longer simply from a position of prudence but from Catholic doctrine itself. Our confidence was even further strengthened when Bishop Williamson, unjustly booted from the SSPX, wrote an open letter to SSPX priests that they ought to speak out against Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration for the sake of the faithful. “Yes! The priests have to speak out now”, we declared. But….unfortunately….’til this day, there has been hardly a whimper coming from the priests. Instead, we hear Resistance priests telling us that they had spoken to several priests who had either defended Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration or had brushed it off. What a disappointment!


Has it even occurred to this writer employing his royal "we", that he might simply be mistaken in his judgement "that Bishop Fellay had deviated, no longer simply from a position of prudence but from Catholic doctrine itself"? Could it be that the judgement of 500 traditional Catholic priests and a couple of bishops carries sufficient weight to create some doubt in the mind of this layman? No? None at all? No, apparently not. Bishop Fellay must have deviated from the faith, in writing, and 500 graduates in theology have not noticed.

Quote:
I ask, “What has happened to the SSPX of old? Where did it go?” Barring a miracle, I think it is now safe to say that it has gone down the memory hole.


Again, what does this even mean? Was this writer familiar with the SSPX twenty or thirty years ago? What exactly is he alleging to have changed? We are forced to guess. Again, Vatican II speak, on steroids.

Quote:
I hope to be proven wrong, but I am afraid not.


How could he be proved wrong? He hasn't said anything cogent. This is like hearing from Teilhard de Chardin that he hopes to be proved wrong about the inevitability of the world reaching his Omega Point...

Quote:
The slide of the SSPX will continue until it is in the arms of conciliar Rome. And most of priests will go along for the ride until they find themselves at a point of no return. Very sad indeed – the years after Vatican II all over again.


This is clever rhetoric but blatantly unfactual. Bishop Tissier is not going to go along with any compromises. He's not protesting because he judges that there is nothing to protest about. If that changes, expect him to alter his stance.

Quote:
Archbishop, you were right. The superiors do make the subjects. What has transpired in the past year within the Society you founded is just a case in point.

I suggest that this writer has a look at who the "Resistance" priests are (that is, the few who were actually members of the SSPX to begin with, unlike Fr. Voigt [Novus-ordained as he was] and Fr. Ringrose [independent]), and takes note of their relationships with one Bishop Williamson. They are what their leader has made them.


Wed May 01, 2013 4:16 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: A Case in Point?
The writer (a “Bro. Anthony”) of this vague text has been pointed to these comments, and has responded (on IA).

His original article condemned nearly all SSPX priests and bishops. It did so by arguing as follows:

a. Bishop Fellay reversed the position of Archbishop Lefebvre
b. Bishop Fellay imposed this upon all within the SSPX
c. The members of the SSPX, nearly to a man, laid down like whimpering curs and gave up the fight.

In his reply to my comments, the writer comes down from his supreme judgement seat, and adopts for the most part a gentle tone which appears implicitly to accept that at least the argument over what Archbishop Lefebvre's mind was on this question is a legitimate argument. Then, having explained why in his opinion Bishop Fellay's understanding is wrong, he abandons the entire debate with the following:
Bro. Anthony wrote:
In regards to your other attacks, I am not really interested in arguing too much with those who have caught menzingenitis. Only prayer is left for such cases.


This is to change arguments, at the very least. Nor is it fair or reasonable to characterise my defence of the membership of the SSPX from an extraordinarily ugly attack on it, as a series of "attacks" of my own. Actually, the points that he will not answer are in most - probably all - cases the arguments that he simply cannot answer. Note well, the thing he cannot do is provide the evidence which was lacking in the original article.

Here is the substance of his reply, with comments:
Bro. Anthony wrote:
John, the words of the Archbishop you quoted were written on June 2, 1988; however, this interview happened a year later.

The impression one is supposed to take, emphasised by the words which immediately follow ("[t]he Archbishop's position strengthened as he approached his death..."), is that his use of the present tense with respect to desiring to be "recognized as we are" did not belong to 1989, but only to June 1988. This is totally false. Archbishop Lefebvre was quoting himself. He could have quoted another text of his own, not quoted himself at all, or stopped the quote short of those inconvenient words. But he didn't. Instead, he made current in 1989, the words he has first written in radically different circumstances, the year before. He used the present tense, "what we want [present tense] is to be recognized as we are."

Bro. Anthony wrote:
The Archbishop's position strengthened as he approached his death to the point of saying that he would not pursue further talks until Rome's conversion.

And any honest observer who is actually familiar with the Archbishop's writings and thought, would admit two points on reflection:

1. The Archbishop did not literally demand conversion prior to any talks. He required proof of good will.

2. What the Archbishop wanted or hoped to see was never well defined. Would he have required a manifest, complete, conversion before agreeing to any discussions, or to any "recognition" by the Vatican? Such an interpretation is at best a stretch. It is at least legitimately debateable, but this is what the so-called Resistance cannot admit. If it’s a legitimate debate, then Bishop Fellay has not manifestly departed from Archbishop Lefebvre’s position, and the entire game is up.

And how would Bro. Anthony explain these words, from the same 1989 interview?
Archbishop Lefebvre wrote:
As always, I think that actions are more convincing than words. There are some who say to me, you could easily write a grand letter to the pope. But, for twenty years now, we have been writing letters which get nowhere. Once again, actions speak louder than words. When we open a seminary or when we create priories, or when we open schools, when the sisters swarm and the convents multiply, that is the only way of forcing Rome to negotiate. It's not a question of my being there, it's a question of the works we do. At Rome, they're well aware that what we're doing is not nothing. The bishops get a little annoyed when we implant ourselves here and there, and so they complain to Rome and Rome knows what's going on.

So I do not think it is opportune to try contacting Rome. I think we must still wait. Wait, unfortunately, for the situation to get still worse on their side. But up till now, they do not want to recognize the fact.


The Archbishop wanted to negotiate? He said that it was merely not "opportune to try contacting Rome"???

Bro. Anthony wrote:
Furthermore, I am not as convinced as you are that what the Archbishop wrote to Pope John Paul II in that letter (that is, "as we are") meant the same thing Bishop Fellay meant when he used these same words during his sermon at St. Thomas Aquinas seminary on February 2, 2012.

I have no problem with anybody who is “not as convinced” on some point as myself. But this cautious and non-committal wording revolutionises the entire debate. Adopting a diffident and humble approach has profound implications, Bro. Anthony. It means that the lynching party must disband and each member of it must return home to do their individual duties. In other words, you cannot have this both ways. Either your own judgement is dogmatically true and it follows that the entire membership of the SSPX are curs for silently tolerating that wolf in sheep’s clothing, Bishop Fellay; or, the points at issue are legitimately debateable and nobody’s a cur (except perhaps he who tries to outlaw the debate by violent and unreasonable language). Which is it?

Bro. Anthony wrote:
Clearly the Archbishop was adamantly fighting for a bishop for Tradition. Bishop Fellay was not. Being accepted "as we are" would not have necessarily achieved the consecration of a bishop for the Archbishop.


Again, this is so unclear as to be painful. If it means anything, surely it is an argument that Archbishop Lefebvre’s policy was less defensible than Bishop Fellay’s, since the latter already had bishops and to that degree his position was more secure.

Bro. Anthony wrote:
Nevertheless, if you read my article more closely, I was not arguing that the Archbishop refused to deal with Rome until her conversion;

Exactly, so why change the subject instead of answering what was actually argued?

Bro. Anthony wrote:
rather, my precise point was that superiors make the subjects and not the other way around. Bishop Fellay is under the illusion that he can go into Rome and convert them from the inside. As a matter of fact, his doctrinal slide actually shows that Rome can get to him while he is on the outside!

That was not your only point, far from it. Nor was it even your central point. Indeed, that point does not appear. On the contrary, nearly every word you wrote was in support of quite a distinct point, which was the (lack of) reaction of the rest of the SSPX membership to Bishop Fellay’s relations with the Vatican. I suggest, sir, that you re-read your article, and when you have done so, you either withdraw it or come back and answer for it properly.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon May 06, 2013 12:04 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 5:55 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Florida
New post Re: A Case in Point?
John, great post. You know Bro. Anthony is friends with Bishop Williamson. It is also very obvious that the resisters are not open to facts and correction.


Mon May 06, 2013 5:17 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4334
New post Re: A Case in Point?
I suspect that part of the problem is the political character they have given it. One effect of this is that there is no sophistication or subtlety to the discussion. It's all "two legs bad, four legs good" nonsense.

It's quite possible to believe that Bishop Fellay is a wonderful man, yet he is not Archbishop Lefebvre. It's quite possible to remain perfectly loyal to him and not fear for the future, without thinking that he has done everything perfectly or that he will always do everything perfectly in future. I know priests who have such views. And they detest the "Resistance."

But it's part of the Resistance campaign to divide the world into "Accordistas" and good guys. Accordistas are, contrary to the meaning of the word itself, not people in favour of a deal but rather they are merely people who refuse to join in the calumny and detraction. I'm a sedevacantist, so more against a deal than any "Resister" could possibly be, yet they call me an Accordista. And these people claim to love the truth? It's hard to see any religion in any of this, it's too obviously political.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue May 07, 2013 12:02 am
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.