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MOMENTOUS DECISION

So the exclusion from the Society of St Pius X of one of the four bishops consecrated for its service by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 is now official. It is a momentous decision on the part of the SSPX leaders, not for any personal reasons, but because of the removal of what many people took to be the single biggest obstacle within the SSPX to any false reconciliation between Catholic Tradition and Conciliar Rome. Now that he is gone, the SSPX may the more easily continue its slide into comfortable liberalism.

If the problem was merely his person, there might be no serious consequences. He is 72 years old (and “more or less gaga”) with not too many active years left ahead of him. He could be safely ignored, or further discredited if need be, and left to rant and rave in his isolated retirement. But if indeed his exclusion does mean the repudiation of that opposition to Rome which he represented, then the SSPX is in trouble, and far from resolving its interior tensions by having made an example of him, it is liable now to be racked with silent dissension or open contradiction.

This is because Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX to resist the Council’s destruction of the Catholic Faith by its 16 documents, and of the practice of that Faith by the New Mass above all. Resisting the Council was built into the very nature of the Society. Now to undo a thing’s nature is to undo the thing. It would follow that with this exclusion the SSPX of Archbishop Lefebvre is well on its way to being undone, and it will be replaced by something quite different. Actually that transformation has been observable for many years. The exclusion is merely one final blow.

Not that the Archbishop was primarily, or only, against the Council. Primarily he was Catholic, a Catholic bishop, a true pastor of souls, as is clear from his writings prior to the Council. But once that unspeakable disaster for the Church had taken place, he soon saw that the most urgent task in defence of the Faith was to resist the Vatican II Revolution which was taking over millions and millions of Catholic hearts and minds. Hence his founding in 1970 of the SSPX which would use exclusively the Tridentine rite of Mass. Hence his famous Declaration of November, 1974, which was like a charter of the Catholic principles inspiring the SSPX’s resistance. Only the conversion and reversion of the Church authorities to the true Faith can justify the abandoning of those principles. And has such a conversion or reversion taken place ? By no means. On the contrary.
And the future ? To fill the vacuum left by abandoning the purposes of the Archbishop, probably the mainstream SSPX now hastens into the arms of Rome, especially if Benedict XVI’s conscience is driving him to end the “schism” before he dies. The bishop’s exclusion may or may not have been a pre-condition set by Rome for a Rome-SSPX agreement, but in any case it certainly favours one. SSPX priests who see clear might lie low for the moment and wait for a flock of chickens to begin to come home to roost. SSPX laity might attend SSPX Masses for the time being, but they should watch out for the moment when the transformation mentioned above begins to threaten their faith. As for the excluded bishop, any donations to him or his cause will have to wait a little until the necessary arrangements can be set up. But be sure of one thing: he is not thinking of retiring.

Hang tight, everybody. We are in for one “helluva” ride. Let’s just make that a ride to Heaven !

Kyrie eleison.
It would seem that +W is going to strongly push for the stance that he alone is carrying on the principles of the Archbishop Lefebvre. Yet the Archbishop did not leave a set rule for the SSPX to follow as to how they would deal with a possible reconciliation with Rome. Any sort of inference that +W alone is following said principles can only be based on pointing to any particular writings of the Archbishop, but then anyone can take another person's writings and make them appear as if they absolutely mean a particular thing. Protestants do this all the time with the Bible.

+W also mentioned that the Archbishop was against the Council. But what he does not mention that the Archbishop signed ALL of the Council documents to a one. All of them.

There are a lot of holes in +W arguments, but he can be counted on to stand firm in his views, at least. In this, Catholics will think he is a stong person who has integrity, simply because he does not waver. But can't this also be a form of stubborness? At least the Archbishop wavered. Which is why, in his writings, various groups or factions can claim that the Archbishop would support their view. The fact is, the Archbishop also signed a definate and formal agreement with Rome prior to consecrating the bishops in 1988. Then he changed his mind. He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been? It would have to have been someone who wanted nothing whatsoever to do with the visible Catholic Church, and never had wanted so.
He's still a fighter, Deo gratias. Oremus pro eum.

(10-27-2012, 03:01 PM)JMartyr Wrote: [ -> ]famous Declaration of November, 1974, which was like a charter of the Catholic principles inspiring the SSPX’s resistance.
Declaration of November, 1974 is online.
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]There are a lot of holes in +W arguments
Such as, specifically?
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]But can't this also be a form of stubborness? At least the Archbishop wavered.
He did?
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]Which is why, in his writings, various groups or factions can claim that the Archbishop would support their view. The fact is, the Archbishop also signed a definate and formal agreement with Rome prior to consecrating the bishops in 1988. Then he changed his mind.
He didn't change his mind. He just perceived that "Rome was not willing to fix a date for the episcopal consecration." Read about that here.
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been?
Card. Ratzinger was the representative.
(10-27-2012, 03:37 PM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]There are a lot of holes in +W arguments
Such as, specifically?
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]But can't this also be a form of stubborness? At least the Archbishop wavered.
He did?
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]Which is why, in his writings, various groups or factions can claim that the Archbishop would support their view. The fact is, the Archbishop also signed a definate and formal agreement with Rome prior to consecrating the bishops in 1988. Then he changed his mind.
He didn't change his mind. He just perceived that "Rome was not willing to fix a date for the episcopal consecration." Read about that here.
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been?
Card. Ratzinger was the representative.

Such as specifically what I've already mentioned. That the Archbishop signed all of the documents of the Council. Also, the Archbishop did change his mind. He did formally reconcile with Rome, if only briefly, for a few days, before someone in the SSPX convinced him to change his mind. So to infer that the Archbishop would not want to have anything to do with Rome is quite rediculous.

Also, +W says that the Archbishop set up the SSPX to resist the destruction of the Catholic faith by its sixteen documents, and that resisting the Council was built into the very nature of the Society. However, were those sixteen documents approved by the diocesan bishop who initially approved the SSPX to be set up in his diocese on an experimental basis, as most new groups are? Did those original documents, given to the bishop for approval of the Society, say anything about resisting the Council? Maybe they did, but I don't see how they would have gotten approval by such a statement. My understanding is that the SSPX was originally set up and intended to train priests to celebrate the TLM, not to rebel against the Council and Church authority.
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been?

No, he actually didn't want to make a deal with Rome in 1988, but he went as far as he could ("farther than I should have" he said later) to prove that he did everything he could.  But he did not trust Conciliar Rome.  It is clear from Bp. Tissier's book, as well as other documentation.  As well as that, Fr. Bisig told some priests back then quite specifically that Archbishop Lefebvre did not want a deal.  Later on, when someone accused the "hardliners" of making the Archbishop do the consecrations, the Archbishop said it was the opposite. 
Quote:[According to Msgr. Perl], “Eighty percent of traditionalists desire peace and communion with Rome, more than half are above all scandalized by liturgical abuses, and only fifteen percent come from political or intellectual milieus associated with Action Française.  Most of the supporters and benefactors of the Archbishop are humble people, but he could be overrun by ‘hardliners’ in his movement.”
   
So much for the questionable statistics of to Msgr. Perl!  The only hardliner was Lefebvre himself…” 

[Archbishop Lefebvre] later said: "It is surprising that they always talk about my entourage, while it is I who have led my entourage to the consecrations."
p. 551 & 559, Marcel Lefebvre by Bp. Tissier de Mallerais

i.e. While many of the priests advising +AL at the time wanted a deal w/ Modernist Rome, it was +AL who knew it would be suicide.  During the months leading up to the May 1988 "deal", here is what the Archbishop said:

Quote:"We cannot follow these people.  They're in apostasy, they do not believe in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ who must reign.  What is the use in waiting?  Let's do the consecration!

"We cannot work together with these enemies of Our Lord's reign."
p. 548 & 549, Marcel Lefebvre by Bp. Tissier de Mallerais

(10-27-2012, 03:58 PM)B of Navarre Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been?
No, he actually didn't want to make a deal with Rome in 1988, but he went as far as he could ("farther than I should have" he said later) to prove that he did everything he could.  But he did not trust Conciliar Rome.      

Are you saying that the Archbishop did not sign a terms of reconciliation agreement with Rome in 1988?
(10-27-2012, 04:16 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 03:58 PM)B of Navarre Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-27-2012, 03:25 PM)Meg Wrote: [ -> ]He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been?
No, he actually didn't want to make a deal with Rome in 1988, but he went as far as he could ("farther than I should have" he said later) to prove that he did everything he could.  But he did not trust Conciliar Rome.      

Are you saying that the Archbishop did not sign a terms of reconciliation agreement with Rome in 1988?

No, of course not.  You said, "He wanted to reconcile, but did someone cause him to change his mind? And who could that have been?" as if he were seeking a deal back then, which he was not, and as if it was some "hardliner" who changed his mind. It was quite the opposite; it was the softliners who caused him to go as far as he did, "farther than I should have."  He did sign the protocol on May 5, and then couldn't even sleep that night because he regretted it and did not trust them, and promptly revoked his signature (for lack of a better way to put it).  And later he admitted he went farther than he should have:
Quote:Archbishop Lefebvre: Our true believers, those who understand the problem and we have just helped to continue the straight and firm and the Tradition of faith, feared the steps I made in Rome. They told me it was dangerous and that I was wasting my time. Yes, of course, I hoped until the last minute in Rome have to testify a little bit of loyalty. You can not blame me for not doing the maximum. So now, those who say to me, you must agree with Rome, I can safely say that I went even farther than I should have. (Fideliter no. 79, p. 11).

Quote:The attempt to paint the Archbishop as some sort of figure longing to be approved by Modernist Rome is beyond the pale. Historically this is false. Not only does it attempt to make the 1974 Declaration and the 1976 Declaration into some sort of oddity, but its attempt to make the 1988 Protocol into the norm is not even logical.

The first question must be: Why was there a 1974 Declaration in the first place? Because of the visitators sent by the Holy See to investigate Econe. They were modernists who had to be answered by a Declaration of Faith so as to show opposition to the Vatican II "Rome", the occupied Rome of neo-Modernist and Protestant tendencies. This declaration was not received well by the modernists. It offended all the types like yourself who were yearning for peace with Rome. The Archbishop totally ignored the suppression of the Society, and defied the direct actions of the Holy See who threatened the Suspension in 1976. Rome was willing to give in and fix everything if only the Archbishop would only say one time the New Rite. He refused, and proceeded. That ended things for awhile. Then came the announcement in 1987 that the Archbishop intended to consecrate. Rome tried to avert the Operation Survival for Tradition. Cardinal Ratzinger himself was at the head of the movement to stop the Archbishop. I heard Fr. Bisig in his own words tell a group of us priests that the Archbishop in fact did not want any negotiations with Rome. Your attempt to paint him as the man yearning for such approval is contrary to the facts. Fr. Bisig was there, and he was the one whom Pope John-Paul II made Superior General of the FSSP instead. He was not confused as to the facts. He told us that it was the priests around the Archbishop who wanted a deal, not the Archbishop. He finally gave in to them. The night of the signing of the Protocol bears Fr. Bisig out. He realized that to make such an agreement was wrong, that this new Rome could not be trusted, period. He says so himself. After that, he is absolutely against any agreement with Rome, and in fact, in his last book, "Spiritual Journey" makes this very strong statement:

"It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith."

It is not a better thing to do, but a strict duty. Has the Conciliar Church returned to Tradition? No, unless you think that congratulatory letters to Buddhists is traditional, to name the latest outrage. You had better look hard for any writing of the Archbishop after the consecrations to discover this supposed true spirit of the Archbishop that you have conjured.

I do not know why you do not simply join the ranks of the FSSP since your arguments are basically theirs. The 1990 Conference of the Archbishop at Econe reminds the priests, however, that such a position involving shaking hands with those who were destroying Tradition was absolutely unacceptable. It meant treason ultimately to Our Lord.
Here is a summary of  the terms of the Protocol Agreement with Rome, signed by Archbishop Lefebvre in May, 1988. True, it's just a Wiki document. If a more authoritative document can be found, that would be a good thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_s...8_Protocol

Whatever the reasons for the Archbishop reneging do not change the fact that he did sign it.
How does one speed up a war of attrition?
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