ELEISON COMMENTS DCCCXXIV (April 29, 2023) : “EXCOMMUNICATIONS” — HINDSIGHT
On March 16 of this year, Fr. Edward MacDonald, virtual head of the Catholic “Resistance” in Australia and New Zealand, wrote an excellent article for his people on the so-called “excommunication” of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre on June 30 1988 at Econe in Switzerland. The article shows clearly just how the modernists in Rome outwitted the Archbishop’s successors at the head of the SSPX, and in effect crippled the SSPX’s defence of the true Catholic Faith, unless it is willing to return in action and not just in words to the Archbishop’s clear putting of the integral Faith above false “obedience” —
In any SSPX-Rome agreement the crucial question has always been: who appoints henceforth the SSPX bishops ? 1The reason is that the history of the Catholic Church is littered with examples of the struggle between the friends and enemies of God – normally Church and State respectively – for control of the appointment of Catholic bishops, because, the Catholic Church being a monarchy and not a modern “democracy”, then it is the bishops who form the Catholic people and not the people who form the bishops.
Both Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ratzinger understood this well when they met near Rome in 1988 to negotiate such an agreement. The wily Cardinal nearly wrested control of the appointment of SSPX bishops from the Archbishop in the Protocol (sketch of an agreement) signed by them on May 5, but by God’s grace the Archbishop realized that he was imperilling the Faith, took back his signature on May 6 and, assisted by Bishop de Castro Mayer, consecrated on June 30 four of his priests as bishops in “Operation Survival”. He saidhe was breaking no Church law: “We are convinced that all these accusations or penalties of which we may be the object,are null, absolutely null and void, and we will take no account of them” 2.The SSPX explained why the Archbishop was correct in a brochure:“Neither Schismatic nor Excommunicated”.
However, about 20 years later, Bishop Fellay felt that the null and void “excommunications” should be taken seriously after all, because he felt as though he was outside of theVisibleChurch 3. As for Cardinal Ratzinger, he had never admitted that Archbishop Lefebvre had bested him in 1988, so now as Pope Benedict hewas still determined to control the appointment of SSPX bishops. One pre-condition set for admitting the SSPX into the Visible Church was that Pope Benedict would lift the “excommunications” on the four SSPX bishops. The SSPX prayed that this would happen and rejoiced when the “excommunications” were indeed “lifted” by the Pope. Unwisely, the SSPX expressed gratitude to the Pope for his good will and generosity.
But by 2023 the SSPX has now multiplied its ties with the “Visible Church”. Its bishops are older and the health of some of them has deteriorated. The faithful wonder, why are no new bishops forthcoming? It is because the SSPX have painted themselves into a corner. By asking for the lifting of these null and void “excommunications”, the SSPX implicitly recognised that they were real, and implicitly they promised that they would never again consecrate bishops without Rome’s approval, as the Archbishop had done in 1988. That would show a great “ingratitude” to Pope Benedict, and they would deserve to be re-excommunicated.
Thus during his lifetime Archbishop Lefebvre won the battles with Rome, but his successors, lacking the clarity of his faith and insight into the treachery of modernism, were not the warriors that he was, and did not see how the (objective) deceits of wily Benedict / Ratzinger had wrested control from them of their future bishops, thus, in effect, crippling the SSPX. Here is how Pope Francis or his successor will choose the next SSPX bishop or bishops, and these will form the priests and faithfulof the SSPX, finallyintegrating them into the Conciliar Church. Probably there will be only a whimper of protest, as the SSPX faithful are being all the time more and more sweetly misled into believing in the “renewed” Catholicism of Vatican II.
[Notes: 1 Eleison Comments #116, September 26, 2009. 2 https://sspx.org/en/1988-episcopal-consecrations-sermon. 3 Many “Christian” churches are visible, so that visibility is not a Mark of the one true Church, to distinguish it from false “churches”. Catholics must be where the four Marks are, i.e. One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. And if any visible “church” does not have all four Marks, it is anathema. We must avoid it.]
“Good” modernists no longer know the Church.
“Good” Cardinal Ratzinger left us in the lurch.