ELEISON COMMENTS DCCCXXXVII (July 29, 2023) : TWO KINDS of BISHOP – III
The last two issues of these “Comments” presented a version of the difference between the Newsociety of St Pius X and Archbishop Lefebvre’s original Society, in the crucial matter of obtaining future bishops capable of ensuring that the Church will survive its crisis of now over half a century since the end of Vatican II, the Church Council which let loose that crisis. This necessarily meant presenting, however briefly, a version of the crisis itself, namely as the split between Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth brought about by that man-centred Council, which should have remained, like all 20 previous Church Councils, centred on God. There are several further conclusions to be drawn for the Church’s survival, conclusions which concern all of us, and not just the clergy.
First and foremost, The Catholic Church cannot do without Truth because nobody can save his soul without Truth (Heb. XI, 6), because no lies or untruth can enter the one and only true Heaven of the one true God, who is Truth itself (Jn. XIV, 6). However, in our fallen world Truth cannot do without Authority because the Truth makes demands on men, and all men suffer from original sin, so that they will often want not to live up to those demands, and from God alone can come any infallible Authority sufficient to oblige men to live up to the full demands of His Truth. This Truth of salvation He chose to entrust to Peter and his successors, all fallible men with a free-will still capable of sinning (Mt. XVI, 23; Gal. II, 11 etc.).
Now, foreseeing from eternity that some Popes would be fallible and would sin even gravely against the Truth, then to ensure that His Church and its Truth would survive to the end of the world (Mt. XXVIII, 20), He must have foreseen also His own interventions to guarantee that survival by working around the failings of His fallible human ministers. And since He chose from eternity to allow even a sequence of six Popes in succession from the death of Pius XII in 1958 onwards to fall foul of the radical doctrinal error of modernism, causing the worst ever Church crisis, lasting 65 years and counting (1958-2023), then there can be no doubt that He will intervene in a very special way to bring this crisis to an end. See, for instance, the Garabandal prophecies of a great Warning, a great Miracle and a great Chastisement. But between now and then, what is the divine Shepherd doing to ensure the survival of His sheep ? He must be doing something. We look around us in 2023 to discover what that is.
What we observe is a tremendous variety of Catholic groups and groupings which, broadly speaking, can be classified according to the relative importance that each of them gives to Catholic Authority or to Catholic Truth. And since Truth is unchanging, then it is only when Conciliar Authority abandons Vatican II that the disastrous split between Authority and Truth can be healed. Until then, Catholics must pray urgently for the Pope, or for the restoration of the pope, so that he can restore Catholic Authority, because the papacy is today humanly broken and God alone can mend it. Until that time, as the proverb says, “What cannot be cured, must be endured.”
Then, for as long as Authority is strangulated by Conciliar popes, Catholics are bound to be divided, so that some are 80% for Authority and 20% for Truth, others are 80% for Truth and 20% for Authority, with all possible combinations in between. But when the pope is so struck, the sheep are so inevitably scattered that whatever combination they hold to, if they are sincerely wanting to be Catholic, then God is visibly tolerating them. And Catholics, rather than play God by excommunicating one another, will do better, broadly speaking, to imitate God by tolerating one another (Gal. VI, 10), until God sees fit to end the crisis. Not that Truth does not matter, on the contrary, somebody in the Church must preserve it, but that without a functioning Authority, Catholics can that much less be blamed for not finding it. Kyrie eleison Souls seeking God deserve that we take heed.
Souls spurning God, of charity have need.