ELEISON COMMENTS DCCCI (November 19, 2022) : 79 SEMINARIANS – IV
It is not always easy to judge in many a situation whether justice or mercy is the correct reaction. Should the risk of the “Newsociety” of St Pius X failing to teach to its 79 new seminarians the most important lesson of their Founder, Archbishop Lefebvre (1905-1991), be more emphasised or less emphasised than it has been in the last three issues of these “Comments” ? Since that “most important lesson” is central to the future of the Universal Church, then let one more issue of these “Comments” be devoted not to what the Newsociety is still doing right in service of the Church, but to what it is doing wrong, or rather to how much more right it could be doing if it had not officially deviated from the balance between Truth and Authority traced out by its Founder.
When in 1970 the Archbishop founded the Society of St Pius X with its traditional seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland, he took care to ensure that it would not be a “wildcat seminary” but would have the Church’s official approval from the bishop of the local diocese. The Newchurch of Vatican II (1962-1965) did not like what it saw, but official Rome waited a few years before intervening, no doubt in the hope that the traditional Society and seminary would fail all on their own. When on the contrary they flourished, then the modernists struck. In 1975 they “dissolved” the Society and commanded that the seminary of Econe should be disbanded. The Archbishop refused to obey, because there is in the true Church an objective procedure by Canon Law for such dissolving and disbanding, and it had not been correctly followed.
Therefore the Archbishop continued with his Society to defend the Truth while “Rome” with all of its “Authority” continued its persecution, on the grounds that nothing opposing that Authority can belong to Truth or to Catholic unity. Normally that is true, because Catholic Authority is normally welded to Catholic Truth, but, quite abnormally, at Vatican II Catholic Authority jettisoned Truth for “up-dating”. Now no doubt many of the Archbishop’s colleagues saw that he was right and “Rome” was wrong, but such is the force of Catholic Authority that not until 1981 did one other single bishop support him in public. Nevertheless the Archbishop was undaunted. In 1982 to help prepare his succession, he appointed a Superior General to take over the administration of the by now worldwide Society, but he reserved to himself all relations of the Society with Rome, no doubt because he feared that the array of the Society’s leading Red Riding Hoods would all be eaten alive by what he knew to be the Big Bad Wolves of Rome.
And so it turned out. While he lived, the little Red Riding Hoods followed his putting of Truth before Authority by putting doctrine before diplomacy, but almost as soon as he died they were making sheep’s eyes at the Roman modernists. Contacts with “Rome” were re-opened, and to this day the Newsociety will not take for itself the Catholic bishops that Truth needs all over the world, as the Archbishop did in 1988. Rather, it will wait for the murderer of Tradition to give a “green light” for the Newsociety to consecrate these bishops for Tradition ! Oh, sweet Red Riding Hoods ! But those who commit murder are murderers ! Who do you think they are ? Such are the fruits of preferring Authority to Truth.
But that is what the Newsociety is till set upon. The veteran truth-telling priest who wrote the excellent article on the Tower of Babel, summarised in two issues of these “Comments” (763 and 788), has been rebuked by his (young) Superior for writing in public on current events. He may not even write on “philosophy or theology”! He may only write on “spiritual or edifying” subjects ! And a clear-seeing seminarian fears that “niceness” in his SSPX seminary is being made to override the “fight for the Faith”, and any fighting seminarians with character are being discouraged, defused and side-lined. And so, if the Newsociety has its way, 79 seminarians will become 79 little Red Riding Hoods ? God forbid !
Warriors for the Faith our poor world hates,
And yet such men our whole poor world awaits !