Monday, 2 August 2021

An Open Letter to my dear Traditional Catholic friends - "Let us NOT answer schism with schism"


Dear friends, much could be said by myself on the recent attack on the ancient Roman Rite of Mass by the Pope. Much could be said as to how we deal with this "schismatic attitude" in the Pope breaking with his Predecessors. The KEY question is: how do we respond? 

Today, it is enough to quote the late Abbe de Nantes, who engaged with the Roman authorities even before the end of the Council on its dangers and departures from Catholic doctrine. Let me say that our first step must always be "ONE DOES NOT ANSWER SCHISM WITH SCHISM"

In October, 1969 the Abbe wrote the following. Given that we are "back in 1970" so to speak with the publication of Traditionis Custodes, the Abbe's words are even MORE IMPORTANT today, as the crisis is far worse. The temptation to schism and heresy even greater! I shall say it again: let us NOT play into the Modernists' and progressives' hands. They want us to leave the Church. I have said before: they can attempt to throw me "out", but I shall not leave. I refuse to abandon my Mother. She may be reeking with the stench of open wounds inflicted upon Her by the "reformist" hierarchy, but I shall not leave. Indeed, to abandon Her in Her hour of need is the greatest act of betrayal.

May Catholic charity always triumph in our hearts ! One does not answer schism by schism. In the face of ill-feeling, partiality and hatred which raise barriers and trenches, our only answer must be that of love, that love which is founded on the infrangible community of the sacramental life. The Church is the charity of Christ spread and communicated amongst all the brothers. Whilst our brothers maintain albeit only the appearance of belonging to the Church, we must hold and retain them in Catholic charity without accepting their ostracism and their scission, and without adding our own thereto. If we quit the community, if we emancipate ourselves from hierarchical authority and reject its jurisdiction, we reinforce the schism, we provide it with the homogeneous consistency of a sect, and we give it a free hand in the Church ! We must stay put, resigned to being punished, to suffering and to obeying whatever is not forbidden or intolerable, as martyrs for Catholic Unity and Charity... We must reject everything that is commanded for the purpose of subversion and not let ourselves be penalised without protesting. But never, never ever, will we contest the unique inviolable power of jurisdiction that belongs to the Pope and to the bishops united to him. Even though they behave unjustly, it is they who are the Catholic hierarchy, not ourselves.

“ One cannot save the Church by building on other foundations. But some people wanted to persuade me to do just that. As someone unjustly (although legally) deprived of all power of jurisdiction over souls by a Pope and bishops suspected of schism and heresy, I was supposed to consider myself a victim of persecution and to attribute to myself some kind of extraordinary jurisdiction directly derived from God ! The determining factor was meant to be the pressing necessity of souls who were in danger of perishing in a Church that had completely lost her direction. Well, my answer to this was : never, not at any price. Such jurisdiction has never been recognised by the holy canons except in the case of bishops in countries where persecution has totally destroyed or paralysed the local hierarchy. Presuming on the assent of the Holy See, these bishops would exercise this kind of extraordinary jurisdiction to save these Churches from total ruin and to provide for the urgent necessities of souls (Dom Gréa, L'Église, p. 235-238). As none of this can be verified in my own case, the usurpation that is proposed to me would be invalid, criminal and strictly schismatic.

“ We are not the saviours of the Church. Rather it is she, both now and always, who is our salvation. I may not actually see this, but I believe it with an unwavering faith : the salvation of the Church today, as yesterday and for all times, is to be found in her Pastors. Although temporarily sunk in the error and sectarianism of their Reform, this grace still subsists in them, indefectibly. It may not be apparent, but it is ready on the day appointed by God to spring forth again for the salvation of all. The disorder may be great, the damage to souls mortal, but God does not wish to govern us except through the hierarchy. In such a sacred matter He cannot tolerate any fraudulent usurpation. If we were foolish enough to imagine that we could save the Church by carrying her off with us into the escapade of yet another schism, we who are nothing, it is we and we alone who would be irremediably lost. The only life we have within us is that which we have received. It is from the Roman Rock alone that this life springs forth.

“ The Church does not lie within us. It subsists in those very men whom we see busying themselves in her ruin and whom we nevertheless believe, by virtue of their apostolic jurisdiction, to be the bearers of Christ's grace. We ourselves have no share in their powers of order and ministry except in the exact extent to which they delegate it to us. Thus, I am recognised as having the power to celebrate the Holy Mass, and this would be the case even if I were to be punished by an unjust excommunication (which God forbid !), provided that I then celebrate it in private and without the risk of scandal. I also retain the power to give absolution to those who are dying... I give thanks to the Church for these faculties which she allows me to keep. I make use of them and I will continue to do so. But to go beyond this would be to build a simulacrum of the Church outside the Church. Good heavens ! What would be the point ? To deceive myself into thinking that I could save everyone ? Ah, no ! When the schism of this Reform is over, I do not wish to be separated from the Church.


Vox Cantoris said...

The man occupying the Seat of Rome must be resisted to his face.

"May his days be few and another his bishopric take."

Barona said...

Vox, I completely agree with you. He sits on the Throne of Peter, but in his words and deeds he breaks with Peter and his successors. This is a mystery of iniquity.

Aqua said...

I am quite comfortable that I am not in schism. I wish to submit to the lawful authority of the Seat of Peter, and that means every legitimate Pope who has ever lived in union with every other, with the Bishops in union with them, in union with Jesus Christ at the source of all things. All of us, together, as one.

20 And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me;
21 That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.
(John 17: 20-23 - the unity prayer, just before Jesus died for our sins)

I don’t wish to make anything up.

I don’t wish to be my own authority.

I don’t wish to stand in judgement on the hierarchy.

I don’t wish to change one letter or punctuation mark of the Church’s Magisterium.

I am keenly aware of deviations into the “weed patch” and don’t wish to get lost in it. Sacred Tradition.

Unity of the Saints - past, present, future: Yes.

Innovation of the relevant: No.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Some clarifying points might be in order:
1) The SSPX is NOT in schism. We may have to take recourse to them, should we be deprived of the Mass. I did for eight weeks when the diocesan churches in my area literally shut us out.
2) We and those whom we love cannot be considered "paths of least resistance" and/or expendable pawns.
3) Sometimes the only language that the corrupt understand is money. We may have to resort to redirecting contributions elsewhere.
4) We must speak truth and as Vox said above, we must resist evil, even if it be found in the Seat of Peter. If we don't resist that evil, we may be found in the untenable position of cooperating with their evil.

I hope each and every person is praying their Rosaries daily.