A Case in Point
Question: Some people say, “Yes, but Archbishop Lefebvre should have accepted an agreement with Rome because once the Society of St. Pius X had been recognized and the suspensions lifted , he would have been able to act in a more effective manner inside the Church, whereas now he has put himself outside.”
Archbishop Lefebvre: Such things are easy to say. To stay inside the Church, or to put oneself inside the Church – what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for twenty years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors who make the subjects.
The above is an extract taken from an interview given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to Fideliter magazine and published in its July/August 1989 issue. Note how the Archbishop makes it clear that to think we could enter the conciliar church in order to make it Catholic is a complete illusion. Yet today we have the superiors of the SSPX stating the opposite of what the good Archbishop emphatically claimed, despite the fact that these same superiors were once on board with his position. These superiors now claim that we must join them in order to beat them! The irony of it all is that the way the current SSPX superiors have acted towards those who have spoken out against a canonical regularization and the way most of these priests (and faithful) have responded have only demonstrated how right the Archbishop was.
Back around the Spring/Summer of 2012, two bishops and several priests had spoken out against a canonical regularization, but where are they now? After the July 2012 General Chapter, they are no longer fighting the good fight. Some of them have even come to make excuses for the SSPX leadership or, even worse, have jumped on board the Bishop Fellay train. There are also those priests who watched from a distance and never took a public stance one way or another, but were privately against a canonical regularization. They cringed at the way their brother priests had been treated for speaking out. I am sure many of us know some of these priests as we had come to respect them in their preaching of the truth and defence of the Faith prior to this SSPX crisis. We thought them to be warriors. However, to our disappointment, they never took a public stance in agreement with their private one. Instead, they became either too busy making excuses for the SSPX leadership or have also jumped onto the Bishop Fellay train, albeit with one foot still not firmly entrenched on it. Then, several weeks ago, the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration of Bishop Fellay came to light. We thought we finally had what we needed to clearly demonstrate that Bishop Fellay had deviated, no longer simply from a position of prudence but from Catholic doctrine itself. Our confidence was even further strengthened when Bishop Williamson, unjustly booted from the SSPX, wrote an open letter to SSPX priests that they ought to speak out against Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration for the sake of the faithful. “Yes! The priests have to speak out now”, we declared. But….unfortunately….’til this day, there has been hardly a whimper coming from the priests. Instead, we hear Resistance priests telling us that they had spoken to several priests who had either defended Bishop Fellay’s Doctrinal Declaration or had brushed it off. What a disappointment!
I ask, “What has happened to the SSPX of old? Where did it go?” Barring a miracle, I think it is now safe to say that it has gone down the memory hole. I hope to be proven wrong, but I am afraid not. The slide of the SSPX will continue until it is in the arms of conciliar Rome. And most of priests will go along for the ride until they find themselves at a point of no return. Very sad indeed – the years after Vatican II all over again.
Archbishop, you were right. The superiors do make the subjects. What has transpired in the past year within the Society you founded is just a case in point.