Romanticising Rome: A Modernist Mirage?
It has the makings of a modern day love story filled with fanciful images and garnished with sentimental undertones. It appears designed to evoke a longing for something that seems just beyond one’s reach. Words woo to this effect: “We are Roman Catholics because St. Peter lived and died in Rome, because our Faith, our morality, our liturgy, our Catholic history, all of these come(s) from Rome.” Sigh!
Such were the words that ended a recent conference held in Toronto at the Church of the Transfiguration. The conference was given by the newest district superior, Father Daniel Couture.
Before going any further, it must be acknowledged that Archbishop Lefebvre noted in his book, Spiritual Journey, the following: “We will conclude that one cannot be Catholic without being Roman.” (page 72) The Archbishop, in this same book, noted, on the same page as the above quote, the following: The “. . . occupation of Rome by the Masons permitted infiltration of the Church by Modernist clergy and Popes who hasten to destroy every vestige of Romanitas (1) : the Latin language, the Roman liturgy.” It seems fair to say that this occupation remains in effect to this day and it has, without a doubt, left a lengthy path of destruction, which includes the dilution of the Faith and morality, a constant tinkering with the liturgy and many needless mea culpas for our Catholic history. In fact, it has even become much more publicly brazen through the words and actions of the latest pope, Pope Francis – you know, the “who am I to judge” and “you don’t have to breed like rabbits” person.
Within this same conference, Father Couture lays the blame for a lot of the Church’s woes at the foot of enculturation. He states: “Enculturation has really de-Romanized the church.” Really? That is like saying that the paintbrush painted the house. There is not a single mention of Masons, infiltrators or Modernists here; but, then again, we would not want to offend any of the current occupants of Rome. That might be a bit embarrassing for Bishop Fellay on his next sojourn to Rome.
As the infiltrators, umm, of Conciliar Rome we speak of here, have yet to raise the white flag and cease their destructive toils, then it is fair to say that the occupation of which His Excellency spoke remains an active force for the dissolution of the Roman Church. Yet, Father Couture did not qualify his lament for Rome in any manner similar to the many strident condemnations of Conciliar Rome by Archbishop Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) of which Father Couture remains a member.
Instead, Father Couture references His Excellency with a quasi-quote to further his Roman-ticising, where he states: “And what did Archbishop Lefebvre do? He taught us to be Romans. He said stick with the encyclicals of the Pope. Stick with the teaching of Rome, with the liturgy of Rome, with the chant of Rome, with the language of Rome. Stick with Rome.”
The position of His Excellency on the above matters is well known through his many public presentations and writings. Father Couture’s emphasis is always on an unqualified Rome. Father Couture uses the singular for Pope – so, the encyclicals of which Pope? The teaching of Rome? Pre or post Vatican II? The liturgy of Rome? Again, pre or post Vatican II? So on and so forth. Unfortunately, Father Couture is not precise in his discourse and these are times where precision is a priority to maintain the integrity of his argument. It is either sloppy or intentionally moving toward Modernism. One is left to wonder then if Father Couture has deviated from the position of His Excellency, Archbishop Lefebvre? Perhaps, the omission of these qualifications was an oversight? Time will tell.
We may not be able to be Catholic without being Roman, but it is implicit that the Roman aspect must be truly Catholic – not modernist, not ecumenical, not conciliar, not mere geography, not a bundle of fanciful dreams, and definitely not a cohabitation within a den of a traitors.
1) Roman Catholics have used the word Romanitas for centuries to express their adherence to the Apostolic See of St. Peter and the Popes, as well as to Roman ecclesiastical culture. As such it was often used by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Traditionalist Roman Catholic Society of St. Pius X, who called Romanitas a virtue.
Sister Michaela Raphaela TOSF