There are too many in the world of Catholicism that somehow try to reconcile Vatican II with Catholic Tradition. Whether it be that Vatican II can be read in the light of Tradition, that it is in continuity with Tradition (e.g., Pope Benedict XVI’s Hermeneutic of Continuity), or even that there are errors in the Council’s documents but that these errors can be corrected and when done so would consequently make the Council acceptable, none of these positions are in line with what the saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre taught, especially during his latter years, about the Council. The Archbishop saw the Council as perverted through and through. And what do you do with such a thing: condemn it, as a whole, into the dustbin of history!
Here are a few quotes of the Archbishop regarding the Council:
“It is certain that with the 250 conciliar fathers of the Coetus we tried with all the means put at our disposal to keep the liberal errors from being expressed in the texts of the Council. this meant that we were able all the same to limit the damage, to change these inexact or tendentious assertions, to add that sentence to rectify a tendentious proposition, an ambiguous expression.
“But I have to admit that we did not succeed in purifying the Council of the liberal and modernist spirit that impregnated most of the schemas. Their drafters indeed were precisely the experts and the Fathers tainted with this spirit. Now, what can you do when a document is in all its parts drawn up with a false meaning? It is practically impossible to expurgate it of that meaning. It would have to be completely recomposed in order to be given a Catholic spirit.”
(Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “They Have Uncrowned Him”, Angelus Press, English Edition, 1988, quote is contained in the Chapter called “The Robber Council of Vatican II”, Emphasis Mine)
“I do not hesitate to affirm that the Council brought to reality the conversion of the Church to the world. I leave it to you to reflect who the moving spirit of this spirituality was: it is enough for you to remember the one whom Our Lord Jesus Christ calls the Prince of this World.”
(Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “They Have Uncrowned Him”, Angelus Press, English Edition, 1988, quote is contained in the Chapter called “A Pacifist Council”, Emphasis Mine)
“This fight between the Church and the liberals and modernism is the fight over Vatican II. It is as simple of that. And the consequences are far-reaching.
“The more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II, and the more one analyzes their interpretation by the authorities of the Church, the more one realizes that what is at stake is not merely superficial errors, a few mistakes, ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, a certain Liberalism, but rather a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based on modern philosophy, on subjectivism.”
(Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “Two Years after the Consecrations”, Address Given to Priests in Econe, Switzerland on September 6, 1990, Emphasis Mine)
From these quotes, we can readily ascertain with what vehemence the Archbishop opposed the Second Vatican Council. He clearly understood the poison contained throughout its documents. This poison could not simply be separated from the texts that were in accordance with Tradition; rather, the poison was well mixed in the cake thereby making only one solution possible, and that is to reject the Council as a whole. Now although the Archbishop did not explicitly state that the Council’s documents must be rejected as a whole, it forcibly follows from he did say.
Let us now contrast the Archbishop’s words regarding Vatican II with those of Bishop Fellay as proclaimed in the Doctrinal Declaration of April 15, 2012 (emphasis mine).
“The entire tradition of Catholic Faith must be the criterion and guide in understanding the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which, in turn, enlightens – in other words deepens and subsequently makes explicit – certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church implicitly present within itself or not yet conceptually formulated.”
“The affirmations of the Second Vatican Council and of the later Pontifical Magisterium relating to the relationship between the Church and the non-Catholic Christian confessions, as well as the social duty of religion and the right to religious liberty, whose formulation is with difficulty reconcilable with prior doctrinal affirmations from the Magisterium, must be understood in the light of the whole, uninterrupted Tradition, in a manner coherent with the truths previously taught by the Magisterium of the Church, without accepting any interpretation of these affirmations whatsoever that would expose Catholic doctrine to opposition or rupture with Tradition and with this Magisterium.”
Furthermore, here is an interview that Bishop Fellay gave to Catholic News Service, which was published on May 11, 2012 (emphasis mine):
Although he stopped short of endorsing Pope Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II as essentially in continuity with the church’s tradition — a position which many in the society have vocally disputed — Bishop Fellay spoke about the idea in strikingly sympathetic terms.
“I would hope so,” he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.
“The pope says that … the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely,” the bishop said. “The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?”
So on the one hand the Archbishop tells us that the Council’s documents would need to be completely rewritten to give them a Catholic spirit, that the devil was the spirit guiding them, and that they represent a total perversion of the mind. However, on the other hand, Bishop Fellay tells us that the Council documents enlighten and deepen the understanding of certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church, that they must be understood in the light of Tradition without rupture, and that they must be given their place within Tradition. It is evident how radically opposed these two positions are.
For those who argue that Bishop Fellay has turned away from what he had stated last year, please be under no illusion. The conference that he gave in Kansas City on October 12, 2013 actually demonstrates that he does not find anything fundamentally wrong with what he had spoken or written. He basically only admitted that he should have been more clear in his meaning. But even to this I protest that what he had spoken and written is clear enough. And that by his words he had publicly exposed himself as an adversary, objectively speaking, of Catholic Tradition and an unfaithful son of Archbishop Lefebvre!
Dear bishops and priests of the Society of St. Pius X, please come to understand where your leader is taking you, that is, away from the position of your founder (which was nothing other than that of Catholic Tradition) and towards the “Hermeneutic of Continuity” of Modernist Rome. For those who do realize the new direction, will you not stand up and fight for the Faith? Nothing less than souls are at stake!