The Hidden Truth, or the Refusal to See It
By Fr. Thomas Aquinas OSB
translated by Michael Fuller
It is astonishing to see the truth, although public, being ignored. But what truth are we talking about? Of the most evident facts of the current crisis in Tradition in general and in particular in the Society, and within the reach of all who want to know. Truth unknown, hidden or simply not sought; ignored in all cases, if not to say despised.
Some claim, like Fr. Lourenço Fleichman OSB, that the resistance presents an “argument lacking fundamentals, based on false information” (see Sobre a Sagração Episcopal).
If there is a need to reiterate what has already been said and to preach in season and out of season, in good times and in bad times, we do not become weary in doing so, since St. Paul exhorts us to. If there is a need to reproduce the arguments and remind others of the facts, we do not get tired of repeating them and reminding others of them. Once more we make the diagnosis of the disease that erodes Tradition and threatens everyone with death. This evil is the Catholic Liberalism, plague of modern times, contradiction embodied in the people that embrace it. All of us who most often consider ourselves immune to this universal contagion are susceptible to be victims of this evil.
And so it is necessary to defend the work, thoughts, and intransigent Catholic line of Archbishop Lefebvre that is none other than that of St. Pius X and the entire Magisterium of the Church from its founding up unto the apostasy triggered by the Second Vatican Council.
But before this let us deal with the details; those details without which we are unable to achieve any real diagnosis of the disaster of which we are witnesses. Let us therefore begin with the movement known as GREC (Group for Reflection Among Catholics), and we shall arrive up until this very day in a very brief review of some important facts that will point to the final cause that motivates and explains them.
In 1995, shortly before his death, the former French ambassador to the Vatican, Gilbert Pérol, wrote an article of “good offices” with the intent to promote a friendly rapprochement between the Society and the official Church. In this project his wife, Mrs. Huguette Pérol, continued and then a first working structure was established in 1998.
Shortly after, this group took the name cited above, GREC, and reunited members of the SSPX and the progressive clergy. Over the years this group attracted the attention of the French episcopate, no less than that of Rome. The objective of GREC, as one of its founders, Father Michel Lelong, explains “is the necessary reconciliation between Tradition and Rome”. [i] An objective mistake, because as Archbishop Lefebvre stated: “Rome has lost the faith … Rome is in apostasy “(cf. Conference to priests in Ecône during the retreat for priests on September 1, 1987).
But for GREC, these words of Archbishop Lefebvre do not deserve attention. They are words spoken in a “time of distress” as one of defenders of the line of Bishop Fellay stated. The members of GREC believe they see events from a higher point, with more serenity, thus targeting an “impossible reconciliation“, as Fr. Rioult says very well, reconciliation between two opposing realities: between the true Church, eternal Rome, and the official church, modernist Rome. The truth is that here we see the crux of the problem in the Society because Menzingen has continued since then to seek this reconciliation advocated by GREC, using its authority to stop criticism of the Holy See i.e., the modernists that occupy it. [ii] This is the reason of Bishop Fellay having asked Bishop Williamson to cease his “Eleison Comments” and not to have made strong criticisms of the last ecumenical meeting of Assisi.
Let us remember, albeit briefly, other facts:
Response of April 14th, 2012, by Bishop Fellay, to the other three bishops of the Society, in which he tells his brother bishops that they “lack realism and supernatural spirit”;
Doctrinal statement of April 15th, 2012. This statement raised a reaction such that Bishop Fellay found himself compelled to withdraw it. But he did not retract it even to this day. The Society was and is not yet “ripe” to accept it.
May 11th, 2012, Bishop Fellay gives an interview to the American television channel CNS (Catholic News Service), in which he minimizes the seriousness of the conciliar document “Dignitatis Humanae”.
In July 2012 the General Chapter of the Society meets without the presence of Bishop Williamson, who was forbidden to be there. The result of this chapter is the abandonment of the decision of the last General Chapter (2006), which established that it would not undergo any practical agreement with Rome without a prior “doctrinal agreement”, in other words, before the conversion of Rome.
Shortly after the expulsion of Bishop Williamson from the Society is announced, an expulsion that he considers null; and Bishop Williamson invites Bishop Fellay to resign from his position in order to not to destroy the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.
On June 13, 2012 Bishop Tissier de Mallerais manifests himself against the politic of an agreement in an interview with the newspaper “Rivarol”, without, however, mentioning Bishop Fellay. Note that Bishop Tissier was transferred from Ecône to a priory in the United States. That is how the seminarians had lost contact with the oldest collaborator of the Archbishop.
In the following months, several statements, public and private, expressed and reinforced the pragmatic policy of the Society in relation to Rome. “Unilateral recognition” is the suitable formula to obtain the acceptance by members of the Society. But this is the same solution accepted by Dom Gerard (Barroux – France) in 1988, as well as Campos in 2002. A canonical recognition has been sufficient, whether unilateral or not, to create dependence on the modernist authorities and this time allow them to annihilate the whole tradition. It is not the inferiors that make the superiors, but the superiors that make the inferiors, as Archbishop Lefebvre noted. It’s a simple matter of common sense, but common sense is no longer very common.
It is convenient to recall to mind the iniquitous trials of which Frs. Pinaud and Salenave suffered, trials described and commented on by Fr. François Pivert in the book “Quel droit pour la Tradition catholique?“.
Religious communities that did not approve of the Menzingen policy had already been the subject of several measures of pressure and vexation. The list is long. Recall the postponement of ordinations of the Dominican and Capuchin deacons in 2012. The Benedictines of Bellaigue were also threatened to have the ordinations of their candidates postponed. Now, this is explained if we consider that the superiors of these three religious houses had been in Menzingen to express their disagreement with Bishop Fellay.
However, those who support Bishop Fellay said that that is water under the bridge: the 2012 General Chapter gave a satisfactory solution to the question; which is false. Both Fr. Pflüger, first assistant of Bishop Fellay, and Fr. Alain Nely, second assistant, spoke on the subject, whether in private conversations, or in retreats, and also in public interviews.
You cannot in any way say that all that was problematic in the Society is remedied. If this were true, Bishop Williamson would have been rehabilitated, honored and listened to because that was his initiative in drafting the letter to the General Council, also signed by Bishop Tissier and Bishop de Galarreta, which saved the Society from an agreement with Rome in 2012. Three bishops against the agreement were too much for Rome. It was better to wait for more propitious times.
For Archbishop Lefebvre this opportune moment to express himself- was the conversion of Rome and acceptance of the doctrines of the papal documents Quanta Cura, Syllabus, Pascendi, Quas Primas, etc. But for Bishop Fellay, the propitious times arrived and brought with them the spirit of decreased combat on the part of the Society, i.e. the alignment (“ralliement” in French) that culminated in his statement of April 15, 2012 and continues even without the signature of an agreement.
The conclusion of all this is something amazing and tragic. These facts are public, mostly. Why is there not a greater reaction to Bishop Fellay’s policy? Apparently, it is because liberalism and apostasy already operate within Tradition itself. Bishop Fellay, assisted by many priests, created a state of disorientation such that many faithful are no longer able to discern anything about what is happening with the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.
That’s why we say that the truth about these events remain hidden even though it is public. It would be a good time to quote the famous phrase of Chesterton, the following: “The modern world is run by a hidden force that is called publicity“. What matters, as a friend of ours has said, are not the facts, but the version of the facts. Now the triumphant version is that Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure are disobedient and that the superiors of the Society are the true followers of Archbishop Lefebvre. This is false, as we demonstrate. This is the heart of the problem..
“Now is your hour and the power of darkness” (Luke. XXII, 53). Maybe the Resistance has to survive as the apostles and disciples did while scattered about during the time of the Passion. It is useful to recall a reflection from the great Brazilian thinker, Gustavo Corção: “ I do not believe in any work nowadays bringing together a large number of people“. Perhaps the resistance is the opusillus grex to what Our Lord urged not to fear because it pleased the Father to give you the kingdom. That the protection of the Blessed Virgin may keep us faithful to the end! “Ut Fidelis inveniatur“.
Fr. Thomas Aquinas OSB
April 1st, 2015
[i] Pour la nécéssaire réconciliation, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, 2011, p. 15.
[ii] Ibidem, p. 50.