Twenty years have gone by and one
would have thought that the reactions raised by the Council reforms
would have calmed down, that the Catholic people would have buried
the religion in which they had been brought up, that the younger
ones, not having known it, would have accepted the new one. That,
at least, was the wager made by the Modernists. They were not
unduly disturbed by the uproar, sure of themselves as they were
in the early days. They were less so later on. The frequent
and necessary concessions made to the spirit of the world did
not produce the expected results. Nobody any longer wanted to
be a priest of the new religion and the faithful turned away from
their religious practice. The Church which tried to become a Church
of the poor became a poor Church, obliged to resort to advertising
to collect Peter’s Pence, and to sell off its properties.
During this time those faithful to
Tradition drew together in all the Christian lands, and particularly
in France, Switzerland, the United States and Latin America.
The fabricator of the new Mass, Mgr.
Annibale Bugnini was himself obliged to recognize this world-wide
resistance in his posthumous book,21
a resistance which is growing and organizing itself unceasingly
and drawing support. No, the “traditionalist” movement is not
“slowing-down” as the progressivist journalists write from time
to time to reassure themselves. Where else are there as many
people at Mass as at St. Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, and also as many
Masses, as many Benedicitons of the Blessed Sacrament or as many
beautiful ceremonies? The Society of Saint Pius X throughout the
world owns seventy houses,22
each with at least one priest, churches like the one in Brussels
and the one we have quite recently bought in London, or the one
placed at our disposal in Marseilles; also schools, and four seminaries.
Carmelite convents are opening and
already forming new communities. Religious communities of men
and of women created fifteen or more years ago, who strictly apply
the rule of the Orders from which they stem, are overflowing with
vocations, and are continuously having to enlarge their premises
and construct more buildings. The generosity of the Catholic faithful
never ceases to amaze me, particularly in France.
The monasteries are centers of attraction,
crowds of people go there often from far away; young people bewildered
by the illusory seductions of pleasures and escape in every form,
find in them their Road to Damascus. Here is a list of places
where they have kept the true Catholic faith and for that reason
draw people: Le Barroux, Flavigny-sur Ozerain, La Haye-aux-Bonshommes,
the Benedictines of Alés, the Sisters of Fanjeaux, of Brignolles,
of Pontcallec, and communities like that of Father Lecareux...
Travelling a great deal, I see everywhere
at work the hand of Christ blessing His Church. In Mexico the
ordinary people drove from the churches the reforming clergy who,
won over by the so-called liberation theology, wanted to throw
out the statues of the saints. “It’s not the statues who are going,
it’s you.” Political circumstances have prevented us from opening
a priory in Mexico; so faithful priests travel out from a center
at El Paso near the frontier in the United States. The descendants
of the Cristeros welcome them warmly and offer them their churches.
I have administered 2500 confirmations there at the request of
In the United States, young married
couples with their numerous children flock to the Society’s priests.
In 1982 in that country I ordained the first three priests trained
entirely in our seminaries. Groups of traditionalists are on the
increase whereas the parishes are declining. Ireland, which has
remained refractory towards the novelties, has been subject to
the reforms since 1980, altars having been cast into rivers or
re-used as building material. Simultaneously, traditionalist groups
have formed in Dublin and Belfast. In Brazil, in the diocese of
Campos of which I have already spoken, the people have rallied
around the priests evicted from their parishes by the new bishop,
with processions of 5,000 and 10,000 people taking to the streets.
It is therefore the right road we
are following; the proof is there, we recognize the tree by its
fruits. What the clergy and the laity have achieved in spite of
persecution by the liberal clergy (for, as Louis Veuillot says,
“There is nobody more sectarian than a liberal.”) is almost miraculous.
Do not let yourself be taken in, dear reader, by the term “traditionalist”
which they would have people understand in a bad sense. In a
way, it is a pleonasm because I cannot see who can be a Catholic
without being a traditionalist. I think I have amply demonstrated
in this book that the Church is a tradition. We are a tradition.
They also speak of “integrism.” If by that we mean respect for
the integrality of dogma, of the catechism, of Christian morality,
of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then yes, we are integrists.
And I do not see how one can be a Catholic without being an integrist
in that sense of the word.
It has also been said that after
me, my work will disappear because there will be no bishop to
replace me. I am certain of the contrary; I have no worries on
that account. I may die tomorrow, but the good Lord answers all
problems. Enough bishops will be found in the world to ordain
our seminarians: this I know.
Even if at the moment he is keeping
quiet, one or another of these bishops will receive from the Holy
Ghost the courage needed to arise in his turn. If my work is
of God, He will guard it and use it for the good of the Church.
Our Lord has promised us, the gates of Hell shall not prevail
This is why I persist, and if you
wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this:
At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me, “What have you
done with your episcopate, what have you done with your episcopal
and priestly grace?” I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible
words, “You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest
La Riforma Liturgica: Edizioni Liturgiche Rome.
At present, in the year 2000, there are 135 priories, 6 seminaries,
75 schools, 3 universities, 3 nursing homes, 4 retreat houses,
4 bishops and 401 priests--ed.