that the problem raised by the publication of Pierres Vivantes and
of Parcours (modem catechisms put out by the French Bishops) was
the subject of grave tensions between the French Episcopate and
Rome. Cardinal Ratzinger had, both in Paris and in Lyon, publicly
criticized both of these works as he underscored the problem of
a true catechesis.
In answer to
this call to order, the French Episcopate brought nothing but a
minor touching-up to Pierres Vivantes before publishing, in 1991,
a Catechism for adults, which then received Roman approval.
More than 400
years after the Council of Trent, the publication of this Catechism
of the Catholic Church does indeed constitute an event of far-reaching
consequences. The mass media was on hand to give great publicity
and comment on the first day it was put on sale to the public. Termed
"reactionary" by the "progressives" or left-leaning
journalists, it numbers some 670 pages. It has four sections: "The
profession of faith" (dogmas); "The celebration of the
Christian mystery" (liturgy and sacraments); "Life in
Christ" (morals); and "The Christian prayer."
It is not difficult
to know what Archbishop Lefebvre would have said concerning the
new Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ed. Mame Plon) had he lived
to this day. Indeed, this Catechism will bring according to the
wish of Pope John-Paul II, "a very important contribution to
the work of completely renewing every aspect of Church life, a renewal
called for and implemented by the Second Vatican Council. (Apostolic
Constitution Fidei depositum)"
And in actual
fact, this work is the faithful image of Vatican II from which it
quotes in abundance. Now, we know that Archbishop Lefebvre has spoken
plainly on this subject. And he still speaks, adhuc loquitur ....
As a concrete example, we present the doctrine of the conciliar
catechism on ecumenism and on religious liberty followed by the
judgement of the Founder of the Society of Saint Pius X.
AND THE VALUE OF OTHER RELIGIONS
"Many elements of sanctification and of truth exist outside
the visible limits of the Catholic Church: the written word of God,
the life of grace, faith, hope and charity as well as other interior
gifts of the Holy Ghost, together with other visible elements. The
spirit of Christ makes use of these Churches and ecclesiastical
communities as means of salvation whose strength lies in the plenitude
or fullness of grace and truth, which Christ entrusted to the Catholic
Church. All these divine treasures come from Christ and lead back
to Him, thus begetting by themselves "Catholic unity. (Catechism
The Council took pleasure in exalting the salvific values, or the
values - period - of the other religions. Speaking of the non?Catholic
Christian religions, Vatican II teaches that "Although we believe
them to be victims of deficiencies, they are not in any way devoid
of meaning and of value in the mystery of salvation. "(Decree
on Ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, #3). This is a heresy! The
only means of salvation is the Catholic Church. Insofar as they
are separated from the unity of the true faith, the protestant communions
cannot be used by the Holy Ghost. We can act only directly on the
souls or make use of the means (for example, Baptism), which, in
themselves, do not bear any indication of separation.
One can be
saved in Protestantism, but not by Protestantism! In heaven there
are no Protestants, there are only Catholics! (They Have Uncrowned
Him, p. 176).
LIBERTY AND HUMAN DIGNITY
"In religious matters, no one may be forced to act against
his conscience, nor must be prevented in acting within just limits,
according to his conscience both in private as well as in public,
either alone or with others." This right is based on the very
nature of the human person whose dignity permits it to freely embrace
the divine truth, which transcends the temporal order.
That is why
it "even persists in those people who do not fulfill their
obligation to seek the truth and embrace it. (#2106)"
is practiced in the exchanges between human beings. Each human person,
created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized
as a free and responsible being. Everyone owes to one and all this
duty or obligation of respect. The right to the exercise of liberty
is a requirement, which cannot be separated from the dignity of
the human person especially in moral and religious matters. This
right must be recognized by civil law and protected within the limits
of the common good and public order. (#173)"
"The Council of the Vatican declares ... that the right to
religious liberty has its basis in the very dignity of the human
person. (Dignitatis Humanae, #2)" This dignity consists in
the fact that man, gifted with intelligence and free will, is ordained
by his nature itself to know God, which he cannot do if he is not
left free, (Dignitatis Humanae, #2). The argument is this: man is
free; therefore he must he left free. Or again: man is endowed with
free will; therefore he has the right to freedom of action. You
recognize the absurd principle of all liberalism, as Cardinal Billot
calls it. It is a sophism: free will is located in the domain of
BEING; moral liberty and the liberty of action stem from the realm
of ACTING. It is one thing what a man is by his nature, and it is
something else what he becomes (good or bad in the truth or in error)
by his acts! The radical human dignity is indeed that of an intelligent
nature capable therefore of personal choice; but his final dignity
consists in adhering "in act" to the true and to the good.
It is this final dignity, which merits for each one the moral liberty
(faculty of acting) and the liberty of action (faculty of not being
impeded from acting). But to the extent in which man adheres to
error or attaches himself to evil, he loses his final dignity or
does not attain it; and nothing more can be founded on it! (They
Have Uncrowned Him, p. 192-193)*
LIBERTY, A NATURAL RIGHT TO IMMUNITY?
"The right to religious liberty does not consist in the moral
permission to embrace error, nor is it a supposed right to error,
but a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, that is,
to immunity from exterior constraint, within just limits, in religious
matters on the part of the political power. This natural right must
be recognized in the juridical order of society in such a way that
it constitutes a civil right. (#2108)"
"Therefore, the Council thus defined a simple natural right
to immunity: the right not to be disturbed in the practice of one's
worship, whatever it may be.
or at least the artful step, was obvious: not being able to define
a right to the exercise of every form of worship, since such a right
does not exist for the erroneous cults, they strained their ingenuity
to formulate a natural right to immunity alone, which would hold
for the adherents of all the cults. Thus all the "religious
groups" (a modest term concealing the Babel of religions) would
naturally revel in the immunity from, all restraint in their "Public
worship of the Supreme Divinity. (what divinity is this. for heaven's
sake?)" And they would profit also from the "right not
to be prevented from teaching and from manifesting their faith (what
faith?) publicly, by word of mouth and in writing" (Dignitatis
Humanae, 4), (They Have Uncrowned Him, p. 196).
New Conciliar Catechism:
"If, by reason of particular circumstances in which people
find themselves, a special civil recognition is given in the juridical
order of the city to a given religious society, it is necessary,
at the same time, that the right to liberty in religious matters
be recognized and respected for all citizens as well as for all
religious communities (#2107)"
"Can a greater confusion be imagined? All the followers of
all the religions, the true one as well as the false ones, boiled
down to absolutely the same base of equality, would enjoy one same
natural right, under the pretext that this is only a 'right to immunity.'
Is this conceivable? (They Have Uncrowned Him, p. 196).
OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
"The right to religious freedom cannot in itself be unlimited,
nor only limited by some 'public order' as conceived in a positivist
or naturalist manner. The 'just limits' inherent to it (religious
freedom) must be determined by political prudence for each social
situation, according to the requirements of the common good, and
ratified by the civil authority, according to those juridical rules
which conform to the moral objective order. (#2109)"
Vatican II stipulates first of all that religious liberty must be
confined within "just limits," (Dignitatis Humanae, 1)
according to the juridical rules . . . consistent with the objective
moral order, which are required in order effectively to safeguard
the rights of all ... authentic public peace... as well as the protection
due to public morality. (Dignitatis Humanae, 7)" That is all
very reasonable, but leaves aside the essential question, which
is this: Does not the State have the duty, and therefore the right,
to safeguard the religious unity of the citizens in the true religion
and to protect the Catholic souls against scandal and the propagation
of religious error and, for these reasons only, to limit the practice
of the false cults, even to prohibit them if need be?
This is why
it must be said that the "limits" fixed by the Council
onto religious liberty are only dust in the eyes, concealing the
radical defect from which they suffer and which is not to take into
consideration the difference between truth and error! Against all
justice they pretend to attribute the same right to the true religion
and to the false ones, and they then strive artificially to limit
the damages by barriers, which are far from satisfying the requirements
of Catholic doctrine. I would readily compare "the limits"
of religious liberty to the security guard?rails on the highways,
which serve to contain the swervings of the vehicles whose drivers
have lost control. In the very first place, it would still be a
question of reminding the drivers of their duty to follow the traffic
laws! (They Have Uncrowned Him, pp.204-205)"
In the whole course of his life, faithful to the Catholic Faith
as well as to the Tradition of the Church, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,
never one to put forth any kind of personal doctrine, has always
relied upon the Acts of the Magisterium in his unflagging opposition
to modernist errors so frequently condemned by all of the popes
until they were introduced into the texts of Vatican II and the
post?conciliar errors and aberrations.
* The book They Have Uncrowned Him is available from Angelus Press,