Si Si No No Title

June 1993 No. 2

The heirs of Archbishop Lefebvre and the council

The following is an extensive article and critical synopsis of the objections of Abbe Schmidberger's staff to Vatican II. "This is what keeps us and Rome apart"

Reading the Council in the light of tradition" (John Paul II to the Sacred College, November 6, 1978) seemed to Msgr. Lefebvre to be a hermeneutically correct criterion (letter to the Holy Father, March 8, 1980). But the archbishop explained to his followers:

"They want to make the Council part of tradition but my conception of tradition is a discriminatory factor which distinguishes what in the Council conforms with tradition and what goes against it." It was on this point that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger insisted on July 20,1983: "You cannot state that Conciliar texts - which are part of the Magisterium - are incompatible with the Magisterium and tradition."

While undoubtedly some texts do conform with tradition, such as No.25 of Lumen Gentium or the decree on the ministry of priests, there is also one irreconcilable document: on religious liberty; and there are so many other texts which one famous theologian described as "full of errors and mistakes" and which no one, especially the Pope, interprets in the light of tradition. For, these texts have other points of reference, which require analysis.



Some Conciliar documents are the heirs of a tradition, of a special tradition.

a) The Ideology of Liberalism

Liberty as a supreme value implies the primacy of liberty over truth. It is liberty which makes do with being "related" to the truth but which at the same time does not adhere to it in any way and which claims in any case exemption from all bonds in its social expression (Dignitatis humanae, 2). The problem of  "due limits" (Dignitatis humanae, 2) is the false problem typically generated by unregulated liberty and for which, suddenly, rules must be provided. Pursuing this vicious circle could have been avoided by following Leo XIII: "In the eternal law (of God) is finally to be found the entire rule of true liberty. (Leo XIII, Libertas)”

b) The Ideology of Secularism - Agnosticism of the State

Msgr. De Smedt, a speaker to the Council, said: "The State is not a power such as to provide a judgment on religious truth because: 1) the State is an abstract thing; 2) it is erected by democratic constitutions which do not bestow this power upon it."

Such a concept of State is in contrast with all tradition: "To princes let the honor of God be dear above all things, and let them make it their chief duty to favor the true religion. (Leo XIII, Immortale Dei)": "O Christ, that Heads of State may honor Thee publicly, that professors and judges honor Thee, that Thou be manifest in laws and the arts! (Sixth verse of the Vespers hymn of Christ the King, suppressed after the Council)"


Lefebvrists, What Do They Want?1
"Just a Spiritual Galvanizer"

This is the Lefebvrist criticism of the post-Conciliar Church. The following are some of the Vatican II passages which they see as the least reconcilable with Tradition

VATICAN II "The Church subsists in the Catholic Church. (Lumen gentium, 8)"

Tradition has always sustained that "the Mystical Body of Christ is the Catholic Church. (Pius XII, Mysticicorporis)" "Subsists in" really implies other, secondary, points of subsistence in "separated communities." The traditional "is," which signifies an absolute identity between the Church of Christ and the Cathoexcludes this.


"The Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them (Churches and separated communities, Ed.) as means of salvation. (Unitatis redintegratio, 3)"


Tradition has always sustained that "those who are divided amongst themselves (from the Catholic Church) for reasons of faith or government cannot live in the unity of such a Body and consequently not in its divine Spirit either. (Pius XII, Mystici corporis)" And Msgr. Lefebvre, in I Accuse The Council, recalled that "a community, in that it is a separated community, cannot enjoy the help of the Holy Spirit since its separation is resistance to the Holy Spirit . . . The Holy Spirit can only use the means which do not in themselves entail any sign of separation," such as valid Baptism, the Holy Scripture taken as a whole, etc.


"This right of the human person to religious freedom . . . (Dignitatis humanae, 2)"


Tradition has always sustained that "right (cannot belong) indiscriminately to truth and to falsehood. (Leo XIII, Libertas )" There can be no abstraction from the truth and from religious error. Adherents to false cults (those which at least conform to natural law) have a right as regards irreligion which persecutes but not as regards the true religion -as regards the need to protect the Catholic Faith and the common temporal good founded upon it. Catholics, in contrast, have the "right to worship God" (Pins XII, Christmas Message 1942) in all circumstances.


"The Catholic Church has a high regard forthe manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines (of non-Christian religions, Ed.). (Nostra aetate, 2)"


There must be respect for the person who is in error but his error must be detested and an effort made to let him understand the error. What there is of truth in false religions cannot be a pretext for respecting their errors.


" . . . the Church in Christ is in the nature of sacrament-a sign and instrument. . . of unity among all men. (Lumen gentium, 1)"


This Conciliar text is one of the "delayed effect bombs," one of those "mistaken" texts which even Fr. Schillebeeckx denounced as "disloyal." Pope John Paul II has "removed the mistake": the Church is not (just) the company of baptized and of faithful but the sign and instrument for relaying the awareness to non-Christians that they are already one in Christ from the moment of the Incarnation, although they do not know it. This is his "new evangelization. (cf Johannes Dormann, Le Chemin theologique de Jean-Paul II vers Assise )" The Church is therefore tending to diminish itself to the level of a movement for the spiritual galvanization of the Synarchy...of world government.


. . . all things on earth should be ordained to man as to their center and summit. (Gaudium et spes, 12, 1 )"


This passage of Vatican II betrays a type of anthropocentrism (i.e., man-centeredness) verging on the blasphemous.

1. We repeat that The Society of Saint Pius X rejects the label, "Lefebvrist," because of its false and derogatory implication that the Society is not Catholic.

However, we retain its usage as it appeared in the 30 DAYS article and chart, reprinted here, for the sake of authenticity.



c) Personalism which Pulverizes the Common Good

Jacques Maritain (Integral Humanism) and, after the totalitarianisms of the 1930s and 1940s, the Church's social doctrine (Mater et magistra; Pacem in terris) increasingly diminished the common good to a mere list of human rights: "Peace comes down to respect for man's inviolable rights. (Redemptor hominis, 17,2)" It is the individualistic perspective of the revolution which is penetrating the Church. The Council falls into step with this trend, with the right of religious liberty (Dignitatis humanae) and with exaltation of the human person, forgetting God: "Believers and non-believers agree almost unanimously that all things on earth should be ordained to man as to their center and summit. (Gaudium et Spes, 12,1)"

d) The New Theology

De Lubac's "Natural supernatural" and the "anonymous Christians" of KarI Rahner are not foreign to the Council's "regard" for the "manner ...of conduct...and doctrines" of other religions, that "often reflect a ray of truth which enlightens all men. (Nostra aetate, 2)"

Nor are they extraneous to the notion of Church as the "sacrament ...of unity among all men (Lumen gentium, 1)" John Paul II sees religious divergencies as a "human fact" which does not, fundamentally, touch the unity that creates and redeems mankind since "Christ has united himself with each one, forever, through the mystery of the Redemption. (Redemptor hominis, I3)" It is the theory of the universal redemption, an unprecedented novelty, which derives from a certain proto-Conciliar tradition, then from the Council itself and finally from authentic post-Conciliar interpretation.



Cardinal Ratzinger says we must look to the real Council and unmask the anti-spirit of the Council, which was already manifest during the sessions and then increasingly so in the period that followed (The Faith Report). We would like to pose this burning question: is this anti-spirit to be found in the Council or just around the Council? Did it later influence official applications and the authentic interpretations, or just the "wild-cat" excesses?

One example among others is: Ecumenism.

Tradition teaches: "The union of Christians can be promoted in no other way than by favoring the return of dissidents to the one true Church of Christ, from which they had one day the unfortunate idea of detaching themselves" and it condemns the inter-religious "many-hued congresses" which "suppose that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, insofar as all of them in one way or another show forth and give witness to that spontaneous sense in-born within us, which carries us towards God."

And it concludes: "Whoever lends a hand to such attempts or favors such opinions is thereby distancing himself from the religion revealed by God. (Pius XI, Mortalium animos)"

The Council's official interpretation is the many-hued Congress of Assisi on October 27, 1986 at which Pope John Paul II invited the representatives of world, religions to pray "God" for peace, saying: "This must be seen and the light of the Second Vatican Council. (address, October 22, 1986)" As Professor Johannes Dormann says: here, Vatican II assumes its authentic interpretation: "The Council interpreted in the light of Assisi."

Conclusion: the anti-spirit is to be found in the very texts of Unitatis redintegratio and Nostra aetate and it is to be found in Gaudium et spes on the point of "Christ united to all men" through the Incarnation.



(cf John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution, Sacrae disciplinae leges, the approval of the new Code of Canon Law)

In Conciliar ecclesiology, the sacred hierarchy is substituted by democracy and the divine institution is silenced.


"Christ's faithful are those who...are constituted the people of God. For this reason they participate in their own way in the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ. They are called, each according to his or her particular condition, to exercise the mission, which God entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world. (New Code of Canon Law, Can. 204, §1)"


"By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy as regards order consists of bishops, priests and ministers; as regards jurisdiction, it consists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate. (1917 Code of Canon Law, Can. 108, §3)"


The Church of Christ “subsists in the Catholic Church. (Lumen gentium, 8)" "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God (Lumen gentium, 16)"


"The Mystical Body of Christ is the Catholic Church. (Pius XII, Mystici corporis)"

Those who live outside its visible confines are "in a state in which they cannot feel sure of their own salvation. (ibidem)"



Thesis, antitheses, synthesis? Might not this be the Conciliar key?

The thesis is the Church of yesterday, founded on its dogma; the antitheses are the "values which are most highly prized today"; the synthesis is a "new balance" between the two: "And so mankind substitutes a dynamic and more evolutionary concept of nature for a static one, and the result is an immense series of new problems calling for a new endeavor of analysis and synthesis. (Gaudium et spes, 5, 3)"

And the synthesis is expressed by the following passage of the Conciliar texts: "In that light the Council intends first of all to assess those values which are most highly prized today and to relate them to their divine source" because they are "exceedingly good" and "need to be set right. (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 11,2)" "The problem of the 1960s," Cardinal Ratzinger explains, "was to acquire the best values expressed by two centuries of liberal culture. These values, although born outside the Church, may have a place if they are amended and corrected in the Church's vision of the world. ("Why the Faith is in Crisis," the Italian review Jesus, November 1984)" "And what has been done," he adds, is the work of the Council; but he confesses that the "new balance" that was sought has not yet been found: "We would like Christianity's fundamental values and the liberal values which dominate today's world to find a meeting point that they may be reciprocally fertile. (Ratzinger, Le Monde, November 17,1992)" "An adulterous union," Msgr. Lefebvre called it in 1988.


Catholics in Surrender! <<First article


Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)

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