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"
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:
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."
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.
THE COUNCIL IN THE LIGHT OF ITS TRADITION
Conciliar documents are the heirs of a tradition, of a special
The Ideology of Liberalism
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
The Ideology of Secularism - Agnosticism of the State
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."
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)"
What Do They Want?1
"Just a Spiritual Galvanizer"
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
Church subsists in the Catholic Church. (Lumen gentium,
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
Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them (Churches
and separated communities, Ed.) as means of salvation.
(Unitatis redintegratio, 3)"
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.
right of the human person to religious freedom . . .
(Dignitatis humanae, 2)"
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.
Catholic Church has a high regard forthe manner of life
and conduct, the precepts and doctrines (of non-Christian
religions, Ed.). (Nostra aetate, 2)"
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
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 )"
passage of Vatican II betrays a type of anthropocentrism
(i.e., man-centeredness) verging on the blasphemous.
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.
we retain its usage as it appeared in the 30 DAYS
article and chart, reprinted here, for the sake of
Personalism which Pulverizes the Common Good
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)"
The New Theology
"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)"
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
THE COUNCIL IN THE LIGHT OF THE “CONCILIAR SPIRIT”
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?
among others is: Ecumenism.
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."
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)"
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 interpreted...in
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."
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.
THE COUNCIL IN THE LIGHT OF IT'S "CHARISMA OF INNOVATION"
Paul II, Apostolic Constitution, Sacrae disciplinae leges,
the approval of the new Code of Canon Law)
ecclesiology, the sacred hierarchy is substituted by democracy
and the divine institution is silenced.
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)"
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)"
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,
Mystical Body of Christ is the Catholic Church. (Pius XII,
who live outside its visible confines are "in a state
in which they cannot feel sure of their own salvation. (ibidem)"
THE COUNCIL IN THE LIGHT OF HISTORICAL DIALECTICS
antitheses, synthesis? Might not this be the Conciliar key?
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)"
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)"
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)"
adulterous union," Msgr. Lefebvre called it in 1988.
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)