Si Si No No Title

October 1994 No. 10

They Think They've Won Part VIII


In this series of articles, we have demonstrated that although it had been solemnly condemned and fought by Pope St. Pius X (Pascendt) as well as by his successors up to and including Pope Pius XII (Humani Generis), modernism continued to smolder like a sect within the Church itself. Finally, after several decades, the lengthy disobedience which had remained more or less under cover for so long, literally exploded at the time of the "pastoral" Vatican Council II with the tragic result that the "new theology" or neo-modernism is seen to triumph everywhere today - strong indeed, but not of the strength of truth. And this only because it was favored and promoted by those in ecclesiastical authority at every level, including the summit, to the devastation of the souls it deceives and betrays (and which forbids us, one and all, therefore, to remain silent in the face of such a mortal danger).

We have seen that neo-modernism is based on Blondel's false "Christian philosophy ." This self-deceived imposter, in his illusions of reconciling the Church with the "modern world," that is, with that cancer-ridden modern philosophy, which from its very beginning was fatally struck with the pestilence of skepticism and of subjectivism, perverted, as the modernists are wont to do, "the eternal notion of truth" (St. Pius X, Pascendl) and that of "supernature" and the supernatural order. True restoration in the Church will therefore come about by a return to traditional (Thomistic) philosophy.

We later illustrated the errors of Henri de Lubac, S.J.,"father" of a "new theology" which "evolves with the evolution of things - semper itura, numquam perventura - forever en route or on a journey, without ever reaching its goal" (Pius XII, Allocution of September 17, 1946).

We also expect to have thrown some light on Balthasar's obscure pseudo-theology, which has transferred Hegel's "philosophical delirium" into the ecumenical sphere. Next, we considered the thoughts and behavior of three high-ranking ecclesiastical authorities (although of different degrees of responsibility), and who therefore bear the greatest blame for the present-day triumph of the modernists: Paul VI (whom, properly speaking, we should define as a philomodernist), John Paul II (who is, on the other hand, a devotee of the "new theology") and Card. Ratzinger. We have tried to bring to light, even more than the modernist errors, the contempt shown to the infallible magisterium of the Church - a contempt which the "new theology" wears like a badge. This allows us to judge it for what it really is as well as for what it seeks, even those of us who are neither philosophers nor theologians. This is, in fact, what the "new ecclesiastical direction" is aiming at: the blotting out of every trace of twenty centuries of Christianity, under the pretext of a "return to primitive Christianity" or to an "authentic Christianity" in the name of a "pastoral" Council (which the modernists, post factum, are belatedly striving to change into a "dogmatic" Council!). This is done also in the name of a "living magisterium" of today which heretically claims that the magisterium of "yesterday" is dead. An obviously heretical claim, since it would necessarily lead to the conclusion that "all the faithful throughout all the centuries, all the saints, all those who have kept chastity, continence or virginity, all the clerics, levites and priests, thousands upon thousands of confessors, the countless legions of martyrs, so many busy cities and populous countries, so many islands, provinces, kings, races, kingdoms, nations, in a word, almost the entire universe incorporated to Christ its Head, have all been unaware, have erred, blasphemed and in the course of all those past centuries, have not known or have completely ignored that in which they were supposed to believe" (St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium) .


Finally, we have demonstrated that the so-called "restoration" is simply nothing but a myth having its origin in the modest, moderated, and in itself quite insignificant "conflict" between the "moderate wing" (which presently wields power and authority in the Church) and the "extremist wing" or "integrist" wing of neo-modernism. All of those illusions born of this "conflict" should, by now, have been completely swept away by our study: there is not, nor can there be, any hope of "restoration" by those neo-modernists who obstinately continue to trudge their weary way along the path of "skepticism, fantasy, and of error."

It is of course true that de Lubac, Balthasar, Pope Paul VI, Card. Ratzinger, as well as Pope John Paul II himself have all, at one time or another, deplored some of the more flagrant post-conciliar abuses.

De Lubac, for example, wrote that "the Council has been the actions of what I may be permitted to call a para-council" (Mimoire autour de mes oeuvres). He seems also to share Villepelet's "worries": "The obvious recklessness of our bishops, the political deviation of their cherished 'Catholic Action,' uncontrolled liturgical disorders, internal moral decay in seminaries, privileged treatment of defrocked priests, contempt for Tradition, notorious doctrinal (the Eucharist) and moral (marriage, etc...) carelessness, the enormous responsibility of certain 'Catholic' reviews..." (ibid.).

And those other neomodernists or philomodernists, "faithful" (to speak as Henrici does) to the "new theological line of Lyon," servilely echoed their "master."

Balthasar deplored the "trend or tendency favoring the 'selling-off of post-Conciliar ecumenism (Hans Urs von Balthasar, Figure et Oeuvre, p.435). Paul VI, in a discourse before the seminarians of Lombardy actually wept over the "self-destruction" of the Church: "The Church is, at the present time, sick with worry, with self-criticism; I would even say that it is in a period of self-destruction. The Church has reached the point of striking herself with mortal blows" (Il Populo, December 9, 1968). In a private interview with Guitton (a well-known journalist and personal friend of Paul VI - translator's note), he bemoans the fact that priests "have gotten into the bad habit of using only Canon II, which is the shortest and most expedient one." And in his last discussion, he went so far as to declare: "Inside Catholicism itself, a non-Catholic way of thinking seems sometimes to have taken the upper hand, and it is possible that this same non-Catholic thinking will in tommorrow's world be the stronger one within Catholicism itself. But this new non-Catholic thought will never represent the thought of the Catholic Church. A small flock must survive, even though it be very tiny flock" (ibid., p.168).

Card. Ratzinger, in his book Entretien sur la Foi (Discourse on the Faith), has also deplored those "solitary breakaways ahead" (p. 32) and spoken, like de Lubac, of a "Council betrayed," of an "explosion of latent aggressive and centrifugal force within the very bosom of the Church" (p.31).

And last but by no means least, Pope John Paul II, on the occasion of a conference for the Missioni al Populo (Missions to the People), come directly to the point: "In the present day Church, it must be admitted (with realism together with a deep and sorrowful awareness, that a very great number of Christians have become troubled, disoriented, perplexed, and even deceived; ideas which are in disaccord with that revealed truth taught by the Church since apostolic times, are currently widespread: veritable heresies have even flooded the fields of dogma and morals, giving rise to doubts, confusion and rebellion; liturgy has been altered; submerged as there are in today's intellctual and moral 'relativism, ' Christians are tempted by atheism, agnosticism, by a vaguely moralistic illuminism [Illu minism: the doctrine of certain marginal religious movements founded on the belief of an interior illumination, or on "revelations" directly inspired by God], by a sociological Christianity without any defined dogmas or objective morality whatsoever" (L'Osservatore Romano, February 7, 1981).


This declaration as well as others, taken individually, could lead, and in fact, have led many persons to believe that the time for reflecting (on the present crisis) and, indeed, the time for the restoration is at hand. Sad to say, such is not the case; it is quite the contrary. Under the cover of this so called “restoration” the revolutionary “self destruction” of the Catholic Church continues unabated. In fact, all the neomodernist "moderates" should also be included in those remarks intended for Ratzinger.

First and foremost, the "moderates" deplore "abuses" as such, and not at all in relation to their own more moderate (and therefore even more dangerous) form of modernism which they have absolutely no intention of repudiating, and which they continue to uphold with a tenacity worthy of a better cause. The "conflict," neither deep nor serious, has already been described as a simple skirmish between those who think de Lubac to be already out of date (cf. Paul VI Secret, p.110), and those who have decided to remain "faithful" to him: "We follow the line of the extreme center. No excessive attention to the magisterium [sic!] nor disputing. Neither right nor left. Our allegiance is to that tradition in the line of the "new theology" of Lyon [cradle of de Lubac's theology] which insists on the non-opposition between nature and supernature, that is, nature and supernature are really identically same things (and consequently) between faith and culture, and which has become the official theology of Vatican II" explained very clearly by Fr. Henrici in his interview with 3O days of December 1991. And we have shown what the "line" has proven to be in this series of articles. Therefore, when de Lubac complains that the "Council has been betrayed," he means betrayed in relation to his own personal views and expectations, not in objective relation to the Catholic Faith. When Card. Ratzinger defends the "authentic Council," he means the Council interpreted in the light of the "new theology," and not at all in the light of Catholic Tradition. When John Paul II speak of the Council interpreted in the light of Tradition, he means: in the light of de Lubac's "tradition in the line of the "new theology" or with a tradition evolving with the evolution of the times and not in the light of unchanging Catholic Tradition. Villepelet's "worries" in his book Mimoire autour de mes oeuvres, nevertheless writes immediately after, "Our 'post-Conciliar' age is certainly, even though it is going over some rather rough bumps, being visited, by the Spirit of God; I also believe such signs are beginning to make themselves manifest more and more [sic!] and I would like to repeat on my own behalf this sentence from a person who has recently written to me: 'Hope no longer seems to me to be a duty, but (to be) a springtime" (p.389).

These illusions concerning the "springtime of the Church" are having a hard time disappearing, thanks to the "new theology." Especially when their disappearance directly depends on the humbly confessed avowal of one's own errors and personal responsibilities in the present day disaster. And in fact, the "father" of the "new theology" maintained right to the very end of his life that he had never "found the means nor felt the need to clarify anything else" (30 Days, July 1985) regarding his false notion of "supernature" (or of the supernatural order), which is, nevertheless at the base of all the errors and heresies of today's pseudo-theology, as Card. Siri masterfully pointed out in his book Gethsemani, and as L 'Osservatore Romano itself admitted (on September 8, 1991): "Henri de Lubac is, without the slightest doubt, one of the great founding fathers contemporary Catholic theology. Neither Karl Rahner nor, even less, Hans Urs voh Balthasar, is think able without him."

As for Balthasar, even though deploring the "trend to selling off' present-day (false) ecumenism, he does not in the least renounce his "ecumenical delirium," of a "catholicity which leaves nothing out," of, a super-Church without any "confessional determination at all,"  And de Lubac, which (but now this is Pope Pius XII speaking) everybody, yes, will be united, but in a common ruin" (Humani Generis). And although Pope Paul VI weeps over the "self-destruction" of the Church, and in Paul VI Secret deplores the fact that priests are in the "bad habit" of using "the shortest and most expedient" Canon, yet does he continue to maintain that with the liturgical reform "not only have we retained the past, but we have once again found the source which is the most ancient, the most primitive tradition and which is also the closest to the Church's origins. Now over the centuries, the light of this tradition was 'hidden under a bushel,' and particularly at the time of the Council of Trent" (Paul VI Secret, p.158). Unbelievable, incredible, words coming from a Pope's lips, yet tragically true. In any case, what would the Catholic Church be if it had hidden or caused to be hidden that vital Tradition, and was only now beginning to rediscover it? In such a case, it surely could not be the Church of Christ to which infallibility had been promised for the unaltered protection of the "Deposit of the Faith." And although Pope Paul VI, in his last interview with Jean Guitton, prophesying in the manner of Caiphas (Jn.11:51 ff), foresaw a general apostasy and a very small "remnant" of true faithful, yet this same Paul VI demonstrated very clearly, through his unjust judgment of Archbishop Lefebvre and the latter's undeserved condemnation, his hostility towards the "little flock" which through love for the Church disapproved of his tenacious work of destruction.

As for Ratzinger, if in his Entretien sur la Foi (Discourse on the Faith) he deplores those "solitary breakaways ahead of the pack," in the very same breath he excludes "any possibility of a return to the Church's pre-Vatican II status": "If by 'restoration' a return to a pre-Vatican II position is meant, then there is no possibility of a restoration. The Church is marching along the road of History's fulfillment, its eyes riveted upon the coming Lord. No, we have no intention of going back nor can we do so" (Entretien sur la Foi, p.40).

And what in the world would Card. Ratzinger have liked and would still like to see? A "quiet evolution" of doctrine where "quiet" does not at all mean coherent and in harmony with two thousand years of Christianity: "We must remain faithful to the present  day, not to its past, nor to its future. And this present day of the Church consists in the documents of Vatican II in their authenticity" (Entretien sur la Foi, p.32).

Those sections are included where those documents (cf. Nostrae Aetate, Dignitatis Humanae, etc.) are in flagrant contradiction with the constant, traditional teaching of the Church.

And even though John Paul II, at the beginning of his pontificate, deplored the fact that veritable heresies had even then (February 1981) flooded the fields of dogma and morals, he has, nevertheless declared that the new ecclesiastical course is "irreversible," and he continues to support and defend it with a resolution and firmness worthy of that cause which is its exact opposite. If needed, confirmation of what has been affirmed here is seen in the consistent behavior of those invested with (supreme) authority in the Church with regard to extreme modernists: neither Paul VI, nor Ratzinger, nor John Paul II has ever engaged his unquestionable authority to repress those very same "abuses" that each had personally and publically deplored. Then, in modernist fashion, these same authorities, after having bewailed these "abuses," seem to acknowledge that they do indeed have a stimulating role to play in the "evolution" of the Church's doctrine and institutions (cf. St. Pius X - Pascendi, and Courrier de Rome, September 1993).

Their aversion and their disciplinary measures (from ostracism to excommunication) are reserved for those who resist so as to remain faithful to the doctrine of the Church.


If, therefore, we stop to simply consider the criticism leveled at some of the post-Conciliar frenzy, we are indeed able to accept and agree with those many declarations of de Lubac, of Balthasar, of Paul VI, of Ratzinger as well as of John Paul II. If, however, we consider what those authorities seek to establish in God's Holy Church, we behold that they only seek to lay down and impose those very same bases from which have sprung the countless "abuses" which they now deplore. At this juncture, their so called "moderation" is seen for what it really is: either a typically modernist tactic to block undesired and/or delayed-effect reactions, or simply the inability of going to the very bottom of things in order to draw all the conclusions from their own modernist errors.

Already at the dawn of this century, Pope Pius X, in his encyclical Pascendi, while making a clear distinction between a "moderate" type and an integrist version of modernism, observed that the latter was more coherent than the former, both starting out with the same false assumptions; the "extreme" modernists leap immediately to find conclusions, while the "moderates," on the contrary, take it step by step. In order to dispel any illusion that it is possible to remain in a half-way position, the Holy Pontiff St. Pius X in this admirable encyclical went to great lengths to draw forth all the ruinous consequences flowing from those errors upon which modernism had been founded. For so doing, that Holy See was violently taken to task by the modernists of his day (as well as by those of today), who accused him of exaggerating the consequences and repercussions of modernism.

The simple truth of the affair, however, is that, however unable and/or unwilling as they are to go to the very bottom of the matter so as to draw all the conclusions from their own erroneous bases, this does not alter the fact that once these false propositions are laid down and accepted, disastrous consequences will inevitably follow. A "small" initial error on the level of principles will most certainly result in great and grave consequences which many, while upholding an error of principle, are utterly unable to foresee.

And yet, St. Pius X solemnly declared: "Further, we admonish professors to bear well in mind that they cannot set aside St. Thomas Aquinas, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave disadvantage" (Pascendi, no.45).

Parvus error in principio est magnus in fine, says St. Thomas. (A small error in principle becomes great in its end results). And Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.,develops the point, "They (the modernists) will certainly accuse us of exaggerating, but even a slight error on first notions and principles will inevitably have incalculable consequences which were not at all foreseen by those who have deceived themselves in this manner. The far-reaching consequences of these new theories of which we have just spoken [the "new theology"] will therefore spread way above and beyond any and all estimates of those authors quoted above [de Lubac, Bouillard, Fesard, etc...]" (Where Is the New Theology Taking Us? previously quoted).

And we know only too well, through bitter direct experience, that this is indeed what we are all seeing today.


There is no moderation of modernism in sight, only cunning and trickery, or at the very best, an intellectual incoherence which, however, can by no means wash away the "moderate" modernists' "original sin" (modernism). A simple and humble act of true obedience to the infallible magisterium of the Church would have saved them from their own restrained delirium.

Lacordaire, following his harrowing "liberal" crisis wrote: "After ten years of futile efforts in trying to imagine the true role of philosophy in the Church, where have I come to? To the very same ideas held by those who, unworried and untormented, have relied more on the mind of the Church than on their own. How deeply have I felt with admiration the superiority of the Church, that inexpressible instinct pressing it on its way, together with its divine discernment always unfailing in brushing aside even the shadow of illusion!" Then, referring to Lamennais, who had fascinated him earlier, he confessed with great humility, "It is truly a wonder to me how a philosophy, whose fatal weakness I now perceive so clearly, had been able to hold my powers of reasoning suspended, and for such a lengthy period of time. I finally came to realize that, struggling against an intelligence vastly superior to my own, I was fighting against impossible odds. For truth is sometimes not a sufficient aid to re-establish the equilibrium of forces; otherwise, error would never triumph over truth. Therefore, there must exist in this world a power able to support weak intellects against powerful intellects, and which delivers them from the most terrible oppression, that of the spirit...I learned from my own experience that the Church is the great liberator of the human spirit; and since all the other forms of liberty spring from intellectual liberty, I finally perceived under their true light, those burning questions dividing today's world" (Lacordaire, Considérations sur le systeme philosophique de M. de la Mennais).

This is precisely where the "original sin" of the modernists (moderate or not) is to be found: relying on their own fallible intellects, rather than trusting to the infallibility of the Church which alone could preserve them from error as well as from their own intellectual weaknesses. And this is precisely what all true sons of the Church must practice to oppose the modernist "novelties": a humble submission to the Church's infallible magisterium which alone is able to free our error-prone intellect from the oppression of false beliefs. It is of the utmost importance, however, never to confuse the Church's infallible magisterium with the personal theology of a "present-day pope," especially if he proves himself to be literally at odds with that same two-thousand-year-old magisterium which has always been found to be in constant harmony with all the popes of all ages, as well as with all the bishops of every times and place who were in communion with the Apostolic See: that which has always and everywhere been taught and believed by all in the Holy Church of God.


It is only through the resolute return to Tradition on the part of the visible head of the Church (the pope) together with all his fellow members in the hierarchy that the vital and long-hoped-for restoration will finally come to pass. This alone can overcome the present ecclesiastical crisis which has been brought about through a prolonged period of "passive but real resistance" for Catholic Rome's sound directives. Nothing short of this will ultimately serve to wipe the slate clean of the deplorable long-standing "sin against the light coming from Rome, a light shining with the doctrinal treasures of the past" (La vie spirituelle 1923, pp.174-175, quoted by Aubry in L 'tude de la Tradition, p.102).

We can all rest assured that the blessed day marking the return of Catholic Tradition will ultimately dawn bright and clear. This is of Faith. If the present desolation to which the Church is reduced is not enough to show that "those who think they have won" have, quite on the contrary, already lost, it would suffice to simply recall Christ's promise: Portae inferi non praevalebunt; (the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church of God.) Haec est hora vestra et potestas tenebrarum, (this is your hour and the power of darkness.)

This period of darkness behind us, someday all that will remain of the "new theology" and its partisans will be but a sad and unfortunate memory.

To us who, in this hour of darkness, must orient ourselves, whoever we may be, toward the door of eternal salvation, it appertains to resist fortes in fide (strong in Faith)(St. Peter), by praying, by opening our hearts to grace, and also by helping in the spiritual necessity of this grave hour those neighbors whom Divine Providence has put in our path.


Translated from Courrier de Rome, Novenber 1993


It is a poor priest rather advanced in age who writes to you. In my case, your maxim must be applied: what counts is "what is said"and not "who said it."1...

...My vocation was born in the midst of Catholic action and its song: Always with the pope-even unto death. What a beautiful destiny. Already, as a young priest, that was my profound attitude. In the parish, the confessional, in preaching, in teaching; every word of the pope was authoritative. It was the Magisterium.

Is it still the case today? The question arises from the disappointment I experience before a pope in continual contradiction, and sometimes, on the borderline of heresy without being fully in it. I am reminded of the diligence of your paper in pointing out the heretical explanation by the Pope of descendit ad inferos (he descended into hell).2

It was a position of the "Holy Office"; it was not the only one and it will surely not be the last. Since he speaks all the time, this exposes him fatally not only to the inexactitudes of language, but it also renders his doctrine disputable and in certain cases, suspect of heresy. Yes, it is truly difficult, even for he who lives the faith to depend on the present Pope as the expression and the faithful echo of the Magisterium of all time.

However, what is infinitely more grave and what does not seem to phase the judgment of the bishops and the cardinals, not to speak of the theologians and insignificant journalists who oppose one to another "the Pope as restorer" and "the Pope as progressive," is the various positions of this Pope. The foundation is built upon:

a) the masonic substitution of anthropocentrism for theocentrism, that is, man-centeredness for God-centeredness.

b) the total suppression, in his teaching, of subjective redemption in favor of objective redemption.

c) an ecclesiology in which everything is relevant and current (ecumenical passion, dialogue, etc.), except an authentic notion of the Church.

In fact, the consistent repetitions by this Pope concerning man are known by all. When his discourse falls on "redeemed man," it no longer concerns the man who has adhered to Christ, who lives within the Church and by its sacraments, but man as such, who "whether he knows it or not," within the Church or out of it, is "a new creation in Christ." The lack of objective solidity of his ecclesiastical vision is then, logical. The three points cited above are in direct correlation with his blurred leadership. Regarding the Church, I see an umpteenth confirmation of what I am going to write below in this recent affirmation: "As the bishops of the churches which are in Italy..." No, this is wrong! Every good catechist knows it well. Those which are here called "churches" are not so, for in each one of them the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is present. It is a case then of "dioceses," not "churches." By this manner of denumerating, one easily forgets that Rome is the principle and the foundation of the Catholic Church's unity. This concerns "fundamental" theology. Its absence is evident. But can a pope permit gaps this serious? And what can a poor priest do when he appeals to the pope, if the latter is no longer the Magisterium ?


1.      Allusion to the maxim of Si Si No No, taken from the Imitation of Christ: Do not seek to know who said it, but pay attention to what is said."

2.      Allusion to an article of Si Si No No dated June 15, 1989, under the title "To whom must we import the discourse of the Pope at the general audience of last January?"




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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