Dear Friends and Benefactors,
From foreground and background, good news. The good news in the foreground is that we have seven new priests from North America. Five Americans and two Canadians were ordained in ideal weather on June 23, in the ceremony of ordinations as glorious as ever, and in front of a congregation larger than ever. It was a fitting climax to another peaceful school year. To all of you who have supported and continue to support the Seminary, our on going thanks. Details and pictures as usual in next month's Verbum.
The two Canadians return to Canada, while three of the five Americans are due to stay in the USA. This must mean further consolidation of the SSPX's work for Catholic Tradition in North America.
The good news from the background is the continuing fulfillment of Archbishop Lefebvre's wish for books to appear, analyzing the disaster of Vatican II. When the Catholic Church struck that iceberg, the urgent need was to man the lifeboats to save Catholic Tradition, in particular the true sacrifice of the Mass and the true sacrificing priesthood. But the Archbishop saw that once that immediate problem was solved, then calm in-depth analyses would be required to see how and why that iceberg was struck.
This letter is accompanied by flyers presenting two such books. "The Problem of the Liturgical Reform'", from the Angelus Press in Kansas City, is the English translation of the book by the SSPX priests which was announced in the April letter from the Seminary, accompanied by a pink flyer (with a naval battle on the cover). This book is not strictly about the Council, but it goes to the heart of the liturgical consequences of the Council, the Novus Ordo Mass. Readers may remember how the book argues, from a mass of quotations from the fabricators themselves of the "renovated" liturgy, that. this Liturgy represents in fact a new religion. The Resurrection instead of the Passion of Our Lord, "resurrexifixes" to replace crucifixes, swiftly sums up the difference between Catholicism and this new religion. Luv and happiness with no penance or pain. I might wish it were true, but I know it is false!
The second flyer presents the first two volumes to have appeared in what is due to be a massive eleven volume analysis, this time directly of the Second Vatican Council itself, by a Brazilian layman now living in the USA, Mr. Attila Sinke Guimarães.
The series is entitled "Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani", which is Our Lord's cry of distress from the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Clearly, the series will say that the Second Vatican Council was like another crucifying of Our Lord. Volume I, "In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, appeared in 1997. Volume IV, "Animus Delendi" (Desire to Destroy), appeared last year. Mr Guimarães hopes to publish the remaining nine volumes one a year for the next nine years, which is a major undertaking and "a consummation devoutly to be wished."
Mr Guimarães describes in Volume I how he was a disciple of Dr. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, the founder of TFP (Tradition, Family, Property) a major post-war lay Catholic movement launched in Brazil and now spread through many countries. It was Dr. Plinio who in 1982 asked Mr. Guimarães to undertake his analysis of Vatican II. For 16 years Mr Guimarães plunged into the study of a mass of sermons, speeches. writings, books by the master spirits of the Council. His conclusions,. Traditional rather than conservative, have caused a separation between himself and TFP, so that now he is publishing on his own. Nevertheless, at the beginning of Volume I he pays handsome tribute to the late Dr. Plinio and to TFP, because he received so much from them both.
Now the Society of St. Pius X has serious problems with Dr. Plinio as a Catholic leader, especially towards the end of his days, and with the TFP, mainly because of the insufficient role it seems to attribute to the Catholic priesthood in its planned rescue of Christian civilization. Given the left-wing decadence of the Brazilian clergy in the years just before Vatican II when TFP was launched, this contradictory plan is understandable, but it is no less contradictory. It may help to explain how the leadership of TFP has now swung to the opposite excess, an implicit acceptance of Vatican II. (Truly, when the shepherd is struck in Rome, the Catholic sheep are scattered.)
As for the SSPX, it can only approve of Mr Guimarães’ no longer being with the TFP leaders because of their implicit acceptance of the Council.
However, that does not mean that the SSPX necessarily approves of everything he says, any more than he must agree with everything said and done by the SSPX. In fact in these first two volumes to appear, there is no trace of the SSPX and little trace of Archbishop Lefebvre. No matter. As Othello says, "It is the cause, my soul, it is the cause", and Mr. Guimarães renders great service to the cause of Catholic Tradition.
In the first volume he presents the plan of all eleven volumes: Vol. 1, the "letter" of Vatican II; volumes II to V, the "spirit of the Council": volumes VI to XI the thinking and fruits of the Council.
In Volume I, he declares that the hallmark of Vatican II is ambiguity. In the General Introduction he writes, "After some time of analysis and reflection, we reached the conclusion that it is difficult to harmonize the conciliar texts amongst themselves. They present a fundamental dichotomy (split) of language - Conciliar language appeared to us to have been designed to be able to be interpreted from the standpoint either of sound and traditional Catholic doctrine, or, surprisingly enough, of the teachings of the neo-modernist current which has installed itself in many key positions in today's Church. Such language appears to be a masterpiece of sustained doubletalk. Woven like precious Flemish lace out of the precious threads of the vocabulary of Tradition, it nevertheless appears to reveal the specter of a quite different mentality. Thus progressivism entered the official documents of the Magisterium with its head decorously covered by the laced veil of the old Traditional language" (pp. 35, 36, translation slightly adapted).
Here Mr. Guimarães is right on target. The Vatican II documents are a continual mixture of two things that will not mix: Catholicism and the Revolution, As long as one insists that these unmixables will mix, one is affirming that contradictories do not contradict, one is suspending in one's head the law of non-contradiction, and one is destroying one's ability to think. Divine Wisdom says, " I hate a mouth with a double tongue" (Prov. VIII, 13). Amongst other things, a double tongue rots the brain.
For instance, how can a Cardinal write, as he did recently, that there was no doctrinal problem between (Conciliar) Rome and Archbishop Lefebvre? Because resolute adherence to Vatican II has dissolved his idea of doctrine. How can he write, as he did recently, that in 2001 there are no longer such "difficulties" between (Conciliar) Rome and the SSPX as there were in Archbishop Lefebvre's time, because since then the Church has been "purified"? Because persistent doublethink has destroyed in his head the meaning of notions like "purity". How can he write as he did recently that there are today no such heresies as there were in Athanasius' time? Because unrelenting Conciliarism has blinded the Cardinal to the triumph all around him of what St. Pius X called "the synthesis of all heresies", modernism. or, as renovated by Vatican II, neo-modernism. For the Cardinal to say that Catholics today hold no particular heresy like that of Arius, when their (and his) minds are washed out by neomodernism, is like somebody saying there are no puddles in a field when the field is totally flooded!
Ambiguity is indeed the key to Vatican II, and it is the key to Mr. Guimarães' presentation of Vatican II in the rest of his Volume I. He ends with two chapters on the destruction, by thus ambiguity, of the Church's faith and unity, of her clergy and laity. That stands to reason. Documents designed to satisfy at one and the same time conservatives and progressivists were bound to justify contradiction, which was in turn bound to generate contradiction, civil war and mutual destruction inside the Church.
The Other volume of Mr. Guimarães presented in the enclosed flyer is not actually Vol. II but Vol. IV, the first part of "Desire to Destroy", and he means next to publish the second part, Vol. V. This is because he wishes to lay bare the directly destructive element at work in Vatican II, a.k.a. the Revolution. With a mass of direct quotations from the masterminds who directed Vatican II intellectually and politically, he shows how it was their deliberate intention to destroy the hierarchical, sacred and militant Catholic Church. These progressivists had a design (chapter 1) to empty out the Church (ch.2), a clear plan (ch. 3) to level down the Church as a monarchy (ch.4), to discredit her as a teacher of Truth (ch.5), to dissolve her holy and Roman character (ch.6), and by these means to fabricate a total Newchurch (ch.7).
Interestingly, Mr. Guimarães' "Desire to Destroy (I)" shows clearly that in the villains' own writings, they have not hidden that which they still felt the need to disguise by ambiguity at Vatican II. in order to gain control of the Church. So the disguise at the Council may have been good, but the Council's churchmen should have known better. (Some bishops did). Conclusion- "Watch and pray". And read "Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani,"
Dear readers, it is a glorious war, and we now have seven new warriors from Winona in the frontlines. As St. Thomas the Apostle said of his beloved Master, "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (Jn. XI, 15).
Most sincerely yours in Christ
+ Richard Williamson