The last day of the year may be a good time to take a survey of the battle for the Catholic Faith in 15 different countries visited in the course of calendar year 2016 by the author of these “Comments.” It is a battle being fought in very difficult conditions, because of course the Catholic Church depends like any organisation on its head, and Pope Francis has been giving all year long the impression of wanting to destroy the Church as it has been for 2,000 years, and to replace it with anything that will please the modern crowds, which means the media, which means the enemies of God. Truly “the Shepherd is struck and the sheep are scattered,” which includes the Society of St Pius X, but let us tell rather how all over the world God is raising up children of Abraham from stones (Mt.III, 9), who if they were to keep quiet, the very stones would have to cry out (Lk. XIX, 40).
In India, a former Society priest and Society seminarian, now a priest, are maintaining the only priory and parish of the Resistance as such on the whole sub-continent. May God be with them. In Brazil, it does seem that the episcopal consecration of Bishop Thomas Aquinas has strengthened the defence of the Faith around his Monastery. Thanks be to God. Mexico has always been strong in the Faith, and it is now the base of the excellent website in Spanish, Non Possumus. In Switzerland a small group of layfolk is happy in the shadow of Écône to learn some of the things that can no longer be so firmly taught in the Seminary itself, as when Archbishop Lefebvre gave so much to so many of us. In the United States where the Society had succeeded in replanting the Church’s anti-liberal doctrine all over the continent, liberalism is regaining lost ground, thanks to the Society’s disastrous change of direction since the Archbishop died. However, the US priests have not yet said their last word, and Fr Zendejas, who was one of them, is bravely rebuilding in their midst.
Two more former Society priests, Fr Chazal and Fr Picot, range all over the Far East and down to Australia and New Zealand. In Korea, a Resistance chapel is maintained in the capital, Seoul, by a courageous medical doctor. In Japan Catholics have been decimated by World War II, Vatican II and now the slide of the Society, but there remain a few Resistance contacts, including one veteran Japanese priest. On the other hand in Asia’s most Catholic country, the Philippines, Fr Chazal has dozens of Mass centres and a seminary which it will become easier to serve with the recent priestly ordination of Fr John, a native Philippino.
Back in Europe, Ireland has a new Resistance priory near Cork in the South, and Poland has a group of Catholics waking up to the Society’s dangerous slide towards Rome, but they have for the moment only one aged Polish priest. Patience. In the Czech Republic there is a parallel group of ardent Catholics, looking towards priestly conversions to Tradition from the mainstream Church. Their faith is strong. In Belgium there is also a strong group in one provincial city, going back to one good priest who many years ago left behind him a legacy of Catholic conviction and piety. In Germany the Resistance is proving slow to take shape because of Germans’ instinctive obedience to authority, but there are stirrings. In Italy also the Resistance is slow off the mark, because the conservatism of Catholics made the Conciliar Revolution tame compared with how it raged in some countries, but Pope Francis may change all that!
And last but not least there is France, which is always a leader in the Church, for good or ill (e.g. either Archbishop Lefebvre, or Teilhard de Chardin). French priests have always predominated within the Society, and they are now predominating in the Resistance, and hundreds of French laity come to regular conferences on the classic anti-liberal Encyclicals of pre-Conciliar Popes. But France as a country is for the moment disintegrating, because the Catholics have no true Pope to unite them, and the citizens want no Catholic King to rally them to the cause of God. However, let us have patience, because God will raise up France again, and he will lift us all up with it.