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General Chapter – I

So the latest General Chapter of the Society of St Pius X, the fourth with elections (1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018), came to a close in Écône, Switzerland, last Saturday. The event was followed with interest in many quarters, because for about 40 years from its founding in 1970 the Society emerged as a most important bastion of the Catholic Faith in the wake of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), which had in effect officially undermined that Faith. However, over the last 20 years or so the Society had given increasing signs of a change of direction, more in line with the Church’s Conciliar officials, and less in line with its Founder, Archbishop Lefebvre. Which direction would the General Chapter now show the Society to be taking?

The detailed proceedings of a Chapter are meant to remain private, like those of the election of a Pope, but at the end of the Chapter emerged public words and actions. The words were the Chapter’s official Declaration of policy for the future, which aligned itself on Archbishop Lefebvre’s famous declaration of November of 1974, “in its entirety.” However, as the website Non Possumus has clearly shown by quoting truly in its entirety that declaration of war against the new religion of Vatican II, the Chapter has deliberately chosen to quote only its more peaceful parts. This is not promising for the Society’s continuation of the Archbishop’s holy war against the dreadful apostasy of Vatican II.

Of course the Archbishop was Catholic first and only as a consequence anti-Conciliar, which is why his declaration of war contains peaceful parts. But how can truth be loved without a hatred of error? Anti-Conciliarism follows immediately and necessarily upon love of Catholicism, which is why hordes of true Catholics came to follow the Society and its Founder who clearly and openly denounced the apostasy of the Church’s officials. Under him, the seminary in Écône once had well over a hundred seminarians, and crowds of thousands would attend each summer the ordination of a dozen or more new priests. In June of this year an estimated crowd of 450 souls attended the ordination of three new priests from among about 40 seminarians. Catholics are voting with their feet – and closing their wallets – against the Newsociety.

As for the Chapter’s public actions, which always speak louder than words, these consisted in the election of a new Superior General and two new Assistants. Participants in the Chapter must be congratulated on having deposed the previous General and Assistants, because these had striven for 12 years to change the Society’s direction in order to pursue official recognition from the Roman apostates. The recognition was not obtained, but the Society was seriously weakened and its best priests disoriented. So who did the Chapter choose as rulers in their place? The two new Assistants have been loyal executives of the previous General with his policy of currying favour with Conciliar Rome. For the common good of the Society? But when was there ever a Catholic common good opposed to the Faith? As for the new General, he may not himself know what he means to do as General, because God alone knows for sure what a man will do when he is put in power. Often he will disappoint, because “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton) – but he can prove to be surprisingly good. Fr Pagliarani certainly needs our prayers.

In this respect however, the Chapter’s last public action came like a thunderclap. Just before the Chapter’s close they voted to add to the Society’s governing Council of General and two Assistants another two “Counsellors,” and who did they choose? The Society’s last two Generals, Fr Schmidberger (1982–1994) and Bishop Fellay, who between 1994 when he was first elected and 2018 when he was at last dethroned, was the main architect of the Society’s weakening and decline! Whose doing was it to put Bishop Fellay right back next to the throne, together with his closest collaborator, Fr Schmidberger? What wise Superior wants his predecessor to be hanging around for another 12 years? What did the Chapter think it was doing? In any case, it is not a good sign if the Society is to love truth and hate error.

Kyrie eleison.