If the Society of St Pius X is no longer an outstanding spearhead of the defence of the Catholic Faith as it was under Archbishop Lefebvre (1905–1991), that is surely because his successors at the head of the Society never understood as well as he did the full malice of that error presently devastating the Church, which is modernism. In fact towards the end of his days the Archbishop is quoted as saying that if only he had read sooner in his career the History of Liberal Catholicism in France from 1870 to 1914 by Fr. Emmanuel Barbier (1851–1925), he would have given to his seminarians a different direction. If this remark is authentic, it suggests that even the Archbishop had been overtaken by the malice of modernity. Similarly the valiant founder of the periodical Si si no no in Italy, Don Francesco Putti (1909–1984), is quoted as having told his good friend, the Archbishop, “Half of your seminarians are modernists.”
But the malice of modernity is easy to underestimate, because it has been building up in the West for centuries, and because all Westerners are soaked in it from the cradle to the grave. From this modernity came modernism in the Church, precisely to adapt to it, and this same modernity provided the background of all Council Fathers in the 1960’s, and of the Archbishop’s successors from the 1980’s onwards. In fact it can only have been by a special grace of God that the Archbishop saw the problem as clearly as he did.
Let us suggest how the failure to understand modernism underlies most of his successors’ errors –
1 95% of the texts of Vatican II are acceptable. On the contrary, Archbishop Lefebvre said that the problem with Vatican II is not so much even its great errors of religious liberty, collegiality and ecumenism as the subjectivism suffusing all its texts, whereby objective truth, God and the Catholic Faith dissolve ultimately into nothingness. By the Copernican revolution wrought in philosophy by Kant (1724–1804) and denounced by Pius X in Pascendi (1907), instead of the subject turning around the object, henceforth the object was to turn around the subject. Around this madness now turns the entire world.
2 True, the Council was bad, but it is losing its grip on Romans today. Really? And Pachamama? Since when have we seen such public idolatry in the Vatican Gardens and in churches of Rome itself?
3 It is no use for the Society to wait until Rome converts from its modernism, but if they are willing to accept us “as we are” it means that Rome is on its way to converting, so we should come to an agreement. Indeed it is useless to wait for the Roman modernists to convert, because they are liberals. It takes a miracle to convert a liberal (Fr Vallet), because liberalism is a comfortable and flattering trap out of which humanly speaking it is virtually impossible to climb without a miracle, and that miracle for world and Church will be the Consecration of Russia, not a Society that is going the liberals’ way. If they accept “as is” the formerly recalcitrant SSPX, that is only because the SSPX is no longer anti-liberal as it once was, because the salt of the Society has lost its savour (cf. Mt. V, 13).
4 We need patience and tact in order to understand how the Romans think in order not to offend them.
To understand how these modernists in Rome think, we need humility and realism and shattering courses in Pascendi in order to make sure that we properly understand the virus of their modernism, vicious and highly contagious, before we go anywhere near them. What they would most need, if they could take it, is to be offended and shocked out of their modernism, until they grasp what Fr Calmel meant when he said, “A modernist is a heretic combined with a traitor.”
5 No proper agreement between Rome and the Society has been signed, so no harm is yet done.
There has been immense harm in a series of partial agreements, e.g. on confessions and marriages, by which large numbers of Society priests and laity understand less and less what their Founder meant when he wrote in his last book that any priest wishing to keep the Faith should stay away from these Romans. They may be “nice” men. They may “mean well.” But, objectively, they are murdering Mother Church.