As the years slip by, one after another, without the insane situation of the Church seeming to improve, Catholics who follow Tradition keep asking themselves, why cannot at least our Traditional priests get together and stop fighting one another? They all believe in the same Tradition of the Church, they are all agreed that the Second Vatican Council was a disaster for the Church. They all know that fighting among priests is unedifying and discouraging for the followers of Tradition. Why then can they not forget their differences and concentrate on what unites all of them, that is, on what the Church teaches and does, and has always taught and done, to save souls? This question has an answer, and to help Catholics to persevere in the Faith, they may need to be reminded of it at regular intervals.
Always assuming that this crisis of the Church is nothing normal in Church history but is an integral part of the one and only lead-up to the one and only end of the world, then if there is in these “Comments” a pair of words most often chosen to pin down the structure of that crisis, it is “Truth” and “Authority.” The crisis had its origins much further back than Vatican II, notably in the “Reformation” let loose by Luther (1483–1546), but whereas up until Vatican II the Catholic Church fought to keep the Protestant poison out, at Vatican II the highest Catholic Authority, two Popes and 2,000 bishops, gave up the fight and let the poison in. This meant that the Council texts are characterised by ambiguity, because Catholic appearances had to be maintained, but underneath the appearances the real thrust of the texts, the “spirit of the Council,” is towards assimilation of the liberalism and modernism which followed on Protestantism, and which will empty out any remaining Catholicism as soon as it is allowed to do so.
This means that at the Council, Catholic Authority essentially abandoned Catholic Truth to adopt a doctrine more in tune with modern times. And since Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth had now parted company, then Catholics, to remain Catholic, had – and still have – to make a terrible choice: either they cleave to the Church authorities from the Pope downwards and let go of Catholic doctrine, or they cleave to the doctrine and let go of Catholic Authority, or they choose one of the many possible compromises anywhere between the two poles. In any case the sheep are scattered, through no fault of their own when compared with the fault of the two Shepherds and 2,000 shepherds who were responsible for Church Authority betraying Church Truth at the Council. In this split between Truth and Authority lies the heart of today’s half-century old crisis.
And since Truth is vital to the one true religion of the one true God, and His own authority is essential for the protection of that one Truth from all the effects in men of original sin, then the only possible solution for the crisis that will put an end to the schizophrenia and scattering of the sheep is when the Shepherd and shepherds, Pope and bishops, will return to the Catholic Truth. That is certainly not happening yet, in the Church or in the Society of St Pius X, which is still – to all appearances – striving to get back under the authority of the Conciliar churchmen. (And Archbishop Lefebvre? “He’s dead,” some will say!)
Therefore until Almighty God – nobody less can do it! – puts the Pope back on his feet, and the Pope in turn, “once converted, strengthens his brethren” (Lk.XXII, 32), in other words straightens out the world’s bishops, until then this crisis can only go on getting worse, until we have learned our lesson and God has mercy upon us. Until then, as the English proverb has it, “What can’t be cured, must be endured.”