If by “Resistance” we understand that loose grouping together of Catholic priests and lay-folk striving to maintain and to live by the faith and morals of traditional Catholicism prior to its essential dislocation by the modern world through the Second Vatican Council, then what are its prospects in the New Year just arriving? In appearance those prospects are not bright, because the Devil seems with the Covid-nonsense to be winning the battle for control of our world. In reality they are bright, because if the “Resistance” has survived so far, it can only be because God is granting to it minimal graces of survival in accordance with His promise to be with His Church to world’s end, and that promise still stands (Mt. XXVIII, 20).
But what are the principles by which the movement of “Resistance” (or “Fidelity”as it can also be known) came, and still comes, into existence? Most of the priests who would recognise themselves as belonging to the movement are former priests of the Society of St Pius X who disliked the policies it was officially adopting from around the General Chapter of 2012 onwards. These policies were characterised by a kind of benevolence towards the Church’s rulers in Rome, and towards the decisions of Vatican II shaping those rulers, that Archbishop Lefebvre, the Society’s Founder, had never shown towards either.
And what is wrong for Catholics to show benevolence towards the Church’s rulers? Is it not Catholics’ bounden duty to show respect and obedience towards the Church’s officials, in particular its Pope? Yes indeed, that is the normal rule, but there is one exception, and that is when the Catholic Faith is being endangered. Alas, it is seriously endangered by the most typical documents of Vatican II (1962–1965), e.g. Lumen Gentium, Unitatis Redintegratio, Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae amongst others. And worse even than the grave but particular errors in these Conciliar documents, said the Archbishop near the end of his days, is the general subjectivism suffusing them all, in other words that mushing of the mind by which a man puts his subjective feelings in front of the objective truth. But if there is no objective truth, how can there be a true God? Vatican II opened the door wide to Pachamamma in the 20th century.
But does not Pope (or at least seeming Pope) Bergoglio show a special benevolence towards the Society of St Pius X? That, says Archbishop Viganò (once Number 11 inside the Vatican), is only trickery on his part to lure the Society into abandoning that juridical status of independence from the official hierarchy of the Church which Archbishop Lefebvre so carefully ensured for his Society, but which its present leaders still seem to want to exchange for full official acceptance by the Church’s apparent Authority. Yet at this very moment those leaders must be admitting that it is only the Society’s unofficial status which protects it from the sledgehammer of Traditionis Custodes, now smashing all other Traditional communities which strive to preserve the true Mass but which still want to respect these Romans’ Truth-less Authority.
The safeguarding of that Truth which is the Catholic Faith, without which nobody can be saved (Heb. XI, 6), was the mission and the strength and the glory of the Archbishop and his original Society of St Pius X. The strength was undermined and the glory was tarnished over the last 10 years by even just the shadow of compromise with the unfaithful Church authorities, but the mission remained, and it remains through the New Year, indeed until the Lord God puts the Pope back on his feet. In the meantime the “Resistance” (so-called), like any faithful remnant down the ages, requires no large numbers, nor prestige, nor official approval, but, to save the stones of the street from having to cry out (cf. Lk. XIX, 40) it does require from its followers faithfulness to the true Faith, and it may well at some stage require martyrs.
And so if Catholics fasten their eyes on Heaven, and pray seriously, quietly, steadily, if at all possible 15 Mysteries of the Rosary every day, they cannot make a better use of 2022. Happy New Year!