Faith First

The great lesson taught by Archbishop Lefebvre (1905–1991) to Catholics who had ears to hear was that the Faith is higher than obedience. The sad lesson we have learned since is that obedience keeps on being rated higher than the Faith. These “Comments,” driven continually by today’s confusion in Church, world and Society of St Pius X to get back to basics, have often attempted to explain why the Faith must come first.

Take for instance the arguments of an honourable SSPX priest who recently sent me an e-mail, accusing me of wrongly assessing the present state of the SSPX. My resistance to the – as I call it – Newsociety is, he says, 1) too personally motivated, 2) forgetting the good of the Church, 3) inconsistent with positions I have taken before, 4) lacking Catholic realism, 5) against Church indefectibility, 6) for each man being his own Pope, 7) for a modernist vision of the Church, 8) Protestant, 9) against union with Rome, and finally 10) pushing souls away from the Church.

Now, I am no Archbishop Lefebvre, and I do not pretend to be, but does my colleague realize that all of these arguments (except the third) he could have applied thirty years ago to the Archbishop’s resistance to the official Church authorities in Rome? Yet the Archbishop’s resistance was 1) motivated only by the urgent need to defend the Faith, 2) for the good of the Universal Church, 4) in a completely realistic way (as the Catholic fruits of his Society proved), 5) not disproving but proving, by his very resistance, the Church’s indefectibility, 6) for the Church of all time being the measure of the Popes, 7) against all craziness of neo-modernism, 8) against modernism’s renewal of Protestantism, 9) for union with the Catholic Rome of all time, and finally 10) helping many truly Catholic souls to keep the Faith instead of losing it.

And what justified the Archbishop’s resistance back then? What proved then that he was not, despite the appearances, a rebel like Luther, but truly Catholic, and a great servant of the Church? His doctrine, his doctrine, his doctrine! Whereas Luther denied a mass of Catholic teachings, the Archbishop affirmed every one of them. It was in the name of the doctrine of the Faith that the Archbishop took his stand against the Conciliar Popes and Church authorities who were radically undermining that doctrine by renewing and adopting the dreadful errors of modernism.

So what justifies now a certain resistance to the leadership of the SSPX? How can those who resist claim to be the truest servants of the SSPX? Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine! The mid-April Declaration of 2012 was proof of an appalling doctrinal deficiency at the top of the SSPX, and while the Declaration was withdrawn, its contents have not been retracted but even defended, as being for instance “too subtle”! Nor have the official SSPX documents of July 14, 2012 or June 27, 2013 properly undone the damage. The proof is that the governing policy of SSPX HQ has not changed. Dear colleague, your own Society was founded on putting Faith before apparent obedience, and now you want to defend that Society by putting apparent obedience to the Society before the Faith? Study the documents, and watch the actions!

Kyrie eleison.P.S. Meanwhile does anybody have a complete set of Spanish or French translations of this “Commentary” from when they began to appear, in the early EC 100’s? Please let us know.