Fr. Jean-Michel Faure’s consecration as bishop at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Brazil last week was a delightful occasion. The weather was warm and dry. The sun shone. Fr Thomas Aquinas’ monks and the nearby Sisters had excelled themselves in transforming a concrete and metal garage into a sanctuary worthy of the noble liturgy, which they had also very well prepared. Despite the late notice, a group of priests was present from all over the Americas and France, and a congregation of a hundred souls, also from many different countries, followed attentively the three-hour ceremony.
Since then all Catholics have rejoiced who see the need for at least one more bishop to help ensure the survival of a “Resistant Tradition.” Archbishop Lefebvre’s understanding of the defence of the Catholic Faith could not be left for very much longer to depend on one bishop alone. His consecration of four bishops in 1988 without Rome’s permission, by “Operation Survival” as opposed to “Operation Suicide,” had to be extended into the 21st century. Apologies go to all Catholics who would love to have attended if only they had had enough notice, but everything had to be done, including a measure of discretion, to make sure that the consecration would take place.
It had powerful adversaries. The official Church in Rome reacted by declaring the consecrator to be “automatically excommunicated,” but as in 1988 this declaration is false, because by Church Law whoever commits a punishable act does not incur the normal penalty, e.g. excommunication for consecrating a bishop without Rome’s permission, if he acted out of necessity. That is common sense, and there was certainly necessity here. As the world draws closer and closer to World War III, what individual on earth can be sure of his own survival?
Also the official Society of St Pius X in Menzingen, Switzerland, condemned Bishop Faure’s consecration in a press statement issued on the day itself. Worthy of note in it is the admission that the consecrator was excluded from the Society in 2012 because of his “vigorous criticism” of the Society’s contacts with Rome in recent years. Menzingen claimed for the longest time that the problem was one of “disobedience.” Now at last Menzingen admits that it was being steadily accused of “betraying Archbishop Lefebvre’s work.” Indeed. Betraying and destroying.
Rome itself confirms the betrayal. On the day after the consecration, Monsignor Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, besides declaring the non-existent “excommunication,” went on to say, Several meetings (between Rome and the SSPX) have taken place and more are planned with certain (Roman) prelates, to go into the problems still needing to be cleared up in a relationship of trust,” problems “doctrinal and internal to the Society.”
Monsignor Pozzo went on: The Pope is waiting for the Society to make up its mind to enter the Church, and we are always ready with a familiar canonical project (a personal prelature). A little time is needed for things to become clear within the Society and for Bishop Fellay to obtain a broad enough consensus before taking this step.
What more can anyone need to see the writing on the wall?