It does not appear that you go along with the on-going demonization of us and our work, and the Devil being what he is, it must be time to strengthen my contacts with you, neither to lecture you, nor to condemn you. Rather, I am writing because I have a very high regard for you and because we both agree on one fact: Bishop Fellay is a modernist.
Next question: What to do?
Resist in place or ride into the unknown, with the cowboys?
Don’t worry, my friend: I do not have the highest opinion of the Resistance. We are only a remnant, a scattered bunch, suspended particles. (I think particularly of dear Fr. Pinaud!)
Our Charter is that to the Corinthians, (I Corin. 1:28), “And contemptibilia elegit Deus and ea quae non sunt, ut ea quae sunt destrueret.” [And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are.] How can one get tired of St Paul? Everything is there.
If I idealize the Resistance, as Gentiloup said a little maliciously, I idealize it through its lowliness, but recognize with me that the SSPX-MC (Marian Corps) sounds good. We'll see if it lasts, but for now it holds:
- Bishop Williamson, Fathers Abraham, Bufe, Kramer, Pinaud, Rioult, Salenave, Koller, de Merode, de St. Marie, Fuchs, Trauner, Sauer, Riedl, Ribas, Abrahamowicz, Fathers Avril, Raffali, Bruno OSB, Pierre-Marie op and ten other Dominicans. (Europe 30)
- Fathers Pfeiffer, Hewko, Iglesias, Voigt, Ringrose, Ortiz, Fr. Perez and three other priests in Los Angeles, Bishop Fulham, Fathers O'Connor, Da Damio, Maurel, Trinchard, Dardis, Girouard, Gruner, Dominic Mary of the Pilar op. (North America 19)
- Fathers Faure, Cardozo, Trincado, Altamira, Ruiz, Vargas, Makarios (Brazil), Fathers Thomas Aquinas OSB, Jaire ofbv, Joaquim ofbv, Raphael OSB. (South America 11)
- Fathers Nariai, Suelo, Chazal, Valan, Pancras, Hartley, Father Elijah OFM Conv. (Austrasia 7)
- Fathers Picot and N'Dong in Africa (2)
Other priests are ready to join us, and I prefer to be discreet; and we have two hermits who do not want to be bothered.
I would like to count Fathers Grosso, Ceriani, Meramo, Turco, Maessen, Weinzel ... God keep them, may He love and protect them, but I think they are sedevacantists, some bitter, fiercely anti-williamsoniste for others.
With the arrival of Avrillé, the number of religious who are not priests increases to 60 or 70, and if the visa problems of our four Brazilians are resolved, we’ll have about twenty seminarians in our micro seminaries.
On the faithful side, about 110 groups, ranging from 700 faithful with Fr. Perez to one and a half faithful in Delhi, India...
But I repeat, even if it's something small, it's not nothing. Humanity is in danger. Even if we would dispossess Menzingen, we would have to start over.
Meanwhile, the key is that we understand that the priest is a public man. For him, to talk privately is to keep silent. But at the risk of annoying you further, I recognize that the problem is essentially elsewhere for you because you share the notion that the priest is another Christ, come into the world to bear witness to the truth, and dying on the cross so as to confirm this same truth before Caiaphas.
Your problem is a practical one.
- First observation: no one near you moves. Everyone is paralyzed, starting with your leader, Fr. de Cacqueray, who is beginning to add water to the wine of his doctrine (e.g., endorsing the 27 June 2013 declaration).
- Second observation: If you move, it is likely that your ministry, your whole apostolate and what you have built so patiently, will all fall, and like Fr. Pinaud, you will be sent as far away as possible to be sentenced later.
- Third observation: The souls entrusted to you will be entrusted to another, perhaps less competent, perhaps downright liberal. You have only furthered the Revolution by giving it an additional platform. You have de facto abandoned the field to the enemy under heroic pretexts.
- Fourth observation: The enemy waits only so they can purge all those who resist the new position of the Official Society; while the priests of the internal resistance are beginning to organize themselves, strengthen their ties, or even get tactical results, like the removal of Fr. Berthe and his replacement by Fr. Portail in Flavigny.
- Last and most important observation : We cannot abandon the Society overnight. We must give this immense work the chance to recover. Honor to those of 2012, but what concerns us inside is that the battle is far from over. The Society has been through very serious crises before and has always emerged stronger. Instead of rushing forward, let us first see if the evil is incurable. Even if God decides to make us start all over from scratch, it would take time to prepare the faithful.
I hope these observations do justice to your thoughts, to the thoughts of all those who agree with us but remain paralyzed regarding the duty to speak out publicly. (How ironic that the site of the internal resistance is called “A Bishop has STOOD UP!” [Un Evêque s'est LEVÉ!]).
The other point that complicates matters further is that errors which spread in the Society appear tiny compared to those that hit the Church forty years ago. We are not asking you to celebrate the New Mass . . . and if that grabs you, or if you have not heard Fr. Pfluger, you can persist in being against Vatican II; that allows you to let off steam, to reassure yourself, and this is the internal line, permitted, to the Society.
If I imagine myself in your place, surrounded by paralyzed colleagues and friends—would I jump into the unknown? I do not know.
What I do know absolutely is that this whole mountain of reasons collapses before the Faith. When the Catholic faith is attacked, there is no other remedy than to confess it, and if we priests remain silent publicly, the Good Lord is capable of sending girls like St. Catherine of Alexandria to replace us.
That may be why the internet user who got angry on “Un Evêque s'est couché” [A bishop has lain down”] treats us like wimps. I think that the Good Lord seeks to shame us, a little like the Vendeans at the Battle of Torfou.
I do not mean to imply that God is unable to do the rest if we do our job of confessing the Faith. The support we have received since 2012 confirms exactly what I am saying. Did God cease to be good because we are losers?
No, we are immersed in these consolations: the faithful approach us; one, two, or three colleagues join us every month; the month of January added a total of 25 additional priests. Even Menzingen is trying to send us colleagues as they seek to purify themselves. Here in Asia, Fr. Couture has been remarkable.
I would like us to reflect a little more on the nature of:
- 1. THE CHURCH
- 2. AUTHORITY
- 3. THE COMMON GOOD
- 1. We are in the process of making a false idea of the Church, as if the Church were first of all a set of diverse and varied works, even though, above all, the Church is the Faith. The works serve only that; so as to confess and transmit the Faith. You tell me, if you lash out at works, you lash out at the means of transmitting the Faith. To which I reply that if we are silenced while the Faith is attacked so as to defend the means (not being quiet about the Faith) of speaking on the Faith, we enter into contradiction. All this is like those priests who told me it was absolutely necessary to get organized, but so as to do nothing specific, or those who say that we should support the bishops who are silent.
How many times in the history of the Church have we seen the need to abandon these colossal resources, these huge institutions, bishoprics, monasteries, schools, etc. so as to preserve the Faith, admittedly, but sometimes also to preserve less than the Faith, namely, ecclesiastical or monastic discipline (St. Bernard, St. Norbert, St. John of Capistrano, et al).
If to preserve a lesser thing than the Faith, one sometimes has to trample certain establishments under foot, what stronger reason do you need to know to detach yourself from precious things (and God knows how much, especially in our time, the Society’s works are precious) so as to confess the Faith.
The DQA (Declaration of 15 April 2012) proves the modernism of the authorities, and they let liberalism enter everywhere and rot everything, thanks to the institutional steamroller and thanks to the fear of losing those instruments that have served us so far.
This is what has happened in the 1970s, and our founder warned us of the trap into which we risk falling now. He also lamented all those religious trapped in Dom Gerard’s monasteries, as well as their own house at Uzés, and the supervising monastery, le Barroux.
On the contrary, we strengthen the Faith and give new blood to the Church when we are able, in due course, to trample on the institutional structures, so that the Church can be anchored a little deeper in the Faith of Peter.
God will assist us to begin again; we will start another cycle—I hope longer than 20 years. Bishop Williamson's views may be slightly pessimistic.
No, the Church is not a business, a company. It transcends all organizations, even if they are as large as Cluny III!
- 2. In addition, over the years we have moved towards a twisted notion of authority, as shown in a recent sermon by Fr. Pfluger in Brisbane, or in a recent letter from Fr. le Roux to his benefactors.
For them it is de facto impossible for Society authorities to impede the truth. Popes can make mistakes (Benedict XVI a little less than the others!), but Menzingen cannot make a mistake, or lose face. The unity of Tradition is at stake. To make Menzingen face its doctrinal errors, to put the DQA (Declaration of 15 April 2012) under its nose while asking it to condemn the text, this is rebellion.
I find it quite symptomatic that Bishop Fellay declared at Lille on 7 May 2013 that one could not ask Roman authorities to condemn the Council and the New Mass, because one cannot ask authorities to lose face.
Me, I say quite the reverse, that when an authority recognizes his mistakes, he will recover the face he lost in previously persisting in making mistakes.
All authority is authority because of its proximity to Wisdom or Truth. We put someone in power, and especially God puts someone in power, by virtue of a real or perceived wisdom. A leader indicates a way forward in virtue of his having a better understanding as compared to others. His authority continues to increase, much like that of a great general, as and when his subordinates realize he knows what he's doing.
Instead, they have presented us with a blind notion of authority—as much among the leaders as among the faithful, who are told to stop trying to learn about the conduct of their authorities and the doctrinal reasons that cause them to make such a decision or other.
One of the best episodes of the Battle of Gettysburg was when General Lee, rather than turn back and run away like Napoleon at Waterloo, went straight to his soldiers to tell them that everything was his fault. The soldiers forgave him, Lee made no further tactical error, and his men fought like lions until the end of the war.
If all the passages which relate to St. Peter in the Gospel are placed end to end, it is clear that the St. Peter that Jesus chose is not the sort of gentleman who would never lose face (even after Pentecost: Quo Vadis, letter to the Galatians, etc.).
At that level, St. Peter is reassuring. He decides, he leads the Church with a strong hand; he is decisive, but at times he deserves to be reprimanded because he is blameworthy.
The disaster of Vatican II would not have been such if at that time we had had a less modern and willful notion of authority. Freemasonry uses this concept everywhere.
For us who listened to it in his COSPECs and for you who listened to it directly, Archbishop Lefebvre formed us on this subject. How did we come to this impasse now? When did it concern us?
- 3. One reason is that Menzingen claims to be the Common Good personified. Any criticism of Menzingen is a plot against the Common Good of the Society which must always coalesce around its Superior General to strengthen its unity.
The unity and the good of the Society is no longer the message or integrity of the channel of Grace. Moreover, what is called the “Common Good” is no longer a good or a perfection of the rational nature, but the tranquility of the functioning of an organization.
I'm sorry, but the Common Good is a rational social perfection, and for there to be perfection, there must be truth and the true good, not lies, untruths, embezzlement (Wallieziennes or Wuillioudesques) and repeated breaches of one’s solemn word.
What is the true 'Common Good' which replaces this common good manifesting as a doctrinal unity that no longer exists (not even on paper! See the little declarations of 14 July 2012 and 27 June 2013)?
That must certainly be the continuation of what we have done from the beginning, the rebuilding of the edifice outside the influence of the official Church, which is now much worse than forty years ago.
Like the serpent, the official Church swallows its prey. Its prey, it accepts it “as we are,” a little like Islam which includes Christian enclaves, but we know from so many decades and centuries, these enclaves will be massacred or destroyed.
This reasoning is false, says Mr. du Cray, a Menzingen spokesman. Bishop Fellay and Fr. Pfluger confirm it. In other times, Fr. Pivert’s book would have flopped because of its banality. The new official line that 'we' are on the road to ruin is stubbornly maintained. They stand by wanting us to bite: and those who oppose are themselves bitten, while those who are personally against have been put in the closet.
Without realizing it, you have become Blanquette [a little sheep], facing the wolf, because Mr. Seguin [the owner or shepherd] has removed the fence around the pasture.
Previously, we never ruled out that evil could be introduced into our circles. The Society is a stronghold, but not the entire fortification. Vauban [a military engineer] foresaw advanced bastions, and one could even say that the mission of these advanced bastions is to eventually fall, but after a long time.
Before 2012, the Society had held for more than 40 years. We can say bravo. We must now regroup along the next line and inspect our fortified castles. So, the Society is not the last bastion; to the contrary, it is a fortification with several bastions which will form again, if necessary—and this is what we are doing.
We are reforming and we are regrouping. We call ourselves the SSPX (without the name, or with the expression SSPX Marian Corps).
The lead bastion is almost demolished and untenable; the more they linger, the more they expose themselves to the blows of the enemy who have succeeded in undermining it and bringing his cannons closer. Lingering can only result in a waste of valuable soldiers. Vauban traded masonry (walls) against the blood of his soldiers. Do the same, keep the doctrinal integrity of the troops.
Note that faced with the Dragon, the Woman of the Apocalypse flees. You can hold the bastion just as the good priests begin evacuating; I offer as proof the spectacular number of defections in January—to the point that we should reach one hundred priests shortly.
As for your work, it is souls. Your field is the soul of him who trusts your priesthood, not much else. Physical work is extra; giving it up at a suitable time is worth more than a thousand sermons on detachment, even if we have not yet shed our blood.
I often ask myself the question: why do we have so few martyrs in Tradition, while many Christians are being slaughtered elsewhere? If God offers us a chance to renew our fervor, even if the occasion is miserable, profit from it.
As for occupying a place so as to avoid having a liberal replace you, it should be noted that the replacement operation has been underway in numerous positions for years. In Anglo-Saxon countries, a whole generation has gotten the push, Black, Violette, Scott, Novak ... nicely, but cleared out anyway. They did not stick with the program, times are changing inexorably aboard the Titanic.
The research we are making on the legal and economic structure of the Society shows that the legal entity holding the assets of the Society is entirely in liberal hands (Bishop Fellay, Fathers Pfluger, Wuilloud, Weber, Baudot, Mr. Max Krah, et al—have all the signatures in hand, I even recognize them: these are effective bureaucrats).
You tell me, “Bishop Galarreta has still signed.” To which I reply that Father Pfluger has clearly indicated that he quickly withdrew his signature from the letter of the three bishops in 2012. I do not feel guilty not having any hope for him!
Fr. de Cacaqueray’s argument [“Resist inside with me... we will put a stop to Menzingen if we are united”] holds fewer and fewer people, because neither he nor Bishop Tissier have succeeded in reversing anything in the general policy, nor to publicly oppose any of the errors they have repeatedly condemned in private. They have had all the time they needed, and all the occasions for illustrations. Bishop Tissier did not say anything special in his confirmation tours. I always have hope for him, but we can not wait indefinitely.
As to Bishop Tissier de Mallerais’ argument, [“Shut up, let the captains act”], again, what a disappointment. Since 14 July 2012, there is a total public silence, but I recognize two things:
--On one hand, Fr. de Cacqueray energetically attacks the novus ordo, hoping to show that nothing has changed, or so that the faithful will see that his speech is decisive compared to that of Fr. Pfluger, even compared to Bishop Fellay—without the need to publicly decide, and all the while aligning himself with a growing number of Menzingen positions. There is a gradual change, including on the DQA, observable in the Mantes-la-Jolie conference.
--On the other hand, like Fr. de Jorna at the Chapter, or Bishop Tissier several times, these dear leaders have overcome their fear of saying what they think in private. In my case, Bishop Tissier beat a retreat, but it is certain that he regretted having signed the dubious declaration of June 2013.
Can we expect great things from these techniques? Can we be proud of proceeding this way?
I think those who burn out gradually lose the sense of the confession of the Faith, because:
-1. They get noticed anyway; and the Flavigny conference is perfectly eloquent on that. Despite their efforts to work with Menzingen, Father Pfluger did not hesitate to attack: Bishop Tissier, Suresnes, an even Bishop de Galarreta! No, there is no point in hiding. If you are silent publicly, La Montagne, the Jacobins, the Committee for Public Safety [ed: all these are political groups from the French Revolution] will leave you alone for some time, because they have other problems to deal with for the moment, but Fr. Pfluger is very clear: if we will not be relieved of your persons by a purifying grace, certainly, your ideas will then go into the closet.
-2. They are forced to cooperate, to tax their brothers expelled as rebels when they know very well that if nothing had happened in recent years, and if the orientation of the Society had not changed, these brothers would be at work alongside them. And then, 75 “rebel” priests! That starts to make a certain proportion in the world of Tradition. Many of these “rebels” have been patient for years, and have expressed their worries discreetly, but it should be noted that discretion has only made things worse by feeding the arrogance of the liberal clan which continued its internal cleansing operation year after year. No, the enemy was not stopped by the captains.
-3. Collaboration of silence is never rewarded by the Revolution that requires you to agree with it. It is not when they are strapped to the sliding board of the guillotine that the “leaders” will be able to do anything. They will have lost what remains of their freedom of movement. Fr. Ward began to screen telephone calls to Bishop Tissier, in residence, mysteriously, at the Chicago priory. Fr. Pfluger condemns the positions taken by the Bishop (Tissier), even if he keeps quiet publicly; and now that the Dominicans have joined us, what means remains to the Bishop (Tissier) to publicly express himself in France1? We understand why Bishop Williamson did well to hold on to his “Eleison Comments.” Many good Superiors, and so many good seminary teachers have been thrown out the last few years that I can not see anything going on but an ideological purge. Some of these colleagues are discouraged, confused. They do not have the energy to do much for the neo-SSPX, or the energy to join the exterior resistance: and that works out well for the Revolution.
Better to die with head held high, especially since the Revolution, instead of making us suffer in silence, instead suffers the exposure it deserves from those who resist it to its face. It is true that the Revolution kills its own children, how much more merciless will it be towards those it does not recognize?
So it is important for us to regroup, and as Fr. Pfeiffer said, the best way to regroup is to decide individually to fight. For the moment, we are a bit like scattered paratroopers, but we can already see a global web developing. We are almost eight in Austrasia.
The earthquake in January in France also shows that the regrouping is being done outside a formal structure. How can it be otherwise when Bishop Fellay threatened the members of the interior resistance with expulsion in his last Cor Unum ?
However, our movement’s progress is such that in places the urgent need for priests for the Resistance faithful is not as acute as it was six months ago—in France at least. Insofar as you have decided to end the pretense and unite yourself with other colleagues (as did those of 14 January) and you think that a greater number of priests, faithful and even physical works can be saved, I can only respect your caution—provided that you have the firm intention to declare open war on this ever-present liberal party that is in place.
In retrospect, Fr. Pinaud’s strategy has borne much fruit. It showed how much Menzingen mocks the law [canon and civil]. I think some colleagues may repeat the exercise, but it takes just a few, and they must know the terrain, because Menzingen is not ready to hold another “Pinaud trial.”
For others, it is best not to lose too much time. The 75 priests who have been pushed out have significantly changed the balance of power within the Society, in favor of the reconciliation orientation. One could also say that Menzingen has not finished with its purges, and even Fr. Simoulin has asked us to charitably prepare for additional separations.
I pray to the Holy Virgin that a perfect separation occurs. We can no longer work with these liberals. When you see the indulgence with which Fr. Pfluger (Bishop Fellay and others) treats Pope Francis and the Ecclesia Dei communities, the question arises: why is he not in the Fraternity of St. Peter or Christ the King? Answer: because even in those groups they are shocked by the Pope’s remarks about gays, instead of saying “who am I to judge the Pope?”
Bishop Rifan has become completely unscrewed, his thinking in 2004, especially on the concept of the present Magisterium, is, but for minor details, the prevailing thought in the neo-SSPX. The case of Fathers Lamerand and de Chambord are examples of even more brutal falls. When a Post Falls faithful asks Fr. Vassal what is the difference between the Fraternity of St. Peter and St. Pius X, he does not know what to say.
The liberal priests who join the dioceses (such as Frs. Thuilier, Cecchin, Prouteau ) do not sufficiently compensate the haemorrhage on the right side. The most worrying is what comes out of our seminaries. How is it that Fr. Berthe had not been ordained at Wigratzbad [note: the FSSP seminary]? Why was he so quickly named a seminary teacher? I see more work of a Fr. Nély (on Écône), than a Fr. Pfluger.
So, we can no longer paint all our opponents as revolutionary fanatics. No, there are affable liberals, sympathetic, gifted with a sense of humor, intelligent, with good manners and a certain piety. (Bishop Fellay is very smart).
Although Father Pfluger has outed the site “Un évêque s'est levé” (Gentiloup cannot comes to terms with such clear proof that the official Society is declining), even if we have impressive examples in number and quality since 2012, that Menzingen strengthened in recent weeks (the phony crusade, the Pivert case, the Salenave computer, malfeasance against the Dominicans, etc.). What I fear most, is that these are gifted and intelligent priests, the Girondins, the La Fayettes. They facilitate the entry of the new school of thought because of their influence and their respectability and acceptability.
Another reason that leads me to encourage you to join us is that Bishop Williamson has announced, in general terms, his intention to consecrate a bishop. Nothing has been done yet, but I think when the future of the Resistance has been completely secured, it may be a little late to make the decision to exclusively serve the Truth (the true backbone of the Catholic Church).
It is now that hearts rise up; let us take advantage of it, insofar as the case is made, the symptoms of liberalism show so much that the sliding of the Society is well established.
We all have the feeling of carrying out our priesthood in sacrificing our comfort and our reputation and we have felt a great joy there.
The irony is that the mendicant orders who have joined us (or the orders which have a vow of poverty) remain in their houses while we start out with straw. The exercise will refresh Tradition.
What is absolutely certain is that the faithful help us a lot. Here, (Asia) for example, we have a micro-seminary on a great four-hectare property, and we can deal with all transportation expenses, Fr. Suelo’s heavy medical expenses, the reconstruction of a devastated village and several building sites at once. Bishop Williamson easily found all the necessary resources for the purchase of his house in Kent, without having to borrow from those he calls “Banksters.”
God is good, He provides for all. Among us Father Pfeiffer breaks all records. What concerns us most is the way we organize ourselves so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past and the fatal centralization of the Society.
The more enthusiastically we set out, the more the results exceed our expectations. I do not think this letter (a little too long) will convince you in this so important decision to do nothing, to pretend, or to do everything to save the message of Archbishop Lefebvre, which is that of Christ the King. Vatican II denies rights that are due to Jesus Christ as God. This is a revolt, and those seeking to reconcile themselves with a revolt, as profound as this conciliar church are rebels themselves. What they say about us makes no difference.
Dear Brothers, I just wanted to accompany you with my thoughts, wishes and especially my prayers.
In Jesu and Maria,
Francois Chazal +
1 The Dominicans of Avrillé publish the traditional journal Sel de la Terre for which Bishop Tissier has written several extensive articles expressing his views.
Translation, courtesy of Sr. Mary Reginald, t.o.p.