Two Religions Confront Each Other – Catholics Must Now Choose…

Two Religions Confront Each Other – Catholics Must Now Choose…

Archbishop Lefebvre
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

“Two religions confront each other; we are in a dramatic situation and it is impossible to avoid a choice, but the choice is not between obedience and disobedience. What is suggested to us, what we are expressly invited to do, what we are persecuted for not doing, is to choose an appearance of obedience. But even the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon our faith. We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organised and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the mastermind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a masterstroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.” (Open Letter to Confused Catholics, page 133 – emphasis added.)

In conversation over the weekend with Catholics who sometimes attend the Traditional Latin Mass, courtesy of Summorum Pontificum, including those who are admirers of the FSSP clergy,  I have been astonished at the vitriol which is still hurled, mercilessly, at the Society of St Pius X.  The main gripe against the Society rests on their alleged “disobedience”, the fact that they are not under the authority of the local bishops,thus failing to comply with Canon Law. This is the be all and end all to those who remain, whether culpably or not I can’t say, ignorant of the history of the SSPX and the writings of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre – not to say the correct application of Canon Law in an emergency situation. 

I thought, therefore, that it might be worth returning to this subject, which we’ve often discussed on this blog, in the light of this most recent conversation, in which the Society of St Pius X was repeatedly described as being “outside the Church” with some pretty abusive name-calling directed at the Society bishops and priests.  Below, therefore, is the chapter on True and False Obedience, from Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics. But let me make my own position crystal clear at the outset.  I have long considered the crisis in the Church to be focused on the SSPX Vs Modernism. I’m now confirmed in that view. All the other allegedly “traditional” groups are mere distractions. They are (as one friend put it) “comfort-zoners” – they have compromised to gain admittance to the dioceses and, to a greater or lesser extent, have chosen to go along to get along with the Modernist Hierarchy.  You may disagree.  If you still disagree after reading the writings of Archbishop Lefebvre below, I’d jes LOVE to hear from you – Editor.


Indiscipline is everywhere in the Church. Committees of priests send demands to their bishops, bishops disregard pontifical exhortations, even the recommendations and decisions of the Council are not respected and yet one never hears uttered the word “disobedience,” except as applied to Catholics who wish to remain faithful to Tradition and just simply keep the Faith.

Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation. We are deeply aware of this and nobody is more attached to the present reigning successor of Peter, or has been more attached to his predecessors, than we are. I am speaking here of myself and of the many faithful driven out of the churches, and also of the priests who are obliged to celebrate Mass in barns as in the French Revolution, and to organize alternative catechism classes in town and country.

We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: “The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the Bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law,  institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practise spiritual abortion or contraception.

This is why we are submissive and ready to accept everything that is in conformity with our Catholic Faith, as it has been taught for two thousand years, but we reject everything that is opposed to it.

archbishplefebvrequote if my work is of God

For the fact is that a grave problem confronted the conscience and the faith of all Catholics during the pontificate of Paul VI. How could a Pope, true successor of Peter, assured of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, preside over the most vast and extensive destruction of the Church in her history within so short a space of time, something that no heresiarch has ever succeeded in doing? One day this question will have to be answered.

In the first half of the Fifth Century, St. Vincent of Lérins, who was a soldier before consecrating himself to God and acknowledged having been “tossed for a long time on the sea of the world before finding shelter in the harbor of faith,” spoke thus about the development of dogma: “Will there be no religious advances in Christ’s Church? Yes, certainly, there will be some very important ones, of such a sort as to constitute progress in the faith and not change. What matters is that in the course of ages knowledge, understanding and wisdom grow in abundance and in depth, in each and every individual as in the churches; provided always that there is identity of dogma and continuity of thought.” Vincent, who had experienced the shock of heresies, gives a rule of conduct which still holds good after fifteen hundred years: “What should the Catholic Christian therefore do if some part of the Church arrives at the point of detaching itself from the universal communion and the universal faith? What else can he do but prefer the general body which is healthy to the gangrenous and corrupted limb? And if some new contagion strives to poison, not just a small part of the Church but the whole Church at once, then again his great concern will be to attach himself to Antiquity which obviously cannot any more be seduced by any deceptive novelty.” 

In the Rogation-tide litanies the Church teaches us to say: “We beseech thee O Lord, maintain in Thy holy religion the Sovereign Pontiff and all the orders of ecclesiastical hierarchy.”  This means that such a disaster could very well happen.

In the Church there is no law or jurisdiction which can impose on a Christian a diminution of his faith. All the faithful can and should resist whatever interferes with their faith, supported by the catechism of their childhood. If they are faced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey.

It is because we judge that our faith is endangered by the post-conciliar reforms and tendencies, that we have the duty to disobey and keep the Tradition. Let us add this, that the greatest service we can render to the Church and to the successor of Peter is to reject the reformed and liberal Church. Jesus Christ, Son of God made man, is neither liberal nor reformable. On two occasions I have heard emissaries of the Holy See say to me: “The social Kingdom of Our Lord is no longer possible in our times and we must ultimately accept the plurality of religions.” This is exactly what they have said to me.

Well,  I am not of that religion. I do not accept that new religion. It is a liberal, modernist religion which has its worship, its priests, its faith, its catechism, its ecumenical Bible translated jointly by Catholics, Jews, Protestants and Anglicans, all things to all men, pleasing everybody by frequently sacrificing the interpretation of the Magisterium. We do not accept this ecumenical Bible.  There is the Bible of God; it is His Word which we have not the right to mix with the words of men.

When I was a child, the Church had the same faith everywhere, the same sacraments and the same Sacrifice of the Mass. If anyone had told me then that it would be changed, I would not have believed him.  Throughout the breadth of Christendom we prayed to God in the same way.  The new liberal and modernist religion has sown division.

Christians are divided within the same family because of this confusion which has established itself; they no longer go to the same Mass and they no longer read the same books. Priests no longer know what to do; either they obey blindly what their superiors impose on them, and lose to some degree the faith of their childhood and youth, renouncing the promises they made when they took the Anti-Modernist Oath at the moment of their ordination; or on the other hand they resist, but with the feeling of separating themselves from the Pope, who is our father and the Vicar of Christ.  In both cases, what a heartbreak! Many priests have died of sorrow before their time.

How many more have been forced to abandon the parishes where for years they had practised their ministry, victims of open persecution by their hierarchy in spite of the support of the faithful whose pastor was being torn away! I have before me the moving farewell of one of them to the people of the two parishes of which he was priest: “In our interview on the… the Bishop addressed an ultimatum to me, to accept or reject the new religion; I could not evade the issue. Therefore, to remain faithful to the obligation of my priesthood, to remain faithful to the Eternal Church… I was forced and coerced against my will to retire… Simple honesty and above all my honor as a priest impose on me an obligation to be loyal, precisely in this matter of divine gravity (the Mass)… This is the proof of faithfulness and love that I must give to God and men and to you in particular, and it is on this that I shall be judged on the last day along with all those to whom was entrusted the same deposit (of faith).”

In the Diocese of Campos in Brazil, practically all the clergy have been driven out of the churches after the departure of Bishop Castro-Mayer, because they were not willing to abandon the Mass of all time which they celebrated there until recently.

Divisions affects the smallest manifestations of piety. In Val-de-Marne, the diocese got the police to eject twenty-five Catholics who used to recite the Rosary in a church which had been deprived of a priest for a long period of years. In the diocese of Metz, the bishops brought in the Communist mayor to cancel the loan of a building to a group of traditionalists. In Canada six of the faithful were sentenced by a Court, which is permitted by the law of that country to deal with this kind of matter, for insisting on receiving Holy Communion on their knees.  The Bishop of Antigonish had accused them of “deliberately disturbing the order and the dignity of religious service.”  The judge gave the “disturbers” a conditional discharge for six months! According to the Bishop, Christians are forbidden to bend the knee before God! Last year, the pilgrimage of young people to Chartres ended with a Mass in the Cathedral gardens because the Mass of St. Pius V was banned from the Cathedral itself. A fortnight later, the doors were thrown open for a spiritual concert in the course of which dances were performed by a former Carmelite nun.

Two religions confront each other; we are in a dramatic situation and it is impossible to avoid a choice, but the choice is not between obedience and disobedience.  What is suggested to us, what we are expressly invited to do, what we are persecuted for not doing, is to choose an appearance of obedience. But even the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon our faith.

We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years.  The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself.  For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.  A typical example is furnished by the “aggiornamento” of the religious societies. By obedience, monks and nuns are made to disobey the laws and constitutions of their founders, which they swore to observe when they made their profession. Obedience in this case should have been a categorical  refusal. Even legitimate authority cannot command a reprehensible and evil act. Nobody can oblige anyone to change his monastic vows into simple promises, just as nobody can make us become Protestants or modernists. St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we must always refer, goes so far in the Summa Theologica as to ask whether the “fraternal correction” prescribed by Our Lord can be exercised towards our superiors. After having made all the appropriate distinctions he replies: “One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.”

If we were more resolute on this subject, we would avoid coming to the point of gradually absorbing heresies.  At the beginning of the sixteenth century the English underwent an experience of the kind we are living through, but with the difference that it began with a schism. In all other respects the similarities are astonishing and should give us cause to ponder.  The new religion which was to take the name “Anglicanism” started with an attack on the Mass, personal confession and priestly celibacy. Henry VIII, although he had taken the enormous responsibility of separating his people from Rome, rejected the suggestions that were put to him, but a year after his death a statute authorized the use of English for the celebration of the Mass.  Processions were forbidden and a new order of service was imposed, the “Communion Service” in which there was no longer an Offertory.  To reassure Christians another statute forbade all sorts of changes, whereas a third allowed priests to get rid of the statues of the saints and of the Blessed Virgin in the churches. Venerable works of art were sold to traders,  just as today they go to antique dealers and flea markets.

Only a few bishops pointed out that the Communion Service infringed the dogma of the Real Presence by saying that Our Lord gives us His Body and Blood spiritually. The Confiteor, translated into the vernacular,  was recited at the same time by the celebrant and the faithful and served as an absolution.  The Mass was transformed into a meal or Communion. But even clear-headed bishops eventually ac-cepted the new Prayer Book in order to maintain peace and unity.  It is for exactly the same reasons that the post-Conciliar Church wants to impose on us the Novus Ordo. The English bishops in the Sixteenth Century affirmed that the Mass was a “memorial!” A sustained propaganda introduced Lutheran views into the minds of the faithful. Preachers had to be approved by the Government.

During the same period the Pope was only referred to as the “Bishop of Rome.” He was no longer the father but the brother of the other bishops and in this instance, the brother of the King of England who had made himself head of the national church.  Cranmer’s Prayer Book was composed by mixing parts of the Greek liturgy with parts of Luther’s liturgy.  How can we not be reminded of Mgr. Bugnini drawing up the so-called Mass of Paul VI, with the collaboration of six Protestant “observers” attached as experts to the Consilium for the reform of the liturgy? The Prayer Book begins with these words, “The Supper and Holy Communion, commonly called Mass…,” which foreshadows the notorious Article 7 of the Institutio Generalis of the New Missal, revived by the Lourdes Eucharistic Congress in 1981: “The Supper of the Lord, otherwise called the Mass.” The destruction of the sacred, to which I have already referred, also formed part of the Anglican reform. The words of the Canon were required to be spoken in a loud voice, as happens in the “Eucharists” of the present day.

The Prayer Book was also approved by the bishops “to preserve the internal unity of the Kingdom.” Priests who continued to say the “Old Mass” incurred penalties ranging from loss of income to removal pure and simple, with life imprisonment for further offences. We have to be grateful that these days they do not put traditionalist priests in prison.

Tudor England, led by its pastors, slid into heresy without realizing it, by accepting change under the pretext of adapting to the historical circumstances of the time.   Today the whole of Christendom is in danger of taking the same road. Have you thought that even if we who are of a certain age run a smaller risk, children and younger seminarians brought up in new catechisms, experimental psychology and sociology, without a trace of dogmatic or moral theology, canon law or Church history, are educated in a faith which is not the true one and take for granted the new Protestant notions with which they are indoctrinated?  What will tomorrow’s religion be if we do not resist?

You will be tempted to say: “But what can we do about it? It is a bishop who says this or that. Look, this document comes from the Catechetical Commission or some other official commission.”

That way there is nothing left for you but to lose your faith. But you do not have the right to react in that way.  St. Paul has warned us: “Even if an angel from Heaven came to tell you anything other than what I have taught you, do not listen to him.”

Such is the secret of true obedience. 

" ...pray insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart. Implore our Celestial Father that, for the love of the Eucharistic Heart of My Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity... He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those ominous times, and send to the Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of Her priests." Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana in the 17th century, foretelling the crisis in the Church in 20th century.
” …pray insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart. Implore our Celestial Father that, for the love of the Eucharistic Heart of My Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity… He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those ominous times, and send to the Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of Her priests.”
(Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana in the 17th century, foretelling the crisis in the Church in 20th century.) 

Comments (129)

  • crofterlady

    That’s a great video from the Remnant. In it was mentioned that “7 bishops” have been re-shuffled. The good guys, I mean. Does anyone know their identities? Also, has something nasty been done to Cardinal Sarah? I really must keep up!

    July 19, 2016 at 9:52 pm
    • editor


      Guess what? The place to keep up with Cardinal Sarah is on the Cardinal Sarah thread, where RCA Victor has posted a very interesting link near the end of the page today, July 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm – click here 😀

      July 19, 2016 at 11:15 pm
  • John Kearney

    I am as readers are aware in the mainstream Church. I am a member of the Rosary Group which started in the 1980’s to pray for the Catholic Faith that it would return to our parish. Yes,there is a return to Adoration but not on a large scale and there are those who we know will be there and there are those we know will not be there. Put it this way, those who believe and those who do not believe. What I have come to understand is that we are part of an inclusiveness. See, we let the Romans practice their Faith. Meanwhile the Protestants have their Bible studies and are around to dismiss Catholicism in any talks on the Catholic Faith. WE are, I am told, a Parish of Faith, but as far as faith is concerned it teaches nothing. There is no attempt to teach the Catechism, 90% of children in the Catholic Schools have stopped going to Church by the time they are 13, but we are ‘community’ and you can do something in the parish in the jobs created to make you feel value. This we are told is what the Pre-Vatian Churh lacked, everyone being important. Now what an be done? Satan is the champion of division and a Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. So we should look for unity with others of the same view, who are loyal to the Pope and the Catholic Faith If the SSPX does indeed become regular that would be a wonderful step ahead for they could not be crushed easily. They could teach their Catechesis, the true Catechesis. This is urgent for since the 70’s Modernists have not just been destroying the Faith of the Children but as I have been pointing out they are destroying their lives.

    July 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm
    • Josephine

      John Kearney

      I recognise only too well your situation in the “mainstream” Church. It’s so protestantised that none of the great martyrs would recognise it if they returned to earth today.

      I’ve been reading through this thread and looking forward to reading Jane McIlshenaich’s responses to the answers she was given. Has she emigrated?

      July 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm
  • editor

    Communiqué from the Superior General to All Members of the Society of Saint Pius X at the conclusion of the meeting of major superiors in Anzère (Valais), June 28 2016.

    Following the meeting of the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X, in addition to the statement he read on June 29, 2016, during the priestly ordinations in Ecône, Bishop Bernard Fellay, the day before, had addressed the priests in a statement that DICI publishes today exclusively.

    For the glory of God,
    for the honour of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Holy Mother,
    for our salvation.

    In the present grave state of necessity in the Church, which gives it the right to administer spiritual aid to the souls that turn to it, the Society of Saint Pius X does not seek above all a canonical recognition, to which it has a right because it is Catholic. The solution is not simply juridical. It depends on a doctrinal position that it is imperative to express.

    When Saint Pius X condemned modernism, he traced the whole argument of the encyclical Pascendi back to one initial principle: independence. Now the world makes all its efforts to change the axis around which it must turn. And it is obvious to Catholics, as it is to those who are not, that the Cross is no longer that axis. Paul VI said it very well: man is (See Closing Speech of Vatican II, December 7, 1965).

    Today the world turns around this, according to him, definitively established axis: human dignity, man’s conscience and freedom. Modern man exists for his own sake. Man is the king of the universe. He has dethroned Christ. Man exalts his autonomous, independent conscience, to the point of dissolving even the very foundations of the family and marriage.

    The Society of Saint Pius X has always opposed this project of deconstruction of the universe, both the political society, and the Church.

    To remedy this universal disorder, the Good Lord raised up a man, a Christian, a priest, a bishop. What did he do? He founded a society—a hierarchical society—the principle and end of which are just the antidote to this universal disorder: The Sacrament of Holy Orders. The purpose of the Society of Saint Pius X continues to be not only the actual remedy of the crisis but also thereby the salvation of all who cooperate in it. The Society is determined to keep doctrinal, theological and social rectitude, founded on the Cross of Jesus Christ, on His Kingship, on His sacrifice, and on His priesthood, the principle of all order and of all grace. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre fought his whole life long for the triumph of these fundamental truths. It is incumbent on us at the present hour to redouble our efforts and to intensify the same fight on the same principles.

    We are not “conciliarists”: for they deny that Christ’s cross is the world’s axis; neither are we dissenters who reject the social nature of the Church. We are a Society of priests of Jesus Christ, of the Catholic Church.

    Is this truly the moment for the general restoration of the Church? Divine Providence does not abandon its Church, the head of which is the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. This is why an indisputable sign of this restoration will be the express desire will of the Supreme Pontiff to grant the means with which to reestablish the order of the priesthood, of the faith, and of Tradition, sign which will moreover be the guarantee of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition.

    Christus regnat,
    Christus imperat,
    Deo gratias,

    + Bernard Fellay
    Anzère, 28 June 2016
    on the vigil of the Apostles Peter and Paul

    (Source : FSSPX/MG –DICI dated July 16, 2016)

    July 20, 2016 at 9:43 pm
    • Gerontius


      Thank you for this post. His excellency Bishop Fellay’s recent communiqués, holding fast to the truth, lays out very clearly the SSPX position. However, in this latest communiqué Our Blessed Lord seems (working through Bishop Fellay) to hint at the beginning of the restoration of Holy Mother Church? If this so when is this likely to happen – who knows, especially with the celebration of Luther’s betrayal on the horizon.

      Then again, since with God all things are possible, this scripture came mind:

      31.And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32.But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Douay Rheims – Matthew 26:31-32

      I fully intend not only to continue but to intensify my prayers for our Holy Father Francis that he will pour the balm of peace on Our Lords dreadfully scourged mystical body.

      Quis ut Deus

      July 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm
      • RCA Victor


        I’m curious as to how you reached the conclusion that Bp. Fellay is hinting at “the beginning of the restoration of Holy Mother Church.” (Louie Verrecchio speculated somewhat the same thing in his most recent column, though his focus was strictly on the SSPX) I pretty much concluded the opposite, i.e. that he is saying that this Pontificate does not have the will to grant the means for a general restoration of the Church. Note the use of the word “general,” which implies a much larger change of course – a universal and radical change, in fact – than just the regularization of the SSPX. Not a complete “conversion,” but a willful and concrete turn back towards Tradition….though such a turn would clearly imply at least an interior conversion…

        It appears to me that, once again, Bp. Fellay is placing the needs of the SSPX within the needs of the Church as a whole. Which is, of course, the correct position.

        Meanwhile, Francis continues the completely opposite course, the latest sorry milestone being the reputed replacement of Card. Muller (whose orthodoxy was questionable to begin with) with Card. “Balloon” Schonborn. If true, I’m sure we will have more heretical “linguistic events” to look forward to, and very soon.

        July 21, 2016 at 6:54 pm
      • Gerontius

        RCA Victor,

        Thank you for your reply. I thought to detect the first signs of a possible near future restoration in the last paragraph of Bishop Fellay’s communique.


        Is this truly the moment for the general restoration of the Church? Divine Providence does not abandon its Church, the head of which is the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. This is why an indisputable sign of this restoration will be the express desire will of the Supreme Pontiff to grant the means with which to re-establish the order of the priesthood, of the faith, and of Tradition, a sign which will moreover be the guarantee of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition.

        End of extract.

        My own opinion is that with this pontificate plus what some refer to as Team Bergoglio it seems unlikely to be anytime soon. However, the process of the triumph of Our Lady’s immaculate Heart, Like any journey, begins with a single step. Anyway, we shall see!

        In the meantime, what looks like Our Lord’s cleansing of his mystical body, by separating the wheat from the chaff, is likely to continue for some time yet.

        July 21, 2016 at 8:47 pm
  • John Kearney

    I have a great respect for Bishop Fellay. Perhaps if he continues his dialogue with the Pope it will bear fruit. But remember the Pope is surrounded by unfaithful and anti-catholic bishops and Cardinals. Pope Benedict failed to remove them or influence them which led to his departure. But one good voice in Rome inspired by the Holy Spirit can I believe banish the hold of Satan.

    July 20, 2016 at 9:59 pm
  • Helen

    John, I agree about the cabal that reside in the Vatican but you’re not suggesting, are you?! that the Pope is innocent in all this??

    July 20, 2016 at 11:10 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      The Pope can’t be innocent – he’s the one who appoints the bishops and cardinals! LOL!

      July 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm
  • Prognosticum

    I am beginning to detect online the growing view that the Pope will soon appoint Card. Schoenborn to succeed Card. Mueller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    Let us hope and pray that this is only a rumour.

    July 21, 2016 at 1:24 am
    • editor


      Someone (I think Gerontius) posted an article from Eponymous Flower claiming exactly that on another (I think) thread (scrolled quickly and can’t find it here) and I wondered if it were a piece of satire. If so, I said, I am not impressed, because things are now so bad that it is hard to identify the fiction (satirical) from the facts. You appear to confirm that this rumour may well be true – so I echo your concluding prayer.

      The appointment of Cardinal Schoenborn to the CDF would surely be the ultimate irony – to say the least.

      July 21, 2016 at 9:22 am
      • Lionel

        I HOPE NOT!!!

        July 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      There is an growing online view that Cardinal Schoenborn is to go to the CDF

      This is Eponymous Flower a day ago, so I think it’s a different article from the one that editor mentions – I think that was a few days ago.

      It’s terrible the way they play politics with these important appointments, especially the CDF. They should be picking someone who actually believes the doctrine of the faith himself!

      I do hope this is only a rumour but would no be a bit surprised if it’s true.

      July 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm
      • Gerontius

        Margaret Mary,

        “There is an growing online view that Cardinal Schoenborn is to go to the CDF”

        The Gloria TV link below confirms our worst fears.

        July 22, 2016 at 4:33 am
      • editor

        Gerontius, thank you for that update. Shocking.

        July 22, 2016 at 9:09 am
  • Laura

    I have now read that chapter from the Open Letter to Confused Catholics several times and it is just breathtaking. It is prophetic. I’ve highlighted one paragraph but the whole thing is just superb:

    “When I was a child, the Church had the same faith everywhere, the same sacraments and the same Sacrifice of the Mass. If anyone had told me then that it would be changed, I would not have believed him. Throughout the breadth of Christendom we prayed to God in the same way. The new liberal and modernist religion has sown division.”

    That’s exactly true. If anyone had told me when I was young that everything would be changed, that the Mass would be different and that my family would be split because some go to the new Mass and others go to the old rite as they call it now, I just wouldn’t have believed it. We live in sorry times.

    It’s such a pity that the FSSP people seem to be so hostile to the Archbishop’s wonderful work. We should pray for their enlightenment.

    July 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm
  • Josephine

    Yesterday I asked if Jane McIlshenaich has emigrated as she’s not replied to the answer given her about a bishop banning priests from preaching. I’d really like to know if the answers satisfied her, as I think they were really clear, or if she still thinks a priest has to obey a bishop who tells him to stop preaching even if he is preaching dogma.

    I hope you will answer me now, Jane McIlshenaich. This is not a trick question, as I’d really be interested to know if you have changed your mind after the really good answers to your questions given on this blog.

    July 21, 2016 at 4:15 pm
    • editor


      I’d leave it now. I think we can safely assume that Jane now understands better the distinctions that must be made when discussing obedience. If not, she would surely have come back to us.

      July 22, 2016 at 9:37 am
  • Summa

    Splendid article.

    July 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm
  • Micah

    God always asks for our full obedience, not partial obedience. Every single saint in the Catholic Church, without exception, manifested the virtues of humility and absolute obedience. Disobedience and all forms of deceit (appearance of obedience) are trademarks of Satan. God always gives us an “out” so that disobedience and deceit, no matter how well the intention, are not options. God’s Grace is sufficient for us.

    St. Paul clearly states that should “an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. So now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.” Nowhere does it say that we should only go so far as ignoring the message and then stop at that point. This is far more about the messenger than it is the message. And since neither an angel from Heaven nor a true pope could ever in essence be anathema, the intent of St. Paul’s words is that the message exists as a litmus test to determine the legitimacy of the messenger. The servant cannot be greater than the master, which is Truth. And if the message be not Truth, then we don’t just ignore it and sit around waiting for the next message to scrutinize, but rather we are commanded by God to trace it back to its primary source, recognize the instigator as the diabolical abomination it is and then distance ourselves completely. It is reprehensible not to give full obedience to a true messenger but it is far more reprehensible to give the appearance of obedience to a false messenger.

    July 23, 2016 at 2:24 am
    • Laura


      I’m very sorry but I don’t understand your point, with reference to this discussion.

      Are you saying that Catholics have to obey a pope completely, no matter what?

      July 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm
      • Laura


        I meant to say do Catholics have to obey “a pope or bishop” no matter what.

        July 23, 2016 at 7:46 pm
      • Micah


        Christ promises us that if the message is false then one can be absolutely certain that the messenger is also false…“a good tree cannot bear bad fruit”. So if you find yourself surprised by error when the harvest time comes, know that it is not a good tree and you should disassociate yourself from it completely. A true pope would always have to be obeyed no matter what because Christ’s Promise precludes any possibility of the emanation of error. If error is being promulgated in any capacity that endangers the salvation of one’s soul, you have Christ’s Word that said person is not the pope but an imposter who should be recognized as such. And thus the obligation wouldn’t be that he not be obeyed, for who would ever pause to consider allegiance with iniquity in the first place. The obligation would be to flee from him like you would a wolf, never stopping to look back.

        July 24, 2016 at 9:12 am
    • Athanasius


      I think you are a little confused about obedience. Even the very holiest of men can err in their judgments and words. If and when they do so it is imcumbent upon all in charity to correct them, or resist them if they persist in their error. Truth is paramount, the messenger is secondary. There are times when disobedience is virtuous.

      The Popes since Vatican II, most particularly Francis, have been preaching a Gospel other than that which has been preached to us, to borrow your example from St. Paul who resisted Peter to his face when the latter erred. Now, the fact that these Popes by their individual words and actions have departed from the teaching handed down does not at all impact on the truth of Traditional teaching or on the Papal office. It only demonstrates that Popes are human beings as likely to fall into error, even heresy, as anyone else. The problem the Church has faced these past 60 years or so is that very few in the hierarchy have retained either the orthodoxy or the charity to correct or resist them. I am only aware of two bishops since the Council who have acted as St. Athansius acted. The rest have lost their tongues, if not their faith.

      July 23, 2016 at 8:23 pm
      • Micah

        Christ was the holiest of Men ever to walk the earth and was Truth Incarnate.
        And since His Church is an extension of Himself, It has Divine protection from every conceivable error in order that men be assured of the opportunity of salvation. Christ’s Church and error cannot exist side by side and thus the Vicar of Christ on earth can never depart from truth and teach error. So if a pope ever decides to teach error, he may do so but then he will no longer be the pope. Just as an unrepentant who wishes to die with their sins while wearing the brown scapular can most certainly do so but be assured the brown scapular will not be found on their body when they die.

        July 24, 2016 at 9:39 am
      • Margaret Mary


        You are forgetting that the Church is both human and divine.

        July 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm
      • Micah

        Margaret Mary,

        If you are implying that the human element (Vicar of Christ on earth) of the Church still retains the possibility of teaching error then I’m afraid you’re sadly mistaken. A true pope, as evil as he may be, is still a true pope as long as he doesn’t promulgate error. Christ’s Divine promise of infallibility is an absolute guarantee that His Church cannot deviate from the Truth and teach error. The servant cannot be greater than the master so Truth is always going to be the litmus test. With nothing less than the salvation of our souls at risk, do you really believe Christ would leave us a Church that had even the slightest chance of becoming corrupted and teaching error depending on who was occupying the See of Peter at any given time? No, a Divine Promise is just that, a Divine Promise. And Christ was more than aware of our own weak human nature when He made that Promise.

        July 30, 2016 at 6:30 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        Sorry, but it’s you who is mistaken if you think that the Pope never teaches error. That’s not true. The Pope is only promised divine help when he is defining teachings which are binding on us all. The stuff that he’s teaching in Amoris Laetita is error.

        July 30, 2016 at 9:28 pm
      • Micah

        Margaret Mary,

        People can live an entire lifetime and die without ever hearing an ex-cathedra dogmatic definition. A Catholic doesn’t live his or her life merely from one dogmatic definition to the next with the idea that everything taught in the interim may or may not be true and thus never be able to make a true act of divine faith. The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church designates the teaching power of the pope and bishops to the rest of the world and contains the same protection of infallibility:

        “All those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and are proposed by the Church either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium to be believed as divinely revealed.”
        (First Vatican Council, 1870)

        July 30, 2016 at 10:43 pm
      • editor


        That is correct. The quote from Vatican I is exactly right.

        Pope Francis, however, is undermining – and often openly denying – “teachings of the ordinary and universal magisterium to be believed as divinely revealed.” That is the problem.

        And that is why…

        July 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Forty-five Catholic prelates, academics, and clergy have submitted an appeal to the Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome requesting that the cardinals and Eastern Catholic Patriarchs petition Pope Francis to repudiate a list of erroneous propositions that can be drawn from Amoris Laetitia.

        The appeal will be sent in various languages to the 218 living Catholic Cardinals and Patriarchs over the coming weeks. Read entire report here

        Happily, this Pope has not used any form of words that would seek to make his errors binding on the faithful, but he is spreading utter confusion and giving the impression that the Church’s teaching on moral issues has changed. He is a danger to the Faith. A disaster. There’s nothing Catholic about defending his undermining of Catholic doctrine and morals, as you appear to be doing. Christ said that to divorce one’s spouse and marry another is to commit adultery. The Pope is saying “wrong”. It’s just not possible to defend the Pope without insulting Christ.

        Answer this, Micah: were your priest to permit the divorced and “remarried” and cohabitees, to approach for Holy Communion – as some are already doing – on the grounds that Pope Francis has given the green light to this as an act of “mercy”, in Amoris Laetita (AL) would your priest be correct to obey? And what if he disobeyed? Would he be wrong?

        Remember, contrary to what the heretical Cardinal Schonborn says, none of the novel “teachings” in AL can possibly be binding on Catholics. And if its not binding, we may (indeed must) disobey – right?

        July 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm
      • Micah


        Thankfully Christ’s Church on earth is not capable of “spreading utter confusion”, “giving the impression that the Church’s teaching on moral issues has changed”, or be a danger to the Faith. So if Francis is responsible for any of these things to the point where in good faith you are unable to apply the precepts of the above quoted Vatican Council I, then you have to ask yourself if it’s not disobedience you should be promoting but rather an honest search for the True Church. Look for the Church which holds the True Deposit of Catholic Faith in Its entirety….a Church that has nothing whatsoever to do with Francis.

        You just said you agreed with the Vatican Council I statement quoted above which was a solemn binding precept stating we have to believe ALL in its entirety that comes from the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church. Disobedience is not an option. Picking and choosing is not an option. Resisting is not an option. Instead, look for the Church where you, in good conscience, have to do NONE of that stuff. Holy Mother Church will never lead us astray or put our souls at risk.

        I’m sure you guessed it by now, I’m not a defender of Francis. He is an evil man (Ed: not your, or my, or anyone’s judgment to make) and not the true pope by any stretch of the imagination. This means you don’t bargain with him, you don’t compromise with him, you don’t rebuke him, you don’t look for recognition from him etc. You run as far away as you can from him and pray to Our Lady that she will lead you to the True Faith.

        Editor: it is now clear that you are a sedevacantist. We do not promote that error here. Please do not persist with this. If you lack the Faith to see that Christ does not guarantee “good popes” but only that no pope will teach, as binding, any error, then you will not agree with us here. No posts of yours will be released from now on, which persist in promoting sedevacantism.

        July 31, 2016 at 1:25 am
      • Athanasius


        “Thankfully Christ’s Church on earth is not capable of “spreading utter confusion”, “giving the impression that the Church’s teaching on moral issues has changed”, or be a danger to the Faith.”

        Then how do you explain the Arian heresy which caused St. Jerome to lament that the world awoke and found itself Arian”

        And how do you explain the cowardly silence of Pope Honorius I which permitted heresy to flourish alongside orthodoxy? He was posthumously anathematized for this by two Popes.

        You seem to forget that Popes have a great influence on the faithful, who are often more obedient to them than to the teaching handed down. That’s how heresy becomes universal in the Church without ever having been Magisterially taught against Tradition. There is not a single Magisterially binding document or statement since Vatican II that officially enforces a new Mass or new teaching. It has all been done through the appearance of Magisterial authority and false obedience. That’s how we know that even in this crisis Our Lord has not abandoned His Church to formal heresy. The Gates of Hell have not prevailed, and so your sedevacantist position is actually as dangerous and unjustified as that of the liberal reformers. You have a wrong grasp of what obedience means.

        July 31, 2016 at 2:22 pm
      • RCA Victor


        You would do well to read John Salza & Robert Siscoe’s new book, True or False Pope? Your erroneous sedevacantist position would soon be corrected.

        July 31, 2016 at 6:31 pm
      • editor

        Athanasius and RCA Victor (and everyone else!)

        Note that if you use Micah’s name in responding to any of his comments, your post will go into moderation, since I’ve had to enter his name into the moderation box. So, if he replies here, and I release his comment, try not to use his name. Try “hey you” or similar! 😀

        July 31, 2016 at 11:00 pm
  • Gerontius

    Archbishop Pozzo: Bishop Fellay to Accept Personal Prelature Arrangement

    July 30, 2016 at 3:26 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      I just couldn’t believe the comments under that article. How ignorant so many people still are about the Society. One of them actually listed the documents that the SSPX can’t accept and then made a comment about them having to become in full communion or something. He/she didn’t think of saying I wonder what it is that they can’t accept?!!!!!

      I don’t think the Society will accept anything right now with this unpredictable pope at the top. Who can blame them?

      July 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm
      • Gerontius

        Margaret Mary,

        Yes their comments show how they think. As has been said many times before, Truth cannot dialogue or compromise with error. They are kidding themselves by thinking they are right.

        Perhaps those who promote and maintain the Modernist Heresy will come to the certain knowledge that St. Pius X has already EXCOMMUNICATED them latae sententiae. ( St. Pius X’s 18th November 1907 Motu Proprio Praestantia Scripturae)

        Reading Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter To Confused Catholics should help them return to the TRUTH.

        July 30, 2016 at 9:42 pm
      • editor


        Yes, the comments below the report show real ignorance. It’s just incredible how blind people are about the SSPX – and the worse things get in the Church, the more ignorance they display! A real mystery!

        July 30, 2016 at 11:16 pm
    • editor


      That is interesting, but I’ve just checked, the online mouthpiece for the SSPX and there is no update to the communique of 28th June, so I suspect this is perhaps a regurgitation of previous speculation.

      I did laugh at this paragraph:

      “[Archbishop] Pozzo stressed the SSPX affirms the central decisions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). These included, for example, the doctrine of the sacramental nature of the episcopate, and “the doctrine of the primacy of the Pope and the College of Bishops together with his leadership.” The statements of the Council on interreligious dialogue, ecumenism and religious freedom have, in the words of Archbishop, a lesser degree of binding.”

      In other words, the SSPX accepts whatever is found in Vatican II that is in accord with what has always been taught and believed.

      WOW! Not exactly breaking news!

      July 30, 2016 at 11:15 pm
    • RCA Victor


      If you read this carefully, you will note that there is nothing new in the article. In fact, the draft of the Personal Prelature proposal has been floating around since 2011/12, but back then Pope Benedict’s insistence on our acceptance of the VII documents in toto effectively destroyed negotiations. Our former Prior had a look at the draft and declared that it was the most airtight arrangement since the Middle Ages!

      I believe Bp. Fellay has thus long ago accepted, in principle, the idea of a Personal Prelature, but as this article states rather deceptively, “details need to be clarified.” Ah yes, the devil’s still in the details!

      Just wait, the Wormtongues behind the Throne are sure to throw yet another Modernist monkey wrench into the works….aka “details.”

      July 31, 2016 at 6:29 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Well said. On the button.

        Oh and, by the way, I think you’re right!

        July 31, 2016 at 11:01 pm
  • Micah

    “Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that ‘without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogma of faith and morals.’ But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.”

    (n. 5;

    You and Athanasius would do well applying this infallible statement to your “recognize and resist” position and you would begin to realize how truly untenable it is. If you really believe that Francis is your pope then it is reprehensible how much you abuse, mock and deride him. The entire SSPX position is telling people that it’s NOT okay to say Francis isn’t the pope but it IS okay to treat him like he isn’t.
    Ed: this shows you to be a papolatrist. You ignore the evidence given to you about the LIMITS of papal authority and from Scripture, Saints and Canon Law about our duty to resist, including to speak out against even a Pope if necessary. Here’s a quote from the Council of Trent (surely you’ll accept that!) where the Theologian Melchior Cano said: “Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decsion of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See – they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.”

    I don’t expect a response as this is meant more for your sake seeing as how you are the editor and the most responsible person on this blog. Just know that with an open heart and cooperation with God’s Grace, Our Blessed Mother will help you find the Truth.

    Editor: since Our Lady spoke always of “the Holy Father” when she appeared at Fatima, with no hint that there would come a time when a false pope was elected, it’s YOU who needs to pray to Our Lady to help YOU to SEE the Truth that you wilfully ignore. It’s not about “finding the Truth” – it was never lost, or I imagine Our Lady would not have misled us by telling us to pray much for the Holy Father and that, although late, he would consecrate Russia, etc. Listen, no sedevacantist is ever going to convince me of the truth of that nonsensical position, so I suggest you stop wasting your time trying. In case, however, you are determined to pester me with your nonsense, I’m removing you from moderation and putting you into another little-used section of our site where I won’t see your comments, they will be automatically consigned to the dustbin, so do not waste any more of your time. The reason we don’t welcome sedevacantists/”Roman Protestants” here is because that heresy is of a particularly vicious type and – in my own experience – it is incurable; no argument works with these people. Only if YOU open your heart to the grace of God will you stand any chance of restoring your Catholic Faith. End of discussion.

    August 2, 2016 at 6:33 am

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