Never as under this “pontificate” has the abuse of power by authority been so perceptible, not even when two thousand years of lex orandi were sacrificed by Paul VI on the altar of Vatican II, imposing on the Church a rite as equivocal as it is hypocritical. That imposition, which included the prohibition of celebrating in the ancient rite and the persecution of dissenters, had at least the alibi of the illusion that a change would perhaps improve the chances of Catholicism in the face of an increasingly secularized world.
Today, after fifty years of terrible disasters and fourteen years of Summorum Pontificum, that feeble justification is not only no longer valid, but it is repudiated in its inconsistency by the evidence of the facts. All the new things that the Council brought have proven harmful; it has emptied churches, seminaries and convents; it has destroyed ecclesiastical and religious vocations; it has drained all spiritual, cultural and civil impulse from Catholics; it has humiliated the Church of Christ and confined it to the margins of society, making it pathetic in its clumsy attempt to please the world. And vice-versa, ever since Benedict XVI tried to heal that vulnus by recognizing full rights to the traditional liturgy, the communities linked to the Mass of St. Pius V have multiplied, the seminaries of the Ecclesia Dei Institutes have grown, vocations have increased, the frequency of the faithful’s attendance has increased, and the spiritual life of many young people and many families has found an unexpected impetus.
What lesson should have been drawn from this “experience of Tradition” invoked at the time also by Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre? The most obvious and at the same time the simplest lesson of all: what God has given to the Church is destined for success, and what man adds to it collapses miserably. A soul not blinded by ideological fury would have admitted the mistake made, trying to repair the damage and rebuild what had been destroyed in the meantime, restoring what had been abandoned. But this requires humility, a supernatural gaze and a trust in God's provident intervention. This also requires the awareness on the part of Pastors that they are stewards of the Lord's goods, not masters: they have no right to alienate these goods, nor to hide them nor to replace them with their own inventions; they must limit themselves to guarding them and making them available to the faithful, sine glossa, along with the constant thought of having to answer before God for every sheep and every lamb of His flock. The Apostle admonishes: “Hic iam quæritur inter dispensatóres, ut fidélis quis inveniátur” – “Here now it is required among the dispensers, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor 4:2).
The Responsa ad Dubia are consistent with Traditionis Custodes, and clarify the subversive nature of this “pontificate,” in which the supreme power of the Church has been usurped in order to obtain a purpose diametrically opposed to that for which Our Lord constituted in authority the Sacred Pastors and His Vicar on earth. It is a power that is indocile and rebellious against the One who instituted it and who legitimizes it, a power that is believed in fide solutus, so to speak, according to an intrinsically revolutionary and therefore heretical principle.
Let us not forget: the Revolution claims to itself a power that justifies itself by the mere fact of being revolutionary, subversive, conspiratorial and antithetical to the legitimate power it intends to overthrow; a power which as soon as it comes to fill institutional roles is exercised with tyrannical authoritarianism, precisely because it is not ratified either by God or by the people.
Permit me to point out a parallel between two apparently disconnected situations. Just as in the face of the pandemic, effective treatments are denied with the imposition of a useless “vaccine” that is actually harmful and even lethal, so also the Tridentine Mass, the true medicine of the soul, has been culpably denied the faithful at a moment of very serious moral pestilence, replacing it with the Novus Ordo. Doctors are failing in their duty, although treatments are readily available, and are instead imposing on the sick as well as the healthy an experimental serum, stubbornly administering it despite the evidence of its total ineffectiveness and its many adverse effects.
Similarly priests, who are doctors of the soul, are betraying their mandate, although an infallible “drug” is readily available which has been tested for over two thousand years, and they are doing everything to prevent those who have experienced its effectiveness from using it to heal from sin.
In the first case, the body’s immune defenses are weakened or cancelled in order to create chronically ill patients who will be dependent on the pharmaceutical companies; in the second case, the immune defenses of the soul are compromised by a worldly mentality and by the cancellation of the supernatural and transcendent dimension, so as to leave souls helpless in the face of the assaults of the devil. And this is valid as a response to those who claim to face the religious crisis without considering the social and political crisis in parallel with it, because it is precisely the two-pronged nature of this attack that makes it so terrible and reveals that it is being guided by one same criminal mind.
I do not want to go into the merits of the deliriums of the Responsa: it is enough to simply know the ratio legis to be able reject Traditionis Custodes as an ideological and partisan document, drawn up by vindictive and intolerant people, full of vain ambition and gross canonical errors, with the intention of prohibiting a rite canonized by two thousand years of Saints and Pontiffs and in its place imposing a spurious one, copied from the Lutherans and patched up by the modernists, which in fifty years has caused a terrible disaster to the ecclesial body and which, precisely because of its devastating effectiveness, cannot permit any exceptions. Here there is not only fault: there is also malice and the twofold betrayal of the Divine Lawgiver as well as the faithful.
Bishops, priests, religious and laity find themselves once again having to make a choice of side: either with the Catholic Church and its two-thousand-year-old and immutable doctrine, or with the conciliar and Bergoglian Church, with its errors and its secularized rites. And this happens in a paradoxical situation in which the Catholic Church and her counterfeit coincide in the same Hierarchy, which the faithful feel they must obey as an expression of God’s authority and at the same time they must disobey as treacherous and rebellious.
It’s true that it is not easy to disobey the tyrant: his reactions are ruthless and cruel; but much worse were the persecutions that had to be suffered over the centuries by Catholics who found themselves having to face Arianism, iconoclasm, the Lutheran heresy, the Anglican schism, Cromwell’s Puritanism, the Masonic secularism of France and Mexico, Soviet communism, communism in Spain, in Cambodia, in China . . . How many bishops and priests martyred, imprisoned, and exiled. How many religious massacred, how many churches desecrated, how many altars destroyed. And why did all this happen? Because the Sacred Ministers did not want to renounce the most precious treasure that Our Lord has given us: the Holy Mass. The Mass that He taught the Apostles to celebrate, that the Apostles transmitted to their Successors, that the Popes have guarded and restored, and that has always been at the center of the infernal hatred of the enemies of Christ and of the Church. To think that the same Holy Mass, for which missionaries sent to Protestant lands or priests imprisoned in the gulags risked their lives, is today forbidden by the Holy See is a cause of pain and scandal, as well as an offense to the Martyrs who defended that Mass to the last breath. But these things can only be understood by those who believe, who love, and who hope. Only by those who live by God.
Those who limit themselves to expressing reservations or criticisms of Traditionis Custodes and of the Responsa fall into the trap of the adversary, because by doing so they recognize the legitimacy of an illegitimate and invalid law, desired and promulgated in order to humiliate the Church and her faithful, to spite the “traditionalists” who dare to do nothing less than oppose heterodox doctrines condemned up until Vatican II, which it made its own and which today have become the cipher of the Bergoglian pontificate. Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa must simply be ignored, returned to the sender. They must be ignored because it is clear that their intention is to punish Catholics who remain faithful, to disperse them, and to make them disappear.
I am dismayed at the servility of so many Cardinals and Bishops, who in order to please Bergoglio trample on the rights of God and the souls entrusted to their care, and who make a point of showing their aversion for the “preconciliar” Liturgy, considering themselves deserving of public commendation and Vatican approval. The Lord’s words are addressed to them: “You consider yourselves just before men, but God knows your hearts: that which is exalted before men is detestable before God” (Lk 16: 15).
The coherent and courageous response in the face of a tyrannical gesture of ecclesiastical authority must be resistance and disobedience to an inadmissible order. Resigning oneself to accepting this umpteenth oppression means adding another precedent to the long series of abuses tolerated up to now, and by one’s own servile obedience making oneself responsible for the maintenance of a power as an end in itself.
It is necessary the Bishops, the Successors of the Apostles, exercise their sacred authority, in obedience and fidelity to the Head of the Mystical Body, in order to put an end to this ecclesiastical coup that has taken place before our eyes. The honor of the Papacy requires it, which today is exposed to discredit and humiliation by the one who occupies the Throne of Peter. The good of souls requires it, whose salvation is the suprema lex of the Church. The glory of God requires it, with respect to which no compromise is tolerable.
The Polish Archbishop Msgr. Jan Paweł Lenga has said that it is the moment for a Catholic counter-revolution, if we do not want to see the Church sink under the heresies and vices of mercenaries and traitors. The promise of Non prævalebunt does not exclude courageous and firm action in the least; on the contrary, it asks and demands such action from Bishops and priests, and also from the laity, who never as today have been so treated as subjects, despite the fatuous appeals to actuosa participatio and to their role in the Church. Let’s take note: clericalism has reached its apex under the “pontificate” of the one who hypocritically does nothing but stigmatize it.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
In Nativitate Domini 2021
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