Effort and Last Ends

by Brother François-Marie O.P. (Avrillé. France)

The Effort

THE DEVELOPMENT of supernatural life follows the same pattern as that of natural life: the mother, in giving birth to her child, rejoices in the fact that she has brought a man into the world, but to achieve the goal of forming an adult man, she and her husband will need a whole succession of generous efforts, labors, trials, and sufferings. That’s what education is all about.

Today’s society in which we live doesn’t make this work any easier, not only because of all the evil in it, but also because of the technical developments designed to make life easy. Why make the effort when, apparently, everything can be done so easily, so painlessly?

At a time when education is putting computers everywhere, it’s worth pondering this quote from Georges Duhamel’s Défense des lettres:

The day when teachers, who are our precious allies in this defense of civilization, stop teaching children the religion of the book, our world will be ripe for a new barbarism.

For decades, the law of convenience has governed all educational reforms. In the 1970’s-1980’s, for example, we saw the emergence of a method for learning lessons in one’s sleep! All you had to do was listen to the recorded lesson a certain number of times in your sleep, and your memory would retain it effortlessly. The lazy schoolboy’s dream had come true!

Historians have observed that, in the history of peoples, if the comfort brought by progress is not accompanied by a high moral ideal, it does not bring the flourishing of civilization, but its agony. In your families, in Catholic schools, you and your children’s teachers strive to give children the highest moral ideal possible: holiness. But, whether we like it or not, we are immersed in today’s society, and children are contaminated: we generally see a certain lightness, carelessness, superficiality, immaturity, and difficulty in taking charge of their own lives.

The important question is: how can we give children a taste for effort in education and school instruction?

It’s a long subject to cover! Let’s just highlight a few important points from Comment former des hommes by Henri PRADEL (the quotations are taken from this author).

  1. Teach children that effort is necessary for a successful life, both natural and supernatural, and that it is always possible and relatively easy.

Our will, which seems so weak to us, is capable of amazing things when it relies on obedience to accomplish God’s will in our various duties of state.

All spiritual writers agree in teaching that obedience, by identifying our will with that of God, makes us all-powerful over ourselves and makes us participants in the divine power to overcome evil. This is what made Lacordaire say:

I want to! It’s the rarest word in the world, though the most frequently usurped. But when a man has the terrible secret of it, be he poor today of everything, be sure that one day you’ll find him higher than anything.

This confirms the saying: “Nothing is impossible to a valiant heart”. Often, it’s only the first step that costs. That’s why we need to inspire children with a benevolent optimism in the face of difficulties, and not accustom them to moaning.

  1. The joy of effort.

We need to show them in concrete terms that every effort is rewarded with satisfaction, and that the struggle more than makes up for the effort.

Effort is capable of producing something beautiful: a neat assignment, a well-understood and well-learned lesson.

  1. Develop initiative.

It’s important to get children to work on their own.

At first, when the child is young, you have to want to do things for him, then, little by little, you have to obtain his cooperation by proceeding in stages:

  • Suggest a homework assignment.

  • Point out the difficulties.

  • Explain how to overcome difficulties and that victory will bring honor and joy.

  • Appeal to his valor, his taste for fighting.

  • Making sure it’s done right.

  • Encouraging success.

  • Show the shortcomings of the execution.

  1. Instilling a love of work well done.

As Goethe said, “Knowing and doing a single thing well leads to higher development than half-doing a hundred things”.

The love of a job well done is a powerful source of effort, which is why we must banish sloppy, incomplete, superficial, neglected work.

  1. Supernatural help

We have said that Catholic parents and educators strive to give the children God has entrusted to them the greatest moral ideal of all: holiness. Children are enthusiastic about this ideal, which is concretely embodied in the lives of the saints. They understand that if the saints succeeded in living well according to God and deserved to go to heaven, it’s because they believed in the truths revealed by God and summarized in the Creed, observed the commandments in an increasingly perfect manner, and succeeded in striving to overcome all obstacles. But what was the principle of their efforts? God’s grace, obtained through prayer and the sacraments.

Children, much more than adults, are aware of their weakness, and therefore of the need for prayer to ask divine omnipotence for the help they need to make the efforts required of them. They readily turn to the sacraments, especially confession and Holy Communion, to replenish their strength. For without God, nothing can be done in the supernatural order.

That’s why, our author concludes, education of effort will find in Christian faith and practice the indispensable help without which it will be doomed to failure.

The coming year is a good time for effort, so let’s encourage children to meditate on the example of Jesus and to turn to Him for the graces they need, so as to make and keep good, concrete resolutions in relation to their duty as students. We can help them do this by reading the lives of saints who have been model pupils, or by mottos such as:

  • “Nothing is impossible to a valiant heart” (Jacques Cartier).

  • “Your life will be short, it must be full” (Jacques d’Arnoux).

  • “You can only reach the summits by long and hard paths”.

The last ends

November is the month dedicated to the dead. It’s an excellent educational opportunity to get children thinking about the seriousness of life, all oriented towards our final ends, and to get them exercising the Christian virtues.

  1. Reflections on the seriousness of life and the last ends.

Nature itself helps us to reflect: at this time of year: vegetation loses its beautiful summer finery and seems to die; the days grow shorter, fog and bad weather envelop everything in grayness. So everything inclines us to go inward, to remember, to reflect. So it’s the perfect time to push open the door to the cemetery and enter.

There are the modest cemeteries of our villages, squeezed around the church, but there are also the cemeteries of our cities. If you haven’t yet been to your local cemetery, take your children! It’s a little town within a town, but what a difference! No traffic, no noise, no fuss. In this haven for the dead, only the monuments speak to us of the lives of people who, not so long ago, were alive like us.

Gravestones themselves are highly instructive. They provide information on the foliage of families, the circumstances of death, the profession of the deceased, the affection of the family of the deceased, etc. Children should be made to read the inscriptions.

After these observation “exercises”, the findings and questions will come naturally. Yes, like them, we all die one day. Where are they now? In hell? In purgatory? In heaven? Can we help them with our prayers? This is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the truths we learned in catechism. Indeed, in such a context, these truths will penetrate children’s minds more deeply.

  1. Practicing the Christian virtues.

Let’s remind our children that charity is not only exercised towards those we come into contact with, but also towards the whole Mystical Body. Yes, we can help our deceased, and they are waiting for us to do so!

St. Augustine says: “To show to the deceased, by the faithful who are dear to them, a love that remembers and prays is certainly profitable to those who, during their corporeal life, have merited such things to be useful to them after this life.”

Let us take action by reciting a De profundis or a decade of the rosary for the relief of the souls of those remembered at the grave.

In the cemetery, let’s show them the “corner of remembrance”, saying nothing, waiting for the questions to come: why isn’t there a monument? What are those little squares?

This is an excellent opportunity to talk to them about the respect due to the body, the duty to bury the dead with dignity, and therefore the virtue of gratitude as well as the virtue of faith, as Saint Augustine teaches us:

We must not despise or abandon the bodies of the deceased, especially those of the righteous and faithful, whose spirit has made holy use of them, as organs and instruments for every kind of good work.

For if the garment, the father’s ring and other such objects are all the more dear to descendants the greater their filial love, we absolutely cannot disdain the bodies themselves, united to us more intimately and more closely than any garment. They are not ornaments or instruments that we add to ourselves from the outside, but the very nature of man. […]

Everything we devote to burying a body is a duty of humanity imposed by the love that forbids hating one’s own flesh.

This is why we must be as concerned as possible for the flesh of our loved one, when the one who bore it is gone. And if those who do not believe in the resurrection do so, how much more must those who do believe in it do so: so that this duty, rendered to the body which is dead, but called to rise again and dwell eternally, may be like a testimony to this faith.

These are some excellent arguments to make those who choose cremation think again.

Perhaps a child will ask you how the dead will rise, or with what body. Answer him with these words of Saint Paul, who takes the comparison of seeds:

What you sow is not the future body, but a simple seed, for example of wheat or some other plant. But God gives this seed a body as he wills, and each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but the flesh of men is different, the flesh of cattle is different […], the flesh of heavenly bodies is different, the flesh of earthly bodies is different […]. The body sown in corruption will rise incorruptible; sown in ignominy, it will rise in glory; sown in infirmity, it will rise in power; sown an animal body, it will rise a spiritual body (1 Co 15, 37-44).

After all these reflections, it will be easy to show children that the goal of life is to achieve this blessed resurrection. So we can’t let ourselves go. Our future depends on the conduct of our present life, and this life is passing quickly; we are not sure of tomorrow! That’s why we need to pray constantly for the graces we need to put Jesus’s teachings into practice, so that we can live truly Christian lives.


Validity of the Sacraments Reformed by Paul VI

Validity of the Sacraments Reformed by Paul VI

Article published in Le Sel de la Terre 124, Spring 2033

Dominicans of Avrillé


On June 30, 1988, in his episcopal consecration sermon, Archbishop Lefebvre pronounced these words:

All these seminarians here present, if tomorrow the good Lord calls me back, from whom will they receive the sacrament of Holy Orders? Conciliar bishops whose sacraments are all dubious because we don’t know exactly what their intentions are? This is not possible. […] So I cannot in good conscience leave these seminarians orphans by disappearing without doing anything for the future.”1

These are serious remarks. They beg the question: on what grounds does Archbishop Lefebvre base his assertion that the sacraments of modernist bishops and priests are all dubious?

A letter written to an American correspondent on the following October 28 gives us some clues to the answer. Archbishop Lefebvre spoke of priests ordained according to the new rite:

I agree with your desire to conditionally reorder these priests, and I have done so many times. All the sacraments of modernist bishops and priests are dubious now, because the rites are more and more modified and their intentions are no longer Catholic. We are in the age of the great apostasy.”2


General Considerations:

The Danger of Changing the Law

Even if it could be shown that the changes introduced into the sacraments are a better formula in themselves, this would not justify their introduction.

Saint Thomas Aquinas notes the danger of change in any law:

The mere modification of the law is in itself a kind of detriment to the common good. The reason for this is that, to ensure the observance of laws, habituation plays a key role. […] This is why, when there is a change in the law, the force of constraint diminishes to the very extent that custom has disappeared (I-II, q. 97, a. 2).

Saint Thomas concludes that the law should only be changed in cases of “very great and obvious utility”, or “extreme necessity”. This was definitely not the case.

Here, we’re dealing with immemorial rites, and their modification necessarily introduces disorder and disquiet.

Such changes would only be beneficial if the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages.

But, in fact the modifications are disadvantageous, because they were made under the influence of modernism, introducing ambiguities and finally doubts about their validity.


Rites Have Been Modified Under the Influence of Modernism

The rites of all the sacraments have in fact been changed in an ecumenical spirit, so that they no longer clearly express what the Church intends to do in administering them. Thus, the master builder of the new Mass, Father Bugnini, wrote:

The Church has been guided by the love of souls and the desire to do everything possible to facilitate the path of union for our separated brothers and sisters, removing any stone that could constitute even the shadow of a risk of stumbling or displeasure.3

Six Protestant pastors were then invited to participate in the drafting of the new Mass. It has been argued that they were merely observers, and did not participate in the drafting. This is not true. Bishop Baume, responsible for ecumenical affairs of the Mexican bishops’ conference, in an interview published by the Detroit News on June 27, 1967, said of the pastors:

They are here not just as observers, but also as experts. They participate fully in discussions on Catholic liturgical renewal. It wouldn’t make much sense if they just listened. But they contribute.4

The resulting ambiguity is considerable. Cardinals Ottaviani (former secretary of the Holy Office) and Bacci, for example, were able to write about the new Mass:

The new Ordo Missae […] departs impressively, both overall and in detail, from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as formulated at the XXth session of the Council of Trent, which, in definitively fixing the “canons” of the rite, raised an insurmountable barrier against any heresy that might undermine the integrity of the mystery.5

In the newspaper Le Monde of October 3, 1984, Pastor Viot wrote, following the relative permission to celebrate the traditional Mass granted by Pope John Paul II:

The reintroduction of the Pius V Mass is much more than a matter of language: it’s a doctrinal issue of the utmost importance. Many of our ancestors in the Reformed faith, according to the Word of God, preferred to be burnt at the stake than to hear this type of Mass. Therefore, we were pleased with the decisions of Vatican II on this matter and with Rome’s firmness toward those who would not submit to the Council and continued to use a Mass that we considered contrary to the Gospel.

The result was that Protestants didn’t convert, most Catholics stopped practicing, and many of those who continued to practice now have a Protestant mentality, if they haven’t lost their faith. The same can be said of priests and bishops.


Doubtful Intentions Due to Ambiguous Rites

Before the conciliar reforms, the (subjective and difficult to discern) question of the intention of sacramental ministers was never asked. The traditional rites expressed the Church’s doctrine so clearly that the mere fact that they were used did not cast doubt on the validity of the sacraments:

When someone, in order to confer or administer a sacrament, seriously and regularly uses the required matter and form, it is considered, by this very fact, that he has manifestly wished to do what the Church does. This principle underpins the doctrine that there is a real sacrament even when it is conferred by the ministry of a heretic or a non-baptized Catholic, provided it is according to the Catholic rite.6

Saint Thomas Aquinas, examining this question, adds the following clarification: “provided that neither the minister nor the subject outwardly manifest a contrary intention” (III, q. 64, a. 8, ad 2 in fine).

Since the reformed rites express an ambiguous doctrine open to misinterpretation, there is now doubt as to the validity of their administration, insofar as the ministers, imbued with the new ecclesiology of Vatican II, may have an intention formally opposed to that of the Catholic Church. We might add that we are now 35 years on from the judgment formulated by Archbishop Lefebvre, and that the situation in the Church has deteriorated even further since then.

Even if doubt grows with time, it cannot be asserted that the Reformed sacraments are per se invalid. Archbishop Lefebvre never said this, and even fought against this conclusion, which has no theological foundation.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the seven sacraments.


The Seven Sacraments


Material and form remain unchanged.

However, the exorcisms have been abolished. This does not invalidate baptism, but it does deprive the child of the protection against the devil that the Church still deems necessary.

It is therefore necessary to complete baptisms with exorcisms, especially for children.

However, there are more and more invalid baptisms, not because the priest doesn’t have the faith – let’s repeat that – but because many priests don’t think that the rubrics must be fulfilled seriously for the sacrament to be valid: most priests no longer baptize on the forehead but on the head, but sometimes the water does not touch the skin when the hair is abundant; some say the words and ask the godmother to pour the water; others change the form by saying “we baptize you”, because they think that it is the community that baptizes (many cases have been discovered, and declared invalid by today’s Rome), etc. It has become necessary to question people coming from the conciliar Church about their baptism.


The form of the sacrament has been changed, taken from a valid Eastern rite. It’s unusual, but doesn’t change anything in terms of validity. However, there may be some doubt about the translation of these words into the vernacular. They must express the grace of the sacrament sufficiently for it to be valid. This is not always the case.

The material for the sacrament of Confirmation is olive oil, blessed by the bishop. The 1917 Code of Canon Law refers only to this oil (C. 734 § 2). Our Lord, in his agony in the Garden of Olives, sanctified these olive trees with the sweat of his blood. Moreover, olive oil is the true substance that corresponds to the character of oil. All other oils are substitutes. However, Pope Paul VI and the new Code of Canon Law (C. 847 § 1) allow the use of oils from “other plants”, which was always considered a cause of invalidity by all theologians until Vatican II:

The use of olive oil is not only an ecclesiastical precept, but is required for the value of the sacrament. Everyone teaches this. So, confirmation would be invalid if petroleum oil, walnut oil, etc. were used.7

Since we cannot know which oil has been used, it is legitimate and necessary to conditionally reconfirm those who have received confirmation in the new rite.

The Eucharist

As the ambiguity of the new rite is extreme (see above), the number of Masses invalidated by formal opposition to the Church’s intention continues to grow. To this must be added the deficient training of future priests in the new seminaries. Archbishop Lefebvre said that even Rome today is incapable of training Catholic priests.


Instead of: ” I absolve you of your sins “, the new form (in French) is: ” I forgive you your sins “. The word “ absolve “, which means “to remit sins, to give absolution” is the correct term: to forgive is too broad, since one man can forgive another man, only God can absolve (and the priest who acts in his name). But this probably has no effect on validity, since priests who confess use the word “forgive” in the sense of “absolve”.

In addition, most conciliar priests have lost the true notion of sin, so that they confess less and less, and don’t know how to give the necessary advice. They have received no serious training in moral theology in the new seminaries.

As for the practice of collective absolutions, which became widespread after the Council, it only obtains the erasure of venial sins.

Extreme Unction

For validity, the material is the same as for confirmation: olive oil blessed by the bishop. The same remarks can be made here as above.

While the new form still signifies the strength given to the sick and the remission of sins effected by this sacrament, the liturgy of Extreme Unction has been considerably reworked. In particular, the anointing of the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth and feet has been abolished. Only the forehead and hands remain. This does not affect validity, since anointing the forehead is sufficient (for example, in an emergency), but it does remove the significance of anointing to obtain remission of sins caused by the senses.

More serious is the now-general custom of conferring the sacrament of Extreme Unction on all elderly people in the parish or in retirement homes who are not in imminent danger of death. The 1917 Code of Canon Law states the following about this sacrament:

Extreme Unction may only be administered to the faithful who, having had the use of reason, find themselves in peril of death as a result of illness or old age (C. 940).

If there is not at least one doubt about the peril of death, the sacrament is invalidly conferred. Collective absolution would only be permissible in the event of imminent peril of death: shipwreck, soldiers mounting an assault, and so on.


For there to be matrimonial consent, the contracting parties must at least be aware that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman, which serves to procreate children (C. 1082 § 1, 1917 Code).

As it is the spouses who are the ministers of the sacrament, and no specific formula is required on their side to exchange their consents, it is sufficient that in expressing it, they intend to contract a true marriage, for it to be valid; provided, of course, that they have no impediments.


a. The new ritual for the ordination of priests

+ Changes of form

The two changes affecting the form are (in the original Latin text)8:

1. – Deleting a “ut”.

This gives: “Pour into their souls the spirit of holiness, may they obtain from you the office of second merit“. (i.e. priestly character); instead of: “Pour into their souls the spirit of holiness in order that they may obtain from you the office of second merit” (translation of the traditional formula). The new expression better expresses the power given, which is distinct from the spirit of holiness.

2. The second change consists in a dative his famulis instead of an accusative in hos famulos. Priestly grace is given to the ordinands, rather than in them. However, it should be noted that in the editions of the Roman Pontifical published by the Vatican presses (the typical 1968 edition and the second of 1990), we find the old formula “in hos famulos“, the correction being made both in the text of the Constitution Pontificalis Romani printed at the head of the Pontifical and in the texts of the prayers to be sung or recited.9

The new Latin form is almost identical to the old one, especially in the edited Pontifical, so we see no reason to doubt the validity of the form.

However, it would be necessary to verify how the ceremony is actually performed, generally in the vernacular, with varying degrees of fantasy.

+ Removal of Rites Signifying the Effect of the Sacrament

On the other hand, although the words essential to validity remain, they have unfortunately been removed:

1. for the anointing of the hands of the new priest with the Holy Oils, the words “consecration” and “sanctification“;

2. the rite of porrection (touching) of the chalice and paten with mention of the power to celebrate Mass for the living and for the dead;

3. the rite of unfolding the chasuble towards the end of the ceremony, with the words: “Sins will be forgiven to those to whom you forgive them“.

These deletions cannot be innocent. They betray the desire not to offend Protestants by manifesting too clearly the powers of the priest. They also reflect the new conception of the priesthood, stemming from the new ecclesiology of Vatican II, where the distinction between the priesthood of the priest and that of the faithful is very blurred. The new rites therefore tend to avoid references to the transmission of personal powers, and insist on the notions of presidency and principality over the ecclesiastical community, hence the above deletions.

In 1990, Mgr Vilnet, then President of the French Episcopal Conference, wrote in the Bulletin des vocations du diocèse de Paris (no. 233): “Priestly ordination does not transmit the priesthood, but simply the transmission of the mission”. We can seriously question the validity of ordinations conferred with such an intention, formally opposed to that of the Church.

b. The New Ritual for the Consecration of Bishops

+ Probably A Valid Rite

In a study published in the Spanish edition of the journal Si Si No No, Father Alvaro Calderón (SSPX), professor of theology at the Seminary of La Reja (Argentina), concludes that the new rite is very probably valid10. Although its authors based their reform on the Traditio Apostolica, an ancient document that does not belong to any particular Eastern or Western liturgical tradition, it is essentially identical with the rites of the Coptic Catholic and Syrian Maronite Churches, which have given the Church great saints: St. Athanasius and St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. John Chrysostom and St. Jerome. We can also add Saint Maroun, Saint Charbel and various others.

+ A Certainly Illegitimate Rite

In the same study, however, Father Calderón notes that the new rite of episcopal consecration cannot have the force of law in the Church (which is what is meant by the word “illegitimate”):

The new rite that Paul VI intended to promulgate with his apostolic constitution Pontificalis Romani is certainly illegitimate for two reasons: firstly, because no pope has the authority to abrogate the Roman liturgical tradition, and even less to invent a rite at odds with the entire Catholic tradition; secondly, because the contagion of modernist doctrines renders it harmful to the faith, and a determination contrary to the common good of the Church cannot have the force of law.

+ A Rite Without the Guarantees of Either the Ordinary or the Extraordinary Magisterium

This new rite does not have the guarantee of the Church’s universal ordinary magisterium, since it is based on the Traditio apostolica (supra), which does not belong to any particular liturgical tradition. And it does not have the guarantee of the extraordinary magisterium. Although Paul VI took up the expression “supreme apostolic authority” used by Pius XII in his constitution Sacramentum ordinis (DS 3859), Abbé Calderón makes the following remark:

Since the Council and Ecclesiam suam, this expression no longer has the same meaning as it did for Pius XII, and hierarchical acts no longer offer us the assurance of divine authority. What’s more, the new Roman liturgical prescriptions are no more than a framework to be taken into account for liturgical inculturation in each place. If we wanted complete peace of conscience, we’d have to ask the Pope for an infallible declaration for each of the vernacular versions of the sacramental forms (p. 5).


Necessity of Conditional Re-ordinations and Re-Consecrations

Let’s quote Father Calderón’s conclusion, which seems self-evident:

The positive and objective defects from which this rite suffers, which prevent us from being certain of its validity [since it is only probably valid] seem to us – until a Roman sentence, by which many things should change – to justify and make necessary the conditional re-ordination of priests consecrated by new bishops and, if necessary, the conditional re-consecration of these bishops. It is not possible to suffer such uncertainties at the very root of the sacraments (p. 6-7).




1 Msgr LEFEBVRE, Extract from the episcopal consecration sermon of 30 June 1988, Fideliter, July/August 1988, p. 6).

2 Msgr LEFEBVRE, Letter of 28 October 1988 to Mr Wilson. Published in Le Sel de la terre 98, p. 216-217.

3 D C 1445 (1965), col. 604.

4 The same was true during the Second Vatican Council. For example, Pastor Wilhem Schmidt claimed authorship of the expression susbistit in [the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church] in the Lumen gentium constitution on the Church. He had suggested it to Cardinal Frings through Abbé Ratzinger (Catéchisme catholique de la crise dans l’Église, by Abbé Gaudron, no. 29, Editions du Sel, 2014).

5 Preface to: A Brief Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae.

6 LÉO XIII, Lettre Apostolicae curae caritatis of 13 September 1896, on the invalidity of Anglican ordi-nations, DS 3318.

7 P. Prümmer O.P., Manuale Theologiae Moralis, Friburgi Brisgoviae, Herder, 1933, vol. III, no. 154.

8 Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Pater, his famulis tuis Presbyterii dignitatem; innova in visceribus eorum Spiritum sanctitatis; acceptum a te, Deus, secundi meriti munus obtineant, censuramque morum exemplo suae conversationis insinuent. According to the Constitution Pontificalis Romani of 18 June 1968, published in AAS 1968, p. 373, and in Notitiæ July-August 1968, p. 212.

9 So we have two versions (!!!) of the Constitution Pontificalis Romani: the one published in the AAS and the Notitiæ, and the one published in the Pontifical. The same cacophony was observed with the publication of the new Mass.

10 Fr. Calderón, « Si las consagraciones episcopales reformadas por Pablo VI son válidas », Si Si No No 267, november 2014.

Dialogue About Perfection – Part 3

Dialogue About Perfection (Part 3)

by Saint Catherine of Siena

  (Published in French by Éditions du Sel)

The Instruments of Perfection

And, when that soul had heard what the will of God was, that to execute it faithfully a perfect charity was required, and that this could only be obtained by an entire annihilation of self-will, she spoke thus to the Lord:


Thou hast manifested to me, O my Lord and God, Thy Will, and hast shown me, that, if I love Thee perfectly, I shall love nothing transitory and earthly, nor even my own self for myself, but all alone for Thee and in Thee. Thou hast added, that, in order to love Thee, I must seek with earnest care to praise and glorify Thee in all things and at all times; and that in such a manner as that others may do so like wise; that I must endeavor further to bear with a peaceful, cheerful, tranquil heart whatever may befall one in this miserable life.

And now, since I gather from what Thou hast hitherto said that all these things are to be done by the abnegation of my own will, since the more I die to myself, the more perfectly I shall live in Thee; I beseech Thee to teach me in what manner I may acquire this great virtue of the perfect abnegation of myself.

And God, who is so good that He can deny nothing to the pious desires of His servants, thus replied to her:

The Lord

It is certain that everything depends upon the perfect abnegation of thyself, since the more thou dost empty thyself of thy own will, the more will I fill thee with My grace. And all thy perfection comes from the participation of My Divine goodness by means of grace, without which the human creature, in all that concerns its true dignity and perfection, is absolutely nothing.


The Lord

If thou dost indeed desire to attain this perfect abnegation of self, thou must prostrate thyself before Me in the most profound humility, with a thorough conviction of thine own poverty and misery; and thou must at all times eagerly seek this one thing, to obey Me alone and to do My Will only.1

The Inner Cell

The Lord

And to this end thou must make in thy soul as it were, a little spiritual cell, closed in with the material of My Will, in which thou must enclose thyself and make therein thy constant dwelling-place; so that, wherever thou goest, thou mayest never go forth from it, and, wherever thou lookest, thou mayest never see anything beyond it; but My Will must so encompass every faculty of thy body and soul, that thou shalt never speak of anything but what thou deemest pleasing unto Me, nor think, nor do anything, but what thou believest agreeable to My Will.

And it shall be that the Holy Ghost shall teach thee what thou shalt do in all things.2

Spiritual Direction

The Lord

Moreover thou mayest attain this abnegation of thine own will by another road, if thou canst obtain those who are able to guide and instruct thee according to My Spirit; namely, by subjecting thy will to them, by obediently following their counsels, and by trusting thyself and thy concerns fully to them; since he who hears My faithful and prudent servants “heareth Me” (St. Luke 10:16).

Contemplation of God

The Lord

* But I desire further that thou shouldst consider with firm faith and profound meditation that I, thy most glorious God, I, who have created thee for eternal beatitude, am eternal, sovereign, omnipotent; that I can do with you whatever pleaseth Me; and there is none who can oppose himself in the least degree to My Will; that no good can happen to you unless sent by Me; nor can any evil befall you except by that same Will of Mine, as I have already told you by My Prophet Amos: “shall there be evil in a city which the Lord hath not done?” (Amos 3:6), that is, which I have not permitted.

* In the second place, I wilt that thou seriously meditate that in Me, thy God, dwell the most perfect Intelligence, and Knowledge, and infinite Wisdom; that, therefore, I behold all things with the utmost clearness and acutest penetration; so that in My government of thee, the heavens, and the earth, and the entire universe, I cannot be deceived in any way or misled by any error. Were it otherwise, I should neither be all wise, nor should I be God. And, that thou mayest acknowledge the more the power of My infinite Wisdom, know that even from the evil of guilt and punishment I am able to draw a good greater than the evil.

* In the third place, consider attentively that, as I am thy God, so am I infinitely good, yea, charity itself by My Essence; that, therefore, I cannot will anything but that which is useful and salutary to thee and to all men; nor can I wish any evil to My creatures; that, as man was created by My bounty, so is he loved by Me with inestimable charity.

The Fruits of Contemplation

The Lord

1. Acceptance of Trials and Adversities

When with a firm faith thou shalt have received and pondered in thy mind these truths, thou shalt see that I only suffer tribulations, temptations, difficulties, sicknesses, and all other forms of adversity to befall men for the greater advantage of their eternal salvation; that through the very things which to you seem evils, the true evil of your bad habits may be corrected, and firm resolutions made to attain that virtue which can alone guide you to that true and ultimate good which as yet you know not.3

Thus illuminated by the living light of faith, thou wilt perceive that I, thy God, have infinitely more Knowledge, Power, and Will to advance thy happiness than thou hast; and further, that thy own knowledge, power, and will for thine own good depends entirely on My grace.

2. Peace and Joy

For this cause, seek with all diligence to submit thyself totally to My Will; so shalt thou take thy rest and abide in continual tranquility of spirit, and shalt have Me for ever with thee, for My “place is in peace” (Ps. 75:3). Nothing will then agitate or irritate thee; nothing shall be to thee an occasion of sin or scandal, for “much peace have they who love My law; and to them there is no stumbling-block” (Ps. 118:165). For they so love My law, that is, My Will which is My law by which all things are directed, they are so intimately united by it to Me, and experience such great delight in observing it, that (sin only excepted, which is offensive to God) nothing has power to disturb them, from whatsoever quarter it may come, or of whatsoever weight or quality it may be. For the eyes of their soul are clear and undefiled; and therefore they see that from Me, the sovereign Ruler of the world, Who govern all things with infinite Wisdom, Order, and Charity, nothing but good can spring; and that I can take care of them and their affairs far better and more successfully than they could of themselves.4

2. Patience and Inner Sweetness

And thus considering that I and none other am the Author of all that they have to endure, they are strong with an invincible patience, and suffer all things, not only with resignation, but with cheerfulness and joy,5 tasting in all things which befall them externally or internally the sweetness of My ineffable charity.

And this is to “think of the Lord in goodness” (Wis. 1:1), that is, to believe, and meditate with a cheerful and grateful spirit, even in the midst of tribulations and difficulties, that it is I who sweetly dispose all things, and that whatever happens springs from the inexhaustible fountain of My goodness.

But the great good which this holy consideration and blessed disposition of heart would effect, is hindered, corrupted, and destroyed solely by this one thing, the love of yourselves and of your own will. If you destroy this within you, there shall be no more hell for you, neither the eternal torment of body and soul prepared for the damned, nor that other hell of interior turmoil which you make for yourselves and suffer during your mortal life, through your perpetual agitations and anxious cares about many things.


The Lord

If, therefore, thou wouldst live in grace in this world which passes rapidly away, and if thou wouldst live in glory in that world which has no end, seek to die to thyself, denying thyself and laying down thine own will.

For “blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” (Apoc. 14:13), and “blessed also are the poor in spirit” (St. Matt. 5:3), since they already see Me in a manner in this their pilgrimage by reciprocal love, and shall behold Me hereafter in glory and honor in their true home. So be it.

Translation by Sister Drane

Footnotes by Fr Bernadot O.P., published in 1919

1The eternal Father also said: “if you will arrive at a perfect knowledge and enjoyment of Me, the Eternal Truth, that you should never go outside the knowledge of yourself, and, by humbling yourself in the valley of humility, you will know Me and yourself, from which knowledge you will draw all that is necessary. No virtue, my daughter, can have life in itself except through charity, and humility, which is the foster-mother and nurse of charity. In self-knowledge, then, you will humble yourself, seeing that, in yourself, you do not even exist; for your very being, as you will learn, is derived from Me, since I have loved both you and others before you were in existence” (Dialogue 4, Treatise of Divine Providence, § “How desire and contrition of heart satisfies”).

2St. Catherine loved to recommend her followers to live in the inner cell: “if you want to hear and find the fruit of my will, be you always dwellers in the cell of your soul, which cell is a well, and which well holds water and earth within itself (in which earth we can know our misery: we know we do not exist; since we are not, we thus see that our being is from God). O ineffable inflamed charity, I therefore see that the earth is found, the living water is gushing, that is, the true knowledge of His sweet and true will, which wants nothing more than our sanctification. So let us enter the depth of this well, for by force it will be agreed that, by living in it, we know ourselves and we know the goodness of God. Knowing we are not, we humiliate ourselves and enter the open consumed burnt heart, like a window without a door that never closes.” (Letter to Br. Th. della Fonte, n. 41).

3St. Catherine herself wrote: “God allows us to be tempted to prove our virtue, and for the growth of grace; not because we are defeated, but because we are victors: not trusting in our strength, but in divine help, saying with the sweet Apostle Paul: through Christ crucified “I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me.” (Ph. 4:13).” (Letter to Dom Christopher, 335).

4St. Catherine to Br. William of England: “For, were it truly humble and not presumptuous, it would see well that the Sweet Primal Truth gives conditions, time and place, and consolation and tribulation, according as is needful to our perfection, and to fulfill in the soul the perfection to which it is chosen. It would see that everything is given through love, and therefore with love.” (Letter 54; Catherine of Siena. “To Brother William of England of the Hermit Brothers of St. Augustine.” In Saint Catherine of Siena as Seen in Her Letters, translated by Vida Dutton Scudder, 61. London; New York: J.M. Dent & Co.; E.P. Dutton & Co., 1905. https://archive.org/details/saintcatherineof00cath/page/61).

5The Lord said to Catherine: “Those who are in this sweet light know it, and remain constantly in peace and quiet, and no one scandalizes them, for they have cut away that thing by which stumbling-blocks are caused, namely their own will. […] And he rejoices more in the different ways of holiness which he sees, than if he were to see all traveling by one road, because, in this way, he perceives the greatness of My Goodness become more manifest, and thus, rejoicing, draws from all the fragrance of the rose.” (Dialogue 100, Treatise of Prayer, § “Of the third and most perfect state”).

Dialogue About Perfection – Part 2

Dialogue About Perfection (Part 2)

by Saint Catherine of Siena

  (Published in French by Éditions du Sel)

    1. The Precept of Charity

Now when that soul [of Saint Catherine of Siena] had heard these most salutary doctrines of truth, she replied full of joy:

      • Catherine

It rejoices me more than I am able to express that Thou hast been pleased to instruct Thy most humble servant; and, as much as in me lies, I render thanks for it to Thy most gracious Majesty. Truly, as far as I can comprehend with my limited understanding, the thing cannot be otherwise than as Thou hast taught me and so well explained by the example of my blessed Savior.

For Thou, being the highest good and the only good, Who canst not will sin, but only that which is just and right, I must infallibly do all that ought to be done if I fulfill Thy Will; and I shall fulfill Thy Will if for Thy love I contradict my own, which Thou wilt not in any way constrain, but dost leave it perfectly free1, that I, by voluntarily and constantly subjecting it to Thine, may become dearer and more full in Thy sight.

I desire greatly to begin to do that which Thou hast told me; but as yet I understand not well in what Thy Will is found, and by what faithful service I can best consecrate myself wholly to its fulfillment. I humbly pray Thee, therefore, if I be not importunate, and if my boldness trespasses not on Thy condescension, to instruct me briefly upon this also, which above all things I desire to know.

And the Lord said to her:

      • The Lord

If thou seekest to know My Will, that thou mayest perfectly fulfill it, behold in one word that which it is: that thou shouldst love Me to the utmost of thy power without ceasing; that thou shouldst love Me with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy strength”. It is on the performance of this precept that all thy perfection depends; and therefore it is written that “the end of the commandment is charity, and that love is the fulfilling of the law” (1 Tim. 1:5; Rom. 13:10).

    1. Explanation of the Precept of Charity

To these things that soul replied:

      • Catherine

I understand well that Thy Will and my perfection consists in loving Thee truly as I ought with ardent love and sovereign charity; but I comprehend not well how I am to do this. I beseech Thee, instruct me also briefly on this point.

And God said to her:

      • The Lord

Hear then and be attentive with all the application of thy mind to what I am about to tell thee. If thou desirest to love Me perfectly, thou hast three things to do.

        1. To love God Above All and Absolutely

First, thy will must be detached, removed, and separated from every carnal and earthly affection, so that in this life thou shouldst love nothing temporal, fading, and transitory, except for Me. And what is yet more and above all, thou must not love Me, or thy neighbor, or thyself for thyself, but thou must love all for Me alone.2 For Divine love cannot tolerate any other affection with it or any earthly love. Therefore, so far as thou shalt permit thy heart to be infected with any contagion of earthly things, so far thou wilt sin against My love and fail of thy perfection; for a pure and holy soul should hold in abhorrence all that gives pleasure and enjoyment to sense. Never suffer any of the things My bounty has created for the use of men to hinder thee from loving Me. For to this end have I created all things and given thereto man, that he, knowing more fully through them the richness of My bounty, may love Me in return with a larger affection.3

Bridle therefore with a strong hand thy appetites and carnal concupiscence; keep perpetual guard over thyself; and courageously resist all those earthly desires which Thy corrupt nature and this miserable mortal life excite in thy heart, that thou mayest be able to sing with the prophet: “Blessed be God, who hath given strength and agility to my feet”, i.e. to the feet of the soul4, which are the affections; “who hath made my feet like the feet of harts”, that they may flee from the dogs; i.e. the snares of concupiscence of earthly things; and “setteth me upon high places” (Ps. 17:34), i.e. raiseth me to contemplation.

        1. To Seek Only the Glory of God, and be an Apostle

When thou shalt have fully executed all this, thou mayest proceed to the exercise of the second thing, which is of yet higher perfection. And this is: that thou shouldst direct all thy affections, all thy thoughts, and all thy actions to My glory and hono alone, and employ thyself continually with all earnestness in praising and glorifying Me, by prayers, by words, by example, and in whatever way thou canst. And this thou must endeavor so to do as to excite in all others, as well as in thyself, these same affections and sentiments towards Me. Now this practice is yet more pleasing to Me than the first, because My Divine Will is thereby more perfectly and more directly fulfilled.5

        1. To Resign Oneself Completely and Confidently

There yet remains the third thing, which when thou shalt have achieved, thou mayest rest assured that nothing more is wanting to thee, and that thou hast reached perfect sanctity. This is, that thou shalt use thy utmost endeavor to attain such a disposition of spirit that thou mayest become one thing with Me, and thy will may become so entirely assimilated and conformed to My all-perfect Will, that not only shalt thou never desire that which is evil, but not even that which is good, if it be not according to My Will; so that whatever shall befall thee in this miserable life, from whatsoever quarter it may come, whether in things temporal or things spiritual, nothing shall ever disturb thy peace or trouble thy quietness of spirit; but thou shalt be established in a firm belief that I, thine omnipotent God, love thee with a dearer love and take of thee more watchful care than thou canst for thyself.

And the more perfectly thou dost abandon and resign thyself to Me, the more will I console thee with My grace, and make thee feel My presence; and thus thou wilt ever know more and more, and experience more fully, the tenderness of My love for thee.

    1. The Condition: Renunciation of Self-will

      • The Lord

But thou wilt never reach this measure of perfection except by a firm, constant, and absolute denial of self-will. He who neglects to acquire this, neglects at the same time the most sublime perfection; and he who cheerfully embraces it, executes at the same time My most holy Will, pleases Me in the highest degree, and has Me continually with him. For there is nothing more pleasing to Me than to abide within you and work in you by My grace; “for My delights are to be with the children of men” (Prov. 8:31), to transform them into Myself (if only they desire it, for I will in no way do violence to their free will); in such a manner that they may become one with Me in the participation of My infinite perfections, and especially My unchangeable peace and My most perfect tranquility.

    1. What God Did For Us In His Son

But, that thou mayest better comprehend how ardent are My desires to dwell with you, and mayest kindle in thyself a more fervent longing to subject and unite thy will with Mine, consider attentively that I have willed that My only begotten Son should become incarnate, that My Divinity, despoiled of every token of greatness or glory, should be united to humanity; in order that by this great act of benevolence and charity, by this ineffable demonstration of love, I might draw and constrain you in like manner to unite your will to Mine and to remain perpetually bound to Me alone.

Consider that I have willed further that this My Son should suffer the cruel, painful, and most fearful death of the Cross, to the end that by these torments He might destroy your sin, that sin which had raised a barrier of division between you and Me so effectually that I could in no way look upon you; that further in the highest of the Sacraments I have prepared for you a table, too little appreciated, of the Body and Blood of this My Son, in order that by partaking of it you may become transformed and changed into Me. Even as the bread and wine of which you partake is changed into the substance of your body, so you, by feeding under the species of bread and wine upon this My Son, who is one with Me, shall become spiritually transformed into Me. And this is what I have already spoken to my servant Augustine in these words: “I am the food of grown men; grow, and thou shalt feed on Me; nor shalt thou convert Me into thee, but I will convert thee into Myself.”6

To Be Continued…

Translation by sister Drane O.P. (XIXth century)

Footnotes by the Dominicans of Avrillé, translated by A.A.


1The Lord also told Catherine: “dearest daughter, […] [freewill] is yours, given by Me. You therefore, with free arbitration, can hold it or leave it, according as you please.” (Dialogue 43, Treatise of Discretion, § “Of the use of temptations”).

2“My Truth said, ‘Will you arrive at perfect purity, and be freed from stumbling-blocks, so that your mind may not be scandalized by anything?’ Unite yourself always to Me by the affection of love, for I am the Supreme and Eternal Purity. I am that Fire which purifies the soul, and the closer the soul is to Me, the purer she becomes, and the further she is from Me, the more does her purity leave her; which is the reason why men of the world fall into such iniquities, for they are separated from Me, while the soul, who, without any medium, unites herself directly to Me, participates in My Purity.” (Dialogue 100, Treatise of Prayer, § “Of the third and most perfect state”).

3The Lord taught St. Catherine how to love one’s neighbor: “And simple souls, who often love creatures with spiritual love, know this well, for, if they have received My love sincerely without any self-regarding considerations, they satisfy the thirst of their love for their neighbor equally sincerely. If a man carry away the vessel which he has filled at the fountain and then drink of it, the vessel becomes empty, but if he keep his vessel standing in the fountain, while he drinks, it always remains full. So the love of the neighbor, whether spiritual or temporal, should be drunk in Me, without any self-regarding considerations.” (Dialogue 64, Treatise of Discretion, § “How an imperfect lover of God loves his neighbor also imperfectly”).

4“The feet of the soul, signifying her affection, are the first step, for the feet carry the body as the affection carries the soul.” (Dialogue 26, Treatise of Discretion, § “How this Bridge has three steps”).

5“This proves that you possess Me by grace in your soul, producing much fruit for your neighbor and making prayers to Me, seeking with sweet and amorous desire My honor and the salvation of souls. The soul, enamored of My truth, never ceases to serve the whole world in general, and more or less in a particular case […], for in the love of Me is fulfilled and completed the love of the neighbor” (Dialogue 7, Treatise of Divine Providence, § “How virtues are accomplished by means of our neighbor”).

6Another time, the Lord told Catherine: “See, dearest daughter, in what an excellent state is the soul who receives, as she should, this Bread of Life, this Food of the Angels. By receiving this Sacrament she dwells in Me and I in her, as the fish in the sea, and the sea in the fish – thus do I dwell in the soul, and the soul in Me – the Sea Pacific [‘Ocean of Peace’].” (Dialogue 112, Treatise of Prayer, § “Of the excellent state of the soul who receives the sacrament in grace.”).

Dialogue About Perfection

Dialogue About Perfection

  by Saint Catherine of Siena

   (published in French by Éditions du Sel. English version by A. A.)

The Honor of God; The Misery and Fragility of Man;

The Need to Strive for Perfection

The Author of the light communicated to a soul1. He made her understand her fragility and misery, ignorance and natural inclination to evil; at the same time, He gave her some glimpses of the greatness of God, His wisdom, power, goodness, and the other attributes of His majesty.

Thus enlightened, this soul saw how just and necessary it is to render perfect and holy worship to God. It is just, because He is the universal Lord Who created all things to praise His name and obtain His glory. Do not propriety and justice require that, respectful of his master, the servant give him service and loyalty? It is necessary, because man, composed of body and soul, was created in such a condition that he will only attain eternal life by voluntarily rendering faithful service to God up to the point of death; otherwise, he will never obtain the felicity that accumulates all honors.

However, there are few who render this service and, consequently, few who are saved, because almost all have their own interests in mind and not those of God.

This soul also saw that the days of man are short, that the day is uncertain when the fleeting time to merit will end, that no redemption is possible in hell, and that in the future life, He will justly pronounce an immutable and inevitable sentence on each, the reward or punishment that his way of living deserved.

This soul again considered that, on the one hand, we often talk too much and preach abundantly and variously on the virtues which render this worship and faithful service to God; and that, on the other hand, because of his lack of aptitude, obtuse intelligence, and feeble memory, man cannot understand many things nor faithfully retain what he learned. Also, while many are in a perpetual quest to learn something new, very few apply themselves to attaining perfection and serving God as is right and necessary for Him; but nearly all, preoccupied and given over to the agitations and fluctuations of the mind, habitually live in extreme peril.

The Desire for Perfection

This soul, therefore, seeing all this, rose up before the Lord, moved by a burning desire and violent love, and asked the Divine Majesty to be good enough to give her some short and clear precepts to regulate our life now and to lead it to its perfection; precepts whose formulas would embrace the teaching of the Church and Holy Scripture, and whose observance would render the necessary honor to God and lead us from this brief and miserable life to the beatitude that He intends for us.

God inspires holy desires and never arouses them in a heart without satisfying them 2. So he immediately manifested Himself to this soul ravished in ecstasy and replied:

In What Does Complete Perfection Consist?

• The Lord

My beloved, your desires delight Me; I like them so much that I am much more eager to satisfy them than you can, and eager to see them satisfied. My desire is immense to give you, when you want it, the useful and necessary benefits for your salvation. So I am ready to do whatever you want.

Listen carefully to what I am going to tell you, I, the ineffable and infallible truth. To answer your request, I am going to explain to you in a few words the practice which contains complete perfection, along with all the virtues, the summary of Scriptures and many discourses. If you conform your life to it and observe it, you will accomplish all that is clear and mysterious in the divine teachings, and you will enjoy perpetual joy and peace.

Doing God’s Will Alone, Following Christ’s Example

• The Lord

Thus, know that the salvation and the perfection of My servants consist in one thing: to do only My will, to strive with a sovereign diligence always to accomplish it; to work at all hours to serve only Me, to honor only Me, to seek only Me. The more diligence My servants bring to it, the more they approach perfection, because they more closely adhere and are united to Me, Who am sovereign perfection.

To better understand the truth contained in these few words, look at my Christ in whom I am very pleased 3. He annihilated himself in the form of a slave; He took on the likeness of sin because, plunged into thick darkness and straying from the path of truth, He wanted to enlighten you with the splendors of His light and bring you back to the straight way by His word and example4. He was obedient unto death to teach you through His persevering obedience that your salvation depends on a firm resolution to do My will alone. Anyone who wishes to meditate diligently on His life and His doctrine realizes, without a doubt, that the justice and perfection of men rests solely on generous, perpetual, and faithful obedience to My will.

Your leader, Christ, has taught it many times: “Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father” (Mt. 7:21).

And notice that it is not without reason that He repeats twice: “Lord, Lord”; the states of this world being reduced to two principal ones, the religious state and the secular state. He means that no one, in any state whatsoever, can attain eternal glory, even by giving Him all external honors, if he does not do God’s will.

My Son said again: “I came down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me5. (…) My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me6. (…) Father … not My will, but Thine be done7. (…) as the Father hath given Me commandments, so do I8.”

So if you want, like your Savior, to do My will, which contains your happiness, it is necessary that in all things you despise your own will, that you renounce it, that you destroy it9. The more you purify yourself of what is yours, the more I will give you what is mine.

To be continued

1It is the soul of Saint Catherine.

2On another occasion, the Eternal Father said to St. Catherine: “I do not despise the desire of my servants, yet I give to him who asks and invite you to ask. (…) sometimes, to test your desires and perseverance, I pretend not to hear you, but I hear you and give you what you need, because I give you hunger and the voice with which you cry out to me, and seeing your constancy, I fulfill your desires when they are ordered and directed toward me.” (Dialogue ch. 107)

3St. Catherine wrote: “Christ is on the cross as our rule, like a written book which anyone, even the ignorant and blind, can read. The first line of this book is hatred and love: love of the honor of the Father, hatred of sin.” (Letter to Br. Lazzani)

4The Eternal Father had already said to Catherine: “What caused the great obedience of the Word? The love which He had for My honor and your salvation. Whence proceeded this love? From the clear vision with which His soul saw the divine essence and the eternal Trinity, thus always looking on Me, the eternal God. His fidelity obtained this vision most perfectly for Him, which vision you imperfectly enjoy by the light of holy faith. He was faithful to Me, His eternal Father, and therefore hastened as one enamored along the road of obedience” (Dialogue 154 ; THOROLD Ed., Treatise of Obedience, §1).

5 John 6:38

6 John 4:34

7 Luke 22:42

8John 22:42

9Self-will is that which, being inspired neither by the glory of God nor the salvation of souls, proposes only its personal satisfaction. It is directly contrary to charity. Nothing is more essential than its destruction.

Order of the Knights of Our Lady – Observance of the Holy Hearts of Jesus & Mary

Order of the Knights of Our Lady

  Observance of the Holy Hearts of Jesus & Mary


The Church and Christendom

In order to promote Christendom, i.e. the social and political reign of Our Lord, Holy Mother Church established two important institutions. First of all, the royal or imperial anointing and coronation, a sacramental which gives a participation in the Kingship of Christ, and graces in order to fulfil the corresponding mission. However, faced with the social chaos after Charlemagne’s death, the Church reminded even barons and knights that they had, at their own level, the same duties as the kings. Consequently, She Christianised the military dubbing, modelling it after the coronation rite and giving it an official mission along with the corresponding graces. This is how Christendom reached its apex.


However, in order to protect Christendom, the Church also founded another two institutions: the Crusades, with the temporary vow of the Cross, and Military Orders –Orders of Chivalry– of a permanent nature, with religious vows for religious knights and private vows for secular knights. So, how could the kingship of Christ be restored today? Probably using institutions established for that very purpose. By definition, they are the best way to reach the goals they were given: good for all times and everywhere.

The Knights of Our Lady

It is upon these institutions (the knight’s dubbing and orders of knighthood) that the Order of the Knights of Our Lady (Militia Sanctæ Mariæ) was founded in 1945 in France, where it was canonically erected in Chartres, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain. The Order nevertheless suffered a break-up after Vatican II. Finally, some faithful members founded a traditional branch of the Order in 1970, whose first knights were all dubbed by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.


Of course, one does not enter the Order as one would join an association. The postulant is received as a squire after a minimum formation of 6 months. After another 2 years, he may take temporary vows as a donate for a 2-year period, which is indefinitely renewable. Then, at the call of the Master in Council, he may be admitted to his final profession, and to the knightly dubbing.


Introduction to the Order


He then exchanges the donate’s grey mantle for a white one, and makes the three private vows: Conversion of life (living according to the Rule), Fidelity to the Order (obedience within the limits of the Rule and brotherly mutual help) and Defence of the Church (similar to the vow of Crusade, to defend the Church and Christendom, even at the peril of one’s life). The next day, after the whole night vigil-at-arms and Mass, he is girded with the sword as a knight.


The Order today

The knights commit themselves to the recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the entire Rosary every week, to set aside a certain time for daily mental prayer, to go on a yearly closed retreat, to pursue their doctrinal and spiritual formation, to train physically, to attend the monthly chapter meetings of their local commandery, and to participate in the combats of the Order for the reign of Christ the King.

The wives and daughters of members may also be admitted. There are also pages and cadets, who prepare for knighthood from a young age, and may remain in the Order all their lives, without having to change orientation or spirituality.


Today, the Order has members in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia. The knightly vocation certainly is the vocation par excellence for laymen. Archbishop Lefebvre solemnly called upon them during his priestly jubilee in 1979 saying: “We must make a Crusade […] in order to restore Christendom, as the Church desires it to be […]. with the same principles […]. You must act […]. You should get organised […].” The knights are also active in the fields of charitable action and help, the service to the sick during pilgrimages, doctrinal and physical formation, and the education of the youth. Their main thrust however is in the winning back of minds and hearts, as well as of the political and social institutions of society, to Christ the King.

Contact: militiasanctaemariae@orange.fr

Epidemic: The Solution!


the Solution!

by Cardinal Schuster OSB

Commentary on the Prayers of the Votive Mass in Times of Epidemic

Great calamities or public misfortunes are generally inflicted by God as punishments for the sins of the nation. The individual will expiate his faults in the next world, but nations and states cannot do so, and therefore the Lord punishes their social sins here. He desires, by these public scourges, to bring them to repentance, and the surest means to avert the divine justice is the conversion of the people and their return to God.

St. Gregory had this object in view when he instituted the famous Litania Septiformis with the procession to the Vatican Basilica, in order to stop the plague desolating Rome in 590. This thought inspires the following Collect:

God, who desirest not the death but the repentance of sinners, mercifully look upon thy people who return to thee; and grant that they, being devoted to thee, may by thy mercy be delivered from the scourges of thine anger. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son…

[…] The plague was raging throughout the kingdom of David, and slew seventy thousand victims in three days. The angelic minister of the sanctity of God was sent to punish the sin of vainglory committed by the king, when he ordered the census of the nation to be taken. The people suffered for his sin on the principle of solidarity so strongly felt by the ancients, who regarded the sins or the virtues of parents and rulers as drawing down punishment or blessings upon their children and subjects.

By permitting this, God commits no injustice, for it is merely a question of temporal goods which he is in no way bound to bestow, and if he deprives certain individuals of these advantages, it is for their eternal welfare. For instance, the plague was in reality ordered to the greater good of the Israelites, for God, who does not punish the same sin twice, allowed them to expiate their sins by that death, and the poor victims were carried away by the pestilence at the moment when it was to the greater advantage of their souls. Even those who by the inscrutable judgement of God were not saved, were spared from adding to their guilt, and their eternal punishment was less terrible in consequence.

David propitiated the Lord by erecting a votive altar on the spot where he had beheld the angel with the drawn sword; that altar is a symbol of our Redeemer who reconciles all humanity to God through the merits of His Precious Blood.

[…] When confronted with some great catastrophe such as an earthquake or a pestilence, the pride of man is brought low; all his discoveries and his exalted wisdom are powerless before God, whose touch can wither and dissolve the earth.

— Man raises his towers of Babel, his palaces and monuments, as though they were to endure for ever, but an earthquake of the duration of a few seconds is sufficient to make of a populous city a heap of ruins.

— Science performs miracles; man thinks that he has penetrated all the secrets of nature, he boasts that he has mastered creation and has now no need of God. An epidemic breaks out: a mysterious bacillus slays thousands and thousands of victims, and upsets all the calculations of the learned. It is a microbe, an almost invisible organism, which annihilates human pride. Such is our life, the span of which can be shortened by such microscopic enemies.

God alone is strong, wise, and good. In him only can we trust, for he alone will never fail us. All other things, science, art, glory, health, and strength, are but vanity.

[…] When the Word took flesh he conferred upon that flesh the power to bestow health, grace, and holiness. The saints, especially in early Christian times, regarded the Holy Eucharist as a remedy not only of the soul but for the body. The Fathers of the Church relate many cases of bodily cures effected by Holy Communion.

St. John Chrysostom tells us that many sick people were restored to health after having been anointed with the oil from the lamps which burnt before the altar. […] since the second century the bishop always blessed the oils for the sick at the Sunday Mass. When, subsequently, the performance of this rite was limited to the Missa Chrismalis of Maundy Thursday, the faithful of Rome in the Middle Ages used to bring their own phials of oil to be blessed by the Pope or the clergy celebrating with him. This Oleum Infirmorum was reverently preserved in every house as holy water is now.

A great change has taken place since those days in the mind of Christians, some of whom now appear to have a great fear of Extreme Unction.

[…] the Book of Numbers (xvi, 48) […] tells how the people of Israel rebelled against Moses, and how fourteen thousand were destroyed by fire from heaven. The great legislator commanded Aaron his brother to place himself as mediator between the bodies of the dead and the living, and the justice of God. The prayers of Aaron ascended like incense and God was placated.

This is the place and the vocation assigned to the clergy. The priest is called away from the multitude to be a mediator between God and man. Among all the ministries and offices he is chosen to fulfil, there is no office more worthy, none more essential, than the offering up of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and liturgical meditation, the psalmody in loco sancto, in quo orat sacerdos pro delictis et peccatis populi. The priest makes prayer and intercession for the sins of others, for it is understood that he must be holy and pure from every sin, or else si non placet, non placat, as St. Bernard wisely says. St. Jerome, too, when speaking of the legal purifications of the Jews, remarks: “Does any man among the people fall into sin? The priest prays for the culprit and his sin is forgiven. But should the priest sin, who shall make intercession for him?

In time of plague when the chief need is to find the cause and the remedy for the disease, the Church is indeed wise to point out the true source of all evil, sin. When this is removed by a sincere return to God, the epidemic will disappear, God will be placated, and will restore his grace, which will purify the body, too, from every contagion.

Cardinal Schuster O.S.B., Liber Sacramentorum, volume 9

Vromant et Cie, Bruxelles, 1933

p. 247-253

For a more complete look at this topic, read the following article on Fatima found on our website:

The Message of Fatima, the last remedy given to the world

Interview with Bishop Jean-Michel FAURE – March 25, 2015

Interview with Bishop Jean-Michel FAURE

March 25, 2015

Your Excellency, there are some who are asking what the reasons are that led to your consecration having been done with so much discretion.  Wouldn’t it have been better to have given greater publicity to such a joyous event?

The consecration had to be done this way so as not to have been hindered. Bishop Williamson’s situation remains delicate.  We chose this monastery because it is a little distant and provides certain measures of security.  Moreover, there is adequate space here which makes it easy for liturgical ministers.  Overall, there was a need to avoid any type of disturbance, and this was accomplished successfully.

Your Excellency, can you tell us anything about the signature of the 1988 protocol? Were you with Archbishop Lefebvre in those days?

I was not; instead, I was made aware of these facts just like any other member of the Society.  On the 5th of May of 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre signed a protocol for an agreement with Rome, in which the pope recognized the right to consecrate one of the SSPX priests a bishop.  At this time, it was considered to be something necessary in order for the work of Archbishop Lefebvre to survive after his death, but such a thing was also the bait and the hook to obtain the Archbishop’s signature.  I think that when Archbishop Lefebvre signed this document he had a moment (temporary indeed) of weakness, as was the case with Saint Joan of Arc, and like her, he wrote, after the “worst night of his life”, a retraction letter to the Vatican representative, by which he nullified the protocol.  Bishop Fellay cannot take advantage of this moment of weakness which was later retracted to say he is imitating Archbishop Lefebvre’s conduct. “I went too far”, Archbishop Lefebvre would say later, referring to the signature of the protocol.  Archbishop Lefebvre had no illusion about the Roman diplomacy and the Roman interlocutors, as is demonstrated in many of his declarations and in the non-diplomatic determination that appears in the fundamental declaration of 1974 about the two Romes: the Eternal and the modernist, or the two churches: the Catholic and the conciliar. And Bishop Fellay, in so far as he confuses the current, official, modernist Rome with the Eternal Rome, he makes himself unfaithful to Eternal Rome, guardian of the Truth.  He confounds the conciliar church – about which Arch. Lefebvre spoke so much – with the Catholic Church.  For Bp. Fellay there is only one church and only one Rome: but this is the antithesis of Arch. Lefebvre’s position.

Your Excellency, recently we have been able to read many criticisms about yourself. For sure, the devil is not very happy with this consecration. What could you tell us about this?

What happens is that we intend to continue as much as possible the line of Arch. Lefebvre, and for this reason we receive attacks from the right and from the left, just like it happened to Arch. Lefebvre.

From the right and from the left?

Yes.  On the left are those that are carrying out the integration of the SSPX into the conciliar church, and on the right are the sedevacantists.  Sedevacantism is an excessive simplification of the situation (and sometimes it is not exempt of sentimentalism, even though this may be understandable).  That was not accepted, on a prudential level and after a deep examination, by Arch. Lefebvre and by theologians and canonists of high level that he was able to consult.  On this, one must speak about the true grace of state in Arch. Lefebvre, who had to some degree the same role of Saint Athanasius against modernism.  We have no doubt that Providence put him here to guide us in this crisis of the Church, that has only gotten worse after his death, but continues to be essentially the same. We cannot say that Francis has a greater responsibility than Paul VI or John Paul II for the development of the crisis that Arch. Lefebvre, Bp. De Castro Mayer, Fr. Calmel O.P. and so many other great theologians confronted.

On the other hand, Menzingen says that Your Excellency and Bp. Williamson do not  recognize the Roman authorities “except in a purely rhetorical manner”.  

No more and no less than Arch. Lefebvre. Hence the sedevacantists also attack us, and in a very violent way.

Your Excellency, in your Masses do you pray for Pope Francis? 

I follow Arch. Lefebvre’s instructions about this matter: pray for the pope and denounce his heresies, like Saint Athanasius and so many saints who had to oppose the popes of their times.

Concerning these liberal and modernist popes, and the question of the Catholic Church vs.  the conciliar church, does Your Excellency agree with the position of the Dominicans of Avrillé, as exposed in the article titled: “One Pope for two Churches”? 


Let us continue with the theme of the pope. In the previous interview we asked  Fr. Faure what would he do if Francis invited him to go to Vatican. And now we ask you as Bp. Faure, what would you say to Francis?

Above all I must say that such an interview is practically impossible, since a sine qua non condition is the presence of Bp. Williamson and the other priests, any type of “negotiation” already being excluded as seen as a deal of any sort, as Arch. Lefebvre used to say, so long as there is no radical conversion on the part of Rome, accepting, in fact and in right, all the encyclicals prior to Vatican II, as well as the condemnations against liberalism and modernism that they include;  but this apparently will not happen before the third world war (that seems near).  I would say to the pope:  “What Church do you belong to? To the Catholic Church or to a falsification of the Church?”  His function is to confirm his brothers in the Faith.  I would remind him of the words of Saint Paul: your authority was given to you “unto edification, and not unto destruction”(2 Cor. 13, 10), to edify and not to destroy catholic faith and morals.  I would say to him the following, citing Arch. Lefebvre: “Do you agree with all the great encyclicals prior to John XXIII, and with all the popes up until and including Pius XII?  Are you in ‘full communion’ with those popes and with their teachings?  Do you accept the anti-modernist oath?  Do you agree with the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ?  If you do not accept the doctrine of these predecessors of yours, it’s useless to talk with you.  It is because we are faithful to the Eternal Rome that we are obligated to separate ourselves from the modernist and liberal, current and official, Rome.  Don’t think that just because Menzingen may let itself be seduced, that Bp. Williamson or I are going to fall for the same trap.”

Coming back to the critics and lies about yourself, some of them are extremely ridiculous. Therefore, forgive this question that we are asking with the purpose of honoring the truth and in order to protect some simple and excessively gullible souls: Can you tell us something about the circumstances of the burial of your father? 

In March 3, 1986, my father’s body was taken to my home for the wake. There he was placed upon my bed, and not upon the floor, as the slanderous sedevacantists falsely claim.  Let them say the names of the witnesses!  Personally, I can name Fr. Canale SSPX, who celebrated the Requiem Mass, Fr. Ricardo Olmedo SSPX, and the seminary professors who knew the facts, the seminarians that today are priests, Fr. Schmidberger SSPX, who was in the Mass and in the cemetery, and also the members of Mesuda family, who were great benefactors of the seminary when it began and who were present at the wake ceremony.  These ones later gathered in their field, moved by mercy, the twenty seminarians that left seminary during the sedevacantist rebellion of 1989.  My father was buried in the little cemetery of the Society where his his tombstone was made visible after the mass attended to by all the seminarians and many priests and faithful. In this incident there was nothing abnormal and nothing to hide; but what we have here is an example of the sedevacantist logic to say Bp. Faure is Jew: I was born in Algeria; Jews are numerous in Algeria; therefore, “I must be a Jew”.  But, as Muslims are much more numerous, maybe I am a marrano muslim?  Against all these very ridiculous calumnies and fabrications, I have a very good genealogical tree of my family in France that I will make public when I go back there.

And what can you tell us about the crisis of the Argentinian seminary, in 1989? They also blame you for this. 

About the crisis in the Buenos Aires seminary, I am making it clear that I arrived in Mexico in September 24th, 1985, five days after the terrible earthquake, after having been appointed Superior of the District of Mexico, but this crisis took place in 1989, in the period the sedevacantist rebellion against Arch. Lefebvre.  The director, one professor and many priests of this tendency had influenced half of the seminarians of La Reja, that waited the visit of Fr. Schmidberger in 1989 to leave wholesale the seminary and get into a “seminary” made by a secular group in Mexico.  A complete failure: a little group of them remained in an abandoned monastery near Cordoba, Argentina, and afterwards around Luján, and finally in El Bolsón (South of Argentina).  Therefore, it is an evident lie that the supposed  scandal around the burying of my father, that happened three years before, had provoked the immediate departure of these twenty seminarians.  Bp. Tissier writes about these facts in the biography of Arch. Lefebvre. (page 546, 2nd Ed., Edi. Clovis, 2002).

(Translation by Michael)

Menzingen’s avowal

Menzingen’s avowal

by Dom Thomas Aquinas OSB
March 22, 2015

The March 19th communiqué from Menzingen, although brief, informs us of a good number of things. Among them is the admission that Bishop Williamson was expelled from the SSPX for his opposition to the rallying policy of Bishop Fellay.

Up until now, Menzingen spoke of disobedience: Bishop Williamson was undisciplined, a bad subordinate who does not obey orders. Now Menzingen admits the real reason: “the violent criticisms” of Bishop Williamson concerning Menzingen’s relations with Rome. The same goes for Bishop Faure. That is their crime.

The incident of the letter written by the three bishops to Bishop Fellay and his assistants was not appreciated at all. Archbishop Lefebvre certainly had relations with Rome, but in the hope that Rome would correct itself and would come back. In fact, it was Archbishop Lefebvre who directed the negotiations with invincible certitude because his criterion was the Faith of All Times. Even so, he himself nearly fell into Rome’s trap. “I went too far”, he said.

But with Bishop Fellay, things are handled very differently. It is not he who directs the negotiations.  It is not he who has the strength to say to Rome:  “It is I, the accused, who should judge you.” No, Bishop Fellay does not present himself as judging the errors of Rome. Rather, he presents himself as being the guilty party, labouring under “an irregular situation, who needs to “fall into line”, but who’s having a hard time doing so because “his Society does not follow him.

Let us digress for a moment. Are we to judge Rome? Is that not the role of the superiors rather than of the inferiors? Of course. But it is the superiors who have already judged. It is Quanta Cura, Pascendi, Quas Primas, etc. that condemn the liberal popes.  It is Rome, the Eternal Rome, that has already judged the neo-modernist and neo-Protestant Rome. That is what Bishop Fellay seems to want to forget (and make others forget) with his “concrete Church of today”. End of digression.

Bishop Williamson blocked Menzingen’s moves.  He was a hindrance. Everyone knew it, but the General House gave another version.  Now they admit it.  “The violent criticisms of Bishop Williamson against Operation Suicide were the cause of his expulsion. It was about time Menzingen said it. Now it is done.

However, Menzingen falsifies the matter by saying that these violent criticisms were about “all relations with the Roman authorities. No. This is not true. They concern the rallying that would put the SSPX under the modernist and liberal yoke used by the devil to try to achieve what Corção called “the final sin: to bring down the last bastions in an ultimate and monumental offensive against God.

Under no circumstances will we support this effort. The devil will not achieve his goal because Our Lady is keeping watch: Ipsa conteret. This is our hope. It will not be in vain if we are faithful, by the grace of God: Fidelis inveniatur.

Sweetness and Bitterness in Menzingen

Sweetness and Bitterness in Menzingen

By Amicus Romanus ;  Translation provided by Michael Fuller

From the same mouth bitterness and gall and sweetness and honey is emitted, but not in the same direction.

— Towards Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure, it’s all bitterness.

— Towards Conciliar Rome, it’s all sweetness.

The communiqué from Menzingen regarding the March 19th consecration offers a truly impressive contrast.

PART I:  Only bitterness!

Joseph’s brothers could not speak peaceably to him, as much as they looked on (Genesis 37:4). From Menzingen, don’t expect one single kindhearted word of recognition or of charity towards Bishop Williamson or Bishop Faure, after their decades of good, loyal service.  Menzingen only thinks of denouncing them: “The SSPX denounces the episcopal consecration of Rev. Fr. Faure”.  At least this is clear, but why this denunciation?  What is reprehensible in this consecration?  This is something much more sinister.  A very strong animosity is felt, but many rational arguments are not discerned.  And even worse: it tastes of bitterness!  Menzingen seems unable to speak objectively simply respecting the facts about the two bishops. At all costs, they must deform and dirty the intentions, dirty the reputation of people.  The tendency seems unstoppable.

1. “Against any relations…

First example: the relations with Rome.  Everyone knows that Bishop Williamson and Bishop Fellay oppose each other on this point.  The former estimates (whether he is right or not is not the question here) that the latter lacks the necessary strength to decidedly oppose -face to face- the errors of the Roman authorities; instead of impressing his interlocutors -like Archbishop Lefebvre- by frontally reminding them of the inopportune truths, he lets himself be impressed by them.

More fundamentally, the opposition is about the finality of the negotiations. For Bishop Williamson, there is only one objective: that the Roman authorities abjure from all the modernist and liberal errors and everything that has resulted.  Meanwhile, Bishop Fellay dreams of a canonical recognition, even before the conversion of the authorities.

All of this is notoriously public.  The question is not to know if it is necessary or not to discuss with Rome, but how and with what finality to go about with these discussions.

Menzingen could easily say it in one word: Bishop Fellay and Bishop Williamson differ regarding the discussions with Rome.  This is clear, simple, true, and perfectly objective. But no! Menzingen could not be resolved to call it how it is.  The necessity to dirty the reputation was too violent.  Distrusting the evidence, Menzingen declared that Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure are:

“against any relation with the Roman authorities”.

But they have explicitly declared the contrary (still on the eve of the consecration), but that doesn’t count.  Apparently, Menzingen knows more about what the bishops themselves think!

2. “It is not at all comparable…”

Second example: the comparison between the 1988 consecration and the 2015 consecration.  The differences and similarities can be argued a long time. 1  At least it is unarguable that the nature of the act is the same.  There was a paternal link (through Bishop Williamson, Archbishop Lefebvre is now the “grandfather in episcopacy” of Bishop Faure).  Archbishop Lefebvre himself had contemplated consecrating Jean-Michel Faure.  The state of necessity in the Church has not diminished since 1988.  Finally, Bishop Williamson has the same discourse that Archbishop Lefebvre had at the time.

Different circumstances of times, places, or manner can always be disputed, but Menzingen doesn’t even attempt it.  Their communiqué simply declares that “the episcopal consecration of Fr. Faure is not at all comparable with the consecrations of 1988″.  You read that right: not at all.

Among all the ways of criticizing the 2015 consecration, Menzingen chose the most expedient, the most extreme, the most insupportable, to reject as a whole.  “It is not at all comparable.”  It is integral negationism.

3. “All the declarations…

We approach the apex.  And here finally:

“All the declarations of Bishop Williamson and Rev. Fr. Faure prove abundantly that they no longer recognize the Roman authorities”.

This is the accusation that kills: sedevacantism!  An outright accusation alleged without even a minimal, faint shadow of a doubt.  We are very far from interrogative-negative formulas or from the dimmed allusions of Bishop Fellay when he tries to emit reserves about Pope Francis (we don’t understand…”, “We have the impression…”).  Here Menzingen understands very well and is certain.  This confession was not made once, by surprise or by halfhearted words, it’s in “all the declarations” of the wicked bishops.  Yes all of the declarations!  Faith in Menzingen!

Moreover, Menzingen realizes that there might be, among the readers of the communiqué, some readers of Bishop Williamson that can be a little surprised because they have read exactly the opposite.  Not only does Bishop Williamson recognize the Roman authorities, but he has frequently argued against sedevacantism (and in a more convincing way than Bishop Fellay, who is content with presenting as a scarecrow).

Those who have read Fr. Faure (notably the interview before his consecration) can experience the same surprise, and even think that good Bishop Fellay lies, or at least that he says just about anything.

Happily, the bile reserve has not run dry.  To prevent against any embarrassing question, it is sufficient to accuse them, Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure, of lying.  All of their declarations affirm that they recognize the Roman authorities?  It doesn’t matter!  It is simply that they don’t believe what they say.  They are only words in the air, empty, rhetorical spins.  And Menzingen, which really knows better than what the bishops themselves are thinking, finishes:

All the declarations […] prove abundantly that they no longer recognize the Roman authorities, except in a purely rhetorical manner”.  [formatting emphasis is ours]

This is what we call, in good French, a judgment of intention.  It is the preferred tactic of subversives (communists, masons, etc.), because it is very difficult to counteract.  You all can respond however you like, it matters little, because we have put forward the principle that you all do not really believe what you say.  State ten times that you recognize the Roman authorities, undertake the work of refuting the sedevacantist arguments: we content ourselves with responding that your insistence on this point is suspicious and confirms, once more, that you all don’t absolutely recognize the mentioned authorities “except in a purely rhetorical manner”.

A simple question for Bishop Fellay:  Conscientiously and before God, is it truly correct that this polemical procedure is in complete conformity with the Gospel?

PART II:  Only sweetness!

But the most impressive is the contrast.

After all, Menzingen could be suffering from a toothache or had a bad night when they wrote up their communiqué.  This could explain the bitterness.

But the gall?

Well, reread attentively: is it not evident that they have left out from this communiqué any expression that could constitute a minimal possibility of risk of displeasing conciliar Rome?

1.  “State of necessity” without an identifiable cause.

“The Society of St. Pius X still maintains that the present state of necessity renders legitimate its action throughout the world”.

—But where does this state of necessity come from?  It seems to float in the air without a cause and without an explanation other than the evil of the times.  Menzingen mentions it as if it verifies the rain or the sun and does not remember even once that the harm comes firstly from the pope and the Holy See that propagate, since 50 years ago, mortal errors to souls.

– Shush! Shush! Warning! You are going to offend Rome!

2.  The limited bishops and the administering of the sacraments.

Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated bishops so that they could ordain priests, this is certain, but also to defend the faith and combat the current errors, moreover, the modernist and liberal errors spread by the conciliar hierarchy.

Apparently, this has ended.  For Menzingen, the bishops must no longer combat the errors.  The communiqué explains that Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated bishops in 1988 and:

“his sole goal was to make available to the faithful the sacraments which priests ordained by the bishops would offer”.  [formatting emphasis is ours]

“[T]he sole goal”: the state of necessity in the Church is limited to the sacraments- and what about the doctrinal crisis?  What about the errors of conciliar Rome, the neo-modernist and neo-protestant tendency so frequently denounced by Archbishop Lefebvre?

-Shush! Shush! Warning! You are going to offend Rome!

3.  Errors that “Who knows from whence they come”?

Nevertheless, there are errors. Menzingen indicates that it is necessary to oppose them.  In its martial fit of rage, the communiqué goes all the way to valiantly declaring that the Society must oppose the errors “from wherever they may come”!    And just from where do they come?  They won’t tell us anything else!

-Shush! Shush! Warning! You are going to offend Rome!

Bishop Fellay, accused by Bishop Williamson of gleaming in front of conciliar Rome, should have taken advantage of the occasion to prove otherwise.  Some words against the neo-modernist and neo-protestant Rome would have been particularly adequate.  The very situation even seemed to require it. But no!  Not a single word.  Bishop Williamson and Bishop Faure are scorned, but modernist Rome is in no way denounced.

And regarding this, one of the two applies:

  • Either:  whoever is responsible for the communiqué from Menzingen was (a suspected plotter and) is a secret ally of Bishop Williamson, and he treacherously works to discredit Bishop Fellay – publishing, in his name, communiqués crafted liberally (sickly-sweet for the enemies of the faith, bitter for its defenders).
  • Or: the communiqué really expresses the way Bishop Fellay thinks, and so the joy that Archbishop Pozzo promptly directed to the SSPX for this beautiful communiqué is understood.

P.S. Secondary consideration

It is curious that Menzingen always expresses itself as if the state of necessity that afflicts the Church was its own territory or its private property.  Only the SSPX can seemingly invoke it in order to justify its apostolate.

Lastly, Menzingen seems to attribute to itself a supreme, extraordinary jurisdiction almost like the pope exercises the supreme ordinary jurisdiction.  This perspective would explain the reason that Menzingen believes it is authorized to “denounce” the consecration of Bishop Faure: an attempt against its Monopoly.

If this is not the case, well then what is it?  A personal prelature already agreed upon by Rome-secretly- to Bishop Fellay?