The Synod On Synodality

The Synod on Synodality

The Synod of Bishops: a change in the government of the Church

1. A New Feature of Vatican II

1.Establishment of a council of bishops by Pope Paul VI

The Synod of Bishops is a new institution, established during the Council by Pope Paul VI in the Motu Proprio Apostolica Sollicitudo of September 15, 1965.

What is it? It is a “permanent council of bishops for the universal Church, subject directly and immediately to the authority of the Supreme Pontiff”.

Its members are the patriarchs, the major archbishops and metropolitan bishops, the presidents of the episcopal conferences and a specific number of bishops elected by their peers within these conferences.

On the following October 28th, the conciliar decree Christus Dominus on the pastoral office of bishops in the Church confirmed the existence of this assembly of “bishops chosen from the various regions of the world to provide the Supreme Shepherd of the Church with more effective assistance within a council which has received the name of Synod of Bishops” (no. 5).

Its function is only consultative. It has no decision-making power unless, in specific cases, it has received this power from the Roman Pontiff, who must then ratify the Synod’s decisions.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law (C. 342-348) places this new structure just after the Pope and before the Cardinals.

2.Increasing openness to non-bishops

As early as 1965, Paul VI made provision in his Motu Proprio for the possible participation of non-bishops, limited to 15% of the membership. Those concerned were only clerics, or representatives of religious institutes, or experts appointed by the Pope.

In 2006, Benedict XVI opened the synod to lay people, but without the right to vote (Ordo Synodi episcoporum).

However, on April 26, 2023, Cardinal Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, and Cardinal Hollerich, General Reporter, announced that the percentage of lay people had risen to 21% and that they would have the right to vote. The following should be noted:

– the novelty of having provisions contrary to the law currently in force announced by members of the Synod and not by the Pope – even if he obviously consents. But Pope Francis is not very scrupulous when it comes to laws, even those of the conciliar Church; clearly, it was necessary to ‘act fast’.

– We should also note the oddity of having lay people vote in an assembly of bishops: is this still a “Synod of Bishops”?

– Finally, it should be noted that the proportion of new voters (21%) is not insignificant in an assembly that can adopt its final document by a two-thirds majority.

In addition, the Synod is mixed: 50% of the laity will be women. Many young people have also been invited 1.

All these people, no doubt hand-picked, are supposed to represent the Christian people. There is room for doubt.

3.A consultative body transformed into a governing body

It should be borne in mind that the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis communio of September 15, 2018, restructured the Synod of Bishops.

It considerably increases the role and competences of the Secretary General of the Synod, who becomes the real driving force behind synodal activity by mandate and under the direct guidance of the Supreme Pontiff, who is no longer content to receive synodal work passively, as has been the case until now, but actively promotes, coordinates and directs it.

This raises the question of whether the Synod of Bishops remains a merely consultative body for the Pope, or whether it has become an organ of government, independent of the Curia 2.

2. The Revolution in Progress

On June 20, 2023, the Vatican presented the Instrumentum laboris – working instrument – a preparatory document for a “Synod on Synodality”, which is due to bring together 364 participants in Rome from October 4 to 29, 2023.

The document was drawn up on the basis of diocesan synods organized around the world over the last two years to consult the “people of God” on their wishes regarding the life of the Church. Summaries have been drawn up for each country and then for each continent.

So much time, energy and money wasted on talking, and this will continue for almost a month at the Vatican (think of the money it costs: travel from abroad, meals, accommodation). Meanwhile, souls are falling into Hell through ignorance of the truths that need to be believed in order to be saved.

  1. Destruction of authority

The central question posed by the Instrumentum laboris, which is present in numerous technical sheets, is: “Who decides in the Church, and how?”

The document raises the following question:

Is authority a form of power derived from models offered by the world, or is it a genuine service? […] The continental assemblies have denounced the phenomena of appropriation of power and decision-making processes that have led to the various forms of abuse – sexual, financial, spiritual and of power – that have come to light in the Church in recent decades. Is responsibility for dealing with abuse individual or systemic?

The document suggests that responsibility for “abuse” may lie with the system itself, i.e. the way in which the exercise of authority has been organised in the Church up to the present day. We can see the direction in which the Instrumentum laboris intends to steer the debate.

We will therefore have to discuss:

the manner in which the ministry of the bishop is exercised; […] on the degree of authority to be attributed to episcopal conferences. […] Changes may need to be made to Canon Law.

The following should be considered:

cases where the authority feels unable to confirm the conclusions of a community discernment process, and takes a decision in a different direction; […] in which cases a bishop might feel obliged to take a decision that differs from the considered opinion offered by the consultative bodies.

Note the qualifier “considered” given to the opinion of the consultative bodies, which discredits the bishop’s opposition in advance.

But the Synod will not only question the authority of the bishops. It must examine:

the understanding of authority in the Church at different levels, including that of the Bishop of Rome.

The Instrumentum laboris raises the (foreseeable) case of “local Churches taking different directions”. What is to be done? The Pope is asked to examine “the possible scope for a diversity of orientations in different regions”. One wonders what will remain of the unity of the Church.

* A look back at the Sauvé Report

It will be recalled that in November 2018, the French Bishops’ Conference entrusted an “independent” commission chaired by former senior civil servant Jean-Marc Sauvé with the task of resolving the “questions raised by the sexual abuse committed by French ecclesiastics”.

It is interesting to note that Jean-Marc Sauvé, a progressive Christian by family tradition, had been vice-president of the Conseil d’Etat, a member of the Socialist Party and an adviser to Badinter. Among the members of the commission he had chosen: Nathalie Bajos, director of INSERM where she is in charge of the “Gender, sexual and reproductive health” team; Sadek Belouci, chairman of the advisory board of the Fondation de l’Islam de France; Antoine Garapon, a progressive Christian judge who called for a vote for Macron in 2017; Christine Lazerges, a Protestant with a law degree and a former Socialist MP, and so on.

The commission found only 35 files on clerics convicted between 1950 and 2020 – still too many, but still not many. As the abused children or their parents did not always denounce the facts, the commission tried to survey the faithful: posters on parish doors, surveys, etc. The result was a sample of 171 victims from which, by statistical extrapolation, the commission arrived at a figure of 330,000 people abused.

However, INSEE immediately reacted, saying that the sample was not representative, while the Catholic Academy of France protested, pointing out “the implausibility of the figures and the ideological spirit that governed this work”, resulting in a “profoundly inaccurate, even erroneous” result. Jean-Marc Sauvé, a member of the said Académie, immediately resigned, as did Mgr de Moulins-Beaufort, President of the French Bishops’ Conference (also a member).

The bishops of France nevertheless took note of the “Sauvé Report” as if they were eager to humiliate themselves publicly, but they humiliated the Church: Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort asked for forgiveness on his knees in front of journalists at the annual episcopal assembly in Lourdes.

What is interesting to note here is that, in its conclusion, the Report refers to abuse as a “systemic phenomenon”, thereby accusing the system, i.e. the institution of the Church itself, of being responsible for failing to curb the crimes of its clergy 3.

However, in the Instrumentum laboris of the Synod of 2023, we note the following question, mentioned above:

Are responsibilities for dealing with abuse individual or systemic?

Everything fits together.

2.The Synodal Church’s way of proceeding:
a conversation in the Spirit

Note that the conciliar Church has changed its title. It is now called the “Synodal Church”. Archbishop Benelli had invited Archbishop Lefebvre’s seminarians to be faithful to the “Conciliar Church” 4. Are we now going to be asked, in order to be Catholics, to be faithful to the “synodal Church”? In fact, even the Pope and the bishops will be required to do so, if we refer to the guidelines set out in the Instrumentum laboris (see above).

But let’s continue reading the document:

The term “conversation in the Spirit” does not indicate a simple exchange of ideas, but that dynamic in which the word spoken and listened to generates a familiarity that enables the participants to become intimate with one another.

The precision “in the Spirit” identifies the authentic protagonist. […] Conversation between brothers and sisters in the faith opens up the space for listening to the Spirit together. […] In the final documents of the continental assemblies, this practice is described as a Pentecostal moment.

The “conversation in the Spirit” will take place in three stages:

  • First stage:

The first stage is devoted to each person speaking from his or her own personal experience. The others listen in silence.

This is the height of modernist subjectivism.

  • Second stage:

Each member of the group then takes the floor, not to react or counter what has been heard by reaffirming his or her own position, but to express what, in the course of listening, has touched him or her most deeply, and what he or she feels most challenged by.

The fact that there may be a truth, and therefore an error if we deviate from it, is of no interest here. What counts is the “feeling”.

  • Third stage:

The third stage consists of identifying the key points that have emerged, and reaching a consensus on the fruits of the joint work. […] We need to be discerning, paying attention to the marginal voices, and not overlooking the importance of the points on which we disagree.

To ensure that this process runs as smoothly as possible, it is important to have well-trained facilitators:

Given the importance of conversation in the Spirit in animating the life of the synodal Church, training in this method, and in particular the challenge of having people capable of accompanying communities in this practice, is seen as a priority at all levels of church life.

Suitable premises will also be needed:

On June 20, 2023, in the Vatican Press Room, Father Giacomo Costa S.J., consultant to the General Secretariat of the Synod, announced that the assembly would be held in the Paul VI Audience Hall:

the room can be set up with round tables around which working groups of ten or so people can be seated.

3.The icing on the cake: a discussion on the ordination of married men to the priesthood and the diaconate for women.

The Instrumentum laboris invites Synod participants to:

reflect on the ordination of married men to the priesthood and the ordination of women to the diaconate.

  • We recall that the ordination of married men is a project that Pope Francis wanted to implement on the occasion of the Amazon Synod. It seems that the work on priestly celibacy 5 published at the same time by Cardinal Sarah and co-signed by Benedict XVI temporarily halted the process.

In a book entitled “Rien d’autre que la vérité. Ma vie aux côtés de Benoît XVI6, published by Arthège in 2023 after the death of Benedict XVI, Archbishop Gänswein, who was Benedict XVI’s private secretary, explains that Benedict XVI had sent Cardinal Sarah seven pages on the priesthood, which he had written without considering publishing them, but allowing him to “use them as he wished”. Cardinal Sarah quoted them, but it is inaccurate to say that the work was as if co-authored by Cardinal Sarah and Benedict XVI, as the publisher has taken the liberty of presenting it.

Now that Benedict XVI is dead, it is not surprising to see Pope Francis bringing out the dossier again.

In any case, the candidates are ready-made: the married deacons who have been officiating every Saturday evening in parishes without priests for many years are the perfect candidates for the conciliar Church… except that they will not have done any priestly studies worthy of the name.

  • As for the “ordination of women to the diaconate”, the term is inappropriate and misleading. The diaconate is a sacrament that is a participation in the sacrament of Holy Orders, which women cannot validly receive. They cannot therefore be validly ordained deacons. At most, they can only receive a kind of blessing to distribute communion, bring it to the sick, celebrate funerals and preach, which they have been doing for a long time. But this will give them an official status that will put it in people’s minds that one day perhaps they will be able to accede to the priesthood.

We cannot object to the deaconesses of the primitive Church. Their functions were to care for the poor and sick of their own sex; to act as intermediaries between women and the leaders of the Christian community; to visit pagan families where the entry of a deacon or priest would have been difficult or inappropriate; to be present at women’s meetings with the bishop, priests or deacons; to assist the bishop in administering baptism to women, and so on. But they were expressly forbidden to perform any liturgical function such as serving at the altar or preaching 7.

In short, for this Synod, faith is now just a question of experience – which means respecting the experience of other religions – and it is the “people of God” that now takes the place of the teaching Church.

Permanent democracy, a new Protestant Pentecost, these are the characteristics of this “sSynodal Church”, which has little to do with the Catholic Church instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, opposing its divine constitution, which gives authority to the Pope and, through him, to the bishops, successors of the Apostles, and not to the people.

The consequence can only be, in the long run, the dissolution of this conciliar Church, and its fragmentation into so many diocesan synods opposed to each other.

3. Everything Started
With the Second Vatican Council

It should be noted, however, that this outcome is not an innovation of Pope Francis. It all started with the Second Vatican Council.

The Constitution Lumen Gentium of November 21, 1964 introduced a new definition of the Church, now called the “People of God”.

The expression came from the new theology condemned by Pope Pius XII in the encyclical Humani Generis, represented in particular by the Dominican fathers Chenu and Congar, whom Pope John XXIII had appointed as experts at the Council.

Archbishop Lefebvre considered this new conception to be extremely serious:

There is a new ecclesiology, that’s clear. […] In my opinion, it is exceptionally serious: just to be able to say that there could be a new ecclesiology. We are not the ones who make the Church, we did not make her, not the Pope, not the bishops, not history, not the councils. It was made by Our Lord. […] It does not depend on us. So how can we suddenly say: “Now, since Vatican II, there is a new ecclesiology”, and this is said by the Pope himself. It’s unbelievable 8.

The Constitution Lumen Gentium also insisted on the common priesthood of priests and faithful, a notion emphasised in the New Mass; while the rites of ordination of priests and consecration of bishops were modified to make it clearer that these ceremonies transmit a particular power 9.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law promulgated by John Paul II put all this into law, inverting the pyramid of the Church by placing lay people before clerics, and even allowing them – men and women – to enter the sanctuary during liturgical ceremonies:

The new Code of Canon Law, continued Archbishop Lefebvre, is an enterprise aimed at destroying the distinction between the priest and the layman. […] This is extremely serious. It is the ruin of the Church 10.

4. Reductive Groups and Governing Cores

Is the Holy Ghost really at work in this kind of synod? We may well doubt it. Not only because He cannot be present in an undertaking that seeks to overturn the divine structure of the Church, but also because his modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to the techniques of manipulation perfected by the Revolution and analysed in the 19th century by Augustin Cochin.

Adrien Loubier wrote a book about them in 1975, with a preface by Marcel de Corte, entitled Groupes réducteurs et noyaux dirigeants (Reductive groups and governing cores) 11. The book is useful for studying methods of revolutionary action in any environment (political, trade union, religious, etc.).

For example, get twelve people around a table to understand the need for change in the structure to which they belong.

Two basic principles will guide the discussions:

  • firstly, absolute freedom for the participants to say and think what they want. To each his own truth, his own convictions, his own opinion.

  • secondly is the equality of the deliberators. If one of them could impose his idea, his point of view or his experience, there would be no more freedom. It follows that there is no objective truth, only opinions.

The meeting naturally becomes a series of divergent presentations, of contradictory statements. This is generally referred to as a “round table” discussion.

How are we going to get through this jumble? It will be the role of the (experienced) facilitator to convince the group, in the name of fraternity, of the need to unite to form an average opinion, the result of opinions that are all equal. To achieve this, everyone must be prepared to give up something of their personal opinion. But if everyone has the common will to unite around this common opinion, the group will be that much stronger.

Around the table, the deliberators are now united by the (fictitious) need to draft their joint motion. The result is a mishmash of ideas and differing opinions, leading to a great deal of confusion. But unity is the order of the day. It is therefore necessary to agree on a basis that is likely to attract votes. Given the differences of opinion, the joint motion can only be a common minimum. This is what Augustin Cochin calls “the law of reduction”.

The participants are then led to abandon convictions that they now relegate to the rank of opinions.

And the process continues.

At the next meeting, some of the participants pointed out that certain points needed to be reconsidered, posing difficulties of application that complicate the problem. The confusion continued to grow. While further cuts were being made, a selection process was beginning to take place among the men:

  • the weakest personalities – the most numerous – will be completely disorientated, and ready for any reform or questioning, as long as a leader makes them believe that they are the expression of the general will; or else, disgusted, they will take refuge in absolute relativism. They are recycled.

  • a strong personality may refuse to get involved, defending the truth. If they don’t leave by slamming the door – a departure that the moderator will then comment on with scorn or mockery – they will be asked more or less politely to leave the group if they persist in staying and defending their position.

Rid of those who might block the system, the presenter will leave the floor to the servile talkers, devoid of convictions and doctrine, who will inevitably come forward. The system has its hacks. Together with the moderator, they will form the core group, the governing core, that will drive the group forward in the direction decided by the organisers from the outset. The final motion will be unproblematic and met with enthusiasm.

The system will have performed a veritable sociological brainwashing.

Is this how the Synodal discussions went?

In any case, we will see that the conclusions of the Synod were exactly what the Instrumentum laboris wanted them to be. The moderators worked well.

The democratic aspect seems to be nothing more than an appearance to make it easier to accept the revolutionary reforms decided in advance by Pope Francis.

5. Review of the October 2023 Synod

At the end of the Synod, a “Summary Report” was published. The various proposals that make up this Report were voted on by the members.

The ordination of married men and the diaconate of women did not attract enough votes for the moment.

But it is important to understand that the current text is not final. It will serve as a working instrument (Instrumentum laboris) for the Synod of October 2024, which itself will still need papal approval to have authority.

The text of the Report allows us to see where we are in the transformation of the Church.

  1. Changing structures

During the Synod, there was constant talk of “changing” structures.

This can be seen, for example, in proposal I, 1, e, which states that we must “tackle the structural conditions that have allowed abuses to occur”. This is mainly an allusion to pedophilia, which is used as a pretext to attack the hierarchical constitution of the Church as if it had something to do with it.

Let us quote II, 9, g:

The synodal process shows that it is necessary to renew relationships and make structural changes to welcome the participation and contribution of all.

It is the dissolution of the hierarchy in the “people of God”. The rest makes this clear.

2.Distribute the powers of the hierarchy
among all the members of the Church
3. Necessary reminder of Catholic doctrine

We quote from the 1917 Code of Canon Law, an expression of the centuries-old wisdom of the Church assisted by the Holy Spirit 12.

4.Divine origin of a clergy distinct from the laity (C. 107)

Of divine institution, there are clerics in the Church who are distinct from the laity, even if not all the ranks of the clergy are of divine institution.

5.Definition of clerkship (C. 108)

Those vowed to the sacred functions, at least by the first tonsure, are called clerics.

The word cleric comes from the Greek “cleros”, which means first “lot” and then “share obtained by lot, inheritance”. Clerics are so called because they are “the Lord’s portion”, or because “the Lord is their portion”. At the tonsure ceremony, the psalm “Dominus pars hereditatis meae” is sung.

6.Notion of the sacred hierarchy (C. 108 § 3)

Of divine institution, the sacred hierarchy:

as founded on the power of order, is composed of bishops, priests and ministers;

as founded on the power of jurisdiction, is made up of all those who have received the power to govern the faithful. It comprises the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate. Other levels have been added to the ecclesiastical institution.

The hierarchy of order is made up of all the clerics who are vested with the power to celebrate the holy mysteries of religion.

The hierarchy of jurisdiction is made up of all those who have been given the power to govern the faithful, either by teaching them or by enacting or applying laws or precepts.

Magisterium is a part of jurisdiction because it is founded not only on knowledge of doctrine, but also on the authority to teach, which is not possessed by all indiscriminately, but was given by Our Lord to the Apostles and their successors: “Go and teach all nations” (Mt 28:19); “O Timothy, guard the deposit” (I Tim 6:20).

7.Differences between the power to order and the power of jurisdiction

– The power of order is primarily a sacramental power.

Its object is above all the sacrament of the Eucharist, then the other sacraments by way of consequence; secondarily it refers to the acts of worship themselves and to the sacramentals (Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas, II-II q. 39, a. 3).

– The power of jurisdiction is concerned with government and teaching.


– The power of order comes from God.

– The power of jurisdiction comes from the ecclesiastical superior (except the power of the Supreme Pontiff).

10.Method of conferral

– Order is conferred by ordination.

– Except for the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff, which comes from Our Lord, jurisdiction comes from the ecclesiastical superior. This is known as the ‘canonical mission’. By canonical mission we mean the deputation given to govern the faithful, in the name of the authority, with the assignment of specific flocks and territory. This is known as ordinary jurisdiction.

In the current crisis, because of the state of necessity in which souls find themselves, there is a jurisdiction without an assigned territory, which is given by the Code on a case-by-case basis according to the needs of the souls of the faithful. This is known as “supplied jurisdiction”. It is based on the General Norms of Canon Law, which state that the first law in the Church, to which all other laws are ordered, is the salvation of souls.

In order to acquire ecclesiastical jurisdiction, it is necessary 1) by divine law to be baptised; 2) by ecclesiastical law, to be of the male sex, enrolled in the clergy, at least as a general rule, and not to be subject to any censure by the Church.

It is not impossible for the Supreme Pontiff to entrust some ecclesiastical jurisdiction to a lay person. However, it is certain that today women cannot validly acquire ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as the Pope never grants such a dispensation. This incapacity is at least of ecclesiastical law; several authors maintain that it is of divine law.


The power of order cannot, in substance, be taken away or limited (a priest always remains a priest, even in Hell, because his soul has received an indelible character); but in its exercise it can be suspended or limited by the ecclesiastical authorities.


– The power of order can never be communicated to another person in its substance (C. 210): one must have been ordained to be a priest!

– Jurisdiction can be communicated to another, either in its exercise, or sometimes even in its initial grant.

13.Admission to the hierarchy (C. 109)

Those who are admitted to the ecclesiastical hierarchy are not admitted by the people or by civil authority, but by sacred ordination for the power of order, and by canonical mission for the power of jurisdiction.

14.The Bergoglian revolution, the culmination of Vatican II

Let us now look at the conclusions of the Synod 13:

  1. Magisterial power

The consensus of the faithful constitutes a sure criterion for determining whether a particular doctrine or practice belongs to the apostolic faith (I, 3, c).

This is the “people of God” that becomes the teaching Church.

In his address to the Synod on October 26th, during the 18th General Congregation, Pope Francis made a point of expressing his full support for this proposal:

I like to think of the Church as that simple and humble people who walk in the presence of the Lord, the faithful people of God. […] One of the characteristics of this faithful people is its infallibility; yes, it is infallible in credendo, (“In credendo falli nequit”, says Lumen Gentium nr. 12) infaillibilitas in credendo. […]

An image comes to mind: the faithful people gathered at the entrance to Ephesus Cathedral. History, or legend, tells us that the people on either side of the street towards the cathedral, as the bishops entered in procession, repeated in chorus ‘Mother of God’, asking the hierarchy to declare dogma this truth that they already possessed as the people of God. Some say that they had sticks in their hands and showed them to the bishops. I don’t know if this is a story or a legend, but the image is good. […] We, members of the hierarchy, come from this people and have received the faith of this people, generally from their mothers and grandmothers, “your mother and your grandmother”, says Paul to Timothy, a faith transmitted in the female dialect 14.

Pope Francis is rewriting history to suit him. It was not before the proclamation of the dogma of the divine motherhood that the people of Ephesus went to the cathedral to persuade the bishops (with sticks?) to define this article of faith; but after they had learned the definition, and to acclaim them. This can be found in any history of the Church. There is no shortage of books in the Vatican 15.

As for the sense of faith, sensus fidei, it does exist in the faithful, caused both by the light of faith itself (II-II q. 1, a. 4, ad. 3) and by the Holy Ghost, by the gift of knowledge, when the faithful are in a state of grace (II-II q. 9, a. 1, ad. 1). This sense of faith enables him to recognise whether or not a doctrine conforms to the teaching of the magisterium. But it is not he who dictates to the magisterium what it should teach!

2.Power of jurisdiction

During the Synod, clericalism was repeatedly presented as the cause of all the evil that is happening in the Church. Pope Francis condemned it in his address on 26 October 26th:

When ministers exaggerate in their service and mistreat the people of God, they disfigure the face of the Church with macho and dictatorial behaviour. […] Clericalism is a scourge, it is a plague, it is a form of worldliness that soils and damages the face of the Lord’s spouse.

The Synod makes it responsible for “abuses” (II, 9, f and II, 11, c). The remedy, for him, is therefore co-responsibility:

Co-responsibility is an essential element for synodality at all levels of the Church. […]

Structures and processes must be put in place, in forms to be legally defined, for the regular verification of the work of the bishop, with regard to the style of his authority, the financial administration of the goods of the diocese, the functioning of participative bodies and protection against all types of abuse (II, 12, j).

Usually, a bishop reports only to the Pope, or to the Superior General of a priestly institute that includes bishops (such as the Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit: Archbishop Lefebvre had 60 bishops under his authority).

But even the Pope must be controlled:

An in-depth study is needed of how a renewed understanding of episcopacy within a synodal Church affects the ministry of the Bishop of Rome and the role of the Roman Curia. This question has significant implications for the way in which co-responsibility is lived in the Church (II, 12, j).

As the Synod included women, the following claim is made in the final document:

There is an urgent need to ensure that women are able to participate in the decision-making process, and to take on roles of responsibility in pastoral work and ministry (II, 9, m).

We propose that properly trained women should be able to serve as judges in all canonical processes’ (II, 9, r) 16.

3.Order Power: new encroachments

+ The new Code of Canon Law had already limited the exercise of the power of Order 17:

– tonsure, minor orders and the subdiaconate have been abolished, the minor orders having been replaced by ‘ministries’ that lay people can exercise;

– lay men and women may preach in churches and distribute Holy Communion, and women may serve Mass.

+ But the Synod still limits the power of Order, within the jurisdiction hitherto attributed to it by the Church. It was normal for the power of government and teaching to be entrusted to those who, through the clerical state and above all the priesthood, are placed above the faithful. From then on, everything changed:

Baptism is the principle of synodality” (1, 7, b), which means that “all the baptised are co-responsible for the mission, each according to his or her vocation, experience and competence: all therefore contribute to imagining and deciding the stages of reform of Christian communities and of the Church as a whole” (III, 18, a), “even non-Catholics” [i.e. Protestants!] (1, 7, b).

This is the consequence of the confusion between clerics and laity, the promotion of the laity, and indifferentist ecumenism, introduced by the Council and enacted by the 1983 Code.


It is no more and no less than a “reformation” of the Catholic Church in the Protestant way which is a destruction of the divine constitution of the Church.

1ORLF, 27 April 2023, p. 1.

2 — Father Réginald-Marie Rivoire, Le motu proprio Traditionis custodes, Poitiers, DMM, 2022, p. 93.

3 — A very well-documented study of this affair, with all the sources and references, appeared in Rivarol, n° 3499 to 3503, article by T-A Lechevalier.

4 — “If the seminarians at Ecône are of good will and seriously prepared for a priestly ministry in true fidelity to the conciliar Church, we will then find the best solution for them” (Letter to Archbishop Lefebvre, 25 June 1976).

5 — ‘Des profondeurs de nos cœurs ’, published by Fayard in January 2020.

6Nothing but the truth. My life with Benedict XVI.

7 — See the article “Deaconesses” in the Dictionary of Catholic Theology.

8 — Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Conference of 17 March 1986 at Ecône (in CD no. 2 “La sainte Eglise”, published by Ecône. See the article ‘ Vatican II mis en code de lois: le nouveau Code de 1983 ’ published in Le Sel de la terre 120, Spring 2022, in particular pages 39 to 49.

9 — See the article “La validité des sacrements réformés par Paul VI”, in Sel de la terre 124, Spring 2023, especially pages 133 to 136.

10 — Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Conference at Ecône, 4 March 1984. You can read the article “Vatican II mis en code de lois : le nouveau Code de 1983” published in two parts in Le Sel de la terre 120, spring 2022, and 123, winter 2022-2023.

11 — The book is published by Editions Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc, and has been reprinted several times.

12 — See Raoul Naz’s Traité de Droit canonique, Paris, Letouzey et Ané, 1946, vol. 1, pp. 260 ff.

13 — We have consulted the references given by on 14 November 2023.

14ORLF 44, of Tuesday 31 October 2023, p. 4.

15 — An account of the popular enthusiasm can be found in Dom Guéranger’s L’Année liturgique, on 9 February 9th, the feast of Saint Cyril of Alexandria.

16 — Compare this with the traditional canonical discipline referred to above.

17 — For further details, see the article “Vatican II put into a code of laws, The new Code of Canon Law (1983)”, Le Sel de la terre 124, Spring 2023, p. 66 ff.

Sermon of Bishop Gerardo Zendejas for the Priestly Ordination of Fr. Eymeric Blanchet SAJM

Dear Superior General of the Society of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary, Your Excellency Bishop Faure,

Your Excellency Bishop Williamson,

My dear confreres in the priesthood, dear religious,

My dear friends…

All of us have come here, to Avrillé, to witness today this Catholic ceremony for the continuation of the true, royal and propitiatory priesthood that Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded His Apostles to transmit to their apostolic successors, under the Primacy of Saint Peter, Vicar of Christ, throughout the centuries until the consummation of the world. “And the eleven disciples – says Saint Matthew – went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but SOME DOUBTED. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (St. Mathew,  28, 16- 20)

Indeed, we are here to honor Archbishop Lefebvre, our venerable Founder, for the great example he left us in preserving the Catholic priesthood expressed in the Roman Rite, in spite of the sinister darkness spread by the churchmen of the Second Vatican Council. These leaders are still waging a bitter war against Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, and against anybody who wants to be a soldier of Christ and fight for the Kingdom of God to come on earth as it is in heaven.

In fact, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, as successor of the Apostles did not fail to do what he was commanded to do – Archbishop Lefebvre is, PAR EXCELLENCE, THE PRELATE who preserved the essential magnitude of the Catholic priesthood at the end of the twentieth century, not only by transmitting the authentic mark of  Apostolicity in the Catholic Church by the Episcopal Consecrations of June 30th 1988, but also for keeping the complete integrity in the Deposit of the Faith, expressed in the doctrine of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by the propitiatory element of atonement for the remission of sins, which Our Lord Jesus Christ offered to His eternal Father by His crown of thorns from the Cross as conquering throne. 

So, my simple words today mean to sound like an echo of reverberations through a valley, so that they might bring back to our mind the heroic testimony left by Archbishop Lefebvre. I would like to recall in particular the words of three of his sermons:

The first, on that occasion the 1976 Ordinations in which Archbishop Lefebvre spoke about how a priest participates in the grace of Union in Our Lord Jesus Christ and why the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must be monarchical and not democratic. 

The second, on the celebration of his golden priestly jubilee in 1979, when he launched a Crusade for clergy and laity for the purpose to continue the Holy the Mass of always.

The third, on the occasion of the Mass in Lille on August 29, 1976, when Archbishop Lefebvre declared, not only that the devil is the Father of Lies – the Father of Error – but also that Error and truth are not compatible. He also mentioned three errors of the conciliar church, namely: the fact that it engaged in a dialogue with Protestants to produce the bastard new mass and bastards sacraments; the fact that it promoted an abominable dialogue with Freemasons and Communists, to build a bastard union of confusion; the fact that it rejected the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the pretext that it is no longer possible.

In addition, we are here today to congratulate His Excellency Bishop Richard Williamson on the 35th anniversary of his episcopal consecration, and wish him more years to come – Ad Multos Annos! Thank you for sharing that marvelous gift of knowledge composed in master strokes of the pen that, when read, sound like a harmonious melody running in a natural waterfall. Thank you for transmitting your tremendous conviction in eternal Truth, for your love to the only Savior of the world – Our Lord Jesus Christ, when speaking with eloquence throughout your conferences, speeches, and sermons… Perhaps for certain people your words might sound as “a scandal,” for others they might seem “foolish”, but for many, very many others your words are a voice crying out in the wilderness of the modern ungodly world… May the Mother of God, the Madonna who watched over you from above the gate of Winchester School in England, keep you always under her maternal mantle to preserve you from any attack of evil-doers. So, we are glad to be here with Your Excellency for this celebration – Deo Gratias! As Saint Paul said: “Let a man so look upon us as the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers that a man be found faithful.” (1Cor. 4, 1- 2)

And last but not the least, we are here – my dear abbé Blanchet, to rejoice with all your family, and to congratulate your dearly beloved Father and Mother for their perseverance in saying the evening prayers every night together at home. In truth, “a family that prays together, stays together.” Doubtless to say that the presence of many relatives and friends, who have come to attend your priestly ordination, is a demonstration of trust and a charitable support they have shown you throughout your way to the Catholic priesthood: all those teachers that Divine Providence has placed on your life, like your music teacher who will enhance this ceremony, and all the members of the Dominican Community here… all want to thank God for the merciful gift of your priestly vocation. May you be found faithful to it until the last breath of your life…


So, my dear friends, just as before the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven “some [bishops] doubted,” and since then, many other bishops have also doubted in their duties throughout the centuries. Even more, today’s bishops have lost their grip on reality and objective Faith, so that they live an electronic-subjective way of life  in the atheist modern world, with all materialistic comforts and with a gnostic understanding of life and death.

 That’s why there are many Christians torn apart in their families, in their homes, among their children. Many of us are torn in our heart by the divisions in the Church, provoked by this new religion being taught and practiced since Vatican II… Indeed, charity has grown cold, and people have lost the love of Truth. The whole world believes more in the Internet than in the Bible, which is why Saint Paul said: “…and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish: because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying.” (2 Thessal,  2, 10)

Living in a convulsive world of war, famine and pests, it is unbelievable to hear that the Synodal Church is preaching a “new evangelization” about everything, but not about the Holocaust of Christ on Calvary. One might ask to oneself, when will the day that the Vicar of Christ will turn back to lead all nations to Tradition as it has always been believed everywhere, and by all?

When Archbishop Lefebvre was asked this question, he responded: “[…] when Rome crowns Our Lord Jesus Christ as King, once again. We cannot have an agreement with those who have uncrowned Our Lord. The day when they will once again recognize and acknowledge Our Lord to be King of all peoples and nations, then it will not be we whom they have joined, but rather the Catholic Church, in which we have been dwelling and remaining.” (AL, Flavigny, December 1988, Fideliter #68, p 16)

While waiting for the conversion of the modern pagan Rome and the abolition of human slavery which is the fruit of the Globalist Agenda, in today’s world, what can a Catholic priest do?

In this perspective, let us listen to the preaching of the Eminence of Poitiers, the venerable Cardinal Pie, who is well-known for having taught the perennial doctrine of Jesus Christ’s rights to govern individuals, families and nations, and for having proclaimed His royal rights over the international laws of nations. We should read and re-read the abundant wisdom contained in the writings of Cardinal Pie, who is the Master and Doctor in the doctrine of the Kingship of Christ:

The main benefit to draw from error, heresy and from all oppositions which Truth will meet among men, is that the very same point that is particularly being denied and fought against, soon after there will be a light shed upon it and then it will be glorified.[…] Upon which topics religious writers – and most especially spiritual counselors and spiritual doctors of the nations – must concentrate their discussions, demonstrations and teachings? […] Well, observe from which side error is directing their attacks, its negations, its blasphemies. So, whatever is being attacked, denied, and blasphemed in each century or age, it is precisely in which it must be defended, affirmed, and repaired. Where sin abounds, grace most necessarily super-abound. So, against the darkening of spirits, against the increase of coldness in hearts, we must oppose an overflow of light, a fresh outbreak of love.” (Cardinal Pie, Third synodal instruction on the principal errors of the present age, July 1862 – August 1863, Complete Works, V, pages 36-37)

It is evident that, in attacking Our Lord Jesus Christ and Christendom, the enemies of God have concentrated their strategies to fight against Truth, against Authority, and against the Priesthood. Hence, let us summarize what a priest can do to defend Truth against Error, to uphold Authority in the face of anarchy and chaos, and to preserve the sacred priesthood against the profane ministry promoted by the Second Vatican Council.

Needless to say that a Catholic Priest is a principle of Order. A good Priest recapitulates everything in Christ the King. In so doing, he fosters the spiritual and temporal common good of families and of countries, because he is the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. But when a Priest fails in his duties, then he compromises with the three enemies of the soul: the world, the lust and the devil. As a matter of fact,  Corruptio optimi, pessima! (The corruption of the best, is the worst!) That’s why Don Bosco used to say that when a priest dies, he never goes alone, but with many people, either to heaven or to hell.

Therefore, on the day of his Ordination the Catholic Priest receives the power to become a principle of order in Spiritus Veritatis (in the Spirit of Truth), as Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles to do. So, here are some words concerning this triple power.

The first is the power of teaching – potestas docendi. This power commands an unity in doctrine to learn and to practice the same Catholic religion among the clergy and laity. It is an unity in that Faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all: “quod ubique, semper, et ab omnibus” (Communitorium, St. Vincent Lerin).

The second is the power of governing – potestas regendi. This power requires unity in hierarchy: Jesus Christ is Head of the Church, the Pope is the Vicar of Christ,  Bishops are the apostolic successors, Priests are other Christs, and faithfuls are the witnesses of eternal salvation. In this hierarchy, all power comes from God, as Saint Paul says, “Omnis potestas a Deo.”  (Rom. 13, 1)

The third is the power of sanctifying – potestas sanctificandi. This power is linked to an unity in Liturgy as the official way of Church worship by clergy and faithful. The law of prayer is indeed the law of Faith: lex credendi, lex orandi.


1. The Power of Teaching: the Faith that has always been believed everywhere and by all

The lips of the priest – says the prophet Malachias – shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord. (Malach. 2, 7)

Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to Me,” said the prophet Osee. ( 4, 6)

Almighty God wants men to help Him save souls. He could have done this by other means. However Jesus Christ became man Himself , and He willed that some men become priests through the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, like His Apostles who were ready to convert the whole world, or like anyone of the priests here present, who are willing to convert the modern world for the greater glory of God and the eternal salvation of souls.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders constitutes the imposition of the bishop’s hands upon the head of the deacon as the Matter of the sacrament. For the sacramental Form are required the words of the Preface in the Rite of Ordination, which clearly express the bishop’s intention to do what has always been done in the Catholic Church, to  believe everywhere and by all.

Among his functions, a priest must faithfully teach the very Word of God to those who wish to be the children of God, instructing them through the Church Magisterium. Hence, he must believe in the two sources of divine Revelation, namely, the Holy Scripture and the Oral Tradition transmitted by the Apostles to their apostolic successors.

As the meaning of the word “apostle” requires, the priest must be sent to preach under the authority of a bishop. Archbishop Lefebvre said that “In consecrating his life to the apostolic ministry and since he continues the mission which Our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled on earth, he is essentially sent as missionary.” (AL, June 29 1978). So, the priest is sent by God, under the authority of the Catholic Church in order to preach the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Seven Sacraments, the Our Father and other prayers, in order to lead his flock for their  eternal salvation.

During this ceremony, the Catholic Church says through the mouth of the bishop: “Agnosce quod agis, imita quod tractas,” that is, “Realize what you are doing. Imitate what you operate”. The priest must therefore believe that he dispenses God’s graces through the Sacraments which are the ordinary channels, instituted for that purpose by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is the priest’s duty to provide the proper MATTER, the correct FORM, and the right INTENTION of the sacraments, in order to validly administer them to his flock, and when needed to receive them himself alike. It would be a serious negligence, if a priest would not provide all that is needed for such a purpose, as it would be a negligence for a bishop who would not provide to his priests all what is needed for them to properly administer the sacraments to the faithful.

The most important duty is to re-actualize by his priestly ministry the same Sacrifice that Our Lord Jesus Christ made on the Cross at Calvary, in an un-bloody manner, under the species of bread and wine, so that he is bringing God from heaven down onto the altar for the eternal salvation of souls.

It is imperative to meditate on the grace in which this young priest is going to participate in the Catholic priesthood. It is not by the sanctifying grace which Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us through Baptism. It is by the grace of union – that grace of union unique to Our Lord Jesus Christ. For it is by His grace of union with the divinity of God, with the divinity of the Word, that Our Lord Jesus Christ became Priest, that Our Lord Jesus Christ is King, and by that Our Lord Jesus Christ is Judge. Truly, Our Lord Jesus Christ ought to be adored by all men because of this grace of union, which is a sublime grace! This grace from the divinity Itself, in a unique manner descended into His humanity in the fullness of time, anointing Our Lord Jesus Christ in a special manner, as the holy Oil descending on the head of the recipient, anoints the one who receives its unction. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s humanity was penetrated by the divinity of the Word of God, and thus He was made Priest and became Mediator between God and men.

Participating in that grace, the priest is a real mediator between God and men. In receiving the priestly ordination, a priest is not any longer like any other man; he is consecrated for God and separated from men. At Mass, for example, before turning to say “Dominus vobiscum”, the priest must kiss the altar in order to express his function of mediator between God and men, as a bridge between heaven and earth, uniting the prayers of the faithful to the sacrifice of the altar.

Also, it is important to note some of the accessory ceremonies of the priestly ordination in the Roman Rite:

Firstly, the bishop clothes the priest with a stole, crossing it over his chest to remind him of the Cross of Our Lord, and with a chasuble which symbolizes the submission a priest must have to the binding yoke of God’s Law through a life of sanctity and purity. 

Secondly, the bishop anoints the priest’s hands with the holy Oil of catechumens, binds them together, and in presenting him the chalice and paten, he says these words: receive the power to offer to God the Sacrifice, and to celebrate Mass for both the living and the dead.”

Thirdly, at the end of the ceremony, the bishop confers on the new priest the divine power to forgive sins when saying: “Receive the Holy Ghost, the sins you forgive they will be forgiven, and the sins you retain, they will be retained.

The above said priestly ceremonies are not contained in the new Rite of Ordination implemented after the Second Vatican Council. Perhaps these blessings are not by themselves necessary for the validity of the new Rite of Ordination, but their omission and the absence of any other liturgical expression do not clearly manifest the intention by which the bishop is ordaining the priest. Otherwise, the functions assigned to the priest in the new Rite could signify the bishop’s intentions, namely, to preside at the assembly of the people of God; to face the people when saying the New Mass; to remove the tabernacle from the center of the altar; to give Communion on the hand… These expressions are absolutely consistent with the fundamental mentality of modern man. The New Mass is not a hierarchical Mass instituted from above; on the contrary, it is a democratic Mass instituted from below, by the people, for the people and with the people. It is the expression of a man-centered cult, created by man who wants to make himself god.

Archbishop Lefebvre said concerning the New Mass: “The ideology of modern man has been brought into our most sacred Rites. This is why we think that we cannot accept the new Rite, which is the work of another ideology, or a new ideology.” (AL, June 29, 1976).

And again: “May seminarians, priests and bishops find the understanding of their priesthood in these few fundamental truths about the grace of union in Our Lord, and appreciate the sublimity of the heritage bequeathed to them, which must be the source of their sanctification and the source of their apostolate: the act of sacrifice.

Our Lord’s act of Sacrifice being the act which constitutes the Sacrament of the Eucharist – the life of Christ, Priest and Victim – must be the foundation of our interior life as well as of our ministry in giving Jesus to souls. This indissoluble union of the Sacrifice and the Sacrament which the Word Incarnate in His wisdom willed, is precisely what the Protestants reject and the innovators of Vatican II have in practice made it disappear by Ecumenism!” (AL, Spiritual Journey, p. 35)

It must be understood immediately that we do not hold to the absurd idea that if the New Mass is valid, we are then free to assist at it. The Church has always forbidden the faithful to assist at the Masses of heretics and schismatics, even when they are valid. It is clear that no one can assist at sacrilegious Masses or at Masses which endanger our faith. (AL, November 8, 1979)

God never abandons His Church; and so the number of priests will be always sufficient for the needs of the faithful, provided that the worthy priests remain faithful to the deposit of the Faith, and that those who profess heresy and who un-repentantly transgress the moral laws are removed from the ministry. As the fourth Ecumenical Lateran Council said, should it ever become impossible to maintain the present number of priests “it is better to have a few good priests than a multitude of bad ones.” (decree 27, De instructione ordinarum).

Therefore, dear abbé Blanchet:

Always, celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, knowing what Mass is and how to say it, following Archbishop Lefebvre’s example.

Never say Mass in a hurry, in less than 20 minutes, because it would scandalize the faithful, as Father Prümer says, then it would be a matter to go to confession.

Never say the New Mass.

Be faithful to the recitation of the Breviary everyday.

Preach the evangelical counsels of chastity, obedience, and poverty.

Be faithful to your total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray your daily rosary and beware of private revelations.

Because the priest is a principle of order, when preaching the Truth always, he should be supported by his Bishop and he will be faithful to his priesthood. Saint John says, “And this is eternal life that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ that Thou has sent.” (St John 17, 3)


2. The power of governing: all power comes from God.

There cannot be priests without bishops, and no bishops without apostolic succession, and no Vicar of Christ without a successor of Saint Peter, and no Catholic Church without Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. “Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.” (Rom. 13,1) The superiors must provide for the doctrinal formation of their subjects, and not otherwise. How can priest pretend to hold authority in himself, if he would break the chain of command? At his ordination, the priest becomes “the lieutenant of Christ the King” for the purpose to establish the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Is the traditional movement a rebellion to Authority? Was Archbishop Lefebvre against Church Authority? 

Resisting in the spirit of Truth, Archbishop Lefebvre preserved the Deposit of the Faith including the Papacy itself from the destructive danger formulated by the innovations of the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop Lefebvre himself explained the reasons for which one should resist a higher authority. “ […] What is the first principle to know what we must do in this circumstance, in this crisis in the Church? What is the principle?

This doctrine is expounded by Saint Thomas Aquinas. So what does Saint Thomas Aquinas say about the authority in the Church? When can we refuse something from the authority of the Church? PRINCIPLE: ‘Only when the Faith is in question.’ Only in this case. Not in other cases… Only when the Faith is in question… and that is found in the Summa Theologica (II II Q.33, a.4, ad 2m) […].” (AL, St. Them Aquinas Seminary, Ridgefield, 1983)

We resist and shall continue to resist, not in a spirit of contradiction or rebellion, but in a spirit of fidelity to the Church, of fidelity to God, to our Lord Jesus Christ, to all those who taught us our holy religion; by a spirit of fidelity to all the Popes who maintained Tradition. That is why we are determined quite simply to continue, to persevere in the Tradition which sanctified the saints who are rendering an immense service to all the faithful who wish to keep the faith and truly to receive the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (AL, Écône November 1, 1980)

Certainly, most traditional Priests and Bishops might agree on many doctrinal points. Perhaps we might have the same doctrine about the Catholic Church, about moral theology; and we might be ready to follow Saint Thomas Aquinas in his objective philosophy and in dogmatic theology… But when it comes to interpreting the present crisis in the Church today, and the future collapsing of the world… we might not have the same interpretation, the same thinking and understanding… Indeed, it is a big problem in which Divine Providence wants us to survive, as it was in that time when three Popes at the same time claimed to be THE REGNANT POPE, and whom Kings, Bishops, Priests and Faithful did defended and believed… and Christendom was divided. The history of Tradition today is a history of divisions! And today we Catholics are in the risk to fall into error, either by heresy or by schism. But as Archbishop Lefebvre said, we do not want to be heretic nor schismatic!

On the other hand, the Father of Lies is at work, coming again and again to divide in order to conquer. That’s why Pope Pius IX, wanting to warn us, allowed the publication of a book entitled The Roman Church and the Revolution, written by Crétineau-Joly (on February 25, 1861). Here is an interesting excerpt recording a conversation between two Freemason leaders: “…You want to establish the kingdom of the elects on the throne of the prostitute Babylon, in which the clergy follows under your standards, believing always that they walk under the standard of the apostolic keys… If you do not precipitate, we promise a catch more miraculous than his.’ The fisher man who catches fish becomes a fisher man to catch men. You will be surrounded by friends of the Apostolic Chair. You will preach a revolution by [Papal] Tiara and Cope walking under the banner and the standard of the cross, a revolution that needs nothing else but a spark to kindle a fire throughout the four corners of the world.

Under the same circumstances, let us remember the words of Our Lord to Saint Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not, and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” (St Luke, 22, 31-32)

On this subject, Archbishop Lefebvre enlightened us with some wisdom: “In reality it is an extraordinary gift that God has made us in giving us the Pope, in giving us the successors of Peter, giving us precisely this perpetuity in truth communicated to us through the successors of Peter, that just be communicated to us through them. And it seems inconceivable that a successor of Peter could fail in any way to transmit the truth that he is obliged to transmit. Indeed, without virtually disappearing from the line of succession he cannot fail to communicate that which the Popes have always transmitted – the Deposit of the Faith which does not belong to him alone.

[…] And we cannot follow error nor change truth, just because the one, who is in charge of transmitting it, is weak and allows error to spread around him. We don’t want the darkness to encroach on us. We want to live in the light of truth. We remain faithful to that which has been taught for two thousand years. The same things that have been taught for two thousand years, and which is inconceivable, that what is part of eternity could be changed!

Because it is eternity which has been taught to us. It is eternal God, Jesus Christ eternal God, and everything which is centered on God is centered on eternity. The Blessed Trinity can NEVER be changed. The Redemptive work of Christ through the Cross can NEVER be changed, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can NEVER be changed. These things are eternal. They belong to God. How can someone her below change those things? Who is the priest who feels he has the right to change those things, to modify them? It is impossible!” (AL, Écône, September 1977)

Dear Abbé Blanchet, when you say the Mass of Always, some people might ask you: “Do you take care of all rubrics of 1962 Roman Missal with which you are being Ordained priest?”  You should respond: YES.

Some people might ask you: “Do you name Pope Francis in the Roman Canon of Mass?”  You should respond: YES.

As a Catholic Priest is a principle of monarchical order, he is the Lieutenant of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Royal Kingdom on earth, and according to his rank of authority, a Priest is sent by his bishop to proclaim the Kingship of Christ to his flock. Otherwise, it would be like a democratic priest, who chooses to say or not, to preach or not, his own personal kingdom.

So, the reason of these and other questions is because in following the 1955 Liturgical books, there are some priests who omit the rubric “una-cum-Francisco” at the Roman Canon of the Mass, or at the celebration of the Holy Week ceremonies. What one might think about purposely omitting the Pope’s name, as the schismatic and Protestant ministries do?

Indeed, all we Catholics must pray more than ever to the Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him to have mercy on His flock, on those sheep who want to believe with integrity in His evangelical message of eternal salvation, in the Mystery of Redemption through Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world, in the ark of salvation outside of which there is no salvation, the Catholic Church, which is the Ark of Saint Peter.


3. The power of sanctifying: the law of prayer is the law of belief.

We know the axiom, the law of belief is fundamental to the law of prayer. In order to comprehend the dogma, it is important to keep the words and deeds performed by the Liturgy throughout all times. It is through the Liturgy that the Spirit who inspired the Holy Scripture, still works. The Liturgy is Tradition to its highest degree in power and solemnity in the Church.” (Dom Guéranger, Institution Liturgiques, part I, chapter 1, p.18)

It is very important to follow a principle of public and official prayer approved by the Tradition of the Catholic Church. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the recitation of the Divine Office (Breviary) are not private personal prayers for a priest because they are codified. The deliberate omission to pray the Breviary incurs the penalty of mortal sin(Canon 135). When a Catholic Priest prays the Breviary, as Dom Marmion says, by his lips he continues the praising of Our Lord Jesus Christ to His heavenly Father. We know that Our Lord constantly recited the 150 psalms attributed to King David, because it was the official prayer, under the Law of Moses, before the coming of the Messiah. Following that Tradition in the Catholic Church, we continue to recite the 150 Psalms as well as other prayers which commemorate the dogmas and mysteries of our Faith: These prayers were put together in particular by Saint Gregory the Great.

Nevertheless, There are some discrepancies among Traditional priests and faithful in regards to the law of praying and the law of believing, since the 1960s. From the very beginning, Archbishop Lefebvre took his decision in installing the 1962 Liturgy at Écône. The rejection of the 1962 Liturgical books has been the occasion of separations within the Society of Saint Pius X: three times these separations occurred in Écône (1975, 1979, 1981), twice in the USA (1983, 1984), once in Germany (1984), and once in Argentina (1989). And there are stil several separations due to lack of unity on the official public prayer of the Traditional Church.

Here are some words from Archbishop Lefebvre on this subject:

The liturgy of Écône is the liturgy that I myself have been using now for 20 years. It is a liturgy we use, more or less, everywhere in the Society. […]

So, these priests condemned it… and they condemned me… and they condemned Écône… How is this possible? […] That they condemned the bishop who gave them their ordination? When these priests were at Écône they accepted this liturgy; when they were ordained, they accepted during the years they were at Écône. When they left, they changed, and took another orientation. […]

Now, not only they dispute the liturgy but also about the Pope. They are in their hearts, against the fact that there is a Pope in Rome. […]

Certainly, we agree on many doctrinal points, these priests and I. We have the same doctrine about the Church, about theology, we follow Saint Thomas Aquinas in philosophy, in theology… But to interpret the situation of the Church now, we have not the same meaning, not the same thinking… This is very dangerous. […]

We must now do an application of the principle. For me I think that the liturgical reform of Pope John XXIII has nothing against the Faith. You can take the Pontifical, the Rituale, the Breviary, the Roman Missale, and what is in these books of Pope John XXIII against the Faith? Nothing! […]

In reality, this reform was done by Pope Pius XII, not Pope John XXIII. When I was Apostolic Delegate in Rome, they asked me to have Episcopal Conferences in Madagascar, in Cameroon, and in French speaking Africa, to ask the bishops about the reform of the breviary. […]

But these seven young priests said that seven men did this reform, and they were the same who did the reform of Paul VI. That is not true! Perhaps in the commission, it is possible that some of these men were there… Perhaps Bugnini was a member of this commission of Pius XII.

But you know that during the Pontificate of John XXIII, this Pope removed Msgr. Bugnini from his teaching post in the University of the Lateran. Pope John XXIII was against Bugnini. I knew the president of the Commission who did this reform, it was Msgr. De Matto, who was the Abbot of St. Paul outside the Walls… I know him very well and I spoke with him many times. He was the president of the Commission of reforming the liturgy under the Pontificate of John XXIII. It was under Paul VI that he was removed because he was traditionalist, and they replaced him by Msgr. Bugnini… that is true. But it is not true to say that this reform of Pope John XXIII is the beginning of the reform of Pope Paul VI. […]

So, I have said concerning this reform [1962] we must obey the Pope, especially since we have no reason to refuse it!” 

(AL, April 24, 1983, at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, in Ridgefield, CT)

After many discrepancies and departures of several priests from the Society of Saint Pius X, Archbishop Lefebvre required that all the candidates to Holy Orders should sign The Declaration of Fidelity, from April 11, 1981 until his death. In addition to the Declaration, there were required to say the Anti-modernist Oath and the Profession of Faith declared by Pius IX. Certainly, I myself signed and complied with these requirements throughout the reception of the major orders of subdiaconate, diaconate, and priesthood. 

The Declaration of Fidelity contains the UNITY OF THE THREE POWERS  which a Priest receives on the day of his Ordination: it affirms one Faith, one Head, one Liturgy – it confirms the Truth, the Authority and Public priestly Liturgical Prayer under which the candidate is ordained priest in the Catholic Church.

Here is the Declaration of Fidelity in its entirety:

“[For unity of government]

I, the undersigned, __N.N._______ recognize _Pope’s name_ as Pope of the Holy Catholic Church. That is why I am ready to pray publicly for him as Sovereign Pontiff. 

[For unity of faith ]

I refuse to follow him when he departs from the Catholic Tradition, especially in the questions of religious liberty and ecumenism, as also in the reforms which are harmful to the Church.

I grant that Masses celebrated according to the New Rite are not all invalid. However, considering the bad translations of the Novus Ordo Missae, its ambiguity favoring its being interpreted in a Protestant sense, and the plurality of ways in which it can be celebrated, I recognize that the danger of invalidity is very great. I affirm that the New Rite of Mass does not, it is true, formulate any heresy in an explicit manner, but that it departs “in a striking manner overall as well as in detail, from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass”, and for this reason the New Rite is in itself bad. That is why I shall never celebrate the Holy Mass according to this New Rite, even if I am threatened with ecclesiastical sanctions; and I shall never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in such a Mass.

[For unity of Liturgy]

Finally, I admit as being legitimate the liturgical reform of John XXIII. Hence, I take all the (1962) liturgical books from it to be Catholic: the Roman Missale, the Breviary, the Pontificale and the Rituale; and I bind myself to make exclusive use of them according to their calendar and rubrics, in particular for the celebration of Mass and for the recitation in common of the Breviary. In doing this I desire to show the obedience binding me to my superiors, as also the obedience binding me to the Roman Pontiff in all his legitimate acts.


Dear Abbé Blanchet, if you celebrated Mass and prayed your Breviary, according to the rubrics of 1955, it would certainly be a valid Mass and you would conform to the recitation of the Breviary, but you would most certainly be moving away from the spirit and attitude of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre concerning his understanding of the crisis within the Catholic Church, as well as for his purpose to Ordain Priests for the perpetuation of the Latin Mass along with the calling for his Crusade. May the Blessed Lord give you the grace of the interior life, and to be a principle of order in the public prayer of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, we are not schismatics. We are not heretics. We are not rebels. We are resisting that wave of modernism, of secularism, of progressivism, which has invaded the Church since the Vatican II Council, formulating a conciliar church to destroy everything sacred, supernatural, divine, and reduce it to human dimensions.

May Our Lady intercede for us so that we may keep up the Crusade launched by Archbishop Lefebvre for the continuation of Tradition, for the glory of the Holy Trinity and the exaltation of the Catholic Church by recapitulating all things in Christ so that all Christendom should again proclaim, “He must reign”. 


Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé No. 35: March 2021

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé


  Pius IX at the First Vatican Council

No. 35: March 2021

Who remembers Vatican I?

The 150th anniversary of Vatican I didn’t get much attention in our de-Christianized world, nor even within the Church. Yet Vatican I was fundamental, for many reasons:

1- The history of the first Vatican Council — as agitated as it is fascinating — represents one of the summits of the combat opposing Revelation and Revolution, for over two centuries. In the presence of Pope Pius IX, mighty bishops, including figures as different as Bishops Manning, Darboy, Dupanloup and Pie, come face to face in battle.

2- The first document of Vatican I, the constitution Dei Filius, on the notion of Faith, exposes the relations between Faith and reason in a particularly balanced fashion. It condemns not only the excess of refusing any Faith (rationalism), but also the error of belittling reason (fideism). In defining the foundations of Faith, it defines at the same time the true methods of Catholic apologetics. Before our simplistic world, which only admits mathematical science on one hand, and subjective, unverifiable opinions (left to the free choice of each person) on the other, the Council affirms the authority of Christian Revelation, which falls under neither category.

3- The second document, the constitution Pastor aeternus, on the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, clearly and definitively indicates the goal of the Church’s magisterium, which is not to reveal any new doctrine, but simply to maintain and faithfully proclaim the Revelation handed down by the Apostles (the “deposit of the Faith”). In defining precisely the conditions of an infallible declaration ex cathedra, the document allows us to safely resist the neo-modernist “magisterium” of recent Popes, without relativizing the traditional magisterium of the Church.

4- The unfinished Council, having the time to promulgate only two constitutions, left a certain amount of preparatory work that is still useful today. (For more developments, see the summer 2020 issue of our review Le Sel de la Terre.)

Contrast with Vatican II

Since 1965, the striking contrast with Vatican II provides even more reasons to study Vatican I.

Vatican I was the theatre of a mortal struggle between two types of Catholicism: one that attacks error, and one that dreams of reconciliation with the world, avoiding what Bishop Dupanloup called the “irritating questions.” Whereas Vatican I was, according to Bishop Manning, the Council of Authority in opposition to triumphal Revolution, Vatican II was the Council of the Surrender of authority, drowned in collegiality, manipulated by the politically correct, and humbly submissive to all the orders of the international press.

By its constitution Dei Filius, Vatican I was the council of the clear distinction between the natural and supernatural orders. To the contrary, Vatican II, which obstinately refused to use the word “supernatural,” was the council of the blurring of the two orders. Vatican I was the council of apologetics, clearly exposing and defining the reasons to believe in Catholic doctrine. Vatican II, however, handed over the Catholic Faith to all the sophisms of the modern world.

By its constitution Pastor aeternus, Vatican I was the council of the Magisterium. Vatican II, in refusing to define and condemn, is the council of “dialogue” with the world.

By its unfinished documents, Vatican I clearly traced the path that the following council should have taken. The preparatory texts of Vatican II actually did follow traditional lines, but were quickly discarded. Vatican I, in continuity with the Council of Trent from its very outset, was a council of fidelity; Vatican II was a council of rupture.


Assumption Procession

The Grave Problem of Invalid Baptisms

The liturgical anarchy that has been raging for over 60 years can have some very grave consequences. Two recent examples:

1) On June 24th, 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith officially issued a reminder of the traditional doctrine, according to which the Baptism formula, “We baptize you, in the name of the Father, etc.” is invalid. (This formula, using the plural rather than the singular, is in vogue in modernist circles, as it allows the “People of God” to usurp the role of the priest.)

Hearing of this decision in August, a priest in the archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Matthew Hood, decided to watch the video of his Baptism… There he saw the deacon using the invalid formula! Invalid Baptism, invalid priesthood… as well as the invalidity of all the sacraments he had himself administered since his “ordination” in 2017.

2) In Brittany, last September, a young girl was preparing for her First Communion. In questioning the parents, the priest realized that the girl had not validly received the sacrament of Baptism: indeed, the God-mother had poured the water while the priest pronounced the words!

Community Chronicle

August 11th: Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Mr. Okuniewski, the father of Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie. Providentially, Father was in Poland just a few days earlier, and was able to administer Extreme Unction and Holy Communion to his father before his departure for eternity.

August 14th: Reception of the habit for a new lay brother, Br. Mannes (after the name of Saint Dominic’s brother, who was one of his first companions in the Order).

August 15th: Feast of the Assumption: solemn High Mass celebrated by newly-ordained Fr. Alain, followed by first benedictions, conference on Maximilian Kolbe, and procession.

August 26th: Fr. Marie-Laurent leaves for the Czech Republic to lead a pilgrimage and preach a recollection for a group of faithful.

August 29th and 30th: Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie and Br. Agostinho participate in the pilgrimage at Puy-en-Velay, presided by Bishop Faure.

September: A momentary lifting of the lockdown permits the Fathers to organize a few meetings for our tertiaries at Lyons, Paris, Chartres… in Alsace, Auvergne…


Adoration of the Cross

September 14th: Feast of the Holy Cross: solemn High Mass, followed by the benediction of a new Calvary at the entrance of the property. The next day: benediction of a new outdoor statue of Our Lady, sculpted by our Br. Bernard-Marie.

October 20th: First vows of Br. Antonin, who now starts his studies of philosophy and theology in view of the priesthood.

November 12th: Fr. Prior is at Nimes for the funeral services of Fr. Raffali, a fighter for the Faith since the beginnings of Tradition, and founder of the Stella Maris community for the education of boys.

On the same day: Br. Louis-de-Gonzague (Anthony Scmidt, from Wisconsin) makes his perpetual profession in the Third Order, as an oblate brother living in the Friary.

(see picture below)


Late November: It’s the season for plantations! Thanks to a friend of the Friary, we now have a professional orchard next to our vegetable garden (which has more than doubled in size since last year): pears, plums, cherries, apricots, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, will now (God-willing) be available to the community, even if the economy takes a turn for the worse.

December 8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception: in lieu of the traditional procession in the streets of Angers (prohibited because of the Corona madness), Fr. Marie-Laurent leads the faithful in a public Rosary in front of the Cathedral.

December 18th-20th: Fathers Marie-Laurent and Hyacinthe-Marie are in Riddes Switzerland preaching an Advent recollection.

December 31st: The Church is full for the Solemn Te Deum sung after the office of Compline.


News From Our Worksites

The Construction permit for the new Parish Hall has finally been granted! The work is planned to start after Easter.


Parish Hall Project


A new gate has been installed at the South entrance of the property, in order to limit access to “passers-by”, who have become more and more numerous these past years.

The work on the East wing façade is finished. After the parish hall is built, the restoration of the West wing (crumbling stone and leaky roof) will be undertaken.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support, without which none of this would be possible!


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Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

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Bishop Carlo-Maria Vigano

Bishop Carlo-Maria Vigano

  A Bishop Who Tells the Truth on the Church of Vatican II

Msgr. Carlo Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the USA from 2011 to 2016, has for a few weeks been publishing increasingly clearer texts showing his awareness of the errors of the Second Vatican Council and the reforms that followed.

He denounces the desire of Freemasonry to institute a “universal religion that is humanitarian and ecumenical”, as well as “the responsibility of the highest levels of the Church in supporting these anti-Christian ideologies”.

He also shows the failure of the Hermeneutic of Continuity.

What supporters of the current pope “affirm with impunity, scandalizing moderates, is what Catholics also believe, namely: that despite all the efforts of the Hermeneutic of Continuity which shipwrecked miserably at the first confrontation with the reality of the present crisis, it is undeniable that from Vatican II on wards a parallel church was built, superimposed over and diametrically opposed to the true Church of Christ. This parallel church progressively obscured the divine institution founded by Our Lord in order to replace it with a spurious entity, corresponding to the desired universal religion that was first theorized by Masonry.”

Look at his declarations on:

— Chiesa et Postconcilio

— Trinity Communications, 2020

A Solely Pastoral Rupture?

A Solely Pastoral Rupture?

La Simandre, bimonthly bulletin of the Fraternity of the Transfiguration (Maison Saint-Joseph, Le Bois, F. 36220 Mérigny), in its November-December 2019 issue, published a very remarkable opinion on a recent book by the Rev. Fr. Pierre-Marie Berthe (SSPX).

Le Sel de la terre.

IS IT ACCURATE to write that “The rupture [between Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ratzinger in May-June 1988] occurred for pastoral reasons, but not for doctrinal and liturgical reasons(Les dimensions ecclésiales, un défi pour l’Église catholique, Cerf, 2019, p. 711)?

This sentence, written by a priest, seems to reduce the conflict existing since Vatican II to a human side, to “a lack of mutual trust”.

It is true that this sentence introduces another: “It [the rupture] leaves the Protocol of Accord intact, which constitutes a solid basis for a future reconciliation”.

Father, if there was a rupture between Archbishop Lefebvre and the Roman authorities at the time, it was not for psychological reasons, but for doctrinal reasons. You go so far as to write that “Cardinal Ratzinger was unable to dispel the concerns of the Archbishop”.

The fight for the Mass of all Ages and against the New Mass is doctrinal. I hope you are convinced of this. Archbishop Lefebvre declared this New Ordo “equivocal” and “dangerous for the faith”.

The fight against the errors of Vatican II is doctrinal. Again, I hope you are convinced of this.

So please, if you do not see that, do not pretend to be the spiritual son of Archbishop Lefebvre. He is the one who ordained the first priests of our Fraternity, and as long as we have a clear head, we will not accept the soul of his fight being misrepresented.

Perhaps it would be better that you leave your community for a quick recognition, which you will easily obtain, given your ideas, in a diocese or in Rome.

Ah! These canonists who want an agreement at all costs and who are ready for all compromises, even if they are doctrinal. For them there is no crisis in the Church and, therefore, no state of necessity.

LE SEL DE LA TERRE N° 111, WINTER 2019-2020

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Twelve) – CONCLUSION

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Twelve) – CONCLUSION

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued, number 12)


One could object that we have not cited the numerous passages that can have an acceptable meaning.  It is true that, in this brief study, we have especially noted the defective points of the conciliar texts.  But it suffices, for a text, to contain one error in order to be bad, as the scholastic dictum says: bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu (something is good when it is entirely so; the least defect renders it bad).

We have desired to make a sort of synthesis for understanding the principle defects of the conciliar documents.  We think that this study, in particular, shows that these texts convey a new doctrine, which today permits the conciliar Church to collaborate with the establishment of globalism.

One can also ask why there was not a more lively reaction, during the Council, to reject this new teaching.  It was doubtless necessary to await the application of the Council and the progressive implementation of globalism after 50 years, to better judge these texts and their influence.  The professor Johannes Dörmann began his studies on the new conciliar theology when he understood that the Assisi interreligious meeting in 1986 was a consequence of the Council.1

Today, in retrospect, one can ask if the plans of the High Lodge, devised one and a half centuries ago, are actually being realized:

You wish to establish the reign of the elect upon the throne of the prostitute of Babylon?  Let the clergy march under your banner in the belief always that they march under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. […] Lay your nets like Simon Barjona.  Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents […].  You will have fished up a Revolution in Tiara and Cope, marching with Cross and banner – a Revolution which needs only to be spurred on a little to put the four quarters of the world on fire. […]  [The dream] of the secret societies will be accomplished for the most simple of reasons, because it is based on the passions of man. […] our plans will succeed one day above even our most improbable calculations2.

We have put a heavy burden on your shoulders, dear Volpe.  We must work for the immoral education of the Church and come to it, by little means in a gradual manner, to the triumph of the revolutionary idea by a Pope. In this project which has always seemed a superhuman calculation, we walk still groping3.

Msgr. Lefebvre comments on this last phrase:

“Superhuman calculation,” Nubius said; he means a diabolical calculation!  Because it is to calculate the subversion of the Church by its head himself, which Msgr. Delassus4 calls the supreme attack, because one cannot imagine anything more subversive for the Church than a pope won over to liberal ideas, than a pope utilizing the keys of St. Peter in the service of the counter-Church!  But, is not this what we see currently, since Vatican II, since the new Canon Law?  With the false ecumenism and false religious liberty promulgated at Vatican II and applied by the popes with a cold perseverance despite all the wreckage it provokes after more than twenty years5.

Thus, has the supreme attack been committed?  Has the “famous” Masonic dream6 been realized?

Regardless of the—necessarily occult—influence of Freemasonry on the unfolding of the Council, one cannot deny, by simply analyzing the texts, that the doctrine of the Church was modified such that Catholics could collaborate in the construction of the Temple, viz., in the unification of mankind such as the “sons of the widow7” understand it?

Translation by A. A.

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Eleven) – The Three Declarations (second and third of three): ‘Nostra ætate’ and ‘Gravissimum educationis’

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Eleven) – The Three Declarations (second and third of three):  ‘Nostra ætate’  and  ‘Gravissimum educationis’

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued, number 11)

The three Declarations (continued)

2. Nostra ætate (NA): Non-Christian Religions

What is the significance of Nostra ætate (NA) on the relations with non-Christian religions?

Like DH, it is a declaration, a text of little importance in principle.  And yet, it too, is one of the most important documents of the Council. 1    In favoring the unity of the human race, it does not suffice to promote ecumenism among Christians; it is also necessary to inaugurate inter-religious dialogue.

How does NA give a new teaching?

Never has the Church praised other “religions”.  She presented herself as the only true religion, the only one that really merits this name because she alone binds [religa] man to God.

But this document describes the false religions positively, ignoring the negative aspects (of jihad of the Muslims, human sacrifices in several “religions”, terrible idolatry, moral infamies, etc.2). Here are some examples:

In Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. […] Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. […] The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings […]

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men […] In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting. […]

God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues—such is the witness of the Apostle. […] True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. […]

The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion.

Could you point out a sophism of this new teaching?

For example, the statement: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.”

There surely are truths in these false religions, otherwise they would not attract anyone.  But, as Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. correctly said, truth is captive to error.  But these religions use these partial truths to distance men from the Catholic Church, the only ark of salvation.  What good is it to know these truths if one loses his soul?3

What are the consequences of this new teaching?

NA contains the seed for all the inter-religious gatherings that mushroomed after that which John Paul II convoked at Assisi in October 1986.  The different religions are presented as good and able to save their adherents.  The prayers performed in these religions are considered as agreeable to God.

In what concerns Judaism in particular, NA was the beginning of an engagement.4   The Church is no longer presented as the new elect people come to replace the old.5   The old Covenant would still be valid for the Jews, and they would not need to become Christians to be saved.

What does the Church become in this concert of religions?

The Conciliar Church becomes, according to the happy expression of Abbé de Nantes, the MASDU: the Spiritual Animating Movement of Universal Democracy.  Using the moral prestige accumulated by 2000 years of Catholic Tradition, the authorities of the Church contributed to establishing the spiritual nave of the Masonic Temple described by Msgr. Delassus in La Conjuration antichrétienne6.

3. Gravissimum educationis (GE): Christian Education

What do you say about Gravissimum educationis momentum (GE) on Christian education?

Even if it is a document of minor importance, one finds the same usual errors in it:

— a liberal ideology, with references to the declarations of the Rights of Man of 1948 and the rights of the child of 1959 (preamble)—the word “right” occurring 28 times in the text;

— the recommendation of ecumenism—one of the roles of the faculties being to promote “the dialogue with our separated brethren and with non-Christians” (§ 11) in view of the decree on ecumenism and with the method of Ecclesiam Suam;

— the recommendation of the right to religious liberty (§ 7).

We remark that the Council does not state that the purpose of a Catholic school is to transmit the Faith, but instead, that  « its proper function is to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity, to help youth grow according to the new creatures they were made through baptism » (§ 8).

(To be continued)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Ten) – The Three Declarations (first of three: Dignitatis Humanæ: on religious liberty)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued, number 10)

The three Declarations

1. Dignitatis Humanæ (DH) : religious liberty

What is the significance of Dignitatis humanæ (DH) on religious liberty?

Although DH is only a Declaration, thus in principle a minor text, it has a very great importance1. Cardinal Bea, following his secret visit with the secretary general of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, prepared a schema on this theme, which provoked a serious incident during the last session of the central preparatory commission: Msgr. Lefebvre often spoke of the confrontation between Cardinal Bea and Cardinal Ottaviani, because it can be seen as a prelude of the confrontation between the “two Romes”2.

By adopting the “essential principle of the modern State”3, the Council accepted one of the fundamental claims of Freemasonry: “Christians should not forget that all routes [i.e., all religions] lead to God and sustain this courageous notion of liberty of thought that—and one can truly speak in this regard of a revolution coming out of our Masonic lodges—is marvelously spread over the dome of St. Peter’s4.

What is the fundamental teaching of DH?

DH (§ 2) teaches that “the human person has a right to religious freedom.  This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.”  This right “has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person“; it “is to be recognized in the constitutional law…and thus it is to become a civil right“; and it “continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed.”

Is this teaching opposed to the traditional teaching of the Church?6

Yes, this teaching is opposed to numerous magisterial texts, e.g.,

— to Mirari vos (15 August 1832)5 by Gregory XVI :

This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. ‘But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,’ as Augustine was wont to say.”

— to Quanta Cura (8 December 1864) by Pius IX :

And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that ‘that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require.’ From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, viz., that ‘liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society…’ But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching liberty of perdition”.

— and above all to the condemnation of the propositions of the Syllabus of Pius IX (8 December 1864):

77. « In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. »

Allocution “Nemo Vestrum,”July 26, 1855.

78. « Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. »

Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.

79. « Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. »

Allocution “Nunquam Fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.

Is this teaching opposed to the traditional practice of the Church?6

Indeed, from Constantine to Vatican II, the Church has always asked Christian princes to prohibit false cults, “except for real necessity of tolerance7.  It has never considered that “not disturbing the public order” is a necessary motive of tolerance, except to give this expression a meaning different from that of Vatican II.

But, as St. Thomas Aquinas said: “The custom of the Church has very great authority and ought to be jealously observed in all things…  Hence we ought to abide by the authority of the Church rather than by that of an Augustine or a Jerome or of any doctor whatever.” (II-II, q. 10, a. 12).

It is thus certain that the declaration DH gives a false teaching.

Does the Conciliar Church not realize the contradiction?

The Conciliar Church does realize the difficulty in reconciling the teachings.  It has authoritatively affirmed that the reconciliation is possible (because, to them, Vatican II cannot be mistaken) and it has spawned many studies to try to reconcile the two teachings, but without success, each study developing a new argument for how the previous one does not suffice8.  Finally, during the doctrinal discussions, the Conciliar Church invited the Society of St. Pius X to “enter into the Church” to help it find a solution!

In fact, the simplest and most honest solution is that of the future Benedict XVI who admitted: « there are magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter as such but, despite the permanent value of their principles, are chiefly also a signal for pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional policy.  Their kernel remains valid, but the particulars determined by circumstances can stand in need of correction.  In this connection, one will probably call to mind […] the pontifical statements of the last century regarding freedom of religion »9.

Is DH based on a false philosophy?

Yes, DH is based on a personalist philosophy in considering that the common good “chiefly consists in the protection of the rights, and in the performance of the duties, of the human person” (§ 6).

Without speaking of the Masonic origin of the doctrine of the Rights of Man, it is at least paradoxical to define the common good as the protection of the rights of particular persons. The particular good is ordered to the common good, not vice versa.  Personalist philosophy, placing the person above society, is the source of a spirit of protest, egoism, and subversion.

(To be continued)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Nine) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 6-9)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Nine) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 6-9)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé

From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 10)

The Nine Decrees (continued)

3. The two Decrees on missionary activity and means of social communication

6.  Ad Gentes (AG):  the missionary activity of the Church.

7.  Inter mirifica (IM): the means of social communication.

What sort of charity does Ad Gentes (AG) promote?

Missionary activity is a consequence of the charity that works toward the salvation of souls.  But AG has a false conception of charity:  “Christian charity truly extends to all, without distinction of race, creed, or social condition” (§ 12).  Christian charity certainly extends to all men, but with distinctions.  There is an order in charity: one should first love those who are closest, and especially our brothers in the faith:  “let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Gal. 6:10).

What does AG say about ecumenism and religious liberty?

Ecumenism obliges AG, too, should sacrifice to the template:

« The ecumenical spirit should be nurtured in the neophytes, who should take into account that the brethren who believe in Christ are Christ’s disciples, reborn in baptism, sharers with the People of God in very many good things. Insofar as religious conditions allow, ecumenical activity should be furthered in such a way that, excluding any appearance of indifference or confusion on the one hand, or of unhealthy rivalry on the other, Catholics should cooperate in a brotherly spirit with their separated brethren, among to the norms of the Decree on Ecumenism, making before the nations a common profession of faith, insofar as their beliefs are common, in God and in Jesus Christ, and cooperating in social and in technical projects as well as in cultural and religious ones. Let them cooperate especially for the sake of Christ, their common Lord: let His Name be the bond that unites them! This cooperation should be undertaken not only among private persons, but also, subject to approval by the local Ordinary, among churches or ecclesial communities and their works. [§ 15.] »

The content of this paragraph and the reference to the decree UR show that the ecumenism in question here is the false conciliar ecumenism that was condemned in advance by Pius XI in Mortalium animos (6 January 1928).

AG also says: “The Church strictly forbids forcing anyone to embrace the Faith, or alluring or enticing people by worrisome wiles. By the same token, she also strongly insists on this right, that no one be frightened away from the Faith by unjust vexations on the part of others.” (§ 13).

This phrase would be well-understood if it did not make a footnote to Dignitatis Humanæ, 2, 4, 10. Thus, one should understand by “worrisome wiles” a slight moral pressure exerted by the public powers who would recognize—as is its right—the Catholic religion as the State religion.

What does Inter Mirifica (IM) say about the “wonders of technology“?

In its first paragraph, IM lists the means of social communication (the press, cinema, radio, television, and other such technologies) as “Among the wonderful technological discoveries which men of talent, especially in the present era, have made with God’s help“. One would have liked a bit less praise for these technologies, rapidly becoming powerful means of moral deterioration.

What does IM say about the right to information?

IM demands a “right to information“, provided that there “be full respect for the laws of morality and for the legitimate rights and dignity of the individual.” Yet, DH lists false religious liberty among the rights of man, and GS—we have seen—teaches errors on the dignity of man and the rights of man. The “right to information” is thus not suitably limited: it does not conform to the doctrine of the Church on the liberty of the press1.

Is is not surprising that in 2015, fifty years after the Council, following the attack against the journal Charlie-Hebdo2, the bishops of France signed a text in favor of “freedom of expression“:

« We are unanimous in the defenses of the values of the Republic, liberty, equality, fraternity, and in particular, the defense of freedom of expression. We commit ourselves to continue this course of sharing, dialogue, and fraternity. »

4. The two Decrees Decrees on the eastern Churches and on ecumenism

8. Orientalium Ecclesiarum (OE): the eastern Catholic Churches.

9. Unitatis redintegratio (UR): ecumenism.

Which novelties does the text Orientalium Ecclesiarum (OE) contain regarding Eastern Catholic Churches?

This decree claims to enlist the Eastern Catholic Churches (also called “uniate” because they are not schismatic like the Orthodox, but united to Rome) in the false conciliar ecumenism.

Also, this is recommended to them: “The Eastern Churches in communion with the Apostolic See of Rome have a special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians, especially Eastern Christians, in accordance with the principles of the decree, ‘About Ecumenism,’ of this Sacred Council” (§ 24).

What is the teaching of this Decree regarding communicatio in sacris?

It is a pure contradiction endangering the principle of non-contradiction, and also the Catholic faith.

The Decree begins by recalling exactly the ban on communicatio in sacris: “Common participation in worship (communicatio in sacris) which harms the unity of the Church or involves formal acceptance of error or the danger of aberration in the faith, of scandal and indifferentism, is forbidden by divine law.” (§ 26).

But this just reminder is followed by a “but” where the contrary comes: “On the other hand, pastoral experience shows clearly that, as regards our Eastern brethren…

And without any doctrinal argument, it comes to contradict the posed principle, while specifying that the principles remains posed:

« Without prejudice to the principles noted earlier, Eastern Christians who are in fact separated in good faith from the Catholic Church, if they ask of their own accord and have the right dispositions, may be admitted to the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick. Further, Catholics may ask for these same sacraments from those non-Catholic ministers whose churches possess valid sacraments, as often as necessity or a genuine spiritual benefit recommends such a course and access to a Catholic priest is physically or morally impossible. Further, given the same principles, common participation [communicatio in sacris] by Catholics with their Eastern separated brethren in sacred functions, things and places is allowed for a just cause » [§ 27 and 28].

We are in contradiction with the doctrine and practice of the pre-conciliar Church. We refer the readers to Sel de la terre 40, pp. 79 to 81, where the traditional doctrine on communicatio in sacris will be found. Here are some extracts: “It is forbidden that the Sacraments of the Church be ministered to heretics and schismatics, even if they ask for them and are in good faith, unless beforehand, rejecting their errors, they are reconciled with the Church.” (1917 Code of Canon Law, can. 731, § 2). “One cannot ever ask for, except in the case of necessity, a sacrament from a heretical or schismatic minister; those who contravene this defense will fall under the penalty of excommunication brought against the credentes [those who adhere to the heresy]. In the case of extreme necessity, proximate danger of death, it is only permitted to ask for the necessary sacraments (baptism or absolution or, for lack of absolution, extreme unction). If there is risk of perversion, one must be content with an act of perfect contrition.” (Dictionary of Catholic Theology, article “heresy“, written by A. Michel.)

What is one to think of the Decree Unitatis redintegratio (UR) on ecumenism?

It is one of the worst texts of the Council. It alone would merit a detailed study3.  We will indicate here only the principal errors:

Is the purpose of the Incarnation “the unity of the human race“?

It is known that the most common solution to the question of the motive of the Incarnation is that God incarnated “for our salvation” (Credo of the Mass).

But, until then, no theologian had thought of the motive proposed by the Council, “the unity of the human race“: “What has revealed the love of God among us is that the Father has sent into the world His only-begotten Son, so that, being made man, He might by His redemption give new life to the entire human race and unify it.” (§ 2).

It is true that Our Lord wants to gather his sheep in His fold, but it is necessary, to be a sheep, to begin by believing in Him. Those who refuse to believe cannot participate in this unity.

The unity of the human race” is not purpose of the Incarnation, but the utopian project sought by Freemasonry.

To attain this goal, the Council will contrive new concepts: “imperfect communion“, “full incorporation“, and “elements of Church“.

Is the conception of “imperfect communion” traditional?

But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church […]. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.” (§ 3).

The concept of full or imperfect communion is an invention of Vatican II4.  Either one fulfills the three conditions for belonging to the Church—baptism, faith, submission to the legitimate hierarchy—and one is in communion with it, or a condition is lacking and one is not in communion: “Est est, non non” (Mt. 5:37).

But what is particularly grave is the suggestion that such an imperfect communion allows one to be saved without it being necessary give up heresy or schism.

What is the danger to the Church of a “full incorporation“?

To be “fully incorporated” in the Church, UR tells us, in addition to the three usual conditions, a 4th condition is necessary:  “possessing the Spirit of Christ” (LG § 14)5.  This means that sinners, as well as Protestants (UR 3), are not fully incorporated into the Church.

The danger is formulating a Church with two categories of members: the category of perfect Christians (the fully incorporated “pure“) and that of imperfect Christians not fully incorporated. And as the sacraments are given in certain cases to Protestants and schismatics, why not also give them to sinners?

How does the concept of “elements of Church” introduce a false idea?

Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.” (§ 3).

Before Vatican II, one spoke of “remnants“, to designate what remains of the true Church in the communities that are separated from its bosom. This term makes one think of “ruins” and it was judged too negative. Thus it opted for the notion of “elements“, also used in LG, no. 8. But doing this introduced a false idea, suggesting that these elements suffice by themselves to lead one to Christ, without the need to desire belonging to the Church.

Note that this new theology can open the door to a certain recognition of illegitimate unions (concubinage, “trial marriage“, unnatural unions, etc.), as Cardinal Kasper remarked6 and as Le Sel de la terre indicated at the time7.

What is the principal error of this Decree?

The decree tends to destroy the dogma of the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation. Besides what we said regarding “imperfect communion” and the “elements of the Church“, there is the assertion that heretical or schismatic sects also rank as “means of salvation” which the Spirit of Christ does not refrain from using (§ 3)8.

If one understands this assertion in the sense that the Holy Ghost can use these sects to save their members even when they do not have any desire to leave them, this proposition is heretical, because it is directly opposed to the dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation9.  To be saved, the at least implicit desire to belong to the Catholic Church is necessary, i.e., the desire to leave these sects.

If one understands this assertion in the sense that the Holy Ghost uses these sects to give their members the desire to belong to the Catholic Church, it is at the very least unrealistic.

But the worst phrase could be: “the separated Churches and Communities […] have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation“. This is to deny the unity of the divine intention to save by the Church that Jesus founded and not by another. To attribute a divine purpose (“mystery of salvation”) to the action of a sect seems to be a blasphemy again the wisdom of God and the unity of His plan.

What else do you note in this decree?

It inaugurates the era of repentance and suggests that the Catholic Church has pardonable faults for the “separated brethren“: “we humbly beg pardon of God and of our separated brethren” (§ 7).

It opens the door to communicatio in sacris: “two main principles governing the practice of such common worship [communicatio]: first, the bearing witness to the unity of the Church, and second, the sharing in the means of grace” (§ 8). In practice the second principle will serve to sacrifice the first.

It refuses to employ « polemics » in the relations with “the separated brethren“, suppressing in a stroke of the pen a good part of Tradition.

It introduces the idea that “in Catholic doctrine there exists a ‘hierarchy’ of truths” (§ 11), without recalling that the “last” truth of faith is as necessary as the first for salvation.

§ 12 hopes that “before the whole world let all Christians confess their faith in the trine God“, placing the divine faith (of Catholics) and human faith of heretics on the same level. This same paragraph hopes for the social collaboration of “Christians“, without taking into account the danger of this collaboration and the change on this point with the previous discipline of the Church.

§ 14 suggests that throughout the centuries the Roman See did not exercise primacy, which implies that the particular Eastern Churches are sisters of the Roman Church, and thus they they were not subject to its ordinary jurisdiction, and that today’s schismatic Eastern Churches are the same as those founded by the Apostles, as if the schism did not introduce any break.

§ 15 also claims that the Eastern schismatics unreservedly benefit  from “apostolic succession“, and it recommends “some worship in common (communicatio in sacris), given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority“.

§ 16 claims that certain aspects of revealed mystery have sometimes been better grasped and explained by the (schismatic) Orientals than by Catholics.

§ 19 reduces the difference between the Catholic faith and the Protestant heresy to differences “in the interpretation of revealed truth“.

§ 23 states that the “separated brethren“, thus heretics, have the “faith in Christ“, as if this were systematically the case; that “The daily Christian life of these brethren is nourished by their faith in Christ and strengthened by the grace of Baptism“, whereas this is only true for infants or for heretics in invincible ignorance; and that they have “a true charity“, whereas charity does not exist without supernatural faith.

What judgement do you pass on the entire doctrine of the decree?

The doctrine of UR impressively strays, in its whole as in its details, from Catholic theology on the relations between the Church and other Christian sects, such as it was expressed in the preparatory schemas of the First Vatican Council, in the “Ottaviani” schema of Vatican II, and in papal encyclicals, in particular in Satis Cognitum by Leo XIII (29 June 1896), Mortalium Animos by Pius XI (6 January 1928), and Mystici Corporis by Pius XII (29 June 1943).

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Eight) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 1-5)

Little catechism of the Second Vatican Council (Part Eight) – The Nine Decrees (decrees 1-5)

by Fr. Pierre-Marie, O.P.

Dominican in Avrillé


From Le Sel de la terre 93, Summer 2015

(continued,number 8)


The Nine Decrees


1. The three Decrees on bishops and priests

1. Christus Dominus (CD): the pastoral duty of bishops.

2. Presbyterorum ordinis (PO): the ministry and life of priests.

3. Optatam totius Ecclesiæ renovationem (OT): the formation of priests.


How does Christus Dominus (CD) describe the bishop?

[Note from editor:  reminder from a previous article that LG=”Lumen Gentium”]

CD, conforming to LG (especially its chapter 3), views the bishop above all as a pastor (exercising the power to govern) to the detriment of his two other aspects of doctor and pontiff (having the powers of teaching and sanctifying) (§ 1, 2, 9, 11, 16).

Did CD change the doctrine concerning the episcopacy?

The principal change concerns the power given by the consecration.  According to traditional doctrine, only the power of orders is given by the episcopal consecration, with an aptitude to receive jurisdiction1.  But CD, in its § 3, affirms that the bishops receive their “episcopal office” through the “episcopal consecration”, referring to LG § 21: “Episcopal consecration, together with the office of sanctifying, also confers the office of teaching and of governing“.


What remarks do you make on Presbyterorum ordinis (PO)?

§ 2 (in accordance with LG § 2, 4, and 17) speaks first of the priesthood of all the baptized (“all the faithful are made a holy and royal priesthood“) and then of the ministerial priesthood (“The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful“), as if the latter emanates from the former, a Protestant idea.

§ 9 encourages priests to share the ecumenical attitude of the Council: “Mindful of the prescripts on ecumenism [a note refers to UR], let them not forget their brothers who do not enjoy full ecclesiastical communion with us.”

Finally, § 12 encourages the priests to be “consistently better instruments in the service of the whole People of God” “to fulfill its pastoral desires of an internal renewal of the Church [understood: the formation of a new Conciliar Church], of the spread of the Gospel in every land [the new evangelization], and of a dialogue with the world of today” [dialogue replacing missionary work]”.  As can be seen, PO expresses, between the lines, a new conception of the priest and his mission.

What remarks do you make on Optatam totius (OT)?

This decree’s aim is to add “new elements…which correspond to the constitutions and decrees of this sacred council and to the changed conditions of our times” (preamble) and “forming the future priests of Christ in the spirit of the renewal promoted by this sacred synod“.  It thus concerns forming priests having the spirit of Vatican II.

In particular, they must be formed for dialogue (§ 15 and 19), a term “completely unknown and unused in the Church’s teaching before the council2OT refers to the encyclical Ecclesiam suam of Paul VI (6 August 1964), which introduced the new conception of dialogue, to the detriment of the missionary spirit.  Before the Council, priests were formed to be missionaries.  Now they are formed for dialogue.

§ 15 is very insufficient regarding what concerns philosophical studies.  There is no mention of Saint Thomas Aquinas, but only of “relying on a philosophical patrimony which is perennially valid” (with a reference to Ecclesiam suam of Paul VI); “taking into account the philosophical investigations of later ages” is recommended.  Now, the current crisis in the Church essentially adheres to the introduction of a false subjective philosophy to the detriment of the realist philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.  This is why Saint Pius X proposed as the primary remedy of modernism “the scholastic philosophy…which the Angelic Doctor has bequeathed to us” (Pascendi, § 45) and vigorously insisted in his last Motu proprio, Doctoris angelici (29 June 1914): “if they [‘teachers of philosophy and sacred theology’] deviated so much as a step, in metaphysics especially, from Thomas Aquinas, they exposed themselves to grave risk“.

§ 16 asks to draw one’s inspiration from LG and SC, whose differences we have seen3.

Did not Msgr. Lefebvre rely on OT for the formation of his priests?

OT was prepared by a commission presided over by Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo, who was Prefect of the Congregation for Seminaries since 1937 and who held offices in the Curia since 1908, under the reign of St. Pius X. It is not surprising to find there some good passages.  A paragraph of OT (§ 16), which concerned the place of Saint Thomas Aquinas in a course of theology, inspired Msgr. Lefebvre for his seminary; he also drew from this decree the idea of a year of spirituality (§ 12).

2.  The two Decrees on the religious and the laity4

1. Perfectæ caritatis (PC): the renovation and adaptation of religious life.

2. Apostolicam actuositatem (AA): the apostolate of the laity.

What adaptation did Perfectæ caritatis (PC) accomplish?

PC adapts the religious life… to the spirit of the world.

The Church has always honored religious life, which it considers as a state of perfection superior to the ordinary state of Christians, aiming at more easily acquiring sanctity, i.e., the heroic exercise of Christian virtues.

From the preamble, the religious life is presented not as a state of perfection but as “a splendid sign of the heavenly kingdom“.  PC does not speak of state of life, avoids the expression “state of perfection“, and mentions heroic virtues only incidentally to the search for perfection or sanctity5.

Another remarkable absence in this Decree: the virtue of religion (the word does not appear), which nevertheless characterizes religious life to the point of having given it its name.  It is by the assiduous practice of this virtue that the religious easily and rapidly achieve the perfection of Christian life.

In the name of the new “virtue” of equality, PC erases the hierarchy between the Christians of the world and the religious6, between the lay religious and choir religious7.

Thus, the Decree satisfied the objections of the Protestants who did not want to hear talk about a superiority of the religious life over the life in the world, nor of clerics over the laity.

Finally, while encouraging the religious to preserve “their withdrawal from the world” (§ 7), PCurges them to adjust their way of life to modern needs” (§ 10), “to the needs of our time” (§ 18), “to the requirements of time and…to modern conditions” (§ 20).  And in fact the adaptation “with the needs of our age” (§ 2) will be more applied than the “separation from the world” that characterized the religious life and spirit in the past.

It is no surprise that by revising the constitutions of the religious orders8 after the Council, the religious life in all the Church was destroyed in a few years.  The few religious who remain today –  apart from the resistors who try, against the winds and tides, to conserve the ancient conception of religious life – hardly distinguish themselves from the laity, and not only by the fact that they do not wear a habit!  (Moreover, as an aside, PC also allowed for the adaption of the religious habit9.)

What are the deficiencies of Apostolicam actuositatem (AA)?

This Decree tends to promote the laity unduly, the autonomy of the natural order ambiguously, Catholic action imprudently, false ecumenism, and is silent on the scourge of laicism.

How does AA promote the laity?

The promotion of the laity is done under the pretext of battling against what the progressives call “clericalism” and which, in reality, is only the divine will of a hierarchy between clerics and the laity10.

Without explicitly suppressing this hierarchy, this Decree opens doors that will largely serve, after the Council, to allow the laity into the government of the Church.

Some examples of ambiguous phrases exaggerate the role of the laity:

The Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate” (§ 2): one should recall that the apostolate of the laity is by nature different from the apostolate of the hierarchy, and that – except in particular cases – the laity first are sanctified by the good exercise of their duty of state: the primary mission of a family mother is to raise her children well, and not to go perform an apostolate outside her home!

But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world.” (§ 2): exaggeration of the “priesthood” of the laity.  For the lay Christian, this “priesthood” consists in offering himself in sacrifice as a holy host (Rom. 12:1), not in exercising an apostolate “in the Church and in the world“.

Can one speak of an autonomy of the natural order?

The Council, in several of its texts, opens the way toward a form of naturalism in insisting on the autonomy of the natural order (§ 7 11).  AA also speaks of the “many areas of human life [that] have become increasingly autonomous” (§ 2), the “autonomy of the family” (§ 11), and the “autonomy of…various lay associations and enterprises” (§ 26).

It is true that there are laws (“law” is called “nomos” in Greek) proper to the natural order, to the family, and to the various human activities, but it is dangerous to speak of  autonomy in an age so distinguished by the spirit of independence and difficulty in submitting to a hierarchy.

It cannot be a coincidence that the “May 1968” [riots in France] took place three years after the end of the Council, and that today all intervention of the Church in the temporal and lay domain is easily interpreted as clericalism.

What does AA say about Catholic action?

An entire paragraph (§ 20) of AA praises Catholic action understood according to Pius XI as a “collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the hierarchy“.  “The most holy Council earnestly recommends these associations [of Catholic action] … which…produced excellent results for Christ’s kingdom.  These societies were deservedly recommended and promoted by the popes and many bishops“.

But it is known how Catholic action, initially conceived by St. Pius X as a movement of Catholics aiming to restore a Catholic society, later became a progressive movement, a so-called apostolate “for the environment“, in fact a center of agitation and protest in the Church.

How does AA sacrifice to ecumenism?

Vatican II having an ecumenical aim, it was necessary that it appear in the decree AA: “The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and the common duty of Christian witness resulting from it recommend and frequently require the cooperation of Catholics with other Christians … common human values not infrequently call for cooperation between Christians pursuing apostolic aims and those who do not profess Christ’s name but acknowledge these values.  By this…cooperation…the laity bear witness to Christ, the Savior of the world, as well as to the unity of the human family.” (§ 27).

Unfortunately, as will be seen with the decree UR, the ecumenism promoted by the Council is a false ecumenism aiming not for the conversion of non-Catholics, but for the Masonic promotion of the unity of mankind: that thereafter led to the horrors of the various “Assisi” reunions and of post-conciliar interreligious dialogue.

(To be continued)