Defending the Honor of Our Lady in Her Month
by Thomas A. Droleskey
One of the great signs of the chaos and the apostasy afflicting the Church in her human elements at present is the unwillingness of most of those who lay claim to ecclesiastical office to defend publicly the honor of Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother when they are blasphemed by various elements of the so-called "popular culture." Our sensus Catholicus, however, instructs us that it makes perfect sense that the honor of God Incarnate and Mary Immaculate would go undefended against the demonic forces of the popular culture when we consider the simple fact that they are blasphemed from our pulpits and in our schools and colleges and universities and seminaries and in our "official" "Catholic" newspapers and magazines. Why in the world should those who tolerate, if not actually promote, attacks on the Deposit of Faith and on the honor due Our Lady and the other saints from within the ranks of the Church in her human elements be at all motivated to denounce attacks launched by the popular culture?
Thus it is, ladies and gentlemen, that it falls in most cases, although certainly not all, to bishops and priests outside of the official structure of the Church to defend the Faith as it is being attack by the chaos bred by the rotten, wretched ethos of conciliarism and all of the poisons it has spread abroad amongst souls. Even those priests in the diocesan structures who might want to do something to protect blasphemous plays about Our Lady and the forthcoming revenge of the devil for The Passion of the Christ, The Da Vinci Code, will not take any risks to do so. Oh, yes, a few bishops might follow the lead of the Vatican, which is rightly denouncing The Da Vinci Code, and actually make a presence in front of a motion picture theatre to lead a Rosary Rally of Reparation. Most, though, will stand on the sidelines, as Edward Cardinal Egan, the Archbishop of New York, has done with respect to the blasphemous play, "Mary, Like a Virgin," which was the object of a Rosary Rally of Reparation led by the courageous priests of the Society of Saint Pius X on Thursday evening, May, 2006, in front of Dillon's Lounge on West 54th Street in New York City's Borough of Manhattan.
One should not be surprised to see that the lead in this regard was taken by Father Gerardo Zendejas, the prior of Saint Ignatius Retreat House in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Father Zendejas has been shot (as in wounded by gunfire) more than once in his defense of the Catholic Faith. He is a fearless defender of the Faith, concerned only about the welfare of souls as he teaches the Faith exactly as it has been handed down us from the Apostles, without any taint of corruption by the ethos of conciliarism and all of the chaos and confusion it has bred in the life of ordinary Catholics. Working in conjunction with Fathers Greig Gonzales (who has been merely shot at while offering Holy Mass at Saint Jude's Church in Eddystone, Pennsylvania!), who lives in Ridgefield and offers Holy Mass at the Saint Anthony of Padua Mission in Fairfield, New Jersey, among other venues, and Timothy Pfeiffer, who brought a busload of Catholics down from Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Syracuse, New York, and Joseph Pfeiffer, who is the pastor of Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Farmingville, New York, and Father Ledger Gruen, Father Zendejas and many lay coordinators assembled between 500 and 600 people to pray all fifteen decades of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary as the blasphemous play was being produced. Banners of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen were held high as the sons and daughters of Our Lady walked around the theatre five times, having obtained the necessary permits from the Police Department of the City of New York to assemble peacefully and prayerfully to make reparation for an unspeakable outrage against the Mother of God.
Here is an excerpt of a report on the nature of the Rosary Rally for Reparation that was issued by play's own producers, believe it or not:
At 7:45 pm the first protestors arrived and began to chant the rosary repeatedly in front of the theater. The protestors, who grew in number to about 125 continued to chant, pray loudly, and sing. At 8:30 pm, a parade of an estimated 500 protestors passed down West 54th, while looping back to Shubert Alley. The parade was lead by 4 priests, followed by fellow clergy members in robes, altar boys, giant 12 foot crucified Christs, life size Mary statues carried on platforms, and hundreds carrying small statues of Mary and signs filled with messages of hate and judgment. The group circled the Times Square area and 54th street over 5 times in the course of an hour. The parade ended in front of Dillon’s Lounge with loud singing and continued chanting: “SAVE US” and Hail Marys.
It is quite a telling commentary that the secularists themselves could describe so accurately the nature of the Rosary Rally of Reparation. A visible witness had been given to unbelievers and apostates. The honor of Our Lady and of the Catholic Faith were defended visibly and audibly. Members of the Church Militant stormed Heaven to make reparation for the sins being committed against Our Lady's blessed honor, as well as for their own sins and those of the whole world that have contributed to the worsening of the situation we face in the Church and in the world in our own days. This is the sort of Catholic Action that was once common around the world. This is the sort of Catholic Action that is now almost unheard of because of the proliferation of error within the very precincts of the institutions of the Church in her human elements. Why should the average Catholic be at all motivated to defend the honor of Our Lady when they have become so used to profanations against the honor and glory of God in the context of the Novus Ordo Missae? Why should the average Catholic be at all motivated to inconvenience himself on a weeknight to join with other Catholics in praying the Most Holy Rosary in front of a theater where a blasphemous play is being produced when they sit quite comfortably in their own homes watching blasphemous fare on televisions without ever hearing a word of rebuke from the pulpit about their blithe participation in every aspect of this culture of eternal death?
This is not the first time that Father Zendejas has led Catholics to defend the Faith on the streets of Manhattan. He offered the Mass of the ages on East 12th Street in front of an historic church named for the mother of the Mother of God, Good Saint Ann, after the church had been slated for sale by the Archdiocese of New York. Saint Ann's Church no longer stands. It has been destroyed. Father Zendejas and the Catholics who joined him back in 2004 did what they could, however, to remind New Yorkers of the fact that thousands of souls had been saved over the decades by the presence of Saint Ann's Church, on whose Privileged Altar was offered countless numbers of Masses according to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church as prescribed by Pope Saint Pius V in 1570. As the Archdiocese of New York sought to make a quick buck from a church that it deemed no longer cost-effective to keep open, principally because the sickness of ecumenism precludes the recruitment of new Catholics to fill the pews of churches whose original parishioners have died or moved, Father Zendejas and the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X wanted to remind everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, that the destruction of Saint Ann's Church was so symbolic of the destruction of the Faith of our fathers that has been wrought by the novelties of the Second Vatican Council and of the Novus Ordo Missae.
Similarly, it was the Society of Saint Pius X, led by its Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, that organized a Pilgrimage of Reparation last August to make reparation for the abomination of prayers offered to a false god by a Hindu "priest" in the Chapel of the Apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 5, 2004. Where was Father Arnaud Devillers of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter? Where was Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan of the Society of Saint John Mary Vianney of Campos, Brazil? At World Youth Day, of course, just a short distance, relatively speaking from Cologne, Germany, to Fatima, Portugal. They were nowhere to be found in the Pilgrimage of Reparation organized by the Society of Saint Pius X. They lifted not their voices in protest as the authorities at the Shrine sought to place obstacles in the path of the pilgrims and to interrupt their recitation of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions. No, once again, therefore, it was the "schismatic" Society of Saint Pius X that defended the honor of the Mother of God while those in the indult communities were paralyzed by fear of what would happen to them if they took any kind of stand publicly against the abomination that took place on May 5, 2004.
Besieged by chaos within its walls, the Vatican itself was paralyzed about how to react to the abomination on May 5, 2004. Some officials had to admit, at least privately, to reporter Farley Clinton in late-2004 that Mr. John Vennari's impeccably accurate reporting on what happened there when the Hindu offered false worship to his false god had been proven correct. The official reaction was muted because of the conciliarist error of episcopal collegiality, which makes it next to impossible for a reigning pope to contradict the public words and actions of bishops and other prominent clerics. Thus souls are left to wander aimlessly in confusion and doubt and disarray because enemies of the Faith, appointed by popes to reign as diocesan ordinaries, are permitted to do and to say anything they please--and to command obedience to their whimsical, arbitrary edicts that are opposed to the entire patrimony of the Catholic Church. It is no wonder, therefore, that the defense of the Faith must fall to bishops and priests outside of the corrupt institutional structures, occupied at present by revolutionaries who must insist, positivistically, that their revolutionary schemes have been a grand success for everyone involved, especially themselves.
Who will defend the Faith if it is illegitimate to oppose and to denounce those who occupy positions of influence in the highest reaches of the Church in her human elements? Was Saint Athanasius wrong to have resisted error in his day? Was his flock wrong to seek out his sermons after he had been exiled? Was Saint Basil wrong to have separated himself from his bishop when he was a lector? Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, among others, took up the defense of the Faith of our fathers, and his work is being carried on by his spiritual sons across the world at present. It is they who have seen to it that the honor of the Mother of God has been defended in these troubling times.
One of the supreme ironies of the conciliarist era is that it rejects the necessity of restoring the confessionally Catholic State, in which entity things such as "Mary, Like a Virgin" and The Da Vinci Code could not even be disseminated in writing, no less produced for mass viewing. It is the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King by Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry and all of the other elements of Modernity that has produced a world wherein blasphemies are accepted as the norm of a pluralistic culture. The world in which we live is the result of the overthrow of Catholicism. The embrace of this world by the ethos of conciliarism makes it very difficult for those within the Church in her human elements who want to oppose blasphemy to point out the simple Catholic truth that no one, Catholic or non-Catholic, has any "right" to write or produce blasphemous works at any time in any place.
Thus, those who would contend that chaos is being generated by the messengers who merely report on the contradictions between the ethos of conciliarism and the authentic patrimony of Holy Mother Church ought to contend with the fact that the progenitors of ecclesiastical chaos are those who unleashed and continued to sustain the novelties of the recent past. We live at a time when it is possible for one Vatican official, Javier Cardinal Lozano Barragán, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, to state that Pope Benedict XVI had authorized a study (“It was Pope Benedict who asked us to make a study on this particular aspect of the use of condoms by those with AIDS and other infectious diseases. My council is studying this attentively with scientists and theologians expressly charged with preparing a document on the subject, which will be made public soon.”) while another, Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, the President of the Pontifical for the Family, says that no such instruction is forthcoming. Oh, yes, sure, it is those of us who are reporting the situation who are generating chaos, not the Vatican and its apparatchiks. And, of course, there can be no accountability attributed to the late Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI for the appointment of the Vatican's chief astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, who has just disparaged belief in the creation of the world by God in six days as akin to "pagan superstition." These things just "kind of happen," I suppose. No one is responsible.
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais used very strong language to characterize the theology of Pope Benedict XVI, which is indeed a theology condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, as I noted two days ago in Tailoring the Message for Modern Man. He is merely following the example of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, whose Letter to Confused Catholics in 1976 is a masterpiece of Catholic clarity:
Everything is bound up together. By attacking the base of the building it is destroyed entirely. No more Mass, no more priests. The ritual, before it was altered, had the bishop say, "Receive the power to offer to God the Holy Sacrifice and to celebrate Holy Mass both for the living and for the dead, in the name of the Lord." He had previously blessed the hands of the ordinand by pronouncing these words "so that all that they bless may be blessed and all that they consecrate may be consecrated and sanctified." The power conferred is expressed without ambiguity: "That for the salvation of Thy people and by their holy blessing, they may effect the Transubstantiation of the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood of thy Divine Son."
Nowadays the bishop says, "Receive the offering of the holy people to present it to God." He makes the new priest an intermediary rather than the holder of the ministerial priesthood and the offerer of a sacrifice. The conception is wholly different. The priest has always been considered in Holy Church as someone having a character conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Yet we have seen a bishop, not "suspended," write, "The priest is not somebody who does things that the ordinary faithful don't do; he is not 'another Christ,' any more than any other baptized person." This bishop was merely drawing the conclusions from the teaching that has prevailed since the Council and the liturgy. . . .
How does it happen that the gates of hell are now causing us so much trouble? The Church has always been disturbed by persecution and heresies, by conflicts with temporal powers, sometimes by immoral conduct of the clergy, sometimes even of popes. But this time the crisis seems to go much deeper, since it affects the Faith itself. The Modernism we face is not a heresy like the others: it is the main drain of all heresies. Persecution now comes not only from outside but from within the Church. The scandal of dissolute living, or just giving up, has become endemic among the clergy, while the mercenaries who abandon the sheep to the wolves are encouraged and honored. I am sometimes accused of painting too black a picture of the situation, of viewing it too disapprovingly, of taking pleasure at being disgruntled over changes which are perfectly logical and necessary. Yet the same Pope who was the heart and soul of Vatican II commented several times on the decomposition on which I have commented so sadly. On December 7, 1969 Paul VI said, “The Church finds herself in a period of anxiety, of self-criticism, one could say of self-destruction. It is like an internal upheaval, serious and complex--as if the Church were flagellating herself.”
The following year he added, “In many areas the Council has not so far given us peace but rather stirred up troubles and problems that in no way serve to strengthen the the Kingdom of God within the Church or within its souls.” Then, going on to raise a cry of alarm, on June 29, 1972 (Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul), “The smoke of Satan has entered by some crack into the temple of God; doubt, uncertainty, problems, restlessness, dissatisfaction and confrontation have come to the surface... doubt has entered our consciences.”
Where is the crack? We can pinpoint the time with precision. It was 1789, and its name, the Revolution. The Masonic and anti-Catholic principles of the French Revolution have taken two hundred years to enter tonsured and mitred heads. Today this is an accomplished fact. Such is the reality and the cause of your perplexities, my confused Catholic readers. The facts had to be before our eyes for us to believe them, because we thought a priori that an undertaking of this sort was impossible and incompatible with the very nature of the Church, assisted as it is by the Spirit of God.
In a well known article written in 1877, Bishop Gaume gave us a personification of the Revolution. “I am not what you think I am. Many speak of me but few know me. I am not Freemasonry, nor rioting, nor the changing of the monarchy into a republic, not the substitution of one dynasty for another, not temporary disturbance of public order. I am not the shouts of Jacobins, nor the fury of the Montagne, nor the fighting on the barricades, nor pillage, nor arson, nor the agricultural law, nor the guillotine, nor the drownings. I am neither Marat nor Robespierre, nor Babeuf nor Mazzini nor Kossuth. These men are my sons but they are not me. These things are my works but they are not me. These men and these things are passing objects but I am a permanent state... I am the hatred of all order not established by man and in which he himself is not both king and god.”
Here is the key to the “changes” in the Church; replacing a divine institution with one set up by man, in which man takes precedence over God. Man ruling over everything, everything having its beginning and its ending in him; to him we bow down.
Paul VI described this turnabout in his speech at the end of the Council: “Profane and secular humanism has shown itself in its own terrible stature and has in a sense defied the Council. The religion of God made Man has come up against the religion of man who makes himself God.” He immediately added that in spite of this terrible challenge, there has been no clash, no anathema. Alas! By making a display of a “boundless sympathy for all men” the Council failed in its duty to point out clearly that no compromise is possible between the two attitudes. Even the closing speech seemed to give an impetus to what we are seeing put into daily practice. “You can be grateful to it (the Council) for this merit at least, you modern humanists who deny the transcendence of the supreme things, and learn to recognize our new humanism: we too, we more than anyone else, subscribe to the cult of man.”
Afterwards we heard coming from the same lips statements developing this theme. “Men are basically good and incline towards reason, towards order and the common good” (Peace Day Message, November 14, 1970). “Both Christianity and democracy have a basic principle in common; respect for the dignity and for the value of the human person... the advancement of the complete man” (Manila, November 20, 1970). How can we not be dismayed by this comparison when democracy, which is a specifically secular system, ignores in man his characteristic as a redeemed child of God, the only quality which grants him dignity? The advancement of man is certainly not the same thing when seen by a Christian and by an unbeliever.
The pontifical message becomes more secularized on each occasion. At Sydney on December 3, 1970, we were startled to hear, “Isolation is no longer permissible; the time has come for a great solidarity amongst mankind and the establishment of a worldwide united and brotherly community.” Peace amongst all men, certainly, but Catholics are no longer acknowledging the words of Christ, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives, give I unto you.” The bond which unites earth to heaven seems to be broken. “Ah well, we live in a democracy! That means the people are in charge; power comes from numbers, from the people” (Paul VI, January 1, 1970). Jesus said to Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.” Power comes from God and not from numbers, even if the choice of the leader has been made by an elective process. Pilate was the representative of a pagan nation and yet he could do nothing without the permission of the Heavenly Father.
And now we have democracy entering into the Church. The new Canon Law teaches that power resides in the “People of God.” This tendency towards bringing what they call the base into sharing the exercise of power can be found all through present structures-synod, episcopal conferences, priests’ councils, pastoral councils, Roman commissions, national commissions, etc.; and there are equiva- lents in the religious orders.
This democratization of the Magisterium represents a mortal danger for millions of bewildered and infected souls to whom the spiritual doctors bring no relief because it has ruined the efficacy with which the personal Magisterium of the Pope and bishops was formerly endowed. A question concerning faith or morals is submitted to numerous theological commissions, who never come up with an answer because their members are divided both in their opinions and in their methods. We need only read the procedural accounts of the assemblies at all levels to realize that collegiality of the Magisterium is equivalent to paralysis of the magisterium.
Our Lord instructed individuals, not a collectivity, to tend His sheep. The Apostles obeyed Our Lord's orders, and until the twentieth century it was thus. These days we hear of the Church being in a state of permanent council, continual collegiality. The results have become apparent. Everything is upside down, the faithful no longer know which way to turn.
The democratization of government was followed quite naturally by the democratization of the Magisterium which took place under the impulse of the famous slogan “collegiality,” spread abroad by the communist, Protestant and progressive press.
They have collegialized the pope's government and that of the bishops with a presbyterial college, that of the parish priest with a lay council, the whole broken down into innumerable commissions, councils, sessions, etc. The new Code of Canon Law is completely permeated with this concept. The pope is described as the head of the College of Bishops. We find this doctrine already suggested in the Council document Lumen Gentium, according to which the College of Bishops, together with the pope, exercises supreme power in the Church in habitual and constant manner. This is not a change for the better; this doctrine of double supremacy is contrary to the teaching and Magisterium of the Church. It is contrary to the definitions of Vatican Council I and to Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Satis Cognitum. The Pope alone has supreme power; he communicates it only to the degree he considers advisable, and only in exceptional circumstances. The pope alone has power of jurisdiction over the whole world.
We are witnessing therefore a restriction on the freedom of the Supreme Pontiff. Yes, this is a real revolution! The facts demonstrate that what we have here is not a change without practical consequences. John Paul II is the first pope to be really affected by the reform. We can quote several precise instances where he has reconsidered a decision under pressure from a bishops’ conference. The Dutch Catechism received the imprimatur from the Archbishop of Milan without the modifications requested by the Commission of Cardinals. It was the same with the Canadian Catechism. In that connection I heard someone in authority in Rome say, “What can we do when faced with a bishops’ conference?” The independence assumed by the conferences has also been illustrated in France with regard to the catechisms. The new books are contrary in almost every respect to the Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae. The ad limina visit by the bishops of the Paris area in 1982 consisted in their getting the Pope to ratify a catechism which he openly disapproved. The allocution delivered by John Paul II at the end of the visit had all the signs of a compromise, thanks to which the bishops were able to return in triumph to their own country and continue with their pernicious practices. Cardinal Ratzinger's lectures in Paris and Lyons indicate clearly that Rome has not endorsed the reasons given by the French bishops for installing a new doctrine and orientation, but the Holy See has been reduced by this kind of pressure to proceeding by suggestions and advice, instead of issuing the orders needed to put things on the right track, and when necessary to condemn, as the popes have hitherto always done, as guardians of the deposit of faith.
The bishops, whose authority would thereby seem to be increased, are the victims of a collegiality which paralyzes the running of their dioceses. So many complaints are made on this subject by the bishops themselves, complaints which are very instructive! In theory the bishop can in a number of cases act against the wishes of the assembly. Sometimes even against the majority, if the voting has not been submitted to the Holy See for approval; but in practice this has proved impossible. Immediately after the end of the meeting its decisions are published by the secretary. They are thus known to all priests and faithful; the news media divulge all the essentials. What bishop could in fact oppose these decisions without showing his disagreement with the assembly and then immediately finding himself confronted with a number of revolutionary spirits who would appeal against him to the assembly?
The bishop has become the prisoner of collegiality, which should have been limited to a consultative group, not a decision-making body. Even for the simplest things he is no longer master of his own house.
Soon after the Council, while I was on a visitation of our communities, the bishop of a diocese in Brazil came very obligingly to meet me at the railway station. “I can't put you up at the bishop's house,” he said, “but I have had a room prepared for you at the minor seminary.” He took me there himself; the place was in an uproar--young men and girls everywhere, in the corridors and on the stairs. “These young men, are they seminarians?” I asked. “Alas, no. Believe me, I am not at all happy at having these young people at my seminary, but the Bishops' Conference has decided that we must from now on hold Catholic Action meetings in our houses. These you see are here for a week. What can I do? I can only do the same as the others.”
The powers conferred upon persons by divine right, whether pope or bishops, have been confiscated for the benefit of a group whose ascendency continues to grow. Bishops’ conferences, some will say, are not a recent thing. Pius X gave them his approval at the beginning of this century. That is correct, but that holy pope gave them a definition which justified them. “We are persuaded that these bishops’ assemblies are of the greatest importance for the maintenance and development of God’s kingdom in all regions and all provinces. Whenever the bishops, the guardians of holy things, thereby bring their lights together, the result is that not only do they better perceive their people's needs and choose the most suitable remedies, but they thereby also tighten the bonds uniting them.”
Consequently, they were bodies that did not make decisions binding on their members in an authoritarian manner, any more than do congresses of scientists decide the way in which experiments must be carried out in this or that laboratory.
The bishops’ conference, however, now works like a parliament; the permanent council of the French episcopate is its executive body. The bishop is more like a prefect or a commissioner of the Republic (to use the fashionable terminology) than a successor of the Apostles charged by the pope to govern a diocese.
In these assemblies they vote; the ballots are so numerous that at Lourdes they have had to install an electronic voting system. This results inevitably in the creation of parties. The two things do not happen one without the other. Parties mean divisions. When the regular government is subjected to the consultative vote in its normal functioning, then it is rendered ineffective. Consequently the whole body suffers.
The introduction of collegiality has led to a considerable weakening in efficacy, in that the Holy Ghost is more easily impeded and saddened by an assembly than by an individual. When persons are responsible, they act, they speak, even if some say nothing. At meetings, it is the majority who decide. Yet numbers do not make for the truth. Nor do they make for efficiency, as we have learnt after twenty years of collegiality and as we might have presupposed without making the experiment. The fable-writer spoke long ago of the “many chapters which have been held for nothing.” Was it necessary to copy the political systems in which decisions are justified by voting (since they no longer have sovereign heads)? The Church possesses the immense advantage of knowing what she must do to further the Kingdom of God. Her leaders are appointed. So much time is wasted in elaborate joint statements, which are never satisfactory, because they have to take everyone’s opinion into account! So much travelling to take part in commissions and sub-commissions, in select committees and preparatory meetings! Bishop Etchegaray said at Lourdes at the close of the 1978 Assembly, “We no longer know which way to turn.”
The result is that the Church’s powers of resistance to Communism, heresy, immorality, have been considerably weakened. This is what its opponents have been hoping for and that is why they made such efforts, at the time of the Council and after it, to urge her into the ways of democracy.
If we look carefully, it is by means of its slogan that the Revolution has penetrated the Church. “Liberty”--this is the religious liberty we spoke of earlier, which confers rights on error. “Equality”--collegiality and the destruction of personal authority, the authority of God, of the pope, of the bishops; in a word, majority rule. Finally, “Fraternity” is represented by ecumenism.
By these three words, the revolutionary ideology of 1789 has become the Law and the Prophets. The Modernists have achieved what they wanted.
And who precisely said approvingly that the Second Vatican Council represented a reconciliation with the "principles of 1789?" Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, that's who. Such a reconciliation is a good thing or a bad thing. It cannot be both. The Popes of Tradition condemned such a reconciliation, warning against it in the strongest terms. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was merely defending the perennial truths of the Faith against those who are possessed of the spirit of the Antichrist, as he noted in his letter in August of 1987 to the four priests he was to consecrate as bishops without a papal mandate on June 29, 1988:
The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below, especially through the corruption of the Holy Mass which is both the splendid expression of the triumph of Our Lord on the cross--Regnavit a Ligno Deus--and the source of the extension of His kingdom over souls and over societies. Hence the absolute need appears obvious of ensuring the permanency and continuation of the adorable Sacrifice of Our Lord in order that "His Kingdom come." The corruption of the Holy Mass has brought the corruption of the priesthood and the universal decadence of Faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
God raised up the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X for the maintenance and perpetuity of His glorious and expiatory Sacrifice within the Church. He chose Himself some true priests instructed in and convinced of these divine mysteries. God bestowed upon me the the grace to prepare these Levites and to confer upon them the grace of the priesthood for the continuation of the true Sacrifice according to the definition of the Council of Trent.
This is what has brought down upon our heads persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. Since this Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work of destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the Liberal theses of Vatican II on Religious Liberty prove, I find myself constrained by Divine Providence to pass on the grace of the Catholic episcopacy which I received, in order that the Church and the Catholic priesthood continue to subsist for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.
That the Society founded by the late Archbishop is still defending the Faith and the honor of the Mother of God is something to be applauded, not condemned, by all Catholics. As I have noted several times in the past few weeks, we live in extraordinary times, worse even than those of the Great Schism, which revolved around matters of geopolitics and personalities. As one who taught thousands of college students between 1974 and 2003, I can attest personally to the complete and total devastation of souls that has been produced by the ethos of conciliarism, which is unable to oppose effectively those elements of the popular culture it finds objectionable because the language it employs and the form of worship it has adopted are premised upon an accommodation to the "spirit of the world."
No matter what stands we believe should be taken in these extraordinary times, each of us should be thanking Father Gerardo Zendejas and the other priests of the Society of Saint Pius X who publicly defended the honor of Our Lady. Anyone in any "camp" who refuses to give credit where credit is due is shirking his Catholic responsibility here. The Rosary was prayed. A visible witness was given to the Catholic Faith. Reparation was offered to the Immaculate Heart of Mary--and through that Heart to the very Throne of the Blessed Trinity. May each of us pray a Rosary of Thanksgiving to the witness given by the Catholics led by Father Zendejas and the other priests of the Society of Saint Pius X on May 4, 2006. They acted when those in the institutional structures remained paralyzed. Alas, the witness given by Fathers Zendejas, Gonzales, Gruen, Pfeiffer, and Pfeiffer, comes very naturally to those who do not care about human respect or hasty judgment passed upon their souls but who care only for the pleasing of God and the defending of the honor of His Most Blessed and Immaculate Mother.
As always, we entrust the state of the Church to Our Lady. We know that the Restoration of Tradition in the Church and of Christendom in the world will be effected by a complete and total fulfillment of her own Fatima Message. Until that time, we remain steadfast in prayer, maintaining charity towards all others, including those who may attack us, remembering that our sins deserve far, far worse than we ever suffer in this mortal vale of tears. We must condemn no other person as we condemn the errors of conciliarism. We must resist any and all temptation to think that "our" positions in this time of crisis are received from the hand of God and are endowed with the charism of infallibility. We must pray fervently to Our Lady, spend time before her Divine Son's Real Presence, get to confession regularly, and hope that whatever merit we are able to gain in this life, given freely to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, can be used to plant just a few seeds for an end to the errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Helena, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us on this day, your feast day!
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Catherine Laboure, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Gertrude the Great, pray for us.
Pope Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas of Myra, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas of Flue, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Peter Canisius, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues and Companions, pray for us.
Saint Edmund Campion, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
Ignatius Cardinal Kung, pray for the beleaguered Church in Red China.
An Afterword: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre Reflecting on his "Suspension," 1976:
“What could be clearer. We are suspended a divinis by the conciliar church, for the conciliar church to which we have no wish to belong.
The conciliar church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship; all already condemned by the church in many a document – official and definitive.
This is why the founders of the conciliar church insist so much on obedience to today’s church, prescinding from yesterday’s church as though it no longer existed.
This conciliar church is schismatic because it has taken as a basis for its updating, principals opposed to those of the Catholic Church. This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic!
To whatever extent pope, bishops, priests, or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.
Today’s Church is the true Church only to whatever extent it is a continuation of and one body with the Church of yesterday and of always. The norm of Catholic faith is tradition. The demand of His Eminence Msgr Benelli is then illuminating: submission to the conciliar church, to the Vatican II church, to the schismatic church!
For our part we persevere in the Catholic church by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Whatever our conclusions currently, can we all agree that Archbishop Lefebvre was exactly correct thirty years ago?
A Few Reflections to Keep in Mind as We Keep in Prayer
The Church will be punished because the majority of her members, high and low, will become so perverted. The Church will sink deeper and deeper until she will at last seem to be extinguished, and the succession of Peter and the other Apostles to have expired. But, after this, she will be victoriously exalted in the sight of all doubters. (Saint Nicholas of Flue)
Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerich had a pretty good grasp on what would happen in the future, which appears to describe perfectly our own present days:
Then, I saw that everything that pertained to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction.
In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars.
I see many excommunicated ecclesiastics who do not seem to be concerned about it, or even aware of it. Yet, they are (ipso facto) excommunicated whenever they cooperate to [sic] enterprises, enter into associations, and embrace opinions on which an anathema has been cast. It can be seen thereby that God ratifies the decrees, orders and interdictions issued by the Head of the Church, and that He keeps them in force even though men show no concern for them, reject them, or laugh them to scorn. . . .
I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted in it in order to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church. . . But God had other designs.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.