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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre right?

Quaeritur: I don't publish all comments; but why does any defense of this man and result in such vehement insults?

Well, well, well. How is it possible that it has taken over 50 years to come discover this little ditty from Rorate Caeli blog.

Gaudium et Spes 24: 'Quapropter dilectio Dei et proximi primum et maximum mandatum est.'

For non-Latinists, this claim (it is a complete sentence in the conciliar document) can be translated as follows: 'For love of God and of neighbour is the first and greatest commandment'. No Latin is needed to realise that this is a flat contradiction of the teaching of Christ. There is a deliberate allusion in Gaudium et Spes 24 to the wording of the divine teaching it is contradicting, as can be seen from looking at the Vulgate text of that teaching:

Matthew 22:35-39: "Et interrogavit eum unus ex eis legis doctor, temptans eum; 'Magister, quod est mandatum magnum in lege? Ait illi Iesus: 'diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo, et in tota anima tua, et in tota mente tua. Hoc est maximum et primum mandatum. Secundum autem simile est huic: diliges proximum tuum, sicut teipsum.'"

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre said:
"All the dogmatic councils have given us the exact expression of Tradition, the exact expression of what the Apostles taught. Tradition is irreformable. One can never change the decrees of the Council of Trent, because they are infallible, written and published by an official act of the Church, unlike those of Vatican II, which pronouncements are not infallible because the popes did not wish to commit their infallibility.  Therefore nobody can say to you, "You are clinging to the past, you have stayed with the Council of Trent." For the Council of Trent is not the past. Tradition is clothed with a timeless character, adapted to all times and all places." 
He later made famous the phrase, "Timebombs" when referring to the Councils documents.

Perhaps the Archbishop was not so wrong in his assessment of the situation. That statement in Gaudium et Spes clearly and unequivocally contradicts Sacred Scripture.  I admit to missing it, clearly; millions of others with great degrees and letters after their names and much more qualified than I, missed it too.

Or did they?

8 comments:

Brian said...

Beware, of Modernists bearing gifts, gifts like Gaudium et Spes.

Yes Vox, the Archbishop was correct. He saw the "time bombs" and had the courage to say and do something about it.


"And the Catholic bishops fell silent before the Spell of Vatican II."

Anonymous said...

Even the traditionalists have missed things in Vatican Council II, like interpreting the document with irrational Apparition Theology.
Even the theologian who posted this report on Rorate Caeili uses Appartion Theology as does the Magisterium in Sydney, Australia which gives him the mandate to teach theology.
Without the interpretation of Vatican Council II with AT he will not be able to teach.
So for him being saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire refer to explicit exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, the Feeneyite version.

Aged parent said...

Indeed. The late Hamish Fraser was writing about Gaudiam et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae from the 1960s on in his publication Approaches. Not only Hamish but the numerous French intellectuals and clerics whom he published in his journal. He wrote about them up until his death in 1986 and then his so, Tony (RIP) continued on until his death last year.

These articles comprise a veritable textbook analysis of these problematical Vatican II and what Hamish and others had been warning us about are coming terribly true right now.

viterbo said...

Archbishop Lefebvre was right about so many things. I was passing through a place where there is a two hundred year old Catholic Basilica yesterday and went in for a look. On the outside it still looks Catholic. On the inside it looks like a lecture hall with table instead of a lectern up the front. There is no tabernacle, and the traditional stations of the cross have been replaced with abstract 'brutalist' squares where body parts of Our Lord are featured - a hand here, an eye there, a foot there completely destroying Traditional narrative and imagery. If not for Archbishop Lefebvre this gutted, amputated picture of a self-destructed church would be all we have.

Dcduo said...

He is right on this point, there are things that are horribly written in the documents. They are not infallible nor is the language. He is not the only person that had said this.

What he was NOT right about was what to do about it. Rejecting all of VII indiscriminately and splitting his society from the Church was most certainly not the right thing.

Brian said...

Archbishop Levebrve did not reject all of Vatican II. Don't forget that he, correct me if I am wrong, sounded placet, for 14 of the 16 conciliar documents. It was the three headed hydra, of religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality, that he found so virulently destructive. The Archbishop and the SSPX saw Vatican II documents falling into three categories.
"1)Some are acceptable because they are in conformity with Catholic doctrine, as for example the decree on the formation of priests;
2) Others are equivocal, that is, they can be understood correctly, but can also be interpreted erroneously;
3) Some cannot be understood in an orthodox way; in their present formulation, they are unacceptable." Dignitatis Humanae (The Declaration on Religious Freedom) and Gaudium et Spes (The Church in the Modern World) certainly fall into this third group. If you could squeeze the Vatican II documents as you would squeeze a sponge, ambiguity and equivocation would splash out from between your fingers. Remember, that the New Theologians had taken over the machinery of the Council. They were not going to allow theological rigor to stand in their way. After all it was just a pastoral council; no need for follow up canons like those at Trent. Yea right!

viterbo said...

@Dcduo. If Archbishop Lefebvre had, like almost 99% of his confrères, refused to stand up for what had been handed to him, Catholicism would be nothing but a Vatican II pastoral voice that had completely drowned out the voice of the infallible Magisterium.

Fr Ripperger (FSSP)talked of 'Ecclesiastical amnesia': "During the early 1960s, there existed a generation that was handed the entire ecclesiastical tradition, for the tradition was still being lived. However, because they labored under the aforesaid errors [of VII and the Novus Ordo Rites], that generation chose not to pass on the ecclesiastical tradition to the subsequent generation as something living. Consequently, in one generation, the extrinsic tradition virtually died out. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, seminary and university formation in the Catholic Church excluded those things that pertained to the ecclesiastical tradition. Once the prior generation had chosen this course – not to remember and teach the things of the past (Trent - a dogmatic Council protecting the true worship and true teachings that cannot be recinded) – the tradition was never passed on and thus those whom they trained - the current generation - were consigned to suffer collective ignorance about their patrimony and heritage."

The FSSP are an offshoot of the SSPX.

Brian said...

Quaeritur: I don't publish all comments; but why does any defense of this man and result in such vehement insults?

Respondetur: Archbishop Lefebvre did not go down the rabbit hole into Vatican in Wonderland. Deep down, his detractors (cleric and lay), knew that he was correct about Vatican II, the great Modernist "coming out" party. However, an overweening pride has blinded and prevented them from ever, publicly, admitting it. Instead, they, in an ongoing frenzy, of ecclesiastical self destruction, go along with the tired, pretentious boilerplates that continue to sing the praises of that lifeless Spirit of Vatican II. Imagine, any bishop today, going public and saying, in effect; "Vatican II was a disaster. We, as bishops, failed utterly. WE BLEW IT!" Outside, of the SSPX bishops, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, I'm afraid, is about as close you are going to get, to such an admission. In closing, Archbishop Lefebvre, to those who express these vehement insults, is the most visible reminder, of some very uncomfortable truths. Therefore the attack dogs go into action.

Vox, I know that this is a tough subject, but it takes courage to upload any post that could be construed, as favourable to Lefebvre. Clearly, you are not running, for fear of the wolves. Think of the episcopal venom that must have been sprayed, mostly behind close doors, against Benedict, over Summorum Pontificum and then later with the lifting the excommunications of SSPX bishops. These were acts of outstanding solicitude, by a bishop of Rome, who still had some sense of liturgical sacredness and doctrinal sobriety, acts for which we must be ever grateful.