The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century
HE IS RISEN !
N° 200 – July 2019
Director : Brother Bruno Bonnet‑Eymard
DOES EACH MEMBER OF THE CATHOLIC COUNTER-REFORMATION
RECOGNISE THE DOGMATIC AND MAGISTERIAL AUTHORITY OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL?
If you are as yet unfamiliar with the events that launched this new round in the doctrinal debate that has been going on ever since Father Georges de Nantes took exception to the documents of the Second Vatican Council as they were being elaborated and voted during the Council, please read the previous article : At last ! the long-awaited answer from Rome has come via a questionnaire from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
SECOND QUESTION :
“ Do you recognise the dogmatic and Magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council, in particular with regard to the doctrine on the Church, Divine Revelation, the liturgy and religious freedom ? ”
We will discuss the magisterial authority of the Acts of the Second Vatican Council (V) after having briefly summarised the analysis of Father de Nantes, as a private theologian, with regard to the conciliar doctrine on Divine Revelation (I), the liturgy (II), the Church (III) and religious freedom (IV.)
I. ON DIVINE REVELATION
We believe with full certainty that, during His earthly life, the Son of God made man revealed all the divine truth that it pleased the Father to make known to us for our salvation : He thus brought to fullness once and for all, the knowledge that men should have of divine mysteries. The Apostles saw and heard this subsisting, unique divine Word. Inspired very specially by the Holy Spirit for this work, they taught and thus fixed in human language all this life and this doctrine, these divine and historical facts and these spiritual revelations that form the sacred sources and foundations of our religion.
Thus, the Church gives us access to the apostolic Tradition in which we hear and read the Word of God, without any veil other than that of the Faith. The work of the Church herself has consisted of a continuous and faithful “ transmission ” of this initial Revelation to successive generations. She has fulfilled this mission by translating the original words in accordance with the languages of men, by precisely condemning false interpretations or developments that appeared here and there, by defining and gathering into a corpus of doctrine what the apostolic Tradition taught in a divine manner, no doubt more perfectly, but less adapted to us. The dogmas, liturgical prayer, the Creeds and quite simply our catechism are thus the works of ecclesiastical Tradition, in which we truly and conveniently find God’s authentic Revelation. The Church has done the work well, under the fully solicitous authority of her Pastors and by having frequent recourse to their infallibility. The Holy Spirit guarantees this zealous and attentive work of the servants of God’s Word : “ We must not distinguish between the Church and Jesus Christ, between the Church’s Tradition and Revelation ; they are one and the same thing. ” (Saint Joan of Arc to her judges at Rouen) It is through this total teaching, through and in her formulas and rites, that the Catholic reaches by means of faith the very mystery of God and achieves union with his Saviour. We can read Holy Scripture, rediscover the teachings and customs of the early Church – this is even recommended – but we will always find therein the same teaching as that of the modern-day Church, the same faith, the same truth. Nevertheless, the teaching most adapted to us, the surest, is obviously the faith of the catechism as explained by our good parish priest in keeping with the Church the whole earth over and recapitulating or evoking the teaching of all his predecessors.
No revolution is possible, no historical evolution either, no alteration due to exterior influences, no foreign contribution. If the Church develops her teaching, it is by drawing from her apostolic treasure these new things in keeping with the ancient, without denying or changing anything. On the contrary, it is the apostolic deposit that then seems better known, and the new teaching appears lucidly drawn from the Tradition. Thus, there is nothing nebulous, fanciful, “ prophetic ” in this Magisterium, and we believe in it precisely because of this fidelity and this lucidity. It itself affirms that no other revelation or divine illumination can contradict it. The teaching of the Church is the Faith, and the Faith is the Tradition through the Church of the Word of God received from Jesus Christ and first taught by the Apostles. It is clear.
Despite some admirable formulas inserted in a deliberately ambiguous text, the Constitution Dei Verbum, intentionally distorted the classic doctrine of Divine Revelation with the aim of freeing itself from the encumbrance of dogma, in the name of Scripture and the vital experience of present-day Christians. The Constitution, emancipated from Church Tradition by means of a surprising glorification of Scripture and a presentation of the “ Word of God ” currently uttered by the men of the Church as though it were a real and contemporary presence of the living and acting Christ, substituted a Word that does not exist personified, structured, or objective in our common experience for the teaching of the Church that had been firm until then.
Here is the result of this thesis that emanates from illuminism : an immense and scandalous confusion of language, the substitution of a hundred opinions for the unique Creed, the crumbling of the Faith. What is more, by order of the hierarchy acting in the name of the Council, the liturgy and catechetics have been systematically renewed in view of a new, informal, immanentist ‘training in the faith.’ The ancient rites and catechisms have been reproved and banished precisely because they preserved the Roman faith in its unchangeable form.
II. ON THE LITURGY
Because the Church is a “ mystical person ” – the social Body of Christ, the Soul of which is the Holy Spirit –, all that she says and accomplishes is “ priestly ”, i.e. mediatory of the life and holiness of Jesus Christ “ diffused and communicated, ” as Bossuet said. This function is different and necessarily separated from all other human activities […]. Thus it is the essential life of Christians of all races and conditions, and of all times, throughout the centuries, from generation to generation. It thus defines a social, Catholic and apostolic rule, which is one and holy, the manifestation of an unchanging faith and the work of an organising Church. Vice versa, once the priestly liturgy has become the normal practice of God’s holy People, it nourishes and maintains the faith, it builds the Church and organises it into a hierarchy. “ Lex orandi, lex credendi. ” Supernatural life sets prayer in motion, but this movement maintains life. If faith were to disappear, if the Church were to disband, the liturgy would be the first thing to perish. Conversely, however, if the liturgy deteriorates, the Church breaks up and faith is extinguished.
Until the Second Vatican Council, the liturgy was a priestly work, a work of Christ and the Church, more divine than human, a work of preaching, sacramental sacrifice and divine praise, which was celebrated for the spiritual good of the faithful, but not without their pious participation. After the Council, more often than not, it has become either insipid or a spontaneous, ostensibly aesthetical, modern creation of man who is rendering a cult to himself. Unconcerned with pleasing God and meriting His graces, the postconciliar liturgy is wholly occupied with both pleasing man as though it were an art and meriting that he take interest and participate in it.
That is why the Second Vatican Council itself did not define the liturgy of the future. It was a decisive stage in opening the Church up to novelty. That stage was soon overtaken and it became accepted that “ obedience to the Council ” meant “ going beyond ” what had been authorised and in “ developing ” what it contained in germ. For more than fifty years, there has not been a single heresiarch who has not appealed to the Council in carrying out his action in broad daylight with full immunity. This is especially true in the liturgical domain through all the liberties, orientations and creativity opened up by the conciliar reform, particularly with regard to demolishment of the Mass and the suppression of all Eucharistic ceremonies and devotions.
The true problem is not the rite per se. We are not asking that we be granted a few furtive ceremonies in Latin and the right to make three genuflexions instead of one. We have always recognised that the Mass said according to the Novus Ordo of 1970 is valid. No, in order to reconcile us, it is a question of being reconciled first of all with God by avenging the insults made to Him officially in the sacrament of His Body and Blood by heretical theologians and perjured priest.
We can no longer remain insensitive to the sadness of God that deeply moved Francisco of Fatima nor to the pressing request of the Angel of Fatima in 1916 : “ Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God. ”
III. ON THE CHURCH
We profess that this society, the Church, is a human organism or created instrument by means of which God calls all men to salvation and gives them, if they adhere to her through faith, justification and grace for eternal life. Thus, the Church is the means and the source of the true religion, the union of men with the One God. The Church is a Mother who engenders the sons of Adam, through a new birth, to restored grace. She is a family in which divine life is transmitted, beginning with Christ, from generation to generation. The Church is human and divine. Revelation alone makes it known to us in two connected and complementary truths. First of all, the Mystery of the Church is that of a human society of which the Son of God is the human founder and remains the Sovereign Head always living and glorious. He, in fact, governs it Himself with the assistance of a hierarchy that He founded and equipped with His own divine Powers and His rights. It is through Himself, then through His Apostles and through their successors that Christ creates and organises His Church as a social, living, life-giving, holy and perfect Body. The hierarchy is the efficient cause, the created, human, historical and visible cause.
Nevertheless, the union of the human Church with her divine Head is not physical, as in the Incarnation, but moral. It supposes in the Church a holy will, a divine energy, a principle of fidelity that keeps her indefectibly united to her Head. This “ uncreated Soul ” of the Church is the Person of the Holy Spirit, Who was sent to her on Pentecost by the Father and the Son. The divine Soul of this unique and particular Body, the Paraclete has a profound affinity for this Church, the Catholic Church alone.
Even when He calls all men to the divine Life, it is in subordination to and in view of His one Church. This work of the Holy Spirit is the “ formal cause ” or the “ immanent principle of organisation ” of this social Body of which Christ is the Head : that is to say, His Energy descends and communicates itself hierarchically from the Head to the members according to the degrees of the Powers established by Christ. Even where the Holy Spirit acts in complete liberty by the gift of “ charisms ”, it is neither in contradiction to nor separate from the hierarchical institution and its apostolic discipline.
The Constitution Lumen Gentium perverted this enlightening Catholic definition of the Church.
First of all, it made the Church the light of the world. She is therefore no longer self-sufficient. She is no longer oriented towards the service of God, drawing all men to this superior life for which she alone holds the keys. She is busy, with a passion for the world, for its success, providing it vaguely with an energy said to be divine, a light of the Spirit, a Christlike unction, in order to allow it to attain its complete fulfilment on earth. One could soon come to the conclusion that wherever “ spiritual ” or “ cultural ” animation, generosity, liberating struggles take place among men, in a new form, the Church is there.
Then, the Constitution proceeded with a revolution by first presenting the Church as the “ people of God ” before dealing with the Hierarchy. Thus, the pyramid found itself inverted. The People would have thus pre-existed, and this People is presented, as entirely alive, wholly illuminated and utterly sanctified. It is gathered together by the direct, invisible, disinterested, unexpected, and unlimited action of the Holy Spirit before the hierarchy even remotely intervenes ! The entire structure of the Church is overthrown and her boundaries torn down. This people of God goes far beyond the narrow limits of Catholicism and, full of the Spirit, it is adorned with all perfections : all its members are prophets, kings and priests. When thought was finally given to the Hierarchy, there was nothing left to ascribe to it other than a secondary and vaguely antagonistic role. It is put “ at the service ” of this people of gods !
Moreover, and despite a quickly forgotten Nota prævia, the Constitution Lumen Gentium gave the semblance of having the idea of collegiality triumph, by making the episcopal College the primary factor, the depositary of the “ spiritual gift ” granted by the Holy Spirit to the Apostolic College. Thus “ the collegiate character and aspect of the episcopal order ” are asserted. In an extraordinarily ambiguous sentence, the Council makes this College “ the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church. ” This was stated with much tact so as to show consideration for the Pope’s authority ! With the decree Optatam totius ecclesiæ renovationem, the bishops, who until then had enjoyed a real and personal authority over a limited territory, now exercise an appearance of power without real authority over immense regions and an unlimited universe. This is in direct opposition to the Divine constitution of the Church, such as had been provided for by her Founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, this subversion of the Hierarchy, this new service of the world, has logically resulted in the promotion of the laity to the detriment of the priest who no longer has a specific function wherein he would be irreplaceable, except for the validity of certain sacraments. The real work is left to the laity, of whom he is only and vaguely an animator, an adviser, a bearer of the Word. As a result, there are no more priests, the bishops continually handing them over to the diktats of the laity who are finding themselves with ever more new ministries : conducting funerals, distributing communion, preaching, and one fine day, they will preside at the Eucharist !
IV. ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
We profess that the great apocalyptic combat about which the Revelation speaks to us unceasingly is that of men rebellious to God. They follow the example of Satan, their Prince, whose war cry is : Non serviam, I will not serve ! This revolt is the demand for the autonomy of the creature eager to deify himself, to become equal to God by claiming to be free ! Eritis sicut dii, you will be like gods. As God enters into the society of men for their salvation, this rebellion would become more aggressive.
In our modern world, the whole tradition of atheistic Humanism and of the Revolution – “ Satanic in its essence ” – is the refusal of the sovereignty of the God made man, by man who wants to make himself god. The charter of this revolt is the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the substance of which is more metaphysical than political. Its political content aims at attacking our religion and ending with the substitution of the cult of man for the cult of God. Thus, it is normal that the main adversary of the Revolution, more than families and thrones, is the Church, the work of God and Christ among men. This does not mean that the Church has denied human freedom through absolute contradiction of a Revolution that has proclaimed such freedom to be sovereign and employed it against God.
The Church has always recognised that every man has the right and duty to follow his conscience, even if, correctly informed, it is erroneous. The Church knows that “ God left man to his own counsel ” (Si 15 :14.) In order to act as men, all must heed their conscience and follow its orders. It is on this interior obedience that God will judge them. Since decisions relative to religion and morality are spiritual works that are a matter for the conscience, no one can be coerced into believing or adopting a moral rule by duress, for what God wants is the assent of the heart. The Church, however, has never defended a conscience that raves.
Even if the duty to follow his conscience is incumbent on each individual, it does not create a social right. As soon as it is a question of life in society, it is no longer the sincerity of the subject that determines freedom but the truth of the action. In every field of social life, it is God who is the Sovereign Legislator and no one can claim any authority or any right unless he obtains it from God Himself by doing His Will. The Church and the State, acting in accordance with God, in the name of God and for God, cannot recognise any right to the man who is mistaken, whether sincere or not, for it would be tantamount to withdrawing from God a part of His authority and sovereign domain in order to abandon it to His Adversary and to abolishing all objective justice. Nevertheless, a certain “ tolerance ”, which the Church has always allowed, can be left towards one who is mistaken, in the practice of his error, for the good of peace.
Consequently, social liberty, political as well as religious, which is proclaimed as a human right is, in any case, a crime against God and a delirium, as the Popes – in particular Blessed Pius IX in his encyclical Quanta Cura – have always declared. For it is both a declared break in man’s subjection to God and a break in the social order, which is atomised by the anarchy of a myriad of individual liberties before being solidified into a Leviathan totalitarianism where the freedom of the strongest places the multitude in slavery. Moreover, the Church has struggled against her own members who claimed that the demand for man’s rights could be reconciled with the rights of the Church, as though one vast whole might be formed by reconciling this better part, the Church’s rights, with man’s. In fact, she cannot accept this reconciliation without renouncing her very essence, and her unique dignity as the one true religion of the One God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The conciliar declaration Dignitatis Humanæ Personæ, which was adopted following odious manoeuvres, raised the error of a strict and universal right of man and of every human community to religious freedom in the field of civil and social activities to the status of a principle. “ Let no one be hindered, let no one be coerced. ” The authors of this Declaration were unable to base it on any doctrine or found it on Holy Scripture, much less on Tradition, as it was completely contrary to both.
With this Declaration, the Church relinquishes her truth, her dignity and her law, in order to recognise that man, every man and states have the freedom that they claim. In this way, it hopes to cooperate in a “ harmony ” and “ peace ” of the whole “ human family, ” which will go beyond the religious differences considered of secondary importance. “ In addition, it comes within the meaning of religious freedom that religious communities should not be prohibited from freely undertaking to show the special value of their doctrine in what concerns the organisation of society and the inspiration of the whole of human activity. ” (n° 4.) This affirmation of the Declaration means nothing more than a desire to build a fraternal world without basing it on Christ, but with the participation of all human religions and ideologies, fraternally associated. This is the main idea of this Declaration, the guiding idea of a new doctrine that Father de Nantes entitled : Movement for the Spiritual Animation of Universal Democracy (MASDU).
As Father Congar wrote : “ Such things cannot be proclaimed with impunity (sic !). Loyalty to what one has proclaimed in this way has many consequences. ” Hence, after proclaiming freedom everywhere else in the world, license also entered the Church. Anarchy followed. As this is always accompanied by intolerance, the Pope and the bishops, who have become mere ‘guardians of public order,’ no longer tolerate those who ‘create division’ by rising up against freedom, against their abdication, against their Council and all its ruin. Today in the Church, it is either freedom or anathema !
If we consider the contradiction of the conciliar declaration on religious freedom with all our holy Catholic doctrine and the devastation that has resulted from this novelty in families, in schools, in Catholic nations and in the Church, we must rather seek the inspiration for this plot against God and against His Christ in a wicked, infernal Evil Spirit, the same one who supported the Counter-Church in its obstinate claim in favour of man’s and the state’s rights for Freedom and who finally triumphed at the Council.
The declaration on religious freedom is openly heretical and even constitutes a practical act of apostasy in irreconcilable rupture with the ordinary and extraordinary Magisterium of the Church. It is the focal point of our opposition to the Second Vatican Council. We must now give our verdict on its authority.
V. ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
“ Councils have always had the prestige of infallibility in the Church. ” (Bartmann) The fact is that they were all convened with the formal intention of exercising the supreme Magisterium of the Faith, “ in order to decide wisely and prudently what could contribute to a definition of the dogmas of the Faith, to unmask new errors, to defend, elucidate and develop Catholic doctrine, to conserve and elevate ecclesiastical discipline and to reaffirm morality that had become relaxed among peoples. ” That is what Blessed Pius IX wrote in summoning the bishops to the First Vatican Council. The work of a Council was always both dogmatic – the pure divine truth of the Faith had to be declared, uncertainties dispersed and the errors of the time condemned – and canonical – the obligations arising from this Divine truth had to be presented to the faithful for their eternal salvation and in opposition to the maxims of this world. (cf. Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, Vol. I, p. 536-541.)
Vatican II thus broke with this tradition from the beginning and set out on a completely different path.
On the one hand, it renounced the exercise of its infallible doctrinal power and the canonical power that follows therefrom, in contradiction to what history and theology have taught concerning the unfailing exercise of this extraordinary Magisterium. On the other hand, it turned towards an entirely different work, that of aggiornamento, ecumenism, and opening up to the world – which is an original and vague work. Its real authority and legitimacy, and the degree of divine assistance it can enjoy, are difficult to estimate according to the norms of law. This surprising decision was imposed on the Council by John XXIII on October 11, 1962. It was then that the Fathers learned that they were not to do any dogmatic work, to define divine truths and denounce contemporary errors, nor above all to condemn anyone.
Pope Paul VI confirmed this orientation by adding a notification to the dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, quoting the Doctrinal Commission’s declaration of March 6, 1964 : “ Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding. ” Then, on January 12, 1966, thus one month after its closing, the same Paul VI confirmed : “ Given its pastoral character, the Council avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas to which the mark of infallibility has been assigned. ”
After having renounced to exercise its supreme and infallible authority in matters of dogma and morals, the Council laid claim to a prophetic power of evangelical Reform in the Church, equal to that of the College of the Apostles, as though it enjoyed the same privileges from which the latter alone benefited to found the Church. It claimed to be pastoral, not to make itself less than the previous dogmatic Councils, but to appear more than them altogether. The first words of the Constitution Dei Verbum clearly show on what this claim is based : the Fathers affirm that they are in direct, immediate and inspired contact with the very Word of God in order to found freely a new Church.
There resulted sixteen texts promulgated in the course of the four sessions of the Second Vatican Council – and all of them are fallible since none of them were declared infallible. The consideration given to each of them must differ according to their various titles, their canonical form and their “ theological note. ” These sixteen texts are controvertible to a greater or lesser extent. It is all a mishmash of Constitutions, Decrees and Declarations. No one knows what Vatican II means. It is everything and nothing, a mixture of the traditional and the novel, the certain and the doubtful, the true and the false, the best being used to endorse the worst. To treat all this as equal to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is to decerebrate the Church, to putrefy the Faith by giving it a confused and unintelligible object, one that defies analysis and resists any definition.
OUR ANSWER TO THE FIRST AND SECOND QUESTIONS
Under the authority of the first 261 successors of Saint Peter and the first twenty Oecumenical Councils, and with our Father, Georges de Nantes, we profess the Catholic faith as taught, notably, in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and in all the Oecumenical Councils recognised by the Catholic Church, with the exception of the Second Vatican Council. We impugn the latter’s authority of infallible teaching since, dogmatically and canonically, it defined no truth of the Faith in any of its Acts comparable, for example, to the dogma of the consubstantiality of the divine Persons, which is the essence of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. Whoever denies this dogma would be cut off ipso facto from the ecclesiastical communion.
We infer from this that since the sixteen texts promulgated during the second Vatican Council, are all fallible, all controvertible, the consideration given to each of them differs according to their various titles, their canonical form and their “ theological note. ” Therefore, in such circumstances we cannot pronounce ourselves with certainty on the degree of authority that the Acts possess. It is incumbent upon the Magisterium of the Church through the voice of its Sovereign Pontiff to perform powerfully and decisively a work of discernment and to decide in an infallible and definitive manner which of the Acts of the Second Vatican Council proceed from the Spirit of God, and which proceed from the spirit of Satan.
Pending this infallible doctrinal judgement, in conformity with the right and the duty recognised to every baptised person to remain faithful to the Catholic Faith that he receives from the Church, we suspend our adherence to what we consider clearly heretical in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council ; the same applies to the social right to religious freedom, contained in the declaration Dignitatis Humanæ, which was promulgated on December 7, 1965, which we refuse.
April 10, 1973. Father de Nantes, accompanied by a group of representatives of the League of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, went to Rome to lodge his first Book of Accusation : “ To Our Holy Father Pope Paul VI : complaint against our brother in the Faith, Pope Paul VI, for heresy, schism, and scandal. ”
“ Not one of us comes back without a certainty increased tenfold of being on the surest and the holiest line of Catholic Tradition, through the Counter-Reformation.
“ Not one of us fails to bring back an immense love of Rome and an absolute faith in her divine destiny. This pontificate will pass and its reformation will perish, but Peter remains eternally and his Roman Catholic Church with him ! ” (CRC no. 67, p. 4)
To be continued.
SUMMARY OF THE TOPICS THAT WILL BE DEALT WITH IN FUTURE INSTALMENTS
“ Do you recognise the legitimate and uninterrupted Magisterium of the Popes, successors of the Apostle Peter ? ”
I. THE OPPOSITION OF THE SON TO HIS FATHER
II. CAN A POPE BE ACCUSED OF HERESEY AND EVENTUALLY BE DEPOSED ?
A. THE AUTHORITY OF THE MAGESTERIUM
B. THE APPEAL FROM THE POPE TO THE POPE
III. INSTITUTING CANONICAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE POPE
A. THE JULY 16, 1966 PETITION
B. CONFLICTING DEBATES
C. THE NOTIFICATION OF AUGUST 10, 1969
IV. NEITHER HERESY NOR SCHISM !
V. THE BOOKS OF ACCUSATION
A. THE FIRST BOOK OF ACCUSATION
a) The obliteration of the divine authority of the Church
b) The proclamation of the cult of man
B. THE SECOND BOOK OF ACCUSATION
b) Jesus Christ united to every man
c) The Wojtylian gnosis
d) Heaven is not a place
e) A new world for the year 2000
C. THE THIRD BOOK OF ACCUSATION
a) On the Church
b) On Divine Revelation
c) On the liturgy
d) On Religious freedom
V. THE RECONSTRUCTION : A CATHEDRAL OF LIGHT
A. TO PREPARE VATICAN III
B. KERYGMATIC THEOLOGY
C. THE LOVE OF CHURCH
D. SON OF MARY
E. “ TOTAL ” MORALITY AND POLITICS
OUR RESPONSE TO THE THIRD QUESTION
FOURTH QUESTION :
“ Do you recognise the ordinary Magisterium and the authority of the bishop on whom you depend ? ”
FIFTH QUESTION :
“ What are the statutes or regulatory texts of the community ? ”
“ Would you be willing to forward them to us, and if necessary, to work towards their evolution if the legitimate ecclesiastical authority considers it appropriate to do so ? ”