LIBER ACCUSATIONIS IN PAULUM SEXTUM
2. Schism shown by actions against the Church
IN order that your ideas may carry the day, the other side – the one that remains faithful to the Church’s teaching – must be laid low. The success of your plan for a union of religions, or at least a spiritual union involving the whole world and acting as the Animator of the New City of men, requires a break with all that was Catholic in the narrow sense of the word. In thus breaking with the past, you give your feeling of schism a new and factual dimension.
The “ reform ” of the Liturgy, of Canon Law, in the pastoral field, was to have two results : in the first place, the traditionalist camp would find themselves in opposition with the Church. Without official standing, deprived of their means of expression, they would soon be reduced to a small hard core of last-ditchers. In this regard, you have been successful. The liturgical and pastoral changes have uprooted and disorientated the traditionalists, forcing them to retreat into a corner or get out altogether.
A second result was supposed to be the entry into the Church in vast numbers of those outside for whose benefit the new church buildings and the new liturgies had been provided. But the prophecy of St. Pius X, spoken to a priest innovator who had urged him to modernise everything in the House of God, had come true : “ When you have finished, my friend, you will find that those inside will leave, but those who are outside will remain there. ”
But you have never told us clearly – and this is perhaps the greatest of my complaints against you – that your reason for thus destroying the traditional Church and bringing in one crazy novelty after another is to open the Church to those who are and always will remain strangers to our Faith…
You have put slurs upon the Church’s past.
You have taught your people to despise their heritage.
Thus afraid to give the real reason for the changes because it would have been too shocking, you were driven to decry the things of the Church, her traditions and ceremonial, her customs and morals, and above all, the unchangeable character of her Law. Thus you told us that the liturgical changes would make the faithful pass from darkness into light, from stupor and inertia to an intelligent and active participation in the Mysteries. Please forgive me if I quote a passage from the Letter which I addressed to you on October 11, 1967 :
“ Everybody remembers the words used by Your Holiness with reference to the introduction of the liturgical reforms : ‘ a new spiritual pedagogy ’. The faithful are called upon to become ‘ living and active members of the Mystical Body, instead of unconscious, inert, passive members ’. ‘ The new Liturgical Constitution, ’ you say, ‘ opens up extraordinary religious and spiritual horizons ; a doctrinal depth and authenticity, a rational Christian logic, a purity and richness of the ritual and artistic elements, which conform to the needs of modern man. ’ This new wonder you compare and contrast with ‘ the mentality of established habits ’, according to which ‘ the ceremonies are often nothing but the performance of external actions, and religious practice demands nothing more than a passive and inattentive assistance. ’ (January 13, 1965)
“ On listening to you, Most Holy Father, it would seem that we are witnessing the appearance of light out of the shadows of the darkness of the pre-Pauline Church ! And for once, the self-satisfaction of the innovators is accompanied by open derision of their predecessors.
“ Then we have your Allocution of July 12, 1967 : ‘ The Council has presented the Church with a great and difficult task – to re-establish the bridge between herself and the men of today… We are thus assuming that for the time being such a bridge does not exist or else that it is not in a satisfactory state, even if not completely destroyed. If we think of it, this implies a terrible and vast drama, on a historical, social, and spiritual scale. It means that, in the present state of things, the Church no longer knows how to present Christ to the world effectively and adequately. ’ ”
I can hardly believe that my quotation of your words was correct, that you could have used such terms. So I look up the reference again : yes, you did say it. And so I will continue to quote from the Letter I wrote to you then :
“ If we think of it, this implies a terrible and vast drama, on a historical, social, and spiritual scale : in other words, it means that the pre-Pauline Church had failed her divine mission, on a historical, spiritual, and social scale !
“ If this ‘ Great upheaval ’ of the Conciliar Reformation was ‘ necessary, opportune and providential, an innovation which – We hope – is also a consolation ’ (your Discourse of March 1, 1965), this means that the Church’s tradition which it is destroying from top to bottom, had lost its ‘ authenticity, depth, logic, purity, riches, efficacy, modernity ’ (your Discourse of January 13, 1965). The more the innovators exalt themselves, the more they correspondingly decry the Church of the past… Our generation accuses the Church of past centuries of sin, both in her teaching and her institutions, but even more in the very loyalty she has always shown in upholding all her traditions, in the face of all the Reformers and rebels. ” (The Abbé de Nantes’ Letter to the Holy Father. French CRC Nos. 1 and 2)
Let us leave it at that ! I will only say that it is never the faults of the men of the Church, their slowness or laziness, their indifference, which you blame – for this has indeed always existed, and can and should be perpetually reformed. You blame the entire Tradition of the Church, in liturgical, canonical, and pastoral matters, and are ready to throw it all upon the rubbish heap, promising us instead a whole series of never-ending, breathtaking novelties.
At times of particular difficulty – when the New Reformation showed too clearly its Protestant or humanistic countenance, when you were in the act of demolishing some of the things held sacred and unassailable by everybody (and I must admit, Most Holy Father, that I myself did not fear for the Mass, holding it to be so stable and firmly established, so hallowed, that I believed it impossible that anyone could lay hands on it without the whole Church rising up in its defence) – at times of such difficulty, you have taken care to conceal your “ ecumenical ” intentions and have falsely appealed to the Council and to an obedience which we owe to it. As though you, the Pope, felt yourself bound by the Council. And especially when the Council in fact neither wanted nor believed possible what it had been tricked by you into endorsing Thus, speaking about the New Mass :
“ The change has something astonishing about it, something extraordinary. This is because the Mass is regarded as the traditional worship and the authenticity of our faith. And so we ask : how could such a change be made ?
“ The answer is : it is due to the will expressed by the Ecumenical Council held not long ago (and here you quote a text couched in such vague terms that the Fathers could not possibly have anticipated what abusive use you would make of it). The reform which is about to be brought into being is therefore (therefore !) a response to an authoritative mandate from the Church. It is an act of obedience… to which we must all give prompt assent… ” (Allocution given on Wednesday, November 19, 1969)
A week later, in order to silence those who continued in their stubborn opposition, you went on : “ Let us take a look at the motives for the introduction of such significant changes. The first is obedience to the Council. That obedience now implies obedience to the Bishops, who interpret the Council’s prescriptions and put them into practice. ” (Allocution given on Wednesday, November 26, 1969)
Let us pay particular attention to the terms in which you continue : “ The first reason is not simply canonical – relating to an external precept. It is connected with the charism of the liturgical act. In other words, it is linked with the power and efficacy of the Church’s prayer, the most authoritative utterance of which comes from the Bishops. This is also true of priests who help the Bishop in his ministry, and, like him, act ‘ in persona Christi ’ (cf. St. Ignatius, Ad Eph. 4). It is Christ’s will, it is the breath of the Holy Spirit, which calls the Church to make this change. A prophetic moment is occurring in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church. This moment is shaking the Church, arousing it, obliging it to renew the mysterious art of its prayer. ” (Allocution given on Wednesday, November 26, 1969)
No ! A thousand times No ! On hearing your involved reasoning, the more credulous part of your audience would believe that the Church really had been asleep with the Old Mass, and that it was Christ in Person who had come to rouse His people and force them to change, through the means of the New Mass. But the theologian can see through the deliberate confusion which you introduce into your argument to give force to the blow which you strike against the Mass. For it is when we priests utter the sacred Words of Consecration that we are acting in the name of Christ, and that is why our words are infallibly efficacious to produce the Eucharistic miracle. But you would extend this infallibility to the entire “ liturgical action ” and hence, included under this title, to the liturgical changes affecting the rite of the Mass. No ! The Pope, the Bishop, the priest, is “ another Christ ” when he celebrates the Sacred Mysteries, but most certainly not when he is engaged in overthrowing them ! This you must take back, Most Holy Father, unless you really wish to crown falsehood king in the Church !
This schism, this terrible break with all our liturgical tradition, has been perpetrated by you, over and above anybody else, and, in the slurs you have cast on the work of centuries, in your demand to accept in the name of obedience a set of changed rites which are calculated to modify the Faith also, you have taken risks with the very validity of the Sacraments. This is an act of schism, carried with the aid of deception !
THE AUTODEMOLITION OF THE CHURCH
I could not even attempt to list all the cases of destruction combined with the installation of novelties which have taken place under your Pontificate. There are far too many, in every sphere. We find there are ten different rulings relating to one and the same decision. Sometimes the destruction has been carried out in stages. The changes are never definitive in the first place : often they are introduced on an experimental basis, or with reference to special cases. But they are always in the same direction, and nothing is safe from the vandals. They are always a step ahead of the regulations, but these always catch up with them, and then they can move on to the next stage. As Cardinal Gut admitted : “ Many priests have been doing just what they please. They have taken the initiative without authorisation and often enough it has been impossible to put a stop to it. It has gone too far for that. In his great wisdom and kindness of heart, therefore, the Holy Father has given way, in many cases against his will. ” (In an interview given on April 20, 1969)
Is it a sign of wisdom and kindness to allow a madman to destroy his heritage ?
How are we expected to know what was in accordance with your wishes and in which cases you merely yielded, what is allowed and what is forbidden, what is from God and what is from the Devil ? In every sphere, the general trend is towards the destruction of all that is hallowed by the centuries, to be replaced by a series of disorganised and unstable, purely human inventions which have not even been carefully thought out and do not have the makings of anything solid or universal.
The cassock began to be thrown aside already on the eve of the Council, but only under certain rigidly defined conditions. Today it is hardly seen anywhere, and our Bishops go about in collar and tie. Religious of both sexes follow the same trend, and are regarded as the more “ apostolic ” the more closely they follow the latest fashions. A mere detail, you might say ? I consider this example to be a sign of capital importance. “ Secularisation ”, “ laicisation ”, “ de-clergification ”, of the habit is either a sign of, or else it brings about, a parallel change in the soul. Today we see how the priest’s vestments are discarded one by one while the Mass is being changed into a fraternal repast. The one follows logically on the other.
You have suppressed the use of Latin, and consequently of Gregorian chant. This you did in direct opposition to a formal Encyclical of your immediate Predecessor, John XXIII, and in opposition even to the Council itself, as we have heard repeated over and over again. It is always easier to destroy than to rebuild, and most people are ready to follow what is easy, the more so when they are told to take this course by authority itself. It only needed one of your Wednesday Allocutions – the one of November 26, 1969 :
“ The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power, and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries ; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance…. We have reason, indeed, for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels ? We are giving up something of priceless worth. ”
So, why this senseless, disastrous and truly criminal “ sacrifice ” ?
And the reply you give is, to us your own words, “ apparently very human and prosaic ”, but in your eyes it is nevertheless “ sound and apostolic ” : “ Understanding of prayer is worth more than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed ” ! And so you have broken with the tradition of the centuries by changing the language. From being mysterious and sacral, it has become, as you wished it to be, “ intelligible and profane ”. Supporting yourself, as you so often do, with a quotation from St. Paul taken out of its context, you take a stand which is squarely opposed to that upheld by the Church throughout the ages, and you thus put her in the wrong and condemn her unchangeable law. Is that not schism ?
Are we still concerning ourselves with mere details ? I hold, together with the entire, unanimous Catholic Magisterium and against your solitary opposition, that to abandon the language implies or brings in its wake a disdain of the worship of God, allowing mere human chatter to take its place. That this is what has happened in our modern liturgical assemblies is, alas, only too evident.
The ritual of the Sacraments is being changed, bit by bit. The Exorcisms have been suppressed in Infant Baptism, because it is no longer “ done ” to believe in the presence of the Demon in an innocent child. I am deeply shocked at the changes made in the Sacrament of Confirmation, but do not feel competent to pass judgement on these. The new directives concerning Collective Absolution and the permissions granted, especially by the Canadian Episcopate, seem to me to imply that the essential conditions of the Sacrament would not normally be fulfilled, thus rendering such “ confessions ” invalid. The destruction of this Sacrament is an essential step in the Protestantisation of the Church. (“ New Norms ” published on June 16, 1972) This is evidently well under way !
Then we have the attempts being made “ from the base ” to modify the absolute character of the Sacrament of marriage. Here Rome has not (as yet) given way, but it is tolerating annulments decreed by diocesan authorities, motu proprio. Will Cardinal Staffa be allowed to have the last word on the subject, we wonder ?
The whole hierarchy of Holy Orders has been muddled up as a result of your Decrees. The fact that the Order of Exorcists has been suppressed does not mean that the Devil, or those possessed by him, no longer exist ; but merely that efforts are no doubt being made towards dialogue and reconciliation with these old enemies who as a result of misunderstandings still remain at a distance from us ! It seems that you regretted, in a moment of depression, what you had done in this sphere. But we are to have, instead, special “ ministries ” created for laymen – and women. This very morning we hear of a decision by Rome authorising them to distribute Holy Communion. Abolish all the differences, all the hierarchical grades, all the ancient dividing lines intended to remind men (and women) that there is no priesthood except the sacramental… and you will end up by having no priests !
I will make only passing mention of Extreme Unction which has become a plea for, a help towards, the preservation of the all-important earthly life and health, because modern man does not want to die, and cannot bear hearing about the Judgement of God or Life everlasting, even when the aim is to prepare him sacramentally for it
And finally, you laid hands upon the MASS. There was not one change, but a hundred. However, on looking back over the history of this “ reform ” of the Mass, we can distinguish three main phases.
First there is the desacralisation of Holy Communion by various means. It is received standing, later in the hand, then distributed by lay people, finally by girls, or even on occasions – as for instance at your own celebration in Geneva – passed in a vulgar manner from hand to irreverent, dirty hand in the crowd. (A photograph of this – afterwards widely reproduced – appeared in Spectacle du Monde, July 1969) Then we have celebrations round a dining table, or in picnic fashion. Catholics must have a very firm faith indeed in the Eucharist if it is to withstand such vulgarisation.
Then your “ reform ” attacked the Propitiatory Sacrifice itself. Herein lies the schismatic element of your New Ordo, exemplified in its ARTICLE 7, which you neither regretted, nor rescinded : “ The Lord’s Supper or Mass is the sacred synaxis or assembly of people united under the presidency of the priest, in order to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. That is why there applies in a particular manner to such a local assembly of Holy Church the promise of Christ : where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Mt 18.20). ” This is your ORDO MISSAE. You did not write the definition yourself : you are not so heretical as all that. But you accepted it and when you were obliged to rectify it, you did so without admitting that it had included an expression of that error with which indeed this whole artificial liturgy is tainted.
Much has been written about the consequences of this : how priests have, as a result of the new thinking reflected in this liturgy, lost their Catholic belief in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. My own enquiries show that there are very great numbers indeed of priests who ascribe to the “ Eucharistic Celebration ” no significance other than that of a memorial of the Last Supper, that is to say, of the fraternal repast which Jesus took with His Apostles on the evening of Maundy Thursday. Indeed the words which you yourself used, at that critical moment when your Reform had to be pushed through quickly at whatever cost, gave it a slant in this direction, though your terms were so carefully chosen that they remained within the bounds of orthodoxy :
“ The Mass is and remains the memorial of Christ’s Last Supper. ” (Allocution of November 19, 1969) This as it stands is definite heresy and it is this phrase which passed from your mouth into the hearts of thousands of priests, and corrupted their faith. But you had been careful to incorporate this definitive error into a theory – little known and rather unusual – emanating from Father de la Taille, according to which the Supper and the Cross form a single liturgical act, a single Sacrifice. Thus you safeguarded yourself and were able for all practical purposes to adopt a Protestant viewpoint without formally abandoning Catholic doctrine. It was very cleverly done ! But your priests can see through it, Most Holy Father, and they understand well enough that your intention in devising the New Ordo was to bring us closer to Protestantism, an example which they are not slow to follow.
The third phase of the famous “ changes ” affects the priesthood itself, downgrading it and changing its meaning. The so-called common priesthood takes over from the priest, so that the People of God seem to share also in his function of Consecrating, leaving him as the mere President, spokesman, delegate, leader of the team. The Catholic priesthood must rest on very solid foundations indeed to have resisted, to the extent it has, the numerous manoeuvres and concerted attacks which you have admittedly lamented, but without showing any genuine desire to assure the triumph of orthodoxy – a fact that has been clear to me since the 1971 Synod of Bishops.
THE SIGN OF SCHISM
I discussed this at length in connection with the Bishop of Nancy’s attempt to forbid the celebration of the Old Roman Rite. Whereas one might still tolerate the introduction of a new liturgy, to forbid the Old is evidence of an absolute desire for change, founded on hatred of Tradition. And because the new rite is ambiguous, Catholic and Calvinist at the same time, it is clear that to forbid the rite which is Catholic beyond any shadow of doubt is to break with Catholic Tradition for the sake of adopting one that is Protestant.
Well, I have just read a statement by Msgr. Adam, Bishop of Sion, forbidding the celebration of the Mass known as the Mass of St. Pius V, except by special indult, and basing this upon the express and personal wish of the Holy Father. (Documentation Catholique 73, 243) I think I can see this wish directed like a poisoned arrow against the Seminary at Econe, into which it would thus seek to introduce qualms and internal dissensions, leading to its ruin. Be that as it may, the fact remains that we have been told it is your wish to see the Mass of St. Pius V disappear entirely. As a prohibition it need, however, not worry us, for, being based on an abuse of power, it must surely be null and void.
But what is the meaning of all this ? Your Encyclical Mysterium Fidei and your Credo would, so one would think, have been enough to clear you of any suspicion of heresy in regard to the dogma concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. So why this passion for change, including change that opens the door of the Church to heresy ? The only possible explanation lies in your desire for union with the Protestant bodies. It is the idea of Ecumenism which underlies the replacement of the Mass of all ages, known as the Mass of St. Pius V, by the Mass of Paul VI. You had never told us this, but our eyes were opened when we saw on the cover page of Documentation Catholique for 3rd May 1970 the “ six non-Catholic observers who had taken part in the latest meeting of the Concilium for the Liturgy ”. Their faces are covered with broad grins ; they have every reason to be pleased ! And there you are next to them with a sad smile ; it makes me think that you had sold your right of First-born for a dish of lentils. You had broken with the Tradition of the Church in order to engage her along a new track of schism and heresy. What a pity !