LIBER ACCUSATIONIS IN PAULUM SEXTUM
3. Schism shown in contempt of God
THE reason, Most Holy Father, why you meet with so little opposition – for our own is infinitesimal – is that people fail to understand you. Cardinals and Bishops, priests and faithful, however progressive they may be, have too preconceived an idea of the Pope to be able to listen to you with an open mind, to study you and see you as you would wish to be seen. They have an ingrained conviction that the Pope, the “ servant of the servants of God ”, is concerned solely with safeguarding the unity of the Catholic Faith, the validity of the Sacraments, the Church’s order and well-being, and her image. That is good enough for them. The Pope fears God, loves Our Lord Jesus Christ, listens to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, isn’t that enough ? How on earth could they understand what you are trying to do ? And so you can follow your Great Design without disturbance or interference.
BUT YOUR GREAT DESIGN COMES INTO CONFLICT WITH GOD’S DESIGN
You are the first Pope to decide not to let himself be restricted by the charge he has as Head of the Church, but to aim rather at the service, on a much vaster scale, of the whole of mankind. You believe that you are called by Providence, at this solemn moment of history, to establish peace on earth through the reconciliation of the diverse faiths in one great Union of all Religions. In your dream, you become the one who brings about the federation of all peoples – for the greater glory of Jesus Christ, of course. Your great ambition is to serve man.
It is certainly not your explicit intention to sacrifice the Church, her faithful, her Tradition and her institutions, in order to make your Great Design come true. You imagine rather, as part of your dream, that the Church will, in accordance with her greater vitality, assume the leadership of this union of religions… So it is not your direct intention to lead her to her ruin ; if that were to happen it would only be an indirect, lamented consequence.
But even though you may be unaware of it, your design involves such a degree of indifference to God’s own Church that it must necessarily entail also a total indifference towards Him who is her Founder and Sanctifier, her Master and Spouse. It is on this point, as I am about to show, that your schism has reached its culmination, that of separation from God.
The various hypotheses put forward by theologians concerning the case of the “ schismatic Pope ” are outdated and inapplicable so far as you are concerned. They envisaged a Pope who neglected his ecclesiastical affairs in order to occupy himself entirely with temporal matters, in the manner of Julius II, who engaged in worldly politics and waging wars, to such an extent that he could be said not to be governing the Church any more. That would be schism because the “ unity of direction ” was broken. With the Chief Shepherd occupied elsewhere, showing no concern for his flock, the sheep would be scattered. Your case is quite different. You have often stated, admittedly, that you have no material interests or temporal ambitions to pursue, and you like reminding people that your being a Head of State is a mere formality.
And indeed, we are dealing here with something far more serious. For this Great Design of yours, which I have named the MASDU – the formation of a vast Movement for the Spiritual Animation of World Democracy, does represent for you a political interest, Utopian though it be, and a temporal ambition which, being on a planetary scale, is disproportionately greater than the mere local ambitions considered in the hypotheses. But the new, unheard-of element in all this is that your global project includes the Church as one of its constituent elements. Merely to show a lack of interest in the Church would be schism on a relatively minor scale. You seek rather to subject the Church to the World, whose Prince of Peace it is your ambition to become. In the words of St. Paul, “ you discern not the Body of the Lord. ”
For the major implication of your Great Design, which makes it schismatic to the highest degree, is that you no longer distinguish the Church from that which is not the Church, the Priesthood from that which is only its imitation, and the Mass from what is only a parody of it. In this you show a disdain of God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
For this absence of religious discernment falls under three headings.
1. YOU DISCERN NOT THE CHURCH FOUNDED BY GOD
If there is One Church, it means there are not two. The concept of the One Holy Catholic Church excludes by its very nature the existence of any other Church. That is an article of our God-given Faith, and that is why we are inseparably bound to this One Church which is the great and universal “ Design of God in this world and in time ”, the only human organisation which, in a mysterious but visible manner, is the Mystical Body of Christ. The rest is schism or heresy, vain human inventions which do not find favour with God.
But in your Great Design, aspiring to be so much vaster than God’s Design, though it is only a human project, you make no essential, absolute distinction between this One Church and the rest, the other religious bodies, self-styled “ Churches ”. This title which your Predecessors had always jealously reserved for the One True Spouse of Christ, you have been the first to apply indiscriminately to the various schismatic or heretical religious bodies : “ O Churches, who are so far away and yet so close to Us ! O Churches, the object of Our heartfelt desire ! O Churches of Our incessant longing ! O Churches of Our tears ”, etc… (Opening Discourse of the Third Session of the Council, September 14, 1964)
And to increase even more this impression of equivalence between the true and the false, you have repeatedly proclaimed, in the interests of reconciliation and the restoration of a (lost !) unity, requests for pardon of the offences committed against each other. By thus reducing it to a merely human level, you simply cease to take account of the life of grace and holiness which belongs to the true Church alone, and place this on a level with various undifferentiated sociological groupings.
Your constant propaganda for ecumenism, even if it avoids any expressions which are clearly contrary to the Catholic Faith, in order to escape criticism, must necessarily lead to the various other Christian communities coming to be looked upon as true communities of salvation. Are you not showing clear contempt for the Will of God ?
Among the hundred and one different acts which manifest your indifference towards the True Religion, the most significant was certainly your visit to the World Council of Churches, on June 10, 1969. How could you, Most Holy Father, as the guest of those 264 religious bodies who all consider themselves and each other as equals, do other than adopt the outlook and ideas, the ambient expressions, of the rest, even to the extent of making yourself a party to their schism, by speaking of “ the Christian brotherhood between the member Churches of the WCC and the Catholic Church ” ? What “ brotherhood ” can there be between the Church and dissident bodies ? In answer to the question – which you raised yourself – whether “ the Catholic Church should become a member of the Ecumenical Council ”, you came out, not with an absolute and unconditional No, but with an indecisive “ Not yet ” that seemed intended to prepare us for just that possibility : “ In all brotherly frankness, we do not consider the question of the Catholic Church’s participation in the Ecumenical Council to have advanced to the stage where one could give an affirmative answer. The question must as yet remain in the realm of hypothesis… certain grave implications… the way is long and difficult. ”
There we have the trial balloon sent up : in the long term, therefore, the answer is YES ! And here is the proof :
“ The spirit of a sound ecumenism…which inspires all of us… requires, as a basic condition of all fruitful contact between different denominations, that each should loyally profess his own faith. It asks us to recognise, with no less loyalty, the positive, Christian, evangelical values which are to be found in the other denominations. It remains open to every possibility of co-operation… for example in the sphere of charity and in the search for peace between the peoples… This is the spirit which inspires Us as we come to meet you. ”
To the question whether it is possible to be saved in and through the means of one or other of these 264 member “ Churches ” of the WCC, you would certainly reply in the affirmative. Whereas the Catholic Church replies in the negative. And it shows how widespread your schismatic thinking has become, as a result of your own efforts in this direction, that most of those who will be reading these lines would hold you to be right, and me, wrong. You have taught Catholics to see no difference between the Mystical Body of Christ and the work of Satan.
Nor do you stop short at “ Christians ”. The picture is always the same : you are glad to receive Jews, Moslems, Bonzes, or to go and visit them ; in the course of your apostolic journeys you always desire to meet delegations representing all the various religions. Moreover, be it to maintain a worldly politeness, or a spirit of friendly, purely human dialogue, or out of a natural sympathy, you say things which, taken literally, are calculated praises of error and direct insults to the Truth, and therefore to God Himself !
How much we had to suffer on the occasion of your visit to Uganda does not bear thinking about ! You went there to venerate the CATHOLIC MARTYRS and you finished by hopelessly mixing them up with Moslems and Protestants of whom we have no right to claim that they died for love of God or in the love of God. Worst of all, you saw all of them as martyrs for freedom of conscience. Like the heretics in the Middle Ages ?
“ Your martyrs, all the Christians gave their lives for their faith, in other words, for religion and freedom of conscience… ” (Discourse given on August 6, 1969)
“ Catholics as well as faithful of other denominations shed their blood upon this soil, in the name of God, with such happy results that today the national community of Uganda includes several different faiths, each of which respects and esteems the others. ” (Reported in Figaro, August 7, 1969) I am not aware that before you any of the Popes had ever declined the faith in the plural ! But here we have “ faiths ” rendering mutual homage to one another !
To ascribe to the “ martyrs ” – Moslem, Protestant, as well as Catholic, an “ ecumenical spirit ” is a violent anachronism, to say the very least. You did it as part of an appeal to the whole Black world to look forward to a future in which they should have forgotten their dogmatic quarrels… And you paid homage even to the Islamic religion : “ Addressing the representatives of the Moslem community, Paul VI expressed his greetings, through them, to the whole Moslem population of Africa, assuring them of ‘ his great respect for the faith which they profess and of his wishes that that which we all have in common may serve to bring Christians and Moslems closer together in a genuine brotherhood. ’ ” (Reports in various papers on August 4, 1969)
Then there was your visit to Bombay… On that occasion you were presented by the Hindus with a little idol and I was the only one to voice any protest ! Your trip to Asia some years later showed us many examples of your INDIFFERENCE, your deliberate lack of DISCERNMENT with regard to the various religions. Either you consider them to be all of divine origin, though perhaps to different degrees, or else they form for you the thousand facets of the “ Phenomenon of Man ”. God’s own Church is unique only in a subjective sense. The Osservatore Romano let a remark slip out when, on the occasion of your having given the standard of Lepanto back to the Turks, it was seeking to pacify the feeling that this act was likely to rouse : it assured us that, though you were offering dialogue to all who believe in God, you nevertheless remained “ convinced that there is only one true religion, that is to say, Christianity. ” If that is so, your conviction remains a theoretical one, which your words and actions seem to deny.
2. YOU DISCERN NOT THE CHRISTIAN PRIESTHOOD
If the distinction between the “ Churches ”, the various religions, is not an absolute one, between the divinely ordained on the one hand and the merely human, or even diabolical on the other, then there will be no absolute distinction between their priesthoods either ! For us there is only one Priesthood, that of our One High Priest Jesus Christ and, through a sharing in His priestly Unction, that of the Catholic Priesthood. Apart from this, there can be no true priests. The schismatics have a valid priesthood only because it is derived through the same Apostolic Succession.
And in a matter of such supreme importance, you obscure the distinction, treating Protestant “ pastors ” as though they were true Catholic priests. You presented a chalice to Pastor Schutz ; what did you intend him to use it for ? For the celebration of his “ Holy Supper ” which is but a phantom ? Or for the Mass which he has not the power to celebrate ? You received Dr. Ramsey as a priest, or rather as the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of England, successor of the glorious martyr Thomas Becket ! You presented him with a pastoral ring and we heard that you invited him to bless the crowd on the occasion of that strange gathering at St. Paul-outside-the-Walls. And everything seems prepared for the abrogation of the irreformable decisions of Leo XIII declaring Anglican Orders null and void.
And so, a mist begins to descend from above upon the priesthood, so that we are no longer clear about who is and who is not a priest. Our young folk are encouraged to visit Taizé where they take part in Protestant worship. So why should we not look upon Schutz, Thurian and those other gentlemen who are often received by the Pope, wearing their white albs, as genuine ministers of Christ ? While you are doing what you can to upgrade and rehabilitate them, you allow the Catholic priesthood to be devalued. The priest is coming to be looked upon as increasingly similar to laymen, with their so-called “ common priesthood ”, and his status as apostle of the Gospel is coming to overshadow that incomparable power which is his alone : that of celebrating the Sacred Mysteries.
At the Closing of the Synod of 1971, when the reaction which was taking place among the members of that Assembly might have saved the Catholic Priesthood, it was your own intervention which turned the scales, as though that were your intention. In your Discourse of 6th November, you spoke of “ the priestly mission, common to priests and bishops : this is to proclaim Christ to the men of our day ”. (According to the report given in La Croix). The full text, though more involved, still does not say any more than that : the only thing which you mention specifically as pertaining to the “ priestly ministry ” is “ the preaching of the Gospel ”. In that case all Christians are priests, and Protestant ministers just as much as we. For it is the task of every Christian to proclaim the Gospel.
I am not even astonished to hear that you let your theologians talk about the likelihood, in the near future, of “ mutual re-ordinations ” of priests and Protestant ministers, by reciprocal laying on of hands So the priest, who has been truly ordained (at least, I hope so !), is to undergo this comedy of having the Pastor lay his hands upon him, on the pretence of infusing the Holy Spirit ? A dry formality, for the sake of symmetry ! And the Pastor, who – and this I know for certain – has not been truly ordained, is to be ordained “ anew ” and receive a priesthood in which as a Protestant he does not believe ?
Those who can even dream of such things, and he, no less, who lets them proceed in such a perverse direction, “ discern not the Holy Spirit ” where He is present, and do not distinguish His presence in the Church’s Sacrament from the illusion of such a presence in heresy. This is the ultimate degree of contempt which you have reached in your deliberate indifference, for the sake of flattering men.
3. YOU DISCERN NOT THE BODY OF CHRIST
But let us come to the most serious matter of all, one that is sacrilegious beyond any shadow of doubt. On September 21, 1966, at Assisi, Miss Barbarina Olson, a Presbyterian, received Holy Communion at her Nuptial Mass, without abjuration or Confession, and through your authorisation. It was published in the papers. The Holy Office, desiring to shield you from blame – and acknowledging thereby that the act was blameworthy – told me in confidence that it was not Your Holiness, but another, who had given the authorisation. But that is absolutely useless, for the world believed and still believes that it had come from you, from the Pope. And ever since then, people believe that it is all right for Protestants to receive Holy Communion at Mass, provided this is specially authorised.
When it began to be widely practised in Holland, you did not apply any sanctions – but that was Holland, after all ! At a meeting of the WCC at Upsala, July 7-9, 1968, two Catholic observers took it upon themselves to partake of “ communion ” at a Protestant service, and hardly any criticism was levelled against them. Next, on September 6, 1968, we have Cardinal Samore – who was only following in your footsteps – authorising the Protestant “ observers ” at Medellin to receive Holy Communion at the Mass which closed the Congress. The “ observers ” concerned were Brother Giscard of Taizé, the Anglican Bishop Benson, Pastor Bahman – a Lutheran – and Pastors Kurtis and Sana, of the National Council of the Churches of Christ… And what was your reaction ? To deplore, among other “ recent events ”, certain “ acts of inter-communion contrary to the lines of a just ecumenism ”. I repeat : contrary to the lines of a just ecumenism – that is to say, as something inopportune, or strategically unsound, WHEN THE EVENTS IN QUESTION ARE OFFENCES AGAINST THE DIVINE LAW ! Moreover, some two months later, you appointed Cardinal Samore, who had been responsible for the “ offence ”, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments, thus showing that you did not take a very serious view of his inopportune act !
I wrote at the time : “ The offence itself would seem to increase the offender’s standing in the very sphere in which the act was committed. In other words, where all have agreed to fail even in their most sacred duties, they can all claim justification in their fellows’ support. ”
After that, things began to move quickly. Cardinal Bea gave a general authorisation of “ open Communions ” for certain cases (Documentation Catholique, 68, 1300), and when people had become used to the idea, his successor Cardinal Willebrands empowered bishops to authorise Protestants to receive Communion at a Catholic Mass. This was done by way of a highly official Decree which could not have been promulgated without your agreement. (Cases of Admission, July 7, 1972) Almost immediately, the Bishop of Strasbourg extends this authorisation – and why on earth shouldn’t he, if it is a good thing ? – and also allows the converse, the partaking of communion at the Protestant Supper by Catholics. We understand from the Strasbourg papers that you congratulated him on this.
I told them at the Holy Office, and I shall go on saying it whatever happens, that no-one in the world, Bishop or Cardinal, Angel or even the Pope himself, has any right whatever to give the Sacrament of the1iving to those who are spiritually dead, the Sacrament of the physical Body of Christ to those who do not form part of His visible Mystical Body. Yes, I know, a subjectivist like yourself would immediately ask by what right we can judge the Protestants and declare them to be “ dead ” ? To which I shall reply by reminding Your Holiness that every individual who is not a member of the Holy Catholic Church is formally regarded as not living, and we have no right to decide, because he is a nice person or we like the look of him, that he is “ saved ”, “ living ”, “ in a state of grace ”, as long as he remains “ OUTSIDE THE CHURCH ”. This is one of those fundamental truths which ten years of your schismatic rule has as good as destroyed in the Church.
I have every right to say that no authority on earth has the right to admit to our Eucharistic “ communion ” those who are not – not as yet – members of the Catholic “ communion ”. As the first Pope in history to have allowed and vulgarised this, are you not guilty of dissidence, of effecting a break with the “ unity of direction ”, in other words, of schism ?
Let me make one last and very serious point concerning your indifference to things divine. You must be fully aware that there are being “ celebrated ”, in your Church and consequent upon your Reform of the Mass, a good number of sacrilegious “ Eucharists ” which through defect of matter or form are invalid beyond any possible doubt. There was for instance the one at Montargis (on February 21, 1971) which Msgr. Riobé, Bishop of Orleans graced by his presence, thus giving it an appearance of respectability. But in the present dogmatic, liturgical and moral chaos which surrounds the practice of the Sacraments, there are many cases where the faithful no longer have any idea whether or not they are receiving the Sacraments, whether or not they are assisting at valid Masses or at invalid ghost performances or at Masses which are sacrilegious though valid. And they are very worried indeed.
Priests and theologians are divided into validists and invalidists. Rightly or wrongly, I have been firmly on the side of validity, placing my trust in the supreme part played by Christ and the Church. Others, more rigorist, favour invalidity and stress the need of an inward intention on the part of the minister of the Sacrament. The up-shot of this state of affairs is that, in many cases, some of those present believe that a Sacrifice is taking place and pay homage to the Body and Blood of Christ, while the others believe that what is going on is but a hollow imitation, and so they refuse to adore mere bread and wine. This is an appalling, terrible situation !
How are we to “ discern the Body of the Lord ” when the very validity is in doubt, when the intention of the minister is shrouded in mist ? I am convinced that the fault of the priest in such cases must be laid on the shoulders of the bishop, one of whose primary duties is to safeguard the validity of the Sacraments. And when all the bishops of the world persistently refuse to respond to the anguish of the faithful, then the responsibility for this collective offence of the entire Church rests on the Pope himself.
We are like children when their father brings home a woman and tells them to kiss her, leaving them in ignorance whether she is their mother or their father’s mistress ! When there is uncertainty, within the very Church of Christ, concerning the presence of God’s grace, the Body and Blood of Our Lord, or the Unction of the Holy Spirit – and the Pope shows no concern to put things right and restore the safety and certainty of the Sacraments – then, Most Holy Father, we can no longer be in any doubt that his indifference to God has reached a stage when he no longer cares about incurring His everlasting wrath.
Your Great Design separates you affectively from the faithful of the Church to the extent of their attachment to her truth, her charity, and her tradition. It has led you to abandon effectively all her rites, everything that is specifically Catholic. And finally, it causes you to consider the things pertaining to religion from a purely human angle, making no distinction between those which, forming part of the true Church, are divine and those which are merely human or even diabolical. How can you be so totally regardless of God ?
Were a Pope to refuse entirely to perform his duties as Bishop of Rome, as Head of the Church, as Vicar of Jesus Christ, in order to devote himself wholly to worldly politics then, according to the teaching of Suarez, he would have to be proclaimed to be in schism and, on this account, considered to be deposed. So what are we to think of a Pope who goes one step further, and actually devotes himself to the creation of a community of salvation other than the Church, of a Universal Religion, of a “ Movement for the Spiritual Animation of Modern Democracy ” ? There can be no doubt that we must in such a case too look upon him as schismatic, and do whatever lies within our power to rid the Church of him.
For he has already condemned himself who does not discern the Body of Christ from ordinary bread, or the Priesthood of Christ from that of the rest of men, or the Mystical Body of Christ – the Church – from a religion invented by men or even by the Devil himself.