41. Respect for the immemorial popular religion
The treasure of living traditions and the immediate rule of Christian tradition are found preserved, in an admirably implicit and confused way, in popular religion, which has formed gradually and never ceases to evolve in the community of the faithful under the twofold influence of the hierarchical mission and the example of the saints. Detested by the modernists, it is the primary victim of their “ reform ” !
1. The Phalangist cannot agree to seeing this popular religion despised or relegated to the level of magic, routine formalism, and superstition… as though the sacraments were inadequate to the task of making it perfect, profound, salutary and sanctifying, forbidding anyone from suspecting otherwise ! Are the abundant fruits of popular religion not known to all ? It is the daily life of the Church right down to our own days. Its detractors are in debt to it for what they themselves are.
None of us, therefore, can accept that people of the so-called conciliar Reform should be unconcerned about it, should seek to bring about its death, and should openly attack it under, the pretext of replacing it with something finer, more intellectual, and above all more in keeping with their own image, that of liberal individualists.
2. Consequently, the Phalangist takes part in every movement of traditionalist defence which demands from the hierarchical Church an effective protection of the faith and popular customs against the intrigues of subversive parties. The tribunal of the faith, the Index, the Holy Office, canonical visitations and sanctions, should all be put into operation in order to safeguard this popular religion. For if it should wither, it would entail the end of any vitality in the Church, the death of age-old religious values, lived by the people but not registered by the intellectuals… and which no register could ever bring to life again were they to disappear completely.
He will also request the Church’s pastors that everything be done for the fitting service of this popular Christian life and that external assistance be devised for its support and not for its subversion : religious orders, works, journals… For this popular religion, so stable and so profound that it appears to be inert, can in fact be improved, purified and enriched by humble, charitable and persevering efforts. Once more popular religion must be esteemed, cherished and practised ! This is the duty of those whom God has established as pastors, and not as reformers and demolishers of the Church.