He is risen !
N° 202 – October 2019
Director : Frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard
A bishop reacts
THE “POPE’S AFFAIRS ARE GOING BADLY.”
THE phrase is drawn from a letter of the future Cardinal Pie in which he expresses his concern about the first months of young Pius IX’s pontificate: “I think that he is placing utmost confidence in the influence of good to draw men together and that he will be disabused by cruel disappointments. In the meanwhile, I fear that he will try to reach an entente cordiale with his most irreconcilable enemies...” (November 1, 1846)
Brother Bruno gave this alarming title to a lecture that he presented to the participants at the annual Catholic Counter-Reformation Congress held at Maison Saint-Joseph on September 28-29. In it, he summarised the significant political and religious events that had occurred during the summer. Here we will translate the portion of the lecture that deals with continued reaction to the memorandum submitted by Brother Bruno to Bishop Patenôtre on June 13.
Brother Bruno began by revealing to us that a bishop, in a letter responding to a Phalangist who had sent him a copy of the memorandum, had raised an objection. Let us read it the bishop's letter:
Most Reverend Joseph de Metz-Noblat
Bishop of Langres
Chaumont, Monday, July 15, 2019
You sent me a copy of the letter exchanged between Archbishop Pontier and Brother Bruno de Jesus-Mary concerning the Catholic Counter-Reformation’s attachment to the Catholic Church, and I thank you. I do not know what motivated the considerable period of time (more than six years) between the letter addressed to Bishop Marc Stenger and the writ issued by the President of the French Conference of Bishops, and I understand the surprise of the Superior of the Order of the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart in receiving it.
I, in turn, would like to formulate a question from this reply: what does the writer of this memorandum mean by the word “legitimate”? Indeed, after having assured that Father Georges de Nantes and we who follow in his footsteps recognise the Second Vatican Council as a true and legitimate Oecumenical Council of the Holy Roman Church (p. 6), Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary contests it having any authority whatever, on the pretext that the teachings it contains are not marked with the seal of infallibility: We infer from this that since the sixteen texts promulgated during the second Vatican Council, are all fallible, all controvertible (p. 15). Legitimate means that which is in conformity with positive law or in conformity with equity, which is based on natural law, morality, divine law. If the Council is legitimate, then why would the documents it has produced not be also? Why would the popes and bishops who implement it be tainted with illegitimacy or even heresy? The dogma of pontifical infallibility was solemnly proclaimed at the First Vatican Council, but was formally used only for the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in 1950, a dogma to which the Church had adhered long ago.
As a counterpoint to this position, the author also recalls that, in a notification made in 1969 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Father de Nantes was defamed, but not condemned. This implicitly and necessarily acknowledges the fact that the author of the writings [...] holds the truth (p. 28). So, a solemn condemnation would be required for the Catholic Counter-Reformation to be reduced to falling into schism? What a curious vision of the Church, and therefore what a curious understanding of Our Lord: “No one has condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more,” He said to the adulteress (Jn 8:11).”
I wish you a wonderful celebration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
+ J. de Metz-Noblat
Copy: Most Reverend Marc Stenger and Yves Patenôtre.
Here is Brother Bruno’s reply, addressed to Bishop Patenôtre, the intermediary appointed by Archbishop Pontier, ex-president of the French Conference of Bishops.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph!
Most Reverend Yves Patnôtre
3 rue du Cloître Saint-Étienne
Saint-Parres-lès-Vaudes, September 13, 2019
Fifth apparition of Our Lady of Fatima
Last June 13, I submitted a memorandum to you in response to Archbishop Pontier’s letter. On the same day, I sent it to Cardinal Ladaria, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During an interview that you kindly granted me at the Bishop’s Palace in Troyes on July 2, I confirmed to you that this document, the result of an intense joint effort on the part of the members of our Community, would preclude personal responses from the brothers and sisters. At my request the Superiors of the Houses of our Order, for their part, have given a copy of this memorandum personally to the Bishops on whom they depend, namely Most Reverend Jean-Louis Balsa, Bishop of Viviers, Most Reverend Jacques Habert, Bishop of Séez and Most Reverend Pascal Wintzer, Archbishop of Poitiers.
I have had no further news concerning this matter and not knowing within what time frame I will receive some, I would like to send a reply through you to Most Reverend de Metz-Noblat, Bishop of Langres. In fact, your confrere had been offered a copy of my memorandum by one of the most devoted members of his diocese who, moreover, is a loyal friend of our Community. He took the trouble to read it and to formulate two minor objections, which is not without merit on his part.
1. Bishop de Metz-Noblat wonders, first of all, how we can challenge the very authority of the Acts of the Second Vatican Council and at the same time recognise that same Council as true and legitimate. According to him, if “the Council is legitimate, why would the documents it has produced not be also?” He adds: “Why would the popes and bishops who implement it be tainted in turn with illegitimacy or even heresy?”
We did indeed write on page 5 of our memorandum: “Despite flagrant irregularities that seem to have marred the voting and promulgation procedures of the various texts, Father Georges de Nantes and we who follow in his footsteps recognise the Second Vatican Council as a true and legitimate Oecumenical Council of the Holy Roman Church.” Legitimate? In what sense? Bishop de Metz-Noblat wonders. The answer to his question is further on in our memorandum. “It bears all the canonical hallmarks of such, perhaps more so than any other Council since the first one, that of Jerusalem. The Pope played a considerable role at this Council and conferred his full authority on it. Never had so many bishops been gathered, and from almost all over the world. It assembled and took place with no interference from secular powers. No one contested it ; it seems to have been recognised by everyone. We therefore recognise the full canonical legitimacy of the Second Vatican Council, the 21st Oecumenical Council, the greatest of all times.”
It is therefore from the point of view of canonical regularity and from this point of view alone that we recognise the legitimacy of the Second Vatican Council, despite certain reservations. Yet this canonical legitimacy, which is certainly necessary, is not sufficient to confer ipso facto full and perfect authority on the Acts of the Second Vatican Council. Their content, in dogmatic terms, is required to be in conformity with the doctrine of the Catholic faith. It is certain that the Council Fathers benefitted by right from all the particular enlightenment and assistance that the Holy Spirit unfailingly pours out on the Councils held in the required canonical conditions. Yet did these same Fathers of Vatican II effectively use and take advantage of them? Contrary to what Bishop de Metz-Noblat thinks and writes, this is neither automatic nor constraining. It is not a certainty. On the contrary, it seems to us that they took little account of it. They contented themselves with covering with this lofty guarantee, on every occasion, speeches, daring new ideas, finally texts inspired by a completely different Spirit and votes inspired by a completely different Force than that of God. The Holy Spirit did not fail the Council. Was it not rather the conciliar Church that failed the Holy Spirit?
It does not lie within our purview to resolve definitively this question, but we are justified in asking the Magisterium of the Church, through its Supreme Pontiff, for an infallible and definitive resolution.
2. Bishop de Metz-Noblat also writes: “[...], the author also points out that, in a notification made in 1969 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ‘Father de Nantes was defamed, but not condemned. This implicitly and necessarily acknowledges the fact that the author of the writings [...] holds the truth’. So, a solemn condemnation would be required for the Catholic Counter-Reformation to be reduced to falling into schism? What a curious vision of the Church, and therefore what a curious understanding of Our Lord: ‘No one has condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more,’ He said to the adulteress (Jn 8:11).”
A solemn condemnation of the Catholic Counter-Reformation would reduce it to falling into schism? Oh, really? What does the Bishop of Langres know? In the meantime, he admits that the Catholic Counter-Reformation today, like our Father yesterday, is not condemned. For the benefit of an incredible measure of clemency and mercy? What a fine evangelical reason put forward by Bishop de Metz-Noblat, very unwisely, for it is a pure facade and radically unacceptable.
For there to be forgiveness, there has to be a fault, an error for which the alleged offender can be held accountable. Despite a careful study of all his written work and his hearing that lasted several sessions, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was unable in 1968, nor since then, to establish any doctrinal error against Father de Nantes. In particular, none were found in his serious accusations of heresy against the Acts of the Council and the subsequent teachings of Pope Paul VI first, and then those of Pope John Paul II.
It is indeed because there was nothing that Father de Nantes could be reproached with that he has never been condemned. It is for this very same reason that Bishop de Metz-Noblat evaded, as he did in his letter of July 15, any discussion on the substance of our memorandum, which he had nevertheless carefully read. It is probably also for the same reason that Bishop Marc Stenger considered it more prudent not to reply to the letter that I wrote to him on September 29, 2012.
This is what I thought it would be useful to write to you following the memorandum submitted on June 13, which I must consider as yet unanswered.
Please accept, Your Excellency, my respectful and devoted wishes,
Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary,
Superior General of the Order of the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
Our friends listened with great attention to the account of this new round won by our Father and the Catholic Counter-Reformation over the conciliar religion. Indeed, our friends, whose unanimity was a great encouragement to Brother Bruno, had come mainly to learn news about the dossier that was submitted to our Bishops this summer.
How did this latest controversy develop? To make us understand the stakes, Brother Bruno recalled the criticisms of which the Pope is the target on the part of the American ultraconservative circles. Pope Francis found the decisive argument to prove them wrong: “I am copying John Paul II!” Now, John Paul II is an absolute reference for the conservative currents!
Precisely! Our Father, Georges de Nantes and we who follow in his footsteps, are the only ones who ask the Pope the real question: by appealing to his supreme Magisterium, which cannot fail, against the gnosis of John Paul II and the “cult of man” proclaimed by his predecessor and “spiritual father,” Paul VI.
On the contrary, we, Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart, proclaim our faith in the Son of God Who became man for our salvation and we know none other. This profession of Catholic faith was the subject of Brother Bruno’s letter to Bishop Stenger dated September 29, 2012.
Brother Bruno then summarised our relations with the hierarchy of the Church during these past seven years:
“Bishop Stenger brought my letter to Rome during his ad limina visit in 2013, in the very beginning of Pope Francis’ promising pontificate. He told him about us. The Pope said to him: It is up to the Bishops of France to settle this matter.
“When Bishop Stenger happened to meet Brother François in a train, he told him that he had gone to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and that he had met an assessor... And then... and then...?
“Since then, Bishop Stenger once confided to a nun, he has been looking for ‘a good theologian’ to help him deal with this matter.
“In the summer of 2013, for our foundation in Magé, I asked to meet Most Reverend Pascal Wintzer, Archbishop of Poitiers. He replied that he did not wish to receive me.
“Nevertheless the brothers were welcomed by the priest of Thouars, who even came to celebrate Mass in the brothers’ chapel in the spring of 2014.
“Summer 2016: I met Bishop Habert, in his palace in Séez, with the brothers of our Community in Frébourg. We had a long conversation on substantive issues – religious freedom, etc. – Bishop Habert wrote to Bishop Stenger, who replied that he was dealing with the matter, and Bishop Habert sent me this reply without any further follow-up to our meeting.
“Since then there has been no news.
“Finally... on the feast of Saint George, April 23, 2019, I received a letter from Archbishop Pontier, President of the French Conference of Bishops, who claimed that he was mandated by the Roman Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Dated April 15, this letter quotes a passage from my letter of 2012 to Bishop Stenger in which I posed first and foremost the doctrinal question: ‘If we are determined never to separate from the Church, neither can we accept in conscience that which we regard as heretical. Any attempt at conciliation must therefore be preceded by a doctrinal judgement. Indeed, if Father de Nantes’ theological demonstrations led to our reasoned and irreducible adherence, we do not claim to be infallible any more than he did. This is the reason why our Catholic Faith and our rights as baptised persons compel us to demand a judgement on the precise points that we contest in the conciliar innovations.’
“Archbishop Pontier wrote in reply: ‘The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has informed me that the only precondition to be taken into consideration for this reconciliation is your adherence to the Church and to her Magisterium, in particular to the Second Vatican Council, as well as the ecclesiality of the functioning of your movement.’
“What motivated this sudden awakening of the hierarchy after six years of silence?
“Without a doubt, an inspiration of the Holy Spirit!
“At the very time when the Church is overwhelmed by scandals that are the consequences – foreseen by Father de Nantes – of the heresy, schism and scandal caused by the Second Vatican Council, what a ‘divine surprise’ it is!
“We, who are nothing, suddenly find ourselves at the forefront of the battle! Perhaps we will receive blows, perhaps not. I do not know, but as Brother Peter wrote to me: ‘The time has come to give witness.’ This is our vocation. That is our raison d’être!
“We are asking for a judgement concerning the Catholic Faith. Thus it can only be rendered by Rome. As long as the Pope has not answered us in the name of his infallible Magisterium, it is futile to threaten us with ‘contempt’ because we have not answered ‘individually,’ but are united as one in our profession of Catholic faith, unchanged, unchangeable, by reason of its divine perfection.
“This is why I wrote to His Eminence Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to send him our answer to his questionnaire.
“We have not received any acknowledgement of receipt from the said Congregation. Already in the previous century, our Father realised that communication with Rome had been cut off: ‘Hello! Rome.’
“Rome no longer answers.
“How can we be surprised? This is the treatment that our Father underwent, as well as Sister Lucy, the messenger of Our Lady of Fatima.”
Brother Bruno often repeats to us that this silence from Rome, unable to condemn our defence of the truth, is proof of the infallibility of the Church!
But the result of this forfeiture is the ruin of the Church, according to the prophecy of the Secret of Fatima.
The most recent illustration of this ruin is the inacceptable ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ of the Synode for the Pan-Amazon. This region is presented as “a particular source of God’s revelation” for the rebuilding of the Church; a “theological place,” an “epiphanic place” from which the Church must receive “faith in the God Father-Mother Creator,” and be enrichened by both “relationships with ancestors,” and “communion and harmony with the earth” (no. 121). The “connectivity with the various spiritual forces” (no. 13) must not exclude sorcery. Thus, “all religions are willed by God,” according to the Abu Dhabi declaration signed by Pope Francis.
Against such insanity, Cardinal Müller, who is generally thought of as a reactionary, can only invoke the conciliar constitution Dei Verbum, according to which “we now await no further new public revelation” (no. 4.) The cure is worse than the disease, because this statement from the Council is aimed at Fatima. A revelation attested by a miracle announced three months in advance, on July 13, 1917, and accomplished on October 13: the fall of the sun before seventy thousand witnesses. That is a “public revelation,” is it not?
How can a blind man like Cardinal Müller lead another blind man like Pope Francis? Oh, really! “The Pope’s affairs are going badly.”
War is the punishment for this disorientation: from Colombia where farc (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) take up arms again, to Mozambique where the Pope has just preached his pacifism, but where peace remains so fragile.