SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
FORTY YEARS OF COUNTER-REFORMATION
FATHER de Nantes was the first person to be openly opposed to the Reform of Vatican II. This is his honour and his way of the cross for forty years now. If officially it was in October 1967 that the bulletin, then the league two years later, took on the title of Catholic Counter-Reformation, it was, as we have seen, during the very sessions of the Council, that he had exposed the fatal intention of « permanent reform », rejected heresy and denounced the false religion that it produced. Nevertheless, he remained a Son of the Church in his own right.
« In all truth and in all justice, he wrote in July 1970, we form part of the Church with a completely clear conscience, we who belong to the Counter-Reformation, and we can even show, day by day, that it is the Reformation of the Church which goes against the true interest of the Church! As for us, prisoners of Christ, but free of all human servitude, we remain within the Church oppressed, offended, slandered though we may be, but conscious that in the things that really matter, we are safe. We must pray God that He may cut short our trials while accepting them, patiently, in accordance with His Sacred Will. (CCR no 6, p. 2)
THE COUNCIL IS NOT INFALLIBLE
As soon as he understood that the progressivist and modernist minority would succeed in imposing its revolution on the Council, our Father carefully studied to what degree a priest or a member of the faithful, a member of the Taught Church, could in conscience refuse to adhere to the decrees that were going to be promulgated. His response is clearly expounded in his Letter to my Friends no 212 (September 15, 1965), on the eve of the fourth and last session. It is in three points that still apply today.
1. The Second Vatican Council, « legitimately constituted by the Sovereign Pontiff who is its Head and Superior, and by the bishops convened by him and under his authority as a sovereign college », had the possibility of delivering infallible teachings. Now, they did not want to, renouncing the exercise of its infallible power by positive act. On October 11, 1962, the Fathers learned from John XXIII himself that they were not to produce a dogmatic work, nor define divine truths nor denounce the errors of this time, and, above all, no one would be condemned.
As for Paul VI, he had the following declaration annexed to the text of the constitution “ Lumen Gentium”
« A question has arisen regarding the precise theological note which should be attached to the doctrine that is set forth in this Schema. The Theological Commission has given the following response “As is self-evident, the Council’s text must always be interpreted in accordance with the general rules that are known to all. “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.” » Now, no act of the Second Vatican Council was overtly declared to be infallible.
Father Congar himself, acknowledged this during a memorable confrontation with the theologian of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, on February 8, 1977, at Annecy (cf. CCR n° 84, pp. 1-6).
2. If the Council had only taught what has been believed « always, by everyone and everywhere » (canon of St. Vincent of Lérins), it would have benefited from what is called the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium, the mention “always” excludes all novelty from its field of application. Now, the Council introduced obvious novelties in the teaching of the Church, starting with religious freedom. In order for them to be accepted by the faithful as a whole, it is necessary for these novelties to be in perfect accordance with the traditional teaching of the Church. If serious objections arise against them, they must be examined, and the Supreme Magisterium must sovereignly settle the question, either by having recourse to its extraordinary infallibility, or by demonstrating that they have been accepted « always, by everyone and everywhere ». Fr. de Nantes relentlessly demanded this examination, in vain. The conciliar novelties, impious in his opinion, were arbitrarily imposed on the entire Church by a Sect that had taken power, and which only refuses to examine all complaints, smothering the light under profound darkness.
One day however, the sky cleared. This was in the time of the brief pontificate of John Paul I. « Now, by a simple word of honesty and humility John Paul I has opened the way to an outcome. His words alone are the undoing of heresy and the clearing of the conciliar impasse and by themselves they justify the all too brief reign of this Pontiff on the throne of Saint Peter in the unanimity of the Church recognising herself in him. Admitting his interior struggle at the time of the Council and the difficulty he had in rallying to the theses of the innovators, in particular to the theory of religious liberty, he had the honesty to say: “ For years we had taught that error has no rights. I studied the problem in depth and persuaded myself that we had been wrong.”
« In one go, the Pope’s honesty restored everyone’s right to be heard, even after Vatican II and without fear of a fraudulent excommunication, and he restored the present drama to its true proportions. It is this: some ended by allowing themselves to be convinced or else they managed to convince themselves that the Church had hitherto been wrong: others remained convinced, or in the end understood, that the innovators had been wrong and had misled us – the Council, that is, and not the Church of all time. To admit that it is possible to make an error, whether it be in one direction or the other, is to restore peace to the Church by relegating these difficult questions to the realm of free opinion whilst awaiting a dogmatic Vatican III or the Pope’s infallible definitions. (CCR no 134, October 1978, p. 5)
3. As for the prophetic power claimed by certain Council Fathers, and as for the charismatic super-infallibility with which they invest themselves still today, according to which the Spirit would have given the Council the mission to « make a new living synthesis of the ineffable Mystery of Christ, freed from the ancient dogmatic forms, with the aspirations of modern man », we object to this because of the strangeness of the “Spirit” which tries to be at the same time the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the world. It is illuminism, which was condemned by Vatican I: « The Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter, not by way of revelation so that they publish any new doctrine, but by way of assistance, so that they keep holy and expound faithfully the revelation handed down by the Apostles, that is to say the deposit of the faith. »
This is why our Father has appealed since the closing of the Council to the only true infallibility of the Roman Church that resides in its sovereign Magisterium. While awaiting the hour of deliverance and the triumph of the faith, everyone is allowed to inform his conscience.
THE COUNCIL JUDGED BY ITS FRUITS
« Suppose that everything went better in the Church, Fr. de Nantes wrote in August 1967; suppose that the Council had manifestly been like a new Pentecost, marked, therefore, by the entry of droves of schismatics and Protestants, of Muslims, Buddhists and pagans, by a general decline of communism in our old countries of Christendom, by a movement of conversion among the Jewish people. Let us suppose that the voyages and messianic speeches of the Pope changed the international climate, stopped wars, appeased racial fanaticism and revolutionary wars of some, and awakened the spirit of justice and charity of others.
« Suppose that our bishops came back from the Council more attentive to doctrine and more accessible to the grievances of our faith, more faithful to residence in their diocese, more devoted to their flock and especially to the poor; that your priests had felt better supported, better understood, and that, set on fire by the conciliar doctrines by a new joy and pride, they devoted themselves with greater zeal to prayer and to penance, to the ministry of worship, to teaching the catechism and preaching, to visiting the sick and to the direction of souls.
« Imagine that following the Council, well known politicians and philosophers, great writers, and union leaders came back publicly to religion, that notorious sinners mended their ways, that a strong current carried youth and the elite off towards seminaries, monasteries and convents, that Catholic schools and institutions became hives of activities, that missions increased their efforts tenfold, supported by the fervent alms of rich Catholic countries. Imagine; suppose the renewal, the expansion, the influence of the Church just after the Council. I ask you, what welcome would my little roneoed Letters have received? What interest would you take in their “insults”? What esteem and what affection could you feel towards a “suspended” priest who would persist in a biased, malicious criticism of everyone and everything, and would remain like a sterile fig tree by keeping aloof from the great work of the evangelisation of the poor?
« The reply of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops to my bitter criticism, the only one which is conclusive, would be the joyful results of this “new leap forward of the Kingdom of Christ” (John XIII, December 8, 1962) which was to signal the beginning of the new era of the greatest of councils and the most extraordinary of pontificates. This is what had been announced, promised, and guaranteed to us. And it is just the contrary which took place.
« The holiness of men was no where to be found nor the miraculous graces of the Holy Spirit. The Reform inaugurated for everyone the time of grand holidays and of their “short-lived, false, disorderly and base” celebrations, to use the language of the Imitation (Book III, chapter 12). Satan wanders freely in the Church. He corrupts monks and nuns, as in the days of Luther. Many go to communion, standing, of course! but they rarely go to confession. Everywhere sermons are heretical, worldly, and socialist. Worship is desecrated. Thus, whether victims or accomplices of this “new way of feeling, of desiring, of behaving” (Paul VI, Bethlehem, 6 January 1964), all Catholics, even the best of them, will become accustomed to a religion which is not that of Jesus Christ nor of the saints. When this will be brought to their attention, they will suddenly realise that they have lost it and that they will no longer want it. This is how everyone marches under the banner of the Pope and the Council, towards the great apostasy. » (Letter to my Friends no 250, August 25, 1967)
THE ASSISTANCE OF OUR LADY
In order to preserve us from this mortal peril of apostasy, our Mother came to our aid from Heaven, by the revelation of her Secret of July 13, 1917, made known at last on June 26, 2000. We received it filially from the hands of the Church, like a reward granted to the faithfulness of our Father, who had remained at the bedside of his ill Mother, his eyes gazing at the hands of the Immaculate.
In her terrible and marvellous Secret, the Queen of infinite mercy did not even want to refer to the Council and its fatal Reform, but she showed its destructive effects and the price to be paid to save it: « before reaching there, the Holy Father passed through a large city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way… »
The call to do penance, the recourse to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the blood of the martyrs, that the angels gathered « and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God », this is what Our Lady came to reveal to the earth for our apocalyptic times, to compensate for the failings of the hierarchy. The fight of the Counter-Reformation continues under her banner. « It is the plan of the Adversary to push out of the Church those who keep the faith so that those who have lost it can maintain themselves within and dominate it. Well then, we will stay! », declared our Father in August 1969. This is still our intention, with the grace of God and the assistance of the Immaculate, counting on them alone for the resurrection of the Church, as the night watchman waits for dawn.
Taken from He is Risen! n° 11, July 2003, p. 9-10