Georges de Nantes.
The Mystical Doctor of the Catholic Faith.
16. THE APPEAL TO
THE INFALLIBLE MAGISTERIUM
BEFORE leaving Rome to return to their respective dioceses, the French bishops decided to publish a warning against Fr. de Nantes. Bishop Le Couëdic forestalled them, thinking that he could easily silence this importunate and sole opponent of the Council by enjoining him to leave the diocese and to stop publishing the “ Letters to My Friends ”, under pain of a suspension a divinis, that is to say, no longer being authorised to celebrate Holy Mass.
THE INEVITALBE DOCTRINAL JUDGEMENT.
This disregarded the fact that the Catholic Faith was at stake: “ If I were to surrender, ” our Father replied to him, “ not to your reasons – you do not give me any; no one from official sources gives me any – but to the terrible threats of your spiritual power, if I were to yield to your order to remain silent and submit to this evolution, this mutation of the Church, if I were to agree to go lucidly along with this mystification that is its protective smoke screen, I would be unable to do so without losing my faith in the Holy Church of Jesus Christ [...]. To be able to accept the current course of events, I would have to identify the Holy Spirit with the cunning of the Modernist faction; I would have to identify the holiness of my Mother the Church with the passion of adultery and the prevarication that is raging everywhere; and identify the divine government with the sordid diplomacy, the universal demagogy that floods everywhere. That is what the Church is? It is impossible to admit this without losing the Faith! ”
Fr. de Nantes asked his bishop to obtain from the Roman tribunal an “ investigation into and a judgement on this case by the Church’s supreme and infallible Magisterium, which we recognise with filial devotion. ” He brilliantly concluded:
“ We are not the Faith of the Church, but we are her Fidelity. We have no Understanding of the Mysteries, but we are their living Memory [...]. In rebellion against rebellion for the sake of Christ and the Church, determined to pursue our criticism of the criticism that is corroding all our Faith and defiling all our Tradition, this is how we wish to remain faithful Roman Catholics, despite all opposition. If you were to be so hard-hearted as to reproach us for this and to throw us outside, we would still have, for our consolation, the admirable recommendation of the great Doctor of grace:
“ ‘Divine Providence often permits even good men to be chased out of the Christian communion through the unruly activities of carnal men. If they bear this undeserved affront with great patience for the peace of the Church, if they do not foment any new heresy or schism, they teach the world with what true attachment and with what sincere love God must be served [...]. They defend to the death and they confirm with their testimony the Faith they know to be preached by the Catholic Church. Then the Father crowns them in secret, He Who sees them in secret. Such men are rare, yet examples are not wanting: and they are even more numerous than might be thought’ (St. Augustin, Liber de Vera Religione, 11) ” 1
The bishop only considered these to be “ reasons that are not reasons. ” His main argument, which has since become that of the “ conciliar pact ” was “ that a priest, whoever he may be, cannot claim to be in the right against the whole Teaching Church, more precisely against the entire Episcopate of France. ” His letter of December 26 ended with an interdict: we no longer had the right to present ourselves at the Communion Table.
Msgr. Roserot de Melin, the former Vicar General, who had bestowed friendship on us intervened and obtained a compromise. Our Father would henceforth submit his writings to episcopal censorship. In return, he was promised, guaranteed that all his past writings would undergo a doctrinal examination by the Holy Office: “ The judgement of the Holy Office and the decision of the Sovereign Pontiff will be of immense consequence, ” he rejoiced: “ we shall know whether I am wrong de jure or de facto, whether what I have fought against in the present movement is declared to be bad but imaginary, or, on the contrary, real and good. ” 2
By submitting his demonstrations, his cries, his anathemas against the Masdu to the supreme Tribunal of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, it was in reality the work of the reformers that Fr. de Nantes was referring to this Tribunal.
“ ‘Why did I not handle this matter even more brutally?’ he asked. It was out of horror of schism and even its semblance. It was out of compassion for the Church as well, because of the listlessness of people’s minds and the weakness of their courage. After the Council we were alone, infinitely alone, without a bishop in the world, without a theologian, a leader of a movement, a journalist, a known philosopher. Everyone laid blame on us and endeavoured to turn our friends away from us and my brothers from me, even under our very roof! The world was not yet able to bear such a burden, truly overwhelming. In Rome, universal integrism was comforted by the severely defeated members of the Curia who were claiming that soon they would once again take hold of the reins and bring back order and faith. What an unbelievable illusion on the part of people who had the Acts of the Council that they had approved and the Pope whom they had elected against them! ” 3
SUSPENSION “ A DIVINIS ”.
A truce followed during which our Father commented on the Roman Catholic Creed in a series of Letters written from February to July 1966. 4 “ Within the narrow limits of a controlled freedom, how could I make myself more useful than by recalling the unchangeable certitudes of our Faith? I was allowed to comment on the Creed, on condition, however, that the teaching of the eternal truth not be made to seem too much a refutation of the errors of this perverse and incredulous generation. ” 5 Bishop Le Couëdic meticulously censored whatever seemed to him not to be in line with the new conciliar orientations. For example, he refused every expression of “ contempt for creatures. ” It thus would have been necessary to efface from the Missal the innumerable prayers inviting us to “ amare cælestia et contemnere terrestria ”! In actual fact, the titles of these Letters alone formed each time the articles of a manifesto of Catholic Counter-Reformation. It was discontinued when he was about to do the last article on the Chosen People of God and the Catholic Church, for Bishop Le Couëdic did not leave him the time to write it. The bishop broke the truce by suspending him “ a divinis ”, thus forbidding him henceforth to celebrate Holy Mass in the diocese of Troyes. This occurred six months after a Council that was to launch a new era of peace, love and freedom!
The motive for this suspension is kept hidden today: in order to open the trial in Rome, our Father wrote a ‘Petition’ to Cardinal Ottaviani, the Pro-Prefect of the Holy Office. Bishop Le Couëdic, having read it in passing, judged this letter insulting and refused to forward it through official channels. The truth is that he clearly realised just how right our Father was, and he believed that he would rid Rome of an awkward situation. Fr. de Nantes was therefore forced to send this petition by mail, as well as the package of the Letters to My Friends that were the subject of the action.
THE CASE BROUGHT BEFORE THE HOLY OFFICE.
This “ Petition ” had nevertheless been accepted in principle by Cardinal Lefebvre, Archbishop of Bourges, at the end of an attempt at reconciliation, which had taken place at the archbishop’s palace of Bourges on the previous April 30. Appointed by Cardinal Ottaviani, the Prelate, an assessor of the Holy Office and President of the Assembly of Bishops of France, had attempted to convince Fr. de Nantes to accept a compromise solution, stating that he [the archbishop] was not before him like a judge, but like a father, “ inclined to reconcile and seek paths of peace. ” It was in vain: Fr. de Nantes respectfully but firmly requested a canonical judgement on his writings. “ I wanted the goodness of a Father to be expressed in the sentence of a judge. ” The cardinal then said, repeating Festus’s formula to Saint Paul: “ Cæsarem appellasti? Ad Cæsarem ibis. ” (Ac 25:12) You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go! He could not have said better, assigning the role of Saint Paul to our Father, a role that he truly played amid our generation. 6
On July 16, 1966, Fr. de Nantes finished writing his Letter to Cardinal Ottaviani, in which he made himself the spokesman for the « long, ardent, vast plea » of Catholics who held that “ religion was being changed. ” What did he demand? In the disorientation of minds – Sister Lucy of Fatima spoke of “ diabolical disorientation, ” – “ the hour has come for the Church of Rome, Mother and Mistress of all the Churches, to act powerfully, decisively and indispensably in the work of discerning spirits. It is necessary to go to the very root of all the evils from which we suffer: the principle of this whole disorder is an error about God. ”
The God of reformism is a “ Spirit ” that “ inspires loathing and contempt for all that was and still remains today of the Roman Catholic Church. It makes its adepts unable to tolerate or even pronounce any condemnation or criticism of the Church’s enemies and of their errors. It holds in particular horror one document, the Syllabus, one Pope, Saint Pius X, one heavenly event, Fatima [...]. This Spirit is changing the Church into a People of no defined faith, without sacramental vitality and without moral force – a People who will soon no longer have priests and religious, no more monks or missionaries, no more converts or defenders driven by an exclusive and absolute fidelity.
“ The most urgent question of our times is to know Who this Spirit is, Who sends Him, and what is the nature of this flame that he kindles in the heart of Christians. ” 7
Scandalously exceeding his rights, Bishop Le Couëdic refused to transmit this “ Petition ” to its addressee. In order not to be foreclosed, and liking nothing better than the dazzling light and the publicity of debates that involve the whole faith of the Church, our Father decided to publish it.
“ They wanted to hush up the affair! I carried on regardless, and I published my petition to Cardinal Ottaviani in order that my cry not be lost in the wilderness. ”
By suspending the Abbé de Nantes a divinis, on August 25, 1966, Bishop Le Couëdic once again hoped to see him leave this diocese where he was now unwelcome in order for him to be able to continue to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Frustrating this ruse, our Father submitted to the unjust sanction: “ I did not make an appeal and I submit punctually to this unjust sanction. For this reason, I abstain from discussing its motives, from contesting its justice and even more from appealing to public opinion. This sentence is disciplinary and not doctrinal: it affects only my person, and only indirectly my friends and our fight. I thus answer the hundreds of letters that continue to reach me: I thank you for your prayers, for you encouragement, for your offerings that provide for our growing material needs... but leave it at that. Do not let ourselves be diverted, even for the defence of our honour or our most cherished rights, from the essential and sacred action that we have undertaken for the triumph of our holy Faith. ” 8
The main thing remained the Roman trial! In this dearly won manner – for this crucifying suspension pursued our Father to his death –, his case was brought before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The following year he had proof that the Holy Office had set to work from that moment, “ in its time-honoured and impressive way, whereby nothing is left to chance and everything is judged according to the Rule of Faith, ” since Cardinal Lefebvre wrote to him on April 23, 1967: “ At Croix-Valmer, where I am convalescing, I have received a letter from Cardinal Ottaviani telling me that the voluminous dossier of your “ Letters to My Friends ” is presently the object of a meticulous study. ” 9 Thus the Holy Office, which the reformers had wanted to reform at all cost, was forced, willingly or unwillingly, to judge the opponent of the Reformation according to the Faith!
Pending its judgement, Fr. de Nantes regained his entire liberty “ to proclaim without intermission, as a confession of the Catholic Faith, that the Masdu is, in the political sphere, an absurd and criminal dream, and in the religious sphere, an apostasy, a denial of Jesus Christ. I proclaim it in order to preclude my soul or those of my friends from succumbing to the temptation. As for the Easter morning of this Good Friday, the Father alone knows the time and the glory. As for us, let us pray and fight. ” 10
“ GOD HAD ACCEPTED THE VICTIM. ”
In September 1966, Paul VI granted Communion to Barbarina Olson, a Presbyterian, at her Nuptial Mass celebrated at Assisi. He did so without requiring her first to embrace the Catholic Faith and make her confession! At first, our Father refused believe it: “ If it is true, then we are going to have to conclude that Rome has lost the Faith. ” 11
Doubt concerning the Faith and the slackening of moral standards had entered into the teaching and the practice of the Church, sweeping clerics and the faithful down the slippery path to moral corruption. At the sight of the Church “ in a state of permanent reformation, ” Fr. de Nantes, rather than lamenting or rebelling, strove to explain it, seeing in this crisis a striking replica of 4th century Arianism. He showed this in a series of studies, “ From Arianism to the Masdu ” 12, which brought him thousands of new readers.
On October 6 our Father was finishing the first part of the Letter that introduces this series, when a telegram informed him of the death of his young brother Bruno.
“ In an instant I lost sight of the rest of the world, no longer seeing anything but the face, the handsome, beloved face of my younger brother who had just died on the morning of his name day, far from me [...].
“ This brother, this friend, was one of your number [readers of the Letters to My Friends]. In full agreement with us, with all his soul, he wanted me to continue this combat for the Faith, wisely but forcefully and unremittingly, for the sake of his children. This was his needling concern. He feared only one thing for them, the depraving of their souls by Modernist educators [...].
“ He wanted to do more, and I have to say it because of the immense indebtedness that results from this sublime and weighty secret [...]. He had offered himself, and God had accepted the victim [...]. There were two years of a spiritual ascension, always accompanying and supporting our dramatic fight...
“ Fortunately last August, he was with me when I had to inform my mother of the terrible sanctions that were going to be imposed on us, and already the newspapers were tossing our name as fodder to public opinion. When leaving, he said to me: ‘What can we do?’ and I remember that I replied to him: ‘Nothing, but pray and console mama.’ When one can no longer take action, what remains is to pray and suffer; this is the whole secret of the Gospel. Prayer, Penance, the two words that are dear to the Virgin Mary, still played on his lips when death came to take him in the serenity of an admirable autumn morning, on his name day. ” 13
THE POSTCONCILIAR STORM SWOLLEN BY CONCILIAR WIND.
In November of that year, 1966, on the fourth centenary of the Roman Catechism, the fruit of the Council of Trent, the Bishops of France began work on a new catechism at the same time that one was published in Holland. Fruits of the Second Vatican Council, they were catechisms based on the Masdu. They replaced the Catholic act of faith with an immanent, progressive revelation as well as a free dialogue between religions, the object of which was faith in man. Fr. de Nantes launched the counterattack. 14 He was indeed the only one, for in the traditionalist papers, no one wanted to believe what the wide-readership newspapers were nevertheless revealing: “ Dad’s catechism is condemned... The new one will be totally different. It will even be revolutionary. ” (Paris-Match) A whole year went by before the other traditionalists reacted, and by then it was too late.
In January 1967, a year after the closing of the Council, Fr. de Nantes gave a catastrophic review of the preceding year:
“ The process of self-destruction of Christian society is accelerating. This was foreseeable from the Opening Address of October 11, 1962, planned and announced right from the publication of the encyclical Ecclesiam Suam that is its charter. I warned: If you [Paul VI] turn on the waterworks, if you loosen the rock, you will no longer be able to stop the torrential course of the unleashed elements, or with difficulty, and at what a price! ‘Prophets of doom,’ however, are not heeded. The faith, the morals and the life of the Church were fiddled with, we are on the road to ruin. You posed the principles, you will suffer the consequences and we will all have to drain this cup to the last dregs [...]. When these things befall us and, weeping tears of blood, piteous men seek who it was that abused them, led them astray and betrayed them, I do not want them to be able to have their only too just hatred rise up to Jesus Christ nor their anger to Holy Church, but only to the false christs and the false prophets of this time of illusion. ” 15
This new faith in man could be illustrated by a hundred of Paul VI’s speeches, for example, this praise of Communist China and its Red Guards:
“ We wish to tell the youth of China with what emotion and affection We look upon its present striving towards the ideals of a new life of hard work, prosperity, and harmony. We should like to speak about peace also with those who are today in charge of the life of mainland China. We know to what an extent that human and Christian ideal is shared also by the people of China [...]. We send our good wishes to China – so far from Us geographically, but so close spiritually. ”
After having read this speech, our Father did not hesitate to write: “ What a revelation of hearts! This harmony between Paul VI and Mao, between the innovators in the Church and the Red Guards, the mad dogs of Asia, shows up and intensifies the discord between civilised people, between Catholics. Why conceal it? Why deny any longer that there exists between this Pope and this Council, this New Church on the one hand and ourselves on the other, a sort of permanent excommunication? ” 16
On the following March 7, the Permanent Council of the Bishops of France hastened to publish a warning that was immediately picked up by the press: “ Fr. Georges de Nantes himself states ‘that there exists between this Pope and this Council, this New Church and ourselves (him and his adepts) a sort of permanent excommunication.’ There is therefore no reason to take into account what is affirmed and developed in these letters, and they are not to be passed around. ”
Our bishops, however, were very careful not to quote the context, that is, the speech of Paul VI who praised Mao’s China and the Red Guards. This omission is in itself an admission...
This combat of ‘Counter-Reformation,’ 17 – which was given this name for the first time in the Letter of January 6, 1967 – took on the tragic appearance “ of a duel unto death, a spiritual death naturally, between the Pope of the Masdu, the Antichrist under the guise of the Lamb, ” and the avowed opponent of the conciliar Reformation and Revolution. This opponent stuck to this path that was rare and dangerous, yet dictated by the Faith, “ a path that entailed reprimanding the persons constituted in dignity for their opinions that are disconcerting or contrary to the Faith, for their maxims and their morality that are contrary to piety and scandalous for the Christian people, for their laws and precepts that are null and void because of their illegitimacy, arbitrariness, abuse of power or dereliction of duty. To appeal from the bishops to the Bishops, from the pope to the Pope is necessary, sometimes at the risk of one’s life, but without ever ceasing for all that to recognise in their Persons, beyond their reprehensible deeds, the sacred Magisterium, the infallible Authority of Jesus Christ. ” 18
Our Father could claim to draw his inspiration from the example of Saint Paul who acted in this way towards Saint Peter in Antioch “ opposing him to his face because he clearly was wrong. ”
“ POPULORUM PROGRESSIO ” OR THE IMMENSE REGRESSION OF PEOPLES.
On March 26, Easter Sunday 1967, Paul VI published his encyclical Populorum Progressio, laying down in unequivocal terms the objective of his humanist reformation: “ The integral development of the whole man and of all men, ” for “ man is only truly man in as far as, master of his own acts and judge of their worth, he himself is the author of his own advancement in keeping with the nature which was given to him by his Creator and whose possibilities and exigencies he himself freely assumes. ”
“ This encyclical is an act of faith in man, ” proclaimed Montaron in Témoignage chrétien. It is written, Fr. de Nantes retorted: “ Cursed be the man that trusts in man. ” (Jr 17:5)
“ This analysis of the world’s social situation is alien to the Latin genius and is not explicitly Catholic either. It has been borrowed by Paul VI from the French Progressive school of thought. It is materialist by reason of its total lack of evaluating the political realities; it is dialectical by reason of its exclusive concern to oppose the aspirations of native peoples to the oppression of capitalist forces; it is atheist by reason of its Modernist reduction of the religious phenomenon to mere superstructures inherited from the past; it is antichristian by reason of its all too obvious depreciation of the Christian miracle and of the Church’s incomparable civilising power in the world. Based on such an analysis, how can any programme of salvation be other than that of the Communist Revolution? That indeed is the Pope’s essential ambition. Essentially in agreement with the Marxist analysis of the world crisis, he intends to propose for Christian peoples a synthesis of a new Christianity, capable of fulfilling men’s aspirations better than Communism and beyond. ” 20
Thus, by means of this “ Mein Kampf of the Antechrist, ” 21 the “ errors of Russia ”, mentioned on July 13, 1917 by Our Lady of Fatima, were spreading even in the Church, in the very year of the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions, under the cover of pontifical teaching! “ Paul VI’s vision fans the flames of this same fire that is consuming our world, ” our Father wrote. “ Lammenais, the visionary, sits on the Chair of Peter. ” 22 This is the very precise warning of the Third Secret which, at the time, was unknown to our Father, but which the world situation, as it were, placed before his eyes. In the Pope’s Marxist encyclical, no mention can be found of Communist imperialism that enslaves and propagates hatred, or of the blessed name of the Virgin Mary!
Yet, a few days later, Paul VI announced his intention to go to Fatima for the anniversary of the apparition of May 13, 1917. “ At Fatima on May 13, ” our Father announced, “ the visions of the earth will confront the revelation of Heaven. ” 23
“ Our eyes fixed on the screen, our hearts torn with anguish, the rosary between our fingers as we mingled our sorrowful Aves with those of our brethren over there, we awaited what should have been the Event of the century, ” he related. Alas! The disappointment was proportionate to the immense expectation.
It was not as a pilgrim who is a devotee of the Queen of Heaven, but as an ‘expert in humanity’ that Pope Paul VI went to Fatima. He refused to let himself be photographed with Salazar and turned away Sister Lucy who asked to speak to him in private. He did not even go to the places where the apparitions had taken place! What had he gone there to do? To recite the Rosary before a million persons? No, he went there to recite what our Father called his ‘Incantatory Litanies to Man’:
“ Men, it is you We address at this supreme moment; make yourselves worthy of the divine gift of Peace. Men, be men.
“ Men, be good, be wise, be open to the interests of the general well-being of the world. Men, be generous.
“ Men, learn how to see your prestige and your interest, not as being in opposition to, but as being in solidarity with the prestige and interest of others.
“ Men, think not on projects of destruction and death, of revolution and subversion; think on projects for the common good involving sincere collaboration. ” 24
In this extraordinary homily, Fr. de Nantes observed, the Pope did not ask God or the Blessed Virgin but men for the miracle of peace and cosmic renewal that they await, as though these were a marvellous grace that they would grant to themselves. This grace would come not through ‘Prayer and Penance,’ but through a new revelation, in virtue of which Heaven had encouraged the Pope to appeal not only to Catholics but to all men, in order to foster peace. So, on the very evening of his return to Rome, Paul VI declared:
“ At Fatima we questioned the Madonna about the paths to be followed that lead to peace, and we received the answer that peace was an achievable end. ” 25
The answer provided by events was not long in coming.
WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
Two days later, May 15, 1967 was Pentecost Monday for Christians. A state of emergency was declared in Cairo; Egyptian armoured units were headed for the borders. UN Secretary-General U’Thant withdrew the UN peacekeeping force, and Egyptian President Nasser closed the Gulf of Akaba. The Jewish State, caught in a stranglehold and threatened with annihilation by the Jihad, went on the offensive. On the morning of June 5, the Israeli army made an all-out attack and conducted a blitzkrieg that, in six days, brought its vanguard to the Suez Canal, to the southernmost point of the Sinai peninsula, to Jericho and the banks of the Jordan, and in the north right up to the suburbs of Damascus. The city of Jerusalem, ancient Sion, was reconquered. The Jewish Pentecost, June 15, dawned on a Land totally recovered by a people whose messianic exaltation was at a climax after the anguish of peril, the heat of combat, and the incredible victory.
Our Father wrote: “ The day after this May 13, when Paul VI thought that he had received from Heaven the assurance that ‘peace was an achievable end,’ it ceased to be so. ” Since then, the Middle East has been a powder keg.
“ Israel will now bear its easy victory like a heavy millstone. ” Our Father explained: “ Henceforth time is on the side of the Arab camp. International authorities do not have the power, it is obvious, required for imposing a fair and reasonable solution. For that matter, no ‘fair and reasonable solution’ exists. As usual, they will be no more than keepers of the disorder. We are therefore involved in an affair that resembles that of the ‘Polish corridor’ that provoked World War II. World War III is in sight now, within rifle range [...]. War will break out because we have remained blind and impervious to the true ‘signs of the times’ [first and foremost: Fatima] that our Christian faith should have allowed us to understand. The apostasy of Churchmen, however, will have had its suicidal effect. ” 26
THE YEAR OF THE FAITH: YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS.
So as to disorient minds completely, Paul VI decreed that this same year 1967 was a “ Year of the Faith, ” for the 19th centenary of the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Since the Pope was at the same moment doing away with the Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent and the Antimodernist Oath imposed by Pius X, our Father wrote an admirable mystical Letter, commenting on the words of the Prophet Hosea: “ Sponsabo te mihi in fide. I will espouse you in the faith. ” (Ho 2:20)
“ This Faith of the Church rejects all admixture of error and all solicitation of heresy, schism or apostasy that she experiences, according to biblical language, as a spiritual adultery and idolatry. The fidelity of the one Spouse of the Lord is such that not only does she keep His word and define His thought, assisted in this task by the Holy Spirit, but she also rejects and condemns all that contradicts them in the language and inventions of men who the Spirit of Satan beguiles [...]. A ‘liberal’ faith is neither sincere nor upright, its hope diverges from divine will, and its charity is nothing more than crime and adultery.
“ Here indeed is the crucial questions of this ‘Year of the Faith,’ decreed by the Sovereign Pontiff, that begins today. On the thrice ill-fated day of October 11, 1962, the Pastors of the Church decided to condemn no longer schismatics, heretics and atheists or their accomplices [...]. This claim of Modernism that refuses the Church the right to pronounce anathemas, which became a ‘pastoral’ decision of ‘the Church in a state of Council,’ is a declaration of spiritual polygamy, let us say the word, of adultery [...]. The same Church that professes the Faith of her Bridegroom, also tolerates, admires and lets the seeds of Luther’s, Calvin’s, Lamennais’ and Teilhard’s errors and schisms spread in the hearts of her children. What horror...27 ”
This is the horror that comes over the man of God at the idea of this ‘opening’ or sacred prostitution, and at the spectacle of its appalling devastating effects.
“ Let us suppose, ” he wrote again on August 25, 1967 [first anniversary of his suspension], “ that everything was going better in the Church, that the Council was really like a new Pentecost, thus marked by a massive return of schismatics, Protestants, Moslems, Buddhists and pagans, by a general decline of Communism in our old Christian countries, first, of course, in Italy, and by a wave of conversion in the Jewish people.
“ Let us suppose that the Pope’s travels and messianic speeches had changed the international climate, stopped wars, quelled the racial fanaticism and revolutionary hatred of some, and awakened the spirit of justice and charity of others.
“ Let us imagine that our bishops had come back from the Council more attentive to doctrine and accessible to grievances of our faith, more faithful to residing within their dioceses, more devoted to their flock and especially to the poor; that your priests felt that they were more supported, better understood, and that, thanks to the Council’s doctrines, were afire with a new joy and pride, had devoted themselves with an increased zeal for prayer and penance, for their ministry of worship, catechism and preaching, visiting the sick and directing souls.
“ Let us imagine that following the Council, well known politicians and philosophers, great writers and unionists had publicly come back to religion, that notorious sinners had amended, that a strong movement had driven youth and the elite toward seminaries, monasteries and convents, that Catholic schools and charities had become humming hives, that missions had increased their efforts tenfold, supported by the rich Catholic countries’ fervent charities.
“ Let us imagine and suppose that the Church enjoyed revival, expansion, radiance the day after the Council. I ask you, what kind of welcome would my little duplicated Letters have had? What interest would you have had in their ‘insults’? What esteem or affection could you feel for a suspended priest who would persist in a biased, ill-willed criticism of everyone and everything, and remain standing aloof from the great work of evangelising the poor, like a sterile fig-tree? Would I have sixteen thousand readers? I would not have one hundred; I would not have a single one. I would be the first to be disgusted by myself, by my pride, by my blind obstinacy. In my callousness I would tremble at the thought of death and Hell... The Sovereign Pontiff’s and bishops’ answer to my bitter criticisms, the only one that is decisive, would be joyful results of this “ new leap forward of the Kingdom of Christ ” (John XXIII, December 8, 1962), which was to mark the entrance into the new era of this the greatest of Councils and the most extraordinary of pontificates. This is what was announced, promised, and guaranteed to us. It was the opposite that happened.
“ At the Council there was neither holiness exhibited by men nor the miraculous graces of the Holy Spirit. The Reform has opened for all a grand time of easy living and rejoicing ‘short-lived, false, base and ill-ordered,’ to use the language of the Imitation (Bk. III, chap. 12). Satan has free roam in the Church. He debauches monks and nuns, as he did in Luther’s heyday. We receive Communion often, standing, of course! Yet scarcely anyone goes to Confession anymore. Preaching is everywhere heretical, worldly and socialist. Worship is desecrated. The other day in Holland, a priest celebrated the nuptial mass of two homosexuals and his bishop excused him [...].
“ Thus, whether they be victims or accomplices of this ‘new way of feeling, desiring and behaving’ (Paul VI, Bethlehem, January 6, 1964,) all Catholics, even the best of them, are becoming habituated to a religion which is no longer that of Jesus Christ and the saints. Should they be reminded of this religion, they will suddenly realise that they have lost it and will no longer want it. So it is that everyone marches under the banner of the Pope and the Council towards the Great Apostasy.
“ Certainly we are aware of having carried the lamp of our faith in clumsy hands, the flame of Christ’s love in fragile souls. We, however, keep the treasure of the Tradition that was entrusted to us in order to hand it on faithfully to the next generation. It is because we believe in the Church that we remain in it, fighting openly against false brethren. It is because I believe in the indefectibility of the Apostolic See that I am going to appeal to the Sovereign Pontiff in order to insist that he put an end to the post-conciliar Revolution. 28 ”
THE IMPERATIVE COUNTER REFORMATION.
After having announced it for several months, Fr. de Nantes wrote and sent a “ Letter to His Holiness Pope Paul VI, ” on October 11, 1967, for the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Council. This letter, which began with these words: “ The pride of the reformers ”, was published in the first two issues of the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 20th Century, which replaced the Letters to My Friends, in October and November 1967. It was a new exhibit “ for the great trial that would come inevitably. ”
In spite of the subtle “ phenomenology ” developed by Fr. Congar concerning ‘true and false Reform in the Church,’ “ there are only two kinds of reform in the Church. The first is classical; it is a work of light, justice and holiness. It consists in condemning the errors and correcting the abuses of men of the Church. It brings them back to God’s Truth and Law as taught by Tradition. The other type of reform is that of the ancient schismatics and heretics. It is the reform of today’s Modernist innovators. It aspires to overhaul the Church’s institutions and overthrow her traditions according to the conceptions and desires of men of the Church or of the world today. From the day when the Council entered this disreputable path without discussion and without warning, she was desecrated and all the rest of her action remains without a doubt, null and void. ” 29
“ The great sin of the modern Church is the Reformation [...]. Our faith, however, remains unshakeable: the Holy Spirit, the uncreated Soul of the Church, pours out His divine energies in Your Magisterium and that of the Catholic bishops, the created Soul of the Church. These energies will infallibly repel the invasion of the heresy, schism and infidelity of the second Reformation as they did in the past for the other one in the sixteenth century. ” 30
In a subsequent issue, our Father showed how, in the 16th century, “ it was the linking of two actions, hostility to the impious Reformation of the Church and enthusiasm for the holy reforming of the men of the Church that merited in the end, through the grace of God, the fine name of the Catholic Restoration. ”
While awaiting to see this happen again in our time, what can be done?
“ The work of Counter-Reformation, the first task of which is the safeguard of the Faith in the Catholic Church must be pursued to martyrdom and victory. The Pope, it is said, has good reason to decline this work. The bishops seem not to possess the sense or the virtue for it. They have all given themselves the pretext of their great ‘Reformation’ to let the Faith be lost, morality undermined, discipline ruined and divine worship sullied. Well, we reject this odious ‘Reformation,’ we tear off this mask and we say to our Fathers and brethren: there can be no Reformation against God, there can be no pretext for obscuring His Word and His Law, nor for drastically changing the Church. May anathema be cast on innovators! The Counter-Reformation is a work of necessity for the salvation of the soul of each one of us and for the Church, as it was in the 16th century. If God wills, the longed for Catholic Restoration will arise from the Counter-Reformation. ” 31
Nothing, however, was able to cure Paul VI of his blindness.
A NEW HERESY AT THE TOP.
On January 1, 1968, Paul VI replaced the Catholic Feast of the Circumcision of Christ with a “ World Peace Day, ” and proclaimed this message: “ Yes, peace is possible because men are essentially good and look towards reason, order, and the common well-being... ”
Our Father read this in the newspaper La Croix on January 3. On January 5, 1968, he telegraphed his indignation to Cardinal Ottaviani, the Prefect of the Holy Office:
“ Distressed at text, speech attributed to Holy Father. – La Croix January 3. – Entitled: Peace is possible because men are essentially good. – Astonished by practical negation Devil, original sin, redemption, need of faith and grace to save human order, – terrified by naturalism, temporal messianism and religious indifference attributed to Supreme Magisterium, – scandalised by silence about persecuting Communism aggression, dirty trick played on free world, and worsening conditions of defence of Christendom, South Vietnam, – beg Your Eminence deny or intervene for honour of Holy Church and infallibility of Apostolic See. ”
What do you think happened? Forty-eight hours later, we learned that Cardinal Ottaviani had resigned. You might say to me: it is a coincidence. A telegram from Fr. de Nantes, an unknown, suspended priest, could not have forced the cardinal to resign. You are quite mistaken: Cardinal Ottaviani knew Fr. de Nantes perfectly well and listened to him. 32 When the cardinal read the telegram, he could but acknowledge that our Father was right and that the Pope was imposing politico-religious views that all his predecessors, equally assisted by God, had condemned with authority. However, instead of intervening with the Pope, he preferred to tender his resignation: “ It is obviously a way out, ” our Father wrote, “ but henceforth this leaves the field free for the Enemy. The Roman Church is in danger of falling into ruins if she abandons the faithful care of her Catholic Faith. ” 33
Paying no heed to Our Lady of Fatima’s warnings, and not even acknowledging receipt of the letter that Fr. de Nantes sent to him, the Pope was bringing about the “ ruin ” of the Church, and with her and through her the ruin of the world. This affirmation of the essential goodness of man was contrary to the Faith. It implied a double negation. On the one hand, it implied denying the Devil’s power over the sons of Adam since the original sin that broke the unity of mankind. On the other, it implied denying the Mystery of Redemption that redeems mankind and rebuilds the unity of the family of Adam and Eve’s children, certainly! but through grace and by converting intelligences and hearts to the law of Jesus Christ.
We can understand why Ottaviani resigned. It is not given to everyone to be able to remonstrate with the Pope. Our Father alone had this courage.
ADHUC SUB JUDICE LIS EST. (The matter is still under judgement)
Suddenly summoned to the Bishop’s palace of Troyes on Good Friday, April 12, 1968, Fr. de Nantes learned that the Holy Office was summoning him at the end of April for the preliminary investigation of his Trial. “ Fear and trembling, divine fortitude and joy, ” which were all feelings drawn from the Heart of Jesus, Whom our Father, in his Holy Week meditation had compared to “ David, conqueror of the Philistines, putting off his armour [...] but today again and tomorrow I wish to know You here below as the Hero of Truth, our pride, and the most pure Victim of Calvary, our peace and our reconciliation. ” 34
Peace and reconciliation could result provided that the fight remain fair, free from all slander or arbitrary excommunication: “ In the appalling divisions into which we are sinking, a legal requisite guarantees the visible reality and the unity of the Church; it has to remain above all contestation: every baptised Christian who professes the Catholic Faith and recognises as Pastors the Pope and the bishops united to him, is a member of the Church [...]. ”
“ Thus to everyone, respect and obedience, charity and confraternity, according to the laws and precepts of our Holy Church, in all that is in keeping with the reverence and submission due to God. As for the rest, that which divides us, ‘the matter remains in the hands of the Judge’ [...]. No ruling has been made. Let us not take it upon ourselves to break the bonds of fraternal charity. We would wound instead of healing. If there is a grace of conversion for our brethren, it certainly passes through our warnings and our debates, but even more through the judgement of the Sovereign Pontiff and a Council... Thus let us pray that they may reach a verdict at last, for the decisions of this infallible Magisterium intrinsically bear a grace of salvation for the good that is equal to their power of condemnation for the wicked. ” 35
(1) Letter of December 19, 1965, quoted in Letter to My Friends n° 220, January 6, 1966.
(2) Ibid., p. 11.
(3) CRC no. 110, p. 7.
(4) Letters to My Friends nos. 222-230.
(5) Letter to My Friends no. 231, July 16, 1966, p. 5.
(6) Cf. He is Risen no. 63, September 2007, p. 18.
(7) Letter to cardinal Ottaviani, the Pro-Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of July 16, 1966, published in Letter to My Friends no. 231.
(8) Letter to My Friends no. 234, p. 3. For two years, our Father refrained from celebrating Mass, even in private, until the day when eminent canonists told him that he had the right to do so, in our chapel, “ for the consolation of his soul and the good of his Community. ” It was on December 8, 1968.
(9) Archives of Maison Saint-Joseph.
(10) Fr. Georges de Nantes, in Écrits de Paris, of May 1968, this article is to be found in the appendix of volume 4 of the Letters to My Friends.
(11) Letter to My Friends no. 240, January 6, 1967, p. 3.
(12) Letters to My Friends no. 235-242. Arianism Is to the 4th Century... What the Masdu Is to the 20th Century.
(13) Letter to My Friends no. 235, September 23, 1966, pp. 6-7.
(14) Letter to My Friends no. 237. A New Catechism in France and Holland.
(15) Letter to My Friends no. 240, January 6, 1967, p. 1.
(16) Ibid., p. 5.
(17) Ibid., p. 8.
(18) Ibid., p. 6.
(19) Ga 2:11.
(20) Letter to My Friends no. 245, April 1967, p. 6.
(21) Liber Accusationis I, 1973, p. 32.
(22) Ibid., p. 10.
(23) Ibid., p. 16.
(24) Quoted in Letter to My Friends no. 246, May 13, 1967, p. 8.
(25) Ibid., p. 6.
(26) Letter to My Friends no. 249, July 13, 1967, p. 2.
(27) Letter to My Friends no. 248, June 29, 1967, p. 2.
(28) Letter to My Friends no. 250, August 25, 1967.
(29) CRC no. 1, October 1967, p. 12.
(30) CRC no. 2, November 1967, pp. 11-12.
(31) CRC no. 4, January 1968, pp. 9-10.
(32) Cf. supra, p. 122.
(33) CRC no. 4, January 1968, p. 14.
(34) Mystical Page no. 3, “ My David, Conqueror of the Philistines ”, April 1968, pp. 17-20.
(35) CRC no. May 8, 1968, p. 1.