July 2015 - District Superior's Letter
Good out of Evil
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
In a great number of the prayers of the Holy Mass there is mention of the attribute of divine omnipotence: “Almighty God…” “Almighty and everlasting God…” “…with the almighty Father”. In front of the growing mystery of iniquity, the old temptation easily comes back: if God is almighty, why is He not doing anything to stop this problem? It is an old temptation, used sometimes to lead into atheism, or the loss of faith. But it can also lead to an increase of faith and trust in God.
The Angelic Doctor did know this classic objection and gave to it a luminous answer, quoting St. Augustine:
‘Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.’ This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.” (1a, Q2, a3)
An example of this is the very passion of our blessed Redeemer, it is also the story of all the martyrs, and of all the persecutions. “For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.” (Ecclus 2:5)
Can any good then, one might ask, come out of the liturgical revolution? With St Thomas, we have to answer in the affirmative. This is a paradox, for it is not a direct good, but an indirect one. God cannot rejoice in seeing the abomination of desolation in the holy places, but He certainly can teach us by this circumstance, indirectly, that the Holy Mass is a free gift of God, the gift of gifts, and that if we do not appreciate it as we ought to (which is perhaps what happened in the early 1960s), we can lose it. It shows also that the whole “Catholic civilization is the Mass” (J. Senior), and by meddling with the Holy Sacrifice, the consequences for the destruction of civilization are overwhelming. Contra factum, not fit argumentum – against the facts, there is no argument.
And can any good come out of collegiality, this plague undermining episcopal and papal authority, which is certainly the cause of a world-wide episcopal apathy in front of the apocalyptic battle between good and evil? “Where are the Maccabees?” wrote Archbishop Lefebvre in 1986 to eight cardinals on the eve of the blasphemous religious meeting of Assisi. We ask the same question today: where are the shepherds of the flock of God, the successors of the Apostles, when the wolves are having a field day in the fold? “Mercenarius fugit…” said Our Lord: “the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep.” (Jo. 10:13). These are frightening words for those in charge of souls, considering the preaching of so many heresies in parishes and in seminaries, the systematic destruction of Catholic schools, of Catholic hospitals, and the destruction of the family. Why do we hear so little of the appointed shepherds?
There is a famous collection of the history of the Church called, ‘The History of the Popes’, by Ludwig von Pastor. He was right: the history of the Church can be identified with the history of its popes, be they called Peter, Gregory the Great, Honorius, Pius X, Paul VI or Francis. The state of the Church at any given time will be pretty much the reflection of what the pope is at that moment, according to the saying: “it shall be as with the people, so with the priest” (Is 24:2).
We can also bring that analogy at the local level: the Catholic history of our countries is very much the history of our bishops. They were the founders, the builders, or sadly the destroyers of Catholic civilization. For instance, this year we commemorate the 200th anniversary of Cardinal Pie, of Poitiers, France, the great champion of the social kingship of Christ. The biography of Archbishop Lefebvre by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, and the documentary film on him, abundantly show the incredible evangelizing and social work of a bishop in a whole continent: seminaries, convents, schools, universities, hospitals. Archbishop Lefebvre left his name in all these domains, as the Papal Nuncio for Switzerland (formerly nuncio in Africa) once told Bishop Fellay.
In Canada we have also had famous bishops whose great works have immortalized them, such as bishops de Laval, Laflèche, Bourget, Charlebois, to mention only a few.
So, what indirect good can come out of the evil of collegiality? We can answer: it proves by a frightening argument a contrario that the structure of the Church is truly divine, that it has to be kept as it is, since it shows what happens when men try to tamper with it – the loss of authority at all levels. Collegiality is the most daring attack Hell has ever launched against the structure of the Church. It requires of us heroic acts of faith in Our Lord’s promise that “the gates of hell will not prevail”. Perhaps it seems that the gates of hell have prevailed, just as on Good Friday, it seemed that Our Lord had been defeated. Moreover, recent developments of collegiality are now forcing some cardinals and bishops to break ranks with it. Finally, some bishops seem ready to stand up and be counted in opposition to the liberal majority. Pray especially for these conservative Novus Ordo bishops in the few months remaining before the fateful Synod of October. What the religious meeting of Assisi did not do in 1986, now the Synod on the family is doing: it is a wake up call!
Let me now finish this letter with some local news.
- Ordinations: Last June 27th, in our German seminary of Zaitzkofen, young Joseph Stannus from Gatineau, Québec, was ordained priest, and his brother Marcel, deacon. Although Fr. Stannus will be stationed in Austria, Canada should be receiving an extra priest as a result of this ordination. The SSPX world-wide should have close to 20 new priests by the end of 2015. Deo gratias!
- Pilgrimages: next August 1, we will have our 32nd pilgrimage to Ste Anne de Beaupré, in Québec, and on September 25-26, we will have our 15th pilgrimage to the shrine of the Canadian Martyrs in Midland, Ontario.
- Retreats: for ladies July 20-25 (French), August 10 – 15 (English); for men: July 26 – 31 (French) and August 17-22 (English).
Finally, next September 5-6, we will hold our first ‘Journées Québécoises du Christ-Roi’, in the city of Québec, which will seek to expose the social kingship of Christ in Québec yesterday, today and tomorrow.
For all these activities, please contact the district office for details.
Yours truly in the service of Jesus and Mary Immaculate.
Fr. Daniel Couture