May 2007 - District Superior's Letter
The Second Vatican Council claimed to be a new springtime in the Catholic Church; but anyone with eyes to see can see it's the opposite. This council promoted the errors of collegiality, religious liberty and ecumenism. The new mass is the application of these errors to the liturgy. There is such a thing as a Catholic resistance to errors that destroy the Catholic Faith.
Reasons for our Catholic resistance to the Council
I would like to take up, in this new letter, the reasons for what we could call, our “Catholic Resistance.” For such is clearly our position, ever since the Second Vatican Council until today. Despite all the obstacles, we endeavour to resist the spirit of the Council, destructive as much through its novelties in doctrine as in its influence on the Faith through the new liturgy. The council has been presented as the hope of a new era in the Church, as a new infusion of the Holy Spirit, as a saving revival. But in reality, what everyone can see today is rather an auto-demolition of the Church (to use the expression of Pope Paul VI), the infusion of a Protestant and liberal spirit, the decline of the most fundamental values of our Catholic Faith.
Novelties of collegiality, religious liberty and ecumenism
Let us recall the main novelties conflicting with the Catholic Faith that Archbishop Lefebvre, not long after the council, brought up already, the devastating effects of which we cannot fail to see today in the life of the Church: collegiality, religious liberty, and ecumenism.
The “collegiality” conceived by Vatican II has introduced a principle of subversion of pontifical authority and the authority of the bishops. The Pope, since the constitution Lumen Gentium, is now regarded simply as the head of the assembly of bishops and no longer necessarily as the Vicar of Christ, the representative of supreme authority. The Episcopal conferences have withdrawn from the bishops their personal and direct power over their faithful in the dioceses. A sort of collegial responsibility has been substituted for their personal responsibilities. That is why, today, the Pope must be attentive to the bishops more than being able to govern the Church as the supreme Pontiff which he is. The bishops themselves also must follow somewhat the indications and tendencies given by their clergy and their faithful (or their representatives, generally self-proclaimed). There follows a decreasing, if not an almost complete loss, of the sense of authority in the mind, as well as a real disobedience in deeds.
The new religious liberty promoted by Vatican II is no less contrary to the Catholic Faith because it is a direct attack on the objective rights of the truth and of the Faith. Man no longer is under the obligation to submit himself to the authority of God, but on the contrary, he is acknowledged the right to adhere to any religious error whatsoever. From this has come the confusion between the respect due to any person, no matter what ideas he professes, with the negation of the existence of an objective truth.
Ecumenism is even more striking. It is perhaps here that the innovation introduced by the Second Vatican Council is the most contradictory with the teachings of the Catholic Faith. In fact, the dogmatic constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium and the decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio are radically opposed to the teachings of the preceding popes, in particular Pius IX in the encyclical Quanta Cura and Pius XI in the encyclical Mortalium Animos. The ecumenism of Vatican II imposes an entirely new attitude of Catholics toward other religions. It is no longer a question of seeking to encourage a return of the separated brethren to the Roman Catholic Church which is the only Church of Christ, but rather to openly favour a certain convergence, a sort of joining of all “the Churches” to Christ. The ecumenism of the council, during these last forty years, has only intensified and extended itself, contradicting the traditional doctrine and observances of the Church and favouring the idea that all religions are equally good.
The new mass is the practical application of these errors
The new liturgy of Paul VI is, notably, a practical application of this prevailing ecumenism. As the principal author of the new liturgical fabrication, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, has said, it is a question “of doing everything to facilitate for our separated brethren the way to union, in removing every stone that could constitute even the shadow of a risk of a stumbling-block or displeasure.” And therefore, the New Mass, constructed with the help of Protestants, has given a Protestant sense to the Holy Sacrifice.
We understand well that the effects we see in the Church today have a principal cause, even if it is not the only cause, which is none other than the Second Vatican Council. Today, the Roman authorities recognize that there is a crisis in the Church, but for its cause they do not see anything but the excesses, disobediences, and abuses…. The disasters of these past decades are not seen as due to the “true” council, but to a bad interpretation of the council. Unfortunately, everything indicates—the texts, their common interpretation, and the events—that the origin, the root of the evil is found in the council, in the innovative principles, and in their very spirit.
These errors favor laicism
The relativism and religious indifference of which Pope Benedict XVI warned in his discourse of January 27, 2006, the laicism of our increasingly atheistic societies, and above all the loss of the notion of the True Faith in the Catholic Church, certainly have a cause—we find it in the declaration itself on religious liberty Dignitatis Humanae of Vatican II, as well as in the ecumenism that has followed it.
We resist what destroys the Catholic Faith
It is in these principles that we find the foundations of our Catholic Resistance. Perhaps our critiques will shock certain people, and several will think we lack submission to the present Magisterium of the Church; however, it is with a profound and real respect for the authorities of the Church, for the Sovereign Pontiff, for the bishops, and for the clergy as a whole, that we present these objections and hope that the doctrinal discussions will begin and be encouraged. We ask ourselves why it is so difficult today to discuss these doctrinal objections while we see that the Catholic Faith is in danger.
Let us, dear faithful, have no sharpness in our words, let us keep charity toward everyone, but above all let us stay attached to the Truth. We have nothing but a desire to conserve the Catholic Faith as it has always been taught in the Church. It is here, and nowhere else, that our Catholic Resistance is placed.
Fr. Arnaud Rostand
District Superior of Canada