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District Superior's
Letter to Friends & Benefactors

May 2011

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

On May 1, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI will declare his predecessor, John Paul II, blessed, only six years after his death. This beatification raises many questions and concerns for Catholics today.

I. Papal Infallibility?

Let us remember that beatifications do not fall within the charism of infallibility. It is an act by which the pope gives permission to venerate the blessed in some parts of the Church and does not establish an obligatory cult.

On the contrary, in the case of canonizations, the judgment of the pope—without making it an article of the Faith—is considered infallible by the theologians. It would be rash to deny a canonization.

One may, however, legitimately doubt that modern canonizations fall within the charism of infallibility due to the recent reforms in the way canonizations are prepared. According to Fr. Gleize,1 three things cause such doubts:

1. New policies and conscientiousness

Papal infallibility is given by the assistance of the Holy Ghost, not by inspiration. Canonizations thus require the most diligent preparatory work. The reduction of the number of miracles required for both beatification and canonization, the shortened time before declaring the heroicity of the virtues, and the influence of popular emotions are all new elements which today diminish this necessary conscientiousness.

2. Collegiality in the decision

The new policy gives the diocesan bishop the right to instruct the trial and to judge. This goes back to the rule as it existed until the twelfth century. The pope retains the power to confirm the judgment of the bishop as an organ of the collegial magisterium. However, by doing so, “such canonizations are no longer guaranteed by the personal infallibility attached to the pope’s solemn magisterium.”2

3. A new concept of sanctity

Until the Second Vatican Council and the reform of the process of canonization, the Church declared as saints those who had shown a heroic degree of sanctity and not simply the first and common degree, which consists of the state of grace. This special and eminent degree is called the state of perfection, when the soul is entirely moved by the Holy Ghost. Today, this notion of heroic perfection is no longer required:

It [the lack of a special degree of virtue] is not something infrequent, but on the contrary, universal. This comes from the Second Vatican Council’s presentation of holiness as a common state. The idea of the universal vocation to holiness is the center of Chapter Five of Lumen Gentium.3

II. Beatification of a Man or of the Council?

There is a much more important question than the doubts surrounding infallibility: it is the meaning of such a beatification.

As with John XXIII, John Paul II’s beatification is related to the Second Vatican Council and the new era introduced by this Council. John XXIII was beatified because he opened the Council, and was thus considered the prophet of a new Pentecost. We fear today that the hidden motive behind the beatification of John Paul II is a try to declare the Council itself holy.

Leaving aside one’s feelings, one is obliged to acknowledge that the inheritance of John Paul II’s pontificate, far from being a new springtime in the Church, is an enormous field of ruins. The Faith is no longer the light of the world, whether inside or outside the Church, because those who were in charge of keeping it on a candlestick have placed it under a bushel!

To be fair, the devastation we see today is not only the consequence of the acts of John Paul II. But faced with the errors and the ravenous wolves, what did he do about God, His Church and her children, about the other sheep which are not yet in the House? How heroically (above the common strength of man) did he exercise his office as pope? Did he fulfill his duty of state as Holy Father?4

1. A field of ruins instead of a new springtime

It is the former Cardinal Ratzinger himself who judged the pontificate of John Paul II as a “continuing process of decay.”5 It was also described as a “silent apostasy5 and finally as “a process of secularization” that “has produced a grave crisis of the sense of the Christian faith and of belonging to the Church7 to such an extent that a new pontifical commission has been created for the re-evangelization of the countries experiencing today an “eclipse of the sense of God.”8

Just before he was elected Pope, he also described the Church as a ship “taking in water from all sides.”9 We may ask: who was the captain in charge of the ship?

Today in America, eleven1 million baptized Catholics have abandoned the Church. Before the Council, the conversions to the Catholic Faith used to amount to 170,000 a year.10

The former Cardinal Ratzinger believes that a main reason for the crisis is a collapse of the liturgy. “I am convinced that the ecclesiastical crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in a great part upon the collapse of the liturgy.11

For twenty-seven years, who gave examples of an ecumenical man-centered liturgy where the worship of God vanished to give place to popular shows? Not to mention the consequences of the collapse of the liturgy on the priestly life of the ministers. Was it not during the last pontificate that we saw so many scandals covered up? Was it not then we saw so many lost priests, of which the former Cardinal Ratzinger alluded to when he said: “How much filth there is in the Church, even among those who, in the priesthood, should belong entirely to Him.”12

The crisis of the liturgy and of the priesthood, however, comes from a deeper problem: the crisis of the Faith. This is what Archbishop Lefebvre so often proved. The rule of prayer is the rule of the Faith. What did Pope John Paul II do to defend, preserve, and promote the Catholic Faith?

2. The Faith put under a bushel

Forty years after Vatican II, Rome is still trying to give the right interpretation of the Council.13 But where has the magisterium been during these four decades? Is not the magisterium responsible for giving the correct interpretation? John Paul II therefore did not provide the right interpretation of the Council. Was it not his charge to do so

In fact, the Pope spent his whole pontificate spreading around the world the principles of the French Revolution, teaching the rights of man based on the Council’s texts: religious liberty and ecumenism.

After the liturgical reform, of which he gave numerous examples of perpetual evolution and inculturation, he adapted Canon Law to the spirit of the Council (1983). Then came the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which had many translations published before the original text had even been officially approved.

One could easily make a list of all the spectacular acts of ecumenism with the heretics, schismatics, Jews, Muslims, and pagans. The most spectacular were the two meetings at Assisi which scandalized so many souls inside and outside the Church. It was a concrete lesson that it was not necessary to belong to the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ in order to be saved.

In encyclical after encyclical, John Paul II buried the Catholic Faith and morals14 under a worldly humanism, preaching often the rights of man in place of the rights of God.

III. A New Book

In a few weeks, Angelus Press will publish a book of great interest on the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The author, Fr. Patrick de La Rocque (FSSPX) explains how this humanism is the central idea of the pontificate of John Paul II. Through his prolific papal teachings, Father shows, quoting text after text, that this false love of man led John Paul II to act against the virtues of faith, hope, and charity—essential virtues to attain holiness—as well as the virtue of prudence, especially needed by those who govern.

Bishop Fellay, in the preface of this book, explains how the Society of St. Pius X tried three times, through different channels, to bring this work with these doubts to the attention of Rome. As it was never received by those in charge of diligently studying the heroic virtues of the blessed, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X decided to have this book published.

IV. My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph!

One more time, and more than ever, let us turn our sights with confidence to our Lady. She who denounced the “cesspools of impurity” in the clergy and announced that “Rome will lose the Faith,15 showed her preoccupation for the souls falling into hell and showed us the means to sanctity: sacrifice and the rosary. She also gave the condition and remedy for the restoration of the Church: the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Is it not amazing that the one who is celebrated by some as the main destroyer of the Berlin Wall—symbolizing the end of the Communist era—is qualified by Archbishop Lefebvre as “communist-loving”?16 The truth is that with or without the Wall, “Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and several nations will be annihilated.”17

Finally, this certain future can only be hastened by our supplications: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia, which will convert, and a certain time of peace will be given to the world.”18

As May begins, let us be found more faithful, with our rosary in hand, and desiring perfection in our hearts, and ready for a new and more fervent Crusade!

Footnotes

1 Fr. Jan-Michel Gleize, "Beatifications and Canonizations since Vatican II" French Courrier de Rome, February 2011.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 For some examples, see "A Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II," The Remnant, March 31, 2011.

5  L’Osservatore Romano, Nov. 9, 1984.

6  Ecclesia in Europa (2003), §9.

7  Vespers homily, June 28, 2010.

8  Ibid.

9 Way of the Cross, 2005.

10 Open Letter to Confused Catholics (Angelus Press, 1986), p. 86.

11 Milestones (1997).

12 Homily on Good Friday, 2005.

13 Discourse of Benedict XVI about the hermeneutic of continuity.

14 As an example, in Splendor Veritatis, the main reason for being good is found in the dignity of the human person.

15 Apparitions of Our Lady at La Salette.

16 “John Paul II is above all a communist-loving politician at the service of a world communism retaining a hint of religion. He openly attacks all of the anti-communist governments and does not bring, by his travels, any Catholic revival.” Spiritual Journey (Angelus Press, 1991), Prologue, p. viii.

17 Our Lady of Fatima, July 13, 1917.

18 Ibid.

 
 

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