Modernist Rome has declared us
schismatics because we hold a supposedly false notion of Tradition. I am going
to show that it is the faithful of Tradition who have the true notion of
Tradition and, consequently that it is those who declare us schismatics, the
neo-modernists, who have a false evolutionary notion of Tradition, which they
call "living tradition."
Tradition is essentially
immutable, unchangeable: That however does not prevent it from being living - we
will show in what manner - nor from undergoing a homogeneous development. To
begin, let's look at the first point.
Tradition is essentially immutable
Cardinal Billot, under Pope
Pius XI, explained this in a work entitled: De Immutabilitate Traditionis
Contra Modernam Haeresim Evolutionismi (Concerning the Immutability of
Sacred Tradition - 1929; the literal Latin title is: The Immutability of
Tradition again the Modern Heresy of Evolution - Ed.). This is no invention
or opinion, it is the most classic doctrine of the Church: Tradition does not
change. In fact, the word tradition comes from the Latin tradere which
means to transmit. Tradition is the transmission without change of that
which has been deposited. If in the course of the transmission there is a
change, then in deed there is a breach of faith, there is a falsification of the
deposit transmitted. We see this, for instance, if the transmission of
popular tradition (i.e., folklore); but fidelity is so much more
important in the transmission of the supernatural deposit of divine revelation,
that is to say the treasure of truths revealed by the prophets, Our Lord Jesus
Christ and ending with the Apostles. The revealed deposit is completed at the
time of the death of the last Apostle
St. Pius X in the decree
Lamentabili (1907) condemns the following:
Revelation, constituting the
object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.
The proposition was condemned
because it meant that there could have been other later revelations which could
have been added to the revelation given to the Apostles. The Magisterium of the
Church has solely the role of preserving and faithfully explaining this deposit
of Revelation. This is what Vatican Council I says in the decree Pastor
The Holy Spirit has not been
promised to the successors of Peter that, under His revelation, they might
make known a new doctrine, but in order that, with His assistance, they
sacredly preserve and faithfully set forth the revelation transmitted by the
Apostles, that is to say, the deposit of the faith.
Pope Pius IX had many years
before condemned the error of progression in matters of doctrine held by those
who said doctrine must evolve as human knowledge advances in his encyclical
Qui pluribus (1846):
It is by as great a
fraud...that these enemies of divine revelation, who bestow the highest
praises on human progress, wish, with a truly reckless and sacrilegious
audacity, to bring it
[the progressive error] into the Catholic religion, as if religion was not
the work of God, but that of men, or was some philosophic discovery that human
methods could perfect.
Let us hold firmly to the
essential immutability of the divine tradition. It is a deposit to faithfully
transmit— and that’s that! Later we will explain in what way there is a certain
progress, but this principle must be clearly established and
firmly held; otherwise, we cannot continue.
Tradition is living because each of us
lives in it
This essential immutability
does not prevent Tradition from being living. The modernists speak of "living
tradition." We also speak of the living tradition, but not in the same way, as
we are going to see.
Here is what we understand by
That tradition is immutable
does not prevent it from being living; that is to say that Catholics of
yesterday, today and tomorrow live in it. Tradition is living because one
lives in it.
We are going to see the life
and development of divine tradition first as it concerns the individual; then as
it manifests itself in the Church considered as a whole. It is very important to
make a distinction between these two things.
Tradition is the revealed
deposit. What is in the revelation? Essentially, the revelation is the intimate
life of God which is communicated to us by grace and by the sacraments. The
intimate life of God is God displaying himself in three divine Persons, and the
entirety of this life is communicated to us by grace, the sacraments, and Our
Lord Jesus Christ. That is the essential core of the Christian revelation, the
very terms of this deposit one must keep. Living tradition is the same as saying
that one lives the life of God, that one is imbued with this divine life, that
one lives it by the intellect, by the will, by faith, by hope, by charity and by
all the virtues.
Now this Christian life-this
life of tradition in our hearts, persons, and surroundings-is a participation in
the immutable life of God. God does not change. The blessed in heaven
contemplate the immutable God in eternity which fills them with an immense joy
for all eternity. They are delighted to contemplate the same and unchanging God
forever, the Source of an inconceivable and inexpressible life. This is their
eternal rejoicing, and nevertheless they are fixed in the immutable. See then
the error of the progressists, who wish that this would not be constant change…
No! - The spiritual life is the most unchangeable! Look at the
saints in their contemplation. They are fixed on God and that is sufficient for
them and nourishes their lives. I am not speaking of the ecstasies possible on
earth with the body almost suspended. I am speaking of the soul who, while
conducting his ordinary activities, is completely immersed and transformed in
God, firm and unchangeable. We understand well that the more we live this
Tradition, the more we will be fixed in the immutable who is God, and the
further we will be removed from the evolution of perpetual change.
For the modem evolutionists on
the contrary, life consists of perpetual change. It is very difficult for them
to conceive that the highest life which already exists here on earth for the
saints, for the contemplatives and those who devote themselves to prayer and
meditation, consists of the contemplation of the unchangeable - and yet, thus it
But this life of tradition,
this contemplation of the unchangeable, should nevertheless progress within each
one of the faithful. There is a progression, a progressive deepening in the
course of the spiritual life;
First, there is a development
in the object of the faith. The faithful should not only learn more and more
about the scope of all the revealed truths but also the consequences of the
revealed truths in practical life, e.g., the consequences of the
divinity of Jesus Christ for social and political life, etc….
There is also a development
in the intensity of the faith, in the extent that we live this revealed truth
more vigorously (ST Ia, IIae Q. 52). Great saints have a deeper faith
because they adhere more steadfastly to God and His revelation.
There is also another
development as regards the individual. This is the advancement in the power of
faith when the Christian submits his entire life to the rule of the Faith. As
Sacred Scripture says: "The just man lives by the faith" (Rom. 1:17).
Finally, in the individual,
there is also a development in the fruits of the faith. A living faith is
accompanied by charity and the entire retinue of the infused virtues and gifts
of the Holy Ghost, whose intrinsic law is to grow without ceasing, provided
that the tendencies toward vice are fought. The Faith is then the root of the
progress of each Catholic towards holiness.
It is undeniable that living
tradition exists in each individual, provided that there has been authentic
transmission, and that this tradition has been increased within the individual
by the deepening and fruitfulness of the faith.
False ideas of development
This development of the Faith,
of Christian virtues, of the life of Tradition does not apply to the Church
taken in her totality. In effect, neither in the sources of the spiritual life
nor in the case of the holiness of the most saintly among the Catholics, nor in
the number of saints, can one establish a spiritual development.
Let us first consider the
sources of this life of Tradition. These sources do not increase, do not
change. The Church possesses from Her inception the seven sacraments. No one
can add an eighth sacrament, as the charismatics do with their laying on of
hands. No one can suppress one or another of the sacraments as the modernists
do, as for example in the case of Confirmation or of Penance. The sources of
holiness are always the same. They are always as plentiful. One has only to
drink at them.
there be an evolution in the model of holiness? - No, there is no development.
The model of sanctity no longer evolves because "the form of all perfection"
is Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it states in the ritual for the taking of the
habit by religious sisters. Though saints may appear different, they are only
variations on the same theme, ...different arrangements of the same flowers of
the same bouquet, as St. Francis de Sales explains. Thus the code of the
sanctity of the Church does not change, just as the code of morality does not
change. This is of equal value for all times. To wish to establish a new
religious life in the 20th century is an illusion. It is an error. Opus Dei,
with that which could be its motto: "Work, Commitment, Influence" is the very
example of this illusion.
you could object: "But nevertheless, in the
degree of sanctity there is a development in the Church. In the 20th
century the saints are much more holy than before! There are some great saints
in the 20th century!" ...Count them on the fingers of one hand! Martyrs
have been canonized, it is true. St. Pius X was canonized, it is true, but
that was before the Council. Padre Pio is just before the Council. After the
Council does one find saints? Surely, there will always be some of them, but
they are few indeed and I promise that they are not of the Conciliar Church!
We are far from progress. In fact, there is a regression.
However, let us admit that an
increase in sanctity in the Church lover time is not necessary. However, let us
admit that an increase in sanctity in the Church over time is not necessary.
God raises up the saints as He wishes, when He wishes, to lift the level of each
century, but one does not observe that one century regularly produces more great
saints than the preceding century .We do not have this imaginary progress in
which the modernists believe. Let us then refute the ideas of this
In spite of everything, there
is, in this immutable Tradition, an admirable capacity for application to all
contingent circumstances. It is a matter of applying the eternal and unchanging
principles to the problems and necessities of each century .The Council of Nicea
is not the same as the Council of Florence, the Council of Florence is not the
same as the Council of Trent, the Council of Trent is not the same as Vatican
Council I. In each there is a different application, but the principles were
always the same. Hence, we see here that there is a vitality to tradition in
that it is capable of applying itself to each era.
Tradition is alive in that it
applies itself above all to struggling against the errors of each era, against
the dangers which threaten the souls of each century. It was of this that Pope
Pius IX was speaking in
Gravissimas Inter (1862):
The Church, because of her
divine institution, must take the greatest care to keep intact and
inviolate the deposit of the divine faith, keep unceasing watch over all
her efforts for the salvation of souls and pay great attention to driving
away and eliminating everything which can be opposed to the faith and can
put in danger, in one way or another, the salvation of souls [His Excellency's
emphasis added - Ed.].
Doctrine has this marvelous
faculty of application! —to condemn, to eliminate, to reject everything which
opposes the Faith and salvation of souls.
The false aggiornamento of
After Vatican Council II, the
opposite was done. No one any longer wished to condemn anything and there was
talk of adaptation, of
aggiornamento. But this is a false adaptation! The proof of it was they did
not wish to condemn the contemporary errors such as Communism. The 400
signatures gathered by Archbishop Lefebvre to condemn it remained in a desk
drawer. They did not want to condemn the contemporary errors of Liberalism, of
Modernism, etc…. They did not want to apply the revealed deposit to the danger
which was currently threatening souls. This unrealistic claim of adaptation on
the part of the modernists is nonsense!
Vatican II wanted to make an
adaptation that was a mutation a priori, artificial, with a Protestant
and modernist interpretation. Catholic application is not a mutation. It is
simply the applying of unchangeable principles to contingent circumstances. The
principles are living because they apply themselves! That is the
important thing! It is precisely because the transmission is living, that is to
say applied, that the Church constantly draws new propositions from her own and
immutable treasure...new condemnations of heresies for example, or new dogmatic
definitions. It is necessary at certain times to put the finger on certain
errors, to add a certain dogmatic precision, as for example when the Council of
Trent defined (against the Protestant errors) the Mass. That is applying the
immutable principle to the needs of the era. That is what Vatican Council II did
not do. It let the principles fall, under the pretext of adaptation, to the
thinking of the modern world! Where there is a true adaptation, there is
a battle in proportion to the errors to be battled and to the dangers which
menace the eternal life of souls.
It remains to be shown how, in
this matter of application in the course of time, tradition undergoes a
The homogeneous development of dogma
This application, this
necessity to respond to the needs of each era and protect souls against errors
properly constitutes, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the divine force of
a certain development of doctrine, e.g., new dogmatic definitions. But be
on guard! This development is homogeneous. It is not a
mutation but a homogeneous development. This is contrary to the view of the
modernists who wish it to be an evolutionary development. The homogeneous
progress of the Tradition of the Church is entirely a progress in
That is to say, that which had
been universally believed in previous times is, in later years, isolated and
embossed. It is like a rough diamond, having been mined from the quarry and not
yet very pretty, taken to the gem cutter who is going to chisel it into a
thousand surfaces in order that one can view it from all its angles with
thousands of reflections. But it is the same diamond! There is simply a
development in the particulars - all the colors of the rainbow are going
to be refracted but there is no development in
substance. A gem cutter who might want to re-chisel it afterwards would
fail. This is development in precision.
There is also a development in
explanation. There is a passing from the implicit to the explicit. That which
one believed implicitly is going to be believed explicitly. For example, the
primacy of jurisdiction of the Pope over all the bishops of the world. This has
always been believed, but implicitly (otherwise the Church would not have
survived). After Vatican Council I, this is now believed explicitly.
St. Thomas, while addressing
the growth of the articles of Faith in the course of the Old Testament, sets
forth a doctrine that can also, in a certain way, be applied to the New
…alone must say then that the
articles of faith are never increased in their substantial content, as time
goes by, because all that the later men have believed had been contained,
although implicitly, in the faith of the Fathers who preceded them [thus, that
which Isaiah said was contained in the faith of Moses, for example, was
already in the faith of Abraham].
We must remember this very
important doctrine of St. Thomas: in the Old Testament, the number of articles
of the faith increased because the Holy Spirit disclosed more and more
explicitly the revealed truths (ST IIa ,IIae, Q.1, A. 7).
After the New Testament (with
the death of St. John) there is no more revelation. But there is the
proposition by the Magisterium of the Church. In the Old Testament there had
been an increase of the Revelation and thus of the articles of Faith. In the New
Testament there is an increase in the proposition by the organs of
Tradition, especially the Magisterium, and hence a passage from the implicit to
the explicit. In the Old Testament it is God's Revelation itself which passes
from the implicit to the explicit; in the New Testament, Revelation is ended, it
is the proposition by the Church which passes from the implicit to the explicit.
There is then a development, not in the articles of the Faith but in the
explanation of the truths of the revealed deposit.
It is a homogeneous
development. It is a development like a bud which blossoms... like a bud which
opens up very beautifully, but remains the same bud. There is an unfolding, but
without alteration; a displaying of all that which had been contained within
from the outset. One calls this homogeneous because there is no mutation. It is
the same living species, the same plant, it is a development without mutation,
it is the same reality unfolding itself and making explicit all its details, but
it is the same reality.
The unsurpassable summit
Finally, this homogeneous
development leads to a point which cannot be surpassed, which is, precisely, the
defined truth. Once a truth is defined, for example, ex cathedra by a
pope or in an ecumenical council, as was the Immaculate Conception (by Pope Pius
IX) or the Assumption of the Most Holy Virgin (by Pope Pius XII), that truth,
thus defined, constitutes an unsurpassable peak. One cannot improve upon it.
Catholic doctrine says that
defined truths are irrevocable. They are no longer susceptible to development.
They must always be believed in the same meaning in eodem sensu eademque
semper sententia as the Anti-Modernist Oath puts it. They have been
stated precisely with the assistance of the Holy Ghost. They are no longer
subject to a subsequent development, even, I would say, in their formulation.
The dogmatic formulas, the words employed, are no longer subject to improvement.
Take for example the word
transubstantiation used to express the conversion of bread and wine into
the Body and Blood of Christ at the Mass… The word conversion is a very
vague word in Latin. It means change and/or passage from one condition to
another, but it does not suffice. One must state precisely that it is a
transubstantiation: all the substance of the bread is changed into the Body of
Christ, all the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Christ. And
indeed it could never be better stated. One cannot imagine of a new formulation
which could say it better, because this is the diamond finely crafted by the
Holy Ghost. And all the subsequent heretics are going to try to find another
word, for example Fr. Schillebeeckx, who invents the word transignification
and falls into heresy. Time and again, in each newly defined dogma, the Church
eventually attains an unsurpassable height. That is to say that the truths which
have not yet been defined have not yet reached their unsurpassable summit, and,
therefore, they can still have an homogeneous development.
It remains no less true that, in the aggregate,
the doctrine of the faith grows and develops itself homogeneously. It is open to
development by a further preciseness in the explanation of points which have not
yet been defined.
Development and change
This is the way we must
understand what St. Vincent of Lerins said in his celebrated Commonitorium
which affirms the immutability of Tradition and at the same time homogeneous
But perhaps someone will say "is
there then within the Church no progress in religion?" Assuredly there is,
and a very great progress, for who is there who would be so hardened against men
and so hateful towards God that he would dare oppose such a progress? It is
however in this manner; there is a progress, there is in truth an advancement in
the faith, but not a change.
St. Vincent of Lerins (d. 445)
remains very timely, replying to today's modernists that there is
a development in the faith, but not a change, not a mutation: "There is a
development when a thing in itself is enlarged; there is a change when something
is changed into another thing" (RJ 2174).
This change is inadmissible for
tradition, for the deposit of the faith. St. Vincent wrote:
knowledge and wisdom must increase and powerfully grow in one and in all, both
in each individual man and in the Church, during the passage of time and of
the ages, but grow solely within its own species, that is to say within the
same dogma, in the same sense and in the same meaning. In eodem dogmate,
eodem sensu, eademque sententia [This expression was lifted textually by
Vatican Council I and for the Anti-Modernist Oath - Ed.].
Thus, St. Vincent of Lerins
insists on continuity. There is a development he says, but a homogeneous
development. There is no substantial change.
THE HOMOGENEOUS DEVELOPMENT OF
The liturgy has also
experienced a homogeneous development. The so-called "Mass of St. Pius V" is the
result of centuries of liturgical developments which have, little by little,
sculptured the prayers of the Mass and the other liturgical prayers of the
missal, to form that inestimable jewel that the holy Pope St. Pius V codified.
The Canon, the essential part of this Mass, was already completed by the time of
St. Gregory the Great (reigning 590- 604). There had previously been a whole
development; and indeed afterwards prayers were added, by no means secondary,
such as those of the Offertory. We don't in the least assert that the Mass of
St. Pius V "descended from heaven," for that would not conform to reality. It
was perfected during the 11th to the 14th century. But when St. Pius V codified
it his bull Quo Primum (1570), it becomes an unsurpassable summit. It is
the completed liturgical expression of the dogmas of the Mass (e.g., Real
Presence, Eucharistic Sacrifice, true sacrifice which is one and the same as the
Sacrifice of the Cross) and of the veneration which is due to that which is
effected by the holy Mass. And St. Pius V codified this Ordo Missae
precisely as the insurmountable barrier raised up against the Protestant heresy
and all subsequent heresies.
One must affirm then that this
Mass is an unsurpassable expression of faith and adoration, and, therefore, we
must affirm that the fabrication by Pope Paul VI of a new Mass - by his experts,
notably Archbishop Bugnini - by the reconstitution of ancient formulas which had
fallen into disuse and which, in particular, had not been retained by St. Pius
V, is something artificial. It is not a homogeneous development. It is a thing
artificially constrained and not a time-honored and spontaneous advancement.
They attempted an abrupt development, but this was erroneous.
This new Mass is no longer a
precise manifestation of the Faith, rather it is a regression. The dogmas are
less clearly manifested, the Real Presence is less affirmed, the propitiatory
Sacrifice is toned down. One passes from the explicit to the implicit, from the
clear to the ambiguous. It is the opposite of an homogeneous development
which is an advancement in explanation. The New Mass is the opposite of
true progress and that is why we do not accept it. That is the reason that we
ask the faithful to not assist at the New Mass except for reasons of expediency.
And if one assists at the New Mass, at such a time, it is in a passive way. One
cannot assist actively at the New Mass because the Mass does not express the
Faith and the respect due that which is taking place. This Mass "represents a
striking departure from" the dogma on the Holy Mass, defined at the Council
of Trent (Session 22), as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote to Pope Paul VI (The
Ottaviani Intervention, September 1969).
The "living tradition" of the neo-modernists
What about the evolutionary
concept of the so-called "living tradition" of the Conciliar Church. What do the
modernists mean by this term? —They mean a non-homogeneous evolution, hence, a
change. By the term "living tradition," the Conciliar Church does not
mean an inviolate transmission of a deposit which one lives and which progresses
in a homogeneous fashion through explanation. It is not that at all! What is it
then? —It is an evolutive tradition! —evolutive via a twofold process:
The assimilation of elements
foreign to the revealed deposit. (One is going to add exterior elements to the
revealed deposit —extraneous elements.)
By regression from the
explicit to the ambiguous, from the clear to the equivocal.
Regarding the second point, you
have a clear illustration of this regression from the explicit to the ambiguous
in the New Mass. Indeed the many mixed doctrinal declarations (catholico-protestant
and/ or catholico-orthodox) of recent years produce some ambiguous texts where
truth and error blend together under the sign of equivocation.
Let's talk about the first
process of the evolution of tradition as understood by modernists, that is, the
assimilation of extraneous elements into the revealed deposit. Vatican Council
II, in a passage perhaps too little understood, makes a declaration of
The Council intends above
all to judge by this light [of the Faith] the values most highly esteemed
by our contemporaries, and to link them again to their divine source. (Gaudium
et Spes, #11 [emphasis added])
What are those values esteemed
by our contemporaries? ...Roger Aubert, a priest-precursor of the council, will
tell us that they are democracy and freedom. It is a case then of introducing
them into the doctrine of the Church, by the re-linking of these values "to
their divine source." The Council continues:
In fact, these values [of our
contemporaries], to extent that they originate in human nature, which is a
gift of God, are very good, but the corruption of the human heart often turns
them from the requisite order, and that is why they need to be purified.
So, if one "purifies" these
values of "liberty," of "democracy," of "the rights of man," etc, they are very
good and can be assimilated into Catholic doctrine. This is to say that the new
profane "dogmas" of the French Revolution - liberty, equality, fraternity,
democracy, the rights of man, all that - must be assimilated by Catholic
doctrine. One is going to find religious liberty, freedom of conscience,
ideological pluralism in the State, and the free concurrence of ideologies (as
proclaimed by Pope John Paul II when he spoke at Strasbourg to the European
Parliament in letting it be understood that Communism is ultimately a chance
for the Church, a competition between two rival ideologies, etc.).
This assimilation of dubious
elements, completely foreign to revelation, is an alienating hodge-podge and
thus an execration which profanes the deposit of the Faith and, moreover, has
been condemned by the popes. Here is the authorized commentary on Gaudium et
Spes (#11), that Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger proposes:
The problem of the 1960s was
to acquire the better of the values drawn from two centuries of "liberal"
culture. There are in fact some values which, although born outside the
Church, can find their place purified and corrected in its vision of the
world. This is what has been done.
Thus, under the pretext that
Tradition and divine Revelation should be adaptable to the contemporary
mentality, they want to introduce into Catholic doctrine these contemporary
ideas, these false principles of the contemporary spirit, which is to say the
liberal, revolutionary spirit.
Now that which Vatican II says
in Gaudium et Spes (#11), one finds in the works of Cardinal Congar
(deceased), and also in those of Roger Aubert, a specialist in Church history.
Yves Congar and Roger Aubert were writing in that vein around 1950, 15 years
before Gaudium et Spes. They are truly the precursors of the Council.
Gaudium et Spes (#11) is an implicit citation of Fr. Congar:
The progressivists of the
19th century [e.g., Fr. Felicite-Robert de Lamennais, the French
liberal hero of the 19th century] too often took, just as they stood, ideas
born in another and often hostile world, ideas still laden with a hostile
spirit, and tried to introduce them into Christianity-thinking, that is, to
"baptize" them Reconciling the Church with a positive modern world [which was
ruled upon and condemned in its entirety by the Syllabus 1864] could
not be done by introducing the ideas of the modern world into the Church just
as they stood. That required a work in depth by which the permanent principles
of Catholicism would take a new development by assimilating, after extracting
and purifying as necessary , the valid contributions of that modern world.
Note that this last sentence
will be repeated exactly in
Gaudium et Spes (#11)!... It is thus a development of doctrine by
assimilation of liberal ideas; an assimilation absolutely inadmissible,
Secondly, it is an illusion to
wish to "extract and purify" these ideas of the modern world. The popes have
condemned them purely and simply. They did not seek to "purify" them. But Yves
Congar is mightier than all those popes! ? ...than Pius VI, Pius VII, Gregory
XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII and St. Pius X who have condemned these errors without
In 1951, Church historian Fr.
Roger Aubert takes up the Congarian thesis of purification and assimilation:
The collaborators of
I’Avenir [the newspaper of De Lamennais] had not taken sufficient care
in rethinking the principles which were going to permit them, by means of the
necessary discernments and purifications, to assimilate into Christianity the
ideas of democracy and liberty, which, born outside of the Church, had
developed in a spirit hostile to it.
And so you see how modernists
use, the tactic of copying one another in order to propagandize their false
doctrine. Yet, despite this false credibility, the Church can never rectify and
assimilate elements foreign to Her and condemned by Her.
But a disciple of Fr. Congar
and of Roger Aubert, Fr. Bernard Sesboue, SJ, recycles the Congarian thesis and
dresses it up as a critique, explicit this time, of the popes of the 19th
The drama of those pontifical
declarations is that they had not discerned the element of Christian truth
which lay hidden in demands that appeared at that time as attacks against
religion and as a revolt against the rights of God. ...Thus the ideal which
was signified by "the rights of man" was blocked off for a long time because
men did not succeed in recognizing there the distant heritage of the
The popes did not lack
discernment! They condemned those errors. Those errors were condemned and remain
condemned. The popes have declared these pseudo-values incapable of being
assimilated into Catholic doctrine. To claim that these popes had not known
how to make the distinction, to assert that the condemnation of liberal "values"
is therefore a mistake, is an act of impiety against these popes; it is an
injustice; it is a lie. The popes have done their duty, with the assistance of
the Holy Ghost. They have vigorously excluded any attempt at reconciliation
between the Church and the principles of the Revolution. They have been genuine
witnesses of Tradition, witnesses of a Tradition which lives because it combats.
The fruits of sterility and of death
The faithful transmission of
Tradition is the necessary condition of its spiritual fecundity, just as
sterility, when such is the case, is an infallible sign of infidelity in the
transmission of the deposit. It is an illustration of Our Lord's words on the
By their fruits you will know
them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every
good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. (Mt. 7:17- 18)
Thanks be to God, there is good
fruit amongst us. Therefore the tree is good and the Tradition authentic. It is
fruitful in zeal for one's own conversion by the Spiritual Exercises; for
the conversion of one's neighbor by the work of the apostolate. It bears the
fruit of families with numerous children, where the flame of the Faith is passed
on to a whole new generation. It is fruitful in priestly and religious
On the contrary, we verify that
wherever Tradition has been adulterated, there we find the fruits of sterility
and of death. In general, the so-called Conciliar Church is languishing and
dying of sterility. Parents no longer have children. Catholics no longer get
married. There are no longer large families, thus no more vocations, and, as a
result, seminaries are closing. Novitiate houses are empty, churches also, and
they are being sold. It is the apostasy of the young generation. The young are
completely lost. They abandon the Faith which has not been passed on to them.
There has been a break in its transmission.
Let us remember this lesson.
Tradition is alive as long as the deposit of the Faith is accurately
transmitted. On the contrary, it dies of sterility where the transmission has
been interrupted. Neo-modernism has killed Tradition because it has not
transmitted it. It has falsified it; it has adulterated it, disarming it when
faced with error in order to join it to the error. Archbishop Lefebvre had the
great grace of simply passing on that which he had received, as was engraved on
his tombstone at Econe, according to the words of St. Paul (I Cor. 11:23):
Tradidi quod et accepi…
I have transmitted that which myself have received. But to transmit it
faithfully, what a struggle he had to carry on! What intrepid resistance
to all the pressures exerted on him to make him adopt the New Mass! - to prevent
him from continuing the seminary and his work in 1975-76! What a heroic struggle
in 1988 to resist the enticement of a booby-trapped consecration and to proceed
with Operation Survival of Tradition, even against the wishes of the pope!
This is the fighting Tradition
which assures, by its struggle, the necessary conditions of its integral
transmission and of its vitality. It is especially the Holy Mass of all times,
which needs neither permission nor indult to remain in force and to make the
Christian life fruitful. It is the Mass which constitutes "tradition at its
highest degree of power and solemnity," as our teacher Dom Guillon loved to
say, following the lead of Dom Gueranger. By its permanence and its fruits in
the midst of the "anti-liturgical heresy," it is the traditional Roman
Mass which sums up and focuses the essential struggle and the combative vitality
of the authentic tradition of the Church. Pray then to God that He gives us the
grace of fidelity to this Mass, and this Mass will assure us of receiving the
genuine Tradition and of transmitting it faithfully to a whole new generation.