There is some manifestly erroneous reasoning employed by the Society of St. Pius X when it prioritizes the words and actions of Archbishop Lefebvre during the 1970s over his words and actions later in life.
We will explain by parable. Suppose that in the Year of Our Lord 2008 a self-professed agnostic living in sin was writing a blog where many liberal and confusing thoughts were being put forth. Suppose that in 2016, by the grace of God, that person had returned to the one fold of Christ and is now using their blog to preach the truth to souls living in darkness.
Question: Which of the following would be the most appropriate way to understand that persons views on life?
- Prioritize the 2008 blog to the 2016 blog
- Synthesize the 2008 blog with the 2016 blog, picking and choosing and fusing the ideas presented
- Prioritizing the 2016 blog, noting that anything in contradiction to the 2008 blog would trump what was written before
The answer, my friends, is choice (3)
Let us continue with this example and suppose that this same person – a former agnostic – were to die today. Would God:
- Skip over their conversion to truth and instead go back to 2008, tell them their confessions since 2008 are worthless, and condemn them to hell
- Conduct an evaluation of that person’s entire life to determine whether or not the good outweighed the bad. Subsequently, because most of their life was spent living in sin, condemn them to hell (regardless of that person’s present state of grace)
- Judge the soul based on its current state of grace and award them eternal bliss, though likely sentencing them to purgatory to atone for the sins of their past
The answer is again, most certainly, choice (3)
Let us return to the erroneous logic of the Society of St. Pius X regarding Archbishop Lefebvre. Which of the following, dear reader, would be the correct approach, given what we have already said?
- Prioritize the talks, sermons, and interactions the Archbishop had with Rome during the 1970’s (the years of the greatest confusion for him, by his own admission, as he sorted through the unbelievable crisis in the Church) over the 80’s and early 90’s
- Synthesize the Archbishop’s remarks of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, randomly choosing points from each area to conveniently support one’s own personal stance on how things ought to be handled
- Cling firmly to the positions and practices he held in his later years and at the time of his death, recognizing that his words from the 70’s are of great value only insofar as they fall in line with his mind and heart from the end of his life.
Anyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see knows the answer is option (3)