Like all revolutionaries, the liberals occupying the captain’s quarters on Archbishop Lefebvre’s Ark are unrelenting in their efforts to completely re-make the Society of St. Pius X. Fr. Michel Simoulin’s latest essay for the French newsletter Le Seignadou indicates that the SSPX has fulfilled Our Lady’s prophecy that even the elect will be deceived.
Fr. Simoulin’s article, “The Archbishop’s Principle,” is part of the larger, ongoing project of making the Society acceptable to Modernist Rome. The objective of the letter is four-fold:
- Continue the eradication of the term “Conciliar Church” from the Society’s vocabulary
- Soften the image of Archbishop Lefebvre
- Paint the Resistance as pharisaical
- Re-iterate the claim that Bishop Fellay in his dealings with Rome is simply following the principles laid down by the Archbishop
The essay begins by defending Bishop Fellay for his “prudential” response to Rome’s actions towards the Society at the outset of the so-called Year of Mercy:
Should [Bishop Fellay] have told the faithful not to come to confession to us, so as not to run the risk of receiving a “conciliar” absolution? Jurisdiction, even supplied jurisdiction, like grace itself, is a good that belongs to the treasury of the Church and serves to establish order and supply the faithful with the means of grace, and it has nothing to do with what is “conciliar” in her. It is one of the normal and good measures that are part of the normal life of the Catholic Church. It does not belong exclusively to the “conciliar” Church.
Most noticeable in Fr. Simoulin’s remarks is the constant use of scare quotes around the term “conciliar” Church. He has done this countless times before, most recently in his “We Need a Link with Rome!” article.
What, one wonders, compels him to do this? Why does he no longer use the term Conciliar Church, which historically has been preferred by the Society? Let us try to answer.
First off, it should be noted that the Archbishop himself used this term with great frequency, perhaps most famously when in the book Spiritual Journey he declared:
It is a strict duty for every priest who wills to remain Catholic to separate off from the conciliar church, as long as she does not recover the Tradition of the Magisterium of the Church and of the Catholic Faith!
In the April 2003 edition of The Angelus, Fr. Peter Scott described the “post-Conciliar Church” as “a new religion” that is “masquerading” within “the exterior structure, hierarchy, language and ceremonies of the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Tissier, in noting the distinction between the Conciliar Church and the Catholic Church, said:
The Catholic Church is the society of the baptised who want to save their souls in professing the Catholic faith, in practising the same Catholic worship and in following the same pastors, successors of the Apostles.
The conciliar church is the society of the baptised who follow the directives of the current Popes and bishops, in espousing more or less consciously the intention to bring about the unity of the human race, and in practise accepting the decisions of the Council, following the new liturgy and submitting to the new Code of Canon law.
Fr. Simoulin and the rest of the liberals in the Society are probably mortified by these remarks. Most likely because if there is in fact a Conciliar Church, then it would be nonsensical for the Society to be “regularized” by it, as the two are in direct opposition.
Fr. Simoulin seems to want to whitewash his and the Society’s past. He cannot. In 1988, he, alongside Fr. Schmidberger, Fr. Paul Aulagnier, Fr. François Laisney, Fr. Alain Lorans and others, signed an Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin where they stated the following:
As for us, we are in full communion with all the Popes and Bishops before the Second Vatican Council…We have never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church and defines itself with the Novus Ordo Missæ, an ecumenism which leads to indifferentism and the laicization of all society. Yes, we have no part, nullam partem habemus, with the pantheon of the religions of Assisi…We ask for nothing better than to be declared out of communion with this adulterous spirit which has been blowing in the Church for the last 25 years…
What are Society faithful supposed to make of this contradiction? Are they to think that in 1988 Fr. Simoulin and those priests “never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church” but nowadays they reject the concept of the Conciliar Church altogether? Are we to now view the statements of Archbishop Lefebvre, Fr. Scott, and Bishop Tissier on the Conciliar Church as no longer valid? Reason forbids it. What relativism! What inconsistency! It is a sign of liberalism to say the things found in Fr. Simoulin’s essay.
One now wonders if the Society ever believed what they published regarding the Conciliar Church in the first place. Were we all duped? Are we being duped today? In 2017, what new part of the Archbishop’s life will they claim was just a “prudential” decision? What about in 2018? Catholics cannot save their soul with shepherds who engage in such erratic behavior.
Fr. Simoulin’s essay can be summarized by reminding ourselves that words matter. As Traditionalists, we know this all too well. We know this because we witnessed the devastation that was produced by changing the words of the mass and the sacraments at Vatican II. God was none too pleased by this and proceeded to allow his Church to become weaker, less combative, and more politically correct. It’s not un-reasonable to think God will do the same to the Society for turning its back on the vocabulary Archbishop Lefebvre bequeathed to it.
At the end of the day, consider this just one more example in the long list of examples of how the Society is gradually distancing itself from the Archbishop and his approach towards Modernist Rome – a death wish if there ever was one.
We will analyze the second half of Fr. Simoulin’s letter in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.