The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc

The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc


The Great Heresies is possibly the greatest book written by Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953), the famous Catholic historian, for here the author, calling upon his vast knowledge of history, outlines in simple terms for his readers, not only the meaning and influence of heresy against the Catholic Church, but the impact on the entire world of five of the greatest heresies of all time: Arianism, Mohammedanism (Islam), Albigensianism, Protentantism and (what for a better word he calls) the “modern Attack.” This high praise on the part of the Publisher is no exaggeration, and the subject of heresies should be of the utmost interest to every Catholic.


In this article, references will be made to the chapter dealing with the Arian heresy because the Arian attack on the Catholic Church in the 4th century mirrors the Conciliar attack on the Catholic Church in the 20th century and on Tradition (and now on the Resistance) in the 21st century.


Belloc writes: “The Arian attack proposed a change of fundamental doctrine, such that, had the change prevailed, the whole nature of the religion would have been transformed. It would not only have been transformed, it would have failed; and with its failure would have followed the breakdown of that civilization which the Catholic Church was to build up” (p 11).


What Belloc wrote nearly eighty years ago could well be written today, only substitute “Modernism” for “the Arian attack”.


Belloc writes that as soon as the Arian heresy made its presence known, the response was immediate: “A battle of vast importance was joined. Men did not know of what importance it was, violently though their emotions were excited” (p 27). Was this perhaps an over-reaction? Belloc explains: “Had this movement [the heresy that rejected the full divinity of Jesus Christ] gained the victory, all our civilization would have been other than what it has been from that day to this” (p 27).


Ever since the French Revolution, Liberalism has been steadily making inroads and gaining strength, combing all errors into one mega heresy called Modernism. Had this synthesis of all heresies won, we would likely not be Catholic today. Most likely, we would not be at all.


The author continues: “To settle the quarrel by which all Christian society was divided, a council was ordered by the Emperor to meet, in A.D. 325, at the town of Nicaea…. The reaction against the innovation of Arius was so strong that at this Council of Nicaea he was overwhelmed”(p 28).


Likewise, St Pius X took a strong stance against Modernism. As Pope, he exposed and condemned it, and tirelessly warned and educated Catholics of the danger of this super heresy.


But victory for the Catholics was short-lived: “It [the heresy] re-arose at once, and it can be said that Arianism was actually strengthened by its first superficial defeat” (p 28).


While St Pius X put up a valiant fight against Modernism, the Modernists continued their fight underground, preparing for Vatican II.


Belloc then explains the nature of this “battle” between the Catholics and the heretics: It was “a quarrel between two opposing personalities, such as human personalities are: on the one side the Catholic temper and tradition, on the other a soured, proud temper, which would have destroyed the Faith” (p 29).


The nature of the battle in our present day is the same as it was in the 4th century: it is between traditional Catholic common sense and pride.


The heretics then adopted a key strategy: “Arianism learned from its heavy defeat at Nicaea to compromise on forms, on the wording of doctrine, so that it might preserve and spread, with less opposition, its heretical spirit” (p 29).


The Modernists adopted the same strategy: Calling Vatican II a “pastoral” rather than a “dogmatic” Council gave them a tactical advantage. It put the “good” men off their guard, and the Modernists won the day.


And the heretics were successful. Belloc writes: “When the Arians began this new policy of verbal compromise, the Emperor Constantine and his successors regarded that policy as an honest opportunity for reconciliation and reunion” (emphasis mine)(p 29).


During the fifty years following Vatican II, the Modernists likewise resorted to a “policy”: In the name of “reconciliation and reunion”, they infested the Traditional communities, and, one by one, all were taken over by the Conciliar Church. In 2012, the turn came for the last bastion of Tradition, the SSPX, to be lured into the Conciliar trap. The current SSPX leadership’s quest for reconciliation and reunion is by no means a modern invention!


And punitive actions followed. Belloc comments: “The refusal of the Catholics to be deceived became, in the eyes of those who thought thus, mere obstinacy; and in the eyes of the Emperor, factious rebellion and inexcusable disobedience” (p 29).


The Resistance priests remained true to Tradition and were therefore subjected to punitive actions, including expulsions.


Belloc then gives the Emperor’s accusations: “Here are you people, who call yourself the only real Catholics, prolonging and needlessly embittering a mere faction-fight. Because you have the popular names behind you, you feel yourselves the masters of your fellows. Such arrogance is intolerable” (p 29).


Likewise, the SSPX hierarchy labeled the Resistance laity disobedient and divisive.


And the Emperor continues: “The other side has accepted your main point; why cannot you now settle the quarrel and come together again? By holding out you split society into two camps; you disturb the peace of the Empire, and are as criminal as you are fanatical” (p 29-30).


Just as the Emperor came down hard on the Catholics in the 4th century, so also the SSPX hierarchy manipulated the Traditionalists in 2012. The June 8, 2012 DICI Interview with Bishop Fellay was one method amongst many, intended to soft-peddle the fact that Vatican II was the stumbling block that could not be accepted. The Bishop said: “What has changed is the fact that Rome no longer makes total acceptance of Vatican II a prerequisite to the canonical solution.” Also, the Bishop downplayed the importance of Doctrine: “We must set aside the secondary problems and deal with the major problems”. Since when has Catholic Doctrine become a “secondary problem”!! And what “major problems” could the Bishop be referring to if not to the problem of the “canonical solution?!


Belloc gives the Catholic position: “The heretics have not accepted our main point. They have subscribed to an Orthodox phrase, but they interpret that phrase in an heretical fashion…. Therefore we will not allow them to enter our communion. To do so would be to endanger the vital principle by which the Church exists, the principle of the Incarnation, and the Church is essential to the Empire and Mankind” (p 30).


Belloc then writes: “At this point, there entered the battle that personal force which ultimately won the victory for Catholicism: St Athanasius” (p 30).


And, as the saying goes, the rest is history!


What lesson can we then draw from The Great Heresies? That Catholics can never compromise on “the vital principle by which the Church exists” and that the “vital principle” is called the Catholic Doctrine.


Read Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Heresies and do not compromise!


Work cited:

The Great Heresies, Hilaire Belloc, Tan Books and Publishers Inc., 1991, pp 161

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Sr Constance (TOSF)


TOSF – Office of the Paters

The Office (set of daily prayers) said by a Third Order Tertiary is a powerful prayer and benefits the entire Church. The article below explains the difference between public and private prayer, and how the Office plays an important part in the life of the Church.


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An Acknowledgement
Tertiaries have a choice of three Offices. They may recite the Breviary, the Little Office of Our Lady, or Twelve Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glorias. As most Tertiaries use the latter, we supply them herein with AIDS for its better recitation. Grateful acknowledgement is hereby expressed to the editor of the Franciscan Herald Press for permission to reprint these AIDS from the Tertiary Office of the Paters.


Tertiaries who are ecclesiastics, inasmuch as they read the Psalms daily, need do no more under this heading. Laymen who neither recite the canonical prayers nor the prayers in honour of Mary, commonly known as the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, must say each day twelve “Our Fathers,” “Hail Marys” and “ Glorys” unless prevented from doing so by ill-health.
Nature of Office
We are very familiar with this word “office” in its ordinary sense. It means a duty or an obligation entrusted to some responsible person. In liturgical language, it means the duty or obligation imposed by the Church on certain of her children, to recite daily a set form of prayer prescribed by her. But the Office is not a merely ecclesiastical institution: it is divine. Of old, God imposed a type of Office on the Synagogue, certain prayers to be recited at regular intervals. This means that the Church, through the Office, is simply assuming an obligation imposed by God Himself. The Divine Office, as we know it, is a liturgical prayer which goes back through monastic and ecclesiastical institutions to the cradle of Christianity; and, through the mosaic institution, right back to God Himself.
The Church does not indiscriminately impose this obligation on all. We could speak of it as a favour granted by her to some privileged souls. Just as she endows some with divine power to celebrate Mass in her name and for the whole Mystical Body, so, too, she appoints certain of her children as official representatives to bear the praises of mankind to the throne of God in her name, and to return from that throne with graces and blessings for man.
Object of the Office
The principal object of the Office is to give praise to God. He has created everything and done all things for His own glory. We, His creatures, are bound to glorify Him. This was His object in creating us. The life of Christ was spent primarily in glorifying the Father. “I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” Knowing the inconstancy of man and the irregularity with which many people pray, the Church steps in and makes sure that God will not be forgotten by the world, and that He will get from it the honour which is His due. This is why she commissions some of her members to offer up daily to God a hymn of praise through the Office. It is in practice the incense offered to God by the Church, being the counterpart on earth of that homage given to God by the heavenly multitudes, a homage almost terrifying in description as given by St. John in his Apocalypse: “After these things I heard, as it were, the voice of much people in heaven, saying: Alleluia, Salvation, and glory, and power is to our God. And again they said: Alleluia. And the four and twenty ancients, and the four living creatures fell down and adored God that sitteth upon the throne, saying: Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out from the throne saying: Give praise to our God, all ye his servants; and you that fear Him, little and great. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying:
Alleluia, for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned.

Although primarily a hymn of praise, a glorifying of God in the name of mankind, other objects of the Office are to render Him thanks for His continuous blessings, to ask His pardon for sin, and to secure for the world the graces which it needs. St. Bonaventure tells us that the purpose of the Office is to unite men with the angles in heaven in their praise and blessing of God; to testify to God an appreciation for all He has done and is doing for us; to conserve and renew devotion and the holy fear of God, which if not fed would be extinguished; to supply for those who cannot pray regularly, or who never pray.
Value of the Office
In the sight of God, all prayer is pleasing and valuable; but none can compare with that of the Office, as it is the official and public prayer of the Church.

We must consider for a moment the difference between public and private prayer. Some think that any prayer said by a group is public, and that all other prayer is private. By no means. Public prayer is the official prayer of the Church, prescribed and imposed by her on certain of her children. Thus, the priest or Tertiary reciting his Office in the privacy of his home, is reciting a public prayer. The Church prescribes both its form and contents, and commands them to offer it in her name.
On the other hand, take the Stations of the Cross, or the Rosary, even when performed by a congregation in church. These are but private prayers, as the Church has not commanded any group to offer them in her name. They are prayers of private devotion: even though they are approved of, and sanctioned by the Church.
Any public prayer of the Church surpasses al private prayer in value. Why is this? We must remember that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, of which He is the Head. He is the representative of the human race in its constant and obligatory duty of praising, thanking, making satisfaction and petition to God. As Head, He gives the Church His own power of adoring and praising God. The Church does this in her liturgy, and she tells us herself that, after the Mass, the Office is the greatest of all her liturgical and public prayers. It is her official voice of praise to God. We know that the Church is the Bride of Christ, and being Christ’s Bride will always be heard before the throne of God. The Office is, in reality, the praise of Christ Himself passing through the lips of the Church. After the Mass itself, it is the greatest prayer we have. Actually it is intimately connected with the Mass, drawing therefrom much of its grandeur, its value and its efficaciousness. It is a prolongation, a counterpart of the Mass, being a re-echo of the praise, thanksgiving, reparation and petition given by Christ to God in the Mass. The Mass is Christ’s perfect prayer. The Office is the official prayer of Christ’s Bride, Christ still praying through, and with, and in it, for the same purposes as He prays the Mass.
Because it is an Office sanctioned by the Church, there is a great difference between twelve Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorys said as a Tertiary Office and said as private prayers. If two persons, one a Tertiary and the other not, recite these prayers with the same devotion, the results are not the same. The one who is not a Tertiary performs a private work of piety of his own choice and in his own name. The Tertiary recites an official prayer imposed on him by the Church and offered in her name. It is part of the prayer service the Church offers continually to God. It is a substitute for the Divine Office itself.
By deputing some to the recitation of an Office, the Church is really appointing them as her ambassadors, to offer to God the homage of the human race and represent it before His throne. We know the position an ambassador holds. He is the official representative of his country, carrying the weight and the authority of his country with him. One word from him before the throne to which he is accredited, carries more weight than the voices of many private individuals.
Similarly, while we recite the Office, God does not look upon us as souls coming before Him with their private interests, but as ambassadors of the Bride of His Son. While we pray thus, through and with Christ, our prayer is most pleasing to God and efficacious for ourselves and for others. This is why the Office surpasses in value and efficacy all private prayers. St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi says: “In comparison with the Divine Office, all other prayers amount to nothing.” St. Alphonsus says: “The smallest quantity of Office is of greater value than a hundred prayers of private devotion.
Marvellous Privilege
The privilege of Tertiaries are many and great, but one of their greatest privileges lies in the fact that the Church, Christ’s Bride and Spouse, delegates them to recite an Office, thereby joining their prayers with her own and with that of Christ, appointing them personal ambassadors before the throne of God.
Alas! How many Tertiaries see in their Office of privilege, God’s Work, as St. Benedict calls it? Some of them consider it a burden, a monotonous repetition of the commonest of all prayers to be recited daily, omitting it for the slightest cause, and usually reciting it when, and only when, a multiplicity of private prayers have been attended to. I do not, even for a moment, insinuate that Tertiaries should neglect their private prayers. God forbid! But because of its dignity and excellence, and value, their Office should be the central prayer of their lives, and not merely a prayer added to their private devotions. Remembering that they are ambassadors of the Church, they should never omit it, because, by failing to recite their Office, even though they are not bound under pain of sin to do so, they are not merely omitting an exercise of personal piety, they are failing the Church in a duty. To attend to it only after daily private prayers, is to underestimate the spirit and power of the Church’s liturgy.
When reciting the Office, the Tertiary is not praying as an individual, or in his own name, but in the name of the Church. His is no longer a solitary individual prayer: it is a public prayer of the Church, even when recited privately. It renders the Tertiary a kind of priest, a pontifex — such is the Latin for priest, meaning bridge-builder, a connecting link between God and man, going up to God with praises of humanity, and returning from the throne of God loaded with gifts for man.
Through his Office, the Tertiary is closely associated with priests and religious who have consecrated their lives to the perpetual praise of God. It helps him to forget himself, to get out of himself with the very will of Christ, which is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. While reciting the Office, he can be sure that he is praying as God wishes him to prayer, because the Church has commissioned him to pray thus.
Again, whatever the Tertiary’s personal merits may be, his Office is vested with the holiness and the efficacy of the Church. He is saying it in the name of the Church, which means that its effects do not depend merely on his personal merit; the whole Church is behind him. He does not recite an Office alone, but with thousands of priests, clerics, religious and lay-people. It is no longer the thin voice of an individual, but the powerful voice of the Church itself. The Tertiary unites his voice with that of the universal Church, thus constituting a marvellous harmony which ascends from every part of the world. It is not the Tertiary who prays; it is the Church who prays through the mouth of the Tertiary. It is even more than this. The Tertiary forms part of that universal choir with Christ at the head. Christ will be his support, supplying for his many deficiencies. Joining his poor and unworthy voice with this great symphony of worship and petition, his feeble breath becomes a part of that which is mighty and divine. Thus, defects which may be found in an individual recitation are, so to speak, merged into the perfect prayer of Christ and of many saintly souls. This, of course, should not lead to a careless and mechanical recitation, but should serve as an inspiration, a help, and an antidote to individual weakness.
Proper Recitation
Because of the great privilege the Church grants them, by allowing them [to] recite an Office, Tertiaries should render themselves worthy of this honour by reciting it daily with the utmost attention and devotion. Since it is a prolongation of Christ’s own prayer, it should be offered in union with Him. All those reciting should unite themselves to the perfect worship given to God by the Incarnate Word, in order to give to God through Him, with Him, and in Him, and at the same time to intercede with Christ for the needs of humanity. So intent was that great Tertiary priest, St. John Vianney, on uniting his daily Office in union with Christ, that he invariably recited his breviary at the foot of the Altar, pausing frequently to gaze up at the tabernacle where Jesus was. In a prayer recited before the Office, we ask that we may say it in union with that divine intention with which Christ praised God on earth. In that same prayer, we ask God, too, that we may recite it worthily, attentively and devoutly. Yes, these are the dispositions with which it should be recited.
Worthily: When reciting the Office, we are, as it were ushered into the presence of the King of kings, and should act accordingly.
Attentively: During it, we should attend to God’s presence, remembering that we are ambassadors before His throne, uniting our voices with those of the very angels and of the whole heavenly court. St. John tells us that the angels and elect in heaven cast themselves down before the Infinite Majesty. “And they fell down before the throne upon their faces and adored God.” We, too, should have an inward reverence for the infinite majesty of God, in spirit prostrating ourselves in adoration before Him.
Devoutly: This means that we try to concentrate all the powers of our souls in this sacred work, trying to carry out as perfectly as possible that divine injunction: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with they whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with they whole strength.
Beware lest that reproach made by God to those people who failed in their duty of honouring Him properly be applied to you: “This is the people that honoureth me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me.
Divisions of Office
The Divine Office proper is divided into Hours, of which there are seven. It became divided thus from the traditional times at which portions of it were recited. The divisions are: Matins and Lauds, recited very early in the morning, with the privilege of anticipating them on the previous night; Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, which were recited at the first, third, sixth and ninth hours of the day; Vespers, and evening prayer, and Compline, a prayer before retiring to rest.
If he so wishes, the Tertiary may divide his Office according to these Hours. It would be even well to do so. He would thus be in harmony with the spirit of the liturgy and would be interspersing his day’s work with an official prayer of the Church. Pope Leo XIII approved the practice of saying five Our Fathers, etc., for Matins, and one Our Father etc., for each of the Hours of Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. The same Pope strongly recommended meditation on Our Lord’s Passion while reciting the Office.
The Office may be said alternately by a group of Tertiaries in the same manner as the Rosary is recited by a group of people, or the office recited by Religious in choir.
Tertiary Office
The Rule mentions three different Offices which the Tertiary may recite: the Divine Office, or the Breviary; the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, which is very similar to the Divine Office, and which is not to be confounded with the Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, as the latter would not suffice for the Tertiary Office; and the Office of the twelve Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glorys. Clerics who recite the Divine Office are not bound to recitation of the latter; and, in private, they may follow the Breviary of the First Order.
The usual Office recited by the Tertiaries is that of the twelve Our Fathers, etc. This is marvellously adapted to exigencies of modern life, which cannot endure long prayers. We see the wisdom of the Church in fitting the burden to the shoulder, giving an obligation in proportion to the strength of those expected to fulfill it. That is why the Office of Tertiaries is so small, but at the same time being an official prayer of the Church.
Because of its brevity and composition, there is a danger of misunderstanding the value of the Tertiary Office. The Tertiary should remember that, not only is he praising God in union with Christ’s intentions, but his is also using some of the grandest prayers in the whole liturgy of the Church. The Our Father was composed by Christ Himself. The Hail Mary consists, mainly, of God’s own salutation to Mary through the archangel Gabriel. At least, it fell immediately from Gabriel’s lips when he came straight from the throne of God, to announce our redemption. It is completed by the salutation of Elizabeth to Mary; and the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, added the rest. The Glory is a profession of faith in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, the fundamental dogma of our religion. Through it, the Church gathers up the praises of all creation from the beginning to the end of time, and offers them as a hymn of adoration to the Blessed Trinity.
Hence, despite its brevity, because of its contents and object, the Tertiary Office is really sublime.
God’s Minstrels
By means of their Office, Tertiaries become God’s minstrels, singers of God’s praises with Christ and the Church. Naturally, they should prove themselves worthy minstrels by a faithful daily recitation, never omitting that duty except when prevented by illness or some other just cause. The Rule caters for these exceptions, and, under these circumstances, dispenses Tertiaries from recitation of the Office.
Pope Leo XIII, although already reciting the Divine Office, recited his Tertiary Office daily and that before his morning Mass. In 1884 he wrote: “Indeed, every day, before we approach the Altar we recite the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory twelve times. Yes! Yes! The Pope himself recites every day the Seraphic Office of Tertiaries.
Francis Praying
Would that Tertiaries had a little of that devotion which St. Francis had when reciting his Office! Thomas of Celano tells us that, when Francis was saying his Office, not only did he seem to pray, but his very being became a prayer. What passed between God and himself in that converse and ecstasy of prayer, he never revealed to anybody.
When reciting the Office he would not lean on anything, but prayed in an upright position, devoting all his attention to the sublime work. “If the body,” he said, “which is the prey of worms, is allowed to enjoy its food in quiet, with how much more tranquillity and peace must the soul take its food, which is God Himself!” When he was nearing his end and was no longer able to read because of his poor health and almost total blindness, he had a cleric read the Office to him daily.
St. Bonaventure says that one may judge whether a religious is a good religious from the manner in which he recites his Office.
Of the Tertiary the same may be said. May he say it well, and cry out with David, the Psalmist: “Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed like incense in thy sight.

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We would like to acknowledge that the preparation of the document that this was taken from was compiled by A. Hermit, St. Mary’s, Kansas, from a manuscript entitled The Tertiary Office of the Paters published in 1949 by the Franciscan Herald Press (now defunct), and a treatise on reciting the Tertiary Office entitled AIDS, from the same publisher. Some minor editing has been done for clarification and correction.

Sr Constance (TOSF)


Faith Imperiled by Reason or Why We Should Leave the SSPX

“Faith Imperiled by Reason”


Why We Should Leave the SSPX


In his Introduction to the English translation of the Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais’ article, “Faith Imperiled by Reason: Benedict XVI’s Hermeneutics”, Dr. Peter Chojnowski writes: “This article, which compares the theology of Josef Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) to that of the traditional theology of the Church as articulated by the Popes, the Fathers, and the Doctors, is truly a comprehensive study for all those interested in the doctrinal issues now being discussed behind closed doors.

Speaking of “behind closed doors”, I have a clear memory of Michael Davies saying, about two years before his death, that we should trust the efforts of Cardinal Ratzinger because he (Michael Davies) had meetings with the Cardinal “behind closed doors”, thereby implying that he had special knowledge that the Cardinal was a friend of Tradition. Whatever Michael Davies may or may not have heard “behind closed doors”, one consequence was that he abandoned the fight for Tradition when he joined the Una Voce Conciliar structure. By working from within this Conciliar structure, Michael Davies abandoned Tradition just as he abandoned Archbishop Lefebvre because of the 1988 Consecrations. And once he became part of the Conciliar structure, his efforts for the restoration of Tradition became ineffective.
So much for meetings “behind closed doors”.
Dr. Chojnowski continues: “Since the Conciliar Church has decided to accept the personal theology of each new pope as its current interpretation of the fundamentals of the Faith, it is absolutely essential for real Catholics to understand the Modernist Revolution in its current stage.”
Dr. Chojnowski concludes his Introduction with these words: “After reading this fascinating essay, anyone who thought that “reconciliation” between Catholic Tradition and Vatican II theology is right around the corner will have to think again!”
Then follows a masterful analysis of the mindset of the current hierarchy of the Conciliar Church written by Bishop Tissier which reinforces what every Traditionalist knows: Vatican II is not only 5% bad (the SSPX claims that 95% is acceptable); Vatican II is the French Revolution within the Church.
The article then concludes by Bishop Tissier accrediting various priests for their assistance: Fr Benoit de Jorna, Fr Jean-Michel Gleize, Fr Jean-Dominique Favre, Fr Francois Knittel, Fr Renaud de Sainte-Marie, Fr Alain Lorans, Fr Dominique Bourmaud, Fr Christian Thouvenot, Fr Xavier Beauvais, Fr Gregoire Celier, Fr Pierre-Marie de Kergorlay.
Bishop Tissier penned this lengthy article five years ago, and one never hears any mention of it. Odd how quickly the article has been forgotten!
Equally odd is the resounding silence on the part of the priests who assisted the Bishop!
What happened to these learned priests? Despite their collaboration on a document that fights Modernism, they still remain within the SSPX (their leaving would have been noticed). Did the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration have anything to do with their silence? Surely they are too intelligent to fall for blind obedience. So, what is their motivation?
Why is Bishop Tissier no longer producing works of this caliber? Why is he silent?
Could it be that the “canonical solution” talked of in June 8, 2012 DICI Interview has already been signed?
Ah, but you are guessing! You are running away with an idea!
Fair enough. Look to history:
Before 1534, England was a Catholic nation until Henry VIII decided that he needed an Oath of Supremacy. It is a historical fact that all the high clergy, with the exception of Bishop John Fisher (and this exception made him St John Fisher!), rushed to take the Oath. And what did this Oath entail? It entailed the full recognition and acceptance of Henry VIII – and not of the Pope – as the official head of the Church.
As a direct consequence of the Oath, every single Catholic, however he may have felt personally, became a member of the Church of England and entered therefore into schism with the Roman Catholic Church.
Similarly, SSPX priests and adherents, however they may feel personally about the April 15, 2012 Declaration, become members of the Conciliar Church and enter therefore into rupture with the Church of All Time.
To clarify this point, it must be understood that with the Declaration, every SSPX priest must accept the official re-branded position that the SSPX now seeks a recognition/regularization with the Conciliar Church. Remember, just as every member of the Church of England was in schism with the Roman Catholic Church, every member (and adherent) of the SSPX is now in rupture with the Church of All Time.
To undo the damage done by the April 15, 2012 Declaration, the SSPX would have to publicly recant the Declaration.
Instead, what have the various high-ranking SSPX priests been saying? That the train for Rome has left, that the “Conciliar Church” notion does not exist (note that the Conciliarists themselves coined the term), that we must return to the “visible” Church, that we are in schism, etc.
Further, the Trads in the Resistance who maintain that attendance in the re-branded SSPX Masses is still acceptable because the Masses are valid are missing this critical point: Whether or not the Masses are valid (and they are) is not the point (Satanic masses are also valid if they meet the proper requirements); whether they are pleasing to God (and are salvific to your soul) is the point!
A further point to consider is that by attending the SSPX Masses, the faithful are exposed to a re-branded, liberal, Trad-ecumenical atmosphere, largely dependent on the priest’s as well as the other parishioners’ degree of Liberalism. In other words, you are surrounded by new SSPX-speak. You will no longer be told in plain English that you cannot attend the NO or the Indult Masses.
Also, what example are these Trads giving to their children? That it is ok to compromise? That it is ok to be complacent? That safety lies in numbers? While these Trads may fool themselves for a while, they will not fool their children for long (and this dissimulation will likely cause irreparable damage to the young minds).
Am I over-reacting? The Oath of Supremacy caused a reign of mass executions lasting for 150 years with the result that England emerged not only a Protestant nation, but was the catalyst for the Protestant take-over of the once-Catholic Europe.
Such was the power of one Oath.
Almost five hundred years later another “Oath” has been prepared, only this time it targets the last bastion of Tradition, and the “Oath” demands full recognition and acceptance of Vatican II theology. And the clergy, high and low, some quickly, others feigning some amount of discomfort, but most of them silently and acquiescently lead the faithful to the Conciliar Church. Is it not logical to conclude that the “canonical solution” or some equivalent “Oath” has already been signed?
Whether the “canonical solution” has been signed or not is a mute point because the facts are there for all to see: the current SSPX has broken faith with Archbishop Lefebvre. More importantly, the SSPX has broken faith with the Catholic Church of All Time.
I would like to thank Bishop Tissier and his assistants for confirming my decision to leave the SSPX.

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The original document by Bishop Tissier can be found at:
and the English translation is at


Sr Constance (TOSF)


Can We Retain Our Faith in the Novus Ordo?

Within the Resistance, there have been comments to the effect that it is possible to retain one’s Faith in the Novus Ordo, and by extension, within the NSSPX and other Indult groups. The Archbishop is even quoted as supporting this concept in 1985.
While people within these groups may manifest signs of Faith, it is not objectively true to say that these groups are conducive to saving souls. Rather, God may give the Graces for these people to save their souls in spite of the Novus Ordo and the other groups.
In reality, we must consider the position of the Archbishop after the 1988 Consecrations, when he had exhausted all attempts to reconcile with the hierarchy in the Vatican who have lost Faith.
The book, Spiritual Journey, reviewed below, makes it clear that “It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest [and layman] wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith”.
The author also writes:
“This new religion is not the Catholic religion; it is sterile, incapable of sanctifying society and the family”.
Therefore, we cannot fall into accepting the convenience of attending Novus Ordo or Indult (and now NSSPX) Masses.

Spiritual Journey by Archbishop Lefebvre

Spiritual Journey is not another book on spirituality; rather, it is the Last Will & Testament of Archbishop Lefebvre addressed to the priests and seminarians of the Priestly Society of St Pius X.
The Archbishop goes straight to the heart of the matter in the Preface. He wants “…to transmit, before the progressive degradation of the priestly ideal, in all of its doctrinal purity and in all of its missionary charity, the Catholic Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, just as He conferred it on His Apostles, just as the Roman Church always transmitted it until the middle of the twentieth century” (iii). He continues: “…there appeared to me already the need, not only to confer the authentic priesthood, to teach not only the sana doctrina approved by the Church, but also to transmit the profound and unchanging spirit of the Catholic priesthood and of the Christian spirit essentially bound to the great prayer of Our Lord which His Sacrifice on the Cross expresses eternally” (iii).
Spiritual Journey is more than a pious reading; it is a call to arms for the defense of the Faith. What follows is a Thomistic treatise on Catholic spirituality with a special focus on the current apostasy within the Church specifically intended for the priests and seminarians. The Archbishop summarizes the situation: “The current Pope and bishops no longer hand down Our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather a sentimental, superficial, charismatic religiosity, through which, as a general rule, the true grace of the Holy Ghost no longer passes. This new religion is not the Catholic religion; it is sterile, incapable of sanctifying society and the family” (ix).
The Archbishop aptly labels this “religiosity” and identifies what lies behind it: “This “Conciliar Church” is imbued with the principles of 1789. These are Masonic principles with respect to religion and religions in general and with respect to civil society. Its foundation was an imposture inspired by Hell for the destruction of the Catholic religion, of its Magisterium, of its priesthood, and of the Sacrifice of Our Lord” (p 6).
The Archbishop warns his sons not to get poisoned by proximity to this “new religion”: “For as long as this Secretariat keeps the false ecumenism as its orientation and Roman ecclesiastical authorities approve it, we can affirm that they remain in open, official rupture with all the past of the Church and with its official Magisterium. It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the Tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith” (p 13).
The Archbishop recognizes the grave responsibility on the part of the hierarchy and the far-reaching consequences: “This apostasy [of popes and bishops] makes its members adulterers, schismatics opposed to all Tradition, separated from the past of the Church, and thus separated from the Church of today…”
(p 54).
The Archbishop offers a sober warning: “We will never fully understand the struggle between the good and the wicked throughout history, as long as we do not see it as the personal and unyielding battle for all time between Satan and Jesus Christ” (p 37). The Archbishop then asks: “What duty befalls upon every man because of this fundamental and unyielding battle…?” And he answers: “It is the duty never to compromise, on whatever it may be, with that which is of Satan or his followers, and to enlist ourselves beneath the standard of Jesus Christ, and there to remain always and fight valiantly” (p 37).
What practical tools does the Archbishop offer to his priests? The love of Our Lord and His Mother, solid prayer life, faithfulness to Tradition and the return to Thomistic studies: “St. Thomas shines among [the Church Fathers] like a light. His Summa Theologica is a chef d’oeuvre of collaboration between faith and reason, to establish Revelation on irrefutable bases. It clearly shows that these two are of divine origin and thus cannot help but mutually confirm one another. Faith remains nevertheless the surest source of the knowledge of God and of divine things. It remains the golden rule of wisdom” (p 65).
And he adds: “The Summa can be summarized thus: to come from God, to return to God, by the means of God – such is man’s destiny” (p 65).
And, like a good father, he concludes his treatise with words from St Paul speaking to Timothy: “…keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words… Fight the good fight of Faith; lay hold on eternal life” (p 68).

* * *

Since the Archbishop’s death in 1991, the apostasy he had warned against has infected his own SSPX. Was he then a failure?
Was Moses a failure for not preventing the Jews from falling into apostasy?
Was St Thomas More a failure for failing to prevent England from falling into Protestantism?
Was the Archbishop wrong when he warned his priests that they will meet with obstacles and persecutions? He told them: “Some will believe and others will turn away”. And he added: “Some will persecute us, as they did Our Lord and the apostles” (p 67-68).
Was he wrong to conclude with this solemn warning? “Let us keep the Faith above all else. It is for this that Our Lord died, because He affirmed His divinity. It is for this that all the martyrs died. Let us flee from those who make us lose the Faith or diminish it” (p 68).
Spiritual Journey is the Last Will & Testament of the Archbishop; it is also his adieu to all who keep the Faith.
Work cited:
Spiritual Journey, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, June 1991, 73 pp

* * *


Sr Constance (TOSF)


Keep the Faith!

After my conversion to the Roman Catholic Church some 20 years ago, I purchased three books written by Cardinal Ratzinger and, after reading them, concluded that one of us was not a Catholic. My first 10 years as a Catholic were spent wandering, like the exiled Jews, from parish to parish, questioning what I heard, looking for sound Catholic common sense which I at last found in the SSPX, or more correctly in the teachings of the founder, Archbishop Lefebvre.


Then 2 years ago, the exile restarted after reading the June 8, 2012 DICI Interview. Of course there were hints before 2012, but I gave the benefit of the doubt and politely kept silent. But history tends to repeat itself. After reading the 2012 DICI Interview, I made the same mistake I made 20 years previously: I started questioning.


This time I thought I was on safe ground (after all, I was with the SSPX and they could handle all sorts of tough questions), and so I asked why was Bishop Fellay seeking a canonical status. A bomb hitting the chapel would not have caused a greater stir than my naive question! I was immediately labeled disobedient, rebellious and scurrilous (I had to look that one up in the dictionary).


So, after 10 years of attending an SSPX chapel (a round trip of 320 km), I was declared ‘persona non grata’ and I came to the full appreciation of just how many jocular terms for scurrilous the English language actually has!


And so, my conversion to the Roman Catholic Church ended up with a small group of us sitting – not in the pew – but on the ground in a park one Sunday afternoon. Today I am part of what is commonly called the Resistance (although I would really prefer to be called simply a Roman Catholic).


Recently I happened to fall into an email discussion about the SSPX situation with a kind SSPX supporter. I stress ‘kind’ because he was surprisingly kind (unlike my former SSPX friends) and patiently stated: “He [Bishop Fellay], as the leader, is looking ahead, trying to find options to keep Tradition alive and in the visible Church”. 


I confess that when I read that statement, memories of Cardinal Ratzinger’s Hermeneutics of Continuity hit me with full force. I then spent not a little time doing my best to explain to the SSPX supporter that the “visible” Church is not the Conciliar Church, but rather is the Roman Catholic Church without which there is no salvation; that “Tradition” is synonymous with Roman Catholic Church; that the Roman Catholic Church does not need us to keep it “alive” – rather the Church keeps us alive; that as Catholics our only “option” is to keep the Faith; that we must “look ahead” to Heaven; and that seeking regularization/recognition is about as futile and dangerous as trying to understand how the Hermeneutics of Continuity can save souls. I believe that I did not get the chance to explain that the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration and Cardinal Ratzinger’s books must both be interpreted in the light of Tradition and are therefore poisonous to our Catholic common sense.


The sad reality is this: The SSPX has essentially lost the fight for Tradition. The older Trads are tired; they have their chapels and they do not want to think. Obedience has replaced all analytical thinking and they have forgotten why they started attending the SSPX in the first place. 


The younger SSPX generation is worse, as the rule of entropy intensifies with time. Fighting is a foreign concept to them; they want to get along. They probably think that their parents over-reacted (because the world really is a nice place after all!!). They whisk their children to the nifty SSPX schools; what more could they want, because, after all, they have the true Mass, and Traditionalism is all about the Mass, is it not? They forget that the pre-Vatican II Catholics also had the true Mass and they woke up in the Conciliar Church!


Further, adherents of the SSPX are told that they must seek regularization/recognition because the SSPX suffers from an irregular canonical status (with proper canonical status, the SSPX would then be granted proper jurisdiction rather than supplied jurisdiction). The SSPX always used to teach that there is a state of necessity which creates supplied jurisdiction. The Indult environment was created to keep people away from the hardline position of the Archbishop. Now, by joining the Indult environment, the SSPX is saying that there is no longer a state of necessity, which implies that there is no longer supplied jurisdiction, therefore canonical recognition is necessary. The SSPX now claims that it must fight for the Faith from within the Church as did the early Roman martyrs. But the Roman martyrs never accepted 95% of the Roman religion! They died rather than compromise their Faith! And once the SSPX is given the proper canonical status, would the SSPX then teach the entire Catholic Doctrine with Vatican II new theology, as a bonus perhaps? What Faith will they defend and preserve once they are within the Conciliar Church? 


The tragedy is that today’s SSPX adherents (and priests?) have relegated Archbishop Lefebvre to the dustbin of history. The SSPX leadership has paved the way by giving us a re-branded image of the Archbishop  as merely a keeper of the true Mass. What an insult to the memory of the Archbishop! The younger SSPX supporters no longer know that Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX in order to properly form the priests who would transmit the Faith, completely and accurately. The Archbishop understood that the fight was on the Doctrinal level.


Should we be discouraged? By no means! History repeats itself. Thank God we are not asked to invent new ways of preserving the Faith – we are encouraged to look to the past and learn from others how they kept the Faith. Read St Thomas More. Read WT Walsh. Read H Belloc. Read especially Archbishop Lefebvre. And then go and fight!


Sr Constance (TOSF)