AGAINST THE 'PROPHECY'
OF THE SO-CALLED "ROMAN CATHOLIC"
Nico Maria Hettinga
In the January/1983 Number of THE ROMAN CATHOLIC, a monthly published by the Roman Catholic Association, Oyster Bay/New York, an article appeared, written by Peregrinus 1), under the heading "Traditional Bishops" and the sub-heading "Two Bishops in every Garage". It was written in connection with the consecration 2), in 1981, of a few Bishops by His Eminence Mgr P.M. Ngô-Dinh-Thuc. Those responsible for the publication - among whom the Reverend Fathers Anthony Cekada, Daniel L. Dolan 3) and Patrick E. Kelly - say - in their foreword - that they have postponed giving any comment until adequate information was available for them to do so in a thorough manner. After having read the article with the greatest attention possible we should appreciate you to be informed of our reactions.
As the sub-heading already suggests, the view of the matter taken by Ecône's Establishment in the United States appears to be merciless and unrefined. The material which had been collected in great quantities seemed - at first reading at least - rather impressive. The heavy guns, however, that were placed in position, fortunately proved - on closer inspection - unable to unleash the destructive power which - to all appearances - they at first suggested. Still a risky thing to do for marksmen that should have realized only too vividly that they were living in glass houses themselves, which - by the way - they must have considered - in their arrogance - to be bulletproff instead. For has not Mgr Lefèbvre himself - at some earlier stage 4) - condemned Mgr Thuc's proceedings as a direct outcome of his apostasy and the rupture between him and Rome, which - on more than one occasion - he (Lefèbvre) declared to be both schismatic and heretic 5).
At the time Mgr Lefèbvre was - understandably - not very much upset by the quasisuspension, which - in view of this rebellious attitude - had been inflicted upon him by "Pope" Paul VI. In fact, being thrown out of a church to which one does not want to belong could hardly be called a punishment.
On the other hand, the priests of Ecône must now be prepared for their silent absorption back into the "Church of Rome" again. And it is for this reason that Mgr Lefèbvre requires them 6) to recognize John Paul II as Pope, as well as to leave open - for the Novus Ordo Missae - the possibility to be considered as a regular Holy Mass. And this contrary to their convictions and even on pain of "being thrown out of the Fraternity", should they not comply. Only one or two saved their faces - and their honour - leaving of their own free will, thereby proving themselves to be men of character. Others, however, after having been obstinate for a while, saw themselves obliged to sign Mgr. Lefebvre's "Diktat" and were allowed to stay in the Fraternity on his terms: they were - of course - entitled to their own ideas with respect to the two sore subjects (J.P.II + N.O.M.), as long as they kept to themselves and toed the pary-line.7)
The chances are that their consciences will prevent them from "living out their 8) days in peace", unless they were to opt out and quit the Fraternity. The three priests mentioned above, who - at a given moment - seeing themselves faced with the choice from the two alternatives, preferred to stay within the Fraternity, would have been expected to at least have some discreet consideration for the problem, the solution of which it must undoubtedly have cost e.g. the then Reverend Father Louis Vezelis some agony of mind to find. It is certainly no trifle matter to have to make a public statement according to which one sees oneself forced to finally abandon one's position held until the very last moment, but it was Father Vezelis had the courage to do so. For this he deserves every homage and respect. - In his case there was only the question of recognizing John Paul II, yes or no.
Concerning the so-called "enormity" committed by Mgr Thuc in performing the consecrations in Spain (Palmar de Troya): much to our regret the information was omitted according to which it was two priests the Aged Prelate had met 9) during his stay in Ecône, by whom he was persuaded to accept an invitation to accompany them on a threedays' journey to Spain, where the consecrations were (scheduled?) to be performed! Had the story then secretly started from there? What you may not know is that at a given moment Mgr Thuc was offered 10) the direction of the seminary in Ecône and the reason why he decide to reject it can only be a matter of conjecture. What we are told now by Mgr Lefèbvre is that "apparently Mgr Thuc has completely gone out of his mind"! Could there have been a connection between the rejection of the offer to lead the seminary and the offer of the ride to Spain? That occasionally Ecône finds it self obliged to under the circumstances - be a little careless of persons whose services until recently it meant to be entitled to enlist (!) may be clear from the affair concerning the Reverend Father Fernandes Krohn, after whose quasiattempt upon John Paul II's life Ecône sent round word "not to have had any contacts with said priest for the last few years", whereas as late as in April 1982 the latter had wirtten an article 11) in a circular for a parish that was in constant touch with it! As a further illustration of this dubious mentality could be mentioned Ecône's treatment of the Reverend Dr. Otto Katzer 12), who died on the 18th of June 1979. Less than two months before he had received a letter from the Archbishop Mgr. M. Lefèbvre to the effect that he had better leave off teaching at Weiszbad Seminary to which place they had lured him all the way from Czechoslovakia a little more than a year before! Although anybody concerned knew or could have known his views long before he was invited over, he was told to go because of "differences of opinion", among other things concerning the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae and the Vacancy of the See of Rome!
Now, if there should be any question at all of responsibility for what happened in Spain, it would have to be on joint account, it being left to anybody in his senses to name the partners. Surely e couldn't saddle Pius XII with the responsibility for what cardinals and bishops entered upon their duties during his pontificate have done, done wrong or left undone during as well as after the 2nd Vatican Council!
How could Ecône - for that matter, - dare reproach Palmar de Troya anyway? For both recognize - and don't they? - "popes" that - if it comes to the point - wouldn't stand a ghost of a chance 13), although we know Palmar to - at least - dismiss the N.O.M. fair is fair! Also about Mgr Thuc's character and his person we are told one or two things as well as about all that is supposed to have happened in the past. But even if his way of acting should have been borne in upon him through rancour, we should remember that this could easily be accounted for, since the conciliar church, in the person of Paul VI 14), had incurred suspicion of backing up Vietnam's "liberation" by the communists. Nor shall we easily forget that "even" Cardinal Alfrink sent the "authorities" in Hanoi his congratulations on that occasion! Significant, too, was Paul VI's omission to condole with Mgr. Thuc on the murder of the latter's brother.
However, without even daring - at this moment - to presume to give an opinion of Mgr Thuc's possible motives we should - in all honesty - like to ask Mgr Lefèbvre if he has ever worried about the validity or legality of what ordinations or consecrations were performed by - e.g. - Achilles Cardinal Liénart 15) who is known to have held a very high masonic degree, but to whom - nevertheless - the Monseigneur is indebted for his own dignity.
Might not even a "self-styled" Bishop after all appear to be just that little more eligible? As far as the good intentions of Mgr. Lefèbvre are concerned we won't harbour any doubts, but we are not so sure of his freedom of action: Hasn't he let out once - during an interview 16) with the historian Rius Facius, that he would lose his seminaries, should he not acknowledge John Paul II to be orthodox and the new religion to be catholic. But isn't he after all primarily concerned about the truth then, and only about the truth?
Mgr. Thuc and "his" Bishops are reproaches for their want of discipline, and the rites and rubrics to be employed according to the Roman Pontifical are said to have been applied in not all too careful a manner. Against the first reproach might be said that surely Mgr. Lefèbvre should be able to understand the motives of theses bishops to operate in somebody else's jurisdiction, since he himself has - for years running and "with the best of intentions 17) imaginable", but without being authorized in any way whatsoever - traversed - with impunity - no matter whose jurisdiction! In spite of all that he pretends that for the priests ordained by him there is still a way back 18) into the (post)conciliar church: who is going to ordain the candidates, should Monseigneur no longer be available, is apparently not so important, that he would even be prepared to fall out with Rome 19) over the consecration of a successor. As to the purportedly incorrect use of the Roman Pontifical: undoubtedly meant is the post-conciliar ritual of which - by now - we all know that it either causes questions to be asked or doubts to be raised 20), not to say that it deserves to be openly rejected, for the simple reason that - just as the rites to be used when ordaining priests - it cannot possibly produce the originally intended effect in view of the sweeping and drastic changes. Should however the pré-conciliar pontifical have been slightly misused, we can only hope - and with good reson - that the exceptional circumstances prevailing may have excuses Mgr Thuc: should he at times not altogether have complied with the rules, it is obvious that his intentions were beyond reproach, which - of course - can no longer be said of the (post)conciliar church. This - by the way - also pertains to another reproach, according to which Mgr Thuc is said to have "simulated" while participating in a "Novus Ordo Missae" in not receiving "Holy Communion"! Which - mysteriously so - purports to be a grave sin. Since he is aware of the fact that the N.O.M. pretends to be a regular Holy Mass in the only and true sense of the word, it is all the more understandable that he did not receive "Holy Communion" 21). Only a hypocrite could reproach him for it: qui potest capere capiat: he that can understand, that he may do so.
It is completely inconceivable how - with a view to the so-called illicit consecration of bishops anybody dare refer to the Codex Iuris Canonici, for in the first place it should be known, by now, to everybody that only recently 22) we could have seen a new codex "launched", fully adapted to the lates situation in the postconciliar church. And, in the second place, the decree of the Holy Office of the 9th of April 1951 had a bearing on indeed the unlawfulness of the consecration of bishops in the Chinese National Church under the Communist Regime, but had Pius XII been able to foresee that ever a situation should arise as the one we are in now, he would without doubt have added a clause, in virtue of which e.g. a Mgr Thuc could never be condemned for what he had only done to save the Church.
The statement according to which Mgr. Thuc's Bishops should consider him more or less a "Pope" can hardly be taken seriously. In this context please refer to earlier insinuations 23) made by critics to the effect that the "traditional bishops" might well be expected - before long - to choose their own "Pope". Nothing is more beside the truth and this is a fact. The only reason 24) why Mgr. Thuc has meant them to commit themselves to him and which he pressed upon their hearts was - should ever the general situation in the Church take a turn for the better - to make the way "back" easier by means of mutual contacts through one accepted by all, which would be all the more difficult to achieve if he should have allowed them to drift appart. And if he ever were to have consecrated an "Old-Catholic", then surely at any rate on the understanding, that first a conversion to the authentic Roman Catholic Church should be effected. And for an intelligent person it will be abundantly clear that under the present circumstances such conversions cannot possibly any longer be registered by "Rome", nor should they in the first place.
H.E. Mgr. M.L. Guérard des Lauriers, O.P., the first Bishop consecrated by Mgr. Thuc, as well as the other Bishops are blamed for not having seriously delved into the theological problems regarding the "Sede Vacante" -issue, whereas everybody should know, that - already at a very early stage - he made it quite plain to Paul VI that the latter's preoccupation with the "N.O.M." was irreconcilable with orthodox teaching. Mgr. Guérard des Lauriers is also known to be the author of the petition presented Paul VI by the Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci 25) on the 3rd of September 1969 (Feast of Saint Pius X). That he - after that - decidedly not has spent his days in idleness will be clear from the many publications to his name; suffice it to mention the "Cahiers de Cassiciacum" 26), whose editor he is and in Number I of which he already raised the "Sede Vacante" -issue. Also written by him was a clever analysis in which Mgr Lefèbvre's point of view is clearly demonstrated to be untenable.
Significant in this connection is Reverend Father Bisig's 27) statement at the end of the General Chapter of the Fraternity (from 13-16 September 1982) (!) to the effect that it was getting high time for Ecône to shore up her stand by means of theological expositions.
We must be short about punctuation marks - comma's and stops - as well as mistakes in grammar and/or syntax. To saddle somebody with talking about the Holy Father - whom he doesn't accept as Pope - and thén, leaving out the indispensable inverted comma's or omitting to report the writer's use of them, at the same time accuzing him of inconsistency, that simply isn't done! And where Mgr Thuc speaks about Good Pope John (XXIII), we must not forget that at the time this was a common expression. In places things - come up - that can only be called instances of incompleteness, inaccuracy or even narrow-mindedness. The six priests e.g. have never disassociated 28) themselves from Mgr Guérard des Lauriers: "ils se tiennent (seulement) a apporter quelques précisions", étant liés à different titres au Révérend Père; this means, that - since for various reasons they knew themselves to be pledged to the Reverend Father - they felt obliged to define their position.
One of the (so-called!) newly consecrated Mexican Bishops is said to be ignorant "and seemed more to be a poor little ranch pastor 29) than a bishop". No doubt H.E. Mgr José de Jesus Roberto Martinez Y Gutierrez is meant here, who - just about two years before he was consecrated a Bishop - was apparently important enough to be kidnapped by a band of Guerrilleros armed with pistols and machine-guns. Taken to a lonely place he was stripped, beaten with sticks, kicked and threatened with murder. When - by amazing good fortune - he manged - still alive - to reach his parish, he was received with cheers of enthusiasm. According to the press all this had happened by order of "bishop" Rafaël Bello Ruiz of Acapulco, who was ostensibly irritated by the little pastor's adamant bearing: Mgr Thuc seems to have had good reasons for not wanting to give too much publicity to his consecrations.
H.E. Mgr. George Musey when still a parish-priest is said to have changed places six times in only eleven years; omitted, however, is that - in the end - he survived a heartattack 30): apparently his priestly life doesn't seem to have been all that easy for him! Also omitted is, that - after a few years of inactivity for reasons of health - he resumed his priestly task in co-operation with the Fraternity(!), so with Ecône 31), only to disassociate himself from them in 1976. Needless to say that he must have had his reasons for doing so.
The article which is liberally provided with references has - where the latter are concerned - failed us only in two places: Reference number 12 was concerning Mgr Thuc's purported simulation during his "participation" in a "N.O.M.", mentioned above; number 57, however, refers to the pages 13 and 14 in his Autobiography where he is supposed to deal with standing, sitting or squatting - yes or no - which he thought were the right postures for the Japanese and the Hindus to receive Holy Communion. It is in vain that we have been looking for this on the pages concerned. A sensible man, however, could have distilled from these - as said, unfindable - words of Mgr Thuc's the argument that it might have been his intention to advance in order to reproach Paul VI for condemning those Roman Catholics who still clung to the time-honoured Roman Catholic Holy Mass.
The Bishops are blamed for having established a new religion 32) together with a new magisterium, whereas Mgr Lefèbvre himself had already put on record, that the church had developped a different religion. It goes without saying that the Old Doctrine will sound strange to the dyed-in-the-woll post-conciliar hierarchy and their henchmen. And whereas Mgr Louis Vezelis until fairly recently - although recognizing John Paul II - did not agree with everything the latter said and did, Ecône went even a step further in creating their "Rahmen-Papst" 33). Ecône is also mighty pleased when the Congregation for the Religious divulges, that the then Father L. Vezelis is not recognizes by Rome; but - on the other hand - if refuses to "celebrate the N.O.M.", althought-again Ecône keeps open the possibility for it to be an authentic Holy Mass. So, after all and when everything is said and done, Ecône itself creates its own Magisterium!
To make a long story short; for those who begin to understand the background of it all a little better the article could have been triggered off by disappointment; now that Mgr Lefebvre's "monopoly" apparently has been broken! We clearly sense Ecône's exasperation, emanating from it, at the impudence of those who have dared to vie with he monseigneur! Nor should we be surprised by this, for Ecône has - already for some time - created the strong impression to be no - thing mor nor less than a fellowtraveller of the post-conciliar church, back to which it will - in due time - and very meekly so - help lead the flocks, entrusted to its priests in the various Masscentres, as if to the true sheep-fold! 34) In its struggle for power it will never suffer even the very least competition; neither in Europe, nor, for that matter, anywhere else in the world, which was clearly demonstrated at the occasion of Mgr. Lefèbvre's visit to Mexico 35), some time ago. The methods, however, which it applies in acquiring and/or holding that monopoly do - indeed - make the authenticity of its ambitions, to say the least, very questionable...
NOTES AND REFERENCES!
1. Peregrinus (Latin) means: stranger; here (significantly!): OUTSIDER.
2. For detailed information re these consecrations, please refer to "EINSICHT", Germany. Special, March 1982, as well as following numbers. Address: Freundeskreis der UNA VOCE, Riedhofweg 4, D-82544-Egling, Germany.
3. In the April-number of EINSICHT 1981, page 293, the Ref. Father L. Dolan is co-signer - together with Prof.B.F. Dryden - of an article in which - with a view to Canon 188 par. 4 (C.I.C.) - the authors state that we do not owe obedience to heretics, as for instance Paul VI and Johannes Paulus II. In the same article we read that the 1978 conclave cannot possibly have produced a legitimate pope.
4. Viz. in the June number of "THE ANGELUS" 1982, page 7.
5. If we remember well Mgr. M. Lefèbvre said so on the occasion or of in view his socalled suspension, which was inflicted upon him by Paul VI.
6. Mgr. Lefèbvre made these demands in his notorious declaration on 8. Nov. 1979. In the "KATHOLISCHES SONNTAGSBLATT" (Diocese of Rottenburg / 9. Nov. 1980) Mgr. Ratzinger says that Mgr. Lefèbvre recognizes Paul VI's N.O.M.
7. Please refer to "ECÔNE, POINT FINAL", page 68; this is a special of "FORTS DANS LA FOI" 2nd Term 1981, number 10: "Les trois Prêtres mis au pas".
8. See also THE ROMAN CATHOLIC of January 1983, page 8, just over the headline "A Home with EINSICHT".
9. Mgr. P.M. Ngô-Dinh-Thuc describes this meeting on page 85 in his AUTOBIOGRAPHY: It's an August 1982, Special of EINSICHT.
10. Read, with regard to this offer, December-number 1982 EINSICHT, page 139 down below.
11. For this article we refer you to SUPPLEMENT À MYSTERIUM FIDEl (28. June 1982): Editor: Alfred Denoyelle, 21 Rue de Sonnet, 1080-Bruxelles. Belgium.
12. Read the Oct. (page 143) and Dec. (page 175) numbers of EINSICHT 1979.
13. Read, concerning Johannes Paulus II, an instruction by the Rev. Louis Marie de Blignières: "JEAN-PAUL II et LA DOCTRINE CATHOLIQUE"; published by DIDASCO, B.P. 2 - Bruxelles 24, Belgium.
In the May-number of EINSICHT 1982, page 26, we read that - according to Mgr Lefèbvre - the NON in the vernacular is not valid: Historian Rius Facius, however, rightly observes that John Paul II says the N.O.M. in whichsoever language he deems fit.
14. In its October number 1982, page 109, EINSICHT has it, that the then ambassador of the U.S.A., with the Vatican, Cabot Lodge, receives an affirmative answer form Paul VI to his question whether the Vatican favours Vietnam's democratization. And in its May-number 1982, page 3, Mgr. Thuc says, that Paul VI never said even so much as one word to express his sympathy, when the former's brothers Diem and Nhu had been murdered by the Communist Regime. The Dutch will undoubtedly remember Bernard Cardinal Alfrink's words (KRO/TV on 3 May 1975 at 10.35 P.M.): "Freedom and Peace have returned to Vietnam!"
15. Please refer to March-number 1976 of "CHIESA VIVA"; Editor: Luigi Villa; CIVILTA, Via G. Galilei, 121 - 251oo BRESCIA/Italy.
16. Statement made during an interview with Rius Facius (see also above: note 13). On the 8th of November 1975 Mgr. Etchegaray says in an address to a party of Protestant guests: "Since the 2nd Vatican Council you have no longer possessed the monopoly of the Reformation!" Indeed a new religion has come into being then!
17. According to "ECÔNE, PORTES OUVERTES", a publication of the Pius X Fraternity, page 44 Mgr. Lefèbvre said in the Salle Wagram on the 4th of October 1975: "Canon Law must never be enforced to the detriment of our spiritual welfare: nor would we act correctly if we were to excuse the practice of abortion by referring to a law admitting it."
18. Read Mgr. Lefèbvre's notorious circular letter nr. 16 of 13 March 1979, in which it is suggested that he wants the priests, ordained by him, to work under the authority of the local bishops. The Reverend M.L. Guérard des Lauriers said in an open letter on Maunday Thursday: (12/4'79) "Monseigneur, nous ne voulons pas de cette paix." And to Abbé de Nantes's letter Mgr. Lefèbvre answered on 19 March 1975: "Sachez que si un êvêque rompt avec Rome ce ne sera pas moi"; Ecône, portes Ouvertes; pag. 36.
19. The "STUTTGARTER ZEITUNG" of 21 July 1982 confirms this.
20. Read "DE WAANORDE" by the Rev. V.A. Stuyver, PP; especially that which is said about "Matter and Form" of the Rite. His conclusion on page 13 is: "So, ... worthless and invalid!" (Editor: Mr. E. Suys, Kerkhofstraat 3, 2670 Puurs /Belgium.)
21. Refer to "LETTRES NON-CONFORMISTES", number 28/April 1980; pages 4-6; Editor: Renê Rouchette, B.P. 151 - F - 16105 - Cognac Cedes.
22. Namely on the 23 January 1983.
23. See the June-number of THE ANGELUS 1982, page 7. 24. See EINSICHT, October 1982, page 103.
25. "Roman Theologians take a look at the N.O.M." (AUGUSTINE PUBLISHING Company /Chawleigh-Chulmleight; Devon; Great-Britain. Originally published by (25/9'69) Vaduz, (Liechtenstein).
26. Refer to a.o.: "CAHIERS DE CASSICIACUM"; a publication of Ass. St. Hermenegilde, 18 Ave Bellevue, 01600 Nice, France.
27. EINSICHT, February 1983, page 176.
28. FORTS DANS LA FOI", number 9/1982; page 53. See also Père Barbara's latest circular letter "Was Sie wissen müssen"; page 13 down below.
29. EINSICHT - October/'82; Page 97/98.
30. EINSICHT - December/'82; Page 136.
31. EINSICHT - May/'82; Page 28.
32. Also see note 16 (above): Should Mgr. Lefèbvre not recognize The New religion, he fears he might lose his seminaries ...
33. Read what the Reverend Father Franz Schmidberger says about this in "MITTEILUNGSBLATT für den Deutschen Sprachraum"; page 2, February 1982.
34. "... in der Schoß der Kirche ..." (within the fold of the Church); EINSICHT, Febr. 1983; page 176.
35. EINSICHT May/'82; page 25 ff.