Fr. Fuchs´s comments on “Frightening Interview” (2015)
Editor´s note: In the article below we present brief comments of Fr. Martin Fuchs, a Swiss priest of the Resistance movement currently residing in Aigen, Austria, on the much discussed interview given by Fr. Pfluger, the first assistant of SSPX. The English translation of Fr. Pfluger´s interview can be found here.
Fr. Fuchs is a non-native English speaker.
Ad question 1:
If we listen to the sermons and conferences of archbishop Lefebvre, we must realize that the SSPX general house is going another way than our founder had shown us. It is quite sad and that is why many priests and faithful went away. Most of them; however, don’t search for a new way and don’t criticize our founder. Quite the contrary, they want to remain loyal to him.
Ad question 2:
The faithful who left the Society don’t want to be something special. It is not a question of being better Catholics. It is a question of the Catholic Faith and of keeping the Catholic Faith.
Archbishop Lefebvre protected the Society which the present superiors don´t do. Obedience is not absolute, it is relative. Obedience must be directed towards the good, otherwise it is not a virtue.
Why was archbishop Lefebvre disobedient to the pope in the seventies? He had his reasons! He wanted to keep the Catholic Faith.
Ad question 3:
Father Pfluger says that the declarations of the SSPX general chapter are not infallible documents. Is it a question of infallible or not? Every general chapter obliges the superiors to follow the decisions of the chapter. It is obvious that the present superiors did not follow the decisions of 2006!
He says that in 2006 no superior could have imagined that the Holy See would lift the excommunications of 1988 or that the Pope would declare that the „Old Mass“ was never abolished.
Is it something unusual and extraordinary to tell the truth? Father Pfluger gives the impression that this is something very special!
Concerning the excommunications, why did they not ask for a declaration of nullity? Rome would certainly not have given that! But now the Society of St. Pius X had to admit that the excommunications were valid.
Rome did not convert! And it has no intention to convert! The Romans always demanded the same conditions: to accept Vatican II and the new sacraments.
Benedict XVI never celebrated the old Mass in public. He did not allow the old Mass in the whole Holy week either! Did he give the same rights for the old Mass? For him it is clear: Tradition and Vatican II are in the same line. That is why he did not allow to celebrate the old Mass without the new Mass.
And Pope Francis was ordained in 1969 just when the new Mass was introduced. He probably never celebrated the Tridentine Mass.
If we look at the decisions of the meeting in Rome last autumn and if we see how they put them into practice, we cannot imagine the conversion. In Austrian monasteries they give the blessings to divorced and remarried couples (for example in Seitenstetten), in Germany they bless also homosexual couples (for example in Heimstetten near Munich).
Ad question 4:
Clear language is the form of how to teach the true Faith. However, in the documents of Vatican II, they preferred an ambiguous language, e.g. „subsistit in“. That is why traditional Catholics were against innovations: new words for the new faith!
What happened in those times is now happening in the Society.
They speak about lifting excommunications instead of asking for the declaration of nullity.
They speak about the „Mass in the extraordinary rite“ – why not „Mass in the Tridentine rite“? They use an ambigous word for a clear word.
Ad question 5:
Father Pfluger speaks of the true Faith outside the Society. Certainly there are a lot of faithful who have subjectively good intentions. But it is not about judging personal intention.
Why did archbishop Lefebvre consecrate bishops? Because he was sure that one could not find a Catholic seminary anywhere in the whole world soon. All the seminaries accept Vatican II, use the new catechism, the ecumenic Bible, the new liturgy!
Why in 1987 during the retreat did he say to priests: „Rome has lost Faith.”?
What about the definition of the new Mass? Why did he treat the new Mass as a non-Catholic rite? Why did he give the holy confirmation sub conditione to the faithful who has been already confirmed in the official church? Because they could not find the faith of their youth anywhere!
A lot of the faithful joined the Society because they wanted to keep the Catholic faith they have received from their parents. But now – after forty, fifty years, it looks as if they could find the Catholic faith elsewhere. Where? In The Society of St. Peter? Or in a more or less conservative priest, bishop or cardinal who all have signed the documents of Vatican II.? For example Father Zimmer, a priest of The Society of St. Peter from Linz, tells his faithful to attend the new Mass on Sundays when they cannot come to him. And a few years ago, when the local bishop of the official church came to provide the sacrament of confirmation, this priest wrote in his newsletter: „Holy Mass in the ordinary rite will follow afterwards.“
To “protect” the modern priests from Tradition, Cardinal Ratzinger introduced The Oath of Fidelity containing the new Profession of Faith (here) in 1989.
As for the Profession of Faith, the first and the second article of this document can be accepted; however, the third article says that all the priests have to accept the Council and the present Magisterium of the Church. (Archbishop Lefebvre mentioned it in his interview of the 30th June, 1989.)
In Paris Father Pfluger told priests who worried about a large number of priests leaving the Society in case of the agreement with Rome: „We will fill the gap with the priests of the Society of St. Peter.“
The superiors want to join modernist Rome. They think they can convert Rome from the inside. But did not the Society of St. Peter and the other Ecclesia Dei societies think that way, too? What an illusion!
Ad question 6:
Father Pfluger says that since the last Council the situation within the Church has developed. We have to take new positions. We cannot deny that the Society has to take new positions but Rome did not convert and the crisis became worse. Nevertheless, the superiors behave as if Rome has already converted.
Our founder, archbishop Lefebvre, had given the answers to all the questions the Society of St. Pius X had to answer in the past 14 years.
1. What did archbishop Lefebvre think about the New Mass?
2. What did he think about the excommunications?
3. What did he think about new relations with Rome?
4. What did he think about a merely canonical solution?
If he had not given these answers, the superiors would have to look for them. But he has given them. His solutions would have protected the Society.
That is why the superiors lost confidence. It was not the Resistance who made up the new faith, the superiors did!