Abbot Franz Schmidberger, Superior General of the FSSPX
While there have been some defections since the episcopal consecrations last June, the numbers of faithful and seminarians have increased. There is a triple "foreign occupation" of the Church today - that of the pope himself, by the "Fathers" of today and by the advance of the New Age movement and liberation theology. We must be ready for a long drawn-out struggle.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
appenings since the episcopal consecrations last June
Let us look back together on these months which have elapsed since the historic event of 30th June; the episcopal consecrations of Ecône, in order then to turn our eyes to the future.
As you assuredly know, we have had to bear in the measure which could be foreseen, several defections among the priests and seminarians. On the other hand, the brothers and the nuns have remained faithful without exception.
The break, by the Benedictine monks of Barroux, with the common front which united us in combat, has stricken us very sadly. Thanks be to God, the new monastery in Brazil has not taken this fatal step, but remains in the family of tradition.
Numbers of faithful and seminarians have increased
Since the Roman fulmination, the number of faithful frequenting our chapels has increased significantly by about 10% in the entire world. In the same way, the interest of young people in the Society of St. Pius X has increased noticeably; we are expecting a good number of admissions into our seminaries in Argentina and Australia in March. Furthermore, by a recent disposition of Divine Providence, we have acquired a large building in Australia, a property which is extremely advantageous for the Seminary of the Holy Cross. It is a former College of Agriculture, situated about two hours drive west of Sydney. Thus a permanent domicile has been found for our seminarians.
Now let us glance at what is being built up each day; at Calgary (Western Canada) we have been able to buy a church, and at Ottawa, the capital, we have taken responsibility for the Portuguese community. In the United States we have at last, after a long wait, recovered two churches returned to us by our former colleagues. In Mexico, the construction of the chapel is finished and the building is full on Sunday. In Gabon, 450 children are receiving Catechism lessons, and about 1,600 faithful assisted at Mass at Christmas. In India, our Fathers will move into a newly-built priory. In France, several schools have been able to increase their capacity.
Triple "foreign occupation" of the Church
However, the triple "foreign occupation" of the Church goes on.
a) The "occupation" of the pope himself; he is a prisoner of modern philosophy and modernistic theology, characterised by phenomenology, existentialism and subjectivism, which replace the objective Order of Being and its Last Ends with the human person; also characterised by a more than ambiguous notion of the motive power of a world in ever more human and liberal progress, and finally by a naturalistic conception of the Redemption.
"My faith... had nothing to do with any kind of conformism... it was born in the depths of my own self... it was also the fruit of the efforts of my own spirit seeking an answer to the mysteries of man and of the world." (Dialogue with John-Paul II, by André Frossard) "The way of the Church is Man" (Redemptor Hominis) "All men from the beginning to the end of the world have been redeemed and justified by Christ and His Cross" (Segno di contradizione, meditazioni, Milan, 1977).
b) These same principles, expressedly condemned by the popes are shared, in greater or lesser degree, by the closest coadjutors of the pope. Let us find out the conception that Cardinal Ratzinger makes of the Faith in his book "Foi Chretianne hier et aujourd'hui" (Mame, 1969, p. 12)
The believer, like the unbeliever, each in his own way knows doubt and faith, if he does not seek to make himself an illusion and dissimulate the truth of his being. Nobody can entirely escape the Faith; in one man the Faith will be present versus doubt, in another thanks to doubt, and under the form of doubt.
Let us also cast a glance at the theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar, honoured with the name of theologian, and nominated cardinal. In one of his treatises which is extraordinarily abstruse, and which recently appeared in German, we see how far his idea of God is false, his conception of the God-Man is contestable, and how his doctrine on the Church, the Redemption, and eternal salvation contradicts all tradition.
Should this surprise us? The "Fathers" of today, those who are at present the personalities carrying some weight in the Church, are not St. Augustine, St. Thomas, or St. Bonaventure; but Hegel, Heidegger, Scheler, Karl Rahner, and Teilhard de Chardin. See then what philosophical and theological views—all entirely personal—these authorities present as the voice of the Church and as a homogeneous development of tradition.
c) This second "occupation" is capped by a third, the conscious and determined conspiracy of the forces of Gnosticism, Theosophy, and Esoterism, headed by the Illuminati and the Freemasons, and allied with Marxist infiltration. The Satanic movement "New Age" and the theology of liberation are their most recent products. "God is Green" is the meaningful title of the brochure which accompanies the New Age calendar of Ecological Lent published by the Swiss bishops! Further on one reads, "All of us, sons and daughters of Hirwa (the supreme god of the Warali tribe), of the Green God, and of Bhomi, our common mother, the earth, make up together the great family of the faith."
Nomination of pious bishops does not prove a step in the right direction
But, you will say, don't the latest nominations of bishops in Austria, at Chur (Switzerland), and at Cologne show a move in the other direction? Aren't they the signs of a progressive improvement? Error! It is rather a question of the regularisation of the conciliar and post-conciliar revolution; one pretends to compensate for the doctrinal deficit by the disciplinary measures and the mutations of persons. Faith in the Kyrios, King of Ages, God Immortal and Invisible (1 Tim. 1, 17) has been put aside, just as the tabernacle was taken away from the focal point of churches; and now the conservative bishops are no more conservative than the empty buildings... These new nominations are all put into effect according to the same principle: pious men are sought who still wear clerical dress, who above all are personally devoted to the pope, not contesting the Council at any price, and without forgetting the indispensable condition, we might say, of antagonism vis-à-vis Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society. Tomorrow they will seal an unhappy alliance with Dom Gerard and the Society of St. Peter. One of these men, Cardinal Groer, Archbishop of Vienna, has recently revealed his tactic, "Rome" he says "would like to pursue the liberal and humanistic orientation of the Church, and would be interested in a liberal Austria!"
We must be ready for a long drawn-out struggle
How, therefore, are things going to develop? We must get ourselves used to the ideal of a long drawn-out struggle to a fierce confrontation with modernistic impiety and the destructive forces of society. On the other hand the internal apostasy will accelerate even if the restorative half-measures hold back the visible exterior from crumbling: in Amsterdam 14 churches have just been sold, in Detroit 35 have been closed!
We must wage this battle on all fronts: Faith, Philosophy, and Theology, Social Doctrine, the interior renewal of institutions founded for salvation in the Blood of Jesus Christ, marriage and the family, seminaries and monasteries, as well as restoration of the Catholic structures of society in so far as this is in our power. This is the time of tillage and sowing. By our sweat, tears, and, if God wills, our blood, we sow the seed in order that a future generation may reap a rich harvest for the divine granary. One final word: he who disposes himself to struggle for a long time, perhaps for all of his life, and who perseveres with Mary beneath the Cross of Christ, he alone will not succumb to the innumerable seductions of the false attempts at restoration.
"O Lord, my God, I believe in Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Thou art my only hope. Hear me, in order that although weary, I may not cease to seek Thee, but that arduously and tirelessly I may seek Thy face." (St. Augustine)
On the First Sunday of Lent,
12th February 1989
Father Franz Schmidberger
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