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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


"The announcement of the guidelines that should establish a discipline for the celebration of marriages in the Fraternity requires a reaction from the priests, because the good of the faithful is directly at stake."

Some reflections after the letter of May 7, 2017

The letter of the deans regarding the marriages in the Tradition has surprised you. Being unable to answer all the emails I received after reading, I preferred to write a common text. Many have expressed their appreciation to me. Others, I know, do not think they can approve the method used. Others may not agree with the same content as the deans' letter.
Agitation is a bad counselor. It is in prayer and in the concern to work in the salvation of souls - starting with self - that the defense of faith can be contemplated, and it is in this spirit that I write. It is in peace that desires, fears and hopes can be overcome that too easily overshadow judgment. On the contrary, it is not a question of hiding in the silence while, precisely, the souls are lost. The Church is infiltrated by enemies who do not sleep and who have succeeded in bringing apostasy to millions of baptized. Silence can and should be kept under certain circumstances. But when you are cornered, when you have to perform an act that is not honest, then the negative must be clear. That certain priests do not immediately realize the consequences of the acts they want to impose on them, does not change the nature of things. Time will do its work of decanting for all souls of good will.
We are accused of having taken the faithful hostage by subjecting them to a problem they were unable to solve. I reject this accusation, in the first place, because marriage is a public thing. Its celebration belongs to the spouses who are the ministers of the sacrament, as well as to all the faithful. Of course the letter of the deans asks for a little reflection and some misunderstood. But with these arguments, it is the same as giving up doing the least catechism course. Should we give up condemning the errors of the council because they are often difficult to understand?
I will go further and return to the accusation. It is the priests who have been taken hostage and that is why they could not shut up. Only Rome had published its text when they imposed on the whole Fraternity the deep and public gratitude addressed to the Holy Father. In an "authoritative comment" published by the General House on the internet, it was immediately announced the direction the priests of the Fraternity would take. The magazine DICI chorus to announce that the priests would enter in the frame imposed by Rome and the superiors of the Fraternity. Had to be content to obey without protest? Should priests change their way of exercising ministry without reflection? Beyond the question of law, again I will try to expose the problem of conscience that arises.
In our day, the main assault of hell against poor humanity is on marriage. No one can ignore this attack because the family is the base cell of society. Everyone has the duty to defend the marriage union in its nature, its purpose and its properties. In addition, baptized persons who confess the sacramental character of Christian marriage should protect the profession of faith which includes all marital consent. The future spouses who will be the ministers of this sacrament (a priest not "house") do not have the right to celebrate it in an equivocal way. Priests have a duty to remind them of this and to help them protect themselves from the cunning of the modernist clergy.
On April 4, 2017, Cardinal Müller announced the authorization given by the Holy Father to the bishops of the whole world to delegate a diocesan priest to bless the marriage of the faithful of the Fraternity or, in case of impossibility, To grant to the priests of the Fraternity the necessary faculties. It was then announced that this decision of the Holy Father was going to change our current practice. You know that this practice consists in inciting the faithful to take advantage of the provisions of Canon 1098. This allows marriage without recourse to the conciliar clergy because of the grave danger to the faith that this entails. From now on we will have to turn to the bishops and act on their answers. Some priests propose a minimal cooperation to this new practice, contenting themselves with informing themselves about the bishops (not to mention the faithful ...) of what they intend to do on the line or in the framework of the letter of Cardinal Müller.
For that is where a real problem of conscience arises. Is it permissible to align or enter into that framework? It is enough to contemplate the different possible answers - answers that we will have provoked ourselves - to realize the immense difficulty.
The possibility of introducing a modernist priest during a marriage ceremony is certainly impossible. I will not dwell on this point.
Now, if the bishop wants to send a priest from his diocese (or come himself), how can he reproach himself for doing exactly what the pope invites him to do? How can we deeply thank the Pope for his decision, write to the bishop within the framework of this decision, and then reject the positive response of the bishop? How can we praise a decision and see a "serious inconvenience" when it is applied? On the other hand, it is impossible to resort to false arguments, such as saying that it is the couple that rejects this presence of a conciliar priest, or that it is the perplexity that would engender in our faithful that would force us to reject the proposition of the bishop. The shepherd must precede the flock. The priests of the Fraternity do not hide behind the perplexity of the faithful, but enlighten it.
If the bishop rejects any delegation, how can we say then that recourse to Canon 1098 would be strengthened while the serious inconvenience would be reduced to a personal matter? It is no longer the future spouses who would refuse to resort to an authority dangerous to the faith, but is such a bishop who denies such a priest in such a place and at such a time a delegation that he felt obliged to ask. The logic of this approach does not even allow us to see there an injustice, which on the other hand has never been the fundamental problem.
Finally, if the bishop gives the delegation without any conditions but always in the framework of the letter of Cardinal Müller, how to proclaim it joyfully without provoking "scruples of conscience of some faithful united to the SSPX" and without prejudice against all the others Marriages that have been or will be celebrated in our chapels? When entering into the pontifical dispositions, it would be admitted that two classes of marriage would be celebrated with us and an unjust hierarchy would be established among them. Instead of honoring the valiant faithful who have resorted to the ministry of the priests of the Tradition, they will be seen, either with compassion because they did not have the happiness to find a complacent bishop, or with hostility because they did not want to enter into the dispositions Explicitly established to achieve an illusory "full communion ". Finally, is not this conciliar seal that is supposed to "secure" the marriages of our faithful? It is not an invitation to turn to the diocesan officials who pronounce by thousands true "Catholic divorces" in the name of the 1983 code, revised even more lax by Francis ? The poor husbands who are willing to put their faith in danger, to violate their marital commitments and to give themselves to adultery, will unfortunately always find a priest to bless them, even in the traditional rite. Is it fair then to weaken the convictions of all the faithful in order to make betrayal easier for some?
The announcement of the guidelines that should establish a discipline for the celebration of marriages in the Fraternity requires a reaction from the priests, because the good of the faithful is directly at stake. The nature of the "official communiqué" and the "authorized comment" clearly indicate the line of the announced guidelines. The question is public by its nature and by the will of the Superiors of the Fraternity. The cornered deans preferred to express their opposition before the announced orders were actually required.
Some brethren are very determined not to take these guidelines into account. It is true that the letter of the deans shows that the recourse to canon 1098 is not under the authority of the superiors. Neither the diocesan bishops nor the Superiors of the Fraternity can claim the right to govern the right of the faithful to marry without "grave inconvenience." That said, the priest exercises his priesthood within a society in which he assumes official positions. Personally, I do not see how a priest could adopt this attitude without attracting all the reproaches that we make to the priests who depend on the shameful commission Ecclesia Dei.
The deans have been accused of wanting to undermine the efforts of the General House to obtain a personal prelature from Rome. Is that your intention? The same letter from the deans evokes this fear. Therefore there is no mystery there. The efforts so farfetched for the simple celebration of marriages augur insurmountable difficulties for the exercise of the priestly ministry in the full and complete profession of the Catholic faith. That being said, the objections raised above these lines retain their value outside of this context and ask for answers.

Father T. Gaudray