In the most recent number of Sodalitium, the publication of the Institute of Our Mother of Good Counsel, located in Verrua Savoia, Italy, there is an editorial which I found very interesting, and have translated it for you. The piece bears no authorship, but it has Father Ricossa’s fingerprints all over it. It concerns a recently published comment of Ratzinger to an Italian Senator about a book he [Ratzinger] had written a few years ago. This comment is very revealing, as it is a clear admission from Ratzinger that there is a hiatus, that is, gap or separation, between the pre-Vatican II magisterium and that of the Council.
Ratzinger thinks nothing of this separation — the real word is contradiction— between the two teachings. For Ratzinger believes in historicism, which holds that truths are true for their time, but expire and evolve into other “truths” in different historical environments, so that the new truths may contradict the previous ones. It was in this way that the Modernists, in one blow, dispensed with the massive amount of magisterium in the Church’s past which condemns everything they think, do, and say.
Ratzinger is the High Priest of the Nothing-Has-Changed- Religion of the Novus Ordo conservatives, which holds as its unique dogma that there is doctrinal, liturgical, and disciplinary continuity between Vatican II and pre-Vatican II. They see him as the “missing link” between these two systems. Ratzinger’s single poignant comment, however, quoted in the editorial below, explodes their whole theory, and vindicates the sedevacantists.
Editorial from Sodalitium n. 69.
“The hiatus between the affirmations of the popes of the nineteenth century and the new vision which begins with the encyclical Pacem in Terris, is obvious, and there has been much disagreement concerning it. It is also at the heart of the opposition to the Council on the part of Lefebvre and his followers.” This is not the first time that Joseph Ratzinger has expressed his opinion concerning the inability to reconcile the teaching of the Church (what he calls the “affirmations of the popes of the nineteenth century”) and the modern teaching (that of Dignitatis Humanæ or in this case Pacem in Terris). We already spoke about this when we commented on a speech Ratzinger gave on the occasion of his giving best wishes to the Curia on December 22nd, 2005. The “hiatus,” taken in the figurative sense of “interruption” or “break in continuity” is therefore “obvious,” or in other words immediately and completely knowable.
The passage of Ratzinger which we have quoted is dated September 29th, 2014, but it has been up to now unpublished. It was extracted from a text which was sent by the “Pope Emeritus” to the former president of the Italian Senate, Marcello Pera, a liberal, as a commentary on his book published in 2015 entitled Diritti umani e cristianesimo. La chiesa alla prova della modernità. [In English: Human Rights and Christianity. The Church’s Test of Modernity].
Therefore there is no continuity between the magisterium of the popes and the new doctrine concerning religious liberty. That is obvious. It hits you in the face. This has no need of demonstration. In two lines Ratzinger put into the garbage can all the desperate attempts of conciliation which have been put forward by anyone who makes an effort to still believe in the magisterium and in its authority, such as Dom Basil of Le Barroux, Father de Blignières, Father Lucien , and others. This does not mean, however, that Ratzinger believes for one moment that the magisterium of the Church against religious liberty should still be taken into consideration! In fact, he does not say magisterium, but affirmations. He does not say, as we do, of the Church, but of the nineteenth century popes. For Ratzinger, they do not teach, but they merely affirm, and for him it is very evident that these “affirmations” are enclosed in the cage of historicism, that is, in the nineteenth century.
Never as in the course of these recent years, since Jorge Bergoglio was elected (N.B.: only elected) to the papacy, have the voices been raised of certain members (materially) of the “hierarchy” which have actually come to speak even about heresy, or at least to place in doubt some documents of the “magisterium.” After the battleground was established by Amoris Lætitia (in which is compromised all Catholic morality concerning sin, marriage, adultery, the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist), yet another battleground was opened up concerning Holy Communion to heretics, which divided the German episcopate. Cardinals such as Burke, Brandmüller, the now deceased Meisner and Caffarra, Cardinals Pujats and Eijk, supported by bishops such as the three from Kazakhstan, namely Peta, Lenga, and Schneider, the Italians Viganò and Negri, Bishop Laun (auxiliary of Salzburg), a theologian (still, obviously, in retirement) such as Monsignor Livi, without mentioning the “filial correctors” among whom is included even Bishop Fellay, have all spoken of rupture, of the incompatibility with faith and morals, and even heresy. These confused reactions have for the moment produced no hope. This is true, first of all, because they use the term “filial corrections,” thereby recognizing Bergoglio as their Father and the Vicar of Christ. They therefore are saying implicitly that they are opposed to the Vicar of Christ, and that they condemn or set aside the documents of his magisterium as if they did not exist. This is exactly what Ratzinger does in the case of the “affirmations of the nineteenth century popes.” Finally, why have all of them, (with the exception perhaps of Bishop Fellay, up to now) accepted Vatican II and its reforms, that is, religious liberty, collegiality, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, the liturgical reform, the new Code of Canon Law (which admits cases in which one can give sacraments to non-Catholics)? [See Sodalitium, no. 56, pp. 20-27, “The New Code of Canon Law, the Administration of the Sacraments, and Ecumenism.”] And what happened? He whom they regard as the Vicar of Christ responded to them that he does nothing else than to apply the Council. And how can one place the matrimonial morality of Amoris Lætitia in opposition to the “magisterium” of Paul VI and John Paul II, with all of their canonized “sanctity?” Amoris Lætitia is in opposition to Paul VI and John Paul II? But Pacem in Terris and Dignitatis Humanæ are in obvious opposition to the popes of the nineteenth century. All of these cardinals, bishops and theologians who doubt, resist, and correct have no problem in accepting religious liberty and in forgetting about the popes of the nineteenth century. The Novus Ordo Missæ of “Saint” Paul VI deviates in a disturbing way, both in its entirety and in its details, from the Catholic theology as it was codified by the Council of Trent (cf. Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci). Yet not one of the cardinals, bishops, and theologians considers the “ordinary” rite, reformed by none other than Paul VI, as an illegitimate rite. It is the same hand that signed Amoris Lætitia which signed the authorization which permits the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (who are very content to have it) to hear confessions and to bless marriages, and the authorization permitting the bishops of the SSPX to ordain priests. Even those who are resisting Bishop Fellay, in the name of a stricter fidelity to Archbishop Lefebvre (especially by having no dialogue with the “Pope” and the “Romans”), such as Bishop Williamson and Father Nitoglia, seem to no longer have any serious problems with the liturgical reform, calling it valid and honored by divine miracles, for reason of which one can assist at that reformed Mass. (Even the great liberal Bishop Fellay has not yet brought himself to say clearly anything like this). Poor “traditionalism.” To what a state it has been reduced!
We still hope that the occupants of the episcopal sees abjure one day all the modernist errors which have been conveyed to us by Vatican II and by the subsequent reforms. Then, and only then, will their action be profitable to the Church and to all christianity. On the contrary, to the extent that the various “filial correctors” continue to recognize the legitimacy of Paul VI and of his successors, and at the same time attribute to themselves the mission to “correct” at their good pleasure him who is for them the Pope, the magisterium, the liturgy, and discipline of the Church, will only serve to augment the confusion in which we live and the seriousness of the situation. May Our Lady of Good Counsel enlighten them, and may Christ the King save us and reign.