Cutting Through the Gordian Knot
Come Holy Ghost…
In the ancient times of the mighty Alexander the Great there was great knot on an ox-cart that according to the leading oracle of the day could only be undone by the future king of the then known world. This knot was known as the Gordian Knot. Many attempted to unravel the knot but none succeeded until Alexander came upon it. After surveying the problem with a mighty thrust of his sword, he simply cut the knot in two thus unraveling it and eventually went on to conquer all the known world.
While many claim that this is a rather simplistic fable, it certainly does illustrate the fact that in life often seemingly complex problems, when analyzed soberly, calmly, and rationally do have a rather simple solution. The current Crisis of Tradition within which the Church and the Society of St. Pius X finds itself are similar to the Gordian Knot, that is, a seemingly complex problem which, in truth, is easily solved.
To many though they recognize the potential for concrete danger, there is not enough clear and distinctive knowledge of what final form any agreement, or even the preamble, will take. So they not only refrain from making crucial judgments, but also do not even keep themselves informed as to what is going on, on a day-to-day basis. Obviously, there is some measure of wisdom in this as we all must reserve final judgment until something is presented. That said, however, there is already enough known information on the table to indicate the direction in which this agreement is headed. For instance, the overall nature of a Personal Prelature, which is what Rome is offering and the laws of the Church (new Canon law) under which collegial approval is intrinsic and necessary to any future operation of the SSPX. This combined with other solid facts, some of which were outlined in my previous posts, can present a distinct notion of what is currently on the table at the negotiations and will help to separate internet gossip from facts as given by the leadership of the Society and the three opposing bishops.
For a moment, however, much to the dismay of our more analytical and methodical readership, we can set aside these firm facts …this seemingly complex conundrum, and cut through this Gordian Knot. Often we tend to over analyze a problem and must then let our hearts weigh in. This, by the way, would not be an innovative precedent as this was done by the good Archbishop Lefebvre, of happy memory, when Vatican Council II first sprang upon an unsuspecting Catholic Church. The dust had not even settled, the application of the council documents had not even been formulated, and all was unclear but the good Archbishop relied on a standard, a yardstick, if you will, which could measure the merit of what was being proposed by the revolutionaries of VCII. He simply held up the radical documents to 2,000 years of the Church’s Sacred Magisterium and history and said this does not conform.
Since the first Pentecost, Church history and growth has been firmly based on teachings laid one atop the other forming a formidable edifice of clear and concise Catholic thought, belief, and action. Over her history, anything that did not conform to the precedents previously set, most especially those of Christ and the Apostles were rejected; as an example, what is today known as the apocryphal books of the Bible were soundly excluded because of their dubious origin or the doctrinally unsound premises.
His Excellency, Archbishop Lefebvre, and ‘til recently his episcopal offspring, cutting the Gordian Knot, did the same. They taught that what does not conform to tradition, i.e. Religious Liberty, Ecumenism, the rejection of the Social Reign of the Kingship of Christ, are all innovations that do not stand up to the measure of all that has gone before, not only can, but must be rejected. Now, in light of all that has been said over the past several weeks regarding both the talks, preamble, and evident agreement we all must ask ourselves, what is different about the NewChurch now as opposed to the time of the Archbishop? Have they firmly and unequivocally rejected false ecumenism, religious liberty, and the unprecedented liturgical reforms that deluged the Church after the promulgation of VCII? Have they re-embraced the Social Reign of the Kingship of Christ and reestablished concordats with Catholic states? To say, as one of our bishops now does, that there is little difference in how we and Rome view the “real” nature of Religious Liberty as envisioned by the fathers of VCII and differentiate it from its application is naiveté because forty odd years of practical application confirms the intentionally loose definition of what the council fathers wrote AND intended. That intention was the complete and radical revolution of the Catholic Church to conform to the world rather than reminding the world that is must conform to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ, the one, true, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
In conclusion, we can concur with our good Bishop Fallay and say the NewChurch has, indeed, changed, but it has only gotten worse. The hostile climate for the growth of traditional Catholicism within the Novus Ordo has only degenerated, and any canonical recognition at this time, would simply put us into the same category of the other Ecclesia Dei groups who have gone to their doctrinal doom in the wake of any agreement with the Novus Ordo Church of Rome. The Gordian Knot before us is easily and simply split with the Sword of Faith by holding up the traditional Catholic Magisterium to what the NewChurch has morphed into today, which is a basket of varying practical beliefs all under the umbrella of the Novus Ordo. There is room for all except those of traditional Catholic Faith, unless they compromise, conform, and capitulate to the New Order of things. No amount of crying; obedience! trust! …and patience! can negate Faith. Faith is the foundation of all everything; all else follows.
Remember, by your Confirmation you are a Soldier of Christ, therefore, complacency is not an option. You are obliged, yes, obliged to defend your Faith and the Church of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. On this you must one day give account. The first defense in any military operation is intelligence, you must be informed.
For the edification of the readership of Catholic Rural Solutions (https://richardofdanbury.wordpress.com/) below are some of the Vatican II documents that are commonly discussed, and which the SSPX has always contended are a break from Catholic Tradition.
Dignitatis Humanae – Declaration on Religious Freedom
Sacrosanctum Concilium – Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy
Nostra Aetate – Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions
Now contrast this with the Papal Encyclicals: Mirari Vos (Pope Gregory XVI, 1832); The Syllabus of Errors ( Pope Pius IX, 1864); Humanum Genus (Pope Leo XIII, 1884); and Pascendi Dominici Gregis (Pope Pius X, 1907).
Pray the family rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it is the only way to convert Rome and the Church and thereby set up an environment where traditional Catholic Faith can thrive and grow. Until such time the best witness for the SSPX and the traditional Catholic movement in general is to maintain the status quo.
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Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.