Ite Missa Est Magazine: May-June 2016

Source: District of Great Britain

Ite Missa Est is the bimonthly magazine of the District of Great Britain and Scandinavia. The theme for this edition is Truth.


It’s all about doctrine

The crisis in the Church today is clearly a liturgical crisis, a vocational crisis, an apostolic crisis, a crisis of authority and a moral crisis, but above all, or should we say, below all, it is a doctrinal crisis.

Doctrine is at the bottom of it all because it determines our liturgy, it is what we give our lives for, it is what we teach, it is what gives us order in society and in our actions. If our doctrine is true then it will inform our liturgy, vocations, the apostolate, authority and morality with truth.

What is true doctrine?

True doctrine is that body of teachings given to us by God either directly by Divine Revelation (which is recorded in Sacred Scripture or transmitted by Tradition), or indirectly through our reasoned understanding of divinely revealed truths or by a study of the world He created. 

True doctrine is taught to us by the teaching authority of the Church (the magisterium) and is either believed by the supernatural virtue of faith (which makes us give assent to truths that are beyond our reason), it is accepted by religious obedience or is understood if it be accessible to individual reason.

True doctrine has the following properties: it is coherent (it all fits together), it is reasonable (even if mysterious), it is holy (in its origin, in its subject matter or in its effect) and it is unchanging.

If a teaching does not have these properties, then it is not true; even if proposed to us by the same apparatus of Church hierarchy that should be teaching us true doctrine.

True doctrine subverted

The Second Vatican Council was a calamitous episode in Church history, because it introduced a false doctrine: the doctrine of man who is considered godlike on account of (a) a false conception of his nature and (b) a false conception of his liberty. This false doctrine precipitated the multi-faceted crisis that has put the visible Church on to a trajectory of accelerating disintegration.

One of the tactics of the doctrinal revolutionaries was to make the texts of the council documents ambiguous. Their ambiguity opened up a space for debate which caused well-meaning theologians no little pain in their mental gymnastics to interpret the texts in a way which most closely resembled true doctrine. Their ambiguity also allowed the liberals to interpret the documents however they wished or even gave them an excuse to disconnect praxis from principles altogether.

With each magisterial publication, ministerial promotion or symbolic action, ambiguities and contradictions multiplied to create a smokescreen of confusion which has brought us to a papacy whose first encyclical gives the impression that recycling rubbish is more important for salvation than the sacraments and whose recent apostolic exhortation implicitly subverts the natural law of indissolubility of marriage, denies the intrinsic evil of intrinsically evil acts, denies the necessity of repentance and thereby permits sacrilege towards the Blessed Sacrament by its unworthy reception.

True doctrine will triumph

No lie can last and no false doctrine can endure forever. Sadly, there are some very long-standing false doctrines in the world today (those contained in Nestorianism, Greek Orthodoxy, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Freemasonry etc.), but the false doctrine introduced by the Second Vatican Council will not be one of them, for the Church is the Bride of Christ. She has the guarantee of infallibility (de fide) and indefectibility (sententia certa) which means that she cannot err in her solemn, definitive  judgments of faith and morals and she will remain unchanged in her teaching, constitution and liturgy until the end of the world. 

Thankfully the dogma of the Church's infallibility has not been tested in the last 50 years, but the doctrine of her indefectibility has been continuously challenged.  The Society of St. Pius X, established by the heroic and saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, has championed true doctrine in this time of turmoil. Along with its affiliated communities, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that the Society of St. Pius X has been a proof of the indefectibility of the Church. She has been universal, consistent, uncompromising and visible in the teaching and defence of true doctrine. 

As the scandals multiply in the visible hierarchy, this truth is becoming increasingly evident to our gentle traditional friends in the Ecclesia Dei communities and among those secular clergy who labour discretely for Catholic tradition. 

The Society of St. Pius X is often accused of being schismatic, but such accusations from the mouths of those bishops who do not profess (teach and defend) the faith in its integral plenitude, who have abandoned her holy, time-hallowed liturgy and ignore her laws in their pursuit of "relevance", popularity, the status quo or promotion, are clearly unworthy of consideration. Indeed, the spotlight should rather be upon the question of their own membership of the Church. Do they share her faith? Do they follow her liturgy? Are they in practical schism in their episcopal conferences?

The hardest battle

For us clergy and faithful who have  had the grace to be on the side of true doctrine (and true liturgy and true obedience), there are many battles ahead. To be soldiers of Christ means to be defenders of His doctrine. To be defenders of His doctrine means we must first know it, then pray according to it, submit ourselves to it, live entirely by it and convert others to it.

Feeble creatures that we are, we cannot do this alone, but we can turn to our Blessed Mother. She knew the truths of our faith better than any other. She prayed by them, lived by them, and converted others to them. We ask from her the strength to conform ourselves to them: to conform ourselves to the Truth and nothing but the Truth which is her very own Son.

In Jesu et Maria,

Rev. Robert Brucciani

1st May 2016