Wrong way round

Rev. Emmanuel du Chalard

Fr. du Chalard is the editor of the theological magazine, Courrier de Rome. This is his opening address at the fourteenth Courrier de Rome conference in Paris on 19 January of this year.

Dogma should inform pastoral practice, the Church should invade the world

Welcome to the fourteenth Congress of the Courrier de Rome. First of all, thank you to the speakers and especially to Father Davide Pagliarani who has come to speak despite his many responsibilities and occupations. Thank you to all my confrères here present and welcome to you dear sisters and to all the listeners. Thank you to the clergy of Notre Dame de Consolation and especially to Father Celier, who had the goodness to welcome us.

Before starting our work, allow me to give a very brief update on the situation of the Church and also of the Courrier de Rome since our last congress of 2017.

The disaster of this pontificate is before the eyes of all. We have arrived at the ultimate consequences of the Council desired by John XXIII in his famous opening speech Gaudet Mater Ecclesiae; a Council "with a teaching authority which is primarily pastoral in character".

Today, one begins with pastoral teaching from which new theologies that claim to change doctrine—that is to say dogma—are elaborated. This is the complete opposite of what the Church has done for 2,000 years. The point of departure was always doctrine, from which theology was elaborated, which then informed pastoral practice.

The most striking example of this is Amoris laetitia. It is the triumph of praxis over doctrine.

Since the Council, we have seen scandal upon scandal, inappropriate decisions, incomprehensible appointments and statements contrary to the perennial doctrine of the Church... It is a confusion never seen before and it exists at all levels of the Church and is accompanied by the collapse of all its institutions. Needless to say, you all know the situation.

For those who have read Malachi Martin's books on the Vatican (including Windswept House, and Vatican: The Novel), that which was described in these novels has become a sad reality. Malachi Martin wrote his novels many years ago, which indicates that the evil is not of today and was known long ago.

Saint Ignatius describes the situation very well in the meditation of the two standards. The work of Satan is to tempt first by the desire for riches, then by love of honours and from there by boundless pride which then carries men to all other vices. It comes down to: money, power and morals. The spirit of the world has invaded the Church, or at least the men of the Church.

The other side of the coin is the reaction it has generated. First of all, the courageous declarations of Monsignor Carlo Vigano, who publicly denounced what had already been known for a long time, but which everyone had tried to ignore, hide or forget. He has shone a light in the darkness. He highlighted the extent of the problem and those responsible—even at the highest levels.

And I do not know if it is a purely Italian phenomenon, but I can assure you that every day new people turn to Tradition. The fact, too, that well-known and competent Vaticanists, that is to say, journalists accredited with the press office of the Holy See, do not hesitate to publicly criticise not only the Pope’s way of doing things, but also the content of his interventions. This has never happened since the founding of the Vatican press office, that is to say since the Council.

In particular, the Vatican experts Marco Tosati, Sandro Magister, Aldo Maria Valli have very active sites which are read all over the world. Journalists, only a few years ago, had a different orientation. And today, to defend their positions, they are forced to go back further and further to the real causes of the crisis.

This side of the coin fills our chapels in Italy and is now calledt "the Bergoglio Effect". As a result of this new situation, is not now an opportune time to renew our missionary zeal among the disorientated faithful? Especially since the prejudices against the traditionalists and the old Mass seems to have partly disappeared—particularly among the young. It would be a great mistake to think that those who are not with us have made up their minds, that they are set on their path and must be simply endured with patience. While this may have been true to some extent in past years, this is no longer the case with the new generation. When a boat sinks or a house burns, our duty is to seek to save as many souls as possible before it is too late, and not just to be observers or critics of the situation. Today, humanly speaking, the Church's boat is sinking, and very quickly. One of many examples of this: in the next ten years, 300 of the 420 existing female religious congregations in the United States will have disappeared.

The next Courrier de Rome will deal with the diabolical attacks of the Roman authorities against the monasteries of contemplative feminine life.

On the situation of the Church, another brief observation: the extreme consequences of the orientations of the Council that we are living today, reveal more than ever the wisdom and greatness of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as the providential man of the Church. He continues to be a light in the darkness of our time—revealing through his writings and the work he left behind the importance of the works of Tradition for the salvation of souls.

As for the Courrier de Rome, the journal flourishes, certainly thanks to the ability and sagacity of a collaborator whose name I will not mention to avoid injuring his humility [Rev. Jean-Michel Gleize], and whose articles are appreciated far beyond our little world of tradition. Thanks to its digital edition, the readership of the magazine has increased significantly and could be greater still if the magazine were more widely known.

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