August 2014 - Neither Head Nor Tail...
On how Gregory finds peace of soul again after all the turmoil around Bishop Fellay's (alleged) actions.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
With his left hand Gregory closes the laptop that he has taken with him on vacation, and rubs his head with his right hand, which is for him a sure sign of great impotence and extreme lassitude. Then, he rises slowly and goes out into the countryside, leaning on the walking staff that he favors for those occasions. This afternoon, the August sun still spreads its warmth. Unable to put order in his confused thoughts, he walks aimlessly, seeking a peace that has been evading him for a long time. “What is the source of this perplexity?” he worries. “Why is that I am so disturbed?”
For two years, three perhaps, his friends’ conversations have revolved almost exclusively around the actions of Bishop Fellay, ceaselessly scanning his relations with Rome. Everyone gives his opinion. Many pass judgment – judgments that are sometimes peremptory and often definitive. But they are not alone in this: in their bulletins, sermons or conferences, priests and religious themselves abundantly and regularly reexamine the subject, pouring out and spreading their concerns urbi et orbi. Some seem even to have arrived at the point of not knowing any more how “to preach Jesus and Jesus crucified,” as St. Paul liked to say again and again. They feed the confusion by giving their point of view, which, amplified by various Internet forums, becomes suddenly the Gospel truth. From now, the supreme reference that nourishes all reflections is the Internet and its unverifiable rumors…
Initially Gregory had not paid too much attention to it. Men are easily taken in by a rumor for a time, but then, even more quickly, it deflates as a balloon. Gregory had been shaken by the repetition, ad nauseam, of the complaints about “the infidelity in regard to the thought and actions of Monsignor Lefebvre” or about “the treason with respect to the tradition to be defended.” To be reassured, he devoted a good part of his afternoons to the attempt of seeing clearly through all these rumors. But his research had not removed his perplexity, quite the contrary.
However, Gregory was honest: he wanted to be free from the rumors, from this stinking atmosphere of suspicions and baseless accusations, and thus, he endeavored to examine only the facts which are inflexible because quite real.
Then, why is he so tired? Why does he leave this study with a burning mind and a heavy heart?
For months, nay, for years, the same old tunes, of inaccuracy and treason, resound without ceasing and are on the mouths of almost all, the charges abound, the judgments are without appeal. Priests rise in rebellion, a bishop draws himself up, the atmosphere is heavy with suspicions which become certainty through being repeated. It seems, if one listens to the persistent rumors, that Bishop Fellay prepares a not very glorious surrender by misleading everyone with mollifying and contradictory remarks. He seems ready to sign an agreement with Rome, without counterpart, without taking precautions and, especially, with no regard for doctrine, which makes of him a Brutus to his Caesar, Monseigneur Lefebvre.
Gregory has walked randomly for a good half-hour, following the paths that open under his heavy step. He hardly pays attention to the countryside which surrounds him, to the beauty of these fields which, under a last caress of the sun, are attired in unique colors. However, the atmosphere of this beautiful summer evening imperceptibly appeases him. The question gnawing at him since he closed his laptop – “how is this possible” – does not hurt him as much as at the beginning. It is no more an unbearable wound, but the expression of a great compassion in the face of a great misery. His right hand slips into his pocket, takes out his rosary and runs the beads with practiced fingers. His prayer rises to Heaven: Pater Noster, “how is it possible?,” Ave Maria, “help them," Gloria Patri, “draw glory from this”…
The rosary appeases him by elevating him towards God through Our Lady. A last Gloria and a sign of the cross finish the prayer. He then raises his eyes and stops. The sun sets and turns the countryside red. Calm reigns. Gregory’s soul adores God by contemplating His works, in which all is harmony, rule and order.
He remains for a long time seized by this spectacle, always new and always majestic, of the sun setting on the horizon and of the calm of the falling evening, and now, his soul in peace, he sets out again towards his home. His mind is clear. There where he expected to find evidence of the charges that destroyed the reputation of the General Superior of the SSPX, he could find only imprecations that return as a refrain that it is necessary to repeat right and left in order to convince and persuade others of them. There is no proof of a doctrinal rallying or a secret agreement. Quite the contrary, in their morbid excess even those who are the worst accusers of Bishop Fellay become, unwillingly, his best defenders. The old proverb that says that “he who wants to prove too much does not prove anything or only its opposite” is realized once more.
Lately, in Post Falls, has not one of the most virulent accusers affirmed that he himself was ready for an immediate agreement with the Pope, if the Pope did not require him to sign any doctrinal document? Is not this same prelate who presents himself thus ready to sign a purely practical agreement? What a paradox… What credit can be given to the weekly defamatory attacks against Bishop Fellay, accusing him of destroying doctrine by running after a practical agreement? But the only one who has highly and publicly considered signing a practical agreement is the public prosecutor, and not the vilified defendant. Who wouldn't see here the work of confusion?
In addition, on a website in favor of those who rose against Bishop Fellay and which invites others to rise firmly against him, Gregory could read a study which showed, with the support of texts of Msgr. Lefebvre himself, that Bishop Fellay followed the attitude of his Founder without deviating an iota from it. Where are the blind?
Thus, for months Bishop Fellay has been judged and condemned for parricide, and now even those who accused him happily acknowledge that a practical agreement is possible if it is a question of defending their interests. It is necessary to accept what is evident: Bishop Fellay did nothing but follow the luminous example of Msgr. Lefebvre.
“How is this possible?” reflects Gregory. There is no proof in the accusation and yet everyone is persuaded of Bishop Fellay’s prevarication.
The facts, always stubborn, speak for themselves. In the recovered peace of his soul, in the appeasing light of the setting sun, Gregory realizes that the Superior of the SSPX has been the object of a revolutionary attack which consists in pouring on a man torrents of lies, which will end in creating a generalized suspicion which will be more effective as it is impossible to defend oneself against a lie. Eve knows it by her own experience.
Gregory, and we also.
Returning home with a livelier step, finally appeased and eager to communicate to his wife and children the fruit of his thoughts and his prayer, Gregory raises his soul towards God and his prayer of thanksgiving becomes a strange Te Deum: “Kyrie Eleison: my God, convert these revolutionary souls or shut them up; appease the souls troubled by so many lies. The hour is serious, the combat continues. Have pity on them and on us”
In Christo sacerdote et Maria.
Fr. Yves le Roux