Will There Be an African Resistance to the October 2024 Synod? (2)

Source: FSSPX News

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo

Questioned on the KTO channel on March 17, 2024, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, Archbishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SCEAM), returned to the Fiducia supplicans declaration authorizing the blessing of same-sex couples.

Vatican II and Opening to the World

In the following passage, Cardinal Sarah demonstrates his affiliation with Benedict XVI and his “hermeneutics of continuity.” He affirms that the Second Vatican Council could not annul the opposition between the spirit of Jesus Christ and that of the world. He is right, but the hermeneutics of continuity is an interpretation that does not stand up to the facts.

The post-Council has clearly shown that it was not a case of “discarding erroneous and superfluous contradictions,” as Benedict XVI said, but of ensuring that, in fact, the contradictions between the Church and the world be considered erroneous and superfluous. Thus everything that was pre-conciliar was rejected as anti-conciliar. The 2,000-year-old tradition was set aside by a conciliar liturgy, a conciliar catechism, a conciliar canon law… “Conciliar” became, in practice, synonymous with “reconciling” with the world.

The Guinean prelate declares: “Dear brother bishops, we are sometimes told that we have not understood the spirit of Vatican II which would impose a new approach to the objectivity of the faith. Some tell us that Vatican II, without changing the faith itself, has changed the relationship to faith. They say that from now on what would be most important for a bishop would be welcoming individuals in their subjectivity, rather than announcing the content of the revealed message.”

“Everything should be relationships and dialogue and we should relegate to the background the proclamation of the kerygma and the announcement of the faith as if these realities were contrary to the good of people.… I believe that it will be a major task in the years to come, and certainly of a future pontificate, to definitively clarify this question.”

“The truth is, we already know the answer. But the Magisterium must teach it with definitive solemnity. Behind this question there is a kind of psychological fear that has spread to the West: the fear of being in contradiction with the world. As Benedict XVI said: ‘in our time, the Church remains a sign of contradiction’” (cf. Lk 2 & 34).

“The Council could not have the intention of abolishing this contradiction of the Gospel with regard to the dangers and errors of man. On the other hand, “its intention was certainly to remove erroneous or superfluous contradictions, to present to our world the demand of the Gospel in all its grandeur and scope” (Benedict XVI, December 22, 2005).

After this passage on the Council, Cardinal Sarah opportunely denounces a “fluid and practical atheism”: “many Western prelates are paralyzed by the idea of opposing the world. They dream of being loved by the world. They have lost the concern of being a sign of contradiction. Perhaps too much material wealth leads to compromise with worldly affairs.” 

“Poverty is a pledge of freedom for God. I believe that the Church of our time is experiencing the temptation of atheism. Not intellectual atheism. But this subtle and dangerous state of mind: a fluid and practical atheism. The latter is a dangerous disease even if its first symptoms seem mild.”

“We must be aware of this: this fluid atheism runs through the veins of contemporary culture. It never says its name but infiltrates everywhere, even in ecclesiastical speeches. Its first effect is a form of lethargy of faith. It anesthetizes our ability to react, to recognize error, danger. It has spread throughout the Church.”

“What do we have to do? You may be told that this is how the world is made. We cannot escape it. You may be told that the Church must adapt or die. You may be told that as long as the essentials are safe, you have to be flexible about the details. You may be told that the truth is theoretical, but that particular cases escape it. So many maxims which confirm the serious illness which is gnawing at us all!”

“I would rather like to invite you to think differently. We cannot deal with lies! The essence of fluid atheism is the promise of an accommodation between truth and lies. This is the major temptation of our time! We are all guilty of accommodation, of complicity with this major lie that is fluid atheism!”

“We pretend to be Christian believers and men of faith, we celebrate religious rites, but in fact we live as pagans and unbelievers. Make no mistake, we are not fighting with this enemy. It always ends up taking you away. Fluid atheism is elusive and slimy. If you attack it, it will entangle you in its subtle compromises.”

“It’s like a spider’s web, the more you fight against it, the tighter it closes around you. Fluid atheism is the ultimate trap of the Tempter, of Satan. It draws you into his own territory. If you follow it, you will be led to use his weapons: lies, dissimulation, and compromise.”

“He foments confusion, division, resentment, bitterness, and partisanship around himself. Look at the state of the Church! Everywhere there is only dissension and suspicion. Fluid atheism lives and feeds on all our little weaknesses, all our capitulations and compromises with its lie.”

Towards the end of his speech, Cardinal Sarah invites everyone to a personal reaction, certainly just but provisional, a necessary conversion but which cannot exempt the supreme authority in the Church from making – when it is able to do so – a magisterial and institutional decision.

Cardinal Sarah fully admits it, when he speaks of the duty of a future pontificate to clarify “with definitive solemnity” this conciliar spirit which has been insisted on in the Church, for 60 years, in an absolutely contradictory manner.

The African prelate asks: “With all my heart as a pastor, I want to invite you today to make this resolution. We do not have to create parties in the Church. We do not have to proclaim ourselves the saviors of this or that institution. All this would contribute to the opponent's game. But today each of us can decide: the lie of atheism will no longer pass through me.”

“I no longer want to renounce the light of faith, I no longer want, out of convenience, laziness, or conformism, to let light and darkness coexist within me. It’s a very simple decision, both internal and concrete. It will change our lives. It's not about going to war. This is not about denouncing enemies. While you can't change the world, you can change yourself. If everyone, humbly decided to do this, then the system of lies would collapse by itself, because its only strength is the place we make for it within us.”

This call for personal conversion must be supplemented by what Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wrote to Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, on December 20, 1966, on the post-conciliar crisis: “The Successor of Peter and he alone can save the Church. May the Holy Father surround himself with vigorous defenders of the faith, may he designate them in important dioceses. May he deign through important documents to proclaim the truth, to pursue error, without fear of contradictions, without fear of schisms, without fear of calling into question the pastoral provisions of the Council.”