Beatification of Pope Paul VI

Communiqué of the General House of the Society of Saint Pius X on the Beatification of Pope Paul VI.

On October 19, 2014, at the close of the Extraordinary Synod on the family, Pope Francis will go forward with the beatification of Pope Paul VI. The Society of Saint Pius X wishes to express serious reservations concerning beatifications and canonizations of recent popes, whose rushed proceedings dispense with the wisdom of the Church’s centuries-old rules.

It is true that Paul VI was responsible for the encyclical Humanae Vitae[1], which letter instructed and consoled the Catholic family at a time when the most basic principles of marriage were under bitter attack. So they are again, and in a scandalous fashion, by certain members of the present Synod.

But Paul VI is also the Pope who saw Vatican II to its conclusion, thereby introducing in the Church a doctrinal liberalism manifested especially in errors such as religious liberty, collegiality, and ecumenism. The result was an upheaval which he himself admitted on December 7, 1968, in the following words: “The Church is now confronted with uncertainty, self-criticism, one might almost say self-destruction. As if the Church were doing violence to Herself.” The following year he conceded: “In many areas the Council has not yet put us at peace; it has rather stirred up trouble and difficulties which are useless for reinforcing the Kingdom of God in the Church and in souls.” He went so far as to give this dire warning on July 29, 1972: “The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God through some crack: doubt, incertitude, dissension, worry, discontent, and conflict are plain to see…” But he was merely stating a fact, while failing to take those measures capable of stopping the self-destruction.

Paul VI is the Pope who imposed a liturgical reform of the rites of Mass the other sacraments for reasons inspired by ecumenism. Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci denounced this new Mass because it departed “significantly, on the whole and in its details, from Catholic theology of the holy Mass as formulated during the 22nd session of the Council of Trent.”[2] Along the same lines Archbishop Lefebvre said that the new Mass was “infused with a protestant spirit” which is a “poison inimical to the Faith.”[3]

Under his pontificate many priests and religious were persecuted, and even condemned, for their fidelity to the Tridentine Mass. The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X remembers with great sorrow the condemnation of 1976 whereby Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre found himself suspens a divinis because of his attachment to that Mass and his categorical refusal of the reforms. Only in 2007, with the issuance of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, was it finally admitted that the Tridentine Mass had never been abrogated.

Following in the footsteps of its founder, the Society of Saint Pius X declares yet again its attachment to the Church’s two thousand-year-old Tradition, convinced that such fidelity, far from vain nostalgia, in fact provides an apt remedy to the Church’s self-destruction.

Given at Menzingen October 17, 2014