So, for now, we wait to see if Bishop Fellay will indeed sign the doctrinal preamble presented to him by Cardinal Levada.

In 1988, long before his election as pope, Cardinal Ratzinger visited Santiago Chile to address the Chilean Bishop’s conference. In a speech that focused on the “Lefebvre case”, Cardinal Ratzinger said this about the Second Vatican Council:

“One of the basic discoveries of the theology of ecumenism is that schisms can take place only when certain truths and certain values of the Christian faith are no longer lived and loved within the Church. The truth which is marginalized becomes autonomous, remains detached from the whole of the ecclesiastical structure, and a new movement then forms itself around it.”

It cannot be denied that after Vatican II many truths and values of the faith stopped being lived and loved in the Church. Fasting before Communion, frequent Confession, religious attire for priests and nuns, the importance of avoiding mortal sin, abstaining from meat on Fridays and many other disciplines, teachings and traditions were suddenly tossed aside, de-emphasized or became the objects of mockery and jokes.  This atmosphere of disdain for all that Catholics once practiced certainly invited a response, and that is just what Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers gave us.

This response, as noted by Cardinal Ratzinger, fed a hunger that too many of our shepherds ignored:

“We must reflect on this fact: that a large number of Catholics, far beyond the narrow circle of the Fraternity of Lefebvre, see this man as a guide, in some sense, or at least as a useful ally. It will not do to attribute everything to political motives, to nostalgia, or to cultural factors of minor importance. These causes are not capable of explaining the attraction which is felt even by the young, and especially by the young, who come from many quite different nations, and who are surrounded by completely distinct political and cultural realities.  Indeed they show what is from any point of view a restricted and one-sided outlook; but there is no doubt whatever that a phenomenon of this sort would be inconceivable unless there were good elements at work here, which in general do not find sufficient opportunity to live within the Church of today.”

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Submitted by Nancy W.