France: Fr. De Cacqueray's Analysis of “The Papacy and the World”

Source: FSSPX News

On May 5, feast of St. Pius V, Fr. Régis de Cacqueray published on the District of France's website, La Porte Latine, a study of the relations between the papacy and the modern world; in his analysis he asks “why the world hates Benedict XVI”.  After a theological and historical study of these relations, seen in the light of the Gospel, he considers “Pope Benedict XVI's Way of the Cross” and defines the duty of the priests and the faithful in this Passion.

The superior of the District of France shows that the present pope was first welcomed then slandered by today's world; welcomed when, following in the footsteps of his predecessor John Paul II, he visited the Synagogue in Rome, and slandered when he issued “a firm and repeated condemnation of abortion, euthanasia and homosexual unions”.  Here are some of the most lucid extraits from this analysis, which can be found in its entirety on La Porte Latine.

Benedict XVI has not broken with the heritage of Vatican II and of his predecessors.  He himself has said it in his writings, he wants to continue it.  And when he engaged in private prayer in the mosque in Istanbul, when he prayed in the Grand Synagogue in Rome, or when, just recently, on March 14, he actively participated in a Lutheran service,  preaching the sermon for a Sunday ceremony at the Lutheran church of Via Sicilia, we could not but be indignant, considering the total rupture of such confusing practices with the prudent catholic attitude observed by the popes up until the Council.  But these same acts are just what enables the media still to retain some consideration for Joseph Ratzinger.  It was for these very acts that he was still, not so very long ago, praised and considered intelligent and peace-loving; but now there is very clearly an attack organised against him.” (…)

“After having searched for another, the only comparison we have been able to find for this hounding and crying out for the death of this old man is that of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The entire world seems to be in league against him, to insult him, to sign his death warrant by the media, and to loose against him the worst furies, that will stop no one knows where.  We would have liked to find another reference than the Passion of Christ, which is not entirely satisfactory on every point; for the delight of the  world of the media at the sight of interreligious acts or the justification of the death of the Catholic State by papal discourses do not suit the person of Our Lord in the least.  Yet what other reference can we choose?

“If our hearts, too, are wrung as we watch this man-hunt that none of Benedict XVI's three predecessors had to suffer, let us ask ourselves what are the reasons for such severe verdicts. They can be found in the accusations drawn up by the very ones in the world who had flattered him before: when it comes to making a condemning summary of his five years of pontificate, it is his efforts of restauration that are quoted: from his liberating of the traditional Mass to the lifting of the official “censures” touching the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X, two efforts that in their eyes favored the defendors of uncompromising faith and morals.  Still more noteworthy, is that they reproach the Holy Father for his firm and repeated condemnation of abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual unions, these pitiful banners that have become the prerogative of those who wish to build a society without God.

“Although he was doubtless without illusion concerning the difficulties awaiting him five years ago when he was elected Pope, Benedict XVI probably did not imagine that his pontificate would be such a Way of the Cross.  Even without enjoying the same aura as his predecessor, he could very well have lived for a few years off the benefits of his prestige.  Had he wanted to, it would not have been very difficult to find a few additional concessions to make to modernism and to the powers of this world so as not to risk becoming their punching bag.  But this man is certainly not moved by the desire to please his fellow creatures.  Even if he did not ask to be Pope, now that he is elected, he wishes to do his duty, cost him what it may.

“Unfortunately, he has received the same formation as all the priests of his generation  during a particularly troubled period.  And to tell the truth, it is regrettable that such a man should have drunk at poisoned philosphical and theological fountains – those of Karl Rahner or Hans Urs von Balthasar – which fountains have become the foundation of his mind.  So one can hardly be disconcerted by this Pope who on the one hand admirably withstands the storms of a world that hates the Church, while on the other finds himself applauded by the very same intelligentia when his actions carress the designs of a world in search of a solidarity without God;  however, trials and sorrows are sometimes the  best of friends to lead us back to the light of truth and we need not despair of his spiritual progress.” (…)

From this crisis within a crisis must come a greater good.  Never, in man's memory, has a Vicar of Christ been so maltreated and ridiculed during his life, and that because he defended Catholic morals.  To find another such burst of fury against a Sovereign Pontiff and what he represents, we would need to go all the way back to Pius XII, the last Pope before the Council.  The old dream of an aggiornamento, of an adaptation to a world that we would tame even while it hates us, has vanished before our eyes.  We must redouble our prayers that the authorities of the Church may recognize clearly that the sporadic rejoicing of a world that hates God, when these same authorities seem to indulge it, are a worrying anomaly and even contrary to the nature of the Church.

“Far from giving in to a certain despair or, on the contrary, to a slacking off powdered over with good sentiments, let us consider that our sanctification requires of us that we in no way diminish this combat of the Society of Saint Pius X initiated by its founder.  We do not realize enough the strength of example.  No doubt, the Society is but an instrument.  But any observor is able to see that for forty years, whenever Archbishop Lefebvre's community was alarmed at the Popes' distancing themselves from Tradition by their actions or teachings, the world was always applauding them.  But, whenever the Pope was booed and mocked, it always turned out that the Society defended the very same truth which was, in the end, none other than the patrimony of the Church taught and transmitted.

“Today we are still the exiles of the Church.  But the Pope himself finds himself mysteriously transported into the camp of our exile.  Doubtless, it is still only an official exile from Godless civil societies.  But who knows what is yet to come.  It is a well-known fact that friends become scarce when the torments become more violent.  Just like Christ as His Passion drew nigh, the void around the Pope could reach impressive proportions, for soon, by his side there will be nothing to be gained but blows.

“We beg for ourselves the grace not to abandon, in his misfortune, him whose name can already be added to the list of persecuted pontiffs.  We beg for him, if he must continue to undergo the bitter experience of the trial of being abandoned, that he may know how to discern that these exiles of the Church were truly his friends and his most faithful children.  May the Blessed Virgin Mary keep us all in her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart!” (Source: LPL – DICI n°214, May 8, 2010)