How should a Catholic treat Vatican II?


The French priest Fr. Hervé Belmont was ordained by Bp. Lefebvre. He has renounced the CONciLIAR church and continues to confess the one, unchanging Roman Catholic faith. He wrote a very sensible text about the only possibility that the Catholic faith offers regarding Vatican II: complete rejection.

  1. Vatican II is a council convened according to the rules. So it is a meeting of the teaching Church in all its magnitude and, for that reason, infallibly teaches the truths that God has revealed in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Apostolic Tradition, as well as any other truth necessary to know the revealed deposit of faith, to have certainty about it, to understand it or to apply it correctly.
  2. Now, Vatican II has de facto taught doctrines contrary to the doctrines taught previously infallibly by the holy Catholic Church, or which are incompatible with it.
  3. These doctrines are foreign to the Catholic faith. They are not limited to a few individual ideas, but form a coherent whole. They bring a total liturgical reform with them, they inspire new practices, they spread a new state of mind. The whole exists as a new religion, which at the same time vaguely reminds of the Catholic religion, and at the same time is a profound rupture, which has destroyed the spirit of faith and desecrated the worship of God.
  4. How can a Catholic believer – and that is his deepest nature and his most direct duty – face such facts to fully and completely practice the Catholic faith, without distracting, distorting, exaggerating anything?
  5. Let’s start by removing the pretensions, the fallacies, the fanciful solutions that are not true to the facts, or the doctrine: “Vatican II has called itself” pastoral “… ” The decision of John XXIII was taken in haste … ” His call was very careless … ” The inaugural lecture is very worrying with his attack on the doom prophets and with his will to condemn it no longer … ” The intervention of Cardinal Liénart, who said that the preparation and proposal of groups on a pre-established lists were a real coup…”- all these ill-conceived, omnipresent reasons to deny the legality (and infallibility) of Vatican II do not stand against an investigation based on the nature of the case, and not on feelings or circumstances. We must look elsewhere …
  6. This elsewhere can, with a view to Catholic doctrine, be no other than that of papal authority. For the Pope is the master of the Council and the source of its authority. It is the congregation by the Pope and his approval of the decrees that give these decrees the value of deeds of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church, with all the infallible authority attached to it. Nothing can change that, internal tampering, or external circumstances.
  7. Then the problem appears in all its scope and sharpness, and we are between the shore and the ship. On the one hand, if you accept Vatican II, with everything that it pulls along in its wake, you will confess doctrines that have been condemned before and which are diametrically opposed to the Church’s everlasting teachings. Then you use a liturgy permeated by Protestantism, and as such you expose yourself to losing the Catholic faith, as happened more or less visibly with so many unweary faithful. On the other hand, if you reject the suspicious novelties of Vatican II and all that it engulfs in its wake, you deny the infallibility of the ecclesiastical teaching authority, you deny that ecclesiastical laws cannot do any damage, you deny the sacramental and hierarchical unity of the Church, and you dispute the direct jurisdiction of the Pope over every believer. Conclusion: then you come to just as many and as bad errors as you wanted to escape. The only way to escape this dilemma is to realize both internally in our judgment and externally in our actions that Paul VI – with all his successors – is deprived of all papal authority, or in other words, that they are not Popes. To this end, you are forced to completely preserve the integrity of the doctrine, and seriously reject the wrong, offensive and suspect novelties. But are we not already in a new slope, unacceptable for a Catholic?
  8. However, we are not yet at the end of our exercise. The papacy – the fact that this particular man is Pope, the Pontifex Maximus, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the valid successor of St. Peter, the visible head of the Holy Catholic Church – this fact is not left at the free judgment of everyone. It is not even a question of opinion: it is a question of dogmatic fact. Such a fact is a contingent fact (a fact that could not have existed either), but a fact that falls under the light of faith, because it is necessarily connected with the practice of faith. And the following connection: the Pope is the living and closest rule of the Catholic faith, the supreme owner of the fullness of the power of magisterium, the source of the universal teaching authority of the Church of Jesus Christ.
  9. How can we then judge that Paul VI and his successors are not Popes? How can we do that without denying a dogmatic fact? Without killing the light of faith? Without, on the other hand, falling into a third kind of error? How can we bring a complete, transferable assurance to others, bring a light that is proportionate to this judgment, which goes against the factual, universal and immediate observation? How can this denial be absolutely Catholic?
  10. The answer is simple: it is not a judgment, even if it cannot be pronounced otherwise than in the form of a judgment. We are in fact faced with the strict impossibility of practicing the Catholic faith, which requires us strongly not to agree with, or indeed to be, a follower of this observation, which seems to agree with the observable reality: Paul VI (or his successors) is Jesus Christ’s Vicar, he is the Pope of the Holy Church. So it is impossible to agree at the same time and to acknowledge the entire Catholic faith and the papal authority of Paul VI (and his successors). Either we deny what Vatican II denies or breaks down or questions, or we deny the infallibility of the Church and the privileges of the Pope. We cannot sacrifice one for the sake of the other.
  11. We therefore have to make two important precisions. The papacy of this or that person is a dogmatic fact. But … a) it must be a publicly established and acknowledged fact beforehand (of course!); not only recognized worldly, but explicitly recognized in the sense that the faithful must associate with someone who is recognized as Pope, as the living and close rule of the Catholic faith, as the holder of the supreme and direct jurisdiction over the body of the Catholic Church; b) The Catholic faith, practiced meticulously, may not radically prevent this agreement.
  12. In order to establish all that, we do not resort to theological studies that have been made about the case of a heretical Pope. These studies are made by Church scholars (Saint Robert Bellarminus, Saint Alfonsus of Liguori) or great theologians (Cajetanus, Garrigou-Lagrange), and that makes it impossible for those who value it to be regarded as schismatic or outrageous. Nevertheless it meets with two impediments, which are insurmountable in the present situation: a) these studies unfold doctrines that have been admitted by the Catholic Church, but which it does not profess; they cannot therefore produce a conclusion that offers a proportionate certainty to denying what appears to be a dogmatic fact: b) establishing formal heresy is difficult, both because of the (complicit) silence of the joint bishops, and because of the consequences of modernism for the mind.
  13. We must say the same thing about the Book of Apocalypse in the present situation. It is not horrible, nor schismatic, to claim that we are experiencing the time of the great seductive apostasy, but here too the Holy Church itself has not yet hat applied these words. There is no proportionate security.
  14. The key to the problem is indicated by Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Mystici Corporis: “The divine Savior governs His mystical body and usually through His Vicar on earth.” The head of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ. The Pope is sovereign in relation to the Body of the Church on earth and each of us, but he is Vicar in relation to Jesus Christ, of Whom he recieves his entire authority. Now, Vatican II is, visibly and usually, the administration of those who have the apostolic succession but do not, and no longer, possess the government of Jesus Christ. This heavy accusation goes back to the former, certain and unchangeable teaching of the Church, and not to any spirit of revolt against the institution, or of bitterness against persons. Covered by an insanity of speech – typically a tried and tested trick of modernism – there is a whole that is alien to Catholic doctrine: – the mystery of Redemption (and of the concept of sin and punishment) have been abolished for the ‘benefit’ of the Incarnation, which would suffice for a wholesome union with Jesus Christ; – the Church is newly understood, and resolved (the famous subsistit in), which entails the liturgical revolution, the pulverization of marriage, the madness of ecumenism – one of the two sources of Revelation, the apostolic Tradition, is virtually abandoned, resulting in a Protestant conception of Sacred Scripture – the purpose of man and his nature, and also of the society, is twisted; it is claimed that there would be a right to civil liberty in religious matters, independent of the truth and the divine origin of religion.
  15. The outburst of these strange novelties, which are also contradictory to the faith, with a solemnity that demands a theological consent of its own, makes it impossible to agree with the papal authority of Paul VI and the recognition of the dogmatic fact that is a condition for this and that accompanies it.
  16. But the observation of this impossibility, in other words of the incompatibility of the novelties of Vatican II and papal infallibility, says nothing (nothing that is ecclesial and proclamable) about whether Paul VI and his successors may personally have the sin of heresy or schism. This issue therefore remains outside the strict whole that is presented here, and of the testimony of faith.
  17. In anticipation, Jesus Christ always gives life and life to His Church: – the constant and unaltered Constitution of the Church (including and in the first instance the transfer of Episcopal power) – the Magisterium of the Church, always essentially active and rule of faith (even if nothing new can happen) – the law of the Church, always in full force, and the corresponding need to be obedient to the valid government. For, says Pope Pius XI: “In this one Church of Christ there is no one, and no one remains in it, unless he obediently acknowledges and accepts the authority and power of Peter and his rightful followers” (Mortalium animos, January 6, 1928).
  18. The return and restoration of the papal authority, and of the authorities that depend on it, will be done in perfect agreement with the divine and unchanging law of the Catholic Church (through repentance, succession, or?) And it is in this way that we must wait and desire


Hervé Belmont

Veni Domine Jesu!

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