Below is a detailed analysis I wrote on a recent letter from Archbishop Viganò to a layman. This is Part 1 of a several part commentary. Archbishop Viganò’s letter is in italics below. My words are in an orange bold font below. AB. Viganò’s original letter without any commentary is here.
Dear Mr. Kokx, 1 Sept 2020
I read with lively interest your article “Questions for Viganò: His Excellency is Right about Vatican II, But What Does He Think Catholic Should Do Now?” which was published by Catholic Family News on August 22. I am happy to respond to your questions, which address matters that are very important for the faithful.
You ask: “What would ‘separating’ from the Conciliar Church look like in Archbishop Viganò’s opinion?” I respond to you with another question: “What does it mean to separate from the Catholic Church according to the supporters of the Council?” While it is clear that no admixture is possible with those who propose adulterated doctrines of the conciliar ideological manifesto, it should be noted that the simple fact of being baptized and of being living members of the Church of Christ does not imply adherence to the conciliar team; this is true above all for the simple faithful and also for secular and regular clerics who, for various reasons, sincerely consider themselves Catholics and recognize the Hierarchy.
Archbishop Viganò here pre-empts any possible belligerent interlocutors who might want to accuse him of “schism” by first accusing them of schism. Or rather, anyone who holds to what he calls here a “conciliar ideological manifesto” may be in heresy and therefore schism if their conciliar ideology fully (or partially) diverts them from the articulated faith and morals of the Catholic Church. The thrust of a modernist hierarchy now claiming that the few Western Catholics still alive today who attempt to adhere to the full teachings of the Apostles are “separated from the Church” is no longer a tenable project, especially in a Church crisis this pronounced.
Instead, what needs to be clarified is the position of those who, declaring themselves Catholic, embrace the heterodox doctrines that have spread over these decades, with the awareness that these represent a rupture with the preceding Magisterium. In this case it is licit to doubt their real adherence to the Catholic Church, in which however they hold official roles that confer authority on them. It is an illicitly exercised authority, if its purpose is to force the faithful to accept the revolution imposed since the Council.
If a lieutenant in the Navy professed obedience to a captain who he later found had effected a mutiny away from a higher ranking Admiral, then he would easily come to the conclusion: A mutiny against a mutiny is not a mutiny. It is an act of obedience. Ah, but Fr. Nix, that’s exactly the same reason that Martin Luther gave to justify his rebellion against the hierarchy...No, it is different. Very different. Luther claimed that he rejected every Captain of the ship except the Fleet-Admiral (Christ) where Archbishop Viganò fully stands behind not only the Navy Fleet-Admiral (Christ Himself) but all of His greatest Captains of the past 19 centuries. What Viganò now names as a “conciliar ideological manifesto” and “a rupture with the preceding Magisterium” is the actual mutiny much like Luther’s rebellion without the Church, but from an infiltration within the Church. A ship purposefully placed a few degrees off course in 1960 had diverted from the Apostolic course way back then, but this late in the game it is very obvious to everyone that a “parallel Church” has been established. Should a good lieutenant begin grumbling about an obvious diversion from a ship’s course, perhaps an effeminate captain might quickly cry disobedience against him! But, again, this is no longer tenable, as the insignificant lieutenant now has a solid Captain (Viganò) calling out the mutiny from the mainmast. Thus, the little lieutenants now have more courage to return their stolen ship to the Fleet Admiral and His own chosen Admirals.
Once this point has been clarified, it is evident that it is not the traditional faithful – that is, true Catholics, in the words of Saint Pius X – that must abandon the Church in which they have the full right to remain and from which it would be unfortunate to separate; but rather the Modernists who usurp the Catholic name, precisely because it is only the bureaucratic element that permits them not to be considered on a par with any heretical sect. This claim of theirs serves in fact to prevent them from ending up among the hundreds of heretical movements that over the course of the centuries have believed to be able to reform the Church at their own pleasure, placing their pride ahead of humbly guarding the teaching of Our Lord. But just as it is not possible to claim citizenship in a homeland in which one does not know its language, law, faith and tradition; so it is impossible that those who do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church can arrogate to themselves the right to remain within her and even to ascend the levels of the hierarchy.
For a long time, all the traditional lieutenants have been told to abandon their own ship due to their own alleged “disobedience” against a modernist mutiny. But the modernist mutiny has only hijacked the name “Catholic” off the ship, for this ship herself belongs to Christ. Why are we just seeing this mutiny now? Because the ship’s diversion from course was only a few degrees off at first. Now, as Viganò writes, we have the proof-in-the-pudding of “hundreds of heretical movements” based on a “conciliar ideological manifesto.” These heretical movements can no longer be denied by even the middle-of-the-road Catholics who have just a little common sense at their disposal. Modernist commanders who have hijacked a traditional ship no longer know how to successfully deceive the low-ranking petty officers, for they “do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church” but ironically “arrogate to themselves the right to remain within her and even to ascend the levels of the hierarchy.” In other words, they have outed themselves as imposters by not knowing how to run a battleship according to traditional rules…and everybody sees it.
[to be continued]