28 January 2022

"The Battle for the Mass is Won" - Interview with Fr. Philippe Laguérie

From Father's lips to God's ears!  'It is too late: we have won the battle. ... After 43 years of priesthood, do you think I would ever ask anyone's permission to celebrate the Mass of my ordination?' 

From Rorate Cæli

Fr. Philippe Laguérie

Interview granted to Anne Le Pape for the daily Présent, on January 18, 2022. 

[Translation by Jerome Stridon.]

Father Philippe Laguérie needs no introduction. He was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre, named pastor of Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet (the SPPX’s flagship church in Paris) in 1984, where he served until 1998. He left the SSPX in 2004 and was one of the cofounders of the Institute of the Good Shepherd (Institut du Bon Pasteur, “IBP”) in 2006. He was its superior for two mandates, until 2019.

Father, did you ever think that some day you would once again live through a witch-hunt (if I dare use the expression) against the traditional rite?

Yes and no! If you consider the deep causes of the liturgical revolution of the sixties, the modernist-infested railroading of Vatican II (more sinister even than at Ephesus!), [1] and since the same causes produce the same effects: yes, I did! In spite of the attempt under Benedict XVI, which can be said to have failed today, to restore the Church's bimillennial liturgy to its former glory, the Church's personnel remained and remain fundamentally revolutionary. "A bad tree cannot bear good fruit . . . .” But considering the violence of the last two Roman documents (Traditionis custodes and the responses to the dubia), their contempt for liturgical tradition, the cynicism of the measures they’ve adopted, their hatred-oozing rage for systematic destruction, then one is inclined to think that the pope is no longer working "on the peripheries"; but rather on another galaxy. As you well know from his many trips, his orthodoxy is inversely proportionate to his altitude squared! Yes: consternation. Here we are, back in the 70s, with its suspension a divinis, its "rogue seminary"; its "excommunications"; I smell gunpowder.

How is one to understand Pope Francis' attitude? Is it pure malice, or simply consistency with Vatican II?

Above all, do not lose sight of the fact that the current pope is a Jesuit! This is the first time and, I hope, the last. A Jesuit will always prefer efficiency to consistency. Saint Ignatius was well aware of this when he subjected his religious to a fourth vow: obedience to the pope. This was just to limit the trouble these geniuses might cause (for the Society has plenty of them). Let efficiency left to itself not become extravagance, presumption, megalomania, self-reference! Cardinals understood this and never elected a Jesuit. A Jesuit pope, therefore one without a superior, is a mad genius at the controls of an X-15 or a Lockheed YF-12: park your aircraft. There is no need to assume the slightest malice in the internal forum. After all, it is simply a matter of authorization. A Jesuit can assassinate someone Ad majorem Dei gloriam; easy, if one’s superior doesn't object and if one directs one’s intention properly (cf. Pascal’s Provincial Letters). In the 17th century, they invented so many heresies (probabilism, Molinism, casuistry, etc.) that the Pope had to silence them. And they shut up! But today, it is hard to see, except for Jesus Christ himself, who could silence a Jesuit without a superior. . . . But please, let him not take the plane anymore.

What do you think of the objection, "To want to celebrate only in the old rite is to question the value of the new"?

On this point, after a period of diplomatic silence, I need to make myself clear: I am one of those who believe that our absolute rejection of Paul VI's Mass is not affective, disciplinary, charismatic, etc. It is theologal, theological, dogmatic, and moral. In a word, it is absolute! The original sin of this detestable liturgical quarrel in the Church is the unbelievable and insane audacity of Pope Paul VI in promulgating  a new ordo missae based on the research of experts, of Freemasons, and of Protestants, and to throw out (albeit with quivering voice) the Mass of the pontiffs Leo and Gregory, both Great. The Catholic liturgy can and should only be a transmission of the patrimony of the Apostles. A Mass concocted nineteen centuries later can only be a Promethean ambition, a romantic-libertarian chimera, populism in bad taste, unworthy of the Church of Jesus Christ. The promulgation of the new ordo missae of Paul VI is undoubtedly legal and valid, but certainly not legitimate. What will be very instructive in this crisis is how everybody is going to reposition himself: those who cope through ecclesiastical diplomacy and grinning-and-bearing-it are going to drown. Only those who are passionate for the truth will remain. Having spent my life fighting, I am happy to note that I am going to die, not as a retiree, but as a soldier.

What is your take on the issue of ordinations?

I leave this matter up to the Superior General of our institute, Father Gabriel Barrero, who has a good handle on it, with nice perspectives too, but he quite rightly demands silence . . . .

Is there, in your opinion, a real risk of interrupting the transmission of the traditional rite? If so, what would be the consequences?

No, none at all! The "battle" of the Catholic Mass was definitively and irreversibly won by Archbishop Lefebvre in the 1980s. There is no need to do what’s already been done! There are tens of thousands of priests throughout the world who celebrate the Gregorian Mass, and it is not the gesticulations of some Roman secretary or some residential bishop on overtime that will change anything. It is too late: we have won the battle. I am not one of those who speculate about a heart attack or a stroke of the pope: I find that wretched, especially since the one placing such a wager could well be hoisted on his own petard. However, I know that ALL the priests I know (starting with myself) will never go over to the Mass that has ruined the Church in the West, in America, and in Africa. Macron will be vaccinating the unborn long before Francis ever imposes the synaxis of Paul VI on us. After 43 years of priesthood, do you think I would ever ask anyone's permission to celebrate the Mass of my ordination?


Translator’s note:

[1] This refers to what Pope St. Leo the Great called the “Robber Council” at Ephesus in 449, which promoted the heresy of Monophysitism and insulted the Roman legates representing orthodoxy.

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