March 2011 - Assisi? A Hope!

“I do not know this Man!” The die is cast, the denial is complete.
With forceful imprecations and oaths, St. Peter repudiated his Master. The voice of a maidservant and the sarcastic remarks of those who surrounded him were enough to overcome the still too human love that Peter had for Jesus. Three times he renewed his repudiation, and when he finally met the eyes of Christ, his blood ran cold. Far away, the cock crowed. Peter remembered then the words of his Master, and went away, crying bitterly, repentant and converted.

Dear friends and benefactors,

“I do not know this Man!” The die is cast, the denial is complete.
With forceful imprecations and oaths, St. Peter repudiated his Master. The voice of a maidservant and the sarcastic remarks of those who surrounded him were enough to overcome the still too human love that Peter had for Jesus. Three times he renewed his repudiation, and when he finally met the eyes of Christ, his blood ran cold. Far away, the cock crowed. Peter remembered then the words of his Master, and went away, crying bitterly, repentant and converted.

“I do not know this Man!” Will the die be cast and the denial accomplished? Indeed. For the third time, the Pope invites to renew the denial that is the Assisi meeting. May the voices that can protest against this scandalous papal invitation be distinctly heard and call to conversion, while there is still time! Such has been the petition of some Italian Catholics to Benedict XVI, so that he will not go to Assisi next October. But will these voices be heard? Will they be able to overcome the deafening voices of the supporters of ecumenism and religious liberty? We doubt it, alas. “I do not know this Man!” These terrible words have traversed the centuries. Once again, Peter repeats them by promoting this carnival of religions where Christ is nothing more than one among many others.

To treat Him like this really means that He is not known! Christ is not one among many, He is the Only One. The remainder is nothing more than a diabolic masquerade. Our use of the term “denial”, by establishing a parallel between the attitude of St. Peter at the house of the High Priest and that of the Pope inviting the representatives of all the “religious traditions” to Assisi, underlines the loss of saving exclusivity that belongs only to Christ. “Ecce Homo”: only in Him we can be saved. The knowledge of this man – the Man par excellence! – should prohibit inviting the others to pray in the respect of their “religious traditions”.

How could we conceal our indignation when confronted with such prevarication? Should we join the flood of the “dumb dogs” whose policy is not other than flowing with the current? Forcefully and even – why not? – passionately, we are outraged. It cannot be otherwise, the honor of Christ and of the Church demand it. But already, from here and there, we are told, in tones of reproach, that this cry of indignation is a lack of respect to the Pope and a sign of pride. “What right do you have – they say – to permit yourselves to judge him or his intentions? Isn’t this demonization of the Pope the proof that you have, at least, a latent schismatic spirit?”

Who doesn’t see in these misplaced criticisms a despicable evasion, unworthy of such a subject? Our adversaries oppose to us paltry subjectivist reasons, which are out of place when the Faith is in question. To confuse the levels of the problem and do not give an answer to the precise questions addressed to them has always been the attitude and the reflex of those who do not have any real argument to present in their own defense. The Pope is at the origin of this invitation which wounds the honor of Christ and souls by inclining them towards a deadly relativism. It is a fact. A regrettable fact, which we highly regret, but which cannot be denied. To point this out and to be indignant is not to attack the Pope as such and to lack respect towards him. When we condemn the attitude of St. Peter on the evening of Maundy Thursday, we do not condemn at all his function… and we do not forget that we are capable of much worse!

Nonetheless, isn’t it a serious duty for the inferior to challenge the superior when the faith and morals are in danger by the fault of the latter? The attitude of St. Paul challenging St. Peter in Antioch answers this question. Our indignation, expressed publicly and in strong terms, has the aim of defending the honor of Christ and to protect souls against the mortal poison of relativism that kills the Faith in them. But who does not see that this filial indignation, carried publicly to the very steps of Rome, is also a desperate attempt to defend the Pope against his own liberal demons? With Prof. Roberto of Mattei, we dare to say: “Today we live in dramatic times, when everyone who is baptized must have supernatural courage and the apostolic frankness to defend loudly his own faith, according to the example of the saints and without letting himself be conditioned by ‘political correctness’, as it very often happens also in the ecclesiastical sphere. Only our faith, and no other consideration, moved us to reject Assisi I and II and to express to the Holy Father, with all respect, our concerns before the announcement of a coming Assisi III.”

To be indignant is not enough. We must and we want to offer reparation. Indignation without the effective and real will to make reparation by our prayers and our sacrifices would be only a Pharisaic lament. This duty of reparation is urgent. It is necessary. It is the trademark of holiness, particularly in our apostate century. It is the faithful echo of the invitations, many times repeated, of Our Good Mother in Heaven to convert to God by our fidelity to the Rosary and to the sacrifice of our duties of state. To be indignant and make reparation by the joyous offering of our prayers and of our daily sorrows are two inseparable attitudes of a faithful soul. But this indignation and this reparation are not our ultimate attitude in these dark hours. Beyond this duty of fidelity to God, we must also render Him the homage of our faith and live by hope.

This painful denial on the part of the highest authorities of the Church cannot shake our indefectible faith in the Church. Even more, the drama we are currently living because of all these successive denials can only strengthen our souls in adoring the mystery of the Church, faithful Bride of Christ and, for this reason, called to follow with Him in His passion to be identified with Him. “It is my opinion that Christ and the Church are all one”, said St. Joan of Arc with holy precision. The Church is called to live the stations of the Passion of Christ, one after the other. In her turn, the Church must lose her form and beauty by being covered with the infamies with which Christ was soiled. And the Church must, following the example her Master, receive these humiliations from those who are her much beloved apostles.

It is in this mysterious, divine identification that the Church fulfills her vocation of Spouse. Thanks to the humiliations that cover her, She is really the icon of Christ. “I do not know this Man!” Can we dare to hope that this third denial will be the last? Will the glance of the Pope finally meet the painful regard of the Savior? Will we witness a spiritual “quo vadis, Domine” in the soul of the Pope? In this current drama and, more generally, in this crisis in the Church, we keep a confident hope. Christ will be victorious and St. Peter will confirm his brethren in the Faith, thanks to the prayer of Christ for him. We unite with our whole souls to this infallible prayer, so that the hour of its realization will not be delayed!

In Christo sacerdote et Maria.

Fr. Yves le Roux