By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.
Bishop Tissier De Mallerais of the SSPX recently gave an interview in which he discussed certain issues which are relevant to the post-Vatican II apostasy. I would like to offer a few comments about this interview.
Q. “… Zenit.org released a text on 7 April from the French episcopate on the occasion of the end of their plenary assembly which included the following statements: “Truth implies being clear on our points of dissension. These points include acceptance of the Magisterium more than questions of liturgy, in particular, that of the Second Vatican Council and of Popes of the last decades. Communion may be accompanied by questions, requests for precision or further reflection. It cannot tolerate a systematic rejection of the council, criticism of its teaching, or denigration of the liturgical reform decreed by the council.”
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: “Firstly, I am not familiar with this text. I do not know it. It is not interesting to me as I do not follow such news. That is not the problem here. The problem is not “communion.” That is the stupid idea of these bishops since Vatican II – there is not a problem of communion, there is a problem of the profession of faith. “Communion” is nothing, it is an invention of the Second Vatican Council. The essential thing is that these people (the bishops) do not have the Catholic Faith. “Communion” does not mean anything to me – it is a slogan of the new Church. The definition of the new Church is “communion” but it was never the definition of the Catholic Church. I can only give you the definition of the Church as it has been understood traditionally.” (www.remnantnewspaper.com)
Bishop Tissier De Mallerais of the SSPX says that the concept of Church “communion” is an invention of the Second Vatican Council. This is completely wrong.
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 10), June 29, 1896:
“For this reason, as the unity of faith is of necessity for the unity of the Church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino (by divine law).”
All in the Church are in a communion of faith and government with each other. As we can see, this unity of communion is necessary by divine law in the Church. This traditional teaching has been touched upon in many Magisterial pronouncements. It’s not surprising that this SSPX bishop is completely oblivious to Catholic teaching on communion, for what characterizes the schismatic position of the SSPX is a failure to operate in communion with the Vatican II Church, the one it recognizes as Catholic. The SSPX claims that the hierarchy of the Vatican II Church is the true Catholic hierarchy while, at the same time, it refuses communion with this hierarchy in practice. This is schismatic.
Canon 1325.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “One who after baptism… rejects the authority of the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him, he is a schismatic.”
Thus, it makes sense that the SSPX (or, at least Bishop Tissier De Mallerais) would not believe in the concept of being in communion with all in the Church. “Communion means nothing to me,” Bishop Tissier De Mallerais says. Yes, we can all see that very well. Since he doesn’t believe in it, refusing communion with the hierarchy and members of what he deems to be the Catholic Church is obviously not a conscience-problem.
Q. “…You are coming up on your 18th anniversary of consecration. What have been your thoughts about the episcopate? That is to say, what did you not expect in June of 1988?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: My great surprise is that the crisis in the Church has been so long. We had prayed that the good Lord would send us a truly Catholic Pope, a holy Catholic Pope, just a few years after my consecration, and here we are, 19 years, and it is the same. It is a great disappointment. The crisis lags, and we have to continue to fight. That is the great difficulty – not for me, but for the faithful especially. The faithful have to be heartened, they must be encouraged not to be fatigued, to be tired. We must continue to fight.
According to Tissier De Mallerais, Benedict XVI is not a true Catholic. Yet he’s still the pope, according him. This is ridiculous. Also, just before the interview was about to end (of which I’ve quoted some portions), I found it particularly interesting that the SSPX bishop complained that he wasn’t asked any substantive questions.
Q. “…Well, that’s all my questions, my lord. Now, when I type this I want to make sure all my quotes are accurate, so I will send you a transcript before you go to Veneta…
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: No, no, these questions, you have not addressed the essential things – I appreciate your questions but you did not touch anything essential in your questions.
I found this to be particularly interesting because what typifies the false traditionalist movement is a dishonesty and a human respect that avoids the tough issues. That’s how the ridiculous positions of the false traditionalists have been able to be maintained and to flourish in these groups. At conferences, at chapels, etc., they avoid the hard facts (about salvation, about the heresy of the Vatican II “popes”) that cut through the lies and errors and illuminate the truth. People avoid bringing up these important issues because they don’t want to challenge their priests, speakers, etc. and put them on the spot. For instance, the late Gregory Hesse (although he was not a true Catholic) was at the point where he was repeatedly calling John Paul II a heretic, even at the Catholic Family News Conference. He was summarily dismissed from that circle and not seen to speak again there. Similarly, almost no one in these circles (SSPX, etc.) even quotes the Doctors of the Church who taught that manifest heretics would cease to be popes. If they simply did, many more would become sedevacantists.
In this regard one must wonder why the interviewer didn’t ask the bishop how the SSPX can reject the “canonizations” of the Vatican II “popes”? Wouldn’t that mean, therefore, that we could reject any traditional saint? Of course it would. Or how come the interviewer didn’t ask about the arguments of those who say that Benedict XVI isn’t even a Catholic, since he has taught astounding heresies?
So, to his slight credit, Bishop Tissier De Mallerais proceeded to chime in about Benedict XVI’s heresies on his own.
Q. “What more, My Lord?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: “Well, for instance, that this Pope has professed heresies in the past! He has professed heresies! I do not know whether he still does.”
Bishop Tissier De Mallerais blurts out that Benedict XVI has professed heresies in the past, but says that he doesn’t know if Benedict XVI still does. Is he unaware of Benedict XVI’s statement rejecting the ecumenism of the return (i.e., the necessity for non-Catholics to convert)? I really doubt it.
Q. When you say “has professed,” do you mean he still does?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: No, but he has never retracted his errors.
Q.: But My Lord, if he has not retracted them, does he not still retain them? Of what are you speaking? Can you be more specific? I must admit I am no theologian and I have not read any of his works. Was this when he was a cardinal?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: It was when he was a priest. When he was a theologian, he professed heresies, he published a book full of heresies.
Bishop Tissier De Mallerais says that Benedict XVI published a book full of heresies.
Q.: My Lord, I need you to be more specific, so we can examine the matter.
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: Yes, sure. He has a book called Introduction to Christianity, it was in 1968. It is a book full of heresies. Especially the negation of the dogma of the Redemption.
It’s worth noting that the only heresy from Benedict XVI that Bishop Tissier De Mallerais brings up with any specificity is on the Redemption. But this is far from Benedict XVI’s worst heresy; in fact, it’s not even the worst heresy in the book that he cites, Introduction to Christianity. In Introduction to Christianity, Benedict XVI blatantly and clearly rejects the resurrection of the body multiple times. This heresy is clearer and worse than the passage Tissier De Mallerais cites.
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, 2004, p. 349: “It now becomes clear that the real heart of faith in the resurrection does not consist at all in the idea of the restoration of bodies, to which we have reduced it in our thinking; such is the case even though this is the pictorial image used throughout the Bible.”
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, p. 353: “The foregoing reflections may have clarified to some extent what is involved in the biblical pronouncements about the resurrection: their essential content is not the conception of a restoration of bodies to souls after a long interval…”
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, 2004, pp. 357-358: “To recapitulate, Paul teaches, not the resurrection of physical bodies, but the resurrection of persons…”
So, why does Bishop Tissier De Mallerais bring up, as his main proof, a rather obscure heresy on a topic that is harder to follow and which will be more easily responded to by the defenders of Benedict XVI? He could have simply pointed out that Benedict XVI rejects the necessity of Protestants and schismatics to convert to the Catholic Faith. Or he could have simply pointed out that Benedict XVI wrote the preface for the book The Jewish People and the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Bible which teaches that it’s valid to not accept Jesus as the Son of God. Not only does Bishop Tissier De Mallerais fail to cite one of Benedict XVI’s worst heresies – a simple heresy which would be very easy for all who read his interview to follow and understand – but he cites a deeper and more involved passage on satisfaction, which most of his readers won’t follow, understand or easily see.
Q: In what sense, My Lord?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: He says that Christ did not satisfy for our sins, did not – atone – He, Jesus Christ, on the Cross, did not make satisfaction for our sins. This book denies Christ’s atonement of sins.
Q.: Ah, I’m not sure I understand…
Notice that even the interviewer couldn’t follow. The reason that Bishop Tissier De Mallerais cited this rather weak proof, as opposed to a much stronger and simpler proof, is because he’s in a spiritual fog which lacks grace. It’s the same kind of spiritual fog in which many bad willed people are captured. This causes them to fail to hit on the main points, to miss the simple things. Frankly, the most important points are often too simple for puffed up individuals who consider themselves profound intellectuals. They must look for the supposedly deeper and more profound answer, rather than: HE SIGNED THE BOOK WHICH SAYS THAT JESUS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SEEN AS THE SON OF GOD! OR: HE SAYS PROTESTANTS DON’T NEED TO CONVERT. That’s why, in my opinion, Bishop Tissier De Mallerais inexplicably brings up this issue of the Redemption as his main proof of the heresy of Benedict XVI, when they are so many others that more effectively, more clearly and more simply prove the point.
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: He denies the necessity of satisfaction.
Q.: This sounds like Luther.
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: No, it goes much further than Luther. Luther admits the sacrifice…the satisfaction of Christ. It is worse than Luther, much worse.
Bishop Tissier De Mallerais says that Benedict XVI wrote a book full of heresies, including “denying the necessity of satisfaction,” which is “much worse” than Luther. So he’s a heretic then, right? No, of course not.
Q. My Lord, I must return to the beginning of this line of questioning: are you saying he is a heretic?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: No. But he has never retracted these statements.
Q.: Well, then, what would you say, My Lord, that it was “suspicious,” “questionable,” “favoring heresy”?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: No, it is clear. I can quote him. He rejects “an extremely rudimentary presentation of the theology of satisfaction (seen as) a mechanism of an injured and reestablished right. It would be the manner with which the justice of God, infinitely offended, would have been reconciled anew by an infinite satisfaction…some texts of devotion seem to suggest that the Christian faith in the Cross understands God as a God whose inexorable justice required a human sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own Son. And we flee with horror from a justice, the dark anger of which removes any credibility from the message of love” (translated from the German version, pages 232-233).
Q.: What other heresies, My Lord?
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: Many others. Many others. He has put up doubts regarding the divinity of Christ, regarding the dogma of the Incarnation…
So, according to Bishop Tissier De Mallerais, Benedict XVI has taught heresies worse than Luther and put doubts on the divinity of Christ; but he’s not a heretic or even “favoring heresy”! This is just ridiculous and outrageous.
Q.: These are very strong words, My Lord, but yet, the Society is not sedevacantist…
A. Bishop Tissier De Mallerais: No, no, no, no. He is the Pope…
This interview is more nonsense theology from the SSPX.