It is always very comforting to read lines of such vigour and firmness in a priest of the Society of St. Pius X! Indeed, this comes from the pen of Fr. Niklaus Pflüger:
Neither the attacks, nor the sanctions, nor the defamations on the part of the official hierarchy, nor the increasingly difficult circumstances to lead a truly Christian life today, have been able to prevent the work of the Society from growing and spreading.[…]
This is clear, straightforward and without diplomatic twists when it comes to bravely resisting the Vatican manoeuvres that seek to impress those who oppose the destruction of the Church.
But our dear Father goes even further when he talks doctrine and denounces those who abandon the struggle for an illusory Roman conversion:
But more than the attacks from the outside, it is our own inner weakness that we need to fear. Because a prolonged fight is tiring. It is discouraging for a small group to constantly have to fight against the all-powerful current of the masses and of public opinion. For Monsignor Lefebvre, it seemed logical that the church crisis would last for a long time and that we had to prepare ourselves for a long battle against modernist doctrines. [...] Today [...] we are tired, we are tired of always being different and we yearn for unity, peace and tranquillity. It is for this reason that on a regular basis, not only some priests, but also the faithful, who had stood firm for a long time in turmoil, suddenly become weak and give up the fight for tradition - whatever may be the reasons they give. This religious fatalism leads to a gradual reduction of expectations... and a premature agreement, i. e. a practical-only union with Rome, without tackling the causes which are at the origin of the crisis of faith, would not only be dangerous but also fake. To how many groups and communities did the official hierarchy not make promises? And all of them became disillusioned, and finally accepted the new Mass, accepted the Second Vatican Council as a whole, and even justified "the spirit of Assisi".
The conclusion of this text against those who still believe that the conciliar Church would "spare" the SSPX is undeniable:
A second reason that shows that it would be premature to envisage an agreement and a practical solution with Rome [is this:]. Under the current pontificate, the Roman church apologized in about a hundred statements for "sins" committed by the church in the past. But neither the Pope nor the majority of cardinals and bishops seem to be able to openly admit that with the Council, which was in favour of a new theology, a rupture was created within the church, a rupture which led to the current crisis in the church: loss of faith, loss of vocations, ecclesiastical institutions disappearing; destruction of the liturgy, of churches, of the identity of the church, of missions. Of course, a change in the church will not heal everything at once. But in order to break a deadlock, one must first acknowledge that it exists. And this does not yet seem to be the case. That is why, without resigning ourselves to this situation and without wanting to take risks prematurely, we must instead use all our strength to remain faithful to the true faith and to carry out our Christian duties with ever more pure love.
Yes, but now we have to inform you, dear readers, that this text dates back to December 2003. Fr. Niklaus Pflüger was not yet First Assistant of the Superior General and the deleterious effects of power had not yet produced it's effects.
Among other things, in an interview with Kirchliche Umschau in October 2012, he declared:
In some [members of the Society who refuse a practical agreement with Rome] the long duration of separation may have led to theological confusion. Basically these people oppose faith to the law, and act as if union with the Pope, and his primacy were only a matter of secondary right. It is a great danger that manifests itself when the legitimacy of the Pope is separated from the faith, and regarded as something purely legal. Ultimately, this is a Protestant vision of the Church. The Church is visible. The Papacy is the domain of the Faith. We, Catholics faithful to Tradition, are also suffering - in a double sense - from the crisis. We too play a part in this crisis, even though it is, in my opinion, in a completely different and much better way. The obligation to work actively to overcome the crisis cannot be disputed. And this work begins with us, in trying to overcome our abnormal canonical situation.
Since then, Fr. Niklaus Pflüger has made a name for himself by his enthusiasm for a practical and purely practical agreement, without any hesitation in promoting the great purges of opponents with a charity and a sensibleness that everyone [of his targets] has experienced on such occasions. Thus he wrote on 5 January 2014 to Fr. Fuchs, his childhood friend who told him that he could not follow him in the betrayal that was taking shape:
Your restricted mind is even less capable of understanding the scope our founder's missionary activity and his sense of the Church. He didn't despise the wounded Church, but he loved her and covered her wounds, he didn't sprinkle salt on her like you do. As Gertrud von Le Fort says, when speaking of the Church: "None of those who abandon you have ever experienced who you were". Our Founder would be the first to reject your argument and be disgusted by such a miserable theology. Unlike you, he had a great love of the Church and always submitted his personal judgment to the Church.
Despite this attack of a bulldozer with an eloquent charity, we will leave the SSPX's First Assistant to the Superior General with a conclusion which is still valid today:
Let us remain confident and let God decide when He will put his sanctuary in order and lead the Church to a restoration.