Tradition as a pass to the future. Otherwise, the Church is destined to not have a future.
February 9, 2018 Il Giornale Interview with Fr. Buzzi, priest of the Society of Saint Pius X
Tradition represents the only possible future for the Church. Fr. Fausto Buzzi has clear ideas. A priest of the Society of Saint Pius X, founded by Marcel François Lefebvre on November 1, 1970, following the Second Vatican Council, Buzzi is today the assistant to the superior of Italy.
He fought for several years, in the Association Alleanza Cattolica (Catholic Alliance). Then, in 1972, came the meeting with Archbishop Lefebvre and his entrance into the seminary at Ecône. In this exclusive interview, the priest of the Society of Saint Pius X spoke about the doctrinal reunification with the Vatican.
What is still dividing the Society of Saint Pius X from the Catholic Church?
It’s good to clarify that the Society of Saint Pius X doesn’t have anything that separates it from the Catholic Church. We are united to the Catholic Church, and we’ve never been separated from her, despite the divisions with the authorities of the Church. Now, these divisions do not come from us. Archbishop Lefebvre always said that they condemned him, he who was the first to be praised by the Popes, especially Pius XII. It is Rome that changed, and with the Second Vatican Council distanced herself from the centuries-old Tradition of the Church. To be succinct, one can say that what separates us from Rome are grave and fundamental doctrinal problems.
A Catholic parish priest once told me: “They talked a lot about schism, but they never had the theological caliber of Archbishop Lefebvre.” Is that so?
Many criticize or condemn the Society of St. Pius X without knowing it, and without understanding the grave reasons for which place it in hostility with the ecclesiastical authorities. Today many people, priests and lay persons, are starting to ask themselves what is taking place in the Church, and are opening their eyes to the fact that those who have been labeled for many years as schismatics, are perhaps those who have remained the most faithful to the Catholic Church, and paradoxically, the most faithful to the Papacy. In our seminaries, Archbishop Lefebvre wanted us to study the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas, and the other classical theology texts. I assure you, that it was a great grace for us to receive such a profound and solid formation.
What is your opinion on Pope Francis?
For us, Pope Francis isn’t any better or worse than the other Popes of the [Second Vatican] Council and the post-Conciliar era. He works “on the same building site” begun by John XXIII, that of the auto demolition of the Catholic Church, to construct another that conforms to the liberal spirit of the world. Actually, I’ll say something further: the current Pope is not as responsible as was Paul VI. This Pope saw the Council through, he finished it, he made all of the reforms. Now, all of this is the cause of the gravest crisis which we see in the Church. Certainly, these actions and words of Pope Francis seem graver than those of his predecessors. But that’s not the case. Today, it’s the media effect that makes things much more evident, than was previously the case. In substance, however, the actions of Paul VI were much graver than those of Francis.
But Bergoglio seems to have taken more steps forward, in your (the SSPX’s) regard…
Certainly he has not taken doctrinal steps forward, in our regard. Rather he considers us as an institution of the “periphery.” As such, we are the recipient of certain kindnesses on his part. When he was a cardinal in Buenos Aires, one of our priests brought him the life of our Founder to read. He read it, and was left with a serious impression; perhaps this, too, contributed to him having special consideration for us. Many ask themselves, however, why he wasn’t so kind to the Franciscans of the Immaculate who had been decidedly embracing Catholic Tradition. Instead, he treated them harshly, with extreme severity, to the detriment of mercy.
Many consider you “extremists” of the Faith…
Look, Faith is a theological virtue, it’s a theological virtue that can grow infinitely, because the object is God Himself, so there’s no limit to faith. In this sense, being extremists would be something virtuous. That said, I can quote the words of Our Lord when He said, for example, “He that is not with Me, is against Me” or the words of St. Peter: “there is no other Name under Heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” Tell me if these aren’t “extremist” words. If we then consider the Martyrs who died rather than betray their Faith, how do we judge them? As extremists? It seems to me than the sense of the Faith is being lost.
What do you think of the doctrinal debate surrounding Amoris Laetitia?
You’re causing me to repeat myself, with this question. If on one hand, all the initiatives to correct this document and to defend the Christian family (indissoluble and sanctified by a sacrament) have been praiseworthy, the true problem is upstream. Do you know where the root of Amoris Laetitia lie? We find them in the Council document Gaudium et Spes. Therefore, as I said the terrible crisis in the Church is traced back to her DNA, that is, Vatican II. Think about it: if, instead of Gaudium et Spes, Pius XI’s encyclicalI Casti Connubi was published in its place; would we have the catastrophic Amoris Laetitia today? I don’t think so.
What about the rehabilitation of Luther?
What do you want me to tell you? To rehabilitate the biggest heresiarch in history, he who laicized the whole Christian Religion, who caused the Church to lose entire nations, is a doctrinal suicide and the falsification of history. The rehabilitation of Luther is part of the ecumenical utopia of the past 50 years. A utopia which leads Catholics to apostasy, which is no longer silent but deafening. I suggest reading a new book on Luther published recently: Il vero volto di Lutero ("The True Face of Luther," Edizioni Piane) written by one of our priests, a professor of ecclesiology at the seminary of Ecône. One will understand the absurdity of this false rehabilitation, reading this book.
Do you think a future doctrinal reunification between you and the Vatican, is possible?
I am not a prophet. I wish that this would take place, above all for the salvation of many souls who risk losing themselves for eternity. But if you’ll allow me, I want to tell you what we can do today to contribute to the triumph of Tradition in the Church. We must ourselves - each Catholic - bishops, priests and [lay] faithful, return to the Catholic Tradition of all time, and nobody must fear feeling themselves to be against the authorities of the Church. Because, in fact, this isn’t going against them, but on the contrary, it’s the most effective way to help them understand that returning to Tradition is the one and only future of Holy Church.