"Traditional Campos Clergy Denounce Progressivist Heresy"--Such was the banner class="headline" which announced the signing of a Profession of Faith by five monsignori and twenty other priests of the Diocese of Campos, Brazil. It is prefaced by a quotation from Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation of 22 February 1967, in which he spoke of attempts to infect the People of God with a 'so-called post Christian mentality' which, disregarding the 'spirit of fidelity which animated the Council,' betrayed it 'with the illusory pretension of giving Christianity a new interpretation, in reality an arbitrary interpretation bearing the stamp of sterility.' This Profession of Faith appears as an Appendix to Volume III of Michael Davies'Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, which is now available from The Angelus Press.
WE BELIEVE firmly in all that our holy Mother, the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, believes and teaches, and in this Faith we wish to live and die, since only in the Church is God honored and salvation found.
We believe that Jesus Christ has founded one only Church, the Catholic hierarchical Church, whose chief pastors are the Pope, and the Bishops in union with him, and whose aim is to ensure that the men of all ages reach the salvation obtained for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with all the benefits that radiate from it, and to promote on earth the Reign of Our Lord (Mt. 28: 19-20). To do this, the Church does not preach a 'new doctrine' but, with the aid of the divine Holy Ghost, faithfully explains the Deposit of Faith received from the Apostles and religiously preserved by her (Vatican Council 1).
We profess perfect communion with the See of Peter, in the legitimate successor to which we recognize the primacy and government over the Universal Church, pastors and faithful, and nothing in this world would separate us from the Rock on which Jesus Christ has founded His Church. We believe firmly in papal infallibility as Vatican Council I has defined it. We respect the power of the Holy Father, which is supreme even if not absolute or without limits. It is subordinate to and cannot contradict Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the definitions already proclaimed by the Church in her constant Magisterium. Moreover, this power cannot be arbitrary or despotic, such as to impose unconditional obedience or absolve subjects from personal responsibility. We owe unconditional and unlimited obedience only to God.
We are Catholic, Apostolic, Roman and shall be so till death, with the grace of God, and no power or authority will drive us from Holy Church.
We profess the Catholic Faith in an integral and total manner, as it was always professed and transmitted by the Church, by the Sovereign Pontiff, by Councils, and therefore in loyal and perfect continuity and consistency, without excluding a single article of faith.
We reject and anathematize, with the same firmness, all that has been refuted and condemned by Holy Church.
Together with all the popes, we condemn heresy and all that can favor it. We particularly condemn Protestantism, Liberalism, Naturalism, Rationalism and Modernism in all forms and variants whatever, just as the popes have done.
We reject equally, together with the popes and in the same way as they have done, all the consequences of these errors.
For these reasons we condemn the present heresy that takes the name of 'Progressivism,' an improper name besides, since it is nothing but the repetition of errors long ago condemned by Holy Church.
We accept therefore the entire applicability of the words of St. Paul: "Even if we ourselves or an angel from heaven preach to you a gospel different from that which we have preached, let him be anathema' (Gal. 1:8).
Thus, the tendencies of whatever sort emanating even from persons in authority, whenever they be contrary to traditional Catholic doctrine as it has always been taught,giving free rein to the errors already condemned by the popes and by the councils, demand from our conscience a formal rejection.
We affirm in consequence that, whatever contradiction becomes manifest between what is taught today and what Tradition teaches, there is a duty to follow what was always taught by all aiid in every part of the Church, because only this is truly and properly Catholic (St. Vincent of Lerins, Comm., Ench. Patr. 2168).
For all these reasons, and to be consistent with what the Church our Mother has always taught us in her constant Magisterium, with the Faith of our Baptism, of our Confirmation, of our First Communion and of our Priesthood, in order not to be perj urers and contradict what we have always believed-for all these reasons-we reject:
Thus, in the name of the Faith, with tranquil conscience, we reject all those who introduce the 'smoke of Satan' into the Church and apply themselves to her self-destruction (cf. Paul VI, allocution of 7 December 1968 and 29 June 1972).
We love, praise and adopt all the traditional practices, uses and customs of Holy Church that have contributed, and do contribute, so much to the sanctification of the faithful; among them, for example:
Our position is not one of rebellion, nor of disobedience or contestation, but of fidelity. It is a question of loyalty to the Faith of our baptism, to our priesthood, to our legitimate superiors and to the faithful.
We do not judge the consciences of others, since this judgment belongs to God, we only claim the right and exercise the duty of every Catholic. We confront what is taught today with what was always taught; we hold on to what is of the Church and refuse what serves only for her self-destruction, whoever may promote it knowingly or unknowingly.
We are not against progress if it represents an organic development of Revelation; we are against that false "progress' that is not consistent with Tradition but in discontinuity with it.
It is not a matter of indiscriminate attachment to the past, but of clinging to the Faith which does not pass away.
We believe in the permanence of the doctrine traditionally taught by the Church and in the objective sense of the formulas that express the dogma and truth that Holy Church teaches.
We believe that the truths of the Faith remain absolutely independent of the ways of thinking and living of men, since Truth comes from God through the Church and her Tradition, and does not arise from the instinct and religious feeling of the people.
We have absolute certainty that our position is legitimate, not by virtue of our arguments and ideas, but because we take our stand on that which the Church herself has taught us and in such a way that we could make our own the words of St. Augustine when he exclaimed that, if what we believe were an error, then God Himself would have deceived us.
We have firm hope that within a short time the Church will have overcome the current crisis she is living through and, dissipating the darkness of heresy, will return to shine out as always, as a glorious beacon to the nations: 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16,18).
We love from the bottom of our hearts our Mother, the Holy Church, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman. For her we wish to give our lives if it is necessary.