Post by Admin on Aug 17, 2020 16:27:50 GMT
Taken from The Recusant - Issue 53 - Autumn 2020
By way of introducing a Resistance priest whom not many will already know, we are very pleased to present this brief interview which is, we hope, the first of several articles...
An Interview with Fr. Arturo Vargas
The Recusant-Father, please tell us a little bit about yourself, to introduce you to English-speaking readers who may not have heard of you.
Fr. Vargas-I appreciate the opportunity given to me by The Recusant to comment on some of the things asked of me here, everything for the glory of God and honour of Our Most Blessed Mother: may they guide my understanding to be as objective as possible.I am Father Arturo Vargas Meza. I entered the seminary of La Reja, Argentina in the year 1981 at the age of 23. I began my studies with the year of spirituality, then philosophy, then Scholastic Theology, and finally I was chosen to the priestly dignity of which I am most unworthy. On November 30, 1986, the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, His Excellency Most Reverend Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ordained me a priest. Since then I have been 34 years a priest to date. From 1986 to 2012 I belonged to the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X and I left it for doctrinal and faith reasons. Later I will explain these reasons why I left the congregation: I can only assure you that it was very hard for me and it still pains me to have left it, but I would never return to it as long as it keeps contact with Modernist Rome.
The Recusant-How did you come to Tradition? Were you born into it?
Fr. Vargas-I lived for 15 years in the countryside where at that time the reforms in the Church after the Council still had not come in as fully as we see them today. Then I moved for study reasons to the city of Guadalajara and at the age of 18 I left the Modernist mass definitively, for reasons which you will already know (the new doctrine, the new masses etc.). Up to that moment I did not know the Mass of All Time, the Traditional Mass, nor had I attended one, but I had not renounced my Catholic principles handed down to me by my maternal grandfather who had fought in the Cristeros War back in 1926 -he was born in 1905 and was most certainly one of those soldiers of Christ the King.My desire was to be a doctor. I never thought about the priesthood and was about to reach my goal of a career in medicine, but I did not finish it because of the following:
Shortly before embarking on a career in medicine, I felt a very strong call to a religious vocation, but I did not like the idea of entering the diocesan seminary nor any other that smelled of modernism. For that reason I considered the vocation a utopia. Utopia became a reality when I resigned from medical school due to the subject of embryology where I saw the greatness of God in creating us and I passed this subject only with the classes that were given to us without studying for the exam. Again, but with more conviction, the call to the priesthood came to me, but my condition that I would not enter anything with modernism remained stronger than ever as long as I dedicated myself to the only thing that I knew how to pray well, the ROSARY. All this happened in the middle of the year 1980 when I was still 22 years old, not long before I turned 23. For the month of December I heard in the press that the “Rebel Bishop,” as the modernists nicknamed him, was coming to Mexico. December passed and my uncertainty about meeting him grew, but I did not know if he would come to Guadalajara or only to Mexico City and if he did go to Guadalajara I had no idea where the Holy Mass would be celebrated.
Uncertainty invaded my heart already given to God.In mid-January or early February, I can’t remember exactly, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre celebrated Holy Mass in Guadalajara, which, by the grace of God, I attended in the company of a friend who invited me. I was very struck by the person of the Archbishop who was wearing the episcopal vestments: never in my life had I seen an Archbishop dressed like him. The atmosphere that was breathed in the room also drew my attention powerfully and I felt fully identified with everything that took place there although I did not understand anything about the Latin Mass. In the midst of this environment and mediating the grace of God, I made the biggest decision of my life: to enter the congregation founded by this great Archbishop. I entered the seminary that same year, 1981.
The Recusant-Can you please tell us a bit more about what you remember of Archbishop Lefebvre?
Fr. Vargas-How could I go about describing him? I saw in him a man of God, one who loved the TRUTH, faithful and devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and uncompromising when it came to Vatican II. He was, in summary, a faithful defender of the Catholic Church. Listening to him was a true honour, the hours passed quickly when he told us about his comings and goings to Rome, the times they humiliated him and so on. Personally, I had a very special affection for him, which started from the example he gave us seeing him pray in the chapel, in the cloisters of the seminary with his breviary in hand and he was a true father when we spoke personally with him.
We felt very secure in everything because he gave us all the security that is required to be a good seminarian and then, following his example, we also wanted to be good priests because we had a well-finished example that divine providence had entrusted to us. I remember when, shortly before the episcopal consecrations, he unfortunately fell into the deceptions of the Vatican II people by signing something with them -the next day he retracted everything he had signed and raised his battle flag again.
He recognised his error with, I would say, the humility of a saint, and that has comforted me a lot and moved me to imitate him a little in his courageous stand.While he was still living, my priesthood felt secure in the Society, the Archbishop and I had a very good personal affinity. I still remember the last talk we had together, who would have thought that it would be the last of many? At that time he asked me to go to Rome and visit the Vatican in order to soak up the spirit of those glory years of Pius XII, Pius XI, Saint Pius X, among other Popes. I saw his death as a great tragedy, I had never cried for a relative of mine, but with him it was different because we had lost a father, for me a Saint, and I sensed that, with his death, persecutions would come for those priests who were committed with him in his fight against modernism, and also my oath against modernism which I had taken as was commanded by Pope St. Pius X.
The Recusant-If you were talking to someone who is a recent convert to Tradition, or too young to remember, how would you describe the SSPX of those earlier times?
Fr. Vargas-If I were talking to such people, I would tell them that the Society was a safe haven where scholasticism was taught as before, that it breathed an atmosphere very much in accordance with the times of the great Popes before the Second Vatican Council, especially His Holiness Pius XII and the Popes before him. Archbishop Lefebvre was what guaranteed all those things, everything I told you, but I would not necessarily say the same after his death because I got to see how the traitorous satraps delivered the work of the Archbishop into the hands of the these cursed wolves all the way down to the present.
The Recusant-What is your view of the Second Vatican Council? How do you see the situation in the Church in general, and the situation in the world?
Fr. Vargas-I studied very closely the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis of his Holiness Saint Pius X in which he says about those who occupy the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ today:
I think that His Holiness Saint Pius X defines very well what is going on today in modernism and there is no turning back with these people, because they are convinced, they are Free-masons, they collude with the devil and those whom he controls. Humanly I do not see a solution to so many calamities that have arisen within the Church of Jesus Christ and I am fully convinced that only divine intervention will return the river to its channels, and for this I think the Pusilus Grexor small flock is being prepared.
“Finally, there is the fact which is all but fatal to the hope of cure that their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.”
The Recusant- Please tell us a bit about your involvement in the Resistance. Where were you when you became aware of something wrong in the SSPX? How did you find out or learn of it? How did you react?
Fr. Vargas: Before going to Spain, while I was still in Mexico, I had a meeting with the Superior General of the congregation Mgr. Fellay, during which we already talked about those rumours, which had been growing stronger, about a possible agreement with modernist Rome. He replied that he would not go to Rome without authorisation from “us” -obviously he meant not from the low-ranking priests but of the priors, superiors of autonomous houses, district superiors etc. Of course, he did not keep his promise given that in April 2012 he went to Rome like a little lamb at the call of the then Pope Benedict XVI, the same Benedict XVI who had lifted the “excommunication” but of course not that of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. When this happened [in April 2012] I was already in Spain as a punishment for not giving in to that lousy business which should never have taken place because it meant beheading the work of our founder and surrendering in the combat of all time, in summary it was another kiss from Judas to Our Lord Jesus Christ which has been given through the centuries.This attitude “outraged” many of us, I use quotation marks because, as the saying goes, empty vessels make the most noise [mucho ruido, y pocas nueces -literally, “lots of noise, few nuts” i.e. plenty of hype and not much substance! -Ed.], clearly almost all my colleagues agreed with it in the depths of their hearts.
Immediately afterwards we were forbidden to talk about it with faithful, nuns and other priests, in our sermons we had to talk about anything but those sordid agreements with Vatican II. They were very difficult moments because of the push and pull within the same community without meaning to, there was a bitter controversy on the subject, and the authorities in turn tried to minimize it, although they lied about it because these authorities did not care at all what the priests thought. At the same time the faithful only wanted to reassure us by talking about the next chapter which was due to be held in late June and early July in Écône, Switzerland. But that did not prevent the pressure in the pot from increasing on such a thorny issue and saddening the hearts of both priests and faithful who were saddened by the situation between Rome and the Society.
My reaction to such a situation was, of course, very much against those Pharisaic agreements, as they reminded me of the attitude of Judas and the Pharisees when they dealt with the betrayal of Our Lord. My opinion did not matter any more, but my emphatic refusal of such an agreement remained, for which I got a black mark against my name and was watched more carefully, but did not care at all because in the end, that was my true position and to this day I do not regret it. Before the chapter, I had a talk with Bishop de Galarreta in which I put to him that Bishop Fellay should at least retract publicly what had been done in April of that same year even if he did not know that he was betraying Archbishop Lefebvre and, ultimately, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Bad news of the chapter came to us before it ended: relations with Rome would continue, Bishop Fellay and his advisers would be re-elected as a reward for their juicy relations with the modernist heretics and Bishop Fellay would not make that act of mea culpa publicly because he was not “forced” to do so.
We lost those who were against the arrangements and a witch's house [i.e. a tempest] would be unleashed on those of us who opposed these spurious arrangements. Thus was our fidelity rewarded.I and the other priests faithful to Our Lord and to Archbishop Lefebvre found ourselves facing the very difficult situation of deciding whether to accommodate ourselves to this treacherous farce or to leave what was no longer the congregation founded by Archbishop Lefebvre. I must admit, the decision was not an easy one, it was one of the most terrible in my life and the most painful, I prayed a lot, I asked for the light of the Holy Ghost and every day it was a nightmare for me to stay in the Society, but I did not want to rush into anything which I would later regret. While I was reaching this decision, I suffered greatly in my heart from the bitter betrayal of the Society’s superiors: it is a suffering which cannot be explained in words, at one point I thought I had gone crazy. At last my prayer was heard and the answer was to leave the Society. This decision was accompanied by a great tranquillity in my heart and soul and my uncertainty was turned into joy and happiness. This radical change amazed me. I was already sure of what I should do, just wait for the providential moment to leave the Society, a happy ending so far.
The Recusant-Why, in your opinion, has the Resistance made so little apparent progress in the past seven or eight years? What went wrong? Is it just that honest mistakes have been made, or is the problem somewhat more sinister?
Fr. Vargas-In 2013, we few priests who formed the Resistance had a meeting with Bishop William-son and we asked him, as an authority, to lead the Resistance. In response we were given a resounding “NO!” -not even as a spiritual advisor. That was our first disappointment and it was very painful indeed. So we were left adrift, each on his own, each left to his own luck by a bishop. We were very discouraged by his refusal, everyone present at that meeting, but we were not going to let that be the reason for abandoning the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, he would know how to lead us from heaven to continue the fight. This was the first huge failure of the incipient Resistance and shows how the devil wanted to annihilate us from the beginning. This error was followed by another serious problem that held back or discouraged those of us who sought to carry on the combat of all time. Bishop Williamson gathered together his select group from which all of us were excluded who did not think like this “group,” which I regard as constituting a “congregation” as can be seen by two sudden blows given by a “traditionalist” bishop against whom we still wanted to continue our fight and who puts into practice the devil’s maxim: “Divide and Conquer.” The one writing this has been slandered and abandoned by these four other bishops [Williamson, Faure, Tomas Aquinas and Zendejas -Ed.]. They are faithfully following Bishop Williamson.
I asked them to prove their defamatory accusations against me and... I am still awaiting their answer. I have come to think of them in this way, and I hope whoever reads this will not be shocked: that they form a ‘fifth column’ inside the Resistance in order to annihilate all vestiges of Tradition in the Church. It is for this reason that we leave them and continue for our part, thinking that it will be more difficult for the enemy to annihilate us and at the same time hoping for divine intervention in these times which are so dire for the Catholic Church [emphasis - The Catacombs]. Personally, in no way do I share with the four bishops of the flaccid “resistance” the errors that Bishop Williamson has committed, such as Eucharistic miracles within the modern mass or advising people to attend the new mass, among many others. I have refuted the first error with a study on the miracle based on Saint Thomas Aquinas, but so far I have not had an answer to my refutation. I have pointed out three things on this question [of Bishop Williamson]:
•His not accepting responsibility as leader of the Resistance
•That he formed a very exclusive “congregation” in order to divide us
•His doctrinal errors which he continues to perpetrate.
In these three things, can we see the work of God being done by them? Is this not rather doing the devil’s dirty work? Judge for yourselves. This explains the little progress of the true Resistance, the Resistance which several of us priests throughout the world have stayed with, though distances separate us.