Don Nicola Bux on the Current Apostasy and Cardinal Caffarra’s Saintliness

Monsignor Nicola Bux is a highly respected clergyman and former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who had been involved with Pope Benedict XVI’s restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass in July of 2007. He also recently wrote a foreword for a book written by Professor Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former President of the Vatican Bank (IOR). More recently, this June in an interview with Edward Pentin, he also raised his voice with reference to the current Church crisis, asking the pope himself to make some sort of public Profession of Faith, in order to reassure the faithful. Monsignor Bux thus said, as follows:

We are in a full crisis of faith! Therefore, in order to stop the divisions in progress, the Pope — like Paul VI in 1967, faced with the erroneous theories that were circulating shortly after the conclusion of the Council — should make a Declaration or Profession of Faith, affirming what is Catholic, and correcting those ambiguous and erroneous words and acts — his own and those of bishops — that are interpreted in a non-Catholic manner.

During that June 2017 interview, Don Bux also spoke about the apostasy that is taking place right now in the Church. In a new interview now – this time with the Italian newspaper La Verità – Don Bux returns to the theme of the general apostasy. We gratefully owe it to Giuseppe Nardi who published – on 27 September, the very day of the publication of that interview – a translation into German of the original Italian article. (Parts of an Italian version of the interview are to be found here.) In the following, we shall rely on that work.

First of all, the interviewer Francesco Agnoli makes it clear that Don Bux himself was among the three candidates, five years ago under Pope Benedict XVI, to be appointed as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This fact alone shows how he was respected for his great competence and versatility. Agnoli also highlights that Don Bux is friends with Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller.

Moreover, Agnoli asks Don Bux about the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and whether the essential prophecy of Fatima has already been fulfilled, or whether it still points to the future.

Don Bux answers with the following words:

For us, the only fulfilled prophecy stems from Jesus Christ, as He Himself said it: “It is finished!” [“Consummatum est!”] Nevertheless, it is left for each of us to fulfill what is still lacking in the [suffering of the] Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church. Thus, Fatima fulfills itself in the suffering of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church which – and this is clear for all of us to see – suffers now under the apostasy, the abandonment of that which has been believed and confessed always, everywhere, and by all. In one word: the Dogma.

After Agnoli’s own comment that, indeed, “these are strong words,” Don Bux further explains the meaning of his words:

Are they not clearly visible, the words and deeds of priests who contradict other priests, of laymen in contradiction to other laymen, encouraged by the split among the bishops in the question as to what the Faith and Catholic morality still are? For a growing number of Catholics, the Magisterium is not any more a sign of unity. […] The community is broken, when anyone whosoever within the Church abandons the truth and accepts error. Unfortunately, this has happened already in the past. That is why Jesus prayed that we be one so that the world sees and believes.

When speaking about the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Traditional Latin Mass, Don Bux makes it clear that reality will always, in the long run, set itself free. The reality, in his eyes, is that many people “find themselves going back to the Faith and they also often find their own vocation” through their participation in the traditional liturgy. However, “ideology denies this reality,” explains Don Bux. There are people who wish to deny this reality – “which is always [a form of] ideology.” This reality, however, cannot, after all, be stopped:

The reality, however, is like water: if one blocks it at one side, it looks for another path. Whosoever wishes to annul the Motu Proprio [Summorum Pontificum] would have to face a large resistance movement, a resistant Church, a growing and not suppressible reality; and this for a simple reason, namely, because it experiences the renewal of the liturgy as a rebirth of holiness in our hearts.

This comment might have some relevance with regard to recent speculations according to which Pope Francis is considering the attenuating of, or even “doing away” with, the Traditional Latin Mass. Don Bux also thinks that the restoration of the liturgical traditions could encourage a growing rapprochement between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.

Finally, Agnoli asks Don Bux about Cardinal Carlo Caffarra and about the legacy he left behind. We now quote here the answer, in its entirety, because it is so gracious and because it also reflects the deep spirituality of Don Bux himself:

Especially holiness, understood in the etymological sense, that is to say: to preserve the “security distance” to the world, as every Christian should do. Then: holiness of [his] thinking: a thinking that pleases God, i.e., that is complete, Catholic; and not influenced by the fashions of the day. Also: the holiness of his words: the meek and clear transmission of a deep thought of a Faith that has been thought through and well considered. A convinced word that is convincing, therefore attractive. And, not the least as a further consequence of it: the holiness of his deeds in the sanctification, the teaching, and the leadership. Sine doctrina vita est quasi mortis imago [“without doctrine, life is as it were an image of death”], said Cato the Younger. There are many who could witness to the holiness of the cardinal and who would ask for the opening of the process of beatification. I would like to end with one thought which he himself expressed quite often in the recent past: The Lord usually works in silence, and with a few persons.

To end this report, let us reflect on Cardinal Caffarra’s last words, as they have been quoted here by Don Bux. It is one of the great joys of these troubled days within the Catholic Church to see persons come into the public who witness to so much holiness and who – all of them individually and in different ways – give us Catholics encouragement and growth in a deeper Faith. It is due to the examples of these holy souls – clergy and laymen alike – that we can be more trustfully assured that every single Catholic in the world may have the chance to hear the truth and to abide by it. Not the least is the recent Filial Correction (the Correctio Filialis), as it was published on 24 September of this year, which now has gained worldwide coverage in the media. Let us thus be grateful for the possible access to truth and for the probable good that many souls, by hearing the faithful words of that correction, may well now turn back to Christ’s Truth. God does not abandon us. At His timing, He always sends us some saints to call us back to Him.

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