No. 10

Regnavit a ligno Deus

June 4, 2003

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

            First of all, a little news from the past month, then some information on upcoming events. The Seminary was happy to celebrate in a worthly and public manner the 200th anniversary of the first public Mass in Australia, celebrated in Sydney by Father Dixon on May 15, 2003. We celebrated it here by a Solemn High Mass, on the very day, followed by a public procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the Seminary grounds, ending up with the singing of the Te Deum, publicly thanking the divine Majesty for the one acceptable public act of adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation and petition which is the true, traditional Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

            The other important event for the Seminary for this past month was our first public pilgrimage, which took place on Ascension Thursday. We traveled to the Pauline Fathers shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, just south of Mittagong, and were accompanied by over 100 faithful from the Seminary, as well as the chapels in Rockdale, Singleton and Wagga. Arriving at the shrine property on foot we proceeded to sing a Missa Cantata on an outdoor altar at a grotto of Our Lady. This monastery and pilgrim site is unique in that it has more than 20 traditional shrines recently erected by different nationalities in replica of the shrine of Our Lady or saint that exists in their country. After the Mass, we all left on foot to visit five of these shrines, those in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Therese of the Child Jesus and St. Joseph. After a picnic lunch on the shrine grounds, we returned for an outdoor Way of the Cross. The pilgrimage was inspiring and edifying for all, lifting their hearts to the things of heaven, and we all resolved, God willing, to meet again next year on Ascension Thursday.

            During this past week, Brother Joseph fired up the boiler that provides heat to most of the main building. However, since the Seminary cannot afford the cost of the propane gas, he converted the boiler back to the original wood burning furnace. The generosity of a parishioner has provided the wood, and the hard work of the seminarians will make heat possible this winter. The bid also came in for the installation of heat in the barn that is to be remodeled for the Seminarians. It would cost $33,000, including the boiler itself, the pipes and radiators in all 22 rooms, and in the recreation room. Since the Seminary does not have the funds required, the seminarians have been asked to pray the daily prayer to St. Joseph for this intention. If St. Joseph answers our prayer, and we are able to install the heat system, I have promised to call the barn henceforth St. Joseph house.


            We have coming up a great joy for the feast of the Assumption, Friday August 15. Our six first year seminarians will be taking the cassock on that day. The faithful are invited to attend the 10:30 a.m. Solemn High Mass. Those who wish to do so are also invited to the lunch of celebration afterwards, provided that they inform us ahead of time. I would also like to invite you to our annual family weekend for our patronal feast, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, just like last year. The following is the schedule to be followed:

    Saturday September 13    Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows

10:30 a.m.  Solemn High Mass, followed by Procession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Renewal of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
1:00 p.m.   Lunch, provided by the Seminary for those who inform us ahead of time
3:00 p.m.   Conference
5:00 p.m.  First Vespers of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, followed by all night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
8:45 p.m.  Compline

    Sunday September 14       Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

10:15 a.m. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
10:30 a.m.   Solemn High Mass
Procession with the relic of the True Cross
12:30 p.m. Outdoor picnic/barbecue on Seminary grounds
2:30 p.m. Seminarians vs faithful soccer play off
5:00 p.m.  .  Second Vespers  


            Recent rumors coming from Rome have made some people wonder if finally Rome is changing in favor of Tradition. Unfortunately, it is more a case of modernists feeling the pressure of Tradition on them. It is true that Cardinal Castrillon did celebrate a low Mass in St. Mary Major’s on a Saturday, but neither of the rumored announcements were made. Nothing was said about the 3 bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X, that the Cardinal was supposedly going to declare "unexcommunicated", nor was the traditional Mass freed for all priests to celebrate, as also was rumored. This isolated Mass is of course a step in the right direction, but given that it was accompanied by no concrete measure in favor of Tradition, it can only be understand as a gesture to capture the good will of conservative Catholics to keep them within the modernist system.


            The same can be said of the much discussed recent encyclical of Pope John Paul II Ecclesia de eucharistia, issued on Holy Thursday. Several reminders of Catholic dogma have endeared this document to conservative minded Catholics, just as the reminder on the devotion to Our Lady endeared the Apostolic Letter on the Rosary to many Catholics, despite its radical modernism. It is encouraging to hear once more of the doctrine of the Council of Trent that "the Eucharist is a sacrifice in the strict sense" (§13), one with the sacrifice of the Cross (§12), to hear once more proclaimed the Real Presence, "a substantial presence whereby Christ, the God-man, is wholly and entirely present" (§15), (although the very same sentence, in typical modernist fashion, undermines the uniqueness of the very Real Presence itself by stating that it "is called ‘real’ not as a way of excluding all other types of presence as if they were ‘not real’"), to read the epithet "perennially  valid" applied to the doctrine of transubstantiation (§15), to see condemned the reduction of the Eucharist to a "fraternal banquet, stripped of its sacrificial meaning" (§10), as also the confusion between the ministerial priesthood and that of the faithful (§29), and the abandonment of Eucharistic adoration (§10), as well as a variety of abuses, such as the reception of Holy Communion by those in the state of mortal sin (§36, 37), What Catholic could not be delighted with the reaffirmation of such Catholic doctrines and discipline?

            However, this encyclical is not likely to "banish the dark clouds of unacceptable doctrine and practice"` (§10), any more than the Pope’s letter on the Rosary was effective in promoting the pious recitation of the Rosary. The reason for this is that these traditional affirmations are not intended in any way to contradict the opposing affirmations of Vatican II and of the New Mass, that define the Mass as a "memorial" and as a "banquet". This encyclical is in effect an attempt to reconcile contradictories, just as Rosarium Virginis Mariae attempted to reconcile devotion to Our Lady with Eastern non-Christian mysticism, that is said to contain "many elements which are positive and at times compatible with Christian experience" for both the Rosary and Eastern mysticism are "methods aimed at attaining a high level of spiritual concentration" (§28). Ecclesia de Eucharistia is likewise a calculated attempt to reiterate certain of the basic teachings of the Faith, but in such a way as to contradict none of those of the New Theology. This is seen by the affirmations contained elsewhere in the encyclical, but most clearly by the glaring omissions.


            From the very outset of the encyclical (§3) the Pope declares the centrality of the new theology of the Paschal Mystery, defining his whole subject matter in terms of it: "The Eucharist, which is in an outstanding way the sacrament of the paschal mystery..." Allow me to summarize this substitution of the paschal mystery for the Redemption, as taught by Vatican II, the New Mass, the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, and every single one of Pope John Paul II’s encyclicals, and which theory is also at the basis of his feverish ecumenism. According to this theory, the Redemption is simply the full manifestation of God’s infinite love and mercy by the Passion and Resurrection, but mainly by the Resurrection. The Cross is thus simply "the sign of God’s universal love" (Nostra aetate §4) Sin is not an injustice, nor is there any debt of punishment owed for it, nor must we do penance for it, nor is the Cross an act of satisfaction, nor consequently is the Mass a propitiatory sacrifice. The Eucharist is simply a manifestation of God’s goodness, a "mystery of light" (§62) as the Pope is proud to call it.

The three aspects of the Eucharist of which the encyclical speaks (Cf. §61), namely that it is a sacrifice, that it is a Real Presence (note, however, that it is said to be but one of many real presences)  and that it is a banquet, are all perfectly compatible with this theology of the Paschal Mystery. For the "sacrificial dimension" spoken of here is simply the offering up of something (Cf. §56) and Real Presence is simply "a presence in the fullest sense" (§15) Thirdly, it is the "true banquet" which is essential to the "Eucharistic sacrifice", for it is to it that it "is intrinsically directed" (§16). Entirely different is the traditional teaching on this third point, reiterated by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei (§115), according to which the reception of Holy Communion is necessary to the integrity or completeness of the Mass, but is not essential to the sacrificial oblation itself.


            Hence, it is not by accident that this encyclical, that quotes the famous chapter 2 of Session XXII of the Council of Trent (§16), and that must consequently be aware of the so perfect definition of the nature of the Mass that it contains, omits completely and entirely the essential part of the definition, namely that it is a propitiatory sacrifice. This is what is omitted: "The holy Synod teaches that this (the divine sacrifice) is truly propitiatory...For appeased by this oblation, the Lord, granting the grace and gift of penitence, pardons crimes and even great sins....The fruits of that oblation (bloody, that is) are received most abundantly through this unbloody one...Therefore it is offered rightly according to the tradition of the apostles, not only for the sins of the faithful living, for their punishments and other necessities, but also for the dead in Christ not yet fully purged".

Although the encyclical does not directly fall under the condemnation of the accompanying Canon, the deliberate silence as to its crucial teaching can only be interpreted as an implicit denial of what it states, as follows: "If anyone says that the sacrifice of the Mass is...not one of propitiation; or that it is of profit to him alone who receives; or that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities: let him be anathema" (Canon 3). This omission of all reference to what makes the sacrifice of the Mass a true sacrifice, namely that is offered in propitiation for sins, is alone sufficient to damn this document as modernist.


            I believe that the gravity of this omission is best illustrated by a comparison with another encyclical, from one century ago, also mentioned by John Paul II (§9), and with which he must be presumed to be familiar. It is Leo XIII’s encyclical of May 28, 1902 on the Most Holy Eucharist, which states that it is precisely because it is "a perpetual memorial of His passion" that it proclaims the "necessity of a salutary self-chastisement", that it profits, not mankind, but the members of the Communion of the Saints, "for the purpose of expiating the sins of those yet detained in the purgatorial fire or who are yet exiles here on earth". He does not write exclusively of the propitiatory effect, but it is certainly uppermost in his mind. This is also very well explained by Pope Pius XII in his 1947 Encyclical on the Liturgy, Mediator Dei, in which he condemns those who "have gone so far as to want to remove from the Churches images of the Divine Redeemer suffering on the cross" (§163) - that is the now common place replacement of the Crucifix with the Risen Christ - with the following explanation: "Since His bitter sufferings constitute the principal mystery  of our Redemption, it is only fitting that the Catholic Faith should give it the greatest prominence" (§164). The pushing aside of the primary role of the Passion necessarily accompanies the exclusion of the propitiatory effect, in the minds of the modernists.

Leo XIII concludes by observing the "flood of wickedness" of the times (What would he say now?) and that consequently "a great part of the human race seems to be calling down upon itself the anger of heaven": "Here then is a motive whereby the faithful may be stirred to a devout and earnest endeavor to appease God the avenger of sin, and to win from Him the help which is so needful in these calamitous times. And they should see that such blessings are to be sought principally by means of this Sacrifice. For it is only in virtue of the death which Christ suffered that man can satisfy, and that most abundantly, the demands of God’s justice, and can obtain the plenteous gifts of His clemency. And Christ has willed that the whole virtue of His death, alike for expiation and impetration, should abide in the Eucharist, which is no mere empty commemoration thereof, but a true and wonderful, though bloodless and mystical renewal of it". (Mirae caritatis) Such inspiring words, that manifest the grandeur of our Faith! Would that John Paul could lift himself up to such a supernatural vision!


            Another sign of Paschal Mystery theology is that the memorial aspect of the Mass takes priority and precedence over the sacrificial aspect. It is said to be a sacrifice because it is first of all a memorial of the Passion and Resurrection, and not, to the contrary a memorial because it is a sacrifice. Not surprisingly this is precisely the emphasis of this encyclical, for example in §57. It is also contained in the positive approbation of the New Mass’s acclamation of the resurrection and the second coming after the consecration, in which the "Eucharistic Sacrifice makes present" "the mystery of the Resurrection" no less than it makes present "the mystery of the Savior’s passion and death". (§14). The placing of the Resurrection on the same level as the Passion is to effectively treat the Eucharist as principally a commemoration, since the Resurrection is manifestly not a part of the true propitiatory sacrifice.

            Other manifestations of the Paschal Mystery theology can be seen in the reiteration of Vatican II’s (Lumen gentium) modernist definition of the Church as "a sacrament for humanity, a sign and instrument of the salvation achieved by Christ...for the redemption of all" (§22). This is a reinterpretation of the Church as a visible sign, making Christ present to all mankind. It is this which is responsible for his "enthusiasm of the new evangelization" (§6), which has its purpose to "recognize Him (Christ) wherever He manifests himself, in His many forms of presence" (Ib.), which in turn leads to the "cosmic character" of the Eucharist, for it "is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world...It embraces and permeates all creation" (§8). This naturalism, or confusion between the natural and supernatural orders, is but the consequence of reducing the Church to a making present of Christ, and the Eucharist to a making present of the Church. Hence the emphasis on the function of the Eucharist in the building of the Church, namely that it "creates human community", for it is by the Eucharist that "the Church comes to be ever more profoundly ‘in Christ in the nature of a sacrament, that is, a sign and instrument of ...the unity of the whole human race’" (§24). There is a radical confusion here between the supernatural unity of Faith, which is a mark of the Roman Catholic Church, and the democratic, egalitarian, horizontal, purely natural unity, which is better called "solidarity" (§20), which masquerading as the supernatural unity of the Church, substitutes for it a purely natural "communion of mankind with Christ" (§22).

Furthermore, reiterating the promotion of Ecumenism contained in the Pope’s 1995 encyclical on the subject, this encyclical points out "the relationship of the Eucharist to ecumenical activity" (§43). One might wonder what this means, since concelebration with non-Catholics, without "the attainment of full communion" is not considered to be licit (§44 & 45). However, this is immediately contradicted by the positive promotion of administering "the sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance and the Anointing of the Sick to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church" (§46), and likewise receiving them from non-Catholic ministers, in accordance with the scandalous Canon 844 of the 1983 Code.  This practice, which practically speaking, denies the one true Faith, and that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation, is based upon "the concept of an ‘ecclesiology of communion’, the central and fundamental idea of the documents of the Second Vatican Council", as the Pope himself says in §34. This means that there are considered to be varying  degrees of communion, from partial to full, in which members of other religious communities share.

Other examples of the Paschal Mystery’s rethinking of the Redemption can be found, such as the refusal to condemn Protestant churches that do not have holy orders, but in an anodyne way calling them "Ecclesial communities...that have not preserved the genuine and total reality of the Eucharistic mystery" (§30). One wonders what part of this mystery of Faith they have preserved, since they deny the Real Presence, Transubstantiation, its sacrificial nature etc. Likewise for the active promotion of inculturation (§51).

Consequently, there can be no doubt that this encyclical, despite its initial appearances to the contrary, is in fact entirely in the line of the post-conciliar revolution, entirely in favor of the New Mass, and entirely a denial of the propitiatory nature of the true sacrifice of the Mass, and that consequently it will only add to the confusion, and in no way stop the abuses, nor dissipate the "shadows" that the Pope himself admits (§10). The proof of this is the absence of any concrete measure to promote the true Mass, or even simply to stop the abuses in the New Mass.

Let us not be deceived by wishful thinking. Rome continues to walk the tightrope, a balancing act between the Faith and modernism, sometimes leaning more to one side and sometimes more to the other, but always attempting to compromise opposites, continuing to live a contradiction, neither abandoning the Church’s teachings, nor fully embracing them either. Hence the confusion that we have all to face up to. Let our response be supernatural; let us make the resolution to make our Holy Communions communions of reparation, uniting ourselves to the infinite value of expiation found in the Holy Eucharist. Let us adore the Blessed Sacrament, celebrate the upcoming feasts of Corpus Christi and of the Sacred Heart "for the purpose of making reparation for the blasphemies and insults of which it is the object" (Leo XIII. Ib.).

Yours faithfully in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,

Father Peter R. Scott


Women’s 5 day:        Monday September 22 - Saturday September 27
Men’s 5 day:             Friday December 26 - Wednesday December 31
Women’s 5 day:        Monday January 5 - Saturday January 10, 2004
Men’s 5 day:             Monday January 12 - Saturday January 17
Women’s 5 day:        Monday January 26 - Saturday January 31

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Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia