SOUTHERN SENTINEL

No. 20

Regnavit a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X

J.M.J.
July 4, 2004

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

This month I am happy to be able to include in this newsletter our Superior General’s latest letter to the Society’s friends and benefactors worldwide. You will not only find his realistic words encouraging, but also a great motivation to prayer, for it is prayer alone that can bring the dew of divine grace into the dried up hearts that yet fail to see how the naturalism of this Pope’s ecumenism is destroying the Church.

Last week we started the second term of our academic year with 17 Major Seminarians, 3 Pre-Seminarians, 5 Seminarians studying at A level and 13 at IGCSE level. Here we are in a drought of a different kind – a physical drought. However this drought has been of some benefit to our construction project. For the past several weeks, there has been no roof over a section of the St. Joseph House. During that time, the brickwork has been completed, carpentry work and adaptations have been done, the trusses have been firmly attached, the rendering of the exterior walls has been completed … and we have waited to find workers to help us out. Meanwhile, volunteers are working in the Sacred Heart wing of the main Seminary building to remodel an old room to make it suitable for a priest, with separate bedroom and office, and to correct serious problems with the plumbing and electrical wiring. The seminary offers free accommodation for carpenters, plumbers, electricians and painters…and benefits that are out of this world.


150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Allow me to use these few lines to remind you of a remarkable encyclical whose 100th anniversary we celebrate this year, an encyclical written in turn to celebrate an anniversary, written by St. Pius X on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by his predecessor, Bd. Pius IX on December 8, 1854. The encyclical, called Ad diem illum, is a complete magisterial statement on the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Church, and the necessity of devotion to her in our own lives, for “Mary is the surest and easiest means of uniting all persons with Christ and obtaining through Him the perfection adoption of sons.” (§3).

Of all the treasures contained in this encyclical, I would simply like to highlight how St. Pius X demonstrates that the revealed truth “that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was free from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception” (§1) is the key to the whole supernatural order of grace. It is because the Blessed Mother crushed the head of the infernal serpent, that Divine Providence wills that the God-Man should come to us through her, and that “we can now receive Christ only from the hands of Mary.” (§4). However, he goes much further. He develops the principle that follows as a consequence of her absolute sinlessness, making her the worthy Mother of God, namely the inseparability of the Son and His Mother in the mystery of the Incarnation, and also in the Redemption, at the Cross itself. Hence, he explains, no-one can teach us Christ as she can, nor is anyone better qualified to impart Christ’s life. She is Mother of Divine Grace, obtaining by her intercession all the graces that her Divine Son merits. She is the Co-Redemptrix by her perfect fidelity to the sacrifice of the Cross. Her continuous union of life and labor with her Divine Son achieves its culmination at the foot of the Cross, when Christ’s sufferings became her own, for “through this community of suffering and intention between Christ and Mary, she merited to become in a most noble manner the Reparatrix of the fallen world. As a result of this, she is the Dispenser of all the gifts that Jesus acquired for us by His death and Blood…the most powerful Mediatrix and Conciliatrix of the whole world” (9 & 10).


THE BLESSED VIRGIN VS. MODERNISM

St. Pius X goes further, explaining that modern day anarchism, the refusal of all authority, and especially of obedience to the Church’s authority, can be overcome only by the recognition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God: “If people believe and profess that in the first moment of her conception the Virgin Mary was free from all stain, they must also admit the existence of original sin, the redemption of mankind by Christ, the Gospel, the Church, and even the law of suffering. These truths will root up and destroy any kind of rationalism or materialism that exists…This doctrine compels us to recognize that power of the Church which demands intellectual as well as voluntary submission…For this reason the Church rightly attributes the destruction of all heresies in the whole world to the venerable Virgin alone.” (§17).

If we believe that the Blessed Virgin is thus the defender of the Faith against all heresies, she is particularly so against modernism, and against the new theology promoted by John Paul II. For the essential thesis of the Pope amounts ultimately to a denial of the reality of original sin. For by affirming that the image and likeness of God are intact in all human nature, he effectively denies the stain, corruption and wounds of original sin. Likewise by teaching that each man without exception was redeemed by Christ, by His Incarnation, as if through the Incarnation Christ united Himself in a certain way to every man, even those who are not aware of it (in his 1979 encyclical Redemptor hominis, §13 & 14). This is a development of the text of the Vatican II document on the Church in the modern world, Gaudium et spes, §22, which states that by the Incarnation human nature has received “a dignity beyond compare”, giving as its explanation that “by His Incarnation, He the Son of God, has in a certain way united Himself with each man”. Such an opinion evacuates the entire necessity of the Cross, the Redemption, the Mass, baptism and the other sacraments, and even the Catholic Church itself, for it pretends that there is no need for a remedy for original sin. If all men are automatically united to Christ, why would we worry about all these extra things? How would the Blessed Mother be any different from us? What would her Immaculate Conception really mean? Of what use would be reparation to her Immaculate Heart?

The post-conciliar passion for ecumenism is consequently nothing more or less than the consequence of the undermining of the reality of original sin and the necessity of the redemption, following upon which all religions become good and acceptable. It is hardly surprising that it has created a crisis of authority, the precise same crisis of authority that St. Pius X identified as being the consequence of the refusal of the Immaculate Conception: “The Faith’s enemies today commonly employ the vice of refusing, and openly refusing, to pay any reverence or obedience to the authority of the Church.” (Ib. §17)

As we prepare, therefore, for the 150th anniversary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, let us renew our devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God, confident to find in her the remedy to the naturalism of the present crisis of authority in the Church. To quote St. Pius X once more: “The persecution of Christ and the most holy religion He founded is now raging bitterly and fiercely…The Virgin, however, will always assist us in even the most difficult of trials; she will always continue the battle she has been waging ever since her conception” (§20). Let us fervently pray our Rosaries offered for Holy Mother Church; let us renew our own consecration to her that she might keep us faithful in our duties and the allegiance we owe to her Divine Son, and let us keep the devotion of the Five First Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, confident that “we shall come to see even now that she is the Virgin Most Powerful who with virginal foot crushed the head of the serpent” (Ib. §28).

Yours faithfully in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

Father Peter R. Scott


SUPERIOR GENERAL’S LETTER TO FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS #66


Society of Saint Pius X
Priorat Mariae Verkundigung
Schloss Schwandegg
Menzingen, ZG, CH-6313
SWITZERLAND


Dear Friends and Benefactors,

How happy we are to tell you from time to time about the joys of our apostolate! Each day that passes we are privileged to witness miracles of grace. Let us remember to thank Almighty God, and let us be full of gratitude for the graces afforded us by the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We dare say that the life of the SSPX is indeed a permanent miracle. It expresses the intervention of God in our small history, the intervention of Our Lady, of the holy angels, of this whole world that surrounds us, that wishes us well. Our heavenly friends, whom we see not and on whom, unhappily, we think so little, are so close, so ready to help us, so effective! They are indeed real, they are part of our lives and their sometimes tangible assistance compels us to accept the marvelous reality of the communion of saints. When we compare our own powers with the results of our efforts, we are indeed obliged to recognize that these results do not come from us.

A great many new buildings and chapels throughout the world, in the Philippines, in India, North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe are also signs of an impressive vitality of grace. Experience has taught us that even the opposition of the clergy, generally strongest in areas where we have become established fairly recently, serves the good cause. “Everything comes together for the good of those who serve God.”

We would also like to share some pains and concerns with you.

First of all, in the Ukraine. These last months the priests whom we support in the Fraternity of St. Josaphat have been subjected to the furious attacks of their bishop, Cardinal Husar. The cardinal took to the airwaves to make a grand declaration of excommunication against Father Wasil and his companions, on the grounds that he has associated himself with a schismatic movement…

This is the gravest censure in the canon law of the Eastern Church. It was issued without due process. Once Father Wasil appealed to Rome the cardinal undertook to observe the legal formalities. The whole process was designed to fill the juridical void in order to justify a ready-made sentence. Nihil novi sub sole [there is nothing new under the sun].

The ecclesiastical authorities are also trying to take back the churches, including those built by Father Wasil. This is undoubtedly a harsh blow for them, and your prayers are asked to support them in this new struggle. Up to now they have had to defend their faith against a terrible enemy, atheistic communism, but now it is their own pastors who are attacking them. Up to now, the priests have resisted bravely with the support of the faithful. But each attack unsettles souls; some turn away in disgust and give up. A familiar pattern.

And from the side of Rome?

Let us begin with Fatima. Last year the construction of a new building for the use of different religions was announced.

Even if the official publication of the shrine keeps silent about the nature of the project, public actions go even further. On May 5, a group of Hindus invaded the place of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin, naturally with all the official authorizations. They made this sacred place, so dear to Catholics, the forum for their idolatry. “It is a unique event, without precedent in the history of the shrine. The Hindu priest, or Sha Tri, recited at the altar the Shaniti Pa, the prayer for peace. The Hindus can be seen removing their sandals before approaching the balustrade of the sanctuary, while the priest pronounces the prayers at the altar in the sanctuary. The bishop and the rector of the shrine were themselves decked out in Hindu prayer shawls... a fine affair.” What a provocation against Christianity!

Now, are we to speak of reaching an accord?

So long as the Roman authorities tolerate such abominations or, worse still, support them, they are distancing themselves from any accord with Tradition. We shall never give way to such affronts perpetrated against Our Lady of Heaven, the Mother of God. One sometimes wonders whether not only the faith has been lost, but common sense as well. Deus non irridetur (God is not mocked).

Such actions demand reparation. We are seriously thinking of inviting you to an act of solemn protest at Fatima next year.

As concerns Rome more directly, Rome demands that we accept their proposition of a “personal jurisdiction.” The problem lies not in the juridical formulation, which seems acceptable to us in principle, although we do not know the concrete elements and implications of such a “juridical formula.” The problem remains as always on the level of doctrine, of the Christian spirit that does or does not inform (and that is the whole question) ambiguous texts and reforms that have been disastrous for the supernatural welfare of the faithful. We do indeed perceive more and more sympathy from certain bishops, also in Rome. It seems to us that we are moving forward, that Tradition is making progress in the Catholic world. But that is not yet sufficient. We recently made an official request that the decree of excommunication be withdrawn as a first concrete step on the part of Rome. That would change the climate and we could better see how things develop. One thing is certain: we do not want the situation in which the Fraternity of St. Peter and the majority of the Ecclesia Dei groups have been placed. They are constrained, and it is barely permitted them to say the Tridentine Mass. Most of the time they find themselves in truly odious situations. Cardinal Castrillon is perfectly right to claim for traditionalists a status better than that of second-class citizen.1 But is it not up to Rome first of all to change this state of affairs?

These are all so many intentions for prayer, dear benefactors. Be assured of our profound gratitude for all your sacrifices, so precious, so pleasing to God, and which help us greatly in our apostolate. May God reward you, may the Sacred Heart bless you, and may his most Holy Mother protect you and your families.

June 18, 2004
Feast of the Sacred Heart

+ Bernard Fellay


FAMILY WEEKEND AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY

All our friends are invited to this weekend to celebrate our annual patronal feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

• Saturday September 11:
10:30 a.m. Solemn High Mass: Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows
Procession in honor of Our Lady, with renewal of the consecration of Holy Cross Seminary to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
1:00 p.m. Light lunch provided by the Seminary: Everybody invited.
3:00 p.m. Conference on the Holy Shroud of Turin, given by Father François Laisney.
5:00 p.m. Holy Hour, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and all night adoration.

• Sunday September 12: Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
10:30 a.m. Procession with the relics of the true Cross, followed by Solemn High Mass.
Bring your own picnic lunch.
2:00 p.m. Annual soccer tournament.
5:00 p.m. Sunday Vespers.


IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY DURING THE UPCOMING MONTHS:

COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!

Menís 5 day: ††††††††††††Sunday December 26 - Friday December 31, 2004
                   †††††††††††††Monday January 10 – Saturday January 15, 2005
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday September 20 - Saturday September 25, 2004
                                Monday January 3 – Saturday January 8, 2005
                                Monday January 24 – Saturday January 29
, 2005


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