a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
July 4, 2004
and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,
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
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?
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.”
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).
in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Peter R. Scott
GENERAL’S LETTER TO FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS #66
Society of Saint Pius X
Priorat Mariae Verkundigung
Menzingen, ZG, CH-6313
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
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.
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.”
would also like to share some pains and concerns with you.
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…
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].
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.
from the side of Rome?
us begin with Fatima. Last year the construction of a new building
for the use of different religions was announced.
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
are we to speak of reaching an accord?
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).
actions demand reparation. We are seriously thinking of inviting
you to an act of solemn protest at Fatima next year.
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?
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
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:
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
5:00 p.m. Holy Hour, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and all
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.
RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY DURING THE UPCOMING MONTHS:
BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
day: ††††††††††††Sunday December 26 - Friday December 31, 2004
†††††††††††††Monday January 10 – Saturday January 15,
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday September 20 - Saturday September
January 3 – Saturday January 8, 2005
January 24 – Saturday January 29,
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