No. 28

Regnavit a ligno Deus

May 11, 2005

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,


It is with great joy that I am able to announce that the first ordinations to the Priesthood to take place here at Holy Cross Seminary will be on Tuesday December 27, 2005, and that H.E. Bishop Alfonso De Galarreta will be visiting for the occasion. During his recent visit our Superior General, Bishop Fellay, reiterated how important he considers this historical ordination ceremony to be, and how much he wishes that it be a celebration of the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Mass, upon which we depend for so many graces.

The Bishops, ministers, ordinands and all the seminarians after the odinationsThe Bishops, ministers, ordinands and all the seminarians after the odinations

View of Bishop Fellay, ministers, ordinands and seminarians on Tuesday April 19, after the ordinations to the subdiaconate.

Consequently, I invite you with insistence. Set this day aside, travel from afar, make a point of being here, as on a pilgrimage to the cradle of the Holy Priesthood, to the Bethlehem of the Church, to the crib of the Society of Saint Pius X, to honor the excess of divine Love, God sharing His divine power with His creatures. You will not be disappointed if you make the effort, but to the contrary will receive many graces, not the least of which will be the encouragement of priestly and religious vocations in your children and grandchildren. The day has been chosen, just after the end of the school year at the Seminary, because it is a public holiday, and it is a time when many of you are free from the usual duties that bind you to your homes. You still have seven months to plan it into your schedules. The occasion will be all the memorable as it is a good year and, if all goes well, we hope to have three deacons and four priests ordained that day. The Seminary grounds will be yours from Christmas until after the newly ordained priests First Masses on Wednesday December 28. You will be welcome to pitch your tents and park your caravans here.

Some of you may not be aware that the annual pilgrimage for the priestly ordinations has become a real Tradition of Faith for the other seminaries of the Society, not just in Ecône, but also in Zaitzkofen and Winona. Would that it come be the same for us here in Australia! Would that here, as elsewhere in the world, the annual priestly ordinations might become a time to renew acquaintances, friendships, exchange information with other traditional Catholics from all over! Would that it be a remedy to the isolation that some of our families so easily feel! Would that it be a statement of the vigor of our Faith, the vitality of Tradition, the supernatural conviction behind our refusal to compromise! Would that it be a statement to the liberals that Tradition will not die, for it has priests, sacraments, hierarchy and the Mass! Would that it be a reminder to the modernists that unless they follow the example of Tradition, they will continue on their inexorable path of death and destruction. However, would that it be particularly an inspiration to the supernatural life of prayer, to love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and to vocations, the future of the Church.

For those families who would like affordable, comfortable, country, family accommodation, I am happy to recommend the Pelican Sheep Station, half way between the Seminary and Goulburn on the Braidwood Road. It has a variety of houses, cabins and rooms available at this time, all with full cooking facilities, and offers a discount of 10 – 15% for those coming for the ordinations. The manager, Mr. Philip Sykes, can be contacted at (02) 48 21 46 68 or

ordinands holding candles
The ordinands in the pews awaiting their ordination –
7 to be tonsured and 3 future subdeacons.


Bishop Fellay’s visit last month was a great consolation for us. He spoke to us in particular of the virtue of religion, establishing our essential link with God, foundation of a holy life and a life of prayer, that this prayer be not part time, intermittent or occasional, but constant, penetrating our entire will and heart, that it might truly bring about the abiding in God that can alone enable us to bear fruit. However, it was our second ordination to the subdiaconate that was the highlight of his visit, for he thereby raised our three fifth year students (one each from Australia, N.Z. and the U.S.) to the point of no return in their path towards the altar, at which they took upon themselves the vow of chastity, and bound themselves to the daily recitation of the breviary. With a full complement of deacons and subdeacons, Holy Cross Seminary is now finally able to celebrate a Solemn High Mass every Sunday, as is becoming. During the same ceremony, he promoted the six seminarians in 3rd year to the clerical Tonsure, thereby giving up the world and choosing Almighty God for the part of their inheritance.

Meanwhile, given our total of 38 students, we are entirely full. Work has been progressing on the St. Joseph House, with the completion of innumerable details, including plumbing, skirting, trim, bathroom showers and finish, exterior waterproofing and painting. The construction of built in closets in the rooms has begun, and the interior painting will soon follow, as well as the erection of exterior steel fire escapes.

The subdeacons lay prostrate

Prostration of the subdeacons during the singing of the Litany of the Saints,
as part of the ceremony of ordination.


It serves little to postulate and wonder what this new pontificate will bring. Our prayers are what counts. However, allow me to simply quote the statement made by our Superior General:
“In the name of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, His Excellency Bishop Fellay, Superior General, welcomes the accession of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Sovereign Pontificate. He seems there a gleam of hope that we may find a way out of the profound crisis which is shaking the Catholic Church, of which some aspects have been spoken of by the former head for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and quite recently so in his preaching on the occasion of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

His Excellency Bishop Fellay implores Our Lord Jesus Christ, head of the Mystical Body, that the two-thousand year old Tradition of the Church, forgotten and mistreated during the past forty years, may regain its place during this Pontificate, and that the traditional Holy Mass may be re-established in all its rights, without restrictions.

Finally, the Superior General assures the successor of Peter, Benedict XVI, of his prayers and those of all the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X for the considerable task which awaits him in order to restore all things in Christ”.

Some have asked how there could be a glimmer of hope in a man who was a key pin in the administration of the ecumenical Pope who presided over such destruction in the Church for 26 years. The answer is that Cardinal Ratzinger has admitted not only that there is a crisis in the Church, but that it chiefly concerns the new ecclesiology, principal root of the novelties introduced since Vatican II: “My impression is that the authentically Catholic meaning of the reality ‘Church’ is tacitly disappearing, without being expressly rejected. Many no longer believe that what is at issue is a reality willed by the Lord himself.” (Ratzinger Report, p. 45). He has also admitted the devastating consequences of the destruction of catechesis: “The result, as we note, has been a disintegration of the sensus fidei in the new generations, who are often incapable of a comprehensive view of their religion” (Ib. p. 73). He has also expressed his awareness of the grave crisis in the liturgy: “It is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in its is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising the proscribing the Church’s whole past” (Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 416).


However, humanly speaking, it can only be a glimmer. For Cardinal Ratzinger has made clearly apparent his opposition to the positions of Catholic Tradition. Proudly declaring that the Vatican II document on the Church and the modern world is a “counter Syllabus” (i.e. opposed to Pius IX’s condemnation of liberal errors) it is hardly surprising that he had this to say about Archbishop Lefebvre: “I see no future for a position that, out of principle, stubbornly renounces Vatican II. In fact in itself it is an illogical position. The point of departure for this tendency is, in fact, the strictest fidelity to the teaching particularly of Pius IX and Pius X and, still more fundamentally, of Vatican I and it definition of Papal primacy” (Ratzinger Report, p.31). This extraordinary compliment demonstrates a profound understanding of our position, refusing as it does the evolutionism of Vatican II. However, for him, it is the true spirit of Vatican II that is the solution, instead of the cause, of the crisis in the Church. “My diagnosis is that we are dealing with an authentic crisis and that it must be treated and cured. Thus I confirm that even for this healing process, Vatican II is a reality that must be fully accepted….We are summoned to reconstruct the Church, not despite, but thank to the true Council…Vatican II was right in its desire for a revision of the relations between the Church and the world” (Ib. p. 34, 36).

Furthermore, the Cardinal has showed his fundamental Hegelian dialectics in his refusal of a “restoration”. He cannot visualize a turning back to the traditional practice of the Faith, for the Church, like every other reality, is the product of history, of continually evolving influences working in opposite directions, some liberal some conservative, from which a new balance, equilibrium or synthesis must constantly be formed. After the radical excesses of the “anti-spirit” of Vatican II a new balance must be established, “to live the permanent values in a new way”, but which balance is not something fixed, but constantly changing according to the historical perspective: “If by ‘restoration’ is meant a turning back, no restoration of such a kind is possible. The Church moves forward toward the consummation of history, she looks ahead to the Lord who is coming. No, there is no going back, nor is it possible to go back. Hence there is no ‘restoration’ whatsoever in this sense. But if by ‘restoration’ we understand the search for a new balance after all the exaggerations of an indiscriminate opening to the world, after the overly positive interpretations of an agnostic and atheistic world, well then a restoration understood in this sense (a newly found balance of orientations and values within the Catholic totality) is altogether desirable and, for that matter, is already in operation in the Church” (p. 37 & 38).

There is here expressed a refusal in principle of a widespread return to the liturgical perfection of the traditional Mass, to the ascetical and spiritual path of the great saints, to the doctrinal integrity of previous councils and ages, to two centuries of Papal pronouncements constantly condemning secularism, humanism, liberalism, religious freedom, ecumenism. How different is this perspective to that of St. Pius V, who when he promulgated the Tridentine Mass in 1570 did so “to restore the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the Holy Fathers”? Likewise different was St. Pius X, whose motto ”to restore all things in Christ” did not at all mean an effort to establish a new balance with the world, but to “use every means and exert all our energy to bring about the utter disappearance of the enormous and detestable wickedness, so characteristic of our time – the substitution of man for God; this done, it remains to restore to their ancient place of honor the most holy laws and counsels of the gospel; to proclaim aloud the truths taught by the Church…” (E supremi §9).

It is no wonder that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of “the word ‘reform’, a term that has a wholly different sound to us today” (Ib.), and why he admitted that the revolutionary, secular, anti-Catholic values of freedom and egalitarianism of the last two centuries must be accepted today in the Church: “There are in fact values, which, even though they originated outside the Church, can find their place – provided they are clarified and corrected – in her perspective”. It is the new synthesis, the new balance that is supposed to clarify and correct the substitution of man for God that characterizes these values!

Theory aside, on a practical level, one could mention that Cardinal Ratzinger, as President of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and member of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, could have done a great deal for Tradition, but did not. Also well known is his active role in the doctrinal novelties approved during the Pontificate of John Paul II, always assiduous in his efforts to reconcile the new ideas with official teaching (by means of a re-interpretation), forming a new synthesis. In particular, one could mention his November 30, 1998 document concerning the redefining of Papal primacy in virtue of collegiality and ecumenism, or his August 6, 2000 “Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church”, which had as its purpose not to reiterate that the Catholic Church is the one true Church outside of which there is no salvation, but an attempt to reconcile dialogue and ecumenism with the necessity of belief in Christ and the Church, thereby attempting to establish that the spirit of Vatican II is in fact not “that mentality of indifferentism characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that one religion is as good as another” (§22).

We desperately pray and hope that, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Benedict XVI’s actions as Pope will be entirely different than his actions as Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. However, his statements at the sermon on the day after his election do not presage this: “With the passing of time, the conciliar documents have not lost their timeliness, their teachings have shown themselves to be especially pertinent to the new exigencies of the Church and the present globalized society…The current successor of Peter fells himself to be personally implicated in this question and is disposed to do all in his power to promote the fundamental cause of ecumenism.” Consequently, from a purely human perspective, we cannot expect any approval of the Society or its demand for the return of the traditional Mass, or an objective examination of the documents of Vatican II. We can, however, expect that the efforts to marginalize us, by approving conservative (e.g. Indult) groups that are silent about the real crisis and the errors of Vatican II, are likely to continue and be magnified, deliberately attempting to give the false impression that we refuse Papal authority because we hold to our right of refusing the teachings of Vatican II that are in contradiction with the Church’s Magisterium.

Meanwhile, we will certainly be faithful to Benedict XVI’s request that the solemnity of Corpus Christi “be celebrated in a particularly special way” during this Eucharistic Year. Let us make our regular, or daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff, and this year let us make a special effort to assist at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, in the spirit of reparation for all the outrages promoted by the New Mass and the post-conciliar church’s undermining of the doctrine of the Real Presence.

Yours faithfully in Christ Our Eucharistic King,

Father Peter R. Scott

The touching of the chalice

Newly ordained subdeacon Michael Lavin from New Zealand
receives the power to prepare the water and to purify the chalice at Holy Mass.


Men’s 5 day:             Monday June 6– Saturday June 11,2005
                                Monday January 2 – Saturday January 7, 2006
                                Monday January 16 – Saturday January 21
Women’s 5 day:        Monday September 19- Saturday September 24, 2005
                                Monday January 9 – Saturday January 14, 2006
                                Monday January 30 – Saturday February 4


Monday August 15, 2005:
Taking of the cassock for 1st year seminarians

Saturday September 17 & Sunday September 18, 2005:
Family weekend

Thursday December 8, 2005:
First Engagements in the Society of Saint Pius X

Friday December 23, 2005:
Ordinations to the Tonsure and Minor Orders

Tuesday December 27, 2005:
Ordinations to the Diaconate and Priesthood

The faithful are warmly invited to participate in all these important events in the life of the Seminary and of the Society of Saint Pius X.

painting  new bookshelves outside

Several of the seminarians help Father Bourmaud in the painting of new bookshelves
to enlarge the library capacity on Wednesday May 4.


Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia