SOUTHERN SENTINEL

No. 33 December 2005

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

J.M.J.

December 12, 2005

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

            As we come to the end of our academic year, and concentrate on the final end of year examinations for all Seminarians, I would like to pass on a little news. On December 8 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first religious profession of Brother Peter Whittle, a great joy for all of us. On that  same day our two second year seminarians made their first engagement in the Society, whilst 11 others renewed their temporary engagements. The ordination of four deacons to the priesthood, the first ever to be held here at Holy Cross Seminary, will finish off and crown our first three year theology program, and a successful and peaceful year at Holy Cross Seminary. In fact, we will be completing the year with 21 Major Seminarians, four to be ordained priests and three to be ordained deacons, one pre-seminarian, 16 seminarians and two brother postulants.


PROJECTS

These past several weeks, we have been working on three projects. The first, already completed, is the erection of a granite crucifix in the middle of the Seminary cemetery, with the white granite composite corpus contrasting strikingly with the black granite upright and cross piece. It will be a continual reminder that it is our Crucified Savior who is the only source of the relief of the poor souls in Purgatory, as well as the joy of the blessed in heaven. The second is the boiler room for the St. Joseph House, an entirely new room being added on to the end of the school building (for reasons of fire protection), the underground pipes joining it to St. Joseph’s House being already installed. The third is a small chapel for the cemetery, to be used for Requiem Masses and funerals, the  foundation and metal structure of which have been erected on the hill at the top end of the cemetery. We believe that it will be a great consolation for those who choose to be buried in our cemetery, that Masses will be regularly offered for the poor souls right there.

Preparing the foundation for the pouring of the cement
for the boiler room extension to the school wing.


THE INCARNATION

As we prepare for Christmas, we meditate on the inestimable and eternal consequence of the great mystery of the Incarnation, the admirable exchange worked by the Son of God made flesh, when, by taking upon Himself the lowliness of our human nature, he chose to communicate to us a share in the greatness of his divinity. This is how that St. Leo the Great puts it: “The Word of God…bending down to the taking of our lowliness, without diminution of His own Majesty, so that… He might join the form of a true servant to that form in which He is equal to God the Father; and by such a bond so link both natures that this exaltation might not swallow up the lesser, nor adoption lessen the Higher.” The marvel is that this union of natures in the one divine Person of the Son of God is in some little way shared with His creatures, that we “may be made partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4), namely that whilst retaining the limitations of our wretched human nature, we might nevertheless share in the divine life of charity by grace.

As fundamental and basic as is this simple truth to our spiritual life, so also is its falsification disastrous, leading to a naturalistic pantheism, the identification of man and God. Yet it is by the twisting of this most consoling truth, that the modernists have justified their new theories, thereby removing the obligations and demands of being a Catholic, evacuating the necessity of supernatural Faith for eternal salvation, of the keeping of the commandments of God, of belonging to the Catholic Church, of “flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world” (2 Pet 1:4), removing also the opposition, combat, war that constantly exist between the Church and the world, the flesh and the spirit, God and the devil.

The reasoning is very simple. For the individual human nature that Christ assumed, they substitute the human nature that is shared by all mankind. According to this theory, by the very fact of His Incarnation, Christ elevated the dignity of all men, regardless of whether they have the Faith or keep the commandments, or not. This is in fact the teaching of the Vatican II document on the Church and the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, the 40th anniversary of whose promulgation was, alas, celebrated on December 7: “For, by his Incarnation, he the Son of God, has in a certain way united Himself with each man”. (§22) By becoming man, the Son of God is supposed to have, in some way, changed man himself. It is for this reason that the same document declares that “it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man becomes clear” for Christ “fully reveals man to himself”(Ib.).

pouring of cement foundation

Brother Joseph pours the cement foundation to hold up the one ton marble crucifix
to be erected in the center of the cemetery.


UNITY OF MANKIND

The further consequence of this elevation of all men in Christ is their unity amongst one another, the unity of mankind, an overwhelming preoccupation of the new theology, for which the Church is supposed to be an instrument. This is, in fact, the basis for the scandalous and false definition of the Church contained in the Vatican II document Lumen gentium, §1: “The Church, in Christ, is in the nature of sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men. This concept of the unity of mankind is the underlying presupposition behind the modern preoccupation with dialogue and ecumenism. It is the principle of freemasonic naturalism, the French revolution’s principle of Fraternity. Yet it has become a constant focus behind the letter and spirit of Vatican II: “God desired that all men should form one family and deal with each other in a spirit of brotherhood” (Gaudium et spes, §24). 

            The consequences of this new concept of the unity of mankind include the attitude of peace at all costs, for the Church no longer has enemies, condemned by Pope Pius XII as “irenism”. As Vatican II states: “Christ, the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, restoring the unity of all in one people and one body, he abolished hatred in his own flesh” (Gaudium et spes, § 78), applying falsely to all men what St. Paul says of the members of the Church in his letter to the Ephesians. It is from this that follows the feeling of the urgency of dialogue and the so-called duty of ecumenism.


LIMBO DIES

            Another consequence is the practical denial of the existence of the Limbo of unbaptized children contained in a November 25 press release from the Vatican’s International Theological Comission, a novelty thought out in the light of God’s Universal Saving Will. In October 2004 Pope John Paul II asked the Commission to come up with “a more coherent and enlightened way” of describing the fate of these children, who have not committed personal sin. Archbishop Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had this to say: “The Church… cannot renounce reflecting on, in its role as mother and teacher, the destiny of all the men created in God’s image, and in a particular way, on the weakest and those who are not yet in possession of the use of reason and of freedom”.

The basic problem is the unwillingness of modern liberals to accept the reality of original sin, and the fact that unbaptized infants have no means to be delivered from it, and to receive the grace of spiritual regeneration, without which there is no eternal salvation. They resolve this “problem” in the light of “God’s universal salvific will”, namely that He wants effectively that all mankind be saved, and that all mankind be united to Christ by the Incarnation and the Church’s sacramentality, inasmuch as the Church is the sacrament of the unity of mankind. Hence their efforts to try and find a way to eliminate limbo, and to say that these unbaptized infants are in heaven.

They further justify themselves by stating that there has not been a definitive Church pronouncement on the question. While it is true that the existence of Limbo is not a defined dogma, the Catechism of the Council of Trent is nevertheless extremely clear on the question: “It is not less important for them to know, that the law of baptism, as established by Our Lord, extends to all, in so much, that unless they are regenerated through the grace of baptism (=baptism of water, or, in adults of desire and blood) be their parents, Christians or infidels, they are born to eternal misery and everlasting destruction.” This teaching was reflected by every catechism before Vatican II, but is alas contradicted by the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, which expresses the possibility and hope of their eternal salvation without baptism, and consequently allows funeral rites: “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them’, allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism” (§1261). It is this “way” that the Commission is supposed to invent.

raising the cemetary crucifix into place

A crane hoists the new marble crucifix into place, guided by Brothers Joseph and Xavier.
The arms were added to the corpus afterwards.


NO NEED FOR FAITH OR BAPTISM OF DESIRE

A further consequence of the unity of mankind is the notion that men of other religions can be saved, and this even without the true, supernatural Faith. Benedict XVI had this to say on November 30 in St. Peter’s Square at his Wednesday public audience: “Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved, even if he lacks biblical faith…With this faith in an unknown reality, they are really on the way to the authentic Jerusalem, to Christ”. This is pure naturalism, for there are no supernatural means mentioned at all. Entirely different is the teaching of Popes Pius IX and XII on the possibility of implicit baptism of desire, and hence of salvation, for those who are not yet catechumens, and who are not familiar with the teachings of the Catholic Church. This is only possible in souls who have a truly supernatural Faith, the Faith of Abraham, based on the motive of submission to the authority of God who reveals, perfect contrition for sin, a supernatural hope in God’s mercy and forgiveness and the infused virtue of charity, as clearly defined by Session VI of the Council of Trent. This is a whole world apart from the natural seeking of the common good and the transcendent.


WHY?

            Such are the consequences of the Council itself. A plethora of publications has accompanied the 40th anniversary of the end of Vatican II, all acclaiming this “transformation”, aggiornamento, “Copernican revolution”, within the Church, yet claiming that it is without any new doctrine. Some, however, are more honest than others. Take, for example, Archbishop Hickey of Perth, who is in no way traditional, and yet admitted at a recent conference to the Australian Association of Catholic Clergy:

“It has been said that if we do more of the same we will get the same results. Many have been pursuing a path whose disastrous results are starkly visible now. It will not help to continue the same policies. I refer of course to the precipitous fall in Mass attendance over the last forty years, the ignorance of Catholic teaching and traditions among our Catholic and state school leavers, the lack of statistical difference between Catholics and the population at large in marriage breakdowns and remarriage, in the use of contraception, the frequency of abortion, the lack of courage to publicly affirm Catholic teaching among lay leaders in society, the collapse of Religious Institutes and vocations to the priesthood, to name a few…We must examine what has led to this situation and resolve not to continue the same policies. I cannot rejoice in this evidence of a Church in decline.”

            What a terrifying indictment of the post-conciliar church! Why is it, then that Archbishop Hickey cannot see the clear relation of cause and effect with Vatican II? Why does he blame it on a pretended “spirit of Vatican II", in some way supposed to be different from the letter or from the “actual intentions of the Council Fathers”? It is because he takes for granted, as unquestionable, the Copernican revolution of naturalism, failing to say that it is the Council’s very acceptation of these revolutionary and secular principles that is the cause of the breakdown of Church doctrine and practice: “The Church has already been reshaped by the acceptance of secular values, in themselves good but naively embraced…” Here, indeed, lies the real problem, and the cause of the blindness of the Church’s official authorities. Let us ever thank God for the clearsightedness that Tradition hands on to us regarding the supernatural life, the respect for the sacred, the honor for the divinity of Christ, the divine motherhood of Our Lady and the lives of the saints.

            Let us renew, then, our devotion to the mystery of the Incarnation, with which we are united by the true Faith alone, by our meditations on the divine Person and prerogatives of the Word made flesh, His humiliation and self-abasement, His sanctification of the Cross, and most perfectly by our assistance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the great mystery of our Faith that opens up the gates of heaven.

Be assured of a special remembrance for all of you, our friends and benefactors, during my Masses on Christmas Day. May the Divine Infant and His Holy Mother bring you the abundance of His supernatural joy, of His choice graces and of His special blessings throughout this holy season of the Nativity.

            Father Peter R. Scott

  seminarians kneeling during mass
The generations joined together. Brother Peter on the day of his golden jubilee, together with the seminarians who had made their engagements after the Mass on December 8.
The seminarians during the Solemn High Mass of December 8. The two seminarians in front make their first engagements, whereas those behind renew their temporary engagements.


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

COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!

Men’s 5 day:             Monday January 2 – Saturday January 7, 2006
                                Monday January 16 – Saturday January 21
                                Monday July 10 – Saturday July 15
Women’s 5 day:        Monday January 9 – Saturday January 14, 2006
                                Monday January 30 – Saturday February 4
                                
Monday September 18 – Saturday September 23


IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS

Ordinations to the Tonsure and Minor Orders
Friday December 23, 2005: 9:30 a.m.

Ordinations to the Diaconate and Priesthood
Tuesday December 27, 2005: 9:00 a.m.

First Masses of newly ordained priests
Wednesday December 28, 2005:7:00, 8:00, 9:00 & 10:00 a.m.

Men’s Working Bee
Thursday December 29 – Saturday December 31, 2005

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.


seminarians working in the garden

Father Bourmaud works with some volunteer seminarians in the Seminary garden
– Engaddi it is called – during the Wednesday afternoon community recreation.

 

 
Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia