No. 25

Regnavit a ligno Deus

February 3, 2005

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

The month of January passed in great peace here at the Seminary. Immediately after Christmas we started the first of five retreats in immediate succession one after the other. Four were Ignatian retreats for men and women, attended by a total of 72 retreatants. Our newly ordained deacons were able to take their turn in helping preach retreats for the first time. In addition, there was a retreat for priests of the District, preached by Father Paul Morgan from Great Britain. I would now like to ask your prayers for the 30 day silent Ignatian retreat that fourteen of our Major Seminarians started last Sunday, at a retreat facility that we managed to located in Victoria. Father Daniels kindly agreed to come back from South Africa to preach it, and is assisted in this by Father Bourmaud.

Men's retreat participants

A view of the retreatants at the issue of the second men’s retreat in January.

We are also very happy to welcome fifteen Seminarians, to start the new year this coming Saturday. Of these, nine are returning from last year, and six are new. Seven are studying at the Advanced level and eight at IGCSE. It is truly international, with five from Australia, four from the U.S., three from Malaysia, two from Canada and one from Indonesia. We are also happy to welcome our new French and Latin teacher, Mr. Edmund O’Shea, from Zimbabwe.

Also, I would like to encourage you to support our annual Seminary fundraiser, which is a raffle for a return airplane ticket to Europe, with valuable second and third prizes. The cost is $50 for one ticket, four for $100, ten for $200 and thirty for $500. If you are interested in further information, please contact Mrs. Pat Abdoo, P.O. Box 328, Eastwood, N.S.W. 2122.

I am happy to bring you, rather belatedly, the latest from our Superior General, His Lordship Bishop Bernard Fellay. It contains his Christmas letter and greetings, and his latest exchange with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. You will see that the issues have not changed over the past three years, and that in fact no real progress has been made. The Society has repeatedly asked for traditionalists to be treated as the Catholics that we really are, removing the stigma of the leprous separation that the modernists have brought about. We have constantly requested the official recognition that it is a RIGHT that Catholic have to adhere to Tradition and to assist at, or celebrate the traditional Mass. All to no avail.

The Pope’s October declaration of this year as a Eucharistic year (Mane nobiscum Domine) is, alas, of little encouragement. We do, indeed, applaud the Pope’s invitation to Eucharistic Adoration “that by our faith and our love we might make reparation for the negligence, forgetfulness and even the outrages that our Savior is subjected to in different parts of the world”, and we will do out utmost to live up to this invitation and to promote it in our chapels and churches. Likewise, we are grateful for the generosity with which the Pope has deigned to open the treasure of the Church’s merits by offering a plenary indulgence once a day (under the usual conditions of Confession within 8 days, Holy Communion the same day and prayers for the Pope) during this Eucharistic year for all those who participate in any act of Eucharistic adoration, and for priests and religious who recite their Breviary before the Blessed Sacrament, and we plan to gain as many of these as we can.

However, we also observe the futility of a document promoting Eucharistic worship that does absolutely nothing to stop the grave disrespect that is now practically universal in the post-conciliar church and what is a major cause of the fact that the majority of those called Catholics today no longer believe in the Real Presence as defined by the Council of Trent. This disrespect it brought about certainly by the lack of silence in churches, and their use for all kinds of meetings, even secular, by the refusal of Catholics to genuflect in Our Lord’s presence, to kneel when they receive their God, and to make any thanksgiving after Holy Communion. However, more profoundly yet, it is brought about by the denial of the sacrificial nature of the Mass, treating is as a meal, by the relegation of the Blessed Sacrament to a side chapel or a hole in the wall, by the humanistic replacement of the Blessed Sacrament by the community as the central focus of the liturgy, by the reception of Holy Communion in the hand, regardless of its sacredness and of the Real Presence in each particle, and by the ordinary administration of Holy Communion by the unconsecrated hands of extraordinary ministers, even women.

Who could do these things who truly believes that the same Christ who lives eternally in heaven, sitting on the right hand of the Father, is present really, truly and substantially under each particle, body, blood, soul and divinity? How could any effort to promote Eucharistic worship be anything more than an external veneer, an empty appearance, for as long as it deliberately omits to correct these manifestations of almost universal gross disrespect? How are those who are asked to consider these practices as normal expected to retain their Faith in the Real Presence, let alone make acts of adoration in reparation for lack of Faith? Here lies one of the typical inconsistencies of modernism: - saying one thing and doing the opposite.

Allow me to finish by quoting from Pope Leo XIII’s magnificent encyclical On the Most Holy Eucharist (1902), in which he explains how central and sacred the Blessed Sacrament must be to the Catholic Church in public worship and private devotion, in the physical structure of the church, as well as in our prayer life: “This sacrament, whether as the theme of devout meditation, or as the object of public adoration, or best of all as a food to be received in the utmost purity of conscience, is to be regarded as the center towards which the spiritual life of a Christian in all its ambit gravitates; for all other forms of devotion, whatsoever they may be, lead up to it, and in it find their point of rest.”

May each one of us find his rest in the Eucharistic Heart of our Divine King, both on this earth and in eternity,

Father Peter R. Scott


Dear friends and benefactors,

In these days when we celebrate the advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may the newborn Child cover you with his blessings. We ask Him that He might render you a hundredfold your generosities and devotion!

The Nativity is full of lessons for our times. God among us, the True God, Eternal and All-powerful, Creator of all things and the absolute Sovereign comes in our midst to save us.

While being diligent and making the best use of the means He gives us, we must expect EVERYTHING of Him. “Without Me you can do nothing.” “It is the Father’s will that you bear much fruit.” These two phrases are not at all contradictory, but complementary —they indicate the personal effort and cooperation that should accompany the grace of God. They tell us that with Our Lord we can do everything, in whatever situation we find ourselves, and especially in this 21st century of unbelievable decadence. The times in which we live discourage many people. Rebellion against God becomes more and more open, manifest, blasphemous, through the whole world. The Church seems inert, numb and without force before this new deluge.

More than ever, we must all see with the eyes of faith, this faith which conquers the world, which gives the courage to fight, this faith by which we resist even the Devil. Cui resistite fortes in fide.

It is this faith which makes us recognize in the Newborn in the crèche our God, the Word made flesh, the Savior of the world, Who asks us to stake everything on Him. Venite adoremus!

We would like to take this opportunity to communicate to you the letter we sent to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in June. It expresses our unchanged position towards Rome.

May Our Lady protect you in this new year and obtain for us all this faithfulness to the end which will save us; may she bless you with the Child Jesus, as the Liturgy so well puts it: Nos cum prole pia, benedicat Virgo Maria.

With all our gratitude, on the feast of Christmas 2004,
+ Bernard Fellay

Society priests on retreat

A view of the priests present at the January priests’ retreat held at Holy Cross Seminary.

Priorat Mariae Verkundigung Schloss Schwandegg
Menzingen, ZG, CH-6313 SWITZERLAND

+Menzingen, 21 June 2004

H.E. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos

Most Reverend Eminence,

Your letter of December 30, a letter of greetings with the new proposal of an accord did indeed reach us. We have taken some time to answer because it leaves us perplexed. Allow me to respond with the greatest frankness, the only way of making progress.

We are sensitive to your efforts and those of the Holy Father to come to our aid, and we see that this overture on your part is certainly very generous. Accordingly, we are much afraid lest our attitude and our response not be understood. When we made our request that two conditions be met at the beginning of our discussions, and when we repeated that request several times, we were simply indicating a natural and necessary order to follow: before constructing a roadway on a bridge, one must lay its foundations. Otherwise the enterprise is doomed to failure. We do not see how we could arrive at a recognition without passing through a number of steps.

Among these steps, the first seems to us to be the lifting1 of the decree of excommunication. The excommunication applying to the Orthodox was lifted without their in any way changing their attitude towards the Holy See; would it not be possible to do something similar in our regard, for us who have never separated ourselves from the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, which we have always recognized as defined by Vatican Council I. At the time of our2 consecration in 1988 we took an oath of fidelity to the Holy See; we have always professed our attachment to the Holy See and the Sovereign Pontiff, we have taken all kinds of measures to show that we have no intention of erecting a parallel hierarchy: it should not be so difficult to cleanse us from the accusation of schism...

As regards the penalty for the reception of the episcopate, the Code of Canon Law of 1983 foresees that the maximum penalty should not be applied in the case where a subject has acted on the basis of a subjective necessity. If the Holy See does not want to admit that there was a state of objective necessity, it should at least admit that we perceive things in this way.

Such a measure would be recognized as a real overture on the part of Rome and would create the new climate necessary for any progress.

At the same time, the SSPX would submit itself to what we could by analogy call an ad limina visit. The Holy See could observe us and examine our development without there being any engagement of the two sides for the time being.
With respect to the formulas that you ask us to sign, they suppose a certain number of conditions that we cannot accept and that leave us very ill at ease.

The propositions suppose that we are guilty and that this guilt has separated us from the Church. In reparation, and to certify our orthodoxy, they ask us for a sort of limited profession of faith (Vatican Council II and the Novus Ordo).

Most of our priests and faithful have been directly confronted with heresy, and often faced with grave liturgical scandal coming from their own pastors, from bishops as well as priests. The whole history of our movement is marked by a tragic succession of events of this kind up to today, as we are joined by religious, seminarians, and priests who have had the same experience. You cannot exact a justified penalty or contrition because alone, abandoned by the pastors and betrayed by them, we have reacted to conserve the faith of our baptism or in order not to dishonor the divine Majesty. It is impossible to analyze the 1988 Consecrations without considering the tragic context in which they took place. Otherwise, things become incomprehensible and justice no longer has its due.

Furthermore, it is often said that our status would be a concession, and that we would be accorded a situation suitable to our “special charism.”

Must one recall that what we are attached to is the common patrimony of the Roman Catholic Church? We do not ask nor do we seek a special status as a mark of singularity, but we want a “normal” place in the Church. So long as the Tridentine Mass is considered a particular concession, we remain marginalized, in a precarious and suspect position. It is in this perspective that we claim a right that has never been lost: that of the Mass for everyone. To reduce this right to an indult (which certain Roman voices hold to be provisory) is already to diminish it.

In the current situation, where everything of a traditional savor immediately becomes suspect, we have need of a protector and defender of our interests in the Curia. It is more a question of representing Tradition at Rome than of establishing a delegate of the Holy See for traditional matters, as in the case of Ecclesia Dei today. In order for this organization to have some credibility and to correspond to its purpose, it is important that it be composed of members who belong to Catholic Tradition.

To achieve a “recognition” without having first resolved these questions in principle would be to doom the proposed “practical accord” to failure, for we hope to act tomorrow with the same fidelity to Catholic Tradition as we do today.

Wanting to maintain the frankness with which we address these questions (which is not a matter of arrogance or of lack of charity), we would be condemned tomorrow as we were yesterday.

At baptism a contract is established between the Christian soul and the Church: “what do you ask of the Church?” “The faith.” This is what we ask of Rome: that Rome confirm us in the Faith, the faith of all times, the immutable faith. We have the strict right to demand this of the Roman authorities. We do not believe that we can truly progress towards a “recognition” so long as Rome will not have shown its concrete intention to dissipate the cloud which has invaded the temple of God, obscured the faith and paralyzed the supernatural life of the Church under the cover of a Council and subsequent reforms.

In the hope that this letter may make its contribution to overcoming the current inertia we assure you, Eminence, of our daily prayers for the fulfillment of your heavy duty in this grave hour of Holy Mother Church.

+Bernard Fellay

1. i.e., a declaration on the invalidity of the decree, for as Bishop Fellay points out later in the following paragraph, the 1983 Code of Canon Law is clear that neither Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer nor the four consecrated bishops of the SSPX were liable for any canonical penalties.
2. Here “our” refers to the four bishops of the SSPX, respectively, Bishops Fellay, Tissier de Mallerais, Williamson and de Galerreta.

  Brothers installing wood heater Brother Joseph working
at St. Joseph House together with
Brother Postulant Mr. Stankowski.
They are installing a wood heater
in the recreation room.


Menís 5 day: ††††††††††††Monday June 6– Saturday June 11,2005
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday September 19- Saturday September 24, 2005


Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia