No. 32 November 2005

Regnavit a ligno Deus

November 25, 2005

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

This month I am happy to include our Superior General’s letter to the Society’s friends and benefactors worldwide, written for the centennial of the birth of our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on November 29, 1905. May we retain the clear-sighted vision that so characterized him. I would like to thank you for the generous response to last month’s appeal, that has enabled us to keep up with our bills, not the least of which has been the failure of one of our electrical sub-boards in the Sacred Heart wing of the Major Seminary.


Since some folks have become a little overexcited at the news of Bishop Fellay’s meeting with the Pope, a few recent facts are in order. The thirty-five minutes with the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X does not compare particularly favorably with the “several hours” of “constructive dialogue” of the Pope with Hans Kung on September 24 last. The notoriously modernist Swiss theologian, and former colleague of Benedict XVI on the theological faculty of the very liberal university of Tubingen was condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1979 for his errors with respect to Papal infallibility, and thereby suspended from teaching in Catholic institutions. Kung had tried unsuccessfully for a quarter of a century to have a similar private audience with John Paul II. The meeting with Benedict XVI apparently did not involve a discussion of Kung’s condemned error and his recantation, of which there is no question, but was rather a dialogue on two subjects: the relations between the sciences and faith, and Kung’s system of planetary ethics, namely universal Ethics values for all religions, based upon the principle: “There can be no peace amongst the nations without peace between the religions. There can be no peace amongst the religions without dialogue between them. There can be no dialogue between the religions without a fundamental investigation within each one.” Such was the principle of Kung accepted by the 1993 World Congress of Religions in Chicago as the basis for a planetary ethics. Is it any wonder that Benedict XVI has rapidly acquired the reputation of being a “Pope of dialogue”, a “builder of bridges”. (Cf. DICI §122)


Also troublesome was the content of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist that took place in Rome during the first three weeks of October, solemnly opened by Benedict XVI on October 2, and attended by 250 bishops, and 100 invited participants and observers, including 12 non-Catholics. It would have been the perfect moment to promote the traditional Mass, to restore the use of Latin, altars facing God, the central focus on the tabernacle on the main altar and Eucharistic devotion (one Maltese bishop spoke on the advantages of Perpetual Adoration), to speak of the grave lack of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament, to abolish Communion in the hand, and by lay ministers (requested by Archbishop Lenga from Kazakhstan) and so many other sacrileges, to restore frequent Confession (mentioned by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos) and remind Catholics of their obligation to be in the state of grace, under pain of receiving Holy Communion sacrilegiously. Little was heard of these subjects.

This advisory body for the Pope devoted itself rather to expressing a wide range of divergent opinions on matters that preoccupy liberals:

  • Ecumenism.
  • Eucharistic inter-communion with non-Catholics, its essential role in dialogue and in ecumenical practice and the conditions that ought or ought not to be imposed. Eleven of the non-Catholic observer also spoken on this theme, requested this inter-communion.
  • The administration of Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, for as Archbishop Dew of Wellington put it, “Our Church would be enriched if we were able to invite dedicated Catholics, currently excluded from the Eucharist, to return to the Lord’s table”.
  • The ordination of married men to remedy the lack of priests, for as Bishop Brown of Hamilton put it so glibly, “Why does it seem possible for former married priests of the Anglican communion to be ordained and to become Catholic priests, whereas former Catholic priests, dispensed of their vow of chastity are not authorized to fulfill pastoral functions?”
  • The increased role of the laity in the Liturgy on account of the lack of priest.
  • Increased promotion of inculturation, “for the Eucharist merits to receive the best of our cultures” said Bishop Onaiyekan from Nigeria (What about our Catholic culture, and our Gregorian Chant, one might well ask).
  • The problem of the lack of participation in the Eucharistic prayer part of the Eucharist, as a consequence of which it “has proved to be the anticlimax” (Bishop Risi from South Africa).

One wonders what such an exchange of opinions could possibly seek to accomplish, and why the opportunity was not seized upon to make authoritative and categorical statements to remedy the manifest grave loss of respect and devotion for the Blessed Eucharist. Only one explanation seems possible: the preoccupation with dialogue, perceived as a solution. Yet exchanges of opinion can only produce mutual understanding and acceptation. They cannot produce consensus, nor consequently unity. It is only the exercise of authority, based upon the Faith, that can reconstitute the supernatural order, the honor due to our Eucharistic King, the central role in the Catholic life of this Most Blessed Sacrament, Mystery of Faith, fountain of unity, focus of our adoration, source of our thanksgiving, inspiration for all true Love, root of our hope to obtain all blessings, only effective reparation for our numerous sins. Let us pray for the universal restoration of the traditional Mass, only full and adequate expression of our Faith in the inestimable blessing of the Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.

Yours faithfully in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,

Father Peter R. Scott

Seminarians lined up with bicycles donated by our butcher, on one of their Wednesday afternoon outings.

Seminarians at work peeling vegetables after breakfast, together with the Seminary cook, Mr. Guy Finnie, whose example of peace, calm and hard work is always a great inspiration to them.


September 2005
Dear Friends & Benefactors,

In a few weeks we shall have the great joy of celebrating the centenary of the birth of our venerated founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. What an extraordinary figure this tireless missionary presents, missionary first of all in Africa to bring the Gospel, and then missionary in Europe and the whole world so that the Catholic Faith might be preserved whole and entire.

We would like to dwell upon his magnificent stature and the profound virtues that characterized him throughout his life, but in light of the audience we had at the end of August with Pope Benedict XVI, we shall be content to reproduce a document that sheds light both on the wisdom and perspicacity of our founder, as well as upon the rule which guided him and which we, too, wholly espouse.

In 1966, thus just a year after the Council's close, Archbishop Lefebvre responded to questions posed by the Prefect of the Holy Office, Cardinal Ottaviani, on the situation in the Church in the following letter:

I dare say that the present evil seems to me something very much more serious than the negation or placing in doubt of any one truth of our faith. It manifests itself in our day by an extreme confusion of ideas, by the disaggregation of the Church's institutions, religious institutes, seminaries, Catholic schools, and, finally, of what had been the Church's permanent support; but it is nothing other than the logical continuation of the heresies and errors which have been sapping the Church for the last several centuries, especially since the liberalism of the 19th century, which has done its utmost, no matter the cost, to reconcile the Church and the ideas that culminated in the French Revolution. In the measure that the Church has opposed these ideas, which are contrary to sane philosophy and theology, it has advanced; on the contrary, the least compromise with these subversive ideas has provoked an alignment of the Church with civil law and risked making it a slave to civil society.

Moreover, each time groups of Catholics let themselves be attracted by these myths, the Popes courageously corrected them, instructed them, and, if need by, condemned them. Catholic liberalism was condemned by Pius IX, modernism by Leo XIII, Sillonism by St. Pius X, communism by Pius XI, and neo-modernism by Pius XII. Thanks to this admirable vigilance, the Church was strengthened and developed. Conversions of pagans and Protestants were very numerous, heresy was completely routed, and the States accepted legislation in keeping with Catholic doctrine.

Nevertheless, groups of religious imbued with these false ideas succeeded in spreading them through Catholic Action, and in the seminaries thanks to a certain indulgence on the part of bishops and the toleration of certain Roman dicasteries. It was from among these priests that bishops were soon to be chosen.

It is in this context that we must situate the Council, which, through the work of the Preparatory Commission, was preparing to proclaim the truth in the face of these errors in order to make them disappear for a long time from the Church's midst. It would have spelled the end of Protestantism and the beginning of a new, fruitful era of the Church.

But this preparation was odiously rejected in order to make way for the worst tragedy the Church has ever suffered. We have witnessed the marriage of the Church with liberal ideas. It would be to deny the evidence and to shut one's eyes not to affirm courageously that the Council allowed those who profess the errors and tendencies condemned by the Popes named above to legitimately believe that their doctrines were henceforth approved.

One can and one unfortunately must affirm that, in a general way, when the Council innovated, it shook the certitude of the truths taught by the authentic magisterium of the Church as belonging definitively to the treasure of Tradition.

Whether it be the transmission of the bishops' jurisdiction, the two sources of Revelation, the inspiration of Scripture, the necessity of grace for justification, the necessity of Catholic baptism, the life of grace among heretics, schismatics and pagans, the ends of marriage, religious liberty, the last things, etc.: on all these fundamental points, the traditional doctrine was clear and unanimously taught in Catholic universities. Now, numerous Conciliar texts on these truths henceforth allow doubts.

The consequences have been rapidly drawn and applied to the life of the Church:

  • Doubts about the necessity of the Church and the sacraments lead to the disappearance of priestly vocations.
  • Doubts about the necessity and the nature of the “conversion” of every soul lead to the disappearance of religious vocations, the ruin of traditional spirituality in the novitiates, and the futility of the missions.
  • Doubts about the legitimacy of authority and the duty of obedience provoked by the exaltation of human dignity, the autonomy of conscience, and of freedom shake all societies starting with the Church, religious societies, the dioceses, civil society, and the family.

The normal result of pride is the burgeoning of the concupiscence of the eyes and of the flesh. Perhaps one of the most frightful observations to be made about our epoch is to note to what a level of moral degradation most Catholic publications have descended. They speak without the least reticence about sexuality, birth control by any means, the legitimacy of divorce, of co-education of dating, of dances as a necessary part of Christian education, of priestly celibacy, etc.

  • Doubts about the necessity of grace in order to be saved provoke the undervaluing of baptism and its postponement, and the abandonment of the sacrament of penance. Moreover, this especially involves an attitude of priests and not of the faithful. The same goes for the Real Presence: it is the priests who act as if they no longer believed by hiding the Sacred Host, by suppressing all marks of respect towards the Blessed Sacrament and all the ceremonies in Its honor.
  • Doubts about the necessity of the Church as the unique source of salvation and about the Catholic Church as the only true religion originating in the declaration on ecumenism and religious liberty, destroy the authority of the Church's magisterium. Indeed, Rome is no longer the unique and necessary “Magistra Veritatis”.

Compelled by the facts, it is necessary to conclude that the Council has favored, inconceivably, the diffusion of liberal errors. Faith, morals, and ecclesiastical discipline have been shaken in their foundation according to the predictions of all the Popes.

The destruction of the Church is rapidly advancing. By an exaggerated authority given to the episcopal conferences, the Sovereign Pontiff has rendered himself ineffectual. In a single year how many painful examples of this have we witnessed! Still, the Successor of Peter, and he alone, can save the Church.

Here are the solutions recommended by Archbishop Lefebvre:

Let the Holy Father surround himself with vigorous defenders of the Faith; let him designate them in the important dioceses. Let him deign, by important documents, to proclaim truth, pursue error without fear of contradictions, without fear of schisms, without fear of questioning the pastoral dispositions of the Council.

May the Holy Father deign: to encourage the bishops to uphold faith and morals, each in his respective diocese, as befits every good pastor; to support the courageous bishops, encouraging them to reform their seminaries and to restore studies according to St. Thomas; to encourage the general superiors to uphold in the novitiates and communities the fundamental principles of Christian asceticism, especially obedience; to encourage the development of Catholic schools, a doctrinally sound Catholic press, associations of Catholic families; and, finally, to reprimand the instigators of errors and reduce them to silence. The Wednesday allocutions cannot replace encyclical letters, mandates, and letters to bishops.

“Undoubtedly, it is bold of me to express myself in this way! But it is from a burning love that I write these lines, love of God's glory, love of Jesus, love of Mary, love of the Church and of the Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ....

Everything has been said, and even today there is nothing to add or remove from this remarkable analysis of the logical consequences of the Council, replaced in its historical context, and of the reforms that were then on the horizon, and even of the depth of the crisis which had struck the Church and from which she has still not escaped, held fast by the principles with which the Council and the popes have bound her.

We think quite frankly that the solution to the problem that the Society creates for Rome is intimately linked to the resolution of the crisis which has struck the Church. The day that the authorities again look with a benevolent eye and with hope upon the Church's past and her Tradition, they will be able to get beyond the rupture caused by the Council and to be reconciled with the eternal principles on which the Church has been built for twenty centuries; they will be able to draw strength and to find the solution to the crisis. And then there will no longer be a Society of Saint Pius X “problem”.

That is the reason for our discussions with the Holy See. That is the fundamental problem. The new Mass and the Council are just the tip of the iceberg that has struck the barque of the Church; the spirit of the Council proceeds from liberalism, from Protestantism, and, ultimately, from the revolt against God which will mark the history of men until the end of time. What would be the point of an accord that would consist in letting oneself be sunk by the iceberg.

We heartily thank you for all your prayers and generous sacrifices. All of that is very precious to us. In our visits to Rome and in all our activities, we rely very much upon them. Please be assured in return of the seminarians' prayers and ours at the foot of the altar in thanksgiving for your unceasing generosity.

On the Feast of St. Michael
September 29, 2005
+ Bernard Fellay

May Our Lord's sacrifice be your daily support! May the Immaculate Heart of Mary be your protection and refuge. With all my gratitude, I bless you.

Four of the Seminarians relaxing, reading Geographic magazines
in the recreation room of the St. Joseph House during the evening recreation.

Several of the Seminarians playing pool,
also in new the recreation room downstairs in the St. Joseph House.



Menís 5 day: †           Monday January 2 – Saturday January 7, 2006
                                Monday January 16 – Saturday January 21
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday January 9 – Saturday January 14, 2006
                                Monday January 30 – Saturday February 4


First Engagements in the Society of Saint Pius X
Thursday December 8, 2005: 10:30 a.m.

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.

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.


Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia