No. 31 October 2005

Regnavit a ligno Deus

September 20, 2005

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

A little news, first of all, on the past few weeks here at Holy Cross. On the feast of the Assumption our two first year seminarians took the cassock, symbolically dying to the world, to the delight of the whole community and our friends. We celebrated by our now traditional afternoon of three plays and various musical recitals. The second term of the school year finished with the family weekend celebrations, the procession in honor of Our Lady and renewal of the consecration of the Seminary to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the procession with the relic of the True Cross for the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This last was combined with the ceremony of blessing of the now finished St. Joseph House. In fact, the Seminarians moved in on Thursday September 15, feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It was none too late, for we have added three to our numbers for the upcoming third term, one Major Seminarian, one pre-Seminarian and one Seminarian, bringing to a total of 41 young men in formation all told.

Holy Cross Community 2005Holy Cross Community 2005

An attempt by the community of priests, brothers and seminarians
to all stand on one of the new fire escapes of St. Joseph House at the same time.

In recent weeks the St. Joseph House has been a hive of activity, during the rush to finish the building before the end of the second term. A team of plumbers worked to complete the installation of radiators for the heating of the building, and of hot water services, water supply and drainage; a team of electricians to complete all the electrical wiring, install all the fixtures and activate the fire alarm system; a team of sheet metal workers to install the new fire escapes, a team of painters to add the final touches, and a long carpet layer to install commercial grade carpet throughout. A few final details remain to be taken care of, including furniture for the recreation room. However the Seminarians were proud to show off their new dwelling on the open day, September 18.

However, I am obliged to mention to you the other side of the coin, which is now of no little concern to me. St. Joseph has certainly supplied the funds necessary to complete this project for the formation of Catholic young men and future vocations. However, this project has eaten away all the Seminary’s available reserves, and this not just in the building fund, but in all accounts. This is complicated by the fact that I am reluctant to speak about money, as necessary as it is. The consequence of this is that the donations to the Seminary have dropped very remarkably in recent months. A further complication is that in recent months we have received very little tuition assistance for our large proportion of foreign students from mission countries who are unable to pay tuition. No less than thirteen of them are presently in arrears to the tune of more than $3,000 or for half of them more than $4,000.

I am bound, therefore, to beg your support and help. Our need is for the building fund, for we have many more projects to complete. They include not only major building maintenance of our main buildings, but also the construction of a stone and marble crucifix in our cemetery, along with a cemetery chapel for Requiem Masses. I remind you that donations to Holy Cross Seminary building fund are tax deductible, and that I will issue a receipt to that effect. Furthermore, charity requires me to ask for your support for the many of our seminarians who cannot pay a part or any of their tuition. May God reward you for your generosity.

On a higher and more edifying level, I would like to introduce an interesting interview with our Superior General, published on the Society’s official website, D.I.C.I. In this interview, he gives us some very interesting insights into his meeting with the Pope last August 29. I believe that this interview is important, that all might understand the Catholic principles that underlie the Society’s discussions with Rome, and at the same time see through the falsehood of those who accuse Bishop Fellay of preparing a compromise, or of caving in to pressure from Rome. You will see that nothing could be further from the truth. The contacts with Rome are motivated purely and simply by the Society’s love of the Church, and our overwhelming desire to do all that we can to bring its authorities back to Tradition.

Finally, I am enclosing the card for you to list your deceased friends and relatives. These cards are placed on the Seminary altar throughout the month of the Holy Souls, November, and for the monthly Requiem Mass sung for our deceased friends and benefactors. As these cards are changed every year, I encourage you to complete and return them by the end of October. Please be assured, also of our remembrance of our living friends and benefactors at our daily Rosary. Note also that the date of the ordinations to the Tonsure and Minor Orders has had to be put off until December 26, the day immediately preceding the priestly ordinations, due to the restrictions of Bishop De Galarreta’s busy schedule.

Yours faithfully in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,

Father Peter R. Scott


D.I.C.I.: Your Excellency, you requested the audience with Pope Benedict XVI that took place last August 29. What was the purpose of your request?

Bishop Fellay: We wanted to meet the Holy Father because we are Catholic and, as every Catholic, we are attached to Rome. We wanted to show, in requesting this audience quite simply that we are Catholic.

Our recognition of the Pope is not limited only to mentioning his name in the Canon of the Mass, as do all the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X. It is normal that we should express our respect as being Catholic and roman. Catholic means universal, and the Mystical Body of the Church does not just consist in our chapels.

There was likewise on our part the plan to remind once more the Sovereign Pontiff of the existence of Tradition. Ours is the concern to remind him that Tradition is the Church, and that we incarnate the Church’s Tradition in a manner that is very much alive. We want to show that the Church would be much stronger in today’s world if it maintained Tradition. Thus, we want to put forward our experience: if the Church desires to escape the tragic crisis that it is presently going through, then Tradition is a response, indeed the only response, to this crisis.

D.I.C.I.: How did this audience go?

BISHOP FELLAY: The audience took place in the Popes’ summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Foreseen for 11:30 a.m., it actually began at 12:10 p.m. in the Sovereign Pontiff’s office. He generally grants an audience of 15 minutes to a bishop. For us, it lasted 35 minutes. This means, so say the Vatican specialists, that Benedict XVI wanted to show his interest in these questions.

There were four of us: the Holy Father and Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Father Schmidberger and myself. The conversation took place in French – contrary to the announcement of certain persons that it would take place in German. It was directed by the Pope in a kindly spirit. He described three difficulties, in response to the letter that we had sent to him shortly before the audience. Benedict XVI was aware of this letter, and it was not necessary to go over the points brought up in it. We there outlined a description of the Church, quoting the “silent apostasy” of John-Paul II, “the boat which is taken in water from every side” and “the dictatorship of relativism” of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with as an appendix of photos of Masses quite as scandalous as one another.

We also gave a presentation of the Society with a list of numbers and different projects. We quoted two examples of actions led by the Society in the present world, and the unbelievable attitude of the local episcopacies in their regard: the law suit in Argentina that obtained that the sale of contraceptives is now forbidden, and which merited for us to be called terrorists by the bishop of Cordoba, and the denunciation of gay pride procession in Lucerne, that finished in the Catholic church by a Protestant ceremony with total indifference on the part of the bishop.

Finally, we expressed our requests: the changing of the attitude of hostility towards Tradition, which attitude makes the traditional Catholic life (Is there any other?) practically impossible in the conciliar church. We requested that this be done by granting full liberty to the Tridentine Mass, by silencing the accusation of schism directed against us, by burying the pretended excommunications, and by founding a structure for the family of Tradition within the Church.

D.I.C.I.: Is it possible for us to know the difficulties raised by Benedict XVI?

BISHOP FELLAY: I can only evoke them. First of all, the Holy Father insisted on effective recognition by the Pope, linking it to the situation of necessity invoked by the consecration of the bishops by Archbishop Lefebvre, and our subsequent activity.

Then Benedict XVI pointed out that there can only be one way of belonging to the Catholic Church: it is that of having the spirit of Vatican II interpreted in the light of Tradition, that is in the intention of the Fathers of the Council and according to the letter of the text. It is a perspective that frightens us greatly…

Finally, we would have to have, the Sovereign Pontiff thinks, a structure that is appropriate for us for the traditional rite and certain exterior practices – without, however, protecting us from the spirit of the Council that we would have to adopt.

D.I.C.I.: The Vatican Press Release at the end of the audience speaks of a “desire to proceed in stages and within a reasonable time limit”. What ought we to understand by this expression?

BISHOP FELLAY: The Pope did not want to go into the problems in depth, but simply to highlight them. But it will be necessary first of all to respond to the requirement of the right of existence of the old Mass so as to afterwards confront the errors of the Council, for we see there the cause of the present evils, both a direct cause and in part an indirect cause.

Of course, we will go step by step. We must show the council in a different light than that which is given to it by Rome. At the same time as we condemn the errors, it is indispensable for us to show their logical consequences and their impact on the disastrous situation of today’s Church, without, however, provoking exasperation, that could cause the discussions to be broken off. This obliges us to proceed by stages.

With respect to a reasonable time limit, it is said in Rome that documents are in preparation for communities attached to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, that are quite new, and offering things that have never previously been offered. “Let us wait and see!” It is certainly true that the Pope has the desire of rapidly arranging this situation.

In order to be quite precise, I would like to add this further detail. We must indeed consider the Pope’s difficult situation. He is stuck between the progressives on one side and us on the other. If he were to grant a general permission for the Mass on the basis on our request alone, the modernists would stand up against him, affirming that the Pope has given way to traditionalists. We
learned from Bishop Ricard that in 2000 he, along with Cardinal Lustiger and the Archbishop of Lyon suddenly rushed to Rome to block a proposition made to the Society, under threat of rebellion if it did not work. We know that the German bishops acted in the same way at the time of the World Youth Conference in Cologne: “It is us or them”. By this is meant: “If they are recognized, then we will leave the Church and go into schism.”

It is for this reason that the Pope could not, during the audience, give us the verbal assurance that this Fall, for example, freedom would be given to the Mass. Any promise made by him to the Society in this sense would infallibly expose him to pressure by the progressives. We would then have received the opinions of a Pope against the majority of bishops disposed towards secession. This cannot be expected in the climate of the present debate, even with the will of a certain restoration. As for myself, I believe that it will only be a limited freedom for the Mass that will eventually be granted.

D.I.C.I.: The Press has published rumors concerning divisions within the Society of Saint Pius X? What is exactly the case?

BISHOP FELLAY: The announcement of the audience granted by the Pope provoked feverish talk in the media. They have made a lot of noise, attempting to show that divisions exist in the Society amongst its four bishops. Journalists have likewise published the threats directed against the Pope by the progressives: “To grant freedom to the Mass is to disavow Paul VI and the liturgical reform”.

However, I can affirm to you that within the Society of Saint Pius X, the four bishops are united on the question of the relationships with Rome, and that Bishop Williamson, whose name has been quoted, is not “sedevacantist”. The media has nothing to worry about. Alas, this is for them not newsworthy.

D.I.C.I.: Your Excellency, what do you now hope for?

BISHOP FELLAY: Some Cardinals in Rome hope to see Tradition recognized. We likewise hope for it. We hope, in particular, for complete freedom to be granted to the Mass, but there is little chance that this will be for tomorrow. It will then be a duty to acknowledge the place of Tradition in the Church, avoiding the bad interpretations that are often given concerning it.

We must force the Roman authorities to admit that we cannot follow without serious reservations the interpretation that they given of the Council and of Ecumenism, as it is practiced. Deep down, what we hope for is to make them understand one day the whole reason why Tradition exists.

Two seminarians in black cassocks

The two first year seminarians, Mr. Hennessy and Mr. McKenna,
now in their black cassocks, after the ceremony of the taking of the cassock on the feast of the Assumption,
along with the ministers that took part in the moving ceremony.



Menís 5 day: †           Monday June 6– Saturday June 11,2005
                                Monday January 2 – Saturday January 7, 2006
                                Monday January 16 – Saturday January 21
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday September 19- Saturday September 24, 2005
                                Monday January 9 – Saturday January 14, 2006
                                Monday January 30 – Saturday February 4

Rector with servers blessing room

A view of the Rector blessing the recreation room of the St. Joseph House
during the ceremony for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 18.

Procession with relics of the Holy Cross

A view of the procession with relic of the true Cross leaving the St. Joseph house
and the nearby school building to return around the main Seminary back to the chapel.


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