No. 41 December 2006

Regnavit a ligno Deus

December 5, 2006

Dear friends and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

As we begin our last weeks of preparation for the high point of the Seminary year, the priestly ordinations, the culmination of all that we do at the Seminary, I would like to renew my invitation to you, our friends and benefactors, to attend this magnificent ceremony of the Church. We wish it to be an external and public profession of our Faith in the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the essential role of the traditional priest, who adheres to the entirety of Catholic doctrine and celebrates only the true Mass, without whom the Church cannot fulfill its role of restoring all things in Christ and saving souls.

This profession of Faith in the one and only Savior, through whom alone we go to the Father, is all the more necessary as Benedict XVI just a few days ago made a contrary profession, by (at the very least) simulating prayer (a spokesman said that he was just “in meditation”) with Muslims in a Mosque in Istanbul by taking off his shoes and turning towards Mecca in an attitude of prayer. Could there be a more public statement of indifferentism, limiting to Catholics only the necessity of belief in the divinity of Christ, His Cross and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

In order to make your participation in the ceremony of ordinations as comfortable as possible, we will be renting a larger tent this year, so that all who desire can assist in the shade at the ceremonies of the Ordinations and First Masses. As last year, we will also be providing lunch for all those who are able to attend.

I am also inviting any able bodied men who may be attending the ordinations and First Masses, to stay on for a two day working bee on the Friday and Saturday the 29th and 30th of December. Also, since there have been many requests for a non-Ignatian retreat, we have decided to offer this year a Marian retreat for women during the last week of September, but only for those ladies who have already attended at least one Ignatian retreat.


Last Friday saw the completion of the four year program of the Seminary for the first time. Three students had accomplished the entire four year program of studies and formation, but six finished together, three more students having joined along the way. A thanksgiving Mass was offered in honor of the Sacred Heart and a reception and speeches followed, attended by family, friends and parishioners, as well as by the community.

Minor Seminary graduates
  guests in refectory

Five young men completing the four year Seminary program
cut the cake to celebrate at the same time on Friday December 1.

A view of the Refectory during the celebration and speech night
for the completion of four years at the Seminary.

pro multis

Many of you have by now heard of the historic document published by the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and dated October 17, 2006 (Prot. N. 467/05/L). This document is of fundamental importance, since it is the first time that Rome has officially acknowledged a grave error in the New Mass, and is now insisting on a reversal of a liturgical practice that has been universally observed for nearly 40 years, since first falsely translated by ICEL in 1967, before even the New Mass was introduced. So much for those who falsely attributed infallibility to the New Mass, refusing to question any element of it, since it had been approved by the Sovereign Pontiff, and used everywhere! Rome is now admitting that this is an untenable position. The consequence is the admission that it is perfectly licit to question the orthodoxy of the New Mass, as traditional Catholic have always done.

This document concerns the famous question of the translation of the Latin expression pro multis as ‘for all men’, instead of ‘for many’, in the formula of consecration of the Precious Blood at Mass. This is not just the error of a liturgical commission, but a deliberate mistranslation, approved by Rome and consistently applied to practically every vernacular translation of the New Mass, with the exception of Polish and Portuguese. Traditional Catholics have long opposed and condemned this is as sacrilegious alteration of the words of our Divine Savior at the Last Supper, presenting the linguistic reasons why it is a false translation and the theological reasons why it must be refused. This document from Rome is the admission of the value of these arguments, accepting that the expression “for all men” is not at all a precise translation, but rather an “interpretive translation”.


This decision is not just the work of Cardinal Arinze, who signed the document, but rather of a joint consultation with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and the national Bishops’ Conferences, a report having made to the Holy Father, under whose direction Cardinal Arinze wrote Rome’s decision. It is consequently as official and public as possible. It begins by admitting that the interpretive translation “for all” is a novelty in the Roman rite (§1 & §3b), but then proceeds to demonstrate its validity. This is in itself an astonishing admission. Why bother to demonstrate the validity of a consecration formula, unless it be a matter of serious concern, unless there be some reason to doubt it, unless, finally, there were some possibility that this kind of modification introduced into the New Mass could have invalidated it?

The translation “for all”, is certainly a substantial change to the form of a sacrament, bringing about a change in the essential signification of these words. According to the traditional Missal of St. Pius V (De defectibus, V,1) such a formula must be considered as not confecting the sacrament, namely as invalid. However, the theologians hold different opinions on this question, depending upon whether they hold this change of meaning from ‘for many’ to ‘for all’ as being essential to the meaning of the sacramental form. The argument in favor of validity presented by the Congregation for Divine Worship is a good one, and is based upon the distinction between the sufficiency of Christ’s Redemption on one hand, and its the efficacy or fruitfulness on the other.

Certainly Our Divine Savior poured forth his blood for all men, and the Cross and the Mass are the one Sacrifice that is sufficient for all men, for “He is the propitiation for our sins: and for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (I Jn 2:2). Yet it is only fruitful for many, for “the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many” (Mt 20:28). It follows from this that there is a possible Catholic interpretation for the term “for all”, that consequently it does not necessarily bring about a change in the essential meaning of the words of consecration. However, is this really the way the modernists understand the term “for all”, and who could possibly allow the slightest doubt to plane over the consecration of Holy Mass?


More important, however, are the arguments given by Cardinal Arinze to establish the illicitness of such an adulteration of the words of Our Lord. He points out that the Greek word used in the accounts of the Last Supper in the Gospels of St. Matthew (26:28) and St. Mark (14:24) is correctly translated by the words “for many”, as Scripture scholars acknowledge. Why would the same word be translated differently in the Mass? These are the other arguments that he gives against the false translation for all:

“b. The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.
c. The anaphoras of the various Oriental Rites, whether in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, the Slavic languages, etc. contain the verbal equivalent of the Latin pro multis in their respective languages.
d. ‘For many’ is a faithful translation of pro multis , whereas ‘for all’ is rather an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis.
e. The expression ‘for many’, while remaining open to the inclusion of each human person, is reflective also of the fact that this salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one’s willing or participation; rather, the believer is invited to accept in faith the gift that is being offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given to those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their lives as well so as to be numbered among the ‘many’ to whom the text refers.”

The conclusion this letter draws is that a period of one to two years of “necessary catechesis” must be introduced to prepare for the introduction of “a precise vernacular translation”. We cannot possibly agree with this conclusion, that accepts the revolutionary principle of a new, vernacular Mass, condemned by the Council of Trent and by Pope Pius VI against the council of Pistoia. Nevertheless, these reflections vindicate traditional Catholics, and especially the last one.

For the considerations in point e. touch, albeit very cautiously, on the real reason why the modernists wanted to introduce this deliberate mistranslation. It is an effort to confuse the objective and the subjective redemption. The objective redemption is the payment for the sins of all mankind by our Divine Savior when he died upon the Cross, “for there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave Himself a redemption for all…” (I Tim 2:5 & 6). The subjective redemption is the application of the grace of the redemption to the soul of each man, which is by Faith, the reception of the sacraments, assistance at Mass, meditation on the Passion, the virtue of charity and good works, all of which requires a personal cooperation. This document touches on the importance of this distinction when it states that salvation is not “mechanistic” and cannot be accomplished without our “participation”, which in reality it admits is obscured by the false translation “for all”.

However, this was explained much more thoroughly by the Catechism of the Council of Trent, penetrated by the supernatural spirit as it is. It explains explicitly how appropriate are the words “for many” and how inappropriate would be the words “for all”:

“The additional words, ‘for you and for many’, are taken, some from St. Matthew, some from St. Luke, and under the guidance of the Spirit of God, combined together by the Catholic Church. They serve emphatically to designate the fruit and advantages of his passion. Looking to the efficacy of the passion, we believe that the Redeemer shed his blood for the salvation of all men; but looking to the advantages, which mankind derive from its efficacy, we find, at once, that they are not extended to the whole, but to a large proportion of the human race…With great propriety therefore, were the words ‘for all’, omitted, because here the fruit of the passion is alone spoken of, and to the elect only did his passion bring the fruit of salvation. This the words of the Apostle declare, when he says that Christ was offered once, to take away the sins of many (Heb 9:26)…” (p.220)

Installation of the chimney
Installation of the chimney for the new stove just installed in
the new bungalow apartment to provide heat during the winter.


Here, indeed, lies the key question at stake. It is the modern theory of universal salvation that is responsible for this falsification of the words of Our Lord. This is the Rahnerian opinion that all men are saved, whether they know it or not, which opinion denies the necessity of Faith, Baptism, the sacraments, the Catholic Church or even charity for that matter. How else could it be said that Christ truly and effectively shed His blood for all men.

You might consider that such a gross error, so manifestly opposed to the teaching of Scripture and Tradition concerning the Particular and General Judgments, and Hell, would be impossible in one who considers himself a Catholic. Then I suggest that you take a look at Gaudium et spes, Vatican II’s revolutionary document on the Church and the modern world. Here we find taught a humanism that is blatant. It is the mystery of man that Christ proclaims, man whose divinization is declared in the Incarnation: “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear…Christ the Lord…in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself” (§22). Or, as is explained more explicitly a few sentences later: “By his Incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man”. Following such a humanistic theory, according to which Christ is united to all men in virtue of his taking a human nature, why would one not use the expression “for all”?

It was Pope John Paul II who made himself the authoritative interpreter of this text, that he considered essential to understanding Vatican II:

“By applying the category of mystery to man, the conciliar text makes clear the anthropological, even anthropocentric character of the revelation offered to mankind in Christ. This revelation is centered on man: Christ ‘fully reveals man to man himself’…This revelation is not theory or ideology. It consists in a fact – the fact that by His Incarnation, the Son of God united Himself with every man, became man Himself, one of us: ‘like us in all things but sin’ (Heb 4:15)…Finally the Incarnation of the Son of God emphasizes the great dignity of human nature; and the mystery of the redemption not only reveals the value of every human being, but also indicates the lengths to which the battle to save man’s dignity must go. There we have the essentials of the Council’s teaching – which is, therefore, the Church’s teaching – on man and the mystery of man…” (Quoted in Fr. Dormann, Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of religions in Assisi, Part I, p. 80).

Most horrific here is the pretension that this humanism is Catholic doctrine and that revelation is nothing other than the “fact” that Christ is united to every man. Consequently, if the New Mass if offered for “all men”, it is because Christ has revealed himself to every man, manifesting the true dignity of human nature by taking it for Himself. It is pure naturalism, and the denial of the supernatural order. This was also the theme of John Paul II’s first encyclical Redemptor hominis, as Father Dormann establishes with an abundance of texts:

“In the Pope’s theology, Christ’s union with each man (through the Incarnation), is the definition of revelation…This has notable consequences for the Encyclical’s idea of the Church: If Christ is united with each person, then all mankind is ‘anonymous Christianity’ or the hidden Church. The hidden Church, which includes all mankind in an unknown fashion, is distinct from the visible Church ‘as a body, an organism, a social unity…Thus in the encyclical there is a twofold idea of the Church: the invisible and the visible Church. The invisible Church is ontologically not only more broad-minded, since it includes all mankind, but also more fundamental, since it emerges a priori from the union of Christ with each man and therefore embraces all mankind from the beginning to the end of the world” (Op. Cit. Part II, Vol. I, p. 212).

You might wonder why Rome would be requesting a change in this new liturgical practice that is so much in accordance with the modern theology that it promotes, notably through ecumenism. It is one of the typical examples of the incoherence of liberalism. When the logical consequences of the theories become too abhorrent, liberals back off, ready to contradict themselves at any time. This is what is now happening. We can be sure, however, that there will be an enormous resistance to the changes that Rome is now requesting, and that this reluctance will be based upon the refusal of the necessity of belonging to the visible Church for salvation. Let us pray that this is the beginning of an understanding of the gravity of the sacrilege committed in every New Mass in which these words are used, and of the distrust that the New Mass rightly deserves.

May this Christmas be a blessed and peace-filled time for all of you, and may the celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation be the opportunity for all of us to deepen our adoration of the Divine Infant, and hence our appreciation of the supernatural life, participation in his own Divine Life, that He bestows in such abundance, in exchange for our human nature, on those who have the true Faith.

Father Peter R. Scott
Reverend Mr. Michael Lavin
Reverend Mr. Michael Lavin stands inspecting the newly remodeled Bungalow apartment,
which is adjacent to the woodwork shop.


Please make a note of the following public events, in which all our friends and benefactors are invited to participate:

Priestly Ordinations.

Sat. Dec.23:

 9:30 a.m. Ordinations to the Minor Orders and to the Subdiaconate.
  Sat. Dec.23:  3:00 a.m. Confirmations
  Wed.Dec. 27:  9:00 a.m. Priestly Ordinations.
  Thur. Dec.28:   First Masses of newly ordained priests.
     7:00 a.m. Reverend Father Robert Michael Johnson
     8:30 a.m. Reverend Father Michael James Lavin
    10:00 a.m. Reverend Father Christopher Richard Curtis
Working bee  
  Fri. Dec. 29
& Sat. 30:
  Annual Holy Cross Seminary men’s working bee.
Accommodation & food provided.



Men’s 5 day:             Monday January 1 – Saturday January 6, 2007
                                Monday January 15 – Saturday January 20
                                Monday June 18 – Saturday June 23
Women’s 5 day:        Monday January 8 – Saturday January 13
                                Monday February 5 – Saturday February 10
                                Monday September 17 – Saturday Sept. 22
                                Monday September 24 – Saturday Sept. 29


Father Pfluger elevation
Father Pfluger as he celebrates Mass during a weekend camp last month
for the Seminarians near Nowra.



Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia