No. 50December 2007

Regnavit a ligno Deus

November 27, 2007

Dear friends & benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,

†††† These final few weeks of the year promise to be a hectic time here at Holy Cross, with preparation for final examinations and for Minor and Major Orders and three retreats side by side - a 10 day Ignatian retreat for the year of Spirituality and the pre-Seminarians, a six day retreat for the ordinands to the Major Orders of the priesthood and the diaconate, and a shorter retreat for ordinands to the Tonsure and Minor Orders. I would like to reiterate my invitation to come to the ordination of one priest and three deacons by our Superior General, His Lordship Bishop Bernard Fellay on Thursday December 27. We hope and pray that every year this great day for the Seminary, the goal of all our efforts, will be a celebration of the true priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to be shared by very many of our friends and supporters.


†††† The exterior work continues apace also, with the completion just recently of the new covered way connecting the classroom building with the main Seminary building, and the repainting of the entire laundry wing, and waterproofing of some leaking flat roofed areas. Brickwork on the cemetery chapel also continues steadily but surely. The farmers in the community were excited when the Seminary purchased a 50 year old seeding machine to tow behind its 30 year old tractor, the first field of corn for the cattle being sown with it just last week. Meanwhile the Seminary is still looking to hire two persons, a teacher of humanities, and a person for grounds and maintenance. Also, I would like to mention that several of our overseas seminarians have not been able to find benefactors and are very far behind in paying their tuition.

replacing roof over the covered verandah
replacing roof over the covered walkway
Construction of a covered walkway
connecting up the laundry wing and the classroom wing.
Finishing off the ceiling to the covered walkway.


†††† You will have been scandalized to hear of the abolition of Limbo declared last April by decree of the International Theological Commission, entitled "The Hope of Salvation for infants who die without being baptized". This document is the conclusion of a 13 year study by the Commission, chaired by Cardinal Ratzinger until he became Pope, and since then by Cardinal Levada, the present Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The objection that this document can be disregarded, since this commission has no real magisterial authority, alas, seems no longer to apply. For on October 5 the Pope himself met with the members of this commission, thanked them for this document and expressed the desire that this document become "a point of reference useful for the Church's pastors and for theologians, as well as a source of consolation for the faithful who have lived in their families of the suffering of the unexpected death of a child before he could receive the washing of regeneration". (Quoted in DICI, §163) Without making it into a magisterial document, he thereby showed that he makes its conclusions his own, confirming thereby the opinion that he had held before becoming Pope.

†††† The gravity of this question easily escapes the uneducated Catholic. He knows enough about his Faith to realize that the existence of Limbo is not a defined dogma, but only the common theological opinion. He consequently is led to think that it is legitimate and Catholic to hold that unbaptized children can go to Heaven, even if it is a novelty. Nothing could be further from the truth. Limbo as a theologican opinion is presented by theologians not as an alternative to Heaven, but as an alternative to Hell, that is to say that unbaptized children would go to Hell, but receive a relatively mild punishment of hell fire.

†††† Limbo means a place on the edge. Many people think that it is on the edge of Heaven, but this is not at all what it means. It is rather a place on the edge of Hell, in which there is only the punishment for original sin, the privation of the Beatific Vision, and not the punishment for actual sin, the pain of hell fire. In fact there can be no question for a Catholic to believe that such children could go to Heaven without baptism, for it is a Catholic doctrine, constantly taught by the Church's Ordinary and Universal Magisterium that they cannot. The debate among Catholic theologians is not whether unbaptized children can see God, but to the contrary whether they suffer from not seeing God or not.

†††† The first Magisterial document that declares this doctrine of all the Fathers of the Church without exception is that of Pope Innocent I in 417: "That infants may enjoy the rewards of eternal life even without the grace of baptism is most absurd! It seems to us that those who hold that these children will have this life without being born again seek to make void baptism itself, by preaching that these children have what the Faith says can be conferred upon them only by baptism" (in De La Rocque, Fr. Patrick, Christendom, §11). This is repeated many times by the Ecumenical Councils, including the Second Council of Lyons and the Council of Florence, that define that such unbaptized children go down to the lower regions (either Hell or Limbo), and consequently not at all to Heaven. The Council of Florence likewise declares that there is no other remedy than the sacrament of baptism by which infants can be snatched away fro the domination of the devil and become the adopted sons of God (Db 712). The Council of Trent also declares that justification can only be through the sacrament of baptism or its desire (Db 796), which is obviously impossible for infants. This is all summarized by the very clear text of Pope Sixtus V in his 1588 Constitution Effroenatum against abortion: AWho, therefore, would not condemn and punish with the utmost severity the desecration committed by one who has excluded such a soul from the blessed vision of God"† (quoted by Fr. Harrison).


replacing roof over the covered verandah
Removing the drinking water tank
Finishing touches to the new colourbond roof over the walkway
along the laundry wing, and over to the classroom wing.
†† Removing the drinking water tank from the flat roof
near the laundry, so that much overdue patching
and waterproofing can be done, prior to interior repainting and remodeling.


†††† How could this commission, and the Pope himself, be led to deny this constant, doctrinal teaching concerning the necessity of baptism for eternal salvation, a teaching that gives every appearance of being infallibly taught by the Church's Universal and Ordinary Magisterium? It is the conception of the universal Redemption, that the document itself points out is the novelty of Vatican II ('§31). It reconciles the necessity of baptism for salvation with the naturalistic premise of the universality of Redemption for all men, a principle of modernist and ecumenical theology, by simply denying the necessity of baptism. AIn the context of the discussion on the destiny of those infants who die without baptism, the mystery of the universal salvific will of God is a fundamental and central principle (§43)YThe universal salvific will of God through Jesus Christ, in a mysterious relationship with the church, is directed to all humans, who according to the faith of the church are sinners in need of salvation". (§53)

†††† The naturalistic basis of the denial of the necessity of infant baptism is thus clearly stated in §88: AThere is a fundamental unity and solidarity between Christ and the whole human race. By his incarnation, the Son of God has united himself in some way with every human being. There is therefore no one who is untouched by the mystery of the Word made flesh. Humanity, and indeed all creation has been objectively changed by the very fact of the incarnation and objectively saved by the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ". This is but another way of saying that all mankind is saved, for what else could the union with the Son of God really mean? Why, then, exclude unbaptized children, who have after all no personal sin?

†††† The confusion lies in the failure to make the distinction between the general salvific will, by which AGod wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim 2:4) and the efficacious will, by which His Providence and Goodness brings to certain adults the grace of conversion and/or baptism and to certain infants the grace of baptism, as St. Paul puts it: AAs he chose us in him before the foundation of the worldYWho hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will" (Eph 1:4,5).


†††† The document even goes so far as to make the following explicit statement, in manifest contradiction with the truth stated above: APope Innocent>s teaching, in its content of faith, does not necessarily imply that infants who die without sacramental baptism are deprived of grace and condemned to the loss of the beatific vision"(§36)! Here is another contradiction: "Pius XII's 'Allocution to Italian Midwives', which states that apart from baptism 'there is no other means of communicating (supernatural) life to the child who has not yet the use of reason', expressed the church's faith regarding the necessity of grace to attain the beatific vision and the necessity of baptism as the means to receive such grace"(§39), and yet the very following paragraph states: "In summary, The affirmation that infants who die without baptism suffer the privation of the beatific vision has long been the common doctrine of the church, which must be distinguished from the faith of the church"(§40). If doctrine does not express our Faith, than what does?

†††† However, the most damning aspect of this document is its entire impossibility of establishing any basis whatsoever for the thesis that unbaptized infants can be saved. It only speaks of "Christ's solidarity with all of humanity" (§91). But by what other means than by baptism could infants possibly receive sanctifying grace, given that they are born with original sin on their souls? The only possibility presented is the application of the principle of baptism of desire to the case of infants, by either or two preposterous suppositions, namely either that infants can have their own desire, or that the Church can have a desire for them. "The supposed impossibility of baptism in voto for infants is central to the whole question. Hence, many, many attempts hae been made in modern times to explore the possibility of a votum in the case of an unbaptized infant, either a votum exercised on behalf of the infant by its parent or by the church, or perhaps a votum exercised by the infant in some way." (§94).

†††† An attached footnote (127) explains the fertile imagination of the authors of the document: "With regard to the possibility of a votum on the part of the infant, growth towards free will might perhaps be imagined as a continuum which unfolds towards maturity from the first moment of existence...Consequently, infants may actually be capable of exercising some kind of rudimentary votum by analogy with that of unbaptized adults.. Some theologians (sic!) have understood the mother's smile to mediate the love of God to the infant and have therefore seen the infant's response† to that smile as a response to God himself". A more fictitious denial of original sin and supernatural grace could hardly be imagined. This fabrication is not a pious hope. It is an impious hope, that denies the supernatural reality of eternal salvation, and the interior transformation† worked by the sacrament of baptism in the souls of infants. Truly we are dealing with a major crisis of Faith.

†††† How much ought we, as true Catholics, to be filled with gratitude for the election of our baptism, of our membership of the one true Church, and be determined to overcome our lukewarmness and live accordingly "unto the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he hath graced us in his beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph 1:6).

†††† With the assurance of my prayers for a blessed Christmas, I am yours faithfully in the Incarnate Word,

Father Peter R. Scott

Unloading the new seeder at the Seminary.
It was immediately put into use to plant corn for the cattle.

felling of a large oak tree
felling of a large oak tree
Felling a huge dead pine
near the Seminary entrance.
Here she falls. Get out of the way quick.


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

  Sat. Dec. 8:   Engagements of Society members
    10:30 a.m. Solemn High Mass:
Priestly Ordinations.

Mon. Dec. 24:

  Ordinations to the Tonsure & Minor Orders
     9:30 a.m. Pontifical High Mass of ordination:
  Wed.Dec. 26:  11:00 a.m. Confirmations & Pontifical Low Mass:
  Thur. Dec. 27:   Ordinations to the Priesthood & Diaconate
     9:00 a.m. Pontifical High Mass of ordination:
  Fri Dec. 28:  9:00 a.m. First Solemn High Mass of Father Claret: 9:00 a.m.
  Sat. Dec. 29:   Working bee
  Mon. Dec. 31:   Working bee



Menís 5 day: †           Monday December 31, 20071 Ė Saturday January 5, 2008
                                Monday January 14 - Saturday January 19
                                Monday June 16 - Saturday June 21
                                Monday September 15 - Saturday September 20
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday January 7 – Saturday January 12, 2008
                                Monday January 28 - Saturday February 2
                                Monday September 22 - Saturday September 27

laying the bricks of the cemetery chapel
laying the bricks of the cemetery chapel
Mr. Anthony Tonkin lays the bricks
on the top of the side walls of the cemetery chapel.
The cemetery chapel as it looked at the end of the month of
November, the walls and the arch over the sanctuary now complete.
Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia