45 May 2007
a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,
of Holy Week passed, the Seminarians were able to take a well
merited two-week break. Meanwhile, the Majors continued their studies,
and all 35 were soon reunited in their efforts to strive for intellectual
and moral perfection, to live the words of St.
Paul: “If you be risen with Christ, see, the things that are
above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God” (Col.
Seminary’s five First Year Seminarians and four Pre-Seminarians
for the year 2007.
In the back row from the left to the right are Mr. Kuhn &
Mr. Cameron (New Zealand), Mr. Okamura (Japan),
Dr. Suneel (India), Mr. Escamilla & Mr. Magat (Philippines),
and in the front row from left to right Mr. Nakila (Philippines),
Mr. Ngaruro (Kenya) & Mr. Lomod (Philippines).
(click to enlarge)
on the physical side has been so encouraging that I would like to
present it to you in color. Work on the Seminary façade has advanced
rapidly over the past month. On Holy Wednesday, the scaffolding
was moved over to the south-western side of the bell tower and building,
again five storeys high. The repair work to rotten wood, gutters,
down pipes, and the repainting advanced rapidly, so that the scaffolding
was actually removed on April 20th, with just a little
trim work at ground level remaining to be done. The new look of
the Seminary entrance enhances the majestic grandeur of the old
building (1873) with which the Good Lord has blessed us. Meanwhile
the planting of oaks around the Seminary grounds continued a pace.
However, the great initiative of the month of April was the donation
and installation of a new windmill, to replace the old windmill
that has not worked for more than 25 years. The new windmill, like
the old one, is used to pump water from the pond up to the Seminary
reservoirs at the top of the hill, which then give the water pressure
needed for Seminary use. Mr. Clement McAuliffe, long standing time
of the Seminary, and windmill contractor, installed the new windmill
during Holy Week.
The fan of the new windmill being hoisted into place
by a crane rented for the purpose.
McAuliffe attaches the fan
to the support frame.
CENTENNIAL OF LAMENTABILI
This year marks an important centennial anniversary, one which is
eminently significant for us in our present combat. It is the anniversary
of the solemn condemnation of Modernism by Saint Pius X, contained
in two documents. The first of these was a list of 65 errors, taken
principally from the works of the well known French modernist, Loisy,
whose works had been condemned and placed on the Index of forbidden
books several years before. It was called a Syllabus of errors of
the modernists, and was dated July 3, 1907, going by the first word
in Latin Lamentabili.
importance that St. Pius X attached to the problem of modernism
is clearly stated in the introduction:
truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint
in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues
novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human
race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more
serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation
of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The
fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined
by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable.
In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they
say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in
reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas. These errors are
being daily spread among the faithful…Therefore…the following
propositions…are condemned and proscribed”
months later, on September 8 of the same year, St. Pius X insisted
on the urgency of the danger that Modernism represents to the Church,
publishing his encyclical letter Pascendi, On the doctrines
of the Modernists. He there insisted on his pastoral duty, preventing
him from any longer keeping silence before the “notable increase
in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ…striving...utterly
to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ” (§1), for “the danger
is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church…they
lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root,
that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers.” (Ib. §3) Action
had to be immediate:
we should act without delay in this matter is made imperative
especially by the fact that the partisans of errors are to be
sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but, what is
to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom….thoroughly
imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the
Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, (they) put themselves
forward as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into
line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of
Christ, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer, who,
with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a
simple and ordinary man.” (Ib. §2)
IS THE CRISIS OF MODERNISM RESOLVED?
would have thought that after a full century the problem of modernism,
defined by St. Pius X as “the synthesis of all heresies”
(§39), would have been resolved. It is certainly what could logically
be understood by the silence on the subject by Vatican II, by the
1993 Catechism of the Catholic Church, and by the post-conciliar
Popes. This is also what could have been concluded from a discourse
of then Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith. Presenting a 1990 document on the role of
the theologian in the Church, he praised it for stating clearly
for the very first time that there are Papal decisions that are
changeable and temporary for they are “outdated in the particularities
of their determinations” (The Angelus, June 1994, p. 23). This
is his text as published in the June 27, 1990 Osservatore Romano
and quoted in the Angelus: “(The document) affirms – maybe for
the first time ever with such clarity – that there are decisions
of the Magisterium which are not to be considered as the final word
on a given subject as such, but serve rather as a mooring in the
problem, and above all, also as an expression of pastoral prudence,
a kind of temporary disposition”. He gives three examples, all
of which are pertinent: “Papal declarations of the last century
on religious liberty” (=Pius IX’ Syllabus, directly contradicted
by Vatican II), “the anti-modernist decisions of the Pope at
the beginning of this century” (=St. Pius X’ Syllabus &
Pascendi), “the decisions of the Biblical Commission to that
same time period” (i.e. established by St. Pius X to root out
modernist interpretations of Sacred Scripture). (Ib.) The conclusions
are obvious: the Church’s temporary dispositions are now past; modernism
is no longer the synthesis of all heresies; its opinions are no
longer to be considered condemned and proscribed, but perfectly
acceptable; its adherents are Catholics in good standing. There
can only be one explanation for such a conclusion, namely that the
modernist principle of the evolution of dogma was embraced by the
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
is consequently surprising to hear that Pope Benedict XVI has written
a book, soon to be published, entitled Jesus of Nazareth,
in which he admits the gravity of an error that had been condemned
by St. Pius X as a typical tenet of modernism, namely the false
distinction between the historical Christ and the Christ of Faith.
His preface has this to say: “From the 50s on the situation changed.
The split between the ‘historical Jesus’ and the “Christ of Faith”
became always greater; the one separating itself more clearly from
the other. But what signification could the faith in Jesus Christ,
in Jesus, Son of the living God, if then the man Jesus was to such
an extent different from the way in which the Evangelists present
him, and from the way the Church announces him from the Gospels?…The
figure of Jesus, upon which the faith reposes, became always more
uncertain, took a shape always more obscure…” (DICI §153)
Pope goes on to explain the purpose of this new book is to counter
this separation that renders the Faith so uncertain: “I wanted
to try to present the Jesus of the Gospels as the true Jesus, as
the ‘historical Jesus’ in the true sense of the term. I am convinced…that
this figure is much more logical and from the historical point of
view likewise much more comprehensible than the reconstructions
that we have to face up to during these past decades” (Ib.)
A CENTENNIAL RESPONSE TO MODERNISM
is encouraging to see that the Pope acknowledges that modernism
is a problem, but alarming that he refuses to apply an authoritative
solution, and that he fails to see that his own principles of evolution,
undermining Tradition, refusing to accept it as a separate source
of Revelation, are at the root of the radical modernism that he
deplores. Would that he would renew as such the irreformable condemnations
of St. Pius X concerning the person of
Christ: For inasmuch as he reduces them to “temporary dispositions”
he undermines their entire authority, and that of the Papacy itself.
Then he would not just be expressing a personal opinion, as in Jesus
of Nazareth, but would use the Church’s full magisterial power
to crush heresy and error. He could start, for example, by renewing
the following condemnations:
The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical
order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither
demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience
gradually derived from other facts.
Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable
to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement
adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.
Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine
concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate
Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.”
that he would repeat the clear teaching of a century ago found in
Pascendi, describing the theories of the modernists:
as we have already said, we have a twofold Christ: a real Christ,
and a Christ, the one of faith, who never really existed; a Christ
who has lived at a given time and in a given place, and a Christ
who never lived outside the pious meditations of the believer
…(§31) Undoubtedly, were anyone to attempt the task of collecting
together all the errors that have been broached against the faith
and to concentrate into one the sap and substance of them all,
he could not succeed in doing so better than the Modernists have
done. Nay, they have gone farther than this, for… their system
means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone, but
of all religion.” (§39)
May God grant us the grace to celebrate this centennial anniversary
with the integral and divine Faith that moves mountains, with that
humility that teaches submission to the Church’s authority, remembering
that “there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly
to Modernism as pride” (Ib. §40). Let us love the immutable
mind of the Church with the clear sightedness of St. Pius X’ prayer
for “the abundance of heavenly light, so that in the midst of
this great danger to souls from the insidious invasions of error
upon every hand, you may see clearly what ought to be done, and
labor to do it with all your strength and courage” (Ib. §57).
Yours faithfully in Christ Our Victorious Crucified King,
Father Peter R. Scott
The singing of the Passion of St. Matthew on Palm Sunday, Fr. Ortiz
singing the part of the Chronicler,
Reverend Mr. Claret, the Seminary’s only deacon, singing the part
of the Synagogue,
and the Rector singing the part of Christ from the altar.
The new windmill alongside the old non-functional windmill, whilst
Mr. McAuliffe makes final adjustments.
A side view of the scaffolding erected over the roof
that covers the enclosed verandah.
The second half of the scaffolding erected to complete
the remodeling, repair and repainting of the bell tower
and front façade.
A view of the collapsed spouting and water damage
on the bell tower – before work began.
The end result, after completion of the work.
A close up of the bell tower.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY DURING THE UPCOMING
COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
5 day: Monday
June 18 – Saturday June 23
December 31 – Saturday January 5, 2008
Women’s 5 day: Monday September 17 – Saturday
September 24 – Saturday Sept. 29
TAKING OF THE CASSOCK:
Wednesday August 15: 10:30 a.m. All are invited for the Solemn
High Mass and for the luncheon that will follow.
September 15, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and Sunday September
16, Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. All our friends
are invited to attend. The schedule is:
& Rosary Procession
Solemn High Mass
provided for all the faithful in attendance
presentation on Catholic Architecture by Mr. Saborido
for all night adoration
with the relic of the True Cross
Solemn High Mass of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
your own picnic lunch & barbecue
three painters at work finishing off the final touch up
as the repainting nears its completion.
Another view of the finish work
to the Seminary façade.
The new violet antependium
recently made for the Seminary’s main chapl altar by one of its