a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
June 2, 2008
& benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,
the first term is nearly at its end, we received this month a third
pre-Seminarian, Mr. Pillay from India, bringing to a total of 32
the number of students presently in formation.
that our water collection projects are all completed (and waiting
for some rain), we will be working on finishing also the cemetery
chapel. I have ordered a polished black granite altar on which Requiem
Masses will be celebrated in the cemetery. This altar, being stone,
will be able to be consecrated. I am presently seeking a generous
benefactor who might be willing to underwrite the cost of this altar.
picnic at Long Point Recreation area in Bungonia State Park
on May 28 after an exhausting four hour hike.
will be, on June 30, the 20th anniversary of “Operation
Survival”, Archbishop Lefebvre’s consecration of four bishops. This
is an anniversary that we must not allow to pass unforgotten, nor
without the expression of our gratitude for this momentous and historical
act, willed by Almighty God to be the key to the continuing of the
work of Catholic Tradition. For without it neither would this Seminary
exist, nor many of the Society‘s chapels and schools, nor the Ecclesia
Dei communities, nor even the recent Motu proprio declaring
that the traditional Mass had never been abrogated.
can only admire in the Archbishop the working of the gifts of the
Holy Ghost, particularly those of Understanding, perfecting Faith,
and of Wisdom, perfecting his love of God and of souls. For it was
truly alone and before God that he made this agonizing decision,
the gifts of the Holy Ghost laying before his eyes this supernatural
principle that “the formal tie with modernist Rome is nothing
compared with the preservation of the Faith”, as recorded by
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais. It was as if, rising above all legalism,
he attained the most sublime principle of all: “In the Church,
the salvation of souls must be the highest law” (Cn 1752, 1983
fact, this is how he summarized the dilemma to the meeting of
superiors of traditional communities on May 30, 1988:
a moral problem is posed for all of us.
- Must we run the rixk of contacts with this modern atmosphere
in the hope of converting some souls, and with the hope of fortifying
ourselves beforehand with the grace of God and the virtue of prudence,
and thus remain legally united to Rome according to the letter,
as we are in reality anhd in spirit?
- Or must we, before all else, preser e the traditional family
to maintain its cohesion and vigor in the Faith and in grace,
considering the the purely formal tie with modernist Rome cannot
be as important as the protection of this family, representing
those who remain faithful to the Catholic Church?” (Fr. Laisney,
Archbishop Lefebvre & the Vatican, p. 106)
Presented in this way, the answer was clear and obvious, which
is why he wrote three days later, on June 2, 1988, to Pope John
Paul II: “Being radically opposed to this destruction of our
Faith and determined to remain with the traditional doctrine and
discipline of the Church, especially as far as the formation of
priests and the discipline of the religious life is concerned, we
find ourselves in the absolute necessity of having ecclesiastical
authorities who embrace ou concerns and will help us to to protect
ourselves against the spirit of Vatican II and the spirit of Assisi”
(Ib. p. 108).
Hence the moving plea, that was central to his sermon of June
30, 1988, launching Operation Survival: “It seems to me, my dear
brethren, that I am hearing the voices of these Popes - since Gregory
XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII
- telling us: ‘ Please, we beseech you, what are you going to do
with our teachings, with our preaching, with the Catholic Faith?
Are you going to abandon it? Are you going to let it disappear from
this earth? Please, please, continue to keep this treasure which
we have given you. Do not abandon the faithful, do not abandon the
Church! Continue the Church! Indeed, since the Council, what we
condemned in the past the present Roman authorities have embraces
and are professing. How is it possible? We condemned them: Liberalism,
Communism, Socialism, Modernism, Sillonism.” (Ib. p. 118).
AGREEMENT OR FORTRESS?
the remaining three years of his life, Archbishop Lefebvre did not
doubt for one instant that he had made the right decision in consecrating
the four bishops. This is what he had to say in a conference to
priests in September 1990: “How do you expect us to have confidence
in these people, who justify the denial of Quanta Cura, of
Pascendi, of the decisions of the Biblical Commission, etc…
Either we are heirs of the Catholic Church, that is to say of Quanta
Cura, of Pascendi, with all the Popes from before the
Council, and the great majority of the bishops of that time, for
the reign of Our Lord and the salvation of souls, or to the contrary
we are heirs of those who strive, even at the price of a rupture
with the Church and its doctrine, to admit the principles of the
rights of man, based upon a true apostasy, in order to obtain a
position as servants in a revolutionary world government.” (L’Eglise
infiltrée, p. 146) In the same conference, he drew the
following conclusion: “Humanly speaking, I presently see no possibility
of an agreement. I was told yesterday: ‘If Rome accepted your bishops
and you were completely exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishops…’
First of all, they are far from accepting such a situation as that,
and moreover they would have to offer it to us. I do not think
that they would be ready to do so, for the root of the difficulty
is precisely that of giving us a traditional bishop. …They know
very well that in giving us a traditional bishop, they would establish
a traditional fortress.” (Ib. p. 149).
refusal to accept that there be such a traditional fortress has
characterized its every effort to separate the faithful from the
Society of Saint Pius X over these past 20 years, and was recently
confirmed in the 2007 Motu proprio, “announcing” the non-abrogation
of the traditional Mass. It was issued only for those who do NOT
consider “fidelity to the Old Missal” as “as an external
mark of identity”, who DO accept “the binding character of
the Second Vatican Council”, who DO believe that there is “no
contradiction”, “no rupture”, between the Traditional
and the New Masses, and that they ought to be “mutually enriching”,
for “the total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be
consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness”,
to quote Benedict XVI’s own words on July 7, 2007. He allows no
place whatsoever in the Church for the acknowledgement of the harm
constantly done to souls by the New Mass and by the manifest errors
of Vatican II.
group of Minor Seminarians about to set out on the hike.
view of the Shoalhaven river before the descent
of more than 500 metres into the valley floor.
Rifan, the only pretender to being a canonically regular traditional
bishop has fulfilled all these conditions, not only by placing himself
under a Novus Ordo Ordinary, but also by publicly concelebrating
the New Mass and defending the novelties of Vatican II. Manifestly,
then, Archbishop Lefebvre is just as right now as he was on June
30, 1988, when he declared: “If I had made this deal with Rome,
by continuing with the agreements we had signed, and by putting
them into practice, I would have performed ‘Operation Suicide’.
There was no choice, we must live!” Likewise is the Fraternity
of Saint Peter forbidden from setting itself up as a traditional
alternative, as evidenced by the following declaration made by the
Novus Ordo President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Cardinal
Castrillon Hoyos, who performed the ordination of four priests at
their Seminary in Nebraska on May 30, 2008: "While I am
pleased to promote our Holy Father's will expressed in his Motu
Proprio Summorum Pontificum and invite in implementing this important
document, I also invite my dear sons and brothers to strive to be
an integral part of the dioceses in which you will serve; brothers
of your brother priests showing deep respect for the Ordinary Form
of the Roman Rite, concelebrating with your bishops at the Chrismal
Mass and when this sign of priestly communion is specially appropriate."
Our Redemptorist friends separating themselves from the Society,
claimed that by issuing this Motu proprio, the Pope “seems
ready to let us do the experiment of Tradition, as Archbishop Lefebvre
asked so many years ago” (website; April 28, 2008). However,
the proof that the Archbishop would never have considered such frightening
compromises as “the experiment of Tradition” is the fact
that he refused much less of a compromise in 1988, writing to Pope
John Paul II on June 2, 1988: “Given the refusal to consider
our requests, and it being evident that the purpose of the reconciliation
is not at all the same in the eyes of the Holy See as it is in our
eyes, we believe it preferable to wait for times more propitious
for the return of Rome to Tradition…we shall continue to
pray for Rome, infested with Modernism, to become once more Catholic
Rome and to rediscover its 2,000 year-old tradition. Then the problem
of our reconciliation will have no further reason to exist”. (Laisney,
op. cit. pp. 108-109).
The Archbishop understood very clearly that it is not possible
to mix the two rites and remain truly Catholic: “When God calls
me - this will certainly not be long - from whom would these seminarians
receive the sacrament of Orders? From conciliar bishops who, due
to their doubtful intentions, confer doubtful sacraments? This is
not possible.” (Consecration sermon). However, he also clearly
understood that the role of the traditional Bishop is not simply
the administration of the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders,
but to profess and teach the Faith with authority, as only a Bishop,
successor of the Apostles, can do: “I am simply a bishop of the
Catholic Church, who is continuing to transmit Catholic doctrine”
(June 30, 1988). Bishop De Castro Mayer articulated the same truth
even more completely in his declaration explaining his presence
at the consecrations: “My presence here at this ceremony is caused
by a duty of conscience: that of making a profession of Catholic
Faith in front of the whole Church…because the conservation of the
priesthood and the Holy Mass is at stake, and in spite of the requests
and pressures of many, I am here in order to accomplish my duty:
to make a public profession of Faith.” (Ib. p. 124).
This twentieth anniversary celebration is consequently a thanksgiving
that Archbishop Lefebvre had the foresight to establish the invincible
fortress of Tradition: Catholic Bishops who would guarantee that
the traditional priests, seminaries, schools, faithful, works of
apostolate would not become contaminated by the liberal revolution
in the Church. For although they lack Ordinary Jurisdiction, they
are bishops in the full sense of the word, and not just sacrament
machines. They exercise the Church’s function of sanctifying through
the administration of the sacraments, especially Confirmation and
Holy Orders, and also through the pontifical blessings and consecrations,
that are a part of the life of the Church, especially the consecration
of the Holy Oils. They exercise the Church’s power of teaching,
authoritatively, by preaching the entire Catholic Faith without
compromise, as bishops of the Catholic Church, which teaching the
rest of us are most happy to follow. They also exercise the function
of governing when, in virtue of supplied jurisdiction, they are
asked to apply the principles of Catholic Tradition to the modern
life, in particular in the resolution of difficult questions, cases
thanking God for the Episcopal consecrations, we really thank God
for the Catholic Church - one, Catholic, holy and apostolic - of
which Archbishop Lefebvre had such a profound sense. For without
the Church, Christ’s mystical body, we would be without all the
special helps, providential aids, powerful means for our sanctification.
Where would we be without the Mass and the sacraments, without the
Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary, without the sacramentals
and blessings of the Church, without the devotions and prayers handed
down by Tradition, without the prayers and examples of the saints,
without the mystery of the Cross?
of this comes to us through the Church, and it is the Society of
Saint Pius X, approved by the Church, that God in His Providence
has chosen, at least for the time being, to continue the work of
the Church, and it is only able to do so because it has bishops,
and not just priests and laity. Again allow me to quote Archbishop
Lefebvre, explaining how it is that the Church’s sanctity and life
will continue, despite the modernist infiltration: “Certainly
the Church itself guards its sanctity and its sources of sanctification,
but the control of its institutions by unfaithful popes and apostate
bishops ruins the faith of the faithful and the clergy, sterilizes
the instruments of grace, and favors the assault of all the powers
of Hell which seem to triumph. This apostasy makes its members adulterers,
schismatics opposed to all Tradition, separated from the past of
the Church, and thus separated from the Church of today in the measure
that it remains faithful to the Church of Our Lord.” (Spiritual
Journey, p. 54). We thank the Archbishop for putting into practice
what he preached, and for performing the one crucial act that was
necessary to halt this “apostasy”.
might be small in number, even after 20 years, but you can be sure
that the work of Catholic Tradition is not small in its impact.
The resoluteness of our convictions will eventually win the day,
that the Church might escape from the agony of its present Passion.
Meanwhile, let us not forget the admonition of St. Paul: “That
henceforth we be no more children tossed to and from, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning
craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing the
truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the
head, even Christ” (Eph 4:14,15).
faithfully in Christ the King,
Peter R. Scott
A view of the ridge and peaks coming
up from the bottom of the valley.
Some of the community members, having lost their way,
were forced to climb over each of these peaks, including the Rector.
Three Philippinos, one Australian and one Malaysian take a well-earned
rest during the hike.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
of the cassock:
of the Assumption: 10:30 a.m.
to the Subdiaconate and Minor Orders:
the Holy Name of Mary: 9:30 a.m.
of Our Lord of Sorrows
the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY:
& BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
June 16 - Saturday June 21, 2008
Monday December 29 - Saturday January 3, 2009
Monday January 12 - Saturday January 17 (Marian retreat)
September 15 - Saturday September 20, 2008
Monday January 5 - Saturday January 10, 2009
Monday January 26 - Saturday January 31 (Marian retreat)
helping in the installation of the underground pipes of the water
collection system last month.
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