SOUTHERN SENTINEL

No. 55 May 2008

Regnavit a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X

J.M.J.
April 28, 2008

Dear friends & benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,


WATER GRANT

This month was an intense one of work here at the Seminary. Our main preoccupation was to accomplish the work funded by the Commonwealth Water Grant. This involved not just the pouring of the 150,000 litre tank, but also the installation of innumerable pipes around the buildings, to connect down pipes from the spouting to the tank. None of the old pipes to carry the water away from the main building were useable, and so all the connections had to be redug, and pipes laid. Fortunately, we had in recent years updated the drainage of roof water from the St. Joseph House and the school wing, and it was a relatively simple matter of connecting them with an underground pipe. Then a pit for filtering the water was constructed, the pipes in and out measuring no less than one foot in diameter, to cope with the quantity of water coming from our roofs when it rains heavily.

At the same time, a pump was installed on the tank and pipes were laid bringing water back from the storage tank to the laundry wing, where it will be used. In addition, although not covered by the water grant, a new line was installed to pump water from the creek to the main storage tanks for general use. Finally, we have increased our availability of drinking water to 54,000 litres, by laying a new line connecting the three tanks that collect water from the St. Joseph House to the three tanks behind the kitchen. The Seminary’s water supply will be guaranteed for years to come, even in times of drought.


OTHER NEWS

Along with these efforts, in which the seminarians became heavily involved on Saturdays, there is some good news and some bad news. First of all the good news. The Seminary’s annual raffle raised no less than $26,000, the first prize being won by Mr. Nick Proscurin. Also, we received this month two new pre-seminarians from the Philippines and one new minor seminarian. By the way, I am seeking for a new teacher of humanities; house, vehicle and remuneration provided. Now for the bad news. It is the departure of three seminarians, Redemptorist brothers from the monastery of Papa Stronsay in Scotland. In was a very sad day when these excellent brothers were ordered to leave by their superior, on account of his desire to make an agreement with Rome independently of the Society of Saint Pius X. Please pray with me that the Transalpine Redemptorists might realize the foolhardiness of such an endeavor, and might acknowledge that the authorities in Rome are no more truly Catholic than 20 years ago when Archbishop Lefebvre stated that the time had not yet come to negotiate with those who wanted to destroy Tradition. I am happy to attach Bishop Fellay’s letter to friends and benefactors, in which he explains that the Pope’s declaration of the non-abrogation of the traditional Mass has changed nothing of the modernist principles of his ecumenical theology, on account of which any deal at the present time would be a compromise.


POPE’S VISIT TO U.S.

If there had been any doubt as to whether anything had changed in Rome, it would have been resolved by the recent visit of the Pope to Washington and New York. It was a true fiesta of ecumenism, with no less than six major ecumenical ceremonies in five days, showing that the preoccupation of this Papacy is no different from that of the preceding one.

Already before leaving, on April 14, he issued a message to the Jewish community, in anticipation of the first visit of a Pope to an American synagogue. In that message he made the preposterous statement that the Jews, who still await the Messiah, and who refuse the true spiritual kingship of the Son of God made man, share the same hope as Catholics, effectively stating that the purely symbolic Jewish Passover is equivalent to the mystery of the Redemption: “Christians and Jews share this hope: we are in fact, as the prophets say, ’prisoners of hope’ (Zach 9:12). This permits us Christians to celebrate alongside you, though in our own way, the Passover of Christ’s death and resurrection, which we see as inseparable from your own, for Jesus himself said: ’salvation is from the Jews’ (Jn 4:22). Our Easter and your Pesah, while distinct and different, unite us in our common hope centered on God and his mercy”.  How is Christ necessary for salvation in such a conception? Did he not say: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me” (Jn 14:6)?

Then in the Park East Synagogue on April 18, he had this to say: “I find it moving to recall that Jesus, as a young boy, heard the words of Scripture and prayed in a place such as this”. How can he compare the Synogogue of Talmudic Judaism, with all its man-made laws, true heir of the Pharisees who crucified Christ, with the Synagogue of the true religion of the Old Testament that prepared for the Messias? How can the Vicar of Christ claim his “closeness” to the Jews as they prepare “to sing the praises of Him who has worked such wonders for his people”, when they are no longer God’s people, knowingly and deliberately refusing to be amongst the true people of God, the mystical body of Christ?

Hardly had he landed when he declared at the White House the theme of the inseparability of religion and freedom that would characterize his visit, explaining to President Bush the goal of his visit: “In the next few days, I look forward to meeting not only with America’s Catholic community, but with other Christian communities and respresentatives of the many religious traditions present in this country. Historically, not only Catholics, but all believers have found here the freedom to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their conscience…I am confident that the American people will find in their religious beliefs (of all kinds, of course) a precious source of insight and an inspiration to pursue reasoned, responsible and respectful dialogue in the effort to build a more humane and free society”. This is the purely naturalistic conception of Religious Freedom promoted by Vatican II.

In his discourse at the April 17 Meeting with Representatives of Other Religions, he did not exclude the truth, the discovery of which is “broader purpose of dialogue”. However, he is precisely liberal in his thesis that dialogue is the means to discover truth, rather than teaching by the authority of Christ, as if truth is so obvious as to impose itself automatically on the fallen human mind: “While always uniting our hearts and minds in the call for peace, we must also listen attentively to the voice of truth. In this way, our dialogue will not stop at identifying a common set of values, but go on to probe their ultimate foundation. We have no reason to fear, for the truth unveils for us the essential relationship between the world and God” . Surely it is a common, universal and purely natural relationship of which he is speaking, not the divinely revealed truth of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity by sanctifying grace.

It is hardly surprising, then, that he praised the American experience: “Today, in classrooms throughout the country, young Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and indeed children of all religions sit side-by-side, learning with one another and from one another”. But what are they learning? The very prospect sends a chill of horror up the spine of any parents who want to preserve the purity of his children’s Faith. Needless to say, he made no mention of the vice of homosexuality, the plague that is presently dividing Protestant churches in the U.S., and bringing God’s curse upon our modern society.


SECULARISM

The Pope’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly was given on April 18, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Needless to say, he praised this document, although it makes no mention of the existence of God, nor of our dependence upon Him as His creatures, which truths are surely the foundation of all rights and of all morality. This is what he had to say: “The merit of the Universal Declaration is that it has enabled different cultures, juridical expressions and institutional models to converge around a fundamental nucleus of values, and hence of rights.” However, it is hardly surprising that he praises such a statement of secular humanism, for this is what he had to say in an interview on the airplane on the way to the U.S.: “What I find fascinating in the USA is that it began with a positive concept of secularism…It was thus a willingly secular State, it was really contrary to a State Church, but secular truly for love of religion, of its authenticity, which can be lived only freely”. This promotion of the American experience as a “fundamental and positive model” for Europe is nothing less than the denial of the Social Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he attempts to distinguish it from a “new” and presumably negative secularism, how can it really be any different, for once Christ Our Lord and the rights of the Catholic Church are removed from any society, the logical consequence is necessarily the total abandonment of all truly God-centered moral principles. At the very beginning of his Papacy, Saint Pius X called secularism of whatever kind “apostasy from God” , the “terrible and deep-rooted malady which… is dragging it [society] to destruction” .

To give credit where credit is due, it must be said that at the Ecumenical Prayer Service at St. Joseph’s, Manhattan (April 18), the Pope did “emphasize objective truth in the presentation of the Christian faith” and the need for Christians to assert the role of doctrine, “a clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus”. However, there being no reference to his supreme magisterial authority, nor to any specific Catholic doctrine, it was perfectly acceptable to the leaders of all the different Protestant and Orthodox religions present for the common prayer service.

Given all the above, I find it very hard to believe that Archbishop Lefebvre would write anything different now than what he wrote to Pope John Paul II twenty years ago, announcing to him his intention of going ahead with the consecration of bishops: “The false ecumenism which is at the origin of all the Council’s innovations in the liturgy, in the new relationship between the Church and the world, in the conception of the Church itself, is leading the Church to its ruin and Catholics to apostasy….Given the refusal to consider our requests, and it being evident that the purpose of this 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.” (June 2, 1988). As for us, while we await with patience and constancy this return of Rome to Tradition, let us thank God, on this 20th anniversary of Episcopal consecrations (June 30) for the Archbishop’s faith, fortitude, foresight and prudence, without which we would not now be able to maintain our traditional Faith, Mass and Catholic life.

Yours faithfully in Our Lady Help of Christians,

Father Peter R. Scott


UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY

Taking of the cassock: Friday August 15 Feast of the Assumption: 10:30 a.m.
Ordinations to the Subdiaconate and Minor Orders: Friday September 12 Feast of the Holy Name of Mary: 9:30 a.m.
Family Weekend:   Saturday September 13: Solemnity of Our Lord of Sorrows
  Sunday September 14: Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross


2008 IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY:

COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
Men’s 5 day: Monday June 16 - Saturday June 21, 2008
Monday December 29 - Saturday January 3, 2009
Monday January 12 - Saturday January 17
Women’s 5 day: Monday September 15 - Saturday September 20, 2008
Monday January 5 - Saturday January 10, 2009
Monday January 26 - Saturday January 31



SUPERIOR GENERAL’S
LETTER TO FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS #72


Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which acknowledged that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated, raises a certain number of questions concerning the future of the relations of the Society of St. Pius X with Rome. Several persons in conservative circles and in Rome itself have made themselves heard, arguing that, since the Sovereign Pontiff had acted so generously and thus given a clear sign of his good will towards us, there would be nothing left for the Society to do but to “sign an agreement with Rome.” Unfortunately, a few of our friends were deceived by such an illusion. We would like to take the opportunity of this Eastertide letter to review once again the principles governing our actions in these troubled times and point out a few recent events which clearly indicate that, basically, nothing has really changed except for the motu proprio’s liturgical overture, so as to draw from all this the necessary conclusions.

The fundamental principle that dictates our action is the safeguard of the faith, without which no one can be saved, no one can receive grace, no one can be pleasing to God, as the First Vatican Council states. The liturgical question is not paramount; it only becomes such inasmuch as it is the manifestation of an alteration of the faith and, consequently, of the worship due to God.

A notable change of orientation took place at Vatican II with regard to the Church’s outlook, especially on the world, other religions, the State, and even itself. These changes have been acknowledged by all, yet not all judged them in the same way. Until now, they were presented as being very profound, even revolutionary. One cardinal at the Council could even speak of “the 1789 Revolution in the Church.

While still a cardinal, Benedict XVI phrased it thus: “The challenge of the sixties was to assimilate the best values expressed in two centuries of ‘liberal’ culture. These are values which, even if they originate outside the Church, can find a place, once purified and corrected, in her vision of the world. This is what was done1” In the name of this assimilation, a new vision of the world and its components was imposed: a fundamentally positive vision, which dictated not only a new liturgical rite, but also a new mode of presence of the Church in the world: much more horizontal, and more concerned about social and temporal problems than those of a supernatural and eternal character...

At the same time, the Church’s relationship with the other religions underwent a transformation. Since Vatican II, Rome has avoided any negative or depreciatory observations about other religions. For example, the classic term of “false religions” has completely disappeared from ecclesiastical vocabulary. The words “heretic” and “schismatic,” which used to designate the religions closer to the Catholic Church, have also disappeared, except when they are occasionally employed, especially the term “schismatic,” to label us. The same holds true for the term “excommunication.” The new approach is called ecumenism, and contrary to what everyone used to think, it does not mean a return to Catholic unity, but rather the establishment of a new kind of unity that no longer requires conversion.

Christian denominations are considered under a new light, and this is especially clear for the Orthodox. In the Balamand Declaration, the Catholic Church officially pledged herself to not convert the Orthodox and to collaborate with them. The dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation,” recalled in the document Dominus Jesus, underwent a reinterpretation for the sake of the new vision of things. They could not keep this dogma without broadening the limits of the Church, and this was accomplished by the new definition of the Church given in Lumen Gentium. The Church of Christ is no longer the Catholic Church, it subsists in her. They may say that it subsists only in her, but the fact remains that they claim that the Holy Ghost and this “Church of Christ” act outside the Catholic Church. The other religions are not without elements of salvation... The “Orthodox Churches” become authentic particular churches in which “the Church of Christ” is built.

Obviously, these new views completely disrupted the Church’s relations with the other religions. It is impossible to speak of a superficial change; for what they want to impose on the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is a new and very profound mutation. John Paul II consequently was able to speak of a “new ecclesiology,” admitting an essential change in the part of the theology that treats of the Church. We simply cannot understand how they can claim that this new understanding of the Church is still in harmony with the traditional definition of the Church. It is new; it is radically different and obliges the Catholic to observe a fundamentally different behavior towards the heretics and schismatics, who have tragically abandoned the Church and scorned the faith of their baptism. From now on they are no longer “separated brethren,” but brothers who “are not in full communion”... and we are “deeply united” by baptism in Christ in an “inamissible” 2 union. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s latest clarification of the word “subsistit” is very revealing on this point. Even as it states that the Church cannot teach novelty, it confirms the novelty introduced at the Council...

Likewise for evangelization: the sacred duty of every Christian to respond to our Lord Jesus Christ’s command is at first upheld: “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk. 16: 15-16). But then it is alleged that this evangelization only concerns the pagans, so that neither Christians nor Jews need be bothered. Very recently Cardinals Kasper and Bertone, addressing the controversy over the new prayer for the Jews, stated that the Church has no intention of converting them.

Add to this the pope’s positions on religious liberty, and we can easily conclude that the combat for the faith has not slackened over these last few years. The motu proprio that introduces the hope of a change for the better in matters liturgical is not accompanied by the logically related measures that should follow in other domains of the Church’s life. All the changes introduced at the Council and in the post-conciliar reforms, which we denounce precisely because the Church had already condemned them, have been upheld. The only difference is that now they claim at the same time that the Church does not change... which amounts to saying that these changes are perfectly in line with Catholic Tradition. This confusion of terminology combined with the assertion that the Church must remain faithful to her Tradition might well be troubling to more than a few. So long as facts do not corroborate this new assertion, we must conclude that nothing has changed in Rome’s intention to pursue the conciliar course despite forty years of crisis, despite vacant convents, abandoned rectories, and empty churches. Catholic universities persist in their divagations, and the teaching of the catechism is uncertain while Catholic schools are no longer specifically Catholic: they have become an extinct species...

For these reasons the Priestly Society of St. Pius X cannot sign an “agreement.” It definitely rejoices at the pope’s desire to reintroduce the ancient and venerable rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, yet it also observes the opposition— sometimes very tenacious—of entire bishops’ conferences. Without giving up hope and without impatience, we can see that the time for an agreement has not yet come. This does not prevent us from continuing to hope, nor from following the line of conduct defined in the year 2000. We are still asking the Holy Father to annul the 1988 decree of excommunication because we are convinced that this would be a boon for the Church, and we encourage you to pray for this to happen. But it would be very imprudent and hasty to dash off ill-advisedly in pursuit of a practical agreement that would not be based on the Church’s fundamental principles, and especially the faith.

The new Rosary Crusade we have invited you to join, to pray that the Church recover and resume her bimillennial Tradition, calls for some clarification. This is how we envision it: let everyone pledge to recite daily a rosary at a fairly fixed time of day. Given the number of our faithful and their distribution throughout the whole world, we can be assured that at every hour of the day and night prayerful voices will be ascending to heaven, voices earnestly praying for the triumph of their heavenly Mother and the coming of the reign of our Lord “on earth as it is in heaven.”

+ Bernard Fellay

Superior General

Menzingen, April 14, 2008
+ Bernard Fellay
Superior General
Menzingen, April 14, 2008

 

1. Interview, Jesus, November 1984, p. 72.

2. [Theological term meaning “that cannot be lost”—Translator’s note.]



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