a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
February 3, 2005
and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,
The month of
January passed in great peace here at the Seminary. Immediately
after Christmas we started the first of five retreats in immediate
succession one after the other. Four were Ignatian retreats for
men and women, attended by a total of 72 retreatants. Our newly
ordained deacons were able to take their turn in helping preach
retreats for the first time. In addition, there was a retreat for
priests of the District, preached by Father Paul Morgan from Great
Britain. I would now like to ask your prayers for the 30 day silent
Ignatian retreat that fourteen of our Major Seminarians started
last Sunday, at a retreat facility that we managed to located in
Victoria. Father Daniels kindly agreed to come back from South Africa
to preach it, and is assisted in this by Father Bourmaud.
A view of the retreatants at the issue of the second men’s
retreat in January.
We are also very happy to welcome fifteen Seminarians, to
start the new year this coming Saturday. Of these, nine are returning
from last year, and six are new. Seven are studying at the Advanced
level and eight at IGCSE. It is truly international, with five from
Australia, four from the U.S., three from Malaysia, two from Canada
and one from Indonesia. We are also happy to welcome our new French
and Latin teacher, Mr. Edmund O’Shea, from Zimbabwe.
Also, I would
like to encourage you to support our annual Seminary fundraiser,
which is a raffle for a return airplane ticket to Europe, with valuable
second and third prizes. The cost is $50 for one ticket, four for
$100, ten for $200 and thirty for $500. If you are interested in
further information, please contact Mrs. Pat Abdoo, P.O. Box 328,
Eastwood, N.S.W. 2122.
I am happy to
bring you, rather belatedly, the latest from our Superior General,
His Lordship Bishop Bernard Fellay. It contains his Christmas letter
and greetings, and his latest exchange with Cardinal Castrillon
Hoyos. You will see that the issues have not changed over the past
three years, and that in fact no real progress has been made. The
Society has repeatedly asked for traditionalists to be treated as
the Catholics that we really are, removing the stigma of the leprous
separation that the modernists have brought about. We have constantly
requested the official recognition that it is a RIGHT that Catholic
have to adhere to Tradition and to assist at, or celebrate the traditional
Mass. All to no avail.
October declaration of this year as a Eucharistic year (Mane
nobiscum Domine) is, alas, of little encouragement. We do,
indeed, applaud the Pope’s invitation to Eucharistic Adoration
“that by our faith and our love we might make reparation for
the negligence, forgetfulness and even the outrages that our Savior
is subjected to in different parts of the world”, and
we will do out utmost to live up to this invitation and to promote
it in our chapels and churches. Likewise, we are grateful for the
generosity with which the Pope has deigned to open the treasure
of the Church’s merits by offering a plenary indulgence once
a day (under the usual conditions of Confession within 8 days, Holy
Communion the same day and prayers for the Pope) during this Eucharistic
year for all those who participate in any act of Eucharistic adoration,
and for priests and religious who recite their Breviary before the
Blessed Sacrament, and we plan to gain as many of these as we can.
also observe the futility of a document promoting Eucharistic worship
that does absolutely nothing to stop the grave disrespect that is
now practically universal in the post-conciliar church and what
is a major cause of the fact that the majority of those called Catholics
today no longer believe in the Real Presence as defined by the Council
of Trent. This disrespect it brought about certainly by the lack
of silence in churches, and their use for all kinds of meetings,
even secular, by the refusal of Catholics to genuflect in Our Lord’s
presence, to kneel when they receive their God, and to make any
thanksgiving after Holy Communion. However, more profoundly yet,
it is brought about by the denial of the sacrificial nature of the
Mass, treating is as a meal, by the relegation of the Blessed Sacrament
to a side chapel or a hole in the wall, by the humanistic replacement
of the Blessed Sacrament by the community as the central focus of
the liturgy, by the reception of Holy Communion in the hand, regardless
of its sacredness and of the Real Presence in each particle, and
by the ordinary administration of Holy Communion by the unconsecrated
hands of extraordinary ministers, even women.
Who could do
these things who truly believes that the same Christ who lives eternally
in heaven, sitting on the right hand of the Father, is present really,
truly and substantially under each particle, body, blood, soul and
divinity? How could any effort to promote Eucharistic worship be
anything more than an external veneer, an empty appearance, for
as long as it deliberately omits to correct these manifestations
of almost universal gross disrespect? How are those who are asked
to consider these practices as normal expected to retain their Faith
in the Real Presence, let alone make acts of adoration in reparation
for lack of Faith? Here lies one of the typical inconsistencies
of modernism: - saying one thing and doing the opposite.
Allow me to
finish by quoting from Pope Leo XIII’s magnificent encyclical
On the Most Holy Eucharist (1902), in which he explains
how central and sacred the Blessed Sacrament must be to the Catholic
Church in public worship and private devotion, in the physical structure
of the church, as well as in our prayer life: “This sacrament,
whether as the theme of devout meditation, or as the object of public
adoration, or best of all as a food to be received in the utmost
purity of conscience, is to be regarded as the center towards which
the spiritual life of a Christian in all its ambit gravitates; for
all other forms of devotion, whatsoever they may be, lead up to
it, and in it find their point of rest.”
May each one
of us find his rest in the Eucharistic Heart of our Divine King,
both on this earth and in eternity,
SUPERIOR GENERAL’S LETTER TO FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS #67
In these days
when we celebrate the advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may the newborn
Child cover you with his blessings. We ask Him that He might render
you a hundredfold your generosities and devotion!
is full of lessons for our times. God among us, the True God, Eternal
and All-powerful, Creator of all things and the absolute Sovereign
comes in our midst to save us.
diligent and making the best use of the means He gives us, we must
expect EVERYTHING of Him. “Without Me you can do nothing.”
“It is the Father’s will that you bear much fruit.”
These two phrases are not at all contradictory, but complementary
—they indicate the personal effort and cooperation that should
accompany the grace of God. They tell us that with Our Lord we can
do everything, in whatever situation we find ourselves, and especially
in this 21st century of unbelievable decadence. The times in which
we live discourage many people. Rebellion against God becomes more
and more open, manifest, blasphemous, through the whole world. The
Church seems inert, numb and without force before this new deluge.
More than ever,
we must all see with the eyes of faith, this faith which conquers
the world, which gives the courage to fight, this faith by which
we resist even the Devil. Cui resistite fortes in fide.
It is this faith
which makes us recognize in the Newborn in the crèche our
God, the Word made flesh, the Savior of the world, Who asks us to
stake everything on Him. Venite adoremus!
We would like
to take this opportunity to communicate to you the letter we sent
to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in June. It expresses our unchanged
position towards Rome.
May Our Lady
protect you in this new year and obtain for us all this faithfulness
to the end which will save us; may she bless you with the Child
Jesus, as the Liturgy so well puts it: Nos cum prole pia, benedicat
With all our
gratitude, on the feast of Christmas 2004,
+ Bernard Fellay
view of the priests present at the January priests’ retreat
held at Holy Cross Seminary.
SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
Priorat Mariae Verkundigung Schloss Schwandegg
Menzingen, ZG, CH-6313 SWITZERLAND
21 June 2004
of December 30, a letter of greetings with the new proposal of an
accord did indeed reach us. We have taken some time to answer because
it leaves us perplexed. Allow me to respond with the greatest frankness,
the only way of making progress.
We are sensitive
to your efforts and those of the Holy Father to come to our aid,
and we see that this overture on your part is certainly very generous.
Accordingly, we are much afraid lest our attitude and our response
not be understood. When we made our request that two conditions
be met at the beginning of our discussions, and when we repeated
that request several times, we were simply indicating a natural
and necessary order to follow: before constructing a roadway on
a bridge, one must lay its foundations. Otherwise the enterprise
is doomed to failure. We do not see how we could arrive at a recognition
without passing through a number of steps.
steps, the first seems to us to be the lifting1 of the decree of
excommunication. The excommunication applying to the Orthodox was
lifted without their in any way changing their attitude towards
the Holy See; would it not be possible to do something similar in
our regard, for us who have never separated ourselves from the authority
of the Supreme Pontiff, which we have always recognized as defined
by Vatican Council I. At the time of our2 consecration in 1988 we
took an oath of fidelity to the Holy See; we have always professed
our attachment to the Holy See and the Sovereign Pontiff, we have
taken all kinds of measures to show that we have no intention of
erecting a parallel hierarchy: it should not be so difficult to
cleanse us from the accusation of schism...
the penalty for the reception of the episcopate, the Code of Canon
Law of 1983 foresees that the maximum penalty should not be applied
in the case where a subject has acted on the basis of a subjective
necessity. If the Holy See does not want to admit that there was
a state of objective necessity, it should at least admit that we
perceive things in this way.
Such a measure
would be recognized as a real overture on the part of Rome and would
create the new climate necessary for any progress.
At the same
time, the SSPX would submit itself to what we could by analogy call
an ad limina visit. The Holy See could observe us and examine our
development without there being any engagement of the two sides
for the time being.
With respect to the formulas that you ask us to sign, they suppose
a certain number of conditions that we cannot accept and that leave
us very ill at ease.
suppose that we are guilty and that this guilt has separated us
from the Church. In reparation, and to certify our orthodoxy, they
ask us for a sort of limited profession of faith (Vatican Council
II and the Novus Ordo).
Most of our
priests and faithful have been directly confronted with heresy,
and often faced with grave liturgical scandal coming from their
own pastors, from bishops as well as priests. The whole history
of our movement is marked by a tragic succession of events of this
kind up to today, as we are joined by religious, seminarians, and
priests who have had the same experience. You cannot exact a justified
penalty or contrition because alone, abandoned by the pastors and
betrayed by them, we have reacted to conserve the faith of our baptism
or in order not to dishonor the divine Majesty. It is impossible
to analyze the 1988 Consecrations without considering the tragic
context in which they took place. Otherwise, things become incomprehensible
and justice no longer has its due.
it is often said that our status would be a concession, and that
we would be accorded a situation suitable to our “special
Must one recall
that what we are attached to is the common patrimony of the Roman
Catholic Church? We do not ask nor do we seek a special status as
a mark of singularity, but we want a “normal” place
in the Church. So long as the Tridentine Mass is considered a particular
concession, we remain marginalized, in a precarious and suspect
position. It is in this perspective that we claim a right that has
never been lost: that of the Mass for everyone. To reduce this right
to an indult (which certain Roman voices hold to be provisory) is
already to diminish it.
In the current
situation, where everything of a traditional savor immediately becomes
suspect, we have need of a protector and defender of our interests
in the Curia. It is more a question of representing Tradition at
Rome than of establishing a delegate of the Holy See for traditional
matters, as in the case of Ecclesia Dei today. In order for this
organization to have some credibility and to correspond to its purpose,
it is important that it be composed of members who belong to Catholic
a “recognition” without having first resolved these
questions in principle would be to doom the proposed “practical
accord” to failure, for we hope to act tomorrow with the same
fidelity to Catholic Tradition as we do today.
maintain the frankness with which we address these questions (which
is not a matter of arrogance or of lack of charity), we would be
condemned tomorrow as we were yesterday.
At baptism a
contract is established between the Christian soul and the Church:
“what do you ask of the Church?” “The faith.”
This is what we ask of Rome: that Rome confirm us in the Faith,
the faith of all times, the immutable faith. We have the strict
right to demand this of the Roman authorities. We do not believe
that we can truly progress towards a “recognition” so
long as Rome will not have shown its concrete intention to dissipate
the cloud which has invaded the temple of God, obscured the faith
and paralyzed the supernatural life of the Church under the cover
of a Council and subsequent reforms.
In the hope
that this letter may make its contribution to overcoming the current
inertia we assure you, Eminence, of our daily prayers for the fulfillment
of your heavy duty in this grave hour of Holy Mother Church.
1. i.e., a declaration
on the invalidity of the decree, for as Bishop Fellay points out
later in the following paragraph, the 1983 Code of Canon Law is
clear that neither Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer nor
the four consecrated bishops of the SSPX were liable for any canonical
2. Here “our” refers to the four bishops of the SSPX,
respectively, Bishops Fellay, Tissier de Mallerais, Williamson and
at St. Joseph House together with
Brother Postulant Mr. Stankowski.
They are installing a wood heater
in the recreation room.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY DURING THE UPCOMING
COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
5 day: ††††††††††††Monday June 6– Saturday June 11,2005
Womenís 5 day:††††††† Monday September 19- Saturday September