41 December 2006
a ligno Deus
HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
FATHERS OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X
December 5, 2006
and benefactors of Holy Cross Seminary,
As we begin
our last weeks of preparation for the high point of the Seminary
year, the priestly ordinations, the culmination of all that we do
at the Seminary, I would like to renew my invitation to you, our
friends and benefactors, to attend this magnificent ceremony of
the Church. We wish it to be an external and public profession of
our Faith in the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the
essential role of the traditional priest, who adheres to the entirety
of Catholic doctrine and celebrates only the true Mass, without
whom the Church cannot fulfill its role of restoring all things
in Christ and saving souls.
of Faith in the one and only Savior, through whom alone we go to
the Father, is all the more necessary as Benedict XVI just a few
days ago made a contrary profession, by (at the very least) simulating
prayer (a spokesman said that he was just “in meditation”)
with Muslims in a Mosque in Istanbul by taking off his shoes and
turning towards Mecca in an attitude of prayer. Could there be a
more public statement of indifferentism, limiting to Catholics only
the necessity of belief in the divinity of Christ, His Cross and
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
In order to
make your participation in the ceremony of ordinations as comfortable
as possible, we will be renting a larger tent this year, so that
all who desire can assist in the shade at the ceremonies of the
Ordinations and First Masses. As last year, we will also be providing
lunch for all those who are able to attend.
I am also inviting
any able bodied men who may be attending the ordinations and First
Masses, to stay on for a two day working bee on the Friday and Saturday
the 29th and 30th of December. Also, since there have been many
requests for a non-Ignatian retreat, we have decided to offer this
year a Marian retreat for women during the last week of September,
but only for those ladies who have already attended at least one
saw the completion of the four year program of the Seminary
for the first time. Three students had accomplished the entire four
year program of studies and formation, but six finished together,
three more students having joined along the way. A thanksgiving
Mass was offered in honor of the Sacred Heart and a reception and
speeches followed, attended by family, friends and parishioners,
as well as by the community.
young men completing the four year Seminary program
cut the cake to celebrate at the same time on Friday December
view of the Refectory during the celebration and speech
for the completion of four years at the Seminary.
Many of you
have by now heard of the historic document published by the Congregation
of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and dated
October 17, 2006 (Prot. N. 467/05/L). This document is of fundamental
importance, since it is the first time that Rome has officially
acknowledged a grave error in the New Mass, and is now insisting
on a reversal of a liturgical practice that has been universally
observed for nearly 40 years, since first falsely translated by
ICEL in 1967, before even the New Mass was introduced. So much for
those who falsely attributed infallibility to the New Mass, refusing
to question any element of it, since it had been approved by the
Sovereign Pontiff, and used everywhere! Rome is now admitting that
this is an untenable position. The consequence is the admission
that it is perfectly licit to question the orthodoxy of the New
Mass, as traditional Catholic have always done.
concerns the famous question of the translation of the Latin expression
pro multis as ‘for all men’, instead of ‘for
many’, in the formula of consecration of the Precious Blood
at Mass. This is not just the error of a liturgical commission,
but a deliberate mistranslation, approved by Rome and consistently
applied to practically every vernacular translation of the New Mass,
with the exception of Polish and Portuguese. Traditional Catholics
have long opposed and condemned this is as sacrilegious alteration
of the words of our Divine Savior at the Last Supper, presenting
the linguistic reasons why it is a false translation and the theological
reasons why it must be refused. This document from Rome is the admission
of the value of these arguments, accepting that the expression “for
all men” is not at all a precise translation, but rather an
IS “FOR ALL” VALID?
is not just the work of Cardinal Arinze, who signed the document,
but rather of a joint consultation with the Congregation of the
Doctrine of the Faith and the national Bishops’ Conferences,
a report having made to the Holy Father, under whose direction Cardinal
Arinze wrote Rome’s decision. It is consequently as official
and public as possible. It begins by admitting that the interpretive
translation “for all” is a novelty in the Roman rite
(§1 & §3b), but then proceeds to demonstrate its validity.
This is in itself an astonishing admission. Why bother to demonstrate
the validity of a consecration formula, unless it be a matter of
serious concern, unless there be some reason to doubt it, unless,
finally, there were some possibility that this kind of modification
introduced into the New Mass could have invalidated it?
“for all”, is certainly a substantial change to the
form of a sacrament, bringing about a change in the essential signification
of these words. According to the traditional Missal of St. Pius
V (De defectibus, V,1) such a formula must be considered
as not confecting the sacrament, namely as invalid. However, the
theologians hold different opinions on this question, depending
upon whether they hold this change of meaning from ‘for many’
to ‘for all’ as being essential to the meaning of the
sacramental form. The argument in favor of validity presented by
the Congregation for Divine Worship is a good one, and is based
upon the distinction between the sufficiency of Christ’s Redemption
on one hand, and its the efficacy or fruitfulness on the other.
Divine Savior poured forth his blood for all men, and the Cross
and the Mass are the one Sacrifice that is sufficient for all men,
for “He is the propitiation for our sins: and for ours
only, but also for those of the whole world” (I Jn 2:2).
Yet it is only fruitful for many, for “the Son of man
is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give
his life a redemption for many” (Mt 20:28). It follows
from this that there is a possible Catholic interpretation for the
term “for all”, that consequently it does not necessarily
bring about a change in the essential meaning of the words of consecration.
However, is this really the way the modernists understand the term
“for all”, and who could possibly allow the slightest
doubt to plane over the consecration of Holy Mass?
IS “FOR ALL” LICIT?
however, are the arguments given by Cardinal Arinze to establish
the illicitness of such an adulteration of the words of Our Lord.
He points out that the Greek word used in the accounts of the Last
Supper in the Gospels of St. Matthew (26:28) and St. Mark (14:24)
is correctly translated by the words “for many”, as
Scripture scholars acknowledge. Why would the same word be translated
differently in the Mass? These are the other arguments that he gives
against the false translation for all:
The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and
never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.
c. The anaphoras of the various Oriental Rites, whether in Greek,
Syriac, Armenian, the Slavic languages, etc. contain the verbal
equivalent of the Latin pro multis in their respective
d. ‘For many’ is a faithful translation of pro
multis , whereas ‘for all’ is rather an explanation
of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis.
e. The expression ‘for many’, while remaining open
to the inclusion of each human person, is reflective also of the
fact that this salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic
way, without one’s willing or participation; rather, the
believer is invited to accept in faith the gift that is being
offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given to
those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their
lives as well so as to be numbered among the ‘many’
to whom the text refers.”
this letter draws is that a period of one to two years of “necessary
catechesis” must be introduced to prepare for the introduction
of “a precise vernacular translation”. We cannot
possibly agree with this conclusion, that accepts the revolutionary
principle of a new, vernacular Mass, condemned by the Council of
Trent and by Pope Pius VI against the council of Pistoia. Nevertheless,
these reflections vindicate traditional Catholics, and especially
the last one.
For the considerations
in point e. touch, albeit very cautiously, on the real reason why
the modernists wanted to introduce this deliberate mistranslation.
It is an effort to confuse the objective and the subjective redemption.
The objective redemption is the payment for the sins of all mankind
by our Divine Savior when he died upon the Cross, “for
there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ
Jesus: Who gave Himself a redemption for all…”
(I Tim 2:5 & 6). The subjective redemption is the application
of the grace of the redemption to the soul of each man, which is
by Faith, the reception of the sacraments, assistance at Mass, meditation
on the Passion, the virtue of charity and good works, all of which
requires a personal cooperation. This document touches on the importance
of this distinction when it states that salvation is not “mechanistic”
and cannot be accomplished without our “participation”,
which in reality it admits is obscured by the false translation
was explained much more thoroughly by the Catechism of the Council
of Trent, penetrated by the supernatural spirit as it is. It explains
explicitly how appropriate are the words “for many”
and how inappropriate would be the words “for all”:
additional words, ‘for you and for many’, are taken,
some from St. Matthew, some from St. Luke, and under the guidance
of the Spirit of God, combined together by the Catholic Church.
They serve emphatically to designate the fruit and advantages
of his passion. Looking to the efficacy of the passion, we believe
that the Redeemer shed his blood for the salvation of all men;
but looking to the advantages, which mankind derive from its efficacy,
we find, at once, that they are not extended to the whole, but
to a large proportion of the human race…With great propriety
therefore, were the words ‘for all’, omitted, because
here the fruit of the passion is alone spoken of, and to the elect
only did his passion bring the fruit of salvation. This the words
of the Apostle declare, when he says that Christ was offered once,
to take away the sins of many (Heb 9:26)…” (p.220)
of the chimney for the new stove just installed in
the new bungalow apartment to provide heat during the winter.
lies the key question at stake. It is the modern theory of universal
salvation that is responsible for this falsification of the words
of Our Lord. This is the Rahnerian opinion that all men are saved,
whether they know it or not, which opinion denies the necessity
of Faith, Baptism, the sacraments, the Catholic Church or even charity
for that matter. How else could it be said that Christ truly and
effectively shed His blood for all men.
You might consider
that such a gross error, so manifestly opposed to the teaching of
Scripture and Tradition concerning the Particular and General Judgments,
and Hell, would be impossible in one who considers himself a Catholic.
Then I suggest that you take a look at Gaudium et spes,
Vatican II’s revolutionary document on the Church and the
modern world. Here we find taught a humanism that is blatant. It
is the mystery of man that Christ proclaims, man whose divinization
is declared in the Incarnation: “In reality it is only
in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly
becomes clear…Christ the Lord…in the very revelation
of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man
to himself” (§22). Or, as is explained more explicitly
a few sentences later: “By his Incarnation, he, the son
of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man”.
Following such a humanistic theory, according to which Christ is
united to all men in virtue of his taking a human nature, why would
one not use the expression “for all”?
It was Pope
John Paul II who made himself the authoritative interpreter of this
text, that he considered essential to understanding Vatican II:
applying the category of mystery to man, the conciliar text makes
clear the anthropological, even anthropocentric character of the
revelation offered to mankind in Christ. This revelation is centered
on man: Christ ‘fully reveals man to man himself’…This
revelation is not theory or ideology. It consists in a fact –
the fact that by His Incarnation, the Son of God united Himself
with every man, became man Himself, one of us: ‘like us
in all things but sin’ (Heb 4:15)…Finally the Incarnation
of the Son of God emphasizes the great dignity of human nature;
and the mystery of the redemption not only reveals the value of
every human being, but also indicates the lengths to which the
battle to save man’s dignity must go. There we have the
essentials of the Council’s teaching – which is, therefore,
the Church’s teaching – on man and the mystery of
man…” (Quoted in Fr. Dormann, Pope John Paul II’s
Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of religions in Assisi,
Part I, p. 80).
here is the pretension that this humanism is Catholic doctrine and
that revelation is nothing other than the “fact” that
Christ is united to every man. Consequently, if the New Mass if
offered for “all men”, it is because Christ has revealed
himself to every man, manifesting the true dignity of human nature
by taking it for Himself. It is pure naturalism, and the denial
of the supernatural order. This was also the theme of John Paul
II’s first encyclical Redemptor hominis, as Father
Dormann establishes with an abundance of texts:
the Pope’s theology, Christ’s union with each man
(through the Incarnation), is the definition of revelation…This
has notable consequences for the Encyclical’s idea of the
Church: If Christ is united with each person, then all mankind
is ‘anonymous Christianity’ or the hidden Church.
The hidden Church, which includes all mankind in an unknown fashion,
is distinct from the visible Church ‘as a body, an organism,
a social unity…Thus in the encyclical there is a twofold
idea of the Church: the invisible and the visible Church. The
invisible Church is ontologically not only more broad-minded,
since it includes all mankind, but also more fundamental, since
it emerges a priori from the union of Christ with each
man and therefore embraces all mankind from the beginning to the
end of the world” (Op. Cit. Part II, Vol. I, p. 212).
You might wonder
why Rome would be requesting a change in this new liturgical practice
that is so much in accordance with the modern theology that it promotes,
notably through ecumenism. It is one of the typical examples of
the incoherence of liberalism. When the logical consequences of
the theories become too abhorrent, liberals back off, ready to contradict
themselves at any time. This is what is now happening. We can be
sure, however, that there will be an enormous resistance to the
changes that Rome is now requesting, and that this reluctance will
be based upon the refusal of the necessity of belonging to the visible
Church for salvation. Let us pray that this is the beginning of
an understanding of the gravity of the sacrilege committed in every
New Mass in which these words are used, and of the distrust that
the New Mass rightly deserves.
May this Christmas
be a blessed and peace-filled time for all of you, and may the celebration
of the mystery of the Incarnation be the opportunity for all of
us to deepen our adoration of the Divine Infant, and hence our appreciation
of the supernatural life, participation in his own Divine Life,
that He bestows in such abundance, in exchange for our human nature,
on those who have the true Faith.
Mr. Michael Lavin stands inspecting the newly remodeled Bungalow
which is adjacent to the woodwork shop.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY
make a note of the following public events, in which all our friends
and benefactors are invited to participate:
to the Minor Orders and to the Subdiaconate.
Masses of newly ordained priests.
Father Robert Michael Johnson
Father Michael James Lavin
Father Christopher Richard Curtis
& Sat. 30:
Holy Cross Seminary men’s working bee.
Accommodation & food provided.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DATES AT HOLY CROSS SEMINARY DURING THE UPCOMING
COME & BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
5 day: Monday
January 1 – Saturday January 6, 2007
January 15 – Saturday January 20
June 18 – Saturday June 23
Women’s 5 day: Monday January 8 – Saturday January
February 5 – Saturday February 10
September 17 – Saturday Sept. 22
September 24 – Saturday Sept. 29
Pfluger as he celebrates Mass during a weekend camp
for the Seminarians near Nowra.