Sunday, November 30, 2008

ORATE FRATRES, TLM is back after 40 years!

Indeed Brethren, pray! After a period of nearly forty years the Tridentine Latin Mass will again be celebrated here in the archdiocese beginning tomorrow at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Feast of St. Bibiana.

The schedule for TLM masses for the first week in December is as follows:

Cathedral of Christ the King
Saratoga Ave. and End Street

Tuesday (2nd December) 17:30 (Beggining Tomorrow December 2nd)
Thursday (4th December) 17:30
Saturday (6th December) 07:30

I beg your prayers for this wonderful occasion, indeed the prayers of many will accompany Father as he pronounces for the first time within forty years ' Introibo ad altare Dei', we thank God for his great providence in answering the prayers of many of his faithful children, in restoring the Tridentine Latin Mass back to its rightful place within Holy Mother Church.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Modern Ecumenism is a Fraud

Article taken from Catholic Aplogetics
"A Novel and Deadly Force Ravages the Church
Originally Published in
Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter

The purpose of this expose is not simply to throw stones at modern ecumenism, but to warn faithful Catholics to the danger of surrendering their "pearl of great price'; their one true Holy Roman Catholic Faith to the liberal spirit of the age.

Modern Ecumenism is a Fraud

In the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia, the word "Ecumenism" does not even appear. It goes straight through from Ecuador to Ecumenical Council to Edda. The heading Ecumenical Council contains nothing more than this: "ECUMENICAL COUNCIL: SEE COUNCILS, GENERAL"

In the 1965 Catholic Encyclopedia, however, no less than seven pages are devoted to the "Ecumenical Movement': Ecumenism is, therefore, a twentieth century phenomenon. In the short span of sixty years, ecumenism as we know it today, has come from a state of non-existence, to being the integral fabric of the "New Theology of the Church."

Definition of Ecumenism

The Ecumenical Movement is basically the movement toward reunion of all Churches into a single Church, one in body, but not necessarily holding the same religious tenets... spotlighting things we have in common, hush-hushing those things which divide us. Should you ask, however, ten different theologians of ten denominations for a definition of ecumenism, chances are you would receive ten slightly different replies. This is the greatest weakness of ecumenism. it is a slippery sloppy expression devoid of any solid orthodox definition. It thus avails itself of ambiguity and double talk--as do subversive movements in general. The Second Vatican Council had a great deal to say about ecumenism, without ever giving the definition of the word!

Prior to 1960, the Catholic Church had always kept the Ecumenical Movement at arms length from the mystical Body of Christ, now and then touching it with the proverbial ten-foot pole, but never taking an active part.

Any student of ecclesiastical history will tell you that the Roman Catholic Church's particular charism was to clarify the truth in times of confusion and, to counter what was novel or erroneous by clinging to and defining what she has always believed since the time of the Apostles. Thus when Martin Luther denied so much of what the Roman Church held true, she took care of this problem at the Council of Trent... defining in detail each one of the Seven Sacraments, indulgences, justification, etc. The Church does not invent new doctrines at these councils, but defines and clarifies in a solemn and official manner what she has always believed. The Councils of the past took the Church and the world from a time of confusion, into a period of theological stability. Unfortunately, Vatican II is the first council in the history of the Church that did not help in this regard. As a matter of fact, we must regretfully admit that all evidence clearly shows she only made things far worse.

Origin of Ecumenism

The ecumenical movement as it exists today owes its origin to a conference of Protestant missionaries at Edinburgh in 1910. Its original purpose was among Protestant missionaries of different denominations to promote a spirit of collaboration in order to "evangelize" the pagan world. Doctrinal differences were to be played down... unity of action and what was held in common by all was to be exalted.

It was during this time that Charles Brent, an American Episcopal Bishop of the Philippines conceived the idea of assembling a great conference of delegates from all Christian confessions. A second conference was formed shortly after by Brent called the "Conference on Faith and Order." In 1919, the Holy See being invited to send delegates, politely declined. Pope Benedict XV explained that although his earnest desire was one fold and one shepherd, it would be impossible for the Catholic Church to join with others in search of unity. As for the Church of Christ, it is already one and could not give the appearance of searching for itself or for its own unity. It is reported that the Holy Father did not disapprove of the movement as something outside the Catholic Church, but by his own words it is obvious he knew it was not only futile, but dangerous and even scandalous to the Catholic Faithful to participate in seeking unity in such a manner.

It was through this movement that the World Council of Churches was born.

Mortalium Animos and Humani Generis

There is no doubt that certain priests and theologians, influenced by a distorted notion of Christian Charity became interested in this "Movement of Unity", and that many were literally straining at the leash to take part. Thus Pope Pius XI was moved to provide the excellent Catholic guidance he did in his 1928 encyclical Mortalium Animos, (ON FOSTERING TRUE RELIGIOUS UNITY) an encyclical which, for obvious reasons, is seldom quoted these days. Pope Pius XII also sounded the alarm to this error in his great 1950 encyclical Humani Generis (TREATING CERTAIN FALSE OPINIONS THAT THREATEN TO RUIN THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH). He warned of those who wished to "reduce to a minimum the meaning of Catholic dogmas..." and "the desire to do away with the barriers that divide good and honest men. "The term he employed was "eirenism" calling it a "serious danger" because "it is concealed beneath the mask of virtue."(See Humani Generis par. 12 to 25). Father Vincent Micelli has called this "the Forgotten Encyclical". It seems more likely that it was not forgotten, but vehemently ignored! Strangely enough, the very acts considered immoral by both Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII were urged upon Catholics following the 1962-65 Council as being suddenly justified by the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II."

Ecumenism Prevailed at the Council

I must be here noted that Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies which had been condemned and effectively brought under control by Pope St. Pius X was nevertheless alive and well underground as St. Pius X expressed it, "within the very bosom of the Church." The Second Vatican Council brought all the world's bishops and their most "prestigious" theologians to gather in Rome, and to the great tragedy of the Church, the liberal and modernist element prevailed.2 The fruits of which are strikingly before our eyes. A spirit of Ecumania became rampant at this time. No longer was the first concern "is it orthodox?", but "is it ecumenical?': A lust for change and innovation was inexplicably brought to a euphoric height! Protestants and schismatics were invited to attend the Council not to participate, but to come as observers. A few bishops noted this made it somewhat awkward to debate issues where their errors were involved. The New Rite of Mass was conceived by this spirit of ecumenism. This is why it so closely resembles a Protestant service. The "Ecumenical Spirit" has been the primary formative principle in the whole range of the new liturgical and sacramental forms established by the new Church. In the immediate wake of Vatican II, the entire Catholic world was suddenly rocked off its axis by profound and unprecedented changes blasting their way through the entire Church with inexhaustible energy and intense fury. The unfortunate Catholic laity, who certainly did not ask for this revolution, and who were totally unaware of what their leaders had in store for them were taken completely by surprise. The Council, therefore, was like a great launch pad supporting the rocket of ecumenism about to blast its way violently through every single parish church, every religious community, and every seminary in the world.

Modern Ecumenism: An Ecclesiastical Swamp!

The difference between a river and a swamp is great! A swamp has no banks, and the waters mish-mash wherever they will. A swamp is useless as a waterway, as a source of life for fish, or for cleansing. Whereas a river has fixed banks which keep the waters flowing in the proper direction. Since it has boundaries, and depth, and width, it can be a great source of life, health, and practical benefit.

Modern ecumenism is a swamp! We have been sling-shot into this Ecumenical Movement without a clear definition of ecumenism itself, and what are to be the safe guidelines for ecumenism... in other words, where does one stop? All ecumenical activity, no matter how scandalous or ludicrous is justified by appealing to Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism... which, along with the other Council documents, is lacking in definition and is deliberately ambiguous. On this point, Cardinal Ruffini expressed particular concern that the Decree on Ecumenism failed to provide any adequate definition of the word "ecumenism" itself... a dangerous factor since the word is used in a different sense by Protestants and Catholics. But this was no accident! The liberal Dutch theologian Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, a periti at Vatican II admitted: "We have used ambiguous terms during the Council and we know how we shall interpret them afterwards."

Likely, the reason why no definition of Ecumenism was given by the Second Vatican Council for its use of the term "ecumenism" was that if the actual intent of the Decree of Ecumenism was openly declared, any well informed Catholic of good will would have repudiated it, and the value of the Decree as an instrument of subversion would have been lost. At face value, how could any true Catholic subscribe to the absurd notion that a religious unity according to God's will is possible by playing down any aspect whatsoever of God's revelation concerning Himself, His Church, and our salvation only to magnify what is believed "in common"? It's as if twenty centuries of Catholic Teaching and Tradition should bow down before the great "messiah" of ecumenism and utter the immortal words` "it must increase, and the Church of Christ must decrease."

All Religions on the Same Footing

The great danger of ecumenism is that it places all religions on the same footing. Modern ecumenism would have us believe that all men of whatever religious persuasion are equally "on their way to God." They are merely taking different means to get there... so if you re a Protestant, be a GOOD Protestant, if you're a Jew, be a GOOD Jew, if you're a Moslem, be a GOOD MOSLEM, if you’re a Hindu, be a GOOD Hindu. God is portrayed as being at the summit of a mountain, and there are many roads and paths up that mountain that lead to Him. ANY MAN IS FREE TO CHOOSE THE PATH HE WILL. TO GOD IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHICH ROAD A MAN CHOOSES TO COME TO HIM. CERTAINLY NO MAN CAN DECLARE HIMSELF TO HAVE THE "ONLY WAY!"

Now once Catholics get the bug of "Ecumenitis" into their bloodstream, the infection can only bring about spiritual sickness and death. They will start to be careless about their own Catholicism. They will join in worship with persons of false religions and end by abandoning the True Church of Christ. They will come to look upon the Seven Sacraments as merely "optional" means of grace, no better than the ceremonies of other cults... free to use, free to reject with no consequences upon their eternal salvation.

Modern ecumenism is therefore strikingly at odds with the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ to His Apostles when He entrusted them with His Divine Law, established His Church with Peter as the head, (Matt. 16: 18-19) and gave them the Divine commission to "Go... and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. 18:19). It ignores the warning of Christ when he told us "no-one comes to the Father but through Me."(John 14:6) and furthermore, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned."(Mark 16:16) It is in opposition to the will of Christ: "There shall be one fold and one Shepherd," (John 10:16) He being the Shepherd. Modern ecumenism is opposed to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ... it is ecclesiastical lunacy.

An Ecumenical Moses?

The book of Exodus tells us of Moses coming down the Mountain of God with the tablets of the Law... the Ten Commandments. Now there were twelve tribes of Israel. Suppose one of the tribes, just say the tribe of Juda, after examining the 10 Commandments distinguished themselves saying "We'll accept all the Commandments except Commandments 8 and 10,"and solidified their protestation proclaiming "We cannot and will not recant!" Do you think Moses would have pursued "ecumenical dialogue" with these people, or danced around in a state of ecumenical euphoria exuberant over the fact that they at least agree with him in regard to the other eight? Furthermore, do you think he would have made sure that in the Israelite's liturgies and religious services there be no mention of the 6th and 8th Commandment because he did not wish to offend the tribe of Juda? In doing this, would Moses be serving God's design, or a perverted human design? Is not the answer ferociously obvious?

And is this not what we see to have happened in the wake of Vatican II and the euphoria over ecumenism? Whose ends are being served in this novel approach to false religions, Christ's designs, or a perverted human design? Just as Moses would have had absolutely no right to play down, or worse yet, be ashamed of the revelation of which God had made him the custodian, so too no authority in the Catholic Church has any right whatsoever to be ashamed of the revelation of which God has made them custodian... sweeping even the smallest particle of Catholic Truth under the ecumenical carpet so as not to offend disbelievers. Such activities subvert the mission of Christ causing irreparable scandal not only to the faithful, but to all non-Catholics as well, each of whom we should regard as a Catechumen in spe (a prospective catechumen) Such a thing is an abandonment of the Evangelical Law in principle and a repudiation of Christianity itself. "Not one jot or tittle shall be lost from the Law" our Lord says, (Matt. 5. 18) and "he who does away with one of these least commandments and so teaches men, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt. 5 18-19).

Why is it a Fraud?

Modern Ecumenism is a fraud because it is a false principle "concealed beneath the mask of virtue." It can only operate to the destruction of the Catholic Church. Though it deserves a more full and lengthy treatment than presented here, the most striking problems are:


The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ. Christ came to redeem man from sin and teach him what he must believe and do in order to gain salvation. Christ came also to govern and sanctify... and we must accept the full message of Christ, not a slim or distorted portion of it. This full message of Christ is found in the Catholic Church alone. Ecumenism will have us play down or diminish Catholic Truth for the sake of ecumenical union. It will have us leave people alone in their religious error, and acknowledge that all religions, both true and false, are all parallel ways to God. ECUMENISM, THEREFORE, ACCEPTS THE FALSE AND DANGEROUS PRINCIPLE THAT THE FULL MESSAGE OF CHRIST AND HIS ONE TRUE CATHOLIC CHURCH ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR SALVATION. The Church loses her role as teacher of mankind ("The Roman Church is the Mother and teacher of all the churches." {Dogma of Faith} Vatican I). "Go forth and teach" has been transformed into "Go forth and dialogue."


Theological truth and the acceptance of it is no longer the primary aspect of religion. On the contrary it becomes a simmering-of-all-religions together in a kind of "Ecumenical Stew" where each one must boil out his own distinctive taste in order to blend with the other ingredients. IN CONTRAST TO THE TRUTH THAT GOD HAS REVEALED TO MANKIND, THEIRS IS AN EXTERNAL UNION WHERE THERE IS NO UNION OF TRUTH AND THUS NO UNION AT ALL. God demands that He be believed and worshiped in truth, that is according to what He is, and what He has told us. Ecumenism ignores all this and places not truth, but the blueprint of a kind of "United Nations of Religions" as its highest possible end. This is false religion. (It should be noted that no other religious body has made such sweeping changes for the sake of Ecumenism than has the post-Vatican II Church. Protestants, Jews, Moslems, etc. have not changed anything... only Catholicism.)


The authorities in our Holy Church have sacrificed their own unity on the altar of ecumenism causing a severe fragmentation of the Catholic Church in the name oi unity, to the point where we find, if we may use "big-media" terminology, everything from the "extreme right" to the "extreme left" within our parishes, within our seminaries, within our chanceries... with a heavy emphasis on the left, and a curious intolerance of the right. If "following one's own conscience" and "sincerity" be the only barometer of religion, then it necessarily follows that this will immediately strike and disintegrate the unity of the Church. ECUMENISM IS UNITY AT THE EXPENSE OF CATHOLICISM!

May Catholics Question Vatican II's Ecumenism?

Vatican ll was not a doctrinal Council... it did not make any solemn definitions binding our conscience on Faith and Morals. It was a pastoral Council... a Council for guiding souls. We may therefore, be permitted to ask "To where have we been guided?" At the close of the Council, the Bishops asked Cardinal Felici for that which theologians call the "theological note" of the Council. He replied "We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters those which have already been the subject of dogmatic definitions; as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations." Now ecumenism is clearly a novelty. The practice of modern ecumenism is clearly in contradiction to the teaching and actions of previous Popes, and the effect of ecumenism is a disastrous and catastrophic path bulldozed through the entire Church, the uprooting of the very foundations of the Faith, and the shattering of every aspect of Catholic Truth down to the last molecule. Ecumenism is an ecclesiastical atom bomb! It is at the very heart of the present crisis of Faith. Catholics are completely within their rights, therefore, to "make reservations" and even resist this questionable "novelty" of ecumenism.

This does not mean, however, that Catholics and non-Catholics cannot work together in the civil order for the common good, as Bishop Duane Hunt put it in 1949, "even if we cannot be united in faith, we can be united in good works." All men of good will can and should rally their forces and present a united front against the onslaught of militant atheism in the East, and soft-sophisticated atheism in the West. It is necessary to unite and fight these great evils in all their forms, but this does not mean Catholics are to be coerced into sacrificing one iota of Catholic Truth in these endeavors, particularly within the very household of the Faith.

The Only True Unity: The Catholic Church

No matter what the odds, we must diligently and unceasingly work toward all men coming within the fold of the one true Church. As far as Christ is concerned, nothing else will do. Even if this idea seems "next to impossible" in our day - another illusion - we must not abandon this ideal, for the eternal salvation of the non-Catholic depends on it. It is only cowardice, lack of conviction, and a distorted notion of Christian Charity that looks to ecumenism for the answer. Let us fervently pray that perhaps, through the grace of God, we may return to the Catholic principle of Pope Pius XI who in his no-nonsense 1928 Encyclical Mortalium Animos,(ON FOSTERING TRUE RELIGIOUS UNITY) left no room for doubt:

"lt seems opportune to expound and refute a certain false opinion on which that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring union of Christian Churches depends. They add that the Church, in itself, or of its nature, is divided into sections, that is to say, that it is made up of several churches or distinct communities, which still remains separate, and although having certain articles of doctrine in common, nevertheless, disagree concerning the remainder; that these all enjoy the same rights; and thus, in their contention, the Church was one and undivided from, at the most, the Apostolic age until the First Ecumenical Council. Controversies, therefore, they say, and longstanding differences of opinion, which have kept asunder till the present day members of the Christian family, must be entirely put aside, and for the remaining doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers... They go on to say that the Roman Catholic Church also has erred, and has corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines , which are not only alien to the Gospel, but repugnant to it... meanwhile, they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is, as equals with an equal... This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it lawful for Catholics to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so, they will give countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ... Who, then, can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinion and private judgement, in matters which concern the very object of Faith, even though they may be repugnant to the opinion of the rest? ...Unity can arise only from one teaching authority, one law of belief, and one faith of Christians... the union of Christians can only be furthered by promoting the return to the true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it."

This traditional teaching on Christian unity (ecumenism) was set forth, again, in the Instructio de Motione Oecumenica(Instruction of the Ecumenical Movement, A.A.S., 31 January 1950) published by the Holy Office on 20 December 1949, which emphasizes the teaching of Pius XI in his encyclical Mortalium Animos of 1928. (Information added to original)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A few weeks away, Deo Gratias

Dearest Friends of the Traditional Latin Mass,

We are just weeks away from having the TLM celebrated 'officially' in the Archdiocese. The first celebrations of Holy Mass should take place within the first weeks of Advent, twice a week as a low mass.

I hope to have the privilege of assisting at the mass as one of the very few altar 'boys' who have knowledge of serving the TLM. I beg you all to thank God with me for this great gift to us Catholics here in Johannesburg. As of yet both Father ,as well as those older gentlemen who have knowledge of serving mass have to further refine and correct a few things before the Mass is officially reintroduced into the Archdiocese.

With regard to the place, The Cathedral shall provide the first venue for the reintroduction of the TLM, one is forced to think of the wonder of the ways of God. What better place to reintroduce the Sacred liturgy of 1962, other than the Mother Church of the Archdiocese?

After much pain and suffering , our prayers have been answered, we can only continue to pray that this one seed might take root in the hearts of many and spread with the help of our Loving Father.

Updates will be posted as soon as they are made known to me.

In Christ and our Good Mother

Calvin James Montgomery
Summorum Pontificum Johannesburg

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Letter to Friends and Benefactors SSPX

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

In this letter, I would have liked to give you first of all some news about the internal life of the Society. However, current events in the Church at large and especially concerning the developments in favor of Tradition compel us to dwell longer upon these topics of a more external nature, because of their importance. Once again, it seems to us necessary to tackle this subject, so as to express as clearly as possible something which might have caused some concern at the beginning of the summer.

As the media related in a rather surprising manner, I must say, we did receive an ultimatum from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. But the thing is rather complex and needs to be clarified in order to be well understood. A glance back at recent past events will help us to grasp things a little more clearly.

1. Our Pre-conditions

From the very first times when Rome approached us and proposed some solutions, that is, at the beginning of 2001, we clearly stated that the manner in which Church authorities were treating the problems raised by those who desired to attempt the experience of Tradition with Rome did not inspire confidence in us. Logically we had to expect to be treated in like manner once the issue of our relationship with Rome would have been settled. Since that time, and in order to protect ourselves, we have been asking for concrete actions which would unequivocally show Rome’s intentions towards us: the Traditional Mass for all priests, and the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication. These two measures were not sought directly in view of gaining some advantage for ourselves, but to re-instill into the Mystical Body a breath of traditional life, and thus, indirectly, help to bring about a sound rapprochement between the Society and Rome.

The first responses were hardly engaging and were rather a confirmation of our misgivings: it was not possible to grant freedom for the Mass, because, in spite of the realization that the Mass had never been abrogated, some bishops and faithful thought it might be repudiation of Paul VI and of the liturgical reform… As for the excommunication, it would be lifted at the time of the agreement.

In spite of this demurrer, we did not cut the slender thread of fairly difficult relations, aware as we were that what is at stake far exceeds our own plight. It is not a matter of persons, but of an attitude which for centuries has been that of all the members of the Church, and which remains ours, unlike the new spirit, called “the spirit of Vatican II.” And it is obvious for us that this new spirit is at the root, and is the main cause of the present misfortunes of Holy Mother Church. Hence, the basic motivation behind our actions and our relations with the Roman authorities has always been to do prudently all we can to bring about the return of the Church to what she cannot deprive herself of without rushing headlong to suicide.

Our situation is very delicate: on the one hand, we recognize both the Roman authorities and the local bishops as legitimate. But on the other hand, we contest some of their decisions, because, in various degrees, they are opposed to what the Magisterium always taught and ordered. In this, there is no pretense on our part of setting ourselves as judges or of picking and choosing. It is nothing more than the expression of an extremely painful observation of a contradiction which goes against both our Catholic consciences and faith. Such a situation is extremely grave, and cannot be treated with levity. This is also the reason why we move only very slowly and with the utmost prudence. If we are obviously greatly interested in obtaining a situation which is concretely livable in the Church, the clear awareness of the much more profound key issue which we have just described, forbids us to place the two issues on an equal footing. It is so clear for us that the issue of the faith and of the spirit of faith has priority over all that we cannot consider a practical solution before the first issue is safely resolved. Holy Mother Church always taught us that we had to be ready to lose everything, even our own life, rather than lose the faith.

What is strange is that the blows are now coming from within the Church, and that is the stark reality of the drama through which we are living.

2 – In 2007, One of the Pre-conditions was Fulfilled, the Motu Proprio

In 2007, the new Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI finally granted the first point we had requested, the traditional Mass for the priests all over the world. We are deeply grateful for this personal gesture from the pope. And it causes us a great joy, because we have a great hope that we can see in this a renewal for the whole Mystical Body. Yet, the Motu Proprio has become (because of the very nature of what it states and gives back, i.e. the traditional Mass), the object of the fight we mentioned earlier in this letter because the traditional worship is opposed to the cult which meant to be “new”, the “novus ordo missæ”. It has become an occasion of fight between the progressivists, who give lip service to their full ecclesial communion while they more or less openly oppose the orders and the dispositions coming from the Sovereign Pontiff, and the conservatives, who consequently find themselves in a situation where they resist their bishops… So whom are we to obey? The progressivists know quite well that what is at stake is much more than a liturgical dispute. In spite of the efforts of the Motu Proprio to minimize opposition by affirming continuity, what is at stake is the very fate of a Council which meant to be pastoral, and which was applied in such a way that Paul VI already could speak of the “self-destruction of the Church.”

3 – Hope of a Rapid Fulfillment of Second Pre-condition

This first step of Rome in our direction gave us to hope that a second would soon follow. Some signs seemed to point this way. But, whereas we had long ago proposed the itinerary we had mapped out, it would seem that Rome has decided to follow another route. In spite of our reiterated request for the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication, and as it seemed that there was no longer any major obstacle to prevent the accomplishment of this act, we witnessed a sudden turn of events: Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos wants to impose upon us conditions before going any further, even though we had clearly said that we expected a unilateral act. Our attitude seems to him ungrateful towards the Sovereign Pontiff, and even worse: haughty and proud, since we continue to openly denounce the evils from which the Church is suffering. Our latest Letter to Friends and Benefactors particularly aroused his displeasure. This earned for us an ultimatum, the precise conditions of which we still have not yet been able to figure out. For either we accept the canonical solution, or we will be declared schismatic!

When we take a stand this is interpreted as a delay, a voluntary procrastination. Our intentions and our good will to discuss really with Rome are doubted. They do not understand why we do not want an immediate canonical solution. For Rome, the problem of the Society would be resolved by that practical agreement; doctrinal discussions would be avoided or postponed. For us, each day brings additional proofs that we must clarify to the maximum the underlying issues before taking one more step toward a canonical situation, which is not in itself displeasing to us. But this is a matter of following the order of the nature of things, and to start from the wrong end would unavoidably place us in an unbearable situation. We have daily proofs of this. What is at stake is nothing more nor less than our future existence. We cannot, and will not leave any ambiguity subsist on the issue of the acceptation of the Council, of the reforms, of the new attitudes which are either being tolerated or fostered.

Confronted with these new difficulties, we take the liberty of appealing once more to your generosity. Given the success of our first rosary Crusade to obtain the return of the Tridentine Mass, we would now like to offer to Our Lady a new bouquet of a million rosaries (5 decades) to obtain the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication through her intercession. From November 1st until the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, we will take it to heart to pray with renewed fervor that, in these difficult hours of history, the Holy Father may fulfill with fidelity his august functions in accordance with the wish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the good of all the Church. We are utterly convinced that such a gesture coming from the Sovereign Pontiff would have as profound an effect on the Mystical Body as the freedom of the traditional liturgy.

Indeed, the excommunication did not cut us off from the Church, but it has driven away a good number of her members from the Church’s past and from her Tradition. And she cannot deprive herself of them without suffering serious harm. It is truly obvious that Holy Mother Church cannot ignore her past, since she has received everything and is still to this day receiving everything from her divine founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the excommunication, what has been censured and penalized is the very attitude which specified the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, i.e. this relationship to the Church’s past and to her Tradition. Since then, because of this reprobation, many fear to come to the sources of living water which alone can bring back the good old days of Holy Mother Church. Yet, Archbishop Lefebvre did nothing more than adopt the attitude of St. Paul, to the extent that he requested that the following words be engraved on his tomb: “Tradidi quod et accepi”—I have handed down what I have received. Did not St. Pius X himself write that the “true friends of the Church are not the revolutionaries, nor the innovators, but the traditionalists”?

For this reason, dear faithful, we launch again this Rosary Crusade on the occasion of our pilgrimage to Lourdes for the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin. We thank the Mother of God for the maternal protection she extended over us during all these years, and especially for the twenty years since the episcopal consecrations. We entrust to her all your intentions for yourselves, your families and your work. To her we entrust our future and beg for this fidelity to the faith and to the Church without which no one can work out his salvation.

I thank you wholeheartedly for your untiring generosity which enables us to continue the magnificent work founded by Archbishop Lefebvre. We ask our good Mother in Heaven to protect you and to keep you all in her Immaculate Heart.

Menzingen, October 23, 2008, on the feast of St. Anthony-Mary Claret

+Bernard Fellay

SSPX Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Some woderful pictures of the Society's pilgimage to Lourdes

Archbishop Raymond Burk, on Benedict XVI's Reform of the Reform

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in an interview given to Inside the Vatican Magazine, confirmed the Sovereign Pontiff's intentions toward the reform of the liturgy, indeed by stating that with the release of Summorum Pontificum, the intended result is the influence of the extraordinary on the ordinary, this is already evident in the changes that have already been made at the Vatican and elsewhere around the globe.

"7. You were also very supportive of groups in St Louis, wishing to make use of Summorum Pontificum. With the looser restrictions in the celebration of the Old Mass, is the movement for tradition likely to grow, and what effect is this likely to have on the liturgical reform?

Pope Benedict XVI has made clear his reasons for the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, among which is the enrichment of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite through the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Such enrichment will be natural, since the Ordinary Form developed organically from what is now the Extraordinary Form. The more that the faithful come to appreciate the Extraordinary Form, the more they will also come to understand the profound reality of every celebration of the Holy Mass, whether in the Extraordinary or Ordinary Form. If I understand the Holy Father correctly, with time, a further reform of the Sacred Liturgy may take place, which more fully draws upon the richness of the Extraordinary Form. The legislation given in Summorum Pontificum, I am convinced, will foster greatly the liturgical reform which was the goal of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Update on the effects of the Rosary Crusade,Decree for the removal of excommunications on the Pope's desk?

"Monday, November 03, 2008

From Spanish blog La Cigüeña de la Torre:

On the Holy Father's bureau stands a prepared decree which will lift that of excommunion, of 1988, which applied to the consecrating [Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer] and consecrated bishops [Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Alfonso de Galarreta, and Richard Williamson]. I mean removing the decree, and not absolving of the excommunication.

The thesis of the subjective element, extenuating or mitigating of fault, and, therefore, of the penalty, according to Canons 1323, 4 and 7, and 1324, 1, 8, and 3, has prevailed.

The information sounds highly credible, it matches recent events (including the Rosary Crusade), and Spanish conservative Catholic lawyer Francisco José Fernández de la Cigoña usually only posts on future events (such as the nomination of Bishops) when he is truly certain of the matter. Nonetheless, even if the information is accurate, there is no way of knowing when the Holy Father will sign the document, or when it will be made public.

The referenced canons of the Code of Canon Law (CIC) are the following:

Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:
4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;
7/ a person who without negligence thought that one of the circumstances mentioned in nn. 4 or 5 was present.

Can. 1324 §1. The perpetrator of a violation is not exempt from a penalty, but the penalty established by law or precept must be tempered or a penance employed in its place if the delict was committed:
8/ by a person who thought in culpable error that one of the circumstances mentioned in can. 1323, nn. 4 or 5 was present;
§3. In the circumstances mentioned in §1, the accused is not bound by a latae sententiae penalty"