Presentation of Bishop Dom Thomas Aquinas O.S.B. (Part 1)

Presentation of Bishop Dom Thomas Aquinas O.S.B.  (Part 1)


Miguel Ferreira da Costa (the future Father Thomas Aquinas) was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1954.  He subsequently lived in Volta Redonda, where his father worked in an important steel factory, until 1962, when his family came back to Rio.  After his instruction at St. Benedict’s College in Rio de Janeiro, he started his studies in law.

Around the age of 13 he attended one of the weekly conferences given voluntarily by the anti-modernist writer Gustavo Corção to a little group of faithful, desiring to better know the treasures of the Catholic faith:

“I came back during 7 years, encouraged by my mother who barely missed any of these conferences.  My father always attended them when his work allowed him to.  It’s in that occasion that I had the chance to know Mr. Julio Fleichman and his wife, etc.1.” 

The young Miguel Ferreira da Costa went to see Gustavo Corção in 1972, to open his heart about his vocation and to ask him to which seminary he should go.  At this time, Gustavo Corção did not yet know Archbishop Lefebvre:

«”Tell you where to go?”, answered Gustavo Corção, “I can’t.  What I can tell you is where not to go.  You’ll have a hard time finding where they don’t teach fooly things […]”   It’s then that Mrs Pierotti, Corção’s secretary, spoke to me about Archbishop Lefebvre and Ecône: «If you were my son, that’s where I would send you».

Miguel Ferreira da Costa wrote to Archbishop Lefebvre who addressed him to the seminary of Bishop de Castro Mayer in Campos, a city in the State of Rio de Janeiro.  He went there, but he was discouraged by the influence of the TFP movement (“Tradition, Family, Property”) in the seminary.  Then, he heard about the priory that Dom Gérard founded in Bédoin, Provence (France), at the foot of Mount Ventoux.  Gustavo Corção told him: «Go there. If it’s not good, come back.»

“Without realizing it, he had made a prophecy, because that’s how this adventure was going to finish, through ways ordained “mightly and softly” by Divine Providence.  In the meantime, Dom Gérard wrote that he accepted me.  From Ecône arrived a letter too. The director of the seminary, the canon Berthod, opened his doors too.  To make a long story short, I went to Dom Gérard, which was not the best choice.”

Miguel Ferreira da Costa arrived in France in May 1974, in the little Provencal monastery of Bédoin, where Dom Gérard Calvet was following the traditional Benedictine monastic life since 1971.  On October 2, he received the religious habit along with the religious name of Thomas Aquinas, and started his novitiate.  On the occasion of his vows in 1976, Gustavo Corção came to the monastery to attend to the ceremony.  At that time Dom Gérard and the monks were united in heart and thought with Archbishop Lefebvre who gave the Holy Orders to the monks of the monastery.  In 1980, after his ordination in Ecône, Father Thomas Aquinas and the monks moved to the Barroux, leaving with sorrow, Bédoin, which had become too small.

Despite the enthusiasm which reigned at the monastery, Father Thomas Aquinas perceived a lack of philosophical and theological formation of the monks:

“There was already something very disturbing which explains, in my opinion, the drift which our community would have come to know some years later. […]  The formation given in Bédoin, when I arrived and until my ordination, was pretty informal.  Dom Gérard, it’s true, invited a few devoted and learned religious who came to give us some courses.

[…] But these conferences and even these courses didn’t form a structured whole, capable of giving us a true and solid formation. The courses, anyway, weren’t given in the correct order and, for the most part, they remained unfinished.  Dom Gérard then improvised the role of professor to teach us some treatises […] but in a too summarized way, sadly. He also asked the monks to give each other some of the courses when we weren’t yet capable enough to do so.  There were too few classes per week and the exams were very rare.  And so, many subjects were more or less unknown or misunderstood by the first generation of Bédoin. […]

Dom Gérard’s way of going about things was more artistic than realistic.  According to him, St. Thomas had his system.  Other people had others.  This left a doubt on the true value of a purely scholastic formation and of its real necessity, as St. Pius X presents it in the encyclical Pascendi, and in the Code of Canon Law. […] As a result, all we knew about the scholastic method was its name; and for the Summa Theologica, we learned the conclusions without understanding the argumentation.  We contemplated from the outside the Church’s beautiful doctrinal edifice without truly penetrating in the interior, and if at times we entered a bit it was as lay men and not as professionals.  One may say that the role of monks is not to become theologians, that contemplatives don’t need a lot of knowledge in order to devote themselves to contemplation.  That could be true in some cases but, if we were destined to the priesthood, if we were monks and priests, if among us some were destined one day to teach, then, it can hardly be conceived not to be formed in the method of St. Thomas, according to the directives of the Holy See, most especially in the actual crisis. […]

Without falling into the excess of saying that in Bédoin and Barroux we were modernists, it’s certain that we didn’t have in Dom Gérard the same purity, vigilance and doctrinal assurance of Archbishop Lefebvre.  If we weren’t modernists, the environment which reigned there didn’t protect us enough against their doctrines nor against a certain liberalism.”

It’s in 1975 that Father Thomas Aquinas saw for the first time Archbishop Lefebvre, who came to Bédoin to give the minor orders to the brothers Jean de Belleville and Joseph Vannier:

“The homily of Archbishop Lefebvre impressed me by its serenity. It radiated peace, that peace which is the motto of the Benedictines, and which he seemed to have more than us all.”

Father Thomas Aquinas attended at the ordinations in Ecône in 1976, which were a prelude to the «hot summer».  However, it wasn’t until the year of study and rest which he passed at the seminary St. Pius X in Ecône in 1984-1985, that he had a personal contact with Archbishop Lefebvre:

“Taking advantage of the presence of Archbishop Lefebvre, I could see him often.  His paternal goodness made his conversations easy. […]  On March 12, 1985, Archbishop Lefebvre spoke to me about the question of an agreement with Rome.

I think Archbishop Lefebvre broached this topic because of Dom Gérard who, at that time, […] was trying to obtain the support of Archbishop Lefebvre for what he wanted to do.”

Thanks to the notes that he had the habit of writing up after each meeting, Father Thomas Aquinas reveals to us some enlightening words of Archbishop Lefebvre:

“Be subject to men who have not the fullness of the Catholic faith?  Submit to men who proclaim principles contrary to the principles of the Church?  Either we will be obliged to break with them once more and the situation will become worse than before or we will be lead imperceptibly to the lessening and to the loss of the faith.  There is also a third possibility.  A very difficult life because of frequent contact with men who do not have the Catholic faith, leading to the disorientation and to the decrease of the spirit of combat of the faithful.(..)  Our position, such as it is now, allows us to remain united in the faith.  All those who have wanted to compromise with the modernists have veered off course.  I think that we must not submit to them.  I am very distrustful.  I spend whole nights thinking about that.  It is not we who must sign something.  It is they who must sign something guaranteeing that they accept the doctrine of the Church.  They want our submission but they do not give us doctrine.”

Reverend Father Thomas Aquinas also noted that as early as 1984 or 85, Dom Gérard went to Rome to negotiate for the regularization of the monastery of Le Barroux:

He went to see Cardinal Ratzinger and came back dazzled by him. ²The Cardinal, he said, is someone with whom one can work.  Archbishop Lefebvre is too withdrawn.”   And he imitated the attitude of the Archbishop as someone sulking in his corner.  “Moreover it is not necessary that it be Archbishop Lefebvre who ordains our priests.  Another bishop can do it just as well, provided that it is with the old rite”.  We had cold shivers down our backs when we heard all that. (…)  At the end of 1986, I set off for Brazil with Father Joseph Vannier to look at a plot of land with a view to a new foundation.  I was rather relieved to be leaving Le Barroux where the atmosphere was becoming more and more oppressive.  You could feel that the monastery was on a slippery slope.

On May 3rd, 1987 the monastery of Santa Cruz was officially founded and Father Thomas Aquinas became the prior.  The monastery is situated near Nova Friburgo, a town situated in the north-central part of the State of Rio de Janeiro.  Relations between the new foundation and Le Barroux deteriorated rapidly as Dom Thomas Aquinas recounts:

“Next came the years of the foundation of Santa Cruz, during which time Archbishop Lefebvre helped us with his precious counsel.  My conscience was very disturbed because of the liturgical modifications introduced into the Mass by Dom Gérard.[…]  So I wrote to Archbishop Lefebvre who, although not approving Dom Gérard, advised me to maintain good relations with the monastery of Le Barroux in France.  But these good relations with our monastery in France were not going to last long.  Dom Gérard, after the consecrations, was to make an agreement which was going to put our monasteries under the authority of the modernists.”

Here is the judgment of Father Thomas Aquinas on Le Barroux and its founder:

“In this way Dom Gérard destroyed his work.  This work, despite its deficiencies, was for all that a beautiful work .  The offices were said there with much care, the monastic virtues were held in honour there and we had very good vocations which came to us from families who were truly Catholic and traditional.  Dom Gérard had wanted to form a traditional monastery but he lacked an in-depth understanding of the present crisis. Dom Gérard saw the necessity of keeping the Mass of all-time; of keeping the monastic observances but he did not see with sufficient clarity the dangers of modernism and liberalism.  The most profound aspect of the present crisis eluded him.  All that allows us to measure more accurately the value of Archbishop Lefebvre and his work.  It is the Archbishop who saw correctly, it is he who discerned the evil, it is he who understood all the gravity of the situation.  The Archbishop had a vision of faith, a vision which was theological in the most precise sense of the word.  This was lacking in Dom Gérard who, like Jean Madiran, saw the defection of the diocesan bishops rather than that of the conciliar Popes, alas.[…]  When the news of the agreements reached us, we were already expecting it.  At first we thought of leaving Santa Cruz and leaving everything for Dom Gérard and those who wanted to follow him2.

A letter from Archbishop Lefebvre made us change our minds and we kept Santa Cruz in the bosom of Tradition.  […]  Dom Gérard, when he came to Brazil, had to leave again without obtaining what he was hoping for.  After these painful events we had no more contact with him.  On the other hand Archbishop Lefebvre became more and more what he is for all faithful Catholics, i.e. the faithful successor of the apostles who gave us the doctrine and the sacraments of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of our souls.  To him we owe our eternal gratitude.

August 18, 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre wrote a letter to Father Thomas Aquinas in which he said:

“ How much I regretted that you had left before the events at Le Barroux3.  It would have been easier to consider the situation provoked by Dom Gérard’s disastrous decision. […]  Dom Gérard, in his declaration, reports what is given to him and accepts putting himself under obedience to modernist Rome, which remains fundamentally anti-traditional, which was the cause of my estrangement.  At the same time he would like to keep the friendship and support of traditionalists, which is inconceivable.  He accuses us of “ resistance-ism”.  Yet I warned him. But his decision was taken a long time ago and he no longer wanted to listen to reason.  From now on the consequences are inescapable.  We will have no further links with Le Barroux and we will warn all our faithful to no longer support a work which is now in the hands of our enemies, the enemies of Our Lord and His universal Reign.

The Benedictine sisters are in anguish.  They came to see me.  I advised them what I advise you also: keep your liberty and refuse all links with this modernist Rome.  Dom Gérard uses all the arguments to lull the resisters. […]  You should have a meeting with Fathers Laurent and the Argentinian Father John of the Cross as well as with the novices.  With the three of you and the novices of Campos you can continue and constitute a monastery independent of Rome.  You must not hesitate to affirm this publicly.  God will bless you.  And you could then, after some time, set up a monastery again in France, you would be very well supported and would have vocations.  Dom Gérard has killed his own work.  Father Tam will tell you in person what I have not written.  I beg Our Lady to come to your aid in defence of the honour of her divine Son.  May God bless you and your monastery.”

(To be continued)

62 Reasons to reject the new mass (“Novus Ordo Missae”)

62 Reasons to Reject the new mass (“Novus Ordo Missae”)


1.  These 62 reasons have been written by the priests of Campos (Brazil) before they dangerously accepted a canonical recognition by the conciliar Church.

The new mass can be valid when it is celebrated by a priest validly ordained, saying the prayers of the consecration on bread and wine with the intention to perform what the holy Church intends to perform.  It is not always the case.

But these 62 reasons show that, even validly celebrated, the new mass cannot be said to be good by itself.   By itself, it doesn’t objectively honor God as He should be honored ; and having been made with six Protestant pastors, it is dangerous for the Faith.

What is not good in itself cannot bear good fruit by itself.  If sometimes there are good fruit, it is only accidental ; and it is not a reason to attend it actively.

2.  Note: all quotes followed by an asterisk * are from the Letter of Cardinals A. Ottaviani and A. Bacci to Pope Paul VI, dated September 25, 1969 enclosing “A Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae.”

1. Because the New Mass is not an unequivocal Profession of the Catholic Faith (which the traditional Mass is), it is ambiguous and with a Protestant flavor.  Therefore since we pray as we believe, it follows that we cannot pray with the New Mass in Protestant fashion and still believe as Catholics!

2. Because the changes were not just slight ones but actually “deal with a fundamental renovation … a total change … a new creation.” (Msgr. A. Bugnini, co-author of the New Mass)

3. Because the New Mass leads us to think “that truths … can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic Faith is bound forever.” *

4. Because the New Mass represents “a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent” which, in fixing the “canons,” provided an “insurmountable barrier to any heresy against the integrity of the Mystery.” *

5. Because the difference between the two is not simply one of mere detail or just modification of ceremony, but “all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place (in the New Mass), if it subsists at all.” *

6. Because “Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment in the faithful who already show signs of uneasiness and lessening of Faith.”

7. Because in times of confusion such as now, we are guided by the words of our Lord: “By their fruits you shall know them.” Fruits of the New Mass are: 30% decrease in Sunday Mass attendance in U.S. (NY Times, 5/24/75), 43% decrease in France (Cardinal Marty), 50% decrease in Holland (NY Times, 1/5/76).

8. Because “amongst the best of the clergy the practical result (of the New Mass) is an agonizing crisis of conscience…”*

9. Because in less than seven years after the introduction of the New Mass, priests in the world decreased from 413,438 to 243,307 – almost 50%! (Holy See Statistics)

10. Because “The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition … do not seem to us sufficient.” *

11. Because the New Mass does not manifest Faith in the Real Presence of our Lord – the Traditional Mass manifests it unmistakably.

12. Because the New Mass confuses the REAL Presence of Christ in the Eucharist with His MYSTICAL Presence among us (proximating Protestant doctrine).

13. Because the New Mass blurs what ought to be a sharp difference between the HIERARCHIC Priesthood and the common priesthood of the people (as does Protestantism).

14. Because the New Mass favors the heretical theory that it is THE FAITH of the people and not THE WORDS OF THE PRIEST which makes Christ present in the Eucharist.

15. Because the insertion of the Lutheran :”Prayer of the Faithful” in the New Mass follows and puts forth the Protestant error that all the people are priests.

16. Because the New Mass does away with the Confiteor of the priest, makes it collective with the people, thus promoting Luther’s refusal to accept the Catholic teaching that the priest is judge, witness and intercessor with God.

17. Because the New Mass gives us to understand that the people concelebrate with the priest – which is against Catholic theology!

18. Because six Protestant ministers collaborated in making up the New Mass: George, Jasper, Shepherd, Kunneth, Smith and Thurian.

19. Because just as Luther did away with the Offertory – since it very clearly expressed the sacrificial, propitiatory character of the Mass – so also the inventors of the New Mass did away with it, reducing it to a simple Preparation of the Gifts.

20. Because enough Catholic theology has been removed that Protestants can, while keeping their antipathy for the True Roman Catholic Church, use the text of the New Mass without difficulty. Protestant Minister Thurian (co-consultor for the ‘New Mass’ project) said that a fruit of the New mass “will perhaps be that the non-Catholic communities will be ale to celebrate the Lord’s Supper using the same prayers as the Catholic Church.” (La Croix, 4/30/69)

21. Because the narrative manner of the Consecration in the New Mass infers that it is only a memorial and not a true sacrifice (Protestant thesis)

22. Because by grave omissions, the New Mass leads us to believe that it is only a meal (Protestant doctrine) and not a sacrifice for the remission of sins (Catholic Doctrine).

23. Because the changes such as: table instead of altar; facing people instead of tabernacle; Communion in the hand, etc., emphasize Protestant doctrines (e.g., Mass is only a meal; priest only a president of the assembly; Eucharist is NOT the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, but merely a piece of bread, etc.)

24. Because Protestants themselves have said “the new Catholic Eucharistic prayers have abandoned the false (sic) perspective of sacrifice offered to God.” (La Croix, 12/10/69)

25. Because we are faced with the dilemma: either we become protestantized by worshipping with the New Mass, or else we preserve our Catholic Faith by adhering faithfully to the traditional Mass, the “Mass of All Time.”

26. Because the New Mass was made in accordance with the Protestant definition of the Mass: “The Lord’s Supper or Mass is a sacred synaxis or assembly of the people of God which gathers together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.” (Par. 7, Intro. to the New Missal, defining the New Mass, 4/6/69)

27. Because by means of ambiguity, the New Mass pretends to please Catholics while pleasing Protestants; thus it is “double-tongued” and offensive to God who abhors any kind of hypocrisy: “Cursed be … the double-tongued for they destroy the peace of many.” (Ecclesiasticus 28:13)

28. Because beautiful, familiar Catholic hymns which have inspired people for centuries, have been thrown out and replaced with new hymns strongly Protestant in sentiment, further deepening the already distinct impression that one is no longer attending a Catholic function.

29. Because the New Mass contains ambiguities subtly favoring heresy, which is more dangerous than if it were clearly heretical since a half-heresy half resembles the Truth!

30. Because Christ has only one Spouse, the Catholic Church, and her worship service cannot also serve religions that are at enmity with her.

31. Because the New Mass follows the format of Cranmer’s heretical Anglican Mass, and the methods used to promote it follow precisely the methods of the English heretics.

32. Because Holy Mother Church canonized numerous English Martyrs who were killed because they refused to participate in a Mass such as the New Mass!

33. Because Protestants who once converted to Catholicism are scandalized to see that the New Mass is the same as the one they attended as Protestants. One of them, Julien Green, asks: “Why did we convert?”

34. Because statistics show a great decrease in conversions to Catholicism following the use of the New Mass. Conversions, which were up to 100,000 a year in the U.S., have decreased to less than 10,000! And the number of people leaving the Church far exceeds those coming in.

35. Because the Traditional Mass has forged many saints. “Innumerable saints have been fed abundantly with the proper piety towards God by it …” (Pope Paul VI, Const. Apost. Missale Romanum)

36. Because the nature of the New Mass is such as to facilitate profanations of the Holy Eucharist, which occur with a frequency unheard of with the Traditional Mass.

37. Because the New Mass, despite appearances, conveys a New Faith, not the Catholic Faith. It conveys Modernism and follows exactly the tactics of Modernism, using vague terminology in order to insinuate and advance error.

38. Because by introducing optional variations, the New Mass undermines the unity of the liturgy, with each priest liable to deviate as he fancies under the guise of creativity. Disorder inevitably results, accompanied by lack of respect and irreverence.

39. Because many good Catholic theologians, canonists and priests do not accept the New Mass, and affirm that they are unable to celebrate it in good conscience.

40. Because the New Mass has eliminated such things as: genuflections (only three remain), purification of the priests fingers in the chalice, preservation from all profane contact of priest’s fingers after Consecration, sacred altar stone and relics, three altar clothes (reduced to one), all of which “only serve to emphasize how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence is implicitly repudiated.” *

41. Because the traditional Mass, enriched and matured by centuries of Sacred Tradition, was codified (not invented) by a Pope who was a saint, Pius V; whereas the New Mass was artificially fabricated by six Protestant ministers and Msgr. Annibale Bugnini suspect of being a Freemason.

42. Because the errors of the New Mass which are accentuated in the vernacular version are even present in the Latin text of the New Mass.

43. Because the New Mass, with its ambiguity and permissiveness, exposes us to the wrath of God by facilitating the risk of invalid consecrations: “Will priests of the near future who have not received the traditional formation, and who rely on the Novus Ordo Missae with the intention of ‘doing what the Church does,’ consecrate validly? One may be allowed to doubt it!” *

44. Because the abolition of the Traditional Mass recalls the prophecy of Daniel 8:12: “And he was given power against the perpetual sacrifice because of the sins of the people” and the observation of St. Alphonsus de Liguori that because the Mass is the best and most beautiful thing which exists in the Church here below, the devil has always tried by means of heretics to deprive us of it.

45. Because in places where the Traditional Mass is preserved, the Faith and fervor of the people are greater. Whereas the opposite is true where the New Mass reigns (Report on the Mass, Diocese of Campos, Roma, Buenos Aires #69, 8/81)

46. Because along with the New Mass goes also a new catechism, a new morality, new prayers, new Code of Canon law, new calendar, — in a word, a NEW CHURCH, a complete revolution from the old. “The liturgical reform … do not be deceived, this is where the revolution begins.” (Msgr. Dwyer, Archbishop of Birmingham, spokesman of Episcopal Synod)

47. Because the intrinsic beauty of the Traditional Mass attracts souls by itself; whereas the New Mass, lacking any attractiveness of its own, has to invent novelties and entertainment in order to appeal to the people.

48. Because the New mass embodies numerous errors condemned by Pope St. Pius V at the Council of Trent (Mass totally in vernacular, words of Consecration spoken aloud, etc. See Condemnation of Jansenist Synod of Pistoia), and errors condemned by Pope Pius XII (e.g., altar in form of table. See Mediator Dei).

49. Because the New Mass attempts to transform the Catholic Church into a new, ecumenical church embracing all ideologies and all religions – right and wrong, truth and error – a goal long dreamt of by the enemies of the Catholic Church.

50. Because the New Mass, in removing the salutations and final blessing when the priest celebrates alone, shows a denial of, and disbelief in the dogma of the Communion of Saints.

51. Because the altar and tabernacle are now separated, thus marking a division between Christ in His priest-and-Sacrifice-on-the-altar, from Christ in His Real Presence in the tabernacle, “two things which of their very nature, must remain together.” (Pius XII)

52. Because the New Mass no longer constitutes a vertical worship between God and man, but rather a horizontal worship between man and man.

53. Because the New Mass, although appearing to conform to the dispositions of Vatican Council II, in reality opposes its instructions, since the Council itself declared its desire to conserve and promote the Traditional Rite.

54. Because the Traditional Latin Mass of Pope St. Pius V has never been legally abrogated and therefore remains a true rite of the Roman Catholic Church by which the faithful may fulfill their Sunday obligation.

55. Because Pope St. Pius V granted a perpetual indult, valid “for always,” to celebrate the Traditional Mass freely, licitly, without scruple of conscience, punishment, sentence or censure (Papal Bull Quo Primum)

56. Because Pope Paul VI, when promulgating the New Mass, himself declared. “The rite … by itself is NOT a dogmatic definition …” (11/19/69)

57. Because Pope Paul VI, when asked by Cardinal Heenan of England, if he was abrogating or prohibiting the Tridentine Mass, answered: “It is not our intention to prohibit absolutely the Tridentine Mass.”

58. Because “In the Libera nos of the New Mass, the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles and all the Saints are no longer mentioned; her and their intercession thus no longer asked, even in time of peril.” *

59. Because in none of the three new Eucharistic Prayers (of the New Mass) is there any reference … to the state of suffering of those who have died, in none the possibility of a particular Memento, thus undermining faith in the redemptive nature of the Sacrifice. *

60. Because we recognize the Holy Father’s supreme authority in his universal government of Holy Mother Church, but we know that even this authority cannot impose upon us a practice which is so CLEARLY against the Faith: a Mass that is equivocal and favoring heresy and therefore disagreeable to God.

61. Because, as stated in Vatican Council I, the “Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter, that by His revelation they might make new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of Faith delivered through the Apostles.” (Dnz 3070)

62. Because heresy, or whatever clearly favors heresy, cannot be a matter for obedience. Obedience is at the service of Faith and not Faith at the service of obedience! In this foregoing case then, “One must obey God before men.” (Acts 5:29)