Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith

Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith


A Sermon given in the Dominican Monastery of Avrillé (France)

“Thomas Aquinas was a light placed by Me over the Mystical Body of the Church in order to disperse the darkness of error.” 1

1. Saint Thomas, celestial patron of Catholic studies

On the feast of Saint Dominic, on August 4, 1880, and after having consulted the Sacred Congregation of Rites, Pope Leo III published the Brief, Cum hoc sit, designating St. Thomas the patron of universities, academies, Catholic colleges and schools. The feast was fixed on the 13th of November.2

The motives justifying the patronage of Saint Thomas for Catholic studies

This decision of the Pope, designating Saint Thomas patron of Catholic studies came immediately after his encyclical Aeterni Patris, dealing with the restoration of Catholic philosophy according to the principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas, written one year before, on August 4, 1879.  This patronage should have been its crowning point, and Leo XIII assigned three reasons for it.    Let us quote the Pope:

  1. The doctrine of Saint Thomas is so vast that it embraces, like an ocean, the entire wisdom of Antiquity.  Everything said in the past that was true, everything that was wisely discussed by the pagan philosophers and by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church as well as those superior individuals who existed before him; not only did he completely understand it, but he developed, completed and classified it with such an insight, with such methodical precision and with such a precise terminology, that he seems to have only left to his followers the ability to imitate him, while at the same time taking away their possibility of equaling him!”
  2. “There is yet a more important matter to consider: it is that his doctrine being formed and armed with principles containing a vast breadth of application corresponds to the necessities not only of one historical period but rather of all times and periods of history and is therefore very well suited to conquer the continually re-emerging errors.  Sustaining itself by its own strength, it remains invincible and causes a profound fear to its adversaries.  The perfect agreement between faith and reason [in the works of St. Thomas] must not be neglected, especially in regards to the judgment of Catholics.”
  3. “Finally, the Angelic Doctor, though great because of his doctrine, is no less great because of his virtue and holiness.  Consequently virtue is the best preparation for the work of the mind and the acquisition of knowledge; those who neglect virtue falsely imagine having acquired a solid and fruitful knowledge because ‘Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins’ (Wisdom 1:4).”

Furthermore, Pope Pius XI dedicated a very beautiful encyclical; Studiorum Ducem3, in order to demonstrate the link between ecclesiastical studies and holiness as exemplified by Saint Thomas.

Saint Thomas enjoyed a wisdom proportioned to his sanctity; furthermore he enjoyed a superior degree of sanctity which was especially true from the moment when the Angels bound his loins with the cincture of chastity.  The enlightenment of the intellect is, indeed, the special fruit of chastity while the result of impurity is to darken the mind.  Saint Thomas was so free from the fires of concupiscence that he was able to enjoy an understanding of divine things similar to that of the Angels who do not have a body.  That is why he is called the Angelic Doctor.

Saint Thomas is the fruit of the Dominican Order

At the same time, St. Thomas must not be separated from the religious order to which he belonged.  It was the soil of the Order of Preachers where he was allowed to show his true worth.  The necessary balance between the practice of the vows of religion, monastic observances, the choral singing of the divine office, and the contemplative study ordered to preaching for the salvation of souls: it is this entire wonderful ensemble that permitted him to develop his Angelic doctrine.  But, since a religious acts only out of obedience, Saint Thomas’ superiors must also be mentioned:

“Must we not acknowledge that they directed him as perfectly as possible in his scientific vocation?   For he was a superior intellect, a genius who during his period of development was not inhibited by his own brethren.   This is a

phenomenon rare enough throughout history even in Religious Orders to deserve to be mentioned and held up as an example.” 4

The Masters General under whose direction he lived his religious life5, and the great saint, Albert-the-Great (1206-1280) who directed him at Cologne are a few superiors of Saint Thomas who must be honored.

We can certainly claim that Saint Thomas is the most beautiful flower, the most beautiful fruit of the Order of Saint Dominic:  the Order whose mission in the Church is to spread the light of truth and combat error in order to save souls.

2. Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith

Therefore, it is clear from all that has been said how important Saint Thomas is in the contemporary battle for the Faith.  Let us quote Archbishop Lefebvre:

“We do not have the right to contradict the spirit of the Church which has always relied on Saint Thomas throughout its history.  God, Himself, raised up this admirable Doctor and the Church and the Popes have confirmed it, always proclaiming the power of Saint Thomas in rejecting error and heresy.  Since our contemporary age is one replete with heresy, error and paganism, we do not have the right to neglect papal directives. […]  It is very unfortunate that in today’s Roman Universities every possible and imaginable theory is floated without any correction from the authorities.  This is unfortunately due to the infiltration of ecumenism into philosophy as well as the idea of the equality of every theory.  Thomism is considered like everything else – relative – it was a system that was good during a certain period of time but, now we need something else more suited to the needs of the time.  (Archbishop Lefebvre)”6

Study

Saint Thomas is the remedy for the malicious illness of our time – which is Modernism

None other than Saint Pius X, in his encyclical Pascendi, written on the 8th of September, 1907, declares that the primary remediation for Modernism is the study of the philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas:

“Concerning the question of studies, We wish and order that Scholastic philosophy form the basis for the Sacred Studies. […] And when we prescribe Scholastic philosophy, We want to make it clear the We especially mean the philosophy left us by the Angelic Doctor. This is of paramount importance.”

Saint Pius X will again clarify his thought in his Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici of June 29, 1914, concerning the study of the doctrine of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

“It happened that since We said that the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas especially had to be followed without indicating that it had to be exclusively followed, a number of teachers convinced themselves that they were obeying Our desire, or at the very least, that it was not contradictory if they were to adopt indiscriminately what other scholastics taught about philosophy, even though it was directly in opposition to the principles of Saint Thomas.   But in doing this they were greatly deceived.  When we gave Our seminarians Saint Thomas as the sole leader of Scholastic Philosophy, it goes without saying, that we were talking especially about his principles upon which, as on its foundation, this philosophy rests. […] It is certainly not difficult to understand that if the doctrine of some author or some saint was ever recommended by Us or by Our predecessors with particular enthusiasm, […] it is not difficult to understand that they were recommended in so far as they were in agreement with the principles of Thomas Aquinas or at least they did not oppose his principles in the very least.”

Again, it is Saint Pius X who gives the reason for this:

We wanted to state to all those dedicated to teaching philosophy and sacred theology to be alerted that if they alienated themselves from Thomas Aquinas, in the slightest degree, especially in matters of metaphysics they would experience a tragic loss.”
 

Furthermore, the Church had taken precise measures concerning this matter.  The 1917 Code of Canon Law obliges seminary professors, as well as their students, to “adhere both in philosophy and theology to the method, doctrine and principles of Saint Thomas.” (C. 1366 # 2).  The Dominican Constitution even required professors, the Master of novices and the brothers during their course of study to take an oath to maintain that doctrine.   The doctrine of Saint Thomas is the Church’s doctrine, and the Church is suspicious of anyone straying from it.

The shipwreck of the Conciliar Church

Alienated from the Tradition of the Church, the intellect has no point of reference; it just wanders around (or it loses its way).  This is precisely the spectacle given by the Conciliar Church.

The new Code of Canon Law issued in 1983, does not even explicitly mention Saint Thomas when it comes to philosophical studies in the seminaries!   It only says:

“The philosophical formation ought to always relate to Tradition while at the same time keeping aware of on going philosophical research” (C. 251).

One cannot be more vague.

Let us also quote the incredible declaration of Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:

“I had difficulty in understanding Saint Thomas Aquinas whose crystalline logic appeared much too enclosed on itself, too impersonal and too stereotyped.”7

At any other time in history, he would not have been ordained a priest.  And in our times, he became the Pope!

One must read the text of Saint Thomas

Following the thought of Saint Pius X we readily see that he insists on reading the text of Saint Thomas itself:

“It is absolutely necessary to return to the ancient custom which, should have never been abandoned, that there be courses taught on the Summa Theologica itself, for the obvious reason that this highly reasoned book renders the Solemn Decrees of the teaching Church and its Acts that naturally follow more easily intelligible.  Because in the wake of the most blessed saintly Doctor, the Church has never held a Council in which he himself were not present with all the richness of his doctrine.  It daily becomes clearer and the experience of so many centuries has made it known, how true the affirmation of Our predecessor John XXII8is right on: [Thomas] enlightened the Church more clearly than all the Doctors, and, in his books, man profits more in one year than if he spent his entire life span studying all the others.”

In addition to the necessity of reading the text of St. Thomas itself, two cogent things should be retained:

  • The Second Vatican Council is the only council which did not rely on the doctrine of the Angelic Doctor; hence the disaster that flows from this omission.
  • Saint Pius X links the study of St. Thomas, in our times, to none other than the Acts of the Holy See.  This is something that was sadly lacking to the Thomists in our times.  Leaning on the principles of the Angelic Doctor, the Popes – up to Pius XII included – assiduously studied modern errors and condemned them.  These lessons were too often ignored and the lack of knowledge of the pontifical texts is an important cause for the lack of reaction against these errors in the Church:  hence their triumph on the occasion of Vatican II.

That is why Archbishop Lefebvre, in order “to transmit in its entire doctrinal purity, as well as in all his missionary charity, just as Our Lord transmitted it to His Apostles as also the Roman Church transmitted it up until the middle of the XXth century,”9 inserted in the first year course on spirituality for the seminarians, courses on the Acts of the Magisterium concerning modern errors which he himself gave in the beginning10.

Preaching

The study of the doctrine of St. Thomas, in itself, ought to be the principal inspiration for preaching for priests.  It is very important to nourish the souls with this doctrine in order to sustain their contemplation and love of God.

Saint Thomas himself, as a true son of Saint Dominic, had consecrated himself to the salvation of souls.  Furthermore, it is Thomas himself who developed the logo for the Order of Preachers: “Contemplari, et contemplate aliis tradere,”:  to contemplate and transmit to others that which you have contemplated.

It would be a grave error and detriment for the faithful to think that Saint Thomas is only reserved for priestsIt would also be wrong to think that, for the faithful, it is only necessary to give moral exhortations or, what is worse, considerations that appeal only to feelings.

Let us quote again the Archbishop:

Let us not think that Saint Thomas is too much for the faithful and that he is distant from their faith, for this is not true and damaging to the faithful.  The philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas are truth.  Therefore let us not say that the truth explained in all its simplicity, and clarity, in addition to its profound logic, cannot be understood by the faithful.  That would be condescension on our part.  This would amount to abandoning and despairing of communicating to the faithful – a profound tragedy.  It goes without saying that one must know how to express and expose these admirable principles.”11

Father Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. tells of having known a little lay sister, who was a contemplative, and who did not possess any human culture to speak of but who had been interiorly enlightened by interior trials:

“She had discovered among the saints two great friends: Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Albert the Great.  In spite of the fact that she lacked any philosophical or theological culture, she, nevertheless, loved to read how these saints prayed and furthermore, addressed them saying: “They are great Doctors of the Church and they enlighten the souls of those who entreat them for help.”  As a matter of fact, Father Garrigou-Lagrange continues to explain that it was St. Thomas who showed her where the obscure tunnel she was crossing would lead her!  And Saint Thomas enlightened many souls, as he had done to the little lay sister, if these poor souls appealed to him.”12

It was well known at Econe, that Msgr. Lefebvre came for a spiritual conference with a single volume of Saint Thomas, and he gave a commentary on an article of the Summa.  These formed the most pleasing lectures experienced by the Seminarians, and especially by the brothers!

It was not something rare, at the Monastery of Avrille, to be surprised to find our (now deceased) brother Marie-Joseph O.P. plunged into one of these same volumes.  He was particularly in love with the treatise on charity.

Conclusion

Let us ask of Our Lord what the Church makes us specially ask for in the Collect and the Postcommunion for the feast of Saint Thomas:

Da nobis et quae docuit, intellectu conspicere:

give us the grace to contemplate what he taught – that is, to nourish ourselves with his doctrine,

et quae egit imitatione complere; ut actus exterius piae operationis excrescent:

give us the grace to resemble him, in order that there may be an increase in our good works,

knowing that the first work of spiritual mercy consists in teaching souls the truth:

Docere ignorantes.


A Major Event in Tradition

A Major Event in Tradition

A text available on gloria.tv aptly analyses certain consequences of the granting of an ordinary jurisdiction to the Society of St. Pius X by Pope Francis for the duration of the “Holy Year”.   We quote here some extracts from it.

 

5)  The forms of the concession are atypical:  the jurisdiction is awarded to priests of the Society according to an unusual procedure, moreover it is very limited and temporary in nature.  The act of September 1st 2015 is nevertheless a “canonical normalization” in the sense of the decision of the Chapter of July 2012, which did not make any distinctions between partial, complete, unilateral, consensual, temporary or final normalization etc…    Furthermore, the six “preconditions” imposed by this Chapter no longer have any reason to exist now that the papal measure has been accepted by the Superior General.

 

6)  On analysis, this “mini-normalization” ( two sacraments for one year) appears to be a first experiment in co-existence between the Society and its “conciliar” environment, and a test of its docility towards the holders of legitimate power in the Church. […]

 

7)  Last autumn, the risks of this process could not have eluded the General Council of Menzingen, thus making even more imperative the meeting of the Chapter foreseen in the communiqué of July 14th 2012.   And yet the Superior General did not convene this extraordinary Chapter.   So the procedure for authorization instituted by the supreme authority of the Society with the aim of its protection was not applied: and the reason for this omission has not been given.

 

8)  Having accepted alone and without the authorization of the Chapter this preliminary act of the Pope, will Mgr. Fellay be able to oppose the complementary normalization measures already envisaged  (cf. his sermon at the French pilgrimage of Le Puy on April 10th, 2016) or a more complete canonical recognition?   Will he be able to refuse to ratify the “fundamental accord” on “the value of the Council”, as the pope requires for the erection of a personal prelature for the Society (cf. interview in the French newspaper La Croix of May 16th).   On considering the evolution of events, we are not able to affirm this.

 

9)   The desire to remedy a canonical situation deemed “irregular” has led the Society to defer endlessly decisive confrontation on doctrine.   Not having demanded Rome’s renunciation of conciliar errors before consenting to receive the ordinary jurisdiction granted by the act of September 1st, the Society has fallen into a trap:  it will not be able to invoke the state of necessity and take, if necessary, without the agreement of the authorities, the measures needed to safeguard the faith and the priesthood, put in danger by Vatican II and its reforms.

The Religion of Man

The Religion of Man

Since the Council there has been a new Church

By Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer

Diocesan bulletin, April 1972

Because of the difficulty of the undertaking, or be it by a compromise with the spirit of the times, the fact is:

In the implementation of the plan outlined by Vatican II, in most of the Catholic world, the attempt to adapt has gone beyond simply a means of expression more in conformity with the mentality of the day.

It has even touched the essence of Revelation itself.  They do not preoccupy themselves with explaining revealed Truth in such a way as to enable man to understand it more easily; rather their goal, by using ambiguous and flowery language, is to put forward a new Church to man’s tastes formed according to the maxims of the modern world.

With that, they now spread, more or less everywhere, the idea that the Church must undergo a radical change in its morality, in its liturgy, and even in its doctrine.  In what has been written and done in Catholic milieu since the [Vatican II] Council, the thesis has been spread that the Traditional Church, such as it existed until Vatican II, is no longer adequate for the needs of modern times, so that it must be completely transformed.

A profound observation on what has taken place in Catholic circles leads to the conviction that, truly, since the Council there is a new Church that is essentially distinct from the one we knew prior to the Council, as the unique Church of Christ.  Indeed, human dignity is now exalted as an absolute and untouchable principle to whose rights truth and good must submit.

A similar idea launches the Religion of man.  It makes us forget Christian austerity and the beatitude of Heaven.

As for morality, the same principle causes us to forget about Christian asceticism, and it is full of an indulgence for pleasure, even sensual pleasure, because it is on earth that man must find his fulfillment.

As for family and married life, the Religion of man celebrates love and puts pleasure over duty, thus justifying contraception, weakening opposition to divorce, and favoring homosexuality and co-education, without a fear of the ensuing moral disorders, inherent in this attitude as the consequences of original sin.

In public life, the Religion of man does not understand hierarchy, and defends the egalitarianism proper to Marxist ideology (and which is contrary to both natural and revealed teaching) which assures the existence of a social order which nature itself demands.

In the field of religion, the same principle encourages, for the benefit of man, an ecumenism which reconciles all religions and wishes to establish a church that resembles a society of social assistance, and renders the sacred unintelligible, because it can only be understood in a society based on hierarchy.

Whence this excessive preoccupation with the promotion of clergy, whose celibacy is now considered to be absurd, along with the restraint of a priestly life which is intimately tied to the character of a consecrated person wholly devoted to the service of the altar.

In the liturgy, the priest is reduced to a simple representative of the people.  The changes are such and so numerous that the liturgy ceases to represent, suitably, in the eyes of the faithful, the image of the Spouse of the Lamb, one, holy and immaculate.

It is evident that the relaxation of morals as well as the liturgical breakdown cannot co-exist with the immutability of dogma.  In reality, these changes indicate already alterations in the concept of revealed truths.  A reading of the new theologians, understood spokesmen of the Council, demonstrates how, in fact, in certain Catholic milieu, the words used to state the mysteries of the Faith imply concepts completely different from those of traditional theology.

Friends and Benefactors Letter number 22, May 2016 – Consoling Our Lord

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 22: May 2016

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Chrismal Mass on Holy Thursday

Consoling Our Lord

“And I looked for one that would grieve with me, but there was none: and for one that would console me, and I found none”. In the present time of the Church’s Passion, Our Lord renews this complaint from Psalm 68 (verse 21).  However, how can Our Lord, Who is gloriously reigning in Heaven, be sad and ask for consolers?

Saint Thomas Aquinas provides the answer when he explains the following expression of Saint Paul: “Sadden not the Holy Ghost” (Eph. 4: 30):

“How can this be said, since the Holy Ghost, being God Himself, cannot possess any passion (that is, emotion) or suffer sadness?  Answer: The Holy Ghost is “saddened” when the person in whom He dwells is afflicted, according to the words of Our Lord: “He who despises you, despises Me” (Luke 10:16).  Also, one can say that it is a metaphorical expression, as when one speaks of God’s “anger” in order to designate His avenging justice, which [for God] is not a passion (as it is in us), but a virtue.  Thus, it is said that God is saddened, when He withdraws from the sinner, as a saddened man takes leave of the person who has afflicted him.  As a result, the expression “sadden not the Holy Ghost” signifies: do not drive Him out of your soul by sin.”

Accordingly, we can say that Our Lord Jesus Christ is saddened insofar as the members of His Mystical Body are afflicted, as is presently the case of so many Catholics being persecuted under Islamic, Communist, and Hindu regimes.

Secondly, Our Divine Lord is saddened in the sense that the sins of men cause Him to turn away.  In the prayer of the Act of Contrition, do we not say that sin offends God, or displeases Him?  It is a way of saying that God acts toward the sinner in the same manner as someone who, upon receiving an offense, suffers grief and separates from the person who has given the offense.

Furthermore, Father Garrigou-Lagrange explains:

“If this is true of God considered in His Divine and purely spiritual nature, it is even truer when speaking of Christ’s holy soul […]:  His soul in fact is capable of feeling, and therefore Jesus is truly sensitive to the love which is due to Him, but which many refuse to give.”  [Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, in the preface to Élévations sur la prière au Cœur Eucharistique de Jésus – Elevations on the Prayer to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.]

Thus, because Our Lord Jesus Christ is “the Word made flesh” (something which cannot be said of the Father or the Holy Ghost), there is a third reason for His sadness:  while He was on earth, particularly during His agony in the Garden of Olives, Our Lord experienced a veritable sorrow:  “My soul is sorrowful even unto death (Mt 26:38)”.  Now, Our Lord was grieved by the sins of all men, including those being committed today.  Our Lord had a perfect knowledge of all these sins thanks to the “beatific vision” which He possessed from the moment of His conception.

When Our Lord asks us to console Him, He is asking us to comfort Him with respect to this triple sadness:  that of His Mystical Body, by consoling persecuted Christians;  the metaphorical sorrow of His Divinity offended by our sins, by doing penance;  and that of His Sacred Humanity, by sharing in the pains of His agony, especially through the practice of Holy Hours, but also through the meditation of the Rosary, attending Mass, and receiving Holy Communion in reparation:  “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men.  Make reparation for their crimes, and console your God”  (the angel to the three children of Fatima in 1916).

“We do not console someone effectively unless we participate in his sufferings;  thereby taking a portion of them upon ourselves.  It is certainly an admirable and touching condescendence of Almighty God – the God of all consolation, entirely sufficient to Himself – to want to be in need of us, the same as He chose to be in need of the consoling angel at Gethsemane.  This implies that we must have our share in the sufferings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, participating, in a certain measure, in the sorrowful life that He led on earth, before we partake of His glorious life in heaven.” [Garrigou-Lagrange, work cited above, page 14.]

This was well understood by little Francisco of Fatima.  Sister Lucy wrote of him as “having no other thought than to console Our Lord and Our Lady, after seeing how sad they were in the visions.”   Sister Lucy writes further:

“One day, I asked him, ‘Francisco, what would you rather do: console Our Lord, or convert sinners so that there will be no more souls going to hell?’  He answered, ‘I prefer to console Our Lord.  Didn’t you see how Our Lady looked so sad last month when she told us that no one should offend Our Lord anymore, because He has already been offended too much?  I would like to console Our Lord and then afterwards convert sinners so that they will no longer offend Him’” (see the Sel de la Terre, #53, pp.232-233).

Today, more than ever, Our Lord is saddened:  by the persecution of Catholics everywhere in the world ─ including the more hidden, subtle persecution taking place in our formerly Christian nations, carried out by secularist propaganda, whose program is to instill atheism in the souls of men;  and by the worldwide revolt “against God and against His Anointed One” (Psalm 2:2) ─ including in His Church, where the modernists “prefer the fables of men” (2 Tim. 4:4) rather than Tradition.

Let us console Our Lord by our efforts to live a truly Catholic life, for example, by not wasting our time with audio-visual entertainments, or with other useless amusements, by fleeing excessive modern-day comforts that only make us soft and lazy, by reading a good catechism or other edifying books, etc.

Community Chronicle

December 31st: The community goes on pilgrimage to one of Anjou’s most hallowed sanctuaries: “Our Lady of Béhuard” situated on an island in the middle of the Loire River.  After Compline, a (growing) number of faithful join us in singing a Te Deum of thanksgiving (with a plenary indulgence).

January 16th:  Mr. François-Xavier Peron gives a conference for the faithful on Pope Francis’ revolutionary “Synod on the Family”.

January 16th – 17th:  Fathers Angelico and Marie-Laurent are in Alsace for a tertiary meeting, followed the next day by Sunday Mass and conferences for the faithful of the Combat for the Faith.  Regular tertiary meetings throughout the year give us the chance to provide Sunday Mass for a growing number of faithful in many different regions:  Paris, Brittany, Alsace, Lyons, Clermont-Ferrand… (Not all these meetings can be mentioned in this short chronicle.)

February 3rd – 4th:  Father Prior and Father Marie-Dominique preach the preparatory retreat to the seminarians of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Seminary before their cassock-taking.

February 5thPontifical High Mass and imposition of the cassock by H.E Bishop Faure for six seminarians.

February 21stFathers Marie-Dominique and Reginald lead the boys of the Marian Congregation of our school on a pilgrimage to Pontchâteau, in Brittany, to pray at the famous Calvary of St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort.

February 27thFathers Angelico and Hyacinth-Marie are with the “Our Lady of Fatima Youth Club” for one of the regular outings in the countryside of Anjou.

March 7thFeast of St. Thomas Aquinas, light of the Church and glory of the Dominican Order!   The festivities include a Solemn High Mass and a conference on the method of St. Thomas.  We also have the joy of receiving the visits of Fr. McDonald, Fr. Bruno (U.S.M.L.), and Sr. Marie-Liesse (former SSSPX).

March 24th:  Holy Thursday.  For the first time at the Friary, we are graced with a Chrismal Mass, officiated by H.E. Bishop Faure.  At this Mass, the Bishop consecrates the Holy Oils necessary for the sacraments of Confirmation, Extreme Unction and Holy Orders (and solemn Baptisms) during the coming year.  What an eloquent demonstration of the importance and necessity of the recent episcopal consecrations!  Without Bishops, it is impossible for priests to continue their apostolate, and have their candidates ordained to the priesthood.

March 26th – 27th:  Easter Vigil.  The wind and rain seem to be stirred up by the devil (no doubt angered by the two adults to be purified in the waters of Baptism that night) in order to prevent the blessing of the new fire and the procession with the Easter candle.  Their efforts are to no avail, and the Vigil Mass is celebrated in presence of an unusually large and fervent crowd of faithful.

April 4th – 11th: Fr. Louis-Marie is in Rome for a pilgrimage with the senior class of Saint Thomas Aquinas Boys’ School.  It was an occasion for them to see up close the glories of Eternal Rome, as well as the miseries of Conciliar Rome…

April 12th:  Classes start back up for the schools, the clerical brothers and the seminarians.

April 17thFr. Marie-Laurent, accompanied by two seminarians, mans a booth at the annual assembly of the “French Renewal” patriotic movement, in Paris.  More and more people are worried about the world political situation; our presence at such gatherings allows us to help souls analyze current events under the light of the Faith.

May 5th:  Feast of the Ascension and annual gathering of the alumni of St. Thomas Aquinas Boys’ school.  What a consolation to witness the perseverance of former students, and hear them say “thank you” for the doctrine and apologetics courses they received!

May 13th-15th:  Fr. Angelico and Br. Louis-Bertrand are at Le Puy-en-Velay (France’s oldest Marian Shrine) for the Pentecost pilgrimage of the Combat for the Faith.  In his sermon during the Pontifical High Mass on Sunday, His Excellency Ferreira da Costa (Dom Thomas of Aquinas O.S.B.), recounted how the official recognition of the conciliar church led inevitably to the abandonment of the combat for the Faith in the Barroux monastery (France) and Campos (Brazil).  His conclusion: it is now up to us to continue the fight!

News from our work sites

The installation of the new library is progressing.  One by one, the donated movable bookshelves are being adapted by a local ironsmith to fit the rails on the floor.

A large part of the stone wall protecting the property having collapsed, “Eddy”, our maintenance man (a professionally trained mason), is doing a beautiful job in restoring it with the help of a few of the high school boys, happy to learn the trade.

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Stone wall under repair. In the foreground we see the beginning of the foundations of a future wood shop for the boys’ school.

 

A few overdue projects to accomplish:

-The paving of the parking lot and two entrance roads, which have been seriously deteriorated over the years by the steady increase of traffic (daily drop-offs and pick-ups for the school children, three Sunday Masses, as well as other various parish activities).

- New buildings for the Friary workshop.  For the moment, the lay brothers work in temporary barracks built by the US army in 1945, and we’re not sure how long they will remain standing. (A wood shop for the boys’ school is also planned).

-The refurbishing of the Chapter room; in particular, the installation of a worthy altar for the daily Masses which are celebrated there.

 

For timely articles and spiritual reading please go to our website:  

www.dominicansavrille.us

 

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Edinburgh EH10 6AA

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Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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Answer to Fr Bouchacourt (SSPX)

Answer to Fr Bouchacourt (SSPX)

On July 1, 2015, on the Porte Latine, website of the Society in France, Fr Bouchacourt, Superior of the District, published a communiqué warning against the Dominican community of Avrillé. The same communiqué was also published in Fideliter 227, September/October 2015, magazine of the Society in France.

The Dominicans answered respectfully on their Website.

As the Society is now spreading the English translation of the communiqué of Fr Bouchacourt, the Dominicans publish here their answer in English.

Here in part 1 is the communiqué of Fr Bouchacourt, followed by the answer of the Dominicans:

PART 1. Communiqué of Fr Bouchacourt

1. For more than a year the Dominican Fathers of the friary in Avrillé have been spreading and supporting defiance against the authorities of the Society of St. Pius X, especially with regard to Bishop Fellay and the General House.

During conferences, in publications and on their website, they have accused the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X of giving up the good fight for the Faith in order to drag the Society at all costs into an agreement with the Roman authorities.

We have tried, in vain, during various meetings, to prove to them the contrary and to show them that their attitude was imperiling the unity of Tradition by sowing doubt and division. This communique intends to re-establish the truth so as to defend the honor of our superiors and that of our priestly family.

2. The outstanding acts of this increasingly public opposition were the following:

  • On Sunday, January 19, 2014, the Dominican Fathers distribute to persons who came to attend Mass at the friary in Avrillé their “Address [Appeal] to the Faithful”, a document made public on January 7 of that year, accusing the General House in Menzingen of going “in the opposite direction” from the one pursued until now by Archbishop Lefebvre, “by getting closer to modernist Rome” and stubbornly continuing “on that path that leads to death”; the Fathers in Avrillé are among the signers of this document;
  • On that same day, Fr. Pierre-Marie gives a conference to the faithful who came to Avrillé, to explain and justify the validity of this “Address to the Faithful”;
  • The text of this “Address to the Faithful”, accompanied by an introduction justifying it, is published in the magazine Le Sel de la terre [The Salt of the Earth], no. 88 (Spring 2014), pp. 138-139;
  • Confidential correspondence exchanged with Bishop Fellay after the publication of the “Address to the Faithful” is published in Le Sel de la terre, no. 89 (Summer 2014), pp. 215-220;
  • The Dominican Fathers take a position in favor of the episcopal consecration of Bishop Faure on March 19, 2015, and publish a long dossier justifying this act in Le Sel de la terre, no. 92 (Spring 2015), pp. 139-169.

3. Like all the signers of the “Address to the Faithful”, the Dominican Fathers of Avrillé thought that they had to present:

“…not a declaration that they were breaking away from the Society of St. Pius X, but on the contrary, public testimony to their firm, faithful attachment to the principles that always guided Archbishop Lefebvre in the fight for the Faith.”

But in this they are laboring entirely under a delusion and are drawing into it all who follow them. For Archbishop Lefebvre always conducted this fight for the Faith not only in doctrinal fidelity to Tradition, but also in order, in unity and in peace, in the spirit of obedience.

The Fathers of Avrillé are not faithful to these principles, for they denigrate the authority of Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor and cast suspicion on the acts of his government so as to create a dialectic between the members of the Society and their superiors, setting even the priests one against another. In order to detach oneself [lawfully] from an authority, it is necessary for the latter actually to urge the subjects to sin against faith or morals.

Now the Dominicans of Avrillé cannot show which acts performed by the Superior General demonstrate that “Menzingen is betraying the fight for the Faith.” Therefore the General House is not the one that is currently betraying this fight for the Faith; rather, those who label themselves the “Resistance” are the ones who are weakening it by their subversive manoeuvers.

4. The consecration of a bishop by Bishop Williamson is altogether unjustifiable. Whatever may be the false pretexts whereby some try to make it plausible, it only aggravates this spirit of independence and division. Archbishop Lefebvre always expressed himself very clearly to warn us against such a state of mind. As he said during a meeting held in Econe on July 4, 1988:

“The Superior General is the one who maintains the ties with Rome and, in a word, takes responsibility for Tradition, for this is the structure of the Society that exists in the Church’s eyes. We never wanted any organization of Tradition or any presidency of such an association; nonetheless the fact remains that the Society is de facto the spinal column of Tradition, its providential instrument, on which all initiatives of Tradition must rely.”

In supporting the episcopal consecration of Bishop Faure, the Dominican Fathers of Avrillé make themselves accomplices in a harmful act and do serious damage to the common good of Tradition, inasmuch as the only reason mentioned to justify this act is based on the unproven accusation that the Society of St. Pius X had abandoned the fight for the Faith. 

5. It is obvious that no superior who is responsible in God’s sight for the good of his district can fail to react to these repeated provocations [prises de position]. We cannot allow distrust, division, or a partisan, disparaging spirit to become established within our ranks. This is a matter of the common good of the flock, and the first duty of a pastor is to preserve its unity and cohesion by putting it out of the reach of these troublemakers.

6. Consequently, given so many dishonest accusations, the District of France can no longer support the Dominican community in Avrillé which, by its subversive schemes, is sowing doubt and division in the ranks of Tradition and weakening its forces.

This situation is very regrettable. May the Holy Ghost enlighten the superior of the Dominican community in Avrillé, and may Our Lord and Our Lady keep us in the unity of truth and charity, faithful to the good fight for the Faith conducted by Archbishop Lefebvre, for the honor of Christ the King, that of Holy Church and the good of our souls.

Fr. Christian Bouchacourt, SSPX District Superior of France

July 1, 2015, on the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

 

PART 2. Respectful answer of the Dominicans in six points

Point # 1.   We read in the communiqué:

“During conferences, in publications and on their website, they [the Dominicans of Avrillé] have accused the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X of giving up the good fight for the Faith in order to drag the Society at all costs into an agreement with the Roman authorities.”

This is inexact.

Our disagreement with the Superior General of the SSPX arises from the fact that the superior is prepared to make a practical agreement with authorities who still profess the conciliar errors.

* From 1988 to 2012 the Society held this wise principle:

No practical agreement with Rome without a prior doctrinal agreement.”

This principle was again clearly affirmed by the Chapter of 2006:

“The contacts that the Society has from time to time with the Roman authorities has as its only goal to help them once again to take ownership of Tradition, which the Church cannot deny without losing its identity, and not the search for an advantage for itself, or to reach an impossible purely practical agreement”.

* In March 2012 Mgr. Fellay announced that he was abandoning this principle ( by affirming: “ it is not a question of a principle but of a line of conduct”). This abandonment was supported by the Chapter of 2012. Since then, despite numerous entreaties, Mgr. Fellay has refused to return to the former principle.

* On the 31st of May 2012, we wrote to Father Bouchacourt: “It is because we wish to keep this principle – which is the legacy of Mgr. Lefebvre – that you are preparing to condemn us.   Or rather that Mgr. Fellay is preparing to condemn us by your mouth”.


Point # 2.   We read in the communiqué:

‘The Dominicans of Avrillé cannot show which acts performed by the Superior General demonstrate that Menzingen is betraying the fight for the Faith.

The words in inverted double commas are wrongly attributed to us: we are not the authors ( see Le Sel de la terre  92, p.141).

What we do say (and it is obvious from point 1), is that Menzingen has changed its line of conduct in its relationship with Rome, engendering a loss of confidence amongst a great number of traditionalists.


Point # 3.   The communiqué reproaches us for having published “ a confidential correspondence exchanged with Mgr. Fellay” in Le Sel de la terre 89, p.215-22.

It is sufficient to refer to the published text to see that there is nothing confidential in these letters. Mgr. Fellay forbade us all collaboration with the Society, deprived us of ordinations and of the holy oils. It was normal that we should make known the reasons on which he purported to lean, and also that the rupture came from his side and not ours.


Point # 4.   We read in the communiqué:

“The only reason mentioned to justify this act [the episcopal consecration of Mgr Faure] is based on the unproven accusation that the Society of St. Pius X had abandoned the fight for the Faith.”

This is inexact.

We have expounded several grave objective reasons which justify the episcopal consecration of Mgr. Faure ( see Le Sel de la terre no. 92, p.139-170, and no. 93, p.200-208) and notably the fact that Mgr. Fellay refuses ordinations and even the holy oils (necessary for several sacraments, in particular extreme unction) to our community and to several others who do not share the new policy established in 2012.


Point # 5.   The communiqué relies on words said by Mgr. Lefebvre during a meeting in Écône on the 4th of July 1988:

“We never wanted any organization of Tradition or any presidency of such an association; nonetheless the fact remains that the Society is de facto the spinal column of Tradition, its providential instrument, on which all initiatives of Tradition must rely.”

As Mgr. Lefebvre said, it was a matter of fact (de facto) and not of right. This fact could have endured for a long time, if Mgr. Fellay had not taken the decision to break the unity of Tradition by changing the line of conduct with regards to Rome, and by excluding Mgr. Williamson from the Chapter of 2012, then by expelling him from the Society because he did not approve this change in the line of conduct.

 

Point # 6.   We read again:

“This communique intends to re-establish the truth.”

At the same time it accuses us of:

— spreading and supporting defiance against the authorities of the Society of St. Pius X;

— denigrating the authority of Archbishop Lefebvre’s successor;

— creating a dialectic between the members of the Society and their superiors;

— subversive manoeuvers;

— making themselves accomplices in a harmful act [the consecration of Bp. Faure];

— doing serious damage to the common good of Tradition;

— repeated provocations;

— [setting up] distrust, division, or a partisan, disparaging spirit;

— dishonest accusations;

— sowing doubt and division in the ranks of Tradition and weakening its forces;

— subversive schemes.

Is that all ? ….

The truth is something which accords with reality.

Also before “so many false accusations” we are happy to say to the readers of the communiqué: “Come and see, read our publications (Le Sel de la terre, our Letter to friends and benefactors, our English website), and see if what can be found there is compatible with the melodramatic description of the communiqué.

The reality is that despite the differences with the Superior General about his new policy towards Rome, on our part we remain friends of the Society, and we wish it to overcome the crisis which it has been undergoing since 2012.

Open Letter to the Faithful of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces by Fr Pierre ROY (SSPX)

Open Letter to the Faithful of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces


by Fr Pierre ROY(SSPX)

Lakeville, June 3rd, 2016

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

« The night is far advanced; the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day. » Roman, 13; 12-13

Dear brethren,

This letter is to notify you of my decision to leave the Society of St. Pius X.  In spite of my sermon on April 17th last, many of you will be surprised to learn of my departure.  I hope then that these lines will show more clearly the reasons why I am leaving.

I would like to say first that I did not wish that my sermon of April 17th be published urbi et orbi and that I myself did all I could to prevent its diffusion.  I was preaching merely for the chapel of Montreal, that portion of the Lord’s flock entrusted to me by my superior.  With that said, the Lord has willed that it be otherwise.  Blessed be his Holy Name!

I was born and raised in the arms of the Society.  I owe everything to the work of Archbishop Lefebvre.  This is why I am well aware of the gravity of the action I take before God and before yourselves, and aware also of the duty one day to account for myself before the Tribunal of the Just Judge.

For several years already the authorities of the Society – they no longer cloak themselves – have been organizing a reunification with Apostate Rome.  Is it legitimate to place oneself under authorities who do not have our Faith, or to accept from them a recognition, so long as they demand “no compromise”?1   I leave you to judge of it with these words of Pope Pius XI :

“Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment ‘Love one another,’ altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ’s teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him : God speed you.’ For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful?” (Encyclical Mortalium Animos against oecumenism)

You also know, dearest faithful, that the Society has always called it illegitimate to align oneself with those who have removed themselves from Tradition and no longer profess the Faith in its integrity.  Why, after all, have we permitted ourselves these last 30 years to criticize the Fraternity of Saint Peter?  Why have we more recently criticized Campos?  Why did we repudiate the agreement reached in 2006 by the Institute of the Good Shepherd? 

Having recently asserted to a superior that it will be necessary for us to cease criticizing these communities, I received the following response: “Ah, but we will continue to criticize them!” I then asked why, by what principle. I received no further reply.

No, either we have been wrong since 1988 and even since 1975, or we have been wrong since 2012.  Unless we too adopt a subjective conception of the truth, and what was true in 1988 is no longer.  A last solution – by means of which seemingly anything can be justified : the situation has changed. We are witness, says our superior general, to a turning point in the history of the Church : they no longer want to impose the Council upon us; Pope Francis “appears to be someone who would like to see the whole world saved, that everyone have access to God,”2  he continues. Did Jesus not say, “If you love me, keep my commandments”? (John 14:15)  One may seriously ask himself if Pope Francis, who practically denies the commandments before the whole world, truly seeks to save souls.  On the other hand, did Archbishop Lefebvre not write in his Spiritual Journey, his testament to his priests, “It is the strict duty of every priest and layman wishing to remain Catholic to separate himself clearly from the Conciliar Church, for so long as she does not profess the tradition of the Church’s Magisterium and of the Catholic Faith,”3 as we were reminded by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais not so long ago?

Some will say, “It is not yet done. Wait until it is done!” This is what I myself said to many among you, my dear faithful, for some years, hoping and believing sincerely that the authorities of our Society would turn back.  But I must face the evidence that they have not.  Day after day, declaration after declaration, they continue to inoculate into the souls of faithful and priest alike a pernicious error, which holds it legitimate to seek from the Conciliar authority a recognition and jurisdiction that is made exceedingly dubious by this authority’s daily betrayal of the FaithThis error, which insinuates itself in the spirits of each, causes even priests known for their doctrinal intransigence (this being a virtue) to become less and less combative to the point where they will soon be ready to betray everything.

This is accomplished in a gradual way and without us realizing the ambiguities introduced.  It began by convincing us that a Motu Proprio which puts the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on an equal footing with, and even subordinate to, what Archbishop Lefebvre very justly called the “mass of Luther,” was welcome and beneficial.  We thanked the conciliar authorities for this gesture, though timidly maintaining that solely the mass of St. Pius V is legitimate.  It was a first step, or perhaps a first misstep.  They say to us, “Does the Motu Proprio not produce marvellous results?”  But since when have practical results been more important than the purity of the doctrine of Christ? Since when has truth profited from human compromise?  “Do not do evil that there may come good,” the Apostle told us. (Romans 3:8)

Next they convinced us it was acceptable to sing a solemn Te Deum for the publication of a document which, in lifting the “excommunications” of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre, restated in principle that our bishops had been well and truly excommunicated.  This decree lifting the false sentence brought against our bishops is ultimately nothing but a fresh condemnation of the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre, whom we have still the insolence to call “our revered founder.”

Not putting in practice the advice of St. John nor that of Our Lord Jesus Christ (“Beware of false prophets,” Matthew 7:15), in discussion after discussion, and meeting after meeting, we eventually silence our suspicions, which are more than legitimate and healthy in the face of persons who deny the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus ChristThis is how our superior has become, according to Pope Francis, a man “with whom one can dialogue,” with whom he who currently directs the subversion and the destruction of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ believes he can do “good work.4  Is there any wonder then that they happily grant us jurisdiction for confessions (which was never lacking)?  How can we claim that we are asking for nothing, but that Rome gives everything?  Have we not just recently asked for the doubtful jurisdiction of conciliar Rome with respect to the other sacraments?  No, truly, we ask for nothing!  Rome, who scourges Our Lord Jesus Christ, wishes us well!  This is rather worrying: which side are we on?

The new direction of our Society is imposed on priests, on many priests who have never desired it.  Enforced silences, transfers, promotions, trials, threats, promises, exclusions, all become justifiable when they work do defend the “position of the Society,” which is in fact – as always in a revolution – the position of a minority which has taken power and which deftly manipulates the passive majority.  Following my sermon of April 17th, besides the desperate reactions of certain colleagues, they ordered me to be silent.  They wished me to swear on my priesthood (!) to speak no more from the pulpit on the question of an accord with apostate Rome.  “You have many other subjects on which you can speak,” they told me.  Naturally I am conscious that the principal subject of preaching is not the joining of our Society to Rome, but the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  But I would note – you are my witnesses, dear brothers – that that was the first time in five years of ministry that I had spoken on this question from the pulpit.  I refused to be silenced.  However, I promised to warn my superiors before treating the subject from the pulpit again. “If you intend to speak of it again,” they told me, ‘You will have the right to confess and to say mass, but you cannot preach.  Otherwise, leave the Society and say what you wish.”  That is what I am doing, brethren, because a priest must preach and alert his flock to the wolves who threaten to devour them.

I have no absolute certainty that the Society will join itself to Rome.  Nevertheless I have moral certainty that they will do so, given the clear, express, and reiterated will of both Rome and the Society to arrive at an arrangement, and given also the absorption these last months of the last episcopal voices which firmly opposed it.  That God preserve us from this tragedy – this will, in spite of my departure, continue to be my fervent prayer!

In the meanwhile, having on the day of my baptism renounced not only Satan and his works, but also his seductions, I cannot accept that my immortal soul be sold to the conciliar sect, nor accept even that it be put up for sale.  Consequently, the fact that the superiors of the Society have shown on numerous occasions their amenability to a practical accord (in the absence of Rome’s conversion) suffices for me to take this step, prudently, not before having prayed at length and taken counsel with wise priests.  There is no question for me whatsoever of remaining silent about what is being done.  I have kept silence too long, hoping and assuring you, brethren, that the Society superiors would eventually open their eyes.  But the more time passed, the more was I forced to accept the evidence that those who lead us do not intend to turn back.

I must confess that to speak openly of the treachery we are living through is a very delicate business if one remains within the Society.  Which is why I am leaving: for the ability to preach the truth in its integrity, since I must someday answer for each of the souls entrusted to me. To keep silent was no longer possible without making myself guilty before God.

In the past I have severely criticized those we call the “Resistance,” but whom others call the “Subversion,” and still others, “Fidelity.”  I must say that besides the fact that I did not at that time see things as clearly as (by the grace of God) I now do, I was reacting mainly to the misbehavior of certain colleagues who visited our province and who, though clear-sighted, were rather cavalier, much to the discredit of the courageous stance taken by those who refused the betrayal imposed on us.  I will try with God’s grace to avoid the attitudes I have denounced and to devote my energy to rebuilding rather than to badgering those who wish to place us in Rome’s hands.  With that said, to denounce errors and deceptions remains a necessary duty which with God’s aid I will fulfill.

Many clear-sighted priests do not dare for now to act against the imposition.  I believe the principal reason restraining them is the fear of breaking the unity of the institutions that have with such difficulty been built up.  How accept that in dividing the faithful, we risk contributing to the closure of a chapel?  The reply is that faithful priests are not the origin of the division brewing in our ranks, but the very authorities of the Society, who would have us believe that we are participating in a turning point in the situation of the Church, when in fact it is not the situation that has changed, but only their minds.  Dear brothers, if the directors of the Society continue to sow distrust and confusion by their mistaken ideas, the division will swell, and it may become necessary to burst it open in our region for the common good.

For my part, I would that the Lord spare me from having prematurely to break the unity of the few chapels we have in French Canada.  This is why I have decided to remain for the moment in the Maritimes.  The faithful in these parts lack frequent access to the true Mass and the true Sacraments.  They are mostly without spiritual help.  They raise their children without the support of the Church.  Therefore I thought it best to keep to this region and concentrate my efforts on developing these small groups that have so little access to the sacraments, hoping one day to return these communities to the hands of the Society, only made larger and more fervent by the grace of God and by my ministry.  For this is my greatest hope: that the Society turns back in a clear and unequivocal manner, that I may return these missions to it, and that I may myself re-enter its ranks, profiting anew from the priestly fellowship offered there.  I cling to no illusions, but miracles are always possible…

However, it remains clear that the more the situation deteriorates, the more it will become necessary to tend to souls in Quebec who feel betrayed and deceived.  My hope is that more priests arise and come carrying the truth to those who desire it for themselves and their children.  Because while it is obvious that the Society continues to disburse the help of the sacraments – of which it would be illegitimate to deprive oneself without very grave reason – it is no small thing in this crisis of the Church to have access to sound preaching and to continue to see clearly through the painful events we are experiencing.

Begging you pray for me, I also assure you, dear brethren, of my prayers at the altar and of my blessing.

“Serve ye the Lord with gladness!” Ps. 99

Father Pierre Roy

Mission Notre-Dame-de-Joie

1974 Route 134

Lakeville, E1H 1A6

New Brunswick

APPEAL TO THE FAITHFUL (co-signed by [then] Father Thomas Aquinas with 40 priests and religious in 2014)

**APPEAL TO THE FAITHFUL**  

(co-signed by [then] Father Thomas Aquinas with 40 priests and religious in 2014)

Faithful to the heritage of Abp. Marcel Lefebvre and in particular to his memorable Declaration of the 21st November 1974, “we adhere with all our heart, with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic faith and the necessary conditions to maintain this faith, to eternal Rome mistress of wisdom and truth.”

According to the example of this great prelate, intrepid defender of the of the Church and the Apostolic See, “we refuse on the contrary and have always refused to follow neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant Rome which clearly manifested itself at the Second Vatican Council and after the council, in all the reforms and orientations which followed it.”

Since the year 2000 and in particular from 2012 the authorities of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X have taken the opposite direction of aligning themselves with modernist Rome.

The Doctrinal Declaration of the 15th April 2012, followed by the exclusion of a bishop and numerous priests and confirmed by the condemnation of the book, “Monseigneur Lefebvre, Our Relations with Rome”, all that shows the pertinacity in this direction which leads to death.

No authority, even the highest in the hierarchy, can make us abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith clearly expressed by the Magisterium of the Church for twenty centuries.”

Under the protection of Our Lady Guardian of the Faith, we intend to follow operation survival begun by Abp. Lefebvre.

In consequence, in these tragic circumstances in which we find ourselves, we put our priesthood at the disposal of all those who want to remain faithful in the combat for the Faith.

This is why from now on, we are committed to respond to the demands which will be made on us, to sustain your families in their educational duties, to offer the priestly formation to young men who desire it, to safeguard the Mass, the sacraments and the doctrinal formation, everywhere we are required to do so.

As for you, we exhort you to be zealous apostles for the reign of Christ the King and Mary our Queen.

Long Live Christ our King!

Our Lady Guardian of the Faith, protect us!

Saint Pius X, pray for us!

The 7th January 2014

Presentation of Bishop Dom Thomas Aquinas O.S.B. (Part 2)

Presentation of Bishop Dom Thomas Aquinas O.S.B.  (Part 2)

( For part 1, click here )

image

Father Thomas Aquinas followed the advice of Archbishop Lefebvre. On the 24th of August 1988, he drew up a solemn declaration in which he refused the agreement established between the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, through the intermediaries of Cardinals Ratzinger and Mayer, and Father Gerard Calvet, Prior of the Monastery of Saint Madeleine of Le Barroux.

« Our Monastery of the Holy Cross was included in the terms of the agreement which we have just refused, without us having been consulted on the matter, even though we were at Le Barroux during the negotiations, and our disagreement was known. Here are the motives of our refusal:

  1. The agreement indicates our insertion into and our practical engagement with the “Conciliar Church”.
  2. The agreement foresees our full reconciliation with the Apostolic See according to the terms of the Motu Propio “Ecclesia Dei”, a document which proclaimed the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.  Now we never separated ourselves from the Apostolic See, and we will continue to profess a perfect union with the Chair of Peter.  We separate ourselves however from liberal and Modernist Rome which organises the Assisi meeting, and which praises Luther.   With this Rome we want no reconciliation.
  3. The agreement is founded on the Motu Proprio “Ecclesia Dei” which excommunicates Archbishop Lefebvre.  Therefore in taking part in this agreement we must recognise the injustice done to Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Antonio Castro Mayer and the four new Bishops, whose excommunication was legally fully void.  We do not follow Archbishop Lefebvre or Bishop de Castro Mayer as our leaders.  We follow the Catholic Church.  But right now, these two confessors of the Faith have been the only bishops against the auto-demolition of the Church.  It is not possible for us to break with them. »

The next day, the 25th of August, Father Thomas Aquinas announced his decision to the monks and on the 26th sent the declaration to Dom Gerard and Cardinal Ratzinger.  The visit of Dom Gerard to the Monastery of the Holy Cross on the 1st and 2nd of September changed nothing of the decision and determination of Father Thomas Aquinas.  After a few hours only, which were very sorrowful, the prior of Le Barroux left the monastery of Brazil, with curses on his lips.

« After the consecrations, Archbishop Lefebvre continued to advise us with his paternal solicitude.  Not only were we helped by him, but also by Campos and more especially by Father Rifan. »

Ordained priest in 1974 by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, the Bishop of Campos, Father Rifan became his secretary.  Here is the judgment of him by Father Thomas Aquinas:

« A leader of men, endowed with a lively intelligence, warm and easy to meet, and quick-witted, he had no trouble gaining the admiration and trust of all. »

Father Rifan, as well as Fathers Possidente and Athayde, accompanied Bishop de Castro Mayer to Ecône in 1988 on occasion of the consecrations.  Then at the moment of the crisis with Dom Gerard, Father Rifan gave considerable support to Father Thomas Aquinas, who recounts what happened afterwards:

« After the death of Bishop de Castro Mayer, an urgent question arose for the priests of Campos: who should replace Bishop de Castro Mayer? … Bishop de Castro Mayer, before dying, had indicated two names: Father Emmanuel Possidente and Father Licinio Rangel.  Father Rifan was not one of the preferences of Bishop De Castro Mayer.  This is interesting to note.  Father Rangel was chosen, Father Possidente having refused, even though he was the most appropriate for this job.  The consecration of Bishop Rangel took place in the town of Sao Fidelis, on the 28th of July 1991.

When the SSPX made contact with Rome after the Jubilee of 2000 and invited Campos to take part, it was Father Rifan who was chosen to represent Campos at these meetings.  The drama was about to start.  When the conditions put down by Rome appeared unacceptable to the SSPX, Campos, however preferred not to go backwards.  What is the responsibility of the parties in this affair?  It is difficult to establish.  What is certain, is that the man for the job, although obeying the orders of Bishop Rangel, was Father Rifan, the only spokesman present at Rome during the negotiations.  Father Rifan, we should note, for a certain time had contacts more and more frequent with the modernists, and was in the habit of obtaining permission to say the Mass of Saint Pius V with the adversary.  Although it was not necessarily an evil, it was, I believe, a bait which contributed to the fall of Father Rifan and of all the diocese.  Was it the simple contact with men imbued with modernism and liberalism which was the starting point for this fall?  The question is worth asking.

Bishop Rangel signed on the 18th of January 2002, an agreement with Rome in the cathedral of the town of Campos. … It was the death warrant for Tradition in CamposFather Rifan said : “It is not an agreement ; it is a recognition”.  He let it be understood by this that Rome recognized the merits of Tradition.  The faithful were disoriented and believed Father Rifan.  There was a cry of victory.

Bishop Rangel, struck by cancer, did not take long in leaving this life, and Father Rifan succeeded him as the head of the Apostolic Administration born out of the agreements with Rome.  Consecrated by Cardinal Hoyos, Bishop Rifan would quickly show himself as an indulterer par excellence.  Having become the friend of our enemies, he did the tour of the dioceses almost everywhere, embracing those who formerly he attacked with an energy which is not easily forgotten.  Having switched camps, he did not cease to give proofs of his giving himself to Rome.  As Abel Bonnard said “An indulterer is never enough of an indulterer”.  Authority of Vatican II, legitimacy of the New Mass, obligation of submitting to the “Living Magisterium” of the liberal Popes, condemnation of Archbishop Lefebvre ; all of this Bishop Rifan was obliged to approve of and proclaim.  He did so with an unfailing and ever growing assurance.  One could say that he did so with more zeal than most progressives…  Campos had now become a muted dog.  Rome, which knew well that it was going to end like this, had from now on nothing more to fear from these priests, who however had been formed in the school of one of the greatest bishops of the 20th century.  How can we explain this?  Without wanting to penetrate the depths of hearts and to go beyond what the facts tell us, I think that it is certain that contact with the authorities who do not profess the fullness of the Faith can only but lead little by little those who submit to them to share their ideas and way of doing things.  Archbishop Lefebvre had sufficiently warned Dom Gerard about this.  With Rome you do not do what you want, but what Rome wants.  Dom Gerard did not take this into account; Bishop Rifan even less so.

But it was from the diocese itself that the reaction came.  The faithful, all the same, came to realise with time that something was in the process of changing.  They called on us, and Father Antonio-Maria OSB went to say a Mass in the countryside, in a farm which has the beautiful name of Sante Fé (Holy Faith) … Bishop Rifan couldn’t get anything from these brave country-folk who now, on great feasts number more than 250 in a little church which they built themselves, and where only the priests of Tradition are let in…

Bishop Rifan concelebrates these days with the progressive bishops and says that to refuse systematically to say the New Mass is a schismatic attitude.  This is what we call betrayal, that is to say the action of ceasing to be faithful to something or someone; as it happens: [ceasing to be faithful] to Our Lord Jesus Christ.  We can see it.  It is true that many will deny it, but is it not true that to accept Vatican II is to betray Christ the King?   We can also apply to him this other definition of betrayal: crime of a person who goes over to the enemy.  This is also the case.  Everybody can see it.  May God preserve us from doing the same, we who, by our weakness, can fall even lower.  These days Bishop Rifan is the friend of those who condemned Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer.  He speaks now of Blessed John XXIII, of Blessed John Paul II.  In these difficult times in which Tradition finds itself, may these examples help us to not commit the same errors.  The enemy is cunning.  They know how to strike and where to strike.  Let us be docile to the warnings of our elders.  Let’s listen to the voice of the great masters, starting with Archbishop Lefebvre.  Let’s not listen to, on the other hand, those who would lead us there from where it would be difficult to get out afterwards. »

If Father Thomas Aquinas was the clear-sighted sentinel who foresaw before others the fall of Le Barroux and Campos, he rose up equally early against the cozying up of the SSPX to neo-modernist Rome in the 2000’s.  He was under no illusion about the pontificate of the pontificate of Benedict XVI:

« The same causes produces the same effects.  If Benedict XVI beatifies him who excommunicated Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro de Mayer, if he celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Assisi meeting, if he defends the Second Vatican Council (by saying that it is in line with Church Tradition), then the evils which we have seen during the pontificate of John-Paul II will happen again with Benedict XVI.  As long as liberal Rome dominates Eternal Rome, as long as the greatest catastrophe of the history of the Church since her foundation, Vatican II, continues to be the privileged yard stick of the bishops, the cardinals and the Holy Father, there won’t be a solution.

*Objection:  “But Rome is in the process of changing (its attitudes, its’ thinking, etc.)”, say the defenders of agreements.

— Answer : How has Rome changed?

* Objection:  “Rome has allowed the Mass of all time and has lifted the excommunications”, respond the “accordists”.

— Answer :  But what does it serve to liberate the Mass of all time if Rome still permits the existence of the new one?  We read in the Old Testament that Abraham chased away the slave Agar and his son Ismael so that Isaac would not remain with the son of the slave…  The new Mass is Agar.  She has no rights.  She must be suppressed.  As for the lifting of the excommunications, what does that serve if we beatify him who meted them out?  While there was a certain benefit from these two acts, the liberation of the Mass (which was never banned) and the lifting of the excommunications (which were never valid), the spiritual benefit of each of these was compromised by the contradictory context in which they were brought about.  Either John-Paul II was right or Archbishop Lefebvre was.  The two cannot be right at the same time.  That is pure modernism.  As for the Mass, it is the same; If we permit the two Masses, the result is contradiction. It is the principle of dissolution.  A principle which corrupts the Catholic Faith.

* Objection:  “But”, insist the others, “little by little Benedict XVI is taking to the defense of Tradition.  He needs us.  He wants our help to combat modernism.”

— Answer:  Campos also thought like that.  But how would Benedict XVI be able to combat modernism, if he is himself a modernist?  He can combat certain modernists, but combat modernism, he cannot do until he stops being a modernist…

* What is then is the solution?

— Answer: The conversion of the Pope, the Roman Curia and the bishops, in a word, the conversion of the head.

* But how to obtain it?

— Answer: By praying and fighting.  God does not ask us for the victory, but rather the fight.  As Saint Joan of Arc said “In the name of God, let’s fight boldly and God will give the victory”, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. »

When Benedict XVI issued his Motu Proprio on the “extraordinary rite”, Father Thomas Aquinas refused to sing the Te Deum at Sunday Mass, as asked by Bishop Fellay to greet the papal document.

Furthermore, on the occasion of the alleged lifting of the alleged excommunications, Father Thomas Aquinas wrote a letter to Bishop Fellay in which he announced that he would not obey if an agreement with conciliar Rome took place.  Soon after, Bishop de Galarreta and Father Bouchacourt1 came to the monastery to tell Father Thomas Aquinas that he had fifteen days to leave Santa Cruz, otherwise the monastery would no longer receive any help or sacraments from the SSPX.  With Bishop Williamson’s spiritual assistance, Father Thomas Aquinas was able to stay at the monastery.  On 8 September 2012, he wrote:

« Unity must be based on the truth, that is to say on the Catholic Faith; and the words and attitudes of Bishop Fellay are unfortunately not those of a disciple of Archbishop Lefebvre who defended the truth without compromise. […]

Corçao 2 kept repeating that the false notion of charity and unity wreaked havoc in the Catholic resistance.  When charity is separated from the truth, charity ceases to be charity.  Many, even among his friends, accused him of lacking charity because of his articles.  But the first charity is to tell the truth.

Corçao was among those who were right, as the facts have shown.  The same accusation was made against Archbishop Lefebvre.

As for unity, Corcao said with humor that experience had taught him that contrary to the popular saying -‘unity is strength’- he found that unity is often weakness. Why ?  Because unity separated from the truth, unity based on concessions, unity to the detriment of faith, is a weakness that “makes the strong weak.”  Is it not precisely what happened at Vatican II? For the sake of unity with Paul VI, many bishops ended up signing unacceptable documents. That sort of unity does not make us strong, but quite the contrary.

Now, in Tradition they want us to agree at any price with those who believe that the Council’s mistakes are not so grave, with those who believe that 95% of the Council is acceptable, that Dignitatis Humanae’s freedom of religion is very limited, that we should not make super-heresies of the errors of the Council 3. But this is not the truth.  The Council was the greatest disaster in the history of the Church since its foundation, as Archbishop Lefebvre said in his book, “They have uncrowned him”. […]

Let them say what they want.  There is a problem, and it is a problem of faith and it is serious.  As for us, we have taken our stand: we support the defenders of the faith as did Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, St. Pius X and the whole tradition of the Church. If we have to suffer because of it, we will suffer, as our Lord warned us: “Whoever wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3, 12).

As for the Society, we consider it a providential work founded by a bishop who rose to the highest degree of heroism in the most difficult virtues, which are those for which God created the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of God. We consider Archbishop Lefebvre as a light that shines in the darkness of the modern world, and the Society is his work and his heir, provided it remains faithful to the grace received. We pray for it and we do not oppose Bishop Fellay’s policy out of a hostile desire against the Society, but out of love for her and Bishop Fellay, as we love Holy Church, and for the love of it we fight liberalism and modernism; its enemies who have settled within her.  God bless and keep the SSPX, to which I owe the best of what I have received, both as concerns the faith and the priesthood that I received from the hands of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. »

On 7 January 2014, Father Thomas Aquinas co-signed an “appeal to the faithful4“, a paper written by forty priests, members or former members of the SSPX, and several other priests friendly to it.  The authors of the appeal wanted to bear witness to their strong and true commitment to the principles that guided Archbishop Lefebvre in the fight for the faith.

Then came the consecration of Bishop Faure by Bishop Williamson on 19 March 2015. In the Bulletin of the Holy Cross in August 2015, Father Thomas Aquinas asks: “But why consecrate a bishop in the current circumstances? “To answer this question he published in the same bulletin an article to inform the faithful:

« But what does Bishop Fellay want?  Is it fair to compare this to Dom Gerard?  Bishop Fellay wants a gradual rapprochement with Rome. Unlike Dom Gerard’s, the Society’s advance towards Rome is much slower, but the spirit that presides over both moves is the same.  Father Pflüger said that if the situation in Rome is abnormal, then ours, that of Tradition, is too : a canonical regularization is therefore necessary.  It was almost completed in 2012, but Providence prevented it […]  For Bishop Fellay the way forward seems clear: if Rome gives everything and asks for nothing, why refuse a regularization?  This ignores the consequences of placing oneself under the authority of the modernists who occupy Rome today.  It is to make the mistake of Dom Gerard again, of Campos and of so many others.

Even before possible agreements, action follows action, showing really a change in direction of the Society: the expulsion of Bishop Williamson [2012], delay of the ordination of Capuchin and Dominican priests and deacons in France [June 2012], threats to postpone indefinitely the ordinations of Bellaigue’s candidates, expulsion of several priests from the Society, decisions of the General Chapter of the Society in 2012 amending the decisions of the 2006 chapter, increasingly bold and liberal declarations from Fr. Pflüger [First Assistant of the SSPX], statement of Bishop Fellay mitigating the gravity of the conciliar document “Dignitatis Humanae” , doctrinal declaration by Bishop Fellay from 15 April 2012 rightly criticized by the very director of the seminary at Écône [at the beginning of the General Chapter of July 2012], the corrosive action of the GREC which united priests of the Society and progressive priests to promote a “necessary reconciliation” 5; the distancing of friendly communities such as the religious of Father Jahir Britto [Brazil], the Dominicans of Avrillé [France], the Santa Cruz Benedictines [Brazil], the Carmelites of Germany, expulsion of nuns from their religious community, not to mention the crisis of conscience of countless souls who suffer in silence. »

In this Bulletin of the Holy Cross in August 2015, Father Thomas Aquinas continued:

« It is with bishops and even with one bishop that what remains of Christianity can be rebuilt or preserved, hoping for the day Rome returns to Tradition and confirms the office of those who, through love of the Church, accepted the heavy cross of [becoming] bishops in such times of crisis as there have never been in history. »

After meeting Father Thomas Aquinas, a priest said to us one day: “I knew him to be a man of prayer, I now know him to be a fighting man. “

The above pages have shown above all the fighting man, the valiant defender of the Faith, the intrepid sentry who watches day and night so that the citadel is not besieged, the worthy heir and spiritual son of Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer.  We have not mentioned the faithful disciple of St. Benedict, the contemplative monk, the director of souls, which are the secret garden of God.  But without the man of prayer, we know that the fighting man cannot exist.

For love of the Church and of souls, Father Thomas Aquinas agreed to receive, on 19 March 2016, the heavy cross of the episcopate.  In the Bulletin of the Holy Cross in June 2014 he wrote:

« We set off again for battle like Archbishop Lefebvre, always cheerful amid the worst difficulties. Let us imitate those who came before us and although we are not many, let us remember the vision the prophet Elisha was favored with, who had asked the Lord to show his servant that those who were with him were stronger and more numerous than those who were against him:

“And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (Kings IV, VI, 16).

It will be the same for us if we remain faithful to the teaching and directives of the one thanks to whom the gates of hell have not prevailed. »

 

- A worshipper

On the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, March 7, 2016.


 

Here is the « Appeal to the faithful » co-signed by Fr Thomas Aquinas with 40 priests and religious, year 2014.

**APPEAL TO THE FAITHFUL**

Faithful to the heritage of Abp. Marcel Lefebvre and in particular to his memorable Declaration of the 21st November 1974, “we adhere with all our heart, with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic faith and the necessary conditions to maintain this faith, to eternal Rome mistress of wisdom and truth.”

According to the example of this great prelate, intrepid defender of the of the Church and the Apostolic See, “we refuse on the contrary and have always refused to follow neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant Rome which clearly manifested itself at the Second Vatican Council and after the council, in all the reforms and orientations which followed it.”

Since the year 2000 and in particular from 2012 the authorities of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X have taken the opposite direction of aligning themselves with modernist Rome.

The Doctrinal Declaration of the 15th April 2012, followed by the exclusion of a bishop and numerous priests and confirmed by the condemnation of the book, “Monseigneur Lefebvre, Our Relations with Rome”, all that shows the pertinacity in this direction which leads to death.

No authority, even the highest in the hierarchy, can make us abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith clearly expressed by the Magisterium of the Church for twenty centuries.”

Under the protection of Our Lady Guardian of the Faith, we intend to follow operation survival begun by Abp. Lefebvre.

In consequence, in these tragic circumstances in which we find ourselves, we put our priesthood at the disposal of all those who want to remain faithful in the combat for the Faith.

This is why from now on, we are committed to respond to the demands which will be made on us, to sustain your families in their educational duties, to offer the priestly formation to young men who desire it, to safeguard the Mass, the sacraments and the doctrinal formation, everywhere we are required to do so.

As for you, we exhort you to be zealous apostles for the reign of Christ the King and Mary our Queen.

Long Live Christ our King!

Our Lady Guardian of the Faith, protect us!

Saint Pius X, pray for us!

The 7th January 2014

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

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

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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”)

 NOTES OF THE EDITOR :

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)