Category Archives: SSPX

Archbishop Lefebvre – Great Theologian

The following is a testimony from the private theologian of Archbishop Lefebvre, Fr. Victor-Alain Berto, demonstrating that Archbishop Lefebvre was a man of the Church, a great theologian & Doctor of the Church even. Perhaps the Modernists could take this into account before rashly judging his motives for disobeying the Counciliar Church.

I say this in the presence of God: I had the very great and undeserved honor of being his theologian. Sworn confidentiality prevents me from speaking about the work that I did under him, but I betray no secret by telling you that Archbishop Lefebvre is a theologian, and by far superior to his own theologian, and God grant that all the [Council] Fathers might be theologians to the same degree as he is! He has a perfectly sure and refined theological habitus, to which his very great devotion to the Holy See adds that connaturality that allows him, even before discursive thinking intervenes, to discern intuitively what is and what is not compatible with the prerogatives of the Rock of the Church.

He in no way resembles those [Council] Fathers who, as one of them had the gall to boast publicly, used to take from the hands of a peritus [expert], in the car that was bringing them to St. Peter’s, the ‘ready-made’ text of their intervention in aula [in the Council Hall]. Not once did I submit to him a memorandum, a note, or an outline, without him reviewing, recasting, rethinking and sometimes rewriting them from start to finish, by his own personal, diligent work. I did not ‘collaborate’ with him; if the word were English I would say that I really ‘sublaborated’ with him [i.e., worked under his supervision], in keeping with my status as a private theologian and his honor and dignity as a Father of an Ecumenical Council, a Judge and Doctor of the Faith together with the Roman Pontiff.” (January 3, 1964)

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Report about Fr. Daniel Cooper’s Funeral

Fr. Daniel Cooper, beloved priest of the Society for 31 years, was laid to rest on May 8th. The Solemn Requiem Mass was held at his beloved Queen of Angels and, per request, he was laid to rest in Dickinson, at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetary. Read the following report, from the SSPX website:

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/gallery-and-report-funeral-fr-daniel-cooper-may-8-2018-37686

Fr. Daniel Cooper, who reposed in the Lord on May 1, 2018 (Feast of St. Joseph the Worker), was laid to rest on Tuesday, May 8 at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Dickinson, TX.

Prior to succumbing to cancer, Fr. Cooper faithfully served the U.S. District for many years. A man regarded for his kindness and dedication to the priesthood, it should come as little surprise that Fr. Cooper fought his cancer with patience, acceptance, and a joyful spirit.

A Solemn Day

Prior to Tuesday’s funeral Mass at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Dickinson, a public Rosary was held for Fr. Cooper’s soul with the faithful filling the building. The Rosary was followed by all-night prayers.

When the time came to serve the solemn Requiem Mass for Fr. Cooper, over 20 priests were present in addition to the larger gathering of laity, all of whom could not fit into the church building. U.S. District Superior, Fr. Wegner, served the Mass with Fr. Kurtz acting as deacon and Fr. Haenny as subdeacon. Some of the priests in attendance sang in the schola while the rest joined the faithful in assisting at Mass and asking Our Lord to quickly usher Fr. Cooper’s soul to Heaven.

The choice to be buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery was Fr. Cooper’s. Due to his many years of priestly service in Dickinson, he requested to be buried near the parish where he regularly said Mass, heard innumerable confessions, and served other sacraments according to the traditional Roman Rite for the salvation of souls.

Reflecting on the Life of Fr. Cooper

In his sermon that day, Fr. Wegner called attention to the fact that Fr. Cooper has been ordained, worked, suffered, and reposed all within the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). He had served the SSPX as a priest for 31 years. While at the time of his ordination, many held to the hope that the crisis in the Church would be over after a few years, it is now clear that crisis is bigger than the lives of the Society’s priests. How long will the crisis last? And, just as important, will the SSPX continue to have the spiritual and physical resources to combat it?

The SSPX, as Fr. Wegner went on to note, is no longer a “young fraternity.” In the half-a-century since its inception, the Society has experienced setbacks, buried its members, realized its limitations, but ultimately matured. A new generation of young, vibrant priests are now filling the SSPX’s ranks, though they are dependent on the example of veteran clergy like Fr. Cooper whose years of service brought with it invaluable lessons. It is to be hoped that once the older generation of Society priests has gone to their final reward, the next “wave” of Society clergy will have the tools to carry on the holy work started decades ago by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

In concluding his sermon, Fr. Wegner spoke of the need for the SSPX’s priests like Fr. Cooper. That is, the Society needs priests who love the priesthood itself and are faithful to their vocation while always remaining humble and meek. It is priests made in the mold of Fr. Cooper who will keep the SSPX healthy and vibrant in the coming decades, and, in God’s good time, see the faithful through the ongoing crisis in the Church.

In Conclusion

Following the funeral, burial, and reception, Fr. Cooper’s brother thanked Fr. Kurtz for the beautiful ceremony and for the care given to Fr. Cooper by the faithful in Dickinson. The clergy in attendance then made their way back to their priories, no doubt edified by the outpouring of love and prayer for Fr. Cooper they had just witnessed. And the faithful themselves, who also came from all over the United States to pray their respects, can now carry with them a solemn memory of just how important our priests are for the future of the Catholic Church and the cessation of the crisis.

Through Mary, the Church will be restored

A timely reminder from the Archbishop that Our Lady, armed in battle array, will grant us the victory against heresy & Modernism.

Damsel of the Faith

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Read here excerpts from a beautiful sermon given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on August 22, 1987, wherein he speaks of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in this crisis, namely to restore the Catholic Faith in the hearts and homes of the world.

~Damsel of the Faith

What else can She wish but to see Her Divine Son reign over the whole earth, over souls, over families, and over societies, as He reigns in heaven? This is why She comes down to earth, to beg us, every one of us: “It is necessary for Jesus to reign over you.” She wishes it, She desires it, and She gives us the means.

They often tell us: do not rend the Church, do not divide the Church, do not cause a schism; yet, my dear brothers and sisters, tell me: where is the unity of the Church? What causes the unity…

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Fr. Daniel Cooper, RIP

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Fr. Daniel Cooper, beloved Priest of the Society, passed away peacefully on May 1, first day of the Month of Mary & the Feast of St. Joseph, after a difficult battle with cancer. He will be remembered as a very kind & holy priest, faithful to the True Faith & Mass. He was instrumental in my own pastor’s transition into the Society & his ordination to the Priesthood. May he rest in peace.  Below read his own beautiful account of his priestly ministry:

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/journey-econe-fr-coopers-journal-recounting-his-ordination-1987

 

As our plane descended into Geneva’s airport, the first thing that struck me was the beauty of the countryside—it was so green and all the homes looked so clean and bright. Father Bourmaud and I still had a long way to get to Ecône; by train, it’s another two hours from Geneva. Along the train route the majestic mountains caused me to gasp—I didn’t think a country could have so much natural beauty.

The train stop for Ecône is the town of Martigny. We were met there (much to my surprise) by my father who had taken an earlier flight to Europe and had rented a car. As we drove up the road to the seminary I felt I had been there before. This was my first trip outside of North America, but I had seen so many pictures of the Society’s first seminary that it was not entirely new to me.

We arrived just at lunch time and two American seminarians, James Doran and Timothy Pfeiffer, introduced me to several seminarians at Ecône, especially those who spoke English. (I spoke only English; two years of high school French did not help me much at all, though the longer I was there the more I began to recall the little French I had learned.) It was rather surprising however, how many did indeed speak English. I had one slightly embarrassing moment when I asked an Irishman if he was British. Since he was good-natured, I escaped unharmed. It’s a good thing I didn’t speak French too or I might have caused several international uprisings.

Another thing that we Americans might find surprising is the way they eat at Ecône. They eat and drink out of the same bowl at breakfast. At dinner, soup, salad and the entree are also eaten in the same soup plate. For me, that was not any problem, but I did miss cold drinks of orange juice or milk at breakfast (they always drink hot milk and coffee). And all over Europe it was difficult to get ice water. I might have raised a few eyebrows at how little wine I drank, but like most Americans I prefer water at my meals, a horror to the French, I’m afraid.

During the five days before my ordination I tried to spend the time in a private retreat. It was not easy as Ecône is a bustle of activity during that week. Those days became increasingly tense for me. I suppose as the day of my ordination approached I realized better the great responsibilities of the priesthood and my own weaknesses. The retreat I had made under Father Snyder in Boston, Kentucky before going to Europe had helped me considerably to prepare myself, but I still felt somewhat afraid.

Ordination Day

The day dawned sunny and warm as I rather expected. The reason I expected it is that I was told every year the local people make a novena in honor of Padre Pio for good weather. Since 1978, the good Padre has not failed them—always good weather. This year, some said they should have prayed for overcast skies as the sun was brutally hot and caused a few to pass out during the long ceremonies.

We knew there was a huge crowd but we kept our eyes lowered as we progressed to the huge outdoor tent where the ceremonies would be held. The clicking of cameras and the organ music was all I really heard. The procession seemed endless. I had never seen so many priests gathered together in one place. All that day I marveled at the number of priests united in their love for the traditions of the Catholic Faith and later, when we sang Vespers together, I felt very proud to be a member of such a Fraternity, joined with so many good men.

Though the ceremonies lasted four hours it all went rather fast for me. I thought I would be shaking like a leaf but instead I was calm and resigned to whatever responsibilities God would ask of me in the priesthood. After Archbishop Lefebvre placed his hands on the head of each one of us (the matter of the Sacrament), so did all the priests in attendance. Just this part of the ceremony probably lasted twenty minutes or more. All during that time I invoked every priest in heaven I could think of by name from Sts. Peter and Paul to Sts. John Bosco and Pius X. I included also some priests not canonized but most probably in heaven, like Padre Pio, Pius XII and Father Solanus. I asked Our Lord to make us priests according to His Own Heart as He made all of them.

Soon afterwards, Monseigneur Lefebvre sang the preface of the ordination and said the words that are the form of the Sacrament. We were priests. I was slightly dazed as I kept saying to myself, “I am a priest.” Then I could only add, “Please make us good and holy priests.” The rest of the ceremony seemed to move quickly.

Father Bourmaud knelt next to me as I, along with the other ordinands, celebrated with the Archbishop the Holy Mass. That was a great joy for me, and during the distribution of Holy Communion I had plenty of time to thank God for such great graces and joys given to me on that day. Father Hannifin was right. He had told me back in Kentucky, “This will be the happiest day of your life.” At the time I thought I’d only be very nervous, but he was right, happiness and joy came over me.

 

A Priestly Journey Begins

The next day, June 30, we would offer up our first Masses. Monsignor Hodgson had come all the way from Pittsburgh to attend the ordinations and assist me at my first Mass by preaching. When I was fourteen he had been one of our priests in the Detroit mission, so it was quite a pleasure to have him here now to assist at my first Mass. Father Brandler, an American professor at Ecône was also there and Father Bourmaud again assisted me at the altar. Though I kept trying, it was difficult for me to realize the greatness of this moment because I was rather distracted trying to get all the ceremonies correct.

On July 1, I was in Ars, France, saying Mass on the same altar St. Jean Vianney once did. I had asked the sacristan there if I might say Mass and he allowed me to, not knowing I was going to say the Latin Tridentine Mass. He also said I could celebrate Mass on the altar where the body of St. Jean Vianney lies, but in that case, I would be concelebrating with an English priest. I said, “No, thank you,” and went to say Mass privately. I probably made a mistake in wearing my own vestments for this Mass, as their bright red color and Roman cut drew too much notice, including the sacristan’s, who then realized I was saying the old Mass. But it was the Feast of the Precious Blood and I didn’t want to wear the single white cloak he had laid out for me. However, he didn’t interrupt me and I nervously completed the Holy Sacrifice.

I enjoyed very much the town of Ars and its sights. After dinner that evening, I went for a walk with my family and we saw a sign saying “Recontre Monument—2 Km.” Not knowing much French at all, I thought it meant “resistance” or something similar and said, “must be a war monument of some kind.” Well, we walked there and were very pleased to find it was the monument of the meeting of the young Cure’ of Ars and the little boy who came out to greet him. “Show me the way to Ars,” said the saint, “and I will show you the way to heaven.” I didn’t think I would see that statue as I had no idea where it was, so perhaps that little boy came again to show us the way. My family and I also visited Paray-le-Monial where the Sacred Heart appeared to St. Margaret Mary; Nevers, where St. Bernadette lived as a nun and the city of Paris.

A Return Home

After my family returned to the United States I traveled to Rome and spent nearly a week visiting the beautiful basilicas and shrines there. I walked almost everywhere I went and sometimes in Rome it can be difficult to cross the street. I’m used to cars stopping for pedestrians, but in Rome its more like everyone goes where he likes. They do have traffic lights, just a lot less than we do. So I started getting behind big Italians who just walked out in front of oncoming traffic. Its amazing how they all avoid collisions. Still the most frightening was the cab driver who drove backwards. When I arrived in Albano I had no idea where our Society’s house was, so I showed the address to a cabbie. He had me get in, but since the house was just down the street (and his cab was facing the other way) he didn’t bother turning around. He just drove backwards in the face of oncoming traffic! My gripping the dashboard and screaming “turn around!” didn’t phase him at all. We just went backwards, stop and go, all the way to the house.

I would have to say the greatest delight for me (besides the ordination) was the unity among the priests of the Society. Everywhere I went to say Mass—Paris, Saarbrucken, Basel, Albano—I was treated very kindly and hospitably by my fellow priests, even though I had come without previous notice. Everyone went out of their way to be friendly, even though my lack of foreign languages made it rather difficult to communicate.

I was grateful for my Latin in the Seminary which enabled me to speak with a professor from Brazil who was visiting Albano and also to communicate more easily with my fellow priests. Who said Latin was a dead language?

Published in The Angelus, August, 1987

SSPX couple barred from being godparents – Diocese of Baffalo

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http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/diocese-buffalo-denies-catholicity-society-st-pius-x

The persecution of the Society continues. How the Modernists tout these lies is beyond me. How is it that the Faith the Saints practiced is now non-Catholic & the religion of a false sect?  Let them eat their own words, for the religion they profess as Catholicism no sane Pope, Saint or Catholic for the past 1,950 years would recognize as even remotely Catholic. Kudos to the family for having the child baptized at an SSPX chapel, where the child can most assuredly be raised in the entirety of the Faith, without compromise.

A married couple who attend the SSPX chapel in NY were denied the ability by the local Diocese to be Baptismal Godparents for a relative’s baby.

An unfortunate and unsettling incident concerning the Society of Saint Pius X has unfolded over the past several weeks in Buffalo, New York. When officials of the Diocese of Buffalo learned that a married couple attending the local SSPX mission had been asked to participate as Godparents in their niece’s scheduled baptism on Sunday, April 15, 2018, they sprung into action.

Mr. and Mrs. X of Batavia, parishioners of the Society’s Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Buffalo, were informed by the diocese that they could not act as Godparents at the baptism. Instead, they were told they could assist only as “witnesses” (according to Canon 874 §2). The decision was made by Sister Regina Murphy, SSMN, interim chancellor of the Diocese and confirmed by Buffalo’s auxiliary, Bishop Edward Grosz.

The Diocese Clarifies Its Position

Despite a Wednesday, April 11 phone meeting with U.S. District Superior Fr. Jürgen Wegner, and the Society providing explanatory documents regarding its canonical status, Sr. Regina insisted in an email on Thursday, April 12 to the District that it would be impossible for Catholics attending a Society chapel to act as Godparents, writing:

The Society of St. Pius X is not in full communion with the Pope and does not recognize the validity of many of the decisions of Vatican Council II. While a baptized Roman Catholic who attends a church sponsored by the Society of St. Pius X could be a witness at a Roman Catholic Baptism, he or she may not be a sponsor for the child being baptized for the following reasons: The person practices his or her Catholic faith within a church that is not in union with the Church of Rome and which has rejected the absolute authority of the Holy Father and many of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council[.]
. . .

A child should not be put in the position where confusion could result from parents attending a church in union with Rome and the Godparents attending a Catholic Church not in union with Rome. This is not a judgement on the faith life or sincerity of any individual person, but it is simply a case of finding sponsors who are living the Roman Catholic Faith in order to help pass on that Faith.

There is a considerable difference between a Godparent and a witness. The presence of a Godparent goes back to the early Church: they make the profession of faith in the name of the one to be baptized and contract a real spiritual relationship with obligations. A witness merely testifies that the baptism took place validly.

A Contradictory Statement

It is contradictory to recognize that the faithful who attend Society chapels are “baptized Roman Catholics” who “practice[] [their] Catholic Faith” yet are not “living the Roman Catholic Faith” and cannot “help pass on that Faith.” They are instead recognized as being able to assist only as witnesses, under Canon 874 as they do not belong to the Catholic Church, but are instead baptized members of a “non-Catholic ecclesial community.”

Mr. Y of Eden, New York, the father of the newborn who had scheduled the baptism at his parish (Saint Anthony of Padua in Buffalo, which hosts a diocesan Traditional Mass) logically asks:

What makes the Society [of Saint Pius X] not Catholic? They’re simply continuing to worship and teach as Catholicism has done for 2,000 years. Yet the Diocese of Buffalo and the Bishop have no problem in doing things always condemned by the Church. They participate in and promote false, non-Catholic worship. Last year, the Bishop prayed with the Lutherans and celebrated 500 years of their schism, a real schism. The Diocese has also scandalously sold off beautiful churches like Queen of Peace, Saint Gerard and Saint Agnes to become Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples. There’s a huge discrepancy here which can’t be ignored.

His brother (the chosen Godfather), stated:

I feel insulted, to say the least, that we were not recognized as Catholics, and that it was suggested we assist as ‘Christian witnesses.’ How can it be admitted that attending Mass at a church of the Society [of Saint Pius X] fulfill one’s Sunday obligation, yet we aren’t considered Catholic?

An Injustice Committed

The Diocese of Buffalo clearly considers the Society of St. Pius X a non-Catholic denomination. Further, simple attendance at Mass at an SSPX chapel is interpreted as a formal act of defection from the Catholic Church. This, in spite of even current canonical legislation!

The recent debate over SSPX marriages is enlightening here. In the case of marriage, every Catholic is bound to submit to Church authority since jurisdiction is required for a valid marriage. Thus, a Catholic must be married by the priest that has proper authority or a priest that received delegation. If a Catholic does not follow the “ordinary form” of the marriage, his marriage is invalid. The only exceptions Canon Law foresees are situations where a Catholic cannot access a priest. Such situations can be situations in the diaspora, or, as the SSPX rightfully claims, situations where a Catholic fears that the full, integral, and uncompromised understanding of the Church’s marriage doctrine might be put in danger during marriage preparation and the celebration of marriage itself. Non-Catholics, not being under the authority of the Church, are not bound to follow the canonical form instituted by the Church. As such, their marriages may still be considered valid.

Over the past decades,  marriages witnessed by priests of the Society of St. Pius X were “annulled” through defect of form exactly because  Catholics who participated in the parish life of the Society were considered Catholic, but in an irregular canonical situation. (As a side note, for those who are scandalized at recent instances when a diocesan priest or religious received the vows of SSPX faithful, they are apparently ignorant of the fact that this has been a practice of the SSPX since the beginning. The recent legislation only formalizes what has been done on an ad hoc basis in the past. Unlike some have claimed, there is nothing new here.)

The Diocese of Buffalo apparently wants it both ways: the Society is a non-Catholic denomination when it comes to baptism, but Catholic when it comes to marriage. The irony is that, in this case, it is the SSPX that insists on following the Church’s law to the letter—and for this faithful Catholics are the ones who suffer!

A Happy End

In the end, the baby was happily baptized at the local Society chapel on Good Shepherd Sunday, with the participation of the selected Godparents. The U.S. District of the Society of Saint Pius X has informed the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei of this injustice and hopes for a clarification from Rome so that this sad situation will not be repeated. The SSPX will continue to do what the Church has always done for the good of souls, regardless of circumstances.

 

Liberalism pt. 1

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The Society is starting a new series on liberalism, that looks to be a good one. I will post here as installments come out.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/archbishop-and-anti-liberalism-introduction

Making Peace with Liberalism

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the “received wisdom” in the West, particularly the United States and Europe, was that the Catholic Church had not only made its peace with liberalism, but had internalized its core tenets. Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II’s declaration on religious liberty, opened the doors to religious indifferentism, both within society and the Church. Other declarations of the Council, along with the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” which prevailed during the decades after, ushered in reforms to the Church’s liturgy, theology, canon law, and governance structure. Although Church officials maintained a strong stance on critical social issues such as abortion and euthanasia, an ever-growing number turned a blind eye to moral matters such as contraception, promiscuity, and unnatural unions.

In the political realm, the mainline Catholic Church has all but endorsed liberal democracy as the best political system. This positive attitude endures despite many liberal-democratic principles, including the false notion that political authority derives from “the people,” were expressly condemned beginning in the 18th century. With regard to political economy, both free-market capitalism and socialism—two economic forms that often compete for dominance within liberal polities—find acceptance in contemporary Catholic circles. And yet even a cursory read of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum or Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno reveals stern dismissals of both as incompatible with divine and natural law.

The SSPX’s Anti-Liberal Witness
While a great deal more will be said about the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre’s anti-liberalism in subsequent articles, a few introductory words are in order. Following Vatican II and the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, Archbishop Lefebvre established the SSPX for the primary purpose of keeping alive the traditional Catholic priesthood. Bound up with this apostolic work was the duty to speak out—sometimes forcefully—against the liberal errors that invaded the Church in the 1960s and wreaked havoc over the course of the following decades. Shunned by his fellow prelates for refusing to accept such Vatican II novelties as religious liberty, collegiality, and ecumenism, Archbishop Lefebvre and his nascent fraternity of priests struggled on, providing traditional catechesis and sacraments to the faithful while disseminating timely information on the crisis in the Church.

The sacrament of sodomy?

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/one-of-popes-9-advisor-cardinals-proposes-liturgical-blessings-of-Homosexual

There is nothing they will not touch. The Modernists lead these wretched souls by the hand on the way to hell. Sacramentalizing sodomy is the grossest abomination, crying out even louder to heaven for vengeance. May God have pity on this wolf in sheep’s clothing and all those like him.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Episcopal Conference and close advisor of Pope Francis, has told the German media that “one must encourage priests” to give encouragement to homosexual unions, which could include public blessings that would take a “liturgical” form.

Marx was asked in a radio interview yesterday why the Catholic Church “does not always move forward when it comes to demands from some Catholics regarding, for example, the ordination of female deacons, the blessing of homosexual couples, or the abolition of compulsory celibacy [for priests].”

Marx responded that “closer pastoral care” must be given to homosexuals, adding that “one must also encourage priests and pastoral workers to give people in concrete situations [of homosexual unions] encouragement. I do not really see any problems there.”

This “encouragement” might include some sort of “liturgical” recognition of their union, according to Marx, who said that “how this would be done publicly, in a liturgical form,” is “another question,” adding, “that is where one has to be reticent and also reflect upon that in a good way.”

Marx was asked by the interviewer if he meant that he could “imagine a way to bless homosexual couples in the Catholic Church,” and the cardinal responded “yes.”

However, Marx added that no general rule should be established for such blessings, which should be left up to the judgment individual pastors.