Tag Archives: SSPX

SSPX restores St. Willibrord Church in the Netherlands

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The fruits of the Traditional Faith as kept by the SSPX are blooming in full fruition, evident in the story of this church preserved for what it was built for – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/netherlands-sspx-restores-st-willibrords-utrecht-catholic-worship-33573

On November 12, 2017, the day after the feast of St. Martin, patron saint of the archdiocese of Utrecht, Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, reconciled the church of St. Willibrord.

The church is situated in the historic center of the city of Utrecht, and 600 faithful from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany were present. The ceremony began with the rite of reconciliation that the Roman Pontifical prescribes for restoring a sacred building to Catholic worship after it has been used for secular purposes. The bishop first blessed the “Gregorian water”, a mixture of water, wine, salt, and ashes, then sprinkled the interior walls and the ground in the form of a cross, in order to purify the church of its profane defilements.

In his sermon, Bishop Fellay reminded the faithful that the artistic beauty of this place of worship is a reflection of the divine beauty, of which the Christian soul is also an image. He went on to point out that this sacred building has now been restored to the traditional liturgy for which it was built and that “has never been abrogated”, as pope emeritus Benedict XVI declared in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on July 7, 2007, although certain members of the hierarchy claimed it had been. The ceremony continued with a Pontifical High Mass celebrated from the faldstool, directed by the seminarians of Zaitzkofen, and enhanced by the magnificent sounds of the sumptuous organ and the baroque pieces that were sung most excellently and professionally.

After a luncheon attended by most of the faithful, the day drew to a close with Eucharistic adoration and the recitation of the rosary in this splendid church that is henceforth destined exclusively to the true worship of the one true Lord and Master of the universe.

The church was built in the 1870s, when the Catholic hierarchy was reestablished in the Netherlands. Nestled in the historic center of Utrecht, it is one of the city’s hidden treasures and one of the country’s most beautiful neo-Gothic churches. The Society of St. Pius X has just purchased this monumental jewel.

Richly decorated and perfectly preserved after a splendid interior restoration, the edifice offers a unique example of the spirit of medieval art from before Calvinist iconoclasm. The monumental organ – built by Michaël Maarschalkerweerd – is one of the building’s major attractions.

After the disaster of the Second Vatican Council, this jewel came close to being destroyed. It was saved thanks to the persistence of Fr. Winand Kotte and was classified as a historical monument and designated as a trial project for the preservation of the European architectural heritage.

By restoring true worship to an architectural jewel consecrated to St. Willibrord (657-739), the first bishop of Utrecht, apostle of Frisia and the Netherlands, where his feast is celebrated on November 7, the Society offers a concrete illustration of its holy Patron’s papal motto: omnia instaurare in Christo.

Source : FSSPX-News – 11/15/17

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Archbishop Lefebvre’s youngest sister dies

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Without a doubt, Archbishop Lefebvre came from a saintly family, that fostered his vocation and molded him into the militant Archbishop that he became for the Church.

Pray for the repose of the soul of his sister.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/archbishop-lefebvre%E2%80%99s-last-sister-has-passed-away-33381

On October 17, 2017, Mme Guy Toulemonde, née Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre, the youngest sister and goddaughter of the founder of the Society of St. Pius X, breathed her last.

She married Guy Toulemonde and left the country with him for Columbia, where their five children grew up. She was the last of Monsieur and Madame Lefebvre’s eight children, five of whom embraced the religious life.

She offered a moving testimony on her brother Marcel in the movie Archbishop Lefebvre – A Documentary.

Requiescat in pace.

The unchangeable Church

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Archbishop Lefebvre speaks about the magnitude of the loss of Faith in the Church. Taken from a sermon to his Italian faithful in Venice – April 7, 1980.

“Surely, something is wrong in the Church, because if there are no longer any seminaries there will in the future be no more priests – thus, there will no longer be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What will become of the Church? All this is unbelievable! They have changed, yes. They have changed, but why? They have done this, of course, with the idea of saving the Church, of doing something new. Before the Council there was a real decrease of fervor and therefore they thought that by changing, the Church would become more alive. But one cannot change what Jesus Christ has established. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, the Creed, our catechism, the Sacred Scriptures – all come from Jesus Christ. To change them is to change the establishment of Jesus Christ. Impossible! One cannot say that the Church has been mistaken; if something is wrong one must look for the reason somewhere, but not in the Church. They also say that the Church must change as modem man changes, that as man has a new way of life, so too the Church must have another doctrine – a new Mass, new Sacraments, a new catechism, new seminaries – and, in this way, everything has gone to ruin. Everything has been ruined!”

“Throughout the world, everywhere I have been, I have visited groups of Catholics like you, who ask themselves: “What is happening in the Church?” The Church is hardly recognizable today. The ceremonies – the half-Protestant, half-Catholic liturgy – are a circus; it is no longer a Mystery. The Sacred Mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – a great Mystery, heavenly and sublime – is no longer considered such. One no longer feels the supernatural character of the Mass; those who are present have a feeling of emptiness and no longer know whether they have been at a Catholic ceremony or at some kind of secular gathering.

This is an inadmissible situation. The faithful, good and simple people, are opposed to it. Because they intuitively know that there is something which is not right in this reform. They see seminaries empty; the novitiates of religious communities empty throughout the world.”

“When I was baptized, the priest asked my godparents: “What does this child ask of the Church?” They replied: “Faith. He asks Faith from the Church.” And even today I still ask Faith from the Church – the Catholic Faith. Why do the godparents ask Faith of the Church for the child? They do so to enable him to obtain everlasting life. If it is the Faith that obtains everlasting life, then it is this Faith that I want- and I don’t want to change it!

The Catholic Faith is the Catholic Faith. The Creed is the Creed. They cannot be changed. One cannot change the Catechism; one cannot change the Mass, transforming it into a meal as the Protestants have.

The Mass is a Sacrifice, the Sacrifice of the Cross and, as the Council of Trent says, it is the same Sacrifice as Calvary, with the only difference being that one is bloody and the other unbloody. But the two are the same; the same priest – Jesus Christ, and the same Victim – Jesus Christ.

If the Victim is truly Jesus Christ, God, our Creator and our Redeemer, who shed all His Blood for our souls, it is impossible to receive Him in our hands like just any piece of bread. And it is therefore impossible for a Catholic not to have respect and adoration, if he truly believes that in the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus Christ – God Himself – the Creator, our Judge, who will be seen coming in the clouds of heaven to judge the entire world.”

 

 

 

Archbishop Lefebvre & the Princess

 

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http://sspx.org/en/example-catholic-resistance

Most don’t know the Italian noblewoman, Princess Elvina Pallavicini, accepted Archbishop Lefebvre into her palace for a conference, showing him and ultimately the Traditional Faith her support, when few in the Church would even stop to listen to anything Archbishop Lefebvre had to say about the Faith that sanctified the Church for 2,000 years. She was threatened with excommunication for even entertaining the Archbishop. However, fidelity is victorious in the end and the palace of the Princess became a focal points for many priests, bishops and cardinals. Indeed, the Princess was right: there is no room in the Church for the cowardly.

Read the story below.

~Damsel of the Faith

An Example of Catholic Resistance: Princess Elvina Pallavicini

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 12nd 2017

Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi as it appears today

Forty years ago a historical event took place: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre held a conference on June 6th 1977 at the Pallavicini Palace in Rome, on the subject “The Church after the Council”. I think it is worthwhile to recall that event, on the basis of notes and documents I have kept.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (1970), after the priestly ordinations of June 29th 1976, was suspended a divinis on July 22nd of the same year. Informed Catholics however, had serious doubts as to the canonical legitimacy of these measures and in particular, incomprehension with regard to the behavior of Paul VI who seemed to reserve his censorships for only those who said they wanted to remain faithful to Church Tradition. In this climate of disorientation, in April of 1977, Princess Elvina Pallavicini (1914 -2004) decided to invite Archbishop Lefebvre to her palace in the Quirinal, to hear his reasoning.

Princess Pallavicini was 63 years old at the time and the widow of Prince Guglielmo Pallavicini who had been killed on his first war mission in 1940. For many years she had been in a wheelchair as a result of progressive paralysis, but she was a woman of indomitable spirit. She had a close group of friends and advisors around her, among whom were Marquis Roberto Malvezzi Campeggi (1907-1979), Colonel of the Papal Noble Guard at the time of the corps’ dissolution in 1970, and Marquis Luigi Coda Nunziante di San Ferdinando (1930-2015), former Commander of the Italian Navy. Initially, news of the conference circulating during the month of May did not stir up any concern from the Vatican. Paul VI thought it would have been easy to convince the Princess to desist from her idea and entrusted the task to one of his closest collaborators, “Don Sergio” Pignedoli (1910-1980) whom he had made a cardinal in 1973.

The Vatican Reacts

Princess Elvina Pallavicini in younger days, and visiting with the Archbishop

The prelate called the Princess and first of all asked kindly about her illness. “I am happy –Elvina Pallavicini noted ironically – about your interest [in my physical well-being] after such a long period of silence”. After about an hour of pleasantries the cardinal’s question at last arrived: “I heard you will be receiving Archbishop Lefebvre. Will it be a public or private conference?” ” If it is at my home it can only be private”, the princess replied. The cardinal then ventured: “Wouldn’t it be opportune to postpone it? Archbishop Lefebvre has made the Holy Father suffer quite a lot. He is very grieved about this initiative…” Princess Elvina’s reply chilled Cardinal Pignedoli “Your Eminence, I think I can receive anyone I like in my own home.”

Faced with this unexpected resistance, the Vatican turned to Prince Aspreno Colonna (1916-1987), who still occupied, ad personam, the office of Assistant to the Papal Throne. When the head of this historic household asked to be received, the Princess told him she was busy. Prince Colonna asked to visit the next day at the same time, but the noblewoman’s reply was the same. While the Prince withdrew quietly, the Secretary of State thought of getting through in another way. Archbishop Andrea Lanza Cordero di Montezemolo, who had just been consecrated Archbishop and named Nuncio to Papua-New Guinea, asked for an audience with the Princess. The prelate was the son of Colonel Giuseppe Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo (1901-1944), head of the Monarchic Resistance in Rome and shot by the Germans at the Fosse Ardeatine. During the German occupation, the young Princess Elvina had collaborated with him, meriting a bronze medal of honor. I also took part in the meeting, but my presence really irritated the future cardinal, who, in vain, appealed to the memory of his father to avert the upcoming conference. The Nuncio was told that it was the same resistance of many soldiers to National Socialism, and how it was necessary at times, to disobey unjust orders from superiors in order to respect the dictates of one’s conscience.

At this point the Secretary of State played his last card, by turning to the King of Italy, Umberto II, in exile in Cascais. Marquis Falcone Lucifero, Minister of the Royal Household, telephoned the Princess to let her know that the Sovereign had strongly urged her to postpone the conference. “I’m astonished at how His Majesty allows himself to be intimidated by the Secretary of State, after everything the Vatican did to the monarchy”, she replied decisively, confirming that the conference would be duly held on the date established. Marquis Lucifero, being the elderly gentleman he was, sent the Princess a bouquet of roses.

At this point the Vatican decided to use tougher tactics. A real campaign of psychological terrorism then began in the major daily newspapers presenting the Princess as an obstinate aristocrat, surrounded by a handful of “nostalgics” in a world destined to disappear. In private, it was made known to Donna Elvina that, if the conference was to take place, she would be excommunicated.

The Princess “Goes Public”

On May 30th, with a press release to Ansa, the Princess specified that her “initiative was not motivated by any intention of challenging ecclesiastic authority, but rather by love and fidelity to Holy Mother Church and the Magisterium.” “The contrasts in the conciliar Church,” continued the communiqué, “unfortunately exist, apart from the person of Archbishop Lefebvre, and in Italy to no lesser degree, even if less evident than in the rest of the Catholic world. We intend with the conference on June 6th to offer Archbishop Lefebvre the possibility of voicing directly his theses in full freedom, precisely with the aim of clarifying the problems which disturb and grieve the Catholic world so much, in the certainty that peace and serenity can be brought back again through a restored unity to the truth.”

On May 31st, on the front page of the daily newspaper “Il Tempo”, a declaration from Prince Aspreno Colonna appeared where we read “The Roman Patriciate dissociates itself from the initiative”, deploring it as “completely inopportune”. The bombshell was dropped however, on June 5th by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Ugo Poletti (1914-1997). With an aggressive statement in the Italian Bishops’ daily newspaper Avvenire, Poletti attacked Archbishop Lefebvre and ” his aberrant followers”, defining them as “a handful of class nostalgics, prisoners of traditional habits”. He further expressed, “astonishment, pain and sorrow, but the firmest disapproval for the offence made against the Faith, the Catholic Church and Her Divine Head, Jesus”, Archbishop Lefebvre having placed in doubt “fundamental truths of the kind relating to the infallibility of the Catholic Church founded on Peter and his successors, in matters of doctrine and morals”.

From the Princess’ headquarters there came an immediate reply: “It is difficult to understand how the private expression of theses which have been those of all the bishops of the world until a few years ago, can disturb the security of an authority to such an extent, as it has on its side the strength of doctrinal continuity and the evidence of its positions.” The Princess declared: “I am a more than convinced Apostolic Roman Catholic, seeing that I have reached the true sense of Religion through the refining of physical and moral suffering: I owe nothing to anyone, I have no honours nor prebends to defend, and I thank God for everything. Within the limits that the Church allows, I may dissent, I may talk, I may act: I have to talk and I have to act: it would be cowardice not to. And allow me say, that in our Home, also in this generation, there is no room for the cowardly.”

The Day of the Conference

 

Inside the Palazzo, similar to how it may have looked the day of the conference

Finally the fateful day of June 6th arrived. The conference was carefully reserved for four hundred invited guests, controlled by “private security” provided by the “Alleanza Cattolica” youth, but there were more than a thousand who filled up the staircases and the garden of the historical Rospigliosi-Pallavicini Palace, famous all over the world for its works of art. Archbishop Lefebvre arrived accompanied by his young representative in Rome, Don Emanuele du Chalard. Princess Pallavicini went to meet him in her wheelchair, pushed by her Lady-in Waiting, Donna Elika Del Drago. Princess Virginia Ruspoli, widow of Marescotti, one of the two hero-princes at the Battle of El Alamein, gave Archbishop Lefebvre a relic of St. Pius X which had been given to her personally by Pius XII.

Despite [the fact] that the Grand Priory of the Order of Malta in Rome had expressed “a binding necessity” to abstain from intervening at the conference, Prince Sforza Ruspoli, Count Fabrizio Sarazani and some other courageous aristocrats defied the censures of the institution and were there in the front row, right beside Monsignor François Ducaud Bourget (1897-1984), who had led the occupation of the Church Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris on February 27th.

Princess Pallavicini introduced Archbishop Lefebvre and he took his place under the red baldachin with the coat of Arms of Pope Clement IX, Rospigliosi. The Archbishop after some moments of prayer, began with these words: “I respect the Holy See. I respect Rome. If I am here it is because I love this Catholic Rome.” The Catholic Rome that he had before him interrupted his speech repeatedly with thunderous applause. The hall was filled to overflowing and a crowd had gathered on the great staircases of the palace.

The “Council of aggiornamento” – explained Archbishop Lefebvre – in reality wants a new definition of the Church. To be “open” and be in communion with all religions, all ideologies, all cultures, the Church should change its excessively hierarchal institutions and break up into many National Episcopal Conferences. The sacraments will insist on initiation and the collective life, more than the driving out of Satan and sin. The leit-motiv of change will be ecumenism. The practice of the missionary spirit will disappear. The principle that “every man is Christian and doesn’t know it” will be proclaimed, so it doesn’t matter whatever confession is practiced – it is seeking salvation.

The liturgical and ecumenical changes – continued Archbishop Lefebvre in the hushed silence of all those present – cause the disappearance of religious vocations and make for deserted seminaries. The principle of “religious liberty” sounds outrageous to the Church and Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it is nothing other than “the right to public confession of a false religion with no interference from any human authority”.

Archbishop Lefebvre then lingered for a bit on the post-council’s caving-in to Communism, referring to the repeated audiences given to Communist leaders by the Holy See; the agreement not to condemn Communism during the Council; the contemptuous treatment reserved for more than 450 bishops who asked for this condemnation. On the contrary, dialogue with Communism was encouraged by nominating pro-Communist bishops like Monsignor Helder Camara in Brazil, Monsignor Silva Henriques in Chile, and Monsignor Mendez Arceo in Messico.

It is a fact, added Archbishop Lefebvre in conclusion, that numerous Dominicans and many Jesuits who profess heresies openly are not condemned and bishops who practice inter-communion, who introduce false religions in their dioceses and churches, who even end up blessing concubinage, are not even placed under inquiry. Only faithful Catholics risk being thrown out of churches, persecuted, condemned. “I have been suspended a divinis because I continue to form priests as they were once formed.”

Turning to a listener touched by his words, Archbishop Lefebvre concluded his conference saying: “Today the most serious obligation for a Catholic is that of conserving the Faith. It is not licit to obey those who are working to diminish Her or make Her disappear. With Baptism we asked the Church for the Faith because the Faith conducts us to eternal life. We will continue to our very last breath to ask the Church for this Faith.”

The meeting ended with the singing of the Salve Regina.

The Vatican reporter, Benny Lai in La Nazione of June 7th, commented: “Those who expected a tribune found themselves in front of a man of meek bearing, who, before inviting those present to recite the Salve Regina, concluded [his speech], with these worlds: “I don’t want to form a group of any kind, I don’t want to disobey the Pope, but he must not ask me to become Protestant.”

The conference was a strategic victory for those who were inappropriately called traditionalists, as Archbishop Lefebvre managed to make his theses known on the international level, without [suffering] canonical consequences.

Paul VI died a year later, devastated by the death of his friend Aldo Moro.

The name of Cardinal Poletti is still linked to the murky business of the nulla osta he granted on March 10th 1990, for the entombment of the Banda della Magliana Boss “Renatino” De Pedis, in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare.

Princess Pallavicini came out a winner from this “challenge”. Not only was she not excommunicated, but in the following years her palace became the point of reference for many cardinals, bishops and Catholic intellectuals. She and her Roman friends were not “phantoms from the past”, as the Corriere della Sera defined them on June 7th 1977, but witnesses to the Catholic Faith who were preparing the future. Forty years later, history has proven them right.

 

Source: Roberto de Mattei
Translation: contributor Francesca Romana on Rorate Caeli

The first Ordinations at the new St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, ordained 9 American Priests and 6 Deacons, on the morning of July 7th, Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  This was the first priestly ordination at the now completed St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Dillwyn, VA. The following is a print summary of Bishop Fellay’s sermon, as of now. Pictures are to follow. What a glorious day for the Church and the Society, more fruits of the Society’s labor of love – new priests to save souls and aid in the restoration of the Church. The new Seminary, built to literally represent a fortress, will house, God willing, many more generations of future Priests to come.  The divine graces poured forth upon these men give them the supernatural power to save souls from hell and lead them to heaven. Congratulations to the newly ordained and may God reward them for their fidelity to His Church!

~Damsel of the Faith

The Man of God 

For the first time, these grounds see the tremendous happiness from Almighty God and Holy Mother Church for this harvest of deacons and priests. Who are they, these men? Holy Scripture says that a priest is a Man of God. He is not of this earth. At his ordination, the priest receives something real in his soul. They are human beings, with a body and soul, with virtues and defects. What they receive today will help them, and it also changes them. Philosophically we say that when an accident is added it modifies their substance. It is like this with the man who is made a priest, but it also changes his character. The sacrament of ordination goes deep into his soul, so deep that it cannot be erased – not by age, or death, or sin. The soul is forever changed.

This Man of God is chosen by God. He is a prophet because it is his role to speak in the name of someone else. God has chosen these men to be his mouthpiece to the world. They are to remind creatures of God and God’s interests; these things are always to come first. God is their end and their fulfillment, His Ten Commandments, and His only begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Deacons

“God is talking to us creatures,” His Excellency continued. This Word has been entrusted to the Deacon. He receives the Gospel in the ordination ceremony. Each time the priest reads the Gospel at Mass, he kisses it. We might not understand the importance of communicating the Gospel, but the devil does. He makes it hard to spread the Gospel through fear of the might of the world. We must resist the devil. He is real. Holy Mother Church strengthens the ones who give us this Word. This is a fight to the death against the devil and all those who follow him. The fight is above human strength, but Our Lord gives the Holy Ghost to men so they can fight.
Our Lord told St. Peter that he is to testify that Our Lord is Almighty God – he is to give witness. The Apostles were shaken by this, but our Lord said ‘Do not fear! I will give you the Holy Ghost.’ The Church has always been in this spiritual fight against the devil and all those who spread errors.
I say to the deacons, this word belongs to God and to the Church. Do not put yourself above the Church. Do not try to judge the Church. Remain a child of the Church. It is true that a lot of prelates and cardinals have not been faithful. But the Church is the Mystical Body. It is one body incorporated into Our Lord Jesus Christ. Not one grace can happen without the immediate intervention of Our Lord. Priests and deacons are just his instruments.

The Priests

In the Holy Eucharist, our Lord gave a means to multiply Himself. There is only one Jesus, one Body, one Soul. And in each host, He is completely, fully there. He multiplies Himself through the real presence. But He hides Himself. For our Lord Jesus Christ, His species is the priest, though the man that is the priest is still present. Our Lord is the priest and the victim. There is only one priest, Jesus. Only Jesus absolves in confession. At Mass, the priest opens his mouth and says, ‘This is My body,’ and it is Jesus speaking. These words do not belong to the man; they belong to Jesus.
The only one who has the might in His words and to produce what He says is God. In Genesis, how did God create? By speaking. By His might He makes what He says a reality.
This might is given to the priest when he gives the sacraments.
When the priest speaks, the whole, infinite holiness of God comes through. The priest’s hands are consecrated – they are dedicated to give blessings. It is beyond understanding what kind of treasures God has deposited to His priests. The priest himself is an incomprehensible sign of God’s love. St. John Vianney said that if we understood what a priest is, we would die of love.
A priest is a mediator, a key, one that reunites God and man after they have been separated by sin. The priest repairs the damage caused by sin. When God chooses a priest, He chooses a victim. It is hard to understand. Our human nature does not like it. But a vocation is a call to be a sacrifice.
Every Mass is a sacred sign of an invisible sacrifice. In a Mass, our Lord Himself perpetuates the sacrifice of Calvary. This sacrifice is consummated with the Communion of the priest. The priest is obliged daily to make this sacrifice. In each sacrifice, we priests offer ourselves. Each priest should say, ‘I am immolated with the sacrifice on the Cross. I am dead with Jesus.’ That is the priest that will cleanse sin from the world. To be a priest is something serious. Modern men want to get rid of sin; they have no sense of sin. They want to get rid of mortification and death. But Our Lady said souls will go to hell because no one makes sacrifices for them. A sacrifice hurts.
Charity, which is love, is difficult to really understand. It is gentle and kind and good, yes. Those God loves the most – look at what He requests of them. Who does God love more than the Blessed Virgin Mary? And we know what God had planned for her.

The Sacred Heart

Today is the first Friday, the day of the Sacred Heart, which is a visible indication of God’s love. The Sacred Heart is opened by a lance to show us God’s love, and it is surrounded by thorns by our ingratitude. It is the same with the Immaculate Heart, which is crowned with roses and surrounded by thorns. The priest must be like these two hearts, and the fulfillment of this is his vocation.
In the world, there is hatred of God, a meanness of creatures who are against their God. The priest must win over the evil by goodness. The priest reminds us of the love of God. He is the ambassador of God. When this goodness shines, it will touch hearts to continue God’s work of saving souls.

The beautiful ceremonies of the Catholic Priesthood:

Bishop Fellay’s torch-lit procession with the faithful, the evening of the ordinations, to honor the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima:

 

 

The growth of the Church in Mongolia

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Mongolia, one of the smallest countries in the world is beginning to thrive in Catholic tradition.   The Society has just established a parish on June 11th, that four years ago, was comprised of three souls.  Where two or three are gathered for Christ’s name and the sake of the True Faith, there Christ is in their midst, blessing their fruits and making them prosperous, as is evident with the growth of the Church in Mongolia.  Here is the Society’s detailed article which can be found here.

~Damsel of the Faith

1,300 baptized Catholics, about forty missionaries, one native priest: the Catholic Church has been present in Mongolia since 1991, and is spreading little by little in spite of the restrictive politics. A sign of hope: a parish was just established on June 11, 2017, thanks to the apostolate of a priest who only four years ago was saying Mass for a community of only three faithful…

Mongolia is one of the least populated countries in the world. A land of deserts, steppes, and mountains, Mongolia is three times the size of France, with a population of under three million people. It is also a country that has experienced major social upheavals, especially since 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union.

When their independence was declared, only 27% of the Mongols were living in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Today, almost half the population lives in Ulaanbaatar, and about 40,000 more people move there every year.

Christians, all confessions included, represent only a little over 2% of the population: most of the inhabitants follow the practices of Tibetan Buddhism, with a mixture of shamanic beliefs.

The Catholic Church in Mongolia suffered greatly at the hands of the Communist dictatorship. When the regime collapsed in 1991, official statistics indicated that there were simply no Catholics in the country. In 1992, the Fathers of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary came from the Philippines and changed that state of affairs.

But the Church’s situation is anything but simple, since like any other religious organization, she has to renew her registration every year, a process that is always long and unpredictable…

One of the most restrictive conditions that applies to all foreign organizations present in Mongolia —including the Catholic Church— is the obligation of including a minimum percentage of Mongolian employees in their staff. The Catholic Church remains an exception, for unlike almost all other religious organizations that have the status of non-governmental organizations and 95% of whose staff must be native employees, it obtained permission for a minimum of 75%.

In this very restrictive context, a new parish was just established on June 11, on the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity. The Church of Divine Mercy in Erdenet, about 150 miles the north of Ulaanbaatar, was blessed by the Apostolic Prefect, Bishop Wenceslao Padilla. It is one of three new parishes to be created for the 25th anniversary of the Catholic presence in Mongolia.

The community of the Divine Mercy parish was born in 2013, when a Congolese missionary, Fr. Prosper Mbumba, of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, began saying Mass for…only three baptized Catholics then living in the city!

The goal was to accompany these persons in their faith, and not “leave them like sheep without a shepherd,” declared the priest, who at the time was in charge of a preschool for disadvantaged children, run by his Congregation since 2002.

“At that time,” Fr. Prosper Mbumba told Fides, “once a month I celebrated Mass for three Catholics. I remember that once I was accompanied by a few confreres and so we priests outnumbered the faithful in the congregation. In 2013 on Christmas Eve I celebrated Mass with two people and the next day, Christmas Day, there were three.”

“Gradually,” he continued, “the community began to grow, because the three lay faithful started bringing friends, relations and neighbors. Since 2015 the community has been gathering every Sunday and we had the idea of requesting institutional recognition. In 2016, the Holy Year of Mercy, the local government granted legal status – which is necessary – for this Catholic community. This is why our community decided to take as its name  and holy patron Divine Mercy.

Fr. Prosper Mbumba is now the first parish priest, and on the occasion of that celebration, a new member, an adult, was baptized and received the sacrament of the Eucharist.

The parish has already celebrated six baptisms and a marriage, and many young people and adults are attending catechism classes. “The Catholic Church in Mongolia, with its 1,300 baptized Catholics and a native priest, looks forward to the future with confidence,” Fr. Mbumba concluded.

May these Catholics one day discover the true Mass and all the treasures of Tradition!

SSPX Marriages and the Society’s relations with Rome

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http://sspx.org/en/interview-bishop-fellay-april-2017

In Bishop Bernard Fellays’s latest interview, he gives us some insight into the Pope’s recognition of SSPX Marriages, as well as a general overview of the current Society relations with Rome. As always, a must read. The transcript follows.

~Damsel of the Faith

SSPX USA: Your Excellency, thank you very much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to meet with us. If you don’t mind, we have a few questions that have been in the news recently that we hoped you might shed some light on.

Bishop Fellay: With pleasure.

The State of Marriages in the SSPX

SSPX USA: The latest news from Rome, first of all, regarding the Society concerns provisions for our marriages. What does that mean for the Society and how will it affect us practically?

Bishop Fellay: It’s a broad question. May I recall the background a bit? The background is that, for years, a kind of jurisprudence has been established by the official Church, by Rome, which claims that our marriages would be invalid. Of course, we have enough elements in Canon Law to prove that is not the case. But nevertheless, people who want to break – if I may say so — their marriage have an easy door with this stipulation.

And so for years I’ve tried to see with Rome what can be done to block this unjust, unreal situation. Finally, after different ideas throughout the years – it’s almost 10 years that I have been discussing this – and it’s certainly an initiative of the Holy Father – came the idea of telling the bishops: why not recognize this situation as Catholic and hence give the delegation? That’s really the background.

Now, as with many documents, you have to read between the lines. I think the aim is in the second paragraph which says to the bishops: the priests of the Society, though the Church labels them as irregular, are capable of receiving the delegation necessary to bless or to receive the consent of the marriage. So I think, it has to be read as a new step towards the Society, in fact; not at all a step of trying to get the Society” in the pockets”; how do you say? No, on the contrary, to recognize that what we do is Catholic and telling the bishops: “You can give the delegation even to these priests.”

And what is very interesting also: it is stated that they speak about our marriages. And they say in that case, even if diocesan priests would be delegated for receiving the consent, nevertheless the Mass itself would be celebrated by a priest of the Society. So the fact that there is a clear statement that the priest will celebrate the Mass from the Society is once again a new step in the right direction, saying that these priests not only can but will say the Mass. And obviously in the right manner, so without any irregularity.

So you have somewhere a certain contradiction in the text. It is obvious. It has to be understood in such a way that, first, Rome wants to state that we, in their eyes, are not yet completely in canonical order. So they want to make that statement. But despite that: “Treat them normally as if there would be no disorder.” That’s the interesting thing.

Certainly, you can have different ways to look at this text; you can have a positive or a pessimistic way. But, looking at the Holy Father, looking at how Pope Francis deals with us, for a certain time, it is very clear that it is a benevolent step against us; not a trap, not a bad, hidden trick, or catch. No: it is a will that we are treated correctly at all levels.
SSPX USA: Your Excellency, you spoke of possible contradictions in the text or even different ways of reading between the lines. Some of the faithful who attend Society Masses have perhaps read a different interpretation, expecting to now accept priests from the diocese to receive their vows. And some of them seem uncomfortable with the idea of a diocesan priest, for instance, coming to a SSPX chapel to receive their vows. What would you say to those who expect or think this provision of Rome is simply another obstacle for the faithful to get married by priests of the Society?

Bishop Fellay: I think when we go into the practical situation, it is difficult to see beforehand. We will try to deal with the bishops; we will try to get the best out of the text. We already have examples right now of bishops, especially in Argentina, which is the country of the Pope, where the bishop has simply given the delegation to our priests. Period. And we expect that that will be the general situation. So, the correct interpretation of the text.

This does not exclude a situation where, let’s say, a bishop will be stubborn and so on and will insist on imposing a priest. Then we will have to look into the concrete situation. Definitely, as it is a marriage of our faithful, they have a say. And that’s why I read in this way the text which speaks of “in an impossibility of Plan A, go to Plan B”, which is give directly the delegation to the priests of the Society.

So, if there are cases where we feel uncomfortable, we have to say it. And it’s even in the text. Probably we will have here and there some difficulties, but they are not without a solution.

SSPX USA: Since the document mentions the possibility of local ordinaries giving delegation directly to the Society, and you’ve mentioned possible examples that exist already, how will the priests of the Society go about trying to obtain that delegation? Is it up to individual priests, local priors, District Superiors, the General House? Is there any light you can shed on how, practically, that will play out?

Bishop Fellay: We will indicate to the different Districts the path, the way of handling that case. You may have different situations. In general, as I say, we will try not to handle this case-by-case, but to get to general policies with the bishops. And this would mean that there would be a contact with the Superior of the District.

SSPX USA: Speaking of general policies, in the document that was released from the General House, there was an indication that guidelines would be drawn up for the whole Society. Is it premature to comment on those guidelines or have discussions already occurred regarding those?

Bishop Fellay: I think it’s too early. We have also to see how this text from Rome will be received locally. And we don’t yet have all the answers. But you can easily imagine that, with such a text, most of the bishops don’t bother as it is an opening towards us. And they will just grant it.
SSPX USA: How would we deal with the question of marriage in places where, for instance, the bishops do not want to collaborate? Is there a risk of having certain countries or dioceses where bishops grant delegation and others don’t?

Bishop Fellay: Strictly speaking, we could expect that. It’s possible, let’s say, that bishops would go against the disposition of the Pope. We know that. And I don’t fear that because we come back to the present situation, foreseen by Canon Law, which says that, if there is a grave difficulty, or in Latin, grave incommodum, the two future spouses can proceed. And they must have, for that situation, witnesses, and if a priest is available, the priest.
SSPX USA: So in the event a local bishop would be opposed, is there some recourse to Rome to protect us or is that not in the case?

Bishop Fellay: I would say it’s not necessary, but we probably will look into the question. And we may speak with Rome about it: would it be just to establish in such cases another policy, if I may say? When I spoke to the Pope about the present situation of bishops refusing, he said: “But I can give it!”It was really interesting. Let’s say, as an ultimate recourse, we know that, on the side of the Pope, there is a readiness.
SSPX USA: This may seem like a practical question in light of the recent document, but where will these marriages from here on be registered? Will they simply be in the priories and chapels of the Society or in the local diocesan parishes or somewhere else?

Bishop Fellay: If we follow the indication of the text itself, I think that the correct interpretation is that we continue our registration and we send the notification to the diocese.
SSPX USA: Also, from the perspective of those who wish to be married, do you anticipate a kind of “test” for the spouses we have prepared for marriage? Would it not be strange for a priest who had no role in the training of the spouses to witness their vows and even have no idea whether they are properly prepared?

Bishop Fellay: Once again, I think the text foresees that we prepare, we make the tests, and the local priest is only there for the ceremony, like putting the stamp on a reality which is all ours.

A Step Forward With Rome

SSPX USA: You answered this a bit earlier, but perhaps you could expound on it. You seem to interpret this either as a step towards regularization or at least of good will from Rome rather than interpreting these gestures as a kind of trap to keep us from doing the work that we’ve already been doing. Can you comment any further on that dichotomy?

Bishop Fellay: Yes, no problem. I think that this is not the first step which goes in that direction. I said that I’ve been discussing about this question for 10 years already. I speak about other problems which would request an intervention of Rome, of the highest authority; Catholic acts which we establish and that would be recognized by Rome. And I see that this is happening at diverse levels. The more we go, the more intense this is the common practice.

Which means that, even though there are certain claims about us being irregular, more and more we are treated as if things would be just normal. In recent years, everybody has heard about the power of hearing confessions worldwide, everywhere. And being not only valid, but licit; that is, everybody can, without trouble of conscience, come to the priests of the Society. That’s an example.

Another example is ordinations. Last year, I received a letter from Rome telling me: “You can freely ordain your priests without the permission of the local ordinary.” So if I can freely ordain, that means that the ordination is recognized by the Church, not just as valid but in order. If I can freely do it, it’s clear that this is just already recognized and accepted. So this is one more step in this acceptance that we are “normal Catholics” despite this underlying sense that we are still not completely in order. More and more, this is going on and it’s not the first step. Frankly, I don’t see there any will to interfere or take over, but simply the recognition that what we do is Catholic.
SSPX USA: To switch topics a little bit, though I suppose it’s indirectly related, there’s a little more than a year until the next General Chapter of the Society. Can you say anything about what preparations are underway and what that means for the Society; or is it perhaps too early?

Bishop Fellay: No, I don’t think it’s too early. We can really talk about it. This Chapter is the one which will happen, provided everything goes forward or is still the way they are now. In any case, even if we are recognized before, it would imply a General Chapter according to our internal policies. So if it happens before, or at that time, in any case, it is the occasion for us to look into our faithfulness to our statutes, how accurate we accomplish them, what the failures are, what are the points are that need improvement, what the new questions are, and new problems. I guess that, with this new possible recognition by Rome, this will, when it happens, raise quite a number of new questions, of new situations. We certainly already reflect on them now, but we’ll have to put them into guidelines or policies for the whole Society. In any case, I think it will be an important Chapter and we are preparing, definitely. One year is not too long before to prepare it.

The Current State of the SSPX

SSPX USA: Perhaps speaking even more generally, can you say how and where is the Society growing most around the world? Are there places in particular that perhaps strike you as unique or particularly impressive?

Bishop Fellay: What I see, in general, is a more or less constant growth, not too spectacular. Here and then, a group would just join us as a group, but that is really rare. It’s more or less individuals who come, who join, one family here or there. But this is universal in all the countries where we are settled; in all six continents you find that. Some places know greater or more intense growth: countries like the United States and some places in Africa have that, yes. But there are variations from one country to the other. So I cannot say for sure that for 10 years you really have one which is increasing more than another. The whole Society is still growing and I say, the more we grow, the more we have a problem of not having enough priests to cope with all the needs.
SSPX USA: Speaking of priests, what is the trend of priests coming from either dioceses or religious congregations, perhaps showing interest in the Society? Has it increased or decreased since Pope Francis? Maybe you can speak to their motives and why they choose the Society out of a number of options.

Bishop Fellay: Yes, it seems to me that there’s not much change before and after the election of Pope Francis. I think it is deeper trend than just one person being in charge. There are priests, indeed, who approach us. They approach us to become a member but many of them don’t necessarily want to become a member. But they want to be friends, they want to learn from us: the sacred liturgy, on one hand, but more the doctrine.

Once I was in front of a group of priest friends in Italy—it was about two years ago—and I asked them, about 30 priests: What do you expect from us? And I was almost certain that they would say, “Well, teach us how to say the Mass.” That was not the answer. The answer is: the doctrine. That’s what they expect. And it’s deeper, of course: without doctrine, which explains the Mass, the Mass may be beautiful and so on, but what makes it solid is the doctrine which is expressed, which is coming out of the Mass. And if you have a good and solid knowledge of this theology, it makes the liturgy even more necessary, I may say.

And that’s what you see a little bit everywhere. I see priests who approach us, but not just for the Mass: for much more! They want to learn Tradition. Many of them, when they discover the Mass, are frustrated. They feel cheated. And they say: “These are treasurers, our treasures, and they were hidden from us!” But they don’t remember that level of frustration; they really enjoy Tradition deeply and they want to live it.

Response to the Current Crises

SSPX USA: Your Excellency, speaking of another more universal question, Amoris Laetitia has generated a tremendous amount of confusion and controversy since it was released last year. On the one hand, one could say it’s encouraging to see some wake up to the crisis in the Church; on the the other hand, the pastoral results of that document are really devastating. There are even some who claim the Society has been too soft in their critique of Amoris Laetitia. What are your thoughts about this document and the controversy it’s engendered?

Bishop Fellay: At the time, I wrote to Pope Francis, and we prepared a text to wake up the cardinals, a letter from our three bishops. But, I will not say “unfortunately”–that would not be the right word—but four cardinals took the initiative just before we were about to send the letter. That’s why there was not much noise about it because it was already done. So our letter just remains in a drawer.

In fact, we are certainly doing all that we can with those who raise their voice. I think it is important that people notice that we are no longer the only ones who complain, who denounce, who attack poor situations which are harming souls. It could be one of the reasons why, here and there, I would not talk immediately, letting their voice appear and not mixing mine with theirs. Because usually when we do that, they are disqualified because this tendency of disqualifying us in the modern Church is still very present. And so, letting their voice be heard, for the whole Church, is probably better. And everybody anyway knows what we think and what our positions are. It has not changed and everybody knows that.

So while, and as long as there are voices in the Church who talk in the right direction, to say that one day or another, I would have spoken more softly, does not change anything in the big picture, in the big fight which is still there. That’s very, very clear. And it absolutely does not mean that we would, by politics, in order not to jeopardize a possible agreement—which is not the correct word—or canonical recognition, lower our voice is simply not true. If someone would be careful and look at all I write and say, they would say that I just continue. We are still the same.

And I insist in Rome to say we are like this and we are not going to change. We may be a little bit less controversial in attacking the persons. But our reason would not be just a personal gain. What we look for is the most efficient way to have a benefice for the whole Church. Sometimes you gain more by giving a simple argument than by barking it. You have to look at the cases. We are still in a fight, we know that, and it’s definitely not over. It’s not just for the pleasure of fighting, but we belong to the militant Church.
SSPX USA: Perhaps in conclusion, a simpler question: you’re here in St. Mary’s, KS, for confirmations. St. Mary’s is obviously the Society’s biggest parish and school in America. What are your impressions or thoughts you might share on St. Mary’s?

Bishop Fellay: I admire the work of Divine Providence in this place which was sanctified just before us by the Jesuits. It was the scholasticate of the Jesuits. In the church, which is no longer there, which was burnt, we know that over 1,000 priests have been ordained. We know it’s not only a very holy place, but a very priestly place. And as the first scope of the Society is the priesthood, it’s a good reminder.

And I may say certainly we are harvesting. We are trying to sow the seed but we are more harvesting from the work of previous good workers in the field of the Lord. We certainly admire and thank God for these beautiful fruits of the traditional attitude, which was everywhere before.