Traditional Mass

Monday, December 31, 2012

From CWR: What Archbishop Müller Said About the SSPX and “Continuity”

The publication of the latest volume of Ratzinger’s Collected Works fuels debate about the Council.
Volume VII of Joseph Ratzinger’s Collected Works, an anthology of his writings on the Second Vatican Council, was recently published in German. On November 28, 2012, the editor of the Opera Omnia, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who is now also prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presented this latest volume in the series at the Teutonic College of Santa Maria dell’Anima in Rome. This was the place where German and Austrian Council Fathers used to confer regularly with theologians and periti, including then-Father Ratzinger, at special meetings organized by Cardinal Frings of Cologne. An Italian version of Archbishop Müller’s speech appeared in the edition of L’Osservatore Romano dated November 29. 
Although the speech ostensibly outlined the contents of Volume VII and quoted a few familiar passages from a Vatican II document, it elicited several sharply critical responses from traditional Catholics, including an unsigned, six-part analysis by a theologian from the Society of St. Pius X and an essay by historian Roberto de Mattei. What under other circumstances might have been a routine publishing event proved to be an informal but revealing moment in the ongoing theological discussions between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Society of St. Pius X. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

THE HOURS OF OUR LADY #26 [Continued]

It's been a while but,
We continue with our posting of the Introduction to The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largely from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)

"Nothing different in kind is expected of us. It is enough that we accommodate the sacred language of the Psalms to our own personal needs, and express them through its medium. Our individual devotional sentiments are not suppressed, but handed over, as it were, to the guidance of divine expression. Such a practice repays us by its education in praise and prayer. Growing familiarity with words of sacred origin as repeatedly applied to ourselves, gradually enriches and elevates our habitual ideas of praising God and praying to Him more acceptably. With the constant aid of Divine grace, such experience will in time prove to be its own reward." (W. H. McClellan, S.J., The Psalms)

Through original sin we have lost the art of talking to God as we ought. One has only to consider the model prayer that our Lord gave us (the Our Father) and note how different is its way of talking to God from that which we should have followed if we had not been taught. Even when we come to speak to God of our own needs we must even then be thinking mostly of His interests. The Psalms teach us how to pray -- the sentiments that should animate us when we raise our minds and hearts to God. "For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself pleads for us with unutterable groanings." (Romans 8, 26)

[To be continued]

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Betrothal of the Virgin Mary & St JosephImage by Lawrence OP via Flickr

[Mass from preceding Sunday]


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saint John of the Cross, Saint Chrysogonus

Confessor and Doctor of the Church


John of the Cross was born near Avila in Spain in 1542. Educated by the Jesuits, he entered the Carmelite Order at the age of 21. He felt attracted to the life of a Carthusian, but Teresa of Avila asked him to co-operate with her in the restoration of the primitive Carmelite rule. After John established several monasteries of Discalced Carmelites, those opposed to the reform had him imprisoned at Toledo. During the nine months of his imprisonment, he wrote many of the poems and prose works that have made him one of the foremost authorities on mysticism in the West. He had asked God for suffering, and he received an abundance of both physical and spiritual torment right up to his death in 1591.

Mass of a 

O God, who blessed the holy confessor and doctor John with a spirit of complete self-denial and a deep love of the cross, grant that we may always follow his example and thus attain to eternal glory. Though Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of
Mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, Chrysogonus, a Greek Christian, was martyred under Diocletian at Aquileia at the beginning of the fourth century.

O Lord, hear our humble prayers. May the intercession of Your blessed martyr Chrysogonus free us from the guilt of sin which troubles us. Through Our Lord . . .


O Lord, let the blessed confessor and doctor John always help us, and through his intercession accept our offering and pardon our sins. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of
O Lord, be moved to compassion by our offerings and shield us from all danger through the prayers of Your holy martyr Chrysologus. Through Our Lord . . .


O Lord, may this sacrifice bring us closer to our salvation through the intercession of Your blessed confessor and illustrious doctor John. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of
O Lord, may the reception of Your Sacrament cleanse us from our hidden faults, and guard us against the deceptions of our enemies. Through Our Lord . . .

Sunday, November 18, 2012



Today the Church goes on spiritual pilgrimage to the tombs of the two greatest apostles. To the famous basilica of St. Peter's, built over the tomb of the Vicar of Christ at Rome, have come Christians of every age, every race, and every nation, for Peter is the rock and foundation of their faith. while we are thus reminded of the unity of all the members of the Mystical Body, St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles, directs our thoughts toward those who have yet to be taught the message of Salvation.

INTROIT Jer. 29:11, 12, 14
SAID THE LORD: "I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. You shall call upon Me and I will hear you, and I will bring you back from captivity from all places."
84:2. Lord, You have blessed Your land; You have restored Jacob from captivity.V. Glory be . . .

ALMIGHTY GOD, let our minds always be fixed on Your truths, so that, in every word and deed, we may do what is pleasing to You. Through Our Lord . . .

O God, by Your care we come safely each year to commemorate with these sacred rites the dedication of Your holy temple. Graciously hear the prayers of Your people and grant that all who implore Your blessings in this church may joyfully receive the favors they ask. Through Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE I Thess. 1:2-10
Brethren: We give thanks to God always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing, being mindful of the work of your faith and labor and charity: and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father.
Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election: For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us and of the Lord: receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and in Achaia but also in every place: your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you: and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. And to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead), Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

GRADUAL Ps. 43:8-9
YOU HAVE FREED us from those who afflict us, O Lord, and You have put to shame those who hate us.V. In God we will glory all the day and praise Your name forever.

Alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 129:1-2
V. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my prayer!

GOSPEL Matt. 13:31-35
AT THAT TIME, Jesus spoke this parable unto them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof."
Another parable he spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened." All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables he did not speak to them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world."

OUT OF THE DEPTHS I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my prayer, out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord.

O GOD, may this offering cleanse us from sin and bring us life, that by it we may be guided and protected. Through Our Lord . . .

Graciously hear our prayers, O Lord. May the gifts we offer You help us to attain Your eternal rewards. Through our Lord . . .
AMEN I say to you, all things whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you.

O LORD, grant that we who have been nourished with the Food of Heaven may always hunger after this Bread which truly makes us live. Through Our Lord . . .

O God, by Your divine choosing, living stones are used to build an everlasting dwelling place for Your majesty. Hear the prayers of Your people who call upon You and grant that the material growth of Your Church may be accompanied by a deepening spiritual development in her. Through our Lord . . .

Friday, November 09, 2012

Saint Theodore, Martyr



Basilica of St. John Lateran - tabernacle of S...Image via Wikipedia

Commonly called St. John Lateran, this basilica, donated by the Emperor Constantine, was once part of the Pope's residence and is the cathedral of the bishop of Rome. On its facade is carved the inscription: "The Mother and Head of all the churches in the city and the world." Today's feast, then, calls to mind the unity of the Church over the whole earth.This is the first church given public consecration. Five ecumenical councils were held there. Within the basilica is an altar of wood which dates back to the days of persecution, and is believed by some to have been used by St. Peter himself.

Mass of the 

O God, by Your care we come safely each year to commemorate with these sacred rites the dedication of Your holy Temple. Graciously hear the prayers of Your people and grant that all who implore Your blessings in this church may joyfully receive the favors they ask. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT THEODORE 

This Roman soldier was cruelly tortured and burnt alive in the year 306 for having allegedly set fire to the temple of the pagan goddess Cybele.

The glorious profession of faith of Your holy Martyr Theodore overshadows and protects us, O God. May we profit by his example and rejoice in the assistance of his prayers. Through Our Lord . . .

Graciously hear our prayers, O Lord (and grant that all who are gathered in this church to celebrate the anniversary of its dedication may please You by their complete service of body and soul). May the gifts we offer You help us to attain Your eternal rewards. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT THEODORE
Accept the prayers and offering of the faithful, O Lord, and let our love and devotion lead us to the glory of heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

O God, by Your divine choosing, living stones are used to build an everlasting dwelling place for Your majesty. Hear the prayers of Your people who call upon You, and grant that the material growth of Your Church may be accompanied by a deepening spiritual development in her. Through Out Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT THEODORE
May the intercession of Your holy Martyr Theodore help us, O Lord, to cherish with pure hearts the Sacrament we have received upon our lips. Through Our Lord . . .
Pope's chair, Basilica di San Giovanni in Late...Pope's Chair in Basilica. Image via Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

SSPX Dialogue Continues: “Patience, Serenity, Perseverance, and Trust are Needed”: Catholic World Report

SSPX Dialogue Continues: “Patience, Serenity, Perseverance, and Trust are Needed”: Catholic World Report

The last several months’ developments in Vatican/SSPX relations have been misinterpreted by extremists of all ideological stripes.
Father Kevin Robinson processes from the sacristy at the beginning of a traditional Latin Mass at the Society of St. Pius X's St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Farmingville, NY, June 17. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
The last official meeting between the Ecclesia Dei Commission and the authorities of the Society of Saint Pius X took place in the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on June 13, 2012. Some sanguine observers expected the return of the Society to the fold in months if not weeks, while the more cynical opined that the meeting marked the end of the CDF-SSPX negotiations. 
Since June there were major personnel changes at the CDF, and the Society held a General Chapter, defined the parameters for its future dealings with the Vatican, and neutralized an internal threat to its unity. Commentators weighed each of these developments in turn as though it could seal the ultimate fate of the Society. Often lost in the shuffle was the key fact that the SSPX authorities still had not responded officially to Rome’s latest offer—a fact helpfully pointed out in a communiqué from the Ecclesia DeiCommission issued in late October. 
This article reviews these events and offers a perspective on the controversies surrounding them. 


cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vatican City, 6 November 2012 (VIS) - In a message sent in the name of Benedict XVI on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Letter "Summorum Pontificum", Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. affirms that "by this Motu Proprio, the Holy Father wished to respond to the hopes of the faithful regarding the forms of liturgy", prior to Vatican Council II.
Released into public domain with Newman Societ...
Released into public domain with Newman Society press release (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data", "Summorum Pontificum" on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, was published on 7 July 2007, and came into effect on 14 September of the same year.

In his message the secretary of State notes that "it is good to conserve the richness that has developed in the faith and prayer of the Church and to accord it due space, at the same time fully recognising the value and sanctity of the ordinary form of the Roman rite”.

Cardinal Bertone adds that in the Year
 of Faith, which coincides with "the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II, the Holy Father invites all the faithful to make a special demonstration of their unity in faith; in this way they will become effective agents of new evangelisation”.

The message, written in French, was read out on the the occasion of the international pilgrimage to Rome, "Una cum Papa nostro", organised by "Coetus internationalis Summorum Pontificum". The pilgrimage culminated in a Mass presided by Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, celebrated according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Among those participating were faithful belonging to groups linked to the use of the 1962 Missal, which was approved by John XXIII and remained in force until the reforms of the Council.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Saints Simon & Jude: Transferred from October 28th

[Transferred from Oct. 28th]

Simon is called in the Gospels "the zealous one." Jude was the brother of St. James the Less and therefore related to Christ. He is the author of one of the seven Catholic (i.e., addressed to all the faithful) Epistles in the New Testament. It is not known for certain where Simon and Jude preached the Gospel after Pentecost; but according to tradition they finally went to evangelize Persia and were martyred together there.

INTROIT (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established.
Ps. O Lord, you have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Your blessed apostles Simon and Jude brought us the knowledge of Your Holy Name. May our progress in virtue add honor to their eternal glory, and may the honor we pay them make us even more holy. Through Christ Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE (Eph. 4: 7-13)
Brethren: But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.Wherefore he saith: "Ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he gave gifts to men." Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens: that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Until we all meet into the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ.

GRADUAL (Ps. 44:17-18)
You shall make them princes through all the land; they shall remember Your Name, O Lord. V. To take the place of your fathers, sons shall be born to you; therefore peoples shall praise you.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established. Alleluia!

GOSPEL (St. John 15:17-25)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for my name's sake: because they know not him that sent me.
"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: 'They hated me without cause.' "

Their voice has gone forth through all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

O Lord, we pay homage to the everlasting glory of Your holy apostles Simon and Jude. May these sacred mysteries atone for our sins so that we may be more worthy to honor them. Through Christ Our Lord . . .

You who have followed Me shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

We who received Your Sacraments, O Lord, humbly pray that this sacred rite which we offer in honor of the sufferings of Your blessed apostles Simon and Jude may heal our own infirmities through their intercession. Through Christ Our Lord . . .

Sterling Silver Antiqued St Jude Medal Charm (Google Affiliate Ad)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

OCTOBER 27 Ferial Day, Our Lady's Mass on Saturday, Vigil of Sts. Simon & Jude

St Jude
St Jude (Photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh)
(Mass of preceding Sunday)
[Requiem or Votive Mass allowed]

St Simon
St Simon (Photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh)
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saint Raphael the Archangel


Archangel Raphael is known through the Book of Tobias in the Old Testament. He there appeared in human form as a gracious young man called Azarias, to protect the younger Tobias on his journey from Ninive to a city of the Medes. In the process he found a wife for Tobias, and later delivered her from an evil spirit; he also healed the elder Tobias of blindness. Raphael is "one of the seven who stand before the Lord" (Tob. 12:15). Today's Prayer speaks of him as a companion in journeys. The Reading shows him as presenting our prayers to God. The Gospel is a reminder of Raphael's healing powers, for his name means "God has healed."

INTROIT Ps. 102:20
Bless the Lord all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding, obeying the voice of His commands. 
. 102:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy Name. 
. Glory be . . .

O God, who sent the blessed Archangel Raphael to accompany Your servant Tobias on his journey, grant that we, Your servants, may also be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance. Through our Lord.

LESSON Tob. 12:7-15
English: The Angel Raphael and the Family of T...
English: The Angel Raphael and the Family of Tobit (Tob. 12:1-12) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In those days, the angel Raphael said to Tobias: "For it is good to hide the secret of a king: to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold. For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you." When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord."

GRADUAL Tob. 8:3; pS. 146:5
Raphael, the angel of the Lord, took the devil and bound him. 
. Great is our Lord, and great His power!

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 137:1-2 
I will sing Your praise in the sight of the angels; I will worship in Your holy temple and give glory to Your Name, O Lord. Alleluia!

GOSPEL John 5:1-4
After these things was a festival day of the Jews: and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered: waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.

An Angel stood before the altar of the temple, having in his hand a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the incense went up before God.

O Lord, graciously accept the sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the angel's prayers of intercession. Through Christ, our Lord . . .

All you Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord; sing a hymn of praise and exalt Him above all forever.

O Lord God, send the holy Archangel Raphael to help us, so that he, who we believe stands always before Your Throne, may present our humble prayers for Your blessing. Through our Lord . . .

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Friday, October 19, 2012

The Return to Rome, Five Years Later: Catholic World Report

Former sedevacantist nuns reflect on their joyful return to the Church and on their lives in a thriving new religious community.

Five years ago, a major change came to the lives of Sister Mary Eucharista, a member of the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), and 14 of her fellow sisters living at Mount St. Michael (“the Mount”) in Spokane, Washington. Bishop Mark Pivarunas, the Superior General of the CMRI organization, told the sisters they had to leave the community if they did not stop promoting “heterodox” views among the other 35 sisters.
But their “heresy” was not the kind American Catholics have seen in some communities
English: Pope Benedict XVI
English: Pope Benedict XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
of nuns in recent generations. Sister Mary Eucharista and her sisters were asked to leave because they had come to believe that Pope Benedict XVI was indeed the legitimate head of the Roman Catholic Church.  

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Laudamus Te – Magazine for the Extraordinary Form


For Catholics that attend the Mass in the usus antiquior or Extraordinary Form.
Laudamus Te – The Magazine of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Liturgy of the Roman Rite will begin publication during Advent this year. Subscriptions run $32 for the year, which is a quite reasonable cost.
Here is their explanation of their mission,
"Laudamus Te is a seasonal publication providing the daily Mass readings for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Catholic Mass as well as explanatory essays, commentaries by saints and the Church Fathers throughout the 2,000 year history of the Church, and devotional essays by priests, religious, and laity. The publication is intended to draw the faithful into a better understanding of the Mass, inspire deeper meditation and devotion, and educate and inform those who are new to the Extraordinary Form."
Here is the link to their web site:

Hat-tip to 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Moynihan Report: Letter #29: Will the bishop be expelled?

October 17, 2012, Wednesday -- Will the bishop be expelled?

A report is circulating that the controversial traditional Catholic bishop, Richard Williamson, may soon be expelled from the Society of St. Pius X


Williamson out?

Perhaps the most important bit of "news" in the long and interesting, and important, interview below, is at the very end. I'll copy that final paragraph and put it right here up top:

"[In other news from the Society of Saint Pius X: Mr. Stephen Heiner, a layman who has long been close to Bishop Richard Williamson (photo, from 1991, 20 years ago), one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, confirms his imminent removal from the Society of Saint Pius X.]"

This paragraph was published yesterday on the web site Rorate Coeli, which concentrates on traditional Catholic issues and events and is a useful website for these issues. (Link: "Rorate coeli" is the Latin of Isaiah 45:8, meaning "Drop down dew, heavens," expressing the longing of those in a desert land for moisture, and by analogy, the longings of Israel, and of the Church, for spiritual water, for the truly just man -- the Messiah. Here is the complete passage from Isaiah:

V. Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant justum
(Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just)

R. Aperiatur terra et germinet salvatorem.
(Let the earth be opened and send forth a Savior).

Whether Williamson is expelled from the Society, or not, there is clearly some tension within the Society of St. Pius X.

The Society has, since 1988, been led by four bishops, of whom Williamson is one, ordained by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in June of that year.
Marcel Lefebvre
Marcel Lefebvre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Williamson, 72, a convert from Anglicanism, joined the movement of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in the 1970s at the time of his conversion to Catholicism. Always outspoken, he became especially controversial in January 2009, when Pope Benedict lifted his 1988 excommunication.

A Swedish television station, at the very time as the excommunication was being lifted aired a November 2008 interview with Williamson in which he said, citing the "Leuchter report," that he doubted the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and doubted that 6 million Jews had lost their lives under the National Socialist persecution of European Jewry during World War II, expressing his opinion that the number of Jews killed was far less. (So the interview was held for more than two months before being aired, and was aired only after the Pope's decision to lift Williamson's excommunication; this led some to suggest that the Swedish station had in some way "orchestrated" the interview and its airing in order to cast a shadow not simply on Williamson, but on Pope Benedict himself.)

Williamson's exact words were: "I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against, six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler" and "I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them in gas chambers."

The Vatican then declared that "in order to be admitted to episcopal functions within the Church, (Williamson) will have to take his distance, in an absolutely unequivocal and public fashion, from his position on the Shoah, which the Holy Father was not aware of when the excommunication was lifted."

In 2010, Williamson was convicted of incitement by a German court and fined €10,000, but this conviction was overruled by the German appeals court on February 22 this year, after it was found that the initial charges had failed to specify how and why Williamson had broken the law.

But it is not only Williamson's views on the Holocaust that are controversial. He has called Jews the "enemies of Christ," claimed that Jews and Freemasons have contributed to the "changes and corruption" in the Catholic Church and stated that Jews aim at world dominion.

Despite these views, it is Williams actions within the society that seem to have caused the tensions which may lead to his ouster.

He made an unauthorized visit at the end of August this year, two months ago, to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to about 100 lay people at the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. 

The Society of St. Pius X's South American district superior, Father Christian Bouchacourt, posted an official letter of complaint on the Society's website, and then a German Catholic website,, stated that because of this and Bishop Williamson's refusal to stop publishing his weekly e-mail, Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Society's Superior, would expel him. 

Bouchacourt said the Williamson's Brazil visit was "a serious act against the virtue of obedience" that did not respect the Society’s procedures. The September 6 letter said the visit was "also an attack upon the most elementary demands of courtesy."

However, the Rorate coeli note about Williamson's possible imminent expulsion from the Society is only a small note at the end of a very long, interesting interview with a leader of the Society in Germany.

And this interview is worth reading for all who would like to get a sense of the mind of the Society following the apparent collapse this spring and summer of talks between the Society and Rome to end the Society's curent state of irregularity.

Therefore, after the note below on pilgrimages and subscribing to the magazine, we post the entire text of this interview.


Pilgrimages to Italy

Note: We invite all readers of this newsflash to consider joining us on one of our upcoming pilgrimages to Rome and Italy. For information, click on the link below:

Another Note: We invite all readers of this newsflash to subscribe to Inside the Vatican magazine, or give a gift subscription to a friend. If you appreciate these newsflashes, this is the best way you can show your appeciation and support.


Society of St. Pius X-Rome: "We are back to square one"

An interview with Father Niklaus Pfluger (photo below), First Assistant General of the Society of St. Pius X, on the present situation of the Society and the Church. (Kirchliche Umschau is a German Catholic monthly magazine.)

The original source for the English translation of this interview, posted on October 16, is:

In the interview below, Father Pfluger expresses his opinion that the Church is in a profound crisis, and will only overcome the crisis by returning to traditional Catholic faith and practice. 

The essence of the interview is in the following lines:

"We are witnessing a march to destruction unseen in history, a rising tide which not even the bishops can stem, using, as they do, tactics devoid of the spirit of Faith. Joseph Ratzinger, as a Council father 50 years ago, spoke of a Church, 'imbued with the spirit of paganism,' which the Council did its part to usher in.

"I am convinced that this turn of events, on the one hand, will bring the bishops to a more sober frame of mind, and, on the other hand, will leave only the conservatives holding fast, meaning those who quite simply wish to believe as the Church has always believed, and to persevere in their Catholic Faith."

Here is the entire interview.

Kirchliche Umschau: Just a few months ago, the Vatican seemed to be on the verge of granting canonical recognition to the Society. It seems now that all efforts were in vain. Bishop Müller, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, suggested as much in several recent interviews.

Father Niklaus Pfluger: All efforts were not in vain, but an agreement in the near future is improbable. In both our estimation and that of the Curia, any agreement would be pointless unless we are on the same page about what the Faith really means. This common understanding was to be expressed in a “doctrinal declaration”, which we took ample time in drawing up, and in April 2012, Bishop Fellay, our Superior General, presented a preliminary, informal draft. But, to our great surprise, this text was rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. So we are back to square one.

Kirchliche Umschau: How do you account for Rome’s change of direction?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: In Rome there is a group strongly opposed to a canonical regularization for the Society. Such an official recognition would in effect be a sign that the post-Vatican II era is outdated and that a new chapter has begun. Of course, this would not suit the agenda of the Council’s supporters. For them, official recognition of the Society of St. Pius X would be not merely an insult, but also a questioning of the Council’s status, therefore a collapse. It appears that the Council’s adherents prevailed.

Kirchliche Umschau: Do you think that there could be a new development?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Not just think–I know! The facts are what they are. The Church everywhere in the world, with some rare exceptions, is undergoing a process of self-destruction, and not just in Europe. In Latin America, for example, things don’t seem to be any better. Where the economy is relatively strong, as in Germany, Swizterland, and the United States, the external structures remain. But the loss of the Faith can be seen everywhere. Now, without the Faith, there is no Church. In Germany, the bishops recently sent a clear message: the right to collect taxes from Church members is more important than 120,000 Catholics leaving the Church every year. We are witnessing a march to destruction unseen in history, a rising tide which not even the bishops can stem, using, as they do, tactics devoid of the spirit of Faith. Joseph Ratzinger, as a Council father 50 years ago, spoke of a Church, “imbued with the spirit of paganism,” which the Council did its part to usher in. I am convinced that this turn of events, on the one hand, will bring the bishops to a more sober frame of mind, and, on the other hand, will leave only the conservatives holding fast, meaning those who quite simply wish to believe as the Church has always believed, and to persevere in their Catholic Faith. With those holding fast, we will no longer need to argue. Agreement in the Faith will soon follow.

Kirchliche Umschau: You are insinuating that the tide of self-destruction will engulf liberal Catholics. But the liberals see things differently. They want even more reforms to assure the survival of the living Church.
Father Niklaus Pfluger: I am inventing nothing. I see events and where they lead. Which religious order or diocese has younger members to ensure its future growth, and which ones are dying out? We can observe that decline and dissolution are most apparent in those places where the so-called conciliar reforms are most eagerly followed. I don’t deny that, in the arena of public opinion–and on the parish level–the liberal approach is more acceptable. But the Church does not live by social acceptance or by human applause. She derives her energy from men and women who believe and practice their Faith, who are prepared to renounce worldly pleasures to become priests, monks, or nuns. These latter are conspicuously absent among the liberals, and that is why they now want to receive priestly ordination, but of course without celibacy, without any self-denial. And they naively expect to increase their vocations by lowering the standards!

Kirchliche Umschau: Do you foresee a new excommunication of the Society’s bishops, or even of the whole Society?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: There are many who might welcome a new excommunication, but during this pope’s reign, it seems highly improbable. How would they justify it? There is no “traditional heresy.” We do not belong to the sedevacantists. We fully accept that the assistance of the Holy Ghost is granted to the pope and the bishops. But from Rome’s standpoint, the Society was pronounced guilty of “disobedience” even when the excommunications from 1988 were later withdrawn. How would they justify new ecclesiastical penalties? For refusing the Council? In the Credo none of the articles state: “I believe in the Second Vatican Council…!” The imposing reality of the facts just mentioned should be more important than the discussions. We find today a new generation of young priests, who slowly but surely discover the Old Mass, and through it, the Catholic Faith in its entirety, and the authentic priesthood. But in many cases we find young Catholics interested in the Faith, who nearly always discover it outside of their parishes. These honest souls are very impressed by traditional doctrine and worship, even if they still attend the New Mass. They observe the Society, follow it with interest, seek to contact us, ask for our publications, and stay in communication with us. The same holds for the Ecclesia Deicommunities, and among diocesan priests, who, thanks to the Motu Proprio of 2007, have begun to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. We are more than just a Society with almost 600 priests; our influence is deeply felt in the Church, and particularly in those circles which have a future. If the Romans want to save face, they will wisely avoid an excommunication which they will soon have to revoke.

Kirchliche Umschau: So there is still a chance to regularize the Society, but it seems that the bottom line is to “recognize the Council.”
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Of course we recognize that there was a Second Vatican Council. Archbishop Lefebvre himself was a Council father. Nonetheless, we must admit that not only the post-conciliar reforms, but also certain texts of the Council itself are in contradiction with important doctrines already defined by the Church. Certain ambiguities and novelties are at the heart of the present dissolution taking place within the Church. For Rome, it is unacceptable that we speak of “the errors of the Council.” You see, we criticized the Council while it was everywhere being celebrated and when the Church enjoyed a deeper faith and vitality than it does today. Why would we suddenly make an about-face, when our warnings and criticisms have been vindicated over time? The sad reality is that, 50 years after the Council, Archbishop Lefebvre’s predictions were far from exaggerated. In the 1970s, due to the enthusiasm and naive optimism of the moment, nobody could have imagined that the Catholic bishops would rally in favor of homosexuality, the propagation of Islam, and the dissolution of marriage, which unfortunately is now the order of the day! The Vatican is faced with the ruins of the Church, which was at one time so beautiful and strong. But now there is no true renewal, no relief in sight. A realistic evaluation of new charismatic communities, which were extolled in the last decades as signs of vitality, should serve instead as warning signs. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been an honest and thorough investigation of the causes of the present situation in the Church. The Church is destroying herself, and silencing all discussion of the problem will not make the problem go away. Pretending that the Council is not to blame for the post-conciliar crisis is burying one’s head in the sand.

Kirchliche Umschau: Since you seem so little disposed to compromise, why do you still hold discussions with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Because the pope and Rome are realities inseparable from the Faith. The loss of faith in the Church’s structures—a loss of faith from which we have been spared, thanks be to God–is only one aspect of the crisis in the Church. For our part, we suffer also from a defect: the fact of our canonical irregularity. The status of the post-conciliar Church is imperfect, nor is our status the ideal.

Kirchliche Umschau: Are you referring to members of your community who refuse the discussions with Rome?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Yes, but they are few, very few. The prolonged period of separation has led certain members to confusion in theology. Deep down, these persons set faith in opposition to law, as if union with the pope, the primacy of the pope, were just a minor question of law.
Separating the legitimacy of the pope from the Faith, and reducing his legitimacy to a merely juridical question, is a sign of great danger. Finally, it comes from a Protestant view of the Church. But the Church is visible. The papacy belongs to the domain of Faith.
We ourselves, Catholics faithful to Tradition, suffer from the crisis in two ways. We participate in this crisis, albeit on a different and higher level, as I see it. There is no denying the obligation to take an active part in overcoming the crisis. And this combat begins with us, by desiring to overcome our abnormal canonical status.

Kirchliche Umschau: So we are back to square one. Why not just go along with Rome?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Because we cannot exchange an imperfect status for one that is even less perfect. Union with Rome is supposed to be an improvement, not a mutilation. Having to omit certain truths of the Faith, as well as being forbidden to criticize various doubtful and liberal positions: all this would be tantamount to a mutilation. We will not go along with that.

Kirchliche Umschau: The General Chapter was held in July. What position was taken by members of the Chapter?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: We laid down six guidelines to be met before any reunion with Rome. These were so many touchstones which restated the points to which we have always held fast. Our position was reinforced once more.

Kirchliche Umschau: On the Internet, there is a debate over this issue. Thundering condemnations are hurled at the Society’s leaders, who are accused of treason.
Father Niklaus Pfluger: You are quoting Bishop Williamson, who was excluded from the General Chapter by the great majority of superiors. That shows how strongly united we are.

Kirchliche Umschau: But you have a problem of communication. Judging by certain forums over the Internet, the situation couldn’t be worse.
Father Niklaus Pfluger: It is true that the Internet calls for, even requires, a new form of communication. We are obliged–just as the Vatican is–to go beyond the printed publications in use until now. But surely there are simple souls who are easily misled by sowers of discord, who themselves are widely misinformed by what they read on the Internet. Our priests appealed to the faithful not to go on these discussion sites which are often very rude, and not to let themselves be troubled and upset by the rumors and maneuverings found on the Internet. We will use the available means of communication from now on, including the Internet.

Kirchliche Umschau: Certain groups have targeted Bishop Fellay himself.
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Bishop Fellay has certainly done more for the cause of Catholics faithful to Tradition than all those who doubt him, criticize him, and even accuse him of treason. For several years, he has conducted relations with Rome prudently and skillfully; never did he act impulsively, nor did he let himself be provoked or lose patience. Today we have the Tridentine Mass available to any priest; we have seen the lifting of the “excommunications” which were inveighed against us in 1988; we have had the discussions on the problems of the Council. And, as an Austrian bishop admits, we have brought the Council back on the table for debate. Thus, as a result, the Council is no longer sacrosanct and its glory turns to dust. And all this remains true notwithstanding the litany of praises heaped on the Second Vatican Council by the 50 year jubilee.
Our Superior General has accomplished a great deal, because he persevered in the negotiations and faithfully presented our theological positions. On that score, I observe that he has only one aim in view in this crisis of the Church, namely to preserve the Faith and to serve the Church with our whole heart.

Kirchliche Umschau: One question remains. Why is it that Bishop Fellay seems to have done nothing against the smear campaign mounted against him these last few months over the Internet?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Patience, kindness, and generosity appear to many as weaknesses, but this is not so. Faced with repeated attacks and harassment over the Internet, we do not abandon our values and our principles. We deal with plotting and intrigues according to the laws of the Church. This may seem like procrastination which can be annoying to some, but it can’t be done any other way if we don’t want to betray our own ideals. I would like to make this clear: let no one imagine that he can criticize authority with impunity.

Kirchliche Umschau: What does this mean specifically?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Bishop Williamson has been given fair warning. This is a sad moment in the history of our Society. If he continues his Internet campaign against the Society and its Superior General, then his expulsion from the Society cannot be avoided. Besides his false ideas, he has plotted under cover. The veritable tragedy is the fact that for years he has not accepted the authority of the Superior General, but has assigned to himself a God-given mission. Before the General Chapter, he rallied priests and faithful to rebellion. For a Catholic bishop, this is very serious.

Kirchliche Umschau: The Society’s purpose is not limited to negotiations with Rome. What other fields of apostolate do you envision?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: The West has lost the Faith. One reason for this loss is the fact that the Church is no longer presenting the Faith, no longer brings it to the world. Modern churchmen almost seem to be ashamed of their faith, which is why they campaign for the defense of the environment, the redistribution of wealth, and aid to development. We cannot just wait for them to come to their senses. We must be more active in society, have a greater influence in public, and rebuild Christendom with prudence, humility, and charity. As Our Lord appealed to those of His time: do not fear!

Kirchliche Umschau: Where do you see the important challenges to face?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: We witness presently a world-wide persecution of Christians in the East. Our task is to draw our attention to our persecuted brethren and to come to their aid. The General Chapter’s Declaration made this clear. In the Western countries, parents are having fewer and fewer children because family values are declining. The laws of the State pose greater threats to the family, the building block of society. One major task is aid to families. We must give our support to large families, lest they be marginalized by society at large. But our primary duty remains–as re-emphasized by the General Chapter’s Declaration in July–the defense and preservation of the Faith, and specifically the formation of truly Catholic priests. That is the best way we can be of service to the Church.
On the personal level, sanctification is called for. Prayer, religious instruction, and the distribution of the sacraments are one aspect; an exemplary life and fraternal charity are the other aspect. They go together. By accomplishing this task, we help to save our own souls and those of our neighbor. Yes, indeed, we have known such moments where we have a real foretaste of the harmony and happiness of heaven. Materialism, atheism, coupled with false religions: all these are standing more and more in the way of a healthy Catholic life. We are speaking here of a decisive mission for the Society: to help believers of good will to keep the Faith in times of difficulty, and to live that faith. This is our task at the present time, and a magnificent and sublime one at that, if we use our God-given talents to spread the fire of divine love to the ends of the earth. This is only possible through a deep and vibrant faith.

Kirchliche Umschau: Thank you for the interview, Father.

[In other news from the Society of Saint Pius X: Mr. Stephen Heiner, a layman who has long been close to Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, confirms his imminent removal from the Society of Saint Pius X.]

(end, text from Rorate Coeli)

Here is a link to an interview of Bishop Williamson done by Stephen Heiner:


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