SSPX Podcast

Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 20

“The Mass of All Time”

One fact cannot have failed to surprise you: at no time during this affair has the Mass been in issue, although it is at the heart of the conflict. This enforced silence is the tacit admission that what is called the Rite of St. Pius V remains fully authorized.
On this subject Catholics can be perfectly easy in their minds: this Mass is not forbidden and cannot be forbidden. St. Pius V who, let us repeat, did not invent it but “re-established the Missal in conformity with the ancient rule and the rites of the Holy Fathers,” gives us every guarantee in the Bull Quo Primum, signed by him on July 14, 1570:

“We have decided and declare that the Superiors, Canons, Chaplains and other priests by whatever title they are known, or Religious of whatsoever Order, may not be obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than as enjoyed by Us. We likewise order and declare that no-one whosoever shall ever at any time be forced or coerced into altering this Missal: and this present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall for ever remain valid and have the force of law….Should anyone venture to (make such an alteration), let him understand that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

Supposing that the Pope could withdraw this perpetual indult, he would have to do it by an equally solemn act. The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of April 3, 1969, authorizes the so-called Mass of Paul VI, but contains no expressly formulated prohibition of the Tridentine Mass. So much so that Cardinal Ottaviani could say in 1971: “The Tridentine Rite has not been abolished as far as I know.”

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History of the SSPX: Part 2 – The Place of the Mass in Our Battle: 1971-1976

Welcome to the SSPX Podcast – during this week, we’ll be revisiting 5 lectures given by Fr. Daniel Themann, the rector of Holy Cross Seminary in Australia, about the history of the Society of Saint Pius X. These were given on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the SSPX, in November, 2020.

Today’s lecture is the second in the series, titled, “The Place of the Mass in our Battle” and covers the period of 1971-1976

Thank you for listening to and watching the SSPX Podcast. More is available at SSPXPodcast.com. Please don’t forget to share this episode, and the podcast itself with someone who think might enjoy it.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 19

“The Seminary of Econe and Rome”

You are perhaps, perplexed readers, among those who observe the course of events with sadness and anguish but are nevertheless afraid to attend a true Mass, in spite of the desire to do so, because they have been persuaded that this Mass is forbidden. You may be one of those who no longer follow the priests in anoraks but who view with some distrust the priests in cassocks as if they were under some kind of censure; is not the bishop who ordained them suspended a divinis? You are afraid of putting yourself out of the Church; this fear is of praiseworthy origin but it is uninformed. I want to tell you what the position is about these sanctions which have been given such prominence and caused such loud rejoicing among the Freemasons and the Marxists. To understand it properly a little history is needed.
When I was sent to Gabon as a missionary, my bishop immediately appointed me as professor at the Seminary of Libreville, where for six years I formed seminarians, of whom some later received the grace of the episcopate. When I became a bishop in my turn, at Dakar, it seemed to me that my principal concern should be to look for vocations, to form the young men who responded to the call of God and to lead them to the priesthood. I had the joy of conferring the priesthood on one destined to be my successor at Dakar, Msgr. Thiandoum, and on Msgr. Dionne, the present Archbishop of Thiés in Senegal.
Returning to Europe to take up the position of Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, I tried to maintain the essential values of priestly formation. I have to admit that already by then at the beginning of the sixties, the pressure was such and the difficulties so considerable that I could not achieve the results I wanted. I could not keep the French Seminary in Rome, which was placed under the authority of our Congregation, on the same right lines as when we were there ourselves between 1920 and 1930.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 18

“True and False Obedience”

Indiscipline is everywhere in the Church. Committees of priests send demands to their bishops, bishops disregard pontifical exhortations, even the recommendations and decisions of the Council are not respected and yet one never hears uttered the word “disobedience,” except as applied to Catholics who wish to remain faithful to Tradition and just simply keep the Faith.
Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation. We are deeply aware of this and nobody is more attached to the present reigning successor of Peter, or has been more attached to his predecessors, than we are. I am speaking here of myself and of the many faithful driven out of the churches, and also of the priests who are obliged to celebrate Mass in barns as in the French Revolution, and to organize alternative catechism classes in town and country.
We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: “The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”
The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law, institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practice spiritual abortion or contraception.

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History of the SSPX: Part 1 – The Foundation

Welcome to the SSPX Podcast – over the next 5 days, we’ll be revisiting 5 lectures given by Fr. Daniel Themann, the rector of Holy Cross Seminary in Australia, about the history of the Society of Saint Pius X. These were given on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the SSPX, in November, 2020.

Today’s lecture is on the foundation of the society by archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as he was facing the decimation of traditional worship

Thank you for listening to and watching the SSPX Podcast. More is available at SSPXPodcast.com. Please don’t forget to share this episode, and the podcast itself with someone who think might enjoy it.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 17

“What is Tradition?”

Modernism is indeed what undermines the Church from within, today as yesterday. Let us again quote from the encyclical Pascendi some typical features which correspond with what we are experiencing now.

“The Modernists say that Authority in the Church, since its end is purely spiritual, should strip itself of all that external pomp, all those pretentious adornments with which it parades itself in public. In this they forget that religion, while it belongs to the soul, is not exclusively for the soul and that the honor paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who institutes it.”

It is under pressure from these “speakers of novelties” that Paul VI abandoned the tiara, bishops gave up the violet cassock and even the black, as well as their rings, and priests appear in lay clothes, usually in a deliberately casual style. There is nothing among the general reforms already put into effect or insistently demanded that St. Pius X has not mentioned as the “maniac” desires of the modernist reformers. You will recognize them in this passage:

“As regards worship (they want) to diminish the number of external devotions or at least stop their increasing …. Let ecclesiastical government become democratic; let a share in the government be given to the junior clergy and even the laity; let authority be decentralized. Reform of the Roman Congregations, above all the Holy Office and the Index….Finally there are those among them who, echoing their Protestant masters, seek the suppression of priestly celibacy.”

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 16

“Neo-Modernism or the Undermining of the Faith”

The Revolution, it has been said, expresses “the hatred of all order that has not been established by man, and in which he is not both king and god.” At its origin we find that pride which had already been the cause of Adam’s sin. The revolution withinIn the complete revision which has taken place in the Church’s vocabulary, a few words have survived, and faith is one of them. The trouble is that it is used with so many different meanings. There is, however, a definition of faith, and that cannot be changed. It is to this that a Catholic must refer when he no longer understands anything of the garbled and pretentious language addressed to him.
Faith is “the adherence of the intellect to the truth revealed by the Word of God.” We believe in a truth that comes from outside and which is not in some way produced by our own mind. We believe it because of the authority of God who reveals it to us, and there is no need to seek elsewhere.
No one has the right to take this faith from us and replace it by something else. What we are now seeing is the revival of a Modernist definition of faith which was condemned eighty years ago by Pius X. According to this, faith is an internal feeling; there is no need to seek further than man to find the explanation of religion: “It is therefore within man himself that it is to be found; and since religion is one form of life, it is found in the very life of man”—something purely subjective, an adhering of the soul to God, who is inaccessible to our intellect. It is everyone for himself, in his own conscience.
Modernism is not a recent invention, nor was it in 1907, the year of the famous encyclical. It is the perennial spirit of the Revolution, and it seeks to shut us up within our humanness and make God an outlaw. Its false definition of faith is directed to the destruction of the authority of God and the authority of the Church.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 15

“The Marriage of the Church and the Revolution”

The Revolution, it has been said, expresses “the hatred of all order that has not been established by man, and in which he is not both king and god.” At its origin we find that pride which had already been the cause of Adam’s sin. The revolution within the Church can be explained by the pride of men of our times who believe they are in a new age when man has finally “understood his own dignity,” and has acquired an increased awareness of himself to the extent that one might speak of a social and cultural metamorphosis whose efforts have had repercussions on religious life. The very pace of history is becoming so rapid that one is hard pressed to keep up with it. In short, the human race is passing from a mainly static conception of the order of things to a dynamic and evolutive conception. The consequence is an immense series of new problems which call for new analyses and new syntheses.
These wonder-struck phrases which, with many others of the same sort, occur in the Introduction to Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, are of ill-omen for a return to the spirit of the Gospel. In so much change and transformation, it is hard to see how this can survive.
And what is meant by the statement: “An industrial type of society is spreading little by little, radically transforming our ideas about life in society” except that the writer is prophesying as a certainty what he wanted to see appear: a concept of society that will have nothing in common with the Christian concept expressed in the social doctrine of Church? Presuppositions of that nature can lead only to a new Gospel and a new religion. And here it is:

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 14

“Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church”

The parallel I have drawn between the crisis in the Church and the French Revolution is not simply a metaphorical one. The influence of the philosophies of the eighteenth century, and of the upheaval that they produced in the world, has continued down to our times. Those who have injected that poison into the Church admit it themselves. It was Cardinal Suenens who exclaimed, “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church,” and among other unguarded declarations he added, “One cannot understand the French or the Russian revolutions unless one knows something of the old regimes which they brought to an end….It is the same in Church affairs: a reaction can only be judged in relation to the state of things that preceded it.” What preceded, and what he considered due for abolition, was that wonderful hierarchical construction culminating in the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth. He continued: “The Second Vatican Council marked the end of an epoch; and if we stand back from it a little more we see it marked the end of a series of epochs, the end of an age.”
Father Congar, one of the artisans of the reforms, spoke like-wise: “The Church has had, peacefully, its October Revolution.” Fully aware of what he was saying, he remarked: “The Declaration on Religious Liberty states the opposite of the Syllabus.” I could quote numbers of admissions of this sort. In 1976 Fr. Gelineau, one of the party leaders at the National Pastoral and Liturgical Center removed all illusions from those who would like to see in the Novus Ordo something merely a little different from the rite which hitherto had been universally celebrated, but in no way fundamentally different:

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 13

“Religious Liberty, Collegiality Equality, Ecumenical Fraternity”

How does it happen that the gates of hell are now causing us so much trouble? The Church has always been disturbed by persecution and heresies, by conflicts with temporal powers, sometimes by immoral conduct of the clergy, sometimes even of Popes. But this time the crisis seems to go much deeper, since it affects the Faith itself. The Modernism we face is not a heresy like the others: it is the main drain of all heresies. Persecution now comes not only from outside but from within the Church. The scandal of dissolute living, or just giving up, has become endemic among the clergy, while the mercenaries who abandon the sheep to the wolves are encouraged and honored. I am sometimes accused of painting too black a picture of the situation, of viewing it too disapprovingly, of taking pleasure at being disgruntled over changes which are perfectly logical and necessary. Yet the same Pope who was the heart and soul of Vatican II commented several times on the decomposition on which I have commented so sadly. On December 7, 1969, Paul VI said, “The Church finds herself in a period of anxiety, of self-criticism, one could say of self-destruction. It is like an internal upheaval, serious and complex—as if the Church were flagellating herself.”
The following year he added, “In many areas the Council has not so far given us peace but rather stirred up troubles and problems that in no way serve to strengthen the Kingdom of God within the Church or within souls.” Then, going on to raise a cry of alarm, on June 29, 1972 (Feast of SS. Peter and Paul), “The smoke of Satan has entered by some crack into the temple of God; doubt, uncertainty, problems, restlessness, dissatisfaction and confrontation have come to the surface…doubt has entered our consciences.”

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