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Sunday, February 22, 2009

We shall go with thee!

sub + Petro
Quinquagesima Sunday
Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter
Ecce ascendimus Ierosolyman, et consumabuntur omnia...
Behold we go up to Jerusalem; and all things shall be accomplished...
Last May,
Brother Maximilian,
born near the Redemptorist monastery of Tuchow, Poland,
who had been a member of the Society of St. Pius X since 1999,
had his religious vows formally dispensed by his Parish Priest
in order to live in full communion with the Chair of Peter.

Following his dispensation,
in a certain hermenutic of continuity,
Brother Maximilian has been living on Papa Stronsay
as a postulant.
Today, seven months later,
on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter,
he was clothed in the habit
the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Priest: Receive, my Son, the image of the crucifix,
image of Thy Master and Redeemer,
who suffered for thee and offered Himself for thee.
Place it as a standard upon thy heart,
as a seal upon thy arm.
Novice: I will die O Lord for the love of Thy love
who has deigned to die for the love of my love.

He took the religious name:
Brother Bernard
In honour of
The Servant of God,
Father Bernard Lubienski, C.SS.R.(1846 – 1933)

Dum esset Summus Pontifex,
Terrena non metuit,
Sed ad caelestia regna
Gloriosus migravit.
While he was Supreme Pontiff
He feared no earthly powers,
But went his way in glory
To the heavenly kingdom.
Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto
Dominus conservet eum,
Et vivificet eum,
Et beatum faciat eum in terra,
Et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Let us pray for our Holy Father Pope Benedict.
May the Lord preserve him
and give him life
and make him blessed upon earth.
And deliver him not up
to the will of his enemies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where the French are so French!

A friend sent us this link:
In light of the recent events in Rome, vis-à-vis the lifting of excommunications… and the ensuing media frenzy… French TV presented the following program on Sunday evening.

Some of the people on the programme are:
Bishop Podvin,
representing the French Bishops' Conference
Father Ribeton,
representing the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter
Father Lorans,
representing the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X
Father de Tanouin,
representing the Good Shepherd Institute

If you speak French, you will enjoy this program
-- with the CANONICAL, THEOLOGICAL, and PASTORAL issues discussed by professionals.
You need a broadband connection and 90 minutes.....
but well worth it.
And the French are so French!

click below here on the link:

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Lament of the exiled Adam and his sons


Excidit e paradiso voluptatis Adamus,
Domini praeceptum,
amaro cibo intemperanter degustato,
damnatusque fuit terrae
Unde desumptus fuerat colendae,
Suoque panni per sudorem multum comendendo;
Nos igitur temperantiam appertamus,
Ne velut ille extra paradisum ploremus,
Sed intus admittamur. ...

Because he broke the commandment of his Lord,
and was led by intemperance to taste a food
which was to be one of bitterness to him,
Adam was banished from the paradise of delight,
and condemned to till the earth
whence he himself was taken,
and to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow.
Let us, therefore, covet temperance,
lest we, like him, we may have to weep out of paradise;
let us be temperate and enter heaven.

God, my Creator, took dust from the earth,
quickened me with a living soul,
graciously made me the king

of all visible things on earth,
and gave me fellowship with the angels;
but crafty Satan,

making the serpent his instrument,
allured me with food,
banished me far from the glory of God,
and made me a slave to death in the bowels of the earth:
but Thou, O God, art my Lord, and full of mercy:
Recall me from exile.

Being deceived by the craft of the enemy,
I, miserable man,
violated Thy commandment, O Lord;
and being stripped of the garment
which Thy divine hand had woven for me,
I am now clad in the leaves of the fig-tree,

and with a skin garment;
I am condemned to eat a bread

for which I must toil with the sweat of my brow
and the earth is cursed,

so that it may yield me thorns and thistles:
But do Thou,

that in after-times tookest flesh from the Virgin,
recall and restore me to paradise.

O paradise! Most worthy of all our reverence,
beautiful beyond measure, tabernacle built by God,
joy and delight without end,

glory of the prophets, and dwelling of the saints;
may thy prayers, the sound of thy leaves,
obtain for me from the Creator of all things,
that thy gates, which my sin hath shut against me,
may be thrown open to me,
and that I may be made worthy

to partake of the tree of life,
and of that joy

which I once so sweetly tasted in thy bosom.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


In the February issue of the SSPX newsletter Fr Morgan wrote an article on page 26 entitled ‘News from Orkney’ where, speaking of what I wrote in the Catholic (Jan. Feb. March 2009), he says:
“The same editorial denies ‘that the SSPX and its supporters are outside the Church,’ and instead maintains that faithful may attend our Masses in good conscience but ‘without adhering to any schismatic mentality.’ However, in a signed Christmas letter (22/12/08) to the faithful on Stronsay, who, with Fr Nicholas remain committed to the cause of Catholic Tradition and the position of the Society of Saint Pius X, Fr Michael Mary declared that:
-these latter were ‘refusing union with the Roman Pontiff,’ in a state of ‘practical schism,’ and consequently deserving of excommunication’
-that Fr Nicholas’ suspension was valid and binding; and that his regular Confessions were invalid.
-that SSPX sacraments of Confession and Matrimony are invalid.”

To which I reply,
Firstly we want to have good relations if at all possible. It does not help for us to be accused of things that we do not hold; quite simply. Now to take my clarification (which was a reply to an earlier accusation from Fr Morgan) and turn it on me again is simply unhelpful. If traditional priests cannot reach clarity of thought how can it work in the wider Church?
This is what I said in the Editorial and which I maintain as a true expression of my thoughts:

2. Fr Morgan also reports that I openly claim “that the SSPX and its supporters are outside the Catholic Church and in danger of losing their souls.” This is false.
a. I believe that the SSPX as a group of priests are outside the structures of the Church. This is clear. SSPX priests are not submitted to the Holy See, nor to Local Ordinaries or Ordinaries. Objectively this is dangerous to salvation. Subjectively it is another matter.
b. I do not hold any opinion about SSPX supporters (as a group or as individuals) being inside or outside the Church. I have no set opinion about their salvation.
c. I hold that a person may attend Mass in a SSPX chapel in good conscience if he does it without adhering to any schismatic mentality.

In private letters of 22 December, 2008, given to certain Catholics living on Stronsay, I wrote:

“Dear .......
It would be of no use to have the Mass without the teachings of the traditional Catholic faith. Remember that one of those teachings is that all Catholics are bound to have true submission to the Roman Pontiff.
Now this is clearly not your case. Our community maintains the traditional Mass and also the full Magisterium of the Church. I and Father Anthony have been given faculties for the administration of the Sacrament of Penance and the public celebration of the Mass both in Papa Stronsay and in our chapel on Stronsay. Therefore, the only reason for the split between you and us is union with the Roman Pontiff.
You have not split because of the traditional Mass. We offer only the traditional Mass.
You have not split because of the traditional teaching of the Church since we preach those truths here, in the Catholic Chapel, on Stronsay.
Be very clear of this, you have split only because you refuse union with the Pope. There can be no other reason.
... Your split is not a formal schism; but it is practical schism; it has torn apart the Catholics in Stronsay. Your group refuses Communion with us; the priests authorised by the Church as well as from the Catholic faithful who receive the sacraments from us. Only the word ‘schism’ accurately describes the external reality and sinfulness of the division that you support...
There is no excuse that could make your division less than schism, because the traditional Mass is offered here every day, so is valid confession and there is no danger to the faith...
There could still be a case for the argument of ‘necessity’ that justifies members of the faithful attending the Mass of a suspended priest. Such a case of necessity is not here on Stronsay ...
In April and May 1996 Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, excommunicated Catholics who attended the SSPX chapel in his diocese because there was no ‘case of necessity’ since the traditional Mass was freely available to the faithful through his priests and the FSSP. Rome upheld the excommunication. Therefore the SSPX left the diocese because they knew that since there was no ‘necessity’ the excommunication was justified and their ministry was sinful. Be clear that the same lack of necessity applies in Stronsay and the continuation of this division under the same circumstances is gravely sinful and similarly worthy of excommunication because of the unjustifiable damage you are doing to the unity of the Church here.
Dear ......... please return to Mass and the sacraments at Our Lady’s chapel. Surely you will not wound Our Lord by supporting a practical schism that so needlessly deeply divides our Catholic community.

These two statements are compatible since the first is an expression of a general opinion and the second is an assessment of a particular situation which I think is precisely as I state in (c.) above ‘adhering to a schismatic mentality.’

There is a vast difference between our situation in Stronsay and the situation of most SSPX chapels. Stronsay is a small island with less than 20 adults attending Mass on Sunday.

In the Catholic chapel daily Mass is available according to the 1962 Missal exclusively, and Confessions are readily available there by priests who have received faculties from the Local Ordinary. This being the case, there is no legitimate reason for setting up an opposing altar 200 meters away at the island Post Office. This is unjustifiable and makes a mockery of any application of the State of Necessity principle invoked by the SSPX.

This situation is not similar, for example, to the Taunton Mass centre or the Herne chapel where scattered people from near and far attend the SSPX Mass on Sunday because they have no traditional Mass available anywhere else.

The people who have left the Catholic chapel on Stronsay have not done so because they have had ‘liturgical abuses’ imposed upon them, nor because of sermons of any type at all, since they made their departure last November without waiting for the Holy Mass to be offered even once.

As to the statement about the invalidity of SSPX marriages and confessions: it is a judgment of the Holy See; our reference is the Mershon article which can be easily found on the internet.

We hope for a reconciliation between the Society and the Holy See as soon as possible for the good of us all. I take this opportunity to say that I do not want to be involved in an ongoing debate with members of the Society. We have been good friends. We want what has been good in that friendship to continue; - Father, let’s really work at something more constructive.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

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