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My return to the traditional Latin Mass
Part 2

11. Counter-attack of the CBCP

While in this state of mind, once I came home from a visit at the priory of the priests of the Society of St. Pius X, in Quezon City. I was surprised that a visitor from Cardinal Sin, our Metropolitan Primate, was waiting for me. We greeted each other almost simultaneously "Good Morning, Fr. Pascual". "Why this visit?" I inquired: "I would like to go to confession" he replied, and went on talking. "Your Excellency, stop going to the priory because you are scandalizing Catholics by your bad example".  "Why do I scandalize Catholics?" I wanted to know. And Fr. Pascual explained: "Don’t you not know that there is an advisory from the cardinal prohibiting the faithful to attend Mass of the priests of the priory. Besides, the priests are the sons of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who was excommunicated because he was a schismatic?" I tried to tell him that the episcopal consecration of the four bishops without papal mandate alone did not make Archbishop Lefebvre schismatic. There are world-renowned canonists who corroborate the opinion of Archbishop Lefebvre. The canonists are Valdini, Lara, Capponi, and Guringer. They argued that there was a necessity and besides Archbishop Lefebvre did not establish a parallel Church. When I stopped talking, Fr. Pascual reminded me of his confession and then left as soon as he got his absolution.

Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan made his appeal to me in a letter mentioning a possible subsidy in case I listen to his advice to obey the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The Archbishop harped on obedience to His Holiness. My response was that obedience must serve faith. My perception is that post-Conciliar reforms were Masonic inspired, aimed to destroy the Catholic Religion. I don’t want to cooperate in the diabolical extirpation of the Catholic Religion founded by Jesus Christ for the eternal salvation of immortal souls, not for their eternal damnation. Obedience to the pope is not a problem to me. I only want that the pope fulfills all his duties as mandated by Jesus Christ, that he really saves immortal souls for whom Our Lord died on the cross on Mount Calvary. I love the pope. That is why I pray daily for him so that he will be faithful to the will of Jesus Christ whose Vicar he is. He must guard faithfully the deposit of faith and interpret it as it was done by the faithful popes until Vatican II Council. That means no new theologies, no new novelties. Only doctrines from the deposit of faith should be explained and interpreted as Jesus Christ mandated. In other words, my critics always remind me of the words: "Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia". The "Petrus" is the pope and he has the duty to be faithful to Jesus Christ whose Vicar he is. It means that if the "Petrus" changes a bit what Christ handed down to us through the apostles, the pope loses the moral right to expect from us our obedience. Our fidelity to the pope is dependent upon his fidelity to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The pope’s loyalty to the deposit of faith spells my loyalty to the Vicar of Christ.

Here is the letter of Archbishop Talamayan:

Archdiocese of Tuguegarao
Archbishop’s Residence

September 21, 1996

His Excellency
The Most Reverend SALVADOR L. LAZO, D.D

Bishop Emeritus of San Fernando (La Union)
10A - M. Gregorio Street
Project 4, 1109 Quezon City

Your Excellency:

Immediately after the July meeting of the CBCP, I tried my best to get in touch with you. You were abroad. Soon after it was my turn to go abroad, and on my return I repeatedly tried to contact you without much success. I would have preferred to take up the matter I am writing about you personally, but the urgency of my mission and my own personal regard for you make it necessary that I write you now.

Jose Cardinal Sanchez of the Congregation on the Clergy and your brother-bishops in the CBCP have separately asked me to talk to you about your apparent association with the so called "Pope Pius X" movement which has for its aim the reverse of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and a return to Tridentine norms. You and I of course know that this movement goes back in someway to Archbishop Lefebvre who has been declared by the Holy See to be in schism.

I have always held you in the highest esteem, and even now I look up to your wisdom, prudence and to your undeniable accomplishments. You have been in many ways my inspiration in the priesthood as well as in the episcopacy. I know it is furthest from your intentions to do wrong, in any way whatsoever, to the Church which you have faithfully served all these years. You and I both share the faith that no matter what we might individually believe of think, it is to the Church, and to the apostolic authority of Peter’s Successor that the Lord Jesus gave the power to bind and to lose. This same Church which has profited abundantly from your many years of committed service now binds us to the reforms she has instituted inspired by the Spirit of God. Whatever may be your noble intentions, your brother bishops and the authorities of the Church believe that your continued association with a schismatic group is hurting the Church. They beg you then to dissociate yourself from this movement as expeditiously and as unequivocally as possible.

Allow me to assure you that your brother-bishops do not have condemnation of ridicule for you in their hearts, but only love and deepest concern. They have asked me to convey this to you. In fact, Cardinal Sin is making you the formal offer of an assignment in the Archdiocese of Manila.

I have known you for so long, Your Excellency, that I do not doubt that the goodness that is in your heart and the sincere love you have for Christ’s Body, His Pilgrim people, will prompt you to give this request of your brother-bishops and our Roman authorities your immediate and favorable response.

Please give me your latest phone number, so that I can call you up more frequently to find out from you how I may be of help.

Please be assured of the continued esteem of the Cagayanos for you, who hold you dearly in their memory, and of my personal regard.

Sincerely in Domino,

Archbishop of Tuguegarao


Jose Cardinal Sanchez
Prefect, Congregation of the Clergy
The Vatican
Jaime Cardinal Sin
Arzobispado de Manila
Apostolic Nuncion
Taft Avenue, Manila
Archbishop Oscar Cruz
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
Here is another letter, from Archbishop Gordoncillo:

Archdiocese of Capiz
Chancery Office

6 June, 1998

Most Rev. Salvador L. Lazo, D.D
10A - M. Gregorio Street
Proj. 4, Quezon City 1109

Your Excellency: Bishop Lazo,

Pax in Domino!

I have been receiving papers and articles from outside the Philippines with your name used as the sender, although the stamps, in many cases, are U.S. or Canada. Being a friend bishop to your Excellency I am a bit disturbed that your good self is being used by them and taken advantage of.

Some literatures are about and sent from the group of Rev. Fr. Grunner, while others concern the schismatic group of Archbishop Lefebvre. I hope you will not take this letter of mine as an intrusion or a meddling into your life. If I write you this it is because being brothers in the Apostolic Ministry I care for your good and your good name —remember our brotherhood in the PRH?

Please remember that we have the Apostolic Ordination and therefore let us be always united with the Apostolic anointing of all the bishops of the Catholic Church. Hence let us always live and remain united and one with the Catholic Church which is entrusted by Our Lord to our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. I am sure you still remember the phrase we used to cite and quote during our Theology days: "Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia." Especially now that we are getting older —I am already on my way to the 70’s —the more we should cling to the faith that Jesus entrusted to His Church: the Boat that He gave to Peter to stir [row].

I hope you sever all connections with the aforementioned groups. We are not condemning anybody …they are God’s children too and God will take care of them some other way. But as successors of the Apostles let us hold unto the Church and follow the lead of the Holy Father …and this until death!

I am not correcting you …I am just reminding us (you and me) that we have to remain faithful and loyal to the Church and the pope we love.

With my fraternal regards and humble prayers, I remain.

Fraternally yours in Christ our Lord,

Abp. Onie G. (Gordoncillo)

12. Extraordinary duties of Lay People

Accused of not being in communion with the Church militant, lay people will answer with St. Joan of Arc. "Yes I unite but I serve God first". (Dieu premier servi.) Accused of being disobedient to the pope, they explain that:

the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter, not that they make known new doctrine by His revelation, but rather that, with His assistance, they might religiously and faithfully explain the Revelation, or Deposit of Faith, that was handed down through the apostles; and the power of the pope is not unlimited, not only can he not change anything which is of divine institution (to suppress Episcopal jurisdiction, for instance) but he is enjoined, through natural law, not to sow confusion in the flock of Christ. (Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, Vol II, co1., 2039-2040) (cf. page 19: Is Tradition Excommunicated? by Angelus Press)

St. Augustine, St. Cyprian, Cajetan, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Thomas Aquinas, all teach that in a danger of the faith and of public scandal "particularly in doctrinal matters, it is not only lawful but right to resist publicly the hierarchy and the Pontiff himself."

St. Thomas writes:

Take note that if that there were a danger for the faith, subordinates would be bound to reprove their prelates, even publicly. (II-II, Q. 33, ad 2m)

Cajetan adds:

One must resist the pope who openly destroys the Church.

13. I returned to Tradition

Early in August 1995, after prolonged reflection and prayer, I decided to approach Rev. Fr. Paul Morgan, local superior of the Society of St. Pius X, in the Philippines. I confided to him my plan to return to the traditional Latin Mass. Fr. Morgan received my confidence with joy and assigned Rev. Fr. Thomas Blute to assist me to re-learn the Latin Mass. But why did I want to go back to the Tridentine Mass and stop saying the New Mass which I had been saying for about twenty seven years? The following are the considerations which strengthened me in my resolve.


In the letter, "Super quibusdam" (September 29, 1351), Pope Clement VI taught: "The Roman Pontiff regarding the administration of the sacraments of the Church, can tolerate and even permit different rites of the Church of Christ, always without violating those which pertain to the integrity and necessary part of the sacraments".

The Council of Trent, session XXI, Chapter 2: "The Council declares furthermore that this power has always been in the Church, that in the administration of the Sacraments, without violating their substance, she may determine or change whatever she may judge to be more expedient for the benefit of those who receive them or for the veneration of the Sacrament, according to the variety of circumstances, times and places."

Pope St. Pius X in the letter Ex quo non (Dec. 26, 1910); "It is well known that to the Church there belongs no right whatsoever to innovate anything touching on the substance of the Sacraments".

And finally, on Nov. 30, 1947, Pope Pius XII issued the Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis which reiterates and clarifies the same principle as the Council of Trent teaches, that "the seven sacraments of the new law have all been instituted by Jesus Christ Our Lord, and the Church has no power over the ‘substance of the sacraments’, that is over the things which, as the sources of revelation, witness, CHRIST THE LORD HIMSELF [Bishop Lazo's emphasis] decreed to be preserved in a sacramental sign." (Dz. 3857)


In the confecting the sacrament two things must be distinguished —the substance and the ceremonies. The ceremonies may change, but the substance never changes. The substance is the MATTER AND THE FORM.

For the Eucharist the matter is twofold; likewise the form is twofold. The matter is bread and wine.

The form for the BREAD:  THIS IS MY BODY.


In the Novus Ordo Missae, the last clause is different. It says: which shall be shed for you and for all unto the remission of sins. With this change, the form for the consecration of the wine is altered from "for many" to "for all". This change touches the essential words given by JESUS CHRIST. This change may invalidate the consecration of the Precious Blood. (cf. the theological study called The Ottaviani Intervention) This form is leads to the heresy of universal salvation. Through Christ’s death on the cross on Mount Calvary, He redeemed all. But because not all men do all that are necessary for salvation, therefore not all are saved, hence, the form "for all" leads to that heresy.

The question of the validity of the new consecration was answered long before it was even asked, because it is the unalterable teaching of the Magisterium that not even the Church Herself, that is no pope, no bishop, not even a council "has the right or the power to innovate anything touching on the substance of the sacraments." To do this is to change the very words, JESUS CHRIST has given. Otherwise Christ’s promise will not be true. "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day."

The matter and the form have no power in themselves to give grace. The power depends entirely on the will of God, who has promised this grace. The realization of the promise depends on certain things and words so that if they are not there, the sacrament is not fulfilled. Let us quote from the FATHERS....

St. Augustine: "The word is joined to the element, and it becomes a sacrament."

St. Ambrose: "When it is time to confect the blessed Sacrament, the priest does not use his own words; instead, he pronounces the words of Our Lord. It is the words of Our Lord that confect the Sacrament."


The ancient Mass was scrapped because of ecumenism. Ecumenism aims at unity with all religions, especially Protestantism. But the old Mass contained many Catholic dogmas which Protestant denied. Therefore the Mass instituted by Jesus Christ was changed for the Mass which was a concoction of Fr. Annibale Bugnini, a Freemason. Six Protestant ministers who assisted him saw to it that all the Catholic dogmas offensive to Protestant ears were deleted. Prayers stressing the idea on sacrifice were dropped, and the Protestant practices like the offertory procession and the prayer of the faithful were introduced. This way the Traditional Latin Mass was Protestantized. And the result? Many Catholics were and still are, converted to Protestantism. This is the fruit of ecumenism.


What do we say about the Novus Ordo Missae? The music is often "Rock ‘n Roll", often accompanied by guitars. Then, there are irreverent dances by the laity and the priests and the imitation of the TV presentations. With all these the sense of the sacred is minimized, if not altogether cancelled. All these brings to us the nostalgia of the plain chant, the official Church music. The memory of the Missa de Angelis on Sundays, the solemn melodies of the Magnificat at Vespers and the angelic tune of the Salve Regina at Compline. Then there is the awe-inspiring Veni Creator that begins every solemn occasion in the life of the Church. And the Pange Lingua and Tantum Ergo at the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Nor do we forget the Requiem Mass of the dead with its Libera Me for the absolution. We should not forget the solemn Te Deum, the hymn of thanksgiving that usually terminates every great feast of the Liturgical Year.

What about the sermons and homilies of the Novus Ordo Missae? Our preachers talk about the social problems of the country, like the eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo in Central Luzon; they comment on the construction of the dam in Casecnan, in the Caraballo Mountains, the denudations of our forests, like those in Mount Apo in Mindanao, the NAMPREL performances both in the local and national elections and the destructive flood of Ormoc City. They also question the death penalty law, the scams committed by the government officials and by the peace officers, the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the military. Indeed, the flock is not fed with the bread of eternal truths of salvation or the explanation of the Gospel of that Sunday to feed the flock hungry for the word of God.


The Council of Trent (1545-1563) defined the unchanging Catholic Doctrine on the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Essentially it has three realities:

  1. The first reality, Transubstantiation, is real. It is the will of God. Therefore Divine Eucharistic Presence in the Sacred Host is real.

  2. The second reality is that the holy Mass is a sacrifice, which is the renewal of the sacrifice on Mt. Calvary. The holy Mass is first and foremost a sacrifice of forgiveness and expiation of sins. It is also a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Furthermore, the holy Mass is a communion at the sacrifice previously celebrated.

  3. The third reality is the role of the priest. His role is essential and exclusive. He offers the sacrifice and he does this alone, for he alone has received the sacrament of Holy Orders. Because of his ordination to the holy priesthood, he alone has the power to consecrate the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


  1. A sacrament is visible sign, instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace. The Holy Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments.

  2. The Novus Ordo Missae was not instituted by Jesus Christ. It was a concoction of Fr. Annibale Bugnini, Six Protestant ministers helped him in fabricating it. Therefore the Novus Ordo Missae is the work of men only. They did not have the power to give to their work the power that Christ gave to His. Hence, the Bugnini Mass is spiritually barren. It cannot sanctify like that of the Mass instituted by Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ did not give to Pope Paul VI the power to institute a sacrament. Consequently Pope Paul VI by his slipshod approval could not give to the Novus Ordo Missae the sacramental power which Jesus Christ has given to the Mass He instituted at the Last Supper.

Because of these considerations, I was happy to return to the traditional Mass, the Mass of my ordination. On August 22, 1995, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, after twenty-seven years celebrating the new rite, I offered the Tridentine Latin Holy Mass, the Mass of all time. I was happy for the unique privilege. And gratitude filled my heart deeply to be able again to offer the Holy Mass that is acceptable to the holy and triune God, God, the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Ghost.

May Mary, the Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, my Patron St., St. Michael, my guardian angel, assist me as a priest and bishop to be faithful to Jesus Christ, my Lord and King to the end of my life.

Late in 1995, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, invited me through Rev. Fr. Paul Morgan, of the Society’s local superior, to the priestly ordinations at Ecône, Switzerland, that were to take place in June 1996. I wrote to the Superior General that I could not give a positive answer on two counts: First, I was not financially able and second, as I was already almost an octogenarian, therefore someone had to accompany me as my attendant. Bishop Fellay wrote back and assured me that he would provide free plane tickets for the two of us. Thus, in June 1996, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Paul Morgan and Mr. Dominador Jerusalem, my attendant and secretary, I boarded a plane of Singapore Airlines which landed us in Zurich, Switzerland. From Zurich, we took the train to Martigny, the nearest station to Ecône.

Bishop Lazo (fourth from the left) with the other four bishops of the SSPX after imposing hands on the newly ordained in Econe

From there we motored to the International Seminary of the Society of St. Pius X, in Ecône, two days before the ordinations.

On the ordination day the ceremonies were unfolded in an improvised chapel on a meadow nearby so that the thousands of relatives, guests and friends could be accommodated.

There were many sisters, priests and five bishops, i.e., the four bishops of the Society —Bishop Fellay, Bishop Williamson, Bishop de Mallerais, Bishop Gallereta, and myself. We all imposed our hands on the ordinands. The priests did the same.  After the ordination rites, there was a banquet at the end of which I was asked to say a few words.

The 1996 Ordinations at Econe

The 1996 ordinations in Econe at which Bishop Lazo assisted

Later on, Rev. Fr. Peter Scott, the District Superior of the U.S., approached me and said: "Your Excellency., you speak English, so you come to the U.S. and tell us how you came back to Tradition". The following day, Fr. Scott gave me the schedule of the communities and parishes where I was expected to narrate the story of my return to Tradition.

Before leaving Europe, Fr. Morgan proposed that we go to France to visit the shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Southern France, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, at La Rue du Bac in Paris, of St. John Marie Vianney and the most famous of all, Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. Before proceeding to Fatima, we were welcomed at the house of Mr. John Morgan, Fr. Morgan’s brother. He cooked for us a delicious meal. We spent the night in a traditional Capuchin Monastery where I was asked to give a conference to the friars on how I got back to Tradition after twenty-seven years in the Novus Ordo Missae. While waiting for the car the following day, Br. Didacus told us that their monastery was formerly a Masonic lodge and the Masons had their regular assembly in the building before the Capuchin monks bought the facility for their use. As soon as the car arrived we motored to the airport of Lyon. From there we flew to Lisbon. Three days were spent in Fatima and we returned to Paris for the plane that landed us in Singapore. After a few days in this city, we flew to Kuala Lumpur. On the third day, our host took us to Malacca to see the place where St. Francis Xavier was buried for over one year. In the afternoon we motored back from Kuala Lumpur. From this city, we boarded the plane for Manila via Singapore.

Back in the Philippines, I found out that I was scheduled to address several groups of people who wanted to know why I rejected the New Rite of the Mass. They found it strange that the New Mass was imposed by the Catholic bishops and yet I, a bishop of the CBCP, was opposing the hierarchy.  My explanation was needed and I welcomed these occasions to enlighten my people why there was a crisis and such confusion in the Catholic Church today. For ignorance is rampant not only among the lay Catholics but also among the priests. I myself did not know what happened at Vatican II Council before I retired from the governance of the diocese of San Fernando of La Union, in 1993. It took me about two years to update myself and to realize that there was a conspiracy on the part of the enemies of the Catholic Church.  Martin Luther has said:  "Destroy the Catholic Mass and you will destroy the Catholic Religion."

Bishop Lazo meeting with Bishop Fellay in the Philippines

May God give give us the grace to persevere to the end faithful to Catholic Tradition and to the Traditional Latin Mass because only those who persevere will receive the crown of victory.

+ Salvador L. Lazo

His May 21, 1998 open letter to Pope John Paul II

A Bishop's Testimony of Adherence to the Roman Catholic Faith


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