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Part 2

The situation in Campos

All the while, things had begun to happen in Campos with the Priestly Union of St. John Baptist Mary Vianney. In June, 2001, Campos sent me a letter asking, "Please, please, donít break with Rome. You have to study what they propose to you." I answered, "We never broke off: We just said we suspended discussion. We are going to wait, thatís all." Campos replied, "You are better positioned than us. You know whatís going on, so we will follow you."

On July 15th, however, one of the members of Cardinal Castrillonís Congregation for the Clergy, a Brazilian Redemptorist named Guimaraes, paid a visit to Campos and proposed a separate agreement. A separate proposal was obviously a device to separate Campos and the Society. I did not want that; I wanted to have one package. We are much stronger with one front than with diverse ones.

Rome advanced a proposal to give them a bishop to be consecrated in the Cathedral of Campos by Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos with co-consecrators Bishop Rangel and the local bishop, whose name is Guimaraes (the same as that of the member of the Congregation of the Clergy). Castrillonís envoy promised that the bishop will be one the members of the Priestly Union, that it will have him as an auxiliary, that it would get the same deal as the Society of St. Pius X, for all of Brazil.

In a letter dated 18 July, Campos wrote me: "Listen, the pope wants to give us a bishop. If we oppose this, we are schismatics! We have to accept this will of the pope." This letter, however, was hand-delivered to me by Fr. Rifan on September 12th! In the intervening seven weeks, the deal was sealed. The letter requested my approval for what Campos was planning to do. By the time I got the letter, the deed had been done. In any case, my answer would have been, "No, I cannot in conscience agree with what you are doing. You are very imprudent. You donít look at all the circumstances. You are now dividing Tradition. You donít pay attention to whatís happening in the Church. You are crushing yourself."

In September, 2001, I asked Bishop de Galaretta to visit Campos and speak with the Priestly Union, which he did, but without any fruit. The priests were already absolutely decided and there was nothing to do. They defended themselves by saying it was a question of prudence. Period. End of discussion. End of October, I go there also. I speak with Bishop Rangel. I try to tell them, "What are you doing? Look at what is being done to the Fraternity of St. Peter right now!" Nothing. Nothing! They did not want to talk with me. They had decided. It was very clear. They said, "Well, you donít trust them. We do." What can you say?

During all these months - September, October, November - Fr. Rifan was in Rome, but he told me that all he did was give the Campos proposal to Rome, thatís all. There were different rumors, contradictory. Some said that the thing was done; some said that nothing had happened. Crazy! I asked Bishop Rangel, "Whatís happening?" He said they had given their proposal to the pope for him to approve. Once the pope okayed it, it was transmitted to a commission of cardinals who studied the matter and said, "Okay." Then it was sent to the Secretary of State who studied it and made difficulties....You see how everything is upside-down. I thought, when the pope says okay, it should be okay; but, obviously itís not. Common sense tells us they would start with the lower authorities and proceed up to the head, not the contrary. It was foreseen that the Holy Father would sign the agreement before his departure for Kazakhstan on September 25th, but it was actually signed on December 25th!

What kind of an agreement?

What was signed? There was initial confusion. Cardinal Castrillon called Fr. Simoulin on December 26th to say the pope had signed an agreement with Campos to establish something like a military ordinariate [which would give the Priestly Union its own bishop with true jurisdiction over his subjects - Ed.]. But itís not true. The agreement is to establish an apostolic administration [which receives only an auxiliary bishop while the local ordinary retains all episcopal jurisdiction - Ed.]. So Cardinal Castrillon, who is the one who is supposed to know what is happening, one day after the signature, tells us something wrong! This was curious. According to what I heard, however, Cardinal Castrillon went over the head of Cardinal Sodano, the Secretary of State, who wanted to grant to the Priestly Union only what was granted to the Fraternity of St. Peter [which is neither a military ordinariate nor an apostolic administration, having no bishop whatsoever - Ed.]. Cardinal Castrillon went to see the pope and got the apostolic administration for the Priestly Union. However, the arrangement is now restricted to only the diocese of Campos, and is no longer for all of Brazil as was first promised.

What about the bishop that was promised? On paper itís still promised. The letter of the pope says, "You will have a successor." But the agreement only speaks of an auxiliary, somebody to help Bishop Rangel now while heís sick, without any guarantees for the future! During his telephone conversation with Cardinal Castrillon on December 26th, Fr. Simoulin asked about this new bishop. The Cardinal replied, "Well, they will have to follow the normal law of the Church. They will have to ask the Congregation for bishops." This Congregation, by the way, is the one under which Campos has been placed. It is headed by Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re, the one of whom I spoke earlier, who in 1986 said that the Latin Mass is only temporarily granted, that the general law of the Church is the New Mass, and we will have to go back to it. Campos is under this head!

In any case, the normal law of the Church for the nomination of a bishop is to choose from among the priests of the entire country, not just the diocese. The pope is free to choose anyone. So when the cardinal says that the choice of a bishop for the Priestly Union will be bound by the normal law, it means that Rome will not necessarily choose anyone from the apostolic administration of St. John Baptist Mary Vianney! Msgr. Perl has already said it very clearly: "The bishop will not be Fr. Rifan; it will be a bi-ritual bishop," that is, a bishop who celebrates both old and new Masses. "This bishop," said Msgr. Perl, "will little by little bring the priests of the apostolic administration to the New Mass, and so also the faithful. This administration will have only a temporary existence and the whole will be re-integrated into the diocese." Thatís what Msgr. Perl says.

Bishop Rangel has been given the titular diocese of Zarna, in North Africa, as part of his title. Zarna is the old Carthage - Carthago - the famous enemy city of old Rome. In fact, the old Romans had a saying: "Carthago delenda est - Carthage has to be destroyed." You can be sure this choice of title for Bishop Rangel was not by coincidence. Rome likes to make this kind of play on words.

Fr. Georges Cottier, the popeís personal theologian, commented that the important step here was the acceptance of the Council. Now that this was done,

Little by little we must expect other steps: for example, that they also participate in concelebrations in the reformed rite [the New Mass - Ed.]. However, we must not be in a hurry. What is important is that in their hearts there no longer be rejection. Communion found again in the Church has an internal dynamism of its own that will mature.

Rome expects the entire administration to go over to the New Mass.

What does the SSPX say about the Campos-Vatican agreement?

There are two reproaches we make against Campos.

The first is that they did not request any preliminaries from Rome as the Society did. That first step was necessary. Before you build the span of a bridge you must build solid footings on the banks to support it. Campos dismissed this step because they were in a hurry to have the thing. Now it has its beautiful car, and the nails are on the road.

The second reproach is the affair of the second Assisi Prayer Meeting [January 24, 2002]. This affair of Assisi is such a scandal that it requires anybody who cares about the salvation of souls to stand up and say, "No way." Bishop Rangel did not stand up. The priests of St. John Baptist Mary Vianney did not stand up; they did not make any statement about Assisi.

Do you know what happened there? The different groups were asked, "What kind of room do you want?" So, for example, the Zoroastrians said, "We need a window because we are going to make a fire." So they got their room with a window. The Moslems wanted a room facing Mecca. They got it. The Jews said, "We want a room that has never been blessed." This is a direct denial of Christ because anything which is blessed is always blessed in the name of Christ. To say, "We want a room that has never been blessed," means, "We want something which has nothing to do with Christ!" What did Rome do? I donít know, but they got their room.

All the crucifixes were removed from the monastery! And the crucifixes which they were not able to remove they covered. This was exactly the meaning of some drawings [shown to the left] circulating in 1986 about the first Assisi Meeting where the pope is shown saying to Christ, "Go away. We have no place for you here". In order to have this meeting of other religions, Rome was obliged to remove Christ. It is horrible. It is really the abomination. They removed the Essential - the true God, the only Mediator, the only One through whom we can get anything good! They removed Him! And when you think that the animists at Assisi took a hen and they cut off the head of the hen - that is the way you can get peace? Oh, please! Unbelievable, the stories. It is absolutely ridiculous, but it is not only ridiculous; it is really a sacrilege, a blasphemy. The Society is definitely against it. From Campos, nothing! At the first Assisi Meeting, Bishop de Castro Mayer co-signed a letter with Archbishop Lefebvre against the meeting. They were together. They manifested this opposition. Now, the Society is alone. Campos doesnít say anything anymore. Psychologically speaking, itís perfectly understandable. You cannot smash the hand which has given you such a beautiful car, can you?

What kind of Rome do we have when it can sign an agreement with Campos and in the same week can do something like Assisi II? They definitely will not say "We recognize Tradition" in any universal sense. But Campos is contented because Rome has recognized Tradition in Campos. But has it, really? If Rome truly recognized Tradition anywhere it wouldnít be able to have an Assisi II, the very contrary of Tradition. It is impossible to see in the recognition of Campos a recognition of Tradition.

On the contrary, Assisi II was extended to include Tradition! Rome is saying: "We have a place for the Zoroastrians, for Jews, for Moslems, for animists, Buddhists, Hindus, ...and we have a place for you!" Thatís it. Rome has a place in the zoo for Tradition.

But thatís not the position of the Society of St. Pius X. Our position is that there is only one truth, the eternal truth. This truth is exclusive. Truth will not allow its contradiction to be made equal to it. In mathematics, itís clear. Any student who would say, "Two plus two equals five," would fail, but ecumenism says, "It is whatever figure you like." We say, "No, it is four, period." Only one number is the true one. We say all the other religions are wrong, only one is true. This truth is exclusive. It is the only one by which we can be saved. All the others are just cheating the people. They cannot lead to God. And, I may say, just looking at Assisi II helps us to see the enormous problem in the Church today. The Society is not the problem; the problem is in Rome.

Which is the real Rome?

Rome is not to be considered more traditional just because they made this move towards us. Events of last year prove otherwise.

An undermining of sacramental theology

On July 20, 2001, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity under Cardinal Kasper issued a notice regarding the intercommunion between the Chaldeans - an Eastern rite of the Catholic Church - and the Assyrians, who have the same rite but are not Catholics. The Assyrians are the modern-day Nestorians, heretics claiming Christ is two persons [in opposition to Catholic teaching which is that Christ has two natures in His one person - Ed.]. So you have 400,000 Catholic Chaldeans and 300,000 non-Catholic Assyrians. The Assyrians are spread across the whole world; their center is Iraq. They have very few priests left. By previous agreement [1994], Chaldeans and Assyrians can intercommunicate at each otherís Masses. It is questionable, but the point I want to emphasize is on the side of the non-Catholic Assyrians.

They have a Mass [called the "Divine Liturgy" in the Eastern Rites - Ed.] , but it has no words of consecration, no words of the institution. This Mass is called the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. Cardinal Kasper announced that after a long study of history and theology, Cardinal Ratzinger has come to the conclusion that this Mass - without words of consecration - is valid. Itís absolutely unbelievable. Rome says, "The words of Consecration are spread around the whole Mass. You find the words here and there. So you have a Consecration." The Society, however, claims itís a demolition of the whole theology of the Catholic sacraments (especially as regards the form of the sacrament). Imagine if a priest here at St. Vincentís eliminated the Consecration. For all of you it would be clear that there was no Mass. Now Rome tells us it is a Mass!

Rome bases itself on the excuse that if you examine the texts of the Assyrian rite, you wonít find words of Consecration. But, it says, you wonít find words of Consecration in many of the early texts of approved Catholic rites either. However, Romeís logic is faulty. The Catholic Churchís perennial explanation of this is as easy as it is true: Manuscripts from the first century for the Latin rite in France and Spain, for the Mozarabic Eastern Rite in union with Rome, etc., all are missing words of Consecration because the words were considered so holy that they shouldnít be written so they might not be polluted or profaned by contact with pagans. It is a law called the law of the arcane [the law of keeping these words secret - Ed.]. But the priests knew them and said them. Itís not because they werenít written that they werenít said! That is the big error that they introduce now. In 1954, a top progressivist liturgist (who wrote one of the four Eucharistic Prayers of the New Mass), the French priest Fr. Louis Bouyer, used the Anaphora of Addai and Mari to claim that though words of Consecration were missing, enough meaning was intact throughout the Mass to make the Consecration in the Assyrian Rite valid.[4] Today, Rome is agreeing that the Consecration is valid without the words of Consecration! Thatís absolutely unbelievable! But it fits with Romeís Modernism.

If you look at the traditional altar missal of the priest, you will see the words of Consecration are clearly made separate from all the rest. The words of the institution - Qui pridie quam pateretur - appear as the rest of the Canon, but at the end of the Qui pridie, you have a period. You donít have a colon; this would imply the words of Consecration which follow are simply running narrative.

Often in hand-missals [i.e., missals published for the faithful - Ed.] you have a comma or a colon, but not in the traditional altar missal. You have a period there because itís not merely a story; itís not a narration; itís not just about what Our Lord said at the Last Supper. Itís an action. These are the words of Christ pronounced by the priest in the person of Christ. Hoc est enim Corpus meum - This is my Body. In the altar missal of the New Mass the typography is the same for the Qui pridie quam pateretur, that is, from the beginning of the institution, all the way through the words of Consecration, making you believe that the form of the sacrament is not strictly the words of Consecration but everything else around them. And now Rome is using the example of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari to say that the form is the whole Mass! The evolution is very clear.

The strategy of the modernists to destroy theology has always been to initially cause confusion by eliminating precision. Look at Cardinal Ratzingerís new concept of "Church," for instance. He recently said in a conference in Ancona, Italy, what amounts to:

The word for the ĎChurchí was, before, the ĎMystical Body of Christ.í But we see that this means either you are a member or you are not a member, and that does not fit with reality. That is why theologians have made studies of Holy Scripture to find a word or concept that would better fit with the reality, and they have found ĎPeople of God.í

You see how clear precision is removed? Before, you were either a member or not a member of the Catholic Church. But the modernists want a gray zone, and so they invent "People of God" so no one knows whoís in, whoís out!

This is the strategy now seriously touching the consecration and all of sacramental theology. The result will be its demolition by the modernists. They say, "Ah, finally itís the end of this medieval theology of the magic words."

Canonizing a condemned priest?

In July [2001], the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a scandalous finding about Fr. Antonius de Rosmini-Serbati (1797-1855), the Italian priest whose 40 propositions were condemned posthumously [DZ ßß1891-1930a] by the Holy Office in 1887. Despite this, Pope Paul VI began to work for the beatification of Rosmini and established a commission to study this problem, because you cannot canonize somebody who has been condemned by the Church. That commission returned its finding: "No, you canít beatify him." Pope John Paul II called a new commission to study the same problem, and it returned the identical finding. So what did the pope do? - He says, "Go ahead." The problem remains that Rosmini, however, is condemned.

Then Cardinal Ratzinger comes to help:

Well, you know, when he was condemned, that was fine. But now, itís no longer like that. At the time when he was condemned, the Vatican used Thomistic glasses to make its judgments. Now itís no longer Thomism. If you use Thomistic glasses, heís condemned. If you use the glasses of Rosmini, then there is no value in the condemnation. In any case, the condemnation can be contested.

What is Cardinal Ratzinger saying?! He is putting truth on a slippery slope. And once again, the modernists have understood whatís happened very well. They say itís the first time the Vatican has made use of the "historico-critical method" regarding a condemnation of the Church. This "historico-critical method" is a well-known tactic of the modernists who claim that truth evolves, that dogmatic truths of yesterday are different from todayís, that what was considered false yesterday might be considered true today. This case of Rosmini is going to foment enormous confusion.

An undermining of the Holy Scriptures

Another striking development is the decision of the Biblical Commission this past autumn [2001] which is under the control of Cardinal Ratzingerís Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It published a book in French dealing with the Jewish vision of the Christian Bible. It deals with the modern-day Jewish interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. The Commission concluded: "The Jewish interpretation has developed in parallel to the Christian interpretation and both are valid. Itís wrong to say that prophecies speak of the coming of Christ, so itís wrong to say the Jews are without excuse when they donít see Christ in the Holy Scriptures." But Our Lord Himself said, "Read the Scriptures. They speak of Me." He said it! The people of the Commission contest the words of Our Lord. Isnít that something? How do the modernist exegetes interpret away Our Lordís words, "Woe to you, Pharisees"? They say, "The evangelist is reflecting the discriminatory attitude of the Christian community, which had problems with the Jews!" So, do these words come from Jesus Himself, or not? Are these words truth or not? This new book concludes they are not. This is directly against Catholic dogma teaching us that the Holy Scriptures tell the truth, are authentic, written by inspired writers and not by people of the second or third century. All of Scripture is discredited now. With little notice, atomic bombs against the Church have been quietly dropped here for years.

The road ahead

On quite another level, something is moving within the Church. A number of bishops and priests are turning towards Tradition, who would like to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Until now, obviously, individual priests have been more courageous than the bishops. But bishops come to us and speak with us. Whether they will one day have the courage to stand up and to join clearly in this enormous fight against enemies of the Church who try to destroy it, God knows. We will see.

How long will this fight last? I donít know. The only thing I know is that the Catholic Church is our Church, and that those who stick with Our Lord, who is the true Captain of the fleet, will win. So we are sure that we will win as long as we stay faithful, as long as we stick to all our duties, even if we are beaten, even if we receive bad blows. The important thing is to stay faithful.

It has happened that the Society has in its hands the Mass and the Priesthood, the greatest and most precious treasures of the Church. We canít help it; itís like that. Now, I say these are the Societyís because we are Catholic, but, of course, they belong to the Catholic Church. But the Society is like a man to whom something very precious has been entrusted. Now what is the duty of such a man? Itís very simple: He has to conserve this good until the real owner takes it again. He does not have any right to dispose of it nor to cut a part of it. No, he must keep it faithfully; thatís all. Thatís the duty of the Society of St. Pius X. It has to safeguard these goods until the time Rome will again make use of them, and have the whole Church share it and enjoy it. Thatís all that we must do.

In all our discussions with Rome, it was never a matter of negotiating, of trading anything with Rome. From the start I said to Rome, "You have to take us as we are." I told Cardinal Castrillon the first meeting, "We will never say the New Mass! It is out of discussion. We will not discuss the matter." At first glance, he did not give me the impression that he wanted to argue about that. Well, he could not because I would not.

This crisis is such a radical fight between the devil and his instruments and the Good Lord and His Church, that it is really, really stupid to think that we could resolve such a crisis with merely human means, with a human agreement. No. It goes too far. The means by which the fight is to be conducted are essentially super-natural. They are prayer, the recourse to Our Lord Himself, and sacrifice. Certainly the true consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, when it is accomplished as Our Lady asked, will play an important part. It is with these means that the crisis will be overcome.

The matter is more than the label "excommunicated" being retracted. It does not change anything in the crisis of the Church. The state of the Church is horrible. For example, there is obedience. People in Rome tell us disobedience is out of control within the Church. A few years ago, Cardinal Ratzinger was asked, "How much power do you have?" to which he answered, "Very little." In this last book he said, "The concept of authority has disappeared." He means nothing remains. They have lost control in Rome.

They are no longer obeyed; that is the terrible situation in which they are. Of course, when Rome issues statements contradicting itself, the Catholic Church is further crushed. The Romans will not regain any power or anything good with their behavior. Humanly speaking, itís hopeless. We know, however, not to look at the Church with only human eyes. The Church is supernatural. It is the Church of God, of Our Lord. The gates of hell will not prevail against it, but, humanly speaking, we are dying.

Two years ago, I reviewed a directory of religious for Ireland: 10,000 religious brothers; in the brothersí novitiates, four. That means itís the end. Sisters? 32,000; in the novitiate, 150. Will 150 replace 30,000? No way. Itís the end. Here in the US, figures say active priests will be reduced by 40%. By 2005 in France, the number of priests will drop from 17,000 to 8,000. Thatís more than half the number within three years. We are heading into the desert. This is a disaster without any name.

So for us, it is very, very simple: We just continue. We pray for the day when Rome will not only say that the fruits of the Society are good, but will also say, "Itís the way we have to go." In the meantime, the Society will do its work; it will not be inactive. It will help priests to understand the problems within the Church. I have assigned several of our priests to conduct some theological studies and prepare some publications. You may call them missiles, if you want. We hope Rome will finally say, "Itís true, there is a problem." I tell you, people inside Rome ask the Society for this, people who say to us, "Please, donít give in. Continue. Insist on your prerequisites!"

There are at the same time so many blessings, so many consolations from the good Lord, so many signs of His grace in our work. Everyday, we walk within miracles, even, I think, miracles from the Archbishop [Lefebvre - Ed] - he is at work - even miracles that show to people where they have to go. Let me tell you a story about a lady from Paris which was told to me by the lady herself, so, once again, it is not hearsay.

She was going to the New Mass and was not at ease there. Something was wrong there, but she didnít know exactly what. She asked the priest, "Whatís going on?" She got no reasonable answer, so she continued going, but was very bothered.

One day she was chatting with her aunt. For little apparent reason, the aunt made an off-hand comment that the Blessed Virgin Mary spoke to little children. A few weeks later, this popped into the head of the lady and she exclaimed, "I have an eight-year-old daughter. Maybe she can get an answer!" So she and her daughter drove to the Rue de Bac where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure to give her the Miraculous Medal. Arriving there, she instructed her daughter: "You ask the Blessed Virgin Mary where we have to go to Mass." The lady told me there was so much traffic that it was impossible for her to park and go in with the girl. She stayed in the car and circled around. After 10-15 minutes, the girl came out to the car and told her mother, "We have to go to St. Nicholas du Chardonnet." "St. Nicholas!" said the mother, "Thatís the Lefebvrist church! They are schismatics! ...Why? Ask the Blessed Mother why!" So the girl went back into the chapel, and after a while came back to the car with this answer (I donít invent anything): "Because there is the true Church." "Whatís that?" asked the mother, "Whatís the true Church? What is it that you say, daughter? I donít understand." So the girl went in again, beginning a series of question-and-answer sessions with the Blessed Mother which lasted for the next three weeks. For three weeks, this lady would pose questions for the girl to ask Our Lady. The girl would return speaking of Quas Primas, of Mortalium Animos, of Vatican I, Vatican II, and so on. The lady read the encyclicals and her share of serious books. At the end of three weeks, she surrendered and ended up at St. Nicholas du Chardonnet.

I know several similar stories which show very clearly something: the good Lord is not going to abandon anybody who wants to stick to the truth. God is going to help those who want to serve Him even if it takes a miracle. We must trust God. We must give Him this trust, that He is really our Father, and that if we really, really, really want to be His sons, He will care, whatever happens. Of course, we must be serious in our will to be Catholic and to behave as though we mean it. If we are serious and sincere, God is not going to cheat us.

We know we live in different and difficult times. But God is God, He is Almighty, now as before. He has not changed. Heís not been diminished in His powers. He could end this crisis in the Church with one word. If He doesnít, thatís His affair. He will give all the necessary help we need to sanctify ourselves here and now. We may have to suffer martyrdom. I cannot exclude that possibility, my dear brethren. When we see the seriousness of this fight, we have to envisage this possibility. We have to pray the good Lord will give us the grace when it will be time for it. In the meantime, letís everyday do our duty of state. Itís not complicated. Trust in God. Donít invent problems for yourself, just do what you have to do. Stay Catholic, keep your faith, keep your hope, keep your charity. We have the Ten Commandments. We know what we have to do. Even if it is hard, we know. And thatís it, and thatís what we want to do, what we will try to continue to do.

I end with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary and a blessing.


4 See Louis Bouyerís Liturgical Piety, Ch.10, The Anaphora: A Note on Epiclesis and Verba Consecrationis, especially p.137 - Ed.

Transcribed for Angelus Press by Miss Andrea Stoltz. Edited, abridged, and partially reconstructed for chronological clarity by Fr. Kenneth Novak. © 2013                    home                    contact