The FSSP’s tragedy of 2000

Following the ill-treatment of the Fraternity of St. Peter by the Vatican in 2000, the USA District Superior, Fr. Peter Scott, made the following observations in his August Letter to Friends and Benefactors.

I would like to take the opportunity of keeping you up to date with the outcome of last month’s General Chapter of the Fraternity of St. Peter. If I do this, it is not to exult in their tragedy, which is certainly a tragedy for the Church, nor to say "I told you so", but simply to learn the lesson that their sad experience has to teach all Catholics.

Back in April an energetic and relatively young cardinal was appointed to head up the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos, from Columbia. The reason for his appointment is clear from the decisive action that he took concerning the government of the Fraternity of St. Peter, action that makes it perfectly clear what attitude modernist Rome is going to have towards any community that aspires to anything like traditional life and liturgy.

In a letter addressed to the General Chapter he decided to follow the ancient principle of "divide and conquer". He did not fail to take advantage of the disagreement in principle within their organization with respect to the compromise worked out by the members last February, namely that they would concelebrate the New Mass, as Rome requested, but only once a year, on Holy Thursday. Reminding them that if they are to be logical with themselves and accept the legitimacy of the New Mass, then no superior can forbid a priest from celebrating this Mass "which is officially in vigor in the Latin Church". "A limitation of the exercise of this right" to the New Mass "cannot be inflicted on seminarians or be a reason for refusing them ordination".

Of course, he is entirely wrong because his principle is wrong. The New Mass is not legitimate because it undermines and destroys the Faith, and does not adequately express the dogmas of the Church concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Consequently, it cannot possibly be the official rite in vigor in the Latin Church, but is a compromise with Protestantism and Modernism that has no rights at all. There is nothing legal about a rite of Mass which does nothing to bring about the end of the Church’s law, the salvation of souls.

The Cardinal President of the Commission then went on to explain to the Fraternity’s members why he was obliging the appointment of a new Superior General, and new seminary rectors and faculty, all of a liberal tendency, of a mind to accept and promote the New Mass and to be integrated into the post-Conciliar church. Clearly concerning by the traditionalist tendencies of the younger of the Fraternity’s members, he had this to say:

In particular, you must avoid and combat a certain spirit of rebellion against today’s Church, a spirit which easily finds supporters amongst young students, who like all young people, are drawn to extreme and rigorous positions… You cannot live in the Church and at the same time distance yourselves from it."

He then promises to watch more closely than in the past over the members of the Fraternity, that no groups be formed or opinions be expressed which are different from those imposed by Rome, via the puppet Superior General, Fr. Arnaud Devillers.

Back in 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre had clearly seen the thinly disguised politics of the neo-modernist Roman authorities. In his letter of May 24 to Cardinal Ratzinger he had stated the following:

Upon reflection, it appears clear that the goal of these dialogues is to reabsorb us within the Conciliar Church, the only Church to which you make allusion during these meetings. We hoped that you would give us the means to continue and develop the works of Tradition, especially by giving us some coadjutors, at least three, and by giving a majority to Tradition in the Roman Commission. Now on these two points, which we deem necessary to maintain our works outside of all progressivist and conciliar influence, we are not satisfied…"[1]

It is the least that he could have said. The Fraternity has proven that Rome had no intention of granting truly traditional bishops, free from the modernist hierarchy. Through the Ecclesia Dei Commission it has proven that there would not only not be a majority, but in fact not even one traditional Catholic working for that commission. Finally, Cardinal Castrillion Hoyos has made it perfectly clear that his mission is that of reabsorbing those who love the traditional Mass back into the post-Conciliar Church.

He is quite explicit about this in his discourse, which finishes with a "personal reflection". He explained that the question of rite is only secondary, and not central to the Church or to the unity of Faith. We know that this is entire nonsense, for "lex orandi, lex credendi", namely that we pray as we believe and believe as we pray, and that by deforming the way in which Catholics pray, the modernists will end up by destroying the Faith. The cardinal explains:

The rite is not the celebration itself. It is only one of its possible forms… Your role is not to modify the state of fact (that the New Mass is the common rite) or to speak of this rite (the New Mass) as if it were of less value, but to help those faithful who are attached to the old rite to feel more comfortable in the Church."

If this is not an avowal of the policy of reabsorption, then what would be? He continues:

You must not give priority to the form of the liturgy in which you have the privilege of celebrating. It is much more appropriate to see in it the particular contribution of your institute to the common work of the Church."

So they must accept that the traditional Mass is no better than the New Mass! The cardinal finishes with an interesting admission. There is no place in the Church, he explains, for contradiction, leaving it to be understood that those who refuse the New Mass are in contradiction with the modern Church.

Here he is entirely right. How often we have said the same thing! However, modernist that he is, he requires that the Fraternity’s contribution not contradict the New Mass and the new spirit, but that it complete it, and he continues, "by doing this you will contribute at the same time to the New Evangelization…"!

Clearly, then, those who stay in the Fraternity will contribute to the post-Conciliar revolution. Did it not ever occur to them that the contradictions do not come from the traditional Mass, nor from the dogmas that Catholics have always believed, but from the infiltration into the modern Church of secular, liberal, humanist ideals based upon the rights of man, in contradiction with the rights of God.

Here again, I cannot help but be reminded of the wonderfully clear-sighted statement of our founder to Pope John Paul II on June 2, 1988:

It is to keep the Faith of our baptism intact that we have had to resist the spirit of Vatican II and the reforms inspired by it. The false ecumenism, which is at the origin of all the Council’s innovations in the liturgy, in the new relationship between the Church and the world, in the conception of the Church itself, is leading the Church to its ruin, and Catholics to apostasy.

Being radically opposed to this destruction of our Faith and determined to remain with the traditional doctrine and discipline of the Church, especially as far as the formation of priests and the religious life is concerned, we find ourselves in the absolute necessity of having ecclesiastical authorities who embrace our concerns and will help us to protect ourselves against the spirit of Vatican II and the spirit of Assisi.

That is why we are asking for several bishops chosen from within Catholic Tradition, and for a majority of the members of the projected Roman Commission for Tradition, in order to protect ourselves against all compromise.

Given the refusal to consider our requests, and it being evident that the purpose of this reconciliation is not at all the same in the eyes of the Holy See as it is in our eyes, we believe it preferable to wait for times more propitious for the return of Rome to Tradition…"[2]

How right the archbishop was, and how sad it is to see that the situation in Rome has not improved over the past 12 years. It has considerably worsened. Along with the Jubilee’s diabolical exacerbation of ecumenism, from the Lutheran Accord, to the public apologies for the Church! to the promotion of non-Catholic "witnesses of the faith", goes the determination to crush, by the abuse of authority, all traditional opposition. Our confidence lies only and entirely in Our Lord’s words that He will remain with His Church all days, even to the end of the world, and that in the end, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Let the principles of our daily combat for the Faith, for the Mass of All Time, for a Catholic life of prayer, penance and submission to the Church’s Magisterium be always before our eyes. This is the only assurance of our unity, and of harmony, as also of our sanctity. May God then grant that our perseverance flow forth from the clear-sightedness that is given by the gift of Counsel, which warns of the deceits of the devil.

Yours faithfully in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,

Fr. Peter R. Scott

Footnotes

1 Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican, Fr. Francois Laisney (Angelus Press), p. 99.

2 Ibid. p. 108.