August 2007 - District Superior's Letter
The Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI has liberated the Mass. This is an implicit confirmation of the battle of Archbishop Lefebvre. This is an important step in the right direction and we commend Benedict XVI for taking it. Let us thank Our Lady. A new school in Wilmot needs financial assistance.
My dear faithful,
Summorum Pontificum liberates Tridentine Mass
This past July 7th, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI published the "Motu Proprio" Summorum Pontificum, freeing the Tridentine Mass, unjustly imprisoned for almost 40 years. We give thanks to God for this important event in the history of the Church. Our gratitude also turns toward the Most Holy Virgin Mary who has heard our prayers: you remember the two and a half million rosaries that were offered to the Pope for this intention. Our most profound gratefulness then goes to our Pope Benedict XVI who, resisting all the pressure which he was subjected to, has maintained with courage his decision and promulgated this "Motu Proprio" which recognizes the legitimacy and sanctity of the traditional liturgy, which means not only the missal but also the breviary, the ritual and the pontifical.
In honor of Archbishop Lefebvre
More than ever, we wish to express our gratitude to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, for having transmitted to us the true and unaltered faith, for his clear view of the crisis of the Church, for his categorical refusal of the new Mass and his attachment to the Mass of all time, for the work which he has founded, the Society of Saint Pius X, and for the example of a holy life which he has given to us.
You have certainly observed that the Pope affirmed, in this document, that the traditional Mass had never been abolished. We cannot help but see in this an implicit recognition of the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, at least with regard to the Mass.
Wasn't this what our founder had asked for, from the beginning of the "difficulties" with Rome? Allow me to quote from the sermon which he gave in 1976 at Lille (France): "Then let us pray together, asking the Good Lord to grant us the means to resolve our difficulties. It would be so simple if each bishop, in his diocese, put a church at our disposal, at the disposal of the Catholic faithful, saying to them: "There's the church which is yours.” When we consider that the bishop of Lille has given a Church to the muslims, I don't see why he would not have a church for the traditional Catholics. And eventually the question will be resolved. And that is what I would ask the Holy Father if he would be willing to receive me: "Let us try, Most Holy Father, the experiment of Tradition. Amidst all the experiments that are taking place at present, let there at least be the experiment that has happened for twenty centuries!"
The Motu Proprio is a step in the right direction
This "Motu Proprio" is most certainly a major step, at least we hope so. But we are aware that our Catholic Resistance does not finish here, we are a long way off from that. It is the faith that has been attacked, diminished, often destroyed. It is the faith that is always in danger and thus we beseech Heaven for the grace to remain faithful to the Catholic faith just as it has always been taught in the Church.
It is therefore appropriate to recall these other words of our founder, in which we see the most profound reasons for our attachment to the Mass known as that of Saint Pius V, and our refusal of the Novus Ordo Mass: "This new Mass is a symbol, is an expression, is an image of a new faith, of a Modernist faith. For if the most holy Church has wished to guard throughout the centuries this precious treasure which She has given us of the rite of Holy Mass which was canonized by Saint Pius V, it has not been without purpose. It is because this Mass contains our whole faith, the whole Catholic Faith: faith in the Most Holy Trinity, faith in the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, faith in the Redemption of Our Lord Jesus Christ, faith in the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ which flowed for the redemption of our sins, faith in supernatural grace, which comes to us from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which comes to us from the Cross, which comes to us through all the Sacraments. This is what we believe in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of all time. It is a lesson of faith and at the same time a source of our faith, indispensable for us in this age when our faith is attacked from all sides. We have need of this true Mass, of this Mass of all time, of this Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to really fill our souls with the Holy Ghost and with the strength of Our Lord Jesus Christ."
Declaration of 1974
That is why, today once again, we take up and make our own the famous declaration of November 21st by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: "Without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity. (…) We hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome."
After this important step for the liturgy – “lex orandi, lex credendi” – it is then the doctrinal points which have been disputed since Vatican II that – with the relations established by the "Motu Propio", which we hope are favorable – the Society of Saint Pius X now hopes to take up with the Holy See, after the decree of excommunication affecting its founder and its bishops has been withdrawn.
New school in Wilmot
I also would like to take the opportunity in this letter to give you some news of our recent acquisition at Wilmot, Ontario. We have bought the school near Kitchener and are in the process of obtaining the permission to renovate a part of the buildings to be the living quarters for the priests and sisters. Very soon we should, I hope, begin the renovations, which include, among other things, a part of the roof which needs to be redone. Unfortunately, we will not be able to open the school in September of 2007 but we shall endeavor as soon as possible to get the families together to help them follow the home school programs before being able to actually start the classes.
As you can imagine, we are still in need of your financial aid. A generous benefactor has promised to match the donations up to $60,000.00. We hope that your donations will permit us to reach this total amount between now and the month of September.
In thanking you for your prayers and your support, so apparent and precious in this project, I entreat you to be assured of my prayers, and to receive my blessing.
Fr. Arnaud Rostand
District Superior of Canada