October 2000 - District Superior's Letter
Fr. Violette replaces Fr. Emily as district superior. SSPX pilgrimage to Rome a great success and spurs new talks with Rome. A declaration "Dominus Jesus" has been published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; it is flawed. Pope surrounded by 1500 bishops entrusts himself to Mary but doesn't consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart.
Fr. Violette named new district superior of Canada
It is a great joy for me to address this first letter to you as your new District Superior. After 6 very good and happy years in Australia our Superior General Bishop Fellay has seen it fit to return me to Canada. I guess worse things could happen!
Thank-you Fr.Emily for 16 years
Firstly I want to take the occasion to thank Father Emily for his devotedness for the development of the work of the Society in Canada over the last 16 years. We do have a debt of gratitude for the work he has done in our country: 16 churches or chapels, 3 schools, and the Precious Blood Retirement Home. Certainly we must not judge success from the purely material assets, but these assets reflect a growth in the number of souls who have returned to Tradition through the ministry of the Society. With God's grace we hope to continue this work of preserving the faith in our country and bringing it to as many souls as possible.
Secondly I want to thank the priests who have devoted themselves to the care of your souls. They do so at the cost of many sacrifices, which I think is not always understood and appreciated by the some of the faithful.
Thirdly I want to thank you, the faithful for your continued support. Certainly the expansion of the work has necessitated from you many sacrifices. May Our Lord and His blessed Mother reward you a hundredfold for your generosity.
SSPX pilgrimage to Rome
Now for a bit of news. The pilgrimage in Rome was excellent and a great manifestation of our faith and attachment to eternal Rome. Over 5000 faithful attended in perfect order. There were no troubles in the Basilicas; the Church authorities themselves i.e. the Jubilee Organising Committee were more than helpful in allowing us to pray in the Basilicas. Bishop Fellay preached in St Peter's! Bishop Fellay noted it and publicly thanked them for their help in his sermon during the Pontifical Mass. It was more than imposing to see these 5000 people process in the Basilicas led by the clergy of different orders (SSPX, Dominicans, Franciscans, Redemptorists, priests, brothers, sisters etc.). St Peters was full, so was St John Lateran, and St Paul outside the Walls, St Mary Majors had to be visited in groups (it is smaller). The Roman media covered the event and one of them commented that it was the first time in the history of the Church that 5000 excommunicated people made a pilgrimage to Rome to pray for the Pope. As far as I know there was absolute silence in the other world media. No one must know about these 5000 "excommunicated" people praying for the Pope in Rome. So much for the right to information! The Jubilee Committee said our pilgrimage was the best organised! Only one thing was missing, we were not allowed to have public Mass in a Basilica or church. So the Pontifical Mass was celebrated outdoors, in what used to be Nero's gardens where Christians were burnt at night to illuminate the emperor's gardens. The Traditional Mass still has no official rights in Rome.
Declaration Dominus Jesus flawed
From Rome however more disappointments. Firstly the declaration "DOMINUS JESUS" from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. For those who think it is a clear stand on the dogma: "outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation" think again. This little letter is not the place for a complete treatise on the matter, but suffice it to say that this declaration simply "reiterated the Second Vatican Council's teaching that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation" 1, i.e. more modernist jargon. The tactic is still the same; state some truths in one paragraph then contradicted in the next, so that the religious pluralism and indifference it pretends to eradicate is left alive and well.
Different notion of what faith is
For example: 2 "It must be firmly believed that, in the mystery of Jesus Christ... the full revelation of divine truth is given... Faith is "a gift of God" and "a supernatural virtue infused by him"... For this reason, the distinction between theological faith and belief in the other religions, must be firmly held. If faith is the acceptance in grace of revealed truth... then belief, in the other religions, is that sum of experience and thought that constitutes the human treasury of wisdom and religious aspiration, which man in his search for truth has conceived and acted upon in his relationship to God and the Absolute."
Claims God uses error to make himself known
However, after rightly stating the difference between the supernatural Catholic Faith and other man made faiths it continues: "Nevertheless, God... `does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals, but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches (?), of which their religions (?) are the main and essential expression even when they contain "gaps, insufficiencies and errors" . As if God would use error to make Himself known! The bits of truth found in these false religions are left by the devil in order to better deceive. "Therefore, the sacred books (written by men) of other religions, which in actual fact direct and nourish the existence of their followers, receive from the mystery of Christ the elements of goodness and grace which they contain." Incredible! This is all perfectly in line with the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions which states: "The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and teachings, which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men". Words fail... not really!
Claims that elements of sanctification can be found outside of the Church
Concerning the Church 3 after stating that: " in connection with the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus Christ, the unicity of the Church founded by him must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith. The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity -rooted in the apostolic succession - between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church."
It continues however: "This Church, constituted and organised as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church..." This expression "subsists" was thought up by a friend of the then Father Ratzinger during the council: Protestant Pastor Wilhelm Schmidt, The declaration explains: "With the expression "subsistit" in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonise two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that "outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth".
In a recent interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, Cardinal Ratzinger "explained that Vatican II did not use Pius XII's expression, according to which 'the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Jesus Christ.' Instead, it preferred the expression `The Church of Christ subsists (which comes from a Protestant pastor) in the Catholic Church ruled by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him' because, he said, it wished to affirm "that the being of the Church as such is a larger identity than the Roman Catholic Church."
Novel notion of communion
The declaration continues, "The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her ... by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy...
"On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery, are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptised in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church. Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church.
"Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church". Nothing has changed!
Pope surrounded by 1500 bishops entrusts himself to Mary but doesn't consecrate Russia
Secondly, October 8 the Pope surrounded by 1500 bishops "entrusted" the new millennium to the Virgin Mary. What a wonderful occasion was missed for doing the long awaited consecration of Russia. Why won't they do it? It's not politically correct? There is no need since the "fall" of communism? Is Fatima no longer relevant? I don't know.
"And once again, O Virgin Most Holy, salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus, your Son." What happened to: "To save them (sinners) God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart... In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph". Maybe that is why the consecration is not done.
Dear faithful continue to pray the Rosary daily and sacrifice. Be assured of our sincere gratitude for your continued support. A Mass for all our friends & benefactors is offered on the last Sunday of every month as well as our daily community Rosary.
With my blessing
Father Jean Violette
1 Cardinal Ratzinger's interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine.
2 Declaration # 1. The Fullness and Definitiveness of the Revelation of Jesus Christ
3 Declaration. Unicity and Unity of the Church