Letter to His Excellency xxxx
on the opening of the conference of priests in August of 2007
Your Excellency, Bishop xxx,
Please find enclosed the requested articles, in which I comment on the latest developments and give a provisional evaluation of our overall situation in the Church since the beginning of Ratzinger's term.
I ask you to share the following statements with the assembled body of priests. They express my concern that when the latest motu proprio of Ratzinger goes into effect, by which he permits the reinstatement of the old Mass (in the 1962 version), our resistance will be paralyzed. Why? Because all over the world, our efforts have, to a large extent, only focused on caring for and celebrating the Tridentine Mass. In the course of this the restoration of the Church was suppressed – after more than forty years of destruction! This is true for Europe as well as for the United States, but also for Mexico. If they now officially reinstate the old Mass, then the so-called churches of the catacombs of the Traditionalists – I use this term to refer to people who narrow the fight for the Church to a fight for a liturgical rite – have become redundant.
Even just the inner consequences which would be associated with the celebration of the Holy Mass outside the official structures of the Conciliar Church would have had to lead one to admit that the Mass may only be celebrated within the Church, that is, only in conjunction with a mandate from her to do so. This is also true, by the way, for the administration of the other sacraments, as is commonly known; it likewise applies to pastoral work as well as the proclamation of the Gospel and catechesis. Since the structures of the Church were shattered and the Chair of Peter is vacant, one would have had to worry primarily about rebuilding the Church, about her restoration as an institution of salvation, in order to celebrate the holy Mass licitly, among other things. Where this doesn't happen, the resistance falls into sectarianism... and that's what it's come to for the most part already.
We had already discussed this matter at the meeting in Hermosillo at the end of February by means of the declaration which the Rev. Fr. Krier, Mr. Jerrentrup, and I had drawn up. Let me quote the applicable passages from it:
“With the apostasy of the hierarchy after "Vatican II", which is documented in Msgr. Thuc's "Declaratio", the Church has all but been destroyed as a visible institution of salvation; a visible "Community of the Faithful" no longer exists, even though there are communities and groups scattered throughout the world professing the true faith. Christ founded the Church as the institute of salvation - not a mere faith community - in order to guarantee absolutely the unerring transmission of His teachings and means of grace. The reconstruction of the Church, therefore, as an institution of salvation is required by the will of its Divine Founder. (...) But in so doing, we find a dilemma. On one hand we lack the necessary Church authority to fulfill this responsibility, since the hierarchy has fallen into apostasy; on the other hand the fulfillment is a necessary prerequisite of the restoration of Church authority. The restoration of Church authority is required by the Christ's will for the salvation of man. The dilemma can be solved, as I see it, in that all previous activities are seen to stand in relation to or in consideration of a later definitive legitimization by the restored hierarchy. This includes, for example, the celebration of holy Mass and the administration of the Sacraments, which may presently be justified only through such consideration as the working toward the complete restoration of the Church as the institute of salvation and the submission to the judgment, later on, of the restored legitimate authority. Administration and reception of the Sacraments (including the celebration of and attendance at holy Mass) is not allowed, then, if they are not performed in relation to this sole possible justification, even though the sacraments are valid.“
In Europe, there is not a single priest who has tried to rebuild the Church in the sense outlined above, which has resulted in the fact that the resistance is carried on only by individuals – if we leave aside the parish community which Dr. Klominsky has built in Marienbad/CZ. We are living in the deepest exile here. Laymen, too, have failed for the most part, as most people have only cared and do only care about their own salvific egotism, which even includes their making use of the services of open sectarians and vagrants.
The same picture has probably emerged in the United States, where, in 2000, none other than Bp. Pivarunas expressly refused to take part in the restoration of the Church as an institution of salvation. (I will not even speak of the other bishops or “bishops”, Dolan and Sanborn, as long as they do not try to salvage their ordinations.) In Mexico, where there are still relatively strong Catholic groups, as far as I know, the restoration of the Church has been and is being suppressed in favor of pastoral concerns as well, which you yourself expressly affirmed to me during your last visit.
What does this mean for the resistance? We will reap what we have sown: a total disaster. Perhaps soon we will have a situation in which good-willed and tradition-minded “priests” who were ordained invalidly but do not realize it – the ordination rites which were imposed in 1969 are per se invalid –, that is, laymen, say the so-called old Mass.
What is to be done?
1. Make clear that the Tridentine Mass may only be said within the Church and with a mandate from her, and that we are living in an ecclesiastical stopgap, which must be ended by means of the measures listed in the declaration. This requires the quick restoration of the Church as an institution of salvation. The Church is a perfect society. If, for example, one holds that the Chair of Peter is vacant, then it is inner logic that demands that this chair once again be filled.
2. Make clear that our concern cannot simply be considered in terms of a fight between liturgical rites – that's what the Econists do! – but, rather, that it involves the entire state of the Church, which includes the problem of the holy Mass.
3. Make clear that the new ordination rites (priestly and episcopal ordinations), which have been in force since 1969, are invalid, that is, the Conciliar Church has already lost its apostolic succession for the most part.
4. For the coordination and implementation of all the enumerated items on the agenda, we would have to have a bishop who is theologically capable of keeping an eye on all of the problems.
5. Since our clerics mostly underestimate Ratzinger's theological dangerousness – but not just his! –, the priests and bishops should, insofar as their other duties allow, take time to study modern philosophy, that is, philosophy since Descartes or Kant, in order to understand and refute those principles of modern theology which are based in part on philosophy – Ratzinger, for example, is rooted in the philosophical tenets of Hegel. It would show clerical narrow-mindedness and absolute stupidity if we were to believe that these efforts could be avoided.
If we were to tackle all the tasks enumerated above, with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, we would still have a small chance of implementing that which the fathers of the resistance and Mgr. Ngo-dinh-Thuc or Bp. Carmona had in mind: the preservation of the Christian Faith and the Church established by Christ for our salvation, the safeguard of unity, of holiness, of Catholicity, and apostolicity.
With this in mind, Your Excellency, I hope your conference will be successful.