Dear and Reverend Father,
If you wish to publish any of this email on your blog, please remove all references to the diocese (and perhaps even to [COUNTRY] if you think it is right).
An hour or so ago a friend spoke to a seminarian here in [PLACE]. Unlike many Seminaries in the rest of … and the rest of the world, the one here is full of traditionalists and is flourishing. The seminarian told my friend that ALL their internet access is logged and their incoming and outgoing emails are read. Those who have visited “traditionalist” sites have been warned that their chances of being ordained to the Priesthood are in jeopardy.
Our [bishop] likes to “keep in” with the trendies, although he’s not a trendy himself, deep down; however, the [important staff member] of the Seminary is a sworn enemy of the TLM and has publicly stated that the Holy Father “got it wrong” when he published Summorum Pontificum. The [bishop] sent his resignation letter to Rome, but he has been kept on for another two years. Even if he goes, the Priests with real power are those like the [staff member], in a Diocese where – it is said – something like 90% of the Priests are communists and they do everything they possibly can to stop the faithful going to the TLM.
What can be done? Leaving aside the fact that spying on people’s email is technically illegal in [country], [It might not be if you are using the seminary's internet.] reporting the Bishop to the police would probably be the fastest way to leave the Seminary. Who should they report this to in Rome, and how should they go about it?
Thanking you in advance, dear and Reverend Father, for any help and advice you may be able to give,
Here is my tough love advice… and I’ll use “you”, because the men this is intended for will read it.
* Keep your mouths shut.
* Avoid using the seminary’s internet to look at anything other than neutral or liberal sites.
* Cough up the dough to get a separate “dongle” for data for your laptops.
* If several of you must pool resources to do that, do that, and then – discreetly – do the samizdat thing.
* Use your hand-helds or phones for surfing good Catholic sites.
* If you can’t find a way around their logging, or you can’t afford the data in that country (I know it is expensive), then either give up traditional sites when surfing or give up the internet completely!
Go silent and go deep.
Back in the dark days of the 80′s when in my seminary to have a statue of Our Lady of Fatima or to say the rosary in public meant expulsion, I came up with the Six Rules of Seminary Survival. Where you are they may still pertain:
Seldom make distinctions.
Smile a lot.
Say very little.
Never wear black.
In my day, it was as if we were officers-in-training, but in the military academy of the enemy. That seems like the situation there.
This is what you must do: learn what these modernist oppressors have to teach, parrot it back to them, and read good books on your own, with a flashlight and shades drawn if necessary.
And if you have to give up the internet, then for the love of God and His Holy Church give it up.
Your day will come.
There will be time after ordination to learn the TLM and build up that dimension of the formation they are – contrary to the Church’s law – cheating you out of.
For the sake of that day, be quiet and make sacrifices of your desire to surf around as you will.
If you have to, you can – believe me – hang by your thumbs until your hands are anointed.
Do not, by fighting or reacting suddenly, give those… aging-hippy modernists anything to beat you with.
Once you are ordained, with a joyful smile and in charity destroy their life’s work.