Ireland, Easter 2016.
Dear Australian Faithful,
The time has come to give you some precisions on all the accusations that has befallen our apostolate in Australia, despite the efforts we have made to reach you in these last two years.
At the same time, as no cross comes alone usually, the Australian immigration is denying Fr Picot s entry. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but as the precedent of Bishop Williamson indicates, or that of the Pfeiffer brothers in India, this type of incident happens often by denunciation.
Fr MacDonald has accepted to fill up the gap until these issues are resolved and the normal trips of Fr Picot can resume. It is an irony that a group of people from Melbourne was tasked to work on the definitive solution for this. Hence others will have to be found.
In the meantime i have to repay Fr McDonald in equivalent priestly time, so i am flying to Ireland from Holy Week to the Good Shepherd Sunday. Same thing next Summer.
I will test the border in Sydney in May, then rent or borrow a car, and follow the footsteps of fr Cummins and McDonald by traveling overland, a good occasion to realize its beauty, and to save you the trouble of fattening the duopoly of Quantas and Virgin.
If this fails, then i will start having suspicions. Unlike inspector Cluseau, who said "i suspect everybody becoze everybody is a suspect"... i refuse to accuse.
Moreover, i would like to inform you, dear Faithful, that my biggest worry in Australia, is not the activities of the Melbourne committee, but the lack of vocations for the seminary, which means that Australia will continue to depend on visiting priests for a long time. But the experience is that only the Cross is the best seed of vocations, and our troubles to reach you will ultimately bear the fruits we long for.
Then, if we come to Australia, it is not because of any desire for luxury, as we are busy already in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Batangas, Legazpi, Masbate, Iloilo, Ormoc, Hindang, Maasin, Danao, LLC, Cebu proper, Dagohoy, Camiguin, Cagayan, Valencia, Illigan and Zamboanga. Nevertheless, giving Dogma one and Dogma two, Moral theology, Canon Law, Scripture (coming soon), Acts of the Magisterium, Philosophy (six courses), spiritual conferences, Liturgy is in fact more tiring that missionary visits.
We do acknowledge the great generosity of our Australian benefactors, yet most of our donations do come from elsewhere, with this year one major benefactor in France and another one, a Filipino, bailed us totally from the heavy expenses of our attempts to save Fr Suelo s health.
Hence, no, Dear Australians, and i am very sure most of you are fully aware of it, it is not out of self interest that we come to you. If only Fr Fox had followed up from his wonderful Aesopus Sermon of 2012, if only Fr McDonald could settle permanently amongst you instead of making the Resistance carry the day in Ireland, if only Fr Peter Scott had made a stand, a man of remarkable integrity and doctrine in the past.,, but these hopes did not materialize, so you are left with the simple ways of the French Missions Etrangeres...
THE MELBOURNE COMMITTEE
was declared unilaterally, in the absence of Fr Picot, during Fr Suneel's round of first masses. It's stated purpose is the taking charge of the apostolate in Melbourne, something we never experienced before. Fr Picot was expecting a committee, but in order to create a legal person capable to vouch for his permanent visa, so he told me, but there came a sort of Parish Council with the difference that the novus ordo priest was not even invited.
Any interference of the priests in the decisions of the committee is deemed illegal and abusive. The priest is an employee of the Committee who administers the monies and calls any priest it chooses for spiritual matters. Then a newsletter got published expressing this intent and relaying other attacks against the bishop, or yours truly and his good terms with Fr Kramer.
Father Picot tried to listen to the group on January 2nd, and was questioned for three hours, and Marianne Youngman was asked to step down, which she did immediately.
The tone was respectful all along, no tempers were lost.
Basically Fr Picot was told that he cannot be trusted any longer (neither me, nor Bishop Williamson), that priests cannot be trusted any longer after the multiple betrayals of the last fifty years, and it is time for he laypeople to take over and run the operations. Father asked if there was anything precise that was found really wrong in his behavior and his teaching and was not able to obtain any precise information.
My understanding is that the Committee wants to retain the whole arrangement and set up of the Resistance chapel in Melbourne, and perhaps in the rest of Victoria. They said "whatever is not purely the Faith and moral advice". The congregation owns everything, Chalice, Church, venues, monies, flights, timing of Masses. By right, the material determination of Mass and Sacraments belongs to the Committee. The priest comes in, does his job within the limits of the mandate given to him by the people (represented by the Committee), and preaches what teaching the community requires, distributes sacraments and receives a stipend for his troubles. The entire rest is in the hands of the elected board of the Committee. A member told Fr Picot, more or less "All the material things of the parish are managed by the lay Committee, to which the priest is allowed to present suggestions, and in the case it is reasonable, the Committee could consider it". The priests are incapable to preside Committee or take them over and to intend to do so is an offense.
If we read the mission statements and the bulletins, the Committee is clear: it is the Committee that decides which priest comes in, and fires him if necessary. Fr Picot was ordered:"We order you that you order the Bishop to put order in the Resistance" (OLSC#1). The priest must be prevented from "building his little empire, his little likes, his little world.
To prove the new order of things, and being unsatisfied with Fr Picot's attitude, the Committee then unbooked the hall for the Sunday January 3rd mass and informed everybody that the Mass is cancelled for unforeseen reasons. For us it is the proof that the Committee uses the material to control the apostolate and the doctrinal content of our predication.
Another irony is that we asked the Melbourne people to start a committee... to start a school. But perhaps such demand is also illegal for priests to make.
We simply acknowledged the failure of the xspx in Tynong, where the original independent school became entangled into government and rotarian money and thrown under the bus of modern programs, state appointed teachers and other problems.
Streched as we are we cannot do anything, and we are not qualified enough, hence our appeal to the lay arm, because for the Melbourne area, this is the best way to break through.
THE ATTITUDE OF THE PRIESTS
For my part i told these people that Father Picot is totally innocent and that i am totally unaware that things are run that way in the Catholic Church, as Canon Law explicitly states that clerics should administer entirely Church property without lay interference. (For more details, please consult Cardinal Ottaviani celebrated "Institutiones Iuris Publici Ecclesiae").
That does not mean that we cannot delegate, as we do in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth etc., but the mind of the Church is not to relegate the priests in the sole domain of the Sacristy. Archbishop Lefebvre opposed such mentality in the "Renaissance Catholique" crisis in France in 1989, and i witnessed the whole affair as a young seminarian at the time.
In the meantime, as we were thrown on the street, it is obvious that we had recourse to the laypeople to provide the mass venues and assist us materially.
Where did request people to hand us over their private property?
Unlike the xspx, our policy is never to ask, but to get ever more by thanking. And so we did to our own contender's own admission.
And are we forbidden to accept donations, legacies as the masons argue? Or is such acceptance to be interpreted as empire building.
For my part; and the fact that the seminary premisses not being legally in our hands is a proof of it; i am more in favor of devolution at all levels, and not centralised accumulation wich, again, is the undoing of the xspx. But most of our resistance confreres own their own residences and key venues, like Fr Ringrose, fr McDonald and Ballini in Ireland, the Dominicans, Fr Rioult, Fr Valan in India. This is a natural process, but it has not yet happened to us. I think they picked the wrong target.
WHAT TO DO?
Perhaps i should defer the Committee to the judgement of the Bishop, but they don't like any we have. If i did, Bishop Williamson would probably decree the following:"Perhaps it would be interesting to wonder if we could propose these poor people to consider kindly if they would like to apologize for their horrible conduct with Fr Picot."
The bottom line is that they are punishing themselves, by cutting the hand that feeds them. Fr McDonald and myself were sent quickly to the gallows for supporting "the wrong Fr Picot horse", with cherry on top Fr Kramer, whose friendship i entertain make me a suspect of sedevacantism. Fr Kramer still declares that his opinion is just that, a difficult matter on which the debate is still going on, and indeed i disagree with Fr Kramer, but he is not making a whole religion out of it. If he has interesting points, what am i to do? Anyways, if you want to blackmail me with the sedevacantism scarecrow, good luck to you. It works on Bishop Fellay and liberal latin mass people, but not on the Resistance. We will follow carefully what demolition job is taking place in Rome. Fr Kramer has plenty of other merits. Fr Ortiz is already condemned, because he warned against the committee in advance, and i wonder what is going to befall Fr Valan who agrees with us and Fr Suneel who might confess that he was made use in Fr Picot's absence.
I don't like the mentality to record Fr Picot without his permission and post him without permission, dissecting his words as mr Macchabbees (pompoussish name if you ask me), to prove the world that Fr Picot is a liberal. Anybody who knows Fr Picot knows he is no liberal,.... other defects perhaps, but not worth mentioning on dying blogs.
Mr Macchabbees should ask permission before releasing private material. If he wants to take me on the issue of Fr Kramer, why not ask permission to publish my private reply to him, or simply use the Miles Christi #XI, where i say pretty much the same thing i said to him privately. If these gentlemen want to fight us, i can understand, but there are rules in War. Perhaps they should be patient, because every time i come down under, i give talks and take questions, whose reply i accept to get published upon request. And there is no need to make such a show of one's ignorance in public: alter reportedly means "The other of the two, second", hence sedealterism means not that the see is altered, but that the see of Peter belongs to the other of the two, Benedict, and not to Caiphas Francis, the frontman. Alter has a different meaning in English, but am i to blame for preferring latin to vernacular, especially when latin enables us to distinguish betwixt sedeprivationnism and sedeprivationism for instance. For the next sede avatar i have my latin artillery locked and loaded.
Yet it is true that the neoromans are trying to alter the see itself, and both Fr Kramer and I agree that this is a much graver problem that the one to find out which of the two is on the see now.
It looks like somebody tries to turn the Resistance against itself, turning the energy of the fight against the liberal xspx against the resistance priests, like Greg Taylor is doing in his Recusant, that used to be so good of yore. Very simple: anybody who does not dissociate with Bishop Williamson for the erroneous comments he has made is a liberal, a traitor or just a coward.
But the good Bishop has tripped in the past. Why now? Why resurface his belief in Maria Valtorta for instance?
He is better as what he does than at what he says, and handsome means what handsome does.
The words of Bishop Tissier are above reproach for the most, but not his silence and inaction. What is the use of and engine if there is no gearbox to send the intellectual power of the engine to the wheels of action?
so the Committee argues, is betraying the resistance and we priests are betting on the wrong horse. Question, then: Which other bishop should we place ourselves under?
I'd rather stick to the dino, and just watched again his interview on the holocaust on youtube, back in 2009, and compare it with the total disaster of Bishop Fellay recent interview on Conflict Zone. The contrast could not be greater. And now bishops Galarreta and Tissier are following suit.
Fr Pfeiffer is not very happy at bishop Williamson, and his constant rants on youtube may have precipitated events in the little glass of Melbourne, but there is a huge difference between menzingrad and Broadstairs. Back in 2012 i went to see Bishop Fellay in Menzingen, and I urged fr Joe to do the same, telling him that it was a big mistake for him not to do so. It is a disagreeable experience, but there you can see the whole difference between a man who makes a doctrinal error and a profound liberal, a man who lapses and a revolutionist, a man who trips while looking for the truth, a complex one at that, and a man whose love of the truth is mush.
I sat there, for an hour and a half, telling the man in his face his errors, and his exact wordings. "I did not say that!" "You are twisting my words." "I was talking to the American public on Religious Liberty". All this coming with a typical attitude accusing us to be bad for objecting to the aforesaid errors, that our notion of the Church is completely wrong, that we are evil of heart, disobedient, rebellious... basically that the Guillotine is ours. Fr Picot had the same experience. I am glad i insisted to have him go to Menzingen to see for himself Revolution in action.
No such a thing with Bishop Williamson: "yes, i said it" "but perhaps i am wrong" "tell me why" "what is your take"... he even emailed me "I ll try to do better next time". And instead of throwing us out, the way we were literally thrown on the streets, he gets thrown out alongside with us.
I not happy at Fr Joe, not because his ranting is rattling the little boat, no. We will manage the situations he is creating, and the Melbourne Committee is not that big, neither gaining a lot of traction. I am sad he does not realize that while we were chilling for twelve years, our poor Bishop had to face all the jellyfish maneuvering of Menzingrad, almost alone, completely boxed in in Wimbledon, after having been unceremoniously demoted twice and publicly disavowed before the medias, his confreres way before our little show of 2012.
Heroism is there, carrying this cross for twelve years, seeing the whole work of one s life and the whole work of the Archbishop being thrown into liberal effeminacy: that desire to conform to the world under spiritual and supernatural pretenses. And he ended alone, put away, exactly as Bishop Fellay told Frank (Tim Sebastian) on Conflict Zone. The ordeal is over now, but it was long and painful.
Of course we lament such expressions as "go to the novus ordo mass if it is good for your faith", but, wait a minute, why should we deny the dino the benefit of the doubt when we gave it to bishop Fellay?
In 2007 we did not sing the Te Deum for the Motu Proprio, nor did we like the exuberant gratitude of Menzingen for the "lifting of the excommunications" (Bp Fellay now openly admits he indeed was excommunicated...), nor the worrying signs of liberal mellowing, but we carried on with Bishop Fellay, expressing our dissent with discretion. Fr Ceriani condemned such discretion in the same way Fr Pfeiffer condemns the same discretion with Bishop Williamson. Aren't we not supposed to try to correct things in private before we bring it to the fore? In 2012 we sat and wondered if the time had come to bring the matter to the faithful and all the signs expressed that it was the right course, given the accumulations of evidence and this new doctrine assorted with punishments. Pretty much the contrary with Bishop williamson: he is leading us ever away from the newchurch and we still await punishment for disagreeing with him, while he goes on saying he will be more careful next time.
Moreover one should not blame us to thread carefully with bishops. A priest is a sacramental dead end, down the line, as things revolve around bishops as per canon law, rituals, sacraments, and even sacramentals. As we can see today, the bishop ensures the continuity and survival of a sacramental line. The Moran fiasco shows that to obtain such a thing is not so simple, and we can only rejoice to see that Bishop Williamson is putting the continuity of the episcopate in good hands. In view of Bishop Fellay complete melting on "Conflict Zone", one can doubt that such a thing will ever happen in the xspx. On this point at least our contenders should concede that Bishop Willamson is no Bishop Fellay.
If this is such the case, one can ask the bishop what he actually meant, and if it makes sense somehow: People have been receiving graces at Novus Ordo Masses, all the while that mass is bad. How can it be? God certainly understand that humans can be marooned at time, in the Synagogue after Pentecost and before the destruction of Jerusalem, after Henry breaks with Clement VII and before he imposes the oath of supremacy, after Bishop Fellay shows his colours and before he gets his whole contraption included in the Ecclesia Dei recyclor. Somebody i know well, while he was a navy brat in the eighties, went to the novus ordo mass regularly for two years in Tahiti, French Polynesia. He and his clueless parents tried to sanctify themselves with mixed success, shifting lanes for communion, to avoid eucharistic monsters, kneeling and receiving on the tongue before perplex bystanders, enduring the manifold idiocities, the catechism classes stating with the question "What is a Myth?" etc. Only upon their return in Paris were they told to do that it was better to have stayed at home by the Priests of St Nicolas du Chardonnet. Graces were received in these novus ordo Masses, but it was not the proper channel, and perhaps more by enduring the irritation, the boredom and the humiliations thereof.
Obviously if people can't get along with bishop Williamson that's fine, as long as they get along with his successors, and there is no chance for them to see him down under either, because the Jewish lobby is preventing his australian visa to be granted. It is pretty hard to paint a bad picture of our two new bishops, who don't like to rock the lifeboat as much as the Dino does.
In the meantime, until the situation gets to normal for Fr Picot, we will go through lots of headeaches, because our lines are stretched, so we can only face emergencies by withdrawing units on other fronts, in this case Ireland. Fr Picot still goes to New Zealand, good on him, and replaces me in East Asia to enable me to give a try in May. The Indian priests are trying also on their side, and the soon to be ordained Father John ocd. will make a round of first masses next summer (australian winter).
Therefore, keep up the good fight for your eternal life, dear Faithful. We will not abandon you.
God bless Australia,
In Iesu et Maria,