For those who prefer to read, here is most of the sermon in text. Or, if you only have time to skim, I've bolded a few parts. I apologize for the typing errors I'm sure you'll encounter. I didn't get the beginning of the sermon as I only started typing once my hands were free.
(Beginning at 15:10.)
Sanctifying grace is what’s important – the life of grace. And that we should hate sin. We should hate mortal sin; we should hate venial sin.
Dear faithful, sometimes, we can commit sins by cooperating in something which we see is not right and we remain silent. And we priests can be guilty of that as well.
Cooperate. We should say something and we’re afraid to. We know it would please God. We know it would please Our Lord Jesus Christ if we said something or did something, but because we’re weak, we don’t, and we stay silent.
Not the case with St. John the Baptist. “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of his hand he hath protected me.” The church applies those words to St. John the Baptist. The church is praising him.
What is that quality that he possessed which we should want to embrace? What's that quality that we should want to imitate?
Our Lord tells us, he was not like a reed shaken by the wind. He didn’t just shake and go with the wind. He was a very upright man who said, "I want to do the will of God. I know that's the will of God and I'm going to do it." Not like a reed shaken by the wind, blown around by human respect, etc, etc
No, that’s not St. John the Baptist. He was not a man clothed in soft garments. He was not a man afraid to say what he should say. He said to the Pharisees, “you brood of vipers.” And what happened? He was sent to prison for rebuking Herod because he had taken his brother’s wife.
I think we start to see the picture of what makes him such a great man. He's got fortitude.
After our Lord says, "They have not risen among them that are born of a woman greater than John the Baptist," he goes on and he says, "from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent shall bear it away." “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence [allows violence] and the violent shall bear it away.”
So beautiful, Bishop Tissier, in his sermon at Winona, he told the seminarians we must be pure, we must be kind and merciful. And he names other qualities that they need to possess. But he reminds the seminaries – the subdeacons who are about to be deacons and the deacons who are about to be priests – that you must be fighters. And here we have this truth when we talk about John the Baptist. The words of Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, "There have not risen among them that are born of a woman greater than John the Baptist.” “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent shall bear it away.”
So dear faithful, for those who have the Internet, you probably heard the fact that our Superior General has said there may be a split in the Society of St. Pius X. So, you’d better start waking up and work out now if there is a split, which way you will go. You better wake up. I woke up a week ago.
My dear faithful, a little background to myself, if you don't mind me saying. I was very fortunate when I grew up; the family I came from. When I grew up, I had some strong men around me. The first was my father, Bill Fox. I buried him about 20 months ago; almost 2 years ago. Well, my dad had plenty of faults, alright. And we had arguments in our family. The father of 11 children. There was many things you could say about my father. He had a bit of a bad temper and other things. But one thing, none of his sons or daughters or the men who knew him could ever say was that he was not a man. We could all back my father and say, "he was a man." I stand here before you and say, "my father was one of the toughest men that I’ve ever met."
The other man that I was very fortunate to have around me when I grew up was a priest, Fr. (Bryant?) Buckley. I'll come back to him soon.
I'd like to show an example from the life of my father. The last thing I would like people to do is to canonize my father, but the fact is, it's probably a great truth to say we begin seminary in the home of our parents.
My parents had retired. I might loose track of time. I'll be correcting some of these details in the story, but I think it was about 15 years ago, before the age where everyone had a cell phone. My mother's birthday. And my dad got into his head that he was going to take my mother to listen to an Irish comedian. An Irish comedian that was visiting <> in Australia. And this comedian was getting a lot of publicity.
Well my father was thinking about the Irish comedians that he had heard 40 years ago. Dad was usually not very naive, he was not naive at all really, but he was naive in this decision. He did not realize how bad the entertainment industry had become.
So the same night that he takes my mother to this big function. It was a big function. I believe there was going to be a three-course dinner and the comedian was going to come and start his act towards the end of the meal. But that particular night, my parents were expecting their 50th grandchild. So, at the ticket counter, when they picked up their tickets, they said to the lady, "We're expecting our 50th grandchild and we're very excited about that. We've left the phone number of this place here with one of our children. And could we ask you please to get a message to us somehow tonight during this meal, or during this performance, if the 50th grandchild is born. And the lady at the ticket counter said, “sure, I can do that.”
So my parents went to their seats, a very beautiful meal, and then the comedian started telling stories, Irish stories. And some of these stories were very indecent. My father was just getting angry and he is about to either say something or leave quietly. And the comedian stops his show. The lady comes to him with a piece of paper and says... A little paper with a little note on it and the note said, it spoke about the grandchild being born. He read it and he says, "could Bill and (Carol?) Fox please stand up?" So, my parents stood up and the comedian, the Irish comedian, says, "well I have some very lovely news. Bill and (Carol?) now have 50 grandchildren." Everybody gave a great round of applause and my parents were so happy.
And then this comedian said to my father, "would you like the microphone?"
That was a mistake.
My father was a very good public speaker and he was afraid of no one when it came to doing what was right.
My dad said, "that you very much everybody. My wife (Carol?) and I are both very happy about the birth of our 50th grandchild." And then he proceeded to give this man a public rebuke. He said, “I didn’t realize how bad things had got. The Irish comedians I used to go to 30 or 40 years ago were very manly men who could tell a funny joke without being filthy.”
And, by the way, I believe there were about a thousand people in this room. It was a big function.
Indeed, I was fortunate growing up. My father was a man.
And we were told in the seminary on a number of occasions -- and we used to talk about this amongst ourselves -- if we want to be good priests, we must first be good men. And, to be a good man, you must be a man of fortitude.
The second man who I realize more and more each day had a big impact on me was Fr. (Brian?) Buckley. Oh, and by the way, two ... I have three brothers who are also, I can say, have the Catholic faith and try to practice it to the best of their abilities. And I have to say also, with all their faults, they are men as well. Men beget men.
To go ahead to Fr. Buckley, back in the 1970s, about 1975, my oldest brother died in a car accident. But before he died, he was in intensive care for about three days. My father telephoned one of the NO priests as soon as they heard the accident. And the NO priest said, "but we don't do anointing anymore," or something to that effect. And just two or three weeks before this car accident of my oldest brother, divine providence had (finally?) arranged for my dad and his older brother, also William, to meet Fr. Buckley. My father called Fr. Buckley, I think at 2 o'clock in the morning, and he said, “I will come straight away and anoint your son and do whatever else needs to be done.” Well, Fr. Buckley buried my brother a number of days later. That was one of the last times the Latin Mass was offered in the diocese of ?? in Australia. The only reason that he was there to offer the diocesan Mass was that divine providence had also arranged for the bishop to have just died also. So, there was this interim period where the priest who was in charge of the diocese, or whoever it was who made the decisions, gave permission for Fr. Buckley to offer the Latin Mass.
Fr. Buckley suffered a lot because after that, or already, he said I have to go off of my convictions. And, he started offering the Latin Mass only. Maybe that had happened even before my family and I met him, I'm not sure. I was very young at the time, about nine years of age. But this priest would just continue to say Mass in a private house, or a hall eventually. And about 1982, maybe it was 1981, he became very ill. My father thought that he might have had a nervous breakdown. So, I was fortunate to go to his Masses from the age of about 9 to about 17, I believe. And then, the first Society priests arrived in Australia providentially.
And my father met one of these first priests of the Archbishop, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and said, “I don’t know too much about him, but if he can send another priest that like, that’s where we’re going.”
My father didn't care what people thought. He knew what was right and he just did it.
So Fr. Buckley had a <> he had been just put aside by the diocese 5,6,7 years before that. Considered an outcast. But no doubt, he (meditated?) on this great truth that the servant is not greater than the master. If Our Lord Jesus Christ is treated as an outcast, despised, so be it.
Well, he died at a fairly young age, I think he was about 55, his mother was still living, Mrs. Katherine Buckley. Fr. Buckley has died, his mother is living, and apparently one of the most terrible sufferings for parents is to have to bury one of their own children. It’s a (terrible?) suffering. Maybe some of you have already had to experience that great suffering.
It is interesting, when Mrs. Buckley was dying a number of years later, we went to visit her in the hospital – my parents and myself. And I can’t remember anyone else being spoken of so highly by my father. He said after the visit, just as he walked out, he said, "I think I just met a Saint." The fact is saints beget saints.
If you go back to Fr. Buckley. He dies, his mother is still living. In Australia, and I think it is the practice in most countries around the world, that the diocesan priests will get buried with other diocesan priests. … If you go to some of these old seminaries, you’ll find all of the priests buried together and you’ll find all the nuns buried together. So, Mrs. Buckley was just there, speaking with the authorities in the diocese and she asked them about this, about her son getting buried there with the other priests. And the bully diocesan authorities, at first, were going to refuse her. These bulling cowards were going to try to crush this old lady, to make her suffer. I don’t know if they eventually gave in, but I remember my father telling the story. My father just hated cowards, just hated them. No, that’s too strong of a word, just despised them.
So dear faithful, if a priest wants to be a good priest, he has to meditate on St. John the Baptist, I believe. "And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of his hand he hath protected me.” We should not fear anyone, we should fear to commit sin.
So dear faithful, from the depth of my heart, I can tell you, as the priest who will one day have to answer to God for what he said June 24 at the 10AM Mass to traditional Catholics who go to the SSPX church in St. Catherine’s. I have this to say to you. I am convinced that it is not the will of God for the Society to have a merely practical agreement with Rome at the moment. I believe I will be sinning if I said otherwise to you or if I stayed silent on this truth, or this strong opinion, at least we will say that. This is so serious, this is so serious, I would like to, after Mass, to speak for another 30 minutes, 35 minutes, to those who would like to hear the reasons of why I’ve come to this conclusion. I’ve preached for too long already. After Mass, if you would like to hear those reasons, then please stay after Mass.
Please give me a few minutes to take off my priestly vestments and do a quick thanksgiving.
Today is the birthday of St. John the Baptist, born in the state of grace. The instrument by which he was sanctified was the Blessed Virgin Mary. And she will be the instrument to sanctify us. St. John the Baptist prepared souls for the kingdom of Christ the King. He prepared by his preaching, by his prayer, and by his penance. And he was good at it because he was a man of fortitude. In other words, he was firstly a man.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.