[Posting here so I can reference it on its own thread for the Catalogue of Compromise thread]
1st Sermon of Fr. Girouard in New Resistance Chapel:
The "Branding" of the SSPX by Fr. Wegner (Canadian District Superior)
In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
I will be brief in this sermon because I have to read that statement again, and you already had it before mass, but what I want to say today is that, obviously, this is my first mass since I came back from exile, and I would like to say a little bit to correct a little bit things that had been said about me when I was away by Father Wegner and the other priests. They said that basically I had not talked with Father Wegner before to preach my sermons, and so forth and so on. So this is not correct, this is not a true statement. In fact I have talked with him many times...
Like in July last year, on a phone call of 80 minutes, and I mentioned all the problems in the Society; and in October, when he came to visit in Langley, we had a two hour conversation, and I told him of these problems in the Society; and then, in November, I sent him two emails with a very important question about Bishop Fellay, and I am still waiting for the answer to the second email. So if I would wait for the answers all the time, I would probably reach the age of retirement before I get the answers! And, therefore, I decided to preach. The other reason also is because the reason why someone asks a question is because he has a question to ask. If you know already the answer, it is no use to ask the question, unless you are a teacher! So I don't have any questions to ask him anymore.
I saw the documents that came out from Bishop Fellay, especially his Declaration of April the 15th 2012 that he brought to Cardinal Levada, as the basics for an agreement with Rome. And when you read that, you realize the Society is in deep trouble! Because in that Declaration, in that draft for an agreement with Rome, Bishop Fellay accepts the New Code of Canon Law. He also says that the new mass has been legitimately promulgated. He also says that he recognizes the Magisterium of the Church of today and that he is ready to sign the 1989 Profession of Faith of Cardinal Ratzinger. Which Profession of Faith, as I have explained to you before in one of my sermons, is very bad, especially the third , which basically means that the priests who will take this oath of fidelity, the one drafted in 1989, will accept to submit to the modern Magisterium, that is to say to the modern teachings of the Pope.
Anyway... So I have preached against this Preamble, and I have preached, as I said, in my announcements on March 10th, about the Preamble, and about the letter from the 37 priests, and also the fact that the Carmelites in Germany have decided to leave the Society because of the same reasons; and also I have talked about the expulsion from the Monastery of Silver City of Father Raphael. So I thought that the faithful needed to know. But the reaction was to transfer me to St. Césaire, with the specific order that I should be silent. I should not communicate these things to the faithful. I should not criticize the Superiors. I should not show nor express any distrust for them or their actions. So it was kind of a pact that was asked of me: We will take care of your material needs, you will have a house and beautiful chapel in St. Césaire and in exchange for this security you will remain silent; so I refused. I cannot remain silent.
It would be a sin for me to remain silent, so therefore I refused and went into exile, as you know, and came back a couple of weeks ago because you have had a series of meetings, once a week, and you studied these documents; and you studied some articles that I wrote from afar for you, and you studied some copies of the magazine The Recusant, and so forth and so on. And you have had the same reaction any good and normal Catholic would have in front of those documents: You have understood that you, that we, have been misled for the past couple of years; that the Society has done a 180 degrees; and this is why you have decided to start your own chapel. Because you knew you could trust me to preach you the truth, because I have to suffer, and I have to make sacrifices to do it now. And we have organized and have now founded, this is our first mass, St. Joseph Defender of the Church Chapel.
And one of the things I would like to share with you about my conversations with Father Wegner in October... The thing that will explain why you do not anymore see the Society criticize in a strong manner, in a vigorous manner, the evils of Vatican II, the evils of the New Mass and what happens in Rome. You would think that maybe it's just that we forget, the Society is... it has forgotten its role of explaining the truth and battling against error. Maybe it's just a coincidence; just because your priest at that parish didn't think to talk about it... Well, that's what I said to Father Wegner; I told Father Wegner, I said to Father: “Look at the DICI website; look at the Angelus magazine; look at the website of the SSPX in the United States; look at the website of Father Couture in Asia; look everywhere, and you don't see any spirit of fight anymore against Vatican II and the New Mass! It seems to me that the Society has become a blunt sword in the hands of the Lord! There is no cutting edge anymore, it is useless!”
And I thought he would say: “Oh, you are wrong” or, “really, Father, we are still strong, and we are still fighting, and you are, you know, it's a misconception that you have. How can you say this?” So I was really taken aback when he agreed with me, and he said: “But yes, Father, it's true!” Well, Father Wegner agrees with me! So I thought I was making headway! I thought: “Well, that's good! Now that he understands the problem, maybe we will start to fight again!” But when my jaw dropped, was when he said that this was a good thing, this change was a good thing! Okay! Also, well, he explained to me how it came to be. He said this is not just a coincidence, or it is not because priests are becoming lazy or they are afraid of Rome. No, no! He said: “This is a decision that has been made in Menzingen, okay? Yes, Father Girouard, and this decision in Menzingen was made because we have been branded!”
So here, I don't know... You know, normally, you brand a cow! But he tells me now that the Society has been branded! So I was able to keep walking, I did not drop dead but... And then he told me: “Yes Father, that is true, and I did it!” Oh! You did it. How did you do it? “Well, when I was in Holland, District Superior, I met with somebody, I became friend with the President of a company...” (and then he named me the name of the company, it is a Flemish name which uh... is too strange to remember) but he said: “This is the fifth most successful company in Holland, so it is a very important company, a very successful company, and a couple of years ago I visited them and I met again with this man, and I asked him to take care of the Society and to do the branding of the Society, because that company is specialized in branding.”
So for those of you don't know what branding is, I will explain briefly. Branding is... That company who makes a branding, suppose it takes as their customer Coca Cola. So Coca Cola would hire that company, and would ask that company "do my branding". And that company will send men to Coca Cola offices, and everywhere, to study the whole industry of Coca Cola, to study all the advertising of Coca Cola, to drink a lot of Coca Cola! And to basically have as much knowledge of Coca Cola as possible. And then they will study all the other companies that make cola; so they will study Royal Cola, Pepsi Cola, King Cola, and so forth and so on. And they will try to figure out, and they will drink a lot of cola of course, and then they will try to figure out how could the Coca Cola company distinguish itself in a very striking manner from all the other brands. That’s the branding: To find out the striking difference of your customer and then, with the branding, they will say: Well, your product is more... It has a little bit more bitterness, or a little bit more fizz in it, and the color is more dark than the others, and so your branding should be that uh... I don't know, “Cola Cola... gives you a kick!” I don't know: “Coca Cola is a product that has more kick than all the others!” That is as an example of branding.
And so Father Wegner asked that man of that company to do the branding of the Society, and so that man said: “I will look into the Society on the website; I will let you know.” A couple of weeks later he phones Father Wegner, and he says: “Father, I refuse; I refuse the contract, because I looked over your name SSPX, and you don't have a good name out there, and I don't want my company to have the blemish of having you as a customer.” So Father Wegner says: “Well, at least give us a chance! Let's hear our own side, what we have to say. I will organize a meeting for you and Bishop Fellay in Menzingen, in Switzerland, and at least give us the chance to answer all of your questions, and after that you will decide!” So the man said : “Fair enough.” So they organize the meeting in Menzingen, and Father Wegner told me that the man went there and asked one hundred and fifty questions to Bishop Fellay, and Bishop Fellay answered all of these questions, and it lasted six hours! For six hours! And, at the end, that man said: “Okay, I will take the contract of the Society, and I will do your branding.”
So I don't know exactly how long this took... A few months... And I don't know how much it cost, but... I talked with some people, and they think it was a bundle of money, and I wish they would have given it to us, so we could have a nice church by now! And afterwards he gave the conclusion to Father Wegner and to Bishop Fellay, the conclusion of the whole survey of the branding, and he said to Father and Bishop Fellay: “Bishop Fellay, the result of my survey, is that for the last fifteen years, you had it all wrong! You will never get more faithful and more people to come to your churches if you continue this way, because right now, the Vatican II Church is like an old man dying, and it's like dying flat on the street. Like they lose their seminaries, they lose their monasteries, they sell their churches, and it is a dying church! And you are really looking bad when you continue to fight that Church! It makes you look like a cruel... or like you exaggerate, or like you are kicking somebody who is already dying! So your new branding has to change you completely! You have to stop arguing; you have to stop fighting; you have instead to go on the positive side, and to show the beauty of the traditional liturgy, the beauty of the traditional theology, and that way people will not see you as cruel, or bitter, or things like that.”
And this is why, since the branding of the society, DICI has changed; the SSPX websites have changed; the Angelus has changed. And in fact, interestingly enough, if you go back to the first issue of the new Angelus, what does Father Wegner say? Go back if you have it, and read it. He says: “We will not anymore put the emphasis on the battle and the fight, but we will put the emphasis on the beauty of the Gregorian chant, the beauty of art...” And so forth and so on. Go ahead and read it. It is exactly the branding of the Society and, really, I had to put my jaw back into place, because I said to myself: “I thought that if there was one person in the world who was authorized, and who knew better, as of the branding or the definition of the Society, that would have been its founder, the Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre! Not a layman who is not even a Catholic, who is not even a traditional! How can you go ask a pagan to define what we are, and what we should do? It is a complete madness!
They accuse us of not being supernatural, and what is that: to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to that company, a pagan company, and to say: “Well! Forget about Coca Cola! And do the SSPX, brand us!” Instead of listening to the founder, instead of reading the founder, who said who we were! As if what the founder said was not good enough, and now we have to have pagans telling us what to do!
So we refuse to do that, and this is why we have started our chapel here, of “Saint Joseph Defender of the Church”. And today, this morning, you have read and you have signed this mission statement that says to everybody why we are doing what we do, and it is not because of emotions, or anger, or resentment, or bitterness. It is because we have read these documents and we have understood that the Society has been changed, and has been doing a one hundred degree cycle, and we are not anymore doing what we should do. And, therefore, this is the only way we can continue. We are not making anything new here! You know that I have not preached to you, I have not shown to you any article that is new! We are continuing exactly what you came to Langley for, and Langley is not doing it anymore, and no other parish is doing it anymore in the SSPX. Because they have to follow the General Chapter of 2012, where now they accept the principle of signing a deal with Rome. It doesn't matter if it's not signed yet, because you have accepted the principle: “But yes! We can do a deal with Rome without the conversion of Rome!” And we refuse that, because it's a Revolution. We just continue here, in this hall, what we have been doing from the beginning.
So, my dear friends, we will have to continue to pray for each other to be strong, and to pray for all our other friends who remain in Christ the King. I am in contact with others who are not here this morning, and I have given them these articles and documents, and they are studying them. I will not name them. They have to take the time to study, and to be convinced. But, you know, you are not alone here. There are other people who want to continue the real fight of the SSPX. Let us pray for each other and for them.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen