Declaration of Bishop Fellay concerning the priests of Campos
January 16, 2002,
Feast of Saint Marcel
On January 18, 2002, Cardinal Castrillon
Hoyos will read, in the cathedral of Campos, various documents by which
Pope John Paul II erects an apostolic administration for the (traditional)
priests of Campos and the faithful who are associated with them. Bishop
Rangel is recognized as a Catholic bishop and named as the head of the
new administration. This administration will have the right to use the
1962 liturgical books, that is to say the Tridentine Mass. The censures
"possibly incurred" (sic) will be lifted. The Pope accepts
the offer from the priests of Campos to combat heresy in the Church.
Bishop Rangel will make a profession
of Faith, in the name of everyone, and a declaration, in which he recognizes
John Paul II as Pope, the bishop of the diocese as the legitimate bishop
and Vatican Council II as a council of the Catholic Church. He will nevertheless
state that he reserves the right to criticize in a positive way that which
is not in conformity with Tradition. Likewise for the New Mass, recognized
as valid in itself, but which also is subject to constructive criticism.
The Society of Saint Pius X remarks
that this outcome is the fruit of a peace worked out in separation. In
order to obtain it, the Campos priests had to separate themselves, to
some extent, from the Society of Saint Pius X. The Society takes note
of the hastiness and the partially hidden character of the negotiations
that preceded the present recognition. They have abandoned, for example,
the condition concerning the Tridentine Mass that would have granted every
priest in the world the right to celebrate it freely. All of this
is not good, for strength lies in unity. We cannot say either that by
this act the crisis in the Church has been overcome. It could be a step
in this direction. The future will tell us.
The Fathers from Campos affirm
that they will continue the combat for Tradition. It must also be acknowledged
that no substantial concession on a doctrinal level has been made. Time
alone will determine how Rome permits the development of this work. With
respect to this, the choice of the successor for Bishop Licinio Rangel
will be of great importance. This question is not decided. The same can
be said for the juridical status of the administration, also not decided.
What will be, henceforth, their
relations with Rome and with us? It is again time that will determine
this. The new situation that has been created will be a test for the future.
The Society remains very reserved, and watches apprehensively as close
as possible the development of the work, while waiting to see its fruits.
It is by its fruits that a tree is to be judged.
It must be acknowledged that, for
the first time, a diocesan kind of structure has been granted to Tradition.
A traditional bishop is now recognized as such, as fully Catholic.
We pray that all this work together
for the good of Tradition and of the Church, despite the mixed feelings
that we experience for the time being. We only desire to continue our
work in the spirit and according to the principles handed down to us by
On the feast of Saint Marcel,
+ Bernard Fellay
- Official Texts
of the Priestly Union of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney, to the Pope (excerpts)
Dated August 15th, 2001
Most Holy Father,
In the name of our Catholic, Apostolic
and Roman Faith, we have endeavoured to hold fast to the holy doctrinal
and liturgical Traditions which the holy Church has handed down to us,
and, according to our feable strength and with the help of God's grace,
to resist against what your predecessor of illustrious memory, Pope Paul
VI has called the "autodemolition" of the Church. This is how
we hope to best help your Holiness and the Holy Church. (...)
We have always considered ourselves
to be in the Catholic Church, from which we have never had the intention
to separate ourselves, notwithstanding the situation within the Church
and the problems which have affected traditionally-minded Catholics, problems
well-known to Your Holiness which, we believe, fill your heart as ours
with sorrow and with anguish: and yet juridically we have been considered
to be living at the margin of the Church.
Here, then, is our request: that
we might be accepted and recognised as Catholics.
Your Holiness has preceded our
desire in charging His Emminence, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the
most worthy Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Clergy, to proceed
with the juridical recognition of our position as Catholics in the Church.
How grateful to Your Holiness we are for this!
We request, officially, to be able
to collaborate with Your Holiness in the work of the propagation of the
Faith and of Catholic doctrine, with zeal and for the honour of the Holy
Church - 'a standard set up unto the nations' (Is. XI: 12), in the battle
against the errors and the heresies which threaten to destroy the Barque
of Peter - though in vain, since the 'gates of hell shall not prevail
We place our profession of the
Catholic Faith in the august hands of Your Holiness: we profess perfect
communion with the See of Peter, of whom Your Holiness is the legitimate
successor. We recognise your primacy and government over the Universal
Church, its pastors and its faithful. We declare that we do not wish to
be separated from the Rock upon which Jesus Christ has founded His Church
for anything in the world.
(Asking the Apostolic blessing,
of John Paul II to Bishop Rangel (excerpts)
Dated December 25th,
To our Venerable Brother Licinio
And to the dear sons of the Sacerdotal
Union Saint Jean-Marie Vianney of Campos, Brasil,
With great joy we have received
your letter of 15 August whereby your entire Union renewed its confession
of the Catholic Faith, signifying its full communion with the See of Peter,
acknowledging his 'primacy and government over the Universal Church, its
pastors and faithful', and declaring that they 'do not wish to be separated
from the Rock upon which Jesus Christ has founded His Church for anything
in the world'.
With the greatest pastoral joy
we accept your desire to cooperate with the successor of Blessed Peter
in the propagation of the Catholic Faith and its teaching, zealous for
the honour of the Holy Church, which is the standard raised amongst the
nations (Is. 11:12), and fighting against those who, to no avail, endeavour
to shackle the boat of Peter because "the gates of hell will not
prevail against her" (Matth. 16:18).
We give thanks to the Lord One
and Triune for such good sentiments!
Having considered all these things
for the glory of God, the good of the Holy Church and the supreme law
which is the salvation of the souls (cf. can. 1752 CIC), and accepting
sincerely your request to be admitted to full communion with the Catholic
Church, we recognize that you belong to her canonically.
At the same time we inform you,
Venerable Brother, that a legislative document will be prepared, which
will determine the juridical form by which your ecclesiastical goods will
be confirmed and by which the respect of your proper goods will be warranted.
That document will erect canonically
your Union as a Personal Apostolic Administration which will be submitted
directly to the Apostolic See and whose territory will be the diocese
of Campos. The question of the cumulative jurisdiction with regard to
the diocesan Ordinary will be dealed with. The government of that Personal
Apostolic Administration will be confided to you, Venerable Brother, and
your succession will be provided.
The Apostolic Administration will
be given the faculties to celebrate the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the
Hours according to the roman rite and the liturgical discipline promulgated
by our predecessor saint Pius V, and as revised by his succesors until
blessed Pope John XXIII.
With great gladness, and that your
full communion might be rendered certain, we declare the remission of
the censure in your regard, Venerable Brother, foreseen by can. 1382 CIC,
and simultaneously the remission of all censures and the pardon of all
irregularities which the other members of this Union have incurred".
(Apostolic Blessing, etc.)
from the Congregation of Bishops
Nomination of the Apostolic Administrator
to the Personal Apostolic Administration "Saint Jean Marie Vianney".
To provide for the government of
the personal Apostolic Administration "Saint Jean Marie Vianney"
in Campos (Brazil), by the present decree of the Congregation of Bishops,
the Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, pontiff by the Divine Providence,
appoints and establishes as Apostolic Administrator His Excellence Licinio
Rangel, granting to him at the same time the episcopal title of the Church
of Zarnen, with every right, power and duties established in the decree
creating this Apostolic Administration.
Rome, Act of the Congregation of
the Bishops, January 18th, 2002.
of Mgr Licinio Rangel
18th of January 2002
I declare, jointly with the priests
of the Apostolic Administration of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney of Campos,
Brazil, the following:
- We recognise the Holy Father
Pope John Paul II along with all his powers and prerogatives, promissing
him filial obedience and offering our prayers for him.
- We recognise the Second Vatican
Council as one of the Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church, accepting
it in the light of Sacred Tradition.
- We recognise the validity of
the Novus Ordo Missae promulgated by Pope Paul VI, whenever celebrated
corretly and with the intention to offer the true Sacrifice of the Holy
- We engage ourselves to go into
all yet open questions profoundly, taking into consideration canon 212
of the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and in a sincere spirit of humility and
fraternal charity towards all. "In necessary things, unity, in
doubtful things, liberty, in all things, charity" (St. Augustine).
212 of the Code of Canon Law (revised version , Apostolic Constitution
Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, January 25th 1983):
§1 Christ's faithful, conscious
of their own responsability, are bound to show Christian obedience to
what the sacred Pastors, who represent Christ, declare as teachers of
the faith and prescribe as rulers of the Church.
§2 Christ's faithful are at liberty
to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their
wishes to the Pastors of the Church.
§3 They have the right, indeed
at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position,
to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern
the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known
to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must always respect
the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and
take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.
- Commentary of Father Georges Cottier, O.P., theologian of the papal
Avvenire - Zenit News Agency, Rome, 20 of January 2002
ROME, JAN. 20, 2002 (ZENlT.org-AvvenireV
John Paul II's decision to allow a formerly schismatic fraternity to celebrate
Mass according to the St. Pius V rite should not be seen as a setback
for Vatican Council II, says the theologian of the Papal Household.
"Good news -- a break that
is healed precisely in the Week of Christian Unity," said Father
Georges Cottier, commenting on the return to the Church of the schismatic
St. Jean Marie Vianney Fraternity. The fraternity had been sympathetic
to French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Father Cottier, a Dominican, said:
"From the beginning, the possibility was foreseen in some cases --
for example, for elderly priests -- to continue celebrating according
to this rite [of St. Pius V]."
He continued: "Following Lefebvre's
schism, permission was granted to St. Peter's Fraternity to maintain this
tradition alive. Moreover, the Pope requested that at least in large cities
there should be a place where Mass in Latin would be celebrated, perhaps
even with the Pius V rite."
What is novel about this event, then?
Father Cottier: There is
much more behind Lefebvre's schism: There is the rejection of the Council,
of ecumenism, of the principle of religious freedom —a global rejection
of which the liturgy was only the flag, although many people went with
Lefebvre precisely for this reason.
Since the rupture [in 1988] until
today, other followers of his have already returned to full communion
with the Catholic Church. However, the principal condition has always
been the full recognition of the authority of Vatican Council II.
And this is what the principal group, the one of Ecône, has never accepted
up until now.
One of the pillars of Vatican II, however, is "Sacrosancturn Concilium,"
the constitution on the liturgy.
Father Cottier: It is one
of the most beautiful texts of the Council, but it must not be identified
with all the ways in which the liturgical reform has been put into practice.
We cannot forget that in the first
years, especially in some countries, there was much disorder. Let's take
an example: the Gregorian. In a certain phase it was violently rejected,
but to substitute it with what? Sometimes with songs that had little that
was religious about them, or with a "chatting" liturgy where
there is no room for silence.
Some people have suffered because
of this, and some faithful have gone over to Lefebvre perhaps without
clearly seeing the problem that was emerging.
Yes, but by extending the use of the Pius V rite, is not the risk of confusion
Father Cottier: The differences
have always been allowed. I am a Dominican: Until the Council we had a
Dominican liturgy that was a variation of the Roman rite. However, unity
was not compromised because of this.
can be very well accepted even while maintaining one's own specificity.
Let us recall that the Council itself did not think of the whole celebration
in the vernacular tongue: The canon should have remained in Latin.
The liturgical reform took an additional
step and, looking at the majority of Catholics, it was an appropriate
option. However, this does not mean that the desire to find again in the
tradition a more profound sense of interiority, of silence, of beauty
is, in itself, inadmissible.
How can this specificity be reconciled with effective communion with the
Father Cottier: Many Lefebvrists
maintain that "our" Paul VI Mass is not valid1
At least now this-group will not be able to think such a thing. Little
by little we must expect other steps: for example, that they also participate
in concelebrations in the reformed rite. However, we must not be in
a hurry. What is important is that in their hearts there no longer be
rejection. Communion found again in the Church has an internal dynamism
of its own that will mature.
With last Friday's action, has the implementation of the Council taken
a step forward or backward?
Father Cottier: Certainly
forward. There was no wish to create ruptures in Vatican II. Its intention
was to place the Church in greater consonance with pastoral challenges,
with the mission, with divine worship itself.
There was a very strong sense in
the Council of the centrality of the liturgy in the life of the Church.
And, if there is a privileged place of communion, it is, precisely, the
Eucharist. We must rejoice over this reconciliation.
I hope it will open the way to
others. In this process, communion with Peter's Successor is fundamental.
Also in the liturgy: Until now, in the Mass celebrated by Lefebvrists
there was no "communication" with the Pope. Now, at least in
Brazil, it will no longer be like this.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre never stated that the New Mass is, in itself,
always invalid, (that would mean: not realizing the real Presence
as a Victim of Our Lord on the altar at the Consecration). But he did
always say that the New Mass, through its rite, is bad in that
sense that it favors protestant heresies and the ruin of the Catholic
- Some Reactions
of Father Peter Scott, District Superior of the USA for the Society of
St Pius X
Regina Coeli Report, Letter
to Friends and Benefactors, February 2002 (excerpts)
The theme of this joint ceremony
between modernists and traditionalists was "unity in diversity".
In fact, such is the basis of the Indult Mass, as contained in John
Paul IPs Motu Proprio of 1988 Ecclesia Dei adflicta, and
such is the basis for this reconciliation as described in the joint statement
of Bishops Rangel and Guimaraes:
"We further remember the
invitation of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II: 'All pastors and other
faithful must have a new consciousness not only of the legitimacy but
also of the riches that the diversity ofcharisms, traditions, spirituality
and apostolate represent for the Church. This diversity also constitutes
the beauty of unity in diversity: this is the symphony that, under the
action of the Holy Ghost, the earthly Church elevates to heaven'
(Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta).
It is thus with intense happiness that we communicate to all this gesture
of kindness of the Holy Father, the Pope, wishing an ever-increasing union
among Catholics -'unity in diversity' -as the Holy Father wishes,
for the greater glory of God and honor of the Holy Church".
We must certainly respect the good
intentions of the priests from Campos, who have not attacked the Society's
refusal to make a deal, but simply stated that their situation is different,
given that they are all in one diocese. We also must acknowledge that
they have not compromised in the same way that the priests of the Fraternity
of Saint Peter, who have accepted in principle the celebration of the
New Mass and the post-conciliar theology.
Nevertheless, it certainly saddens
us that they have backed down on the clear position so well expressed
in their 1999 book Catholic, Apostolic & Roman, and that this
rift in tradition has come about for the sake of a canonical status, and
that the priests of Campos have opted for the easy way out, the path of
least resistance. So different were the heroic words of Bishop De Castro
Mayer in a similar situation, on June 30, 1988:
"I want to manifest
here my sincere and profound adherence to the position of His Excellency
Archbishop Lefebvre, dictated by his fidelity to the Church of all centuries.
Both of us, we have drunk at the same spring which is that of the Holy
Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church" (Archbishop Lefebvre & the
Vatican p. 124).
Different also were the words written
by the same priests on the occasion of the episcopal consecration of Bishop
"Given the present situation
of extraordinary crisis through which the Church is passing, with its
hierarchy directly and indirectly bringing about its destruction -'auto-demolition'
— and for this very reason systematically naming bishops that have compromised
with progressism, this extraordinary episcopal consecration is imposed
upon us as an act that we call 'Operation Survival of Tradition'".
Furthermore, we cannot help
but deplore their implicit acknowledgement that they were outside of full
ecclesial communion until this ceremony took place. The Society had
insisted, as a matter of principle, on a statement that the excommunications
were null and void, that Archbishop Lefebvre had sufficient reason to
consecrate bishops and that we are and have always been Catholics in good
standing, as a pre-condition for any arrangement to be even discussed.
This principle has been abandoned. Moreover, the modernist concept
of degrees of communion has been accepted in the place of the traditional
teaching of being either inside or outside the Church contained in
the dogma "Outside the Church no salvation ". Before
Vatican II, there was no such thing as perfect or imperfect ecclesial
communion. One was either a Catholic, inside the Church, or excommunicated,
outside the Church, on the way to eternal perdition. There is no in between.
However, for the modernists, other Christians and other believers are
in various degrees of imperfect communion although not actually members
of the Roman Catholic Church. This is the concept that destroys the whole
idea of one true Church that underlies the statement that the Campos priest
are only now in full communion.
However, worst of all is the
acceptation of the Indult principle of "unity in diversity",
namely that we can be one with other "Catholics" in their diverse
expressions of religious experience, including charismatics and modernists
of all kinds. The principle of unity is not diversity. This is a pure
contradiction for anybody who does not hold to the modernist conception
of religion being the collection of everybody's personal experiences from
within. To the contrary, the principle of unity is Catholic Tradition,
as expressed in the catechism, namely, "to profess the same Faith,
have the same sacrifice and sacraments, united under one and the same
visible head, the Pope". We are only one with Novus Ordo Catholics
inasmuch as they hold fast to these truths, despite the revolutionary
direction given by the modernists in the Church, and we are certainly
in no way one with any that knowingly and willingly depart from any one
The coincidence of Assisi II, last
month's world prayer meeting for all religions, with this ceremony of
regularization, just adds to our sorrow. If it was Assisi, in 1986, that
convinced Archbishop Lefebvre of the destruction of the sense of the Faith
and the gravity of the crisis in the Church and decided him to consecrate
bishops, it is Assisi II that is our wake up call that ecumenism is still
alive and well, that it continues to destroy the Church within, at its
very marrow, and that it is our duty to stand firm and make reparation
for it. It is certainly not by accepting to be united in diversity with
ecumenists that we will do this. It is for this reason that Bishop Fellay
has asked that in our priories and principal chapels a day of reparation
to the Priests of Campos
Fr. Lourenqo Fleichman, O.S.B.
This letter was written on October
30th ,2001, before the reconciliation between Campos and the
Vatican, and was posted on the Internet. It was printed also in the Angelus,
February 2002. Fr Fleichman was a monk at Le Barroux, France, when the
accord was signed in 1988 between Dom
Gerard Calvet and the Vatican.
In conscience, he left the monastery in order to remain faithful to the
combat for the Faith. He now serves an independent chapel at Niteroi,
near Rio de Janeiro.
(...) Here is the first similarity
I see between Dom Gerard's attitude and yours: Archbishop Lefebvre had
just refused an agreement because he had not been able to perceive in
the Vatican's intentions the guarantees that would be necessary to assure
the survival of Catholic Tradition. Dom Gerard, placing the particular
interests of his monastery above the Church's good, accepted a separation
from Archbishop Lefebvre in order to "normalize" his juridical
and canonical status, thereby letting fall the sword of combat.
Today, equally, the Society has
just rejected an accord for the same reasons as Archbishop Lefebvre, and
you prefer to consider your particular interests and not the common good
of the Church. You have grown weary of the daily fight and of being marginalized.
I said in 1988 to Dom Gerard what
I repeat to you today: thousands of the faithful anxiously wait for you
to confirm them in the Catholic Faith, in the combat that divine Providence
requires of us, without our succumbing to fatigue, weakness, or the siren
song of legality. What our Lord requires is martyrdom endured drop
by drop, and a clear and simple profession of Catholic Faith without compromising
with the modernists in the Vatican. The Pope, yes; legality, yes;
but above all, respond to God's clear call to the combat of the faith.
The day the Pope really converts, it will appear more clearly than the
light of day. Obviously, it is not by kissing the Koran or by going to
pray in a mosque that he manifests this conversion. (...)
of the Traditional Benedictines
Father Thomas Aquinas, O.S.B.
Prior of Holy Cross Monastery,
Nova Friburgo, Brazil
4 December 2001 - Bulletin No.
We share entirely the fears of
Mgr Fellay and of the whole Society of St Pius X as well as of the whole
family of Tradition throughout the world as we see our friends in Campos
engaged in coming to an agreement with Rome without the doctrinal question
having been resolved. That which Mgr Fellay refused is about to be
accepted or has already been accepted by Campos. The Society of St Pius
X has had ample opportunity to learn the ideas and intentions of Rome.
If it wanted to, Campos could profit from this experience. But it must
want to do so. Let us pray for our friends, our brothers-in-arms in so
many battles. Have they forgotten these words of Mgr Lefebvre: 'Prepare
yourselves for a combat which will last a long time?' The combat will
be long. 'Rome' is not yet converted. Pius XII predicted that the principal
temptation for Catholics in the years to come would be weariness. Let
us not become weary of the fight that we might be able one day to say
with St Paul: 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the Faith' (2 Tim 4: 7). Nor should we weary of praying for
Campos, for its priests and its faithful, that their combat might be equally
marked by zeal and prudence."
by the traditional transalpine Redemptorists Fathers
Catholic, March 2002 - Golgotha
Monastery Island, Papa Stronsay, Orkney Isles, Scotland, UK KW17 2AR
On 22 August, 1999, the priests
of Campos declared:
"There is not, on our part,
a systematic refusal of submission to the pope and the bishops. We absolutely
reject any intention, desire for, or spirit of schism. We constitute no
'Lefebvrist' or 'traditionalist' party. We are apostolic Roman Catholics.
We repeat: our resistance to the ecclesiastical authorities is circumstantial,
temporary, and limited to those points on which those same authorities
distance themselves from the doctrine of all times. When the ecclesiastical
authorities return without condition to teaching and doing that which
the Church has always taught and done, we ... will all be at the complete
disposition of those same authorities." (Catholic, Apostolic and
These words could not better sum
up our own position and that of all Traditionalists.
The ecclesiastical authorities
have not returned "without condition to teaching and doing that which
the Church has always taught and done"; Assisi II is proof enough
of that. And yet, we are saddened to note that the authors of this declaration
have now put themselves at "the complete disposition of those same
We do not think that their case
can be compared adequately with that of Dom Gerard and Le Barroux, or
of Fr Bisig and the Society of St Peter. (...) We share wholeheartedly
the views expressed by His Lordship, Bishop Fellay in his statement of
16 January. Only time will tell whether the Priestly Union of St Jean-Marie
Vianney will remain true to the principles of Bishop de Castro Mayer or
simply come to guarantee the pluralism in the Conciliar Church.
General's Message of March 1st, 2002
This document, dated March 1, 2002
is published by D.I.C.I., a news agency set up by the Society of St Pius
X and posted on the Internet. D.I.C.I, is for now available only in French
(wwvv.le-combat-catholique.com). It is possible also to send them
mail at the following address: Service de Presse DICI, Schwandegg CH -
6313 MENZINGEN. Communicantes translated this important message
of Bishop Fellay for you. It specifies and completes the declaration dated
The coincidence, not many days
ago, of the recognition of Campos by Rome, which some think was a recognition
of Tradition, and of the meeting at Assisi, which is to an extreme degree
opposed to Tradition, presents such a contradiction that it obliges us
to give it our profound attention; the systematic demolition of all that
is traditional in the Church since the Second Vatican Council implies
a logical coherence in the task undertaken. Before hailing the recognition
of Campos as a return of Rome to Tradition, we are obliged to ask ourselves
if this event could not also, must not also, be inserted in the post-conciliar
logic: and precisely the meeting at Assisi furnishes a convincing argument
in favour of this possibility. If post-conciliar Rome is capable of reuniting
so many religions, one could even say all the religions, for a common
religious cause, why couldn't it also find a small place for Tradition?
Should we see in this a dilemma
for Rome: resolve the "schism of Tradition" in accepting it,
whereas the latter has proved itself until now exclusive and condemning
(and thus accept that they are right as opposed to modernist Rome) or
continue in the line of the reforms? Quite obviously, the line of the
reforms is maintained as an intangible and irreversible principle. Thus,
the condition that Rome must set down for the acceptance of a traditional
movement is the general accepting of the Council (one could discuss the
nuances and certain conclusions). It is the necessary step. It is the
entering into pluralism under the appearances of being recognised by Rome,
that is imposed, and not the return of the conciliar Church to Tradition.
Cardinal Castrillon reproached me for this argument. It would not be in
the name of pluralism that Rome desires our return, they would not wish
to place us in a pluralistic situation. But nevertheless.
The conditions for the realisation
of this new prodigy had been expressed by Cardinal Ratzinger, acting in
the Camposian agreement from before the beginning of the discussions,
first in an article of 30 Days in autumn of 2000, then in the Nef,
and finally at Campos, during a press conference, January 19, 2002.
Moreover, the papal theologian, Father Cottier, had not used any other
argument: the acceptance of the Council is manifestly the major and determining
point (afterwards will come the acceptance of the New Mass). It is the
principle from which started the revolution in the Church, and in fact
all the rest follows. In view of this fact, it seems to me that we find
ourselves before another ambiguity with regard to the conciliar Church:
when we declare to accept the Council with restrictions (to refuse that
which is contrary to perpetual teaching, to interpret the ambiguous in
the light of Tradition, to accept what was always taught) it highly appears
that we say something completely different than what is understood by
the Romans. Because fundamentally, we consider the Council as the great
catastrophe of the 20th century, the cause of immeasurable
harm done to the Church and to souls, while they see it as the great miracle
of the 20th century, the revitalising of the Church.
All the rest follows: Father Cottier
announces the next step that "they" expect from Campos: the
concelebration of the New Mass, of course. And Mgr. Perl says that this
will be done piano piano, little by little. Piano piano, the
priests and the faithful of Campos will return to the diocese and to the
post-conciliar "Church". He also foresees that this will be
done rather quickly, however. We cannot attribute these thoughts of Mgr.
Perl as being solely inspired by a vengeance for having been excluded
from the negotiations: it is the prevailing thought of conciliar Rome.
Campos does not wish to see this.
The reality will present itself very soon, probably too late. They still
think that on the part of Rome, it is the recognition of Tradition. Whereas
the opposite has just happened. A part of Tradition, a traditional movement,
has accepted, with some reserve, of course, the post-conciliar reality.
Rome considers the step sufficient. It must also be remarked that for
the first time, a non-dogmatic Council has been set up as criteria for
We await the publication of the
definitive statutes of the apostolic Administration, which have not yet
been given to those concerned. Having been read the eve of January 18th
to the priests of Campos, the text was brought to Rome for amelioration.
One thing was missing, only the traditional Mass and breviary had been
provided for, there remained the sacraments.
Concerning the nominations of the
bishops of the Administration, it is dealt with by common law. For the
nomination of diocesan bishops, the Vatican is not obliged to choose a
priest of the diocese. For an administration consisting of 25 priests,
one can easily understand that Rome does not wish to be bound by such
a limitation. If the immediate successor of Bishop Rangel would be chosen
again from amongst the members of the priestly Union of Saint John Mary
Vianney, which is not certain, it would come from a special "mercy"
and would be diplomatic. It should also be noted that the territorial
limits of this personal apostolic Administration are very restricted:
the diocese of Campos. So the return to the diocese, that was predicted
by Mgr. Perl, will not be difficult.
We avow that we do not understand,
in the situation in which we live, how Campos could have so rashly launched
into this venture, without requesting or taking the least protective measure.
Whatever one may say to praise
the advantages acquired through this new canonical structure, for example
the right to the traditional Mass, a traditional bishop, also, the fact
that on paper, nothing substantial would have been abandoned: the fragility
of the Administration on the one hand, the stability of the reforming
Vatican system on the other hand are sufficient arguments to predict the
fall of Campos in spite of all the declarations of the best intentions.
Furthermore, one must clearly distinguish between a lack of the virtue
of faith itself, and a failing in the public confession of faith which
is so necessary in certain circumstances, as Bishop de Castro Mayer so
well remembered on the day of the episcopal consecrations. And yet a prevarication
such as that of Assisi calls for this public confession... which we have
not heard coming from Campos.
The situation will not regain a
particular interest for us unless all of a sudden they begin to resist
and arrive therefrom at a confrontation with modernist Rome.