Newsletter of the District
Years to the Millenium
Thomas Aquinas Seminary
1, Box 97A-1
Winona, Minnesota 55987
and Benefactors, As this calendar year draws to its close, we are
only the space of three years from the third Millennium after Christ.
Now Christ does not change, but the times they are a-changing, dramatically.
The 1990’s are no longer the 1970’s when the Society of St. Pius
X began, still less are they the 1950’s which, from before Vatican
II, look to us today like another world. What then might the 2,000’s
be? Here are several certainties and a few guesses, in answer to
the questions coming mostly from readers: --
Q: Is the
crisis in the Church and world showing any sign of letting up?
A: No, on
the contrary. And grave though the world crisis is, the Church
crisis is incomparably worse because the Catholic Church is meant
to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. As that
salt loses its savour, so it is trodden underfoot (Mt. V, 13), and
as the light grows weaker, so the world is plunged in darkness.
Towards the end of Prof. Romano Amerio’s careful and profound analysis
in “Iota Unum”, published in 1984, of the errors constituting this
crisis of the Church, he wrote that if it is true that the nature
of the Catholic Church is now being overthrown from within, “then
we are headed for a formless darkness that will make analysis and
forecast impossible, and in the face of which there will be no alternative
but to keep silence”.
Q: Do you
agree with this dark judgment on our future?
A: Not entirely.
The nature of the Church can be neither changed nor overthrown,
nor can truth be at a loss to analyze error, nor will the truth
be silenced. But the Professor is well expressing how without precedent
the darkness is that is engulfing the Church.
you give a few examples, at various levels of the church?
From top to bottom. For instance, the Pope has recently
re-enforced the key dogma of secular humanism by declaring that
evolution is “more than just a hypothesis”, or theory. He is wildly
wrong. The theory of evolution is today discredited as unproven
by more and more real scientists i.e. scientists who respect reality.
down, inside the Vatican “a very powerful group” of top-level
churchmen celebrate Satanist rituals, according to the well-informed
Malachi Martin. (For parallel horrors in the Old Testament, see
for Catholic bishops, as an American ex-diocesan priest told
me who is speaking from hands-on experience, conservative bishops
who are not modernist in their ideas run into head-on trouble if
they try to confront the heresy, immorality, irreverence, etc.,
rampant in their dioceses, so to lead a quiet life they compromise,
which eats away their character, making them finally into caricatures
for young priests who are traditionally minded, according
to a conservative American Catholic magazine one year ago, they
hold onto the Faith as best they can, feeling as though they are
“waiting for the cavalry to come”, but then they find themselves
stabbed in the back by, for instance, Rome’s approval of altar-girls,
all of which leaves them to conclude, “There ain’t no cavalry”.
the laity are being prepared by flyers from, for instance,
the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, for “ Sunday Celebration
in the Absence of a Priest”, SCAPs in English , ADAPs in French
("Assistance Dominicale en l’Absence d’un
Pretre"), and thus the Catholic Church worldwide is
being ruined (No Mass, no Church, bragged Luther).
But how can God be allowing His own Church to fall to pieces like
Because He chooses so to leave to His churchmen their free-will
that those who serve the Church well will greatly merit, while out
of the evil wrought by the rest of them He has from eternity planned
to bring forth a greater good. Out of the present purification
of the Church, or end of her 5th Age, will come the Triumph of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary, which looks like being the Catholic Church’s
last and greatest peaceful triumph (6th Age) before her final and
most terrible persecution under the Antichrist (7th and last Age).
So we are not today living in the days of the Antichrist?
No, but we are living in days very like them, because just as the
long-drawn out 5th Age of Apostasy (from Luther to today) is now
finally corrupting the long-drawn out 4th Age of Christendom (the
1,000 year Middle Ages), so the swift 7th Age of the Antichrist
will corrupt the swift 6th Age of Mary’s triumph. Today we are
living through “the end of times”, in Greek “kairoi”, not “chronoi”,
i.e. the end of 2, 000 years of opportunities for Gentiles
to enter the Catholic Church, but after this end of times (5th Age)
there is still a way to go to the end of the world (7th Age). If
you think this “end of times” is painful, pray not to have to live
through the end of the world!
But how much longer will this “end of times” drag on?
That is God’s secret. Longer, I fear, than we might wish. Some
Catholic prophecies speak of a virtual eclipse of the Church, but
that seems not to have happened yet. Her structures are still,
apparently, standing. The darkness should then be darker yet before
But can one be sure that there will be a dawn?
Absolutely. Back in the 17th century the Sacred Heart told St.
Margaret Mary that his enemies will be overthrown just as they think
they are on the brink of triumphing. Certainly the Judeo-masons
consider they are today very close to total world control. The
astonishing thing is how much use Our Lord will make of mere men
to overthrow them. It will be a wonder to watch: like St. Joan
of Arc, only on a much grander scale. But we must pray more, for
God to intervene.
Meanwhile, do you not think the darkness is such as to have taken
away our Popes? Is it not logical to think that recent Popes, have
been so bad that they cannot have been popes at all?
I think it is only logical if you exaggerate papal infallibility,
as do both liberals and sedevacantists. Both say, popes are infallible
and recent popes are liberal. The liberals conclude, therefore
we must be liberal. The sedevacantists conclude, therefore these
“popes” are not popes. Oscar Wilde said, sentimentality is the
bank-holiday of cynicism (prolonged holiday today!). Similarly,
sedevacantism is the reverse side of liberalism. Admittedly, this
is the Church’s worst crisis ever. Nevertheless, Church history
indicates how far Our Lord can go in allowing his Vicars to err
while he works around their errors to prevent them from destroying
the Church. True, the pope leads the Church. But the Church is
greater than the pope. Sedevacantists are like liberals in almost
reducing the Church to the pope.
But if the SSPX refuses sedevacantism and recognizes that these
liberal popes are popes, how can it disobey their orders?
Because the Catholic Church is greater than the pope, and so when
a pope by word or deed (1) disserves the Church (2) gravely, then
for the sake of the Church, i.e. out of a higher obedience to God,
Catholics may, and sometimes even must, “disobey the “ the Pope.
But disservice must be (1) real, i.e. to “disobey” we only have
the right if we are right, and (2) it must be grave, i.e.
Catholics should not even seem to break Catholic unity unless there
is serious cause. Neo-modernism is serious cause.
But if you “disobey” the Pope, how can you still recognize him as
Because the pope can make serious errors without ceasing to be pope.
The liberals follow the pope when he is right and still follow him
when he is gravely wrong. The sedevacantists refuse to follow him
when he is wrong and refuse to follow him (do not recognize him)
when he is right. Catholic common sense follows him when he is
right and refuses to follow him when he is gravely wrong , but that
need not mean not recognizing him as Pope.
But how can the SSPX set itself up to pick and choose when it obeys
or “disobeys”? How can mere Catholics sift words and deeds of popes?
Because mere Catholics have nearly 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition
available to them by which to judge when any Catholic, from pope
down to layman, is serving or gravely disserving the Church. The
presumption is always in favour of authority, but if an angel from
heaven brings me some new doctrine other than that which Catholics
have always received, then I must anathematize or reject that angel,
teaches St. Paul, word of God (Gal. I,8). And if I may and sometimes
must reject an angel from heaven, all the more may I and sometimes
must I reject a pope on earth. And how can I tell when I must do
so, except by sifting his doctrine in comparison with what the Church
has always taught? If I am right, I have
Well, might you believe in the “Jovite” solution, that there has
been a secretly and divinely consecrated Pope?
No. The Catholic Church has to be visible (How could God oblige
on pain of damnation men to adhere to a church they could not see?).
The Church might consecrate bishops secretly, for
special reasons, for instance of persecution, but in no way could
the Pope be appointed secretly on whom the whole Church depends.
His appointment must be visible, even if, in the near future, it
may in some way need to be miraculous.
Then what do you see concerning the next Conclave to elect a Pope?
Malachi Martin is saying that, “short of a miracle”, John Paul II
will die or be replaced within a year by someone who will co-operate
with the New World Order and with their agenda of control of population
Surely the next Conclave will significantly darken the Church.
John Paul II may have such faults as Pope as to at least partly
excuse the distress reaction of sedevacantism, but just let sedevacantists
see John-Paul’s II successor! Then they may think John-Paul II
was an angel in comparison! They must admit that it is to John
Paul’s credit that (as Malachi Martin tells us) the globalist churchmen
want him out of the way, pushing him to resign if he will not die.
Inadequate though he may have been as Pope, objectively speaking,
things are set to be worse without him. It is possible to imagine
the See of Rome becoming truly vacant.
Why? Do you think the next conclave to elect a pope will not be
Possibly. An invalid election has certainly been made easier by
one of the recent changes in the rules for electing a pope. From
1179 until earlier this year a two-thirds majority of the Cardinals
voting was required, but now a pope may be elected by a one-vote
majority, making his election potentially as dubious as any one
of the votes electing him. Did the liberals now in power in Rome
make this change to facilitate the election of one of their own
men? Or do they envisage undermining the one-man rule of the Church,
instituted by Our Lord because an individual man can always let
himself be moved by God’s grace to block their plans, whereas some
more or less democratic substitute like a Cardinal’s Committee will
always be subject to control by themselves? Interesting speculation.
But would not such a dissolution of the papacy be the end of the
Such an eclipse of the Papacy would surely bring on the virtual
eclipse of the Church mentioned earlier. But man proposes, God
disposes. Just suppose a globalist pope is dubiously elected at
the next conclave, thanks to the unwisely loosened rules. It is
easy to imagine a parallel with the introduction of the Novus Ordo
missal in 1969. Back then, a Catholic had to love the Mass to take
the trouble of examining the legislation supposedly mandating the
new missal, but if he did take the trouble, sure enough, he found
the legislation was so flawed that the new missal is not in fact
mandatory. Similarly tomorrow, it may take a Catholic who loves
the papacy to question the new “pope” acclaimed by the vile media
and accepted by nearly all “Catholics”, but if, thanks to the new
rules’ looseness, the election will have been a fraud, God will
have left enough evidence for souls of good will to see clearly
that it is a fraud.
But is that not all sheer speculation?
Indeed. However it is certain that the New Mass legislation put
Catholics to the test back in 1969, and most were found wanting,
and that is a pattern being repeated in this crisis of the Church.
The liberals are masters of the appearances, and Catholics who content
themselves with appearances are letting themselves be constantly
deceived. The Lord God wants substance from us and not just appearances.
Only those who really seek the truth will find it.
Are you saying that the mass of Catholics today do not truly love
God? How dare you?
Look at the fruits. How many “ Catholics” today behave--actions
speak louder than words- like Catholics behaved 50 years ago? On
the contrary, how many “Catholics” today behave just like their
Protestant or secular humanist neighbours? For instance, are not
abortions statistically as common against Catholics as amongst non-Catholics?
But if Catholics were so good 50 years ago how are they so bad today?
Maybe they were not that good. Here is how an American Catholic
wrote to me of Catholicism as she knew it before Vatican II: “In
the 1940’s and 1950’s emotionalism, or devotion, was our religion.
It filled our churches for Mass and Novena services. Our Church
on Grand Avenue had seven or eight novena services every day and
as one service emptied out, the line was backed up in the street
to get in for the next service. Yet with all of that we were not
practicing our religion. Protestants gave better
example than we did, especially in the parking lot after Mass...
I understand now how saccharine all of this was”.
Do you think that that is a fair description of pre-Council Catholicism?
Judging by the fruits, I am afraid so, to a great extent. How else
could the Church so have collapsed in the 1960’s Our Lord quotes
“ the great commandment in the Law” thus: “Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and
with thy whole mind” (Mt. XXII,37). Catholics cannot afford
to be sentimental, like the post-Protestant culture all around them.
If they are, the Devil will snatch their minds to mislead their
Do you see a danger of “ Fiftiesism” amongst what are called “Traditional
Yes, alas. The same causes produce the same effects. The same
modern world that made so many Catholics of the 1950’s give the
appearances and their sentiments to God while they gave the substance
with their minds to the Devil, is with us today, all around us,
even more so. After all, ever since Protestantism, to give the
appearances to God and the substance to the Devil has been the classic
way of resolving the tension between them as they struggle for our
souls. Hypocrisy is the hall-mark of the Age of Apostasy - “I know
thy works , that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art
dead” (Apoc. III, 1). In the 1900’s it was modernism. In the 1950’s
it was Neo-modernism. In the 1990’s and 2000’s the Devil is sure
to be finding new ways of our giving the appearances to “Tradition”
while our minds and hearts go dancing with the world. He has no
shortage of devices up his sleeve, where the Fraternity of St. Peter
and the Indult Mass came from.
Then nobody should attend the Indult Mass?
The Indult Mass, like the Fraternity of St. Peter, has the official
Church’s approval for one purpose only, to keep respectively Mass-goers
and vocations away from the Society of St. Pius X, in order thereby
to separate them eventually from their Catholic Faith. For a mouse
to try nibbling the cheese off a mouse-trap without springing the
trap is at best a risky affair.
But what about souls on their way out of the Novus Ordo? May they
not attend the Indult Mass?
You are right. What neo-modernist Rome designed as half-way houses
into the Novus Ordo can serve as half-way houses out of it.
Thus for someone in the mud at the bottom of a well, a niche in
the wall half-way up is half-way to the sunlight, but for somebody
out in the sunlight that same niche is half-way down to the mud.
Anybody in the sunlight of the Tridentine Mass untrammeled by neo-modernist
Rome needs his head examining if he climbs down to the niche of
the Indult Mass, half-way down to the mud of the Novus Ordo.
But does not Michael Davies say that attending the Novus Ordo Mass
fulfills one’s Sunday duty? And that Archbishop Lefebvre said the
When Michael Davies says it, it is because he claims that the official
promulgated Novus Ordo Mass cannot be intrinsically evil, otherwise
the Catholic Church would be defectible. When Archbishop Lefebvre
said it, he meant that the Novus Ordo Mass is objectively and intrinsically
evil, but Catholics unaware of, or disbelieving in, that evil, because
of the rite’s official promulgation , may subjectively fulfill their
Sunday duty by attending the new Mass. The third Commandment says,
thou shat keep the Sabbath holy, not, thou shalt attend a semi-Protestant
Then how do you answer Michael Davies’ argument that if the Pope
had officially promulgated a sacramental rite intrinsically harmful
to the Faith, then the Church would have defected, which is impossible,
because the Church is indefectible?
That is a delicate question, but see nine answers back, concerning
the legislation which "enforced” the new rite of Mass: it appeared
mandatory but it was not. Now the doctrinal ambiguity and the disciplinary
looseness (opening to wide alternatives) intrinsic to the new rite
are bad enough to condemn it as intrinsically evil for a sacramental
rite, but they are not bad enough to undermine the Church’s indefectibility
so long as they are not mandatorily imposed upon Catholics.
(It is sometimes fortunate that at least in their theory liberals
are not given to commanding!)
But Michael Davies says the Society of St. Pius X has no competent
He is quite right that the Society priests (and bishops) have almost
no doctorates or licentiates from the official Church in philosophy
or theology or canon law. However, they do have, following Archbishop
Lefebvre, a sense of the Catholic Faith whereby they grasp the gravity
of this crisis in the Church requiring old rules to be applied in
new ways beyond most books of theology or law from which those doctors
studied whom Michael Davies appreciates. After all, had those doctors
grasped the crisis, would it be here? Some of them to this day
say there is no crisis! Learned men can be blind!
But should not the Society of St. Pius X at least be in dialogue
You cannot dialogue with persons who share none of your basic principles.
Right up until the spring of 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre charitably
assumed that the Roman churchmen wanted to defend the Catholic Faith
of souls, and so he engaged for thirteen years in hand-to-hand discussions
with them, but when in the summer of 1988 their actions made it
clear beyond doubt that the unchanging Faith of souls was not their
concern, then he gave up discussing, and took definitive action
to guarantee the Faith’s interim defense, God willing, until Rome
comes to its Catholic senses. The disagreement had finally showed
itself to be too basic for dialogue to be continued.
So the Society of St. Pius X wants Rome to return to the old religion,
so to speak. What does Rome want of the Society of St. Pius X?
Ask them. Our understanding is that they want us to blend into
the new religion of the New World Order.
Well, a conservative Catholic magazine here in the USA said that
the Society of St. Pius X in ten years will not be so stoutly affirming
papal primacy, and that the Society of St. Pius X will probably
not then be intact.
Time will tell. If the Society of St. Pius X is faithful, the magazine
will be wrong on both counts.
The magazine also said that it would take only one of the Society
of St. Pius X leaders to break ranks and join Rome for the SSPX-Rome
division to come to an end.
How little the magazine understands! The division is not personal.
The problem is not between leaders personally. In 1988 an outstanding
Traditional leader, Dom Gerard of Barroux, went over to Rome. He
made Archbishop Lefebvre weep, but the problem was unchanged. If
the Pope and the Cardinals were to come back to the fullness of
the true Faith tomorrow, the Judeo-masons would simply start all
over again to capture the Vatican for globalism the day after.
Conversely, if all half dozen or so present Society of St. Pius
X leaders were to go over to Rome, like Dom Gerard, the best of
the Society of St. Pius X priests and laity might weep but they
would refuse to follow. And if all men were, extraordinarily, to
abandon the Truth, then Our Lord says the stones in the street would
cry out (Lk. XIX, 40). The problem is neither leaders, nor politics,
nor egos, nor canon law, nor personalities, nor diplomacy, nor misunderstandings,
nor lack of dialogue, but the clash between, on the one side, the
Way, the Truth and the Life, and on the other side the Father of
lies, Satan. Men may shift in that clash from one side to the other,
but the clash is eternal and it is not matter for any kind of conciliation.
So be it. But then would not the Society of St. Pius X strengthen
its position by gathering together all Traditional priests? Why
can’t we have unity? Why can’t Traditional priests stop fighting
Because Catholic unity requires not only the Faith but also authority.
As Fr. Calmel said at the onset of the present crisis, any such
association “ which would profess to be OF the Church but would
be neither diocese, nor archdiocese nor parish nor a religious order
.... would be artificial, man-made and foreign to the established
and recognized groups within the Church. As with all groupings,
it would be faced with the problem of leadership and authority and
all the more acutely the larger it was. It wouldn’t take long for
it to be faced with the question of authority; being artificial
(and thus not an association according to nature or grace) it would
find the question of authority insoluble. Rival groups would soon
arise... Conflict would become inevitable and between these rival
groups there would be no canonical means to put an end to this conflict
nor even to conduct it”. Traditional Catholics would be wise to
be grateful for the remarkable degree of unity given to them world-wide
by the Faith they share, and to cease complaining of the lack of
unity caused by the lack of authority. Let them pray for the Pope
and for the Church’s hierarchy, and as for the rest, let them endure
what they cannot cure.
Then the situation is hopeless?
No, says Fr. Calmel, because we know Our Lord will be with his Church
to the end of the world (Mt. XXVIII, 20). So even if Church hierarchical
authority is steadily being eroded, he says, still each of us at
our own level, priest or nun or laymen, should exercise what authority
he has in order to form bastions of sanctity on however small a
scale, which should stay in touch with one another to prepare for
the Church’s revival when it pleases Our Lord, but which should
not seek to form world-wide organizations “which would find the
problem of leadership insoluble”.
But our struggle is very lonely. Can we not then co-operate with
good Protestants, for instance in the fight against abortion or
against corruption in politics?
Be careful .... Abortion and today’s corrupt politics are poisoned
fruits but not the poisonous roots of the Great Apostasy, which
began with Protestantism. So however good the best of Protestants
appear on the surface, deep down they are part of the problem, which
is why they are apt to turn to politics as a solution. Sin is the
problem. Grace is the solution. The only grace is Jesus Christ
which comes to men essentially through the Catholic Church. No
intelligent Catholic will today spend much effort on any action
which does not more or less directly rebuild the Catholic Church:
“bastions of sanctity (supernatural)”, family, mission, chapel,
school, parish, such as the Catholic Church has always built. The
Church has also built Catholic States, but that supposes a sufficient
number of enlightened Catholics, which we do not have today. Now
to form such Catholics! That is action worth attempting!
Order doctrinal audio - or video-tapes from the Seminary to start
study groups going. How can men demand action, or look for action
without having first thought out what action is really necessary?
For instance to kill abortionists might be tempting as action to
take, to remove grave enemies of the State when its competent authorities
refuse to remove them. But the disorder of citizens taking the
law into their own hands normally disrupts society more than the
continued activity of such criminals. Catholic action needs to
be well thought out.
Do you mean a Catholic can never resort to force? Not even if the
State violates his family, as wicked states are more and more threatening
The Church has always taught that a man has the right (and maybe,
but not necessarily, the duty) to use proportionate force to repel
violence or the threat of violence against the person, honour, property
of himself or those for whom he is responsible. If a modern State
closes in on a man’s family, it is that man’s responsibility before
God to judge whether his using the right is a lesser evil than not
using it. In any case, force is not always wrong, especially not
defensive force. Therefore there is nothing wrong in owning weapons
to be able eventually to exercise such force.
And supposing homosexuality or divorce break in on the family?
Each case is different and must be handled individually, especially
today when the general break-down of morals means that people may
not be subjectively aware of what they are objectively doing. However,
God’s law does not change and all men have a God-given conscience,
and it is no kindness to souls to put cushions under their bad consciences.
To be kind to divorce means being unkind to lawful marriage, which
means being unkind, yes, to children, who are the ones who suffer
from the breakdown of lawful marriage. Similarly, to condone homosexuality,
one of the four sins crying to Heaven for vengeance, is, objectively,
to mock Heaven or to mock God, and it is to help undermine society,
the survival of which depends, obviously, on the normal exercise
of the reproductive function.
But why is society so important? Is it not the individual that
Yes, but God made the human individual to live in society so that
if society breaks down, all the individuals suffer. In fact the
common good over-rides the individual good, as men recognize when
they sign up to fight and maybe die for their country. But liberalism
makes the individual sacrosanct, which is why we have for instance
these absurd “rights” and law-suits turning society into dissociety
all around us. There is a common good which I undermine by being
kind to guilty divorcees or to unrepentant homosexuals. Catholics
get “charity” all wrong if like everyone around them they ignore
the common good.
Then Professor Amerio was right after all - let us relapse into
It is true that our circumstances are very difficult , but God does
not ask us to conquer, He asks us to give battle, and then He, as
St. Joan of Arc says, gives the victory. If in His inscrutable
wisdom He has given to Catholics of the 5th Age to fight a 500-year
rearguard action, which may soon be over but is not over yet, then
that is what it is appointed for us to do. Had Catholics not fought
during that half-millennium, it would have been over much sooner,
but they would not have gained Heaven. We need not keep silence
until it is forced upon us. Truth carries. So each of us in his
own station in life must give witness to that unchanging Truth of
Our Lord Jesus Christ which we have received from the Church and
which alone can save our souls for eternity. Martyr and witness
are in Greek the same word. We should not be surprised if living
in our lives to give witness to the Truth seems equivalent to a
martyrdom - “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute
you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake;
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For
so they persecuted the prophets that were before you” (Mt. V, 11,
friends and benefactors, take plenty of courage, and have a Happy
Christmas and New Year. Remember the Seminary audio and video-tapes
for Christmas presents, or presents at any time of year, to get
the Church’s Truth into circulation.
May God bless
you, and Our Lady protect you.
+ Richard N.