Newsletter of the District of Asia

 March-April 2000

“I am now ready to be sacrificed and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith. As to the rest, there is laid for me a crown of justice which the Lord, the just Judge will render to me in that day, and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming” (II Tim, 4, 6-7)

ur dear and valiant Bishop Salvador L. Lazo, the little Filipino bishop who has sent tremors as far as Rome the day he returned to the Faith and Mass of his ordination, left us, in the early hours of April 11, 2000, for the eternal life. And the just will go to the eternal life (Mt. XXV, 46).

e was the only Bishop among all the Bishops of the world since Vatican II who accepted the grace to say: Sorry! Sorry! I have been led astray! Sorry, this New Mass, which I have mistakenly been saying for 25 years, is favoring Protestantism, is not the True Mass! Sorry! The path in which the Holy Church is involved, is the wrong path!

any Bishops, I am sure, felt that same grace over the years. The Divine Sower is always sowing the seed of His grace. The Church is His Mystical Body, it pulses with His Precious Blood, distributed in all the living members and offered to all the others by His Sacred Heart. But that seed needs good ground to grow and bring forth fruit. How many bishops in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II saw that the Church was engaging in the wrong course? Archbishop Lefebvre had 454 of them sign the petition to have communism condemned; 74 Council Fathers refused to sign the Declaration on religious liberty. What happened to them after the Council? If Archbishop Lefebvre fought a lonely battle for over a decade (Bishop de Castro Mayer, in Campos, Brazil, joined the fight publicly in 1983), and achieved so much, by the grace of God, what would 5 or 10 or 50 bishops not have done? It sure is a mystery to think of all these good bishops of the Coetus Internationalis Patrum vanishing in the later part of the 1960s: some retired, some were replaced, many died, many gave up the fight. The fowls of the air devored in a few years, sometimes in a few months, all the good work they had done for decades in their dioceses. One can think of the great Irish dioceses, of Dublin, in particular, given to the world as the model diocese in about 1965. In 1972, a mere seven years later, Ireland, without any fierce opposition on the part of its Prelates, Ireland, Catholic at 85% then, ceased to recognize the Catholic Religion as the religion of the majority and introduced the concept of the pluralistic, Masonic state, where truth and error, Christ and Belial, light and darkness, are put at an equal footing. Jesus and Barrabas on the same balcony: choose as you wish. The result is too well known, because “… the imagination and thought of man’s heart is prone to evil from his youth” (Gen. 8, 21).

Bishop Lazo (main), Archbishop Lefebvre (lower left) and Bishop de Castro Mayer (lower right)


hen, in the following years, the old guard being gone, or dying out, other bishops, even Cardinals, even the Pope, saw that there was a problem. The infamous smoke of Satan, through which the mirage of a New Church born of a new Pentecost caught every bishop’s eye, was nevertheless noticed by not a few. They felt uneasy. Some even wrote about it. This troubled soul is, teaches St Ignatius, the clear action of the Good Spirit, on those souls who, either live in sin or live in lukewarmness: the Good Spirit pokes their conscience, troubles them to try to bring them out of this false peace into which they are being lured. “From the least of them even to the greatest, all are given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, all are guilty of deceit. And they healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace, and there was no peace” (Jer. 6, 13-14). Here, the Divine seed fell upon rocky, bushy, thorny ground. It did spring up a little, but it either withered away, because it had no moisture, or else it was choked up by the thorns. Our Blessed Lord explains these details of the parable as signifying a lack of roots or the cares and riches and pleasures of this life.

ere we come to the soul of Bishop Lazo. All of us, his priests in particular, those who were blessed to witness the miracle of his profound conversion, those who were privileged to meet him, to live with him at home or travel with him around the world, and those four priests who got the singular grace to assist him at his last moments, all of us can testify to his humility (here are the roots) and his poverty, poverty in spirit and in reality, his detachment from the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. This is no doubt why the Divine seed, that powerful grace given to him in 1995 through the reading of good books, fell on good ground and brought forth fruit in abundance.

lessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God (Mt. 5, 3) I would dare here to draw a parallel between the poverty of Bishop Lazo and the poverty of St Pius X. There is a great similitude between the two. It was his love of poverty, in the imitation of Christ, that gave St Pius X one of his most difficult victories: the victory over the French Freemasons who wanted to subdue the Catholic Church to their evil goals. The French government had put its cards on the Papal table: either you accept our proposal of the associations cultuelles (actually it was exactly what we now see in so many places today: parishes, dioceses run by a committee of clergy and lay people), or else, we shall confiscate all Church property in France. This meant that all the churches, presbyteries, Catholic schools, hospitals, institutions of all sorts owned by the Church would be confiscated by the French State. “All these I will give you, if falling down thou wilt adore me” (Mt.4, 9).

ius X, Saint Pius X, the last canonized pope, replied: “Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because that hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8, 20). It was the decision that saved France, that rallied all the Catholics around the See of Peter and defeated the enemies of the Church. They themselves admitted it in Parliament: “We had expected everything, but not that.” They were not used to dealing with real Saints. This saintly Pope had no time for the golden calf.

uch was also Bishop Lazo. His poverty saved him. Poverty, here, at its peek, reaches humility, at its summit. He retired in 1993 from his diocese of San Fernando de La Union, and with his sister, he built a little house in a suburb of Manila. He had not much, very little in fact, but he had seen the profound corruption caused by material goods in the clergy and he fought it silently by his spirit of poverty, lived in his own house.

hen the news of his return to Tradition reached the Hierarchy, the assault against him was not a doctrinal one. No one, from the Nuncio, through Cardinal Sin, down to his many confreres in the episcopacy, tackled him on his Declaration of May 21, 1998. One does not argue with St Paul’s logic and lists of those who ”cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven”. Bishop Lazo’s Declaration was thoroughly pauline. So, the bait chosen to bring him back to line, to the party line, the line of the CBCP, the line of the ‘Second Vatican Catastrophe’, as a reporter wrote recently, was the worldly one: “Your Excellency, do you need mass stipends? medical insurance? food? money?” He was even offered a position in Manila’s archdiocese! Those clerics who made such offers didn’t know Salvador Lazo, whose heart was similar to the heart of a St Cure of Ars. A prelate sent to him even tried the ‘burial’ argument: “Your Excellency, you ought to be buried in your Cathedral of San Fernando. What will happen to you after your death if you stay with the SSPX?” Reply: “I can always be buried in my backyard!”

n fact, he has received a funeral worthy of a true prince of the Catholic Church. Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, flew all the way from Zurich to Manila to give to this courageous bishop, thanks to the 10 priests present, including Father Paul Morgan (who came from the USA) and Fr Thomas Blute (from India), a most beautiful Pontifical Requiem Mass with its five absolutions reserved for V.I.P’s. of the Church and of the State. He is now buried in the church of Our Lady of Victories, in New Manila.

any times we have heard Bishop Lazo stating that if he was trying to alert his fellow bishops to the reality of the crisis in the Church and the remedies to it, it was because he did not want to go to Heaven alone! As we recommend him to the prayers of our readers, let us also continue his struggle, by prayer and by any action offered to us, to awaken here or there a bishop to Tradition to take his place along the side of all those ‘fighting this good fight’.


God bless you.
Fr. Daniel Couture
District Superior

Home | Newsletters | Library | Vocations | History | Links | Search | Contact