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Bp. Dolan’s Anniversary: Celebrating an Influential Apostolate

Most Rev. Daniel L. Dolan

NOVEMBER 30, 2018, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, marked the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecration of the Most. Rev. Daniel L. Dolan by the Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas. We observed the happy occasion at St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, with a splendid Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Bishop Dolan and attended by a dozen priests and two bishops.

The story of how his consecration came to pass, however, is worth telling once again as we celebrate this event.

Our Search for a Bishop

Well before 1993, the year of the consecration, the situation looked bleak for the apostolate of former members of the Society of St. Pius X like me. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre had expelled nine of us from SSPX in 1983 because we opposed his step-by-step program to “reconcile” his organization (even then!) with the heretics in the Vatican, and with the chief heretic of them all, John Paul II. Readers who are unfamiliar with the history of this crisis can consult the then-Father Donald Sanborn’s 1984 article, The Crux of the Matter and my own extensive account of the events, The Nine vs. Lefebvre.

Because Our Lord established the sacraments as the principal ordinary means of salvation for Catholics and since most sacraments require priests to confer them, the question of finding a bishop to ordain future priests for our group weighed heavily on our minds. Virtually every bishop in the world had embraced the religion of Vatican II. The few prelates who were worried about the Council’s effects would not take a public position by ordaining priests, we suspected — still less, by consecrating a bishop.

De Castro-Mayer with Lefebvre

Nevertheless, we charged on, contacting a retired South American bishop and a retired American bishop who had belonged to an Italian missionary order. Fr. Sanborn spearheaded the effort. He met with Bp. Alfred E. Mendez, the former bishop of Arecibo, Puerto Rico (who in 1993 would in fact secretly consecrate a bishop for the SSPV).  We rejected Bp. Mendez because he told Fr. Sanborn he wanted to draw all traditionalists into a sort of “ordinariate” under John Paul II — to become part of the heretical V2 religion under its false popes, in other words. (More facts about Bp. Mendez’s unsuitability would come to light later.)

Fr. Sanborn travelled to Campos, Brazil, to meet with Bishop Antonio de Castro-Mayer to ask him to ordain for us. Bp. de Castro-Mayer, though more of a hard-liner than Abp. Lefebvre, was not a sedevacantist then (he would become one later), so he declined. But he told Fr. Sanborn to “Go to Guérard” — Guérard des Lauriers, a Dominican theologian and one of our former professors at Ecône who had been consecrated a bishop in 1981 by Abp. Pierre-Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc, former archbishop of Hué, Vietnam. Since Guérard was a theologian, Bp. de Castro-Mayer continued, one could be certain that his consecration was valid.

Mgr. Guérard des Lauriers OP

This surprised Fr. Sanborn, because there had been number of controversies concerning Abp. Thuc’s consecrations that had led us discount them as a viable option.

But based on Bp. de Castro-Mayer’s recommendation, we decide to revisit the issue and conducted an extensive investigation, the story of which I told in a post and video, Abp. Thuc: A Conversation with Fr. Cekada. Eight of the original twelve Society of St. Pius V priests would eventually accept the validity of the consecrations.

How Bp. Dolan’s Consecration Came About

In 1989, after our departure from SSPV, Fr. Dolan and I encountered a number of devout traditional Catholic laymen connected with the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), headquartered at Mount St. Michael, a former Jesuit seminary in Spokane WA. CMRI priests derived their orders from Abp. Thuc (whose consecrations we then regarded as unquestionably valid), and subsequent discussion with the Fathers revealed agreement on major theological issues, notably, the new sacraments and the vacancy of the Holy See.

Abp. Ng0-dinh-Thuc

In 1991, Bishop Moises Carmona, head of the Mexican traditionalist organization Trento, asked the 12 CMRI priests to elect one of their number to receive episcopal consecration. Bp. Carmona, a respected pastor and former seminary professor in Acapulco, had himself (like Bp. Guérard des Lauriers) been consecrated a bishop in 1981 by Abp. Thuc.

The CMRI fathers selected Fr. Mark A. Pivarunas, whom Bishop Carmona then duly consecrated. While we were unable to attend the consecration ourselves, I was able to provide some help on rubrical matters in preparation for the extremely complicated ceremony. We were pleased to have Bp. Pivarunas confer confirmations at the old St. Gertrude’s in Sharonville, Ohio. It was a very happy day, because it was first opportunity our faithful had to receive the sacrament since our expulsion from SSPX in the early 1980s.

Since Fr. Dolan not only knew the ex-SSPX milieu in Europe and the States, but was also fluent in French and Spanish, Bp. Pivarunas asked Fr. Dolan to accompany him on his visits to Mexico, France, Belgium and Italy.

In 1992, with a view towards assisting clergy formerly belonging to SSPX, as well as Spanish- and French-speaking traditionalists, Bp. Pivarunas asked Fr. Dolan to receive episcopal consecration. After considerable hesitation, Fr. Dolan agreed in mid-1993.

It was a bold and controversial move for Bp. Pivarunas to make, and an equally bold and controversial proposition for Fr. Dolan to accept. On Bp. Pivarunas’ part, many in CMRI circles were opposed to having anything to do with Lefebvrists, even former ones like ourselves, not only because they regarded us as sell-outs, but also because they questioned the validity of Lefebvre’s ordinations. On Fr. Dolan’s part, many in the former SSPX milieu regarded CMRI as disreputable, or (like the four-priest rump of the SSPV under Fr. Clarence Kelly) continued to raise theologically ignorant objections to Abp. Thuc’s consecrations.

But as subsequent events would prove, both Bp. Pivarunas and the then-Father Dolan had an enormous amount of foresight into the good that could be done in the long run for traditional Catholics.

Bp. Pivaruras at the 1993 consecration.

The November 1993 Consecration

And so, on November 30, 1993, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, during Pontifical High Mass, Bp. Mark A. Pivarunas consecrated Fr. Daniel L. Dolan a bishop during Pontifical High Mass. The rite took three hours, and all the solemnities of the Pontificale Romanum were observed. We took especial care to see that the ceremony was as solemn, splendid and public as possible.A professionally-produced DVD of the consecration is still available.

Seventeen traditional Catholic priests from the U.S., Mexico and Canada participated in the ceremony, along with several hundred Catholics from various parts of the country. Among the latter was a fifteen-year-old high school boy from Michigan, Joseph Selway, who then aspired to the priesthood and who, twenty-five years later, would be consecrated a bishopwith Bp. Dolan serving as one of his co-consecrators.

Bp. Dolan’s consecration made it possible for us to begin forming young men for the priesthood once again. So, in September, 1995, Fr. Sanborn, former Rector of the SSPX seminary in the U.S., founded Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Warren, Michigan, from which it would later move to Brooksville FL, north of Tampa. I joined Fr. Sanborn that year as part-time professor of liturgy and canon law, in between my duties in Cincinnati and the missions we served.

Confirmation in Mexico

Bp. Dolan’s Apostolate

From this beginning, Bp. Dolan’s work eventually spread throughout the world. As a young priest in SSPX, he was an indefatigable traveller when it came to bringing the faith and valid sacraments to Catholics far and wide in the U.S. In SSPX alone, he founded thirty-five chapels and missions before his expulsion with the rest of “The Nine” (as we were called) in April 1983.

As a bishop, he would continue that missionary zeal by assisting faithful Catholics not only in the United States, but in countries throughout the world.

While the average layman who assists at Mass at a sedevacantist chapel may think he is — unlike a parishioner in the Borg-like SSPX Reich — isolated and unconnected with like-minded Catholics elsewhere, this is not necessarily the case, thanks to Bp. Dolan’s work.

Ordination in France

In the bigger picture, though he eschewed founding any grand organization, Bp. Dolan’s cooperative spirit in the apostolate has allowed numerous sedevacantist groups throughout the world to work together — in America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, England, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Australia and Nigeria.

(The closing titles in the linked video of the anniversary Pontifical Mass on this page contains an array of photos, taken over the past twenty-five years, showing Bp. Dolan’s ministrations to faithful Catholics in various parts of the world.)

Bp. Sanborn’s Anniversary Sermon

This was a main point in Bp. Donald Sanborn’s sermon at Bp. Dolan’s twenty-fifth anniversary. He also pointed out that, even as an SSPX seminarian at Ecône in the early 1970s, the young Daniel Dolan was responsible for educating many of us on issues such as the false pope, the invalidity of the Vatican II sacraments, and the dangers of the 1950s liturgical reforms. It was amazing to hear Bp. Sanborn remind us of the many times Bp. Dolan had led others to a correct and coherent resolution of some difficult question Catholics faced in the post-Vatican II era.

Bp. Sanborn also spoke in amazement about how Bp. Dolan never repeats a sermon. They’re all freshly prepared, often begun on the Monday before. Over 42 years, that adds up to about 2700 major (Sunday and Holy Day) sermons about 6500 minor (weekday) sermons — a total of 9200.

I highly recommend  that readers listen to Bp. Sanborn’s sermon in full. It not recounts events in Bp. Dolan’s long and fruitful apostolate, but also provides a coherent overview, both historical and theological, of the motives and mode for our resistance to the Vatican II religion in all its forms. As such, it is invaluable for newcomers to the traditionalist movement, as well as for our younger generation, who may not be familiar with background to our work.

Listen to Bp. Sanborn’s sermon here.

Pontifical Mass and Music

The centerpiece of the anniversary celebration was Pontifical High Mass. The St. Gertrude the Great Choir, under the direction of Joan Lotarski and accompanied by parish organist Andrew Richesson, sang splendidly for the occasion. The music included the festive processional Veni Sancte Spiritus, which was my own composition; the Mass of St. Gregory the Great by Andrew Richesson; the Credo from the Salve Regina Preis-Messe by the 19th century Caecilian Movement composer J.G. Stehle; Renaissance composer G. Asola’s Decantabant Populus as the second Offertory motet; Grigor Aichinger’s O Sacrum Convivium during Communion, and as the organ postlude, J.S. Bach’s dazzling “Dorian” Toccata, expertly performed by Mr. Richesson.

So too, the St. Gertrude the Great Schola under the direction of Charles Simpson, which chanted the calm and etherial Gregorian Propers of the Mass of St. Andrew.

A Specially Composed Motet

The musical high point came with the first Offertory motet, a new musical work our young Mr. Richesson composed especially for this occasion and based on Bp. Dolan’s episcopal motto Zelus Domus Tuae — “Zeal for thy house.” Twenty-five years ago, Bp. Dolan had selected the phrase, taken from Psalm 68, as an allusion to his desire to preserve the traditional Catholic liturgy in all its fulness and splendor. The translation of the full text of Mr. Richesson’s motet reads:

Zeal for thy house hath consumed me… For I am poor and sorrowful: thy salvation, O God, hath set me up. So I will praise the name of God with a canticle: and I will magnify him with praise. — Psalm 68:10, 30-31

The Latin text of the Psalm, by the way, contains a felicitous pun on the bishop’s last name: quia ego sum… dolens. 

A Joyous Reception 

A joyous reception followed in Helfta Hall, our church social hall, named after the monastery where our patroness, St. Gertrude the Great, had been abbess.

Our parish is known for the frequency of its parties, usually connected with some significant liturgical observance. A team of women and young ladies from the parish worked for weeks planning the reception and decorations. An array of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and beverages were spread out at stations throughout the hall, and a group of young parishioners served as waiters.

A string quartet, assembled by Lou Proske, the violinist from the Dayton Symphony Orchestra who has been providing music for our Christmas morning Mass for more than thirty-five years, played a selection of classical music during the reception.

This provided a good opportunity for us to hear yet another musical piece written by our resident composer, Mr. Richesson, his Sonata in D for string quartet.

The gathering included faithful from various parts of the country, many of whom had known Bp. Dolan from the first years of his priestly missionary apostolate in the late 1970s.

All told, Bp. Dolan’s 25th anniversary celebration was a memorable event to commemorate the considerable and lasting accomplishments of a memorable apostolate.

Our wish for Bp. Dolan is the same wish the new bishop thrice chants to his consecrator at the end of the traditional Rite of Episcopal Consecration: Ad multos annos — May you enjoy many more years!

 

WWPD — “What Would Pius Do?”

The 1950s Pius XII liturgical reforms were trial balloons, created by the Mason Bugnini and company, for the Novus Ordo Mass that the same modernist gang created in 1969. But since these changes were promulgated by a true pope, Pius XII, would traditional Catholics still be “legally obliged” to follow them?

Father Anthony Cekada discusses the cast of characters involved, and answers this somewhat controversial question in this video.

Consecration of Bp. Selway: Photos

The three bishops impose hands.

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

ON FEBRUARY 22, 2018, the Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn, assisted by the Most. Rev. Daniel L. Dolan and the Most Rev. Geert Stuyver, consecrated the Rev. Joseph S. Selway to the episcopacy. The rite took place during the course of Pontifical High Mass, at Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida.

The consecration, which Bp. Sanborn announced in November, was intended to ensure continuity in providing priests and sacraments to future generations of faithful Catholics, and in particular, Bp. Sanborn’s apostolate of properly forming seminarians for the priesthood.

Bp. Sanborn was joined by two c0-consecrating bishops who jointly conferred the sacrament with him: Bp. Dolan, at whose consecration the fifteen-year-old Joseph Selway was present at a quarter century ago this November, and Bp. Stuyver, a member of the Institute of the Mother of Good Counsel who works in his native Belgium.

The consecration was a happy and solemn occasion, drawing hundreds of souls from all over the United States, as well as from England and Australia. The music was provided by the seminary Gregorian schola and the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas, who sang works by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Rev. Anthony Cekada. The ceremony was followed by dinner for all the attendees, served by the students of  Queen of All Saints Academy under an enormous tent erected on the seminary grounds.

Bishop Selway, 40, studied at St. Peter Martyr Seminary in Verrua Savoia, Italy, and at Most Holy Trinity Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in December, 2001. Thereafter, Fr. Selway supervised the establishment of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church and Academy in Brooksville, as well as the foundation of the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas. His most recent projects have included supervising the foundation of Queen of All Saints Online Academy, and preparing for the construction of a motherhouse for the Sisters of St. Thomas adjacent to the seminary grounds.

Bishop Selway is expert in Latin and Greek, fluent in Italian, French and Spanish, and teaches philosophy and dogmatic theology at Most Holy Trinity. He also plays the violin.

We congratulate Bp. Selway on his consecration, and assure him of our prayers for a long and fruitful apostolate.

A video of the consecration is currently in preparation, but in the meantime, we offer a few photos from the event to whet your appetite.

The “Position of the Society” as Substitute Magisterium

Saints? The “position of the Society” says otherwise.

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

THE SOCIETY OF St. Pius X’s flawed theology of papal authority has led it to promote countless errors, but one of the more obvious ones emerges in its position on canonizations made by the post-Conciliar popes.

The standard pre-Vatican II theological teaching was that canonizations are infallible — otherwise, said the theologian Salaverri, it could happen that the Church would solemnly propose and order the perpetual veneration and imitation of men who were in fact depraved and damned. (De Ecclesia, 724) Indeed,  the very language that Pius XI and Pius XII employed in their canonization decrees made it abundantly clear that their acts were infallible. (“”…infallibilem Nos… sententiam,” “”falli nesciam hanc sententiam…”)

Yet despite SSPX’s insistence that the post-Conciliar popes are true popes, and despite the language in post-Vatican II canonization decrees reserved for infallible papal pronouncements (“by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ… we declare and define“), the Society rejects the canonizations of  José-Maria Escriva, John XXIII and John Paul II, as well as the beatification of Paul VI.

One can see why the Society would find these particular canonizations distasteful. Escriva, John XXIII and Paul VI were enemies of Archbishop Lefebvre, and John Paul II excommunicated him. So too, the beatification of Paul VI, whom Bergoglio has slated for canonization later this year.

But if you recognize the post-Conciliar popes as true popes — Successors of St. Peter and Vicars of Jesus Christ on earth — there is no room whatsoever for you to challenge the validity of the canonizations that they solemnly promulgated.

The illogic in the SSPX position is not lost even on simple lay people. Just a day or two ago, I was talking to a Catholic mother who teaches her kids religion out of the standard high school text My Catholic Faith — a pre-Vatican II work, incidentally, republished by SSPX in the United States.

“Don’t people see the contradiction?” she asked me. “How can you possibly say that you recognize the pope or are subject to him if you reject the saints he makes?”

Indeed.

Rev. Paul Robinson SSPX

The incoherence of the SSPX position was highlighted the very next day in the Society’s promotional material for a new book, The Realist Guide to Religion and Science, by Rev. Paul Robinson SSPX.

Fr. Robinson invited Rev. Paul Haffner, a priest from the Novus Ordo establishment who has written extensively on religion and science, to review his manuscript and to contribute a Foreword to the book. Fr. Haffner was happy to help. There was, however, a problem. In his Foreword, Fr. Haffner not only recommended Fr. Robinson’s work, but also praised the “realism” of Paul VI and John Paul II, and referred to them, respectively, as “Blessed” and “Saint.”

Well of course Fr. Haffner regards JP2 as a saint — because when a pope says someone is a saint, that’s what he is! It’s standard pre- and post-Vatican II doctrine.

But not so in the theological Bizarro World of SSPX. So, on the SSPX site promoting Fr. Robinson’s book, we find the following disclaimer:

In the foreword, Fr Haffner makes reference to the support of the Conciliar Popes for realism. In doing so, he assigns to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II the titles of ‘Blessed’ and ‘Saint’ respectively. As Fr Robinson was not provided an opportunity to read the foreword before the publication of his book, he was not able to express his adherence to the position of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) on the doubtful nature of the canonizations, because of the many changes in the canonization process. In addition, he was not able to reiterate the particular concerns about the canonization of Pope John Paul II that he expressed in his Nov./Dec. 2013 Angelus article ‘The Difference between a “Saint” and a “Saint”’. [My emphasis.]

The irony here — a non-trad clergyman takes for granted a traditional teaching that SSPX explicitly rejects — should be obvious.

But there’s an even bigger problem underneath. Note the phrase I have highlighted: “adherence to the position of the Society of St Pius X.

As I explained to the inquiring mom, the reason why SSPX is able get priests and layman to swallow such an obviously false position on canonizations and countless other doctrinal questions is that SSPX presents itself as a substitute for the magisterium of the Church. The “pope” may speak and issue decrees, but the Society is the final arbiter of “tradition.”

And boy, if you’re an SSPX priest and seem to have (gulp!) contradicted one of its “positions,” you need to make it very clear that you are — heh heh — really, truly a Society loyalist. So, the promo for Fr. Robinson’s book goes on to say:

Thus, the appearance of ‘Blessed’ and ‘Saint’ beside Paul VI and John Paul II in the foreword of The Realist Guide should in no way be construed as an acceptance by Fr Robinson of the modern canonizations or a deviation from his publicly expressed opinions on that subject or the position of the SSPX. Nor should the foreword be construed as implying that Fr Robinson believes that the Conciliar Popes have been realist in their philosophical outlook. [My emphasis.]

Since “deviation” from the party line is always a crime, whether in Mao’s China or the SSPX, this profession of faith was intended, no doubt, to head off a phone call from Menzingen, announcing to the good Father that he’d been selected to found a mission in Sudan, so could he please get his malaria and anti-dysentery shots topped up.

And this is how it’s always been in SSPX: You follow the “line” of the Society — as enunciated by Abp. Lefebvre in my day, or Bp. Fellay in our own — as the correct position on any one of dozens of the difficult issues that faithful Catholics face in the post-Vatican II era. You affirm when the Society affirms, deny when it denies, and if its position zig-zags on one day to contradict what it said the day before, you pretend not to notice — knowing that those who show loyalty to any principle beyond the “position of the Society” du jour soon find themselves on the outside.

But there is no substitute for the Magisterium. And those thousands and thousands of souls who now blindly follow the “positions of the Society” and have checked their brains at the door will end up preserving not Catholicism or the Church, but the mentality of a cult, where Il Duce ha sempre ragione — the Leader always knows best.

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SGG’s Young Organist Composes a Magnificent Mass

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

 

Andrew Richesson with Fr. Cekada

Note : The following article originally appeared on the Rorate Caeli blog on August 31, 2017.

MOST OF Rorate’s faithful followers, whatever their opinion on a whole array of other disputed issues, would no doubt agree that the Church’s great patrimony of sacred music deserves to be preserved, augmented and handed down to succeeding generations.

It was with this in mind that I decided to offer Rorate readers an account of how this process of handing down the musical treasures of the past unfolded in one case in my own experience. It is a story that all those who love good liturgical music will find most encouraging.

Readers who know a bit about my background from reading the Preface to my book, Work of Human Hands, may recall that, during my youth in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was an aspiring organist and composer of church music.

In a post on my blog several years ago, I mentioned that I tried to revive these talents when I wound up as our parish organist here at St. Gertrude the Great Church in 2009.

In the same post, I told the story of how one of our young schoolboys with a good piano training, Andrew Richesson, had picked up the rather specialized art of organ improvisation on Gregorian themes merely by listening to me improvise. I posted a video of one of his improvisations at age twelve, and another video of him, at age fourteen, confidently blasting his way through the Bach Gigue Fugue, with his feet flying up and down the pedalboard. Andrew’s ability to perform the latter was fruit of his study, beginning at age 11, with a top local organ teacher, Dr. John Deaver, of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Andrew’s expertise at the keyboard quickly surpassed my own, and he was able to play a variety of technically-demanding and brilliant voluntaries (organ solo pieces), many of which I posted on my YouTube site:

Other works included Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster, selections from Mendelssohn’s organ works, César Franck’s knuckle-busting Pièce héroïque, and one of the fearsome Bach Trio Sonatas, which the Master wrote as exercises to challenge the keyboard skills of his sons.

Nearly all these works served as rousing and noisy postludes played after High Mass, but Andrew also played a wide array of more meditative pieces appropriate to various sections within the rite itself. The traditional High Mass, by the way, provides a skilled organist with more opportunities to play interludes than any other liturgical rite I know of.

Andrew took my place at the organ first for our summer congregational High Masses, then as choir accompanist for major feasts in 2015 and early 2016, and finally last summer, as the parish organist for all choir Masses at St. Gertrude the Great on Sundays and feast days.

Improvising at 12. Dwarfed by the console!

The latter, in particular, was providential for our music program, because a bout I had with cancer put me out of action for the better part of a year, and then left me with nerve problems in my fingers and feet.

Andrew also took an interest in composing music. Using the miracle of modern music notation software, which can also produce realistic-sounding audio files, he came up with pieces as disparate as a Beethoven parody and a driving fantasia for orchestra with overtones of the twentieth century composer Carl Orff.

In summer of 2016, at probably the low point in my chemotherapy treatments, Andrew sent me his Mass of St. Gregory the Great — a musical setting of the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei for organ and three-part chorus. He had composed this work without formal training in musical composition; he merely drew upon what he had absorbed from listening to the wide array of Masses and motets in our choir’s repertory.

He asked for my opinion. I was bowled over by the sound, but since Andrew was on the SGG home team, after all, and since my knowledge of correct formal standards for musical composition had lain dormant for fifty years, I didn’t trust my own judgment to be sufficiently objective. He had put a lot of time into the project and deserved a more balanced and analytical response.

So, without Andrew’s knowledge, I sent the work off to Dr. Peter Kwasniewski and Nicholas Wilton, two composers whose liturgical works are superbly crafted in the classical style and are performed in the traditionalist/Indult milieu. Both sent very favorable and helpful responses.

Dr. Miguel Ruig-Francoli

On a whim, I also sent the score of the Mass to Dr. Miguel Ruig-Francoli, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, an internationally recognized composer, and an expert in musical pedagogy and Renaissance polyphony.

Dr. Francoli was not only impressed with the Mass, but also offered to tutor Andrew privately in counterpoint and musical theory, and in the process, to help him revise the work. An outsider to the academic world of professional music might not grasp the significance of this, but an offer of private tutoring from such a distinguished musician is in fact a testimony to a student’s potential talent.

So, from October 2016 to June 2017, Andrew, now 17, studied privately with Dr. Francoli, who taught him how to rigorously apply formal musical standards to the Mass of St. Gregory the Great. The work has been carefully polished and is now complete.

The Mass, which Andrew dedicated to his parents, is within the capabilities of the average choir, and combines the men’s voices into one baritone line. Two sections of the Mass, the Kyrie and the Sanctus, were recently premiered at a concert by a local choir in a Protestant church, with the composer accompanying.

As you can hear, both movements, though relatively short, have a powerful forward “drive” and a rich musical texture, thanks to the overlapping voice lines, that makes them stirring and majestic.

This effect is not the result of chance. Still less, does it merely arise from the composer having “good ear” for a catchy tune, combined with the ability to bang out some nice chords to accompany it.

Rather, those few of us who have actually studied the nuts and bolts of musical composition know it is the result of the painstaking application of the composer’s craft: taking short tunes (motifs), and developing them through variations in rhythm, key, major/minor mode, harmonization, tension, resolution, successive entrances of voices at different pitches, polyphony, homophonic harmony, and all the rest.

These sophisticated methods of musical development all lie under the surface in Andrew’s Mass of St. Gregory the Great, and combine into one harmonious whole, which Dr. Francoli praised as “well-crafted, effective, beautiful and functional.”

Here is the complete version of the Mass in a computer-generated digital sound format:

I invite readers to tell choir directors in their churches and chapels about this remarkable piece of sacred music. It is well within the abilities of most parish choirs, , and deserves to become a standard part of every TLM choir’s repertory, especially for festive occasions.

The full score is available for download from Andrew’s page on WikiChoral (CPDL).

Andrew will major in computer engineering in college this coming Fall, but he will minor in musical composition. So we can hope for many more such compositions that will add to the beauty of the sacred liturgy, not for the sake of art or for the fame of composers and musicians, but soli Deo gloria — for the glory of God alone!

Postscript

I am happy to report that our choir at St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, has now recorded the entire work. We premiered it at Midnight Mass on Christmas 2017, and sang it again the following Sunday, December 31.

For the latter occasion, we were honored to have in the congregation Dr. Miguel Ruig-Francoliwho, as noted above, had privately tutored Andrew in composition and helped him polish the final version of the Mass.

 

Mass in Union with the “Pirate Pope”: Some Questions

Peter or Pirate: No difference?

By Rev. Anthony Cekada

IN MY 2007 article, Grain of Incense: Sedevacantists and Una Cum Masses, I examined at great length the issue of whether a sedevacantist could actively assist at a traditional Mass where a Vatican II pope is named in the Canon of the Mass. On the basis of the dozens of theological, canonical and liturgical sources, I concluded that no, one could not.

In 2014, after the election of Bergoglio, I posted a resumé of my argument entitled Should I Assist at a Mass that Names Pope Francis in the Canon. This explained in simpler terms the points I had made in the original article.

On the face of it, the conclusion should just be a matter of common sense: If you don’t believe that Francis is a true pope, you have no business participating in an act of worship that proclaims he is.

But since the practical application of the principles I outlined would prevent sedevacantists in many cases from assisting at what might be the only traditional Mass offered in their area, I often get questions about the issue. This has increasingly been the case over the past few years, because Bergoglio’s antics have led more and more traditionalists into the sedevacantist camp.

Moral participation in a common action.

I.  Do the Laity in fact “Consent”?

The first series of questions about the conclusions in “Grain of Incense” came to me several years ago from a fellow sedevacantist priest.

The authorities you cite in sections II.B-D refer to the people’s participation in the Mass as a sacrifice offered to God. All they say is that the faithful offer the sacrifice through the priest. You do not cite a theologian who teaches that the layman consents, by his presence, to every accidental detail of the Mass he attends. If you find it, let me know. 🙂

I think you need to re-read the texts I quoted more closely. Specifically, read fnn: 18, 19, 20, 24 (the Pius XII quote is in the text), 26, 27, 28.

These all refer to a true moral participation (a subspecies of cooperation) not just in the sacrifice, but likewise in the actual prayers that commend the sacrifice — “cooperationem seu communem actionem cum alio in orationibus et functionibus cultus.” [cooperation or common action with another person in the prayers and actions of worship]

So, the layman who participates in the Mass actively (in such a way as to satisfy his Sunday obligation and to share in the special fruits of the sacrifice) by that very fact necessarily participates in the all the prayers of the priest — including the una cum. The priest says the prayers, and the laymen participate “in the execution of the act with the principal agent and under his direction.” (Roberti, “Cooperation,” Dict. Moral Theology)

To say the people offer the sacrifice through the priest is an entirely different claim from saying the people participate in every detail of the Mass — including whether the priest says the right Collects, whether he uses the correct name in the una cum clause, whether he is in the state of grace, whether he prays for something sinful in the Memento, whether he makes a sloppy sign of the cross over the oblata, or any one of the thousand other things that can (and sometimes do) go wrong in a Mass. In my limited experience, I have never heard of a moralist who said anything even close to such a claim. In 2000 years of Church history, with all the problems that have occurred during the celebration of Mass, surely it would have come up at one point or another, don’t you think?

First, the authors distinguish between grave and light violations of the rubrics, and those which are imputable or inadvertent. (See Oppenheim, Tract. de Iure Liturgico 2:72, and Prümmer Th. Mor. 3:303ff).

If a priest were to habitually and deliberately violate a preceptive rubric in a grave matter when offering Mass (omitting some of the Offertory prayers, altering the Canon, etc.) the faithful — assuming they were aware of this and understood its gravity — would be obliged to avoid his Mass, because they would be actively participating in his sin. This is simply an application of the general principle on cooperation in the sin of another.

(Over and above the principles already mentioned, even visceral reactions confirm this. There were many times in my youth when I walked out of Masses because a priest perpetrated violated the rubrics and perpetrated some egregious liturgical or doctrinal horror.)

The recitation or non-recitation of the una cum concerns a matter which in itself is grave, and those who insert the name of Benedict in the Canon do so deliberately — sciens volens [knowingly and willingly].

Una cum = wrong Gospel?

On the other hand, the recitation of the wrong Collect or (to limit ourselves to the question of texts, which is the central issue here), omitting the Gloria, chanting the wrong Gospel (as I accidentally did on Saturday) are not in themselves grave matter.

Unlike the una cum, the hapless priest does not recite or omit these texts as the result of due deliberation. Instead, he commits these faults as a result of one of two things:

(1) Error. (“postitivus status animae in quo… habetur notitia falsa, verae rei naturae non consentanea.” — Michels, de Delictis 1:204) [A positive condition of the soul in which.. one has a false and unconsenting knowledge of the true nature of a thing] E.g., he misunderstood what the Ordo said.

(2) Inadvertence. (“status transitorius, in quo id quod habitualiter scimus actualiter, ex distractione vel oblivione, non consideramus.” Ibid.) [A transitory condition, in which, out of distraction or forgetfulness, we do not actually advert to that which we habitually know.] E.g., the server made a mistake, I noticed it, and my eyes lit upon the wrong Gospel text.

These generally excuse Father from moral imputability, and since the matters are not objectively grave anyway, both he and the faithful are off the hook.

But with the una cum, the matter is grave, the act of reciting it is deliberate, and the faithful actively assisting in the Mass, according to the principles set forth above, by that fact participate in the act of the priest.

Proof of exactly what?

II. In Union with a Protestant King?

More recently, an anonymous sedevacantist blogger put up a lengthy post with what he thought was the ultimate gotcha argument against Grain of Incense: In the beginning of the 19th century, Pope Pius VII, he claimed, allowed the phrase pro Rege nostro Georgio to be placed into the Canon of the Mass in England, just after the name of the pope and the bishop in the una cum.

Since George III, obviously, was a Protestant heretic and a pope approved inserting his name — the blogger’s argument went — there’s no real problem for sedes to assist at a Mass where the name of a heretical pope is inserted into the Canon.

The blogger cited no papal decree for his rather astounding factual claim, and nothing to this effect appears in the official Decreta Authenica of the Vatican’s Congregation of Sacred Rites.

The only source the blogger provided was this link, which leads to an 1806 Latin-English missal for the laity,  in which the phrase pro Rege nostro N. (for our King, N.) has been inserted into the Canon. How did it get to be put into a Missal for the laity? Who knows? We certainly don’t have to accept the authority of  its publisher,  P. Keating of Brown & Co., 37 Duke St., Grosvenor Square.

But in any event, as regards the priest’s altar Missal itself, the liturgical commentators are clear: The Missal of Pius V discontinued the mention of the king or civil rulers in the Te Igitur, and the practice was allowed only by way of privilege (as in Spain and Austria), where the ruler was a Catholic.

Caught out on the specific issue of the Canon, the blogger replied that, well, having consulted one of the four thousand books in his personal library, he finds that the Church allowed other public prayers to be chanted for a non-Catholic monarch or president.

Well sure, — but this was in the official’s civil capacity as head of a secular stateAnd in the case of England, this took the form of a prayer chanted after the Mass was over.

The Pope, on the other hand, is prayed for during the Canon of the Mass in his religious capacity as head of the Church.

If the blogger couldn’t figure out that basic distinction, his four thousand books haven’t done him a lot of good. Maybe he should get with the Bergoglio’s environmentalist program and recycle them.

But even after the publication of the first version of this post on September 20, 2017,  our blogger still did not learn his lesson.

So, in a September 25 post, he went on a 1500-word tear against me based entirely on the assumption that the Prayer for the (Protestant) King permitted at Benediction in Canada took place during an “official liturgical service,” thus making (he assures us) an excellent analogical argument for tolerating the naming of a heretic/imposter as Vicar of Christ in the Canon of the Mass.

But all this windbaggery instantly collapses once you learn that, unlike the Mass, Benediction is not considered a true liturgical service.

Pfft. Strike three. And down goes yet another ignorantly made and pompously phrased objection.

And so here we are, ten years after my original article, and despite all the squawking, no one has yet been able to make a credible and coherent case against my arguments.

Active participation by any standard.

III. What about Just Adoration or a Rosary?

Here is another series of questions I received recently from a lay sedevacantist.

I am writing you in hopes of clearing up some confusion which has arisen in my mind and those of others with regard to attendance at ‘una cum’ Masses. At present, I am taking advantage of the internet Masses from SGG Resources and steering clear of the SSPX chapel.

In response to my previous email, you advised me that it would be permissible to make a visit to an SSPX chapel for personal adoration. Additionally, it would be okay to make a confession, but only if it would not create a scandal.

 Father, how could it be wrong to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament while a ‘una cum’ Mass is being said?

It would be wrong because during Mass such an act connotes active participation.

During my visit, would it be wrong to receive Holy Communion?

Yes, it would be wrong, because reception of the Eucharist constitutes active participation in the rite.

Would it make any difference if, before entering the sanctuary, I would pray for the correction of the inherent wrong of the priest for beseeching our Lord to protect, unite and govern the manifest heretic ‘our pope’ Francis? Silently, I would be addressing my own disapproval by willfully not participating in the dialogue of this Mass but, instead, reciting my Rosary while immersing myself with the Real Presence. Once I concluded my visitation , I would return home and look to receive the graces of the internet Mass.

It would make no difference, because the recitation of the Rosary is one of the approved means of actively participating in the Mass.

If it is wrong being in church within the ‘atmosphere’ of the ‘una cum’ Mass, would it be  wrong for me, though not present in the church, to be at home receiving Holy Communion or Viaticum that has been consecrated during a ‘una cum’ Mass?

Yes — it has been consecrated in a rite that — because it professes communion with a public heretic and proclaims him a preacher of the Catholic faith — is objectively sinful.

 The emergence of the question of the validity of the consecration itself (for me) comes into the area for consideration when the priest participates in this prayerful entreaty for this false ‘pope’. Does the priest really believe this man is pope, or is he just repeating the words of the ‘una cum’ without thinking? Of course, we would never know if the priest is one of the many sedevacantist priests in the Society.

The mental state of the celebrant does not change the objective meaning of the prayers of the liturgical rite, nor can it negate the principles that make it wrong for you, a sedevacantist who has figured things out, to actively assist at the rite.

Father Cekada, maybe I’m making too much of this, but these questions, nevertheless, persist.

 I look forward to receiving your response. 

 I realize that putting these principles into practice is very painful for devout Catholics such as yourself, who do indeed regard the Mass as what Fr. Faber called “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven.” 

But the moral and liturgical principles are what they are, and it’s our duty to apply them. Fr. Faber also said: “Our charity is untruthful because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is not truthful… Where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness.”

I recommend you go back and read Grain of Incense again in its entirety.

I had thought for many years that the advice not to attend “una cum” Mass was excessively severe. 

Robert Parsons

But when I looked into the question myself, I discovered that all the evidence from popes, Holy Office decrees, moral theologians, dogmatic theologians, canonists and liturgical commentaries affirmed that the conclusion was correct: that a sedevacantist, who by definition believes a V2 pope is a heretic and a false pope, should not participate actively in an “una cum” Mass, which proclaims the opposite.

The Jesuit Robert Parsons, one of the heroes of Catholic resistance to the Protestant persecutions in England, wrote a whole book entitled “Reasons why Catholics Refuse to Go to Church,” in order to encourage faithful Catholics to avoid worship displeasing to God. We, who (unlike them) do not face the prospect of loss of our lives and livelihoods, should strive to imitate their heroic and uncompromising spirit for the sake of the truth.

Please pray for the grace to be as strong in the practice of the faith as they were!

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My Response to Fr. Chazal’s “Contra Cekadam”

Fr. François Chazal

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

FATHER FRANÇOIS Chazal is former member of the Society of St. Pius X who left the organization several years ago when the prospect of an SSPX-Vatican deal looked particularly likely, and with a number of other similarly-minded ex-SSPX priests, formed a loose association of priests known as “the Resistance.”

The Resistance priests maintain they are carrying on the authentic teaching of SSPX founder Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, which was to “recognize” the Vatican II popes as true popes, but to resist on a case-by-case basis papally-approved teachings, laws and commands that the archbishop and others decided were evil or erroneous.

This position is now generally referred to as “R&R” or “Recognize and Resist” — a label, by the way, that I myself coined in a December 2005 article in The Remnant. Several years ago, I circulated a video which summed up the position as The Pope Speaks: You Decide: Traditionalists Who Destroy the Papacy.

As I and others have repeatedly pointed out, the R&R position simply cannot be reconciled with traditional Catholic teaching on the indefectibility and the infallibility of the Church. Once you say (as all traditionalists do) that the officially-approved post-Vatican II teachings contain error or evil, the only logical conclusion you can come to is that the men who promulgated them had no authority when they did so — sedevacantism, in other words. Otherwise, you wind up with a defecting Church.

I made this argument in a 1995 article Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope (since revised in 2006), which has since then been widely circulated as a booklet (at least 30,000 copies) and on the internet.

No one that I know of on the R&R side has, in all these years, published a credible refutation of this rather short work.

When a correspondent of mine challenged Fr. Chazal to do so, Fr. Chazal produced a seven-part, thirty-nine page monograph entitled “Contra Cekadam,” which is now being circulated in installments on the internet.

One would think that such a vast mountain of verbiage would require me to produce an equally prolix response. But no, Fr. Chazal simply missed the point of my argument, and wandered off into the bushes to talk about something else. I don’t feel any obligation to follow him there — or, as Bergolio might say, to “Accompany Fr. Chazal in his journey of discernment.”

The following brief comments to a correspondent will suffice.

•   •   •

Thanks for sending along the Chazal document. It is hardly, as Fr. Chazal seems to think, a point-by-point refutation of my argument in Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope.

Fr. Chazal’s Contra Cekadam doesn’t even state the argument of the “Cekadam” in question, still less refute it. Here, for the record, is the argument I made in the booklet:

  1. Officially-sanctioned Vatican II and post-Vatican II teachings and laws embody errors and/or promote evil.
  2. Because the Church is indefectible, her teaching cannot change, and because she is infallible, her laws cannot give evil.
  3. It is therefore impossible that the errors and evils officially sanctioned in Vatican II and post-Vatican II teachings and laws could have proceeded from the authority of the Church.
  4. Those who promulgate such errors and evils must somehow lack real authority in the Church.
  5. Canonists and theologians teach that defection from the faith, once it becomes manifest, brings with it automatic loss of ecclesiastical office (authority). They apply this principle even to a pope who, in his personal capacity, somehow becomes a heretic.
  6. Canonists and theologians also teach that a public heretic, by divine law, is incapable of being validly elected pope or obtaining papal authority.
  7. Even popes have acknowledged the possibility that a heretic could one day end up on the throne of Peter. In 1559 Pope Paul IV decreed that the election of a heretic to the papacy would be invalid, and that the man elected would lack all authority.
  8. Since the Church cannot defect, the best explanation for the post-Vatican II errors and evils we repeatedly encounter is that they proceed from individuals who, despite their occupation of the Vatican and of various diocesan cathedrals, publicly defected from the faith, and therefore do not objectively possess canonical authority.

If Fr. Chazal agrees with the statements in points 1 (the changes are evil) and 2 (and the Church, by Christ’s promise, cannot give evil/error), but he nevertheless still insists the Vatican II popes are true popes possessing authority from Christ, he maintains in effect that the Church of Christ has defected and that Christ’s promises are void.

As for the rest, Fr. Chazal simply:

  1. Recycles opinions on a heretical pope that were eventually abandoned after St. Robert Bellarmine.
  2. Attempts to apply criteria pertaining to ecclesiastical crimes when sedevacantists maintain that the public sin of heresy, not the crime, is what prevents a heretical pope from obtaining or retaining the papacy.
  3. Refloats the phony Adrian VI quote.
  4. Repeats the Paul-vs-Peter canard [see Appendix at end of the post here] on fraternal correction for a moral fault, which does not solve the problem of the Church defecting wholesale by promulgating theological errors and evil universal laws.
  5. In his treatment of Scripture as a “refutation” of sedevacantism, ignores St. Paul’s own assertion that he could in fact, “preach another Gospel,” for which even he himself would become “anathema.”
  6. Recycles supposed incidents from history to demonstrate that there have been heretic popes before, but which incidents (a) are part of the standard arguments of protestants who reject papal infallibility, and (b) have been repeatedly refuted by Catholic dogmatic theologians.

Fr. Chazal’s arguments on each of these points still do not get him out of the theological pickle that points 1 and 2 of my original argument put him in — the Chazalian equation that works out to:

  • Evil changes + true popes = defected Church.

Good luck getting out of that one, Father Chazal!

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A V2 Overview for Neo-Trads

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

NOTE: I often get phone or email inquiries from Catholics who have suddenly sensed that there is something deeply wrong in the post-Vatican II church, but who have difficulty pinpointing exactly what it is. I try to give inquirers an overview of the basics, but it’s quite difficult sometimes to compress even the most essential points into a phone call or an email.

So, I decided to put together a letter that provides these worried souls with both an overview of the main problems and a list of links for them to explore. A version of the letter appears below. 

I think that many priests and faithful will find it a useful tool to educate potential neo-trads to the issues we Catholics face as a result of the Vatican II revolution.

• • •

Dear N.N.

It was a pleasure speaking with you.

Even in a long conversation, it’s difficult to convey to someone like yourself — who is just beginning to sense there is something wrong with the modern version of Catholicism in general and Pope Francis in particular — all the problems that fifty years of Vatican II have caused and how faithful Catholics should deal with them.

Fortunately, I can refer you to a number of links that will provide an overall perspective for examining what happened.

First, Vatican II was a disaster — an atom bomb dropped on the Church, whose evil effects have only gotten worse over the years, as is obvious from the following:

Second, what appear to be the principal causes for this decline?

Third, good Catholics recognize the pope, are subject to him, and believe the dogma of papal infallibility. How can we reconcile these teachings with the evil effects and the doctrinal problems of Vatican II?

Fourth, more and more people are becoming aware that Francis’ teachings seem to contradict traditional Catholic doctrine. What are some specifics?

Fifth, the post-Vatican II liturgical changes led many Catholics to question other aspects of Vatican II. What is the nature of these changes?

The foregoing material should give you an adequate overview of our theological position. For a more detailed explanation of the doctrinal errors of Vatican II, you might want to listen to some of Bishop Donald Sanborn’s sermons on the Church and the heresies of Modernism.

As I mentioned, you are most welcome to assist at Mass at St. Gertrude the Great, and if you’d like to get a little flavor of it beforehand, you might want to view one of our live Mass webcasts here.

If you have any questions or worries, please feel free to contact me or to set up an appointment to discuss these matters further.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Anthony Cekada

Siscoe, Celestine and Sedevacantism

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

ANTI-sedevacantist controversialist and SSPX apologist Robert Siscoe thinks he has found a killer argument against the sedevacantist position:

  • Gregory IX promulgated an evil universal disciplinary law in 1234, but remained a true pope!
  • Bingo! This lets Paul VI (who promulgated the New Mass) and JP2 (who promulgated the new Code of Canon Law) off the hook as false popes!

This short video exposes Mr. Siscoe’s egregious blunder.

Three Vatican II Errors: A Two–Minute Course

OK, MR. OR MRS. TRAD — you always tell your Novus Ordo friends how bad “Vatican II” was.

But can you actually give them examples of the Council’s main errors?

Matthew Arthur and True Restoration to the rescue! They’ve put together a snappy, two-and-a-half minute video that briefly lists and explains the errors for you.

Send the link to friends, especially those who are puzzled about why you’re always banging on about the “Vatican II Church.”

And while you’re at it, check out True Restoration’s outstanding podcasts, videos and other media on the post-Vatican II crisis at this link.