Archbishop Lefebvre first visited Australia in 1973. Below is the text of a talk given at the end of his Melbourne visit. Note the advice he gave just over 40 years ago, all sound but some of it now irrelevant given the passage of time. The text was published in World Trends, a journal established in 1964 which warned of the danger of the New Mass before there was one. The editor was Yves Dupont, a French Australian. This talk has probably not been published elsewhere.
Melbourne, February 1973
My Dear Brethren,
At the close of this week of prayer with you and especially in offering the Divine Sacrifice of Jesus Christ Our Lord on the Altar, I would like to give you a few words of encouragement as St. Paul to the Faithful of Caesarea and Miletus when he said: "Vigitate et memoria retinentes..." (Watch, therefore and remember the counsels which I have given you...) - So spoke St. Paul.
Here is now my advice to you, my dear Brethren.
Another very important work is the training of true priests, priests strong in the interior life, the spiritual life, firm on doctrine, faithful in their teaching to the traditional magisterium of the Church and the traditional liturgy and sacraments.First of all, keep the Faith without any compromise and pray daily to preserve the Faith, reciting the Rosary in the family or in a group.
Secondly, deepen your Faith by reading the Gospel and above all the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the Catechism of St. Pius X, the Catechism of Cardinal Gasparri or the Baltimore Catechism.
Thirdly, attend a Tridentine Mass and receive Holy Communion whenever possible. If not, attend a Mass in which the priest says the Consecration in Latin, or a Mass in one of the oriental Catholic rites.
Finally, gather in groups around those priests who have remained good and faithful; and together, pray, organise the defence of the Faith and try especially to strengthen the faith of your children.
All this must be done with patience, with confidence in God and without bitterness. Our work is primarily to construct more than to fight. [/bThis was the way followed by all the true faithful during the persecutions. Let us remember the Catholics of Japan who suffered for many centuries. Let us remember the Catholics of South America and the Catholics, including priests, behind the Iron Curtain.
This is what I am endeavouring to achieve in Switzerland through the Society of St. Pius X in my Seminary of Econe, where I now have sixty-five Seminarians of eight different countries; and, please God, I will have, next October, two or three from your own beloved Australia. The Foundation for Nuns is provided for in the statutes and, with the help of God, I hope to open this foundation next October and God alone knows, perhaps with one Australian postulant. What is the future of this Society? Well, I think that the experience accrued in the long history of the Church shows that the most important thing for each one of us is to accomplish God's will within the lifespan allotted to us. As for the future, God alone knows.
But the aim of the Society of St. Pius X is pastoral work, the work of the priest, assisted by brothers and nuns, following the only way of true sanctification, namely Jesus Christ Our Lord crucified upon the Cross. The Cross of Calvary and the Sacrifice of the Mass provides the only answer to the problems of our souls, whatever they may be.
Without Calvary, and without the Sacrifice of the Mass as the continuation of Calvary, there is no opening for the sanctification of priests, no substance for the religious life, no support for the Christian life in general. Without Calvary and the Mass there is no answer to human suffering, no justice possible, no peace possible. That is the reason why we must preserve the true Sacrifice of the Mass, for the Mass is the corner-stone of the Church; indeed the very heart of the Church.
I will take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the President of the "O Salutaris Hostia" Committee, to those who have assisted him and to the Bishops and Priests who have so kindly helped in making possible this week of prayer.Such is the spirituality of our Society, and I recommend to your prayers our society of Priests, our Society of Nuns, and especially that we may have many Australian vocations.
God bless you all all by the intercession of His Holy Mother.
Given the (underlined) line above, I repeat my recent
Two responses to that
When I returned to Tradition circa 1976, the priest we went to was Fr Cummins, CSsR R.I.P. Fr Cummins established Mass Centres at Perth, Streaky Bay, Adelaide, and Melbourne which he visited at least once a month from his Melbourne base. He also visited several towns in both islands of New Zealand, Fiji, and occasionally Mount Isa and Tasmania. It is worth noting that he traveled to Streaky Bay by bus, about a 6 hour journey each way from Adelaide. (SSPX priests fly)
There were various places we moved to in Melbourne, Hardware Street (where he received a young man, now Fr Peter Scott into the Church), Millswyn Street South Yarra and the present SSPX church at Hampton, acquired in 1980.
Fr Cummins was a true missionary, and he puts all traditional priests in Australia today to shame, given the shear volume of work that he accomplished, starting around 1973 and not slowing down until about 1986.
The SSPX took over some of his Mass Centres around 1986 and closed some of his smaller ones. To keep busy in his 'retirement' in Perth, he began to regularly visit Singapore! The SSPX has opened very few locations; their missionary work has been close to zero.
Other priests who kept the Faith in those early days were Fr Brian Buckley in Queensland; Frs Fox, Dyson-Smith, and de Silva in Sydney, Msgr Hatswell at Wagga, all of whom have gone to their reward. There were a few others whose names escape me as I write this. In Melbourne we also had Msgr Hodgson who is still living in Pakenham. He is the last of these 'hero' priests who kept the Faith.
It is worth also noting here that the largest SSPX Mass Centre in USA is at Post Falls, Idaho, established by Fr Edward deBusschere (+circa 1991)
The SSPX is mostly built on the work of others.
What most of these priests had in common was that they looked to one solitary French Archbishop, not as a leader, but as one who, like them was doing his utmost to preserve the Faith. Well do we remember the two visits Msgr Lefebvre made to Australia in 1981 and 1985.
Today we have sense of going back in time We see the SSPX departing from the principles of its holy founder, and we have some priests visiting various places around the world on an irregular basis. These priests of the so-called 'Resistance' can look to one Bishop, not as their leader but as one who can provide them with episcopal services.
On the fight ...('Resistance' here means those priests who have left the SSPX or been expelled from it because they resist Bishop Fellay to his face.)
So let’s get this right .... KOOL need Knights to fight against the bad guys, but they cannot join the good guys because they need the bad guys to dub their knights. The bad guys' doctrine is instilled in the apparently good knight thus making them bad knights, or at least good guys who deceive the bad guys about being bad when they are in fact good. So when the good guys get a good bishop the now bad knights will suddenly become good knights and/or lose their deceit. KOOL formed, split after V2 and has mentally split again! Seems like an item has been purchased from the 'shop of preloved organisations' but it was broken.A Knights of Our Lady leader recently stated that with regard to the resistance, he was ‘in a delicate position’. He needs a bishop to dub his knights and the resistance has no bishop - the knights are dubbed so that they can, as per their web information, "make a crusade in order to restore Christendom ..."
The great Military Orders used their contemporary weapons and dress: capes, crosses and swords etc. They would fight to the death without fear living the chaste life. KOOL was formed in the 20th century so the contemporary accoutrements of that time would have been rifles, tin hats and green clothes, or something other than capes. KOOL anachronistically wears costumes from 800 years earlier and allows wives and daughters to join. Knights were always expensive - long training time, expensive kit and high logistic effort. Thus Knights only exist in a state where they will be supported either by the state, by the property owning church or by rich families. The resistance has no such resources.
The SSPX, like cuckoos, have built on the nests of others. Starting from fighting chapels, the SSPX has morphed into a facsimile' of the Church by forming 'parishes', schools, jurisdictional concepts, it's own neo-pope (who must be obeyed and respected) etc and have copied the various sodalities and legions that already existed, and currently exist in the church. The resistance may well be going down the same track with its own Legion of Mary and so on. The FSSP like vultures live off the dead remains of the SSPX. Other indulterers are like lyrebirds - mimicking but are not the real thing.
Which bird are we? So which kool, legion, parish or sodality is the real one? Confusing? It will be confusing in the mind of the onlooker. Accusations of schism are easier if the actions amount to splitting and claiming to be the real thing.
The SSPX control every lay thing - if this were translated into the world they would have a religious dictatorship running society with the laity reduced to second class serfs who exist to 'pay and pray'. Indeed between the donations and the rosary crusades what else are the laity allowed to do? The SSPX now seem to exist for themselves without a clear vision or mission. Its objectives are obscured. Its resources are consumed on organising, punishing, administration and feeding on their own 'serfdom'. If the resistance goes down the same track then it will consume its already stretched resources and then defeat itself.
The protestant revolt against the Church was, in part, against corruption. The SSPX 'revolt' against the church was also against corruption. The resistance are now resisting the corruption of the SSPX. If it is careful, very careful, 'aping' the SSPX/Church will allow the corruption to enter the resistance.
Broken parts create broken machinery: so the resistance should renew not repair.
The Resistance should not seek to acquire the old names or organisations. This will carry with it difficulties of many kinds: it will blur the lines between one side or the other, between right and wrong. The resistance should start new organisations only if it needs to. They should use the talent who are supporting it now to carefully craft its rules and conditions so that they are distinct from the others, manageable by the laity, and are genuinely Catholic.
I say 'now' because when success comes so will all the ‘fair weather’ friends, the spiritually spurious and the ‘parish parasites’. How many anti-SSPX people were suddenly friendly when the school at Tynong was built? Lots. Did their influx lead to many vocations? No. Indeed, there are resistance attendees who do not want to be identified!
Thus the corruption will start quickly as the infected 'carriers of heresy' will enter the fold. They are carriers because although the symptoms may not have manifested themselves as sores, pus or boils, the infection is there. We need a spiritual-medical process to make sure that the nice faces and helpful hands that appear are not going to give us AIDS - Antichristian Ideas mean Death to Spirituality.
We need to understand that world recognition is not on the visible horizon and thus worldly trappings should be abandoned in favour of the heavenly weapons. Our Lady talks about the Rosary and the Scapular - not organisations.
In war, the bigger you are the easier it is to fall. Napoleon lost to the guerilla, the USA lost to sandal wearing peasants, the Soviets lost to tribesmen, The church lost to the infiltrators, and now Fellay has lost his spiritual bakery to a few crumbs.
Our war needs to embrace methods and men like Gideon. Freedom fighters not mercenaries or standing armies.
New symbols for a new war.
Holy methods for a holy victory.
Stirring songs for strident soldiers.
Willing martyrs for our warring militia.
Thanks for your email the sentiments of which are indeed well, truly and emphatically noted and agreed.
In my experience, the SSPX have hitherto displayed little if any truly discernible missionary character; preferring to parachute in at the invitation and expense of an already established group of “Trads” If those groups have expanded, it is almost certainly because the Faithful have over a period of time literally produced their own congregations through having large families! The clergy have displayed little interest or appetite for engaging with the wider non-catholic community on any level, although such initiatives would surely provide the engine by which souls could be reached and converted?
Meanwhile, prudence dictates that we should exercise caution in recognising, that even the “Resistance” is essentially preaching to the choir, and without the exercise of serious, genuine, inspirational and enthusiastic missionary zeal on their, (and our own) part(s) the current “Neo SSPX” situation will inevitably be doomed to repeat its self in the “Resistance”! Let us not forget that most of the” Resistance” priests are formally “SSPX Company Men” who previously exercised the same dry and inward looking ministry we have come to” love and expect” in our SSPX clergy!
Given that Traditional Catholics of a certain age (and thus likely past child bearing), have already lived, suffered and fought their way through the years following Vatican II, the mere fact of “Resistance” priests flying from one mass centre to another to dispense the sacraments to an increasingly aging demographic without any real prospect of actively converting new souls and young people to the congregation of the faithful is intolerable!