My dear friends,
we are gathered here at Ec6ne for the very moving ceremony of
the ordination of Priests. If there is one ceremony which lets
us live the most sublime moments of the Church, it is the ceremony
of priestly ordination. It brings to mind especially the Last
Supper, when Our Lord Jesus Christ ordained His Apostles. It recalls
also the out pouring of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles at Pentecost.
So the Church continues, the Holy Ghost continues to extend Himself
through the hands of the successors of the Apostles. We are happy
to be able today to confer ordination on thirteen new priests.
not supposed to be an ordination of priests this year, because
the course of studies has been changed from five to six years,
and the results of the change were to come into effect in 1982.
But special circumstances dictate that we ordain today (besides
the new priests) seven deacons for the Society and six others
from various groups allied to us, fighting the same fight, with
the same convictions and the same love of the Church. The day
before yesterday I conferred priestly ordination on two members
of the Society for the District of Germany, making a total of
fifteen for this year.
with the grace of God, as the years go by and the numbers increase,
that our seminaries, especially in Germany and the United States,
will yield the fruits of the seeds planted in preceding years.
The first ordinations at Ridgefield, U.S.A., will take place next
year with three new priests. They have already taken place at
Zaitzkofen, Germany. Let us pray that God will bless these seminaries
and give those who are studying for the priesthood the many graces
friends, in a few minutes you will be ordained priests. You know,
I am sure, today more than ever, that ordination will put you
into the very heart of the work of redemption of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. By His Sacrifice on the Cross, Our Lord set Himself to
create priests, to create a share in His eternal Priesthood for
those He chose to prolong His Sacrifice, the source of the graces
of the Redemption, because it is the great work of God. God created
everything to be redeemed. This is His great work of love.
He created everything the world which we see around us. He did
it by the Cross. He did it for the redemption of souls. He did
it by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He did it for priests. He
did it so that souls could be united to Him, especially as Victim
in the Holy Eucharist. He gives Himself to us as Victim, so that
we may offer our own lives with His, and thus share not only in
our own redemption, but also in that of others.
of God, this thought of God which brought the world into being,
is a most extraordinary thing. We are astonished at this great
mystery which Almighty God has brought into being here below.
And precisely because the sacrifice of Our Lord is at the heart
of the Church, at the heart of our salvation, at the heart of
our souls, everything touching on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
touches us profoundly, touches each one of us, personally, because
we must participate in the Holy Sacrifice for the salvation of
our souls, because we must receive the Blood of Jesus by baptism
and the other sacraments, especially the Sacrament of the Altar,
in order to save our souls.
why we are so attached to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass -the
more so as they want to change it and make it (so they say) more
acceptable to those who are not of our faith, who do not have
the Catholic Faith. All these changes in the last few years in
the most precious thing in the Church, the Liturgy, have been
made to bring us closer to our separated brethren, that is to
say, to those who are not of our Faith.
So our hearts
are troubled, our minds and our faith are aroused. We ask ourselves:
"How can they water down this truth, the greatest, most mysterious,
most beautiful, most divine thing in our Church, the Holy Roman
Catholic Church, to bring it down to the level of heretics?"
We don't understand; and in this spirit, we ask ourselves how
clerics were brought into the Church with ideas that are not those
of the Church, not truly fortified by the Holy Ghost, not filled
with the spirit of truth, but with the spirit of error and could
get to the highest levels in the Church and put through these
reforms which are destroying the Church. What a mystery!
it be? How could Almighty God allow it? How could Our Lord make
these promises to Peter and his successors, to the church and
to all the successors of the Apostles, and then allow this state
of affairs we see before us today? Blessed those faithful who
came before us and did not have such problems to face and resolve!
I would like to try to explain what it seems to me our course
of action should be in the face of these sad developments taking
place in the Church. It seems to me that we can compare this agony
the Church is suffering today to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. You see how astonished the Apostles themselves were when
Our Lord was taken and bound after the kiss of Judas. He is taken
away. He is clothed in a scarlet robe, mocked, beaten, weighed
down with the Cross. And the Apostles run away; they are scandalized.
It is not possible that He Whom Peter proclaimed: "Thou art
the Christ, the Son of God"- can be reduced to this plight,
this humiliation, this destruction. It cannot be. They run away.
Virgin Mary, with St. John and some women remain with Our Lord
and keep the faith. They will not abandon Him. They know that
Our Lord is truly God, but they also know that He is man. It is
precisely this union of the divinity with the humanity of Our
Lord that poses extraordinary difficulties. Our Lord in fact did
not want to be merely man; He wanted to be a man like us, with
all the results of sin yet without sin, apart from sin; but He
wanted to accept all the consequences: sadness, fatigue, suffering,
thirst, hunger, death. Yes, right up to His death, Our Lord embodied
this extraordinary thing that so scandalized the Apostles, as
it indeed scandalized many others who turned their backs on Our
Lord and did not believe in the divinity of Our Lord.
the history of the Church, one comes across these people who are
so surprised at the weakness of Our Lord that they cannot believe
He is God. This was the case with Arius. Arius said no, it won't
do, that man cannot be God, because He said He was less than His
Father, that His Father was greater than He. He is therefore less
than His Father. He is therefore not God. And then Our Lord said
that astonishing thing, "My soul is sorrowful, even unto
death." How could He, with the Beatific Vision, seeing God
in His human soul, and thus far more glorious than weak, far more
eternal than temporal His soul already in eternity and blessed
yet here He is, saying, "My soul is sorrowful, even unto
death," and goes on to utter those astonishing words we could
never imagine on the lips of Our Lord, "My God, my God, why
hast Thou abandoned Me?" Hence the scandal, alas, which spreads
among weak so uls. Arius takes practically the entire Church with
him in saying this Man is not God.
on the other hand, go the other way and say that perhaps everything
Our Lord endured, spilling blood, the wounds, the Cross, all that
was imaginary. They were external phenomena but not real. Rather
like the archangel Raphael, when he went with Tobias and later
revealed to him, "'You thought I was eating when 1 had dinner
with you, but I am nourished with a spiritual nourishment."
The archangel Raphael did riot have a body like that of Our Lord
Jesus Christ. He was not born of an earthly mother, as our Lord
was born of the Virgin Mary. Was Our Lord an illusion like that
and only appeared to eat, but did not really eat, or appear to
suffer but did not really suffer? There were those who denied
the human nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ: the Monophysites, the
Monothelites, who denied the human nature and the human will of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything about Him was God (they claimed),
and everything that seemed to happen was only an illusion.
So you see
what happens to those who are scandalized by reality and truth.
Let me make a ccmparison with the Church of today. We thought
the Church was truly divine, that she could never deceive herself
or deceive us.
is true, the Church is divine; she cannot lose the truth. The
Church will always be the guardian of truth. But she is also human.
The Church is human and indeed more human than Our Lord Jesus
Christ was. Our Lord could not sin. He is the Holy One, the Just
One par excellence.
if she is divine and truly divine, transmits to us all the things
of God especially the Holy Eucharist - eternal things which can
never change and which will be the glory of our souls in heaven.
Yes, the church is divine, but she is human too. She is made up
of men who may be sinners, indeed, who are sinners, and yet who
share somehow in the divinity of the Church, to a certain extent
like the Pope, for example, by his infallibility; by the charism
of infallibility he shares in the divinity of the Church and yet
remains human. They all remain sinners. Except in those instances
where the Pope makes use of his charism of infallibility, he can
err, he can sin.
Why be scandalized
and say, like some people following the example of Arius, that
he is not pope? He is not Pope, as Arius said Christ was not God,
it cannot be, Our Lord cannot be God. We ourselves may be tempted
to say that it cannot be, he cannot be Pope and do what he is
On the other
hand, others would divinize the Church to the point that everything
in it becomes perfect. So everything in the Church being perfect,
we could say there is no question of our doing anything whatever
to oppose anything coming out of Rome; we must accept everything
coming out of Rome. Those who talk this way are like those who
say that Our Lord was God to such an extent that He could not
suffer, that He gave only the illusion of suffering, but in reality
did not suffer; in reality it was not His blood that flowed. Those
around Him had only illusions in their eyes not reality. There
are some of these today who go on saying there can be nothing
human, nothing imperfect in the Church. They too are mistaken.
They do not see the reality of things. How far can imperfection
in the Church go, how high can sin go, if I may say it, in the
Church, sin in the intellect, sin in the soul, sin in the heart
and in the will? The facts tell us.
As I said
a moment ago, we would never have dared to put on the lips of
Our Lord the words, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken
Me?" So too, we would never have thought that evil and error
could penetrate so deeply into the Church. But we are living in
this age; we cannot shut our eyes. The facts are there; it is
not merely a subjective impression. We are witnesses of what is
happening in the Church, of the terrible things that have happened
since the Council, the ruins piling up day after day, year after
year, in Holy Church. The more we go on, the more the errors spread
and the more the faithful lose the Catholic Faith. A recent study
in France shows that hardly more than two million French Catholics
are still really Catholic.
We are nearing
the end. Everyone will fall into heresy. Everyone will fall into
error because wicked clergy, as St. Pius X predicted, have found
their way into the Church and occupied it. They have spread errors
from the positions of authority they occupy in the Church.
Are we then
required to follow error because it comes from someone in authority?
No more than we should obey parents who are unworthy and ask us
to do unworthy things, no more should we obey those who ask us
to abandon our Faith and to abandon all Tradition. This is out
of the question. Oh, of course, all this is a mystery, a great
mystery, this union of the divine with the human.
is divine, and the Church is human. How far can human weakness
how shall I say overshadow the divinity of the church? Only God
knows. It is a great mystery. We see the facts; we must put ourselves
in full view of the facts and never abandon the Church, the Roman
Catholic Church, never abandon her, never abandon the successor
of Peter, because through him we are united to Our Lord Jesus
Christ, through the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter. But
if, by some misfortune, under the influence of some spirit or
other, or some weakness or pressure, or through neglect, he abandons
his duty and leads us along roads which make us lose our faith,
well, we must not follow, although at the same time we recognize
that he is Peter and if he speaks with the charism of infallibility,
we must accept his teaching, but when he does not speak with the
charism of infallibility, he may very well be mistaken alas! It
is not the first time that something like this has happened in
We are deeply
troubled, deeply anguished, we who love the Church so much and
venerate her and have always venerated her. This is why this seminary
exists, for love of the Church Catholic and Roman. This is why
all seminaries exist. Our love of the Church has been badly bruised
to think that her servants, alas, are not her servants any longer
and render her no service at all. We must pray, we must sacrifice
and, we must, like Mary, stay at the foot of the Cross and not
abandon Our Lord Jesus Christ, even if He seems, as the Scriptures,
say, "as it were accursed" on the Cross. Well, the Virgin
Mary had the faith and she saw beyond the wounds, beyond the pierced
Heart. She saw God in her Son, her Divine Son.
in spite of the wounds in the Church, in spite of the difficulties,
the persecution which we are enduring, even from those in authority
in the Church, let us not abandon the Church, let us love the
Holy Church our mother, let us serve her always in spite of the
authorities, if necessary. In spite of these authorities who wrongly
persecute us, let us stay on the same road, let us keep to the
same path: we want to support the Holy Roman Catholic Church,
we want to keep it going and we will keep it going by means of
the priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by the true sacraments
of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by the true catechism.
I was ordained in the traditional, immemorial Mass myself and
all my colleagues, up to a certain age - they received the power
to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in this immemorial
Roman Rite. Remember that: I was ordained in this rite and I do
not want to leave it, I do not wish to abandon it. It is the Mass
for which I was ordained and for which I wish to continue living.
It is truly the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church.
faithful to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It will give you so
many consolations, so many joys, so much support in your troubles,
in your trials, in the persecutions you may well undergo. You
will find the strength with Our Lord Jesus Christ to endure all
these insults; you will find this strength in the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass. In truly giving Our Lord Jesus Christ His Body, Blood,
Soul and Divinity to the faithful, you will give them also the
courage to stay with the Church in her tradition and to model
themselves on all the saints who have gone before, all who have
been canonized, beatified, held up as examples of holiness in
Holy Church. They will continue to be our models.
Virgin Mary in particular be our model. Let us ask her to make
of you, my dear friends, holy priests, priests such as she wishes.
If you invoke her throughout your life, she will protect you and
will make of you priests according to the heart of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, her Divine Son.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.