On Sunday, November 6, 2005, the following statement was given at the
Ave Maria Chapel by Richard Cuneo, the sole surviving member of his
adopted American family.
"I apologize for the length of these remarks this morning but
I have an important topic to cover. Today is the 6 month anniversary
of the death of Father De Pauw and therefore serves as a good time for
updating you with out position and where we stand.
First, I would like to publicly thank the board of directors for their
efforts and loyalty in keeping both the Catholic Traditionalist Movement
and the Ave Maria Chapel running smoothly after the severe shock we
all felt with Father's passing. I would also like to thank all those
who have assisted in any way by helping enhance the devotional and material
aspects of the Chapel. The regular and generous contributions to both
the Catholic Traditionalist Movement and the Ave Maria Chapel by you
and other members throughout the country and the world are greatly appreciated
and have not gone unnoticed. These contributions will enable us to keep
the radio Mass and our Internet Mass going; the only connection many
people have to the True Faith.
Obviously the visibility of the Catholic Traditionalist movement has
been lowered without the regular publications which Father publications
which Father published and the selected interviews he would have given
on current church topics. The focus therefore, of the Catholic Traditionalist
Movement was directly linked to Father De Pauw, and the whether or not
the focus in the future changes to the historical or not, depends on
whether or not, we find an unquestionably validly ordained priest.
This then brings me to the main purpose of this update, where do things
stand with this search? While publicly it might appear that not much
has been happening, behind the scenes I have spent hours pouring over
correspondence, documents and files that Father left hoping to find
something that would lead us to finding an unquestionably validly ordained
priest. I have traveled and will continue to travel anywhere if I think
it will lead to success. I have put feelers out and while on some, I
still await a response, most have been to no avail.
While we all lost a spiritual father, I also lost an uncle, the last
remaining member of my family. As with any loved one, you never sit
and discuss their death and what follows. Yet Father always conscious
of his human mortality and the great responsibilities he shouldered,
forced this conversation on numerous occasions, the most recent a short
time before his death. And as always, he asked for my solemn promise
that I would never allow anyone to offer Mass at Ave Maria Chapel that
did not follow what he believed to the letter. With the love of a nephew
for his uncle, the respect of a spiritual son for his spiritual father,
and the conviction that he is right, I willingly gave him that promise;
a promise which I now consider sacred. I have lived my entire life by
his side. I saw him hurt, abused, maligned and even betrayed. I saw
the daily sacrifice he made to preserve the True Mass and Faith
- because of this close association with Father, the burden of finding
a qualified priest falls squarely on my shoulders, an awesome and ever
present responsibility and one which I did not want, but am more than
willing to accept.
What needs to be understood is that any decision that I make will be
based on two things:
- never breaking my promise to Father
- never betraying the sacrifices he made.
The enemies of the Church today find their roots going back centuries
to the ideas and philosophies of the Free masons and so-called Age of
Enlightenment. There was only one thing that stood in the way of those
who sought to have these ideas and philosophies accepted worldwide and
that was the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore it had to be destroyed.
In order to accomplish this, they had to destroy its two pillars - the
Sacrifice of the Mass, the renewal of Our Lord's sacrifice on the cross
at Calvary, and the primacy of the papacy within the church dictated
by Our Lord, "THOU ART PETER AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL
BUILD MY CHURCH". Once these two pillars were destroyed,
the rest would crumble.
Father De Pauw's priesthood was anchored in these two pillars, and
though destined for high places in the church; he gave it all up because
he refused to compromise and betray these two pillars. The generation
that gave us Father De Pauw also gave us the great leaders of the Church
in the last century. These "giants of men"
saw the Church at its pinnacle of strength in modern times. But today's
world does not produce such men of strong conviction and resolve. Today
we have men who chose what principles to follow and what to ignore for
their own benefit. Some choose the true mass but reject or ignore the
primacy of the papacy and lead the faithful into a schism. others reject
the true Mass and use a new version called the "New Order".
This Mass forbidden by St. Pope Pius V, and rejected
by cardinals Ottaviani and Baci lead the faithful into heresy.
I have played sermon tapes where Father has clearly explained why we
cannot accept or ally ourselves with either. Therefore, no priest who
is allied or associated with known schismatic sects will ever be allowed
to set foot in this sanctuary. No priest who publicly, quietly, tacitly,
or through avoiding the subject as not to rock the boat, accepts that
the New Order of the Mass is equal, just as valid or is a living updated
version of the true Mass will ever set foot in this sanctuary. For me
to allow this would break my promise to Father de Pauw, betray the sacrifice
of his whole life and i could not in a clear conscience before God allow
such a desecration of this altar.
So, where does this leave us? Well, I will continue the search for
a priest for as long as it takes and with the help of God and Father
De Pauw, and if it is God's will, I will meet with success. With great
faith we will stick together and continue to do what we have been doing
each Sunday since Father's passing.
We have seen some of our friends and relatives leave here and their
will be more. Some of you sitting here today may leave some day, I know
that. But rest assured, whether we have 200 people or one person, the
Chapel will remain open for anyone who wishes to be in the presence
of the Living God in the Blessed Sacrament which I assure you, Father
left us in the tabernacle.
Please do not come to me with questions that only a priest can answer.
I have no special knowledge or training for these matters. I am a lay
person like you who has the same day-to-day responsibilities in this
But, i am sure of the following:
- what father De Pauw taught us here is the same Sacred Deposit of Faith, handed down from Our Lord through the generations, surviving all previous assaults
- though we do not have the strength of receiving the Sacraments, there is a definite spiritual benefit for us in making our Spiritual Mass and Communion in the presence of the Living God, otherwise Father never would have permitted it to be done
- that God is infinite in mercy, and despite my human frailties and with my sincere sorrow for those frailties, He will take into account my fidelity to the True Faith.
One last thing to keep in mind is that many people throughout the world
have been without Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the True Sacraments
much longer than we have but still remained loyal to their True
The rest I leave in God's hands!