NEWS FROM CTM
The following remarks were made by Mr. Richard Cuneo
during an observance of the 95th anniversary of the birth of
Fr. De Pauw on Sunday, October 6th.
Thank you for joining us here this morning for our observance of the 95th anniversary of the birth of Fr. De Pauw.
I apologize in advance, because this morning remarks will be a little longer than usual. However, they are remarks which I believe are of extreme importance.
This morning, we stand before the statue of St. Michael, the great angel leader who helps us fight and win over the devil. Only last Sunday we celebrated his feast day, and we heard that this great saint and archangel, is known as the guardian angel of the chosen people.
We, the remaining loyal traditionalist Roman Catholics, who are today God’s chosen people, were never in more need of this great saint’s protection. Just as in today’s Epistle, St. Paul told the Ephesians, a struggling Christian community of his day surrounded by paganism, that the days are evil, I believe that if he were writing to us today, he would add that the days are EXCEEDLINGLY evil.
On August 6th, 1978, when Fr. De Pauw learned of the death of Paul VI in a call from Rome, my grandfather commented to Father “now that he is dead, maybe this will all be over.” In answer to that comment, Fr. De Pauw spoke the following prophetic and most chilling words about the future of our Church. Words which sent a terrified silence over the family meal which was taking place. “ Lenny, let’s just hope the day never comes that we will long for the day when Paul VI was pope”
In our special edition of “Sounds of Truth and Tradition” published for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, we stated then,“ when one sits back and realizes that every cardinal today who can vote for a new pope and who is eligible to be elected pope, is a creature of post Vatican II Catholicism, it makes one remember and realize how right Fr. De Pauw was when he said; “only a miracle of God can straighten out the mess the Church finds herself in.”
Little did we know then, that only months later we would find ourselves in that exact situation when Benedict XVI resigned as the Supreme Pontiff. And when it was announced to the world that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina had been elected the next Supreme Pontiff, we of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement knew full well that we were sailing into uncharted waters. We knew we were sailing into those waters, in the life saving boat of the once Roman Catholic Church, without our captain. But just as Our Lord had told the Apostles; “why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?” when they encountered a great storm on the sea, we chose not to join the chorus of condemnations, and instead based our reception of that news on the 3 theological virtues which are the inspiration of all Catholic life.
We had Faith, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, because Our Lord told us that “the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.” We had Hope that one day our Church would return to its former glory, because Our Lord told us, “I will not leave you as orphans.” But above all we had Charity. Charity, for the countless immortal souls of our fellow Roman Catholics whose eternal salvation, like ours, depends on the very survival of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the ensuing Real Presence of the Living Christ on earth, which we still have here in this little oasis in Westbury. Charity, longing for the day when all our fellow Catholics would once again have the same. But Our Lord, who knows what He does in all things, and can write straight on crooked lines, has chosen not to answer our prayers just yet.
My remarks today are necessitated by the widely publicized interviews given by Pope Francis during a flight from Brazil back to Rome in July and the more recent interview given to a Jesuit magazine, Civilta Cattolica last month. Both of these interviews were wide ranging and covered many topics, though the news media chose to cover only one of those topics.
The Church, in the words of Pope Pius XII, “as the pillar and ground of truth ,and guardian, by the will of God and the mandate of Christ, of the natural and supernatural order, cannot renounce her right to proclaim to her sons and daughters and to the whole world the unchanging basic laws, thereby saving them from every perversion, frustration, corruption, false interpretation and error.” Whether it was on matters of faith, or morals, the Church’s voice in defending God’s inheritance was always clear and unequivocal. It was often equated to that of a giant in defense of a priceless treasure. Continuing the words of the saintly Pius XII, “The Church by the mandate imposed upon her by her Divine Founder has the duty of teaching and educating in all, the inflexibility of truth and goodness. Her deportment has not changed in the course of history, nor can it change whenever and wherever, under the most diversified forms, she is confronted with the choice: either the incense for idols or blood for Christ.”
Unlike those clear words, the answers provided by Pope Francis in both those interviews in the field of morals, have caused confusion. And only afterwards, seemingly as an after thought, did he add, that the Church’s teachings in these matters are clear. These answers have left Catholics bewildered and asking themselves, did the pope just change the Church’s moral teachings? Well fortunately for the Church, a pope cannot change those moral teachings or any doctrine of the Church through an airplane interview or worse through a Jesuit magazine. And while only discussed as a footnote for obvious reasons, Catholic theology manuals have addressed, that even as pope, the incumbent in Peter’s chair is infallible only under the most exceptional circum-stances, while there is nothing or no One protecting him as an individual against error or even heresy. Those exceptional circum-stances are when a pope acts ex cathedra. And no teaching can be understood as dogmatically declared and defined unless this has been clearly understood.
But as distressing as his answers and the impression left by those answers were, what was not reported was even more disturbing. Words such as: “the Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently…it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person…those who stubbornly try to recover the past that no longer exists they have a static inward directed view of things…no one is saved alone…how can we reconcile in harmony Petrine primacy and collegiality …the view of the Church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong. And most disturbing of all, speaking of the True Mass, the unbloody renewal of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on the Cross, the very heart and center of Roman Catholic worship, he reportedly has said.. “I think the decision of Pope Benedict was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity. What is worrying though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”
These, are not words from an errant Jesuit in a barrio somewhere deep in the heart of South America. These are the words reportedly of the Pope. So what are we to do now? Are we to conclude that we have reached that day which Fr. De Pauw prophetically spoke about?
What do we do, throw in the towel and say you cannot fight city hall? Or do we join the ranks of those who condemn the person of the pope and subscribe to the theory that we have no pope?
How many times I have prayed before this statue of St. Michael and memorial of Fr. De Pauw for the answer? How many rosaries have I said before the statue of the Blessed Mother in our Chapel? And how many prayers before the Living God in our tabernacle for the correct answer?
And as is always the case when I need guidance, I feel the hand of Fr. De Pauw on my shoulder pointing me in the right direction, convinced as I am, that he will never let me do anything which is contrary to what he would have done.
This is the answer. God will not judge us on whether or not we condemn a pope. Neither you nor I are theologians. It is not up to us to judge a pope. Fr. De Pauw never did and told us no Catholic ever should. His exact words were, speaking to those who were condemning Paul VI at the time: “I know that even among our good friends there are some today attacking and vilifying Pope Paul VI. I know how some have, temporarily, I prayerfully hope, joined the ranks of those who publicly discuss the allege heresies and indeed the Apostasy of Pope Paul VI. I know how they call Pope Paul another Honorius I, the 7th century pope, who 40 years after his death was solemnly anathematized by his saintly successor, Pope Leo II, for not extinguishing the flame of heretical doctrine from the beginning but rather fanning the flame by his negligence. I simply cannot do the same! Here, too, my answer is NON POSSUMUS! NON LICET! We cannot do it; we have no right to do it.”
As the unworthy leader of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, who received that position from Fr. De Pauw, I will not stray from what he taught. As the one he entrusted to continue his work and to keep this Chapel exactly the same as he did, I can never and will never do something which he would never have done. The Catholic Traditionalist Movement will continue to believe as Father taught, that good pope or bad pope he is the only pope we have. That is why we will continue to pray for Pope Francis in the Canon of every Mass in this Chapel; praying, that God will enlighten his mind and strengthen his will.
God will not judge me on whether I stand here today and condemn this or any other pope. But God will judge me on how well I held onto the charge that was given to me to protect. That charge is to keep the little flame burning of the True Faith and to keep the valid Sacrifice of the Mass alive in this Chapel. God will judge each and every one of you on how well you held onto and how well you passed onto your children that True Faith.
But make no mistake, while the Catholic Traditionalist Movement will never attack or condemn the person of the Pope, we will not change one thing. We will not do one thing differently than what we have always done and continue to do today. We will continue to hold onto that same Faith and Mass which was handed down to us from our forefathers. That same Catholic faith, which we were born into, continue to live in, and some day, hope to die in.
We do not hold on, because we are ideologues, or static, or even sensitive. We hold on because Our Lord told us; “he who is not with Me, is against Me”. And, “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It were better for that man if he had not been born.” We will continue to believe as Father taught us, that our first and foremost obedience is to God.
We will continue to believe in and hold onto a Church which has one pope and 5000 bishops. Not 5000 little popes. A Church founded by Christ as a hierarchical and monarchial society. Hierarchical, which is authoritarian, meaning that it is governed by a divinely constituted group of bishops who receive their authority from God and not from being democratically elected. Monarchial meaning that all its members, lay, religious, priests, bishops and cardinals, ALL, are subject to one among them, who ALONE possesses the special prerogative called primacy. Primacy, which is not just of honor, but of jurisdiction as well. A prerogative, by which the pope is given real authority over all others who become subject to him, and whose only superior is the Lord Himself. That primacy of jurisdiction, given to St. Peter by Our Lord with the words; “THOU ART PETER AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH…AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”.
We will continue to believe in and hold onto a Church that teaches that anything which is seriously opposed to the necessary order which God has established between Himself and man are grave sins. We will continue to believe in and hold onto a Church that teaches that anything which opposes the Divine plan of creation, the continuation of the human family and human beings share in that plan, sanctified through the Sacrament of Matrimony, are grave sins. We will continue to believe in and hold onto a Church that teaches that anything which is contrary, opposed, or works to undermine the sanctification of human love in Matrimony, which enables a man and a woman to help each other live as children of God are grave sins. We will continue to believe in and hold onto a Church that teaches that these grave sins are mortal sins, which means that the person who commits them, has cut themselves off from God. And we will continue to believe that internal sins of the will, or tendencies, as they were referred to, are just as serious as the external sins and have the same moral and theological character of the act itself.
And while we believe in the infinite mercy of God towards sinners, one cannot rightly express mercy towards sinners, but fail to express the hatred for sin. The Gospels tell us how Christ dealt with sinners: hatred and no compromise towards sin, but charity and patience towards sinners. In instituting the Sacrament of Confession, God appointed his priests to be ministers of both Divine justice and Divine mercy, thereby safeguarding the honor of God and promoting the salvation of souls.
But most of all, we will continue to believe in and hold onto a Church which has the valid Sacrifice of the Mass as its heart. A Mass ordered by another pope, who is also a saint, a real saint, to last in perpetuity. We will continue to refuse to have a new mass forced down our throats. A new mass, which none other then the Defender of the Faith, Cardinal Ottaviani, along with Cardinal Bacci, described as “deviating most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass” and as “a systematic and tacit negation of the Real Presence.” We will continue to hold onto that Mass, not because we are sensitive or ideologues, but because it is the means Our Lord gave to us by which we may receive the graces and merits of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on the Cross on the First Good Friday, which we are otherwise separated from by 20 centuries of space and time. That Sacrifice made eternal salvation available to all yes, but only to those elect, who by their own free will ACCEPT the salvation available to all.
As you entered the memorial this morning you were given a memorial card with a picture of Fr. De Pauw speaking at the Corpus Christi procession in 1994.On the back is a quote from St. Paul to the Galatians: “Even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other then that which we have preached to you, let him be damned”
If there is one thing which I have hoped to bring out to all of you, by our newsletter editions on the life story of Fr. De Pauw, it is that all through his life he faced adversity, but no matter how dark it got, he always had hope for a better day. He was able to do so because everything he did and believed in was anchored in the inflexibility of truth and goodness.
As we remember him today for his 95th birthday, let us follow his example. Let us continue to hold fast to what he taught us no matter how dark the days get. Let us never sway from that Catholic Faith, which he taught us, no matter what. Let us always hold onto the True Mass and the ensuing real presence of the Living Christ on earth, because it is our means of salvation. Let us pray that God will give Fr. John a long and healthy life to continue to provide us, as he has so faithfully done these past five years, with the real Mass and Sacraments.
On Easter, we celebrate Christ’s victory over death. Today, the Mystical Body of Christ continues to go through the darkest Good Friday in its history. Humanly speaking the external structure of what was once the Roman Catholic Church is dead. And yet we know our Church cannot be completely dead! We know that, because Our Lord, Who rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, founded our Church and gave us the assurance that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.
Last week in the sermon on St. Michael, we heard that we were selected to be God’s chosen few. We are the chosen ones to remain faithful members of the Roman Catholic Church. We were told it would be shear folly to turn away from that selection.
Let us pray with extra devotion today the prayer to St. Michael, asking Fr. De Pauw to intercede in heaven for us, to always make us worthy of that selection and to thank Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and St. Michael for taking us under their protective mantle. Let us pray that we may always remain there, for indeed there is no better and no safer company.