The following is a statement by Richard Cuneo made public Sunday, September 8, 2013:

It has never been the policy of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement to respond to comments appearing on websites run by anonymous so-called clergymen or writings on anonymous blogs, no matter how favorable they may be to our Movement or to its founder and leader.

Since its public launching in March of 1965, the CTM has always ensured that the truth is told, believing that if errors exist in the historical record, it calls into question the entire record. Equally so, the credibility of those who write those errors is called into question with regard to everything else they may write on other topics.

Realizing that many of our members read these websites and blogs, I find it necessary to correct the historical record which was misrepresented on a popular s0-called traditionalist website and a so-called traditionalist blog regarding the relationship between Father De Pauw and Pope John Paul I and Father De Pauw’s views on the state of the Papacy.

As to the relationship between Father and that good Pope, neither Father De Pauw nor the CTM in any capacity ever stated that Pope John Paul I ever called Father on the phone to ask him to help preserve the Mass. The days of popes calling people on the phone is of very recent origin. What did occur was the following as he himself stated on the 15th anniversary of the Pope’s death: “Well, I tell you one thing, if he had remained Pope, you wouldn’t have me here at the Chapel because with that beautiful official letter signed by the Secretary of State, also came an unofficial message that I better start packing my suitcase, that there was a job waiting for me in Rome, in the Vatican, to help Pope John Paul I bring the Truth back to the Church. Well, it wasn’t to be and the Lord, Who knows what He does, obviously wanted me to be in this Chapel … what was I going to do in Rome? Well let’s just forget it …”

While he never told my family nor myself the details, wishing to spare us the disappointment of it not becoming reality, and being asked to keep everything quiet for obvious reasons, I can confirm that the discussions with my family, to which I was a silent participant, included how to keep the Chapel going while he was living in Rome, and whether or not the Pope would consider his spending part of his time here in Westbury. I can also confirm that as he explained the assignment to us, it had nothing to do with personal prelatures, something also of recent origin.

Pope John Paul I was not going to “make room” for traditionalist Catholics, but rather return the Church to the Truth of which Father would have played a significant role within the already existing jurisdictional structures of the Holy See. He was to have had the authority to ensure that return.

The fact that Cardinal Ottaviani considered the then Cardinal Luciani as the “second best” choice for a traditionalist candidate for the Papacy, second only to Cardinal Pericle Felici, says a lot about what Father’s position would have been.

As to the anonymous blog, also full of glowing compliments to Father and Bishop Kurz, it too, is loaded with historical inaccuracies.

I can firmly and unequivocally deny, having had the privilege of serving his Mass for over 40 years, and after having had several discussions with him on the topic, that Father never eliminated the name of the reigning Pontiff from the Canon of the Mass. While he never hesitated or shirked his responsibility to express his dissatisfaction with certain things done by the Popes since the ending of the Vatican Council, I can unequivocally state that he never sympathized or espoused the theory of sede-vacantism, right up until his last breath.

Those of you, who have attended this Chapel for a long time, are familiar with his explanation of the Solemn Prayer “Pro Summo Pontifice … for the Supreme Pontiff” during the traditional Good Friday service. And countless times, he stated that position in the various publications of the CTM. Those publications were written during the pontificates of Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II.

Having been sitting right next to him as Cardinal Ratzinger, someone whom he often described as the arsonist turned fireman, was announced to the world as the new pope after the death of Pope John Paul II, and being only days away from his own death, he never hinted, spoke or gave any sign that he was changing his loyalty to the Papacy or now espousing the sede-vacantist line.

Father De Pauw went to his well earned eternal reward remaining faithful to all tenets of the Divine and Catholic Faith as he swore to do so in 1942. And if the Good Lord grants me the time and ability, all these things will be made a permanent part of the historical record of our Church for these times.