Treasure in mortal hands

Letter from the District Superior, Rev. Robert Brucciani, November 2018

My dear brethren,

We have a treasure in our hands which has been faithfully guarded by a long line of popes and bishops spanning two millennia. It is a treasure that enables a soul to span the infinite gulf between herself and God.

Touching God

We touch God spiritually in this life by the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity which God infuses directly into the soul, but these virtues can only reach perfection by the treasure handed down from generation to generation by frail members of Holy Mother the Church.

  • The treasure which gives supernatural faith something to believe in (ie. its material object) is sacred doctrine from the wellsprings of tradition and holy scripture.
  • The treasure which gives us reason to hope is the sacramental priesthood, by which the Christ the Mediator is made present among us.
  • The treasure in which supernatural charity finds its ultimate expression is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by which the soul inserts itself into the perfect prayer of God offering God to God, entering thereby into the life of the Blessed Trinity itself.

Supernatural faith, hope and charity are never in danger as gifts, because God is their dispenser. The triple treasure of doctrine, priesthood and the Mass are perpetually in peril because their keeper is man.

Satan's war

Little surprise, therefore, that since the establishment of the Church, Satan has tried to subvert doctrine, corrupt priests and desecrate the Mass. Most of his assaults have been against one or other of the treasures singly: heresies of every description have troubled the Church, moral corruption at every level of the hierarchy have scandalised so many souls across the centuries, the liturgy has suffered with the passage of time and at the hands of misguided innovators. But each time the hierarchy has acted to restore order, the Church has emerged stronger than before; each time that is, until the Protestant Reformation.

The Reformation was a major victory for Satan: all three treasures were attacked simultaneously and within 20 years, a third of Christendom had fallen away from the Church. It left an open wound within the frontiers of Christendom where new heresies, new religions and new organisations were able to grow to further the work of the Prince of the World.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the Church was infected with a coalescence of philosophical and theological errors, a masterpiece of Satan, called Modernism.


The modernist is a nominalist (or idealist): denying the knowability of objective truth. The modernist is also a prisoner of naturalism: effectively denying the existence of the supernatural order. To the modernist: faith is from within, hope is founded on one’s own natural endowments, and charity is following one’s sentimental inclinations irrespective of objective truth and the commandments.

The heresy of modernism corrupts the intellect and therefore necessarily corrupts morals too. The injunction “If you love Me, keep My commandments” becomes “If you love Me, do what you feel is right.”

The modernist, like the Protestant:

…really believes that he is doing the will of God, but in practice private judgment means that he interprets the will of God by his own will and that his rule of faith is to do what he thinks right—that is to say, he uses his own judgment to decide what God's judgment will be and then follows the result as God's judgment. Thus while he thinks he is agreeing with God, he is really making God agree with him.

It is not simply that every man is his own pope, but that every man is his own God, for the pope's authority is limited by God who gives it, but the individual's authority, being wrong ab initio, is limited in no way.

Gradually he comes (usually unconsciously) to leave out this middle step and no longer thinks of God in each individual case, but only as a kind of general approver of his actions. Then rejecting alike atheism and deism, he has reached the practical position of believing in God's existence and God's will for us, but of acting exactly as though there were no God but his own will." (Frank Sheed, Booklet on the Catholic Evidence Guild, 1924).

As the modernist excuses himself from obedience to doctrine and obedience to an objective moral law, he feels free to experiment with the liturgy too. By the 1950s, debate about the future of the Mass was led by the progressives of the day. Ugly churches were built, not for the traditional Latin Mass of 1,600 years, but in anticipation of a new man-centred liturgy for modern times.

Modernism, because it can operate within the hierarchy of the Church, and because it undermines the intellect and the will more fundamentally than Protestantism, represents the greatest existential threat to the triple treasure of doctrine, priesthood and the Mass that the Church has ever faced.

Modernism's victory

Pope St. Pius X tried in vain to extirpate Modernism from the Church throughout his pontificate (1904–1914). The heresy went to ground for a few years, only to emerge again like a tenacious fungal infection, nourished by churchmen’s desire to fit in with an increasingly pagan world and accelerated by the organised infiltration of the hierarchy by Freemasons and communists.

At the Second Vatican Council (1962–5), a carefully prepared revolution established the heresy of Modernism—that “synthesis of all heresies”—as the new orthodoxy.

Doctrine changed: new notions of religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality were only the start of a continuous slide which now sees the natural law being officially ignored by a pope.

The priesthood changed: the priest was to perceive himself as the president of an assembly rather than an alter Christus; more game-show host than instrument of Christ in the Divine Sacrifice. He forgot who he was and what he should be. Scandals of political and financial corruption, homosexuality, sexual abuse and infidelity are now set before us by a gleeful media almost every day.

The liturgy was changed to reflect the new doctrinal errors. It was ugly, it emptied the churches and left souls deprived of the triple treasure handed down faithfully for two thousand years.

Remnant keeps the treasure

Satan’s victory was complete but for a stubborn bishop here or there, and priests considered too old to learn new tricks or too odd to get with the programme.

The most visible of the bishops was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. He founded our Society precisely to conserve and transmit the triple treasure, but was repaid for his efforts by being subject to the full fury of the new modernist hierarchy. He was forbidden to administer the sacraments in 1976 (suspensio a divinis) for sounding the alarm and was “excommunicated” in 1988 for consecrating those bishops who would best preserve the triple treasure. Members of the Society were effectively excommunicated too, being refused the use of Catholic churches and accused of being schismatic.

Archbishop Lefebvre’s guardianship of the triple treasure is now to his eternal merit. He has not only left an increasing body of priests and religious to continue with the work of conserving and transmitting the triple treasure, he has given space and encouragement for individuals and other congregations to do the same throughout the Church.

Turning tide

In his interview of 12 October (see the next article), the new superior general of the Society, Rev. Davide Pagliarani, called upon the official Church “to stop considering Tradition [the triple treasure] as a burden or a set of outmoded old things, but rather as the only possible way to regenerate herself.” This is precisely what an increasing number of good souls, clergy and laity alike, are coming to realise. Never, since the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae, have there been so many Traditional Latin Masses. Never since the Second Vatican Council have so many understood that the Council was a revolution in which doctrine, the priesthood and the liturgy were subverted. These souls have joined the ranks of guardians of our sacred treasure and have left the corrupt, modernist churchmen to blush before the baying media. The only way forward for the Church is back to Tradition.

My dear brethren, we are all called to assist in the longed for regeneration of the Church. We can do this most effectively by the regeneration of our own souls first. Faith, hope and charity are ready gifts to be granted, but they will only be granted if we value the triple treasure in our hands. May the approaching time of Advent, therefore, be a time of rediscovery of this precious treasure and a time of preparation for the coming of greatest of all treasure, Our Lord Himself.

In Jesu et Maria,

Rev. Robert Brucciani

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