War & Peace in 2017

Letter from the District Superior, Rev. Robert Brucciani, December 2016

My Dear Brethren,

It is a dark world in which we live: dark because of sin, dark because the world wages war against the light which is Our Lord Jesus Christ. The year just past was a momentous year for both political and religious reasons, but mostly religious. The year that follows will probably be even more so.

New Religion

In 2016, the new religion that was inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council revealed itself to many as being something other than the Catholic Religion. Despite this new religion laying waste to the Church for the last 50 years, it was only in 2016 that the first of its prelates appeared to come to a full understanding of the reality of its existence.

The project of “renewal” that subverted the entire hierarchy of the Church and made them complicit in an unprecedented collapse of vocations, practice of the faith, religious education and morals has now reached a point where it can no longer hide in the fog of ambiguity. It is a new religion and it is a lie; and like all lies, it cannot deceive forever.

All that can be achieved by ambiguity has been achieved: confusion of the natural and supernatural orders, disorientation of the entire liturgy of the Church, destruction of the religious life, false ecumenism, unconditional religious liberty, divorce by annulment, effective tolerance of contraception and more. But now, the path to further “progress” lies across the open ground of the natural law.

Against natural law

In 2016, a watershed was reached when the successor of Peter deliberately spread confusion and then taught heresy in and around the encyclical Amoris Laetitia: namely that it was now considered morally acceptable to give Holy Communion to unrepentant, civilly divorced Catholics in a stable, adulterous relationship after a nebulous process of discernment. By teaching thus, the Pope contradicts the natural law of indissolubility of marriage as well as encourages sacrilegious reception of the Blessed Sacrament and denies the requirement for the sacrament of penance (which necessitates repentance) for those in mortal sin.

In an attempt to justify this erroneous teaching, a further error against natural law was made by distinguishing between theoretical norms of law and practical norms of law—an error which undermines the basis of all moral law on inviolable principles.

At the end of 2016, four cardinals called upon the Pope to answer their dubia in relation to the teachings of the encyclical Amoris Laetitia. This formal call to clarity has been deliberately ignored by the Pope.

Two standards

There is now an unmistakable sense that battle lines are being drawn. The standard of the new religion, which is the religion of man, can no longer be confused by doublespeak with the standard erected by the head of the Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ, when He became man and dwelt amongst us 2,000 years ago.

Archbishop Lefebvre saw the difference between the two standards during the Council, and he sounded a rallying cry to the banner of Our Lord Jesus Christ when he founded the Society of St. Pius X in 1970. By God’s grace, the continued existence of the Society is a recurring echo of the same cry which is now being taken up by a handful of cardinals, bishops, priests and faithful who have hitherto been unseeing.

In 2017, there will be an escalation in the war of the world against the Church. It will be an ugly war with cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop etc. and the battlefields will be those of both doctrine and morals. As morals depend on doctrine, however, the most important battles will always be those of doctrine.

Not a few writers have suggested that what we are witnessing in the Church today is its Passion—the Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ which, like the Passion of Christ in His physical body 2,000 years ago, is a presage to ultimate triumph over sin and death.

Mary is near

When Jesus was suffering His Passion, His natural reaction was to turn to His mother and hers was to turn to Him. As she was close to Him in His suffering, she will be close to the Church in its suffering, which means that, as members of the Mystical Body, she will be close to us.

The sense of her present closeness at this time of suffering for the Church is heightened by the fact that 2017 is a Marian year, for it marks 100 years since she appeared to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco at Fatima. It was through Mary that the Prince of Peace came into the world at Bethlehem. It was through Mary that the conditions of peace were given to the world at Fatima. It is through Mary that we will always find her Son. She is the “Vanquisher of Heresies” because she gave birth to the Truth and she holds Him out for us to embrace.

The following hymn, written by St. Ephram the Syrian (†373), expresses in Mary’s words what the Nativity meant to her and what it should mean to us.

Hymn 11: The Virgin Mother to Her Child

I shall not be jealous, my Son,

that You are with me, and also with all men.

Be God to him that confesses You,

and be Lord to him that serves You,

and be Brother to him that loves You,

that You may gain all!

When You dwelled in me,

You also dwelled out of me,

and when I brought You forth openly,

Your hidden might was not removed from me.

You are within me, and You are without me,

O You that makes Your Mother amazed.

For [when] I see that outward form of Yours

before my eyes, the hidden Form is shadowed forth

in my mind, O holy One.

In Your visible form I see Adam,

and in Your hidden form I see Your Father,

who is joined with You.

Have You then shown me alone

Your Beauty in two Forms?

Let Bread shadow forth You, and also the mind;

dwell also in Bread and in the eaters thereof.

In secret, and openly too, may Your Church see You,

as well as Your Mother.

He that hates Your Bread

is like him that hates Your Body.

He that is far off that desires Your Bread,

and he that is near that loves Your Image, are alike.

In the Bread and in the Body,

the first and also the last have seen You.

Yet Your visible Bread

is far more precious than Your Body;

for Your Body even unbelievers have seen,

but they have not seen Your living Bread.

They that were far off rejoiced!

Their portion utterly scorns that of those that are near.

Lo! Your Image is shadowed forth

in the blood of the grapes on the Bread;

and it is shadowed forth on the heart

with the finger of love, with the colours of faith.

Blessed be He that by the Image of His Truth

caused the graven images to pass away.

You are not [so] the Son of Man

that I should sing unto You a common lullaby;

for Your Conception is new,

and Your Birth marvellous.

Without the Spirit who shall sing to You?

A new muttering of prophecy is hot within me.

How shall I call You a stranger to us, Who is from us?

Should I call You Son?

Should I call You Brother?

Husband should I call You?

Lord should I call You?

O Child that gave Your Mother a second birth from the waters?

For I am Your sister,

of the house of David, the father of us Both.

Again, I am Your Mother because of Your Conception,

and Your Bride am I because of Your sanctification,

Your handmaid and Your daughter, from the Blood and Water

wherewith You have purchased me and baptised me.

The Son of the Most High came

and dwelt in me, and I became His Mother;

and as by a second birth, I brought Him forth

so did He bring me forth by the second birth,

because He put His Mother's garments on,

she clothed her body with His glory.

Tamar, who was of the house of David,

Amnon put to shame;

and virginity fell and perished from them both.

My pearl is not lost:

in Your treasury it is stored,

because You have put it on.

The scent of her brother-in-law slunk from Tamar,

whose perfume she had stolen.

As for Joseph's Bride,

not even his breath exhaled from her garments,

since she conceived Cinnamon. (Cant 4:14)

A wall of fire was Your Conception unto me, O holy Son.

The little flower was faint,

because the smell of the Lily (Cant 2:1) of Glory was great.

The Treasure-house of spices stood

in no need of flower or its smells!

Flesh stood aloof because it perceived

in the womb a Conception from the Spirit.

The woman ministers before the man,

because he is her head.

Joseph rose to minister before his Lord,

Who was in Mary.

The priest ministered before Your ark

by reason of Your holiness.

Moses carried the tables of stone which the Lord wrote,

and Joseph bare about the pure Tablet

in whom the Son of the Creator was dwelling.

The tables had ceased, because the world

was filled with Your doctrine.

Thank you to our benefactors for your spiritual and temporal help over the last year. May you receive a hundredfold reward and may all your sins be expiated!

On behalf of all the priests of the Society, I wish you every grace this Christmas and in the new year ahead. Stay close to Mary and you will always be at peace, for you will be with the Prince of Peace.

In Jesu et Maria,

Rev. Robert Brucciani

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