In the northern hemisphere September is the month when one begins the academic and business year. Our seminaries begin a new year and the young priests ordained at the end of June now find themselves at their different assignments given to them by our Superiors. We must truly thank God for giving the Church 21 new priests – 18 for our Society, 2 for the Capuchins and 1 for the Fraternity of the Transfiguration. God willing next year shall see about 25 young men ordained to the priesthood.
If we rejoice at these ordinations, if we rejoice with these young levites, it is also just to rejoice with those who have been on the “battlefield” for some years now. In particular I think of those who, this past 29th June, celebrated their silver jubilee of ordination. Bishop Williamson, Fathers du Chalard, Dubroeuoq, Groche. Roch and Wodsack were at Ecône on this occasion to thank God for their respective 25 years of priesthood. The summer of 1976 was called “l’été chaud” – the hot summer – not because of the heat, but because of the situation between Rome and Ecône. Rome said to Mgr Lefebvre “concelebrate the ordination Mass of 29th June and all your problems will be over.” Rightly so, our Founder said “no”. “It is evident that it is on the problem of the Mass that the whole drama between Ecône and Rome depends,” said his Grace at the ordination sermon.
25 years later nothing has changed. Bishop Fellay, during the recent discussions with Rome said “allow all priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.” Here our superior general sees but the common good of the Church. Rome replies via Cardinal Hoyos letter of 7thMay: “… a certain number of Cardinals, Bishops and faithful judge that such a permission should not be granted: not that the former sacred rite does not merit all respect, or that its theological solidity, its beauty and its sanctifying value down the ages and in the Church is ignored, but because this permission might create confusion in the minds of man who might create confusion in the minds of many who might understand it as a depreciation of the value of the holy Mass which the Church celebrates today.”
The common good of the Church is thus overlooked because of the thoughts of a “certain number”.
In the meantime we continue, trusting in Almighty God and working for His greater glory, working for Rome in spite of what every one else may think.
In caritate Christi,
Father Anthony Esposito.