Franciscans, Dominicans and Lefebvrists

An Open Letter to Progressivists and Modernists


By Father João Batista de Almeida Prado Ferraz Costa

Remnant Guest Editorial

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to present the English version of an article written by Fr. João Batista de Almeida Prado Ferraz Costa, a Brazilian priest of the diocese of Anapolis, Goias (near Brasilia) from the Associcao Civil Santa Maria das Vitorias. Father’s  diocese was one of the most traditional in Brazil and its priests were trained by Bishop Manoel Pestana, now bishop emeritus. Under his authority the "priests of Anapolis" preserved the traditional Latin Mass and the Catholic orthodoxy. His excellent article illustrates once again the clear thinking and sensus Catholicus that is manifestly maintained through faithful adherence to the Church's liturgical tradition.  May God be with our Catholic brothers and sisters in an increasingly anti-Catholic South America. …Michael J. Matt

(Posted 03/13/09 work of the restoration of the Church carried out with wisdom and strength by the Holy Father has faced thousands of hindrances by the ignorant progressivists and the modernists proud of their pseudo-science. These men, who are enemies of all good, have done everything to prevent the canonical regularization of the Priestly Fraternity St. Pius X. For instance, the anarchist heretic Hans Küng not only criticized the Pope for approaching the traditionalists, but also incited the Austrian clergy and laypeople against the appointment of a certain auxiliary Bishop for a diocese in that country.


Full of hypocrisy and unhappy with the decree of January 21, 2009, which makes the unfair excommunication dated 1988 null and void, the modernists, when making reference to the four bishops consecrated by Mons. Lefèbvre, say, in a pejorative tone, “the Lefebvrist bishops” or the “head of the Lefebvrists” or make comments such as "the Lefebvrists bishops may not celebrate Mass at Catholic churches.”


It is revolting to see so much hypocrisy. As we know, the progressivists profane and destroy our old churches, tear down altars and replace them with Lutheran tables in front of the tabernacle, and lend holy places even to pagan rites (as occurred in Assisi). They make every kind of “communicatio in sacris”. All these sorts of things are allowed in their distorted minds. However, providing the “Lefebvrists” with an altar to say Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite is not possible. No, this is a mortal sin!


"You brood of vipers! The harlots go into the kingdom of God before you!"


You should know that the work founded by Mons. Lefebvre had all necessary canonical licenses. His seminary in Econe received a letter of praise from the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, which was supported by one of the most respected theologians of the twentieth century, Charles Cardinal Journet. The canonical dissolution of the Priestly Fraternity Saint Pius X - if we can use the word canonical – was illegal. It did not comply with the rule set forth in law. Nullius juris. If the excommunication of the four bishops was revoked, with greater reason the approving acts relative to the foundation of the Priestly Fraternity Saint Pius X should be revalidated.


All this becomes much more evident based upon the Holy Father’s letter presenting the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" to the bishops, in which he points out that the Traditional Mass has never been prohibited.


What did the Pope want to say? For one who understands well, half a word suffices. It is clear that the progressivists lied all these years, pretending that the Mass of All Times had been prohibited, thereby abusing their power, wishing to banish from the Church those Catholics attached to the Tradition of the Church.


A progressivist who is a little more intellectually endowed may make the following challenge: "The Lefebvrists were ostracized because they rejected Vatican II." I would answer like this: "And you, what did you do with Vatican II? From a pastoral council, full of ambiguities, without any doctrinal definition, while full of pleadings to dialogue with the world, out of these pastoral documents – some in obvious contradiction with what the Church had said and done up to 1958 - you wanted to create a super-dogma or turn such documents into a fundamental constitution of a new religion - the "post-conciliar Church" in the words of Cardinal Benelli. A new religion without dogmas, or better, with the sole dogma of prohibiting the stating of any dogma. You caused the Council to say what was not the Council fathers’ purpose. You invented a new mass, stripped of Latin and sacred music, that had been expressly rejected by the Council fathers. Hence, your hatred toward Benedict XVI,  Mons. Lefèbvre and everything they represent.


It so happens that Cardinal Ratzinger went so far as to write to Mons. Lefèbvre in 1983: “You are entitled to say that there are points in Vatican II that can hardly be reconciled with the Tradition of the Church.” And he also said that Gaudium et Spes was an anti- Syllabus.


Therefore, today, prior to a canonical formalization, the Fraternity of Saint Pius X is right and it pursues, with the Holy Father’s consent, a doctrinal study on some questionable points of Vatican II to dissipate the confusion reigning in the Church.


On the other hand, the progressivists, giving one more proof of bad faith, say: “The Lefebvrists must accept Vatican II our way” And meanwhile they auction off the primacy of Peter to please the truly schismatic ones!


Therefore, today, the Pope uses his best efforts to promote the hermeneutics of continuity. On the other hand, you wish the break with the past. Or at least you lie saying that you are in continuity. The burden of proof is on you. If you do not succeed, be honest and get out of the Church. Establish your own modern Church that accepts the ordination of priestesses, the use of condoms, divorce, birth control, gay marriage, a religion open to animism, the cult of mountains, trees and waters; a religion where man is God.


A progressivist that is both simplistic and malicious perhaps may say: “The Lefebvrists are Nazis. Look at the statement of Bishop Williamson!” I admit that the British Bishop was unfortunate when trusting a journalist (who would subsequently betray him in the service of the progressivists) when telling him his erroneous opinion regarding the genocide perpetrated by Hitler’s criminal regime, not only against the Jews, but against the gypsies, Polish Catholics, and people with physical and mental disabilities. However, it should be said that Bishop Williamson’s erroneous opinion is based on some readings which he has stated a willingness to revise and compare with other sources. Anyway, one cannot, from this one opinion, generalize to the entirety of the SSPX. The very father of Mons. Lefebvre died in a Nazi prison.


However, if that simplistic progressivist insisted on this kind of argumentation I would summon the patience to ask him: why do you defend el paredon and the prison island of Fidel Castro? Arns, Casaldaliga, Silva Henriques, Boff, Betto and so many others defended the greatest genocide in history perpetrated by communism. You agreed to a pact with Moscow in the case of Vatican II! In exchange for the participation of the Russian schismatic folks – to whom you do not refer as such – you silenced, in an ignoble and immoral manner, any mention of the greatest threat that afflicted civilization - communist oppression. How much hypocrisy, my God! All in the name of unity and peace!


What kind of unity do you want? Around what? There can be no unity without truth. You do not believe in the Eternal Word. Dom João Evangelista Martins Terra SJ proves that fact in his book “Bento XVI Adversus Haereses” (2007), a book which you have censured in a kind of upside-down inquisition. How much hypocrisy! The tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you, a kingdom in which you no longer believe.


You progressivists may scream since you are unable to present arguments. You may joke by using the expression "Lefebvrists." As a matter of fact, they are more Catholic than many today who have all the documentation and canonical provisions in good standing with the Diocesan Curias. An authentic proof of the Lefebvrists’ Catholicity is the beautiful letter by the four bishops letter sent by the four bishops to the Holy Father on the past January 29th. They are authentic Catholic. What can we say about many Franciscans and Dominicans? They are closer to the Lutherans, as honestly admitted by an Italian bishop a few days ago.

Anápolis, March 1st, 2009