sábado, 25 de abril de 2015

Quo Vadis Campos? 24 year anniversary of the death of the Lion of Campos

Quo Vadis Campos: a look into the defection of the traditionalist diocese of Campos in honor of the 24 year anniversary of the death of Bishop de Castro Mayer, the Lion of Campos.

In Memoriam

On his death bed, Bishop de Castro Mayer refused to sign a so-called "formula of reconciliation" (which would include an admission that excommunication was really incurred and that no situation of necessity, as claimed by Lefebvre and Castro Mayer, had existed in 1988) proposed by Vatican delegates at his death bed. He died of respiratory failure in Campos on 25 April 1991.  For those who accept the excommunications as valid, this would mean that Bishop de Castro Mayer died outside of the Church where there is no salvation, but we know that this simply is not the case.  May Bishop de Castro Mayer be an inspiration for us to continue to fight against modernism. 

Note from the author: Let this inside look into the Campos defection serve as a realistic look at how the traditionalist defection and treachery is possible and how souls are misled by some of the bravest priests and traditionalist groups, specifically those who blindly follow Menzingen and the leadership of the neo-SSPX, under the false pretext of defending the SSPX of Archbishop Lefebvre.

Bishop Rangel 1991
Upon returning from the consecration of Bishop Faure and later the first priestly ordination for the Priestly Union Marcel Lefebvre, that of Fr. André Zelaya de Leon from Guatemala, our group from the small resistance chapel in Vitoria, Espirito Santo passes through the legendary ex-traditionalist diocese of Campos which is situated between Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo.  By chance, we happened to stop in São Fidelis.  I was conscience of the fact, but not sure if the others from our chapel were, that São Fidelis happened to be the city that on July 28th, 1991 was selected to have the honor of the last prior consecration for Tradition without the permission of modernist Rome.  This was the consecration of Bishop Rangel, who was selected to succeed the great Bishop de Castro Mayer, co-consecrator of the four bishops of the SSPX, including Bishop Williamson.  Bishop Williamson, one of the co-consecrators of Bishop Rangel, describes the moment beautifully: "The people had long been fervently praying to have a bishop, so they saw in the event of July 28 the answer to their prayers. As they waited for the ceremony to begin and the three bishops, one consecrator and two co-consecrators, came in view, many women openly cried and the men held back their tears – the Church lives!"  
Traditionalist bishop consecrated and
excommunicated attracts attention in
São Fidelis.
Dom Antônio, the Lion of Campos.

This is all very interesting to me being an American living in Brazil and having been influenced by the story of Campos as a teenager, I believe that Bishop de Castro Mayer will one day be vindicated and canonized as well as Archbishop Lefebvre.  Anybody who has seen the impression left in Campos by Bishop de Castro Mayer (from now on Dom Antônio as he is referred to here in Brazil), despite recent setbacks from the current situation, would have little doubt regarding his sanctity.  Having been able to resolve old problems troubling the Franciscan and Carmelite religious third orders and restoring them to their prestigious position in his diocese from the beginning, it is only fitting that he be a patron to third order members.

Street Dom Antônio de Castro Mayer
São Fidelis

Returning back to my story, the group with my wife and I from the small resistance chapel of Vitoria stopped in São Fidelis to get a quick bite to eat.  Sure it's a decent sized Brazilian town and with the rented transportation we used to transport our group there wasn't much of an opportunity of having momentary detours.  However, while waiting for our pizza to come to the table someone called it to my attention that there was an interesting church nearby and another lad ran off to take a curious look, so naturally, I followed behind.  We were amazed to see an enormous church springing to life so we approached to get another look. I should point out that as usual I was the only foreigner but the Brazilian with me shared the same awestruck moment.  This church was situated on the street Dom Antônio de Castro Mayer.  The temple was huge in comparison with what I am used to.  I grew up attending only Society Masses, many times in small chapels and hotel conference rooms, and these days in Brazil the resistance chapels mostly function from small chapels added on to someone's private home.  There was one gaping detail that dawned on us.  This was no regular church.  We had never seen anything like it.  Sure the seminary in Winona can
The altar in São Fidelis.
compare or even the chapel of my confirmation, but this was different.  This was a structure that apparently formed part of the diocese! Here in Brazil the diocesan churches are all renovated and rarely even include crucifixes, ugly structures which do not invoke piety and seem more welcoming to protestants, churches adorned with twisted crosses on their roofs. This huge edifice was entirely different.  It had immaculate communion rails!  There was an altar set for the true sacrifice of the Mass and there was no table.  There was no "mass table" in sight.  Even the Brazilian didn't believe it as I pointed it out to him.  "No, no", he says "there 
surely is".  We entered to approach to get a better look at this beauty to confirm what our eyes could hardly believe.  This was a 100% pre-Vatican 2 church structure, at least for the time being because the young girl passing out fliers in front assured us that sometime in the near future the New Mass will be offered in this church.  We did what we could to convince her to not accept it, but I sensed a lack of interest in our opinions regarding the whole scene.  She informed us that it was a church under the care of the Apostolic Administration of St. John Marie Vianney.

A church with communion rails.

We went back to get the others and tell them about what we found and went back a second time.  This time we were approached by an elder laywoman who showed us around.  She knew Dom Antônio and told us about how the modernist bishop Navarro kicked them out of their parishes. She told us, for whatever motive, that she had attended the other Mass a few times in the regular parish but never wore jeans or went without a veil. Unfortunately, the current agreement between Rome and the Campos priests has led to a softening of position in the laity (not just the priests).  As I was leaving I noticed the huge wooden doors were carved with a beautiful coat of arms of Dom Antônio, among other things.  
Coat of Arms of Dom Antônio
The doors of São Fidelis

As we were leaving to return to have supper, the Campos priest was entering the church to prepare to have a traditional Mass.  I later learned (through his facebook account) that the priest's name is Father Gasper Pelegrini.  We only spoke to him momentarily, long enough to let him know we were faithful of the SSPX resistance.  I knew that the Campos priest had compromised and made a deal with the Vatican, but I assumed they continued a somewhat traditional approach that probably entailed something along the lines of the Hermeneutic of Continuity...that is until well, I took a look at their website.  To my jaw-dropping surprise, there is no mention anywhere on their website of Dom Antônio.  Surely, the Campos priests, who are now formed in the Apostolic Administration St. John Marie Vianney, which reports directly to Rome, would not even exist if not for the anti-modernist efforts of Dom Antônio.  Have they forgotten where they come from?  Certainly they have as the bishop which replaced the deceased Bishop Rangel has now made such comments as "I'm in the other Mass too" and participated in liturgical abuses.  In response to the traditionalists asking about this new orientation of the Campos bishop Dom Rifan regarding the con-celebration of a new Mass (video here), his response was that he only pretended to co-consecrate, an objective mortal sin.  As if this wasn't enough, Fr. Gaspar Pelegrini commented on the incident accusing all traditionalists of schism who refuse to participate in the novus ordo mass.

"No one can be Catholic while remaining in an attitude of refusal of communion with the Pope and with the Catholic episcopate. In fact, the Church defines as schismatic those who refuse to submit to the Roman Pontiff or to remain in communion with the other members of the Church who are his subjects (canon 751). Now, to refuse continually and explicitly to participate in every and any Mass in the rite celebrated by the Pope and by all the bishops of the Church while judging this rite, in itself, incompatible with the Faith, or sinful, represents a formal refusal of communion with the Pope and with the Catholic episcopate." (source in English and Portuguese)
I guess this explains why the faithful in his church, faithful confirmed by Dom Antônio, feel obligated to inform strangers that they have been to the new mass.

As I stated, there is not one mention of Dom Antônio on the Campos priest's website.  How could they?  There are dozens of Bishop de Castro Mayer's writings to be found on the internet or other places, and they are all thoroughly traditionalist Catholic, many of these have never been translated.  The bulk of these can be viewed on the FSSPX Brasil website. Let's take a look at a rare one I found on a different site which stands in stark contrast to that of Father Gaspar Pelegrini.  
"The Code of Canon Law defines schismatics as the faithful who have separated themselves from the body of the Church, which is made up of the Pope and the bishops in union with him. More directly they are against charity, than against the Faith. Thus, before the First Vatican Council, one would have thought that this referred to someone who held to heresy. A historical example is the act constituted by the "petite église", formed by the bishops and faithful who had not heeded to the decision of Pius VII, when, yielding to the demands of Napoleon, he dismissed all the bishops faithful to the monarchy of Louis XVI. These bishops and faithful did not adhere to any doctrinal error, but did not heed to the Pope's decision. They only had distanced themselves from the Pope and the bishops united with the Pope. It was a schism. It was not a heresy.
"Since the First Vatican Council has defined as a dogma of faith that the Roman Pontiff has in the Church, the supreme power of jurisdiction over bishops and faithful, there is no possibility of a schism forming that is not also heresy, which does not reject one truth of faith.
"However, as does heresy, schism, in general, also involves doctrinal disagreement. That's what we mean when we talk about the St. Hippolytus schism in the third century, when the Saint refused to accept the authority of the Pope Saint Callistus. Schism, then could set up a body of doctrine that would pose as a doctrinal lot of the Church, and that, in fact, turns away the purity and integrity of the teachings of the Church.
"In the case of Vatican II, this could and should be appointed as schismatic, since it shows that, in its authentic texts, there are deviations from the  teachings of the Church's traditional faith.
"Now similar dissonance was noted even during the Council's work. It is, moreover, of all known as religious freedom, claimed by the council as a natural law, even for those who do not comply with the duty to investigate the true religion. In other words, the Council admits that such a right is recognized by all states. This teaching of Vatican II is diametrically opposed to the traditional doctrine, renewed by Pius IX in his encyclical 'Quanta Cura'.
"This is one example. There is much more.
"Given this schismatic position of Vatican II, the good of souls requires the absolute need to discard it before taking care of any others that may arise. Incidentally, the Vatican 2 Council must not be presented as a council of the Catholic Church." (source)
Quite the contrast between these two ideas of schism as noted by Fr. Gaspar Pelegrini and explained by Dom Antônio de Castro Mayer.  It makes one wonder how Fr. Gaspar Pelegrini could have arrived at this point and swallowed the Council, mass and all.  Especially given the fact that he was ordained without the permission of modernist Rome by a bishop

Ordination of Fr. Pelegrini without permission from the modernists.
"excommunicated" from the conciliar church being assisted by Fr. Thomas Aquinas, one of the fiercest resistance priests in South America.  How has this once traditional Campos priest given in to the trappings of modernist Rome and now made friends with the novus ordo clergy and participated in their novus ordo Mass?  Is this what happens to all the groups that make a deal with the Vatican?  Now we have a new generation of pseudo-trads accusing the original traditionalists of "schism"?  Dom Antônio must be rolling over in his grave.  As if this wasn't enough, I must add that the Campos priests have completely lost their minds!  Perhaps Fr. Pelegrini hopes to become the next bishop in any event of a future consecration in Campos.  I would be willing to bet that they have received their last bishop. 

During a Novus Ordo, Fr. Pelegrini.
Fr. Gaspar Pelegrini on the right.
I mentioned already that their website does not even do the favor of mentioning Bishop de Castro Mayer.  I think they realized that people would be curious and google it to find out the Truth and be led into, gasp, "schism".  But let's take a look at some of the interesting stuff (or trash) on their website.  It is no secret that they now proclaim John Paul 2 a saint in their sermons, but what do they say about Francis?  Well, Fr. Gaspar Pelegrini, for one, writes and uploads poems dedicated to Francis for all to read on the official Apostolic Administration website.  Apparently, he is deluded or in denial.  I have undergone the agony of translating this here for English readers. (to see the version with my added images in Portuguese that I have uploaded here; you can use the page translator, maybe, to see the corresponding parts of Fr. Pelegrini's poem).  Here is the English version.

Today I want to join my voice to that of so many people to thank God for the first year of the pontificate of Pope Francis. 

But who is Francis? 

Francis is a gift for the Church today. 

Francis is the "result" of the prayer of millions of Catholics who a year ago asked God for a new Pope according to the Heart of Christ. 

Francis was the consolation of God, after the shock we took with the announcement that our beloved Benedict XVI would resign. 

Francis is proof that Benedict XVI acted driven by God when he decided to resign. Benedict now lives assured that he sees that the Church continues in good hands. 

Francis is the Pope who speaks more with gestures than with words. 

Francis is a constant preaching, which reminds us that we often get lost in superfluous things. 

Francis is synonymous with going out of oneself, to meet each other, to go to the existential peripheries. 

Francis is synonymous with joy of the Gospel, lived in a radical way, preached with clarity and depth. 

Francis is the supreme Pastor of a Church of open doors, with confessionals working, a church that is a mother and not a warehouse of Sacraments. 

Francis is an antidote to pessimism, defeatism, Lenten seasons without Easter, and sour faces ... 

Francis is a scourge against gossip, bad judgments, careerism, exhibitionism. 

Francis wants pastors not employee priests. 

Francis wants mercy, not hardliners or lax priests. 

Francis is an echo of mercy, compassion, kindness. 

Francis is a cry against worldliness, inside and outside the Church. 

Francis is a scourge against the idolatry of money and power. 

Francis is bothered and feels offended when they present him ideologized, misrepresented. 

Francis is the face that Christ wants today for His Church. 

Francis, finally, is the image of Christ the Good Shepherd who loves us, knows us, and gives little by little his life for us. 

So today we say : Lord , thank you for everything you have given us , when you gave us Francis. 

(official site of the Apostolic Administration)

I had the opportunity of entering into contact with a few people who live in Campos, besides those parishioners that we spoke to in São Fidelis.  In Campos, the capital of the diocese, there are several churches and a cathedral used by the Campos priests and its bishop which were built by mostly peasants. Here is what an elderly lady who lives in Campos and was confirmed by Dom Antônio commented to me saying about changes in the diocese since the deal with Rome:  
"Nosso Herói da Fé , deixou muita saudade ,, mais permanece no nosso coração e em nossas orações , Salve Maria ! Quanto ao que Dom Antônio nos ensinou a respeito da Tradição da Santa Igreja ,Ainda existe .Eu mesma sigo o que Dom Antônio ensinou , para mim nada mudou ,o que mudou foi algumas pessoas , porque Deus não muda ,,,"

"Our hero of the Faith [Bishop de Castro Mayer] left us missing him very much, but he remains in our hearts and our prayers. Salve Maria!  Regarding what Bishop de Castro Mayer taught us about the Tradition of the Holy Church.  It still exists.  I myself follow what Dom Antônio taught, for me nothing has changed, some people are what has changed because God does not change..."

And here is what another, younger parishioner, had to say about the presence of the SSPX in the seat of the diocese: 

"...procuro quando assisto [a missa nova], participar de missas que sei que o padre não comete abusos (...) Bem. Pelo que sei está sendo [missa da FSSP] em uma casa... mas o pessoal que segue a fraternidade aqui, nao gosta muito de administração apostólica e as vezes ofende o nosso Bispo dom Fernando. As vezes com palavras ásperas."

"when I attend a [new mass], I try to participate in masses that I know that the priest does not commit abuses (...) Well. From what I know they are having [ mass from the SSPX] in a house...but the people that follow the SSPX here, don't like the Apostolic Administration and sometimes they offend our bishop. Sometimes with rude words."

There is hope, however, for the laity of the diocese of Campos.  Not all of them are blinded by Bishop Rifan and his new orientation as we already saw.  Let's take a look at the comments of Fr. Thomas Aquinas OSB regarding the laity.

"All believers have accepted the agreements, deceived by their priests who, in turn, deceived themselves. Actually not all believers have accepted these agreements, but those who resisted were truly the "pusillus grex." Among them, it is worth mentioning here Mr. Hirley Nelson de Souza.
Bishop Rangel, attacked by cancer, died shortly after that, and the Rev. Fr. Rifan succeeded him as head of Apostolic Administration, founded after the agreements with Rome. Consecrated by Cardinal Hoyos, Fr. Rifan will turn out to be the "ralié" par excellence. By becoming friends of our enemies, he would visit all dioceses, embracing those who once he attacked with an ardor that progressives will not soon forget. With the change of side, Bishop Rifan will accumulate the evidence of the sincerity of his "alignment". As Abel Bonnard said: "A 'ralié' is never sufficiently 'ralié'". The authority of Vatican II, the legitimacy of the new Mass, the obligation to submit to the "living magisterium" of the liberal popes; condemnation of Archbishop Lefebvre, considered a schismatic: Bishop Rifan was required to accept and proclaim all of that.
However, this was not what the priests of Campos wanted, nor what they had said to the faithful, not even what they had hinted to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. Proof of it is that they drafted a declaration, in which they affirmed their determination to continue the fight against liberalism, modernism and progressivism that inspired Vatican II. Cardinal Hoyos, after reading the statement, made the following reflection that one of the priests of Campos told me: 'Yes, that's what we agreed. But it is needless to say all this. Simply state that you will allow constructive criticism in compliance with the Code of Canon Law.' 'After that, he said to the same priest, our fight is over.' Either by being afraid to grieve for the Pope or Cardinal Hoyos, or due to lack of conviction or because of a shaken faith, or fear of Bishop Rifan, or for any other reason, the fact is that Campos became like a silent dog. The Modernist Rome has nothing to fear from those priests, despite them having been educated in the school of one of the greatest bishops of the twentieth century, who strongly opposed to modern errors. How to explain this? Without wanting to get into the hearts and to go beyond what the facts reveal, I think, certainly, the contact with the authorities who do not profess the integrity of the Catholic faith can only lead, little by little, those who submit to them, to share their ideas and their way of being. Archbishop Lefebvre warned enough about
it to Fr. Gérard. In Rome, you do not do what you want, but what Rome wants. Fr. Gérard did not take that into account; Bishop Rifan, even less.
But the reaction would come from the diocese. The faithful themselves realized over the time that something was changing. They appealed to the monastery, and Fr. Antonio-Maria prayed a Mass for them on a farm that has the beautiful name of Santa Fé (Holy Faith). Bishop Rifan was furious. He gathered the "guilty" and warned them hard.
- 'Woe to you, if you bring a priest from the monastery or the SSPX here again!'
- 'Sir, replied a peasant who knew Bishop de Castro Mayer, it depends only on you. If you persevere in that new chosen direction, I will call a priest of the Society or the monastery to make my Easter, for me and my family, every year. '
Bishop Rifan could not get anything from those brave peasants, who currently are more than 250 in the big feasts in a small church built by themselves, where the priests of Apostolic Administration do not set their feet any longer." (entire letter of Fr. Thomas Aquinas here)
Built by Campos peasants dedicated to the SSPX
Apparently there have been little communities of faithful repelled by Bishop Rifan's new orientation and they had called on the SSPX priests to help resist.  With that same spirit, they have been erecting new chapels.  It seems that they are the most marginalized in the seat of Campos where they must attend Mass in someone's home, while the apostolic administration enjoys a comfortable cathedral.  In a region called Varre Sai they had resistedthe new orientation and were supposedly falsely accused publicly by one of the Campos priests, Fr. Jonas Lisboa, of invading and usurping the Apostolic Administration's chapels.  Apparently, a different Campos priest was prohibited by Bishop Rifan from offering Mass on an altar he himself built and obeyed because the Society priests were now offering Mass in the chapel. (source)
City of Bom Jesus, 35,000 inhabitants, SSPX chapel.
Last year, the SSPX also happened to gain about two hundred faithful in a city called Bom Jesus Itabapoana where the Catholic tradition had been strong due to Bishop de Castro Mayer.  It is also part of the Campos diocese.  The city has only 35,000 inhabitants.  They now have a beautiful, large chapel built and dedicated to the Society by peasants. (Correction: it is a priory!) We are talking about a decent sized SSPX chapel "in the sticks" of the tropical countryside in Brazil.  Contrast this with a large city like Corpus Christi, Texas where the Society is still having Masses in hotel conference rooms.
Let us now end with a quote from the book the "Mouth of the Lion" by Dr. David Allen White on the history of the Campos priests.
Fr. Rifan, today Bishop Rifan, (the new bishop of Campos who pretends to con-celebrate the New Mass) upon being expelled from his church by the modernist bishop Navarro:
"Today, we are not abandoning our struggle; we are being expelled by a judicial decision and we are transferring to a 'parish-in-exile'…. Those responsible for the implantation of progressivism in this church will be the same ones who will profane this temple by a lack of respect, by the presence of indecent clothes, by the new Mass. They may introduce progressivism by force into this church, but later they will answer to God, in the hour of in judgment…. Our work will continue, with all your help, in the slums. This is a historic day, and we will not leave in defeat. One day we will all give account and we will know in heaven that we are the victors."

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