Letter in Defense of Mel Gibson's Chaplain
This is dated but still a goodie...
Bernard Janzen (triumphcommunications.net)
Dear Friends and Benefactors:
Father Stephen Sommerville
Some good news occurred recently when the former Vicar General of the Jesuits, Fr. Vincent O’Keefe, confirmed that Fr. Malachi Martin had been granted a full and legal dispensation from his Jesuit vows except for chastity and had been given a perpetual celebret to celebrate Mass in private. Hopefully, this acknowledgement will put an end to rumors such as that Fr. Martin left the priesthood to get married or because of some scandal.
Of course, this announcement only re-states the information that Fr. Martin provided during our interviews with him, but it is to be hoped that the Jesuit order’s acknowledgement will help to restore his reputation among the general public.
Triumph Communications is continuing to publish books by Fr. Malachi Martin. Our latest publication is The Eternal War, a book that demonstrates Fr. Martin’s absolutely amazing foresight on issues such as current conflicts in the Middle East, same-sex marriage, and the crisis in the priesthood.
While traditional Catholics can take heart from recent developments that assist in restoring Fr. Malachi Martin’s reputation, some bad news is that Mel Gibson’s chaplain, Fr. Stephen Somerville, is being subjected to a persecution by the authorities of the Archdiocese of Toronto. He was suspended by Cardinal Ambrozic for helping the Society of St. Pius X, primarily by celebrating Masses in their chapels. This event demonstrates the complete unreasonableness of the modernist authorities in the Church. Fr. Somerville was supposedly suspended for helping the Society of St. Pius X. Yet, Cardinal Ambrozic repeatedly shot down any other alternatives. He denied Fr. Somerville’s request to help the local priest saying the Indult Mass. He rejected Fr. Somerville’s proposal to establish a traditional parish in the Archdiocese of Toronto. It shows incredible cruelty to refuse all of a good priest’s reasonable requests and then punish him for taking the only option still available to him. Also, Cardinal Ambrozic repeatedly refused to grant permission to the Fraternity of St. Peter to establish itself in the Archdiocese of Toronto. He recently squashed an initiative by Toronto’s Una Voce chapter to organize a traditional parish.
Fr. Somerville’s “suspension” is a denial of any basic principles of justice. It is an example of straining the gnat and swallowing the camel. Why don’t the bishops penalize liberal Catholic clergymen who deny basic moral or doctrinal teachings of the Church or Catholic politicians who vote for anti-family legislation? The bishops act as if they believe that being a traditional Catholic is the worst offense possible. Indeed, the Church today is in a situation similar to the time of St. Basil the Great, who wrote, “Only one offense is now vigorously punished: an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions.” Shame on you, Cardinal Ambrozic, for persecuting a priest who has never denied any truths of the Faith or been involved in any scandals, while turning a blind eye to the deplorable activities of so many liberal Catholic clergymen and politicians.
Cardinal Ambrozic was reportedly very angry with Fr. Somerville for his critique of the new liturgy. Yet, if anyone has the right to critique the liturgy, it is Fr. Somerville. He was a member of ICEL (International Committee for English in the Liturgy) at the time that it translated the New Mass into the vernacular in English-speaking countries. The almost hysterical reaction of modernist authorities to Fr. Somerville’s critique of the New Mass is understandable. Suppose there was a committee of engineers who designed and oversaw the construction of a new bridge. Years later, one of these engineers revealed that the bridge had a faulty design and was doomed to collapse. What credibility would this bridge have then? What credibility does the New Mass have now that one of its authors has repudiated his role in its design?
What are the lessons of this episode? First, Tradition has many powerful enemies within the Church. Traditional Catholics must never forget that we are in a battle. And this battle is as intense as ever. Secondly, Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X should be very wary of Cardinal Hoyos. Fr. Somerville appealed his suspension to Cardinal Hoyos. The cardinal upheld the suspension. He did not overturn it. Cardinal Hoyos has also dealt roughly with the Fraternity of St. Peter and Fr. Nicholas Gruner. This episode may also indicate that the Church is full of liberal authorities who will attempt to sabotage any agreement between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X. Thirdly, traditional Catholics can take heart from the fact that liberal Churchmen are not invincible. Fr. Somerville kept his nerve and remained steadfast in his defence of Tradition. As a result, Fr. Somerville has brought numerous souls over to Tradition. For example, the traditional chapel in Toronto where Fr. Somerville celebrated Mass has experienced a dramatic increase in numbers.
What is needed is for more priests to follow Fr. Somerville’s courageous example and come over to Tradition. It is sometimes said the laity will save the Church. Certainly, we can do our part, but it is essential to remember that we are part of a sacramental Church. It is the priests who dispense the sacraments, which are our primary source of grace. Priests must come over to Tradition and then the laity will follow. Bringing more priests over to Tradition is the first step towards restoring the Church and a Christian civilization.
Triumph Communications is launching a rosary crusade for the intention that more priests will come over to Tradition. Giving priests information about the crisis in the Church is not enough. They must receive the grace to act on this information. Liberals may control the earthly power structures and even occupy positions of authority in the Church, but what they forget is that underlying all world events is a spiritual battle. In this battle, traditional Catholics can wield a powerful weapon, the rosary. It was a rosary crusade that caused the communists to withdraw from Austria. Pledge forms to say the rosary for the intention that more priests come over to Tradition are included with this letter. Below this form is a space to provide Triumph Communications with names and addresses of others who may be interested in this initiative and our other activities on behalf of Catholic tradition.
Triumph Communications is doing its part to defend Fr. Somerville by offering two new audio recordings with him. Entitled The Passion and the Mass and The Passion of the Priest, these recordings tell Fr. Somerville’s story, including some of his experiences as Mel Gibson’s chaplain, explain some of the difficulties with the new liturgy, and end with a message for priests concerned about the Church’s current direction. Triumph Communications has also produced three new recordings with Bishop Williamson. Since he was transferred to South America, Bishop Williamson’s voice has been largely absent from English-speaking countries. Triumph Communications is working to ensure that his voice continues to be heard. Don’t miss an opportunity to listen to a rare phenomenon, a bishop who tells it as it is. Also, we are making available Fatima and the Pagan Invasion, by Cornelia Ferreira. This recording exposes how the Fatima shrine is being transformed into an interfaith center. Fatima has been turned upside down. Today, pagans are welcomed and allowed to perform their ceremonies at Fatima while traditional Catholics are being harassed. The crisis in the Church is becoming ever deeper. Triumph Communications intends to do its part to defend Catholic truth and tradition as the battle intensifies.