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More correspondences ‘declassified’ from NCCL’s ‘TOP SECRET archives’

Two more letters have been recently declassified.  Both are written to an Anglo-Catholic bishop, some time before his reception into communion with the See of Rome.  Find the first one (more…)


Another urgent letter to an Anglo-Catholic bishop seeking to inform about the Pope’s motu proprio, Anglicanorum coetibus

For ‘background’, see this post dated 30 April 2010 on the Reform of the Reformer blog, and this webpage.

The following correspondence was ‘declassified’ from the NCCL ‘TOP SECRET archives’ in January 2013.

June 10, 2010

The Rt. Rev. Louis Campese
Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Eastern United States
Anglican Church in America
Cathedral of the Incarnation
1515 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, FL 32804

Most Reverend and dear Bishop Campese,

thank you for ringing back this morning.

Please believe me that it is only because of my love of holy Church that I risk annoying Your Excellency by my insistence.

At every opportunity in the past five decades the Roman Curia has, with almost unmitigated success until the reign of Benedict XVI, been adeptly exiling traditional Catholics from the heart of the Church, even pushing them to the extreme margins, and sometimes outside of Her altogether.

The need for the current dialogue with the Priestly Society of St. Pius X and the Holy Father, done also at his own initiative (motu proprio), offers one example among several that he cannot and does not entrust to the Curia or the Latin bishops at large the sacred task to assist him without prejudice or mindless wheedling to guarantee the communion of traditional Catholics East & West with the Holy See.

It is for that reason that you need the advice of those who clearly comprehend the wiles of the Curia and bishops and the deceits they’ve used to jeopardize the unity of traditional Catholics. Otherwise, everything Catholic which you rightly dream for reunion will be unduly compromised, or needlessly lost.

There is already a fatal misunderstanding of the law somewhat widespread. It was first proposed by Fr. Ghirlanda when he asserted that, “These Personal Ordinariates cannot be considered as Particular Ritual Churches [sic] since the Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral tradition is a particular reality within the Latin Church. The creation of a Ritual Church might have created ecumenical difficulties.” Cf. the press release of the Holy See Press Office, 9 Nov. 2009. http://www.vatican.va/news_services .

Note well, i.a., that the reason Fr. Ghirlanda proposes the Anglo-Catholics now in communion cannot be considered a particular church is political, not ecclesiological. Why? Because the ecclesiology of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio makes clear that the new communion is not with or through the Latin Church, but with the Holy See directly. The Pope sees the ecclesiological reality (effected in reunion), whereas the same unity is obscured to the commentator because he sees only a problem.

This error alone could be fatal to the stability of your hoped-for communion because it would allow the Latin bishops effectively to absorb the Anglo-Catholic communion into the Latin Church, which is precisely what Pope Benedict has avoided doing with the motu proprio. In fact, besides Fr. Ghirlanda certain prelates of the Latin church are already spreading the same lie, wittingly or not. I expect a couple or more of them to express it publicly at the Anglican-Use conference this weekend.

The error was repeated some time ago on EWTN even by two priests of the Anglican-Use community, one of whom was surprised when I demonstrated there is no basis whatsoever in the law to conclude what Fr. Ghirlanda and others now are merely asserting, and in fact that the contrary is true; namely, that all the constituent elements of a self-governing particular ritual church are already nascent in your communion with the Roman See and accounted for/recognized in the motu proprio. The Holy Father has not yet more explicitly recognized the reunited Anglo-Catholic communion as a self-governing particular ritual church (like the Ukrainian Catholics) because the elements need time to combine and develop.

The Curia and the Latin bishops were able for nearly five decades to sow the error to nearly everyone that the traditional Roman missal in its 1962 form was forbidden after the promulgation of the new missal in 1969. It took three words of Pope Benedict in the motu proprio of July 7, 2007 finally to settle the matter (although not only liberals are hard pressed to give up old bad habits and false opinions).

“It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church.”

The same liberals were able to dupe nearly everyone also that the Society of St. Pius X has been “in schism” since 1988. When Pope Benedict XVI informed them in another motu proprio last year that indeed the Society hadn’t ever been in schism, only in canonically abnormal circumstances, the liberals howled still louder, you may recall.

Do you suppose those men who are so bent on keeping certain traditional types — or anyone for that matter — out of the Catholic Church will treat the newcomer Anglo-Catholics much differently, whom they now falsely suppose to be also “a particular reality within the Latin Church”?

Sincerely & respectfully,

Letter to an Anglo-Catholic bishop appealing for clear understanding of the Pope’s puzzling (to some) provision

The following correspondence (scroll below) was ‘declassified’ from the NCCL ‘TOP SECRET archives’ in January 2013.

For additional ‘background’, see this post dated 30 June 2010 on the Reform of the Reformer blog, and this webpage.


The Pope’s motu proprio, Anglicanorum coetibus is an event of historical proportions, something altogether unprecedented in the history of the Church. Since the Protestant revolt of the 1500s no other grouping (more…)

A(nother) running correspondence with then-Cardinal Ratzinger (and his secretary) – this one sparked by an interview on EWTN, over Ecclesial reform

The following correspondences were written on behalf of His Holiness, John Paul II, proposing means to then-Cardinal Ratzinger to allow unimpeded public practice of the legitimate (liturgical & other) aspirations of Catholics commonly-called traditional in the Western Church.

1. The first letter — this one dated 6 December 2003, signed by Count Neri Capponi of Florence & counter-signed by scores (or hundreds) more to then-Cardinal Ratzinger — offers a suggestion in response to the open-ended query in his interview of September 2003 with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN. That is, in re peacefully reconciling (broader) use of the traditional Roman missal (1962) without overshadowing the normative status of the Novus Ordo missae (1969).

Again, the letter appeals to His Holiness to remove once for all the conditions, all of them manufactured, which impede a normalized relationship with him of those Catholics commonly called ‘traditional’.

2. Page two of the same (afore-listed) letter of December 6, 2003.

3. The second letter, this one dated 8 January 2004, suggesting another way to ‘normatize’ a wider celebration of the Roman rite (according to the ancient liturgical usage) with the New rite.

4. Dated January 27, 2004 — the Cardinal’s reply to the first letter, given by Msgr. Georg Gänswein, then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s personal secretary.

5. Msgr. Gänswein’s second reply, dated 28 January 2004, to our second letter.

Nota bene the blessing and concluding words of encouragement to persevere to elaborate a concrete solution to the subject problems.

Front of envelope in which two letters, dated January 27 & 28 were delivered together on February 4, 2004.

Reverse of same envelope, showing stamped emblem of Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, and indicating delivery date of two letters, dated January 27 & 28, in same envelope.

6. Dated 16 February 2004, this is our third letter and final letter in this series to His then-Eminence, Joseph Ratzinger.

7. Final letter, dated February 25, 2004, to Msgr. Georg Gänswein.

The book referred to in the letter is the one presented with the letter to the Monsignor: The Roman Option by Anglo-Catholic convert William Oddie, PhD.

The correspondences were ‘declassified’ on 20 January 2014.

Too much to ask, to provide non-territorial personal apostolic jurisdiction for Anglo-Catholics?

Here follows another example from NCCL’s ‘TOP SECRET’ archives.

For more on the subject of Anglo-Catholic reunion with the Holy See, visit this page on NCCL’s website.

Certainly, since the Pope has provided non-territorial personal jurisdiction for the tradition-minded Anglo-Catholics and Episcopalians, he could do so for those who share similar legitimate aspirations for tradition in the Latin church and in the Eastern Catholic churches, as well as for those Orthodox who are faithful to tradition.

January 21, 2004

Rev. Fr. Richard S. Bradford, Chaplain
Congregation of St. Athanasius
192 Foster Street
Brighton, MA 02135-4620

Reverend and dear Father Bradford,

Thank you very much for speaking last week. Please pardon the delay in writing. I enclose as promised the report on the canonical erection of the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Marie Vianney in Campos, Brazil.