July 2020-30th Anniversary
Thirty years ago fourteen people were in a small town in north east Kansas. What brought these people together was the election of a Pope. The world had been notified of this election, which had been talked about for over a decade and a half in various quarters.
A brief history of this effort is in order. In May of 1976 three priests met with Archbishop Lefebvre to ask him to help with electing a Pope. One of the priests had already approached all of the conservative Cardinals about this proposition, but had been turned away. Bishop Thuc in 1981 consecrated three priests as bishops for the sole purpose of preserving the order of bishop until someone could be restored to the Office of Bishop of Rome, who in turn could reorganize bishops and priests and restores the Offices of Bishop of the new dioceses he would have to erect, due to the apostasy. The new Diocesan Bishops in turn would designate either Pastors or Missionaries. Bishop Peter Martin Thuc wrote in February of 1982: "Therefore, in so far as I am a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, I judge that the See of the Catholic Church in Rome to be vacant; and it is necessary for me, as bishop, to do all that is needed so that the Catholic Church in Rome endures for the eternal salvation of souls." In the references he refers to the Bull Unam Sanctam in support of this. Unam Sanctam declares: "Indeed we declare, say, pronounce, and define that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." Since a living breathing Pope is a necessary means of salvation so we can obey him, the clergy under Canon 682 (1917 Code) are obliged to provide us with a Pope. The idea of the election of a Pope was common knowledge among Traditionalists at this time, so much so, that the District Superior for one of the American Districts sent out a letter against this idea. Thuc was betrayed when two priests, who had been consecrated bishops, usurped the authority of Bishop of Rome and separated the United States into two Dioceses and appointed themselves, one to the east of the Mississippi and the other to the west.
In spite of these failures a few Catholics remained faithful to the Church, while Traditionalism drifted further away from the Catholic Church, which it claimed to defend. The goal of Traditionalism was to restore 1950's Catholicism, which was merely a whited sepulcher. (Matthew 23:37)
What Traditionalists didn't stop and consider is that 1950's Catholicism led to 1960's apostasy at Vatican 2 and in its perfidious spirit.
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones." (Zacharias 13:7) Jesus quoted this before His passion warning the Apostles that they would all desert Him. (Matthew 26:31) Jesus, the Shepherd, was struck with His Crucifixion and the Sheep, the Apostles were scattered. Vatican 2 saw the Shepherd, the Vicar of Christ, struck, and the Sheep, the Bishops scattered. The lambs, the faithful, were deserted by their Pastors, who had scattered away from the Church in to apostasy.
These people who gathered in mid July had one thing in common, they had all left the Traditionalist Movement in order to stay with the Catholic Church. The Traditionalist Movement had no true unity in 1990, as it still has no unity today, although the lines are drawn slightly differently. Without a Shepherd, a living, breathing Pope, the sheep and lambs will remain scattered. None of the main positions of the Traditionalists truly has a Pope. Obviously Sedevacantism, which says there is no Pope, has no Pope. Sedeoccupantism, which claims Francis as Pope, resists him, really doesn't have a Pope. For them, when Rome speaks, is it Rome that has spoken, the debate is on about whether or not what has come is Traditional or flows from the Spirit of Vatican 2. Sedeprivationism, which awaits Francis' conversion like the Sedeoccupantists claims that Francis is really only a Pope-elect until his conversion, his heresies being an obstacle to accepting election. Pope Leo XIII wrote in Satis Cognitum, on Church unity: "But the Episcopal order is rightly judged to be in communion with Peter, as Christ commanded, if it be subject to and obeys Peter; otherwise it necessarily becomes a lawless and disorderly crowd." Indeed Traditionalism is just such a lawless and disorderly crowd.
In the fall of 1987, the movement to elect a Pope became stirred up in the United States, and then spread into Europe. It is not known how many were supporting the idea, but many well known among Traditionalists supported the idea. Even Malachi Martin showed interest. Articles were written and circulated throughout the world among the sedevacantists. Meetings were held among interested people, when possible. Finally two people decided a book needed to be written in May of 1989.
However, also in the fall of 1987 a new proposition arose, Joseph Cardinal Siri had been elected in the 1963 conclave and in both 1978 conclaves, but forced not to accept election, becoming therefore a pope-elect. A man elected Pope between the time he has the necessary votes and he either accepts or rejects election is a pope-elect with no authority until he accepts. Until the pope-elect rejects the election, another election cannot be made. Therefore this proposition invalidates Paul VI and Vatican II, as no decree had been approved under John XXIII. This theory also invalidates John Paul I, John Paul II the Great Deceiver and their successors. After Siri died on May 2, 1989, the proposition was amended to include the 1958 conclave and it was claimed he had accepted election, but was forced not to be proclaimed Pope. On October 26, 1958 white smoke rose. United Press International announced that Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani had been elected Pope. Then the smoke turned black and the Vatican Press Service announced no Pope had been elected. On October 28, Angelo Roncalli appeared as the second man to claim to be John XXIII, the first from the Western Schism. All we are certain of is that something occurred on October 26th, 1958, which clouds the election of Roncalli two days later, thus placing doubt on Vatican II and all that followed.
About the time Siri and any claim he had to the Papacy died on May 2nd, 1989, two people began writing a book to call for an election. On January 25, 1990, Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century? was published, calling for the election of a Pope. It was sent around the world to all sedevacantists listed in Radko Jansky's Traditionalist Catholic Directory.
Instead of the desired effect to rally support for the election of a Pope, instead those who supported an election started going away, much like the Gospel about the great supper, where those invited made excuses. (Luke 14:16ff)
Letters were written and phone calls made to encourage people to participate and a summons was sent out in early May. More excuses were made. Some wanted delay, but had no good reason to delay. We had already waited over three decades, ten times longer than the second longest interregnum in history. Why should we wait longer? The Church had been reduced to a handful so small a little child can name them. (Isaias 10:19) The Second Council of Lyons declared: "We learn from the past how heavy are the losses sustained by the Roman church in a long vacancy, how perilous it is; we see this all too clearly when we wisely consider the crises undergone." (Paragraph 2, 1247AD)
Finally eleven people assembled by July 15, 1990. Two arrived that day advocating delay, but had no reason for asking for delay. They left for their motel in the evening stating that they would consider whether to vote on the next day or not. They left a message on the phone at the place of election, that they had decided not to participate. Another departed that morning before voting. Eight assembled, and six voted, the other two being too young to vote. Shortly after the election was completed three men arrived, who had supported an election to see if we had proceeded. They never indicated any desire for holding off the election and knew exactly how long it would take to travel to the place of the election. Why put off the trip to the last minute?
On July 16, 1990, We were elected as Pope, taking the name of Michael. At the time We already knew there would be little support for the Papacy, as Traditionalists apparently don't really want a Pope they must obey, but as someone observed would rather be their own little popes of their own little churches.
Traditionalists appeal to epikeia to justify their actions. The story that is told to demonstrate this principle is this. In a walled city, the mayor has ordered that the gate not be opened without his permission. The mayor is gone. A fire breaks out inside the walls of the city, threatening to kill the inhabitants. And so the officials decide to throw the gates open to save the people. Thus the story ends. Traditionalists threw the gates open and left the Church. Rather than forming a bucket brigade to put out the fire, they went out and started founding their own little cities, their own little churches. They left the fire to practically burn down the city, leaving few stragglers, who wanted to come back and rebuild the city.
These stragglers assembled and tried to summon the other former citizens back to begin rebuilding the city. Few even showed any interest, and it remains this way today. Indeed this has been prophesied. The prophet Isaias wrote: "And they that remain of the trees of his forest shall be so few, that they shall easily be numbered, and a child shall write them down." (Isaias 10:19) And Jesus said (Luke 18:7-8): "And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?"
As Pope We have noticed that the desire to restore a lax form of Catholicism remains deep in the heart of almost all, who have come to be with the Church for a time. In 1997 We first quoted Saint Augustine, because We want to bring fervor to these worldly people: "A man who progresses during prosperity has to await times of adversity before he can learn what progress he has made. When he is rich in the goods of this world, he may be certain that he places no stock in them; but when they are taken from him, he then discovers if they had a hold on him, for generally, when we have them we think that we don't love them, but when we don't have them, then we discover that we yearn for them. The criterion is this-if we do not grieve when our goods are absent, then only can we be certain that we did not set our heart on them when they were present." Then We wrote: "Maybe some of us need a good fire to show us how materialistic we are. However, We would prefer that all would voluntarily detach from materialism rather than require God to remove our material goods by force to get the point across. But, if you do not want to detach voluntarily We shall pray that God gives you a fire or flood or some other natural event, because this is far better than losing your soul."
We penned a Prayer for the Restoration of the Mass: "The prophet Daniel prophesied, and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation." (Daniel 9:27) "And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground." (Daniel 8:12) These terrible prophecies have come to pass. We long to again participate in the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass and receive Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion. We promise to learn the truths of the Faith, which have been cast down on the ground and to turn away from sin, which has given Antichrist power against the continual sacrifice and to return to Thee, as Isaias bids us. We promise with the help of Thy grace to do all in our power to remove any obstacle in ourselves to the worthy reception of Thy Sacred Body and Blood in the Most Holy Eucharist. Until this holy day comes, when our desire can be fulfilled in participation at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, We desire to receive Thee spiritually, who cannot receive Thee sacramentally. Amen"
Indeed the prophecy of Daniel has been fulfilled: "And when they shall have fallen they shall be relieved with a small help: and many shall be joined to them deceitfully." (Daniel 11:34) Saint John (I John 2:19) tells us: "They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us."
On the day of the election after we returned to Our home, one of the electors said: "Maybe all we did is save the Apostolic Succession." And indeed, the Pope truly possesses Apostolicity, that is the mission of the Apostles, the authority of Saint Peter and the right to receive the Order of Bishop to accompany the Office of Bishop of Rome.
One of the virtues necessary in the Papacy is perserverance. We are the third longest reigning Pope in history after Peter (34 or 37 years) and Pius IX (31½ years). No Antipope reigned for thirty years, the longest reigning Antipope being John Paul II the Great Deceiver (26½ years).
We live in trying times and much could be said on this. We ask for your prayers and your help to spread the true Faith to the world as We enter Our thirty-first year.
With Our Apostolic Blessing and prayers,
Michael, by the grace of God, Pope
Link for Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century? https://www.scribd.com/doc/15948721/Will-the-Catholic-Church-Survive-the-Twentieth-Century