In December of 1985, some Italian priests, till then belonging to the Society of St. Pius X, left the religious society of Archbishop Lefebvre and founded in Turin the Mater Boni Consilii Institute.
Nature of the Institute
The Institute is not a religious order but, conforming to the canon 707 of the code of canon law (pius-benedictine), is an association or sodality of several faithful, instituted to fulfill more easily works of religion, charity, and piety that have been always approved by the Church. It is therefore open to the Catholic faithful of both sexes, either clergy or laymen.
Purpose of the Institute
With the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priests of the Institute intend to render to God the glory that is due to Him; for all the members, then, the Institute intends to represent, in this time of confusion, an instrument to persevere in the absolute fidelity to the deposit of the Faith revealed by God and proposed by the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church.Other purposes of the Institute are the diffusion of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, especially under the title of Mother of Good Counsel, the propagation of sound doctrine with particular attention to the contemporary theological problems, and the consequent fight against the heresies opposed to the Catholic Faith, intellectual, spiritual, and disciplinary formation of the clergy, and the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.The spirit of the Institute is summed up by its motto: glory to God, fidelity to the Church, sanctity for us, and charity for our neighbor.
The Institute and the Church
All the members of the Institute are and wish to remain faithful and obedient sons of the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, founded by Jesus Christ with St. Peter and his legitimate successors, the Roman Pontiffs, as visible heads.At the present time, the Institute has not yet been canonically approved and set up by ecclesiastical authority, because of the current situation of the authority in the Church after Vatican II. All its members, however, submit themselves in advance to every decision of the legitimate authority of the Church as pertaining to them and their sodality.
The Institute and the Crisis begun by Vatican II
Everyone ascertains, unfortunately, that the Church is going through one of those storms predicted by the Lord, perhaps the most terrible of its millenary history. For the Institute, the origin of this crisis is found in Vatican II. The teaching of Vatican II concerning episcopal collegiality, religious liberty, ecumenism, non-Catholics belonging to the Mystical Body of Christ, non Christian religions and particularly Judaism, relations between the Church and the modern world, isin contradiction to the teaching of the Church, of many popes, and many ecumenical Councils. The reform of the liturgy, especially of the Holy Mass, and of Canon Law, are harmful for souls, favor the Protestant heresies, and declare sometimes licit that which by divine right is in fact illicit (as, for example, the communion in holy things with heretics). All this cannot come from the Catholic Church, directed by the Holy Ghost, and from a legitimate successor of Peter, endowed with the charism of infallibility. The Institute, in front of this unprecedented crisis that involves necessarily all that have approved the conciliar documents and the subsequent reforms, realizes that it cannot accept these new doctrines contrary to faith and morals nor incite the faithful to disobedience towards the legitimate authority in the Church. Following therefore the thesis called Cassiciacum (from the name of the theological magazine that first made it known), the Institute embraces the position of the late Dominican theologian, Fr. M.-L. Guérard des Lauriers, member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas, at one time a professor in the Pontifical University of the Lateran and in the Saulchoir (France), according to which thesis, Paul VI and his successors, although canonically elected to the Pontificate, do not nevertheless have pontifical authority. In scholastic terms, according to the distinction already taught by the great commentator of St. Thomas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Cardinal Cajetan, and taken up again by St. Robert Bellarmine, they are “popes” materialiter, but not formaliter, because, not bringing about the good of the Church and teaching error and heresies, they cannot in any manner, if they do not first recant their own errors, receive from Christ the authority to govern, teach, and sanctify the Church.
What does the Institute do?
The Institute does everything that the catholic priests and faithful have always done. In particular, here are some activities:
* The celebration of the Holy Mass according to the prescriptions of the rubrics for the vacant see. The priests of the Institute celebrate exclusively according to the Missale Romanum promulgated by St. Pius V and reformed by St. Pius X. Presently, the Mass is celebrated in 15 different places in Italy (including Rome), 6 in France, 1 in Belgium, 1 in Netherlands and other in Argentina.
* Sacerdotal formation, by means of the institution of a seminary dedicated to St. Peter Martyr, located in Verrua Savoia (Turin), in the locality of Carbignano, where is found also the central seat of the Institute (there are other houses in Italy, France, and two others houses in Belgium and Argentina).
* Spiritual formation, by the preaching of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
* Christian formation of the youth, by means of summer camps, for young boys and girls, according to the method of the Eucharistic Crusade, and also camps for teenagers.
* Intellectual formation, by the editing of the quarterly magazine Sodalitium, public conferences and the edition of books from Centro culturale & librario Sodalitium (loc. Carbignano 36, 10020 Verrua Savoia, Torino)
* Charity for the poor and needy, especially large families, working with the Association Mater Boni Consilii.
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