I am Father Lawrence Brey, and would like to say a few words on behalf of Mr. Gary Giuffré’s project, inasmuch as it strongly relates to the present crisis in the Church and a hopeful resolution thereof. I myself have been long concerned with this crisis, having observed it from its earliest days in the early 1960s. I have written much on it, resisted efforts to change our holy Church and our holy Mass, made various interventions, and collaborated with Patrick H. Omlor in his most significant monograph, QUESTIONING THE VALIDITY OF THE MASSES USING THE NEW, ALL-ENGLISH CANON, first published in the spring of 1968. I gladly—libenter—join all those who are putting their head on the block in defense of our inviolate and inviolable holy Catholic Faith and the perennial and inviolable Catholic Mass.
I wish to encourage you, who certainly share this concern for our holy Church, to give serious attention to the case presented by Mr. Gary Giuffré, and to encourage and support his project both prayerfully and financially, particularly his projected publication of a book outlining and documenting the frightening thesis that in great part explains the causes of the present constitutional crisis in the Church, that is, a crisis involving her highest organs, including the papacy; a thesis that zeros in specifically on the status of recent papal electoral conclaves, in view of the allegation that serious irregularities were involved, thwarting a normal election of a faithful shepherd, and producing ominously different results.
If we have long been correct in questioning the validity of the so-called “New Mass,” and the plethora of other innovations and changes in virtually all aspects of Catholic teaching and sacred rites and traditions, is it not then logical and proper to question the validity of those alleged Church organs and highest persons who promulgated these un-Catholic innovations? It is true that, even by doctrinal considerations alone, an informed Catholic can reasonably conclude that the so-called changes in the Church over the past 25 years, particularly those that touch the sacred liturgy and Catholic doctrine, could not possibly be the product of Holy Mother Church, the immaculate Spouse of Christ, without wrinkle or blemish. We can conclude, for example, that, in view of the divine safeguards protecting thc Church’s true Magisterium, and the gift of infallibility, the new rites and teachings from and since Vatican II, including the unfaithful translations of the Canon & Consecration, the New Order of Mass, and other sacred rites, the teachings and practice of religious liberty and ecumenism, the revised doctrine of the nature of the Church and her role in the world – that such innovations could not possibly he attributed to the true Catholic Church as their author; and that the person or persons representing the highest organs in the Church must of necessity have personally defected from the faith and fallen into heresy and thereby be cut off from the aforementioned Divine assistance that protects the true Magisterium arid prevents it from teaching error.
Now from a historical and juridic perspective we ask: how did this happen; how did such individuals come into control of the Church’s commanding heights and what was once her Magisterium, how did they take possession of and reanimate (with a different and evil spirit), her rightful structure? The answer to that question will shed greater light on the constitutional crisis in the Church and the maneuvering and intrigue that helped bring it about. Some say that even without such juridic intrigue, certain properly elected recent popes and ecclesiastics could have personally fallen into formal heresy and thereby lost their office and the Divine charisms. But there is growing evidence that invalidating irregularities at recent conclaves resulted in the emergence of such unorthodox persons with claim to the papal throne in the first place.
Mr. Gary Giuffré, a Houston (Texas) industrial model maker and illustrator with great training in detail and precision, and at the same time one well-versed in Canon Law and Papal history, has over the years been investigating those reports and allegations to the effect that the Conclaves of 1963, 1978, and possibly also 1958, were vitiated by canonical irregularities, including outside interference and other violations of conclave law; that the true election of a certain papal candidate was suppressed and supplanted by an irregular and invalid election and its published outcome.
Now let me immediately add, that such an allegation is grave and alarming to the extreme, and would be totally irresponsible and deserving of censure, if not based on true fact and verifiable evidence. I myself could in conscience have no part whatsoever with any such claim that is based on mere rumor and hearsay and that is pursued and perpetuated without any presentation of evidence or any effort to substantiate the claim. If the irregular-conclave thesis is asserted as a fact, then there must be absolute and clear demonstration, verifiable proof and documentation, including, if possible, the testimony of bona fide witnesses, and hopefully also that of any true but suppressed popes-elect, such as, it is contended, Cardinal Giuseppe Siri. But even if the thesis is asserted as nothing beyond a solid probability, there must likewise be proportionate grounds and evidence to sustain the conclusion of probability.
What is my position regarding such claims, such allegations, such a thesis? I have stated part of it above, namely my categorical dissociation from any such thesis or promotion thereof based on rumor alone, invention, or fraudulent hoax. On the other hand, my position is also that of firm but cautious support of any serious research project that endeavors to seek out and investigate and verify and present any well-grounded evidence that such irregularities either have in all certainty taken place, or at least have very probably taken place. And even if the final conclusion would be merely that there is a strong probability that serious irregularities invalidated the published outcome of those conclaves, this itself would be reason for serious alarm and for pursuing the matter even more thoroughly until it is definitively resolved.
From what I have gathered from my own limited research, and from consulting with Mr. Giuffré and examining the evidence and documents he has been compiling, I firmly believe his to be a serious bona fide research-project that has the potential of authoritatively establishing at least the minimum of necessary proof for the thesis that the conclaves in question were not only probably irregular, but were certainly irregular, and also the strong likelihood that there is yet living a true pope-elect, validly elected at one or more of those conclaves before the aforesaid irregularities thwarted or suppressed his rightful acceptance and his accession to the throne of Peter, which esteemed Cardinal is named explicitly in Mr. Giuffré’s presentation, and is no doubt already known (his identity, that is) to many of the faithful such as yourselves.
I therefore firmly, though cautiously, support Mr. Giuffré’s project, in its responsible presentation of this thesis and whatever solid documentation it offers and substantiates. If such evidence truly warrants the conclusion that the thesis is correct, then so be it! On the other hand, as I already mentioned, I do not and cannot support any efforts, conclusions, or practical actions based merely on rumors, hearsay, private inspirations, hoax, or the like. If correct and compelling evidence is presented and verified, let it speak for itself, and let the proper conclusions be drawn. I urge you good people to consider and support Mr. Giuffré’s project in the same manner, and for the bonum ecclesiae—the good of the Church—and also to support the underwriting of his published documentary that it may be realized and forthcoming; and above all, to pray, to pray, and to pray for the salutary outcome of this most significant apostolate, hopefully unto the final and swift resolution of this crisis, and the enthronement of a true shepherd to guide his flock safely over the storm-tossed seas of the Last Days, unto the Second Coming of the Victorious Christ, Who will bring about the Eternal Calm of the Kingdom of God.
ONE MORE THING! There will likely be opposition to this project from many quarters. Certainly, the New Church “Establishment” will reject the thesis as “irresponsible,” and will insist on the perfect legality, regularity, and orthodoxy of the conclaves and elections in question. Many of the faithful will likely look upon the project and its thesis as “incredible,” “impossible,” something that is “unthinkable,” something that MIGHT have happened centuries ago or maybe centuries hence, but “COULD NOT happen NOW”! Of course, also many of the “moderate” traditionalists and neutralizers will denounce such a bold thesis, and perhaps go into a fit about “sedevacantism.” Even some of the more hard-line traditionalists may not be favorable to the thesis and project. Some may consider it plausible and likely, but may at the same time reject someone like Cardinal Siri as not meeting their standards; some may call for a vigilante or self-appointed “Council” or “conclave” to elect a new pope, even though such would likely to be canonically irregular itself. There may even be some critics of ill will who would like to see the project sabotaged.
But then again, there MAY emerge some critics in a position of knowledge and authority, who may be convinced that the allegations in the thesis are groundless; or that the whole thesis was “invented,” is a “hoax.” It is possible that some critics or authorities may come up with proof that the allegations of irregularities in those conclaves were groundless. Yet, even if that were so, and proved to be so, the fact of the present constitutional crisis in the Church would itself remain irrefutable from a doctrinal point of view, as I explained earlier, for those with a correct understanding of papal infallibility.
We should indeed be prepared to meet or hear from responsible critics of this nature, and should welcome any evidence they can provide, even though it may seem to weaken or even destroy the thesis in question. My feeling is that there may indeed be some intelligent bona fide critics or authorities who may even have some “evidence” to present. Let them step forward, and let all the evidence on both sides be brought out, and verified or be refuted, if that be the case.
I know that Mr. Giuffré shares this attitude, and that his approach is eminently objective, open to any solid evidential facts that even the “Devil’s Advocate” may introduce in hopes of either refuting his thesis or spurring him on to producing even more definitive counter-evidence that will ultimately vindicate the thesis’ truth and practical consequences.
IN CONCLUSION, all that I, and Mr. Giuffré, and you yourselves can and must ultimately do is to commend this project to Almighty God and His Immaculate Mother, imploring and storming all of heaven for assistance in the wise and prayerful pursuance of this undertaking, unto its ultimate conclusion, which must be left in the Hands of God.
April 9, 1989
2nd Sunday after Easter, “Good Shepherd Sunday”