To say the least, Fr. Tomasso’s letter of March 22, 2009, printed in his bulletin and distributed to other parishes throughout the Finger Lakes area was FALSE, MISLEADING, MALICIOUS AND DEFAMATORY. The faithful members of the St. John Bosco Chapel rebut these outrageous statements by referring to applicable Canon Law (all Canon Law references are to the 1983 Code - unless otherwise noted, which was promulgated, ironically, to facilitate the ministration of the sacraments).

I. Once A Priest, Always A Priest

Fr. Tomasso stated that Fr. Richard Voigt was dismissed by the Salesians. We respond to this statement by referring you to canons 1321 and 1323 §4: A perpetually professed religious priest has the right to due process of law. In fact, Fr. Voigt never received a canon lawyer nor due process (though requested). No infraction ever occurred, no trial ever took place and so his dismissal is canonically invalid. This action was illegal; therefore, Father Voigt is and remains an active Salesian. The Salesian Provincial began an illegal process to eliminate Father because of his justified desire to retain the divine right to offer the mass of all ages. The fact is that he would return in a heartbeat given the right to offer the traditional Gregorian Mass. Fr. Voigt has been faithful to his rule, faithful to his mission and faithful to the tradition of the Church.

II. The Question of Faculties

Fr. Tomasso stated that Fr. Voigt must have faculties in order to administer valid sacraments and we agree. He further stated that there are two ways to acquire these faculties and we agree. One is through the local Bishop. The other is through canon 966 which Fr. Tomasso chose not to elaborate on; so we will. Canon 966 §2 states “a priest may receive faculties through the local competent authority or through THE LAW ITSELF.” In support of Canon 966, Canon law 844 §2 states: “Whenever necessity is the law of the faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers, in whose churches these sacraments are valid.” It is not the code that makes the sacraments lawful but the necessity itself makes them lawful and valid, and this is simply acknowledged by the code. No special faculty is needed on the part of a non-Catholic priest. If a Catholic priest is available, to whom it is physically and morally possible for the faithful to approach, such a one is to be preferred. Due to the necessity the priest possesses the necessary faculties in order to administer the sacraments that the canon acknowledges he may lawfully administer. This is so because, wherever true necessity exists. Divine Law necessarily concedes the faculty, since it is impossible for our God of infinite justice to deny what is just.

It is of the utmost necessity that we, the faithful at St. John Bosco Chapel, remain in proper communion with the Church. The bond, however, of communion can only be preserved by steadfastly adhering to the “received and approved rites” which constitute our spiritual patrimony. We have no need for special indults (St. Stanislaus, Rochester) to facilitate our full ecclesial communion. This is accomplished when we “steadfastly admit and embrace Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Traditions.” If we were to change the approved ecclesiastical ceremonies, then, in the objective order, we would sever our communion with the Church, for we would not be following the universal customs and rites of the Church. We would be violating the irrevocable decrees of the Papal Bull of Pope St. Pius V “Quo Primum”, and the solemn anathema of the Council of Trent and we would be denying the “received and approved rites” of the Council of Trent (Sess. 7 ca. 13).

As Fr. Tomasso stated, no Roman Catholic should support or attend any illicit or invalid sacramental celebration. We whole heartedly agree. The Council of Trent immutably and infallibily states “If anyone should say that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be changed to other new ones by ANY Pastor of the Church, let him be anathema.” Therefore, St. John Bosco Chapel and its faithful recognize the need to preserve the faith through the approved rites canonized and codified in the Council of Trent. “Quo Primum” gives every priest the right to offer this holy mass anywhere and at any time; hence, the sacraments offered by priests, who are faithful to the magisterium of all times and places, are both valid and sanctifying. In conclusion: we have proven, through the use of canon law, that the sacraments offered at the St. John Bosco Chapel are both valid and licit.

Post script, for the readers’ information: We also point out that Fr. Tomasso’s article was malicious, deceiving and designed to lead the reader to believe that Fr. Voigt and the St. Pius X priests are excommunicated. This is disingenuous. Fr. Tomasso says “this is a very serious situation.” We agree that this is a very serious situation, especially when it is untrue. We ask Fr. Tomasso to please provide us the documentation to prove the suspensions and excommunications of the St. Pius X priests. In fact, we insist he provide valid documentation of these excommunications according to due process of canon law.

III. A Roman Catholic Chapel

Fr. Tomasso declared that the Saint John Bosco Chapel is not Roman Catholic. If the valid sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church are being offered by a validly ordained priest - what other kind of Chapel could it be?

Now we answer the question: Why should this Chapel exist? After the illegal changes in the Holy Mass were forced upon Catholics (cfr. Vat. II, S.C. 50), and the possibility of an Indult Mass was offered, several members of the St. John Bosco Chapel petitioned the Bishop for a traditional Gregorian Mass in our area. We were refused because, among other reasons, the Bishop was “not interested in taking a trip down Nostalgia Lane.” We insist on the reception of the sacraments, as instituted by our Savior, and vow to continue our efforts to this end. We invite all Roman Catholics to join us in this worthy endeavor.

We conclude with the dogmatic definition from the Canon of the Council of Trent:

“If anyone should say that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be changed to other new ones BY ANY PASTOR OF THE CHURCH: let him be anathema.” This Canon is immutable and infallible.