An Apology to Atila Guimarães and Marian Horvat
What this Letter Signifies
Two members of TIA's board of directors received the apology below by Mr. Stephen Hand some days ago.
Mr. Hand was the author of the booklet Traditionalists, Tradition and Private Judgement, which triggered a heated polemic against the position of resistance to the progressivist teachings and orientations of the conciliar Popes. The campaign was directly against the four journalist signers of the Resistance Statement - Atila S. Guimarães, Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D., John Vennari and Michael J. Matt. Such declaration, published under the title We Resist You to the Face, was an open letter to John Paul II respectfully setting forth the reasons that led the signers to a legitimate position of resistance. This piece was first published in The Remnant and Catholic Family News, and then in a book by Tradition in Action.
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Nebraska wrote the preface of Mr. Hand's booklet accusing the signers of being proud, and Mr. Alphonso Matt, editor of The Wanderer, wrote an editorial recommending the booklet and charging the journalists with entering "a trajectory of schism." In the same issue, he published the preface of Bishop Bruskewitz. In subsequent issues, The Wanderer published the entire booklet of Mr. Hand, a chapter each new issue. Shortly after publishing his first editorial, Mr. Alphonse Matt wrote another one maintaining his first charge. Bishop Bruskewitz and Mr. Alphonse Matt were duly refuted by the signers of the Resistance Statement.
Neither the Bishop nor the Editor published anything else on this topic, as far as we know. Only Mr. Hand continued to spread his booklet and other similar accusations by means of the two websites he managed. This continous detraction lasted for seven years until some days ago, when Mr. Hand recognized his mistake and apologized.
Therefore, this letter puts an end to a long polemic. It also shows how groundless the other charges based upon the booklet were.
To follow the polemic with Bishop Bruskewitz, click here; for the one with Mr. Alphonse Matt, click here.
TIA correspondence desk
Letter by Mr. Stephen Hand
January 30, 2008
Dear Atila Guimaraes and Marian Horvat:
I do not expect a reply to this, but in justice before God I feel I must give you here - as I have with others - my profound apology for the polemics I entered into against you both back in 2000.
Because I was terribly afraid of the implications of sedevacantism and because ambiguity cuts both ways, I chose to cut it one way in favor of the popes and "interpret the Council in the light of Tradition" (hoping the 'reform of the reform' would rectify problems I was not unaware of) and so helped others to mount an offensive against those who would blame the popes for what has ensued since the Council.
However in 2005, when Hans Kung met with the Pope who said he "respected" Kung's incredibly heretical "path" (allegedly without agreeing with it, of course, it was implied) the most grave doubts have caused no little anxiety in me until I finally dropped the old website and started anew, not hiding my fears.
This de facto pluralism which can embrace even a Hans Kung - whose heresies go beyond Luther and the papacy to the Person of Christ Himself - cannot, it is very clear to me, be reconciled with Tradition and thus a mysterious rupture has occured; and so fears seem to have been confirmed. I still hope Benedict will yet act against Kung and his clones, but that hope grows dim.
You were correct. I was wrong. And I am very sorry. As I said in a post to Michael Matt I will ask nothing and offer nothing to the people I hurt and provoked and only hope to spend the rest of my days in my niche doing penance for errors I now abjure, however sincerely they were held.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Reply by Mr. Atila S. Guimarães
February 2, 2008
Dear Stephen Hand,
I acknowledge your e-mail of January 30, and I accept your apologies with great pleasure.
I also pay respect to your noble and humble gesture as well as your statement of good intent for the future.
In the last seven years we have been on different sides, following different banners. I consider it normal for public men like us to cross swords defending our ideals. I crossed swords with you, as I did and do with many others, without personal feelings involved. So, I do not have personal complaints against you: I consider the wounds that I both received and caused the normal consequences of our decisions to make our convictions victorious. On my part, the only sentiment involved is that of joy for fighting for my Queen, Our Lady, when so many have abandoned the battle.
What counts for me is the banner of the Counter-Revolution which I have the honor to hold, and the consequent Resistance to Progressivism installed inside of the Church.
In your message you used these words: "I chose to cut it one way in favor of the Popes." Indirectly and perhaps unconsciously you insinuated that we (Dr. Horvat and I) are against the popes. I fully understand that you were referring only to the conciliar Popes and not to all Popes in general. But for any possible enemy that would like to say that I agreed with this generalization in your letter, I want to make it precise that we also are in favor of the Popes and the Papacy. What we are trying to do is to defend the Papacy against the conciliar Popes, who in many ways are destroying the Papacy to please Protestants and Schismatics and install a Pan-religion. Even regarding these last five Popes, we accept their teaching insofar as they do not promote Progressivism. It is the granum salis I would like to put in those words.
I pray and hope that, either in your planned retreat or back in the battlefield, you will maintain the same good position you have now. This is important for the glory of the Catholic Church and the salvation of your soul.
I am planning to share this correspondence with our readers and post it on our website next Tuesday, February 5. Thus, if you have any addition to your message, please let me know before this date.
In Jesu et Maria,
Atila S. Guimarães
Last Word by Mr. Hand
February 2, 2008
Thank you for this gracious response. Yes, I meant the conciliar popes in my own choosing back then regarding ambiguity, not anything beyond that.
I am afraid the de facto pluralism which includes a Hans Kung and so many like him and the WCC must exclude my hopes for a true "reform of the reform," a restoration. So it certainly seems. It is a profound disappointment.
Again, I am grateful for your kind Christian response after a long polemic.
Other Articles in the Polemic
Presuppositions and context of the controversy
The Bishop's Preface
Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz
Anecdotes, Trajectories & Headaches: A Letter to Bishop Bruskewitz
Five Questions for Msgr. Bruskewitz
Atila Sinke Guimarães
His Excellency's Insinuations
Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D.
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