June 2001

June 29, 2001 -- Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles (Double of the First Class)

Why Vatican II?

From: Chip

Why did God allow Vatican II to happen?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The question might be: why did we allow Vatican II to happen! Although the answer to this question might have been unclear a few decades ago, the answer seems much clearer now from the perspective of forty years. As in so many times in the past, the Church is undergoing a period of purging.

In Old Testament times, we had the purging of the Flood and the Babylonian Captivity. In New Testament times, we had the Arian persecutions, the Protestant crisis, and so forth. There are a number of references in Scripture to the "winnowing" that periodically sweeps through the Church. It appears to be part of the divine plan.

Vatican II brought to fruition the modernistic heresies that had been condemned by the popes since the 19th century. Pope St. Pius X was able to halt them for a time, but they burst forth again at Vatican II.

Our faith is not meant to be an eat, drink, and be merry, lukewarm affair. Our faith is to be a constant battle against an over-attachment to the world to win heaven. St. Paul uses the imagery of battle over and over again in his Epistles to us. He talks about the living of the Faith as winning a race, as fighting the good fight, etc. Even Our Lord said: "I came not to bring peace, but the sword." His reference was to the battle of the spiritual life and the Faith.

Our Faith is meant to be tested, or it is worthless. In the secular realm, it is easy to be a patriot when one never has to fight for anything. Abraham was tested, Job was tested, the Maccabees were tested, the early Christian martyrs were tested, and so on down through the ages.

We should not shrink from the battle, but rather welcome it. In many periods of the Church, it was a single individual, or a small group of individuals, who saved the Faith: Athanasius, Catherine, Pius V.

Vatican II was a particularly insidious challenge to the Faith. Starting with rosy-colored optimism, Pope John in the end wanted to stop the council, and Pope Paul called it satanic. Yet the post-conciliar period has been one of particular faithlessness and cowardice on the part of Catholics, who have either "gone along to get along" or just dropped out.

Can you imagine that great parts of the Church would have lost the Mass and Sacraments if Catholics had stood up for their Faith? No, we have brought this catastrophe upon ourselves by allowing it to happen when Our Lord was waiting for us to stand up for Him, to stand by the Deposit of Faith, to stand by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments that He gave us. Since we did not, we are on the verge of losing them, except in small pockets of faithfulness, just as pockets of Christians held out against the Roman empire or the Communist regimes. Eventually, these small pockets won out for the Faith.

What is happening in our Church is not God's fault; it is our fault. It is our quality of lukewarmness and worldliness, so strongly condemned in Scripture, that has done us in. Deo volente, our little bands of traditional Catholics will, like the Maccabees of old, reclaim our Church from the unfaithful and inspire those to follow who have to this time fallen by the wayside.

It has happened before. It can happen again, if we are truly committed to the Faith. If we are not, then we shall know the answer to Our Lord's question: "When I return, will there be faith left upon the earth?"

June 28, 2001 -- St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr (Double)

Carroll O'Connor Receives a Traditional Funeral -- Maybe

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I read a news report that told of Carroll O'Connor's funeral Mass. I found this a bit ironic: "Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, presided over the traditional Catholic Mass." Granted this is the secular media, and I would never expect them to know the difference between the Novus Ordo Worship Service and the Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite from Apostolic Times. However, I seriously doubt that the Mass was anywhere near traditional even by Novus Ordo standards. I might also be safe in doubting that it was a Mass at all, but I would never want to speculate on that.

The funeral Mass included such things as the Irish ballad Oh Danny Boy played on a (no doubt) ghastly violin. Actor Martin Sheen eulogized, and it is reported that the remains will be cremated. I can only imagine what else must have occurred. I wouldn't be surprised if Sally Struthers did a tap dance routine before the Offertory.

I don't bring this to your attention because it's something you haven't heard about many many times before. I just got a chuckle out of the fact that this is what the secular media considers a traditional Catholic Mass. Not only that, but I feel sad that someone of O'Connor's age, who would have been baptized in the traditional sacramental form and received all the other traditional Sacraments in his youth, has to leave this life in such a revolting manner.

Pope Relies on Latin in the Ukraine

From: Marie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I read a report about the Pope's recent visit to Ukraine. The article reported that he said a Latin Mass in Lviv at that city's race track. (I know it sounds surreal). Do you know any details?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, but I can guess. In the Ukraine, language divisions in religion have led to great hostility and even violence. This is one of the factors that the sacred language of Latin removes from the human plane. The pope undoubtedly said a Novus Ordo Worship Service in Latin, as he does on high holydays at St. Peters. He has never said the Traditional Latin Mass since his election as pope. What does it say when the supposed Roman pontiff has never said the true Roman Mass during the 23 years of his pontificate?

We must be very careful about the term "Latin Mass," as in can include both the Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite or the Novus Ordo Worship Service in Latin. The former is, of course, the true worship of the Church; the latter is an abomination.

June 26, 2001 -- Sts. John & Paul, Martyrs (Double)

It's True: Novus Ordo Inspired Beavis and Butthead

From: James

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I thought you would find the following interesting. It is from Professor David Allen White's conversion story. After quickly presenting what the true Catholic Church has given us culturally -- good music, good art, etc., he ponders: "The Novus Ordo Mass, in the thirty years it has been around, has given us lousy music, lousy literature, putrid liturgical dancing. In fact, it has only given us one thing that has actually caught on and become culturally significant." (And when I heard this, I nearly fell off my chair, but it's true.)

"The New Mass gave us one thing that the culture knows, and that is Beavis and Butthead -- that ghastly, ghastly cartoon series that all your children know from MTV. I heard the creator of it speaking on television. He was asked how he came up with the idea. He answered, "Well I was sitting at Mass in my Catholic high school, and I wasn't really paying attention, and the priest said 'this is the body of Christ' and this guy behind me went 'heh heh heh heh heh heh heh,' and suddenly I got the whole thing in my mind and started drawing Beavis and Butthead. There you have the one cultural fruit of the Novus Ordo Mass. If you expect anything other than that from that ceremony, I would say, you're not going to get it."

New Order Condemned by Cardinal Newman

From: Fr. Moderator

John Henry Cardinal Newman in his bigletto speech of 1879 upon receiving the cardinal's hat, made the following prophetic statement, almost a century before Vatican II:

To one great mischief I have from the first opposed myself. For thirty, forty, fifty years, I have resisted to the best of my power the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas, it is an error overspreading as a snare the whole earth.
Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste, and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy.

Isn't this exactly the line that Catholics are being fed today, not only from secular society and non-Catholic sects, but even from the highest office of the Vatican? And here Cardinal Newman, in a few short sentences, characterizes and condemns the very notion, a century ago.

Would that our once great Church, now reduced to apologies and ambiguities, could call upon the courage and clarity of such a bishop as Cardinal Newman. He is the greatest intellect in the Church in the last two centuries. God willing, one day he may be acknowledged as the Confessor and Doctor of the Church that he appears to be. Ad quod oremus.

St. John the Baptist & Original Sin

From: Ivan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

St. John the Baptist was born free from Original Sin. I have wondered about St. Joseph, who was permitted to touch Our Lord and act as His foster father. Since Our Lady was also free from Original sin, why not St. Joseph?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The immaculate quality of the Blessed Virgin Mary (from conception) and of St. John the Baptism (from birth) are taught in Sacred Scripture, which is silent about the case of St. Joseph. One might just as well ask about St. Anne and St. Joachim, and many other Saints. What we may say with certainty is that these two cases were quite exceptional.

June 24 was the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, at which we were reminded just what a singular place in the history of the Redemption St. John had, a place that is often unknown and ignored in our time, perhaps because his message was so clear and so contrary to the spirit of our times (as it was to that of Our Lord's time): "Do penance!"

June 24 -- Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Double of the First Class)

Asperges Me

From: Scott

Dear Fr. Moderator:

During the Asperges before Mass on Sundays, I have noticed that sometimes the celebrant will go up and down the aisle blessing the people with holy water, and sometimes he does it from the communion rail. Is there a reason for the two choices?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The sprinkling from the rail is the standard practice. However, if customary and if the physical situation permits it, the sprinkling can be done from the aisle.

Invalidity of Novus Ordo?

From: Nickolas

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Correct me if I am wrong, but is not the root problem with the Novus Ordo Missae the fact that the papal bull Quo Primum prohibited any changes to the Traditional Latin Mass as ratified by the Council of Trent? Notwithstanding the validity (or lack thereof) of the content of the Novus Ordo Missae, it is my understanding that the fact that the Mass cannot be changed at all that makes it invalid. If no changes are allowed at all to the words of the Mass, why do we consider valid the changes made by Pope John XXIII? Do not these changes in the content of the Mass invalidate it? For my own information, may I have your personal opinion as to which edition of the Missale Romanum is the last to be completely valid?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The authority for the (traditional) Roman Mass, the Mass of St. Peter, comes from Sacred Apostolic Tradition, as do the Eastern Rites that are authentic. Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum simply standardized, codified, and canonized for all time the rite of the Roman See (there were elsewhere minor differences that had accreted according to locality). There is no Catholic and Apostolic authority for a "new mass" to be composed.

As to invalidity, the essential nature of the Mass in the Novus Ordo was changed, even to the addition of other "Canons" and a modification of the very words of Consecration themselves, in such a way that their form can be seriously doubted, as they violate Sacred Tradition and specifically the dogmatic Council of Trent. Moreover, the intention of the Mass was very dubiously changed in the General Instruction to a form that the chief theologian of the Church characterized as heretical. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ3: Should I Attend the New Mass?

Although gravely sinful, illicit, and even potentially schismatic, not all changes to the (traditional) Roman Mass are invalidating. The addition of St. Joseph's name to the Canon of the Mass would not be in itself invalidating, although the very idea of touching, in any way, the ancient Roman canon, indicates a hybris that is beyond Catholic comprehension. As Pope Pius IX is supposed to have said when the same proposal was made to him: "How can I do such a thing to the Mass? I am only the pope."

I have no problem with the strict validity of the 1962 Missal, though I think for other reasons that one should use the more traditional rubrics before the 1956 and 1960 rubrical changes.

Did the Masons Do Mozart In?

From: Bob

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Mozart was a genius;
A child prodigy had been he.
Composing music from the age of seven,
Playing at the keyboard from the age of three.

While only a child he concert-toured Europe.
Audiences delighted with the music they heard,
Raved and applauded and marveled,
This Wunderkind from Salzburg.

As a man he became ever more profound,
Working diligently at every score.
Could the Hapsburg Court at Vienna
Possibly ask for more?

Opera was one of Mozart's games.
There's the Abduction from the Seraglio.
The Clemency of Titus was quite inspiring,
And let's not forget Idomeneo.

Cosi Fan Tutte and Figaro,
Some say Don Giovanni was even greater.
But last of all: The Magic Flute
Of which more will be said later.

He composed in almost every form,
From sonata to motet,
Divertimento, Mass and fugue,
And probably many others -- you bet.

Serenades and string quartets,
And symphonies in G minor.
As for his clarinet concerto,
I have never heard one finer.

But Mozart joined Freemasonry,
An international secret society,
With symbols and ritual and mystery,
And Hiram Abiff in its third degree.

With passwords and hand shakes and door knocks,
And covert signs when they are needed,
But, most of all, an oath of secrecy,
Which each Mason is warned must be heeded.

Now Mozart's final opera
Was a peculiar one it would seem,
For the story of this opera
Contained a strange Masonic theme.

But more than this it so happened,
Or maybe it was meant to be;
In this work Mozart "leaked out" Masonic secrets,
Perhaps a bit too carelessly.

"No one is to reveal our secrets,"
Thunders the Worshipful Master from his stand,
Or he will be dealt a fatal blow
From the vindictive Masonic Hand.

Yes -- when a Mason discloses the secrets,
He somehow meets with a tragic fate;
As did, for example, William Morgan,
At a somewhat later date.

Now, curiously enough with Mozart,
Shortly after this opera's premiere,
The composer was to meet with death,
Though he was only in his thirty-sixth year.

For to reveal the secrets of this Order
Is to its members a serious sin.
And so 'til this day some have wondered:
Did the Masons do Mozart in?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is true that Mozart (1756-1792) wrote Masonic Funeral Music and that Masonic themes may be found in The Magic Flute. He may even have been a member of the Masons himself, perhaps to get music commissions(!), before the time when the Church formally condemned the organization. Whether Mozart died of a Masonic plot is uncertain. The latest theory advanced is that his final illness, after the first performance of The Magic Flute indicated trichinosis, a bacterial infection caused by the eating undercooked pork.

June 22 -- Feast of the Most Sacred Heart (Double of the First Class)

Why to Stay Independent from the New Order

From: David

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Please give the arguments for staying, in these times, independent from the Novus Ordo.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

In these very troubled times in the Church, it is impossible to rely on the Novus Ordo apparatus to preserve the traditional Catholic Faith. The focus of that apparatus, now as under similar conditions of the 4th century, the 15th century, and many other times in the history of the Church, is hostile to the Catholic Faith, as it has been understood since the Apostles.

The Church of Christ is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, not some mlitaristic junta. Our Blessed Lord founded His Catholic Church so that all men should have the means of His grace to attain salvation. He left us the seven Sacraments for this purpose. If venal ecclesiastics attempt to use their authority to vitiate Our Lord's purpose, such authority is null and void. This is a very old principle of Roman and canon law, and of common sense: that the law cannot be used to subvert its own purpose.

This is in accord with true Roman authority, as enunciated by 260 popes for 2000 years. Under what principle of Catholicism can honest Catholics turn their back on Catholic and Apostolic Tradition and say that they are now members of a "Newchurch"? "Independent" is simply a convenient word, not a statement of principle. It simply means that one is operating outside the Novus Ordo apparatus that would deprive men of the traditional Sacraments that Christ established for their salvation.

Christ's Church is there, as it always has been and will be to the end of time, but, as in the 4th century, most of the bishops on the human plane today have denied it. St. Basil the Great, who lived during that troubled period of the Arian heresy of the 4th century, expressed the Catholic teaching about where where the Church is when he wrote: "The [the heretic bishops] have the buildings, but we [the orthodox Catholics] have the Catholic Faith."

The Novus Ordo apparatus would deprive men of the traditional Sacraments that Christ left them for their salvation. The Novus Ordo apparatus denies Tradition. It has denied the constant teaching of the popes of the Church, and it has denied the teaching of the Catholic Fathers that any pope who would attempt to impose upon the Church a "new liturgy" is a schismatic, at least objectively (we can't comment on what anyone's interior state of conscience is).

But we are not independent of the barque of Peter. We are right there with it. What does one do when 260 popes teach one way in the constant Tradition of the Church and two teach contrary to it, or at least quite ambiguously? Dogmatically, the pope must be the guardian of the Deposit of Faith. If he teaches outside of or contrary to that, that teaching is null and void (so said dogmatic Council Vatican I, promulgated by Pope Pius IX).

Be careful not to personalize the office of the papacy. We are not the groupies of some rock star. We are to honor the office, the papacy, even if we feel that the man has failed his office, just as we respect the office of the Presidency, even if we do not respect a particular holder of that office. To do otherwise is not to have a Catholic mentality, but a "People Magazine" mentality!

I understand your trouble. From a human perspective, many Catholics are used to looking to a solid structure to back up their Faith, and it is wonderful when such a structure exists, as it did in the decades just before Vatican II.

But what do you do when that structure (the human side of it, that is, not the divine) fails, as it did in the 4th, 13th, and 14th centuries, among others? The answer is clear, as taught in Sacred Scripture: we stand by the Traditions that we have been taught. We are prohibited as Catholics from being drawn into a "new "Faith, a "new" Church, or a "new" Order.

These are not easy times to live in, but neither was the 4th century, when good bishops were persecuted and hunted down for murder by their fellow bishops. When the pope seemed more interested in pleasing an heretical emperor than in the truth of the Catholic Faith. When orthodox Catholics were deprived of their churches, schools, and hospitals.

Thank the Lord, we were given some of the greatest Saints of the Church to combat the large majority of heretical bishops and a personally weak, if not heretical, pope. Their very names resonate in our Catholic Faith: Basil, Athanasius, Martin, Augustine, Ambrose. St. Basil the Great almost dared to fear that the Catholic Church might die in his generation. Yet, by the grace of God, it did not. The heretical bishops were overcome, and the Church as a whole once more returned to orthodoxy.

June 21 -- On the Octave Day of Corpus Christi (Double Major)

Anglican Clergy Revolt; Choose Novus Ordo Prayers

From: Fr. Moderator

As if there were any longer any question that the Novus Ordo Worship Service is Protestant, now the Anglican Protestants prefer it to their own traditional prayers! Although this rebellion is said to be over style rather than content, notice that one of the phrases objected to is "sins and wickedness," a good literal translation of the Latin peccata et malitiam. It appears that the liberalist wing of the Anglican Church is using the same deception as the Novus Ordo did, which "translated out" of the prayers of the Novus Ordo Worship Service any reference to sin, angels, heaven, hell and anything else other than humanistic concepts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Clergy in Revolt over New Book of Prayers
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
Clergy are in revolt over the new Church of England prayer book, with hundreds boycotting its prayers and resorting to "illegal" texts from New Zealand and America or the [Novus Ordo] Catholic Church. Common Worship, published last year as the successor to the 1980 Alternative Service Book, has inspired a nationwide rebellion because of its collection of "collects", the opening prayers in an act of worship.
Clergy are rebelling against the collects because they are written in the 17th-century English of the Book of Common Prayer. They are calling for them to be rewritten to reflect more modern styles of speech, in line with most of the other texts in Common Worship. They are objecting in particular to phrases such as "sins and wickedness", which appears in the collect for the second Sunday of Advent....
The collects have received praise from traditionalists since they first appeared in 1999.

Direction of Celebrant

From: Tracy

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In the early Church, did the celebrant face toward or away from the congregation? I read different things from different sources, and I was wondering if you could clear up the confusion for me. If the priest faced the congregation, when was the direction changed and for what reason? Personally, I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass with the priest facing away from the congregation.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

From the archaeological evidence, the priest and congregation faced East, toward the New Jerusalem. Sometimes the plan of a given church (such as St. Peter's Basilica in Rome) forced the priest to face East, while the people faced West. A very good summary of the evidence is contained in Msgr. Klaus Gamber's Reform of the Roman Liturgy. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend?

June 19 -- Within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

A New Faith?

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am confused. Negotiations between the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the Vatican are supposed to have broken down. The Vatican alleges that the SSPX rejects the eucharistic doctrine of Paul VI and John Paul II. Faithful lay adherents of the SSPX who have made great sacrifices for the Faith are very much concerned about the signs of contradiction within the SSPX. Could you please inspire us with some confidence?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I'm afraid I can't; you apparently have good reason to be concerned. TRADITIO'S mailbox is flooded with horror stories about the sorry quality of the Society's current leadership, which is hardly in the tradition of its founder, Abp. Lefebvre. The messages describe the current leadership as "cultish," "napoleonic," and "internecine." Fortunately, many of the priests and local members have not subscribed to this approach, but have rather chosen to emulate the Christian qualities of their founder.

If the Novus Ordo speaks of the "eucharistic doctrine of Paul VI and John Paul II," then it is openly admitting that it is not part of the Catholic Church. The Most Holy Eucharist is one of the Sacraments of the Church, which by definition comes to us from the Apostolic Tradition. If the Novus Ordo claims that it has a different doctrine from the Church traditionally, then the Novus Ordo has severed itself from the true Faith, as the Deposit of Faith cannot change in a Sacramental matter.

So Close to Reality that It's Scary!

From: Chip

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I thought that you might find this humorous. I think it is good for traditional Catholics to keep a sense of humor about the Novus Ordo mess, lest they lose their sanity!

Top Ten Signs that the Novus Ordo is Falling Apart

10. When asked by the media to tell who the most likely candidate for next Pope is, a majority of Cardinals replied "Billy Graham."

9. In John Paul II's latest ecumaniac gesture, the current pontiff declares his intention to canonize Martin Luther. When asked by a reporter what motivated his decision to make Luther a Saint, the pope replies "Heck, he's the one who's behind the Novus Ordo Worship Service. It's about time we paid him his dues."

8. In its latest effort to attract youth, the Vatican approves a new method of distributing communion: young people gather near the sanctuary while presbyters and lay ministers stand about ten feet in front of them and throwing "consecrated" hosts to them like frisbees. More reverent youths are permitted to catch the flying hosts in their mouth instead of catching them in the hand.

7. The Vatican approves a new fun-filled version of sacrament of penance. The presbyter absolves the penitent with the words: "By the power invested in me, by the sun and the moon, the birds and the bees, of your sins I make you FREE!"

6. Recent polls indicate that the top two role models for Novus Ordo presbyters are Richard Simmons and Ellen DeGenerate.

5. In the latest step to make the liturgy more inclusive, the Vatican approves dogs as altar servers. The dogs are trained to bark at the consecration instead of ringing a bell. Dogs are also permitted to receive communion, and distribute communion as eucharistic ministers by means of a little bowl strapped to their backs with hosts in it.

4. A new exorcism prayer no longer features commands ordering the devil to leave, but instead asks, "Please just leave this person alone. I can sense some very negative energy coming from you. You must have low self-esteem. Have you tried group therapy ?"

3. U.S. bishops vote to remove all religious imagery from the nation's cathedrals. They also vote to take sledgehammers and smash up sanctuaries, tabernacles, and any other part of the cathedrals that look beautiful. When asked to comment on their motivation for this destruction, the head of the U.S. Bishops Conference replies, "Well, we're mainly doing this for ecumenical reasons. I mean, it's not fair if we as Catholics have churches that are more beautiful than the Baptist or Evangelical churches."

2. The Vatican creates a new document known as the Index Instrumentorum Musicorum Prohibitorum [Index of Forbidden Musical Instruments]. This short document lists only one forbidden instrument: the pipe organ. The only instruments now allowed in Novus Ordo churches are the guitar, tambourine, banjo, harmonica, drums, and CD player.

1. The Vatican suspends its push to suppress the death penalty and decides to resurrect the mediaeval practice of executing heretics. The only people the Vatican condemns as heretics are, you guessed it, traditional Catholics!

From Across the Styx - I

From: Fr. Moderator:

From time to time, TRADITIO likes to take a biting Juvenalian look at the nonsense that passes for Catholicism and religion nowadays.

June 18 -- Within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

A New Novus Ordo Worship Service?

From: Mike

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The U.S. Bishops are at it again, wanting "adaptations" to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. This was the revision that came out of the Vatican some months ago and was supposed to make things in the Novus Ordo more conservative (do pigs fly?).

3. The adaptations retain the posture of kneeling from the end of the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when for good reason, the diocesan bishop determines otherwise.

This wording is reminiscent of the trick that was played on unsuspecting bishops at Vatican II: make a general statement that everyone agrees with, and then add a loophole ("except for good reason"). The U.S. bishops will drive a train through that exception, and everyone will be standing before long. Our conservative Novus Ordinarian friends will not be able to protest because the bishop can always say, "I think that there is good reason," and cite the Vatican's own exception.

5. Holy Communion is to be received standing, with the reverential gesture of a bow of the head.

So now it is official: Novus Ordinarians cannot kneel to receive their Lord (if that's what the Novus Ordo Worship Service even effects; the Vatican itself says in many cases that it does not).

6. The use of nontraditional vestments, furnishings, or materials for sacred vessels, is left to the discretion of diocesan bishops.

Another loophole to drive a train through! Diocesan bishops' discretion is noticeably absent in the Novus Ordo.

Anyone who is still attending the Novus Ordo Worship Service on any pretext needs to examine his Catholicism. Forty years since Vatican II have made crystal clear what is going on. Maybe many (except a Fr. DePauw or a Patrick Omlor) at the time couldn't see it, but anyone would have to be blind not to see it now. A new faith is being imposed by the New Order, which has nothing to do with Catholicism. Like the boy in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy story, we have to call the emperor naked.

We cannot shut our eyes and hope that the Novus Ordo will "get better." Will iron pyrite ever become gold? Of course not. It is a worthless stone, to be disposed of in the nearest trash can. A "better translation" is not the solution either. No translation is acceptable. The Apostolic Tradition of the Church and the dogmatic Council of Trent already closed that issue: If anyone says that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only, ... let him be damned. Nor will more bureaucratic games at the Vatican will make it "get better."

Only the Traditional Latin Mass will suffice -- unadulterated and unmodernized, the Mass of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Mass that won the world for the Church, the Mass that nourished every Saint of the Church, the Mass that sent the Catholic missionaries out to convert the world, the Mass for which the great cathedrals were built, the Mass for which the greatest sacred music was written, the Mass for which the greatest art was made.

This is the Mass of our Roman Catholic Faith, the Mass that we have a right to, an obligation to. This is the Mass that is coming out of the catacombs and will one day win the New Order back to its Catholicism -- or send it to the outer darkness, where there will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

June 17 -- Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

Who Is Tertius?

From: Scott

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have a question concerning the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans 16:22/DR: "I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord." Who is Tertius?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Tertius was a fairly common name (it means "the third"). He was apparently the secretary to whom St. Paul dictated the epistle. There seems to be some evidence that St. Paul had an eye problem (perhaps chronic conjunctivitis) and used secretaries to assist him in writing out his epistles.

Absent Infallibility

From: Oswald (New Zealand)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Would you believe: some organization is now attempting to claim that the New Mass is "infallible"?! What's next: the regularization of Satan?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is absolutely no "infallibility" to the Novus Ordo Worship Service, composed out of whole cloth by a Freemason with the assistance of six Protestant heretics. Although the pope signed a document, there is no question that it lacks infallibility, or even validity. Both John XXIII and Paul VI stated authoritatively that Vatican II, from which the "new mass" arose, lacked any dogmatic authority. Thank the intervention of the Holy Ghost for that!

Paul VI obviously regretted his action. Just a couple of years later, he was saying that Vatican II (and presumably its "mass") admitted the "smoke of Satan" into the Church. He was right. Doctors of the Church had already labeled any pope who attempted to institute a "new mass" to be a schismatic. Even the Vatican has admitted in writing that many Novus Ordo Worship Services are invalid through defect of matter.

The organization you quoted is a "conservative" Novus Ordo group that is hostile to the 2000-year-old Faith and instead wishes to substitute papolatry (pope- worship), which is a horrendous blasphemy against the One God and Lord.

June 15 -- Within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

Ghost or Spirit?

From: Paulette

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am a retread traditional Catholic (born 1942 with 12 years excellent Catholic School education when the nuns were good -- fell away in 1980 -- reconversion in 1987 -- back to the Traditional Latin Mass in 1998 -- delayed because I couldn't get to a Traditional Latin Mass sooner than that).

But I have a question. One thing I don't understand is why traditional Catholics refer to Spiritus Sanctus as "Holy Ghost," when a more correct English translation would be "Holy Spirit". I am aware that before Vatican II, we used "Holy Ghost" to refer to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, but isn't "Holy Spirit" more accurate? And thank you for your answers on the web site. I've been reading them ever since someone gave me a computer a few months ago. I've found them very helpful and informative.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

"Spirit" is closer to the Latin cognate. However, since Vatican II "spirit" has taken on many different, contradictory, and ambiguous meanings that "Holy Ghost" has become the unequivocal way of referring to the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity ("ghost" coming from the German geist, meaning "spirit").

How to Start a Traditional Chapel

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The nearest Traditional Latin Mass to me is an "indult" parish an hour away. I dream of a more local and independent traditional community, but I have no idea how to do anything about it. I don't know any traditional Catholics at my local Novus Ordo parish. I know many people that used to frequent the same "indult" Mass that I do, but are now completely Novus Ordinarians.

I am vehemently attacked and resoundingly denounced when I express traditional viewpoints (viewpoints that they once held). I know that they would have seizures if I so much as hinted at an independent chapel locally. I would appreciate any advice that you could give me as to how I could locate other traditionalist Catholics and the practical steps of setting up establishing an chapel independent of the diocese.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I would suggest starting first getting together a prayer group of traditional Catholics. It will start small at first, but so did the Apostles. As your group grows, you can read and discuss the lives of the Saints, the history of the Church, pray the Divine Office, study the Mass, etc. When the group gets to a "critical mass," then you can approach traditional priests around (see the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses and Resource Book for the U.S. and Canada (7th Annual Edition - 2001), "The Traditional Catholic Yellow Pages" for listings) to offer a Mass. It may be only once every other month for a while, but it will give you an opportunity to develop the Christian virtues of patience and fortitude, uniting yourself spiritually with all those around the whole who now and in previous ages yearned for this Mass.

How to Answer?

From: Mike

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I know that there is someone out there who will defend the Novus Ordo Missae because of two people, Sr. Lucia and Mother Teresa. Someone will say that they went to the Novus Ordo Missae, so it must be good. I don't think that we should be putting Sr. Lucia and Mother Teresa "on a pedestal". What do you think, Father?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Catholic theology distinguishes carefully between objective reality and subjective conscience (which can be "good," but in error). There are a number of cases in the history of the Church where Saints fell into objective error. Many Saints believed the anti-popes of the 15th century to be the real popes, but that didn't make the anti-popes real popes. St. Hippolytus fell into an heretical sect and participated in false worship (but converted at the end), but the heresy is still a heresy, while Hippolytus is a Saint. St. Augustine treated with the Manichean heretics also, but Manicheism is still a heresy, while Augustine is a Saint.


The Feast of Corpus Christi

From: Fr. Moderator

Today, Thursday, is the Feast of Corpus Christi, one of the ten holydays of the Universal Church, but not a holyday "of obligation" in the United States.

By an Apostolic Indult of Pope Leo XIII, while this feast is still celebrated in the United States on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, an External Solemnity is celebrated on the following Sunday. (An External Solemnity is the Mass of a weekday feast celebrated on the following Sunday, while the Divine Office remains that of the Sunday, in this case, the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi).

Traditionally, after the Communion of the Mass, the Most Blessed Sacrament is exposed, and the remainder of the Mass will be celebrated as before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed. Immediately after Mass the Procession of Corpus Christi takes place according to the Roman Ritual, with chant and the special Benediction proper to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

I urge you all to take the time to pray and meditate upon the Mass and Office Propers of this day. Composed by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas himself, they are arguably the most sublime in the entire Sacred Liturgy. If you ever wondered where Panis Angelicus, O Salutaris Hostia, and Tantum Ergo Sacramentum came from, now you know.

June 13 -- St. Anthony of Padua (Double)

Timothy McVeigh a Saint in the New Order

From: Marianne

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It is quite a commentary on the state of the Church when a presbyter presumes to say where anyone will spend eternity or declares that Catholics oppose capital punishment. I also saw it noted in another article that McVeigh declined even to have a "spiritual advisor" present at his execution.

Priest Says McVeigh Will Go to Heaven
By Mike Smith, Associated Press
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. A Catholic priest who has exchanged letters and met with Timothy McVeigh urged his parishioners yesterday to forgive, but not forget the Oklahoma City bomber's deadly act.
"Our God, through Jesus, asks us to embrace Timothy McVeigh. Not with judgment; leave that to God. Not with execution; our Church is against that. But to embrace him with love, with compassion, with a desire to understand him," the Rev. Ron Ashmore said at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.
"Personally, I believe Tim will be in heaven, with as strange as it may seem all of those people who died by his violent act, a horrible act, an act of darkness and what we would call sinful," Ashmore said. "But God doesn't judge us by the worst action of our life, but judges us by the movement of our heart toward him."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

First of all, several TRADITIO participants have asked about another report that McVeigh received "Last Rites" at the end. As you know, news reporters nowadays are almost universally ignorant of anything pertaining to religion. The New Order gave up "Last Rites" long ago; it has abandoned the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. Moreover, in traditional theology, that Sacrament is restricted to those who are in mortal illness. Extreme Unction is not imparted to those who die by capital punishment, are about to take a dangerous trip, etc. Whatever, if anything, is meant in the news reports by "Last Rites," it certainly has nothing to do with the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.

This presbyter should get some training in Catholic theology. God does judge us by the worst action of our life, or any mortal sin of our life, if we do not repent of it (assuming, of course, the requisite knowledge and consent of will). Neither this presbyter, nor anyone, can judge the subjective nature of the act, but we can certainly judge the objective nature of the act. The prescription of "judge not" refers to the former, not the latter; otherwise, we could have no justice in this world, no judges, no courts, no juries -- just anarchy.

Is there any doubt where the New Order is attempting to take the Church? Destroy the Mass, destroy the Sacraments, destroy Catholic morality. What's left? The liberalist, one-world dictatorship of the Novus Ordo Seclorum, of which we are reminded every time we look at the reverse of our U.S. dollar bill, founded in pagan Egyptian mysticism, of which the founding Freemasons were so fond.

A Catholic View of Papal Infallibility

From: Nathaniel

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can you please give your comment or discussion on the matter given to me by this Protestant apologist. I am not well versed in the history of the Church.

Is the pope infallible? The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the pope is infallible when he speaks on matters of doctrine: "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful ... he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals" (Novus Ordo Catechism of the Catholic Church. The fact is that neither in practice or in doctrine have popes been infallible. Let us notice a few of the hundreds of contradictions to this doctrine of papal infallibility....

Fr. Moderator Replies.

First of all, did you note that the Novus Ordo catechism has already changed the definition of papal infallibility from what was dogmatically proclaimed by Vatican I, by adding the phrase "head of the college of bishops," which includes the novelty of "collegiality" introduced by Vatican II?

The Protestant apologist states only a part of the principle from the dogmatic declaration of Vatican I, and then misapplies it. The quotation pertains to what is known as "extraordinary infallibility," when a doctrine, based in Scripture and Tradition is formally promulgated in the most solemn and extraordinary form, such as the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption. Most significant dogmata are not promulgated in this extraordinary form, but exist in the ordinary magisterium of the Church, for example, the truths expressed in the Apostles Creed.

The infallibility relates to an understanding from Scripture or Tradition concerning a significant matter of faith or morals. It cannot innovate upon Scripture or Tradition, but must follow from these, the two sources of public revelation of Our Lord.

None of the matters mentioned by the Protestant apologist are matters of faith or morals. Excommunication is an ecclesiastical matter, not a matter of faith or morals, and wrong judgments can and have been made, just as they are by any tribunal. The civil ratification of marriage is an ecclesiastical matter. The matter of the Bible in no way related to Scripture per se, but had to do only with defective printings by publishers that needed to be corrected.

Thus, the Protestant apologist's historical facts may be right, but his application of the facts to the doctrine about infallibility shows a limited and erroneous understanding of what the Church has taught about that doctrine. He would also be advised not to rely on a short extract from a secondary source, but to read the entire document from which it was quoted, that being the decree Pastor Aeternus of Vatican Council I. I think that when he reads this, he will have a much better understanding of the doctrine and see that it rests very much upon Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.

That council was very careful not to overstate the authority of pontiff beyond Scripture and Tradition and eschews the extreme view of some today that makes the pope out to be a virtual god (a position known as papolatry, or ascribing to the pope prerogatives that pertain to God alone. That is not a Catholic belief; rather, it is blasphemy.

New Order "Ecumenism" Leads to Sacrilege

From: Debbie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it wrong and against Catholic teaching for a Catholic to receive Communion at a community gathering at the Methodist Church? Our local community is very active in the "Emmaeus Movement," and I have been to the Cursillo. There is not a local Cursillo group, so I attend the monthly pot-luck gathering, which includes singing and prayer and testimonials and ends with communion. It is a loaf of homemade bread and Welch's grape juice that is used. Please help me with this question.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is absolutely against Catholic teaching! It is explicit sacrilege and moreover brings over one the suspicion of heresy. The Methodist Church is an heretical sect. One should stay away from any such activities entirely, both for one's own spiritual welfare and to avoid giving scandal to others. It appears that this "Cursillo" group is a near occasion of sin for the Catholic participants, drawing them into the error of "ecumenism" and indifferentism ("all religions are equally good and true") and sacrilege in the reception of false Sacraments.

Why Different Bibles

From: Chip

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have noticed some differences between the biblical canon as listed in the table of contents in the Douay-Rheims translation and the biblical canon as listed in the table of contents in the post-Vatican II/Modernist Catholic (as well as Protestant) Bibles. What I have noticed is that not only are the books numbered differently, but they have different names as well.

So my question is why were the names of the books changed from their traditional names as given in the Douay-Rheims translation to new names given in the post- Vatican II Bibles? These changes correspond directly with the book names as listed in the table of contents in Protestant Bibles. So why were these changes made? What purpose did they serve? Please explain this to me.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is part of the Protestantization of the Church that the New Order is engineering. It goes along with the "new" mass, the "new" sacraments, etc. You will see that those new names have been used since the Protestant King James Version (which is almost Catholic by modern standards!), whereas the Douay- Rheims translation follows St. Jerome's nomenclature. The Neo-Catholic New American Bible, which is used in all the Novus Ordo churches, picked up the Protestant names and divisions shortly after Vatican II.

Who Has the Buildings?

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Although according to the "indult" a priest "may" celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal, what can be done about the fact that the bishop owns all Church property, including churches and chapels? If the bishop forbids the Traditional Mass in "his" buildings, what can be done?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Aye, there's the rub! Rights are worth nothing unless you have the power to enforce them. The bishop owns only those buildings associated with the diocese, which, civilly, is simply a religious corporation. What most traditional groups are doing is incorporating as nonprofit religious corporations on their own. Of course, there is nothing stopping any traditional priest from renting a place and offering the Traditional Latin Mass there. This is nothing new. Fr. Gommar DePauw, the first traditional priest (in the sense we know that term today) rented a suite in the Pan American Building in 1964 and began celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass there when the very first changes were initiated after the Vatican II.

If it wasn't clear before, it is clear now that the none of the diocesan bishops can be trusted to support the Traditional Latin Mass unreservedly. Bishops change their minds on a whim, they die, etc. As the old saying goes, "possession is nine-tenths of the law." Therefore, traditional groups have come to have their own possessions and to get out from under the diocesan bishops, whose single-hearted purpose is to stamp out the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments from their position as the only true Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Rite.

And remember St. Athanasius's statement to his flock in those dark days when the Arian heretics had taken over the episcopacy and even, to some extent, the papacy of the Church:

Who has lost and who has won in the struggle -- the one who keeps the buildings or the one who keeps the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. That therefore the ordinances which have been preserved in the churches from old time until now may not be lost in our days,... rouse yourselves, brethren,... seeing them now seized upon by aliens.

New Books on the Papacy

From: Fr. Moderator

Many TRADITIO participants are aware of the careful work being done by certain Catholic journalists to place the papacy in its true dogmatic and historic context against the erroneous modernistic and papolatric notions circulating so widely today. These journalists -- Atila Sinke Guimaraes, Michael J. Matt, John Vennari, and Dr. Marian Therese Horvat -- have brought out together or individually, some new works, in which TRADITIO participants may be interested, in addition to their previously-published open letter, We Resist You to the Face:

Another work, a photo-essay, Previews of the New Papacy, featuring photographs of the horrendous excursions of the current pontificate, is expected to be released in July. All books are available through Tradition In Action Press, whose contact information will be found in the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses and Resource Book for the U.S. and Canada (7th Annual Edition - 2001), "The Traditional Catholic Yellow Pages."

June 10 -- Trinity Sunday (Double of the First Class)

Marked for the Papacy

From: Fr. Moderator

I was recently bequeathed a large booklet on Pope Pius XII and the Vatican of his time, published by Dell in 1957. It was edifying to see the wonderful photographs and text that described the background, reign, and life of this great pope, whom everyone said clearly was marked for the papacy by training, bearing, and intellect. Included was this personal insight:

He gets little time for listening to his extensive record collection -- he prefers Bach, Brahms, and Wagner -- and long ago gave up playing the violin, a diversion which brightened he earlier years.

How much I can personally identify with every detail of that mindset, which provides such fertile soil for the Roman Catholic Faith and culture in the mind and character. Contrast that to the present occupant of the chair, who seems to go out of his way to consort with and praise rock music and rock singers.

My only quibble is that, while certainly recognizing the musical genius of Richard Wagner, whose grand operas are based deeply upon Christian themes, I myself would rather have selected the prete rosso, the "red priest," Antonio Vivaldi. He said only one Mass in his entire life, but what music he gave to the Church!

The Way of the "Indult"

From: Cindy

Dear Fr. Moderator:

We have attended a Traditional Latin Mass for eight years that is connected to the "indult" through our diocese. The former bishop was very accommodating to our community. Our new bishop of two years informed us we cannot use the Baltimore or St. Joseph catechisms any more. We must use the New Catechism and receive First Communions and Confirmations through the new rite. He also does not want us to celebrate Holy Week services in the Latin rite, and we are supposed to attend our own parish Holy Week services.

A well-known organization that purports to assist traditional Catholics with their "canonic" issues was of no help. It simply parroted:

Diocesan bishops have the faculty to grant indults for the celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Missal. However, there appears to be a doubt of law as to whether the bishop has the faculty to grant an indult to administer the Sacraments using the traditional Ritual. If such a faculty exists, I speculate that the news of such would surely have surfaced by now so we doubt if the faculty has been formally granted by the Holy See. From this perspective then, the bishop can and should deny the administration of the sacraments using the older Ritual.

I would be interested in your comments on this situation and what recourse we may have.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You have come face to face with the Pandora's box of the "indult" Mass and its spurious basis in the putting the hostile diocesan bishops in charge of it, like foxes over the hen house. The fox does not have at heart the safety of the hens; rather, quite the contrary! Moreover, as you have found out, this New Order structure is based on an individual bishop, who can attempt to deprive you of your Mass, Sacraments, and Faith on his personal whim, like a petty potentate poobah.

So you are being told that you can have a shadow of a Mass (the 1962 rite is already something of a compromise, even if it is celebrated exactly out of the Missal, which is not often the case). You are told that:

Does that sound Catholic to you? Is that the answer that Pope St. Gregory would have given you? Pope St. Pius V? Pope St. Pius X? Even Pope John XXIII?

The so-called "indult" poses a very grave danger of injecting the deadly parasite of the New Order into unsuspecting traditional Catholics. It is what the Novus Ordo apparatus did to the "indult" organizations, which originally decried the New Order Worship Service, Sacraments, and Faith, but now no longer oppose those errors, even with a wimper, because their 13-year contact with the New Order parasite has been sucking their traditional Faith right out of them.

One eventually ends up selling his soul to the Mephistopheles of the New Order bishops, who hate traditional Catholicism, to get the vaunted "episcopal approval." But what good is "approval," when it results in the corruption of the Mass, the unavailability of the seven Sacraments, and often a New-Order version of the Faith?

Moreover, although the "indult" people dispute it for obvious reasons, you do have a right as a Catholic to the unadulterated Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite. Even the modern Vatican admits this orally, though they hesitate to put it in writing because the Novus Ordinarians would lynch them! This right is given to you by Apostolic Tradition (this was the Mass of the Roman See from antiquity, Sts. Peter and Paul) and was specifically canonized in perpetuity by Pope St. Pius V. For further information, see the Library of Files QUOPRIM, POPELIM, FAQ03 and FAQ09.

Your recourse is to seek the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith wherever they are available. The Church is in crisis, and we must put first things first -- the Mass, the Sacraments, and the Faith. There is no time to dispute the niceties of jots and tittles when the boat is sinking unless we bail fast!

June 8 -- Ember Day of the Octave of Pentecost (Semidouble)

Bigotry vs. Truth

From: Fr. Moderator

From Marshall Brickman, director of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, called by the Dallas Morning News "the most virulently anti- Catholic play in American theater":

Any institution that backed the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Roman position on the Holocaust seserves to be the butt of a couple of jokes.

From Hilaire Belloc, British historian of the 20th century:

It was the [Roman Catholic] Faith which gradually and indirectly transformed the slave into the serf, and the serf into the free peasant. It was the Faith which took the guild, inherited from the Pagan Empire, and set it up for the foundational thing it was during all the great medieval period: the guarantee of freedom. It was the Faith which by its moral atmosphere checked and curbed usury -- that usury whereby Pagan Society, before the triumph of the Church, had been thoroughly sapped and which today is sapping us again. It was the Faith which put competition within its bounds and made its limited practice subservient to general well-divided property, where its excess would have divided Society into very many destitute and few possessors. It was the disruption of Catholic unity in Europe which let in all the evils from the extreme of which we now suffer and are in peril of dissolution.

What is the Novus Ordo Teaching Our Youth in England?

From: Fr. T.

Dear Fr. Moderator:

16 years ago I was, for a short time, chaplain to a "Catholic" high school in England. Hearing confessions before a beginning-of-term Mass, I was giving penances like "3 Hail Marys", etc. It struck me to find out if the young people (14-15 year olds) knew their prayers. So I asked one to say his penance in the confessional. It was "One Hail Mary." The response I got was "Hail Mary" PERIOD. I continued this with the rest of the penitents. They knew no set prayers, Our Father, Hail Mary, or ANY FORM of the Act of Contrition. Remember this was 16 years ago. I assure anyone the situation has got no better!

Later I took up this matter with the head of Religious Education (a dread Novus Ordo "nun", lay attire, etc.). She said, "Oh they're not parrots; they pray in their own words." Some weeks later I was asked not to go back to the school unless I stopped wearing the cassock. According to the good nuns, "it frightens the little ones."

Another One Comes over to the Traditional Side

From: Felix

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been researching our Faith for a year now. I was raised within the Novus Ordo, but I have always had a conservative philosophy. In answering a challenge to a fellow layman in the RCIA program who alleged that certain very liberal ideas were indeed church teaching, I stumbled onto the Traditional Catholic Movement.

My heart was thoroughly broken yesterday when a priest whom I hold in great esteem answered the question of the Church's position on capital punishment with a long litanny of liberal and, I dare say, Modernist statements:

Fr. Moderator Replies.

As I've said all along, the New Order doesn't hide its unCatholic beliefs and goals. It is proud of them! They want no less than a Newchurch, which I doubt that they will want to call "Catholic" any more than they call their worship services "Masses." After forty years, the Lord is opening more eyes, like those of this gentleman. The best are leaving the sinking dingy of the Novus Ordo.

Is the East Better?

From: Pat

I just found out that there is an Eastern Rite (not Greek Orthodox) church nearby. Are their Masses in the Traditional Latin Rite? This has been really hard for me -- to realize what has happened to the Catholic Church. I am both angry and scared at that same time. And since I do not know, at least yet, any other Catholics who feel this way too, (my family think I am crazy and ridiculous), I feel so alone.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Unfortunately, the Eastern Rites are in worse shape than the Western! At one time the Easterns had Apostolic rites, but many have fallen away from these, have changed them, have vernacularized them away from their Apostolic form. The ones "in union with Rome" (Uniate rather than Eastern Orthodox) have, in addition, been affected by the Neo-Modernism of Vatican II. There are a few local exceptions, but not many, according to the messages I get from Easterners these days. In any case, those are not your proper rite. No, they are not in Latin.

In your traditional faith, you are far from alone. It is estimated that there are as many as 15,000,000 traditional Catholics in the U.S. alone, who eschew the New Order. Since Catholics' freedom to practice their traditional faith has been interefered with, both ecclesiastically and secularly, communication is not as good as it should be among traditional Catholics, but is getting better.

June 7 -- Of the Octave of Pentecost (Semidouble)

What is the Novus Ordo Teaching Our Youth?

From: Fr. Moderator

When I get a question like this, I have a lot of trouble believing that anything about the New Order is Catholic:

I am a 16-year-old student at a Catholic High school in Michigan. I was wondering: what exactly is the Eucharist?

Latin Is not a Bar

From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am very interested in the traditional rite of the Catholic Church and want very much to become a part of the Traditional Latin Mass, but I am apprehensive because of the language barrier. I am 27 years old and have always gone to the "new mass" (up until recently I never knew of anything else) and have never had any type of schooling in Latin. I attended one Traditional Latin Mass with my father-in-law and was completely lost.

Over the past few years I have grown increasingly more impatient every Sunday with the lack of reverence (especially during the Consecration), the absence of leadership from priests who, instead of telling you what you should hear on the topic of faith and morals (especially the hot topics), tell you what people want to hear to make their lives easier and priests who, most of all, put their own twisted liberal spin on things.

A quick example. This past Sunday was Pentecost. I was at a parish that I had never been to before and for a baptism of my nephew. During the "homily," the presider, who was also the pastor of the parish, said: "Through the Spirit we become God." He did not say "like God" or "in his likeness"; he said we become God! Then he went on about how we must oppose the death penalty. That was the last straw for me. I had prayed to the Holy Spirit at the beginning of that mass to guide me down the right path of worship, and I think that was the guidance I was praying for.

With all that said, I now need to know which would be the best path to follow to understanding the Latin language so that I may in turn understand the Traditional Latin Mass and can worship God the way I know in my heart is right.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is commendable that you wish to gain some familiarity of your Catholic language. Although one can understand the Mass without knowing any Latin (although you pick up a good deal just by attending Mass), it is certainly better, for a number of reasons, to gain some familiarity with this divine tongue. I suspect that you were lost not because of the language, but because of the fact that the New Order Worship Service has departed so far from the Mass that the real thing is unrecognizable; otherwise, only the language would have been different, not the very prayers and actions.

Most great religions of the world use a sacred rather than a vulgar tongue. The Jews use ancient Hebrew, the Orthodox Greeks use Biblical Greek, the Hindus use Sanskrit, the Orthodox Egyptians use Coptic, the Mohammedans use old Arabic, the Buddhists use ancient Chinese, etc. The Newchurch idea of using a modern vernacular tongue in fact contravenes the Sacred Tradition of our Faith and goes against the instinct of all mankind, which hankers for a sacred language for sacred worship.

The Jews teach their people Biblical Hebrew at Saturday school. Certainly Roman Catholics should be encouraged to learn something of their proper language as well. Even Vatican II had to admit that! There are easily obtainable handmissals that give the Latin and English of the Mass on facing pages. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend? There is a book listed there, Teach Yourself Beginner's Latin, which in just 18 easy lessons gets you to the point that you should be able to get the gist of the Antiphons, Psalms, and other parts of the Mass. If you went through two self-taught lessons each week, you would have this working knowledge in only two months!

June 5 -- Of the Octave of Pentecost (Double of the First Class)

A Senseless Argument

From: Nestor (India)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

When the Traditional Latin Mass was first brought to our area, of the many reactions of the local parish presbyter was an article published both in the parish bulletin and the archdiocesan magazine. The article claimed that the Novus Ordo was the same as the Mass of St. Justin, Martyr, of the second century. Your comments please.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This has got to be one of the most senseless arguments I have read. If this presbyter really wanted to go back to the Mass of St. Justin, Martyr, he would be one of the strongest advocates of the Traditional Latin Mass around. He would require the use of Latin. He would require the use of traditional vestments, which came from much closer to the time of Justin than those Novus Ordo "albochasubo" monstrosities.

Remember that the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass comes from the time of St. Justin. You will find no historical basis for the Bugnini-composed "Eucharistic prayers" that were introduced in 1967, except the second, which was composed by the heretic Hippolytus, who made up his own worship service. Moreover, Pope Pius XII specifically condemned as unCatholic exactly the argument this presbyter is making. The man is obviously out of touch with historical Catholicism.

From: Bill

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Our local newspaper carried an article entitled "Bishops Differ on Communion for Gays," which lead off with:

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George denies communion to members of the Rainbow Sash Movement, a homosexual group, while Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis allows them to receive Holy Eucharist. Rainbow Sash members attend Roman Catholic liturgies wearing sashes identifying them as members of the group, which includes homosexuals, lesbians and transsexuals.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Rainbow Sash organization is a homosexual advocacy group, which was already thrown out of the Melbourne cathedral by Abp. Pell when the group tried to pull the same thing in Australia. Flynn seems just as addled as his predecessor. I wonder if Flynn would permit Neo-Nazis with armbands to receive communion. Traditional Catholics, of course, can take consolation from the fact that what is described here as communion (with a lower-case c) and eucharist is not that at all.

There is no doubt in what direction the Novus Ordo apparatus is going. It may have been harder to see in it 1962, or 1965, or 1969, but how conservative Catholics can still, after 40 years, cling to the "My Novus Ordo Bishop, Right or Wrong" theory or still worry about whether such individuals "approve" the Traditional Latin Mass in a diocese boggles the rational mind.

Since Novus Ordo developments have paralleled closely the Protestant sects, which have now admitted priestesses, bishopesses, married clergy, "gay masses," and all the other aberrations that even Luther, with his Biblia Sola proposition could not tolerate, we can think only that, as in the 4th century, the 14th century, the 15th century, etc., large parts of the Church are off the rails once again, and true Catholics can do no better than cling to that consistent Deposit of Faith handed down in the Church from one, holy, catholic, and apostolic times.

This isn't rocket science, folks. Any child having studied a little of the Baltimore Catechism knows what is truly Catholic and what is not. It was the little child, not the sophisticated adult, in Andersen's story of the "Emperor's New Clothes," who was honest enough to blurt out the truth: the emperor has no clothes.

June 4 -- Of the Octave of Pentecost (Double of the First Class)

Vatican II Hath Not the Competence

From: Eugene

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Was any part of Vatican II considered dogmatic or any of the documents signed by Paul VI considered dogmatic? A couple we know indicate that Paul VI declared the decrees of that council to have the full force of authority as well as to supersede all previous decrees. From what I understand, the only "dogmatic" statements to emanate from Vatican II were restatements of previous dogma.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You are correct, and the couple is incorrect. Except for restatements of previous dogma (such as quoting from Trent, which was a dogmatic Council), Vatican II has no dogmatic authority. Both Pope John XXIII, who called the council, and Pope Paul VI, who signed its documents, specifically disclaimed any dogmatic authority for it. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ8: What is the Authority of Vatican II?

Given the abysmal consequences to the Faith that Vatican II and its aftermath engendered, not a few authors have posited the intervention of the Holy Ghost as saving the Church from the repetition of a Council teaching heresy. So abysmal, in fact, have these consequences been that Paul VI even attributed the work of the Council to the devil. Nor did he say this in some offhand remark, but proclaimed in upon the Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul, the founders of the Holy See at Rome, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his coronation, just seven years after the close of the Council, and just two years after the effectivity of the New Order Worship Service (June 29, 1972):

We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation.... We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties.

So, you see, your couple has been totally bamboozled by the mindless prattle of Novus Ordo propogandists. It certainly didn't come from Paul VI, nor for that matter from John XXIII, who, according to one of his closest friends, the French journalist Jean Guitton, pleaded on his deathbed: "Stop the Council! Stop the Council!" The Cardinal Primate of England similarly reported: "Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and Pope John would have wept over Rome if he had foreseen what would be done in the name of his Council."

June 3 -- Pentecost Sunday (Double of the First Class)

The Blasphemy of Papolatry

From: Nathaniel

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How true is this statement: "The pope has so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws.... The pope can modify divine laws, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth." I always believed that the pope has only the power to explain, or interpret, and enforce divine laws but cannot modify them. Divine laws are immutable.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You are correct; the statement is erroneous on its face. It is very clear from the teaching of the Church, as well as the explicit dogma proclaimed in Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I that the Pope has no authority to overturn divine law. Rather, his office limits him to being the faithful custodian of that law and Tradition. Such a statement as you quote contains the error of "papolatry," that is, treating the pope as though he had divine prerogatives. Such an statement is tantamount to blasphemy.

June 1 -- St. Angela Merici, Virgin (Double)

Host as Victim

From: Bryant

Dear Fr. Moderator:

During the Offertory the priest prays, Suscipe, sancte Pater ... hanc immaculatam hostiam..... Is the correct translation: "Receive, holy Father,... this immaculate host" or "Receive, holy Father,... this immaculate victim"?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Either. Hostia in Latin (from which the English host comes) can mean either the sacrifice itself or the victim thereof.

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