September 2001

September 29, 2001 -- On the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel (Double of the First Class)

TRADITIO at 7 Years and 200,000 Participants

From: Fr. Moderator

Today, the Feastday of St. Michael the Archangel, our patron, is the seventh anniversary of the TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Internet Site. At the same time, we have well passed reaching 200,000 participants in that time (our counter is actually low, since it started about a year after we first appeared on the internet).

TRADITIO was the first traditional Catholic site to appear on the internet. We were here even before the Vatican was! Originally, our apostolate focused on an E-mail list, with the web page supplementing that. Now our focus is the web site, with E-mail being moved to it as "Commentaries from the Mailbox," together with a wealth of information on traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and practice, liturgy, calendar, reviews, an extensive library of articles on a wide range of topics related to the traditional faith, the Divine Office for personal recitation, holy cards, and the papal photo gallery. Moreover, we offer sections for interaction by our participants: Ask Fr. Moderator, Booksales, Confraternity of St. Michael, Prayer Requests for the Living and the Deceased, and Traditional Catholic Priests Wanted and Available.

At the heart of TRADITIO has been the National Registry of Traditional Latin Masses, the only complete directory of Traditional Latin Masses published. Other organizations publish selective directories for only their own, but the Official Directory of Traditional Latin Masses is the only complete compilation under one cover, which has now expanded beyond the United States and Canada. We are now up to our sixth annual edition, each annual edition being a major revision on even the previous year's edition, so fast is the traditional landscape developing.

What we did not understand when we started was vast number of traditional Catholics who were cut off from the Traditional Latin Mass, but discovered the Traditional Catholic Movement through the Traditional Directory and maintained their connection with the movement through TRADITIO. It is humbling to realize that we have now touched more than 200,000 souls, many of whom would never have learned about traditional Mass locations and the traditional movement except from TRADITIO. From time to time we have shared their stories with you.

During our seven years here, we have tried to focus on the issues rather than the people. Our subtitle tells the story: An independent, balanced voice of traditional Catholicism. Frankly, we find unChristian and tiresome those who say the most uncharitable things about hardworking traditional Catholic laypeople and especially clergy. There are some differences of opinion in the movement, mostly matters of practical opinion, but these pale in comparison with the Big Three on which we are all unified: the Traditional Latin Mass, the Traditional Latin Sacraments, and the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith.

We thank the Lord for our many, many thousands of dedicated participants from all over the world, who keep us current on everything going on in the bowels of the Vatican, in the inner sancta of various traditional organizations, and at the many Traditional Latin Mass sites. To this raw data, we give in return a perspective not of the neophyte, but of the mature observer of many years, even from before Vatican II.

If TRADITIO has been of assistance to you over these many years, please remember us prayerfully, particularly at this special time, and say a prayer to our powerful patron for all the traditional clergy, the Church as a whole, and our Roman Catholic civilization. In your generosity, you may contribute to the continuance of our apostolate, now made easy by the "TRADITIO's Apostolate" box on our home page.Ad multos annos.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio. Contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur. Tuque princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

September 28, 2001 -- St. Wenceslas King & Martyr (Semidouble)

Hammer of Heresies

From: Nina

Can you please tell me who is considered the "hammer of heresies" and what the title symbolizes?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The title heresum malleus belongs to St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), a Doctor of the Church, who was an outspoken critic of heresies in his time.

Mortal Sin and Eternity

From: Richard

Is a single unrepented mortal sin on our soul at the time of our death enough to merit Hell? If one otherwise went to Church, prayed regularly, and tried seriously to live a good Catholic life (but not succeeding at every aspiration), would that Catholic still merit Hell with that one mortal sin because death occurred without an opportunity for repentance?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes. An unrepented mortal sin leaves the soul without sanctifying grace and thus leaves it unjustified and therefore damned. We have, by our own full knowledge and consent (for that is needed for the mortal sin), chosen to cut ourselves off from God. This has been the constant doctrine of the Church and should be a sobering thought to all of us to avoid mortal sin like the death knell it is for the soul. Just as one slip of the scalpel can kill the human body, so one unrepented mortal sin kills the soul. How much more careful we should be of our souls than our bodies!

September 27, 2001 -- Sts. Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs (Semidouble)

No "Communion"

From: Nancy

Is it ever permissible to receive "communion" in a Protestant church? I know the answer, but was astounded when recently I attended a service for the husband of a co-worker. I was there out of respect, but did not participate. What I was astounded at was when other known Catholics went to receive. The minister said any baptized Christian was welcome to receive. This included a president of a Catholic university as well as a nun.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You are seeing the horrible consequences of the New Order, which implies that anything goes, all religions are equally true (or who cares about truth anyway?), do what you "feel," etc. A Catholic who receives "communion" from an heretical section is participating in false worship and sacrilege. Attending passively in such a situation is one thing; receiving is utterly condemned.

1) It is not lawful for the faithful in any way to assist actively or to take part in the religious services of non-Catholics. 2) Passive or merely material presence can be tolerated of a civic official or on account of respect ... at funerals, marriages, and similar functions of non-Catholics, as long as there be absent the danger of perversity or scandal. --Canon 1258, Codex Iuris Canonici (1917)

September 26, 2001 -- Sts. Cyprian & Justina, Martyrs (Simple)

Cardinal Newman Was Right

From: A.J.

In an interview for a certain Novus Ordo periodical some years ago, an anti-traditional militant, K.K., was asked what he thought of traditional Catholics. In his reply he quoted from Newman, saying: "if we look at ancient heresies, we see two that are opposed to each other operating at the same time, but both arise from the same principle. We see and hear people leaving the Church; some are getting off the train on the left side, some on the right side. But both are still standing at the station of private interpretation when the train moves on." What do you make of this?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Cardinal Newman was right. K.K. and his anti-traditional militants have gotten off the train and are using private judgment to suborn a New Order, the very concept of which was condemned from Apostolic Times. Traditional Catholics have simply remained on the train in its 2000-year course.

Newman knew quite a bit about this. He wrote a seminal work entitled The Arians of the Fourth Century, when the orthodox Saints (Athanasius, Basil, Martin, Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, etc.) were for about 100 years forced outside the institutional structure, which had pretty much been taken over by the heretics who infected even the pope of the time.

Fair Is Fair

From: Nick

I belong to the Society of St. Pius X, and I thank you that in your commentaries you were fair to us, for we have been labeled "bad people" by so many (personal experience). The church I go to is not mean to anyone that is not in our traditional movement; we greatly support them and it is the understanding of everyone in the parish that the whole society supports all the traditionalist movements, except (of course) the ones who have become schismatic. We have a schismatic church not too far from us.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Many of the faithful and the priests of the SSPX are fine people. There is a substantial problem, however, with certain of the leaders of the SSPX, who have a hostile and exclusionary attitude and programme toward other traditional Catholics. According to messages received from around the world, sometimes this trickles down, but not always, to the local sites.

I do have to caution you about one thing. You must be very careful about calling other people "schismatics." The SSPX leaders tend to use this term about non-SSPX traditional Catholics as a kind of exclusionary buzzword. It appears that some SSPX leaders don't want to acknowledge that they are only about 25% of the Traditional Movement; they want to control the whole thing. They seem to forgot that the world generally calls them "schismatic," so they should be even more careful about calling others "schismatic." To do so is vengeful, unCatholic, and unChristian.

Second-Class Relic

From: Martyn

Could you please tell me what ex indumentis means, please? It is written on a medal I have, and I would be interested to know.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It means "from the clothing" of the Saint. What you have in the metal container is a second-class relic.

September 24, 2001 -- Our Lady of Ransom (Double Major)

The Pope Is not God

From: Roger

Is it all right for Catholics to bow down and kiss the Koran, the book of the Islam religion? I saw a photo of the Vicar of Christ kissing the Koran and was wondering whether this was all right for Catholics to do. Normally, I was taught that we are to follow the Bishop of Rome, who is the the Supreme Pontiff and Vicar of Christ, in matters of religion.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The key word in that statement is "normally." Let's review the basic Catholic doctrines: Christ is the head of the Church. To the papacy He gave certain limited authority. As expressed by the dogmatic council Vatican I, the basic limitation is this (Constitutio Dogmatica Prima de Ecclesia Christi (Pastor Aeternus), chap. 4, De Romani Pontificis Infallibili Magisterio:

Neque enim Petri successoribus Spiritus sanctus promissus est, ut eo revelante novam doctrinam patefacerent, sed ut eo assistente traditam per apostolos revelationem seu fidei depositum sancte custodirent et fideliter exponerent.
[For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.]

In other words, the pope (who in any case has authority only in the realm of faith and morals) cannot change the Catholic religion, cannot change Scripture, cannot change Tradition, cannot replace it with something new. To hold otherwise would be to fall into the error of papolatry, that is, attributing to the pope divine prerogratives. This would be blasphemy, a grievous sin against the First Commandment. Anything action the pope took outside these parameters would, of course, be null and void.

The pope has to follow the Commandments just as any other Christian. It is a matter of divine law that there is only one true religion by which God must be worshipped. Any other worship would be false worship and a serious breach against the First Commandment. The false "ecumenism" of the modern era, which purports to imply that all religions are equally good, or a matter of preference, is a grave error.

One must always avoid giving scandal in matters of the Faith. What the pope did has caused grave scandal as, whatever his internal intentions, the external act gave the appearance of worshipping a false religion. The current pope would be far from the first pope to have sunk into this kind of error. For one historical instance, Pope Liberius signed a semi-heretical document and gave further scandal by "excommunicating" St. Athanasius, the Catholic patriarch who was defending the Faith.

September 21, 2001 -- St. Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist (Double of the Second Class)

Vatican "Justice" Confirmed

From Fr. Moderator

Apparently, the information from Denis, published yesterday, concerning the New Order Vatican's "declaration" on Fr. Gruner, the "Fatima Priest," were correct. A September 12, 2001, press release from a spokesman for the Fatima Center in Toronto, an international organization of laity and clergy devoted to promoting the Message of Fatima, expressed shock and outrage at the Vatican Press Office's publication on that day of a "declaration" concerning Father Nicholas Gruner:

Father Gruner seems to be the only priest in the entire Catholic Church who is not allowed to transfer from one diocese to another.... Even infamous heretical clergymen like Hans Kung have never been suspended, but the Vatican announces to the world Father Gruner's bogus "suspension" on a flimsy charge they manufactured out of nothing. Their obsession with Father Gruner boggles the mind.

Sound familiar? It should. It's the same ploy the New Order Vatican tried with Archbishop Lefebvre. If there's any doubt left that the Novus Ordo apparatus in the Vatican is trying to quash anything truly traditional and instead exalt the New Order in the Mass, Sacraments, doctrine, ecumenism, and all the rest, there shouldn't be.

One can only hope that Fr. Gruner will put this "declaration" where it belongs, in the circular file, and continue his work for the Traditional Latin Mass independently. Or better yet, maybe he should tack it up under his crucifix as a badge of honor, having stood up for Our Lord against the very people who pervert the Church to suppress true Roman Catholicism.

Isn't it revealing that it is always those traditional Catholic faithful and clergy who stand with the popes, councils, fathers, doctors, and saints who are called by the New Order Vatican all those nasty words, but those who reject the doctrine of the papacy, Protestantize the Mass, and corrupt the faith and morals of the Catholic faithful are left untouched?

Well, it was the same in Our Lord's time. The leaders of the Church He castigated as the worst hypocrites, preferring to associate with sinners who were at least the honest!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to mean beautiful but within are full of dead men's bones and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just: but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 23:27-28/DR)


From: Catholic Apologetics 1928
The religion of Islam (i.e., "submission to God's decrees "), as it is called by its followers, was founded by Mohammed. He was born at Mecca in Arabia, 570 AD. In early life he was a shepherd, but later became a merchant, and traveled to Syria and Palestine. He was much given to prayer and fasting, and was subject to epileptic fits. In his fortieth year he professed to have received a call from the Angel Gabriel to preach the worship of the one true God to his people, the Arabs, who, though descended from Heber and Abraham, had lost the purity of their primitive belief, and had fallen into idolatry.
His preaching was rejected at Mecca. He fled to Medina, where he succeeded in making many converts and in organizing a small army. In spite of some severe reverses, he was enabled by his talents as a general and leader to crush in detail the warring factions of Arabia, and to weld them into a formidable military state. (A.D. 630). Towards the close of his life he showed himself a monster of lust, cruelty, and rapacity. He died in 633.
The sum of his doctrinal teaching is expressed in the formula: "There is no God but the true God, and Mohammed is His prophet. "This single confession however implied six articles, viz., belief in (a) the unity of God; (b) His angels; (c) His scripture -- Al Koran, the sacred book which Mohammed wrote; (d) His prophets -- among whom are reckoned Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Mohammed himself, the last and greatest of all; (e) the Resurrection and Day of Judgment; (f) God's absolute and irrevocable decree, predetermining all things, good and evil (Fatalism).
His moral teaching is concerned almost entirely with externals. It includes forms of prayer, alms, fasting, the obligation of making a pilgrimage to Mecca, and of waging war against the infidel. It permits polygamy and divorce, and approves of slavery. The motive to virtue is the assurance of admission after death to a paradise of fantastic sensuality. Within a hundred years after Mohammed's death, a succession of able generals spread his religion through all the neighbouring countries, along the North African coast, into Spain, and even across the Pyrenees. But the tide of conquest was stemmed at Tours by Charles Martel, 732.
Its rapid propagation was due (1) as in the case of Buddhism, to the clearness and consistency of its monotheistic doctrine in contrast with the confused and contradictory teaching of polytheism; (2) to its pandering to base passions; but above all (3) to the might of the sword.
At the present day (1918), it has about 223 million followers, nine-tenths of whom belong to the Sunnite or Orthodox sect, under the headship of the Sultan of Turkey. It is said that there are, in all, 73 sub-divisions of Mohammedans, but it must be admitted that in the essentials of doctrine and practice they hardly differ. The fragments of revealed truth which the religion contains were borrowed from Judaism or Christianity.
Its fatalism, its low morality, its gross conception of eternal happiness, and the character of its founder stamp it plainly with falsehood, and make its propagation impossible among civilized peoples. It is professed chiefly by undeveloped or unprogressive races, it clings to the old lines of Mohammedan conquest, and owes almost all its present strength to political support.

Ecclesia Dei Commission Attacks Self

From: Jim

Isn't this a hoot? Recently the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" purports that it has been the object of attacks on the part of certain "traditionalist" circles, due on the one hand to ignorance of the facts and, on the other, to questionable information published without authorization on the internet.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

If anyone believes this, look out for flying elephants! In its own "clarification," the Commission admits that it is insinuating Novus Ordo practices into Fraternity of St. Peter, even overruling the majority of priests and the superior to do so! That speaks for itself. FSSP and other "indult" groups are no longer allowed to be fully traditional.

The "indult" of 1988 was, after all, a Trojan Horse intended to gut traditional Catholicism, and no pretty words now can cover up that fact that the heavy hand of the Novus Ordo has come down on all the "indult" organizations, which have retreated into virtual silence, having been "gagged" by the Vatican bureaucrats.

September 20, 2001 - St. Eustachius & Companions, Martyrs (Double)

Vatican "Justice"

From: Denis

Recently there has been an announcement from the Vatican by the Congregation for the Clergy that by mandate of the Superior Authority, the Congregation for the Clergy wishes to point out that there is a suspension a divinis [from divine functions] on Fr. Nicholas Gruner. It goes on to say that he was given a sentence by the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature [the highest appellate tribunal of the Vatican].

Why was a good priest like Fr. Gruner (the Fatima priest) suspended when we have around us priests, theologians, etc., preaching and teaching heresy instituting a "new theology" from Martin Luther's Reformation #2 (aka Vatican II) without any apparent penalty?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

When Fr. Gruner started promoting the traditional cause and the Immaculate Heart some years ago, he became a persona non grata to the Novus Ordo apparatus, which tried to make trouble for him in an effort to oust him. To the New Order, of course, any priest who advocates the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith is anathema!

Fr. Gruner was one of the few priests who fought it out with the Novus Ordo from the inside. Eventually, he put his case to the Vatican. Although he did this in good faith, I do not believe that it was the right move. In effect, he was submitting himself to the same gone-awry conciliar mechanism as "excommunicated" Archbishop Lefebvre.

The highest Vatican authorities now admit that the Lefebvre decision was a judicial error and had no basis in canon law or justice, but nevertheless the Vatican won't officially rescind it because they want to use it as a stick to beat the SSPX into the Novus Ordo. This is justice? In my opinion, Fr. Gruner should have let the Vatican stew in its own juices and gone about his work independently, just as the SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, and all the other independent organizations and clergy have done.

I have not heard any confirmation of the Gruner decision from the Vatican, so must regard it at this point as a rumor, though a believable one, given the abominable track-record of the post-conciliar Vatican in ecclesiastical justice. I think that we have to regard this decision, if it was issued, as just another one of those actions arising from the Novus Ordo apparatus, which cannot be regarded as based in Roman Catholicism.

Remember, this Novus Ordo apparatus is the same group that has taken away from us the Traditional Latin Mass, the Sacraments, the Faith, the Scriptures, and the Canon Law of Roman Catholicism and have imposed an ersatz Protestantized, UNized, corrupt New Order.

I trust that Fr. Gruner will be courageous enough to go about his business for the True Faith and the Immaculate Heart as if nothing happened -- as nothing really did. Let him join spiritually with St. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Martin, St. Ambrose, St. Eusebius, St. Augustine, and all the rest who stood up to corruption in the Church of their time and denounced it -- and even up to the pope, when necessary.

September 19, 2001 - Sts. Januarius, Bishop & Companions, Martyrs (Double)

Words from a True Pope

From: Fr. Moderator
The gravity of the evil [of Modernism] is daily growing and must be checked at any cost. We are no longer dealing, as at the beginning, with opponents "in sheep's clothing," but with open and bare-faced enemies in our very household, who, having made a pact with the chief foes of the Church are bent on overthrowing the Faith.
These are men whose haughtiness in the face of heavenly wisdom is daily renewed, claiming the right to correct it as if it were corrupted. They want to renovate it as if it were consumed by old age, increase it and adapt it to worldly tastes, progress and comforts, as if it were opposed not just to the frivolity of a few, but to the good of society. There will never be enough vigilance and firmness on the part of those entrusted with the faithful safe-keeping of the sacred deposit of evangelical doctrine and ecclesiastical tradition, in order to oppose these onslaughts against it. --Pope St. Pius X, Motu Proprio Sacrorum Antistitum, 1910

The Crusades in a Different Light

From: Beatriz

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Did you know that the word "Crusade" didn't come into existence until the 1700's? Did you know that when the Infidels conquered Jerusalem in 638, the city had been Christian for over three centuries? Soon after, they invaded and destroyed the churches of Egypt, and then of North Africa, beheading all who refused to accept their creed, extinguishing Christianity in places that had had Bishops like St. Augustine, and so many Fathers.

Did you know that you can still see paintings in the Medieval section of the Prado with rafts filled with the heads of the Christians that came floating across the Mediterranean from the Middle East and North Africa striking terror into the hearts of Europeans? The Infidels loaded the severed heads of the Christians on rafts and set them afloat in the sea to warn the Europeans on the other side of what they could expect.

Later it was Spain's turn, then Sicily and Greece, and the land that would eventually become Turkey, where the communities founded by St. Paul himself were turned into ruins by the Infidels. Did you know that their threat reached the Balkans but was stopped and forced to turn back at Vienna's walls?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The blindness of the modern Vatican, which has "apologized" for such historical events, while turning a blind eye to the Christian position is truly shocking. The First Crusade was necessitated by the protection of Christian lives, peaceable access to the Holy Land, and security of Christians from enslavement. Cicero said it first: those who are ignorant of history are bound to relive it.

September 18, 2001 - St. Joseph of Cupertino (Double)

Vatican Backs Down on "Indult"

From: Peter

  1. The Superior General of the Fraternity of Saint Peter was fired by the new head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission in July 2000 because he had required his priests to take an oath that they would concelebrate [prohibited in the Traditional Latin Rite] the Novus Ordo worship service with the diocesan bishop on Holy Thursday, but not at any other time. The cardinal maintained that this contradicted the "right" of every priest to say the Novus Ordo worship service.
  2. The new head, in a letter of October 27, 2000, stated that the only condition of the "indult" the Ecclesia Dei Commission still considers as binding is that traditional priests and faithful "in no way share the positions of those who call into question the legitimacy and doctrinal exactitude" of the Novus Ordo worship service.
  3. The new head stated in the same letter that no priest who says the "indult" Mass has the right to refuse Communion in the hand to those who request it.
  4. The cardinal's only argument against altar girls at the "indult" Mass is that he did not think that it would be requested. But what if it were?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is becoming clearer and clear that the "indult" parishes and "indult" societies have dug their own graves by compromising with the Novus Ordo diocesan apparatus, whose purpose in liturgical life is to bury the Traditional Latin Mass. Thank the Lord, the "indult" sites constitute only about one-third of the total number of (real) Traditional Latin Masses in the United States and Canada.

In the last few months there has been a flow away from diocesan "indult" Masses toward independent and non-"indult" organization Masses. Well, that is where the Traditional Latin Mass Movement began, at a time when the dioceses were stomping out anything but the Novus Ordo worship service. A few courageous priests like Fr. Gommar DePauw stood up then, but not many. Without them, there would have been no "indult." Now such priests, much more numerous thirty years later, will still be there when the "indult" implodes.

Where Are the Other Nine?

From: Norma

Is it appropriate to leave church on Sunday immediately after receiving the Host?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Mass extends from the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar through the Last Gospel. It would be against the virtue of religion and due reverence to Our Lord to leave immediately after receiving Holy Communion. For another thing, one has an obligation in religion to make some appropriate thanksgiving after Communion, which the continuation of the Mass does (e.g., the Postcommunion prayers). Otherwise, it would be like receiving a priceless gift and running out the door without a thank you.

September 17, 2001 -- Impression of the Most Holy Stigmata of St. Francis (Double)

Catholic or Protestant?

From: Robert

You are right.

It seems that Protestants are acting more like Catholics and Catholics are acting like Protestants.

Protestant President Bush asked us to pray for the dead, a Catholic belief.

At the funeral services today Catholic priests asked God to welcome the deceased into Heaven with the saints -- not asking for prayers for their souls, a Protestant belief.

These days it seems that people really don't know what they believe or why.

Moreover, as I watch the news and keep seeing the funeral services for the victims there is one clip they keep playing over and over. It is the singing of the "Alleluia acclamation," which the New Order installed to replace the Gradual before the Gospel.

I always thought that Alleluia was a joyous proclamation, not appropriate for "funeral services" and the like. I know the Traditional Roman Rite omits the Gloria and Alleluia during Lent, and I assume at a Requiem Mass as well.

These recent events have forced the shallowness of the New Order into the limelight. It is quite sad to see.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

That is correct. In the traditional Funeral Mass, there is no Alleluia Verse. In its place, as also in penitential seasons, there is a Tract, which for the Requiem Mass is the Absolve:

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin. V. And by the help of Thy grace may they be enabled to escape the avenging judgment. V. And enjoy the happiness of everlasting life.

This tract is immediately followed by the Sequence, Dies Irae, the first stanza of which is poetically translated:

Day of wrath! O day of mourning
See fulfilled the prophets' warning
Heaven and earth in ashes burning.

Since every Novus Ordo "funeral" is really not that, but instead a canonization service (because everybody goes to heaven now), naturally it would use the entirely out-of-place Alleluia, the Church's primary interjection of joy, and omit the powerful poetic representation of the Last Judgment.

False Prophecy

From: Nestor

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Some papers have been circulating the prophesies of Nostradamus in connection with the Manhattan terror attack. They are saying that he predicted it. I have my doubts. Some years ago I was leafing through a glossy book on his predictions, and in it I read that "Lefebvre would die in a cave in Spain." Pure humbug. What are your thoughts on Nostradamus. Perhaps you would share them with your readers.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Nostradamus (1503-1566) was an astrologer and alchemist. He wrote supposedly prophetic quatrains (four-line poems) predicting various future events. "Humbug" is a pretty good assessment. Naturally, there are people who try, in reverse, to force events into the predictions.

As to the quatrain that is circulating on the internet about the disasters, it too is humbug. It is not part of the opera of Nostradamus. It was composed by someone in English, which is not even the language in which Nostradamus' "prophecies" are written. Now if someone came up with a decent quatrain in Latin or Mediaeval French, in which Nostradamus wrote, that would be something!

Always ask for the original. Don't accept translations!

September 15, 2001 - Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double of the Second Class)

Noise and Quiet

From: Terry

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Following on from Xavier's question about pre-recorded music, I would like to know whether it is ever permitted for a priest to use a microphone so that the congregation can hear him (obviously not his voce submissa prayers) while celebrating Mass.

Also, I have noticed over recent years that even some traditional chapels don't maintain the utter silence that, traditionally, Catholic churches used to have before Vatican II. My father used to tell me that, as a boy, he would get a swift clip around the ear if he so much as coughed in church. Has noise in church become more acceptable to traditional Catholics today?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

A microphone to project the voice is permissible, when needed. Even that should be avoided unless it is actually necessary, perhaps used only on the ambo or pulpit. Most traditional churches and chapels are not large enough that artificial amplification should be necessary. Proper voice-projection techniques should be used, just as they are in chanting.

I think that in what is now being called "post-modern" society (and you thought Modernism was bad - now it's another step down!), we are all getting used to a higher level of noise around us, so your statement is undoubtedly correct. Yet I have to admit to being impressed by the remarkably reverent silence that I hear at Mass, particularly during the Sacred Canon.

September 14, 2001 -- Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Major Double)

Not to Worry

From: Luke

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it possible that these recent terrorist attacks signify that the Second Coming is going to happen soon? Is the end of the world upon us? As talks of "World War III" appear to be getting more and more serious, I cannot help but think that the Apocalypse is upon us. What are your thoughts?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This generation is one of excess. Everything, small or big, is made big or bigger yet. Worldly disasters happen all the time. What about earthquakes that kill millions? What about monsoons? What about volcanic eruptions? Or political massacres as in Russia and China?

This is a question to which Our Lord Himself gave the answer: But he said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power (Acts 1:7/DR). Rather, we should consider our own end and prepare for it, which will almost certainly come before any apocalypse.

Recorded Music in Church

From: Xavier (Oceania)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it permitted to play pre-recorded Gregorian chant compact disks in the Church outside the Mass and Benediction times as "background" music?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

That is really not appropriate. It has a kind of "cheesy" quality and would, de facto, come under the ban of artificial music. Personally, I was startled when I once went into a church that had this kind of thing. Even though I am a great devotee of the chant, I found it offensive and distracting in this context. I left. There are better ways to introduce people to the chant in a correct context, which is "live" worship within the Divine Office and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

September 13, 2001 -- Ferial Day

Which Is the Greater Disaster?

From: Eric

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It is with great shock and sadness that we all witnessed the attack on our country. However, it gave us much to meditate upon as Catholics. We look at what happened and quickly get emotional about the events, as it was an attack on our country and freedom.

However, how many of us look at what is happening in our spiritual country of Mother Church and decry such acts as swiftly as we do the terrorists? Like the terrorists, the Modernists who schemed and still cooperate in the New Order apparatus are like the terrorists who invaded our land. They have disguised themselves like wolves in sheep's clothing, wandering among the flock, then attacking.

It is also something worth meditating on, that this happened only a few days after the joyous feast of Our Lady's Nativity and one day before the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, on the feastday of two martyrs of the early Church? Could this be a small sign of what is to come if we don't come back to reverence, true faith, and fear of Our Lord?

With all the holy days being forgotten and moved, I wouldn't be surprised that Our Lord's hand is getting ever heavier, especially on our country, which is supposed to be consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Mater misericordiae, ora pro nobis et dona nobis pacem.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

If the Catholic faithful invest in their Church 1/1000th of what will be invested in this human disaster over the coming months, the Church would be righted. Just think what would have happened in 1964 if the Catholic faithful had considered the very first step toward Novus Ordoizing the Mass as a declaration of war and enlisted in the army of resistance - no Mass attendance, no financial support, nothing. The Novus Ordo would have been immediately defeated.

Fanciful? No, historical. When Pope St. Gregory the Great proposed to add an innocuous phrase to the Canon of Holy Mass, the people of Rome rioted and threatened his life. When St. Augustine of Hippo proposed to commingle the four Gospel accounts of the Passion for Holy Week, the people rejected any such violation of the sacred apostolic Liturgy.

It seems that the only Catholics in history who stood by to see their Holy Mass destroyed were Catholics of the late 20th century. What an epitaph for our tombs. If they ever rebuild the Towers, maybe we could foot the expense of a sign: Rebuilt by the only Catholics in history who gave away their Mass.

September 12, 2001 -- Most Holy Name of Mary (Major Double)

How a Catholic Views Worldly Disasters

From: Fr. Moderator

Traditionally, the Catholic Church has kept the minds of the faithful on what are known as the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven, hell, which the New Order denies by silence. Yet events such as those that happened yesterday should be an always timely reminder to us all that our earthly lives can end in an instant and that we should be prepared every second of every day to face our end. This is not melancholy; it is reality. The ultimate tragedy is not death itself, but the eternal the loss of heaven from unpreparedness.

Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand made this same spiritual point in Jaws of Death in connection with his heart attack. He said that he was astonished at how quickly consciousness went, with no time even to elicit an Act of Contrition. For this reason, the Church prays in her most ancient litany, the Litany of the Saints: a subitanea et improvisa morte, libera nos, Domine [from a sudden and unprepared death, deliver us, O Lord] and prays particularly to St. Joseph in this cause.

Secondly, I am always surprised at how often in times of national disasters our Protestant civic leaders, from the President on down, implore us to "pray for the dead." Protestants don't pray for the dead, but believe that they merit at death immediately only heaven or hell. Is this an admission, even unknown, by Protestants, of the truth of the doctrine of Purgatory: "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins" (2 Machabees 12:46/DR)?

Thirdly, seeing the congressmen singing "God Bless America" on the steps of the Capitol, I wondered in how many years religion will so far be suppressed in the public schools that upcoming congressman will no longer even have learned the words.

Fourthly, we now begin to see that the Church needs to make no apology for the Holy Crusades. We seem to be having a repeat now of that earlier period in which Mohammedanism threatened to overrun all of Western civilization. Given the nature of Mohammedan extremism in our day, we can only wonder how it must have been in those earlier centuries when the Infidel was taking over not just buildings but whole countries and territories.

Clades Horribilis

From: Andreas (Canadiensis)

Deus, a quo sancta desideria, recta consilia, et justa sunt opera, da servis tuis illam, quam mundus dare non postest, pacem, ut et corda nostra mandatis tuis dedita, et hostium sublata formidine, tempora sint tua protectione tranquilla.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

Catholic Action

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Today, September 11, 2001, is a day we all would like to pretend did not happen. Just as at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, or at Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, this day will be etched in our minds as days of infamy. The sad part is that on those earlier dates, we had a Catholic Church that was the envy of the ages. Now, when we need her most, Holy Mother Church is in total eclipse. How sad for our nation. We need to attend our traditional chapels, pray the Rosary, and directly petition God to bring these dark forces under His heel.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

An ideal time for such prayer is coming next week, at the September Ember Days, Wednesday the 19th, Friday the 21st, and Saturday the 22nd. The ember days are days of fast and abstinence prescribed at the beginning of the seasons. Ember comes from the Latin tempora meaning seasons. These days were prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the weeks after the Feast of St. Lucy (December 13), of Ash Wednesday, of Pentecost, and of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14).

The Ember Days retain the ancient tradition from the very beginnings of the Church of Wednesday and Friday as days of penitential fasting. Tertullian and other early writers speak of the ordinary fasts of rule practiced by the first Christians on all Wednesdays and Fridays of the year outside of Paschal time. These weekly fasts were probably established in apostolic times in imitation of a similar Jewish custom -- recall the words of the Pharisee in the Gospel, "I fast twice in the week."

However, whereas the Jews fasted on the Monday and Thursday, the Christians, probably to mark their dissent from Jewish practices, chose for this purpose the Wednesday and the Friday. In the early document of the Apostolic Fathers known as the Didache, this distinction is insisted upon with special emphasis.

Their origins are far more ancient, however, as they are mentioned at Rome at least as early as Pope Callistus (217-222). For those aged 21 to 59, Ember Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are traditional days of fast (one full meal, two smaller meals, liquids only between meals) and, for all aged 7 or over, partial abstinence (meat, meat gravy, or meat soup at the main meal only) on Ember Wednesday and Saturday, total abstinence on Ember Friday.

Why No Canonization Should Be Rushed - II

From: Joan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

There are very good reasons why any canonization process for Mother Teresa should not be rushed:

September 11, 2001 -- Sts. Protus & Hyacinth, Martyrs (Simple)

French Revolution Still Vivid

From: Francois (France)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Pursuant to what you wrote about Freemasonry and the French Revolution, it should be known that both these plagues are still wildly respected and powerful in our seemingly God-forlorn country. As a matter of fact, both are directly responsible for the numerous abominations which are devouring the former "eldest daughter of the Church," particularly abortion. Granted, abortion is a worldwide shame, but in France, it has been advocated and imposed in a particularly vicious and luciferian way, notably by high-ranking Freemasons.

According to law, it is hardly tolerated even to recite the Rosary in front of an abortion centre, cynically called a "clinic" (some people have even been put in jail for this "crime"), and a new law is foreseen, which will punish any kind of public criticism against abortion. If you pray in front of such a centre, you risk being attacked by left-wing thugs, with the police looking the other way. Sad as it is, divorce, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, eugenism, cloning, homosexual "marriage" (next stop: homosexual parenthood), and so on, have all been secretly conceived, engineered, tested and finalized within lodges before they were publicly advertised and introduced, and it is not exaggerated to say that it probably happened on a scale far higher than in any other country.

Other Traditional Rites

From: Dave

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have occasionally heard mention of a "traditional Dominican Rite," which differs slightly from the Roman formula. Was the celebration of the Dominican rite confined to the Dominican clergy?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Most orders that had slightly different western rites shortly after Trent converged them to the Roman rite of the Apostolic See. The Dominican was one of the few orders that kept its rite under the 200-year exception of Quo Primum. Only Dominican priests would say this rite, only at Dominican churches.

These subordinate western rites hardly differed from the Roman rite, and not to any significant degree. Having seen and served the Dominican rite on several occasions, I doubt that most of the congregation would even know the difference. The differences were far more rubrical than textual, and more in the Divine Office than in the Mass. The Canon was not involved. Vatican II, for all intents and purposes, wiped out the remaining subordinate western rites in the Novus Ordo.

Too Little, Too Late

From: Fr. Moderator:

It is reported that opponents of a Novus Ordo "renovation" of a century-old neo-Gothic church in Michigan have come up with the response that should have been used to bury the Novus Ordo in the first place: no church, no money. The preservation guild for the church is persuading parishioners to withhold donations for the "renovation." "It's the only thing they understand," said the guild president.

Naturally, the Novus Ordo apparatus turned on its own people. (Vatican II says they're supposed to listen to "the people," but that is just another one of those horselaughs of fantasy. The ecclesiastic apparatus listens less to the people now because it is no longer concerned with justice, only power.)

The preservationists have been called "a small, vocal group of people that are blatantly trying to persecute the church." Persecute the Church!? They are the ones trying to save it! It is these Novus Ordo barbarians that wish to persecute and destroy the Church.

Well, this "small, vocal group of people" has managed to derail the diocese significantly. The pastor admitted that the reserve fund is empty. If only all good Catholic had stopped contributing to the upkeep of the aggiornamentized, modernistic, new order church that began after Vatican II, these neo-iconoclasts would have been pretty much cut off at the legs, and the Novus Ordo worship service would never have been thrust down the throats of the Catholic people, who never wanted it.

September 10, 2001 -- St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor (Duplex)

Youth Flocks to Traditional Faith

From: Gwendolyn

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How many young people would you say are becoming traditional Catholics? Do they keep up with other traditional practices, such as no meat on Fridays, and the Ember Days? How does one go about remaining traditional without being labelled schismatic?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I would say that when the Novus Ordo worship service was first "rolled out," the majority of traditional Catholics were those of more mature years. Now, that majority has turned around, so that most traditional Catholics are teenagers to middle age.

Youth has cut through the unCatholic notions thrust out under the rubric of a "New Order" and has wanted to return with courage and devotion to apostolic Catholicism as it has always has been. These younger traditional Catholics do want to follow the orthodox doctrines and practices of their Faith for some 2000 years.

There is no question of schism in traditional Catholicism, as that is what the Church as always taught. The question of schism is only in the New Order. The very name is unCatholic!

We are what you once were.
We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped.
If you were right then, we are right now.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.

September 8, 2001 -- The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double of the Second Class)

Like Fleas on a Dog

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A friend brought a web site to my attention....

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The web site referred to provides a case study in why one must be very cautious when reading internet sites. The site in question is for an "indult" Mass site. Naturally, it drips with papolatry (a non-Catholic extremism that exaggerates the papacy beyond the doctrinal definition of Vatican I) and sycophancy of the local diocesan bishop. But that is to be expected, since if the Mass site didn't do that, it wouldn't last long.

What is more instructive is the errors that the site deliberately propogates. And I am not here talking about a difference of opinion between real Roman Catholicism and the New Order. I am talking about deliberate errors of fact propagated to mislead.

Error One. The text of the alleged Traditional Latin Mass that is given on the site is not the Traditional Latin Mass! It is a deviant form engineered by the Modernists at Fordham University some years ago. This version has been spread all over the internet, and although the authors have been alerted many times, they refuse to correct the text. One has to wonder whether the priests or faithful of this "indult" site even know what the Traditional Latin Mass is. The mistakes in the Mass text are too evident to be overlooked; they start right at the top of the first page.

Error Two. A purported version of the Baltimore Catechism is given on the site. Although the page lists an imprimatur of 1921, the text has been falsified to make it conform to the New Order. Isn't it an ecclesiastical crime to publish a doctored text of an imprimatured work? If not, it is certainly high deceit.

Is the New Order or the "Indult" incapable of standing on its own? Must it be based on deceit? Apparently, as this and so many other cases prove, the answer is yes.

September 7, 2001 -- Ferial Day

Look What the New Order Has Accomplished

From: Fr. Moderator
Thursday, September 6, 2001
"Christianity Almost Beaten," Says Cardinal
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent, England
Christianity has almost been vanquished in Britain, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor told a gathering of priests yesterday. Christ was being replaced by music, New Age beliefs, the environmental movement, the occult and the free-market economy, the Archbishop of Westminster said. In a candid analysis of Britain's spiritual decline echoed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, who last year said: "a tacit atheism prevails." Death is assumed to be the end of life. Our concentration on the here-and-now renders a thought of eternity irrelevant.
But the Cardinal, leader of 4.1 million Roman Catholics in England and Wales, went much further. The extent to which Christianity informed modern culture and intellectual life in Britain today had been hugely diminished, he told the National Conference of Priests in Leeds. It does seem in our countries in Britain today, especially in England and Wales, that Christianity, as a sort of backdrop to people's lives and moral decisions and to the Government, the social life of the country, has now almost been vanquished. Increasing numbers of people now gained their glimpses of the transcendent from involvement in music, New Age movements, and green issues.

Why No Canonization Should Be Rushed

From: Fr. Moderator
Report: Mother Teresa Had Exorcism
By Chandra Banerjee, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001, 17:25 EDT
Calcutta, India
Mother Teresa had an exorcism performed on her while hospitalized in 1997, the Archbishop of Calcutta said Wednesday. The disclosure by Archbishop Henry D'Souza came as hundreds of people in this eastern Indian city paid homage to the renowned caregiver on the fourth anniversary of her death. He said the exorcism took place in a hospital where the nun was admitted because of heart trouble before her death on Sept. 5, 1997, at age 87.
Richard McBrien, a Notre Dame theology professor, said exorcism is used only when the person is thought to be possessed by the devil. "I cannot believe they would have allowed that to happen," McBrien said. "They could have performed the rite of the anointing of the sick. That's one of the sacraments [in the Novus Ordo rite, which has abandoned the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, or "Last Rites."]
After Mother Teresa died, Pope John Paul II waived the customary five-year waiting period to start the process leading to possible sainthood. [What's the hurry? Traditionally, the Church usually takes centuries to ensure that everything about the candidate has had ample time to sift out over the course of history.]

Take Courage: It Has All Happened Before

From: Fr. Moderator

Freemasonry masterminded the French Revolution of 1789. The Illuminati, an ultra-elite secret society, came into existence May 1, 1776. It conspired to create a one-world religion by dissolving truth, taking the Papacy, and placing one of its own agents upon the Chair of Peter. Members of the Illuminati, such as Voltaire and Robespierre, were prominent in the committees and assemblies that spawned the Revolution. The Revolution attempted to frame a new "human church" and without changing the Mass or the Sacraments, attempted to take the whole nation out of the Church. [The conciliar New Order has gone beyond even that by changing the Apostolic Mass and Sacraments.]

An oath of allegiance to the Constitution was required from the clergy. Unlike the bishops of England in the time of Henry VIII, only 7 of the 134 French bishops took the oath, and although 45% of the priests took it, many publicly retracted their error. Over 50,000 priests preferred exile, prison, poverty, and even death to apostacy. The faithful, both religious and laity, had to keep the Faith at home. The number of victims of the French Revolution, executed for their fidelity to the Faith and Catholic France, is estimated at 2,000,000.

September 5 -- St. Lawrence Justianian, Bishop & Confessor (Semidouble)

"Dialogue" Mass

From: Chris

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have noticed lately at our traditional chapel that some people have started reciting the responses out loud, especially the Kyrie and the Et cum spiritu tuo. Is this okay, or is it against the rubrics for Low or Sung Mass.

Fr. Moderator Replies


What you are describing is known as a "Dialogue Mass." It is not in the most traditional practice, having been condemned repeatedly by the Sacred Congregation of Rites. In the 1950s and early 1960s it became popular in some places and was countenanced in some later documents, starting in 1947. Some say that these documents were influenced by the same Bugnini who wrote the Novus Ordo worship service, as by that time he was a member of the congregation.

At a Missa Cantata the Gregorian schola or polyphonic choir chants the responses, the Ordinary, and the Propers. The involvement of the congregation here is also a late addition, and not a particularly traditional one.

It is worth repeating that when Pope St. Pius X talked about participatio actuosa, he was not talking about "active participation" in the external sense - that is a misleading translation. He was talking about an "actuated participation," that is, the knowledgeable uniting of the people with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being celebrated by the priest. When the New Order talks about "active participation," they don't mean this. Rather, they mean an exterior show: holding hands at the Pater Noster, the embrace of peace, communion in the hand, and all the rest.

September 2, 2001 -- Pope St. Pius X (Double)

A Letter from Australia

From: Desmond (Australia)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The greatest invention of the 20th century is undoubtedly the Novus Ordo Missae. Why invention? Because it is just that. Why great? Because of its effect. For what calibre of genius could it have been that all but destroyed the Church Christ built in one fell swoop? This masterpiece of subtlety, sacrilege and subversion is so diabolically clever that it does the job without a gullible humanity all too easily hoodwinked being aware of it.

The younger generation have enough discernment to see the fake and the fraud and have left the Church in droves. They can see "the emperor has no clothes." How many Catholics today say, "I don't go to Mass"? Over 80%, according to the Gallup Poll. And who can blame them?

This ersatz thing is actually no Mass at all. Whatever it is, we can say for sure that it is brilliantly disguised -- the quintessential "propaganda substitute." In no way is it Catholic except that its original form was conceived and written by an excommunicated Augustinian monk, one Fr. Martin Luther. Luther hated the Mass with such venom that he blurted out that "to destroy the Papacy, it is only necessary to destroy the Mass." So the crazy fellow went ahead and "reinvented" it. How creative! Subsequently rendered into English by another former Catholic, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, this version can be found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

Not until the 20th Century was it finally polished up and foisted on the Catholics. The stage was set with the death of the traditionalist, Pope Pius XII. Not long after being elected, "Good Pope John" guided, so he said, by a sudden flash of inspiration, convoked the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

Those waiting patiently in the wings of all the chanceries and wirehouses of the world for history's manifest trajectory to deliver them control of the switch-points of power knew at that moment that their time had come. These operators, or in Latin 'periti' meaning advisers, controlled the terms of reference at the Council, for it was a committee-led set-up and tactical ambush from the outset.

Assiduously, furiously, with acute awareness and tireless dedication to the task at hand, these 'agents' masquerading as theologians, modern Biblical scholars and pious priests, with outside help from the journalists and politicians, schemed through all necessary conditionalities. These made up what they called the "renewal," "adapting Church teachings to the modern world" by re-expressing them in "with-it" language. The key that would open all doors was ambiguity -- "the periscope wake of evil." The Vatican documents were ambiguous enough to be construed in a traditional way by those who wanted to. But others had the power, and that is what counts.

When the bemused and cowed bishops had witnessed the first full dress rehearsal, they voiced, albeit in hushed and moderately "concerned" tones, near unanimous disapproval. But along came a remarkable chap called Archbishop Hannibal Bugnini. Hannibal had great, maybe hypnotic, powers of persuasion -- and Pope Paul VI's ear.

One fateful day in 1969, the Pope signed a document Hannibal slipped in front of him. He later admitted he had not looked at it before signing it. Come again? Before signing into force an Act discarding a two thousand year old God-given worship? The Pope later announced that "the smoke of Satan had through some fissure entered the Church."

In the last months of his life, the Swiss Guards asked to have their shifts reduced. For they were horrified by the piercing wails issuing from the Pope's apartment and alleged they saw the poor old man wandering around dazed, mumbling interminably the opening line of the Nicene Creed he had grown up with as a boy but had turfed as a pope: "Credo in unum Deum, credo in unum deum...."

Bugnini's membership in the Freemasonic brotherhood was subsequently exposed, and he was discreetly kicked sideways to become Papal Nuncio to Iran.

Thus, the "New Order."

Next Doctor of the Church

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do you think of the writings of John Henry Cardinal Newman, of the 19th century?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

In my opinion, he is the only man in the last two centuries that could be worthy of the title Doctor of the Church. I hope that one day he will be recognized as the true Saint I believe that he is. His Arians of the Fourth Century is a pivotal book, showing how most of the bishops and the papacy became involved in the Arian heresy of the 4th century. He converted to Roman Catholicism from Anglo-Catholicism only with the great calumnies and desertions of his friends.

September 1, 2001 -- Our Lady's Saturday (Simple)

Ranking of Feasts in the Sacred Liturgy

From: Chris

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Could you explain the meaning of the terms such as "double," "major double," etc., which appear after the title of each day's feast?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Reflecting the divine order, there is an order, a hierarchy, if you will, in many areas of the Church's doctrines and practices. This is certainly true of the Sacred Liturgy, which distinguishes a hierarchy of feasts, placing Our Lord's feastdays first, then Our Lady's, then the Holy Angels', then the Saints' (ranked as Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, etc.). There appears to be a hierarchy of glory in heaven, according to St. John's Apocalypse in the New Testament, with the martyrs first after Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Holy Angels, and this ranking reflects that.

The highest feast is a double of the first or second class (duplex primae, secundae classis), then a major double (duplex major), a minor double (duplex), a semidouble (semiduplex), a simple (simplex), and so on. The higher a feastday is ranked, the more parts of the Divine Office and Mass are proper to that feast and the higher its precedence over other feasts that may fall on that day.

For further information and the current year's liturgical calendars, click on the Liturgical Calendar of the Traditional Roman Rite section. All traditional Catholics should be basically familiar with these liturgical principles so that they can understand better the doctrine and practice of the Church. There are good explanations of these principles in the handmissals recommended in FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend?.

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