February 2002

February 28, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

A Common Journey

From: Jake

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I raised four children in a Catholic parish school, whose non-Catholic teachers were mouthing doctrines in contravention to the true Catholic faith. I attended the associated parish that was becoming more "creative" each year. I finally looked around really hard one Sunday and decided to write down some things about the Church that were really bothering me.

During the "homily" and while the priest was baptizing a new baby into the "church community", I decided to take one of the pencils and envelopes left in the pew from some fund-raiser and began listing all of the innovations that my parish had incorporated into its Sunday worship service. I also listed changes in the Church in general that made me feel that I wasn't a Catholic any more. When I was done, the list of 31 items had rolled off of my pencil too easily.

Looking down from the church's upstairs seating and not really paying much attention to the baptism as I wrote, my neighbor, who was one of the ushers, came down the aisle to the end of my pew and leaning in said to me, "I wonder which one is the godmother." Looking down, I realized that he was referring to two men that were standing with the parents as the child's godparents. Yes, two males! I was infuriated and added number 32 to my list.

Although I wanted to go down and confront the pastor who performed the baptism and ask him whether he knew an advance that these two men were going to be the godparents, I was so disgusted that I didn't even want to talk to him. I had already confronted him about using common glassware rather than precious metal for the chalice and paten (a habit that he changes after my conversation with him).

All I could do was complain to my wife about how this act was nothing more than an outward act of anti-traditional family. It made me sick to think that this priest would allow such a thing. I went home and wrote a nine-page letter to the pastor, but sad to say, I re-read it for months, but never delivered it. I knew that I had two options. One: to confront the pastor and try to get our parish to swing back to more conservatism. Two: to find somewhere else to go to church. I am sure that there are many Catholics just like me who have been hopping from parish to parish only fruitlessly trying to find a good orthodox parish or priest.

After looking for about a year or so, I found the "Indult" Mass, but I still didn't feel that things were complete there. It wasn't until I began going to several traditional chapels that I really felt that I was at a true Mass again. After nearly 40 years of Novus Ordo, I fell in love immediately with the true Latin Mass of my youth. I dug out my old Latin missal from junior high school and immediately knew why I had kept it all of these years.

It is really hard for a good Catholic to make a decision of this sort. I pray each and every day that I am doing the right thing. Every time I attend the Traditional Latin Mass, I am more convinced that I am doing the right thing. We all need to pray for Holy Mother Church and ask God to cleanse her of her liberal, modernist, new-church/new-age presbyters, bishops, and cardinals and return her to her glory of the past.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Be assured that you are doing the right thing, and that your path has been traveled by many Catholic who see the New Order worship service for what it is: a Protestantized service concocted by a Freemason and six Protestant ministers, one of whom recanted on his deathbed. We know that Pope Paul VI didn't even read the Novus Ordo that he signed off on!

Charles Cardinal Journet of Geneva (1891-1975) has said that when he saw the definition of the Mass in the instruction that precedes the Novus Ordo, he said: "This definition of the Mass is unacceptable; I must go to Rome to see the Pope." I went and said: 'Holy Father you cannot allow this definition. It is heretical. You cannot leave your signature on a document like this.' The Holy Father replied to me: 'Well, to speak truthfully, I did not read it. I signed it without reading it.'"

February 27, 2002 - St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Confessor (Double)

What about Byzantine Catholic?

From: Willard

Dear Fr. Moderator:

There is a Byzantine Catholic Church not too far from us, so I wondered whether I had found a way to go to Mass, since there is not a traditional Catholic Mass near us. I contacted the priest and met with him. He was ordained in the late 50's, and he stated that he has been doing the Divine Liturgy exactly the same way since when he first started.

In the course of our conversation he admitted that there is beginning to be pressure on him within his rite to change. He said he is not favorably looked upon since he resists any changes, but he told me that the Byzantine bishops are getting hit with pressure to add "lay" deacons, "extraterrestrial ministers," changes in chant, and even changes in the Mass formulary itself.

I asked him why, and he was befuddled, saying he could not fathom any reason to change the rites of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom that go back to Apostolic times. I asked him whether it could be the start of the destruction of the rites in the same way that the Modernists destroyed the Traditional Latin Mass. He looked thoughtful for a few seconds and then said that could very well be the purpose.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is the occasional Byzantine Uniate church with the Apostolic liturgy in Greek, but such a church is more by far like the proverbial needle in the haystack than the Traditional Latin Mass is! The Eastern Rites are in worse shape than the Western. At one time the Easterns had apostolic rites, but many have now fallen away from these, because of the constant wars and conquests in the East (from which the Western Church has thankfully been spared). Many of these churches have given up their Apostolic rites and liturgical languages to substitute a vernacularized, even concocted, worship (as with the "Western Orthodox," a sham to lure Roman Catholics to cross the fence into the Orthodox schism). This is particularly true of the Eastern rites in the United States, which, in many cases, have been bastardized by Neo-Modernism introduced into their rites after Vatican II.

February 26, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Now It's Hard to Tell

From: David

Dear Fr. Moderator:

While surfing through the local cable channels, I came upon what I thought was a Novus Ordo worship service. Everything else completely resembled the Novus Ordo worship service, from the same acclamations and responses of the people to the hymns being sung. The words while presenting the bread and wine were very close to the Novus Ordo, but were a little more of a "story-telling" nature (much the way I have actually heard many Novus Ordo presiders say the words of the consecration at many Novus Ordo worship services). They also had the typical Novus Ordo "table," and they faced the people.

The only obvious difference I saw was that at communion time the extraordinary ministers carried the bread and wine to the pew and passed it down. If they had come up and received it in the hand, it would have been identical to my old parish. At the end of the service, a hymn was sung, and the presider followed boy and girls down the center aisle behind the held-aloft cross and two candle bearers, which was more traditional than what the presider used to do at my old Novus Ordo parish. The service, which I had thought was Novus Ordo, turned out to be a local United Methodist Church's worship service. Imagine my amazement!

On another note, I have been attending traditional chapels for about a year and a half now, and sometimes I break down and go to the "indult" mass, but I have learned enough to know what is supposed to be done and what isn't. I have picked up on quite a bit of Novus Ordo infiltration into the "indult" mass, with the priest adding the Novus Ordo acclamations and responses between the English-read Epistle and Gospel, just as the Novus Ordo does between the 1st and 2nd Readings, to the typical "Body of Christ" said as they give you communion. Between the Methodist experience and the Novus Ordoizing of the "Indult" mass experiences this weekend, I realize that to get a true mass that I am just going to have to go exclusively to the traditional independent chapel I have been attending and not turn back.

February 25, 2002 - St. Matthias, Apostle (Double of the Second Class)

February 24, 2002 - Second Sunday of Lent (Semidouble)

All Aboard the Ratzinger Express to Fantasyland

From: Fr. Moderator

As TRADITIO predicted many years ago, Card. Ratzinger, far from being a traditional Catholic, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Now the blood of the traditional sheep that he has deceived and consumed is dripping from his fangs as his liberalistic agenda is now ratted out. His latest foray into the arena is a revision of Catholic history.

To know what Novocrats like Ratzinger really are about, one must read what they say to the local Italian press. It was in that way that Ratzinger's purported support of the Traditional Latin Mass was shown as a sham when he revealed that he just liked to make controversial statements to sell autobiography, but that he had no intention of doing anything as Prefect of the Vatican's Doctrine of the Faith to correct "liturgical abuses," as if the entire Novus Ordo worship service weren't a liturgical abuse! In a recent issue of 30 Giorni, an Italian magazine, he said the following:

Before his conversion, St. Francis was a Christian, but then he began to think of Christianity in a new way. Only after this experience was he able to hear the voice of the Crucified, to see his nakedness, his poverty, and humiliation in contrast to the luxury and violence that previously seemed normal, the cardinal notes. Only then did he really know that the Crusades were not the appropriate way to protect the rights of Christians in the Holy Land, but that one had to take literally the message of the imitation of the Crucifix.

What balderdash! In reality, St. Francis of Assisi supported the Fifth Crusade (1217-1219), inaugurated by the great Pope Innocent III, and even accompanied it.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. --St. Matthew (7:15/DR)

And You Thought It Was All Over....

From: Fr. Moderator

The Novus Ordo worship service gets worse and worse, less and less Catholic, less and less valid -- as if it were at all good, Catholic, or valid any longer, if it ever was. Remember this Sunday, when you worship your God at the true Mass, to say to Him a prayer of thanks that you are spared the nonsense of the Novus Ordo and that you can remain a true Catholic. No purported "obedience" to a bishop or a pope can make a pig's ear into a sow's purse!

Notice more historical revisionism in Trautman statement below. Pope John XXIII never envisioned any "leap forward" in the Sacred Liturgy. On the contrary, his Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, available in the TRADITIO Library of Files for The Necessity of Latin for the Roman Catholic Church, which he promulgated in a most solemn form, signing the Constitution before the Bishops and Cardinals assembled in St. Peter's Basilica with his own hand, was in complete consonance with his predecessors in holding the Church's and its Sacred Liturgy's Latin language, to be sacrosanct. Moreover, he mandated that a thoroughly classical curriculum be taught in the seminaries, in Latin. I wonder how much Latin is being taught in Trautman's seminary (if he has one)?!

What Trautman is really despairing of is the fact that the Catholic people themselves has stalled the "liturgical reform" because they have gotten sick and tired of the lies and deceit that has been and is continuing to be used to impose on them, against their will, a Protestantized-Masonic Novus Ordo worship service. The "centrist" voices that Trautman alleges are really those who want pagan priestesses, modern dance, marrying clerics, priestless "Masses," and all the other abominable profanities that have been introduced into the Church like, in the words of Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand, a "Trojan horse in the City of God."

ERIE, Pa. (CNS) -- The church must continue the "leap forward" envisioned by Pope John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council if it is to experience authentic renewal of liturgy, said Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie at a prayer breakfast at Erie's Gannon University. Pope John XXIII called together the world's Catholic bishops to bring the church creative and courageous change, most evident today in the liturgy revised from Latin, Bishop Trautman said in his Feb. 1 talk. But, he said, that spirit of reform has stalled. "Today, centrist voices are not being heard, and so we witness a pullback from the openness of Vatican II," said Bishop Trautman, a biblical scholar who assisted at the council, which ran from 1962-65.

Pope John Paul II Validates TRADITIO

From: Fr. Moderator

Just after having written the above, the following news bulletin came to me from the Vatican. Let's see how many Novus Ordo bishops and laypeople are going to be "obedient" to this! The Novus Ordinarians now don't have a leg to stand on.

VATICAN, February 21, 2002 (CWN). POPE PUSHES FOR WIDER USE OF LATIN. -- Pope John Paul II has recommended the use of Latin in the Roman liturgy and in seminary training. On February 16, in a message to a conference being held at the Salesian University in Rome, the Holy Father "encourages those who work zealously for the application of Veterum Sapientia and hopes that Latin and its study, once again, will take a pre-eminent place in the Church. He emphasized that Latin remains the official language of the Catholic Church, and expressed his desire that "the love of that language would grow ever strong among candidates for the priesthood." The Pope's message itself was written in Latin, and read by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State.
The conference to which the Pope addressed this message was commemorating the 40th anniversary of Veterum Sapientia, the apostolic constitution in which Pope John XXIII wrote of the importance of Latin as an important part of "the patrimony of human civilization." Pope John Paul underlined the same message, pointing out that the use of Latin "is an indispensable condition for a proper relationship between modernity and antiquity, for dialogue among different cultures, and for reaffirming the identity of the Catholic priesthood."

This is indeed a very important document for traditional apologetics. We know that we are traditional Catholics because our position is based upon the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith, which cannot be changed. However, it is useful to be able to reduce to ash the arguments of conservative Catholics, who base everything they believe on what the current pope says. Well, for them, this will be a bombshell -- and we should not let them forget it. The pope is now saying that for the preservation for the very identify of the Catholic priesthood, the use of Latin in the liturgy and seminaries is "indispensable." So, we are doing the pope's will, and they are disobeying the pope.

Note that the deliver of the message, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, is the leading candidate to succeed John Paul II. Also note that the Modernists in the Church have consistently ignored the Apostolic Constitution of Pope John XXIII, in which he decreed absolutely use of Latin the Sacred Liturgy and in the seminaries. There is no evidence that he ever intended to vernacularize the Sacred Liturgy; actually, the evidence is to the contrary.

Novus Ordo: Hate Masquerading as Love

From: Philip

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How did I let myself get into this, I don't know, but it shows the horrible mindset of the Novus Ordo adherents, or rather defenders. I was on a "Catholic" E-mail list, simply putting for the traditional Catholic point of view, and this is what the host told me. It doesn't sound Catholic to me!

Unfortunately, you must be a true fruitcake! Go and dig an air-raid shelter of something. I wish you well -- and well away from me. You're blocked!

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I have had many other messages like this over the years -- traditional Catholics getting "bounced" from "chat" groups and E-mail lists and "chat" groups because of their true faith.

You have come face to face with the New Order, the hate that masquerades as love. The real New Order -- not the propaganda from diocesan PR firms and the "Catholic" press -- is far from Catholic. You can bet your life that this individual wouldn't dare say that to a Methodist or Episcopalian, as the latter are "brothers and sisters" of the New Order. He will say it only to you, a Roman Catholic, abiding by the doctrine and practice of the Roman Catholic Church for 2000 years. Who is the real Protestant in this picture?

Are such E-mail lists and "chat" groups really, particularly in Lent, a suitable use of your time, to subject yourself to the prattle of "lay theologians" who don't have the foggiest idea of what they are talking about? Wouldn't you be better off spending the time studying and deepening your faith?

February 23, 2002 - St. Peter Damien, Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double) / Ember Saturday of Lent

February 22, 2002 - St. Peter's Chair at Antioch (Major Double) / Ember Friday of Lent

The Lenten Discipline

From: Fr. Moderator

The Lenten discipline consists of three separate parts.

  1. Corporal or External Fast, including both fasting in the quantity and frequency of food eaten and abstinence from fleshmeat on Fridays and certain other days. In a broader sense, the fast can include limitation of secular music, particularly the more profane forms, refraining from attending "parties," etc. Any of the following penitential practices might be used on a given day:
  2. Spiritual or Internal Fast, which consists of abstinence from "all evil" -- sin. St. John Chrysostom taught that the "value of fasting consists not so much in abstinence from food, but rather in withdrawal from sinful practices." And St. Basil the great explains: "Turning away from all wickedness means keeping our tongue in check, restraining our anger, suppressing evil desires, and avoiding all gossip, lying, and swearing. To abstain from these things -- herein lies the true value of fast!"
  3. Spiritual Change, achieved by the practice of virtues and good works, must be the main objective of our fasting. The Fathers of the Church insisted that during Lent the faithful attend all the traditional Lent church services that are available to them, including Ash Wednesday and Holy Week. (Mancipia Press)

February 21, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Music in Lent

From: Keith

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Last Sunday, while attending a Traditional Mass, there was music during the distribution of Holy Communion. I was under the impression that there was no music at all during Lent. Am I wrong, or is it all right to have music during Holy Communion?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is no prohibition on music as such during Lent, although the nature of the seasons should be taken into account for suitability of the type. More specifically, the Sacred Chant is always permitted, and encouraged. Perhaps you are thinking of instrumental music. During Lent, only the music of the organ is permitted, not of other instrument, and then only to accompany the chant. All instrumental music is prohibited from the end of the Gloria on Maundy Thursday until the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.

Why Praise God?

From: Rudolph

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A fallen-away Novus Ordinarian recently raised the question "why does God want our praise?" I wasn't really sure how to reply, so I mentioned the four traditional purposes of prayer, viz., thanksgiving, petition, contrition, and praise. Can you please suggest a more direct answer to his question? Many thanks and many thanks for all you do for Catholic tradition.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is not so much a question of God wanting as of us being obliged. As His creatures, we have the duty to praise (adore) our perfect Creator, much more even than we would respect our imperfect parents, who are our physical creators. When people speak of "prayer," I suspect that they are thinking primarily of prayer of petition, the lowest form of prayer. The highest form of prayer is adoration, praise for God in Himself. This type of prayer is found throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Divine Office, but primarily in the Gloria in Excelsis and in the Te Deum.

February 20, 2002 - Ember Wednesday of Lent

Report from Our Mexican Correspondent

From: Tom

This is the information on the state of traditional Catholicism that I obtained on a recent trip to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. On Sundays traditional priests visit the homes of many of Puerta Vallarta's well-to-do Catholics, where all are invited to assist in the celebration of the traditional Mass. The closest traditional Church is a six hour drive to Guadalajara. So, the priests make do with the Iglecitas, or little churches. The Congregatio Reginae Mariae Immaculatae, a traditional organization that also has Mass sites in the United States, is very strong in Jalisco State. There is even talk of a "real church" some time in the future. But until then, the Catholics of Puerta Vallarta do what Mexicans do better than anyone in the word: they improvise, and they pray.

Tired of Opening the Newspaper

From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am so tired of constantly opening the newspaper and finding a new case where the Catholic Church is mired down in a lawsuit like the Boston case.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

So am I. There is almost a conspiracy, it seems, to make this appear like a Catholic problem. It is not specifically a Catholic problem; it is a societal problem. Unless society finds "gay rights," "gay marriage," "gay" propaganda in schools, and all the rest to be intolerable, it will be accepted everywhere and seep into the Church as well. Although some Catholic laypeople get head up about a few exaggerated cases in the Church, but why are they so tolerant and silent in the very society that produces it? We've heard lately a lot about the clergy, but what about the Catholic laypeople?

Catholic laypeople, whose proper realm is the societal and political, bear a good deal of the blame for it. All you ever hear about Catholic laypeople organizing for is maybe some anti-abortion action. They will demonstrate to try to force Cardinal Law to resign, but where are their demonstrations against the prevalent acceptance of "gay" propaganda in politics, in the media, in the schools, and throughout society? Silence. For that matter, where are their demonstrations against the unCatholic New Order and its New Order worship service over the last thirty years? Again, silence.

You're going to find this kind of thing in any institution that exists in human society, but according to the statistics of the University of Pennsylvania study, published by Oxford University Press in 2000, it is much less of a problem in the Catholic Church and much more of a problem among the Protestant and Jewish clergy. In our time, the Church reflects the society in which it exists instead of leading it morally. Perhaps if Catholic laypeople hadn't sold out their Holy Mass and Sacraments and hadn't accepted the unCatholic New Order, they wouldn't be facing this kind of thing -- the New Order that is hate masquerading as love: hatred of traditional morality, hatred of traditional doctrine, hatred of the traditional Roman Catholic Mass and Sacraments, and even hatred of traditional Catholics themselves.

There are two reasons why it is heard of so unreasonably in the Catholic context: (1) anti-Catholic bigotry is rampant in the mainstream press and (2) Catholic dioceses are one of the few religious organizations that have the money to pay. So, the moral of this story is that unless Catholic laypeople rise up to change the society from which this moral permissiveness arises, more and more cases will be found, only a very small minority of which will be in the Church. It will be your neighbors. Look around you: it probably already is your neighbors!

February 19, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent


From: Nestor

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Are "faculties" from a diocesan bishop necessary for the administration of the Sacraments? The diocesan bishop here is, like all of them, a Novus Ordinarian, not really Catholic.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Perhaps you are unaware that your question is posed from the perspective of the Novus Ordo, most of whose Sacraments are most likely invalid anyway. Rather, if the Sacrament was conferred in the traditional form, with a traditional priest present, it is certainly valid if otherwise valid. Do you really think that the Novus Ordo, whose own jurisdiction is forfeit when it engages in heretical teachings and unCatholic worship services, has any standing to grant anyone "faculties"? Of course, not! The very notion would be a perversion, as is the expression is used in canon law, of the Roman Catholic Faith.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Faculties are inherent in the potestas ordinum, the power of Holy Orders that every priest possesses (I pass over her the question of whether or not the Novus Ordo presbyters have received such power), most specifically in the case when the Faith is in danger.

One of the greatest Doctors of the Church in the area of sacramental theology, St. Alphonsus Liguori, actually brought up the question of what happens when there are people in need of the Sacraments. He answers unequivocally that even if a priest is a simple priest, that is, a priest without any specific jurisdiction, he must attend to the salvation of the people, be it hearing confessions, preaching, or whatever is necessary:

It is useless to say, I am a simple priest; I have not the care of souls; it is enough for me to attend to myself. No; every priest is bound to attend, in the way in which he can, to the salvation of souls, according to their necessity. And in a district in which souls are in grievous spiritual necessity for want of confessors, a simple priest is, as we have proved in our Theologia Moralis [vol. 3, Lib. V, Tract IV, De Poenitentia, no. 625], bound to hear confessions [Selva, or Dignity and Duties of the Priest, vol. XII].

February 18, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Sacramental Intention

From: Nestor

Dear Fr. Moderator:

"It is required that the minister who effects and confers the Sacraments have the intention at least of doing what the Church does." What exactly does this mean?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is a clear theological understanding about this statement of the Council of Trent that it is to be interpreted in the most general sense, as even an athiest, for example, can baptize validly, so long as he intends to "do what the Church does," i.e., baptize the individual.

The Sacraments, remember, operate ex opere operato, through the power of Christ. In effect, unless the minister has the positive intention not to confect the Sacrament, the Sacrament is valid if otherwise valid. For example, a priest could say to a student: "I'm going to demonstrate how to say Mass, but I don't intend this to be a real Mass." In this case, he does not intend to "do what the Church does."

The question of intention is different from the question of belief, as is demonstrated in the case of the athiest. It was established in the early Church, again from the theological principle of ex opere operato, that even an heretical or schismatic minister confects a valid Sacrament if otherwise valid.

February 17, 2002 - First Sunday of Lent (Semidouble)

Pray for a "Crisis" Pope

From: Fr. Moderator:

I get many messages from a number of you TRADITIO participants that you feel that you are alone, the only one that feels and believes as you do about the traditional Roman Catholic Faith. You indicate how great a solace TRADITIO is, showing that there are many more like you.

Actually, there are millions and millions of traditional Catholics around the world. Furthermore, that number is growing by about 10% a year, since the faithful are waking up more and more to the fact that they have been duped out of their Catholic Faith by a bogus "New Order." Moreover, we are well-founded in the hope that the mess in the Church will be straightened out, if not soon, at least eventually.

Recently, an article by Michael McGrade entitled "Cronies, Crooks and Crisis Popes" appeared in Christian Order, a British international monthly devoted to the defense and propagation of the One True Faith -- Catholic, Apostolic and Roman. It is unusually perspicacious about the current situation and the historical precedent of what it will need to resolve it. The following is just the concluding passage.

[There is a particular] ... sort of attitude and methods that John Paul's successor will need to adopt and tailor to the situation he inherits if he is to call the Modernists' bluff and achieve his primary task: the seemingly impossible job of restoring orthodox Catholic faith and practice to thoroughly Protestantised and rebellious local Churches, many on the brink of dissolution. As it stands, Rome's veritable paralysis before this endgame scenario seems conditioned by a belief in the "historical moment"; a sense of inevitability which holds one captive to events. During personal interviews, Italian writer Vittorio Messori has seen it in the resigned attitudes of Cardinal Ratzinger and John Paul II -- commenting about the Pope's reference at one point to problems in the Church: "I had the impression that he felt powerless to intervene." This mentality is confirmed time and again in papal documents that simply endorse the disastrous liturgical and pastoral status quo at local Church level and urge more of the same -- as in John Paul's Apostolic Letter Novo Millenio Ineunte ("At the Beginning of the New Millennium," Jan. 2001). St. Pius V, on the other hand, who also inherited a thoroughly corrupt and compromising Church full of false optimism in the aftermath of a General Council [Trent], was never passively resigned to the present course of events and knew no half measures in his dealings. "Nothing could make him change his mind once convinced of what had to be done", writes Anderson, "nor did he shrink from simply beginning over again and making due rectification if by its results a course of action embarked on proved defective."
Thus, despite appearances and every rationalisation and excuse to the contrary, Rome's muted response to disobedience and dissent and even complicity in our postconciliar tumult can be turned around. History reveals that an extraordinary pontiff can change the internal course of the Church, even while still attending to geo-political affairs and contributing to the arts, culture, science, social justice, dialogue with other faiths and the whole panoply of temporal concerns that occupied the indefatigable Crisis Popes every bit as much as they do John Paul II (probably more so, seeing as they were temporal rulers as well!). And this reversal is possible in any era, even one stymied by the weighty Novus Ordo millstone. Because, as Evelyn Waugh wrote in explaining St. Pius V's ability "to see things and situations with such complete clarity" -- overwhelming historical circumstances are not as important as contemplation of "the abiding, abstract principles that lie behind the phantasmagoric changes of human affairs." It was his constant uniting of this spiritual contemplation with direct action that enabled St. Pius V to find simple answers to complex problems, and to bring about the most radical and far-reaching spiritual and temporal reforms in only six years!
With society once again overflowing "like a sewer swollen by the mingling of every sort of baseness and infamy" [Mirari vos], and the Church in "total chaos" as Modernists contrive to close parishes, laicise the clergy, Protestanise our children and profane or withhold the Mass and Sacraments, the increasingly marginalised orthodox must pray that God will yet again raise up a strong and holy Pope to save the day. "I am left with my back to the wall," cried Pius VII in 1809 while captive in Savona and the Church all but lost to Napoleon. "God Himself will see to the saving of His Church." And so He did -- drawing greater good from a great evil as Catholicism in several countries underwent a drastic purging and, miraculously, emerged stronger. Such is the eternal cycle, though not every local Church rises again -- a fact that should weigh heavily upon all the British faithful, but not crush them. For though it would appear that a Crisis Pope is their last hope against the machinations of local cronies and crooks -- as the long-suffering Pius VII also declared on 26 September 1814, soon after his liberation and triumphant return to Rome: "A fundamental truth recognised in the Holy Catholic Church, founded by Christ, is that trouble serves to give greater strength, and oppression greater glory." Thus we live and suffer gladly in the shadow of the Cross, and watch and pray always in Christian hope.

February 16, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Quo Vadis?

From: Rob

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What am I to think about "indult" societies and "communion with Rome"?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The reason I caution against the "indult" societies is that they were intended by the Vatican only for a short time, as a kind of ruse to draw traditional Catholics into the Novus Ordo diocesan structure away from their traditional Catholicism. However, it was clear to some of us from the beginning that once the Vatican had achieved its purposes, it would dismantle the "indult" structure -- and that is exactly what happened in 1999 with Protocol 1411. The prefect of the "indult" commission at the Vatican had issued many warnings that this was coming, but the "indult" societies did not heed the warnings and were caught broadside.

This was the Vatican's first step in integrating the "indult" societies into saying the Novus Ordo worship service and enforcing other compromises with Novus Ordo practices in fasting, holydays, calendar, new theology, etc. Some of them had already gone in that direction as a result of subtle Vatican and diocesan pressure, so that their Traditional Latin Masses were not longer that but Pseudo-Traditional Masses. There are serious doubts about whether there will be any "indult" societies left in a few years -- at least anything that are traditional enough to be worth bothering with.

One must be careful about the use of the term "Rome." In the sense it should be used, it is the eternal Rome of the Roman Catholic Faith, the Rome of Saints Peter and Paul, the Rome that leads the Roman Catholic Church faithfully to do the will of Jesus Christ, as defined in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the doctrines and practices of the Church based upon them. "Rome" is not an ecclesiastical bureaucracy that goes against the Roman Catholic Faith, which is the situation that we have now, to one degree or another. The self-proclaimed New Order is just that -- something new, not Catholic. In such times, we must do what we can to stay with the Roman Catholic Faith, not those who would replace it with some "New Order" that is not Catholic.

Who are the schismatics? Those who stay with the traditional Faith, or those who proclaim a "New Order" under false color of authority, certainly not under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church? For an answer, let us turn to one of the Four Great Doctors of the Eastern Church, St. Athanasius:

May God console you!... What saddens you ... is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises -- but you have the apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith?
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.

Obedience, remember, is only a secondary virtue, as in and of itself it is not a virtue. The obedience must be to what is morally and doctrinally correct; otherwise, it is vice, not virtue. Many German commanders claimed that they were doing right in obeying the lawful authority of the Third Reich. And they were correct in the technicality, but not in the morality. Just so, one cannot obey anyone in the Church who does not preach the true Catholic and Apostolic Faith as we have known it for 2000 years. Even St. Paul stood against St. Peter when the former preached error at the Council of Jerusalem.

February 15, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

David and Goliath

From: Chip

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Your charge that the New Order calumniates and persecutes traditional Catholics is "right on." I read a while back that even Cardinal Hoyos, who is supposed to be supporting the traditional cause as head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission was bad-mouthing traditional priests. We traditional Catholics need to get more vocal with the Novus Ordo apparatus to bring about its downfall. It's long past time for a wake-up call to arms for traditional Catholics.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

As I've said before, we traditional Catholics have to realize how really powerful we are in the Church, if only we stopped kowtowing to the Novus Ordo apparatus, even if they wear purple and scarlet. Even with all the Novus Ordo persecution of traditional Catholics over the last 30 or more years, traditional Catholics constitute 1 out of every 12 attending attending Mass on a Sunday. And our number is increasing, while the Novus Ordo numbers are decreasing, by about the same rate, 10% a year.

When you think of it, it says a lot that the Big Church and its cardinals should be so fearful of little traditional priests, who are simply doing what the Church has always done, preserving the traditional Faith and Sacraments. Why would they be so fearful, unless we scare the scarlet off of them?!

Have no doubt: the Vatican bureaucracy and the Novus Ordo bishops are deathly afraid of traditional Catholicism. That is why they are trying so hard to control it through the "indult." Those traditional Catholics who went over to the "indult" side are now ruing the day they ever heard of Ecclesia Dei, because it sucked them in and has now destroyed their Mass and Faith. Deo volente, they have gotten wiser through the process.

Like the Greek general Pyrrhus, the scarlet will win a few battles (like Campos), but they will lose the war against Our Lord, Our Lady, and St. Michael the Archangel. (And there is no saying that once the Campos priests find out that they've been "had," they won't go back to their previous state and dump the Modern Vatican's politics against traditional Roman Catholicism.)

We traditional Catholics are gradually winning the field by patience and persistence, just like that other Roman, Julius Caesar, who expanded Roman rule past Spain as far up as England, gradually, almost imperceptibly, until the reality was clear to all -- that the world was Roman.

February 14, 2002 - Ferial Day

Sedevacantism & the Pope

From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can a priest who is a sedevacantist offer a valid Mass? Please explain the term sedevacantism. I am not sure I understand this position and whether it affects the Sacraments (if it does).

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It doesn't affect the Sacraments. Sedevacantism is a personal opinion on a question of fact (whether an individual pope has become a formal heretic) that has nothing to do with the validity of the Mass. According to Roman Catholic sacramental theology, based on the Fathers, Popes, and Councils, even a heretic or schismatic can offer a valid Mass.

Sedevacantism is a term used to describe the position of those who hold, as a personal opinion, that a particular pope has crossed the line into formal heresy, in which case under divine and ecclesiastical law he is no longer pope. TRADITIO has not reached this opinion, because there are other theological positions that can deal with an errant pope (as that of St. Robert Bellarmine). But more and more Catholics are beginning to wonder about the status of the current pope, after he has involved himself in such actions as would be condemned by his papal predecessors and by the Church:

As Bishop Karol Wojtyla, of Crakow:

  1. He was a student of the heretical existentialist Jacques Maritain.
  2. He gutted the schema on Communism at Vatican II.
  3. He allowed Protestant Evangelist Billy Graham speak at his cathedral.

As Pope John Paul II:

  1. On May 4, 1980, he presided from a straw hut over an ordination ceremony and native Mass of people undulating to the rhythm of tomtoms, accompanied by accordians and guitars.
  2. In February 1982, he presided over a "dance" Mass in Libreville.
  3. On December 11, 1983, he preached in a Lutheran church at Rome.
  4. On May 8, 1984, he presided over a Mass in Papua-New Guinea at which male and female dancers, nude from the waist up, danced; an aboriginal woman, also nude from the waist up, read the Epistle.
  5. In September 1984, he presided over a Mass in Canada at which a pagan Indian chief invoked the Great Spirit and presented the pope at the Offertory with an eagle feather dipped in blood.
  6. In 1985, he told 50,000 Moslems in Morocco: "We and you believe in the same God, the one God and the only God."
  7. In August 1985, he presided over "dance" Masses in Cameroon and Garoua.
  8. On August 8, 1985, he visited Togo and prayed in a "Sacred Forest" consecrated to the worship of pagan gods and participated in a pagan initiation ritual in a grove sacred to the pagan animists.
  9. In 1986, he presided over a Mass in Fiji at which the thurifer was an aboriginal dressed only in a loin-cloth; he is said to have witnessed there a pagan animal sacrifice.
  10. In February 2, 1986, he was marked with cow dung, the "Tilac," the sign of the adorers of the pagan goddess Shiva, by a Hindu priestess at Bombay.
  11. On June 24, 1986, he sat with Grand Rabbi Elio Toaff in the sanctuary of the Jewish synagogue at Rome and prayed for the coming of the Messias.
  12. On October 27, 1986, he participated in an ecumenical prayer meeting at Assisi, Italy, during which an image of Buddha was placed on top of the tabernacle. He again brought together Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders in Assisi on January 9-10, 1993, to pray for an end to the war with the Mohammedan Bosnians, and on January 24, 2002, for yet another "ecumenical prayer meeting" for "peace" with the Mohammedan terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. This time the leaders included not just the usual Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and Jews, but also leaders of "Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jianism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and followers of Tenrikyo and African tribal religions." (Associated Press)
  13. On February 4, 1993, he engaged in dialogues with the high priests and witch doctors of Voodoo.
  14. In 1994, he smeared the pitch from a native tree on his face instead of incensing the altar during a beatification ceremony in Australia.
  15. In 1995, he approved the building of the first Mohammedan minaret in Rome.
  16. On April 6, 1997, he recited the Credo without the Filioque on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the Constantinople I Council and on ecumenical occasions. (Eastern Catholic Life)
  17. In 1998, he gave communion, at a private Mass in the Vatican, to the late Rev. Sheila Brown, who had only shortly before been ordained an Anglican priestess and who, at that Mass, wore her "Roman" collar.
  18. On November 23, 1998, he shared the altar of St. Peter's with bare-chested, bare-footed tribesmen from Oceania holding spears, "searching for new impulses." (Associated Press)
  19. In 1999, he gave communion to several Lutheran bishops who were his guests during a mass in the pope's private chapel in the Vatican. (London Tablet)
  20. On June 1, 1999, he end of an audience, he bowed to the Muslim holy book, the Koran, presented to him by a delegation, and he kissed it as a sign of respect. The photo of that gesture has been shown repeatedly on Iraqui television. (June 1, 1999, Catholic News Service)
  21. On January 18, 2000, he allowed Rev. George Carey, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan Athanasius to participate in their official capacities at the opening of the Holy Door.

For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ05: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend? concerning the book Previews of the New Papacy, which is composed primarily of press photographs of these and other such "events."

The Novus Ordo Goes Masonic

From: Frederick

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In regard to your message about the removal of tabernacles from the Novus Ordo churches, recently in an article in The Washington Post magazine about the Masonic Temple in Washington, D.C., there was one very revealing picture in the spread that showed the Masonic "sanctuary" (I use this term loosely). It appears the all the new Novus Ordo churches are being made into replicas of the Masonic temple. If I had not known what the article was about, I would have thought that the picture was of a new-style Novus Ordo church.

The resemblance was uncanny. There was the big square wooden table, the chairs, the whole thing set half "in the round". There must be eight to ten encyclicals by the late 19th century and early 20th century popes warning about the infiltration of Masonism into in the Church, and now it is right before their eyes of the Novus Ordinarians, but they refuse to see it!

February 13, 2002 - Ash Wednesday (Privileged Feria, Simple)

The Morality of Bankruptcy

From: Albert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

After many years of irresponsible living, I am working to pay off many financial debts, quite a few of which were turned over to collection agencies years ago. From time to time, I get offers from the collection agencies to pay them off for various discounts, such as maybe 50% off. If I took them up on their offer, I recognize that I would be fulfilling a legal debt. But would it satisfy the moral debt? Just because they have offered me discounts because they have assumed that they will never get a dollar otherwise (which, on the basis of my history, hasn't been a bad assumption), do I morally have the right to not pay the entire amounts owed?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is generally held now by Catholic moral theologians that the civil government can grant a complete release to an honest bankrupt from the obligation even in conscience of paying his debts (except to the extent that he is able when he is declared a bankrupt), particularly in the event that there was some agreement among the creditors, so that one who entered bankruptcy after having tried his best to satisfy his creditors can consider himself freed in conscience subsequently, even though he later becomes prosperous.

It should be pointed out, however, that this solution is not applicable when one has entered bankruptcy dishonestly. Moreover, it is always the more virtuous course for the bankrupt to pay his debts subsequently as an act of Christian charity, even though he is not strictly obliged to do so.

February 12, 2002 - Seven Holy Founders of the Servites, Confessors (Double)

Not Catholic by a Long Shot

From: Rob

Dear Fr. Moderator:

May I ask what your thoughts are on the renovation of the Cathedral in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, if you are aware of it? In the explanations of the renovation, the renovation committee cites the Catholic Church as suggesting that the tabernacle be located in a separate chapel and not in the central location in which it appears in so many churches. Do you know if this is true and what are your thoughts on it?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

What you are hearing is not the position of the "Catholic Church," but of the New Order. These modernist innovators force unCatholic actions upon unwilling people, while calling them "Catholic" to deceive. In reality, they are are not Catholic in any traditional sense of that world. People are getting pretty fed up about this kind of thing and are taking these unCatholic bishops to civil court to protect their architectural heritage.

The relocation of the tabernacle is just another evidence of the fact that the New Order really isn't Catholic. Unconsecrated hands touch the Sacred Host, crumbs (and even whole hosts) are dropped on the floor and stepped on, and no one kneels to receive their Lord. What are we to conclude when such actions have been condemned as unCatholic by popes and councils since the beginning of the Church?

It is, therefore, no surprise to find that according to a Gallup Poll of January 1992, 80% of Novus Ordinarians identify with the Protestant teaching on communion, not the Catholic teaching, and the percentage of Novus Ordo presbyter unbelievers was about the same. To use the term Catholic to describe the New Order falls far from the truth.

February 11, 2002 - Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes (Greater Double)

Obedience Hypocrites

From: Chris

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Catholic journalists in the secular media are already denouncing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as "being against the pope" and monstrously disobedient. It seems that papolatry is so rampant today with Novus Ordinarians that the pope has become God. It's straight common sense: the pope has no divinity as he is only a man; therefore, it stands to reason that infallibility necessarily has limits. Many Catholics seem to think that the pope is another Christ (literally) or that he has a red phone on his desk that is a "Hotline to Heaven."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is ridiculous and unCatholic, isn't it? Are these Novus Ordinarians "obedient" to the pope's teaching on homosexuality, abortion, a male priesthood, birth control, etc. Of course, not. They claim to "obey" only what they want, if it's liberal enough for them, and ignore the rest. It's hypocrisy worthy of a Pharisee!

A Solution without a Problem

From: Fr. Moderator

As the following article indicates, the Novus Ordo has engineered its own crises. There would not be the moral problems if it had stayed with traditional morality. There would not be the contrived "clergy shortage" if it had stayed with the traditional faith and liturgy.

If the Novus Ordo really wanted to replenish the clergy, the answer is the one that has been practically proven to work. Traditional seminaries have to turn away applicants, while Novus Ordo seminaries have no candidates. Even many traditional seminaries (like SSPX) discriminate against men of middle age and later. They want only the youth whom they can mold to their own image rather than the mature man who can readily spot martinets and hypocrites.

Rather, the Novus Ordo wants to use a contrived "clergy shortage" to change the Church's dogmatic and traditional practices of clerical celibacy and a male clergy. To show how silly this idea of a married clergy is, you would simply have many cases of adultery, which is already rampant among the Protestant and Jewish clergy. Soon the Novus Ordinarians will be lobbying for politically-correct divorced lesbian priestesses in same-sex marriages!

Like most New Order ideas, this is merely a solution without a problem.

Catholics Favoring Priesthood Changes
By Michael Paulson, Boston Globe Staff, 2/10/2002
As the local Catholic Church reels from a clergy sexual abuse scandal, area Catholics surveyed overwhelmingly believe that the church should abandon its millennium-old policy of restricting the priesthood to celibate men. Large majorities of Boston-area Catholics say the Church should open up the ranks of clergy to women and to non-celibate men, according to a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll.
And, reflecting a national trend that has developed over the past three decades, most local Catholics reject the church's moral authority in the arena of sexual ethics, dissenting from church teachings on birth control, divorce, homosexuality, and premarital sex. Even on the subject of abortion, which the church adamantly opposes, local Catholics diverge from Church teachings.

Lenten Practices

From: Philip, Jim & Barb

Is there a change in which mysteries of the rosary are prayed on each day during Lent? What are the practices of fasting and abstinence during Lent? To what age groups to they apply?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

By custom, if one is praying only the five-decade rosary, the Sorrowful Mysteries are prayed on Sundays in Lent. The traditional practice of fasting and abstinence during Lent are explained in the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses and Resource Book for the U.S. and Canada (6th Annual Edition - 2001), "The Traditional Catholic Yellow Pages" (see above). The fast applies to those aged over 21 and under 59. The abstinence on Fridays, the three Lenten Ember Days, and Holy Saturday apply to those aged over 7.

February 10, 2002 - Quinquagesima Sunday (Semidouble of the Second Class)

Scalia and Buchanan Defy Vatican Modernism

From: Fr. Moderator

It is wonderful, for a change, to be able to praise traditional Catholics in the public sector for standing by their traditional Roman Catholic Faith, even against Vatican Modernism. On this occasion, we have two such courageous officials to praise: sitting United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former Presidential Candidate Patrick Buchanan, both of whom attend the Traditional Latin Mass. I reproduce the remarks here in full, because this is a topic on which many traditional Catholics are looking for the Catholic position as opposed to the Modern Vatican position, and Buchanan lays it out here forcefully.

February 8, 2002 - World Net Daily

Scalia v. the Pope: Who's right on death penalty?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia certainly set the cat down among the pigeons the other day at his alma mater Georgetown University. Challenging the views of the pope and the U.S. bishops, the justice urged any Catholic judge who could not in conscience impose a death sentence to get off the bench. "[T]he choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral," said Scalia, "is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted constitutional laws and sabotaging the death penalty."
Within hours of the story hitting the wires, Wolf Blitzer was on the phone. Could I come over to CNN and explain how the justice, a devout Catholic, could openly defy the teachings of his church? Delighted. For Scalia had not contradicted or defied any Catholic doctrine. Rather, it is the Holy Father and the bishops who are outside the Catholic mainstream, and at odds with Scripture, tradition and Natural Law. For an exposition of Catholic doctrine, one should pick up the essay by Avery Cardinal Dulles in the April issue of First Things. As Dulles notes, Catholicism has supported the death penalty for 2000 years:
In the Old Testament, the Mosaic Law specifies no less than 36 capital offenses calling for execution by stoning, burning, decapitation or strangulation. Included in the list are idolatry, magic, blasphemy, violation of the Sabbath, murder, adultery, bestiality, pederasty and incest. The death penalty was considered especially fitting as a punishment for murder, since in his covenant with Noah, God had laid down the principle, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed...."
In the New Testament, the right of the State to put criminals to death seems to be taken for granted.... At no point ... does Jesus deny that the State has authority to exact capital punishments. In his debates with the Pharisees, Jesus cites with approval the apparently harsh commandment, "He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die." ...When Pilate calls attention to his authority to crucify him, Jesus points out that Pilate's power comes to him from above, that is to say from God.... Jesus commends the good thief on the cross next to him, who has admitted that he and his fellow thief are receiving the reward of their deeds.
In Christian tradition, "the Fathers and Doctors of the Church are virtually unanimous in their support for capital punishment," adds Dulles, citing St. Augustine in "The City of God": "[I]t is in no way contrary to the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' ... for the representatives of the State's authority to put criminals to death. ..." To support the State's right to execute, St. Thomas Aquinas invoked Scripture, tradition and reason alike.
"In the High Middle Ages and early modern times, the Holy See authorized the Inquisition to turn over heretics to the secular arm for execution," writes Dulles. "In the Papal States, the death penalty was imposed for a variety of reasons." Until 1969, Vatican City provided for the death penalty for any who might attempt to assassinate the pope.
As the death penalty has been supported by the Catholic Church since the first Pentecost, whence comes this episcopal Catholic opposition? "The roots of opposition ... are not in Christianity," continues Dulles. "The mounting opposition to the death penalty in Europe since the Enlightenment has gone hand in hand with a decline in faith in eternal life. In the 19th century, the most consistent supporters of capital punishment were the Christian churches, and its most consistent opponents were groups hostile to the churches. When death came to be understood as the ultimate evil rather than as a stage on the way to eternal life, utilitarian philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham found it easy to dismiss capital punishment as 'useless annihilation.'"
"The movement to abolish the death penalty in formerly Christian countries may owe more to secular humanism than to deeper penetration into the gospel. When Pope John Paul declared in 1995 that, 'the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral,' he was careful to insert the word, 'innocent.'"
As Europe has become less Christian, secular opposition to the death penalty has been imposed from above by European elites. Thus, Scalia was right about church doctrine, and right about the law. No judge morally opposed to the death penalty should sit in a capital murder case. To do so would be an act of moral arrogance and judicial nullification of democratic rule.

February 9, 2002 - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

Those Novus Ordo Saturday "Vigil" Masses

From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Are Saturday evening masses which "count for Sunday" a Vatican II invention or are they okay for those trying to adhere to traditional Catholicism to attend?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The so-called Saturday "vigil" Masses are indeed another one of those post-conciliar novelties that have no basis in 2000 years of Catholicism. Properly, Vigil Masses are those of a vigil, which is a special penitential day set aside in the Sacred Liturgy, being the day before a major feast, e.g., the Vigil of Christmas. For such days, there is a special Mass in the Missale Romanum of a penitential and preparatory nature.

The Lord's Day is Sunday. Sunday was set by the Holy Apostles after the Resurrection. They deliberately changed the previous weekly day of worship, the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday), to Sunday, to mark the fact of the Lord's Resurrection and to break with the Old Covenant of the Jews, signified in the Gospels by the renting in two of the temple veil.

Let us now look at the fruits of this post-conciliar novelty. Originally, the Saturday Novus Ordo "vigil" Masses (or rather "worship services") were held in the evening. Now, most diocesan churches have moved them back as early as 4:00 afternoon. This unholy schedule leaves the Novus Ordo presbyters and laity more than enough time to worship the God of Sport on the golf course or the God of Mammon at the shopping center all day Sunday.

Note too that a number of "indult" sites have specifically scheduled Masses on Saturday so that the faithful have to chose between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo practice of Saturday worship. Devious, isn't it? No traditional Catholic would have any part in such travesty, even ridicule, of the Lord's Day.

February 8, 2002 - St. John of Matha, Confessor (Double)

The Brown Scapular (Augmented)

From: Louis

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Do you need to recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary to receive the promise of being saved from Hell if one dies wearing the brown scapular? I would think that most people wear it just for that promise and rather pray the daily rosary instead of the Little Office because it's more precious and meritorious to Our Lord and Lady.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is a lot of misinformation in the question, and, frankly, we traditional priests have been doing a bad job of explaining to our people the correct and full information about the various sacraments that our people use. So, let's try to clear up a few things.

First of all, with respect to the so-called Sabbatine privilege (which, as private revelation, has not been formally accepted by the Church in its literal interpretation), one is not "saved from Hell" simply by wearing a scapular. Such a belief would be idolatry and is totally opposed to Catholic teaching. It would be utterly ridiculous to believe that someone could lead a life displeasing to God and that by simply wearing some material item, he would be "saved." The scapular is not a "free pass," something like a skip "go" on your way to heaven!

Sacramentals, unlike Sacraments, do not rely on the operation of God (ex opere operato), but on the devotion of the individual (ex opere operantis). As I explained in a previous Commentary, the scapular is not some kind of pagan talisman, but actually a part of the habit of a Carmelite. You don't just "wear" a scapular. You are invested with it, if you were properly enrolled by a priest with the traditional rite from the Rituale Romanum, the final prayer of which reads:

Deinde aspergat Confratrem aqua benedicta, et subiungat:
Ego auctoritate, qua fungor, et mihi concessa, recipio te ad Confraternitatem sacrae Religionis Carmelitarum, et investio, ac participem te facio omnium bonorum spiritualium eiusdem Ordinis.
Then he shall sprinkle the Lay Brother/Sister with blessed water, and add:
I, by the authority that I exercise and granted to me, I receive you into the Confraternity of the Holy Religion of the Carmelites, and I invest and make you a sharer in all spiritual goods of the same Order.

For the Sabbatine privilege, there is the duty of saying the Officium Parvum Beatae Mariae Virginis (Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary). For if you wish to merit more, you need to offer to the Lord the extra devotion ex opere operatis. Under canon law, one's confessor can commute one indulgenced work for another, such as the rosary for the Little Office in the case of the brown scapular, but only when a justifiable impediment prevents the penitent. This is not a carte blanche to confessors or penitents because a "justifiable impediment" must exist (legitimo detenti impedimento).

For example, I can think of the case of a fireman who wears the brown scapular and because of the nature of his work cannot carry with him the Office book. Thus, he was permitted by his confessor to say the rosary when he cannot say the Little Office, but on his days off and certainly on Sundays, he says the Little Office. This is same canon law by which a confessor can commute the hearing of Mass on the First Friday or First Saturday to the hearing of Mass on the First Sunday, when a Traditional Latin Mass does not exist in a given area on Friday and Saturday.

The notion that the rosary, a private devotion, is more "pleasing" is false as well. The highest and most meritorious prayer of the Church is what is known as the Divine Office, which consists of both the Office proper, that is, the Hours (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline) and Holy Mass. The Little Office is actually an excerpt of this, commonly said by certain religious and laypeople. It is very similar to the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the full Office, an inexpensive edition of which is in print. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ05: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend?

The rosary in its origin is actually a highly simplified Office for laypeople who could not read. The 150 Aves, which are at the heart of the devotion (the actual rosary is 15 decades, not the 5 that are often said in modern times) are a reflection of the 150 Psalms that are said each week in the Divine Office. By its deeply spiritual and traditional variety, the Little Office can be spiritually richer than the rosary and fill the soul with a wealth of meditations upon divine truth, particularly as expressed through the life of the Blessed Virgin, as has been the traditional way of the Church from Apostolic Times: "in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles," to quote St. Paul.

I know people who have devoutly said the rosary for years, but then, when invested with the brown scapular, they began to say the Little Office and experienced a marvelous growth of their spiritual life to the point that they are now strongly devoted to Our Lady's Office as the focal point of their prayer life.

So, if you are interested in the devotion of the Sabbatine privilege, you need to be sure (1) that you were properly invested by your traditional priest with the scapular, that you are not just "wearing" it; (2) that you are joining with the prayers and merits of the Carmelites by saying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and (3) that you are, of course, staying close to the Sacraments and leading a life of Christian virtue, for it is only through this last that, by the grace of God, you will attain beatitude.

February 7, 2002 - St. Romuald, Abbott (Double)

February 6, 2002 - St. Titus, Bishop & Confessor (Double)

Spare the Rod?

From: Chris

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A friend of mine recently told me that, in keeping with her Catholic faith, she and her husband will never resort to spanking their children (in the future when they have them) because it is morally wrong to do so. This was certainly new to me -- I was not aware that the Catholic Church forbade parents from this practice. While the Church considers overly harsh and abusive discipline of children to be a sin, isn't it also true that, if parents deem it necessary, they may reasonably chastise their minor children on occasion by spanking them?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You are the one who is right on target about the traditional Catholic moral theology on the subject. I think that your friend is listening too much to the New-Age Church, not the Catholic Church! If she herself chooses to use other means of discipline, fine, but she should not misrepresent Catholic moral theology to accord with her personal notions.

February 5, 2002 - St. Agatha, Virgin & Martyr (Double)

Unifying Traditional Priests

From: Al

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The Church should be one. There are a lot of independent traditional priests out there. I think that with your knowledge, you can gather them all together so that we could be one fold.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

We are one fold already, in Christ and His true Church. The true Church is already one in belief and practice. We cannot, however, expect rigid uniformity in accidentals, any more than in more traditional times every parish was identical to every other parish.

The question you asked has often been asked of me. My response is that in our time we have seen the bad human side of ecclesiastical organizations, how their effectiveness has been perverted from building the Faith to tearing it down. Therefore, ours is not the time for yet another organization.

I have said in the past that attempting such a thing would be like trying to herd cats. Each individual cat is a wonderfully effective animal, but try to get two or more cats to do anything together, and the result is devastating!

Funeral for an Infant

From: Annie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is the Mass of the Angels still celebrated for the surviving members of a family that has lost an infant or a child? The grandson of a friend of mine just passed away, and her Novus Ordo presbyter would not have the infant come to church, but rather said he would have a prayer service at the funeral home. The family wanted to have the deceased infant at Mass.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The funeral exequies for an baptized infant (not having reached the age of reason, presumptively 7 years of age) is a truly beautiful service and quite consoling to the family, as you indicate. It is not in black, but in white, as the soul of an baptized infant dying before the age of reason is without doubt in beatitude with God.

The Mass is the Mass of the day or, if the rubrics permit, a private votive Mass, which could be the Missa de Angelis. The Mass, of course, is said not with the intention of the repose of the soul of the infant, who is in beatitude, but for some other intention -- thanksgiving for the blessing conferred on him, to beg consolation for the parents, etc.

February 4, 2002 - St. Andrew Corsini, Bishop & Confessor (Double)

Out Novus Ordo by Popular Vote

From: Fr. Moderator

On January 31, the Barbara Simpson Program, carried on the News Net Daily radio syndicate, spontaneously opened its phones to anyone in the listening audience who wanted to call in into discuss recent changes in the Church. Simpson herself admitted that she was stunned at the volume and intensity of the response.

The phones rang off the hook, and many callers had to be turned away. Most of the Catholic callers decried the changes in the Church since Vatican II and particularly pointed to the absence of the Church's proper music, Gregorian chant, at Mass. Several callers pointed to the fact that they felt the ecclesiocrats had lied to them in introducing the Novus Ordo worship service.

Don't let anyone tell you that most people want these Novus Ordo changes. They don't. It's just that they were never asked. To be sure, the Sacred Liturgy isn't a matter of "popular vote," but determined divinely and apostolically, as the Church has always traditionally said. It is the Novus Ordinarians who claim to listen to the popular will -- and then refuse to follow it.

As I've said before, if the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments could be celebrated openly by any priest, the Novus Ordo would be essentially dead in five years.

February 3, 2002 - Sexagesima Sunday (Semidouble of the Second Class)

A Superbowl Binge

From: Fr. Moderator

It is well to remember on this "Super Bowl Sunday" how idolatrous this nation has become. Why should "God bless America" when far more of its citizens will worship at the shrine of football today than at the true Mass? How many will consume potato chips rather than the Sacred Host? Now, it seems, the sports mania will indirectly lead to the sin of multiple murders. And we will condone it by continuing to worship at the shrine week after week. Our prayer should rather be "God save America."

In the February 4 issue of Report magazine, "Brave New World" columnist Celeste McGovern writes of a gruesome method of blood doping used by some female athletes to boost athletic performance. Since enhancing drugs and even regular blood doping can be identified by regulators, the pregnancy-abortion scheme, while officially banned, is virtually impossible to stop. Mona Passignano, director of research at the Texas pro-life group Life Dynamics is quoted by Report quoting from a Finnish sports medicine expert: "Now that drug testing is routine, pregnancy is becoming the favorite way of getting an edge on competition."

One Russian athlete told a reporter that as long ago as the '70s, gymnasts as young as 14 were ordered to sleep with their coaches to get pregnant -- and then abort. The procedure is so well known it has made it to the textbooks. LifeSite found the method described in an online textbook in physiology by Dr. Poul-Erik Paulev of the Department of Medical Physiology, University of Copenhagen. Professor Paulev writes that pregnancy seems to increase muscle strength in female athletes.

"Female top athletes -- just following the time when they gave birth to their first child -- have set several world records. Of course, this is acceptable as a natural and unintended event. However, in some countries female athletes have become pregnant for 2-3 months, in order to improve their performance just after the abortion."

A Traditional Passing and a Warning

From: Udui

Dear Fr. Moderator:

We ask for prayers for Fr. Gerard Leicht, who passed away last week and whose exequies were conducted on February 1. He was the first brave soul to preserve the Traditional Latin Mass in Hawaii and suffered through many battles with the diocese. At his request, he was given the last sacraments by a traditional priest, but was refused a Requiem Mass by the local bishop. Instead, it will be Novus Ordo, with the local bishop presiding, and "celebrated" by the brothers and unhabited sisters of his order, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts. How sad that a traditional retired priest's last request were so despised by an unChristian diocesan bishop.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Big Lie of the Post-Conciliar Church is that it is "more charitable." Case after case shows that it is less charitable, more bigoted, more malicious, more hypocritical. For anyone, let alone a bishop, to deny the dying request of a priest, is too heartless to be borne, even in the heartless Novus Ordo Church.

But let this be a warning to one an all. Never trust the good will of these Novus Ordo heresiarchs. Be sure that you have your traditional funeral instructions in order and your executor bound to their execution. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ10: How Do You Explain These Traditional Catholic Beliefs? in the section "Cremation & Traditional Funeral Instructions."

February 2, 2002 - Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary / Candlemas (Double of the Second Class)

The Dipsychated Paul VI

From: Tim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Given Paul VI's erroneous statements that led to the destruction of the Catholic Mass in the Novus Ordo, do you think that he was deliberately lying to the Catholic people? And, if so, did he not tell some of the hugest lies ever recorded in the 20th century, or throughout all of history for that matter? I mean lies that parallel any told by such ignominious world figures as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao tse-Tung? If the answer is "yes," even a qualified "yes," then we are not dealing here with any ordinary pope, not even an ordinary bad pope, but a pope, one could argue, who spoke deliberately in the spirit of Satan. Why? Because Satan is a liar, and the Father of Lies.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

As to Paul VI, I do not see him as a liar, but rather "of two minds" as the Apostolic Fathers called it -- a man confused and indecisive in the faith, as was St. Peter in the boat upon the Sea of Tiberias. Paul VI's faith was not strong enough not to be overwhelmed by the swell of a revolution in the Church. Pope St. Pius V had such faith. Pope St. Pius X had such faith. And both were able to withstand the greatest threats to the Church: Protestantism in the former case, and Modernism in the latter case.

There is increasing evidence from those who knew him closely, who are now writing about it, that he was suffering a sickness of soul exhibiting itself as something like manic-depression. Such a conclusion would be easy to draw from his papal documents. They are euphoric about the Novus Ordo one day, depressed the next day; liberalistic one day, traditional the next day.

Women's Athletics

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Maybe I need an attitude adjustment, but physical sports like softball, basketball, hockey, and soccer, to name a few, to me seem unnatural for women to participate in. Because of this viewpoint, I have been accused of being a male chauvinist. What do you think, Father?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I would have to agree that there are aspects of women in sports that go against the high image of Catholic femininity and modesty, among other things. However, I would go even farther and say that men's sports have gone much too far as well. Professional cheating and greed, unnecessary harming of the body, and immodesty are just some of the excesses that are so prevalent now.

Moreover, those who excessively support these sports with their time and money are implicitly undermining their children's and their own spiritual and intellectual development. If they put the same effort into the practice of the Faith as in sitting in front of the television set on Sunday for a marathon of sports games, Hell would be the loser!

February 1, 2002 - St. Ignatius, Bishop & Martyr (Double)

A Contrived "Scandal"

From: Fr. Moderator

If one is to believe news accounts, it seems that the Novus-Ordoized version of moral theology is coming home to roost. However, one must be suspicious of news accounts because of the obvious anti-Catholic bias of the secular press. When you are bombarded with this bigotry, be aware that a study by Prof. Philip Jenkins, of Pennsylvania State University (a non-Catholic as it happens, but the truth is the truth, no matter what religion you are) determined that the situation is no more prevalent in the clergy of the Catholic Church than in any other denomination or organization dealing with children. The most hierarchical denominations are targets because they have money.

The University study, meticulously and dispassionately documented in a work published by Oxford University Press in 2001, determined that the contrived "epidemic" is far from as widespread as the media suggests and inaccurately targets Catholicism. Why? Because the Catholic Church is a more attractive target for lawsuits than other denominations; one can sue not only the local congregation but also the archdiocese and even the national church. Perhaps most important, however, dissidents within the Roman Church itself -- those in favor of married clergy and women priests -- seized upon the issue as a rhetorical weapon, arguing loud and long.

The University study gives much reassurance about our local clergy. It also delivers a disturbing message about how vulnerable we are to the news media, and how easily the media can be manipulated by special interests.

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