March 2002

March 31, 2002 - Easter Sunday (Double of the First Class)

March 30, 2002 - Holy Saturday (Double of the First Class)

March 29, 2002 - Good Friday (Double of the First Class)

March 28, 2002 - Maundy Thursday (Double of the First Class)

Annual Retreat for the Sacred Triduum

From: Fr. Moderator

These three days are the most sacred in the entire liturgical year. For this 72-hour period, the Church, and we, meditate upon the truths most central to our Roman Catholic Faith: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord. The drama of these days is transfixing as we hear the various evangelists' versions of the treachery of the Church establishment (Annas, Caiphas, the Sanhedrin), the abandonment of Christ by the first pope (the three denials of Peter), the Faith beginning to touch the Gentiles (Pontius Pilate, the centurion Longinus), and the small number who stood by Christ in the end (the Marys and St. John).

The liturgy of these days is the most ancient in the Church. Much is preserved from the very time of the Apostles, including the use of Greek in the Good Friday service. Up until a few hundred years ago, these were Holydays of Obligation, and no Catholic would think to miss them. Traditional Catholics should make even heroic efforts to be present at these sacred services, in the traditional form, particularly the ancient form that existed before 1956.

Those who do not have access to the traditional rites should take ample time during this period to read the sacred services in their missals, listen to the marvelous chant appointed for these days available on recordings, perform the Via Crucis, read the Passions in Scripture, review the Imitation of Christ, and engage in other such practices.

In recognition of these most sacred days, as it has done for the last eight years, TRADITIO will not be posting Commentaries from the Mailbox during the Triduum Sacrum and encourages participants to turn their attention toward prayer and meditation during these days.

March 27, 2002 - Wednesday in Holy Week - "Spy Wednesday" (Privileged Feria)

The Sheep Return to the Fold

From: Pat

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have something of a Rip Van Winkle effect going on here. For various reasons, I was away from the Church for about 35 years. During that time I knew that the Church had changed somewhat. I heard, for instance, that English had replaced Latin in the Mass. And I had heard more recently from friends that they had stopped attending Mass (25 years earlier) when guitars and tambourines replaced their organs. (Guitars? I didn't believe it until I saw it.)

But I didn't get my first real dose of Novus Ordo until a couple of years ago, and I didn't really get deeply into what has happened since Vatican II until right after the September 11 attacks. To make a long story very short, I have been absolutely and utterly appalled at what I have seen. I can be taken to task for not being around for all those years, to do my part fighting it. On the other hand, by being away, I have the advantage of seeing fairly clearly how different the Church really is from the one I knew as a child -- and I'm not as easy to fool or intimidate now as when I was a child.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I have seen a movement of the grace of God in the last year or two unlike anything I have seen before. It seems that after thirty years of shaking off the idea of a "Novus Ordo" and ten years of shaking off the notion of an "indult," people are seeing to the heart of the Church as never before.

You are one of the "reverts," Catholics whose faith was taken away from them by the New Order, whose reaction was to "drop out." But your faith would not allow you to remain a drop-out. Some grace has moved you to reject the New Order and come back to the true Church, wiser and more determined than before. This is what trial and struggle do to make the faith blossom with stronger roots and branches.

But what has surprised me lately is the number of non-Catholics, even non-anythings, who are finding the traditional faith, not the Novus Ordo faith. People who were inspired by grace to find a religion, went to a Novus Ordo church, knew it wasn't there, and then found a traditional church or chapel, knowing immediately that it was home for them.

I have always been optimistic about the future Church, but patient. Evil takes time to work itself out. The research of the fathers prior to Vatican I found 50 popes to have fallen into personal heresy. Cardinals bought and sold their offices. Bishops became covetous and faithless. Priests fell. Laypeople failed to practice their faith. That is the human side of the Church. But through all of this, the Church remained. Our Lord eventually sent heroic popes and heroic Saints, as occurred at the time of the Council of Trent. We have only to do our part, holding fast to the true Mass, Sacraments, and Faith. Our Lord will see to errant churchmen in His own good time.

In the coming days, we learn how One who was despised, rejected, beaten, betrayed, abandoned, spat upon, chastized, calumniated, jeered, ridiculed, and given up for dead conquered the world, conquered death, conquered evil for all time. That is our lesson. That is our future. We must simply have faith. Our Lord will do the rest.

A Traditional Good Friday

From: Earl

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Our traditional priest will be distributing Holy Communion after the Stations of the Cross and Liturgy on Good Friday. Your recent commentary states: "Most traditionally, no Sacraments are conferred, except to the dying, on Good Friday." Kindly elaborate regarding your phrase, "most traditionally."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

By "most traditionally," I refer to the continuous practice from the early Church, in which Good Friday is an aliturgical day. There is no Mass, as such, only a brief Communion service in which the priest alone receives the extra host consecrated on Maundy Thursday and reserved since them at the Altar of Repose. On this day the Church omits that which has direct connection with the mysteries of Calvary, and all the prayers in which mention is made of the Communion of the Faithful or that under the species of wine, both of which have no place in this day.

There was a "pre-conciliar reform" in 1956, involving by the same Bugnini who fabricated the Novus Ordo worship service with the assistance of six Protestant miniters in 1969. The 1956 "reforms" introduced the untraditional practice of distributing Communion to the congregation on Good Friday, together with a number of shocking changes to the Sacred Liturgy of Holy Week, which is the most ancient in the Roman Missal, even including the responsories in Greek.

These changes were never personally promulgated by Pope Pius XII (as if any pope could validly change the Apostolic rites) and, I am told by priest friends in Europe, were pretty much ignored in large areas there at the time. These changes were so all-encompassing that when the Novus Ordo worship service came out in 1969, very few additional changes were necessary to Novus Ordoize the rites of Holy Week. Most of the damage had already been done.

There are some traditional priests who use the rite of 1956, but more and more of them are finding much in this "pre-conciliar reform" objectionable and are going back to the more traditional practice. In addition, for the Society of St. Pius X, Abp. Lefebvre had many doctrinal and liturgical reservations about the 1956 "reform" of Holy Week.

The Essence of the Matter

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Those who disagree with what has been argued thus far about the "scandal" will frequently counter that the present discussion has been about mere "accidentals," unimportant in comparison to all the other problems in the Church. Our Lord, however, began the Church with the priesthood and the Eucharist.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The discussion in the press and in the Novus Ordo apparatus is about accidentals. The essence is the Faith. Vatican II created the atmosphere in which we have almost lost our Mass, our Sacraments, and our Faith. Naturally, that's going to have fallout in everything, including the priesthood. Actually, the Novus Ordo doesn't have a priesthood. They call it officially a "presbyterate," because it is not involved with the sacrifice of Calvary, but rather with "presiding" over an assembly of the people.

It's a little late for Novus Ordo Catholics afflicted with the "Rip Van Winkle" Syndrome" to be wringing their hands about the consequences thirty years down the line of what they permitted to happen. Catholic laypeople certainly didn't stand up for the Faith the way their precedessors did. They allowed their churches, convents, monasteries, and seminaries to be taken over by the false New Order posing as Catholicism. They didn't fight for their Church and Mass. No, they "obeyed" the evil, contributed to it financially, and even defended the very bishops and priest who were destroying their Faith. So they're going to have to take a major responsibility for the consequences.

If Catholic laypeople had "just said no" to the Conciliar mentality, to their Modernists bishops, and to the popes who exceeded their authority by imposing the unheard-of novelty of a "New Mass," we would have kept our Mass, our Sacraments, and our Faith intact. Such "scandals" would be rare, as the Church would have been motivated more by Christian principle rather than by P.R. spin.

I still believe that this type of thing is rare -- much rarer than it is among the general population. But the situation is being fanned for liberalistic political purposes by a bigoted anti-Catholic press. The same press that exalts the "artwork" of the Blessed Virgin Mary pelted by cow dung. The same press that exalts "gay marriage." The same press that exalts abortion on demand for 10-year-old girls. The same press that calls traditional Catholics "schismatics," "excommunicates," and "renegades."

Anyone who swallows hook, line, and sinker the press "spin" needs to have his head - and his Faith -- examined!

Is "Indult" Seminary Supportable?

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It seems that that "indult" seminary is pushing for funds again by a mass mailing. Should one contribute?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I can't recommend it, for a number of reasons:

March 26, 2002 - Tuesday in Holy Week (Privileged Feria)

Roman? Absolutely!

From: Joe

Is the traditional Roman Catholic movement in communion with Rome?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Absolutely! Your own accurate phrase shows it: traditional Roman Catholic. Catholics who are worthy of the name support 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, in the correct sense, is not a person or a place or, much less, a bureaucracy, but the truth of the Church founded by Our Lord, together with its right doctrine (orthodoxy) and right practice (orthopraxis). Men, even popes, may fail (Vatican I found about 50 popes to have succumbed in some way or another to heresy in the history of the Church), but the Eternal Rome of the Roman Catholic Faith will continue to the end of time.

A Humble Gesture

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I always strike my heart when I say the Confiteor and at other times in prayer. My young children imitate me, but want to know why I do it. I have told them that it is to show that what I say is coming from the heart. Is there a better explaination for this gesture?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This gesture is an ancient, external sign of inward contrition. Remember the publican in the parable who, praying in the temple, would not raise his eyes, but simply struck his breast saying: Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori? ["God have mercy on me, a sinner"]?

March 25, 2002 - Monday in Holy Week (Privileged Feria)

A Saintly Approach to Humility

From: Barbara

I would like to know if it is appropriate for a lay person to wear a small wooden crucifix on a chain outside his clothing? Is this a traditional Catholic practice?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, it is not a traditional Catholic practice. One should, in humility, wear the crucifix inside the clothing. Our Lord counsels us in Scripture not to put on "shows" for people. In fact, he castigates the Pharisees for fringes and phylacteries (devotional objects for external show). St. Thomas More wore a hairshirt all his life, and no one knew it until after his death. Moreover, to wear a sacred image outside exposes it to the profanation of others.

What to Do about Schooling?

From: Roberta

In the current state of affairs within the Church, it has become very difficult to make a decision regarding school for my soon-to-be kindergartener. We have considered all the options available in our area: public, Novus Ordo. and a private Christian school. At this point and for various reasons, homeschooling is not an option. By the grace of God I hope it may be someday! I would be very appreciative of your thoughts on this question.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, it is a difficult decision for many good parents nowadays. One has, I think, to select the least of the evils. Some public schools are fine and have the advantage of not presuming to teach religion. Novus Ordo schools may or may not be better academically in a given locality, but they do presume to teach religion, a false form of the Catholic religion, and might therefore be even more confusing to a child than a public school. A Christian school would offer a similar danger.

There is no "right" answer. I would encourage you to visit each of the schools and ask pointed questions about the issues that concern you. Then make the best choice you can for your area. Above all, be careful to put the secular education into proper context at home, balancing the teaching, and exercising your obligation as a parent to be the primary teacher of your children about their religion and its values.

March 24, 2002 - Palm Sunday (Semidouble)

Yet Another "New" Novus Ordo Worship Service

From: Fr. Moderator

Traditional Catholics can rejoice that they have nothing to do with the New Order Worship Service, the unCatholic abomination that was composed by a Freemason bishop and six Protestant ministers, one of whom recanted on his deathbed.

On March 18, 2002, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments presented the third "new" missal for the Novus Ordo worship service. The first edition was in 1969, the second in 1975. What do the poor Novus Ordinarians have to look forward to:

It used to be that sometimes traditional Catholics would make excuses for the Novus Ordo, claiming that it was illicit, though valid. Or that it might be valid if the Novus Ordo presbyter had the right intention. Or was a last resort if there was no traditional Mass in the area. Such a reasoning was condemned by Pope St. Pius V, when some English Catholics used the same rationale to justify attending the heretic Anglican services after Henry VIII's seizure of the Church in England.

March 23, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Not Business as Usual

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it permissible for a priest to hear confessions on Good Friday or Holy Saturday?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Most traditionally, no Sacraments are conferred, except to the dying, on Good Friday. From the end of the rites of Maundy Thursday until the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not again be celebrated. We cannot receive His precious Body and Blood. We cannot receive any of the Sacraments. No baptisms, no confessions, no marriages, no funerals, no blessings are permitted during this period.

By this powerful liturgical symbol, the Church reminds us that on Good Friday we are truly without Christ. It is not "business as usual." It is a graphic reminder to us of what our lives would be without Christ and His Church.

March 22, 2002 - Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Major Double)

The New Order Grinds Them up in the End

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

If I understand correctly, the Adoremus Society is outside Catholic Tradition in its adherence to Vatican II, but the Novus Ordo presbyter Fr. F. is the founder of the Society, as well as founder of Campion College and Ignatius Press, of San Francisco. I thought that Ignatius Press books were not only conservative but also traditional in terms of the Catholic Faith. Would you agree or disagree with this assessment?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Ignatius Press at best could be described as "conservative," but certainly not traditional, as it espouses the New Order (in whatever form). In some ways this is far more dangerous than open Modernistism, because it is more deceptive and confusing to people who can't discriminate between traditional Catholicism and Novus Ordo conservativism. Although Ignatius Press has some conservative materials, it also has some blatant Novus Ordo material. One has to use careful discretion in selection, as always.

It is interesting that I just received a report that Fr. F. has been removed by his Novus Ordo Jesuit bosses, commanded to cease his work, and reassigned to another area of the country. Thus, we see what the high price of dealing with Novus Ordinarians is. Even if you think that you can befriend them, compromise with them, even win them over, the devil's pitchfork eventually gets you in the derriere when you're least looking. Fr. F. always claimed to have allies in Rome, to which he would appeal, but this is a false hope: you don't fight the New Order from within and win! Just ask the "indult" Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, and the Society of St. John of Scranton.

Fr. F. would have been better advised to set up his press and college independently of his N.O. Jesuit bosses, whose goal is to suppress the fully traditional Roman Catholic Faith (when they're not busy handing out tommy guns to "liberationists" in South America). Sure as shootin', the Novus Ordo apparatus is not going to let you promote Novus Ordo conservative Catholicism, much less traditional Catholicism.

March 21, 2002 - St. Benedict, Abbot (Major Double)

New to the Mass

From: Christopher

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I recently started attending the Traditional Latin Mass, and I find that I'm having some trouble adjusting. In order to follow along, I find myself concentrating on the Latin in my missal so hard that prayer is difficult because when I try to read the English I lose my place in the Mass. Do you have any tips for those who are new to the Traditional Mass?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, I'd say take it gradually. Assisting at Holy Mass is not an exercise in translation. It is a spiritual act. You don't have to follow the Mass word for word. Your prayerful presence in itself is what is important.

As in all things, lay the foundation first. Start with a basic understanding of the Mass. Get a basic book that approaches the Mass from the spiritual perspective first. Gradually extend your knowledge to the basic parts of the Mass and what they mean spiritually.

The traditional Mass of the Roman Rite is a spiritual gem. Some call it the greatest monument of Western Civilization, given that words, art, architecture, music, history, theology - all are beautifully blended in this treasure. It isn't like some modern ditty that is boring after one singing. Rather, it is like a rich symphony of many instruments and timbres, themes and variations, consonances and dissonances. Its teaching and spirituality you will be privileged to plumb anew each time you assist at Holy Mass. For it is in the Mass that we can most begin to understand Christ.

The Catholic faithful spend their entire lives understanding the Mass: its teaching, its history, its music. Take your time. Grow in faith and understanding. Give it time to ripen, and you will have ambrosia!

ADDENDUM. After I wrote this Commentary, it was brought to my attention that on the same day Pat Buchanan had written an article making many of the same points. Pat Buchanan is a traditional Catholic who has a very clear perspective about the current crisis in the Church and society. He has often stood up courageously to defend traditional Catholicism, even against the Novus Ordo when necessary. For example, he recently issued a defense, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, of capital punishment in Catholic theology against the confusing and non-Catholic statements on the subject that appear to be coming out of the Vatican of late.

March 20, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Who Is Behind This "Scandal"?

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

As another "scandal" rocks the Novus Ordo, when was this plot to destroy the Church undertaken?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Shortly after Vatican II, when the Modernist heresy, suppressed by Pope St. Pius X, burst forth again as Neo-Modernism -- more subtle, more devious, and more diabolical.

This "scandal" has been substantially contrived. Now we are seeing why, as further information comes out. Have no doubt about it: this "scandal" is being engineered as an excuse for introducing into the Novus Ordo an unCatholic married clergy and priestesses, and finally dispensing with a clergy entirely.

It bears all the marks of the method by which the Modernists injected the "New Mass." There is a political purpose here -- to destroy the Church by destroying the Mass and the Sacraments (pretty much accomplished already in the Novus Ordo), the papacy (mostly accomplished, when the pope himself is on record as wanting to "redefine" the papacy), and now the priesthood and celibacy.

The facts of the matter were adduced by a recent University of Pennsylvania study, published in 2001 by the Oxford University Press. This study assigned two reasons for such "scandals": (1) the secular press is bigoted against Catholics; (2) the Catholic Church is the only religious organization around that has enough money to pay off multimillion-dollar legal judgments. It is sad when good Catholic people themselves become the unwitting pawns of the secular press, whose goal is far from constructive.

I don't doubt that these crimes occur from time to time. In any large organization, they will. In a society consumed by sex and violence, they will. However, detailed studies have shown that more than 98% of Catholic priests have never been accused of sexual misconduct at any stage of their ministry. But the sad thing is that many innocent priests are going to be caught up in this "witchhunt," as unsubstantiated allegations will now be accepted without proof, and they will be guilty until proven innnocent, even for allegations of 20 and 30 years ago.

And here's another angle that no one has covered in the press accounts, for whatever of these stories may be true. With the billions of dollars that the school districts have put into "sex education," with the legal permissiveness that allows 10-year-old girls to become pregnant and then legally have an abortion without even their parents' knowledge, why is it that the teenagers involved in the scandal didn't "just say no" and hightail it out of there and inform their parents, the police, or somebody?

In fact, it is already happening, just as the citizens of the United States have recklessly allowed their Congress and President to strip them of their civil liberties by a "Patriotic Act" in the name of some "war" in which they won't even call the enemy the enemy! It seems already that Islamism has more civil rights than Americans, certainly more than Christians. Islamism can have its religious services and the Koran in public schools. But God help you if you are a Christian and try to have Mass in a school or read your Bible there!

But back to the subject of the "scandal." Scientific studies have shown over and over again that it is not celibate religious that perpetrate the vast majority of these crimes, but rather heterosexual, married individuals. In fact, according to a study by Santa Clara University, the best data we have is that such problems exist the general population exhibits such problems at a rate 3% higher than among priests, Protestant ministers, and rabbis (naturally, the press won't tell you that!).

And what have we Catholics done to stem the tide of rampant sexual immorality in our society? Does it strike you as odd that a few cases in the Church cause such a furor, but when:

It shouldn't surprise us. This is the world in which we live. A world sinking into irreligion and immorality. And how little we Catholics have done to stem the tide! We are indeed the "silent majority" that President Nixon talked about. Why, then, are we surprised when our religion is bastardized and ridiculed and lied about, and our clergy vituperated and calumniated and slandered?

Why, it's no surprise at all! You are reading about it right now in your missals. An innocent man was called a devil by hypocritical Church officials. They riled up large numbers of ignorant citizenry to call for his death. Weak government officials caved into the pressure. The innocent man was unjustly executed.

But that man arose to conquer the hypocrites and the cowardly and the liars. Yes, there is hope yet. Pray all the more this Passiontide and stay close to the Lord in the solemn services of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Then, on Easter Sunday, you will share in the victory of good over evil.

March 19, 2002 - St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Confessor (Double of the First Class)

Is This the Church or the U.N.?

From: Ivan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Below is the latest scandal from the Vatican. I am going to join the Salvation Army.

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 15, 2002 ( - The Stations of the Cross that John Paul II will preside over this Good Friday were written by 14 journalists, an unprecedented event. ZENIT learned from Vatican and journalistic sources that, on behalf of the Holy Father, Bishop Piero Marini, master of papal liturgical celebrations, entrusted the task to media correspondents accredited at the Vatican. Each journalist was asked to write a meditation and prayer for a Station....
In the past, the meditations were entrusted to leading theologians (such as Hans Urs von Balthasar), men of culture (such as poet Mario Luzi), pastors (Cardinals Miguel Obando Bravo of Managua; Miloslav Vlk of Prague; and Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo) or ecumenical figures (Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, and lay Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement).

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You're right: Novus Ordo "Catholicism" has become a joke. Good Friday, the most solemn day of the entire year, has become no more than a vulgar "photo op" in the Novus Ordo. I suppose it never occured to the pope and his "theologians" to use the venerable texts for the Way of the Cross composed by St. Francis of Assisi or St. Alphonsus Liguori. Oh no, the Modern Vatican prefers to let a bunch of heretics, schismatics, and agnostics pervert the most solemn day of the entire year.

During these days of Passiontide, the most solemn part of Lent, don't forget to pray to your Lord in thanksgiving that you, as a traditional Catholic, have been spared from attendance at the Novus Ordo worship service and that your Lord is even now is making a laughing-stock out of the purple, scarlet, and even white, showing up the New Order for what it is: some kind of secularist religion that bears little relationship to the Roman Catholic Faith of two millennia.

These Novus Ordinarians can do what they will, but in the end, "God will not be mocked." That is the one thing they haven't counted on!

Covering of Statues

From: Chester

Dear Fr. Moderator:

When is the time when all the statues and crucifixes are to be covered?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This occurs after the Hour of None on the Saturday before Passion Sunday (March 17, 2002), which begins the more solemn period of Lent called Passiontide and continues until the Vigil Mass of Easter, which is traditionally celebrated around noon on Holy Saturday.

The covering recalls the words "Jesus hid himself" (John 8:59) at the end of the Passion Sunday Gospel. It is also symbolic of the abandonment of Christ at the beginning of His Passion. Given the current state of the Church, it is instructive to realize, as Archbishop Fulton Sheen once pointed out, that the first collegial act of the Apostles -- the pope and the cardinals, if you will -- before Christ's Passion, was to desert Christ. Surely what we see in recent decades in the Church is nothing new. The same thing happened at its inception, when Christ was personally present.


From: Valerie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can you give me a definition of blasphemy?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Blasphemy is, by its very nature, a grevious sin directly against God by the showing of irreverence toward, or even contempt of, God or, secondarily, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints. You can see, therefore, how infested our culture is with this perversion of the natural order of things. It says something about us when on television, a common scatalogy like "sh-t" is bleeped out, but "God d---" is let through.

March 18, 2002 - St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

Novus Ordo Sinking Like a Rock

From: Fr. Moderator

One of the secrets that the diocesan bishops and the Novus Ordo apparatus doesn't want you to know about is that the Novus Ordo is sinking fast in the United States. After thirty years of lying, deceiving, and browbeating Catholics into thinking that the New Order is the greatest thing since sliced bread, the bishops are standing by as the numbers are going down, down, down. Traditional Catholicism, in spite of some regrettable infighting, however, is going up, up, up.

A case in point. According to a new study entitled Renewing the Church: A Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of San Jose, The Catholic Community of Santa Clara County, dated March 19. 2002, Santa Clara County, in the Silicon Valley of Northern California, a heavily Hispanic area at that, currently has only 100,000 out of its 600,000 (16.7%) total Catholics going to the Novus Ordo worship service.

If these figures are regarded as at all representative of the United States as a whole (and they are likely to be on the high side because of the large Hispanic population in Santa Clara County), Novus Ordo worship service attendance has dropped another 2% in just two years. For, according primarily to Gallup Polls in various years, Sunday Mass attendance among Catholics in the United States has sunk by 57 percentage points since Vatican II. When asked whether they had attended Mass within the past week, the following percentage of Catholics answered yes:

1958:  74%
1965:  71% (after the Mass was allowed to be said in the vulgar tongues)
1968:  65% (after the very words of Consecration were changed)
1969:  63% (when the Novus Ordo Worship Service was first announced)
1970:  60% (when the Novus Ordo Worship Service was introduced)
1971:  50% (after one year of exclusive Novus Ordo worship services)
1988:  48%
1993:  25%
1995:  22%
1999:  19%
2001:  17%

Even the Gallup Poll's numbers are challenged as high. Statistician Kirk Hadaway and a research team from the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, counted cars in the parking lot over a period of several months. His finding: Americans over-report their actual church attendance by a marked degree by almost twice as much as actual. In two separate studies on Roman Catholics, he found an even greater disparity between the numbers reported and actual attendance.

Another secret that the Novus Ordo bishops won't tell you: according to the U.S. bishops' own semi-secret study, Vatican II was a disaster for the Church. Unlike the period following the Council of Trent, which saw a flowering of the faith and a corps of Saints not experienced since the early Roman martyrdoms, Vatican II was the devil's playground. According to the bishops' own nearly secret 1981 study, Converts, Dropouts, Returnees, 22% of Catholics stopped attending Mass because of the changes in the Church alone.

If the CEO of Coca Cola turned over to his board of directors a report that in twenty years sales had fallen 400% because of the introduction of an "updated" Coke imbued with the "Spirit of Coke," he'd be fired. Wait a minute: that really happened!

The United States bishops still use good Catholics' money to propagandize their own people that the Novus Ordo is wonderful, is welcomed by Catholics, is attended by Catholics more than that "old Latin Mass" was. Yet, the U.S. bishops' own statistics, as well as those of outside organizations, show that all their propaganda is but deliberate lies and deceit.

One only has to read the headlines of the newspapers recently to understand that the Novus Ordo since the 1960s has been a pack of lies and deceit -- whether in the Mass or in basic Catholic morality. This was not substantially the case pre-Vatican II. This decline came as part of the "Spirit of Vatican II" package. And don't you forget it. Don't let your friends and neighbors forget it. When they ask you what's been happening with the Catholic Church lately, you traditional Catholics can honestly say:

That's not my church. The traditional church I go to has the same 2000-year Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Faith. The traditional church I go to doesn't deceive people about what is truly Catholic. The church I go to abhors immorality -- of all kinds.

By their fruits you shall know them. And the New Order is rotten fruit -- rotten to the core.

March 17, 2002 - Passion Sunday (Semidouble)

Be Careful What You Pray For

From: Linda

Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in America would pray a Rosary on Good Friday against abortion....

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No doubt this is a commendable intention, but isn't abortion just one of many evils of a society that has turned its back on God, no matter how often it sings "God Bless America"? What about rampant blasphemy? That is a far worse evil theologically, as it is a direct offense against the majesty of God. Blasphemy too was a crime in the earlier years of this Republic, but I know of no organization that has taken as its primary purpose the elimination of the grave evil of blasphemy, which has so gripped our society in recent years.

Rather than getting too sidetracked by innumerable symptoms, why not pray about the root cause of all these evils? Why not pray for the true Faith to convert the hearts of each and every soul toward God? Then we wouldn't have to worry about abortion or blasphemy or any of the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.

The heart of the problem is a religious one: a falling from God's Church. It is much less likely that a person who attends the Traditional Latin Mass, receives the traditional Sacraments, and hears the traditional Roman Catholic Faith preached will sink that low. At least the soul will have a fighting chance.

I often wonder what would have happened in our Church if Catholics since 1965 had put the same energy and organization into reclaiming their traditional Roman Catholic Faith from those in the Novus Ordo who would destroy it. I daresay that the Novus Ordo would have been crushed, if not marginalized, and that we would have seen a flowering of the Faith bringing with it a renewed morality. I don't see much progress on abortion in thirty years because it is a symptom, not a cause.

Remember, the central purpose of Good Friday was for Christ to redeem mankind, to shed His blood unto the remission of sins. As Passiontide begins today, that is what we need to focus upon. And in that connection I recommend regular mediation these last two weeks of Lent on this central mystery of the Faith.

To assist in that end, I can recommend a book with which I have recently become acquainted, one that Bishop Fulton Sheen was fond of, Jim Bishop's The Day Christ Died. In less than 300 pages of very readible text, Bishop paints the picture of what went on in those pivotal days. Too often we let them pass by without really considering what happened and what they mean to us. By meditating upon these events, the Sacred Liturgy of Holy Week will become so much more meaningful as we wave our palms at Him on Palm Sunday, share the Last Supper with Him on Maundy Thursday, stand at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday, and hold the vigil of Holy Saturday.

March 16, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

High Vatican Official Admits that Traditional Movement Is Growing

From: Fr. Moderator

TRADITIO has been saying that the Traditional Movement continues to grow at about the rate of 10% per annum, while Novus Ordoism declines at about the same rate. Now Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, the third ranking Vatican official (after the pope and Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State), is found to have admitted [in his Principles of Catholic Theology] that in spite of all that the Novus Ordo apparatus has done to suppress it, the Traditional Movement is significantly growing and is scaring the Novus Ordo by its growing popularity:

Was the [Second Vatican] Council a wrong road that we must now retrace if we are to save the Church? The voices of those [traditional Catholics] who say that it was are becoming louder, and the followers more numerous. Among the more obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of integralist [traditional] groups in which the desire for piety, for a sense of mystery, is finding satisfaction. We must be on guard against minimizing these movements.

March 15, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent [The Ides of March]

Will the Real Schismatic Please Stand Up?

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What is your opinion of the organization called Adoremus? It seems to go beyond even the usual Novus Ordo extravagance.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Adoremus is a Novus Ordo organization whose purpose is to re-implement Vatican II. Its position is that Vatican II was badly implemented, and it can do a better job. What presumption! By its nature it would have to be hostile to traditional Catholicism, which holds that the Catholic and Apostolic Tradition of 2000 years must be maintained, as it always has, not replaced by some phony "New Order" knock-off.

The question is: which is really in schism -- traditional Catholicism, which tries to maintain authentic Catholicism, or the Novus Ordo, which by its very nature has been condemned as heretical. The New Order is more and more being exposed as the phony Catholicism it is, so now it is craftily going on the offensive against traditional Catholicism, hoping that traditional Catholics will fall into the trap of defending themselves rather than attacking the New Order.

When traditional Catholics are faced with this type of thing, they should simply say: "I have nothing to defend, as I'm standing fast with the Catholic and Apostolic Church, 260 popes, and 20 doctrinal councils of the last 2000 years. It is you who wish to substitute a New Order, condemned as an heretical and schismatic act, who needs to prove that you are even Catholic."

March 14, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

What Bomb Hit This Church?

From: Jake

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What in the world has happened in the last 30 years within parish churches (I am speaking here obviously of the Novus Ordo)? A careful meditation on the following questions is in order for any true Catholic:

Most good Catholics already know most of the answers. If they don't, they don't even realize that there is problem to start with. It is these Catholics that we need to pray for the most.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The answer is simple: just as the operations of the Church were taken over in the 4th century by the Arian heretics, so it has been taken over in the 20th century by the Modernist heretics. The Catholic clergy and laypeople are responsible for having accepted, with very little protest, a bill of goods that they know is not Catholic. They have "obeyed" the very people who have destroyed their Church, and even make excuses for them. The only solution is an unequivocal denunciation of the "New Order" as unCatholic and holding fast to the traditional Roman Catholic Faith.

March 13, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Creeping Neo-Modernism

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How could all the most flagrant reversal of Catholic teaching and dogma, plus the Holy Mass, be whipped out from under us so quickly? I have thought about that a lot. I thought about the Jesuit pastor in Detroit announcing that "all would be changed in the Mass" very early on, as if he knew a long time before. I thought of Bishop Dearden and his unctuous answers to all our questions. Then a book tells me that it had been planned for a long time and that Pacelli and Montini and Bugnini all worked together to lay the groundwork for the council.

Of course! It could not have been planned by John XXIII in four years, as he claimed. The groundwork was laid for many years by Benedict XV, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, all men groomed for the papacy. The present Pope did not come from nowhere in Poland, but from the radical Lublin University and from a military family. He spent eight years in Rome before he was elected.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Certainly the error of Modernism arose long before the 1960s. It came into its own in the 19th century and was then identified and condemned by Pope St. Pius X in the early 20th century. What we have now is a grave infection by Neo-Modernism, a more virulent and deceitful form of the old Modernism. Yes, the groundwork for the conciliar apostasy (for that is what it was, as events later showed) was certainly laid much earlier than Vatican II.

A watershed year is 1947, when Bugnini, the Freemason who fabricated the "New Mass of 1969" with six Protestant ministers, became a member of the Liturgical Commission during the reign of Pope Pius XII. It wasn't long after that that the traditional Catholic and Apostolic Liturgy of the Church was "updated" out of existence at Rome, and is now being maintained in the provinces, as it were.

There is nothing new about this. As ancient Rome gradually fell, it was the solidity of the provinces that maintained the empire -- its finances, its army, its infrastructure. So, now, it will be the provinces -- the United States, Australia, the Philippines, and many other areas around the world -- that will maintain the traditional Roman Catholic Faith in a courageous holding action, one day to return, by the grace of God, in a triumphal march down the Via Sacra to bring the Vexilla Regis back into a Rome that has placed the world above the Roman Catholic Faith.

March 12, 2002 - St. Gregory the Great, Pope, Confessor & Doctor of the Church

In Case of Disaster....

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

With the sixth-month commemoration of the terrorist attacks yesterday, a question came to mind. In the case of a horrible event, such as the World Trade Center attacks, where the bodies of many of the dead will not be found for a long time, if ever, what is the proper procedure for handling funerals and so forth for Catholics? And what is to be done if a body is recovered months or years later?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This is a case that is not that unusual. In many instances a physical body is not available for a funeral, for example, in cases of total incineration in a fire or loss at sea. It may even be that the physical body is available, but cannot be brought to the church where the exequies are being held, for example, in the case where the distance between the church and the cemetery is great.

In such a case, the exequies are held with the rite cadavere praesente, as the body is considered to be morally present. A catafalque is set up with candles and a pall, as usual, but there is no coffin. In such a case, the rite retains the same liturgical rank, fruits, indulgences, etc., as if the body were physically present. If the physical body should thereafter be found, it would be buried appropriately, but the exequial rites would already have been conducted.

March 11, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

The Fall of the Angels

From: Roman

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can you please direct me to where in Sacred Scripture the fall of the Angels is mentioned?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is mentioned in the Second Epistle of St. Peter (2:4/DR):

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment.

It is also mentioned in the Epistle of St. Jude (6/DR):

And the angels who kept not their principality but forsook their own habitation, he hath reserved under darkness in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the great day.

March 10, 2002 - Fourth Sunday of Lent "Laetare" (Semidouble)

March 9, 2002 - St. Frances of Rome, Widow (Double)

A Traditional Saint

From: Abe

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Although such cases as the following, even if miraculous, are never part of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, and the Church never demands belief in them, this one is at least interesting in answering the purported Novus Ordo "miracles," as if anything attached to the New Order could ever show anything supernatural other than the diabolic. And, yes, remember that Satan too displays miracles; we know this clearly from the teaching of Sacred Scripture.

But, miracles aside, the facts we know about Padre Pio are the important thing. Even before the end of the Council, in February 1965, someone announced to him that soon he would have to celebrate the Mass according to a new rite, ad experimentum, in the vernacular, which had been devised by a conciliar liturgical commission. Immediately, even before seeing the text, he wrote to Paul VI to ask him to be dispensed from the liturgical experiment, and to be able to continue to celebrate the Mass of St. Pius V.

When Cardinal Bacci came to see him in order to bring the authorization, Padre Pio let a complaint escape in the presence of the Pope's messenger: "For pity sake, end the Council quickly." Padre Pio never said Mass in Italian or facing the people. Pope Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae of 1969 was introduced more than a year after Padre Pio had died.

Another Novus Ordo lie. A video of Padre Pio that the Novus Ordo parishes loan out tries to make the last Mass he said before he died look like a Novus Ordo Mass facing the people. In fact, Padre Pio was not strong enough to walk up to the altar, and so they put a temporary altar down below the altar for him and then proceeded to make a video of his Mass going around him, making it look like he was facing the people, as there were people on all sides. So they try to say he celebrated the Novus Ordo Mass for his final Mass, when in fact this statement is not true.

Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 18:59 GMT (BBC NEWS - UK)
"Italian statue 'weeps blood'
Thousands of believers have flocked to the Sicilian city of Messina after a statue of the revered Padre Pio began shedding tears some think are blood. A passer-by noticed that the statue seemed to be crying late on Tuesday night. He called a local priest who was unable to wipe away the red substance leaking from the eyes of the statue in the centre of the city, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.... Though claims of weeping statues are not unusual in Italy, the popularity of Padre Pio has made this a special case. More than 2,000 people rushed to the statue overnight in the square in front of the Church of Madonna of Pompeii.
Police have taken a sample of the liquid coming from the two-metre bronze statue for analysis Padre Pio de Pietrelcina is one of the most revered religious figures in Italy. He was considered the first priest in centuries to show the stigmata -- the wounds to hands, feet, and side suffered by Christ at his crucifixion. Padre Pio has an enormous following, and the monastery where he died in 1968 at the age of 81 attracts seven million visitors a year -- similar to the numbers who go to France's Lourdes shrine.

March 8, 2002 - St. John of God, Confessor (Double)

Paving the Way to the Novus Ordo

From: Terry

Dear Fr. Moderator:

There were many liturgical changes introduced in the decades preceding the Vatican II revolution. Do you think many of these introductions -- specifically those made between the pontificates of Pius X and Pius XII -- could have "paved the way," as it were, to the Novus Ordo? I'm thinking here especially of the removal of vernacular hand missals from the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, dialogue Masses, reduction of the Eucharistic fast (1956), the innovated Holy Week rite (1956), and the "simplification" of the calendar and rubrics (1956 and 1960).

I am inclined to think that a lot of the changes introduced to the Mass in the decades preceding Vatican II did pave the way to the Novus Ordo. To me, it would make more sense thus for traditionalists to return to earlier Missals, enforce the stricter Eucharistic fast, and absolutely shun the dialogue Mass. I hear many Indult groups, of the few traditional Masses they do make available, are now using these "dialogue" Masses exclusively. Apparently shouting Amen out like a bunch of rowdy Protestants relieves those attendees who have imbibed a liturgical restless from years of assisting at the Novus Ordo. Another reason, perhaps, to avoid the Indult altogether.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I concur with everything that you have said. The "build-up," as it were, by the Modernists particularly since the late 1940s was going on before Vatican II. Remember that Bugnini, the reputed Freemasonic grand architect of the New Order, became a member of the liturgical commission in 1947. Very soon afterwards, significant changes in the Sacred Liturgy were being introduced.

With the "indult" of 1988, there was a move in traditional circles toward the 1962 Missal of Pope John XXIII. In just the last few years, however, I have noticed a significant retreat from that Missal, which is more and more coming under criticism for the "simplifications" introduced. Some traditional priests have gone back to the 1958 Missal of Pope Pius XII, but that has the first stage of "simplifications" in the calendar and rubrics and also includes the "new" rites of Holy Week that are close to the Novus Ordo. Therefore, more and more traditional priests are going back to the Missals that were standard before the liturgical commission of 1947 was launched.

Ratzinger over the Edge

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Well, he finally lost it, Father. Card. Ratzinger is missing a few dots in his dice!

Ratzinger Denies Christianity "Superior" to Islam

March 6, 2002 (Zenit). The Vatican's Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has suggested that "the Christian faith must give up its claim to truth" in the wake of 11 September. The Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made his observation on Friday when addressing a conference in memory of Bishop Eugenio Corecco of Lugano, Switzerland, on the topic Faith, Truth and Tolerance. Ratzinger praised Islam for upholding the values of monogamous marriage and the dignity of women, which "undoubtedly demonstrate a cultural superiority."
Fr. Moderator Replies.

TRADITIO several years ago pointed out that there was something phony about Ratzinger's "traditionalism," which was being touted at the time. As time has passed, it has become clear that Ratzinger can't even be called "conservative" any longer. His recent sycophancy toward Protestantism, Judaism, and Mohammedanism is certainly not Catholic. Is he losing it just months before his retirement? Is the pope who kissed the Koran putting him up to this, or vice versa? Time will tell.

March 7, 2002 - St. Thomas Aquinas, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

A Saint Slandered

From: Mark

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am a member of the Militia Immaculata (M.I.) founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe. The MI, by supporting the current errors in the Church, has lost its militancy. I have heard St. Maximilian called the "prophet of Vatican II" and other such titles that suggest he was follower of the "reform" before the council was even called. I can find nothing in his writings to support such slander. The mission he gave the M.I. was one of personal sanctification and the conquering of the world for the Immaculata. This was to be accomplished, according to the charter, by working for the conversion of all non-Catholics especially Masons to the Catholic Church.

As a "conservative," I consecrated myself to the Immaculata in the Kolbian manner. It was at this time that I promised Our Lady that I would work for the build up of the M.I. How am I to do this when the present M.I. is not following its mission? I do not want to remove myself from the M.I. because I am convinced that the original charter and mission are sound. Do you have any advice?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Novocrats are very deceptive. They don't deny the Saints outright; they merely corrupt their cultus to their own Modernistic purposes.

The same thing happened with Sr. Faustina and the devotion to Divine Mercy. Originally, a traditional devotion, it became so infected with the error of "ecumenism" that even Pope John XXIII had to suppressed the devotion.

The same thing happened with St. Francis, who has been turned by the Novus Ordo into some kind of environmental demigod and pacifist, whereas he in fact supported the work of the Holy Crusades and even accompanied the Fifth Crusade to rid the Holy Land of Mohammedans, who were killing and enslaving Christians whose only crime was desiring to visit the holy shrines.

Why not keep your promise by forming your own MI chapter under the direction of a traditional priest? I suspect that in time your chapter, based as it would be on sound doctrine and practice, would become more attractive to honest Catholics than the one corrupted by the Novus Ordo.

March 6, 2002 - Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs (Double)

Errant Nun

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been involved in an Ignatian Exercise group for about six months now. The group moderator is a nun who has made some very disturbing statements, both theological and moral. One particularly disturbing comment was made outside the group to a fellow group member. She said that she did not believe that premarital sex was wrong if the couple involved truly loved each other. Now, this is her opinion, and she's certainly entitled to believe what she wants. Would it not be, however, heretical to proffer such opinions given her role as a religious? My reaction has been to abandon the group altogether. Would this be overreacting, though? Should I be expected simply to ignore her disregard for true Catholic teaching and continue the Exercises? That is, should I separate the message from the messenger?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, she is not entitled to believe what she wants. If she is in fact a Catholic nun, what she is doing (assuming that your report is correct) is teaching immorality. Moreover, she doesn't seem to know her Catholic theology. Love is defined as obeying God's commandments; it is not some passing "feeling." Anyone who heard Holy Mass on the Third Sunday of Lent last will have heard St. Paul's clear statement of Catholic morality (as usual, St. Paul pulls no punches when it comes to a question of faith or morals):

For know you this and understand: No fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is a serving of idols) hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5).

If this nun, as many Novus Ordo ones do, would go so far as to teach false doctrine in this question of Catholic morality, who knows what additional false doctrine she may be inserting into your sessions? Your Catholic instinct is right: abandon the group and find one led by a traditional priest, or use one of the many Ignatian manuals written for private retreats.

March 5, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

To Contribute or Not?

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I understand that the "indult" seminary in the Midwest is soliciting funds for yet another phase. Is it prudent to contribute?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I cannot say that it is prudent. Another "indult" organization is already under suspicion for gross mismanagement of funds, and it looks like a lawsuit against the organization is in the offing, so that donations may now have to be used in large measure to pay lawyers' fees. It appears that the kindest statement that can be made in the latter case is that the organization's leaders spent their donors' monies with reckless abandon and did not provide their donors with a detailed accounting. It is pretty clear that they were spending large amounts of money on fund-raising and had very little to show for the funds raised. TRADITIO had consistently warned of this danger, and now our predictions seem to have been confirmed.

The local diocesan bishop in this case apparently removed himself from proper oversight of the fund management, as many diocesan bishop do, just as the likes of Cardinal Law remove themselves from proper management of their priests' virtue. Therefore, the situation deteriorated rapidly from lack of oversight (shades of Enron!). In the case of the "indult" seminary, it too is under the direction of the local diocesan bishop, who is the same who has consistently dissembled for P.R. purposes and is known to have let out his cathedral for the use of Protestant ordinations. One is reminded of the mad Roman Emperor Caligula, who prostituted noble Roman ladies in the imperial palace and then dared to charge admission fees!

After Protocol 1411 of 1999, who is to say whether the "indult" societies will be allowed to survive more than a few months or at most a few years? Who is to say whether the "indult" will not be fully Novus-Ordoized in the next few years, as the Pope's own theologian indicated in the Campos case. TRADITIO's correspondents already report that the "indult" Mass is already widely bastardized by the intrusion of Novus Ordo components, often forced by the local bishop:

Would a traditional Catholic want to have anything to do with, let alone support, such a corruption of the traditional Roman Catholic Faith and its Tower of Babel that seems to have endless fund-raising "phases"? We are reminded of the mad Mrs. Winchester and her never-finished Winchester House, with its staircases leading nowhere and its rooms without purpose. A metaphor for the Novus Ordo?

The "indult" track record gives its own clear answer. The handwriting is written in big letters on the wall in front of you, good people. You just have to be honest enough to read it and to lay aside your rosy-colored glasses provided courtesy of those suborning the "indult."

Who Are the True Schismatics?

From: Nestor

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Since the failed recent talks with the SSPX, the Vatican novocrats do not hesitate to use the word schismatic with reference to the Society of St. Pius X. So, what is the difference today between a schismatic and separated brethren?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

A good question! Of course, all these words are, to the Vatican, political playthings. How can an SSPXer, who believes everything that the Roman Catholic Church has taught and practiced for 2000 years be in "schism" when the pope bends down to kiss the abominable Koran and calls Islamism a brother religion to Christianity, Islamism that to this day invades Catholic churches, massacres the worshippers, and takes some of them into slavery?

The real question is, as you know, is whether the Novus Ordo itself is schismatic and heretical. The answer is pretty much a "no brainer." Our Lord had His Pharisees, who called Him the prince of devils. Traditional Catholics have their Novus Ordo Pharisees, who call them "schismatic." We know on what side Our Lord came down on this question:

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)

We are endebted to Our Lord for providing this description of the Novus Ordo 2000 years in advance. One can hardly think of a better description of the corrupted faith of the New Order.

Minding Your U's and V's!

From: James

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Could you please explain the reason for u sometimes being rendered as v in Latin inscriptions? I recently visited an old church which had SANCTVS and DOMINVS inscribed on it.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

In classical Latin, u and v are two sides of the same sound, u being the vowel and v being the consonant. (This was true when the sound of v was pronounced like the modern English w. In the post-classical period, the sound of v became truly consonantal, being pronounced like the v in the modern English van. The case of the pair i and j is similar.) In majuscule (capital) inscriptions, the V serves to represent both. One sees even today buildings inscribed AVDITORIVM.

March 4, 2002 - St. Casimir, Confessor (Semidouble)

Whither Goest EWTN?

From: Arthur

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been concerned about which way the EWTN cable network is leaning since Mother Angelica has been ill, or are we imagining it leaning toward the left?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Untraditional from its inception, it has always leaned strongly toward the New Order, but, as you say, it has been leaning even more so for several years now, particularly after Mother Angelica caved in to the local bishop a couple of years ago and made the televised "Mass" even more Novus Ordo than it had been.

I cannot recommend EWTN because, although there may be some partially worthwhile programs, it is filled with the Novus Ordoism, Charismaticism, Ecumenism, and all other unCatholic errors that permeate the dioceses in the United States. I am sorry for Mother Angelica personally. I am sure that it is harder now for her to contest the overwhelming onslaught of the New Order, but that is what happened when she compromised with the American bishops who control the "approval" of her network.

Do not be misled: EWTN is basically a Protestantized (or worse) substitute for Catholicism.

March 2, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

Our Lady of Good Success and True Indefectibility

From: Fr. Moderator

Sometimes I get questions about whether there are any apparitions that prophesy the devastation of the Church in the 20th century. Now, as all readers of TRADITIO should be well aware, I am a Roman Catholic, not a "Fatimist"; that is, I am not one who places private revelations, of whatever kind, above the public revelation of our Catholic and Apostolic Faith, which is contained in the Deposit of Faith: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

However, just to show that there are such prophecies, should one find reason to accept the seers (which is not a requirement of any Catholic), I draw TRADITIO participants' attention to a new book that has been released by Dr. Marian Horvat entitled Stories and Miracles of Our Lady of Good Success, available from Tradition in Action (see the Traditional Directory for contact information). Here is the author's own summary from the introduction to the book.

The protagonist is Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, a Conceptionist religious who traveled from Spain to the Royal Colony of Quito, Ecuador in 1576 to pay a providential role for Quito and the world. During her lifetime, by means of numerous revelations, she was given to see and know many important events of the future.
The main revelation she received regarded the great crisis that would afflict the Church throughout the 20th century, and especially the last half. Our Lady of Good Success told her that in our lamentable times, heresies would abound, the corruption of manners and customs would be almost complete, religious vocations would decline, and the light of the Faith nearly extinguished....
Our Lady of Good Success, like Our Lady of Fatima, foresaw not only a terrible crisis, but also a great restoration of the Catholic Church and Christendom.

It is this last prophecy that we Catholics often overlook. No matter how difficult the times -- even if heretics take over the Church buildings, as in the 4th century; even if there are three papal claimants, as in the 15th century; even if the Mass is nearly destroyed and Rome sacked, as it was in the 16th century, even if the true Church is reduced to a remnant of true believers -- Christ will be with His true Church until the end of time. That is the primary meaning of the doctrine of indefectibility.

Sacramental Intention

From: Anna

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can you please explain the meaning of "intent" of the priest as used in reference to the Mass. I understand that the form and matter must be correct for the validity, but doesn't the intent also matter too?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

In Catholic sacramental theology, a sacrament is always presumed to be valid so long as the correct matter and form are employed, and the minister has not made any indication that he does not intend to do what the Church does, but has the implicit intention saltem faciendi quod facit ecclesia. In other words, Catholic theology teaches that if a minister of a Sacrament uses due matter and form, with at least the minimum personal intention necessary, his administration of the Sacrament is valid, even if he adheres to a sect that is openly heretical.

The Church makes a distinction between the belief in a person's mind and the intent in his will. In other words, a person who administers baptism may have false beliefs, or a poor or erroneous understanding, in his mind about the nature, effects, and efficacy of baptism. However, as long as his will intends to perform the baptism of Christ, the sacrament is valid. As long as he does not have an actual intention in his will contrary to the general intention of Christ and His Church, the baptism is valid. If he by a special act of his will does not intend to do what Christ wanted and instituted and the Church does, the Sacrament would be invalid.

This is the principle of simple error. Error is a false judgment of the mind. The error is simple if it remains in the mind without passing over into the will, and so without modifying the act which the will elicits. This intention need not necessarily be explicit or express, nor determinate and distinct or well-defined; it is quite sufficient that it exist confusedly and implicitly in the mind of the minister.

Thus, the Church will not order or allow rebaptism on the ground that a non-Catholic administered the Sacrament, provided of course that the duly requisite matter and form were employed. The reason is that the minister's general intention to do what Christ instituted predominates and absorbs false ideas and opinions. Error is rooted in the intellect; intention is an act of the will. For the Sacrament of Baptism, the minister can even be an athiest, for example, a doctor who, knowing that his patient is Catholic and wishes her child to be baptized, could perform a perfectly valid baptism (in case of emergency only, of course), although he does not believe in baptism, as long as he intends to do what the Church does.

At one time in France a dispute had arisen whether those baptized by the Calvinists should be rebaptized. Pope St. Pius V settled the controversy by defining that baptism was not to be repeated. The instruction makes it clear that erroneous views in the minister circa intelligentiam formae vel aliquem effectum do not render the sacrament invalid, provided that the right matter and form instituted by Christ were used with the general intention to perform what Christ instituted; that this general intention prevails over the particular error or wrong private interpretations. Error and heretical opinion about the nature and effects of baptism can therefore coexist with a sincere intention of doing what Christ did or had instituted.

A priest celebrating Mass can be a schismatic or a heretic and still celebrate a valid Mass. He could not believe in transubstantiation as a theological explanation and still celebrate a valid Mass, as long as he intends to do what the Church does. The problem with the Novus Ordo worship service is not so much a question of intention, as of a question of form and matter. Of course, if the priest does not intend to say a Mass at all, e.g., because he is merely doing a demonstration for students, it is not a valid Mass.

March 1, 2002 - Ferial Day of Lent

When Argument Fails....

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been greatly helped in a discussion with an ardent Neo-Catholic / Conservative by TRADITIO's Library of Files. However, he wants more sources. Could you provide me with some of your sources?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

What I have readily to hand is given in the Library of Files. I attempt to give specific references whenever available, but this is really an excessive Modernist concern. For example, one of the most brilliant British historians, Hilaire Belloc, doesn't give a single source footnote, nor do many of the best historians. It is their synthesis and perspective on the material that is prized.

However, I would warn you that my experience with such people always wanting "sources" is that when you take the trouble to give them the sources, they want something more. It's a kind of endless-loop Pharasaism that is inordinately time-wasting. Or a kind of Protestant "show me where it says so in the Bible" mentality. This approach takes no account of context, original languages, etc. Would the person even know the source if you provided it?!

Remember, if grace is absent, all the "sources" in the world are not going to convince a mind closed to grace. I find that in such cases it is better just to plant a seed and then pray. God will do the rest, in time, maybe much time, if the soul is honest. If that individual is honest, he himself will want to do the research for itself. After all, it is ultimately his responsibility to inform his conscience, not yours.

St. Thomas More had long discussions with his son-in-law, William Roper, who had become "a marvelous zealous Protestant." Since these discussions were not convincing the son-in-law, the Saint did not press on, but told his daughter Margaret:

Meg, I have borne a long time with your husband; I have reasoned and argued with him in these points of religion, and still given to him my poor fatherly counsel, but I perceive that none of this is able to call him home. Therefore, Meg, I will no longer argue and dispute with him, but will clean give him over, and get me for a while to God and pray for him.

Shortly afterwards, Roper returned to the Catholic faith, never to abandon it again. Such is the power of prayer over prolonged argument.

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