April 2002

April 30, 2002 - St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin (Double)

Back to the Past?

From: Nick

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Could you comment on a statement about Vatican II "getting in touch with the ancient Church"? This seems to be a common Novus Ordo argument.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

That is a disingenuous and hypocritical argument sometimes floated by the Novus Ordo apparatus. It has long ago been shown up for the nonsense that it is.

Remember the old contention of the Novus Ordo for changing the form of the Consecration, against Catholic and Apostolic Tradition, because the local vernacular didn't have a word for many as opposed to all? That deception was maintained for 20 years until Msgr. Gamber bothered to check with a linguistic scholar, and then the truth came out. It was all a lie.

Remember the old contention that in the ancient Church, the altars faced the people? Then recent archaeology in Rome discovered underground churches, all with the traditional form. Another Novus Ordo lie.

If the Novus Ordo really wanted to "get in touch with the ancient Church," wouldn't it be a strong advocate for the Traditional Latin Mass and the use of the Latin language? After all, this is the Mass of the ancient Church. Most of the Novus Ordo worship service comes from the Protestants 1600 years later.

Pope Pius XII condemned this whole notion of "going back to the ancient Church," an error he called "archaeologism" in his great liturgical encyclical Mediator Dei of 1947. He hit the nail on the head 15 years before Vatican II, condemning the notion of altars facing the people, use of vulgar tongues in the Sacred Liturgy, failure to use black vestments for funeral Masses, and other deviations from orthodox Catholic practice.

In sum, there is nothing Catholic in this notion of "going back to the ancient Church." It is simply used as a ploy by the Novus Ordo to bilk unsuspecting Catholics out of the true Catholic faith and as a thin veil to justify New Morals, New Liturgies, and New Doctrine. Only a dullard could pick up the daily newspaper and not conclude that the post-Vatican II period in the Church has been little less than a disastrous farce, with very little Catholic about it.


From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The visiting SSPX priest mentioned in his sermon that Cards. Ratzinger and Hoyos have invited Bp. Fellay to Rome to discuss doctrinal matters and that Fellay has accepted their invitation. I hope that Fellay realizes that, unlike Campos, he will have to carry along with him all his lay adherents numbering around a million and that, in the event of a Campos-like sell-out, there will be many who, after giving their lives to the Faith, to tradition and to the Society, will feel betrayed and may turn hostile, much to the detriment of the Society.

It is indeed possible that Cards. Ratzinger and Hoyos may be pursuing, in reality, a course of action that will lead to the the fragmentation of the Society rather than its incorporation into the mainstream church. If the last stage of the Vatican-II revolution is to be implemented successfully, then the Vatican will do its best to put the SSPX out of the way.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

First of all, I fail to see how this topic is fit material for a sermon, but be that as it may, your point is well taken. The Modern Vatican will engage in quite deceptive practices to reach its own political goals. It is not interested in the SSPX; it is interested only in itself and making a good show for the world. More than anything else, traditional Catholicism embarrasses the Vatican because it is the only thing that calls the Vatican's modernism what it is.

If the SSPX leadership is dumb enough to fall for this kind of Vatican ploy, it deserves what befalls it. One has to wonder why the leadership continues to play with the Modern Vatican, whose goal is to destroy it. That is absolutely clear. A smarter policy would be: just say no. Otherwise, the SSPX will be like the moth that enjoys the distant warmth of the flame, but is finally drawn into the lethal center.

In any case, the SSPX, though it likes to exaggerate itself, represents only one-fourth of the Traditional Catholic Movement. If the leadership would be so dumb as to fall for the Vatican's ploy, there will undoubtedly be a schism in the SSPX, leaving seven-eights of the Traditional Catholic Movement intact. I know one SSPX bishop who has publicly stated that he will not go along. Many of the SSPX priests and faithful are also itching to become independent of the SSPX and its leadership and would happily do so if given this incentive.

April 29, 2002 - St. Peter of Verona, Martyr (Double)

A Spiritual Interpretation

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The recent scandal-mongering has given me a thought, and I'd like your thoughts on it. Is it better for guilty individuals not to have been born, as Scripture says, than to harm a little one?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

I believe that you are interpreting the Scriptural passage from St. Matthew (18:6) much too narrowly: "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6/DR; item Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2).

Most passages in Scripture are to be interpreted more on a spiritual plane than on a literal plane. In Catholic scriptural interpretation, this is what is known as the "anagogic" meaning, from the Greek "to lead" [to heaven]. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church interpret this passage in St. Matthew as referring, on the spiritual plane, not to children per se, but to every innocent soul. In any case, one could hardly call a teenager in our society a "little one," as opposed to a child not having reached the age of reason (7 years). Even under Canon Law, a teenager as young as 14 can contract marriage.

You see, it is not just children who are supposed to be innocent (though many of the them are not; those who follow Fatima will recall nine year old in Hell), but all of us. Rather, the passage is understood to mean that anyone who leads another into sin is guilty of a graver sin. It is one thing to sin oneself. It is much worse to lead another into sin. Thus, to apply your principle, we should all cut off our right arms and throw ourselves to the bottom of the sea, for we are all sinners, all scandal-mongers, and deserve the worst death, if not for our contrition and God's mercy.

April 28, 2002 - Fourth Sunday after Easter (Semidouble)

Not St. Ambroses

From: Fr. Moderator

Did you catch the item in the news reports that the American cardinals in Rome flew over their P.R. spin-doctors from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops? It seems that not only do these men not have the morals of princes of the Church, but they don't have the tongues either.

St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, was renowned for his oratory, which converted St. Augustine. St. John Chysostom's oratory was so highly regarded that he was given the eponym chrysostomos, golden-tongued. Can you imagine either of these bishops having "ghost-writers" or "spin-doctors"? Our modern American cardinals and bishops appear to be not only blind and deaf to evil, but dumb as well, showing that mere ecclesiastical investiture does not do it. As James Cardinal Gibbons, Abp. of Baltimore, put it: "It is not the cardinal that ennobles a man; it is the man that ennobles the cardinal."

Meanwhile, as the Novus Ordo Church crumbles around them, the Novus Ordinarians are still harping about a purported "schism" from the traditional side! I used to think that Novus Ordinarians were just confused. Now they seem to be downright demented!

The "scandal" is not going to be solved by likes of the Novus Ordo; they're simply chocking in their own offal, but there is so much of it around them that they can't smell it any more. No, the answer is clear. Don't "dialog" with the Novus Ordo, don't "compromise" with it, don't play "indult" games with it. Get away from it -- once and for all, completely.

In the words of Our Lord, the fall of that house will be great. These people better get out of the way fast, or they will be crushed in the fall.

Phony Psychology

From: Hal

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Do candidates for the Novus Ordo presbyterate have any psychological evaluations?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

What difference would it make? "Psychological evaluations" are just part of the pseduo-scientific mentality in this country, used to debunk anyone with orthodox opinions. "Modern psychology" is mostly politically-correct gobbledegook with a veneer of science, but in which there is very little science left.

Modern psychology is responsible for condoning homosexuality in the first place, determined by a political vote among psychologists (who were heavily lobbied by the "gay activists") and calling it normal. Undoubtedly, modern psychology will soon condone what is now being termed "inter-generational sex" (to remove the stigma) and will call it normal as well.

Modern psychology is what told those Novus Ordo bishops that certain individuals were "cured" in six months. Why would you put any trust in such pseudo-science? Modern psychology is a cause of the problem, not a solution.

April 27, 2002 - St. Peter Canisius, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

A Traditional Pioneer Dies

From: Fr. Moderator:

It is a bad reflection upon many segments of the Traditional Catholic Movement that they never give credit to the pioneers of the Movement who bucked the Novus Ordo apparatus not in 1988, but already in the 1960s.

The first of those, Fr. Gommar DePauw, left his prestigious position as Professor of Canon Law at the United States' premier seminar to say the Traditional Latin Mass after the first "modernizations" were imposed, in 1964. At that time he founded the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, whose bulletin, Sounds of Truth and Tradition, prominently quoted Pope St. Pius V's Quo Primum on its cover.

Another of these pioneers was Patrick Henry Omlor, who in 1967 published a critique of the new "Eucharistic Prayers" and the change in the Apostolic formula of Consecration entitled Questioning the Validity of the New, All-English Canon. Not only did he question its validity, but, through detailed Thomistic argument, proved its invalidity, two decades before the talking heads of the late 1980s appeared.

A third pioneer was Fr. James Wathen, who in 1971 published The Great Sacrilege. Fr. Wathen argued that not only was the "New Mass" invalid because of its violation of Sacred Tradition and an infallible papal bull, but that Pope Paul VI didn't even promulgate the "New Mass," but only ordered the publication of its text. The Modernists at the Vatican and out in the provinces turned a blind eye to the legality of the situation and imposed the "New Mass" on the Church anyway.

All three of these pioneers are still living, but a fourth went to his eternal reward on April 21, 2002. Walter Matt, born in 1915, was the youngest son of Joseph Matt, founder of the oldest American Catholic weekly, the St. Paul-based Wanderer, and was its editor for thirty years. When the Wanderer went Novus Ordo in the wake of Vatican II, Matt resigned from his position as editor and founded what is today the oldest traditional Catholic biweekly in the United States, the Remnant.

Viewing Vatican II as problematic for the Church for a variety of reasons, Matt helped establish what is called the "loyal opposition" -- that is, being loyal to the papacy itself, but in disagreement with the liberal ideas and changes in discipline that took hold in the Catholic Church, including that the tenants of that papacy, after the Second Vatican Council.

Since 1967, Matt spoke out tirelessly in defense of the traditional discipline and liturgy of the Church, which he believed were being overshadowed by novelty and liturgical experimentation. He dedicated his life to restoring the traditional Latin Mass, which had been replaced by Pope Paul VI's "New Order of Mass."

Requiescat in pace.

The Perversity of Immoral Diversity

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

This is in response to John's very poignant observations regarding today's youth and the recent "scandal." Indeed, the Church is not at fault. A handful of individual priests and bishops -- not to speak of Boy Scout leaders, teachers, parents, and relatives -- have seized the opportunity to get our young people to participate in corruption, brought on by 40 years of "cosmic theology" and milquetoast parenting. There is nothing of the traditional Catholic faith in this.

Why wouldn't a young girl or boy resist an advance from an adult? Because years of new "parenting techniques" instead of the traditional faith have turned our boys into sissies and our girls into aggressive sexpots. Self-defense begins in the home. It starts with strong fathers and strong mothers who ignore the dicta of political correctness and call a spade a spade.

First and foremost is defense of the soul and of the Faith. Properly catechized youth will see trouble long before it has a chance to lay hands upon them. Chastity must be instilled in boys, as well as girls. Children should be taught to recoil from the prevalent commercialized sexual imagery instinctively.

It's the same mentality that says "obey the New Order," "obey your bishop," even when they are preaching an unCatholic Mass and Sacraments, unCatholic doctrine, and unCatholic morality. Resist evil must be taught from the earliest age. Self-defense for good is what God expects from all of us.

In the 1950s, we were not given the mixed messages of today. Girls wore modest dress, and girls -- and boys -- were taught to control their lusts. There were no homosexuals visiting public-school classrooms extolling the "rights" of immoral practices. How can the kids be taught the truth about these despicable practices when to do so puts the parent and or teacher in the dock for a "hate crime"?

By closing ranks and using the many talented lawyers, priests, and organizations who do stand by what is right. There is great strength in numbers. It is high time that we organized a resistance to the "perversity of diversity."

April 26, 2002 - Sts. Cletus & Marcellinus, Popes & Martyrs (Semidouble)

Real Catholicism

From: William

Dear Fr. Moderator:

"Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder by destroying other people's faith in God by their terrible example. But I am here among you to prevent something far worse for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal -- who allow scandals to destroy their faith --are guilty of spiritual suicide." --Saint Frances de Sales

I've been reading in The Boston Globe and elsewhere about Catholics saying that they are ashamed to be Catholic because of the recent scandals. I'm not ashamed of the Catholic Church in the least. The Catholic Church didn't do these things; people disobeying the Catholic Church did them. And certainly Catholic teachings are not responsible for these scandals; people disobeying Church teachings are.

All I can say to this attitude is that if my faith depended on the sinlessness of priests, I'd be in big trouble. I've known cruel and vicious priests as well as priests of great kindness. I'm not a Catholic because of how priests behave. I've known some very holy priests; I've known some very bad priests. Most are kind of a mixture of the two like the rest of us.

My faith is built upon the rock of Christ -- not popes, bishops, or priests. Peter, the first pope, betrayed Christ. The popes after Vatican II have betrayed Christ. But don't expect me to jump ship. If every priest, God forbid, were on the road to hell, it would still remain my responsibility not to throw in the towel and follow them there, but rather to get my soul to heaven by clinging to Christ.

No one else is responsible for my salvation. I depend on priests for the Sacraments to help me get there, but the rest is up to me. Christ and me. If a priest is a criminal or a bad preacher or just plain ugly, I don't leave and go to some other Church. Catholics don't do that. I'm staying where the Blessed Sacrament is. When Christ Himself preached about the Sacrament, many of His followers quit. When He asked the Apostles whether they were leaving too, Peter said, "Where else are we to go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life."

I am proud of my Church's teaching and practice of a celibate priesthood, because it says there's more to life than sex. I'm proud of my Church's teachings on the male-only priesthood, because priesthood is not the road to "empowerment," but to humility and service -- something it's good to see men give their lives to these days. I'm proud of my Church for standing firm and bending the knee to Christ, not to the loud and noisy demands of political correctness.

No Protestant "Bible Study"

From: Ruth

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am a Catholic attending a Christian Bible Study for the last year. I am one of three Catholics in this Bible Study. On several occasions they have made comments regarding my Catholic Faith that I have felt very offended by. They say we do not study the Bible. There is a woman in the class who just became a "born-again Christian" after being a Catholic, and every time she speaks it is to criticize the Catholic Faith. I am confused and do not know whether I should return to this Bible Study. Please advise me.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Catholics are traditionally prohibited from participating in such groups as you describe. The reason is clear; you have given evidence of it yourself. Not only are you getting an ignorant, unCatholic version of Sacred Scripture, but you are getting a hostile version. You are placing your faith in jeopardy, and scandalizing others.

My strong recommendation is that you cease attendence in this group immediately. Obviously, your own faith is not informed enough to answer the attacks upon it. The blind are leading the blind. (That's from the Bible: your Protestant friends should recognize it!).

Either find a truly Catholic group, or arrange with a traditional priest for guidance in your reading, or start independent study though some of the Catholic works recommended in FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend? I would start with the Baltimore Catechism mentioned there, which has biblical quotations attached to each explanation of a tenet of the faith.

And when you leave that Bible Study, dusting the dirt off your shoes (that's in the Bible too!), you can tell those anti-Catholic bigots that they wouldn't even have an Bible to read if the Catholic Church hadn't preserved it for them!

April 25, 2002 - St. Mark & Greater Litanies (Double of the Second Class)

Today is that day set aside in the traditional liturgical calendar when we pray the Greater Litanies for the needs of the Church. Not surprisingly, the Novus Ordo has stricken this day from its calendar. Could it be that because of its refusal to pray the traditional penitential prayers such as the Greater Litanies or that to St. Michael, the New Order over the last 30 years sinks farther and farther into scandal, schism, and heresy from the Roman Catholic Faith?

I urge the laity today to join with the clergy in praying the Greater Litanies for the needs of the Church. For the Litanies of the Saints, click on LATPRAY: Useful Latin Prayers, Orationes Latinae Utiles or in the back of the more complete handmissals. These litanies are reserved in the Church for the most solemn occasions. They are prayed on Holy Saturday; at the ordination of subdeacons, deacons, and priests; and for those on the point of death. In the litanies is summoned the aid of the Blessed Trinity first, then the Blessed Virgin Mary, and finally all the major Saints of the Church, invoked individually by name. The litanies conclude with a number of invocations for every major need of the Church and its faithful.


From: Anna

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been seeing the initials IHS for my whole life and have only just realized that I do not know what they signify. Could you help me? Thanks in advance, and may God bless you for your efforts on this site. Where would we be without you?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

They are the first three letters of the Holy Name in Greek capital letters: iota, eta, sigma.

April 24, 2002 - Octave Day of the Solemnity of St. Joseph (Major Double)

The Mountain Comes to Mohammed

From: Andrew

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Last Sunday, when our traditional priest was making announcements before the sermon, he informed the congregation that during the week two Novus Ordo presbyters had come to him seeking instruction in the Traditional Latin Mass. Moreover, a Novus Ordo auxiliary bishop took the time to come and see the independent chapel.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

As the disaster of the Novus Ordo becomes too clear for anyone to deny, those Novus Ordinarian presbyters and bishops who have not been entirely corrupted by it will start to make tentative steps to return to the true Catholic faith and practice. I myself have been approached to give such training because the proposed "indult" priests often don't get any training. I understand also that indultarian priests are getting more and more "push-back" about their validity, whereas traditional priests' validity is viewed as solidly in the Catholic and Apostolic tradition. A lot has changed since 1988!

The traditional clergy will have to think very hard about how to respond to such situations. Charity would seem to argue for giving such help, but is it moral, when its result would be the "performance" of the Traditional Latin Mass, perhaps bastardized by Novus Ordo changes and add-ons, in the context of a Novus Ordo church building and of a Novus Ordo theology?

Some have gotten unduly upset about the exaggerated and substantially contrived "scandal" of recent days in the Novus Ordo. But it may be by this very "scandal" that more and more Novus Ordinarians will return to the true Catholic Faith. However, we traditional Catholics, while wanting to be encouraging, cannot settle for half loaves and compromises. An extra diocesan "Latin Mass" here are there just doesn't cut it.

The Novus Ordo must return 100% to the traditional Catholic Mass, Sacraments, and Faith. To sell out to "indults," half measures, and compromises would show that the Traditional Catholic Movement has learned nothing these last three decades, and we will only have failed Our Lord and His Church once again.

Why Didn't They Just Say NO!?

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

There is something about the alleged "scandal" going on in the Novus Ordo that bothers me. In virtually none of the alleged cases has force been claimed. It seems that these young adults went along with, or even instigated, the episodes of "scandal." Teenagers in our society can hardly be called children any more, now that they are openly taught prophylaxis in schools, have the "right" to an abortion without their parents' consent, and can be tried as adults for major felonies.

If any Boy Scout leader, teacher, coach, rabbi, minister, or priest had proposed something indecent to me when I was a teenager, I certainly would not have gone along with it. I would have hightailed it out of there and reported the entire matter to my parents.

Is the problem that our teenagers now, who are supposed to be so "mature," are actually sniveling cowards who don't have the moral backbone to say NO! to sex, drugs, and rock and roll as they did have in the 1950s?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Yours is one of the most perceptive points in this matter that I have read. You have hit the nail squarely on the head. The teenagers themselves have to share the moral responsibility in those situations where they could have simply said NO!. What did their parents teach them: if a Boy Scout leader, teacher, coach, or clergyman entices you to do morally perverted things, just go along? Obey without question?

Like you, I surely would have hightailed it away from any such situation and immediately reported it to my parents. That's what they taught me to do, and this was in the 1950s! Unfortunately, our teenagers are often not taught to stand up for what is morally right, no matter who is trying to entice them to evil. Rather, they have been taught to compromise, to be tolerant toward immorality. And, God help us, look at the devastation it has caused.

Today's paper reports that in 2000 there were nearly 900,000 cases of child abuse. Even if one took the worse figures about the Novus Ordo Church in the United States, these cases would hardly constitute one drop in a great bucket. Where is the commensurate outcry against the married males and females who are by far the worst child abusers, often of their own children or their own relatives? Once again, we have swallowed the one-sided propaganda of the liberalist, anti-Catholic media without applying our critical judgment to a situation in which everyone bears his own share of the responsibility.

As an example of the ignorance of the liberalistic media that so many swallow uncritically, I have just read yet another article in which the author is witless as to the distinction between celibacy and chastity. I even heard this morning on the radio the "world's greatest expert on the English language" flunk this test.

Celibacy is simply the state of being unmarried. Chastity is a moral virtue. Celibacy has no relevance to this matter, but chastity certainly does!

April 23, 2002 - St. George, Martyr (Semidouble)

Sign of the Cross

From: Barbara

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My handmissal does not distinguish between which signs of the cross are to be done by the people, as opposed to those to be done by the priest only, at Holy Mass and Divine Office. We have people in our chapel who do all of the signing along with the priest. Could you please clarify this, please?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The people may, optionally, make the sign of the cross in those prayers said aloud, if appropriate. For example, at Mass, when the servers sign themselves at the Indulgentiam after the Confiteor, at Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris at the end of the Gloria, at the Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini of the Sanctus, etc. The people would certainly not sign themselves in the places where the priest is blessing objects or praying alone or silently. At Divine Office, when all sign themselves at Deus, in adiutorium meum intende, at Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, etc.

Power Is Made Perfect in Infirmity

From: Ken

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can the Church canonize someone who has a basic inclination to sin?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

If we excluded those who had temptations to sin, there would be no Saints at all! All human beings have this inclination. We were born with it. Even after the waters of Baptism, we must battle it for the rest of our lives.

How many Saints, after all, have been murderers (St. Dismas), fornicators (St. Augustine), prostitutes (St. Mary Magdalene), etc.? The important thing is not what temptations we have -- all humanity has them. The important thing is how we respond to those temptations. If a person has any strong evil inclinations and overcomes them with faith and zeal, he is indeed exhibiting sanctity and love of the Lord.

It is a great error not to distinguish the temptation from the act. Life is a continuum of moral decisions in the face of temptations: to cowardice, to covetousness, to blasphemy, etc. By our moral acts, not by our subjective "feelings," we show our love of the Lord.

One of the greatest Saints, St. Paul, tells us that he had a lifelong temptation (we know not what) that he felt he could not overcome. Yet, the Lord's answer to him was: "My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity." (2 Corinthians 12:9/DR). As his case shows, the more one is tempted, the more one has the opportunity for sanctity.

A Question of Missal Orthography

From: Dave

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My handmissal (and indeed, most of the materials I have printed in Latin during the 50's and earlier) prints the Collect conclusions Per eumdem Dominum nostrum. However, my 1961 copy of the Breviarium Romanum uses eundem. Do you happen to know anything about this?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

It is in fact a matter of orthography, much as the choice between using j for the consonantal i, or i. In Latin, it is known that m (the bilabial liquid) was assimilated to n (the dental liquid) before d (the dental stop). So, eundem is perfectly appropriate. I find it so in the venerable classical Latin grammar of Allen & Greenough. There are many other examples of such phonetic assimilation for euphony, which is very common in language.

April 22, 2002 - Sts. Soter & Caius, Popes & Martyrs (Semidouble)

The Perils of the "Indefectibility" Argument

From: John (India)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Mr. D., a known columnist who writes in conservative and traditional bulletins, says that there is no dearth of bishops to ordain the priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). He seems to accept the post-1969 bishops just as he, in the past, has endorsed the Novus Ordo as valid on grounds of purported indefectibility of the NewChurch, even though the rites of ordination, as also the Novus Ordo, transgress the requirements for validity set out respectively in Pope St. Pius V's De Defectibus (1572) and Pope Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curae (1896).

That is like stating that both these papal documents had a "time-bar to indefectibility" or are to be viewed in a Modernistic, "contextual" way, making them inapplicable in the present crisis in the Church! Mr. D. overlooks the pensioning of Fr. B., former FSSP Superior, the replacement of staunchly Catholic professors in the FSSP seminary, and the bi-ritualizing of all "indult" groups in league the modern Vatican by the wiles of Protocal 1411 of 1999.

Furthermore, Mr. D. himself revealed from his sojourns in the Vatican with the purples and scarlets that the Ecclesia Dei Commission has been authorizing Masses in which the 1964 "modernizations" are permitted along with the use of the Novus Ordo (1974) Lectionary and even the distribution of communion in the hand.

Remember the case of Campos, Brazil, in which the once courageous traditional priests recently sold themselves out (in Vaticanese, "reconciled") to the NewChurch? As the American carnival barker P.T. Barnum once said: "An oral contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on!" These poor demused priests hadn't even been given the usual half-hearted Vatican written assurances, when the pope's person theologian, George Cottier, gave an interview to the Italian press, promulgating the Vatican's position that Catholicism and Novus Ordoism cannot be reconciled and that it will be only a matter of time before Campos will be snuffed out as a Catholic community in the same way that has befallen the FSSP and other "indult" groups through Protocol 1411 of 1999.

Fight Back!

From: Fr. Moderator

Our Lord did not fight back and He was Innocence Incarnate!

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Oh, yes He did fight back! He fought against the most powerful leaders of the Church, the Pharisees and the High Priests, called them again and again "hypocrites" and worse. He was so incensed at the commercialism that had invaded even the Church that he took up a whip and drove the money-grubbers out of the sacred precincts. It was He Who said: "Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword" (Matthew 10:34). It was probably this, as much as anything else, that lead them to conspire against Him.

Moreover, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul, never hesitated to use his Roman citizenship to fight the good fight against his Jewish persecutors and his Roman judges. When he was unjustly imprisoned, he forced the Roman praetor to come personally to the jail, release him, and even walk him out to the city gate.

This Novus Ordo, wimply, milquetoast Catholicism is really not Catholic, not Christian. Real Catholic theology teaches that we have every right to fight in justice to protect our good reputations against our calumniators.

April 21, 2002 - Third Sunday after Easter (Semidouble)

Priests Fight Back against Anti-Catholic Hysteria -- Finally!

From: Fr. Moderator

Just as TRADITIO predicted, priests have finally started to fight back against the anti-Catholic bigotry and hysteria of the "scandal," by turning the accusers' own weapon against them: the civil lawsuit. One has to wonder how many of these scandalous allegations would ever have been made, let alone covered in the media, if there weren't millions of dollars for the taking in lawsuits. Is it morality, or is it money that is the driving force?

There are far too many "crazies" out there -- men and women, and, yes, even teenagers -- who think that to assault a priest's virtue is a challenge and that thirty years later they can concoct a story, usually with a liberalist psychologist's assistance, to extort a bale of money from the Church. It's not hard to imagine why the Rev. X., of the Around-the-Corner Evangelical Church, is never attacked by these people; that church doesn't have millions of dollars for legal payouts!

As one of our correspondents pointed out: if someone takes money for sexual favors, what does that make the person? If a priests has in fact been guilty of criminal behavior, he should have been turned over to the civil authorities at the time it happened, not to the bishop. He should be properly punished by the civil authorities, and money should have nothing to do with it.

You may remember the spate of abuse charges approximately ten years ago. Daughters and sons came out of the woodwork to accuse a parent (usually a father), a brother, an uncle, or a family friend of sexual, psychological, and/or physical abuse when they were children. It became quite the "in" thing to do. Often the charges were made following therapy or counseling, during which so-called memories were often either planted or suggested. Many cases were found to be based on totally false accusations, but not until someone's name had been dragged through the mud and his reputation or, too often, his life was ruined.

It used to be that allegations were never made and investigated unless they had a prima-facie credibility. It used to be that Catholic teaching preserved one's right to a good reputation, free from detraction, backbiting, gossip, and even outright calumny. Now, however, it is all too easy to make false allegations to assassinate someone's character. Now it seems that anyone with impunity can make an allegation -- the more scandalous, the better. It's all part of the legal game we play, isn't it? It's all part of what has made our once reputable U.S. legal system a political plaything and a laughing-stock around the world. There's more that's "sick" here than meets the eye.

Priest Sues for Slander -- The First of Many?
Santa Ana, California
From a Wire Report
A priest has sued a woman who accused him of making unwanted advances. Monsignor Lawrence B. filed the slander lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against Lori H.

Who Is the Real Catholic?

From: Patrick

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Recently I spoke with a Novus Ordo presbyter about traditional Roman Catholics. He mentioned that in each of the past councils (Vatican I, Vatican II, and others) there have been those who split off from Rome. Because of this he was attempting disqualify traditional Catholics. What is the best way to defend against this idea?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The position of Sacred Tradition, by definition, is the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican I and previous councils held that position most firmly. Who, then, has "split off from Rome" -- traditional Catholics, who maintain the traditional doctrine and practice of the Roman Catholic Church for two millennia, or the self-styled "New Order"? Wouldn't the "New Order" be the one that has split off?

Was it the excommunicated St. Athanasius or St. Basil or St. Martin or any of the other bishops who "split off from Rome," or was it the Arian-controlled existential Church of their time that had split off, the existential Church that later fell under the weight of the opposition of only a small minority of bishops?

Ecclesiastical history gives us the answer. The excommunicated Athanasius now has Saint before his name. So does St. Basil, who also has The Great after his name. So does St. Martin. The pope of the time, commonly held to have personally fallen into the heresy, or at least to have suborned it through cowardice, does not have Saint before his name, the first pope in the series since St. Peter to have suffered that ignominy.

Those who stood fast in the Catholic and Apostolic Faith and Tradition, even in exile, were the Church, and they again became the existential Church when the heretics and schismatics within the very organization of the existential Church of their time, up to the hightest offices, had been purged out by the new broom of a strong, orthodox pope.

April 20, 2002 - Within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph (Semidouble)

SSPX Update XI

From: Fr. Moderator

A source from abroad reports that negotiations between the Vatican and the secretive Society of St. Pius X resumed again. According to the Superior of the Society, two letters arrived from the Vatican, one signed March 25 by Castrillon Cardinal Hoyos proposing the quick establishment of an "Apostolic Administration" with global effect, placed directly under the pope; the other one signed April 5 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who proposing the creation of a "commission" that would analyze in depth the theological disputes between the two parties (the betrayal of Sacred Tradition, the Novus Ordo worship service, religious indifferentism, false ecumenism, etc.).

The Superior replied: "These propositions look like a beautiful Rolls-Royce, but who will remove the nails from the road? It must be remembered that the French bishops, and even certain cardinals, are vigorously opposed to all agreement with the Society of St. Pius X. Do they want to integrate us, in order to disintegrate us?"

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The leadership of the SSPX since the death of Abp. Lefebvre has not been known for good sense, but in this case one has to concur with its judgment. From recent events, like that of Campos, Brazil, which Novus Ordoized a once-traditional organization, and that of Protocol 1411 of 1999, Novus Ordoizing the "indult" organizations, it is quite clear that the Vatican holds out a carrot to "mentally challenged" organizations, only to wield the stick when they have been imbecilic enough to acquiesce. Haven't heard much lately from the Fraternity of St. Peter, have you?

Hoyos and Ratzinger are the pope's "mouthpieces" (in the Philadelphia sense) to sweet-talk traditional Catholic organizations into letting the Vatican inject its Novus Ordo poison, after a suitable anaesthetic to benumb the poor folk. The idea of an Apostolic Administration (which is just a loss-leader in any case) is, in any practical sense, ridiculous. Can you image two churches, one traditional and one Novus Ordo in a given diocese, and the bishop putting up with it. Now that arrangement is likely to last a New-York minute!

If the SSPX should ever be foolhardy enough to eat the Vatican carrot and suffer from paroxysmal diarrhaea, it would still count for only a relative drop in the bucket, because the SSPX represents only a minority of traditional Catholics -- about one in four or fewer.

April 19, 2002 - Within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph (Semidouble)


From: Fr. Moderator
Associated Press
By Kim Curtis
Santa Rosa, California
April 17, 2002
A Roman Catholic [Novus Ordo] priest was found innocent Tuesday of raping a 14-year-old girl near the altar of a church in 1977, but guilty of two counts of lewd conduct involving the molestation of a 13-year-old girl in 1981. The Rev. [X], 58, was a popular youth minister who used rock 'n' roll to impart his religious message before the church removed him from his duties.

Here again we see that rock 'n' roll music is used as a vehicle to corrupt our youth, particularly when it is used in church. I wonder whether this sad incident would have occurred if the girl were singing in a Gregorian choir with nuns, after the traditional fashion.

April 18, 2002 - Within the Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph (Semidouble)

Is the Water Holy?

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do you think of the Novus Ordo blessed holy water? Is it valid and does, do the great graces derived from Holy Water attach?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The Novus Ordo rite for the blessing of (lustral) Holy Water is clearly defective. The traditional rite consists of three parts: (1) the exorcism of the salt (two prayers), (2) the exorcism of the water (two prayers), (3) the mixture of the salt and water (two prayers).

The exorcisms make explicit reference to Satan and his demons under various titles. The water is specifically blessed to be used to overcome the diabolical. For instance, the first prayer of exorcizing the water is as follows:

Exorciso te, creatura aquae, in nomine Dei + Patris omnipotentis, et in nomine Iesu + Christi Filii eius Domini nostri, et in virtute Spiritus + Sancti: ut fias aqua exorcizata ad effugandam omnem potestatem inimici, et ipsum inimicum eradicare, et explantare valeas cum angelis suis apostaticis, per virtutem eiusdem Domini nostri Iesu Christi: qui venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem.

[I exorcize you, creature of water, in the name of God + the Father almighty, and in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, Our Lord, and in the power of the Holy + Ghost: that you may become water exorcised for driving away all power of the Enemy, and to root out the Enemy himself, and that you may have power to cast him out with his apostate angels, through the power of the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord: Who is going to come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.]

The Novus Ordo rite, on the other hand, begins as follows:

Dominum Deum nostrum, fratres carissimi, suppliciter deprecemur, ut hanc creaturam aquae benedicere dignetur, super nos aspergendam in nostri memoriam baptismi. Ipse autem nos adiuvare dignetur, ut fideles Spiritui, quem accepimus, maneamus.

[Most dear brothers, let us humbly pray to the Lord, Our God, that he deign to bless this creature of water, to be sprinkled over us in memory of our baptism. Moreover, may He Himself deign to assist us, that we may remain faithful to the Spirit Whom we have accepted.]

A number of defects in the New Order immediately jump out:

  1. In the traditional rite, the priest, through the power of Holy Orders, exorcises and blesses the salt and water. In the Novus Ordo rite, the presbyter invokes no priestly power, but merely expresses a hope.
  2. In the traditional rite, the priest addresses God. In the Novus Ordo rite, the presbyter addresses the people.
  3. In the traditional rite, the priest exorcizes the salt and water for repelling what is of Satan. In the Novus Ordo rite, the presbyter never refers to Satan.
  4. In the traditional rite, the priest makes the Sign of the Cross twelve times over the elements (perhaps in reference to the number of Apostles) in the exorcisms and blessings. In the New Order rite, the presbyter makes only one Sign of the Cross.
  5. In the traditional rite, the priest explicitly refers to the Holy Ghost. In the Novus Ordo rite, the presbyter refers only to a "spirit to whom we have accepted." Is this the Holy Ghost, the "spirit of Vatican II," or some other "spirit"?
  6. In the traditional rite, the priest exorcizes and blesses the water "to bring health of mind and body and to drive off the malice and snares of the devil." In the New Order, the Holy Water is a memorial to baptism, much as in the worship service, the bread and wine are a memorial, not the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anyone can see what is going on here. The Novus Ordo rite, just like the rite of its worship service, implicitly denies the power of Satan, implicitly denies the power of Holy Orders, implicitly denies any effective action on the part of the blessed salt and water. If I were you, I'd certainly get an initial stock of Holy Water from a traditional priest and then, if in a case of necessity because of distance, continue to dilute the initial stock until it can be replaced.

April 17, 2002 - Solemnity of St. Joseph, Confessor & Protector of the Universal Church (Double of the First Class)

Why Two?

From: Gunter

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The Feast of St. Joseph is marked for the April 17 on TRADITIO, but my handmissal shows the same feast on March 19. Can you explain the reason for the change?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

It is not a change; it is a second feastday. The principal feastday of St. Joseph is on March 19. On that day we direct our thoughts to the Saint's life and virtues. Today's feastday, set on the Wednesday following the Second Sunday of Easter, "Good Shepherd" Sunday, we venerate the Saint as Protector and Patron of the Universal Church. The first words in the Introit of this Mass are: Adiutor et protector [Helper and protector].

In 1847 Pope Pius IX introduced the Solemnity of St. Joseph and ordained its celebration by the Universal Church annually on the third Sunday after Easter. Pope St. Pius X transferred the observance to the third Wednesday after Easter and added an Octave, for by this time it had become common to dedicate Wednesday to the foster father of Our Lord, just as Saturday had long been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

April 16, 2002 - Ferial Day

Jewish Convert to Traditional Catholicism

From: Fr. Moderator
Jewish Journalist Converts to Catholicism - and the Traditional Latin Mass
by Alberto Carosa
Excerpted from ITV News Service
November 9, 2001
On August 26, 2001, a young Jewish-born journalist, Joseph D'Agostino, baptized and officially welcomed into the Catholic Church. The baptism took place in the afternoon in the Church of San Gregorio dei Muratori (St. Gregory of the Bricklayers), where the journalist attended Mass, received his confirmation and first holy communion. Joseph D'Agostino is the assistant editor of America's oldest political weekly Human Events, based in Washington, D.C.
All the ceremonies were performed by Vatican canon Archbishop Alvim Custodio Pereira, assisted by Father Vittorio Mazzucchelli of the Christ the King Institute of Grecigliano near Florence, according to the traditional pre-1962 Roman Ritual.
Each Jew coming back "to the fold" may be considered the best answer to the smear campaigns against the alleged anti-Semitism of those Popes who, more than anybody else, toiled in favor of the Jews.
D'Agostino said that he had had an attraction to the Catholic faith all his life. In college, he remembered attending his first Mass and was disappointed that instead of Latin and chant, there was inelegant English and guitar. A fellow student took him to his first Traditional Latin Mass. He said that the Traditional Latin Mass is a highly Catholic Mass, a beautiful service that nurtured Saints for over 1,000 years. That the Novus Ordo is an inelegant, Protestantized innovation that departs from the organic tradition of the Church.
D'Agostino added that the Catholilc Church does not have a racist animus toward Jews. He personally knows several ethnically Jewish converts to the Faith, and the Church welcomes them. The Church has an animus toward false religions and philosophies, which encompasses all religions but her own, since the Catholic Faith is the one true Faith. In addition, since the Jewish people rejected Our Lord even though He was Jewish, and they were the Chosen People, they have a certain guilt that goes beyond that of other peoples.

April 15, 2002 - Ferial Day

For Evil to Triumph....

From: Mother Mary Bosco

During the Spanish Civil War, the Communist revolutionaries took the greatest delight in causing terror and destruction. The Catholic Church especially was the object of the revolutionaries' fury. On one occasion a band of these marauders forced their way into a Catholic church. They set about destroying everything else that they could lay their hands on. Being unable to detach the tabernacle, they broke open its doors. They opened the ciborium and with contemptuous delight, they scattered the Sacred Hosts over the floor. Then with the sacred vessels and other precious items, they departed.

After their departure, some of the villagers re-entered their church. With great sorrow, they looked upon their stripped and damaged church. They saw the saddest sight -- the Sacred Hosts stewn upon the floor. Their own priest had been driven out of town. What were they to do? Some of the villagers rushed to a neighboring town. There they found an elderly priest and told him of the horrors committed in their church. He too was shocked and enraged at these atrocities. "But," the people asked, "would he come to the church? Would he venture out while revolutionaries were running rampant? Would he do something? Would he please do something?

With tears in his eyes, the old priest nodded. He went to the church as quickly as he age would permit. When he entered, his face turned white with horror. Slowly he approached the Blessed Sacrament lying upon the floor. He got down on his knees. He stooped to pick up the Hosts while tears trickled down his cheeks. Over and over he could be heard to mutter lovingly: "My Jesus, they shouldn't have done this to Thee.... My Jesus, they shouldn't have done this to Thee.

We are horrified when we hear such a story of sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament. We are shocked by this outrage against Our Lord. Yet, true through the story is, it may seem a tale from another era. But, you know, this story is not so distant, nor so different, from what is taking place all around us. Revolutionaries have broken into our Church. They have torn down our altars, destroyed worship, doctrine, and morality. Having attacked the Church, they have wrought havoc in every facet of society. Our ear is saturated in sins: sins of impurity, immodesty, stealing, lying, cheating. Education has become a race to expose the children to the wickedness of this world as soon as possible. No longer do we "suffer the little children to come unto God," but we suffer the little children to come unto the filth of the world as quickly as possible.

"For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing." --English Statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

April 14, 2002 - Second Sunday after Easter (Semidouble)

What to Tell the Children?

From: Allison

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What is a traditional Catholic to think of all the recent "scandal" in the Novus Ordo? What should I tell my children?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

This is what you should tell your children:

  1. That the New Order is not Catholic and should be shunned to protect one's Roman Catholic Faith.
  2. That those who try to advocate a "new mass," a "new faith," and a "new morality" are not Catholic and are bound eventually to fall of their own corruption.
  3. That all may fall as descendants of the sin of Adam, including popes, bishops, priests, and laypeople, so we should not turn our religion into a personality cult of worshipping "JP2" or whomever.
  4. That only a return to the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments and the traditional Roman Catholic Faith can save the Church and society.

After all, isn't this the lesson that Our Lord is trying to teach us through the Trial of Faith since Vatican II? It is only through the fires of this trial that neo-Catholics are seeing that a return to the traditional Faith is the only solution, and that the Novus Ordo has been an abomination for the Church from its inception.

State of the Church in Denmark

From: Kathryn

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have lived in Denmark for about 35 years. I'm not Danish myself and have always felt a painful gap between the Church that I belong to and want to help to perpetuate, and the practice that I've found here. I don't mean that Danish Catholics are deficient in their sincerity and duty as they see it. Most of the clergy (and part of the congregations) come from other countries, principally from Holland and Poland, and the relatively few Danish families that are Catholics tend to "keep a low profile" and don't like to appear too un-Lutheran.

My own parish priest, himself a convert, is a native Dane, and has no interest in the observance of, e.g., Saints' days or anything to do with the traditional course of worship, let alone the Traditional Latin Mass. Recently, however, there have been some hints of a return to traditional observances cropping up. I have seen in the national Church newsletter that Latin Masses are being held again at some churches, and I attend when I can. In our parish, things are still very "Danish" and New Order. There are other congregations in Denmark that begin to lean more to the traditional.

April 13, 2002 - St. Hermenegild, Martyr (Semidouble)

A Mountain or a Molehill?

From: Anthony

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How much longer can this "scandal" go on before the Church is finished? I sit here in tears. Because of my church I'm trying to hold onto my faith as much as I can, but the bishops, cardinals, and yes the pope himself will not do anything. The only salvation for our holy Catholic Church is the return of the Latin Mass, devotion to the Saints, sound orthodox teaching. Do you think someone in the Vatican will wake up before it's too late?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

We shouldn't be so naive as to play into the hands of anti-Catholic forces in exaggerating what amounts to a small blip. The Church has always had problems in its human side -- whether immoral popes who had public mistresses, venal bishops who exorted money from their dioceses, and the like -- much more prevalent than this minor matter, which is being blown up out of all proportion to reality because of the anti-Catholic bias of the media and of society itself. The Church has always recovered when it has finally turned again to Christ and sought the grace to correct itself.

Remember that in this "scandal," we are not, for the most part, looking at the Roman Catholic Church, but only the New Order Church engineered since Vatican II, which we know is not faithful to Catholic doctrine. Why, then, should we expect it to be faithful to Catholic morals?

The great problem is not a few men in the Church who have fallen into a personal immorality that is far more prevalent in secular society, the Church being relatively free of such problems in comparison. The problem is that the Church and society at large have turned their backs on God and upon the true religion.

Laypeople are just as responsible as the clergy for this doctrinal and liturgical crisis in the Church as, unlike the laypeople of earlier times, they did not fight for the true Faith, but sat back while it was taken away from them in the name of a "New Order." God help them, they even excused and obeyed the Modernist clergy under whom these obviously phony, unCatholic reforms were being engineered and even kept paying their money to support it!

Our Lord is simply testing His Church, as He does periodically, shaking it out with the winnowing fan of the parable, separating the true Catholics from those who are trying to put over a man-created Church, in whose number are the vast majority of Novus Ordo bishops and presbyters.

When this period of trial ends -- whether in a decade or a century, as God wills--, the Church will have been purged of its dross, and the traditional Catholic and Apostolic faith will once more be restored, as it was in the 4th century, as it was in the 16th century. Take heart, O ye of little faith!

"Ecumenism" Goes Buddhist

From: Fr. Moderator First the pope kisses the Mohammedan Koran, which blasphemes against Christianity. Now the Vatican recognizes the cult of Buddhism, an atheistic philosophy, undoubtedly all in the name of "ecumenism."

Vatican City
April 9, 2002
Zenit News Service
Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, [and a well-known papabile to succeed the current pope] sent a message to Buddhists on the occasion of the traditional feast of Vesakh..., which commemorates the birth of Siddharta Gautama Buddha (April 8).... Cardinal Arinze's message [is] entitled: "Buddhists and Christians: Promoting a Culture of Life for the Future."

April 12, 2002 - Ferial Day

A Father's Dilemma Solved

From: Nino

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My son attended Novus Ordo schools for the past 10 years. They supply books on witchcraft and no religion is taught. It is no different from a public school. They allow dances for the children, and close dancing is allowed. Nothing Catholic is adhered to. I also struggled with the school because of my attendance at the Traditional Latin Mass. We were also required to support the Novus Ordo financially.

This past year, we enrolled our son in a traditional Catholic school. He loves it and is being taught the true Catholic Faith. I was told by my son that it is two different religions. He now serves at Holy Mass and wants to become a priest. To that father with a dilemma, I hope that he saves himself much grief and keeps his son out of the Novus Ordo schools.

April 11, 2002 - St. Leo, Pope, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

He Is not There

From: Jack

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Some of us, over and over in the last 40 years, have asked ourselves and have been asked by others: "What is going on with this Church of ours?" We asked it about the Mass, about the vanishing religious orders, about the disappearance of confession and veneration for the Holy Eucharist, about the games played with Scripture and the life of Christ, about the demise of Catholic schools.

Oh, we may have those little friendship clubs that we have been attending in former Catholic churches the last 40 years. But we won't have the places of worship we once knew: Those churches where you sensed God dwellilng the minute you entered the door. We won't have those Masses where you knew that the congregation was worshipping the Almighty with body, mind, and soul. We don't have that sense of a Church going back to Christ and worshipping and teaching today the same essential truth taught in the Gospel and handed down century upon century.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

But we do have all that! It is to be found in those churches and chapels all over the country and the world that preserve the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments, and the traditional Roman Catholic Faith, as it has been handed down for two millennia.

If you are looking for it in "New Order" churches, you are not going to find it. As on Easter morn, your Angel is telling you, "He is not here." You know it. All those who try to justify and excuse the very poison that you have described so eloquently in your message is increasingly falling on deaf ears. The fruits of 40 years of the unCatholic "New Order" are too obvious to everyone to deny. Maybe that wasn't so obvious to some people in the 1960s, but it certainly is now.

The question now is why so many still enter the tomb, pretending that instead of an empty shroud the tomb still holds the living Christ. Indeed, the consciences of many once good Catholics are dulled to the point that they will still, out of habit, enter the tomb of the New Order, knowing in their souls that Christ is no longer there. They will worship bread and grape juice, knowing in their souls that it is not the Blessed Eucharist.

You need to get a copy of the Traditional Directory and find a traditional Catholic church or chapel -- even if you have to travel some distance to it, even if it is so distant that you can only attend the true Mass once a month, or once every several months. One true Mass is of infinite merit in the eyes of God. The Novus Ordo worship service is a desacration, as you yourself have described it.

Christ is risen. He is not there, in the New Order. Those still malingering in the New Order need to heed the advice of St. Paul:

It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed and the day is at hand. Let us, therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:11-12/DR).

That armour of light is the light of Christ, found where it always has been and always will be: in the traditional Roman Catholic Faith. Men may pervert that Faith, defile it, deny it. Nevertheless, it remains one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. And no layman, priest, bishop, or even pope, if he departs from that Faith, is Catholic. No matter what the sign says on the church door, no matter how high is his throne.

April 10, 2002 - Ferial Day

A Pro-Catholic History

From: Fr. Moderator

This excerpt from Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, a 2000-Year History by H.W. Crocker III is the most insightful summary of the truth about the Catholic Church I have seen recently.

What was most at stake in the Reformation was freedom. The Catholic Church was freedom's defender, and not merely by defending Europe against the Turks.
It was the Church that nurtured the artistic freedom of the Renaissance and the Baroque. It was the Protestants who smashed religious art as idolatry and sensualism.
It was the Church that sponsored the literary freedom of the humanists, and the Protestants who condemned it as paganism.
It was the Church that affirmed man's free will, and the Protestants who insisted that every man's fate was determined before he was born.
Most of all it was the Catholic Church that stood opposed to the absolute power of the state. It was the Church that claimed to be a universal, independent, and superior court of appeals to the edicts of kings, while the Protestants made religion a department of government to be controlled by princes (in Germany), or the city council (in Geneva), or the monarch (in England and Scandinavia).
There is, in fact, a much underappreciated libertarian [in the best sense of that term] streak within the Catholic Church.

April 9, 2002 - Ferial Day

A Father's Dilemma

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I find your website to be extemely helpful and eye-opening. I only recently have discovered a church that celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass here where I live. For years I have attended a "modern" day Catholic Church. However, I do have a dilemma. The church I have been attending for the last 8 years also has a grammar school where my son was just accepted. In comparison to other schools in the area, it is far more acceptable. He will be exposed to the Catholic religion at school as well as a level of discipline and faith not found in the public system.

I feel obligated to attend the church at this school due to his attending that school. But, at the same time, the graces that are bestowed on each of us who attend a Traditional Latin Mass require attendance at this Mass. How do I manage this situation where I want the best education for my children, one with faith and knowledge, while ensuring they receive the blessings and grace that can only be received at a proper Traditional Latin Mass?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

I think that the key to this dilemma is to be found in your sentence: "I feel obligated to attend the church at this school due to his attending that school." You shouldn't. You have already indicated that the true Mass of the Roman Catholic Church is the Traditional Latin Mass, which you have been fortunate to find locally.

You need to analyze the priority of your obligations. The first and highest is to love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and your whole soul, and your whole mind. You can't do that at the Novus Ordo worship service, fabricated by a Freemason with the assistance of six Protestant ministers, one of whom recanted on his deathbed. You can do it at the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments that Providence has made conveniently available to you.

Remember that it's not just the Latin Mass, it's the Traditional Latin Mass. The issue here is not just the Latin, granted its supreme importance in preserving Sacred Tradition, but also the faith, doctrine, and practice of the truly Roman Catholic Church.

Personally, from what I have heard from teachers in Novus Ordo schools, I would have my doubts that your son "will be exposed to the Catholic religion at school as well as a level of discipline and faith not found in the public system." The question is whether what your son is being exposed to in that school is in fact Catholic at all, or whether he is being indoctrinated with a false "New Order" religion that is posing under the name of "Catholic." But that is your practical decision as a father to make. Maybe the "Catholic" school and the public school are equally good and bad, but you find the "Catholic" school to be safer or more disciplined, and to be preferred on that account.

Nonetheless, if your "Catholic" school is like most "Catholic" schools, it is probably composed of more pupils who are Protestants, Jews, and people of no faith than "Catholics." I would assume that these people aren't going to church at that school. There is no reason for you to conclude that you have to either.

April 8, 2002 - Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double of the First Class, Transferred)

The Date of Easter

From: Chester

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Can you tell me how the date of Easter is set every year? Also, why is the Eastern Orthodox Easter different from ours except for once every four years?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

During the second century a heated dispute arose over the date of Easter. Pope Victor I terminated the controversy by threatening with excommunication all those who failed to comply with the Roman custom, which set Easter on the Sunday following the 14th day of the full moon that occurs on or next after March 21, the vernal equinox, when the Passover began.

That day was regarded as the exact date on which Christ arose from the dead, according to the authority of Sts. Peter and Paul. The date was confirmed by the First Ecumenical Council of the Church at Nicea, two centuries later.

The Old Calendar Eastern Orthodox use not the Gregorian calendar promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII that the West uses, but the earlier Julian calendar promulgated by Julius Caesar. Under the Julian calendar, the year is actually 11 minutes and 14 seconds shorter than what was figured. Thus, the extra leap day every four years was about 45 minutes too long; by the fifth year the new year began 44 minutes and 52 seconds after the sun had actually passed the equinox.

After about four centuries the calendar was three days off, and there also happened to be a misunderstanding about leap year, as it was thought to occur every three years instead of four. After the Julian reform, the vernal equinox was designated to be on the 25th of March, but at the Council of Nicaea (325), this was changed permanently to the 21st day of March, which had great bearing on determining the feast of Easter.

Unfortunately, with a mistaken system of a leap year occurring every three years, by the sixteenth century the calendar was already ten days behind the Nicene calculation. This meant that the vernal equinox fell on the 11th of March, the autumnal equinox on the 11th of September, and the winter and summer solstices were on the 11th of December and the 11th of June.

Finally, the dilemma was presented to the Council of Trent. Pope Gregory XIII had consulted the most brilliant minds of their time (Lilius, Clavius, and Chacon) for devising the new calendar. First of all, the ten extra days were eliminated. The Church also determined that it would omit three leap years from every four centuries, and thus eliminated the superfluous days. Then it was determined that the centurion year, or the year ending in a hundred, would be a leap year only if the number of the years was divisible by 400. The year is still 26 seconds over the actual astronomical calculation, but with the present system it will be about 34 more centuries before the calendar will be off by a day, which will not occur until about the year 5300.

April 7, 2002 - Low Sunday (Major Double)

Irish? - No, Roman!

From: Joan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I just have to tell you how much I appreciate your Irish (you must be) phrasing and terminology. You remind me of my Irish father who had no use for hypocrites, doubletalkers, fence sitters, pipsqueaks, pussyfooters, or educated nitwits. There is just nothing quite like the Irish wit and wisdom.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Actually, I have no Irish blood at all. My style is modeled upon the classical Roman satirist, Juvenal. Although the Romans based most of their literary forms on the Greek, satire was a home-grown Roman literary form, of which the Romans were proud. Juvenal, writing at about the time of the death of St. John the Apostle, wrote satires about the ills that he saw growing in the city of Rome in his day. It is amazing how similar those ills are to those we are facing today in Church and in society.

Those "Indult" Seminaries

From: Joanna

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Though we hear that the "indult" organizations are crumbling, we hear from them that their seminaries are overflowing, with brochures showing pictures of the many priests and laments that they need more space for applicants to the priesthood. Confusion abounds.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

As to those "indult" seminaries, one has to be very cautious. One of them has already been exposed recently as deceptive. They put out pretty pictures, spent enormous sums on glossy mailings, and bought junk-mail lists to tug on traditional Catholics' heartstrings, but in reality it seems to have turned out to be a front for something no better than the Psychic Hotline, staged with beautiful "production values," but, in Shakespeare's phrase, "all sound and fury, signifying nothing." Moreover, many of these organizations have stooped even to turning solicitations into little more than lotteries. Is that what these seminaries think of the morals of traditional Catholics?

My consistent advice to traditional Catholics in almsgiving has been to donate primarily to their local traditional church or chapel, both as an obligation of justice and where they can see how the money is being spent. Given the nature of the times, I would eschew giving to "organizations," which simply grinds up the money in bureaucracy, and you never know where it is being spent.

What is left over can be given to carefully scrutinzed secular organizations -- not the Red Cross, the March of Dimes, etc., which eat up donations in administrative fees -- but smaller, more local organizations, where the donor can see how the money is actually being spent and even participate in the charitable work of the group.

April 6, 2002 - Easter Saturday (Semidouble)

Quo Vadis, Una Voce?

From: Fr. Moderator

Those who were around in the 1960s will remember that after the Catholic Traditional Movement started by Fr. Gommar DePauw in 1964, the organization next most known for its work to save the Traditional Latin Mass was Una Voce. Apparently, Una Voce of late has fallen on hard times. From a Winter 2002 article in The Latin Mass, an "indult"-based periodical, it appears that Una Voce's current president indicates that the organization has, for all intents and purposes, sold the farm to the Novus Ordo. Statements such as the following demonstrate the nadir of a once courageous organization.

It is sad to see the nadir into which these "indult" organizations have fallen. The "indult" has truly become a wasteland, both intrinsically and as a result of the Modern Vatican's Protocol 1411 of 1999. Thank God for the Fr. DePauws of our Roman Catholic Church, who, like Our Lord, had no truck with human respect, but did what their priestly oath called for -- without hesitation, without temporizing, without pussyfooting.

April 5, 2002 - Easter Friday (Semidouble)

Is there a "Mercy Sunday"?

From: Ralph

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have heard talk of a "Mercy Sunday" after Easter. Could you please enlighten me as to exactly what is this "Mercy Sunday"?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

"Mercy Sunday" is not on the traditional calendar. In fact, it is associated with a highly suspect devotion, which has been suppressed in the past. On the traditional calendar, this coming Sunday is Low Sunday, the Octave Day of the Resurrection, known officially as Dominica in Albis because those baptized at Easter would wear their white baptismal garments for the last time.

A local devotion under this title, which is associated with one Sr. Faustina and a chaplet of the Divine Mercy, was approved by the Ordinary of Vilnius in 1936 and from there spread rapidly, especially after World War II in the United States. It was suppressed under Pope John XXIII in 1959 for "faulty translations" of Sr. Faustina's diary. The diary itself indicates a devotion very much the product of traditional spirituality, not of the Novus Ordo. The devotion, however, has been corrupted by the Novus Ordo -- with changed prayers, some quite different from the approved 1958 versions.

The devotion is very similar to that of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is a much more ancient devotion, having grown in the Middle The devotion is very similar to that of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is a much more ancient devotion, having grown in the Middle Ages through the efforts of St. Bernard and St. Gertrude. However, it was in the latter half of the seventeenth century that news of three private revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque concerning the Sacred Heart swept the Catholic world and shortly led to the establishment of a feast on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi (the Friday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost).

This year the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on Friday, June 7, with an External Solemnity on the following Sunday, June 9. On this day, before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed, the Act of Reparation of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is made in accordance with the Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI on May 8, 1928, and the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is recited.

The Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was extended to the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX in 1856, became a feast of atonement for human ingratitude toward God in spite of the supreme sacrifice of Calvary. The theme for the new Mass and the Divine Office was taken from the words of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary: "Behold the Heart which has loved men so greatly, but which has been given so little love in return."

Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus has been richly indulgenced by the Church, and a Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the five approved for public recitation. Given the apparent Novus Ordo corruption of the original devotion to the Divine Mercy, of more recent vintage, it would be prudent to stay with the more ancient and universally-approved devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Modern Vatican Discounts Notion of Traditional "Schism"

From: Helmut

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The Vatican, with the signing of a single piece of paper, "reinstated" the independent traditional priests and bishop of Campos, Brazil. By all accounts, this paper declared nothing more than what they had always believed -- the primacy of the papacy and the fact that Vatican II was, indeed, an Ecumenical Council (with no dogmatic force). No other action was required. Bishop Rangel, who was consecrated by traditional bishops, did not have to be (re)consecrated; no priest had to be (re)ordained. The faithful of Campos required no guidance as to the validity of their marriages, confessions, and other Sacraments provided by the independent priests during their "schismatic" years.

The Vatican's lack of concern and sacramental action tells me two things:

  1. The Sacraments offered by the independent bishop and priests were valid even in the eyes of the Modern Vatican (continuing logic says that the bishop and priests were already in communion with the Church).
  2. The souls of the faithful were not in mortal jeopardy during these years of alleged "schism."
  3. Priests who celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as the other Sacraments that they offer, are indisputably valid. (The Remnant)

Fr. Moderator Replies:

All the nonsense bandied about Novus Ordo circles about a traditional "schism" isn't even believed by the Vatican. It is simply fanned by the Novus Ordo apparatus to undermine true Catholicism and keep control of church buildings, schools, hospitals -- and, of course, the money. And why should we begrude the Novus Ordo the money? After all, most of it will be used to pay off lawsuits!

Of course, traditional Catholics have never been in "schism," but have always been in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. But we all know what is really in schism from the true Roman Catholic Faith -- and that is the New Order, whose very name gives it away.

Of course, the independent traditional priests are valid and have always had full faculties through the Church itself. The real question is whether Novus Ordo presbyters are valid.

Of course, the Traditional Latin Mass and the other Traditional Latin Sacraments are indisputably valid. The real question is whether any of the Novus Ordo sacraments are valid (except probably Baptism and Matrimony).

April 4, 2002 - Easter Thursday (Semidouble)

Pope Approves Patron Saint for Witches

From: Fr. Moderator

Now here's a story that must be making the Saints turn over in their graves. Witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, necromancy, astrology, seances conducted by mediums, and so forth have long been condemned in Catholic theology as sins against the First Commandment. If the London Times is correct, the current pope proposes to name a patron saint for conjurers, magicians, and wizards. A wizard is simply a male witch. Will the pope now take after Mantelli and wear a clown's red nose when celebrating his next Mass?

Sunday Times of London
Pope gives blessing to a patron saint of Harry Potter
March 31, 2002
...Thanks to Pope John Paul II, Harry will soon have a patron saint to turn to when spells threaten to go horribly wrong, writes John Follain. The Pope is planning to name Saint Don Bosco, a 19th-century Italian priest as the patron saint of conjurers, magicians and wizards. The idea is the brainchild of Father Silvio Mantelli, a bespectacled priest and magician who boasts the stage name Mago Sales and has devoured all of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. He likes to celebrate mass wearing a clown's plastic red nose.
During a papal audience in January, Mantelli gave the Pope a magic wand from India. "I asked whether he would be willing to name a patron saint for magicians and wizards and I suggested Don Bosco. The Pope told me this would be a way of spreading peace and wonder in the world, Mantelli said. A month later the Vatican wrote to him confirming that the Pope had given his seal of approval.
Not all Catholic officials are convinced of the benefits of magic. Last December Father Gabriele Amorth, the church's best-known exorcist, said Harry Potter was inspired by the devil.

Time for Confessions

From: Gina

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do you think of hearing confessions before Mass? My priest of many years, an independent traditional priest who died some time ago, did not agree with this practice. The Society of St. Pius X, as well as others, do hear confessions before Mass. I understand there might be exceptional circumstances, such as not having resident priests, or only seeing a priest once a month. And, of course, there are emergency situations. What about a "normal" situation, with resident priests and confessions offered every Saturday?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

With sufficient priests and available churches/chapels, Saturday confession is commendable, though not obligatory. In our times, with limited traditional priests and churches/chapels, such an arrangement is often not possible, so that it is necessary for confessions to be heard early Sunday morning before Divine Office or after Mass. Moreover, the faithful often have to travel a longer distance now to receive the Sacraments, so it would be necessary for them to have to drive to a church/chapel two days in a row.

The Man Who Saved Sacred Music

From: Carol

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I recently heard that the music of Palestrina is the most beautiful he has ever heard. Do you know of this music and where it can be obtained from?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina was a composer of polyphonic sacred music for the Catholic Church around the time of the Council of Trent. It is a common story that the Council Fathers, not caring for the worldliness into which polyphony was tended, considered allowing only the Gregorian chant for the Mass and Divine Office. Palestrina then wrote his Missa Papae Marcelli, which was so sublime that the Council Fathers relented from their prohibition.

Indeed, Palestrina's music is the quintessence of Sacred Polyphony, that is, music that has more than the one unison melody of Gregorian chant. Polyphony was to develop later into the classical Masses of Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, and other great composers. When listening to Palestrina, one is immediately transported into a great cathedral and is entranced by the sublimity of the pure melodies and harmonies. There were others who wrote in a generally similar fashion a little before and a little after Palestrina, but none achieved the apex of the art that Palestrina did. His hand is unmistakable after a few measures.

There are many recordings of Palestrina. He wrote many Masses and motets, but I would start with his most famous and most praised, the Missa Papae Marcelli. For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for FAQ7: What Sacred Music Recordings Do You Recommend?

April 3, 2002 - Easter Wednesday (Semidouble)

Eastern Rites under Attack

From: Jake

Dear Fr. Moderator:

If anyone understands tradition and resistance to change, it is the Coptic Orthodox. My neighbor, a Coptic Orthodox Christian, does not have a church locally and has to travel 1-2 hours to attend the Divine Liturgy at a Coptic church.

Realizing that we are of the same apostolic lineage, he often attends the Traditional Latin Mass with my wife and me. We spend quite a bit of time on our porches comparing the Catholic and Orthodox faith, and we often compare the texts of their Divine Liturgy with the prayers in my missal. I have also observed the Coptic Orthodox Divine Liturgy and could easily see the parallels with the Catholic liturgy. I often see him on his front porch carrying a rosary, so I have offered on several occasions to teach him how to pray it. He has a deep devotion to Our Lady and has pictures and statues of her throughout his house. I often think that he may deep down be a Catholic want-to-be.

The Coptic Church in America is under the same kinds of pressure that the Catholic Church is, including pressure to convert their liturgy to English and shorten their service. Many of the Coptic youth no longer speak or read the ancient Coptic language and don't want to attend a 3.5-hour Divine Liturgy. I have warned my neighbor that many other pressures to change will follow and have cited many examples in our own "American Catholic" Church.

Easter Sunday, I invited Vick to go along with my wife and I to a traditional chapel here in my home town. He attended the Novus Ordo worship service a couple of years ago with me and more recently the "Indult" Mass as well. He loved the beauty of the unaltered Traditional Latin Mass and he told me that this is exactly how thing should be done. He loved the devoutness and reverence in the traditional Mass and really enjoyed being there. After attending the Novus Ordo, the Indult mass and the unaltered traditional Mass, he, an Coptic Orthodox Christian, fully appreciated the continuation of our true apostolic tradition and told my wife and me that the traditional Mass was the right way to go.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The liturgical scholar Fr. Adrian Fortescue once wrote: "The ruthless destruction of the ancient rites in favor of uniformity has been the work not of Rome but of the schismatical patriarchs of Constantinople. Since the thirteenth Century Constantinople in its attempt to make itself the one center of the Orthodox Church has driven out the far more venerable and ancient liturgies of Antioch and Alexandria and has compelled all the Orthodox to use its own late derived rite."

It is true now that 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. The Uniates have the additional problem of bastardization by Neo-Modernism introduced into their rites after Vatican II.

There is the occasional church with an Eastern-rite liturgy that has not been corrupted by history or Vatican II, but such a church is more by far like the proverbial needle in the haystack than the Traditional Latin Mass is!

As to the Coptic Orthodox, Coptic is the form of the ancient Egyptian language as it was spoken and written in approximately New Testament times. It was significantly through his knowledge of Coptic that the French linguistician Champollion was able to decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and thus to open to us the historical and literary treasures of that great civilization.

I understand from the Greek Orthodox archbishop of the local metropolis here in the United States that much of the Apostolic Greek (Byzantine) liturgy has been vernacularized out of its Sacred Language. "The young people don't know Greek anymore," he said. So, we have to use English." "Archbishop," I said, "why don't you instead do the right thing and teach them Greek!"

I note that the religious Jews for insisting that their young men learn at least enough Biblical Hebrew to chant from the Torah at their Bar Mitzvah. The Jewish youth are expected to attend Saturday School to learn their Sacred Language. The Conservative and Orthodox Jews retain the ancient Hebrew in their services. The Reform Jews gave up the use of a good deal of their Sacred Language, but are now, I understand, returning to Hebrew because they began to lose their faith and culture, which is closely tied with their Sacred Language.

By the same token, any Catholic who is sincere about his faith should have at least some acquaintance with his Sacred Language, the most important of them all, Latin, in which all the treasures of his faith are preserved and handed down. I have been pleased to note an increased interest among the Catholic faithful to become more acquainted with their Sacred Language, since they, like the religious Jews, have come to understand that, as Pope Pius XII said: "The day the Church abandons her universal tongue [Latin] is the day before she returns to the catacombs." The truth of the Pontiff's words are today evident before our very eyes.

Hypocritical or Traditional?

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am confused by the initial verses of chapter 15 of St. Matthew's Gospel and its application to the Church today. Looking at the state of the Roman Catholic Church today, I wonder: who is Our Lord referring to (or might be referring to) in this passage? I consider myself a traditional Catholic, but it doesn't appear as if Christ were pleased with traditionalism. Are we Traditionalists being reprimanded in this passage? I don't believe we are. After all, Christ Himself observed Tradition, so this passage is confusing me.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Our Lord is here speaking of the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, the leaders of the Church at the time, in perverting their Tradition. If anything, this passage would be a condemnation of the New Order today, not traditional Catholicism. The Scribes and the Pharisees were not following their Traditions; they were transgressing and perverting them, as Our Lord says here. Moreover, they did so hypocritically, claiming that they are following their Tradition (as the Novus Ordinarians often claim to revert to an earlier Catholicism), whereas in fact such statements are a smoke-screen to their violation of Tradition deceptively, and even maliciously.

April 2, 2002 - Easter Tuesday (Double of the First Class)

We're Not Going to Take It Any More!

From: Fr. Moderator:

Good people, we've entered a new phase in the Traditional Movement. Now it seems that even "indult" Catholics are becoming aware that the "indult" is based upon the mere whim of local bishops whose goal is to control and then destroy the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith.

Well, as the following article shows, the "obedience to the local bishop, come hell or high water" argument is falling flat, after thirty years. Like the English Recusants under Elizabeth I, Catholics are more and more fighting back aggressively, crying "We've had it, and we're not going to take it any more!" They are practicing their Roman Catholic Faith outside the diocese, if that is necessary for the time being, following the precedent of the independent bishops of the Arian Heresy of the 4th century.

TRADITIO has learned of more and more such cases, as the "indult" begins to put the squeeze on diocesan Catholics to taper of the "indult" Mass and into the Novus Ordo. Vatican Protocol 1411 of 1999 has already forced the "indult" societies (Fraternity of St. Peter, Society of St. John of Scranton, and Institute of Christ the King) to start making the same transition. Although some "indult" sites do offer the Traditional Latin Mass of 1962, most of them cannot offer the traditional Sacrament and preach the unadulterated Roman Catholic Faith without Novus Ordo modifications. More and more, traditional Catholics are finding their refuge in independent traditional churches and chapels across the country and around the world, which are not forced to conform to local Novus Ordo bishops.

Bishop bans Latin services
By Mary Garrigan, Rapid City, Iowa Journal Staff Writer
RAPID CITY -- A standoff between Latin-rite Catholics in Rapid City and their bishop has left the Latin Mass congregation of St. Michael's choosing to celebrate Good Friday services on the sidewalk instead of in church.
Members of the Latin Mass community, which has met in Rapid City for the past 12 years at Immaculate Conception Church on Fifth Street, say Bishop Blase Cupich has barred them from celebrating Good Friday and Easter vigil services at the church in an attempt to mainstream them into the English-language Mass.
"We've been prohibited by the bishop from celebrating the Easter Triduum liturgies and locked out of our church from noon on Holy Thursday until 8 a.m. on Easter morning," Dan Carda, 58, of Piedmont, said. Carda is a Latin Mass adherent who refuses to participate in the new-order English-language Mass that was mandated by the Second Vatican Council. Instead, Carda and some of the other 220 members of St. Michael's congregation will gather at 3 p.m. today for Good Friday services on the sidewalk in front of the church.
[Now here comes the Novus Ordo propaganda and the death knell for "indultiesm."] Cupich sees his decision to not allow Good Friday Latin services at ICC as an invitation to unity, not a denial . "We're just looking for an opportunity on an annual basis for us to all worship together, for one moment of unity as a Catholic church," Cupich said. "I'm looking for one time each year to do that, and it seems the day the Lord died for us all would be a good day to do it. That's all that this is about." He said he would like the Latin Mass community to recognize unity with the wider Catholic church. "There has to be some occasion on a yearly basis to reflect the fact that we are one church under one bishop," Cupich said. "I would ask them, 'Why do they find it so difficult, on the day of the Lord's death, to celebrate with their bishop, who is the sign of the Lord's unity?'"...
His understanding of Ecclesia Dei [the papal epistle generally believed to allow an "indult" Mass] is that "... eventually, Catholics have to understand that the reform of the Second Vatican Council is, in fact, an improvement and is important to our spiritual life." Rome, Cupich said, has [erroneously] made it clear that any celebration of the Latin tradition is at the discretion of the local bishop. "And I've made my decision," he said.
Carda sees it differently. "This is his most-effective time to crack down, during Holy Week," Carda said, noting that Catholics such as he expect the elaborate pomp and circumstance of the Latin rite during Holy Week. "I'm quite upset. It's disappointing and very disheartening," Carda, who has drafted a letter of complaint to Pope John Paul II, said. "I don't know why he feels like we are such a danger to him." [Unfortunately, Protocol 1411 makes it clear that the Vatican will support the Novus Ordo bishop in this, as the Vatican has now completely sold out in Vatican II "collegiality" in caving in to bishops turned petty local autocrats.
Carda and the Rev. Valentine Young, pastor of the St. Michael's community, say celebrating Holy Week in Latin is their right. They have a different understanding of the pope's position on the continuation of the Latin-rite Mass than does Cupich. The bishop's decision to prohibit some Holy Week services, as well as his recent decision to not allow children to make their First Communion or to be confirmed in the Latin rite, is contrary to the pope's wishes, Carda said.... After Vatican II, Carda stayed away from the Catholic Church for 30 years, returning only when the Latin rite started being celebrated again in a Sturgis congregation. "To me, the Latin rite is the real church. When you attend, you feel something very special that you do not when you attend a Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass," he said.

That Old Modernist Line

From: Patrick

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The following was written by a conservative Novus Ordo Brother. Is there something wrong with this statement? "The traditional Mass is a 'form,' not a dogma, as it is limited to the Latin Rite alone. The Church can change the form of the liturgy at any time she pleases."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, there is something wrong with that statement. It is not in accordance with Catholic doctrine, but is one of the false Modernist lines that has lead to the practical destruction of the Mass in the New Order.

The Mass is dogmatic -- more than any catechism, any encyclical, or any council. It is Christ's own teaching, conveyed through his Apostles, the true Church being one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Doctors of the Church have consistently taught that anyone, including a pope, who significantly touched the Apostolic Mass, was acting illegally and is not to be obeyed. For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for POPELIM: The Limitations of Papal Authority from the Writings of Roman Catholic Popes, Councils, Saints, and Theologians.

The Roman Rite is the precedential and universal rite of the Church, being the rite of the Apostolic See at Rome, the rite of Sts. Peter and Paul. There are a few Eastern rites, but they not universal, but restricted to limited areas. Thus, the Roman rite is not just a rite, but the rite of the Church.

If you read any book before the Modernist period of the 20th century, you will find that this understanding is clear. It was only when the Modernists wished to change the Faith that they came up with this novel and unCatholic notion of the Mass not being dogmatic, but changeable willy-nilly at the whim of any pope. Any pope before Paul VI, including John XXIII, called that idea anathema!

Conservatives Caving

From: Fr. Moderator

It appears that the conservative Novus Ordinarians, that is, those who go along with the Novus Ordo worship service, but want it to be "better," and who generally have the approach of "my pope: right or wrong" (papolatry), are more and more abandoning the sinking Novus Ordo. I have never read anything like the degree of criticism of the pope, excerted below, from a conservative (not traditional) organization like Roman Catholic Faithful. Are the conservatives finally catching on to what has been obvious to traditional Catholics all along?

by Thomas A. Droleskey
...There needs to be some plain talk spoken in love about the Holy Father's own responsibility in this matter [of the recent "scandal"]. Pope John Paul II has abdicated his responsibility to supervise personally the appointment of bishops and he has failed quite utterly to discipline bishops who have let scandals fester and doctrinal impurity to go unchecked in their dioceses. The Holy Father's abdication of his role as governor of the Church has done incalculable damage to the Holy Faith. Thousands of souls have been lost to the Church....
And this is to say nothing of the Holy Father's refusal to admit that his bishops are responsible for the promotion of doctrinal impurity, creating, instead, a climate of a siege-mentality in which some Catholics have come to believe that all bishops everywhere are beyond criticism for anything. Indeed, His Holiness has done much to help create such an environment by his praise of bishops and his abject refusal to do anything to remove men who are harmful to the Faith (Roger Cardinal Mahony, Matthew Clark, Howard Hubbard, Rembert Weakland, Tod Brown, Joseph Imesch, Patrick McGrath) and to permit recently others to continue to preside over the destruction of the Faith until the point of their retirement....
The Holy Father's lack of governance of the Church undoes the claim of some of his great apologists, such as George Weigel, that history will record him as John Paul the Great. Pope John Paul II will go down in history as a man who traveled widely and wrote much. However, he will also go down in history as a man who let ecclesiastical bureaucrats beneath him determine the human fate of the Church at this point in salvation history.
There is no escaping this conclusion. One can love the Holy Father while recognizing in all candor the weaknesses of his pontificate.... And no "great" pope would attempt to reaffirm positivistically bishops in their fidelity to the Deposit of Faith when the truth of the matter is that most of the world's bishops help to undermine the Faith.
It is not difficult for any pope to know who his episcopal appointees are. There are only three thousand dioceses in the world. More important than any pilgrimage or World Youth Day is the duty a Pope has to know the men he appoints as ordinaries of dioceses. He should not rely upon the word of ecclesiastical functionaries in the Vatican, nor should he rely upon the foxes around the world in episcopal attire who want to replicate themselves by nominating men who will continue the theological and liturgical revolution begun in earnest in the 1960s at Vatican II....
Please, please, do not give me the shopworn line that the Holy Father wants to avoid a de jure schism. Far more dangerous to the Faith than an actual break from Rome on the part of modernist bishops is the de facto schism which permits such bishops to use all of their disciplinary powers against those who promote our living liturgical tradition and against those who want to protect their children from the rot of sex instruction and from doctrinal heresy. Catholics who love God are thus forced in many instances to seek refuge in the catacombs, so to speak, in order to protect their children and to save their own souls, being branded as "disobedient" to their local bishops by going to independent chapels to preserve the Faith whole and undiluted.
Indeed, the failure of the Holy Father to supervise the appointment of bishops and his failure to discipline and remove those he has appointed has rendered the institutional Church in most dioceses utterly corrupt and untrustworthy. Men who have juridical power as bishops considered to be in full communion with Rome act as power drunk despots who have a contempt for the Holy Father, knowing full well that they will never be disciplined for their revolutionary activities against the Faith.
And, please, do not tell me how much the Holy Father has done to promote the sanctity of innocent human life. All of the Holy Father's passionate pleas for the defense of the innocent unborn and the elderly and the infirm have been undermined by the fact that many of the men he has appointed as bishops look the other way as contraception and the horrible rot of sex-instruction, which undermines the innocence and purity of the young, are promoted in Catholic schools and colleges and universities and so-called theological workshops.
Furthermore, the Holy Father has given at least the appearance of religious indifferentism when appearing on an equal footing with rabbis and mullahs, to say nothing of lay men such as the alleged "Archbishop of Canterbury," who is not an ordained priest or bishop.... He feeds such indifferentism with his Assisi events, and when he praises the voodoo witch doctor for the "contributions" he makes to African tribal life. A picture is worth a thousand encyclical letters.
The average Catholic is going to conclude that there is no need to invite people into the true Church (the only means of human salvation) when the Pope himself gives the appearance of indifferentism and universal salvation. And the average non-Catholic interested in converting to the Faith may have second thoughts when the Pope gives the impression, both in action and in speech, that such conversion is unnecessary (as Cardinal Ratzinger more or less said recently when reaffirming Jews in their Judaism).
This is plain talk. It is tough talk. However, it is written in love. As a son of the Church, I love the Pope and respect him as the Successor of Saint Peter, praying fervently for his needs daily. A respect for the person of the Pope as the Supreme Pontiff does not mean, though, that we lionize him or overlook his administrative weaknesses and his approaches to ecumenism which border on the heretical. Such weaknesses and approaches prove once more the indefectibility of the Church: nothing humanly organized could possibly survive the mistakes and sins of those who compose her, including popes and bishops....

April 1, 2002 - Easter Monday (Double of the First Class)

How Traditional Should We Be?

From: Charles

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am able to attend an "indult" Mass of the 1962 Missal. I consider myself, therefore, to be a traditional "1962" Roman Catholic. My question is, should I also be abiding other rules in effect in 1962, e.g., no fleshmeat on Friday, no food or drink after midnight when going to Holy Communion that day?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

If you really do have the Mass of the 1962 Missal, with no Novus Ordo modifications, and you have no other choice for Mass, you have a tolerable condition. True Catholicism, however, is not just the Mass, but the correct beliefs (orthodoxy) and the correct practice of the Faith (orthopraxis). It would be illogical to worship at the Traditional Latin Mass, but take on all the other evils of Modernist thought and practice.

The Friday abstinence from fleshmeat, in its essence, goes back to Apostolic times. It is little enough we can do as penance in remembrance of what Our Lord did for us on Good Friday.

When the Eucharistic fast was mitigated somewhat in 1956, Pope Pius XII himself said that Catholics should continue to observe the fast from midnight. If there are other considerations, such as attendance at a Mass late in the day or evening, a long distance to travel to Mass, medical considerations, etc., one might legitimately make use of the 1956 mitigation. However, the Novus Ordo 15-minute-before-Mass fast is ridiculous and sacrilegious, to say the least, and is not the Catholic and Apostolic practice -- of 1962 or any other year!

Did Christ Obey the Fourth Commandment?

From: Joe

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The Fourth Commandment requires that one honor parents and other legitimate authority. Here is the proposition with which I have a problem. Jesus went with his Mother and foster father, Joseph, to the temple. When it came time for the three to return home Mary and Joseph thinking that Jesus had joined others for the return trip and had gone a good day's walk when they discovered that he was not there. They returned in haste to the temple and located him there. When found he remarked that he merely was about his father's business and returned home with them. To my way of thinking this was a clear violation of the commandment and it was compounded by a cheeky answer. I know that there is a reasonable answer to find out why Christ apparently disobeyed his parents.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Our Lord's point is a graphic one: that God's business comes first, before family. Even "family values" are not sufficient if they are not subordinate to "divine values." The first three Commandments treat man's relationship to God. The next seven are subordinate to those, just as the commandment to love neighbor is subordinate to the commandment to love God.

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