May 2002

May 31, 2002 - Friday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

An Aggrieved Catholic Speaks Out against His Novus Ordo Bishop

From: Austin (Boston)

"You are a liar. Your own documents condemn you. You are a criminal, a murderer of children. You degrade the office you hold in the Church. You are an affront to Jesus Christ, and I call on Almighty God to bear witness to the foulness and treachery of your behavior, the evil you have nurtured and condoned, and the minds, hearts, and souls you have destroyed." (Boston Globe, April 9, 2002)

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Although the writer is addressing a moral matter, the words are just as pungent against the more serious injustice of this bishop, and all American bishops, in murdering the Roman Catholic Faith and committing sacrilege against God by the imposition of a bastardized worship service. The immoralities of these bishops against man is as nothing compared to their affront to God. "Amen I say to you, they have received their reward" (Matthew 6:16/DR).

Letter from a Bishop

From: Fr. Moderator
Our afflictions are well known without my telling; the sound of them has gone forth over all Christendom. The dogmas of the Fathers are despised; Apostolic traditions are set at nought; the discoveries of innovators hold sway in churches. Men have learned to be speculatists instead of theologians. The wisdom of the world has the place of honor, having dispossessed the glorying of the cross. The pastors are driven away. grievous wolves are brought in instead, and plunder the flock of Christ.
The whole Church is in dissolution. The danger is not confined to one Church.... This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of Godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat is now openly proposed as a reward for impiety; so that he whose blasphemies are the more shocking, is more eligible for the oversight of the people. Priestly gravity has perished; there are none left to feed the Lord's flock with knowledge; ambitious men are ever spending, in purposes of self-indulgence and bribery, possessions which they hold in trust for the poor. The accurate observation of the canons are no more; there is no restraint upon sin. Unbelievers laugh at what they see, and the weak are unsettled; faith is doubtful, ignorance is poured over their souls, because the adulterators of the word in wickedness imitate the truth.
Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship, as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven. The present time (has) a strong tendency towards the overthrow of the Church.
Has the Lord completely abandoned His Church? Has the hour then come and is the fall beginning in this way so that now the man of sin is clearly revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped?
Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer and assembled in the deserts, -- a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise inform, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid most profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit because they will have no part of the wicked leaven.
Only one offense is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our fathers' traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into the deserts. The people are in lamentation.... Joy and spiritual cheerfulness are no more; our feasts are turned into mourning; our houses of prayer are shut up; our altars are deprived of spiritual worship. No longer are there Christians assembling, teachers presiding, saving instructions, celebrations, hymns by night, or that blessed exultation of souls, which arises from communion and fellowship of spiritual gifts.... The ears of the simple are led astray, and have become accustomed to heretical profanity.

A good description of the present crisis in the Church in this period after Vatican II, isn't it? Was this written by some Novus Ordo bishop, repenting of the devastation caused to the Church after Vatican II? Some Modernist bishop coming to his sense?

No. This letter, which could have been written today, was in fact written over 1600 years ago, by St. Basil the Great (ca. 330-ca. 379), Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church, who was fighting the heretic bishops and likely pope of his day. St. Basil was a friend of the Defender of the Faith, St. Athanasius.

Eerie how history is repeating himself, isn't it. The basis of the Arian heresy of the 4th century was the denial of the divinity of Christ. The Novus Ordo today denies the divinity of Christ by worshipping man. The Novus Ordo looks away from the crucifix and altar of sacrifice, and instead turns to the "assembly of the people" and its dinner table.

The good news is that the Arian heresy, which was rampant in the Church and even enveloped the bishops and the pope, was extirpated, taking the better part of the century. So, just be patient!

May 30, 2002 - Corpus Christi (Double of the First Class)

Eastern Orthodox Schismatics Prevent Restoration of Traditional Latin Mass

From: Fr. Moderator

This is a BIG revelation that explains a lot. According to a Zenit News Agency story, the pope in a speech on May 24 in Bulgaria praised "diversity" with respect to the Eastern Schismatics. The reason the pope resists the general use of the Traditional Latin Mass is that it obstructs "dialog" with the Eastern Schismatics.

The post-Vatican II popes have particularly fixated on compromising with the Eastern Orthodox Schismatics. Those popes have been more than willing to sell out the Roman Catholic Faith; it is the Eastern Schismatics who have been dragging their feet on the pope's sweetheart deal.

Whereas the Vatican is willing to sell out the true Roman Catholic Faith, the Eastern Orthodox are virulently anti-Roman. The current persecution of Catholics in Russia is just one example of this hostility. I have seen anti-Catholic vitriol from the Eastern Schismatics that makes Fundamentalist Bob Jones look like a pussycat!

This "unity in diversity" ploy was used by the Modernists of the 19th century to undercut the praestantia ritus Romani, the pre-eminence of the Roman Rite, the Rite of Sts. Peter & Paul, in the Roman Catholic Church. That ploy has lead to the terrible liturgical, doctrinal, and moral relativism that we have suffered in the post-Vatican II period.

That ploy has also led to the deconstructing notion of "inculturation," palmed off by Vatican II. "Inculturation" means that if you're an African Catholic, it makes sense for you to include the sacrificing of chickens at Mass. I kid you not. A "Catholic" archbishop of Africa seriously proposed this because certain African communities were used to animal sacrifice in religious worship. They wanted real blood, not wine transubstantiated into the Precious Blood. This, of course, is blasphemy and heresy of the worst kind.

To the Eastern Orthodox Schismatics, the Traditional Roman Rite is despicable. It stands for true Catholic and Apostolic orthodoxy and orthopraxis against the schism and heresy of Eastern Orthodoxy. Its nearly universal use in centuries past was a slap in the face to Eastern Schismastics, who are virulently anti-Roman. No wonder the pope is willing to sell the Traditional Roman Rite out in order to please his new friends, the Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Schismatics!

May 29, 2002 - St. Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi, Virgin (Semidouble)

Calling a Sin a Sin

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A female relative of mine is committing adultery. I know it, the family knows it. I recently commented to a family member that I was disturbed by the couple's receiving the Eucharist several weeks earlier because they are in a state of mortal sin. I was surprised to hear this family member say, "Well, that's between them and God. I am not going to judge that." I am getting the impression that I should never speak out against any sin. Am I to remain silent? By the way, these relatives call themselves "Catholic."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You are, or should be, judging adultery, not the adulterer. If we couldn't judge anything, parents could not correct their children, the Church could not correct sinners, judges and juries would be abolished. So, I think that your relatives aren't thinking clearly about what judgment really is.

What we can't judge is the interior state of soul. We can certainly judge the external act of an adulterer as sinful. What we can't know is what the interior disposition is. Yet we must act, in many cases, on the external fact, since that is all we have to go with.

Of course, it is not up to you to spread gossip about anyone or, through the sin of detraction, to make others' private sins public. Moreover, one has to be very careful about the factual situation. If it is known within the family, and someone asks for your opinion, just say: "Adultery is a very serious sin in God's eyes, and anyone who knowingly and willingly engages in it is at risk of his immortal soul."

May 28, 2002 - St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop & Doctor of the Church (Double)

Prayers in Latin

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is there any spiritual benefit in saying prayers in Latin? I guess what I'm asking is if I should make an effort to learn the Our Father, Hail Mary, etc., in Latin? I attend a Traditional Latin Mass and would like to know your advice.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

FR. MODERATOR REPLIES>>> Absolutely. In doing so, you are joining yourself with the Catholic and Apostolic Church of two millennia and preserving the doctrinal form of these prayers. Even Vatican II made it incumbent upon Catholics to learn these prayers in Latin. It shows what hypocrites the Novus Ordo bishops are that none of them (to my knowledge) has ever tried to carry out these and other "traditional" prescriptions of Vatican II, just the Modernist ones!

I have had many messages from Catholics who say that once they began to say their formal prayers in Latin, they attained a greater spiritual benefit and a more focused prayer life than mumbling vernacular translations. People frequently accuse themselves of "distraction in prayer." The use of Latin forces the person to think what he is praying. It can open a whole new world for the Rosary for instance, which is often said rushed and mumbling in the vernacular, without concentrating on the meaning.

This benefit holds true at whatever level a person's Latin is, from nothing to advanced. Those who know some Latin, in particular, often hesitate because they do not know more, but what they find is that by diving in, their Latin develops rapidly, and they form a bond with the Roman Catholic Church's Sacred Language, and through it with the doctrines, traditions, and unity of the Church.

May 27, 2002 - St. Bede the Venerable, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

A Novus Ordo Bishop Bites the Dust

From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do you think about the news that the Archbishop of Milwaukee, so liberal that he can hardly be called Catholic, was dismissed on May 24 over a lurid episode in which he was found to have used half a million dollars of Church money for personal hush-money?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Although the "scandal" is being played as a sex thing, it is not. It is a power thing. Spiritual power-grabbing has taken over the personality of these Novus Ordo bishop and cardinal deviates from Catholicism since Vatican II. As was written in another context: they "bullied until the time when public scandals exposed the kind of sorry rascals they were."

No traditional Catholic should be surprised by any of this. We have all seen how these "loving" (now we know just how they define that word!) bishops have calumniated, attacked, and possibly even murdered good traditional Catholics in the name of their Great God Novus Ordo.

The Novus Ordo apparatus might want to look for inspiration in the "scandal" to Rome. The Vestal Virgins, much like traditional nuns, were held in the highest regard in Rome, and each took an solemn oath of chastity for at least 30 years. The penalty for breaking these vows was -- to be buried alive!

All the sexual hype aside, I can hardly think of a worse thing a bishop could do than rob his own people of their hard-earned money, donated generously for great churches or works of charity, and use it as payoffs and kickbacks to conceal his own immorality. This is the rotting underbelly of the Novus Ordo, and I for one wish to have no part of it. It cannot be compromised with; it cannot be negotiated with. It must simply be rejected, lock, stock, and barrel.

The real issue is when Catholics will wake up to what has happened to their Church since Vatican II, throw the rascals out, and fight to get back their Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith, of which these bishops have robbed them since Vatican II. This they could easily do, if they just had the courage.

When Pope Gregory the Great tried to add a phrase to the Sacred Canon of the Mass, the people of Rome rose up and threatened to kill him if he did not desist. When St. Augustine tried to change the ancient rite of Holy Week, the people of Hippo said that they would not attend untraditional services. If our early forebears would stand up even to Popes and Fathers, why are we of modern times such wimps?

Just as Our Lord was defeated by church politics on Good Friday only to rise in victory on Easter Sunday, traditional Catholics, who have been called everything by the Novus Ordo from "schismatic" to "renegade," are now beginning to be recognized for the courageous heroes that they have been all these years.

May 26, 2002 - Trinity Sunday (Double of the 1st Class)

As the Indult Turns....

From: Troy

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am exploring an independent Traditional Latin Mass site because of my dissatisfaction with the local bishop of C.S. and his treatment of the Traditional Mass Community that says the "indult" Mass at his cathedral. I have seen this same treatment in the city of A. under Bishop McC. and in O.C. under Bishop B. Archbishop B. destroyed St. M's "indult" Traditional Latin Mass chapel in O.C. where I assisted and served at the altar for a number of years. The Novus Ordo bishops do not want the Traditional Latin Mass.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The "indult" of 1988 was a land mine waiting to explode later, as many of us warned at the time. Unfortunately, the indultarians were so eager to have the "approval" of the Novus Ordo establishment that they sold themselves out to diocesan bishops who had not only given up the Catholic Mass, Sacraments, and Faith, but were (some of them) apparently enjoying the Neo-Catholic morality that lead to -- you know what.

In all fairness to the Novus Ordo apparatus, it made its intentions clear at the time. The indultarians, unfortunately, wanted to wear rosy-colored glasses and even lied to their people about the exact nature of the "deal" they supposedly got from the Vatican. The Novus Ordo held out a carrot, and the indultarian rabbits nibbled for a few years before being beat over the head with the stick. It took just 13 years for the stick of Protocol 1411 of 1999 to be issued, which gutted the "indult" societies and replaced their leaders with friends of the Novus Ordo.

You are heading in the right direction. If you can find nearby one of the many independent chapels with the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith, outside all the mess of the New Order particularly in these last months, you are indeed fortunate.

May 25, 2002 - Pentecost Saturday (Semidouble)

An Elegant Ballet

From: Rob

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I read your TRADITIO website with a great deal of interest, and I recommend it to any and all newcomers and attenders at our traditional Roman Catholic (independent) church.

There is a good bit that I don't understand, and some of it has to do with the notations like semidouble that are attached to the days of the month.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Sacred Liturgy is beautifully laid out in an hierarchical way, just as are the heavens and the earth. If you think of it, even science reflects the elegant hierarchy in which God created the universe. The order of the universe, which reflects the order of heaven, is itself one of the traditional proofs of the existence of God.

In the Sacred Liturgy, first in rank come the Feasts of Our Lord, then those of the Blessed Virgin Mary, then those of the Holy Angels, then those of the other Saints. Among the Saints there is a hierarchy too: martyrs above all, as the Apocalypse of St. John, the last book of Sacred Scripture, tells us.

Solemn Feasts (Doubles of the First and Second Classes) take liturgical precedence. Among these are included, for example, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel. Ordinary Feasts (Greater and [Lesser] Doubles) include those of the Apostles and Martyrs. Semidouble Feasts and Simple Feasts include those of the vast majority of the Saints. Ferials are ordinary weekdays without any feastday of a Saint commemorated.

Originally, two Offices were chanted on double feast days, and part of an additional office on semidouble feastdays. That practice was not continued after Trent, but the various levels of hierarchy of feastdays, seasons of the year, and times of the day act out an elegant ballet in the Sacred Liturgy of the Church -- that is, the Holy Mass and the Divine Office of which it is a part --, reminding us how everything in heaven and on earth follows the divine plan in an ordered way.

The above is of necessity a very simplified summary. For more detailed information, see the liturgical introduction to one of the more complete handmissals (the St. Andrew Daily Missal is the best). It is well worth the time to understand better the orderly, divine treasure that is our Traditional Latin Mass and Divine Office. They are like an elegantly choreographed classical ballet compared to the uncoordinated, childish fiasco of the Novus Ordo service.

May 24, 2002 - Pentecost Friday (Semidouble)

Remember the Maine!

From: Chuck

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In the May 22 edition of the Detroit Free Press, there is an article about a Novus Ordo presbyter referred to as the "Hockeytown" priest. The article states that during the worship service, on Saturday afternoon yet, the presbyter in the middle of the service intoned: "Red Wings 3, Avalanche 2." "Red Wings 4, Avalanche 2." And then: "The Red Wings won Game 1."

The presbyter had arranged for a neighbor to hold up signs in the back of the church with the scores. The article also states that a parishioner made vestments for him with the hockey team's winged-wheel logo. The article is accompanied by a picture of the priest, apparently doing the Novus Ordo "thing," wearing white vestments with the team logo in the center of the vestment. The article makes no mention of any reaction from the archdiocese. If the priest at the traditional church I go to ever pulled a stunt like this, I would never return. Nothing is sacred or solemn in the New Order.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

In the minutiae of gnats within the traditional fold, we should never forget the monster against which we are all standing firm: the New Order. Is it any wonder that the once respected Roman Catholic Church is now a laughing-stock? Is it any wonder that once respected Roman Catholic priests are no better than circus clowns? Is it any wonder that the apparent Church is crumbling daily?

No, we can have nothing to do with the New Order -- not its phony Mass, not its phony Sacraments, not its phony morality, not its phony doctrine. This is spiritual war, and we have just begun to fight. And the best way to fight is to do what Chuck did -- walk away from the New Order altogether. Have nothing to do with its churches, nothing to do with its bastardized "worship service," nothing to do with its ecclesiastical "apparatus." Just think where the New Order would be if nobody came!

Obedience to Evil Is a Sin

From: Ben

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am struggling with embracing wholeheartedly independent traditional churches that offer the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I have attended the Traditional Latin Mass three times now and truly have been won over to its magnificence and splendor. The only thing that holds me back is "obedience" to the local bishop. Doesn't St. Ignatius of Antioch speak of doing nothing without the bishop? What about the current magisterium?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You have to consider the context in which St. Ignatius made his statement. He was speaking of orthodox bishops, not those who dared to overturn the Catholic and Apostolic Mass, Sacraments, and Faith of the Church. Yes, there were such bishops even then, in the first and second centuries. In our own times, these same bishops publicly celebrate "gay Masses" and teach the false doctrine that even the unrepentant sinner wears white at his funeral and sings with the Holy Angels! To the contrary, St. Ignatius condemned such bishops.

Obedience to evil is a sin, not a virtue. Ioannes de Turrecremata, Theologian of the Ecumenical Council of Florence and titled Defender of the Faith by Pope Eugenius IV, puts it this way (what he says of the pope is a fortiori applicable to bishops):

Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things,... to know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not,... it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: "One ought to obey God rather than man"; therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be despised (Summa de Ecclesia)

St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, likewise says:

Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed. (De Romano Pontifice, Liber II, Capitulum 29)

Thus, you cannot use "obedience" as an excuse to participate in heretical worship services that every pope, council, and saint would have condemned -- no doubt about it. You cannot use such a specious justification, any more than the Nazis could justify murder by the fact that they were simply obeying Hitler, who was the lawful head of state. And such action is actually worse than murder because you are killing the things of God.

As to the "current" magisterium, there is no such thing. You make it sound as if every pope can write the book on Catholicism anew. That is defined heresy. There is no "current" magisterium. The magisterium, or teaching, is not bounded by time. Dogmatically, it must arise out of the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith, established by Our Lord Himself. No one is permitted to "innovate" upon that, to "modernize" it, or to touch it in any way. Such an action would be damnable, as well as invalid, in the same manner as a President imposing a tax without an act of Congress would be acting invalidly and must not be obeyed.

May 23, 2002 - Pentecost Thursday (Semidouble)

Contemplative Prayer

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What would be good to read regarding contemplative prayer in the Roman Catholic tradition? I am uncomfortable with the new contemplative prayer practices as being unCatholic.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I don't see how one could do better than read the traditional Catholic mystics, of whom there are quite a few: St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, Blessed Suso, Johannes Tauler, etc. I have never understood this fanaticism in some Catholic circles for "Far Eastern" meditation. We have a perfectly strong tradition within the Church that is not part of atheistic "eastern" philosophies.

In this context, I also think particularly of the Sacred Chant of the Roman Catholic Church and how it is the perfect vehicle for contemplative prayer. When one chants over the texts of our Faith, principally the psalms, but also the elevating hymns, responsories, canticles, lections of the Fathers, etc., one's mind cannot fail to be elevated to contemplation of eternal truths.

The unCatholic contemplative practices were given a push by the confused Thomas Merton, a once Trappist monk who in effect rejected the Benedictine tradition from which his order sprang and turned to the likes of Buddhism. He even died in the Far East, electrocuted in a bathtub during an "ecumenical conference."

In the 1960s, I heard the name of Merton so often that I thought I should read his quasi-autobiography, the Seven Storey Mountain, for myself. Although this work was written before Vatican II, it was clear to me that his was a vocation in trouble. Unfortunately, he led many astray with him to atheistic eastern practices.

May 22, 2002 - Pentecost Wednesday (Semidouble)

A Few Good Men

From: Jake

Dear Fr. Moderator:

According to a recent book by a "conservative" Novus Ordinarian, many good "orthodox" Catholic men have been discouraged from the priesthood and have been made to feel unwelcome in the politically-correct, feminized, homosexualized, anything-goes-but-true-Catholicism New Order Church. The dwindling away of religious vocations is blamed in this book solely on the hidden agenda in the New Order Church, but the book fails to recognize that the man-made New Order worship service in and of itself has also had devastating effects on priestly vocations.

Do those "orthodox" men that have been discouraged from entering the priesthood really want to come into a Church where their overall importance and impact is marginalized? Do they really want to come into a Church that is moving toward priestless worship services, feminist- or lay-run priestless parishes, "feel good," innovative, and Protestant prayer services? Have they been so far removed, so poorly educated and informed that they don't even know what Catholicism and the real Mass should really look like?

I would love to see these good "orthodox" men muster up the courage and love for God and the true Apostolic church to join a traditional seminary or study program (removed from Rome and away from the intrinsic evil in today's Novus Ordo seminaries) and really put their orthodoxy to work to reestablish Christ's Church on earth. I honestly don't see how or think that the New Order Church will ever turn it all around.

The Novus Ordo will eventually implode and the good orthodox faithful that have been hanging on hoping for better times, if they haven't completely lost their faith by that time, will eventually have to decide where to go to find the traditional Apostolic way. These good orthodox priests could be waiting in the wings in a traditional chapel, ready to pick up the pieces and bring people back to the true Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You have put your finger on the myopia of the "conservative" Novus Ordinarians. To them the New Order is just peachy, as long as it doesn't get too extreme. As you say, this is a false opinion. The corruption of the New Order is not so much in what it does, but in what it is. No amount of fiddling with administrative rules is going to correct its problem. It must be rejected entirely. Only the traditional Roman Catholic Faith can be the true one. Anything else is a deceptive sham.

Another Vatican II Sham

From: Jake

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do you think about the Vatican II "Liturgy of the Hours" compared to the traditional Roman Breviary and its associated chant?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Bad as the "new" Mass is, the "new" Hours are far worse. So bad and mangled are they, that no one has bothered, as far as I know, to compose the necessary music for them, nor does any but the rarest Novus Ordo presbyter ever use them. On the contrary, before Vatican II there were numerous groups of Catholics who met together at various times to say, or chant, the Divine Office, or parts thereof. This was an increasingly popular dedication to the Sacred Liturgy of the Church. All that was snuffed out by the Vatican II and its aftermath.

I note with great delight how many traditional churches and chapels are beginning to recover the traditional Divine Office and chant of the Church in the Sacred Liturgy and are continuing the true liturgical renewal (that is, practice and understanding of the traditional Sacred Liturgy), which was the work of Pope St. Pius X, Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, and even Pope John XXIII.

The corrupt genesis and purpose of the Liturgia Horarum is amply documented in the book of the Arch-architect of the Novus Ordo, Hannibal Bugnini. It's quite horrible. With the Church and the popes, I encourage you to use the traditional Divine Office. If your Latin is not good, work to improve it. Many traditional Catholics, hesitant at first, have found that, if they dive in, they get better very quickly from the daily exercise of that glorious language of our Faith, shaped as it is by one of its great Christian stylists, St. Jerome. You will also find useful English translations to assist you in TRADITIO's Traditional Divine Office, Mass, and Sacraments section.

May 21, 2002 - Pentecost Tuesday (Double of the 1st Class)

He Who Sings Prays Twice

From: Christopher

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it wrong to listen to non-Catholic religious music, and perhaps even to use it in Catholic services? While nothing can compare to the beauty of composers such as Palestrina and Allegri, there is quite a bit of other religious music out there, such as Bach's Cantatas or Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, it is not wrong in itself to listen to such music for non-religious purposes, any more than it is wrong in itself to read a secular book that happens to be written by a non-Catholic author.

The Church from its inception has been infused with the literature of classical Rome and Greece, none of which, of course, is written by Catholic authors. The Church's greatest theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, quotes most extensively from Aristotle. St. Augustine indicates what an influence Vergil's Aeneid had on him.

The use of such music in Catholic liturgical services, however, is not permitted. Purely instrumental works, such as Bach's organ works, are not a problem, but one would certainly not use a Cantata. It wouldn't fit into the structure of the Mass anyway.

One of the worst consequences of Vatican II is that the tradition of great Catholic Church music that has existed for two millennia has been virtually snuffed out. Catholic music, even by non-Catholic composers, for the Traditional Latin Mass has been snuffed out, and the creative inspiration provided by that Mass has been snuffed out.

Instead, it has been replaced in the Novus Ordo by the worst junk and inanity. One doesn't know whether to horselaugh or to weep when comparing Kumbaya to Bach's High Mass in B Minor. Twenty years after Vatican II the Association of Catholic Church Musicians met in convention and agreed that Vatican II and its aftermath had been the most devastating musical development in 2000 years.

The music of the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy surpasses anything else on the face of the earth, of any age. One might that that Beethoven, for example, would consider his Ninth Symphony to be his greatest work, but no: in his letters he ascribes that honor to his Missa Solemnis, and Beethoven was a nominal Catholic at best.

That is the later Sacred Polyphony, of course, but the music most associated with the Faith is the chant, now known as Gregorian chant after Pope St. Gregory the Great, who collected it into canonical books. Anyone who has had the privilege of singing this unbelievably sublime music, which joins us to the Holy Seraphim and brings us to the gate of heaven itself, can never forget it.

If your traditional church or chapel has a Gregorian choir, you should not hesitate an instant to join and unite yourself in this most intimate way to Our Lord and His Church. Don't let the Novus Ordinarians deprive you of what is yours and the experience of singing with the Holy Angels.

May 20, 2002 - Pentecost Monday (Double of the 1st Class)

Just Ignore It

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Could you please tell me why the Solemn Papal Bull Quo Primum of Pope St. Pius V, confirming Sacred Tradition and mandating the traditional Latin Mass, is so consistently ignored?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

A law is only as good as the will of those in power to enforce it. If the President wants to ignore the law (and they have all done it, in serious ways), he can. The best way to get past a law is not to reject it, but simply to ignore it. For example, the U.S. Constitution, following the Roman constitution, requires that the Congress declare war, but that hasn't stopped many Presidents from conducting wars without Congressional approval (like the present one). Everyone just ignores the "rules" for their selfish or egotistical benefit.

The post-conciliar Church has basically ignored everything in Catholic faith and practice that occurred before Vatican II, and even many things that occurred at Vatican II, which is already too conservative for their taste. The Novus Ordinarans' avowed program is to replace our traditional Roman Catholic Faith. They don't usually bother defending what they're doing; they just ignore the law. That is why traditional Catholics should ignore them instead of playing into their hands by kowtowing to ecclesiastical bureaucrats who are not Catholic any longer.

Numbering the Psalms

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What has happened to the numbering of the Psalms? I only recently discovered that in the Novus Ordo worship service many of the Psalms are one number higher than was the case prior to Vatican II. For example, Psalm 138 is now Psalm 139. I am told that this new numbering follows the Hebrew Bible and is also used by Protestant denominations.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The traditional Catholic numbering is according to the division of the Psalms in the inspired version of the Old Testament in Greek, or Septuagint. This is the same division that St. Jerome follows, since his work is a literal rendition of the Greek text that Christ and His Apostles used. There is an alternative numbering system that is based on a 12-centuries-later (9th century A.D.) Hebrew version, which is followed by the Protestants, e.g., in the King James Version.

Therefore, the Protestants call Psalm 22 by the name of Psalm 23. The Novus Ordo simply followed the Protestant numbering instead of the Catholic numbering. (Why is that no surprise?) For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for Why Do Christians Have Different Bibles?

May 19, 2002 - Pentecost Sunday (Double of the 1st Class)

Priestly Vows

From: Antonia

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I recently saw a reference to a religious society as "a priestly society of common life without vows." I am very curious about the "without vows" statement, as I believed that all priests took vows.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This is a surprisingly common misconception, even among Catholics, who you would think would know better. Priests are broadly divided into two categories: secular and religious. Secular priests serve in dioceses, parishes, and elsewhere. Religious priests are those in orders such as the Dominicans, the Franciscans, etc. Secular priests are distinguished from religious priests in that they do not take vows (poverty, chastity, and obedience).

Although it is not a vow, celibacy is canonically required of all clerics in Major Orders (Subdeacons, Deacons, and Priests). Again, many people, even Catholics, have a misconception of what this word means. Celibacy is not to be confused with chastity. Celibacy is simply the state of being unmarried. Chastity is something entirely different.

Another Novus Ordo Scandal Waiting to Happen

From: Chris

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Every day I pray for the Church. There is not much else to do but that and have patience. I fear that this will get worse before it gets better. Moralilty is gone, and it doesn't stop with the alleged presbyter "scandal." There are other ticking timebombs out there!

It's bad enough that the New Order is hatred under the clever disguise of love. I know a Novus Ordo Eucharistic Ministress who was threatened with expulsion from that ministry because of her husband's attendance at Mass at a SSPX chapel. The New Order hates the True Mass and True Faith, and it will lie with every specious argument, often to the ridiculous, because it assumes that Catholics are dolts and morons who will buy any argument.

Of course, quoting the dogmatic Council of Trent does no good because you will be accused of "having your own interpretation of Trent". They, of course, are free to "interpret" things any way they want. That is their best buzzword! Everything is "interpretation," and there is only one valid interpretation: theirs! Not the Apostles', not the Fathers', not the Church's. Luther all over again!

I say ticking time bombs, for I hear more and more about morally reprehensible behavior from lay ministers and ministresses. Since the New Order is so barren, it will take anybody with a pulse to perform "lay roles." It's only a matter of time before a lay minister does something bad, and it gets out publicly with a following string of lawsuits. Novus Ordinarians see lay ministers as priests and employees of the Church, so I could see a court of law thinking the same. The New Order does nothing to keep tabs on these people, let alone their own presbyters.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

A good point. What will happen when these lay ministers and ministresses are caught in adultery? Will that be juicy enough for the press? What will happen when a lay minister or ministress is caught in the "Big P" or in child-beating or spouse abuse? What will happen when one murders another? After all, there are 900,000 cases of child abuse reported each year in the United States. At least that's one thing presbyters can't be charged with -- until the celibacy requirement is forsworn.

May 18, 2002 - Vigil of Pentecost - Fast & Partial Abstinence

Vatican Plans to Revise the Bible

From: Rob

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Now it seems that the Vatican plans to revise parts of the Bible to fit in with what the "scholars" say about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yikes!

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Yikes! is right. This matter was first reported upon here last November. Having virtually destroyed the Mass and the Sacraments, the Vatican now proposes to revise Sacred Scripture. These neophiliacs are not to be believed -- or trusted.

The "Modern Vatican" (as distinguished from the theological concept of "Rome") since the council has been unreliable in its preaching of Catholicism. Teachings that have been clear Apostolic and Catholic doctrine for 2000 years are now "fuzzed up," "weasel-worded," "nuanced," and "ambiguated."

The only clear dogma on this question, from the dogmatic Council of Trent, is that St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate, the Church's traditionally-recognized version, is free from doctrinal and moral error. There is no such explicit guarantee for any other version, including the "Neo-Vulgate," brought out after Vatican II.

Because of the antiquity and authenticity of the 3rd-century-B.C. Greek version of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint (LXX), and because this is the version from which Our Lord quoted, as reported by the New Testament evangelists, the Septuagint has an implicit infallibility. Note, however, that the Church has never accepted any Hebrew version of the Scriptures because of the unreliability and the lateness of the versions we have.

Many Catholics these days, viewing popes kissing Korans and promoting religious indifferentism (otherwise known as "ecumenism"), are seriously wondering whether in fact the Holy Ghost has flown from the Vatican coop (not from the Eternal Rome, of the Roman Catholic Church, of course).

May 17, 2002 - St. Paschal Baylon, Confessor (Double)

The Vatican Bares Its Wounds [Updated and Augmented]

From: Fr. Moderator

Apparently, the traditional-Catholic message is really hitting home with the Vatican. Card. Hoyos, the pope's hit-man against traditional Catholics lashed out in early April in a 15-page letter against traditional Catholicism that shows the Vatican is really panicking, now that the deceit and scandal of the Novus Ordo is becoming obvious to all, and the New Order is collapsing all around it.

Moreover, the letter, for the first time to my knowledge, acknowledges the fact that the Society of St. Pius X is only a small part of the Traditional Catholic Movement. That there are many other traditional organizations, as well as independent priests, who are fighting against the pseudo-Catholic Church of the New Order, from whatever source it originates.

The letter also gives the clear indication that the Campos "deal" was a trap to bring further pressure to snare traditional Catholics. Interestingly, I am not aware that any written agreement resulted from Campos. The Vatican made a few idle promises, which it then allowed the Papal Theologian to disavow in an Italian interview within a week after the "deal." As the American carnival barker P.T. Barnum used to say: "An oral contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on."

The Vatican still misses the whole point. It looks at the "problem" as essentially one of bureaucracy. Traditional Catholics don't tow the line with the Vatican's Business Plan (the imposition of the New Order on the Church) and its CEO (the pope). The Vatican thinks that a more generous "indult" for the "Mass of Pius V" will bring traditional Catholics into line, so that the Corporation (the Vatican) can dazzle its Stockholders (rank and file Catholics) with a hostile takeover.

The last thing the Vatican wants is a public scandal like the Hewlett-Packard / Compaq proxy fight, in which traditional Catholics demonstrate that they are the Catholics, and the Novus Ordinarian neophiliacs are the schismatics! The Vatican still doesn't see that the problem is not just an "administrative tangle" over the "Mass of Pius V," but is the Modernism, augmented by Vatican II and its aftermath, now spread into the very bosom of the Church, even into the papacy itself. The problem is the post-conciliar New Faith, New Mass, and New Sacraments, of very doubtful validity at best, that the same Vatican is trying to impose on the Church, even though a "generous" pope might permit a temporary little exception here or there.

Hoyos's diatribe also points up that these Vatican officials, who pose as friends of traditional Catholics, are nothing of the sort. They are simply smooth-talking used-car salesman, trying to sell a non-running, delapidated junker (the New Order) as a brand-new Catholic car. Well, the Catholic public is getting too smart for them now. A lemon is a lemon. And there are anti-lemon laws!

That law is enunciated by St. Cajetan, the great Catholic theologian of the 16th century, who points out that the axiom Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia" [Where the Pope is, there is also the Church] holds true only when the Pope acts and behaves as the Pope, because Peter "is subject to the duties of the Office"; otherwise, "neither is the Church in him, nor is he in the Church." One must resist to his face a Pope who publicly destroys the Church.

VATICAN, May 10, 2002 (CWN) -- Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has issued a sharp rebuke to traditionalists [we are not traditionalists; we are Catholics, traditional Catholics] for their harsh criticism of Pope John Paul II and of the Vatican.... Cardinal Castrillon wrote, in his 15-page message, that he was "hurt and perplexed" by the statements made by some traditionalist leaders....
He just doesn't get it, does he? Is the man so blinded by the New Order that he is too doltish to see what is before his eyes, what Pope Paul VI frequently admitted to: the Devil has invaded mechanisms of the Novus Ordo establishment?
That attitude, the cardinal continued, is thoroughly at odds with the thought of a loyal Catholic. "To qualify as Catholic, one must seek above all to be in full communion with the Successor of Peter," he wrote.
Wrong! To qualify as a Catholic, one must seek above all to be in full communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Many popes and prelates have been personal heretics and schismatics. The Church admits that. History proves that. Peter himself on several occasions fell into false doctrine, and Christ himself called him the Devil when he did so (Matthew 16:23). Moreover, St. Paul withstood him to his face for his doctrinal errors (Galatians 2:11 et seq.)

Playing the Victim [Augmented]

From: Patrick

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How much responsibility does an alleged Catholic "victim" have when attacking the Church? Since most of the money comes from offerings from parishioners, is it reasonable to believe that these "victims" and their lawyers are taking from the schools, parish, and the poor and giving to the greedy? What is missing from Catholic teaching today that allows these "victims" to attack the Church with an army of anti-Catholic lawyers and press? I think that it goes too far. Can you apply the saying "two wrongs don't make it right" to this scenario?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

A very good point. Civil law used to prevent such lawsuits on the grounds that if a plantiff should get an award from an eleemosynary organization, the money would be taken out of the organization's charitable work, which is certainly not in the public interest.

In the United States, the degree of litigiousness and the volatility of juries has so skyrocketed that the most asinine lawsuits win large awards. The American cardinals have simply pandered to this flaw. The relationship between priest and bishop has always been pretty bad in the United States. The caving-in of the bishops in becoming secret agents for the police is simply going to make that rift irreparable.

How many good priests' reputations have been ruined in this media campaign? It has already been demonstrated that a great many of these allegations are phony, having been made by psychotics, anti-Catholic bigots, or crazed liberalists. And the American cardinals have simply played into this anti-Catholic bigotry.

The scientific evidence we have indicates that the rate of this problem among priests is about the same as that found among the clergy of other religions: it runs less than 2%. THE RATE IN THE GENERAL MARRIED ADULT POPULATION IS FOUR TIMES AS HIGH: 8%!

I'm still looking for a bishop that has the guts of a St. Augustine, who took a public oath against the errant pope of his time and condemned his error right in the public square. With bishops like this, evil would not take hold.

I recently heard that a dean of seminary admissions in the 1950s for a major American seminary said that he rejected any candidate about whom there was any moral suspicion at all, of any kind. This was provided for by the traditional Canon Law of 1917 and overlook after Vatican II. The admissions process was administered by priests of good judgment, not "psychologists", and as a result the pre-Vatican II Church was not touched by this kind of "scandal."

And I'd like to make another important point. On the "scandal," I have read about American cardinals having tea with the pope, about American cardinals having "discussions" and "meetings" at the Vatican. What I have not heard is anything about prayer. It is the old Americanism response to any problem: do something, do anything, even to make it look as if you were doing something, but don't -- whatever you do -- prostrate yourself and lay yourself and your problem before the Lord.

If I were pope (I don't usually play this game, but I'll make an exception in this case), I would notify the American cardinals in Rome that they were now on indefinite leave. I would send them to a remote monastery where the Catholic Faith might still live. I would have them strip off their pontificals and put on a humble habit. Then I would have them spend day and night in the Divine Office, in prayer, and in meditation under a vow of total silence. And this for a period of at least one month.

When they returned, I think that you would see reformed clerics, at least if their souls are at all open to the entry of God's grace. Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.

May 16, 2002 - Octave Day of the Ascension (Major Double)

Where the Real Responsibility Lies

From: Sam

Don't you think that the Catholic laypeople have to bear a significant responsibility for the problems in the Church of late?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, I do. Frankly, this latest scandal is a drop in the bucket. Why did the Catholic faithful not resist their bishops when they took away our Roman Catholic Mass, our Sacraments, and our Faith? Why didn't they raise a great outcry against this perversion instead of some niggardly "scandal"? Why didn't they stop contributing their money to the whole New Order structure, which even now is the underlying reason for all the problems in the Church since Vatican II?

You're right: it was the laypeople (together with the clergy) that let the bishops and the post-conciliar Vatican get away with this. And the loss of the Roman Catholic Faith is far more important than an trumped up "scandal." If the laypeople had fought for their Faith right after Vatican II and to this very day, we wouldn't have had a Novus Ordo and its concomitant immorality to contend with now.

Yes, we have brought it upon ourselves, and now we are paying the price for our Faith that was too weak to stand up against corruption: doctrinal corruption, liturgical corruption, and moral corruption. As Pogo said: "We have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us!"

May 15, 2002 - St. John Baptist de la Salle (Double)

A Secular Mass

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I was surprised to see that an "indult" organization held and publicized a Mass for the "Motherhood of the B.V.M." on Mother's Day. I didn't think that such a votive Mass was permitted on a Sunday. What's going on?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It isn't permitted. Even under the 1962 rubrics the "indult" claims to go by, May 12, 2002, was the Sunday after the Ascension, a Class II feast. It is not permitted to celebrate a purely votive Mass of this sort on a Sunday. After all, Mother's Day is not a religious feastday. We have too many religious feastdays that are being ignored; we certainly don't need to introduce secular holidays! This is just another instance of a New Order mentality.

May 14, 2002 - Tuesday within the Octave of the Ascension (Semidouble)

I've Had It with the Novus Ordo Apparatus and Its Bishops!

From: Phil

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My wife and I have been attending the Traditional Latin Mass in [city] at a church offered by [an independent group]. I wrote to the bishop earlier about the despicable state of the church here in [state]. The abuses are many, and I am sure that you have heard them multiple times and in multiple forms before. The bottom line is that I can no longer in good conscience take my family to a Novus Ordo church.

How can anyone possibly, in good conscience, continue to spew out the untruths of logic that Consecration and a valid Mass occur when, in additional to using a Protestantized rite of "service" that has corrupted the very form of the Consecration and uses invalid matter for Hosts, the Novus Ordo presbyter openly states that he does not believe in transubstatiation, discourages confession, is not pro-life, is pro-homosexual, and pro-communist? Who, in all intellectual honesty, could rightfully advocate that heresy be continued and indirectly supported through continued attendance? What else is to be done in the name of allegiance to the New Order and its presbyters, bishops, and cardinals, even up to the highest offices in the Vatican?

Despite having to drive two hours, I have to tell you that the Traditional Latin Mass is absolutely wonderful. The Mark of Christ is there. There are nearly more children than adults there -- a phenomenon quite obverse of that in the New Order churches.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

My mailbox in the last year or two has been flooded with messages like this. People who have for years been advocating "obedience" to the New Order establishment and its ecclesiastical leaders and deriding traditional Catholics are now finding that they haven't a leg to stand on and are "reverting" to the traditional Catholic Faith. How much clearer can it be that the New Order apparatus is not Catholic? First, it destroyed Catholic worship and now has destroyed Catholic morals.

What did people during the anthrax scare? They hightailed it as far away as possible from any risk. Well, the Novus Ordo cult and its "obedience" hounds are spiritual anthrax. To preserve their Roman Catholic Faith, more and more faithful Catholics have found the courage at last to turn their backs on its false worship, false sacraments, and false morals. That, folks, is the silver lining in the cloud over the Church, as Pope Paul VI put it, since Vatican II. It is through trials that the Lord will bring his faithful back to the traditional Faith.

May 13, 2002 - St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

A Young Traditional Evangelist

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am a 13-year-old boy going to a public school. One boy there seemed fairly interested in the Traditional Latin Mass, and I am looking forward to seeing him at my traditional chapel the next time we can have Mass. I gave him a blessed scapular, some books, papers, audio tapes and a video. He was showing his scapular to other kids, and they were asking me for them. What I would like to know is: since some of these kids are Novus Ordo Catholics and some are Protestants, would it be a good idea to give them blessed scapulars because I read that non-Catholics may wear the scapular. The reason I am asking is because I wouldn't like this wonderful sacramental to be abused or thrown away. I would appreciate your advice.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Sacramentals may, for good reason, be used by non-Catholics, but only if they will be received and used appropriately. For example, if a Protestant indicated that he would like to say the Holy Rosary, and one were to give him a Rosary for that purpose, that would be an acceptable case.

Just to hand out sacramentals (which normally would be blessed objects) with no assurance that they wouldn't end up in the garbage can would not be acceptable. The risk with non-Catholics is that they might use them as something like a "good luck charm," which would be, of course sacrilegious. It seems that you have wisely focused on one who expressed a true interest. Perhaps you can talk to the others and see which of them has a true interest that you can foster.

God bless your traditional Faith and the prudence beyond your years that you are using in drawing others to it. It is wonderful to see a young man who is serious enough about his Faith to draw others to it, and to use such adult discretion in doing so.

May 12, 2002 - Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension (Semidouble)

Traditional Catholics Stand Up

From: Fr. Moderator

On Ascension Thursday Will wrote about the hypocritical attempt of his Novus Ordo diocese to violate Sacred Scripture and move Ascension Thursday to Ascension Sunday. Some other dioceses in the United States have attempted the same ploy, and some of the "indult" Mass locations have similarly caved in, as ultimately they must kowtow to their masters in the Novus Ordo apparatus.

I can say personally that at the Oratory where I celebrate Mass, the number of the faithful who assisted at Holy Mass and the extinguishing of the Paschal candle on Ascension Thursday numbered almost as many as at Sunday Mass, definitely more numerous than in previous years. I suspect that other traditional priests saw the same thing at their churches and chapels.

So, again, traditional Catholicism grows; the Novus Ordo dies. Is there any doubt why the Novus Ordo is suffering so many scandals nowadays, the very least of which is the one blown up in the papers of late? Since the Novus Ordo destroyed the Mass and Sacraments, and nuanced away much of its traditional morality, it was only a matter of time when the pointed tail would whip around and sting it with the death blow.

For this reason TRADITIO, upon its inception on the internet eight years ago, provided to its participants the opportunity of the Confraternity of St. Michael. Sacred Scripture tells us that St. Michael will be God's vehicle for conquering Satan in the end. It was to him that Catholics all over the world have prayed at the end of low Mass since the late 19th century as our protection by the power of God.

Like so many other Catholic safeguards, the Novus Ordo apparatus dumped this one. Was it happenstance that in that same year (1964) the first stage of the Novus Ordo was introduced, and the eventual elimination of the true Mass began, fulfilling Martin Luther's prediction: Tolle Missam, Tolle Ecclesiam [If you destroy the Mass, you will destroy the Church]? Traditional churches and chapels, of course, did not abandon the practice and have been protected.

Even the current pope, having participated in much of the destruction of the Sacred Liturgy, has apparently seen a glimmer of the light and recently recommended that churches resume the Prayer to St. Michael that had been abandoned after Vatican II. The participants of TRADITIO have always had a special opportunity to participate, daily or even thrice a day, in this much needed prayer to the Prince of the Heavenly Host, who is second only to God and the Queen of Angels. For further information on the Confraternity of St. Michael and the Prayer to St. Michael, click on Confraternity of St. Michael.

May 11, 2002 - Saturday within the Octave of the Ascension (Semidouble)

A Great Traditional Catholic Journalist Passes

From: Fr. Moderator

Walter Matt went to his eternal reward on April 21, 2002, the Feastday of St. Anselm. In 1967 Matt left The Wanderer, a "conservative" Novus Ordo newspaper that is often virulently anti-traditional, to found The Remnant and served as its editor for over 25 years. The Remanant under his editorship, and that of his son, Michael Matt, who succeeded him, has established itself as the leading periodical among traditional Catholics by its uncompromising defense and advocacy of the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments and Roman Catholic Faith against the Novus Ordo, Vatican II, and papolatry. Papolatry, a word which Matt himself coined, refers to the erroneous attribution to the pope of power and authority exceeding the limits taught in Catholic dogma. Requiescat in pace.

A Catholic Composer after All

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

As to Bach's music, what is its status in the Church? Wasn't he a Lutheran?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Perhaps not. It's true that he worked for the Lutheran church in Leipzig, which was a Protestant region of Germany (cuius regio, eius religio), but there have been persistent reports (as for George Washington and Shakespeare) that he was in pectore Catholic.

The instrumental music of Bach has been accepted widely in the Catholic Church, even at Rome itself, for many centuries, particularly his music for the organ (we are not speaking here of his Leipzig cantatas being used in a Catholic Church). Much of Bach's music is based on Gregorian chant motifs, and his greatest work, perhaps the greatest musical work of all time, is his High Mass in B Minor, written for a Catholic prince. Perhaps if he'd got that job instead....

A Conflicted Pope

From: Fr. Moderator:

Since Vatican II we have become very used to popes who speak out of both sides of their mouth. On May 7 John Paul II addressed the Bishops of the Antilles as follows:

You come as pastors who have been called to share in the fullness of Christ's eternal priesthood. First and foremost, you are priests: not corporate executives, business managers, finance officers, or bureaucrats, but priests. This means above all that you have been set apart to offer sacrifice, since this is the essence of the priesthood, and the core of the Christian priesthood is the offering of the sacrifice of Christ.

So far, so good -- an important point that is almost completely forgotten by the Novus Ordo. But then he went on to contradict himself by mentioning Vatican II, calling it a "great grace" for the Church, and then immediately contradicting himself yet again by pointing to the significant decrease in vocations to the priesthood since Vatican II.

Hello! Knock, knock! Is anybody home at the Vatican? It is the Vatican II Council and its aftermath that brought about the decrease in vocations, the moral problems in the Church, the virtual disappearance of Catholic hospitals with nuns serving the ill, and the essential disappearance of Catholic schools with teaching nuns or brothers. The Church is in flames, and Vatican II lit the match.

Pope Paul VI saw the truth, but he had not the courage to do anything about it. Instead, he turned the papal keys over to revolutionaries like Hannibal Bugnini, who destroyed the Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, as a Hannibal 22 centuries earlier had almost destroyed the Roman Republic. The pope, just three years after Vatican II, could already see how the Council had been a travesty and had utterly failed the Church.

The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self-destruction. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. (Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1968, Address to the Lombard Seminary at Rome)

Three years after the Novus Ordo had been introduced under his signature, he already saw the devastation that he had wrought. He sees a vision of Satan, the Enemy, the Father of Lies, having invaded the Council:

We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation.... We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties. (Pope Paul VI, June 29, 1972, Sermon during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his coronation)

A year before his death, he again sees a vision of Satan. He may have been recalling all too well the words of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church that most popes end up in Hell. He may have seen himself there among them, those popes who had been given the Universal Pastorate and then proceeded to lead the lambs under their charge to the slaughter of Modernism, apostasy, and sacrilege.

The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church. (Pope Paul VI, October 13, 1977, Address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions)

Less than a year later, the pope who implemented the lethal decrees of the Second Vatican Council was dead. His intimate friends have published accounts that in his last days, he roamed through the Vatican palace saying, Credo, credo -- I do believe, I do believe. Was he trying to prove to God and St. Peter, after all the destuction in the Church that occurred under his watch -- its Sacred Liturgy, its Sacraments, and its Faith -- as the propagandist of the Council, that he really was still an orthodox Catholic? God only knows.

What is clear is that all the Vatican propaganda about how "inspired" the Council was and how "wonderful" it was, still echoed by John Paul II, was denied by the pope who implemented that Council, who came to see it as a diabolical plot, in which he himself had become ensnared. If he had been a Pope St. Pius V or a Pope St. Pius X, he might have saved the Church. Instead, he allowed an unCatholic New Order to over, so that today we see the words of Our Lord come true: "it fell, and the fall of that house was great" (Matthew 7:27/DR).


More Novus Ordo Hypocrisy

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

This year the Novus Ordo Diocese of Orlando claims that it has moved Ascension Thursday to Sunday. Have you heard about this? What is the reason for this? It appears to me to be an attempt to do away with a Holy Day of obligation. Am I off base on this?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is just more Novus Ordo hypocrisy. The New Order proclaims that it "follows the Bible," but what is clearer in the Bible than that Our Lord arose 40 days after His resurrection on Easter Sunday? That works out to a Thursday on my calendar. If you read the Lessons of Matins today in the Divine Office, you will hear Pope Leo the Great's commentary mentions this very same fact!

The reason? The New Order and its bishops are committed to destroying the Roman Catholic Faith as we know it. First, Ascension Sunday, then Ash Sunday, and finally Christmas Sunday. Oh, excuse me, I forgot. It's Saturday now that is the Lord's Day. Let's have a "Vigil Mass" Saturday afternoon so that we can forget about the Lord entirely on His day. What is worse is that the "indult" apparatus goes along with all of this -- "Ascension Sunday," Saturday afternoon "vigil" Masses, and all the rest.

Just more Novus Ordo nonsense from that same ilk of bishops who brought you the "scandal"! They just don't get it. They think that more and more "modernizations" are going to make the Church "better," as if they could improve upon God's work. When are they going to understand that the only way to resolve the current "scandal" and every other scandal of the post-conciliar period is to return to the Roman Catholic Faith?

May 8, 2002 - Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel (Major Double) / Rogation Day

Where Are the Other 75%?

From: Herman

Dear Fr. Moderator:

If the SSPX represents only 25% of the Traditional Catholic Movement, with the Opus Dei, Society of St. John of Scranton, Fraternity of St. Peter, Mother Angelica, etc., and now Campos, all in the Novus Ordo apparatus, where are the other 75% of truly traditional Roman Catholics?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Opus Dei and Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN - Mother Angelica) certainly do not represent traditional Catholicism. They are part and parcel of the New Order and make no bones about it.

The other 75% consists of:

You will have read here yesterday about one of these independent traditional priests and the great influence that he has had, Fr. Gommar DePauw. There are many like him all around the United States and around the world. So, you can be sure that if the SSPX leadership should in the end succumb to red rabies (which naturally will create a division of the SSPX, since a majority of the laypeople and bishops will not go along), there will remain a large number of dedicated independent priests. It was these who started the movement, and it may well be these who are left when the precarious elements have fallen -- with the Novus Ordo.

You don't hear much about this large independent group because it is not "organized" with "mouthpieces" and "spin doctors." It consists of dedicated priests who quietly and effectively go about their work for the Lord, bringing the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith to the faithful without getting involved in "organizational politics."

More and more laypeople are starting to drift in this direction. More priests will become independent as the "indult" becomes more and more clearly an arm of the New Order. The Novus Ordo has become unquestionably repulsive, so traditional Catholics don't go there under any circumstances. The "indult" situation is becoming more and more Novus Ordoized, so they feel increasingly uncomfortable there. The SSPX leadership is highly political and often even personally nasty, so they are reluctant to go there unless they have no other choice.

Thus, smaller independent Masses become more attractive, since those priests don't have to kowtow to Novus Ordo dioceses or the internecine politics of indultism or the SSPX leadership. Moreover, many laypeople prefer the smaller communities, which are Apostolic in nature, where they aren't part of some bureaucracy, but know their priest and their fellow worshippers.

You will find the figures amply laid out in the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses and Resource Book for the U.S. and Canada (7th Annual Edition - 2002), "The Traditional Catholic Yellow Pages", to which I refer you for further information.

May 7, 2002 - St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr / Rogation Day (Double)

Fr. Gommar A. DePauw Says "Nuts!" to Vatican on Compromise

Shows Courageous Example for SSPX Leaders and Campos Priests

From: Fr. Moderator

When one reads about the SSPX leadership foolishly diddling around with the Modern Vatican "roaring lion who goes about seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8-9), we need to be reminded of what a real traditional priest does in the face of a virulent threat to the Faith.

Long before the "indult," the Society of Pius X, and everyone else, one courageous priest, a Professor of Canon Law at the nation's leading diocesan seminary in Baltimore, in 1964 left his prestigious position when the very first changes in the Sacred Liturgy were introduced after Vatican II. This was three years before the unprecedented changes in the form of the Sacred Canon of Mass and the form of Consecration itself in 1967, and five years before the Novus Ordo itself in 1969.

In that year, this now independent traditional priest, Fr. Gommar A. DePauw, moved to New York and founded the Catholic Traditionalist Movement. His Traditional Latin Masses (he eschews, as I do, the term "Tridentine Mass," used by the Novus Ordo) in the Pan American Building there drew large numbers of good Catholics who were unsettled about what was happening after Vatican II. And history has proven them right! Fr. DePauw now serves the Ave Maria Chapel, a beautiful Gothic structure, in Westbury, Long Island.

One would think that the SSPX is the only organization that the Modern Vatican is trying to lure away from the traditional Catholic Faith. But, no; information comes from a news release dated April 12 that between February 8 and March 4, 2002, Fr. DePauw was approached no fewer than five times -- one phone call, three letters, and one personal visit -- by an American Novus Ordo bishop claiming to be acting in concert with John Paul II and Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the pope's traditional hit-man, and "speaking for the Holy Father on these matters."

The "proposal" would give Fr. DePauw "prayers and a blessing" in return for, in effect, turning over all its buildings and other material assets to the local Novus Ordo bishop and for staging a Campos-style auto da fe. The Campos, Brazil, priests, who for many years had stood by the traditional Catholic Faith, Mass, and Sacraments and held the Novus Ordo to be invalid and sacrilegious, provided the Vatican with a performance on January 18, 2002, for reasons as yet unrevealed, during which they begged "to be readmitted to the Vatican establishment structure..., in return for permission to continue with some sort of Latin liturgy, equally publicly committing themselves to stop all criticism of John Paul II and Vatican Council II, and to admit the validity and legitimacy of the Novus Ordo 'mass.'"

Fr. DePauw, now well into his eighties and with some health problems, still had the guts to give to the Vatican agents the theological equivalent of the Americans' answer to the surrender demands of Hitler's goons at the Battle of the Bulge: "Nuts!" What an example for the Traditional Catholic Movement: one courageous voice who remains independent of the modern corruption in the Church and holds fast unrelentingly to the traditional Catholic Faith, not like the SSPX leadership toying with the "lion."

The substance of Fr. DePauw's letter of reply to the pope should be carefully studied as an example for all wings of the Traditional Catholic Movement. As given in the press release, it consisted of these points:

  1. I unequivocally refuse to renew any relations with any entity of what "the father of the Novus Ordo," the late disgraced Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, so correctly called "a new Conciliar Church." Your new Bugnini organization started its "Journey to Hell" with replacing the Sacrifice of the Mass on an altar with a pseudo-Protestant table service.
  2. It was bound to be only a matter of time before your new Conciliar Church would provide the world with the fulfillment of those prophecies the Blessed Mother made at LaSalette in 1846, describing a church of the future having lost both its faith and its morals:
  3. Tremble, all you who claim to serve Jesus Christ, but who inwardly worship yourselves. Tremble, because the day will come that God will let you fall into the hands of His enemy, with your once holy places corrupt, and many convents and monasteries no longer the home of the Divine, but, instead, the hunting grouds of the devil of impurity. Rome itself will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.
  4. The lost faith of the Conciliar Church is demonstrated by the October 27, 1986, and January 24, 2002, ecumaniacal joint worshipping of false gods in Assisi, with the Vatican's "man-in-white" lost in a crowd of some 200 representatives not only of all sorts of Protestants and Jews, but of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, African witch doctors, Shintoists, Tenrikyoists, and Zoroastrianists.
  5. After I have, by the grace of the Lord's true sacrifice of the Mass and the Rosary protection of His Blessed Mother, been able to stay free, for the past thirty-eight years, from all conciliarist heresy and immorality, I am not ready now, at this late hour, even to consider for a moment, the mellowing of my positions.
  6. If the whole world goes against the truth, then Athanasius [the Patriarch of Alexandra, Great Father and Doctor of the Church] must go against the whole world!... Catholics who remain faithful to the traditions, even if they be reduced to but a handful, they are the true Church!

May 6, 2002 - St. John, Apostle & Evangelist, before the Latin Gate / Rogation Day (Major Double)

Traditional Catholics Are not Exempt

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Last evening, my family and I attended the Thursday evening Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at out traditional chapel. The total attendance was less than 20 persons.

We can jawbone all we want about what ails the Church, but it is all too apparent that in the wake of Vatican II, we have seen a massive loss of faith among even the "very elect." One would think that given the gravity of the recent scandals that have rocked the Church, the pews would be full. This show of fidelity and devotion is sadly missing.

If traditional Catholics don't get up off their rear ends in a big hurry and provide some examples of Christian fidelity, then don't expect God to step in and save us from ourselves.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Amen! We cannot be hypocrites like the Pharisees; otherwise, even traditional Catholics will suffer the same fate. This situation is like the knee-jerk reaction in the United States after September 11, 2002, when everyone was singing God Bless America!, but going on blaspheming, aborting, lying, embezzling, and all the rest. God will not bless America, or any person or country that does not love Him. And how does He define love? "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15/DR).

May 5, 2002 - Fifth Sunday after Easter (Semidouble)

Words of Encouragement from a Great Saint

From: Fr. Moderator

For all those who worry about "schism," here the Great Father and Doctor of the Church, St. Athanasius (296-373), Patriarch of Alexandria, defines the term in its Catholic sense in ringing words. Ultimately, popes are not important, bishops are not important, ecclesiastical bureaucracies and niceties are not important in that definition. What is important is the True Faith. Who has nice titles, or the names of buildings, or even possession of buildings does not determine who is "schismatic." Rather, it is who has the true faith.

The great Saint wrote these words to the early Christians of the 4th century who refused to accept the Arian heresy, into which most of the bishops had fallen. To the Christians who had lost their church buildings to the heretics, but who had kept the faith in spite of a pope who strayed from his duty to protect that faith and may have fallen into personal heresy himself. It is uncanny how similar our situation at the beginning of the 21th century is to the situation of the 4th century. History does repeat itself.

Read these words carefully. Commit them to memory. The next time someone talks to you about "schism," these words will be your reply.

May God console you!.... What saddens you ... is the fact that others have occupied the Churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises -- but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the faith? The true faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle -- the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the faith?
True, the premises are good when the apostolic faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way....
You are the ones who are happy, you who remain within the Church by your faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition, and if an execrable jealously has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.
No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers, and we believe that God will give us our Churches back some day.
Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church but in reality they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.

Which Bible?

From: Jamie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My aunt and mother got into an argument today over whether or not the King James Version of the Bible was allowed for Catholics. My mother bought a King James Bible for my cousin in a "Catholic" book store. My aunt claims that a lady selling her a Bible said, "If you are Catholic, you can't have the King James Bible." Who is correct, and which Bible translation should we get?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The King James Version is a Protestant translation and should not be used by Catholics (except, for example, by those at university studying its elegant English and literary tradition). That having been said, the King James Version is considerably better than the Novus Ordo translations, e.g., the New American Bible.

The preferred translation for Catholics is the Douay-Rheims version. This is a relatively literal translation of St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate, the only version of Scripture accepted by the Church as inerrant in faith and morals. The second choice would be the Confraternity Version, a Catholic edition that was put out in the 1940s and 1950s, with somewhat modernized language. The third choice would be the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition of the early 1960s. Other Revised Standard Versions and the later New Revised Standard Version are Protestant and should not be used. The Douay-Rheims and Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition are in print, as well as the New Testament of the Confraternity Version.

Ultimately, you should encourage your cousin, as soon as it is possible, to study Latin so that he can read the Vulgate (and much other literature) on his own without having to rely on others for translations.

Social Teaching

From: Judy

Dear Fr. Moderator:

IHS Press, a new Catholic publisher dedicated exclusively to the traditional social teachings of the Church, has just reprinted two classics, The Outline of Sanity, by G.K. Chesterton, and The Free Press, by Hilaire Belloc, each with a modern, relevant preface.

Since, today, there is a whole society to rebuild for Christ the King, these solid Catholic scholars can refresh our thinking on timely and important social issues. These books are timeless. They can be ordered directly from IHS Press or contact for more information.

The Real Opus Dei?

From: Betty

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My understanding and experience in dealing with the "conservative" Novus Ordo organization Opus Dei has led to an understanding of its true nature. It has an agenda that upholds the wrong, and even heretical premises, of Vatican II. In fact, its "street apparatus" (organizations, recruiting, etc.) are, in one way, mainly for sweeping the field, so to speak, so that traditional perspective will not gain any power.

And if it does, it is crushed or denounced as "schismatic," or (the organization's favorite word) "dissident." Opus Dei is very tricky. In this way they protect the interests of the Novus Ordo power structure, which Opus Dei has joined hands with. In this sense, they are very much, as their founder Jose Maria Escriva defines it, a "militia."

However, this "militia" has caught itself in the trap and is struggling to "spin" itself out of the fray. The NewChurch (Novus Ordo) is trying to keep its constituents in line, so that they will continue to feed the coffers. The NewChurch needs to keep up its influence in each camp: liberal and neo-conservative. The reality is that is all about power, money, and influence.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

That analysis is very perceptive and can explain why the Vatican, once again, is trying to woo over the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). If the Vatican can capture it, there will be a huge influx of money into the Novus Ordo, and SSPX represents only 25% of the Traditional Catholic Movement, so there is more money out there yet.

Yes, the post-conciliar Vatican is devious. It loves to play both ends against the middle. Ultimately, it doesn't care where the money comes from (liberal or conservative or traditional), because it will use money gained from whatever source to further its own ends: the Novus Ordo. Just another reason why the SSPX leadership is imbecilic to play with fire in capitulating again and again to pointless "negotiations" with the Novus Ordo.

May 4, 2002 - St. Monica, Widow (Double)

Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord

From: James

Dear Fr. Moderator:

At some large traditional churches and after the principal Mass in cathedrals, it can be commonplace for the pipe organ to play quite elaborate and, often, very noisy pieces of music. My question is, since it is important to render a personal thanks to God immediately after Mass, how and why is it that the custom of organ music after Mass has developed? And, more specifically, why is it that the music played on the organ immediately after Mass is often of such a noisy and elaborate nature?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The endmusic is in the nature of a recessional and is, as you say, usually a brilliant, organistic piece, perhaps by Bach, Buxtehude, or one of the more modern organ composers (Reger, Langlais, etc.). How that practice got started, I'm not exactly sure, but the organ from the beginning was a royal instrument, used for royal fanfares and the like, eventually transferred to the King of Kings.

Normally, only one piece of this kind is played at the end, so I think that one can be patient for a couple of minutes while some really superb music is played for the glorification of God. Remember, one can pray in music too, and the Mass is particularly the public worship of God. We as individuals could appropriately make use of the opportunity by praying with the music in glorification of God. After all, glorification is the highest of the four purposes of Holy Mass (glorification, thanksgiving, reparation, and petition).

As a priest, I would want to add a prayer of thanksgiving to God, for providing a musician who had the competence to play such wonderful pieces on the King of Instruments for the King of Kings. Believe me, such musicians are becoming harder and harder to find, as the junk culture and porno rock squeeze out serious, godly music.

May 3, 2002 - Finding of the Holy Cross (Double of the Second Class)

We Must Speak Out

From: Albert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The desecration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is being allowed to show all of us, not just the pope, that we have not served and pleased the Eternal Father as we should. We all have a lot to answer for, not just Pope John Paul II. How can we criticize the pope; who are we to judge?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Yes, we all have a lot to answer for, but, as Scripture says, to those to whom more is given, more is expected. The pope is supposed to have the prayers of the Church for his assistance, but since he has suppressed so many of those prayers, no wonder he, and the Church, are in so much trouble.

Who are we to judge and criticize the pope? Catholics have the definite right to criticize the pope and the hierarchy, even publicly. St. Thomas Aquinas, the chief theologian of the Church, tells us we have that right, nay, duty.

We have the example of St. Catherine of Siena, whose feastday was April 30. She vilified the pope of her time for his cowardice in failing to stand up to secular authorities who wanted to do the Church in.

We have the example of St. Athanasius of Alexandria, whose feastday was May 2. He vilified the semi-Arian pope and heretic bishops of his time. St. Athanasius was even excommunciated, but was, even in his own time, recognized as a Great Father and Doctor of the Church.

Above all, we have the example of St. Paul, who said: "I have fought the good fight." He didn't say: "I have kept my tongue and suffered in silence." When he saw corruption, he spoke out boldly -- against popes, bishops, and governments.

Catholics are not supposed to be namby-pamby and wishy-washy wimps. We are not supposed to roll over when corruption seizes the hierarchy, as it has quite frequently in Church history. We are supposed to fight for our Catholic Faith, as the Saints did.

Our age needs a St. Paul more than ever, to keep St. Peter in line!

May 2, 2002 - St. Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

A Silent Pope

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It perplexing to me and to other Catholics to hear not even a whimper from our leaders in Rome, while the Church of the Nativity (Christ's birthplace) continues to burn. Could you imagine if Mecca were bombed by a group of Christian nuns, or if the Wailing Wall were leveled by a bulldozer with a Benedictine monk at the controls? We would all be cringing and covering our ears -- and rightly so -- anticipating the shrill protests from all corners of the globe!

What has befallen our Catholic Church and our pope since Vatican II? Has Satan seized the reigns of power in Vatican City? I was embarrassed to see Geraldo Rivera posing the same type of questions on his nightly TV report from Jerusalem. Surely, this set of circumstances justifies some kind of response for this most egregious and visible sacrilege.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Regrettably, this pope seems more bent on kowtowing to Lutherans, Muslims, and pagans than to defending Roman and Catholic civilization, churches, shrines, and holy places. In failing to guard the Church's treasures, he fails his role as Supreme Pontiff. According to the old legal maxim, Qui tacet consentire videtur. This pope, by his silent acquiescence, has stood by while his own Catholic people have been persecuted and the holy places compromised.

On the other hand, Pope Pius XII courageously guarded the Eternal City during World War II and insisted that neither the Allies nor the Axis would turn it into a battleground. He would not take no for an answer! As a result, Rome was spared any serious damage during the war.

May 1, 2002 - Sts. Philip & James, Apostles (Double of the Second Class)

The Center of the Faith

From: Bryant

Dear Fr. Moderator:

You made the disconcerting statement that the Novus Ordo Vatican is bent on the destruction of traditional Catholicism. I find your analysis very insightful and enlightening. Once again you seem to be right. The evidence, based on the entire Novus Ordo apparatus's actions towards the true faith, seems susceptible of only one interpretation, that the Novus Ordo Vatican and most Novus Ordo clergy see in traditional Catholicism a threat that must be defeated. My confusion lies in what action we must take to pass the faith on to our children. Without a central governing authority like the Vatican, isn't there a good chance that the faith will factionalize and splinter?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

That is not what the history of the Church shows us. The Faith has always continued in spite of bad popes and bad ecclesiastical administration. In fact, there have been more periods of that than good periods like the 1900-1950. Where was the central governing authority in the 4th century: it was supporting the Arian heretics and persecuting the orthodox Catholics. Where was the central governing authority in the 13th century? Even the Saints weren't sure, as there were at least three claimants to the papacy, and the one that turned out to be the anti-pope was the one accepted by most of the world as the real pope!

I wouldn't worry. Our Lord has a way of making these things turn out for our good in the end. We must simply have a patient faith and, as St. Paul required of the Thessalonians, who were in a similar situation: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions that you have learned" (2 Thessalonians 2:14/DR).

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