June 2002

June 30, 2002 - Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

EWTN Down the Tubes

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Recently I sat through a most gruesome attack on Archbishop Lefevbre and the SSPX by two Novus Ordo presbyter-commentators on EWTN. These two individuals laid out all the old cliches from "schismatics" to "enemies of the pope." They blamed the failure of Vatican II on the "traditionalists" (give me a break!). "If only they would see the light!" "Why don't they get with the program and get rid of their security blanket [the Traditional Latin Mass]."

If ever two people were more bass-ackwards! I don't see any possible "reconciliation" to the New Order. These two navel-gazers helped fortify my traditional beliefs.

About five years ago I asked my pastor what he thought of EWTN, and his reply was: "Mother Angelica had better quit fooling around with the Novus Ordo, or she is going to lose her own soul." I thought that my pastor was being a bit tough back then, but not any longer. She needs to leave the noxious environment soon, or it will be too late for her and those who follow her. Get with the Catholic program, Mother Angelica.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Your pastor was quite right. EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), the purported "Catholic" cable channel, started off conversative Novus Ordo, which was bad enough, but now has gone more and more Modernistic as Mother Angelica, wracked by physical problems, has been losing her grip on the station.

Now one sees the most blatant pro-Novus Ordo propaganda. Rabid "Catholic Charismatics" (like Scott Hahn, who claims to be a "former" Protestant evangelical) pander their Protestant offal upon an unsuspecting audience.

At this point, EWTN should be considered deeply mired in the Novus Ordo and should be avoided for the risk it poses to the true Catholic Faith. Too bad the Society of St. Pius V doesn't bring its half-hour, truly traditional Catholic program back to the BET cable network.

Did Sheen Recant of Novus Ordoism?

From: Joan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Apparently, Bishop Sheen was an active participant in Vatican II and endorsed the so-called "reforms" that came out of that body. I found that very disappointing and wondered whether there was ever any indication that he changed his mind after seeing the results.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

After his disastrous efforts as bishop to implement the New Order in Rochester, New York, when ended in his leaving the active episcopate in just four years, he did seem to return to something of a pre-Vatican II conservatism. He preached that Vatican II had been "misinterpreted." That it had really meant to be traditional.

It is true that many of the bishops at the Council were bamboozled by the periti, but it is clear, certainly in hindsight, that Vatican II itself planted the seeds of the destruction of the Roman Catholic Faith; it was not just what happened after the Council. The same periti who implemented the Council were those who drafted its documents, which the bishops, for the most part, rubber-stamped. And these periti were dyed-in-the-wool Modernists. They knew what they were doing, even if most of the bishops didn't.

You still hear the Neo-Catholic "conservatives" make this argument: that it wasn't the Council that was bad, just how it was implemented. This is a false argument. The Council itself introduced "oecumenism," "inculturation," "vernacularization," and all the other banes that have come close to destroying the true Church in our time.

In the last decade of his life, Sheen stopped being a gung-ho advocate of Vatican II and preached instead the dignity of the priesthood and the devotion of the Holy Hour. I think that he came to see that his short-lived foray into Novus Ordoism was a rejection of everything that he had taught for the better part of his life. Although he didn't finally have the courage to stand up the the pope as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci did, he quietly withdrew from his former enthusiasm for the "reforms."

A Novus Ordo Loophole

From: Truman

Dear Fr. Moderator:

To my knowledge, the Vatican's press agents have never clarified the diagnosis of the pope's condition. They usually refer to the "symptoms" of Parkinson's Disease. These "symptoms" are also the side effects of long term antipsychotic drug therapy. We certainly can't expect the truth from the deceptive forces controlling the Novus Ordo Church.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

One cannot assume that the Vatican is giving out the full story, probably not. My point is not to give a medical diagnosis, but to point to the consequences of whatever the condition is. This is a pope who can barely perform the requirements of his papacy and cannot have a "clear" mind, as the Vatican keeps telling us for its own for P.R. purposes.

Traditional Catholics here frequently ask: are this pope's acts valid, for example, his reckless canonizations, both in number and in lack of full and long investigation? The answer is not a clear yes or no; it is clouded. Not only can his various acts be invalid because they exceed the authority of the papal office as dogmatically decreed by Vatican I or because they are contrary to the Deposit of Faith.

Moreover, although people are loathe to talk about it for obvious reasons, there is another possible invalidating factor, lack of mental competence. According to Catholic theology, one who is non compos mentis cannot execute valid acts. Can such a man execute a valid will? No. Can such a man enter into a valid marriage? No.

Evidence seems to be mounting that Paul VI may have been a manic-depressive. His friends, like journalist Jean Guitton and Bp. Fulton Sheen, give such indications, and his own up and down, contradictory statements and actions give such indications. People ask: how can the Traditional Latin Mass be right one day and wrong the next? How can oecumenism be right one day and wrong the next? How can Catholicism be the true religion one day and wrong the next?

It is interesting to think that the execution of Vatican II could rest precariously on popes who were non compos mentis, and if that is the case, there may be intrinsic invalidity in their acts, let alone the invalidity that may arise from exceeding the authority of the papal office or acting outside the Deposit of Faith.

Right now, we can't reach a definitive conclusion about such matters. That is why we have no moral choice other than to follow the via certa, the certain path, that is, the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith, Mass, and Sacraments. The Novus Ordo is riddled with doubt, in the most charitable interpretation, and we cannot accept doubt in the Sacraments -- that is sacrilege -- not when there is no doubt about the traditional Sacraments.

This whole mess can be resolved only at a later time, after the time of testing, when Almighty God deigns to see that have a pope teaching and acting fully and unambigiously in accordance with the Deposit of Faith and the Catholic and Apostolic Mass and Sacraments. Until that point, we can only hold the question sub iudice and wait patiently for the truth to rise to the surface, as it always does.

June 29, 2002 - Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles (Double of the First Class)

Where, Oh Where, Does the Money Go?

From: Denis

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I continually receive aggressive mailings (now including a videocassette) from the Legionnaires of Christ, requesting funds. I know that it is an organization with a seminary and provides pictures of smiling seminarians with the pope. Is it a Novus Ordo group, an "indult" society, or a traditional group? I do not want to support organizations that are pushing the "new religion". Can you advise me?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Legionnaires of Christ is a Novus Ordo group. If you do not want to support organizations that are pushing the "new religion," you don't want to donate to that organization. Your financial support, as a traditional Catholic, should go, in justice, principally to the traditional church or chapel that provides you with the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments.

It may not be as "emotionally" appealing as contributing to those big organizations (which usually oversell what they are doing by exaggerated mailings and statements), but it is only in supporting your own traditional church or chapel that you are really fulfilling your obligation under the Fifth Precept of the Church to contribute to the support of the Church and are ensuring that the traditional Mass will continue in all the cities and towns across the country. Moreover, you can actually monitor what your donations are going to support.

It troubles me that many traditional Catholics are so eager to contribute to far-away Novus Ordo or "indult" groups, just because they received a high-priced mailing, and ignore the traditional site in their own backyard, to which they are most obligated in justice. That's like paying for the neighbor kids' clothes and letting one's own children go around naked. That is impious and uncharitable.

After that, some funds could go to other general charitable purposes, particularly those that are local to you, so that you can participate in them, or at least observe them. It is a bad idea to give donations on the basis of fancy mailings. Such organizations, like a certain "indult" society on the east coast, have been exposed as not spending the money on the objects for which the donations were given. Moreover, the big national and international charitable organizations, like the Red Cross, have time and again been caught violating the intent of their donors. Others, like the United Way and the March of Dimes, give significant funding to immoral activities.

The Roots of the Novus Ordo

From: Jeff

Dear Fr. Moderator:

According to your graphic in TRADITIO's Traditional Divine Office, Mass, and Sacraments department, the first three phases of descent into the Black Hole of the "New Order" occurred under the reign of Pope Pius XII. I thought he was supposed to be one of the "good guys." Did he instigate these changes himself, or was the Modernist influence in the Vatican strong enough even then to hold a pope captive?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The changes were done under the aegis of the eventual architect of the New Order, Hannibal Bugnini, who came onto the liturgical commission in 1947. This was a different commission in addition to the Sacred Congregation of Rites, which had existed for centuries and regulated the Sacred Liturgy in a very traditional fashion. Pope John XXIII demoted Bugnini, suspecting his Modernist tendencies, but Paul VI took him back, at which point he foisted on the Church the full-blown travesty of the Catholic Faith known as the "New Order."

Why did Pius XII allow even those initial incursions against the traditional rites, when he had so zealously guarded the Sacred Liturgy in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei and had condemned what was eventually incorporated into the Novus Ordo: white vestments for funerals, turning the altar backward toward the congregation, use of the vulgar tongues, etc.?

The main change, involving significant modifications in the ancient rites of Holy Week, did not occur until 1956, by which time Pius XII was already quite ill and, by various published accounts, not in control of what was going on. In fact, the pope did not personally sign the document purporting to modify the ancient rites of Holy Week. As a matter of fact, I have been told by European priest correspondents that the modifications were never widely accepted in Europe in the late 1950s. So much for "obedience" to liturgical innovations even in more traditional times.

Much the same thing must be going on now. If anyone saw the telecast of the Padre Pio ceremonies from the Vatican, the present pope could hardly pronounce the necessary words, could hardly chant, could hardly even keep his head up. Anyone who thinks that someone in the last stages of Parkinson's disease, or something like it, probably on heavy systemic sedatives, is clear of mind is oblivious to the medical realities. Although Pope Pius XII's disease was different, it is generally concurred that the same basic difficulty was going on in the last years of his pontificate.

What Is an Independent Priest?

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What is an independent Catholic priest?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Independent is now a conventional term that is used to describe a traditional Catholic priest who offers the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith without formal affiliation to some organization, like the local Novus Ordo diocese or the Society of St. Pius X.

Independent priests often provide the best traditional churches and chapels as such priests are committed first and foremost to the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith, not to some organization that may not always put Christ and His Church first, but rather its own organizational interests and goals. In our era, unfortunately, organizations have often been the factors for evil rather than for the good that characterized them in the past. God willing, that situation will change after this time of test of our Faith.

June 28, 2002 - St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr (Double)

Traditional Apostles

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am trying to convince members of my family of the false church of the Modernists that resides within the bosom of the True Church. I believe that I have been level-headed in my argument, but at times I have become excited. Most reject what I present, but my sister is starting to see the light. I don't want to push too fast. What is your opinion of how I should pursue winning over souls for Christ when so many ears are cluttered with the garbage of Vatican II? Am I waisting my time talking? Should I spend it instead in prayer?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I think that a balanced approach is called for. Some respond more to logical argument, some to emotions, some not at all. I would say: be gentle in your approach; draw people along little by little. For most, there is so much New Order "static" that they can't absorb the true Faith all in one fell swoop.

Don't preach as much as ask questions. Does what the New Order is doing seem Catholic to you? How can the pope change what Our Lord and the Apostles established as teaching? What is really Catholic? Is obedience always good, or can it be evil, depending upon the circumstances? Get them to think. Pull away at the threads or error until they themselves do the rest of the unraveling for themselves. For those whose heads are filled with Novus Ordo static, don't push; those are the ones for whom prayer is the best option.

Forgive and Forget?

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How is one to forgive someone who has wronged him and isn't the least bit sorry for what he has done? How should one act toward such a person? Some have told me that I should forgive the person, as Christ forgave those who sinned against Him and treat the person as if he had never done anything wrong. While I am not mean toward the person, I feel that I should not have anything to do with him until he is sorry for what he did to me.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

One shouldn't harbor anger and resentment in the soul, but when we are told to "love our enemies," what we are essentially being told is to hope for the eventual conversion and salvation of the enemy.

How to deal with a wrong in the practical sphere is another matter, as sin has its consequences. I would suggest that you reread the parable of the Prodigal Son for guidance. The son who sinks into immorality and returns dissipated is not readmitted to the household by his father before he makes an abject admission of guilt and says that he is willing to accept the consequences of his action by working as the lowest of the low.

This is God's way, as we see in the Sacrament of Penance. What is necessary for absolution? We must first be truly contrite for our sins, at least because of fear of the consequences if not out of charity, and we must have a firm resolve not to sin again. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to await the time of the enemy's repentance, thinking and doing no harm to him in the meanwhile and praying for his salvation, but waiting until the enemy acknowledges his wrong-doing.

Bible Study

From: Barbara

Dear Fr. Moderator:

As a traditional Catholic, is it forbidden for me to read and study the Bible using both Catholic and non-Catholic materials, such as reference books, dictionaries, commentaries, etc.?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Church has always encouraged the study of Sacred Scripture. In fact, there wouldn't be a "Bible" if it the Catholic Church hadn't determined what its contents and hadn't saved it from destruction. That having been said, the practical problem is that Sacred Scripture is not easy to interpret. The Ethiopian says just this in the Acts of the Apostles, and turns to St. Philip for an interpretation.

Most people, when reading the Scriptures, are "looking through a glass darkly." First of all, they are not reading them in the original languages, but through someone's personal interpretation of the Scriptures through a "translation" into a foreign language. Then, there is the fact that most people are not familiar with the times and the literary styles of Scripture.

That is why the Church has richly given of Scripture within the context of the Holy Mass and the Divine Office, where it is put into a context that is more meaningful to the spiritual life. As far as individual reading is concerned, one can do that, but, following Scripture itself, always within the context of guidance from the Church, which, for all practical purposes, is your traditional priest. Seek his guidance. That way you will not go far wrong.

It is generally not appropriate to be reading non-Catholic commentaries, as one does not have the knowledge to judge them properly. It is certainly not appropriate, and often a sin against temptation to one's Faith, to be a member of a Protestant or Novus Ordo "Bible study group," where the leaders know even less and push unCatholic ideas (or at least ignorance) onto the participants.

The best way to study Scripture is through the Holy Mass and the Divine Office. There are many traditional Catholic texts about these, and you have the advantage of praying as you learn. For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend?.

The Power of Music

From: Cynthia

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I had an opportunity to admonish (charitably) a young lady who really enjoys junk rock music as well as the pop junk culture. I was surprised when she came back at me strongly defending her music. She purports to be a practicing traditional Catholic. I see this error becoming more prevalent in our traditional Catholic youth. I am appalled that parents allow it. I have to go to Protestant sources for the explanation of why it is wrong for Soldiers of Christ to listen to that rot. I'd like to know how to defend it from the traditional point of view.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I suspect that the young lady became defensive because she felt guilty. As traditional morality prohibits the harming of the body, so much more is what harms the mind to be condemned. We're talking here not just here of Catholic philosophy, but western, even universal, philosophy.

In western philosophy, later assumed into Catholic theology, Plato first makes the argument about the power of music and the care one must use in the selection of what music one exposes himself to. Modern scientific evidence supports Plato's analysis by confirming the physical and mental damage that such music causes. Moreover, the words accompanying such music are usually uncouth, even pornographic.

Let me use a comparison to make the point. There is no question any longer that tobacco-smoking causes a significant risk to one's physical and mental health. Over time, it will rot the organs of the body and degrade the mind (I have personally seen the phenomenon in relatives, now dead and debilitated because of it).

How much more is our highest faculty, our soul, that is, our mind and our reason, corrupted by the power of such profane music? This musical poison is then pounded into the brain hour after hour, day after day, year after year, virtually non-stop through headphones, MP3s, CDs, DVDs, MTV, and all its other multifarious sources. And modern scientists again confirm that music has the strongest sensory impact, for good, or in this case evil, upon the brain -- yes, even stronger than the libido.

All too many parents are more concerned about forbidding smoking in the house than they are about the cancer of such music. Shame on the parents for not having brought their children up from birth with exposure to the cornucopia of music that is elevating to the mind, which has nourished centuries of minds to seek that which is higher, both in God and in humanity, instead of that which is no better than, as Sacred Scripture puts it, "dung upon the face of the earth."

June 27, 2002 - Within the Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Semidouble)

The Future of Christianity?

From: Fr. Moderator

The Presbyterian sect is currently discussing whether it should be Christian or not. According to the Pittburgh Post-Gazette, more than 500 pastors and elders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have gathered in that city to determine whether they believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world.

Conservative Presbyterians dispute the current declaration that does not affirm Christ as the savior of the world, rather than just one path to God among many. They think that the sect is falling away from a commitment to the authority of Scripture, the reality of sin, and the need for Christ to save people from their sins. A declaration clearly endorsing traditional Presbyterian (and Christian) beliefs is expected pass the Presbyterian General Assembly. Otherwise, there is likely to be a schism among the Presbyterians, as there has already been among many other Protestant denominations along liberist/traditional lines.

Except for the name of the sect, one might just as well have been writing about the Novus Ordo in the Neo-Catholic Church. We have had spectacle of the pope praying at Rome's synagogue for the coming of the Messias and apologizing to the heretic Martin Luther. We have had the spectacle of the #2 cardinal publishing that Christ is not the Messias for the Jews. From the curia on down, one hears the notion that the Catholic Faith is just one of many true faiths. Such a teaching is known as indifferentism and is a defined heresy.

We are looking here at the future of the Novus Ordo. Vatican Council IV will be debating whether the Catholic Church should remain Christian or should become part of the One-World Oecumenical Church.

June 26, 2002 - Sts. John & Paul, Martyrs (Double)

No Compromise with New Order Error

From: Fred

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In reading your comments on the actions of the U.S. bishops, I cannot help but wonder if a great number of the Novus Ordo Bishops and bureaucrats simply want to destroy the Church. I know that sounds extreme, but I don't know what else to think. Vatican II is a complete and utter fraud and failure, and there is no putting a good face on it. Yet the bishops and bureaucrats continue to push it as if it had inaugurated a second Pentecost! I suppose that blindness and hardheartedness and pride explain a lot of it, but at a certain point you simply have to wonder whose side they are really on: Christs's or Satan's.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is evidence to indicate that plans were laid in the early part of the 20th century to destroy the Church from within. Involved in this plan were liberalist and totalitarian elements, such as Modernists and Communists. The activities of one such individual are documented in AA-1025: The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle, the autobiography of a Communist who became a priest to subvert the Church from within.

Pope St. Pius X valiantly opposed the Modernist incursions at the turn of his century and won the day by clear argument and public action. As a result, since the heresy could not prevail in the forum of open debate, it decided to go underground and used the weapons of Satan: subversion, lying, and disinformation. Much the same thing was beginning to happen in the sphere of secular politics at the time. The object of this campaign were the Mass, the Sacraments, and the Priesthood. We are now seeing the poisoned fruit of this campaign in the Church.

Clothed in its new garments of subversion, the heresy of Neo-Modernism broke out at the Second Vatican Council, mostly as a timebomb waiting to explode after the Council. The Rhine Flows into the Tiber by a contemporary journalist who wrote on the Council, confirms this plan of attack. Within five years after the Council's adjournment, the Neo-Modernists had abused the puppet pope, Paul VI, to get purported authority for a "New Mass."

How was this accomplished? Just as a murderer puts a little arsenic in his victim's tea each day, and the poison is not comprehended until the body has absorbed too much of the poison to fight it off, the Neo-Modernists introducted one little change after another into the Holy Mass and Sacraments until, before most people became aware of it, it was no longer a Mass at all, but a New Order "oecumenical" service, more Protestant than the conservative Protestant services.

Why did the good Catholic people not reject this phony "Catholicism"? Apparently, the Neo-Modernists bet right on the fact that if the pope or the local bishop said "Jump," the pew Catholic would ask "How high?" instead of "Is this Catholic?" Therefore, although the post-conciliar popes, bishops, and other Novus Ordinarians bear a significant responsibility for deliberately or carelessly introducing the crisis into the Church, so do the pew Catholics, who went along with everything, almost without a whimper.

In creation, evil has its consequences when we, with our free will, exercise a moral choice. Every time someone attends a perverted Novus Ordo service, the sacrilege cries to heaven for vengeance in its affront to the true worship of Almighty God, just as the blasphemous Protestant services do.

Truth does not "subsist in" error. Something is true or false, black or white. This is the bedrock of Catholic theology, which, too, has been seriously weakened in the New Order. Instead of solid, rational Aristotelianism and Thomism, we now have Phenomenology. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a gorilla, if you think its a gorilla. Objective reality is not a factor.

What does the Roman Catholic Faith teach us? There is no compromise with error. If you don't call a spade a spade and act upon your knowledge of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, you will eventually be coopted into the Novus Ordo error, whether you want to or not. Therefore, it is pointless to argue with the New Order over trivial points such as when to kneel or whether to bow at communion in the hand or where to put the tabernacle or whether to have wine with the congregational "dinner."

A true Catholic must absent himself entirely from what is in error and stand with Christ and Sts. Peter and Paul by assisting exclusively at the true Mass and Sacraments. To do otherwise is sacrilege and blasphemy, not Catholicism.

An Example to Learn From

From: Christopher

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It seems we could learn from the Anglicans and Episcopalians when it comes to the "indult" issue. For over 30 years, the Episcopalian Synod (now calling itself Forward in Faith) has tried to remain a "church within the Church" in the ECUSA. They wanted so-called "flying bishops" who were traditional and would serve them instead of their own diocesan bishops. The diocesan bishops now are seeing this as a "break in communion" and are now suspending Episcopalian priests who allow another bishop to come in and administer Confirmations, etc. Our Lord already told us what to think of these "church within a Church" ideas. "A house divided against itself..."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, I am aware of that situation. The traditional Episopalians are going through the same situation as the traditional Catholics. Another ploy the "charitable" and "oecumenical" Episcopalians did was to start "ordaining" priestesses on a voluntary basis. When some Episcopalian bishops exercised their right of not ordaining priestesses, the synod made the ordinations mandatory.

This is a ploy well known within the Novus Ordo apparatus as well. First altar-servettes were optional; then they become mandatory. Standing to receive communion was optional; then it became mandatory. Standing at the "Eucharistic prayer" is currently optional, but there are already signs that in many places it is becoming mandatory.

What suprises me is that people have not wised up to this situation after 30 years. Certainly, more of them have, and they are coming over to the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith, but all too many gripe about it, but then go along as if they were slaves to the local bishop or presbyter.

Their best answer is to act with their pocketbooks and their feet. To eave that place and find the true Mass. To notify (not debate with) the church that they are leaving with their money and why. If even 10% of the Catholics had done that in 1965, there would be no Novus Ordo. The number of Catholic attending Mass has dropped in 40 years from 4 in 5 to less than 1 in 5. Thus, every pew Catholic now speaks with a loud voice.

June 25, 2002 - St. William, Abbot (Double)

As the "Indult" Blows

From: Edward

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I've just returned from the Latin Mass (of the "indult" kind). After Mass I spoke for a few minutes with a long-standing member of the parish community. She reported that the end of June was to be the finish of offering the "indult" at this diocesan church. The new pastor of the parish says this "stuff" was supposed to be swept out and buried long ago. So he absolutely, positively, wants it out of his sanctuary. The bishop is not being all that helpful in finding a new location.

Also, the bishop has told the cathedral schola to reduce the number of Latin hymns they're singing at the Sunday Novus Ordo service. The Easter/Holy Week services saw (heard) far fewer Latin hymns, as the trimming actually began back then. This news came from an Anglican-convert lady who sings in the cathedral schola Sundays and then bolts after it over to the "indult" Mass.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This is a typical story with the "indult," and more of these cases will be seen after Protocol 1411 of 1999, which forces the "indult" Masses to be merged with Novus Ordo Masses. After all, the "indult" in the minds of the Novus Ordo apparatus was just a ploy to deceive good Catholics. In all fairness, the Vatican made it clear pretty much from the beginning that it would soon pull the plug, that the Novus Ordo service was the only service really "approved" by the New Order.

The "indult" Mass has always been evanescent. A new pastor or a new bishop comes in, and everything that has been built up is swept way. The is the "charity" that the New Order is so famous for! Fortunately, in your city you have both an independent Mass and one sponsored by one of the traditional societies.

Too bad these people didn't go to one of these two from the beginning. Then their contributions might have gone to the true faith instead of the bishop's privy purpose to pay off you know what. But, then, some people take longer to catch on than others. Some of us saw this coming ever since the Roman Catholic Faith was replaced by an unCatholic New Order in 1964.

June 24, 2002 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Double of the First Class)

Another Novus Ordo Fraud

From: Albert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

For traditional apologetics, I've appealed to what is called the Ottaviani Intervention, the letter Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote to Pope Paul VI on September 25, 1969 objecting to the pope's Novus Ordo Missal. But these post-Conciliar apologists claim that Cardinal Ottaviani subsequently retracted his objections to the New Mass. Is this true? If it is true, where's the documentation?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The ministers of the New Order did not stop even from fraud to push their unCatholic order upon the Church. A few months before Alfred Cardinal Ottaviani's death in late 1970, his secretary, a known Novus Ordo sympathizer, claimed to have gotten the Cardinal's signature on a letter retracting some points. However, by this time the Cardinal was ill and blind and had no way of knowing that he was signing something that contracted his own deeply-held position!

No official of the Vatican ever even acknowledged the purported letter -- which the Vatican certainly would have, if it were true, to be able to claim that the Church's chief theologian now approved of the Novus Ordo service. Instead, the Vatican treated the Cardinal's letter as a serious and great embarrassment in its questioning of the validity of the Novus Ordo service.

Moreover, the editor of one of France's leading Catholic journals, publicly accused the Cardinal's secretary of obtaining the Cardinal's signature by fraud, and the secretary was dismissed.

Cardinal Bacci and the other Roman theologians who were joint authors of the Intervention have never withdrawn their contention that the Novus Ordo service is essentially unCatholic and invalid. The truth of their courageous challenge of Pope Paul VI now is clear to see, as the whole Novus Ordo gradually sinks into muck and mire.

June 23, 2002 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

As the "New Mass" Turns....

From: Maureen

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, of Mechelen-Brussels, a purported papabile, defended Vatican II to the hilt at an international conference at Rome on June 17-22, even as the Church suffers its ill effects.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Can you imagine such a speech being given before 1962? It just wouldn't happen. The Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Rite, the rite of the Apostolic See, was stable, reverent, Catholic, and Apostolic. It was Vatican II and its aftermath, principally, that introduced the grave situation in the Church that we face today.

Danneels' speech is simply an admission that the New Order is out of control -- certainly the Vatican can't control it. Even the bishops are out of control, in many ways, as current events show. But none of this should be a surprise to traditional Catholics. We have always known that the New Order has within it the seeds of its own certain destruction, as it is not Catholic and Apostolic. Therefore, its foundering is only a question of time.

On the other hand, compare the aftermath of Vatican II, which is sinking in its own slime, to the aftermath of Trent, which experienced an outpouring of unity and sanctity. Trent was a true council of the Church. Vatican II was a travesty of a council, as history is more and more clearly showing.

Of course, the Novus Ordinarians and the Vatican bureaucrats cannot admit this, even though the whole world is coming to know the patent truth. The Novus Ordo bureaucrats continue to churn out New Order propaganda, but the chinks in the armor are more and more beginning to show through. As Our Lord said, just be patient and wait until Providence takes its course. At the harvest there will be no question what the weeds are!

June 22, 2002 - St. Paulinus, Bishop & Confessor (Double)

The "Indult" Noose Tightens

From: Joan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I used to know a young man who flirted with the notion of attending the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) seminary [in Nebraska]. He said they were expected to fill in the gaps for the priest shortage of the local New Order Church. I knew another chap who went to one of the FSSP's retreats and, sadly, ended up in their seminary. He told me that the retreatants were informed that if they did not accept the New Mass, they were not welcome there. Now we see why.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This is an interesting revelation. Since the Novus Ordo presbyterate is obsolescent, where are future presbyters going to be drawn from? One source would be the "indult" seminaries. But the Vatican and the bishops won't accept these seminaries if they are traditional, so it must enforce the Novus Ordo upon them. This need for presbyters would explain why some bishops and the Vatican tolerate a little bit of indultarianism, so they can turn it away from traditional Catholicism to suit their own purposes.

Of course, the indultarians are simply being used in this scenario, but are apparently willing to pay the price of giving up the traditional Roman Catholic Faith to get the grudging approval of bishops who use them, abuse them, and set up a state of immorality within their dioceses. Once you sign your pact with Mephistopheles, he's going to burn you one way or the other. Unfortunately, the indultarian seminarians are too young to have the wisdom to know that they are being used. If they did, they would just say No!, and get themselves into a truly traditional situation.

A Latin Lesson on Celibacy

From: Lee

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I constantly hear ignorant people misusing the term celibate. Could you explain once more the correct meaning?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Annoying, isn't it? Celibate derives from the Latin coelibatus and means unmarried. Chaste derives from the Latin castus and means to observe chastity according to one's state of life, whether married or single. If one uses the word celibate in the sense of chaste, as you hear it sometimes incorrectly, then you have the ridiculous possibility of a celibate (that is, chaste) person who is married!

This is one of the reasons why the Roman Catholic Church has always insisted upon using Latin for its official documents. Latin has the virtue of a settled definition of words, without the ever-changeability of meaning that the vulgar tongues introduce.

Even in English, though, both the prescriptive Webster's Second Unabridged Dictionary and the descriptive Webster's Third Unabridged Dictionary give only one meaning for celibate, and that is unmarried.

June 21, 2002 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Confessor (Double)

An Old Novus Ordo Lie

From: Nestor

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Recently, when I asked a Novus Ordo minister I know why many was changed to all in the English vernacular translation of the Novus Ordo service, he replied that in Hebrew many is used for all, as there is no word in Hebrew for all. Your comments, please.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Do these people have their heads in the sand, or do they just think that Catholics are stupid? That statement, which was accepted without question for many years just because Novus Ordo "liturgists" said it, has turned out to be a bald-faced lie. Monsignor Klaus Gambler ably laid out the truth in an appendix to his book, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background. For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend?.

The truth of the matter is that Hebrew, Syriac/Aramaic, Greek, and Latin all have distinct words for many and all. Mgsr. Gambler, surprisingly, was the first person in twenty years to have actually checked the Novus Ordo statement with an ancient-languages scholar. Just goes to show how gullible most Catholics are to anything that the Novus Ordinarians tell them!

This statement originated as just another lie that the Novus Ordo tried to foist off on Catholics -- the purpose of this one being apparently to destroy the validity of the Novus Ordo service as a "Mass," since the Novus Ordo consecration, which is not the Apostolic one recognized by the Church and promulgated dogmatically by the Council of Trent and Pope St. Pius V, arguendo makes the Novus Ordo service invalid as a "Mass" (along with other invalidating defects in matter and intention, previously discussed in this Commentaries from the Mailbox department).

Living in a Pagan World

From: Carol

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What has the Church taught regarding bad companions? What about all the relatives now who are living together without marriage, or in second or third marriages? Aren't these relatives considered bad companions to flee from, as are grandchildren who give up the faith and go into witchcraft? I don't know what to do anymore.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This time is no worse than many others in history. One thinks of the world in which the Catholic Faith was born, the Roman Empire of the first three centuries after Christ. The early Christians faced the same problems when associating with the pagans of their own society. In such adverse circumstances, they were fervent evangelists for the Faith and, as a result, eventually took over the whole world -- in just three centuries.

With all the modern means of communication, we should be able to do no less -- if we really wanted to. Unfortunately, most modern Catholics are quite lazy spiritually and certainly not zealous in their Faith. They are simply paying the price for their own sloth -- one of the Seven Capital Sins, remember.

An Eastern Drop in the Bucket

From: Maureen

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It seems that the argument for the Roman Rite Liturgy would be more easily won were it not for the existence of multiple rites in the Catholic Church. Opponents of the canonized Latin Mass liturgy use these to defend any and all changes in the Mass. How many rites are there in the Church?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This old chestnut of an argument is a red-herring. The Eastern rites are a drop in the bucket -- less than 2% of the entire Catholic population. Very few of the Eastern Apostolic Eastern rites survive today. Most of them have been corrupted worse than the Novus Ordo (if that is possible!).

Providence did not plant the Church in the East, in Jerusalem or Antioch. St. James was killed in Jerusalem, and St. Peter left Antioch. No, by God's will, the Roman Catholic Church was founded at Rome. There its two greatest Saints underwent martyrdom. There its two greatest Saints founded the Roman Mass, sometimes called the Rite of St. Peter. The Roman rite is not just a rite like all the rest; it is the rite -- the rite of the Apostolic and Roman See. That, and its historical universality, as not being tied down to a particular little community in some part of the world, but being celebrated throughout the world, East and West, gives it what is known theologically as the praestantia ritus Romani, the pre-eminence of the Roman Rite.

The eminent liturgical scholar, Dr. Adrian Fortescue's words on the subject are important to recall: [The Mass of the Roman Rite is] the most venerable in all Christendom, with a history of unbroken use far longer than that of any Eastern rite, there being no doubt that the essential parts of the Mass are of Apostolic origin.

A Non-existent "New Mass"

From: George

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How can a pope promulgate a "New Mass" that is, at best, a sacrilege and a danger to the Faith or, at worst, invalid. How does one answer the "conservatives," who argue that history has shown that the "slash and burn" approach can result in schism?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is a little known fact (actually, a concealed fact by the Novus Ordinarians) that the "New Order" was never promulgated with the full authority of the papacy, and certainly not with any infallibility. On the other hand, the Traditional Latin Mass had already been part of Apostolic Tradition for 1500 years when Pope St. Pius V confirmed Sacred Tradition and permitted no other Mass for the Roman Rite.

Paul VI approved only the printing of the "New Missal," and subordinate Vatican congregations took it upon themselves to act ultra vires by attempting to impose it on the Church by their own (non-existent) authority. The "New Mass" has very little actual legality to it; most of it is just pressure by the Modernists who took over the Vatican mechanisms after Vatican II, like the Freemason Hannibal Bugnini.

As to the historical argument, what the "conservatives" allege is not what the history of the Church actually shows. Dogmatic Council Vatican I, which was the same council that defined a limited papal infallibility, determined that some 40 popes out of some 250 were associated with schism and heresy. Some were even excommunicated from the Church.

The greatest Saints of the Church -- St. Paul, St. Athanasius, St. Basil the Great, St. Martin, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, immediately come to mind -- certainly can't be cited by the "conservatives," because these and many other great Saints were definitely of the "slash and burn mentality." They would tolerate no compromise with error in the Catholic Faith and even stood against the pope when he erred. They didn't compromise with the heretics of their time one iota.

This wishy-washy notion of the "conservatives" just isn't Catholic. You can't compromise with the true Faith; otherwise, you end up with Protestantism, which is just what has happened. In the meantime, hundreds of millions of Catholics have walked away from the Faith or end up receiving as communion plain unconsecrated bread or cookies or buns, or whatever. The Protestants are all too happy to accept and use the Novus Ordo. It is the true Catholics who don't tolerate it, following the lead of the great Saints.

June 20, 2002 - St. Silverius, Pope & Martyr (Simple)

Sacrilege Never Satisfies

From: Carl

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A conservative Novus Ordo bulletin from London claims that throughout the world today there are no invalid Masses, that with a priest present, the intention by the celebrant to perform the religious action, i.e., the Mass, with the correct matter and form results in a valid Mass. Even in cases of "litugical abuse," where a layman has participated in the consecration, as long as the priest present has also pronounced the words, the Mass is valid.

The article concludes, concerning the fulfillment of one's Sunday obligation, that for practical purposes, the only Latin Rite Masses that would not fulfill one's Sunday obligation would be those that make no pretense whatsoever of being based on the 1962 or Novus Ordo Missal. What is your opinion about these statements?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I would sharply disagree with these statements, as they ignore all of the issues of validity: form, matter, and intention. As to form, the Novus Ordo changed the unquestionably valid Apostolic form, confirmed dogmatically by Pope St. Pius V, into something that is very probably invalid, both by addition to and by subtraction from the Apostolic form.

As to matter, even the Vatican, in a March 15, 1978, letter to the U.S. National Council of Catholic Bishops, has admitted that many Novus Ordo services are invalid because they lack valid form (many "recipes" for communion breads are in fact not simply wheaten flour and water, but have invalidating admixtures) and has demanded that those services be re-celebrated and stipends for them returned. Of course, the bishops ignored this command of the pope and of divine justice, as they do anything that is truly Catholic.

As to intention, if Pope Leo XIII declared Anglican services invalid because of lack of proper intention, wouldn't the Novus Ordo service fall into the same category for the same reasons? Does anyone really believe that Pope Leo XIII would accept as Catholic the Protestantized Novus Ordo service?

Another point. Even if the Novus Ordo service were valid, there is no question that it is sacrilegious. It makes a travesty of divine worship, spurns the Apostolic Tradition, pays no reverence to what is supposedly the Blessed Sacrament (but which is really a piece of bread, and often not even that, but a cookie or a bun).

To attend such a service involves the Catholic in the sacrilege and certainly fulfils no obligation of worship, as that obligation pertains to not just any worship, but the proper worship. Otherwise, we could all attend a Black Mass, drink chicken blood, and say that we have fulfilled our obligation of worshipping God. A pretty ridiculous argument, wouldn't you say?

A Lesson in Biblical Greek

From: Stacey

I have an ongoing argument with a Protestant friend. He insists that penance is useless, that in fact it insults God, and that penance is mentioned nowhere in the New Testament. I gave him about six quotations from the Douay-Rheims Bible (all New Testament) that speak of penance and its necessity.

However, my friend, who studies Biblical Greek, insists that the original Greek meaning of each of those verses I gave him translates to repent, not to "penance. Obviously, repent means just to be sorry and to resolve to sin no more. Penance means that plus something more -- some act of reparation on top of just feeling sorry.

My question is this: what Greek word is used for penance in the New Testament, and how do I prove to my friend, who is an "expert Protestant" (if there truly is such a thing), that the passages in fact mean to do penance and not simply to repent? Please give me something to present to him, because I am certainly no expert in Biblical Greek, nor do I intend to become one, as I'm perfectly satisfied with the work of St. Jerome and don't think that I need to retrace his steps.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The usual Greek word for penance, metanoia, or its verbal form metanoein, does certainly mean to repent, but just as certainly the notion of doing penance is contained in it.

St. Jerome, who certainly knew the Biblical languages better than anyone today, consistently renders metanoein as the phrase poenitentiam agere, to do penance, even though Latin has a perfectly appropriate verb for to repent, poenitere. St. Jerome is always careful to use the most literal rendition of the thought possible.

Moreover, the context of several phrases in the New Testament indicates that there is a doing of penance involved. For example, Matthew 11:21: palai an en sakkoi kai spodoi metenoesan. It's pretty hard to repent mentally in sackcloth and ashes! No, you are doing penance in sackcloth and ashes.

In the Apocalypse 2:5: metanoeson kai ta prota erga poieson, the concept of doing penance is brought out by the parallelism in the aorist imperatives, with poieson being the actual word of doing. Again here, St. Jerome renders with the equivalent do phrase in Latin: poenitentiam egeris.

I think that your Protestant is being much too "English"-minded and not imbued enough with the biblical tongues. It is one thing to do a few lessons in a book; it is another thing to spend years with the languages and their meanings.

Now that the Smoke Has Cleared

From: Fr. Moderator

Now that the U.S. Novus Ordo bishops have left their biannual conference in Dallas, one sees clearly how in the New Order all is vanity, in the sense of Ecclesiastes, that is, empty. After all the hullabaloo:

Now let us await the fallout. This matter is not going to go away. More and more Novus Ordo Catholics, that is, those who have any vestige of the Faith left in them, are abandoning such bishops in wolf's clothing and returning to Roman Catholicism where it has always been. The Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith are the only salvation of the Church, as they always have been.

June 19, 2002 - St. Juliana Falconieri, Virgin (Double)

Revising Trent!

From: Fr. Moderator

I have received several inquiries on the following story recently reported in the press:

VATICAN, Jun 14, 02 (CWN) - Even as the Church expects and awaits a new encyclical on the guiding principles underling the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, the semi-official Italian Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica, in its latest edition this week, recalls the evolution of these doctrines from the time of the Council of Trent. This magazine, known "to be read and corrected" by the Secretariat of State of the Vatican, presents in particular the failings, or gaps, of this Council, apparently rejecting what some see as the superior theology of Trent over Vatican II.

One has to read such reports with a background of Romanitas, which is a subtle diplomatic language that the Vatican uses. Most reports are not what they appear to be on the surface; what is important is what is selected to be stated or what is left unstated. What is interesting about this report is the admission that "some see ... the superior theology of Trent over Vatican II." That is a major admission for the Novus Ordo!

One needs to remember that the Sacred Council of Trent was dogmatic and boasted some of the greatest minds the Church ever had (St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Charles Borromeo, Pope St. Pius V, etc.). Vatican II was merely a pastoral council, with no dogmatic force, and included a bunch of suspected, censured, and defrocked theologians (like Hans Kung and Karl Rahner) as periti, or "experts."

I cast my lot with Trent, as the Church does. Moreover, does anyone take the Jesuits seriously any longer after the Liberation Theology debacle? They were already suppressed for forty years, and even the liberalist Pope Paul VI excluded them because their thinking was no longer Catholic.

You can just bet that what will come out in the purported encyclical is the usual Vaticanese that means nothing, with nothing of the clarity of Trent. And because it says nothing, liberals, conservatives, and all the rest will make of it just what they each want. True Catholics, of course, will pay no attention to any Vatican II gobbledegook, but stay with the clarity and dogmatic quality of the Sacred Council of Trent.

Prey to Ignorance

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It's been my conviction that one of the major problems besetting the faithful today is the lack of an authentic Catholic intelligence. When I compare the college Theology programs as described in the college bulletins from 1960 and today at the only college in North America conducted by the Dominican Fathers, I see the problem quite plainly. If only such colleges had retained their systematic approach, the faithful would have been much better off and much stronger in repelling the assaults of Novus Ordoism. The difference is striking:

1960: "The full course in College Theology is a systematic exposition of the teaching of the Catholic Church as put forth by St. Thomas Aquinas in his monumental work, the Summa Theologica. The Angelic Doctor himself describes his work: "Because the chief aim of sacred doctrine is to teach the knowledge of God, not only as He is in Himself, but also as He is in the beginning of things and their last end, and especially of rational creatures ..., therefore in our endeavor to expound this science, we shall treat (1) of God; (2) of the rational creature's advance towards God; (3) of Christ, Who, as Man, is our way to God." Throughout the courses the matter will be correlated with Thomistic Philosophy; special attention will be given to those principles of Theology which are most pertinent to the solution of modern problems."
Today: The program in Theology pursues two distinct objectives. (1) It provides all students fulfilling the two-course general requirement with a large selection of courses dealing with a variety of pertinent areas and aspects of religion: Biblical literature, Roman Catholic theology, Protestant Christianity, and Jewish religious thought. (2) It provides majors in Theology with a program that is flexible and professional, designed to meet the particular and personal objectives of each student.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You will find the same in academia as a whole. What passes for "education" these days is so far beneath what I had the privilege of getting forty years ago that there are now few who have the basic classical education that has been the lifeblood of the Catholic Faith and Western Civilization since the Romans. Instead, the heads of our youth are filled with psychobabble, "gender" studies, film, and all the other empty-headed "courses" that are now offered instead of Latin, Greek, logic, grammar, rhetoric, mathematics, geometry, music (sacred and classical), astronomy, and the other traditional courses of the traditional Liberal Arts curriculum.

In the course descriptions, notice that the traditional one of 1960 describes what is actually taught. The modernistic one describes what credit is received. In other words, to the modernistic mind, the important thing is not what you learn and know, but what piece of paper you get. I know fine priests who have much knowledge without papers. I also know silly presbyters who have papers (as "liturgists" or whatever), but who have no knowledge.

A common notion nowadays is that someone can open some summary (like Denizger's Enchiridion Symbolorum or Canon Law -- not even in Latin, but somebody's vernacularized notion of it) and become an immediate expert. Wrong! Without a detailed background of study, for many years, one has no idea what the meaning of the terms is, or their historical, contextual, and interpretive background. I have seen the most ignorant statements made by "lay theologians," who pontificate on some matter of doctrine, having read a translated extract from Denziger, but having no idea whatsoever of what the true meaning or context of the extract is.

June 18, 2002 - St. Ephrem, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

The New Lord's Prayer

From: Leroy

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Now I sit me down in school where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites, it violates the Bill of Rights,
And anytime my head I bow becomes a federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange, or green; that's no offense: it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise; prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate, God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to curse and dress like freaks, and pierce our noses, tongues, and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible; to quote the Good Book makes us liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, and the "unwed daddy," our Senior King.
It's inappropriate to teach right from wrong; we're taught that such judgments do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls, study witchcraft, vampires, and totem poles,
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed; no word of God must reach the crowd.

It's scary here, I must confess, when chaos reigns, the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make: Should I be shot, my soul please take! Amen.

June 17, 2002 - Ferial Day

Inquisition Nonsense

From: Manuel

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Someone left some anti-Catholic literature at my door. I briefly read some of the tracts before throwing them away. One of the tracts said that the Roman Catholic Church was responsible for putting to death over 40 million people it considered as heretics. The tract also noted that the Spanish Inquisition was the cruelest of all. Are these allegations true?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Of course not. That number is ridiculous. It is three times the number of those killed by the Nazis in the concentration camps! Come on now, you Protestant pamphleteers, make your ignorance at least believable.

The real number given by the most reputable historians is more like 2,000, whereas the Protestants in Europe and the Americas killed 150,000, many of them as witches of the devil. The Catholic Church believed that "witches" were simply demented people and left them alone, but the Protestants burned and drowned them without mercy. Moreover, those "enlightened" Protestant monarchs, like Queen Elizabeth of England, didn't hesitate not only to kill but also to torture and butcher 400 Catholic priests. By the way, the Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with the Church, but was run by the secular government of Spain, and the popes condemned many of its actions as criminal.

Throw these statistics back at your ignorant pamphleteers!

A Saint Forever

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I was watching Jeopardy on television, and one of the categories was "Name the Saint." One of the questions was about St. Christopher. Of course, no one got the answer right. Then Alex Trebeck, the host, added that St. Christopher is no longer recognized by the Catholic Church. Is this true?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, it is not true. Trebeck is usually smarter than that. After all, he went to a fine school in Canada, where the courses were taught in Latin.

St. Christopher is one of the Fourteen Auxiliary Saints recognized since the early Church. The New Order, in the dementia after Vatican II, removed his feastday from its bowdlerized liturgical calendar, but even for the New Order that didn't "uncanonize" him.

June 16, 2002 - Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

A Door Opens

From: Terry

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Do you think it is possible that the internet could be the product of divine Providence in this time of bitter trial for the Church? Could it be that Providence has provided such a way that otherwise uninformed, isolated people all around the world could know the true state His Church is in after the Vatican II catastrophe, and how one is to return to Her bosom?

For myself, certainly, I am sure that were it not for the internet I would still to this day have been completely ignorant about the fraudulent Novus Ordo establishment. I, and all of my family, would surely have died the weak, syncretistic, heretics that we had become.

It seems to me even more odd that the Vatican II catastrophe is all about the usurpation at the highest level of the Church by liars who deceive and cover up the true teachings of the Church, her sacraments, and public worship. And, at the same time, the internet gives man the means to disseminate information with great clarity, freely and to every corner of the globe.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

One door closes; another opens. Where would we book without books, tapes, CDs, videos, and the internet during this time when the apostates have the church buildings, as St. Athanasius said?

I can agree with your assessment. TRADITIO is the longest-running traditional Catholic internet site. We have been here eight years, longer even than the Vatican site. During that time, I have seen our ministry touch souls that I never imagined when I set out. For most of those eight years, a week does not go by but that I hear from souls who write in gratitude that they would otherwise have fallen by the wayside, but credit TRADITIO with bringing back their Catholic Faith.

Sure, there's a lot of base rumor-mongering, calumny, and ignorant trash on the internet. The same could be said of books, television, and so forth. But the other side of the story is that the internet makes a site like TRADITIO possible.

So Goes the "Indult"

From: Marie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

With all the recent "scandals," there is bound to be an exodus of Novus Ordo presbyters. It occurs to me that if there is a shortage of presbyters to "preside over" the Novus Ordo service, the bishops would enlist, or even force, the "indult" diocesan and society priests to preside over the Novus Ordo service.

It also occurs to me that this is one of the main reasons for the push to bring the SSPX under the heavy hand of the Novus Ordo apparatus. Perhaps, the Vatican has been preparing for this moment for several years.

The coming months will be the ultimate test of fidelity to the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith by these "indult" groups as the pressure on them to go to Novus Ordo becomes enormous. The faithful, of course, will be encouraged to go along with this for "the good of the Church." This may be the way the Novus Ordo finally does the "indult" in once and for all.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

A very astute analysis. Even I hadn't thought of that one! The Vatican already admits that the days of the "indult" are numbered. Indultarians shouldn't get too cozy with their present situations. What little remains to them after Protocol 1411 of 1999 will shortly be taken away, on any of a number of pretexts.

Living in Sin

From: Lisa

Dear Fr. Moderator:

My boyfriend and I are expecting our first baby. Can we still have him baptized if we are not married?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The concern always in such a case is whether the child will be raised in the true Faith and whether the parents would show the child the proper Catholic example. Baptism is not just some empty ceremony to show off a baby to drooling family members. It is a very grave Sacrament that is not to be treated lightly.

It doesn't sound as though the child would be raised in a Catholic home when the parents are offending God and their fellow men by constantly living in a public and grave state of sin, which is in effect a denial of their own Baptismal vows.

I hope that this will be a wake-up call to the parents to straighten up and fly right. As it is, they appear to be sinking deeper into sin and, if they persist in this course will end up taking the child with them to perdition. Remember St. Paul's words to the Ephesians (5:5/DR): "...no fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is a serving of idols) hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." May God direct you back on the right path, for the sake of your own souls, and that of your child.

Whom to Blame?

From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It seems that everyone is blaming the bishops for the present crisis in the Church, but what about the man who appointed them as shepherds of the flock? Ultimately, the buck has to stop at the desk of Pope John Paul II, yet no one dares to say that. I wonder whether Our Lord is asking him, "Peter, lovest thou Me?"

For John Paul II, despite some good things he has done, has presided over the worst destruction of the Church since the Roman persecutions. He alone has the power of the keys properly, but rather than exercise that power, he does nothing. Many of the Fathers of the Church interpreted the stars falling from heaven in the Apocalypse as being symbolic of consecrated souls (popes, bishops, priests, etc.) losing the Faith. We are indeed living in apocalyptic times.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

And more broadly than that. Let's add in Paul VI at least, if not John Paul I and John XXIII. But we are all at fault for allowing the Vatican II New Order to take over. It could not have gotten hold had both the clergy and the laity permitted it.

No one this will go away until the Church returns to the true worship of God. Everything else is ultimately pointless. God will, as the Apocalypse says, vomit the Novus Ordo out of his mouth. There is no good in something that is founded upon the worst sacrilege and blasphemy.

Novus Ordo Priesthood Gutted Long Ago

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it true that the Novus Ordo did away with six of the Holy Orders?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes. This fact is rarely mentioned and certainly hasn't been adduced in either secular or religious coverage as a major contributory factor to the current "scandal." That is an error of ignorance.

Traditionally, there are seven Holy Orders. First Tonsure sets a man apart in the clerical state, responsible to the Church, not to the State -- no longer is he a layman. If suitable, the man may advance to the four Minor Orders of Porter, Lector, Exorcist, and Acolyte, followed by the three Major Orders of Subdeacon, Deacon, and Priest over a period of approximately five years. Thus, the man learns about the clerical life and his suitability for it, through a long, gradual period. It is when the man receives the Order of Subdeacon that his lifelong commitment to celibacy begins.

The Novus Ordo gutted this whole system of preparation for the priesthood, which had been used since the early centuries of the Church. Paul VI, in his decree of August 15, 1972, entitled Ministeria quaedam, with one stroke purportedly wiped away Tonsure, the four Minor Orders, and even the Major Order of the Subdiaconate. Later, the Diaconate was wrested from the clerical state and given to laypeople, as had been the Minor Orders of Lector and Acolyte. Certain powers of the Order of the Diaconate were even given to women under the title of "Eucharistic Minister."

One could very well argue that Paul VI's recklessly revolutionary actions attempted in this regard sealed the fate of the priesthood in the Novus Ordo. Since then, together with the "New Mass" and the "New Ordinal," there has really been in the New Order no priesthood as traditionally understood, and the New Order even prefers to use the term presbyter rather than priest to downplay the element of offering sacrifice.

The traditional wisdom of Holy Mother Church in providing for grades of the clerical state to ensure many options to assess, reassess, and stop, if necessary, becomes quite clear in the context of the recent "scandal" in the Novus Ordo presbyterate.

Once again, the traditional path is proven to be the correct and godly path, whereas the Novus Ordo path is proven to be the path to perdition.

June 15, 2002 - Our Lady's Saturday (Simple)

Worst Enemy of the Church

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Here is a quiz question (with the answer below) that I thought might be insightful to you and those on the list. Question: What is the worst enemy of the Church that is currently working against the restoration of the faith and has always sought to undermine the faith of Catholics in every age of the Church?

Is it Freemasonry?
Is it Liberalism?
Is it Modernism?
Is it democracy?
Is it the hierarchy?
Is it division in the Church?
Is it Protestantism?
Is it paganism?
Is it atheism?

No! The answer is "conservative Catholicism" (as opposed to traditional Catholicism). This sort of Catholicism has undermined the work of the Church for centuries, for every time the Church begins to flourish, the "conservative Catholics" seem to hold back the faith from making progress by wanting to be "politically correct."

We see "conservative Catholics" throughout the history of Church. The English Reformation (or should I say deformation) is a classic example. There were a number of Catholics in England who were willing to compromise with the schismatic Church of England, until Pope St. Pius V made it very clear that no compromise with evil was tolerable for political purposes.

We see other examples throughout the whole 19th and 20th centuries, in which "conservative Catholics" hold hands with Modernism and then Novus Ordoism in order to be esteemed by the world. Yet at the same time they fail to see that they have succeeded only in undermining the very faith they claim to represent.

One need only ask: isn't it worth suffering unpopularity and calumny, no matter how false it is, for the uncompromized faith, as the Saint-Martyrs did? Have not the Catholic martyrs of the French Revolution and the English "Reformation," not to speak of the Roman martyrs of the early centuries of the Church, given us enough examples to despise the "politically correct" notion of faith?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

A very astute point. "conservative Catholics" are willing to sell out the true faith as long as the purple and scarlet robes pay them attention. They are like little children, who are willing to do anything just to get a little attention from their parents. They are far from the example of, say, a St. John the Baptist, who was quite willing to stand up for the true faith, even though he was a vox clamantis in deserto.

It is from the "conservative Catholics" that we get the travesty of the "Indult Mass," which is now shown up for what some of us saw from 1988 -- a rotten carrot, whose stick didn't wait long to smack the true faith. Now we see the "indult" societies in disarray, having been struck moribund by Protocol 1411 of 1999.

The "indult" approach, just like the Novus Ordo itself, is, to quote another, like a tree that has had its roots cut. The tree may still appear for some time to be healthy. But it's really dying.

June 14, 2002 - Octave Day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Major Double)

God Bless America?

From: Fr. Moderator

According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), in 2001 more than 29.4 million Americans said that they have no religion (USA Today, March 7, 2002). This is more than twice as many as in 1990, exceeding the number of Methodists, Lutherans, and Episcopalians combined. Washington State has the highest percentage of persons professing no religion -- one out of four, as compared to the national average of one out of ten.

A USA Today / Gallup Poll taken in January of 2002 found that only half of Americans consider themselves religious (ibid.) This is down 4% from December 1999, in spite of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Inviolate Seal

From: Cheri

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it the civil law that if a person confesses a crime punishable by law to a priest, it does not have to be disclosed to state officials? How did this come about?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The sigillum, or seal, of the confessional is absolutely inviolable as a matter of natural law. Priests have been martyred for protecting the seal of the confessional. Without such absolute certainty, the penitent cannot freely confess and receive the spiritual guidance necessary to reform. Nor is the Church to be placed in the position of being the servant of the State. When that happens you have totalitarianism, whether Nazism on the right or Stalism on the left.

The very idea of the civil law being superior to the ecclesiastical law is a quite recent notion and seriously problematical. To date, the civil law has recognized the seal of the confessional, but even if it didn't, the priest would be bound to secrecy, even at the risk of imprisonment or death by the State.

The law (at least in the United States) has already broken the confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship, to the detriment and scandal of the ill. Fortunately for the faithful, priests will always be bound by the seal, no matter what reckless action the State may take.

The Great Charles

From: David

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I've been doing a fair amount of research on the development of the Roman Rite over the past couple of months, and a name that keeps coming up is that of Charlesmagne. He seems to have had enormous influence over both the liturgy and the music of the Western Church, but all I know about him is what I learned in school, namely, that he was the first Holy Roman Emperor.

This got me wondering about that position. Where exactly did the Emperor fit into the ecclesiastical hierarchy? It seems odd for a layman to have the power to supplant the Gallican Liturgy with the Roman, modify Church music, etc. My course in European History began with the Renaissance, when the Holy Roman Empire was just a shadow of its former self (my teacher took great glee in saying that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire).

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The importance of the emperor, first that of Rome, then that of the Holy Roman Empire, was significant. In the early Church, it was the emperor who called Oecumenical Councils and enforced Church doctrine. Blessed Charlesmagne, crowned by the pope on Christmas Day of the year 800, carried the Roman Rite throughout Europe, with the complete support of the pope. It was he who sent the European scholars to Rome to get the best texts of the Roman Rite, so that the whole world could imitate the rite and music of the Mother Church at Rome.

So respected was Charlesmagne -- who was in fact holy, Roman, and an emperor -- that he processed in winter from his capital at Aachen in Germany to Rome to attend Matins of Christmas. So moved was the pope by this act of humility that he gave to this layman the most singular privilege of chanting the Seventh Lesson of Matins, Pope Leo's commentary on the census decree issued by the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, although only a Priest is supposed to chant the lessons of the Divine Office.

Charlesmagne, a French form of the Latin Carolus Magnus, or Charles the Great, was a truly overarching figure in the history of the world. His Catholicity shaped Europe in a way that has marked the trend of Western civilization to this day. Fortunately, we have a biography written by Einhardus, a contemporary of Charlemagne's, entitled Vita Caroli Magni.

June 13, 2002 - St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor & Doctor of the Church (Double)

The Truth Begins to Dawn

From: Fr. Moderator

In previous Commentaries from the Mailbox, I have indicated that the recent scandals in the Novus Ordo apparatus are really a blessing in disguise. I predicted that as the truth about Vatican II and its aftermath became more and more obvious in the unCatholic nature of everything about the Novus Ordo, more and more voices and pens would pick it up the traditional cry.

The following is an example of just what I was talking about. The astonishing thing about this article, in addition to its public denunciation of Vatican II, is that it calls the Novus Ordo apparatus for what it is: a "New Catholic Church." Where are the cries of schism! Where are the cries of damnation! Are they reserved only for traditional Catholics, not newspaper columnists?

No, the really astonishing thing is how, with the veil having been pulled off these Novus Ordo clergy for all to see the rotting corruption within, the "Catholics" still trudge off to their parish churches, participate in the same sacrilegious Protestant worship service, still receive bread in their hands (according to the 1992 Gallup poll, over 80% of them believe that it is bread), still have "reconciliation" instead of the Sacrament of Penance, still countenance heresies being preached from the pulpit, still advocate obedience to the local heretical, schismatic, and immoral bishops?

We are getting beyond the point where anyone can plead "invincible ignorance" in such matters. While some demean Pope Pius XII for his actions in World War II, they forget the lessons of that war for themselves. How many otherwise good Germans, realizing in their hearts that the Nazi government was exterminating their neighbors, stood back and played dumb because anything else was too inconvenient?

They are the "ostrich Catholics," who stick their head in the sand and say: "I don't want to know." The Gospel tells us what Our Lord's response to such people will be: "I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23/DR).

In 1940, no one thought that the powerful Nazi machine could be overcome. Therefore, people did not fight it; they compromised with it, hoping to take it. Just as "Catholics" have done with the Novus Ordo. But we all know that compromise didn't work, and that the machine fell just five years latter from the peak of its power.

And just as the Nazi house fell, so will the Novus Ordo. Have no doubt about that!

Monday, June 10, 2002
The Roots of the Catholics' Scandal
June 9, 2002
By Steven Greenhut
The Orange County Register
The answer has nothing to do with the liberal canard that celibacy is to blame. Normal men do not suddenly have the urge to molest children or grope teen-agers simply because they have chosen to live a life devoted to prayer rather than carnal pursuits.
The real answer is more disturbing. Ever since Vatican II, the 1960s oecumenical council that ushered in reforms, the Roman Catholic Church's leadership has become dominated by theological and social liberals - people who downplay or even disdain the true teachings of the church and have used their positions to promote liberalization on many matters, including on sexual matters. These leaders don't necessarily defy church teachings outright, but they often chip away around the edges.
Vatican II perhaps did not mean to unleash a torrent of theological liberalism, but the council coincided with enormous political and social distortions within American society during the 1960s, according to some analysts. Many people flocked to the church in the hopes that they could "save" it from its "outmoded" teachings that treat sex outside of marriage, homosexual behavior, birth control and abortion as sins.
These liberal insiders sought to replace the traditional mass with highly simplified and experimental versions. An emphasis on holiness shifted to a focus on worldly relevance. The zeal for evangelization was transformed into a zeal for political change, through the Social Gospel and even liberation theology (promoting "justice" through communist revolution).
As believers in the New Catholic Church took over, they threw out the traditional-style churches with their grand architecture and statues, and replaced them with barren gymnasium-style churches that relegated the tabernacle with the eucharist to rooms that resemble broom closets. Some in the church came to depict the reverence of the Real Presence as "cookie worship." The "spirit of Vatican II" became a truncheon used by liberals to pursue the reforms they had always sought.
Those who clung to traditions in many seminaries were ridiculed, excluded and persecuted. As a result traditional men who cherished their vows were cast aside in favor of candidates who espoused the new doctrines. Standards became lax, and we see the fruits of the new crop of priests who imbibed dissident teachings and permissive attitudes rather than the words and outlook of the church fathers.

June 12, 2002 - St. John of Facundo, Confessor (Double)

Infallible and Not

From: Andrew

Dear Fr. Moderator:

As I understand it, the Pope has only spoken ex cathedra a few times since the doctrine was defined at Vatican I. What were subjects of these ex cathedra pronouncements, and does this mean that we can ignore the other detritus emanating from the Vatican, particularly the recent document on the legitimacy of Judaism as a path to salvation?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The two usually cited are the dogmatic definition on the Immaculate Conception (1854) and that on the Assumption (1950). These involved the exercise of what is known as the Extraordinary Magisterium, which is unusual. The Ordinary Magisterium is just as binding, defined as "that which was believed everywhere, always, and by all."

No doctrine can, of course, be contrary to the Apostolic Deposit of Faith. Sometimes popes have erred in attempting that, but their actions were null and void, and often formally rescinded by themselves, a successor, or a council as being outside the Deposit of Faith. Much of what is taught by the "New Order" after Vatican II is in contradiction to the Deposit of Faith and therefore can be safely be rejected as not part of the authentic magisterium.

Surely the curious statement on the two Messiases (one for the Christians and one for the Jews), clearly contrary to the Apostolic teaching of the Church, would fall into that category of being outside the authentic magisterium. It should be noted, however, that this particular case the statement was made only by an individual cardinal privately in the preface of a book.

June 11, 2002 - St. Barnabas, Apostle (Major Double)

Useful Tapes

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I agree with your advice about saying the Rosary and other formal prayers in Latin. Are you aware of any tapes that actually have the Rosary in Latin? I do not know the Latin language but have been praying the Rosary in Latin anyway. I'm not comfortable with my pronunciation of the language however and a tape would be a great help.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, I have a tape available on Useful Latin Prayers, as well as tapes on the rubrics of the Sacred Liturgy, Gregorian chant in actual traditional services, serving Mass, the seven Sacraments, the Council of Trent, various sermons, and other topics. For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for TAPELIST: Audio-cassette Tapes.

The Madhouse of the Novus Ordo

From: Ryan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Until up to a little over a year ago, I attended only a Novus Ordo church. We got a new presbyter several years ago. I was firm in faith, but I could not bring myself to like any of the weird progressive changes that were going on. Up until that time, we never had alter girls, holding hands during communion, and the wholesale throwing out of anything that remotely took any shape of the Traditional Latin Mass.

A little over a year ago, I first entered a traditional church. I love this church and the traditions that are upheld by it. I have been going to this church since Easter and have not gone back to my Novus Ordo church for a long time. My dilemma lies in whether I should stay with the parish that I was baptized in or the traditional church I now attend.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is no dilemma here. There is no justification ever for having anything to do with the Novus Ordo. To put it plainly and simply: it isn't Catholic.

The Novus Ordo is unacceptable even in a situation where it seems "conservative." That compromise is deadly, as it subtly eats away at our faith while we assuage our consciences by saying, "It's not so bad." Oh, yes it is -- worse! Each and every step -- the vernacularization, the introduction of new "Eucharistic prayers," the introduction of "communion in the hand" -- is intolerable and unCatholic.

If only the clergy and laypeople had, with one voice as happened in earlier times of courage in the Church, said, "Nolo!," this travesty of a New Order created by heretical Modernists would have been stopped in its tracks. Since we were cowards then, we are now paying the price for our cowardliness.

If we look for the judgment of God on the sins of others, we must see the beam in our own eye. Let's face it: we blew it. We put up with Freemason liturgiacs like Hannibal Bugnini, with demented popes like Paul VI, and with perverted bishops, who, if they weren't perverted morally, unquestionably were perverted spiritually in their imposition on the Church of the perversion of an unCatholic "New Order."

We must bear the responsibility: we allowed it. We forgot the words of our Confirmation. We weren't soldiers of Christ; we became pantywaists. We didn't stand up for our faith like the 11,000,000 Roman martyrs; we capitulated. And now we attempt to excuse ourselves, as many Germans did, by saying, "It wasn't me; I was just following Hitler's orders."

Sorry, that won't wash. In an age of heightened awareness of responsibility, we need to acknowledge our own sin, so that we can turn this mess around and get our Roman Catholic Church back in every parish, school, chapel, monastery, and convent. There is lots of hope. God Himself is assisting in the restoration, as current events indicate. If our forebears in the fourth century could wipe out the cancer of the Arian heresy, surely we can deal with its successor, the Novus Ordo.

June 10, 2002 - St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland (Semidouble)

Suitable Music in the Church

From: Norma

Dear Fr. Moderator:

When was it determined that the organ was to be the only instrument used in church, and was the type and style of music to be used at Mass determined at the Council of Trent?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The organ was associated with royalty and was thus held to be suitable for the King of Kings. It came into the Western Church around the time of Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne), the first Holy Roman Emperor, circa 800. The organ is not the only instrument permitted, but it is the most suitable. For high feastdays and special occasions, other suitable instruments may be used. For example, if one of Mozart's or Haydn's Masses were to be used, it would be suitable to use the instruments scored for those Masses (strings, woodwinds, etc.)

Certainly unsuitable for church use are such profane instruments as the piano, the modern guitar, and drums. These are, interestingly, used extensively in the Novus Ordo.

Long before the Council of Trent there were very specific customs and practices about what was suitable music in Church. Trent tried to correct abuses when secular music started impinging on the sacred. Although Sacred Polyphony was ultimately still permitted, Gregorian Chant, the Church's own proper music, was confirmed as the most suitable music for the Sacred Liturgy.

The fact that the Sacred Chant is almost entirely absent from the Novus Ordo is just another indication how far Novus Ordoism has departed from the Catholic Faith.

June 9, 2002 - Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart (Semidouble)

The True Catholic Magisterium

From: Peter

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am trying to find out the real meaning of the term magisterium. I go to a traditional Roman Catholic independent chapel, and my friends say that I am not loyal to the magisterium. They go on to express that the magisterium includes not only the pope, but also the local diocesan bishop. I was wondering if you might be able to provide a correct definition of the term.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It appears that your "friends" are ignorant not only of the Catholic Faith, but of Latin as well! In fact, you are in the correct place for a true Catholic; they aren't. And this erroneous conception about the magisterium is frequently used by Novus Ordinarians to belabor good, traditional Catholics.

Some Catholics erroneously think that magisterium is equivalent to pope. It is not. In Latin, magisterium is neuter. It is a thing, not a person. It is the teaching authority of the Church.

That teaching authority, however, must be derived from Our Lord and His Apostles. It must be based on the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith. Vatican I made it clear, dogmatically, that the teaching of any pope (or, a fortiori, bishop) who teaches outside the Apostolic Deposit of Faith is null and void. For all the force it would have, such a pope or bishop might as well be teaching about aliens from another planet!

When the pope and bishops teach that one religion is as good as another, that the Jews and Mohammedans worship the same God as the Catholics, that Luther's version of justification is correct, that the Sacred Liturgy can be changed from the Apostolic form and converted to the vulgar tongues, then they are teaching in contradiction to the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith, and such teaching must be rejected -- categorically. This is the clear teaching of the great Fathers and Doctors of the Church, of the Popes and Councils. It is also the clear teaching of St. Peter, the first pope, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament.

Thus, your "friends," whether they know it or not, are denying the Roman Catholic Faith and rejecting the teaching of St. Peter. They have fallen far from the Catholic faith -- and wish to draw you away as well -- and need to go back and review the basic tenets of Catholicism.

But, then, that is what often happens when one exposes oneself to the New Order -- its phony "liturgy," doctrine, and morals. It isn't soon before one forgets one's Catholic Faith and replaces it with the very set of Modernistic heresies condemned by Pope St. Pius X. If that isn't clear to your "friends" after the last several months in particular, they're beyond the power of reason to reach them.

June 8, 2002 - Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double of the Second Class, Transferred from May 31)

How to Become Catholic

From: Meg

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I'm a college-bound student. I've been in my walk with Christ for about a year and a half as a Baptist, but I would very much like to explore Catholicism. I know literally nothing about Catholicism and I was hoping you could tell me where I could start my exploration of Catholic doctrine.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

For the best overall discussion of the main principles of the Catholic Faith, I think that there is still no better text than the so-called Baltimore Catechism. The edition I recommend is that edited by Fr. Francis J. O'Connell, The New Confraternity Edition, Revised Baltimore Catechism and Mass No. 3. This is the text of the official revised edition of 1949 with Scriptural citations, annotations, and study helps. It, therefore, has not been corrupted with the Modernistic updates that have been put into later editions, often still called Baltimore.

Another very useful booklet, especially for those coming from Protestant backgrounds, is Paul Whitcomb's The Catholic Church Has the Answer. This excellent booklet answers from the Catholic perspective the most common questions that non-Catholics have about the Catholic Faith: the existence of one true faith, the indulgences, papal infallibility, the seven Sacraments, the Bible, the need of good works for salvation, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, Purgatory, the priesthood and celibacy, transubstantiation, Latin, the title Father, infant Baptism, birth control, divorce, and other topics.

Finally, one needs to have a sense of the history of the Church. A new book has been released that gives a proper view of history without falling pray to Modernistic, political correctness. This is H.W. Crocker, III's Triumph: The Power and Glory of the Catholic Church, A 2000-Year History.

All three of these books are in print and readily available. For further information, see the TRADITIO Library of Files for FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recommend?

June 7, 2002 - Sacred Heart of Jesus (Double of the First Class)

What is Traditional Catholicism?

From: Kelly

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Do traditional Catholics want the Church to look and act like the Church did from approximately 1560-1960 (the Tridentine era)?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, not at all. Actually, the Church was wonderfully poised in 1960 to make a great impact on society, to Christianize it, to renew it in Catholicism. It would have been wonderful to see. Unfortunately, Vatican II derailed that possibility, contrary to the desire of Pope John XXIII, whose last words on his deathbed were for the council to be stopped.

We see today just how much the Church has suffered as a result of the council. Vocations to the priesthood are next to non-existent. The great religious orders are moribund. The high standard that the Church had set to the world of being "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic," is now "disunited, immoral, inculturated, and man-centered."

Certainly there are changes in the accidents of the Church over time, but the essentials, including the Deposit of Faith and the Sacred Liturgy, have been essentially unchanging. Let us take the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for instance.

St. Augustine could walk into any traditional church or chapel today and know exactly where he is and what is happening. He might think our Latin pronunciation a bit odd-sounding. He would hear a form of the chant a little different from what he knew. He might find another small difference here or there, but nothing significantly different from what he knew in the fourth century.

If, however, St. Augustine walked into a Novus Ordo site, he would think: what barbarians invaded this place? He would find intolerable irreverence, unCatholic local habits, major changes in the Apostolic Canon of the Mass, and weird music. He would think that the Arian heretics had taken over the place!

I don't use the term "Tridentine." It doesn't describe traditional Catholicism. For example, there is essentially no difference between the Mass of 1570 and the Mass of the early Roman Church. There is no "Tridentine" Mass as such. The Traditional Latin Mass is the Mass of Sts. Peter & Paul planted at Rome. The Sacraments and Faith derive from Our Lord's teaching, the Deposit of Faith, as handed down to us through the Apostles.

If you want to know what traditional Catholicism is, it is that. It is not a nostalgic moment snatched out of time. It is the continuous Church of Christ, living and breathing through His Sacramental grace and connecting us -- not cutting us off from -- all our Catholic forebears back to Apostolic times.

The Novus Ordo, on the other hand, overtly wishes to cut itself off from that Catholic Tradition, and by that very desire cuts itself off from being even Catholic.

June 6, 2002 - Octave Day of Corpus Christi (Major Double)

New Novus Ordo Trashes "Holy" Communion

From: Fr. Moderator

I received the following concerning the implementation of the New Novus Ordo, based on the Third Edition since 1969 of the Novus Ordo Missal from the Vatican:

I am so saddened by what I just heard at mass. Our priest took the opportunity during the homily to instruct the faithful in reception guidelines for Holy Communion that are to be fully in place by July 2002, as stated in the new revised Instructio Generalis Missalis Romani of the Novus Ordo.
This edition of the Instruction once again reaffirms our "movement as community" while receiving Our Precious Lord. It makes clear that "genuflection as well as a deep bow before receiving is not in keeping with the guidelines". We are never to make the sign of the cross before or after receiving communion. My poor 15-year-old cried for the rest of Mass and almost passed out. She is very distraught over this. I received in obedience, not genuflecting, as is the norm for me. We were instructed to make a sign of reverence by bow our heads slightly. I found myself worrying more about posture than what I was about to receive. I'm certain my bow was too deep. Of course, it was on the Feast of Corpus Christi we choose to snub our Holy Savior. This is so sad.

No, it's not sad. It is a wonderfully clear indication from the God Himself that what you are attending long ago ceased to be a Mass. It is God's effort to touch your mind and soul to abandon false obedience to the blasphemy and sacrilege of the New Order and to move you to find the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Faith.

What does God have to do to make it any clearer to you? The Novus Ordo is sinking. Its clergy is sinking. Its bishops are sinking. Its cardinals are sinking. Even the pope is sinking. Our only life-jacket is, as it always has been, the traditional Roman Catholic Faith, Mass, and Sacraments.

Can God make it any clearer that the Novus Ordo has fallen right into the exact pit described by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (1:24-32/DR)? Remember these words; quote them to the Novus Ordarians. They are the best description I have seen about what is going on. It is proof positive that the New Order is without grace, falling into the pit it has built for itself these last thirty years. God will not be mocked.

Wherefore, God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause, God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one towards another: men with men, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient. Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness: full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity: whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute: without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death: and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

June 5, 2002 - Wednesday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

Conservatives Getting Gumption?

From: Fr. Moderator

I have said all along that since Vatican II we are in a time of test of our Roman Catholic Faith and that the "scandals" and other problems in the Novus Ordo apparatus may well be God's way of stirring the Faith once more in the hearts of those who were too ready convert to Novus Ordoism after Vatican II. Not in the hearts of all Novus Ordinarians, but just those with sincere hearts.

I received a copy of a circular letter from the President of Roman Catholic Faithful, a conservative Novus Ordo organization, which in the past had "dumped on" traditional Catholics for criticizing the pope. This letter shows that the pendulum may well be swinging and that this organization, and others, may at last reject the Novus Ordo and become (traditional) Catholics again.

The president writes: "I do not know of anyone with whom I agree on every issue, but if RCF is to 'fight the good fight,' we cannot refrain from speaking out for fear of offending someone or of losing some worldly respect. The confusion that exists within the Church today thrives because the so-called 'good guys' did not responsibly and properly exercise their God-given authority.

The president is here stating TRADITIO's own position. That is why for eight years we have been here, fighting like St. Paul for the truth, with independence from organizations on the one side or the other, being faithful to, and in good standing with, Rome -- the eternal Rome of the Roman Catholic Faith, the Rome of Saints Peter and Paul, the Rome that leads the Roman Catholic Church faithfully to do the will of Jesus Christ, as defined in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the doctrines and practices of the Church based upon them.

Excerpts from this remarkable RCF circular letter follow.

A few of our members have expressed their wishes that we not "attack" the Pope. My response to those concerns follows: While we love the Holy Father, if we were to ignore the fact that the Pope has not taken direct public action against any American Bishop, we would give the impression that we, too, have somehow failed in our duty as Catholics.
We routinely expose the bishops for not dealing with their abusive priests, but our failure to follow through to the ultimate source of authority would be giving a free ride to the only person who can take decisive action against the errant bishop. Our present Holy Father may be orthodox in his beliefs, but please take a moment to consider the current scandal. Who appointed these bishops? Who left them in power? If this is an example of a great Pope, in what condition would we be if he were a bad one? I will not pull punches when what is at stake is so great.
While I have no intentions of starting a campaign against our Pontiff, at the same time, I will not look the other way while no one in authority holds these bishops accountable. Were it not for the media coverage of the child abuse scandal, the bishops would not be addressing this issue. It is time that the bishops are held accountable for their actions, and only one person has the religious authority to do that.
I do not know of anyone with whom I agree on every issue, but if RCF is to "fight the good fight," we cannot refrain from speaking out for fear of offending someone or of losing some worldly respect. The confusion that exists within the Church today thrives because the so-called "good guys" did not responsibly and properly exercise their God-given authority. Every bishop wears red to signify his willingness to shed his blood in defense of the Faith. Have you seen any American Bishops bleeding lately?
I attend a diocesan parish and have never attended a [traditional Catholic site]. A Mass I once attended in an Albany diocesan church in New York was celebrated by the Bishop. According to parish members, the bishop used a homemade bread for the Eucharist that contained honey and other ingredients that would have made the Blessed Sacrament invalid. This is but one small example of what I have heard and witnessed in the last seven years of RCF's existence.
The Holy Father knows of these and many more abuses that have occurred with the apparent or outright approval of bishops in "good standing" with Rome. If the Pope does not take some action, and if he allows the continual deterioration of the Church in dissident dioceses, it may yet come to pass that the only Catholic Mass or faithful teachings to be found in these areas will be at a [traditional Catholic] chapel.

June 4, 2002 - Tuesday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)


From: Fr. Moderator

A June 2 release through the Zenit News Agency indicates that the Novus Ordo forces at the Vatican are still trying to coopt the Society of St. Pius X. Of course, the information given in the article simply confirms that the Vatican is not at all interested in traditional Catholicism, but simply wants to patch up for the eyes of the world what the Vatican views as an embarrassing family dispute. If the Vatican can schmooz with Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Eastern Orthodox and the rest, why can't it get along with its most Catholic Catholics?

The Vatican freely admits that there is no question of heresy (the real question being whether the Vatican itself is involved in heresy). It views the situation as simply a matter of not appropriately "recognizing papal authority," which the Vatican equates with recognizing the validity of the New Order, whether of new "liturgies" or new doctrines.

The Vatican desperately wants to get the SSPX to capitulate to being a mere "Society of Apostolic Life with a special rite." In other words, it wants to trick the SSPX into the same limbo into which it has enticed the Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, the Society of St. John of Scranton, and the Campos (Brazil) priests. Once having sprung the trap, the Vatican will then take away the traditional rite and impose the Novus Ordo. Moreover, the imposed doctrine will be that of the New Order.

The Vatican, in the person of its traditional "hit man," Card. Hoyos, states unequivocally that "willingness to dialogue cannot be interpreted as a conversion" of the Novus Ordo, which it maintains is the Catholic Church.

There was an ominous phrase in the report, that the SSPX Chief Bishop, had discussed with Hoyos "the difficulties that might be created within the SSPX by the process of reconciliation." Does this phrase refer to the fact that the Chief Bishop knows full well that if the SSPX should capitulate to the Novus Ordo apparatus, the SSPX would face internal schism, as at least one of the bishops, many of the priests, and many of the laypeople (and their large donations) have already indicated that that would not be part of a "New SSPX" within the Novus Ordo system, but would split off and form their own organization, as the Society of St. Pius V did in the mid 1980s?

Was it for that reason that the Chief Bishop sent the SSPX Secretary to Rome "to meet with Hoyos, to make criticisms of the present rite of the Mass [i.e., the Novus Ordo service], and to call for a halt in the process of reconciliation, unless the Society's excommunication were first lifted and every priest allowed to celebrate Mass with St. Pius Vīs rite [i.e., the Traditional Latin Mass; no mention was made of the Sacraments, however].

In this context, "Society members, including the Chief Bishop, made public statements [rightly] claiming the whole process was a trap and accusing the Holy See and the Pope of betraying the faith ... of promoting certain mistaken forms of ecumenism that have a consequence: 'The thousands and millions of Catholic faithful who are weakened in the faith are condemned because of these weaknesses of Rome. This is our concern.' We reject the new liturgy because it also endangers our Catholic Faith."

The Vatican is now trying to meet with the Society again for an "authentic reconciliation," which, by the Vatican's definition, is a deal like the feckless Campos deal, in which the traditional Campos priests defected to the Novus Ordo apparatus, with not even the minimal written assurances that the Fraternity of St. Peter got.

Stay tuned for more news independent commentaries from TRADITIO on these matters.

June 3, 2002 - Monday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

Like Judas or Christ?

From: Denise

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been getting questions lately about the amount of monies spent on beautiful churches, to keep them up and to buy the best there is. I am not talking about these new wrecked Protestant churches, but the original churches. I think that the Cure of Ars and Saint Francis said that God's house should have only the best. The questioners ask how money can be spent to have the best in the churches, when there are so many starving people in the world. They ask where in the Bible it says to do this. How do I answer these questions?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Our Lord answered this question for us. When Judas protested that Mary Magdalene should not have poured the expensive ointment upon Christ, saying, "For this might have been sold for much and given to the poor" (Matthew 26:9/DR), Christ answered: "The poor you have always with you: but me you have not always" (Matthew 26:11/DR).

It seems that those who protest giving due place to God and His house are more like Judas than Christ. The church building and He Who is within in the Most Blessed Sacrament is an a very special way Christ among us. It seems that your questioners are Protestants, so they would not understand this concept. To them, a church is just a meeting hall, devoid of the Sacramental presence of Christ.

Not only are these great churches works of art and architecture, but they are the necessary statement of our commitment to God in our souls and in society. The poor are often more bereft of spiritual food than of physical food, and benefit immensely from such buildings that elevate their hopes and minister to their faith. In a practical sense, you know as well as I do that if all the churches were sold off tomorrow, and the money given to the poor, it would be but a drop in the bucket. Little reminder of Christ would be left to us, but we would lead a dreary, spiritless existence.

These great churches remain active reminders to us that God must come first in our souls and in human society. One sees the spires rising to embrace God and hears the tolling of the bells across the city and countryside announcing the voice of God, and one knows that there is hope. We know that He is truly present with us, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar in that church.

June 2, 2002 - Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

Not Until

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

So many Catholics focus on the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause. I want to pull my hair out when these people focus on superficial occurrences such as sex scandals and subsequent cover-ups. Vatican II is the cancer. That cancer had three contributory factors: first, man's fallen nature; second, the war that is waged between the followers of Christ and the true Faith; third, Modernism, which caused the destruction of the Church's immune system and allowed this cancer to spread.

I tell Catholics that until the Traditional Latin Mass is totally restored and the traditional seven Sacraments are restored, there will be no freedom from abortion, homosexuality, pornography, murder, adultery, and the rest of what fills the daily newspaper.

We cannot hope to restore the papacy, episcopacies, and pastoral billets until we are all willing to return to our traditions and to offer God the most sublime, the most perfect, and the completely unblemished sacrifice of His Son on consecrated altars, altars that use the relics of holy Saints.

You are right, Father. As long as the sacrilege continues and God is blasphemed, we will live in constant torment. The victims of this sex-capade will not be happy with their pounds of flesh. Only God can heal the terrible wounds caused by these ecclesiastical impersonators.

The first three of the ten Commandments given to Moses were requirements directed to God Himself. They are the most important. The other seven are necessary (in order to reach heaven), but they pale in comparison to the first three. The greater the person offended, the greater the offense.

We must all put God above all things. We must stop blaspheming His Holy Name and that of the Blessed Mother. And, when we worship Him on the days He has specified, we must do it in the most perfect manner possible. That is the sacrifice of His Son through the Traditional Latin Mass. The Heavenly Father will accept no less. When God sees a change in us, then we may see a change in ourselves. We are created in His image and likeness. It's high time we start acting like it.

June 1, 2002 - Saturday within the Octave of Corpus Christi (Semidouble)

Friday Abstinence

From: Terry

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it correct that one is permitted to skip his Friday abstinence if an important occasion worthy of celebration (e.g., a birthday) falls on a Friday? Is it also true that, should one find himself at a dinner party with non-Catholics on a Friday, he should not avoid eating meat for reasons of spiritual pride? I have been invited to dinner this Friday by a non-Catholic friend whom I have not seen for many years. I am not sure what I am supposed to do.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Neither of those statements is correct. First of all, we must remember that the Friday abstinence is not just some "rule," some "technicality." Rather, abstinence from fleshmeat on Friday is an Apostolic practice of self-mortification, of self-sacrifice, in remembrance of Christ's Sacrifice of Calvary. Friday is a day when we particularly remember Our Lord's Sacrifice for us, recalling that Good Friday on which He gave everything for us. By maintaining this Catholic and Apostolic practice, we are uniting ourselves with Christ, with His Apostles, and with the Church. I doubt that anyone could deny that today the Church is in desperate need of self-sacrifice.

Surely in a land as abundant as ours, it should be easy to find foods that do not include meat. If that is a serious problem, the birthday celebration can be scheduled for another day. After all, when we have no birthdays left, we will remember not the parties we went to, but what we sacrificed for Christ.

There is, or should be, no undue spiritual pride in self-mortification. That is the very point of it. Normally today, a conscientious host will ask his guests if there are any preferences with regard to food. A guest might be vegetarian or Jewish or under doctor's orders or whatever. If you have not been asked, it would not be out of place for you to indicate, politely, that you do not eat meat on Friday, but would be happy to partake of whatever else is on the menu. Or when you eat, simply select the non-meat dishes. Usually, with the proliferation of salads, breads, vegetables, fruits, pasta, dairy products, fish, and so on, there should be much to eat without having to break the abstinence. Any host who would presume to give a guest grief about such a thing is no friend.

There is also the problem of scandal involved. Outside the faith, people often know very little about Catholicism, but one thing they do know is that Catholics abstain from meat on Friday. If you consume the meat, it will easily be said of you that you are a hypocrite to your Faith. On the other hand, if you do not consume the meat, it can be a wonderful sign of the faith to others who are looking for those who are truly serious about their faith. Who knows, you might even be the instigator of winning a soul for Christ!

The Privilege of Sacred Music

From: Jeff

At the recent Traditional Latin Mass I attended in Virginia, I heard a Missa Cantata. I was slightly thrown off by the music. I feel the men and women in the choir were highly-skilled who performed at the top of their craft, but it seems it may be too much for me. The music was beautiful too (mostly J.S. Bach), but I was challenged to follow the priest in the Order of Mass. Are there advantages to attending this type of Mass? Or would you recommend attending the Traditional Mass without this music?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Missa Cantata or High Mass is a more solemn and fruitful form of Holy Mass. According to Roman Catholic Sacramental Theology, the higher the dignity of the form of the Mass, the more fruits of grace derive from the Mass.

Many erroneously think that the Low Mass originated first and was later "embellished" to the Missa Cantata (chanted Mass) and High Mass. Actually, it was the other way around. The early Mass was solemn and chanted. The Low Mass was simplified from this form quite late, when small parishes were established in outlying areas, and the faithful no longer had the opportunity to assist at the full chanted rite of Holy Mass and Divine Office at the cathedral.

Perhaps what you need to do is to put away the missal and follow the Mass spiritually through the text as chanted to the Sacred Music. The text is the same; it is just elevated by the use of Gregorian chant or Sacred Polyphony. I think that often we are too literal in trying to follow every word of the Mass in handmissals. There are a number of other ways to meditate and follow the Mass spiritually, and I can think of no better way than raising our minds and hearts to God through the Missa Cantata.

It is said that the noted French author, Paul Claudel, who had become an atheist, found himself in Notre Dame de Paris, standing at a column and observing the High Mass sung there. Through the grace of the fruits of the High Mass, the atheist was re-converted to the Faith.

A prayer of thanksgiving would not be out of place for the privilege of having a competent choir (and a volunteer one at that) that can bring you the Sacred Music of the chant and of such an inspired composer. Sometimes we complain too much and thank not enough. (I don't think that the music was composed by Bach, though, as he composed only one complete Mass, the High Mass in B Minor, probably the most monumental work of western music, which takes about an hour and a half to sing it in toto!)

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