July 2002

July 31, 2002 - St. Martha, Virgin (Semidouble)

Not One Novus Ordo, but 269,568!

From: Dave

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The battle cry of the "conservatives" has always been that the Novus Ordo is acceptable if it is celebrated "reverently" and "according to the rubrics." Recently, I received a mailing from Adoremus to that end. As a former Novus Ordinarian who, for a time, tried to use a handmissal, I can't help but see the inherent fallacy in this argument: the rubrics of the new missal are designed seemingly with the intent of making it impossible to tell whether the service is being conducted correctly or not.

The cause of this situation is the notion of "options" within the Novus Ordo. There are three initial rites of the N.O. missal, within which the presbyter may opt either to bless holy water or not to. If he chooses the former, he has three choices as to the rite to follow. If he decides to say a "penitential rite" instead, he again has three choices. Within the last of these "penitential rites" he has a choice of eight possible sets of invocations. There are also eight possible Prefaces for an "ordinary" Sunday, four "Eucharistic prayers," four introductions to the Pater Noster, two preparatory prayers for the presbyter's communion, three "concluding rites" and three dismissals. And, let's not forget that the Novus Ordo is on a three-year cycle of readings, so these are not the same from year to year.

If we multiply all of these figures together, as we must in any permutation problem, we determine that for a given "Ordinary" Sunday after Pentecost, there are 269,568 possible rites of the Novus Ordo -- all perfectly "according to the rubrics" -- which a N.O. presbyter might follow. How Adoremus thinks that it -- much less the average Catholic in the pew -- could honestly recognize whether what they heard was or was not one of these 269,568 possible options is utterly beyond me.

To be perfectly honest, one can hardly fault the Novus Ordo presbyters for creating their own aberrations to the order: with a de-jure "limit" of over a quarter of a million services given by the Vatican, it is not that much of a stretch to assume that the de-facto limit is only that of the presbyter's creative ability to ad lib and improvise.

July 30, 2002 - Sts. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs (Simple)

Beware of Visions

From: Fr. Moderator:

One of the most common questions TRADITIO receives concerns visions and apparitions. It seems that the nature of our times, as of unsettled times in the past, has been to prefer to solid Catholic and Apostolic teaching what amounts to the occult. You see these silly books in bookstores. You even hear Catholics speaking of some vision or apparition or other as if it had a doctrinal authority that exceeded Christ's own teaching! Of course, there is nothing Catholic about such an attitude.

Apparitions, even if true, are never part of the Public Revelation of the Church, and nothing in them is necessary for our salvation, nor are we bound by them as we are by the Public Revelation of the Church. In fact, they are much more apt to be diabolical than worthy of belief. Everything necessary for our salvation is contained in the Public Revelation of the Church, that is, the Deposit of Faith: Sacred Scripture (the Bible) and Sacred Tradition, which closed with the death of the last of the Apostles, St. John.

St. Vincent Ferrer speaks of an age like ours when he warns:

The first remedy against spiritual temptations which the devil plants in the hearts of many persons in these unhappy times, is to have no desire to procure by prayer, meditation, or any other good work, what are called (private) revelations, or spiritual experiences, beyond what happens in the ordinary course of things; such a desire of things which surpass the common order can have no other root or foundation but pride, presumption, a vain curiosity in what regards the things of God, and in short, an exceedingly weak faith. It is to punish this evil desire that God abandons the soul, and permits it to fall into the illusions and temptations of the devil, who seduces it, and represents to it false visions and delusive revelations. Here we have the source of most of the spiritual temptations that prevail at the present time; temptations which the spirit of evil roots in the souls of those who may be called the precursors of Antichrist.

Get off the Dime!

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am still at a standstill. On the one hand, the Church commands me to attend the true Mass every Sunday, but my bishop does not permit this in his diocese. I have written to him twice, but all I get in response is "change is difficult." We have no Traditional Mass in this diocese.

My problem is living in a pagan part of the United States. I agree with you completely that my only choice is to abandon the Novus Ordo and attend only the Traditional Latin Mass, but the problem is, where do I find one? They all (in this area) are Novus Ordo. It looks like the heresy of Henry VIII all over again. I keep referring to my Church as the "Church in exile."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Part of the problem is that you are using as resources the very persons and groups who are committed to destroying the true Catholic Faith. There is no sense wasting your time on Novus Ordo bishops, retreats, convents, all the rest -- you won't get what you're looking for. You have to leave the Novus Ordo apparatus once and for all, shake the dust off your shoes and move on. But how? That is your question.

First of all, you do not indicate that you have scoured the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses Resource Book. You will be surprised at how many sources of traditional Catholicism there are there. Be sure that you have the 7th Edition: 2002. Every year more and more listings appear and change. There is a special section there on retreats, as well as Masses, supplies, periodicals, and all the other multitudes of options that you have.

Second, you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Don't expect that some priest is going to fly in to say Mass for you. When St. Paul visited Christian communities around the Roman Empire, the local people had already built their community for him to serve.

Don't write pointless letters to Novus Ordo bishops, but use the time to build an infrastructure to support a Traditional Latin Mass. The best method is to build a community slowly. That may start by being two people saying the Rosary together, reading spiritual works together and discussing them, studying the Propers of the Missal, discussing articles in the TRADITIO Library of Files, viewing Catholic videotapes, or any of many other possibilities. Again, read your Traditional Directory.

Once a small community has been formed, check the Traditional Directory for priests nearby and invite one of them to say Mass for you. Even if it is only a couple of times a year, that is two times more than you have now. From the little mustard seed, you might grow quite a bush!

Whenever it is impossible to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, keep holy the Lord's Day in whatever way you can, just like the English recusants, the Roman Christians of the early centuries, the pioneers of the wild west, and so many others at various times and places in Church history, who did not have regular access to the Mass. Some suggestions are given in The Method for Hearing Mass Spiritually for the Absent.

In no case would you go to the invalid and/or sacrilegious Novus Ordo service, any more than you would go to a Protestant service. To be a party to sacrilege is a sin against the First Commandment.

July 29, 2002 - St. Ignatius of Loyola, Confessor (Major Double)

A Satirical New Order

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

There seem to be a lot of letters with a spirit of negativity and hostility towards the Novus Ordo, as if all who attend are arrogant and defiled in their attendance and participation in such Masses, when many would believe that they are worshipping truly. Aren't we required to inform, instruct, and correct in a spirit of love, humility, and charity?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You can well imagine that good Catholics who have been deprived of their true Mass and Sacraments would become hostile, to say the least, particularly because of the way that the New Order, without any authority, has attempted to ram a travesty of a Protestant service down their throats, often through the documented use of lies and deceit.

Good Catholics have a low toleration point when the things of God are defiled and reviled. In last Sunday's Gospel, Our Lord Himself finally reached the breaking point. When He entered the forecourt of the temple and saw that it had been turned into a commercial concession, He acted with indignation for His Father's house, violently overthrowing the tables and chairs of the vendors and proclaiming: "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves" (Matthew 21:13/DR).

This is hardly the image of "love, humility, and charity" that the Modernist notion of the Pacifistic Christ wants to hold. And yet here it is in Scripture. What is Christ teaching us in this passage? Surely, that when it comes to the things of God, we can accept no compromise. We can even get indignant.

Well, in our day, the Novus Ordo apparatus has stolen from good Catholics their true Faith and turned God's house of prayer into a travesty. Good Catholics have a right to be indignant and fight for their Faith, as St. Paul did, who never minced words and even rebuked St. Peter when the latter created a public scandal with his teaching and behavior.

These Commentaries from the Mailbox have often noted that a number of those attending the New Order service are doing so out of ignorance, although personally I have not yet met a Novus Ordinarian who didn't have some doubts about the "service." Yet they fail in their duty in Catholic moral theology to resolve their doubt in a matter so associated with their salvation.

There are many reasoned arguments presented in TRADITIO's Library of Files, but in the Commentaries one will also find biting satire because satire often works when reasoned argument falls on deaf ears and mushy minds.

Satire as a persuasive vehicle is uniquely Roman in its origin. Rome developed the satirical form, which attracted some of the best Latin authors, particularly Horace and Juvenal. This site from its inception has turned for stylistic inspiration particularly to the Juvenal, the Roman who was a contemporary of the Apostolic Fathers and in biting satire railed and poked fun at the Rome of his time.

So, the use of satire to cajole and convince is certainly within the Roman tradition and is often more successful than carefully reasoned arguments, particularly when the audience addressed is one whose reason has been "dumbed down" through decades of the Novus Ordo "line" that is mindlessly accepted by many as true just because it has been said, but in fact has been proven to be a mass of disinformation, error, and outright deceit.

A Scot Sees the Light

From: Donal

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I live in Scotland, and I started RCIA [the Novus Ordo Rite of Chrisitian Initiation of Adults] after years of building up the courage to attend. The reason I had problems with the local diocese is that they aren't Catholic enough. I've have read up on the Church for years; I have prayed for years, and I know deep down that the Novus Ordo service is wrong.

The RCIA is a trial of ignorance; the catechumenates seem to blur the lines of Church teachings so as not to offend the Calvinists in the group, therefore not imparting the Deposit of Faith.

I am currently disheartened, as I have long held the Catholic Church as the one true Church with a strong unifying Faith, and I appear to have found it to be nothing more than a "cafeteria" of pick 'n mix teachings so far gone that even the parish priest won't teach the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Your instincts are correct. You should immediately drop RCIA and absent yourself from that unCatholic environment. RCIA is the New Order's "Christian Initiation of Adults," replacing the traditional Sacrament of Baptism. It is full of an amalgam of naturalism, environmentalism, a bit of voodoo, some white witchcraft (wicca), and some Protestant traits all mixed together, but absent is genuine Catholicism.

Like so many innovations after Vatican II, RCIA was never approved, even by the modern Vatican. Yet it persists to delude unsuspecting potential converts, many of whom are now sensing that it is not Catholic and are finding a traditional church or chapel in their area, where they can study with the local traditional priest a true preparation for Catholic Baptism.

Thy Will Be Done

From: Will

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do you think about this new book by Gary Wills on the papacy?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Wills, a conservative political commentator, in his books has been shown to be not a traditional Catholic, but a Novus Ordinarian. That having been said, it is true that conservative Novus Ordinarians (not traditional Catholics) have an erroneous conception of the papacy that borders on papolatry (pope-worship).

The office of the papacy has become dangerously personalized since Vatican II. Distinctive papal ceremonial that sets the pope apart and the use of the royal plural (we) to denote official statements as opposed to personal opinions are eschewed. The post-conciliar popes have not maintained the dignity and distinction of their office. They have tried to be just another papa on the street. The current pope is the best example of this nadir of the office, hugging and schmoozing like a venal politician seeking votes!

July 28, 2002 - 10th Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

A Lutheran Converts

From: Kerry

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am a convert to traditional Catholicism from the Lutheran Church. I received Baptism on Saturday and made my First Holy Communion and received the Sacrament of Marriage on Sunday, Mother's Day, in 1975. I attended the Novus Ordo a few times before I began to receive instructions in the Faith and immediately recognized it as nothing more (and in some cases much less) reverent and meaningful than my local Lutheran church service.

It was when I attended my first Latin High Mass that I knew immediately something exceptional and mysterious was taking place. The reverence and sense of power and mystery and awe that emanated from the altar were unmistakable. I have attended the Latin Mass for more than 25 years and have never regretted for a moment my conversion.

I have once or twice since then attended a Novus Ordo Mass and every time the shock of the difference between the two is overwhelming, and the sacrilege moves me to tears. In one instance I fell to my knees in fear and trembling to pray an Act of Contrition with all of my being in response to the antics that were going on at the "altar" (table) at the time. (It was at that point that I left the church, sick at my stomach, and couldn't go back in.) I feel that my life as a Protestant was a preparation for the time when I would be offered the grace of the True Faith, a preparation for the time when I would be exposed to the Traditional Latin Mass, and so be able to tell the difference between the True and the false Mass, when so many cradle Catholics couldn't tell the difference (or fell for the doublespeak of the New Order church.)

At a time when the Church was under a revolutionary attack (and I do mean red revolution), I knew what it was to be a Protestant, and so it was easy for me to see the Novus Ordo for what it was and is: the false religion foretold. I have enjoyed reading your Commentaries from the Mailbox very much. I pray that in the days to come when we are all literally forced into the caves to preserve our faith, we may find there with us such priests, who are willing to do whatever it takes to preserve the True Mass and Sacraments.

July 27, 2002 - Our Lady's Saturday (Simple)

No Longer an Excuse

From: Jay

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What are these so-called Life-Teen Masses that play loud boom-boom music while the kids jump around like holy rollers? A "youth minister" told me that this was required because the teens were totaly bored with the regular mass. Are we not splitting up the family when we have special masses like this? By the way, where do the teens go when they hit their twenties?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

So, the Novus Ordo apparatus admits that the new worship service is a failure with young people? No wonder so many are turning their backs on it and flooding to the Traditional Latin Mass in numbers unseen before.

This "youth minister" is simply pandering to filth. It is scandalous that this program is carried over the airwaves on what is supposed to be a Catholic station, EWTN, but is in fact merely a vehicle for the introduction of the New Order into the home under the guise of Catholicism.

This "youth minister" may as well be feeding these young souls poison, for he is killing their minds as if with arsenic. No wonder so many of our young people are wasted by the time they end their teens. They have had musical garbage pumped into their ears for years. They become so "juiced up" with constant sensory stimulation that they can't concentrate to study or read anything. No wonder so many of them turn out by age 30 to be drugged up, deaf, divorced, and with a skull full of mush.

Those parents who are careful to shield their children from this vaste wasteland, as much as they can, find that their children are calmer (by nature, not dumbed down on Ritalin), more studious, more perceptive, and more composed.

The very essence of the New Order is schismatic, as it divides (Greek: schizein) Catholics from each other by discrimination of age and tongue. I do need to correct you, however. The Novus Ordo is not a mass; it's a "service." It's even hard to call it a "religious service" any longer. I hope that you and your family are not attending the Novus Ordo service in any shape or form. If you do, as you admit, you are destroying your children's faith -- and your own. The only way to avoid becoming polluted with trash is to stay away from it. There is no longer any excuse to do otherwise.

The spiritual filth that is the New Order is now clear as day. It may not have been so clear in 1965 or 1967 or 1969, but it certainly is in 2002, with the perspective of some 40 years. Anyone who would attempt to excuse it, much less advocate it, should be viewed as either blind or demented, and no fancy talk by the Novus Ordo apparatus can make it otherwise than what Pope Paul VI once called it in one of his more perceptive moments: "darkness, the smoke of Satan."

A Chilling Thought

From: Fr. Moderator

In 1936 statistics showed that on an average there were four Consecrations every second of the day and night. That was before the Novus Ordo No-Mass.

How many (true) Masses are being offered in 2002? 1% of that number? 1/100th of the number of Masses to satisfy the punishment due to sin for ourselves and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory? 1/100th of the number of Masses to propitiate the just anger of God against us sinners? 1/100th of the number of Masses to impetrate God for the graces we so desperately need?

Indeed, our eternal life and that of our world hangs in the balance because we no longer have a multitude of Holy Masses being offered. No wonder grace seems so sparse; no wonder evil seems to proliferate; no wonder godlessness is rampant. There is nothing so pleasing to God as the offering of Holy Mass. Compared to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Rosary is as nothing; prayer, fasting, and almswork are as nothing.

It is the Mass that is the center of the Faith, the large gemstone in the setting of the smaller stones made up by the Hours of the Divine Office. That is why we must fight for the true Mass and assist at it worthily, attentively, and devoutly. We cannot and must not settle for fake cubic zirconium of the New Order service.

July 26, 2002 - St. Anne, Mother of the B.V.M. (Double of the 2nd Class)

Is the "Indult" Really a Traditional Latin Mass?

From: Buffy

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I don't know why I beat my head against a wall, but recently I asked a high-ranking official whether the archdiocese had suppressed the saying of the prayer to St. Michael at the end of our "indult" Mass. I asked because the prayer was no longer being said after the "indult" Mass that I sometimes attend. The official said that the prayer had been suppressed by the Vatican on September 26, 1964, in a document entitled Inter Oecumenici.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Your message points up a fallacy with many "indult" Masses. They purport to be the "Mass of 1962," but many of them are not. The generally-required Leonine Prayers (Prayers after Mass), including three Aves; the Salve Regina, its Versicle and Response; the Deus Refugium Nostrum; the Sancte Michael Archangele; and the three Cor Iesu aspirations were certainly said after Mass in 1962.

Your diocesan official correctly admits that the Prayers after Mass were not suppressed until the kickoff of the New Order with Hannibal Bugnini's first volley, Inter Oecumenici, of September 26, 1964. This document did not concern only the rubrics, as previous documents had, but presumed to change the very text of Holy Mass itself.

So, if the "indult" Mass is truly the "Mass of 1962," why are the Leonine prayers, which were surely said in 1962, not being said? One can only conclude that the "indult" Mass is often not fully traditional, and certainly not the "Mass of 1962." One large indult fraternity publicly preaches the Novus Ordo charade of a 15-minute-before-Mass Eucharistic "fast," for example. In 1962 the fast was a minimum of 3 hours, and preferably from midnight.

In any case, your diocesan official is not up on his Modern Vatican. The pope, apparently too little and too late concerned about, as his predessor said, the "smoke of Satan having entered the temple of God," wanted the prayer restored. Obviously, this diocesan official, while undoubtedly castigating traditional Catholics for "disobeying" the pope, is perfectly happy himself to ignore the pope completely!

Where Are the Converts?

From: George

Dear Fr. Moderator:

One of the poisoned fruits of Vatican II is that the number of converts is down. This should be proclaimed loudly. We always hear about Mass attendance down, vocations down, but I never heard that converts were down. The Novus Ordo EWTN cable network in its various "coming home" type of shows, seems to imply that there's a flood of converts coming into the Church. Apparently, that implication is a lie.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Actually, conversion is not much mentioned in the Novus Ordo. If all religions are essentially the same, it is an affront to try to convert someone. This false doctrine spits in the face of the courageous missionaries and martyrs for the Faith throughout twenty centuries. Did the North American Martyrs, and so many others, die in vain because they are now held to be "politically incorrect" by a Novus Ordo apparatus that has sunk into the heresy of Indifferentism?

July 25, 2002 - St. James the Greater, Apostle (Double of the 2nd Class)

Now the Shoe's on the Other Foot

From: Fr. Moderator

Some months ago, when the anti-Catholic media blasted the "scandal" across the news, the U.S. bishops were only too ready to turn over their croziers and miters to the secular government and break their relationship (such as it was) with their presbyters. I predicted at that time that innocent presbyters would get caught in the snare because of the cowardice of their bishops. And here is the first such case -- one of many, I hope.

The wire services report that a presbyter has sued the Archdiocese of Miami for ruining his reputation by publicizing allegations against his character. Two women claimed that he molested them, but the county prosecutor brought no action. The Archdiocese, however, conducted a star-chamber tribunal and then proceeded to slander the presbyter's reputation. The implication was that the presbyter was not even afforded an opportunity to confront his "accusers."

This is America, after all, where we have a right to confront witnesses. Moreover, even in the Inquisition, the Church upheld the right of anyone before an ecclesiastical tribunal to confront the witnesses against him. Has the Novus Ordo apparatus sunk so low that its processes of justice are inferior to those of the Inquisition?

These Novus Ordo bishops are beneath contempt. Not only have many suborned or approved by their silence grossly immoral conduct in their seminaries, but others have even deprived their presbyters of their rights as Catholics and Americans. Like the U.S. Congress, however, these Novus Ordo bishops will not permit the same standards to be applied to them. Oh, no. They are above any chastisement. They are invited by the pope to tea in the library, whereas he should have subjected them to the flagellum for their faithlessness, or at least exiled them to a remote monastery, there to ponder their abominable conduct in silence.

In last Sunday's Gospel, Our Lord told the church leaders: "My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves" (Matthew 21:13/DR). How contemporary! These Novus Ordo bishops are really no better than thieves when they have corrupted God's own house by introducing into it a foreign "new" service, when they have taken away from the Catholic people their true Mass, their faith, and their morals.

The one thing that could begin to right this horrific condition of the Church would be Our Lord's solution: prayer. Yet these ecclesiastics have shown absolutely no propensity for prayer. Instead, they continue to play games with their conferences, their committees, and their workshops -- all of which will lead to nothing. "Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2/DR).

Thank God for Priestly Celibacy

From: Fr. Moderator

The wire services report that three sons of a Greek Orthodox priest served as the executioners for the terrorists. The Eastern Orthodox priest, who has 11 children, at first tried to excuse his sons, but recanted when they confessed to a string of murders, bombings, and bank robberies. The priest said that his children had turned away from God and must pay for their crimes.

This article appeared as a side note of international news in the local paper here. Can you imagine what a field day the media would have made of this if Novus Ordo presbyters were allowed to marry and produced such offspring? Moreover, how a man with 11 children can properly function to his people is beyond me.

The First Oecumenical Council of the Church, that of Nicaea in 325, solemnly proclaimed the law of celibacy for both East and West (Nicaea was itself situated in the eastern part of the Roman Empire). Whereas the Western Church has always faithfully upheld this Catholic and Apostolic practice, the Eastern Church shortly afterwards began to violate its own law of celibacy.

The Quinisext Council of 692, which St. Bede the Venerable (673-735) called "a reprobate synod," breached the Apostolic Tradition concerning the celibacy of clerics by declaring that "all clerics except bishops may continue in wedlock." The popes refused to endorse the conclusions of the Council in the mater of celibacy, and the Eastern Church planted the seeds of its schism.

July 24, 2002 - Vigil of St. James

Catholic Youth Rejects New Order

From: Fr. Moderator

An interesting report was carried by the Associated Press on July 20. Entitled "Young People Like Going to Church," the article reported that more and more young people are looking for clear doctrine, clear rules of conduct, and "elaborate rituals." These are youth who "want to know what they're supposed to do."

A 17-year-old, from Spokane, perhaps a member of the traditional group headquartered there, was quoted as saying that the traditional rituals make him feel part of the history of the Church. "It's old. It's cool. This is the same stuff they've been doing for years," he said. They are falling out, on the Catholic side, from the Novus Ordoism that is being pandered by the adult laypeople in de-facto charge now, adults who swore off true Catholicism years ago and substituted for it New Age symbols, environmentalism, oecumenism, inculturated liturgies, "diverse" morality, and all the rest.

The handwriting is on the wall. We traditional Catholics just need to be patient. The Lord is definitely moving things along by His grace to the restoration of the true Church. We simply have to keep fighting the good fight and not despair.

Report from France

From: Francois

Dear Fr. Moderator:

You and your correspondents keep writing about how bad Novus Ordo is in the U.S., and it is very interesting (though distressing) to read about it, but the same scandals go on everywhere. Yesterday, after Mass, I heard a lady saying that in Coulommiers (Normandy, France), one of her friends, who had lost a relative, agreed with a parish priest to have a traditional funeral celebrated in the latter's Novus Ordo church. When the family (with the body and all) arrived at this church, they found the door locked and the locks changed!

Apparently, the parish priest had had the time to think twice about it, perhaps because the local bishop had learnt about the "oecumenical" arrangement and had forbidden it under the threat of a "canonical sanction." I have heard and read about countless similar events, which show only too well that from the Novus Ordo point of view, "everything goes", provided it has nothing to do with the ultimate enemy: the true Catholic religion. How long shall we have to stand this vicious Neo-Arianism?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The great Defenders of the Faith in the 4th century had to stand it for almost a century, so we've got more than half a century to go yet, on that timetable.

We all know that the Novus Ordo Church characterizes itself as the Church of Love, but in reality it is riddled with injustice and malice against Catholics practicing the true Faith, as case after case demonstrates. One would hope that no traditional priest, even in dealing with non-Catholics, would demonstrate such a heartless and unjust attitude.

The New Order is more and more being shown up as the hypocritical facade that it is. The recent "scandal" is just the tip of the iceberg. In the end, the "rotting bones within," as Our Lord put it, will bring the New Order to the putrefaction that it is already at work within it. It has championed a false worship, a false morality, and a false doctrine. How can it even be called Catholic any longer?

Apparently, the French woman got caught in the "indult" game. The Vatican admitted that the "indult" was a charade from the beginning. It was always announced as temporary, partial, and subservient to the Novus Ordo. The indultarians did not want to hear that message, but they took advantage of it by launching grand fund-raising drives, which have now been shown to be just as corrupt as Enron! The Vatican had to lower the boom on the "indult," because the indultarians were criticizing the Novus Ordo mess. Thus, Protocol 1411 of 1999 was executed, and the "indult" situation was beaten into submission for eventual dismantling.

July 23, 2002 - St. Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr (Double)

Is It a Sin?

From: Gabrielle

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Last Sunday I visited relatives, and instead of going to Mass at a nearby church, I went with the relatives to a Protestant church. I would never even consider being anything but Catholic (for it is such a beautiful and wonderful thing to be Catholic). Was missing Mass when I could have gone a sin?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Yes, it is a serious sin against the First Commandment of God. Unless there is a grave impediment, we are obliged to worship our Creator in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that He established for us to give Him true worship. It is particularly scandalous if one not only ignores that serious obligation to worship God but also attends a false worship service instead.

I think that you may have, by your action, indicated to your relatives that your Catholic faith is an off and on thing, and that you readily give up the true worship of God for something else. Think what an opportunity was lost for you to demonstrate to them the importance of your Catholic Faith, the true Faith.

July 22, 2002 - St. Mary Magdalen, Penitent (Double)

A Great Sacrament

From: Scott

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I want to be a Defender of the faith. In fact, I have a passion for it. I'm 18 years old. I became a traditional Catholic in 1999, but before that I had led a life that was not very good. After becoming a traditional Catholic, I changed my life. I deeply repent my past.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It is one of the exclusive beauties about the true Faith that we have the wondrous Sacrament of Penance. If one truly repents of his sins and undergoes a metanoia, a change of mind, he can be absolved through the graces of the Sacrament. We still pray, fast, and do good works in reparation, but we trust in the mercy of God. If we at some point suffer for our past sins, we should accept that in a sense of reparation. For your situation and your concern about forgiveness, I would particularly recommend meditation and devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, as promoted by St. John Eudes and St. Margaret Mary.

St. Paul repented of his past as a Pharisee, when he persecuted Christians and abetted murder. However, he accepted with humility the mercy of God and became the greatest defender and evangelist of the Faith that the Church ever had. Yet he never forgot the past he came from and thanked God daily for his forgiveness and loving-kindness to a sinner.

July 21, 2002 - 9th Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

Avowed Witch Marries in Novus Ordo Ceremony

From: William

Dear Fr. Moderator:

From the "Roman Catholic" Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston comes this public announcement:

Question. My fiance and I are planning to be married in the Catholic Church by a priest, even though I am not Catholic. However, his priest has assumed that I am Christian. I have been Wiccan for many years and intend to continue my faith. My fiance and I completely accept the others' religion, and see no problem with our choices. I have even agreed to raise the children Catholic because I want them to have structure in their lives, although I want them to be informed and unbiased concerning all faiths. Apparently, this is a problem with the Catholic Church. I don't see how being pagan is such a problem. I'm open-minded and moral, but Wiccanism is considered witchcraft by the Church. Does this mean I cannot be married in the Church.

Response from the Very Rev. Kevin Michael Quirk, J.C.D., Judicial Vicar of the Diocese. Yes, you can be married in the Catholic Church. However, if you have not been baptized, you should inform the priest of this since your fiance will require a dispensation from the diocesan bishop in order to marry an unbaptized person....

Fr. Moderator Replies.

What do you think that this diocese would say if you wanted a traditional Catholic wedding?!

Oh, sure. In the New Order, if you were the Devil himself, you could validly marry -- as long as your paperwork was in order! Even if you're a baptized Catholic who has apostacized from Catholicism to witchcraft, that's okay too.

Let's face it -- the Novus Ordo has never been part of the Catholic Church. It doesn't respect the Catholic and Apostolic Mass, Sacraments, Faith or Morals. It doesn't respect the innocence of childhood or the sanctity of marriage.

People are upset because there are a few paederasts in the Novus Ordo apparatus. Has anyone ever asked how many witches there are? How many devil worshippers? How many Satanists? The late Malachi Martin wrote of many such people posing as "Catholics" when he was performing exorcisms for the Archdiocese of New York. There is much other evidence, which I won't go into here.

If the Novus Ordo apologists had the guts to do an actual investigation, I have no doubt that they would find far more of the Satanic than of the immoral.

July 20, 2002 - St. Jerome Emillian, Confessor (Double)

Another Revert from the New Order

From: Jeff

Dear Fr. Moderator:

The Novus Ordo regime strikes again. Why is it that everything weird and wild is accepted with open arms in the present-day Novus Ordo, but anything resembling the Traditional Latin Mass in frowned upon?

Would you believe that I recently heard of a church offering a Country and Western themed Mass?! Also, I have recently heard of a couple requesting the Ave Maria for their wedding. Their Novus Ordo presbyter refused their request, saying that he doesn't want the church to seem so old-fashioned to all those who might attend the church portion of the wedding!

I just can't believe what is going on in so-called "Catholic" churches! With the complete nonsense in the Novus Ordo institution today, is it any wonder that many Catholics have had enough and want to attend traditional chapels? I think that our best incentive for more traditional reverts might just be the Novus Ordo regime shooting itself in the foot. It sure pushed me to seek out the real Catholic Church!

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This is indeed the silver lining in the cloud of the Novus Ordo. It has made such a public spectacle of itself as corrupt and demented that its very excesses will force anyone with a brain to see it for what it is and get out of it before the whole thing crashes down from its own putrescence. I do believe that Almighty God is using this uncomfortable time of testing to show is what the real Catholic Faith and Morals, Mass, and Sacraments are: the traditional ones. The only ones they ever have been; the only ones they ever can be.

July 19, 2002 - St. Vincent de Paul, Confessor (Double)

The Real "Scandal"

From: Fr. Moderator

As to the Novus Ordo clergy "scandal," which has been greatly exaggerated in the anti-Catholic press. Here, as newscaster Paul Harvey would say, is the real story.

It is good that the Catholic clergy should be held to a higher standard of scrutiny than non-Catholic clergy. But we ought to be praising the clergy rather attacking it, when the vast majority of sexual offenders are the juveniles' own fathers. In all fairness, the headlines should read: Fathers Debauch Their Own Children at Record Rate. That's the real story behind our corrupt society.

July 18, 2002 - St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor (Double)

July 17, 2002 - St. Alexius, Confessor (Semidouble)

Communion in the Hand Ruse

From: John

I've been having some "discussions" with my brother who faithfully attends Novus Ordo service. He addressed a question to his presbyter regarding some concerns I made to him. Could address these? I doubt especially what he wrote about Communion in the hand.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

This is one of those Novus Ordo "lines." The problem with it is that the presbyter's statement is not based on Catholic theology, but upon an illegal power play. Even if the current pope had supposedly "approved" such a practice (and it is not clear that he did in the case of Communion in the Hand), a Catholic must always ask the additional question: does he have the authority to do so?

In Catholic doctrine, the pope is limited in his authority. He is not God, but only a vicar, that is, a delegatee. That is Catholic dogma, as proclaimed officially in the decrees of Vatican I, a dogmatic council (unlike Vatican II).

The pope cannot act outside of the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith; else, his action is invalid and not to be obeyed. That is what the Doctors of the Church tell us. The Fathers of Vatican I found that about 40 popes had, in the history of the Church, acted outside the Faith, though they never purported to act ex cathedra. As a result, one was excommunicated; others were denounced; still others recanted their errors. The first example was, in fact, St. Peter himself, who, when he deviated from the Faith and was castigated by St. Paul in front of the other Apostles, recanted his error.

To draw an analogy, if the President of the United States on his own authority were to impose a tax upon the populace, would we say that he could do so because he is the President, or would we say that he is acting outside of the bounds of his authority, ultra vires, because only the Congress can initiate a tax and that his act is consequentlly null and void? Certainly the latter.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is essentially a matter of Faith, not mere discipline, because it too is intimately connected with the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith. The Church understands that Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the forty days after His Resurrection and before His Ascension, taught the Mass to the Apostles. Sts. Peter & Paul, who were martyred at Rome, founded the Roman rite there. Thence it became the rite of the Apostolic See of Rome and the precedential rite for the entire Roman Catholic Church. Archaeological remains from as early as A.D. 79 prove that the Roman rite, in Latin, was already developed.

As to Communion in the hand, that sacrilegious practice has been strongly condemned from the early Church. Already in the second century, the period of the Apostolic Fathers, the pope absolutely prohibited the laity from touching consecrated objects. The Council of Saragossa in the fourth century, the period of the Fathers of the Church, decreed the penalty of excommuniction upon anyone who dared to practice Holy Communion in the hand. The Synod of Toledo confirmed this decree. Even the present pope has deplored the practice on a number of occasions, as did his predecessor, Paul VI. Personally, the current pope had himself refrained from the practice.

One might ask, then, with the Church and the popes so opposed to this sacrilegious practice, why is it so prevalent in the Novus Ordo? Because the "New Order" is essentially lawless and is contumelious toward Catholic and Apostolic Tradition, setting itself up as a New Religion under its own authority. While disinforming everyone that it is the Catholic Church, it is actually a deceitful facade that is not Catholic.

The New Order has no respect for the true Roman Catholic Mass, the true Roman Catholic Sacraments, and the true Roman Catholic Faith -- not even Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament itself -- but instead it is determined to replace the true Mass with its own false worship, which several Protestant sects have adopted because it is not Catholic.

Novus Ordo presbyters and people (according to the Gallup Poll), in numbers greater than four out of five, don't even believe in the Catholic doctrine about the Blessed Sacrament, but believe, like Protestant sects (actually worse than some Protestant sects) that is merely a "symbol" of Christ among the people, who assemble for "supper."

With that unCatholic attitude, why then wouldn't they take it into their hands as if it were a chicken leg to be eaten with their bare hands at a picnic? Civilized people, on the other hand, would not touch the chicken with their bare hands, but use a knife and fork. If they are that careful with a chicken leg, why in the world wouldn't they give their Blessed Lord that much respect -- and so much more?

July 16, 2002 - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Major Double)

The Brown Scapular

From: David

Dear Fr. Moderator:

You have in the past mentioned that those wearing the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel (Brown Scapular) are in some ways like tertiaries of the Carmelites and recite the Officium Parvum Beatae Mariae Virgins [Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary]. On this feastday of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, could you review the devotion?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I should point out first that the mere wearing of the scapular as if it were a pagan amulet, as so many do today, is of no avail whatsoever. In fact, it is a sin against the First Commandment, as it demonstrates the error of superstition.

Second, we must distinguish two things: the blessing of a scapular and being invested with it. Your traditional priest, according to one of three rites in the Rituale Romanum, may simply bless the scapular, or you may choose to be invested with it to avail yourself of the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the so-called Sabbatine privilege).

If you are invested with the scapular, which is, after all a part of the Carmelite habit and is therefore worn under one's secular clothes, you undertake the practice of wearing the scapular, practicing chastity (not necessarily celibacy) according to your state in life, and praying the Officium Parvum daily.

To the degree that you fail in these practices, you do not receive the graces and privilege that are reserved for those who devoutly observe them in accordance with the wishes of Our Lady. Sacramentals, of which the Brown Scapular is one, operate through the devotion of the wearer.

July 15, 2002 - St. Henry II, Emperor of Germany, Confessor (Semidouble)

Locked Out

From: John

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I recently took a trip across the country to visit my daughter. I decided to stop in at the local church, which was built in the "old" days, and say my rosary. This church, as I recall it, had been filled with statues and stained glass windows, as well as all the reverence a church should possess.

I stopped by the church, took out my rosary, and walked to the front right door. I pulled the handle and -- it was locked. I tried the other two doors -- locked as well. I went to the rear of the large building -- locked down as well. I stood in amazement and looked at my watch -- 9:45 a.m. I wondered what had happened that the faithful would be locked out of their own Church. This was not a crime-ridden area at all. I would venture to say the Novus Ordo, by actions like these, says that it doesn't want the faithful even setting foot in a church.

Our family is praying that we can find a location to live where there is a Traditional Latin Mass, as well as for the return of the real Catholic faith.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I see every week so much material from Novus Ordinarians trying to prove that the Novus Ordo service is a real Mass and that the bread is really the Blessed Sacrament. All of these arguments are empty because, whatever the torrent of propaganda, the Novus Ordo tells us clearly by actions such as these that it is not Catholic.

You see, even the Novus Ordo doesn't believe that it is Catholic. It doesn't believe that there is a Mass going on. It doesn't believe that the bread inside the church is anything but bread. The Gallup Poll already showed that some ten years ago. 4 out 5 Novus Ordinarian laypeople and priests don't believe it. By now, it's probably 5 out of 5.

People pick their noses -- just as the U.S. bishops were caught doing by the cameras at their recent Dallas meeting -- and then dare to touch what ought to be the Blessed Sacrament with their dirty hands. The traditional priest before the Consecration of the Traditional Latin Mass is obliged to wash his hands and fingers no fewer than three times and then washes his hands twice more after Communion to purify his fingers of any Sacred Particles.

If Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament were in fact in that church, the clergy and people would not hesitate to throw the doors wide open and invite all those from the highways and byways to go in and pay their respects to their Creator. Instead, by locking the doors, the Novus Ordo is saying to you, in the words of Scripture, "He is not here" (Matthew 28:6/DR).

No matter how many words of Novus Ordo propaganda flood us, the truth is simple. There is no priest in that Novus Ordo church, but a "presbyter." There is no Catholic Mass, but a Protestant "assembly of the people." There is no Blessed Sacrament, but only the "symbol" of bread. You know it; I know it. And all the disinformation campaign of the Novus Ordo apologists is not going to change the reality that is before our eyes.

It is a fact that they have the premises -- but you have the apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. --St. Athanasius, Great Eastern Father & Doctor of the Church

While I sympathize with your desire to find a suitable place to pray, you would be better off going forth out of that place, shaking off the dust from your feet, and praying in park, in your car, or walking down the street than in a place about which the heretic Martin Luther could say: "400 years late, but they've finally gotten it right!"

July 14, 2002 - 8th Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

Who's a Phony?

From: Fr. Moderator

The Novus Ordo can't make up its mind whether its clergy are really priests, who offer sacrifice, or just "presbyters" (presiders). Now, after the New Order ranks have already been infiltrated by Modernists, Liberalists, Homosexualists, and the rest, they are being infiltrated by out-and-out imposters. This article from the June 30, 2002, Arizona Republic, one of many I have seen lately, is reminiscent of that entertaining film starring Tony Curtis as The Great Imposter.

It seems that a felon, wanted in California for grand theft and embezzlement, posed as a Novus Ordo priest/presbyter, an associate pastor in fact, in two Phoenix parishes, Immaculate Heart and St. Anthony's. The man "celebrated" the Novus Ordo service, a funeral, weddings, and baptisms during his three weeks in the pulpit -- and nobody knew the difference. Just think what that says about the credibility of the Novus Ordo!

At least with traditional priests, we can expect a man to have a certainly fluency in Latin and a certain knowledge of the complex rubrics for Holy Mass and the Sacraments -- not an ad-libbed free-for-all!

The New Order Out of Step -- Again

From: Fr. Moderator

We've seen it before. The Novus Ordo suppresses the Holy Angels, but stores can't keep angel images in stock. The Novus Ordo suppresses Gregorian chant, and chant CDs hit the top of the charts. The Novus Ordo suppresses Latin, and now the language of classical civilization and of the Church returns with a vengeance.

The number of U.S. high school students taking the National Latin Exam, a general Latin knowledge test taken by just 6,000 students when it began in 1978, has increased twenty-fold, to 120,000 students -- a sign of the surging popularity of an "immortal language" among young people (Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post, June 21, 2002). Studies by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages show that although the number of students taking Latin dropped severely in the 1970s when the Novus Ordo apparatus tried to suppress it, it began growing again significantly in the 1980s.

So there to Novus Ordo Philistines!

What Is Really Important?

From: Hermann

Dear Fr. Moderator:

People typically wore their best clothing to go to church. This included all people, not just Catholics. World War II started the slide; it accelerated in the 1960's, and Vatican II finished the slide to "anything goes."

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There is certainly much middle ground between beachwear and wearing a tuxedo. I was around in the "good old days" and saw with my own eyes what people wore in the 1950s to Mass. At least here in California, men were not expected to wear suits. Some did, but other wore other conservative attire.

I must say that I find it odd how, on a comparatively minor matter such as clothing, people get so exercised, but so many still blithely troop off to the Novus Ordo-Protestant service, take the bread "symbol" into their (dirty?) hands from ministresses, give up genuflecting to the Lord, accept being prattled to in the vulgar tongue, and so on. The philosophy of the Novus Ordo Conservatives seems to be: as long as you're wearing the right clothes, it doesn't matter whether you're going to a real Mass or a phony New Order service!

July 13, 2002 - St. Anacletus, Pope & Martyr (Semidouble)

Are Novus Ordo Bishops as Good as Protestants?

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Fox News recently carried an account that a Lutheran minister had been suspended for participating in an interfaith service at Yankee Stadium last fall for the families of those killed in the September 11 attacks.

"To participate with pagans in an interfaith service and, additionally, to give the impression that there might be more than one God, is an extremely serious offense," wrote the Rev. Wallace Schulz, the official from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod who suspended the minister, the Rev. David Benke. Pastor Benke, who holds a position that is the Lutheran equivalent of a bishop, shared the stage on September 23 with a Muslim imam, a rabbi, Cardinal Edward M. Egan, and Sikh and Hindu holy men.

Can we expect a similar reaction from the Novus Ordo apparatus or Pope John Paul II to Cardinal Egan's participation in this ceremony with Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu ministers? I doubt it. It seems at times these days that Protestant sects are more on track than the Novus Ordo is. If only the pope had the courage of his faith to take a stand on this as the Lutheran officials did.

The Protector of the Church

From: Scott

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I remember reading somewhere that Pope Leo XIII added the Prayer to St. Michael after Low Mass in the 1880s because the devil told him that he would destroy the Church from within in 80-100 years as soon as he had authority in the Church. The same prayer just "happened" to be removed in the 1960s after Vatican II, 80-some years later. Could you explain the reason for the Prayer to St. Michael after Low Mass?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

St. Michael is the protecting angel of mankind and will, in the end, be part of God's plan to overcome Satan once and for all. The Old Testament prophet Daniel clearly foresaw St. Michael as our protector at the end in God's plan:

But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book (Daniel 12:1/DR).

In more recent times, in fact in the 19th century, we are told that Pope Leo XIII after celebrating Mass was suddenly overcome and fell to the floor. The physicians who rushed to him, feeling no pulse or heartbeat, were about to pronounce him dead, when he suddenly awoke in great agitation. He told those around him that he had become so terrified at the vision he had seen that he thought he would surely die.

In his vision he had seen the forces of evil that were working against Christian souls in the modern world. Yet when all seemed almost hopeless, there appeared St. Michael the Archangel, radiant in a halo of light. It was then that Pope Leo himself composed the prayer that it is still said after Mass by the priest and the faithful, pleading for the powerful intercession of St. Michael contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli [against the malice and snares of the devil]

That is interesting that this account accords explicitly with Scripture. St. Michael has the overt validation of Scripture for his most important role in the salvation of the Church. That is the reason why TRADITIO has from the beginning, been placed under the very special protection of St. Michael the Archangel.

July 12, 2002 - St. John Gualbert, Abbot (Double)

What to Wear

From: George

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I attended the Traditional Latin Mass last Sunday at an independent chapel. I do not remember the Traditional Mass for the first time. It was, quite clearly and quite obviously, an act of worship, which cannot be said in the same sense of the Novus Ordo. I made the "transition" and intend to make this my "home" church.

An SSPX chapel is much closer, but I chose not to go there for, well, an interesting reason. My elderly mother is in my care and must go along with me to Mass. I've read that the SSPX has this "thing" about women wearing pants. I did not want to subject my mother to that, seeing that she is frail and sickly. At the independent chapel, this is apparently not an issue since a few of the other elderly women there also wear pants-suits.

I understand that clothing style is important. The laity at the last Novus Ordo service I attended looked more like they were on their way to the beach. I was the only one in jacket and tie, outside of one of the ushers. On the other hand, not all the men were in jacket and tie at the independent chapel, but none had the "beach look." For myself, I'll stick with the formal -- after all, Whom am I worshiping and visiting!

The "indult" Mass was never a question. Of the three in my urban center, the closest offers a cafeteria schedule: Novus Ordo in English and Latin and Traditional Low and High Mass every Sunday. This place seems to try to address the longing for "bells and smells" like the Anglicans instead of the basic issues involved with dubity, even invalidity, of the Novus Ordo.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Some SSPX sites do go somewhat overboard with its "dress code." The excesses are often from the SSPX leadership, but one finds many fine SSPX priests at the local level who do not share the Napoleonic militaristic complex of certain of the leaders.

Your example is a good one to indicate why such arbitrary standards should cannot be rigidly applied, as one must always allow for reasonable exceptions for good reason when only local custom is involved. In this context, I tell the story I heard of an elderly woman wearing a conservative pants suit some years ago and being confronted by the priest at the entrance to the church. "You can't come in here looking like that," he said. "But, Father," she replied, "how else can I conceal my wooden leg!" I can also think of the case of the lady who wore a baseball cap because she was undergoing cancer treatments that caused alopecia.

Thinking back to a period well before Vatican II in this area, I don't remember that the men necessarily even wore suits. Some did, but others modestly dressed in slacks and a dress shirt. However, at early morning Masses during the weekday, men would come in wearing work clothes, as they would leave Mass to go to work. I have a lot of difficulty believing that Our Lord would chastize a ditch-digger who made the effort to worship him on a weekday for not wearing a business suit!

Perhaps that is more of a custom on the west coast than on the east coast. There was, of course, no "beach" attire worn, but on the other hand there wasn't an ultra-formality either. It was understood that people would come "reasonably" attired. Otherwise, why shouldn't men come dressed in a tuxedo, or tie and tails? It depends upon local custom, the climate of the area, etc.

Mel Gibson Stands Fast for the Faith - Redux

From: Anonymous

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Mr. Gibson [followed by criticism, which the author does not wish published.]

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Gibson would, I'm sure, be the first to admit that he is not a Saint (who of us is?), but he indicates that he tries, in religion, to bridle his natural character. You see, this is the mark of true Christians. It's not that we don't fall into sin; it's not that we don't recognize our sinful character. It's that we still, however weakly at times, try to bridle our characters to make them more pleasing to God.

Would it be better for Gibson to be a flaming advocate of the Novus Ordo, so that we could say: "Look at that flawed character. It's no wonder that he promotes the Novus Ordo!" I think not. I think it is better that people be aware that there are prominent personalities who struggle to lead a Christian life with the help of the Faith. To you, Gibson may be a flawed individual. To many people in our corrupted culture, particularly the corrupted culture of Hollywood, he is pretty close to being a saint!

Our Lord said: "I came not for the just, but for the sinners." At least Gibson shows some self-knowledge and humility about his condition. Without approving of all the choices he has made, it would be hard to think of another Hollywood star who outspokenly

Let us pray for Gibson's improvement, but let us not ignore what he already stands for and the courage that he has displayed in a very difficult environment.

July 11, 2002 - Pius I, Pope & Martyr (Simple)

Mel Gibson Stands Fast for the Faith

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In a recent hour-long interview on EWTN with Lt. Gen Harold "Hap" Moore (USA), whom actor Mel Gibson plays in the movie We Were Soldiers Once, Gen Moore tells about Gibson asking him if he would like to join him in attending Mass during the shoot. The general accepted, and to the general's surprise, Mel Gibson actually served the Traditional Latin Mass. The general told the interviewer that the Mass was said "the way it should be said, in Latin."

The interviewer didn't expect the Traditional Latin Mass to be held in such high esteem by these noted men, the EWTN Cable Network being Novus Ordo. The men definitely got their licks in. Any Novus Ordo type who sees this interview will walk away with a healthy curiosity about the traditional Latin Mass, thanks to Mel Gibson and Lt. Gen Moore.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

That interview must have left more than a few of those Modernists and Charismatic Protestant faces at the EWTN Novus Ordo Network red!

Mel Gibson is probably the most prominent traditional Catholic layman in the public eye. He regularly attends a Traditional Latin Mass in the Los Angeles area, offered by an independent priest. According to this report, he apparently serves Mass as well. One thinks of the great churchmen and laymen, even kings, who eagerly served at the altar in a spirit of love of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and of true humility. More men should follow their practice and offer their services to their local traditional priest to serve Mass. What a God-given opportunity for innumerable graces!

Gibson is committed to the traditional Roman Catholic Faith and Liturgy and has the guts to speak out regularly on radio, television, and periodicals about it. In interviews he consistently puts down the Novus Ordo as unCatholic. Would that more prominent laymen were as outspoken.

Now, I know that every time I say that, I get messages that claim he stars in shoot-'em-up cops-and-robbers movies and movies with heavy double-entrendres. On the other hand, he obviously takes the opportunity to play, more than most other actors, in the most edifying films, such as Gallipoli, Tim, The Man without a Face, Braveheart, and The Patriot.

Would it be ideal if he played only Shakespeare? I suppose, although Shakespeare too has a good deal of violence and sex. In this upside-down world, I'd rather have a Mel Gibson, who certainly has a serious reputation, speak out for the true Faith and Liturgy, and make as few compromises as he can, seeking the prudent guidance of his conscience and his confessor. If Bill Clinton came out for the Traditional Latin Mass, wouldn't we accept the truth, even coming from such a public sinner? Mel Gibson's occasional fantasies in Hollywood fantasies, while not ideal, surely seem like pecadillos in comparison to the real thing perpetrated by a president of the United States!

July 10, 2002 - Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs; Sts. Rufina & Secunda, Virgins & Martyrs (Semidouble)

First Saturdays

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Could you explain the devotion of the "First Saturdays"?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

From Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 came the promise to assist at the hour of death all the graces necessary for the salvation of the soul. The conditions of the First Saturdays Devotion comprise:

  1. a Communion of reparation on the first Saturday of five consecutive months (one's confessor can, for a just cause, commute the Mass obligation, for example, in regions where there is no Mass on Saturday)
  2. confession on the first Saturday of five consecutive months or a day close to it, but may be made even beyond eight days, as long as there must be at least a monthly confession
  3. recitation of five decades of the Rosary
  4. fifteen minutes of meditation on one or all of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of doing reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary

July 9, 2002 - Ferial Day

A Saint's Answer to the Novus Ordo

From: Lance

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I've been what I consider an orthodox Catholic fighting for orthodoxy in the Church and outside the Church as well, an amateur apologist if you will. What I've found out is that the Church was never backing me up. I kept fighting, waiting for a return to traditional practice, but they never came, and what did come was worse than what we already had. I drive 85 miles one way to Mass. Your comments?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

On the contrary, the Church was always backing you up! What you are mistakenly calling the "Church" is the Novus Ordo apparatus. That's not the Church, never was, and never will be. Being with the Church is being with Christ, with His teaching, the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith coming from Him. Without that, the Novus Ordo can call itself Catholic all it wants, but it isn't.

In the past, when parts of the Church apparatus went off the rails (as it frequently did), the great Saints showed the Catholic faithful the way. It was Cardinal Newman who wrote that it was the faithful who saved the Church, not the pope, not the bishops.

These great Saints publicly denounced the false apparatus, even denounced in many cases weak or errant popes. They did not hold their tongues, because the Catholic Faith was under attack, and one cannot keep silent while the Faith is being perverted.

The names of these great Saints ring out across history, many of them called Doctors of the Church because of their extensive knowledge of the Faith: Athanasius, Basil the Great, Martin of Tours, Augustine, Ambrose. St. Athanasius's words to his flock then in a similar situation could not be more relevant today:

May God console you!... What saddens you ... is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises -- but you have the apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously.
Who has lost and who has won in the struggle -- the one who keeps the buildings or the one who keeps the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. That therefore the ordinances which have been preserved in the churches from old time until now may not be lost in our days,... rouse yourselves, brethren,... seeing them now seized upon by aliens.
You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.
No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day. Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.
Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Thus, you are the Catholic. No "New Order" can ever be Catholic. Every traditional Catholic should memorize these words and burn them into their souls. They are the true Catholic's answer to the prattle of those who have fallen prey to a false religion called the New Order. It doesn't matter who has temporary control of the church bureaucracy. Like St. Athanasius, we can only trust in God, that He will give us back our churches one day. Until then, we hold fast to the Roman Catholic Faith, wherever we can find it.

False bishops and their minions cannot entice the faithful Catholic over to their false religion because, as St. John Chrysostom tells us: The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of rotten bishops. Such is the number of faithless bishops. The great Saint should know. Most of the bishops in the Church in his time were heretics, as history records. They hounded him out of his rightful See, and even tried to silence him by murder. Yet the great Saint won the day, and the Church was returned to the faithful.

July 8, 2002 - St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, Widow (Semidouble)

Wondrous Ways

From: Chris

Dear Fr. Moderator:

It is interesting note that many New Order Catholics will do things nowadays that sicken many conservative Protestants. A good Baptist friend of mine is close to becoming Catholic, a true Catholic, because he is learning of the benefits of the sacred languages to keep the purity of worship (as in Latin), Bibles that have not been tampered with, and the importance of sacred music -- that is, worship the way God wants us to worship Him. He is beginning to see all of this in common-sense logic. He sees the Novus Ordo NewChurch and has commented that, to him, it doesn't even seem Christian in many aspects.

Bring these same arguments to the typical Novus Ordo Catholic and you'll get closed ears, eyes, and minds. They don't want to hear it. If anything, they will get hostile. The progression is thus: from Catholicism, to Protestantism, to Humanism, to Agnosticism. I think that the Novus Ordo has largely reached the last step!

July 7, 2002 - 7th Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

Campos - Stage II

From: John (India)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Now that the next bishop has been named by the Vatican for the Campos priests who were traditional under Bp. Castro de Meyer and then went "indult," will he be "bi-ritual," that is, Novus Ordo and "indult"? If he is "ordained" via the doubtful Novus Ordo rite for bishops (bishops are no longer consecrated in the New Order), will he not be bi-ritual by incorporation into the new collegial order of bishops of the post-Conciliar Church?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Since Protocol 1411 of 1999, there are no exclusively traditional priests in the "indult" (diocesan) framework. All "indult" priests are forced to say the Novus Ordo every now and again to prove their fidelity to the New Order. Therefore, the notion of the "indult," which was flawed from the beginning by coopting it into the Novus Ordo, now can't even put up the pretense of being exclusively traditional. This includes the priests of the "indult" societies as well as the diocesan "indult" priests.

July 6, 2002 - Octave Day of Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles (Double)

Worshipping Stones

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I found myself near a Catholic bookstore run by the Daughters of St. Paul since before Vatican II. I had not visited it in decades. With some trepidation, I walked in out of curiosity.

Bad idea! I haven't seen such a collection of such pseudo-Catholic and avowedly Protestant (and other) trash in one place before. I thought that I had walked into one of those ditsy evangelical places. The only thing I saw that I could readily identify as Catholic was Roy Deferrari's Latin-English Dictionary for St. Thomas Aquinas, which was published in 1960. It seemed so forlorn in a collection of otherwise New Age material. St. Thomas would certainly have blushed and run back to his cell, from being in such company.

In the back, I saw a sign reading Chapel. My curiosity got the better of me, so I peeked in the door. It looked very much like the most non-denominational hospital room, hardly bigger than a closet, in which one lady was sitting, worshipping what looked to me like a square granite stone, about 30 cm square, sitting in a niche. My hair bristled, and I high-tailed it out of there

Someone once told me that a large rock had been installed in front the altar at a local Novus Ordo church. What gives with this stone business in the Novus Ordo?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Several years ago I read a book entitled The Unicorn in the Sanctuary. It was an expose of the degree to which New Age had intruded into the Novus Ordo apparatus. What amazed me (not any more) is the degree to which people ingest this garbage when the Catholic Faith has always been the leader in intellectual thought. Who can top the minds of Augustine, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, and the rest?

This stone thing appears to be something fairly new. It is reminiscent of the omphalos, the "earth stone" characterizing the pre-classical Greek pagan religion and other religions of the Near East. I have a feeling that the Novus Ordo has brought it in to introduce paganistic, naturalistic, non-Christian, elements, as it has done with enneagrams, Earth worship, wikka, etc.

July 5, 2002 - St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria, Confessor (Double)

Will the Real Malachi Martin Please Stand Up?

From: Elizabeth

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have always had a problem with Fr. Malachi Martin. I have heard....

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Every time the name Malachi Martin is mentioned, I always get strong messages both for and against him. I am really not interested in personalities, but thought and action. I base what I said on listening to about twenty tapes of his, which a TRADITIO correspondent supplied to me. At least in the latter years of his life, he cames down strongly for the Traditional Latin Mass and the traditional Faith and against Vatican II Modernism. He claimed to say only the Traditional Latin Mass. The terms facade and grand illusion relating to the Novus Ordo apparatus are his and elucidate where he stood.

I give people the benefit of the doubt unless their actions betray their words. I allow for the fact that some people were caught up in the Revolutionary 1960s, but later regretted their errors and returned to the Faith. Moreover, the Novus Ordo is now getting desperate as its edifice crumbles. It is more and more lashing out at anything traditional, particularly against priests who don't tow the Novus Ordo line. That's why the Vatican had to trample the "indult" societies with Protocol 1411 of 1999. We shall just have to hope that, if he ever fell into Novus Ordoism, Malachi Martin did in fact return to the traditional Faith in the latter years of his life and became a strong advocate for it.

July 4, 2002 - Within the Octave (Semidouble)

The New Order vs. St. Peter

From: Robert

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I know that the Church has had to battle heresy down through the centuries, but isn't the battle today different? It seems that there is a war against everything that is Catholic. I was a cradle Catholic 1943 and was taught the faith by nuns and priests. This new thing I saw starting in the sixties is clearly a new religion. I have talked to many New Order Catholics and, believe me, they like the new way, for it is easy. They make fun of Holy Tradition. This has to be the worst attack on the Catholic Faith, or am I wrong?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

It could well be the worst attack; it certainly is the most devious. Like Hitler and Nazi Germany, the (sometimes) virtue of "obedience" has been turned from its proper end, that is, obedience to authority that has justice, goodness, truth -- and God -- as its end, to a perverted end that exalts obedience for its own sake, namely, to maintain the corrupt, personal power of individuals. That is not Catholic; that is not Christian; that is damnable.

St. Peter teaches us that it is the proper end of authority must always be observed, or the authority is void. He tells this to the face of the corrupt officials of the Church of his time: Oboedire oportet Deo magis quam hominibus [We ought to obey God rather than men] (Acts 5:29/DR).

You have to remember that now, some 35 years after Vatican II, most of the true Catholics have left the Novus Ordo already. The number of Catholics who regularly practice the Faith has dropped from 74% to 17% in the last 40 years. Where did they go? Many got so disgusted about the changes that were being passed off as "Catholic" that they abandoned the Church. Others held fast to the true Catholic Faith and will be found at the (traditional) Catholic Mass sites.

The New Order is now unraveling at an accelerated pace. It can't agree on doctrine. We have had the ridiculous spectacle of cardinals saying at one time that the Catholic Church is the only true faith (which is dogmatic) and at another time that it is not (which is heresy). We have the third-highest-ranking cardinal saying that the Jews should wait for a Messias other than Jesus Christ (which is heresy). So much for the "one" requirement of the true Church.

The New Order is now being exposed for the immorality that is implicit within it. So much for the "holy" requirement of the Church. Long ago the New Order split from the "catholic and apostolic" requirement; it openly labels itself a "New" Order, not a Catholic and Apostolic one. If it isn't "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic," it isn't the true Church. We profess our faith in that proposition every Sunday in the Nicene Creed.

The New Order is moribund, but just like a creature in the throes of death, it takes one last gasp in a last attempt to preserve its existence. That is why the New Order is lashing out now at everything that calls it what it is: an unCatholic "facade," a "Grand Illusion," in the words of the late Malachi Martin. That, and worse.

July 3, 2002 - St. Leo II, Pope & Confessor (Semidouble)

The Atheist Agenda

From: Tom

At a conference ca. 1969, this was the announced plan of an atheistic group:

  1. Blend all religions; the old religions will have to go. "Religion is not necessarily bad. A lot of people seem to need religion, with its mysteries and rituals -- so they will have religion. But the major religions of today have to be changed because they are not compatible with the changes to come. The old religions will have to go, especially Christianity. Once the Roman Catholic Church is brought down, the rest of Christianity will follow easily. Then a new religion can be accepted for use all over the world. It will incorporate something from all of the old ones to make it easier for people to accept it and feel at home in it. Most people won't be too concerned with religion. They will realize that they don't need it."
  2. Change the Bible through revisions of key words. "The Bible will be changed. It will be rewritten to fit the new religion. Gradually, key words will be replaced with new words having various shades of meaning. [Abandon Latin and use the vernacular so that this goal will be more easily accomplished.] Then the meaning attached to the new word can be close to the old word. As time goes on, other shades of meaning of that word can be emphasized, and then gradually that word will be replaced with another word. The variability in meaning attached to any word can be used as a tool to change the entire meaning of Scripture, and therefore make it acceptable to this new religion. Most people won't know the difference."
  3. The churches will help us, not hinder us. "Some of you probably think the churches won't stand for this. The churches will help us!"

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The Novus Ordo pseudo-church has implemented all three of these plans. What more needs to be said?

July 2, 2002 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double of the Second Class)

Looking to the Future

From: Bella

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Why do some traditional Catholic want the Church to be locked up in the 1600s?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I don't really think that is true, but, to whatever degree it may be in some cases, it is, I think, a desire to find a "safe harbor." With dogmatic council Vatican I finding that 40 (out of about 260) popes had been involved with heresy, I don't think that we can put our brains away and accept the self-described "New Order" as automatically Catholic.

We are living in a time of rampant heresy, or at best grave confusion. Therefore, we are prudent to be cautious, just as parents nowadays cannot take it on faith their local school district is teaching appropriate material, in the way they might have in the 1940s and 1950s.

We have to get involved. This is the path that the great Saints of the past have shown us: Athanasius, Basil, Martin, Augustine, Ambrose, and the rest. When the confusion and heresy is cleared up (it usually takes about a century to overcome major heresies, and we are only about 40 years into this one), we can be more assured that the structure is doing what God established it to do. Otherwise, we just have to "hold fast to the Traditions," the Deposit of Faith, the Catholic and Apostolic Liturgy. That is the Catholic thing to do -- the popes say so, the councils say so, the Saints say so.

July 1, 2002 - Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Double of the First Class)

The Feast of the Most Precious Blood

From: Fr. Moderator:

This Office was at first granted only to the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood. Later, as one of the Offices of the Fridays of Lent, it was assigned to the Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent. When Pope Pius IX went into exile at Gaeta in 1849, he had as his companion the saintly Don Giovanni Merlini, third Superior General of the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood.

Arrived at Gaeta, Merlini suggested that His Holiness make a vow to extend the Feast of the Most Precious Blood to the entire Church, if he would again obtain possession of the papal dominions. The pope took the matter under consideration, but a few days later sent his domestic prelate Joseph Stella to Merlini with the message: "The pope does not deem it expedient to bind himself by a vow; instead, His Holiness is pleased to extend the feast immediately to all Christendom."

This was June 30, 1849, the day the French conquered Rome and the republicans capitulated. June 30 had been a Saturday before the first Sunday of July, wherefore the pope decreed on August 10, l849 that thenceforth every first Sunday of July should be dedicated to the Most Precious Blood.

The Real Ottaviani

From: Russell

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Having read the recent Commentaries from the Mailbox concerning the late and great latter-day "column of the Church," I felt that I should write to say that I met Cardinal Ottaviani while I was a student in Rome. My heart and my soul were troubled, and, after some correspondence, His Eminence said I should call upon him. His opinion was that the seminaries no longer produced "Catholic Priests in the tradition of the Church" and that they were possibly harmful to vocations. He was sure that some should be closed, not for any lack of vocations but because they were "heterodox in their orientations." His view was that the Council Fathers had been shockingly negligent and had clearly failed their vocations.

I remember most clearly two things he said, and I have no hesitation in assuring you that the following quotations are most accurate:

These days I can speak only for myself, but I believe very firmly that my Faith is the same as that which the Catholic Church has always held. I assure you that I don't want to meet my Lord and hear him say to me "What have you done with your episcopate? You have betrayed me and my Church together with all the others."
Listen to me! Don't you know? It's better to be a good Catholic than a bad priest.

Of all the things of which I am sure, I trust most surely in the truth and the validity of my belief that the old Cardinal did not, at any time, knowingly or willingly put his hand to any document that might have been thought to approve either the Novus Ordo Missae or the "attachments" of the Second Vatican Council. It is without doubt the case that he thought the former to be "radically unCatholic and deleterious in its effects on the Catholic Faith"; that he believed "Papa Giovanni should have closed down the Council -- and he might well have done so, had he lived"; and that the periti were no better than "vipers nursed in the bosom of Holy Church" and "true Modernists and liberal Protestants."

The old war-horse was right. Of those who began their seminary studies with me and who were ordained, only two now remain after 25 years. Sexual impropriety has been the formal cause of the downfall of some. Others were "laicized" so that they could contract marriages (all of which have failed, please note). Others left because they finally came to realise that the Church they had undertaken to serve was not what they thought she was. The real cause of all the sadness, the heartache, and the sorrowful scandal is undoubtedly the rotten formation that they (we) were given -- ex nihilo nihil, after all.

Return Arrow Return to Commentaries from the Mailbox.