By Patricius Anthony

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By Patricius Anthony

Peace Mass

What is wrong with this picture?

On the surface, it appears to be an "innocuous" Novus Ordo worship service; however, in this instance, it was conducted by the papal envoy to Iraq, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, at a run-down Baghdad cathedral preceding the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East. As with any non-Apostolic rite, this "peace mass" had numerous disturbing qualities.

For starters, presbyter Etchegaray conducted the "mass" with his back to the tabernacle. Also, the podium from which he is standing has microphones, in order, no doubt, that the "esteemed" Novus Ordo "Liturgy of the Word" could be heard by the entire congregation. There are apparently other presbyters in the background, in even greater sacrilegious postures than the Cardinal, sitting with their backs to the tabernacle. It is fortunate, in some sense, for those who attended and acted so indifferently to the tabernacle, that there is no Divine Presence at Novus Ordo worship services, as Patrick Omlor has so succinctly demonstrated (see The Robber Church: The Collected Writings (Ontario, Canada: Silvio Mattacchoone & Co., 1998).

Another Reuters photo of the event, not shown here, is of a young female attendee without a veil, a practice which is a direct violation of St. Paul's admonition concerning the need of head covering for women in church. And, as if the above sacrileges were not enough, Cardinal Etchegaray began the service with cries of "Salaam," "Salaam" (peace in Aramaic), which were enthusiastically greeted with applause (inside the church) by the congregation. Lastly, and undoubtedly done for "inculturation" purposes, the two-hour service contained the usage of different rites (Chaldean and Roman) and a "homily" delivered in French.

Beyond the egregious spectacle of a Novus Ordo worship service, there is something disingenuous about the Cardinal's "peace mass" and the Vatican's numerous pleas against continued military intervention in the Middle East.

To begin with, any Novus Ordo "mass" (even in Latin) is in and of itself scandalous and deliberately designed to be "humanistic" and, as with the vast majority of Protestant services, celebrates man with Almighty God an afterthought, from the celebrant facing the congregation up to and including the distribution of the "Eucharist" by, most of the time, "lay ministresses," with recipients irreverently standing, hands cupped, instead of kneeling. Despite all of the theological hand wringing by conservative Catholics to justify such an abomination, it is self-evident for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear that there could never be any sanctifying grace emanating from such an exhibition.

This is even truer for the gang of revolutionaries which concocted the New Religion some 40 years ago and are now in control of the levers of power within the Vatican, who, over the course of their wicked reign, have brazenly transformed Christ's Church from a sacred vessel for the mediation of souls to eternal bliss into an effeminate oecumenical monstrosity. Such an infamous record leaves them little, if any, ground for social commentary. Legitimate moral authority comes to those who properly worship and follow Almighty God's dictates while seeking to serve Him first, with worldly issues second.

Besides the irreparable damage done to Christ's Church by the current regime, its hierarchy has largely failed to evoke Almighty God's rights and teachings in the war debates, and, as the earthly representative of God, it is the Church's duty to elucidate such principles. While certainly not a pacifist, Christ spoke nobly about "peace-makers" and condemned those who knowingly put individuals to death without just cause. Yet, the Vatican's constant calls for peace have been waged in mostly secular terms, as can be seen by a recent statement of the pope: "When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society. Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men" (

Without basing their arguments from a Godly perspective, the Church descends into the morass of anti-war groups, associations, and individuals, many of which may sincerely desire peace, but are either indifferent toward Christianity or hold antagonistic views of it. It was not too surprising, therefore, in the weeks leading up to the armed conflict, that the largest protests took place on Sundays. Pity that such energy was not directed to the worship of Almighty God and His admonition to keep the day holy.

It is quite clear from the known facts, personalities, and participating powers involved that the anti-war advocates hold the higher moral ground. The war is being waged for empire upon the behest of the specific interests which are in control of America's foreign policy apparatus. Its continued prosecution will lead to certain misery, death, and destruction for the hapless Iraqis while there will, undoubtedly, be more terroristic acts against America's homeland (especially with its current immigration policy) and will likely mean continued economic stagnation and the further loss of personal liberties. War, as the insightful early 20th century political theorist, Randolph Bourne, described, is "the health of the state." In wars, state power swells at the expense of ordinary people's lives, blood and wealth.

Although the peace party holds the more credible argument, there is another perspective which has rarely been discussed in all the hysteria. With its adherence to the natural law and its magnificent language, it would be hard to deny that the Hand of Providence was not behind the development and eventual domination of the civilized world by the Roman Empire, which eventually provided the framework for the triumph of Christianity. It is, therefore, entirely possible that the "fall out" from the current war will begin the demise of the Anglo-American hegemony of the Western world and its Judeo-Masonic manipulators which have been so hostile to the Faith.

Such a possibility, if it ever does come about, will more than likely take place well into the future. In the meantime, while they certainly should not ignore contemporary political events or the malignant forces which are orchestrating them, Catholics are better off heeding the pastoral wisdom of Pope St. Pius X and his call for the "re-establishment of all things in Christ" as a guide for participation in public demonstrations. When the intention of a social action is to bring about a world where Christ is truly King, participation is warranted; when it is not, it should be avoided even in the case where the New World Order conducts another unjust war.