St. Pius V, the Council of Trent & the Decline of the Western World By Patricius Anthony TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Internet Site E-mail: email@example.com, Web: http://www.traditio.com Copyright 2007 P. Anthony. Reproduction prohibited without authorization.
In 1566, some 440 years ago, the Catholic Church, infallibly guided by the Holy Ghost, chose not only one of its greatest Saints, but arguably, although the modern world does not recognize him as such, one of the most important figures of the past half millennium as pontiff, Michael Ghislieri, St. Pius V.
St. Pius V's short reign was truly remarkable, for among the many achievements for which he could be praised, possibly the most important was the formidable task of the implementation of the decrees of the Holy Council of Trent. The Saint-pope carried out his duty with such zealous pastoral care that despite all the heresies that circulated at the time and, unfortunately, those which followed in his wake, he, and the Church that he guided, left no doubt what indeed was Catholic and thus made it abundantly clear to all what was necessary for the salvation of souls.
The words that he spoke at the time of the abandonment of the Faith by the misguided lands of Christendom ring as true today in this secularized world as when they were first uttered. From the Catechism of the Council of Trent (another of the remarkable accomplishments that he sponsored), St. Pius V accurately summed up the 16th century world:
For today nothing of those illustrious States that heretofore professed, in piety and holiness, the true Catholic Faith transmitted to them by their ancestors, but are now gone astray, wandering from the paths of truth and openly declaring that their best claims to piety are founded on total abandonment of the Faith of their fathers, there is no region however remote, no place however securely guarded, no corner of Christendom, into which this pestilence has not sought secretly to insinuate itself.
The Protestant revolutionaries promised that once they were freed from the stifling traditions of Roman Catholicism, a purer form of Christianity would emerge, which was closer to one that had existed during Apostolic times, but had been corrupted by the Church and in particular the papacy. Not surprisingly, the periti, the group of "experts" at the Second Vatican Council (1963-1965), which included Joseph Ratzinger (who, during the sessions, was accustomed to dress in a conventional business suit and tie instead of a clericals), made similar promises to those of their Protestant forefathers. Unfortunately, Ratzinger, the Freemason architect of the New Order Hannibal Bugnini, and their cohorts were indeed "experts," but not in the true Faith, but in the Modernistic mission to subvert and transform Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
As St. Pius V predicted, the righteous talk of the Protestants and their "reformation," just like the New Springtime promised by the post-Vatican II Newchurch revolutionaries, never came to spiritual fruition. Instead, the focus of the lands that first broke with Rome became centered on worldly aspirations such as empire, the rights of man, equality, material well-being, and the like. Similarly, the post-Vatican II Newchurch, the theological descendant of the 16th century heretics, witnessed a general collapse of the Faith, with mass defections among its laity, a catastrophic decline in religious vocations, and now an epic presbyter sex scandal which has been abetted and covered up by the Church's hierarchy up to and including the papal office.
An assessment of the spiritual condition of the lands which first broke from the Church was given in the early 20th century:
Whole nations rebelled against the living voice of the Infallible Church, only to have recourse to other living, but fallible voices. Is it any wonder that those same nations are now giving up [the] Bible, preachers, and Religion? --Msgr. George Agius, Tradition and the Church (Boston: The Stratford Company, 1928
The rupture of Christendom by the deranged "reformers" and the principalities and powers that sustained their foolishness had immense political, social, and economic consequences, the ramifications of which are still being painfully felt. Over the centuries, the replacement of Christian governance and culture with secular, social democracy has allowed the enemies of Christ not only the means to sustain themselves as overseers of the vast welfare states, but at the same time they have used their power to extinguish Christian religion and life from the public spectrum.
Mankind has not simply fallen away from, but has attacked the very instrument made for its salvation, the Catholic Church. From outright physical assault and diplomatic intrigue to the supposed philosophical and scientific refutation of the certainty of Sacred Tradition and Scripture, there has been a relentless assault on Christianity. Worse yet, the revolt from Almighty God now extends and emanates from inside the Church itself.
The replacement of Christian culture and governance with the Enlightenment ideals of religious pluralism and liberty and the now sacrosanct "separation of Church and State" has not only led countless souls astray, but has created the opportunity, willingly taken by the primordial enemies of Christ, to take control of the "command posts" of society and transform the once Christian ethos of these lands into nearly complete secular states.
The grand social-engineering schemes -- welfare for the indolent, coercive integration, compulsory schooling, open non-discriminatory immigration policies, periods of compulsive military service to sustain perpetual warfare states, not to mention the cultural degeneracy from a "free press," the motion picture, television, and music industries -- have all been designed to eradicate what is left of Christian society.
Analysis offered by those on the Right, and even "conservative" Newchurchers, consistently miss the underlying cause of the Western malaise. A prime example in the American context is Patrick Buchanan, who, in a string of recent books laments the disintegration of Western society through illegal immigration, the interventionist foreign policies of the United States and Great Britain and "free trade."
Although Buchanan has been critical of Western leaders, he has paradoxically praised Muslims, the reigns of John Paul II and Benedict-Ratzinger and has thrown his support behind George W. Bush in his second successful U.S. presidential campaign, despite the President's advocacy of amnesty for illegal aliens, military intervention across the globe, and a whole host of New World Order geopolitical schemes. Though he may be on the mark in regards to symptoms of Western decline, Buchanan is an inconsistent and unreliable analyst.
The cause of Western decline, which pundits like Buchanan either cannot see or do not want to grapple with because of politically-correct considerations, is, at its heart a spiritual one. It stems, in large part, from the fateful years when Christendom was ripped apart by error and pride and the refusal of Western man to heed the admonitions of St. Pius V and the teachings of the august Council of Trent.
The crisis will remain unresolved until a spiritually-unified Christendom is re-established, in which the ethos of Western societies are God-centered, to enable these peoples justly to drive from their bosoms non-Christian individuals, groups, and organizations from all positions of authority, governance, and pedagogy. Just as important, God-centered individuals and groups in the mass media need to influence, shape, and mould through the opinions, morals, and practices of those who make up the Mystical Body of Christ.
Happily, Catholics have a number of holy precedents illustrating how to transform and retake de-Christianized societies. Queen Isabella of Spain, as well as St. Pius V, are just two exemplary models of how to revive Catholic governance. Their greatness rested in charitable rules, where they created environments conducive for the salvation of souls, the ultimate aim of life.
In the present-day political, economic, and cultural configuration, a return to full-blown Christendom is but a dream. The groundwork for such an eventuality must be laid not through political struggles in a system rigged against Christians, but by the conversion of minds, hearts, and, most importantly, souls to the ideal of Christ the King. Each establishment of a Traditional Latin Mass site, school, seminary, and religious house is a blow against the present order and a step toward the elevation and eventual suzerainty of Christ to His rightful earthly Throne.
No such regeneration of Western society can or will take place until the institution mandated by Christ for the salvation of man is restored to a holy path. Above all else, the unCatholic teachings of the wretched Second Vatican Council and all the radical changes that came in its wake, especially the abominable "New Mass," need immediate abolition. Just as important, all the errors of those responsible for the establishment of the post-Vatican II Newchurch and all its teachings, be they dead or alive, need formal condemnation, so as not to influence or harm the faithful further.