A Foot In Both Camps…

“Catholic Answers” is an organization made up of lay apologists whose stated mission is to “Explain and Defend the Faith.” Despite a growing contingent of Tradition friendly personnel, Catholic Answers remains, for the most part, a staunch defender of all post-Conciliar novelties.  This is no more apparent than in the organization’s radio show, “Catholic Answers Live.” The show consists of a host and an apologist who discuss important Catholic topics and take calls from listeners. As far as important Catholic topics go, the following are just a few of the Catholic news stories that broke on Friday, May 31st ; any of which would have made for a very interesting discussion:

Cardinal Godfried Danneels defends legislation for same-sex marriage

Major Obama backer negotiated Archdiocese of NY’s coverage of contraception, abortion

Canon Law Case Against Georgetown Submitted to Cardinal Wuerl

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked documents prove abortions at Catholic hospital despite Cardinal’s denial

Instead, “Catholic Answers Live” ran a full two hour radio show on May 31st on a much more important epidemic ruining the Church today. Yes, you guessed it: “Radical Traditionalism.” For those lucky enough not to have tuned in, host Patrick Coffin and guest apologist Tim Staples took listeners on a guided tour of the various dangers of believing and practicing the Catholic Faith of 2,000 years if one doesn’t also accept every post-conciliar novelty as a gift from Heaven.

Praise for Fr. Greeley?

One news story of the day that the host did decide to cover was the passing of Fr. Andrew Greely. For those of you who are not familiar with Fr. Greely, he was an outspoken critic of infallible Catholic teaching on contraception, divorce, and the ordination of women. However, when Fr. Greeley wasn’t speaking out on these issues, he found the time to write pornographic novels. In fact, the LA Times reported that, “Glistening loins, unfettered breasts and rapes were so abundant in his fiction that the National Catholic Register said the author had “the dirtiest mind ever ordained.”[1] The sale of these novels made Fr. Greely a very rich man, enabling him to buy three homes — one in Chicago, another in Tucson and a third at Grand Beach, Michigan.[2] Despite these expenditures; however, Fr. Greely was somehow able to save enough money to donate thousands of dollars to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in 2008.[3]

While admitting that Fr. Greely wrote some “sexually frank” novels, host Patrick Coffin told listeners that he had friends who, “thought a lot about his attempt to get outside the regular means by which priests communicate, with varying degrees of success.” He also reminded the audience that Fr. Greeley, “was certainly a man of the left in the Catholic Church in America, but did a lot of sociological research and had a voice.” This was apparently the host’s “Catholic” response to the passing of such a priest on a national radio show. Logically, if such “tolerance” can be directed towards such a “man of the left in the Catholic Church” the same should be shown towards those on the right in the Catholic Church, correct? Not so much.  Click here to read the rest of this article

When I addressed our wonderful audience at the recent Catholic Truth Conference, I used some artefacts to prompt my (very bad) memory, rather than rely on notes. One of the things I forgot to put into my bag of goodies, however, was a shoe. I’d meant to point out that it is not possible to keep a foot in both camps as this Church crisis worsens by the day. The article above on “Catholic Answers” underlines my point. No use having “a growing contingent of Tradition friendly personnel” if they are willing to go along with many – or any –  of the errors of Vatican II, from the advertising of ecumenical and other harmful activities in their local parish to praying what one of our cheekier bloggers terms the Gluminous Mysteries of the Rosary.  That’s what’s called keeping a foot in both camps. Hedging one’s bets. Opting for the easy life.

As for Fr Greely – I remember, some years ago, struggling to think of a suitable answer when a teaching colleague (in a non-denominational school in a very Protestant part of Scotland) told me that he was reading a novel by this priest and asked me where, in my opinion, he got the experience to write his sexually explicit material. Asked the same question now, I wouldn’t be stuck for an answer. Not for a second.

Anyway, what do you think – IS it possible to have one foot in the camp of “Tradition” and one foot in the post-conciliar novelty camp? Or would that mean you had two left feet?

182 responses

  1. I would be surprised if anyone has ever endangered his soul by saying the rosary while meditating on the Luminous Mysteries. People may even choose yet other incidents in the life of Jesus and Mary on which to meditate while praying if they find that helpful. The Mysteries as we know them are suggestions, not infallible, unchangeable dogma.

    With that in mind, and assuming that you, editor, consider yourself to be “in the camp of “Tradition””, then, yes, it is possible to have one foot in beside yours and one elsewhere. The question of the Mysteries of the Rosary is one example of legitimate disagreement with you. What matters is that we believe in the doctrines and dogmas of the Church and submit to its discipline, which should help us to follow Jesus.

    I am a Catholic with all that implies. I don’t find other labels which attempt to qualify that description of my faith to be useful.

    • Eileenanne,

      I don’t like labels either. We didn’t used to have these labels. Everyone was a Catholic, pure and simple. It’s very “Anglican” if you know what I mean.

      I was shocked though that the Pope added mysteries to the Rosary. I really was. I will never say them, I’m sticking with the Rosary Our Lady gave to St Dominic.

    • Eileenanne,

      So are you therefore saying that we should not meditate on the ‘joyous, luminous, sorrowful etc’ mysteries whilst praying the Rosary? Are you saying that we should use the Rosary whilst asking Our Lady to pray for us concerning a particular intention, and forget the the ‘Mysteries’?

      Pius X

  2. No, it is not possible to have one foot in each camp. Either you are a Catholic or you are not. Being a Catholic means clinging to what the Church has always taught. The errors and novelties of Vatican II should immediately set alarm bells ringing. For example, ecumenism was condemned by the Church and all of a sudden it is being commended! Of course, the problem nowadays is that Catholics are so poorly formed and not encouraged to nourish their Faith with sound reading, therefore they do not recognise these errors.

    Anyone who wants to have a foot in the “Traditional” camp and the Modernist camp is a de facto Modernist. Modernism did not infect a huge part of the Church by being blantantly outrageous. It would have been recognised immediately and stamped out. No, it is a cunning beast and crept in very slowly, mixing Catholic Tradition with novelties. We all know that water and oil cannot mix – neither can Tradition and Modernism. We cannot be slaves to two masters.

    At our Conference I met many souls who do have a foot in both camps. Perhaps this is a natural transition for them and that is understandable. That’s why conferences like ours are so important. Sometimes a soul needs a bit of prompting and the support of others. Sadly, though, there are those who blantantly try to mix Tradition and Modernism. It doesn’t work.

    With regards to the Rosary, the original Rosary was given to Saint Dominic by Our Lady. At Fatima, Our Lady asked, as part of the First Saturday devotion, that we meditate for 15 minutes on the 15 decades of the Rosary. This powerful prayer was given by Heaven. This is why Pope Paul VI refused to allow Archbishop Bugnini to butcher the Holy Rosary, as he done to the Mass. Unfortunately, Pope John Paul II added these mysteries some years later. A truly “Traditional” Catholic should shun this “New Rosary” and opt instead for the Rosary given by Heaven.

    • Some of us have no choice but to “mix tradition and modernism” as it is not possible to attend a Traditional Mass regularly. So NO it has to be.

      • I do understand that it is difficult for some people to attend the Traditional Mass regularly. We do, however, have some people who travel many hours on a Sunday morning to get to the Roman Rite of Mass.

        Personally, I could never attend the New Order of Mass. If I couldn’t get to the Traditional Roman Rite I would stay at home and read the Missal.

        • But a lot of people still don’t have their own transport, so travelling long distances on a Sunday by bus or train isn’t feasible. And isn’t it a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass unless you have serious reasons not to go?

          • Margaret Mary,

            Someone comes to our Mass every Sunday, at 9.45am, having travelled 3 or 4 hours by public transport. I myself travel 1 hour by bus.

            Yes, it’s a mortal sin to miss Mass without a good reason. If there’s no Mass available then that’s a good reason. The New Mass is a valid Mass…but there can be no obligation to attend it as it is is a “banal, on the spot fabrication”.

          • Eileenanne,

            I think you have asked this a number of times before. The sspx priests follow Archbishop Lefebvre’s lead on this by acknowledging the validity of the New Mass, but warning the faithful of its dangers. They do not recommend attendance at the New Mass for the reasons explained to you time and time again.

  3. Fr Greely had “Lord of the dance” at the end of his funeral Mass, says it all really.
    Cardinal Danneels has all but destroyed the Belgian Church. An ole fraud if ever there was one.

    • I entirely disagree with Petrus on this issue. We are not permitted to miss Mass on Sunday just because our preferred form is not available.

      • Now that’s not what I said, eileenanne. I said “for a very good reason”. You display your narrow thinking and Modernist mindset when you suggest this is about “preference”. It’s not.

        The New Mass is not the Roman Rite. It has been stripped of catholicity. Yes, ot can be valid, but validity isnt everything. Imagine your child had an appalling teacher at school and you go to the Head Teacher to complain. The HT tells you not to worry because the teacher has a degree, so is a valid teacher. You wouldnt stand for it. Validity does not mean there is an obligation to attend it. A black Mass can be valid – would you recommend attending a Black Mass, eileenanne??

        There are many well meaning Catholics who attend the New Mass, but there can’t be an obligation to attend a protestantised Mass. We are obliged to attend the Roman Rite of the Mass, codified at Trent.

        • But wouldn’t it be better to attend a form of Mass, even if you on your high horse think its terrible, than attend no Mass at all and simply read your missal. The God you worship and whose Eucharist you receive a New Mass is the exact same God as a traditional Mass. I would see it as more of a sin to take part in this Mass snobbery and refuse to attend a widely celebrated form of Mass than attend non at all, no matter what excuses you pull out of your hat.

          • Sorry that should be “I would see it as more of a sin to take part in this Mass snobbery and refuse to attend a widely celebrated form of Mass than attend attending the new mass”

          • Sanctus,

            It’s absolutely nothing to do with snobbery. It’s about avoiding a Mass impregnated with Protestantism. We’ve been over this time and time again. Archbishop Bugnini, the chief architect of the New Mass, is on record as saying that everything that is an obstacle to Protestants must be removed from the Mass. The Head of the Holy Office, Cardinal Ottaviani, described the New Mass as a departure from the theology of the Eucharist, as defined at the Council of Trent. The New Mass is a danger to the Faith.

            No, it is not better to attend the New Mass simply because it is valid. Would you attend a Black Mass if it was the only Mass available? Surely not!

            Gabriel Syme,

            I understand your position perfectly. Most people go through a process which sometimes involved attending both Masses for a short time. I would urge you to attend the Traditional Mass exclusively for around six weeks. I Think you will find that you won’t go back to what Cardinal Ratzinger called a “banal, on the spot fabrication.”

          • Petrus,

            The Church allows and approves several forms of the Mass. While you are perfectly entitled to choose which to attend, you are absolutely wrong to miss Mass if you cannot attend the one you choose. The IS an obligation to attend Mass in some form. I think it important to stress this for any passing readers who might think that because you are a respected blogger on a Catholic website you will be right about this. You are not. You are quite wrong.

  4. I am probably someone who could be called “having a foot in both camps”, in so far as the “new” Church was, until recently, all I had known (I say “had known”, but I was actually pretty ignorant of it, due to the total lack of catechesis).

    Since learning of traditional Catholicism, which the Church had done a sterling job of conceling from me all of my life, (another cover up, eh?) I have felt highly motivated to explore and learn about it. (Even reading religious books – only a few years ago, I would have openly laughed at whoever had suggested I might enjoy reading religious books).

    Anyway – I had been a member of the Catholic Answers forum for about two years, but recently closed my account (i nthe last few days). In the main, I had enjoyed the forum, but recently had a series of run ins with the same moderator, who polices the “traditional Catholicism” forum hosted there. Of course we must follow the rule of any website we use, but I was shocked at what I got into trouble over and felt it was ideologically motivated, not due to rule breaches.

    The first times I was chastised, my crimes were:

    – In a discussion about the SSPX, happening to mention I had read Archbishop Lefebvres book and posted a link to an electronic version so others could read it. This crime was “Promoting the SSPX”.

    – In a discussion about the SSPX, using the throwaway, figurative phrase “visit any SSPX church to see what I mean” – this crime was “Encouraging others to visit the SSPX”.

    I asked where these rules were stated so I could familiarise myself, several times, but never received a response from the moderator. ( I think he makes the rules as he goes).

    The final straw came when, during a discussion about liturgy, the subject of receiving communion came up.

    – I explained that kneeling and receiving on the tongue is the norm of the Church, though this is widely flouted via indults. I said that the Church prefers people to kneel and receive on the tongue, and that the requests for indults is clear proof that some nations choose to deviate from the norm. To support this, I gave info about Pope Benedict XVIs attitude, a video clip of Cardinal Arinze discussing the matter, and information and dates about indults.

    I was told I was “spreading false and divisive information” and received not one, but two, rebukes over this.

    It was then I decided to close my account down, as I knew that it was *me* who was correct and not the moderator nor the very many hostile novus ordo Catholics who had confronted me over it. I had even given evidence – from the highest level – to support my argument, but it counted for nothing.

    One poster, from England, who was particularly sarcastic, was insistant there was “no difference” between the methods of taking communion. He woud not answer why an indult was required, (for communion in the hand, standing), if there was indeed “no difference”.

    At first, when I only knew about the “new” Church I found the site friendly and helpful. But when I wanted to discuss tradition too, I suddenly found there could be significant hostility and revisionism from some people, as per above.

    Its sad, as I do believe its a good site, and there any many good people who use it. However, there can be a hostility to tradition, which seems to come mainly from people who are very liberal/modern, and from US protestant converts, who seem to fear we will take their nice new religion from them and replace it with something alien to them.

    Currently I attend a mixture of the novus ordo and when possible the traditional mass.

    I am still a novice at the traditional mass, but very much prefer it. I can concentrate at the traditional mass, and if my mind does wander – then I know its my own fault, because there is not the legion of distractions like you get with the new mass. At the traditional mass, there is a sense of reverence and of the sacred, which I find totally absent at the new mass.

    As to why I still go to the new mass; well, I feel an affinity / loyalty to the parish and parish priest and the people I know there. I sometimes do readings there, which I very much enjoy, but which I would be happy to give up for tradition. A while ago, I once engaged our priest briefly about the SSPX (“I dont agree with them”) and the traditional mass (“I dont want to say it”), which left me disappointed, but not surprised.

    So now im finding myself at a crossroads and on the verge of starting a family (or trying to anyway).

    On one hand, do I raise my kids with the new mass (?) – the same mass which made no impression on me whatsoever, as a youth, to the extent I stopped going to Church aged 16. Do I take them to that, knowing they will likely be disinterested (like me) and just “hope” they come back as an adult, like I did?

    Or do I take them to one of the very scarce traditional masses, and in doing so isolate (to some extent) ourselves, in that their Catholicism will be different to that of their friends, their school etc. The near total-unavailability of these masses is another challenge as regards how easy it would be for them to practice and keep their faith.

    (I tell you, had I known all these decisions awaited me in faith, I would probably chosen to remain a secular dope whose aspirations did not extend any futher than getting drunk at the weelend – haha!)

    I had hoped that, by now, Vatican-SSPX dialogue would have resolved the issue, I was very hopeful and excited when the recent talks had started up. This seems to have come to nothing, with no future talks planned (to the best of my knowledge). I had also hoped (perhaps naively) that the new Archbsihop in Glasgow might herald a change of attitude in the diocese about liturgy, but there seems to have been no change as yet.

    One things for sure, whether I take my kids (fingers crossed) to Church, they will be fed large doses of Traditional Catechisms at home, the Penny Catechism / Baltimore Catechsim, which are back in print (and apparently selling well). The more I think about it, I cant really recall any activity in my youth which could genuinely have been called “catechesis”. But there was plenty of doing things glibly with no explanation, (the sacraments), and plenty of trash (writing letters to imaginary gay friends, during RE).

    Of course, if they are taught from a traditional Catechism, this will likely jar with whatever touchy-feely dross they experience at their school, meaning they will become confused and feel pulled in various directions, like I do at times. Sigh.

    • One things for sure, whether I take my kids
      —————

      Sorry that should read: “wherever I take my kids”, not whether.

      (There is no doubt at all they will be going to Church!)

      • Gabriel Syme,

        If you do as you describe above (one foot in both camps) your children will, without a shred of doubt be (a) confused and (b) protestantised.

        There is no issue with the SSPX – they are not regularised because the truly schismatic minds appointed to talk with them don’t want them to be regularised.

        You’ve seen the number of families attending Glasgow SSPX. Why you would even consider going to a NO now, at this stage, is, to be frank, beyond me.

        As for reading at Mass – I can’t recall the exact quote, but St Augustine said that the readings have their power because the priest reads. All that flitting of laity around the sanctuary, whether to read, sing the psalm or distribute Holy Communion is Protestant. That’s your choice. You opt for Catholicism or Roman Protestantism.

        Your call…

        • Surely the power of the readings comes from the fact that they are the inspired word of God, regardless of who reads them?

          “All that flitting of laity around the sanctuary….” Yet another thing I have yet to see. What a sheltered life I seem to have had!

    • I concur with you totally Gabriel. Your experiences are the same as many. As to the new AB of Glasgow changing attitudes to the liturgy. I am afraid that will never happen. He, aided and abetted by his VG, resolutely refused a traditional Mass in Paisley Diocese, anywhere,anytime.

  5. “Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all…
    “What if some novel contagion seeks to infect the whole Church, and not merely a small portion of it? Then he will take care to cling to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any novel deceit.”
    – St. Vincent of Lerins, “The Commonitory, book 1, chapter 2, no. 6-8, pp. 26-28.

    Thank you, Editor for posting the attached Remnant article. It certainly well worth reading, as it offers a good example of the neo-con ignorance and arrogance that traditionalist Catholics are up against, along with some very useful teaching points in response. I’m surely not alone in thinking that these media high priests defenders of Vatican II novelty, banality, mediocrity, and ambiguity are totally impervious to reason and facts. The stinking rotten fruits are all around us. There are indeed none so blind…
    Judging by this article, these “Catholics Answers” people might have trade description issues to address.

    “If anyone rejects all ecclesiastical tradition, whether written or unwritten, let him be anathema”.
    “Those therefore who after the manner of wicked heretics dare to set aside ecclesiastical traditions, and to invent any kind of novelty, or to reject any of those things entrusted to the Church, or who wrongfully and outrageously devise the destruction of any of those traditions enshrined in the Catholic Church, are to be punished thus: if they are bishops, we order them to be deposed, but if they are monks or laypersons, we command them to be excluded from the community.”
    – Second Council of Nicea

    As for the question of keeping a foot in both camps, my answer would be that it is best to point oneself in the direction of Tradition and keep putting one foot in front of the other; that, and opening our eyes, ears and minds to all the invaluable resources of traditional Catholicism. Most importantly, the graces of the Mass of All Time, the power of the Rosary, our Guardian Angel, and the intercession of the saints in Heaven will gives us all the guidance we need. The path to Tradition mightn’t necessarily be completed overnight, or without questions and obstacles, but surely the important thing is to keep going in the right direction. Like many others no doubt, yours truly was a novus ordo orphan for far too long, deprived of our priceless Catholic inheritance.

    Archbishop Lefebvre said at Lille in 1976 that it was not really logical to speak of “traditionalist” Catholics – if a Catholic was not a traditionalist then he was not a Catholic. I would agree completely. That said, labels, unsatisfactory as they are, can save on the use of a lot of words. I read somewhere recently that Catholics who are now labelled “radical traditionalists” only hold to the same Mass, beliefs, and devotions as every Catholic did fifty years ago. If we are wrong now, everyone was wrong then. If the Catholic Answers pontificators and similarly minded neo-con defenders of Vatican II are right now, everyone was wrong then. If Catholics believed and worshipped correctly in 1962, so-called “radical traditionalists” believe and worship correctly today. If Catholics who held to the One, True, Faith were right a hundred, or five hundred, or fifteen hundred years ago, then those who undermine Church doctrine that the Mass is a propitiatory re-enactment of the sacrifice of Calvary, or who tell us that ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality are dogma, are wrong now.

    “‘One faith,’ St. Paul writes (Eph. 4:5). Hold most firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church … We must hold this for certain, namely: that the faith of the people at the present day is one with the faith of the people in past centuries. Were this not true, then we would be in a different church than they were in and, literally, the Church would not be One.”
    “It is absurd and a detestable shame that we should suffer those traditions to be changed that we have received from the Fathers of old,”
    – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II, I, Q. 97, art. 2 (quoting the Decretals).

    So what does it take for the neo-con media “inquisitors” who hurl anathemas at loyal, faithful Catholics to wake up and recognise what is happening?

    When are we going to hear Catholic Answers et al. talking about the Kingdom of God versus the Kingdom of Satan, or proclaiming the Social Kingship of Christ, or upholding in unambiguous terms the dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation?

    When are those Catholics who guarded the pearl of great price in the catacombs for all the rest of us going to receive bit of recognition or gratitude from “conservative” Catholics, no matter how inadequate? I hope pride, obstinacy, or ignorance aren’t going to stand in the way.

    When are all Catholics, everywhere, going to be given full unfettered access to their birth right?

    When are those who hold to Tradition going to be welcomed back from exile?

    “But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition, and frequently accursed envy has wished to unsettle it, but has not been able.”
    – Saint Athanasius (ca. 296-373), Apud Caillau and Guillou, Coll. Selecta Ss. Eccl. Patrum, vol. 29.

    The Modernist onslaught which has been in full, open operation for five decades now can, I think, be compared to spiritual carbon monoxide poisoning. The “unchecked passion for novelty” of which Saint Pius X spoke has led countless souls into formerly unimaginable danger.Without any personal nastiness, or bitterness it’s time to hold the modernist and the conservative defenders of the Conciliar novelties to account. It’s time for the Catholics of Catholic Answers and other neo-con platforms to justify themselves in front of all Catholics who are seeking to save their own souls and those of their families.

    And finger wagging legalisms don’t count as justification. Traditionalist Catholics are surely entitled to repeat the words of St. Edmund Campion, martyr:

    In condemning us, you condemn the Church of all times. For what is there that She believed and taught that we also do not believe?”

    • No wonder none of the liberals have come on to answer your post, Leo. It’s unanswerable! Yes, all Catholics were “traditionalists” in the past and so by condemning them now, the liberals condemn the Church of all times. It’s a wonder they can’t see that.

  6. The reason why there is so much confusion today over the Mass is because the Catholic faithful placed their trust in the shepherds of their souls (the bishops) and were betrayed by them.

    It has always been natural to Catholics to obey the Pope and the Bishops without question because they are the ones chosen by God to pass on the Faith and to sanctify souls. The unprecedented problem of the past 50 years has been that too many Catholics, not having any real depth of knowledge of their Faith and the teaching of the Church, have mistaken that natural obedience for subservience. Hence, the split between those who have chosen to reject the innovative spirit of Vatican II and those who remain slaves to false obedience.

    One is only obliged to obey a superior when that superior is faithful to what has been entrusted to him. If he deviates from his fidelity to truth, then we must sadly but necessarily deviate from our obedience to him. Our one obligation above all is to keep the deposit of Faith as handed down through the generations. We are not permitted by God to place our souls in danger in the name of an obedience which is little more than slavery to the whims of individuals who are abusing their office.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that the New Mass was designed to please Protestants rather than to sanctify Catholic souls. We see the bitter fruits of this ruinous plan some 40 years on in the unprecedented numbers of church and seminary closures, as well as the disappearance of the religious orders and apostasy of tens of thousands of priests and millions of lay people. No one in their right mind would argue that these are signs of God’s blessing upon the spirit of the Council, which is wholly revolutionary. We are not permitted to participate in this rebellion or in the slightest manner to defend it.

    If people just took the time to study the teachings of the Popes and saints, and perhaps pray a bit more for guidance, they would soon see that Catholics absolutely must attend only the Traditional Mass where possible. Where this is not possible, then sanctification in the home is a genuine option.

    There can be no mortal sin here for the simple reason that the person is choosing not to attend the New Mass because it displeases God and places souls in danger of loosing their faith by degrees. Mortal sin only enters into the equation when a person can’t be bothered going to Mass. It is certainly not present when one refrains from the New Mass precisely for love of God and the Traditions of the Faith. Remember, God reads the heart!

    But if a person really can’t get to the Traditional Mass and also cannot in conscience bring himself to refrain from attending the New Mass, then at least let him abstain from the abuses he witnesses during the New Mass. Let him make a point of kneeling to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the priest, for example, and let him use Summorum Pontificum to have his parish priest arrange a Tridentine Mass. Let him also speak with like-minded faithful and start to bring some pressure to bear on the priest and the bishop to provide for their souls in the Traditional Catholic way. Catholic laity need to take the initiative and fight for their faith. There’s no point sitting back bemoaning the parish situation while doing nothing to try to improve it.

    I am always conscious of the wording on the prayer cards handed out by the Redemptorists at the end of their missions, or at least the missions they once had. It goes like this: “You have one life to live and one soul to save. Death will come soon, then Heaven or Hell for all eternity…”

    Catholics really do have to disabuse themselves today of this woolly notion that their bishops are really that interested in their sanctification. I have no doubt that some do genuinely still have that love of souls, but many, many more couldn’t care less. It is high time more Catholic priests and faithful took up the cause of restoring the Faith of our Fathers, then, instead of remaining in this fearful, falsely obedient state of torpor. God expects!

    • No one in their right mind would argue that these are signs of God’s blessing upon the spirit of the Council, which is wholly revolutionary.

      I agree, Athanasius. Thus, it is interesting to note that Mgr Basil Loftus does, indeed, argue that the Church today is full of the “signs of God’s blessing upon the spirit of the Council”. His nonsense in the Catholic Times and the SCO is truly tragi-comedy. Reading it, one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry – one really doesn’t… one is (how can one put it?) gobsmacked!

    • If a person’s conscience tell him to miss Mass on a Sunday or Holyday just because his preferred form is unavailable, then his conscience is wrongly formed. There are many valid and approved forms of the Mass. We are allowed to choose which to attend, but may NOT miss Mass if our preferred rite is unavailable. And it is simply a matter of choice. One rite is NOT superior to another. The Church allows us a choice about which rite to attend but binds us under pain of mortal sin to attend SOME Mass on Sundays. There is no wiggle room in this at all.

  7. You are talking about the rite of Mass celebrated daily by the Pope and the vast majority of the bishops in communion with him for four decades and more.

    And I note this as one who has a great affection for the old Mass.

    • Yes indeed, Firmiter. And the Pope and bishops in communion with him have been celebrating a Mass for four decades and more which has more in common with the meal service of the Protestant Reformers than with the Mass that the Popes and bishops, saints and martyrs, for almost 1500 years before had celebrated without alteration.

      What the Pope and bishops in communion with him celebrate today is precisely what Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci (among others) lamented as “in whole and in part, a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass…” It is also what Cardinal Ratzinger called “A banal, on-the-spot fabrication.” And it is exactly what Fr. Bugnini, its creator, said it would be, namely, a Mass “stripped of all that can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is for the Protestants.”

      Oh yes, and both Pope John XXIII and Sacrosanctum Concilium said that Latin was to remain the language for the essential parts of the Mass, particularly the Canon. So who has disobeyed who in this matter of the Mass? Or are we back to the errors of blind obedience and Papal impecability?

  8. I think it’s peculiar how the Neo-Catholics are gentle as lambs in their ecumenical and inter-faith relations, so careful not to cause the slightest offence or upset. But if you happened to eavesdrop part way through a conversation they might be having about the SSPX, you’d think they were talking about a society of Satanists. I mean in the sense they are so blasé about damning us all to eternal fire for our treacherous acts of ‘disobedience’.

    In the private conversations I have had with them they are oblivious to how very spiteful they are. I will have to pray hard for the grace not to become bitter, and I’ve only been a Catholic for four years… some people I know have been Catholics for more than four decades, and I commend them for having not become insane. I am starting to get there. I hope things change soon.

    • I have been a Catholic for 30 years or so. Sometimes it drives me nuts, but mostly its a source of hope, grace and comfort. Don’t allow the bad stuff to get to you. We have Our Lord’s word that the gates of hell shall never prevail.

  9. Athanadius,

    But Cardinal Ottaviani himself celbrated the Novus Ordo. I have seen photos to this effect.

    Not only, but Bishop Luigi De Magistris, latterly of the Apostolic Penitentiary but formerly a collaborator of Ottaviani at the Holy Office, could be seen celebrating Paul VI’s Mass daily in St. Peter’s whilst I was a seminarian in Rome.

    • Firmiter,

      Yes, it is a great pity that these two eminent prelates and theologians felt constrained to celebrate the Mass of Paul VI. St. Padre Pio refused. I’ll wager that neither Cardinal Ottaviani or Bishop De Magistris celebrated that New Mass with a clear conscience, especially Cardinal Ottaviani who knew the vast difference between it and the Mass of the ages. If only both men had been made of the same stuff as St. Pio and Archbishop Lefebvre!

    • Eileenanne,

      I note your aversion to souls being led astray and this is praiseworthy and commendable. I only hope that you do likewise and complain to the Archbishop about awful publications, being sold in several parish churches in Glasgow – Open House, edited by your friend, Fr Willy Slavin, being the foremost awful publication.

      Regarding attendance at the New Mass. We know that this cannot be obligatory. Consider the Quo Primum Papal Bull by St Pius V:

      “Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women – even of military orders – and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

      We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.”

      As you can see, The Pope spoke infallibly commanded that no New Rite of Mass should replace the Traditional Roman Rite. This is the only Mass that can be subject to obligation.

      • A black Mass is valid, eileenanne!

        You make the classic mistake of thinking that a Rite of Mass only needs to be “approved”. Wrong. The Rites of the Church must be “approved and received”. Handed down. The New Mass is approved, but it hasn’t been “received”. It was a new creation.

        • Well as I have said before, Jesus did not present the Disciples with leather bound copies of the Missal at the Last Supper, so EVERY version of the Mass had to begin at some particluar point in History after the founding of the Church.

          A black mass is not approved by the Church.

    • You are still wrong Petrus.If Mass in the Extraordinary form is not available, you have an obligation to attend another Mass.

      Pope Pius V was clearing up the mish mash of practices that had grown up in the way Mass was celebrated. The missal he was promulgating was to be used everywhere from then on. It was the wrong EXISTING practices he was forbidding. There is nothing to say that a future pope could not introduce another missal.

      • eileenanne,

        You wrote that St. Pius V did not forbid a future pope from promulgating a New Rite of Mass. Really? Have you read Quo Primum? What about this:

        “We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.”

        And this:

        “in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription – except, however, if more than two hundred years’ standing.”

        Take a look at this:

        “We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure. ”

        What about this:

        “Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

      • Eileenanne,

        You’re right about Popes having the authority to introduce changes into the liturgy, but absolutely dead wrong to suppose that their authority extends to a new liturgy which breaks from the old one. Until the New Mass, there had never been a single prayer removed from the Mass by any Pope throughout the 19 centuries of the Church’s existence. Prayers had been added, certainly, but nothing was ever taken away. Pope Paul VI wiped the lot out and started afresh, and with devastating results as we have seen. He wanted to please Protestants and he succeeded, but at what cost?

        You are also quite wrong to suggest that St. Pius V’s intention when codifying the Tridentine Mass was to forbid wrong existing practices. He codified that Mass in order to preserve it from Protestant assault, precisely the assault that happened with the New Mass of Paul VI. That’s why The Ottaviani Intervention said this about the New Mass:

        Letter from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI
        September 25th, 1969

        Most Holy Father, Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations:

        1. The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.

        2. The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition, even if such reasons could be regarded as holding good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem to us sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place, if it subsists at all, could well turn into a certainty the suspicions already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people, can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound for ever. Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful who are already showing signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith.

        Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonising crisis of conscience of which innumerable instances come tour notice daily.

        3. We are certain that these considerations, which can only reach Your Holiness by the living voice of both shepherds and flock, cannot but find an echo in Your paternal heart, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. It has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law.

        Therefore we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness, at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the church, lamented by You our common Father, not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.

        Brief Summary
        I History of the Change
        The new form of Mass was substantially rejected by the Episcopal Synod, was never submitted to the collegial judgement of the Episcopal Conferences and was never asked for by the people. It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.

        II Definition of the Mass
        By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the ‘supper’ and the ‘memorial’ instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

        III Presentation of the Ends
        The three ends of the Mass are altered:- no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only “spiritually” (not substantially) changed.

        IV The Essence
        The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated.

        V The Elements of the Sacrifice
        The position of both priest and people is falsified and the Celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister, while the true nature of the Church is intolerably misrepresented.

        VI The Destruction of Unity
        The abandonment of Latin sweeps away for good and all unity of worship. This may have its effect on unity of belief and the New Order has no intention of standing for the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent to which the Catholic conscience is bound.

        VII: The Alienation of the Orthodox
        While pleasing various dissenting groups, the New Order will alienate the East.

        VIII The Abandonment of Defences
        The New Order teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the purity of the Catholic religion and dismantles all defences of the deposit of Faith.”

        A. Card. Ottaviani
        A. Card. Bacci

        • Athanasius,

          Prudent popes have made organic modifications to the Liturgy, haven’t they?. Pope Pius XII made small changes in the 1950s and Pope John XXIII made some changes in the early 60s. However, the New Mass of Pope Paul VI was a completely new liturgy.

        • Where we differ Athanasius and Petrus, and I have said this before, (what a shame the archive was lost!) is that I do not accept that what we now know as the Ordinary form of the Mass is different from the Extraordinary form in any way that matters.

          The language is usually different – no matter – God understands them all.
          In both forms we have a penitential rite and they are very similar.
          The Kyrie and Gloria in the OF are pretty much a straight translation from the Latin of the EF.
          We have a couple more readings from Scripture in the OF than in the EF – can’t be bad.
          At the OF, the homily is supposed to be based on the readings; in the EF there is sometimes a sermon on a completely unrelated topic (or at least that was the case when I was younger). Not something I’m too perturbed about. There are arguments for both practices.
          The Creed is a straight translation.
          The Offertory is hardly any different, just slightly less flowery language.
          Likewise the Sanctus.
          The Words of Consecration are unchanged – that DOES matter!
          The Our Father is still there, as is the Lamb of God.
          The sign of peace which in the EF is confined to those in the sanctuary at high Mass is extended to everyone present. It’s not my favourite part of the Mass, but I can live with it.
          The Eucharist is oftens received under both kinds in the OF. Not always, but it is a permitted option. Receiving standing is usual in the OF, but kneeling is permitted for those who prefer to communicate that way and I have been in churches not too long ago where it was the norm.
          Not sure if the dismissal is substantially different. I am doing this off the top of my head and can’t remember what happens in the EF. It’s a wee while since I attended Mass in that form.

          So what’s the big deal? You say potahto – I say potayto. Vive la difference! And the Mass I attend is the one favoured by the Pope, so I am in good company.

          (And before you say it, I DO understand the limits of infallibility, and no, I don’t believe that if the Pope says it will rain tomorrow I should be sure to carry my umbrella!)

          Eileenanne

          • Eileenanne,

            You wrote (and how wrong can you be…) the following:

            I do not accept that what we now know as the Ordinary form of the Mass is different from the Extraordinary form in any way that matters.

            I took the following from an answer (from a priest) to a question (from a layman) on the EWTN website, partly because I knew you’d cast doubt on it were it taken from any “traditional” website:

            One of the Catholic experts involved in the forming of the new liturgy Fr. Joseph Gelineau said “This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. it has been destroyed.” Joseph Gelineau, Demain la liturgie p.10.

            Fr. Anibale Bugnini headed a commission that included Protestants set up by Paul VI with the purpose to implement the Council’s teaching on the liturgy. Fr. Bugnini stated that one of his intentions in designing the Novus Ordo was “to strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.” L’Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965

            It’s also interesting to see the sentiment of the Protestants involved with this commission. A Lutheran representative at the commission, Dr. Smith, said “We have finished the work that Martin Luther began.” Answer by Fr. John Echert on 12-16-2003

            Thank you for providing us with these quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger, who has expressed himself more than once on his own serious concerns about matters related to changes made in the Sacred Liturgy since the time of Vatican II.

            God bless, David

            Source here

            So, Eileenanne, how on EARTH can you (or anyone else) claim that the new Mass is substantially the same as the Traditional Latin Mass? Those who created it, say the opposite. And, by the way, for the record, we are not even talking about “a new Mass” but about umpteen new Masses.

            I remember way back in the early seventies, a friend telling me that she was annoyed that her mother kept buying new missals -although why on earth anyone needs a missal for the new Mass is beyond me, I know if off by heart and I haven’t attended it on a regular basis for years now and there’s an hilarious YouTube video doing the rounds of a three year old in Latin America who says the whole thing from memory. Gimme a break! Anyway, my friend told me that she’d told her mother to wait for the final version. Her mother has gone to her grave and we’re still waiting for the “final version”. Gimme strength!

          • Eileenanne,

            The language does matter. The inscription on the cross was written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew – the three languages of the Traditional Mass. This isn’t a coincidence.

    • My apologies. I thought you said a few years back that you knew him.

      Doesn’t change the fact that he is one of a few priests who sell damaging publications in their churches. You are quick to come on to our blog and warn against what you perceive as erroneous advice. Have you ever spoken out against these publications being sold? Or have you been happy to wash your hands of it?

      • Knowing someone is not the same as counting him a friend. If you were to put my name to Fr Slavin he would readily confirm that we were never friends.

        • Whereas, if you put MY name to Fr Willy Slavin, the air would be full of !!!! ******Bang! **************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bang!

  10. That which I do find incongruous is the clamour, in some circles, for the NOM in Latin, which merely wallpapers over the Protestantisation of the Celebration.

    When in Somerset I travelled by public transport to SSPX Taunton – seven hours round trip. When I lived in Cumbria, I regularly drove a 120 miles round-trip to an SSPX Mass.

    As I write, from my box-room office, I can see the tower of my (modern) parish church. I support the same financially, solely because of the charisma of the very aged parish priest. I attend a TLM elsewhere, but do go to Mass sometimes, through the week,
    at the parish church. Over Christmas, due to lack of public transport, I have to attend the parish church. Not to go to Mass on Sundays and Holydays is definitely out – niggling conscience.

    A rule of thumb I use is: follow the genuine article priest, when no TLM available. A Confessor told me, when later in Somerset, to treat attendance at Mass at my then parish, as a penance and he was a diocesan priest!

  11. Had to break-off to go to Mass!

    Re the Somerset parish, far from being efficacious, attendance at Mass there [if it was a Mass] left me in a bad mood, therefore it had proven to be counter-productive a useless exercise. But it was also the effort, of getting my behind out of the easy chair and waiting for the buses, that effort was somewhat efficacious and eased my conscience.

    However, the Bishops’ Conference of E & W, under their imprimatur, provided the very answer to my travel problems. By an edict of 2003 (?) they published a document which stated I could fulfil my Sunday and Holy Day Duties by a perambulation of three hundred yards up the road to the village CofE, or even ‘Free Church, or whatever. Lucky me!

    • Really? I would lbe very interested in seeing that document. Have you a link to it please?

  12. Brainteaser for neo-con, New Theology adhering, defenders of Vatican II:

    “When I read the documents relative to the Modernism, as it was defined by Saint Pius X, and when I compare them to the documents of the II Vatican Council, I cannot help being bewildered. For what was condemned as heresy in 1906 was proclaimed as what is and should be from now on the doctrine and method of the Church. In other words, the modernists of 1906 were, somewhat, precursors to me. My masters were part of them. My parents taught me Modernism. How could Saint Pius X reject those that now seem to be my precursors?”
    -(Jean Guitton, Portrait du Père Lagrange, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1992, pp. 55-56).
    Jean Guitton was a French Catholic philosopher and close friend of Pope Paul VI, who invited him to attend Vatican II.

    By the way, the following might be of interest in connection with what Athanasius and Petrus have posted above. On French radio on December 19, 1993, Guitton declared that Pope Paul VI had confided to him that his purpose in reforming the liturgy was not simply that it would correspond as closely as possible to Protestant forms of worship, but with that of the Calvinist sect. – taken p. 3 from Liturgical Shipwreck, by Michael Davies

    Presumably Guitton’s recollection was accurate and he is a reliable witness, acceptable to those hurl “anathemas” at Catholics who adhere to the Mass and Faith of All Time. Anyway, he doesn’t appear to have given much of a testimony to “continuity”, if you ask me.

  13. Petrus,

    Is there evidence that Jesus spoke something other than His native Aramaic at the Last Supper? (Genuine question.)

  14. Editor, the YouTube link you give above is fantastic. And the little man offers ‘Mass’ with more vivacity than the dreary ones available in most of Scotland’s parishes, you know, when the priest announces the notices at the beginning of Mass, and then re-announces them during the homily, and then announces again at the end of Mass.

    He reminds me of me when I was a child. I had only been to Methodist and C of E churches at that time, so I used to give Protestant services to my mum in my bedroom. A music stand functioned well as an ambo and I read from a Giddeon’s New Testament that was given to my older brother at secondary school. There was lots of lay participation, for example I once made my mother do a reading from the psalms. I did a collection once but she did’t fall for that.

  15. Editor,

    I think a lot of liberals ignore the fact that the liturgy Our Lord attended was NOT in the vernacular!

  16. Eileenanne- have you attended many Masses in the traditional rite to back up your comparisons?

    Petrus – I’m struggling to understand how a black mass could be truly valid?

    I understand your thinking and reasoning however I would suggest that you are still obligated to assist at Mass on Sunday even if you cannot get to a traditional Mass, and while your reading of the missal is commendable it is no substitute.

    If you were on holiday in Greece or similar place and there was no Catholic Mass available would you attend the Orthodox liturgy??

    Ultimately The Mass is the Mass (no matter in what rite)

    • Nolite Timere,

      I understand your (and Eileenanne’s) revulsion at the thought of missing Mass. It is a monstrous thing for a Catholic to deliberately avoid going to Mass.

      I also agree with Athanasius – if, once reading the history of the New Mass you still feel your conscience is telling you to attend that Mass then you should do so and avoid the abuses. However, I urge everyone to seriously study the history of this awful Rite in order to make an informed decision.

      My conscience is perfectly clear: a Mass stripped of Catholicity in order to please Protestants is off limits for me. Thankfully, I manage to attend the Traditional Mass and don’t have to worry about attending the New Rite.

  17. As a Novus Ordo attendee I had not realised how the placing of the words “The Mystery of Faith” had been altered at the consecration.

  18. Our priest told us years ago, “You do not have the obligation to go to the New Mass and once you understand why you have the obligation to not go to the New Mass.”

    If you do want to attend a Traditional Mass I’ve heard making a novena to the Sacred Heart is very efficacious. Also if you want to attend daily Mass I would ask for that in the Novena.

  19. When I stay with my family down south, it is often difficult to travel into central Manchester on a Sunday morning from where I live: a half an hour walk to the local train station, then a 35 minute train journey into the city centre, then I walk to the bus stop and wait to take a 20 minute bus ride to SSPX Whalley Range. This also costs a bit. Sometimes it is just not feasible to get my family to drive me.

    I could, I suppose, attend my local parish. I used to do that. Everytime my Mum would pick me up after and I would rant all the way home and make the same old complaints. She found it tedious and it filled my mind with unChristian sentiments. It really hurt me that much. It was spiritually and psychologically painful. Torture. It would annoy me for days before going, it would annoy me while I was there, and it would annoy me after I had been. God does not want me to feel this way. When I presented myself for baptism, I did not make a promise before Almightly God to be a good member of the the Church of England. I joined the Holy Catholic Church and I have the right to a Catholic Catholic Mass. Not a Protestantised and Modernistic Mass.

    Here Mass takes place in a modern circular church with an open sanctuary, versus populum, in the vernacular, with lay persons distributing the Sacred Host, which is received predominantly in the hand, and there are usually two or more lay persons ministering the Chalice. There are female altar servers. There are distasteful Vestments. Everybody receives Holy Communion. The Tabernacle is placed in an alcove to the side of the altar. There are no guitars at the evening Mass, but you have choice to go to a guitar Mass in the morning. This is the kind of grim, post Vatican 2, ‘post-apocalyptic’ set up they have running there. There are two group Confession services twice a year.

    I no longer have scruples in missing Mass. I won’t be seen condoning this sacrilege, so I won’t be seen there full stop.

    The main emotion I have when I miss Mass in this scenario is disappointment, rather than scruples.

    During Reformation times in England there were three types of Englishmen: Catholics who did as they were told a went along to the state Church – the conformists. They didn’t remain Catholics for very long. There were Catholics who privately deplored the State Church of Henry VIII but they attended for fear of persecution and continued to assist at Mass said by loyal priests in secret as well. They were called the ‘Church Papists’. I am not a historian, but I wonder if their descendants remained Catholic for very long? Finally, the last group… the Recusants. They weren’t having any of this nonsense and they attended only one Mass, the one that could cost them their life.

    I see myself as a New Recusant. Christianity is not a religion of compromise. So no, I have no scruples in missing the Modernist Mass.

    If anyone wished to judge or rebuke me for this I would tell them what they are: a Pharisee.

  20. I’ve received an email from a Scottish priest who has had difficulty signing up for our blog. He asked me to post the following comment on his behalf (I’ve offered to sign him up at this end, in order to answer the comments which will follow, as surely as day follows night!)

    A PRIEST (SOMEWHERE IN SCOTLAND) WRITES…

    In recent weeks the editor gave a clue about her age. It struck me that she, and probably many, if not most, of the bloggers are too young to have had much experience of the Church before the Council. This explains why they have a certain naivity in their regard for the traditional Mass.
    (Ed: as I explained in my reply email to this priest, “if only”. I do, indeed, remember the Mass immediately before Vatican II – but not the description which follows…)

    Before the Council there were many ways in which the Mass was celebrated with little devotion. I was brought up with the traditional Mass. I was an altar server, I attended it as a layman, and I celebrated it daily for my first eight years as a priest. I cannot recall any priest who was opposed to the changes which came to us. Although there might have been some frustration in the piecemeal fashion in which they came.

    Before the Council there were many things that needed to be dropped or adapted. The Mass certainly required attention.

    Celebrating the Mass was a minefield for a scrupulous priest.

    I knew a priest who would have a go at the words of consecration three or four times before he felt able to continue. Many priests gabbled through Mass as though they were late for an urgent appointment elsewhere. As an altar server I was scolded for not gabbling likewise to keep up. I knew a priest who, when celebrating privately, was inclined to daydream and miss out parts of the Mass. It was accepted that you could fulfil your Sunday obligation by coming in at the offertory and leaving at Communion. In parishes where they had choirs, they would sing sub-operatic Masses and everybody was required to wait till they finished sections or solo pieces. When I read about the traditional Mass being the most beautiful thing this side of heaven, I shake my head in wonder. That is certainly not my recollection.

    In my experience, the Novus Ordo – what is now the normal or ordinary form of the Roman rite – is perfectly conducive to nurturing faith and piety. In Brompton Oratory I once attended a Novus Ordo Mass sung in Latin. It was the equal of the most dignified celebration of the traditional Mass.

    I completely share the anger bloggers feel at the abuses in celebrating the Novus Ordo that are committed in some places.

    But the abuses are made by people being disobedient – let’s say, out of ignorance and because they are not corrected – don’t ask me why not. My point is that the Novus Ordo, when celebrated according to the rubrics and in the spirit of faith, is not to be despised. Again, it now the normal, ordinary form of the Roman rite and should be accepted as such by anybody who claims to be a loyal child of our holy Mother the Church.

    PS: I was very pleased to meet you at the Michael Voris meeting. You are not at all how I imagined you – terrifying and vengeful. I thought you were very affable, and, yes, rather sweet. END

    Ed: slipped up there. Mustn’t lose my steely touch; can’t having people (especially priests) going about the place thinking I’m “affable” and (worse) “sweet”. Mind you, given his memories of the TLM, maybe Father has confused me with someone else!

    • Father,

      Even assuming that what you say is absolutely true (although I’ve never witnessed such serious abuses at a Mass prior to Vatican II) then the remedy surely was to deal with those lax priests, not re-write the Mass?

    • Well now, dear Father, you should know more than most that one can fulfil one’s obligation and receive Holy Communion at the TLM even if one is only present from the Offertory to Holy Communion. It is perhaps not what the Church would expect on a regular basis from the faithful, but in the event of late arrival it is theologically and Sacramentally acceptable. This of course is based on the fact that the essential part of the Mass begins with the Offertory through the Canon, which effectively constitutes the Sacrifice of Our Lord. If we are united with that then we are present and accounted for at Holy Mass, although I hasten again to add that one should be present for the entire liturgical celebration.

      It is worth bearing in mind, however, and this is very pertinent to all those liberals who say that we have to cut down the great tree of 2000 years of Sacred Tradition in favour of a return to the mustard seed of the early Christians, that there was no lay activity on Mount Calvary other than that of Our Lord’s mockers and executioners. Our Blessed Lady and the saints were present in silent adoration, just like Catholics today who have remained faithful to the Church’s liturgical patrimony.

      That most priests in your experience accepted the New Mass without question was less to do with the rubrics of the ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs, I think, than with a lessening of divine love and reverence on the part of the priests themselves, as well as perhaps the fact that they were deceived by their Bishops into believing that the New Mass was replacing the ancient Mass, which, they intimated, had been abrogated. The truth of the matter is that the New Mass was only ‘created’ as an alternative rite for priests, not as a replacement rite. No priest has ever been bound to offer it.

      Let me assure you that many priests did not accept the New Mass happily. Indeed, some tens of thousands of priests abandoned the priesthood with the advent of the New Mass. It has since caused seminaries and religious house all over the world to deteriorate and close, and it is at the heart of the vocations crisis and today’s unprecedented parish closures. No such crisis existed when the TLM was the Ordinary Form Mass of the Church. Quite the contrary, in fact.

      It is also worth pointing out to you that amidst the vast and unprecedented numbers of canonisations we have witnessed in recent years by the conciliar Popes, particularly during the reign of Pope John Paul II, only two priests are counted amongst them who lived full lives and died in the odour of sanctity. These are Padre Pio and Fr. Jose Marie Escriva de Balaguer. Neither priest celebrated the New Mass! Isn’t that fact truly informative; that not a single New Mass priest has attained to the honour of our altars?

      At any rate, Cardinal Ratzinger is just one among many eminent theologians to have called the New Mass a “fabricated liturgy, a banal on-the-spot fabrication.” It was not so “on-the-spot,” though. Fr. Bugnini, it’s chief architect, warned in 1965 what he was going to produce. He was going to produce a Mass that has more in common with the Protestant Reformers of the XVI century than with the saints and martyrs of almost two thousand years. He was as good as his word.

    • Dear Father X, I have no doubt that these were real problems and they should not be passed over lightly.

      Just as the faith was in many was in a state of decay before the Second Vatican Council, so, too, was the liturgy. The ipso facto denial of the thrice-defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus dates back to the 1830’s it seems. Is it any surprise that with such a precipitous decline in the understanding that the Catholic Church is the New Israel, outside of which there is no salvation, that the rites of Catholic worship were practised with diminishing fervour and that the celebration of the Mass became something perfunctory and, yes, uninspiring?

      I certainly don’t buy into the idea that the Church was doing-just-fine-thank-you up to the Council. The ambiguity and the compromise in the Conciliar documents would not have found their way in there if the state of the Catholic faith had not been in a parlous state for many decades previous. The unquestioning acceptance by so many Catholic theologians, bishops, and seminary professors of the half-baked notions of Charles Darwin gnawed at the belief in the inerrancy of Scripture from the 1880’s onwards. And, if truth be told, St Pius X failed to address this perceived ‘incompatibility’ between science and the Catholic faith but, rather, only attacked the symptoms that flowed from this malaise of reason and faith. Instead of recapturing the wavering Catholic intellect to orthodoxy through a clear demonstration of the compatibility of the truths of the faith with genuine science, the saintly Pope chose to call for obedience. But if the intellect is not convinced the will not be coerced for very long. I believe that this was the great failure of the Pope.

      So, for a great many priests, the Immemorial Roman Rite of Mass, going back most probably to the time of St Peter in Rome, must have been experienced as something burdensome, in that it did not express their – arguably – threadbare faith.

      But was this the fault of the Ancient Roman Rite? Since so many bishops and priests had become infected by Modernism before the Council, what should have happened: alter the Mass to suit a new notion of faith? Or, instead, restore the faith to the purity that is clearly expressed in the Immemorial Rite? I believe the latter since the faith cannot change, no matter how many Catholics may wish that to happen.

      I would urge you to read this short article by Fr Chad Ripperger Phd who makes the following conclusion:

      It is safe to say that, objectively speaking, with respect to the ritual itself the old rite of Mass has an ability to merit more than the new rite of Mass. While this merit is accidental, since the essential or intrinsic merit of the Mass, which is the Sacrifice of Christ, is the same in both rites, it is nevertheless something serious. Since the faithful are the beneficiaries of the fruits derived from this aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we have a grave obligation to consider the impact that this factor may be having on the life of the Church. While it is not our intention to denigrate the new rite, we must recognize that the ritual of Mass used in the old rite is more meritorious and therefore
      more beneficial for the people who assist at it and for the priests who offer it.

      If you take the trouble to read this article I’m sure that you will realise that the baby was definitely chucked out with the bath water.

      • Augustine,

        I am astonished by your post. Truly astonished. You write: “Just as the faith … was in a state of decay before the Second Vatican Council, so, too, was the liturgy”

        Where, on EARTH, is the evidence for this claim? All the statistics, from baptisms, marriages, right through to Mass attendance, conversions, priestly and religious vocations, shows that the opposite is true. So, please enlighten us.

        The answer to your question about why Catholics fell for the Vatican II changes if the Faith had been so strong is quite simply this; there was an unquestioning attitude to obedience, at that time. We’d never had a crisis of Faith such as we’re experiencing now, so there was no reason for Catholics to be suspicious of their pastors. Thus, when the powers-that-be in education – always at the forefront of rebellion – set about dismantling the faith of teachers in the name of the Church, the numpties on the receiving end (sole exception almost, Daphne McLeod who reports first hand on what happened in education in the early post-conciliar years) accepted uncritically, what the “liberals” told them. Those who were uneasy squashed their unease, thinking they must be wrong and the church authorities, bishops through to RE advisers and “experts” must be right.

        We see exactly the same wrong-headed thinking and false obedience in those who are uneasy with the new Mass, know that even at the diocesan approved traditional Masses they and their children are subject to Modernist influences via sermons and notices/literature on sale etc. but think they’re being “disobedient” if they attend an SSPX chapel. Personally, my patience has worn completely thin with these people, and you, Augustine, can see how they got to where they are by re-examining your own comments above: the Catholics who fell into Modernism in the post-Vatican II era did so, most of them, because they blindly followed what they thought must be right because a pope and a bishop told them so.

        However, that there were priests pretending they had the Faith when they’d lost it, is certainly true. I grew up in a parish in the north of Glasgow where we had three solid (or so I thought) priests for years. A strict PP and two curates who preached faithfully about everything from Transubstantiation to Birth Control: “Sin if you want to” one of them thundered on the latter topic, pounding the pulpit – yes we really did have one – “but don’t try to justify it.”

        Only a few years ago, I bumped into one of those priests, in the company of our then Miss McMoneypenny, and introduced him much as I described him in the above paragraph. To our utter astonishment he said I must be confusing him with the PP. I said “no” that I remembered all three of them being very sound and faithful to the teaching of the Church. Can you believe this, Augustine: he replied – “oh well, in those days, curates had to toe the party line.”

        He’s a parish priest now. So, yes, there was certainly something wrong before Vatican II, that so many priests like that faithless and dishonest specimen could fool us all and get away with it (in this world)

        But the overall answer to your question was given to us by Our Lady at Fatima when she warned about the “diabolical disorientation” to come. There cannot be a shred of doubt that the disorientation was given a framework in which to develop in what Gerald Warner so aptly calls The Second Vatican Catastrophe.

        As for your condemnation of the wonderful Pope Saint Pius X – unbelievable.

        Just out of curiosity – are you pleased that Pope John Paul II has been declared among the Blessed in Heaven? Really?

        • Editor,

          That is a fantastic reply. I’d love to see Augustine’s evidence to support his claim that the Faith and Liturgy were in a state of decay. I’ve never heard that before. Not even from the most hardened Modernist.

          I remember when my wife was baptised, the priest told us that Scotland had to receive an indult in the 1950s to use the Rite of Baptism for Infants – as opposed to the Rite for Adults, as the numbers converting the the Church were so high, priests would be doing nothing but baptising all day. Unbelievable.

          Remember in the late 1930s the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland expressed concern over the numbers converting to Catholicism. “Scotland”, they claimed, “will be a Catholic country once again by the year 2000”. Hmmm, we all know what happened there.

          So, Augustine, where is your evidence?

          • In my reply to Mme Editor you’ll see that I am not questioning the rude health of the Church before the Council relative to now. But there was concern voiced about what was called the “leakage” of Catholics, that is many Catholics were drifting out of the Church once they left school. I have a pamphlet written by the Scottish Bishops in the 1940’s on this very problem.

            My contention is that, regardless of the statistics, the adhesion on the part of Catholics to the truths of the faith had been gradually weakened from the early 1800’s onwards, possibly beginning in France. The encyclical of Gregory XVMirari Vos states:

            Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained.

            Was the Pope mistaken in his opinion that the poison of religious indifferentism had already infected the Catholic Church? And – remember – this encyclical was given in 1832, 130 years before the Second Vatican Council.

            Is it a coincidence that the great Marian apparitions began around this time, almost in response to the looming apostasy of the bishops, priests, and faithful?

            Another way to look at it is to ask whether the compromise and ambiguity of the conciliar documents could have gained the approbation of the Council Fathers if they – and their periti had not at the very least become clouded about the limits to sound Catholic doctrine?

        • Mme Editor,

          Well, I’m astonished at your astonishment. But before we fall out let us define our terms, as I suspect that we might agree more than we disagree.

          By the faith being in a “state of decay” before the Council I am not referring to the statistics you have mentioned. It is incontrovertible that there were far more baptisms, adult conversions, religious and priestly vocations than there are now. Furthermore, I am not referring to the piety and general knowledge of the faith on the part of priests and laity which, regardless of propaganda to the contrary, was in a far better state that they are now.

          What I mean by a “state of decay” is what I referred to with the words “the wavering Catholic intellect”. But before, going into this, I’ll attempt to provide a background to my assertion that the faith was indeed in a state of decay before the Council.

          The will can only act upon what the intellect presents to it as a good to be sought. Now, this principle applies also to the act of the faith which is an assent to the truths of the faith on the part of the intellect moved by the will under the influence of actual grace. But we can give assent to something only insofar as it is intelligible. Or, to put it another way, if a proposition is unclear then the intellect is, in a sense, paralysed and the will remains in a state of indetermination towards it. Again, the less true a statement appears to the intellect, the less the will is moved by the apprehended good to give assent to that statement.

          My contention is that over the last 200 years there has been a gradual obscuring of two key truths of the faith in the Catholic mind, namely (1) the dogma that there is no salvation outside of the Church and (2) the dogma of the inerrancy of Holy Scripture. That is not to exonerate the Second Vatican Council – on the contrary. The disaster that was the “conciliar event” would not have been possible if these two truths had not been so badly obscured.

          With the dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, the attacks by Catholic clergy on Fr Michael Mueller in the 19th Century and Fr Leonard Feeney (with whose rigorist position on baptism I do not personally agree) in the 20th Century for their unabashed teaching of this dogma indicate that there was indeed an obscuring of this perennial teaching in the mind of Catholics. The necessity of the Church for salvation as a necessity of precept and a necessity of means was undermined by the piling on qualifying factors that would eventually lead to Karl Rahner’s ‘anonymous Christian’. Why else would Pope Pius XII say in Humani Generis: “Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation”? I would name the restoration of the Church in France after the Revolution as the point at which this doctrine began to weaken in the Catholic mind and quickly spread to the United States where it contributed to the growth of Americanism.

          With regard to the inerrancy of Scripture, we can see that from the 1880’s onwards there was a obscuring of this dogma in the face of the “scientific fact” of Evolution. “St. George Mivart, a British biology professor, was the first Catholic scholar ever to attempt a reconciliation between human evolution and the faith of his Church. His books The Genesis of Species (London, 1871) and Lessons From Nature (London, 1876) were placed by the Vatican on the Index of Forbidden Books” (source). Indeed, you just need to visit a second-hand Catholic bookshop and peruse the index of the majority of books written by Catholic theologians (including the 1913 Catholic Encylcopedia) to see that most of the authors were at least ‘hedging their bets’ on the issue and downplaying the literal interpretation of first 11 chapters of Genesis; whereas some, such as Fr Ernest Messenger, explicitly held to a doctrine of molecules-to-man evolution and tried to fit Scripture around these new scientific “facts”.

          Now, you are saying that I “condemned St Pius X”. I don’t believe I did. Just because someone is a Saint it does not mean that we believe that they saw every outcome of their actions and were infallible in their prudential decisions. St Pius X saw the dangers of Modernism in the Church and acted swiftly to stem the tide. However, I do believe that the great Pope missed an opportunity by failing to demonstrate how the inerrancy of Scripture could be reconciled with genuine science. There was a canon condemning polygenism, among other things, at the First Vatican Council that could have been made the subject of a dogmatic pronouncement. But, rather than compelling the Catholic intellect by a clear exposition of the truths of the faith, St Pius X in effect compelled the Catholic will by resorting to a call for obedience to the papal magisterium.

          Following the condemnation of Modernism by the Pope and the promulgation of the Anti-Modernist Oath, I would say that right belief became confused with obedience to the Pope. Listen to St Pius X:

          “When one loves the pope one does not stop to debate about what he advises or demands, to ask how far the rigorous duty of obedience extends and to mark the limit of this obligation. When one loves the pope, one does not object that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to repeat into the ear of each individual his will, so often clearly expressed, not only viva voce, but also by letters and other public documents; one does not call his orders into doubt on the pretext – easily advanced by whoever does not wish to obey – that they emanate not directly from him, but from his entourage; one does not limit the field in which he can and should exercise his will; one does not oppose to the authority of the pope that of other persons, however learned, who differ in opinion from the pope. Besides, however great their knowledge, their holiness is wanting, for there can be no holiness where there is disagreement with the pope.”
          St Pius X, to the priests of the Apostolic Union, 18th November 1912

          The problem is that when the Pope is someone like St Pius X himself there is no problem since there is nothing that the Pope taught or did that was contrary to the perennial teachings of the Church – except the assertion in the aforementioned allocution. The fact is, St Pius X was wrong when he said that “there can be no holiness where there is disagreement with the pope”. He was forgetting the examples of St Paul rebuking St Peter, St Catherine of Sienna rebuking the Avignon Popes, and so on. He also omitted to recollect that in the future there might be a Pope – or a series of Popes – who would teach things that give every appearance of contradicting previous magisterial teaching. Just as we have seen.

          So, to cut a very long story short, I think it is clear that in the minds of many Catholics the importance obedience to the Roman Pontiff (and by extension to the Bishops and priests) was more vivid than the importance holding to the truths of the faith (cf. St Vincent Lerins). That is why the cataclysm of the Second Vatican Council could wreak so much damage: faith came to be seen as obedience to the command of a superior rather than as a species of certain knowledge. Thus, the magisterium of the Church (understood as the persons authorised to teach in the name of the Church) could effectively demand obedience to novel teachings that were either unclear in themselves or gave every appearance of contradicting prior magisterial teaching.

          This article by the theologian John R T Lamont goes a great way in showing how this tension between belief as obedience and belief as knowledge was resolved in favour of the former.

          So, as I said at the beginning, the will can only be reduced to act by some good apprehended by the intellect. And, since the intellect apprehends something insofar as it is intelligible a teaching that has become unclear elicits a diminished assent. And such was the case with the two fundamental teachings mentioned earlier which became indistinct in the Catholic mind – infecting theologians then seminary professors then priests and then ordinary Catholics – over the 150 years leading up to the Council. And since the human soul, like nature herself, abhors a vacuum the relative indetermination of the will of a great many Catholics towards the truths of the faith left a space for the calls to obedience that followed the Council. Following the will of the Pontiff seemed to take precedence against adhering to the traditional Catholic faith.

          Arguably, we could take this even further back to the advent of Nominalism and Latin Averroism but that, as they, say is another story….

          Just out of curiosity – are you pleased that Pope John Paul II has been declared among the Blessed in Heaven? Really?

          Mm Editor, you know that it is precisely that act of the magisterium that has caused me grief since it was made. No, I think it was an act of violence against the faithful in that it failed to make clear that what he did in Togoville etc was mistaken and that he was being beatified despite those actions and not because of them.

          • Augustine,

            Don’t be astonished at my astonishment or I’ll have to be even more astonished at YOUR astonishment at MY astonishment.

            I need to be very quick here, as I should be washing dishes right now, but if I type quickly and quietly I won’t get caught this time…

            Very briefly then…

            Of course, Pope Pius X was incorrect to say that there can be no holiness if we disagree with a pope – assuming that our “disagreement” is not a matter of divine and Catholic Faith. However, when I tried to find that quote (when I should have been washing the PREVIOUS batch of dishes) I could not find the original, I could only find it quoted, with source given as various books. Anyway, I found this on Rorate Caeli which indicates (as you rightly guessed yourself) that the Pope was speaking to priests in the context of the rise of Modernism and, in fact, he was trying to stem the growing spirit of rebellion among priests at that time.

            Now, before Vatican II, it was standard to teach that “Catholics obey the Pope when he is teaching on Faith and Morals. The Pope is infallible when teaching on Faith and Morals” That was normal. I heard it a million times in my youth. It was only when we experienced popes who deviated from Catholic Faith (ecumenism/interfaith dialogue springs to mind) and morals (condoms for prostitutes springs to mind) that we found ourselves having to read up on what the Fathers taught about papal authority, its extent and its limitations.

            It’s interesting, though, to see that quote from Pius X decontextualized all over the internet and used to bash the SSPX. Pope Pius X himself would be horrified to see how his words are being applied today, when the unthinkable is happening.

            As for the rest – there are other things I’d like to pick up on in your post but need to do my domestic duty right now.

            Stay tuned… I WILL be back, Honey-Bunch!

          • You speak about the inerrancy of Scripture, on the one hand, and infer that faith is not obedience, on the other.

            What about Romans 1,5 and 16,6. I was under the impression that obedience was one of the most fundamental charateristics of faith.

          • Firmiter,

            I don’t know how to respond to your question as I can’t see a “Reply” link.

            This is what St Thomas Aquinas says:

            The act of faith consists essentially in knowledge, and there we find its formal or specific perfection.

            But, in so far as there is certainty of assent, faith is knowledge, and as such can be called certain knowledge and sight. This appears in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (13:12): “We see now through a glass in a dark manner.” And this is what Augustine says: “If it is not unfitting to say that we know that also which we believe to be most certain, it follows from this that it is correct to say that we see with our minds the things which we believe, even though they are not present to our senses.
            De Veritate, Q. 14, II

            This from Dr Lamont’s article:

            The fact that disbelieving God is a sin does not entail that the object of an act of faith is a command. Faith is belief in God’s testimony, and an act of believing someone’s testimony is not an act of obedience to a command; it is an act of accepting their claim as true, on account of their saying it.

            This is why the virtue of faith is so often linked to sight in Scripture, as we saw with the quote from St Thomas of 1 Corinthians. Ultimately, we believe in (i.e. give assent to) the truths of the faith, not because we are commanded to, but because they are true and we know that they are true because they have been revealed by God who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

            Faith is an intellectual virtue, hence true faith is knowledge, but the will plays its part in moving the intellect to assent, so that faith can also be called “obedience”. To reverse this order is to succumb to the error of the Nominalists and a certain one of theirs, Martin Luther.

      • Augustine,

        I disagree with your assessment that the Church was in many ways in a state of decay before Vatican II. I’m afraid the facts just do not support such an assertion.

        While I have no doubt that certain priests had become slack in their duties, perfunctory and uninspiring in their celebration of the Holy Mass, as you say, this of itself does not indicate a universal faith in decay. There have been other periods in the Church’s history when slackness of this kind has crept into the priesthood and religious orders. In fact, St. Theresa of Avila set about the reform of the Carmelite Order for precisely this reason. This kind of coldness in devotion is, alas, a very common human problem.

        I think, however, the reality of three or four priests to every city parish, full churches for all Sunday and Holy day Masses, regular devotions and regular Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, high numbers of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, full seminaries and growing numbers of converting Anglicans, especially the intellectuals, suggests that the Church was actually very healthy overall just prior to Vatican II.

        It is also worthy of note that the Popes before the Council taught with an authority that was rarely, if ever, challenged in the public forum. Most Catholics heard the instructions of the Holy Father, whom they trusted implicitly, without rebellion of any kind. One would never have come across a situation of priests and nuns, much less lay people, openly dissenting from the teaching of the Church as they do today in large numbers.

        Additionally, there were those great Eucharistic Congresses before Vatican II and let us not forget the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima around many countries during the reign of Pius XII, who remarked on the graces being poured out on the Church at that time “there are so many miracles, Our eyes cannot believe what they are seeing.”

        All this paints a rather different picture to the one you have of the Church before the Council. Nor am I aware of anyone ever denying the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, either explicitly or implicitly. This dogma was dearly held and believed by the majority of priests and faithful.

        I also beg to differ with your assessment of St. Pius X. I think he did a great job of exposing the Modernist agenda within the Church. He highlighted in very great detail, in Pascendi, the dual mindset of the Modernist, his flawed reasoning and weak faith. My one regret is that His Holiness managed only to drive them underground for a while rather than wipe them out completely. They were to resurface again at Vatican II, small in number but with influence in high places and well organised, as Fr. Wiltgen’s book ‘The Rhine flows into the Tiber’ amply demonstrates.

        The entire Council procedure speaks of this well organised group of theologians taking the greater majority of the Council Fathers entirely by surprise, gaining unprecedented ground in their boldness.

        Now, we may say that the Council Fathers were careless, or weak in faith, or whatever, for allowing such a band of rogues to take over Vatican II proceedings, but we should remember that said rogues were greatly aided in their maneuvers against Sacred Tradition by sympathetic Popes, particularly Paul VI, who encouraged this minority group of priests and bishops, many of whose names were on the Church’s pre-Council list of those suspected of heresy.

        Even Pope John XXIII was guilty of pandering to these types. For example, Henri de Lubac S.J. was a theologian of ill repute under Pius XII. Pius recognised his heresies, banned his books and forbade him to teach publicly, yet John XXIII called him to Rome and placed him in a very powerful position. He is said to have greatly influenced a number of Conciliar documents, especially those which are the most controversial. Why would one Pope act so contrary to the action of his predecessor in such an important issue? It really beggars belief.

        At any rate, suffice it to say that the average diocesan bishop was not sufficiently familiar with the anti-Modernist/anti-liberal teachings of the Popes up to Vatican II to be able to offer any reasonable resistance when the spirit of the Council came calling at diocesan level.

        As for the New Mass, it can in no way be compared with the ancient Mass or accepted as a good, but with just a few reservations. It may well be valid in the essential words of consecration, as you say, but the spirit of everything surrounding those words reeks of Protestantism. We delude ourselves if we think that the new rite of Mass is in any way theologically akin to the ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs.

        You were right to mention Darwinism in your post, for it was precisely this monstrous ideology that the Modernists applied in the fields of doctrine and liturgy to establish the “latent seed” idea that that St. Pius X warned about. What they managed to do to the Catholic Faith as a result is theologically equivalent to man becoming ape!

    • Father wrote:

      “I cannot recall any priest who was opposed to the changes which came to us.”

      Allow me to tell you briefly about one. Father Anthony (I’ll withhold his surname, although he’s deceased and probably wouldn’t mind a jot if I repeated it here) worked as a priest in England and wrote to me from time to time to encourage our apostolate.

      When the new Mass was introduced, Father sought permission to continue to say the old rite Mass. Not only was he refused, but he was told to get out and his bishop added for good measure that if he were leaving to get married, he’d get some help. As it was, he had to basically fend for himself and was helped by concerned laity.

      That’s the way the alleged lovers of social justice treat anyone who is remotely orthodox, never mind devoted to the Traditional Mass. Little wonder that many of the older priests suppressed their concerns and went along with the crowd. It’s an ancient problem. Just ask Adam of Adam & Eve fame…

      • Editor,

        I remember reading the (excellent) book “Priest, Where Is Thy Mass?” and there are a few priests in that book who refused to say the Traditional Mass. Saint Josemaria Escriva said the New Mass once and found it so horrific he obtained an indult and never attempted to say the New Mass again.

        • Petrus,

          The really interesting thing about that book – Priest Where is Thy Mass – is that it is a series of interviews with YOUNGER priests who learned the TLM and in the end many, if not most, of them switched to offering it exclusively if my memory is correct.

          There is simply no comparison between the two Masses. None whatsoever. As Cardinal Ranjith said (and this is permanently quoted on our website, Mass page) “Above all, I must state that this form of celebration brings with it a profound sense of dignity, beauty and integrity of faith and fidelity to both the Last Supper and the Crucifixion of Christ which is not surpassed in any other spiritual experience.”

          I just wish he’d waited until after the last conclave before saying it!

          • Editor,

            Yes, I found the words of the younger priests interesting too. However, unlike you, I found the older priests (one is in his 80s I think) more interesting. I love speaking to people, priests and laity, who were around at the Council and finding out how they reacted/adapted.

  21. So are you therefore saying that we should not meditate on the ‘joyous, luminous, sorrowful etc’ mysteries whilst praying the Rosary? Are you saying that we should use the Rosary whilst asking Our Lady to pray for us concerning a particular intention, and forget the the ‘Mysteries’?

    Pius X

    • We are saying that the NEW NEW NEW “mysteries” are not part of the traditional Rosary, given to St Dominic by Our Lady. I guess if she’d wanted us to have the Gluminous mysteries, she’d have included them! I will certainly NEVER include them in my Rosary. Indeed, I’ve made a point of not imbibing them. Couldn’t tell you any one of them.

      Maybe Our Lady mention them, right enough, in the book she is planning to write via the Medjugorje “seer” Vikka – apparently she told Vikka that she wants to write about her time on earth as the mother of Jesus.

      As the readers suggested, who told me this latest “revelation” from Muddygorje, I’m surely entitled to a signed copy! Indeed, I demand it!

  22. Josephine makes an excellent point. Deal with those priests who were most likely already infected with Modernism. I wish the priest in question would open his eyes. The priests who celebrated the Mass in the way he described were most likely the minority – radicals who hated the Mass of All Time and hated the Catholic Faith. To suggest this was justification for abolishing the Roman Rite and replacing it with the Bugnini Rite is like saying we should abolish schools because some teachers are incompetent.

    • Spot on. I mean, the promoters of the new Mass were clearly not drawn from the priests who loved the Mass. Gimme a break.

  23. Even if the above priest is entirely correct, a honest comparison of the Novus Ordo Masses and Traditional Masses currently being offered in my area in June 2013 still compels me to avoid the Novus Ordo, so who cares?

    Editor, ‘A signed copy’, lol. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the Megadodgy lot started offering signed copies though: “Our Lady will be undertaking a tour this year, and She will be signing copies of her new book.”

    I have a feeling this Medj business won’t ever fully go away, and I predict this won’t be the first divergent Marian movement to be become a new religion. Behold, we have the holy scriptures of the future Medjugorje cult. If its anything like the coming-up-to 40,000 messages, it will surely be as mind-numbingly boring as the book of Mormon. Some Andrew Lloyd Webber type ought to write a musical about it, to complement the new film, Medjugorje, the Musical, very euphonious.

  24. Although I was born after the second Vatican Council my parents were older, I was the youngest of eight children. My mother would often take me with her to speak with our parish priest, a scripture scholar and former superintendent of schools. Father would say to my mother, “We’ve lost so much!” and “I will never get used to offering Mass with my back turned towards Our Lord.”

    Once my mother got into big trouble with Father for taking up petitions to have the Traditional Mass offered. She had to go to his office for a scolding. He tried to give her a paper about Archbishop Lefebvre and my mother learned that Father received no mail except through the Bishop. All other mail was thrown in the trash unopened, this was a rule.

    It was a strange situation, a priest who dearly loved the Church, suffering pangs of conscience at the changes he was forced to accept, uninformed, misinformed and obedient. He implemented changes slowly and only when ordered by the Bishop.

    Finally he got cancer and they sent him away to a little parish and he spent his last days in the hospital praying his breviary over and over in Latin. He requested that no one visit him just that we all pray for him.

    This was my first priest. He was definitely torn between obedience to his superiors and what he knew was true.

        • Editor,

          Ha! For a long time I thought you and Athanasius were at least 70 years old.

          I don’t know about Petrus, but I do think of him as having a long white beard!

          • 3littleshepherds,

            Steady on! 70 years old? Me? Are we talking here about my actual age or just how I feel? I feel 70, but I’m actually much, much younger than that. I happen to share the same bithday with the late Pope John Paul II but not the same year of birth.

            Here’s a clue to my age: I was born in the year of the first session of the Second Vatican Council, which, as you know, took place some 21 years ago!!! Now, as the Americans say, go figure!

        • “Luck” Petrus? Nothing to do with luck. I’ve worked very hard, in close collaboration the beauty industry, to stay this young…

  25. Athanasius

    I know now that you and editor are not so old because you were talking about your ages recently. I think you said you were born in the sixties, and editor I think was born in the fifties.

    It’s all the “old” jokes I believed them! You once mentioned remembering Pope Benedict XVI as an altar boy. That one gave me pause.

  26. 3littleshepherds,

    Good grief! If I had truly remembered Pope Benedict as an altar boy then I would certainly have to be in my late 90s.

    As regards editor. Yes, I believe she was born in the fifties. Whether that was the 1850s or the 1950s is, however, for her to reveal. Oh dear, down the pay scale again!

  27. Frequently on here a ‘fact’ is repeated.

    “St Padre Pio did not celebrate the new Mass”

    This is often used as an argument against the Novus Ordo.

    However this is not really surprising since the Novus Ordo was promulgated in 1969 and the Pauline Missal introduced in 1970…St Padre Pio passed to eternal life in 1968

    • Fact: Saint Pio said he wouldn’t offer the New Mass. He was informed about an innovative rite of Mass being devised by the liturgical commission, and he wrote to Paul VI asking he dispensed from it and be allowed to only offer the 1962 rite.

    • You’re actually quite wrong, Nolite Timere. The New Mass, then called the Missa Normativa, was being tested out in Italy from the mid 1960s. The official version was promulgated in 1969.

  28. That may well be the case but he was never given the chance to offer it as he was dead before it was introduced.

    • If it was being tested in Italy from the mid 1960s, as Athanasius says, then Padre Pio would have been alive to say it but sought a dispensation instead. I think it’s very interesting that the recognised holy priests of our time refused to say the new Mass.

  29. Here’s a priest in good standing at work – think of the memories these children now have of their First Communion Day. Their earliest experience, perhaps, of the “New Pentecost”, the “Springtime of Vatican II”.

    You and I might be shocked at this debacle (although some here might defend it on the basis that it may be “a valid Mass” – gerrourahere!) but the likes of Mgr Loftus (and I shudder to think who else, even at the top of the episcopal tree) will love it.

    Did I say “good standing”? With the local bishop maybe, but not with God. Not remotely, if you get the pun…

  30. If I remember rightly, a devoutly religious Polish Catholic lady wrote in my year book at high school, ‘pray, hope and do not worry- St Padre Pio’. He was doubtlessly a wonderful and holy man, but weren’t records found in the deepest, darkest and dustiest corner of the Vatican that said he obtain acids and medication to induce bleeding in the centre of his palms and feet, and to induce fevers and stupors? I know people say he was a charlatan.

    Pius X

    • pius x,

      Anybody who claims that Padre Pio did what is alleged above, needs help. He didn’t exactly die a millionaire, did he?

  31. As one who casts my net widely to inform myself, I must confess that some years ago I cam upon Catholic Answers and immediately distrusted it. I know nothing about who runs it but felt there was something dodgy.

  32. I cannot remember whether I boasted to Catholic Truth that in my parish we are now promised four Triidentine Masses a year. We have had two already and well attended. Those who knew my modernist parish in the eighties and early nineties will be amazed at this change. Remember we had an Anglican Vicar in her alb going on to the altar to celebrate Mass with the priest. She read the Gospel and gave the sermon. They tried to stop the Hail Mary at Mass. They tried to stop children dressing in white for Holy Communion. Those who know my `old friend` Paul Inwwod will know that the elite who ran the parish hung on his every word. Now we are celebrating the Tridentine Mass. Great Scot, miracles do happen – so have Faith. I blame the Rosary Group which has been praying after weekday Masses for 15 years. One of our prayers is for the Holy Spirit to sustain all who hold office and REMOVE those unworthy to serve. I think that prayer was very powerful.

  33. Under what circumstance would the Church allow an annulment/ divorce and a remarriage? I support Church doctrine to the letter, but this sticks in my craw a wee bit. I’m sure adultery is grounds for a divorce and a remarriage, but what if a woman is abused etc, is that acceptable grounds?

    Pius X

  34. Pius X,

    Divorce is never allowed under any circumstances. A divorce is when the state terminates a marriage. However, the state has absolutely no authority to do this. A marriage is lifelong, “til death do us part”.

    An annulment is very different. This is a declaration that there was no valid marriage in the first place.

    Common grounds for an annulment are an invalid ceremony, coercion, or defective intent ie. entering into the marriage with the intention of being unfaithful, without proper understanding or acceptance of the lifelong nature of marriage or an unwillingness to be open to life.

    It’s important to remember that the Church presumes that all marriages are valid (Canon 1060). Only a Church tribunal can determine the validity (or otherwise) of a Marriage.

    I hope you can see that a divorce and an annulment are both very different.

  35. Pius X,

    A few other points. An annulment does not dissolve a marriage. It declares that the marriage was invalid. It is properly called “Decree of Nullity”.

    What matters is the canonical requirements for marriage and the intention of the couple on that day they made their vows. Future events do not invalidate the marriage. So, an abusive husband or wife is NOT grounds for an annulment. Neither is adultery. If the couple were free to marry on their wedding day and had the correct intention, then a valid marriage took place. A valid marriage can never be dissolved.

    • OK, I understand the difference between those two, but what if I had an affair with your wife, you wouldn’t leave her? How can the Church expect you the victim to stay single until she departs to the next life?

      Pius X

      • Pius x,

        Are you married? Part of the solemn vows taken by the couple on their wedding day is that you take the husband/wife “for better, for worse”. So, no, I wouldn’t leave my wife.

        However, there are circumstances in which it would be better for the husband and wife to live apart – in the case of an abusive spouse. But under no circumstances can a valid marriage be dissolved and the spouse remarry.

        • Petrus,

          Alas, I am not married. I am a callow youth of some mere 19 summers. Nevertheless, I do agree with you on divorce actually, I have said on numerous occasion, though not on the blog, that divorce is an affront to Christian marriage, but adultery and abuse are cases where spouses should stay apart. But I will say one thing, if a woman leaves her abusive husband to protect herself and her children, and gets a civil divorce, she should be able to have communion as she is a victim in a desperate situation.

          Pius X

          • Pius X,

            You ask some very deep questions. Good for you.

            Now, I’m straying into territory that I’m unsure of now. Why would a woman seek a civil divorce? She can never remarry, so why would this be necessary?

            Regarding whether she should or should not receive Communion, the Church would not recognise a civil divorce, therefore she would still be canonically married to her husband. If she doesn’t attempt to remarry and lives a chaste life, could she still receive Communion?? I don’t know. Is divorce itself sinful?

  36. Augustine,

    I have read your comments of June 17 @ 4.38pm and I want to just quote some of it back to you (in bold) with my response. Please be assured that my only intention here is to clarify matters for all of us. So here goes:

    You wrote:
    “The will can only act upon what the intellect presents to it as a good to be sought. Now, this principle applies also to the act of the faith which is an assent to the truths of the faith on the part of the intellect moved by the will under the influence of actual grace. But we can give assent to something only insofar as it is intelligible. Or, to put it another way, if a proposition is unclear then the intellect is, in a sense, paralysed and the will remains in a state of indetermination towards it.”

    My response:
    Surely, carried to its logical conclusion, your statement makes of the supernatural gift of faith a purely natural quality which is restricted by the limitations of the human intellect. What, then, becomes of the great mysteries of the Catholic religion, such as the mystery of the Blessed Trinity and that of Transubstantiation, which propositions are most certainly unintelligible to the human mind yet believed by divine faith as absolutely true?

    You wrote:
    “My contention is that over the last 200 years there has been a gradual obscuring of two key truths of the faith in the Catholic mind, namely (1) the dogma that there is no salvation outside of the Church and (2) the dogma of the inerrancy of Holy Scripture…”

    My response:
    On the contrary, you will note from the following reference list just how clear Magisterial teaching has been on both dogmas over the past 200 years. And this is before we consider the complimentary declarations of such great saints as Louis de Montfort and Alphonsus Liguori.

    Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

    Vatican I, Papal Oath, Circa 1868.
    Pope Pius VIII, Circa 1830, recounted by Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman, 1858.
    Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Jugiter, 1832.
    Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896.
    Pope Pius IX, Nostis et Nobiscum, 1849.
    Pope St. Pius X, Jucunda Sane, 1904.
    Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, 1928.
    Pope Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum Principis, 1958.

    Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture

    Vatican I, Session 3, 1870.
    Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, 1893.
    Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane, 1907.
    Pope Benedict XV, Spiritus Paraclitus, 1920.
    Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950.
    Pope Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu, 1943.
    Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, 1965.

    You wrote:
    “With the dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, the attacks by Catholic clergy on Fr Michael Mueller in the 19th Century and Fr Leonard Feeney (with whose rigorist position on baptism I do not personally agree) in the 20th Century for their unabashed teaching of this dogma indicate that there was indeed an obscuring of this perennial teaching in the mind of Catholics.”

    My response:
    I beg to differ. Frs. Mueller and Feeney were not challenged for their “unabashed” proclamation of said dogma, but rather for their rigorous interpretation and application of it, which, as the salvation of the Good Thief on Calvary amply demonstrates, was contrary to Church teaching on the mercy of God in cases of invincible ignorance and Baptism of blood and desire. So rather than “obscuring this perennial teaching in the minds of Catholics,” the Church was actually demonstrating her constant vigilance in matters of dogmatic teaching.

    You wrote:
    “The necessity of the Church for salvation as a necessity of precept and a necessity of means was undermined by the piling on qualifying factors that would eventually lead to Karl Rahner’s ‘anonymous Christian’. Why else would Pope Pius XII say in Humani Generis: “Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation”?”

    My response:
    I’m not quite sure what you mean by “the piling on qualifying factors,” but I assume from your naming of the heretic Karl Rahner that these factors were in reality the writings of Modernists who rejected the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The Church’s magisterium can in no way be held responsible for this rebellion on the part of some theologians. In fact, as your quote from Pius XII’s Humani Generis shows, the magisterium was very quick to respond to the rebellion by targeting the principle brain behind it, namely, Fr. Henri de Lubac, against whose heterodox teaching Pius XII wrote those words in Humani Generis.

    You wrote:
    “With regard to the inerrancy of Scripture, we can see that from the 1880′s onwards there was a obscuring of this dogma in the face of the “scientific fact” of Evolution…”

    My response:
    I direct you again to the referenced list of magisterial teachings above. There was, in fact, no obscuring of this dogma by the Church.

    You wrote:
    “Now, you are saying that I “condemned St Pius X”. I don’t believe I did. Just because someone is a Saint it does not mean that we believe that they saw every outcome of their actions and were infallible in their prudential decisions.”

    My response:
    I agree, but with the distinction that I am far from being the one to weigh the merits and demerits of such a sainted Pontificate as that of Pius X. He was way above me in both sanctity and learning and so I defer to his wiser and holier judgments.

    You wrote:
    “…However, I do believe that the great Pope missed an opportunity by failing to demonstrate how the inerrancy of Scripture could be reconciled with genuine science… rather than compelling the Catholic intellect by a clear exposition of the truths of the faith, St Pius X in effect compelled the Catholic will by resorting to a call for obedience to the papal magisterium…”

    My response:
    I disagree. The Church was never at odds with “genuine science,” so there was no need for St. Pius X to deal at length with that issue. Perhaps you are confusing with genuine science the Darwinist evolutionary theory which certain is at odds with the established principles of genuine science, not least the science of genetics. And as regards the compelling of the Catholic Intellect by clear exposition of the truths of the faith, I think this was admirably accomplished by St. Pius X in both Lamentabili Sane (1907) and Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1910), which latter Encyclical, incidentally, addressed the attempted application of the false evolutionary principle to religious faith and doctrine.

    You wrote:
    “Following the condemnation of Modernism by the Pope and the promulgation of the Anti-Modernist Oath, I would say that right belief became confused with obedience to the Pope…”

    My response:
    Given that the Pope was doing his duty in defending the purity of the Faith against “the Synthesis of all heresies,” then attacking it, and given the Magisterial authority that accompanied this defence of Faith, I cannot see how any man of sound and objective mind could divorce “obedience to the Pope” in such a grave matter from “right belief.”

    You wrote:
    “So, to cut a very long story short, I think it is clear that in the minds of many Catholics the importance obedience to the Roman Pontiff (and by extension to the Bishops and priests) was more vivid than the importance holding to the truths of the faith (cf. St Vincent Lerins). That is why the cataclysm of the Second Vatican Council could wreak so much damage: faith came to be seen as obedience to the command of a superior rather than as a species of certain knowledge.”

    My response:
    This is far too simplistic an explanation for the present crisis in the Church, although I do agree with you to an extent. There were other factors that contributed to the triumph of Modernism, not least of which was a relative ignorance on the part of many of the magisterial teaching of the Church throughout the centuries. Yes, even many bishops and priests were likewise ignorant and so they just went along with the flow, bearing in mind that the worst post-Vatican II reforms did not come in the form of magisterial commands but rather in the form of eagerly-embraced abuses against magisterial commands. If Catholics were as spellbound by obedience the Pope and bishops as you suggest, then why have so many abandoned the moral teaching of the Church in disobedience to the authorities you say they idolise above faith itself? It’s a bit of a paradox, is it not?

    Right, Augustine, I’ll leave it there. I hope I have given you a little food for thought and I look forward to seeing your response to my response!

    • Athanasius,

      There’s a lot to respond to there! So, please bear with me while I muster my thoughts and I’ll try to respond within the next few days.

  37. Josephine: which other holy priests of our time refused to say the new Mass? I heard the founder of Opus Dei, Mgr, Escriva did, but who else?

  38. Petrus, since there is no “reply” button at your post where you ask about civil divorce, I’m replying here.

    The Church does, in fact, permit civil divorce, just not divorce and remarriage. For the purpose of dealing with the various practical matters, e.g. disposing of the material goods of the marriage/custody of children etc. a civil divorce is permitted. Just not remarriage.

    • Editor,

      Yes, I read that in the New Catechism. I don’t buy it. On the one hand it says that divorce is immoral and “an offence against chastity”, but on the other hand it tolerates it for the reasons you mention above. Typical Modernist “double speak” to me.

      • Maybe the Church could change the grounds for an annulment to allow the woman, or any abused party to get an ecclesiastical ‘divorce’ or annulment and remarry. After all a marriage that has disintegrated due to adultery or abuse is no longer a valid marriage because promises have been broken i.e to remain faithful, to have, to hold, richer, poorer etc. The person committing the abuse should be penalised. As I’ve said before, a woman, or any abused party has a right to marry a new partner who loves and worships her as opposed to the previous one.

        Pius X

        • Pius x,

          Please read my posts above. Future actions do not render a Sacrament invalid. I know Protestants don’t accept that marriage is a Sacrament, so that might be why you have trouble with this.

          A valid marriage ends only with death. End of. A change is never gonna happen.

        • Pius X
          An ‘annulment’ is not the dissolving of an existing marriage but rather a declaration that a real marriage never existed IN THE EYES OF GOD on account of some dire defect or impediment that was present AT THE TIME THE COUPLE EXCHANGED THEIR VOWS e.g. if one of the two parties did not intend to enter a permanent union until death, no marriage would take place despite the appearances.

          I know from experience. This is a very complex area and not taken lightly at all. Why should the Church ‘ change the grounds ‘ for anything. This is a SACRAMENT we are talking about. Not our ‘rights’. St Rita of Cascia married an extremely abusive man but stayed with him – for the love of God.

          Semperfidelis has summed it up beautifully – valid marriage = no annulment, invalid marriage = annulment i.e. the marriage was never a marriage in the eyes of the Church and God.

          Pius X can I suggest that you get some really good , sound catechisms especially Council of Trent, The Catechism of Saint Pius X, A Brief Catechism for Adults: A Complete Handbook on How to be a Good Catholic by Fr William J. Cogan. You will see that the teaching of the church is perennial and doesn’t not change.

          PS you could do with getting some solid instruction from a good, traditional priest who will tell you how it is and not what you ‘ think’ or ‘want’ it to be.

      • Petrus, I checked this some time ago with a traditional priest – for practical reasons divorce is permitted. A divorce is essential before an annulment can be granted, I believe.

        I don’t think there’s any contradiction. If you consider that the Church has always taught that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, but also that false religions may be tolerated (but not promoted) in a Catholic country for the sake of public peace etc. it is, I think I’m right in saying, the same rationale that allows for divorce for practical reasons while prohibiting remarriage after divorce.

        • Yes, editor, I do see what you mean. See my message below.

          The Catechism says this:

          “Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture.”

          So, if divorce is a “grave offense against natural law” how can it be tolerated?

  39. Oh for goodness sake Pius, don’t you get it? If a marriage was valid to start with IT CANNOT BE ANNULLED!

    • Spot on, Semperfidelis.

      I also understand what the editor is saying. A civil divorce is sometimes tolerated, as a legal mechanism only for sorting out legal matters. But make no mistake about this – even after the civil divorce, the couple are still husband and wife.

      • Of course, Petrus – you are absolutely right (for once – kidding!). The couple remain married even after civil divorce. That’s why there is no cause for scandal if an abandoned spouse, for example, who’s had to obtain divorce (or been divorced by a husband/wife) approaches for Holy Communion. He/she is still married and faithful to that divorced spouse. Only if he/she remarries, is he/she prohibited from receiving Holy Communion.

        Which reminds me…

        Keep those signatures rolling in – the petition is coming along nicely but we want it to be racing along nicely!

          • Count yourself among a privileged few, Petrus. In my case, it’s always “see you, yer no right!”

          • “I also understand what the editor is saying…”

            That, too, had to happen one day!

            I just wish it would happen to more people!

      • Well, sometimes is better than never. We must be thankful for small mercies and even smaller brains!

      • I thought I had joined a serious discussion about annulment. Obviously not – seems those who haven’t had direct experience know better !

        Help that young man (Pius X) who is very clearly seeking answers about the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church instead of puerile exchanges.

        PS Thank you for ignoring me & my comment completely – I am , as they say, outta here.

        • Angela,

          The only reason nobody has commented on your post is that it is excellent and in no need of any correction. Since it’s your first post here I should have said that up there, to make you feel welcome, but I was swamped with various things and only made flying visits to the blog yesterday. My apologies.

        • Thank you Angela. I am seeking answers about the Church, and not puerile exchanges which semperfidelis seems to enjoy. Maybe he should get ‘it’ and stop talking as if I am a ‘cradle Catholic’ which I am not. Who is the Patron Saint of the uncharitable? He should say a Novena to them.

          Petrus

          Why do you talk as if I don’t read your posts? How strange. Let me quote some of it back to you:

          ‘Common grounds for an annulment are an invalid ceremony, coercion, or defective intent ie. entering into the marriage with the intention of being unfaithful, without proper understanding or acceptance of the lifelong nature of marriage or an unwillingness to be open to life.’

          If one party went into the marriage with an intent to, or the knowledge that they may cheat, and did so, would that render the canonical marriage invalid? After the annulment, if obtained, would the other party be allowed to remarry?

          Pius X

          • Yes to both your questions in the last paragraph. It hinges on the intention of the person at the time of the “marriage” – not so much on what happened afterwards.

            If the marriage is invalid, it is invalid for both parties, so the one who went into the “marriage” fully committed and with the required degree of understanding is also free to marry after the declaration of nullity is granted.

          • Pius X,

            Eileenanne has pretty much answered your questions below. The one thing I would pick up on is when eileenanne said “not so much on what happened afterwards.” What happens afterwards has no bearing on the validity whatsoever.

          • Pius X,

            I would argue that if a couple entered into marriage with the intention of regulating birth by using contraception then their marriage is also invalid is they do not have the correct intention.

            I would agree with Angela. Please get some decent instruction from a traditional priest. When are you due to be received into the Church?

  40. Could someone tell me the fundamental difference between the King James Bible and the Douai-Rheims Bible?

    Petrus,

    Regarding the Catechisms you recommended I’m ordering Trent and the last one by Fr Cogan from Waterstone’s. Can’t find the St Pius X Catechism. I already have ‘A Catechism of Christian Doctrine’ CTS Pocket Classics Millenium Edition, ‘The Faith of the Catholic Church’ A Summary (CTS) and ‘I Believe: A Little Catholic Catechism’. Are these OK?

    Pius X

    • Petrus,
      You are right in that what happens after the “marriage” is not grounds for annulment. It could, however, be important as regards evidence.

  41. Pius X,

    The King James Bible is a bastardised version of the Bible. Parts are mistranslated to suit Protestant theology. Of course, the seven books removed by Martin Luther are not contained in the King James version.

  42. Petrus

    Glad we’ve cleared that one up. With your little point on contraception in a marriage, would you say to a couple who could only ‘afford’ two children should no longer have intercourse? I always say that a couple should have as many children as they can financially afford, and if not just stay celibate. I caused a storm in a lecture by saying using contraception defeats the objects of a Christian marriage, which is to bring up Christian children. Of course all the Secularists and C of E rabble jumped down my throat, and I said ‘well, not that Protestants or heathens possess the definitive truth anyway’. I like cranking these twits up. As for your query, I hope to be received next Easter at the Vigil.

    Pius X

    • Pius X,

      To be honest, I’m usually very sceptical when couples claim they cannot afford to have another child – especially when it’s “no more than two”. Our Lord asks us to be generous. If that means forsaking a car, holiday etc then so be it. Natural Family Planning is permitted, but only in very serious circumstances. To use Natural Family Planning for reasons that are not very serious is a mortal sin.

      • What about those Catechisms which I mentioned above? Or was it someone else who put them up, it might have been Angela. Even so, what do you think?

        Pius X

    • The mentality of having as many children as you can “afford” fails to allow God’s divine providence to work. Who was it said: “do not worry about tomorrow, what you are to eat or what you are to wear… Your Father in Heaven knows that you need all of these things… ”

      Of course, if we choose not to rely entirely on ourselves and not God’s Providence, he’ll leave us to our own devices. Then, from what we are seeing around us, even “affording” the fashionable two (one boy, one girl, ideally!) becomes a struggle.

  43. Petrus

    ‘To use Natural Family Planning for reasons that are not very serious is a mortal sin’.

    What would constitute this? I know Benedict XVI said condoms were permissible if one spouse had AIDs. Although condoms don’t always work, i.e they can split, and some STDs are spread by skin to skin contact, of which I am sure you are aware and don’t need me to tell you. I’m blushing just typing this. People would be able to have large families if the government had a pro-Natalist policy, funded Mothers to stay at home, gave fathers a high wage as Leo XIII argued for in Rerum Novarum 1891, as well as various tax breaks etc. But the family is no longer glorified, as we now see. Did you hear about Putin banning Russian children from being adopted by French and American parents because of gay marriage. The Church needs to be led by someone like Patriarch Kirill as he defends Christian morality better than the Pope, as the Russian Church is not that ecumenical.

    Pius X

    • Pius X,

      You make some excellent points in your post above.

      Have a look at the papal encyclical “Casti Connubi” by Pope Pius XI. Serious reasons for using NFP are extreme financial hardship, health reasons etc.

    • Pius X,

      If you have a Catechism of the Council of Trent, that will serve your purpose for now but I certainly wouldn’t order anything published by the CTS these days. They are no longer reliable. I’ve quoted some very dodgy material on homosexuality from them in the newsletter. Avoid.

      Instead, I’d recommend the Angelus Bookstore -good solid, reliable reading can be ordered from them.

      • I beg to differ on one point, Editor, Pius X did, I think, get his copy of ‘A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Millennium Edition’ on my advice. While it is a 1985 revision of the 1889 ‘Penny Catechism’ which taught me my early faith, it does not differ from it in theological matters, but only in disciplinary ones.

        Pius X will know from reading it:
        Q. Can any human power dissolve the bond of marriage?
        A. No human power can dissolve the bond of marriage, because Christ has said: ‘What God has joined together, let no man put asunder’.
        ‘Has’ might have been ‘hath’ in my childhood version, but I don’t think that’ll raise too many hackles.

        Pius X, you have been receiving the advice to go to a good traditional priest from bloggers for a long time, but haven’t, it seems, done so. Angela, as a new blogger (hope you stay) doesn’t know this but Semperfidelis does, and so is understandably frustrated Oh for goodness sake Pius, don’t you get it?. So say I. As we have trodden this ground over and over again, I have a wee suspicion (correct me if I’m wrong) that you rather enjoy raising hares for us all to chase, even if they’ve been round the course a few times already!

        And aren’t we off-topic anyway?

  44. Petrus,

    I understand what you mean about NFP, but I wouldn’t be too quick to raise the spectre of mortal sin where this is concerned. We live in a very demanding, stressful world in which women are often forced to work to make ends meet. God is not a monster, he does understand the stress that couples are put under by the unjust financial burdens placed on them.

    Use of artificial methods of birth control most certainly DO constitute mortal sin. But the rhythm method is not against nature, since God made it a part of the body’s biological cycle. I cannot see, then, how the use of that cycle can constitute mortal sin. I don’t believe the Church has ever declared the rhythm method to be mortally sinful.

    Of course the ideal for Catholic families (the will of God) is to have large families whenever and wherever possible, but I think the general rule of thumb in the matter is that Catholic couples do not seek to restrict God’s will for selfish reasons.

    The difference between artificial birth control and the rhythm method is that those who use the latter leave the consequences in God’s hands. Those who use the former are making themselves their own God.

    • Athanasius,

      The “rhythm” method died a death ages ago. the Dr Billings method of natural family planning is now promoted instead, where the woman can identify when she is fertile and avoid marital intimacy at that time of the month.

      However, while there is no law against couples abstaining from sexual intercourse for a period of time if they are very keen not to have more children, it certainly would be objectively a grave sin to use NFP as a form of Catholic birth control. That is clearly stated in Humanae Vitae, I think I’m right in saying. Only for a temporary period and in grave circumstances, should a couple enjoy marital intimacy while taking action (albeit natural) to avoid conception.

      Every walk of life has its sacrifices inbuilt, and marriage is no exception. They can, of course, decide to abstain from marital intimacy if they really want to avoid conceiving more children, but I’ve always understood that the use of NFP is to be exceptional and not an alternative to contraception, no matter how good the intention.

    • Athanasius,

      I spoke with a priest of the SSPX about this a few years ago and it use NFP as a form of contraception without a very grave reason, constitutes a grave sin.

      The situation you describe is completely different. Under the conditions you describe, financial hardship, of course it is permitted – even encouraged. However, many Catholic couples do believe that they can use NFP as a contraceptive whenever they like. This is indeed a grave sin. It’s known as a “contraceptive mentality”.

      Of course, the usual conditions for mortal sin apply, so I’m speaking in a general sense, rather than specific.

      • I spoke with a priest of the SSPX about this a few years ago and it use NFP as a form of contraception without a very grave reason, constitutes a grave sin.

        A few years ago, I spoke to an otherwise very good diocesan priest who has played a large part in the pro-life movement in Scotland. I mentioned to him that NFP was morally neutral in that it good either be employed for a good end (prevention of pregnancy for a grave reason) or a bad end (with a contraceptive mentality). He seemed quite surprised at this ‘revelation’ but, to his credit, also willing to rethink his position. I hope he has.

        As a tangent, it feels that as a Catholic you can run the gauntlet of two sides. On the one side you have liberal Catholics of a certain vintage who see nothing wrong in contracepting and frown on “taking things too far” i.e. being generous with life.

        And then you have a certain breed of traditional Catholic who, if they see another Catholic couple with either no or just a few children, assume straight away: “contraceptors”, regardless of whether the couple might be dealing with infertility or diminished infertility or, indeed, actually have a grave reason.

        • Augustine,

          Yes, I know what you mean. Disgraceful and so uncharitable. I would never make any comment about a couple’s private business.

          • Exactly. I know someone (who thinks she’s a traditional Catholic) who asked another young mother why she was not having more children – she already had more than the 2.5 approved societal quota! Reply of that taken aback young mother – “it just hasn’t happened for us”. In other words, God didn’t send any more.

            If only she’d added “but, anyway, mind your own blankety blank business” that would have been the perfect answer!

        • I haven’t read this article right through but it might be interesting – I stumbled across it just now and thought of this recent discussion on NFP here. Hope it is of interest and heresy free – Rorate Caeli is usually very solid.

        • I know you were telling Petrus that HE was “exactly right” but you need to add the same in reply to my post (without throwing in “for a change”!)

  45. Did you all here what Cardinal Joachim Meisner said? He demanded that the great she-Devil Angela Merkel, a Lutheran (snort of haughty derision- whose worst them or Anglicans?) make women stay at home and grant families some of the generous benefits which I mentioned in the above post. When I become Prime Minister, all this will come into being, don’t fret poor lambs, all will be well. It will be Popery through the back door.

    Pius X

  46. Could anyone tell me what NFP is, obviously it’s natural family planning, but as you know I’ve been brought up a nominal Protestant with all that entails, so I’m used to condoms (not that I’ve used one, or ever done anything outside marriage- just in case Editor starts foaming at the mouth). With NFP doesn’t a woman have to monitor her fertility? I discussed this with my Priest (he’s not the Parish priest) and he mentioned (Editor removed vulgarity) I think he said that as a result of something what I had said. (Editor in whatever context he said it, avoid him. Apart from the fact that he hasn’t got a clue about NFP, he’s a danger to souls speaking like that.)

    Pius X

  47. Pius X,

    I have no idea what your priest means by that comment, but it doesn’t sound very edifying. In fact, it sounds quite vulgar.

    It’s important to note that Natural Family Planning can also be used to aide conception, rather than prevent it. Yes, it involved monitoring the fertile and infertile cycle. If you do a Google search you will find quite a comprehensive description.

  48. Editor,

    I apologise using that phrase, and although it was crude, I used it deliberately as a) I was quoting and b) it was relevant. I notice Petrus didn’t get ‘edited’ when he used the word ‘bastardised’ to describe the King James Bible, he could have said heretical or corrupted.

    Editor: “B-ised” simply means “illegitimate” although I do wish people would not use it. It’s not, in fact, a crudity or a swear word, it just means “illegitimate”. You’re right, though, in that it would be better to use another word, one that has no connotations of being a crudity. I may well replace it in future, for this reason, since if people do not know the technical, literal meaning of the word, it would appear that I am being inconsistent.

    Pius X

    • Pius X,

      There’s nothing wrong with the word I used, as it was used in the correct context. It certainly wasn’t a crudity. I used it as it has more of an emphasis than illegitimate.

      • That’s what I said, Petrus, but since it is sadly a word commonly used as a crudity/bad language, I think it is best avoided. There are plenty of other words that express the same truth, so not a big deal, as I’m sure you’ll agree when you think over the consequences of NOT agreeing, i.e. a trip down the pay scale …

  49. Petrus

    Please follow this link. It seems that your beloved Douay-Rheims Bible was influenced by the King James Version. Please follow this link. http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4300&CFID=66352089&CFTOKEN=76728514

    It seems that Bishop Challoner made a boo-boo when revising the DR Bible.

    Why doesn’t the Editor start a petition to the Pope to make Andre-Joseph Leonard made a Cardinal, not only would it be right and just, but also a slap in the face to Cardinal Danneels.

    In the NO Mass when the Priest says ‘fruit of the vine and work of human hands etc’, is that a proper Latin to English translation, or was it borrowed during Vatican 2 from Protestants? I watched the Easter ceremony at Paisley Abbey, and the Protestant witch doctor said that. I mentioned this to a young Catholic friend and his eyes popped out. Were they right to do so?

    Pius X

    • It’s interesting that the renowned American Neo-Catholic Jimmy Akin should bash the DR and those who use it, when he is on record having said:

      My personal preference is for the New King James Version, but since this is not available in an edition with the deuterocanonicals, I normally use the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition.

      Like, there’s nothing totally Protestant about the NKJV and the RSV is there? And he slurs us for using a translation because he claims it’s based on a protestant version? What planet is he on? These Neo-Cat are schizophrenically contradictory.

      As it happens, the original DR which pre-dates the KJV, was itself an influence on the translators of the KJV. Bishop Challoner, with the intention of making the already excellent DR even more fantastic, decided to ‘diligently compare’ the DR to the original languages (Greek and Hebrew I assume). He also decided to cherry pick the very best renderings from the newish KJV, so as to put together the best possible English phraseology for our amazing Catholic Bible. Good on him I say.

      No Traditional Catholic who loves the English language would dismiss the beauty in the KJV just because it’s Protestant. For example, the Book of Common Prayer is the wicked work of a Protestant heretic named Cranmer. It’s very meaning for existing is evil, but that doesn’t mean I can’t say some of the English in it is rather beautiful. True Catholics have no problem borrowing anything that helps us to express the majesty of the Catholic faith. Consider how the Classical and Baroque architecture favoured during the Counter-Reformation is inspired by the architecture of the pagan Greeks and Romans! Check out Maderno’s façade of St Peters Basilica and you’ll notice there are Corinthian columns. Does that mean Saint Peter’s is pagan? No. Likewise, the DR isn’t Protestant! (the influence of the KJV on Challoner is over-hyped anyway, go look at a parallel translation site and you’ll notice they are very different. The DR is virtually still a literal translation of the Vulgate)

      The words “Fruit of the wine and work of human hands, it will become for us our spiritual drink” are a complete Novus Ordo invention. It doesn’t exist in the Traditional Rite of Mass. It is a Jewish table blessing. It’s not even in the Book of Common Prayer! I’ve always thought the phrase ‘spiritual drink’ sounds rather vague and pagan.

      Be careful what you read by Jimmy Akin. He is no friend of the SSPX. He has publicly argued against the validity of their confessions and marriages and he is a proponent of the whole ‘disobedient/ no-better-than-Protestants/ essentially-just-schismatics’ narrative.

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