Restoring Tradition: Reasons For Hope…


That today there are Catholics denominated “traditionalist” is a development unexampled in the entire previous history of the Catholic Church. Even at the height of the Arian crisis—the closest analogue to our situation—the Church was not divided between traditionalists and non-traditionalists, but rather between those who had not embraced the heresy of Arius and those who had.

But what exactly is a traditionalist? A look back at the way things once were might convey the meaning of the term more effectively than the usual attempts at a formal definition:  Click here or on the picture to read more – also, if you find that you experience any difficulty in opening the link, it is reproduced in first comment below.


I was deeply saddened yesterday to learn of one of our staunchest supporters, a long time reader of Catholic Truth, who is so deeply upset by all that is happening in the Church, crunch time being the recent “canonisations” , that he is now wondering if he should question the very existence of God.

What can we say to help him?  I told him that what keeps me going is (a) that this diabolical disorientation was foretold (Quito and Fatima = diabolical disorientation) and (b) that we must cultivate the mindset that we are, in fact, privileged souls to have the opportunity to exercise real faith in this time of crisis, and, hopefully, play some part in restoring Catholic Tradition.  What would you say to encourage him not to lose heart and faith?

110 responses

  1. I’m having difficulty opening the link to the original article, on checking, so will reproduce the entire article here and delete this post later if I find that it’s working in the introduction:

    ARTICLE ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC, BY Christopher Ferrara, published at The Remnant…

    That today there are Catholics denominated “traditionalist” is a development unexampled in the entire previous history of the Catholic Church. Even at the height of the Arian crisis—the closest analogue to our situation—the Church was not divided between traditionalists and non-traditionalists, but rather between those who had not embraced the heresy of Arius and those who had.

    But what exactly is a traditionalist? A look back at the way things once were might convey the meaning of the term more effectively than the usual attempts at a formal definition:

    – Once there was no rite of Mass rendered into the vulgar tongues of the world. There was only the universal liturgical language of a timeless Church as seen in the immemorial Roman Rite, whose organic development had proceeded almost imperceptibly since the 5th century, or in the venerable Eastern rites, almost as ancient, which have largely escaped the furious liturgical vandalism that has ravaged the Church’s principal liturgy.

    – Once there were no Lutheran-style altar tables in our churches, but only high altars oriented to God, whose very appearance aroused one’s sense of awe and reverence.

    – Once there were no lay lectors, lay “ministers of the Eucharist” or girls in the sanctuary, but only priests, deacons on the way to the priesthood, and the male altar servers who were a primary source of generation after generation of priestly vocations, filling the seminaries.

    – Once there was no profane music during Mass, but only Gregorian chant or polyphony, arousing the soul to contemplation of the divine rather than foot-tapping, hand-clapping or mere boredom.

    – Once there were no widespread liturgical abuses. At worst, there were priests who celebrated the traditional Mass diffidently but within a rubrical, textual and musical framework that nonetheless protected its central mystery from any possibility of profanation and maintained the supreme dignity of divine worship against human weakness.

    – Once there was no “gay Mafia” in the seminaries, the chanceries and the Vatican itself, or clerical predators molesting boys all over the globe, because Church authorities enforced the rule that “religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty…”[1]

    – Once there were no empty seminaries, empty convents, abandoned parishes and shuttered Catholic schools. There were only seminaries, convents, parishes and schools filled with faithful Catholics from large families.

    – Once there was no “ecumenism.” There was only the conviction that the Catholic Church is the one true Church outside of which no one is saved. Catholics followed the Church’s teaching that “[i]t is not lawful for the faithful in any way to assist actively at or to take part in the worship of non-Catholics,”[2] and they understood, if only implicitly, what Pope Pius XI insisted upon: “Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it.”[3]

    – Once there was no “dialogue.” There was only evangelization by clergy and lay apologists with the aim of making converts to the true religion. And converts there were, entering the Church in numbers so great that it seemed even the United States was becoming a Catholic nation, as 30 million Americans tuned in to Bishop Sheen every Sunday.

    – Once there were no mass defections from the priesthood, the religious orders, and the lay faithful, leading to “silent apostasy” in Europe and throughout the West. There was, rather, what a Father of Second Vatican Council described at the Council’s commencement: “the Church, notwithstanding the calamities that plague the world, is experiencing a glorious era, if you consider the Christian life of the clergy and of the faithful, the propagation of the faith, and the salutary universal influence possessed by the Church in the world today.”[4]

    – Once there were no “Catholic Charismatics,” “neo-Catecheumenals,” or other “ecclesial movements” promoting strange new modes of worship invented by their founders. There were only Catholics, worshipping in the same way as their forebears with unbroken continuity down the centuries.

    – Once there were no traditionalists, because there was no need to describe any Catholic by that term. All Catholics accepted instinctively what a series of Popes had prescribed as part of the very profession of our faith: “I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.”[5]

    That was the way it once was. And when was this bygone era of which I write? Not centuries ago, or even one century ago, or even a single lifetime ago, but a mere fifty years ago, within the living memory of many millions of Catholics today.

    What, then, is a traditionalist? He is nothing more or less than a Catholic who has continued to practice the faith precisely as he learned it in his childhood, or who has received the same unreconstructed faith from his parents and will in turn pass it on to his own children. A traditionalist, in other words, is a Catholic who lives the faith as if the ecclesial calamities of the post-Vatican II epoch had never happened—indeed, as if Vatican II itself had never happened. And the astonishing truth about the traditionalist is that no doctrine or disciplinary rule of the Church whatsoever forbids him to believe and to worship God in just that way, even though the great preponderance of Catholics no longer does.

    That Catholics who have simply gone on believing and worshiping as Catholics always did before the Council have come to be called traditionalists—quite suddenly in historical terms—that the very word tradition now distinguishes these relative few Catholics from the vast majority of the Church’s members, is the undeniable sign of a crisis like no other the Church has ever witnessed. Those who deny this would have to explain why it is only within that transformed vast majority, rightly described as neo-Catholic, that the faith has been steadily losing its grip on the people, with many falling away completely into the “silent apostasy” John Paul II lately lamented after hailing for so many years a “conciliar renewal” that was actually a massive collapse of faith and discipline.

    In particular, they would have to explain why it is only within this vast majority of “Vatican II Catholics” that we find—

    – more than a quarter of all marriages ending in divorce,[6] with tens of millions of divorced and “remarried” Catholics worldwide whose continuing adultery Cardinal Kasper wishes to accommodate, with the seeming encouragement of the currently reigning Pope;

    – births, baptisms, sacramental marriages, conversions, and Mass attendance declining relentlessly since the Council;[7]

    – a widespread rejection of the Church’s infallible teaching on fundamental matters of faith and morals;[8]

    – a sudden and dramatic loss of priestly vocations, leaving the Catholic priesthood slightly smaller today than it was in 1970, and a drastic decline in the number of religious since then, despite a doubling of the world’s population.[9]

    They would also have to explain why it is only among the tiny minority of Catholics now denominated traditionalists that not one of these signs of ecclesial decay is evident.

    In recent days the ecclesial crisis that has been with us now for more than half a century appears to be reaching a depth from which there can be no rescue without a miraculous divine intervention. The world is singing hosannas to the new Pope, urging him on to a final completion, per impossibile, of the process of ecclesial auto-demolition Paul VI spent his last years decrying although he himself had unleashed it. Yet the neo-Catholic establishment continues its confident march past the point of no return, explaining away all evidence of disaster while patronizing traditionalists as diehard connoisseurs of nostalgia whose “sensibilities” might be accommodated even if they no longer matter for the future of the Church. But in truth traditionalists are the future of the Church, as the history of our time will record when it is written.

    What exactly is a traditionalist? He is what every Catholic once was, and will be again when the crisis is over.

    [1]“Instruction on the Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders” [1961])

    [2]Can. 1251, §1, CIC (1917),

    [3]Mortalium animos (1928), n. 10.

    [4]Wiltgen, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, p. 113 (quoting the Armenian Patriarch of Cilicia).

    [5]Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi (1907), n. 42 (quoting and affirming the continuing validity of a profession of faith prescribed by Pius IV and Blessed Pius IX).

    [6]Cf. Georgetown University statistical analysis by Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), divorce-still-less-likely-among.html.

    [7]Cf. CARA statistical trends analysis,

    [8]Cf. Pew Research Poll, March 18, 2013,

    [9]Cf. CARA statistical table, html.

  2. My, editor, that’s some post! It explains everything in a nutshell. I have never seen such a concise explanation of the present crisis.

    It’s a shame about the despondency of the man you mention but who can blame him? It’s a very cold place to be a “traditionalist” in a modernist parish with no hope of the supply of a “traditional” priest. Yesterday at our parish the priest was doing some sort of pantomime before Mass started and the congregation was in an uproar of hilarity. What a way to prepare for the Sacrifice of Calvary! How to explain such goings on to our children and young people? As my eldest son said: “they try to make it (the Mass) entertaining etc., but there is far better entertainment available elsewhere, such as in the theatre.”

    • Must agree with you we don’t go to Mass to be entertained we are there to worship .As to the person who doubts God just look up at the sky -Look at the flowers in the field as Our Lord says (not even Solemn in all his glory was dressed like one of these) We can only look after our ourselves at the end of the day remember Abraham when he pleaded for Sodom to God and there weren’t 10 just men .We can only try and follow Christ to the best of our ability Don’t be fooled by the evil one our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the Devil. If you don’t believe in God then you must believe in him just switch on the B.B.C. any night of the week he is usually on at least one channel.

    • Olaf,

      I think the best way to cultivate the required mindset to deal with this crisis in the Church, worsening by the day, is to ask Our Lady for special graces to see clearly that you have a particular part to play in helping to restore the Faith. That’s number one. When that works, ask me again and we’ll do 2, 3, 4 and 5 😀

      Seriously. I firmly believe that each of us has a particular (and particularly important) role to play in the restoration of the Faith in our times. Cardinal Newman once said that – even in normal times – God has a particular task for each of us and if we leave it undone, it remains undone.

      How much more does that truth apply at this time of unprecedented crisis, when so few Catholics (even priests) realise that we’re IN a crisis?

      I’ve just been skimming the (so called) Catholic papers and the experience was akin to listening to stories about the Emperor’s new clothes… Everything but everything in the Church is rosy, the new “saints” are just the injection of joy that we needed, Vatican II was (as we all knew really) gold dust and so the nonsense went on, page after unbelievable page, right through the UK wide papers to the Scottish Catholic Observer. Delusion on the grandest scale imaginable.

      So, with only a minority of faithful even AWARE that we are in crisis, it is crucial that we keep the heid – and the Faith. And asking Our Lady for a special grace to see that clearly, is sure to work.

  3. No wonder this poor soul is struggling in the Faith. Actually, Faith is not the problem here. It is Reason. This person, whoever he or she is, probably has lots of faith, good faith. But if reason is undermined, all this faith counts for nothing. You could have the Faith of Our Lady herself, but without Reason this is a house built on sand…

    In these times, Reason is being attacked. Modernism is an illogical philosophical position that demands one believe in contradictions. We believe God is the Logos Who is perfection itself and perfection requires that God cannot possibly contradict Himself, God cannot make a square a circle. If being Catholic means one must believe contradictions, then God is indeed not real. Catholicism would have disprove itself. The neo-Catholics delude themselves, their faith is that of the fundamentalist, one that defies reason. At least this person is being honest with himself, and that is far more virtuous than clinging to a superficial faith or cowering in one’s own created fortress of cognitive dissonance. These canonisations are pushing things to the very limit.

    Fatima is indeed the antidote to all these contradictions. These apparent contradictions which comprise the revolutionary Conciliar orientation are a chastisement, and after purification, there will be Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and all things will be restored in Christ.

  4. Ed,

    Tell your friend never, EVER to doubt the existence of God because of the destructive crisis in the Church. I doubted God, and was an atheist, and believe me, you do not want to go down that road. The crisis, as you said has been foretold by the B.V.M who was sent on a mission by God to Quito, Fatima and Salette etc. Likewise traditionalist Catholics are evidence for the existence of God. Look at the growth of the SSPX, FSSP and the ICKSP, not to mention others, in terms of vocations. Thanks to Benedict XVI and conservative Bishops (i.e Bp. Bruskewitz), more and more traditional candidates are being accepted into the Seminaries, their traditional devotions are now encouraged and Priests can freely celebrate the TLM, enabling the creation of traditional parishes within the Church. They have over 1 million followers. These are evidence of Scripture (Matthew 16:18), ‘upon this Rock I build my Church and not even the gates of Hell will prevail against it’.

  5. I agree with Crofterlady that this is a fantastic summing up of the crisis in the Church, typical of Christopher Ferrara.

    It is terrible trying to makes sense of it all but that is a very good mindset to have – that the crisis was foretold and that we are really in a privileged position to try to put it right.

    I know it seems like a non sequitur in some ways but it makes me think of a mother of a new born baby with disability of some kind. She can either go into depression and think of all the hard work ahead or she can think of herself as privileged to be able to make life good for this innocent baby, and think up ways to protect him or her from nasty ignorant people.

    I think that’s what we have to do, think of what good we can do (this blog is an example) in making other innocent Catholics aware of the wrongness of what is going on and maybe be instrumental in helping others on the road to holiness. I suppose it comes down to the Catholic attitude of offering up our sufferings in faith like Jesus did “not my will but thine be done.”

    We are definitely living in trying times. I don’t know that anybody has the answer, really, but I’m interested to read what others say. Definitely, the canonisations are a watershed. They are dividing Catholics into “for” and “against” groups as never before.

  6. Hi Editor – the link worked fine for me. Thank you for drawing it to our intention. What a great article by Chris Ferrara whose lawyerly skills get so precisely to the nub of the matter.
    I certainly am a ‘traditionalist’ going by the terms of that article. In other words I am nothing more or less than a Catholic. Full stop!

    As for the canonisations leading to losing faith even in the existence of God? surely that was a time well earned for a “Gerragrip!” from your good self.

    Personally I did pray and offer up rosaries for some divine intervention to prevent the canonisations. Always aware “Thy will be done” is integral to such requests.

    The reason I prayed for such a thing to happen is not so much I dare to declare the impossibility of either or of those popes to be in Heaven, but it seemed to me that what was being canonised was the Vatican II project itself.

    I cannot countenance that council is God’s plan. Chris Ferrara’s article brilliantly exposes all the reasons it cannot be God’s will. Nevertheless these things have been permitted by Him.

    Our problem is when God allows things to occur even when they are so obviously against His will.
    If this tests one faith to the extent of losing belief in God’s existence then that would indicate a temptation to have demands on God to obey your will in what He permits and not His own divine will.
    In other words the challenge is to just pray more to understand God better, and to ask Him to teach you how to remain a faithful Catholic in the light of such events.

    We are in uncharted territory in the history of the Church, but this history is His Story, I look on it as that we (traditionalists) are privileged to share in this new Passion of Christ, where we can remain faithful to Him, while we are here we have to pray for the modern day Judas’s busy betraying Him all over again.

    We must also even pray that both these popes are somehow saints despite their mistakes. We must remember the wonderful mercy of Christ. Perhaps we will all be grateful if our own mistakes are easily forgotten by a Judge who might even call us good and faithful servants. It is only right that we pray such for both of those popes too.

    • obviously on the very first line “intention” should read “attention” …I can’t imagine how I made such a mistake…old Nick trying to make me look dumb?.. Yes I know he’s doing a good job of it!

  7. Editor,

    I would also point out the writings of St Vincent of Lerins, whose words were probably prophetic:

    “But what if some novel contagion tries to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty.

    What if in antiquity itself two or three men, or it may be a city, or even a whole province be detected in error? Then he will take the greatest care to prefer the decrees of the ancient General Councils, if there are such, to the irresponsible ignorance of a few men. But what if some error arises regarding which nothing of this sort is to be found? Then he must do his best to compare the opinions of the Fathers and inquire their meaning, provided always that, though they belonged to diverse times and places, they yet continued in the faith and communion of the one Catholic Church; and let them be teachers approved and outstanding. And whatever he shall find to have been held, approved and taught, not by one or two only but by all equally and with one consent, openly, frequently, and persistently, let him take this as to be held by him without the slightest hesitation.”

  8. I can’t claim to understand the nitty gritty of this matter but I can see confusion all about me no matter what church I visit. As I said before, if my granny were to return to earth she wouldn’t recognise the present day Church and that’s for sure!

    I often wonder how our leaders can’t see this for themselves or are they stuck in some time warp?!

    We are sheep without a shepherd.

    I hope your poor friend soon cheers up!

    • Thank you, Helen. I had a text from my friend this afternoon thanking us for this thread. I believe he’s finding it very helpful.

  9. Perhaps it would help your friend to remember that the Mystical Body of Christ must undergo a parallel or counterpart Passion and Death as did her Head, Our Lord. The instruments of Our Lord’s Passion and Death were the Pharisees and Judas Iscariot. The instrument of the Church’s passion and death is modernism, as inflicted upon her by the Freemasons, Communists, progressives and their useful idiots who have embedded themselves into the hierarchy and the clergy, from Pope Whatsis the Red-Nosed on down to Father Bubbles.

    It is a horrible thing to behold, just as Our Lord’s Passion was for the Apostles, who all fled in terror except for St. John. I hope your friend decides, like St. John, to remain at the foot of the Cross with the Blessed Virgin. And what is the organizational embodiment of St. John standing faithfully at the foot of the Cross? The Society of St. Pius X, persecuted relentlessly for its fidelity to Tradition.

  10. God exists. Satan exists. In the current struggle for souls it may seem that Lucifer and his hordes have the upper hand. Certainly Vatican 2 was a well planned diabolical coup which has opened the floodgates to secularists, modernists, free masons and clerics who desire popularity and acclaim in a deeply sinful world. The only hope of many, trapped in what is nominally a Catholic Parish but which offers only a form of worship more suited to a theatre or a football stadium, is to try to deepen one’s inner resolve and, by prayer and charitable works, keep and if possible share the One True Faith. Finally, hold tight since things will get worse, much worse, before this crisis passes.

    • Yes. Your friend should not lose faith in God. It is integral to our faith that these days will come about.
      Our Lord promised he will be with us unto the consummation of the world, indeed, but He also asked if there will be any faith left when He returns. In other words we must keep our side of that bargain and remain faithful.
      There is also an irony in that protestants identifying the Antichrist with the papacy have made a massive bloomer, but that does not mean the Antichrist cannot be a pope. In fact in a way it figures that it is quite likely he will be a pope. Perhaps it is not for nothing Our Blessed Lord said “Get behind Me Satan” almost immediately after giving Peter the Keys of Heaven. In fact he gave him 2 keys! We have to try and pray for the current holder of those keys. I have a very serious aversion to the man and find it very difficult even during Mass to murmur his name. I am glad I’m not a priest who has to do that!

  11. Helen “I often wonder how our leaders can’t see this for themselves or are they stuck in some kind of time warp?”

    There is an interesting post on the blog of the Latin Mass Chairman, albeit he is presuming, I think, that there are those in the hierarchy ( with England in mind, ) who are of a conservative/traditional? frame of mind.
    He gives reasons as to why these bishops etc seem to continue to support, or not to challenge, dissident Catholics while sidelining Catholics of a traditional bent.
    It is worth a read. I thought it was interesting anyway.

  12. I agree with everyone here and my sincere thoughts and sympathy are with editor’s friend. I understand 100% how upset he is. I only wish Pope Francis would read this blog and take a reality check.

    My message to that good man is to not lose heart and to pray to St Joseph who understand what it is like to be sorely tested in faith.

    • “I only wish Pope Francis would read this blog and take a reality check”

      I got a feeling he would just grimace and mutter whatever is Argentinian for “sourpusses”!

      • Actually, Burt, Pope Whatsis the Red-Nosed probably would not understand a word of what is posted on this entire blog, let alone this topic. He is obviously clueless as to the Catholic Faith, and, like all modernists, makes it up as he goes. The Catholic Faith is a foreign language to him.

        • That is really the nub of the matter why some of us are challenged to hold onto their faith….how can it be that we can have a pope who can barely be perceived as Catholic? It is shocking.
          Unlike many here I did perceive a heroic sanctity in John Paul II. He did make some mistakes for sure I don’t deny that. But GP51 I got to admit this pope?? ..oh Lord …Deliver us from evil!

          • Burt
            I am certain that if you can find an heroic sanctity in the papacy of JP2, then other kindly disposed, charitable, forgiving folk will laud the achievements of Papa Francisco irrespective of the harm he will inflict upon the Church.

          • Burt,

            If you perceived heroic sanctity in Pope John Paul II then let’s hear it.

            He upheld true morals in the case of abortion, homosexuality and contraception, that’s true (just as many atheists and folk of other religions do) but even there, he allowed himself to be silenced by the English Cardinal at the time of his 1982 visit to the UK, not giving an outright condemnation of contraception on English soil, if my memory serves me correctly. I have not had time to search for a supporting link but that’s my memory from that visit.

            He admitted himself (in his final book) that he knew he had failed to govern the Church properly – too weak with dissenters. Well, sorry, but that’s a bit like Andy Murray saying he didn’t practise his tennis enough before a championship game.

            In fact, there is no analogy strong enough to compare with a weak pope who, by definition, cannot be heroically saintly.

            Your initial post on this thread is terrific and I am sure will help my friend a lot. Still, points deducted for “heroic sanctity” and JP II appearing in the same sentence 😯 😀

            • HaHa Well…thanks for saying that about my first post Editor, and I would be very proud if it did help him/her.
              …as for giving examples of JPII’s heroic sanctity..I do have some…but I don’t think I will push my luck right now 😉 😀

          • Burt,

            I suggest you have a look at the video I just posted on the “Canonisations, what canonisations?” thread, regarding the so-called heroic virtue of JPII.

            • Great Pretender,

              I hope you’re not picking a fight with Burt – I like him: and yes, I know there’s no accounting for taste… 😀

        • Great Pretender51,

          “The Catholic Faith is a foreign language to him.”

          So is English. He should not have been elected on that ground alone. Fancy not being able to speak the most common language in the world.

          • Actually the most commonly spoken language in the world is Madarin. I expect the pool of men eligible to be Pope would shrink to nothing if being able to speak that language were a condition for election.

            • I think most people abroad speak English now, even where Mandarin Chinese is the main language.

    • “I only wish Pope Francis would read this blog and take a reality check.”

      Let’s be fair, he doesn’t have the time as he’s too busy phoning up sinners to tell them they’re doing nothing wrong.

      • Vianney,

        Spot on. It’s confusing. I don’t know whether to be pleased that he hasn’t phoned me yet because (a) he realises (I’ll just repeat that, “realises”) that I’m not a sinner or (b) because he realises that my sins are really not that bad. Modernism is really confusing isn’t it?

  13. It is absolutely terrible that people are so badly affected by the crisis and those ridiculous canonisations that they even question the existence of God. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of any of these modern popes (especially the ones who’ve been newly canonised) on the Last Day.

    What would I say to encourage editor’s friend? I’d say pray for the conversion of Pope Francis because unless he converts, he’s headed for hell fire for being the cause of scandal just at the very moment when we need a strong Catholic pope.

    • I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of any of these modern popes (especially the ones who’ve been newly canonised) on the Last Day.

      I’d love to be in their shoes then as they are surely in Heaven. No Pope is ever likely to die without the Last Rites, which includes a plenary indulgence at the moment of death, so no reason for them not to be in Heaven.

      • Eileenanne,

        You’ve said this before, as if everyone who receives the Last Rites goes straight to heaven. As the song goes, “it ain’t necessarily so…” If I thought that were the case, I’d kidnap the nearest priest and keep him in my spare room until the time for my despatch arrived. He’d been well looked after worry not, well fed, own TV and radio, with direct internet connection to the Catholic Truth blog but he’d only leave the house when I left it and he’d be with me wheresoever I travelled “just in case”.

        For very good reason the Church has always exhorted us not to make ANY judgment on the souls of the deceased, but, in true charity, to pray for them as if they were in Purgatory. To be suffering in Purgatory with nobody praying for us, on the grounds that we’ve had the grace of the Last Rites, would be terrible.

        A plenary indulgence is not to be considered the equivalent of a magic wand. The disposition of the soul, at all times, is what God judges – not appearances. I can think of cases of sudden death following accidents where the soul, long lapsed and in some cases extremely hostile to God and the Church, were administered the Last Sacraments at the request of a relative. We pray for the grace of Extreme Unction but it would be a massive mistake (if not downright stupid) to live a life at odds with God’s law and God’s manifest will, in the hope/presumption that the Last Rites will “do the trick”.

        We all have to give an account of the responsibilities and graces we have received in this world. Far from being the exception, popes will be very strictly judged, because they hold the most important position on the face of the earth. “God created the world” remember, “for the sake of His Church… to give everyone a share in His divine life” (CCC #760) For a pope to fail – whether through the promotion of false ecumenism and inter-faith “dialogue” or for any other preventable reason – to present the necessity of the Church for salvation to a disbelieving world, is to court eternal disaster.

        So, wonderful as it is to receive the Last Rites and wonderful as it is to die clothed in the Brown Scapular, the revelation of both Tradition and Scripture is that we will each of us have to undergo a very detailed and piercing scrutiny when we meet our Maker. Add to that the frightening warnings of St Athanasius that “the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops” and of St Chrysostom that “there are many more bishops who are lost than saved” (I’ve paraphrased that slightly but that is the accurate sense of what he wrote) and you will, as they say, Eileenanne, get the picture.

  14. Burt

    Sorry I can’t do links. But if you google ‘ lmschairman blog’ Joseph Shaw has 3 posts triggered by the closure of ‘Protect the Pope’ and one of these posts deals with possible reasons as to why the hierarchy ( even those in Rome ) are reluctant to deal with the dissidents. His view presupposes that there are members of the hierarchy everywhere who do sympathise a little with a conservative viewpoint.

    • Spero,

      Well, let him name a Scots Bishop who “sympathises a little with a conservative viewpoint.” I can’t think of one. Can you? Can any of the Scots bloggers here name a Scots Bishop who is “sympathetic” (to a “conservative” Catholic) “viewpoint”? (Whatever that means.)

        • “Bishop Briggs” – love it. For the benefit of our overseas and over the border bloggers, “Bishopbriggs” is a suburb of Glasgow. Where some of the posh people live. Those who don’t live in Bearsden and Milngavie, that is… 😀

          • Editor,

            For those of us across the pond, what might the posh population of Bishopbriggs be?


          • I am certain I once attended a Latin Mass celebrated by a Bishop Ton from around the Paisley area.

            • Frankier,

              I remember him, Bishop Ton. I think he was friends with the Good Shepherd nuns from the place they called after him, do you remember? Bishopton … 😀

      • Editor,

        Hah! To your Scottish bishops, “conservative viewpoint” probably means offering the Novus Odor in Latin….

        • Great Pretender,

          Exactly. That’s about the extent of their “conservative viewpoint” – and even the ultra-ultra-liberal Archbishop Conti allowed that! It was, if you recall, his answer to Summorum Pontificum…

    • Thanks Spero I just flicked through those posts on the Rorate website. I must say I am not convinced. I do think the real problem is more or less precisely that highlighted by Ferrara. I think that it is very likely that there is not one single bishop on our shores who is not a Vatican II promoter. Maybe two or even three of them might have some amount of reservation for what they might describe as ‘misinterpretation’ of Vatican II…but would they support a movement to anathematise the Second Council? That surely is the blessed day traditionalists are praying for. I somehow doubt we have any bishop who has that hope, unless it is a carefully hidden one.

      That’s nothing new..what could be more shocking than that only one single bishop opposed Henry VIII in his act to separate the people of this country from the one true Church.

  15. I imagine Fr Despard’s autobiography may have tipped him or her over the edge. Tales of drunken ruts, seductions, and more things broken than can ever be repaired….and that was just the choir. Little wonder then the Church in Scotland is ruined, all, all ruined.

    • Tipped WHO over the edge? Are you talking about me…. again?

      If it’s my friend, subject of this thread, to whom you refer, you are off the mark, big time. He’s said often, over the years, that it’s Catholic Truth that keeps him sane as he suffers witnessing the goings on in his diocese (and now the shenanigans of this awful pontiff) in this worsening crisisi – a sentiment shared by many others, I’ll have you know, CTG.

  16. Well if there are not members of the hierarchy here in Scotland who are traditional in belief, and this is the case, I agree, there are now priests who are, usually younger. The Church here has particularly suffered for reasons discussed on this blog before.
    Mind you, editor, I am aware that our ideas of ‘traditional’ are not the same.
    There are a few bishops in England who seem to be ‘ traditional’; the Bishop of Shrewsbury, I think, for one.
    There are cardinals who are faithful to the teaching of the Church: I do not know if they are orthodox in every way. There has been, for instance, vociferous opposition to Cardinal Kaspers ideas on reception of the Blessed Sacrament for those remarried outside the Church.
    Maybe they will have to reveal their true colours soon. Maybe we all will.

  17. Bishop Fellay.

    The ‘diabolical disorientation’ prophesied by Our Lady, beginning at Quito and continuing up until Akita and others, has come true, at lightening rapidity. It has taken just five decades, and at this speed, it is very possible indeed that the chastisement foretold at Fatima is close. We know the ‘bishop dressed in white’ will be martyred, and the crisis would be over very soon after. Considering this, is it possible this man might be the next Pope? I think he might be.

    • Miles,

      I’m in the midst of clearing out papers and found a beautiful sermon by Bishop Fellay on the priesthood and the role of the Society in restoring the priesthood in the current crisis. I plan to publish it in the next edition. Will Bishop Fellay be a pope some day? If my prayers mean anything up there, he most definitely will be.

    • Miles,

      I don’t see how Bishop Fellay could possibly be elected Pope by the current lot of Cardinals, even though, it has been rumored, some of them are now regretting their decision to cast their vote for Bergoglio. Duh.

      There was some speculation (Remnant? Catholic Family News?) after Bergoglio was elected that the “bishop dressed in white” might in fact be Pope (Emeritus – or whatever he is) Benedict. If so, I could envisage a scenario where Benedict performs the Consecration, is martyred, and then Bishop Fellay is elected.

      Of course, that leaves the question, why would Benedict perform the Consecration if Whatsis is still in office? Or another question, could he in fact perform the Consecration, as Pope Emeritus, while Whatsis is still in office? Or still another question: will the pontificate of Whatsis become so odious that he is driven out of office, leaving Benedict by himself?

      At any rate, too much speculation for my feeble mortal mind.

      • GP,

        Just leave it to me. Worry not. If there’s a way to get Bishop Fellay elected pope, I’m your gal… 😀

      • A Pope need not be elected by the College of Cardinals per se, or at least I don’t think.

        Unless some man from the existing stock of Catholic bishops with a great mind and warrior heart has a rapid and miraculous conversion, or unless a similar priest is hurriedly consecrated bishop, I can’t see who else it could be at the moment, apart from Fellay.

        If the prophecies are true, then there will be a Great Monarch and a Holy Pope. What bishop in the whole world today, that we know of, fits the role of potential Great and Holy Pope? I only know one.

  18. Editor, in opening this thread in answer to your friend’s need, you’ve helped not just one person but a host of others. The comments are, as always, straightforward and refreshingly clear. This is a very unsettling time, and I, like so many others, wondered why God did not intervene to stop the election of this Pope, the canonizations, and the other insults and injuries that are steadily undermining the Faith.

    It does look hopeless and the future does look bleak, but as GP pointed out – this is what it must have felt like to stand by the Cross and watch Our Lord in His Agony. Close by the Cross with Our Lady, we will have nothing to fear.

    • Jobstears,

      Thank you so much. My friend has, indeed, found this thread helpful. I hope to see him again in the near future, so if these wonderful comments don’t work (the “carrot”) I’ll be taking along a stick! Kidding my dear friend 😀

    • Has it ever occurred to you that God “didn’t stop the canonizations” because he, er, approves of them?

      • Perplexed,

        Didn’t even cross my mind. I knew God was highly unlikely to intervene directly because He does not interfere with our free will. He wants us to choose Him and His laws freely and without being treated as puppets. This applies to popes as well as to us hoi polloi. We all have to make our own free choices.

        And after that, the Judgment.

    • Idem for the election of Pope Francis. As for Tradition, there is no need to restore what has never been broken; tradition, with a small ‘t’ can trap us in a time warp if we’re not vigilant.

      • Perplexed,

        Catholic dogma on the necessity of the Church for salvation is not tradition with a small “t”. It’s a very VERY capital “T”. “God created the world for the sake of His Church…” (CCC # 760)

        • God created the world out of pure unadulterated love. (Ed: personal insult removed). The church has nothing to do with it

          Editor: read Catechism of the Catholic Church # 760

          Reminder: it’s because of your nasty personal remarks that your posts have to be moderated, Chasdom. Why not try being courteous. Just basic courtesy. That’s all.

  19. Christopher Ferrara is concise and absolutely spot on in this article.

    Trouble is, that the apparitions at Fatima are being side lined. How many of the hierarchy in Rome want Fatima pushed out of everyone’s memory. The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate heart of Mary is a necessity, but since 1960 the Third Secret has been consigned (almost to the dustbin) for fear of offending Russia, the Orthodox Church, everyone imaginable. Our Lord Himself told Sister Lucia that it would be a case of following the King of France into misfortune if this Consecration was not done.

    No wonder Our Lady asked for Rosaries and reparation so that poor sinners would be saved from going to hell.

    The situation now is desperate, chastisements are looming. Rosaries, the Traditional Mass and reparation are needed and now.

    • I hope I am wrong, but presently, it seems the only thing that will finally convince them of the need to listen to Fatima is when the Russian flag is flying atop the dome of Saint Peter’s.

  20. It is obvious that God doesn’t want to chastise us or He wouldn’t have been so patient, so it is really annoying and frightening to see Him being virtually taunted by those who may live to regret it.

    It seems to me that they are not going to be dictated to by three peasant children. It would be looked on as a sign of weakness on their part if they did.

    If it had been a Rabbi, a Wee Free minister and Ian Paisley who had passed on the message from Our Lady we would all be lying basking in the sun now without a care in the world.

    • We have undergone chastisement already though, principally the ‘diabolical disorientation’: the heresy, impiety and impurity of the ‘new orientation’. Then there was World War II and the rise of the Communist Empire, which have already happened, which were truthfully prophesied by Our Lady.

      • MI

        Although I agree with what you say I would think that those chastisements would be as nothing compared to those in the third secret.

    • Frankier, it is frightening to see God being “taunted by those who may live to regret it”. I don’t remember in which apparition Our Lady said She could no longer hold back the Hand of God.

  21. In fact, if it had been a Rabbi, a WF meenister and big Ian who had passed on the message it would have been a joke. 🙂

  22. Madame Editor,

    The friend to whom you refer in the introduction to this thread has, understandably, allowed himself to be overcome by the apparent success of all the forces that have combined for the overthrowing of the Kingship of Christ.

    Viewed from a human perspective, the evidence does seem to abound everywhere and there is no need for me to quote examples illustrating how far-reaching their efforts have become.

    Small wonder that your friend feels inclined to throw in the towel.

    He is allowing his feelings, his human emotions, to cloud his judgement. I have said this before: “Emotion has no part to play in our faith”. God reads our hearts, and He knows, as we try to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world, whether we are delivering lip service to Him, or whether we really do love Him. Even when we ourselves are overcome with doubt and our human emotions tell us to give up (as seems to be happening to your friend just now), He is reading our hearts and is knowing what the score really is.

    Your friend has to remind himself of the supernatural element to our Faith. Faith is a supernatural gift from the Holy Ghost. Faith is tested from time to time, as a great many of the Saints have revealed in the stories of their lives (The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross springs to mind), and it has to be nurtured by spiritual reading, by fasting, by prayer, by alms-giving, by good example.

    Adherence to this way of life strengthens the Faith, and helps the faithful fight off the temptations of Satan to see things with our human senses and emotions only, and to give up.

    Probably the greatest example set by any human being is that of Our Lady at the time of and immediately after the crucifixion of Our Lord. When even His closest friends had given up hope and hidden themselves away in fear, and when St. John of the Cross went looking for Our Lady to urge her to flee to safety with him, did she not lead him to the foot of the Cross to be in the presence of Christ as He breathed His last? And was she not constant in her faith that He would triumph?

    This is where all of us must strive to be – at the feet of Christ, and filled with the sure knowledge that He will triumph over evil, and that we who strive shall all be with Him when our time arrives.

    “Take heart, friend of the Editor, and return to the fray – there is so much worth fighting for”.

    I pray that these words will help your friend.

    • …when St. John of the Cross went looking for Our Lady to urge her to flee to safety with him…

      I have never heard that before. Where can I read more about it please?

      • EileenAnne,

        That snippet of information comes from an article entitled: “The Coming Resurrection of the Mystical Body Of Christ in the Modern World” by Michael Matt, Editor of The Remnant and which appeared in Volume 47, Number 6 of April 15th AD 2014, page 2, junction of column 1 and column 2.

        And what do you suppose she said to John, as he stood there panting in fear, begging Mary to come with him into hiding?

        He himself heard it from the late, great Fr. John O’Connor when Father was lecturing on the paralyzing fear the first Bishops of the Catholic Church experienced during Our Lord’s passion.

        I hope you will consider this an adequate response.

          • Thank you. I will certainly read that.

            I don’t have anything useful to say about Editor’s friend, which is why I said nothing – generally a good plan I think.
            It is always sad to hear of anyone suffering depression / despndency / the temptation to stop believing. I hope he recovers soon. I am sure many of us here will pray for him.

            • Eileenanne,

              “I don’t have anything useful to say about Editor’s friend.”

              Reading about editor’s friend’s suffering should make us all think of something useful to say, surely? He’s not just suffering depression or despondency or the temptation to stop believing, as you say, that’s not what I read in the blog introduction. I read of a man who is so shocked and disturbed by what Pope Francis is doing (latest being the canonisations of the two recent popes) that he is now wondering about whether the claims of the Church can be true that Jesus will always be with his Church, and so whether there is a God after all. That’s much more than just “depression” in my book.

              I join in the prayers for this good man but would also say to him that the Church has had bad popes before, and that their day will come when they have to answer for their crimes against the Church of Christ. Strong faith is being asked of us at this time, so I agree with all the others who have said to hang on in there, and try to see this suffering as a way of participating in the suffering of Jesus in his agony in the garden.

            • Eileenanne,

              It might help you to think of useful things to say to help my friend and others like him, suffering due to the scandalous papacy of Pope Francis, if you read this open letter from a woman in Argentina who was so friendly with the then Cardinal Bergoglio that he told her to drop his title and call him “Jorge”. Her reaction to this suggestion is noteworthy. She is not, by the way, a “traditionalist” but a neo-Catholic – that is, like yourself, she has, for the most part at least, gone along with the revolution in the Church.

              Perhaps reflecting on the gravity of what this pope is doing and the damage he is causing to souls, will enlighten your mind and correct your failure to distinguish between psychological depression and spiritual anguish of the kind suffered by Catholics who are very badly affected by his faithless and attention seeking shenanigans – his friend, the author of the letter, notes his attention seeking behaviour even as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, so please don’t get the wrong idea, as if I am accusing him of such. I mean, would I?

              So, thank you for your prayers for my friend but be assured he is not a “cuckoo” case. He is one of the many souls that will be presented to Pope Francis at his judgment. I suggest, therefore, that you pray, not only for my good friend but for this awful pontiff as well. He is definitely in need of them. By the spade-full.

              • …be assured he is not a “cuckoo” case.

                The quotes around “cuckoo” might suggest I used that word. I did not and would not use such an offensive expression about anyone.

        • Eileenanne and Lep,

          Just a small point of clarification: it was St. John the Evangelist, not St. John of the Cross, who stood with Our Lady at the foot of the Holy Cross (though one wonders why the Church never labeled him, “St. John at the Foot of the Cross!).

    • Leprechaun,

      Thank you – my friend will, indeed, benefit from your comment and, I’m sure, from all the encouragement posted here.

        • Yes, thank you my friend has been reading this thread and assures me that he has found it “very supportive” and is feeling better all round now.

  23. Ed

    What if……

    ……the Church and recent Popes have not been wrong, what if God, through the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church on this particular course of action.

    Then that means that this blog and other factions are the ones who are currently displeasing God. How many souls have you led astray and will you have to answer for at judgement??

    Just a thought

    • Nolite Timere,

      Interesting questions. We know that recent popes have been wrong because they have contradicted previous popes. We know that they have been wrong because Our Lady has warned us time and time again to expect a loss of Faith – a diabolical disorientation. Finally, when we cling to Tradition and recent popes and bishops don’t , we know they are wrong.

    • Nolite Timere,

      Since God cannot contradict Himself, it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to be guiding the Church on a course of action which is diametrically opposed to what He has revealed as His will for the Church. As St Francis de Sales made clear, Christ’s Church has no need of reform, it is the perfect Bride of Christ. This is but one example from the entire history of Catholic Tradition, to demonstrate the nature and purpose of Christ’s Church – which is NOT to comply with the winds of change in the world, but to preach Christ and Him crucified “in season and out of season”.

      Thus, in the context of Catholic Tradition, which carries equal weight with Sacred Scripture, remember, you should test your hypothesis by citing anything you have ever read on this blog which contradicts Catholic dogma or morals. Anything which remotely contradicts Catholic Tradition. Please and thank you…

    • Nolite Timere

      So…The Holy Spirit has decided there was far too much reverence and respect shown to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Way too much of that sort of thing…Too many altar boys used to be drawn to the priesthood in those bad old days too, when they were privileged in their role besides father..the Holy Spirit got so tired of the intimate connection with Our Lord in the quietness of Holy Mass..He thought we should all liven things up and have a jolly community centre style happy hour…yeah…give me a break NT!

  24. Ed & Petrus

    What if the recent Pope’s are contradicting previous Popes who were wrong.

    What if the original Church was similar to the Church we have (since Vatican 2) until Pope John XIII (965-972) started on a course that led to a diabolical disorientation that lasted for nearly 1000 years until ‘good pope’ John XXIII sorted it out.

    In that case everything that you cling to us wrong, the tradition of the last 1000 years was wrong, and any faith based on that is indeed damaging for souls!

    • Given the trends of the ‘Church we have’, it is difficult to see how the early Church would have lasted till the time of John XIII, if it had been at all similar.

      The Diocese I live in has announced plans to close half its parishes; if these trends continue, I might well personally outlive the Diocese.

      That doesn’t sounds like the pre-V2 Church to me; indeed its the exact opposite.

      • Gabriel,

        I think you are misunderstanding Nolite Timere – he is suggesting that the Church UP TO Pope John XXIII was in a state of diabolical disorientation and only now is it all being put right. 😯

        You have to laugh.

    • NT

      What if my granny had a moustache.

      What if The Holy Spirit decided that The Blessed Sacrament should risk landing in a sewer, in a dog`s mouth or be trampled underfoot by preferring the reception of communion in the hand rather than on the tongue.

      What if God preferred empty pews and a shortage of priests to the pre
      Vat 11 overflowing of churches (when was the last church built in Scotland?) and priests with curates in almost every parish.

      What if
      What if
      What if

    • Nolite Timere,

      I can only conclude that anyone who thinks the Church of the last 50 years is pleasing to God, does not believe in Fatima and thinks Our Lady is a liar.

  25. I know you started this thread for your friend but I, also, am finding it very helpful. Thank you.

  26. I second that, Helen. I read this blog, and have always done so, because the posts of many here (for which I thank them all) have helped to shore up my faith when beset by doubts, even doubts about the very existence of God, which I am unfortunate enough to sometimes experience. Such doubts have always been experienced by some Catholics, even in the heady days described in the lead article here, so it’s hardly surprising if they are experienced more and more in these days when the Church is visibly falling apart, and so many words and actions of the current successor of St. Peter seem designed to dismantle what remains of her. I have tried two confessors with the problem, and one, I am sad to say, failed dismally to help – I think he even laughed a little at my predicament saying “don’t you believe what the Church teaches?”, to which I could only reply – I think logically enough – that if there is no God then the Church is irrelevant! Fortunately I went to another priest and received the excellent advice, which I pass on to Editor’s friend, that I should try to ignore the doubts and carry on with the practice of my faith, especially receiving the sacraments, as if they (the doubts) didn’t exist. I was also directed to the life of St, Therese of Lisieux who was plagued most of her life with doubts about the existence of God. She used to repeat an act of faith whenever she was tempted, and I do the same by repeating, I think it was St. Augustine’s prayer “Lord, I believe – help Thou my unbelief”.

    On another point raised somewhere above, re a ‘Catholic’ bishop in Scotland – I have just today read the latest LMS magazine, and I’m sure I saw a picture and read a bit about the new Bishop of Paisley going on the traditionalist, old-rite only, pilgrimage to Chartres a couple of years ago. Was I dreaming or am I getting delusional?

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