Perspective: Vatican II in Retrospect…

VaticanII1962St. Pius X said at the beginning of the twentieth century that the main cause of the loss of souls was religious ignorance, ignorance of the truths of the faith. Sadly, this ignorance is everywhere in the Church today and it is getting worse as the decline in priests and sound Catechetics continues pace.

One of the principal errors to have arisen from this ignorance in our times is the belief, in thought if not by open declaration, that the pope is not just sometimes infallible but rather at all times impeccable.

Therefore, no matter what the pope says or does in the exercise of his ordinary magisterium it is incumbent upon all to blindly obey him. A similarly erroneous thought is held with regard to the bishops.

How far this mistaken belief is from the teaching of the Church, however, is exemplified by St. Paul in Galatians 2: 11-13, who recounts how he “withstood Peter to his face because he was to be blamed.”

 The above extract is taken from an article on Vatican II entitled: Fiddling While Rome Burns: Vatican II in Retrospect, by Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, and was originally published in the March/April 2014 edition of  The Angelus.   It is re-printed here by kind permission of the Editor.  Martin’s article is quite lengthy but bloggers are encouraged to take the necessary time to check it out before sharing your thoughts.  Comments invited.

87 responses

  1. Spot on, Martin. It’s one of the clearest accounts of the aftermath of Vatican 2 that I have ever read.

  2. A Right to Resist
    Commenting on this Scripture passage, St.
    Thomas Aquinas writes: “There being an imminent
    danger to the Faith, prelates must be questioned,
    even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who
    was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on
    account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter
    of Faith…” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 33, a. 4).

    A very pertinent comment. Says it all really regarding the papolatry around recent popes. Strange though when one considers that when same popes pronounce on moral matters such as contraception, the liberals rebel. But when any pope, especially the present one, pronounce on “who am I to judge ” etc., all and sundry gush their praise. Lost the plot, the lot of them.

  3. DOTF & Crofterlady,

    I am very grateful for your kind words and pleased that you both found the article informative. People don’t normally like to be presented with so long a treatise, so I was slightly worried that it might be a turn off for most bloggers.

    Editor,

    You leave Crofterlady alone, I paid her well for that feedback!!

    • Athanasius,

      Well, if you take a look at MY feedback in my response to Crawlerlady oops, Crofterlady, you’ll see that I’m due a cheque as well. Immediately if not sooner 😀

      • Mr. Blackshaw,

        Utter nonsense! Too long?! Poppycock! 😀

        The longer the better, in my book. You must write more long treatises some time. I’ll be the first to read them. 😀 lol

        • DOTF,

          I appreciate your very great kindness, God bless you for it. How I wish you were the editor of the SCO!

            • DOTF,

              I wish he were the editor of the SCO as well – then I might get my letters published! Oops! If Athanasius were the editor of the SCO none of us would NEED to write to the SCO – except to praise the columnists! Roll on!

          • The article was a factual account of the last 50 years and an interesting read well referenced. I would imagine most traditional Roman Catholics of a certain age have travelled this road. The outcomes are obvious and in a way frightening. When reading the article the thing that struck me the most was that we traditionalists must be reading a completely different narrative from our fellow Novus Ordo Catholics and clerics and this frightens me the most! Many of my and I am sure your family, friends and clergy would seem to come from a totally different mindset their vision and narrative is of a catholisism almost 360 degrees from the Catholisism we recognise. The challenges we face as Roman Catholics is to correct this mindset and what a challenge this will be! The example of a way forward has already been shown to us by Athanaius in the Arian heresy, prayer, patience and resistance. God Help Us!!!!!

  4. Interesting comment from Archbishop Tartaglia at recent council of priests meetign reflecting on Synod: “Francis was there but Peter wasn’t”

    • Steve,

      Did Archbishop Tartaglia actually say that? If so, he’s shot up in my estimation. Please confirm and assure us of a solid source – to date I’ve not heard that.

      • Yes Ed, I too would be impressed if ++Tartaglia had said that. He is usually so gentle and non-confrontational.

        But then maybe Francis has put his nose out of joint……..

        Just yesterday, I was told by “someone who knows someone” in the Dioceses office that ++Tartaglia has not received the courtesy of a reply, (never mind a yes or no answer), from Francis about the proposed day visit to Scotland next year!

    • Westminsterfly,

      It could indeed. Context is everything. We still don’t know if Archbishop Tartaglia is pro or anti-Kasper, so those words, if spoken at all, could mean anything.

    • WF,

      I can only see one meaning to those words. As when Paul VI was confronted by an angry cardinal after Humanae Vitae, who said words to the effect “you said that if elected, you would change the teaching on birth control” and the Pope replied: “no, Cardinal Montini said that – but I am Peter!”

      Clear as crystal.

      I do think the Archbishop, to do his duty, should issue a statement to show that he does not agree with “Holy Father Francis” (when did anyone ever speak of “Holy Father John Paul II” or “Holy Father Benedict”? This Mgr Loftus “title” seems to have stuck. If I use the title at all, which I tend not to do, I will use it in the time honoured way “our Holy Father, Pope Francis”). Anyway, I digress. What other meaning could there be for the Archbishop’s words, apparently acknowledging that the Pope was speaking as a private individual and not as pontiff at the synod?

      • Editor,

        The only other way the archbishop’s words can be read is if he was pointing out that what the pope allowed at the synod is not with any papal authority. I don’t think they can be interpreted as being supportive of what the pope allowed and said. I certainly hope not.

        I do agree about Mgr Loftus’ use of the “Holy Father Francis” description. It always jars with me, because it reinforces the idea that he is different from all previous popes, in the sense that he is closer to us, somehow. I’ve not explained that very well but it definitely jars. More and more people are saying that, I’ve heard it from people who never used to speak about “the Holy Father”, now all of a sudden, it’s “Holy Father Francis”.

        I meant to say that I agree with you and Athanasius that we need Archbishop Conti to say whether he is pro or anti Kasper so we can be sure that he meant what he said in the right sense.

  5. Athansius,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your brilliant article, it is the best summary of the changes in the Church since Vatican II, I’ve ever read. And I’m not being a crawler like Editor, either!!! If you ever write a book, I will be the first to buy it!

  6. Right, you lot. We’re all agreed that it’s a brilliant article. What about sharing some detail now. Precisely which part or parts did you think particularly helpful?

    Let’s have some detailed reviews, or I’ll rename this thread A Crawler’s Charter 😀

  7. “In his Encyclical Letter Pastor Aeternus, Pope
    Pius IX gives a certain rule by which the faithful may
    gauge the fidelity of popes to the primary duty of
    their sacred office. He writes: “The Holy Spirit has
    not been promised to the successors of Peter to
    permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to
    His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound
    faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted
    by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

    I think this where it’s all going wrong i.e. new “beliefs” are being presented to the faithful as if they were new doctrines. The attitude seems to be acquiescence to all papal pronouncements as if we didn’t have minds of our own. Catholic minds. The sensus fidelium.

    I have a question for Martin: If the Pope cannot err in matters of Faith and Morals when he speaks ex cathedra, how do we know WHEN IT IS an ex cathedra statement?

    • Crofterlady,

      We know the Pope is speaking ex cathedra when he recounts infallible teaching already defined, or when he defines, as binding, something always believed by the Church but never stated formally. We cannot mistake such a declaration because it is always accompanied by a reminder that the matter is of Faith, to be held by the Universal Church as binding with the severest censure for those who dissent.

  8. Athanasius

    Sincere thanks for such an excellent article. I think it is a really first class synopsis of the catastrophe that has followed from the Council. In fact, I think it has to be saved at kept at hand for the one stop guidance of all the confused or malevolent Modernists and Neo Catholics who are stumbling around in the novus ordo desert. The irrefutable case is there for all of good will to read.

    Editor passed on the absolutely brilliant idea, on the “SCO” thread, about putting copies of the Newsletter into the liberal rags at the back of Churches. Along with the Newsletter, I think this article would be perfect as a “Free Supplement” or rather antidote for inclusion with liberal rags such as the Bitter Pill. Apostolate of stuffing Modernist fishwrap has a sort of ring to it.

    On the question of the Council itself, I only recently came across what to me are truly extraordinary words in paragraph 26 Pope John Paul II’s 1986 encyclical Dominum et Vificantem:

    “This work being done by the Church for the testing and bringing together of the salvific fruits of the Spirit bestowed in the Council is something indispensable. For this purpose one must learn how to ‘discern’ them carefully from everything that may instead come originally from the ‘prince of this world.’ This discernment in implementing the Council’s work is especially necessary in view of the fact that the Council opened itself widely to the contemporary world, as is clearly seen from the important Conciliar Constitutions Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium.”

    So “discernment” was still ongoing 21 years after the end of the Council, with the accompanying risk of “everything that may instead come originally from the ‘prince of this world.’” And all because of “the fact that the Council opened itself widely to the contemporary world”.

    Can we have a representative for the Hermeneutic of Continuity please?

    I have to say I find those words absolutely staggering, and a perfect encapsulation and explanation of so much of the conciliar crisis. Where does the guarding and passing on of the Sacred Deposit of the Faith through the constant, universally held teaching of the Church fit in there? Every wildman Modernist is going to claim a license from those words for their own heretical “discernment”. Does anyone at this stage have any doubts about the source of the madness that has engulfed the human element of the Church, the Bride of Christ? How exactly has this “discernment” worked out? Just think of the recent Synod.

    As an aside, and I don’t mean this in any sort of narky or snide way, I hope that as a result of Martin’s article, the Angelus and some of the other excellent American journals and blogs will be aware that there are actually Catholics faithful to Tradition in these islands who are fighting the good fight along with them, and that at least one blog is carrying the flag for Tradition along with our American allies.

    Martin’s article certainly maintains the Angelus’ high standards, as well as helping it to match those of the CT Newsletter, for which many of us have much to be grateful.

    • Leo,

      Thank you for that most thoughtful post, very kind to our humble Catholic Truth apostolate. We greatly appreciate your generous words of support.

      As for your pertinent “can we have a representative for the Hermeneutic of Continuity please?” Spot on and then some.

      The quote you give from Pope John Paul II makes clear that we not only MAY but MUST weigh up the “Council’s work” – so much, then, for the claim that uncritical fidelity to “Vatican II” is the benchmark for the faithful Catholic of the 20th/21st century.

  9. Yes Archbishop Tartaglia said it at the council of priests; he is very friendly with cardinal Burke and nails his colours to that mast as it were. There was no ambiguity about what he said and the source was a priest friend in Glasgow who was there, at the council of priests.

    Archbishop Tartaglia is not “pro Kasper” at all, he is pro Burke and contributed to the content of the book that replied to Kaspers misrepresentation of the Fathers. There is NO other way to interpret it as he was also heard to suggest that if this vein continues he [may] not be archbishop next year. There was a definite allusion to that, too it’s minuted and sent to the priests of the diocese.

    • Steve,

      I hope you don’t mind but I put your two comments together in one post and fixed the typos. Your meaning was perfectly clear, but just to make sure everyone understood it, I thought I would correct the typos. I know lots of people don’t blog because they feel they can’t type without making typing errors, so don’t feel bad about it – typos are not a problem, and if I see any, I always correct them as a matter of routine. It’s one of the very few perks of this job 😀 Listen, with your clerical contacts, we want you sticking around, typos & all!

      The only bit in your comment where I could not be one hundred per cent sure that I was correctly interpreting what you’ve said, is where you write that Archbishop Tartaglia “was heard to suggest that if this vein continues he…. not be archbishop next year” – I presume you meant that the had said he may not or will not be archbishop next year, [if the dissent witnessed at this year’s synod continues next year] and if he did, in fact, say that, he’s shot up even further in my estimation. Perhaps you would confirm that last bit, just so that I can – with a clear conscience – treat myself to a fresh cream cake and coffee as a matter of urgency!

      Tell you what, though, the priests who coulda, shoulda. passed on that information to me, first hand, but haven’t done so, better go out there and buy some dark glasses and raincoats. They’re in the bad books big time 😀

  10. Yes that was the vein of what he said . The exact quote I don’t have yet but I’ll try and get it but that was the jist of it. He definitely inferred something of that nature .
    Maybe your priest contacts have been caught up in the madness of loftus etc
    Sorry about typos I was rushing to a meeting

  11. Once again, thank you to all contributors for kind comments regarding the article. I’m very pleased to see from the various posts that it struck a cord with other concerned Catholics. Thanks be to God for that!

    Steve,

    I’m pleased to read that Archbishop Tartaglia made his statement more in tune with Cardinal Burke than with Cardinal Kasper, re the Synod. It should be pointed out, However, that upholding the moral teaching of the Church is only one half of the duty of bishops. The other half is to pass on the doctrine undefiled as handed down and I’m afraid the episcopal college is a collective failure on that front. Still, we must be thankful for any sign of fidelity these days, so good on Archbishop Tartaglia for nailing his colours to the mast in support of infallible moral teaching.

    Jobstears,

    If I ever receive the grace to write a book then I promise you the first copy at half price, only £60!

    Leo,

    Very interesting quotation from John Paul II, especially this part: “…This discernment in implementing the Council’s work is especially necessary in view of the fact that the Council opened itself widely to the contemporary world, as is clearly seen from the important Conciliar Constitutions Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium.”

    If memory serves, these were the two documents that the notorious liberal Henri de Lubac had the greatest influence on.

    De Lubac was very heavily censured during the reign of Pope Pius XII, who forbade him to preach or teach and ordered many of his written works to be placed on the Index of forbidden books. It is generally understood that Pius XII also wrote the Encyclical Humanae Generis to combat the errors of de Lubac and other peddlers of the “nouvelle théologie” (New Theology). It’s worth noting too that Henri de Lubac was most infamous for his stalwart defence of the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ.

    On the death of Pius, Pope John XXIII recalled de Lubac and appointed him to prominent positions within the Preparatory Commissions for the Second Vatican Council. The result was those two very questionable Council documents cited by John Paul II.

    So the point you make about the “Hermeneutic of continuity”, Leo, is very apt. There simply is no such thing with these documents, they present entirely novel ideas on ecclesiology previously condemned by the Magisterium of the Church before Vatican II.

    This was the contribution of Henri de Lubac SJ, who counted amongst his most zealous disciples no less than Giovanni Montini (Paul VI), Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II), Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), Walter Kasper and many other figures of great influence in the Church today. Now we know why everything has gone pear shaped!

    One final point. Note the influence of the Jesuits in the spread of the nouvelle théologie. It is this Religious Order which is at the forefront of every assault on the Faith. The Devil has sure had a field day with the Jesuits!

  12. Athanasius et al,

    I now have a terrible confession to make….

    At time of posting the Angelus article, I’d not read it right through and still have not finished reading it. Athanasius understands that I’m swamped right now; as befits the editor of an international publication I’m busy, busy, busy… Plus, these increasing telephone calls from the Vatican are really holding me back…Anyway, I set to just now to make a start, and it really is rivetting stuff. I’ve selected the following, for brief comment:

    Retrospect

    … On the election of John XXIII to the papacy in 1958 the Church was in a very healthy state. Her seminaries and religious houses were full, vocations were booming, city parishes each had at least three priests and three Sunday Masses to meet high attendance numbers, the foreign missions were converting millions to the true religion and Anglican intellectuals were leading an exodus of Church of England affiliates back to Rome.

    In addition to this, when the Holy Father spoke the world listened. Such was the respect commanded by the Holy See globally that only a very few non-Catholic men of influence dared to put themselves in public opposition to the Church’s moral teaching. Inside the Church it was unheard of that any Catholic, clerical or lay, questioned the infallible teaching of the Magisterium, much less dissent from it as is so widespread at present, and sound Catechetics were everywhere forming the souls of our Catholic children in faith and virtue. In every part of the world there was unity among Catholics. They were unified in faith, in doctrine, in morals, in the sacraments and by the same ancient universal liturgy and liturgical language that could be traced in its essentials all the way back to St.
    Peter himself.

    As in other ages of Church history, however, all was not perfect; there were certainly issues within and without the walls of the Church that afflicted her to some degree or another. But the popes were strong in teaching authority, condemning and proscribing by various authoritative Encyclicals and Syllabi the grave errors of the times while re-affirming the divine truths of the Catholic religion and the indispensability of membership of the Church for salvation.

    Such was the confidence of the faithful in the reigning popes and bishops to uphold the Deposit of Faith, personally as well as in their official capacities, that very few clergy or laity felt it necessary to acquaint themselves with past magisterial teaching, much less with the wisdom of the great saintly theologians and Doctors of the Church.

    “Renewal”

    Hence it was that when the Second Vatican Council, the first Pastoral Council in the Church’s history, commenced, it was pretty much expected that matters would be settled quickly without serious alteration to the everyday life of Catholics. How wrong this assumption was!

    At the very first session of the Council, on October 11, 1962, all the documents prepared by the Preparatory Commissions over a three-year period for consideration by the Fathers were rejected at the behest of a liberal faction of theologians, a faction that was much larger and more organized than anyone had expected.

    Although Pope John had made it clear that the Council was intended to be purely pastoral in nature, remaining on a “modest level, not treating of doctrine,” it soon became evident that others had an altogether different agenda, a program to open the Church entirely to the spirit of a modern world then on the brink of cultural revolution and rebellion against God.

    What resulted from this “Renewal” experiment was later described by Cardinal Suenens as “The French Revolution in the Church.” It is a great tragedy that so many Catholics were ill-prepared for the onslaught that was to follow in the wake of Vatican II. END OF EXTRACT.

    Athanasius, that’s a very concise and insightful description, and tunes in exactly with my own experience of the Church prior to and immediately after “that Council.”

    It was precisely because we were so used to faithful pontiffs and being able to trust our priests, that the majority of us went along with the changes, including the new Mass, subduing any puzzlement (and there was quite a bit) at certain changes, particularly the vernacular Mass, having been raised to cherish and defend the ancient Latin Mass. Perhaps one good thing to come out of this crisis will be that future generations realise the importance of a proper and full education in the Faith, especially in the matter of papal infallibility – it’s limits and extent.

    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your excellent article asap.

    • Editor,

      Yes, I perfectly understand your reasons for not having the time to read the full article. If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times, you’ll have to give up the home brew. It’s not good for you!

      On a more serious note, I remember Bishop Salvatore Lazo (RIP) saying that he had gone along with the New Mass in his Philippines diocese because he thought the Pope had insisted upon it. When he discovered that he was deceived, he never again celebrated the New Mass. This just goes to show that even prelates trusted their superiors implicitly; it simply never occurred to them that they could be mislead (wilfully or otherwise) by those superiors. The ordinary faithful didn’t stand a chance.

  13. Ed, for your penance say………

    Athanasius, that is the most complete and concise analysis of the state of the post-Vatican II Church, and the causes thereof, that I have ever seen. You have a rare gift, and long may you continue to use it for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.

  14. Christina,

    Thank you. That gift, as with all of us with our individual talents, will have to be accounted for. That’s what worries me most!

    I only wish the theologians at Vatican II had thought in like manner when they applied their considerable gifts to a promotion of the principles of the French Revolution. But then, maybe they forgot that their gifts came from God.

  15. Athanasius,

    A very good read and very true to what happened after the Council. Your article is well referenced and repays the time required to read it through. Although the facts have been given on here many times, it is really useful to have it all in one place and so clearly put. Thank you for it !

  16. Editor, you say that you were around both before and after the second Vatican council, I am amazed! I thought you were a young glamorous, clubbing and pubbing thing….

    • Helen,

      I tend not to say precisely how long BEFORE Vatican II, I was around! Just long enough to be able to comment on the difference between our packed parish church and the peace therein, and the later “Bind us together” baloney. Just that long. Hearing – after Holy Communion – my fellow parishioners raising their voices in song to thank Jesus for coming to them “in bread and wine” confirmed my gut feeling that something had gone seriously awry. Yes, I wasn’t just a pretty face… 😀 (some would replace “just” with “even”.. See if I care 😥 )

      • Editor,

        You should have responded to Helen’s comments with advice to read Pope Francis on the “religious memory” inherited by all human beings and resident in the subconscious. That would have confused her completely!

  17. Apologies for any sense of déjà vu and confusion caused. I mistakenly posted the following on another thread last evening. So at the second attempt, here goes…

    Athanasius

    Your very eloquent description of the conciliar nuclear devastation brings to mind one particular “information gathering” exercise conducted by Rome, namely the remarkably perceptive and prescient letter of 20 December 1966 from Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office. Forty eight years later, as the dwindling number of faithful Catholics wander around, confused and disorientated, in the modernist desert, that letter remains just as powerful. Maybe someday, through the intercession of Our Mother in Heaven, it will be acted on. Here are a few lines:

    “The seat of the evil lies chiefly in a literature which sows confusion in the mind by descriptions which are ambiguous and equivocal, but under the cloak of which one discovers a new religion.”

    “… I venture to say that the present evil appears to be much more serious than the denial or calling in question of some truth of our faith. In these times it shows itself in an extreme confusion of ideas, in the breaking up of the Church’s institutions, religious foundations, seminaries, Catholic schools – in short, of what has been the permanent support of the Church. It is nothing less than the logical continuation of the heresies and errors which have been undermining the Church in recent centuries, especially since the Liberalism of the last century which has striven at all costs to reconcile the Church with the ideas that led to the French Revolution.”

    “Now this preparation” (by the preliminary commissions) “was odiously rejected in order to make way for the gravest tragedy the Church has ever suffered. We have lived to see the marriage of the Catholic Church with Liberal ideas. It would be to deny the evidence, to be wilfully blind, not to state courageously that the Council has allowed those who profess the errors and tendencies condemned by the Popes named above” (Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII), “ legitimately to believe that their doctrines were approved and sanctioned.”

    “…we can and we must unfortunately state that:
    In a more or less general way, when the Council has introduced innovations, it has unsettled the certainty of truths taught by the authentic Magisterium of the Church as unquestionably belonging to the treasure of Tradition.”

    “Doubts on the necessity of the Catholic Church as the only true religion, the sole source of salvation, emanating from the declarations on ecumenism and religious liberty, are destroying the authority of the Church’s Magisterium. In fact, Rome is longer the unique and necessary Magistra Veritatis.”

    “Thus, driven to this by the facts, we are forced to conclude that the Council has encouraged, in an inconceivable manner, the spreading of Liberal errors. Faith, morals and ecclesiastical discipline are shaken to their foundations, fulfilling the predictions of all the Popes.”

    “The destruction of the Church is advancing at a rapid pace. By giving an exaggerated authority to the episcopal conferences, the Sovereign Pontiff has rendered himself powerless. What painful lessons in one single year! Yet the Successor of Peter and he alone can save the Church.”

    Here’s a link to the entire letter:

    http://archives.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre/arch_lefebvre_response_card_ottaviani_post_council.htm

    Does anyone here seriously think that after five decades of unprecedented apostasy, similar words would meet with a more attentive response? That’s the, humanly speaking, almost overwhelming crisis the Church faces.

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.

    • Thank you Leo – I’ve asked bloggers to respond to your latest gem here, not on the other thread but will leave it there as well, because you can never have too much of a good thing!

  18. Leo,

    As always, a very informative post. I was particularly struck by these words of Archbishop Lefebvre: “…We have lived to see the marriage of the Catholic Church with Liberal ideas. It would be to deny the evidence, to be wilfully blind, not to state courageously that the Council has allowed those who profess the errors and tendencies condemned by the Popes named above” (Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII), “ legitimately to believe that their doctrines were approved and sanctioned…”

    “not to state courageously” I was just saying to someone last night that while it is all fine and well to applaud prelates such as Cardinals Burke and Pell, Bishop Schneider, etc., for their diplomatic stance against the present assault on the Church’s moral teaching, where are they when it comes to courageously speaking out against the very serious matters highlighted by Archbishop Lefebvre?

    Have we heard these men of morals challenge the New Mass, ecumenism, religious liberty, etc? No, they have gone along with these destructive things, even if they have shown a certain uneasiness with them.

    Of course the prelates in question are not in the same league of sanctity as Archbishop Lefebvre, but they are clearly Churchmen of very good will, a certain holiness of state and a proper sense of the Faith. So why don’t they and others like them speak up for the Church without ambiguity? It’s this silence of good men, or let’s say diplomatic tip-toeing around thorny issues that should be met head on, like Our Lord with the money changers, which has allowed the revolutionaries to flourish in the Church. Too much human respect and false obedience, if you ask me.

    Don’t misunderstand, I admire these Churchmen for their fidelity to the Church’s moral teaching, Cardinal Burke especially since he has suffered a loss of office as a result. But it seems to me that we should be hearing more from them about the liturgical and doctrinal perversion in the Church since that infamous Council.

    • Athanasius,

      I remember editor saying on a previous thread when someone denounced the “orthodox” bishops for not standing up to be counted on ecumenism and the other things you mention, Mass etc. that the diabolical disorientation is such they actually believe these are good things. It’s not that they’re being dishonest, just that they are disoriented. As it says in the “Dear Reader” piece in the latest newsletter, it’s like this “new morality” is a step too far for the bishops who have spoken out. That makes sense. The moral law is written on the human heart, so they can see that more easily than the Mass etc. which they think are open to change.

      I agree, we should admire Cardinal Burke for his courage “since he has suffered a loss of office.” IMHO, that was very vindictive of the Pope.

      • Margaret Mary,

        Yes, I agree that the diabolical disorientation is affecting even the more conservative of the bishops in the Church to some extent, but I’m not sure to what extent. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, for example, has said on more than one occasion that there should be a kind of Index of errors set up against Vatican II. This would appear to suggest that he knows things are wrong. I accept however that he and other prelates are possibly not seeing the full picture in all its ugliness, as Archbishop Lefebvre had the insight to do. That’s why I said that, well meaning as they are, these Churchmen are not in the same league of sanctity as the Archbishop. Very confusing times indeed!

        • Yes, I agree about Bishop Schneider. If he can see that Communion in the hand is wrong why not the new Mass itself? Also the index, he suggests, that I’d forgotten about. Maybe he thinks he can do more good if he lays low a bit and speaks out from time to time, I don’t know, but I take your point.

  19. Very well put indeed, Athanasius.

    The choke point in the revolution really is at Bishop level. Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider and other Bishops have certainly spoken up well for the Moral Law, but sadly the fact that that is nowadays considered remarkable must be chalked down as yet another sign of these unspeakably abnormal times. Really, a great many more Bishops need to meditate on the following words:

    “The bishop should not fear since the anointing of the Holy Spirit has strengthened him: the shepherd should not be afraid since the prince of pastors has taught him by his own example to despise life itself for the safety of his flock: the cowardice and depression of the hireling should not dwell in a bishop’s heart. Our great predecessor Gregory [the Great], in instructing the heads of the churches, said with his usual excellence: “Often imprudent guides in their fear of losing human favour are afraid to speak the right freely. As the word of truth has it, they guard their flock not with a shepherd’s zeal but as hirelings do, since they flee when the wolf approaches by hiding themselves in silence…. A shepherd fearing to speak the right is simply a man retreating by keeping silent.” – Pope Pius VI, Inscrutabile, December 25, 1775

    While I have said here before that the Cardinal hasn’t exactly pulled up trees when it comes to defending Tradition on some of the big issues, I have no doubt about his humility and quiet fortitude. Likewise, I’m sure that demotion or personal advancement, are not factors that influence his actions in the slightest.

    The insults and persecution currently being directed against good Bishops, priests and laity brings to mind the following words:

    “What happened over 1600 years ago is repeating itself today, but with two or three differences: Alexandria is the whole Universal Church, the stability of which is being shaken, and what was undertaken at that time by means of physical force and cruelty is now being transferred to a different level. Exile is replaced by banishment into the silence of being ignored; killing, by assassination of character.”
    – Bishop Rudolf Graber of Regensburg, in his book entitled, Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, p. 23.

    Maybe this is really stretching things, but the fact that God is apparently permitting the turbo charged conciliar rampage, led by Pope Francis, to accelerate in these days, could be the wake-up call needed to bring good Prelates and priests to the grim realisation that the so-called “New Springtime”, is anything but. If so, it must be the last wake-up call they will get. Perhaps, the saying “God writes straight in crooked lines” is applicable. Just maybe. I think it reasonable to say that under Pope Benedict there was a gloss, principally in liturgical matters, which probably covered up a lot of the New Theology structural faults and rot, and allowed them to be ignored.

    Much prayer and fasting is in order, for the intention of good Bishops following Bishop Lazo’s example and come to the realisation that the Church must return fully to Tradition. Really, it is impossible to reconcile the conciliar novelties with Tradition. I think that is the leap that faithful Churchmen, of good will have to make. From memory, I believe that the late Father Roger Calmel OP held firmly that we must have no truck whatsoever with Modernism. We must completely avoid it. A lot of us here can surely see the supernatural wisdom of that. It’s worth taking the opportunity here to repost the following words of Father Calmel.

    “Using virtue and the love of God, and the abolition, in the name of virtue, of the indispensable means of formation and conservation, to blackmail the faithful into bending – that’s modernism at its most basic. Modernism controls its victims in the name of obedience, thanks to the suspicion of pride which is cast on any criticism of their reforms, in the name of respect for the Pope, in the name of missionary zeal, of charity, and of unity.”
    – Letter of 8th August, 1973

    At this stage it looks as though it’s over to the Holy Ghost and Our Lady. I’m still hopeful that Cardinal Burke will in time come closer to Tradition, and in doing so, give great service to the Church. Maybe this is being more than a bit partisan, but the fact that the Cardinal has genuine attachment to his Tipperary roots are also in his favour, as far as this blogger is concerned.

    Finally, Cardinal Burke and all Bishops of good will should draw inspiration in the storm raging against the Faith from the example of Archbishop Lefebvre:

    “..Truth is not made by numbers: numbers do not make Truth. Even if I am alone, and even if all my seminarians leave me, even if I am abandoned by the whole of public opinion, it is all the same to me. I am attached to my catechism, attached to my Credo, attached to Tradition which sanctified all the saints in heaven. I am not concerned about others: they do as they wish: but I want to save my soul. Public opinion I know too well: it was public opinion which condemned Our Lord after acclaiming Him a few days before. First, Palm Sunday: then Good Friday. We know that. Public opinion is not to be trusted at all. Today it is for me, tomorrow it is against me. What matters is fidelity to our faith. We should have that conviction and stay calm.”
    -Econe 18th September 1976.
    Itineraires No. 208, pp.136-154.

  20. Leo,

    I cannot add anything useful to your superb post except to say that there is a wisdom in those quotes that we rarely observe in the writings and discourses of today’s Churchmen. So you’re right about handing over to the Holy Ghost and Our Lady, the font and mediatrix respectively of divine wisdom.

  21. Athanasius

    You wrote in the Angelus:

    “The faithful have the right and a duty to ask these questions of the shepherds entrusted by Our Lord with the care of their souls. Many indeed have asked but, alas, the response is usually silence or an unjust command of obedience to the Council.”

    That’s the situation exactly. In the absence of possible demonstration of continuity with the constant, universal Magisterium before the Council, argument from authority remains the last defence of the conciliar novelties, contradictions, ambiguities, and omissions.

    In the last twenty months, even the claim of continuity with Tradition appears to have been jettisoned. Now, you’ll like this folks. Not a lot. How about this for a defence of the Council?

    In his homily of April 16 2013 Pope Francis set a theme that has become rather familiar since. “Triumphalist” “restorationists”, and anyone objecting to novelties were obviously being put on warning:

    “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit. But, after 50 years, have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of the growth of the Church that the Council was? No. We celebrate this anniversary, we make a monument, but do not bother. We do not want to change. And there is more: there are calls [voci, also ‘voices’] wanting to move back.”

    Hands up all “voci”.

    I suppose we are being told to get with the programme as our American friends say. Keep moving. There is nothing to see here. Take it from Pope Francis.

    “The Church has never been in better shape, and is experiencing a very positive moment” – Pope Francis addressing a group of priest, 16 September 2013

    Well,as Billy Boy Clinton would say, it all depends on what you by the word “positive”. It’s not the word that springs obviously to mind.

    The reality is that the Modernists, of whatever intent and degree of dissent from the Church’s pre-conciliar teaching, all claim Vatican II as their charter and programme. Catholics faithful to Tradition have had their case made for them.

    In an interview published in 1975, the influential liberal theologian Father Dominique Chenu OP was asked about the post-Conciliar turmoil:
    Question: “In your opinion, how should one see this whole upheaval? Is it the fault of the priests, the theologians, the faithful?
    Answer: “I see its cause in the Council itself, in the logic of its march and its dynamism.”
    – Jacques Duquesne interroge le Pere Chenu, p. 191

    “Upheaval” doesn’t exactly equate with continuity, as anyone with a reasonable grasp of reason will attest.

    “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit” and “the Church has never been in better shape”. Really?

    The lay French philosopher and confidante of Pope Paul VI gave very unambiguous testimony on the Protestantisation of the Mass, as mentioned on a recent thread. He also obligingly offered the view that Vatican II proclaimed what Saint Pius X condemned as Modernist heresy, in 1906:

    “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?”
    – Portrait du Père Lagrange, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1992, pp. 55-56.

    Notice the very telling way in which the last sentenced is phrased. No obvious consideration of the possibility that the Modernists were the ones in error.

    How about the following from leading progressivist, Cardinal Franz Koenig of Vienna, promoter of conciliar Ostpolitik and Ecumenism, and widely held to be the elector of Pope John Paul II.

    “O.R. 18 December 1971. Cardinal Konig said when presenting the Instruction on dialogue to the press that: ‘Dialogue puts the partners in an equal footing. The Catholic is not considered as possessing all the truth, but as someone who has faith and is looking for that truth with others, both believers and non-believers.’” I.C.I., No. 322, 15 October 1968, p.20
    – Iota Unum, footnote 17, p . 355

    That particular statement only echoes the infamous statement of Father Edward Schillebeeckx, peritus to the Dutch Episcopate at the Council, who claimed that:

    “…the Roman Catholic Church officially abandoned her monopoly over the Christian religion at Vatican Council II.”
    – Introduction to Cinco Problemas que Desafiam a Igreja Hoje, São Paulo: Herder, 1970, pp. 26-27)

    Continuity? I don’t think so.

    “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit” and “the Church has never been in better shape”. Really?

    Apologists for the Council have tried to blame the devastation and apostasy of the conciliar era on the general agnosticism, materialism and hedonism than that had engulfed First and Second World countries since the early sixties. The expression “tsunami of secularism” has also been pitched in. All of which brings irony to rather exalted levels considering “the fact that the Council opened itself widely to the contemporary world” (Pope John Paul II, Dominum et Vificantem) and Pope Paul VI declared at the closing of the Council that “we too, we more than anyone else, subscribe to the cult of man.” (quoted in Athanasius’ Angelus article).

    One cannot with any passing resemblance of reason accept and laud the Council, and then separate out the fruits of the Council, which left absolutely nothing of the Church’s life untouched.

    On October 17, 1978, the newly-elected Pope John Paul II said:

    “We consider it our primary duty to be that of promoting, with prudent but encouraging action, the most exact fulfillment of the norms and directives of the Council. Above all we must favor the development of Conciliar attitudes. First one must be in harmony with the Council. One must put into effect what was started in its documents; and what was ‘implicit’ should be made explicit in the light of the experiments that followed and in the light of new and emerging circumstances.”

    Continuity? I don’t think so.

    Just less than a year after his elevation, Pope John Paul II set out his guiding principles of his 27 year pontificate in his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis:

    “Entrusting myself fully to the Spirit of truth, therefore, I am entering into the rich inheritance of the recent pontificates. This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council…” #3

    In Ecclesia Dei Adflicta in 1988, Pope John Paul II even admitted:
    “Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council’s continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church.”

    Continuity? I don’t think so.

    “The Catechism was also indispensable (i.e., as well as the 1983 Code of Canon Law), in order that all the richness of the teaching of the Church following the Second Vatican Council could be preserved in a new synthesis and be given a new direction.” – Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, London, Jonathen Cape, 1994, p. 164

    Just consider that there are 806 citations from Vatican II, a number which amounts on average to one citation every three-and-a-half paragraphs throughout the 2,865 paragraphs of the Catechism.

    So how exactly does this “new synthesis” and “new direction” equate with the constant, universal Magisterium of the Church? Can anyone point to one single authoritative, magisterial explanation?

    Remarkably, Pope John Paul II actually recognised the bitter evil fruits of the Modernist revolution without ever linking it to the Council.

    “Christians today to a great extent feel themselves lost, confused, perplexed,” and “are tempted by atheism, agnosticism, a vaguely moralistic illuminism, a sociological Christianity, without definite dogmas and without objective morality” (L’Osservatore Romano, Feb. 7, 1981).

    “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit” and “the Church has never been in better shape”. Really?

    Taking just one example of the fruits of the Council, many will agree that among the most scandalous landmarks of the conciliar desert are the Assisi Abominations, I,II, and III. The toxic, syncretic, relativistic, “spirit of Assisi” links right back to Dignitatis Humanae, one of the most contentious, and still unexplained documents of the Council. There can be no doubt Pope John Paul II saw it as a visible manifestation of the Council’s teaching, not a misinterpretation.

    Two months after the first Assisi scandal, in a speech to the Curia, the Pope said:

    “The day of Assisi, showing the Catholic Church holding hands with our brothers of other religions, was a visible express of [the] statements of the Second Vatican Council.”

    “The event of Assisi” he said, “can thus be considered as a visible illustration, an exegesis of events, a catechesis intelligible to all, of what is presupposed and signified by the commitments to ecumenism and to the inter-religious dialogue which was recommended and promoted by the Second Vatican Council.”

    The Pope also asked his Cardinals to “keep always alive the spirit of Assisi as a motive of hope for the future.”

    Can it be denied that first two Assisi scandals were obvious ways in which Pope John Paul II implemented his 1978 pledge to “favour the development of Conciliar attitudes” and to make what was “implicit” in Vatican II’s documents “explicit”.

    As I said, that’s just one particular scandalous example. Athanasius has summarised the whole crisis and the major elements of the crisis for all those of good will, in his Angelus article.

    Now at this point, before reading the next few lines, it might be an idea for anyone holding any glass or sharp implements to put them down.

    “The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit” and “the Church has never been in better shape”, but according to one particular Dutch Bishop, there is plenty more to come. Believe it or not.

    Bishop Jan Hendricks, auxiliary bishop of the Haarlem-Amsterdam diocese attended the Dutch Bishops’ ad limina meeting with Pope Francis last December. Following the meeting he stated that the pope said implementation of Vatican II is only half complete. “We have been implementing the council only half-way,” Hendriks recalled from the pope’s words. “Half of the work has still to be done.”

    Does anyone suggest that the last eleven months have rendered that statement incredible?

    With all respect due to the Vicar of Christ, the Church and countless souls would benefit greatly if somehow, by the grace of God, the second half programme of novus ordo revolution was halted, and Pope Francis took to heart the words of one of his illustrious predecessors:

    “The sacred pastors are not the inventors and composers of the Gospel, but merely the authorized guardians and preachers divinely established. Wherefore, we ourselves, and all bishops with us, can and must repeat the words of Jesus Christ: “My teaching is not my own, but his who sent me” (John 7:16)….
    “Therefore, we are not teachers of a doctrine born of the human mind, but we are in conscience bound to embrace and follow the doctrine which Christ Our Lord taught and which He solemnly commanded His Apostles and their successors to teach (Matthew 28:19-20).” – Pope Pius XII, Encyclical, Ad Sinarum Gentem, 1954

    • Leo,

      “Well, as Billy Boy Clinton would say, it all depends on what you by the word “positive”. It’s not the word that springs obviously to mind.”

      Exactly! You have hit the nail on the head there. Your superb post is once again thoroughly documented with excellent quotes that leave us in no doubt about the truth of the matter. It was chilling to read the Dutch bishop’s comment from Pope Francis saying that the implementation of Vatican II “is only half complete”. That is truly scary. I’ve never heard that before and I agree with you that the second half of the novus ordo revolution should be halted, but will it? We’ll find out at next year’s second part of the Synod on the Family.

  22. Leo,

    Another excellent post confirming once again the absolutely in-your-face evidence that Vatican II reform has no links whatever with the Church’s past, right down to the phenomenon of the Modernist Popes speaking of “the Spirit” in a way that is not Catholic. They sound like Pentecostal pastors. If it doesn’t chime with Sacred Tradition just claim that it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. How presumptuous!

    It seems they’ve forgotten that there is no contradiction in the Holy Ghost. So, we may ask, what “Spirit” is truly behind the Second Vatican Catastrophe?

    • Athanasius,

      “…Modernist Popes speaking of “the Spirit” in a way that is not Catholic. They sound like Pentecostal pastors. If it doesn’t chime with Sacred Tradition just claim that it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. How presumptuous!”

      Absolutely on the button. I always think of this reference to “the Spirit” at work in the Church as totally Protestant. Well said. Knew if we kept you long enough, you’d say something sensible!

      • Damsel of the Faith,

        Whilst I agree that Athanasius’s posts are excellent, and I salute him for that, I find the comments on this blog to be of the highest possible standard from all the regulars and I would be hard pressed to name a “favourite”. They’re a marvellous team.

        • Michaela,

          I don’t think DOTF meant to imply that other comments on this blog are somehow inferior to mine. I took from her post that my style of writing appeals more to her.

          As it happens, I like the way Leo writes. But that doesn’t mean I consider other contributors to be inferior. I enjoy all the comments posted, except those of the trolls of course. But I have preferences based on writing style, that’s a normal human trait.

          Besides all that, I paid good money to have DOTF place those favourable comments about me, so back off!!

      • DOTF,

        Oh he is, is he? Athanasius? Your favourite poster? Really? Have you NO idea how to scale the pay heights here? Now, no use in back-peddling at this late stage. You’ll only make things worse. Remember the old saying “letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in”…

        Listen, DOTF, the last thing I want to do is insult you but it IS on my list 😀

      • Athanasius,

        My “LOL” comment was a response to your reply to editor about a sensible comment at last! I’d hate you to think it was because you’re Damsel’s favourite blogger!

      • Editor,

        That still keeps her a few levels above me!

        “…some pal you turned out to be!” Said Caesar to Brutus. Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!

        • Now wait a minute, everyone. 😀

          No fighting! And no money involved! I love everyone here, of course. lol Or I wouldn’t be here. I see some strong Catholics around here.

          What nonsense is that? You are a million times above me, Athanasius!

          *mumbles* My goodness is every touchy or what! Ah well, I’ll stand by what I said about Athanasius, BUT doesn’t mean everyone else is inferior to him. 😀

  23. DOTF,

    I’m quite sure there will be no fight. Too many smiley faces for that! If I knew how to post them I’d stick a couple of dozen up myself, except when responding to Michaela and Editor. They would get the wee faces with the sticky out tongue!!

  24. Athanasius and Editor

    I agree completely that all the talk we hear of “the Spirit” nowadays does indeed “sound like Pentecostal pastors”, and gives the impression of being “totally Protestant”. It is yet one more conciliar novelty, which has undoubtedly been given traction by the mania for false ecumenism. On that particular subject, it’s worth noting that Pope Francis’ longstanding very friendly and public relations with the late “bishop” Tony Palmer, evangelical pastors (at least one of whom happens to possess his very own private jet), and various pentecostal groups is in rather stark contrast to his utterances about Catholics who “count rosaries”, seek “doctrinal security”, live in a state of grace, and hold the faith of the Martyrs.

    To be honest, my first thought when hearing talk of “the Spirit” is always the question, “now what Spirit is that?” I have no intention of boosting their visitor numbers by clicking on their website without a very good cause, but I have no reason to doubt that the ultra-Modernist ACP still claims that “full acceptance that the Spirit speaks through all people” is needed so that “the breadth of the Spirit will flow more freely.” When dealing with Modernists the question is hardly unreasonable.

    It is certainly a question that springs to mind, when reading the following in your Angelus article, Athanasius:

    “Quite how this ‘pastoral’ Council, declared to be non-doctrinal and non-infallible, came to impose a new ecclesiology, a new liturgy, a new Code of Canon Law, a new Catechism and a new orientation centered on the ‘dignity of the human person’ rather than on baptism in Christ through His Church, is a mystery known only to the Almighty.God knows, it has been a whirlwind of evolution which for forty years has sown confusion in the true
    Church of Our Lord. It has eroded authority, suppressed dogmatic teaching, disrupted unity, left many Catholics bewildered, broken many hearts and resulted in mass apostasy from the faith. There simply is no more diplomatic a way to put it. And now Pope Francis seems to be focussing on even more radical changes that will see greater deterioration take place.”

    I’ve written here before that to consider what has happened in the Church over the last fifty years as the work of the Holy Ghost strikes me as being, objectively speaking, gross blasphemy.

    The late Father John Hardon SJ, who was not a “traditionalist” believed that it “is not in the best tradition of Christian prudence” that “we should just allow the Pentecostal movement to go on and then see what happens”. He also stated his belief that “latter-day Pentecostalism is in the same essential stream with Gnosticism, Montanism, and Illuminism”. In the interest of full disclosure, Father Hardon did also appear to believe at the time (1971) in “authentic renewal in the Spirit inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council”.

    The following words of the first Vatican Council’s document, Pastor Aeternus need constant repetition in these days of diabolical disorientation (They will be familiar to those who have read Athanasius’s Angelus article):

    “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.” -Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4

    Those words certainly serve as valuable magisterial counterweight to all the conciliar Pentacostalism that is wafting about. As to the correct Catholic understanding of the role of the Holy Ghost, Cardinal Manning explains:

    “this office of the Holy Ghost consists in the following operations: first, in the original illumination and revelation…; secondly, in the preservation of that which was revealed, or, in the other words, in the prolongation of the light of truth by which the Church in the beginning was illuminated; thirdly, in assisting the Church to conceive, with greater fullness, explicitness, and clearness, the original truth in all its relations; fourthly, in defining that truth in words, and in the creation of a sacred terminology, which becomes a permanent tradition and a perpetual expression of the original revelation; and lastly, in the perpetual enunciation and proposition of the same immutable truth in every age.” – Cardinal Henry Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, Burns, Oates: London, 1909.

    The final clause clearly sets out the Holy Ghost’s role in combatting Modernism.

    I can’t avoid the thought that talk of “the Spirit” is just one more tactic used by Modernists to dodge around immutable truth and dogma, and inflict novelty. And most definitely linked to that thought is the almost guaranteed certainty that those who nowadays frequently use the term “the Spirit” have an undisguised antipathy for Thomism. Frankly, it would be more than a bit surprising to find Pope Francis a strong admirer of Thomism (those who disagree might care to read or re-read Evangelii Gaudium). No such remark was ever made about the pre-Conciliar Popes.

    Pope Saint Pius X identified Thomism as the remedy against Modernism, in Pascendi. Also, “We admonish professors to bear well in mind that they cannot set aside Saint Thomas especially in metaphysical questions, without grave disadvantage.” (Pascendi, #45)

    Pope Pius XI describe Thomism as the “Christian, Catholic Roman philosophy” and “as innumerable documents of every kind attest, the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own” (Studiorum Ducem) and made clear that “no Doctor of the Church is so terrifying and formidable to modernists and other enemies of the Catholic faith as Aquinas.” ( Apostolic letter, Officorum Omnium)

    As is obvious from the above, Thomism is one of the main weapons against the deadly New Theology that has caused devastation to the Church since the middle of the last century. And what “spirit”, we may ask, was driving that New Theology?

    Finally,

    The home page looks great, Editor. Many thanks to webmaster and all the team.

    • Leo,

      “I can’t avoid the thought that talk of “the Spirit” is just one more tactic used by Modernists to dodge around immutable truth and dogma, and inflict novelty”

      Exactly. Invoke “the Spirit” and quell all criticism. It’s worked incredibly well down the road at the Institute of Useful Idiots.

      I’m also very interested in your comments about Fr John Hardon SJ – I’ve never quite known what to make of him. I’m disappointed to read his statement about the Holy Spirit-authentic renewal-Vatican II… words that should never appear in the same sentence unless accompanied by “NOT”!

      I note your comment about the ACP website but I do occasionally visit to see what they’re up to now. I haven’t managed to do so for a while but will check them out before the next edition of our newsletter, to see if there’s more shockers for our “When Irish Eyes are NOT smiling” dossier.

      Thank you for your kind praise of the new website. I’ll be passing it all on to webmaster. I mean, you think I’m looking for praise? You think anyone would ever say a kind word to me, in recognition of my hard work, good looks and downright sanctity of life? Or am I destined to offer up your jibes and insults? See if I care…
      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  25. “If the Church were not divine this Council (Vatican II) would have buried it.” – Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, 30 days, September 1993, p. 50.

    Michaela

    The report about the Dutch bishops’ ad limina meeting last December was carried in one of those Modernists cheerleading rags, so I hope people will understand my decision to not include a link, and in so doing limit their view numbers.

    The statement about the implementation of Vatican II being “only half complete” should be a strong contender for some “did he really say that” award. What exactly is left of Catholics’ patrimony, the patrimony held and passed on by our forbearers through “dungeon, fire and sword”, that hasn’t been attacked and pillaged by the Modernists? The liturgy, the Divine Office, Church architecture, the canonisations process, the rite of exorcism, the seminaries, religious life, schools, colleges, catechesis, prayers and devotions, to name some of the more obvious atrocities. You are quite correct, Michaela to mention the two part Synod, as it is beyond reasonable debate that the revolutionaries are now coming for Doctrine.

    As Cardinal Suenens (“Vatican II was the French Revolution in the Church”) rather obligingly and informatively explained “one could make an astonishing list for propositions taught yesterday, and the day before in Rome, as the only acceptable ones, and which were eliminated by the Conciliar Fathers”( Interview I.C.I 15/5/69).Once again, Catholics faithful to Tradition have their case made for them.

    Does anyone else here find the uncontained hubris of the Modernists offensive and revealing in equal measure? We know where pride comes from.

    It is a rather obvious remark to question how a pastoral council of fifty years ago, which consciously and deliberately “opened itself widely to the contemporary world” (Pope John Paul II, Dominum et Vificantem) has anything useful to contribute to the salvation of souls today. That “contemporary world” was the era of Kennedy, Khruschev, McMillan, De Gualle, before moon landings, colour TV, and commonplace foreign holidays, before the demonic deluge of pornography, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and widespread divorce amongst Catholics.

    To question the current relevance of a pastoral Council held before most of today’s Catholic were born, is justified on grounds of reason alone, even for anyone ignorant of the errors, novelties, ambiguities and omissions in the documents of the Council, and even for anyone ignorant of the fact that the Council quite deliberately and shamefully refused to condemn the greatest secular evil in history, Communism, which at that time was casting its menace in all four corners of the globe.

    Evidence on the pastoral nature of the Council, and on the fact that it defined no new dogma has been provided on this blog many times. That evidence is reinforced by the words of two Doctors of the Church, words which might have been written with the novel and exceptional Vatican II in mind.

    St. Robert Bellarmine SJ, pointed out that, “Only by the words of the general Council do we know whether the fathers of that council intended to engage their prerogative infallibility” (De Conciliis, I, 17) while it is a matter of fact that Vatican II was in marked contrast with the norm as it is set out in the following statement of St. Francis De Sales:

    “For what are the principal causes why general Councils assembled, save to put down and cast out the heretics, the Schismatics, the Scandalizer, as wolves from the sheepfold? As that first Assembly was held in Jerusalem to resist those who belong to the heresy of the Pharisees” – The Catholic Controversy, Burns & Oats, London, 1886, pg. 218.

    The following words of Father Vincent McNabb OP, written in happier and more secure times for Catholic souls, should counter much of the overplaying propaganda of the conciliar “French Revolution” madness and the Modernist desire to portray 1962 as some sort of year zero for the Church:

    “Neither the Pope nor General Councils are ends in themselves; they are relative entities. They look towards the Church.” – Infallibility (London, 1927), Sheed and Ward, p. 53.

    “If there have been antipopes still more have there been anti-councils. If papal actions must be distinguished into official, semi-official, and personal, equally so must the acts of councils.” – ibid, p. 78.

    “By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matt. 7:15-17)

    What the Church has experienced over the last five decades must surely represent the parable of the mustard seed in reverse. What was flourishing, vigorous, visible and secure, has, thanks large to the herbicide of Modernism, been reduced to what appears to be wasteland overrun by weeds and covered by poisonous waste.

    Here is the testimony, from all of thirty years ago, of a witness who despite everything, never managed to shake free of his filial attachment to the Council, even going so far as to blame the media for the disaster, as recently as twenty months ago:

    “Certainly the results of Vatican II seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Pope Paul VI. Expected was a new Catholic unity, and instead we have been exposed to dissension which, to use the words of Pope Paul VI, seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence that has developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result, therefore, seems negative. I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work: it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavourable for the Church.”
    -Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 24, 1984, L’Osservatore Romano

    And yet, as previously posted, we are told by Pope Francis that “the Church has never been in better shape, and is experiencing a very positive moment”(Address a group of priest, 16 September 2013) and “half of the work (of the Council) has still to be done” (as reported by Bishop Henricks of Haalem-Amsterdam last December). What that “work” involves should exercise the minds and concern of every faithful Catholic. No doubt a significant part of it will be undertaken over the next twelve months.

    Rather than implementation, many faithful Catholics will be praying for a quiet private burial. The Second Council of Constantinople, held in 553, was described in 1934, by renowned historian Monsignor Philip Hughes as “the strangest of all the general councils” (A History of the Church, vol. 1: The Church and the World in Which the Church Was Founded ,1934; London: Sheed and Ward, 1979, p. 282). That particular superlative has surely changed address since. The present diabolical disorientation may be unprecedented but Catholics should always draw reassurance from the Church’s past.

    Rather than constant talk of illusory renewal and New Springtime, the words of a previous Pope and Doctor of the Church bear repetition; words which, by the grace of God, will precede the long overdue work of restoration and return to Tradition.

    “Yet still we have done as you desired, making no mention of this synod.”
    -From Pope St. Gregory the Great, Letter to Constantius, Bishop of Milan (Letters IV.39)

    “Yet, as Vatican II has proven to be, Constantinople II was an unmitigated disaster, and was recognized as such by a great many contemporary observers. Neo-Catholics who condemn traditionalist critics of Vatican II ought to become familiar with this ill-starred council….” The Great Façade, Christopher Ferrara and Thomas Woods

    Those quotes are contained in the following link:
    http://iteadthomam.blogspot.ie/2010/05/on-1457-anniversary-of-opening-of.html

  26. Leo,

    Just read this in a Zenit report:

    “…All the services the Church does help us “to get that light,” he said. “A service without this light is not good.”

    Although the Pontiff reminded faithful that over the centuries, the Church wanted to have its own light, he decried, “She was wrong.”

    Recalling the widow in today’s Gospel and how she was unknown, humble, and focused on her lost spouse, he stressed the Church must likewise be focused on her Spouse: Christ, the Eucharist.

    “The great virtue of the Church,” he said, “must not shine on its own, but to shine the light that comes from her spouse…”

    These words were spoken by Pope Francis during today’s morning Mass sermon at Casa Santa Marta. Absolutely unbelievable! This is Pope Francis actually stating that the Church has been wrong for centuries, which is the same as saying that he is wiser and more blessed than his sainted pre-Vatican II predecessors. Things just get worse for the Church every time this Pontiff opens his mouth. It’s like reading the sermons of a riddler just trying to figure out what he’s talking about.

    What exactly does he mean when he says the Church was trying to shine on its own, without its spouse. What is this double speak coming from the mouth of a Roman Pontiff?

    The entire short sermon can be read at Zenit: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-morning-homily-church-is-to-boast-of-god-not-itself?utm_campaign=dailyhtml&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dispatch

    • The Church shines BECAUSE She belongs to Her Spouse. She shows forth the Glory of God.

      As I say, every time the Pope opens his mouth, an atomic bomb falls on the Church. Quite literally, it would seem…

    • Athanasius,

      I’ve only got seconds, literally, at my disposal right now, so will read the entire homily later, but suffice to say that for a pontiff to fall into the elementary error of separating Christ from His Church, is beyond belief. I have avoided posting any articles which might leave us open to the charge of schism, or a schismatic mentality, but this one from The Remnant is so thoroughly documented from Fathers, Canonists, Saints and Doctors of the Church that a few days ago I considered posting it as a separate thread. I think – time being short in the CT office right now, and the latest bombshell quote from Pope Francis which you quote here – that it might suffice to comment on it on this thread.

      For the record, however, our policy is unaffected by anything written in the linked article – we recognise the election of Pope Francis as valid unless and until those with authority to do so formally announce otherwise, and we accept his papal authority when defending Catholic Tradition or making other legitimate pronouncements. As with his predecessors since Vatican II, we reject everything that contradicts Catholic Tradition, including his latest separation of Christ from His Church.

  27. Editor,

    I read that Remnant article with interest but consider it to amount to little more than the articulation of a theory that will never be put to the test. For this reason, I think it is a bit of a waste of column inches.

    Church condemnation of heretical Popes in the past, and there have been one or two, has always been decreed posthumously by a Papal successor. There is no example in Tradition of a Pope being deposed by a Council during his lifetime.

    Besides that obvious obstacle, the article presupposes a Catholic hierarchy which is united in doctrinal orthodoxy and unanimously scandalised by the Pope’s heterodoxy, which is definitely not the case in the Church right now. The fact is that a majority of prelates are as questionable as Pope Francis and his conciliar predecessors.

    This passage from my Angelus article sums up the approach that must be taken with these deviant authorities, always in charity and with respect for the office they hold of course:

    “Commenting on this Scripture passage (St. Paul’s correction of Peter), St.Thomas Aquinas writes: “There being an imminent danger to the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith…” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 33, a. 4). St. Robert Bellarmine concurs with St. Thomas in this matter and distinguishes for us between legitimate resistance and forbidden judgment. He writes: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the soul or who disturbs civil order, or, above all who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. 2, chap. 29, in Opera Omnia [Paris: Pedone Lauriel, 1871], vol. I, p. 418).”

    What this passage illustrates perfectly, I believe, is the duty of Catholics at all levels in the Church to know their faith and to defend it with holy zeal, even if that means challenging a superior and resisting his dangerous ideas. If everyone did that today then there would be no crisis in the Church.

    My own point of view as regards the conciliar Popes is that one day, when the Church is fully restored, a future Pope, quite possibly at the head of a Council, will review each of their Pontificates and will roundly condemn their Modernist errors and the great harm they have done to the Church, including Pope Benedict XVI who was by no means a sound Traditional Pope as some of the more naive like to believe. It should be recalled, for example, that Benedict held (and still holds) the heretical belief that Church and State should be separate. Nowhere near as destructive as Francis, he was nevertheless part of the problem because he was/is a liberal. He also ran away from the Papacy when things became difficult for him. He wasn’t forced out, he bowed out and thereby opened the way for this present disastrous Papacy.

    This brings me to another question that may well arise in future, which is the canonical legitimacy of Francis’ election. Given the secrecy surrounding the conclave, it is difficult for the faithful to know what really went on there. Suffice it to say that Benedict laid down some very stringent rules as to what the Cardinals could and could not do during that conclave. One of those rules, binding under pain of excommunication, was that factions were forbidden to collude in the election of a candidate of their choice. This raises the very pertinent question of how we could have ended up with so diametrically opposite a Pope to Benedict. I mean, is it possible that the Cardinals in conclave felt unanimously inspired to elect Bergoglio knowing his reputation as an extreme liberal? And did they just decide to ignore the fact that as a Jesuit, he was forbidden by the rule of his Order to accept the Papacy?

    Regardless of these strange goings-on, we have to accept Francis as Pope and pray for him. But we also have a duty before God to resist his innovations and dangerous ideas, lest we incur the guilt of sin by silence or consent. This Pope is dangerous, no doubt about that, but he is Pope. Our Lord’s test of all of us, right up to the Cardinals, is how much we know our faith and how prepared we are to risk all in its defence. It is clear that many are lost to those considerations today; the papolatrists, the willfully ignorant, the indifferent and the careerists. That’s why Our Lord has permitted so great a trial, to expose the general laxity at all levels. He is still in charge of His Church and He will end this punishment when sufficient numbers begin at last to open their eyes, not to mention their ears.

    • One of those rules, binding under pain of excommunication, was that factions were forbidden to collude in the election of a candidate of their choice. 

      Just yesterday Fr Ray Blake drew our attention to an allegation that just such a lobby for Bergoglio was involved. I’ll give you one guess who is said to have organized it. Yes, your right – Cormac Murphy-O’Connor! Now I’ve no idea whether it’s true or not, but it would go along way to explaining how we ended up with such an extremist after just five ballots. (1)

      In an earlier post Fr Blake came up with the intriguing suggestion that the cardinals elected Bergoglio because they figured that compared to him they (or at least some of them) would appear to be paragons of orthodoxy! (2)

      (1) http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/intriguing.html
      (2) http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/was-that-why-he-was-elected.html

      • CD,

        It’s very difficult to say what went on in that conclave, but I have to say that I’m having the hardest time believing that a unanimous number of Cardinals just happened to vote for so controversial a candidate as Cardinal Bergoglio. If they did, knowing what the knew about his time in Argentina, then we would have to conclude that the College of Cardinals is in serious, serious trouble.

    • Athanasius,

      “…the article presupposes a Catholic hierarchy which is united in doctrinal orthodoxy and unanimously scandalised by the Pope’s heterodoxy, which is definitely not the case in the Church right now. The fact is that a majority of prelates are as questionable as Pope Francis and his conciliar predecessors.”

      Correct. And, in my haste, I omitted “posthumously” from my statement that “we recognise the election of Pope Francis as valid unless and until those with authority to do so formally announce otherwise [which will be after his death]” .

      It goes without saying that I agree with you that the duty of every Catholic to thoroughly know and be able to explain the Faith, is greater than ever. But there, I said it anyway!

  28. Athanasius

    I was going to say that those words of Pope Francis are indeed shocking, but the scandalous shock element, as we all know, has long since departed from this papacy. There is now a certain night follows day inevitability to the increasing catalogue of seriously disturbing papal statements which would have been utterly inconceivable before the Council. Chances are there will be something else by the end of the week.

    At this stage it is stretching credibility beyond reason for anyone to put forward the spur of the moment, confused thinking excuse, or that old favourite the botched translation: once or twice maybe, but not when this is becoming a continuous stream of utterances which are virtually guaranteed to trouble any faithful, knowledgeable Catholic.

    On a purely natural level, lack of clarity of expression is totally unacceptable in any profession, indeed in everyday life. It is taken for granted as an elementary skill of any half educated child, let alone a Pope.

    Not all, apparently, are having difficulty understanding the messages. The following might be worthy of a mental note, for future reference.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/07/for-record-essential-rule-of.html

    Pope Pius VI had some very forceful words on the subject of attempts to introduce ambiguity into doctrinal discussions. 220 years ago he exposed the errors of the false council of Pistoia by means of the papal bull, Auctorem Fidei. It included the following words:

    “Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements that disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged.”

    On the matter raised by the Pope’s words at issue here, it’s nothing more than stating the obvious that the human element of the Church is weak and flawed. A passing familiarity with the New Testament is enough to make the point. There have been tares amongst the good grain from the beginning.

    Hilaire Belloc once made the essential point in typically forceful terms:

    “Any purely human institution run by such a group of knaves, fools, and cutthroats wouldn’t have lasted a fortnight.”

    Cardinal Consalvi’s famous quip to Napoleon along the same lines must surely have given the Emperor cause for thought.

    Whatever his intentions, the Pope’s language and lack of clarity, as reported by Zenit, must surely besmirch the holy and sacral marks of the Church in the minds of many. The image portrayed of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, is one of another worldly collective, offering some “service”. Blurring the distinction between the supernatural and the natural is of course one of the main hallmarks of Modernism.

    The Catechism of the Council of Trent deals with the Holy mark of the Church in Part 1, Chapter X, Question XIV. It states:

    “She is also to be called holy, because, as the body, she is united to her holy head, Christ the Lord (Ephes. Iv. 15, sq.), the fountain of all holiness, from whom are diffused the graces of the Holy Spirit, and the riches of the divine bounty.”

    It hardly takes much exercising of the mind to be reminded, by the Pope’s words, of another reprehensible conciliar novelty, that derived from Luther’s principle of the “sinning” Church, simultaneously just and a sinner. From the notion of “sinning” Church, it is a short skip to the concept of Ecclesia semper reformanda (Church always to be reformed). The modernists have of course been merrily putting that to music for five decades. What does anyone consider to be the basis for the objectionable “apologies” programme implemented by Pope John Paul II if not this “sinning” Church?

    Anyone who has Romano Amerio classic analysis of the Council, Iota Unum should find pages 127 and 128 of assistance when reading the Zenit report.

    “In the Summa Theologica, III, q.8,a.3 ad secundum, and the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in the section on the creed, it is explained how the sins, of the baptised do not prejudice the holiness of the Church, but this remains nonetheless a complex notion which only a rigorous distinction can render clear. A definite distinction must be drawn between the natural element, and the supernatural element which produces the new creature; between the subjective and the objective element; between the historical element and the suprahistorical element which operates within it.”

    The Church is of course holy because Christ is the Head of the Church. The Church is holy because She is the sole ark of salvation, the exclusive mediator of salvific graces through Her sacraments. She is wholly because under the guidance and protection of the Holy Ghost, She has constantly taught the truth in matters of faith and morals.

    Individual members of teaching and learning Church may be flawed, but not Her doctrine.

    “…those who belong to the Church will find themselves preaching a doctrine which is better than their own deeds.” (p. 128)

    Pope Francis isn’t the first Pope to cause confusion.

    “Paul VI conceded to the Church’s critics the fact that ‘the history of the Church has many long pages that are not at all edifying’ but he did not distinguish clearly enough between the objective holiness of the Church and the subjective holiness of its members. In another address he put it in these terms: ‘ The Church ought to be holy and good, it ought to be as Christ intended and designed it to be, and sometimes we see that it is not worthy of the title.’ It would seem that the Pope is turning an objective note of the Church into a subjective one…It is not Christians who make the Church holy, but the Church that makes them holy.” (p 128)

    I’ll close with the words of Pope Gregory XVI from his 1832 encyclical, Mirari Vos, yet one more magisterial example of what Catholics are now missing. I’m sure, Athanasius, that you will agree that this short encyclical is a must read for anyone seeking a stand up, robust, crystal clear setting out of Catholic teaching, and correct reading of the “signs of the times”.

    “But since, to use the words of the Fathers of the Council of Trent, it is certain that the Church was instructed by Christ and His Apostles, and that the Holy Ghost never fails, by daily assistance, to teach us all truth, it is the height of absurdity and outrage towards it to pretend that a restoration and regeneration have become necessary to secure its existence and its progress; as if it could be believed that it was thus subject either to faintness, darkness or other alterations of this kind. And what do these innovators seek, except to give new foundations to an institution which would thereby be only man’s work, and realize what Saint Cyprian cannot sufficiently detest, by rendering the Church human, from all divine that it is?” Mirari Vos, #11

    • Leo,

      “It is not Christians who make the Church holy, but the Church that makes them holy.” (p 128)”

      In a nutshell!

      Thanks for yet another brilliant post, Leo, packed with unanswerable quotes from impeccable sources. Your closing quote – from Mirari Vos # 11 – is superb and should have closed down Vatican II after the opening session. If only!

  29. Leo,

    I’ll second what Editor has written. Your post, once again, sums it up in a nutshell. Why can’t the authorities in the Church see these things? Truly, a “diabolical disorientation”.

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