Church Crisis: Educating The Masses…

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We often receive emails asking questions about the state of the Church and how to deal with it. I’m afraid that I sometimes feel impatience with certain enquirers, especially if they are members of the older generation, when we were all taught very clearly that our Catholic Faith could never contradict Reason. Therefore, it seems to me, any (older) person of average intelligence should know, through their Catholic sense, that everything, from the introduction of a new Mass right up to and including Amoris Laetita, cannot be from God.  In any event, I replied to the most recent enquirer  – who is a younger Catholic, really seeking answers to questions others have asked – by sending some suggested reading. I think, however, that these latest questions might spark some very knowledgeable and interesting responses from our bloggers, so I recommended that our enquirer wait while greater minds than mine go to work…

Catholic Truth Question Time

(1)   Were there things in the Church that were needing ‘fixed’ at the time the Second Vatican Council was called?

(2)   Was the Mass in Latin alienating to people and preventing them from becoming close to Our Lord? Note:  I would like to know where to find evidence to back up my opinion that this was not the case – apart from statistics which show that the Church was thriving in the 1960s

(3)   Where did the initiative to change the Mass come from….did the faithful want it? And if it did come from an infiltration of  Freemasons in the Church how can we prove this e.g. I have heard that Bugnini was a Freemason but where is the evidence?

Well, folks?  To work!  

103 responses

  1. The only thing needing fixed before Vatican II, IMHO, was the 24 hour fast. That was very hard, nothing to eat from midnight and maybe Mass wasn’t until 12 noon. Lots of people felt faint, me included, LOL!

    I can’t think of anything else. The old Mass was definitely not alienating. Nobody thought about it. I never heard anybody saying they didn’t like the Latin Mass, and we wouldn’t have thought about missing Mass without being really unwell.

    • Josephine,

      I have to agree about the fast. The pass-keepers in my parish used to joke that I knew “what they put in the water” since I nearly always had to go out at some point for a drink, feeling faint. Apparently, the exception allowing water was a fairly late addition – some bloggers here remember a time when water was not permitted! Goodness, I don’t know how I’d have managed at all. Anyway, it cheers me up just to know that I’m not the oldest kid on the block on this blog!

      I agree about the Mass – I never heard anyone expressing a desire for a vernacular Mass. Never. On the contrary, I remember the disbelief when it was introduced.

    • Josephine

      I don’t think it was a 24 hour fast, 12 at the most. It was from midnight and I don’t ever remember a Sunday Mass after 12 noon.

      The gluttons could always go to the “first Mass”, as it was called, if they were so hungry.

  2. Editor

    If you don’t mind me saying, the questions posed are really academic. What we should focus on always is the vast difference in fruits.

    With the Old Mass, the Mass of the saints and martyrs, the Mass that goes back in its essentials to St. Peter himself, the seminaries and religious orders were full; the chapels were packed (yes, often for four Masses on Sunday); every city parish had at least three priests, all celibate and dressed in black; there was regular Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, rosaries and novenas in all parishes; the faithful received Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling; there were no dissenting voices preaching heresy or immorality; children knew their faith well through Catechetical instruction; the Pope was respected all over the world so that when he spoke governments took serious note, etc., etc.

    Compare these good fruits to the desert we see today; to the hereies, the dissention amongst bishops and clerics, the loss of vocations, the closure of seminaries, religious houses and parish churches on a grand scale, the loss of belief in the Real Presence, the irreverence in church, the banality of liturgical rites, the invasion of laity into the Sanctuary, if indeed the church has a Sanctuary, altar girls, Protestant Communion under both kinds, lay-led services, clerical sexual scandals and the apostasy of millions from the faith.

    I don’t think we need ask whose spirit took over at Vatican II for it was clearly not the spirit of God.

    As for things that may have needed changed before the Council. Yes, the Church has always made changes to certain things in order to improve the faith, but never to harm it, as we see with conciliar reform. Certain reforms, then, were required, but these would hardly have affected the everyday livesof Catholics. What happened at Vatican II was not reform, it was a revolution in cope and mitre, as the late Michael Davies put it.

    By their fruits ye shall know them, said Our Lord. Well, a comparison between the Church pre-Vatican II and Post-Vatican II shows without question that bitter fruits of the latter. The spirit that invaded the Church during and after that council was the spirit of Lucifer, the rebel, the prince of darkness who disguises himself as an angel of light.

    • Athanasius,

      “As for things that may have needed changed before the Council. Yes, the Church has always made changes to certain things in order to improve the faith, but never to harm it, as we see with conciliar reform. Certain reforms, then, were required, but these would hardly have affected the everyday lives of Catholics.”

      But you don’t say what “things may have needed changed” or “what reforms were required”. I’d be interested to know because that is the sort of thing people do ask, who are blissfully unaware that the Church has changed for the worse. The assumption always is that reform was necessary.

      • Laura

        The point I was trying to make is that whatever needed changing in the Church before Vatican II, it was so insignificant to the everyday lives of Catholics that they would barely have noticed them. The way Vatican II has progressed it’s as if the entire Catholic Faith needed reformation.

        Anyway, the changes that may have been looked at in the Traditional sense of reform would have been of the kind that Pius XII had already begun; things like a restoration of the Holy Triduum during Holy Week, the dialogue Mass experiment, a restricted dispensation for those forced to work Sundays that they, and they alone, could fulfill their Sunday obligation at Saturday evening Mass. I’m not personally aware of anything that required immediate alteration in the Church pre-Vatican II, just some liturgical, canonical, disciplinary amendments that would not have posed any threat to the Mass or the Faith.

        Generally speaking, there was not much wrong with the Church in everyday parish life before the Council, at least not in the eyes of the priests and faithful. The Church was extremely healthy then and was even attracting many Anglicans to come home. The missions were also thriving. Now they are almost dead in the water.

        • I think it is not quite accurate to look back with rose tinted specs. I completely agree that little, if anything, needed changing in the liturgy. No one would have thought of the upheavals that have taken place in the Mass or wanted them. However we cannot pretend that abuses of priestly celibacy only began after Vat II. Some of the scandals in the schools in Ireland for example, the so called Magdalen laundries, the connivance with the forced emigration of children to Australia, all occurred before the Council. I think that particularly in Ireland, that when so many cases of abuse of children came out in the open the faith of the people took a huge battering from which it has not yet recovered.

          • Elizabeth

            The Magdalen laundries story has long been exposed as a lie. Read ‘Kathy’s Real Story’, by Hermann Kelly in which Kathy Byrne’s brother exposes her for the fraud she is. Kathy Byrne made a lot of money from her revelations about the Magdalen Sisters. The only problem for her is that she was NEVER in the laundries she wrote about. She made up the entire story.

            As for clerical celibacy scandals before Vatican II. Well, there may have been some but they were completely unheard of. There is not a single case from pre-Council days that anyone can quote from public records at the time. Now its an epidemic.

            No, the Church was not perfect before Vatican II, but clerical celibacy scandals were never a problem.

            Nor was Ireland as bad as it is portrayed today. Many of the scandals we hear about now, mostly relating to Post-Vatican II Ireland, are historical cases that could not be proved because the so-called perpetrators were dead and could not defend themselves. Additionally, money was being offered to anyone who testified. In Ireland they were putting posters up in shops informing people of how much they could get in they were abused by clerics. Money for testimony is hardly conducive to proper justice.

            I don’t believe even half the cases that have been brought, if I’m honest. The Ireland of Archbishop John Charles McQuade and President Eamon de Valera would never have tolerated such filth.

            • Athanasius,

              The case of Fr Taylor from Father Hudson’s home is at least one pre vat 2 case . He was convicted of assaults on boys in the home during the 1950’s. And at the trial it emerged that boys who had tried to complain to the nuns were severely punished by them.

              I have read Kathy’s story but while she lied I don’t think the book absolves the laundries.

              You are right that these scandals were not known about in the wider church until more recently. Doesn’t mean that they did not take place however. Priests were held in such high esteem and even feared in some places that children did not have the courage to come forward or were disbelieved if they did. Now these abusers were men who you might argue had a traditional formation in the seminaries of the day but somehow they slipped through the net.

              • Elizabeth,

                Semperfidelis told us in a previous discussion that she had actually worked in the Magadalene Laundries. Here’s the pertinent extract from her comment on the subject:

                “…As for Enda’s emotional spill on the Magdalene Laundries, what despicable lies. I worked in the Magdalene Laundry off the North Circular Road with the Legion of Mary and I found no such abuse as claimed. They were different times and corporal punishment was used in schools as elsewhere but I never saw cruelty. Some of those lasses were very difficult to say the least and we had to be very firm with them. However, they were well treated, well fed, well dressed and had regular entertainment. I remember accompanying a group of them to see The Song of Bernadette at the cinema and they had money for popcorn and soft drinks. Those nuns were saints.”

                “Kathy” – on the other hand – who made the headlines with her attacks on the nuns, was denounced by her own family as a liar. I’ve read the book by Hermann Kelly: Kathy’s Real Story – A culture of false allegations exposed and the information provided on the back cover alone is sufficient to – at the very least – cast serious doubt on her allegations.

              • Elizabeth

                I have never heard about the house run by Frs. Taylor and Hudson, but I would venture to suggest that they are less “at least one example” than the only example. I would appreciate a link or something to check that story out, if you wouldn’t mind.

                Anyway, compare that one case with the flood of cases we hear about today and it tells you all you need to know.

                I beleive Editor has sufficiently answered the Magdalen Sisters myth.

                  • Elizabeth,

                    The media reports give the impression that the Catholic Church is a centre of evil and child abuse is at the top of their list. This is utterly untrue. I’ve copied a report with link to source below – From The Media Report.com “TheMediaReport.com was founded in 2004 by David F. Pierre, Jr. (more) and has since grown into an educational cooperative to chronicle and monitor the mainstream media’s coverage of the Catholic Church sex abuse narrative.”

                    1
                    IT’S NOT ABOUT CATHOLIC PRIESTS

                    FACT: Catholic priests abuse at a rate far lower than that of other males in the general population.
                    Read more
                    2
                    THE GRAND CONSPIRACY THAT WASN’T
                    FACT
                    : You would never know it from the media’s lurid and obsessive coverage, but the vast bulk of reported cases of abuse stem only from a historical anomaly, as most allegations occurred during only a small sliver of time during the Sexual Revolution from the 1960s to the early 1980s. And despite media suggestions of dark conspiracies and cover-ups, the Church – like every other institution at the time – simply followed the then-prevailing view of experts in the field that offenders could be successfully rehabilitated and sent accused priests off for treatment, rather than reporting them to police, which resulted in a temporary spike in recidivism.
                    Read more
                    3
                    THE REAL NEWS: CURRENT ACCUSATIONS AGAINST CATHOLIC PRIESTS ARE EXTREMELY RARE
                    FACT:
                    Almost all accusations against Catholic priests date from many decades ago, and indeed nearly half of all abuse accusations concern priests who are already long dead. In a body of 77 million people, contemporaneous accusations of abuse against Catholic clergy in the United States are very rare, recently averaging only 8 allegations deemed “credible” by review boards each year.
                    Read more
                    4
                    THE STORY THE MEDIA WON’T REPORT: THE EPIDEMIC OF ABUSE AND COVER-UPS GOING ON TODAY IN OUR OWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
                    FACT:
                    The incidence of sexual abuse by teachers in public schools today has been estimated to be “more than 100 times” that by Catholic priests, and there is alarming evidence of school officials covering up abuse and failing to report suspected cases to authorities. Yet the mainstream media has largely ignored this shocking story while still rehashing decades-old allegations of abuse by Catholic priests.
                    Read more
                    5
                    THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TODAY: A MODEL FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
                    FACT:
                    The Catholic Church is likely the safest environment for children today. Read more Source

                    I would add only that the Independent is not the most reliable newspaper in the world. I had occasion some years ago to lodge a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission when the editor refused to permit me space on the letters page to correct the falsehoods in a report about Catholic Truth at a time when we had published reports on the extent of homosexuality within the Church in Scotland – following requests from outside sources, including clergy, to do so. The PCC found in our favour and the paper was forced to publish my letter online. Click here to read the PCC statement.

                    However, in fairness I should point out that other newspapers were just as bad and the PCC also found in our favour when we complained about coverage in The Sunday Times. Water under the bridge now, but worth reminding ourselves from time to time that just because it says so in a newspaper, even allegedly prestigious newspapers, doesn’t mean it’s true.

                    Even in cases were most of the reporting is, in the nature of things, factual, such as a court case, there may still be inaccuracies or falsehoods. I remember a solicitor, who sat through a trial in the north of Scotland where a Religious Sister was accused of abuse, telling me that the reports in the newspapers bore little resemblance to the facts given during the trial. “Inconvenient facts” were not reported. So, it’s always healthier to take what we read with a pinch of salt – except if we read it in Catholic Truth, of course! Different rules apply to us – we’d be hauled before the courts if we got the punctuation wrong in certain types of reports. Enough said!

                  • Elizabeth

                    Just can’t get my head around victims waiting 40 years before coming forward, especially when there’s compensation on offer. I’m not saying the priest in question didn’t commit the crimes of which he was accused, just that it doesn’t feel like a fair trial when there’s a 4 decade lapse between the alleged crimes and the court case. That’s why the courts used to have a thing called the statute of limitations, to ensure that the accused was tried fairly within a reasonable time of the crime(s) he was accused of. The other stuff in that report about the malicious nuns sounded extremely far fetched to me. This is not how true justice is supposed to be served.

                    At any rate, a few cases pre-Vatican II hardly constitutes a comparison with those raised post-Council. As far as I’m concerned this demonstrates a healthier, holier Church before the conciliar reformation.

                    • Athanasius,

                      This isn’t really a thread about abuse by clergy so I won’t say more except to add that the fact that ‘you cannot get your head around victims waiting 40 years be fore coming forward’ does suggest a profound ignorance of the depths of the damage done to children by sexual abuse . It attacks their very being and sense of self leaving them with undeserved shame which is pushed down deep and sometimes results in lifelong emotional or behaviourable problems. Actually speaking about their experience is difficult and painful, even when you suggest that financial compensation is an incentive.

                      Of course the vast majority of our priests and religious are innocent of these crimes and the press have a field day when something does come to light, not only reported in the Independent by the way.

                      All I was saying in the first place is that we cannot pretend that everything was perfect before Vatican II.

                    • Elizabeth,

                      I don’t think anyone does pretend that everything was perfect before Vatican II. One of my earliest memories from school religious lessons is the teacher emphasising that the Church is both human and divine and that even priests and nuns commit sins and are far from perfect. So, that was stamped on my brain at an early age and has helped me to always distinguish between “the Church” and the sinful members of the Church.

                      If you read the Media Report article which I posted above, and visited their site to read more, you will see that the newspaper reporting and TV coverage of the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church is exaggerated out of all proportion, albeit that one such crime and sin is a monumental scandal. It’s disappointing to find Catholics falling for the propaganda instead of defending the Church – and the majority of priests who are completely trustworthy with children, citing the facts.

                    • Elizabeth

                      I don’t buy the psychological/emotional argument as the reason why so many have come forward decades after perpetrators are said to have abused them. It may account for some cases but by no means the numbers we’re seeing today. If authorities take the cash for testimony part off the table and the trend continues, then I will doff my hat to you and accept your (and modern psychology’s) argument. Until that happens I will remain a serious skeptic.

                      At any rate you are right to say that this thread is not about abuse, so I’ll leave it there as well.

                      Concerning your original point that the Church was not perfect before Vatican II. Well, I don’t think any of us would have argued to the contrary. The Church has always had her crosses to bear. This much is clear, however: it was much closer to perfect pre-Vatican II than it is post-Vatican II. That’s the reason we stand firm in opposition to the conciliar reformation.

        • Athanasius,

          I went to check for a source to find out why Pius XII allowed dialogue Masses because I just can’t stand them. I found a source which deals with it but which left me rather disturbed because it seems a good deal of what we complain about today was allowed in the past, including by earlier popes than Pius XII. I would not pay any attention if this information was on a modernist website but it is from a traditional site. Here’s the link – I would love to have your thoughts on it.
          http://www.betrayedcatholics.com/articles/a-catholics-course-of-study/traditionalist-heresies-and-errors/heresies-concerning-papal-authority/the-intent-of-pope-pius-xii-concerning-the-liturgy/

          • Nicky

            I think you are reading this history from the wrong perspective. The changes that were permitted by dispensation pre-Vatican II in no way compare with what happened after Vatican II.

            The Easter Triduum, for example, was an ancient and hallowed preparation for Easter. Not to everyone’s taste, and quite lengthy liturgically, it fell into disuse. But there were some who expressed a desire to restore the Eatser Triduum and the pre-Vatican II Popes, particularly Pius XII, permitted the experiment of a measured restoration to see how it would be received in parishes. This revival was apparently greatly received in the places were it was tried out because of its great solemnity and reverence. We can hardly say this about today’s innovations.

            The same stands with the dialogue Mass, which was just exaclty the same Mass in Latin as had been handed down with the exception that the faithful answered the responses with the altar servers, thereby participating more fully in the Mass. Again, not everyone welcomed the experiment, some considering the faithful’s responses to be distracting to their concentration. I find this with the sung Mass myself, but that does not mean the Mass is per se diminished in any way. It’s just a matter of personal taste. Note, though, that the Mass always remains the same, not at all comparible with the Modernist liturgy.

            As for priests facing the people, I never heard of that. This must have been a very rare exception to the rule as Pius XII specifically condemned in Mediator Dei the notion of replacing the high altar with the primitive table form. I assume that any such Masses under the pre-Vatican II Popes would only have been permitted if the altar was truly an altar, not a table as in the New Mass.

            In this regard it should be noted that France was particularly rebellious for a long time before Vatican II. Perhaps it was to certain French Bishops then that Pius granted an indult for the priest to face the people. But once again we must note that the Mass was always in Latin and offered at an altar, not a table.

            The website you linked to also mentioned something about lay people reading the Gospel and Epistle in English. I have never heard of this ever happening. As far as I know it is only the priest or a deacon who can read the Gospel out to the faithful, whether in Latin or English.

            All in all whatever liturgical dispensations or indults were granted to this or that region pre-Vatican II can by no means be compared with the horrendous innovations Post-Vatican II, which only pretended to be a return to early Christian practices but were in fact Protestant Reformer inventions. I’m sure you will see the difference.

            • Yes, when Saturday evening Masses were introduced, I remember that they were presented with the caveat that they were intended for those who were in some way impeded from going to Mass on Sunday.

              • Prognosticum,

                I remember that, too. Distinctly. Mention was made of shift workers, doctors and nurses. There was no suggestion that anyone who wanted to keep Sunday free for social purposes could attend the vigil Masses, as is now routinely the case.

        • Athanasius

          Was there any Saturday evening Masses before Vatican 11?

          I only remember confessions on a Saturday evening, as well as the pub of course.

          • Frankier

            Pope Pius XII authorised Saturday evening Masses for miners forced to work on Sundays. Apart from this one exceptional dispensation in the 1950s, however, there is no history of the Church ever permitting a fulfillment of Sunday obligation on a Saturday evening.

            Pope John Paul II introduced this novelty in 1983, making it available as an option to the universal Church. Now, strictly speaking, the Sunday observance under pain of mortal sin is a precept of the Church, not the divine law. As such the Pope may by his Pontifical authority alter Church law to admit Saturday as a choice for fulfiling the obligation.

            Having said this, whatever alterations the Pope makes to the law of the Church must be conducive to the greater good of both the Church and souls. If it proves not ot be then the Pope is obliged before God to reverse his change and restore the Traditional law.

            I’m sure no one would pretend that the introduction of Saturday evening vigil Masses has been anything other than an unmitigated disaster for the Church. It has led to a great disregard for the sanctity of the Sabbath day (Sunday) on the part of most Catholics so that now Catholics live their Sundays like any other day of the week.

            Another consideration is that by encouraging Saturday vigil Mass to the extent that they are now generally the norm for a majority of Catholics, the bishops have effectively replaced the Christian Sabbath with the Jewish one. Interesting development!

            • Athanasius, it’s always a pleasure to read your informative and well-presented posts. In reference to your statement: “by encouraging Saturday vigil Mass to the extent that they are now generally the norm for a majority of Catholics, the bishops have effectively replaced the Christian Sabbath with the Jewish one”, that is not actually 100% accurate. The original idea, I believe, was to follow the Jewish practice in which the Sabbath day actually began after sunset on the previous evening (in that sense they did make a very close comparison with Jewish custom), so in Catholicism, Sunday really begins on Saturday evening, hence the first Mass of Sunday would be the Vigil Mass. Indeed, the Liturgy of the Hours never celebrates the Vespers of Saturday, but always the first Vespers of Sunday. (As a matter of curiosity, do you know if the Latin Breviary prior to Vatican II followed the same approach?) However, how many Catholics know/believe/live Sunday in this way? I would hazard a guess that there are not very many!
              As for your “It has led to a great disregard for the sanctity of the Sabbath day (Sunday) on the part of most Catholics so that now Catholics live their Sundays like any other day of the week”, I couldn’t agree more. I miss Sunday as that special day of the week. How sad to see the point we have reached today.
              Take care and God bless you! Thanks again for your great input.

              • Perplexed,

                I’m horrified beyond words that you have absented yourself from our conversations for an unholy length of time, only to return with this calculated insult: Athanasius, it’s always a pleasure to read your informative and well-presented posts.

                Er… “Athanasius”? “A pleasure to read HIS comments”? “informative”? “well presented”?

                Where’s the “Editor, it’s always a pleasure…” blah blah… I’m hurt. Nay,more than hurt, I’m wounded!

                Seriously, I’m, no expert on the liturgy but let me throw this in to see if it makes sense… (Someone or 100 will correct me if I’m wrong – trust me…)

                A mere slip of a girl prior to Vatican II, I remember only that we had morning Mass on Saturdays and Confessions in the evening. No evening Mass.

                On Christmas Eve there was a vigil Mass – started at midnight. I remember that because the priests used to announce it the week before and ask us please NOT to phone the presbytery to ask what time was Midnight Mass… 😀

                However, on major feast days the Divine Office (or whatever they call it these days) marks the beginning of the Feast with Vespers (evening prayer) on the day before the Feast.

                Does that make sense? Or did I just make all that up? I really don’t have a good memory these days but there’s nothing wrong with my imagination 😀

                • Dear editor, there is absolutely NO WAY I will EVER believe you can even remotely remember what Mass was like prior to Vatican II: you are way too young for that to be possible.
                  In any case, I think this this thread has shown that one of the main problems today is a profound and widespread ignorance of the contents of our faith. Add to that the lack of enthusiasm of many priests for their pastoral responsibilities and, what can I say but: gimme strength!
                  Advent beckons and, with it, the temporary closure of the blog. A good and holy Advent to one and all!

              • Perplexed

                Thank you for your very kind comment.

                I agree with you that I did not perhaps explain myself very well as regards the Sabbath, for as you rightly say the problem is more one of perception for the majority of Catholics than actual historical relevance.

                It’s all a little complicated in that Judaism recognises the Sabbath as commencing at sunset on Friday through sunset on Saturday. The Gregorian calendar, however, interpreted a new day as commencing at midnight through to midnight.

                That aside, the early Church Fathers were keen to emphasise the difference between the Jewish Saturday Sabbath based on the Mosaic Law, which had effectively become for them a day of physical idleness, and the Christian Sabbath, which is the day Our Lord rose from the dead and the Holy Ghost came down on the Apostles, representing the new creation and renewed spiritual life.

                I lifted the following from Wikipedia, it may help others to better understand what I am so awkwardly attempting to explain:

                In the Latin Church, Sunday is kept in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus and celebrated with the Eucharist (Catholic Catechism 2177). It is also the day of leisure. The Lord’s Day is considered both the first day and the ‘eighth day’ of the week, symbolizing both first creation and new creation (2174). Roman Catholics view the first day as a day for assembly for worship (2178, Heb. 10:25), but consider a day of rigorous rest not obligatory on Christians (Rom. 14:5, Col. 2:16). Catholic recommendations to rest on Sunday do not hinder participation in “ordinary and innocent occupations”. In the spirit of the Sabbath, Catholics ought to observe a day of rest from servile work, which also becomes “a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money” (Catholic Catechism 2172). This day is often (traditionally) observed on Sunday in conjunction with the Lord’s Day (Catholic Catechism 2176).

                Cardinal James Gibbons affirmed Sunday observances as one of the examples of the Roman Catholic Church’s sufficiency as guide:

                “Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice. Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” — Faith of Our Fathers, Cardinal Gibbons, p. 72.

                In essence, it is Our Lord’s Ressurection on the first day of the week, closely aligned with the first day of Creation, which makes Sunday the prominent day in Christian worship and rest. By shifting the once-exclusively Sunday Mass obligation to include Saturday evening vigil Masses, then, Pope John Paul II did not so much offend against the Traditional understanding of when the Sabbath begins as giving the impression that the Church had come to appreciate the Judaic custom of Saturday Sabbath. It was a preception thing rather than any real move to adopt the Jewish Sabbath, which begins Friday sunset and ends Saturday sunset. He did, however, align the two Sabbaths closely enough to cause confusion.

                I’m afraid I cannot answer your question about first Vespers of Sunday in the pre-Vatican II breviary because I simply don’t know. I will try to look that one up.

                However, I imagine that there is no change since effectively there is no change to when the Church officially marks the beginning of Sunday as sunset on Saturday.

                Now, have I cleared up any confusion or just further confused everyone? Don’t answer that!

    • Athanasius,

      I don’t mind you “saying”, at all. That’s the point of this thread, to allow a variety of responses to the questions posed. Thank you for yours – I’m sure the reader who submitted the questions will find them very helpful.

    • Laura,

      I’ll read the CO article tomorrow, hopefully. A bit long for one who, right now, needs her beauty sleep! I’m sure it will be very interesting and packed with detail. Our reader will be delighted, no doubt about it.

      • Dear Madame Editor,

        I would suggest that the enquirer peruse the following:

        The Catechism of the Council of Trent

        All the works of +Archbishop Lefebvre

        All the works of + Michael Davies

        And obviously, CT. 😇

        I think that should suffice for now.

        If I think of anything else, I’ll post it.

        In Christ the King,

        Margaret

        • Margaret,

          Thank you. I think the problem with recommending the writings of Archbishop Lefebvre (which I do, myself – that’s why we have a link to his Open Letter on our website) is that people who are still, incredibly, at an early stage in their enlightenment (so to speak!) can’t get out of the mindset that he was a dissenter. Hilarious, I know, but that’s the reality. Once they’re beyond the “teething” stage and begin to see the truth of the matter, they will be more amenable to reading (and understanding properly) the fact that the Archbishop was captain of the Heaven-sent lifeboat, sent to help us keep the Faith during this time of crisis.

          Of course, that is not to say that everyone will be the same. Some will “get it” more quickly than others, and it may be that reading the Open Letter will suffice to switch on that light. So, having gone round in a huge circle, allow me to conclude that it won’t do any harm to include the writings of the Archbishop in any Church Crisis for Beginners book list!

  3. Editor,

    (3) Where did the initiative to change the Mass come from….did the faithful want it? And if it did come from an infiltration of Freemasons in the Church how can we prove this e.g. I have heard that Bugnini was a Freemason but where is the evidence?

    Well, folks? To work!

    Church Crisis: Educating The Masses… The links below should certainly help IMHO

    The Fatima Centre – Fr. Gruner – Masons in the Hierarchy

    THE BUGNINI FILE:A STUDY IN ECCLESIAL SUBVERSION
    https://www.scribd.com/document/61112481/bugnini

    The Church Under Attack By Paolo Reyes.
    http://www.all-about-the-virgin-mary.com/freemasonry-in-the-church.html

    FATIMA – This is a must see URL – Gives comprehensive explanation of consequences. http://www.shrineofsaintjude.net/home1201.html#Our%20Lady%20of%20

    • Gerontius,

      I went straight to the final link on your list and then straight to the section on the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart. No mention of Russia!

      They confine the Consecration to a personal consecration, mentioning the Brown Scapular, and even there they inject their own interpretation (e.g. we discussed here some time ago whether or not we ought to wear the scapular when showering and there was a difference of opinion. The point, though, is that – however individuals choose to interpret it is up to them – Our Lady made no exceptions. She asked for continuous wearing of the scapular and Father Gruner, when asked about exceptions at one of his conferences, simply said that we had to take Our Lady at her word. On your link, they put the exception of showering into the text as if that came from Our Lady. Dishonest.)

      Anyway, my point here is, yet again, that there is only ONE website that is reliable about Fatima. Father Gruner’s (RIP) site. http://www.fatima.org is the ONLY place on the net, with the full truth about Fatima. All the websites I’ve ever visited (apart from the Fatima Center) say that the Consecration of Russia has been done. This one doesn’t even mention Russia!

      I’m sure your other links are very helpful but it is crucial not to point people to websites containing errors about Fatima. Please and thank you! I’m looking forward to reading the others and to watching the video – the Fatima Center videos with Fr Gruner RIP are always excellent, so thank you for your contributions – the enquirer will be delighted, no doubt about it.

      • Editor,

        Thank you for your reply.

        Answers to the points you made follow below:

        I went straight to the final link on your list and then straight to the section on the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart. No mention of Russia!

        All the websites I’ve ever visited (apart from the Fatima Center) say that the Consecration of Russia has been done. This one doesn’t even mention Russia!

        It doesn’t? Odd… How about this then,…

        God’s Holy Mother also prophesied that Russia would be God’s chosen “instrument of chastisement,” spreading the “errors” of atheism and materialism across the earth, fomenting wars, annihilating nations, and persecuting the Faithful everywhere.

        and this…

        “If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will suffer much, and various nations will be annihilated.”
        In all Her appearances at Fatima, the Blessed Mother repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily, of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice. To prevent the terrible chastisement at the hands of Russia and to convert “that poor nation”, Our Lady requested the solemn public Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world. (This has never been done because so many of them were, and perhaps many still are?: Freemasons, Communists, Modernist Heretics, etc.!)

        Consecration:

        They confine the Consecration to a personal consecration,

        Do they? Odd…. How about this then..

        Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

        1) The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope together with ALL of the Catholic Bishops of the world in a solemn public ceremony.
        2) The practices, already explained in detail above, which constitute God’s Peace Plan:

        1) Penance
        2) Reparation
        3) Daily Recitation of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
        4) Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
        5) Making the Five First Saturdays

        Anyway, my point here is, yet again, that there is only ONE website that is reliable about Fatima. Father Gruner’s (RIP) site.

        I disagree.

        On your link, they put the exception of showering into the text as if that came from Our Lady. Dishonest.

        I don’t think they are being dishonest at all, like many of us I think they are being eminently practical, considering it absurd to think that Our Lady would expect her children to wear a soaking wet scapular every day.

        It is crucial not to point people to websites containing errors about Fatima

        I wholeheartedly agree.

        • Gerontius,

          O dear. I’ve upset you. Sorry!

          I went to the only link I could see on that site which said “Consecration to the Immaculate Heart” and there was nothing about Russia. Clearly, if you are quoting from the same site, there must be another page. I will check that out in a minute. It’s a pity you didn’t rub my nose in my mistake by including the link to that page, but I’ll go to find it myself in a second.

          About the “soaking wet scapulars”. I’ve never said that we are expected to do that. Of course not. Some people, myself included, have TWO scapulars, and keep one dry in the shower room to don after showering and drying off. Then the wet scapular can be taken off and replaced with the fresh, dry scapular. It all only takes seconds, and having heard of a priest who dropped dead in the shower, NOT wearing his scapular, and remembering what happened to our Treasurer, our former Miss McMoneypenny, who took a stroke in the bathroom (thankfully, wearing her scapular which she never removes) I decided that I would start keeping mine on in the shower. I’ve never regretted it.

          The promise of Our Lady is based on the fact that we are wearing the brown scapular when we die. She didn’t make any exceptions. With just a little organising, it is possible to keep a dry scapular to hand for wearing after bathing or showering. It is not uncomfortable to keep it on (as I initially thought it would be) and I prefer to do that simply because I thought Father Gruner’s response to those who questioned him on it, made sense.

          Whatever, the site to which you linked – whether deliberately dishonest or not, and I may well be wrong to judge them as dishonest, you are right there – reported the brown scapular promise as if Our Lady had said “except when showering etc” which is false. Our Lady made no exceptions which is why Fr Gruner answered the question asked at one of his Conferences, about whether it was acceptable to take off the scapular when showering etc by saying that Our Lady ought to be taken at her word and if we wish to keep to the “rule” (so to speak) the promise is conditional on our wearing the scapular at the point of our death. I don’t want to risk dropping dead without wearing my scapular so I wear it all the time, or, as they say these days 24/7. You, of course, are free to do whatever you please in the matter.

          Now, I’ll go and check on that site to see where I went wrong. In the meantime, thank you for your correction regarding Russia, but I still wouldn’t recommend the site because of the misleading description of the brown scapular promise. I am firmly of the opinion that the only site where we can be certain of obtaining the full truth about Fatima at http://www.fatima.org

          A little later…

          I’ve had a quick look and I can see that I hadn’t scrolled down far enough – I presumed the first link headed “Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” was THE link but there is another one a bit down the page. I found quotes there that I haven’t read elsewhere, and the sources are books I’ve not seen listed anywhere else, so I’m going to ask our resident expert on apparitions, in particular Fatima, to take a look (Westminster Fly knows his stuff, so he’s probably aware of those sources). For now, though, I can’t see the quote you give about the Consecration NOT having been done, so I’ll have to check it again when I’m … er… wide awake, or, at least awake! Stay tuned!

        • Gerontius,

          As I said I would, I emailed Westminster Fly, who is something of an expert on apparitions, in particular Fatima, and I sent him the link to this thread, confessed my mistake and asked him if he could review the site, since I didn’t recognise some of the authors who were sources of some of the quotes attributed to Sr Lucia. His reply follows:

          “I’ve never heard of this ‘shrine’ website before, but I guess there are millions of this kind of thing out there . . . with regard to the Consecration of Russia, the person(s) who run this site have made it clear that it has not been done, and that the 1984 consecration wasn’t the definitive one. If you go to http://www.shrineofsaintjude.net/home1341.html then click on ‘A Brief Overview of Fatima’ and scroll down to section 8 it makes it pretty clear that the consecration of Russia needs to be done. They even have a link to Fr Gruner’s reprint of the Fr John de Marchi book ‘The True Story of Fatima’, with all the Fatima Network positions in it.

          However, I found this site very odd in general. And I smell a sedevacantist rat. Look at this page:- http://www.shrineofsaintjude.net/home1002.html He seems to be going very over the top in trying to show that they are a valid ROMAN CATHOLIC apostolate and that he is a genuine ROMAN CATHOLIC priest . . . do you know what I mean? I’ve quickly scoured the site and can’t find any mention of any post-conciliar Popes . . . something isn’t right here. I’d just as sooner stick with http://www.fatima.org/ because I trust the writings of the contributors – like Chris Ferrara and John Vennari – and I know where they’re coming from. Unlike this lot. They may be OK, but I’m afraid in these spiritually dangerous times, I’d rather exercise caution and I wouldn’t promote them.”

          Hope this helps, Gerontius, with renewed apologies for my original, careless, mistake about their material on the Consecration of Russia.

  4. Gerontius

    There is no question that Mgr. Bugnini was moved very suddenly by the Pope from a position of liturgical prominence in Rome to a location of obscurity in Iran. It is also telling that when stories about his Freemasonic links broke in the Italian newspapers the Vatican never put out any formal denial on his behalf. Having said this, Mgr. Bugnini denied Masonic affiliation right up to his death and there has never been any conclusive evidence to show otherwise. So while people may have their thoughts in the matter, I think the best we can say is that Mgr. Bugnini, for whatever reason, set about the destruction of the Catholic liturgy and was largely successful in his quest before being removed from office. Let’s just say that what he did would most certainly have pleased the Freemasons.

    • Athanasius

      I think the New Mass is the Jewel in the Modernist crown. Therefore, surely the architect of that crown would have been honoured and celebrated by the Modernist hierarchy, not exiled to Iran? Clearly there was something big on Bugnini, or he would have been created a Cardinal, instead of seeing out his time in Iran.

      • Petrus,

        Some commentators argue that Bugnini wasn’t “exiled to Iran” but simply given another appointment, as papal nuncio. He died in Rome, so the idea that he was “exiled”, is questionable.

        I agree with Athanasius that his alleged Freemasonic membership (which is quite likely) is really beside the point – the main point being that, in his destruction of the Roman rite, he achieved what what would be pleasing to any Mason worthy of his apron…!

        • Editor

          His transfer from high office in Rome to Papal Nuncio in Iran was the talk of Rome at the time. Everyone, including Mgr. Bugnini knew exactly what his transfer meant. Something very similar happened to Cardinal Burke not so long ago, though he was blameless. I’m sure no one in their right mind would say that Pope Francis had simply transfered him to another post. He was sent into exile!

          • Athanasius,

            Well, I’m not getting into semantics – although I wouldn’t describe Cardinal Burke as being “sent into exile”; he was certainly publicly humiliated by a manifest demotion, but am I right in saying that Bugnini died in Rome? Which would mean that at some point, he returned from “exile”? I tend to think that someone being sent into “exile” is banished for good. I have always presumed that to be the dictionary definition.

            However, I’m one of those fallible creatures. I may be wrong. And – as with the Freemasonic issues – it’s really an incidental point.

      • Petrus

        Father Bugnini (later Archbishop) had already been removed from higher liturgical office by Pope John XXIII. He was then brough back by Paul VI who later changed his mind (much too late!) and sent him off to exile in Iran.

        The truth is that Mgr. Bugnini used his exalted positions in Rome to cause the maximum damage to the liturgy. Sadly, the Popes in question were so Modernist themselves that it took them longer than normal to realise that this was not a man set on just making changes consistent with Catholic theology.

        Mgr. Bugnini’s public declaration in 1974, that his liturgical reform represents “a conquest of the Catholic Church”, together with his description of the Mass in the Preface to the first New Missale Romanum as “a commemoration of the Lord’s Supper”, a Protestant declaration that brought tears to the eyes of Paul VI and caused the New Missal to have to be recalled, may have contributed to his final downfall and removal.

        So while there is the question of Freemasonic affiliation on the part of Mgr. Bugnini, there is also these other major factors. Whatever the cause of his removal, it was correct but far too late.

        • Athanasius,

          We will probably never know why exactly he was removed, barring the surfacing of a letter or some such. Rest assured that being appointed Papal Nuncio to Iran is not usually the prize that the Pope reserves to his good and faithful servants.

          As to the Masonic theory, it cannot be proved and is hardly woth pursuing, although I agree that a Mason could not have come up with a better plan to weaken the Church.

          We will never know the damage which Freemasonry has inflicted on the Church, or continues to inflict, but the damage done by influence of the Left is much more easy to identify. I was reading an article the other day in which the writer lamented the damage done not only to Christianity, but also to Judaism by the Left.

          And it seems to me to be true. Protestantism has all but been destroyed by Liberalism, which is now synonymous with Leftism. Judaism has similarly been wrecked, and now it is the return of Catholicism with the rise of Pope Francis.

          • Prognosticum

            I agree with you that the case against Bugnini in the matter of Masonic affiliation can never really be proved and should not therefore figure in any solid argument about the man’s reasons for doing what he did to the Sacred Liturgy. Suffice it to say his actions would have been most pleasing to Masonry.

            I take your point about “leftism”, by which I take it you mean Communism. Our Lady of Fatima warned specifically of this danger at Fatima and it has certainly come to pass.

            I remember a big news story breaking back in the 1980s or 90s, can’t recall the decade, about two senior prelates close to Pope John Paul II who had been unmasked as Communist infiltrators working for Moscow. I have wracked my brains many times to try and remember their names and I have searched the Internet for that story (which was then global), but to no avail. All trace of that revelation has vanished into thin air, yet I recall it so vividly, apart from the names of the cope and mitred agents, that is!

            So yes, you are absolutely correct to declare that Leftism has done the damage to the Faith. The pastoral Vatican II was their weapon of Mass(!) destruction. Or, to put it another way, when John XXIII opened the windows of the Church to let in some fresh air, as he put it, a hurricane entered and wrecked the House of God.

              • Frankier

                No, if memory serves the story broke of two prelates close to the Pope (Bishops, I think), so Fr. Hejmo does not ring a bell. I’ll look him up, though.

        • Athanasius,

          I think it’s a terrible reflection on Pope Paul VI that a man who was removed by a previous pope was then brought back.

          I also agree with you (and editor) that the Freemason thing is almost a separate issue. The damage he did to the Mass, and as a result, the Faith, was seismic.

          What is more terrifying is that the vast majority of the hierarchy continue to defend and promote the liturgical revolution. I could have cried when I read the responses of the priests and laity in the Diocese of Paisley report on the Diocesan Synod saying that we needed to be more creative with the liturgy and make it more accessible! It’s a bit like an alcoholic drinking more alcohol to cure his liver disease!

          • Petrus

            Yes, Pope Paul VI was certainly remiss in restoring to a position of liturgical authority one who had been very suddenly and dramatically dismissed by John XXIII. The only explanation I can think of is that in their eagerness to be champions of liberal reform, these Popes had lost all wisdom. They could not see past their own agenda to the more sinister agenda of the Church’s internal enemies. Paul VI was certainly no St. Pius X.

            By the way, the same accusation can be levelled against John XXIII who restored to pre-eminence a theologian that Pius XII had heavily censured for heresy, namely the Jesuit Fr. Henri de Lubac.

            This particular French theologian was a rampant Modernist whose writings were so dangerous that Pius was forced to write Mediator Dei to negate the damage. Here’s what happened after Pius’ death in 1958. The extract is from Wikipedia and is accurate:

            “In August 1960, Pope John XXIII appointed de Lubac as a consultant to the Preparatory Theological Commission for the upcoming Second Vatican Council. He was then made a peritus (theological expert) to the Council itself, and later, by Pope Paul VI, a member of its Theological Commission (as well as of two secretariats). Although the precise nature of his contribution during the council is difficult to determine, his writings were certainly an influence on the conciliar and post-conciliar periods, particularly in the area of Ecclesiology where one of his concerns was to understand the Church as the community of the whole people of God rather than just the clergy. De Lubac’s influence on Lumen gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, and Gaudium et spes, the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, is generally recognized.

            De Lubac was never asked to recant his errors before being returned to an influential position during Vatican II. This was (and remains) the madness in charge of the Church today.

    • Athanasius,

      Many years ago I had the privilege of having a long conversation with a senior prelate who worked in the Secretariat of State after the Council. When I pressed on him the idea that Bugnini had somehow hoodwinked Paul VI–hence his abrupt departure from Rome–this priest rejected such an explanation totally.

      He said that during the time of the Consilium charged with implementing the reforms mandated by the Council (that is, the body with the famous five Protestants), Bugnini and Paul VI saw each other at least once a week. He also reminded me of the fact that Paul VI had been against suppressing the Octave of Pentecost, but bowed to the opinion of Bugnini.

      the theory that Paul,VI was hoodwinked, however, may have some foundation to it. A doctoral thesis in liturgy of a few years ago examined the diaries of a certain Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli, who had been the principal collaborator of Pius XII in the writing of ‘Mediator Dei’. Here follows an extract of the English translation:

      http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2014/mar/10/father-bugnini-cardinal-antonelli-vatican-ii/

      It is most illuminating.

      • P.S. I should have mentioned that Cardinal Antonelli is highly regarded as a witness to the Reform, not only because he was such a key player for so many years in matters liturgical, but because he was strongly in favour of it ‘for pastoral reasons’, albeit in a much more measured way than Bugnini.

        Ah … pastoral reasons. What damage has been inflicted, and is being inflicted, on the Church for pastoral reasons. And this precisely when the supreme pastoral reason, the good of souls, was packaged up and put into the loft.

      • Prognosticum & Athanasius,

        On the subject of Paul VI’s knowledge of what Bugnini was doing, I recall reading somewhere, several years ago, that Bugnini was actually playing the double agent, as it were. That is, the progress reports he filed with Paul VI were falsely reassuring, and the reactions of the Pope that he brought back to the Consilium were falsely approving.

        Unfortunately I can’t remember where I read this. Are you familiar with this information?

        (Athanasius, I read the link you posted – very interesting about Paul VI’s lack of understanding about Communion in the hand! Also, I tended to think Dopfner was one of the Communist Cardinals, considering that he was one of the key agents of revolution at VII, but this excerpt seems to contradict that, if he was appalled at the results of Communion in the hand.)

  5. Editor,

    To follow up on your “teething” post to Margaret USA, it is helpful to perceive how are those inquiries are phrased. Do they recognize there is and has been a visible crisis in the Church since VII, or are they just worried about the current disastrous Papacy? Some of both?

    So, if the enquirers understand that the crisis encompasses an entire era, I think they should be directed to Abp. Lefebvre and all the SSPX materials immediately. If they are merely squirming under the present Papacy, then they might start, for example, with the “Liber of Accusation” that Messrs. Matt and Vennari recently published, or the objections of the 45 theologians to AL, or even The Great Facade. They should also be encouraged to find a TLM, diocesan or Fraternity etc. if they are not yet comfortable with the SSPX.

    At any rate, in response to your three questions, I have read repeatedly that despite the claims of the revolutionaries (aka enemies of the Church), the “reforms” were not in response to the complaints of the grassroots faithful. They were crackpot, utopian, heretical ideas created in ivory towers, circulated underground, gathered momentum, and allowed and even encouraged to crash down over the Church at the Council, because the revolutionaries were well-prepared and well-organized, while the “conservatives” were confident, but poorly prepared and poorly organized (until the formation of the Coetus Internationalis Patrum, but by then the war had already been lost).

    As to what needed fixing in the Church, I was not a practicing Catholic at the time of the Council, but I daresay that, judging from the writings and the alarms being sounded by certain Popes, esp. St. Pius X – Pius XII, almost the only thing that needed fixing was the formation of the clergy, and especially the hierarchy, which was being infiltrated and weakened by Modernism and its companion foolhardiness, detente with Communism. The early collapse of resistance to the revolution is proof enough – as if the warnings of the Popes and the documents of the Council are not sufficient enough evidence – that the hierarchy was, shall we say, not very robust in its defense of the Faith.

    On the subject of Bugnini’s alleged Lodge membership, I’ve never come across any definitive smoking gun – or should I say any definitive smoke of Satan – but I wonder if In the Murky Waters of Vatican II will provide same. The book is remarkable, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to discover, as I continue reading, that the author has found said smoke. Don’t ask me to report back immediately, though: I have 10 more volumes to go!

    • RCA Victor,

      Your differentiation between enquirers/inquirers (!) is very wise. I completely agree with you that if it is this papacy which has started the alarm bells ringing, then a gently does it approach is called for but if the enquirer/inquirer is more informed, then all guns blazing, taking no prisoners, is warranted.

      I have Volume I of In the Murky Waters of Vatican II so I’ll take a look to see if there is anything in there about the Bugnini-Freemasonic claim, but, really, it is, in a way, irrelevant to us (although not to him, by any means!) since Freemason or not, we don’t need to see an apron or other symbol to know that what he did fitted in perfectly with their anti-Catholic agenda.

      • Editor,

        I’ll save you the trouble: Bugnini is mentioned on p. 228, and also in a footnote on that page, for his involvement in the Consilium, but no mention of ties to Freemasonry. Now let me get my apron back on (to finish cooking dinner…)

        • RCA Victor,

          I realised it was a footnote, when I checked the index. Haven’t yet gotten around to reading it but will do so in due course. With St Andrew’s Day approaching, I hope that apron is tartan

        • RCA

          What are you having for dinner? Roast goat?

          Don`t forget to roll the trouser leg up before you slit its throat.

  6. Editor,

    PS: I know we’ve discussed reading lists before, but how about another link on the home page to a “Recommended Reading List on the Crisis in the Church”? This would be in addition to the “Publications” section, maybe a PDF, where we could contribute various titles and help sort them by categories?

    (You could make Webmaster’s Christmas Bonus contingent on this job…or mine…)

    • RCA Victor,

      I’m not sure about extending the home page – I presume you mean the website home page? We’re already planning to add a FAQ page, essentially the same as the page of that name in our current November newsletter. So, I’m not really keen to add anything more to the website – we removed a load of stuff the last time we updated the site.

      I think it might not be practical, but let me think about it, pray about it, and I won’t forget about it!

  7. Coincidentally (with reference to this thread topic), the following is an extract from a letter to The Times from a lady fro Essex, headed ‘The times force change’. She thinks we will get women priests eventually!

    ‘When there was a drop in attendance at Latin services, the Catholic Church, ever pragmatic, took the decision to allow the vernacular to be used.’

    Presumably this woman is merely ignorant, but how can lies like this become common currency when there are still people who lived before and through the liturgical changes and who KNOW that they are lies?

    • Christina,

      How can lies like that become common currency? Because the Catholic media’s mission (I’m assuming The Times is a “Catholic” organ?) is to promote the “new springtime,” rather than the truth. In fact, with very few exceptions, I’d say the truth is anathema to these “journalists” and the opinions they publish. You should write a letter to the Times to correct the Essex woman….

      And then there’s the famous quote from Joseph Goebbels, “If you repeat a lie often enough….”

      • RCA Victor,

        The [London] Times is not a Catholic paper – it is a secular rag, highly regarded as a prestigious newspaper in England. It’s actually no different from any other newspaper these days, or so it seems to me, and to moi. Quoting the propaganda on the old Mass is but one example. The Times peddles the lies but fails to publish letters of correction – I speak as one who refuses to read it any more. I recall once submitting a letter to correct the “ex” priest Michael whatsisname, SJ, but it never saw the light of print. I doubt if St Paul could get his letters published in The Times these days. Trust me – they’re on a mission to “get” the Church, one way or another and with the help of our faithless hierarchy, they’re doing a great job.

        • RCA Victor and Editor, NOT GUILTY, m’lud and m’lady. In spite of appearances to the contrary, I do NOT read that secular rag, nor any of the other secular rags that are ‘taken’ by the smug, self-deluded, oh so PC ‘intelligentsia’. Every week I am presented with a pile of cuttings taken from all these papers by my son, who is something of a genius with the more esoteric crosswords and word puzzles found therein. After he’s finished cutting all those bits out and posting them off, he rapidly scans the rest for anything he knows will wind me up (e.g.praise for Papa Francis’s most un-Catholic sayings and doings, PC articles using the ‘M’ word and PC articles about sodomitic LBGT ‘issues’ and the assault on the innocence of children, abuse of the English language, modern ‘art’, etc.). It’s a refined form of mother-baiting, but I put up with it because on my son’s visits my dog gets a longer walk than usual 😁.

  8. Editor, Athanasius and Elizabeth,

    Just a brief point to make regarding your discussion above, about the abuse scandal: those who are and have been hammering the Church about this are the same people, generally, who are and have been advocating and militating for sexual relations between adults and minors – esp. those of the same sex. Some openly advocating, some covertly.

    Conclusion: obvious (except, of course, to Pope Francis and his fellow travelers, who are busy not judging anyone).

    • RCA Victor,

      You are absolutely correct. In fact, we had the ridiculous situation, at the time of Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK a few short years back, when the hero of the LGBT movement, Peter Tatchell, was pictured one minute holding up posters demanding that the Pope resign over child abuse scandals, and the next pictured holding posters demanding that the age of consent for homosexual young people be lowered to 14 (which would have made null and void many, if not all of the allegations against priests). Then, of course, there’s this nugget from his prolific writings (though I’m guessing someone else took his photo!) …

      • I, like the Russians, don`t have a lot of time for Tatchell but I do agree with him when he says that not all sex involving children is unwanted. It is only unwanted when it involves a Catholic priest but it is certainly desired when it comes to himself and his cronies.

        Their motto is if you can`t get one at 18 then 2 at nine will do.

  9. Dear Bloggers,

    Editor has asked me to initiate the creation of a reading list on the crisis in the Church, to be posted as a PDF on the CT website, so I’m requesting that you either post this information here, or email your suggestions to Editor, or both. Specific names of books preferable, but if not, then authors. Links to articles welcome too!

    As Editor might say, “please and thank you.”

    • RCA Victor,

      Thank you for that “notice” – much appreciated.

      It would help if bloggers could give titles and authors of books – ISBN numbers would be a bonus.

      AS RCA Victor just said “please and thank you”!

  10. 1. As a visible communion of saints and sinners, there has never been, nor will there ever be, a time in the Church when something did not need fixing. It is enough to open any manual of Church history to understand this. (On the subject of Church history, study it as much as you can, for it very often provides a useful corrective to so many of the things we take for granted.) On the other hand, if a plate is dirty, one washes it. One does not smash it to smithereens.

    2. You would be hard pushed to demonstrate that the great mass of were in some sense alienated by the celebration of the pre-Vatican II Latin liturgy. Proof of this is the fact that down through the ages there had been very few calls to vernacularize the liturgy. On the contrary, the Latin liturgy It seems to have been held in great affection by the faithful who were often equipped with missals containing vernacular translations of the liturgical texts. On the subject of the liturgy, never forget that the Roman Rite, albeit the most important (for a variety of reasons) is only one of a family of several rites which compose the public worship of the Church. I say this because both modernizers and traditionalists often forget the existence of other rites.

    3. Where did the impetus for the reform come from? Not an easy question to answer. One could speak about the history of the rise of the liturgical movement in the inter-war years and in the years following World War II, but as important as this is, it is secondary, in my view, to the immense pressure to which the Church was subjected by the prevailing culture of the time.

    The liturgical reform was conceived and implemented in a time of cultural revolution. Western culture moved in a very short space of time from a top-down vision of the world to a bottom-up vision. If previously tradition and age were venerated as sources of wisdon, the cultural revolution of the 1960s placed great emphasis on novelty and youth. It was the age of John F. Kennedy (‘Camelot’ and all of that), pop music, the sexual revolution, the rush to the moon, etc. In this enviroment, the hierarchy basically panicked. ‘We too have to get with it, otherwise we’re toast.’ Hence the rush to a bottom-up approach to Christian worship. The desire to be relevant trumped everything else, and hence the disaster which we see all around us today.

    I would sugget that you get your hands on a bibliography of the late Michael Davies and start reading through his works, many of which are still in print. I also suggest that you read ‘The Reform of the Roman Liturgy’ by the late Monsignor Klaus Gamber.

    • Prognosticum,

      “On the other hand, if a plate is dirty, one washes it. One does not smash it to smithereens.”

      A perfect analogy!

      Your assessment of the situation beautifully answers our enquirer’s questions, and then some.

      I endorse, wholeheartedly, your book recommendations – I had already mentioned Michael Davies’ writings when I emailed the enquirer, but Monsignor Klaus Gamber’s seminal work ‘The Reform of the Roman Liturgy’ had slipped my mind.

      In the Preface to the French edition of Monsignor Gamber’s work, we find Cardinal Ratzinger warmly praising the book, and describing the novus ordo Mass as a fabrication; a banal, on-the-spot production.

      Talking about Church history (as you did!) – if only we could all be around to read the judgment of future historians on this period of Church life. I’d like to make sure they don’t miss that “banal” quote!

    • RCA Victor,

      I’ve just read that article and it definitely has the WOW factor. I didn’t know that they had officially defined the Mass as the “gathering” and the “Supper” in the 1969 General Instruction. I thought they were still paying lip service to the Mass as “Sacrifice” even though they didn’t actually believe it.

  11. Here are some:

    Cochini, The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990).
    John Paul II – Doubts About a Beatification
    Father Dominique Bourmaud’s “100 Years of Modernism”
    The Red Horse by Eugenio Corti
    “Vatican Council II: a Debate That Has Not Taken Place” (author – Bishop Brunero Gheradini)
    “The Remnants: The Final Essays of John Senior.”
    Iota Unum
    The triology on the Mass by Michael Davies
    Father A. Cekada: Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI (Philothea Press 2010)

    A huge list of books relating to the Crisis can be found here: http://www.fisheaters.com/forums/index.php?topic=3441561.0

    Another very good site for Traditionalist books is http://www.traditionalcatholic.co/free-catholicbooks/ where you can download hundreds of Traditional Catholic works.

    • BC,

      Thank you, that’s quite a collection on the Fisheater’s site. I notice many of those books are by sedevacantist authors, but they also throw in “Sedevacantism: A false solution to a real problem” for good measure.

      • RCA Victor & Ben,

        We will not advertise books by sedevacantist authors, no matter how good the books are considered to be. I hear that they often have sound material on their sites – tough. We will not advertise them so, would you – RCA Victor – please identify which links are sede sites because I will do what we warn of in the House Rules section – remove them forthwith. It states explicitly in our House Rules that there must be no promotion of sedevacantism and that any such materials will be removed the minute I see them. Any sound books by saints etc. can be posted from source – not from any sede site.

        I had a quick look at the “Tradition” site, last link in Ben’s comment, and quickly scanned some quotes given; one of the quotes attributed to St Vincent Lerins refers to “Catholic Christianity” – always a nonsensical term but more so in the 5th century when he was living, moving and having his being! There’s no way St Vincent Lerins used that term.

        If that is a sede site (which I suspect) would you confirm here because it will be deleted. Please and thank you!

        • Neither of the links I gave are ‘sede sites’ and the list of books thereon are not sede either.

          Just a little more care before setting off the hair trigger please ..

          • No “hair trigger”… no lack of “care” – here’s exactly what RCA Victor wrote: Thank you, that’s quite a collection on the Fisheater’s site. I notice many of those books are by sedevacantist authors, but they also throw in “Sedevacantism: A false solution to a real problem” for good measure.

            I would also have to say that we do not have space for lists and lists of books – there’s no need anyway. We aim to simply offer a few key titles to help enquirers learn about the way the crisis that we are suffering came about. Limited space available, so nobody should waste time searching for lots of books. In fact, we have probably identified all the key works already. RCA Victor can confirm or deny that but, whatever, there is very little space on our website to add anything beyond a few titles.

          • Benedict,

            The following authors on the Fisheaters list are sedevacantist (and these are just the ones I know of):

            Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy
            Fr. Anthony Cekada (several books by him)
            Br. Peter Dimond (one of the worst of the lot, in fact – owner of the “NovusOrdoWatch” website, with his brother)
            Brs Peter and Michael Dimond
            Bp. Daniel Dolan
            Bishop Donald Sanborn

            In addition, there are people like Bishop Williamson and Father Kramer, who have clearly wandered off into la-la land.

            Having nearly made my way through True or False Pope?, which completely demolishes the dishonest, devious arguments of the above people and their fellow travelers, I hope you will understand that I have no intention of placing any of their books on a “Crisis in the Church” reading list. While many of their observations about the Crisis are no doubt valid, their conclusions are a complete fraud and harmful to the Faith.

            However, there are numerous other excellent resources on both links you posted, so I will be sifting through those at the earliest opportunity, and thank you again for posting them.

            • So there are a few titles among hundreds from authors you don’t like. So ignore them! This intra-Trad anti -sedevacantist war repels me. I see them as Catholics just like me who happen to differ on a theological question on which Sainted theologians and canonists differ. So why should you take it upon yourself to cast them into outer darkness? I will not.

              • Benedict,

                If you wish to entertain sedevacantism, go ahead. Just do not bring their writings onto this blog. Please and thank you.

                I’ve spent years trying to “dialogue” with sedevacantists. It is an utter waste of time. So, again, you do what you want to do in the matter of entertaining sedevacantism. Just respect our House Rule of not bringing their confused and confusing “theology” onto this blog. Again, please and thank you!

  12. Re Tatchell and Russia: the day that Tatchell took part in a protest rally down Tverskaya Ulitsa in Moscow on behalf of homosexuals was a Red Letter Day for me. My office was three or four minutes’ walk from the Mayor’s House on Tverskaya, very close to the Kremlin. It was there that Tatchell’s rally came to an end when an outraged member of the public walked up to him and punched him in the mouth, breaking his nose from memory. The Police then arrested/dispersed the rest of the “LBW” crowd (I have often wondered what these homosexuals have to do with cricket).

    I can tell you that I along with 99% of expats there at that time thought he’d got exactly what he deserved.

  13. Well, the Year of Mercy has ended and the SSPX can still hear Confessions. A reconciliation with Rome is being talked about and some are for and some are against. Confusing times. Here, Michael Matt of The Remnant, makes a case for not reconciling yet. What do bloggers think?

    • Olaf,

      Never EVER has it been more important for the SSPX to be “reconciled” – i.e. within the Vatican walls.

      I just cannot get inside the mind of the “wait till Rome converts” brigade.

      It’s like your doctor telling you that he won’t give you any prescription medicine until you are well again – come back when you’re fully restored to health.

      In other words, when we no longer need the Society, they will accept the Prelature. Crackers.

  14. Editor, to be fair to Michael Matt I don’t think that’s what he’s saying exactly. Have you listened to what he has to say in the video clip? If so, I’d be interested to hear your opinion and that of others also.

    • Olaf, no, I’ve not listened to Michael Matt. I didn’t read your comment as asking for our responses to the video. I thought you were asking for views on the case for “not reconciling yet” – and that case seems always to be based on the belief that there will be a “trap”, that unless “Rome converts”, the SSPX should not reconcile. That is – in my considered opinion – nonsense – literally, non-sense. If “Rome converts”, the SSPX is no longer needed, or, at least, they are not part of the work of restoration.

      Will view the video later.

  15. Michael has been on this tack for some time now – last year, or early this year, he posted a clip from the old Clint Eastwood movie “The Outlaw Josie Wales,” in which some Confederate soldiers came to a Union camp after the Civil War to peacefully surrender, and instead got caught in trap and were mowed down. Michael seems to forget that (a) a Personal Prelature protects the SSPX from the whims and schemes of a wayward Pope, as well as from mean-spirited bishops. It is not a “CONTROL” issue; (b) if the Pope tries the Josie Wales trick, the SSPX can merely return to its former (undefined) status and ignore him; (c) the resistance of the SSPX to the Francis Revolution would have a much greater effect inside the arena than outside it, and rest assured that resistance would be quite strong; (d) regularization is NOT SURRENDER!!!

    At any rate, Bp. Fellay has repeatedly stated that there are still some details to be ironed out, including the Pope’s answer to the question: will we be allowed to operate exactly as we are now? There is also the question of the role of Cardinal Muller, who keeps injecting ludicrous statements about the status of the Society into the mixed-up mix.

    • RCA Victor,

      I completely agree – you have summed up the situation perfectly and said what I usually say (but didn’t this time in response to Olaf) that, in the event of the feared “trap”, the SSPX simply reserves the right to return to “its former undefined status”.

      Why the “remain” (as we are no matter what) lobby can’t see that, suggests to me that the setting in of a schismatic spirit, so feared by Archbishop Lefebvre, is a real danger. He, I’m told, did not envisage that the crisis would last as long as it has done; he presumed the Society situation was a very temporary situation. So, if a Personal Prelature with all due safeguards written in is on offer, I would be highly suspicious of any Catholic, ordained or lay, who didn’t want to accept it, and work from within the walls to restore the Faith – for one thing, the Society chapels would, more likely than not, fill to overflowing overnight.

      • Editor,

        Actually, this from your earlier post summed it up for me:

        It’s like your doctor telling you that he won’t give you any prescription medicine until you are well again – come back when you’re fully restored to health. In other words, when we no longer need the Society, they will accept the Prelature. Crackers.

        Or, to put it another way, should Daniel not have walked into the lion’s den? Should Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have refused to enter the furnace? Should the Catholic Holy League fleet at Lepanto fled with their tails between their legs because they were so badly outnumbered?

        BTW, whether he realizes it or not, Michael is repeating the position of the “Resistance.”

      • Ed, ” for one thing, the Society chapels would, more likely than not, fill to overflowing overnight.” Speaking only of the true Mass, and not of tradition in its entirety, I really doubt that optimistic view, certainly in the short term. I have been privileged to occasionally attend the Glasgow chapel, and it is always inspiring and revelationary. Perhaps SSPX chapels in other parts of the UK, like Glasgow, appear to almost have standing-room only for Mass, and have congregations composed of all age-groups, notably young families, but in my part of the world such is far from the case. The smaller congregations in SSPX chapels are matched by those in an ICKSP church I can sometimes attend. I would love to hear of happier experiences in other parts of England.

        I was, for some years, a struggler in the ‘Indult’ trenches, and can testify as to the occasionally very big (largely inspired by curiosity?) attendance at a willing priest’s first ‘Latin Mass’ dwindling to a tiny few at a second. I have had to listen to the remarks like “I’m glad we don’t have that Mass now”, and even sadder ones revealing just how effectively years of the NO and no catechesis have destroyed the faith in Catholic souls. I don’t think that ‘regularisation’ would have any immediate effect. Those who hate the SSPX will not change their spots, and will continue to lie about it. Mainstream Catholics whose hearts heve been potestantised will still fail to understand that the Mass is about the worship of Almighty God and not the celebration of themselves. And please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here, but whereas to the pre-Vat II congregation the Latin of the Mass was was familiar and very comfortable, now it is not only just totally unfamiliar, but also, thanks to changes in secular education and the zeitgeist, mocked as elitist.

        I think it more likely that there would be little change at first, but congregations at the NO would contine to dwindle as they have done inexorably for many years, parishes would keep on clustering and closing, but the SSPX and traditional orders would continue to see an increase in vocations, at least at the present rate, and the Church restored – 50-odd years of chaos forgotten.

        I do see Michael Matt’s point, though, and he makes his case well, but I trust Bp. Fellay to sort this one out.

        • Christina,

          I agree with you. I can’t see the majority of Catholics who are fine with the NO, suddenly flocking to traditional Masses if the SSPX is regularised.

          Also, I don’t think the English chapels are as thriving as the Scottish ones are. I could be wrong about that, but anyway I agree with your assessment above, much as I’d like to think the opposite.

        • Christina

          I also agree with you. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Glasgow is unique – I’ve only been once and was impressed by the size of the congregation – albeit it’s not a large church – but I doubt that many other Society chapels are so fortunate in their numbers, or in the youth of the congregation. They certainly don’t have any competition from the mainstream – the congregations there are generally aged and ever dwindling, and no wonder. More than ever I’m looking forward to events in 2017: please God.

        • Christina,

          I think – sadly – that you are right. I must have pushed my “optimism over genuine hope” button to have written that the Society chapels would likely fill overnight, following regularisation. Nope. I have no doubt that I’ve definitely gotten that wrong. So, thank you for your welcome correction.

    • RCA Victor

      Assuming BIshop Fellay is in the Clint Eastwood role, all he needs to say to the Pope is….. “make my day”

      • Frankier,

        You’re a riot! But just imagine the 480 paragraphs of gibberish Bp. Fellay would receive in reply…

      • Frankier, that is very funny! Don’t forget to add “punk”.

        Yes, I agree about what RCA Victor and Editor are saying. My husband is always saying the same: “If they (the SSPX) think they have been duped, all they have to do is walk away”.

  16. Here’s an excerpt from a new article by Roberto De Mattei on Rorate:

    “Among the keys that interpret Pope Francis’ pontificate is certainly his love of contradiction. This inclination of mind is made evident by the Apostolic Letter ‘Misercordia et misera’, signed at the end of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. In this letter Pope Bergoglio, establishes that those who attend the churches officiated by the priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, can receive validly and lawfully, sacramental absolution. The Pope thus rectifies that which constituted the main factor of “irregularity” in the Fraternity founded by Monsignor Lefebvre: the validity of their confessions. It would be contradictory to imagine that once confessions are recognized as valid and lawful, that the Masses celebrated by the priests of the Fraternity not be considered just as lawful, which are valid in any case. At this point it is not understood why an agreement is necessary between Rome and the Fraternity founded by Monsignor Lefebvre, seeing as the position of these priests is de facto regularized and that the doctrinal problems up for discussion – for the Pope – as is well-known – are of little interest.”

    Very interesting…https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/11/de-mattei-contradictions-at-closing-of.html

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