V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
For he whom you did merit to bear, alleluia,
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
Has risen as he said, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
From the Editor…
As well as being the usual facility to exchange Easter greetings, we might use this thread to discuss what on earth Pope Francis makes of Easter, since, apparently, according to recent reports, he thinks unrepentant souls just “disappear” – they don’t end up in Hell. What on EARTH is he celebrating this weekend, if there is no Hell? Why Good Friday? Why the need for the Saviour? What IS Christian salvation if not salvation from the eternal punishment of Hell? Read the following report, taken from the Rorate Caeli website which will leave you wishing, as it leaves me wishing that Papa Francis would “disappear” – like, yesterday!
From Rorate Caeli…
“THERE IS NO HELL” — new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday
In another informal interview with Italian atheist journalist (and founder of liberal newspaper Repubblica) Eugenio Scalfari, published today, Pope Francis reveals that “hell does not exist”.
His exact words below (full interview behind paywall here, most important excerpt below):
Title of the interview: “It is an honor for me to be called revolutionary.”
Excerpt on hell:
[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” Source – Rorate Caeli
And then … click here to see what happened next.
Was Pope Francis misquoted? Before you answer that, read this Catholic World Report including the following comment underneath: “I can’t believe people have not caught on yet. It is likely that Pope Francis told Scalfari that there was no hell. The fact that he said at other places and times that their IS a hell does not matter. What the Pope says changes from time to time. If Scalfari found it a stumbling block to believe in hell, then the Pope would have no trouble telling him there is no hell. The Pope was “accompanying” Scalfari, trying to move him closer to the church. If this involved the POPE denying or altering doctrine, then so be it. When Scalfari is ready to accept the idea of hell, the Pope will re-introduce it. It will appear again. What we just saw was the Pope’s idea of how to lead someone into the church. You deny or alter doctrine, if necessary. Then, when the person has accepted the fundamentals, you move the goalposts again, hell re-appears, and Voila! Now, the critical thing is that the POPE is endorsing this approach. Truth is situationally relative for the Pope, and he will say whatever he needs to say to get to his goal. He is flexible. Doctrine does not matter. So Germans want to give communion to divorced and remarried and bless gay marriage. Who cares? Not the Pope. So maybe Jesus did not rise from the dead. Who cares? Not the Pope.”
Well… Was Pope Francis misquoted?
THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.
In a special issue entitled “It will be the year of Paul VI Saint”, the weekly magazine of the diocese of Brescia,
La voce del popolo, writes that on 13 December, theologians of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Montini, after a first free go-ahead had been given by the medical consultation of the Vatican Congregation itself. At this point it is necessary that the cardinals of the Congregation and, finally, the Pope express themselves on the same miracle.
The miracle regards the birth of a girl from Verona called Amanda, who in 2014 had survived for months despite the fact the placenta was broken.
Pope Francis beatified his predecessor on 19 October 2014, concluding the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.
“Rumors are so insistent and the next steps so fast to take, that everything indicates 2018 as Blessed Paul VI’s canonization year”, writes the diocesan newspaper of Brescia. The last official stage took place last December 13 in the theological commission. The miracle attributed to the intercession of John Baptist Montini about the healing of a fetus in prenatal age in 2014 was approved. The expectant mother native from Verona, at risk of miscarriage, a few days after the beatification of Montini in Brescia, went to the Sanctuary “delle Grazie”, to pray to the newly beatified Pope.
Subsequently, a child in good health was born. After the doctors and theologians’ recognition, there are still a few more steps to be taken: the passage in the commission of cardinals, the final approval of the Pope and that of the Consistory with the official announcement and the definition of the date. But at this point, it is more than a hope. The month of October could be the right one. From 3 to 28 October in Rome, the 15th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on young people will be celebrated and will gather in the Vatican prelates from all over the world. What better opportunity to canonize in front of such a large portion of the College of Bishops, the other pontiff, after Saint John XXIII of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council? It will most likely take place on one of the first three Sundays of October, even if the most accredited date today seems to be the 21. Indeed, sooner or later, in 2018 Paul VI will be Saint! We praise the Lord to Whom we entrust the year that will come”. Source
Is this yet another questionable canonisation to come – the creator of the new Mass, in fact, a saint? Really? Or is this simply the latest attempt to “canonise” the Second Vatican Council and its scandalous aftermath?
Pope’s Letter on Argentinian Communion Guidelines for Remarried Given Official Status
A letter from Pope Francis praising episcopal guidelines that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion in some cases while living in a state of objective grave sin has now been added to the official acts of the Apostolic See, conferring official status on what was formerly considered by many to be merely private communication — and raising the stakes on the Amoris Laetitia debate significantly.
Of the guidelines issued by the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that would open “the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist” in “complex circumstances” where “limitations that lessen the responsibility and guilt” of couples who will not make the commitment to “live in continence” despite living in an objectively adulterous situation, the pope said in his letter that “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”
In August of this year, this letter was added to the Vatican website as a papal document available for public reference. Concerns were raised that what had previously been viewed as only private correspondence — and thus, completely outside the realm of papal magisterium — was being given the appearance of an official papal act.
Others were quick to point out that the presence of such a letter on the Vatican website, while troubling in itself, did not grant the document any status, but only publicity. The concern, as I speculated at the time, was that the letter seemed likely therefore to find its way into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) — the journal of the official acts of the Apostolic See. Such a move would confer an official, and at least quasi-authoritative status to the document, in as much as the AAS “contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments. The contents are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue.”
As Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti reported yesterday, the addition of the letter to the AAS has now been confirmed*:
[T]he “private” letter of Pope Francis to the Argentine bishops was published in the October 2016 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis, after they had issued directives for the application of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia (the chapter with the famous footnotes on giving communion to the divorced and remarried). Directives which, as has been noted and emphasized here, are anything but clear.
The publication of this letter in the Acta is accompanied by a brief note from the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, together with an official rescript from a papal audience in June 2017, announcing that the Pope himself wanted the two documents — the guidelines and the letter — published on the website of Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
The announcement can only serve to further fuel the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the controversial apostolic exhortation as well as the Pope’s way of doing things, which yet again appears to be a far cry from the clarity and straightforwardness that many of the faithful would expect [from the Holy Father]. He has given no response to the dubia Cardinals, no response to the letters, petitions and other initiatives written by scholars, theologians, and ordinary faithful people who have been confused by the deliberate ambiguity of the document. Yet, at the same time, he has given a veneer of officiality to one letter sent to one member of one bishops’ conference.
To what end? To obligate all to give religiosum obsequium [religious assent] to a magisterium expressed in oblique and ambiguous forms, or to respond without committing himself in a direct response which would express the mind of the Pope in an unequivocal manner to the doubtful and perplexed? One is given the feeling that the only thing this does is cause the simple believer annoyance with the Pope’s comportment, which may be defined as a “pretext” in the worst sense of that term.
You can view only the relevant section of the October 2016 edition of the AAS here (Spanish/Latin PDF). (The full edition is available here, but a word of caution – it’s a huge PDF document at nearly 1,200 pages and with a 300MB file size.)
Some outlets are already reporting that the presence of the Buenos Aires letter in the AAS elevates it to the level of “authentic Magisterium,” which would therefore require the aforementioned religious assent of mind and will (cf. Lumen Gentium 25). Others are not so sure. We asked for an assessment from Dr. John Joy, co-Founder and President of the St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies and a specialist in Magisterial authority. “It means that it is an official act of the pope,” Joy said, “rather than an act of the pope as a private person. So it cannot be dismissed as a merely private endorsement of their implementation of AL. It is an official endorsement. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the letter to the Argentine bishops is itself magisterial” and thus requiring religious submission of will and intellect. Such a requirement, Joy said, would only apply if the document intended to teach on matters of faith and morals.
Inasmuch as the letter was in praise of pastoral guidelines that were anything but concrete, this seems unlikely.
Dr. Joy pointed out that adding the letter to the AAS could, in fact, damage the credibility of Amoris Laetitia by potentially removing the possibility that it could be interpreted in an orthodox way through establishing, via its publication in the official acts of the Apostolic See, that the unorthodox interpretation is the official one.
Marco Tosatti says that even some who have been ideological supporters of the pope are allegedly losing patience with his brashness:
And further, if what we have learned from two different sources is true, this annoyance extends to the Vatican. A cardinal of great renown, a former diplomat, who has served an impressive career at the head of Congregations and in high offices in the Secretariat of State, is said to have reproved the Pope for his actions [as Pope], saying to him essentially, “We elected you to make reforms, not to smash everything.” News of this conversation — if it can be called a conversation — has spread through the Vatican, because it took place at a high decibel level, which carried through the fragile barrier of the doors and walls. The cardinal in question was one of those who supported the candidacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the conclave of 2013.
It would not be the first time such dissent has been reported from within the pope’s own camp. In March, The London Times reported that some of the cardinals who helped to elect Francis wanted Francis to step down out of fear that his agenda might cause a schism “more disastrous” than the one wrought by Martin Luther, and that the Church could consequently be “shattered as an institution”. That story indicated that at least some of the group had an interest in replacing the pope with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who heads up the aforementioned Secretariat of State.
Earlier this week, we also told you about a new book, The Dictator Pope, which alleges that many cardinals who helped elect Francis are experiencing “buyer’s remorse,” in part because Francis “is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2013, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.”
It seems difficult to believe that just over a year ago, we were attempting to ascertain the veracity of the papal letter to the Argentinian bishops — which had been called into question nearly immediately after its publication — and we now learn that it was only the following month that it became an official act of the Apostolic See.
As reported in The Dictator Pope, the English Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor told journalist Paul Valley in 2013, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” Every day, we receive new evidence that this might have been a significant understatement. Source – One Peter Five…
* Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino
Discussing this development after Mass today, one of our bloggers twisted my arm to post this thread because, he argued, next to the new Mass, this is the single biggest catastrophe to afflict the post-Vatican II Church. Explain why you do, or do not agree…
From Premier Christian Radio…
This month marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. And all through this month on Premier we are going to be hearing from theologians, church leaders, historians and many others about their own personal reflections on the Reformation. Ian Britton went to meet Bishop John, the Bishop of Paisley, to get a catholic [sic] perspective on the Reformation.
Click here to listen to the bishop (pictured) admitting that Vatican II protestantised the laity in compliance with the Protestant Reformers’ demands in liturgy and language (out with that old Latin!) and of course we knew nothing of scripture before the Reformation; according to “Bishop John”, too, lay people were never actively engaged in spreading the Faith prior to Vatican II – that is, thanks to the Reformation we now know better. Ignorance may be bliss for the ignorant, but it’s really annoying for the rest of us to have to listen to such falsehoods. Never mind Martin Luther, Judas Iscariot is alive and well in the Catholic Church in Scotland today, aka Bishop John Keenan of Paisley.
Our Lady of Fatima, Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
In the clip below, Cardinal Burke pronounces the Society of Saint Pius X in schism. Listening to it, I recall the reason several Catholic friends gave for refusing to attend his Pontifical High Mass in a Glasgow parish church recently, summed up by one insightful soul: “…he’s not the real deal.”
Blogger Gabriel Syme, who did attend the Pontifical High Mass in Glasgow recently, writes:
I read that earlier and was much dismayed by the reported comments from Cardinal Burke.
it is unbecoming for a prelate to tell fibs (that the SSPX is in schism) which contradict his brother Bishops.
Ironically, he would never say such a thing about genuinely schismatic groups, such as the Eastern Orthodox churches.
How disappointing that he is so feeble in the face of Francis, yet so bold with unprovoked attacks on faithful Catholic groups, attacks based on deceit.
I am very disappointed in him and have diminished respect for him now. As if attacking the SSPX should be on his agenda, while everyone is waiting (and waiting and waiting) for him to act on the dubia.
His “damp squib” dubia and meek acceptance of the Pope’s refusal to grant him an audience to discuss the four cardinals’ concerns about Amoris Laetitia, are now placed firmly in context. He hasn’t a clue. He’s apparently no clearer in his grasp of the limits as well as the extent of papal authority than most of the confused Catholics, ordained and lay, suffering in the Church-anything-but Militant today. He has shown himself to have feet of clay. Or maybe you’re a Cardinal Burke fan, just because, at least, he values the traditional Mass? Let’s hear it…
Does [Pope Francis] Lead us to Gay Church?
BY Jean-Pierre Dickès, 8/14/17
[Excellent Google Translation]
The case began with the famous “Who am I to judge? ” about homosexuality. The curious reflection of a pope whose role is precisely to transmit the spiritual and moral heritage of the Church. Teaching itself dating back to the sixth commandment given by God to Moses. The justification of this practical relativism was the famous word “mercy” aimed at validating “concrete situations” in order to “accompany and integrate”. Things could have stopped there. Now we find ourselves faced with a new form of ethics which was to materialize by an avalanche of precise facts which ultimately lead to a new Church which can be called homosexual; It is a veritable apocalyptic avalanche aimed at transforming the Church and subjecting it to gender, the necessary passage of transhumanism, this ideology wanting to create a new man. It is a frontal and programmed attack against the natural order willed by God in his creation.
* We have already forgotten the famous text known as Relatio of mid-term at the synod on the family in 2014. It had been massively rejected in a resounding way. “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we able to welcome these people, by guaranteeing them a fraternal space in our communities? … Can our communities be able to provide this, accept and value their sexual orientation without compromising the Catholic doctrine on family and marriage? “It is therefore a question of “valuing sexual orientation” in this case sodomy. It was indeed [Pope Francis] who wanted to insert this abominable text in the final document of the synod.
* At the beginning of his pontificate, [Pope Francis] named a notorious homosexual, Mgr. Battista Ricca, as prelate of his own papal house and at the head of the Vatican bank.
* The famous “Who am I to judge” referred to an active homosexual for whom it is undoubtedly demonstrated that he was involved in many sodomite relationships, including a young man with whom he was caught in a blocked elevator.
* In an interview with America magazine in September 2013, Pope [Francis] laughed at the very idea of disapproving homosexual conduct: “One person once asked me provocatively if I had approved of homosexuality. I answered with another question, “Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he support the existence of that person with love or refuse and condemn this person? ”
* [Pope Francis] has since made a great show by meeting personally and physically embracing an assortment of homosexuals and transgenders, even accepting the “marriage” of a woman claiming to be a man who “married” another woman.
* The Pope ostensibly embraced the hand and concelebrated the Mass with a Don Michele de Paolis, a notorious pro-homosexual militant priest and animator of a gay site. This is a public sacrilege. Then [Pope Francis] invited him to dinner. At the moment of the priest’s departure he had an ambiguous sentence: “Everything is possible!” A warning quickly forgotten by all. And yet …
* [Pope Francis] refused to rule against the legalization of “homosexual unions,” “gay marriages,” or even “gay adoption” in Italy, Ireland, the United States and Malta. His excuse was that “the Pope does not place himself in the concrete policy of a country.” But he is the first to defend immigration and to invest in the issue of “climate change.” Eminently political issues.
* One of the rare and frank episcopal opponents of the emerging “Gay Church” is Charles Chaput, appointed Archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI. During the synod of which he was a member, he had presented guidelines prohibiting the giving of Holy Communion to same-sex couples or remarried divorcees. In the hierarchical order, being archbishop of Philadelphia, he should have been named cardinal. From consistory to consistory, [Pope Francis] challenged him. Bishop Chaput was strongly criticized by Father Thomas Rosica, attaché of the Vatican Press Office during the Synod. This priest is nicknamed the “attack dog” of the LGBT.
* The Jesuit James Martin, is a fervent defender of the gay priesthood and a fortiori unions of this nature. Normally he should have been “crossed” by the Pope. On the contrary, [Pope Francis] appointed him consultant of the Secretariat of Social Communications of the Vatican. He is the author of a book entitled “Building a Bridge”. This bridge must connect the Church to the LGBT. The teaching of the catechism is rejected; Sodomy can not be a sin. It is God who created homosexuals, so their morals can not be condemned.
* Cardinal Walter Kasper, is an arch-progressive German prelate. He headed the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. He is the favorite theologian of [Pope Francis]. He defended the legalization of homo marriage in Ireland. For him, if the majority of the people agree with laws of this nature, it is legitimate to “recognize their rights”. In other words, it is the people who define what is true and good. The Church must align with the politically correct. Curious approach. Jesus told us that “you are in the world, but you are not of the world” (John 17: 14-18).
* Another case is that of the well-named Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Concerning “gay marriage” he said: “The Christian position is one thing. It is another thing to ask if I can respect all the laws on Christian moral concepts. Anyone who does not understand that one does not automatically lead to the other, has not understood the very essence of modern society “. A convoluted way to say that the Church does not have to defend its morality in the face of the present world.
* Cardinal Christoph Schönborn was the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He said, “We can and must respect the decision to form a same-sex union, [and] look for ways in civil law to protect their lives with the laws to ensure such protection.” However, he is considered a conservative. He was the one who carried the project of Amoris Laetitia on the question of remarried divorcees. The Pope considers him a “great theologian.” Who presented in his own cathedral of Vienna a gay couple who had adopted a child of black race. This couple has ordered a three-year-old girl in South Africa.
* With Bishop Vincenzo Paglia we reach the height. According to the newspaper La Croix on 17 June, he was charged with criminal conspiracy, obstructing the investigation, fraud against the town of Narni (Umbria, central Italy), misuse of credit and misappropriation Of funds. The accusation is carried by the prosecutor of Terni, Elisabetta Massini. Notwithstanding this situation, [Pope Francis] placed him at the head of the Academy for Life and the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. He has exploded these two institutions by introducing supporters of euthanasia and abortion. He wears sunglasses whose frame is rainbow LGBT. But above all he made a gigantic fresco of “homoerotic” inspiration in the choir of his cathedral in Terni. Pushing vice up to represent itself with the episcopal cap. This fresco was made by a notorious homosexual artist.
* The American Cardinal Blase Cupich, is an LGBT actively supported by [Pope Francis]; He announced that he was for the reception of Holy Communion by “homosexual couples;” this during his installation as archbishop of Chicago. It is based on the pretext of the “inviolable conscience.” We are in full Protestantism. For him, heterosexual adulteresses can also communicate.
* Another case is that of Cardinal Dolan. His archdiocese is full of homosexual priests. A professional player named Michael Sam publicly revealed his homosexuality in 2014. The Archbishop said on national television: “Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless him … The same Bible that tells us that we teach the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, “Well done!” For Saint Patrick, the Irish are traditionally a parade, a kind of folk parade. Dolan was named “Grand Marshall” of this parade despite the presence of a group of “gay pride” with its banners.
* Cardinal Joseph Tobin, named Cardinal by [Pope Francis] and head of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey (New York suburb), gave his blessing in July to a gay pilgrimage that ended with a Sacrilegious Mass at the Cathedral. One of the militant homosexuals who participated in the demonstration called the cardinal’s blessing a “miracle.” The New York Times greeted the event with the title: “As the Church changes, a cardinal welcomes gays; They embrace a “miracle.” Tobin is a very active supporter of Father Martin named above. The same is true of Bishop Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. This bishop is one of the recruits of the expanding corps of gay shock troops that [Pope Francis] settles in the key dioceses; He praised Martin’s book and proclaimed beyond the teaching of the catechism that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered.” He believes that homosexuals can communicate.
* We will not return to the case of Bishop Cocopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. In what is surely only the tip of a very large iceberg, his private secretary Luigi Capozzi, was arrested amidst a homosexual orgy whose participants were drugged. Capozzi completely “shot” was hospitalized by the gendarmerie. When one looks at Saint Peter of Rome, one sees a building on the left, seat of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was here that these great deeds unfolded. Capozzi at the request of his boss was proposed to the episcopate.
The characteristic of all these prelates is that they were promoted by [Pope Francis] with the exception of course of Bishop Chaput. There are, of course, others like Bishop Robert Barron, an American theologian who denounces the Church for condemning homosexuality.
The only conclusion to be drawn is that [Pope Francis] is preparing the advent of the Gay Church at full speed. Notably by eliminating the most conservative elements opposing him in one way or another. Jean-Pierre Dickès
As readers will note, I’ve had to change “Bergoglio” to [Pope Francis] umpteen times in the above article. It strikes me that those who insist on using the Pope’s family surname, not only show lack of respect for the papal office but they minimise the gravity of what this Pope is saying and doing. If only it were “Bergoglio” saying and doing all these awful things, that would be bad enough – bad enough that any Catholic would promote homosexuality – but not as grave as these words and actions falling from the lips of a reigning pope. Why can’t Catholics, who are rightly outraged at Pope Francis, see that they are letting him off the hook by minimising the damage he is doing to the Church as pontiff… Who cares about “Bergoglio”?
Anyway, comments invited. Do you agree with the author that Pope Francis is “preparing the advent of the ‘Gay Church’ at full speed” or is there another explanation for the facts detailed in the above article? But please – it was irritating enough having to keep deleting “Bergoglio” and typing [Pope Francis] in the article, do not make extra work for me by using the Pope’s family surname in your comments. Please and thank you!
Since Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, permitting all priests to offer the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) without seeking permission from bishops, there has been a kind of “traditionalist identity crisis” within the Church, where “conservative” priests and people have taken to the ancient Mass and, coupled with their orthodox adherence to the natural moral law on “life” matters (contraception, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality etc), thereby consider themselves to be “traditionalists” – straight down the line Catholics, the real McCoy. It is not, however, that simple.
Often, these same Catholics hold positions that are absolutely at odds with the truths of the Faith. Many, if not most, are outright papolatrists – they will not accept that there are limits to papal authority and they are in denial about much of the scandal caused by Pope Francis. Then again, others take the opposite view: he is so bad that he can’t be a true pope, so the papal seat is vacant – sedevacantism. Or, they jump on the latest bandwagon, support the latest fad, “Benevacantism” where the claim is that Benedict is still pope because not only is Francis so bad that he can’t be a true pope, but Benedict was forced to resign, so Francis’ election must be invalid. None of these positions fits the “traditional Catholic” profile. Some – believe it or not, including folks in the above categories – still attend the novus ordo Mass, even on weekdays when there is no obligation, and argue that they have to attend on Sundays, under pain of mortal sin, if unable to get to the TLM.
Most of the Summorum Pontificum priests still provide the novus ordo, although I am aware that, certainly in a number of UK-wide cases that have come across my desk, there are priests would much prefer not to do so and who keep those Masses to a minimum. The majority, however, remain “on diocesan message”, their “traditionalism” filed in the box marked “Making the TLM available for those who want to attend” – and they’re not exactly setting the heather on fire with forceful sermons on the topic, exhorting their parishioners to switch to “the old Mass”.
Finally, there are self-styled “traditional” Catholics, priests and laity, who go along with various novelties introduced in the post-Vatican II era, and even support various controversial (to say the least) initiatives within the Church, new movements such as the Charismatics, the Faith movement and the Neocatechumenate. Some who dislike the new Mass, like the new Rosary, and they may read books which a truly Catholic mind would bin.
Time, then, perhaps, to reflect on the precise nature of Catholic Tradition. In his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Archbishop Lefebvre (SSPX Founder) spells out what it means to be a Catholic – and there’s no getting away from the fact that truly traditional Catholic priests follow the exhortation of Pope Saint Pius X: “Far, far from our priests, be the love of novelty.” And truly traditional Catholic laity keep the clergy’s feet to the fire on this, to minimise the risk of being led astray, albeit by well-meaning priests who are not sufficiently “traditional” in their souls to recognise the dangers inherent in the modern Church. Below, a superb definition of Catholic Tradition – comments welcome, but note: do not name any priests or lay people whom you may consider to be in the “identity crisis” category. This thread is to remind us all, each one of us, what it means to be a faithful Catholic – that we must all adhere to Tradition, as defined below. So, unless you’re identifying your own infidelity, no names, no pack drill!
Archbishop Lefebvre writes…
Modernism is indeed what undermines the Church from within, today as yesterday. Let us again quote from the encyclical Pascendi some typical features which correspond with what we are experiencing now. “The Modernists say that authority in the Church, since its end is purely spiritual, should strip itself of all that external pomp, all those pretentious adornments with which it parades itself in public. In this they forget that religion, while it belongs to the soul, is not exclusively for the soul and that the honor paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who institutes it.”
It is under pressure from these “speakers of novelties” that Paul VI abandoned the tiara, bishops gave up the violet cassock and even the black, as well as their rings, and priests appear in lay clothes, usually in a deliberately casual style. There is nothing among the general reforms already put into effect or insistently demanded that St. Pius X has not mentioned as the “maniac” desires of the modernist reformers. You will recognize them in this passage: “As regards worship (they want) to diminish the number of external devotions or at least stop their increasing… Let ecclesiastical government become democratic; let a share in the government be given to the junior clergy and even the laity; let authority be decentralized. Reform of the Roman Congregations, above all the Holy Office and the Index… Finally there are those among them who, echoing their Protestant masters, seek the suppression of priestly celibacy.” Notice that the same demands are now being put forward and that there is absolutely nothing original. As regards Christian thought and the formation of future priests, the intention of the reformers of St. Pius X’s time was the abandonment of scholastic philosophy among the obsolete systems.” They advocate “that young people should be taught modern philosophy, the only true philosophy, the only one suitable for our times… that so-called rational theology should be based on modern philosophy and positive theology on the history of dogmas.” In this respect, the Modernists have got what they wanted and more. In what passes for seminaries, they teach anthropology, psychoanalysis and Marx in place of St. Thomas Aquinas. The principles of Thomist philosophy are rejected in favor of vague systems which themselves recognize their inability to explain the economy of the Universe, putting forward as they do the philosophy of the absurd. One latter-day revolutionary, a muddle-headed priest much heeded by intellectuals, who put sex at the heart of everything, was bold enough to declare at public meetings: “The scientific hypotheses of the ancients were pure nonsense and it is on such nonsense that St. Thomas and Origen based their systems.” Immediately afterwards, he fell into the absurdity of defining life as “an evolutionary chain of biologically inexplicable facts.” How can he know that, if it is inexplicable? How, I would add, can a priest discard the only explanation, which is God?
The Modernists would be set at naught if they had to defend their elaborate theories against the principles of the Angelic Doctor, the notions of potency and act, essence, substance and accidents, body and soul, etc. By eliminating these notions they would render the theology of the Church incomprehensible and, as one reads in the Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici, “the result is that students of the sacred disciplines no longer even perceive the meaning of the words by which the dogmas which God has revealed are propounded by the Magisterium.” The offensive against scholastic philosophy is a necessary preliminary when one wants to change dogma and attack Tradition.
But what is Tradition? It seems to me that the word is often imperfectly understood. It is equated to the “traditions” that exist in trades, in families and in civic life: the “bouquet” fixed to the roof of a house when the last tile is laid, the ribbon that is cut to open a monument, etc. That is not what I am referring to: Tradition does not consist of the customs inherited from the past and preserved out of loyalty to the past even where there are no clear reasons for them. Tradition is defined as the Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Magisterium down through the centuries. This deposit is what has been given to us by Revelation; that is to say, the Word of God entrusted to the Apostles and transmitted unfailingly by their successors.
But now they want to get everyone inquiring, searching, as if we had not been given the Creed, or as if Our Lord had not come to bring us the Truth once and for all. What do they claim to discover with all this inquiry? Catholics upon whom they would impose these “questionings,” after having made them “abandon their certainties,” should remember this: the deposit of Revelation concluded at the death of the last Apostle. It is finished and it cannot be touched until the end of time. Revelation is irreformable. The First Vatican Council re-stated this explicitly: “for the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention, to be perfected by human ingenuity; but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ (the Church) to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared.”
But, one will object, the dogma that makes Mary the Mother of God only dates back to the year 431, transubstantiation to 1215, papal infallibility to 1870 and so on. Has there not been an evolution? No, not at all. The dogmas which have been defined in the course of the ages were contained in Revelation; the Church has just made them explicit. When Pope Pius XII defined in 1950 the dogma of the Assumption, he said specifically that this truth of the assumption into Heaven of the Virgin Mary, body and soul, was included in the deposit of Revelation and already existed in the texts revealed to us before the death of the last Apostle. We cannot bring anything new into this field, we cannot add a single dogma, but only express those that exist ever more clearly, more beautifully and more loftily.
That is so certain that it forms the rule to follow in judging the errors that are put before us every day, and rejecting them with no concession. As Bossuet forcefully wrote: “When it is a matter of explaining the principles of Christian morality and the essential dogmas of the Church everything that does not appear in the Tradition of all time, and especially the early times, is from then on not only suspect but wrong and to be condemned; and this is the principal basis on which all the holy Fathers of the Church, and Popes more than anyone, condemned false doctrines, there being nothing more odious to the Roman Church than novelties.”
The argument that is pressed upon the terrorized faithful is this: “You are clinging to the past, you are being nostalgic; live in your own time!” Some are abashed and do not know what to reply. Nevertheless, the answer is easy: In this there is no past or present or future. Truth belongs to all times, it is eternal.
In order to break down Tradition they confront it with Holy Scripture, after the manner of the Protestants, with the assertion that the Gospel is the only book that counts. But Tradition came before the Gospel! Although the Synoptic Gospels were not written nearly as late as some would have us believe, a number of years had passed before the Four Evangelists had completed their writing; but the Church already existed, Pentecost had taken place and brought numerous conversions, 3000 on the very day the Apostles came out of the Upper Room. What did they believe just at that moment? How was Revelation transmitted if not by oral tradition? One cannot subordinate Tradition to Holy Scripture, still less reject it.
But do not imagine that, adopting this attitude, they have an unlimited respect for the inspired text. They even dispute that it is inspired in its entirety: “What is there in the Gospel which is inspired? Only the truths that are necessary for our salvation.” In consequence, the miracles, the accounts of the Holy Childhood, the actions and conduct of Our Lord are relegated to the category of more or less legendary biography. We fought in the Council over that phrase: “Only the truths necessary for salvation.” There were some bishops in favor of reducing the historical authenticity of the Gospels, which shows the extent to which the clergy is corrupted by neo-Modernism. Catholics should not allow themselves to be imposed upon: the whole of the Gospel is inspired and those who wrote it had the Holy Ghost guiding their intelligence, so that the whole of it is the Word of God, Verbum Dei. It is not permissible to pick and choose and to say today: “We will take this part but we don’t want that part.” To choose is to be a heretic, according to the Greek derivation of that word.
It remains no less a fact that it is Tradition that transmits the Gospel to us, and it appertains to Tradition, to the Magisterium, to explain to us the contents of the Gospel. If we have nobody to interpret it for us, we can reach several completely different understandings of the same words of Christ. We then end up with the free interpretation of the Protestants and the free inspiration of the present day charismatics which leads us into pure fantasy.
All the dogmatic councils have given us the exact expression of Tradition, the exact expression of what the Apostles taught. Tradition is irreformable. One can never change the decrees of the Council of Trent, because they are infallible, written and published by an official act of the Church, unlike those of Vatican II, which pronouncements are not infallible because the popes did not wish to commit their infallibility. Therefore nobody can say to you, “You are clinging to the past, you have stayed with the Council of Trent.” For the Council of Trent is not the past. Tradition is clothed with a timeless character, adapted to all times and all places. Source