A Bishop's Wonderland:
A Response to Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan
Thomas A. Droleskey
It appears as though Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan of the Society of Saint John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil, is suffering from a bit of willful amnesia, suspending his sensus Catholicus in order to make it appear as though the novelties of the past fifty years are not terribly problematic for the Church and that the real problem in the Church in her human elements today is not the infiltration of those infected by Modernist thought into her highest offices but rests in the words and actions of wicked traditionalists, who are simple cleaving to what the Church has always taught and how she, in her Roman Rite, has always worshiped God.
Bishop Rifan's recent interview, published on the AngelQueen.com website, would leave a totally uninformed observer under the impression that the problems facing the Church Militant today, if they exist all, have been highly exaggerated by a bunch of bitterly zealous traditionalists who are looking for problems so as to make themselves out to be more Catholic than the conciliar "popes". Lost, therefore, in Bishop Rifan's recently published interview is, shall we say, any contact with the reality of our ecclesial situation, thus demonstrating once again how triumphant positivism--and the contradiction and illogic upon which it is based--has been in our world in recent centuries. That is, a positivist believes that something is so because he has stated it to be so. No further proof is necessary other than the statement itself. That this proceeds from and feeds into an ethos of confusion and disarray seems to be lost on those who practice positivism.
Contradiction and illogic are two of the most prominent characteristics of the conciliarist era. As has been demonstrated in a number of articles in the past three months, Benedict XVI's mentor, the late Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, believed that truth could contradict itself. This is an absurd proposition, flying in the face of Aristotle's Principle of Non-Contradiction. Alas, men who reject Thomism, based as it is upon Aristotlean logic, must reject the Principle of Non-Contradiction, coming to believe in patently absurd, illogical propositions as being perfect reasonable and logical. This is, as we know, part of the Diabolical Disorientation afflicting the Church and the world today, part and parcel of the effects of Modernism, repackaged as the "New Theology," condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, and whose key tenets had been denounced by Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura and in The Syllabus of Errors, December 8, 1864.
Benedict XVI is an unapologetic disciple of the likes of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac and Johnann Baptist Metz. He came to the pontificate nearly a year ago with very a long paper trail of books and articles outlining his complete rejection of dogmatic formulae that had, in his view, "outlived their usefulness," going so far as to call the "Second" Vatican Council a "counter-Syllabus of Errors." He has a contempt for the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church as elucidated by the likes of popes from Gregory XVI through Pius XII, a span a 126 years, 1832-1958. The false "pontiff" is an advocate of contemporary Biblical "scholarship," writing that earlier determinations of the Pontifical Biblical Commission must be considered as binding upon scholars today. This is what he was quoted as saying in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990:
The text [of the document Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation] also presents the various types of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It affirms - perhaps for the first time with this clarity - that there are decisions of the magisterium that cannot be the last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition. The nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times influenced, may need further correction.
In this regard, one may think of the declarations of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on evolutionism]. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church's anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from falling into the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time. (Joseph Ratzinger, "Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation," published with the title "Rinnovato dialogo fra Magistero e Teologia," in L'Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990, p. 6, cited at Card. Ratzinger: The teachings of the Popes against Modernism are obsolete)
Benedict XVI, you see, has a view of magisterial teaching that is novel, relying upon a fellow practitioner of the New Theology, Father Johann Baptist Metz. The consistent teaching of the Church, reiterated by popes from Gregory XVI through Pius XII, never becomes obsolete. The Ordinary Magisterium of the Church clothes with the charism of infallibility teaching that has been taught "always and everywhere" and believed by everyone. The teaching of the Divine Redeemer is not subject to change. He is immutable. His teaching is immutable. And no legitimate development of doctrine can in any way contradict that which has preceded it. The novelties of the "Second" Vatican Council concerning religious liberty--and Benedict XVI's rejection of the confessionally Catholic state--are contradictions of the Deposit of Faith. The same holds for the novelty of ecumenism. And the same holds for the Modernist approach to Biblical studies, which could lead one Father Bruno Forte, who was consecrated an archbishop by Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger in 2004, to write that the Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was a legend. Father Johann Baptist Metz plays a major role, therefore, in the shaping of the mind of Benedict XVI about how to deconstruct and then render into irrelevance, if not contempt, the binding statements of the popes of the past.
It is clear that Benedict XVI rejects the following dogmatic pronouncement of the First Vatican Council as having become obsolete, something that is simply an impossibility. Indeed, the jaws of Hell have prevailed against the Church if the following pronouncement can be deconstructed legitimately and in full concert with the teaching of the Fathers as to be considered "obsolete:"
Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers. . . .
For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.
No one in the Church, including a pope, has any authority to deconstruct binding doctrinal pronouncements. Any attempt to do so is simply illicit and must be resisted. Popes have an obligation to teach what has been handed down to them without any shadow of change or alteration. The [First] Vatican Council was most explicit: "Nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers." Benedict XVI views the Fathers and the entirety of the Church's Tradition through the eyes of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac, inverting the correct way of how to view the Church's patrimony.
A man who holds a Master's degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville told me that a course on the Church Fathers consisted of the readings of men like Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar. It is their warped and convoluted view of the Fathers of the Church that is taught as binding upon Catholics in a den of the emotionalism and illogic of Catholic Pentecostalism, which was condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Testem Benevolentiae in 1899, the Franciscan University of Steubenville. This inversion of things also exists at Christendom College, where, according to a student who was enrolled there in the Fall of 2003, students are taught in one theology course that they must view the Fathers of the Church in light of the "Second" Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Church teaches us perennially, however, that each of her documents must be viewed in light of Tradition, not Tradition in light of subsequent developments. The very canonicity of the Bible itself was proved on the basis of Tradition. The inversion of reality that has been bred by conciliarism leads to illogic and contradictions becoming the norm in the life of the Church in her human elements.
You see, Bishop Rifan, it is not an exercise in "rash judgment" to assess the documents of the "Second" Vatican Council and the encyclical letters of the conciliar and postconciliar popes in light of how some of them contradict defined magisterial teaching again and again. Oh, yes, there is a cottage industry of people who have spent the better part of their lives defending the indefensible. I know. I used to be one of them. One must be prepared to be hated and reviled and called all manner of names for coming to the realization that the clarity of the Catholicity of the preconciliar popes cannot be reconciled with the ambiguity of the "Second" Vatican Council and many of the postconciliar papal encyclical letters.
The work of the "Second" Vatican Council was totally unnecessary. The list that follows was included in "Unambiguously Harmful" four months ago, it is worth repeating here in order to demonstrate that the "Second" Vatican Council's effects have been principally to make unclear, if not contradict in many instances, what had been clear for the better part of two millennia:
Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis made Lumen Gentium unnecessary.
Pope Leo XIII's Providentissimus Deus made Dei Verbum unnecessary.
Pope Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos and Pope Leo XIII's Inscrutabili Dei Consilio and Humanum Genus and Sapientiae Christianae are the antitheses of Gaudium et Spes.
Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum and Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos is the antitheses of the Unitatis Redintegratio.
Pope Pius XI's Divini Illius Magistri made Gravissimum Educationis unnecessary.
Pope Pius XI's Ad Catholici Sacerdotii made Presbyterorum Ordinis unnecessary.
Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei, Libertas, Sapientiae Christianae, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus and Pope Pius XI's Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, Quas Primas, and Divini Redemptoris conflict substantially with Dignitatis Humanae.
Pope Saint Pius V's Quo Primum and Pope Pius XII's Mediator Dei made Sacrosanctum Concilium unnecessary.
Pope Leo XIII's Orientalium Dignitas made Orientalium Ecclesiarum unnecessary.
Pope Pius XI's Rerum Ecclesiae made Ad Gentes unnecessary.
Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors and Pope Saint Pius X's Pascendi Dominici Gregis are the antitheses of Pope John XXIII's Opening Address to the "Second" Vatican Council in 1962 and Pope Paul VI's Closing Address in 1965.
In other words, most of the work done in ambiguous--or highly questionable-terms--by the "Second" Vatican Council had been done well before-hand in clear, unambiguous terms by previous popes. There was no need to "muddy the waters" of what had been defined in clear terms before. Readers know full well what was meant in the decrees of previous councils and in the encyclical letters and pronouncements or previous popes. That people are still debating the meaning of the conciliar documents forty-one years after the close of the "Second" Vatican Council speaks volumes about the novel expressions and ambiguities contained within them.
To assess the conciliar documents and the words and actions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism in light of the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church, our spotless mother on earth who can give us no errors whatsoever, is not to exercise "rash judgment." It is to apply the light of cold, hard logic and Catholic truth to documents and words and actions that contradict defined magisterial teaching and frequently contradict themselves, manifesting logical inconsistencies and absurdities over and over again.
Father Regis Scanlon, O.F.M., Cap., a sedeplenist, demonstrated inconsistencies and contradictory statements found in the thought of Father Hans Urs von Balthasar in an article that appeared in New Oxford Review in 1999 that I have quoted repeatedly on this site in the past three months. Thus we see how the abandonment of Thomism, which has the full support of Benedict XVI, has resulted in the triumph of illogic and inconsistency, to say nothing of attempting to posit a false conflict between the work of Saint Augustine and that of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Remember, the false "pontiff" views Saint Augustine through the prism of Hans Urs von Balthasar. He views the Gospel itself through the eyes of von Balthasar.
Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan, however, provided an interviewer of the AngelQueen.com website with a list of what he called the "seven capital sins" of traditionalists, perhaps indicating that that appellation does not apply to himself, citing no examples to prove his gratuitous claims. One of these alleged capital sins is "rash judgment." Is it an exercise in rash judgment, Your Excellency, to point out the truth of the false "pontiff's" theological moorings in the "New Theology" of Hans Urs von Balthasar? Cannot Catholics assess the prodigious volume of writing produced by Joseph Ratzinger before he became the conciliar "pontiff" and compare that with defined magisterial teaching? If not, why not?
Was it an exercise in "rash judgment," Your Excellency, for John Vennari, who is one of the most diligent and thorough researchers in the recent history of the Catholic Church, to prove incontrovertibly, even to the grudging satisfaction of many officials in the curia, how a Hindu priest had offered worship to false god in the Chapel of the Apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on May 5, 2004? You protested during your American visit in September, 2004, that you did not know what had happened in Fatima on May 5, 2004, but that you would seek to "investigate" it for yourself.
You have not said one word since that time on this abomination against the First Commandment that transpired in the very place where Our Lady appeared to Blessed Jacinta, Blessed Francisco and Sister Lucia in 1917. Why not? Is the price of "recognition" such, Your Excellency, that you find it impossible to defend Our Lady's honor because doing so might offend some other bishop? Would the late Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer have been so silent in the face of such an abomination? You did not participate in the Pilgrimage of Reparation for this abomination last August. You did not organize one on your own. Why not?
Was it an exercise in "rash judgment," Your Excellency, to point out your ever-shifting statements after you participated in a concelebrated Novus Ordo service in Aparecida, Brazil, on September 8, 2004? Father Joel Danjou of the Society of Saint Pius X wrote the following about how one of your priests attempted at first to explain away your appearance at that service by saying that it was not a Mass at all, simply a meeting of the Brazilian bishops, although you accept the Novus Ordo abomination as valid:
There seems to be marked uneasiness in Campos on this subject because today a priest from Rio who asked about this concelebration to a priest from Campos received as answer that it was not a concelebration but a bishops’ meeting at the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida.
Your Excellency later said that you had "extended" your hands, but "did not actually mouth the words" at the moment of the consecration, admitting to the simulation of a sacrament, something that is, objectively speaking, a grave sin. This is what Father Danjou himself wrote on the DICI website:
With that admission, Rifan is now in even more trouble because he has admitted to the grave sin of dissimulatio Sacramenti, i.e., knowingly simulating a Sacrament. A priest is prohibited ever, even to save his life, from simulating a Sacrament, that is, performing the sacramental action without the intention of conferring a Sacrament. And now by admitting his sin publicly in a vain attempt to exculpate himself, he has committed another grave sin, that of scandal. Moreover, laywomen sacrilegiously handed out "communion" in the presence of Rifan, and he raised no objection.
When asked by the AngelQueen.com interviewer about that concelebrated service, all you could do was to put into the record of the interview the statement that had been prepared by one of your priests nineteen months ago when it could no longer be denied that you had indeed been present at a concelebrated Novus Ordo Mass. Even at this late date, some nineteen months after the fact, you cannot give a straightforward answer about your participation n in a service that featured one bizarre novelty after another, thus fulfilling the desire of the Theologian of Papal Household, Georges "Cardinal" Cottier, to compromise the Society of Saint John Mary Vianney's longstanding opposition to the Novus Ordo Missae by forcing its priests to offer, or at least concelebrate, the Mass to demonstrate a "full, effective union" with the Holy See. (Another instance of a priest from Campos offering a Novus Ordo Missae was documented recently on a French website. See the Appendix below.)
Thus, the forthright statement of Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer to Pope Paul VI, written on September 12, 1969, which served as the bedrock of the Society's very existence in the years it resisted boldly the novelties of conciliarism, must be flushed down the Orwellian memory hole. Do you, Bishop Rifan, believe that Bishop Antonio Castro de Mayer was guilty of "rash judgment" for opposing the Novus Ordo Missae? Did he place himself and the priests of Campos "outside of the Church for refusing to offer the Novus Ordo Missae? Do you believe that Bishop de Castro Mayer demonstrated a lack of full communion with the Holy See by offering the one and only Mass that is indeed the official Mass of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Mass of Tradition?
Perhaps a review of Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer's letter, which is found on the Society of Saint Pius X's website, might demonstrate that an opposition to the Novus Ordo service is well-founded in Catholic dogmatic principles and not an exercise in "pride," "rash judgment" or "disobedience" to the false "pontiff" or to the Catholic Faith:
Most Holy Father,
After a close examination of the Novus Ordo Missae, which will enter into use on November 30 next, and after having prayed and reflected a great deal, I consider that it is my duty, as a Catholic priest and bishop, to lay before Your Holiness my anguish of conscience, and to formulate, with the piety and confidence that a son owes to the Vicar of Christ, the following request.
The Novus Ordo Missae shows, by its omissions, and by the changes that it has brought to the Ordinary of the Mass, as well as by a good number of the general rules that describe the understanding and nature of the new Missal in its essential points, that it does not express, as it ought to do the theology of the Holy Sacrifice as established by the Holy Council of Trent in its XXII session. The teaching of the simple catechism cannot overcome this fact. I attach below the reasons that, in my opinion, justify this conclusion.
The pastoral reasons that could, perhaps, be invoked, initially, in favor of the new structure of the Mass, cannot make us forget the doctrinal arguments that point in the opposite direction. Furthermore, they do not seem to be reasonable. The changes that prepared the Novus Ordo have not helped to bring about an increase in the Faith and the piety of the faithful. To the contrary, they remain very disturbed, with a confusion that the Novus Ordo has increased, for it has encouraged the idea that nothing is unchangeable in the Holy Church, not even the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Moreover, as I indicate in the attached reasons, the Novus Ordo not only fails to inspire fervor, but to the contrary, diminishes the Faith in central truths of the Catholic life, such as the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, the reality of the propitiatory Sacrifice, the hierarchical Priesthood.
I hereby accomplish an imperious duty in conscience by demanding, humbly and respectfully, that Your Holiness might deign, by a positive act that eliminates every doubt, to authorize us to continue using the Ordo Missae of Saint Pius V, whose effectiveness in bringing about the spread of Holy Church and an increase in the fervor of priests and faithful has been proven, as Your Holiness reminded us with so much unction.
I am convinced that Your Holiness’s fatherly kindness will bring to an end the perplexities that have risen in my heart of a priest and bishop.
Prostrate at Your Holiness’ feet, in humble obedience and filial piety, I implore you Apostolic Benediction.
+ Antonio de Castro Mayer
Bishop of Campos, Brazil
COMMENTS ON THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE
The Novus Ordo Missae consists in general norms for the text of the Ordinary of the Mass. Both the text and the norms propose a new Mass that does not consider sufficiently the definitions of the Council of Trent concerning this matter, and constitutes, for this reason, a grave danger for the integrity and purity of the Catholic Faith. We have only examined here a few points, that, we believe, establish that which I have affirmed.
I. Definition of the Mass
In its no.7 the new Ordo gives the follow as a definition of the Mass: "Cena dominica seu Missa est sacra synaxis seu congregatio populi Dei in unum convenientis, sacerdote praeside, ad memoriale Domini celebrandum. Quare de sanctae ecclesiae locali congregatione eminenter valet promissio Christi: ‘Ubi sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum’" (Mt. 18:10) 1.
In this definition:
There is insistence on the Mass understood as a meal. Moreover, this way of seeing the Mass can be found frequently, all along the general norms (cf. v.g. nos. 8, 48, 55d, 56 etc.). It seems even that the intention of the new Ordo Missae is to inculcate this aspect of the Mass, to the detriment of the other, which is essential, namely that the Mass is a sacrifice.
In fact, in the quasi-definition of the Mass given in article 7, the character of the sacrifice of the Mass is not signified.
Likewise, it attenuates the sacramental character of the priest, that distinguishes him from the faithful.
Furthermore, nothing is said of the intrinsic value of the Mass, independently of the presence of the assembly. Much to the contrary, it is supposed that there is no Mass without the "congregatio populi", for it is the "congregatio" that defines the Mass.
Finally, the text allows a confusion to exist between the Real Presence and the spiritual presence, for it applies to the Mass the text from Saint Matthew which only concerns the spiritual presence.
The confusion between the Real Presence and the spiritual presence, already seen in article 7, is confirmed in article 8, which divides the Mass into a "table of the word" and a "table of the Lord’s body". But it also hides the aspect of sacrifice in the Mass, which is the principal of all, since the aspect of a meal is only a consequence, as can be deduced from Canon 31 of the XXII session of the Council of Trent.
We observe that the two texts from Vatican II, quoted in the notes, do not justify the concept of the Mass proposed in the text. We also note that the few expressions, that are more or less passing references, in which are found expressions such as this, at the Altar: "sacrificium crucis sub signis sacramentalibus praesens efficitur" (no. 259) are not sufficient to undo the ambiguous concept, already inculcated in the definition of the Mass (no. 7), and in many other passages in the general norms.
II. The Purpose of the Mass
The Mass is a sacrifice of praise to the Most Holy Trinity. Such a purpose does not appear explicitly in the new Ordo. To the contrary, that which, in the Mass of Saint Pius V, shows clearly this sacrificial end is suppressed in the new Ordo. Examples include the prayers "Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas" from the Offertory and the final prayer "Placeat, tibi, Sancta Trinitas". Likewise the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity has ceased to be the Preface for Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
As well as being the "sacrificium laudis Sanctissimae Trinitatis" 2, the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice. The Council of Trent insists greatly on this aspect, against the errors of the Protestants (Chapter 1 & Canon 3). Such a purpose does not appear explicitly in the new Ordo. Here and there can be found a reminder of one or other expression that could be understand as implying this concept. But it never appears without the shadow of a doubt. Also, it is absent when the norms declare the purpose of the Mass (no. 54). In fact, it is insufficient to express the theology of the Mass established by the Council of Trent to simply affirm that it brings about "sanctification". It is not clear that this concept necessarily implies that of propitiation. Moreover the propitiatory intention, so clearly visible in the Mass of Saint Pius V, disappears in the New Mass. In fact the Offertory prayers Suscipe Sancte Pater and Offerimus tibi and that for the blessing of the water Deus qui humanae substantiae… reformasti have been replaced by other that make no reference to propitiation at all. It is rather the sense of a spiritual banquet that they impress.
III. The Essence of the Sacrifice
The essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass lies in repeating what Jesus did at the last Supper, and this not as a simple recitation, but accompanied by the gestures. Thus, as the moral theologians have said, it is not enough to simply say again historically what Jesus did. The words of consecration must be pronounced with the intention of repeating what Jesus accomplished, for when the priest celebrates, he represents Jesus Christ, and acts "in persona Christi".3 In the new Ordo there is no such precise statement, although it is essential. To the contrary, in the passage that speaks of the narrative part, nothing is said of the properly sacrificial part. Thus, when it explains the Eucharistic Prayer, it speaks of the "narratio institutionis" 4 (no. 54 d.) in such a way that the expressions: "Ecclesia memoriam ipsius Christi agit" 5 and another at the end of the consecration: "Hoc facite in meam commemorationem" 6 have the meaning indicated by the explanation given in the preceding general norms (no. 54 d.). We remark that the final phrase of the (traditional) consecration "Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis"7 were much more expressive of the reality that in the Mass, it is the action of Jesus Christ which is repeated.
Furthermore, placing other expressions in the midst of the essential words of consecration, namely "Accipite et manducate omnes" 8 and "Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes" 9, introduce the narrative part into the same sacrificial act. Whereas, in the Tridentine Mass the text and movements guide the priest naturally to accomplish the propitiatory sacrificial action and almost impose this intention on the priest who celebrates. In this way the "lex supplicandi" 10 is perfectly in conformity with the "lex credendi" 11. We cannot say this for the New Ordo Missae. However, the New Ordo Missae ought to make it easier for the celebrant to have the intention necessary to accomplish validly and worthily the act of the Holy Sacrifice, especially given the importance of this action, not mentioning the instability of modern times, nor even the psychological conditions of the younger generations.
IV. The Real Presence
The sacrifice of the Mass is bound to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The Real Presence is a consequence of the sacrifice. By transsubstantiation the change of the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Savior is accomplished, and thus the sacrifice takes place. As a consequence the perpetual Victim is present on the altar. The Blessed Sacrament is nothing other than the Victim of the Sacrifice, who remains once the sacrificial act has been accomplished. As a consequence of the new definition of the Mass (no. 7) the new Ordo allows ambiguity to exist concerning the Real Presence, which is more or less confused with the simply spiritual presence, indicated by the phrase "where two or three are gathered in my name".
Moreover, the suppression of nearly all the genjflexions, traditional expression of adoration in the Latin church, the thanksgiving seated, the possibility of celebrating without an altar stone, on a simple table, the equating of the eucharistic banquet with a spiritual meal, all lead to the obscuring of the Faith in the Real Presence.
The equating of the eucharistic banquet to a spiritual meal leaves open the idea that Jesus’ presence in the Blessed Sacrament is bound to its use, as his presence in the word of God. From this it is not difficult to conclude with the Lutheran error, especially in a society that is little prepared to think on a higher plane. The same conclusion is favored by the function of the altar: it is only a table, on which there is not normally place for the tabernacle, in which the Victim of the sacrifice is customarily kept. The same can be said for the custom for the faithful to communicate with the same host as the celebrant. By itself, this gives the idea that once the sacrifice is completed, there is no longer any place for reserving the Blessed Sacrament. Thus none of the changes in the new Ordo Missae lead to greater fervor in the Faith towards the Real Presence, but they rather diminish it.
V. The hierarchical priesthood
The Council of Trent defined that Jesus instituted his apostles priests, in order that they, and the other priests, their successors, might offer His Body and Blood (Session xxii, Canon 2). In this manner, the accomplishment of the Sacrifice of the Mass is an act that requires priestly consecration. On the other hand, the same Council of Trent condemned the Protestant thesis, according to which all Christians would be priests of the New Testament. Hence it is that, according to the Faith, the hierarchical priest is alone capable of accomplishing the sacrifice of the New Law. This truth is diluted in the new Ordo Missae.
In this Missal, the Mass belongs more to the people than to the priest. It belongs also the priest, but as a part of the assembly. He no longer appears as the mediator "ex hominibus assumptus in iis quae sunt ad Deum" 12 inferior to Jesus Christ and superior to the faithful, as Saint Robert Bellarmine says. He is not the judge who absolves. He is simply the brother who presides.
We could make other observations to confirm what we have said above. However, we feel that the points that we have raised suffice to show that the new Ordo Missae is not faithful to the theology of the Mass, as established definitively by the Council of Trent, and that consequently it constitutes a serious danger for the purity of the Faith.
+ Antonio, Bishop of Campos (BISHOP ANTONIO DE CASTRO MAYER'S LETTER TO POPE PAUL VI REGARDING THE PROMULGATION OF THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE)
Well, Bishop Rifan, was Bishop de Castro Mayer right or wrong? Be a man. Speak up.
You said in the AngelQueen.com interview that the sixty-two reasons not to assist at the Novus Ordo service that had been compiled by the priests of Campos did not represent the "official" position of the Society of Saint John Mary Vianney. Leaving aside that laughable exercise in positivism, Bishop de Castro Mayer's letter to Paul VI is undeniably authentic, isn't it? Has it not proved to be prophetic of the disastrous results wrought by the synthetic concoction that is the Novus Ordo service. Things have gotten worse, not better, in the past thirty-seven years.
Will you publicly stand by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer's condemnation of the Novus Ordo service as "a serious danger for the purity of the Faith?" If not, then this must mean that Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer was demonstrating a willful disobedience to the Holy See rather than standing fast to the perpetually binding nature of Quo Primum. Or has Bishop de Castro Mayer's letter to Paul VI become "obsolete," to the use of the language of the current conciliar "pontiff" when referring to "earlier" pronouncements of the Catholic Church that are protected by the infallibility accorded the Ordinary Magisterium?
Alas, we can see that the price of recognition is such that men who covet the "good standing" accorded by Rome, a status shared by the likes Father Richard McBrien and Father Hans Kung and Father Edward Schillebeeckx, by the way, is to make inconsistent and illogical statements that contradict their own previous positions and contradict themselves internally over and over again.
There is no need to answer each of Bishop Rifan's gratuitous claims point-by-point.
Any objective observer can see that the "pride" Bishop Rifan condemns in unnamed traditionalists belongs to some, although certainly not all, of those who smugly believe themselves to be "superior" to others because they worship in the context of "approved" ecclesiastical settings. It is they who castigate anyone and everyone who dares to use the perennial teaching of the Church to assess our current situation. And it is not to condemn anyone subjectively to point out that the unwillingness to look rationally at arguments presented about what happens to the minds of men when they are forced to defend illogic and contradiction in the life of the counterfeit church of conciliarism makes it impossible to have a rational, logical discussion with them. After all, what kind of discussion can be had when people make gratuitous charges and resort to sloganeering and the ad hominem to justify their positions?
It is curious that Bishop Rifan has seen fit to attack unnamed "traditionalists."
He does this while remaining silent as the false "pontiff" himself states that Catholics must not seek the conversion of Jews and Protestants.
He does this while remaining silent about Benedict XVI's praise of Hans Urs von Balthasar, thereby implying praise of the latter's theology of Universal Salvation.
He does this while remaining silent as the conciliar "pope" rewards bishops, such as the Richard Lennon, an auxiliary "bishop" of Boston who played a major role as Bernard "Cardinal" Law's chief lieutenant in covering up the pestilence in that archdiocese, to sees of their own.
He does this while remaining silent as men like Father Richard McBrien, who dissents from any number of matters contained in the Deposit of Faith, teach at Catholic universities and are sponsored by "directors of faith formation" at Catholic parishes to speak in apparently "neutral" settings that do not appear to be "officially linked" to a particular diocese. He does this while remaining silent as the immutable doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King is vitiated by Benedict XVI, who rejects the confessional state utterly and completely.
He does this while taking young traditionally-minded Catholics in the den of iniquity that is World Youth Day, replete with the errors of the Sillon and abounding with the horror of rock music and the scandalous attire and behavior of most of those gathered for the hootenanny.
He does this while remaining silent about the failure of any pope, including Benedict XVI to consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops, an act that would cease the spread of the errors of Russia, which are really the anti-incarnational errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church. Ah, none of this demands Bishop Rifan's public remarks. He must be focused on condemning traditionalists who dissent from not one whit of anything contained in the Deposit of Faith and who are simply trying to explain, out of love for Holy Mother Church and concern for their own sousl, the inherently offensive nature of the Novus Ordo Missae and how it must be suppressed forever.
What do those of us who have come to the conclusion, much, much later that we should have (well, at least in my own case), that the errors of conciliarism must be resisted and not defended as compatible with the Faith have to gain from taking the stands that we have taken? Money? Please, do you want to see my bank account? Popularity? Hardly. It is not pleasant, humanly speaking, to be hated and reviled, to lose friends, including priests, of longstanding. It is, humanly speaking, quite painful to see people mistake a firm defense of the Faith for "anger" or "bitter zeal."
Let me reiterate, Your Excellency, it is painful in human terms to lose one's friends. Yes, indeed, the souls of those who die in the state of Sanctifying Grace will be reconciled to each other on the Last Day. We are, though, still flesh and blood human beings with natural emotions and sentiments. It is never easy to be reviled by one's former friends for taking stands that one believes need to be taken in defense of the Faith. You had better think twice about castigating traditionalists who know full well that the price of resistance to the novelties and errors of the past half-century is humiliation and isolation and, in some instances, a lack of material resources.
Pride? Think again, Your Excellency. Stop creating straw men that are easy to blow down with hearty puffs. None of us who have come to the conclusion that the novelties of the recent past must be rejected as incompatible with the Catholic Faith do so in the belief that we are one bit better than any other human being.
I know that I am a terrible sinner who is in need of doing much reparation for my sins before I die. No, those of us who are opposing the novelties of conciliarism do so out of a concern for souls. Period. How can you, Your Excellency, remain silent as millions of people around the world are left to die outside of the Catholic Church because her shepherds no longer believe it necessary to attempt to convert them? It is solely for souls that those of us who have recognized the importance of resisting the novelties and errors of conciliarism seek to shed the light of Catholic truth upon those novelties and errors. It appears, Your Excellency, that you have far, far more to gain for yourself by remaining silent in the face of threats to the good of souls posed by the actions and words of your brother "bishops" than any of us who believe we must resist the wolves in shepherds' clothing as strongly.
We must remain on our knees in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God, especially as we close Passion Week and embark upon Holy Week. We must console the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, mindful of the fact that our sins wounded those Hearts, which beat in perfect unison with each other, on Good Friday and wound the Church Militant today.
None of us who must take issue with a Successor of the Apostles, which Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan is, do so with delight or glee. We do so in full recognition of our own sinfulness and of the fact that our own sins have contributed mightily to the worsening of the situation of the Church in her human elements. We must, therefore, resolve to be part of the solution by striving to be holier and accepting whatever sufferings that come our way as the price of the only recognition that we should seek: eternal life with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas of Myra, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas of Flue, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Pope Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, the Hammer of Heretics, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Catherine Laboure, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
APPENDIX: MORE EVIDENCE OF CAMPOS PARTICIPATION IN THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE
Translation provided by Michael Matt, publisher-editor of The Remnant:
Dans la première partie de sa conférence du 21/02/06, Dom Rifan cite en
exemple la ville de São Paulo au Brésil où dit-il... où l’évêque aurait «
donné une église » dans le centre de la ville à l’Administration...
De tels succès, ça impressionne les Français, surtout les abbés Aulagnier
et de Tanoüarn ! Mais il parle trop bien le français pour commettre
l’erreur d’appeler « église » la petite capela santa Luzia (chapelle sainte
Lucie). Et il oublie de nous dire que jusqu’à aujourd’hui cette chapelle
L’Administration Apostolique de Campos y célèbre la messe le dimanche à
16h30, mais... le dimanche matin et les jours de semaine c’est la messe
nouvelle qui y est ordinairement célébrée. Mais.... ce genre de précisions
n’est perceptible que par ceux qui ont encore une dose suffisante de bonne
foi, ou selon d’autres, une dose trop importante de critique.
In the first part of his conference of February 2, 2006, Bishop Rifan
provided an example of the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil, where, he said...the bishop had "given a church" in the center of the city to the
Administration (St. John Marie Vianney) ...
This sign of success impressed the French, especially Fathers Aulagnier and
de Tanouarn! But he (Rifan) speaks French too well to make the erorr of
calling the little chapel of Saint Luzia a "church." And he forgot to tell
us that these days that chapel is bi-ritual.
The Apostolic Administration of Campos celebrates the mass there on Sunday
at 4:30 but...Sunday mornings and the days of the week it is the New Mass
that is ordinarliy celebrated there. But...this kind of accuracy is not
obvious to those who have enough good faith, or according to others, it is
not important enough to criticize.