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                    November 23, 2006

Celebrate the Feast of Pope Saint Clement I with Thanks for Being Catholic

by Thomas A. Droleskey

This is a great feast day. We should celebrate it with great joy. This is the feast day of the fourth pope, the third Success of Saint Peter, Pope Saint Clement I, a martyr for the Holy Faith. We also commemorate the life of another martyr, Saint Felicitas. How wonderful it is that we live a country where a national holiday is observed on the feast of these great saints!

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., wrote the following about Pope Saint Clement I in The Liturgical Year:

The memory of St. Clement has been surrounded with a peculiar glory from the very beginning of the Roman Church. After the death of the apostles, he seems to eclipse Linus and Cletus, although these preceded him in the pontificate. We pass, as it were, naturally from Peter to Clement; and the East celebrates his memory with no less honour than the West. He was in truth the universal pontiff, and his acts as well as his writings are renowned throughout the entire Church. This widespread reputation caused numbers of apocryphal writings to be attributed to him, which, however, it is easy to distinguish from his own. But it is remarkable that all the falsifiers who have thought fit to put his name to their own works, or to invent stories concerning him, agree in declaring that he was of imperial descent.

With only one exception, all of the documents which attest Clement's intervention in the affairs of distant churches have perished with time; but the one that remains shows us in full action the monarchical power of the bishop of Rome at that primitive epoch. The church of Corinth was disturbed with intestine quarrels caused by jealously against certain pastors. These divisions, the germ of which had appeared even in St. Paul's time, had destroyed all peace, and were causing scandal to the very pagans. The Corinthians at last felt the necessity of putting an end to a disorder which might be prejudicial to the extension of the Christian faith; and for this purpose it was requisite to seek assistance from outside. The apostle had all departed this life, except St. John, who was still the light of the Church. It was not great distance from Corinth to Ephesus where the apostle resided: yet it was not to Ephesus but to Rome that the church of Corinth turned. Clement examined the case referred to his judgment by that church, and sent to Corinth five commissaries to represent the Apostolic See. They were bearers of a letter, which St. Irenaeus calls potentissimas litteras. It was considered at the time so beautiful and so apostolic, that it was long read in many churches as a sort of continuation of the canonical Scriptures. Its tone is dignified but paternal, according to St. Peter's advice to pastors. There is nothing in it of a domineering spirit; but the grave and solemn language bespeaks the universal pastor, whom none can disobey without disobeying God Himself. These words so solemn and so firm wrought the desired effect: peace was re-established in the church of Corinth, and the messengers of the Roman Pontiff soon brought back the happy news. A century later, St. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, expressed to Pope St. Soter the gratitude still felt by his flock towards Clement for the service he had rendered.

Brought up in the school of the apostles, Clement had retained their style and manner. These are visible in his two 'Letters to Virgins,' which are mentioned St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome, and were found in the eighteenth century translated into Syriac, in a manuscript brought from Aleppo. As St. Caecilia reminded us yesterday, the principles of vowing chastity to God was, from the very beginning, one of the bases of Christianity, and one of the most effectual means for the transformation of the world. Christ Himself had praised the superior merit of this sacrifice; and St. Paul, comparing the two states of life, taught that the virgin is wholly taken up with our Lord, while the married women, whatever her dignity, is divided. Clement had to develop this doctrine, and he did so in these two letters. Anticipating those great doctors of Christian virginity, St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustin, he developed the teachings of St. Peter and St. Paul on this important subject. 'He or she,' he says, 'who aspires to this higher life, must lead like the angels an existence all divine and heavenly. The virgin cuts herself off from the allurements of the senses; not only does she renounce the right to their even lawful use, but she aspires to that hope which God, who can never deceive, encourages by His promise, and which far surpasses the natural hope of posterity. In return for her generous sacrifice, her portion in heaven is the very happiness of the angels.'

Thus spoke the disciple chosen by St. Peter to get his hand to the task of renovating Rome. It needed no less than this strong doctrine in order to combat the depraved manners of the Empire. Had Christianity been satisfied with inviting men to honour, as the philosophers had done, its efforts would have been to no purpose. Stoicism, by exciting great pride, could bring some men even to despise death; but it was utterly powerless against sensuality, which we must own to have been the strongest auxiliary to the tyranny of the Caesars. The ideal of chastity, thrown into the midst of that dissolute society, could alone arrest the ignominious torrent that threatened to submerge all human dignity. Happily for the world, Christian morals succeeded in gaining ground; and its maxims being followed up by striking examples, it at length forced itself upon the public notice. Roman corruption was amazed to hear of virginity being held in honour and practised by a great many followers of the new religion; and that at a time when the greatest privileges and the most terrible chastisements could scarcely keep to their duty the six vestals upon whose fidelity depended the honour and the safety of the city. Vespasian and Titus were aware of the infringements upon their primary duty committed by these guardians of the Palladium; but they considered that the low level at which morals then stood forbade them to inflict the ancient penalties upon these traitresses.

The time, however, was at hand, when the emperors, the senate, and all Rome, were to learn from the first Apology of St. Justin the marvels of purity concealed within that Babylon of iniquity. 'Among us, in this city,' said the apologist, 'there are many men and women who have reached the age of sixty or seventy years; brought up from infancy under the law of Christ, they have preserved to this day in the state of virginity; and there is not a country where I could not point out many such.' Athenagoras, in a memorial presented a few years later to Marcus Aurelius, was able to say in like manner: 'You will find among us a multitude of persons, both men and women, who have passed their life up to old age in the state of virginity, having no ambition but to unite themselves more intimately to God.'

Clement was predestined to the glory of martyrdom; he was banished to the Chersonesus, on the Black Sea. The Acts, which relate the details of his sufferings, are of very great antiquity; we shall not here enter into discussions concerning them. They tell us how Clement found in the peninsula a considerable number of Christians already transported there, and employed at working the rich and abundant marble quarries. The joy of these Christians on seeing Clement is easily conceived; his zeal in propagating the faith in this far-off country, and the success of his apostolate, are not matter for surprise. The miracle of a fountain springing up from the rock at Clement's word, to quench the thirst of the confessors, is a fact analogous to hundreds of others relate din the most authentic Acts of the saints. Lastly, the apparition of the mysterious lamb upon the mountain, marking with his foot the spot whence the water was to flow, carries back the mind to the earliest Christian mosaics, on which may still be seen the symbol of the lamb standing on a green hillock.

There are some very interesting lessons to be learn from this passage in Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year.

First, there is a reminder of the monarchical power of the Roman Pontiff. Who gave away the symbol of that monarchical power? Wasn't it Paul VI? Who refused to be crowned with the Papal Tiara? Wasn't it John Paul I and John Paul II and Benedict XVI? Who took the Papal Tiara off of his coat of arms? Wasn't it Benedict XVI. Yes, conciliarism wants nothing to do with papal monarchical power, having embraced the heretical novelty of episcopal collegiality. Pope Saint Clement I knew otherwise. Deo gratias!

Second, the lie of episcopal collegiality is disproved by the fact that the Catholics in Corinth looked to Rome, that is, to the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Clement, and not to the beloved evangelist, Saint John, who had taken care of Our Lady until she died and was assumed body and soul into Heaven. The Catholics of Corinth knew that it was not their "local churches" but Rome that was the seat of the Holy Faith. Deo gratias!

Third, Dom Prosper reminds us that the authority of the Vicar of Christ is absolute, that the pope is one "whom none can disobey without disobeying God Himself." Indeed. Although I am late to have my own eyes opened to the ramifications of this truth, suffice it to say that a legitimate pontiff commands our obedience in all things that do not pertain to sin, in all things that pertain to faith and morals. No one can oppose a legitimate pontiff without opposing Our Lord Himself. And no legitimate pontiff can give us bad doctrine or defective worship. He cannot express in his capacity as a private theologian things contrary to the defined teaching of the Catholic Church. This is the exact point that His Excellency Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas made in his lectures at the Fatima Conference at Mount Saint Michael's in Spokane, Washington, last month. Deo gratias!

Fourth, in contradistinction to the conciliar bishops in this country who have just authorized another gross waste of the money of ordinary Catholics still trapped in the conciliar structures to "examine" the "causes" of the perversion of conciliar priests, Pope Saint Clement knew that it was possible with God's grace for men and women who loved God to persevere in virginity throughout their lives. There was no need of a study to be conducted by social scientists, only an effort to be made to cooperate with the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood and that flow into our souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. There was a simple acceptance of the truths of the Catholic Faith. Deo gratias!

Fifth, quite similar to our own day today, the secular leaders of Rome believed in the pursuit of "honor" by their own strength. Catholics know that it is only by a reliance upon the merits won for us in the Sacrifice of the Cross, which is re-presented in an unbloody manner on altars of sacrifice by Catholic priests, men who act in persona Christi, that sanctity, not prideful "personal honor," is pursued to the point of one's dying breath--and that it is sanctity that builds right order in societies, not "civic virtue" or "personal honor."

It is this last point that brings me to how most Catholics in this country will spend this day, November 23, which is also the seventy-ninth anniversary of the martyrdom of Father Miguel Augustin Pro (one cannot accept any of the conciliar beatifications or canonizations if he rejects one of them; this will all get straightened out when the Triumph of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart occurs), by wallowing in empty sentimentality about how "grateful" we should be for living in such a "wonderful" and "free" land as the United States of America. Oh, yes, sure, we can "Catholicize" the day and give thanks, as we must do each day of our lives, for being Catholic. Fine. We must not, though, descend to the irrationality of believing that that Protestant and Masonic land was ever "wonderful" or that we are indeed "free."

There is nothing "wonderful" about a land founded on the belief that it is possible for men to pursue happiness in their own lives and order within society without belief in the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity  made Man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb and without a complete submission to the Deposit of Faith He entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church, which alone has the supernatural helps to produce sanctity in human souls, the condition that is the absolute prerequisite for all social order. Do you realize that the grubby little Calvinists who offered the first "thanksgiving" in English America (Spanish Catholics had done so some fifty-six years year, in 1565, in Saint Augustine, Florida) were giving thanks to "God" for having brought them safely, if just a little north of where they intended to land (that is, the Colony of Virginia), to a land where there were, as far as they knew, no Catholics and no trace of the Catholicism that remained in the Church of England?

These descendants of the killers of Catholics and smashers of altars, precursors of the "new puritans" in conciliarism itself, men and women who hated the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, who despised the veneration of Our Lady and the other saints and who forbade the public celebration of Christmas, are not to be admired, extolled or imitated in any way. These people, no matter the natural courage they hand to develop the land on which they found themselves, were virulent anti-Catholics and thus enemies of God Himself, setting the stage for the progressive chain of events that would lead 155 years later to the document, the Declaration of Independence, that made no reference to the God-Man and, 166 years later, lead to the document, the Constitution, that created the first secular government in the history of the world, one that rejected as a logical consequence of the Protestant Revolt and the "Enlightenment" and the rise of Judeo-Masonry the authority of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church.

Dr. John C. Rao, a professor of history at Saint John's University whom I have known since early 1979, wrote a masterful piece for The Remnant ten months ago explaining how the rot of what he terms quite correct as "Founderology" has poisoned the minds of Catholics to such an extent that most of them cannot see the plain truth that a country not founded on professedly Catholic truths is doomed to degenerate over time. Dr. Rao's article, part of which will be pasted below, is perfectly in line with the following passage contained in Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:

So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.

So many Catholics want to project into the minds and hearts of the founders of this nation Catholic beliefs that were not there. And to the extent that the residue of Catholicism was present in those minds and hearts that residue was filtered through the lens of Protestantism and rationalism and naturalism. Whatever level of residue of Catholicism was present in the thirteen English colonies up and down the Atlantic seaboard of what is now the United States of America could not--and did not--produce a land wherein both citizens and elected officials worked to pursue the common temporal good in light of man's eternal destiny, that is, to live in such a way at all times and in all of our activities as a Catholic submissive to the Deposit of Faith and seeking to strive to cooperate ever more fully with Sanctifying Grace to get home to Heaven. To believe otherwise is to attribute to Protestantism--and other false beliefs--the same kind of abilities to "sanctify" souls and produce social order that conciliarism believes is possible if all nations imitate the very heresy of "religious liberty" that was given us by the founders of the United States of America.

Can Protestantism save souls? If not, how can it provide order in civil society?

Following the Incarnation of Our Lord, His Nativity, Hidden Life, Public Ministry, Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven,  can anyone be indifferent to the fact that He founded but one Church to be the means of human salvation and that all nations must recognize this one Church confessionally? Either Americanists and conciliarists are right or the Catholic Church was right from Pentecost Sunday until the advent of conciliarism to insist on the ideal, never realized fully or without tensions and conflicts and controversies, of the Divine Plan that God Himself had instituted to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church. It cannot be both.

Consider these words from Immortale Dei:

As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose everbounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -- it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the wellbeing of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with God.

Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate.

Although he offered diplomatic words of praise for George Washington's natural virtues, Pope Leo XIII used Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895, to hammer the American Constitution's indifference to the true religion:

The main factor, no doubt, in bringing things into this happy state were the ordinances and decrees of your synods, especially of those which in more recent times were convened and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See. But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority.

John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop and archbishop in the United States of America, did not believe he had the responsibility to convert the nation to Catholicism. He believed that he had the mission to subordinate the life of Catholics to the dictates of the Constitution of the United States of America, which was extolled for its "permitting" adherents of the true religion to practice their Faith publicly alongside adherents of false religions at a time when Catholics were still being persecuted in the British Isles. Ah, yes, Catholics were supposed to be grateful"nice" Protestants and tolerant deists and other naturalists for the "opportunity" to practice their Faith publicly as these "nice" and "tolerant" non-Catholics knew full well that the desire to be accepted culturally would, over the course of time, coopt Catholics into viewing their Church through the lens of "democracy" rather than viewing the world through the eyes of the true Faith.

Never once did it dawn upon John Carroll, whose ideology would lead directly to Father John Courtney Murray's We Hold These Truths--and from there straight to Dignitatis Humanae--that the devil raised up hateful Protestants who attacked Catholics in Central Europe and in England and Ireland in order to make them believe that the "nice" Protestants and "tolerant" deists were they friends in order to get them to empty themselves of any notion that the Catholic Faith had to be recognized by the civil state as the true religion. Never once did it dawn upon John Carroll or his many other quisling successors, such as John Ireland and John Lancaster Spalding and Martin Spalding and Peter Richard Kenrick and John Purcell and James Gibbons and Richard Cushing and Francis Spellman, that Catholics had been duped to support the false belief that men can know personal happiness and hence social order without the the supernatural helps and direction provided exclusively by the Catholic Church. Oh, no, it was "America, esto perpetua!" in the view of John Ireland, the longtime Archbishop of Saint Paul (1884-1918), who told the National Education Association annual meeting in 1890 that he believed that the religion of a majority of public school students in any given school should be taught in those schools in order to fight "irreligion," an exact and prophetic statement in the 1880s of the conciliarist mind of Benedict XVI.

Influenced by the ethos of pluralism, some Americanist bishops of the Nineteenth Century sought to champion the cause of ecumenism. An article written by Dr. Justin Walsh that appeared in The Angelus in April of 2000 explained how Bishop John Keane, the Rector of the Catholic University of America, extolled the "Parliament of Religions" at the Chicago World's Fair in 1894:

In 1890 Congress passed a bill allowing cities to compete for the right to host an exhibition in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of America. Chicago won and in 1893, 12 million people visited a Columbian Exposition devoted to "the material and artistic achievements" of America that was in fact a display of crass materialism unlike anything the world had yet seen. Edison's recently-invented electric light literally changed night into day along a carnival-like "midway" featuring such exotic attractions as "Little Egypt" performing her "dance of seven veils." Also featured was the first "ferris wheel." For those inclined to more sedate attractions, there were numerous congresses scheduled to examine "pressing literary, scientific, and religious problems of the times." The gathering that generated the most excitement was the so-called "Parliament of Religions," scheduled for two weeks in September and at which Rome inexplicably agreed to let Catholics "exchange ideas" with Protestants, Jews, Confucianists, Buddhists, Mohammedans, and "representatives of many other sects."

As rector of the CUA, John J. Keane orchestrated participation in a display of unrestrained religious indifferentism, long held by the Church to be dangerous to the Faith. Cardinal Gibbons, the highest-ranking prelate in the US, offered the opening prayer on September 11. Overflowing with ecumenism, he recited the Protestant version of the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors...For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever! Amen [emphasis on characteristically Protestant words added." Bishop Keane seemed awestruck describing how "representatives of the principal religions...passed in procession down the central aisle" for the solemn opening:

A marvelous spectacle it was - that grouping of all races and tongues, that variety of national costumes and religious insignia, with the purple robe and gentle figure of our beloved cardinal for center piece.

The "marvelous spectacle" was reprised at the closing ceremony on September 28 when Gibbons again offered the Protestant Lord's Prayer. During the congress the Cardinal spoke on "interdenominational co-operation" and John Ireland delivered an address on his favorite theme about how much America meant to Catholicism. John Keane seemed especially pleased, lauding the proceedings in a souvenir volume as an...assemblage of intelligent and conscientious men, presenting their religious convictions without minimizing, without acrimony, without controversy, with love and truth and humanity.

Bishop Keane spent much of 1894 urging Catholics to broaden their participation in such events. He started in January with an article in the Bulletin de L'Institut Catholique of Paris. The article advocated a kind of worldwide replication of the Columbian Exposition so that Catholics might evangelize the modern world.

The great discovery [of America]...inaugurated a Providential revolution, a progress in the condition of society and in the whole organization of human life....A distinctive feature in the mission of America is the reunion of the long-divided children of God by the destruction of barriers and enmities which separate race from race. Why could not something of the kind be done with regard to religious divisions and enmities? Why should not religious congresses combine in an international congress of religions where all might meet in mutual tolerance and charity, where all forms of religion might rise up together against all forms of irreligion?

In an address before the International Scientific Congress of Catholics in Brussels the following September, Keane expanded his vision to encompass the whole world.

When we studied a map of Europe we saw it marked with little divisions - lines that represent not merely territorial boundaries but jealousy and hatred and hostility and division of hearts, expressed in God knows how many millions of men armed to destroy the world. Now, from all these nations God has permitted emigration to us. All nations...among us...live together fraternally without enmity. God has privileged America to destroy those traditions of national jealousies, which you in Europe perpetuate, to mold them all in American unity....I have but to look round me and see how the human race is setting itself more and more to hate hatred and enmity. Humanity is beyond question striving for gentler manners and a greater extension of charity. But is it not the aim of religion to unite man with God and his fellow brethren? Religion is charity! Even though we could not agree about creeds, is it not possible to [agree] about charity?

Keane concluded with the amazing statement that, "because of certain prejudices," the Church would never convene a Parliament of Religions. But, "since it is absolutely decided that the Congress will meet, Catholic Church or no Catholic Church, our participation is a matter of necessity" [emphasis added] [Dr. Justin Walsh, "Heresy Blooms Like a Rose," part 1, Americanism: 1890-1900, The Angelus, April, 2000.]

As we know, the Catholic Church would not and could not convene a "Parliament of Religions." The counterfeit conciliar church has done so in Assisi on several occasions. Oh, yes, the Potomac really does flow into the Tiber.

We have a mission to Catholicize our land, which we are duty bound to love. True patriotism, however, is not the idolization of a country. This is the sin against the First Commandment called nationalism. True love of country seeks to will her good, which is her subordination to the Catholic Faith in every single face of her national life, yes, you libertarians and hard-core Calvinist capitalists out there, even in the realm of economics. We are citizens of Heaven before we are citizens of any nation. And it is because we are citizens of Heaven that we seek to plant the seeds for the conversion of each of our fellow citizens to the true Faith as the means to convert the nation. Oh, last time I looked, folks, conciliarists are opposed to "proselytism," no?

Here is Pope Leo XIII's explication of this point in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:

Now, if the natural law enjoins us to love devotedly and to defend the country in which we had birth, and in which we were brought up, so that every good citizen hesitates not to face death for his native land, very much more is it the urgent duty of Christians to be ever quickened by like feelings toward the Church. For the Church is the holy City of the living God, born of God Himself, and by Him built up and established. Upon this earth, indeed, she accomplishes her pilgrimage, but by instructing and guiding men she summons them to eternal happiness. We are bound, then, to love dearly the country whence we have received the means of enjoyment this mortal life affords, but we have a much more urgent obligation to love, with ardent love, the Church to which we owe the life of the soul, a life that will endure forever. For fitting it is to prefer the good of the soul to the well-being of the body, inasmuch as duties toward God are of a far more hallowed character than those toward men.

Moreover, if we would judge aright, the supernatural love for the Church and the natural love of our own country proceed from the same eternal principle, since God Himself is their Author and originating Cause. Consequently, it follows that between the duties they respectively enjoin, neither can come into collision with the other. We can, certainly, and should love ourselves, bear ourselves kindly toward our fellow men, nourish affection for the State and the governing powers; but at the same time we can and must cherish toward the Church a feeling of filial piety, and love God with the deepest love of which we are capable. The order of precedence of these duties is, however, at times, either under stress of public calamities, or through the perverse will of men, inverted. For, instances occur where the State seems to require from men as subjects one thing, and religion, from men as Christians, quite another; and this in reality without any other ground, than that the rulers of the State either hold the sacred power of the Church of no account, or endeavor to subject it to their own will. Hence arises a conflict, and an occasion, through such conflict, of virtue being put to the proof. The two powers are confronted and urge their behests in a contrary sense; to obey both is wholly impossible. No man can serve two masters, for to please the one amounts to contemning the other.

As to which should be preferred no one ought to balance for an instant. It is a high crime indeed to withdraw allegiance from God in order to please men, an act of consummate wickedness to break the laws of Jesus Christ, in order to yield obedience to earthly rulers, or, under pretext of keeping the civil law, to ignore the rights of the Church; "we ought to obey God rather than men." This answer, which of old Peter and the other Apostles were used to give the civil authorities who enjoined unrighteous things, we must, in like circumstances, give always and without hesitation. No better citizen is there, whether in time of peace or war, than the Christian who is mindful of his duty; but such a one should be ready to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than abandon the cause of God or of the Church.

Americanist Catholics, no matter if they are traditionalists of any stripe or variety, are continuing to abandon the cause of God and the Church by their refusal to face the facts that a country not founded in a confessional recognition of the true Church is bound to deteriorate over the course of time, having nothing other than the plain text of the words of its founding documents, which are as fungible in the hands of judges and the dictates of whatever "majority" happens to exist at any point in time as the words of the Sacred Scripture are in the hands of Protestants or Modernist Catholics, to guide them. Americanist Catholics are continuing to abandon the cause of God and the Church by their refusal to face the facts that a country founded on the belief that men can "will" to produce order in their own souls and in society is the complete and total recrudescence of semi-Pelagianism.

How many Catholics are there in in this country today who are going to extol the "virtues" of what Pope Gregory XVI called the "insanity" of "civil liberty" even though it was American Freemasons shortly after the founding of the nation who sent money and arms to their brothers in Latin America to undermine Catholicism in that region, all in the name of "independence," you understand? Deo gratias? I think not.

How many Catholics are there in this country today who are going to speak about our "beneficence" to the rest of the nations of the world even though it was the United States that spread Protestantism and Freemasonry into the Philippines and Cuba and Puerto Rico following the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898? Deo gratias? I think not.

How many Catholics are there in this country today who realize that this day of indulgent excess in the myths of our national founding will see countless numbers of citizens, including many Catholics, mind you, who will be giving thanks today because they live in a country where contraception and abortion are legal? Deo gratias? I think not.

How many Catholics are there in this country today who are going to give a moment's thought to the fact that this very day, November 23, 2006, over 4,000 babies are going to be executed in their mothers' wombs by means of surgical abortion? How many Catholics are there in this country today who are going to give a moment's thought as to the fact that the supposedly "pro-life" administration, which has presided over a moral disaster in Iraq of epic proportions, is funding this very day, November 23, 2006, their taxpayer dollars to subsidize the chemical assassination of babies in their mothers' wombs by means of domestic and international "family planning" programs? Deo gratias? I think not.

Dr. John C. Rao offered some very important thoughts on this matter in Founding Fathers vs. Church Fathers: 666-0:

Each time someone sings to me of the glories of the Founding Fathers—namely, every single day of the year-- I think of the Luca Signorelli cycle of paintings of the Antichrist in the cathedral of Orvieto. There, in Umbria, he is: posing as the Savior in front of a crowd of duped believers while his minions massacre the rest of the faithful in the background. Here, in the United States, for the punishment of our sins, they are: protestants, philosophes, a few befuddled or Enlightenment-drugged papists, and many anxious plantation owners and proto-capitalists--all idolized as architects of the "last, best hope of mankind".

Oh, but there is, admittedly, this one twist to my Signorelli analogy. The Antichrist of Orvieto clearly worked on his own steam. In contrast, the Founding Fathers did not themselves labor to convince believers that they were the last, best hope of the faithful in particular. We have to thank subsequent generations of Catholics for undertaking such a task on these demigods’ behalf. Perhaps this is a perversion only of my own little corner of the New Jerusalem, but it seems to me that in these latter days American Catholics are shouting hosannas to the Founders in sermons, in Good Friday meditations, and in calls for a return to their infallible, constitutional principles more regularly than ever before. And all with a panache that would have left the jaws of those hard-headed Anglo-Saxons dropping in amazement.

I can just imagine what George Washington, a Freemason whose library at Mount Vernon was filled with works on cement-making and other such devotional topics, would really have thought if he had known that he would one day be incensed as a Catholic icon; a new Constantine; and even a Marian visionary to boot. The belly-laugh he would have enjoyed with his buddies at the Arlington Lodge! And what about Benjamin Franklin, fresh from an illuminist workshop in Paris? Did he realize that he was laboring alongside Augustine to build up a Catholic City of God? Or consider the musings of the "liberal " (and non-Mason) Thomas Jefferson with the "conservative" John Adams, recently cited in The New York Sunday Times: "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away {with} all this artificial scaffolding…" (11 April, 1823, Adams-Jefferson Letters, ed. Lester J. Cappon, II, 594). How astonished would they have been to learn that Founder-intoxicated Americanists would not permit such dreams to interfere with their identification as card-carrying Catholic intellectuals: in fact, more reliable ones than men who actually had the temerity to believe in the Trinity, Original Sin, Redemption, and the Resurrection?

Let’s face it. If any of these Founder characters had lived outside of the United States, American Catholics would send them to hell in a hand basket. Too bad poor Robespierre could not have built a career on our side of the Atlantic. Given his own repeated deist references to God, he would have found himself qualifying as a Catholic candidate for canonization rather than for an eternal roasting as a terrorist Frog.

In any case, each time those sweet hosannas to the Founding Fathers ring, my mind turns to a different fatherly fraternity, this one truly worthy of the name—that of the Church Fathers. How many American Catholics can name them? Or, perhaps more fairly, how many American Catholics honestly take them and their works seriously? I mean, really seriously? Oh, they may be piously remembered for miracles associated with their lives, or for one or two anti-Arian citations, or even a couple of passages from their writings, rendered noteworthy through repeated quotation on EWTN. Nevertheless, insofar as daily practical life are concerned, they are dead, buried, and forgotten, consigned to the doctrinal rubbish bin. There is simply no contest in this battle of the ancestors, fraudulent and echt. The score is always the same: Founding Fathers "666"; Church Fathers "0".

American Catholics thinkers, liberal and conservative alike, are ever more confidently inciting the faithful to desert the army of their true spiritual forebears in order to embrace the "let’s-get-real" Founders of the last, best hope of mankind. They are so flush with Founderology that they promote it as though it were the only valid, practical Patrology. This has made a deeper interest in the old Church Fathers not only superfluous, but even harmful and downright impious. Hasn’t everything really valuable that the Fathers could teach us regarding social life been taught more suitably, and in English, by the American Founders? Some narrow patristic arguments, plucked from out of their overarching spiritual vision, may, of course, still be tolerated--if, that is to say, they can support the truly salvific constitutional and economic dogmas of Founderology. But all else is political and social trash, part of that human side of the Church’s Tradition which can easily be shed when reason and science and the inspired eighteenth century American aristocracy has spoken.

What does doctrine-soaked Cappadocia have to do with common sense Philadelphia anyway? What did Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa have to say about states’ rights? Where were Augustine’s comments on checks and balances? Cyril’s meditations on the pre-Civil War perfection of the dance of the sugar plum executives, legislators, and judges? Or Cyprian’s concerns about the right to bear catapults? What about that unconscionable collectivist John Chrysostom, whose neglect of the scientific laws of free enterprise helped disrupt the imperial GNP? Away with them! And the same worship of the Founder-friendly patristic phrase, accompanied by a dismissal of the Founder-phobic patristic spirit is employed to butcher the global vision of Thomas Aquinas, the late Scholastics, and the Church’s whole counterrevolutionary tradition as well.

Give me a determination to make all things jive with the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers, and Adam Smith and I’ll give you back a scriptural exegesis which will reveal the Incarnation to have been a humdrum prelude to the real excitement caused by 1776, 1787, and the daily figures from the New York Stock Exchange. Mutatis mutandis, what shows its face in Founderology is the same methodology familiar to us from the modernists of the turn of the twentieth century: that of restraining Christ’s message within a secular strait jacket. Christianity means the mundane as interpreted by this specific band of exegetes and nothing more. Take it or leave it. Live free according to these secular rules or die.

What most intrigues me as an historian is the sustained assault on Catholic History which such Patricide reflects. War on history has, of course, been declared everywhere in Christendom today. Rome has reduced the world before the1960’s to a house of horrors useful only in providing topics for self-deprecating addresses before frenzied anti-Catholic audiences out for blood. Local dioceses bulldoze their past with a passion matched only by Nicolae Ceausescu in pre-1989 Romania. Many elderly Catholics whom I know will deny on a stack of bibles all memory of doctrines and customs which I heard them piously repeat and saw them fervently practice in my childhood in the 1950’s.

None of this history killing, however, has the long term effect of that which is perpetrated on the school front. Anti-historical warmongering is rampant in Catholic education, and this, sad to say, is as true in conservative and even some traditionalist circles as in liberal centers. Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg? Don’t look to Goebbels for the handbook. He was a piker compared to the propagandists at the Sportpalasts of conservative American Catholic instruction. One can easily take stock of the damage by examining certain home schooling programs, whose record of human civilization begins with Virginia and Massachusetts rather than with Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Hebrews, Greece and Rome. Another proof of it is the outright prohibition by some "alternative" Catholic academies or colleges of any substantive presentation of our historical tradition, with its inevitable revelation of radical differences with the pottage served up by the American Dream. Talk about the sin against the Holy Ghost! Disclosure of Catholic History, for all too many conservatives, is the only thing that truly fits the bill. The equation Founders=Fathers=Catholic has more clout in our supposedly countercultural educational camp of the saints than any canon of the Council of Nicaea. Woe to the orthodox teacher who might threaten to weaken it! Would that he had never lived! Would, instead, that a twenty-first century Luca Signorelli might emerge to portray the way this mentality works to smooth the road down which the Antichrist will eventually happily sashay, with our fellow believers pulling his carriage. Once again, Founder Fathers, "666", Church Fathers--along with the rest of Catholic History-- "0".

But why would a believer voluntarily enlist in the ranks of the Catholic heritage killers and happily throw the game to the Founderologists? I have spent my whole adult life trying to explain the answer to that question, and have made my local wine merchant rich while trying to do so. Right now, I should like to approach the issue from the standpoint of one factor alone: the seemingly irresistible influence upon many well-intentioned Catholics of the concept of "American Values". As guides to Catholic morality go, this one is a pure gem. Build your moral life on the foundation of American Values and you will never lack for arguments justifying detours from the Church’s real Tradition again.

What, exactly, are these "American Values"? Presumably, values associated with America or accepted by Americans. Grasping what such values entail is not a terribly difficult enterprise. It merely involves a basic knowledge of the nature and interaction of the two different elements that have gone into forming them: ideas and men.

Ideas are real things, possessing a life and logic of their own, separate from the intentions of those who create or utilize them. No matter what the formulators of ideas might "will" regarding the meaning and development of their principles, these still enjoy their own innate character and direction. The Iron Law of Ideas applies to the labors of the Founders as much as to ordinary human beings who do not inhabit their special Olympus. And no matter how much the assertion may disturb a Founderologist’s breakfast, the Protestant and Enlightenment ideas which have shaped the Founders and America work with relentless logic to destroy all aspects of Catholic culture.

Individual men on their own, however, do not always think and act coherently or completely. They do not necessarily understand all the consequences of what they say and do. Many of the individual heretics and philosophes who created or promoted the ideas informing the United States of America are perfect examples of this phenomenon. There is much that they happily accepted as part of the obvious, unchanging "common sense" structure of the world around them, while nevertheless espousing subversive ideas undermining the very positions they cherished and thought to be unassailable.

The original Protestants and Enlightenment thinkers grew up in an environment that was either dominated by Catholicism or still nurtured numerous residual Catholic influences. Many thus took for granted and worked with familiar Catholic words and themes, even as they gave to them new anti-Catholic meanings. Many also presupposed the continued practice of Catholic ways of behavior even as their own ideas began to create a New Adam who would eventually act in a decidedly anti-Catholic manner. Thus, to note but one example, while using the concepts "freedom" and "nature", both of them themes familiar and friendly to Catholic ears, they brutally perverted their orthodox significance. While assuming that human beings would always act freely and naturally in a Catholic way, they destabilized the support system encouraging such traditional behavior. Doors were opened to the gradual construction of a new style of life for a new kind of man reflecting their changed ideas more accurately. What, exactly, their own New Adam would be like they could not even themselves imagine, precisely because they had no practical experience of him yet. In fact, if they had had a clear picture of this Frankenstein they might have quickly jettisoned him and returned to the bosom of Holy Church.

I am reminded in this regard of the instructive tale about Jeremy Bentham, who sought "the greatest good for the greatest number" on the basis of a materialist definition of what was "useful". Someone supposedly once asked him what would happen if 51% of Englishmen found that their greater good would be achieved by killing the other 49% of their countrymen. "Don’t be ridiculous", he is said to have responded, incredulously, "Englishmen do not act that way". Apocryphal or not, this would have been a valid comment, so long as they continued to behave as Christians, and in gross contradiction to the utilitarian ideas that he was teaching. But once men really understood what the full logic of his vision was; once they started to act in harmony with its precepts, they would begin to pursue what was useful in less scrupulous ways. The Twentieth and budding Twenty-First Centuries are filled with examples of utilitarians of many nations ready to "choose" their version of the good through actions that even Bentham would have had to call murder.

Proponents of so-called "American Values" are in a similar position to Jeremy, the Founders, and the original Protestants and philosophes behind them. These men of values enthusiastically repeat the fundamentally erroneous and radical ideas of the Reformation and the Enlightenment on such matters as freedom and nature, but are often held back from recognizing and accepting the wicked consequences of their false teachings due to the impact upon them of residual traditional presuppositions and "gut feelings". Here are men who are repeatedly horrified by the behavior of people who actually do draw the logical consequences from their formative ideas and radicalize their comportment accordingly. In short, supporters of so-called American Values are a house divided against itself. They wish to maintain a traditional behavior to which they are both non-rationally and irrationally committed, together with rational, radical principles that will make the survival of this traditional behavior absolutely impossible. In the long run, the only honest-to-goodness American Value is actually the incoherent willful desire to have one’s cake and eat it too. A banner should be flown over the American Values camp depicting a whining child banging its head on the floor to protest the nausea caused by the lollipop which it furiously persists in sucking. (The rest of Dr. Rao's article may be read at: Founding Fathers vs. Church Fathers: 666-0.)

Catholics must come to understand the great betrayal of the Faith that has taken place in this country over the course of its history. Although the Faith was taught well and people could sanctify their souls in the Immemorial Mass of Traidtion, which was the bulwark that kept Catholics from plunging headlong into the barbarism they did once the Novus Ordo Missae was instituted in 1969, Catholics did not realize that they were living out for the first time in the history of the Church a betrayal of the mission that Our Lord gave to the Apostles before He Ascended to the Father's right hand in glory on Ascension Thursday to convert all men and nations to the true Faith. They were reaffirmed in this betrayal by the Judases in the hierarchy who accepted the Americanist premises, thereby becoming the first Catholics in the history of the Church who did not seek to convert the land in which they found themselves but were actually converted by the prevailing ethos of cultural pluralism and religious indifferentism and Calviinist captialist materialism and legal positivism and utilitarianism and, ultimately, feminism and environmentalism and a whole variety of other " isms."

Pope Leo XIII saw this danger and expressed it quite clearly in his Apostolical Letter to James Cardinal Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore from 1877 to 1921, Testem Benevolentiae, January 22, 1899:

But, beloved son, in this present matter of which we are speaking, there is even a greater danger and a more manifest opposition to Catholic doctrine and discipline in that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that her supervision and watchfulness being in some sense lessened, allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity. They are of opinion that such liberty has its counterpart in the newly given civil freedom which is now the right and the foundation of almost every secular state.

Pope Leo concluded his letter with a prophetic warning about where the embrace of Americanism would lead the American bishops and thus the faithful whose immortal souls had been entrusted to their pastoral care:

But if this [Americanism] is to be so understood that the doctrines which have been adverted to above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world.

The Church conceived of by Americanist bishops of the Nineteenth Century has become the "church" that is is in the rest of the world, that is, the counterfeit conciliar church, rife with the stench of the Americanist heresy. Deo gratis? I think not.

In the midst of the sins of nationalism being committed against the First Commandment today (as people exalt the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America), we must give thanks this day and every day for being Catholic. One of the four ends of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is Thanksgiving. Indeed, the word "Eucharist" means "thanksgiving." We must give thanks for being given the Mass of all ages in the catacombs during this time of apostasy. We must, if at all possible, make assistance at daily Mass the principal priority of our family's lives. And we must love the Mass with ardor so that the thought of missing Holy Mass even one day during the year is something that fills us with sadness and a sense of loss.

Oh, I know. The conciliar revolutionaries have indeed succeeded in taking away the Mass in most places, offering it in some places in a watered-down form that is premised upon upon unjust and illicit conditions. The answer in that instance is to find some way to move closer to the Mass of the ages in the catacombs. Not easy? I know it is not. Great love for God, however, demands great sacrifices. There is nothing more important we can do for our families than to situate ourselves near the daily offering of the Immemorial Mass of the ages in situations where no concession is given whatsoever to the conciliarism or to the legitimacy of the conciliar officials. We need to live in the integrity of the Faith, not in the confusion given by even the slightest recognition that conciliarism has anything to do with Catholicism.

Father John Crosiet, S.J., writing in Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: How to Practice This Devotion, provides us with a passage that should give us some pause for reflection on how much we really treasure the Mass and recognize its important in our daily lives:

It is strange that Catholics are found who feel wearied and who do not know how to occupy the time of Mass. They are like a sick person who gets annoyed at seeing someone working efficaciously to cure his malady, or like a man burdened with a heavy debt who does not know what to do in the presence of a powerful monarch who offers him all His treasures. Blessed Claude de la Colombiere expresses this thought very forcibly in his sermon on the Mass. He says: "What! Have you never received any favor from the good God? We all are actually surrounded with, laden down and overwhelmed with God's benefits, and we have never thanked Him as we ought; so many dangers averted, so many crimes overlooked, such an amiable and constant exercise of providence over us, such sweet and continual eagerness to draw us to Himself, to gain our hearts, and make us saints. The list of the graces which you receive in a single day would suffice to occupy you during the whole time of Mass. Do not all these favors deserve to be thought over again and again? Having then recalled to your mind all these benefits, say boldly to the Eternal Father: Behold the immense benefits which I have received from Thee; but look upon this Victim, this Divine Body, this Precious Blood, this adorable Sacrifice. Behold what I render to Thee for all Thy benefits; I can have no doubt that they are well repaid by such a magnificent Offering. But what I can offer Thee, O my adorable Master, for having given me the means by which I can requite Thy Heavenly Father liberally for all His benefits, and expiate my sins? I have but one heart to offer Thee. Wilt Thou deign to accept this heart disturbed by so many passions and sullied by so many sins? It is broken with sorrow; in this state I offer it to Thee. Thou dost open Thy Divine Heart to me, Thou dost give It to me, could I dare, O my adorable Saviour, to refuse Thee mine? O God of majesty, who am I that Thou shouldst deign to accept the sacrifice of my heart? It shall henceforth belong to Thee, creatures shall have no more share in it. Be, then, my amiable Jesus, my Father, my Friend, my All. Since Thou deignest to be content with my heart, how could it desire anything but Thee? Henceforth, I wish to live only for Thee; receive, then, my most amiable Saviour, the sacrifice which the most ungrateful of men offers to Thee, to repair the wrong which up to the present moment I have to do Thee by offending Thee?

"You say that you do not know what do during the Mass! Have you never offended God? Do you not offend Him every day and every hour of the day? Go over in your mind during the Mass all the faults of which you have been guilty since the previous Mass. Ask pardon of Jesus. But have you no favor to ask for? You are complaining every day of your relatives, your friends, your children; ask God to make this enemy of yours more reasonable, this daughter more modest, this husband less passionate, ask Him to change the heart of this son; ask for yourself greater meekness, more patience, more courage, and zeal for your salvation, but ask especially for the perfect love of God. And in order to obtain all these things, offer to Him Jesus Christ on the altar; it cannot be that He will refuse you, for what you offer is worth infinitely more than all you can ask for?"

It is strange that the Lord cannot fill His house, except by using threats, except by compelling (in a certain sense) people to enter; but it is still more strange that we enter so often into the house of the Lord, that we assist every day at the most august of all sacrifices, and that we derive no fruit from it, that we do not even know of the ineffable fruits which we might have derived. This want of knowledge is one of the things most to be deplored in the Catholic Church. What a misfortune to live in want, while we have an immense and inexhaustible treasure at our disposal, about which we are ignorant! But is it not a still greater misfortune if we know about this treasure and derive no advantage from it? (Father John Croiset, S.J., The Devotion to to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: How to Practice the Sacred Heart Devotion, TAN Books and Publishers reprint, pp. 216-218.)

This day, the feast of Pope Saint Clement I and the commemoration of Saint Felicitas, should be no different than any other day. We should give thanks to God for being Catholic. We should get ourselves straightaway to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We should spend time with Our Beloved in His Real Presence outside of Holy Mass. We should say all fifteen decades of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. We should offer up unto the Blessed Trinity all of our prayers and penances and sufferings and humiliations and the dutiful performance of the tasks associated with our states-in-life through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as her consecrated slaves. We should be praying to have the love of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen that impelled Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J., to offer up his very life this day for the cause of re-Catholicizing the Americas, including the land we want to be called one day as the Catholic States of America.

Have a blessed feast of Pope Saint Clement I! May we continue to pray and fast and make sacrifices for the day when each of our fellow citizens will exclaim with hearts consecrated as one to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Viva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady, August Queen of Heaven, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Cecilia, pray for us.

Pope Saint Clement I, pray for us.

Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.

Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.

Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.

Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.

Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.

Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.

Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.

Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.

Saint Gregory Lalamont, pray for us.

Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.

Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.

Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.

Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.

Saint Athanasius, pray for us.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.

Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.

Saint Dominic, pray for us.

Saint Basil, pray for us.

Saint Augustine, pray for us.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.

Saint Sebastian, pray for us.

Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.

Saint Lucy, pray for us.

Saint Agnes, pray for us.

Saint Agatha, pray for us.

Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.

Saint Philomena, pray for us.

Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.

Saint John Bosco, pray for us.

Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.

Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.

Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.

Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.

Francisco Marto, pray for us.

Jacinta Marto, pray for us.


The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil.  Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.  Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with  the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven.  That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.  Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage.  Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory.  That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.  These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered.  Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory.  They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.  Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church.  Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations.  Amen.

Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.

Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.

Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.

Response: As we have hoped in Thee.

Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.

Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.

Verse: Let us pray.  O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. 

Response:  Amen.  

A Brief Review of the Beauty of the Mass of Tradition and the Horrors of the Novus Ordo Missae:

1) The Traditional Latin Mass clearly communicates that it is a propitiatory offering for human sins, the perpetuation in an unbloody manner of the Sacrifice of the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on an altar of sacrifice by a sacerdos acting in persona Christi.

2) The Traditional Latin Mass is oriented completely to God, starting from the first moment a priest makes the Sign of the Cross and prays Psalm 42, the Judica me, at the foot of the steps to the altar. The first thing the priest does in the Traditional Latin Mass is to address God and to prepare himself to ascend the "holy mountain" symbolized by the three steps leading to the altar (also signifying Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). The first thing a priest does in the Novus Ordo Missae after making the Sign of the Cross is to address the people, at which time he is permitted by the rubrics of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal to improvise with a few words of his own to "introduce" the Mass.

3) The Traditional Latin Mass reflects the permanence and stability of God Himself and of our need for Him. Although there are differences in the genres of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition (Pontifical High Mass, Solemn High Mass, Missa Cantata, Low Mass), the rubrics are fixed within each of the genres and are beyond the ability of the celebrant to licitly alter. The Novus Ordo Missae admits of so many legitimate changes and adaptations for a whole variety of reasons that to speak of it as a "fixed rite" is an absolute absurdity. It is not. It produces of its very fungible nature uncertainty and instability, the very opposite of what the worship of God is supposed to produce.

4) The Traditional Latin Mass contains prayers that remind men of their sinfulness and of the necessity of the possibility of losing their souls for all eternity. Cardinal Arinze wants to know why people think their souls are immaculate and are thus not going to confession? The Novus Ordo Missae reaffirms people in their essential "goodness." It is a rejection of the Church's centuries-old wisdom in mandating the faithful to perform outward acts of penance in order to discipline their souls. Doubt that this is the case? Doubt no more. Here is passage from G.I.R.M. Warfare dealing with Paragraph 15 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal:

Paragraph 15 of GIRM reads:

"Thus the Church remains faithful in its responsibility as a teacher of truth to guard 'things old,' that is, the deposit of tradition; at the same time it fulfills another duty, that of examining and prudently bringing forth 'things new.'

"Accordingly, a part of the new Roman Missal directs the prayer of the Church expressly to the needs of our times. This is above all true of the ritual Masses and the Masses for various needs and occasions, which happily combine the traditional and the contemporary. Thus many expressions, drawn from the Church's most ancient tradition and familiar through the many editions of the Roman Missal, have remained unchanged. Other expressions, however, have been adapted to today's needs and circumstances and still others-for example, the prayers for the Church, the laity, the sanctification of human work, the community of all peoples, certain needs proper to our era-are completely new compositions, drawing on the thoughts and even the very language of the recent conciliar documents.

"The same awareness of the present state of the world also influenced the use of texts from very ancient tradition. It seemed that this cherished treasure would not be harmed if some phrases were changed so that the style of language would be more in accord with the language of modern theology and would faithfully reflect the actual state of the Church's discipline. Thus there have been changes of some expressions bearing on the evaluation and use of the good things of the earth and of allusions to a particular form of outward penance belonging to another age in the history of the Church.

"In short, the liturgical norms of the Council of Trent have been completed and improved in many respects by those of the Second Vatican Council. The Council has brought to realization the efforts of the last four hundred years to move the faithful closer to the sacred liturgy, especially the efforts of recent times and above all the zeal for the liturgy promoted by Saint Pius X and his successors."

Comment and Analysis:

Holy Mass is supposed to be suited to the needs of all times, not just our times. Herein, therefore, lies the real nub of the problem with the General Instruction to the Roman Missal and thus the Novus Ordo itself: a reliance upon the spirit of one particular time in history results in the glorification of the human spirit and not that of the Blessed Trinity. It is really that simple. God exists outside of time and space. The worship of God must convey, as noted earlier, the timelessness of God and the immortality of our own souls, which will live forever either in Heaven or in Hell once the Last Judgment has taken place. Again, as noted earlier, the Mass is supposed to be a refuge from the world, not a glorification of it.

"It seemed that this cherished treasure [ancient tradition] would not be harmed if some phrases were changed so that the style of language would be more in accord with the language of modern theology and would faithfully reflect the actual state of the Church's discipline."

Well, our ancient tradition is not the only casualty wrought by the changing of phrases of the Mass texts (Introits, Collects, Secrets, Prayer after Communion, the very Offertory Prayers themselves, the addition of first three and then five more new "Eucharistic prayers"). The very faith life of many Catholics has been harmed.

One of the reasons that the Sacrament of Penance fell into disuse is that the faithful are no longer reminded of their sinfulness in the prayers of the Mass. The faithful thus believe there is no need to reconcile themselves to the Father through the Son in Spirit in and in Truth in the hospital of Divine Mercy which is the confessional. No, one cannot sin as long as one's "fundamental option" is for God.

Indeed, as is noted in the rest of this book, a priest has many legitimate options by which to invite the people to express themselves in what is now called the Penitential Rite. A growing number of priests believe that "modern theology" requires them not to stress the sinfulness of the period and their need for God's forgiveness but to celebrate human goodness and to give thanks to God for all that He has given us. However, man's need to recognize himself as a sinner and to do penance for his sins is unchanging. The harm done to souls by the changing of the "style of language" in the new Mass is incalculable.

The concluding part of Paragraph 15 is a little bit akin to the old phrase, "The lady doth protest too much." All of the repeated attempts to state that the new Mass is a continuation of our liturgical tradition (which GIRM itself contradicts in the body of Paragraph 15, as noted in my discussion about the changes in the texts of the prayers of the Mass) are efforts to try to convince readers that the new Mass really, really, really, really, really is what GIRM says it is


The trouble with gratuitous statements is that they are made without foundation, sinking into the quicksand upon which they are made. They are efforts to justify a revolution which has undermined the faith and profaned the honor and glory due God in the Sacrifice of the Mass. GIRM is revisionist history writ large.

5) The Traditional Latin Mass contains the Offertory that clearly communicates the theology of the sacrificial, propitiatory nature of the Mass. The Novus Ordo Missae uses Jewish "table prayers" from the Talmud for what is called the "Preparation of the Gifts."

6) The Traditional Latin Mass conveys the dignity of the priesthood and its sacerdotal, hierarchical nature by the very structure of the Church. The sanctuary, reflecting the timeless of God and the fact that the Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of Calvary, is the "holy of holies" into only those males who are seen as the extension of the hands of the priest (who is a male because Our Lord came as a male) are permitted to enter and assist during the offering of Holy Mass. The faithful in the nave of the Church are thus set apart from the sanctuary, which is cordoned off, if you will, by the altar rail, signifying the distinction between time and eternity and the distinction between the sacerdotal priesthood of the ordained priest and the common priesthood the lay faithful by means of Baptism. There is no confusion as to the roles of the priest and the laity, clearly reflecting the hierarchy of God Himself and the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

7) The Traditional Latin Mass conveys stability in yet another sense: the same readings are read year in and year out. Repetition is the mother of learning. Knowing us to be such stupid and distracted creatures, God wants us immersed in the repetition of the same readings year in and year out, thus exposing us to the possibility of "getting it," say, after sixty or seventy years of hearing the same readings read year in and year out.

8) Finally, and please understand that this list is not exhaustive at all (I go into much greater detail in G.I.R.M. Warfare), that Catholics are less inclined to see the necessity of praying and working for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King when the Mass at which they assist has dethroned His Kingly Dignity by instituting profane novelties (please see the horrors appended below) that actually enshrine the false values of the world. The Traditional Latin Mass conveys in all of its component parts, woven together so perfectly that it could not have been constructed by man synthetically, the Universal Kingship of Christ, Our High Priest and King. Make a mess of the Mass, make a mess of the Church and the world.

Cardinal Arinze, however, is caught up in the throes of a Revolution against the Faith, not realizing that he is involved in a revolution at all. He believes that there is some other cause for the decline in attendance at Holy Mass and the use of the Sacrament of Penance other than the warfare made against the perennial Tradition of the Catholic Church, expressed so perfectly and beautifully in the very Mass that Our Lord Himself taught the Apostles to say. He will search in vain for some other cause. Caught up in the Lockean trap of seeking structural solutions where none are to be found because none exist, Cardinal Arinze and his brother cardinals and bishops must convince themselves that have to "reform" a "reform" that was no reform at all but an attack on all that was authentically Catholic in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Doubt my word once again? Consider the words of Archbishop (then Monsignor) Annibale Bugnini, found in L'Osservatore Romano in March of 1965:

"We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants."

This "Humpty Dumpty" has fallen apart because it has been a bad egg from the very beginning, part of the adversary's efforts to undermine the Faith and to get believing Catholics to battle with each other, sometimes fiercely, almost all of the time as the revolutionaries progress with their agenda that blasphemes God and harms souls.









© Copyright 2006, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.