Creating Alternative Realities
Thomas A. Droleskey
Positivists are people who create alternative realities. That is, positivists believe that the positive assertion of a statement is proof of its inherent proof. In other words, "reality" is what we want it to be regardless of any objective considerations.
A few examples of this from the secular realm will suffice to demonstrate the essence of positivism:
1) Then New York Governor Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller announced on August 7, 1969, that he was going to launch an aggressive program to make the Long Island Rail Road, which was then and is now operated by the state's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (M.T.A.), the "world's finest commuter rail line" within sixty days. Rockefeller held a press conference sixty days later, on October 7, 1969, to announce that the Long Island Rail Road had become the "world's finest commuter rail line." Rockefeller cracked a smile as he looked at reporters through his granny glasses. Even seasoned, cynical reporters laughed out loud at Rockefeller's audacious assertion that he had accomplished his goal. Rockefeller was creating his own alternative reality that did not conform to the experience of those who rode the Long Island Rail Road on a daily basis.
Telephone companies are particularly adept at creating their own reality insofar as billing is concerned. A minute may be less than sixty seconds in some instances. A billing period may be twenty-eight days some months, twenty-nine other months, yet thirty to thirty-three in other months. It’s all relative, right? And you may think you live in a distinctive community, one that is recognized by the august United States Postal Service with its own ZIP code. Indeed, the community in which you live may be incorporated by your state as a village or city or a town with its own municipal government. No matter to the phone companies. When I was single, for example, I paid rent to keep my belongings (and occasionally my little self) in an apartment in Bethpage, New York. It is an unincorporated village in the Town of Oyster Bay in the County of Nassau on Long Island (which is a geographical entity, not a political subunit of the State of New York). What did Verizon (which used to be Bell Atlantic and NYNEX and New York Telephone Company) list on my bill when I called home to check for messages between 1996 and 2001? Bethpage became Hicksville, another unincorporated village where I did actually reside for twenty months between April of 1990 and August of 1992. But I hadn’t lived in Hicksville since I left there in 1992. However, it was impossible to tell that to Verizon. Bethpage was Hicksville in Verizon’s self-created world.
There are many ways in which positivism has worked its way into the game of baseball itself. (Although I no longer follow the game or support it with my money by attending game or watching it on television, I am still conversant with its trends.) The Official Baseball Rule Book spells out in quite some detail what constitutes the strike zone. Major League umpires, however, largely make up their own strike zone, calling pitches that are visibly out of the strike zone as strikes in many instances (and calling many strikes as balls). Some umpires who work behind home plate calling balls and strikes in a particular game are so inconsistent that neither the pitchers nor the batters have any idea what the umpire will call a particular pitch, though a good deal of the art of both hitting and pitching depends upon decisions that are based on the type of pitch that will be thrown and where it will be targeted. An inconsistent strike zone leads to a diminution of performance in a world where the official rules are superseded by the whims of one who creates a reality of his own making.
4) This brings to the last example from the secular world (many could be given, including, say, talk by administration officials that "democracy" is being built in Iraq), the views of the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, William Hubbs Rehnquist. Chief Justice Rehnquist was, despite his desire to conform his court opinions to the "original intent" of the framers of the Constitution of the United States, a positivist. Consider this quote from the online edition of The New York Times on Sunday evening, September 4, 2005:
His belief in a limited judicial role was further bolstered by a long-held skepticism about whether any theory of the common good was inherently preferable to any other. In a 1976 article, "The Notion of a Living Constitution," published in the University of Texas Law Review, he wrote: "There is no conceivable way in which I can logically demonstrate to you that the judgments of my conscience are superior to the judgments of your conscience, and vice versa. Many of us necessarily feel strongly and deeply about our own moral judgments, but they remain only personal moral judgments until in some way given the sanction of law."
This is of the essence of philosophical and legal positivism: that the common good only becomes clear when it is in "some way given the sanction of law," not that the law itself must reflect an adherence to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law as they have been entrusted solely by the God-Man Himself for their sake keeping and infallible explication by the Catholic Church. The late Chief Justice understood the mind of the framers of the American Constitution very well in this regard. People of differing religious beliefs (or no beliefs at all) could live together in peace in an atmosphere of religious freedom and pluralism as they pursued the common good in a spirit of "civic virtue," contradicting the immutable teaching of the Church that the right ordering of nations depends upon the right ordering of souls as those souls have belief in, access to, and cooperation with sanctifying grace.
Indeed, the aforementioned article in The New York Times summarized the late Chief Justice Rehnquist's understanding of the framers' belief in religious indifferentism as the foundation of civic peace in a pluralistic society:
All the framers had intended, he said, was to prohibit the establishment of a national religion and to forbid preferential treatment of one denomination over another, not to make the government neutral "between religion and irreligion" or to prevent government aid to religion on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Before states' rights advocates get all excited and remind me that some of the original thirteen states had an established religion, let me remind one and all that each and every one of those religions was Protestant and thus false. False religions are no basis for personal sanctity or social order. And it should be further pointed out that it is precisely because of the Protestant and Masonic foundation of our state governments that the correct principle of subsidiarity has been perverted to excuse such things as chattel slavery, invidious racial discrimination,the lynching of blacks and Hispanics, persecution of the Indians, the creation of state boards of education to establish mandatory curricula as a means of "educating" Catholic immigrants in the ways of pluralism and religious indifferentism, anti-garb laws aimed at preventing Catholic priests and nuns from wearing their espousal to Our Lord in public, an attempt by the Oregon State Legislature to outlaw parochial schools by mandating compulsory attendance of children in public schools, and a prohibition of state aid to parochial schools, among many other evils perpetrated in the name of states' rights. Sub-central or sub-national units of government, such as states, as just as bound to recognize the authority of the Catholic Church as are national governments. The failure to do so results in the codification of various evils under cover of positive civil law, in other words, positivism. God's rights come before states' rights. And the fact that the American Constitution was framed in the wake of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of the Freemasonic ethos of universal brotherhood and secular self-redemption is directly responsible for the inability of jurists to maintain a stable interpretation of its own words. This leads to the triumph of the lowest common denominator and hence to the decay of civilization itself.
Consider these two excerpts from Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei, 1885:
To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.
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 life, from 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.
You see, the whole foundation of the modern State, including the United States of America, rests on a rejection of the truths summarized in just these two paragraphs of one papal encyclical letter. An "alternative reality" has been created, wiping out the memory of Christendom by a deification of men who believed that the authority of the Catholic Church enslaved man and by an enshrinement of principles that contain within themselves the perfection of their own inherent degeneracy (in plain English: false ideas lead to bad consequences).
What is true in the secular realm has become, sadly, true in the past forty years in the ecclesiastical realm. All manner of positivist statements were made by the late Pope John Paul II to discuss the "springtime of the Church" and the "civilization of love" that had been ushered in by the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath. When reporter Vittori Messori interviewed the late Holy Father in 2003 and asked him if anything had gone wrong with the Second Vatican Council, the Pope slammed his fist on the table and said, "No, everything is fine!" The late Holy Father had indeed created a world that did not conform to the objective state of the Church in her human elements.
There is no need to review here the collection of positivist statements made by Pope John Paul II and curial officials, including Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, during his pontificate. Entire books have been written containing such statements.
For present purposes, though, I want to look at how the attempt to create an "alternative ecclesiastical reality" has manifested itself in the footnotes of the late Pope John Paul II's encyclical letters. A contempt for the Church's Tradition, which requires each pope to proclaim the doctrines as they have been handed down and in the formulas used to define them, and a preference for the novelties of the Second Vatican Council permeated the writing of the late Holy Father.
Leaving aside Centesimus Annus, which was written in 1991 on the one hundredth anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum and thus contained numerous references to the encyclical being commemorated, Pope John Paul II rarely cited the works of the popes from the time of Gregory XVI to Pius XII. Here are the number of such references in the late Holy Father's encyclical letters (not including apostolic exhortations or Holy Thursday letters or post-synodal exhortations):
Redemptor Hominis, 1979: 8 of 205. (This includes multiple "cf."--confer--references within a single footnote. "Confer" references are to cite the entire body of a particular work or speech without citing any one passage or statement. It is a standard referencing tool in scholarly work. Many of the late Holy Father's references to the pre-conciliar popes were of this nature.)
Dives in Misericordia, 1980: 0 of 140.
Laborem Exercens, 1981: 3 of 91.
Slavorum Apostoli, 1985: 2 of 47.
Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986: 2 of 297. (Admittedly, this encyclical letter on the Holy Ghost contained mostly Scriptural citations.)
Redemptoris Mater, 1987: 6 of 146.
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987: 3 of 92.
Redemptoris Missio, 1991: 2 of 178.
Veritatis Splendor, 1993: 5 of 155.
Evangelium Vitae, 1995: 7 of 142.
Ut Unum Sint, 1995: 0 of 162. (More on this encyclical letter below.)
Fides et Ratio, 1998: 9 of 132.
Ecclesia De Eucharistia, 2003: 5 of 104.
Interestingly, the pre-conciliar pope who was least cited in the encyclical letters of Pope John II was Pope Saint Pius X, something that is very telling in and of itself as the Pope who inveighed against Modernism and against the very concept of the "separation of Church and State" in France that was praised by Pope John Paul II seven months ago has been consigned largely to the Orwellian memory hole.
The areas in which the popes of the past forty years have been least willing to cite the works of their pre-conciliar predecessors are those of the liturgy and ecumenism. This has been but an extension of the anti-Traditional bias of the Second Vatican Council itself, which brushed aside Pope Pius XII's 1947 encyclical letter, Mediator Dei, which contained warnings about the liturgical revolution that was then brewing, with but one footnoted reference (at Paragraph 22) in Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), issued on December 1, 1963. Novelties have, in se, no precedent. Thus, there can be no references to anything in the Church's living Tradition that are fundamentally opposed to novelties and synthetic concoctions.
This is why, for example, Pope John Paul II's Ut Unum Sint contained not one reference to any pre-conciliar pope. Ut Unum Sint and Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos are mutually irreconcilable. Indeed, footnote 50 of Ut Unum Sint contains a very important reference to a man praised recently by Pope Benedict XVI in his address to Protestants in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005, the late Abbe Paul Courturier.
Maria Sagheddu was born at Dorgali (Sardinia) in 1914. At twenty-one years of age she entered the Trappistine Monastery in Grottaferrata. Through the apostolic labours of Abbé Paul Couturier, she came to understand the need for prayers and spiritual sacrifices for the unity of Christians. In 1936, at the time of an Octave for Unity, she chose to offer her life for the unity of the Church. Following a grave illness, Sister Maria Gabriella died on 23 April 1939.
Abbe Paul Couturier, though, did not believe that non-Catholic Christians had to be converted to the Catholic Church to be saved. He believed that Protestant denominations were instruments of God's saving plan. This from a website devoted to promoting his work:
The power of prayer, and its potential for overcoming separation and the wounds of centuries, lay at the heart of all groups of Christian believers, and so he came to see that, as people grow in sanctity in their different traditions, they grow closer to Christ. If Christians could then be aware of each others' history, spirituality, traditions of faith and worship, their hurts and their glories, they could thus grow closer to each other. The foundations, he realised, would need to be humility, reparation and no little suffering. But if Christians could imitate each other - not just go to each others' services, but embrace each others' spirituality and traditions for their own - the path to holiness in one Church could be adopted and enhance the path to holiness in the others too. This 'emulation' has been described as 'vying with one another' to advance on the path to holiness and to Christ - not mutual admiration, not unfriendly rivalry. but a 'race that is set before us' in which we spur each other on beyond our own small worlds to fresh understanding, to new awareness of Christ and his Church, to a closer bond with him and his people. In the last fifty years we have seen the Abbé's prayer that Christians could all pray the Lord's Prayer together realised. Catholics have adopted many great Protestant and Anglican hymns and chorales. Anglicans and other non-Roman Catholics have taken to heart the Retreat movement, and also embraced the importance for the Orthodox of Icons. The Orthodox have become increasingly influential members of the World Council of Churches, and all now share in a renewed common love of the Scriptures. These are fruits of spiritual emulation.
Abbe Paul Courturier, cited, however obliquely, by Pope John Paul II and praised by Pope Benedict XVI, promoted a philosophy fundamentally at odds with the received teaching of the Divine Redeemer, summarized so succinctly by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:
These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you." For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord's Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men." How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of Our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
Pope Pius XI was clearly condemning the work of men such as Abbe Paul Couturier. How can it be that one pope can condemn a philosophy as completely inconsistent with Catholic teaching and another can cite it favorably while a third praises it openly? I have no answer to that question. All I can do is to pose the question to lay the foundation for the conclusion of this commentary.
As noted in Not Exactly From The Acts of the Apostles, Abbe Paul Couturier was a disciple of the Hegelian Jesuit, the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
A third influence on Couturier was Teilhard de Chardin. Both men were scientists, and Teilhard's vision of the unity of creation and humanity expressed in the unity of Christ and the life of the Church appealed both scientifically and spiritually to Couturier. A reasoned consequence for him was that the unity of Christians was the sign for the unity of humanity, and that praying for the sanctification of Jews, Muslims and Hindus, among many others, could not fail but to lead to a new spiritual understanding of God where Christ could at last be recognised and understood. Couturier felt this keenly as he was partly Jewish and had been raised among Muslims in North Africa. It is worth noting that among Couturier's voluminous correspondents were Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, as well as every kind of Christian, all caught up in the Abbé's spirit of prayer, realising the significance and dimensions of prayer for the unity of Christians. Coincidentally, years later Mother Theresa spoke of the considerable number of Muslims who volunteered and worked at her house in Calcutta: 'If you are a Christian, I want to make you a better Christian - if you are a Muslim, I want to make you a better Muslim'. It cannot be denied that what those Muslims were seeing in Mother Theresa was Jesus Christ himself, just as the Abbe attracted so many to prayer across previously unbridgeable divides by his humility, penitence, and joyful charity in the peace of Christ.
In other words, Abbe Paul Courturier promoted a syncretism that was a precursor to the work of the late Brother Roger Schutz, the founder of the Taize ecumenical community in France. Any papal embrace of such an error is creating an alternative reality that ignores entirely, without one footnote in an encyclical letter or public acknowledgment in an address to non-Catholics, of the Syllabus of Errors or Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum or Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos. And it is precisely the papal embrace of such errors and the papal ignoring of the treasury of the Deposit of Faith as regards fostering true religious unity that poses the real stumbling block in efforts on the part of the Holy See to "regularize" the Society of Saint Pius X. How can any Catholic who understands the Faith accept that which is erroneous in the name of a false sense of "communion" and "obedience" that is founded on a surrender to an alternative reality that denies wholesale the wisdom of the past?
How can it be that the work of Abbe Paul Courturier be praised while the words of Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum (1896) are ignored utterly and entirely? Consider these words from Pope Leo's Satis Cognitum:
For this reason the Fathers of the Vatican Council laid down nothing new, but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged and invariable teaching of the Church as to the very nature of faith, when they decreed as follows: "All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or unwritten word of God, and which are pro posed by the Church as divinely revealed, either by a solemn definition or in the exercise of its ordinary and universal Magisterium" (Sess. iii., cap. 3). Hence, as it is clear that God absolutely willed that there should be unity in His Church, and as it is evident what kind of unity He willed, and by means of what principle He ordained that this unity should be maintained, we may address the following words of St. Augustine to all who have not deliberately closed their minds to the truth: "When we see the great help of God, such manifest progress and such abundant fruit, shall we hesitate to take refuge in the bosom of that Church, which, as is evident to all, possesses the supreme authority of the Apostolic See through the Episcopal succession? In vain do heretics rage round it; they are condemned partly by the judgment of the people themselves, partly by the weight of councils, partly by the splendid evidence of miracles. To refuse to the Church the primacy is most impious and above measure arrogant. And if all learning, no matter how easy and common it may be, in order to be fully understood requires a teacher and master, what can be greater evidence of pride and rashness than to be unwilling to learn about the books of the divine mysteries from the proper interpreter, and to wish to condemn them unknown?" (De Unitate Credendi, cap. xvii., n. 35).
It is then undoubtedly the office of the church to guard Christian doctrine and to propagate it in its integrity and purity. But this is not all: the object for which the Church has been instituted is not wholly attained by the performance of this duty. For, since Jesus Christ delivered Himself up for the salvation of the human race, and to this end directed all His teaching and commands, so He ordered the Church to strive, by the truth of its doctrine, to sanctify and to save mankind. But faith alone cannot compass so great, excellent, and important an end. There must needs be also the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine Sacrifice and in the dispensation of the Sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline. All these must be found in the Church, since it continues the mission of the Saviour for ever. The Church alone offers to the human race that religion - that state of absolute perfection - which He wished, as it were, to be incorporated in it. And it alone supplies those means of salvation which accord with the ordinary counsels of Providence.
It is with this in mind, therefore, that the quote of an anonymous Vatican official to National Catholic Reporter reporter John Allen must be viewed as beyond the ludicrous. Commenting on the meeting that had taken place four days before between His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, this Vatican official said: "They [traditionalists] need to be converted."
Let's get this straight, according to the statements and actions of recent popes and curial cardinals and diocesan bishops:
Jews are saved by their expectant waiting for the Messiah, by their adherence to the Old Covenant God made with the people of Israel (see particularly Walter Cardinal Kasper and Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza). They do not need to be converted to the Catholic Faith to save their souls.
The Orthodox do not need to be converted to the Catholic Faith. The late Pope John Paul II specifically forbade proselytizing of Catholics among the Russian Orthodox, a sure sign that Russia has not been consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and thus converted to the Catholic Faith.
Protestants do not need to be converted to the Catholic Faith. There is, as Pope Benedict XVI said in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005,
"Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity" as though Mortalium Animos had never been written.
Japanese Buddhists are welcomed by Pope Benedict XVI in a General Audience (May 18, 2005) without one word of urging them to convert to the true Church.
No, the only ones who need to be "converted" are those traditionalists who oppose openly the liturgical revolution and ecumenism and religious liberty, those "backward" people who insist on the restoration of all things in Christ, the fruit of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a world where the Social Reign of Christ the King is acknowledged by all men and their nations.
Converted to what?
To an abandonment of the defined teaching of the Catholic Church?
To an embrace of the errors of Abbe Paul Courturier?
To an embrace of the errors and syncretist heresy of Roger Schutz?
To an embrace of the errors of Father John Courtney Murray?
To an embrace of the Masonic ethos that peace among nations can be accomplished without a conversion of men and their nations to Christ the King, without the proper consecration of Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by a pope in concert with all of the world's bishops?
To an acceptance of a synthetically created liturgy that enshrines the errors of Protestantism and thus offends God?
To an acceptance of the view that the very liturgy that was taught by Our Lord to the Apostles themselves is no longer pleasing to Him?
No, it is the scions of conciliarism who need to convert away from their novelties and errors. How can it be that all of the popes prior to 1958 were wrong and can be ignored with such utter impunity as an "ecclesiogenesis," to use the phrase of a priest in the Midwest, springs forth with hardly a tether to the past? They are living in a world of their own creation, one that has diabolical roots and is designed to confuse the minds of both the clergy and the lay faithful to such an extent that Catholicism is seen as simply one of many religions that can contribute "in some way" to the building of a "better" world.
Resistance to the errors of the past forty years is not a sign of schism or disloyalty. It is a manifest duty of those who understand that, to paraphrase Father Lawrence C. Smith, disobedience to those who are disobedient to the received teaching of Our Lord is truly obedience.
While we pray fervently for our Holy Father and his cardinals and our bishops, we must ever remain steadfastly loyal to that which has been handed down to us in the formulas proposed by the Church over time.
Pope Saint Pius X, whose feast day in the calendar of Tradition was Saturday, September 3, 2005, promulgated the Oath against Modernism, which included the following:
Fourthly, I sincerely receive the teaching of faith as transmitted in the same sense and meaning right down to us; and, therefore, I wholly reject the heretical notion of the evolution of dogmas, which pass from one sense to another alien to that the Church held from the start; and I likewise condemn every error whereby is substituted for divine deposit, entrusted by Christ to His spouse and by her to be faithfully guarded, a philosophic system or a creation of the human conscience, gradually refined by the striving of men and finally to be perfected hereafter by indefinite progress.
No matter what names we are called and how "disloyal" we are said to be to the ecumenical council and the synthetic liturgy that have devastated the Church in her human elements, we must continue steadfast in prayer, sacrifice, fasting, almsgiving and penances our adherence to the Deposit of Faith without any taint of the corruption of the past forty years. Doing so will not make us popular in this life. It will cost us much in terms of human respect and even the ability to make a living, possibly. It might be, please God and His Most Blessed Mother, the means by which we can make reparation for our sins, which wounded Our Lord once in time on the wood of the Holy Cross and wound His Mystical Body today, and thus to save our immortal souls.
Pledging to grieve Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart no more by means of sin, especially in this month devoted to the Sorrows of Our Lady, may we ever fly unto her patronage in these troubled times to remain completely un-converted by Modernist novelties that reaffirm people in the lie that there is salvation outside of the Catholic Church and that there is no immediate need to bring souls outside of her fold into her for their sanctification and salvation.
Our Lady, Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence Justinian, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, Wonder Worker, pray for us.
An Afterword or Two
Monsignor Joseph Schaedel, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the pastor of Holy Rosary Church, e-mailed me on Friday, September 2, 2005, to ask me when I had spoken to him concerning Father Denis Duvelius's offering of the Novus Ordo Missae for the Missionaries of Charity in Indianapolis. I informed him of the time and date of my telephone call, which was made to seek out Father Duvelius himself, promising that I would secure for him the exact time and the length of the call, which was made on August 23, 2005.
Well, he e-mailed me back, the first of a number of running exchanges we had over the course of several hours, saying that he was in the chancery office that day and that there was no rectory at Holy Rosary Church, only a parish office in what used to be the rectory. It must have been the business manager, he wrote to me, of the parish who answered the phone and provided me the information about Father Duvelius, which has been confirmed by several other sources. My recollection is that I referred to man on the phone as "monsignor" at least twice, if not three times, without being corrected, identifying myself fully and the reason why I was calling. Perhaps the connection was bad and the person on the other end did not hear me address him as "monsignor."
After I promised to note his correction of the record, Monsignor Schaedel wrote back to say that it really didn't matter, that he would have given the same answer as the man who had spoken to me on the phone. When I wrote to him, apologetically playing the role of "Columbo" ("Just one more question, Monsignor"), he wrote back to me to say that he hated to sound like someone being interrogated by Columbo, but that he just could not say for sure whether the information that had been provided to me was correct. He assumed that Father Duvelius, a priest of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, offered the Novus Ordo Missae but never gave the matter any thought because it just was not an issue for him and said that he would ask his associate pastor about it.
I explained to Monsignor Schaedel that this is a tremendous issue for many traditional Catholics and that I had indeed confirmed the accuracy of what I had reported (and had known for some time, having been given the information by parishioners and at least one other priest). He assured me of his prayers and I said that we would remember his intentions when we went to First Friday Mass, offered in San Antonio, Texas, by Father Stephen P. Zigrang.
Monsignor Schaedel's not seeing why the offering of the Novus Ordo Missae by a priest in a religious community created to offer the Immemorial Mass of Tradition will be the subject of a future article. That is, many diocesan priests have never given the issue of the new Mass much thought. They have, as the late Monsignor Klaus Gamber pointed out in The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, gone along with what the Church dictated. I did this for many years as a layman, accepting unquestioningly the positivist statements that had been made by Vatican officials, believing that all we needed was the "enforcement" of liturgical norms, not realizing that the greatest abuse of all was and remains the new Mass itself.
My exchange with Monsignor Schaedel thus opened up an interesting avenue to explore: why priests who are not the friends of the adversary do not understand, despite their own appreciation of the Traditional Latin Mass, the inherent harm contained in the Novus Ordo Missae. Alas, it is late. That must wait for another occasion.
Finally, I ask in your charity to remember the soul of my late father, Dr. Albert Henry Droleskey, who died on this date, September 5, in the year of Our Lord, 1992. It is my hope that while in Texas for a few weeks that we might be able to pay our respects at the graves of my late parents' mortal remains, which are buried at Seaside Memorial Cemetery in Corpus Christi, Texas. My mother has been dead for twenty-three years, my father for thirteen. I still miss them very much. I pray for their immortal souls, as filial piety requires and the love for them that fills my heart desires, every day.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul--and all of the souls of the faithful departed--through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.