Garry (I've Got a Secret) Moore, Call Your Office
Thomas A. Droleskey
Although we have given up television for the past four years now, I did watch the news and baseball throughout the 1990s. And there were times in 1997 and 1998 when I would take a peek on Sunday nights at the Game Show Channel's rebroadcasts of vintage game shows from the 1950s. You know, the real The Price is Right (NBC-TV on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. following Wagon Train), hosted by Bill Cullen. Remember What's My Line? (CBS-TV, Sunday nights at 10:30 p.m.. 1950-1967), hosted by John Charles Daily? And then there were the back-to-back game shows on CBS-TV on Monday nights, To Tell the Truth, hosted by Bud Collyer (who also hosted the original and imitable Beat the Clock) and I've Got a Secret, hosted from 1952 to 1965 by the erstwhile Garrison Morfat, otherwise known as Garry Moore (Steve Allen hosted the program in its final year on CBS-TV, 1965-1966).
Watching these programs back in 1997 and 1998 was truly a trip down memory lane. The programs also served as something of a time capsule when the residue of Catholicism in the world was still evident. Women dressed modestly. Men wore suit jackets and ties. Celebrity panelists and contestants were courteous and humorous, nary a trace of any innuendo to be found. Yes, of course, this was all a gigantic waste of time. I realize that. However, I did watch these programs in my youth and it was fun to take a peek at them again when I was busy at the computer producing the old hard copies of Christ or Chaos, which debuted ten years ago this very month back in 1996.
Each of the old game shows (I will never think of anyone other than Art Fleming as the host of Jeopardy! Alex who?) had its own "shtick," most of which were variations of the same theme (guessing something about a contestant), save for The Price is Right. I've Got a Secret featured a contestant whispering a secret into Garry Moore's left ear during the years of his hosting the program. It was up to panelists Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson to guess the secret. It was jolly good fun, to call to mind a British saying.
Well, a report appeared a few days ago that made it appear as though the late Brother Roger Schutz, a co-founder of the Taize Ecumenical Community in France, had a secret he had been keeping for thirty-three years: that he had "converted" to the Catholic Faith in 1972 without, as he put it later, "breaking communion with anybody." That is, he was said to have embraced some aspects of Catholicism (Papal primacy, Real Presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary) without relinquishing other of his firmly held Protestant beliefs. As any Catholic worth his salt should know, this is no real conversion at all. And, as it turns out, he did not actually convert to the Catholic Faith at all, which shows how careful one must be in sifting through the morass of conciliarism and its intrigues. (And this is written in the full recognition that tomorrow's new may bring yet another series of contradictions!)
While it is true that even those of us who are cradle Catholics must be converted at all times away from our sins and our cultural beliefs that are contrary to the Faith, we must accept the fact that the totality of the Deposit of Faith resides exclusively in the Catholic Church and that she alone is true means of salvation for all men in all circumstances and at all times. What is true of cradle Catholics is also true of converts.
Alas, the spurious report, written by a French historian by the name of Yves Chiron, of Brother Roger Schutz's "conversion" contained many more mysteries than it proposed to resolve. How could a man who was publicly known to be a Protestant theologian (Schutz had a degree in theology) be permitted to retain his Protestant beliefs? Did not Saint Paul give up his Pharisaical beliefs when he was converted by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself? Did not Alphonse Ratisbonne give up his Talmudic Judaism at once when he was converted by Our Lady's apparition to him in the image that appears on her Miraculous Medal? Did not Orestes Brownson give up his alternating mixture of Protestant/Socialist/Freethinking views when he converted to the Faith? Were not each of these famous converts willing to stand up and proclaim the fact of their conversion to the Catholic Faith so as to prompt others to do so lest they die outside of the only sure harbor of salvation, the Catholic Church? Why did not Brother Roger Schutz do so?
The answer is really not that hard to discern, especially when you consider the simple fact that Roger Schutz did not formally convert to the Catholic Faith.
Roger Schutz was merely ready to accept a heavily Protestantized version of the Catholic Church, the conciliar church, that had become acceptable to him in light of the "reforms" of the Second Vatican Council, in order to receive Communion in the Novus Ordo Missae and to have that Mass offered for Catholics at The Taize Ecumencial Community. Indeed, the Novus Ordo Missae itself bears a great deal of resemblance, as will be demonstrated shortly, to the "liturgy" devised in 1959 by Schutz's fellow syncretist and co-founder of Taize, Max Thurian, who "converted" to the Catholic Faith in the 1990s and was ordained a priest by John Paul II Schutz was convinced that he could retain most of his Protestant views and continue his syncretist work in Taize while expressing some areas of general agreement with this "reformed" Catholic Church that was much more in line with his own theological views than the Catholic Church he had known in the preconciliar days.
None other than Walter Cardinal Kasper, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the Unity of Christians, said, evidently, that Schutz had become a Catholic. Of course, one would naturally be inclined to discount Walter Kasper's notion of Catholicism since he believes in so little of it himself. Bishop Raymond Gaston Joseph Seguy of the Diocese of Autun, France, said that Schutz wanted to keep this matter of a non-conversion "conversion" secret in order not to alienate Protestants who wanted to remain associated with the Taize Ecumenical Community.
Well, it turns out that the secret was not a secret. The conversion never happened. Mr. Chiron was wrong, proving that it is never too wise to rely upon anything uttered by Walter Kasper. Schutz remained a Protestant syncretist until he was murdered thirteen months ago by one of his devoted followers. Benedict XVI did, therefore, actually place a Protestant syncretist in Heaven by saying after learning of Schutz's murder that his friend and ecumencial associate had attained "eternal joy." Walter Kasper, a curial cardinal of the conciliar church, did offer a Novus Ordo funeral Mass for the Protestant Schutz last year.
Thus, no one who complained last year about Schutz's having been given Holy Communion by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at Pope John Paul II's funeral Mass has anything to apologize for whatsoever. Indeed, John Vennari, the editor of Catholic Family News, personally telephoned the Taize Ecumencial Community last year and was told by a representative there that Brother Schutz had not converted to the Catholic Faith.
Father Alois, Schutz's Catholic successor at the syncretist enclave in France, shot down the Chiron report in an interview with French newspaper, La Croix. Father Alois was asked if "Brother Roger" had converted to the Catholic Faith. The short answer is this: Brother Roger did not formally convert to Catholicism. He simply pledged belief in certain tenets of the Faith in order to receive Communion in the Novus Ordo Missae and to have the Novus Ordo Missae offered for the Catholics in the Taize Ecumenical Community.)
Here is a translation, albeit choppy but understandable, courtesy of AltaVista Babel Fish and a little bit of tweaking by me:
Reporter: Did Frère Roger formally convert with Catholicism, as has just been affirmed by the historian Yves Chiron?
Aloïs: No, Frère Roger never "converted" formally to Catholicism. If he had done it, he would have said it, because he never hid anything of his thoughts. Throughout his books, writings often in the form of a newspaper, he progressively explained what he discovered and what he lived.
Reporter: What did exactly occur in 1972 in the vault from évêché from Autun? -
Alois: In 1972, the bishop of Autun of the time, Mgr Armand Le Bourgeois, gave him the communion for the first time quite simply, without him to ask of another profession of faith other that the Creed recited at the time of the eucharist, and which is common to all the Christians. Several witnesses were present, three of my brothers, a friendly couple, they can attest it.
Reporter: Why at this moment?
Alois: This date had been selected because Frère Roger was on the point of receiving the first Catholic brother of the community and it was unthinkable of not having him at the same eucharistic table. A few months later, Mgr Le Bourgeois came in Taizé and, in the same way, het gave the communion to all the brothers of the community.
Reporter: Did Frère Roger testify itself and explicitly to this evolution?
Alois: He understood very early in his life that, to transmit the Gospel to the young people, a reconciliation of the Christians was essential. After John XXIII and Vatican II, he considered that the time of the reconciliation had come. He often told that, at the time of his last meeting with John XXIII, in 1963, he had made a point of hearing of the pope a spiritual will and had questioned it on the place of Taizé in the Church. John XXIII had answered, making his hands of the circular epic: "the catholic Church is made in concentric circles increasingly larger, increasingly larger." The pope did not specify in which circle it saw Taizé but Frère Roger understood that the pope wanted to say to him: you are already inside, continue simply on this way. And it is what he did.
Reporter: He had even designated you his successor, which is at the bottom the stake of this advance for Frère Roger?
His advance led him to discover always more and to clarify plenitude
plenitude of the tradition of the Church. He was not interested by an individual solution of reconciliation but, through long gropings, he sought which way could be accessible to others. Of Protestant origin, he achieved a step which does not have a precedent since the Reform. In 1980, at the time of a European meeting of young people in Rome, he publicly expressed it in these terms in the Saint Peter's basilica, in the presence of the pope John Paul II: "I found my own identity of Christian by reconciling in myself the faith of my origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, without rupture of communion with whoever." Receiving one day an Orthodox delegation, John Paul II will speak later about the communion which is "neither an absorption, nor a fusion, but a meeting in the truth and the love".
Reporter: Why so much of discretion around than he wanted to be a testimony?
Alois: As this step was progressive and completely news, it was difficult to express and include/understand. It was easy badly to interpret it. Thus to speak on this subject about "conversion", it is not to include/understand the originality of what Frère Roger sought. The word "conversion" is in charge of history, "conversion" implies a rupture with its origins. Frère Roger accepted that, for some, an individual conversion can be a way, but, for himself and our community, he preferred speech of "communion". For him, to enter gradually a full communion with the Catholic Church was concretized on two points which he never kept secret: to receive the Eucharist and to recognize the need for a ministry of unity exerted by the bishop of Rome.
There was no "conversion" of Brother Roger Schutz. As you can see from the interview above, the word "conversion" was abhorrent to him. You can see also that Angelo Roncalli, John XXIII, did not believe in seeking the conversion of Protestants. He had a conception of the Church (concentric circles) that was false. So did John Paul II. The conciliar church teaches that it is not necessary to seek the conversion of others in order that they enter the sure harbor of salvation that is the Catholic Church.
Conversion is Pastorally Unnecessary in the Age of Conciliar Ecumenism
Remember, the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger had stated very publicly prior to his elevation in 2005 that "conversion" remained an appropriate path for those who choose it but that the Catholic Church should not proselytize Protestants or Jews or the Orthodox. Schutz's profession of faith in certain "core beliefs" of the Catholic Church is thus perfectly in accord with what Ratzinger outlined in Principles of Catholic Theology insofar as not insisting upon Protestants losing their "identity" as the "churches" work in the direction of "unity, implying that the Catholic Church is not in and of herself the sole Church founded by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and that there is nothing lacking in her Divine Constitution, which is indivisible.
Mind you, there are many priests, especially those ordained before the dawning of the Age of Roncalli and Montini, in the conciliar structures who do believe in good, old-fashioned convert instruction and who have gone out of their way to seek converts to the true Church. Father Daniel Johnson, ordained in 1954 and the pastor of Saint Mary's by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach, California, from 1979-2004, personally knocked on every door, residential and commercial, in his parish boundaries three times during the course of his pastorate, converting 554 people. Father Johnson did not use the nebulous Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults to instruct his converts. He used good, old-fashioned convert instruction, consisting of thirteen three hour classes. He also exhorted his converts to embrace the glories of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
For the most part, however, priests in the conciliar structures are taught not to seek converts to the Faith. They are taught to engage in "interreligious" dialogue and "prayer meetings" with those in false religions. They are taught to "meet people where they are." The wife of a Baptist minister who was part of an RCIA course in California told off her Modernist instructor by saying, "Not even a good Protestant believes this," finding her way into the "indult" structures before winding up her days in the catacombs at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Garden Grove, California. Instruction in the immemorial truths of the Catholic Faith is not what characterizes the preparation of adults for "full reception" into the conciliar structures. Indeed, it is the case quite frequently the case that those who "convert" through RCIA programs are permitted to retain many of their former beliefs if this is what pleases them. We are all on a journey in "search of truth," you understand.
The Taize Ecumenical Community is founded in the conciliarist view that the "unity of the churches" does not consist in Protestants renouncing their Protestantism, which would be, to use the conciliarspeak in vogue at the moment, an "annihilation" of the reality of "churches" that have been maintained in existence because it is claimed that God "wills" such "churches" to exist.
To wit, Father Richard John Neuhaus, who converted to the conciliar structures in 1990, actually expressed regrets to Peter Steinfels of The New York Times that ''triumphalist'' Catholics might cheer his decision as proof ''that any serious Christian will become a Roman Catholic.'' In other words, "conversion is not for everyone." Father Neuhaus stated that he was being faithful to his Protestant beliefs, something that would have been unimaginable in the days of Bishop George Hay, a zealous seeker of souls from Protestantism, in England two hundred years ago. Can one imagine Pope Saint Pius X smiling favorably upon such a concept?
Here is a news story, written by Peter Steinfels, that appeared in The New York Times on September 9, 1990, that discusses the views held by Neuhaus, since ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal O'Connor, at the time:
LEAD: Saying he was being faithful to Martin Luther's 16th-century revolt against Rome, a nationally prominent Lutheran theologian became a Roman Catholic yesterday and said he would seek ordination as a Catholic priest.
Pilgrimage of Changes
For Mr. Neuhaus, the break with Lutheranism was another step in a long political and spiritual pilgrimage. Since the early 1970's he has moved from the front lines of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements to a monthly column in The National Review, from the pastorate of a largely black Lutheran parish in Brooklyn to an office in midtown Manhattan decorated with citations from Ronald Reagan.
But in a recent interview, he emphasized that his decision to leave the church was theological, not political. Mr. Neuhaus has long been identified with a strand in Lutheranism that calls itself ''evangelical catholic,'' with a small c. This group stresses that Luther's Reformation was aimed not at establishing a separate church but at bringing a united Christian church into line with the Reformers' view of the Gospel.
That 16th-century split may have been tragically unavoidable, Mr. Neuhaus said, but it must not become a purpose in itself; it was justified only until Roman Catholicism accepted the lessons of the Reformation.
That moment arrived, Mr. Neuhaus said, with the Second Vatican Council 25 years ago and the growth of agreement between Catholics and Lutherans since then.
Discouraged by Merger
But though he had hoped that Lutheranism might restore its ties with Catholicism, he had concluded that the Lutherans were like ''a people driven into exile who did so well and found themselves so comfortable that they forgot about returning to their home country.''
He became particularly discouraged when several Lutheran churches merged in 1988 to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a merger he said was not guided by any ''ecumenical vision'' or theological theory. ''It was like merging Macy's and K Mart,'' he said, ''a wiring together of interest groups.''
Mr. Neuhaus said his shift reflected the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the ecumenical movement. Calling it ''a decision I've been wrestling with and in some ways really resisting,'' he added:
''I have long believed that the Roman Catholic Church is the fullest expression of the church of Christ through time. But I took very seriously a sense of vocation that you should generally stay where God put you and do your duty there. For me that was as a Lutheran and a Lutheran pastor.''
Mr. Neuhaus said he saw no problem in identifying himself with the statements of Pope John Paul II. ''Over the last 20 years I have probably taken the teaching statements of the Roman Catholic Church more seriously than many Roman Catholic theologians,'' he said.
Departure Had Been Rumored
Lutheran theologians expressed dismay at Mr. Neuhaus's departure, which had been rumored for months, but they said they did not expect it to lead to other defections from the church or to strain relations between the Lutheran and Catholic Churches.
William H. Lazareth, who has been Mr. Neuhaus's bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, said Mr. Neuhaus had been ''a trustworthy pastor in our communion,'' and added, ''I wish Richard God's richest blessing in his pilgrimage of faith.''
Other Lutherans, including some who share many of Mr. Neuhaus's premises, said they did not agree with his reasoning. One of his oldest friends, Robert L. Wilken, a professor of church history at the University of Virginia, said that over the last century, ''there has been a gradual deepening in Lutheranism of Catholic character and practices and self-understanding.'' Any setback from the recent Lutheran merger ''is a passing phenomenon,'' he said, ''and the deeper change will out.''
Gerhard Forde, who teaches theology at Lutheran Northwest Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., says Catholics and Lutherans have moved closer together but have not yet reached a solid consensus on the meaning of justification by faith. That idea, a central concept for Luther and the Reformation, is that people are saved through their belief in Jesus rather than through good works.
Mr. Neuhaus ''thinks we can best address this by being one church,'' Mr. Forde said. ''I think it's not a matter of getting married first and talking afterwards.''
Another theology professor at the same seminary, Lee E. Snook, went further. ''Richard John Neuhaus interprets the Reformation as a temporary blip,'' he said. ''I see it as a permanent feature of Christianity.''
Mr. Neuhaus said he was ''painfully aware'' that some Lutherans might feel distressed or even betrayed by his decision, but he added that most had been very supportive, ''not in the sense that they agree but that they understand.'' He added that he regretted that some ''triumphalist'' Catholics might cheer his decision as proof ''that any serious Christian will become a Roman Catholic.''
Two passages stand out in this 1990 article:
- "That 16th-century split may have been tragically unavoidable, Mr. Neuhaus said, but it must not become a purpose in itself; it was justified only until Roman Catholicism accepted the lessons of the Reformation."
- "That moment arrived, Mr. Neuhaus said, with the Second Vatican Council 25 years ago and the growth of agreement between Catholics and Lutherans since then."
As was the case, it appears, with Roger Schutz when he made a profession of faith in some tenets of Catholicism so as to have the Novus Ordo Missae offered at Taize, Father Richard John Neuhaus, who is an apologist for the Constitutional framework of the American founding and who dismisses the encyclical letters of Pope Leo XIII dealing with Church-State relations as irrelevant for our own times, placing him in perfect accord with his friend Benedict XVI, "converted" to the conciliar structures only after he believed that the Catholic Church had reconciled itself to the "lessons of the Reformation."
As can be seen, Schutz did not renounce his Protestantism when pledging belief in some tenets of Catholicism. The very work that was undertaken by the Taize Ecumenical Community in the years between his first reception of Holy Communion in 1972 and his murder in 2005 was all directed to the accomplishment of a "unity" of Christian "churches" without anyone losing their "identities" or "traditions," something that is perfectly in accord with Joseph Ratzinger's oft-stated rejection of the "theology of the return," a slap in the face to the efforts made by popes and valiant missionaries from the time of the Protestant Revolt until 1958 to seek the conversion of Protestants to the maternal bosom of the Catholic Church. It is perfectly acceptable for Protestants to accept "some truths," those that are "fundamental," and to let others slide by as we engage in a "search for unity in the service of truth."
An acceptance of some aspects of the Catholic Faith does not constitute a conversion to the Church. Despite what Joseph Ratzinger maintained in Principles of Catholic Theology and was believed by Roger Schutz and the Taize Ecumencial Community , there is no such thing as "fundamental" and "non-fundamental" doctrines or truths. Pope Pius XI made this abundantly clear 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.
It is evidently possible--and eminently desirable in the minds of concilarists--for a Protestant to accept a Protestantized form of Catholicism without having to abjure those aspects of Protestantism he desires to maintain while being granted full and frequent access to the sacraments of the "reformed" Catholic Church that had reconciled itself with the tenets of "apostolic Christianity," as was the case with Roger Schutz. This has, of course, nothing to do with Catholicism, which demands a full assent of the mind and the will to everything taught by the Catholic Church without one iota of dissent. Proof again, I am afraid, of the incompatibility of conciliarism with Catholicism.
Taize: The Laboratory of Syncretism, The Ally of Conciliarism
Father Didier Bonneterre documented the Protestantizing influences of the Taize Ecumenical Community upon the conciliar church in his The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results (Angelus Press, 2002):
On April 10, 1970, when Pope Paul VI received the members of the Consilium for the last time, his picture was taken with the Protestant observers who had been involved in rewriting the Catholic liturgy. This photograph illustrated the cover of La Documentation Catholique on May 3rd. Even so, Protestant influence on the New Order of Mass was still being debated five years after its introduction. For instance, in 1976, an exchange of letters was published in La Libre Belgique between Consilium member Dom Botte and His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Dom Botte vehemently insisted that, despite the undeniable presence of Protestant "observers," there was no Protestant influence on the drafting of the new liturgy. Archbishop Lefebvre refuted his claim outright, citing statements of approbation made by Protestants as well as the famous intervention of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci.
Four years after this debate, a powerful testimony to the truth of Archbishop Lefebvre's assertions came into the author's possession. It was a document, the ritual used at Taize to celebrate the Eucharist in 1959 [reproduced on pp. 102-119 in Father Bonneterre's book]. The document is reproduced here in its entirely with permission from the Taize Community. The reader will quickly see that this Protestant rite of 1959 prefigures the Novus Ordo Missae of 1969. Archbishop Lefebvre was right: the Protestants collaborated actively--whether directly or indirectly matters little--in the reform of the Mass.
An important note must be made at this juncture. Father Romano Thommasi, who has had access to letters written by some of the German Protestant "observers" of the work of the Consilium, has proved that the "observers" made their comments during coffee breaks, after which the bishops who were members of the Consilium simply read the "observers'" comments into the record as their own. The "observers" exercised direct influence on the development of the synthetic concoction known as the Novus Ordo Missae.
Father Bonneterre's narrative continues:
The Taize movement began as a project of Roger Louis Schultz-Marasuche [note: it is Schutz, not Schultz], born in Switzerland in 1915, the son of a Lutheran minister, and now known to the English-speaking world as Roger Schultz or simply "Brother Roger." Schultz was active in the Swiss Student Christian Movement while a seminarian in Switzerland; there he studied monastic life and dreamed of establishing an "ecumenical" monastic community. Popular history holds that Schultz left his native Switzerland after the occupation of northern France by German troops in 1940; the German invasion of France evidently awakened in him a desire to assist war refugees while pursuing his "monastic" aim. Thus, in August, 1940, Schultz moved to the small town of Taize, located between Lyons and Dijon in rural Burgundy, just south of the line dividing occupied from Vichy France. Most of the refugees Schultz received at Taize were those fleeing into Vichy France due to political hardships; many were Jews. When Germany invaded northern France in 1942, Schultz returned to Switzerland, fearing German retribution. In Geneva he was joined by Max Thurian, "theologian" of the Swiss Reformed Church, and Pierre Souveran, an agricultural engineer. The group returned to Taize in 1944, and by 1947 the first "brothers" took "life vows [of] celibacy, community of property, and acceptance of the authority of the community."
According to a 1959 article in Theology Today, the small Taize community quickly became an active element of ecumenical, liturgical, biblical, and evangelical movements in France. Their "twelfth century church, built by Cluny monks, was restored along lines of liturgical reform. Taize quickly established ties with ecumenical movements in French Catholic circles and with the [note: pro-abortion, pro-contraception] World Council of Churches. in Geneva."
Meanwhile, the two co-founders, Schultz and Thurian, had quickly become ecumenical icons in their own right.
Schultz's personal achievements was Taize itself, from its outset a non-confessional "parable of a community" (as he called it) which emphasized life in common over questions of dogma: "In living a common life," he wrote, "have we any other end than to unify men committed to following Christ into a living sign of the unity of the Church?" Just as the true Church of Jesus Christ is His Mystical Body in the world, so too would Taize become the ecumenical movement incarnate: "The ecumenical imperative is fundamental to an understanding of Taize. Representing various church traditions within itself, it is, in effect, a rather advance incarnational witness of ecumenical endeavor."
One will see very quickly that the defined teaching of Our Lord, which Pope Pius XI had noted in Mortalium Animos (1928) as binding upon all believers in its entirety without one iota of dissent, meant nothing to Roger Schutz and the Taize community.
Returning to Father Bonneterre:
Max Thurian (1921-1996), a Reformed Church pastor born in Geneva, was known as the "theologian of Taize," and was for many years a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. Under its auspices he edited the influential (in ecumenical circles) volume Ecumenical Perspectives on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, in conjunction with which was developed the infamous "Lima Liturgy" of 1982.
For those in the Catholic hierarchy evidently intent on abandoning the concept of ecumenism as renunciation of error and return to the Catholic fold, Taize, Schultz, and Thurian became living examples of the kind of Christian reconciliation allegedly possible. During one of several audiences with Schultz, Pope John XXIII responded to a reference to Taize by saying, "Ah, Taize, that little springtime!" In spite of the fact that Thurian personally asked Pope Pius XII not to define the Assumption, both he and Schultz were invited to the Second Vatican Council, where, according to Schultz, they had numerous private meetings with the Council fathers, to "study the evolution of the texts, write up notes, and give our point of view when asked." it is well known that Thurian participated in the Consilium which revised the Roman rite; speaking of the Consilium's ecumenical fruit, he later declared, "It is now theologically possible for Protestants to use the same Mass as Catholics."
Roman fascination with the Taize experiment was not, however, reciprocated by a corresponding interest in the Roman religion by the Taize founders. In 1975 Roger Schultz asked of Rome, that a reconciliation come about without requiring non-Catholics to repudiate their origins. Even with truly...catholic communion in view, repudiation goes against love." And Max Thurian expressed similar sentiments in 1976, asserting that "if a Protestant has the conviction that the Catholic Church, following the Second Vatican Council, rediscovered conformity with the apostolic church, he can then consider himself to be a member of that Church without, however, renouncing his adherence to another ecclesial community.
Please note that Roger Schutz asked of Rome "that a reconciliation come about without requiring non-Catholics to repudiate their origins" three years after the non-conversion at the Cathedral in Autun. His associate, Marx Thurian, was so bold as to claim in 1976 that the Catholic Church had "rediscovered conformity with the apostolic church," making it possible for a Protestant to be a "member of the Church without, however, renouncing his adherence to another ecclesial community." This is precisely what Joseph Ratzinger himself believes, and it happens to be completely at odds with the Catholic Faith.
In spite of such indifferentism, the Holy Father [the late Pope John Paul II] deigned to grace Taize with his presence on October 5, 1986, effectively inscribing his name on a long list of admiring visitors, including three Archbishops of Canterbury, Orthodox metropolitans, the fourteen Lutheran bishops of Sweden, and countless pastors from all over the world. Thurian received Holy Orders in a semi-secret ceremony conducted by the former Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Ursi, and was later invited by John Paul II to join the International Theological Commission, and yet, according to the Taize community "no abjuration of [his] Protestant religion took place [!]"
It is even admitted by some Catholics that the change in Rome's attitude toward ecumenism was directly inspired by the work of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, through which Thurian accomplish so much of his ecumenical work in the 1980's: "...the Roman Catholic church changed her understanding of what we now call the ecumenical enterprise. . . Let me say that this huge change of Roman Catholic mentality is certainly in great part due to the high quality of the world done by the World Council of Churches, and especially Faith and Order."
Such a change of mentality was no doubt welcomed by the Taize founders, and in some fashion accepted by Pope John Paul II. Thurian once suggested that "unity today in the churches exists as we renounce all our divisive ways, only holding to the fundamental faith which saves and joins us." In 1986 the Pope congratulated the members of the Taize community for "desiring to be [them]selves a "parable of community," [that] will help all whom [they] meet to be faithful to their denominational ties, the fruit of their education and their choice in conscience."
After the death of John XXIII, his brother, Giuseppe Roncalli, visit Taize. During his visit, Roncalli remarked to his grandson, "It was my brother the Pope who began what will come out of Taize." (Father Didier Bonneterre, The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results. Kansas City, Missouri: Angelus Press, 2002. pp. 97-101.)
Once again, I ask: Is it not a little bit disturbing that late John Paul II praised a community that would help all people to "be faithful to their denominational ties," giving every impression of indifferentism at that time and in that place? How can anyone pretend that these comments are in concert with the Deposit of Faith. The "vision" of Taize is a manifest and complete rejection of the Deposit of Faith that the God-Man entrusted to solely and exclusively to His true Church for its safekeeping and explication and a rejection of the nature of the Catholic Church as complete in and of herself.
Pope Leo XIII noted in Satis Cognitum, December 8, 1896:
It is so evident from the clear and frequent testimonies of Holy Writ that the true Church of Jesus Christ is one, that no Christian can dare to deny it. But in judging and determining the nature of this unity many have erred in various ways. Not the foundation of the Church alone, but its whole constitution, belongs to the class of things effected by Christ's free choice. For this reason the entire case must be judged by what was actually done. We must consequently investigate not how the Church may possibly be one, but how He, who founded it, willed that it should be one. But when we consider what was actually done we find that Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: "I believe in one Church." "The Church in respect of its unity belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts...We say, therefore, that the Catholic Church is unique in its essence, in its doctrine, in its origin, and in its excellence...Furthermore, the eminence of the Church arises from its unity, as the principle of its constitution - a unity surpassing all else, and having nothing like unto it or equal to it" (S. Clemens Alexandrinus, Stronmatum lib. viii., c. 17). For this reason Christ, speaking of the mystical edifice, mentions only one Church, which he calls His own - "I will build my church; " any other Church except this one, since it has not been founded by Christ, cannot be the true Church. This becomes even more evident when the purpose of the Divine Founder is considered. For what did Christ, the Lord, ask? What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you" (John xx., 21). "Ad thou hast sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world" (John xvii., 18).
Any questions out there? Taize is an abomination against the Divine Constitution of the Catholic Church. So is everything to do with the conciliarist novelty of ecumenism that has devastated souls and convinced Catholics, both clergy and laity alike, that they must not seek the conversion of others to the true Church, that the salvation of others is pretty much assured, that no one, to paraphrase Joseph Ratzinger in The Principles of Catholic Theology, has an absolute corner on the truth.
The Raccoon Lodge (Awwwwooooooooooo! Awwwwwoooooooo!) in Action
Putting Brothers Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton of the Raccoon Lodge in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to shame, the fog of confusion and intrigue over the "conversion" of the Protestant syncretist Roger Schutz to a conciliar church of his liking is just another example of how conciliarism leads to the acceptance of contradiction and paradox as natural and normal parts of our lives as Catholics. Yes, we know that contradiction and paradox are not part of our lives as Catholics. Granted. However, most Catholics today do not realize this. they have been taught to accept that what was taught in the past is no longer relevant, that we have "matured" in our understanding of the Faith in light of our "opening up" to the world.
Remember, it took three months for an "unofficial" Vatican explanation to be released to explain how Roger Schutz was given Communion by Cardinal Ratzinger at John Paul II's funeral Mass on April 8, 2005. Three months. Am August 27, 2005, report written by John Thavis of the Catholic News Service includes this "unofficial" Vatican explanation, premised upon the belief that Roger Schutz was what he remained his entire life, a Protestant:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The death of Brother Roger Schutz prompted an outpouring of sympathy on the part of many Catholics and expressions of ecumenical appreciation from Vatican officials.
But it also highlighted a perennial and neuralgic issue in ecumenical dialogue: the Catholic Church's rules against shared Communion.
Brother Roger, who was stabbed to death in mid-August by a deranged woman, was a longtime friend of Pope John Paul II. The pope had visited Brother Roger's Taize community in eastern France and lauded his efforts to bring Christians together in prayer.
Despite his ecumenical passion, Brother Roger, a minister of the Swiss Reformed Church, did not believe in shared Communion, and it was not practiced at the services in Taize. He also had good ties with the Vatican's doctrinal congregation, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
So when Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated Pope John Paul's funeral Mass in April, he was probably surprised to see Brother Roger being rolled up in a wheelchair at the head of the Communion line.
What to do? Cardinal Ratzinger had long defended the church's general prohibition on shared Communion. Special circumstances might allow for Communion, but the cardinal could hardly probe the matter in the middle of the pope's funeral.
In the end, he did what many pastors in local dioceses do in such circumstances: He gave Communion. What made it different was that the world was watching, and wondering. Immediately people began asking: Had Brother Roger converted to Catholicism? Or had Cardinal Ratzinger changed his mind about shared Communion?
The answer in both cases was no, according to Vatican officials interviewed over the summer.
Because the questions about Brother Roger's taking Communion would not go away, the Vatican made available in July an informal, unsigned statement of explanation.
The bottom line appeared to be: It was all an unfortunate mistake. Brother Roger, it seems, had been moved to a closer vantage point at the start of the Mass and had unwittingly ended up in the section reserved for those receiving Communion from the chief celebrant, Cardinal Ratzinger.
When he was wheeled forward, "it did not seem possible to refuse him the most Blessed Sacrament," the Vatican said.
The statement noted that Brother Roger shared the Catholic belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It also said his situation was unique and stressed that his receiving Communion did not represent a generalized policy.
With Brother Roger's death and funeral four months later, the question was revisited in news reports and in conversations around the Vatican. Informed Vatican officials, who spoke on background, emphasized that the church's position on shared Communion had not changed.
But the issue has nuances that are still studied and discussed inside the church.
Canon law states, for example, that Communion may be given to members of Eastern churches not in full unity with the Catholic Church -- like the Orthodox -- as long as recipients ask on their own and are in a state of grace.
These Eastern churches share the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, that it is the real body and blood of Christ and not something symbolic, and they share the sacrament of the priesthood.
On the other hand, members of churches that derive from the Reformation may be given Communion only if there is a danger of death or "other grave necessity," and on the condition that they are unable to approach a minister of their own community, that they manifest the Catholic Church's faith in the Eucharist and that they be in a state of grace.
So according to a strict reading of church law, just believing in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist would not be enough to allow a Protestant or Anglican to take Communion, church sources said.
But here, too, there is discussion. Some have argued that "grave necessity" can include a variety of circumstances, and that being unable to approach one's own minister could simply refer to the immediate impossibility of doing so -- at a Catholic funeral or marriage, for example.
Others have argued that manifesting one's agreement with Catholic belief in the Eucharist may be done simply by approaching the minister of the sacrament and saying "Amen" when the minister presents the host with the words, "The body of Christ."
The Vatican's 1993 ecumenical directory spoke of "exceptional" cases of shared Communion during interchurch marriages. The language of that document and the fact that it did not rule out shared Communion has affected the way local bishops' conferences have addressed the problem.
Awwoooooooooooooooooo! Awwoooooooooooo! (All raise your raccoon caps, please, as you Awwoooooooo! Awwoooooooo!)
I mean, let's be serious here, ladies and gentlemen. This is not Catholicism. Leaving aside the issue of the legitimacy of the conciliar sacraments, the conciliarists themselves believe the sacraments are valid and that they are dealing with the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They feel free to administer the Real Presence of Our Lord to people who are not members of the Catholic Church and who are not in states of Sanctifying Grace. Arguments about "grave necessity" and "exceptional" cases did not arise before the Second Vatican Council as only Catholics could receive Holy Communion. Imagine that, will you?
Conciliarism has created fog and murkiness in every aspect of its institutional structures. It has reaffirmed adherents of false religions that they can maintain their "traditions" while the authentic Tradition of the Catholic Church is rejected and heaped with scorn. Even if tomorrow's news brings us word that, yes, Brother Roger Schutz did convert, well, maybe sort of, kind of, approximately speaking to the conciliar structures, he still did not convert to Catholicism. Conciliarism cannot be confused with Catholicism, which never produced this sort of confusion and disarray in the minds of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Indeed, do not be surprised if all of this talk of some kind of Schutz's non-conversion "conversion" produces even more confusion and disarray in the form of the talk of the possibility of Brother Roger Schutz's "canonization" by Benedict XVI as a "patron saint" of ecumenism.
Tomorrow's News Is That It Is Our Lady's Birthday
Tomorrow's news does not concern Roger Schutz. Tomorrow's news is that it is Our Lady's birthday. A tiny little baby girl, whose Immaculate Conception made it possible for us to be saved by her Divine Son on the wood of the Holy Cross and thus to have access to Paradise itself by persisting in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church, was born for us on September 8.
We must give to her, Mary most holy, most pure, most chaste, most adorable, most tender, most mild, most merciful, our every thought and action. We must trust totally and without any hesitation or even the thought of despair in the loving refuge that is her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. That same Immaculate Heart will triumph over the scions of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church. Our Blessed Mother loves us. She has not abandoned us. She wants us to stand by the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross with her at the offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition and seek to be so conformed to the standard of the same Holy Cross, whose Exaltation we celebrate a week from today, that we consider it our singular privilege to suffer with her so that Tradition will be restored in the Church and Christendom will be restored in the world.
Let us say as many Rosaries as we can today, keeping in mind the good of all souls, living and deceased, so that there will come the day in the Reign of Mary Immaculate where people will rejoice in the fact that they have been converted fully and completely to the only means of salvation given to men, the Catholic Church.
Vivat Christus Rex!
O Maria Bambina, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, 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 Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, 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 Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, 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.