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                                   May 8, 2005

Just Whistle a Happy Tune

by Thomas A. Droleskey

As I have noted in several brief commentaries in the past three weeks since the election of Pope Benedict XVI, each Catholic must pray fervently for the Successor of Saint Peter. We are neither pessimists (sad idiots) or optimists (happy idiots). Catholics are called to grow in the Supernatural Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity with every beat of their hearts, consecrated as they must be to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although we must be concerned about the state of the Church in her human elements at present, we have to understand that each of us has a role to play in planting the seeds for the restoration of the glories of Tradition by means of our own growth in personal sanctity, rooted in the twin foundations of Eucharistic piety and Total Marian Consecration. We go about our work on a daily basis, offering all of our prayers and sacrifices and penances to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves. God has known from all eternity that we would be alive at the specific time in the history of the Church. His grace is sufficient for us to deal with the manifestations of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church that seem to be so triumphant at present. We never grow despondent in the face of difficulties, and we never surrender to goofy presumption that all will be well despite the danger signs that are all around us. It is with this in mind that I want to offer a few reflections in reaction to the general tenor of some of the commentaries that have been written in recent weeks about the nascent pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

The Reform of the Reform

More than one writer has commented that Pope Benedict XVI has already started to implement the "reform of the reform," a phrase that accepts the false contention that the Novus Ordo Missae was a reform of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and not a synthetic construction designed to obliterate most of the vestiges of Catholic Tradition, as Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the infamous Secretary of the Consilium that planned the Novus Ordo Missae, admitted was the goal as early as 1965. G.I.R.M. Warfare, whose second edition is about to be published (a separate posting about the new edition will appear tomorrow, May 9, 2005) discusses this false notion at great length. Suffice it to say for present purposes that the fruit of the Novus Ordo Missae has been harmful to Holy Mother Church and to the souls she has the responsibility of shepherding safely home to Heaven. No structural reform of something that is defective and harmful of its nature is ever going to work. And, how pray tell, can one "reform" an entity that, among other things noted above, contains as integral parts of its offering sacrileges such as the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand and the invasion of the laity into the sanctuary during the offering of Holy Mass (and a whole  style of architecture and genre of music created to reflect a new religion as a decided break from the glories of the Catholic past)?

Oh, Pope Benedict XVI is certainly more dignified and sober in his offering of Holy Mass than his immediate predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II. However, His Holiness is still a product of the mindset that a liturgical "reform" was necessary in the 1960s as a result of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a Vatican II document that was based at least in part on the now disproved antiquarian presuppositions of the Augustinian Pius Parsch. He may indeed try to introduce more Latin into the offering of the Novus Ordo Missae and to encourage priests to offer Mass facing the altar. Any such efforts will be resisted mightily by the ultra-revolutionaries in the episcopate around the world, raising this fundamental question: if His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is ready to go to war to fight the battle of "reforming the reform," which "reform" contains prayers that are less expressive of the truths of the Catholic Faith and contains such a panoply of "options" as to even make the use of the word "rite" an absurdity, would it not be a better thing simply to restore that which has demonstrated over the better part of two millennia its capacity for producing martyrs and saints, of rendering unto God the full honor and glory that are His absolute due, that which can be found only in the Immemorial Mass of Tradition? The ultra-revolutionaries will oppose a "reform of the reform" with the same might that they have opposed any "approved" offerings of the Traditional Latin Mass. Why fight such battles--and thus get the faithful all wound up unnecessarily over changes that will never produce good results--when the answer is so very clear: a restoration of the full glories of Tradition before they were tampered by Bugnini and his band of liturgical revolutionaries in the 1950s?

The Novus Ordo Missae dressed up in Latin and with a priest facing the altar is still the Novus Ordo Missae with all of its theological defects and liturgical instabilities. Even High Anglicans stand fast on matters of ceremony. We do not need a Anglicized version of the Catholic Mass. We need the Catholic Mass for which the English Martyrs gave up their lives in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Consider this wonderful reflection from Father Lawrence C. Smith:

-- The New Mass was not mandated by ANY Ecumenical Council, including the Second at the Vatican;

-- All of the elements of the Novus Ordo Missae which differ from the Latin Rite, which traces its pedigree through Pope St. Pius V back through Pope St. Gregory the Great back through the Apostles back to God Himself at the Last Supper, are novelties to the immemorial Rite directly traceable to protestant error and condemned as such by the Ecumenical Council of Trent;

-- Further changes to the Novus Ordo Missae since its inception are always pursued in keeping with its fundamentally protestant bent, in many instances explicitly rejecting that which would lead back to Catholic tradition, and in every instant making an implicit rejection of Catholic tradition;

-- There is nothing within the principles guiding the use of the Novus Ordo Missae to guard it against further degradation toward the protestant and, God forbid, the invalid;

-- It is repugnant to the Sensus Catholicus even to suggest, much less to implement, a gutting, a replacement, and a rejection of the immemorial Latin Rite; there is nothing in the inviolate Tradition of our Faith that supports the notion that the Rites of Mother Church may be summarily jettisoned, and to do such is simply not Catholic -- it is, in a word, protestant. In two words it is protestant heresy. It is in three words modernist protestant heresy.

A very fine open letter to His Holiness to request the restoration of the Traditional Mass without any of the unjust and illicit preconditions that have been imposed on its offering by the Holy See since 1984 has been written by Michael Matt and Christopher A. Ferrara (www.remnantnewspaper.com). It is my own hope and prayer that the Holy Father will take this letter, written by faithful Catholics who simply want Catholics to be able to worship as Catholics in the Roman Rite have worshiped for the better part of two millennia without any hindrances at all, to heart. However, we must not deceive ourselves that anything short of the restoration of Tradition is going to be a "sign" that things are getting better. Indeed, efforts to "reform the reform" may very well wind up convincing people to continue to spend their time and energy on all sorts of activities that have proved utterly fruitless in one diocese after another in the past thirty-six years or so rather than to plead with the Vicar of Christ to recognize the simple fact that Quo Primum means what it says and to restore Tradition fully while enfolding all traditional Catholics back into the pastoral heart of the Church.

Mixed Signals

Pope Benedict XVI has continued his predecessor's penchant for the sending of mixed signals, which has been one of the hallmarks of the conciliarist era. His Holiness has institutionalized the abandonment of the Papal Coronation, becoming the third successive pope to eschew the triple tiara (signifying that the Successor of Saint Peter represents Christ the King on earth and is to govern the Church monarchically) in favor of the mitre. The mitre has replaced the tiara on the Papal Coat of Arms that Pope Benedict designed for himself. These have been heralded by the Zenit propaganda machine as "innovations" and "novelties," things that popes used to be required to categorically reject as they took the Papal Coronation Oath (whose use was abandoned in 1978). Innovations and novelties are now presented as being good for the Church, something that would have caused Pope Saint Pius X to have issued a decree discussing the inherent harm of such things for the life of Church.

Indeed, Pope Saint Pius X's condemnation of the Sillon, Notre Charge Apostolique (Our Apostolic Mandate), included a telling passage concerning the impossibility of reconciling the doctrine of the Church with the principles of the Revolution, something that the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger noted in his 1987 book, Principles of Catholic Theology, was the very purpose of the Second Vatican Council in general and Gaudium et Spes specifically. Pope Saint Pius X's words about the social Revolution, quoted below, are equally applicable to the liturgical and doctrinal revolutions that have shaken the Church in her human elements in the past four and one-half decades, especially when one considers that those revolutions find their impetus from a desire to be reconciled to the "world as it is," namely, the world that has come into existence since 1789, to use the exact phrase of the then Cardinal Ratzinger:

Let them be convinced that the social question and social science did not arise only yesterday; that the Church and the State, at all times and in happy concert, have raised up fruitful organizations to this end; that the Church, which has never betrayed the happiness of the people by consenting to dubious alliances, does not have to free herself from the past; that all that is needed is to take up again, with the help of the true workers for a social restoration, the organisms which the Revolution shattered, and to adapt them, in the same Christian spirit that inspired them, to the new environment arising from the material development of today’s society. Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.

In like manner, you see, it can be said that the true friends of the Catholic Faith are not the revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.

Pope Benedict's perplexing embrace of the ecumania of his immediate predecessor has manifested himself in the distribution of Holy Communion to a Protestant minister at the late Pope John Paul II's requiem Mass on April 8, 2005. The minister, Reverend Roger Schutz, is the founder of the Taize "ecumenical community" in France, which has a "liturgy" that presaged a good deal of what the Consilium developed as the Novus Ordo Missae (see Father Didier Bonneterre's The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results, published by Angelus Press). This is going to result in hundreds upon hundreds of priests doing (or, more accurately, continuing to do) the same thing, justifying their actions by referring to Pope Benedict himself. Such an action is not indicative of the sensus Catholicus whatsoever. Pope Benedict XVI is indeed intent on the pursuit of the novelty of ecumenism that flies in the face of everything taught by Popes prior to 1958.

On the other hand, though, His Holiness has decided to restore the traditional practice of delegating to a cardinal the duty of presiding over the beatification of a person whose cause for canonization has advanced to that stage. It is clear that the Holy Father wants to distance himself from the blurring of the distinction between beatification and canonization that become so common in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. The restoration of the right order of things in the canonization process is certainly welcomed. A slowing down of the number of people in the "pipeline" to be beatified would also be a good thing. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict is signaling that he is going to restore a traditional practice of the Church, which is good in and of itself. And it was learned yesterday, May 7, 2005, that Father Thomas Reese, the editor of America (a Jesuit magazine), was forced to resign under pressure from the Holy See. Although the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, has proven himself to be little different than his predecessor, the notorious Father Pedro Arrupe, in the past two decades, the fact that he acceded to the Vatican's desire for Father Reese to "move on" is an indication that the new Holy Father has a governing program very much in mind and will indeed attempt to put it in place (his protestations to the contrary during the Papal installation Mass on April 24, 2005, notwithstanding).

[Mr. John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News, has written two excellent articles, The Secret of Pope John Paul II's Success and Pope Benedict XVI, dealing with the late Pope John Paul II and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Please take the time to read these incisive and irrefutable articles written by a son of the Church who simply wants the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church to be presented consistently and without any of the mixed signals being given at present by Pope Benedict.]

Communist Sympathizers and Fatima

Acknowledging the mixed signals being sent in the first three week of the pontificate while stressing the importance of praying and sacrificing for our new Holy Father, it is, though, important to point out what I believe to be the singularly most important danger sign given us thus far, one that cannot be dismissed by those who want to "whistle a happy tune" at this present time. I refer to the appointment of Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Roger Cardinal Etchegary of France as Dean and Deputy Dean of the College of Cardinals. This is a most grave matter that should concern every sober member of the Catholic Church.

Angelo Cardinal Sodano's role in the deconstruction and misrepresentation of the Fatima Message is spelled out in great detail by Father Paul Kramer in his devastatingly compelling The Devil's Final Battle, published in 2002. The then Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, played his own role in an attempted "reinterpretation" of the Fatima Message. There is no need to reproduce here the extensive documentation provided about this joint effort that can be found in The Devil's Final Battle. What is useful for present purposes, however, is to quote a few passages from The Devil's Final Battle to demonstrate the sympathies of Cardinals Sodano and Etchegary for the Chinese Patriotic Association, the schismatic church created by the Red Chinese regime in the 1950s as a way of demonstrating that their appointment to direct the College of Cardinals should not be dismissed in silence as a minor matter.

The Devil's Final Battle relates the following on pages 122-124:

In September of 2000 we encounter yet another dramatic example of the Church's Adaptation [to the world]. From September 12-19, 2000, Roger Cardinal Etchegary was in Red China to attend a "Symposium on Religions and Peace." While there he celebrated Mass in the presence of the schismatic bishops of the Chinese Patriotic Association (CPA). The Mass was celebrated in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians, which the Red Chinese regime has stolen from the true Catholic Church in China.

The CPA was formed in the 1950s to replace the Catholic Church after "Chairman Mao" declared the Catholic Church "illegal" in Red China. The CPA is thus a human organization created by a Communist government and set up a "church" which Chinese Catholics must join, forsaking the Roman Catholic Church, whose very existence has been declared "illegal" by the Red Chinese regime. The CPA constitution explicitly rejects submission to the Pope and declares the CPA to be autonomous from Rome. The CPA bishops and priests, therefore, are all schismatics by definition.

Over 100 bishops have been consecrated illicitly by the CPA without a papal mandate, in direct violation of the Code of Canon Law; worse still, those illicitly consecrated bishops publicly declared their primary allegiance to the Communist regime of China while disavowing (in the CPA Constitution) any allegiance or submission to the Pope. As a result, these illicit bishops and those who consecrated them, would be excommunicated latae sententiae (automatically), even if they were members of the Catholic Church, which they are not. In 1994 the CPA bishops issued a so-called pastoral letter in which they endorsed China's population control policy, which includes forced abortions on all women who have one child already, calling upon Chinese Catholics to support this abomination.

In short, the CPA is a Communist-created, Communist-controlled, blatantly schismatic, blatantly heretical, pro-abortion organization., created by the devil himself, acting through Mao Tse-tung and his successor "President" Jiang. And yet the Vatican has declared no schism, nor any excommunication of these Communist-controlled, pro-abortion clergy. Instead, Cardinal Etchegary went to China and celebrated Mass in the presence of CPA bishops in a Marian Shrine which the CPA, with the aid of Communist goons, stole from the Catholic Church and the Catholic faithful. Cardinal Etchegary even stated that he "recognized the fidelity to the Pope of the Catholics in the official Church [i.e., the CPA]." Fidelity to the Pope on the part of the bishops who endorse forced abortion and whose Communist-controlled association rejects the papal primacy in its very constitution? What sort of nonsense is this?

While Cardinal Etchegary was in China, an 82 yeard-old Catholic priest in the "underground" Catholic Church was beaten into a coma and jailed by "security" police. In accordance with Ostpolitik, the Vatican has issued no protest over the nearly fatal beating of this priest, nor any protest over the arrest, imprisonment and torture of loyal Catholic priests, bishops and laity by the Red Chinese regime. The Vatican apparatus is still chained to the Church's new orientation--"dialogue" with the Church's enemies and silence even in the face of blatant torture and persecution of faithful Catholics. This is the fruit of the new orientation's abandonment of righteous opposition to evil. And this policy of Adaptation of the Church will, in the long run, have the intended effect on millions more., who will apostasize and lose their faith, because the Vatican apparatus will no longer stand up and oppose evil with the righteous anger of old.

Here too we see the disparity of treatment between traditional Catholics who in any way present an obstacle to the new orientation, and those who embrace the new orientation wholly and entirely. In contrast with the Vatican's pandering to the CPA, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was publicly pronounced both excommunicated and schismatic in a motu proprio prepared for the Pope's signature within 48 hours of Archbishop Lefebvre's consecration of four bishops without a papal mandate--an action the Archbishop took in an effort (however misguided some may think it to be) to maintain Catholic tradition in a Church gone mad.

The Red Chinese procure (through former Catholic bishops) the consecration of 100 bishops without a papal mandate for their pro-abortion "church" and the Vatican takes no punitive action. Quite the contrary, it sends a Cardinal (no less) as a representative to hobnob with some of the illicit bishops! Yet, when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrates four bishops to serve Catholic Tradition, he is immediately cast into outer darkness by the same Vatican apparatus, even though Archbishop Lefebvre and the four newly consecrated bishops consistently professed their loyalty to the Pope whom they are attempt to serve by preserving traditional Catholic practice and belief. Why this striking disparity of treatment? The answer once again, is that Archbishop Lefebvre resisted the Adaptation; the Red Chinese bishops, on the other hand, exemplify it.

But it is even worse than this. According to an Open Letter of protest to Cardinal Sodano and other members of the Vatican apparatus, published by the Cardinal Kung Foundation, priests of the CPA--a schismatic, Communist-controlled, pro-abortion "church"--have been given canonical missions and priestly faculties in American dioceses. Thus, these Communist priests celebrate Mass and hear confessions of Roman Catholic faithful in their local parishes where these agents of a Communist government learn the secret sins of innumerable Americans which may provide material for blackmail to the Communist masters in China. This was formed by Archbishop Levada of San Francisco, who claims that the Vatican--and no doubt Cardinal Sodano was involved in the decision--has authorized the granting of an "apostolic mission" to these priests of the pro-abortion, Communist-controlled, schismatic CPA.

Here is a literal, visible penetration of Communist power into the body of the Church. There could not be a more dramatic demonstration of the Adaptation. But the presence of these Communist-controlled priests in American parishes is only an icon of the whole process that began in Metz, France, back in 1962, when the drawbridge of the Church was let down and the forces of the world, the Church's sworn enemies, began to march into the Church, leading even Pope Paul VI to speak of the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking.

Why is our new Holy Father rewarding men, Cardinals Sodano and Etchegary, who have shown themselves to be quite favorably disposed to true schismatics and heretics in the Chinese Patriotic Association? Indeed, Cardinal Etchegary was in Red China very recently and praised the Communist regime, an eerie echo of then United States Secretary of Agriculture (and Vice President of the United States from 1941-1945) Henry Agard Wallace's lavish praise in the late-1930s of how the "workers" work so "voluntarily" for the good of the "New Socialist Man" while he toured the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Wallace can be forgiven for being simply stupid. His successor as Vice President, Harry S. Truman, fired him once he, Truman, became President upon the death of another Communist appeaser, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on April 12, 1945, calling Wallace a "pinko." Indeed. What applied to Henry Agard Wallace applies to the two men in cardinalate red who have the favor of the new pontiff.

Contrast the Ostopolitik (an attempt to effect a rapprochment with Communist regimes of the East--hence Ostpolitik, East politics--by avoiding confrontation) of the conciliar era with Pope Pius XII's discussion of the Church and China in 1958, found his Encyclical Letter Ad Apostolorum Principis:

5. But, alas, after a few years the sky was overcast by storm clouds. On your Christian communities, many of which had been flourishing from times long past, there fell sad and sorrowful times. Missionaries, among whom were many archbishops and bishops noted for their apostolic zeal, and Our own Internuncio were driven from China, while bishops, priests, and religious men and women, together with many of the faithful, were cast into prison or incurred every kind of restraint and suffering.

6. On that occasion We raised Our voice in sorrow, and, in Our Encyclical of January 18, 1952, Cupimus imprimis,[3] rebuked the unjust attack. In that letter, for the sake of truth and conscious of Our duty, We declared that the Catholic Church is a stranger to no people on earth, much less hostile to any. With a mother's anxiety, she embraces all peoples in impartial charity. She seeks no earthly advantage but employs what powers she possesses to attract the souls of all men to seek what is eternal. We also stated that missionaries promote the interest of no particular nation; they come from every quarter of the earth and are united by a single love, God, and thus they seek and hope for nothing else save the spread of God's kingdom. Thus, it is clear that their work is neither without purpose nor harmful, but beneficent and necessary since it aids Chinese priests in their Christian apostolate.

7. And some two years later, October 7, 1954, another Encyclical Letter was addressed to you, beginning Ad Sinarum gentem,[4] in which We refuted accusations made against Catholics in China. We openly declared that Catholics yielded to none (nor could they do so) in their true loyalty and love of their native country. Seeing also that there was being spread among you the doctrine of the so-called "three autonomies," We warned -- by virtue of that universal teaching authority which We exercise by divine command -- that this same doctrine as understood by its authors, whether in theory or in its consequences, cannot receive the approval of a Catholic, since it turns minds away from the essential unity of the Church.

8. In these days, however, We have to draw attention to the fact that the Church in your lands in recent years has been brought to still worse straits. In the midst of so many great sorrows it brings Us great comfort to note that in the daily attacks which you have met neither unflinching faith nor the most ardent love of the Divine Redeemer and of His Church has been wanting. You have borne witness to this faith and love in innumerable ways, of which only a small part is known to men, but for all of which you will someday receive an eternal reward from God.

9. Nevertheless We regard it as Our duty to declare openly, with a heart filled to its depths with sorrow and anxiety, that affairs in China are, by deceit and cunning endeavor, changing so much for the worse that the false doctrine already condemned by Us seems to be approaching its final stages and to be causing its most serious damage.

10. For by particularly subtle activity an association has been created among you to which has been attached the title of "patriotic," and Catholics are being forced by every means to take part in it.

This association -- as has often been proclaimed -- was formed ostensibly to join the clergy and the faithful in love of their religion and their country, with these objectives in view: that they might foster patriotic sentiments; that they might advance the cause of international peace; that they might accept that species of socialism which has been introduced among you and, having accepted it, support and spread it; that, finally, they might actively cooperate with civil authorities in defending what they describe as political and religious freedom. And yet -- despite these sweeping generalizations about defense of peace and the fatherland, which can certainly deceive the unsuspecting -- it is perfectly clear that this association is simply an attempt to execute certain well defined and ruinous policies.

11. For under an appearance of patriotism, which in reality is just a fraud, this association aims primarily at making Catholics gradually embrace the tenets of atheistic materialism, by which God Himself is denied and religious principles are rejected.

12. Under the guise of defending peace the same association receives and spreads false rumors and accusations by which many of the clergy, including venerable bishops and even the Holy See itself, are claimed to admit to and promote schemes for earthly domination or to give ready and willing consent to exploitation of the people, as if they, with preconceived opinions, are acting with hostile intent against the Chinese nation.

13. While they declare that it is essential that every kind of freedom exist in religious matters and that this makes mutual relations between the ecclesiastical and civil powers easier, this association in reality aims at setting aside and neglecting the rights of the Church and effecting its complete subjection to civil authorities.

14. Hence all its members are forced to approve those unjust prescriptions by which missionaries are cast into exile, and by which bishops, priests, religious men, nuns, and the faithful in considerable numbers are thrust into prison; to consent to those measures by which the jurisdiction of many legitimate pastors is persistently obstructed; to defend wicked principles totally opposed to the unity, universality, and hierarchical constitution of the Church; to admit those first steps by which the clergy and faithful are undermined in the obedience due to legitimate bishops; and to separate Catholic communities from the Apostolic See.

15. In order to spread these wicked principles more efficiently and to fix them in everyone's mind, this association -- which, as We have said, boasts of its patriotism -- uses a variety of means including violence and oppression, numerous lengthy publications, and group meetings and congresses.

16. In these meetings, the unwilling are forced to take part by incitement, threats, and deceit. If any bold spirit strives to defend truth, his voice is easily smothered and overcome and he is branded with a mark of infamy as an enemy of his native land and of the new society.

17. There should also be noted those courses of instruction by which pupils are forced to imbibe and embrace this false doctrine. Priests, religious men and women, ecclesiastical students, and faithful of all ages are forced to attend these courses. An almost endless series of lectures and discussions, lasting for weeks and months, so weaken and benumb the strength of mind and will that by a kind of psychic coercion an assent is extracted which contains almost no human element, an assent which is not freely asked for as should be the case.

18. In addition to these there are the methods by which minds are upset -- by every device, in private and in public, by traps, deceits, grave fear, by so-called forced confessions, by custody in a place where citizens are forcibly "reeducated," and those "Peoples' Courts" to which even venerable bishops are ignominiously dragged for trial.

19. Against methods of acting such as these, which violate the principal rights of the human person and trample on the sacred liberty of the sons of God, all Christians from every part of the world, indeed all men of good sense cannot refrain from raising their voices with Us in real horror and from uttering a protest deploring the deranged conscience of their fellow men.

20. And since these crimes are being committed under the guise of patriotism, We consider it Our duty to remind everyone once again of the Church's teaching on this subject.

21. For the Church exhorts and encourages Catholics to love their country with sincere and strong love, to give due obedience in accord with natural and positive divine law to those who hold public office, to give them active and ready assistance for the promotion of those undertakings by which their native land can in peace and order daily achieve greater prosperity and further true development.

22. The Church has always impressed on the minds of her children that declaration of the Divine Redeemer: "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's."[5] We call it a declaration because these words make certain and incontestable the principle that Christianity never opposes or obstructs what is truly useful or advantageous to a country.

23. However, if Christians are bound in conscience to render to Caesar (that is, to human authority) what belongs to Caesar, then Caesar likewise, or those who control the state, cannot exact obedience when they would be usurping God's rights or forcing Christians either to act at variance with their religious duties or to sever themselves from the unity of the Church and its lawful hierarchy.

24. Under such circumstances, every Christian should cast aside all doubt and calmly and firmly repeat the words with which Peter and the other Apostles answered the first persecutors of the Church: "We must obey God rather than men."[6]

25. With emphatic insistence, those who promote the interests of this association which claims a monopoly on patriotism, speak over and over again of peace and admonish Catholics earnestly to exert all their efforts to establish it. On the surface these words are excellent and righteous, for who deserves greater praise than the man who prepares the way to introduce and establish peace?

26. But peace -- as you well know, Venerable Brethren and beloved sons -- does not consist of words alone and does not rely on changing formulas which are suitable for the moment but contradict one's real plans and practices, which do not conform with the meaning and way of true peace but with hatred, discord, and deceit.

27. Peace worthy of the name must be founded on the principles of charity and justice which He taught who is the "Prince of Peace,"[7] and who adopted this title as a kind of royal standard for Himself. True peace is that which the Church desires to be established: one that is stable, just, fair, and founded on right order; one which binds all together -- citizens, families, and peoples -- by the firm ties of the rights of the Supreme Lawgiver, and by the bonds of mutual fraternal love and cooperation.

28. As she looks forward to and hopes for this peaceful dwelling together of nations, the Church expects each nation to preserve that degree of dignity which becomes it. For the Church, which has ever kept a friendly attitude toward the various events in your country, long ago spoke through Our late Predecessor of happy memory and expressed the desire that "full recognition be given to the legitimate aspirations and rights of the nation, which is more populous than any other, whose civilization and culture go back to the earliest times, which has, in past ages, with the development of its resources, had periods of great prosperity, and which -- it may be reasonably conjectured -- will become even greater in the future ages, provided it pursues justice and honor."[8]

29. On the other hand, as has been made known by radio and by the press, there are some -- even among the ranks of the clergy -- who do not shrink from casting suspicion on the Apostolic See and hint that it has evil designs toward your country.

30. Assuming false and unjust premises, they are not afraid to take a position which would confine within a narrow scope the supreme teaching authority of the Church, claiming that there are certain questions -- such as those which concern social and economic matters -- in which Catholics may ignore the teachings and the directives of this Apostolic See.

31. This opinion -- it seems entirely unnecessary to demonstrate its existence -- is utterly false and full of error because, as We declared a few years ago to a special meeting of Our Venerable Brethren in the episcopacy:

32. "The power of the Church is in no sense limited to so-called 'strictly religious matters'; but the whole matter of the natural law, its institution, interpretation and application, in so far as the moral aspect is concerned, are within its power.

33. "By God's appointment the observance of the natural law concerns the way by which man must strive toward his supernatural end. The Church shows the way and is the guide and guardian of men with respect to their supernatural end."[9]

34. This truth had already been wisely explained by Our Predecessor St. Pius X in his Encyclical Letter Singulari quadam of September 24, 1912, in which he made this statement: "All actions of a Christian man so far as they are morally either good or bad -- that is, so far as they agree with or are contrary to the natural and divine -- fall under the judgment and jurisdiction of the Church." [10]

Readers can judge for themselves where the wisdom of Catholic truth resides: in the appeasement of Cardinals Sodano and Etchergary or in the clear Catholicity of Pope Pius XII? How many Catholics are aware that the Dean and Deputy Dean of the College of Cardinals have appeased the Communist-controlled Chinese Patriotic Association while not even referring to any of the allocutions given by Pope Pius XII in the 1950s about the injustices being visited upon faithful Catholics in Red China? How many Catholics know that Pope Pius XII issued encyclical letters to condemn the creation of the rump church?

Once again, the purpose of pointing all of this out is not to dispirit anyone. No, the purpose of pointing these things out is to demonstrate that we must maintain Catholic sobriety at this time of the new pontificate. Have we learned nothing from the very un-Catholic "cult of papal personality" that was built up around Pope John Paul II and is still being maintained after his death? The Pope is the Successor of Saint Peter, the Visible Head of the true Church on earth. He is not, however, the Catholic Faith. We must pray for Pope Benedict XVI at this early hour in his pontificate while not portraying him falsely as the answer to the Church's prayers nor despairing in the face of his own well-documented paper trail of positions and statements and actions that are indeed problematic. There are problems here, folks. And no amount of whistling "happy tunes" is going to make those problems go away.

The Faithful Fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message is the Key

As has been noted in several commentaries in the past few weeks, the faithful fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message is the key to the future of the Church and the world. One of the great mysteries of the past eighty-eight years is why no pope, including the great Pius XI and the saintly Pius XII, has done what Our Blessed Mother said needed to be done to effect the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart and thus a period of peace in the world: the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart by a Pope with all of the world's bishops. This is such a simple thing, so simple, perhaps, that the popes of the past eight decades have reacted the same way that the Naaman, General of the army of the King of Syria, did when recoiling when the Prophet Eliseus sent word to tell him to bathe seven times in the Jordan River to be cured of leprosy. This appeared to him to be such a simple thing. It took his attendants to remonstrate with him to comply with the Prophet's simple command.

So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: And Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: "Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean."

Naaman was angry and went away, saying: "I thought he would have come out to me, and standing would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean?" So, as he turned, and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him and said to him: "Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: 'Wash, and thou shalt be clean'?"

Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times: according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean. (4 Kings 5:9-14)

In like manner, popes have thus far refused Our Lady's very specific yet very simple request to do as she has said must be done to stop the spread of Russia's errors, not realizing that scales would fall off of their eyes if they did so as Our Lady used one of them to effect the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart and the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith.

Russia's errors have infiltrated the Church in her human elements. The first person to benefit from the graces that will flow into the world from the Consecration of Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will be the Pope himself. If Pope Benedict XVI, for example, decides to do this, which is something we must pray for fervently every single day, then he will receive graces to restore the glories of Tradition, including the fullness of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, and to speak clearly as a Catholic, inviting all people, including Jews, into the true Church, the Catholic Church. He will govern monarchically, not collegially. He will resist the errors of the day, not seek to accommodate the Church to those errors as seemingly irreversible "facts" of our contemporary era.

We know that the Church is divinely founded and maintained. We know that the jaws of Hell will never prevail against her. This does not mean, though, that the devil is not going to win a few battles now and again in our own lives and in the larger life of the Church Militant here on earth. God has known from all eternity that the events we are now participating in would take place. We must do our parts as members of the Church Militant to build up the Mystical Body of Christ by offering our prayers and sacrifices to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, making frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance and receiving Holy Communion with ardor and devotion. As noted at the beginning of this reflection, we neither despair in our present circumstances nor presume to think that the present Holy Father's past statements and actions (and some of his statements and actions of the past few weeks) do not represent reasons for concern and thus much prayer and penance. We must simply storm Heaven with our Rosaries and time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament that Pope Benedict will simply do what Our Lady specifically requested as soon as possible.

We know that Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end. May it be our singular and unmerited privilege to witness it here in this life!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.

Blessed Francisco, pray for us.

Sister Lucia, pray for us.

Pope Saint Pius X, pray fo us


A Postscript on the Death of Father Gommar DePauw

We must remember the soul of the priest who founded the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, Father Gommar DePauw, who died at the age of eighty-six on Friday, May 6, 2005, the First Friday of May. Father DePauw resigned a prestigious professorship at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1965 rather than participate in any of the post-1962 liturgical revolutionary activities. He saw first-hand as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council where the conciliarist agenda was going to take Catholics. He thus began the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, with full ecclesiastical approbation, in 1965, to preserve the Immemorial Mass of Tradition from the onslaught of the Saracens dressed up in shepherds' clothing.

As one who was in high school when Father DePauw began offering the Traditional Mass at Ave Maria Chapel in Westbury, Long Island, I remember well seeing the advertisements he took out each week in The New York Times to attract Catholics to the Mass of all ages, which if I recall correctly, was broadcast over the radio every week for a time. Sadly, and to my utter shame, I did not seek out the shelter provided by Father DePauw. In God's ineffable Providence, however, he was indirectly responsible for planting seeds in my very darkened intellect in 1980 and 1981 when I was teaching at Nassau Community College. A colleague of mine, Dr. Emil Vigilante, explained the importance of restoring the Traditional Latin Mass and the necessity of Father DePauw's work. I disagreed with Dr. Vigilante at the time, but I listened, coming to realize over the course of the next fifteen to twenty years that it was precisely men like Father DePauw who were responsible for preserving the Faith.

Father DePauw's chapel attracted so many Catholics that an auxiliary chapel was built across Maple Avenue in Westbury from the main chapel for overflow crowds, which watched the Mass via closed circuit television. No traditional Catholic in this country or anywhere else in the world can speak of the preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass as it was being attacked with a demonic fury by the likes of Annibale Bugnini and his henchmen, some of who are as of yet in power in the Vatican, in the 1960s without placing Father Gommar DePauw as the first one to resist the revolution openly. He did not found an international community for priestly life as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre did in 1970. Father DePauw did, though, keep the Mass alive at a time it was under attack and gave hope to thousands upon thousands of Catholics who clung fast to Tradition as most of their family members and fellow Catholics, myself included, fell prey to the claims made by the revolutionaries. He will be a powerful intercessor from eternity for the full restoration of Tradition without compromise.

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 rest in peace. Amen.






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