Whistle a Happy Tune
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.
Reform of the Reform
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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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
Sympathizers and Fatima
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.
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.
Final Battle relates the following on pages 122-124:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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, 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, 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
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
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."
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."
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,"
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."
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
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
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
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." 
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?
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
Faithful Fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message is the Key
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.
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."
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
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)
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
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.
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.
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!
Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Jacinta, pray for us.
Francisco, pray for us.
Lucia, pray for us.
Saint Pius X, pray fo us
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.
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.
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.