by Thomas A. Droleskey
So many lasting impressions have been made by the egregious events wrought by the "Second" Vatican Council and its aftermath. So many souls have been scandalized, if not devastated, by these lasting impressions, each and every one of which would been unthinkable to even a fallen-away Catholic before the false pontificate of Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII in 1958. Our Lord spoke in rather graphic terms about those responsible for scandalizing one of His little ones, meaning any of the souls for whom He was to offer up His life to redeem on the wood of the Holy Cross on Good Friday:
But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18: 6-10.)
The faithful have been scandalized by many things in the past fifty years, not the least of which has been the imposition of a synthetically created liturgy that sought to appeal to Protestants and whose constructed was directed by a Freemason who said the following in L'Osservatore Romano on March 19, 1965:
We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants.
Entire books have been written on the scandals caused by the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. So many millions of Catholics quit the practice of the Faith as a result of the liturgical revolution and its continuing "evolution" over the course of the past forty years. As the late Monsignor Klaus Gamber, who was not a traditionalist, noted in his The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, Catholics were deprived of their sense of the liturgy as their "home," a home that is supposed to produce a stability and permanence reflective of the stability and permanence of God Himself:
Was all this really done because of a pastoral concern about the souls of the faithful, or did it not rather represent a radical breach with the traditional rite, to prevent the further use of traditional liturgical texts and thus to make the celebration of the "Tridentime Mass" impossible--because it no loner reflected the new spirit moving through the Church?
Indeed, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the prohibition of the traditional rite was announced at the same time as the introduction of the new liturgical texts; and that a dispensation to continue celebrating the Mass according to the traditional rite was granted only to older priests.
Obviously, the reformers wanted a completely new liturgy, a liturgy that differed from the traditional one in spirit as well as in form; and in no way a liturgy that represented what the Council Fathers had envisioned, i.e., a liturgy that would meet the pastoral needs of the faithful.
Liturgy and faith are interdependent. That is why a new rite was created, a rite that in many ways reflects the bias of the new (modernist) theology. The traditional liturgy simply could not be allowed to exist in its established form because it was permeated with the truths of the traditional faith and the ancient forms of piety. For this reason alone, much was abolished and new rites, prayers and hymns were introduced, as were the new readings from Scripture, which conveniently left out those passages that did not square with the teachings of modern theology--for example, references to a God who judges and punishes.
At the same time, the priests and the faithful are told that the new liturgy created after the Second Vatican Council is identical in essence with the liturgy that has been in use in the Catholic Church up to this point, and that the only changes introduced involved reviving some earlier liturgical forms and removing a few duplications, but above all getting rid of elements of no particular interest.
Most priests accepted these assurances about the continuity of liturgical forms of worship and accepted the new rite with the same unquestioning obedience with which they had accepted the minor ritual changes introduced by Rome from time to time in the past, changes beginning with the reform of the Divine Office and of the liturgical chant introduced by Pope St. Pius X.
Following this strategy, the groups pushing for reform were able to take advantage of and at the same time abuse the sense of obedience among the older priests, and the common good will of the majority of the faithful, while, in many cases, they themselves refused to obey.
The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring about did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it?), and the faithful continue to fall away from the Church in droves.
Although our young people have been literally seduced in to supporting the new forms of liturgical worship, they have, in fact, become more and more alienated from the faith. They are drawn to religious sects--Christian and non-Christian ones--because fewer and fewer priests teach them the riches of our Catholic faith and the tenets of Christian morality. As for older people, the radical changes made ot the traditional liturgy have taken from them the sense of security in their religious home.
Today, many among us wonder: Is this Spring people had hoped would emerge from the Second Vatican Council? Instead of a genuine renewal in our Church, we have seen only novelties. Instead of our religious life entering a period of new invigoration, as happened in the past, what we see now is a form of Christianity that has turned towards the world.
We are now involved in a liturgy in which God is no longer the center of our attention. Today, the eyes of our faithful are no longer focused on God's Son having become Man hanging on the cross, or on the pictures of His saints, but on the human community assembled for a commemorative meal. The assembly of people is sitting there, face to face with the "presider," expecting from him, in accordance with the "modern" spirit of the Church, not so much a transfer of God's grace, but primarily some good ideas and advice on how to deal with daily life and its challenges.
There are few people who speak of the Holy Mass as the Sacrifice of the New Covenant which we offer to God the Father through Jesus Christ, or of the sacramental union with Christ that we experience when we receive Holy Communion. Today, we are dealing with the "Eucharistic feat," and with the "holy bread," to be shared as a sign among as a sign of our brotherhood with Jesus.
The real destruction of the traditional Mass, of the traditional Roman rite with a history of more than one thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which it was based, a faith that had been the source of our piety and of our courage to bear witness to Christ and His Church, the inspiration of countless Catholics over many centuries. Will someone, some day, be able to say the same thing about the new Mass? (Monsignor Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, pp. 100-102.)
Monsignor Gamber went to express his support for the "reform of the reform," which is indeed what Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is attempting to accomplish with Summorum Pontificum by starting the process of assimilating the modernized Mass of Tradition into the "ordinary form of the Roman Rite," that is the Novus Ordo service. The access that has been "granted" to "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite" in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism has nothing to do with the integrity of the Faith, nothing to do with restoring the Faith, nothing to do with rejecting the abominations of the "Second" Vatican Council. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI contends at the present time, in contradistinction to what he contended in the foreword to the French edition of Monsignor Gamber's book, that there has been a "continuity" in liturgical development. Even Monsignor Gamber, himself not a traditionalist and, as just noted, in favor of a "reform of the reform," recognized that this was not true:
Deep in the heart of every person there is the longing for home, and we can only experience the real meaning of home when we are away from it.
The word Heimat (home or fatherland) is a uniquely German concept. Exactly what meaning does it convey? Heimat is the environment known to us since childhood, the house in which we grew up, the natural surroundings with their people and their habits and customs. To us, the Heimat is always beautiful, even if others don’t share our feelings for it.
Man’s longing for home is his longing for what is familiar and known. It also is a longing for security based on the familiarity of a person’s surroundings. Finally, it is the sense of security that the small child feels when he is with his mother and that he misses as an adult when faced with the uncertainties of life.
The religious person seeks security in the Church as his Mother. In her he hopes to find shelter and help for his troubled soul, answers to the probing questions posed by his intellect, but above all, he wants certainty about the Last Things. What he seeks is an oasis of tranquillity and peace, peace such as the world cannot give (John 14:27).
In the pat, a person was able to find safety and shelter in the Church, even though she had many imperfections. His questions were always answered in a certain and precise way, even if he did not always get answers that satisfied him completely. Today, instead of a clear answer, he will receive a description of the problem, a response that does not do very much to him him find inner peace.
Last, but certainly not least, the religious person seeks home and shelter in the celebration of liturgical worship. These observations apply equally to non-Christian religions. Missionaries come across these concepts all the time. When they bring individual members of a tribe to accept Christianity, they also tear them out of the social structure of their tribes, with all their rituals, customs and traditions. It usually takes some time until the newly converted adapt to their new home, [Christianity]: the old rituals of their tribe continue to pull them back with the force of a strong magnet.
A people that decides to relinquish its traditional rites is in acute danger of relinquishing its own existence as a people. . . .
A [Roman] Catholic who ceased to be an active member of the Church for the past generation and who, having decided to return to the Church, wants to become religiously active again, probably would not recognize today’s [Roman Catholic] Church as the one he had left. Simply by entering a Catholic church, particularly if it happens to be one of ultra-modem design, he will feel as if he had entered a strange, foreign place. He will think that he must have come to the wrong address and that he has accidentally ended up in some other Christian religious community.
The accustomed [sacred art] in the church has disappeared. Instead of a cross hanging over the altar there now is some often indefinable work of art; the altar itself being a bare slab of rock, akin to a barrow. In vain will he look for the tabernacle on the altar; nor will he find the communion rail. He will miss the smell of incense that he remembers to have always lingered after Mass. He may not even find a confessional.
The Catholic woman who many years ago accepted the faith of her Protestant husband will have a similar experience. She continued to go to a Catholic church to attend Mass because that is where she felt at home. Would she feel the same way today, when there seems hardly a difference between a Catholic and a Protestant worship service?
The [Roman Catholic] reformers of our liturgy have failed to consider adequately and address the issue of how the traditional forms of liturgical worship inspired among the faithful a sense of belonging, of feeling at home. They also failed to consider and deal with the issue of the extent to which simply abolishing these forms of liturgy would also result in a loss of faith among the people, particularly among the less educated. The reformers also failed to understand the significance of many of the ethnic elements that were a part of the liturgy.
For example, for many among the faithful the traditional solemn Rorate Mass celebrated during Advent was an important part of their religious home; and this was also true for Requiem Masses and funeral rites. The Solemn Requiem Mass according to the traditional form, which appealed directly to the heart, has almost completely disappeared. Yet here especially, great care should have been taken in introducing changes, because the customs associated with burial rites are the ones to which people in any cultural setting are most strongly attached. . . .
It will be some time until we will be in a position to measure fully the pastoral damage caused to the faithful by the reforms. We must expect that sooner or later we will be facing almost empty pews in our churches, as [some modernist Protestants] have been experiencing for decades now; while, we may point out, that has not been the case in the Lutheran Church which has maintained many of its traditional forms of liturgy. In the end, we will have to recognize that the new liturgical forms did not provide the people with bread, but with stones. (Monsignor Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, pp.105-109.)
The ceaseless liturgical changes introduced into the lives of ordinary Catholics by the liturgical revolutionaries of the counterfeit church of conciliarism conditioned Catholics to become more accepting, if not actually uncritically approving, of words and actions of "popes" and "bishops" that would have been cause for grave scandal in the centuries before "Pope John's Council."
A man claiming to be the Vicar of Christ, Giovanni Montini/Paul VI, genuflecting before the heretical and schismatic Greek Orthodox "patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras I.
The same Giovanni Montini/Paul VI asked the Anglican "Archbishop" of Canterbury, Mr. Paul Ramsey, to give a "blessing" to the crowd gathered in Saint Peter's Square, signifying that he, Montini, believe the layman who belonged to a false church to be a validly ordained priest and a validly consecrated bishop in defiance of Pope Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curiae, an action that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II would repeat on several occasions.
Giovanni Montini/Paul VI gave away his papal tiara, cross and ring to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, U Thant of Burma, on November 13, 1964, less than eleven months before he addressed the United Nations in the City of New York, New York, and said "The peoples of the earth turn to the United Nations as the last hope of concord and peace; We presume to present here, together with Our own, their tribute of honor and hope."
These things make lasting impressions upon the faithful, especially when the ethos of the new ecclesiology and false ecumenism and religious liberty and the separation of Church and State are taught in Catholic schools under the aegis of the conciliarists. Poorly formed Catholics have become "experts" in correcting their fellow Catholics who simply adhere to what Saint Vincent of Lerins preached in the Fifth Century:
"Do not be misled by various and passing doctrines. In the Catholic Church Herself we must be careful to hold what has been believed everywhere, always and by all; for that alone is truly and properly Catholic." (Saint Vincent of Lerins, quoted in
Tumultuous Times by Frs. Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, p. 279.)
Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II praised false religions, including voodoo, using the following words in Benin in 1993 to praise this particular form of devil worship:
"You have a strong attachment to the traditions handed on by your ancestors.
It is legitimate to be grateful to your forbears who passed on this sense of the sacred,
belief in a single God who is good, a sense of celebration, esteem for the moral life and for harmony in society." (quoted in John Kenneth Wetskittel's Voodoo You Trust?, an excellent and scholarly review of the false "pope's" trip to Benin in 1993--and Wojtyla's apostasies were defended by some traditionally-minded Catholics at the time!)
Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II kissed the Koran, a book that contains blasphemies against Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and is the product of a false "prophet," permitted himself to be "purified" in various pagan rituals, sat as an "equal" with the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem and a Mohammedan imam on March 23, 2000, in Jerusalem, and, among so many other outrages, engaged in the outrage of the Word Day of Peace in Assisi, Italy, on October 27, 1986, an act of blasphemy and apostasy that is described in part as follows:
No doubt the height of the fever engendered by the virus of dialogue was the World Day of Peace at Assisi in October 1986. In the plaza outside the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, the "representatives of the world's great religions" stepped forward one by one to offer their prayers for peace. These "prayers" included the chanting of American Indian shamans. The Pope was photographed standing in a line of "religious leaders," including rabbis, muftis, Buddhist monks, and assorted Protestant ministers, all of them holding potted olive plants. The official Vatican publication ont he World Day of Prayer for Peace at Assisi, entitled "World Day of Pray for Peace," pays tribute to the "world's great religions by setting forth their prayers, including an Animist prayer to the Great Thumb. The world's great religions" are honored by the Vatican in alphabetical order: the Buddhist prayer for peace; the Hindu prayer for peace; the Jainist prayer for peace; the Muslim prayer for peace; the Shinto prayer for peace; the Sikh prayer for peace; the Traditionalist African prayer for peace (to "The Great Thumb"); the Traditionalist Amerindian prayer for peace; the Zoroastrian prayer for peace. In a glaring symptom of the end result of ecumenism. and dialogue in the Church, the only prayer not included in the official book is a Catholic prayer for peace. There is only a Christian prayer for peace, which appears after the prayers of the "world's great religions"--and after the Jewish prayer. Catholicism has been subsumed into a generic Christianity.
At the beginning of the list of prayers of the world's religions, there is an amazing statement by Cardinal Roger Etchergary, president of the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue. According to Etchergary, "Each of the religions we profess has inner peace, and peace among individuals and nations, as one of its aims. Each one pursues this aim in its own distinctive and irreplaceable way." The notion that there is anything "irreplaceable" about the false religions of the world seems difficult to square with the de fide Catholic teaching that God's revelation to His Church is complete and all-sufficient for the spiritual needs of men. Our Lord came among us--so Catholics were always taught--precisely to replace false religions with His religion, with even the Old Covenant undergoing this divinely appointed substitution. Yet the members of all "the world's great religions" were invited to Assisi and asked for their "irreplaceable" prayers for world peace--the "irreplaceable" prayers of false shepherds who preach abortion, contraception, divorce, polygamy, the treatment of women like dogs, the reincarnation of human beings as animals, a holy war against infidel Christians and countless other lies, superstitions and abominations in the sight of God. . . .
[Italian journalist Vittorio] Messori was merely observing the obvious when he stated that the Assisi 2002 implied that the doctrine of every religion is acceptable to God. For example, the invited representative of Voodoo (spelled Vodou by its native practitioners), Chief Amadou Gasseto from Benin, was allowed to sermonize on world peace from a wooden pulpit suitable for a cathedral set up in the lower plaza outside the Basilica of Saint Francis. The Chief declared to the Vicar of Christ and the assembled cardinals and Catholic guests: "The invocation to take prayer in the Prayer for Peace at Assisi is a great honour for me, and it is an honour for all the followers of Avelekete Vodou whose high priest I am." The high priest of Avelekete Vodou then give the Pope and all the Catholic faithful the Vodou prescription for world peace, which included, "asking forgiveness of the protecting spirits of regions affected by violence" and "carrying out sacrifices of reparation and purification, and thus restoring peace." This would involve slitting the throats of goats, chickens, doves, and pigeons and draining their blood from the carotid arteries according to a precise ritual prescription. In other words, the Pope invited a witch doctor to give a sermon to Catholics on world peace.
Among other "representatives of the various religions" who came to the pulpit was one Didi Talwakar, the representative of Hinduism. Talwakar declared that the "divinization of human beings gives us a sense of the worth of life. Not only am I divine in essence, but also everyone else is equally divine in essence...." Talwakar went on to exclaim: "My divine brothers and sisters, from whom much above the station of life where I am, I dare to appeal to humanity, from this august forum, in the blessed presence of His Holiness the Pope...." While Talwakar acknowledges that the Pope is a holy man, he is only one of many such holy men who lead the various religions. Didi prefers to follow another holy man: the Reverend Pandung Shastri Athawale, who heads something called the Swadyaya parivari, which teaches "the idea of acceptance of all religious traditions" and the need to "free the idea of religion from dogmatism, insularity and injunctions," Just the thing Catholics of the postconciliar period need to hear.
The spectacle of Assisi 2002 staggers the Catholic mind, and human language fails in its attempt to adequately describe the unparalleled ecclesial situation in which we now find ourselves--a situation even the Arian heretics of the fourth century would find incredible. Yet, true to form, the neo-Catholic press organs reported the event as if it were a triumph for the Catholic faith--while carefully avoiding any of the shocking images and words that would give scandal to any Catholic who has not been spiritually lobotomized by the postconciliar changes in the Church. (Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., The Great Facade, Remnant Press, 2002, pp. 83-85; 213-215).
Each of these outrages, along with so many others, numb the mind. They send lasting impressions to poorly catechized Catholics and keep Protestants who might be interested in converting to the Catholic Church from doing so. These lasting impressions reaffirm souls outside of the true Church in their false religions, signifying to them that they are more or less assured of their salvation in and through their false religions. If the Mass can be said to change, my friends, so can everything else, which is why the liturgical revolution and the ceaseless changes it fomented upon unsuspecting Catholics was so important to let loose with its savage fury as a means of conditioning Catholics for changes in all aspects of their beliefs and to undermine any actual Catholicism that they might have been taught theretofore.
The lasting impressions made by these--and many other scandals--are meant to rob a Catholic of his sensus Catholicus, which moves him to recoil, at least intuitively, when some action or word or ceremony doesn't "feel right," doesn't "seem" to be Catholic. A barrage of constant liturgical changes that is accompanied by a barrage of unprecedented words and actions from men pretending to be "popes" and "bishops" leads to bewilderment and a sense among many of the faithful that they simply cannot trust their sensus Catholicus, that they must trust their "experts," namely, the false shepherds, who "know better" than they do.
What is perhaps even worse than this is the gargantuan effort that has been undertaken over the past few decades to reassure those Catholics who are aware that something is wrong that these scandals can either be reconciled to the Faith or that they do not represent defections from the Faith. The plain fact of the matter, however, is that such scandals cannot be reconciled to the Faith and they do indeed represent defections from the Faith.
As I have noted so frequently on this site, those who fall from the Faith in one thing from the Faith in its entirety. It does not matter what a particular false "pope" attempts to "bind" on the faithful (as Giovanni Montini/Paul VI bound Catholics to accept the documents of the "Second" Vatican Council, all of the protestations that he did not so made by anti-sedevacantists to the contrary notwithstanding, as will be demonstrated later). Anyone who holds even privately, no less asserts publicly, things contrary to the Catholic Faith falls from the Faith by having violated the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law.
Once again, shall we turn to Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1986?
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).
The need of this divinely instituted means for the preservation of unity, about which we speak is urged by St. Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. In this he first admonishes them to preserve with every care concord of minds: "Solicitous to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. iv., 3, et seq.). And as souls cannot be perfectly united in charity unless minds agree in faith, he wishes all to hold the same faith: "One Lord, one faith," and this so perfectly one as to prevent all danger of error: "that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. iv., 14): and this he teaches is to be observed, not for a time only - "but until we all meet in the unity of faith...unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ" (13). But, in what has Christ placed the primary principle, and the means of preserving this unity? In that - "He gave some Apostles - and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (11-12).
There is no "minimal standard" by which one remains a Catholic. Anyone who asserts such a preposterous novelty has absolutely no Patristic or other doctrinal evidence to put forth to support his fantastic misrepresentation of truth. Anyone adhering to the novelty of the "minimal standard" test to justify the nonexistent legitimacy of the conciliar "pontiffs" must know better than Pope Leo XIII and Saint Augustine.
It is gravely wrong for anyone to try to convince their fellow Catholics that those who deny articles of the Faith and/or engage in acts of apostasy by participating in false worship and encouraging others who do so habitually remain members of the Catholic Church, no less members of the Catholic Church in good standing who can hold ecclesiastical office legitimately. Moreover, it is a grave sin to remain silent in the face of blasphemy, as so many even traditionally-minded Catholics did in August of 2007 when Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict dared to refer to Mount Hiei in Japan, where the Buddhists worship their devils, as "sacred." We are supposed to believe that silence is now necessary because of Summorum Pontificum? Where is the sense of defending the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity? Where?
Pope Saint Leo the Great had a little something to say about those who remain silent in the face of blasphemies:
But it is vain for them to adopt the name of catholic, as they do not oppose these blasphemies: they must believe them, if they can listen so patiently to such words. (Pope Saint Leo the Great, Epistle XIV, To Anastasius, Bishop of Thessalonica, St. Leo the Great | Letters 1-59 )
How can any Catholic in possession of his right mind remain silent as a believer in false ecumenism, a man who makes space available in a Roman archbasilica for Protestants to offer their false worship, a worship that is loathsome to God, Who abhors all false religions, including each and every sect of Protestantism, praises a mountain where the Buddhists worship their devils as "sacred." Silence leaves a lasting impression as well, ladies and gentlemen. Cowardice in the face of grave offenses to God tell others of the faithful that they do not have to defend His honor and glory publicly, that political or "strategic" considerations of the moment are more important that sacrificing everything, including human respect and career success, for the defense of the Faith, which trumps any human "ideas" about how the Church can be restored, no less "restored" by means of a combination of Modernism and Catholicism.
Saint Teresa of Avila explained that we must never consider even one deviation from the Faith to be a "minor" thing:
Know this: it is by very little breaches of regularity that the devil succeeds in introducing the greatest abuses. May you never end up saying: 'This is nothing, this is an exaggeration.'" (Saint Teresa of Avila, Foundations, Chapter Twenty-nine)
Sadly, many even traditionally-minded Catholics, coopted by the illusion of Summorum Pontificum that was dissected so well for what it truly is by Father Basilio Meramo of the Society of Saint Pius X (see Mocking the Faith), believe--or at least act as though they believe--that false ecumenism has now become a "minor" thing that no longer needs to be mentioned. Does God believe this to be the case? Do His immutable truths, uttered consistently by the true popes over the centuries without a shadow of contradiction, have to be subordinated to the "political" considerations of mere men who do not have the grace of Holy Orders and who dare to reprimand those Catholics who disagree with their "received wisdom" as to how all Catholics "must" proceed now that they, the great champions of the Faith who must be followed in all things, have pronounced their marching orders for one and all to "prove" their loyalty to the Church?
The lasting impressions made by the documents of the "Second" Vatican Council and the words and actions of the false "popes" of the past fifty years have numbed the minds of many Catholics, most of whom believe, for example, that false religions do indeed have a right to propagate themselves in civil society and that their false beliefs can "contribute" to domestic order within nations and to world "peace" among nations. Conciliar "pope" after conciliar "pope" has spoken in this way, including Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who does not believe that Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order.
It is not only the crazy sedevacantists (or sedeprivationists) who have criticized the scandal that is "religious liberty," condemned as a heresy by Pope Pius VII in Post Tam Diuturnas, April 29, 1814, and as "insanity" by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832. The late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the courageous Bishop of Campos, Brazil, Antonio de Castro Mayer, wrote the following to Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II on August 31, 1985, the concerning blasphemous abomination that is religious liberty:
During the fifteen days preceding the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Your Holiness has decided to gather together an Extraordinary Synod in Rome, with the purpose of making the Second Vatican Council, which closed twenty years ago, "an ever more living reality."
On the occasion of this event, allow us, who took an active part in the Council, to make known to you with all due respect our apprehensions and our desires, for the good of the Church, and for the salvation of the souls entrusted to us.
These twenty years, as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith himself says, have provided sufficient illustration of a situation resulting in a real self-destruction of the Church, except in those areas where the millennial Tradition of the Church has been maintained.
The change wrought within the Church in the nineteen-sixties was given concrete form and expression in the Council by the Declaration on Religious Liberty, which granted man the natural right to be exempt from any restraint imposed on him by divine law to adhere to the Catholic Faith in order to be saved, a restraint necessarily embodied in ecclesiastical and civil laws in subordination to the legislative authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This freedom from any restraint by divine law or human laws in the matter of religion is inscribed among the freedoms proclaimed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, an impious and sacrilegious declaration condemned by the Popes and in particular by Pope Pius VI in his Encyclical Adeo nota of April 23, 1791, and in his Consistory Allocution of June 17, 1793.
From this Declaration on Religious Liberty the following consequences flow, as from a poisoned spring:
Religious indifferentism of states, even Catholic states, carried out over twenty years, at the instigation of the Holy See.
The ecumenism pursued unceasingly by yourself and by the Vatican, an ecumenism condemned by the Church's Magisterium, and in particular by the Encyclical Mortalium Animos of Pius XI.
All the reforms carried out over twenty years within the Church to please heretics, schismatics, false religions and declared enemies of the Church, such as the Jews, the Communists and the Freemasons.
This freedom from the restraint of divine law in the matter of religion obviously encourages freedom from restraint in all divine and human laws, and destroys all authority in all areas, especially in the area of morals.
We have never ceased protesting, both during the Council and after the Council, at the incredible scandal of this false religious liberty. We have protested in speech and in writing, in private and in public, resting our protest upon the most solemn documents of the Magisterium: among others, the Athanasian Creed, the Fourth Lateran Council, the Syllabus (No. 15), the First Vatican Council (DS 2008), and the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas concerning the Catholic Faith (IIa IIae, Questions 8 to 16), a doctrine which has been that of the Church for almost twenty centuries, confirmed by Canon Law and its applications.
That is why, if the coming Synod does not return to the traditional Magisterium of the Church, in the question of religious liberty, but instead confirms this serious error from which heresies flow, we shall be forced to think that the members of the Synod no longer profess the Catholic Faith.
For their actions are contrary to the immutable principles of the First Vatican Council, which stated in the fourth Chapter of the Fourth Session:
For the Holy Ghost was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard the revelation transmitted through the Apostles, or the Deposit of Faith, and might faithfully expound it.
This being so, we can only persevere in the Church's holy Tradition and take whatever decisions are necessary for the Church to keep a clergy faithful to the Catholic religion capable of repeating with St. Paul, "For I received of the Lord what I also delivered unto you."
Holy Father, your responsibility is heavily engaged in this new and false conception of the Church which is drawing clergy and faithful into heresy and schism. If the Synod under your authority perseveres in this direction, you will no longer be the Good Shepherd.
We turn to our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, rosary in hand, begging her to impart to you her Spirit of Wisdom, as to all members of the Synod, in order to put an end to the invasion of Modernism within the Church.
Holy Father, be so good as to forgive the frankness of our approach to you, which has no other purpose than to render unto our one and only Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the honor which is due to Him, as also to His one and only Church, and deign to accept our homage as devoted sons in Jesus and Mary.
Signature: Marcel Lefebvre, Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Tulle
Signature: Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop Emeritus of Campos A LETTER TO POPE JOHN PAUL II FROM ARCHBISHOP MARCEL LEFEBVRE AND BISHOP ANTONIO DE CASTRO MAYER
I know. I know. None of this is supposed to matter now that Summorum Pontificum, which is nothing other than a trap to coopt traditionally-minded Catholics and is based on false premises and requires real priests and make-believe priests dedicated to the "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite" to offer the "ordinary form of the Roman Rite, that is, the evil that is the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, has bene promulgated. "All" has been changed now. Some evidently believe that we need to be silent about Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's endless support of the heresy of religious liberty and his belief that adherents of false religions can help to "build peace," which is made no less enthusiastically or as frequently as his endless Maoist-type injunctions in support of false ecumenism. (Maoist-type? Yes. Chairman Mao repeatedly enjoined his followers to follow his "sayings." So does Chairman Joseph Ratzinger as he repeats his support for the advantages of false ecumenism and religious liberty over and over and over again.) Catholics do not adhere to false principles, my friends. Catholics must adhere to everything that the Catholic Church has taught. Period.
The lasting impressions made the conciliar "popes" damage souls on a regular basis. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II gave support to the lie that is the ideology of evolutionism. So has Joseph Ratzinger, who has said that "there is much scientific proof in favour of evolution" (see Listen to the Voice of God) . I know. I know. "Nothing official." "Nothing binding" on the faithful. I know. I know. Just "off the cuff" comments that don't reflect anything about Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's Catholicity. It doesn't matter that the average person, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is reaffirmed in a falsehood (whether natural or "theistic" evolutionism) that has done much to make possible the triumph of the errors of those who believe in the "evolution of dogma" and of the very devolution of social behavior that evolutionism of all sorts has helped to produce. Nope. These lasting impressions are all going to "go away" because of Summorum Pontificum. No need to be alarmed, right?
Thus it is that no matter what, if anything, emerges from the "Ratzinger Shuller" seminar at Castelgandolfo, Italy, this summer that is going to discuss the "teachings and the influences" of the egregious heretic and revolutionary named Martin Luther, the lasting impressions made by the concessions of the conciliar "pontiffs" to the "insights" of Martin Luther, who was indeed a prophetic progenitor of the false religion of conciliarism itself, have long burnished themselves into the minds of ordinary people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II praised the hideous Luther in Mainz, [West] Germany, on November 17, 1980, noting the heretics "profound religiosity and spiritual heritage." I know. I know. Nothing "official." Nothing "binding." Just another case of "diabolical disorientation" that doesn't reflect on the very Modernist mind of the man who spoke these words. I know. I know.
Similarly, Joseph Ratzinger himself helped to rescue the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999, making it possible for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to say, "Well, what do you know? The Council of Trent had it wrong. Luther was right all along." Only an insane man--or one who is rabidly intellectually dishonest--would claim that such was not the reaction of the ordinary person who heard fleeting reports about this travesty, which was very well analyzed by Bishop Donald A. Sanborn in his
Critical Analysis of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and by two articles by Atila Sinka Guimaraes that appears on the Tradition in Action website (which, as most of you know, is not supportive of sedevacantism) but was published originally in 1999 in a traditional newspaper:
Without a doubt the month of October (1999), which just ended, will be remembered in the History of the Church. During this month two especially important events took place: the panreligious meeting in Rome (Oct. 24-28) and the signing of the Catholic-Protestant accord on the doctrine of justification in Augsburg (Oct. 31). In my opinion, we are facing a true revolution. I hope to analyze some aspects of this revolution now and others in the next article. Today, I will address the justification accord.
Even though I am writing on the evening of November 1st and the accord was only signed yesterday, I already have at hand news that arrived from five different reliable sources. Four came from friends by electronic mail, and one is from an article I had saved some days ago. The rapidity with which I am able to make this report is due to the solicitude of my friends, to whom I owe here my thanks. Yesterday and today I visited the sites of the Vatican Information Service and the Vatican News Press Office and there was nothing on the matter, which is understandable since normally it takes several days for reports of events like this to be posted on the Web. Let me, then, go on to synthesize and comment upon this news (1).
(1) The news reports to which I refer: “Ratzinger credited with saving Lutheran pact,” by John Allen in The National Catholic Reporter, October 14, 1999; “Roman Catholic, Lutheran churches sign agreement to end,” Associated Press on line, October 31, 1999; “Pope expresses satisfaction over Catholic-Lutheran agreement,” Zenit, October 31, 1999; “Decisive step toward unity of Catholics and Lutherans,” Zenit, October 31, 1999; “Churches end salvation dispute,” by Katharine Schmidt in Associated Press on line, October 31, 1999.
My commentaries are open to modifications should there rise a difference between the information I received and the official versions of the Holy See.
I will rapidly describe the ceremony. The date for the signing, October 31, was chosen with the intent to pay homage to Martin Luther. On the 31st of October in 1517 he fixed his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church, thus beginning the Protestant revolt. This first homage undoubtedly signifies that the present day direction of the Catholic Church considers the act of Luther a praiseworthy gesture. It is a symbolic way of saying that Luther had reason to protest against Rome. And it is an indirect way of saying that Rome was wrong in condemning him as a heretic.
The city chosen was Augsburg. In this very city in 1530 Luther declared that his new religion was founded. Thus, the celebration of the act in Augsburg has as its presupposition the “legitimacy” of the Lutheran sect. This does not seem far from accepting the errors taught by the heresiarch.
The first meeting on October 31 took place in the Catholic Cathedral. There, prayers of repentance were said. Once again, an indirect statement of the culpability of the Catholics. It is significant to observe that there is no report in the news of any acknowledgment of blame on the part of the Protestants.
After this, a procession began from the Catholic Cathedral to the Lutheran Church of Santa Ana, where the most important act took place. Again, the act of greater relevance was conferred to the Protestants. Inside the temple were 700 invited guests and 2,000 participants. Those who could not fit in the building participated in the act on a large screen in the City Hall. A Protestant service consisting of prayers and songs began. Assisting were various Cardinals. During the religious service, Protestant bishop Christian Krause, president of the Lutheran World Federation, emphasized the importance of the event. A common prayer followed in which Catholic and Protestants renewed their baptismal vows.
Here, a small interruption is necessary. The validity of the Protestant Episcopal orders was an object of a serious controversy. Leo XIII solemnly declared that the ordinations of the Anglican confession were invalid, and therefore, the sacraments ministered there are without value. If this is true with regard to the Anglicans, something similar would apply to the other Protestant sects who accept bishops. It is absolutely certain that the declaration of Leo XIII is rigorously applied to the Presbyterian and Anabaptist sects, since they, by not admitting bishops, are “ipso facto” incapable of having valid episcopal ordinations. Thus the baptism that exists among the Episcopalians, of which the Lutherans are a branch, is a motive of very serious doubt. This is why, up until Vatican II, when the Catholic Church received a converted Lutheran, a new conditional Baptism was administered. Hence, there is an element of uncertainty in the Protestant baptism.
Therefore, the common renewal of the vows of Baptism made by Catholics and followers of Luther in Augsburg ignores what was described above and takes as a consummated fact the “validity” of the Protestant baptism. This is equivalent to stating that the prior tradition of the Holy Church has no effect. This act carries a series of grave consequences:
- it supposes a true apostolic succession among the Lutheran bishops; it supposes the validity of their sacraments;
it leads one to accept as valid the “sacraments” of the more radical Protestant sects.
Each of these consequences would be sufficient to declare a person or a movement heretical or suspect of heresy, were the old Code of Canon Law still in place. Incidentally, according to the Code, the simple participation in the same religious ceremony with heretics merited a very rigorous excommunication, an automatic excommunication, without need of any declaration by the authority.
Representing the direction of the Catholic Church was Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In his talk, he stated, “Our task is not only to continue with the building, but, unfortunately, we also have the duty of seeking to repair the damage that has been done to that building by the storms, conflicts and, at times, man-made earthquakes.” The edifice to which the Cardinal was referring is the Church founded on Christ. According to the words of Cassidy, the Catholic Church and Protestant Pseudo-Reform would be constructing together only one building. It is worth noting that in the metaphor employed by the Cardinal, the fundamental differences between the two religions can be considered as mere meteorological accidents that can cause danger, but not affect the unity of the building. It is, without doubt, a new conception of the Church founded by Our Lord.
After this, the secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Bishop Walter Kasper, and the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, pastor Ishmael Noko, signed the joint declaration and embraced each other. The news reports state that the greater part of those present followed their example, with everyone embracing everyone.
The document on justification has, according to the same sources, the following key-phrase in paragraph 15:
“Together we confess that we are accepted by God and we receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts, empowers us, and calls us to do good works, not on the basis of our merits but only through grace and faith in the salvific work of Christ.”
Thus, the multi-secular discussion between Catholics and Protestants hopes to be resolved by a magic formula: the introduction of the concept of grace, together with faith, as conditions necessary for salvation.
The classic position of Catholics is that faith is necessary for salvation, but in order to merit salvation, faith must be accompanied by good works that reflect the collaboration of the human will. The Protestants deny the contribution of free will for salvation. For them, only faith is necessary for salvation. The document of Augsburg introduces a new notion: grace. Now, faith along with grace would be sufficient for salvation. The value of good works is decidedly denied:
“We receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts, empowers us, and calls us to do good works, not on the basis of our merits but only through grace and faith in the salvific work of Christ.”
According to Protestant bishop George Anderson, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the person who introduced the concept of grace in order to save the accord - which was at one point on the brink of collapse - was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. “Without him we might not have an agreement,” said Anderson. Protestant theologian Joachim Track also enumerated the three fundamental concessions made by Ratzinger that permitted the document of Augsburg:
“First, he agreed that the goal of the ecumenical process is unity in diversity, not structural reintegration. This was important to many Lutherans in Germany, who worried that the final aim of all this was coming back to Rome. Second, Ratzinger fully acknowledged the authority of the Lutheran World Federation to reach agreement with the Vatican. Finally, Ratzinger agreed that while Christians are obliged to do good works, justification and final judgement remain God’s gracious acts.”
The introduction of the concept of grace, apparently an act of genius and a magic formula, could give the impression that the Protestants are being obliging since they would now admit that not only faith saves, but also grace saves. However, this impression dissolves under careful analysis. In effect, what is at the root of the concept of “Faith alone saves” is that man has no merit to be saved except to believe - nothing more. Any other action that he makes does not merit him salvation. The “grace” of the document of Augsburg does not alter this concept but, on the contrary, reaffirms it. It states that grace does not depend on human correspondence: “Not on the basis of our merits but only through grace and faith.”
However, in everything that the Holy Church teaches, for man to merit salvation he must practice the virtues in a heroic way. If his actions are without value, he is condemned. The “grace” of Cardinal Ratzinger does not depend on any human correspondence, which seems to be a concept foreign to Catholic doctrine and not much different from quietism.
In fact, the following quietist propositions were condemned by Pope Innocent XI in the Constitution Coelestis Pastor (November 20,1687):
“ No. 2. To wish to operate actively is to offend God, who wishes to be himself the whole agent; and therefore it is necessary to abandon oneself wholly in God.
No. 4. Natural activity is the enemy and impedes the operations of God and true perfection because God wishes to operate in us without us ….
No. 40. One can arrive at sanctity without exterior work.”
It is difficult not to find similarities between this new concept of grace and the quietist doctrine of Michael de Molinos.
Therefore, in order to give Catholics the impression that the Protestants ceded something in order to sign the ecumenical accord, this notion of grace was prepared, but in reality it doesn’t seem to change anything in the Protestant doctrine. Moreover, the present day direction of the Catholic Church draws closer to other errors analogous to Protestantism, such as quietism.
Even beyond the dangers pointed out here, the direction of the Catholic Church seems to have the firm resolve of going forward with the union with the Protestants. And of destroying the Catholic dogmatic edifice. In my view, on this October 31, an important step was taken to define the tendencies of the current that directs the Vatican. The Augsburg accord, in itself, seems to be a revolution that opens a new phase of the broader Conciliar Revolution. We are, as everything indicates, in the face of an act that seems to defy the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. I am certain that we will see great things in the days ahead. The October Revolution
I know. I know. None of this matters now. We have Summorum Pontificum. I know. I forgot. How silly of me. And it doesn't matter that Joseph Ratzinger shares Martin Luther's scorn of Scholasticism, which just happens to be the official philosophy of the Catholic Church, preferring his vaunted "new theologians" as the key to understanding the Church Fathers without the "filter" provided by Saint Thomas Aquinas. I know. I know. None of this matters now. How silly of me. A Catholic's mind can be shaped by men whose ideas were condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, without any threat to the integrity of his own faith or that of others within his realm of influence. How silly of me.
Luther's own hatred of Saint Thomas Aquinas was described so vividly by Monsignor Patrick F. O'Hare in The Facts About Luther:
He [Martin Luther] was sharp, fiery, intelligent, and possessed much fancy and originality, but his knowledge was merely elementary. He had no appreciation of the scholastic speculation so much honored at the time; in fact, he hated the whole system of the schoolmen, not excepting the great scholar and theologian, St. Thomas. Scholastic subtleties were not always to his liking, and to show his contempt thereof he frequently paid his compliments to the "rancid rules of the logicians," and to "that putrid philosopher Aristotle." (Monsignor Patrick F. O'Hare. The Facts About Luther, published originally by the Frederick Pustet Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1916, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1987, pp. 44-45.)
As noted in Mocking the Faith two days ago, a large extent of the admiration that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has for Martin Luther, over and above those areas in which he, Ratzinger, disagrees with the progenitor of the Protestant Revolution, has to do with Luther's rejection of Scholasticism, which is why he, Ratzinger, is attempting to "read" the Fathers anew without the filter of Scholasticism, which caused Luther. Ratzinger believes, to reject the Fathers almost entirely. Here is a very concise description of Joseph Ratzinger's view of the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas and
"the philosophical tradition to which he belonged,"as Ratzinger/Benedict XVI referred to Scholasticism in Spe Salvi, November 30, 2007:
The cultural interests pursued at the seminary of Freising were joined to the study of a theology infected by existentialism, beginning with the writings of Romano Guardini. Among the authors preferred by Ratzinger was the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. Ratzinger loved St. Augustine, but never St. Thomas Aquinas: "By contrast, I had difficulties in penetrating the thought of Thomas Aquinas, whose crystal-clear logic seemed to be too closed in on itself, too impersonal and ready-made" (op. cit., p.44). This aversion was mainly due to the professor of philosophy at the seminary, who "presented us with a rigid, neo-scholastic Thomism that was simply too far afield from my own questions" (ibid.). According to Cardinal Ratzinger, whose current opinions appear unchanged from those he held as a seminarian, the thought of Aquinas was "too closed in on itself, too impersonal and ready-made," and was unable to respond to the personal questions of the faithful. This opinion is enunciated by a prince of the Church whose function it is to safeguard the purity of the doctrine of the Faith! Why, then, should anyone be surprised at the current disastrous crisis of Catholicism, or seek to attribute it to the world, when those who should be the defenders of the Faith, and hence of genuine Catholic thought, are like sewers drinking in the filth, or like gardeners who cut down a tree they are supposed to be nurturing? What can it mean to stigmatize St. Thomas as having a "too impersonal and ready-made" logic? Is logic "personal"? These assertions reveal, in the person who makes them, a typically Protestant, pietist attitude, like that found in those who seek the rule of faith in personal interior sentiment.
In the two years Ratzinger spent at the diocesan seminary of Freising, he studied literature, music, modern philosophy, and he felt drawn towards the new existentialist and modernist theologies. He did not like St. Thomas Aquinas. The formation described does not correspond to the exclusively Catholic formation that is necessary to one called to be a priest, even taking into account the extenuating circumstances of the time, that is, anti-Christian Nazism, the war and defeat, and the secularization of studies within seminaries. It seems that His Eminence, with all due respect, gave too much place to profane culture, with its "openness" to everything, and its critical attitude...Joseph Ratzinger loved the professors who asked many questions, but disliked those who defended dogma with the crystal-clear logic of St. Thomas. This attitude would seem to us to match his manner of understanding Catholic liturgy. He tells us that from childhood he was always attracted to the liturgical movement and was sympathetic towards it. One can see that for him, the liturgy was a matter of feeling, a lived experience, an aesthetically pleasing "Erlebnis," but fundamentally irrational (op. cit. passim.). (The Memories of a Destructive Mind: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's Milestones.)
Pope Leo XIII explained in Aeterni Patris, August 4, 1879, that to disparage Saint Thomas Aquinas and Scholasticism was to attack at the very heart of the Faith itself:
A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man -- namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony.
Even if, ladies and gentlemen, nothing of substance comes out of the forthcoming meeting of the Ratzinger Shuller, at which will be present none other than the notorious supporter of a One World Ecumenical Church, Father Hans Kung, of all people, this summer at Castelgandolfo, Italy, there can be no doubt whatsoever that some kind of "rehabilitation" of the heretic and revolutionary Martin Luther will be announced by the conciliar authorities in the year 2017, the quincentennial of Luther's posting of the ninety-five theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, if Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has not intervened miraculously to restore Holy Mother Church by then. Whether it is a "Benedict XVI" or a "John XXXIV" or a "Paul VII" or a "John Paul III" or a "Benedict XVII," one can be assured that there will be some kind of positive "re-evaluation" of Martin Luther, who would fit right at home today in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. This is only a matter of time. And I am sure that the spin doctors of today, although they will be a little older and a little grayer, will be spinning wildly yet again to claim that there has been "nothing binding," nothing "official" about which to worry one's little head whatsoever.
Alas, it is the contention that there is "nothing binding" about the "Second" Vatican Council and its aftermath that is at the heart of the divide between those who reject sedevacantism and those who understand that none of the lasting impressions that have been made in the past forty to fifty years can come from the Catholic Church. Giovanni Montini/Paul VI himself used these words in an address on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1965, to describe the work of the "Second" Vatican Council as a prelude to his own official statement closing the "council," where he decreed the binding nature of the "council" he was bringing to a close:
Your eminences, venerable brothers, representatives of governments, gentlemen of the city of Rome, authorities and citizens of the entire world! You, observers belonging to so many different Christian denominations, and you, faithful and sons here present, and you also scattered across the earth and united with us in faith and charity!
You will hear shortly, at the end of this holy Mass, a reading of some messages which, at the conclusion of its work, the ecumenical council is addressing to various categories of persons, intending to consider in them the countless forms in which human life finds expression. And you will also hear the reading of our official decree in which we declare terminated and closed the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Giovanni Montini/Paul VI's Address to Last General Meeting
APOSTOLIC BRIEF "IN SPIRITU SANCTO' FOR THE CLOSING OF THE COUNCIL - DECEMBER 8, 1965, read at the closing ceremonies of Dec. 8 by Archbishop Pericle Felici, general secretary of the council.
The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, assembled in the Holy Spirit and under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we have declared Mother of the Church, and of St. Joseph, her glorious spouse, and of the Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, must be numbered without doubt among the greatest events of the Church. In fact it was the largest in the number of Fathers who came to the seat of Peter from every part of the world, even from those places where the hierarchy has been very recently established. It was the richest because of the questions which for four sessions have been discussed carefully and profoundly. And last of all it was the most opportune, because, bearing in mind the necessities of the present day, above all it sought to meet the pastoral needs and, nourishing the flame of charity, it has made a great effort to reach not only the Christians still separated from communion with the Holy See, but also the whole human family.
At last all which regards the holy ecumenical council has, with the help of God, been accomplished and all the constitutions, decrees, declarations and votes have been approved by the deliberation of the synod and promulgated by us. Therefore we decided to close for all intents and purposes, with our apostolic authority, this same ecumenical council called by our predecessor, Pope John XXIII, which opened October 11, 1962, and which was continued by us after his death.
We decided moreover that all that has been established synodally is to be religiously observed by all the faithful, for the glory of God and the dignity of the Church and for the tranquillity and peace of all men. We have approved and established these things, decreeing that the present letters are and remain stable and valid, and are to have legal effectiveness, so that they be disseminated and obtain full and complete effect, and so that they may be fully convalidated by those whom they concern or may concern now and in the future; and so that, as it be judged and described, all efforts contrary to these things by whomever or whatever authority, knowingly or in ignorance be invalid and worthless from now on.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's, under the [seal of the] ring of the fisherman, Dec. 8, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the year 1965, the third year of our pontificate.
APOSTOLIC BRIEF - IN SPIRITU SANCTO
This is pretty clear, pretty binding. One cannot contradict the "Second" Vatican Council even by ignorance. One is either "with" the "Second" Vatican Council and his false ecumenism and religious liberty and new ecclesiology and episcopal collegiality or one is not. The "lasting impressions" made by the "Second" Vatican Council and its wretched aftermath have not been made by the Catholic Church. They have been made by a robber baron church of Modernists composed of men such as Joseph Ratzinger who have been at war with the very nature of dogmatic truth throughout their careers.
Although it no longer seems to matter to the "spin doctors," Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has heartily reaffirmed his own view of dogmatic truth that was condemned by the authority of the [First] Vatican Council and by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominci Gregis and in The Oath Against Modernism:
It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church's decisions on contingent matters - for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible - should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.
On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change. (Christmas greetings to the Members of the Roman Curia and Prelature (December 22, 2005.)
Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmata is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be an abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.... If anyone says that it is possible that at some given time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmata propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has always understood and understands: let him be anathema. [Vatican Council, 1870.]
Hence it is quite impossible to maintain that they [dogmatic statements and papal pronouncements] absolutely contain the truth: for, in so far as they are symbols, they are the images of truth, and so must be adapted to the religious sense in its relation to man; and as instruments, they are the vehicles of truth, and must therefore in their turn be adapted to man in his relation to the religious sense. But the object of the religious sense, as something contained in the absolute, possesses an infinite variety of aspects, of which now one, now another, may present itself. In like manner he who believes can avail himself of varying conditions. Consequently, the formulas which we call dogma must be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change. Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. Here we have an immense structure of sophisms which ruin and wreck all religion
It is thus, Venerable Brethren, that for the Modernists, whether as authors or propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor, indeed, are they without forerunners in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our predecessor Pius IX wrote: "These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts." On the subject of revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists offers nothing new. We find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX, where it is enunciated in these terms: ''Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason"; and condemned still more solemnly in the Vatican Council: ''The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth." Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith, barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and maintained. For the same Council continues: "Let intelligence and science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation." [Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.]
Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. . . .
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way. [Pope Saint Pius X, The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910.]
Does any sane, rational human being want to say that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's views on the nature of truth can be reconciled with the Vatican Council and Pope Saint Pius X's condemnation of them? One can have a mind that is "part Modernist" and "part Catholic"? (See:
Bp. Williamson's Mentevacantist Error.)
We must be conscious to make a lasting impression upon God of our fidelity to the truths He has entrusted exclusively to His Catholic Church for their eternal safekeeping and infallible explication. We must be mindful of how we have strayed in the keeping of those truths in our own lives, desirous of making reparation for them on a daily basis as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, spending also time with Our Beloved in His Real Presence before the Most Blessed Sacrament in fervent prayer.
Father Frederick Faber, writing in The Foot of the Cross (published in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary), explained how Our Lady made reparation for our own sins:
We must note also her spirit of studious, minute, and special reparation. Not the love of all possible worlds would be enough to pay Jesus back for the least pain He suffered for us, or for one single drop of the copious streams of Blood which He vouchsafed to shed. As God, the least of His humiliations is utterly beyond the reach of our compensations. The saints in all ages have marvellously loved and adored His Passion, and by supernatural penances and in mystical conformities have imitated its dread mysteries. Yet all their love together came not so nigh a just reparation to Him, as the worship of Mary while she prepared Him for the grave. The near sight of what He had really endured was something quite different from her presence at the Passion, while its various mysteries were being enacted at some distance from her. It took her down into the depths of the Passion, close to our Lord Himself, and whither no contemplative has ever penetrated. Her science and her Mother's heart combined to read and interpret those fearful documents, which were written within and without His Body like Ezekiel's book, "lamentations and canticles, and woes," as neither angel nor saint could interpret them. Ever as her fingers moved with the embalming, acts of worship and reparatory love out of the interior magnificences of their soul went along with them. She saw the number and the weight and the kind and the aggravation of all those sins, which found there their proper and distinct expiation: and for each and all she made the more wonderful reparations. This spirit of reparation is one of the instincts of divine love. While the angels by our sides perform their ministries of vigilant affection, they never cease beholding God. So in like manner the servants of God go forth into the world in search of God's outraged glory, to make reparation for it, while in the mean time they never stir out of that abiding sense of their own sinfulness, which is the atmosphere of of true humility. But Mar had no sense of sin, and her humility was more deeply rooted than that of St. Michael himself, the most zealous of the angels, because he was also the most humble. The reparations of Mary therefore were in a sphere by themselves. The saints are in a measure expiating their own sins, even while they are expiating the sins of others. But Mary's reparations were the worship of a sinless creature. As Christ satisfied for us because we could not satisfy for ourselves, so Mary worshipped His Passion for us as well as for herself, because we are unable to do it worthily ourselves, and she is our mother, and, by our Lord's own gift, what is hers is in some most real sense ours also. It was not time for reparation until now. Its natural place is in the sixth dolor, when the work of cruelty has ceased, and the huge world-sin has been consummated. Where complaint, or virtuous indignation, or loud appeals to divine justice, would have come in others, there came in Mary a busy, silent, tender reparation. Oh, it is a joy to think that, if our sins were in the lashes of the scourge and the spikes of the thorny crown, our hands also were in our Mother's hand, composing and embalming the Body of our Saviour, and filling in as if with posthumous healing those deep-red hieroglyphics which sin had left thereon.
We have already spoken of the perseverance of our Lady's tranquility through the varying phases of her martyrdom. But we must not omit to enumerate it here among the heroic dispositions in which she endured her sixth dolor. It is by far the most wonderful thing about the interior life of her soul, so far at least as we are allowed to see into it. There seems to be no height of holiness which may not be predicated of such a marvellous tranquility. It is a token, not so much of a process of sanctification still going on, as of the deification of a human soul completed. It comes nearest of all graces to the denial of created imperfections. Inequality, surprise, mutability, inconsistency, hesitation, doubt, vacillation, failure, astonishment,---these are all what might be called in geological language the faults in created sanctity. They are the imprints which human infirmity has left upon the work before it was sent and hardened. They are the marks of catastrophe, which which is itself a mark of feebleness. From all these, so far as we can see, our Lady's incomparable tranquility preserved her. To her there seems to have been communicated some portion of that peace of God which Scripture says "surpasseth all understanding," and whose special office toward ourselves is "to keep all hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." No one thing explains so much of our Blessed Lady's grandeur as this heavenly calm. Apparent exaggerations find their place, their meaning, and their connection, when they are viewed in the light of this tranquility. Graces, which sound impossible when stated by themselves, settle down in this tranquility, disclosed distinctly by its light, and at the same time softened and made natural by its beauty. The Heart of Jesus alone can read the riddle of Mary aright; but this dovelike peace, this almost pacific spirit, is the nearest reading of the riddle of her immense holiness to which we can attain. It is as if God had clothed her with His attribute of mercy for our sakes, with His attribute of peace for her own.
We learn two lessons for ourselves in this sixth dolor. Our Lady is at once a model to us of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and a model also of behavior in time of grief. We have already seen how allusions to the Blessed Sacrament flit before us continually in this dolor. From Mary's demeanor we may now gather what our own devotion to that dread mystery ought to be. For the sixth dolor is as it were perpetuated in the Church until the end of time. As our Blessed Lady is daily offered in the Mass, and the selfsame sacrifice of Calvary continued and renewed without intermission day and night around the world, so are Mary's ministries to His mute yet adorable Body going on unceasingly upon thousands of Christian altars and by the hands of thousands of Christian priests. Yet, as is ever the case with those things which we have from Jesus and Mary, what was intense bitterness to her, to us is exultation, privilege, and love. When she had gently laid aside the crown and nails, as precious relics, with what profound reverence did she kneel to receive the Body of her Son! It was not the attitude of a mother toward a son, but rather of the creature toward the Creator. She adored it with divine worship. She held it in her arms until the rest had adored it also. Her rights as a Mother were merged in her service as a creature. Yet the Blessed Sacrament is the living Jesus, Soul as well as Body, Godhead as well as Humanity. Worshipful as was His dead Body, because of its unbroken union with the Person of the Eternal Word, the Blessed Sacrament, if it were possible, demands of us a worship more full and dread, more self-abasing, more profound. We have no Mother's rights. We are not, like Joseph of Arimathea, doing Jesus a service by ministering to HIs Body. The obligation is all on our side. He has come down again from heaven to us. We are not gone up to the Cross to take Him down. With what immense reverence, then, ought we not to worship this divine Sacrament! Our preparation for Communion should be full of the grand spirit of adoration. Our act of receiving should be a silent act of holy eager fear and breathless worship. In our thanksgiving we ought to be lost in the grandeurs of His condescension, and not too soon begin to ask for graces, until we have prostrated ourselves before that living Incarnate God who at that moment has so wonderfully enshrined Himself within us. We should behave at Mass at, with al our present faith and knowledge, we should have behaved on Calvary. At Benediction, and when praying before the Tabernacle, the Blessed Sacrament should breed in us continually a spirit of unresting adoration, unresting as that incessant cry which the astonished Seraphim and Cherubim are continually uttering at the sight of the unimaginable holiness of God. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 315-318.)
No matter the difficulties of the present moment in this era of apostasy and betrayal, ladies and gentlemen, there will be the glorious Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a triumph that will involve absolutely no admixture of truth of error that is the hallmark of Modernism and of its misbegotten child, conciliarism, and all of its horribly rotten fruit that has done so much to devastate souls and thus the world itself.
With confidence in Our Lady as we give to the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son whatever merit we earn each day as the consecrated slaves of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, may we approach Passiontide, which begins with First Vespers this evening, in a spirit of joy for being Catholic and in a spirit of gratitude for being led, despite our sins and our own blindness and stupidity, to the Catholic catacombs that are served so well by true bishops and true priests who make no concessions whatsoever to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds who are steeped in and who helped to promote so many horrible lasting impressions.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, 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.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint John of God, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints