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April 16, 2005

Missing the Real Culprit Once Again

by Thomas A. Droleskey

The prayers of millions upon millions of Catholics have been answered. The man who was attempting to sell on eBay what he purported to a consecrated Host distributed to him by a priest at a Mass in Saint Peter's Square on October 18, 1998, for the twentieth anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul II has had a change of heart and is taking the Host off of eBay so that it can be turned over to the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa. A Catholic in Cupertino, California, had agreed to purchase the Host for $2,000 to save It from being used in a black Mass or to be otherwise further desecrated. A report from Spirit Daily, which was sent to me via an e-mail from Mr. John Vennari of Catholic Family News, reads as follows:

We are pleased to report that the sale of what was purported to be a Host consecrated by Pope John Paul II and put up for sale on eBay, the on-line auctioneer, has been withdrawn, with the Host handed over to the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, where the seller is located [ see previous story ].

The issue garnered national media attention when, within minutes of a link to it on this website Wednesday night,, a Cupertino, California, man offered $2,000 for the Host to keep it out of the hands of witches, satanists, or souvenir hunters.

Although eBay claimed it received "a few" protests, the California man told us that he received 500 e-mails in just the several hours his address was displayed on Spirit Daily, before he asked us to remove his name, preferring anonymity.

Earlier Friday, Monsignor Roger J. Augustine, administrator of the Diocese of Sioux City, met with the seller and was advised that the sale would not be consummated.  According to Msgr. Augustine, the seller deeply regretted the effort to sell the Eucharist and extended a personal apology to him, the diocese and any others who had been offended by the eBay listing.  Because the transaction never materialized, there was no money exchanged or received.

"The Eucharist detailed in the eBay auction was given to Msgr. Augustine and has been properly disposed of according to the dictates of Catholic Church law," states a diocesan press release. "'As I said earlier this week, the Eucharist represents the true presence of Jesus Christ to Catholics,' said Msgr. Augustine.  'I am most grateful that the seller agreed that it was in everyone's best interest to bring this issue to a positive conclusion.'"

Continues the press release: "The issue of the attempted sale of the Eucharist has attracted both national and international attention with e-mails and fax messages coming into the diocesan office from countless communities. Although this specific issue has been resolved, the diocese still has differences with eBay and its policy governing the listing of items that are offensive to people of faith.  E-Bay officials contend they see nothing offensive with the sale of such items on their website. Many Catholic organizations and individuals have taken issue with that policy and apparently are making their opinions known to eBay officials."

Meanwhile, the man who purchased the Host, a member of the Knights of Columbus, told us that he is more than pleased with the outcome. "I'm overwhelmed with the silent majority and how they spoke up and took action in this case," he told us , referring to the many who voiced outrage [ see secular report ].

There were two bids before he placed his $2,000 offer, one for $120 and one for $150.

"I am not a Catholic and do not believe I'm going to hell for selling this collectible," said the owner in his original advertisement. "It's a memento from that great afternoon with Pope John Paul II. Yes, this is the actual Eucharist I saved during the Mass that I participated in on October 18th, 1998. I ate one wafer then I went back and got another one to save and he gave me another one, but I did get a very dirty look! I was studying in Florence that semester and a bunch of us went down to Rome that week to partake. I'm not Catholic, but I found it all very interesting. Along with the Eucharist, I have the program from that day and a little bulletin. It's all in Italian. I also have four stamps from the Vatican that year and a bottle opener that I bought when I was in Rome way back in 1992. From what I understand, if you're holding something in your hand during a certain moment when Pope John Paul II spoke during his Mass, it becomes blessed. I was holding this bottle opener during Mass with him in 1992. It has his picture on one side and a picture of the Trevi Fountain on the other."

The seller went on to explain that everything from 1998 (Eucharist, bulletin, program, and stamps) were encased in plastic in his "scratch book" and all were in "awesome condition." Photos authenticating his presence there that day were also to be included (although we cannot verify any of his claims).

This is indeed quite welcome news, the fruit of countless acts of reparation that had been made worldwide once the sale of what was purported to be a consecrated Host on eBay had become public knowledge earlier this week. Prayer really does work. We must be ceaseless in prayer at all times, especially in circumstances such as these when all human appearances seem so bleak and foreboding. The truly just outcome in this case should remind us all to trust completely at all time in the Providence and the Omniscience of God, offering all of our efforts in the ecclesiastical and civil circumstances in which we find ourselves at present to Him through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves. This is the same kind of trust that we must have as the cardinal electors meet on Monday, April 18, 2005, to elect a successor to the late Pope John Paul II.

Although there has been a very happy and just outcome in the matter of the attempted sale of what was represented to be a consecrated Host oni eBay, Catholics must cease to do business with a firm that is willing to accept for sale an item that purports to be (and most likely is) the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament until eBay changes its policies, which it has not yet done. It does not matter how many traditional Catholic items are on eBay that cannot be found anywhere else. Catholics should not be selling or buying items on eBay from this moment forward. If this means that it will become more difficult to obtain hard-to-find traditional Catholic vestments and unwanted statues and liturgical accoutrements, so be it. We cannot do business with a firm that will not ban the sale of the singularly most sacred Object that exists on the face of this earth: a validly consecrated Host. Indeed, I announced three days ago that Christ or Chaos, Inc., was terminating its relationship with PayPal, an eBay company, because of this outrage.

Executives from eBay provided the expected responses to those who complained about the sale of what was purported to be a consecrated Host. Here is a response sent to Mr. Gary Morella, whose own commentaries are fairly widely known to traditional Catholics:

We understand that you are upset at having seen certain Catholic items or items related to the Pope on eBay, including item #6169851381. Because eBay's community is a diverse, international group of more than 135 million users with varied backgrounds and beliefs, there are times when some items listed on eBay by sellers might be offensive to at least some of our users somewhere in the world. At times, members may see listings that they may consider morally wrong or objectionable. However, even though these listings may be offensive to some, please remember that most of the time the law does not prohibit the items.

Due to the fact that eBay's focus is to have a free and diverse community, we are reluctant to interfere with listings that are not illegal. Regarding offensive items, there are many items that are considered sacred to many people of various religions, and we sometimes hear complaints about these items. Examples would be Catholic relics of saints, Mormon (LDS) garments, certain Buddhist tablets, etc. However, eBay has made the decision not to prohibit any item only on the basis of the item being endowed with sacred properties by certain religious groups. In general, eBay will remove items for a violation of our Offensive Materials policy only in extreme examples in which the listing explicitly promotes hatred, violence, or racial intolerance. However, we do not remove religious items that are otherwise legal for sale and do not violate any other eBay listing policy.

Please keep in mind that many of us at eBay may also share your distaste with an item, and may not support the sale. In fact, eBay has many Catholic employees. However, we do our best to understand and tolerate the many viewpoints held by our worldwide community. The Eucharist is not illegal to sell, and is generally allowed on eBay as long as the seller does not otherwise include hateful text or images in the listing.

Although we realize that you may not agree with this decision on eBay's part, we hope that you can respect the diverse and open nature of eBay's marketplace. Warm Regards, Maricel, Community Watch Team, eBay Trust & Safety.

I will leave it to others to dissect the religious indifferentism, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy contained in "Maricel's" response to Mr. Morella. After all, ladies and gentlemen, the "sensitivity to diversity" tack taken by "Maricel" as opposed to a respect for and protection of the integrity of the Most Blessed Sacrament is but a product of the very religious indifferentism that is at the founding of the Modern State, including the United States of America. Individuals and companies who make millions upon millions, if not billions upon billions, of dollars as the sole raison d'etre of human existence (as opposed, say, to giving honor and glory to God, advancing the sanctification and salvation of human souls, contributing to the common good according to the precepts of the Ten Commandments, especially the Seventh Commandment) are not going to be persuaded to prohibit the sale of an item that will generate money for them solely because some adherents of a particular religious denomination "consider" such a sale to be a sacrilege of the highest order. While eBay may be forced to modify its "policies" in light of the bad publicity it is getting at present, the fact that the sale of what was purported to be a consecrated Host, distributed at a Papal Mass in Saint Peter's Square, was attempted at alll is just part and parcel of a culture founded on the specific and categorical rejection of a necessity of belief in the Incarnation of the God-Man in His Blessed Mother's virginal and immaculate womb and of adherence to every single jot and tittle of the Deposit of Faith He entrusted to His true Church as absolutely indispensable to the direction of individual lives and thus to entire nations.

No, while pressure should continue to be brought upon eBay to prohibit the sale of consecrated Hosts, and while Father Paul Kramer of the Fatima Center is absolutely correct in stating that the Host that was attempted to be sold on eBay was stolen as Holy Communion is distributed to Catholics to be consumed and not kept on their person, eBay was simply doing that which comes only too natural in a world where Christ is not recognized confessionally by a nation as its King and where Our Lady is not honored publicly by a nation as its Queen. After all, if we can kill little babies in the womb up to the day of birth in this country and starve and dehydrated brain-damaged and/or elderly people who have outlived their "usefulness," how are people without the true Faith and who live in a country that mocks the true Faith going to accept that God Himself is Incarnate under the appearance of a consecrated Host?

Mind you, eBay is not to be exculpated for its wrongdoing in offering a consecrated Host for sale. Not at all. Despite the outcome announced today, April 16, 2005, pressure must continue to be brought on eBay's executives to convince them to cease and desist from such sacrileges immediately. What I am saying, however, is that a world that has rejected the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen is one that degenerates only too logically to the depths of human depravity to and acts of utter contempt for the very Real Presence of the God-Man Himself. The real fault, you see, does not lie in eBay.

While giving great thanks to Our Lord and Our Lady for the protection of the consecrated Host, it must be pointed out, though, that the real fault lies in the fact that a person, in this case a non-Catholic, was able to get his hands on Holy Communion at all, something that would not have been possible in the Catholic Church until 1977. The real fault lies in the sacrilege that is Communion in the hand, a novelty that was introduced by Pope Paul VI in 1977 after many episcopal conferences, including the then named National Conference of Catholic Bishops here in the United States of America, petitioned His Holiness to say that Communion in the hand, which was being distributed disobediently by bishops and priests around the world, had become an "accepted practice" that had to be sanctioned by the Church. Thus began an unparalleled era of commonplace acts of desecration and sacrilege being committed against the Most Blessed Sacrament in Catholic churches around the world almost every day of the year.

The late Michael Davies wrote an excellent treatise on the subject of Communion in the hand. It may be found at Michael Davies on Communion in the hand. This excellent monograph speaks for itself and needs no explication from me. For purposes of this present article, however, I do want to emphasize the following points so that the Catholics who are rightly outraged over eBay's policies and its defense of same may come to realize that the real culprit in this sorry episode is the ethos wrought by the liturgical revolution foisted upon the Church by the late Archbishop Annibable Bugnini and his fellow Jacobins in their Reign of Terror against Catholic Tradition as the bulwark of the Catholic Faith.

1) Communion in the hand, which existed in some places in some circumstances in the first millennium of the Church, was prohibited by the Church precisely because of the sorts of abuses and sacrileges that have been happening on a much wider scale, given the near-universality of Communion in the hand, today.

2) The Church, inspired by the Holy Ghost, came to understand that only the hands of the ordained priest or deacon should touch the Holy Eucharist. This was a legitimate development of doctrine that came to be reflected in the Church's absolute prohibition against the hands of the non-ordained touching the Most Blessed Sacrament.

3) Reflecting on Our Lord's command to the first pope, Saint Peter, to "Feed my lambs," "Feed my lambs," Tend my sheep," Holy Mother Church recognized that we, the sheep of Christ's true Flock, must have the humility to fed by an alter Christus, an image of the Good Shepherd Himself, as a shepherd would feed his flock: on the tongue. Sheep cannot feed themselves. They need to be fed. It is not an uncommon practice for children to place bits of feed on a sheep's tongue at a petting farm. Sheep are dependent upon the shepherd. We must be dependent upon the Good Shepherd. This is a sign of our humility and our dependence upon the One Who is feeding us with His own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

4) Pope Pius XII noted in Mediator Dei, his Encyclical Letter on the Sacred Liturgy that preceded Sacrosanctum Concilium by sixteen years (and which was referenced precisely once, at Paragraph 22, in that first document issued by the Second Vatican Council), that Catholics should not desire to "restore" obsolete rites and practices in the name of "simplicity," ignoring the fruits for the Church and thus for souls that had been borne as a result of the abandonment of ancient practices (such as Communion in the hand and Communion under both kinds):

The same reasoning holds in the case of some persons who are bent on the restoration of all the ancient rites and ceremonies indiscriminately. The liturgy of the early ages is most certainly worthy of all veneration. But ancient usage must not be esteemed more suitable and proper, either in its own right or in its significancefor later times and new situations, on the simple ground that it carries the savor and aroma of antiquity. The more recent liturgical rites likewise deserve reverence and respect. They, too, owe their inspiration to the Holy Spirit, who assists the Church in every age even to the consummation of the world.[52] They are equally the resources used by the majestic Spouse of Jesus Christ to promote and procure the sanctity of man.

Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.

Clearly no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas by the Church, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit with abundant fruit for souls, because it pleases him to hark back to the old formulas. No more can any Catholic in his right senses repudiate existing legislation of the Church to revert to prescriptions based on the earliest sources of canon law. Just as obviously unwise and mistaken is the zeal of one who in matters liturgical would go back to the rites and usage of antiquity, discarding the new patterns introduced by disposition of divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstances and situation.

This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "deposit of faith" committed to her charge by her divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn.[53] For perverse designs and ventures of this sort tend to paralyze and weaken that process of sanctification by which the sacred liturgy directs the sons of adoption to their Heavenly Father of their souls' salvation.

5) It must be remembered, therefore, that the appeal to "antiquity" by the Catholic leaders of the "Liturgical Movement" throughout the Twentieth Century sought to make the antiquarian claims of the Protestant Revolutionaries "respectable" in the eyes of the hierarchy and thus serve as the foundation for what was claimed to be a "much needed" reform of the Sacred Liturgy. This matter was discussed in G.I.R.M. Warfare:

Indeed, it appears as though the authors of GIRM (and the liturgical revolutionaries on the Consilium who devised the new Mass) hope to lure traditionally minded Catholics into something of a trap. Some traditional Catholics might be tempted to reflexively dismiss GIRM and the new Mass as an attempt to Protestantantize Catholic worship, which it is, of course. However, it is important, though, to recognize that some elements of the new Mass that enshrine the spirit of the Protestant Revolution do indeed have Catholic roots. Although there was never “Mass facing the people,” Communion in the hand was an accepted practice in the Catholic Church for centuries and Communion under both kinds lasted longer than Communion in the hand, ending somewhere around the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. However, there were good pastoral and dogmatic reasons why the Church discontinued both practices.

Acting in a spirit quite similar to that of our contemporary revolutionaries, Protestant Revolutionaries claimed to be “recapturing” the “purity” of the “Christian liturgy” when Communion in the hand and Communion under both kinds became common practices in most Protestant worship ceremonies. As Father Joseph Jungmann, S.J., noted, “When the chalice Communion was already practically forgotten, it was seized upon by hostile groups and made a symbol of their movement.” (It should be noted, though, that the Church granted Communion under both kinds in monasteries and in some coronation Masses for emperors and kings.) Thus, as will be discussed much later in this analysis, even though Communion under both kinds was once a practice in the Catholic Church, its bandonment in the Latin Rite for solid pastoral reasons was something seized upon by Protestants as robbing “the people” of the true spirit and sources of the liturgy. This is exactly what our contemporary revolutionaries have done and are doing.

Similarly, Communion in the hand had for the Protestants (and has for our own revolutionaries) a very important theological significance, no matter that it was once a practice in the Catholic Church which was later prohibited. As Ferrara and Woods point out [in The Great Facade], “When the German Protestant Martin Bucer suggested that English Protestants introduce the practice of Communion in the hand, he did so because, as he said at the time, this novel practice would undermine two Catholic teachings at once: the priesthood and the Real Presence. Allowing the faithful to receive the Eucharist in their hands would tend to establish the belief that the Host was nothing more than ordinary bread (so indeed why shouldn’t the faithful be able to touch it?) And that there was nothing special or unique about the priest that should entitle him alone to handle the sacred species. Bucer knew full well what he was doing.” So do our contemporary revolutionaries, those who appeal to the distant Catholic past, either one that actually existed or is projected by their imaginations as having existed, to adapt abandoned practices that have served the purposes of Protestantism, not Catholicism.

Here are Martin Bucer's actual words, found in the Michael Davies' monograph linked above:

As, therefore, every superstition of the Roman AntiChrist is to be detested, and the simplicity of Christ, and the Apostles, and the ancient Churches, is to be recalled, I should wish that pastors and teachers of the people should be commanded that each is faithfully to teach the people that it is superstitious and wicked to think that the hands of those who truly believe in Christ are less pure than their mouths; or that the hands of the ministers are holier than the hands of the laity; so that it would be wicked, or less fitting, as was formerly wrongly believed by the ordinary folk, for the laity to receive these sacraments in the hand: and therefore that the indications of this wicked belief be removed ----- as that the ministers may handle the sacraments, but not allow the laity to do so, and instead put the sacraments into the mouth ----- which is not only foreign to what was instituted by the Lord but offensive to human reason.

 In that way good men will be easily brought to the point of all receiving the sacred symbols in the hand, conformity in receiving will be kept, and there will be safeguards against all furtive abuse of the sacraments. For, although for a time concession can be made to those whose faith is weak, by giving them the Sacraments in the mouth when they so desire, if they are carefully taught they will soon conform themselves to the rest of the Church and take the Sacraments in the hand.

6) The sacrileges that have been engendered by the restoration of Communion in the hand by Pope Paul VI in 1977 have been well-documented. Pope John Paul II deplored them in Dominicae Cenae in 1980. He did not end the practice, though, and lived long enough to preside personally at Masses where the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the One Whose vicar he was for twenty-six years, five months and sixteen days was trampled underfoot, manhandled and stolen, as Father Paul Kramer noted with respect to the eBay outrage, to be sold or used in black Masses. These things were pointed out to the Holy Father repeatedly. Committed to the ossified formulas of a revolution that has devastated the Catholic Faith, the late Holy Father refused to act in defense of the the integrity of the Most Blessed Sacrament. When all is said and done, though, it must be remembered that then Archbishop Karol Wojtyla said in 1965, "The basic elements, the bread and wine, will remain the same. Everything else, though, must change." And change it did, to the detriment of the Church and the souls entrusted to her pastoral care for their sanctification and salvation.

7) A priest who offered a Novus Ordo Missae for the Eternal Word Television Network early on a morning in July of 2003 used his sermon to speak about a mystic, who had the approval of her local bishop in Brazil, who had seen images of priests and lay men and women in Purgatory with their hands on fire. The hands of the priests were on fire for having given out Communion in the hand to the non-ordained; the hands of the laity were on firing for having taken Communion in the hand. The priest went on at some length about this mystic's vision. By the time the Mass was rebroadcast at noon, Eastern time, however, the sermon had been edited, rather choppily, to remove all reference to this particular vision. The fact that EWTN saw fit to censor such a sermon is a quite telling commentary on the extent to which those who promote the notion of this being the "springtime of the Church" do not want anyone, especially a priest, casting aspersions on the papally approved practices that have devastated the Faith and subjected Our Lord in His Real Presence to grave sacrileges. The censoring of the priest's sermon on EWTN  is particularly noteworthy as it used to be the case, especially in the 1980s, that all manner of unapproved seers and stories of at least one apparition condemned by a local bishop made their way onto the EWTN airwaves on a quite regular basis.

8) The words of the late Father Frederick Schell, S.J., come to mind at this point. Father Schell, who had left the Jesuits in the 1970s and was assisting parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange, was told in 1977 that he would have to distribute Holy Communion in the hand. His response was direct and to the point, "It's a sacrilege. They can't make me do it." He preached against it from the pulpit on November 13, 1977. He was gone by the next week, one week before the "implementation" of this "restoration" on the First Sunday in Advent in 1977, eventually returning to the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in order to provide the people of southern California with the safe haven provided by the stability of the glories of a liturgical rite that communicates in all of its parts the absolute and firm distinction between the hierarchical priesthood of the ordained priest and the common priesthood of the lay faithful (whereby we in the laity help to sanctify the world by cooperating with the graces made available to us in the sacraments to give honor and glory to God in all that we do and by uniting our petitions interiorly with those of the priest as He offers the ineffable Sacrifice of the altar that is Holy Mass).

9) Yes, sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament occurred before the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Missae. Freemasons and other enemies of Our Lord and His true Church paid large sums of money to obtain consecrated Hosts to desecrate. Consecrated Hosts were stolen from tabernacles, to be sure. Indeed, Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Farmingville, New York, administered by the Society of Saint Pius X, has had two acts of desecration committed within the past decade that resulted in the vandalizing of the tabernacle and the desecration of consecrated Hosts. This having been noted, however, there has never been a period in the history of the Church when it was as possible as today to obtain a consecrated Host and to subject It to acts of desecration, up to and including being used in black Masses. This is all the rotten fruit of the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand as part and parcel of the logic of the liturgical revolution engineered by Annibale Bugnini and his band of liturgical thieves and thugs. The loss of belief in and reverence towards the Real Presence of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament is a direct result of the Novus Ordo Missae and all of the novelties and innovations it has engendered, including the architecture and design of Catholic church buildings.

Sadly, there continue to be otherwise intelligent people who continue to justify the liturgical revolution by ignoring the dispassionate scholarship that has disproved the antiquarian presuppositions of the Augustinian liturgist Pius Parsch that were at the foundation of Sacrosanctum Concilium and who refuse to acknowledge that Annibale Bugnini was quoted as early as 1965 as saying that it was important to eliminate as much of what was considered authentically Catholic in the Mass as possible so as to appeal to Protestants. These people, who are trying to reconcile the novelties of the past forty to fifty years with the authentic Tradition of the Catholic Church, can assure themselves all they want about the fact that Bugnini was sent into exile by Pope Paul VI in the 1970s when evidence of his Masonic ties was presented to the then Holy Father. The spirit of the late Secretary of the Consilium, though, still guides the Novus Ordo Missae: his fervent acolytes, Virgilio Noe and Piero Marini, exercised great influence throughout the pontificate of the late Pope John Paul II. Marini even admitted in 2003 that Papal Masses had been planned with all kinds of innovations so as to establish "precedents" for the future. No pope of the glories of Tradition would be smiling down from Heaven as a Mass that contains so many legitimate options from which celebrants may choose on a regular basis and which has eliminated in its Latin editio typica all references to the possibility of men losing their souls for all eternity is considered normative in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. The new Mass, even when offered in Latin, is not a link to Tradition but a revolutionary embrace of the ethos of Protestantism in the name of "restoring" the "simplicity" of the Catholic past. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply wrong. The evidence amassed by Father Romano Tommassi on the real objectives of the members of the Consilium is there for all who have the honesty to admit and to act accordingly.

The late Monsignor Klaus Gamber, who was not a traditionalist, did not consider the Novus Ordo Missae to be a victory for the cause of Tradition. Monsignor Gamber was in favor of some liturgical changes and did not appreciate the true perfection contained within the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, thereby predisposing him to the consideration of some limited reforms and changes. However, he also noted the following in The Reform of the Roman Liturgy:

The "traditionalist" priest will always stand in front of the altar, as has been commonly done in the Eastern Church and in the Western Church throughout history. They are priests offering a sacrifice who, together with the faithful, face God.

The other priests function as presiders over a Eucharistic meal, and from their seats, or from behind the altar facing the people, which has become a table, they direct their gaze towards the assembled faithful. They are, apparently, not troubled in the least by the fact that their backs on turned on the former High Altar and on the tabernacle--the altar at which, only a few years ago, the holy sacrifice of the Mass was offered and on which the eyes of the praying faithful had been focused.

In the years before the reform, no Catholic could have imagined that the Roman Church, founded on the Rock of Peter, would undergo such changes and at the same time cause such confusion among its members.

Of course, it is true that there have been progressives, particularly during the Age of Enlightenment, who, in part because of erroneous interpretations of history, in part because of "modern" theological views, pressed for changes in the liturgy as it was then practiced. In the past, the Church's teaching Magisterium has carefully guarded against such developments and has always been able to control the emergence of radical ideas.

Now, all this has fundamentally changed. Today, those who out of a sense of personal belief hold firm to what until recently had been strictly prescribed by the Roman Church are treated with condescension by many of their own brothers. They face problems if they continue to nurture the very rite in which they were brought up and to which they have been consecrated. That theirs was a decision made as a matter of conscience and that their conscience is being sorely tested is of little consequence to those who oppose them.

On the other side, the progressives who see little or no value in tradition can do almost no wrong, and are usually given the benefit of the doubt, even they defend opinions which clearly contradict Catholic teaching.

To add to this spiritual confusion, we are also dealing with the satiated state of mind of modern man who, living in our consumer society, approaches anything that is holy with a complete lack of understanding and has no appreciation of the concept of religion, let alone of his own sinful state. For them God, if they believe in Him at all, exists only as their "friend."

At this critical juncture, the traditional Roman rite, more than one thousand years old and until now the heart of the Church, was destroyed. A closer examination reveals that the Roman rite was not perfect and that some elements of value had atrophied over the centuries. Yet, through all the periods of unrest that again and again shook the Church to her foundations, the Roman rite always remained the rock, the secure home of faith and piety.

After discussing the sorts of reforms that he thought would have been consonant with Sacroscanctum Concilium, Gamber discusses the disparity between Catholic Tradition and the Novus Ordo Missae:

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 the 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 identifical 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 the liturgical chant introduced by Pope Saint 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 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 into 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 to the traditional liturgy have taken from them the sense of security in their religious home.

Today, many among us wonder: Is this the 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 has 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 before us 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 according 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 left 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 feast," and with the "holy bread"to be shared among us 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 so many centuries. Will someone, some day, be able to say the same thing about the new Mass?

Unfortunately, Monsignor Gamber believed that an absolute return to the integrity of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition before it was attacked by Bugnini in 1955 was probably not desirable. He believed in what has been called "the reform of the reform." That having been noted as a matter of intellectual honesty, Gamber's analysis of the actual state of the so-called liturgical "renewal" was founded on a rejection of the claim that the Novus Ordo Missae was a continuation of Tradition. It is not. The Novus Ordo Missae has devastated the Catholic Faith and is responsible for giving rise to the "restoration" of one formerly and properly abandoned practice of antiquity after another, thus creating the very conditions in which the Most Blessed Sacrament is abused in Catholic churches on a daily basis and thus subjected to unspeakable sacrileges and offenses.

The only sure way to guard against the abuses engendered against belief in and reverence towards the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Latin (or Roman) Rite of the Catholic Church is to restore the Traditional Latin Mass as normative. The Novus Ordo Missae is so fungible that it can be offered in different ways by the same priest in back-to-back Masses in the same parish. Congregationalism has replaced the universality of the worship of God, thereby offending God in the manner and the form of the worship given unto Him in Catholic churches and bewildering the faithful into thinking that everything contained in the Deposit of Faith is as mutable as the offering of Holy Mass. It is not "heartache" or some irrational, emotional "attachment" to the "past" that prompts a Catholic to seek the restoration of Tradition without any taint of the novelties of the past fifty years. No, it is a love for God and the recognition of what gives Him the greatest honor and glory that prompts a Catholic to point out, sometimes repeatedly, the harm of the Novus Ordo Missae and the infinite beauty and perfection contained in the Mass of all ages.

While we should continue to protest the actions of eBay in making a consecrated Host available for purchase and seek to secure from its executives a pledge that this will never happen again, we must never miss the real culprit in all of this: the novelties of the Novus Ordo Missae promulgated by Pope Paul VI and praised ceaselessly by the late Pope John Paul II. Catholics were taught years ago to consume the Host immediately upon receiving It on their tongues as they knelt at the Communion Rail. They were not to leave the Communion Rail before having consumed the Host, which was made of matter that was readily soluble for easy consumption. All of this has now changed, making it possible for countless sacrileges to be committed on a regular basis as members of the hierarchy, from the late pontiff to the members of the College of Cardinals to diocesan ordinaries to priests and many millions of well-meaning lay men and women insist that this is the "springtime of the Church." If this is springtime, folks, I would hate to see what winter looks like. Regular sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament of the nature we are witnessing at present are unprecedented in the history of the Church and are not consonant with anything that is of God. Period. (And this is not even to discuss the matter of Communion under both kinds, which is reviewed at length in G.I.R.M. Warfare.)

We continue to pray for the soul of the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. And we continue to pray for the cardinal electors as they convene on Monday to elect the next pope. Speculation is useless. Worry is pointless. We need to maintain the Supernatural Virtue of Hope, keeping firm on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer and beseeching Our Lady and Saint Joseph and Saints Peter and Paul with total trust in their intercessory power.

Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and Protector of the Faithful, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, lover of the the Eucharist, pray for us.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, pray for us.

Pope Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.

Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.

Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.






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