Not the Work of God
by Thomas A. Droleskey
My late parents, Albert Henry Martin Droleskey and Norma Florence Red Fox Droleskey, did not understand the Holy Faith all that well. They were, however, the beneficiaries of the Actual Graces flowing out from the Masses being offered in the 1950s and the residual influences of Catholicism from earlier in their lives. This equipped them to have an superb sense of personal modesty of speech (I never heard a swear word or a racial epithet issue from either of my parents' mouths) and of personal comportment, teaching their two sons how to be polite and courteous to others in public, especially by addressing elders by their proper titles.
My parents also were not joiners of any type. This family characteristic on the merely natural level has preserved me from jumping into the latest group or fad whose leaders are promising solve every ecclesiastical or social problem imaginable. Many were the very well-meaning, sincere Catholics back in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s and 1980s who jumped at the chance to join organizations, among many others, such as the John Birch Society, Young Americans for Freedom, Tradition, Family and Property, Opus Dei, and the Legionaries of Christ (and their Regnum Christi lay arm) in order to fight the various, inter-related evils of the day only to wind up thoroughly disillusioned. Some of the wealthier among these Catholics wound up losing lots and lots of money. Although I have never had lots and lots of money, I am grateful to my late parents for their refusing to be joiners.
That, aided by the preparations I received prior to reception for the Sacrament of Confirmation at Saint Aloysius Church in Great Neck, New York, on March 21, 1961, helped me to eschew human respect, keeping me from "joining in" with the raucous activities that my peers at Oyster Bay High School from 1965-1969 were engaging in, preserving me also from being prone to join anything hastily for any reason. Indeed, despite being a huge fan of the New York Mets from their very inception in 1961 prior to their taking the field in a regular season game for the first time on Wednesday, April 11, 1962, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri, I never joined any "fan club," not of the team itself or of any of its players. I am simply not a joiner, and for this I have my late parents to thank.
Thus it was that while a colleague of mine who was involved in Opus Dei introduced me to this organization in the late-1970s, I was never inclined to do anything other than make retreats (of which I made four--during Lent of 1979, 1980, 1982, and 1987) and attend some evenings of recollection, although I thought it odd--and so said publicly--that the Fatima Prayer was not recited after each decade of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. I did meet many very fine Catholics, some of whom refused to be silent about the problems in the conciliar church despite the pressure that was put upon them by their spiritual directors to remain silent. And I did profit from those retreats. Putting aside the Novus Ordo service, which was offered facing the altar and with the use of the Offertory prayers from the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in 1979 and 1980 (something that Opus Dei priests who served as spiritual directors for diocesan priests/presbyters told them to remember to do in their own services until Opus Dei was elevated to the status of a "personal prelature" by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II in 1982), the talks in the retreats were thoroughly Catholic from beginning to end, although some of the evenings of recollection were somewhat "wishy-washy," stressing the "founder's" The Way over almost everything else in the patrimony of the Catholic Church as the means of interior formation and the sanctification of daily life.
Indeed, one of my former colleagues from Saint John's University threw an Opus Dei "circle" discussion leader out of his house one night in the 1980s, telling him never to return, after the discussion leader said, "I believe God chose to be immaterial..." The man never got to finish his sentence. My former colleague told him to get out, telling him that very bluntly that he was full of garbage before explaining that God never "chose" to be immaterial, that He Is Who Is without beginning or end. The discussion leader was flabbergasted. The last Opus Dei-promoted event that I attended was, believe it or not, a talk given by one Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church on January 26, 1988, that was hosted by the then Lutheran pastor Richard John Neuhaus.
There was a certain sense of what I called "quietism," which is not the same as the classical definition of the phrase found in Father Adolph Tanquerey's A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, found within the ranks of the clergy and numeraries and super-numeraries of Opus Dei, meaning that no one was to discuss any of the problems caused by the "Second" Vatican Council and by the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo worship service.
This "quietism," which could also be called (and perhaps more accurately as) "ecclesiastical pacifism" in the face of offenses against God and His Holy Faith, was driven home on the evening of Thursday, November 20, 1980, as I was about to attend an evening of recollection at Saint Mary's Church in Manhasset, New York. I had been praying before what I thought was the Blessed Sacrament as a visiting priest from the Jesuit retreat house in nearby Searington, New York, Inisfada, was taking an engaged couple and their wedding party through the steps of their wedding rehearsal. The priest, dressed in a knit sweater and civilian clothes, told the wedding party and the guests who had gathered for the rehearsal that, "I invite everyone up to come to Communion. I don't care who you are. You are invited. I find, however, that some of our Jewish brothers are reluctant to come up. I still invite them."
(Some of you may recall that I have made mention of the fact that there was, at least as of February of the year 2000 when I saw it with my own eyes, a "zen meditation room" at Inisfada. It appears as though that "room" is still there. See listing number three at Zen meditation New York. There are many other stories of how a lot of the priests at Inisfada have gone far beyond even the approved outrages of conciliarism, some going so far as to use supposed "Eucharistic prayers" that were not approved by conciliar officials. I confronted one of those priests in 1984 asking him if the book of such prayers, Bread Blessed and Broken, was approved by the Vatican. "Not officially," he whimpered. Don't get me started on the Inisfada retreat house.)
Furious with what I saw as a grave offense to our dear Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, I blurted out what I had just heard when speaking to the Opus Dei priest and a few of the super-numeraries and cooperators who were gathering in the rectory prior to the evening of recollection in the church. "Don't scandalize us!" said the priest. "You shouldn't be saying these things." "What?" I asked? "Are you shooting the messenger? An offense is about to be given to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and you believe that it is scandalous to mention this?" The priest then remonstrated with me privately, telling me that I must not mention this to the pastor, Monsignor John Wiest, a true priest who died in 2006 at the age of eighty-eight, lest the Opus Dei group lose the privilege of using Saint Mary's Church in the future.
What did I do? Well, I got on the phone from my office at Nassau Community College the next morning, reaching Monsignor Wiest, who was very glad that I had telephoned him about the Jesuit priest's plans. "I'll put a stop to this," Monsignor Wiest assured me. The Opus Dei priest was willing to let what I, acting in all good faith as a "conservative" Catholic at the time, believed was a sacrilege against the Most Blessed Sacrament to take place, all for the sake of "peace," of not causing a "problem" with a pastor who was indeed willing to take action to prevent the sacrilege from occurring. Sadly, this is not atypical at all.
Indeed, I know at least fifteen priests/presbyters in the conciliar structures whose once strong denunciations, mostly in private but once in a while from the pulpit, of the "Second" Vatican Council and even the Novus Ordo itself were muted as a result of their taking spiritual direction from priests of Opus Dei. One such man, a true priest who had himself ordained privately in the traditional rite of the Catholic Church by the retired bishop of his diocese the day before his Novus Ordo presbyteral installation as he harbored doubts about the conciliar rite, has been rendered into a blubbering apologist of everything conciliar as a result of his involvement in Opus Dei, going so far as to praise the work of Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., the preacher to the "papal" household who has said, among other apostate statements, that we have "lost the right" to seek the conversion of the Jews because of how this has been done in the past. The man in question desires to be a conciliar "bishop." Opus Dei is his "meal ticket," as he sees it, to the conciliar purple.
Another conciliar presbyter who has been influenced negatively by Opus Dei used to make scathing comments about Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and ecumenism. This presbyter, who has risen to a relatively high media profile in "conservative" conciliar circles, once said to me in 1994, following the late "pontiff's" decision to permit female altar servers, that he was praying to Saint Joseph for a "happy and quick death" for "the pope." "This man has got to go!" the presbyter told me in a phone conversation. One hears no such comments issue from this man's mouth any longer. He has been neutralized by the influence of Opus Dei and by his own prominence in the conciliar media.
Other priests and presbyters in the conciliar structures have been given pretty much the same advice that I was given back on November 20, 1980, when I was told to say nothing about what I thought was an impending sacrilege against the Most Blessed Sacrament. keep your mouth shut about abuses. Don't criticize the "bishop." Implement whatever programs that are ordered by your "bishop," including programs involving explicit classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. Pope Pius XI's strict prohibition against instruction? Don't bother yourself with such a thought. Don't think. Just obey your local "bishop." Don't complain about altar girls or "extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist" or lectors or the proliferation of other members of the laity in the sanctuary. Do whatever architectural "renovations" your bishop and his liturgical committee request. Don't say a word, either publicly or privately, in opposition to the "pope's" visits to synagogues or mosques. Just do your own pastoral business and keep your mouth shut as you concentrate on the sanctification of your own soul by the performance of your ordinary duties extraordinarily well for the love of God. Blasphemy and sacrilege and liturgical abominations are not the work of God. They are the work of the devil.
Although there are exceptions to this, including the instance of a diocesan presbyter who once told an Opus Dei priest to "stop living in your gilded cage and start listening to the suffering of the people in the pews," Opus Dei has indeed played a pretty significant role in keeping the mouths of many conciliar priests/presbyters shut in the face of grave offenses given to the Most Blessed Trinity by the conciliar "pontiffs" and their "bishops" and in the context of the abomination that is the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo worship service that they themselves simulate every day. Sanctification of daily living? That is not possible if one is "obedient" to apostasies and blasphemies and sacrileges and as one participates in a liturgical service that is offensive to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and thus harmful to the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. The honor and glory and majesty of God must be defended publicly. Silence in the face of blasphemy and apostasy and sacrilege betokens consent of the offenses given to God and can in no way serve the end of the sanctification of one's immortal soul.
Pope Saint Leo the Great made this very clear in his Epistle to Anastasius:
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 )
One of the great ironies in this is that the founder of Opus Dei, the late Monsignor Josemaria Escriva Balaguer y Albas, who was "canonized" on October 6, 2002, by the late Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, had his own personal difficulties with the Novus Ordo, securing for himself an indult from Annibale Bugnini himself to offer the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. This was, however, a purely personal matter as Escriva forbade his "children" to complain about the Novus Ordo or to assist at "unapproved" offerings of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. Just a mater of "personal preference," of course, not a matter of the Holy Faith.
It is beyond the scope of this article to detail the extent of the deception practiced by Opus Dei numeraries and super-numeraries in the recruitment of children and of college students. This has been done by J. J. M. Garvey in The Parents' Guide to Opus Dei. Suffice it to say for present purposes, however, that members of and cooperators in Opus Dei are taught never to question their superiors, privately or publicly, and that members (numeraries, super-numeraries) and cooperators are exhorted to find wealthy individuals, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, who could become "cooperators" in Opus Dei to fund its activities. Currying favor with the rich and powerful is of the essence of Opus Dei. Indeed, I was told by an Opus Dei priest at their Riverside Study Center near Columbia University in 1979 to help Opus Dei to be on the lookout for "people with money, lots of money." I found this very odd, feeding into the criticism that I had heard about the organization that its own self-perpetuation and enrichment were its true goals, a description that also applies, of course, to the Legionaries of Christ.
It with this in mind that the controversy engendered last week as it was revealed that the director of Opus Dei's "Catholic Information Center," Father Arne Panula, had invited the pro-abortion Catholic journalist, Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs Roberts, otherwise known as "Cokie" Roberts, the daughter of the late United States Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs, to speak at the bookstore located inside the center. The Washington Times, which is owned by the the false church/cult known as the "Unification Church" of the "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon, editorialized about the invitation extended to Mrs. Roberts, who is in perfectly "good standing" in the conciliar structures and received what purports to be Holy Communion in the Novus Ordo on a regular basis on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 (see Opus Dei sells out). That February 16, 2010, editorial in The Washington Times resulted in Mrs. Roberts's being disinvited to speak at the "Catholic Information Center," promoting The Times to publish Opus Dei rights itself the very next day, Wednesday, February 17, 2010.
There are a number of very interesting features in the two editorials that speak volumes about Opus Dei and about the mentality that exists among "conservative" Catholics who are attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
Permit me to examine a few passages from Opus Dei sells out:
Local Catholics are in an uproar because the Catholic Information Center is hosting a book signing tomorrow for Cokie Roberts, a notorious dissenter against Catholic moral teaching on abortion, birth control and homosexuality. The TV commentator attacked the partial-birth abortion ban as "cynical game-playing" by pro-lifers and criticized Pope Benedict XVI for "lacking in the theological virtue of charity."
Yes, Cokie Roberts is a notorious dissenter against Catholic teaching in a number of areas, including those enumerated in Opus Dei sells out. As Pope Leo XIII explained in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896, she has indeed expelled herself from the Catholic Church by dissenting from even one, no matter many, articles contained in the Deposit of Faith:
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).
Left untouched by Opus Dei sells out is the fact that the supposedly more "traditional" Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has maintained the likes of Cokie Roberts and Vice President of the United States of America Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi and three recent Governors of the State of New York (Mario Matthew Cuomo, George Elmer Pataki, David Paterson) and even the late Untied States Senator Edward Moore Kennedy, among scores of other Catholic public officials in the United States of America, in perfectly "good standing" despite their defections from the Faith. This makes perfect sense as Ratzinger/Benedict himself defects from the Catholic Faith in numerous ways (see
Ratzinger's War Against Catholicism,
Piracy, Conciliar Style,
True Popes Never Need to Convert to the Faith, and
Saint Peter and Anti-Peter, among so many other articles), for starters, of course, by publicly dissenting from the Catholic Church's solemn teaching on the nature of her dogmatic teaching and by rejecting the "ecumenism of the return" in favor of the false ecumenism of "concilairism" (see
Sanctioning Apostasy With Sanctimony and
Madness Writ Large), to say nothing of his embrace of "religious liberty" and separation of Church and State and the new ecclesiology. Cokie Roberts is simply in a false church where unity of belief is not required, at least on a de facto basis, to remain in "good standing" within its ranks.
The first paragraph of Opus Dei sells out, although noting quite correctly the many ways in which Cokie Roberts is a dissenter from the Holy Faith, also demonstrates the great shallowness that persists in "mainstream" media circles concerning the partial, conditional ban on partial-birth abortions. Although Mrs. Roberts is in grave error by supporting the killing of preborn babies even by the method known as "intact dilation and extraction," she is correct when stating that the partial, conditional ban on partial-birth abortions was a cynical game played by pro-life politicians and by some of those associated with the National Not-So-Right-To-Life Committee.
This is a point that I have been making since the issue first rose to prominence in 1995, and I will reiterate it once again: the partial, conditional ban on the killing of babies by means of "intact dilation and extraction" was meant to burnish the credentials of phony pro-life politicians who knew full well that there are several other methods (saline solution abortion, hysterotomy, dilation and evacuation) by which babies may be killed in the later stages of pregnancy. (Please see An Illusion of a Victory.) Mrs. Roberts' observation in this regard is correct, noting, of course, that her support for baby-killing at all stages of pregnancy and by whatever means that are considered "legal" in this country puts her outside of the pale of Holy Mother Church.
The original Opus Dei sells out went on as follows:
The Catholic Information Center, a bookstore and chapel run by Opus Dei on K Street in downtown Washington, long has been a haven for neocon Catholic types looking for a lunchtime liturgy or to buy religious books for curious friends. Opus Dei is a religious organization that enjoyed enormous privileges under moderate Pope John Paul II but has seen its star fade under the much more traditional new pontiff.
In "The Da Vinci Code" book and movie, Opus Dei was portrayed as a radical right-wing vigilante force dispatching assassin monks to liquidate heretics. The truth is Opus Dei has never been very courageous in countering modernist trends that undermined tradition in its own church. The most obvious example is how the group was actively antagonistic to those who fought in the trenches for decades to bring back the ancient Latin Mass that was suppressed after the liberalizing Second Vatican Council of 1962-65.
The Opus Dei bookstore also has done things that are just plain weird and dubious from a Christian perspective, like selling the Harry Potter books, which glamorize witchcraft.
The "traditional" "new" "pontiff"? That's quite a phrase. Traditional? There's nothing "traditional" about denying the nature of dogmatic truth and entering synagogues and mosques, calling them "holy" or "sacred" places, and esteeming the symbols and "values" of one false religion after another, including what the hardly "new" (nearly five years now) false "pontiff" did in Washington, District of Columbia, itself, on Thursday, April 17, 2008, as he personally esteemed the symbols of five false religions (see
April 17, 2008 - 6:15 p.m. - Interreligious Gathering) something that millions upon millions of Catholic martyrs submitted themselves to unspeakable acts of torture and death rather than to give even the appearance of consenting to of their own free wills.
Pope Pius XII made this abundantly clear in Ci Riesce, an allocution given to Italian lawyers on December 6, 1953:
Her deportment has not changed in the course of history, nor can it change whenever or wherever, under the most diversified forms, she is confronted with the choice: either incense for idols or blood for Christ. The place where you are now present, Eternal Rome, with the remains of a greatness that was and with the glorious memories of its martyrs, is the most eloquent witness to the answer of the Church. Incense was not burned before the idols, and Christian blood flowed and consecrated the ground. But the temples of the gods lie in the cold devastation of ruins howsoever majestic; while at the tombs of the martyrs the faithful of all nations and all tongues fervently repeat the ancient Creed of the Apostles. (Pope Pius XII, Ci Riesce, December 6, 1953.)
"Traditional new pontiff"? Ah, I do not think so.
That having been noted, the following two sentence in The Washington Times editorial of Tuesday, February 16, 2010, Opus Dei sells out, are "spot on:"
The truth is Opus Dei has never been very courageous in countering modernist trends that undermined tradition in its own church. The most obvious example is how the group was actively antagonistic to those who fought in the trenches for decades to bring back the ancient Latin Mass that was suppressed after the liberalizing Second Vatican Council of 1962-65.
Yes, yes, yes on all counts. As noted above in this commentary, Opus Dei priests have been in the vanguard of neutralizing opposition to Modernism on the part of the priests/presbyters and laity who have been in association with it over the last three decades now. Opus Dei was not, as one conciliar presbyter used to boast to me in the early-1980s, the "new Jesuits" heading the "pope's" counter-revolution against the "Second" Vatican Council, and its priests and lay leaders did work actively against those in the conciliar structures who were seeking to restore the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, only having taken an interest in it now because "the pope" has given his "approval." Yes, yes, yes.
The Washington Times editorial of February 16, 2010, reverted to its own wishful view of the current "pontificate" by stating that the "Catholic Information Center" bookstore has done weird things, such as sell Harry Potter books. I agree that it is completely unjustifiable for a supposedly "Catholic" bookstore to sell Harry Potter books. Unfortunately, there are those in the conciliar Vatican who have praised the Harry Potter books and motion pictures, including the bright lights at L'Osservatore Romano, who have done so (see
L'Osservatore Occulto). This is the same Vatican whose chief official, the "traditional new pontiff," Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, has said absolutely nothing to censure "Archbishop" Robert Zollitsch for the past three hundred eighteen days since the latter blasphemed Our Blessed Lord and Saviour by stating publicly on Holy Saturday, April 11, 2009, that Our Lord did not die on the wood of the Holy Cross in atonement for our sins. "Traditional new pontiff"? You betcha--not!
The Opus Dei sells out editorial was posted on The Washington Times website on Tuesday evening, February 16, 2010, before being published in its print edition the next morning, Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Father Arne Panula of Opus Dei disinvited Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs Roberts almost as soon as the Opus Dei sells out editorial went online, prompting The Washington Times to publish another editorial, Opus Dei rights itself, on the evening of February 17, 2010, which contains some very interesting parallels between the mindset of some members of Opus Dei and the mindset of a certain unnamed parish in the Catholic catacombs where it is believed that those who leave have "fallen away" or are "out of the boat:"
Rev. Arne A. Panula, an Opus Dei priest who is director of the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington, deserves credit for canceling the Cokie Roberts book signing scheduled for today. In a political city filled with big egos and boastful bigwigs, it takes courage to admit a mistake and correct it. That's what Father Panula did, and in so doing, he showed true leadership and grit.
That said, The Washington Times has received violent and malicious protests from some members of Opus Dei. For this reason, it is instructive to remind that the error that created this scandal was the Catholic Information Center's invitation to and promotion of a notorious dissenter against Catholic moral teachings on abortion, birth control and homosexuality. The mistake was the invitation, not the protest or criticism of it. In fact, Father Panula's eventual cancellation of the event shows that protests can and do work when in defense of a greater good.
As the priest admitted in the statement announcing the cancellation of the book signing, "We were unaware that some of the positions held by Ms. Cokie Roberts are inimical to the Catholic Faith and the support of our Holy Father that we hold very dear at the Catholic Information Center." He also acknowledged the importance of concerned individuals expressing their outrage over the center's mistake, saying "We are grateful for those of you who have taken the time to express your concern and inform us. Our apologies go out especially to all who may have been troubled by the scheduling of this event and the confusion it may have occasioned." Again, Father Panula deserves credit for being forthright. He could have quietly cancelled the event and tried to sweep the scandal under the rug, but instead he added clarity to the situation and implied that the controversial guest should never have been invited in the first place.
Three more details are relevant to yesterday's editorial, "Opus Dei sells out." First, while the editorial was published in the Wednesday print edition, it was posted online the previous evening before the event had been cancelled, or at least before the announcement was widely distributed. That timeline is important. Second, numerous distressed members of Opus Dei contacted us for help because they were worried the event wouldn't be cancelled, causing serious damage to the institution's conservative reputation. Third, The Washington Times called the Catholic Information Center on deadline Tuesday seeking comment and asking if the Cokie Roberts event had been cancelled, but we were repeatedly sent to voicemail. Putting someone on the line could have clarified the situation.
There also have been slurs on this editorial page for supposedly attacking the Catholic Church. Our editorial criticized a Catholic-run institution for promoting an individual who is publicly opposed to Catholic teaching. In so doing, the intent was to defend moral issues such as the pro-life cause. It takes an extraordinary leap in logic to suggest that criticizing a group for giving a platform to a heterodox Catholic is attacking the Catholic Church. (Opus Dei rights itself)
To use yet again a favorite phrase of my former colleague, Mr. John Vennari, "There you have it." One of the reasons I was always wary of Opus Dei even in my "conservative" days as a full-fledged member of the "Pope" John Paul II cheerleading squad (there's got to film clips somewhere out there in cyberspace of me doing precisely that, cheerleading, that is, at the Fieldhouse of The Catholic University of America on Sunday, October 7, 1979, as Wojtyla/John Paul II addressed Catholic educator; I was told that the NBC-TV camera was focused on me quite a bit--and, yes, I have a lot to pay back, thank you very much for pointing that out to me). I have always been wary--indeed, absolutely scared out of my wits--of any organization that surrounds itself with any kind of contention that it is the "true church within the true church" that is the only "real" path to sanctification and salvation.
To criticize Opus Dei or the Legionaries of Christ or some miscreant "bishop" or even the "traditional new pontiff" for his defections from the Holy Faith is not to attack the Catholic Church, and those who make such sophistic contentions are badly mistaken.
The recent invitation and disinvitation of Mrs. Cokie Roberts to speak at the "Catholic Information Center" is a case study in how some, although certainly not all (as some members of Opus Dei were indeed rightly outraged by the invitation extended to Cokie Roberts), adherents of the conciliar church's first and thus far only "personal prelature" believe that every decision made by an Opus Dei priest is received from the hand of God Himself, and that to criticize a decision of "prelate" (a person who is an abbot or a bishop, not a priest, by the way) of Opus Dei or a priest or lay leader in Opus Dei is to criticize God. Gee, where has this mentality been exhibited recently in the Catholic catacombs? Where is it being exhibited at this time? It will come to me. I'm just a little slow right now. Perhaps this mentality is to be found also in the Society of Saint Pius X, from whose ranks several priests have been expelled in the past year for criticizing Bishop Bernard Fellay's "negotiations" with authorities in the conciliar Vatican? What do you think?
The Catholic Church alone is the only means of salvation. While we must take care to assure ourselves that we are entrusting our souls to true bishops and true priests who make no concessions to conciliarism during this time of apostasy and betrayal, we must never lose sight of the fact that no group or organization, no particular parish and not even the most knowledgeable bishop or the most accessible priest in the catacombs is the Catholic Church. While we are grateful to our true bishops and true priests for giving us the sacraments in this time of apostasy and betrayal as they suffer much to defend the integrity of the Holy Faith, we recognize also that no one venue in the fully traditional catacombs is the sole path to salvation. To believe otherwise is to have the same mindless mentality of those members of Opus Dei who believed that The Washington Times was criticizing the Church when it was rightly criticizing the decision of a person within an organization who had invited a speaker who is at odds with the Received Teaching of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Today is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter in Antioch, Syria. We need to pray to Saint Peter each day very fervently that a true pope will be restored to his throne as the Vicar of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on earth. Oh, do we need a true pope! The sheep are suffering so much as men who are not the pope act as though they are, finding this and that reason to deny people the Sacraments, something that was not the case in the Catholic Church fifty or sixty or one hundred years ago (admitting that some bishops and priests of Irish descent in the United States of America were pretty nasty to Polish and Italian immigrants at the end of the Nineteenth Century, which ill-treatment served as a contributing factor to the rise of the "Polish National Church"). Saint Peter, please, please, please, pray for us to have a true pope! Saint Peter, pray for us. Saint Paul, pray for us.
To Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart belongs the triumph that will vanquish the lords of Modernity and Modernism once and for all. May our own efforts to make reparation for our sins, especially during this Lent, which has now entered its first full week, to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary help to plant a few seeds so that the day on which the the Church Militant on earth can have another true visible head to guide her can be expedited. The Rosaries we pray this day and every day will plant a few seeds to bring this about.
Indeed, we rest secure in the arms of Our Lady, very secure. This is the moment that God has known from all eternity in which we would be alive. She will help us to weather the storms of the moment if only we go to her as her trusting children. O Blessed Mother, help us. We need you to take us to your Divine Son, where we can repose with Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament in this life and be ready at all times to face Him at the moment of our Particular Judgments with clean consciences, thus being able to enjoy the blessedness of Heaven for all eternity. Help us, dear Blessed Mother, to remain faithful to the end.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?