Thomas A. Droleskey
Conciliarism's attack on the nature of dogmatic truth has been one of the consistent themes explored on this website, particularly in the past twenty-seven months or so. The conciliar revolutionaries have promoted notions about dogmatic truth that have been condemned repeatedly by one pope after another in the century leading up to the "Second" Vatican Council. Rooted in the fantasies of Kantian immanentism and the dialectical principle of Georg Wile Hegel, the Modernist/conciliarist notion of dogmatic truth has done great violence to thought and to language, making it even more difficult for the average Catholic to recognize sophistry in a naturalistic world founded on one sophistry after another.
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does not believe that truth can be apprehended by the human mind completely or that it can be expressed adequately by the use of words, which are but mere symbols. The best that fallen man can do at any particular point in history, Ratzinger/Benedict believes, is to express certain facts in a "provisional" sense, recognizing that a future generation might understand those facts in a different and seemingly contradictory light. Such a seeming contradiction requires men to make "distinctions," as he sees it, between what is "essential" in the expression of a given truth at one point in time and what in the expression of that truth is conditioned by the contingent, subjective historical circumstances in which that truth was formulated and/or expressed. Truth is "anchored" in one place at a time as it "fulfills" its particular "purpose" at that time before it is "anchored" in another place at another time. In plain English, therefore, man's "expression" of truth contains within itself the seeds of its own apparent contradiction, which is why it is always necessary to create a synthesis between an "expression" of truth in one era as opposed to another so that it can be claimed that there exists a "continuity" of truth in the "discontinuity" of its expression.
Remember, as I have noted so frequently on this site, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has told us very clearly that he believes that dogmatic truths are never expressed adequately or understood fully in a permanently binding way:
In theses 10-12, the difficult problem of the relationship between language and thought is debated, which in post-conciliar discussions was the immediate departure point of the dispute.
The identity of the Christian substance as such, the Christian 'thing' was not directly ... censured, but it was pointed out that no formula, no matter how valid and indispensable it may have been in its time, can fully express the thought mentioned in it and declare it unequivocally forever, since language is constantly in movement and the content of its meaning changes. (Fr. Ratzinger: Dogmatic formulas must always change.)
The text [of the Second Vatican Council] also presents the various forms of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It affirms -- perhaps for the first time with this clarity -- that there are decisions of the Magisterium that cannot be a last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition. Its nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times have influenced, may need further ramifications.
“In this regard, one may think of the declarations of Popes in the last century about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church's anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from immersion in the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of the determinations they contain, they become obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at the proper moment.” (L'Osservatore Romano, July 2, 1990.)
Secondly, it was necessary to give a new definition to the relationship between the Church and the modern State that would make room impartially for citizens of various religions and ideologies, merely assuming responsibility for an orderly and tolerant coexistence among them and for the freedom to practise their own religion.
Thirdly, linked more generally to this was the problem of religious tolerance - a question that required a new definition of the relationship between the Christian faith and the world religions. In particular, before the recent crimes of the Nazi regime and, in general, with a retrospective look at a long and difficult history, it was necessary to evaluate and define in a new way the relationship between the Church and the faith of Israel.
These are all subjects of great importance - they were the great themes of the second part of the Council - on which it is impossible to reflect more broadly in this context. It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance.
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.)
Ratzinger/Benedict knows that there is discontinuity between the dogmatic decrees and papal encyclical letters of the past and those of conciliarism. It is therefore important for him to contend that the discontinuity is only apparent, not real, not substantive. Nice try. However, the whole weight of the Catholic Church is opposed to him without any question at all.
As repetition is indeed the mother of learning, let me repeat for the umpteenth time how these views, which are absurd on their face by the light of natural reason alone, have been condemned by the authority of the Catholic Church:
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 [the Modernists assert] to maintain that they [dogmatic statements] 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." (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.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. (The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910.)
Although perhaps an upcoming article, written, of course, by one who does not assist at any version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, in a glossy-paged Catholic journal might seek to "reconcile" Ratzinger's absurdities with natural reason and with the condemnations of it that have been quoted above (yes, yet again). Sane human beings recognize absurdity when they see it. The Catholic Church has always taught that the Deposit of Faith must be taught in exactly the same way as in the past, that dogmas may not "be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age," insisting "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."
Those steeped in such absurdities become blinded to the fact that they speak in absurdities as they live in their self-created, self-sustained illusions about the constituent elements of the Catholic Faith. Among those so blinded is the non-papal" master of ceremonies, "Monsignor" Guido Marini, who has gone so far as to assert that not everything in the Catholic past concerning the Sacred Liturgy was "true." See for yourselves:
The pope does not put on Prada, but Christ,” said Fr. Guido Marini, the Holy Father’s master of ceremonies, in an interview that appeared in the June 26 L'Osservatore Romano. Marini was explaining Pope Benedict XVI’s decisions affecting the liturgy.
Marini said the pope’s restoration of the traditional Latin Mass and liturgy had a “precise, twofold intention.” The first, said Marini, was to make it “easier to reach ‘a reconciliation in the bosom of the Church’; and in this sense, as has been said, the motu proprio is a beautiful act of love for the unity of the Church.” The pope’s second aim “is that of fostering a mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Roman rite: in such a way, for example, that in the celebration according to the missal of Paul VI (the ordinary form of the Roman rite) ‘will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage.”
As for the pope’s celebration last January of Mass in the Sistine Chapel at the ancient altar, facing liturgical east, Marini explained that such a celebration “is not a matter of turning one's back to the faithful, but rather of orienting oneself together with the faithful toward the Lord. From this point of view, ‘the door is not closed on the assembly,’ but ‘the door is opened to the assembly,’ and it is led to the Lord.”
According to Marini, kneeling for communion and receiving it on the tongue will become "a regular practice at papal celebrations." The master of ceremonies noted that “the distribution of communion in the hand remains, from the juridical point of view, a dispensation from the universal law, conceded by the Holy See to the bishops' conferences that have asked for it.” Benedict’s proposed practice at papal Masses “tends to emphasize the continued validity of the norm for the whole Church,” said Marini. Receiving on the tongue, he continued, “better highlights the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, aids the devotion of the faithful, and makes it easier to enter into the sense of mystery. In our time, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to recover and emphasize these aspects.”
What of those who accuse Benedict of imposing “preconciliar models” on the Church? Terms like "preconciliar" and "postconciliar," “it seems to me,” said Marini, “belong to an outdated language, and if they are used with the intention of indicating a discontinuity in the Church's journey, I maintain that they are mistaken and typical of highly reductive ideological views. There are ‘old things and new things’ that belong to the treasury of the Church of all time, and must be considered as such.”
“Not all that is new is true, nor is all that is old,” said Marini. “The truth spans old and new, and it is for this that we must strive, without prejudice. The Church lives according to the law of continuity in virtue of which it recognizes development rooted in tradition.
“What is most important,” Marini continued, “is that everything work together so that the liturgical celebration truly is the celebration of the sacred mystery, of the crucified and risen Lord who becomes present in his Church, reenacting the mystery of salvation and calling us, in the logic of an authentic and active participation, to share to the full in his own life, which is a life given in love to the Father and to his brothers, a life of holiness.” (Benedict's chief liturgist: Motu aim neither pre- nor post-conciliar.)
“Not all that is new is true, nor is all that is old"? Lewis Carroll, call your office. There is another telephone call waiting for you, emanating from Conciliarists in Wonderland. For Guido Marini to be correct, ladies and gentlemen, then God the Holy Ghost had to have gotten things "wrong" as He directed the course of the Sacred Liturgy in the previous two millennia. In other words, there were things wrong in the "past" that need to be jettisoned as we take the "true" from the "new" to produce a synthesis of the liturgy that will represent the "true" intentions of the fathers of the "Second" Vatican Council forty five years after the issuance of Sacrosanctum Concilium, December 1, 1963.
Here is what that synthesis of the new liturgy might look like in its repackaged form:
(More the point, my friends, God will still be offended by any version of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service.)
The foundation of Guido Marini's absurdities rests in the assertion that the postconciliar liturgical changes were not meant of their nature to be a decisive break from the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church as it had existed from time immemorial. Such a contention, made last year by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in his accompanying letter to Summorum Pontificum, contradicts what the architects of the liturgical revolution themselves told us they were doing, meaning that we are supposed to believe the Hegelian revisionist view of the liturgical revolution rather than what the architects themselves said was the case. Just another case of "truth" being conditioned by the contingent circumstances in which it is expressed:
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." (Annibale Bugnini, L'Osservatore Romano, March, 1965.)
Let it be candidly said: the Roman Rite which we have known hitherto no longer exists. It is destroyed. (Father Joseph Gelineau, an adviser to Annibale Bugnini's Consilium, quoted and footnoted in the work of a Father John Mole, who believed that the Mass of the Roman Rite had been "truncated," not destroyed. Assault on the Roman Rite)
Certainly we will preserve the basic elements, the bread, the wine, but all else will be changed according to local tradition: words, gestures, colors, vestments, chants, architecture, decor. The problem of liturgical reform is immense. (Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, 1965, quoted and footnoted in Assault on the Roman Rite. This quote has also been noted on this site in the past, having been provided me by a reader who had access to the 1980 French book in which the quote is found.)
But what could the decision of Paul possibly be [about permitting Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's request for the continued offerings of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition]? Two days earlier Jean Guitton had suggested to allow the Mass of St. Pius V in France. Pope Paul had replied: "That? Never!. . . That Mass of St. Pius V like the one sees at Econe has become the symbol for the condemnation of the Council. I will in no wise accept the Council being condemned by a symbol. If an exception were made, the whole Council would be questioned, and consequently the Apostolic authority of the Council." (Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, 2004, p. 493.)
"[T]he intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should coincide with the Protestant liturgy.... [T]here was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense, in the Mass, and I, repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass" (Dec. 19, 1993), Apropos, #17, pp. 8f; quoted in Christian Order, October, 1994. (The quotation and citations are found in Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr,, The Great Facade, The Remnant Publishing Company, 2002, p. 317.)
Efforts at present to claim that the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service was not in se a revolution against the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church--and against the Faith it expressed and protected--are intellectually dishonest no matter what kind of Hegelian semantics are used to contend that the very words of the architects of the liturgical revolution did not reflect the true intentions of Giovanni Montini/Paul VI, whose hostility to the Mass of the ages is quite evident in his, Montini's belief that the Immemorial Mass of Tradition would undermine the "Apostolic authority of the Council." As my estranged brother was wont to say in his youth some forty years ago, "Do tell." Do tell.
It is, of course, essential for Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and his conciliar compatriots to subject even the immediate past to all manner of Hegelian twists and turns in order to convince traditionally-minded Catholics yet attached to their corrupt structures that they must accommodate themselves to the inevitability of an eventual "reform of the reform" (probably with the proviso that that the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition will be permitted in some Motu communities) and to accept the precepts of the New Theology (as opposed to those of Scholasticism) at the foundation of Catholic theology and pastoral praxis. Acceptance of the new ecclesiology and false ecumenism and inter-religious prayer services and religious liberty and episcopal collegiality and the separation of Church and State must follow necessarily as these novelties are viewed in the context of the "hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity."
Pope Saint Pius X had this to say about the wiles of the Modernists:
They [the Modernists] exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those "who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church"; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: "We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church." Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: "I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.''
The "hermeneutic of continuity and discontinuity" is nothing other than an effort to "weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of its authority. It is Modernism in its purest form, designed to corrupt doctrine as it coopts traditionally-minded Catholics yet attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism into silence as the thesis of the "old" and the synthesis of the "new" conflict to produce a synthesis of the "future." This is, of course, a realization of Joseph Ratzinger's long sought desire to neutralize "integralists" while feeding their--and his own--desires to liturgical aesthetics absent a return to dogmatic formulae that have "outlived" their usefulness:
Among the more obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of integralist groups in which the desire for piety, for the sense of mystery, is finding satisfaction. We must be on our guard against minimizing these movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly. (Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 389-390)
To think, however, that the current effort to re-define the word tradition so as to "reconcile" Catholicism with conciliarism is anything other than one of the chief goals of Modernism is to miss the point that Modernism has always been about re-defining the Faith and the nature of tradition in order to introduce condemned novelties as simply legitimate "developments of doctrine." Alas, no legitimate development of doctrine can contradict anything that has preceded it, no less directly defy anathematized propositions. And the effort to empty the value of Tradition by replacing it with Modernist concepts was central to the early priesthood of one Father Angelo Roncalli, the future John XXIII, as can be seen in this letter written by Gaetano Cardinal De Lai in 1914 to Father Roncalli:
According to information that has come my way, I knew that you had been a reader of Duchesne [whose book, History of the Early Church, had been placed on the Index of Forbidden Books and used in Roncalli's seminary lectures] and other unbridled authors, and that on certain occasions you had shown yourself inclined to that school of thought which tends to empty out the value of Tradition and the authority of the past, a dangerous current which leads to fatal consequences. (quoted in Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, Tumultuous Times, p. 297)
A dangerous current which leads to fatal consequences indeed. Behold the fatal consequences as an alleged "papal" master of ceremonies gives public interviews to the Vatican's semi-official newspaper in which he is free to repeat the shibboleths about truth that the sophisms of Modernism and its offshoot, the New Theology, that have been condemned repeatedly by the Catholic Church prior to 1958 and the rise of Angelo Roncalli as John XXIII. Then again, who can blame Guido Marini for doing this. He sits at the foot of the very master of denying the nature of dogmatic truth, a man who wants to make sure before he dies that the framework of the doctrinal revolution he helped to build is established so firmly in the "reform of the reform" that there will be few of those attached to the "old" notion of Tradition who will raise any objection at all to the novelties and innovations and errors and heresies that have wreaked so much devastation in souls and has contributed to the warfare that the world has made for the past five centuries against the Social Reign of Christ the King.
Today is a glorious day in our liturgical calendar as we commemorate the Mother of God under her title of Our Lady of Peace. Also commemorated today are the Martyrs of Gorkum, who gave up their lives to that wretched band of people known as Calvinists in 1572, Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, two of the 72,000 martyrs for the Faith in England who were killed at the behest of King Henry VIII between 1534 and 1547, and Saints Veronica Giuliani and Maria Goretti, who gave up her life for the sake of purity as she forgave her murderer, who lived to be present at her canonization in 1950. None of these saints were ever taught that the truths of the Catholic Faith could be understood differently at different times or that the decrees of some of the Church's councils could be ignored because they had been conditioned by the historical circumstances in which they were issued. Each of these saints, including the young Maria Goretti, would have known this to be a direct blasphemy against the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, Who inspired the work of these true councils.
Invoking the intercession of these great witnesses to the Catholic Faith, may Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, help us to remain steadfast in our rejection of conciliarism as we cleave to true bishops and true priests in the catacombs who make no concessions to this false religion or its apostate leaders who speak in absurdities as they undermine one of the very essences of God Himself, namely, His immutability. Mindful also of our own sins and our need to make reparation for them, conscious as we are of how our sins have worsened the state of the Church Militant on earth, may we be ever generous in our efforts to give unto the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary all of whatever merit we earn from our sufferings and tribulations and calumnies and humiliations, making sure always to pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.
Truth may be under attack by the conciliarists. We must defend the truth at all costs, remembering the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us who have done just this, a cloud of witnesses who keep Our Lady and Saint Joseph and all of the angels and saints present each time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered at the hands of a true Catholic bishop or a true Catholic priest. May Our Lady help us to join that cloud of witnesses by sending us the graces won for the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to persevere until the moment of our dying breaths, which can occur at any time.
Our Lady of Peace, pray for us!
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.
The Martyrs of Gorkum, pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, pray for us.
Saint John Fisher, pray for us.
Saint Veronica Giuliani, pray for us.
Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints