Souls Are At Stake
Thomas A. Droleskey
We live in the midst of very confusing times ecclesiastically. Some people are wholehearted enthusiasts for conciliarism, believing that we are living in the midst of the "springtime of the Church." Some people want to believe that the problems we face in the Church are principally the result of a "misinterpretation" of the true meaning of the Second Vatican Council, preferring to think that conciliarism is perfectly compatible with Catholicism if we just find the "true meaning" of the conciliar and postconciliar documents. Others believe that all will be well if "permission" to offer the Missale Romanum of 1961, which was the normative Mass of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church for precisely three or four years prior to the Ordo Missae of 1965, is "liberalized." There are, of course, other approaches to the crisis in the Church, including positions of those who consider it to be a legitimate theological opinion to believe that the conciliar and postconciliar popes have disqualified themselves from holding the papacy legitimately.
As I have been noting for the last several months, we must exercise Charity with those who have come to different conclusions than we have about the state of the Church. I have stated quite clearly on this website that I believe that those who hold the sedevacantist position may prove to be correct, that some future pope or council will indeed declare negatively on the legitimacy of the conciliar popes. I have been willing to examine issues that I have ignored, at least publicly, for a long time. Examining these issues and raising various questions in no way means that I have contempt for those who disagree with the sedevacantist thesis outright and who maintain a policy of "recognize and resist" insofar as the Holy See is concerned. Mine is a search for truth without disparaging anyone, either personally or professionally, who comes to different conclusions or who opposes even the raising of the questions that have been raised on this site recently.
Questions, though, there remain. These are just some of the more prominent ones:
How can it be that a pope can believe that Jews are saved by the "Mosaic Covenant," that there is not an urgent need to seek their conversion?
How can it be that a pope can believe that there are "Christian churches" outside of the Catholic Church and that there is not an urgent need to seek the conversion of the adherents of these heretical and/or schismatic sects?
How can it be that a pope can give "blessings" with alleged Anglican clergymen, who are not ordained to anything, thereby giving the impression, albeit de facto, that Anglicans do have valid orders and that Pope Leo XIII was wrong in his infallible pronouncment condemning such orders, Apostolicae Curae?
How can it be that a pope can believe that the adherents of false religions can make "contributions" to the betterment of societies through their false beliefs?
How can it be that a pope can believe that the state must not recognize the true religion, Catholicism?
How can it be that a popes and bishops can make statements about the Faith over the course of more than four decades that are at odds with the previous nineteen centuries?
How can it be that a pope can believe that doctrine can be understood in such a way so as to contradict its consistently-held meaning and linguistic formulation?
How can it be that a pope can refuse to accept the simple truth that every aspect of every culture must be Catholic, that pluralism is a lie from the devil?
The late hero of the Catholic Faith, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, said the following twenty years ago:
Now I don't know if the time has come to say that the Pope [John Paul II] is a heretic; I don't know if it is the time to say that. You know, for some time many people, the sedevacantists, have been saying that "there is no more Pope" but I think that for me it was not yet the time to say that, because it was not sure, it was not evident, it was very difficult to say that the Pope is a heretic, the Pope is apostate. But I recognize that slowly, very slowly, by the deeds and the acts of the Pope himself, we begin to be very anxious. (The Angelus, July, 1986).
Yes, Archbishop Lefebvre said different things at different times, which is perfectly understandable given the incredibly bold manner in which the Modernists have advanced their agenda. He was, however, willing on several occasions to express publicly his private thoughts, which he must have shared with some of his priests in the Society of Saint Pius X, about the grave nature of the crisis facing the Church, including mentioning that sedevacantism was a possibility. The Archbishop never made a declaration about the matter. Indeed, he negotiated with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who was acting in behalf of Pope John Paul II, to "regularize" the Society's status off and on in the 1980s, coming closest to an agreement in 1988. The Archbishop did, though, publicly raise the issue of sedevacantism, expressing his own grave questions about how a reigning pontiff can do and say the things that were said and done by the former Karol Wojtyla.
To raise the issue of sedevacantism, therefore, is not to engage in anything extraordinary. Mario Francesco Cardinal Pompedda, who is no friend of Tradition at all, admitted in a Zenit interview in February of 2005, at a time when John Paul II was pretty much entirely incapacitated as he faced death from the effects of Stage 3 Parkinson's Disease, that the See of Peter would be "vacant in the case of heresy." A Vatican official, the retired head of the Apostolic Signatura, not one of the "nine" who were expelled from the Society of Saint Pius X in 1983, admitted that the See of Peter would indeed be vacant in the case of heresy.
Bishop Mark Pivarunas, who is a sedevacantist, of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, wrote the following on the subject of sedevacantism during the reign of John Paul II:
Sedevacantism is the theological position of those traditional Catholics who most certainly believe in the papacy, papal infallibility and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, and yet do not recognize John Paul II as a legitimate successor of Peter in the primacy. In other words, they do not recognize John Paul II as a true pope. The word sedevacantism is a compound of two Latin words which together mean “the Chair is vacant.” Despite the various arguments raised against this position — that it is based on a false expectation that the pope can do no wrong, or that it is an emotional reaction to the problems in the Church — the sedevacantist position is founded on the Catholic doctrines of the infallibility and the indefectibility of the Church and on the theological opinion of the great Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine.
As an introduction to this article, let the traditional Catholic first ask himself why he is a traditional Catholic. Why does he not attend the Novus Ordo Mass? Why does he reject the teachings of Vatican Council II on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism? Why does he reject the new code of Canon Law (1983) in which under certain circumstances schismatics and heretics may, without an abjuration of their errors and a profession of the Catholic Faith, be administered by a Catholic priest the Sacraments of Penance, Extreme Unction, and Holy Eucharist? If the traditional Catholic answers the first question correctly, he would state quite simply that the New Mass is without a doubt a danger to his faith and that due to the radical changes in the Offertory and Consecration, it is questionable whether transubstantiation even takes place. In answer to the second question, the traditional Catholic would properly state that the teachings found in Vatican II decrees of Religious Liberty and Ecumenism have been condemned by previous popes, in particular by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors. Lastly, to the third question, the traditional Catholic would surely answer that such a law in the new code can never be considered as true and binding legislation since the sacraments would be sacrilegiously administered to heretics and schismatics.
How appropriately did the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on the occasion of his Suspension a divinis by Paul VI write the following reflection on June 29, 1976:
“That the Conciliar Church is a schismatic Church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship, all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive.
“This Conciliar Church is schismatic, because it has taken as a basis for its updating, principles opposed to those of the Catholic Church, such as the new concept of the Mass expressed in numbers 5 of the Preface to (the decree) Missale Romanum and 7 of its first chapter, which gives the assembly a priestly role that it cannot exercise; such likewise as the natural — which is to say divine — right of every person and of every group of persons to religious freedom.
“This right to religious freedom is blasphemous, for it attributes to God purposes that destroy His Majesty, His Glory, His Kingship. This right implies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and all the Masonic freedoms.
“The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, bishops, priests or faithful adhere to this new Church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.”
Let the traditional Catholic, especially the members of the Society of St. Pius X, ask themselves to what extent have the Pope, bishops, priest and laity adhered to this new Church which would, as Archbishop Lefebvre reflected, separate themselves from the Catholic Church. John Paul II completely adheres to the Conciliar Church. He enforces the Novus Ordo Mass and false teachings of Vatican II. He promulgated the New Code of Canon Law (1983). He has boldly practiced false ecumenism and heretical religious indifferentism in Assisi, Italy, on October 27, 1986, by the atrocious convocation of all the false religions of the world to pray to their false gods for world peace!
As unpleasant as this subject may be, traditional Catholics are confronted by the terrible and burning questions:
Is the Conciliar Church the Catholic Church?
Is John Paul II, as the head of the Conciliar Church, a true pope?
The sedevacantist would unhesitatingly and unequivocally say no.
To believe otherwise, to answer yes to the above questions, would be to imply that the Catholic Church has failed in its purpose, that the Church of Christ is not infallible and indefectible, that the Pope is not the rock upon which Christ founded His Church, that the promise of Christ to be with His Church “all days even to the consummation of the world” and that the special assistance of the Holy Ghost, have failed the Church — conclusions which no traditional Catholic could ever maintain. Consider the following quote from Vatican Council I (1870):
“For the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, made this solemn profession: ‘The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true Faith. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Who said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18), should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teaching kept holy.’ ...for they fully realized that this See of St. Peter always remains untainted by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord and Savior made to the prince of his disciples, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou has turned again, strengthen thy brethren’ (Luke 22:32).”
Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Satis Cognitum, taught that the Teaching Authority of the Church can never be in error:
“If (the living magisterium) could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error.”
How can a traditional Catholic on one hand reject the New Mass, the heretical teachings of Vatican Council II, and the New Code of Canon Law (1983), and on the other hand, continue to recognize as pope the very one who officially promulgates and enforces these errors?
To consider yet another question, is the faith and government of the traditional Catholic the same as John Paul II and his Conciliar Church? Do traditional Catholics believe the same doctrines as John Paul II and his Conciliar Church on the New Mass, false ecumenism, and religious liberty?
Are traditional Catholics subject to the local hierarchy and ultimately to Rome?
Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical Mystical Body of Christ, taught:
“It follows that those who are divided in faith and government cannot be living in the one Body such as this, and cannot be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”
Are traditional Catholics united or divided in faith and government with the Conciliar Church?
The sedevacantist honestly recognizes that his faith is actually not the same as John Paul II and his Conciliar Church. He recognizes that he is actually not subject and obedient to John Paul II. As a traditional Catholic, the sedevacantist believes and professes all the teachings of the Catholic Church, and this profession of the true Faith includes a rejection of the false teachings of Vatican II (“all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive” — Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, June 29, 1976).
During the first prayer of the Canon of the traditional Mass which begins Te igitur, the priest in normal times would recite una cum papa nostro N. (one with our pope N.). What significance does this short phrase convey — una cum, one with? One in faith, one in government, one in the Mass and Sacraments — united — this is the significance! Can a traditional priest honestly recite in the Canon of the Mass that he is una cum John Paul II? In what is he una cum John Paul II? In the Conciliar teachings, in government, in the official New Mass and Sacraments — is he actually una cum?
One last consideration on this subject of sedevacantism is the manner in which all these things have come to pass. When did they take place? How did they take place? This is an area in which sedevacantists themselves differ. Some hold that the papal elections were invalid based on the Bull of Pope Paul IV in 1559, Cum ex apostolatus:
“If ever at any time it appears that... the Roman Pontiff has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy before assuming the papacy, the assumption, done even with the unanimous consent of all the Cardinals, stands null, invalid and void; nor can it be said to become valid, or be held in any way legitimate, or be thought to give to such ones any power of administering either spiritual or temporal matters; but everything said, done and administered by them lacks all force and confers absolutely no authority or right on anyone; and let such ones by that very fact (eo ipso) and without any declaration required to be deprived of all dignity, place, honor, title, authority, office, and power.”
Some sedevacantists quote the Code of Canon Law (1917) in Canon 188 No. 4:
“All offices shall be vacant ipso facto (without a declaration required) by tacit resignation... #4 by public defection from the Catholic Faith.”
Others hold the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine in De Romano Pontifice (Chapter XXX):
“The fifth opinion (regarding a heretical pope) therefore is true; a pope who is a manifest heretic by that fact (per se) ceases to be pope and head (of the Church), just as he by that fact ceases to be a Christian (sic) and a member of the body of the Church. This is the judgment of all the early Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.”
Pope Innocent III as quoted by the theologian Billot in his Tract. de Ecclesia Christi, p. 610:
“The faith is necessary for me to such an extent that, having God as my only judge in other sins, I could however be judged by the Church for sins I might commit in matters of faith.”
Suffice it to say, the issue of the pope is a difficult one, an unpleasant one, and a frightful one; yet it is a necessary and important issue which cannot be avoided.
In conclusion, let it not be said that the sedevacantist rejects the papacy, the primacy, or the Catholic Church. On the contrary it is because of his belief in the papacy, the primacy, the infallibility and the indefectibility of the Catholic Church that he rejects John Paul II and his Conciliar Church.
For the sedevacantist, the Catholic Church cannot and has not failed. The great apostasy predicted by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Thessalonians has taken place:
“Let no one deceive you in any way, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God.... And now you know what restrains him, that he may be revealed in his proper time. For the mystery of iniquity is already at work; provided only that he who is at present restraining it, does still restrain, until he is gotten out of the way. And then the wicked one will be revealed...” (2 Thess. 2:3-8).
Who is this one “who is at present restraining it... until he is gotten out of the way. And then the wicked one will be revealed”? Perhaps Pope Leo XIII has the answer in his Motu Proprio of September 25, 1888, when he wrote in his invocation to St. Michael:
“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”
As is well known, a whole series of articles--and rebuttals--were published in various journals and websites last year at around this time concerning the issue of sedevacantism. The debate received a great deal of attention. My own study of the matter has led me to consider the sedevacantist thesis, something that I am still doing. The upcoming Fatima Conference sponsored by the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen will permit me the opportunity to examine this issue even further. Bishop Pivarunas is himself giving a presentation on the matter. And there is the possibility of a debate about the issue that will take place on Monday, October 16, 2006, which is twenty-eight days to the date and day of the week (Monday) that Karol Cardinal Wojtyla was elected to replace Pope John Paul I. (The debate would feature a well-known advocate of the sedevacantist thesis, Mr. John Lane, and the head of Catholic Apologetics International, Dr. Robert Sungenis, as it stands now from what I have been informed.)
Do I think that the sedevacantist thesis has merit? Yes. That should be fairly obvious by now. Do I have lean in the direction of accepting this thesis? Yes, and that is all I can say for the moment. I studied the matter of the Consecration of Russia for a long time before I concluded after reading The Devil's Final Battle in 2002 that the Consecration had not been done, mindful that my judgment was and remains simply that, a judgment based on the preponderance of evidence. The same sort of study has been underway on the issue of sedevacantism for a lot longer than has been in public view. And though I believe that the conciliar popes may indeed be declared one day by the Church herself to be illegitimate, I full well recognize, as noted above, that others disagree entirely (some holding to private revelations or prophecies about these times).
The principal point that I have been attempting to make in recent months, though, is that we should not be attacking our fellow traditional Catholics who reject the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Missae. We should be focusing on the Modernism emanating from Rome. Sedevacantists are not the problem facing the Church today. The Modernists in clerical garb are the problem facing the Church today.
Archbishop Lefebvre put in this way twenty years ago:
I am not inventing this situation; I do not want it. I would gladly give my life to bring it to an end, but this is the situation we face, unfolding before our eyes like a film in a cinema. I don't think that it has ever happened in the history of the Church, the man seated in the chair of Peter partaking of the worship of false gods.
I, Thomas Droleskey, am not inventing this situation. I am not the one reaffirming people in false religions. I am not the one stating publicly that a Protestant syncretist has attained "eternal joy" after his death. I am not the one who has stated that the civil state can be indifferent to the true religion, Catholicism. I am not the one who has written that there are "Christian churches" outside of the Catholic Church. I am just an unemployed man who lives in a motor home with his wife and daughter, a man who understands, despite his own sins and failings, that Our Lord wants everyone on the face of this earth to be a formal member of the Catholic Church. The conciliarists, ladies and gentlemen, apart from offending God in the manner of the worship offered Him in the Novus Ordo Missae and in the matter of the Deposit of Faith He has Revealed, are failing souls--and thus the good of nations and the world--by refusing to seek with urgency the conversion of both men and their nations to Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Any Catholic who is committed to the fullness of Tradition without compromise has been forced to do novel things in the past forty years. Priests have up and left their dioceses and religious communities to offer the Mass of the ages in independent chapels, something that would indeed be considered an act of true disobedience in normal times. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre publicly consecrated priests as bishops without a papal mandate, once again, something that is truly extraordinary in normal times. Lay Catholics have separated themselves from their parish and diocesan structures entirely. Mind you, I have come to realize in the past five to six years that these are necessary and courageous moves on the part of Catholics committed to the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. In the normal course of the life of the Church Militant on earth, however, these things would be scandalous and without justification. The nature of our situation has resulted in ordinary Catholics doing extraordinary things over the course of forty years. It has also resulted in the consideration of theological propositions that would have seemed preposterous only fifty years ago.
Although I have quoted the passage from Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896, a lot in the last few months, I want to do so once again. I think that it has direct application in our own ecclesiastical circumstances:
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).
"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." Indeed. Men who believe in the Hegelian notions about God and His truth that were propagated by the late Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, including the former Joseph Ratzinger, have done much more than put one drop of poison into the Faith. Their own philosophical approach is steeped in the Modernist mode.
I wrote this over three months ago and I stand by it today:
We are dealing with nothing other than a fundamental rejection of the Catholic Faith as it has been handed down to us. While Our Lord did promise us that the jaws of Hell would never prevail against the Church, He did not say that the adversary would not win a few battles now again, either in our own lives or the larger life of the Church. The final victory belongs to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May we work and pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, keeping close to her through her Most Holy Rosary as we seek out the Faith of our fathers in the catacombs and reject, utterly and completely, everything and anything to do with the Second Vatican Council and the rotten ethos that has corrupted so many souls and thus added to the problems we face in the midst of the world.
The late William C. Koneazny, the very sagacious founder of the Catholic Rendezvous in the Berkshire Mountains who died on June 16, 2004, said, “Our Lady will come and throw the bums out.” May we pray for this day to come as the fruit of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary sooner rather than later.
No matter our different positions, ladies and gentlemen, let us treat each other with Charity and forbearance in these troubling times, trusting entirely in Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as we implore her for the day on which Tradition will be restored in the Church and Christendom in the world as the fruit of her own Triumph that she promised at Fatima. Let us keep her Divine Son company in His Real Presence and be ceaseless in our prayers, especially through the Rosary, to her for Holy Mother Church and for all of our fellow Catholics.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Martha, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us.
Saint Anne, pray for us.
Saint Joachim, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Pope Saint Stephen I, pray for us.
Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.
The Seven Machabees, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.