The truth is the bedrock of sanity. To be very exact, the Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ. If we wish to be His, we must love the truth.
In that light, though I have nothing but respect for Michael Matt, a man who has done more for tradition than I could ever hope to do, I can’t get excited for stories like this one. In it, it is revealed that—shocker— Bergoglio lied that he issued his “motu proprio” in part because the world’s bishops were clamoring for the real Mass to be shut down. They weren’t.
The thing is, any believing Catholic who hasn’t been lobotomized knew it without being told. We knew it from the beginning. One of the best clues that it wasn’t true was that Bergoglio said it was true.
Many efforts to try to “prove” that Bergoglio is incorrect, or heretical, or misinformed, or tyrannical—when they start with the premise that it is worthwhile to try to change his mind and get him to be a good pope— come off as weak, controlled opposition. These efforts fail for at least one of two reasons: 1) he isn’t actually the pope, and therefore must be defied; or, 2) he is a supporter of heresy and schism, and must be resisted every time he exceeds his authority or seeks to harm the Church. Trying to curry favor from him, or hide from him, or beg him to be good, are useless and dispiriting efforts. Let me explain.
I and others before me have tried to explain why the putative abdication of Pope Benedict looks invalid. If it was invalid, Benedict is still pope. It goes without saying that trying to get an antipope to be a more Catholic antipope is pathetic.
But even if the abdication were valid, and the election were valid, and the Pope is not a manifest heretic, it is still OBVIOUS he is an enemy of the Catholic faith as handed down by our fathers. Take the example of the great Mundabor. He is firm in the belief that Bergoglio is pope. But he has no illusions of trying to reform him. Read any four posts on his blog and you’ll see what I mean.
We must submit to the Roman Pontiff, says the bull Unam Sanctam. I believe it, and willingly submit to the true Roman Pontiff, whichever one it is. I am not here saying I know for sure. Consider it, pray about it, and form your own opinion. I just can’t square the actions of Bergoglio, the wording of the putative abdication, the actions of Benedict thereafter, and see how a Bergoglian papacy exists in light of Pastor Aeternus and Christ’s promise to Peter. Even if he is pope and I use all my lawyer tools to parse and explain away the MANY problematic things he has said and done, Unam Sanctam does not stand for the proposition that we must obey the pope when he commands sin or heresy.
Anyway, however you slice it, toadying up to—at best—the worst pope ever, whose actions undermine the Church daily, Has. To. Stop.
Hi, everyone! Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Let’s begin today by considering three paragraphs from that wonderful and reliable catechism,
The Catechism of the Ca the St. Pius X Catechism:
176. (35) Can the Catholic Church be destroyed or perish?
A. No; the Catholic Church may be persecuted, but she can never be destroyed or perish. She will last till the end of the world, because Jesus Christ, as He promised, will be with her till the end of time.
177. (36) Why is the Catholic Church so persecuted?
A. The Catholic Church is so persecuted because even her Divine Founder, Jesus Christ, was thus persecuted, and because she reproves vice, combats the passions, and condemns all acts of injustice and all error.
178. (37) Has a Catholic any other duties towards the Church?
A. Every Catholic ought to have a boundless love for the Church, ought to consider himself infinitely honoured and happy in belonging to her, and ought to labour for her glory and advancement by every means in his power.
The battle we are in will not result in the destruction of the Church. A basic point, but this is one for meditation. As long as at least one Catholic perseveres, the Church perseveres. Christ has guaranteed it.
And you never know but it might be you.
Next up on the agenda, I listened to Ann Barnhardt’s latest podcast and she made some great points about the ability— and NEED— to use the intellectual gifts God gives us to make decisions of conscience about the identity of the pope. Of course we need to do this. I have been guilty myself of saying the lame-dodge-disguised-as-holy-prudence-or-humility phrase “above my pay grade”. Yes, factual conclusions one draw can be incorrect. But one has the moral duty to seek the truth in good faith.
And once one reaches a decision, a real one, in conscience, the moral law requires you to act consistent with the truth. Not choosing is a choice. Not realizing that is either a dodge or paralysis. We need to man up.
To use an example, if you believe Bergoglio is an antipope and that Benedict still reigns, when you pray for the pope you must pray for Benedict. It’s that simple. God knows your heart. If you’ve reached the incorrect conclusion, there is no sin in that. Refusing to find out, to seek, and to accept the correction and authority of the Church, that’s the problem. If you believe a glass has poison, but drink it anyway, you sin. If you think it holds water but it is really poison, you might die, but you commit no sin.
Moving on, a couple of related items:
I was thinking the other day that, after dealing with Bergoglio for 8 years, that I have no problem with any so-called harsh treatment of famous heretics of the past. I mean, I really get it now— they kill souls, which is a magnitude of orders worse than murdering bodies. I pray that those heretics of today who are persecuting the Church will convert and work to repair their damage. Otherwise, let them be justly punished, if they do not convert. And as we are all sinners, and our sins harm the Mystical Body, may we all humbly convert, make reparation, and seek mercy while we may.
So, here is a helpful recap of true things: Only the pope can issue a papal motu proprio that binds the Church. Only the pope can suppress an order. Being excommunicated, placed under interdict, or otherwise being disciplined by an antipope MEANS NOTHING.
NOT EVEN THE TRUE POPE CAN ABROGATE THE TRADITIONAL MASS.
Finally, on a personal note, I have just gotten over the Coof. I don’t want to be dramatic, but let’s just say it was either on the easy side of serious, or the serious side of easy. I thank God that I have a doctor who actually treated me with therapeutic treatments that actually work: ivermectin, quercetin, D, C, zinc, prednisone, antibiotics and other supplements. And thus, I avoided the professional covid medicine political machine and I’m still here.
First sign of symptoms, I just gave it to Our Lady. I didn’t care about outcome after that, except obviously I was cognizant of praying to fulfill my duties of state as husband and father if God wanted that to continue. Like I posted before, I give thanks to Our Blessed Mother in this and all things.
We are all going to die, or else perhaps go through a wild end-of-the-world experience instead/in addition. I think it’s important we don’t worry about the particular vehicle that transports us to our particular judgement. We won’t get special treatment because it’s a virus or something else.
Be glad you are a child of the Church! Seek her glory and advancement everywhere. Be content, be brave!
An anonymous priest has posted an extremely insightful and well-reasoned analysis of the recent “motu proprio” by Bergoglio against the timeless Mass. I rarely do this, but the article is so good that I will also post it in full below. It needs to be read by every Catholic who loves the Church. Not only, and even not principally, is this “motu proprio” an attack on the Mass. It is an attack on the entire doctrine of the Catholic Church, declaring by necessity what they accuse traditionalists of claiming: a definitive rupture of the Church after the Council. Well, this priest says it better than I can, so I’ll stop there, except to say he absolutely nails the three different approaches to interpreting Vatican II (I have put these paragraphs in bold; all other bolds are in the original). See which one you think is right.
Professor Martin Madar has written in La Croix (August 9, 2021) a revealing article concerning the larger project represented by Traditionis Custodes. It bears the title “Pope Francis should correct his predecessor on another point.” The project here is one to which all Catholics, especially bishops, should pay close attention because it reveals what is really at stake in the current debates about the future of the traditional Mass. It is not so much the individual author who matters: he stands in for an ecclesiastical party that is very prominent today; were it otherwise, Catholics outside the ivory tower could just ignore this article and others like it.
Here we have yet another rearguard attempt to achieve the permanent institutionalization of the “hermeneutic of rupture” which Benedict XVI had dedicated his pontificate to combatting. We are told in this article that with his motu proprio, “Francis defended both the liturgical reform of Vatican II and the council’s ecclesiology,” but that “to be more thorough…Francis should correct a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from 2007, which asserts that Vatican II did not change the doctrine on the church.” In the rest of the article we can easily see the point: the author seems to bang his fist on the table and insist, But, yes! Vatican II really did change everything! Nothing can be the same anymore! You can’t believe like they did before the Council and you can’t worship like they did the before the Council! Although the author slams those he calls “Lefebvrists,” it seems not to occur to him that he shares their basic thesis that “Vatican II changed everything,” disagreeing only on whether the change was good or bad.
We shall return later to the attention paid by the author concerning the clarification made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2007 and why he opines that it must be overturned. But first, some general considerations. In Catholicism today there are essentially three ways to grapple with the implications of the Second Vatican Council for the life of the Church going forward.
First, there is the more extreme (which does not necessarily mean false) traditionalist “rupturist” view which identifies outright contradictions between the teaching of Vatican II and that of earlier councils or popes, and which sees this rupture as a bad thing whose possibility can only be explained by the fact that the Council did not define dogmas or invoke the charism of infallibility on its teachings  and was thus theoretically capable of falling into error. In such a thesis, the resulting situation presses hard upon but does not destroy the indefectibility of the Church, which necessarily presupposes continuity in the Church’s (infallible) teachings.
Second, there is the progressivist “rupturist” view, which also sees an essential difference between pre- and post-Vatican II Catholicism, viewing this as a good thing and going so far as to see the Council as a New Pentecost or even, as one might say today, a Great Reset. The putative contradiction between pre-conciliar and post-conciliar teaching on things like ecumenism or religious liberty is not a problem to be solved but a rupture to be celebrated, since it portends the hoped-for change in other doctrinal spheres such as those of sexual morality or women’s ordination. For them, Vatican II opened the door to a new Church and we need to walk right through it and push back hard when anyone tries to shut the door.
Then there is a third view, which emphasizes the fundamental continuity in the Church before and after Vatican II . It takes as its premise the notion that there cannot be a “new” Church; to suggest otherwise is to destroy the very foundations of Catholicism.
The overriding project of the Ratzinger pontificate was to combat “rupturist” ecclesiology. Pope Benedict’s liturgical initiatives—especially Summorum Pontificum—must be seen in this light. Yes, like John Paul II before him, he was also interested in finding the most just pastoral accommodation for the “rightful aspirations” of the “Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition”  and in establishing this pastoral solution on a firm legal basis; yes, he was keenly interested in the question of the liturgy in its own right and saw that the new liturgy itself was not likely to be celebrated reverently, in visible continuity with the historic Roman Rite, unless it were to be infused with the ethos of the old . But even more than that, Benedict XVI wanted concretely to oppose a widespread notion which has become such an unacknowledged assumption of Catholic life over the last half century. As he said in one of his papal audiences: “After the Second Vatican Council some were convinced that everything was new, that there was a different Church, that the pre-conciliar Church was finished and that we had another, totally ‘other’ Church—an anarchic utopianism!” .
Even from his time as cardinal-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger saw clearly that opposition to the pre-Vatican II liturgy was more about opposition to the pre-Vatican II Church than it was about about aesthetics or liturgy as such. He put his finger on the problem when he said:
A sizable party of Catholic liturgists seems to have practically arrived at the conclusion that Luther, rather than Trent, was substantially right in the sixteenth century debate … It is only against this background of the effective denial of the authority of Trent, that the bitterness of the struggle against allowing the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal, after the liturgical reform, can be understood. The possibility of so celebrating constitutes the strongest, and thus (for them) the most intolerable contradiction of the opinion of those who believe that the faith in the Eucharist formulated by Trent has lost its value,” which is why he promoted the practical solution he did: “in order to emphasise that there is no essential break, that there is continuity in the Church, which retains its identity, it seems to me indispensable to continue to offer the opportunity to celebrate according to the old Missal, as a sign of the enduring identity of the Church. 
That is what was, and is, really at stake: the enduring identity of the Church.
This is not to say that those who prefer the New Mass call into question the Church’s defined (and thus irrevocable) Eucharistic doctrines; but it is to say that those who ideologically oppose the traditional Mass do tend to call into question the Church’s defined doctrines. What the new rite expresses obscurely, the old rite expresses limpidly and unmistakably, which is why no one who rejects the dogmas of Trent can feel at home in the old Mass. It must be stamped out if the revolution is to succeed. Those who may prefer the new forms, all the while continuing to adhere to the perennial Catholic religion (unlike the committed neo-modernists), need to understand that the war against the traditional Mass is also a war against the Catholic faith itself.
The “post-conciliar Church” does not have to be a new religion, but the crisis is that its most ardent partisans make it into one, and claim that theirs is the only plausible interpretation. Benedict, again, fought against this tendency, since it undermines the Church’s own self-identity. As he once wrote to the world’s bishops: “Some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life” . Any truly Catholic hermeneutic (rule of interpretation) necessarily has to take this defined principle as its working premise: “That meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding” . That is a dogma of an ecumenical council.
The pressing problem in the Church today, then, is not: Do traditionalists accept Vatican II, but rather: Do the anti-traditionalists accept everything that came before Vatican II?  The common lot of people attending Latin Masses today do “accept Vatican II,” inasmuch as it was legitimately convened and concluded by legitimate popes; yet they are not willing to let “accepting Vatican II” be a pretext or an occasion for rejecting or neglecting what came before Vatican II. And this is the real reason for the rage of the anti-traditionalists.
When Pope Francis states in his letter accompanying Traditionis Custodes that the decision of Pope Benedict to issue Summorum Pontificum “was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre,” he is notoriously misrepresenting the truth. A pope can do many things, but changing history is not one of them. The still-living (!) legislator of Summorum Pontificum has contradicted Francis’s claim. Just a few short years ago, Benedict stated explicitly: “The reauthorization of the Tridentine Mass is often interpreted primarily as a concession to the Society of Saint Pius X. This is just absolutely false! It was important for me that the Church is one with herself inwardly, with her own past; that what was previously holy to her is not somehow wrong now” . Only one of these two popes can be right about his claim, and basic human logic indicates that the one who issued Summorum knows what his own motives actually were.
This is the whole crux of the matter: the Church is one with herself inwardly.
Traditionis Custodes, therefore, does not merely call into question Pope Benedict XVI’s entire theological legacy, but—what is far more serious—calls into question the Church’s own self-understanding. If the premises of Traditionis Custodes are true, then Catholicism loses the inner coherence and historical continuity which are a consequence of the principle of non-contradiction and which are essential to the plausibility of the Church’s claims to be the authorized teacher of divine revelation.
Now, back to that article in La Croix. How does it privilege the hermeneutic of rupture?
The year 2007 must have been a bad year for people like Dr. Madar, because not only was Summorum Pontificum published, but also the lamented document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This is the double sin which Pope Francis must efface if he is to be the dutiful servant of the cause of rupture. Here is how Madar characterizes Benedict’s double sin:
It is hardly an accident that these two documents were issued within days of each other. Rather, they indicate that Pope Benedict was aware of a close connection between the council’s reform of the liturgy and its ecclesiology. Perhaps he was even responding to those who argued that the liturgy had to change because the ecclesiology had changed. What we hear from Benedict via CDF, however, is that the ecclesiology did not really change. Between the lines, the message seems to be that it would not be correct to restrict the use of the unreformed rite on the account that it is incompatible with the council’s ecclesiology and that its use severs the link between the lex orandi (the rule of prayer) and the lex credendi (the rule of belief).
The 2007 responsum from the CDF is noteworthy in several respects. First of all, the document in question is a response to dubia received by the Holy See about some questionable teachings arising in some quarters on the basis of appeals to certain texts of the Council. The Holy Office, acting in concert with the pope, whose duty it is to “confirm thy brethren” in the faith , thus showed itself solicitous to fulfil its role of preserving the unity of the faith. That is why “the Congregation wishes to respond to these questions by clarifying the authentic meaning of some ecclesiological expressions used by the magisterium which are open to misunderstanding in the theological debate” . This approach is obviously a marked contrast to Pope Francis’s persistent refusal even to concede an audience to the Eminent authors of the dubia they submitted concerning the interpretation of Amoris laetitia, and its “expressions…which are open to misunderstanding.”
Second of all, the responsum contains five articles (dubia and responses), whereas Madar only addresses the first one, which rather generically states that the “Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine [concerning the Church].” The dubium had asked, “Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?” Because he is mostly concerned by the “close connection between the liturgical reform of Vatican II and its ecclesiology,” Madar focuses in his article on the “People of God” ecclesiology promoted by Vatican II, supposedly in rupture with the different ecclesiology attributed to the medieval and Tridentine periods.
In fact, however, as the other four articles of the responsum show, the CDF document is not so much concerned with this internal ecclesiological question that so interests Madar (and certainly at different moments in Church history one aspect or the other of the Church’s doctrine concerning herself may have been emphasized), as it is with reasserting the Church’s understanding of her own identity, in contradistinction with non-Catholic bodies, since many people have understood Vatican II as renouncing the traditional idea that the Catholic Church is the “one true Church” founded by Jesus Christ. Though of less concern for the article in La Croix, because the liturgical implications are not as obvious, the question of whether Catholic dogma about the identity of the true Church has changed is obviously essential for addressing the “rupturist” project overall.
The pre-Vatican II doctrine was very clear: as recently as 1950 a pope could teach plainly, “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing” , and recent books like those by Ralph Martin  and Eric Sammons  have shown that the eclipsing of this truth in the minds of Catholics since Vatican II (whether intended or not) has crippled evangelizing efforts. The responsum is trying to address the question of why the Council (in Lumen Gentium 8) used the expression “subsists in,” rather than the more readily understandable “is,” when speaking of the identity of the Catholic Church concretely existing now with the Church founded 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ. (Actually, though, we should not forget that the Council did also use the more conventional word “is” when defining the Church in another document: “The Holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government” .)
The responsum makes clear that the Council’s intention was to find one handy verb which would both reaffirm the identity of the Catholic Church as the Church founded by Christ and teach that certain “elements of sanctification and truth” can be found in communities outside the visible confines of the Church—elements which belong by right to the Catholic Church but which can nonetheless be occasions of grace for those who are non-Catholics in good faith. Without wishing to reopen debates here about whether the subsistit in really was the most opportune way to express these truths (and without judging the success of the CDF’s attempt to justify this change of expression as having “developed, deepened and more fully explained” Catholic teaching), a correct understanding of the point Lumen Gentium is trying to make can be assisted by this insight from Cardinal Newman:
We do not think it necessary to carp at every instance of supernatural excellence among Protestants when it comes before us, or to explain it away; all we know is, that the grace given them is intended ultimately to bring them into the Church, and if it is not tending to do so, it will not ultimately profit them; but we as little deny its presence in their souls as they do themselves; and as the fact is no perplexity to us, it is no triumph to them. 
In other words, on this point, as on others, the optimism of Vatican II can benefit by being tempered by a dose of realism.
What frustrates Madar most about the corrective provided by the CDF in 2007 is the very assertion that Vatican II did not change any doctrine. For him it is important to assert that “the council’s ecclesiology represents a micro-rupture with the preconciliar ecclesiology.” To bolster his desire to overturn forever the supposedly clericalist ecclesiology of the Tridentine era in favor of a more democratic ecclesiology, he appeals to a well-known Notre Dame dissident:
The council’s renewal of liturgy was a logical and necessary follow-up to its renewal of ecclesiology. It could not have been otherwise. As Richard McBrien observes, “How could the council have spoken of the whole Church as the People of God, and then have allowed the Church’s central act of worship to remain a clerical rite, in an unintelligible language, with little or no meaningful role for the rest of the faithful?”
Latin Mass-going Catholics do not object to a theology of the Church drawing on the concept of the People of God, with its traditional biblical resonances. There is no contradiction between an ecclesiology that draws attention to the Church as the People of God and the celebration of the old Mass, which Madar denounces as “clericalist,” even though Vatican II emphasizes that “the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood…differ from one another in essence and not only in degree” . The Old Testament antecedent of the People of God was clearly hierarchical, and this too sheds light on the New Testament Church, as we see in the rich typology of the traditional rites of ordination. So, Latin Mass-going Catholics do not object to the contributions that Vatican II can make to the theology of the Church; what they do object to, as all Catholics must, is the desire of the “rupturists” to banish the ecclesiology of Trent and Vatican I and Leo XIII and Pius XII in order to push a Marxist and overly horizontal interpretation of the People of God, and then on that basis to preclude the celebration of the inherited liturgy.
As one would expect, when Vatican II speaks of the Church as the “new People of God” , it cites a well-known line from the New Testament: “those who believe in Christ…are finally established as ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people…who in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God’” . Protestants had already falsified the import of this verse by overlooking the fact that when God constituted His People under the former alliance, He used almost identical words: “you shall be to me a priestly kingdom, and a holy nation” . When the Lord God constituted the people of Israel, He also gave them their sacred hierarchy, their Temple cult, and their minute and fastidious ritual—a liturgy which La Croix would certainly denounce as “a clerical rite…with little or no meaningful role for the rest of the faithful.” However, the People of God does not exist in opposition to an inherited and carefully articulated liturgy; it is constituted by the possession of such a liturgy!
Even under the New Covenant, priests are also part of the People of God, and Vatican II states, “older [priests] should likewise endeavor to understand the mentality of younger priests, even though it be different from their own” . The sledgehammer approach of Traditionis Custodes seems to indicate that many members of the geriatric Vatican II generation have not made peace with this teaching and that they still recoil unsympathetically in horror from the cassocks and Latin Masses which are part of the natural habitat of the younger clergy today.
The People of God surely also includes the “young persons” referred to by Benedict XVI, who “have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them” . Oddly enough, those who most vociferously promote a democratic view of the Church are often the ones most inclined to defend the clericalist power structure of the Bergoglio Vatican, in which a narrow court of fawning sycophants disregards the sentiments of the “little people” and imposes rigid norms from on high.
Ideologues who have latched onto their own idea of Vatican II are pathologically incapable of responding to Vatican II’s prophetic invitation to read “the signs of the times” . One of those signs is that fact that, since the imposition of the liturgical reform, the overwhelming majority of the “People of God” who were supposed to be the beneficiaries of this new user-friendly liturgy glowingly described in Dr. Madar’s article have in fact stopped coming to Mass at all, and of those who do come, most do not believe in the Real Presence or that the Mass is a true propitiatory sacrifice. On the other hand, another sign of the times is the attraction felt by people born in the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s for a liturgy that connects them to their Catholic past. Does their voice not matter? Are not all sheep worth smelling?
Far from being a threat to the legacy of Vatican II properly understood, the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass provides the visible reaffirmation that the Church is at peace with herself, and it is only in the context of such a pax ecclesiastica—a necessary self-confidence—that any Council can be properly received. The establishment of this peace was the life’s work of Benedict XVI; and far from serving the interests of Vatican II, the hermeneutic of rupture in fact makes its reception untenable. By asking Pope Francis to push this hermeneutic even further, Madar and his ilk are showing their hand and exposing the entire conciliar experiment to failure.
Whether or not Madar and others of his ilk who are trying to push the waning Bergoglio pontificate in an even more explicitly rupturist view like it or not, any renewal in the Church today is going to have to accept as a given not only the “legitimacy” of Vatican II as a validly convened Council, but also the immutability of Catholic doctrine. How precisely the authority of Vatican II fits into this picture is and will be for the foreseeable future a subject of debate among orthodox bishops and theologians. Vatican II was a “real” Council, but was it not in some ways also a “different” type of Council, as both partisans and critics suggest? Since Catholic doctrine precludes that this difference could create a “new” Church (or recover a putatively pure pre-Constantinian Church that had been lost for centuries), it is impossible to appeal to Vatican II to legitimize a rupture with what came immediately before. If there were such a rupture, that would speak against the Council and not in favor of the rupture!
Although Ratzinger himself certainly wanted on the whole to “save” Vatican II with his “hermeneutic of continuity” , he did also hint at the possibility that the only way to integrate Vatican II may also be, in a way, to relativize it, in the sense of receiving it only in relation to the Tradition that came before and not the other way around. As he pointed out already in 1988:
There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of “super-dogma” which takes away the importance of all the rest .
Evaluations will differ as to how effective Pope Benedict’s solution was ever likely to be. By trying to save the conciliar “project,” perhaps he was ultimately trying to fix a gaping wound with a band-aid. Maybe the providential fallout over Traditionis Custodes is that the bishops of the Church, who on the whole are as startled and disoriented as everyone else by Pope Francis’s rigid and unpastoral motu proprio, will start to ask questions that for decades have been preemptively disqualified before the discussion could even begin. Is Vatican II, very much a product of its times, really the most solid basis for renewal in the Church of the twenty-first century? Does its juridical legitimacy as a Council really mean that all its pastoral orientations are effective or that none of its doctrinal formulations may be tainted with ambiguity? Given the catastrophic collapse of every single Catholic indicator over the last fifty years, are we not permitted to ask if there may be some causal relationship between the tree and the fruits? As one American bishop recently observed: “I’d like to point out that there is a difference between accepting the validity of the Second Vatican Council and believing that it has failed in its objectives” .
No Catholic—be he layman, theologian or bishop—should even start to absorb Vatican II until he has, for example, digested the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the great encyclicals of popes like Leo XIII, Pius X and Pius XII, and maybe even spent time with the much maligned classic pre-Vatican II theology manuals . When Vatican II itself tells us that the Council “leaves untouched (integram) traditional Catholic doctrine” , it stands to reason that no one can adequately receive the Council to whom that “traditional Catholic doctrine” is not already second nature. One reason that the “hermeneutic of rupture” has enjoyed so much success and has been undergoing such a quasi-official recrudescence under Pope Francis is that so many of those whose reflexes are soundly Catholic but who simply accept Vatican II as a “given” do not have the solid foundation provided by the anterior doctrinal Tradition of the Church, which would be necessary for them to contextualize Vatican II and to oppose the errors of this hermeneutic of rupture.
Unwittingly, even many of the orthodox have accepted as if by osmosis the idea that Vatican II, unlike any earlier council, really does represent a “new beginning.” Regardless of how sanguine one is about the pastoral reforms of Vatican II or how hesitant one is about the occasional ambiguities in its wordy documents, that is one idea that must absolutely be exorcised if the Church is to survive. There can be no new beginning!
The article in La Croix tells us: “To retire the experiment of Summorum Pontificum more thoroughly, Pope Francis should revisit the question of whether Vatican II changed the doctrine of the church.” But Summorum Pontificum is not the experiment that needs retiring. Articles like Madar’s—and, fundamentally, Traditionis Custodes itself—do more to discredit Vatican II in the eyes of Catholics than even the most strident traditionalist critique, because their premise is one that the Catholic conscience can never accept: the idea that the Church can contradict herself and still be herself.
Madar’s title suggests that one pope should “correct” his predecessor, and this premise is perhaps more correct than he knows. If the Catholic Church is to survive at all—which is a foregone conclusion, given the divine promises—then it is certain that a future pope will have to correct Pope Francis and put to rest forever the progressivist hermeneutic of rupture. For, when a pope needs correction, it is not because he has maintained Tradition but because he has departed from it. That was the criterion employed in the seventh century by Pope Leo II when he condemned his predecessor Pope Honorius, “who did not purify this Apostolic Church by the doctrine of the apostolic tradition, but rather attempted to subvert the immaculate faith by profane treason” and because he “allowed the immaculate rule of the apostolic tradition that he had received from his predecessors to be stained” .
The fact that even relatively feeble reaffirmations of the immutability of Catholic dogma under the Ratzinger pontificate—like in the 2007 CDF document we have been considering or the earlier Dominus Jesus of 2000—still provoke such a state of panic in the “rupturist” class shows that they feel their revolution is in jeopardy as long as there are still reminders of the old religion. They have to change ideas and wipe out everything that reminds people of the old ones, because that is how revolutions work. What every orthodox Catholic needs to understand—even if he personally does not prefer to worship according to the old rite—is that in the bloody civil war tearing apart the Church today, the defence of the traditional liturgy is now the battleline in the defence of the Catholic faith itself, since the traditional liturgy is the visible reminder of the “before” time—the visible reminder that the Church did not begin in 1962.
A. M. D. G.
 The article is behind a paywall.
 In a doctrinal note preceding the conciliar constitution Lumen gentium, an interpretive key is provided by this declaration already given by the Theological Commission of the Council on March 6, 1964: “Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding. The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church’s supreme magisterium, ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ’s faithful according to the mind of the sacred Council. The mind of the Council becomes known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation” (emphasis added). At his general audience on January 12, 1966, after the Council had been closed, Pope Paul VI reiterated this proviso: “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.”
 This view covers something of a spectrum, depending on just how sanguine one is about the contributions of Vatican II or how concerned one is about its “points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church” (John Paul II, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, 5.b, emphasis added). On the one hand, the fact that the teachings of Vatican II are not infallible should not cause one to leap automatically to the conclusion that they are necessarily erroneous. One the other hand, the sheer verbosity of this Council compared to every other Council in history, combined with the fact that it did not define any dogmas or issue any anathemas, with the precise language that both dogmatic definitions and anathemas require, opens the possibility that the Council could here and there contain ambiguities and even quite serious ones—all the more reason to apply to this Council a hermeneutic of continuity (or better yet, a hermeneutic of continuity by means of correction with Tradition), rather than a hermeneutic of rupture. When one encounters an ambiguity without having already absorbed the Tradition, in practice that ambiguity is likely to lead one into error.
 Ecclesia Dei Adflicta (July 2, 1988), 5.c.
 The meaning of the expression “Roman Rite” is very different for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. For Benedict, it is a descriptive term: the Roman Rite as it slowly developed in history and became something that was passed down before being codified at the time of Pope Pius V after the Council of Trent. For Pope Francis, the Roman Rite is a purely juridical reality—something popes can simply create or discard as they see fit. Ratzinger’s view is this: “The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience. … That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile” (“The Organic Development of the Liturgy,” 30 Days, 2004, no. 12), whereas Pope Francis feels able to make the mind-blowing statement that after a continuous usage of centuries, the historic Roman Rite is in 2021 quite simply not part of the Church’s lex credendi. This statement, like others in Traditionis Custodes, is contradicted explicitly by a claim of Ratzinger/Benedict which is much more grounded in reality: “There is no doubt, on the one hand, that a venerable rite such as the Roman rite in use up to 1969 is a rite of the Church, it belongs to the Church, is one of the treasures of the Church, and ought therefore to be preserved in the Church” (Fontgombault Conference, 2001, emphasis added). Since Pope Benedict clearly stated that the old rite “was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted” (letter Con Grande Fiducia, July 7, 2007), this means that Pope Francis is being disingenuous when he speaks of “the decision to suspend the faculty granted by my Predecessors” (emphasis added); in fact, Summorum Pontificum did not simply “grant a faculty” so much as it acknowledged a reality! The ecclesiological—and even ecumenical—implications of the differences between the views of Ratzinger and Bergoglio are striking, because Papa Francesco has an absolutist view of the papacy in which the pope has the power to change even reality and questions of fact. The repugnance with which Orthodox Christians and Protestant “fellow travellers” must regard such a parodied display of papal absolutism is not difficult to imagine. The Vatican II decree on ecumenism states: “All in the Church must preserve unity in essentials. But let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 4).
 General Audience, March 10, 2010.
 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in Alcuin Reid, ed., Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger: Proceedings of the July 2001 Fontgombault Liturgical Conference (Saint Michael’s Abbey Press, 2003), pp. 20 and 149, emphasis added. Luther objected especially to the prayers of the Offertory and the Canon of the Roman Mass, as these prayers unmistakably express Catholic doctrine concerning the sacrificial nature of the Mass. The excision of these prayers in the liturgical reform raises uncomfortable questions.
 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church, March 10, 2009.
 Vatican Council I, Dei Filius, cap. 4, 14.
 One of the tragic ironies of Traditionis Custodes is that Pope Francis, in his quest for unity, focuses on supposed breaches in unity caused by those attached to the traditional Mass but passes over in complete silence the very real disunity coming from the growing schism in Germany, the diversity of pastoral practices occasioned by his own Amoris Laetitia, the scandal of celebrity priests and even some bishops who promote LGBT ideology in rejection of Church teaching, etc. Pope Francis has tolerated or even actively abetted these offenses against unity, something everybody knows, even if many bishops are afraid to acknowledge this publicly. Even if some caustic traditionalists occasionally fall into faults against charity which are unfortunately encouraged by social media, it is not a bad tone which undermines the unity of the Church, but error, since all Catholics are bound to be united in the profession of the same (immutable) faith. To the extent that doctrinal error goes unchecked, to that extent the unity of the Church is undermined.
 Last Testament in His Own Words, Ignatius Press, 2017, pp. 201-202 (emphasis added). Already in 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger had stated: “Personally, I was from the beginning in favour of the freedom to continue using the old Missal, for a very simple reason: people were already beginning to talk about making a break with the pre-conciliar Church, and of developing various models of Church—a preconciliar and obsolete type of Church, and a new and conciliar type of Church. This is at any rate nowadays the slogan of the Lefebvrists, insisting that there are two Churches, and for them the great rupture becomes visible in the existence of two Missals, which are said to be irreconcilable with each other. It seems to me essential, the basic step, to recognise that both Missals are Missals of the Church, and belong to the Church which remains the same as ever” (Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy, pp. 148-9). If anything, Pope Benedict’s decision to liberate the traditional Mass in Summorum Pontificum was, far from being a “concession” to the Society of Saint Pius X, rather a challenge to their way of thinking, with its emphasis on the rupture effected at Vatican II and through the reforms subsequently carried on in its name. One of the ironies of Traditionis Custodes is that, in qualifying the Novus Ordo as the “unique [i.e., only] expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite,” Pope Francis is implying that the reformed liturgy expresses a different theology than that expressed by the liturgy which the Church had used for many centuries—and which the Church had defended against the accusations of heretics. Whereas Pope Benedict made a noble attempt at demonstrating the basic continuity of the Church before and after Vatican II, Pope Francis is implicitly lending comfort to the theses of the more “extreme” traditionalists. If there really is such a rupture, then Pope Francis has perhaps made a very damning admission.
 Luke 22:32.
 Responses to Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church (June 29, 2007), Introduction.
 Pius XII, Humani Generis, 27.
 Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization, Eerdmans, 2012.
 Deadly Indifference: How the Church Lost Her Mission and How We Can Reclaim It, Crisis Publications, 2021.
 Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 2. The external bonds of unity which are constitutive of the true Church mentioned here are globally the same as those specified by Pius XII in his great encyclical on the Church: “Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed” (Mystici Corporis, 22).
 Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, Lecture 3, 5, emphasis added. John Henry Newman has been canonized by Pope Francis himself and is often hailed as a precursor of Vatican II, although many scholars, like Stanley Jaki, dispute this overly facile attribution.
 Lumen Gentium, 10, emphasis added.
 Lumen Gentium, 9.
 I Peter 2:9-10.
 Exodus 19:6.
 Presbyterorum Ordinis, 8.
 Letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007.
 Gaudium et Spes, 4. The Council refers on multiple occasions to the necessity of discerning the “signs of the times.” It is interesting that the Holy See, in a highly clericalist vein, sent its heavily skewed survey about the Latin Mass in 2020 only to the world’s bishops (many of whom said they did not even receive it), as opposed to consulting the People of God in general. (For that matter, while paying lip service to the authority of bishops, Pope Francis in fact ties their hands, as he did in 2016 when taking away their discretion in the erection of clerical and religious societies of diocesan right, in a way that treats bishops more as branch managers of Catholic Church, Inc., than as successors of the Apostles with true jurisdiction over their dioceses.) This strange lacuna goes directly against the teaching of Vatican II: “They [the clergy] must willingly listen to the laity, consider their wants in a fraternal spirit, recognize their experience and competence in the different areas of human activity, so that together with them they will be able to recognize the signs of the times” (Presbyterorum Ordinis, 9). Many lay intellectuals, musicians, architects, students, and parents in the traditional movement have plenty of insights they can share with the hierarchy, in keeping with this invitation extended by Vatican II. The traditional laity would be delighted if Pope Francis and his Curia would “consider their wants in a fraternal spirit.” Whereas Summorum Pontificum made provisions for the faithful to contact their priest, then their bishop, then the Holy See itself in order to find practical ways to facilitate their aspirations, Traditionis Custodes harshly closes the door on the People of God and even orders bishops to see to it that “groups” of such faithful are not even allowed to form!
 In the famous Address to the Curia on December 22, 2005, Benedict uses the expression “‘hermeneutic of reform,’ of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us,” adding that the Church “is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God” (emphasis added), but in 2007 he did also adopt the expression “hermeneutic of continuity” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 3, n. 6).
 Address to the Bishops of Chile, July 13, 1988.
 Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, interview with Catholic World Report, July 27, 2021. On this question of whether an ecumenical council can fail to achieve its goals, Joseph Ratzinger once stated, speaking specifically of Lateran Council V, which preceded the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation by a few years: “Not every valid council in the history of the Church has been a fruitful one; in the last analysis, many of them have been a waste of time,” and the Council he refers to carried on its work “without doing anything effective to prevent the crisis that was happening” (Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 378).
 Rusty Reno, in his article “Theology after the Revolution,” First Things, May 2007, notes that “Ressourcement does not work if students have neither context nor framework in which to place the richness and depth of the tradition … without a standard theology, the Church will lack precisely the sort of internally coherent and widespread theological culture that is necessary for understanding and employing bold new experiments and fruitful recoveries of past traditions.”
 Dignitatis Humanae, 1; the word integram has the sense of whole and entire, undiminished. The context here is Catholic teaching on religious liberty: “Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.” See, for example, the writings of Professor Thomas Pink for one interpretation plausibly seeking continuity between pre-conciliar teaching on religious liberty and the teaching of Dignitatis Humanae.
 Quoted by Claudio Pierantoni in, Lamont and Pierantoni, eds., Defending the Faith Against Present Heresies, Arouca Press, 2021, pp. 237-8, emphasis added.
Cardinal Cupich is mandating FOR HIS PRIESTS the experiemental genetic stews derived from aborted fetal cell lines. You know, the ones that can kill you. To reduce the chance of getting a cold by about 0.8%. A cold that, though admittedly nasty, has a 99.7% survival rate.
No exceptions for conscience or, you know, Catholicsm.
Let that sink in. This is pure evil.
Bishop Zubik did something even worse. He “prohibited” his priests from saying PRIVATE TLMs.
Let that sink in. This is pure evil.
What to do? Pray. Then what?
As Catholics, we may face loss of job, education, friends, access to healthcare and loss of liberty for refusing to participate in the evils these types of people would force on us. As Catholics, we must say to our priests: we expect you to resist as well. We need you to back us up. We need you.
In return, we will back you up. You need us, and never more so than when standing firm for Christ. Together we can better bear the persecution to come.
Jer. 23: 1Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord. 2Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. 3And I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied. 4And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, saith the Lord.
This is one of the few prelate defenders of the Church, perhaps the greatest, whom Bishop Williamson correctly holds up to us as an apostle in the spirit of St. Paul. I could bring myself to edit a word of this lengthy and superlative statement. It nails it completely. Every paragraph is the best part.
Dico vobis quia si hii tacuerint, lapides clamabunt.
I say to you that if these are silent, the stones will cry out.
Traditionis custodes: this is the incipit [“beginning” or “first words”] of the document with which Francis imperiously cancels the previous Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI. The almost mocking tone of the bombastic quotation from Lumen Gentium will not have escaped notice: just when Bergoglio recognizes the Bishops as guardians of the Tradition, he asks them to obstruct its highest and most sacred expression of prayer. Anyone who tries to find within the folds of the text some escamotage [“sleight of hand” or “trickery”] to circumvent the text should know that the draft sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for revision was extremely more drastic than the final text: a confirmation, if ever it were needed, that no particular pressure was needed from of the historical enemies of the Tridentine Liturgy – beginning with the scholars of Sant’Anselmo – to convince His Holiness to try his hand at what he does best: demolishing. Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. [They make a wasteland and call it peace. – Tacitus, Agricola]
The Modus Operandi of Francis
Francis has once again disavowed the pious illusion of the hermeneutic of continuity, stating that the coexistence of the Vetus and Novus Ordois impossible because they are expressions of two irreconcilable doctrinal and ecclesiological approaches. On the one hand there is the Apostolic Mass, the voice of the Church of Christ; on the other there is the Montinian “Eucharistic celebration,” the voice of the conciliar church. And this is not an accusation, however legitimate, made by those who express reservations about the reformed rite and Vatican II. Rather it is an admission, indeed a proud affirmation of ideological adherence on the part of Francis himself, the head of the most extremist faction of progressivism. His dual role as pope and liquidator of the Catholic Church allows him on the one hand to demolish it with decrees and acts of governance, and on the other hand to use the prestige that his office entails to establish and spread the new religionover the rubble of the old one. It matters little if the ways in which he acts against God, against the Church and against the Lord’s flock are in stark conflict with his appeals to parrhesia, to dialogue, to building bridges and not erecting walls: the church of mercy and the field hospital turn out to be empty rhetorical devices, since it ought to be Catholics who benefit from them and not heretics or fornicators. In reality, each of us is well aware that Amoris Laetitia’s indulgence towards public concubinage and adulterers would hardly be imaginable towards those “rigid” ones against whom Bergoglio hurls his darts as soon as he has the opportunity.
After years of this pontificate, we have all understood that the reasons given by Bergoglio for declining a meeting with a Prelate, a politician or a conservative intellectual do not apply to the molester Cardinal, the heretic Bishop, the abortionist politician, or the globalist intellectual. In short, there is a blatant difference in behavior, from which one can grasp the partiality and partisanship of Francis in favor of any ideology, thought, project, scientific, artistic or literary expression that is not Catholic. Anything that even only vaguely evokes anything Catholic seems to arouse in the tenant of Santa Marta an aversion that is disconcerting to say the least, if only in virtue of the Throne on which he is seated. Many have noted this dissociation, this sort of bipolarity of a pope who does not behave like a Pope and does not speak like a Pope. The problem is that we are not faced with a sort of inaction from the Papacy, as could happen with a sick or very old Pontiff; but rather with a constant action that is organized and planned in a sense diametrically opposed to the very essence of the Papacy. Not only does Bergoglio not condemn the errors of the present time by strongly reaffirming the Truth of the Catholic Faith – he has never done this! – but he actively seeks to disseminate these errors, to promote them, to encourage their supporters, to spread them to the greatest possible extent and to host events promoting them in the Vatican, simultaneously silencing those who denounce these same errors. Not only does he not punish fornicating Prelates, but he even promotes and defends them by lying, while he removes conservative Bishops and does not hide his annoyance with the heartfelt appeals of Cardinals not aligned with the new course. Not only does he not condemn abortionist politicians who proclaim themselves Catholics, but he intervenes to prevent the Episcopal Conference from pronouncing on this matter, contradicting that synodal path which conversely allows him to use a minority of ultra-progressives to impose his will on the majority of the Synod Fathers.
The one constant of this attitude, noted in its most brazen and arrogant form in Traditionis Custodes, is duplicity and lies. A duplicity that is a facade, of course, daily disavowed by positions that are anything but prudent in favor of a very specific group, which for the sake of brevity we can identify with the ideological Left, indeed with its most recent evolution in a globalist, ecologist, transhuman and LGBTQ key. We have come to the point that even simple people with little knowledge of doctrinal issues understand that we have a non-Catholic pope, at least in the strict sense of the term. This poses some problems of a canonical nature that are not inconsiderable, which it is not up to us to solve but which sooner or later will have to be addressed.
Another significant element of this pontificate, taken to its extreme consequences with Traditionis Custodes, is Bergoglio’s ideological extremism: an extremism that is deplored in words when it concerns others, but which shows itself in its most violent and ruthless expression when it is he himself who puts it into practice against clergy and laity connected to the ancient rite and faithful to Sacred Tradition. Towards the Society of Saint Pius X he shows himself willing to make concessions and to establish a relationship as “good neighbors,” but towards the poor priests and faithful who have to endure a thousand humiliations and blackmail in order to beg for a Mass in Latin, he shows no understanding, no humanity. This behavior is not accidental: Archbishop Lefebvre’s movement enjoys its own autonomy and economic independence, and for this reason it has no reason to fear retaliation or commissioners from the Holy See. But the Bishops, priests and clerics incardinated in dioceses or religious Orders know that hanging over them is the sword of Damocles of removal from office, dismissal from the ecclesiastical state, and the deprivation of their very means of subsistence.
The Experience of the Tridentine Mass in Priestly Life
Those who have had the opportunity to follow my speeches and declarations know well what my position is on the Council and on the Novus Ordo; but they also know what my background is, my curriculum in the service of the Holy See and my relatively recent awareness of the apostasy and the crisis in which we find ourselves. For this reason, I would like to reiterate my understanding for the spiritual path of those who, precisely because of this situation, cannot or are not yet able to make a radical choice, such as celebrating or attending exclusively the Mass of St. Pius V. Many priests discover the treasures of the venerable Tridentine Liturgy only when they celebrate it and allow themselves to be permeated by it, and it is not uncommon for an initial curiosity towards the “extraordinary form” – certainly fascinating due to the solemnity of the rite – to change quickly into the awareness of the depth of the words, the clarity of the doctrine, the incomparable spirituality that it gives birth to and nourishes in our souls. There is a perfect harmony that words cannot express, and that the faithful can understand only in part, but which touches the heart of the Priesthood as only God can. This can be confirmed by my confreres who have approached the usus antiquior after decades of obedient celebration of the Novus Ordo: a world opens up, a cosmos that includes the prayer of the Breviary with the lessons of Matins and the commentaries of the Fathers, the cross-references to the texts of the Mass, the Martyrology in the Hour of Prime… They are sacred words – not because they are expressed in Latin – but rather they are expressed in Latin because the vulgate language would demean them, would profane them, as Dom Guéranger wisely observed. These are the words of the Bride to the divine Bridegroom, words of the soul that lives in intimate union with God, of the soul that lets itself be inhabited by the Most Holy Trinity. Essentially priestly words, in the deepest sense of the term, which implies in the Priesthood not only the power to offer sacrifice, but to unite in self-offering to the pure, holy and immaculate Victim. It has nothing to do with the ramblings of the reformed rite, which is too intent on pleasing the secularized mentality to turn to the Majesty of God and the Heavenly Court; so preoccupied with making itself understandable that one has to give up on communicating anything but trivial obviousness; so careful not to hurt the feelings of heretics as to allow itself to keep silent about the Truth just at the moment in which the Lord God makes himself present on the altar; so fearful of asking the faithful for the slightest commitment as to trivialize the sacred song and any artistic expression linked to worship. The simple fact that Lutheran pastors, modernists and well-known Freemasons collaborated in the drafting of that rite should make us understand, if not the bad faith and willful misconduct, at least the horizontal mentality, devoid of any supernatural impetus, which motivated the authors of the so-called “liturgical reform” – who, as far as we know, certainly did not shine with the sanctity with which the sacred authors of the texts of the ancient Missale Romanum and of the entire liturgical corpus shine.
How many of you priests – and certainly also many lay people – in reciting the wonderful verses of the Pentecost sequence were moved to tears, understanding that your initial predilection for the traditional liturgy had nothing to do with a sterile aesthetic satisfaction, but had evolved into a real spiritual necessity, as indispensable as breathing? How can you and how can we explain to those who today would like to deprive you of this priceless good, that that blessed rite has made you discover the true nature of your Priesthood, and that from it and only from it are you able to draw strength and nourishment to face the commitments of your ministry? How can you make it clear that the obligatory return to the Montinian rite represents an impossible sacrifice for you, because in the daily battle against the world, the flesh and the devil it leaves you disarmed, prostrate and without strength?
It is evident that only those who have not celebrated the Mass of St. Pius V can consider it as an annoying tinsel of the past, which can be done without. Even many young priests, accustomed to the Novus Ordo since their adolescence, have understood that the two forms of the rite have nothing in common, and that one is so superior to the other as to reveal all its limits and criticisms, to the point of making it almost painful to celebrate. It is not a question of nostalgia, of a cult of the past: here we are speaking of the life of the soul, its spiritual growth, ascesis and mysticism. Concepts that those who see their priesthood as a profession cannot even understand, just as they cannot understand the agony that a priestly soul feels in seeing the Eucharistic Species desecrated during the grotesque rites of Communion in the era of the pandemic farce.
The reductive vision of the liberalization of the mass
This is why I find it extremely unpleasant to have to read in Traditionis Custodes that the reason why Francis believes that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was promulgated fourteen years ago lay only in the desire to heal the so-called schism of Archbishop Lefebvre. Of course, the “political” calculation may have had its weight, especially at the time of John Paul II, even if at that time the faithful of the Society of Saint Pius X were few in number. But the request to be able to restore citizenship to the Mass which for two millennia nourished the holiness of the faithful and gave the sap of life to Christian civilization cannot be reduced to a contingent fact.
With his Motu Proprio, Benedict XVI restored the Roman Apostolic Mass to the Church, declaring that it had never been abolished. Indirectly, he admitted that there was an abuse by Paul VI, when in order to give authority to his rite he ruthlessly forbade the celebration of the traditional Liturgy. And even if in that document there may be some incongruent elements, such as the coexistence of the two forms of the same rite, we can believe that these have served to allow for the diffusion of the extraordinary form, without affecting the ordinary one. In other times, it would have seemed incomprehensible to let a Mass steeped in misunderstandings and omissions to be celebrated, when the authority of the Pontiff could have simply restored the ancient rite. But today, with the heavy burden of Vatican II and with the now widespread secularized mentality, even the mere liceity of celebrating the Tridentine Mass without permission can be considered an undeniable good – a good that is visible to all due to the abundant fruits it brings to the communities where it is celebrated. And we can also believe that it would have brought even more fruits if only Summorum Pontificum had been applied in all its points and with a spirit of true ecclesial communion.
The alleged “instrumental use” of the roman missal
Francis knows well that the survey taken among Bishops all over the world did not yield negative results, although the formulation of the questions made clear what answers he wanted to receive. That consultation was a pretext, in order to make people believe that the decision he made was inevitable and the fruit of a choral request from the Episcopate. We all know that if Beroglio wants to obtain a result, he does not hesitate to resort to force, lies, and sleight of hand: the events of the last Synods have demonstrated this beyond all reasonable doubt, with the Post-Synodal Exhortation drafted even before the vote on the Instrumentum Laboris. Also in this case, therefore, the pre-established purpose was the abolition of the Tridentine Mass and the prophasis, that is, the apparent excuse, had to be the supposed “instrumental use of the Roman Missal of 1962, often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of Vatican Council II itself” (here). In all honesty, one can perchance accuse the Society of Saint Pius X of this instrumental use, which has every right to affirm what each of us knows well, that the Mass of Saint Pius V is incompatible with post-conciliar ecclesiology and doctrine. But the Society is not affected by the Motu Proprio, and has always celebrated using the 1962 Missal precisely by virtue of that inalienable right which Benedict XVI recognized, which was not created ex nihilo in 2007.
The diocesan priest who celebrates Mass in the church assigned to him by the Bishop, and who every week must undergo the third degree through the accusations of zealous progressive Catholics only because he has dared to recite the Confiteor prior to administering Communion to the faithful, knows very well that he cannot speak ill of the Novus Ordo or Vatican II, because at the first syllable he would already be summoned to the Curia and sent to a parish church lost in the mountains. That silence, always painful and almost always perceived by everyone as more eloquent than many words, is the price he has to pay in order to have the possibility of celebrating the Holy Mass of all time, in order not to deprive the faithful of the Graces that it pours down upon the Church and the world. And what is even more absurd is that while we hear it said with impunity that the Tridentine Mass ought to be abolished because it is incompatible with the ecclesiology of Vatican II, as soon as we say the same thing – that is, that the Montinian Mass is incompatible with Catholic ecclesiology – we are immediately made the object of condemnation, and our affirmation is used as evidence against us before the revolutionary tribunal of Santa Marta.
I wonder what sort of spiritual disease could have struck the Shepherds in the last few decades, in order to lead them to become, not loving fathers but ruthless censors of their priests, officials constantly watching and ready to revoke all rights in virtue of a blackmail that they do not even try to conceal. This climate of suspicion does not in the least contribute to the serenity of many good priests, when the good they do is always placed under the lens of functionaries who consider the faithful linked to the Tradition as a danger, as an annoying presence to be tolerated so long as it does stand out too much. But how can we even conceive of a Church in which the good is systematically hindered and whoever does it is viewed with suspicion and kept under control? I therefore understand the scandal of many Catholics, faithful, and not a few priests in the face of this “shepherd who instead of smelling his sheep, angrily beats them with a stick”(here).
The misunderstanding of being able to enjoy a right as if it were a gracious concession may also be found in public affairs, where the State permits itself to authorize travel, school lessons, the opening of activities and the performance of work, as long as one undegoes inoculation with the experimental genetic serum. Thus, just as the “extraordinary form” is granted on the condition of accepting the Council and the reformed Mass, so also in the civil sphere the rights of citizens are granted on the condition of accepting the pandemic narrative, the vaccination, and tracking systems. It is not surprising that in many cases it is precisely priests and Bishops – and Bergoglio himself – who ask that people be vaccinated in order to access the Sacraments – the perfect synchrony of action on both sides is disturbing to say the least.
But where then is this instrumental use of the Missale Romanum? Should we not rather speak of the instrumental use of the Missal of Paul VI, which – to paraphrase Bergoglio’s words – is ever more characterized by a growing rejection not only of the pre-conciliar liturgical tradition but of all the Ecumenical Councils prior to Vatican II? On the other hand, is it not precisely Francis who considers as a threat to the Council the simple fact that a Mass may be celebrated which repudiates and condemns all the doctrinal deviations of Vatican II?
Never in the history of the Church did a Council or a liturgical reform constitute a point of rupture between what came before and what came after! Never in the course of these two millennia have the Roman Pontiffs deliberately drawn an idelogical border between the Church that preceded them and the one they had to govern, cancelling and contradicting the Magisterium of their Predecessors! The before and after, instead, became an obsession, both of those who prudently insinuated doctrinal errors behind equivocal expressions, as well as of those who – with the boldness of those who believe that they have won, propagated Vatican II as “the 1789 of the Church,” as a “prophetic” and “revolutionary” event. Before 7 July 2007, in response to the spread of the traditional rite, a well-known pontifical master of ceremonies replied piquedly: “There is no going back!” And yet apparently with Francis one can go back on the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum – and how! – if it serves to preserve power and to prevent the Good from spreading. It is a slogan which sinisterly echoes the cry of “Nothing will be as it was before” of the pandemic farce.
Francis’ admission of an alleged division between the faithful linked to the Tridentine liturgy and those who largely out of habit or resignation have adapted to the reformed liturgy is revealing: he does not seek to heal this division by recognizing full rights to a rite that is objectively better with respect to the Montinian rite, but precisely in order to prevent the ontological superiority of the Mass of Saint Pius V from becoming evident, and to prevent the criticisms of the reformed rite and the doctrine it expresses from emerging, he prohibits it, he labels it as divisive, he confines it to Indian reservations, trying to limit its diffusion as much as possible, so that it will disappear completely in the name of the cancel culture of which the conciliar revolution was the unfortunate forerunner. Not being able to tolerate that the Novus Ordo and Vatican II emerge inexorably defeated by their confrontation with the Vetus Ordo and the perennial Catholic Magisterium, the only solution that can be adopted is to cancel every trace of Tradition, relegating it to the nostalgic refuge of some irreducible octogenarian or a clique of eccentrics, or presenting it – as a pretext – as the ideological manifesto of a minority of fundamentalists. On the other hand, constructing a media version consistent with the system, to be repeated ad nauseam in order to indoctrinate the masses, is the recurring element not only in the ecclesiastical sphere but also in the political and civil sphere, so that it appears with disconcerting evidence that the deep church and deep state are nothing other than two parallel tracks which run in the same direction and have as their final destination the New World Order, with its religion and its prophet.
The division is there, obviously, but it does not come from good Catholics and clergy who remain faithful to the doctrine of all time, but rather from those who have replaced orthodoxy with heresy and the Holy Sacrifice with a fraternal agape. That division is not new today, but dates back to the Sixties, when the “spirit of the Council,” openness to the world and inter-religious dialogue turned two thousand years of Catholicity into straw and revolutionized the entire ecclesial body, persecuting and ostracizing the refractory. Yet that division, accomplished by bringing doctrinal and liturgical confusion into the heart of the Church, did not seem so deplorable then; while today, in full apostasy, they are paradoxically considered divisive who ask, not for the explicit condemnation of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, but simply the tolerance of the Mass “in the extraordinary form” in the name of the much-vaunted multifaceted pluralism.
Significantly, even in the civilized world the protection of minorities is valid only when they serve to demolish traditional society, while such protection is ignored when it would guarantee the legitimate rights of honest citizens. And it has become clear that under the pretext of the protection of minorities the only intention was to weaken the majority of the good, while now that the majority is made up of those who are corrupt, the minority of the good can be crushed without mercy: recent history does not lack illuminating precdents in this regard.
The tyrannical nature of Traditionis custodes
In my opinion, it is not so much this or that point of the Motu Proprio that is disconcerting, but rather its overall tyrannical nature accompanied by a substantial falsity of the arguments put forward to justify the decisions imposed. Scandal is also given by the abuse of power by an authority that has its own raison d’etre not in impeding or limiting the Graces that are bestowed on its adherents through the Church but rather in promoting those Graces; not in taking away Glory from the Divine Majesty with a rite that winks at the Protestants but rather in rendering that Glory perfectly; not in sowing doctrinal and moral errors but rather in condemning and eradicating them. Here too, the parallel with what takes place in the civil world is all too evident: our rulers abuse their power just as our Prelates do, imposing norms and limitations in violation of the most basic principles of law. Furthermore, it is precisely those who are constituted in authority, on both fronts, who often avail themselves of a mere de facto recognition by the rank and file – citizens and faithful – even when the methods by which they have taken power violate, if not the letter, then at least the spirit of the law. The case of Italy – in which a non-elected Government legislates on the obligation to be vaccinated and on the green pass, violating the Italian Constitution and the natural rights of the Italian people – does not seem very dissimilar to the situation in which the Church finds herself, with a resigned Pontiff replaced by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, chosen – or at least appreciated and supported – by the Saint Gallen Mafia and the ultra-progressive Episcopate. It remains obvious that there is a profound crisis of authority, both civil and religious, in which those who exercise power do so contrary to those whom they are supposed to protect, and above all contrary to the purpose for which that authority has been established.
Analogies between the deep church and the deep state
I think that it has been understood that both civil society and the Church suffer from the same cancer that struck the former with the French Revolution and the latter with the Second Vatican Council: in both cases, Masonic thought is at the foundation of the systematic demolition of the institution and its replacement with a simulacrum that maintains its external appearances, hierarchical structure, and coercive force, but with purposes diametrically opposed to those it ought to have.
At this point, citizens on the one hand and the faithful on the other find themselves in the condition of having to disobey earthly authority in order obey divine authority, which governs Nations and the Church. Obviously the “reactionaries” – that is, those who do not accept the perversion of authority and want to remain faithful to the Church of Christ and to their Homeland – constitute an element of dissent that cannot be tolerated in any way, and therefore they must be discredited, delegitimized, threatened and deprived of their rights in the name of a “public good” that is no longer the bonum commune but its contrary. Whether accused of conspiracy theories, traditionalism, or fundamentalism, these few survivors of a world that they want to make disappear constitutes a threat to the accomplishment of the global plan, just at the most crucial moment of its realization. This is why power is reacting in such an open, brazen, and violent way: the evidence of the fraud risks being understood by a greater number of people, of bringing them together in an organized resistance, of breaking down the wall of silence and ferocious censorship imposed by the mainstream media.
We can therefore understand the violence of the reactions of authority and prepare ourselves for a strong and determined opposition, continuing to avail ourselves of those rights that have been abusively and illicitly denied us. Of course, we may find ourselves having to exercise those rights in an incomplete way when we are denied the opportunity to travel if we do not have our green pass or if the Bishop prohibits us from celebrating the Mass of all time in a church in his Diocese, but our resistance to abuses of authority will still be able to count on the Graces that the Lord will not cease to grant us – in particular the virtue of Fortitude that is so indispensable in times of tyranny.
The normality that frightens
If on the one had we can see how the persecution of dissenters is well-organized and planned, on the other hand we cannot fail to recognize the fragmentation of the opposition. Bergoglio knows well that every movement of dissent must be silenced, above all by creating internal division and isolating priests and the faithful. A fruitful and fraternal collaboration between diocesan clergy, religious, and the Ecclesia Dei institutes is something he must avert, because it would permit the diffusion of a knowledge of the ancient rite, as well as a precious help in the ministry. But this would mean making the Tridentine Mass a “normality” in the daily life of the faithful, something that is not tolerable for Francis. For this reason, diocesan clergy are left at the mercy of their Ordinaries, while the Ecclesia Dei Institutes are placed under the authority of the Congregation of Religious, as a sad prelude to a destiny that has already been sealed. Let us not forget the fate that befell the flourishing religious Orders, guilty of being blessed with numerous vocations born and nurtured precisely thanks to the hated traditional Liturgy and the faithful observance of the Rule. This is why certain forms of insistence on the ceremonial aspect of the celebrations risk legitimizing the provisions of the commissar and play Bergoglio’s game.
Even in the civil world, it is precisely by encouraging certain excesses by the dissenters that those in power marginalize them and legitimize repressive measures towards them: just think of the case of the no-vax movements and how easy it is to discredit the legitimate protests of citizens by emphasizing the eccentricities and inconsistencies of a few. And it is all too easy to condemn a few agitated people who out of exasperation set fire to a vaccine center, overshadowing millions of honest persons who take to the streets in order not to be branded with the health passport or fired if they do not allow themselves to be vaccinated.
Do not stay isolated and disorganized
Another important element for all of us is the necessity of giving visibility to our composed protest and ensuring a form of coordination for public action. With the abolition of Summorum Pontificum we find ourselves taken back twenty years. This unhappy decision by Bergoglio to cancel the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict is doomed to inexorable failure, because it touches the very soul of the Church, of which the Lord Himself is Pontiff and High Priest. And it is not a given that the entire Episcopate – as we are seeing in the last few days with relief – will be willing to passively submit to forms of authoritarianism that certainly do not contribute to bringing peace to souls. The Code of Canon Law guarantees the Bishops the possibility of dispensing their faithful from particular or universal laws, under certain conditions. Secondly, the people of God have well understood the subversive nature of Traditionis Custodes and are instinctively led to want to get to know something that arouses such disapproval among progressives. Let us not be surprised therefore if we soon begin to see the faithful coming from ordinary parish life and even those far from the Church finding their way to the churches where the traditional Mass is celebrated. It will be our duty, whether as Ministers of God or as simple faithful, to show firmness and serene resistance to such abuse, walking along the way of our own little Calvary with a supernatural spirit, while the new high priests and scribes of the people mock us and label us as fanatics. It will be our humility, the silent offering of injustices toward us, and the example of a life consistent with the Creed that we profess that will merit the triumph of the Catholic Mass and the conversion of many souls. And let us remember that, since we have received much, much will be demanded of us.
Restitutio in integrum
What father among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent instead? (Lk 11:11-12). Now we can understand the meaning of these words, considering with pain and torment of heart the cynicism of a father who gives us the stones of a soulless liturgy, the serpents of a corrupted doctrine, and the scorpions of an adulterated morality. And who reaches the point of dividing the flock of the Lord between those who accept the Novus Ordo and those who want to remain faithful to the Mass of our fathers, exactly as civil rulers are pitting the vaccinated and unvaccinated against one another.
When Our Lord entered Jerusalem seated on a donkey’s colt, while the crowd was spreading cloaks as He passed, the Pharisees asked Him: “Master, rebuke your disciples.” The Lord answered them: “I say to you that if these are silent, the stones will cry out” (Lk 19:28-40). For sixty years the stones of our churches have been crying out, from which the Holy Sacrifice has been twice proscribed. The marble of the altars, the columns of the basilicas, and the soaring vaults of the cathedrals cry out as well, because those stones, consecrated to the worship of the true God, today are abandoned and deserted, or profaned by abhorrent rites, or transformed into parking lots and supermarkets, precisely as a result of that Council that we insist on defending. Let us also cry out: we who are living stones of the temple of God. Let us cry with faith to the Lord, so that he may give a voice to His disciples who today are mute, and so that the intolerable theft for which the administrators of the Lord’s Vineyard are responsible may be repaired.
But in order for that theft to be repaired, it is necessary that we show ourselves to be worthy of the treasures that have been stolen from us. Let us try to do this by our holiness of life, by giving example of the virtues, by prayer and the frequent reception of the Sacraments. And let us not forget that there are hundreds of good priests who still know the meaning of the Sacred Unction by which they have been ordained Ministers of Christ and dispensers of the Mystery of God. The Lord deigns to descend on our altars even when they are erected in cellars or attics. Contrariisquibuslibet minime obstantibus [Anything to the contrary notwithstanding].
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
28 July 2021
Ss. Nazarii et Celsi Martyrum,
Victoris I Papae et Martyris ac
Innocentii I Papae et Confessoris
 They make a wasteland and call it peace. – Tacitus, Agricola
A beautiful video, lots of familiar faces. Strange times we live in where we beg Catholic bishops to let Catholics go to Catholic Mass. But still. A worthy effort worth watching.
As a bonus, seemingly out of nowhere, I will also leave you with this entry from the Catechism of St. Pius X on the Church:
The Church in Particular
149. (8) What is the Catholic Church?
A. The Catholic Church is the Union or Congregation of all the baptised who, still living on earth, profess the same Faith and the same Law of Jesus Christ, participate in the same Sacraments, and obey their lawful Pastors, particularly the Roman Pontiff.
150. (9) State distinctly what is necessary to be a member of the Church?
A. To be a member of the Church it is necessary to be baptised, to believe and profess the teaching of Jesus Christ, to participate in the same Sacraments, and to acknowledge the Pope and the other lawful pastors of the Church.
151. (10) Who are the lawful pastors of the Church?
A. The lawful pastors of the Church are the Roman Pontiff, that is, the Pope, who is Supreme Pastor, and the Bishops. Other priests, also, and especially Parish Priests, have a share in the pastoral office, subject to the Bishop and the Pope.
152. (11) Why do you say that the Roman Pontiff is supreme Pastor of the Church?
A. Because Jesus Christ said to St. Peter, the first Pope: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in Heaven.” And again: “Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.”
153. (12) The many societies of persons who are baptised but who do not acknowledge the Roman Pontiff as their Head do not, then, belong to the Church of Jesus Christ?
A. No, those who do not acknowledge the Roman Pontiff as their Head do not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.
154. (13) How can the Church of Jesus Christ be distinguished from the numerous societies or sects founded by men, and calling themselves Christian?
A. From the numerous societies or sects founded by men and calling themselves Christian, the Church of Jesus Christ is easily distinguished by four marks: She is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
155. (14) Why is the Church called One?
A. The true Church is called One, because her children of all ages and places are united together in the same faith, in the same worship, in the same law; and in participation of the same Sacraments, under the same visible Head, the Roman Pontiff.
156. (15) Can there not be several Churches?
A. No, there cannot be more than one Church; for as there is but one God, one Faith and one Baptism, there is and can be but one true Church.
157. (16) But are not the faithful of a whole Nation or Diocese also called a Church?
A. The faithful of a whole Nation or Diocese are also called a Church, but they ever remain mere parts of the Universal Church and form but one Church with her.
158. (17) Why is the true Church called Holy?
A. The true church is called Holy because holy is her Invisible Head, Jesus Christ; holy are many of her members; holy are her faith, her laws, her Sacraments; and outside of her there is not and cannot be true holiness.
159. (18) Why is the Church called Catholic?
A. The true Church is called Catholic, or Universal, because she embraces the faithful of all times, of all places, of all ages and conditions; and all peoples are called to belong to her.
160. (19) Why is the Church also called Apostolic?
A. The true Church is also called Apostolic because she goes back without a break to the Apostles; because she believes and teaches all that the Apostles believed and taught; and because she is guided and governed by their lawful successors.
161. (20) And why is the true Church called Roman?
A. The true Church is called Roman, because the four marks of Unity, Sanctity, Catholicity and Apostolicity are found in that Church alone which acknowledges as Head the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter.
162. (21) What is the constitution of the Church of Jesus Christ?
A. The Church of Jesus Christ has been constituted as a true and perfect Society; and in her we can distinguish a soul and a body.
163. (22) In what does the Soul of the Church consist?
A. The Soul of the Church consists in her internal and spiritual endowments, that is, faith, hope, charity, the gifts of grace and of the Holy Ghost, together with all the heavenly treasures which are hers through the merits of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and of the Saints.
164. (23) In what does the Body of the Church consist?
A. The Body of the Church consists in her external and visible aspect, that is, in the association of her members, in her worship, in her teaching-power and in her external rule and government.
165. (24) To be saved, is it enough to be any sort of member of the Catholic Church?
A. No, to be saved it is not enough to be any sort of member of the Catholic Church; it is necessary to be a living member.
166. (25) Who are the living members of the Church?
A. The living members of the Church are the just, and the just alone, that is, those who are actually in the grace of God.
167. (26) And who are the dead members?
A. The dead members of the Church are the faithful in mortal sin.
168. (27) Can one be saved outside the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church?
A. No, no one can be saved outside the Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church, just as no one could be saved from the flood outside the Ark of Noah, which was a figure of the Church.
169. (28) How, then, were the Patriarchs of old, the Prophets, and the other just men of the Old Testament, saved?
A. The just of the Old Testament were saved in virtue of the faith they had in Christ to come, by means of which they spiritually belonged to the Church.
170. (29) But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?
A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best he can such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation
171. (30) Suppose that a man is a member of the Catholic Church, but does not put her teaching into practice, will he be saved?
A. He who is a member of the Catholic Church and does not put her teaching into practice is a dead member, and hence will not be saved; for towards the salvation of an adult not only Baptism and faith are required, but, furthermore, works in keeping with faith.
172. (31) Are we obliged to believe all the truths the Church teaches us?
A. Yes, we are obliged to believe all the truths the Church teaches us, and Jesus Christ declares that he who does not believe is already condemned.
173. (32) Are we also obliged to do all that the Church commands?
A. Yes, we are obliged to do all that the Church commands, for Jesus Christ has said to the Pastors of the Church: “He who hears you, hears Me, and he who despises you, despises Me.”
174. (33) Can the Church err in what she proposes for our belief?
A. No, the Church cannot err in what she proposes for our belief, since according to the promise of Jesus Christ she is unfailingly assisted by the Holy Ghost.
175. (34) Is the Catholic Church infallible, then?
A. Yes, the Catholic Church is infallible, and hence those who reject her definitions lose the faith and become heretics.
176. (35) Can the Catholic Church be destroyed or perish?
A. No; the Catholic Church may be persecuted, but she can never be destroyed or perish. She will last till the end of the world, because Jesus Christ, as He promised, will be with her till the end of time.
177. (36) Why is the Catholic Church so persecuted?
A. The Catholic Church is so persecuted because even her Divine Founder, Jesus Christ, was thus persecuted, and because she reproves vice, combats the passions, and condemns all acts of injustice and all error.
178. (37) Has a Catholic any other duties towards the Church?
A. Every Catholic ought to have a boundless love for the Church, ought to consider himself infinitely honoured and happy in belonging to her, and ought to labour for her glory and advancement by every means in his power.
Due not only to his standing among faithful prelates, but also because of my great personal respect for His Eminence, I am happy to draw your attention to Cardinal Burke’s statement on the unjust attack on the Mass perpetrated by those running the Vatican. It is, not surprisingly, very good, and a comfort for the sheep now being ravened by the Bergoglian wolves. Lots of good stuff, and the whole thing merits careful reading.
Of course, His Eminence writes from the premise that Bergoglio is the reigning pope (though he does a bit of word play in ambiguity, speaking from my first read, in that he says he is in union with “the Roman Pontiff”, but does not name him. For my part, I have no doubt His Eminence is in communion with the Roman Pontiff). In any event, the money quote from the leading canonist in the hierarchy today is important for the consciences of those who may very well be forced to defend their right to the Mass in the face of threatened excommunication (should Bergoglio actually be pope). Cardinal Burke opines that a true pope’s supreme legislative authority would not allow him to abrogate the timeless Mass:
15. But can the Roman Pontiff juridically abrogate the UA? The fullness of power (plenitudo potestatis) of the Roman Pontiff is the power necessary to defend and promote the doctrine and discipline of the Church. It is not “absolute power” which would include the power to change doctrine or to eradicate a liturgical discipline which has been alive in the Church since the time of Pope Gregory the Great and even earlier. The correct interpretation of Article 1 cannot be the denial that the UA is an ever-vital expression of “the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” Our Lord Who gave the wonderful gift of the UA will not permit it to be eradicated from the life of the Church.
16. It must be remembered that, from a theological point of view, every valid celebration of a sacrament, by the very fact that it is a sacrament, is also, beyond any ecclesiastical legislation, an act of worship and, therefore, also a profession of faith. In that sense, it is not possible to exclude the Roman Missal, according to the UA, as a valid expression of the lex orandi and, therefore, of the lex credendi of the Church. It is a question of an objective reality of divine grace which cannot be changed by a mere act of the will of even the highest ecclesiastical authority.
Greetings, Dear Readers, and assurance of my prayers. A quick post today to canvass better bloggers:
Dymphna’s Road has some good advice and words of encouragement in these deplorable times.
Laramie Hirsch provides great insight, as usual. He also has a more personal post that tracks much of my thinking when I quit blogging
for good for a couple of months back in January. Brother, I can relate. Not to be a fanboy, but he reminded me of the likely application of the prophecy of Our Lady of Good Success back in the 15th Century. Read about it at length. Today’s money-quotes from the Mother of God:
“The devil will work to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every way, working with baneful cunning to destroy the spirit of their vocation and corrupting many. Those who will thus scandalize the Christian flock will bring upon all priests the hatred of bad Christians and the enemies of the One, Holy, Roman Catholic, and Apostolic Church. This apparent triumph of Satan will cause enormous suffering to the good pastors of the Church…and to the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of God Our Lord, asking for light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, to whom he is King and Father.”
“Unhappy times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s enemies and do their bidding. But when [evil] seems triumphant and when authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the ground.
May that day of renewal come soon!
Thanks to the friend who pointed this out to me—this reading from Jeremias 23: 1-6, is the first reading in the Unique Expression today. God is truly Sovereign. For your edification:
 Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.  Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.  And I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied.  And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, saith the Lord.  Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
 In those days shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: the Lord our just one.