The Destruction of

the Christian Tradition


Father Rama Coomaraswamy

















About the Author

Father Rama Coomaraswamy

Reverenced Coomaraswamy is a famous catholic traditionalist and - what's quite significant - a son of a well known pagan traditionalist. His father, professor Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (1877-1947), was born from Tamil ascendant, sir Mutu Coomaraswamy, and English mother. However prof. Ananda graduated from London University, he engaged himself in the fight for preservation of traditional Ceylon values - against westernization and British colonization - by founding the Ceylon Social Reform Society and cooperating with the independence movement in India. It hadn't been an obstacle in moving to United States, where he taught at the Harvard University and was the Curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Together with Frithjof Schuon and Rene Guénon, prof. Ananda Coomaraswamy is considered to be the greatest pagan traditionalist of XX century. His son, born in Massachusetts in 1932, plays the same role in the catholic resistance guerilla against so-called 'II Vatican Council' and so-called 'John Paul II'. He studied in England and later in India, where he received a traditional education in Hindi and Sanskrit. Then, as his father did, he moved to United States, were he became a surgeon and a psychiatrist. He corresponded a lot of with Mother Theresa from Calcutta and from time to time he was her private doctor. On the other hand, in 70-ties the Doctor was connected with The Society of St. Pius X and in 80-ties with The Society of St. Pius V. In 1981 he released a book, 'The Destruction of the Christian Tradition' (the second, revised edition of it, is available on our page). In 1997 he received a permission (he's a married man) and has become a priest.


Table of Contents

























Part 2: THE Council ITSELF
Part 3: FOOTNOTES to CHAPTER IX Part 1-2
Part 5: Carol Wojtyla or 'pope' John Paul II [1]
Part 6: Carol Wojtyla or 'pope' John Paul II [2]
Part 7: Carol Wojtyla or 'pope' John Paul II [3]

CHAPTER X – Vatican II

Part 1: The nature of an Ecumenical Council
Part 2: How the Council was subverted

Part 3: Vatican II - the creation of a New Church
Part 5: The People of God
Part 6: Communicatio in Sacris and dialogue on an equal footing
Part 8: The deification of man


Part 2: The Catholic Mass is a true Sacrifice
Part 3: The 'history' of the Traditional Mass
Part 4: The Meaning of the Mass
Part 5: Vatican II's Liturgy Constitution



Part 7: Novus Ordo Missae
Part 8: Two techniques of deletion
Part 9: Why was it written
Part 10: Is the Novus Ordo Missae a sacrifice?
Part 11: The Canon: the new Eucharistic prayers
Part 12: Changing Christ's words and the form of consecration

Part 13: FOOTNOTES to CHAPTER XII, parts 7-12
Part 13: All versus many
Part 14: Can we accept a doubtful consecration?
Part 15: Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) - Conclusion
Part 16: FOOTNOTES to CHAPTER XII, part 13-15


Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Progress and Evolution
Part 3: Father Gutierrez and Liberation Theology

Part 4: FOOTNOTES to chapter XIII


Part 2: Rationalism and the origins of Modernism
Part 3: Further sequence of a Modernist outlook
Part 4: Church and Millennarianism
Part 5: 'Americanism' and other FOOTNOTES to CHAPTER XIV



Part 1: Two Churches compared

Part 2: The open Church

Part 3: How to identify the True Church?
Part 4: The marks of the True Church

Part 5: Progress and evolution - the real opiates of the people

Part 6: Misreading the 'signs of the times'

Part 7: Has a Catholic layman the right to judge these matters?

Part 8: Avoiding the issues

Part 9: Traditional Catholics

Part 10: Have the gates of hell prevailed?


'Many American Catholics over 30 remember living in that history-heavy church as if living in a spiritual fortress - comforting at times, inhibiting and even terrifying at others. But it was a safe and ordered universe with eternal guarantees for those who lived by its rules. THAT FORTRESS HAS CRUMBLED.'
TIME Magazine, May 1976

Recent events within the Catholic Church have clearly resulted in great confusion, and if this ancient structure can no longer stand as a monolith in which each component part speaks 'with one voice', there is little doubt but that the various factions that claim Catholicity would agree in stating that something is seriously wrong. In America alone some 10,000 priests and 35,000 nuns have abandoned their religious vocations. Annulments (referred to by some as 'Catholic divorces') are approximating the level of 10,000 a year. Weekly Mass attendance has dropped to well below the 50 level and monthly confession below the 17 mark. The priesthood is no longer attracting youth to its ranks and many seminaries have been closed. Conversions which once approached the level of almost 200, 000 a year in the United States are now virtually at a standstill.

According to the 'Boystown Project' from the Catholic University of America 'nearly seven million young people from Catholic backgrounds no longer identify themselves with the Church' (National Catholic Register, Mar. 27, 1977). What is perhaps of even greater importance is that those who continue to call themselves 'Catholic', are by no means unanimous as to what this term means. As Archbishop Joseph L. Bernadine, president of the U.S. Bishop's Conference has noted, 'many consider themselves good Catholics, even though their beliefs and practices seem to conflict with the official teaching of the Church' (Time, May 24, 1976). This man speaks with both personal experience and authority, for he has also stated that it was his 'belief that it was legitimate for theologians to speculate about the removal of doctrines that have already been defined, and to request the magisterium to remove such doctrines from the content of the Faith' (The Wanderer, St. Paul, Minn., June 17, 1976).

There are of course those who see in all this only signs of hope and 'progress'. They claim that those who have left are 'deadwood', and that the Church is better off without them. They compare the Church to a grain of wheat that must die and be born again; that the Angst and chaos are essential if the Church is going to have 'relevance' for modern man; that all that is happening is under the guidance of the 'Holy Spirit' which desires to have the Church 'adapt' herself to what is euphemistically called 'the times'. Having previously claimed that the changes were necessary 'to bring the masses back to the Church', they now proclaim that they 'are not interested in the numbers game'.

Others view the situation in a quite different light. They see in all the changes not so much an 'adaptation' as a 'capitulation'; they do not see the world becoming Christianized, but rather, a Church becoming secularized; they do not see the 'vines' as being pruned so much as their being uprooted and destroyed. They see the present situation as one that St. Paul predicted as proceeding the coming of the Antichrist - 'for that Day shall not come, except there come a falling away first' (2 Thes. 2:3). They liken the present situation to that described and prefigured in Maccabees: 'In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us; for since we departed from them, we have had much sorrow. Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the King, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen... (and they) made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen...'

The great majority however remain bewildered and confused. Bred in an atmosphere which led them to accept with trust whatever came to them from their clergy, they tend to find excuses for all they do not understand. Like Paul VI, some admit that 'the smoke of Satan has entered into the Church'; they however refuse to look for the source of the fire.

Now, whatever the causes of the present situation may be, it is certain that prominent among them must be the changes that have occurred within the Church itself. These are clearly identified as those affecting the Liturgy (and especially the Mass), and the teachings (or, as they are called, the 'new directions') that have resulted from the Second Vatican Council and the 'Post-conciliar' Popes. The present book will attempt to discuss in some depth the nature of these changes and their implications.

Before doing so however, certain principles have to be understood that relate to the fundamental nature of the Church, her authority to 'teach', and the manner in which she does so. Those who still believe in the possibility that God in His Mercy gave us a Revelation, will have no difficulty in accepting these concepts. Others who cannot, or will not accept such a premise, must, if they wish to understand what is happening to this Church, at least concede the existence of this premise, for if there is no Revelation, there is no Church. With this in mind we shall initiate our text with a study of the nature of the Church's teaching function. From there we will proceed to consider the sources of the Church's teaching and the manner in which they are conveyed to the faithful. It will be in the light of these basic facts that we then proceed to examine Vatican II, with its 'new directions', and the liturgical changes that followed in rapid sequence.

It is hoped that as a result of this approach, even those who do not agree with the author's stance will come to see what even Louis Bouyer has called 'The Decomposition of Catholicism' is all about. As St Gregory of Tours said, 'Let no one who reads my words doubt but that I am a Catholic.' Despite the fact that under normal circumstances it would be redundant, I must qualify this further by stating that my stand is that of a 'traditional Catholic', (is there any other kind?) and not that of a 'liberal', 'modernist', or 'Postconciliar' one. To paraphrase the Abbe Gueranger, the reader should clearly understand that I am in no way trying to propagate any personal views of my own. I am only attempting to state the traditional Church's teaching as it has always been (in saecula saeculorum), and to show wherein the New Church has departed from this. If the reader does not happen to like what the Church has always taught, that is too bad. He will however, never understand the present situation unless he recognises that, as Louis Evely (1) has said: 'The present crisis of the Church consists in its division between two irreconcilable groups: the 'old ones', who cannot or will not admit liturgical, disciplinary, and conceptual changes; and the 'young ones' who are repelled by the old ceremonies, beliefs, and practices. It is impossible to speak to both groups at once. Every priest today finds that his parish is really two parishes. What awakens faith, or at least stirs interest among young people, scandalizes their elders to the point that they lose what little faith they have left. And to lead older people from the traditional faith to one which is more personal requires so much time, so much patience and so many precautions that the young people have not the patience to listen to, let alone read anything about it (they read so little of anything, for that matter)'.

If the Church is to Survive

The reader is further assured that in the exposition of the teachings of the traditional Church, wherever direct quotation is not given, the statements have been checked and approved by competent authority.


1. Louis Evely is one of the most popular authors in the Post-conciliar Church, and according to Father Greeley's survey, one of the most frequently read authors by the modern clergy. A former priest, he is now laicized.


Revelation of Jesus Christ

Vatican 2 can be described as a turning point in the history of the Catholic Church. Prior to this event the Church considered herself a 'perfect society' in no need of change. Existing both now and in eternity, she called herself 'the Church of all times'. After the Council, she described herself as 'dynamic' and progressive'; a 'new Church', a 'Church of our times', claimed to be adapting herself and Christ's message to the conditions of the modern world.

But she sent out a mixed message. In the face of drastic modernization, she also claimed that 'nothing essential was changed' and that 'she was only returning to primitive practice'. While many accepted these assertions without thought, others found them self-contradictory. The net result was a confusion of loyalties which the subsequent twenty-five years has done little to alleviate.

Human reason tells us that Truth - assuming such a thing exists - cannot change. Catholics hold, by definition, that Jesus Christ is God, that He established a 'visible' Church which He promised would continue until the end of time, and that this Church is the Catholic Church They further hold - or should - that this Church preserves intact and teaches the truths and practices Christ revealed to it It is a matter of faith that only within this Church is to be found, the fullness of Christ's teaching, the Apostolic Succession, and the Sacraments or visible 'means of grace' He established. Throughout history there have been many who denied that the Catholic Church was the entity that Christ established - denied it on the grounds that she had added false doctrines invented by men; that she had distorted the original message (which amounts to the same thing), or that she failed to retain intact the original deposit. If she is guilty of such, she by definition departs from 'unity' with the original body - the 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.' If we are to call ourselves 'Catholic' - and our salvation depends upon it - then we must be sure that our beliefs and actions conform to what Christ and the Apostles initially taught. Putting it differently, if we would call ourselves Catholic we must be sure that we are in the Church which Christ founded, and that this Church has faithfully retained the original 'deposit of faith' given over to it by Christ and the Apostles.

No one disputes the fact that after Vatican 2, the Catholic Church was different. The fundamental question is whether the changes introduced were mere 'window dressing', or whether they involved fundamental points of doctrine and practice. If the latter is the case, one would be forced to conclude that the post-Conciliar Church (5) is no longer the same as its pre-Vatican 2 Counterpart. The problem can be posed on many levels - that of doctrine: whether she has retained intact the Revelation which Christ and the Apostles entrusted to her as a 'precious pearl'; whether or not her liturgy is valid in the same sense that it has always been considered such; whether or not her new Canon laws are consistent with those by which she governed herself throughout the ages; whether or not she has retained intact the Apostolic succession, and whether or not those who have sat in the chair of Peter since Vatican 2 speak with Peter's voice (authority). The answer to the query posed at the start of this chapter - WHETHER IT IS THE SAME CHURCH? - will by in large depend upon the answers given to these questions. In general, it can be stated that traditional Catholics claim it is not, while those who would accept and justify the changes introduced by Vatican 2 and the post-Conciliar 'popes' strongly argue that it is. This leads us to a series of secondary questions: did Christ intend that His Church should continuously adapt itself to changing circumstances? Are there certain areas where adaptation is legitimate, and others where it becomes a distortion of the original message? Are the changes introduced since Vatican 2 significant or are they just a matter of minor details? Do the Popes as Vicars of Christ on earth have the authority to make these changes? Is it possible that the Catholic Church, over the course of centuries, has deviated from the patterns established by her Founder to such a degree that it was incumbent upon her present leaders to bring her back to some original state of purity? This book will attempt to answer these questions.

Immediately we have a problem. Who is to speak for the Church?. People who claim the title of Catholic no longer constitute an intellectually coherent group of individuals. Catholics today can be roughly divided into 'traditional' and 'post-Conciliar' Catholics - though even here the lines are far from strict. And post-Conciliar or 'Novus Ordo' Catholics conform to a spectrum that ranges from 'conservative' to 'liberal' while traditional Catholics vary in how the view the recent 'popes' . The problem is that each of these groups claim to represent the 'true' Church and quote the documents of the Church in defense of their particular view. In an attempt to sort out the issues we shall quote only unequivocal sources of information. However there is this caveat: the pre-Conciliar sources are invariably unambiguous and to the point. The post-Conciliar documents are verbose, ambiguous, and can be quoted on both sides of any issue. Given this situation, selection is unavoidable. We shall attempt to be as just as possible.

The Catholic faith can be described as an interconnected series of 'facts', which taken in conjunction with one another, form a consistent body of teachings and practice. It is as hard to isolate any one aspect of 'the Faith' from the total content, as it is to determine where a spider's web originates. Yet one has to start somewhere: and so it is that we initiate this study with what is called the 'Magisterium' or the 'teaching authority' of the Church. For those who are unfamiliar with this concept, let it be stated at once that this 'teaching authority' follows as a logical consequence of Christ's establishing a 'visible' Church. In doing this, He established a hierarchical institution and intended that this entity - the 'Mystical Body of Christ' - be an extension of His presence on earth (Eph. V, 23). As such this Church, by her very nature, has the function and obligation of preserving intact and delivering to us the Message (teachings and inculcated practices) of Christ. 'Going therefore, teach ye all nations... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you' (Matt. XXVIII,19-20). Those entrusted with this function of 'feeding His sheep... in His name' were given no authority to teach any other truth 'in His name' than that which He Himself established. Hence He also said: 'He that heareth you heareth me'(Luke X, 10). It further follows that, as the Apostle Paul put it: 'Even if an angel from heaven should teach you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema... for I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man; for neither did I receive it of man, nor did I learn it; but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ' (Gal. I, 6-12).




Before embarking on a study of the Magisterium we should pause for a moment lest the present confusion within the Catholic Church tempt us to an attitude of despair. The present confusions have their purpose, even though we with our limited outlook cannot always understand.

As St. Paul explains: 'To them that love God all things work together unto good' (Rom. 8:28) and St. Augustine adds 'etiam peccata, even sins.' In the same sense, in the Exultet, on Holy Saturday, the Church sings: Felix culpa,quae talem ac tantum meruit Redemptorem: 'O happy fault (of our fist parents), that merited so great a Redeemer.' As Augustine says: 'God in His wisdom has deemed it better that good should come out of evil than that evil should never have been.' God has the power and wisdom to turn to His own glory the evil which He permits on earth. Angels and saints can take only joy from the divine wisdom which rules the world so wonderfully(1).

Holy Mother Church, like the loving mother she is, has provided us with the necessary guidelines on how to think and behave in the present circumstances. These are provided for us in what is called her teaching Magisterium. The present essay is dedicated to an understanding of the nature and purpose of the Authentic Magisterium of the Catholic Church (2)

* * *

The Church, which is the 'Body of Christ,' is as it were the presence of Christ in the World.(3) Now Christ combined in Himself and bestowed on His Apostles whom He 'sent forth' the three qualities of Teacher (Prophet), Ruler and Priest - symbolized in his Vicar by the triple crown or papal tiara.

With regard to this Christ told us that 'He who believed in Him would know the truth which gives true liberty (John VIII, 31-31) but he who did not would be condemned' (Matt. X.33; Mark XVI.16) He allowed Himself to be called the Master and even stressed that He was the true Master who not only taught the truth, but was the Truth.(Matt. VIII,19; John III, 17 and Matt. XXIII, 8-10). Now he communicated these truths to his Apostles and sent them forth to teach in His name, telling them that 'just as my Father sent me, so also I send you...,' telling them: 'He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects your words, rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects the Father who sent me' (Matt. X, 40 and Luke X, 16). And so we see that the Apostles were given the charge of continuing Christ's mission as infallible Master. Moreover Christ demanded an absolute obedience to this teaching function - for he who does not believe will be condemned. Of course, He also specified that it must be His teaching and not some other person's teaching - not even the teaching of an angel from heaven if it departed from His teaching. He further promised that 'the Spirit of Truth would always be with them,' provided they accepted this Spirit, and again, He left them free to reject this Spirit or accept some other spirit if they so willed - but then of course they would no longer be participating in His charisms and would loose their infallibility. As He said, 'therefore go ye into all nation and teach them to safeguard all that I have taught you. And I will be with you till the end of the world' (Matt. XII, 18-20).

Perhaps the most important error abroad today relates to the teaching authority of the Church; specifically to the idea that the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church is not infallible. Lest there be doubt about this, let us listen to Pope Leo XIII: 'Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by everyone as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows: for then God Himself would be the author of error in man. The Fathers of the Vatican Council (I) laid down nothing new, but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged and invariable teaching of the Church as to the very nature of faith, when they decreed as follows: 'All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or unwritten word of God, and which are proposed by the Church as divinely revealed, either by a solemn definition or in the exercise of the ordinary and universal Magisterium.' ('Satis Cognitum').

Because the Magisterium provides us with the only solid objective criteria by which we may judge what is true and false, it is important that we examine its nature in greater detail. 'The Catholic Dictionary' defines the Magisterium as: 'The Church's divinely appointed authority to teach the truths of religion. 'Going therefore teach ye all nations... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you' (Matt. XXVIII, 19-20). This teaching, being Christ's, is infallible...' (4).

This Magisterium or 'teaching authority of the Church', exists in two different modes. It is termed 'SOLEMN' or 'EXTRAORDINARY' when it derives from the formal and authentic definitions of a General council, or of the Pope himself: that is to say, dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical councils, or of the Pope's teaching ex cathedra (see below for an explanation of this term). Such truths are de fide divina et Catholica which means that every Catholic must believe them with divine and Catholic Faith.(5)

Included under the category of solemn are 'symbols or professions of the faith', such as the Apostles' Creed, the Tridentine or Pianine Profession and the Oath against Modernism required by Pius X since 1910 (and no longer required by the post-Conciliar Church)(6). Finally included in this category are 'theological censures' or those statements that qualify and condemn propositions as heretical (7).

It is termed 'ORDINARY AND UNIVERSAL' when it manifests itself as those truths which are expressed through the daily continuous preaching of the Church and refers to the universal practices of the Church connected with faith and morals as manifested in the 'unanimous consent of the Fathers, the decisions of the Roman Congregations concerning faith and morals, in the consensus of the faithful, in the universal custom or practice associated with dogma (which certainly includes the Roman liturgy or traditional Mass), and in the various historical documents in which the faith is declared.' Included in this category are papal Encyclicals(8). It is termed 'Pontifical' if the source is the Pope, and 'universal' if it derives from the Bishops in union with him(9)Such truths, as Vatican I teaches, are also de fide divina et Catholica. (10)

It is termed 'living' because, being true, it exists and exerts its influence, not only in the past, but in the present and future. As Vatican I explains, it is infallible: 'All those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith, which are contained in the word of God, written or handed down, [i.e., Scripture or Tradition], and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed'(Vatican I, Session III).

This statement is important because there are many theologians who proclaim that the teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium are not binding. Some attempt to mitigate the authority of the ordinary magisterium by claiming that it can at times contain error(11). Others claim on their own authority that 'only those doctrines in the ordinary and universal Magisterium that have been taught everywhere and always are covered by the guarantee of infallibility(12). Still others attack this teaching by limiting the contents of the Ordinary Magisterium - removing from it anything not couched in absolutist or solemn terminology. Finally there are those who claim that the magisterium can change - that it can teach differently today than in the past because doctrine and truth evolve. Before dealing with these secondary errors, it is necessary to understand why the Magisterium is infallible.


(1) Lines taken from Georges Panneton's Heaven or Hell, Newman Press, Westminster Maryland, 1965. Consider the Jews in Egypt. They had saved the land from famine, but had subsequently been enslaved. How cruel and unjust the God of Abraham must have appeared to them. But would they have followed Moses into the wilderness in any other circumstance? One may be permitted to doubt it.

(2) In discussing the layman Eusebius' attack on the heretic Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Dom Gueranger wrote: 'When the shepherd turns into a wolf the first duty of the flock is to defend itself. As a general rule, doctrine comes from the bishops to the faithful, and it is not for the faithful, who are subjects in the order of Faith, to pass judgment on their superiors. But every Christian by virtue of this title to the name Christian, has not only the necessary knowledge of the essentials of the treasure of Revelation, but also the duty of safeguarding them. The principle is the same, whether it is a matter of belief or conduct, that is of dogma or morals.'

(3) 'God showed me the very great delight that He has in all men and women who accept, firmly and humbly and reverently, the preaching and teaching of Holy Church, for he is Holy Church. For He is the foundation, He is the substance, He is the teaching, He is the teacher, He is the end, He is the reward.' Julian of Norwich, Showings, Chapter xvi.

(4) Donald Attwater, Catholic Dictionary, Macmillan: N.Y.,1952

(5) 'Must', that is, if he wishes to call himself Catholic.

(6) The Church could never require its members to take an Oath which violated the infallible truth. These specifics are drawn from Tanquerey's Manual of Dogmatic Theology, Desclee: N.Y., 1959.

(7) According to Tanquerey, 'The Church is infallible when it condemns a certain proposition with some doctrinal censure. A doctrinal censure is 'a qualification or restriction which indicates that a proposition is opposed, in some way, to faith or morals'. It is de fide that the Church is infallible when she specifies that a doctrine is heretical; it is certain that the Church is infallible when she states that a doctrine approaches heresy or that a doctrine errs.

(8) Etienne Gilson, Introduction to The Church Speaks to the Modern World, Doubleday: N.Y. 'These letters are the highest expression of the ordinary teaching of the Church. To the extent that they restate the infallible teachings of the Church, the pronouncements of the Encyclical letters are themselves infallible. Moreover, while explaining and developing such infallible teachings, or while using them as a sure criterion in the condemnation of errors, or even while striving to solve the social, economic and political problems of the day in the light of these infallible teachings, the popes enjoy the special assistance of the Holy Spirit.' (...)

(9) Also from Tanquerey, op. cit. Other classifications can be found, but the essential principles remain the same. Melchior Cano (or Canus), one of the principal theologians of the Council of Trent, taught that there are ten theological 'loci' or places where the 'teaching imparted by Christ and the Apostles could be found.' They are the following: 1) The Scriptures; 2) The divine and Apostolic Traditions; 3) The universal Church; 4) The Councils, and above all the General (Ecumenical) Councils; 5) The Roman Church; 6) The Holy Fathers; 7) The Scholastic theologians; 8) Natural reason; 9) the philosophers and jurors [of Canon law]; and 10) human history. According to him the first seven belong to the realm of theology, while the last three relate to the other sciences. (Quoted in Rohrbacher, Histoire Universelle de L'Eglise Catholique, Letouzey et Ane, Editeurs, Paris, Vol. X, p. 118).

(10) The infallibility of Council teachings is dependent upon the Pope's approbation. The pseud-Council of Pistoia never received this and was never recognized as a Council.

(11) Michael Davies claims that the Declaration on Religious Liberty made by Vatican IIis 'only a document of the ordinary magisterium of the Church, and that the possibility of error occurs or can occur in such documents where it is a matter of some novel teaching The magisterium can eventually correct such an error without compromising itself... It will therefore be the eventual task of the magisterium to evaluate the objections made to the Declaration and then to explain how it is compatible with previous teaching, or to admit that it is not compatible and proceed to correct it' (Archbishop Lefebvre and Religious Liberty, TAN: III., 1980 and The Remnant, June 15, 1982.). Suffice it to say - the matter will be discussed in detail later - that not only this Declaration, but also Michael Davies's opinion are contrary to innumerable Magisterial statements of the traditional Church. For proof that the post-Conciliar Church considers Vatican II to be magisterial, see footnote 58 below.

(12) According to this view, the ordinary and universal Magisterium consists in some manner, of the sum total of bishops in every place and throughout the course of history from the time the Church was founded down to the present day; while at the same time the community of bishops (with the Pope) at any given period during the course of history, is in no way infallible in its ordinary teaching. This is essentially the position of Archbishop Lefebvre

CHAPTER II, part 2

Revelation of Jesus Christ


As noted in Chapter I, the Church, by God's will, is a hierarchical institution. At its 'head' is the Pope, the vicar of Christ, the 'rock' on which the Church is founded. He is endowed with all the unique authority of Jesus Christ 'who is the shepherd and bishop of our souls' (1 Pet. 2:25), and depending upon Him, the pope is also - but vicariously - the shepherd and bishop of the whole flock, both of the other bishops and of the ordinary faithful (John 21:15-17) He is the evident and effectual sign of the presence of Christ in the world, and it is through him that Christ who is invisible in the bosom of the Father, visibly presides over all the activities of this enormous Body and brings it under His control. As Dom Grea has said, 'the pope is with Jesus Christ - a single hierarchical person - above the episcopate, one and the same head of the episcopate, one and the same head, one and the same doctor, pontiff and legislator of the universal Church.' Or more precisely, 'Jesus Christ Himself is the sole Head, rendered visible, speaking and acting in the Church through the instrument whom He provided for Himself. Christ proclaims Himself through His Vicar, He speaks through him, acts and governs through him.' When Christ speaks, acts, and governs through the pope, the pope is endowed with infallibility, a quality which derives, not from him as a private person, but from his being 'a single hierarchical person' with Christ13.

This conception is made clear by Pope St. Leo's third sermon on the anniversary of his own election where he paraphrases the words of Christ: 'I make known to thee thy excellence, for thou art Peter: that is, as I am the invulnerable rock, the cornerstone, who make both one, I the foundation beside which there can be laid no other; so thou too art a rock, in my strength made hard, and I share with thee the powers which are proper to me. And upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it...' (Office of St. Peter's Chair at Antioch, Feb. 22.)

The pope is also a private person (an ordinary human being) and a private theologian (doctor). It is however, only when he functions as 'a single hierarchical person' with Christ that he is endowed with infallibility (or partakes of the Church's, i.e., Christ's infallibility.) It is only then that Christ's Scriptural statement 'he who hears you, hears me' applies. And it follows logically that his authority is extended through those bishops who 'are in union with him' in governing the flock. The bishops have no independent authority apart from him for the simple reason that he has no independent authority apart from Christ. Thus it is that he is called the 'Bishop of bishops', and that he 'confirms' them in their doctrine - not the other way around. Thus it is that no statement of an Ecumenical Council has any authority until it receives his approbation.

The pope then has an almost limitless authority. He can however loose this authority in a variety of ways. He can lose it when he dies (physical death), if he loses his reason (madness), if he separates himself from the Church (schism), or when he loses his faith (heresy and therefore spiritual death). At such a point the pope is no longer pope because it is the very nature of this bishop's function and ministry to be the Vicar of Christ and nothing else14.

The pope's authority is almost unlimited - however, it is not absolute. He has full powers within his charge, but his powers are limited by his charge. In order fully to understand this doctrinal point, let us once again recall the nature of this charge.

The ecclesiastical hierarchy was instituted by God to teach, that is to say, to transmit the deposit of the faith. At the head of this teaching Church Christ appointed a Vicar to whom He gave full powers to 'feed the faithful and the shepherds' (John 21:11-17). Consequently, it is within the bounds of this function, the transmission of the deposit of the faith, that the Pope has 'full powers'. He has these precisely to enable him to transmit the deposit of the faith - in its entirety - 'in the same meaning and the same sense' (Denzinger 1800). 'For', as Vatican I clearly taught, 'the Holy Spirit has not been promised to Peter's successors in order that they might reveal, under His inspiration, new doctrine, but in order that, with His help, they may carefully guard and faithfully expound the revelation as it was handed down by the Apostles, that is to say, the deposit of the faith' (Pastor Aeternus, Ds. 1836).

Hence it follows that the Pope can and must make all his determinations entirely within the bounds of orthodoxy, and this is true whether they concern the reformation of the Liturgy, of Canon Law, or to use the phraseology of earlier Councils, the reformation of the clergy 'in its head or in its members.' The Pope may indeed abrogate all the decisions of his predecessors, even those deserving of special mention, but always and only within the limits of orthodoxy. As The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) states: 'the scope of this infallibility is to preserve the deposit of faith revealed to man by Christ and His Apostles.' It goes without saying that under such circumstances, any changes introduced would affect only matters that are mutable and never the faith itself. A Pope who presumed to abrogate the smallest iota of dogma, or even attempted to change the meaning of the Church's constant teaching, would step outside the bounds of orthodoxy and outside the limits of his function of preserving the deposit of the faith. He would in doing so, teach a new doctrine and a 'new gospel', and as such would be subject to the anathema pronounced by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians (1:8-9).

It is then clear that the infallibility of the Magisterium or 'teaching authority of the Church' derives from the Pope functioning as one hierarchical person with Christ. Thus the source of this infallibility is Christ, and indeed, it could be not be otherwise. For the Church to claim infallibility on any other grounds would be absurd. And just as there is only one source, so also there is only one Magisterium. When the Pope uses his infallibility - be it by solemn proclamation or within the bounds of the ordinary magisterium, he partakes, not of some personal, but of Christ's infallibility. As the official text puts it, 'when he speaks ex cathedra... he has the same infallibility as that with which the divine Redeemer invested His Church when it is defining a doctrine concerning faith or morals; and that therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, irreformable'. (Ds. 183915)


13 Dom Grea, The Church and its Divine Constitution, quoted from Forts dans La Foi, edited by Father Noel Barbara. The term 'episcopate' refers to the body of bishops. Strictly speaking one cannot speak of a 'bad pope'. Being the instrument of Christ, a pope as such is necessarily 'good'. Such adjectives as applied to popes relate to the state of their soul and not to their function. A sinner, just like anyone else, the pope, even when he functions as Christ's minister, can be, as a human being, in a state of grace or one of mortal sin. It is a teaching of elementary theology that the state of a minister's soul has no influence or effect on his ministry, because this effect comes totally and exclusively from Christ who is its source. Thus it is that whenever a pope is functioning in his office of pope, it is Christ who speaks, who acts, and who governs through him. There is never any justification for a member of the believing Church to disobey a valid pope when it is Christ who speaks, acts and governs through him. And just as one cannot speak of a 'bad pope', so also one cannot speak of a 'heretical Pope', of one who is only 'materially' pope, or of one who is only 'juridically' a pope. Assuming a valid election, assuming that the individual is a member of the 'believing Church', either a man is, or he is not, a pope. He can never be 'half a pope'.

14 Strictly speaking one cannot speak of a 'bad pope'. Being the instrument of Christ, a pope as such is necessarily 'good'. Such adjectives as applied to popes relate to the state of their soul and not to their function. A sinner, just like anyone else, the pope, even when he functions as Christ's minister, can be, as a human being, in a state of grace or one of mortal sin. It is a teaching of elementary theology that the state of a minister's soul has no influence or effect on his ministry, because this effect comes totally and exclusively from Christ who is its source. Thus it is that whenever a pope is functioning in his office of pope, it is Christ who speaks, who acts, and who governs through him. There is never any justification for a member of the believing Church to disobey a valid pope when it is Christ who speaks, acts and governs through him. And just as one cannot speak of a 'bad pope', so also one cannot speak of a 'heretical Pope', of one who is only 'materially' pope, or of one who is only 'juridically' a pope. Assuming a valid election, assuming that the individual is a member of the 'believing Church', either a man is, or he is not, a pope. He can never be 'half a pope'.

15 Ds stands for Denzinger, op. cit.



Papal infallibility

When does a Pope use his infallibility, or to use the technical phrase, speak ex cathedra? In Holy Scripture 'cathedra' is synonymous with the authority of a 'master' or 'teacher' (Ps. 1:1; Matt. 23:2; Luke 20:46). Once again the teaching of the Church is manifest and clear. He teaches ex cathedra 'when serving in the capacity of pastor and Doctor (shepherd and teacher) of all the faithful, in virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine with regard to faith and morals that must be held by the whole Church.'

Four conditions are required:

1) The Pope must be functioning as Pastor and supreme Doctor. It is not his teaching as a private or particular Doctor that is in question.

2) He must be dealing with matters of faith or morals, and it is only the proposed doctrine - not the adjoining considerations - the 'obiter dicta' that is guaranteed by infallibility.

3) He must intend to define; his teaching must be given with authority and with the intent that it be believed by the entire Church.

4) He must manifest his intention to bind all Catholics.

The Pope is not required to use any specific formulas to accomplish this. All that is required is that he clearly manifest his intention to compel the entire Church to accept his teaching as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

Papal infallibility

It is obvious that by the very nature of his function as the Vicar of Christ, this authority has always been with Peter and his valid successors. Why was it then necessary that this doctrine be defined in an extraordinary manner at the time of Vatican I? The answer to this question is highly instructive. The Church does not ordinarily define a doctrine 'in an extraordinary manner' unless it comes under dispute or is denied by a significant number of the faithful (as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin). Nor does a doctrine so defined become more true than it was before. The Church 'has the duty to proceed opportunely in defining points of faith with solemn rites and decrees, when there is a need to declare them to resist more effectively the errors and the assaults of heretics or to impress upon the minds of the faithful clearer and more profound explanations of points of sacred doctrine... Not because the Church has defined and sanctioned truths by solemn decree of the Church at different times, and even in times near to us, are they [truths not so defined] therefore not equally certain and not equally to be believed. For has not God revealed them all?' (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium animos).

In the decades prior to Vatican I, the popes repeatedly condemned liberal Catholicism and parallel efforts aimed at bringing the Church's thinking into line with the modern world - Pope Pius IX summarized these censures in his Syllabus of Errors. Those who came under such strictures attempted to defend themselves by claiming that their attitudes had never been formerly condemned by the teaching magisterium and that such documents only represented the private opinion of the Pontiffs. Such a claim placed the infallibility of the Pope in doubt. During Vatican I furious debates were waged on the subject. The liberals were perfectly aware of the fact that if they voted for the definition of infallibility they would condemn themselves, but that if they voted against it, they would be denying a doctrine of the Church. Every conceivable objection capable of preventing, or of at least postponing the definition, was put forth and strongly supported by those who labeled themselves as 'inopportunists'(1). One orthodox bishop, Anthony Claret - later canonized - was so distressed by these attempts that he died of a heart attack during the Conciliar debate. The cases of Popes Liberius, Honorius I, Paschal II, Sixtus V and others were brought forth in an attempt to influence the Fathers against defining something the liberals claimed was both unnecessary and insane. Needless to say, they were supported in this by the secular press, by world leaders, and even by governments. It is of interest to note that the Freemasons held a simultaneous 'anti-Council' in Naples which proclaimed several principles as essential to the dignity of man - principles which later were incorporated into the documents of Vatican II(2).

Unlike John XXIII, whose machinations in favor of the liberals at Vatican II will be detailed later, Pope Pius IX, aware of his responsibilities, did everything in his power to fulfill his obligations towards our divine Master. Listen to the comments of Cardinal Manning: 'The campaign against the Council failed, of course. It failed because the Pope did not weaken. He met error with condemnation and replied to the demands to modify or adapt Catholic truth to the spirit of the age by resisting it with the firmness and clarity of Trent - and despite the prophecies of her enemies that the declaration of Papal Infallibility would mark the death blow to the Church, she emerged stronger and more vigorous than ever. This of course evoked the full fury of the City of Man. The hatred of the world for the Church was made manifest, and at the same time manifested the divine nature of the Catholic Church; for the hatred of the world was designated by Christ Himself as one of the marks of His Mystical body which must not only teach Christ crucified, but will live out the mystery of His crucifixion and resurrection until He comes again in Glory... Had Christ been prepared to enter into dialogue with his enemies, had he been prepared to adapt, to make concessions, then He would have escaped crucifixion - but of what value would the Incarnation have been? Pope Pius IX followed the example of Christ whose Vicar he was and, as the highest point attracted the storm, so the chief violence fell upon the head of the Vicar of Christ....'(3)

One does not have to be an expert in theological matters to know that, if the Conciliar fathers had found themselves incapable of unequivocally refuting every one of the objections of the inopportunists, and of showing in a peremptory manner that, throughout the preceding nineteen centuries not one Pope - even among those whose lives had been scandalous in the extreme - had ever erred in his function as Pope, in his teaching function as the universal Pastor and Doctor, the Church could never have solemnly promulgated this dogma. Indeed, if the issues and facts had not been made absolutely clear, the adversaries of infallibility and the enemies of the Church would certainly have published abroad all the supposedly false teachings of the previous popes and used this as a means of making the Church appear ridiculous. 'No man', say the Fathers of the great Council of Nice, 'ever accused the Holy See of a mistake, unless he was himself maintaining an error.'(4)

When the final vote came, the adversaries of this dogma, foreseeing how things would go, left Rome in order to avoid personally participating in this decision. They however, not wishing to be ejected from the Church, declared in advance that they accepted the decision - a decision that ultimately depended, not on the Council, but on the Pope promulgating the Council's teaching(5).

Unable to any longer deny this principle, the liberals in the Church rapidly shifted tactics. 'The Pope is infallible', they said, 'and such is certain for the church has proclaimed it as a dogma. But be careful! the Pope is not infallible every time he opens his mouth.' and under the pretense of defending this dogma by sharply defining its limits, they cleverly stressed the concept that the Pope only uses this privilege on rare occasions - 'once or twice in a century'. Today we hear the same cry from those who would defend the post-Conciliar changes. 'Nothing de fide has been changed', by which they mean no part of the extraOrdinary Magisterium. 'The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light' (Luke 16:8).(6)

Because the infallible nature of the Ordinary Magisterium is currently so much in dispute, the following pertinent quotations are appended:

1. 'Even if he makes this submission efficaciously which is in accord with an act of divine faith... he should extend it to those truths which are transmitted as divinely revealed by the Ordinary Magisterium of the entire Church dispersed throughout the world. (Pius IX, Tuas libenter)

2. Leo XIII reiterated the teaching of Vatican I to the effect that 'the sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding.' He adds: 'Nor is the suppression to be considered altogether free from blame, which designedly omits certain principles of Catholic doctrine and buries them, as it were in oblivion. For there is the one and the same Author and Master of all the truths that Christian teaching comprises: the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the Father. That they are adapted to all ages and nations is plainly deduced from the words which Christ addressed to His Apostles: 'Go therefore teach ye all nations: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world'. Wherefore the same Vatican Council says: 'By the divine and Catholic faith those are to be believed which are contained in the word of God either written or handed down, and are proposed by the Church whether in solemn decision or by the ordinary universal magisterium, to be believed as having been divinely revealed.' Far be then, for any one to diminish or for any reason whatever to pass over anything of this divinely delivered doctrine; whosoever would do so, would rather wish to alienate Catholics from the Church than to bring over to the Church those who dissent from it. Let them return; indeed nothing is nearer to Our heart; let all those who are wandering far from the sheepfold of Christ return; but let it not be any other road than that which Christ has pointed out... The history of all past ages is witness that the Apostolic See, to which not only the office of teaching but also the supreme government of the whole Church was committed, has constantly adhered to the same doctrine in the same sense and in the same mind.... In this all must acquiesce who wish to avoid the censure of our predecessor Pius VI, who proclaimed the 18th proposition of the Synod of Pistoia 'to be injurious to the Church and to the Spirit of God which governs her, in as much as it subjects to scrutiny the discipline established and approved by the Church, as if the Church could establish a useless discipline or one which would be too honerous for Christian liberty to bear.' (Leo XIII Testem Benevolentiae)

3. 'The Pope is infallible in all matters of Faith and Morals. By matters of faith and morals is meant the whole revelation of the truths of faith; or the whole way of salvation through faith; or the whole supernatural order, with all that is essential to the sanctification and salvation of man through Jesus Christ. The Pope is infallible, not only in the whole matter of revealed truths; he is also indirectly infallible in all truths which, though not revealed, are so intimately connected with revealed truths, that the deposit of faith and morals cannot be guarded, explained, and defended without an infallible discernment of such not revealed truths. The Pope could not discharge his office as Teacher of all nations, unless he were able with infallible certainty to proscribe and condemn doctrines, logical, scientific, physical, metaphysical, or political, of any kind which are at variance with the Word of God and imperil the integrity and purity of the faith, or the salvation of souls. Whenever the Holy Father, as Chief Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, proceeds, in briefs, encyclical letters, consistorial allocutions, and other Apostolic letters, to declare certain truths, or anything that is conducive to the preservation of faith and morals, or to reprobate perverse doctrines, and condemn certain errors, such declarations of truth and condemnations of errors are infallible, or ex Cathedra acts of the Pope (emphasis mine). All acts ex Cathedra are binding in conscience and call for our firm interior assent, both of the intellect and the will, even though they do not express an anathema on those who disagree. to refuse such interior assent would be, for a Catholic, a mortal sin, since such a refusal would be a virtual denial of the dogma of infallibility, and we should be heretics were we conscious of such a denial (Alphonse Liguori, Theol. Moral. lib. I, 104). It would even be heresy to say that any such definition of truths or condemnations of perverse doctrines are inopportune.' (Father Michael Muller, CSSR(7))

4. 'This Magisterium [the ordinary and universal] of the Church in regard to faith and morals, must be for every theologian the proximate and universal rule of truth, for the Lord has entrusted the Church with the entire deposit of the faith - Holy Scripture and Tradition - to be kept, to be upheld and to be explained. In the same manner, we must not think that what is proposed in the encyclicals does not require in itself our assent because the Popes did not exercise their supreme magisterial powers in them. Our Lord's words 'he who listens to you listens to Me' also applies to whatever is taught by the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church'. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis)

5. 'In a word, the whole magisterium or doctrinal authority of the Pontiff as the supreme Doctor of all Christians, is included in this definition [at Vatican I] of his infallibility. And also all legislative or judicial acts, so far as they are inseparably connected with his doctrinal authority; as for instance, all judgments, sentences, and decisions, which contain the motives of such acts as derived from faith and morals. Under this will come the laws of discipline, canonization of the saints, approbation of Religious Orders, of devotions, and the like; all of which intrinsically contain the truths and principles of faith, morals and piety. The definition, then, does not limit the infallibility of the Pontiff to his supreme acts ex cathedra in faith and morals, but extends his infallibility to all acts in the fullest exercise of his supreme magisterium or doctrinal authority.' (Cardinal Manning, The Vatican Council and its Definitions (8))

At this point we can come to certain conclusions:
1) Christ instituted a hierarchical Church which was His own Mystical body, and as such the prolongation of His presence in the world.
2) He revealed to this Church certain truths and entrusted these to it as a precious pearl - the deposit of the faith.
3) He established a Magisterium in order to keep intact the deposit of revealed truths for all time and to assure their availability to all mankind.
4) He instructed the Church to teach these truths. The Magisterium is a 'divinely appointed authority to teach... all nations... all things whatsoever I have commanded you.'
5) This single Magisterium of the Church is entirely in the Pope, the vicar of Christ, and through him in all the bishops that are in union with him.
6) In so far as these truths are revealed to us by Christ, they are infallibly true.
7) The pope when he functions in his capacity as the Vicar of Christ, as one hierarchical person with our Lord, is to be obeyed as if he was Our Lord.
8) When the pope teaches in this capacity - ex cathedra - he teaches infallibly.
9) The Pope and the bishops in union with him are in no way empowered to teach anything other than what pertains to this original deposit 'in the same sense and mind' that they have always been understood.
10) Obviously doubts may arise as to the exact nature or meaning of some point of doctrine contained in this deposit. When such occurs, the hierarchy functions to explain and define, but not to innovate. 'The Pope [and by extension, the hierarchy] is only the interpreter of this truth already revealed. He explains, he defines, but he makes no innovation'(9).
11) 'The revelation made to the Apostles by Christ and by the Holy Spirit whom He sent to teach them all truth was final, definitive. To that body of revealed truth nothing has been, or ever will be added'(10)
12) There is no need for the Pope to use special formulas or attach anathema to his ex cathedra teachings.
13) The Ordinary Magisterium is to be believed with the same divine and Catholic faith as is the ExtraOrdinary Magisterium.


The Magisterium is also called 'living', not because it 'evolves' in the manner that modern man erroneously ascribes to all things, but because it exists today as a viable entity within what the theologians call the 'visible' Church. It is 'living' because it is vivified by the Holy Ghost. As Cardinal Manning explains: 'this office of the Holy Ghost consists in the following operations: first, in the original illumination and revelation...; secondly, in the preservation of that which was revealed, or, in the other words, in the prolongation of the light of truth by which the Church in the beginning was illuminated; thirdly, in assisting the Church to conceive, with greater fullness, explicitness, and clearness, the original truth in all its relations; fourthly, in defining that truth in words, and in the creation of a sacred terminology, which becomes a permanent tradition and a perpetual expression of the original revelation; and lastly, in the perpetual enunciation and proposition of the same immutable truth in every age.'(11)

In giving assent to the teaching authority of the Church we should recognize the fact that we are giving assent, not to a series of 'dry' doctrines decided upon by mere men, but rather to Christ Himself. Moreover, in so far as the Church and Christ are one, this obligation of giving assent also extends to certain matters intimately related to the faith such as the Sacraments instituted by Christ and the ecclesiastical laws by which she governs herself. As St. Catherine of Sienna says, 'the Church is no other than Christ Himself, and it is she who gives us the Sacraments, and the Sacraments give us life.'(12)

The Catholic Church is not a congregation of people agreeing together, it is not a School of Philosophy or a Mutual Improvement Society. It is rather the Living Voice of God and Christ's revelation to all people, through all time. It teaches only what its divine Master taught. It is in God's name that the Church makes the awesome demand she does on the faith of men - a demand that cannot be merely waived aside as being incompatible with the so-called rights of private judgment.

It will be argued that the Church has been far from pure in her worldly actions. This is to misunderstand her nature. She is by definition a 'perfect society', the divinely instituted Mystical Body of Christ. The human failings of individual Catholics - or groups of Catholics - in no way alters the Church's essentially divine character. She certainly contains sinners within her bosom, for she, like Christ, is in the world for the sake of sinners. Those who would reject the teachings of her divine Master because of her human failings, are similar to the Pharisees who rejected Christ because he ate with publicans. Despite such defects, the fundamental nature and purpose of the Church cannot change. She has never asked the world to follow other than the doctrine of Christ. 'The Proximate end (purpose) of the Church is to teach all men the truths of Revelation, to enforce the divine precepts, to dispense the means of grace, and thus to maintain the practice of the Christian religion. The ultimate end is to lead all men to eternal life'(13)

Man is free to examine the reasonableness and validity of the Church's claims; he is also free to accept or reject them. If he chooses the latter, which is in essence to refuse the authority of God's Revelation, he is forced, if he is rational, to seek some other basis and authority for his actions and beliefs. And this brings us to the below explained topic.


1. It is never inopportune to declare the truth. Cardinal Newman - was one of the leaders of this faction.

2. Approaches, (Ayrshire, Scotland), No. 89, 1985

3. Cardinal Henry Manning (an Anglican Convert), Three Pastoral Letters to the Clergy of the Diocese, several editions.

4. Rev. M. Muller, C.SS.. Familiar Explanation of Catholic doctrine, Benzinger: N.Y., 1888

5. The infallibility of Council teachings is dependent upon the Pope's approbation. The pseud-Council of Pistoia never received this and was never recognized as a Council. The post-Conciliar 'popes' have declared Vatican II (all of it) to be the 'highest form of the Ordinary Magisterium.'

6. An important consequence of the declaration on infallibility at Vatican I was that the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX was clearly declared to fall within the realm of the Ordinary Magisterium. Prior to this many attempts were made to examine the sources of the condemned errors in order to show that they were not 'worded' in such a way as to make them binding. It also protected the list of errors - Lamentabili - associated with Pope St. Pius X's Pascendi. Here again the modernists tried the same tactics, forcing Pius X to declare them to be binding in his Moto Proprio 'Praestantia Scripturae '(18, Nov. 1907). ('anyone having the temerity to defend any proposition, opinion or reproved doctrine will ipso fact incur ... excommunication latae sententiae simply reserved to the Roman Pontiff.') Again, the Oath against Modernism has been dropped. Despite this, anyone who cannot give his assent to this Oath, once required of every prelate at every step in his journey towards the priesthood or episcopacy, places himself outside the true Church.

7. op. cit. No 16.

8. New York: D,J. Sadlier, 1887, pp. 95-96.

9. Exposition of Christian doctrine - Course of Instruction written by a seminary professor of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, McVey: Phil., 1898.

10. op. cit. No. 14.

11. Cardinal Henry Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, Burns, Oates: London, 1909.

12. Quoted by Jorgensen in his Life of St. Catherine of Sienna.

13. W. Wilmers, S.J., Handbook of the Christian Religion, Benzinger: N.Y., 1891. This manner in which the Church sees itself is a far cry from the teaching of Vatican II and the post-Conciliar 'popes'. The Document The Church Today teaches 'Christians are joined with the rest of men in search for truth' and Paul VI tells us that today 'the Church is seeking itself. With a great and moving effort, it is seeking to define itself, to understand what it truly is...'



teaching authority

In the last analysis, man must in religious matters, rely upon some authority. Either this derives from some objective 'teaching authority' that is independent of himself, or else it derives from an 'inner feeling' that can be characterized as 'private judgment'(1). Clearly, the prevailing basis for religious beliefs in the modern world - be they Protestant or 'modernist-Catholic' - is private judgment, which is to say that paramount authority resides in that which at any moment commends itself to the individual or group most strongly(2). According to Vatican II, man's dignity is such that in religious matters, he is to be guided by his own judgment(3). Such a principle by its very nature represents a revolt against the Church (and Christ), for it proclaims that what the Church teaches is not morally obligatory. Vatican II seems to have forgotten that man's freedom resides, not in his being at liberty to believe anything he wants, but in his ability to accept or refuse what God teaches; that his dignity resides, not in acting like gods, but in his conforming himself to divine principles.

Private Judgment always starts out by accepting some of the teachings of the established faith and rejecting others - it is only a matter of time before the 'new' suffers in turn from the same principle. Within Luther's own lifetime dozens of other Protestant sects were formed, and one might add that within the post-Conciliar church the same thing has happened. That this is less obvious is because this Church blandly accepts the most divergent views - other than traditional orthodoxy - as legitimate. St. Thomas Aquinas said, 'the way of a heretic is to restrict belief in certain aspects of Christ's doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure' (Summa II-II, 1.a.1). Obviously, this 'picking and choosing' is nothing other than the free reign of private judgment. And as sects give rise to other sects, it soon happens that all truth and falsehood in religion becomes a matter of private opinion and one doctrine becomes as good as another. Again, it is only a matter of time before all doctrinal issues become irrelevant (who can ever agree about them anyway?). What follows is that morality loses its objective character, and being based on 'social contract', can alter in accord with prevailing social needs(4). Man, not God, becomes the center of the universe and the criteria for truth; doing good to others becomes his highest aspiration, and 'progress' his social goal. The idea of 'sin' is limited to what 'hurts' our neighbor or the 'state'. What need is there for God, for truth, for doctrines, for authority, for the Church and for all the 'claptrap' of the ages that has held man back from his worldly 'destiny'? All that is asked of modern man is that he be 'sincere', and that he not disturb his neighbor excessively. If in this milieu he manages to retain any religious sense at all, it is considered a 'private matter'. Man's 'dignity', which traditionally was due to the fact that he was 'made in the image of God', is now said to derive from his independence of God. In reality, man has been so seduced by the serpent - 'Ye shall be as Gods' - that he has proclaimed himself his own God. (As Paul VI said on the occasion of the moon landing, 'honor to man... king of earth,... and today, prince of heaven!'). He lives by his own morality and only accepts the truths that he himself has established. (It used to be said of the Protestants that 'every man was his own Pope'.) A satanic inversion has occurred and man cries out, as did once the Angel of Light - Non Serviam - I will not serve any master other than myself(5).

Of course, all this occurs in stages. What is remarkable is the similarity of pattern seen in all 'reformation movements'. What starts out as the denial of one or two revealed truths (or of truths derived from revelation), progressively ends up in the denial of them all(6). Similar also are the various subterfuges by which this is achieved. Almost all reformers declare that they are 'inspired by the Holy Spirit' (and who can argue with the Holy Spirit?) and end up by ignoring or denying His existence. All claim to be returning to 'primitive Christianity', which is nothing other than Christianity as they think it should have been all along. All, or almost all, claim that the are adapting the Faith to the needs of modern man, which is nothing else than an appeal to the pride and arrogance of their followers and an attempt to make Christianity conform to their personal needs(7). All quote Scripture, but selectively and out of context, and never those parts that disagree with their innovative ideas - thus it follows that they reject the traditional interpretation given to the sacred writings by the Church Fathers and the Saints. All mix truth with error, for error has no attractive power on its own. All attack the established rites, for they know that the lex orandi (the manner of prayer) reflects the lex credendi (the manner of believing); once the latter is changed, the former becomes an embarrassment to them(8). All use the traditional terms of religion: love, truth, justice and faith, but attach to them a different meaning. And what are all these subterfuges but means of introducing their own private and personal judgments on religious matters into the public domain? Finally, none of the reformers fully agree with each other except in their rejection of the 'fullness' of the established Catholic faith, for error is 'legion' and truth is one. As one mediaeval writer put it, 'they are vultures that never meet together except to feast upon a corpse'(9).

The traditional Church has of course always eschewed the use of 'private judgment' in religious matters. From a traditional point of view, man should seek to 'think correctly' rather than to 'think for himself'. (What kind of mathematician would a person be who computed for himself and considered the correct answer to be a matter of 'feeling' arising from his subconscious?) The Jewish fathers considered private judgment the greatest form of idolatry because it made oneself rather than God the source of truth. As has been pointed out above, man's 'liberty' lies, not in his freedom to decide for himself just what is true and false, but in his freedom to accept or reject the truth that Christ and the Church teach and offer. It is a saying of common wisdom that no man should be his own advocate or physician, lest his emotions interfere with his judgment(10). If we are careful to obtain authoritative advise and direction in the management of our physical and economic well-being, it becomes absurd for us to relegate the health of our soul to the 'whims' of our emotions. As Socrates said, 'Being deceived by ourselves is the most dreadful of all things, for when he who deceives us never departs from us even for a moment, but is always present, is it not a most fearful thing?' (Cratylus, 428, D). As soon as we make ourselves rather than God speaking through the Church, the criterion of truth, we end up by making man qua man the center of the universe and all truth becomes both subjective and relative. This is why Pope Saint Pius X said 'we must use every means and bend every effort to bring about the total disappearance of that enormous and detestable wickedness so characteristic of our time - the substitution of man for God' (E Supremo Apostolatu).

There is of course an area in which legitimate use can, and indeed must, be made of what is sometimes - though erroneously - called Private Judgment. In that case what are being made are not judgments in the Protestant sense, which are mere opinions, but rather objectively certain judgments which are nevertheless reasonable.(11) It must never be forgotten that the intellect of a private individual is capable in certain far from infrequent circumstances, of making judgments which are not liable to error, because within due limits the human intellect is infallible. As Father Hickey states in his Summa Philosophiae Scholasticae, 'the intellect is 'per se' infallible, although 'per accidens' it can err.' As Dr. Orestes Brownson states, 'private judgment (in the Protestant sense) is only when the matters judged lie out of the range of reason, and when its principle is not the common reason of mankind, nor a Catholic or public authority, but the fancy, the caprice, the prejudice or the idiosyncrasy of the individual forming it.'(12)

Such for example is the judgment a man makes use of in seeking the truth, and which makes him aware that in matters where he lacks full understanding, it is appropriate to use a guide. Again, there is the use of judgment in the application of principles to a given situation (conscience as the Catholic understands it), or in areas where the Church has never specifically spoken and where it allows for differences of legitimate 'theological opinion'. In all these situations there is a criterion of certainty beyond the individual and evidence is adducible which ought to convince the reason of every man, and which when adduced, does convince every man of ordinary understanding. Having stated the distinction between mere opinion and the proper individual use of judgment we can further add that such judgment can never rationally be used to abrogate principles or deny revealed truths. These same distinctions make it clear how false it is to accuse Traditional Catholics who adhere to the teachings and practices of the Church of All Times, and who reject innovations that go against the deposit of the faith, of using private judgment in a Protestant sense. To label them as 'Rebels' or 'Protestants' because they refuse to change their beliefs is either an abuse of language or pure hypocrisy.

Private judgment in the Protestant sense is inimical to the spiritual life not only because it denies the authority of Revelation, but because it also denies intellection. God gave us an intellect by means of which we can know truth from falsehood and right from wrong. Reason is normally the 'handmaid' of the intellect, which means its function is that of ratiocination or discoursing from premises to conclusions. Truth does not depend on reason, but rather truth becomes explicit with the help of Reason. We do not say something is true because it is logical, but rather that it is logical because it is true. Reason must then feed on some sustenance, and this it gets from above or from below; above from intellection and Revelation; below from feelings and sense perceptions. Modern man, while occasionally using his higher 'cognitive' faculties, in the practical order refuses to grant their existence. More precisely, being Nominalist, he refuses to accept any premises from above and limits the function of reason to dealing with what comes from below, from his feelings or sense perceptions. In this schema Reason is placed at the apex of man's faculties (Rationalism). Given these truncated principles, it follows that all truth is based on feelings and sense perceptions and hence is relative(13). Modern man lives on 'Opinions divorced from knowledge', which in Plato's words 'are ugly things.'(14) At the same time there was a parallel attack on the will. While mechanists and evolutionists deny free-will altogether, pseudo-theologians obliterated it in the name of a false concept of grace. (What else is 'justification by faith', but the denial of 'good works', those acts we 'willfully' perform. Surely grace builds on nature and will abandon us in proportion to our refusal to cooperate with it.)(15)

Those who see the futility of resolving religious issues on the basis of their (or someone else's) personal and subjective opinions, and who seek objective and external sources for the Truth, must inevitably turn to the various 'churches' for a solution. Of all the various 'ecclesiastical communities' that hold out the possibility of finding objective truth, only one has consistently rejected 'private judgment' as a source. Only one proclaims that God Himself (through Christ and the Apostles) has revealed the truth, and only one claims and can demonstrate that it has retained this 'deposit' intact from Apostolic times down to the present. This is of course, the 'One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church'. To quote St. Alphonsus Liguori: 'To reject the divine teaching of the Catholic Church is to reject the very basis of reason and revelation, for neither the principles of the one nor those of the other have any longer any solid support to rest on; they can be interpreted by everyone as he pleases; every one can deny all truths whatsoever he chooses to deny. I therefore repeat: If the divine teaching authority of the Church, and the obedience to it are rejected, every error will be endorsed and must be tolerated.'(16)


1. Atheists and those that deny the existence of any 'religious issue' also exercise private judgment - either their own or by submitting to the private judgment of others. Ultimately the only authority for private judgment is what an individual or group 'feels' is true. Some claim their beliefs are based on reason, but if reason were a sufficient guide to religious truth, and if all men reasoned alike, all would believe the same 'truths'. The Church teaches that we are not allowed to believe anything against reason, but at the same time offers to us many mysteries or truths which, even though they cannot be proved by reason, are in themselves reasonable. Such truths are said to be 'beyond reason' in the sense that they derive from Revelation. If neither Revelation nor reason is the source of our beliefs, then they must arise from our sub-conscious. Thus William James defines religion as the 'feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.' (quoted in Fulton Sheen, God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy, Longmans: N.Y., 1925). The idea that religion is a feeling arising in the subconscious is a condemned proposition of Modernism (Immanentism).

2. 'Groups' or 'ecclesiastical communities' may agree on broad issues, but never on detailed doctrine. The Protestant denominations early found it necessary to distinguish between 'fundamental' and 'non-fundamental' beliefs - the latter of which their followers were free to 'pick and choose'. Catholics are forbidden to make such distinctions. They must believe all that the Church teaches - even those things of which they may not be specifically aware. Yet this is the basic concept that underlies the modern ecumenical movements: as long as we are 'baptized in Christ', we are free to believe anything we want. In order to get around the difficulty Vatican II teaches that 'when comparing doctrines, they should remember that in Catholic teaching there exists an order or 'hierarchy' of truths, since they vary in their relationship to the foundation of the Christian faith' (De Oecumenismo). Dr. Oscar Cullman (one of the Protestant 'observers') considers this passage the 'most revolutionary' to be found in the entire Council, and Dr. McAfee Brown concurs while adding that the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption which are 'stumbling blocks in the ecumenical discussion' should clearly be well down on the scale of the 'hierarchy of truths'. (Michael Davies, Pope John's Council, Augustine: Devon, 1977).

3. Religious Freedom, Paragraph 11.

4. Consider the following statement given out in June 1978 by the Catholic Theological Society of America: 'Any form of sexual intercourse, including both homosexuality and adultery, could be considered acceptable, so long as it is self-liberating, other enriching, honest, faithful, socially responsible, life-serving and joyous.'' (The traditional Church considers Homosexuality a sin 'crying unto heaven for vengeance on earth' - Gen. 18:20-21; Rom. 1:26-32.) It will be argued that Rome protested against this statement - however all the individuals responsible are still functioning as Catholic priests with full faculties to hear confession and some of them teach in seminaries. No recantation was ever required. Much closer to the Catholic position is the statement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a black activist leader. 'One has to have an ethical base for a society. Where the prime force is impulse, there is the death of ethics. America used to have ethical laws based on Jerusalem. Now they are based on Sodom and Gomorrah, and civilizations rooted in Sodom and Gomorrah are destined to collapse.'

5. To quote Michael Davies (Pope Paul's New Mass, p. 140): 'It was the Council as an event which gave the green light to the process of the formal deification of man.' He quotes Father Gregory Baum, one of the periti (experts) at the Council, and currently head of the Congregation in charge of seminaries, as stating 'I prefer to think that man may not submit to an authority outside of himself.' Or again, John Paul II's statement: 'To create culture, we must consider, down to the last consequences and entirely, Man as a particular and independent value, as the subject bearing the person's transcendence. We must affirm Man for his own sake, and not for some other motive or reason; solely for himself! Even further, we must love man because he is man, by reason of the special dignity he possesses' (Address to UNESCO, June 2, 1980).

6. A Catholic cannot deny any truth the Church teaches. He must accept them all. As Pope Leo XIII said, 'To refuse to believe in any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all' (Sapientiae Christianae).

7. Few recognize the internal contradiction between returning to primitive practice and adapting the faith to the needs of modern man. The combination attacks the faith at both ends and leaves very little in the middle.

8. Pertinent is Paul VI's statement quoted in La Documentation Catholique of 3 May, 1970 to the effect that his Novus ordo Missae (the new mass) 'has imparted greater theological value to the liturgical texts so that the lex orandi conformed better with the lex credendi'. This is a frank declaration that either the liturgical texts in use for hundreds of years by the Catholic Church did not possess the degree of theological value which was desirable, or that his new 'mass' reflects a change in the lex credendi. Jean Madiran commented on this to the effect that 'the new Eucharistic prayers must conform better than the Roman Canon [did] with the true faith; this is also the opinion of the Taize community, the Anglicans, the Lutherans, and the World Council of Churches...' (Itineraires, Dec. 1973) I

9. 'the principal sin of heretics is their pride... In their pride they insist on their own opinions... frequently they serve God with great fervor and they do not intend any evil; but they serve God according to their own wills... Even when refuted, they are ashamed to retract their errors and to change their words... They think they are guided directly by God... The things which have been established for centuries and for which so many martyrs have suffered death, they begin to treat as doubtful questions... They interpret the Bible according to their own heads and their own particular views and carry their own opinions into it...' (Theological lectures on the Psalms, Dresden 1876; quoted by J. Verres,. Luther, Burns Oates: London, 1884). Ex ore tuo te judico!

10. It has also been said that a man who is his own spiritual guide has Satan for his spiritual director.

11. Cf. Dr. Orestes Brownson: 'Private judgement is only when the matters judged be out of the range of reason, and when its principle is not the common reason of mankind, nor a Catholic or public authority, but the fancy, the caprice, the prejudice or the idiosyncrasy of the individual forming it.' (Brownson's Quarterly Review, Oct. 1851). 'Here is the error of our Protestant friends. They recognize no distinction between reason and private judgment. Reason is common to all men; private judgment is the special act of an individual... In all matters of this sort there is a criterion of certainty beyond the individual, and evidence is adducible which ought to convince the reason of every man, and which, when adduced, does convince every man of ordinary understanding, unless through his own fault. Private judgment is not so called... because it is a judgment of an individual, but because it is a judgment rendered by virtue of a private rule of principle of judgment... The distinction here is sufficiently obvious, and from it we may conclude that nothing is to be termed 'private judgment' which is demonstrable from reason or provable from testimony.' (ibid, Oct. 1852).

12. 'Catholics establish with certainty, by objective criteria, the fact that the Church is infallible and then listen in docility to her teachings and at no point does mere opinion play any part in the procedure; whereas Protestants opine that Holy Scripture is Divinely revealed (this cannot be proved without the Church); they opine that it is to be interpreted by each individual for himself; they opine that their opinion as to its meaning will be sufficient for their salvation; and each and every interpretation they make of its meaning (except where no conceivable doubt exists from the text) is no more than an opinion.' John Daly, Michael Davies - An Evaluation, Britons Catholic Library, 1989. I am grateful to this author for his suggestions and corrections in this part of the text.

13. Father Smarius, S.J., puts it thus: 'The chief cause of this moral degeneracy may be traced to the principle of private judgment introduced by Luther and Calvin, as the highest and only authority in religion and morality. Since the time of these Reformers, religion ceased to be the mistress, and became the slave of man. He was no longer bound to obey her, but she was bound to obey him. His reason was no longer subject to her divine authority, but she became the subject of his prejudices and passions. The Scriptures although cried up as the supreme authority, lost their objective value, and men no longer listened to the words 'Thus saith the Lord', but gave ear to the freaks and fancies of every upstart prophet and doctor, whose best reason for the faith was, 'I believe so', 'it is my impression', 'it is my opinion'. Reason itself was dethroned, and feeling became the exponent of truth. Men judged of religion as they did of their breakfasts and dinner... new fashions of belief became as numerous as new fashions of dress...' Points of Controversy, O'Shea: N.Y., 1873.

14. Plato, Republic, IV, 506C.

15. The current expression of this error is the Protestant claim to be 'saved'. Those who are certain of their salvation would do well to consider the words of St. Paul: 'I fight, not as one beating the air: but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway' (1 Cor. 10:1-5). The Church has always taught that as long as man has the use of his faculties, he is capable of denying God and falling from grace.

16. Appendix to his work on the Council of Trent


One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic

'One Lord, one faith, one baptism'
St. Paul (Eph. 4:4-5)

Having determined the nature of the teaching authority of the Church we can now turn to yet another quality inherent in her nature: INERRANCY. In essence, she cannot wander from the original deposit and still claim to be the 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.'

It is amazing to what a degree these four qualities hang together - lose one and you lose them all. The Church is one in the doctrines she teaches. 'She is called holy and without spot or wrinkle in her faith; which admits of no sort of errors against the revealed word of God.' She is called Catholic not only because her teachings extend across time and space in this world, but because the term means 'universal' and the doctrines she teaches are true throughout the entire universe, in heaven, on earth and in hell. She is called Apostolic because she teaches the same doctrines which the Apostles taught, and because she retains intact the Apostolic Succession. Only the 'Catholic Church has these qualities, and it follows that other Churches which deny one or more of her teachings cannot be considered as the Church which Christ founded any more then they can claim 'union' with her.(1)

Oneness or 'unity' exists as a characteristic of this Church, not because the faithful agree with 'the bishops in union with the Pope', but because all its members, including the bishops and the pope 'agree in one faith' established by Christ, use 'the same Sacrifice' and are 'united under one Head'(2). It is not the agreement of the faithful with any faith the hierarchy may wish to teach, or to use any rite the hierarchy may wish to establish, but rather the agreement of both the laity and the hierarchy (who one hopes is also to be numbered among the faithful) with the doctrines and the rites that Christ and the Apostles established. Nor is the concept of unity restricted to the living, for by the very nature of things, we must be in agreement with all those Catholics who have gone before us back to the time of Christ, with those Catholics in the Church Suffering (Purgatory) and the Church Triumphant (Heaven).

It is repeatedly claimed by the present hierarchy that the Church has lost this 'unity' and that the various divisions among Christians constitute a scandal that must be repaired. The Latin title for the Vatican II document on Ecumenism is Unitatis redintegratio or 'The Restoring of Unity'. John XXIII established the 'Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity' and specified that Unity was the word, not Reunion. A new 'unity' is to be restored by claiming all Christian bodies that accept baptism are part of the true Church. In a similar manner the Documents of Vatican II state that the Church that Christ established subsists in the Catholic Church rather than is this Church. Recently the entire body of English post-Conciliar 'bishops' - some 42 individuals in all - publicly declared in an official communiqué on the nature of the Church that the Catholic Church embodies the Church of Christ in a special way, but that such a statement 'is not intended to exclude the fact that other Christian bodies also belong to the Church of Christ.' They further stated that the Church which Christ established also subsists in the Anglican Church. The response of an Anglican 'bishop' is pertinent: 'What has been swept aside from the ecumenical scene is the idea that the Church of Christ is identical with the Roman Catholic Church. Instead we have a picture of the Church of Christ embracing all the Christian churches, though not in the same way....'(3). If such is the position of the English hierarchy, it would seem clear that it has apostatized to a man from unity of the faith. And what of Rome which never reprimanded them?

As opposed to such a view, and based on what has been the constant teaching of the Church, unity exists and has always existed in the true Church. This unity exists even if the majority of the present hierarchy deviate from orthodoxy - indeed it is a matter of faith that such is the case(4). This is witnessed by the de fide statement of the Holy Office on November 8, 1865: 'That the Unity of the church is absolute and indivisible, and that the church had never lost its unity, nor for so much as a time, ever can.'(5)

If the new Church is telling us it lacks unity, it is also telling us that the pope and the bishops in union with him have deviated from orthodoxy and hence lost all magisterial authority. That the greater majority of modern-day 'Catholics' agree with such an errant hierarchy adds nothing to their authority. The personal views of the hierarchy do not make up the 'deposit of the faith', but rather, it is the 'deposit' that provides the hierarchy for their raison d'etre. 'It is the office of the Church... in fulfilling Christ's function as teacher, not to make new revelations, but to guard from error the deposit of faith, and authentically, authoritatively, to proclaim and interpret the Gospel of Jesus Christ'(6). As the Holy Office states, 'the Primacy of the Visible Head is of divine Institution, and was ordained to generate and to preserve the unity both of faith and of communion...'(7). Authority exists to protect the faith and not the other way around.

In the face of the post-Conciliar attitude, it is of interest to recall the statement of the Anglican convert Henry Manning: 'We believe union to be a very precious gift, and only less precious than truth... We are ready to purchase the reunion of our separated brethren at any cost less than the sacrifice of one jot of a little of the supernatural order to unity and faith... We can offer unity only on the condition on which we hold it - unconditional submission to the living and perpetual voice of the Church of god... it is contrary to charity to put a straw across the path of those who profess to desire union. But there is something more divine than union, that is the Faith'

'There is no unity possible except by the way of truth. Truth first, unity afterwards; truth the cause, unity the effect. To invert this order is to overthrow the Divine procedure. The unity of Babel ended in confusion... To unite the Anglican, the Greek and the Catholic Church in any conceivable way could only end in a Babel of tongues, intellects, and wills. Union is not unity... Truth alone generates unity. The unity of truth generated its universality. The faith is Catholic, not only because it is spread through the world, but because throughout the world it is one and the same. The unity of the faith signifies that it is the same in every place [and time]'(8). As the English Bishop John Milner said of the Anglo-Catholic Ecumenical movement in the 19th Century: 'if we should unite ourselves with it, the Universal Church would disunite itself from us'.

If we are then to speak of believing in the 'One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church' we must understand the phrase in the 'same sense and mind' that the Church has always understood it(9). 'There is only one true Church which remounts to Apostolic time by means of its traditions... For us, we recognize only one ancient and Catholic Church, which is one by its nature, by its principles, by its origin, by its excellence, which reunites all its children in the unity of one same faith...' (St. Clement of Alexandria). 'Such is the faith, which the Church received; and although she is spread throughout the universe, she guards with care this precious treasure, as if she inhabited but one house; she professes each of these articles of faith with a perfect conformity, as if she had only one soul and one heart. Behold what it is she teaches, what it is she preaches, what it is she transmits by tradition, as if she had only one mouth and only one tongue...' (St. Irenaeus). 'What they [the Church Fathers] believe, I believe; what they held, I hold; what they taught, I teach; what they preached, I preach...' (St. Augustine). It is with these principles in mind that we shall, in the next chapter, investigate the sources of the Church's teachings and practices.(10)


1. This paragraph is not intended to exhaust the meaning of this term in the Creed. The Church is holy, not only because she admits no errors against the revealed word of God, but also because she is holy in her Sacraments and morals; because her children, as long as they are preserved in their baptismal innocence or restored to it, are holy, and because of the communion of saints. The Apostolic Succession is the 'iniatiatic chain' which conveys the power of confecting the Sacraments from one generation to the next. This 'succession' pertains to the order of bishops who in this manner preserve the 'Apostolic function' down through the ages.

2. That 'Head' is Jesus Christ whose representative or 'vicar' on earth is the Pope. Hence it follows that to refuse to obey a pope who commands us to do what is against the laws of God is never to 'attack' the papacy, but rather to defend it.

3. The Remnant, Feb. 15, 1984. As the Documents of Vatican II state, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated with Christ. They therefore have a right to be honored with the title of Christian, and are properly regarded as brothers in the Lord by the sons of the Catholic Church... From her very beginnings there arose in this one and only Church of God certain rifts which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries more widespread disagreements appeared and quite large Communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic church - developments for which, at times, men of both sides were to blame. However, none cannot impute the sin of separation to those who at present are born into these communities and are instilled therein with Christ's faith. The Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. For men who believe in Christ and who have been properly baptized are brought into a certain though imperfect communion with the Catholic Church.' Elsewhere the Document states 'the brethren divided from us also carry out many of the sacred actions of the Christian religion. Undoubtedly, in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community, these actions can truly engender a life of grace and can be rightly described as capable of providing access to the community of salvation' (Decree on Ecumenism). The Anglican minister James Atkinson makes the following comment on such passages: 'The council Fathers made a valuable concession, the significance of which has not been sufficiently grasped, when they conceded a unity in baptism, an insight of Luther himself and a frequent emphasis of the late Cardinal Bea when he headed the ecumenical commissariat.' (Rome and Reformation Today, Latimer Studies No. 12, Oxford). He quotes Luther as saying 'A Christian or baptized man cannot loose his salvation, even if he would, by sins, however numerous; unless he refuses to believe' (The Babylonian Captivity).
Now the idea that unity of any kind rests on baptism alone, or that we are 'justified through faith in Baptism' is false. These teachings violate a whole host of traditional Catholic doctrines such as 'there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church'. There is no such thing as being a partial Catholic; nor can the Church admit that the rites of non Catholics are a source of grace. How different is the statement of Pius XII: 'only those are to be included as real members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith and have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the body or been excluded from it by legitimate authority for serious faults.' St. Fulgentius teaches: 'for neither baptism, nor liberal alms, nor death itself for the profession of Christ, can avail a man anything in order to salvation if he does not hold the unity of the Catholic Church' (ad Petrum Diaconum. C. 39).

4. If not, the 'gates of hell' would have prevailed. Actually, if only one true Catholic were to be left alive on earth, unity would reside in him.

5. Quoted in The Reunion of Christendom, A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy, Archbishop Henry Manning, Appleton: N.Y., 1866.

6. Canon George Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, Macmillan, N.Y., 1949.

7. op. cit. No. 39.

8. op. cit. No. 39.

9. Lutherans and Anglicans also use the Nicene Creed in which this phrase is found. They of course hold that Catholics teach a false religion, and that as such they have no right to use the phrase. John Paul II did not hesitate to repeat the Nicene Creed with the Lutherans when he joined them in their service in Rome in 1983. One wonders whether he understood the phrase in the Lutheran or the Catholic sense.

10. Quotations in this paragraph are respectively from Strom. lib. vii; Advers haeres. lib. 1. 10 and Lib. 1. Cont. Jul. cap. 3 The Quote from Augustine is given in Cardinal Joannes Franzelin's Tractatus de Divina Traditione et Scriptura, De Prop. Fide: Rome, 1870.




Few would deny but that the present situation in the Church is one of massive confusion. No two priests or bishops teach the same doctrine and every possible aberration is allowed in liturgical functions. How is a Catholic seeking to live the faith able to sort out the issues. The answer is the Magisterium. It is amazing to what degree this organ provides us with answers as to how to react and function, the limits of obedience to a false hierarchy, and even with regard to the authority of a pope who officially promulgates heresy under the cover of magisterial authority.

We can of course debate as to what is part of the ordinary magisterium and what is not. The criteria provided by Vatican I are all we really need to determine this. What we cannot do is deny the de fide teaching that the ordinary magisterium is just as infallible as the extraordinary magisterium.(1)

The greatest error possible is to deny the total authority of the Magisterium (remembering that there is only one magisterium that expresses itself in a variety of ways). To do so is to cut oneself off from truth and to turn one into a Protestant.(2) We have spoken of the possibility of holding theological opinions, but when one examines the magisterium, there is almost nothing significant left about which to have theological opinions.(3) Those who would tell us that the ordinary magisterium can contain error are wolves in sheep's clothing. If such is the case we must all become super theologians so as to pick and choose what is true and false among some 95% of the Church's teaching. Such an attitude allows one to reject anything one doesn't personally approve of while at the same time allowing for the introduction of every possible error. It is a satanic proposition.

And all this highlights the present situation in the Church with clarity. It is clear that Vatican II teaches a host of doctrines under the cover of magisterial infallibility that directly contradict what the Church has taught through the ages as true. If one accepts the teaching of Vatican II and the definition of the Mass that is promulgated in the General Instruction on the Novus Ordo Missae(4) - which all must do who accept the authority of the post-Conciliar 'popes,' one is forced to deny previously taught truths which is to apostatize from the faith.(5) Putting this in different terms, the Catholic today is forced to choose between two different magisteriums. That such is the case is glossed over by claiming that the living character of the Magisterium allows for development, progress or evolution of doctrine, another concept embraced by Vatican II. Now certain principles are clear. We can develop or deepen our understanding of the Magisterium, but the Magisterium itself cannot change under the euphemism of development. The reason for this is that Truth cannot change. Another principle involved is that once something is declared to be magisterial teaching, it takes priority over any change. Two contraries cannot be simultaneously true. It follows that one cannot remove what is magisterial from the Magisterium.

Once again this is affirmed by the Magisterium: 'Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the species name of a deeper understanding [Can.3]. Therefore... let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progres strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the sane sense and the same understanding.' (Denzinger 1800)

We have then the Magisterium as it existed up to the death of Pope Pius XII which can be called 'authentic,' and that which, having it's roots in an attempt to bring the Church into line with the modern world, established during the reign of John XXIII. Apart from Roncalli's prior freemasonic connections, we have his first act on assuming the papal role was to delete the phrases referring to and praying for the conversion of the 'perfidious Jews' from the Good Friday services. (Obviously, there were perfidious and non-perfidious Jews, just as there are perfidious and nonperfidious Catholics. Who would say Nicoddemus or Simeon were perfidious? Who would not say Simon Magnus was not perfidious?) This seemingly simple act, disguised under the cover of a false charity, was a declaration on his part of the principle of non serviam. It was like a first step in establishing the new post-Conciliar Church. It was followed with a host of other doctrinal changes.(6)

Catholics are often confused about the term Faith. Faith has, as St. Thomas explains, two aspects. There is the objective side of The Faith - which is incorporated or expressed by the Magisterium (and this is a 'gift'), and there is the subjective side of Faith which is the assent we give to the Revelation as taught by the Magisterium. Thus to claim to have the Catholic Faith requires that we give our whole-hearted assent to the Magisterium including those parts that we may not be fully aware of. The same is true of those who follow the post-Conciliar pseudo-Magisterium. Those of us who believe in a Revelation that is true and who strive to be able to able to say with St. Paul 'I live, not I, but Christ within me,' must be sure to adhere to the authentic magisterium given us by Him who is 'the Way, the Light and the Truth.' People who hide behind the present confusions, the shibboleths of doctrine development, obedience to the popes, etc., are in essence refusing to make the choice and run the risk of being included among the 'lukewarm.' (The degree of responsibility varies greatly with circumstance but clearly falls more on the hierarchy responsible for preserving and teaching the 'deposit of the Faith.') The reason why Catholics who adhere to the authentic Magisterium call themselves 'traditional,' is because tradition is what is 'handed down.' Those adhering to the post-Conciliar pseudo-magisterium have no right to use this term.

One can in fact label the objective side of faith as being equivalent to the authentic magisterium. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that faith (i.e., the authentic magisterium) holds the first rank in the spiritual life because it is by faith alone that the soul is bound to God and that which gives life to the soul is that which binds it to God, namely faith. God has opened to us no other way to eternal happiness than that of faith... he who has been raised to contemplation look not on faith as inferior to this extraordinary gift. The clearer and more comprehensive his vision, the stronger does one's faith become. As St. Catherine of Sienna said, 'the gift of prophecy can be recognized as true only by the light of the faith.'

This brings us to the issue of orthodoxy which is defined as 'true doctrine and sound faith.' It is only in light of the above need to be one with Christ and His Magisterium that heresy has meaning and also clearly risk. This is why the Magisterial condemnation of error always demands our assent. It is pertinent that the post-Conciliar Church has dropped the use of the Index and declares itself unwilling to condemn the grossest of errors. 'Pope' John Paul I publicly stated that in the Old Church 'only the Truth had rights, but now we know that even error has rights.' Once again however we must be careful. The True Church distinguishes between the possibility that we may be mistaken about some Magisterial point and therefore speaks of 'material' heresy (some 'matter' about which we are mistaken) as opposed to 'formal' heresy. She requests that 'competent authority' point out a material error to the individual involved and allow him six months to study the issue and correct him or herself. If after six months this correction is not made, the Church considers the individual to have added an attitude of 'obstinacy' to the error and normally deprives the individual of at least his teaching function. This is not 'thought control,' but the insisting on responsible people thinking correctly. 'Brethren, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Jesus Christ' (Phil.2,5)

All this highlights the dilemma of the Catholic in the post-Conciliar era and there is no rational way around this. Catholics who do not wish to drift are forced to choose. In order to get a perspective on the need to take a stand, one has only to ask how many Catholics would run their stock port-folio without investigations and choices. Despite all the supposed confusions fostered by 'the world, the flesh and the devil,' Holy Mother Church has provided us with all the criteria needed to make the right choices. The grounds for such choices are further delineated in other parts of 'The Destruction of the Christian Tradition' which is a text based on magisterial teachings.(7)

One further point. Those that assert their own opinions between the Magisterium and the faithful in essence create a cult in the pejorative sense of the word. Thus it is that both the post-Conciliar Church and such organizations as the Society of Pius X (advocating disobeying a Pope whose authority they recognize) are from this point of view 'cults' and not Catholic.(8)

All this raises the issue of obedience. Now obedience is a moral virtue. Faith Hope and Charity are theological virtues. Obedience without the theological virtues is an absurdity because it is always possible to give obedience to a wrong authority, even to Satan himself. Faith Hope and Charity are the proper objects of obedience - normally they are mediated through the Church hierarchy, but they reside ultimately in Him who is the Truth, The Way and the Light. Now this Truth, Way and Light resides above all in what He taught and teaches, which is incorporated in the Magisterium - once again, both the Ordinary and Extra-ordinary. Hence it follows that we must give our obedience (or what the Church calls our 'intellectual assent') to the entire Magisterium. Only by so doing can we think with Christ. And if we are to be Baptized with Christ, Buried with Christ and Resurrected with Christ, we must then also think with Christ.(9)


1. An excellent summary with documentation from over 50 recognized theologians dealing with 'The Infallibility of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church' by Father Bernard Lucien (in English) is available from the author for $15.00

2. Father Noel Barbara has stated: 'As soon as we accept the magisterium as the proximate rule of faith, we should make a firm determination to never in any way depart from her official teaching, and this not only with regard to matters of faith, but also with regard to matters of discipline. With regard to the authentic teachings we should forbid ourselves to make any distinctions between those things which we like while rejecting those we find difficult to accept. When I speak of the magisterium it should be clear that I am thinking of the authentic magisterium of the Church and not that of the popes of Vatican II. The teaching of the infallible magisterium and her disciplinary decisions are to be found in the authentic documents which are available for us to consult.' (Letter)

3. There can be no doubt but that the post-Conciliar 'popes' have rejected the authority of the Magisterium and would lead us to do the same. They thus have lost their authority because it cannot be said of them that he who hears them is hearing Christ. This is not a matter of 'theological opinion.' However, when it comes to describing or designating what these 'popes' should be called, or to explaining how this is happened, (materialiter/formaliter, sede vacante, etc., ) we are forced by circumstance into the realm of theological opinion.

4. There are those that argue that this document is not part of the magisterium. Once again we are being encouraged to become Protestants.

5. Despite disclaimers that Vatican II is a 'pastoral council' it should be clear that John XXIII claimed it was guided by the Holy Spirit. Paul VI in closing the Council stated that 'the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wising to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements, has made thoroughly known its authoritative teaching.' Still later he stated that the Council 'avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility,' and added that it conferred on its teachings 'the value of the supreme ordinary magisterium' (Speech of Jan 12, 1966), and that 'It had as much authority and far greater importance than the Council of Nicaea.' Elsewhere he has called it 'the greatest of Councils' and 'Even greater than the Council of Trent.' Perhaps the most clear cut statement is to be found in a letter to Archbishop Lefebvre demanding his submission to the post-Conciliar Church: 'You have no right any more to bring ut the distinction between the doctrinal and pastoral that you use to support your acceptance of certain texts of Vatican Council II and your rejection of others. It is true that the matters decided in any Council do not all call for an assent of the same quality; only what the Council affirms in its definitions' as a truth of faith or as bound up with faith requires the assent of faith. Nevertheless, the rest also form a part of the solemn magisterium of the Church to be trustingly accepted and sincerely put into practice by every Catholic.'

6. Documented in the Canon Law Digest, Vol V, p. 20 by T. Lincoln Bouscaren, S.J., and James I O'Connor, S.J., Milwaukee: Bruce.1963. As to his Freemasonic connections, these are documented by the Surite of Police in Paris when he was papal nuncio there. (Cf. L'Abomination de la Desolation by Professeur Gabriel Chabot and Commandant Rouchette, available from the latter at B.P. 151, 16105 Cognac, Cedex, France)

7. Available from James Wetmore, 343 Route 21C, Ghent N.Y., 12075

8. This issue is complex. One must remember that the grace of God floweth where it will. Cults have to be looked at objectively in terms of the degree to which they limit the flow of grace - do they for instance retain sacramental validity and to what extent do they enforce deviation? They must also be evaluated subjectively in the sense that the person participating may be able to ignore the deviation or by-pass it. But once again it is the authentic Magisterium which makes possible to proper use of judgement.

9. St. Catherine of Sienna once told the pope that if he acted in a certain way he would go to hell, and those that obeyed him would go to hell with him (Letters).



Quo Primum

One of the most important functions of the Authentic Magisterium is to protect Sacramental integrity. The Faithful have an absolute right to the Sacraments as they were given to us by God as a 'vehicle' for the transmission of Grace. Now the post-Conciliar establishment has violated the Magisterial structures aimed at protecting these Sacraments in every possible way. Consider the traditional Mass.

This rite was protected by the Papal Bull Quo Primumwhich states that no priest can be forbidden to say this Mass, and that the faithful shall always have access to it. This Papal Bull was moreover re-affirmed by every Pope from Saint Pius V (who promulgated it) to the time of John XXIII. This is now a forbidden Mass.(1) Attempts to disguise this fact such as allowing for the so-called 'indult' Mass, or the Novus Ordo in Latin with Chant prevail. Similarly organizations of seemingly traditional priests such as the Society of St. Peter are organized, but ordained with post-Conciliar 'bishops' who almost certainly do not have the power to pass on Holy Orders. But the fact remains that the Mass of All Times is forbidden and if one doubts this statement, simply go and ask a post-Conciliar 'bishop' for permission to attend it. Now this rite is not only forbidden, it has been replaced by a false Mass in which the 'Words of Consecration' (no longer led such) given us by Christ Himself have been changed. Remembering that we are dealing, as Scripture says, with 'powers and principalities,' this action of the post-Conciliar establishment must be labeled diabolical.(2) In a similar manner all the Sacraments that depend upon the priesthood, and particularly that of Episcopal consecration have been rendered at least doubtful if not totally destroyed.

An excellent example illustrating many of these issues is provided by E. Sylvester Berry. 'According to Protestant teaching, all men are free to worship 'God according to the dictates of their own conscience.' the doctrine is widely proclaimed today as 'freedom of conscience' or 'freedom of worship.' It simply means that every man is free, not only to believe according to his own interpretation of the Scriptures, but also to worship God in his own way. This either denies that Our Lord established any definite form of worship in the New Law, or maintains that we cannot know with certainty what it is, for surely no Christian could believe that he is free to worship as he pleases, if he admits that Christ has established a definite form of worship to be used by His followers.(3)


1. Many attempts to disguise this fact behind such names as 'abrogated' are used. Groups petitioning for the return of this Mass are asked not to refer to the Bull Quo Primum, which is absurd.

2. Cf. Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D., The Problems with the New Mass, TAN: Rockford III. See also A History of the Traditional or Tridentine Mass, Sophia, Vol, No.2 &3, 1995-6 (Foundation for Traditional Studies, POB 370, Oakton, VA 22124.

3. The Church of Christ, E. Sylvester Berry, D.D., London : Herder Book Co, , 1927.


Many hold that their decision as to how to behave in the present circumstances is one of following their conscience. Catholics should be understand just what this means and again the Magisterium makes it quite clear. One's Catholic conscience is not a 'still small voice' such as Newman and the Protestants believe in. There is a theological and metaphysical teaching that Synderesis (the divine spark within us) cannot err, but conscience can. Our consciences are far too easily influenced by our emotions and passions, by the milieu in which we live, and this is to say nothing of the effects of Original Sin. For a Catholic the conscience is a faculty used to apply God's laws (knowable from the Magisterium) to a given circumstance where the Church has not provided clear guidance. One cannot perform an abortion because one's conscience 'allows' one to do so. Nor can one use one's conscience to choose the 'lesser of two evils,' when both are against God's laws. One of course is responsible for a well formed conscience, which is to say, for knowing the laws of God (as they pertain to one's station in life), as promulgated by the Church and how they apply. But it would be impossible for the Church to formulate specifics for every possible situation nuanced or otherwise. Hence it is that Our Lord provides us with a conscience that allows us to apply the laws we know to some specific circumstance.(1) Where there is doubt as to such application, the Church recommends consulting a competent (and orthodox) confessor.

It should be abundantly clear on the basis of what has been said that a Catholic cannot reject the authentic Magisterium of the Church on the grounds of conscience. The Magisterium, the 'proximate rule of faith,' is in fact God's law for man. It is the Truth, and one obviously cannot deny the truth on the grounds of conscience.

The idea that God's love will protect us from the consequences of our rebellion is fraught with danger. Love is a reciprocal affair and as St. Francis de Sales instructs us in his Treatise on the Love of God, it has three aspects: love of delight in the divine perfections; love of benevolence, by which we will to praise the Lord, to serve him and work for His glory; and love of conformity, by which we accept all that God wills or expects of us, a love which has its consummation in the total donation of ourselves to God.

In the final analysis the Church has not left us orphans. She has provided all that we need to be Catholic in the present circumstances. Those that would argue that rejecting the heterodox teachings of the post-Conciliar 'popes' leads to denying the indefectability of the Church are simply not rational. It is precisely the opposite. If one accepts them one proclaims that the post-Conciliar Church has in fact defected, for it has changed its teachings and practices which is the essence of defection. The same can be said about rebellion. It is those who have changed Christ's teaching (and those who knowingly accept the changes) who are in rebellion. As opposed to such, it is those who have loyally adhered to the traditions, and who have refused to change their beliefs who have proven that the Church, like the Truth she represents, has never and never can defect. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the truth.

There is a way back. The paradigm is found in the parallel of the Prodigal Son. Having demanded our inheritance and left our home, many of us have he ended up eating the swill of modernism fit only for pigs. When we came to our senses we must return home and the embracing bosom of Our Father. Then it is that the 'fatted lamb' who 'is slain and is yet alive' can be returned to us - the lamb which is none other than Christ Himself. Those of us who, for whatever reason have left our traditional home in Holy Mother Church must make the choice.

In the last analysis, we must all choose between Barabbas and Christ!


1. 'By following a right conscience you not only do I not incur sin, but am also immune from sin, whatever superiors may say to the contrary. For conscience obliges in virtue of divine command whether written down or in a code or instilled by natural law. To weigh conscience in the scale against obedience to legal authority is to compare the weight of divine and human decrees. The first obliges more than the second and sometimes against the second.' St. Thomas Aquinas, Disputations Concerning Truth, 17, 5.




'The Church does not come out of Scripture, but rather, Scripture comes out of the Church.'
Father Urquart

Having considered the Church's Magisterium, its infallible character, the alternative 'sources' of truth in private judgment, and the nature of 'unity', we shall in the next two chapters consider the sources of the Church's teaching - namely that which for the sake of convenience is divided into Scripture and Tradition.

'It would be true in a sense, to say that there is but one source of Revelation (apart from God Himself), namely, divine Tradition - understanding thereby the body of Revealed Truth handed down from the Apostles... Nevertheless, since a great and important part of that tradition was committed to writing and is contained in the inspired books of Holy Scripture, it is the custom of the Church to distinguish two sources of Revelation: Tradition and Scripture.'(1)

Strictly speaking, Scripture is part of Tradition. The primacy of Tradition has been a constant teaching of the Church, and is indeed, as Tanquerey states, the 'principal source of Revelation'. He summarizes this teaching by saying: 'Tradition is more extensive than Scripture, and embraces truths which are not at all contained in Scripture or are contained there only obscurely; also Tradition is more essential to the Church than is sacred Scripture, for revealed truth at first was handed down orally by the Apostles, it was always proclaimed orally, always and everywhere it is to be proclaimed...' (2)

It is only just that such should be the case, for the Church existed long before the Scriptures were written. As far as we know, Our Blessed Lord Himself never wrote a line of Scripture; nor did he instruct his Apostles to do so. Indeed, the Apostles would have been surprised to note our dependence upon their writings, for when they portioned out the known world among themselves for purposes of evangelization, they carried no written word - handed out no Bible tracts - to the thousands upon thousands of converts they made. The books of the New Testament were produced and called forth by special circumstances - and only five of the twelve left us anything in writing. (St. Matthew's Gospel, the earliest, was written eight to ten years after the death of Our Lord; the Apocalypse, many years later). Moreover, as the Apostle John himself tells us, it was neither reasonable nor possible for every last word and action of Our Saviour to be committed to writing(3). Cardinal Manning puts it well in saying: 'We neither derive our religion from the Scriptures, nor does it depend upon them. Our faith was in the world before the New Testament was written.'(4)

Indeed, the fact that the books of the Old and New Testament are 'inspired' at all, cannot be demonstrated from the Bible, and is entirely based on Tradition . The contents of the 'canon' or list of books admitted as Scripture (as opposed to the Apocrypha), has been handed down to us as a result of the decisions made by the Church (under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost) at the Council of Carthage in 379. As St. Augustine said, 'I should not believe the Gospel, unless I were impelled thereto by the authority of the Catholic Church'.

To stress tradition is in no way to decry Scripture which is a major part of it, and as such remains one of the primary sources from which we come to know the Catholic Faith. And who can deny but that the Church has throughout the ages given the greatest possible veneration to what is called 'Holy Writ'? The Council of Trent taught that 'following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, [the Council of Trent] receives and venerates with equal affection of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and the New Testament, - seeing that one God is the author of both... But if anyone receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic church... let him be anathema' (Session IV).

Pope Leo XIII taught that they 'in their entirety, and together with all their parts, were written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.' He further added that 'it is utterly impossible for the least error to be divinely inspired' (Providentissimus Deus). Whenever the Gospels are read at Mass, the faithful stand and make the Sign of the Cross over their foreheads, their mouths and their heart, thus symbolizing that what they believe in their minds, they confess on their lips and love in their heart. Anyone who has attended a traditional High Mass knows how the Gospel carried in procession, incensed and venerated. If the great hand-written and illuminated Bibles of mediaeval times were 'chained' in the Churches, this is but similar to the practice today in any rare-book library. If they were preserved in the Latin (Vulgate), this was but to prevent the introduction of error into the established text . They were from the earliest days read in both the liturgical language and the vernacular - this we know from the history of St. Procarp who was martyred in the year 303, and whose function it was at Mass to translate the sacred text into the spoken tongue - a custom that prevails to this day wherever the traditional Mass is said. Nor is it true, as Luther and the Protestants claim, that the Church 'kept the Bible from the laity'. For example, there were at least nine editions of the Bible published in the German tongue prior to Luther's birth, and he himself used one of these as the basis of his own work; there were many more - perhaps as many as a hundred - in Latin (8). It should be noted that prior to 1500 any literate man could handle Latin with ease. Multiple editions were also printed in the other countries. And this is to say nothing of the mediaeval sermons which were often little more than strings of biblical quotations strung together.

Again, the Church has not, as Protestant historians claim, ever forbidden the translation of the Scriptures into the vernacular. As the Preface to the King James Version and as Cranmer himself admitted, there were a host of pre-Reformation translations into the Anglo-Saxon and English tongues(9). The issue only came under discussion when false translations produced by heretics made their appearance. And when they did, the Church with her usual concern for preserving the integrity of the Scriptures, imposed and promulgated certain legitimate and necessary limitations. Thus in England, it was the Lollard (the followers of Wycliffe) cry 'An open Bible for all!', meaning the incorrect and mischievous translations being spread abroad and the free interpretation of Scripture, that led Bishop Arundel to promulgate the following article at a Diocesan Council held in Oxford in 1408: 'We therefore command and ordain that henceforth no one ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY translate any passage of Holy Scripture into English in a book, booklet, or tract, and that no one read, wholly or in part, publicly or secretly, any such book, booklet, or tract lately written in the time of said John Wycliffe or since, or that may hereafter be made, under pain of excommunication until such translation has been approved and allowed by the diocesan of the place...'(10).

Let the meaning of the article be clear. There is no prohibition against translations as such, but against unauthorized translations. And indeed, such was both legitimate and necessary, for as Belloc points out, the reformers used the Scriptures against the Church in three ways: 1) They appealed to the sacred books against the Church as if Scripture could be used to negate tradition; 2) If the authority of the clergy was to be removed or undermined, an alternative authority had to be found, and indeed the Scriptures proved most useful in so far as no Catholic was willing to deny but that they had a certain authority - hence the cry of the Reformers: 'Sola Scriptura'; and 3) Scripture could be translated in such a manner as to distort the original meaning by simply changing a few key words - to say nothing of the heretical commentaries that could lead the reader of even orthodox translations to understand their content in an incorrect manner(11).

Certain 'Key-words'. What were some of these? According to Thomas Ward's 'Errata of the Protestant Bible', they were above all the words that specified the sacrificial nature of the Mass and the Priesthood. Altar became 'table'; priest became 'elder', church became 'congregation' and grace became 'favor'. St. Thomas More lists yet others such as Penance changed to 'repentance'; Confession to 'knowledge' and Contrite to 'troubled'. The Reformers also had a penchant for adding and deleting phrases they objected to. A classical example of this is Luther translating Romans 3:29 as 'justified by faith ONLY.' There is absolutely nothing in the Vulgate to justify the addition of the word ONLY. When Luther was taken task for this he responded: 'You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because of the word 'alone' is not in the text of Paul. If your Papist makes such an unnecessary row about the word 'alone', say right out to him: Dr. Martin Luther will have it so, and say: Papists and asses are one and the same thing. I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word 'alone' is not in the Latin and Greek text, and it is not necessary for the Papists to teach me that... It shall remain in my New Testament, and if all the Popish donkeys were to get mad and beside themselves, they will not get it out.'(12). In parallel manner they deleted important portions (those referring to the need for good works or Purgatory) of both the New and the Old Testament.

The Church is not only concerned with the proper translations of the sacred text; she is also concerned that the obscure passages in Scripture be understood correctly - that is, after the manner of the Fathers, the Doctors and the Saints(13). How could she do otherwise? For centuries she had taken an almost excessive care to preserve the Scriptures intact - no one has ever accused her of falsifying them - and if she took such care to preserve them in the exact form that they were given to her, how could she not be concerned with their proper interpretation?(14) Where after all did the Protestants get their Scriptures which they so freely interpret? And how else can we expect a loving mother to act?


'A man is said to expound Holy Writ in another sense than that required by the Holy Ghost, when he so distorts the meaning of Holy Writ, that it is contrary to what the Holy Ghost has revealed... such are false prophets'
St. Thomas Aquinas (15)

The post-Conciliar 'popes' have approved a variety of new translations, and while not overtly condemning the Douay-Rheims version, have all but consigned it to oblivion(16). The one in most common use is The New American Bible, approved for use with the Novus Ordo Missae or new mass. It carries an introduction by Paul VI in which he states that it was 'produced in cooperation with our separated brethren...' so that 'all Christians may be able to use it'. What this means is that the translation is one the Protestants approve of. Yet another is the Jerusalem Bible (approved, but not specifically recommended for use during liturgical services.) It informs us in the introduction that it was created with aggiornamento or 'keeping abreast of the times' and approfondimento or 'deepening of theological thought' in mind. It also provides notes 'which are neither sectarian nor superficial.' Still another is The Way, the Living bible, complete Catholic Edition, which one writer to The Remnant has described as 'the killing bible, complete satanic edition(17).

It is not surprising then to turn to these ecumenical editions and find that the very key-words which the enemies of the Church in a previous era used so effectively to attack the deposit of the faith, have now been adopted and approved by the post-Conciliar Church. Consider I Cor., 11:27 where the Latin calicem is translated as a 'cup' rather than a chalice. Such is by no means innocent when one finds altar translated as 'table' and sacrifice as 'meal'(18).

In some ways these new versions are even worse than their Protestant prototypes. For example, those responsible for this translation seem to have a positive aversion for the term 'soul'. Consider the Magnificat: where Mary says 'My soul doth magnify the Lord'. We now read 'My being proclaims the greatness of God' (Luke 2:46). Where Luke quotes Simeon as saying 'and thine own soul a sword shall pierce' we now read 'and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword' (Luke 2:35). Again, where Matthew asks 'what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul' we find the following: 'what profit would a man show if he were to gain the whole world and destroy himself in the process?' (Matt. 16:26; Mark 8:36). Even Christ does not escape! His words uttered during the Agony in the Garden are changed from 'my soul is sorrowful even unto death' to 'my heart is nearly broken with sorrow' (Matt. 26:36).

'Hell' has also been all but abolished. It is only mentioned once in the New American Bible, while it is mentioned over 120 times in the Douay-Rheims translation and over 50 times in the Anglo-Episcopalian King James version. Moreover, in the various cycles that are read to the 'People of God' each Sunday, the pertinent passage is not included. No wonder that belief in Hell has greatly diminished among the faithful.

Another favorite distortion is to change the word 'charity' to 'love'. St. Thomas More addresses this falsification and shows the Protestants used it with the deliberate intention of discrediting the teaching of the Church. 'For although charity', he says, 'be always love, yet is not, ye wot well, love always charity.' He discusses the differences between the two words as commonly understood. 'But now, whereas charity signifieth in Englishmen's ears not every common love, but a good virtuous and well-ordered love, he that will studiously flee from that name of good love, and always speak of 'love' and leave out the 'good', I would surely say that he meaneth naughtily.' He concluded that Tyndale had altered the word 'in order to minish the name of holy virtuous affection into the bare name of love, common to the virtuous love that man beareth to God and the lewd love that is between some worthless fellow and his mate.' Charity means to More, and to every other Catholic, that degree of supernatural love for God enjoyed by each particular soul in a state of grace. And this supernatural state is one to which a man by his own efforts can never attain, one which is entirely beyond his deserts, and in which he is raised to the dignity of an adopted son of God and is endowed by grace with the powers befitting his new status. Charity, then, is a key-word of the Catholic faith. Tyndale's object, as More points out (and Tyndale never denied), was to displace it by the commoner word 'love', and thus to make way for another Protestant key-word, namely faith - a faith, which, as they believe, without works, without charity and without grace, is sufficient in itself for salvation(20).

Again, the New American Bible constantly translates the phrase resurrexit and surrexit (active voice) as 'Christ has been raised' (passive voice), rather than the correct 'Christ is risen'. The distinction may seem minor, but Christ was not raised by another. 'If Christ be not risen (being god, in and of Himself)... then is our faith in vain' (1 Cor. XV) (21)

Still further and truly offensive to pious ears is the new translation of the Angelic Salutation. 'Hail Mary full of grace...' (Ave Maria, gratia plena). We now find it translated by the most acquard 'Rejoice, O highly favored daughter' - hardly a phrase to use in the rosary, but one the Protestants of an earlier period had used to denigrate the Mother of God. As Father Robert Burns comments on this passage are pertinent: 'I'm sure that God had many highly favored daughters, but I know of only one who was informed by an angel from Heaven that she possessed the fullness of grace.' And indeed, when Pope Pius IX defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, he pointed to his very phrase as evidence that the soul of the Blessed Virgin could never, even from the moment of conception, have been stained by sin (22).

Allow me to conclude with one final passage. In Genesis XXV, from whence comes the famous phrase of selling one's soul for a 'mess of pottage', Esau is quoted as saying to Jacob: 'Let me gulp down some of that red stuff, I'm starving...' How many parents would tolerate this type of language at the dinner table. Are we to assume the current crop of translators can't speak English? Or is there perhaps some attempt in all this to turn Scripture itself into a 'mess of pottage'?


1. Canon George D. Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, N.Y.: MacMillan, 1949. Yves Congar tells us 'this expression, 'two sources of Revelation', was rejected by a nearly two thirds majority at the Second Vatican Council. This decision is of considerable importance for the future of the dialogue recently reopened on this question between the Protestants and ourselves. As a well informed commentator noted on this subject: 'With this vote of November 20th (1962), it may be said that the period of the Counter-Reformation is at an end, and that Christianity is entering a new era whose consequences are as yet unpredictable.'' The Meaning of Tradition, The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, N.Y.: Hawthorn, 1964. Hardly unpredictable!

2. Ad. Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, N.Y.: Desclee, 1959. It has been argued by some that Tradition is a 'post-Tridentine' phenomenon. Listen to the words of St. Epiphanus (circa 370): 'We must also call in the aid of tradition, for it is impossible to find everything ins Scripture; for the holy Apostles delivered to us some things in writing and others by Tradition' (Adv. Haeres). St. Basil similarly speaks of dogmas being found - 'some in doctrinal writings, others handed down from the Apostles... both of which have the same religious force' (De S. Sanc.).

3. 'But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.' (John, 21:25).

4. Cardinal Henry Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, London: Burns,Oates, 1909. Indeed, Joseph Wilhelm and Thomas Scannell point out in their Manual of Catholic Theology (Kegan Paul: London, 1910) that 'the reading of the Bible is not necessary for salvation, or even advisable for everyone under all circumstances.' The fact that the Revelation of Christianity was given intact prior to the writing of the Scriptures makes the Protestant rule of faith - 'sola Scriptura' - absurd.

5. Exposition of Christian Doctrine, op. cit.

6. Contra ep. fundament., c. 5: prior to 379 a variety of texts were read during Mass, including some which were not written by the Apostles. The Council fathers decided which texts were spurious and which were authentic. There were for example, 13 Epistles of St. Paul. This council drew up the 'canon' of the New Testament, and their decision was confirmed by the Holy See. The Church has with great care preserved this body of writing intact and has never admitted any changes. She has moreover renewed her anathema against all who should deny or dispute this collection at the Council of Florence, the Council of Trent and Vatican I. (Rev. Henry Graham, Where We Got the Bible, N.U.: Herder, 1911).

7. Witness to the importance of this principle are the almost countless English translations of the Scriptures currently available. Many different translations are approved by the post-Conciliar Church.

8. cf. Catalogue of Bibles in the Caxton Exhibition at South Kensington in London in 1877. The subject of Luther's translation is discussed in Father O'Hare's 'The Facts About Luther', N.Y Pusket, 1916. There were nine German editions available before Luther started his translation, and 27 in print before Luther's was published. In Italy there were 40 editions in the Vernacular before the first Italian Protestant version saw the light. These editions were authorized by the Church. In considering these issues one should remember that the printing press had just been invented.

9. Rev. Henry G. Graham, Where We got the Bible, N.Y.: Herder, 1911. Anglo-Saxon translations obviously pre-dated Wycliffe. And why not if King Alfred saw fit to translate such texts as Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy for his subjects.

10. Rev. (later Cardinal) F. A. Gasquet, The Old English Bible, London: John Nimmo, 1847. He also calls attention to the Anglo-Saxon translations that predated Wycliffe

11. Hilaire Belloc, Cranmer, Phil: Lippencot, 1931. W. Walker, an individual hardly friendly to the Church, calls Luther's translation 'very free... judged by modern canons of accuracy' (The Reformation). Zwingli was even more critical: 'Thou corruptist O Luther, the Word of God. How much we are ashamed of thee whom we had once so much respected.' De Sacramentis, Vol. II, quoted by Galitzin in Galitzin's Letters, Loretto, Penn: The Angelmodde Press, 1940.

12. Thomas J. Ward, Esq., Errata of the Protestant Bible, Sadler: Boston, 1841 (many editions). The quote from Luther is obtained in Bakewell Morrison, S.J., The Catholic Church and the Modern Mind, N.Y.: Bruce, 1933.

13. 'The reading of Holy Scripture is permitted to Catholics, and is very profitable to them; but the text used by them must have been authorized by the Pope, and must be provided with explanatory notes.' Rev Francis Spirago, The Cathechism Explained, N.Y.: Benzinger, 1899. The Church has always encouraged the study of Scripture. 'This fancy', says St. Chrysostome, 'that only monks should read the Scriptures is a pest that corrupts all things; for the fact is that such reading is more necessary for you [the laity] than it is for them' (In Matt. Hom. ii). The Church however also taught: 'let the reader beware how he makes the Scriptures bend to his sense, instead of making his sense bend to Scripture' (Regula cujusdem Patris, ap. Luc. Hols. Cod. Reg.

14. Mistranslations are nothing other than the application of private judgement to the sacred writings.

15. Summa, II-II, Q. ll, On Heresy.

16. Available through TAN, Rockford III. This translation was for centuries the Catholic standard. It remains such to this day.

17. The Remnant, Dec. 17., 1981. Space does not allow us to review or even list innumerable other translations being used by post-Conciliar Catholics. Mention should however be made of the translation by Msgr. Reginald Knox whose many defects are exposed in a publication available from Britain's Catholic Library, P.O. Box 554, London, W8 6RS, England.

18. Similar distortions are to be found in the Sacraments. Thus for example the Latin Presbyter, normally translated as ' priest' is translated as 'presbyter' in the 'Form' of the post-Conciliar Ordination rite. A 'presbyter' is, according to the Oxford English dictionary, 'a non-sacrificing priest'. The issue is discussed at some length in my article Once a Presbyter, Always a Presbyter, The Roman Catholic, (Oyster Bay, N.Y., Aug. 1983).

19. I am grateful to Roslie Cowles for pointing this out. The Remnant, Oct. 15, 1983.

20. St. Thomas More, A Dialogue Concerning Heresies and Matters of Religion, New Haven: Yale, 1982. Also quoted in W. E. Cambell's Erasmus, Tyndale and More, Milwaukee: Bruce, 1978. The commentary in this paragraph is essentially that of Professor Cambell.

21. It is to be admitted that St. Paul uses the passive form in at least one place. The defect in the new translations lies not in saying Christ was raised, but in suppressing the texts that say He rose by His own power. For He was as much raised by His own power as by the Father with whom He is one Person. Many other examples could be given such as 'He groaned in the spirit and troubled Himself' (John 11:33) by 'He shuddered with the emotions that flared up within Him' - the latter clearly suggesting that Christ was not in control of his passionate nature.

22. One finds the phrase 'favored' in the Authorized King James Version and in the Gideon Bible. I suppose we should be grateful that it wasn't translated 'Hi ya babe!

Nihil Obstat

Exegesis is the explanation of the meaning of Scripture. As alluded to above, heretics not only mistranslate Scripture, they also misinterpret it, distorting its meaning so as to make it reflect their own private opinions. In an earlier age Catholic exegetes followed traditional patterns and a text published by an identified Catholic author (usually carrying a Nihil Obstat) guaranteed its authenticity(23). Prior to Vatican II authorized translations of the Bible carried annotated explanations of obtuse passages, such being required by canon law. Today Catholic authors frequently fail to identify themselves as such (it would be unecumenical) and priests allow themselves to be illustrated on book covers dressed as laymen (what we think of a surgeon who dressed like a garbage collector for the book cover of a medical text?) Moreover, when the Nihil Obstat is used, it guarantees absolutely nothing in terms of orthodoxy and functions only to seduce the unwary faithful(24). Official translations of Scripture are still required to have annotated commentaries of obscure passages, but these modern annotations are inspired by the same ecumenism as are the translations themselves.

'Traditions are necessary', says St. Alphonsus Liguori, 'that the Church may determine the true sense of the passages of Scripture.' Clear cut norms are available for the use of exegetes. Above all, these are the Fathers such as Sts. Augustine, Chrysostome and Jerome. Whenever they explain a given passage of Scripture pertaining to the teaching of faith and morals in a similar way, they have supreme authority (Ds. 1945). In addition, apart from the writings of the Church Fathers, there are excellent commentaries available. St. Thomas Aquinas's Catanea Aurea or 'Golden Chain' (translated into English in the 1850's - (strangely using the King James version of Scripture) provides a consensus of what the saints and fathers said on all the pertinent passages of the Gospels. Further, he has left us commentaries on the Epistles of St Paul. Another famous compilation is that of the 18th century Jesuit Father Cornelius Lapide running to some 35 large folio volumes. Unfortunately, only the commentary on the Psalms (that of St. Cardinal Bellarmine) and the New Testament are available in English(25). No one claims that these authors have exhausted every interpretive possibility, for as the ancient Jews taught, Scripture is like an anvil - when struck with a hammer, a thousand sparks fly forth(26). Clearly any given passage can have multiple meanings, but new insights, if such are developed, should fall within a traditional framework and be consistent with the entire corpus of the Church's teaching. Certainly, no amount of 'modern' or 'scientific' insight can contradict Church doctrines if for no other reason than that Science is of a lower order of knowledge than Revelation.

The Church has traditionally taught that Scriptural passages can be understood on four levels. To quote Dante's Convivio 'the first is called the literal and it extends no farther then the letter as it stands; the second is called allegorical (some use the term typical), and is the one that hides itself under the mantle of these tales... The third sense is called moral... [and] the fourth sense is called the anagogical (some say mystical) which is to say, 'above the sense'; and this is when Scripture is spiritually expounded.

Such is no longer the case. Modern Catholic Scripture scholars, following in the footsteps of Protestant exegetes, neglect these venerable sources and principles, and would replace the understanding of the sacred with what they call 'higher' and 'lower' criticism - philology, historical criticism, psychological interpretations, to say nothing of merely socio-economic and political expositions - reducing the Bible to the level of modern profane literature. It is on the basis of such a 'scientific' approach that individuals like Father Brown have the audacity to attack the Virgin Birth, Christ's Miracles, the Resurrection and a host of other doctrines. Those who do not accept these methods and conclusions are labeled 'Fundamentalists'(27).

Traditional Catholics would do well to be familiar with the jargon and methodology of these wolves. The term 'fundamentalist' was originally coined by the Modernists to describe, not those who insisted on limiting our understanding to the merely literal, but rather to describe those who wished to profess and defend the 'fundamentals' of the Catholic faith. As Stephen Clark tells us, it is used 1) to identify the early enemies of Modernism; 2) to describe the conservative interpreters of Scripture, and 3) as a term of abuse for those considered more conservative than oneself(28). As Father George Kelly notes, 'the Catholic Church of Pius X would be considered fundamentalist on all three counts'(29).

According to the canons of 'modern criticism', Scriptural Revelation can only be understood by a study of the original intent of the authors and this in turn can only be ascertained by a study of the context or circumstances in which they wrote - as if the contents of the Bible can be encased in the relativity of history. Such of course conflicted with the principle that the authors of these texts wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, so revised concepts of inspiration had to be developed. Rather than truths handed down in immutable form, these pseudo-savants hold that the Scriptures relate the experience of the Apostles - their reactions to 'inspirations' related in the idiom of their age. If such is the case, Scriptural passages can be seen as illustrations of God's action or influence on the men of that age rather than as the immutable Word of God and the unique communication of God's truth to mankind. As a result, the Bible becomes a record of the evolving religious consciousness of the human race. Needless to say, the modern exegete sees his function as reinterpreting this experience in such a manner as to make it applicable to the man 'of our times'. As The Cambridge History of the Bible puts it, this process 'makes man the judge of revelation; Man becomes the Lord of Scriptures.'

It was Luther who first distinguished between the critical study of the text (lower criticism) and the critical study of the context (higher criticism). The critical movement sharpened in the 18th Century, and developed most radically in the 19th. All this has culminated in the work of individuals like Rudolf Bultmann(30). His extreme historical scepticism, which showed in his work in the 1920s, subsequently developed into an insistence of the need to demythologize the whole New Testament. He argues that it is not only particular narratives and incidents (e.g. the Virgin Birth, the Ascension) which embody mythological elements, but that the entire Gospel accounts are based on a mythical conception of the universe (e.g., a three-storied heaven, earth, and hell) which cannot be accepted. Stripped of all such myths, the New Testament will disclose, according to him, its real meaning. He separates history from faith and makes of the latter an existentialist decision: Christianity [his Christianity] is true, whether it happened or not. Bultmann has been the driving force in New Testament studies since that time, not only in Germany, but throughout the entire world. He is one of the darlings and heroes of the modern Catholic exegete.

'Lower' or 'textual' criticism is used to 'study' and attack the accuracy and historical validity of Scriptural texts under the guise of establishing the original text of the biblical documents. The Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome looses its authority and Scripture is looked on as a piece of literature open to the kind of textual analysis given to the works of Virgil or Homer. Now, clearly there is a place for such studies - Sts. Augustine and Jerome both engaged in it. However their efforts were constructive, and despite mountains of effort, little of value has been added to their conclusions. The modernist uses this methodology however, not to demonstrate the consistency of his material, not to penetrate deeper into truth, but to attack the traditional teachings of the Church. An excellent example of this is the patently false contention that there was no word for 'all' in Aramaic, and hence that when our Lord said 'many' he really meant 'all'. (To demonstrate the absurdity of this contention one has but to change all the 'manys' in Scripture to 'alls'.) We see the effects of this in the mistranslations of the consecratory formula used in the Novus Ordo Missae, the rite used in the post-Conciliar Church to replace the traditional Mass.

An example of 'historical criticism' are the conclusions drawn regarding Melchisedech who is mentioned in the traditional Roman Canon of the Mass after the Consecration (God is asked to accept the Sacrifice of the priest, as he accepted the sacrifice of Able, that of Abraham, and that of Melchisedech -sanctum sacrificium, immaculatem hostiam. His name has been deleted from the Novus Ordo Missae. According to an explanatory footnote in the approved Anchor Bible, Melchisedech is thought to have been a king of Jerusalem in the Middle Bronze Age and a priest of the pagan god el Elyon. The New American Bible calls him a 'Canaanite priest' rather than an Israelite.) He brings out offerings and invokes his god, while Abraham, no doubt in a spirit of ecumenical dialogue, gives him a tithe of everything. Te reader is thus led to think that the Church prays (or prayed) in her most solemn rite that God would accept the sacrifice of Christ as he accepted the ministrations of a pagan hierodule, and that the Hebrew patriarch apparently recognizes the spiritual authority of a non-Israelite. He is further led to believe that in the post-Conciliar ordination rite, the presbyter is ordained according to the Order of the pagan Melchisedech. What the reader is not told in these various footnotes is that in Psalm 109 David is addressed as 'a priest forever after the order of Melchisedech,' and that the 'historical' Melchisedech of the commentator is a reconstruction based on pure conjecture - all the more so in that this mysterious individual had neither father nor mother. In the chapter on the nature of the traditional Mass it will become clear that the 'perpetual Sacrifice' is one of which Melchisedech represented a type.

Another aspect of historical criticism is the attempt to show that the Bible is a reworking of earlier 'creation myths' such as the Caldean or the Indian. No thought is given to the fact that we all derive from Adam (a de fide statement), and that other ancient peoples may have derived from him certain insights into the Creation of the world - what traditional exegetes have referred to as the remnant of some primordial revelation. And all this is to say nothing of the various attempts to explain away the miracles of the Old Testament as natural phenomena incompletely understood by those not as highly evolved as ourselves, or the attempt to show that Genesis is really two books, or that Moses could not have been the author of he first five books of the Bible (31).

Even more devastating is 'higher' criticism. This in turn is subdivided into: 1) 'Form criticism' which supposedly studies the literary form the author used to convey his meaning - is it poetry, fable, drama or history. Now of course Scripture is all of these things, but not in the sense that the modern understands them. To reduce the Sacrifice of the Cross to mere history is to deprive it of all metaphysical impact; to see the Canticle of Canticles as mere poetry is to place it on a level with the writings of Longfellow and Robert Burns, cute and pleasing, but void of intellectual content. (In his general Audiences of May 1984 John Paul II actually discussed the 'body language' of the Song of Songs!) 2) 'Redaction criticism' which attempts to delineate and reassemble the original source material that the New Testament author used in fashioning his particular Gospel or Epistle - asking such questions as what needs and purposes led the authors to write as they did, and where the original sources of their material lay. As a result of these techniques - essentially conjectural in nature - Scripture is divorced from the rest of tradition so necessary to its proper understanding, and is reduced to a collection of poetic myths, often borrowed from pagan sources. Individuals like Father Brown - their name is legion - have the impudence to raise such questions as: Was Jesus really conceived by the Holy Ghost or was he conceived by sexual intercourse? Are the stories on which the Church's understanding of Mary's conception of Jesus really true? Are they based on historical fact or are they legends drafted after the 'resurrection' to enhance Jesus' importance in the early Christian community? (...)

Conservative defenders of the post-Conciliar church will immediately claim that Father Brown, Hans Kung, Schillenbecxs and individuals of similar ilk - individuals in full communion with the post-Conciliar Church - are 'abuses' that do not represent real Catholicism. They are of course correct in this - they are indeed abuses that do not represent the true Church. But what is one to say when for example these individuals are given the full support of the hierarchy and are given free reign to spread their errors in post-Conciliar seminaries and priestly 'Renewal Programs'. Father Brown, despite innumerable complaints on the part of the Catholic laity, is repeatedly defended by such eminent post-Conciliar 'bishops' as James Rausch (General Secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference), Archbishop Whealon of Hartford, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros of Boston and Cardinal Timothy Manning of Los Angeles - all men with the reputation of acting to restore the traditional Church. Despite all the talk of a 'return to orthodoxy' none of the post-Conciliar 'popes' has taken any effective action against these 'creeps'. It is an old story. These wolves who would, to use a phrase of St. Gregory of Nyssa, 'break the bones of Scripture' are given full freedom to attack the sheep - the shepherds, if not actively encouraging the resulting devastation, stand idly by 'like dogs who cannot bark'(32).

It is impossible to understand how anyone with a love of Scripture and Holy Mother Church can tolerate such abuse or ignore the terrible course pronounced against those who add to, detract from, or pervert the holy words of Scripture (Apoc. 22: 18-19). St. Augustine instructs us that 'heresy is derived from the Greek word for election, because each person chooses for himself that doctrine which he likes best. Wherefore, whosoever understands the Scriptures contrary to the sense of the Holy Ghost, by whom they were written, can, though he secedes not from the Church, be called a heretic.' He further tells the story of an African bishop who in preaching to his subjects desired to substitute for a single word of the Gospel, another which seemed to him more appropriate. The people revolted. Affairs came to such a pass that the bishop was obliged to retract what he had said, and to restore the ancient word, failing which the people would have abandoned him(33). Surely this provides an example for our times.

In the face of all this sloppy ecumenical compromise - the phrase is gentle, for in an earlier age it would have correctly been described as depraved innovation and heresy - on the part of the post-Conciliar hierarchy, one wonders just how they understand and explain away the instruction of St. Paul: 'Hold the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me in faith and in love, which is in Christ Jesus...' (2 Tim. 1:13) (34)

But our study carries us beyond the issues of Scripture. The Bible is by no means the only channel through which Tradition is preserved and handed down. Other organs of the Magisterium also sub-serve this function - above all the Liturgy (the traditional Mass, the Breviary, the Sacramental rites and traditional prayers), the Councils, the writings of the sub-Apostolic fathers and the historical documents of the Church. It is these 'traditions' of the Church, as much as Scripture, which function to preserve the original deposit. St. Francis de Sales tells us that 'the orthodox fathers received and honor with an equal affectionate piety and reverence, all the books as well of the Old Testament as the New, since the one God is the author of both, and also these Traditions, which as it were, were orally dictated by Christ or the Holy Ghost and preserved in the Catholic Church by perpetual succession.' He further states that 'the Scripture is the Gospel, but it is not the whole Gospel, for traditions form the other part... He then who shall teach against what the Apostles have taught, let him be accursed; but the Apostles have taught by writing and by Tradition, and the whole is the Gospel.' Hence it follows that, as St. John of Damascus said, 'he who believeth not according to the Tradition of the Catholic Church... is an unbeliever', and St. Augustine says, 'it is madness to quit the traditions of the church.' How could these saints say otherwise when the Apostle himself instructs us: 'Stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle...' (2 Thes. 2:14).

It is the nature of Tradition that we shall discuss in the next chapter.


23. Nihil Obstat means there is nothing objectionable.

24. One can document case after case where errors are given such approval.

25. St. Thomas Aquinas, Catanea aurea, Oxford 1845. His commentaries on the Pauline epistles are available in English from Magi Books, Albany, N.Y., 1966. Cornelius Lapide's Commentary on the New Testament was published in English (Edinborough: John grant, 1908). If the post-Conciliar Church is truly interested in the salvation of souls, it could spend its money on republishing and translating such great works rather than in tearing Tabernacles out of Altars.

26. The Sayings of the Jewish Fathers (Pirke Aboth), translated by W.O.E. Oesterley, London: S.P.C.K.,1919

27. Father Brown remains a priest in good standing. He is currently teaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York and is called by Father Kelly 'the Catholic Church's premier ecumenical biblicist.'

28. Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ. Quoted in No. 29.,

29. Father George A. Kelly, The New Biblical Theorists, Ann Arbor: Servent Books, 1983. Father Kelly exposes the new exegetes fro the frauds that they are, and argues that they are examples of 'abuses' in the post-Conciliar era. His argument falls short however in that they are not condemned (one knows what Pius X would have done), and in that he has nothing to say about the new false translations of Scripture that clearly have post-Conciliar approval at the highest level.

30. The nefarious origin of this type of scholarship in the 'Bible Destructive Group' established around the time of the French Revolution is well described by Dr. Ratibor-Ray M. Jurevich in The Contemporary Faces of Satan, Denver: Ichthys Books, 1985.

31. Those confused by the seeming contradiction of the Genesis explanation of the Creation and that offered in Ecclesiastes are referred to Wolfgang Smith, Teilhardism and the New Religion, TAN: III., 1988.

32. St. Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Poses, N.Y. : Paulest Press, 1978.

33. The first quote from his Commentary on Gal. V, the second is quoted in The Catechism of Perseverence by Monsignor Gaume, Dublin: Denzinger, 1888, vol. I.

34. This is now translated as 'take as a model of sound teaching what you have heard me say...' The other pertinent passage from 1 Tim. 6:20 - 'keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane novelties and words' is now translated as 'guard what has been committed to you. Stay clear of worldly, idle talk.' Other excellent references to the problem of bad translations are Ronald D. Lambert's Experiment in Heresy and Gary K. Potter's The Liturgy Club, both in Triumph (Wash. D.C.) March and May 1968. A similar pattern is to be found in the French translations. Cf. A propos d'une falsification do l'Ecriture par Gerard Garitte, Itinieres, Nov. 1977. An excellent discussion by a non-Christian is to be found in The Survival of English by Ian robinson, England: Cambridge, 1977.

35. St. Francis de Sales, The catholic Controversy, translated by the Rev. Cuthbert Hedley, O.S. B., London: burns Oates, 1909. The first quotation originates from the Fourth Session of the Council of Trent.

36. De fide ortho., IV, 10, col. 1128. Quoted by J. Tixeront, History of Dogmas, London: Herder, 1926.

37. Quoted by St. Canisius in his Summa doctrinae christianae, Augustae vincelicorum apud Carolum Kollmann, 1833.



De Divine Traditione et Scriptura

Etymologically tradition simply means 'that which is transmitted,' or 'handed on.' According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (l908), 'traditional truth was confided to the Church as a deposit which it would guard and carefully transmit as it had received it without adding to it or taking anything away...'

As to the hierarchy, as Cardinal Franzelin puts it in his work 'De Divine Traditione et Scriptura': 'The Lord chose a body of men to whom he entrusted his Revelation. He sent them to preach this truth and he threatened punishment on those who would not listen to them... Entrusted with this mission, the Apostles and their appointed successors have taught all generations the revealed truth which comes from Christ.'

It should of course be abundantly clear that the Christian Revelation was complete with the death of the last Apostle. There is no such thing as 'ongoing revelation.' The Teaching of the Magisterium is quite clear on this issue: 'The Revelation made to the Apostles by Christ and by the Holy spirit whom He sent to teach them all truth was final, definitive. To that body of revealed truth nothing has been, or ever will be, added.'(3)

It should also be clear that this restriction on the hierarchy applies as much to the Pope as it does to any other member of the body of the faithful. As Cardinal Hergenrother notes (in the Catholic Encyclopedia), 'He is circumscribed by the consciousness of the necessity of making a righteous and beneficent use of the duties attached to his privileges... He is also circumscribed by the spirit and practice of the Church, by the respect due to General councils, and to the ancient statutes and customs' Now, this Revelation is given to us in Scripture and Tradition, and is preserved for us in the writings of the 'Fathers,' and the 'traditions(4)' of the Church. It is passed on to us through the various 'organs' of the Magisterium, of which the Pope himself is but one.

We have already discussed Scripture and shown that in fact, it is but a part of tradition. In the present chapter we will consider in greater detail this broader concept. And in doing so, we shall follow the pattern of theological texts by initiating the discussion with the following de fide statement taken from Session IV of he Council of Trent: 'Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgates with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that the truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand; [the synod], following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety and reverence all the books of both the Old and the New Testament - seeing that one God is the author of both, - as also the said traditions, those appertaining to faith as well as to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ's own mouth or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession... If anyone... knowingly and deliberately condemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.'

Despite the distortions that mistranslating and private interpretation leave Scripture open to, and despite the fact that the various Protestant sects reject certain of the Biblical books of the Catholic Canon (as Luther repudiated both the Epistle of St. James and the book of Esther), the meaning of the term remains relatively clear. Such however is not true of the term 'tradition' which has been used in such a wide variety of contexts, and with reference to different aspects of the divine depositum. Some would limit its use to the divinely revealed dogmas not contained in Scripture, while others apply the term to cover the whole spectrum of Catholic teaching and practice(5). In order to clarify the issue theologians have defined Tradition as dogmatic or disciplinary from the point of view of its subject matter; and divine or divine-Apostolic from the point of view of its origin. It is divine or divine-Apostolic to distinguish it, on the one hand from ecclesiastical traditions, which are the precepts and customs long observed in the Church, and which, even if they might have been revealed, can only be traced back to post-Apostolic times, and on the other hand, from human-Apostolic traditions which trace their origin to the Apostles indeed, but not in their capacities as channels of Revelation(6). Normally such distinctions are important only to theologians and historians. In the current situation, where the post-Conciliar church is abandoning many of its ancient practices faster than it can invent new ones, the defense of the faith requires that we be familiar with these concepts.

Several points can now be made: First of all Tradition (with a capital 'T') as a source of Revelation refers to immutable things which cannot be rejected or changed regardless of whether they have been defined in a de fide manner or solemnly proclaimed to be such. Second, such Traditions include both Truths and Disciplines which have as their source Christ and the Apostles. Third, it is extremely difficult if not impossible, at this point in time, to distinguish between what is 'sub-Apostolic', what is truly 'divine-Apostolic'and what is of' human-Apostolic' origins.(7) Thus for example, in the Canon of the traditional Mass, apart from the Words of Consecration, we are by no means sure which parts are of divine-Apostolic as opposed to ecclesiastical tradition. It must be remembered that, as Cardinal Bellarmin states in his De Verbo Dei, Tradition is called 'unwritten,' not because it was never written down, but because it was not written down by the first author.(8) It may be reasonably assumed that the sub-Apostolic authors to whom 'innovation' was anathema, codified many 'customs, precepts, disciplines and practices' that were truly of Apostolic origin. Further, it must be stated that ecclesiastical traditions, while not carrying the same weight as Apostolic ones, certainly deserve our greatest veneration, and to reject them on the grounds that they are not 'divine,' is as absurd as to reject the canons of the Ecumenical councils because they did not derive from Christ Himself. As St. Augustine says with regard to the early bishops: 'what they found in the Church, they held, what they had learned, they taught; what they had received from the Fathers, this they delivered to the children.'

Hence it follows that as St. Peter Canisius states in his Summa Doctrinae Christianae, 'it behoves us unanimously and inviolably to observe the ecclesiastical traditions, whether codified or simply retained by the customary practice of the Church.' All these points are summed up in the following, taken from a standard theological text: 'There are many regulations which have been handed down with Apostolic authority, but not as revealed by God. They are merely Apostolic Traditions, in contra-distinction to divine-Apostolic Traditions. This distinction, though clear enough in itself, is not easy of application, except in matters strictly dogmatical or strictly moral. In other matters, such as ecclesiastical institutions and disciplines, there are various criteria to guide us; e.g. (A) the distinct testimony of the teaching Apostolate or of ecclesiastical documents that some institution is of Divine origin...; (B) the nature of the institution itself - for instance the essential parts of the sacraments... Where these criteria cannot be applied and the practice of the Church does not decide the point, it remains an open question whether a given institution is of Divine right and belongs to the Deposit of the Faith. IN any case, we are bound to respect such traditions, and also those which are merely ecclesiastical. Thus in the Creed of Pius IV [Creeds are part of the Solemn Magisterium - Ed.] we say: 'I most steadfastly admit and embrace Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Traditions and all other observances and institutions of the said church... I also receive and admit the received and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church used in the solemn administration of all the Sacraments.'

Among the Traditions which are clearly of Apostolic origin are included 'the inspiration of the books of the Old and the New Testament, the power of the sign of the cross, the determination of the precise number of the sacraments, the baptism of infants, the validity of baptism administered by heretics, the substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath, the Assumption of the most Blessed Virgin, etc...'(10). One can add to this list the 'form' and 'matter' of the Sacraments, especially that of the Holy Mass, and the establishment of the Episcopate as the legitimate descendants of the Apostles. It is this latter act that carries with it the concept of tradition (with a small 't'), for the legitimate pastors of the early Church established the ecclesiastical traditions - the 'precepts, customs, disciplines and practices,' not as men establishing human customs, but either as codifying those they had received or learnt from the Apostles, or as members of that one body fashioned by God Himself and animated and directed by His Holy Spirit. 'Hence their testimony is not the testimony of men, but of the Holy Ghost.' As it states in the Epistle of Diognetus, Christians 'have no earthly discovery transmitted to them, and are not careful to guard any mortal invention.'

One is hardly surprised to find the majority of Church Fathers failing to make any clear distinction between Apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions. Cardinal Tixeront in his St. John Damascene states: 'St. Leo uses the word Tradition in its primitive sense of teaching and custom transmitted by word of mouth or practice.' He states elsewhere in the same text that St. John Damascene, 'like St. Basil... admits as a rule of faith, besides Scripture, certain unwritten traditions that have come down from the Apostles, and certain ecclesiastical customs that must be accepted as authoritative.' St Jerome also conceives of tradition in this broader contest: 'The traditions and customs of the Church can make up for the silence of Scripture [on many points] as may be seen in many of her practices.' Such an understanding is also reflected by Father Barry writing as recently as 1906: 'Catholics assuredly mean by Tradition the whole system of faith and ordinances which they have received from the generations before them... so back to the Apostles of Christ.' Finally, as st. Basil points out, it is always the heretics that reject tradition.

The Councils also reflect the mind of the Church on this issue. Thus Cannon III of the Council of Carthage and Cannon XXI of the Council of Gangra state that it is 'insisted that the unwritten traditions shall have sway.' the Seventh Ecumenical council states that 'if anyone disregards any ecclesiastical tradition, written or unwritten, let him be anathema,' and 'let everything that conflicts with ecclesiastical tradition and teaching, and that has been innovated and done contrary to the examples outlined by the saints and the venerable Fathers, or that shall hereafter at any time be done in such a fashion, be anathema.' The Second Council of Nicaea also condemned 'those , who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent novelties of some kind.'

Such also is the attitude of the saints and the Popes. St. Peter Damian (a 'doctor' of the Church) writes that 'it is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church... Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set.' St. John Chrysostome states: 'Is it Tradition, [if so] ask nothing more.' As Pope Benedict XV said, repeating almost verbatim one who held the Chair of Peter almost a thousand years before (Pope Sylvester), 'Do not innovate anything. Rest content with the Tradition.' Not one Church Father, not one saint or doctor of the Church, and not one Pope (prior to the present era) has ever decried or attempted to change the ecclesiastical traditions.

All this is a far cry from the teaching of the New and post-Conciliar Church whose erstwhile leader, Paul VI tells us 'it is necessary to know how to welcome with humility and an interior freedom what is innovative; one must break with the habitual attachment to what we used to designate as the unchangeable traditions of the Church...' Judas could not have said it better!


1. A Manual of Catholic Theology, based on Scheeban's 'Dogmatic' by Joseph Wilhelm and Thomas Scannel, London: Kegan Paul, 1909.

2. Canon George D. Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, op. cit.

3. In a similar vein: Fr. Daniel Lyons, Christianity and Infallibility, N.Y., Longmans Green, 1892: 'Neither the Church nor the Pope has power to add to it, or to take from, or to alter, in one jot or title, the contents of this Apostolic Revelation or deposit of faith.'

4. Tradition is further classified as objective when referring to dogmatic truths, and active by some in reference to the 'customs, precepts, disciplines, and practices,' and by still others when referring to the various organs of transmission such as the rites of the Church and the teaching Magisterium. It is called constitutive if it is established by the Apostles and continuative if of later origin. With regard to its relationship with Scripture, it is termed inherent (if what is handed on is clearly stated in Scripture), declarative (only stated in an obscure manner in Scripture and needing the help of Tradition to be understood, and constitutive (if not to be found in Scripture).

5. 'Every truth, every proposition of the deposit of Revelation is and has ever been implicitly of Catholic Faith; but that only those portions of it which have been authenticated by the infallible authority of the Church and by her proposed for the belief of all the faithful, are explicitly of Catholic faith.' Franzelin, op. cit, quoted from Daniel Lyons, op. cit., p. 214. The distinction is also discussed in Chapters II and V.

6. Many assume that Revelation only comes from Christ. While it is ultimately true that all Revelation comes from God, it may also come to us through the medium of the Apostles. The Christian Revelation was complete with the death of the last Apostle.

7. St Clement, fourth Bishop of Rome and travelling companion to St. Paul, is described by the early Fathers as 'sometimes Apostolic, sometimes Apostle, sometimes almost Apostle.'

8. contra Jul. Pelag. The Fathers of the Council of Trent were quite specific that 'truths and disciplines are contained in the written books and in the unwritten traditions,' but declined to specify these in an exact manner. The following passage from Rev. J. Waterworth's Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (London, Burns Oates, 1848) is pertinent: 'These regulations having been completed, the private congregations proceeded to consider divine and apostolic traditions - such doctrines that is, and practices, as, taught by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, have not been recorded in the sacred writings, but have been transmitted in various ways from age to age. Numerous congregations, both particular and general were held on this subject. On the existence of such traditions all were agreed; but whilst some insisted that the received traditions should be distinctly specified, others were as urgent that they should be approved of in the most general manner possible, even to the exclusion of the distinctive term Apostolic, for fear of seeming to repudiate such usages and rites as could not be traced to that source... In the general congregation of the 5th of April, the Bishop of Chioggia raised a more intemperate opposition; regarding the traditions as laws, not as revelations; and pronouncing it impious to declare them as of equal authority with the written word. This sentiment had no approvers, but excited the indignation of the whole assembly...'

9. Tertullian in the following passage shows that the practices of the Church fall in the category of Tradition. 'If for these [the practices of the Church] and other such rules, you insist upon having positive Scriptural injunction, you will find none. Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them, custom as their strengthener, and faith as their observer. That reason will support tradition and custom, and faith you will either yourself perceive, or learn from some one who has.' Discussing the practice of women veiling their hair at Church, he continues: 'This instances, therefore, will make it sufficiently plain that you can vindicate the keeping of even unwritten tradition established by custom; the proper witness for tradition when demonstrated by long-continued observance...' De Corona, Chapter IV.

10. A Manual of Catholic Theology, based on Scheeban's 'Dogmatic' by Joseph Wilhelm and Thomas Scanell, London: Kegan Paul, 1909.



In order to better understand the relationship between Divine tradition and Ecclesiastical Tradition, we may draw a parallel between what is termed de fide definita or fide Catholica (truths divinely revealed by Christ or the Apostles and declared by the Church to be such), and what is termed de fide ecclesiastica (divina) or proxima fidei (revealed truths not as yet formally so declared by the Church). As Father Faber has said: 'There are three kinds of faith, human, which rests on human authority, and as such is uncertain and open to error; divine, which rests on divine authority, and ecclesiastical faith, which rests on the authority of the Church defining anything with the assistance of the Holy Ghost, through which she is preserved from the possibility of error; and this faith is infallible with a participated and borrowed infallibility, inferior in degree to divine faith, but with a certitude raising it far above human faith. If therefore anything be shown to be de fide ecclesiastica it is not only entitled to our acceptance, but it even overrules all opposition, as a man, though not formally a heretic, would, to use the common phrases, be rash, scandalous, and impious if he asserted the contrary.'

Yet there is one difference between Divine and ecclesiastical traditions. The former are immutable but the latter can be modified by appropriate authority. Such of course assumes that they can clearly distinguish - as in the various parts of the Mass - between these two. But 'modification' is a vastly different thing from the abrogations and changes that have been introduced by the post-Conciliar Church. How then do such legitimate modifications come about? The answer lies in the following principle. The true Church and faith are characterized as 'Living,' and the vine Christ established can always sprout forth new branches. It is not the newness of the leaf, but the 'sap' that runs in its veins that maintains both spiritual health and traditional integrity. The fact that the feast of Corpus Christi with public processions may have been introduced in the late Middle Ages (such was hardly a possibility in the times of Nero) changed nothing in the Revelation Christ gave us. It destroyed no pre-existing tradition, and indeed functioned to make teachings of the Church more explicit. Our ways of showing respect and honor to the Sacred Species may be modified, but this in no way changes our traditional reverence for the Body of Christ. Such an 'introduction' is in no way to be compared to the distribution of the Eucharist by unconsecrated hands under modern circumstances, or to the removal of tabernacles from our altars. And most certainly they have nothing in common with the promulgation of rites that allow for a Protestant understanding of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Such acts represent no 'flowering forth' of the vine, but rather desecrations and clear cut breaks with tradition. Again, 'new' customs can be introduced into the practice of the Church which are 'traditional' such as the Feast of the Sacred heart or the Rosary, but they are in no way 'innovations,' for they have their roots in sound doctrine, and are as it were, reverberations of the original deposit which can be likened to the ripples that a stone cast in to a quiet pond inevitably send forth.

A further extension of the concept of 'tradition' is to be found in the various 'organs' that are used to transmit the 'customs, precepts, institutions, disciplines and practices' of the Church to our generation. Thus Franzelin, the papal theologian at the First Vatican Council, describes what is handed down as 'objective tradition.' and the process of handing it down as 'active tradition.' Primary among these 'organs' are the Solemn Magisterium (dogmatic definitions of the Roman Pontiffs or Ecumenical councils, Professions of the Faith and theological censures, etc.); and the Ordinary or Universal Magisterium - which includes among other things the universal customs or practices associated with dogma and above all the traditional Roman Liturgy.

Clearly the traditional Mass combines all these aspects of tradition. Indeed, as Pope Pius XI said, 'it is the most important organ of the ordinary Magisterium of the Church,' and of 'the teaching of the Church.' It is, as the A.M. Henry, O.P. states, 'a theological locus of the first importance in knowing the living tradition of the Church.' Its content is partially of Divine origin, partially of Apostolic origin, and partially of Ecclesiastical derivation through as regards the Canon (the fixed and central core of the mass), with the exception of a few phrases, we are not sure which part belongs to which category - for as the Council of trent teaches, the Canon is 'composed out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the Apostles, and the pious institutions of the holy Pontiffs.' Though it has undergone various modifications throughout the ages, its essential nature has remained immutable and none of the parts known to be in its original form have ever been - prior to 1969 - deleted. As one theologian put it, 'were any of the early Christians to rise from their tombs in the catacombs, they would recognize in the Catholic worship of our times (needless to say, one is referring to the traditional Mass, and not the Novus Ordo Missae), not merely the elements, but also some details in the form of worship to which they were accustomed.' To quote Nicholas Gihr: 'Christ's example was the norm for the Apostles at the celebration of the Sacrifice. They did, first, only that which Christ had done before. According to His directions and under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they observed other things besides, namely, according to circumstances, they added various prayers and observances, in order to celebrate the Holy Mysteries as worthily and as edifying as possible. Those constituent portions of the sacrificial rite, which are found in all the ancient liturgies, incontestably have their origin from Apostolic times and tradition; the essential and fundamental features of the Sacrificial rite, introduced and enlarged upon by the Apostles, were preserved with fidelity and reverence in the Churches founded by them... certain ceremonies, for instance, the mystical blessings, the use of lights, incense, vestments and many things of that nature, she [the Church] employs by Apostolic prescription and tradition...'

No wonder then that the Abbe Gueranger states: 'It is to the Apostles that those ceremonies go back that accompany the administration of the sacraments, the establishment of the sacramentals, the principal feasts... The Apostolic liturgy is found entirely outside of Scripture; it belongs to the domain of Tradition...'

We must conclude then that the traditional Mass (as well as the other sacraments) are part of the Catholic Tradition. One cannot divorce the Magisterium from tradition for the Magisterium is, as the Catholic Encyclopedia states, 'the official organ of tradition.' Our faith then is totally dependent upon tradition and cannot under any guise depart from it. It is, as the Dictionaire de Theologie Catholique puts it, 'the faith that the Church (i.e., the Magisterium) teaches, for she has received it from the Apostles, and it is the norm of Truth.' And how could it be otherwise, for as Cardinal Saint Bellarmin says in his De Verbo Dei, one of the characteristics of tradition is that it is 'perpetual - for it was instituted that it might be continuously used till the consummation of the world...' Among the customs of the Church that he lists as examples of 'continuous usage' from the time of Christ to his day are 'the rites of administering the Sacraments, the feast days (Easter, etc;), the times of fasting, the celebration of the Mass and the divine office, et alia generis ejusdem (and things of a similar nature). Admittedly Bellarmin takes little pains to distinguish between what is 'divine' and what is 'ecclesiastical' in tradition; rather he describes it as an integral whole in which the distinctions are between the various parts. And indeed the distinctions that are are forced to make have about them a certain air of artificiality. One suspects that modern theologians have created such distinctions primarily to enable them to whittle away at the content of the faith. Thus it is that Boussuet defines Tradition as the 'interpreter of God's law,' and the 'unwritten doctrine coming from God and preserved in the feelings and universal practices of the Church.'

The 'traditions' - that is to say, the customs and practices of the Church which are not clearly Apostolic or sub-apostolic - are not opposed to Tradition, but the legitimate offspring of it; like Christ, the son is father to the parent. Thus it follows that one can speak of tradition in a still broader sense as the total influence of a Catholic society and culture upon the souls of its members. For example, however offensive it may be to modern eyes, the crawling of the Mexican peasant on her knees to venerate Our Lady of Guadaloupe can be called 'traditional' with complete legitimacy. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) expresses this well: 'This concept of tradition,' it states, 'is not always clear, but we endeavor to explain it to ourselves in the following manner: We are all conscious of an assemblage of ideas or opinions living in our mind... a common sentiment... a common spirit... The existence of tradition in the Church must be regarded as living in the spirit and the heart, thence translating itself into acts, and expressing itself into words and writings... this sentiment of the Church is peculiar in this that it is itself under the influence of grace. The thought of the Church is essentially traditional thought.' And why is this so' It is because those who are deeply steeped in the faith, whose patterns of life conform to the established and formal 'traditions,' find that their every act and thought is correspondingly influenced. Generosity, gentleness, courtesy, dignity and a whole host of similar qualities that reflect the divine virtues become a normal part of living. Such are not the qualities of the modern world, for 'the spirit of our times' is a rebellious spirit and has its origins in a very different source - one that can well be described as 'anti-traditional.'

Tradition then is a term that can be applied to the entire Christian ethos, and as such can be envisaged as a stately tree. Its roots are divine, and are often not clearly seen. They blend into the trunk which is solid, firm, and clearly visible - conforming to its 'ecclesiastical' and 'visible' nature. The branches can be likened to the various 'organs' of the Magisterium through which the 'sap' of the Holy Spirit constantly flows. The leaves, the flowers and the fruit complete the analogy - a living organism always changing with the seasons, always growing, occasionally losing a branch or bough, and yet always remaining essentially the same.

* * *

Now, if we have treated the subject of Tradition at great length, it is because the present situation demands a deeper understanding of the concept. The New and 'post-Conciliar' Church, despite its attempt to disguise the situation, represents a RUPTURE WITH TRADITION OF APOCALYPTIC PROPORTIONS. It is, to use the words of Pope Saint Pius X in his Encyclical Pascendi against the modernists, 'using all its ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority.' In so far as the New Church teaches falsely (either by omission or commission) and replaces the 'customs, institutions, precepts, disciplines, and practices' of the traditional Church, not with alternative Apostolic actions, but with 'forms' of purely human origin, it follows the footsteps, not of Christ, but of the Protestant reformers such as Luther, Calvin and Cranmer. As to its magisterium, it can hardly be called the 'official organ of tradition' when it sets out to introduce among the faithful, entirely new rites modelled after the heretical forms of worship introduced by those who avowedly hat the true Church and deny her basic teachings. Nor can this 'new' and 'post-Conciliar' Magisterium proclaim as 'true' what the traditional Magisterium has defined as 'false' without in doing so denying the very possibility of truth, to say nothing of the inerrancy and indefectibility of the Church. To deny the traditions is to deny the inspired character of the Scriptures, to deny the rites of the Church, to deny the wisdom of the Fathers, the saints and the Popes, to deny many of the Sacraments, and indeed, to deny all that is truly cultured in the present world.

It will be argued and is to be admitted that the post-Conciliar Church has retained many 'traditions,' as indeed, in fact, the Protestants also did (such as going to Church on Sunday). In doing so however, she has preserved only those which are acceptable to the modern world and our 'separate brethren.' Listen to the words of Paul VI addressed to those Catholics who insisted on retaining the traditional Mass: 'It is for the Pope, the College of Bishops [and] the Ecumenical Council [Vatican II] to decide which among the innumerable traditions must be considered the norm of faith.' Now, apart from the fact that he places the Mass among the 'traditions' which can be changed, his statement is a reflection of that quality of 'picking and choosing' that St. Thomas Aquinas characterizes as typical of the heretic - it is nothing else than the exercising of private judgment - the collective private judgment of the modernists who have 'captured' the Church. Surely we should accept and revere all the traditions, and not just those which the modern world or our 'separate brethren' find acceptable. And such must be the case, for as Canon George Smith States, 'the duty of the Apostles and their successors was clear: to guard jealously the precious thing committed to their care and to transmit it whole and entire to posterity.' 'Even,' as St. Athanasius stated many years ago, 'if Catholics faithful to tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are in the true Church of Jesus Christ.'

In the present confusion is to Tradition and the continuous teaching of the Magisterium of the Church that the faithful must turn for guidance. Tradition is what the magisterium teaches and must for all times remain the 'rule of faith.' When doubt arises, the fathers and the saints have always turned to this source for clarification.

'I have often then enquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of the Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity; and I have always and in almost every instance received an answer to this effect: That whether I or anyone else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they arise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways: first by the authority of the Divine law, and then, by the tradition of the Catholic Church.'

No one can deny but that the post-Conciliar Church has abandoned many of the traditions of the Catholic Church - some of them, as the liturgy and sacraments, of fundamental importance. It has gone further and replaced these sacred traditions with man made creations which it demands that we accept under obedience. Those who have resisted have been placed under every form of psychological pressure to abandon their stand. (The use of physical force when it comes to religion is not the style of our age.) Faced as we are with innovation upon innovation - one is reminded of the complaint of St. Basil during the Arian persecution - 'only one offence is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our fathers' traditions.'

To argue that we need only accept what in tradition is clearly 'divine,' is similar to arguing that Catholics need only believe what has been proclaimed by the Church as de fide by the Supreme Magisterium. It is to attack the 'trunk' of the tree and to presume that the 'roots' will survive in spite of this. To divorce tradition from custom is to divorce faith from practice; to separate Christ's teaching from His actions, to consider the Apostles and their immediate spiritual descendants as inferior to ourselves in wisdom, and to refuse to Truth its legitimate manner of expression. To separate the Church from her traditions is to disrupt her 'unity,' and to proclaim she is no longer to wear the 'wedding garments' that characterize her as the 'Spouse of Christ.' To claim that we are other than traditional Catholics is to state that we are not Catholics at all.

Unless the New Church can claim and proclaim with her founding Apostles 'Ego enim accepi a Domino quod et traditi vobis - For I have received of the Lord that which I have transmitted unto you...' it is not the Church that Christ founded. As Cardinal Cajetan has said: 'note well that God's teaching alone is really the rule of faith. Although the universal Church cannot err in her faith, she is, however, not herself the rule of faith: the divine teaching upon which she is founded alone is such.' The faithful have every right to protect and preserve their faith and the only way they can effectively do so is to preserve intact the traditions of the Church of All Times. Beset as they are with every conceivable innovation, they have every right to ask with St. Chrysostome: 'Is it Tradition?,' and if not, to reject the change. Let us ask for nothing more.

'And we charge you, brethren, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of me' (II Thes. 3:6).

'It is the most insolent madness to dispute whether that ought to be done which the whole Church does... impious... scandalous.... dishonoring the Church.... Not with those who invent and change, who propose and modify, who select and adjust, or who teach that men may change and modify, select and adjust, but with those who hold fast, who guard and follow what was once delivered.'




1. A Manual of Catholic Theology, based on Scheeban's 'Dogmatic' by Joseph Wilhelm and Thomas Scannel, London: Kegan Paul, 1909.

2. Canon George D. Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, op. cit.

3. In a similar vein: Fr. Daniel Lyons, Christianity and Infallibility, N.Y., Longmans Green, 1892: 'Neither the Church nor the Pope has power to add to it, or to take from, or to alter, in one jot or title, the contents of this Apostolic Revelation or deposit of faith.'

4. Tradition is further classified as objective when referring to dogmatic truths, and active by some in reference to the 'customs, precepts, disciplines, and practices,' and by still others when referring to the various organs of transmission such as the rites of the Church and the teaching Magisterium. It is called constitutive if it is established by the Apostles and continuative if of later origin. With regard to its relationship with Scripture, it is termed inherent (if what is handed on is clearly stated in Scripture), declarative (only stated in an obscure manner in Scripture and needing the help of Tradition to be understood, and constitutive (if not to be found in Scripture).

5. 'Every truth, every proposition of the deposit of Revelation is and has ever been implicitly of Catholic Faith; but that only those portions of it which have been authenticated by the infallible authority of the Church and by her proposed for the belief of all the faithful, are explicitly of Catholic faith.' Franzelin, op. cit, quoted from Daniel Lyons, op. cit., p. 214. The distinction is also discussed in Chapters II and V.

6. Many assume that Revelation only comes from Christ. While it is ultimately true that all Revelation comes from God, it may also come to us through the medium of the Apostles. The Christian Revelation was complete with the death of the last Apostle.

7. St Clement, fourth Bishop of Rome and travelling companion to St. Paul, is described by the early Fathers as 'sometimes Apostolic, sometimes Apostle, sometimes almost Apostle.'

8. contra Jul. Pelag. The Fathers of the Council of Trent were quite specific that 'truths and disciplines are contained in the written books and in the unwritten traditions,' but declined to specify these in an exact manner. The following passage from Rev. J. Waterworth's Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (London, Burns Oates, 1848) is pertinent: 'These regulations having been completed, the private congregations proceeded to consider divine and apostolic traditions - such doctrines that is, and practices, as, taught by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, have not been recorded in the sacred writings, but have been transmitted in various ways from age to age. Numerous congregations, both particular and general were held on this subject. On the existence of such traditions all were agreed; but whilst some insisted that the received traditions should be distinctly specified, others were as urgent that they should be approved of in the most general manner possible, even to the exclusion of the distinctive term Apostolic, for fear of seeming to repudiate such usages and rites as could not be traced to that source... In the general congregation of the 5th of April, the Bishop of Chioggia raised a more intemperate opposition; regarding the traditions as laws, not as revelations; and pronouncing it impious to declare them as of equal authority with the written word. This sentiment had no approvers, but excited the indignation of the whole assembly...'

9. Tertullian in the following passage shows that the practices of the Church fall in the category of Tradition. 'If for these [the practices of the Church] and other such rules, you insist upon having positive Scriptural injunction, you will find none. Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them, custom as their strengthener, and faith as their observer. That reason will support tradition and custom, and faith you will either yourself perceive, or learn from some one who has.' Discussing the practice of women veiling their hair at Church, he continues: 'This instances, therefore, will make it sufficiently plain that you can vindicate the keeping of even unwritten tradition established by custom; the proper witness for tradition when demonstrated by long-continued observance...' De Corona, Chapter IV.

10. A Manual of Catholic Theology, based on Scheeban's 'Dogmatic' by Joseph Wilhelm and Thomas Scanell, London: Kegan Paul, 1909.

11. Exposition of Christian Doctrine, op.cit

12. J. Tixeront, History of Dogmas, London: Herder, 1923.

13. J. Tixeront, op. cit.

14. dialogus contra Luciferanos, viii.

15. John Barry, Tradition and Scripture, London: Longmans, 1906

16. De Spiritu Sancto, 25, 66, 67, 71.

17. It is pertinent to note that 'The Profession of The Catholic Faith for Converts' required by the traditional Church states: 'I admit and embrace most firmly the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all the other constitutions and prescriptions of the Church' (Collectio Ritum, 1964). St. John Fisher taught that 'Those Apostolic traditions which are not recorded in Scriptures must none the less be observed. In addition to these traditions, the customs received by the universal Church must not be rejected by any Christian.' (Quoted by E.E. Reynolds, in his St. John Fisher, N.Y.:Kennedy, 1955).

18. The Book of 'The Lord Be With You', Selected Writings on the Spiritual Life, translated with an Introduction by Patricia McNulty, London:Faber and Faber, 1959. there are some 35 or 40 theologians who have been declared Doctors of the Church, and whose writings therefore have weighty authority. Among them are St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, etc.

19. Homily IV on Tessalonians, available in translation from Michel Erdmans Publ. House, 1969

20. Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, Nov. 1, 1914.

21. La Croix, Sept 4., 1970

22. Introduction to The Life of St. Alphonso Maria de Liguori, London:Richardson, 1848.

23. In times of persecution the Sacred Species was distributed to the faithful in the hand (and usually in a pure linen cloth), for transport to those who could not come to the catacombs because of age or illness. Such circumstances do not prevail today.

24. In writing about the Feast of the Sacred heart, Gerald Manley Hopkins said: 'This is what the Church does or the Holy Ghost who rules the Church: out of the store which Christ left behind him he brings forth from time to time as need requires some doctrine or some devotion which was indeed known to the Apostles and is old, but is unknown or little known at the time and comes upon the world as new. Such is the case with the worship of the Sacred Heart.' (Sermons and Devotional Writings of Gerald Manley Hopkins, Edited by Christopher Devlin, London:Oxford, 1959).

25. Tractatus De Divina traditione et Scriptura, Roma:Typis S.C. De Propag. Fide, 1870.

26. Later theologians have labelled 'objective' tradition as the 'remote rule of faith'; and the magisterium or 'active' tradition as the 'proximate rule of faith.' Still others have reversed the terms 'remote' and 'proximate.' Pius XII used the phrase 'proximate and universal norm for every theologian' with regard to the Magisterium (A.A.S. XLII, l150, 567), but at the same time made it clear that the magisterium is the 'guardian and interpreter of revealed truth,' and not 'a separate source of truth.'

27. Rev. Greg. 1937, p. 79.

28. A.M. Henry, O.P., An Introduction to Theology, Ill.: Fides, 1952.

29. A. H. Mathew, Ecclesia: The Church of Christ, London: Burns Oates, 1906.

30. Nicholas Gihr, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, London: Herder, 1929.

31. Abbe Gueranger, Institutions Liturgique, he also notes that one of the characteristic s of the various Protestant changes in the liturgical forms is 'the hatred of all that is Traditional in the formulas of divine worship.'

32. Dictionaire de Theologie Catholique, Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1911-49. The well known authority Deneffe states 'In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many theologians say it quite clearly: Tradition is the Church teaching... Indeed, some say, TRADITION IS THE CHURCH MAGISTERIUM.' (Der Traditionsbegriff, quoted by J.P. Mackey, The Modern Theology of Tradition, N.Y.: Herder, 1963.) Such was the opinion of Father C. Pesch: 'we understand by Tradition that organ by which revealed truths are handed on, and the organ in question is the Church Magisterium.' (Praelectiones Dogmaticae, Freiburg: 1909.)

33. The faithful Catholic finds no need to make these distinctions because he is prone, almost by the vary nature of his soul, to accept what is divine, divine-apostolic and ecclesiastical with the same reverence and love. he would not more think if changing his rites than would a devout Moslem, Hindu or Buddhist. Is the traditional Mass any less 'Catholic' than Scripture? Surely it deserves at least the same respect.

34. Cardinal Boussuet, Defense de la tradition des saintes Peres, various editions.

35. It may be added that the new Cathedral of Guadaloupe has virtually made this impossible by means of a conveyer belt that brings pilgrims through a side door beneath the picture rather than letting them approach it from the main aisle. Such a change is certainly 'anti-traditional. They have compounded this offense by claiming a new building was necessary because the old one was in danger of falling down, and then turning the old one into a museum!

36. As might be expected, the Modernist attack was directed primarily against the traditions of the Church. Under the guise of 'historical criticism,' they attacked the Apostolicity of her practices as well as her doctrines. As Loisy said, 'what disquiets the faithful as far as Tradition is concerned is the impossibility of reconciling the historical development of Christian doctrine with the claim made by theologians that it [Tradition] is immutable.' Let us have no illusions. The Faithful were not disquieted; Loisy was, as are the modernists in control of the new Church. Then as today, they claimed they were attacking tradition in the name of the 'faithful.' Others such as Tyrrell attacked tradition on the grounds that it derived, 'not from a deposit of doctrine committed to the care of the teaching Church, and of which the faithful are to receive authoritative interpretation from time to time,' but from 'the life of the collectivity of religious souls, or rather, of all men of good will who aspire to realize an ideal higher than the earthly aims of egoists' (Archbishop Mercier's Encyclical, 1908). The Protestants of course attack tradition, for it above all condemns them. Listen to Paul Tillich: 'We must forget everything traditional we have learned about God, perhaps even the word itself' (Quoted by Thomas Molnar in Utopia, the Perennial Heresy, N.Y.: Funk and Wagnalls, 1967.)

37. L'Osservatore Romano, June 3, 1976.

38. St. Thomas Aquinas defines heresy as 'a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas... the right Christian faith consists of giving one's voluntary assent to Christ in all that truly belongs to His teaching. There are, therefore, two ways of deviating from Christianity: the one by refusing to believe in Christ Himself, which is the way of infidelity of the pagans and Jews; the other by restricting belief in certain points of Christ's doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure, which is the way of heretics. The subject-matter of both faith and heresy is, therefore, the deposit of the faith, that is, the sum total of truths revealed in Scripture and Tradition.... The believer accepts the whole deposit as proposed by the Church; the heretics accepts only such parts of it as commend themselves to his own approval' (Summa II-II, Q. 11, a. 1). It would be one thing - though still offensive - if Paul abrogated certain traditional pious practices, but is quite another for him to abrogate the Mass - especially as no one can say with certainty which parts are divine, apostolic and or ecclesiastical in origin.

39. Canon George Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, op. Cit.

40. Discourses against the Arians. He also said of the Arians, 'they have the churches, but we have the faith.'

41. The Commonitory, Chapter II, A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1969.

42. Ep. 243.

43. Traditional Catholics should avoid the terms 'traditionalism' and 'traditionalist' as these pertain to a condemned heresy. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) states: 'according to Traditionalism, human reason is of itself radically unable to know with certainty any truth or, at least, the fundamental truths of the metaphysical, moral, and religious order. Hence our first act of knowledge must be an act of faith, based on the authority of revelation. This revelation is transmitted to us through society, and its truth is guaranteed by tradition or the general consent of mankind.' This was the error of Lamennais who saw tradition as a reflection of the common beliefs and practices of society, and not the other way around - essentially a modernist position.l

44. Commentarium, IIa-IIae, qu. 2, art.6

45. Liber de Vera Religione, 6.




'Without faith, it is impossible to please God'
(Heb. 11:6)

We have demonstrated that the Catholic 'rule of faith' must be 'the Bible and Divine Tradition', and that the Magisterium can in no way depart from these primary sources (1). We have further demonstrated that the 'traditions' of the Church are part and parcel of the Magisterium, for it is through them, as well as through other organs, that 'the teaching authority of the Church is manifest'. It behooves us now to consider the concept of Faith in greater detail. The topic is of considerable importance because the meaning conveyed by this term when used by traditional Catholics is quite different than that generally given to it by those outside the faith, and/or by post-Conciliar Catholics.

According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908), Faith must be considered both objectively and subjectively. 'Objectively' it stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and Tradition (the 'rule of faith') and which the Church presents to us in a brief form in her creeds [and in her other Magisterial organs such as the Liturgy and the famous Catechism of the Council of Trent - editor(2)] ; 'Subjectively' it stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to these truths.' According to St. Thomas, 'the principles of the doctrine of salvation are the articles of faith.' (Commentary on 1. Cor. 12:10). As the Blessed John of Avila said, 'the entire foundation of the spiritual life is the faith... by the faith we listen to God Himself, for it is not a human, but a divine teaching...'(3). This faith having been given to us by Christ and the Apostles in a total manner, to be preserved intact 'till the end of time' CANNOT NOT CHANGE, HAS NEVER CHANGED AND WILL NEVER CHANGE.

'The Revelation made to the Apostles by Christ and by the Holy spirit whom He sent to teach them all truth was final and definitive. To that body of revealed truth nothing has been, or ever will be added. The duty of the Apostles and their successors was clear; to guard jealously the precious thing committed to their care and to transmit it whole and entire to posterity'(4?).

Objective Faith

If the Catholic Church is the one true Church, and not just one Church among others, then the faith she teaches is the one true faith, and not just one faith among others. What then does a Catholic understand by 'the Faith'? In what must he place his belief? The answer is made clear by his traditional 'Act of Faith'.

'O my God, I firmly believe in all that Your Holy Catholic Church approves and teaches, since it is You, the Infallible Truth, who has revealed it to your Church.'

One must believe everything that the Church teaches

'Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected' (Pope Benedict XV, Ad beatissimi Apostolorum). As Father Hahel explains, this means that 'to believe rightly... everything without exception that God teaches us through the Catholic Church, be it written or tradition; be it Holy Writ or not, must be believed. For Christ commissioned His Apostles to teach all nations and to teach them everything that He had told them. By that He has imposed upon everybody who hears His teachings, the duty to believe all of it. If any one were to reject one simple truth of the faith, though he accepted all others, he would come under the category of those of whom St. James says: 'now whosoever shall keep the whole law, but offend in one point, is become guilty of all''(5).

This teaching of the Church is particularly important in our day. If we reject any of the truths of the Catholic faith - even one - we can no longer call ourselves Catholic. If the acceptance of Vatican II (to which the post-Conciliar conscience is bound) involves a single change in the teaching of the Church Magisterium, this principle applies. Consider the statement of the Martyr St. Edmund Campion given to the Anglican Bishop Chaney during his 'trial': 'What is the use of fighting for many articles of the Faith, and to perish for doubting a few. He believes no one article of the Faith who refuses to believe any single one. In vain do you defend the religion of Catholics, if you hug only that which you like, and cut off all that seems not right in your eyes. There is but one plain known road: not enclosed by your palings [fences] or mine, not by private judgment, but by the severe laws of humility and obedience.' As Pope Leo XIII said in his Encyclical Sapaentiae Christianae: 'To refuse to believe in any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all', and as Pius XII taught in his address to the Bishops of the Sacred Congregation in 1949: 'The Catholic doctrine must be set forth and taught completely and entirely. One cannot allow that anything should be omitted or veiled in ambiguous terms...'

There may of course be certain Truths that the Church teaches and that a given Catholic may be unaware of. His attitude however, is that of a person who wishes to think correctly, rather than of one who wishes to think for himself. When faced with a doctrinal or a moral question, the Catholic hastens to ask 'what does the Church teach?' The Church in turn makes no demand that the faithful know all that she holds true (the average person might not know the application of moral principles to a highly technical medical situation). She considers certain truths to be necessary (necessitate medii) for salvation, and these must be believed by all men in an explicit manner(6). She insists that the faithful be instructed in their catechism in accord with their ability to understand, and it goes without saying that the Catholic has an obligation to know those truths necessary for him to life a Catholic life. Beyond this however, there are still other truths that the Church teaches and which the ordinary Catholic may be unaware of without thereby endangering his soul - truths which he must nevertheless believe implicitly - that is to say, the Catholic must give assent to them because the Church proposes them for belief. A Catholic must believe them for the simple reason that he must believe that the Church derives her truths from Christ and hence is incapable of teaching error.

This teaching should not be confused with the Protestant idea that there are certain 'fundamental' and other 'non-fundamental' truths - the former to be held by all, while the latter can be subject to individual choice. A Catholic must accept all the truths of the Church with the same faith and assent(7). (The Protestant sects had to make such distinctions if they were ever to cooperate with each other.) Yet Vatican II has introduced just such a concept in teaching that there is a 'hierarchy' of truths in the Church's teaching. To quote the documents directly: 'when comparing doctrines, they [Catholics] should remember that in Catholic teaching there exists an order or 'hierarchy' of truths, since they vary in their relationship to the foundation of the Christian faith' (de Oecumenismo) (8). Dr. Oscar Cullmann, one of the Protestant 'observers', considered this one of the 'most revolutionary' statements to come out of Vatican II, and Dr. McAfee Brown suggested that such truths as the Immaculate Conception and Assumption, 'stumbling blocks in ecumenical discussion', should be placed well down on the scale of the 'hierarchy of truths'.


Modernists who believe that truth is the expression of humankind's 'religious consciousness', and who see this 'consciousness' as constantly evolving, necessarily find themselves in conflict with the stance of the Church on the fixed nature of truth. The only way they can introduce their ideas into the bosom of the Church is by resorting to ambiguity and 'double-speak'. Under the guise of interpreting the Faith in new ways to make it more acceptable to modern man, they proceed to apply the label of 'adaptation', 'development', and even 'evolution' to doctrine. Claiming that throughout the course of history God reveals himself more fully, they managed to introduce such ideas into the documents of Vatican II: 'As the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward towards the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her... thanks to the experience of past ages, the progress of the sciences, and the treasures hidden in the various forms of human culture, the nature of man himself is more clearly revealed and new roads to truth are opened.' (9)

It is of course quite true that we can explain our faith to non-believers in terms that may be understandable to them, indeed, we have a certain obligation in charity to do so. It is however totally false to state that our Faith must adapt itself to modern man, and equally false to state that our faith 'evolves' in anything like the Darwinism process. There has been, since the days of Cardinal Newman, a great deal of loose talk about the 'Development of Christian Doctrine'(10). The term 'development' requires precise definition, for some of the faithful use this term to describe the 'flowering' of the Faith, much as a tree grows and blooms that it might be 'fruitful', while others use this same term to disguise what is in fact radical change.

One must understand just what a given author means by 'development', for, as we have shown it is de fide that Christian Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle. Dogmas implicit in this revelation may become explicit and more clearly stated, but by definition cannot be altered, abrogated or added on to. How then does dogma 'develop'? Van Noort tells us it can do so in three ways: '1) In a more finished exposition of dogma the gist of which had always been taught explicitly; 2) in an explicit proposal of dogmas which had formerly been taught implicitly; and 3) in the clear-cut proposal of dogmas which formerly were proposed in a less obvious fashion.' (11). St. Albert the Great, a doctor of the Church, succinctly describes development as 'the progress of the faithful in the faith, rather than of the faith within the faithful.'

In other words, the whole of revealed truth is contained in the sources of revelation, but in the course of ages it has undergone, and still undergoes, a process of 'unfolding' whereby the faithful, under the infallible guidance of the Church, arrive at a fuller understanding of the truths which God has revealed. As St. Vincent of Lerins put it, the development of Christian doctrine is the 'perfectus fidei, non permutatio - the perfection of the faith and not its alteration' (Commentaria). Obviously, such a 'development' in no way involves 'adapting' the teaching of the Church to the modern world. Nor does it imply that the Church's understanding of a given doctrine can change. Vatican I made this quite clear: 'The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligence to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted... The meaning of the sacred dogmas must always be retained which Holy Mother Church has once taught, nor may it ever be departed from under the guise, or in the name of, deeper insight... If anyone shall say that, because of scientific progress, it may be possible at some time to interpret the Church's dogmas in a different sense from that which the church understood and understands, let him be anathema!... THEREFORE, LET THERE BE GROWTH... AND ALL POSSIBLE PROGRESS IN UNDERSTANDING, KNOWLEDGE, AND WISDOM, WHETHER IN SINGLE INDIVIDUALS OR IN THE WHOLE BODY, IN EACH MAN AS WELL AS IN THE ENTIRE CHURCH, ACCORDING TO THE STAGE OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT; BUT ONLY WITHIN PROPER LIMITS, THAT IS, IN THE SAME DOCTRINE, IN THE SAME MEANING, AND IN THE SAME PURPORT.'

The idea that God reveals Himself more fully during the course of time may have been true prior to the Incarnation, but clearly it is not so since. There is no such thing as an 'ongoing revelation' (13).


Let them [the faithful] blend modern science and its theories and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and doctrine.'
(Vatican II)

Those who talk of 'aggiornamento' or 'adapting' the teachings of the Church so as to make them acceptable to the modern 'world' forget that the so-called modern world is intrinsically opposed to the to the Church's constituency, 'Kingdom of Heaven'. Indeed by its very nature the modern world represents a rupture with traditional values. It is founded on principles that reflect a basic infidelity to Christ - it has replaced the fire of love with the arson of rebellion, and cries out with Rousseau 'Ecrase l'Infamy'. How can the Church, the Bride of Christ, adapt itself to this infidelity? Those who foster such ideas commit spiritual adultery and call down upon themselves the anathema Jeremias laid upon the Jews of his day who had become a 'generation of harlots'. How can one adapt truth to error? The absurdity of the adaptionist position, promulgated under the banner of aggiornamento, becomes even clearer when we consider the parable of the Prodigal Son. It was not for 'the father' to join his son who had become a herder of swine, but for the son to return to his father's home. In no other way can the 'fatted lamb' be killed. It is modern man who must change and not the Church. The results of his apostasy are manifest. Revolution always results in devastation. 'Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this and you dissolve the unity of the Church.'


'All those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universally teaching (Magisterium) proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed.'
(Vatican I)

The authority of the Ordinary or Universal Magisterium, if not openly denied, is currently diminished in a variety of ways. The post-Conciliar Church, following in the footsteps of the 'Inopportunists' of Vatican I, has further obscured this teaching by claiming that it changed nothing de fide. When Catholics protest against the new orientations being enforced, such as the teaching on Religious Liberty, or question the appropriateness of common worship with heretics (Communicatio in sacris), they are told ad nauseum that nothing de fide has been changed. Implicit in such a statement is that the contents of the Ordinary Magisterium are not de fide, or that the Ordinary Magisterium contains virtually nothing of a doctrinal nature. Thus for example, Father Curren, who holds a variety of clearly heteredox positions (such as denying the Virgin Birth of Christ), loudly proclaims that his dissent is in matters outside the realm of the infallible teaching of the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger in turn demands that he give assent, not only to what the Cardinal calls the 'infallible magisterium', but also to what he calls 'the authentic but not infallible magisterium'. The former is apostasy (Father Curran remains a priest in good standing) and the latter is nonsense.

This claim that nothing de fide has been changed has a further consequence. In so far as it obfuscates the limits of the Magisterium and implicitly declares that what comes under the heading of the Ordinary Magisterium is not de fide, it allows the faithful to ignore a wealth of documents wherein they would normally come to a deeper understanding of the faith. Even if they do not embrace formal heresy, they are as a result constantly exposed to un-Catholic and anti-Catholic material which corrodes their faith. It is not in the least bit unusual to find them embracing views that are 'savoring of heresy, suspect of heresy, close upon heresy, schismatical, Jewish, pagan, atheistical, blasphemous, impious, erroneous, close upon error, savoring or suspected of error, scandalous, temerarious, seditious, ill-sounding, offensive to pious ears, lax, likely insane...', and still claiming to be Catholic.

As Mgr. Van Noort points out, the belief that 'one may reject or call into doubt any non-revealed truth one chooses, without committing sin or injuring the Catholic profession of faith' is an 'extremely serious error'. He continues, 'some truths are so necessarily intertwined with revelation that to deny or doubt them would cause injury to revelation itself... Other truths are connected to revelation as a necessary consequence (conclusio theologica)... finally, some truths are necessarily connected with revelation by reason of its goal (decisions relating to the universal discipline of the Church). Truths not formally revealed but bound up with Revelation in one of these three ways just pointed to, look directly to the guardianship and practical application of the deposit of the faith; thus indirectly they belong to the deposit itself and to Catholic faith.'

It is important to once again point out that dogmas are declared de fide in a solemn or extraordinary manner only when they are brought into question. And truths so proclaimed have no greater claim on our assent then they had when they were considered part of the ordinary magisterium. Proclamations regarding the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption of Our Lady are not additions to our faith but rather formal authoritative and definitive declarations of what the faith teaches(20). Prior to Vatican II, no Council or Pope ever claimed or professed to be doing more than making explicit what was contained in the original Revelation and hence already of implicit faith. If this false concept that only what is declared de fide in an extraordinary manner were true, or only what is contained in the Solemn Magisterium is true, then what would the Catholic of the first centuries have had to believe? Listen to the words of Pope Pius XI: 'Not because the Church had defined and sanctioned truths by solemn decree of the Church at different times, and even in times near to us, are they therefore not equally certain and not equally to be believed. For has not God revealed them all?...The Church has the duty to proceed opportunely in defining points of faith with solemn rites and decrees, when there is a need to declare them to resist more effectively the errors and the assaults of heretics or to impress upon the minds of the faithful clearer and more profound explanations of points of sacred doctrine. However, in this explanatory use of the teaching authority nothing is invented nor is anything new added to the sum of the truths that are, at least implicitly, contained in the deposit of divine revelation that was entrusted by God to the church. Instead, points of faith are defined that could by chance still seem obscure to some, or truths are established as matters of faith that for the first time are called into question'(Mortalium animos).

One cannot limit the faith of Catholics to what has been declared de fide by the Supreme or Extraordinary Magisterium. Catholics must believe in all the ex Cathedra teachings contained in the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium the extent of which is covered in Chapter II. They must also believe those truths which are implicitly contained in revelation, as well as those which are indirectly related to what has been revealed.

Such then in summary is the 'objective' aspect of the Catholic faith. It is to these truths which we must give our assent.

'The faith of the Church is not made by our faith, but by our assent, which assent commeth to us, and is the work of our soul'


The 'subjective' nature of the Faith is 'the habit or virtue by which we assent to these truths'.



Now both the 'facts' we believe and the grace we have to give our assent to them are 'gifts' from God. As Vatican I states: 'Faith itself and in itself, even if it does not work through charity, is a gift of God, and its act is a work pertaining to salvation; by it a man offers to God Himself a free obedience insofar as he consents and cooperates with His grace which he could refuse.'

That faith is a 'gift' in no way means that those who lack it are somehow excused and free of all responsibility. The faith is a 'gift' because it is freely given us by God, and, as with any 'gift', we must be willing to accept it - it cannot be forced upon us. God could not in charity (which is His very nature) hold back from any soul the necessary grace required. As St. Augustine teaches in his commentary on the passage 'no one can come to me [by faith] unless the Father who sent me draw him', says: 'And yet no one comes [to the faith] unless he wills to. He is drawn therefore, in marvellous ways to will by Him who knows how to work interiorly in the very hearts of men; not that men - something which is impossible -should believe unwillingly, but that from unwilling they should be rendered willing... God acts with persuasions that we may will and believe; what is more, God Himself brings about in a man the very will to believe.'

In similar manner, Msgr. Van Noort states that 'the vocation to the faith... is a free gift of God, which, just as it is denied to no adult except through his own fault, cannot be merited by any natural work.'. God is always calling us to give our assent to truth, and it is within our power to refuse this assent. Thus man is responsible for examining the claims of the Church while remaining free to accept or reject the these claims.


Catholics are often accused of giving 'blind' assent to the teachings of the church. By 'blind' is meant, 'unreasoning' and 'unthinking'. Now such an accusation is doubly false, for Catholics give no blind assent to the Church, and indeed, are forbidden to do so. As Vatican I teaches, 'Faith is by no means a blind action of the mind' but rather, by faith 'man yields free obedience to God.' 'Free obedience' can never be unreasoning or unthinking. The Church by infallible definition cannot teach anything as true which is manifestly against reason. To again quote Vatican I: 'although the faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, and God cannot deny himself, or can truth ever contradict truth. The false appearance of such contradiction is mainly due, either to the dogmas of faith not having been understood and expounded according to the mind of the Church, or to the invention of opinion having been taken for the verdicts of reason.' The Catholic then gives his assent, in the words of this same Council, 'by yielding to Him [God] the full homage of our intellect and will'. Hence, although the act of faith is an intellectual act, yet it is also an act of homage which is in the power of the will to withhold. It will be argued that a child accepts the faith without any such refinements - and such is indeed true, for he accepts it on the testimony of his parents. (It is the same reason that leads a child not to play in the street.) Or more exactly, the Faith is infused into him by Baptism and the parents later teach him the material objects of the Faith. Thus Catholic parents have the obligation of teaching their children the truths of the faith as soon as they reach the age of reason, and the child in turn has the obligation to study and 'know' his faith, and to freely give his assent to it.

The habit or virtue by which we give our assent to the teachings of the Church is never a 'cool feeling' arising from some evolutionary subconscious. This of course, in no way precludes our feeling strongly about the faith.


'69 of the bishops and only 45 of the priests agreed that 'faith means essentially belief in the doctrines of he Catholic Church', whereas 46 of the bishops and 69 of the clergy would agree that faith is 'primarily an encounter with God and Jesus Christ rather than an assent to a coherent set of defined truths.'
(Andrew Greeley, l973)

There has been no post-Conciliar concept of faith as such, and put to the question, most authorities would claim that there has been no change in the meaning of the term. Yet the word 'faith' is used by members of this Church in such a wide variety of circumstances as to make its definition virtually impossible. What is fostered by this institution is an 'open' attitude - if some Catholic want to believe in the traditional way, this is acceptable, providing they also tolerate the new 'pluralism' and don't insist upon participating in the traditional rites, and providing they don't insist others maintain the same standards. Others are equally free to call themselves 'Catholic' while denying fundamental tenets of the Catholic Faith. As Cardinal Bernadine, formerly president of the U.S. Bishop's conference admitted, 'many consider themselves good Catholics, even though their beliefs and practices seem to conflict with the official teaching of the Church.' Of course he finds this in no way objectionable, for when he was asked how a person like Avery Dulles S.J. could publicly deny the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Our Lady (thus declaring himself a 'depraved heretic' and outside the Church), and continue to teach theology at the Catholic University of America, he responded by stating that it was his 'belief that it was legitimate for those theologians to speculate about the removal of doctrines that had already been defined, and to request the Magisterium to remove such doctrines from the content of the faith!'. Karl Rahner, a darling of the post-Conciliar Church, tells us that 'the historicity of the creed, the opinions about the nature of the Church's unity... the difficulties created by a Christendom that has lost its self-evidence... has brought to the fore in a most distressing fashion, the problem of reformulation of the Creed.'. This priest who remains in good standing points out in the same article that 'the pluriformity of philosophies must lead to a legitimate pluriformity in thinking about the faith.'(25). John McKenzie states 'Faith is a response to revelation; doctrine the product of theology, is an understanding and an application of the faith. The Church uses theology and doctrine; indeed, these are the means by which the Church evolves with the world and with history. Faith never becomes antiquated; doctrine easily does.'. (26)

An excellent example of this is provided by the statement of the entire French hierarchy which, after the publication of Paul VI's Humane vitae forbidding artificial methods of birth control, stated that any couple could use contraceptive methods providing that to do so was in their conscience 'a lesser evil'. Now the idea that the faithful can choose a 'lesser evil' than the direct disobedience of God's laws, or that they can under any circumstances cooperate in an intrinsically evil act violates the Catholic faith. What is even more extraordinary is that Paul VI sent them a telegram thanking them for 'so clearly interpreting his thinking' on the issue .(27)

It will be argued that these examples are 'abuses' and do not reflect the mind of the Church. Let us look to the hierarchy for a contrary stance. When Cardinal Suenens declared himself a Pentecostal, he stated (sometime later) that if the Pope were to ask him to deny the 'Pentecostal creed', he would do so at once. Paul VI never made such a request, and indeed has given this movement his blessing and approval(28). And what of John Paul II? Consider his comments made to the seminarians at the Lateran University (Feb. 15, 1980): Loyalty to the Church, he said, is not to be defined 'in a reduced sense, as maintaining standards, nor does it mean staying within the bounds of orthodoxy - avoiding positions that are in contrast to the pronouncements of the Apostolic See, the Ecumenical councils and the learned doctors of the Church... We must have a divergence of positions, although in the end, we must rely on the synthesis of them all.'

Typical of the modernist theologian is vagueness and ambiguity of expression. Faith is described as 'man's response to God's revelation', as an 'encounter with Christ', as a 'birth in the Spirit', and as 'personal' or 'religious experience'. Such phrases speak of a 'visceral Christianity' in which the individual cannot be openly accused of heterodoxy and at the same time is free to believe anything he wants. The quotation from Father Andrew Greeley at the head of this section proves beyond doubt that such ideas are rampant in the post-Conciliar Church. To state that the faith is an 'encounter with God' might possibly allow for an orthodox interpretation, but to state along with this 'rather than an assent to a coherent set of defined truths' can never be reconciled with the Catholic position. Our faith is 'no simple sublimating aspiration', no 'experiential' sort of 'encounter with Jesus' such as any Protestant can claim, no sort of 'personal understanding', 'commitment', or 'feeling'. It is, to use the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, 'the act of the intellect assenting to a Divine Truth owing to the movement of the will, which is itself moved by the grace of God' (Summa II-II, iv, a.2). Those who doubt this should consider the Oath against Modernism which, as we have noted, is part of the Solemn Magisterium: 'I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind impulse of religion welling up from the dept of the unconscious under the impulse of the heart and the inclination of amorally conditioned will, but the genuine assent of the intellect to a truth which is received from outside...'


'Faith is for doubting'
(Paul VI)

Finally, to believe rightly means not only to believe fully, but also to have no doubts about what one believes. One must believe what the Church teaches with such a steadfastness that neither doubt, temptation or persecution can unsettle one's soul. After all, that which the Church teaches and charges us to believe, has been revealed to her by God. 'He who doubts any revealed truth, seriously offends God... He who allows himself willfully to doubt of any of the doctrines of the Church, commits a serious sin against faith.' Sara doubted God's promise that she should bear a son in her old age and was reproved by God for incredulity. Zacharias doubted the announcement of an angel and lost the power of speech.

Yet doubts that come into our mind involve no sin, if we do not willfully consent to them. A doubt is a temptation against the faith. One does not sin by being tempted, but only by giving consent to temptation, or by 'toying' with the idea of doing so. When doubts occur we have an obligation to 1) Pray ('I believe Lord, help Thou my unbelief') and 2) to seek help from appropriate authority - that is to say, by study and inquiry so as to remove any ignorance and misunderstanding (32). One must not forget that faith, which as Vatican I teaches, 'is the beginning of man's salvation', is 'a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by God;s grace, we believe.' Now if the grace of God is essential, it is also true that it is never insufficient. We are never, as Scripture teaches, tried beyond our strength. (If we were, we would not be responsible for sin) It is not the lack of grace that man should fear, but rather his own power to resist and reject it.

A Catholic can never have a just reason for abandoning the faith that he has once embraced. (This is far more true of the clergy than for the laity, for with greater knowledge comes responsibility.). Such is so, not only because he has a sufficient motive of credibility in the divinely instituted Church, but also because faith is the result of supernatural grace and carries with it the additional graces necessary to preserve in it. God's providence will not allow the faithful to lack the helps which they need to protect their faith. As St. Augustine says, 'God does not abandon us until we first abandon him.'


Important as having the faith is, it is not enough to guarantee our salvation. According to Spirgo and Clark, 'Faith is like the root of the tree, without which it cannot exist; it is the first step on the road to heaven; it is the key which opens the door', but 'it must be a living faith; that is, we must add to it good works and must be ready to confess it openly.'(33).

It is a de fide teaching of the Church that 'besides faith, further acts of disposition must be present.' Father Ott comments on this: 'According to the teaching of the Reformers faith, in the sense of fiducial faith, is the sole cause of justification (sola fides). In opposition to this teaching, the Council of Trent declares that, side by side with faith, other acts of disposition are demanded. As such are named: fear of Divine justice; hope in the mercy of god for the sake of the merits of Christ; the beginning of the love of god; hate and detestation of sin; and the purpose of receiving Baptism and of beginning a new life.'

Father Ott continues: 'When St. Paul teaches that we are saved by faith without works of the Law (Rom. 3:28), he understands by faith, a living faith, active through love; by the works of the law he means the works of the law of the Old Testament, for example, circumcision... When St. James, in apparent contradiction to this, teaches that we are justified by works, not merely by faith... he understand by faith, dead faith; by works, good works proceeding from Christian Faith.' Hence it is clear that, as St. Augustine says: 'Without love faith can indeed exist, but can be of no avail' (De Trin. XV).


Our faith is essentially a belief in all the doctrines which the Catholic Church teaches, and is based on a Truth that is entirely independent of our personal feelings or emotional reactions, a truth given us by Christ and the Apostles and one constantly upheld and preserved by the traditional Church throughout her existence. Faith is never 'blind' for it involves the assent of the intellect to truths taught by the Church. The intellect is by its very nature a faculty which 'sees' and hence does not operate in the 'dark'. Faith is never unreasonable, though it gives assent to what is beyond the grasp of reason.

Faith does not arise in our sub-conscious or any other 'immanent' source. Our assent is never the result of 'an impulse of the heart', or of a 'morally conditioned will'. One must utterly reject the teaching of Vatican II that in matters of faith 'man is to be guided by his own judgment, and he is to enjoy freedom.' Rather, man is to be guided by the teachings of the Church, and his freedom exists in his ability to accept or reject this guidance. Faith is always free, for it cannot be coerced. In giving our assent to 'the teaching Magisterium of the Church', we give our assent to that Truth which Christ and the Apostles gave to the Church to preserve. It is in this act that the possibility of freedom lies, for it frees us from our own subjectivity. Our refusal to give assent makes us slaves of our own 'personal judgments', and in the last analysis, to our own passionate natures.



St. Augustine

1. 'For thus doth our faith teach, that is the true, the right Catholic faith, gathered not by the opinion of private judgment, but by the witness of the Scriptures, not subject to the fluctuations of heretical rashness, but grounded upon Apostolic truth...' (St. Augustine, Serm. xxxiv).

2. This Catechism is a most remarkable one. It is unlike any other summary of Christian doctrine, not only because it is intended for the use of priests in their preaching, but also because it enjoys a unique authority among manuals. In the first place, it was issued by the express command of the Ecumenical Council of Trent, which also ordered that it be translated into the vernacular of different nations to be used as a standard source of preaching. Moreover, it subsequently received the unqualified approval of many Sovereign Pontiffs, including Pius VI and Gregory XIII. Clement XIII said in a papal Bull (June 14, 1761) that the Catechism of the Council of Trent contains a clear explanation of all that is necessary for salvation and useful for the faithful and that no other catechism could be compared to it. He called it 'a norm of Catholic teaching and discipline'. Pope Leo XIII recommended that every seminarian should possess it and considered it to be on a par with the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas. Of the several people responsible for compiling it, six subsequently became canonized saints of the Church, including St. Charles Borromeo. One could go on endlessly giving testimony to its authority and excellence. As Father Hogan (former rector of the Irish college in Rome) has stated: 'at the very least it has the same authority as a dogmatic encyclical'.

3. The Blessed John of Avila, Audi Filia, translated from the French, Paris: Aubier, Paris, 1954.

4. Canon George Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, N.Y.:MacMillan, 1949. St. John of the Cross states: 'since He has finished revealing the faith through Christ, there is no more faith to reveal nor will there ever be... Since there are no more articles to be revealed to the Church about the substance of our Faith, a person must not merely reject new revelations about the faith, but he should out of caution, repudiate other kinds of knowledge mingled with them' (Ascent of Mount Carmel). St Vincent of Lerens teaches: 'to announce to Catholic Christians a doctrine other than that which they have received [from the Apostles] was never permitted, is no where permitted and never will be permitted. It was ever necessary, is everywhere necessary, and ever will be necessary that those who announce a doctrine other than that which was received once and for all, be anathema' (Commintoria, XI).

5. Rev. P. Heleh, S.J., Short Sermons on Catholic Dogma, N.Y.:Wagner, 1902.

6. There is some difference in theological opinion as to just what constitutes necessitate medii, though certainly all agree that a knowledge of the existence of God and of the fact that we will be judged for actions is essential. This is the basis of a priest asking a stranger in danger of death if he loves God and is sorry for his sins. Others also include a knowledge of the Incarnation and of the Blessed Trinity.

7. 'In matters of faith it is not permitted to make a distinction between fundamental and so-called non-fundamental articles of faith, as if the first ought to be held by all, and the second the faithful are free to accept or not. The supernatural virtue of faith has as its formal cause the authority of God, the revealer, which suffers not such a division' (Pius XI, Mortalium animos).

8. Footnote in the Abbott translation. The Conciliar statement is ambiguous as is shown by the manner in which the Protestants understood it. There are of course 'degrees of certainty' about the revelatory nature of the Church's teaching, but not to what must be believed and how firmly we must believe. For the sake of completeness, and following Father Parente's Theologica Fundamentalis, these are:
1) Maximum certitude is to be found in formal dogma which is truth divinely and formally revealed and set forth as such by the Magisterium of the Church. Such truths are de fide definita, divina et Catholica. To reject such with obstinacy is a formal heresy.
2) Following closely on this is revealed truth, not as yet so defined by the Church, and which is referred to as proxima fidei (proximately of faith), and to deny these is proximum haeresi (proximate heresy). Other theologians call these truths de fide divina, and state that to deny them with obstinacy is also formal heresy.
3) Third are those truths which are virtually revealed (virtualiter revelata) ,,which is to say, derived from what is revealed with the help of reason (conclusio theologica or a theological conclusion)'. Such truths carry theological certitude (theologica certa) and are said to pertain to the faith (ad fidem pertinens). To deny these is a theological error or an error in faith.
4) Next are the non-revealed truths, but truths nevertheless connected with revelation which the opinion of the theologians (sententia theologorum) refer to as communis (commonly held). To deny these is considered temerous.

These distinctions are of theological use, but not in themselves de fide. Many popes have for example described heresies as 'errors in faith'.

9. The Church in the Modern World. John Courtney Murray, S.J., tells us in his introduction to the Document on Religious Freedom that 'the course of development between the Syllabus of errors (1864) and Dignitatis Humanae Personae (1965) still remains to be explained by theologians. But the Council formally sanctioned the validity of the development itself; and this was a doctrinal event of high importance for theological thought in many other areas' (The Documents of Vatican II, Ed. Walter M. Abbott, S.J., N.Y.: Guild, 1966).

10. Newman's doctrinal views are ambiguous and open to a variety of interpretations. It is pertinent that he was the most quoted theologian in the debates of Vatican II (Christopher Hollis, Newman and the Modern World, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1968) and that his orthodoxy has been questioned by such individuals as Cardinal Manning. It has been said that he was a crypto-Catholic while and Anglican, and a crypto-Protestant when a Catholic. He distinguished between 'the notional assent to truth', the academic recognition of certain beliefs as valid, and the real assent inspired by personal experience. Despite the fact that he died in complete submission to the Church, he is not always a safe source of doctrine.

11. Mgr. G. Van Noort, Dogmatic Theology, Vol III, divine Faith, Maryland:Newman, 1960

12. Canon Smith, op. cit.

13. As Avery Dulles, S.J., one of the Conciliar periti states: 'While stressing that God's self-revelation reached its unsurpassable fullness in Christ, the Council left ample room for development in the Church's assimilation of that fullness in new and unpredictable ways. Without using the term 'continuing revelation', Vatican II allowed for something of the kind. Echoing a favorite term of John XXIII, it spoke repeatedly of the need to discern 'the signs of the times' through which God continues to address his people' (Doctrines do Grow, Ed. John T. McGinn, NU.: Paulist, 1972).

14. The Church in the Modern World, Para. 62.

15. Disputations Concerning Truth.

16. Cf. Chapter II.

17. Catholica, March 1987.

18. Father William Faber, Introduction to the Life of St. Liguori, Richardson: London, 184.

19. op. cit.

20. For example, the Assumption has always been believed by Catholics. It is one of the mysteries of the Rosary.

21. St. John Fisher, quoted in E.E.Reynold's Biography of St. John Fisher, N.Y.: Kenedy, 1955.

22. op. cit.

23. Andrew Greeley, Priests in the United States, Reflections on a Survey, N.Y.: Doubleday 1973. A Statistical survey carried out under Father Greeley's supervision.

24. The first quote is from Time, May 24, 1976 and the second from The Wanderer, June 17, 1976. Archbishop Bernadine has also advocated that cake be used for the 'matter' of the Eucharistic Sacrament, and was rewarded for his loyalty to the faith by being made a Cardinal!

25. Karl Rahner, The Creed in the Melting Pot, published 'cum approbatione ecclesiastica' in concilium, 1973.

26. John McKenzie, The Sword and the Spirit, N.Y.: Paulist, 1972. A more specific Modernist exposition of faith would be hard to find. Father McKenzie remains a priest in good standing.

27. Hubert Monteilhet, Rome n'est plus dans Rome, Pauvert: Paris, 1977. In such a statement the entire French hierarchy placed themselves outside the Church.

28. Paul VI told the leaders of the Pentecostal Movement: 'We are very interested in what you are doing. We have herd so much about what is happening among you. And we rejoice.' (L'Osservatore Romano, Oct. 11, 1975). for a full discussion of Pentecostalism, see The Roman Catholic, vol. I, Nos. 3 and 4, 1979.) A classic example of post-Conciliar attitudes is provided by Bishop Milvaine of the Diocese of Pocahontas. 'The Faith is not a collection of abstract propositions to be memorized. Faith is an encounter with Christ. It should be a deep experience. For several generations we have made a serious mistake in making catechesis mainly a matter of religious instruction (almost 2000 years - Coomaraswamy) and religious instruction a watered-down theology course. We must be aware that the central goal of catechesis is to strengthen faith. To accomplish this we must build up vibrant faith communities' (The Wanderer, Jan. 26, 1978). The editor of The Wanderer then continues to describe the 'faith community' of Pocahontas as 'priests and nuns in rebellion against the Pope; heresy in the Catechisms; immorality passed off as virtue in the confessional; all apparently with the Bishop's approval!' One may be permitted to ask what parishes in the United States are free of such 'abuses'?

29. Veritas, Feb. 1981.

30. Rev. Francis Spirago, The Catechism Explained, N.Y. Benzinger, 1899.

31. While it is true that a Catholic must 'follow his conscience', conscience is itself nothing but the application of God's law to specific circumstances. Putting this in different terms, there is no possible reason apart from insanity for a Catholic to decide the teaching of the Church is false. Only a false Church can teach falsely.

32. De natura et gratia, c. 26. Canon Smith (op. cit.) makes the following statement: 'It is clear, then, that in this matter the Catholic has serious duties. Not only must he avoid temptations against the faith, not only must he pray for an increase of faith, but he is bound to take care that his mental development in secular branches of study shall is accompanied by equal development in the knowledge of his religion. If he feels difficulties regarding fundamentals, it is his duty to inquire of those who are able to solve them; and here he needs a humility of mind which recognizes that what he does not know is well known to many others. There can be little doubt that many defections from the Church are due to a culpable lack of knowledge -culpable because the ordinary means of information upon this important matter, whether they be Catholic books, sermons, or instructions, have been culpably neglected.'

33. 'Good works' includes, not only acts of charity towards our neighbor, but also 'acts of charity' towards God, namely 'fasting and prayer'.

34. Dr. Ludgwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Cork Mercier, 1955.



Webster's Dictionary defines 'innovation' as a 'change or novelty, especially in customs, manners or rites,' and reminds us that a more obsolete usage equates the term with 'revolution and insurrection.' The traditional Catholic Church has always been strongly opposed to all innovation(1). Even prior to the coming of Christ, we find Plato calling the innovator 'the worst kind of pest' in society, and stating that it was 'our own irrational impulses which yearned for innovation.'(2) The same attitude prevailed in ancient Rome. Sallust described the innovator as an 'unprincipled character, hating the established order of things... bent on general upheaval, turmoil, and rebellion,' and Cicero said 'sic est vulgus, ex veritate pauca, ex opinione multa estimant.'(3)

Our Lord never presented himself as an 'innovator.' He clearly stated that 'My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me' (John 8:16) and further stated that 'I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill the law' (Matt. 5:17). The warning of St. Paul against those who would teach us a new kind of gospel ('even though an Angel') are quite clear, for as it says in Proverbs: 'Add not a thing to His words lest thou be reproved and found a liar' (30:6). This attitude was preserved by the saints with care. Thus St. Papias (whom St. Irenaeus describes as a 'hearer of the Apostle John and friend of Polycarp'(4)) says, 'I do not take pleasure as many do... in those who relate foreign precepts, but in those who relate the precepts which were given by the Lord to the faith and come down to us from truth itself,' and Tertullian said 'It is not lawful to introduce anything of our own choice... we have for our authors the Apostles of the Lord who did not even themselves choose anything to be introduced of their own will, but faithfully delivered over to the nations the religion which they had received from Christ...' and 'I do not accept what you introduce... on you own authority.'

The Church fathers maintained this attitude with clarity. St. Simeon of Thessalonica begins his book on the Church with the following words: 'With love, we pass on to you that which we have taken from the Fathers. For we offer nothing new, but only that which has been passed on to us, and we have changed nothing but we have retained everything, like a creed, in the state in which it has been given to us. We worship exactly as Christ Himself did and as did the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church.' St. Isidore taught: 'We have the Apostles of God as authorities who did not choose what they would believe but faithfully transmitted the teachings of Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he should be called anathema.' St. Vincent of Lerins said, 'the more a man is under the influence of religion, the more prompt is he to oppose innovation.' He further noted that 'if there is a beginning of mixing the new with the old, foreign ideas with genuine, and profane elements with sacred, this habit will creep in everywhere, without check. In the end, nothing in the Church will be left untouched, unimpaired, unhurt and unstained. Where formerly there was a sanctuary of chaste and uncorrupted truth, there will be a brothel of impious and filthy errors. It is therefore, an indispensable obligation for all Catholics who are eager to prove that they are true sons of Holy Mother Church to adhere to the Holy Faith of the Holy Fathers, to preserve it, to die for it, and, on the other hand, to detest the profane novelties of profane men, to dread them, to harass and attack them. I cannot help wondering about such madness in certain people, the dreadful impiety of their blinded minds and their insatiable lust for error, such that they are not content with the traditional rule of faith as once and for all received from antiquity, but are driven to seek another novelty daily. They are possessed by a permanent desire to change religion, to add something and to take something away - as though the dogma were not divine, so that it has to be revealed only once. But they take it for a merely human institution, which cannot be perfected except by constant emendations, rather, by constant corrections.' St. Augustine taught 'for thus doth our faith teach, that is the true, the right Catholic faith, gathered not by the opinion of private judgment, but by the witness of the Scriptures; not subject to the fluctuations of heretical rashness, but grounded upon Apostolic truth.' He further stated that 'the heretic... is one who for some temporal advantage, especially for the sake of glory and preeminence, originates or follows false and new opinions.' St. Basil said, 'We accept no new faith, written out for us by others, nor do we proclaim the results of our own cogitation, lest mere human wisdom should be accounted the rule of faith; we communicate to all who question us that which the Holy Fathers have taught us.' St. John Climacus in his famous Ladder of Ascent states, 'We should constantly be examining and comparing ourselves with the Holy Fathers and lights who lived before us,' and further adds, 'this I ask, that you should not imagine that we are inventing what we write, for such a suspicion would detract from its value.' St. Bruno teaches 'we ought to relate not our own words, but those of the saints; not those which we can draw from our own heart, but those which we can derive from the fountains of Israel.' St. Maximus the Confessor stated 'I have no private opinion, but only agree with the Catholic Church.'

Coming down through the later centuries we find St. Bernard teaching that heretics 'mix novelties of speech and meaning with heavenly words like poison with honey.' He describes what happens as a result: 'Churches without people, people without priests, priests without reverence due to them, and Christians without Christ. The churches are regarded as synagogues, the holiness of God's sanctuary is denied, the sacraments are not considered sacred, the holy days are deprived of their solemnities...'(14) M. Olier, the founder of the Sulpicians says 'God forbid that I should ever innovate anything in religious matters.' St. Francis de Sales said 'I have said nothing which I have not learned from others,' and in doing so reflected the very words of Cassian: 'I am not inventing this teaching, but simply passing on what I learned from others.' St. Vincent de Paul stated his fear 'that God is allowing the faith gradually to perish from among us on account of the depravity of manners, the novel opinions which are spreading more and more, and the generally evil stage of things,.' and Alphonse de Liguori cried out against those 'who taught not the Gospel but their own inventions. One could go on quoting the saints in similar fashion ad infinitum. Suffice it to conclude with just two more - both of recent vintage. Alban Butler speaks to us of 'Pride... which often attends knowledge' and continues: 'of this there cannot be a more dangerous symptom in a scholar than a fondness for novelty and singularity, especially if joined with obstinacy and opinionateness.' And finally the Abbe Gueranger in his Introduction to the Season of Advent states: 'the reader will rightly infer, from what we have said, that the object we have in view is not in any way to publish some favorite or clever method of our own.'

Pope St. Gregory said with regard to his Commands: 'know, my brother that these orders are not of our own invention, but that we proclaim them as decrees of the ancient fathers taught to them by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.'. Pope St. Sylvester declared 'Let there be no innovations,' and about one thousand years later his statement was repeated by Pope Benedict XV in his encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum.

The great Councils also held to this attitude. The Seventh Ecumenical council stated 'let everything that conflicts with ecclesiastical tradition and teaching, and that has been innovated and done contrary to the examples outlined by the saints and the venerable Fathers, or that shall hereafter at any time be done in such a fashion, be anathema.' The Second Council of Nicaea also condemned 'those, who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent novelties of some kind.'

And such has ever been the seemingly monotonous plainchant of the Church which sees her function as one of preserving the Truth which Christ entrusted to her. As Mgr. Van Noort states, 'THE POINT IS HAMMERED HOME MORE FORECEABLY BY TRADITION WHICH FROM THE VERY EARLIEST DAYS WAS WILLING TO FOLLOW ONLY THE DOCTRINE OF THE APOSTLES, AND ALWAYS CONSIDERED ANY INNOVATION IN MATTERS OF THE FAITH TO BE A CLEAR HALLMARK OF HERESY.' Not one saint, not one pope from a previous era, no council prior to Vatican II and not one line of Holy Scripture can be brought forth in defense of innovation. And such is not surprising for the Law of the Church with regard to the canonization of saints promulgated by Pope Urban VIII requires that: 'A most diligent inquiry be made as to whether the servant of God whose canonization is sought wrote any books, tracts, meditations, or the like; for if any such have been written, no inquiry is to be carried on until such books are carefully examined by the Congregation to see whether they contain any errors contrary to faith or morals, or any novel doctrine opposed to the sound and pure teaching of the Church.'

Such however is by no means the attitude of the post-Conciliar Church. On the contrary, Paul VI, despite the fact that he took a coronation oath (in which he swore 'to change nothing of the received tradition, and nothing thereof that I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon and to alter nothing, nor to permit any innovation therein...'), has done everything in his power to foster innovations of the most horrendous character.

Thus in his General Audience of July 2, 1969 he said that: 'We desire to make our own the important words used by the council, the words which define its spirit, and in a dynamic synthesis form the spirit of all those who place their confidence in it, whether they be in or outside of the Church. The (key) word is NOVELTY (nouveaute - change, innovation, newness), a simple word, in common usage, and most dear to the hearts of modern man... This word... has been given to us as a command and as a program.' and further on in the same discourse:
'Two terms characterize the Council: renovation and aggiornamento. We very much desire that the 'spirit of renewal', to use an expression sanctioned by the Council, should be understood and lived by everyone. It is a response to one of the characteristics of our times, engaged as it is in an enormous and rapid transformation which creates change and innovation in all domains of modern life. How can one fail but to spontaneously reflect that IF THE WORLD CHANGES, SHOULD NOT RELIGION ALSO CHANGE?... It is for this very reason that the Church has, especially after the Council, undertaken so many reforms... The religious orders reforming their statutes... The Liturgy undergoing a reform the extent of which is clear to everyone... And we are about to reform the whole of Canon Law... And how many other consoling and promising INNOVATIONS... We can say... of the Council that it marks the opening of a NEW ERA in which no one will be able to deny the NEW POINTS OF VIEW which we have indicated...'

Not everyone was entirely happy with the 'new era' and these 'new points of view.' Hence it became necessary for Paul VI to once again discuss the subject. In his General Audience of August 4, 1971 he stated that 'it is necessary to know how to welcome with humility and an interior freedom what is innovative.' He proceeded to explain to the faithful that the 'renewal' achieved since Vatican II was: '...that of a renewal conceived in correct terms, and according to the 'good spirit' promised by the Heavenly Father... We could, by the grace of the Lord, give many proofs, and not trivial ones either, that seem to us convincing... If we think of the sum total of innovating measures that have been put into effect in this period, particularly if we consider the liturgical reform - a great innovation indeed!'.

And indeed, as he states elsewhere that the 'chief innovation affects the Eucharistic Prayer...' which is to say the Mass itself.

Some will ask, what is wrong with innovations? The answer is that they essentially deny and disrupt the integrity of Revelation as handed down to us by Tradition. Hence the are intimately associated with heresy, and indeed, the Church Fathers frequently join the two terms in a single phrase - the terms being virtually synonymous. As St. Augustine said with regard to the teaching of the Church on original sin: 'It is not I who devised the teaching of the Church which the Catholic faith holds from ancient times, but you who deny it are undoubtedly an innovating heretic.' If the Church functions to preserve the deposit of the faith, she has an absolute obligation to speak out and expose those who would dilute or distort this deposit, and she has an absolute obligation to do everything in her power to prevent such heretics from misleading the faithful. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) states that 'heresy is a deadly poison generated within the organism of the Church.' As Father Faber says, 'there is no possibility of measuring the harm done to a man's religious habits by the admission and temporary entertainment of error, however ignorance might seem to excuse such an admission.' St. John Fisher (who did not die in vain) tells us that 'the sinner remains joined to the Mystical Body by faith,' but 'the heretic cuts himself off from the body and its vivifying spirit.'(24) Pope Pius X taught in his Encyclical Editae Saepe himself quoting the words of St. Charles Borromeo: 'It is a certain well-established fact that no other crime so seriously offends god and provokes His greatest wrath as the vice of heresy.'(25)

The idea that it is not necessary for those in authority to condemn heretics was labeled as 'scandalous' by Pope Alexander VII in 1665 (Denz. 1105). The very first council of the Apostles in Jerusalem was convened to put an end to the judaizing tendencies of the first Christians. Pope Leo confirmed the conciliar condemnation of Pope Honorius I on the grounds that 'he was wanting the vigilance expected from him in his Apostolic office and thereby allowed heresy to make headway which he should have crushed in its beginnings.' During the traditional rite for the Ordination of bishops, the following words are read: 'I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel' (Ezech. 3:17). and the very next sentence continues: 'If thou declare not to the wicked his iniquity, I will require his blood at thy hand.' (Needless to say, these phrases, to accommodate Protestant prejudices, have been dropped from the post-Conciliar ordination rite. The Conciliar 'bishops' are 'ordained' to 'loose,' but not to 'bind'! cf. Chapter XIV or Ordination Rites.) Canon Law (2396) states that 'he is suspect of heresy who spontaneously and consciously helps in any way with the propagation of heresy.' Pope Felix III stated: 'Not to oppose error is to approve of it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed, to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.'(26)

It should not be thought that such 'anti-heretical' attitudes on the part of the traditional Church are not Scriptural. Christ Himself warned us that 'many false prophets shall arise, and shall seduce many...' He further stated that 'he who is not with me is against me;.. and he who will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican.' He was not ambiguous when he said 'he who believeth not shall be condemned.' the Apostles spoke in a similar vein. St. Paul warned us against those 'who would teach a Gospel besides that which we had received of him.' St. John calls the heretic 'a seducer, an Antichrist, a man who dissolves Christ,' and instructs us 'to receive him not into the house nor say to him God speed you.' St. Peter, with his characteristic ardor, calls the heretics 'lying teachers who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them; bringing upon themselves swift destruction.' He called them 'clouds without water and clouds tossed in whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved.' St. Jude speaks in a similar strain throughout his whole Epistle. And St. Paul tells us how to act with regard to heresy. He instructs Timothy to 'war on them a good warfare, having faith and good conscience, which some rejecting have made a shipwreck concerning the faith...' He exhorts the ancients of the Church at Ephesus to 'take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you Bishops to rule the Church of god... I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock... therefore watch.' :Beware of dogs,' he writes to the Philippians, the 'dogs' being the same false teachers as the ravening wolves. Is it any wonder that St. Jerome calls the congregations of heretics 'synagogues of Satan' and says that their communion is to be avoided 'like that of vipers and scorpions?' St. De Montfort warned his own father 'not to touch pitch, for it would defile him; not to swallow earth, for it would choke him, not to inhale smoke, for it would stifle him.' (29) As St. Bernard warns, 'it is not safe to sleep near serpents.' (30)

And what do we have today in the new and post-Conciliar church? As Frank Sheed has said, 'every week brings news of some revolutionary-sounding denial by some theologian somewhere - and not a sound out of the hierarchy!... There is hardly a doctrine or practice of the Church that I have not heard attacked by some priest.'(31) Now, who are the great theologians of the new Church? Surely no one will balk at the name of Bernard Haring, Karl Rahner, Hans Kung, Joseph Suenens, Edward Schillebeeckx and Yves Congar, to give but a few names that are almost household words - and everyone of these has denied one or another of the Church's teachings. They are all well known to Paul VI and his successors - many as personal friends. All of them are 'priests in good standing.' Not one of them has been declared heretical, much less excommunicated(32). When Hans Kung was brought up on charges of heresy - he denies the doctrine of transubstantiation, that Christ established a hierarchy or even a priesthood, the reality of all the miracles in the Gospel and even the Resurrection - even the Lutherans object to his Christology - it was declared that 'he was not a Catholic theologian' but in no way deprived of his priestly function or his power to influence the Catholic faithful. As Michael Novak commented, 'neither Kung nor those theologians who have leaped to his defense argue that the Vatican has misunderstood or misrepresented him... The Vatican has not, however, limited his freedom; it has only revoked his authority to speak in its name. Nor has the Vatican accused him of heresy - defined as deviation from the teachings of Christ, accompanied by deliberate scorn for orthodoxy - or impugned his person, motives or good will. The Vatican recognizes Kung's intention to remain a Catholic.' Father Schillebeeckx, one of those responsible for the 'Dutch Cathechism,' and a man who has denied as many teachings of the Church as has Hans Kung, after a thorough investigation was declared 'a priest in good standing' both by his order and the Vatican. These investigations were instituted during the reign of Paul VI and carried to completion during that of John Paul II.

Paul VI recognized that the 'smoke of Satan' was rising within the Vatican itself. But what of his actions? He has never condemned heresy, but rather stated that 'you will have noticed my dear friends to what extent the style of our government of the Church seeks to be pastoral, fraternal, humble in spirit and form. It is on this account that, with the help of God, we hoped to be loved.' And to be loved by the world, he abolished the Index (35), and effectively abolished the Holy Office, one of the primary functions of which was to prevent heretics from doing harm, and then openly declared that: 'We are going to have a period of greater liberty in the life of the Church, and hence for each of her sons... Formal discipline will be reduced, all arbitrary judgment will be abolished, as well as all intolerance and absolutism.'

Now such a statement from a person who claimed to be a reigning Pontiff - Christ's representative on earth, can only be termed extraordinary. First of all, the judgments of the Church have never been 'arbitrary,' but based on sound doctrine, and often taken after years of careful study. Secondly, the Church must be intolerant of error. After all, she is here to proclaim Christ's truth. Now either she is the Church that Christ founded, and therefore has, whether the world accords her recognition and love or not, special rights and privileges, or she is only one Church among many others and must bow and kowtow to those she would emulate. Either she teaches the absolute Truth, or there is in her eyes, no absolute truth. What parent would ever fail to censor the reading and activities of his children or those entrusted to his care? What government in power has ever allowed seditious organizations the freedom to undermine its structures? And heresy for the Church of Christ is sedition. What physician would ever allow the disease to play havoc with his patient when he was in a position to prevent it?

It should by now be quite clear to the reader that the New and post-Conciliar church has departed from unity with the traditional Church, the 'Church of All Times,: the Church that Christ founded, the Roman Catholic Church as she exists now and will continue to exist till the end of time. To those who argue that all such departures are in the nature of 'abuses,' let it be stressed that throughout this book, almost all examples of the RUPTURE WITH TRADITION are taken from either statements of the post-Conciliar 'popes,' the documents of Vatican II, or illustrated from the new Sacramental rites as they are officially promulgated. No post-Conciliar Catholic can refuse to accept these three sources without defeating his own argument. He cannot 'pick and choose' just what he will accept in the New Church without declaring that it is in fact his own 'private opinion' that is the basic authority for his decision. The 'post-Conciliar Catholic' no matter how 'sincere' is plainly and simply, NO LONGER A ROMAN CATHOLIC.

'To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church 'was instructed by Jesus Christ and His apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.' Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain 'restoration and regeneration' for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obstruction or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a 'foundation may be laid for a new human institution', and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing 'may become a human church.'


(1) Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos

(2) Plato, Laws, VII: 797. Reference to the Loeb Classical Liberation edition index under 'innovation' will give several statements along parallel lines. Plato especially speaks out against those who would innovate in musical and ritual matters.

(3) Sallust, Histories. Cicero, Lat. Dict. 521. We are of course not speaking of those who would make a 'better mouse trap,' but about those who would replace what is traditional with 'novelties.' One must be aware of the Platonic distinction between 'new songs' and 'a new kind of music.'

(4) Papias was Bishop of Hieropolis during the post-Apostolic period - there is some debate as to whether he was a disciple of John the Apostle or of John the elder. Cf. The Oracles of Papias, London: Longmans Green, 1894.

(5) The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, Mich.: Eerdman, 1968.

(6) Ad Praxeam, quoted in 'The Faith of Catholics,' Rev. James Waterworth, London: Dolman, 1896; and Flesh of Christ, quoted in 'Faith of the Early Fathers,' William Jurgens, Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1970

(7) PG 155:701 a-b.

(8) Etymologies.

(9) Commenataria, available from same source as No. 4.

(10) Sermon 34., and De utilitate credendi.

(11) Quoted by J. Tixeront, History of dogmas, St. Louis, Mo.: Herder, 1926

(12) St. Brunonis, de Ornatu Eccles.

(13) Quoted in From the Housetops, No. 22, St. Benedict Center, Still River, Mass., 1982.

(14) The Letters of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, (No. 318) e.d. and translated by B. S. James, Chicago, Regnery: 1953

(15) Catechism Chretien, IIe part., Chap. 14.

(16) Preface to his The Love of God.

(17) Conferences.

(18) Letter to Mr. d'Horgny.

(19) The Lives of the Saints.

(20) Van Noort, op. cit.

(21) Taken from the Liber diurnus Romanorum Pontificum, PL 105, S 54. This oath was also taken by John XXIII, but refused by both John Paul I and II.

(22) De Nupt, II.

(23) Life and Letters, page 72.

(24) Quoted in Works and Days of John Fisher, E. Sturtz, S.J., New Haven, Yale, 1981.

(25) Vatican II, under the heading of 'religious liberty' would concede to all religious sects, and to non-religious organizations, the right to propagate their views, no matter how heretical, and even in situations where the Church could prevent it. This is, the Council teaches, to be 'guaranteed' as a 'civil right.' What father would ever allow such in his family?

(26) In passing, the accusation that the Church 'burned' heretics is false. Heretics, especially anarchists and satanists were considered enemies of the state. The Albigensians (in France) denied all civil as well as all spiritual authority. The Church and her 'inquisition' functioned to determine whether or not they were in fact heretics, and always insisted that they be given a chance to 'recant.' Our modern 'jury' system is an outgrowth of the Inquisition as all evidence had to be presented, not to a jury of peers, but to one of experts. In many situations the Inquisition functioned to 'protect' the faithful from the state. It was those who clearly were attempting to destroy the civil order who were turned over to the state for punishment. That abuses occurred is unfortunately true, but these were surprisingly few in number. Those who are interested in an unbiased view of this institution are referred to William Thomas Walsh's 'Characters of the Inquisition' (available from TAN) and to a most remarkable study by Professor Jean Dumont of the Sorborne in Paris entitled 'L'Eglise au risque de l'Histoire', Limoge: Criterion, 1985. Professor Dumont is non-Catholic and hence cannot be accused of historical bias.

(27) The Church has always taken the position that error can under certain circumstances be 'tolerated,' but never that it gives approval or treats it on an 'equal footing' (to use a phrase culled from Vatican II). Thus while forced conversions are clearly forbidden by Canon Law, she has always done all in her power to prevent the faithful from being seduced by heretical teachings. Convinced of her sacred function and duty, how else should she behave?

(28) Quoted by Msgr. John Vaughan in Dangers of the Day, Ave Maria Press, 1909.

(29) Letter to his father quoted by George Rigault, St. Louis de Montfort, His Life and Work, N.Y., The MOntfort Fathers, 1947.

(30) Letter 318, op. cit.

(31) Frank Sheed, The Church and I, N.Y., Doubleday, 1974.

(32) One or two theologians have in fact been reprimanded recent years - men like Jacques Pohier whose names are completely unknown. One or two like Father Boff in Brazil were 'silenced' for a period of one year (with no retractions required). One or two others have been removed from their teaching positions. Such of course is mere 'tokenism'.

(33) New York Times Magazine Section, March 23, 1980.

(34) Quoted by the Abbe Georges de Nantes in his Liber Accusationis in Paulum Sextum, available from Ligue de la contre-Reforme Catholique, Maison Saint-Joseph, 10260 Saint-Parres-Les-Vaudes (France).

(35) July 15, 1966. The Index dates back to the Council of Nicaea in 325 when the works of Arius (specifically, his book Thalia) were condemned because of the author's views that the Word of God was a creature were 'set forth in a loose, free style, reminding one of the works of Sotades.' The 'loose free style' was not invented by the 'periti' of Vatican II. It should be noted in passing that any Catholic who has an adequate reason and the requisite intellectual background can get permission from his pastor to read books on the Index. The Holy Office of the Inquisition was changed to 'The Congregation for the Defense of Doctrine.' Paul VI diminished its role by eliminating its office for censorship of books and the Roman Index of Prohibited Books (Cf. The Remnant, Dec. 15, 1979).

(36) Quoted in 31.



Catholics hold the Papacy in such veneration that it is almost inconceivable that anyone would presume to criticize the individual who sits on the Chair of Peter. The Pope is the Visible Head of the Church. He is the Head because he is the Vicar of Christ and clothed with Christ's authority. He is said to be visible not only because he is the one that is seen, but also because one sees through him with the eyes of the faith, the invisible Head (Christ). He is called the Pastor of Pastors (from the Latin Pasco, to feed) because he 'feeds and confirms' all the other Pastors (bishops). He is also in like manner called the 'Doctor of doctors' (from docere, to teach), for he is the 'universal' or 'supreme' Doctor. And he is also called the 'Vicar' (from the Latin vicarius, to take the place of) because he stands in the place of Christ.


A Pope then stands above all other men. Yet he stands below Christ. His authority, as all authority, comes from God, and no one who stands beneath him has the authority to command, confirm or teach him. His power is so great that he can dispense the faithful from any ecclesiastical law(1), but not great enough to dispense anyone from the natural or the divine law. He cannot be removed from his office even by an Ecumenical Council, though such a council can declare him a formal heretic, which if true, puts him in the situation of removing himself from office. But despite the power he welds and despite the authority he holds, he is limited by one important factor - even though he is Christ's Viceroy (which literally means 'Voice-King') on earth - he is not himself Christ. He can over-rule others, but never over-rule his divine Master. This is why he cannot dispense anyone from divine law. This is why he he can no more change our faith then he cannot 'unmake' the Truth. As St. Cyprian said: 'God is one, and Christ is one, and the Church is one, and the chair is one, founded by the Lord's word upon a rock. Another altar or a new priesthood, besides the one altar and the one priesthood, cannot be set up. Whosoever gathereth elsewhere scattereth.' (2)

It is because the Pope is Christ's highest representative on earth that he is given governance over the faithful. The reason we owe him obedience is that, as St. Norbort of Magdeburg says, 'obedience to the Pope is obedience to Christ' . As Msgr. Grou expresses, the Pope 'is one hierarchical person with Our Lord'. As such he is endowed with the charism of infallibility. Just as he is clothed with Christ's authority, so also he is clothed with Christ's infallibility, and it goes without saying that our Divine Lord could not teach anything but the absolute truth (3).

The Pope is infallible when he functions as Pope, when he speaks from the Chair of Peter (ex Cathedra as explained in Chapter II). This infallibility does not extend to him as a private person or even as a private theologian. There is no limit to the pope's infallibility except that of teaching error, for error can never be infallibly true. The pope is unlimited in his function of preserving the deposit of the faith, but he is limited by this function, for he cannot teach anything contrary to this deposit. 'The Holy Spirit is not promised to the successors of Peter so that, through His revelation, they may bring new doctrines to light, but that, with His help, they may keep inviolate and faithfully expound the revelation handed down through the Apostles, the deposit of faith' (Denzinger 1836).

The Church has always recognized the limitations under which the Pope rules. As St. Bernard wrote to Pope Eugene in his Five Books on Consideration (otherwise known as Advise to a Pope): 'You have been entrusted with stewardship over the world, not given possession of it. Leave possession and rule to Him; you take care of it. This is your portion: beyond it do not stretch your hand. You should not think that you are excluded from those about whom God complains, (when He says in Hos. 8:4) 'They have reigned, but not by Me; princes have arisen, but I do not recognize them'' (4)

It should be clearly understood that the charism of infallibility does not deprive the pope of his free will. He is not turned into a robot. If he were, every pope would be a canonized saint. A Pope, like every man, can be a sinner - omnis homo mendax, and indeed some were. But even though he sin, he still retains his function as Pope (5). It is one thing to sin against the flesh, for all men are weak ; it is quite another to deny the truth with obstinacy which is a 'sin against the Holy Ghost' (6).


Non-Catholics include those who have never been Catholic, and those who once were Catholic but who either apostacized or were excluded from the Body of Christ by legitimate disciplinary action. Those who are not Catholic are not and cannot be, suitable candidates for the papacy. Pope Paul IV made this clear in his Apostolic Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (1559): 'Should it happen that a bishop, cardinal, legate, or even the Roman Pontiff had deviated from the Catholic Faith before his nomination as bishop, cardinal or pope, the following dispositions are compulsory. The promotion or election, even if the cardinals have consented to this of common accord, [i.e. all of them], is null and void. They cannot acquire validity by the fact of the subject's entry into function or by the fact of consecration or subsequent exercise of authority - in the case of a pope - by the fact of enthronement, or the act of veneration or subsequent general obedience... Nor can they confer upon such persons... any power to command either in the spiritual or temporal domain... Whoever does not refuse his fidelity and obedience to such persons thus promoted or called are tearing the Lord's robe..'


A Pope may loose his authority in several ways. He may loose it by death; by insanity, by schism (separating himself from the Church) and by apostasy (which is spiritual death). There is no difficulty in understanding the principle behind death or insanity. Hence the question can be rephrased thus: CAN THE POPE SEPARATE HIMSELF FROM THE CHURCH (SCHISM); AND CAN HE FALL INTO HERESY?


Schism is defined as the rupture of ecclesiastical unity. St. Augustine tells us that 'By false doctrines (7) concerning God heretics wound faith; by iniquitous dissensions schismatics deviate from fraternal charity, although they believe what we believe' (8). The Church has always held that a pope can become schismatic.

'One (a Pope) also falls into schism if he himself departs from the body of the Church by refusing to be in communion with her by participating in the sacraments... The Pope can become schismatic in this manner if he does not wish to be in proper communion with the body of the Church (i.e., the Church of All Times), a situation which would arise if he tried to excommunicate the entire Church, or , as both Cajetan and Torquemada observe, IF HE WISHED TO CHANGE ALL THE ECCLESIASTICAL CEREMONIES, FOUNDED AS THEY ARE ON APOSTOLIC TRADITION.' - Francis Suarez, S.J.

And indeed, what Ecclesiastical Ceremonies have the post-Conciliar 'popes' left unaltered?

'By disobedience the Pope can separate himself from Christ despite the fact that he is head of the Church, for above all, the unity of the Church is dependent on its relationship with Christ. The Pope can separate himself from Christ by either disobeying the laws of Christ, or by commanding something that is against the divine or natural law. By so doing, the Pope separates himself from the body of the Church because this body is itself linked to Christ by obedience. In this way, the Pope could without doubt fall into schism.'

'The Pope can also separate himself from the Church and her priests if he so wishes to do and without any specific reason. [i.e., by the exercising of his free will]. He also does this if he refuses to do what the Universal Church [i.e., the Church of All Times] does, based as these things are, on the Tradition of the Apostles; or again, if he does not observe those precepts which the Holy and Ecumenical councils or the Holy See have determined to be of universal application. Especially is this true with regard to the divine liturgy, as for example, if he did not wish personally to follow the universal customs and rites of the Church. Such would be the case if he did not wish to celebrate Mass with the sacred vestments or with candles, of if he refused to make the sign of the cross in the same manner as other priests do. The same holds true for other aspects of the liturgy in a very general fashion, and for anything that might go against the perpetual customs of the Church as incorporated in the Canons Quae ad perpetuum, violatores, Sunt Quidem and Contra Statua. By separating himself from the observance of the universal customs of the Church, and by doing so with obstinacy, the Pope is able to fall into schism. Such a conclusion is only just because the premises on which it is based are beyond doubt. for, just as the Pope can become a heretic, so also is he able to do so with the sin of obstinacy. Thus it is that Pope Innocent states (De Consuetudine) that, it is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not himself go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed...' - Jean de Torquemada.


Heresy is the sin of denying a revealed truth with obstinacy. Properly speaking, obstinacy does not constitute the sin of heresy, but rather manifests it and permits one to distinguish the heretic who wishes to deny a truth of the faith, from a person who is in error from ignorance and without any desire to deny a truth of the faith. This is the distinction between material and formal heresy. Any one who holds to an erroneous belief in ignorance of the teaching of the Church is materially wrong, but in so far as he has no desire to be in error, he is not formally wrong. However, a person who is a material heretic, and who once having been corrected, persists in his error, adds obstinacy to his attitude and becomes a formal heretic (9). Such 'willful error' is a mortal sin.

Every mortal sin results in the loss of the state of grace, but even when deprived of this divine grace, the sinner remains a member of the Church. He is like a branch of the vine in which the sap of grace no longer flows, but a branch not cut off, and hence one that can be brought back to life. Even though such a person is 'spiritually dead', he remains within the Church. As Pius XII pointed out, 'sinners are in the Church of which they are always members' (Mystici corporis).

However, the sins of schism and heresy not only cause spiritual death, they also separate those who are guilty of such from the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church. Unlike a sinner, a heretic is no longer a member of the Church. Should the heretic be in Holy Orders (a deacon, priest or bishop), he retains the powers inherent in the order received, but looses the right to use them. In addition, he looses all jurisdiction or authority. (10)

The principle involved is enshrined in Canon Law (1917). Canon 138 states: 'Through tacit resignation, accepted by the Law itself, all offices become vacant by the very fact (ipso facto) and without any declaration, if a cleric... has publicly defected from the Catholic Church.

It should be clear that the Pope, like anyone else is free and hence perfectly capable of apostatizing from the faith. This he does by becoming a 'formal' heretic. As some would deny it is possible for a Pope to apostatize from the faith, let it be noted that Dante has never been criticised by the Church for placing several Popes in hell. The promise of Christ - 'I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not' (Luke 22:31) in no way guarantees papal indefectibility. It is the Church which is indefectable, and not the pope.


It is of course true that a pope cannot be deposed, even by a Council (for no act of a Council has authority until it receives papal approval), but should a pope fall into notorious or formal heresy, he automatically falls from his high station and looses all his authority. Let the teaching of the Church be clear: 'There is no doubt but that a Pope, even if he should be a notorious heretic - if for example, he taught a doctrine contrary to the divine faith - could not be deposed by a Council; the council would simply declare that he was a heretic and as a result that he had fallen from his pontificate.' - Saint Alphonse de Liguori.

'(A Pope) who is a notorious heretic automatically ceases to be the pope and chief, just as he automatically ceases to be a Christian and a member of the Church.' - Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmin.

'A pope who makes himself the mouthpiece of heresy is no longer a pope, and when he is mistaken, he is not the less mistaken because he is a pope. In such a situation, it is not the Church which errs, for she can always elect another pope.' - Francis Suarez, S.J.

'A Pope, by the simple fact that he is guilty of heresy, places himself outside the Church, and he is relieved of his function by God himself.' - Thyrsus Gonzales, S.J.

'In the situation where the pope becomes a heretic, he finds himself by that sole fact and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. In effect, a head separated from the body can no longer, as long as it is separated, be the head of that body from which it is separated. Thus, a pope, who become separated from the Church by heresy, ceases by that fact to be head of the Church. He cannot be a heretic and remain pope because one who is outside the Church cannot hold the keys of the Church.' - St.Antonin of Florence

'If the pope is a heretic, by that very fact (ipso facto) he falls out of the Church.' - St. Francis de Sales.


The pope can fall into heresy as a private doctor. (He is prevented from doing so in his capacity of Universal Doctor - that is, in his official capacity as pope.) He can manifest this doctrinal error in two ways.

As a private doctor: In such a case, as would be the situation with any of the faithful who made a mistake, one not only can, but one should, presume good faith, especially if he retracts as soon as he is made aware of his error. Such was the situation with St. Peter, and Pope Pascal II.

In an official manner: In this situation his good faith cannot even be presumed. In effect, it is a dogma of our faith that in the exercise of his function of pope, he cannot teach error. Hence it follows that if a pope should teach error in his official capacity, by that very fact he makes it manifestly clear that prior to this he had fallen into error and lost the papacy . To refuse to accept this statement is to either deny the dogma of infallibility, or quod absit, to accuse Christ of teaching falsehood. As Leo XIII stated, 'if, which is impossible, the official teaching of a pope should be erroneous, it would follow that God Himself would be the author of error among men. O Lord, if we are in error, it is You Yourself who have deceived us' (Satis cognitum)


There are three ways in which doubts can arise as to whether a given individual is truly the pope. The first is as to whether he was a Catholic prior to his election. Section 2 above points out that it is impossible for a non-Catholic to be elected to the Papacy. Doubt about a person's orthodoxy prior to election can lead to doubt about the validity of his election.

Secondly, one can question the election process itself. Here the laws of the Church (The Apostolic Constitution Vacante sede, Dec. 25, 1904) must be clearly followed, laws set up precisely to prevent undue influence by the powers of this world in the final result (13). The rules to be followed in this situation are given below.

The third area relates to the status of a given pope after his election and acceptance of the papacy. An individual who is unquestionably pope can still defect from the faith and place himself outside the Church. Should such be the case, he would, as shown above, loose all authority and jurisdiction.

Where the issue is uncertain, the principle that 'a doubtful pope is no pope at all' applies. Such is the statement of Father Wilmers: 'In the case where the election of a pope has become so doubtful that it is impossible to know with certitude whether or not he is a true pontiff, he whose election is doubtful should, according to most authors, step down in order to allow a new election to take place. If he refuses to do so, the Church and the bishops can declare that he is not a pope because his election is in doubt. This follows from the principle that 'a doubtful pope is no pope at all.' In effect, he whose authority is uncertain is unable to oblige anyone to obey him, in the same fashion that one is not obliged to obey a law before it is promulgated.'

In view of what has been said in previous sections, the ability of a council to declare a doubtful Pope as without authority may be questioned. Consider the words of Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmin: 'A doubtful pope should not be considered as a pope, and hence to exercise authority over him is not to exercise authority over a pope... Even though a council cannot convene in the absence of a pope in order to define new dogmas, it nevertheless can convene, during a period of schism, to determine who is the true pope and, if the first [shown to be either] null or doubtful, to furnish the Church with another pastor.'


It is not for the faithful to declare that a given individual is or is not the pope. This decision resides with the Magisterium of the Church (14). What the faithful can and must do however, is decide whether a given person sitting in the Chair of Peter is Catholic or not. To argue that no member of the Church has the right to judge the Pope's orthodoxy is to argue that the faithful have no right and hence no obligation, to distinguish between truth from error. If such be the case, than none of us will be held responsible for being Catholic Once one determines that a given pope teaches error 'with the appearances of and the solemnity of an ex cathedra pronouncement', one can decide that he is not Catholic and that the rules of the Church apply. This may seem to beg the issue, but in point of fact functions to protect both pope and laity from rash judgements. At issue is not what one thinks or feels, but what is fact. If a given pope teaches error in an ex cathedra manner, it is prima facie evidence that he has lost the faith.

Lest there be any doubt about this the following quotations are offered: 'When the shepherd turns into a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself. As a general rule, doctrine comes from the bishops to the faithful, and it is not for the faithful, who are subjects in the order of faith, to pass judgment on their superiors. but every Christian by the virtue of his title to the name Christian, has not only the necessary knowledge of the essentials of the treasure of Revelation, but also the duty of safeguarding them. The principle is the same, whether it is a matter of belief or conduct, that is of dogma or morals' - Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year.

All this is incorporated in Canon Law. 'Any member of the faithful may at all times denounce the offence of another... and the obligation of denouncing another becomes urgent... when one is obliged to do so in virtue of the natural law where there is a danger to faith or religion or other imminent public evil.' - Canon 1935 (1917).

Finally, the importance of all this becomes clear in that obedience does not excuse one or abolish the responsibility for sin. Listen to the words of St. Catherine of Sienna as addressed to Pope Gregory XI: 'Alas, Alas, my most sweet Father... those who obey [an evil pastor] fall into disorder and iniquity. Alas, I say this with sorrow. How dangerous is the consuming road of self-love [on the part of a pastor], not only because it destroys his own sou, but also because it leads so many others to hell.'


While the next chapter will provide an in detail study of obedience, the subject will be briefly discussed at this point. Many doubts have been raised about the validity of the post-Conciliar 'popes'. Strictly speaking, if they are true popes, they are to be obeyed as one would obey Christ. Their teachings are to be accepted as if they came from Christ Himself. Logically speaking, in order to disobey them one would have to come to the conclusion that they had lost their authority in one of the ways discussed above.

But it is to be admitted that many are confused by current events. They see the evil fruits of Vatican II and hear the voice of a stranger (the sheep know their Master's voice) coming from Rome. They are asked in the name of obedience to discard all that they once were taught to hold sacred, the liturgy and practice of the Church. Yet they find it difficult to conclude that those sitting in the Chair of Peter lack valid authority. For those in doubt about whether one should be in doubt about the validity of these 'popes'; and until the issue has been resolved, there are still principles of behavior that apply. Such is the care with which the Church protects the faithful.

'Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good. to know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not... it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: 'One ought to obey God rather than man'. Therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be passed over (despiciendus).' - Cardinal Turrencremata (Summa de Eccl.).

'It is lawful to resist him [the Pope] if he assaulted souls, or troubled the state, and much more if he strove to destroy the Church. It is lawful, I say, to resist him by not doing what he commands and hindering the execution of his will' - Cardinal Saint Bellarmin (De Rom. Pont.).

'If the Pope, by his orders and his acts, destroys the Church, one can resist him and impede the execution of his commands.' - Francisco de Vitoria.

'If the Pope lays down an order contrary to right customs, one does not have to obey him...' -

Francis Suarez S.J.

All this is well summed up by Bishop Robert Grosseteste, himself a man who found it necessary disobey the pope: 'Those who preside in this most Holy See are most principally among mortals clothed with the person of Christ, and therefore it is necessary that in them especially the works of Christ should shine, and that there should be nothing contrary to Christ's works in them. And of the same reason, just as the Lord Jesus Christ must be obeyed in all things, so also those who preside in this see, insofar as they are clothed with Christ and are as such truly presiding, must be obeyed in all things. But if anyone of them, (which God forbid!) should put on the clothing of kingship and the flesh of the world or anything else except Christ, and for love of such things should command anything contrary to Christ's precepts and will, anyone who obeys him in such things manifestly separates himself from Christ and from His Body which is the Church.


Traditional Catholics vary in their attitude towards the post-Conciliar pontiffs. Some reject their validity outright; others see them as material, but not formal 'popes' - as individuals sitting in the Chair of Peter but void of all spiritual authority; still others consider them legitimate pontiffs who are 'tainted with error', or as material, but not formal heretics, and hence as individuals who have not lost their high estate. The latter group tend to disobey them when they command the faithful to act against the traditions of the Church but are inevitably forced into the position of picking and choosing just what they accept and what they reject.

The principles involved in such decisions have always been with the Church. I quote below the statement of William of Ockham (circa 1324) on which he founded his opposition to John XXII. In doing so the author of this book in no way intends to defend the Nominalist position, but only to show that the theological principles involved.

'Because of the errors and the heresies mentioned above and countless others, I turned away from the obedience of the false Pope and all who were his friends to the prejudice of the orthodox faith. For men of great learning showed me that because of his errors and heresies the same pseudo-pope is heretical, deprived of his papacy and excommunicated by canon law itself, without need of further sentence.... In proof thereof several volumes have been published... For against the errors of this pseudo-pope I have turned my face like the hardest rock, so that neither lies nor calumnies nor any persecution (which cannot touch my innermost self in any bodily fashion), nor great numbers of men who believe in him or favor him or even defend him, shall be able to prevent me from attacking or reproving his errors, as long as I shall have hand, paper, pen and ink...

If anyone should like to recall me or anyone else who has turned away from the obedience of the false pope and his friends, let him try to defend his Constitutions and sermons, and show that they agree with Holy Scripture, or that a Pope cannot fall into the wickedness of heresy, or let him show by holy authorities or manifest reasons that one who knows the Pope to be a notorious heretic is obliged to obey him. Let him not, however, adduce the great number of his adherents, not base his arguments on reporaches, because those who try to arm themselves with great numbers of with lies, reproaches, threats and false calumnies, show that they are void of truth and reason. Therefore let none believe that I mean to turn away from the recognized truth because of the great number of those in favor of the pseudo-pope, or because of proofs that are common to heretics and to orthodox men, because I prefer Holy Scripture to a man unlearned in holy science, and I have a higher esteem for the doctrine of the Fathers who reign with Christ than for the tradition of men dwelling in this mortal life.' (16)


(1) Ecclestical law refers to those laws established by the Church.

(2) St Cyprian, Ex. xl., Ad Plebem, , De Quinque Presch., n. 5 and De Unitate. 'Adoration is necessary, but adorationwhich is not out of the Church, only that ordered in the very court of God. Invent not, He saith, your own courts and synagogues for Me. One is the holy court of God' (St. Basil, Hom. in Ps. xxviii. n. 3).

(3) St. Norbert, founder of the Canons regular (Premonstratensians) told Pope Innocent II that 'the seat of Peter exercises the office of Peter. Because of the promise of Christ, he who obeys Peter obeys Christ. But if you command obedience to this proposition (regarding investitures), you place yourself in opposition to the entire Church' (Vita A. de San Norberto, Cited by R.P.J. Campos in Un defensor energico del Papa, Roma, No. 36, pg. 63. The problem of 'Obedience' is discussed in the next chapter.

(4) Eugene IV was formerly a monk in St. Bernard's community. This famous text, described as 'both a treatise on the politics of theocracy and a paternal admonition to a spiritual son whose very soul, Bernard believed, was imperiled by his high office', subsequently became a standard text on papal behavior. Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Mich., 1976.

(5) It is a principle of theology that a priest's sacraments are valid even though he himself is in a state of mortal sin. The reason is that the sacramental act is Christ's and not the priest's.

(6) The Pope, like every Catholic, goes to Confession. Sins against the flesh are not limited to the sexual domain. They also include such things as anger, glutony and sloth. Sins against the intellect are of a different order for one is not led into them by pleasure.

(7) It is presumed the reader has read the previous chapter on The Nature of the Catholic Faith. In essence, to be Catholic, one has to believe all that the Church teaches. If one believes something that goes against what the Church teaches, one is a material heretic. If one persists for 6 months after being corrected, in holding to such an opinion, one adds obstinacy to the material error and becomes a formal heretic. A formal heretic automatically places himself outside the Church.

(8) De fide et symbolo, ix. In point of fact, as St. Jerome points out, Schism rarely exists apart from heresy.

(9) The Church allows a period of six months for this to become evident.

(10) 'A manifest heretic cannot be a Christian, as states St. Cyprian in Book IV, Epistle 2; St. Athanasius, in his second sermon against the Arians; St. Augustine in his book De gratia Christi, Ch. 20; St. Jerome (Contra Lucifer) and many others. It follows that 'a manifest heretic cannot be Pope'. Those interested in a fuller discussion are referred to Father Joaquin Saenz y Arriaga's 'Sede Vacante, Editores Asociados: Mexico, 1973. The quotation of St. Antonine is available in Actes et histoire du Councile Oecumenique de rome, 1er du Vatican (1960), Vol I., Histoire des Councles, Premier partie: Traite theologique. Ch. III. Published by Victor Frond and a work given the approval of Pope Pius IX. Charles Journet also gives a similar opinion from the writings of Savanarola along with an excellent discussion in his The Church of the Word Incarnate, Vil. !, Sheed and Ward: N.Y.

(11) We do not say 'to teach error ex cathedra' for, with regard to the faith, such a supposition would be absurd; we say 'in the form ex cathedra' by which we mean, 'with the appearances of and the solemnity of an ex cathedra pronouncement'.

(12) Quoted by Arnaldo Xavier de Silveira, L'Ordo Missae de Paul VI: Qu'en Penser?, Diffusion de la Pansee Francaise: Paris, 1980.

(13) According to Wernz-Vidal, and almost all theologians agree with him, the peaceful acceptance of a pope by the entire Church is 'the sign and the infallible effect of a valid election'. As St. Alphonsus Liguori says: 'It matters little if in previous centuries a given Pontiff was elected in an illegitimate fashion, or took possession of the pontificate by means of fraud: it suffices that he was subsequently accepted as pope by the entire Church, because from this alone, he becomes a true pontiff. But if during a certain time he was not accepted truly and universally the Church, the Apostolic see was vacant, just as it would be vacant at the death of a pope.' The legitimacy of the post-Conciliar pontiffs has been disputed by significant numbers of Catholics - and orthodox Catholics - in every nation of the world.

(14) To judge a person's Catholicity is not to judge his soul. The Church has always taught that a person's external intention can be judged by his acts and statements, but that it is not possible to judge a person's internal intention.

(15) Lettres de Sainte Catherine de Sienne, Editions P. Tequi, Letter I.

(16) The Tractatus de Successivis, attributed to William Ockham, Franciscan Institute Publications, St. Bonaventure College: N.Y., 1944.



St. Peter

'The Church is destroying herself by the path of obedience... The masterstroke of Satan is thus to spread the principles of revolution from within the Church, and under the authority of the Church itself... he has succeeded in getting those whose duty it is to defend and propagate the Church, to condemn those who are defending the Catholic Faith...'
Archbishop Lefebvre


Those who deny that the post-conciliar 'popes' and 'the bishops in union with them' are Catholic, have no problem with rejecting their authority. However, for those who believe these men are true popes, true Vicars of Christ, the problem becomes more difficult. Be this as it may, there is no question but that the majority of those born to the faith are being asked to follow the directions laid down by the post-Conciliar 'pontiffs,' and to accept the changes in doctrine, worship and governance that have been initiated since Vatican II, in the name of 'obedience.' It is therefore of the utmost importance that Catholics understand the nature of their obligations with regard to this virtue.

According to Tanquerey, 'obedience is a supernatural, moral virtue which inclines us to submit our will to that of our lawful superiors, insofar as they are the representatives of God... It is evident that it is neither obligatory nor permissible to obey a superior who would give a command manifestly opposed to divine or ecclesiastical laws. In this case, we should have to repeat the words of St. Peter: 'We ought to obey God rather than man''(Acts 5:29) (Dogmatic Theology).

Let us consider the triple denial of Peter. This occurred just before our Lord's Crucifixion, but long after Christ had established him as head of the Church. No one has ever suggested that we follow the Apostle's example in this matter. And even after the Resurrection, after the Decent of the Holy Spirit, Scripture gives us yet another example where one is not forced to absolutely agree with Peter's opinion. In Galatians Chapter 2 we read how Paul rebuked Peter on the issue of circumcising the Gentiles. With regard to this episode St. Cyprian says: 'Nor did Peter whom the Lord made the first, and on whom He built His church, act insolently and arrogantly when Paul afterwards disputed with him about circumcision; he did not say that he held the primacy, and was to be obeyed...' (Epist. lxxi, n.3). St. Augustine, quoting this passage of St. Cyprian adds: 'The Apostle Peter, in whom the primacy of the Apostles is pre-eminent by so singular a grace, when acting about the circumcision differently from what truth required, was corrected by the Apostle Paul.' And so we see from Scripture that we are not to follow those who have Peter's authority either blindly or absolutely.

Since Vatican II the faithful have found themselves in the difficult position of choosing between the centuries-old teaching and discipline of the Church and the commands of the post-Conciliar hierarchy. When such a conflict occurs, the faithful have the constant teaching of the Church to warrant their adherence to the former. To demonstrate that such is the case, let us consider the words of St. Vincent of Lerins (+ 434). According to the summary found in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1908), he taught that: '...Should some new doctrine arise in one part of the Church, then firm adherence must be given to the belief of the Universal Church, and supposing the new doctrine to be of such a nature as to contaminate almost the entirety of the latter, as did Arianism, then it is to antiquity one must cling; if even here some error is encountered, one must stand by the general councils and, in default of these, by the consent of those who at diverse times and different places remained steadfast in the unanimity of the Catholic faith...'

He continues: 'he is a true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, and the Church and the Body of Christ; who prefers not anything before the religion of God, nothing before the Catholic faith, not any man's authority, not love, not wit, not eloquence, not philosophy, but despising all these, and in faith abiding fixed and stable, whatsoever he knoweth that the Catholic Church held universally of old, that alone he decideth is to be held and believed by him; but whosoever he shall perceive to be introduced later, new and not before heard of, by some one man, besides, all, or contrary to all the saints, let him know that it pertains, not to religion, but to temptation' (xiv. Haeres.)

Nor should one assume this attitude is an isolated one Pope St. Gregory the Great taught in his Moralium (lib. V, c. 10): 'Know that evil ought never to be done by way of obedience, though sometimes something good, which is being done, ought to be discontinued out of obedience.'

Scholastic philosophy taught that 'true obedience is a virtuous decision of the spirit, the execution of a right command with discretion.' Alan Lille, a well known Scholastic theologian of the 12th century expounded on this passage: 'You must beware lest you err in obeying. Mark the companions obedience should have: that is, righteousness, that what is commanded may be right. For this reason it is said: 'the execution of a right command with discretion.' Secondly, what is decided should be honest: as it is said, 'a virtuous decision.' Thirdly, it should proceed from discretion; for this reason is added: 'with discretion.' That obedience which is without discretion is therefore hollow. That which is without honesty, is retrograde, for he who obeys honesty but out of an excess of obedience, shows spiritual pride. If indeed obedience is without righteousness, it is without law or principle... We know that evil should never could about through obedience...'

The same principles were taught by St. Bernard in his treatise On Precept and Dispensation. Discussing the role of the superior, he notes that: 'the Abbot is not above the Rule, for he himself once freely placed himself beneath it. Thee is only one power above the Rule... which we must admit, and that is God's rule... He who has been chosen abbot is placed as judge, not over the traditions of the Fathers, but over the transgressions of his brethren, that he may uphold the rules and punish offences Indeed, I consider that those holy observances are rather entrusted to the prudence and faithfulness of the superiors than subjected to their will.'

Since all authority in the last analysis comes from God, all obedience in the last analysis is given to God. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, 'it sometimes happens that the commands issued by prelates are against God. Therefore not in all things are prelates to be obeyed. For those under them are bound to do so only in those matters in which they are subject to their superiors, and, in which those same superiors do not oppose the command of a Power higher than themselves'(Summa II-II, Q. 104, Art. 5). Elsewhere he teaches that obedience to superiors only obliges when 'they proclaim to us those things which the Apostles left behind' (De Veritate, Q. 14, Art. 10). He explains: 'Anyone would be subject to a lower power only in so far as it preserves the order established by a power higher than itself; but if it (the lower power) departs from the order of the higher power, then it is not right for anyone to be subjected to that lower power - for example - if a proconsul ordered something to be done when the emperor above commanded the contrary' (Summa, II-II, Q. 69, Art.3).

Even more specific is the statement to be found in the famous Dialogue between a Cluniac and a Cistercian: 'We must heed our superiors with complete obedience, even though they lead improper lives, so long as they rule over us and instruct us in accordance with the authority of divine law. If, however, they are so completely perverted towards moral ruin that they do not follow the authority of divine law in ruling over their subjects but follow instead their own willful impulses and fancies, then let us, as scandalized and displeased subjects heedful of the dictates of divine law, flee from them as we would from blind leaders, lest together with them we fall into the pit of eternal damnation... irrational service is not acceptable to God, as the Apostle tells us in commanding 'reasonable service'' (Rom. 12:1).

Now it would be irrational to expect the teaching of the Church to be other than this, for in obedience, as the Angelic Doctor states, 'not only is promptitude requires, but also discernment' (Commentary on the Epistle to Titus, 3:1). Blind obedience is as foreign to the Magisterium as is blind faith.

Pope Benedict XIV in his treatise on Heroic Virtue clearly states: 'A superior is not to be obeyed when he commands anything contrary to the divine law. Nor is an abbot to be obeyed when he commands anything contrary to the rule, according to the well-known letter of S. Bernard to the monk Adam. A blind obedience excludes the prudence of the flesh, not the prudence of the spirit as is shown at length by Suarez.'

These principles are well summarized by a modern author, Father Vincent McNabb. Writing in the early part of the present century he stated: 'Some higher person or law must authorize and control all created authority whether individual or collective... from this follows the momentous principle, which we may enunciate thus: NO AUTHORITY HAS THE RIGHT TO COMMAND UNLESS IN COMMANDING IT IS ITSELF OBEYING. In other words, authority can command obedience only when its act or command is an act of obedience.'


Throughout history situations have arisen where the saints were obliged to disobey their superiors. One of the earliest of these is to be found in the old Roman Breviary and concerns Pope St. Marcellinus whose Feast-day is celebrated on January 19th. According to Pope Nicholas I, 'in the reign of the sovereigns Diocletian and Maximian, Marcellinus, the Bishop of Rome, who afterwards became an illustrious martyr, was so persecuted by the pagans that he entered one of their temples and there offered incense. Because of this act an inquiry was held by a number of bishops in Council, and the Pontiff confessed his fall' (Letter to Emperor Michael, 865).

Another writer named Platine gives us more details: 'When Pope Marcellinus was threatened by the executioners, he yielded to fear, offered incense to the idols and adored them. But when, soon afterward, a Council of 180 Bishops met in Sinuessa, Marcellinus appeared in the assembly clothed in sackcloth and begged the synodals to impose upon him a penance because of his infidelity. But no member of the Council would condemn him; all declaring that St. Peter had sinned similarly, and had merited pardon by his tears.'

The fact that scholars dispute the accuracy of the story is beside the point. It is to be found in the older Breviaries of the Church which aimed at teaching principles by example rather than in satisfying the demands of modernist historians. The story is however accepted as true by St. Robert Bellarmin and the great Catholic historian Baronius. And hence it was a common mediaeval saying that 'because Pope Marcellus offered incense to Jove does not mean that all the bishops should do likewise.'

Yet another example is provided by the case of Pope Paschall II who reigned between 1099 and 1118. It was a period when the battles between the Church and State were fiercely raging - the issue in question was that of 'investiture' - in essence, who should appoint the members of the hierarchy (bishops): the Church or the Emperor? It was a particularly touchy matter as the bishops of the Church in that era controlled large tracts of land which were obliged to provide the state with soldiers and support in the event of war. The issue had been settled in an Ecumenical council during the reign of his predecessor Gregory VII, and this after great struggles. The Church was to retain control of their appointment, but the traditional feudal obligations of land owners towards the temporal authority was to be preserved.

Despite this the issue was of such great importance that Henry V, Emperor of Germany, actually invaded Italy and made the pope a prisoner. For two months Paschal II was subjected to the most fearful threats and cruel treatment. Finally, under pressure from his own fellow-captive bishops, he signed a treaty with the king allowing him to invest by 'ring and crozier' - spiritual symbols - (both lay and cleric) and further signed away to the emperor the right of deciding between rival claimants in contested elections and the privilege of rejecting papal appointments. He also surrendered to the king monastic lands and possessions. This treaty in essence gave the king complete control of the Church's hierarchy in over half the territory of Europe. Further, the Pope swore not to avenge himself on the Emperor for his actions and never to revoke the treaty if he was released.

When he was released the Pope felt bound by his oath and hesitated to repudiate this treaty. Godfrey, the zealous Abbot of Nendome, contrasted his actions with the heroic resolution of the martyrs of old, and particularly with the examples of SS. Peter and Paul. He wrote to the Pope that 'if the successor of the Apostles has disregarded their example, he should hasten, if he would not forfeit their glorious crown, to undo and repair what he had done, and like a second Peter, expiate his fault with tears of repentance.' Lay investiture, he added, whereby power was granted to laymen to convey possessions, and therewith jurisdiction in spiritual matters, was equivalent to the denial of the faith, destructive of the liberty of the Church, and out-and-out heresy. The Abbot of Monte Cassino, when ordered to surrender the monastic lands, refused. 'I love you,' he wrote to the Pope, 'as my lord and as my father, and I have no desire for another as pope. But the Lord has said, 'whosoever loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me...' As for this outrageous treaty, wrung from you by violence and treachery, how can I praise it? Or indeed, how can you...? Your own laws have condemned and excommunicated the cleric who submits to lay investiture...' Another prelate, the Archbishop of Lyons, urged the pope in still stronger terms: 'Detestable pilot that your are, in times of peace a bully, and before the storm a coward.' The Archbishop of Vienne, Paschal's own legate in France, called a Council and declared lay investiture to be heretical, and proceeded to excommunicate Henry V. At this Council, three subsequently canonized saints - Ss. Bruno, St. Hugh of Grenoble and St. Godfrey of Amiens, as well as a future Pope, Calixtus II - all stated that unless he revoked his agreement with the Emperor, 'we should be obliged to withdraw our allegiance from you.' The Pope admitted he was wrong and rectified his error. At still another Council he said 'I confess that I failed and ask you to pray to God to pardon me.'

One final example, that of Robert Grosseteste. He was a doctor of Theology at Oxford when it was a center of Catholic learning. Now he was one of the staunchest defenders of the papacy, comparing the Pontiff to the Sun which illuminates the visible world. After he reluctantly accepted the bishopric of Lincoln, he was asked by the Pope to appoint an absentee priest (the Pope's new nephew) to one of the prebends of the diocese, a situation in which the priest received the income from a parish while he lived in Rome. Here is his response:
'It is not possible that the most holy Apostolic See to which has been handed down by the Holy of Holies, the Lord Jesus Christ, all manner of power, according to the Apostle, for edification and not for destruction, or command or in any way attempt anything verging upon this kind of sin, which is so hateful to Jesus Christ, detestable, abominable and pernicious to the human race. For this would be evidently a falling off and corruption and abuse of its most holy and plenary power... No faithful subject of the Holy See, no man who is not cut away by schism from the Body of Christ and the same Holy See, can submit to mandates, precepts, or any other demonstrations of this kind, no, not even if the author were the most high body of angels. He must needs repudiate them and rebel against them with all his strength. BECAUSE OF THE OBEDIENCE BY WHICH I AM BOUND TO THE HOLY SEE, AS TO MY PARENTS, AND OT OF MY LOVE OF MY UNION WITH THE HOLY SEE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST AS AN OBEDIENT SON, I DISOBEY, I CONTRADICT, I REBEL. You cannot take action against me, for my every word and act is not rebellion, but the filial honor due to God's command to father and mother. As I have said, the Apostolic See in its holiness cannot destroy, it can only build. This is what the plenitude of power means; it can do all things to edification. But these so-called provisions do not build up, they destroy...'

When the Pope received this letter, we are told that he was beside himself with rage and threatened to have Bishop Grosseteste imprisoned by his vassal, the King of England. However, he was restrained by Cardinal Gil de Torres who said: 'You must do nothing. It is true. We cannot condemn him. He is a Catholic and a holy man, a better man than we are. He has not his equal among the prelates. All the French and English clergy know this and our contradiction would be of no avail.' Bishop Grosseteste prevailed and according to the traditions, when he died all the church bells in England rang spontaneously. He was considered by his contemporaries as a saint. (5).


In concluding this chapter, it is great interest to consider some of the statements of the Freemasons on obedience. According to the Permanent Instruction drawn up by the Grand Masters of Freemasonry (Alta Vendita) in 1819-20, which fell in to the hands of the Church and were published by Pope Pius IX, 'we must turn our attention to an ideal that has always been of great concern to man aspiring to the regeneration of all mankind. This ideal is the liberation of Italy, whence is to come the liberation of the entire world and the establishment of a republic of brotherhood and world peace.' The document continues: 'Among the many remedies that have been suggested by the more energetic members of our organization, there is one which we must never forget.'

'The Papacy has always exerted a decisive influence on Italian destinies. Everywhere with the arms, voice, pen and heart of its countless bishops, monks, nuns and the faithful, the Papacy as always found people enthusiastically ready for sacrifice and martyrdom... At the present time we do not intend to rebuild, even for our advantage, this power which has been temporarily weakened (due to the overthrow of the papal states). Our ultimate purpose is identical with that of Voltaire and the French Revolution: that is, the total annihilation of Catholicism and even of Christianity.'

'For seventeen hundred years the Papacy has been an essential part of Italian history... We cannot endure such a state of affairs; we must find a remedy for this situation. And here it is! Whoever he may be, the pope will never join the secret societies: therefore, the secret societies must take the first step toward the Church and the pope, for the purpose of vanquishing them both.'

'The task we undertake will not be completed in a day, a month, or a year. It may require many years, perhaps even a century... We do not intend to win the pope over to our cause by converting him to our principles or making him their propagator... WHAT WE MUST DO IS WAIT FOR, like the Jews awaiting the Messiah, A POPE SUITABLE FOR OUR PURPOSES. Such a pope alone, will be of greater help to us in our assault on the Church than the little pamphlets of our French brothers or even the gold of England. And why? Because with such a pope we could effectively crush the rock upon which God built His Church... The little finger of Peter's successor would be caught in the plot, and this little finger would be more effective in this crusade than all the Urbans II and all the St. Bernards of Christianity.'

'We have no doubt that we shall achieve this ultimate goal of our efforts... Before we can produce a pope according to our desires, we must produce an entire generation worthy of the kingdom we hope for. We must ignore old men and those of middle age. We must seek the young, and if possible, even the very young... Once your good reputation has been established in boarding schools, high schools, universities and seminaries, once you have won the trust of teachers and pupils alike, foster especially in those who are embracing the ecclesiastical state, a desire to associate with you... This reputation of yours will make the younger secular clergy and even the religious receptive to our doctrines.

Within a few years, this same younger clergy will, of necessity occupy responsible positions. They will govern, administrate, judge and form the council of the Sovereign Pontiff; some will be called upon to elect a future pope. This pope, like most of his contemporaries, will be to a greater or lesser degree influenced by those Italian and humanitarian principles which we are now circulating. It is a small grain of mustard seed which we entrust to the soil...'

'Along this path which we now outline for our brethren there are major obstacles to surmount and difficulties of all kinds to overcome. With experience and wisdom, we shall triumph over them. The objective is so glorious that, to reach it, all sails must be unfurled. Do you want to revolutionize Italy? Seek a pope fitting our description. Do you want to establish the kingdom of the elect (i.e., the Masons) on the throne of the Babylonian whore? Then INDUCE THE CLERGY TO MARCH UNDER YOUR BANNER, IN THE BELIEF THAT THEY ARE MARCHING UNDER THE PAPAL BANNER. Do you want to make the last trace of tyranny and oppression disappear? Lower your nets like Simon bar Jona; lower them into the sacristies, the seminaries and the monasteries, instead of into the sea. If you do not precipitate events, we promise you a catch of fish even greater than St. Peter's. The fisher of fish became a fisher of men; you will fish for friends at the very feet of St. Peter's Chair. BY SO DOING YOU WILL NET A REVOLUTION CLOTHED IN TIARA AND MANTLE, PRECEDED BY THE CROSS AND PAPAL ENSIGN; A REVOLUTION THAT WILL REQUIRE BUT LITTLE HELP TO SET FIRE TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD.'


All this may seem far fetched to the average reader. But what is one to say when a leading Freemason, Yves Marsoudon (State Master, Supreme Council of France, Scottish Rite) tells us: 'The sense of universalism that is rampant in Rome these days is very close to our purpose of existence... With all our hearts we support the 'Revolution of John XXIII'...' Not satisfied with this, Yves Marsoudon dedicated his book 'Ecumenism as seen by a Traditionalist Freemason': to the Pope in the following words: 'To the Memory of Angelo Roncalli, Priest, Archbishop of Messembria, Apostolic Nuncio in Paris, Cardinal of the Roman Church, Patriarch of Venice, POPE under the name of John XXIII, WHO HAS DEIGNED TO GIVE US HIS BENEDICTION, HIS UNDERSTANDING AND HIS PROTECTION.'

He has further dedicated it to: 'The Pope of Peace, to the Father of all Christians, To the Friend of All Men, to His August Continuer, HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI'.


Present day Catholics are faced with a terrible dilemma. If they obey the post-Conciliar 'popes,' they must apostatize from the Catholic faith as it has existed since the time of Christ and the Apostles.

It is clear from what has already been stated in previous chapters that Catholics must give their intellectual assent to everything in the Ordinary Magisterium. Vatican II has been repeatedly declared to be the 'supreme form of the Ordinary Magisterium.' Encyclicals and other statements dealing with faith and morals (which includes liturgical changes and changes in the form of the Sacraments) that are promulgated under the aegis of papal authority (the 'popes' speaking within their function as popes) also require our intellectual assent. To speak of intellectual assent is to speak of obedience, for virtue requires that our wills act in conformity with our intelligence.

Now these documents (Vatican II, Encyclicals, etc.,) clearly teach doctrines contrary to what has always been magisterially taught prior to the demise of Pope Pius XII. This being so, the Catholic must accept the fact that either the Holy Ghost taught error in the past, is teaching error at the present time, or is free to change His mind about the truth - matters dealing with faith and morals. If the post-Conciliar 'popes' are responsible for teaching even one error with presumed Apostolic authority, then we must either hold that Christ Himself is teaching error (quod absit), or that the post-Conciliar 'popes' are usurpers that lack authority.

Catholics who take their faith seriously have long recognized this dilemma. They have come up with a variety of solutions aimed at maintaining 'obedience to papal authority' (our salvation depends upon it) and not apostatizing from the faith. Some have declared that they can pick and choose what they like from the documents of Vatican II and other papal statements - accepting those 'in conformity with tradition' and rejecting innovations (The Society of Pius X). But such violates the Catholic requirement of giving intellectual assent and obedience to those they recognize as being 'one hierarchical person with Christ.' Others attempt to deny the magisterial status of the documents of Vatican II (and Encyclicals, etc.,) or teach falsely that the ordinary magisterium can contain error (Michael Davies). Still others claim that their organizations are exempt from obedience because of historical reasons (Order of St. John). Some have gone to Rome and obtained permission to say the traditional Mass and choose to ignore the fact that such permission is always dependent upon their accepting the teachings of Vatican II and the equal validity of the Novus Ordo Missae (The Society of St. Peter and various individual priests). Innumerable minor variations on these themes abound.

Recognizing that no one can teach error with the authority of Christ, many Catholics have openly declared that the post-Conciliar 'popes' have no authority. Some hold that the Apostolic See is vacant - usually referred to as sede vacantism. Such a position is not anti-papal, but rather strongly pro-papal. It is because of its great respect for papal authority that it immediately rejects anyone who uses the papal chair to teach error with obstinacy. Others, recognizing that the post-Conciliar 'popes' are actually sitting in the chair of Peter, adhere to the materialiter/formaliter theory which declares that they are material popes but not formally popes; that despite their sitting in the chair of Peter, they have no authority, but that should they suddenly become Catholic and teach true doctrine, they would have authority. Those who deny the authority of the post-Conciliar 'popes,' are of course bound to obey the magisterial teaching of the Church up to the time of their usurpation.

Let us conclude with a doctrinal note. Obedience is a moral virtue. Faith, Hope and Charity are theological virtues. As such they are of a higher value than obedience. This is of course logical, for obedience is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. The purpose of obedience is to 'encourage' us to obey the Faith and not the other way around. To give our obedience to error or a false faith is apostasy. (Faith, as pointed out earlier, has two aspects; one is the dogmas and teaching of the Church, and the other is our assent to them.)


(1) Alan Lille, The Art of Preaching, Spencer, Mass.: Cistercian Publications, 1978.

(2) St. Bernard, 'Treatise On Precept and Dispensation', Treatises, I, Spencer, Mass.: Cistercisn Publ., 1970.

(3) Idung of Prufening, Cistercians and Cluniacs, Kalamazoo, Mich.: Cistercian Publ., 1977.

(4) The Game, Vol II, Advent, 1918.(London)

(5) Some have used Grosseteste's disobedience as grounds for their disobeying the post-Conciliar 'popes.' It should be clear that there was no issue of faith and morals involved here. The pope was not demanding assent to error or obedience to liturgical change.

(6) A more complete text is to be found in Chapter I, Vol II, The Biographical Memoirs of St. John Bosco, under the title of Freemasonry in the Piedmont. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Silesiana Publishers, 1967.

(7) Quoted in World Trends, (Ed. Yves Dupont), Hawthorn, vic. Australia. This same Yves Marsoudon considered Pope Saint Pius X as 'pharisaical, hypercritical, and hate filled' and characterized Pius XII as attached to 'outdated disciplines and sclerotic dogmas.' He also quotes J Mitterand, anther prominent Mason, to the effect that 'Those informed Catholics i.e., the Progressives)... are of the insufficiencies and omissions of the Council, but they avail themselves of the CLIMATE WHICH IT HELPED TO CREATE in order to demand the authentic renovation of the Church. The liberating character of their contestation cannot but draw the sympathy of Freemasons...'


Divine Ordinances from Heaven

I vow:
'To change nothing of the received tradition and nothing thereof that I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, not to encroach, to alter, to permit any innovation therein.'
'To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to reverently safeguard the passed on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort.'
'To guard the holy canons and decrees of our Popes likewise as Divine Ordinances from Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, Whose place I take through the grace of god, Whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to the severest accounting before Thy divine tribunal over all that I possess.'
'If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed, Thou wilst not be merciful to me on the dreadful day of Divine Justice.'
'Accordingly, without exclusion, we subject to severest excommunication anyone - be it ourselves or be it another - who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted Evangelic tradition and the purity of the Orthodox Faith and the Christian religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would concur with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture...' (1)

The Coronation Oath of the Popes

The story is told that the following events took place in 1884, just after Leo XIII (Pope between 1873 and 1903) finished saying Mass at St. Peter's. As he turned away from the high altar he heard voices speaking to one another. One voice was deep and guttural, the other gentle and mild. The first to speak was the guttural voice which said: 'I can destroy your Church.' the gentle voice replied: 'You can? Then go ahead and do so.' Satan then said: 'I need more time and more power.' The gentle voice asked: 'How much time? How much power?'

The answer was: '75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.' The gentle voice replied, 'You have the time, you will have the power, do with them what you will.' It was after this event that the Pope established the so-called 'Leonine Prayers' said at the foot of the altar after Mass - prayers which included the one to St. Michael ('St. Michael, defend us in the day of battle, Cast into hell Satan and all his evil angels who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls...'). (2)

Leo XIII was followed by Pius X (1903-14) of hallowed memory and one of the only two popes to be canonized in the last 500 years. (The other was Pius V who 'codified' the Mass and is therefore the 'patron saint' of the Liturgy.) He is perhaps most famous for his Encyclical Pascandi on the doctrines of the Modernists to which was appended his Decree Lamentabili. (3)

The reigns of Benedict XV (1914-1922) and Pius XI (1922-39) while in no way contradicting that of their predecessors, were characterized by a more liberal stance towards these errors (4). This allowed the modernists the opportunity to spread their ideas with greater ease - though still with caution. For example, it was during this period that individuals like Teilhard de Chardin were passing around their mimeographed manuscripts while pretending to be loyal sons of the Church.

'Pope' John XXIII

Pope Pius XII who came to the papal throne in 1939 was certainly aware of the threat that Modernism posed to the Church; not only did he complain about it being taught covertly in seminaries, he more than once was known to have stated that, even though he was the last Pontiff to hold the line on innovation, he would hold it firmly. To quote him directly, 'apres moi, le deluge.' (5). How prophetic such a stance was is only now obvious. Yet, surrounded as he was by men committed to 'the revolution,' even he was often lacking in vigilance. He allowed men of dubious quality to rise to the top and gave his approval to liturgical changes of a most questionable nature - such as the new rites for Holy Week. (This occurred Nov. 1955 - when he was very ill, and one suspects, easily put upon. (6)) He was followed in 1958 by Angelo Giuseppi Roncalli who took the name of John XXIII. (7)

Something new now happened. For the first time we had a pope that was welcomed by the liberal press, a man characterized as a 'simple peasant,' and a 'man of the people.' He was neither. Far more accurate is the evaluation of Robert Kaiser, the correspondent for 'Time' magazine accredited to Vatican II and an intimate of John XXIII. Kaiser describes him as 'a political genius,' and a 'quiet and cunning revolutionary.' (8).

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in 1881 in the province and diocese of Bergamo. Though frequently described as the son of 'poor and landless peasants,' his parents are more accurately described as small farmers, 'bound to the soil, raising a large and healthy family, educating them to observe the Christian virtues, serenely content with their lot.' The family owned and lived on the same land for some 500 years (9). He was ordained in 1904, and embraced liberal and modernist views from the start. His first spiritual director was a Father Parrechi known for his 'exceptionally liberal views.' He taught history at the seminary in Bergamo and was strongly influenced by writers like Loisy and Duschene (11). He was also involved in the youth organization Opera Dei Congressi which was dissolved by Pius X for its modernist orientations. After a brief stay in Rome he joined Radini Tedeschi, a career Vatican diplomat who was sponsored by Cardinal Rompolla, (12) and who was exiled to Bergamo for his modernist views.

Bishop Tedeschi was to be a major influence on Roncali - the future John XXIII was his private secretary for 9 years and also his admiring biographer. Roncalli had a positive proclivity for making modernist friends - Peter Hebblewaithe who documents his early life during this period, can hardly name a close associate who was not one. Among these were Bishop Carlo Ferrara of Milan and Bishop Bonomello of Cremona, both notorious modernists, as well as Lamberdo Beauduin, the Benedictine advocate of liturgical 'renewal.' Several of his closest seminary friends including his roommate in the seminary and the person who assisted at his ordination were to be excommunicated for Modernism. Throughout this period he took great care - indeed was unquestionably duplicitous -- in hiding his views. (13). Then in 1924, after the death of his beloved bishop, he was called back to Rome and given a minor post in the Association for the Propagation of the Faith. At this time he also became a part time Professor of Patristics at the Lateran University, only to be relieved of this post within months 'on suspicion of modernism'and for 'teaching the theories of Rudolf Steiner!' (15). He was virtually exiled to Bulgaria and Turkey.

According to Giancarlo Zizola, 'there was a very precise meaning contained in the accusation of modernism made against Roncalli... it was intended to refer to his relations, real or presumed, with the modernistic milieu of the beginning of this century, as well as to his solidarity with a small reformistic group that had emerged from the phenomenon of Italian modernism.' Among the themes dominant in this group Zizola lists 'the primacy of conscience, the reconciliation of authority and freedom, the autonomy of science, liberation from superfluous ecclesiastical structure, the renewal of the faith, disengagement from politics, [and] a Catholicism less conditioned by traditional lines.' (16) At this time Roncalli also developed his theory that Christ continuously worked through the historical process, and that it was possible to recognize and cooperate with this Christological process by recognizing the 'signs of the times.'

Roncalli's many years in the middle east, the creation of nuclear weapons and his experience of two world wars, convinced him of the need to eliminate the factional conflicts of mankind in order to bring the various races, political and religious creeds into some kind of working unity. Only in this way could the world be assured of any permanent peace. After the second world war he was recalled and appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to France. While with Turkey he had cooperated with the De Gaulle government in exile and 'despite the low esteem' in which he was held by Pius XII, (19) he was virtually the only papal representative acceptable to France. While there, he mixed freely in diplomatic and social circles as a 'bonne homme' while associating himself with all the liberal and left-leaning movements prevalent in post-war France. His 'new points of cultural reference... were Dom Lamberto Beauduin, Mauriac, Claudel, Gilson, Daniel-Rops, Raissa and Jacques Maritain, and with Etudes, the innovative review of the French Jesuits as well as Le Cerf which published avant-guard books under Dominican auspices.'

He so indiscriminately mixed with representatives of various groups inimical to Rome (a local quip said his spiritual director was the socialist Edouard Herriot) that he once again came under suspicion. However, he had friends in high places (Such as Montini, the future Paul VI) who protected him. He did everything he could to support and delay the condemnation of the worker-priests (heavily influenced by Marxist ideology) and indeed, one suspects his refusal to do had something to do with his transfer to Venice. (His successor promptly condemned them.) With his transfer he was given the Cardinal's red hat.

Mention has already been made of Roncalli's interest in Rudolph Steiner. The Italian Novelist Pier Carpi claims to have clear evidence that he became a Freemason during his stay in the middle east. Maurice Bardet, a well-known Freemason informs us in Les Echos du surnaturel, a Freemasonic publication, that he was his advisor. While these statements may be debated, what is clear is that when he was Papal Nuncio in Paris, he would visit the Grand Lodge of that City in plainclothes every Thursday evening. This has been testified to by several members of the French surite, the police appointed to guard him during this period.

During his French stay, Roncalli was also responsible for the creation of 'barbed-wire seminaries,' a project which was to bear important fruit in the forthcoming years. At the time there was a significant shortage of priests in those parts of Europe under Nazi control as the Germans had inducted all seminarians into the armed forces. Priests during the war had either cooperated with the Germans or been placed in concentration camps. The former were discredited in the eyes of the faithful, and the latter - even when they survived - were to debilitated to function adequately. Montini's solution to this problem was ingenious. He obtained lists of all the seminarians who were now prisoners of war and managed to persuade the allied forces to release these men into special training centers. Montini and Roncalli provided them with teachers and books - needless to say, teachers with the 'correct' modernist orientation, and by the time the post-Conciliar Church came into power, many of the 'middle clergy' in Germany and other parts of Europe were well trained and indoctrinated with the 'nouvelle theology.' (One easily forgets that there was a 17 year hiatus between the end of the war and Vatican II.) This explains why there was so little resistance to the changes introduced by Vatican II. To make matters worse, the American hierarchy took to sending their seminarians to Europe for advance training where they fell under the influence of modernists well ensconced in the European seminaries.

As Cardinal, he became the Patriarch of Venice and then five years later was elected to the See of Peter. One of his first acts after coming to the throne of Peter was to throw open a window of the Vatican to let in 'some fresh air.' This much praised (and occasionally disputed) symbolic act recalls an interesting piece of history. When in 1908 Father Thomas Tyrrell (a famous modernist Jesuit excommunicated for Modernism) was the subject of a critical pastoral from Cardinal Mercier, he responded with the following arrogant letter: 'Your Eminence, will you ever take heart of grace and boldly throw open the doors and windows of the darkest corners of your great mediaeval cathedral, and let the light of a new day strike into the darkest corners and the fresh winds of heaven [sic] blow through its moldy cloisters?' It seems clear that John XXIII set a pattern to be followed by all his post-Conciliar successors. Shortly after he became Pope he went to the Holy Office and demanded his dossier. Written on the cover was 'suspected of Modernism' which comment he crossed out and replaced with the statement 'I was never a Modernist.' (23)

Roncalli also initiated the post-Conciliar policy of frequently breaking with Papal tradition - a process which has gone so far that when John-Paul II came along, there were almost no Papal traditions left to break. Immediately upon election he refused to allow the cardinals to kiss the papal slipper (symbolizing their submission to the authority of Christ). He put aside his Papal Tiara (symbolic of 'triumphalism') on state occasions, had Peter's throne lowered, and instructed those around him not to use his (really Peter's) honorific titles. All these actions will of course appeal to modern man's egalitarian prejudices, but the problem is that John XXIII is not an ordinary man; he is allegedly Christ's representative on earth. To put such actions into a clearer perspective, one might try to imagine the Queen of England divesting herself of her royal robes to disco-dance with her subjects on state occasions. Hardly a dignified scene. Paul Johnson tells us Roncalli's attitude towards the Church he was commissioned to preserve, and towards his predecessors to whose stance he was indefectibly tied: 'when necessary he simply contradicted previous popes. He rejected in toto Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos and Singulari Nos, and the Quanta Cura of Pius IX, to which was attached, as appendix, The Syllabus of Errors. John was ruthless in dismissing the views of his predecessors.' (25). Finally, if any doubt remains, let me give you the response he is reported to have given a friend who asked him how he managed to follow in the footsteps of so great a man as Pius XII. 'I try to imagine what my predecessor would have done, and then I do just the opposite.

What of Roncalli's personal views at this point in his life? It is clear that he was influenced by Teilhard de Chardin and the current belief in evolution and progress. As he himself said, 'Divine providence is leading us to a new order of human relations, which by man's own efforts even beyond their very expectations, are directed towards the fulfillment of God's superior and inscrutable designs. Everything, even human differences, leads to the greater good of the Church... All the discoveries of science will assist progress and help to make life on earth, which is already marked by so many other inevitable sufferings, ever more delightful.'

He was an admirer of Maritain who dreamed of joining the Feast day of St. Joan of Arc to the French national holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille, and who held that the Church should recognize the actions of Communists as being intrinsically Christian and cooperate with them on the social and economic planes. (27) Roncalli's 'sympathy for the 'opening to the left'' was well known. (28) He felt that the prevailing East-West (Capitalist Communist) division of the world could only lead to war and saw the mission of the Church as one of uniting mankind in order to bring peace to the modern world. According to Meriol Kaiser, John XXIII saw Christian unity as but the first step in the direction of world unity. Christian ecumenism first, then world ecumenism, and finally world unity. Carlo Falconi tells us that John XXIII sought 'new relationships between the Catholic church and other Christian Confessions, and all the other religions, or 'the ecumenism of the three states' (unity among Catholics, among Christians, and among all religious spirits) (29). In his view the unification of the world and its pacification, the most vital problem of contemporary humanity, need for their speedy solution to have the support and immediate stimulus of a single common denominator - REASON COMBINED WITH NATURAL RELIGION. Hence the real revolution, apparent even in his language, introduced by him in the technique of the Encyclicals and in the method of conducting the dialogue between the Church and the World.'

According to Zizola, he also believed there was 'a real progress of humankind's collective moral awareness through always deeper discovery of its dignity... The revelation of God's design for man strongly helps the believer discover what man is; and at the same time the advancement of the collective conscience, the judgement of an always more generalized value that men pronounce on the human phenomenon independently of religious referrals, are just as many other 'signs of the times' through which God 'comes into' history: what is more, the collective conscience clarifies revelation, helping to get to the bottom of the understanding of the mystery of man revealed by Christ.' (30)

John XXIII then brought an enormous amount of modernist baggage to the papacy. It was an era when such ideas were rampant among the middle clergy and acceptable to many members of the upper hierarchy. Ultimately they had a vision of changing the Church, of bringing it up to date by a process of Aggiornamento, of establishing what Roncalli's favorite author called a 'new Pentecost.' (31). The problem was how to do this. The answer was a Council.

There is considerable confusion as to how and when he decided to convene a Council. Actually, the idea was very much in the air. Both Freemasons and modernist Catholics had for decades dreamt of such an event with the avowed intent of introducing modernism into the bosom of the Church. In 1908 his modernist friend, Bishop Bonomelli of Cremona told him: 'perhaps a great ecumenical council, which would discuss rapidly, freely, and publicly the great problems of religious life, would draw the attention of the world to the Church, stimulate faith, and open up new ways for the future...' The possibility had also been discussed but rejected, by both Pius XI and Pius XII. Within two days of his election John XXIII discussed the matter with close colleagues, but decided not to inform the Curia until he had fully thought out how to plan the event. (32) When he did mention it to Tardini, his pro-secretary of State, he found little enthusiasm, and when he broached it to the Cardinals John described their reaction to his 'divine Inspiration' ('suddenly my soul was illuminated with a great idea') as a 'devout and impressive silence.' (33). Realizing that he would never get his Council - Tardini called it his 'toy' - if he antagonized the traditionally inclined Curia who were fully aware of his modernist attitudes, he took great pains to keep his real intentions secret.

This he did by having them believe that they would be in total control of the Council. He further fostered this by promulgating a series of Encyclicals such as Ad Petri Cathedra which were hyperorthodox (34) - so much so that his liberal supporters began to fear they had made a mistake. He called a Synod of Bishops to Rome and once again played the role of a hyperorthodox pope by promulgating regulations that were reminiscent of the time of Pius X. Finally, he suggested canonizing Pope Pius IX, author of the first Syllabus against modernist ideas. At the same time however, he drafted Cardinal Bea to form the Secretariat for Christian Unity, stressing that it should not be entitled Reunion, but Unity. (i.e., implying that Unity was absent and something to be achieved), and placing this organization outside of Curial control (35). Cardinal Bea in turn organized the 'liberal' forces, and attached to his Secretariat such individuals as Willebrands, Gregory Baum and others of similar outlook. These individuals lectured widely, were responsible for sending representatives to the World Council of Churches, for inviting the non-Catholic observers to the Council, and for a variety of similar activities (36). Whenever the Curia objected to their machinations, John XXIII came to their defense. He had in effect established his own private Curia. In addition, he called to Rome in a variety of other positions, ecclesiastics of similar persuasion. Thus Montini, once 'banished' to Milan by Pius XII - the first individual in hundreds of years to hold this ancient See without a Cardinal's hat, returned to be in effect, his personal assonant if not his guide. These maneuvers were successful. The Curia was reassured and proceeded to arrange for the Council, while the Secretariat for Christian Unity allowed him 'outflank and bypass the curia.' Throughout this time John XXIII 'lived entirely for the Council. He worked on it without interruption, often well into the night.' Having set the stage, he patiently waited for his Council to open.


John XXIII - pope of Revolution?

With the opening of Vatican II, John XXIII published the 'rules and procedures' and invited those attending to feel free to express all shades of opinion. Ignoring the efforts and appointments of the Curia, he established another 10-member 'Council Presidency' that balanced liberal and conservative forces, and placed the direction of the conclave under their aegis. He created a new Secretariat 'For Extraordinary Affairs' under his trusted lieutenant Cardinal Amleto Cicognani consisting of nine progressives (including Montini) and one conservative. With these individuals in place he announced to the world his 'progressive' program for aggorniamento. (Meanwhile Bea's legions were in Moscow inviting the Communists to come with promises that their ideology would not be condemned.) The events of the first day, reported as a spontaneous 'revolt of the Bishops,' were a well orchestrated and papally approved insurrection aimed at subverting the Council. Within minutes of its opening, Cardinal Lienart opposed the schemas prepared by the Curia over a two year period, as well as the list of individuals they had appointed to the various commissions. He was seconded by Cardinal Frings. A recess was called to allow the Council Fathers to nominate their own choices, and the following day they voted on lists prepared by the modernist conspirators. From this point on the Curia lost control and the innovators were in the drivers seat. John XXIII followed events in the Council by closed circuit television, only intervening when necessary to keep the Council on the track he had established.

An example of this intervention is the following. When on November 20th the Council Fathers vote of 1368 to 822 in favor of rejecting Cardinal Ottaviani's Schema on the 'Sources of Revelation' - the motion falling narrowly short of the required two thirds majority - he directly intervened (at the expense of both orthodoxy and the Council rules) to save his 'toy.' According to Lawrence Elliott, after a night of anguish and prayer, he sent word to St. Peter's that because so clear a majority... opposed the schema, he was withdrawing it despite the vote. A new commission would be appointed to redraft it. The reason given for this action was that the alternative was continued wrangling as the schema was debated section by section, dulling, scarring, and, in the end, perhaps destroying the fine spirit of ecumenism in which the Council had begun.'

One of the first Schemas to be considered was the Constitution on the Liturgy. In order to encourage the Council Fathers to accept innovations in this realm - one long considered virtually untouchable - he introduced the first change in the Canon of the traditional Mass in over 1,500 years. He further changed many aspects of the Mass outside the sacrosanct Canon and drastically altered the Breviary - that text which feeds the spiritual life of the clergy; and the Church calendar - thus making obsolete all the old missals and breviaries. As E.E.Y. Hales said, he gave the Bishops of the Council 'the clearest and most positive guidance as to the way they should approach their task.' (41)

Once things were underway, once the Council had been subverted along the lines he wished, he promulgated his most significant Encyclical, Pacem in Terris. To get a better picture of John XXIII's real thought, we shall turn to this revealing source.

Starting out by telling the faithful that 'Peace on earth... can only be firmly established if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed and that this order or law is written in the hearts of men (orthodox), he proceeds to tell us that we must look for these laws only in the hearts of man, 'and nowhere else.' Now it is one thing to say that God has written his laws in the human heart and quit another to say that these laws are not be sought for elsewhere. To do so is to forget the effects of original sin and the function of the Church - the former allowing us to deviate from the dictates of our heart and the latter as guide for our fallen nature. No wonder then that in the very first section of the Encyclical John XXIII follows this up by advocating that 'a world-side community of nations be established' (Para 6, 7). As he explains in the fourth section, this organization is none other than the United Nations.

The next two sections deal with the dignity of man and religious freedom, both themes that are to become basic to the documents of Vatican II and the post-Conciliar Church. With regard to the former, the Encyclical states that 'when we consider man's personal dignity from the standpoint of divine revelation, inevitably our estimate of it is incomparably increased. Men have been ransomed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Grace has made them sons and friends of God, and heirs to eternal glory' (Para 10). Now all this is true, but nothing is said of the fact that man can loose this dignity by sin. Instead, he immediately proceeds to discuss man's rights that derive from this dignity, including 'the right of being able to worship God in accordance with the just dictates of his own conscience (ad rectam conscientiae suae normam), and to profess his religion both in private and in public' (Para 14).

It is of interest that the Italian translator of this sentence said 'each has the right to honor God according to the dictates of a just Conscience.' Giancarlo Zizolla calls the transposition of the adjective just from 'dictates' to 'conscience' a 'colossal reversal of perspective... That adjective just [now] meant that the conscience was not the inviolable temple through which God spoke freely to each man, whether he be atheist or Confucian, Buddhist or agnostic, as John had so many times affirmed; now it was no longer the conscience that generated from its own secret intimacy a 'just' rule, or valid norm and scale of values for each honest man of good will whatsoever; on the contrary, in order to compose that norm, the conscience [itself] had to be 'just,' that is, it had to be authoritatively guided by external rulings... For John the conscience was the voice of God in every man,' for the mistranslator the conscience had to guided by the teaching of the Church.

It follows from the innate dignity of man and the innate and independent authority of his conscience that all men are equal. John XXIII boldly declared that 'the conviction that all men are equal by reason of their natural dignity has been generally accepted' (Para. 44). Later in the same document he states that 'it is not true that some human beings are by nature superior and others inferior. all men are equal in their natural dignity. Consequently there are no political communities that are superior by nature and none that are inferior by nature. All political communities are of equal natural dignity, since they are bodies whose membership is made of these same human beings' (Para. 89). This statement is nothing other than a blanket acceptance of the legitimacy of communism, and it is not wonder that the Communist weekly in Rome described his 'open' attitude under the title of 'No More Crusades.' Il Borghese, a right wing Catholic journal put it into better perspective: 'This policy will mean the end of la chiesa cattolica romana.' Should any doubt remain as to John XXIII's attitude towards Communism, one has only to consider his agreement with Mgr. Nikodim that the Council would in no way be critical of Communism. As Jean Madiran. states, 'all the hotchpotch... in 'Pacem and Terris' has never been applied by the ecclesiastical hierarchy except for the benefit of Communism (and Marxist Socialism) - never to fascism or liberalism... it is nothing but a fabrication made to accommodate Communism alone.' (43).

Having established the equality and dignity of man, his right to religious freedom, and the acceptability of socialism and communism, let us return to the nature of this new world community he envisioned? Again, the Encyclical tells us it is to be established under 'a public authority, having world-wide power and endowed with proper means for the efficacious pursuit of its objective, which is the universal common good...' The organization he felt best suited to this end was none other than the United Nations! His endorsement of this organization (described by some as a'a large cow fed by America and milked by Russia') included endorsing its Declaration of Human Rights which was 'a clear proof of its farsightedness.'(44). Let it be noted that the 'Declaration of Human Rights' involved is none other than that advocated by the French Revolution, and which as Cardinal Pie state, 'is nothing else than the denial of the Rights of Christ.' (45).

One of the greatest obstacles to the creation of this 'one world' utopia under the United Nations was 'mutual distrust.... Unfortunately, the law of fear still reigns among peoples, and it forces them to spend fabulous sums for armament; not for aggression they affirm - and there is not reason for not believing them...' (Para. 128). He recommended to counter this problem, a program of 'mutual trust... true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone' (para. 113). Now this mutual trust was to be extended to both Freemasons and Communists, as if their history and their own teachings have not provided more than ample evidence that allowing the wolf to live in the chicken-coop was an impossibility. The west was to disarm itself and embrace its Communist brothers. War was to be abolished. And after this utopian dream is fulfilled, the harmony of the human family is to be secured 'by means of science and technology.' Now, anyone familiar with James the Apostle knows that Scripture teaches wars come from our lusts and greed - that is to say, from our sins. And anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows clearly that there are unjust rulers and therefore just wars. But John XXIII had a different vision of the world, one in which there was no possibility of an intrinsically evil social order, and one in which all men would be united and all differences would be resolved by 'mutual trust.'

Despite the fact that this encyclical was rapidly bypassed by the still more revolutionary declarations of the Council, it remains highly significant. It clearly demonstrates that events in the Council, as some have contended, did not escape from John XXIII's control, but rather, were engineered by him. Some of the principle modernist errors promulgated by the Council - the false concept of man's dignity, the autonomy of man's conscience, religious freedom, a false Ecumenism, the acceptance of socialist and communist ideology, the fostering by the Church of a one-world community and the need to alter the structures of the Church, were not only shared, but indeed, initiated by Roncalli himself. He was a modernist by any definition of the word, and was responsible for the subversion of an enormous part of the Catholic body. Allow me to quote one last blasphemous statement by this individual elected to preserve and safeguard the Bride of Christ: 'We now acknowledge that for many many centuries the blindness has covered our eyes, so we no longer see the beauty of Thy chosen people and no longer recognize in its face the features of our first-born brother. We acknowledge that the mark of Cain is upon our brow...'

How was this extraordinary individual assessed by others? Clearly, John XXIII was no peasant-pope, but rather, as Mariol Trevor said, 'a quiet and cunning revolutionary.' As his approving friend Malachi Martin says, 'the surprising aspect of Pope John is that in a short five-year period he undid what every pope since the fourth century had sought and fought to maintain and foment.' (49). The Freemasons also thought highly of him. Yves Marsoudon, State Minister, Supreme Council of France (Scottish Rite) said 'the sense of universalism that is rampant in Rome these days is very close to our purpose for existence. Thus, we are unable to ignore the Second Vatican Council and all its consequences... With all our hearts we support the 'Revolutin of John XXIII'... This courageous concept of the Freedom of Thought that lies at the core of our Freemasonic lodges, has spread in a truly magnificent manner under the dome of St. Peter's.' A contrary opinion is given by Avro Manhattan who said that when he died, instead of hanging a white and yellow papal flag from the balcony, they 'should have hung the red flag, with the sickle and the cross displayed on it - the true symbol of the revolution which John XXIII had started within and outside the Roman Catholic church.' (50). Cardinal Siri, who prior to the election of his successor still hoped for a return to sanity, said before the election of Montini that 'it will take forty years to undo the harm Pope John has done to the Church.'


(1) Taken from the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum. This oath was taken by 'popes' John XXIII and Paul VI. It was subsequently allowed to fall into oblivion.

(2) Die Gebete nach der hl. Messe, Theol. prakt. Quartalschrit, 87, 1934. Some time around 1934 this prayer was shortened by the elimination of the following phrase: 'These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Paster has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.' The full prayer is available in the Moto Proprio of Leo XIII, September 25, 1888 and in Raccoltas published before 1934. I have been unable to determine who was responsible for the deletion. The post-Conciliar Church has eliminated the Leonine prayers completely.

(3) Modernism can be characterized by the acceptance of the 'nominalist' philosophical principle that all knowledge is experiential; by a belief in the concepts of 'progress' and 'evolution' as applied to all realms of knowledge, including dogma; by a determination to bring the teaching of the Church into line with contemporary patterns of thinking, and by the belief that truth itself is derived from an inner awareness which man experiences - vital immanence - and hence always relative to the individual. These ideas are inimical to those of a divine Revelation and nature of 'fallen' man. See also, 'The Sin of Liberalism', The Roman Catholic, Vol. V., March 1983, and The Chapter in this book entitled 'The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.'

(4) Space does not allow for an in detail study of this period. Mary Martinez has covered the period in a series of articles in The Roman Catholic. Other sources are Adrian Dansette, The Religious History of Modern France, Freiberg: Herder, 1961; Jean-Marie Domenach and Robert de Montvalon, The Catholic Avant-Garde, N.Y., Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967 Emile Poulat, La Crise Moderniste and Integrisme et Catholicisme Integral, Paris: Casterman, 1962 and 1969.

(5) 'After me, the flood'. He vouchsafed his 'dying words' to Cardinal Giuseppe Siri: 'Depositum custodi, depositum custodi.' Peter Hebblethwaite, Pope John XXIII, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985.

(6) Cardinal Bea, a secret modernist and rabid ecumenist under John XXIII, was his confessor. One can imagine the subtle influence this man wielded under such circumstances. (There were no heretical aspects to the changes in the rites for Holy Week.)

(7) To take the name of John XXIII was itself revolutionary. This man (died, 1419) is described in The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) as 'utterly worldly minded, ambitious, crafty, unscrupulous, immoral, a good soldier, but no churchman.' Peter Hebblewaithe describes him as a 'pirate who massacred and perjured his way into the papacy' (John XXIII, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985). He was forced to resign from the papacy by the Council of Pisa and subsequently became an 'antipope'. No subsequent Pope would take the name of John because of his nefarious actions, much less of John XXIII.

(8) Robert Blair Kaiser, Pope, Council and World, N.Y.: Macmillan, 1963. M. Trevor, Pope John, N.Y. Doubleday, 1967 notes that some see John XXIII's activities as being 'Machiavellian,' but then tries to assure us that this was only in appearance and not actually the case. Avro Manhattan (The Vatican Moscow Alliance, N.Y.: Ralston-Pilate 1977) calls him a 'determined revolutionary' and a 'socialist Pope.' In fact, almost every text dealing with this period of the history of the Church refers to John XXIII as a 'revolutionary'.

(9) Msgr. Albert Giovannetti, We Have a Pope, Maryland: Newman, 1959. Others say the family were sharecroppers, but all admit they had lived in the same town for hundreds of years.

(10) Peter Hebblewaithe, Pope John XXIII, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985.

(11) Loisy was excommunicated as a Modernist, and Duschene's texts on the History of the Church were placed on the Index.

(12) Cardinal Rampolla's Freemasonic connections are documented by Msgr. Albert Giovannetti. Cardinal Rampolla was almost elected to the papacy in 1903, but the Austrian government, aware of his Freemasonic connections, exercised their veto and prevented this.

(13) The Bishop of Bergamo is described as a 'complete modernist' by E. Poulat, Integrisme et Catholicism Integral, Paris: Casterman, 1969. The Modernist atmosphere in which Roncalli received his early education is also documented in Giancarlo Zizola's The Utopia of Pope John XXIII, N.Y.: Orbis, 1978. His modernist connections during his early days as a priest are documented by Peter Habblethwaite, Pope John XIII, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985.

(14) Peter Hebblethwaite tells us repeatedly that 'he paid his pound of flesh' to the repressive forces prevailing in Rome under Pius X.

(15) Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925 was the originator of 'The Science of the Spirit known as Anthroposophy' and was a member of the 'illuminati'. Mary Martinez, 'Pius XII and the Jews,' The Roman Catholic, Vol V, March 1983.

(16) Giancarlo Zizola, op. cit.

(17) Giancarlo Zizola, op. cit.

(18) Giancarlo Zizola, op.cit.

(19) Most of the French hierarchy had cooperated with the Vichy government of Petain. To understand the politics of post-war France the reader is referred to Sisley Huddleston's France - The Tragic Years, London: Holborn, 1958.

(20) Giancarlo Zizola, op. cit.

(21) Sources for this information are available in a publication entitled L'Abonimation de la Desolation (Le Mystere d'Iniquite) by Professeur Gabriel Chabot and Commandant Rouchette available from Commandant Rouchette (retired from the French Surite) at B.P. 151, 16105 Cognac Cedex, France.

(22) McGregor-Hastie, Paul VI, quoted by Hutton Gibson, Paul VI's Legacy: Catholicism?, Cochin, India: Leo Panakal, 1979.

(23) It is interesting to note that almost everyone accused of Americanism or Modernism has admitted the existence of such heresies, but denied that they were guilty of holding them.

(24) Paul Johnson, Pope John XXIII, Little Brown and Co., p. 144. To quote this author further: 'If we take Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris together, they effectively demolish most of the internationalist, social, economic and political teachings of the Popes for the previous hundred years with the one exception of Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum.'

(25) It is of interest that on another occasion when John XXIII was comparing himself to previous popes he stated 'There come to mind the names of Urban, Clement, and Leo, too? Leo, no, that's not my stuff.' op. cit. No.9. Henri Fesquet informs us that his antipathy to the ideas of Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the redoubtable Secretary of the Holy Office, was 'well known.' (op.cit.)

(26) Quoted by Giancarlo Zizola, op. Cit.

(27) That is, to blend the Church's stance with that of the Modern world. According to Zizola, 'At the height of the crusading anti-Communist period, Jacques Maritain called on Catholics to open their eyes, to discover a Christianity of action under form at times heretical, and even of rebellion which almost seemed like denial, in the depths of conscience and secular existence. 'It was not given to believers faithful to Catholic dogma... but to atheistic Communists to abolish in Russia the absolutism of private profit. This last process would have been less vitiated by the force of error and would have occasioned fewer catastrophes had it been performed by Christians. The effort to deliver labor and man from the dominion of money is an outgrowth of the currents released in the world by the preaching of the Gospel, such as the effort to abolish servitude and the effort to bring about the recognition of the rights of the human person.'' (op. cit.) Maritain was to become a dominant influence on Paul VI who wrote the introduction to the Italian translation of his True Humanism. As several scholars have pointed out, Maritain was a modernist.

(28) Henri Fesquet, The Drama of Vatican II, N.Y.: Random, 1967.

(29) Carlo Falconi, Pope John and the Ecumenical Council; .N.Y.: World Publ., 1964

(30) Giancarlo Zizola, op. cit.

(31) John XXIII's favorite author was Allesandro Manzoni from whom he also took the term Aggiornamento.

(32) Peter Hebblewaithe, op. cit. John XXIII attempted to give the impression that the idea of a Council was a 'divine inspiration', however, Hebblewaithe clearly shows that such was never the case.

(33) Ursula Oxfort accepts the idea that John XXIII had a sudden inspiration, and points out that such are frequently diabolical. However, it is clear from Hebblewaithe's book that there was nothing sudden nor inspirational involved (Ursula Oxfort, The Heresy of Pope John XXIII, available from her at 260 6th Ave., South, Lake Worth, Florida).

(34) He however praised Cardinal John Henry Newman, thus rehabilitating this individual who was considered to be a modernist, or at least, a quasi-modernist, and whose 'development of Christian doctrine' had been suspected of being nothing more then the endorsement of the 'evolution of Christian doctrine.'

(35) 'You will be more free,' as he said to Bea, 'and less bound by tradition if we keep you out of the normal Curial channels.'

(36) As one theologian put it, 'When those thirty or forty or fifty observers show up at the Council, they'll have a role that will be psychologically more important than the rest of the Fathers put together.' These Protestant and Communist 'observers' were royally entertained at Catholic expense. However, Paul Etoga, the traditional bishop of M'balmayo in the Cameroons arrived, he had to 'hitchhike' from Le Havre to Rome.

(37) Peter Hebblewaithe, op. Cit.

(38) Henri Fesquet, op. Cit.

(39) The Marxist Il Paese had this to say apropos Cardinal Lienart's intervention: 'The Devil has entered the Council.' (Henri Fesquet, op. cit.)

(40) Lawrence Elliott, I will be Called John, N.Y.: Dutton, 1973

(41) E.E.Y. Hales, Pope John and His Revolution, N.Y,: Doubleday, 1965.

(42) One of John XXIII's close aids described his attitude towards Marxism in these words: 'The Church is not a dam against communism. The Church cannot and should not be against anything. It should be positively for something.'

(43) Jean Madiran, 'The Vatican Moscow Agreement', Itinieres, No. 84, June 1964 and available in English in The Fatima Crusader, Issue 16, Sept-Oct, 1984 (Constable, N.Y.)

(44) He did qualify this by saying 'we are of course aware that some of the points in the declaration did not meet with the unqualified approval in some quarters, that there was justification for this...' However, he never clarified which these were or stated that 'some quarters' meant the Church.

(45) An excellent discussion of this topic is available in Father Denis Fahey's The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern world, Dublin: Regina 1935. As Leo XIII said, 'About the 'Rights of Man' as they are called, the people have heard enough; it is time that they heard about the Rights of God' (Tametsi).

(46) The American Bishop' Pastoral The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response (issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) is a direct reflection of these views. This Pastoral encouraging unilateral disarmament on the part of the American nation, offended many Americans and Rome issued a statement that toned down its aggressive attitude. However, the so-called 'conflict' between the American bishops and Rome is a Sham. The New Jersey Catholic News (Kearny, N.J., No. 15, Spring 1984) tells us that when one bishop asked that the Pastoral request the laity to say a Rosary for the sake of peace, he was 'crushingly put down.'

(47) The true Church can never be subverted, for the Gates of Hell can never prevail against the truth. However, enormous sections of the Church, like branches cut from the vine, can be subverted.

(48) W. Keller, Diaspora, N.Y. Harcort, 1969. While no one denies that individual Catholics may have been guilty of lacking true charity for the Jews, one can never accuse the Church itself - a perfect society and the spotless Bride of Christ, of lacking such. To do so is blasphemy. John XXIII also presumed to change Scripture by deleting the word perfidious in relation to the Jews who crucified Christ. This is to forget or ignore the fact that not all Jews were perfidious, but those responsible for Christ's death. Can one imagine the Jews changing a word of Torah, or deleting sections of the Talmud that are offensive to Christians?

(49) Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church, N.Y.: Putnam, 1981.

(50) Avro Manhattan, The Vatican Moscow Alliance, N.Y.: Ralston-Pilot, 1977.

(51) Alden Hatch, Pope Paul VI, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967.

(52) His father, a banker employed by the Vatican, came from a Jewish family, and his mother was a convert from Judaism at the time of her marriage. Now, no traditional Catholic can have any objection to his Jewish ancestry. What is however significant is that no record of his baptism can be found. If in fact he was never baptized, then his Orders are totally invalidated. Myra Davidoglou, La Voie, Cahier No. 5 (France, Imbert-Nicolas, Dec. 1982).

(53) Peter Hebblethwaite says he was theologically formed by reading Maritain, Congar and de Lubac, and intellectually formed by Pascal, Bernanos and Simone Weil.' (The Year of Three Popes, London: Collins, 1978).

(54) Myra Davidoglou provides documentation for these facts which are also confirmed by other authors. The traitor Tondi was thrown into jail for a period. When released, he married his mistress, the militant communist Carmen Zanti. For a while this KGB agent was the secretary of Walter Ulbricht and then Professor of Atheism at the University of Marxism-Leninism. After Paul VI became Pope, Tondi returned to Rome and obtained employment in the Vatican's Civil Service as a cover for his continued KGB activities. He was, without making any retraction, forgiven by Paul VI and his civil marriage ratified sanatio in radice - that is to say, without a priest.



Next to be 'elected' to the Papal chair was Giovanni Battista Montini, a man who was said to have lived in the shadow of his predecessor. He had been born in Brescia in 1897, the son of a Catholic journalist and politician of strong liberal leanings. During his seminary days, he had been allowed to live and study at home for reasons of health, which resulted in a very limited theological training and almost no spiritual formation. It also allowed him to imbibe much of his father's liberal philosophy. During this period he also associated himself with such organizations as the Student Association of Alssandro Manzoni, as well as other liberal political groups. After ordination he was appointed to the Vatican diplomatic corps and slow rose in rank until he became Pro-Secratary of State, a position he held for many years. Needless to say such an appointment allowed him to both become acquainted with many members of the hierarchy and to foster the advancement of those who held similar views to his own.

Then in 1954 he was suddenly 'dismissed' to Milan under circumstances which have never been entirely clear. Myra Davidoglou documents the following facts: In July of 1944 Montini offered his services without the knowledge of Pius XII to the Soviet Union through the offices of his childhood friend Togliatti (then head of the Communist Party in Italy). The details of this sinister affair were exposed to the Pope by the Archbishop Primate of the Protestant Church in Sweden who was a state official and as such had access to governmental intelligence reports. This information came as a shock to Pius XII. An enquiry was made and among other things it was found that Montini's private secretly, the Jesuit Tondi, was a Russian agent and the man responsible for giving the Soviets the names of Catholic priests who were being sent into Russia. This explained why they were all being immediately caught and executed (54). The upshot of this was that Montini was exiled to Milan without the traditional red hat.

Montini was responsible for the translation of Jacques Maritain's Integral Humanism into Italian. This individual, despite his neo-Thomism, is by no means the orthodox Catholic that he is usually represented as being. In this text Maritain called for a basic shift in ecclesiology - in the way the Church looks at itself, its function and its identity. He envisioned an integral humanism in which religions of every kind converged towards a single human ideal in a world civilization wherein all men would be reconciled in justice, love and peace. As the French theologian M. Caron explained, 'Integral humanism is a universal fraternity of men of good will belonging to different religions or none, including even those who reject the idea of a Creator. It is within this fraternity that the Church should exercise her leavening influence without imposing itself and without demanding that it be recognized as the one, true Church. The cement of this fraternity is twofold: the virtue of doing good and an understanding grounded in respect for human dignity.'

Prior to his election to the papacy, Montini was well known to the liberal forces in and around the Vatican. Mark Winckler, an elderly interpreter working at the Vatican during these years, tells the story of his meeting with Msgr. Pignedoli (now Cardinal), one of the most liberal members of the Curia and a man strongly suspected of Freemasonic connections. Pignedoli told him in 1944 that the reversal of the Freemason's plans by the failure of Cardinal Rampolla to be elected to the Papacy would soon be corrected, that in time the proper man would be elected Pope, a man who would bring the Church into the modern age. When Mark Winckler asked who this individual was, Pignedoli told him it was the priest whose Mass he served every Thursday - namely Father Battisto Montini. Montini was to state with regard to the Freemasons that 'another generation will not pass before peace is established between these two religious societies [i.e., the Freemasons and the Church]', and after his death a Freemasonic review stated in an obituary notice that 'this is the first time that the leader of one of the greatest religious bodies in the west has passed away without considering the Masons as a hostile organization.' Now, in the light of these facts, it is not surprising that Montini did everything he could to protect Roncalli, nor is it surprising that as soon as John XXIII was seated on the Chair of Peter, he returned the favor, giving Montini a red hat and calling him back to Rome as a 'non-resident Cardinal.' He is reputed to have written most of John XXIII's speeches and Encyclicals, while himself keeping a low profile. John realized that he would be the man 'most able to push through his ambitious program and realize his hopes for an open church and a united Christendom.' As for Paul VI, 'it is possible that of all the Popes of modern times... he is the only one who actually desired the office.' To guarantee his election John XXIII appointed 23 new cardinals, thus 'stacking' the next conclave.

Long before his election Montini gave expression to beliefs that placed him outside the pale of the church. 'Our times, can they also not have an Epiphany which corresponds to its spirit, to its capacities? The marvelous scientific evolution of our days, can it not become this star, this sign that thrusts modern humanity towards a new quest for God, towards a new discovery of Christ?' (Milan, 1956, Le Pape de l'Epiphanie). 'Modern man, will he not gradually come to the point where he will discover, as a result of scientific progress, the laws and hidden realities behind the mute face of matter and give ear to the marvelous voice of the spirit that vibrates in it? Will this not be the religion of our day? Einstein himself glimpsed this vision of a universal religion produced spontaneously [i.e., without revelation]. Is this not perhaps today my own religion? (Conference in Turin, Mar. 27, 1960). And is not [scientific] labor itself already engaged in a course that will eventually lead to religion?'(Doc. Cath. 133, 1960) No wonder he said that 'We must never forget that the fundamental attitude of Catholics who wish to convert the world must be, first of all, to love the world, to love our times, to love our [non-Catholic] civilization, our technical achievements, and above all, to love the world' (Bodart's La biologie et l'Avenir de l'Homme). Such were the beliefs of the 'papabile selected by John XXIII.

At the beginning (1963) of his 'pontificate' Montini was primarily concerned with bringing the Council to its full potential. A careful reading of Father Wiltgen's book, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, as well as Archbishop Lefebvre's J'accuse le Councile shows that he continued John XXIII's policy of appearing neutral while strongly abetting the 'progressive forces' of the innovators. He spoke much of 'Ecumenical dialogue,' 'Openness to the World,' 'Reforms,' and 'Changes' while at the same time speaking of 'Faith,' 'Tradition,' and 'the striving for spiritual perfection.' While it is true that he made certain minor corrections in the Conciliar documents before promulgating them, it is also true that he gave papal approval to other items which were diametrically opposed to de fide teachings of the Church. His response to Archbishop Lefebvre's warnings (J'Accuse le Councile) clearly shows that he was on the side of the revolutionaries. Nor should we forget that he that he openly taught that 'the conciliar decrees are not so much a destination as a point of departure towards new goals... The seeds of life planted by the Council in the soil of the Church must grow and achieve full maturity,' and that he used these very documents as the excuse for the creation of his new 'mass' and the other atrocious changes in the sacraments.

This pattern of speaking out of both sides of his mouth - seemingly defending orthodoxy while in fact doing everything he could to undermine it - is seen throughout his 'pontificate' and can be said to be a fundamental characteristic of the new Church. As a result, no matter what one stands, one can quote him and the documents he promulgated in support of one's viewpoint. Some may argue that this is a positive quality, but to do so is to forget the function of a true pope. Conservative Catholics who defend him should remember that to be in 'obedience' to him, and to accept him as a spokesman for 'truth,' demands that they accept his heterodox statements and actions with the same authority as his orthodox ones. In point of fact, it s totally impossible to be 'in obedience' to this self-contradictory individual, for to do so is to embrace both truth and error simultaneously. Nevertheless, obedience was a favorite theme of his.

In point of fact, 'obedience' is practically the only grounds on which the post-Conciliar Church can sustain the loyalty of erstwhile Catholics. It is this very 'obedience' which is leading them down the wide and gently sloping 'garden path.' Knowing this, Paul VI taught 'all men must obey him [the pope] in whatever he orders if they wish to be associated with the new economy of the Gospel' (Allocution, June 29, 1970). And just what is the 'new economy of the gospel?' Just what are some of the teachings that Paul would foist on us in the name of the post-Conciliar Magisterium? Here is a fair sampling:

That Paul VI should bend his every effort to change the Catholic Faith followed from his basic premises. 'The order to which Christianity tends is not static, but an order in continual evolution towards a higher form... If the world changes, should not religion also change?'(Dialogues, Reflections on God and Man); 'We moderns, men of our own day, wish everything to be new. Our old people, the traditionalists, the conservatives, measured the value of things according to their enduring quality. We instead, are actualists, we want everything to be new all the time, to be expressed in a continually improvised and dynamically unusual form' (L'Osservatore Romano, April 22, 1971); And hence it follows that 'it is necessary to know how to welcome with humility and an interior freedom what is innovative; one must break with the habitual attachment to what we used to designate as the unchangeable traditions of the Church...' (La Croix, Sept 4, 1970). He is highly critical of those who refused to go along with the changes, especially in liturgical matters (60) - they have what he calls 'a sentimental attachment to habitual forms of worship,' and are guilty of 'inconsistency and often of falsity of doctrinal positions' (quoted in O'Leary's The Tridentine Mass Today ). As for those who find such statements heterodox, he had stated while still in Milan that 'the exigencies of charity frequently force us outside the bonds of orthodoxy.'

Paul VI also believed in vital imminence as a source of truth. During the General Audience of Nov 20, 1974 he stated: 'To undertake the religious effort that the celebration of the Holy Year will ask of each of us, a certain spiritual certainty is necessary. Without it the teaching characteristic of this period would take little hold on us. In the preceding elementary talk we mentioned the state of subjective uncertainty, a doubt about our identity, which if not overcome by a logical, psychological, moral state of normal interior certainty, would make unavailing the effort towards explicit and progressive renewal of oneself... Apologetics [i.e., the old way of defending truth] remains and does not refuse its indispensable and tacit service, even when it is not explicitly requested; but in the religious field today preference is given to experience rather then to reasoning. Charismatic spirituality is preferred to rational dogmatism.'

Leaving aside the issue of the Second Vatican Council which is discussed in detail later, we find in Paul VI all the themes elaborated by his predecessor. As early as 1965 we find him telling the United Nations that 'it is your task here to proclaim the basic rights and duties of man, his dignity and liberty, and above all his religious liberty. We are conscious that you are the interpreters of all that is paramount in human wisdom. We would almost say: of its sacred character. For your concern is first and foremost with the life of man, man's life is sacred. No one may dare to interfere with it... The people turn to the United Nations as their last hope for peace and concord... [The goals of the UN] are the ideal that mankind has dreamed of in its journey through history. We would venture to call it the world's greatest hope - for it is the reflection of God's design - a design transcendent and full of love - for the progress of human society on earth; a reflection in which We can see the gospel message, something from heaven come down to earth...' And some of us were foolish enough to believe that Christ was the hope of the world and that it was the function of the Church to 'interpret all that is paramount in human wisdom.'

Paul VI made it clear from the start that his manner of ruling the Church would be different. Having declared religious liberty to be the sacred and inalienable right of man and that salvation was available outside the Church, he proceeded to abrogate the oath against Modernism, the Index against forbidden books, the obligation of the Church to decide on the validity of divine manifestations (such as Garabandel) and a host of other restrictions created to protect the faithful from error. In 1972 he stated that 'Perhaps the Lord has called me not to govern and save the Church, but to suffer for her and to make it clear that He and no one else guides and saves her.' (Why then did Christ establish the papacy?) This is but the logical conclusion of his declaration in the Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam that 'the sort of relationship for the Church to establish with the world should be more in the nature of a dialogue...' (Did Christ say, 'go ye forth and dialogue with all nations 'on an equal footing'? Let it be clear that the function of the Church is to teach, and not to dialogue with every theological Tom, Dick or Harry that comes down the pike.) These are not isolated quotations. Thus on Oct. 16, 1968 he told the Roman Clergy that 'it would be easy, and even perhaps our duty to rectify...' the serious disorders spreading within the Church, but that it would be better for 'the good people of God to do it themselves.' He continued 'You will have noticed my dear friends to what extent the style of Our government of the Church seeks to be pastoral, fraternal, humble in spirit and form. It is on this account that, with the help of God, We hope to be loved.' (Was Christ 'loved' by those that rejected and crucified him?) It is a common theme: As he said elsewhere of the Council: 'From the start, the Council has propagated a wave of serenity and optimism, a Christianity that is exciting and positive, loving life, mankind and earthly values... an intention of making Christianity acceptable and lovable, indulgent and open, free of mediaeval rigorism and of the pessimistic understanding of man and his customs...'(Doc. Cath. No. 1538). Yes indeed, his new manner of ruling, as he says in his Ecclesiam Suam, 'avoids peremptory language and makes no demands.'

Paul VI literally fell all over himself trying to make the Church lovable. 'And what was the Church doing at that particular moment [i.e., at the time of the Council] the historians will be asking; and the reply will be: the Church was filled with love... The Council puts before the Church, before us in particular, a panoramic vision of the world; how can the Church, how can we ourselves, do other than behold this world and love it... The Council is a solemn act of love for mankind... love for men of today, whoever and wherever they may be, love for all' Believing that man was 'intrinsically good,' he repeatedly expressed his confidence in him. 'We have faith in Man. we believe in the good which lies deep within each heart, we know that underlying man's wonderful efforts and the motives of justice, truth, renewal, progress and brotherhood - even where they are accompanied by dissension or sometimes even unfortunately, by violence...' (Address to the journalists in Sydney Australia, Dec. 1970). This confidence in man reached extraordinary heights with the moon landing. 'There is no true riches but MAN'(L'Osservatore Romano, Aug. 5, 1970). 'Honor to Man, honor to thought, honor to science, honor to technique, honor to work, honor to the boldness of an, honor to the synthesis of scientific and organizing ability of man who unlike other animals, knows how to give his spirit and his manual dexterity these instruments of conquest. Honor to man, king of the earth, and today Prince of heaven...'(Doc. Cath. No. 1580). No wonder he said that 'a peace that is not the result of the true worship of man is not a true peace'(Le Figaro, Jan. 1, 1973).

Lest any doubt about Montini's humanism and his cult of man, consider the following address given the Fathers gathered at the Council on December 7th, 1965: 'The Catholic Church has also, it is true, been much concerned with man, with man as he really is today, with living man, with man totally taken up with himself, with man who not only makes himself the center of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the end and aim of all existence... Secular, profane, humanism has finally revealed itself in its terrible shape and has, in a certain sense, challenged the Council. The religion of God made man has come up against the religion (for there is such a one) of man who makes himself God. And what happened: an impact, a battle, an anathema. That might have taken place, but it did not. It was the old story of the Samaritan that formed the model of the Council's spirituality. It was filled only with an endless sympathy. Its attention was taken up with the discovery of human needs - which became greater as the son of the earth makes himself greater... Do you at least recognize this its merit, you modern humanists who have no place for the transcendence of the things supreme, and come to know our new humanism: We also, we more than anyone else, have the cult of man.'

We are, it would seem, to play the good Samaritan, even with the devil! As Paul said elsewhere, 'Man is both giant and divine, in his origin and his destiny. Honor therefore to man, honor to his dignity, to his spirit and to his life.' It is not surprising then to find Paul VI returning once again to John XXIII's theme of mutual understanding and the need for world unity. 'Man must go out to meet man, and the nations come close to each other as brothers and sisters, as the children of God. In such mutual friendship and understanding, in this sacred communion, we must all join together in working for the common future of humanity... mankind is undergoing profound changes and searching for guiding principles and new forces which will show it the way in the world of the future...'(Speech in Bombay, 1964).

So much confidence does he have in man's innate goodness and modern forms of government that he tells us: 'You, the people, you have the right to make yourselves heard... You have the lawful and sacred right to insist that your leaders arrange things so that you do not have to suffer... We live under a system of democracy... That means that is THE PEOPLE WHO COMMAND, THAT POWER IS VESTED IN NUMBERS, IN THE PEOPLE AS A WHOLE'(Discourse, Jan. 1, 1970).

Now this is an entirely un-Catholic concept of Democracy, and one reminiscent of the crowds that cried for the release of Barabas and the Crucifixion of Christ. As against such an attitude the Church has always taught that authority and hence power derives, not from the people, but from God. The people may elect their leaders, but the leaders must rule in God's name and not in the name of the people. It is of interest however to consider from whence Paul VI thinks the people have this power. He told us in his discourse to the United Nations that it is 'based on conscience... never so much as today, in a period when human progress has been so rapid, has it been necessary to appeal to the moral conscience of mankind'

Once again, we are brought back to the basic theme of man's innate dignity, from which he derives his conscience. Man is not to be guided by the Church, but rather the reverse, the world and the Church are to be guided by man's 'moral conscience.' This ties in closely with the new teaching on Religious Liberty which is granted to man as a right, and which it is the duty of the state to enforce. Along these lines Paul VI positively objected to the concept that the State had the obligation of establishing its laws on Catholic principles. And therefore it was only logical that Paul VI induced Catholic countries such as Spain, Columbia and Italy to change their constitutions by deleting any and all privileges given to the Church. No longer could the Catholic religion be the sole religion recognized in their constitutions. No longer could the reign of Christ the King be proclaimed in these lands. Here we have Christ's representative saying that Christ's love demanded that Christ's religion be given no higher status than all the other religions that mankind has invented. How is it possible for Christ's representative not to desire that every nation and every government be Catholic? How is it possible for Christ's representative not to desire that every nation and every government be Catholic?

We will note however the Paul VI's love of mankind was curtailed by the decision not to criticize Communism at the Council, as it was in the new doors commissioned by this Pontiff for Saint Peter's - doors which depicted slavery throughout the world, but not of course in Communist countries. These doors are symbolic, for in the face of the 'moral conscience of mankind' we find Paul VI freely criticizing the abuse of human rights in Western nations, but never those in Communist lands. Perhaps one of his most offensive statements to those who are aware of events in China, a land where, according to the American Congressional Record, between 30 and 60 million Chinese were 'liquidated' by Mao-Tse Tung and a land where abortion is forced on women whether they desire it or not, is the following: 'The Church recognizes and favors the just expression of the historical phase of China and the transformation of ancient forms of aesthetic culture into the inevitable new forms that rise out of the social and industrial structure of the modern world... We would like to enter into contact once again with China in order to show with how much interest and sympathy we look at their present and enthusiastic efforts for the ideals of a diligent, full and peaceful life.'

But then, what can one expect from an individual who believes 'all discrimination is unjustified and inadmissible, whether it be ethnic, cultural, political or religious' (Encyclical Populorum Progressio).

Paul VI also followed the lead of John XXIII in fostering Ecumenism. Not only did he refer to the Anglican and Orthodox Communions as 'sister Churches,' but he invited the Anglicans to use Catholic altars in the Vatican for their services (a sacrilegious act), and placed his papal ring on the Anglican 'archbishop' and invited him to bless the faithful in St. Peter's Square. On Dec. 15, 1975, when receiving the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople in the Sistine Chapel, he suddenly knelt down before him and kissed his feet (The Metropolitan Melitone was astonished and flustered and tried to prevent Paul from doing so.). No wonder he was able to say that 'the pace of this movement [ecumenism] has quickened marvelously in recent years, so that these words of hope the Anglican Church united by not absorbed are no longer a mere dream' (L'Osservatore Romano, May 5, 1977). And for the sake of ecumenism he did not hesitate to even desecrate the Sacred Body of Our Lord, as for example when he personally authorized giving communion to Barbara Olson, a Presbyterian, at her Nuptual Mass (Sept. 21, 1966) without her abjuring her Presbyterian views or her going to Confession. Not an isolated act by any means, for he also gave Communion under the same circumstances to the Lutherans. (Forts dans La Foi, No. 47) As the Abbe of Nantes said, 'no one in the world, bishop or Cardinal, Angel or even the Pope himself, has any right whatever to give the Sacrament of the Living to those who are spiritually dead.' But then, what else can one expect from a man who believed that 'the truth is that the world's inability to achieve unity of thought and to end spiritual divisions is the real reason why society is so deeply unhappy, so poor in ideas and enthusiasm.'

Following in the footsteps of John XXIII, Paul VI broke with many papal traditions. One of this first acts was to give up the Papal Tiara (John XXIII had only refused to wear it on state occasions), symbolic of giving up the rights of Christ's representative to have precedence over the Kings and Princes of this world. He was crowned with a hat of his own design (looking like a space rocket), and not in St. Peter's but outside the sacred precincts. While spending a fortune on some of the most trivial and ugly modern art known to mankind, he made a great show of selling this Tiara in order to give the money to the poor. (65). He then proceeded to give his Shepherd's Crook and Fisherman's Ring (his?) to U Thant (then head of the United Nations) who in turn sold them to a Jewish businessman in the Midwest. He further started to carry what must be one of the world's ugliest crucifixes in place of the Shepherd's Crook (Traditionally, the Crucifix was carried before the Pope so that he could always look upon his divine Master) (67). He then induced all the bishops of the post-Conciliar Church to give up their traditional rings, and gave each of them a new gold [sic] one, symbolic of the new Church. He also asked them to give up their shepherd's 'Crooks' and since then one rarely if ever sees a post-Conciliar bishop 'sporting' one.

However, Montini reached the apogee of scandalous example with his visit to Fatima. Here we see a 'pope' who spent time 'meditating' in the 'meditation room' at the United Nations, a room replete with freemasonic significance and containing an altar dedicated to 'the faceless God'; here we see a man who received with respect the leaders of the Freemasonic B'nai B'rith at the Vatican; here we see a man who has promised to pray for the success of Mrs. Hollister and her 'Temple of Understanding' (which Cardinal Bagnozzi told him was 'an occult enterprise of the Illuminati whose aim is the founding of 'the World Religion of Human Brotherhood''); here we see a man who has joined with Cardinal Willebrands in 'the common prayer of the World Council of Churches' (Doc. Cath. Jan 17, 1971); here we see a man who claims to be the head of the Catholic Church and Christ's representative on earth, finally visiting one of the most sacred shrines in Christendom where he tarried 14 long hours. And what does he do? With the whole world watching on television, he says mass in Portuguese (which only a small percentage of those watching on television could understand), and then proceeds to give a series of audiences including one to the 'representatives of the non-Catholic Communities' (of which there are virtually none in the entire area). Those that watched this 14 hour spectacle tell us that during the entire time he neither visited the shrine at Cova de Iria where the apparitions took place, nor said A SINGLE HAIL MARY! According to the Abbe of Nantes, he even refused to talk privately with Sister Lucia, fifty years a nun, and one of the children who were the recipients of the vision at Fatima and who claimed to have a private message from the Virgin for his ears.

As against all this we have the constant references of conservative Novus Ordo Catholics as to Paul VI's orthodoxy because of his Encyclical Humanae vitae. Many will be surprised to now that before he died Pius XII had already condemned the use of the 'pill' for other than purely medical indications, and this condemnation was suppressed by the post-Conciliar Church. For some 20 years the matter continued to be debated while the faithful were encouraged to engage in the practice of contraception on the grounds that the Church had not as yet come to a decision about the matter. Once Humane vitae was promulgated protests were loud and vociferous, especially from the celibate clergy. The entire French hierarchy met at Lourdes to discuss the problem and then announced that the faithful were free to use the 'pill' when in their (private) judgment the 'pill' involved a lesser evil than having children. Now such a statement is apostasy, for while the doctrine of choosing the 'lesser evil' may be applied to political situations, it can never be invoked as against the commands of God. But Montini had no desire to be separated from his hierarchy. He sent them a congratulatory telegram praising them for clearly interpreting his intention and meaning (69).

Like his predecessor, he stacked the next Conclave by raising the number of cardinals to 125 and forcing all those over 80 (the conservatives) to retire. He also had a predilection for advancing to higher positions in the hierarchy those whose activities he approved. For example, he appointed Cardinal Samore to be 'Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Discipline in Sacramental Matters' two months after this Cardinal had distributed Communion to a motley crowd of Protestants - with full awareness that they did not believe in the 'Real Presence.' This fact received a great deal of publicity in the French press, so much in fact that, Paul VI was led to deplore 'the acts of intercommunion that went against the proper ecumenical guidelines' (Doc Cath. 68-141).

Much more could be said of this enigmatic individual described by Malachi Martin as 'the first un-pope' and 'the man who merely completed Pope John's destruction of the Church.' (70) Not only did he confirm and promulgate the Documents of Vatican II; not only did he carry forward the program of John XXIII in the political arena (apart from his attitude towards Communism, consider the treatment of Cardinal Mindszenty, and his refusal to support the struggles of five million Ukranian Catholics); not only did he refuse in principle to defend the Church against heresy (consider his refusal to condemn the Dutch Catechism), but most significant of all, he was the individual primarily responsible for changing the liturgical and sacramental practice of the Church. And after having done all this he had the gall to tell the distraught faithful that 'the smoke of Satan could be seen rising in the Vatican,' and that the Church was in the process of 'auto-demolition.' (The statement is incidentally heretical for the Mystical Body of Christ can never self distract). So unbelievable were the statements and actions of this individual that many absurdly claimed he was 'a prisoner in the Vatican,' 'drugged,' or that he had died and had been replaced by a satanic 'double.'

Like his predecessor, he received the praises of the Freemasons: Yves Marsoudon, State Minister, Supreme Council of France (Scottish Rite) said: 'Born in our Masonic Lodges, freedom of expression has now spread beautifully over the Dome of St. Peter's... this is the Revolution of Paul VI. It is clear that Paul VI, not content merely to follow the policy of his predecessor, does in fact intend to go much further.'

When he died, he was waked in a simple wooden casket placed upon the ground. An open Bible, its pages fluttering in the breeze, was the only adornment. I leave you then with Montini, often described as a 'Hamlet,' but in fact, far more an 'Iago'.

'Pope' John Paul I

Space demands that we pass over the reign of this 'pontiff' briefly. Cardinal Luciani was known to be a liberal and a favorite of Cardinal 'innovator' Bonelli. He had obtained his Doctorate in Theology by defending Serbati Rosmini (1797-1885), a man who had had 40 propositions from his books condemned by the Holy Office in 1887. He was an ardent feminist as is shown by his letters to Carlo Goldini in his briefly famous book entitled 'Humbly Yours.' He was prone to making surprising theological statements such as 'God is a woman.' He openly stated with regard to Vatican II and the problem of religious liberty that 'for years I have taught that only truth has rights. Now I have convinced myself that we have been wrong' ('Time' magazine). In September of 1978 he held up as a classical example of self-abnegation and devotion to duty, one Giosue Carducci, a Professor at the University of Bologna who founded two Masonic lodges and was the author of a long and blasphemous 'Hymn to Satan.' As a thinker he can only be described as 'trivial.' Such a background made him eminently suitable to 'lead' the post-Conciliar Church.

While his reign was brief, he followed the pattern expected by those who elected him - essentially those who Paul VI had 'stacked' in the Cardinalate. He refused to be crowned as Pope and was 'invested' with the Palium as 'Bishop of Rome,' a favorite ascription of the Anglicans which effectively placed the papacy to the level of the Archbishop of Canterbury. (73) He then dismissed the Vatican guard, banished the Sedia Gestatoria and abolished the title of Pontifex Maximus. Fate did not give him time to destroy much more, for barely thirty days after his election he died under circumstances which remain highly suspicious (74).


(55) Avro Manhattan states that Montini's transfer, like that of Roncalli's was intended to remove them from the center of Church activities - a form of exile. He also states that Montini was so angry that he refused to accept the cardinal's baretta from Pius XII. op. cit.

(56) Quoted by Mary Martinez, 'My Favorite Maritain?' The Roman Catholic, Vol. 5, No. 2, Febuary 1983. Jacques Maritain dreamed 'of reconciling the vision of a Joseph de Maistre and that of a Lamennais in a superior unity of that great wisdom of which St. Thomas was the herald...' (Du regime temperal de la liberte). Again, 'the nation (France) will never be truly united until a sufficiently powerful ideal is able to lead to the point where the two traditions of France, that of Joan of Arc, and that of the Rights of Man [enunciated at the time of the French Revolution] are reconciled... It is no accident that France has two national holidays, that of Joan of Arc, and that of July 14 [commemorating the revolution], two feasts which interpenetrate each other and have as their basis one and the same promise...' (Pour la Justice). A good discussion of this matter is to be found in Michael Davies' Pope John's Council (Devon: Augustine, 1977); in 'Maritain: a revival,' Fortes in Fide, France; in 'Jacques Maritain and Saul David Alinksy - Fathers of the 'Christian Revolution'' by Hamish Fraser (Approaches, Suppl. 71, Scotland) In his last book, Approaches sans entraves?, he teaches: 'Lucifer no doubt will be the last to be changed. For a time he will be alone in the abyss and will think that only he is condemned to endless torment, and his pride will be boundless. But there will be prayers for him also, and appeals. And in the end he also will be restored to the good, the good in the natural order, brought back in spite of himself to natural love of God... When all the dwellers in Hell are gathered in Limbo, when all the damned are pardoned, an hymn of gratitude will ascend towards the Church Triumphant, towards God and towards Jesus, towards all the elect, for their great cry of love. It will be nature's hymn, the hymn of poor lovely nature, left mere nature, but straightened out: the Hosana of Hell defeated.' Let us hope and presume Maritain was senile at this point.

(57) Alden Hatch, Pope Paul VI, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967.

(58) Alden Hatch, op. Cit.

(59) Quoted by Cardinal Suenens in Doctrines do Grow, ed. John Tl McGinn, N.Y. : Paulist, 1972.

(60) The attachment of traditional Catholics to their 'rites,' does not reflect 'a sentimental attachment to habitual forms of worship,' as Paul VI claims, but a legitimate sentimental attachment - indeed, a nostalgia, for the 'sacred.' The so-called 'falsity of doctrinal positions' has never been specified.

(61) Hubert Monteilhet, Papa Paul VI - L'Amen-Dada, Paris: Pauvert, 1976. The idea that Charity can exist outside the bounds of 'true doctrine and right belief' is highly absurd. Was Christ lacking in Charity? Did St. Thomas More lack sufficient charity towards his family when he refused to compromise his faith? Are we to tell lies and dissimulate rather than offend our neighbor or the truth? Hardly.

(62) Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples (formerly De Propaganda Fide) 1976. One is reminded of Father Barry, S.J.'s teaching at Fordham University that Mao Tse Tung's famous trek across China is an exact parallel to Moses' leading his people out of Egypt!

(63) Liber Accusationis in Paulum Sextum (Book of Accusation against Paul VI) published by The Catholic Counter Reformation, 31 Wimbotsham Road, Downham Market, Norfolk, England. This important document has never had a response from the new Church.

(64) J. Clancy, Apostle for Our Times, N.Y.: Kennedy, 1963.

(65) As to his taste in music, we are informed by Gordon Thomas, that his favorite piece of music was 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' and his favorite song in this musical was 'I don't know how to love Him,' a song with sexual overtones sung by 'Mary Magdelane.' (Pontiff, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983)

(66) The Voice, Dec. 9, 1972. Also documented in No. 63.

(67) This Crucifix on a distorted cross is highly reminiscent of those used by 'liberation theology' and is not without its satanic aspects. As Piers Compton has pointed out, the 'bend or broken cross...' was made use of by the 'satanists of the sixth century' and is implicitly forbidden by Canon 1279 which condemns the usage of any sacred image that is not in keeping with the approved usage of the Church. (The Broken Cross, Eng: Spearmen, 1983)

(68) Abbe of Nantes, Liber Accusationis in Paulum Sextum, op. Cit.

(69) Hubert Monteilhet, Rome n'est plus dans Rome, Paris: Pauvert, 1977. Father Greely states with regard to this Encyclical that 'the massive exodus from the Church as predicted by the liberal Catholic journals... did not occur.' Instead, 'Catholics made an important discovery: you can ignore the Pope and life goes right on'(The Cardinal Sins). Surveys show that 80% of post-Conciliar Catholics use artificial means of birth control, and do not consider that they are 'sinning' in doing so.

(70) Three Popes and the Cardinal, N.Y: Straus, 1972 and The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church, N.Y. Putnam, 1981

(71) It is the old argument of 'abuses' in another form. Conservative Novus Ordo Catholics cannot accept the fact that their 'pope' is an apostate, so they claim that everything is being done by those around him.

(72) Quoted in Y. L. Dupont, Freemasonry and Vatican Two, London: Britons, 1968

(73) Both John-Paul I and II were shown on television as being 'invested' with the pallium. According to Rev. L. O'Connell (The Book of Ceremonies, Milwaukee: Bruce, 1956), the pallium is 'a wide circular band of white wool with a pendant attached to the front and back, and with six black crosses stitched on it... Symbolic of the plenitude of the Episcopal power, the pallium is worn by the Pope at all times. It is worn by archbishops also as a mark of their participation in the Pope's supreme pastoral office... It is a mere honorary dignity.' It is even occasionally conferred on Bishops. As such, it denotes no function beyond that of being 'Bishop of Rome.' While it is true that the pope is the 'Bishop of Rome,' it is also true that he is much more, for he is the 'Bishop of Bishops.' A valid pope is pope from the moment he is elected and accepts. It is of interest to know the words of the traditional ceremony: 'Receive the Tiara of three crowns, knowing you are the father of princes and kings, the guide of the faithful and the Vicar of Christ on earth.' In the new ceremony these words are replaced by 'Be blessed by God who has chosen you as supreme pastor of the whole Church, confiding in you the apostolic ministry. May you shine gloriously during many years of life until called by your Lord to be covered with immortality at the entrance of the heavenly kingdom.'

(74) See David A. Yallop, In God's Name, N.Y.: Bantom, 1984.


Carol Wojtyla or 'pope' John Paul II [1]

Carol Wojtyla

Carol Wojtyla was born and bred in Poland. Many have attempted to paint his youth as that of an anti-Nazi resistance fighter, In point of fact, before entering the priesthood, he worked in a chemical factory, the products of which were used to aid the German war effort. He spent his spare time in the theater, performing leading roles in a quasi-professional theatrical company.

After the communists took over Poland, Wojtyla remained a survivor - indeed, as a budding philosopher and cleric, he was given the freedom to travel throughout the world which as anyone familiar with Communist tyranny knows, implies that he remained in the good graces of the powers in control. Certainly he was no Mindszenty! And, indeed, Mary Craig tells us in her biography that when he worked as a parish priest in Poland he kept a 'low profile... steering clear of politics (even to mention 'good' and 'evil' could bring down the wrath of the authorities...').

Despite the fact that he was the first non-Italian pope to be elected in almost 500 years, he was by no means an 'unknown' who arrived on the scene unexpectedly. He was rather a man that the post-Conciliar pseudo-hierarchy knew well and could trust with the continuation of the Conciliar reforms. It was Bishop Garonne of Toulouse, later Cardinal and chief inquisitor of Archbishop Lefebvre, that first recommended this young prelate to the Vatican when the Council was getting underway. Bishop Wojtyla proceeded to bring his 'personalist' and 'existentialist' ideas - what has been described as his 'Heidegger-Husserl-Scheler concepts' - to the key conciliar document entitled Gaudium et Spes otherwise known as 'The Church in the Modern World.' (This document has been described by Cardinal Heenan, Primate of England, as 'a treatise unworthy of a Catholic Council,' and by Bishop Russel McVinney as 'a doubtful compromise with everything that lies at the basis of the evils affecting humanity.' Contacts established at this time led to a close friendship with Paul VI and a rapid rise in the hierarchy. In 1964 he was asked to preach the annual Lenten retreat to the Pope and Curia, and shortly afterwards he was appointed a member of the pontifical commission for the study on the possibility of integrating oral contraception into Catholic moral theology. The same year he was made Metropolitan of Krakow (during which time he invited Billy Graham to speak from his pulpit), and in 1967 Paul VI made him a Cardinal and bestowed upon him the Pallium. He was one of the three European Bishops appointed as permanent members of the Vatican's Episcopal Synod, the 'collegiate' organ established after Vatican II. Finally, it was Cardinal Benelli, whose anti-traditional stand is well known, that engineered his election to the Chair of Peter. With such a background, it is little wonder that he chose as his name 'John-Paul,' or that, like his predecessor, he refused to take the oath of office and be crowned with the Tiara. Instead, he was once again invested with the pallium, this time as the 'Bishop of Rome,' and shortly thereafter proceeded to address the faithful, not as his 'children,' but as his 'brothers and sisters.' (All this refusal to be crowned at a time when the communist government of Hungary was so anxious to have the royal crown returned to its country to give its illegal government some vestige of legitimacy. The crown was returned with the full approval of Paul VI.)

John Paul the Philosopher

It is known that Carol Wojtyla spent many years in the study of philosophy. He is a world renowned 'phenomenologist' which philosophy is described as 'a technique for discovering what is hidden in appearances by looking at the world through the eyes of an infant...' George Williams, a Unitarian divinity Professor at Harvard University who has known John Paul II for some 16 years, describes this philosophical system as being derived 'from the Bohemian-born Jew, Edward Husserl (1859-1938),' and notes that it 'has led to such recent permutations as the hermeneutic phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and Paul Sartre.' It is pertinent in passing to note that it was Heidegger who specifically dethroned the intellect and replaced it with experience. Professor Williams says that John Paul II 'thought it would be possible to use the methodology of one phenomenologist, Max Scheler, as a starting point for rebuilding a Christian ethic.' (Since when did it need rebuilding?) (6). All this resulted in Wojtyla's doctoral thesis entitled 'The Possibilities for Building a System of Christian Ethics on the Basis of Max Scheler,' written at the Marxist-controlled Jagiellonian University in Poland. (One can see the smiles on the faces of his Marxist docents!)

Anna Tymieniecka, who has translated his book The Active Person into English, and who is a personal friend, summarizes his 'complex thought' in the following terms: 'He stresses the irreducible value of the human person. He finds a spiritual dimension in human interaction, and that leads him to a profoundly humanistic conception of society' (Time, Oct. 30, 1978). Now it blows the mind that any individual familiar with the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross could dissipate his energies on such trash - truly the last gasps and dregs of 'nominalist' thinking. But wait! John Paul II has another side. He obtained a second doctorate from the Angelicum in Rome under Father Garrigou-Lagrange on the 'Metaphysical and Psychological nature of the Faith in the Writings of St. John of the Cross.' In this thesis he makes the supernatural faith of St. John the object of a pseudo-scientific investigation. I shall give but one quote from his text: 'Faith... not only produces no knowledge and science, but, as we have said, it blinds the soul and deprives it of all other knowledge and science which cannot judge [faith] well. Other kinds of knowledge can be acquired by the light of the intellect, but the knowledge that is of faith is acquired without the light of the intellect. Faith negates the natural light, and if that light is not darkened, faith is lost...' (9). I leave it to the reader to make sense of the statement.

Another important influence in his thinking is Teilhard de Chardin - in his book The Sign of Contradiction he goes so far as to compare the insights of Teilhard with those of Genesis! Finally, among John-Paul II's close friends are such individuals as Karl Rahner, who as Philip Trower states, 'has done for existentialism what Teilhard de Chardin did for evolutionism.' This same Karl Rahner, the darling of modernist Catholic intellectuals, and probably the most influential theologian in the Conciliar Church, was condemned by Pius XII, and rehabilitated by Paul VI.

John Paul the Theologian

'My faith... had nothing to do with any kind of conformism ... it was born in the depth of my own self... it was also the fruit of the efforts of my own spirit seeking an answer to the mysteries of man and of the world.'
John Paul II.

Many greeted the election of Wojtyla with joy. Tired of the antics of Paul VI, conservative Catholics saw in him the possibility of a return to sanity. And for a time he seemed to satisfy this need. As Mary Martinez points out in her book From Rome Urgently, the 1977 World Episcopal Assembly had taken recognizance of the fact that the rhythm of Conciliar change had gone too far and too fast. Defections from the church - both lay and religious - were far in excess of 'separated brethren' seeking admission, and even those who stayed within were confused and distraught. It was therefore necessary that John Paul II appear to be more traditional than his predecessor. (In revolutionary terminology this is referred to as a policy of 'two steps forward and one step back.') Conservative Catholics welcomed every action that seemed in the least bit 'papal ,' such as his asking nuns to get back into their habits, his demand for priestly celibacy, his statement in Mexico that the concept of Christ as a revolutionary was false, and his (ever so gentle) condemnation of Hans Kung (14). Even more encouraging was his condemnation of the little known Dominican, Jacques Pohier (15) - the first clearly Catholic action in many a year. He was characterized by the French paper Le Monde as a smiling prelate with a finger lifted up saying 'No to abortion,' 'No to divorce,' 'No to birth control,' 'No to marriage of priests,' 'No to homosexuality' and: 'Yes to toleration.'

For those who were able to read the 'signs of the times,' things became much clearer with the publication of his first Encyclical Redemptor hominis (The Redeemer of Mankind). In this document he openly states (using 'I' instead of the traditional 'we') that he intends no departure from the principles established by his post-Conciliar predecessors and the Second Vatican Council, but rather that he intends to further 'develop' the 'unique inheritance left to the Church by Popes John XXIII and Paul VI...'' an 'inheritance' which 'has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council...' Lest he leave us in any doubt, he continues: 'the ways on which the Council of the Century has set the Church going, ways indicated by the late Paul VI in his first encyclical, will continue to be for a long time the ways that all of us must follow... through the Church's consciousness, which the Council considerably developed...' The idea of the Church having a 'consciousness' that can 'develop' and indeed 'deepen' is somewhat novel and so Wojtyla explains: 'the Church's consciousness must go with universal openness: and further, this 'consciousness' is 'enlightened and supported by the Holy spirit' and 'is formed in dialogue.' Now according to sociologists the Church is, or was a 'closed society' as opposed to the modern world which is 'open and 'pluralistic' because in embraces a wide variety of view points. Yet the new Church is not only developing its consciousness, it is also according to John Paul II, a 'pluralistic Church,' the degree or limits of pluralism being determined by the pope, namely himself (16).

The Charism of Transformation

The 'signs of the times' became even clearer with his General Audience on the anniversary of Paul VI's death. Calling Montini his 'spiritual father' (ugh!) and 'the Pope of Vatican II,' he goes on to suggest that his death on the Feast of the Transfiguration was evidence of God's approbation of his life and actions. He describes him as 'the pope of that deep change which was nothing but a revelation of the face of the Church, awaited by the man and world of today!' (Is this not an endorsement of 'ongoing revelation?') He goes on to describe a new 'charism' being given to his spiritual father, one previously absent throughout the entire history of the Church! 'the charism of transformation!'

Let me quote him directly: 'The Lord, having called Pope Paul to Himself on the solemnity of the Transfiguration permitted him, and us to know that in the whole work of transformation, of renewal of the Church in the spirit of Vatican II, He is present, as He was in the marvelous event which took place on Mount Tabor... John XXIII and after him, Paul VI, received from the Holy Spirit, the charism of transformation.'

Is it any wonder that Paul VI's canonization is well under way.


Carol Wojtyla or 'pope' John Paul II [2]

John Paul II

Vatican II

Let it be clear that John Paul II, like his immediate predecessors, saw Vatican II as being inspired by the Holy Spirit and saw in this 'spirit' a mandate to follow. 'Therefore, brothers, drink at these authentic fountains. Speak with the language of the Council, of John XXIII, of Paul VI: it is the language of experience, of the suffering, of the hope of modern humanity' (Puebla Speech). 'In these past ten years [since the Council], how much progress humanity has made, and with humanity and at its service, how much progress the Church has made' (ibid). John XXIII saw all this as a New Pentecost and 'un balzo in avanti' (a great leap forward).Paul VI described it as a new 'Epiphany.' And John Paul II, for some mystical reason, sees it more as a 'New Advent': 'We find ourselves in a certain way in the midst of a new Advent, at a time of expectation...' Vatican II provides 'the foundation for ever more achievements of the people of God's march towards the Promised Land a this stage of history...' 'How can we fail to trust,' he asks, 'in our Lord's grace as revealed recently through what the Holy Spirit said and we heard during the Council' (RH 6.2) (17). And is all this not an endorsement of 'ongoing revelation?' (18).

Ecumenism of John Paul II

On February 15, 1980 John Paul II instructed seminarians and Church educators that met with him at the Lateran University that loyalty to the Church is not to be defined, 'in a reduced sense, as maintaining standards, nor does it mean staying within the bounds of orthodoxy - avoiding positions that are in contrast to the pronouncements of the apostolic see, the ecumenical councils and the learned doctors of the Church.' He went on to tell this group that 'we must have a divergence of positions, although in the end, we must rely on a synthesis of all.' One is reminded of his statement to the Polish faithful on the Feast of Corpus Christ in 1978 - 'we respect all ideologies.'

Like his post-conciliar predecessors, he is a great advocate of ecumenism, and ecumenism in turn is, as we have shown elsewhere, but a step towards the unity of all mankind. As he said to the non-Catholic delegates at his inauguration: 'tell those whom you represent that the involvement of the Catholic Church in the Ecumenical movement, as solemnly expressed by the Second Vatican Council, is irreversible.' This concept of ecumenism requires one to embrace the false concept of Unity promulgated by Vatican II (a concept that implicitly denies that Unity exists in the Church.) 'I am glad to know,' he said, 'that were possible the attempt is being made to organize also common prayers with the other brother Christians, in harmony of sentiments, in order that, in obedience to the Lord's will, we may grow in faith, towards full unity, for the building up of the Body of Christ...' (L'Osservatore Romano, Jan. 22, 1979)

The phrase 'the people of God' was already enshrined in the 'doublespeek' of the Conciliar documents - whether used to refer to Catholics; to all those 'baptized in Christ' (i.e., Protestants) and to 'all men of good will' (the rest of mankind). The concept is further developed in his Encyclical Redemptor hominis where he teaches us that 'the Church is therefore the people of God' (21.1). He later elaborates: 'the people of God' are 'a community precisely because all its members form it together with Christ Himself, at least because they bear in their souls the indelible mark of Christ' (RH 21.2). And what is this indelible mark? We can only presume it is baptism. Hence it follows that the minimal requirement for belonging to the Church (He never once in the entire Encyclical uses the term 'Catholic') is Baptism. He then adds that 'What the Spirit said to the Church through the Council of our time, what the Spirit says in this Church to all the Churches cannot lead to anything else -in spite of momentary uneasiness - but still more mature solidity of the whole people of God, aware of their salvific mission' (RH 3.1) But the idea of the 'people of God' is to have an even further extension. 'Likewise the Church, which has struck root in many varied fields of life in the whole of present-day humanity, also acquires the certainty and, one could say, the experience of being close to man, to each person, of being each person's Church, the Church of the people of God (RH 22.5). 'True ecumenical activity means openness, drawing closer, availability for dialogue, and a shared investigation of the truth in the full evangelical and Christian sense...' The Church is seeking the universal unity of Christians (RH 6.2) and her most sacred act is to be subjected to this nebulous goal, for he also tells us that the Church 'is gathering particularly today in a special way around the Eucharist and desiring that the authentic Eucharistic community should become a sign of the gradually maturing unity of all Christians' (RH 20.7). Of course, this ecumenical spirit will eventually go beyond the Christian sects. 'What we have just said must also be applied - although in another way and with due differences - to activity for coming closer together with the representatives of the non-Christian religions, an activity expressed through dialogue, contacts, prayer in common, investigation of the treasures of human spirituality, in which, as we well know, the members of these religions are not lacking.'

In line with this outlook John Paul II has joined in common prayers with the Anglicans at their cathedral (stolen from the Catholics) at Canterbury, renewing his vows of baptism in unison with Mr. Robert Runcie (entitled 'archbishop,' and among other things a Freemason), giving him full recognition as a fellow bishop, and reciting with him the Credo. (All this with the 'pope' wearing his 'stole' which signifies that he was functioning in his sacerdotal role.) Following this he went on procession with him, candle in hand, to the 'Chapel of the Martyrs of the Twentieth Century' which holds up for veneration such individuals as Maximilian Kolbe (a true saint Vendée Editorial Note), Oscar Romero (a subversive bishop killed by rightists in Central America), Martin Luther King, Bonhoffer and others of similar ilk. His general behavior during the visit was such that one non-Catholic newspaper commented: 'none of this, of course, should have surprised anybody. It has long been obvious that the Pope is a very good Protestant. What is more, it has also been obvious since Vatican II that the Roman Catholic Church has undergone the Reformation.'

In December of 1983 he acted in a similar manner with the Lutherans in Rome. Having previously stated that the Catholic church has to bear a share of the 'guilt' for 'divided Christianity' (Vienna, Sept. 12, 1983), and having praised Luther for his 'profound religiousness,' he proceeded to participate in the 500th anniversary of Luther's birth by attending a Lutheran service in Rome. vested in a stole, which is a liturgical vestment a priest is only supposed to wear when participating in sacramental functions (hence the stole in confession). On entering the Lutheran 'sanctuary' he bowed to the Lutheran communion table and then sat in an ordinary chair on the dais, at the same level as the other Lutheran ministers. During the service he joined the Lutheran pastor and congregation in reciting the Apostle's Creed and the Our Father, and during his sermon he spoke much of his longing for unity. Now all this clearly involves active communicatio in sacris, the recognition of the Lutherans as a 'sister Church,' the denigration of his function as the supposed Vicar of Christ, and the implicit denial of several points of Catholic doctrines. And to make matters worse, the Lutherans made it quite clear that they were making a concession in inviting the 'Bishop of Rome' (never referring to him as 'pope') and that the visit should in no way be seen as a compromise on their part with Lutheran principles. He is purported, following this, to have traveled to Switzerland where he joined the 'worship service' of the World Council of Churches at the Center's Chapel (National Catholic Register, Dec. 25, 1983). Perhaps when he visits Moscow, as he plans to in the near future, he will join in a service giving veneration to the Goddess 'Reason'!

The list of his ecumenical activities with non-Christians is endless. He joined the Jews in their synagogue service in Rome, bowing his head on the dais as they sang 'we are awaiting the comming of the Messiah.' These activiies were repeated ruing his various trips to Africa where he received the blessing of a 'snake priestess,' his trips to India where he received the 'Tilak' or ritual marks on his forehead, and finally in his Ecumenical prayer service in Assisi where the Buddhists were allowed to place a statue of the Buddha on top of the Tabernacle in a Catholic Church in order to perform their rituals.

Following the pattern of his predecessors, John Paul has no fear of desecrating the Holy Mass itself. On April 30, 1963 he hosted a concelebrated 'mass' in the immense Paul VI Hall of Vatican City under the auspices of the first International Congress of Priests and religious in which 5,500 priests concelebrated with him. Each priest had in his face only the back of his confrere: not an altar. None held hosts in their hands. 'Among the participants with full privileges, one notices the presence of 18 Anglican ministers, of a certain number of Lutheran and Reformed pastors, some Orthodox 'popes'...' Yet all concelebrated, for the Eucharist itself has become 'a symbol [what happened to the Real Presence?] of the unity of all mankind.'

John Paul's II Doctrine of Redemption

It is clear from multiple statements that John Paul II believes the 'Holy Spirit spoke to the Church in our times through the most recent Council'; that 'obedience to the teachings of the Council is obedience to the Holy Spirit,' and that the principle task of his pontificate was to 'bring these teachings to their full development.' Now, one of the most significant passages in Gaudium et Spes reads as follows: 'By the Incarnation, the son of God is in a certain manner united to every man.' The prepositional phrase 'in a certain manner' is never defined; nowhere does it teach that either a personal conversion, or even the desire to adhere to the truth is involved. All that is said in this document is that 'since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect also' (Para 22). John Paul II, who repeatedly assures us that he will interpret the Documents of Vatican II 'in accord with tradition,' explains:. Recalling this seminal phrase from the Conciliar document, he tells in Redemptor hominis that 'Jesus Christ is united through this mystery to everyone for all eternity' (RH 13.3). Now the true Church admits that some men are united to Christ, either by the glory of heaven, or by charity, or at least by faith while in this world. She further admits that others are potentially united to Him for as long as they are alive. But those who die in enmity to Christ loose this unity and the possibility of this unity for all time. To quote St. Thomas directly, 'As long as they are alive, even infidels can be considered members of the Church [and thus united to Christ] in potential, but when they leave this world [in a state of enmity to the truth], they totally cease to be members of Christ' (Summa III a, q. 8, a. 3).

Not so for John Paul. For him, Christ, through His Incarnation is united for all times with each and every person, even though they make no act of personal conversion and have no implicit desire for this union. And as a result of this each man has a 'dignity' and participates supernaturally in the divine life. As he says, 'This dignity which each and every person attains and is able to obtain continually in Christ is the dignity of the grace of divine adoption and at the same time the dignity of the interior truth of humanity'(RH ll.4). He teaches the same false doctrine in another Encyclical: 'God is also the Father. He is united to man who He has called to exist in the visible world by a link even more profound than that of creation itself. It is love which not only creates this good, but which also makes it participate in the same life of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit' (DM 7, 4) . Thus 'man' in general is united to God by participation in the Trinity. In his Allocation of March 25, 1981 he develops this still further: 'Henceforth and for all time, without regret and without change, having become united with all of humanity, God will be with man in order to save him and give him His Son the Redeemer. The incarnation confers on man for all time His extraordinary, unique and ineffable dignity .'

Now, if this is true, if as a result of the Incarnation, God is for all time united to each and every person without any response on the individual's part being required, then we must ask, what is the purpose of Crucifixion? John Paul has a ready answer to this question. The Passion is God's 'witness' or 'testimony' to the grandeur and dignity of man! As he says in Dives in misericordia: 'On the road of the eternal election of man to his dignity as an adopted son of god, the Cross of Christ rises in history... as the ultimate witnessing of the admirable alliance of God with humanity , of God with man -with each and every man' (DM, ,5). 'The reality of the Redemption in its human dimension reveals the unprecedented grandeur of man who has merited such a great Redemptor.' Yes indeed, as another translator of the Encyclical puts it, 'on account of his unparalleled greatness man DESERVED to have such a great Redeemer'(DM ,1). Needless to say, it is somewhat difficult to reconcile these statements with our Creed. When did fallen man ever merit, much less deserve the Redemption. Surely, as the traditional liturgy states, it is the unworthiness of man, on account of sin, that the Redeemer makes atonement for. And moreover, God's gift was freely given, never earned, much less deserved!

It follows from John Paul II's premises that all men are saved. (The use of 'all' for 'many' in the new 'mass' is not accidental.) He made this clear on April 27, 1980 when he stated that 'Christ obtained, once and for all, the salvation of man: of each and every man, of those that none can pluck out of his hand... Who can change the fact that we are all redeemed? It is a fact as powerful and as fundamental as creation itself... We are once again made the property of the Father thanks to that Love that did not recoil even before the ignominy of the Cross in order to guarantee this for all men: ' and no man shall pluck them out of my hand' (John 10:28). The Church announces to us this day the Easter certitude of the Resurrection, the certitude of salvation.'

He says much the same thing in his Dives et misericordia: 'The mystery of the election concerns every man, the entire human family' (4,12). And reiterates the same in his Redemptor hominis: 'each person is included in the mystery of the Redemption, and Jesus Christ is united to each and every person for all time through this mystery' (13,3). As opposed to this we have the teaching of the Church as given by the Council of Carisiacum in 853: 'The All-powerful god desires that all men without exception be saved, even though not all men are saved. That some are saved is a gift of the Saviour, that some perish is their own fault.'

Now this heresy that all men are saved - Apocatastasis, to give it its technical name - is by no means without its logical consequences. These become apparent to us in another statement of John Paul II, his 'Act of Intrusting' the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima in 1982.

'Before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, I today, together with the whole Church unite myself with our redeemer (sic) in His consecration for the world and for people, which only in His Divine Heart has the power to obtain pardon and secure reparation. The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces all individuals, peoples and nations. It overcomes every evil that the spirit of darkness is able to awaken, and has in fact awakened in our times, in the heart of man and in his history. God's holiness showed itself in the redemption of man, of the world, of the whole of mankind and of the nations.....'

As Ursula Oxfort points out, this means that 'there are no nations today which are under the rule of satanic communism, forming the mystical body of the anti-Christ... Every evil, including the towering political evil of beastly Marxism, is overcome by Wojtyla's super-power manifest in his divinized 'act of entrusting' at Fatima. It should be clear that John Paul II frontally contradicts the warning of Our Lady of Fatima that if her requests are not met, 'Communism will spread its errors all over the world'.'

These ideas are not John Paul II's alone. They are all found in embryo in the documents of Vatican II and the writings of his predecessors. All John Paul II has done has been to 'develop' them further, or more correctly, made them more explicit. Now, if the whole world is saved, and if mankind need not make any response to the Passion of Christ which is but a 'witness' to man's guaranteed redemption and his 'dignity,' then all the other post-Conciliar errors such as its teachings on human dignity and religious liberty follow. But once one grants these premises, one is led to question to very need for a Church whose function is no longer to witness to the truth Christ entrusted to her and which is longer required to provide a means for the salvation of those men who will listen to her message. All she can do is 'to help the history of mankind to be more human,' to guide man along the evolutionary path towards a worldly unity and utopian perfection reminiscent of Teilhard's 'point omega.'

The Renewal of the Jovinian Heresy

Jovinian was a fourth century heretic who among other things preached the equality of marriage with virginity embraced for the love of God, and that Catholics who rejected this by giving celibacy priority to marriage were turning to Manicheism. Now in his catechetical instruction of April 14, 1982 John Paul II denied the superiority of virginity over marriage and accuses those who uphold the Catholic doctrine as expressed in Canon X (Session XXIV) of the Council of Trent of Manichein tendencies. He has made similar statements on at least eight occasions. (24)


Carol Wojtyla or 'pope' John Paul II [3]

His attitude towards Communism

The Social Teachings of John Paul II

It is not surprising to find John Paul II following his predecessors in bestowing praise (latria) on the United Nations, and above all on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Oct. 2, 1979). 'The governments and states of the world,' he says, 'must unite.' and this 'in a movement that one hopes will be progressive and continuous, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the other international and national juridical instruments are endeavoring to create general awareness of the dignity of the human being... the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and the right to manifest one's religion either individually or in community, in public and in private...' He further adds that the fundamental criterion for comparing social, economic and political systems is not and cannot be, the criterion of hegemony and imperialism; it can be, and indeed must be, the humanistic criterion...' Now what is extraordinary is that we have Christ's supposed representative on earth addressing the leaders of virtually all the nations and advocating all the principles of the political and social order established by the French Revolution, while never even mentioning the name of Jesus. (When one compares the official text as published by the Daughters of St. Paul, with the tape recording also available from them, one finds that the speech as given differs from the officially published document in that it deletes all mention of Our Lord.) In a similar manner, his Encyclical Redemptor hominis speaks much of man ( the word is used 350 times, somewhat of Christianity, but never once is the word Catholic used.

His attitude towards Communism is no different from that of his post-Conciliar predecessors. He once stated that 'Pius XII and others who had no experience of communism understood nothing about it. But I, John Paul II, I understand' (Manila, June, 1981). While it is true that he has on occasion criticized the 'excesses' of Communism (much less then he has criticized those of capitalism however), he has never once condemned Marxism or Communism as such. He fully shares the opinions of his predecessors that Communist governments as such are completely legitimate. (Catholics believe that no government in open rebellion to God can ever be considered 'legitimate'.) No wonder the Polish government was delighted with his election to the Papacy, and that one of his first official acts was to entertain Jablonski, the Polish minister of State. This was followed by his granting a long audience to Gromyko and the appointing of Cardinal Agostino Cassaroli, the architect of Ostpolitik, as his Secretary of State. Similarly, his views on private property reflect his leftist propensities. He finds nothing wrong with the Polish government nationalizing Catholic schools and hospitals, etc., and openly stated while in Mexico that there must not be any hesitation when it comes to the expropriation of private property 'correctly carried out' provided it is for the 'common good.' (No where does he define what such phrases mean.) Now surely the leftists in Latin America, like those of Stalin's era, plan to do away with private property in a 'correct' manner, and this for the 'common good.' But let us now consider his Encyclical Laborem exercens on the socio-economic order.

Once again we run into the use of ambiguous language, a pattern well established by Vatican II that tends to obfuscate the truth and make his meaning difficult to understand. Ursula Oxford tells the story of an American newsman who asked Rome what way the Encyclical could be applied to the U.S. air controllers' strike and was given the official response that 'there is no proper answer or to put it more precisely, it cuts whichever way a person wants it to cut.' The tale is somewhat misleading, for there are clear-cut clues as to what John Paul II is getting at. The Encyclical is but another step along the path outlines by John XXIII's Pacem in terris. In this Encyclical John Paul states 'Christian tradition has never upheld this right [to private property] as absolute and untouchable. On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation; the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone' (LE 14). He goes still farther in the same paragraph and states that this 'should make possible the achievement of the FIRST PRINCIPLE of this order, namely, the universal destination of goods and the right to the common use of them.' No one doubts but that the law of Christian Charity limits the use of one's private property, and certainly the Church has always insisted that this property be obtained in honorable ways. But John Paul says nothing of this in his Encyclical, implicitly leaving the regulation of economic forces in the natural order. Let it be clear that the Church has always taught that man has a right to private property. As Leo XIII said with characteristic precision: 'it surely undeniable that, when a man engages in remunerative labor, the very reason and motive of his work is to obtain property and to hold it as his own private possession... it cannot but be just that he [man] would possess that portion [what he earns] as his own, and should have a right to keep it without molestation... To say that God has given the earth to the use and enjoyment of the universal human race is not to deny that there can be private property. For God has granted the earth to mankind in general not in the sense that all without distinction can deal with it as they please, but rather that no part of it has been assigned to any one in particular, and that the limits of private possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry...' (Rerum novarum). What makes the John Paul's statement so damnable is that he never clearly explains these distinctions - rather he leaves the leader to assume that the Marxist attitude towards private property is completely compatible with Christian principles. What John Paul fails to realize, for all his supposed knowledge of Communism, is that a person without private property is always a slave of the state. As occurs in communist lands, whenever an individual is 'uncooperative,' his home and all his possessions are declared state property. At best, he is left free only to starve, though in point of face even this freedom is denied those who end up in the endless slave labor camps of Siberia.

When a Czech newspaper recently characterized John Paul II as anti-communist and 'reactionary,' an unsigned article in L'Osservatorio Romano expressed strong indignation and called the charge 'grossly offensive' and 'absurd.' Mary Martinez informs me that it is well known in Rome that unsigned articles in this paper are traditionally written by the pope himself. Archbishop Lefebvre has also accused him of actively 'changing the bishops to replace them with Communist collaborator bishops...' (Paris press conference, Nov. 21, 1983). And even Michael Davies has noted that 'there can be no doubt at all that the Kremlin must consider the Catholic bishops of the U.S.A. its most effective agents anywhere in the world' (The Remnant, July, 1983). We have been frequently informed that the post-Conciliar Church eschews any desire to be aligned with the 'powers' of this world. Will not the 'Catholic' slaves of the future Communist world order increasingly resent the role this Church has played in bringing about such an Advent? Will they not realize that, like their Divine Master, they also have been sold out and betrayed?

John Paul is of course a 'humanist' along the lines of his spiritual father Paul VI. As he said to the United Nations, 'we must affirm Man, for his own sake, and not for some other motive or reason, solely for himself. Even further, we must love man because he is Man, by reason of the special dignity he possesses' (Address to UNESCO, June 2, 1980). Indeed, he tells us that the Church is 'centered on man,' that it is 'anthropocentric' (Dives in misericordia, 1,4). Returning to the Encyclical (LE) we find this humanism developed still further and related to work. He tells us that 'the proper subject of work continues to be man, and reiterates this at least seven times - stating elsewhere for example that 'the primary basis of the value of work is man himself;' 'in the final analysis it is always man who is the subject of the work' etc., etc. Work becomes an idol, the idol of the communist worker's paradise to which everybody must submit. Even Christ Himself is depicted as THE MAN OF WORK.' (The Communists in Italy print up pictures of Christ as a factory 'working man.') Now this entire concept of work is offensive to any real craftsman, for if one's work is a 'calling,' then laborare est orare. Neither work nor man is an end in itself. The only work worth doing is what is worthy of being offered up to God and practiced as a means of personal sanctification.

One is not surprised to find Laborem exercens also speaking of 'satisfactory socialization,' without ever defining what the term means. Placing the phrase in the context of the post-Conciliar Church, one finds it first used by John XXIII in his Mater et magistra. The term is again found in Vatican II's Gaudium et Spes, where its meaning is said to derive from John XXIII's Encyclical. And once again we see the term in paragraph 14 of John Paul's Encyclical, this time prefaced by the adjective 'satisfactory.' Now the term 'socialization' can only mean one thing, and that is an economic order based on Marxist principles. Like all his post-Conciliar predecessors, John Paul hesitates to call a spade a spade. He skirts the real issue for fear of giving offence to the erstwhile faithful (Pius IX said that 'no one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist' Quad anno.) who provide his financial support out of their private property.

What is most tragic about this scenario is that the post-Conciliar 'popes' not only fail to condemn Communism; they also fail to make any distinctions between Capitalism which is capable of reformation and Communism which is not; and above all, they totally fail to teach that there is even such a thing as a traditional Catholic social and economic order. Such was never the case with the traditional Church which condemned Communism in some 200 documents and which, while being highly critical of laisez-faire Capitalism, never described it as 'intrinsically evil.' As Pius XI said of capitalism, 'it is obvious that this system is not to be condemned in itself. And surely it is not of its own nature vicious...' while 'Communism is intrinsically evil, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever' (Quadragesimo anno).

The New Code of Canon Law

Brief mention must be made of the New Code of Canon Law introduced by John Paul II - a subject that will be dealt with in greater detail later. In essence, the new 'code' represents the last step in a triad. Any religious body can be characterized by its Doctrine, its Liturgy, and its law of governance. Up until 1983 the post-conciliar Church gave lip service to the Canon Law of the traditional church, though for all practical purposes it had lapsed into disuse. Now, with the New Code, the changes in doctrine and liturgy have been confirmed by law. Like a snow-ball on a hill, the new Church has been launched. Time can only carry it in one direction. To give but one brief example, John Paul II tells us that the New code 'determines the relations which should exist between the particular churches and the Universal Church and between collegiality, and the primacy; the doctrine moreover, according to which all the members of the People of God, in the way suited to each of them, participate in the threefold office of Christ: priestly, prophetic and kingly' (Sacrae Disciplinae Leges). Once again we are brought back to the 'double-speak' of the new Church. Traditional Catholics will understand by 'the People of God' only Catholics. Those who are familiar with the true meaning of the phrase (God is after all, 'in a certain way' united to all men) understand them to include heretics, Communists, sodomites, and mini-antichrists who are manifestly destroying Christian civilization at its roots 'in a way suited to each of them.'

The Liturgy

Finally a word on the liturgy. It is obvious that for Catholics brought up in the traditional Church, the LITURGY - the Mass and the Sacraments are the most important issues. Conservative Catholics constantly assure us that John Paul II is returning the Church to tradition and point to 'Mass indult,' and more recently to the 'Society of St. Peter' which describes itself as 'The Pope's own Traditional Order' as proof of their contention. Let us examine these with care.

Both these gestures are aimed at keeping conservative Catholics within the post-Conciliar Church. Seen by some as a concession, by others as a return to sanity, it is important for us to know just where John Paul II really stands on these issues.

He recognizes that there are still Catholics who have 'been educated on the basis of the old liturgy in Latin.' He notes that 'it is necessary to show not only understanding, but also full respect towards these sentiments and desires.' But then he insists that this preference for Latin (as if Latin was the issue) be honored through the New Mass which is the source of unity in the new Church. To again quote him directly, 'as far as possible these sentiments and desires are to be accommodated, as is moreover provided for in the new dispositions.' Returning once again to the same topic he states:

'Liturgical renewal carried out correctly in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council is, in a certain sense, the measure and the condition of putting into effect the teaching of that Council which we wish to accept with profound faith, convinced as we are that by means of the Council the Holy Spirit has spoken to the Church the truths and given the indications for carrying out her mission among the people of today and tomorrow.'

And so it is that in offering the conservatives the 'Mass Indult,' (the 'Mass of John XXIII.' ) he is in fact only trying to accommodate the 'sensibilities and desires' of an older generation. Those how accept the offer do so however, at a great price. For along with this Mass (said on a monthly basis) they must declare their acceptance of the Novus Ordo Missae and all the errors of Vatican II.

The Society of St. Peter was established primarily by the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre who abandoned him after he ordained four individuals to the Episcopacy in direct violation of the orders of John Paul II. This new Society plans to use the Mass of John XXIII and is establishing seminaries that will ordain young men to the priesthood by the traditional rites. All this sounds wonderful. John Paul is giving them what he refused to Lefebvre. But is he? What is not recognized in all this tomfoolery is that the individuals who will do the ordaining were themselves raised to the Episcopacy by the post-Conciliar rites and as such almost certainly lack the Apostolic Succession and power to ordain. The net result will be a group of laymen saying the Latin Mass of John XXIII. Such men will truly be wolves in sheep's clothing.

Conservative Catholics who point to these and other actions of John Paul II as proof of his return to Tradition should be aware of his statement in Mexico, the country with the largest number of traditional Catholics: 'those who remain attached to incidental aspects of the Church, aspects which were valid in the past, but which have been superseded, cannot be considered the faithful.'

Here we hear, not the voice of Peter, but the voice of Paul VI. Since when are the Mass and the Sacraments 'incidental aspects of the Church?' And why are some Catholics still attached to them? The answer is clear. We have not received the 'charism of transformation.' We have not been 'blessed' with the 'renewal of the Church in the Spirit of Vatican II.' And the price he tells us we must pay is that 'we cannot be considered the faithful.' Traditional Catholics may not be faithful to Wojtyla's post-Conciliar Church, but this Church is clearly no longer 'The Church of All Times,' the Church that Christ established


(1) Mary Craig, Man from a Far Country, N.N: Morrow, 1979

(2) He is reputed to be the principal author of this Document.

(3) Michael Davies, Pope John's Council, Devon (Eng.): Augustine, 1977. Among other things this document teaches that 'Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth.'

(4) Maritain described Husserl as a person who 'abhorred wisdom' and Raissa Maritain quotes Chestov as saying Husserl 'awoke in him (Maritain) all the indignation of which he was capable.' Raissa Maritain, Adventures in Grace, N.Y.: Image, 1962.

(5) John Paul II also describes himself as an 'existentialist.' Existentialism basically holds that experience has more 'authenticity' than reason, and indeed, is the only thing that is authentic and real. This is to forget that it is precisely experience that demonstrates that reasoning is something effectual - otherwise no one would reason. Indeed, it is the very existence of reason which shows that experience must have an object. Animals of course experience, but they do not reason, whereas on the contrary man can avoid many experiences by reasoning. To wish to replace reasoning by experience on the practical plane and in a relative fashion could still be meaningful; but to do so on the intellectual and speculative plane, as the empiricists and existentialists wish to do, is properly speaking demented. For the inferior man, only what is contingent - what he experiences - is real, and he seeks by his this philosophy to lower principles to the level of contingencies (when he does not simply deny them). To reduce faith to experience as John Paul II does, is to deprive it of any objective character.

(6) Scheler was born a Jew, became a Catholic convert and then went on to leave the Church.

(7) Mary Martinez, From Rome Urgently, Rome: Statimari, 1979.

(8) This text contains many philosophical statements that are overtly heretical. Some of these have been collected and published by Mr. Herman Humbert in St Pius V Sodalitas Information, Plantinkaai, 2, Anvers, Belgium (March 1989).

(9) Karol Wojtyla, Faith according to St. John of the Cross, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1981. Ursula Oxfort, Christian Counter-Revolution, bulletin No. 36, Sept. 1083, provides an interesting discussion of this book (available from P.O. Box 369, Lake Worth, Fl. 33460).

(10) Karol Wojtyla, The Sign of Contradiction, N.Y.: Seabury, 1979.

(11) Philip Trower, The Church Learned and the Revolt of the Scholars, St. Paul (Minn.), Wanderer, 1979.

(12) Quoted in Catholics Forever, (Monroe Conn.) November 1989. Such a statement is virtually a definition of Modernism.

(13) op. cit.

(14) Hans Kung has denied the divinity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, the indefectibility of the Church, and the infallibility of the Pope. The penalty he has incurred for his apostasy from the faith was the repudiation of his status as a 'Catholic theologian.' The censure does not denounce him for heresy, and does not declare him to be excommunicated, suspended or under interdict . thus Hans Kung remains a 'priest in good standing' in the conciliar Church. In so far as his teaching salary came from the state, he was not even deprived of his teaching position. He continues to be professor of ecumenical theology and director of the Institute for Ecumenical Research at the University of Tubingen. This is canonically speaking, but a slap on the wrist as compared to the 'suspension' of Archbishop Lefebvre. Conservative Catholics who accept John Paul II as legitimate Pope are in 'full communion' with this individual and others of similar ilk. It is of interest to note the Lutheran reaction to this 'Catholic'. When he was accused of being 'a little Luther,' the Lutheran weekly 'Christian News' stated 'Luther was a Christian who believed that Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin, rose physically from the dead and is truly God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Kung denies these fundamental doctrines... his views about Christ are thoroughly anti-Christian1' (March 10, 1980).

(15) Jacques Pohier's Quand je dis dieu denies nearly every tenet of the Catholic faith. Hardly anyone had heard of this individual before his existence was brought to public attention by his condemnation. Far more typical is the 'silencing' of Father Boff, Franciscan exponent of Liberation Theology. this silencing was lifted several months after it was imposed, and no retraction ever asked or given. Similarly with others who have been 'condemned,' such as Hans Kung, no retraction is ever demanded.

(16) Lest I be accused of misrepresenting his statements in this Encyclical, I shall give them more completely. 'The Second Vatican council did immense work to form the full and universal awareness of the Church, or which Pope Paul VI wrote in his first encyclical. This awareness - or rather, self-awareness - by the Church is formed 'in dialogue'' (11.1). 'The rich inheritance of the pontificate of Pope Paul VI... has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously' (3.1). 'The Church's consciousness enlightened and supported by the Holy Spirit... must remain the first source of the church's love, as love in turn helps to strengthen and deepen her consciousness' (3.2). Now it may be legitimate 'in a certain way' to speak of the Church's 'self-awareness' and 'consciousness,' but the Church - the Body of Christ - is a perfect society and so it is in no way legitimate to speak of this consciousness being further 'enlightened,' 'developed' and 'deepened.'

(17) RH for John Paul II's Encyclical Redemptor hominis

(18) The Church in the Modern World, the document that Carol Wojtyla was primarily responsible for, also taught that 'Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth.' Wojtyla may be seeking the truth, but traditional Catholics believe that Christ has already given it to us. Listen to St. Athanasius speaking about the Arian Councils of the Fourth Century: 'the whole world was put into confusion, and those who at the time bore the profession of clergy ran far and near, seeking how best to learn to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ... if they were believers already, they would not have been seeking, as though they were not... no small scandal... that Christians, as if waking out of sleep at this time of day, should be inquiring how they were to believe... while their professed clergy though claiming deference from their flocks as teachers, were unbelievers on their own showing, in that they were seeking what they had not... What defect of teaching was there for religious truth in the Catholic Church that they should enquire concerning faith now, and should fix this year's date to their profession of faith...'

(19) The Sunday Telegraph of London, June 6, 1982 and The Mail-Star of Halifax, June 8, 1982.

(20) Reported in Introibo, No. 43, Jan-Mar, 1984. (Published by l'Association Sacerdotal Noel Pinot, Angers, France.

(21) Thanks are expressed to Father Blignieres (Jean-Paul II et la Doctrine Catholique, Conference du 13 Mai, 1981, Paris: Mutuality) and Wigand Siebel (The Program of John Paul II, P.O. Box 21, W. Va., Liberty Bell Publications and Philosophie et Theologie de Karol Wojtyla, Bale, Saka, 1988) for the contents of the next few paragraphs. Many others such as Ursula Oxfort and Myra Davidaglou, have written on the same subject.

(22) DM - Dives et misercordia.

(23) Ursula Oxfort, Pope Floundres in the 'Act of Entrusting,' Christian counter-Reformation, Bull No. 24. P.O. Box, 369, Florida, Lake Worth, 1981.

(24) Gustavo Daniel Corbi, Joviniano 82 - La resurreccion de una herejia, Guenos Aires, Editorial Iction, 1982).

(25) Ursula Oxfort, 'Laborem exercens' John Paul II's Labor Encyclical is communistic. Christian counter-Reformation, Bull. No. 25. op. cit. I know of one conciliar Catholic who claims that no one can call John Paul II a heretic because no one can ever know exactly what he means.

(26) An excellent example of this is provided by Victor Krasin, How I was Broken by the KGB, New York Times magazine, March 18, 1984. The mediaeval serf who could neither be kicked off his land nor taxed on the goods he produced for his family's use was far more secure than any laborer in any communist land.

(27) In line with this playing up to the powers of this world consider the fact that John Paul II received the Trilateral commission in a special audience at the Vatican. He spoke of the 'ethical dimension' of their activity, of how they have a 'responsibility for encouraging people to face their duty in international human solidarity,' and of how the Commission must 'do everything for the service of the human person.' Photographs were taken showing Z. Brezesinski and Henry Kissinger sitting in the front row of the audience, and of John Paul shaking hands with David Rockerfeller, the chairman of the U.S. section (Trialogue 33, April, 1983). Now the Trilateral commission is probably one of the most subversive of all possible organizations created by man. Cf. The Plot Against America, What we must know about the Trilateral Commission, by Ursula Oxfort, June, 1978).

(28) Of course, people often will work at tasks with no redeeming value in order to support a family, but such is never a craft, a form of work which involves both the intellect and will of the worker.

(29) As noted in the section on the Liturgy, this rite, according to traditional criteria, still retains its validity. However, The indult in no way guarantees that the priest who offers it is properly ordained.

(30) The Indult actually requires that those who take advantage of it sign a statement to this effect. Despite the fact that this is not 'enforced,' those who take advantage of the Indult implicitly accept its obligations.

(31) Archbishop Lefebvre's position is highly untenable. One cannot recognize John Paul II as a valid pope, the in se validity of all the new sacraments, the authority of the new Code of Canon law, the possibility of interpreting Vatican II in accordance with tradition, and then refuse obedience. Thus it is understandable that many of his followers abandoned his cause. The post-Conciliar Church was of course delighted and established the Society of St. Peter to accommodate these men.

CHAPTER X, part 1

Pius II, Execrabilis
'... Any Council called to make drastic change in the church is beforehand decreed to be void and annulled.'
Pius II, Execrabilis

The nature of an Ecumenical Council

Before considering Vatican II in detail, it is necessary to understand just what an Ecumenical or General Council is. It is, as Hubert Jedin defined it in 1960: 'An assembly of Bishops and other specified persons invested with jurisdiction, convoked by the Pope and presided over by him, for the purpose of formulating decisions on questions of the Christian faith, or ecclesiastical discipline. These decisions, however, require papal confirmation to assure the proclamation of the faith by delimiting the Catholic doctrine from contemporary errors. There have been councils which issued no disciplinary canons, but none at which some error was not rejected.' (1)

The first point to be made is that the term 'ecumenical' means 'universal' (i.e., the gathering of Catholic bishops from all over the world), and has nothing to do with the potentially common activities or relationships of different religions. There have been some 20 Ecumenical Councils since Christ established His church on earth. Vatican II, supposedly the 21st, differed from its predecessors in several ways. It was the first to invite non-Catholic 'observers' to participate in its proceedings (2). It was the first Council to be declared 'pastoral' rather than 'dogmatic' (3). It was the first council that seemingly neither delimited Catholic doctrine from contemporary errors, nor issued disciplinary canons (4). It was the first such Council to reform, not the Church 'in its head and members' but the Church itself. And most important of all, it was the first such council to depart from the teaching of previous Councils, and indeed, from the traditional teaching of the Church's Magisterium. So much was this the case that Cardinal Suenens described it as 'the French Revolution in the Church' and Y. Congar likened it to the October (1917) Revolution in Russia (5).

Is Vatican II binding on the catholic conscience?

Prior to the stamp of papal approval, a council has no authority whatsoever. Once this has occurred however, Conciliar statements become part of the teaching Magisterium. It matters little as to whether their contents are classified as 'extraordinary' or 'ordinary', for in either case, they must be believed with 'divine and Catholic faith'.

Considerable confusion has arisen with regard to Vatican II because of its 'pastoral' nature. Ursula Oxford opinions that in so far as John XXIII was deluded as to the 'spirit' which induced him to convene the Council, the resulting documents are without authority (6). Others like Father J. Saenz y Arriaga hold the election of Paul VI was totally invalid, and hence the promulgation of the Conciliar documents is in no way part of the Church's Magisterium (7). Cardinal Felici, former secretary for the Curia and Secretary-General of the council stated that the documents of the Council are de jure, and not de fide (8). Presumably this means that we have to obey and act in accord with the Council's teaching, but have no obligation to believe them true. Michael Davies, in the face of what he knows to be clear-cut changes in the teaching of the Church, states that 'the Council comes within the category of the Church's Ordinary Magisterium which can contain error in the case of a novelty which conflicts with previous teaching,' a statement which is both innovative and self contradictory (9). These represent but 'theological opinions', and we must turn to the post-Conciliar 'popes' for definitive answers.

All the post-Conciliar 'popes' have stated that the Council was guided by the Holy Spirit. Paul VI, in closing the Council stated that 'the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements, has made thoroughly known its authoritative teaching.' Still later he stated that the Council 'avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility' but that it conferred on its teachings 'the value of the supreme ordinary magisterium' (Speech of Jan 12, 1966), and that 'it has as much authority and far greater importance than the Council of Nicea'. Elsewhere he has called it 'the greatest of Councils', and 'even greater than the Council of Trent'(10). Perhaps the most clear cut statement is to be found in a letter to Archbishop Lefebvre demanding his submission to the post-Conciliar Church:

'You have no right any more to bring up the distinction between the doctrinal and the pastoral that you use to support your acceptance of certain texts of Vatican Council II and your rejection of others. It is true that the matters decided in any Council do not all call for an assent of the same quality; only what the Council affirms in its 'definitions' as a truth of faith or as bound up with faith requires the assent of faith. Nevertheless, the rest also form a part of the SOLEMN MAGISTERIUM of the Church, to be trustingly accepted and sincerely put into practice by every Catholic.' (11)

It is clear then that Paul VI considers the Council as binding on the Catholic conscience, and as having no less authority than any of the previous 20 Councils called Ecumenical. To state that is part of the Solemn Magisterium is to give it the highest possible authority. However, if it is only the 'supreme form of the ordinary magisterium', it is equally binding upon the post-Conciliar Catholic conscience.

John Paul II has expressed his full agreement with Paul VI whom he considers as his 'spiritual father', and has further stated that the Council was 'inspired by the Holy Spirit', and that 'obedience to the Council is obedience to the Holy Spirit.' Still elsewhere he has stated that the Council is 'the authentic teaching of the Church.' Clearly in his eyes to refuse to give our assent to the Council is equivalent to 'sinning against the Holy Ghost.'

Others have stated that the Council is heretical and therefore not to be accepted.

Archbishop Lefebvre believes the Council was convened according to 'accepted norms' of the Church (The Remnant, 2.17.77), and is willing to accept the documents of Vatican II providing they are interpreted 'in the light of tradition'. Interestingly enough, John Paul II is also willing to accept this 'limitation'. To quote him directly: 'what the Holy Spirit says to the Church by the Council..., He says at the same time in full harmony with Tradition and according to what is required by the 'sign of the times'... The Church of Vatican II, of Vatican I, of the Council of Trent, and of the earlier councils is one and the same Church.' The problem is that everyone seems to disagree as to just what 'the light of tradition' is . The phrase is found in the Vatican II document on the Liturgy where it states that 'the Council also desires... the rites to be carefully and thoroughly revised IN THE LIGHT OF SOUND TRADITION, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs off modern times!'. And as we all know, the end result of the application of this principle was the Novus Ordo Missae or new mass.

'In the light of tradition'. Strictly speaking, only a pope can do this, and Paul VI told those who resisted the changes introduced by the Council that it was necessary 'to break with the habitual attachment of what we used to designate as the unchangeable tradition of the Church.' If Vatican II represents a break with tradition, a departure from tradition, then it is difficult to see how in can be interpreted in the light of tradition. If Vatican II contains errors - let the reader decide for himself after finishing this chapter - the only response of a Church which is concerned with preserving the truth, is to condemn and reject it. The whole idea of accepting Vatican II in the light of tradition begs the issue. It allows the Lefebvreites to 'pick and choose' while salving their guilty consciences, and leaves the post-Conciliar 'pastors' free to promulgate their revolution.

How then are we to find our way in this confusing welter of freely given advise. For those who believe the post-Conciliar 'popes' are orthodox and who accept their authority, the answer is clear. These 'popes' clearly believe that the Documents of Vatican II are both inspired by the Holy Ghost, and are part of the Solemn Magisterium; hence, despite their 'pastoral' character, they are binding on the post-Conciliar Catholic conscience. For those who refuse to accept the legitimacy of these 'popes', there is also no problem. The Council and all the changes that followed in its train are simply to be rejected. Between these two extremes however, and leaving apart those who follow the 'new orientations' without any serious thought, there is a whole spectrum of opinion best characterized by the acceptance of the authority of these 'popes' and a refusal to follow them when they act or teach against tradition. Unfortunately these individuals (characterized as 'conservative Novus Ordo Catholics') are placed in the position of deciding for themselves just what is traditional and what is not. Since such decisions normally reside only in a Pope, it can be said off them that 'every man is his own Pope' . The inevitable result is still more confusion. Be this as it may, almost everyone agrees that the fruits of the Council have been rotten.

The Council itself

As to the documents themselves, there are sixteen of these, and all sixteen are consider to be 'established synodally' - that is to say, agreed upon by the majority of the Fathers present at the council. These sixteen documents are entitled 'Constitutions', 'Decrees', and 'Declarations', distinctions which in the practical order are meaningless. Despite the 'pastoral' nature of the Council, two of these are labeled 'dogmatic'. In total then number some 739 pages of fine print and reading through them requires, as Father Houghton has remarked, 'a sufficient supply of anti-soporifics'. (Vatican I runs to 42 pages of large print, and the Council of Trent to 179 pages.) . Their tone is 'prolix in the extreme' and as Michael Davies states, 'much of their content consists of little more than long series of the most banal truisms imaginable.'

Yet the council is important, for it introduced into the bosom of the church a whole host of 'new directions' that are bearing fruit in our days. As Father Avery Dulles said: 'Vatican II adopted a number of positions which had been enunciated by the Reformation Churches, e.g., the primacy of Scripture, the supernatural efficacy of the preached word, the priesthood of the laity, and the vernacular liturgy.'

Cardinal Willebrands, Paul VI's legate to the World Lutheran Assembly at Evian stated in July of 1970 that: 'Has not the Second Vatican council itself welcomed certain demands which, among others, were expressed by Luther, and through which many aspects of the Christian faith are better expressed today than formerly? Luther gave his age a quite extraordinary lead in theology and the Christian life.'

And Cardinal Suenens tells us that: 'It is possible to draw up an impressive list of theses which Rome has taught in the past and up until yesterday as being the only ones, and which the Council Fathers have thrown out.' (May 15, 1969)

Cardinal Suenens who likened Vatican II to a 'French Revolution in the Church', also told us that the Council was only 'a stage, and not a terminus'. Those who would dismiss this dismal projection as rhetoric would do well to listen to Paul VI who said that 'the Conciliar Decrees are not so much a destination as a point of departure towards new goals... the seeds of life planted by the Council in the soil of the Church must grow and achieve full maturity.' The point is important because John Paul II considers 'the coherent realization of the teaching and directives of the Second Vatican Council... to be the principal task of this [his] pontificate.'

'A point of departure towards new goals!' According to British analyst William McSweeney, the impact of the council on the Church 'was to carry forward the most fundamental reappraisal of its doctrine, liturgy and relationship to the world in it 2000-year history.' Schillebeeckx prepared a list of council actions that he considered to be significant innovations. His list totaled sixty-eight and covered the liturgy, the Church, revelation, bishops and priests, the laity, non-Catholics, freedom of conscious and religious institutes.

Let us not forget that almost all the changes in the post-Conciliar Church are either 'blamed' on the Council, or said to derive from it as a 'mandate from the Holy Spirit'. Conservative Novus Ordo Catholics who object to the drastic changes call them 'abuses' that result from the 'misinterpretation' of Conciliar teachings. They point to many fine and orthodox statements in support of their contention. Those on the other hand who are on the forefront of the Revolution - the Liberal post-Conciliar Catholic - can justify almost anything they wish by recourse to the same documents. The much debated issue as to whether the Council is only an 'excuse' or in fact the 'source' of the 'autodemolition' of the Church is entirely beside the point. Whatever the case may be, as the Abbe of Nantes has pointed out, 'there is not a heresiarch today, not a single apostate who does not now appeal to the Council in carrying out his action in broad daylight with full impunity as recognized pastor and master.' (CRC May 1980. Even the Council's apologist Michael Davies tells us that 'no rational person can deny that up to the present Vatican II has produced no good fruit.'

CHAPTER X, part 2

Pius II, Execrabilis


How the Council was subverted


None of the Modernist ideation introduced by means of the Council into the bosom of the Church was new. These ideas, the gestalt of the modern world, had been around for centuries, and in fact had been repeatedly condemned by the traditional Church in such documents as Mirari vos, The Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX and the Encyclical Pascendi of Pius XI. Over the past century however, they had gained an increased momentum and had as it were permeated the seminaries, and thus the minds of increasing numbers of clergy. In the course of time many of these rose to positions of authority.

Sufficient documentation is available for us to reconstruct the events at the Council. One of the best of these is Father Wiltgen's The Rhine flows into the Tiber, an analogy for the modernist German theologians flowing into conservative Rome. Father Wiltgen was the 'International Publicity Director in Rome' for the Council, and was the founder during the Council of 'an independent and multilingual council News Service' . As such he had excellent access to the material he reports in his book - and in so far as he approved of what the Council achieved, his text becomes a valuable source of information. His information moreover is confirmed by numerous other sources. We have as a result, a 'play by play' description of how the 'liberal' theologians captured the Council. What was proclaimed by the world press as a 'spontaneous outbreak of liberal sentiment', was in fact, as several authors have pointed out, part of a pre-determined plan to subvert the Council.

We have already called attention to the role that John XXIII played in setting the stage. The Curia had for two years been preparing a series of orthodox 'schemas' for discussion. Most of the Fathers (some 2,800 Bishops or their equivalent) were not well read theologians. Many were skilled administrators and came to the Council 'psychologically unprepared' (Cardinal Heenan) and feeling their way' (Bishop Lucey). They brought with them periti or 'experts' who were to assist them on theological matters, periti who were almost to a man Modernist in outlook. Other 'hierarchies came to the Council knowing what they wanted and having prepared a way to get it' (Bishop Lucey) .The takeover was surprisingly easy. As Cardinal Heenan stated, 'the first General Congregation had scarcely begun when the [Modernist] northern bishops went into action.' Brian Kaiser tells us 'cardinals Suenens, Alfrink, Frings, Doepfner, Koenig, Lienart and Bea conferred by phone' the night before the opening session, and received assurances from the John XXIII that their plan had his approval . Within fifteen minutes of the opening of the first session, the years of preparatory work (the Schemas prepared by the Curia) and the suggested list of individuals for the various commissions (traditional Curial members) were thrown out.This was called by several 'The First Victory' of the 'European Alliance', and was quite correctly characterized in the newspapers as 'Bishops in Revolt' . The Marxist journal Il Paese openly stated that 'the Devil has entered the Council.' What followed has been described as a 'Blitzkrieg' (Michael Davies) and a 'demolition exercise' (Henri Fesquet). It was only a matter of time and manoeuvre before the liberal element took over the ten commissions that controlled the various new schemas presented for voting. The 'Council Presidency' established by Roncalli was helpless, which was of course as he intended. Instead of intervening on the side of 'tradition', he allowed things to proceed exactly as he wished, only intervening when it was necessary to support the 'democratic forces'.

Initially, any individual Father could rise to voice objection to the statements of the various schemas. Soon this was limited to ten minutes . As opposition gathered to the modernist clique, those in control required that five Fathers had to agree and speak in conjunction before they would be recognized by the chair. Before long the number was raised to 70!. Soon all objections had to be submitted in writing to the various commissions which in turn allowed for considerable behind-the-scene machinations and suppression or 're-wording' of those objections that could not be ignored. A petition signed by over 400 Fathers requesting the condemnation of Communism was simply and conveniently lost. Complaints made directly to the Pope were ignored , and on occasion the Pope directly intervened to force through a given vote. Both the press and the various liberal organizations within and without the Church carried on heavy propaganda in favor of the 'liberalizing' of the Church. Cardinal Frings and Lienart and the members of the 'Northern Alliance' were the 'good guys', while Cardinal Ottaviani and the conservative members of the Curia were the 'villains' standing 'in the way of progress'. The majority of the Fathers present were Church dignitaries rather than theologians and hence were heavily dependent upon the periti or experts who were almost invariably in the neo-modernist camp. A list of these periti would include almost all the heretical theologians of the post-Conciliar Church, such men as Charles Davis, Hans Kung, Gregory Baum, Edward Schillebeeckx, Bernard Haring, Y. Congar, Karl Rahner and Rene Laurentin. Adequate time was frequently not given for proper discussion of the issues, and many of the Fathers admitted to having voted along with the majority without even having read the schemas or amendments in question at all. As Dr. Moorman, leader of the Anglican delegation has stated: 'there was a very real division among the Fathers, a deep feeling that two big forces were coming to grips and that this was not just a clash of opinions, but of policies and even of moralities.' Archbishop Lefebvre, looking back over the early sessions, noted that 'the Council was under siege by the progressive forces from its very first day. We felt it, we sensed it... We were convinced that something irregular was happening.' But as we have pointed out, the traditional forces were 'psychologically unprepared', and the liberal forces 'came to the Council knowing what they wanted and having prepared a way to get it.' Things were pushed along very rapidly, and it was only towards the end of the Council that the orthodox Fathers were able to get organized. By the time the Coetus Internationalis Patrum became a cohesive force, it was far to late.

The use of ambiguity

Only one major problem remained for the liberals who had captured the Council. They had to express their views in a manner that was not clearly and overtly heretical. (This would have created much stronger opposition and resistance.) The solution was the ambiguous statement. As Cardinal Heenan stated 'the framing of amendments for the vote of the Fathers was the most delicate part of the commission's work. A determined group could wear down the opposition and produce a formula patent of both an orthodox and modernistic interpretation.' Whenever protests were raised against such tactics, the objector was informed that the Council was 'pastoral' and not 'dogmatic'. What resulted has been described by Archbishop Lefebvre as 'a conglomeration of ambiguities, inexactitudes, vaguely expressed feelings, terms susceptible of any interpretation and opening wide of all doors' There are of course many statements in the documents that appear good, for it is characteristic of heresy that it comes cloaked in the garb of orthodoxy. The documents themselves are prolix, full of vague phraseology and psycologisms. Terms are frequently used (such as 'salvation history') that are capable of multiple interpretations . Statements made in one paragraph are qualified several paragraphs later so that multiple interpretations and quoting out of context become possible. In fairness to the liberals, some of the periti such as Yves Congar and Schillebeeckx disapproved of such methods and wished to state the liberal viewpoint openly and clearly. They were of course overruled. Lest the reader feel that this opinion is unjust, I shall quote Professor O. Cullmann, one of the most distinguished Protestant 'observers' at the Council:
'The definitive texts are for the most part compromise texts. On far too many occasions they juxtapose opposing viewpoints without establishing any genuine internal link between them. Thus every affirmation of the power of bishops is accompanied in a manner which is almost tedious by the insistence upon the authority of the Pope... This is the reason why, even while accepting that these are compromise-texts, I do not share the pessimism of those who subscribe to the slogan that 'Nothing good will come out of the Council!' All the texts are formulated in such a manner that no door is closed and that they will not present any future obstacle to discussions among Catholics or dialogue with non-Catholics, as was the case with the dogmatic decisions of previous Councils.'

Ambiguity and 'double-speak' has always been the refuge of the scoundrel who wishes to lie, not only to his neighbor, but to himself. How does a naughty child respond to an accusing parent from whom he wishes to hide the truth while not clearly telling a lie? He equivocates. He departs from the Scriptural injunction to 'say yea for yea and nay for nay' The modernist has basically lost his faith in Revelation, and if he wishes to remain within the visible church, he must either change the meaning of certain words, or else change the words so that they mean one thing to him and another to the faithful. Thus, as one modernist put it, 'one learns the use of double meaning, the tortuously complex sentence and paragraphs which conceal meaning rather than reveal it.' The existential theologian has a positive dislike for clarity. As Father Daley said of Tyrrell: 'He believed that clearness was a snare for the unwary, and that snare was avoided as long as one distrusts clearness and recognizes it as a note of inadequacy.' Pius X in his Encyclical Pascandi noted that the writings of the modernist clique appear 'tentative and vague', while those of the Church are always 'firm and constant'. He further said, 'it is one of the cleverest devices of the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) to present their doctrines without order and systemic arrangement, in a scattered and disjointed manner, so as to make it appear as if their minds were in doubt or hesitation, whereas in reality they are quite fixed and steadfast'.

It is then the ambiguity of the Conciliar statements which allows for any interpretation one wishes. Yet despite this one, when one reads the documents as a whole, one finds there is a certain 'animus' or spirit which is 'offensive to pious ears'. There is, as Cardinal Suenens has said, 'an internal logic in Vatican II which in several cases has been grasped and acted on, showing in everyday practice the priority of life over law. The spirit behind the texts was stronger than the words themselves.' It is this undercurrent that has flowed forth as 'the Spirit of Vatican II', a 'spirit' that accepts almost all the modernist concepts such as 'progress', 'dynamic evolution', and 'universalism' . Conservative Novus Ordo Catholics who deny that such a spirit exists would do well to consider the statement of John Paul II to the effect that it was his 'firm will to go forward on the way of unity in THE SPIRIT OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL....' (inauguration ceremony of his pontificate).

The "animus" of Vatican II

In order to understand the real nature of Vatican II the reader must recognize that what occurred was not a 'debate' between conservative and liberal factions of the Church - as if there is a spectrum of opinion from which the faithful can choose - but rather a fight between those who felt it was their obligation to preserve intact the entire 'deposit of the faith' and those who were bent on adapting Christianity to the contemporary world; a battle waged between those who see the Roman Catholic Church as the 'visible' church founded by Christ, and therefore a Church that was entitled to certain privileges (whether the world accorded them to her or not), and those who dreamt of a 'union' of all 'men of good will'; of those who thought the Church possessed the 'fullness of the truth' and those who thought 'Christians were joined with the rest of men in the search for Truth'. The Church of All Times lost this battle at the council, but the fight still continues, sometimes in minor skirmishes, and sometimes in open warfare. Scripture informs us that the final outcome can be anticipated. There will be a 'great apostasy', but 'the Gates of Hell will not prevail'.

The remainder of this chapter will be divided into two sections. First, we will give a series of quotations from the documents of sufficient length as to make that accusation of having taken them out of context implausible. We shall then string together a selected series off Conciliar statements in conjunction with their interpretative understanding by the post-Conciliar 'pontiffs'. It is this that will provide us with the clearest insight into their import.

The documents themselves

Space does not allow us to sample the entire corpus of Vatican II in detail, and hence particular attention will be given to the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, (identified as Ch.) and The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (identified as Eccl.), both considered by Paul VI and John Paul II as fundamental documents.

'The human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic, evolutionary one' (Ch. 5).

'To a certain extent the human intellect is also broadening its dominion over time: over the past by means of historical knowledge; over the future by the art of projecting and by planning. Advances in biology, psychology, and the social sciences not only bring men hope of improved self knowledge...' (CH. 5).

'This characteristic of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord Himself. By reason of it, the Catholic Church strives energetically and constantly to bring all humanity with all its riches back to Christ its Head in the unity of His Spirit... All men are called to be part of this catholic unity of the People of God, a unity which is the harbinger of the universal peace it promotes. And there belong to it or are related to it in various ways, the Catholic faithful as well as all who believe in Christ, and indeed the whole of mankind. For all men are called to salvation by the grace of God...' (Eccl. 13)

'Every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, [emphasis mine]is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent' (Ch. 29)

'Moreover, in virtue of her mission and nature, she [the Church] is bound to no particular form of human culture, nor to any political, economic, or social system... for this reason the Church admonishes her own sons, but also humanity as a whole, to overcome all strife between nations and races in this family spirit of God's children...' (Ch. 42).

'Thanks to the experience of past ages, the progress of the sciences, and the treasures hidden in the various forms of human culture, the nature of man himself is more clearly revealed and new roads to truth are opened...' (Ch. 42).

'It is a fact bearing on the very person of man that he can come to an authentic and full humanity only through culture, that is, through the cultivation of natural goods and values Wherever human life is involved, therefore, nature and culture are quite intimately connected...' (Ch. 53).

'In every group or nation, there is an ever-increasing number of men and women who are conscious that they themselves are the artisans and the authors of the culture of their community. thus we are witnesses to the birth of a new humanism, one in which man is defined first of all by his responsibility towards his brothers and towards history...' (Ch.55).

'The Culture of today possesses particular characteristics. for example, the so-called exact sciences sharpen critical judgment to a very fine edge. Recent psychological research explains human activity more profoundly. Historical studies make a signal contribution to bringing men to see things in their changeable and evolutionary aspects... Thus little by little, a more universal form of human culture is developing, one which will promote and express the unity of the human race to the degree that it preserves the particular features of different cultures...' (Ch. 54).

'Man's social nature makes it evident that the progress of the human person and the advance of society itself hinge on each other. From the beginning, the subject and goal of all social institutions is and must be the human person, which for its part and by its very nature stands completely in need of social life... This social life is not something added on to man. Hence through his dealings with others, through reciprocal duties, and through fraternal dialogue, he develops all his gifts and is able to rise to his destiny...' (Ch. 25).

'Thus, through her individual members and her whole community, the church believes she can contribute greatly towards making the family of man and its history more human. In addition, the Catholic Church gladly holds in high esteem the things which other Christian Churches or ecclesiastical communities have done or are doing cooperatively by way of achieving the same goal...' (Ch. 40).

'It has pleased God to make men holy and save them not merely as individuals without any mutual bonds, but by making them into a single people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. So from the beginning of salvation history He has chosen men not just as individuals, but as members of a certain community. god called these chosen ones 'His People'... This communitarian character is developed and consummated in the work of Jesus Christ' (Ch. 32).

'The Church further recognizes that worthy elements are found in today's social movements, especially in an evolution towards unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms. for the promotion of unity belongs to tie innermost nature of the Church, since she is, by her relationship with Christ, both a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate union with God and the unity of all mankind...' (Ch. 42).

'Because the human race today is joint more and more in civic, economic and social unity, it is much more necessary that priests, united in concern and effort under the leadership of the bishops and the Supreme Pontiff, wipe out every ground of division, so that the whole human race may be brought into the unity of the family of God...' (Ch. 43).

'Let them blend modern science and its theories and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and doctrine. Thus their religious practice and morality can keep pace with their scientific knowledge and an ever-advancing technology' (Ch. 62).

Such then is a potpourri of statements drawn from the solemn teaching magisterium of the post-Conciliar Church. It is these ideas which its members must 'religiously observe' and to which they must give their intellectual assent. But what evidence is there for the claim that 'the human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic one'? And how Christian is this 'new humanism' of which we are witnesses to the birth of, and which is defined 'first of all by man's responsibility towards his brothers and history: rather than towards God? And since when does man 'rise to his destiny through reciprocal duties and fraternal dialogue'? Where in Scripture does it tell us we are saved as members of a community rather than as individuals? Since when has it been the Church's function to make 'the family of man more human'? And what is all this talk of 'unity', 'the process of wholesome socialization' that 'belongs to the innermost nature of the Church' and which permits - nay, advocates - the 'wiping out of every ground of division' which might impede it? For the Church to state that she is 'tied to no political, social or economic structure' is for her to state that she can live with any political, social or economic structure in the world today, including Communism. And how can the Church proclaim that all discrimination with regard to matters of religion should 'be irradicated'? Surely, if she believes she is the true religion, she cannot fail to discriminate between herself and other false religions. And what is all this nonsense about 'adapting our morality and religious practice to the discoveries of modern science' - as if these themselves are not always in a state of flux. All this is a far cry from the Church of our forefathers.

No wonder that the Protestant observer Dr. McAfee Brown said that 'there are even occasional hints that the Council Fathers have listened to the gospel of Marx as well as the Gospel of Mark.' Truly, as Father Campion, periti and translator of this document states, 'Theological 'aggiornamento' means more than a rephrasing of conventional theological teaching in contemporary terminology' . Archbishop Lefebvre and Michael Davies refer to these and similar passages as 'time bombs'. They are in fact much more; they are unequivocal proof that the faithful - and not only the faithful, but humanity itself - were 'sold out' at the Council. It will take an intellectual agility well beyond the capacity of most people to interpret such statements 'in the light of tradition'. Any one wishing to understand what has happened to the Church in our times, would do well to study these documents with care. As the Abbe of Nantes said, these documents provide 'a vast launching pad for... the subversive operations' of the Modernists.(CRC May, 1980)

CHAPTER X, part 3

Second Vatican Council

New Church

Vatican II - the creation of a New Church

Isolated quotations do not provide us with a complete picture. In order to understand the Council's goals, and achievements, it is necessary to provide quotations from various parts of the documents along with their authoritative interpretations by the post-Conciliar 'pontiffs'. We shall do this under four headings: 1) The New Orientations - seeing history and the world in a different light. 2) The New Church - how the post-Conciliar Church sees itself. 3) The New Understanding of man's nature; and 4) Why a Church at all.


'The traditional doctrinal formulations were forged in the light of a general world-view that has by now become obsolete; an unconditional allegiance to any single view of the universe, such as the Christian, seems to demand, impresses the modern mind as fanatical and unscientific... The claim that some privileged source... contains the totality of saving truth is likewise distasteful... The assertion that divine revelation was complete in the first century of our era seems completely antic to the modern concept of progress.'
Avery Dulles, S.J., Doctrines do Grow.

Founded on a 'rock', the Church has always been considered as a monolithic, stable and unchanging institution - one that existed and functioned in saecula saeculorum, that is, throughout all ages past, present and future. She saw herself as a 'perfect society', as a divine institution established by Christ. Distinguishing this Church from the inevitable failings of its members (for who of us can live up to Christ?) there was neither need for change, nor room for improvement.

The Church has always been happy to use the discoveries of science for good ends, and indeed, many of these are the result of Catholic efforts. She is not against 'progress' if by this one means better mouse traps and ice boxes. But progress as usually understood, implies that man himself is improving, becoming more civilized, more intelligent and more advanced with each passing generation. This kind of progress is an illusion which the Church has always eschewed. The idea that man himself can and has progressed is the very negation of his celestial origin and destiny. It denies that his intrinsic nature is fixed, that he is made in the image of God and that he has sustained the wound of Adam's sin. It further denies the perfection of the Patriarchs, the Holy Family and the saints. As for evolution, she has always held that creation ex nihilo was de fide. In the words of Vatican I: 'if anyone does not admit the world and everything it , both spiritual and material, have been produced in their entire substance by God out of nothing -ex nihilo - let him be anathema.' But evolution as a biological possibility is one thing; evolution as applied to mankind or truth is quite another. As Pope Pius XII said some 35 years ago: 'these false evolutionary notions with their denial of all that is fixed or abiding in human experience, have paved the way for a new philosophy of error' (Humani generis). The traditional outlook saw these two pseudo-concepts of 'progress' and 'evolution' as the 'opiates of the people,' always promising them an unrealizable utopia in the future while deflecting their attention from the present. No longer the command to 'be ye perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect', but rather the illusion that progress and evolution, thanks to science, will produce a world so perfect that man will no longer have to strive to be good.

Gaudium et Spes starts with a long tale of changes affecting mankind, the perpetual justification for innovation. Everything changes, the world, time, but especially man who is described as participating in a perpetual 'progression'. John XXIII believed there had been 'a real progress of humankind's collective moral awareness through always deeper discovery of its dignity... and that divine providence was leading us to a new order of human relations... ' Vatican II proceeded to make this principle magisterial. 'The human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic, evolutionary one... Historical studies make a signal contribution to bringing men to see things in their changeable and evolutionary aspects... Man's social nature makes it evident that the progress of the human person and the advance of society itself hinge on each other... Citizens have the right and duty... to contribute to the true progress of their community... Developing nations should strongly desire to seek the complete human fulfillment of their citizens in the explicit and fixed goal of progress... May the faithful therefore, live in very close union with the men of their time. Let them strive to understand perfectly their way of thinking and feeling, as expressed in their culture. Let them blend modern science and its theories and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and doctrine. Thus their religious practice and morality can keep pace with their scientific knowledge and with an ever-advancing technology.' (All from Ch. or Eccl.) For those who may still doubt, let me quote from John Paul II's speech at Puebla: 'In these past ten years (since the Council) how much progress humanity has made, and with humanity and at its service, how much progress the Church has made...'

Not only progress, but evolution. John Paul II has magisterially told us that 'all the observations concerning the development of life lead to a conclusion: the evolution of living beings of which science seeks to determine the stages and to determine the mechanism, presents an internal finality... a finality which directs beings in a direction for which they are not responsible or in charge...' An editorial in the L'Osservatore Romano attributed to John Paul II was even more specific. 'no one today any longer believes in tradition, but rather in rational progress. tradition today appears as something that has been bypassed by history. Progress on the other hand presents itself as an authentic promise inborn in the very soul of man.'

If Evolution and Progress are true, if, as the Council teaches, 'the human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic and evolutionary one', then it follows that the world has changed since the time of Christ, and logically, if the Church is to survive, it must also change. Paul VI in discussing the Council expressed this clearly.'if the world changes religion should also change. ...the order to which Christianity tends is not static, but an order in continual evolution towards a higher form' (Dialogues, Reflections on God and Man). If the Church is evolving, so also are her doctrines. And so the Council teaches that 'as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward towards the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their fulfillment in her...' Elsewhere she assures us that 'new roads to truth are opened.' The statement is quite extraordinary in so far as the Church has always taught that the revelation given us by Christ and the Apostles was final and definitive, and to that body of revealed truth nothing has been, or ever will be added. One must of course distinguish between the legitimate development of a doctrine - its being made more explicit and explained in clearer ways - and the evolution of a doctrine - which implies some form of transformation or change in its intrinsic nature. Thus, as we will show, the doctrine on Religious Liberty as taught by Vatican II can never be considered a 'development' of previous teaching, but only as an 'evolution' into something new. a kind of 'ongoing revelation.' And as innumerable post-Conciliar theologians have noted, the Council, while not using the phrase, embraced the concept in principle. And why not when Paul VI teaches: The new Church 'seeks to adapt itself to the languages, to the customs and to the inclinations of the men of our times, men completely engrossed in the rapidity of material evolution and similar necessities of their individual circumstances. This 'openness' is of the very essence of the [new] Church.. The restrictions of orthodoxy do not coincide with pastoral charity'.(Talk given in Milan when he was a Cardinal).

All this involved a new orientation towards the world itself. The traditional Church taught us to be in the world, but not to 'conform ourselves to it'. The Apostle John instructed us: 'Love not the world nor the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passeth away.' What thinking person does not realize that the world - the modern world - has walked away from all the Church has ever stood for. What then is the attitude of the new Church? John Paul II gives us the answer: 'the Second Vatican Council laid the foundations for a substantially new relationship between the Church and world, between the Church and modern culture' (College, Dec. 22, 1980) Paul VI was more specific: 'we must never forget that the fundamental attitude of Catholics who wish to convert the world must be, first of all, to love the world, to love our times, to love our civilization, our technical achievements, and above all, to love the world... the Council puts before us, a panoramic vision of the world; how can the Church, how can we, do other than behold this world and love it. The Council is a solemn act of love for mankind, love for men of today, whoever and wherever they may be, love for all'(Bodart, La Biologie et l'avenire de l'homme).

John Paul II, following in the steps of his 'spiritual father' (Paul VI), confirms this commitment. 'The contemporary Church', he tells us, 'has a particular sensibility towards history, and wishes to be in every extension of the term, 'the Church of the contemporary world''(Talk to the Roman Curia, Dec 22, 1980).

Thus the Church of all times has been changed into the Church of our times. A static Church has been changed into an evolutionary and progressive Church. It has even been given new titles - Paul VI called it 'the Church of the Council' and Cardinal Benini 'the post-Conciliar Church'. A true Council would have spoken of the role of the Church IN the modern world. Vatican II created the Church OF the modern world. John XXIII referred to the result as a 'New Pentecost', Paul VI called it an Epiphany and John Paul II speaks of a 'New Advent'. - 'We find ourselves in a certain way in the midst of a new Advent, a time of expectation...' Vatican II provides 'the foundation for ever more achievements of the people of God's march towards the Promised Land in this state of history...' (Redemptor Hominis). Progress of course is never fixed, and so, once the Church accepts the principle of adapting itself to the modern world, it has committed itself to a perpetual state of flux. This is what Aggiornamento is all about. This is why the Grand Mufti in Paris invited Catholics who wished to be part of an unchanging religion to become Moslems.

This new orientation resulted in the need for the Church to accept a host of ideas it once considered inimical. The ideology of the modern world is not only evolutionary and progressive; it is also Anthropocentric and secular. It envisions itself as dialectically passing from its present condition towards some utopian state in which all men will be united in a socialist structure where there will no longer be any suffering or want. Thus the new Church gladly witnesses to the 'birth of a new humanism', and welcomes 'today's social movements, especially in an evolution towards unity, a process of wholesome socialization' (Ch.42). Indeed, she considers herself the 'instrument' and 'sacramental sign of this unity'. She is even willing to make her most precious possession - the Blessed Eucharist - a symbol of this unity.

But the world the Church wishes to embrace has no use for her. It had long ago deserted the bosom of the Father and gone off 'into a far country' to seek its own fortune. It has no interest in being 'saved', much less in building up the Kingship of Christ. A Church which seeks to embrace the world's values and to find a place for itself in the milieu of an 'anti-Christian' society, must redefine itself in terms that are meaningful to that society. Paul VI gave us some idea of how this was to be achieved. 'From the start the Council has propagated a wave of serenity and of optimism, a Christianity that is exciting and positive, loving life, mankind and earthly values... an intention of making Christianity acceptable and lovable, indulgent and open, free of mediaeval rigorism and of pessimistic understanding of man and his customs...' (Doc. Cath. No. 1538). But the Church went farther than this. She not only wished to make herself lovable, she wished to become the 'servant of the world'. Having abdicated her spiritual leadership, she had no choice but to declare her desire to be of use 'in service and fellowship'. Let us see how she does this.

CHAPTER X, part 4



The world has never been more alienated and more divided than in our times. Wars, famines, and disasters abound. Enormous numbers of people on every continent are being reduced to a state of destitution. Almost everyone sees the solution to this problem, not in a return to Christian principles (if only on the socio-economic level), but in internationalizing the world. Our shrinking planet must unite - must create a world in which the principles of the French Revolution - 'Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood' - will prevail. The new Church, 'seeking to define herself, to understand what it truly is', finds in the fostering of this unity a veritable raison d'etre. And thus it is that she 'admonishes her sons, but also humanity as a whole, to overcome all strive between nations and races in this family spirit of God's children.' And further, she tells her priests that they must, 'under the leadership of the Bishops and the Supreme Pontiff', work to 'wipe out every ground of division... whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language OR that the whole human race may be brought into the unity of the family of God'(Ch.43).

According to Giancarlo Zizola, John XXIII saw this unity as being achieved in three stages: unity of Christians; unity of all believers in God; and then unity of all men. We will show how this concept is developed by the Council, but first we must see how the Church developed a new concept of unity.


Unity is a characteristic of the traditional Church. She is in fact defined as ONE: 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic'. These four qualities are completely interdependent. Loose one and you loose them all. The Church is Holy because 'she is without spot or wrinkle in her faith which admits of no sin of error against the revealed word of God' She is called Catholic because her teachings not only extend across time and space, but because the term means 'universal' and her truths apply throughout the entire universe, in heaven, on earth and in hell. She is called Apostolic because she teaches the same doctrines which the Apostles taught, and because she retains intact the Apostolic Succession, that 'Iniatic chain' which enables her to provide the sacraments. Finally, she is called One because she is united under one head, she agrees in one faith and she offers throughout her body one sacrifice. She is one because she is united with Christ who is One.

Let us be quite clear on what the traditional Church teaches. As a de fide statement of the Holy Office puts it: 'That the Unity of the Church is absolute and indivisible, and that the Church has never lost its unity, nor ever can'

Pope Pius XII taught the same doctrine in affirming that 'only those are to be accounted really members of the Church who have been regenerated in the waters of baptism and profess the true faith and have not cut themselves off from the structure of the body by their own unhappy act or been severed therefrom for a very grave crime, by the legitimate authority' (Mystici corporis Christi)

The Anglican convert Cardinal Henry Manning, faced with the Anglo-Catholic Ecumenical movement during the last century expressed with precision the position of the Church:

'We believe union to be a very precious gift, and only less precious than truth... We are ready to purchase the reunion of our departed brethren at any cost less than the sacrifice of one jot of the supernatural order of unity and faith... We can offer unity only on the condition on which we hold it -unconditional submission to the living and perpetual voice of the Church of God... it is contrary to charity to put a straw across the path of those who profess to desire union. But there is something more divine than union, that is the Faith. There is no unity possible except by the way of truth. Truth first, unity afterwards. Truth the cause, unity the effect. To invert this order is to overthrow the Divine procedure. the unity of Babel ended in confusion. To unite the Anglican, the Greek and the Catholic Church in any conceivable way would only end in a Babel of tongues, intellects and wills. '

The Catholic Church then, by definition, has Unity. As Bishop John Milner said 'if we unite ourselves with' the Anglo-Catholic Ecumenical Movement, ' the Universal Church would disunite itself from us'

The post-Conciliar Church teaches differently. She claims that she has 'lost her unity' and that the various divisions among Christians constitute a scandal which must be repaired. The Decree on Ecumenism is entitled Unitatis Redintegratio or the 'restoring of unity'. Pope John XXIII established his extra-curial 'Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity' and specified that Unity was the term - not Reunion. The texts of the documents nowhere specify that the Church is already endowed with the charism of Unity. Many of the statements are vague and ambiguous such as 'in all of Christ's disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united...' or 'the Spirit guides the Church into the fullness of truth and gives her a unity of fellowship and service', or 'the union of the human family is greatly fortified and fulfilled by the unity, founded on Christ, of the family of God's sons'. But it is quite specific in other places - 'Promoting the restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the Chief concerns of the Second Sacred Ecumenical Synod of the Vatican...' 'It is the goal of the Council... to nurture whatever can contribute to the unity of all who believe in Christ...' and 'This sacred Synod...moved by a desire for the restoration of unity among all the followers of Christ...'

Many 'followers of Christ' are a long way from being or accepting Catholicism. How are they to be united to the Church? Again, the Council provides the answer. 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated with Christ. They therefore have a right to be honored with the title of Christian, and are properly regarded as brothers in the Lord by the sons of the Catholic Church... From her very beginnings there arose in this one and only Church of God certain rifts which the apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries more widespread disagreements appeared and quite large Communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church -developments for which, at times, men on both sides were to blame. However, one cannot impute the sin of separation to those who at present are born into these Communities and are instilled therein with Christ's faith. The Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers; for men who believe in Christ and who have been properly baptized are brought into a certain though imperfect communion with the Catholic Church' (Decree on Ecumenism).

We see then one possible solution. All who have been baptized are declared to be partially in union. Half or even One quarter Catholicism is acceptable. But this goes against the teaching of the Church. As St. Fulgentius said in post-Apostolic times: 'neither baptism, nor liberal alms, nor death itself can avail a man anything in the order of salvation, if he does not hold the unity of the Catholic Church' (Ad Petrum Diaconum). As for ' justification through faith in Baptism', this is pure Lutheranism, for Luther taught that 'A Christian or baptized man cannot loose his salvation, even if he would, by sins, however numerous, unless he refuses to believe' (The Babylonian Captivity.)

Despite these obvious problems, the Council proceeded to delineate yet another basis for its innovative concept of unity.

CHAPTER X, part 5

Lumen Gentium


The People of God


'It is hard to recognize the Church, the people of God, as clearly being God's people. The more vociferously they claim the title, the less Godlike seem their actions.'
Fr. John McGoey, Celibacy

The term, as the Council admits, originally applied to the Jews of the Old Dispensation. And with justice the Council applies it to those, whether Greek or Jew, who accepted the New Dispensation. But now comes the hitch. How are these people defined? Remember, Protestants claim not only to have accepted the New Dispensation, but to be the only ones to understand it properly. In the document Lumen Gentium one finds 'the People of God' defined in a variety of ways. For example, as those who 'believe in Christ... born of the living water and the Holy Spirit.' Such of course can be Catholic, but by no means excludes any of the most liberal Protestants. But let us go on. The same text tells us in a passage which John Paul II calls the 'key to the entire thinking of the Council' that 'All men are called to be part of this catholic unity of the People of God, a unity which is harbinger of the universal peace it promotes. And there belong to it or are related to it in various ways, the Catholic faithful as well as all who believe in Christ, and indeed the whole of mankind. For all men are called to salvation by the grace of God.' We are not yet finished, for the texts go on to specify that not only are Protestants and Jews related in some way to the People of God, but even those 'who have not yet received the gospel' And here we come to another key passage: 'THE CHURCH IS A KIND OF SACRAMENT OF INTIMATE UNION WITH GOD AND THE UNITY OF ALL MANKIND, THAT IS, SHE IS A SIGN AND AN INSTRUMENT OF SUCH UNION AND UNITY...' Indeed, according to the documents of Vatican II, 'it is necessary that priests, united in concern and effort under the leadership of the bishops and the Supreme Pontiff, wipe out every ground of division so that the whole human race may be brought into the unity of the Family of God.' This is serious business, for as mentioned above, the Council instructs us that 'every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or RELIGION is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent.' We see here delineated John XXIIIthree levels of unity, that of Christians, that of people who believe in God, and finally, all of mankind.

Lest it should be thought that I quote out of context, allow me to give John Paul II's interpretation of these statements. Returning from a trip in Africa, graced with the blessings of the snake charming priestess, he referred to the teaching of Lumen Gentium and its enumeration of 'the different categories which form the People of God'. He then proceeded to tell us that each of these was 'full of the particular hope of salvation: and that this can be 'accomplished equally outside the visible Church.' In a discourse given to the Roman Curia in 1981 he stated that 'in these truly plenary gatherings, the ecclesial communities of different countries make real the fundamental second chapter of Lumen Gentium which treats of the numerous 'spheres' of belonging to the Church as People of God and of the bond which exists with it, even on the part of those who do not yet form a part of it.' He further said that the objective of pastors is to 'call together the people of God according to different senses and different dimensions. IN THIS CALLING TOGETHER THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES HERSELF AND REALIZES HERSELF.'

Salvation outside the Catholic Church

Here again the teaching of the traditional Church is clear. There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. She is the ark of salvation. 'Only those are to be accounted really members of the Church who have been regenerated in the waters of baptism and profess the true faith and have not cut themselves off from the structure of the Body by their own unhappy act or have been severed therefrom for very grave crime by legitimate authority.' At the same time the Church teaches that a person who, suffering from an invincible and non-imputable ignorance, may be saved extra-sacramentally by a 'baptism of desire' which supernaturally gives him or her charity. But, the sine qua non for this is that, as St. Paul says in his Letter to the Hebrews, 'they must believe that God exists and is the rewarder of those that seek him'. It is also important that we understand in this teaching that people are never saved by error or by false sacraments. If non-Catholics are saved under certain circumstances, it is because of the truth, because 'the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.'

Now listen to what Vatican II teaches: Having informed us that she is no longer the 'necessary means of salvation' but only the 'useful means', she further teaches that 'the brethren divided from us also carry out many of the sacred actions of the Christian religion. Undoubtedly, in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community, these actions can truly engender a life of grace and can be rightly described as capable of providing access to the community of salvation.' And as noted above, John Paul II assures us each of the categories of the People of God are full of the hope of salvation, and this can be equally accomplished outside the visible Church.' But if such is the case, what need is there for us to be Catholic?

The Council goes even further and teaches that 'divine providence does not deny the help necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God.' Father Avery Dulles, one of the Council Periti, comments on this: 'The Constitution on the Church in the Modern World confirms this doctrine by asserting that grace works in an unseen way in the hearts of all men of good will. In these and similar texts, Catholic theologians find an official recognition by the Church that an act of saving faith is possible without any explicit belief in the existence of God or any religious affiliation.' And so it is that even Marxists can be saved.

It would seem then that all men can be saved. One doesn't have to recognize the Catholic Church as the true Church; one doesn't even have to recognize that God exists. But John Paul II goes even further in his interpretation of the Conciliar documents. He holds that salvation for all men is not only a possibility, but a reality. This is of course the heresy of apocatastasis. We shall return to this point in discussing the post-Conciliar Church's understanding of the nature of man. For the present we shall continue our discussion of the new Church in the light of Vatican II.

CHAPTER X, part 6

Communicatio in Sacris and dialogue on an equal footing

The traditional Church forbade Catholics to actively participate in non-Catholic rites. Thousands upon thousands of Catholics have been penalized and martyred for refusing to engage in Communicatio in Sacris.

Now the reasons for this are easy to understand. 1) Participation in a non-Catholic rite is seen as an offence against the First Commandment. God instructed us as to how He wished to be worshiped. Of course, God is not in need of our worship, but we have the need to worship him, and hence we must do it properly. To do so in some other way than He taught us is to give acknowledgement to forms of worship He has not approved of. One only has to read the history of Moses to know how God punished those who worshiped in a false manner. 2) The lex orandi is the lex credendi. The rule of prayer is the rule of belief. In other words, the way we pray reflects our beliefs.

Despite these clear cut principles, Vatican II actually 'commends this practice.' And why not, if such false worship 'engenders a life of grace' and the communities that engage in it are ' full of the hope of salvation?' It further encourages 'the discussion of theological problems...where each can treat with the other on an EQUAL FOOTING... from dialogue of this sort will emerge still more clearly what the true posture of the Catholic Church is.'

We are not only free to worship with those who deny our Lord, but we must dialogue with them on an 'equal footing'. To what absurdity this Council goes!. How can those who speak with the words of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and Pius X ever deal on an EQUAL FOOTING with economic determinists, communists and village idiots? As Leo XIII said, 'there is no parity between the conditions of those who have adhered to the Catholic truth by the heavenly gift of faith, and those who, led by human opinions, follow false religions.' One thing is clear however: all the much vaunted 'dialogue' has allowed the 'true posture of the post-Conciliar Church' to emerge more clearly. In every situation the Church has given into Protestant demands; never has the reverse occurred. The only thing which is unclear is whether this post-Conciliar posture is supine or prone, whether the new Church is lying on its back or its belly.

A more benign Church

Pre-Vatican II Catholics were used to a rather rigid Church - one that resisted change and drew clear boundaries with the world. It was a Church that spoke of orthodoxy, sin and heresy and even presumed to guide the reading of the faithful by forbidding to them harmful books. Such a stance would however not be pastoral, it would not foster the new sense of the unity of the people of God. With this in view Paul VI announced that 'we were going to have a period of greater liberty in the life of the Church, and hence for each of her sons... Formal discipline will be reduced, all arbitrary judgement will be abolished, as well as all intolerance and absolutism.' It was to be a Church which in his own words 'avoids peremptory language and makes no demands.'In line with this most of the reasons for automatic excommunication were abolished - though not that for ordaining a bishop without papal approval. The Index was also abolished, for the people of God were far to mature to have their reading censured. The new Church also decided it would no longer condemn or approve divine apparitions such as that of the Blessed Virgin. It abolished the Oath against Modernism and it all but eliminated the words sin, hell and heresy from its vocabulary.

And lest there be any doubt, this Church apologized to the world for its deficiencies - not for the deficiencies of its members, but for the deficiencies of the Church, for the divine institution established by Christ. Listen to its blasphemous and abject whimpering: John XXIII in apologizing to the Jews, declared that the Church - the the pure Bride of Christ - 'had the mark of Cain on her forehead.' Paul VI, not to be outdone, said that 'if the influence of events or of the times has led to deficiencies in conduct, in Church discipline, or even in the formulation of Church doctrine... these should be appropriately rectified... ' This new Church admits to no heresies in the present or future, but only in the past. To state that the Church has been 'deficient' in her teaching is to either deny her infallibility or to accuse Christ Himself of spreading error.

The Subsisting Church

Non-Catholics have always found the claims of the traditional Church somewhat difficult to swallow - precisely because doing so required the humility to admit that they were in error. Hence it was clear that the Council could not foster its brand of ecumenism as long as it claimed to be the one true Church of Christ. The solution was to declare that the Church that Christ founded, the one true Church, subsisted in the Catholic Church - or more precisely, in the post-Conciliar Church. It is difficult to define subsistence, but the post-conciliar Church insists it is equivalent to 'exists'. It is little help to say that the Church Christ founded exists in the post-Conciliar Church, because the term does not imply exclusivity. It does not mean that this Church and only this Church IS the Church that Christ founded. And indeed, we have the recent statement (1984) of the entire English hierarchy to the effect that the Church that Christ founded also 'subsists' in the Anglican Church. As Pope Leo XIII said: 'The Catholic religion is the only true religion, to put the other religions on the same level with it is to treat it with the gravest injustice and offer it the worst form of insult.'

The search for Truth and Meaning

The traditional Church had no doubts about its function. It was the Mystical Body of Christ, Christ's presence in this world. It was a perfect society, which despite the failures of its members, never asked the world to do other than follow the teachings of her divine Master. She had the 'fullness of the truth' and was here to share that fullness with us. As one theological text put it: 'the Proximate end or purpose of the Church is to teach all men the truths of Revelation, to enforce the divine precepts, to dispense the means of grace, and thus to maintain the practice of the Christian religion. The ultimate end is to lead all men to the eternal life.' Vatican II however tells us that 'Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth' (Ch. 16). Paul VI tells us that 'The Church is seeking itself. With a great and moving effort, it is seeking to define itself, to understand what it truly is...' (Address to priests at Varese, Feb. 6, 63).

CHAPTER X, part 7

Human Dignity


Vatican II assures us that we have a better understanding of the nature of man. 'Thanks to the experience of past ages, the progress of the sciences, the hidden treasures in the various forms of human culture, the nature of man himself is more clearly revealed and new roads to truth are opened.' Let us then look to the documents and seek out what has been discovered.

Human Dignity

'There is endless talk about 'human dignity', but it is rather too often forgotten that 'noblese oblige', dignity is invoked in a world that is doing everything to empty it of its content, and thus to abolish it. In the name of an indeterminate and unconditioned human dignity', unlimited rights are conceded to the basest of men, including the right to destroy all that goes to make our real dignity, that is to say, everything on every plane that attaches us in one way or another to the Absolute.'
Frithjof Schuon

The Council says a great deal about the 'dignity ' of man which is said to originate in 'man's call to communion with God'. The Council also tells us that 'Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in Him, has been raised in us to a dignity beyond compare, for, by His Incarnation... the Son of God, in a certain way united Himself with each man' (Ch.) John Paul II discusses the implications of this in his Encyclical Redemptor Hominis:. 'We are dealing', he says, 'with 'each' man, for each one is included in the mystery of Redemption, and with each one Christ has united Himself forever through this mystery.' Again in a speech given in 1981 he states that 'from now on and always, without regret and without turning back, God shall be with all mankind, becoming one with it, to save it and to give it His Son, the Redeemer... For all time, the Incarnation bestows upon man his unique, extraordinary and ineffable dignity... Man redeemed by Christ, and... to each man - without any exception whatever - Christ is in a way united, even when man is unaware of it.' He says much the same in the Christmas Message he gave in 1980: 'Man was taken up by God as son in this Son of God becoming man... in this Son we are all made new to ourselves.' And again, in a General Audience in 1981, 'From now on, and always... God shall be with all mankind, becoming one with it to save it... for all time the Incarnation bestows on man his unique, extraordinary and ineffable dignity.' How one wishes John Paul II was right.

Now the traditional Church teaches man, despite the fact that he is made in the image of God, is in a fallen state. Hence it follows that his true dignity lies in his conforming himself to that image. According to St. Thomas, man, being free, is capable of cooperating with grace or rejecting it; capable of being raised to the dignity of the sons of God or remaining in his fallen state destined to perdition. Sin is never dignified. It also teaches that Christ is primarily and principally the head of those who are united to him in act, whether by glory in heaven, or by charity, or at least by faith, on earth. Christ is also the Head of those who are united to Him potentially -that is, who have the real possibility of converting to Him. In this latter category fall the infidels, who, as long as they are alive, are able to acquiesce freely to the grace received from Christ. I quote St. Thomas Aquinas who continues with regard to those who do not convert to Christ during their lives: 'as soon as they leave this world, they cease totally to be members of Christ'. So it is not the sole fact of the Incarnation that unites all mankind to Christ - rather, each man must adhere to the grace of Christ. To the best of my knowledge, neither Vatican II nor John Paul II make any mention of the need for personal conversion or sanctity as the sine qua non for this claim to dignity.

Admittedly John Paul II often speaks in a circuitous and ambiguous manner. We must however take him at his word, and presumably post-Conciliar Catholics consider such statements as authoritative and binding. But if it is the Incarnation that redeems us, and indeed, all men, and this regardless of whether they conform to it or not, what becomes the purpose of the Cross and Passion? John Paul II gives the answer in his Encyclical Dives et Misericordia. The Passion is only a 'witness' to man's supernatural dignity; it demonstrates, he tells us, 'the solidarity of Christ with human destiny... a disinterested dedication to the cause of man.' Let me quote him further: 'It is precisely beside the path to man's eternal election to the dignity of being an adopted child of God that there stands in history the Cross of Christ, the only-begotten Son... who has come to give the final witness to this wonderful Covenant of God with humanity, of God with man - every human being.'

Now, if we accept John Paul's doctrine, it follows that all men (or 'all people' to use the current non-sexist liturgical phrase) are saved. He tells us as much in Dives et Misericordia, for he states that 'the mystery of election concerns all men, all the great human family'. He is even more specific in a sermon given at Santa Maria in Travestere in 1980: '[Christ] obtained, once and for all, the salvation of man - of each man and of all men, of those whom no one shall snatch from His hand... Who can change the fact that we are redeemed - a fact that is as powerful and fundamental as creation itself... The Church announces today the paschal certitude of the Resurrection, the certitude of Salvation.'

Certainly God desires that all be saved, and certainly the Passion of Christ is sufficient to redeem all men. But not all men are saved, but only those who believe in His redeeming power and conform their lives to it. Perhaps this is what John Paul meant, but it is certainly not what he said, and what he said, as we shall see, is consistent with the other 'developments' offered us by the post-Conciliar Church.

CHAPTER X, part 8

Deification of man

The deification of man

If all men are united to Christ and saved by the Incarnation, we have an explanation of how and why they can be united to one another. With his salvation assured and his dignity established, what more can man ask for? Man is truly deified.

Surprisingly, Michael Davies concurs. 'It was the Council as an event', he tells us in Pope Paul's New Mass, 'that gave the green light to the process of the formal deification of man.' No wonder Montini constantly expressed his confidence in man: 'We have faith in Man. We believe in the good which lies deep within each heart, we know that underlying man's wonderful efforts are the motives of justice, truth, renewal, progress and brotherhood.' At times Montini even waxed elegant. 'There are no true riches but Man... Honor to Man, honor to thought, honor to science, honor to technique, honor to work, honor to the boldness of man, Honor to man, king of the earth, and today Prince of heaven.' John Paul II is no less enthusiastic. 'To create culture', he tells us, ' we must consider, down to the last consequences and entirely, Man as a particular and independent value, as the subject bearing the person's transcendence. We must affirm Man for his own sake, and not for some other motive or reason; solely for himself! Even further, we must love man because he is Man, by reason of the special dignity he possesses.' (Address to UNESCO, June 2, 1980)

Private judgment

Father Gregory Baum, one of the Council periti and currently Cardinal-Head of the Congregation in charge of seminary education is quoted by Michael Davies as saying: 'I prefer to think that man may not submit to an authority outside of himself.' And why should deified man seek any authority outside himself? Imbued with such principles it is not surprising to find the Council teaching that 'in religious matters' man 'is to be guided by his own judgement'. Now the true Church has always taught that private judgement is never a basis for religious belief. It is the Church which is meant to be our guide. But, as we have seen, the new Church has joined others in 'seeking the truth,' and is trying 'to define itself.' Such an institution implicitly denies that it has the 'fullness of the truth' and so modern man is - quod absit - left with no other choice but to use his private judgment.

Religious Liberty

'Evil and error cannot have aright to be set forth and propagated... The State is false to the laws prescribed by nature when, every bridle being removed, full power is left to evil and error to upset minds and corrupt minds...'
Pope Leo XIII

You may wonder why I did not start out with discussing religious liberty. Most people consider it the bete noire of the Council, but as we have seen, there is far more wrong with Vatican II than its novel teaching on Religious Liberty. By bringing it up at this point we can better situate it in the total schema of the documents. Religious Liberty is not the only error, but rather it is the inevitable consequence of all the other errors we have listed.

The Council teaches that 'Religious freedom has its foundation in the dignity of the human person .. the right of religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature' Think about it. If Christ is in a certain way united to each man, and each man is redeemed, and if, as John XXIII pointed out, 'all men are equal by reason of their natural dignity' (Pacem et Terris), then each man's religious views must be equally true. After all, how can a person who is united to Christ and whose salvation is guaranteed, have false opinions? But, are we not back to the Masonic-Roussouist concept of man with a religious, almost pantheistic twist? Is this not proclaiming the absolute sovereignty of the individual and his independence of God's authority? But there is more. The Conciliar document adds that this right to religious liberty 'continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.'and'religious bodies also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith.... the right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed, and thus it is to become a civil right' It seems clear that according to Vatican II one can believe anything one wants; one can teach whatever one wants even if one does not really believe it; and that the state must guarantee one's freedom to do this.

Let us be quite clear on the position of the traditional Church. She has never denied to anyone the freedom to worship as they see fit; indeed, she has always insisted that every person must - their very salvation depends upon it - follow their own conscience. But she has never conceded that people have a right to believe error, much less a right to do so hypocritically. She would certainly deny a person the right to teach falsehood to others. (Who of us would knowingly allow a teacher to teach our children falsely?) There is an enormous difference between a freedom and a right. A person may have the freedom to commit abortion or murder, but he can never claim the right to do so. When it comes to matters of religion, God gave man an intellect by means of which he might know the truth. He also gave him the freedom, but not the right to misuse this intellect. The Decree on Religious Freedom violates this fundamental principle. John Paul I made this abundantly clear when he stated that 'the Church had always taught that only the truth had rights, but now the Council made it clear that error also has rights' (Time Magazine).

Not only does the Council authorize man to believe error, and to do so with hypocrisy, it also demands that this 'right' be guaranteed by Constitutional governments. This means that any crackpot that comes down the pike can teach whatever he wishes - Marxism can be taught in schools; and homosexuals can advocate the freedom of sexual choice in the classroom; and Satanism must be accorded the same rights as the Church that Christ established.

Since the state is obliged to give the same recognition to error as it does to truth, and since there will inevitably be 'thousands' of different religions in the state, there must result a radical separation of Church and State. Hence, it was with a 'mandate from Vatican II that Paul VI induced Spain, Portugal and several South American governments which gave primacy of place to the Catholic religion, to change their Constitutions in order to bring them into line with this new teaching. In essence this means that no country, even if all its citizens are Catholic, has a right to declare itself Catholic! And no government has the right to establish a Catholic code of ethics within its Constitution.! Such a stance is an open denial of the Kingship of Christ by the 'Vicar of Christ.'

The offence to our divine Lord is further compounded by the Conciliar declaration that this right 'conforms to divine revelation' - which is to say that this doctrine was received from Christ, and that hence all those who denied this right - practically all the Popes of the Church - betrayed Christ. Perhaps this is one of those areas where the Church was 'deficient in its formulation of doctrine'. But if Christ is the source of this teaching, the Church is radically destroyed. How is it possible for Christ who lived and died to provide us with the truth; who said, 'go forth and teach all nations whatsoever I have taught you...' and at the same time for him to say 'Its fine with me if you tell lies about me (which is blasphemy), you can believe anything you wish and behave in any manner you like. It was to give you this 'right' that I hung upon the cross!?'

CHAPTER X, part 9

Religious Liberty


A Church that believes in man's innate dignity, a dignity that requires no effort on his part; a Church that believes every man should judge for himself what is right and wrong; a Church that believes that man evolves, and hence that his religious beliefs evolve; a Church that does not claim to teach what Christ taught in an integral and unchanged manner; a Church which declares it is seeking for the truth along with other men, has a major problem. Such a Church can hardly claim to be the teacher of mankind. What function is it then to have? The answer is that it must place itself in the 'service of the world.' And how is it to do this? By being the 'avant-guard' of a 'new humanism' and 'universal culture' based on 'wholesome socialization' so that man can act in consort to build a 'better world' in the future. But before this can happen, religious strife must be eliminated and mankind must be united.

And so the function of the new Church is to be the 'catalyst' for this unity -'The Church is a kind of sacrament of intimate union with God, and the unity of all mankind, that is, she is a sign and an instrument of such union and unity... At the end of time, she will achieve her glorious fulfillment. Then... all just men from the time of Adam will be gathered together with the Father in the Universal church.' In these statements taken from Vatican II there is both ambiguity and a thinly veiled millenarianism. They continue: Of course the Church 'recognizes that worthy elements are to be found in today's social movements, especially in an evolution towards unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms...,' and hence she must join and encourage all such elements, and she must 'wipe out ever ground of division so that the whole human race may be brought into the unity of the family of God.' So important is this goal that her priests are instructed: 'every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion [emphasis mine] is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent.'

Elsewhere we are given further insights into this proposed unity. 'Recent psychological research explains human activity more profoundly. Historical studies make a signal contribution to bringing man to see things in their changeable and evolutionary aspects. The human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic, evolutionary one... Thus little by little a more universal form of human culture is developing, one which will promote and express the unity of the human race... It is a fact bearing on the very person of man, that he can come to an authentic and full humanity only through culture, that is, through the cultivation of natural goods and values... The Church believes she can greatly contribute towards making the family of man and its history more human... Thus we are witnesses of the birth of a new humanism, one in which man is defined first of all by his responsibility towards his brothers and towards history'(All from Vatican II). Make no mistake about it. This is the program of the new Church. John Paul II tells us specifically that the objective of pastors is to 'call together the people of God according to different senses and different dimensions. IN THIS CALLING TOGETHER THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES HERSELF AND REALIZES HERSELF.'

This is the direction in which the post-Conciliar hierarchy would lead us. Here we have a vision of what the new Church has in mind. As Paul VI said, 'the time has come for all mankind to unite together in the establishment of a community that is both fraternal and world-wide... The Church, respecting the ability of worldly powers, ought to offer her assistance in order to promote a full humanism, which is to say, the complete development of the entire man, and of all men... to place herself in the avant-guard of social action. She ought to extend all her efforts to support, encourage and bring about those forces working towards the creation of this integrated man. Such is the end which the [new] Church intends to follow. All [post-Conciliar] Catholics have the obligation of assisting this development of the total person in conjunction with their natural and Christian brothers, and with all men of good will.' This is what he elsewhere calls 'the new economy of the gospel.' John Paul II fully shares the vision of his 'spiritual father.' 'The Church, while respecting the competence of the different Nations, should offer her assistance in promoting a full humanism, that is to say the complete development of men, of all men. Placing itself at the head of social action, she should concentrate all her efforts to support, to encourage, to push the initiatives which work to promote the total person.'

It boggles the mind to find the 'pontiffs' telling the faithful that they must accept this kind of sophomoric mumbo jumbo and secular humanism as 'the authentic teaching of the Magisterium.' What has all this to do with religion? Apart from being blatant nonsense, all these statements falsify the nature of man, the true ends and purpose for which he was created, and the raison d'etre for the Church. Further, they are based on a variety of parochial and theoretical sociological assumptions that have no basis in reality. The concept of man's inevitable 'progress,' his 'dynamic' and 'evolutionary' character, and the idea that through 'a process of wholesome socialization' we are 'building a better world' is nothing but disguised Teilhardianism and Marxism. Suddenly we see the Church supposedly established by Christ propagating all the illusions of the modern world, above all its belief in progress, evolution, and that thanks to science and human endeavor we can build a perfect utopia - a host of false concepts that are truly the 'opiates of the people.' To expect a hierarchy that thinks in these terms to be concerned with metaphysical principles, spiritual values, or even the validity of the sacraments, is absurd.

A new attitude towards communism and socialism

One of the major problems facing the world is the 'East-West' socio-economic and political conflict. Mankind cannot be united until this is resolved. Where the traditional Church prayed for the conversion of Russia, the new Church encourages, nay embraces, Socialist values within her own bosom. Where the one said that no Catholic could co-operate in any way with Socialism, the other proclaims the redeeming values of this system. The change came in John XXIII's Pacem and Terris 'all men are equal by reason of their natural dignity'. This being so he added, 'all political communities are of equal natural dignity since they are bodies whose membership is made up of these same human beings.' Vatican II followed this up by teaching that the Church 'is bound to no particular form of Human culture, nor to any political or economic or social system.' Lest the faithful be left in doubt about this new attitude towards Communism, the Council further noted that 'The Church further recognizes that worthy elements are found in today's social movements, especially in an evolution towards unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of the association in civic and economic realms.' As John XXIII said 'the Church is not a dam against communism. the Church cannot and should not be against anything...' It will be argued that all this is not a full endorsement of Communism. But it must be considered in the light of the fact that the Council refused, despite the request of over 400 Council Fathers, to condemn Communism in any form.

At no time has the new Church spoken out against Communism as such. It occasionally condemns its excesses, but never its principles. This new attitude is part of the Teilhardian dream of combining 'the rational force of Marxism' with the 'human warmth of Christianity', and the Council, following this clue in stating that 'through her [the Church's] individual members and her whole community, the Church believes she can contribute greatly towards making the family of man and its history more human.'

Forgotten in all this is the paradigm of the Prodigal. It was not the Father's function to join the wayward son, but for the latter to return to the bosom of the Father. It is better to live in the forecourts of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the ungodly .


We are now in a position to understand the real nature of the Ecumenical movement. Given the premise that all men have an equal natural dignity because they are united to Christ for all time; that all men are redeemed and that Religious Liberty and the use of private judgment in religious matters is his right, it surely follows that all men have equal access to the truth - or more precisely, possess it in an equal degree. Given the fact that the Church no longer believes she has the fullness of the truth; that she has lost her unity and that this unity can only be regained when all men are gathered together in the People of God, and that it is her desire to be of service and fellowship to the world, it surely follows that she must see her primary function and internal nature as one of fostering this unity - first of all among Christians, then among believers, and finally among all men. How else can the post-Conciliar act than in an ecumenical manner. It is this that explains all the extraordinary actions of John Paul II with the Jews, the Lutherans, -indeed, with all the world's religions. What happened at Asissi was not an 'abuse' but an expression of the Church's 'innermost nature'. Let there be no doubt about this. As John Paul II told the non-Catholic delegates at his inauguration: 'tell those whom you represent that the involvement of the Catholic Church in the Ecumenical movement, as solemnly expressed by the Second Vatican Council, is irreversible.'

Such of course involves the abandonment of any strict adherence to Catholic teaching. Paul VI had already told us that 'exigencies of charity often force us to go outside the bounds of orthodoxy' (Speech in Milan). John Paul went further. In talking to the seminarians at the Lateran he said that loyalty to the Church is not to be defined 'in a reduced sense as maintaining standards, nor does it mean staying within the bounds of orthodoxy - avoiding positions that are in contrast to the pronouncements of the Apostolic see, the ecumenical councils and the learned doctors of the Church...' He continued: 'we must have a divergence of positions, although in the end we must rely on a synthesis of all.' As he said elsewhere, we are to have a pluralistic Church, but it is for Rome to decide the limits of this pluralism.

With this goal in view, the Church is not only willing to give up her commitment to the true faith and sound doctrine; she is also willing to sacrifice her most precious possession, the Holy Eucharist itself. Thus she teaches that the shared Eucharist is to be the sign of this unity. John Paul II tells us in his Encyclical Redemptor Hominis that 'The Church is seeking the universal unity of Christians... and is gathering particularly today in a special way around the Eucharist and desiring that the authentic eucharistic community should become a sign of the gradually maturing unity of all Christians.' With this in mind he has himself given Communion to Anglicans and Lutherans .

The communitarian nature of Salvation History

So critical is this task OF UNITY that the new Church tells us that 'it has pleased God to make men holy and save them, not merely as individuals without any mutual bonds, but in making them into a single people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. So from the beginning of salvation history He has chosen men not just as individuals, but as members of a certain community. This communitarian character is developed and consummated in the work of Jesus Christ... She [the church] likewise holds that in her most benign Lord and Master can be found the key, the focal point, the goal of all human history..' Yet another departure from traditional teaching. Man is declared saved, not as an individual, but as a member of the community - that is the community of the People of God. The final line is a classic piece of ambiguity. While sounding orthodox, it is a virtual quote from Teilhard de Chardin Divine Milieu.

But consider yet another point. 'Communitarian salvation, 'salvation history,' 'the 'unity' of all the people of God,' the proclaimed salvation of the atheist, and the acceptance of Socialism. Are we not once again brought back to the Teilhardian thesis? Are we not to be saved as members of some future socialist community? And is not God revealing his will through some kind of dialectical process in which all men will be united and joined together in the future socialist utopia? Is this the 'key,' the 'focal point,' of the new Church? Point Omega...!

Glory to the United Nations - hope of the World

And how is all this to be brought about? John XXIII instructed us that this one world community should be under 'a public authority, having world-wide power and endowed with the proper means for the attainment of its objective, which is the universal common good...' And what organization is to achieve this: According to the post-Conciliar 'popes,' it is the United Nations.

Listen to the words of Paul VI addressing this august body: 'It is your task here to proclaim the basic rights and duties of man, his dignity and liberty, and above all his religious liberty. We are conscious that you are the interpreters of all that is paramount in human wisdom. We would almost say: of its sacred character. The people turn to the United Nations as their last hope of peace and concord... The goals of the United Nations are the ideal that mankind has dreamed of in its journey through history. We would venture to call it the world's greatest hope - for it is the reflection of God's design - a design transcendent and full of love - for the progress of human society on earth; a reflection in which we can see the Gospel message, something from heaven come down to earth'.

The United Nations described as 'something from heaven come down to earth' and 'the world's greatest hope by Christ's supposed Vicar on earth. John Paul II is even more laudatory. Addressing the United Nations in 1979 he never once mentioned the name of Jesus, but clearly stated that 'the governments of the world must unite in a movement that one hopes will be progressive and continuous, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international and juridical instruments are endeavoring to create general awareness of the dignity of the human being... the right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to manifest one's religion either individually or in community, in public and in private...' The United Nations declaration of Human Rights is the same as that of the French Revolution. John Paul II seems to forget that, as Cardinal Pie stated, 'the declaration of the Rights of Man are a denial of the Rights of Christ.'


It is well known that the family unit is the basic unit in every society, and that the majority of souls must sancify their lives in the married state. The Church has always taught that 'the primary end of marriage is the procretion and education of offspring, while its secondary purposes are mutual help and allaying (also translated 'as a remedy for,') concupisence. The are entirely subordinate to the former.' This principle, incorporated in Canon 1013, makes it clear that the welfare of children comes before that of the parents. Moreover, as Pius XII said, it 'has been handed down by Christian tradition, snf [it has been] repeatedly taught by the Supreme Pontiffs.' The doctrine was declared de fide by the Holy Office with the approval of Pius XII (AAS 36, 103, 1944). Now Vatican II has not only declared that the two ends of marriage are of equal significance; it has further reversed the order, listing the secondary end before the primary one. Let us look at what the change in this teaching leads to: it opens the door to artificial forms of birth control, infidelity and divorce. The traditional view demands that even the unitive ends of marriage must be sacrificed for the sake of the children The new view declares that selfishness - for it is fundamentally selfishness that disrupts both love and marriage - has the right to sacrifice the children for its goals. Couple this inversion with the oft repeated teaching of John Paul II that both partners in a marriage have equal authority and responsibilities - a direct contradiction of the teaching of St. Paul - and one in effect destroys the very basis for Christian marriage.

The Church's raison d'etre

And so we have a Church that sees its primary purpose 'the promotion of unity', a Church which sees itself as both 'the instrument of the unity of all mankind'; a Church which sees itself 'as the Sacramental sign of this unity'; A Church whose priesthood is to function primarily to bring about this unity, and a Church which envisions herself obliged to contribute towards 'making the family of man and its history more human.' It is this thrust towards the unity of mankind that belongs to 'the innermost nature of the Church', because she is, 'by her relationship with Christ, both a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate union with God and the unity of all mankind...


It has not been possible to cover all the deviations of Vatican II. Needless to say, virtually every aspect of Church teaching and practice has been attacked. Her liturgy, her missionary activities and even marriage has come under attack. Enough has been said however to show the direction in which the new Church would lead us.

We have reviewed the teachings of Vatican II under four general headings - a new attitude towards the world; a new attitude towards herself; a new attitude towards man; and finally, a new attitude towards her own raison d'etre. We have shown that basic to the 'new orientations' of this Church are its belief in progress and evolution, and hence a need to constantly adapt itself to the world around it - a world which it admires and loves, but a world which has little use for the Church.

Given these facts, the Church had to develop a new outlook. No longer a 'perfect society', the spotless bride of Christ, no longer claiming to possess the 'fullness of the truth', she had to abdicate her role as the spiritual guide for mankind. What then was her function and her raison d'etre? She found the answer to this in 'service', in devoting herself to the task of making the history of man 'more human' and above all in fostering a new concept of world wide unity, 'the unity of the People of God.'She became a sign and sacrament of this unity which will embrace all Christians, then all believers, and finally the whole of mankind.

Having achieved an aggiornamento with the modern world, she had to bring her understanding of man into line with the Masonic Rousseauist view. No longer made in the image of God and wounded by Adam's sin, man is now raised to the dignity of the gods by being declared dignified by nature, united for all time with Christ, and redeemed without effort on his part. The Crucifixion becomes a witness to this dignity which is equal in all. But if we are all united to Christ and in fact all saved, then it follows we all have equal access to the truth. Once more we are brought back to the concept of creating a single religion where, as he instructed the seminarians at the Lateran University, 'we will have a divergence of opinions, although in the end, a synthesis of all'.

Finally, this new utopia, this new humanism which the Church endorses and wishes to foster, will be a socialist paradise, in which all men will be brothers, equal and free. It is for this end that the Council instructs her priests to wipe away every source of discord - be it racial, sexual or even religious. With the help of the United Nations, we are on the progressive march to this Utopia, but we have forgotten the way to Heaven. Point omega is around the corner.

Forgotten the way to Heaven! But that is what the Church is all about. That is why Christ was born and that is why he suffered on the Cross.

CHAPTER X, part 10



(1) Hubert Jedin, Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church, Herder: N.Y., 1960. Ecumenical Councils are also called General Councils. The Church has never formally defined what an ecumenical council is. Philip Hughes states that 'the general council is a purely human arrangement whereby a divinely founded institution functions in a particular way for a particular purpose' (History of General Councils).

(2) These Protestant 'observers' took an active part in the proceedings behind the scenes. Even their very presence must have had an inhibiting effect on the Council Fathers. This was very significant with regard to Russian Orthodox observers from Moscow who only came with the understanding that Communism would not be condemned - a fact reported by several authors and documented by Jean Madiran in Itineraires (Cf. The Vatican-Moscow Agreement by Jean Madiran in The Fatima Crusader, (Constable, N.Y.)Issue 16, Sept-Oct., 1984.

(3) Every time the orthodox fathers wished to define more clearly what was being ambiguously stated, they were informed that the Council was 'pastoral' and not 'dogmatic' (J'acuse le Council by Arch. Lefebvre). However to state that what is 'pastoral' is not 'dogmatic' is like stating that clinical medicine is not based on scientific 'fact'. Pope Paul himself is witness to this statement. In a General Audience (1975) he stated that Vatican II 'differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic but doctrinal and pastoral'. In his Lenten address in 1976 he stated that the Council 'had perfected the doctrine of the Church to such an extent as not to leave any hesitation about the identity of her theological mystery.' The only place where the meaning of 'pastoral' is clearly defined is in the Letter to the Presidents of the National councils of Bishops concerning Eucharistic prayers. 'the reason why such a variety of texts has been offered and the end result such new formularies were meant to achieve are pastoral in nature: namely to reflect the unity and diversity of liturgical prayer. By using the various texts contained in the new Roman Missal, various Christian communities, as they gather together to celebrate the Eucharist, are able to sense that they themselves form the one Church, praying with the same faith, using the same prayer.' In other words, the pastoral intent of the documents was to facilitate and foster that ecumenism - that false unity - which the post-Conciliar Church considers its 'internal mission'.

(4) Requests by hundreds of Council Fathers for the condemnation of Communism -certainly the principal error of our times - were sidetracked by those in control - in clear violation of the Council's own rules of order - as reported by Father Ralph Wiltgen (The Rhine Flows into the Tiber) and others.

(5) In a similar manner Santiago Carrillo, head of the Spanish Communist Party, called it 'Euro-communism', 'our Aggiornamento, our Vatican II.' (Itineraires, May 1977).

(6) Ursula Oxfort, The Heresy of John XXIII, Privately published and available from her. Cf. my review in Studies in Comparative Religion (Middlesex, Eng.): Comments on a Recent 'Traditional' Catholic Book, Vol 17, 1988. Peter Hebblewaithe in his biography of John XXIII tells us that the Council was planned well in advance and that no 'spirit' other than Modernism was involved.(N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985).

(7) Pbro. Dr. Joaquin Saenz y Arriaga, Sede Vacante - Paulo VI no es legitimo Papa, Angel Urraze: Mexico, 1973.

(8) Quoted by Dietrich Von Hilderbrand, Belief and Obedience: The Critical Difference, Triumph, March 1970.

(9) Michael Davies, Archbishop Lefebvre and Religious Liberty, TAN: Ill, 1980. Xavier da Silveira in Brazil holds to a similar position.

(10) Quoted in L'heresie concilaire by Marcel De Corte, Itinieres, July-August, 1976. The statement is contained in a letter from Paul VI to Arch. Lefebvre dated June 29, 1976.

(11) Epistle Cum te to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, 11 Oct, 1976, published in Notitiae, No. 12, 1976.

(12) The reader is referred to Chapter II for the meaning and weight of some of these terms.

(13) Redemptor Hominis and Speech to the Sacred College reported in Documentation Catholique (Paris), 1975, pp. 1002-3.

(14) Speech to the Bishops of France at Issy-les-Moulineaux, L'Osservatore Romano, 3.6.80.

(15) Strictly speaking, he 'pope' and only the pope has the magisterial authority to determine what is and isn't traditional.

(16) Conservative Novus Ordo Catholics are forced to draw lines between obedience to tradition and obedience to the 'new orientations' established by the post-Conciliar 'popes'. Those who reject the authority of these 'popes' adhere to the teaching of the traditional Church and thus avoid the trap of picking and choosing just what is and isn't traditional.

(17) Two translations are available in English. Neither carries a Nihil Obstat and neither is considered 'official'. 1) Walter M. Abbott, S.J., The Documents of Vatican II, America Press: N.Y., 1966 and 2) Rev. J.L. Gonzales, The Sixteen Documents of Vatican II, Daughters of St. Paul: Boston 1967. There is not much to choose between them, though the commentaries are different. Quotations in the body of this text are taken from the first.

(18) Consider the following conciliar statement: 'The widespread reduction of working hours, for instance, brings increasing advantages to numerous people. May these leisure hours be properly used for relaxation of spirit and the strengthening of mental and bodily health. Such benefits are available through spontaneous study and activity and through travel, which refines human qualities and enriches man with mutual understanding. These can help to preserve emotional balance, even at the community level, and to establish fraternal relations among men of all conditions, nations and races.' This from a document of an Ecumenical Council!

(19) Quoted by Rev. Ralph M. Wiltgen, The Rhine flows into the Tiber, Hawthorn: N.N, 1967; Augustine: Devon, 1978.

(20) Documentation Catholique, 1775, p. 1002.

(21) Michael Davies, Pope John's Council, Augustine: Devon, 1977.

(22) Joseph M. Becker, S.J., The Re-formed Jesuits, Ignatius Press, Calif., 1992.

(23) In essence, this allowed those who had captured the Council to control what information was given out to the public.

(24) Bishop Lucey of Cor and Ross in Ireland made these comments in the Catholic Standard (Dublin), Sept. 14, 1973.

(25) Cardinal J. Heenan, A Crown of Thorns, London, 1974.

(26) Brian Kaizer, Pope Council and World, Macmillan: N.Y., 1963. Brian Kaizer was the New York Times Correspondent to the Council. The 'Northern Alliance' consisted of those European theologians who had for a long time been waging a total war against tradition'. As Cardinal Heenan noted: 'it is quite clear that the English-speaking bishops were quite unprepared for the kind of Council the rest of the northern Europeans were planning. The Americans were even less prepared than the British' (source, No. 25).

(27) As E. E. Y. Hales says: 'On the face of it Pope John was allowing the Council to take shape in a way that seemed certain not to produce the Aggiornamento of the Church which he wanted. One explanation of this paradox is that he was subtly allowing the Curia to think that it was going to be their council, so as to ensure that they would not try to thwart it, while he himself knew very well that once it met, it would cease to be theirs, that he [and it] would take over the Curia' (Pope John and His Revolution, Doubleday: N.Y. 1965). Archbishop Lefebvre describes how 'a fortnight after the opening of the Council, not a single one of these carefully prepared schemas remained', and how lists of candidates for the various commissions were prepared and circulated for voting on - men whose names nobody knew: those who prepared the lists knew these bishops very well: they were (I don't need to tell you) all of the same tendency' (A Bishop Speaks, Scottish Una Voce: Edinburgh). Michael Davies reports much the same (Pope John's Council, op. cit.)

(28) Henri Fesquet, The Drama of Vatican II, N.Y.: Random House, 1967.

(29) He watched the entire affair on private television. Examples of his intervention against the established rules of the Council to promote the 'revolution' are given in Chapter IX.

(30) Cardinal Ottaviani, an aged and senior member of the Curia, almost blind, was cut off in the middle of his speech after ten minutes by disconnecting the microphone. The response of the Fathers to his embarrassment was to clap with joy. The ancient Cardinal retired in tears. So much for the Christian charity of these 'Fathers'.

(31) Archbishop Lefebvre's J'Accuse le Councile documents a letter sent to Paul VI complaining about these tactics and signed by several cardinals and Superior Generals of Religious Organizations, and the manner in which he dismissedtheir contentions.

(32) J. Moorman, Vatican Observed, London, 1967.

(33) 'Salvation History', one of the favorite phrases of the innovators, and one clearly implying that Salvation is a istorical process, is particular offensive. Salvation is an 'individual' process. Further, in accord with the Gospel story of the eleventh-hour laborer, salvation today is no different than it was in the days of Abraham. As opposed to this, Karl Rahner defines Salvation in his Theological Dictionary Herder: N.Y., 1965, (which carries a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur) in these terms: 'it does not primarily signify an 'objective; achievement, but rather a 'subjective' existential healing and fulfillment'. He defines 'Saving history' as 'a general term signifying the fact that god, on account of his universal salvific will, has graciously embraced the whole of human history and in it has offered all men his salvation, and that his grace and justification have been concretely and historically realized in humanity... This concept is based on the theological presupposition not only that man has to hope for and accept grace within history, but that grace itself is historical and that history itself, with all that it involves - for instance - the unity of mankind - is grace'.

(34) Quoted in H. Fesquet, Le Journal du Councile, Morel: Paris, 1964

(35) John T. McGinn, Doctrines do Grow, Paulist: N.Y., 1972.

(36) Avery Dulles, S.J. has said, 'without using the term 'continuing revelation', Vatican II allowed for something of the kind.' Donald Campion, S.J. has said with regard to the Constitution on the Church Today, 'here as elsewhere, it is easy to recognize the compatibility of insights developed by thinkers (sic) such as Teilhard de Chardin in his Divine Milieu with the fundamental outlook of the Council.' (Both were conciliar periti and quotes are from commentaries in the Abbott translation.) For an excellent study regarding the Teilhardian influence, the reader is referred to Wolfgang Smith, Teilhardism and the New Religion, TAN: Ill, 1988.

(37) Commentary in the Abbott translation.

(38) Giancarlo Zizola, The Utopia of John XXIII, Orbis: Maryknoll, N.Y., 1978.

(39) There are of course others who see it as a new Crucifixion.

(40) Commentary in the Abbott translation of the Documents.

(41) Father Gustavo Guiterrez, the Peruvian Liberation 'Theologian' goes so far as to say that Marxists will be saved, but not so Christians who fail to join in with the forces of history (i.e., who do not become revolutionary).

(42) That all men will be saved in the end.

(43) 'Passive' participation - as for example, attending a Protestant wedding - was allowed. But actively joining in the service was forbidden.

(44) 'Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?' (2 Cor. 6:14).

(45) Permission to read any book on the Index was readily obtained providing one had an adequate reason to do so.

(46) Quoted in Werner Keller, Diaspora, N.Y.: Harcort, 1969.

(47) Listen to St. Athanasius speaking about the Arian Councils of the Fourth Century: 'the whole world was put into confusion, and those who at the time bore the profession of clergy ran far and near, seeking how best to learn to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ... if they were believers already, they would not have been seeking, as thought they were not... no small scandal... that Christians, as if waking out of sleep at this time of day, should be inquiring how they were to believe... while their professed clergy, though claiming deference from their flocks as teachers, were unbelievers on their own showing, in that they were seeking what they had not... What defect of teaching was there for religious truth in the Catholic church that they should enquire concerning faith now, and should fix this year's date to their profession of faith...'

(48) Light on the Ancient Worlds, Perennial: Middlesex, Eng., 1965.

(49) Sources for quotes in this paragraph are to be found in Louis-Marie de Blignieres, John Paul II and Catholic Doctrine, Society of Pius V, Oyster Bay Cove:NY. This remarkable text fully substantiates this teaching on the part of John Paul II.

(50) This is the probably explanation of he mistranslating of Multis by all in the Novus Ordo Missae.

(51) There are areas of course, where an individual should use his private judgment. See Chapter II for a full discussion.

(52) Pope Gregory XVI called this 'insanity', Pius IX in his Encyclical Quanta Cura, a document whose magisterial intent is made clear by the fact that he initiates it with the statement 'By Our Apostolic Authority We reject, proscribe and condemn...' had this to say: 'Against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert 'that the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require. From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster the erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, viz, that liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare their ideas whatever either by word of mouth, by the press or in any other way.''

(53) It is of interest to quote the comments of Cardinal Siri on this novel teaching of the Council: 'Let us speak not against liberty but against the abuses of liberty. Liberty involves the possibility of sinning, but it in no way implies God's approval or even tolerance of sin. In several places the schema claims liberty for all religious communities, even those that are estranged from the natural law and are contrary to good human morals. We cannot legitimitize what god merely tolerates; we can only tolerate it, and that within the limits of the common good. We cannot therefore accept the proposed schema, insofar as it recommends liberty for all without discrimination... We should consider more carefully the contribution of theological sources to this problem of religious liberty and determine whether or not the contents of this schema can be reconciled with the teachings of Leo XIII, Pius XI, and Pius XII. Otherwise, we weaken our own authority and compromise our apostolic effort.' (Henri Fesquet, The Drama of Vatican II, N.Y.: Random House, 1967).

(54) The Communists were delighted. The Communist Weekly in Rome headlined the statement under the caption of 'No more crusades'. Il Borghese, another Roman paper was more prescient. It stated that 'this policy means the end of la chiesa cattolica romana'.

(55) Pope Pius IX in 1846 called Communism 'absolutely contrary to the natural law itself...' and added that 'once adopted, would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even of society itself.' Leo XIII in 1878 called it 'a mortal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin'. Pius XI in 1937 called it 'a pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and of fraternity...' and further stated that 'Communism is intrinsically evil, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.'

(56) 'In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them, we have had much sorrow. Then certain people were so forward therein, that they went to the King who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen... [and they] made themselves uncircumcised and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen...' Let him who has ears, hear.

(57) Cf. Introibo, No. 43, Jan-Mar, 1984, l'Association sacerdotal Noel Pinot, Angers, France.

(58) Cardinal Vaughan spoke to this when he said: 'Tarry not for Corporate Reunion. It is a dream, and a snare off the Evil One. We have all to be converted to God individually; to learn of Christ, to be meek and humble of heart individually; to take up our Cross and follow Him individually, each according to his personal grace. The individual may no more wait for Corporate Reunion than he may wait for Corporate Conversion...' J.G. Snead-Cox, Cardinal Vaughan Vol II, Herder, St. Louis 1910.

(59) If parents don't get along they can now apply to the Rota for a divorce on 'psychological grounds'.


CHAPTER XI, part 1

St. John Chrysostome

The faithful had never asked for a Council. Most of them were perfectly content with the Church as she was, and even John XXIII had acknowledged that the Church that had elected him was 'vibrant with vitality.' It was one thing for the modernists to capture the Council; it was quite another for them to induce the faithful to change their ways of thinking.

After all, how many Catholics had ever read the Canons of the Council of Trent? (What need was there to do so as long as the clergy could be trusted?) And how many would wade through the tedious and ambiguous statements of Vatican II? Change would occur far too slowly for the impatient innovators. If the liberals were going to introduce what Paul VI called 'the new economy of the gospel' into the every-day life of the Catholic, it was absolutely necessary to attack and change the Liturgy.

Such was only logical. What is extraordinary is the degree to which such an attack had been anticipated. As long ago as 1840 the Abbe Gueranger, noting that 'Satan also has his traditions', prophetically described the Novus Ordo Missae in his Liturgical Institutions (1). In 1896 Pope Leo XIII stated that the Modernists and Reformers (they had other designations then) 'knew only too well the intimate bond which unites faith and worship, the lex credendi and the lex orandi, and so, under the pretext of restoring the order of the liturgy to its primitive form, they corrupted it in many respects to bring it into accord with the errors of the innovators'(Apostolicae curae). We shall see how prescient these men were.

In this chapter we shall discuss the character, meaning and history of the Catholic Mass; the predictions about its possible loss; the effects of the Conciliar 'Constitution on the Liturgy,' and how the innovators brought about the changes that resulted in the Novus Ordo Missae. In the next we will consider the new mass in depth.

The Catholic Mass

Before proceeding, the reader should be aware of the crucial position that the Traditional Mass has always had in the Church. According to St. John Chrysostome, when the Mass is said: 'A fountain is opened which sends forth spiritual rivers - a fountain round which the angels take their stand, looking into the beauty of its streams, since they more clearly see into the power and sanctity of the things that lie to open view, and their inaccessible splendors.'

St. Alphonse de Liguori described it as 'the most beautiful and best thing in the Church.' And why? Because, 'At the Mass, Jesus Christ giveth Himself to us by means of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, which is the end and the purpose of all the other Sacraments.' (3) St. Leonard of Port Maurice called the Mass 'the sole sacrifice which we have in our holy religion... a sacrifice, holy, perfect, in every point complete, by which each one of the faithful nobly honors God.' (4) Father Muller says, 'the holy Sacrifice of the Mass is one of those works greater than which the omnipotence of God cannot produce... It is an utter impossibility for any human or angelic understanding to conceive an adequate idea of the Mass. All we can say is that its dignity and sanctity are infinite'. The Cure of Ars tells us 'all the good works together are not of equal value with the Sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of man, and the Holy Mass is the work of God.'

'The celebration of the Mass', says Father Nicholas Gihr, 'is the most worthy and most perfect divine service, for it procures to the Most High a worship and a veneration which millions of words would be incapable of rendering Him... It is a unique Sacrifice [and] infinitely excels in value and dignity, in power and efficacy, all the many prayers of the Church and the faithful... As often as this memorial sacrifice is celebrated the work of redemption is performed... It is the soul and the heart of the liturgy of the Church; it is the mystical chalice which presents to our lips the sweet fruit of the passion of the God-Man - that is grace.' (5)

Pope Urban VIII said of it: 'If there is anything divine among the possessions of men, which the citizens of Heaven might covet (were covetousness possible for them), it would certainly be the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, whose blessing is such that in it man possesses a certain anticipation of Heaven while still on earth, even having before their eyes and taking into their hands the very Maker of both Heaven and earth. Now greatly must mortals strive that the most awesome privilege by guarded with due cult and reverence, and take care lest their negligence offend the eyes of the angels, who watch with envious adoration.'

Such statements reflect the constant belief of the Church.

CHAPTER XI, part 2

The Catholic Mass is a true Sacrifice

The Catholic Church always speaks of the Mass as a Sacrifice. The Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) teaches that 'Christ hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness.' St. Cyprian tells us that 'the right to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice constitutes the most beautiful adornment and garland of honor of the Catholic priesthood, and for this reason the deprivation of this privilege was regarded as the most severe and most painful of punishments.' St. Ambrose tells us that 'angels are present... when we are celebrating the Sacrifice, for you may not doubt that angels are present, when Christ is there, when Christ is being sacrificed...' The Liturgy of St. James the Apostle states: 'Let all mortal flesh be silent, standing there [at the time of the Consecration] in fear and trembling; let all things of earth vanish from our thoughts; for the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Christ our God is about to be sacrificed and to be given as food to the faithful.'

Now a sacrifice cannot occur without the immolation of a victim. As St. Thomas Aquinas says, 'it is proper to this sacrament that Christ should be immolated in its celebration'(Summa, III, 83, 1). In the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass, the primary sacrificing priest and the sacrificial gift are identical. Only the nature and the mode of the offering are different. Each and every valid Mass recapitulates - makes present once again - that same Sacrifice which occurred at Calvary. Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross was bloody, that of the Mass is unbloody. It nevertheless is one and the same Sacrifice. As the Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches: 'the bloody and unbloody victim are not two, but one victim only, whose Sacrifice is daily renewed in the Eucharist... The priest is also one and the same, Christ the Lord; for the ministers who offer Sacrifice, consecrate the holy mysteries, not in their own person, but in that of Christ, as the words of consecration itself make clear; for the priest does not say: 'This is the Body of Christ', but 'This is my body', and thus, acting in the person of Christ the Lord, he changes the substance of the bread and wine into the substance of His Body and Blood.' Such is binding on the Catholic conscience, for as the Canons of this Council state: 'If anyone saith that in the Mass [each and every Mass] a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God... let him be anathema!'

Protestants and Anglicans reject this dogma. They deny that there is any immolative action and hence any Real Presence. Where Catholics give veneration to the Sacred Species, Protestants admit of only bread and wine and so accuse us of idolatry. They admit that the Sacrifice of the Cross was a true sacrifice, but insist that it occurred once and for all, and that all that happens in the daily Mass is a retelling of what occurred some two thousand years ago. In their eyes the rite is a mere 'memorial' of this historical event. As Luther said, 'The Mass is not a sacrifice... call it benediction, Eucharist, the Lord's table, the Lord's Supper, Memory of the Lord or whatever you like, just so long as you do not dirty it with the name of a sacrifice or action.' As for the Anglicans, Article Thirty One of their 'creed' states that the Mass as understood by the Council of Trent is a 'blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit.'

Because of the infinite magnitude of this immolative Sacrifice, Catholic doctrine holds the Mass is also and at the same time, a sacrifice of praise, of thanksgiving, or propitiation and of impetration (petition).

The Mass is a sacrifice of Praise and Adoration because 'the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice contains an infinitely perfect adoration of God, for it is the Sacrifice which Christ Himself offers to His heavenly Father. Nor is it possible for man to create a rite that is a greater Sacrifice of praise and Adoration, for it is Christ Himself and the Holy Ghost, acting through the Apostles, who is the author of the Mass.' At the same time and in the same way the Mass is a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 'In as much as in the Holy Mass we adore, praise and magnify God through and with Christ, we fulfill in a perfect manner that first duty, which as creatures we owe to the Creator -the duty of gratitude.'

Protestants are perfectly willing to grant that the Catholic Mass can be called a 'sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving'. But this is where they stop. To claim that the Mass is more than this is to them a blasphemy. The Church however insists that the true Mass is much more. Among other things, it is a 'propitiatory sacrifice'; it 'propitiates' (appeases) God's anger and justice. As Father Gihr says, 'on the Cross Christ merited for us all forgiveness of sin, the grace of sanctification and eternal beatitude... Whosoever separates himself from this Sacrifice; whosoever, through disobedience and unbelief, despises and rejects it, for him 'there is left no [other] sacrifice for sins, but a certain dreadful expectation of judgement and the rage of fire'(Heb. 10:26).' Further, as an act of propitiation, the Mass 'calms and appeases the righteous anger of God, disarms His justice, and induces the Lord to regard sinful man with favor and mercy... As a propitiatory sacrifice the Mass has, therefore, the power and, in consequence of the ordinance of Christ, has for object directly and infallibly - that is, in the strictest sense ex opere operato, to cancel temporal punishment.'

Moreover, this canceling of temporal punishment can be applied to both 'the living and the dead.' As St. Augustine says, 'it must not be doubted that the departed receive help by the prayers of the Church and the life-giving Sacrifice.' For the living, this fruit is only 'medially' granted, for by virtue of the sacrifice, the Eucharist obtains this grace for sinners only 'if it finds them disposed'(St. Thomas, Sent., IV. 12, q.2, a.2); for the dead it infallibly remits, but not necessarily entirely, but in accord with the good pleasure of Providence. The Council of Trent holds it to be de fide that 'the Holy Mass is a true propitiatory sacrifice... for the living and the dead,' and the Catechism of the Council of Trent states the Mass is 'truly a propitiatory sacrifice, whereby we are reconciled to God and regain His favor.' Protestant theology specifically denies both the 'propitiatory' nature of the Mass as well as the doctrine of Purgatory.

Finally the Mass is described as a sacrifice of petition or impetration, for as the same Council states, the Mass is offered not only for sins, punishments, and satisfactions, but also for 'other remedies.' Man, in offering Mass, can anticipate that his requests - providing they are in conformity with God's will - receive an appropriate response. And in view of all that has been said above, how could it be otherwise?

'O my God, Eternal and Omnipotent Father, I offer Thee in union with Thine Only-begotten son Our Lord Jesus Christ, His very own Passion and Death on the Cross in this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: in profound ADORATION of Thy Divine Majesty; in joyful THANKSGIVING for all Thy graces and blessings; in humble REPARATION for my innumerable sins and those of the whole world; and in ardent SUPPLICATION for Thy mercy and grace, as well as for the temporal needs of myself, my loved ones, and my neighbor. O God, be merciful to me a sinner!'

The Reformers knew that if they took the time-honored Mass from the faithful, they would have to face a violent reaction. They therefore initially only 'reformed' it by removing from it any reference to a Sacrifice other than that of 'praise and thanksgiving.' They left the outer shell intact after removing its essential character. This is why the Council of Trent insisted that: 'if anyone saith that the Sacrifice of the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving... let him be anathema!'

Not only is the Mass the most sacred and central act of worship in the Church, it is also, in line with the oft repeated phrase 'legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi - let prayer fix the law of faith' - an infallible source of truth and doctrine. As Pius XI said, it is 'the most important organ of the ordinary magisterium of the Church.' Having been in greater part established by Christ and the Apostles, 'it is a theological locus of the first importance in knowing the living Tradition of the Church.'

Clearly no human or group of ordinary people could have created a service that fulfills all the above criteria. And hence it is not surprising that the essential ceremonies of the traditional Mass date back to the Apostles. As Father Gihr says: 'Christ's example was the norm for the Apostles at the celebration of the Sacrifice. They did, first, only that which Christ had done before. According to His directions and under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they observed other things besides, namely, according to circumstances, they added various prayers and observances, in order to celebrate the Holy Mysteries as worthily and as edifyingly as possible. Those constituent portions of the sacrificial rite which are found in all the ancient liturgies, have incontestably their origin from Apostolic times and tradition: the essential and fundamental features of the sacrificial rite, introduced and enlarged upon by the Apostles, were preserved with fidelity and reverence in the mystical blessings, the use of lights, incense, vestments and many things of that nature that she [the Church] employs by Apostolic prescription and tradition...'

This then is the Mass of All Times, the Mass 'codified by Pius V' and protected by the Apostolic Bull Quo Primum, that Mass that Paul VI changed because, among other things, it contained 'undesirable features' and 'failed to adequately express the holy things it signified.'

CHAPTER XI, part 3

Holy of Holies

The 'history' of the Traditional Mass

While certain prayers were at times added to the traditional Mass, it is well recognized that its central core or 'Canon' (meaning 'rule') remained fixed and unchanged from the earliest days. According to Sir William Palmer, a non-Catholic historian: 'There seems nothing unreasonable in thinking that the Roman Liturgy, as used in the time of Gregory the Great [540-604] may have existed from a period of the most remote antiquity, and perhaps there are nearly as good reasons for referring its original composition to the Apostolic age...' (15)

Contrary to Modernist principles, the Christian Revelation ceased with the death of the last Apostle. The Canon of the Mass essentially consists of those parts instituted by Christ, and of certain prayers added by the Apostles under divine inspiration. The resulting Canon was considered so sacred that mediaeval theologians referred to it as the 'Holy of Holies,' comparable to the inner sanctum of the Temple of Jerusalem. Intense historical research has discovered only two additions to this Canon after the fourth century. Pope St. Leo (440-461) added the phrase 'a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim' (Sanctum Sacrificium immaculatem hostiam) to the prayer 'Be pleased to look upon these offerings' (Supra quae propitio); and Pope St. Gregory (540-604) added the phrase 'order our days in Your peace and cause us to be saved from everlasting doom and to be numbered among Your chosen ones' (Diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione non eripi et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerrari), to the prayer 'This then is our beautiful offering...' (Hanc igitur). Apart from these minor additions (not deletions), the Canon in use today by the traditional Church is the same as that used by PopeSt. Damasus in the years 366-384. Historical evidence prior to Pope St. Damasus is sparse. After all, before the reign of Constantine (who died in 337) the Church was under constant persecution. Furthermore, the words of the Canon were so sacrosanct that they were part of the Arcana - that is to say, they were kept secret lest they be profaned. Thus it is that Chapter IV, Session XII of the Council of Trent states: 'For it [the Canon] is composed out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the Apostles, and the pious institutions of the holy pontiffs.'

Any claim to 'return to primitive practice' other than by use of this Canon is patently false. As Father Louis Bouyer, an ex-Lutheran who helped compose the new mass, wrote prior to the Council: 'The Roman Canon, as it is today, goes back to Gregory the Great. There is not, in the East or the West, a Eucharistic prayer remaining in use to this day, that can boast of such antiquity. In the eyes not only of the Orthodox, but of Anglicans and even those Protestants who have still to some extent a feeling for tradition, TO JETTISON IT WOULD BE A REJECTION OF ANY CLAIM ON THE PART OF THE ROMAN CHURCH TO REPRESENT THE TRUE CATHOLIC CHURCH.'

The Additions to the Mass outside of the Canon proper are also of ancient origin. Consider, for example, the reading of Scripture. The first Gospel was written some eight years after the Crucifixion, and the Apocalypse many decades later. We know that it was the custom to read from Scripture and other sacred writings (such as the Shepherd of Hermes) before the Canon, because St. Procopius (martyred in the year 303) had the function of translating these readings into the vernacular. The 'Canon' of Scripture was established in 317, and the Scriptural readings used in the traditional Mass were fixed by St. Damasus in the fourth century. (He established a one year cycle which the post-Conciliar Church, following the example of the Lutherans, has changed to a three year cycle.) In the fifth century Pope St. Celestine I introduced the Introit and the Gradual, chants taken from the Psalms appropriate to the season and the feast. In the sixth century Pope St. Gregory added the Biblical phrase Kryie Eleison (Lord have mercy on me). In the seventh century Pope St. Sergius introduced the Angus Dei. The practice of the priest stating at the time of Communion 'Corpus domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat... (May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve...) is said to date from the time of the Albigensian heretics who denied the 'Real Presence,' though St. Hippolytus (A.D. 220) informs us it was customary in his day to say 'This is the body (blood) of Christ.' And throughout history the various religious orders have added special prayers such as those commemorating their own saints. Over the centuries then, various additions were made to the ceremonies surrounding the Canon. But the Canon itself remained sacrosanct.

Finally, at the time of the Reformation when the authority of tradition was being attacked, and when innovations and novelties of all sorts were being introduced, it became necessary to codify and 'fix' for all times the most Holy Mass so as to protect it from any possible corruption. This was achieved by the study of original documents over the course of several pontificates. The Roman Missal and Breviary were eventually published by Saint Pope Pius V in accord with the wish expressed by the Fathers of the Council of Trent. (This is why the traditional Mass is sometimes called 'the Mass of Pius V' - a misnomer taken advantage of by the new Church to promulgate the calumny that Paul VI's drastic changes did nothing other than was done by his predecessor Pope Saint Pius V ) (19).

The publication of the Roman Missal was accompanied by the proclamation of the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum (20). From henceforth this Missal was to be used throughout the Roman Church by all her members, though exceptions were made in favor of certain religious orders (like the Dominicans) who had said essentially the same Mass with slightly different ceremonies for at least 200 years prior to that time. Thus, even today, should one have the privilege of hearing a traditional Dominican Mass, (21) one would recognize certain minor variations, but would easily be able to follow it with the standard Roman Missal. Quo Primum is to be found in the front of every Missal published between 1570 and 1968. It has been repeatedly re-confirmed by every Pontiff from Pius V to John XXIII, some 42 in all. Let us consider some of the statements in this Constitution (the entire document being given in the Appendices): 'We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons of whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank of preeminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics. They must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal... Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that for the chanting or reading of this Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious of whatever order or by whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whatsoever is to be forced or coerced to alter this Misal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remains always valid and retains its full force... Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this letter, or heedlessly to venture to go contrary to this notice of Our Permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Would anyone however presume to commit such an act, he should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.'

This is the Mass that Father Faber said 'was the most beautiful thing this side of heaven'. Yet this is the Mass that the post-Conciliar Church has abandoned, destroyed and forbidden to the faithful (22).

CHAPTER XI, part 4

Abbe Gueranger

The Meaning of the Mass

There is in the traditional Mass, no word or phrase, no single act of the celebrant, and no adornment of the altar or the priest, which is without significance. As M. Olier, the saintly founder of St. Suplice said: 'in order to present the mystery of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, one must know that this sacrifice is the Sacrifice of Heaven... A Sacrifice is offered up in Paradise which, at the same time, is offered up here on earth, and they differ only in that here on earth the sacrifice occurs unseen.' What M. Olier is referring to is explained in the Apocalyptic vision of St. John the Apostle in which he describes the sacrifice of the Lamb, slain but alive and seated on the throne, with the twenty-four ancients adoring Him with melodies on the harp and with the burning of incense, while multitudes of angels and all creatures sing praise to the Lamb and the eternal Amen (Apoc. 5:6-14). As Scripture teaches: 'the Lamb was slain from the beginning of the world'(Apoc. 13:8), this 'Lamb, unspotted and undefiled, foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you'(1 Pet. 1:19-20). Thus, in the Mass we see the Celestial Sacrifice of the Lamb brought down from Heaven and present on the altar before our eyes. As Canon Smith tells us, such saintly individuals as 'P. Condren, Cardinal de Berulle, M. Olier and P. Lapin are at one in holding that Christ in Heaven continues for ever to make an external and visible offering of His sacred Body, but whereas on Calvary that Body was destroyed in death, in Heaven it is annihilated, so to speak, in the radiant devouring glory of the divine life.' The Consecration and Sacrifice effected by the priest (standing in the place of Christ) is then, the visible manifestation of an eternal act. As the Abbe Gueranger says in The Liturgical Year, after the Consecration, 'the divine Lamb is lying on our altar!' The reader is asked to consider the accompanying illustration drawn from a standard text. It shows how the Liturgy celebrated at a precise moment in time, is the visible reality, here and now, of the timeless, eternal Mass of Heaven described in the Apocalypse. Through it, we participate in the Celestial Liturgy; through it the gates of Heaven and the possibility of eternal life are made available to us.

The concept is important if we are to understand in what way the Mass is a 'memorial'. It is not a memorial in the sense that we commemorate the death of the unknown soldier, or even the death of a loved one. (This is the Protestant view, namely that the Mass is a 'memorial' of the Crucifixion.) Rather, the Mass is a memorial in the sense that it 'recalls to mind,' once again, in time and space, what happened on Calvary and what is occurring eternally and perpetually in Heaven. This can only occur through the mediation of a priest who has been given the power to bring, as it were, Heaven down to earth.

It naturally follows that every word and action of the priest is significant. The Mass recapitulates the entire history of the Redemption. If for example he makes 33 Signs of the Cross, this is to commemorate the number of years Our Lord spent on earth. If he extends his hands over the chalice while reciting the Hanc Igitur, he is recapitulating the action of the High Priest of the Jews who placed his hands on the sacrificial goat to transfer to it the sins of the people. (The 'scape-goat,' prefiguring Christ was adorned with a red ribbon - as Christ was mockingly covered with a red cape at His trial - and then led out into the desert where he was hurled down from a high precipice as a Sacrifice.) If the priest faces the altar during the Sacrifice (except when he turns to bring us the blessings that derive therefrom), it is because it is on the altar that the action is occurring, and the priest is, like Christ whom he represents, an intermediary between us and God. If the altar traditionally faces the East, it is because this is the direction of the Rising Sun, a symbol of our Lord. As to the altar - it is not a 'table' - we know from its consecration that it relates to the altar of Moses and also to that of Jacob (Jacob's pillow) - and that the alter itself is the Body of Christ and is placed 'at the center of the world' - the axis mundi - so that all creation is, as it were, peripheral to the Mass and thus capable of being integrated through the divine action. And if the priest is dressed in royal fashion during the rite, it is because he represents Christ the King. He is no longer an individual ('Father 'Bob''), but an alter Christus - another Christ. It is not for nothing that the priest purifies his hands before performing the Sacrifice, nor for vain reasons that he cleanses the chalice with exquisite care after consuming the Sacred Species. None of these acts are the inventions of men . As the Abbe Gueranger says: 'It is to the Apostles that those ceremonies go back that accompany the administration of the sacraments, the establishment of the sacramentals, the principal feasts... The apostolic liturgy is found entirely outside of Scripture; it belongs to the domain of Tradition.'

Yet this is the Mass that the post-Conciliar 'popes' saw as having 'undesirable features' and 'failing to adequately express the holy things it signified'. In the face of the changes mandated by the post-Conciliar 'popes', will not Our Lord once again complain that 'my pastors have destroyed My Vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot..., they have changed My delightful portion into a desolate wilderness'(Jer. 12: 10-11).

Can We Loose the True Mass?

Had Satan been aware that Christ was the Divine Logos, he would never have agitated for the Crucifixion. Needless to say every true Mass reminds him once again of his terrible mistake and at the same time is a vehicle for infinite graces being bestowed on mankind. No wonder that he has an intense hatred for the Mass.

It has always been predicted that the true Mass would be taken from us. Listen to the words of St. Alphonse de Liguori: 'The devil has always attempted, by means of the heretics, to deprive the world of the Mass, making them precursors of the anti-Christ, who, before anything else, will try to abolish and will actually abolish the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, as a punishment for the sins of men, according to the prediction of Daniel 'And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice' (Dan. 8:12).' (30)

Much the same is said by Father Fahey: 'All the frightful energy of Satan's hatred is especially directed against the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Arrayed with him and animated with the same hatred, there is an army of invisible satellites of the same nature. All their efforts are directed towards preventing its celebration by exterminating the priesthood, and towards curtailing its effects. If Satan cannot succeed in completely doing away with the one and only acceptable act of worship, he will strive to restrict it to the minds and hearts of as few individuals as possible.' (31)

The hatred of the Reformers for the traditional Mass is well known. Luther called it an 'abomination', a 'false blasphemous cult', and instructed the rulers under his influence 'to attack the idolators' and to suppress their worship as much as possible. He repeatedly denied its true sacrificial nature and above all hated the 'abominable Canon in which the Mass is made a sacrifice'. Indeed, he went so far as to say 'I affirm that all brothels, murderers, robberies, crime, adulteries are less wicked than this abomination of the Popish Mass.' As to the Canon or core of the Mass, he stated: 'That abominable Canon is a confluence of puddles of slimy water, which have made the Mass a sacrifice. The Mass is not a sacrifice. It is not the act of a sacrificing priest. together with the Canon, we discard all that implies an oblation.'

In words that are almost prophetic Luther noted that 'when the Mass has been overthrown, I think we shall have overthrown the Papacy. I think it is in the Mass, as on a rock, that the Papacy wholly rests... Everything will of necessity collapse when their sacrilegious and abominable Mass collapses.'

When we come to the Anglicans we fare little better. While their phraseology was slightly more restrained, it is clear that they also denied the Real Presence. Texts current during the time of the Reformation describe the Blessed Sacrament as 'a vile cake to be made God and man', and the Mass itself as 'the worshipping of God made of fine flour'. The phrase 'hocus pocus' was used by the English Reformers to deride the Words of Consecration 'Hoc est Corpus Meus.' Anglican theology denies that the Mass is a sacrifice as Catholics understand it, and allowed the word sacrifice to be applied in only three senses: the sacrifice of thanksgiving, benevolence and liberality to the poor, and the mortifying of our own bodies. None of these requires an altar. As Cranmer said, 'the form of a table shall more move the simple from the superstitious opinions of the Popish Mass into the right use of the Lord's Supper. For the use of an altar is to make a sacrifice upon it: the use of a table is to serve for men to eat upon.' Cranmer and his ilk specifically denied the doctrine of transubstantiation (or the Real Presence), and if the First Book of Common Prayer, due to the ambiguous use of language, was capable of a Catholic interpretation, changes were made in the Second Book of Common Prayer specifically designed to exclude this possibility. If any doubt remains as to their attitude the reader is referred to the 'Thirty Nine Articles' to which every Anglican (and Episcopalian) clergyman must adhere, and which 'no man may hereafter either print, or preach, to draw the Article aside in any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof...' The list of articles which are de fide for Anglicans includes the one we have already called attention to, namely that the Mass as understood by the Council of Trent is 'a blasphemous fable and a dangerous conceit.'

What then are we to think when we find Paul VI being photographed with, and thanking the six Protestant 'observers' for helping in the creation of his Novus Ordo Missae - for assisting in 're-editing in a new manner liturgical texts tried and tested by long usage, or establishing formulas which are completely new... [thus] imparting greater theological value to the liturgical texts so that the lex orandi conformed better with the lex credendi' (L'Osservatore Romano, May 11, 1l70)? Quite apart from admitting the scandal of non-Catholic involvement in the creation of this new 'rite,' the statement implies that either the liturgical texts prior to 1969 did not possess the degree of theological value which was desirable, or that the lex credendi (the Church's law of belief) had changed! Should we have any doubt about which of these two alternatives to choose, the Protestants have resolved them for us. The Superior Consistory of the Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine (Evangelical Lutheran) publicly acknowledged that Lutherans could take part in the 'Catholic eucharistic celebration,' because it allowed them to 'use these new Eucharistic prayers with which they felt at home.' And why did they 'feel at home with them?' Because they had 'the advantage of giving a different interpretation to the theology of the sacrifice than they were accustomed to attribute to Catholicism' (Dec. 8, 1975). Dr. M. G. Siegvalt, a Professor of dogmatic theology at the Protestant faculty at Strasbourg has testified that 'nothing in the renewed Mass need really trouble the Evangelical Protestant.' The Protestant theologian Jaraslav Pelikan tells us that the obvious purpose of the Conciliar Document on the Liturgy was to introduce 'the liturgical programme set for the by the Reformers.' And what was this program of the Reformers other than to destroy the Mass and thus to destroy the Church? The final result is described by Archbishop Bugnini, the primary person responsible for the creation of the Novus Ordo Missae: 'the liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church.'

Both Lutherans and Anglicans, to say nothing of other categories of 'separated brethren,' find no objection to participating in the Novus Ordo Missae, and indeed, in using it themselves as an alternative form of worship. Nor does the post-Conciliar Church have any objection to Anglican 'priests' who join the Catholic Church, using their own rites. Obviously, Protestants do not find the new rite a 'blasphemous fable... more wicked than all brothels, murders, robberies, crimes and adulteries.' Indeed, some Protestant sects have made alterations in their own rites to bring them into line with the Novus Ordo. As Brother Thurian of the Taize community states, 'one of the fruits [of the Novus Ordo] may be that non-Catholic communities may be able to celebrate the last Supper with the same prayers as the Catholic Church. Theologically this is possible.' The Anglican Archdeacon Pauley states that the Novus Ordo has, in many places, 'outstripped the Liturgy of Cranmer.' Supposed Catholics also bear witness to the situation. As Father Galineau, S.J. says, 'The Roman rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.' In a similar manner Archbishop Dwyer said 'the Latin past of the Church' has been 'all but expunged... reduced to a memory in the middle distance.' In the light of such statements, how are we to understand the words of Paul VI whose primary function is to preserve the deposit of the faith intact: 'Let everyone understand well that nothing has been changed in the essence of our traditional Mass... There is nothing in this idea, absolutely... The new rite, the Mass, is the same as always. If anything, its identity has been made more recognizable in certain of its aspects' (Allocution, Nov. 16, 1969). 'It is in the name of tradition that we ask all our sons and daughters, all catholic communities, to celebrate with dignity and fervor the renewed liturgy. The adoption of the Novus Ordo Missae is certainly not left to the free choice of priests or faithful... The New Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old...'(Custos, quid de nocte, May 24, 1976).

CHAPTER XI, part 5

Sacram liturgiam

Vatican II's Liturgy Constitution

The traditional Mass is then, not only the most sacred possession of the Church, but also a treasure that can be traced back to Apostolic times. It was the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy promulgated by Vatican II that opened the doors to change by stating that the sacramental rites are to be reformed 'in accord with sound tradition' - as if sound tradition did not demand their retention without change. Let us see how it set about doing this. It stated: 'The divine liturgy is made up of unchangeable elements divinely instituted, and elements subject to change. The latter not only may but ought to be changed with the passing of time if features have by chance crept in which are less harmonious with the intimate nature of the liturgy, or if existing elements have grown less functional. In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify.'

While the first sentence is true, the second implies that the traditional liturgy contained features which were undesirable and which failed to adequately express the holy things they signified. For this there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever. But the second sentence was much more - it was a 'time bomb' - for the simple reason that the document never specified what was and what wasn't 'unchangeable'. As we shall see in the next chapter, even the very words Our Lord used for the Consecration at the Last Supper fell into the category of 'elements subject to change!'

The Council then went on to specify some of the changes they considered necessary. They were to be characterized by the need for a 'noble simplicity,' they were to be 'short, clear and unencumbered by useless repetitions', and they were to place the rite 'within the people's powers of comprehension' so that they 'didn't require much explanation.' In addition, they were to be such that the 'Christian people' could 'take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.' Needless to say, the use of the vernacular was approved. Taking advantage of the theological usage of the term 'Logos' (which can be applied to Christ, to the Eucharist, or simply translated as 'the Word'), the document stressed the concept that Scripture was 'the Word of God' and that the role of Scripture 'was of paramount importance in the celebration of the Liturgy.' Such a statement allowed for the displacement of the Eucharist in favor of Scripture, and indeed, for the displacement of tradition in favor of the Bible. The Eucharist itself was described as the 'Sacrament of Unity', the term 'unity' meaning one thing to the traditional Bishops, and quite another to those who envisioned a new world order. In order to satisfy the conservatives, however, certain phrases were inserted. The rites were to be revised in accord with 'sound tradition'; 'there were to be no innovations unless the good of the Church generally and certainly required them,' and Latin was to be retained as the 'official language of the Church.' Such phrases were of course more 'time bombs'. They sounded fine but were open to multiple interpretations.

But there is more. Having said all this, the document went on to state that 'in some places and circumstances... and even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed,' and power to approve these further 'adaptations' was to be granted to local 'territorial ecclesiastical authority.' History will show that this was one of the biggest 'time bombs' of all. Every local hierarchy set up its own 'territorial authority' or 'liturgical commission' and every possible innovative variation was introduced. When Rome sorted these out and returned to a somewhat more stable and conservative liturgical form, the faithful who had not abandoned the Church completely were able to breath a sigh of relief. Relative to what had been going on it seemed like a return to orthodoxy.

As the Protestant theologian Jaroslav Pelican stated, the Constitution on the Liturgy 'does not merely tinker with the formalities of liturgical worship,' it 'seeks to form and to reform the very life of the Church,' and that it represents 'the acceptance, however belated, of the liturgical programme set forth by the [early Protestant] Reformers.' Annibale Bugnini who was primarily responsible for the final form of the Constitution and hence in an excellent position to evaluate it said, 'the image of the liturgy as given by the Council is completely different from what it had previously'(Doc. Cath. Jan. 4, 1967). No wonder Cardinal Ottaviani asked the assembled fathers if they were 'planning a revolution.'

Preparing the Faithful Before the Council

Paul VI said that the acceptance of the new 'mass' was an 'act of obedience' to the Council. The Council, however, only opened the flood-gates to reform - the innovators had been hard at work for many years and were well prepared to take advantage of the situation John XXIII created. Attacks upon the liturgy and sacraments date back to sub-apostolic times, and can be documented throughout the course of history. The Freemasons have always had an intense interest both in creating their own rituals,and in having the Church alter those established by Christ and the Apostles in order to bring them into line with Freemasonic principles (44). The Abbe Dom Gueranger described the service that the reformers would create over 100 years ago and it is amazing to note the degree to which the Novus Ordo Missae fulfills his criteria .

Over the past 50 to 100 years the attacks on the Liturgy have been in the hands of modernist 'reformers' within the Church. They have continuously labored and primarily achieved their goals, by infiltrating the 'Liturgical Movement' which had originally been instituted to preserve and foster the traditional forms of worship. Even though the Church frustrated most of their efforts prior to Vatican II, the innovators were successful in introducing a whole host of concepts into this movement - such as the idea that the liturgy had to be 'pastoral,' simple, and easily understandable (How can we easily understand such a high mystery?); the need for using the vernacular; the concept of 'the people of God'; 'the primacy of the Word of God' by which they meant the primacy of Scripture over the Eucharist; and the insistence on activism and participation on the part of the laity. All this, plus a large number of pseudo-historical studies aimed at undermining the historical foundations of the liturgy helped to prepare the way.

Even the claim that the Liturgical Commission created the Novus Ordo Missae after the Council is false, for a virtually similar rite had been in use in South India as early as 1950, and at Taize since 1959. All that the innovators did with the help of the Protestant 'observers' was to put the finishing touches on their earlier efforts. The Abbe Bonneterre provides an excellent review of the machinations of these reformers over the past 50 years. (47) We shall review a few of them briefly.

In 1948 Pius XII established the 'Commission for Liturgical Reform.' (48). Its director was the Rev. (later Cardinal) Ferdinando Antonelli, O.F.M. and the Secretary the Rev. (later Archbishop) Annibale Bugnini, C.M. It is these two individuals who have primarily been responsible for the various steps that culminated in the Novus Ordo Missae.

We have already presented evidence that Archbishop Bugnini was a Freemason. Service for Pentecost Eve was entirely suppressed. The Liturgical Revolution was well on its way.

The next step was the promulgation of the decree Cum Nostra Hac Aetate in 1955. This introduced a host of minor changes in the Breviary and Missal which in no way affected the laity, but which introduced among the clergy a sense that 'change was in the air' and further alterations were in the offing. But the laity were also to be softened up and Cum Nostra Hac Aetate was followed up by the suppression of the Solemnity of St. Joseph as 'Patron of the Universal Church' and its replacement by the Feast of 'St. Joseph the Worker' - and this on May Day, the international Socialist holiday. Then in 1958, one month before the death of the beleaguered Pius XII, the Instruction on Sacred Music was promulgated which fostering the 'Dialogue Mass.' Under the cover of encouraging lay participation, commentators made their first appearance -their supposed role being to read in the vernacular while the priest read in Latin. All these changes were masterminded by Antonelli and Bugnini.

In October 1958 John XXIII came to the pontifical throne and within three months the Council was under way. Annibale Bugnini was appointed to serve as secretary of the Preparatory Liturgical Commission of the Council. Clearly the ideal person was placed in the ideal position to leave behind the 'time bombs' that later exploded. The fox was given the run of the chicken-coup.

In July of 1960 John XXIII promulgated a new body of rubrics (rules) for the Breviary and Missal; he thus established what has come to be known as 'the Mass of John XXIII, or 'Middle Bugnini.' Then in 1962, during the Council itself (and during the debates on the Sacred Liturgy), John XXIII introduced the name of St. Joseph into the Canon of the Mass - the first change in over 1500 years and a clear-cut message to the assembled Fathers that virtually nothing was sacrosanct.

John XXIII died in 1963 and was followed by Paul VI. Almost immediately we have a host of continuous minor liturgical changes culminating in the promulgation of the New 'mass' on April 3, 1969. Once again, the person appointed to oversee all this was the infamous Annibale Bugnini. Over 200 documents are involved and those who wish to follow the dismantling process step by step are referred to 'Documents on the Liturgy' published by the Liturgical Press . As Michael Davies has noted, 'a cursory reading [of these documents will reveal that they are frequently replete with sound theology, stern warnings against abuses and unauthorized innovations, profound veneration of tradition and traditional liturgical forms, urgent admonitions to preserve these traditions... In reading these documents it is necessary to ignore the orthodox padding and discover exactly what they permit which was not permitted before and exactly what they forbid which was not forbidden before.'

Perhaps the most important of these documents was Sacram Liturgiam (January 1964). which established the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgica or the Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy. It consisted of some 50 bishops, several Protestant 'observers', and two hundred consultants or advisors, mostly drawn from the periti of the Council. It also emphasized the right of the national hierarchies ('territorial authorities' mentioned above) to approve vernacular translations, a fact which Father Bugnini considered a most significant development because it 'broke the centuries old barrier' which insisted that Rome had to approve liturgical translations. He further noted that the term territorial is 'designedly elastic.' Another was Inter Oecumenici (Sept. 1964) which, among other things, initiated the laity praying the Pater Noster with the priest, changed the formula used by the priest in distributing communion, forbade the Leonine Prayers after Mass for the Conversion of Russia (including the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel), introduced the 'Prayer of the Faithful' (the 'Bidding Prayers' of the Anglican Church) and allowed for the entire Mass apart from the Preface and Canon to be said in the vernacular. Other changes included the abolition of the Judica Me (the priest's prayers) at the beginning of Mass and the dropping of the Last Gospel. Perhaps the most important thing it did however was to set up 'National diocesan liturgical Commissions' dominated by liberals, an act which resulted in 'the creation of a vast liturgical bureaucracy with a vested interest in the reform, particularly its continued evolution.' Inter Oecumenici went beyond the Mass; it also introduced changes in the other Sacraments, little noticed at the time.

What the laity saw was a constant series of innovations in their liturgy. Every week something new was introduced. In April of 1965 the Holy See authorized the vernacular for the Preface. In September the practice of substituting Saturday evening Mass for the Sunday obligation was approved. Then in May of 1967 Tres Abhinc Annos allowed the entire Canon to be said in the vernacular, forbade the laity to genuflect (kneel down) at the Incarnatus; the priest to genuflect after consecrating the Sacred Species and abolished all Signs of the Cross between the Quam oblationem and the consecration of the Chalice. (Cranmer suppressed all but two of them in his 1549 communion Service and dropped the remaining two in 1552 after Martin Bucer objected to their retention.) Because the prayers said in association with these Signs of the Cross remained unaffected at this stage, most priests accepted the change without complaint. This further conditioned them to accept the new Eucharistic Prayers when they were promulgated - 'Canons' which contained neither the prayers nor the Signs of the Cross. Other significant changes were that the priest no longer had to keep his thumbs and forefingers together lest the smallest part of the Host should fall; he was only to kiss the altar at the start of the service, and he was free to say Mass without the chasuble, thus appearing like a typical Protestant minister.

As Michael Davies says, the list of mutilations to the traditional Mass is long and depressing. The mask was off completely'. Father Bryan Houghton was blunter in stating that 'This was the revolution'. Father Stephen Rigby discussed the situation in these terms: 'withdraw this, make that optional and see how they take it. condition them by the gradual and permissive for the compulsory and the revolutionary.'

The stage was set. The fact that the Tres Abhinc Annos met with little resistance meant that no large scale opposition was to be feared when the new 'mass' appeared. The next step was the English (ICEL) mistranslations. The penultimate step was the Decree Preces eucharisticae promulgated in May 1968 which introduced three new Canons. The consilium had wished to abolish the ancient Roman Canon completely, but Paul VI 'intervened' to save it . Saved it was, to become Eucharistic Prayer No 1, but changed in significant ways which will be discussed in the next chapter. Conservative priests hailed this as providing a way 'out', while others were perfectly free to use the other 'Eucharistic Prayers' which were shorter, easier, and according to the Consilium, better reflected 'the worldwide and ecumenical perspectives of the Second Vatican Council and also those of the so-called 'theology of secular values'.' We no longer had to use the venerable Canon 'composed out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the Apostles, and the pious institutions of the holy pontiffs.' These three new 'canons' blew the old Mass to pieces!

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini was ecstatic. He stated: 'The new song has begun, and it will not cease. Life generates life: the first verses of this new canticle will call forth other verses, other hymns, and other innumerable and unceasing songs: the songs of the liturgy of perennial youth. It is the law of life. We should not then turn our backs on this inescapable demand of the Spirit because of temporary discomfort, technical difficulties, or force of habit -- even if these habits are deeply rooted. In their relationship with god, the new generations feel the need for new formulas which express more explicitly the spiritual needs of today. They know that they can pray equally well to God with a 'new song'. It is to this that the Church now invites us. '

The Liturgical Revolution was thus introduced by stages. This was precisely the policy followed by Cranmer, who, at the beginning of his liturgical revolution, avoided any drastic changes 'which would needlessly provoke the conservatives and stiffen the attitude of that large class of man, who, rightly handled, could be brought to acquiesce in ambiguity and interim measures.' As Cardinal Heenan said in a pastoral letter: 'I would have been foolhardy to introduce all the changes at once. It was obviously wise to change gradually and gently. If all the changes had been introduced at once, you would have been shocked'(Sept. 1969).

And so we are brought to April 1969, and the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae which Paul VI asked us to accept 'with joyous enthusiasm and to implement it with prompt and unanimous observance.' This was demanded on the grounds that the reform was 'due to the express wishes of the recent Ecumenical Council.' Every Catholic was obliged to render 'prompt adherence' because 'the reform about to be implemented corresponds to an authoritative mandate of the Church. It is an act of obedience, an attempt by the Church to maintain her true nature' (General Audience, Nov. 1969).

CHAPTER XI, part 5

Michael Davies


(1) Michael Davies, Institutions Liturgique, Vol. III. A translation of this is available in Studies in Comparative Religion, Summer, 1975; and The Roman Catholic, Vol. II, No. 3, May 1980.

(2) Quoted in Michael Muller, God the Teacher of Mankind, St. Louis: Herder, 1885.

(3) Alphonse de Liguori, The Holy Mass, London: Denzinger, 1887.

(4) St. Leonard of Port Maurice, The Hidden Treasure, Ill: TAN, 1982.

(5) Dr. Nicholas Gihr, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, St. Louis: Herder, 1929.

(6) Dr. Nicholas Gihr, op. cit. The Liturgy of the Apostle James can be found in The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Mich: Eerdmans, 1967.

(7) The describe the efficacy of the bread and wine used in their services in a wide variety of ways. Some admit that Christ is 'subjectively' present for the worshiper, but all deny any objective 'Presence' independent of the worshiper.

(8) The Anglicans and Lutherans say the Nicene Creed. The statement however is taken from 'The Thirty-nine Articles' to which the Anglican and Episcopalian Churches demand assent.

(9) Nicholas Gihr, op. Cit.

(10) ex opere operatio - literally 'by its own power'. The defects of the priest or communicant do not affect its power except as explained in the text.

(11) Confessions, I, 9, c. 11-12.

(12) Ad. Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, N.Y.: Desclee, 1959.

(13) Rev. Greg. 1937, p. 79.

(14) A.M. Henry, O.P., Introduction to Theology, Vol I., Chicago: Fides, 1954.

(15) The Apostles established different Masses in different parts of the world - all with the same essential core. (Revelation comes to us from the Apostles as well as from Christ.) Many of these have been translated into other languages such as Arabic, Coptic, etc. Thus it is that the Church recognizes some 76 different 'rites' as valid.

(16) The reasons for the creation of the new mass will be discussed in the next chapter.

(17) Quoted by Patrick H. Omlor, Interdum, issue No. 7, Menlo Park, Calif., 1970. He also quotes Muratori (1672-1750) who The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) describes as 'one of the greatest scholars of his time' to the effect that 'in ancient times, although the liturgy of the Roman Mass was observed generally in the churches of Italy, France, Germany, Britain and other countries, yet there was no small variety in their Missals; but this did not affect the substance of the mystery, or the chief and essential rites of the Mass. The difference ran in adding collects, sequences, and special feasts which each Bishop might insert in his own Missal. But to change the sacred words of the Canon was a crime.'

(18) Fr. Louis Bouyer, The Decomposition of Catholicism, Chicago: Fransciscan, 1969. Prior to Vatican II Father Bouyer gave his full support to the Liturgical revolutionaries. After he saw their new mass - the Novus Ordo Missae - he stated 'the present situation in Catholic worship has merely gone the same road as the east traditional and must undisciplined aspect of Protestantism.'

(19) Paul VI stated that 'in no different way did our holy predecessor Pius V make obligatory the Missal reformed under his authority, following the Council of Trent' (Custos quid de nocte). Post-Conciliar defenders often state that changes were made in the Mass after the Council of Trent. This is false. There were four minor corrections made necessary by the carelessness of printers or reference to original texts. One has only to examine the so-called 'reforms' of Popes Clement VIII and Urban III to see that they have absolutely nothing in common with the 'reforms' of Paul VI. Similarly, Pius X made a revision, not of the text, but of the music, in order to bring the Gregorian Chant back into usage.

(20) A 'Constitution' is defined as 'an irreformable statement of what the Church's belief is' (Louis Bouyer, The Liturgy Revived), and 'the binding force of a pontifical constitution is... beyond question' (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908).

(21) Quo Primum does not forbid a Catholic from attending a Mass of the Eastern rite, though Canon law required that the faithful remain within one rite (and remain attached to a single parish church) unless special circumstances prevailed. Church law since Vatican II allows people to go to any Church they wish (providing it isn't traditional); and thus they are free to pick from a spectrum of conservative to liberal Novus Ordos.

(22) The so-called 'Mass of the Indult' is the Mass of John XXIII and not, as is usually claimed, the traditional Mass as codified by Pius V. Some have referred to it as the 'Mass of the Insult'. Those interested in a comparison between these two Masses are referred to The Roman Catholic, Vol VI, No. 8, Sept. 1984.

(23) Quoted in Gaby, Le Sacrifice dans l'ecole Francaise de Spirituality, Paris, 1951.

(24) Canon George d. Smith, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, N.Y.: Macmillan, 1949

(25) Dangle Rock, D.D., ... Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, London: Booker, 1883.

(26) This is not unrelated to the Platonic conception of 'recollection'.

(27) During the Reformation in England, altars were destroyed and replaced with wooden tables. Altar stones were incorporated into church steps to force the faithful to walk on them when entering the churches (F. G. Lee, The Church under Queen Elizabeth, London: Baker, 1896). As for the post-Conciliar Church, it has spared no expense in tearing up altars and replacing them with tables. While some of the traditional regulations are still recommended, they are no longer mandatory and hence are ignored with impunity. For example, in the traditional Church an altar stone or its equivalent was mandatory. Now, 'an altar stone containing the relics of the martyrs is to be commended but is optional' (General Instruction to the New Roman Missal). Traditional rubrics required that the alter be covered with three clean and blessed linen cloths which symbolized the members of the Mystical body as well as the shroud in which Christ was wrapped before being placed in the tomb. Now, only one, and not necessarily linen, is required. Former regulations demanded two lighted candles on the altar at the time of the low Mass, and these made of beeswax for the wax extracted by bees from flowers symbolized the pure flesh that Christ received from the Blessed Virgin. It is no longer necessary to have candles of any kind on the altar. (The use of six candles at High Mass represented the incorporation of the Jewish Manorah into the Christ's sacrifice. The seventh light is Christ Himself.) The Crucifix, which formerly always had to be present on the altar before the priest, is now, according to the rubrics, only required to be 'near by'.

(28) The post-Conciliar rite, is described as a 'Supper', takes place on a 'table', around which the faithful are said to 'gather'. The Chalice is not referred to as a 'cup'. These are all Protestant ways of denigrating the sacrificial character of the Mass. The new rite was also created by individuals whose names we know.

(29) Dom Gueranger, Institutions Liturgique, op. Cit.

(30) St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Dignity and Duties of the Priest or Selva, London: Benzinger, 1889.

(31) Father Dennis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganization of Society, Dublin: Regina, many editions. The faithful can survive without the sacraments, as indeed the Japanese Catholics did for some 300 years. At the end of this period however, they immediately recognized the priests who came to them. The desert fathers also went for years without receiving the sacraments. However, the ordinary means of sanctification are the sacraments of the Church and the faithful have the right and the duty to receive them without having doubts about their validity.

(32) Quoted in Father Hartman Grisar's six volume study on Luther, Herder: St. Louis, 1917. As to the collapse off the Church, consider the following: 'in Europe, 39 of the population still officially calls itself Catholic, and 25 in the United States. But the hard core of 'practicing' Catholics is growing ever smaller both in the Old World and in North America. A priest of the populous periphery of Rome said last month that the percentage of practicing Catholics in his parish is only a bit more than 2 of those registered as Catholics. In France there are some who speak of a 'terminal crisis' of Catholicism.' (30 Days, March 1989).

(33) Quoted in Michael Davies, Cranmer's Godly Order, Devon: Augustine, 1976.

(34) While they were said to be only 'observers', and indeed such was claimed by the post-Conciliar Church (La Documentation Catholique, July 4, 1976), the fact remains, that as Cardinal W. W. Baum said, 'they are not simply there as observers, but as consultants as well, and they participate fully in the discussions on Catholic liturgical renewal. It wouldn't mean much if they just listened, but they contributed' (The Detroit News, June 27, 1967). Michael Davies gives much more ample evidence of their participation in his Pope Paul's New Mass.

(35) Le Monde, Paris, November 22, 1969.

(36) Michael Davies, Pope Paul's New Mass, Texas: Angelus, 1980.

(37) Notitiae, April, 1974. If Bugnini was primarily responsible for its creation, it was Paul VI who was totally responsible for its implementation.

(38) They are 're-ordained' in the post-Conciliar Church but encouraged to use their own rites because their congregations are used to them. Even Cardinal Newman admitted that 'Catholic and Protestant modes of worship represent radically different beliefs' (Loss and Gain).

(39) La Croix, Paris, May 20, 1969.

(40) B. M. Pawley, Rome and Canterbury through our Centuries, London, 1974.

(41) Quoted by Michael Davies, op. Cit.

(42) Twin Circle, Oct. 23, 1973.

(43) This is to ignore the fact that the Mass was established by Christ over 300 years before the Bible came into existence.

(44) According to Michael Davies, 'a priest placed what he claimed was documentary evidence proving that Mgr. Bugnini was a Mason in the hands of the Pope himself and warned that if drastic action was not taken, he would be bound in conscience to make the facts public.' What followed was the 'exile' of Bugnini and the dissolving of the congregation. Michael Davies, having investigated the evidence, is willing to stand warrant for its truth. (Pope John's Council, Devon: Augustine, 1977). No wonder the new mass is little more than a 'Masonic meal'.

(45) Cf. C. W. Leadbeater, The Science of the Sacraments, and an excellent discussion in The Remnant, March 16, 1981. Leadbeater:. actually wrote a new mass, but the Novus Ordo Missae goes much further than his creation in the direction of Freemasonic conceptions.

(46) Published for the Church of South India by the Christian Literature Society (P.O. Box 501, Park Town, Madras). The purpose of this rite was to allow a variety of different Protestant sects to worship together. Taize is a Lutheran community in France. Taize currently uses the Novus Ordo Missae.

(47) Abbe Didier Bonneterre, Le Mouvement Liturgique, Switz: Fideliter, 1980.

(48) 'Pope Pius XII... did not understand the real nature of the 'Liturgical Movement'. The most dangerous membersof this organization were covered over and protected by the highest dignitaries of the Church. How could the Pope suspect these experts, so much praised by cardinals Bea and Lercaro, were in fact the most dangerous enemies of the Church?' The abbe Bonneterre, op. cit.

(49) For Bugnini's Freemasonic affiliations see note Note. 43. For Freemasonry and the Church see Monseigneur Jouin, Papacy and Freemasonry, and Cardinal of Chile, The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled, both from Christian Book Club of America: Hawthorne, Calif. To quote one of Freemasonry's authorized spokesmen, F. Limousin: 'Freemasonry is an association... an institution... so it is said... but it is not that at all. Let us lift up the veils risking even to evoke numberless protestations. Freemasonry is a Church: It is the counter-Church, counter-Catholicism: It is the Other Church - the Church of Heresy and Free thought. It is opposed to the Catholic church... The first church... The Church of dogmatism and of orthodoxy.'

(50) He was the individual at Vatican II who first spoke out against the prepared schemas and selected appointees. Archbishop Lefebvre among others have identified him as a Freemason.

(51) It should be remembered that Pius XII was both elderly and sick. This is three years before his death. Surrounded with like minded individuals and with the revolutionary Cardinal Bea as his confessor, it is not surprising that he gave into these innovators.

(52) Previous attempts at introducing St. Joseph's name into the Canon had been rejected. Pius VII on being pressed to do this answered 'Negative quod additionem nominis S. Joseph Sponsi B.V.M. in Canone.' (Urbs et Orbi decree, Sacred congregation of Rites, Sept. 16, 1815.)

(53) Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979 Conciliar, Papal and Curial Texts, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1982. This is perhaps the most valuable single source of information about launching the Reform.

(54) This intervention was the height of hypocrisy. It enabled people to see him as a defender of orthodoxy when he is totally responsible for the introduction of the new 'mass'. Most of the faithful failed to notice the minor changes in Eucharistic Prayer No. 1 that brought it into line with Protestant theology.

Virtual Vandée's Editorial Note
We preserved the integrity of the text which we received as computer files from Doctor Coomaraswamy in 2000. This edition of the book, second one, doesn't differ from the first one in the sphere of conclusions , however, the book was practically rewritten from the beginning. In January 2002 Doctor informed us that he works on the next edition, which will be published on his own internet page.


Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci

Novus Ordo Missae

'He who goes about to take the Holy Sacrifice of the mass from the Church plots no less a calamity than if he tried to snatch the sun from the universe.'
St. John Fisher (1)

As noted previously, those who wished to achieve an aggiornamento with the modern world, feared 'that nothing would come out of the Council.' Innovators are always impatient people. Even though they had managed to insert their false ideas into the 'official' documents of the Church, they knew that this alone was insufficient.

For most people things would have gone on much as before. The only way to introduce all these new ideas -- what Paul VI called 'the new economy of the Gospel' -- into the hearts of the Catholic laity, was by means of the liturgy. This way the innovators would have a captive audience on every Sunday. Of course, as was demonstrated in the previous chapter, the innovators had planned long and well. Revolution is always well planned and directed from above.

The Novus Ordo Missae was first publicly offered in the Sistine Chapel before a Synod of Bishops in October of 1967. At that time it was called the Missa Normativa (or 'normative Mass'). The bishops were polled as to their opinion. 71 voted yes; 62 voted yes with reservations, and 43 rejected it outright. To accommodate their wishes, a number of minor changes were made, including the restoration of two of the traditional offertory prayers.

Paul VI promulgated the final form as the Novus Ordo Missaein his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969). Tied to it was an explanatory text entitled the Institutio Generalis (General Instruction). While the liberals were delighted, others were far from pleased. cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote to Paul VI in September stating that the new 'mass' represented, 'both as a whole, and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent.' Along with the letter they presented to him the Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae by a Group of Roman Theologians. In an attempt to deflect the criticisms of this document, a revised General Instruction was issued on March 26, 1970 -- but absolutely no change was made in the text of the Novus Ordo Missae itself. Since then some further minor changes have been made; the current version appeared in 1975. Let us examine this new rite in greater detail.

If the Novus Ordo Missae was to reflect the beliefs of the post-Conciliar Church and at the same time remain acceptable to Catholics brought up in the ancient faith, it had to 1) Avoid professing the new doctrines too openly, while expunging anything which contradicted them. At the same time it could not deny any Catholic doctrine directly -- it could only dilute or expurgate it; 2) Introduce changes slowly and retain enough of the outer trappings of a true sacrifice so as to give the impression that nothing significant was changed; 3) Create a rite that for ecumenical reasons was acceptable to Protestants of every shade and persuasion, but all of whom consistently denied that the Mass was truly the unbloody sacrifice of Calvary and that a 'sacrificing' priest was necessary; and 4) Soften up Catholic resistance and introduce into the lives of the faithful the modernist ideas promulgated by Vatican II. The only way the Novus Ordo Missae could achieve all this was by the use of ambiguity.

There is nothing ambiguous about the traditional rites of the Church; and indeed, the Mass is, as the theologians say, a primary locus (source) of her teachings. Despite the laxity of modern language, we should not forget that the ambiguous statement is fundamentally dishonest. Every father knows that when his child resorts to equivocation, he is attempting to hide something. And every priest knows how penitents sometimes use this technique in the confessional. It is even more dishonest when the Magisterium of the Church has once clearly spoken to an issue, and then those responsible for preserving the 'd eposit of the faith' use equivocation or ambiguity to disguise a change in belief. As it says in Proverbs, 'God hates a forked tongue.'

Cranmer used ambiguity in order to establish the Anglican-Protestant (Episcopalian) sect in England (2). Pastor Dryander wrote to Zurich stating that The First book of Common Prayer harbored 'every kind of deception by ambiguity or trickery of language.'(3). According to T. M. Parker, an Anglican theologian, the net result was that: 'The First Prayer Book of Edward VI could not be convicted of overt heresy, for it was adroitly framed and contained no express denial of pre-Reformation doctrine. It was, as an Anglican scholar put it, 'an ingenious essay in ambiguity', purposely worded in such a manner that the more conservative could place their own construction upon it and reconcile their consciences to using it, while the Reformers would interpret it in their own sense and would recognize it as an instrument for furthering the next stage of the religious revolution.' (4)

Apart from ambiguity, one must consider the numerous 'deletions' which the post-Conciliar innovators made - some 60 to 80 percent of the traditional rite depending upon what Eucharistic prayer is used. And these deletions are precisely those which Luther and Cranmer made - those which relate to the Sacrificial nature of the Mass. Ambiguity, deletions and lastly mistranslation; all were used to achieve the goals of our outline.

The second requirement was the need that the Novus Ordo Missae retain the outer trappings of a Catholic rite. Once again there were plenty of precedents. Consider the following description of the early Lutheran service as given us by the great Jesuit scholar Hartmann Grisar: 'One who entered the parish church at Wittenberg after Luther's victory discovered that the same vestments were used for divine service as of yore, and heard the same old Latin hymns. The Host was elevated and exhibited at the Consecration. In the eyes of the people it was the same Mass as before, despite the fact that Luther omitted all prayers which represented the sacred function of the Sacrifice. The people were intentionally kept in the dark on this point. 'We cannot draw the common people away from the Sacrament, and it will probably be thus until the Gospel is well understood,' said Luther. The rite of celebration of the mass he explained is a 'purely external thing,' and said further that 'the damnable words referring to the Sacrifice could be omitted all the more readily, since the ordinary Christian would not notice the omission and hence there was no danger of scandal.'' (5)

The post-Conciliar innovators followed the same pattern. As the authors of the Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae noted: 'having removed the keystone, the reformers had to put up a scaffolding.' One is reminded of Lenin's dictum: 'keep the shell, but empty it of substance.'

After the Council, following the pattern established by Luther and Cranmer, changes were introduced, at first slowly, and then, at an increasing pace. Those victimized by the early days of aggiornamento will remember the almost weekly changes mandated. Cardinal Heenan bears witness to this, stating that we would have been 'shocked' if all the changes had been introduced at once. Changes came however, one on top of another, and if we are to believe the hierarchy, still more are in the offing. There is much talk today of 'institutional violence.' I can think of no better example of this than the manner in which the new 'mass' was forced down the throats of the laity.


Aufer a nobis

Two techniques of deletion

The innovators used two techniques to purge the Mass of Catholic doctrines - omission and emasculation. As noted above, between 60 and 80 percent of the traditional Mass was deleted. I would ask the reader to compare the NOM with the traditional rite as found in any old Missal published during the past 500 years - that is, prior to 1964. (Old Missals usually give the Latin on one side and the English on the other.) The number of prayers missing is astounding.

Gone are all the prayers said at the foot of the altar (not a 'table') including Psalm 42 and the Aufer a nobis. Confession is replaced by a truncated 'Penitential Rite' which stresses sins against our 'brothers and sisters.' The prayer for absolution (indulgentiam) is omitted. In the Offertory, the Suscipe Sancte Pater, the Deus qui Humanae, the Offerimus tibi, the Veni Sanctificator, the Lavabo (Ps. XXV), and the Suscipe Sancte are all gone. Note how many of the doctrinal concepts clearly proclaimed in these prayers the New Church finds objectionable. Only the In Spiritu Humilitatis and the Orate Fratres have been retained, and this, as we shall se, for specific reasons. In the Canon, if the 'president' (6) chooses not to use 'Eucharistic Prayer No 1', (which is falsely called the Old Roman Canon, and which, being the longest Eucharistic Prayer, is in fact, rarely used), the following six prayers before the highly questionable consecration have been deleted : The Te Igitur, Memento Domine, Communicantes, Hanc Igitur, Quam Oblationem, and the Qui Pridie. After the consecration, the following seven prayers are dropped: the Unde et Memores, Supra quae Propitio, Supplices Te rogamus, Memento Etiam, Nobis quoque Peccatoribus, and the Per quem haec Omnia. As if were not enough, numerous prayers that used to follow the Pater Noster are also dropped: the Panem Coelestam, Quid Retribuam, the second Confiteor, the Misereatur and the Indulgentiam or Absolution are gone. Also eliminated are the threefold Domine non sum Dignus, the Corpus Tuum, Placeat Tibi and the Last Gospel. Once again, consider the innumerable doctrinal concepts that have been cast into oblivion - above all, any reference to an immolative sacrifice and the need for a true sacrificing priest. And this says nothing of the numerous genuflections, Signs of the Cross, blessings and other actions of the priest which also are expunged

An excellent example of the second technique of deletion -- emasculation -- is provided by the changes made in the prayer Libera nos (Deliver us...) which follows the Our Father. In the traditional rite it reads:
'Deliver us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all evils, past, present and to come, and by the intercession of the Blessed and Glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with Thy blessed Apostles Peter, Paul and Andrew, and all the saints, mercifully grant peace in our days, that through the bounteous help of Thy mercy, we may be always free from sin and secure from all disturbance...'
It now reads:
'Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.'

Note that the references to the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles and all the saints have been obliterated. Their intercession is no longer required -presumably because it would offend Protestant sensibilities and thus frustrate the 'pastoral' intent of the rite.

Note that in both techniques the innovators cannot be accused of directly 'changing' Catholic teaching -- just of ignoring it. This pattern is consistent throughout: all clear cut references to the propitiatory, and impetratory nature of the Mass are removed. Every reference to the immolative aspect of the Sacrifice and the Real Presence is deleted. The residue is but a 'sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving' such as the Protestants find acceptable. Recalling that the lex orandi is the lex credendi, and admitting that adults well formed in the faith may have some degree of protection, how, we must ask, can our children avoid having their religious beliefs 'neutralized'?

* * *

While most Catholics, accustomed to trusting Rome, went along with the changes, others protested strongly. Petition after petition was sent to Rome, and were consistently ignored. (Some conservative Novus Ordo Catholics are still playing this game.)(7) Paul VI, desiring to foster the revolution without losing any of the faithful, gave his usual conflicting responses. He told us on the one hand that the New Order of the Mass was changed in 'an amazing and extraordinary way', that 'it was singularly new,' and that 'the greatest innovation -- [he used the word 'mutation'] -- was in the Eucharistic Prayer.' On the other hand, he found it necessary to repeatedly assure us that 'nothing had changed in the essence of the traditional Mass'(8). Other witnesses were more honest and straightforward. Father Joseph Gelineau, S.J., one of the Conciliar periti, bluntly declared that the end result was 'a different liturgy of the Mass.' He continued: 'This needs to be said without ambiguity. the Roman rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.' Cardinal Benelli stated that the new liturgy reflected a 'new ecclesiology.'(11) The liturgist Father Louis Bouyer opined that 'the Catholic liturgy has been overthrown under the pretext of rendering it more compatible with the contemporary outlook'. Finally, Archbishop (Freemason) Bugnini, Paul VI's executive officer in the creation of the NOM, described the result as 'a new song' and as 'the conquest of the Church.' Despite all this Paul VI persisted: 'Be very sure of one point: nothing of substance of the traditional Mass has been altered' (DOL 1759).There was no retrenchment. The Liturgical Revolution became a fait accompli.

Who wrote the 'Novus Ordo Missae'?

We know that ultimately the Holy Ghost is the author of the traditional Mass, 'the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven,' as St. Alphonse Liguori called it. According to the Council of Trent, the central part, the 'Canon', was 'composed out of the very words of the Lord, the traditions of the Apostles and the pious institutions of the holy pontiffs.' As Father Bouyer once said, 'to jettison it would be a rejection of any claim on the part of the Roman Church to represent the true Catholic Church.' As for the prayers ceremonies surrounding the Canon, these are all drawn from Scripture and/or Tradition.

When we come to the NOM, we also know its authors. While Paul VI was formally and juridically responsible, it was composed by a committee called the Consilium which consisted of some 200 individuals, many of whom had functioned as Conciliar periti. At its head was Archbishop Annibale Bugnini whose Freemasonic connections are virtually beyond dispute. He was helped by six Protestant 'observers' whom Paul VI publicly thanked for their assistance in 're-editing in a new manner liturgical texts... so that the lex orandi (the law of prayer) conformed better with the lex credendi (the law of belief).' As previously noted, we are forced to assume that either the lex orandi prior to this time did not conform to the lex credendi, or else that the lex credendi was changed. And since when did the Church need the assistance of Protestant heretics -- men who by definition reject her teaching -- to assist her in formulating her rites? Considering the nature of those responsible, and despite the NOM's bland use of Scriptural phrases, one can certainly question whether the Holy Ghost had anything whatever to do with it.




Why was it written

The claim that the laity had demanded the 'renovation' of the Mass has never been substantiated; but then, revolutionaries always attempt to promulgate their dictatorial schemes 'in the name of the people'. Why then all the changes? And these, not only in the rite, but in everything that went to support the rite - the altars turned into tables, the tabernacles displaced, the priest facing the congregation, the altar rail removed - the list is endless, the cost enormous.

According to the statements of Paul VI, the changes were made: 1) to bring the Church's liturgy into line with the modern mentality; 2) in obedience to the mandate of Vatican II; 3) to take cognizance of progress in liturgical studies; 4) to return to primitive practice: and 5) for 'pastoral' reasons. Let us consider each of these in turn.

The first reason is but a way of expressing the principle of aggiornamento, of bringing the entire gestalt of the modern world; its anthropocentricism and utopian thought; its false ideas of Progress and Evolution as applied to truth itself -- into the bosom of the Church. As Paul VI said,'if the world changes, should not religion also change?... it is for this very reason that the Church has, especially after the Council, undertaken so many reforms...' (General Audience, July 2, 1969). Is the Father of the 'Prodigal' to join his son in dissipating the treasures of the family, or must the son return to the bosom of his Father?

The second reason: Vatican II's Constitution on the Liturgy recommended that the rite be revised 'in accord with sound tradition'. It also said that the liturgy was made up of 'unchangeable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change.' Surely the 'unchangeable elements' referred to the time honored Canon, and above all to the form and substance of the Sacrament itself. Indeed, such an opinion is strengthened if one reads the Council Daybook which states that the Fathers 'insisted that the Canon of the Mass especially should remain intact'(Nov. 5, 1962). If one compares the NOM with the traditional rite however, one soon finds that few if any items were considered truly unchangeable. Furthermore, the Latin original of Paul VI's New Missal is loaded with 'options' and whatever reflections of Catholic doctrine were found within it were soon obliterated by translations into the vernacular - translations sanctioned by Rome's official guidelines. True, such words as 'Alleluia' (why not in the vernacular?) and certain prayers such as the Our Father were left intact. But these were, in any event, always acceptable to the Protestants. One thing is clear however: despite the many 'time bombs' in the Constitution on the Liturgy, none of the Fathers at Vatican II -- except those 'in the know' -- envisioned the radical changes that followed as a 'mandate' from this Council.

The third reason: One presumes that Paul VI was referring to the voluminous modernist productions that fill the liturgical journals of the pre and post-Conciliar period. Examples of this will be given in the next Chapter on Orders. However, to call these pseudo-scholarly productions, all aimed at fostering the Liturgical Revolution, 'progress' is an abuse of language. It is also to forget the tremendous legitimate scholarship that preceded the codification of the Mass by Pius V.

With regard to the fourth reason, it is hard to understand just why those who would adapt our faith to the modern world, would at the same time have us return to primitive practice. Like burning a candle at both ends, it soon leaves very little in the middle. Beyond this, the only ancient document with any real significance that has come to light since the time of Pope Saint Pius V is the 'Apostolic Tradition' of Hippolytus, and of this we only have a partial and reconstructed version of the original document. Moreover, Hippolytus was both a schismatic and an anti-Pope at the time he wrote. It was at the suggestion of the of Hans Kung -- a person who denies many of the Church's teachings -- that the Second Eucharistic Prayer was taken from this dubious source. Moreover, as we shall see below, it was drastically rephrased so as to bring it into line with Protestant and Modernist theology. So much is this the case that Father John Barry Ryan calls the result an entirely 'new creation.' The only other ancient prayer incorporated into the NOM is what Father Jungmann calls a 'reconstruction... probably the very words used at the blessing of bread and wine in a Jewish meal at the time of Christ.' It is indeed such. Anyone who has had the privilege of attending a Jewish banquet is familiar with the phrase 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of all creation...' It is the Jewish grace before meals said by the Rabbi as he cuts the loaf of bread.

Paul VI's last reason was 'pastoral'. As far as I can determine, neither he nor the Council ever defined this term. In the 'double-speak' of the post-Conciliar Church, just what does 'pastoral' mean? The answer can be found in the Letter to the Presidents of National Councils of Bishops concerning Eucharistic Prayers sent out by the Sacred congregation for Divine Worship.

'The reason why such a variety of texts has been offered [referring to the multitude of Eucharistic Prayers in the NOM], and the end result such new formulas were meant to achieve, are pastoral in nature: namely, to reflect the unity and diversity of liturgical prayer. By using the various texts contained in the new Roman Missal, various Christian communities, as they gather together to celebrate the Eucharist, are able to sense that they themselves form the one Church, praying with the same faith, using the same prayer.'

In other words, the 'pastoral intent' was and is to create a service that any Christian body can use -- to foster that ecumenism and 'unity' which the post-Conciliar Church believes and teaches is its 'internal mission.'

The result is entirely acceptable to the Protestants

Now, the real issue for the innovators was not whether the NOM retained enough of its Catholic character to be acceptable to the Catholic faithful, but whether it was sufficiently 'ecumenical' to satisfy Protestants of both liberal and conservative persuasions. Here the answer must be a resounding yes! As pointed out in the previous chapter, Lutherans, Anglicans and a wide variety of other sects not only find it acceptable, many of them have actually changed their own rites in order to bring them into line with the NOM. In order to understand why, let us turn to a French Protestant theologian: 'If one takes account of the decisive evolution in the eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church, of the option of substituting other Eucharistic prayers for the Canon of the Mass, of the expunging of the idea that the Mass is a sacrifice and of the possibility of receiving communion under both kinds, then there is no further justification for the Reformed Churches forbidding their members to assist at the Eucharist in a Catholic Church.' (19)

Now there is something a little surprising in all this. Let us recall that the Anglicans (Episcopalians in America) officially consider the Catholic teaching on the Mass to be a 'blasphemous fable,' and a lot of hocus pocus (the anti-Catholic epithet based on the phrase Hoc est enim corpus Meum - the words used by a priest at the time of Consecration); that the Lutherans clearly hold it as a point of doctrine that 'the Mass is not a sacrifice' and that it 'is not the act of a sacrificing priest.' As Luther said, the Canon is 'a confluence of puddles of slimy water...' worse than 'all brothels, murders, robberies, crimes, and adulteries.' Even more to the point, Luther said of his own Novus Ordo: 'Call it a benediction, Eucharist, the Lord's table, the Lord's Supper, memory of the Lord, or whatever you like, just so long as you do not dirty it with the name of a sacrifice or an action.'

The Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae by the Roman Theologians also explains just why the new 'mass' is so acceptable to those who reject all belief in an immolative Sacrifice: 'The position of both priest and people is falsified and the celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister... By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the 'supper' and the 'memorial' instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary... The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated... It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.'

We shall see whether this statement is justified as we go through the rite itself.

CHAPTER XII, part 10

Novus Ordo Missae

Is the Novus Ordo Missae a sacrifice?

The structure of the rite

The traditional Mass is divided into two parts: 'the Mass of the Catechumens' and 'the Mass of the Faithful.' As the St. Andrew Missal states, 'the catechumens, Christians by desire and belief, could take part in the prayers and chants of the faithful, listen with them to the readings and instructions, but as they were not yet baptized, they could not communicate or be present at Mass. They were dismissed before the Offertory.'

The Novus Ordo Missae is also divided into two sections, 'the Liturgy of the Word,' and 'the Liturgy of the Eucharist.' The former roughly corresponds to the Mass of the Catechumens, but has been altered so as to bring it completely into line with Protestant theology. Gone are the prayers before the altar. After the 'priest-president' greets the parishioners, we start out with a truncated confession 'to our brothers and sisters.' Post-conciliar Catholics no longer confess to the Blessed Virgin, the angels and the saints. They are also denied the traditional absolution formula... 'Indulgentiam...' which is capable of forgiving those venial sins that even the best of us fall pray to . The Gloria is still allowed on Sundays and a few feast days, but falsely and incompletely rendered -- with the false concept that peace is available to 'all me,' and not just to those of 'good will.' (It will be argued that the Latin version found in Paul VI's New Missal is unchanged, but in the practical order, Latin is a dead liturgical language.)

The principle aspect of 'the Liturgy of the Word' is the reading of Scripture. Now the idea that the 'Word' (Logos) of God is only to be found in Scripture is totally Protestant -- it is an implicit denial of the doctrine that 'the Word was made flesh', and that such specifically occurs in the second part of the rite. As to the readings, they are taken from the new ecumenical and frequently false translations. They are further, part of a 'three-year' cycle, but as such are hardly 'fixed,' for the new Lectionary allows for a whole host of options which can be followed at the celabrant's discretion. The traditional Mass used a one-year cycle established by St. Damasus in the fourth century. (Readings heard each year become part of the Catholic consciousness. Those based on a three-year cycle, even apart from the problem of 'options', never will.) Scripture is followed by a 'homily' which, in accord with Protestant practice, almost always becomes the center of the new rite. (In the traditional rite the priest is a 'nobody,' his personality counting for nothing. One never thought to ask who was saying Mass. In the Novus Ordo Missae, the personality of the priest becomes all important, his elocution significant, and people often select which service they attend on the basis of who is celebrating. This practice has the further advantage of providing everyone with a choice of 'liberal' or 'conservative' formularies.) The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Credo -- which the Anglicans and Lutherans also retained - but rendered in the vernacular with the communitarian 'we,' so that is not so much a Credo as a Credimus. Absent from this statement of belief is the hallowed term consubstantial. (22)

All these changes in what used to be called the Mass of the Catechumens, however offensive, in no way affect the Sacrifice itself. It is to the second part of the rite that we must give our special attention. For the sake of convenience, I shall first discuss the Offertory, and then the changes in the Canon -- that part of the rite in which the Consecration occurs. It will be shown that in almost every situation accommodation to Protestant belief is implied,if not enforced. As a result, the new 'mass' lacks a clear immolative character and the celebrant no longer appears as a 'sacrificing priest.' Indeed, as will become clear, it is not the priest, but the 'people of God' who celebrate the liturgy under the 'priest-president's' direction.

The Offertory

In the traditional rite, the first part of the Mass of the Faithful is the Offertory. Its importance is manifest in that in ancient times, the catechumens were dismissed before this started, and also by the fact that the faithful must be present during these prayers in order to fulfill their Mass obligation. In it the Sacrifice is both prepared and directed to a determinate end. In essence, the Offertory prayers anticipate the consecration and make the sacrificial nature of the remainder of the rite unmistakably clear.

In the true Mass the Offertory prayers refer to the bread by the term hostia or 'victim.' Thus, in the first Offertory prayer, the priest unveils the chalice, takes the gold-plated paten with the host of unleavened bread, raises it to the level of his heart and says: 'Receive, O Holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, this spotless host which I, thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for mine own countless sins and negligences, and for all here present, as also for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may avail for my own and their salvation unto life everlasting.' (Though these prayers are said by the priest in Latin, the faithful follow them in their Missals which provide an exact parallel vernacular translation. Post-Conciliar Catholics, unfamiliar with the devotions of their parents, should not assume that the average person could not follow the traditional rite.)

What a marvel of doctrinal exactitude. along with the actions of the priest, the prayer makes it clear that what is offered is the 'spotless host' or victim. Second, the propitiatory nature of the Mass is explicit - it is offered for our sins. Third, it reminds us that the Mass is offered 'for the living and the dead'; and forth, that it is the priest who offers the Sacrifice as a mediator between man and God. The beauty of the precise expression is the splendor veritatis -- the splendor of the truth.

This prayer has, needless to say, been deleted. And one of the reasons Paul VI offers for doing so is to make the doctrinal content of the Mass 'more clear.'

Also deleted is the second Offertory prayer, Deus qui humanae..., an oration equally rich in doctrinal content: 'O God, who in a wonderful manner created and ennobled human nature and still more wonderfully renewed it grant that, by the mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divinity who was pleased to become partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ, Your son Our Lord...' The reason it had to be deleted is that it refers to man's former condition of innocence and to his present one of being ransomed by the Blood of Christ and it recapitulates the entire economy of the Sacrifice. In fact, of the twelve Offertory prayers in the traditional rite, only two are retained. And of course, the deleted prayers are the same ones that Luther and Cranmer eliminated. And why? Because, as Luther said, they 'smacked of Sacrifice... the abomination called the offertory, and from this point on almost everything stinks of oblation.'

The Novus Ordo Missae not only omitted these significant prayers, but it effectively abolished the entire Offertory. The General Instruction speaks instead of the 'Preparation of the Gifts.' And within this part of the new rite there is not a word which so much as hints that it is the Divine Victim which is offered. The bread and wine -- 'the work of human hands' -- is all that is offered. Michael Davies points out that this concept is fully compatible with the Teilhardian theory that human effort, the work of human hands, becomes in a certain way, the matter of the sacrament. And further, except for the prayer of the washing of the hands, all the petitions are in the first person plural -- 'we' -- which is consistent with the concept that it is not the priest-president who offers up the Mass, but the 'assembly' or 'the people of God.'

In line with this principle, all prayers that differentiate the priest from the laity have been systematically eliminated. The Latin original of the new Missal still makes such a distinction within the prayer Orate Fratres. This was a prayer which the Consilium wished deleted and which was replaced at the demand of the Synod of Bishops. However, the innovators achieved their desire in the vernacular translation where - in English, French, Portuguese and German -- the distinction of priest from laity was eliminated.

Conservatives will point to the retention in the Novus Ordo Missae of the traditional Offertory prayer In Spiritu Humilitatis (In a spirit of humility), as proof that the new Offertory rite alludes to the traditional teaching that the Mass is first and foremost a Sacrifice offered to God. Now, this prayer is taken from Chapter Three of Daniel and refers to the personal sacrifice -- at most, a 'sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving' -- made by Azarias and his companions in the fiery furnace. As such, it is totally acceptable to Protestants and was retained by them in the Lutheran and Anglican services. Should any one doubt its acceptability to the modernist, he has but to consider the interpretation placed on this prayer by Father Joseph Jungmann -- one of the most scholarly members of the Consilium responsible for the new rite. 'The prayer 'In a spirit of humility' which had always served as an emphatic summary of the process of offering, and as such was recited with a deep inclination, has been retained unchanged for the very reason that it gives apt expression to the 'invisible sacrifice' of the heart as the interior meaning of all exterior offering.'

In the Novus Ordo Missae, interpreted literally, all that is offered is the bread and wine. Against this, some will say that, in the offering of the bread-host, the priest says 'It will become for us the bread of life.' But as the late Father Burns, one of America's most conservative Novus Ordo priests, pointed out, this can as well be understood as referring to the bread we eat each day, often called 'the staff of life.' It also includes the phrase 'for us' which Cranmer insisted denied the sacramental principle ex opere operato -- the principle that, providing proper form and matter is used, and providing the celebrant is a true priest, consecration occurs regardless of the disposition of the participants (26). The same comment can be made with regard to the phrase 'it will become our spiritual drink' And so, once again, the conclusion of the Critical Study appears appropriate.

'The three ends of the Mass are altered; no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only 'spiritually' (not substantially) changed... Not a word do we find as to the priest's power to sacrifice, or about his act of consecration, the bringing about through him of the Eucharistic Presence. He now appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister.'

CHAPTER XII, part 11

The Canon: the new Eucharistic prayers

The heart of the traditional Mass is the Canon. It remains the same every time Mass is offered, except during the most solemn feasts of the Church, when a phrase or two is added which refers to the mystery being celebrated (nothing however being deleted). In the new 'mass' the Canon is abolished. In its place are four (at least for now) 'Anaphoras' or 'Eucharistic Prayers' (henceforth 'EP').

The first Eucharistic Prayer is not, as is often claimed, the ancient Roman Canon. It is merely modeled on the traditional Canon. Its retention, against Archbishop Bugnini's wishes, allowed the new rite to be accepted with a minimum of protest. (Those using it were assured they were saying the old Mass.) However, with the destruction of the traditional Offertory (with its prayers that state precisely what occurs during the Canon), Eucharistic Prayer 1 is entirely capable of being given a modernist and Protestant interpretation.

The phrase which allows for this is found in the prayer Quam Oblationem: 'Be pleased to make this same offering wholly blessed, to consecrate it and approve it, making it reasonable and acceptable, so that it may become FOR US the Body and Blood...' In the absence of the traditional Offertory prayers, 'for us' can be understood in the Cranmerian sense. In Cranmer's first edition of the Book of Common Prayer, he prefaced the words of Institution (i.e., the words used for the Consecration) with this phrase: 'Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech Thee; and with Thy Holy Spirit and Word vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these Thy gifts and creation of bread and wine that they may be made UNTO US the body and blood of Thy most dearly beloved son, Jesus Christ.' Some of his fellow reformers attacked this on the grounds that it was capable of being understood as effecting transubstantiation! to this Cranmer indignantly replied: 'We do not pray absolutely that the bread and wine may be made into the body and blood of Christ, but that UNTO US in that holy mystery they may be made so; that is to say, that we may so worthily receive the same that we may be partakers in Christ's body and blood, and that therefore in spirit and in truth we may be spiritually nourished.' Cranmer was insisting that the expression 'for us' meant that no objective transubstantiation occurred, but that rather it was the personal disposition of those involved which allowed them to be spiritually nourished. In other words, these two words in effect denied the Catholic doctrine 'as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent.'

As in Cranmer's second Book of Common Prayer, so also in the Novus Ordo's Eucharistic Prayer No. 2, all pretence of a Catholic interpretation is eliminated. When Eucharistic Prayer No. 2 is used, the Te Igitur, Memento domine, and Quam Oblationem -- three prayers that ambiguously allow for a catholic interpretation of nobis (for us) -- are no longer said. There is absolutely no preparation for the 'consecration.' Sneeze and you miss it.

Eucharistic Prayer No. 2 is said to have been taken from Hippolytus' 'Apostolic Tradition'(written at a time when he was a schismatic and an anti-pope). However, to this questionably authentic document, the innovators made significant changes. Thus for example, they gratuitously inserted into the original text this very phrase 'FOR US.' Eucharistic Prayer No. 2 further follows Cranmer in suppressing the word benedixit ('He blessed...'), a word which the Reformers associated with the doctrine of transubstantiation, and in suppressing the phrases ut mortem solveret et vincula diaboli dirumperet, et infernum calceret et iustos illuminet ('so that He [Christ] could conquer death, break the chains of Satan, trod hell under foot, and illuminate the just'), and qua nos dignos habuisti adstare coram te et tibi sacerdotes ministrare (for holding us worthy to stand before Thee and serve Thee as priests) -- all concepts the innovators and liberal Protestants abhor.

In the traditional Mass it is impossible to understand nobis in the Cranmerian sense. In Eucharistic Prayer No. 1 of the NOM, the situation is ambiguous. But in Eucharistic Prayer No. 2, Catholic teaching disappears and Protestantism triumphs. As Hugh Ross Williamson said, 'it is impossible to understand it any other way than in the Cranmerian sense.'(28). Further, the deliberate nature of the changes in Eucharistic Prayer No. 2 -- the addition of these two words -- reflect back on the manner in which we are to understand nobis in EP No. 1. To make matters worse, the creators of the new 'mass' clearly show their preference for Eucharistic Prayer No. 2. The official documents from Rome instruct us that it can be used in any 'mass.' It is recommended for Sundays ' unless for pastoral reasons another eucharistic prayer is chosen.' It is also particularly suitable 'for weekday masses, or for mass in particular circumstances.' Further, it is recommended for masses with children, young people and small groups, and above all for Catechism classes. Beyond this, human nature being what it is, most priests will use it because of its brevity and simplicity.

It is worth noting at this point that Paul VI added the phrase quod pro vobis tradetur (which is given up for you) to the words of consecration. So also did Luther and Cranmer. Luther explained the reasons for this in his Shorter Catechism. 'The word 'for you' calls simply for believing hearts.' And such of course only further highlights the importance of the word nobis in this entire sordid affair.

Space allows for only a brief comment on Eucharistic Prayers No. 3 and 4.

In Eucharistic Prayer No. 3 the following words are addressed to the Lord: 'From age to age you gather a people to Yourself, in order that from east and west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name.' This phrase once again makes it clear that it is the people, rather than the priest, that are the indispensable element in the celebration. Even Michael Davies, who presumably believes that only an ordained priest can consecrate, is forced to note that 'in not one [his emphasis] of the new Eucharistic prayers is it made clear that the Consecration is effected by the priest alone, and that he is not acting as a spokesman or president for a concelebrating congregation.'

Eucharistic Prayer No. 4, composed by innovator Father Cipriano Vagaggini, presents yet another interesting aspect of the liturgical revolution. The Latin itself is innocuous, but the official (and Roman approved) translation used in the United States is clearly open to an heretical interpretation. (...)

Faced with the fact that 'the entire teaching of the Church is contained in the liturgy' (Father Joseph Jungmann in Handing on the Faith), this is a most instructive piece of skulduggery. In the Latin version of the NOM the words Unus Deus or 'one God... living and true,' are to be found, and no explicit heresy is taught. However, even in the Latin, apart from the Creed, there is no clear expression of the doctrine of the Trinity. (What a striking economy of language is used in our traditional Preface!) When we come to the vernacular Anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer No. 4, the mistranslation of Unus Deus by 'You alone are God' clearly departs from the traditional norm. In the absence of any other reference in this prayer to the Son or the Holy Ghost, the use of the world 'alone' is an explicit denial of the Trinity. It is for this reason that some have referred to this Eucharistic Prayer as the 'Arian Canon.' Yet another example of a return to primitive practice! Because of repeated complaints this mistranslation has been recently corrected. That an explicitly heretical formula could have been used for 18 years in the post-Conciliar Church speaks volumes about the innovators' ignorance of the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church.

The narratio institutionis

In the NOM, as in the Lutheran service, the words of consecration -- the very heart of the traditional rite -- are part of what is called the Narratio Institutionis or the Institution Narrative (32). This phrase is not found in the traditional Missals of the Church. The placing of the Eucharistic Prayers --the 'canons' -- of the NOM within such a section, or under the heading of such a title, is bound to induce the priest-president to say these words as if he were merely retelling the story of the Last Supper; that instead of making an action present 'here and now,' he is merely calling to mind an event that occurred some 2000 years ago. Nowhere in Paul VI's Missale Romanum is the priest-president instructed that the 'action' is happening here and now, and that he must say the Words of Consecration in persona Christi. (The traditional teaching is that the priest must say these critical words in the person of Christ, for it is Christ who, through the priest, effects the Consecration. The 'revised' version of the General Instruction, seeking to mollify criticisms, does speak of the priest acting in persona Christi, but not with regard to the manner in which he says the Words of Consecration.) Even if this were the only defect in the new rite, it would be sufficient to raise grave doubts as to whether or not any true Catholic Sacrifice occurs.

The traditional Church has always taught that for the Sacred Species to be confected, that is, for consecration to occur, the priest must not only be properly ordained; intend to do what the Church does; use the proper matter; use the correct words (form); he must also say the Words of Consecration in personal Christi, and not as part of a historical narrative such as occurs when he reads the relevant Scripture passages. Should he say them as part of a historical narrative, he turns what occurs at Mass into just a simple memorial of an event that occurred two thousand years ago and nothing sacred happens. As St. Thomas Aquinas says: 'The consecration is accomplished by the words and expressions of the Lord Jesus. Because, by all the other words spoken, praise is rendered to God, prayer is put up for the people, for kings, and others; but when the time comes for perfecting the Sacrament, the priest uses no longer his own words, but the words of Christ. therefore, it is CHRIST'S words that perfect the sacrament... The form of this Sacrament is pronounced as if Christ were speaking in person, so that it is given to be understood that the minister does nothing in perfecting this Sacrament, except to pronounce the words of Christ' (Summa, III, Q 78, Art. 1).

To say the words of Consecration merely as part of a narrative renders the Mass invalid; that is, the bread and wine remain just bread and wine, and do not become the Body and Blood of Christ. According to Rev. J. O'Connell, in The Celebration of Mass: 'The Words of Consecration have to be said, not merely as a historical narrative of words used once by our Lord -- as the celebrant recites them, e.g., in the accounts of the Last Supper, which are read in the Mass in Holy Week, or on the Feast of Corpus Christi -- but as a present affirmation by the priest speaking in the person of Christ, and intending to effect something, here and now, by the pronouncing of these words.'(33)

Older priests may do this from habit. Younger priests, basing their practice on the General Instruction and on the Modernist theories of sacramental theology which they imbibe in the post-Conciliar seminaries, almost certainly will not. Thus it is hardly surprising to find the Critical Study noting that: 'The Words of Consecration, as they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo [in Latin] may be valid according to the intention of the ministering priest. But they may not be, for they are so no longer ex vi verborum (by the force of the words used), or more precisely, in virtue of the modus significandi (way of signifying) which they have had till now in the Mass. Will priests who, in the future, have not had the traditional training and who rely on the Novus Ordo to do what the Church does, make a valid consecration? One may be permitted to doubt it...'

CHAPTER XII, part 12

Changing Christ's words and the form of consecration

And so we are brought to the Words of Consecration. These are most sacred, for they are attributed by Tradition to Christ Himself, and it is by means of them that the Sacred Species is 'confected.' These precious words, the very words of Christ, once only written in gold, and always highlighted in their printed form, have been altered and imbedded in the Narratio Institutionis of the new 'mass'.

Now, a sacrament is a sensible sign, instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, to signify and produce grace. This sensible sign consists of a 'matter' and a 'form.' As St. Augustine taught, 'the word is joined to the element and the sacrament exists.' Examples of 'matter' are water in Baptism and the mixture of water and wine in the Mass. The 'form' consists of the words which the minister pronounces and which he applies to the matter. These words determine the matter to produce the effect of the sacrament and also closely signify what the sacrament does. The forms of the sacraments were given to us either in specie (exactly) or in genere (in a general way). According to standard teaching: 'Christ determined what special graces were to be conferred by means of external rites: for some sacraments (e.g. Baptism, the Eucharist) He determined minutely (in specie) the matter and form: for others He determined only in a general way (in genere) that there should be an external ceremony, by which special graces were to be conferred, leaving to the Apostles or to the Church the power to determine whatever He had not determined -- e.g., to prescribe the matter and form of the Sacraments of Confirmation and of Holy Orders.'

A note on 'matter'

The matter of the sacrament we are considering is wine mixed with water, and bread made from wheat mixed with natural water and baked in fire (either leavened or unleavened). Canon 815 states: 'the bread must be pure wheat and freshly baked.' Despite this, no less a person than Cardinal Joseph L. Bernadin has approved for the 'bread' a mixture of 'two cups of white flour to which baking soda has been added, with 1 1/4 cups of cold water, 1/3 cup of melted butter, and two teaspoons of honey - the entire mixture being baked on a buttered cookie sheet.' Such, as any cook knows, is cake and not bread. This recommendation has led to his being called by some 'the cookie cardinal.' Similarly with regard to the wine: according to Canon 814, this must be 'natural wine made from the juice of the grape, 'naturally fermented'and 'uncorrupted.' Again, the post-Conciliar Church has given permission ad experimentum for Catholics in Zaire to use hosts made of farina of casava and wine made from corn (La Croix, Aug. 9, 1989). Such 'matter' would, needless to say, render the rite invalid. in any event, it is clear that the faithful are by no means automatically assured that the matter (be it the bread or the wine) used in the NOM is 'valid' and capable of transubstantiation.

Back to the form

The form of the Consecration in the traditional Mass has been fixed since Apostolic times. It has been 'canonically' fixed since the so-called Armenian Decree of the Council of Florence (1438-1445). According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the form (capitalized below) is found within these words in the Canon:

Who the day before He suffered took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and with His eyes lifted up to heaven, to You, God, His almighty Father, giving thanks to You, He blessed, broke, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and eat you all of this


In like manner, after He had supped, taking also this glorious chalice into His holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to You, He blessed and gave it to His disciples saying: Take and drink you all of this


As often as you shall do these things, you shall do them in memory of me.

The Catechism of the Council of Trent continues: 'of this form, no one can doubt.'

Taken from the People's Mass Book, and in accord with DOL 1360, the following is the 'form' for the NOM (In the People's Mass Book -- as in the 'Missalette' in common use in American churches -- no words are capitalized or italicized; they are run together so that the form of the sacrament can in no way be distinguished from the rest of the text which forms part of the Institution Narrative: however in Paul VI's Latin original, the words are italicized and in the paragraph below italicization is used.):

'Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: take and eat, all of you, this is my body which will be given up for you. When supper was ended, He took the cup. Again He gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to His disciples, and said: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all men so that sins may be forgiven. do this in memory of me.'

In introducing these new forms Paul VI called them 'the words of the Lord' (verba dominica) rather than 'the Words of Consecration' -- thus once again stressing the narrative nature of the rite. Having changed the very words of Our Lord, he further said that he 'wished them' to be 'as follows' (DOL 1360). How any one, even a 'pope' could 'wish' them to be other than they are is beyond conception. It would seem however that for the innovators, even the very words of Christ are neither sacrosanct nor inviolable. And so it is with exactitude that Paul VI described the changes introduced into the Eucharistic Prayers as 'singularly new,' as 'amazing and extraordinary' and as the 'greatest innovation' of all the innovations introduced. Indeed, with regard to the Words of Consecration instituted by Christ at the Last Supper, Paul VI used the Latin term 'mutation.' When such a 'mutation' is substantial -- that is, when it changes the meaning of the form, it renders it invalid. As we shall see, even if there is only doubt about whether or not a change is substantial, i.e. whether or not there is a change in meaning, the use of such a form is considered sacrilegious.

In changing the form the innovators argued that they were bringing it 'into line with Scripture.' Now there is absolutely no reason why this should have been done. Scripture is not a greater source of Revelation than Tradition --indeed, strictly speaking, it is part of Tradition. Imagine the hue and cry that would be raised if someone were to say that he wanted to change Scripture to bring it into line with Tradition! It is not from Scripture, but from Tradition that we receive the form used in confecting the Eucharist. Such indeed must be the case as the earliest Gospel was written some eight years after our Lord's death. Listen to the words of Cardinal Manning: 'We neither derive our religion from the Scriptures, nor does it depend upon them. Our faith was in the world before the New Testament was written.'

And, as Father Joseph Jungmann states: 'In all the known liturgies the core of the Eucharistia, and therefore of the Mass, is formed by the narrative of the institution and the words of consecration. Our very first observation in this regard is the remarkable fact that the texts of the account of institution, among them in particular, the most ancient, are never simply a Scripture text restated. They go back to pre-Biblical tradition. Here we face an outgrowth of the fact that the Eucharist was celebrated long before the evangelists and St. Paul set out to record the Gospel story.'

Beyond this, 'Pope Innocent III notes that there are three elements in the narrative not commemorated by the Evangelists: with his eyes lifted up to heaven, and eternal testament, (whereas the Gospels give only 'of the New Testament') and the mystery of the faith (mysterium fidei).' And these he holds to be derived from Christ and the Apostles, 'for who would be so presumptuous and daring as to insert [much less remove] these things out of his own devotion? In truth, the Apostles received the form of the words from Christ Himself, and the Church received it from the Apostles themselves.'

Indeed, it is quite possible that the Scripture accounts intentionally avoided giving the correct form lest it be profaned. Listen to St. Thomas Aquinas: 'The Evangelists did not intend to hand down the form of the Sacraments which in the primitive Church had to be kept concealed, as Dionysius observes at the close of his book on the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; their object was to write the story of Christ' (Summa, III, Q. 78, Art. 3.).

No one can doubt but that the new Church has gone against tradition, against the decrees of the Ecumenical councils, and against the Catechism of the Council of Trent in changing the form of the Sacrament. It is not a matter of debate as to whether sh has the right to do so. As Leo XIII said in the Bull Apostolicae curae: 'The Church is forbidden to change, or even touch, the matter or form of any sacrament. She may indeed change or abolish or introduce something in the non-essential rites or 'ceremonial' parts to be used in the administration of the sacraments, such as the processions, prayers or hymns before or after the actual words of the form are recited...'

One of the documents printed in front of every edition of the traditional Missal (De defectibus) states: 'If anyone omits or changes anything in the form of the consecration of the Body and blood, and in this change of words, changes the meaning [lit: does not mean the same thing], then he does not effect the Sacrament.'

With regard to those sacramental forms given us in genere, the words can be changed providing there is no change in meaning. When such occurs the change is called 'substantial.' Now apart from the fact that one cannot apply this principle to those forms given us in specie, it is nevertheless argued by some that, despite the change in the words, there is no change in meaning, and hence no substantial change. It behoves us then to consider the substance of the Eucharistic form, for if there is a 'substantial' change -- that is to say, a change in meaning -- then the form is unquestionably rendered invalid. This is not a matter of debate, but of fact.

First, consider the change in the first and last sentences. Instead of 'do these things' we find the celebrants instructed to 'do this,' that is, 'take and eat (drink),' thus strongly suggesting that what is involved is a 'supper' and a 'memorial,' rather than the entire action. Next note the addition of the phrase 'which will be given up for you.' We have already alluded to Luther's reason for adding this phrase and of course the NOM had to be brought into line with the Lutheran rite. The removal of the phrase 'Mystery of the Faith' (which Tradition tells us was added by the Apostles) and its displacement to the so-called 'Memorial Acclamation' leads the faithful to believe that the mystery lies, not in the Consecration, but rather in Christ's Death, Resurrection and Final Coming. While Christ is supposedly on the altar, the faithful are made to say 'until you come again.'

It is also argued that as long as the priest says the essential Words -- 'This is My body... This is My Blood...' -- nothing else is required. Those who hold to this position ignore the defects in the form and the fact that the other words -- the setting in which these words are used (as we shall see below) --alter the meaning of these words. They also ignore the fact that these words, while essential, do not constitute the complete form. Finally, they ignore the fact that it is forbidden for a priest to use the Words of Consecration with the intent to confect the Sacred species outside of a true Mass. As Canon 817 states, 'it is unlawful even in the case of extreme necessity, to consecrate one species without the other, or to consecrate both outside the Mass.' Benedictine canonist Father Charles Augustine comments on this to the effect that 'to consecrate outside of the Mass would not only be a sacrilege, but probably an attempt at invalid consecration.'

The issue of the context in which the essential Words of Consecration are used is most important because this setting is capable of changing their meaning in a substantial manner. This is another reason why the traditional Church has always been so insistent upon the integrity of the form used. consider the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas: 'Some have maintained that the words 'This is the Chalice of My Blood' alone belong to the substance of the form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words that follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ's Blood; consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression. And on this account others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words 'As often as ye shall do these things' [Not including these words, for the priest puts down the Chalice when he comes to them.] Hence it is that the priest pronounces all the words, under the same rite and manner, holding the chalice in his hands' (Summa, III, Q. 78, Art. 3).

CHAPTER XII, part 13

Hilaire Belloc


(1) Rev. T. E. Bridgett, Life of Blessed John Fisher, London: Burns Oates, 1888.

(2) Bard Thompson, Liturgies of the Western Church, New American Lib: N.Y., 1974. The head of the Anglican Church is the King or Queen of England. Changes in its teaching or liturgy have to have the approval of the British Parliament. Hence American Anglicans in 1776 found themselves in a somewhat ackward position. They resolved this by declaring themselves independent of British royalty and government, and by changing their name to Episcopalian. No doctrinal or ritual changes of significance were involved in this transition.

(3) Quoted by Michael Davies in Cranmer's Godly Order, Augustine: Devon, 1976.

(4) As Hilaire Belloc said, 'the first new service [of Cranmer] in the place of the Mass had to be a kind that men might mistake for something like the continuance of the Mass in another form. When that pretence had done its work and the measure of popular resistance taken, they could proceed to the second step and produce a final Service Book in which no trace of the old sanctities would remain' (Cranmer, innumerable editions).

(5) Hartman Grisar, S.J., Luther, B.Herder: St. Louis, 1913.

(6) In referring the 'priest' as a 'president' we are only following the pattern established by the General Instruction.

(7) A group of 400 pilgrims walked from Paris to Rome to ask Paul VI to grant them permission to use the traditional Mass. He was too busy to see them. Later it became known that at the time of their arrival he was entertaining the Belgian soccer team.

(8) 'It would be well to understand the motives for such a great change introduced [into the Mass]... It is the will of Christ. It is the breath of the Spirit calling the Church to this mutation...' (General Audience, Nov. 26, 1969). According to the Canon lawyer Father Capello, a 'mutation' in the form of a Sacrament would invalidate it(De Sacramentis).

(9) DOL 1757 Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979, Conciliar, Papal and Curial Texts, The Liturgical Press: Minn., 1983. (In the text DOL refers to this source with appropriate numerical designation.)

(10) Michael Davies, Pope Paul's New Mass, Angelus: Texas, 1980.

(11) Christian Order, Oct. 1978. The full quote is of interest. Reporting on a conversation: 'At the end Dr. de Saventham asked the prelate whether the traditional liturgy could not be permitted at the side of the new one. The answer was startling: 'Sir, all these reforms go in the same direction: whereas the old Mass represents another ecclesiology!' Dr. de Saventham: 'Monseigneur, what you said is an enormity!' Benelli: 'I shall say it again: those who want to have the old Mass have another ecclesiology!' It was shortly after this that Benelli was made a Cardinal, and Michael Davies describes him as 'a most authoritative spokesman for the post-Conciliar Church' (No. 10).

(12) See previous chapter for references.

(13) See previous chapter for a more detailed history of the traditional rite.

(14) These 'options' often contained traditional ideas. This was a clever method of allowing post-Conciliar apologists to claim that the new rite was still orthodox, while at the same time virtually guaranteeing that no one would utilize these 'options' in the every-day liturgy.

(15) For example, Archbishop R. J. Dwyer said: 'who dreamed that on that day [when the Council Fathers voted for the Constitution on the Liturgy] that within a few years, far less than a decade, the Latin past of the Church would be all but expurgated, and that it would be reduced to a memory fading in the middle distance? The thought of it would have horrified us, but it seems so far beyond the realm of the possible as to be ridiculous. So we laughed it off.'

(16) For details of this see the Chapter on Orders.

(17) Father John Barry Ryan, The eucharistic Prayer, Paulist Press: N.Y., 1974.

(18) Father Jungmann, S.J., The Mass, Liturgical Press: Minn., 1975. Father Jungmann was a member of the revolutionary liturgical Consilium and fully approved of the changes made in the Mass.

(19) Le Monde, Sept. 1970.

(20) These phrases will be very familiar to post-Conciliar Catholics. It is pertinent that Luther tells us that it was Satan who convinced him that the Mass was not a true Sacrifice, and that in worshiping bread, he was guilty of idolatry. Satan appeared to him and said: 'Listen to me, learned doctor, during fifteen years you have been a horrible idolator. What if the body and blood of Jesus Christ is not present there, and that you yourself adored and made others adore bread and wine? What if your ordination and consecration were as invalid as that of the Turkish and Samaritan priest is false, and their worship impious... What a priesthood is that! I maintain, then, that you have not consecrated at Mass and that you have offered and made others adore simple bread and wine... If then, you are not capable of consecrating and ought not to attempt it, what do you do while saying mass and consecrating, but blaspheme and tempt God?' Luther acknowledged at the close of this conference that he was unable to answer the arguments of Satan, and he immediately ceased saying Mass. The details are available in Audin's Life of Luther, and are quoted by Father Michael Muller C.SS.R. in his chapter on 'The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,' God the Teacher of Mankind, B. Herder: St. Louis, 1885.

(21) Father Jungmann, S.J. tells us that the new prayer 'is simply a confession that we are sinners.' He further tells us that the Misereatur was retained, while the Indulgentiam was discarded because the former could be said by any layman. The Mass, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1975, p. 167.

(22) The word 'Consubstantial' is of hallowed use since the council of Nicea where it was used to distinguish Catholic doctrine from the Arian heresy. Arius, like many liberal Protestants, denied the divinity of Christ, and hence the term has anti-ecumenical connotations. Pope St. Damasus anathematized all who refused to use the term 'consubstantial.' The post-Conciliar translators justified this error on the grounds that 'the son is not made but begotten, he shares the same kind of being as the Father.' This is, to say the least is semi-Arianism. Michael Davies discusses this issue in some detail in his book. (Note 10)

(23) Msgr. Fredrick McManus was the directing force behind the English translations. As early as 1963 he objected to the Offertory Prayers that 'anticipate the Canon and obscure the sacrificial offering in the Canon itself.' One wonders how the Church survived over the past 2000 years without the help of these liturgical innovators. ('The future: Its Hopes and difficulties', in The Revolution of the Liturgy, N.Y. Herder: 1963.

(24) op. cit. No. 10.

(25) op. cit.

(26) Catholics believe that providing the priest is validly ordained, uses proper form and matter and has the right intention, Consecration occurs. The technical phrase is ex opere operato. It occurs regardless of the spiritual state of the priest or the believer. Space has limited our ability to discuss the issue of 'intention.' Suffice it to say that there is an external intention implicit in the words and actions of the priest, and also an internal intention on the part of the priest which we can never know apart from his informing us of it. In the traditional Mass, one could presume that the internal intention corresponded with the outer acts and words -- the priest would have had to entertain a positively contrary internal intention to invalidate the Mass. (i.e., a priest can intend not to consecrate while using the correct words and actions, and then nothing would happen. Of course he would be guilty of a grave sacrilege.) In the new rite, the external words and acts in no way assure us of a proper intention on the part of the celebrant is present. If the priest's internal intention is based on the external words and actions of the NOM, the sacrament is, to say the least, most doubtful. For the priest in the NOM to consecrate -- assuming for the moment that such is even possible within this rite -- he must have the positive intention to 'do what the Church does,' and/or, 'to do what Christ intended.' What makes this pertinent is that the majority of priests being trained today are not taught traditional sacramental theology and therefore cannot know the nature of the positive intention they must entertain. According to Father Robert Burns, C.S.P., editorial writer for The Wanderer, 'Many newly ordained priests are either formal or material heretics on the day of their ordination. This is so, because their teachers embraced modernist errors and passed them along to their students. Their students, after ordination, in turn propagated these errors, either in catechitical teaching or in pulpit preaching. The same situation is also true in the cases of many older priests who return to schools of theology for updating courses or 'retooling in theology'.' (Aug. 10, 1978)

(27) Cf. Chapter on Holy Orders.

(28) Hugh Ross Williamson, The Modern Mass, Ill: TAN. Mr. Ross Williamson appealed to the English hierarchy to remove the words FOR US from EP NO. 2 'as evidence of good faith,' but his petition was completely ignored.

(29) DOL 1712, 1960.

(30) Father Joseph Jungmann, op. Cit.

(31) op. cit. No. 10.

(32) The term 'Institution' refers to the institution of the Sacrament by Christ, and is a perfectly legitimate theological word. The idea that the Mass is a mere 'narrative' however, is patently false and entirely Protestant. Despite this, official French catechisms make such statements as 'at the heart of the Mass lies a story...' The official French Missal published with the approval of the hierarchy states that the Mass 'is simply the memorial of the unique sacrifice accomplished once! ('Il s'agit simplement de faire memoire de l'unique sacrifice deja accompli.') This statement has been repeated in more than one edition, and despite the repeated protests of the faithful. It would however appear to be the 'official' teaching of the Conciliar Church.

(33) Father J. O'Connell, The Celebration of Mass, Milwaukee: Bruce, 1941.

(34) The Catholic Encyclopedia, (1908), Vol XIII, p. 299.

(35) Michael Davies, op. cit. No. 10.

CHAPTER XII, part 14

St. Alphonsus Liguori

All versus many

The culmination of sacrilege occurs in the new form with the mistranslation of the Latin word multis (many) by 'all,' a change which clearly 'determines the predicate,' namely Christ's Body and Blood. (cf. paragraph above) The excuse given for this was that there is no Aramaic word for 'all,' a philological falsity propagated by the Protestant scholar Joachim Jeremias, and one which has been repeatedly exposed.

Moreover, of the various Mass rites which the traditional Church has always recognized as valid - some 76 different rites in many different languages - many of which date back to Apostolic times -not one has ever used 'all.' (Imagine turning each of the 'manys' in St. Matthew's gospel to 'alls.') (36). What makes this particular mistranslation most offensive is that the Church has always taught that the word 'all' is not used for specific reasons. St. Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, explains why in an opinion confirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

'The words Pro vobis et pro multis (For you and for many) are used to distinguish the virtue of the Blood of Christ from its fruits: for the Blood of our Saviour is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious Blood is (in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually (efficaciter) it does not save all - it saves only those who cooperate with grace'(Treatise on the Holy Eucharist).

It is pertinent that Pope Benedict XIV discussed this issue and stated that teaching 'explains correctly' Christ's use of 'for many' as opposed to 'for all'(De Sacrosanctae Missae Sacrificio). In view of the constant teaching of the Church, this change from many to all cannot be accidental. (The Latin original of the NOM still uses multis, but how often does one hear the new 'mass' in Latin? Moreover this mistranslation occurs in almost all the vernacular versions: German: fur allen; Italian, tutti; and in French, the vague word multitude. In Polish, for some reason, 'many' is retained.) It is clearly mandated from Rome (DOL 1445, footnote R 13). According to Archbishop Weakland, Paul VI reserved to himself the approval of he vernacular translations of the Institution Narrative, and especially of the word multis. Given all this, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the heresy of apocatastasis is being promulgated - the heresy held by many of our 'separated brethren' such as the Anabaptists, the Moravian Brethren, the Christodelphans, Rationalistic Protestants, Universalists and Teilhardians -namely, the false notion that all men will be saved. (This perhaps explains why Hell is also in disfavor.) Reference to the chapter on Vatican II will show to what extent all this is highly consistent with many of the statements of this dubious council, as well as those of the post-Conciliar 'popes.'

The memorial acclamation

As mentioned above, the phrase Mysterium fidei (The Mystery of Faith) was part of the Consecration form of the traditional Mass. In the new 'mass' the phrase has been removed from the form and made into the introduction of the people's 'Memorial Acclamation.' Right after the supposed consecration, the faithful are asked to say or sing 'Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.' Not only is this an entirely new practice, but it implies that the Mystery of the Faith is the Death, Resurrection and Final Coming of Our Lord, rather than His 'Real Presence' on the altar. Nor are the other Memorial Acclamations any more specific - e.g. 'When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.'

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini informs us in his memoirs that this issue was discussed directly with Paul VI. The Consilium had wished to leave the 'Memorial Acclamation' up to the National Bishops' Committees on the Liturgy, but Paul VI urged that 'a series of acclamations (5 or 6) should be prepared for [use] after the consecration.' According to Archbishop Bugnini, Paul VI feared that 'if the initiative were left to the Bishops' Committees, inappropriate acclamations such as 'My Lord and My God' would be introduced.' The traditional Church had always encouraged the use of the ejaculatory prayer 'My Lord and My God' at the elevation of the Host during Mass as it both affirmed belief in the Real Presence and gave praise to God.)

The Body of Christ

Some conservative Novus Ordo Catholics claim that the Real Presence is affirmed when the priest-president says 'The Body of Christ' at the time of giving out communion. Not so! Let us listen to the Instruction of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy which laid down the rule that the priest was to use this new truncated expression instead of the traditional 'May the body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting, Amen.'

'The use of the phrase 'the Body of Christ, Amen,' in the communion rite asserts in a very forceful way the presence and role of the community. The minister [sic] acknowledges who the person is by reason of baptism and confirmation and what the community is and does in the liturgical action... The change to the use of the phrase 'The body of Christ,' rather than the long formula which was previously said by the priest has several repercussions in the liturgical renewal. First, it seeks to highlight the important concept of the community as the body of Christ; secondly, it brings into focus the assent of the individual in the worshiping community, and finally, it demonstrates the importance of Christ's presence in the liturgical celebration.' (To understand this 'presence' the reader should refer to Paul VI's 'definition' of the Mass discussed below.)

And indeed, in line with this 'new gospel,' the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy strictly forbade the priest to say 'This is the Body of Christ!'

The altar changed into a table

Now all this 'spiritual nourishment' is effected, not on an altar, but on a table. An altar stone containing relics is no longer required. Tabernacles are no longer to be placed on these tables - indeed, if they were, the president would have great trouble addressing his congregation. The six candles used at High Mass, and which recall the Jewish Menorah (candle stick), with Christ, 'The Light of the World' being the central and seventh 'candle,' are gone. No longer does the priest face the crucifix which is, according to The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) is 'the principle ornament of the altar... placed to remind the celebrant and the people that the Victim offered on the altar is the same as was offered on the Cross,' and 'which must be placed on the altar as often as Mass is celebrated.' Instead, the president now faces a microphone! (Some conservative priests have a cross lying flat on the table, but such is not mandated.) No longer is the altar covered with three linen or hemp cloths to absorb any possible spillage of Our Lord's Blood - cloths symbolic of the shrouds in which Our Lord's Body was wrapped. Nor is there any requirement to use linen - any material will do. As for the priest-president, he no longer says the Lavabo inter innocentes... ('I will wash my hands among the innocent, and will encompass Thy altar, O Lord'). Instead, he now recites a single verse from Psalm 50 in which no altar is mentioned and in which he simply asks for God to forgive his sins. The sacred vessels are no longer handled only by sacristans or those in Holy Orders, but by laymen, often chosen from the congregation at random. Nor are the vessels any longer made of precious metals and covered with a veil, symbolic of their mysterious and sacred character. At the end of the 'meal' the 'cup' need not be purified at once; its purification can be deferred to a later time. In some places (in accord with 'optional' rubrics) it is handed unpurified to a layman who places it off on a side table. Altar rails are gone so that the sanctuary is joined to the nave - the distinction between the sacred enclosure and the world is obliterated in the same manner as that between the priest and the layman. Communion is received in the hand and standing - if not distributed in a basket. Kissing the 'table' is done but twice, and not before every blessing and Dominus vobiscum as before. Signs of the Cross are reduced to 3. but by now, one is hardly surprised. As Cranmer said: 'An altar is for a sacrifice, a table is for a meal.'

The priest facing the people

All this is done with the priest facing the congregation. He is no longer an intermediary between God and man, but the 'president' of an assembly, presiding at the table around which the faithful are to gather and 'refresh' themselves at the 'memorial supper.' (All phrases from the General Instruction.) At great expense altars were destroyed and replaced by tables placed - at least symbolically - there no longer being any distinction between the sanctuary and the nave - in the center of the community.

Why this extraordinary change. Cardinal Lercaro, the president of the Consilium, informed us that this 'makes for a celebration of the Eucharist which is true and more communal...' (DOL 428). Paul VI approved the new arrangement because it was now 'placed for dialogue with the assembly,' and because it was one of the things that made the Sunday Mass, 'not so much an obligation, but a pleasure; not just fulfilled as a duty, but claimed as a right' (DOL 430).

The significance of the positional change of the president is very great. How can a priest perform a Sacrifice to God as both an alter Christus and an intermediary between man and God, when he is facing the 'ontological' congregation? Many religions other than Catholicism have sacrificial rites, but in none of them is this inversion seen. And within the Catholic tradition there is no more precedent for the priest facing the congregation than there is for the laity gathering around the table to partake of a 'paschal meal.' Can anyone imagine the High Priest of the Jews acting this way before the Holy of Holies? Can one imagine a child asking his father's forgiveness while facing his school-friends? Be this as it may, this inversion once again makes the non-sacrificial nature of the Novus Ordo Missae clear.

It is totally false to claim that the practice of the priest facing the people is a return to primitive practice. At the last Supper, the Apostles did not sit around the table in some casual manner, but, rather, as in any solemn Jewish feast, they sat facing the Temple of Jerusalem. As Msgr. Klaus Gamber, Director of the Liturgical Institute at Regensburg states, 'there never was a celebration versus populum (facing the people) in either the Eastern or Western church. Instead, there was a turning towards the east.' Not surprisingly, it was Martin Luther who first suggested this inversion. It is true that there were certain churches in which the priest did incidentally 'face the people,' but this was because architectural restrictions occasionally imposed this necessity in order to have the altar placed over a particularly sacred tomb - as with St. Peter's and St. Cecilia's in Rome. Father Louis Bouyer in his Liturgy and Architecture has conclusively shown that there is absolutely no evidence from antiquity that the priest ever faced the people when saying Mass for any reason. Those who talk of returning to early Christianity - be they reformers or post-Conciliar theologians - would do well to remember our Lord's complain made through the mouth of the Prophet Jeremias: 'They have turned their backs to Me, and not their faces'(2:20).

The truth of the matter is that the priest has, whenever possible, faced the east. And this, as St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, because: 1) The way in which the heavens move from East to West symbolizes God's majesty; 2) It symbolizes our desire to return to paradise, and 3) Christ, the Light of the world, is expected to return from the East. (Summa, II-II, Q 84, 3 ad. 3)

Despite all this, Paul VI assures us that 'nothing essential has been changed in the Mass.'

CHAPTER XII, part 15


International Committee for English in the Liturgy (ICEL)


Can we accept a doubtful consecration?

It is hard to see how conservative Novus ordo Catholics can argue that the changes in the Mass, and above all, the changes in the consecratory formula, have not rendered the Mass invalid. Certainly, in the face of the evidence given, they must agree that the matter is open to debate. But if it is open to debate, there is doubt - and above all, there is doubt with regard to the form of the Consecration.

Under such circumstances, Catholics are obliged to abstain from any participation in such rites. Listen to what Catholic theologians have said about using a doubtful form of a sacrament: 'The very raising of questions or doubts about the validity of a given manner of confection a sacrament - if this question is based on an apparent defect of matter or form - would necessitate the strict abstention from use of that doubtful manner of performing the sacramental act, until the doubts are resolved. In confecting the sacrament, all priests are obliged to follow the 'medium certum' (the certain means).'

'Matter and Form must be certainly valid. Hence one may not follow a probable opinion and use either doubtful matter or form. Acting otherwise, one commits a sacrilege.'

No wonder then that traditional theologians like J. M. Herve instruct the priest to: 'Omit nothing of the form, add nothing, change nothing; Beware of transmuting, corrupting or interrupting the words.'

In what way is the Eucharist the sacrament of unity?

The post-Conciliar Church repeatedly tells us that the Eucharist is the 'sacrament of unity.' One must be careful how one understands this perfectly legitimate phrase. The traditional Church teaches that only Catholics in state of Grace can worthily receive the Sacred Species. Unity is, by definition, a characteristic of the true Church, and those who have the privilege of receiving communion from her, partake of that unity.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the post-Conciliar concept of 'unity' is vastly different. The new Church envisions itself as having lost 'unity' with those outside itself due in large part to its own failings. It seeks to re-establish this unity by a false ecumenism - by asking those separated from her to join he in partaking of the Eucharistic sacrament without in any way demanding that they accept the fullness of the Catholic faith or that they be in a state of grace. And so it naturally follows that in the post-Conciliar Church, non Catholics are allowed to receive the Eucharist providing they show 'some sign of belief in these sacraments consonant with the faith of the Church'(DOL 1022, 1029). 'Some sign of belief' is, to say the least, a vague phrase. And further, it is unclear whether this consonant belief is to be with the traditional teaching of the Church, or only in the warped post-conciliar theology. Certainly, if our 'separated brethren' had full belief, they would become Catholics. But many Protestants who are in a state of mortal sin can be said to have 'some sign of belief' in the Eucharist. Be that as it may, non-Catholics are now permitted to communicate at the post-Conciliar rite, and this is enshrined both in practice and in the New Code of Canon Law. And why shouldn't this be so when one considers the following text taken from the documents of Vatican II.

'The Ecclesial Communities separated from us do not have the full unity with us that derives from baptism... Nevertheless, when in the Lord's Supper they commemorate His death and resurrection, they attest to the sign of the life in communion with Christ and await His glorious Second Coming'(Decree on Ecumenism).

The General Instruction and Paul VI's definition of the Mass

So far we have shown that everything in the new 'mass' points in one direction. It was created to accommodate the Protestants, and to foster that unity which is the 'internal mission' of the new Church. Hence it implicitly or explicitly denies the sacrificial nature of the Mass. But there is more. The General Instruction on the Novus Ordo insists that it is not the priest-president who celebrates the rite, but rather the 'people of God', or the 'community.' And why not, if, as Vatican II states, 'salvation is a communitarian' affair? We shall now examine this General Instruction and above all the definition of the Mass it contains.

The General Instruction serves as a sort of preface to the new rite and was promulgated along with it in Paul VI's Constitution Missale Romanum. It is to be found in the new Missals in the same location that the Quo Primum and De defectibus occupied in the old. According to the Sacred congregation of Divine Worship, 'the Instruction is an accurate resume and application of those doctrinal principles and practical norms on the Eucharist that are contained in the Conciliar Constitution...' and 'seeks to provide guidelines for catechises of the faithful and to offer the main criteria for Eucharistic celebration...' Cardinal Villot is even more specific: 'The General Instruction is not a mere collection of rubrics, but rather a synthesis of theological, ascetical [and] pastoral principles that are indispensable to a doctrinal knowledge of the Mass, to its celebration, its catechises, and its pastoral dimensions'(DOL 1780).

In view of all this it is difficult to agree with Michael Davies' contention that the Novus Ordo Missae must be judged independently of the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum which contains the General Instruction. On the contrary, if we are to understand the new rite, we must have recourse to this General Instruction - even if it is, as Michael Davies says, 'one of the most deplorable documents ever approved by any Supreme Pontiff.' Moreover, it should be clear that, regardless of who actually wrote it, it is Paul VI who promulgated it in his official capacity.

Now, according to paragraph 7 and 8 of this document

7) 'The Lord's Supper or Mass is the sacred assembly or congregation of the people of God gathering together, with a priest presiding, in order to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. For this reason Christ's promise applies supremely to such a local gathering together of the Church: 'Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.'(Matt. 1:20) (DOL 1397)'

8) 'The Mass is made up as it were of the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist, two parts so closely connected that they form but one single act of worship. for in the the table of God's word and of Christ's body is laid for the people of God to receive from it instruction and food. There are also certain rites to open and conclude the celebration.(DOL 1398)'

In the traditional Mass it is clearly the priest alone who celebrates; the Real Presence is effected independently of, and regardless of, whether or not an 'assembly' is present. In the above definition however, the phrase 'with a priest presiding' is by no means essential to what occurs. One has only to leave it out to see that the action of the rite is performed by the 'assembly or congregation of the people of God gathered together.' Other sentences of the General Instruction add weight to such an interpretation. Thus paragraph 60 states that the priest 'joins the people to himself in offering the sacrifice' and 62 that 'the people of God... offer the victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also together with him.' The point is continuously stressed within the rite itself by the insistent use of 'we' in all the prayers.

The concept of 'presiding,' despite the fact that it is found in Justin Martyr, is innovative. The verb 'to preside' comes from the Latin prae-sedere, which means literally to 'sit in the first place,' and signifies, as Webster's Dictionary states, 'to occupy the place of authority, as a president, chairman, moderator, etc.' To preside at an action in no way means to accomplish the action personally - indeed, in almost every situation where a person 'presides' he is isolated from the action performed. The president of the French Assembly doesn't even cast a vote! Nor does the President of the U.S. Senate, except when there is a need to break a tie. further, one can hardly avoid the political implications of the term.

The Mass is made equivalent to the Lord's Supper. While the phrase can be found in Scripture (I Cor. 11:20), it is in no way part of Catholic theological tradition. Indeed, the phrase 'Lord's Supper' was specifically used by the Reformers to distinguish their services from the Catholic Mass. To state that they are equivalent is, to say the least, offensive to pious ears.

Far worse is the statement that 'Christ's promise applies supremely to such a local gathering... Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst.' Let the meaning be clear. If this is accepted, Christ is no more present at Paul VI's 'mass' than he is when a father joins his children for evening prayers! One is reminded of Cranmer's statement when this issue was brought up with regard to the Anglican (Episcopal in America) rite: 'Christ is present whensoever the church prayeth unto Him, and is gathered together in His name...'

Many were horrified by this definition. As the Critical Study of the NOM by the Roman Theologians stated, it in no way implied 'either the Real Presence, or the reality of the sacrifice, or the sacramental function of the consecrating priest or the intrinsic value of the Eucharistic Sacrifice independent of the people's presence... In a word, it does not imply any of the essential dogmatic values of the Mass.'

In an attempt to obviate this and other criticisms which the Critical Study presented, a second version of the General Instruction was promulgated (1970). That this was in fact a 'white wash' is quite clear; those responsible (ultimately, once again, Paul VI) stated that in reviewing the initial version 'they found no doctrinal errors.' It should be added that no change in the rite itself was made.

'A review of the General Instruction both before and after its publication by the Fathers and periti of the Consilium found no reason for changing the arrangement of the material or any error in doctrine'(DOL 1371).

Indeed, that they changed it at all was 'in order to avoid difficulties of all kinds, and in order to make certain expressions clearer...' they assured us that absolutely 'no innovations were introduced' into the second version and that the 'amendments were few in number, sometimes of little importance, or concerned only with style'(DOL 1371). Yet the amended version did its task. Despite such clear cut statements, and despite the fact that it in no way 'clarified' expressions, but rather obfuscated them, the conservative Novus Ordo Catholics found it mollified their consciences. Let us consider how the definition reads now: 'At Mass or the Lord's supper, the people of God are called together, with a priest presiding and acting in the person of Christ, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord or eucharistic sacrifice. For this reason Christ's promise applies supremely...'

A careful reading of this changed definition will show that its authors were correct when they said that 'no innovations were introduced' (one must smile at the innovators expressing themselves in this manner) and that 'the amendments were only a matter of style.'

First of all, the Mass is still made equivalent to the Lord's supper. Moreover, this is a persistent pattern. the complaint of the Roman theologians holds true of both versions of the General Instruction. Throughout both, as they said, the mass 'is designated by a great many different expressions, all acceptable relatively, all unacceptable if employed as they are separately and in an absolute sense.' the study cited as examples: 'The Action of Christ and of the People of God, The Lord's Supper or Mass; the Paschal Banquet; the common participation in the Lord's table; the memorial of the Lord; the eucharistic Prayer; the Liturgy of the word and the Eucharistic Liturgy, etc.'

The phrase which speaks of 'presidency' is still unessential to the definition. What has been added is that the priest is 'acting in the person of Christ.' but the priest can do this in a variety of ways, as for example, when he teaches, exhorts, councils, or exorcizes in the name of the Lord; and hence no substantial change in meaning results. Other parts of the emended Instruction, despite the insertion of several ambiguous allusions, in no way contradict this definition. In order to avoid the accusation that I have either misinterpreted the definition or misjudged the document, allow me to give two statements taken from books used in post-Conciliar seminaries - both have the semi-official approval of the new church. The first, Father Richstatter's Liturgical Law Today: 'The priest also sees his relation to the laity in a new perspective. The priest is no longer the one 'officially delegated' to perform a clerical action in which the people are invited to participate. for example, the second edition of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal systematically refuses to speak of the priest as 'the celebrant': as though the priest alone celebrates. It is the community who celebrates the liturgy [my emphasis]. The priest celebrating has different responsibilities than the laity, but it is not the priest alone who celebrates. the priest sees his role more as a leadership role within an action which belongs to the community.'

Again, consider the following quote from the commentary on the General Instruction which was written and edited, among others, by Father Martin Patino, one of the members of the Consilium who assisted in preparing the new Order of the Mass: 'The [New] mass is not an act of the priest with whom the people unite themselves, as it used to be explained. The Eucharist is, rather an act of the people, whom the ministers serve by making the Saviour present sacramentally... This former formulation, which corresponds to the classical theology of recent centuries was rejected because it placed what was relative and ministerial (the hierarchy) above what was ontological and absolute (the people of God).'

A further change, or rather, addition, was made in the definition given in paragraph 7 of the new Instruction. After the quotation from Matthew it added: 'For the celebration of Mass, which perpetuates the sacrifice of the cross, Christ is really present to the assembly gathered in his name; he is present in the person of the minister, in his own word, and indeed substantially and permanently under the eucharistic elements.'

Once again, there is nothing in these ambiguous phrases that would offend a Protestant. Nowhere are we informed that the celebration involved is other than a memorial - and the word 'memorial,' like the phrase 'the Lord's Supper,' is another Reformation term used to distinguish a Protestant service from the Catholic Mass. The new Instruction states that the Mass'perpetuates' the Sacrifice of the Cross; this is another bit of ecumenical sleight-of-hand. the traditional expression is that the Mass renews the Sacrifice of the Cross. further, the Instruction states that Christ is 'really' present, as much in the assembly as in the priest and in his words. Nothing suggests to us that he is any more present in any other parties or 'elements' than he is in the assembly of the people. Some may argue that the reference to His 'substantial and continued presence in the eucharistic elements' suffices to remove all doubt about the orthodoxy of the definition. but this 'substantial' presence is in no way differentiated from His 'presence' in the assembly or the priest-president. Moreover, the use of the term 'perpetual' suggests that no 'change' has occurred. One is reminded of Luther's comment that 'if Jesus is present everywhere, perhaps he is also present in the Eucharist.'

Conservatives who would defend the new 'mass' may also contend that the General Instruction itself nowhere specifically states that the people confect the sacrament. This indeed is true. for in fact, in no place does the Instruction state that a sacrament is confected. What exactly do the people of god do? 'They gather together to celebrate the memorial of the Lord OR the eucharistic sacrifice.' The text does not say AND the eucharistic sacrifice, and clearly implies once again that such is in no way different from the memorial of the Lord as Protestants understand it. Moreover, the term 'Eucharist' literally means 'thanksgiving,' and this ambiguity makes it possible once again, to bring the entire definition into line with Protestant theology, according to which the 'sacrifice' is only one of 'praise and thanksgiving,' and never one of propitiation or immolation. Looking elsewhere in the Instruction is not much help. such phrases as 'the Mass is the culminating action by which God in Christ sanctifies the world and men adore the Father...' or 'the eucharistic Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification is the center of the entire celebration,' if anything, confirm the Protestant orientation of the rite.

Looking briefly at Paragraph 8 of the Instruction (unchanged), one finds nothing to contradict what we have said up to now. As noted previously, the division of the rite into the 'Liturgy of the Word' and the 'Liturgy of the Eucharist' implies that the word of God is only found in Scripture, and that the 'Word (Logos - another name for Jesus Christ) is not made flesh. The term Eucharist, meaning thanksgiving, allows one to see the second part of the service as only a 'sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.' (And nothing in the rite itself would lead us to believe differently.) Now this second paragraph affirms that the entire affair is carried out on a 'table,' and that from this 'table' the faithful are 'instructed' and 'fed.' Once again, this is fully in line with the Protestant idea that the function of a minister is primarily to instruct. While 'Food' can have a spiritual connotation, its use in this situation is more consistent with the breaking of the brief post-conciliar fast with a little bread and wine. Once again, Protestantism prevails -indeed, triumphs.

Other changes were made in the revised Instruction. A Forward was added which feebly attempted to reiterate the teaching of Trent on the Mass, but at the same time the Forward or Introduction insisted once again that it is the 'people' who are responsible for the celebration of the NOM: 'for the celebration of the Eucharist is the action of the whole Church... they are a people called to offer god the prayers of the entire human family, a people giving thanks in Christ for the mystery of salvation by offering His sacrifice.' The net impression left is that the second version of the Instruction does little (if anything) to affirm orthodoxy or to assure us of the reality of the Consecration. Indeed, all it does - and such was its intent - is to provide conservative Catholics the opportunity of mollifying their consciences. It should further be noted that, while Paul VI may have made his belief in the Catholic teaching on the Mass explicit in other documents or speeches, this in no way changes the immediate situation. What is important is that nowhere in the NOM or the General Instruction is such a belief made specific.

Conservative post-Conciliar Catholics argue two ways - 1) that the General Instruction in no way affects the validity of the NOM, and 2) that the changes in the second version of the General Instruction somehow make the rite acceptable and capable of being interpreted in an orthodox manner. Whatever position they take, they cannot deny that both the NOM and the General Instruction are ingenious and masterful compilations of ambiguity aimed at obfuscating Catholic teaching and propagating Protestant unbeliefs. Indeed, one has to express a certain amazement and awe at the skill with which this has been achieved. 'The children of the world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.'

Passing mention should be made of the changes mandated in the Missal of 1959 by John XXIII, popularly called the 'Mass of John XXIII,' the Mass of the 'Indult'. Many of the changes in this Mass were significant, even radical for the time. It was initially introduced 1) as the first step; down the slippery path to the NOM; 2) to introduce the faithful to the idea that their time-honored rites could be changed, and 3) to determine how strong the resistance to the new rite would be. It became obsolete three years later with the additional changes introduced to accustom us to the NOM, and has recently been brought back by an 'Indult' in order to give the faithful the impression that the present hierarchy is returning to tradition. Many falsely advertise this Indult mass as the Tridentine or traditional Mass. It is not. It is the Mass of John XXIII. Moreover, the Indult requires that those who take advantage of it, accept without reservation the 'doctrinal soundness and legitimacy' of the NOM; the teachings of Vatican II, and that have no connection with groups that do not. Some 'bishops' insist that those attending these celebrations must first sign a statement to this effect. Even those who do not sign such a statement implicitly accept the terms of the Indult. (This is to say nothing of accepting priests whose ordinations are open to question - after all the current ordination rite confers on priest-presidents the power to 'celebrate the liturgy' and not to say the Mass.) Once again, this rite should not be confused with the so-called Tridentine or traditional Mass. Nor should the unwary be fooled by the term 'Latin Mass' which may well be nothing else than the Latin version of the heretical NOM. One is reminded of the fact that Cranmer had his rite translated into Latin for the benefit of those at Oxford University who wanted their worship to be in Latin.

One thing is clear: however ecume