WE BELONG TO ROME, AND ROME IS OURS
The supernatural Mystery of the Incarnation is sustained until our time, and until the end of time, in the Mystery of the Church. The Church of Christ was never merely a haphazard cluster of disciples (although under Vatican II, it has come as close to being like that as ever to be possible in all history), but an institution, a hierarchical establishment meant to have an earthly leader who possesses that leading Apostolic role that Peter himself occupied during his lifetime. Although composed of sinful, fallen mankind, the Church exists as a single entity, the Mystical Body of Christ, which is incapable of moral or doctrinal error, through which all graces flow from Christ Himself in Heaven to all here on earth who receive His Graces, and outside of which there is no salvation.
The Church, being His Mystical Body, lives and exists with His Divine Life, and not merely the limited life of any other institution or establishment. His Resurrection Life is so powerful that not even death can swallow it up. It is not only He Himself personally who possesses this life, but also His Church. Those of us who have lived through the last forty years or so (or more) have seen the events described in this volume. We saw His Mystical Body, the Church, condemned to be scourged with changes in the name of aggiornamento, and then abandoned and left to die in the hands of the lynch mob back at Vatican II. We saw Him scourged and beaten with the progressively more and more irreverent changes inflicted on many Catholic parishes throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's. We saw Him dead and buried with the frequent invalidity of the false new "sacraments" of the false Novus Ordo religion to which all of the one-time establishments of the Church were handed to. Those who remember the Gospel account will also remember that the story does not end here.
Since the Church must always exist, the characteristics and marks of the Church also must always exist. Furthermore, their existence can never be merely as philosophical ideals, but must always be living and material realities, attached to some corporate entity. Those who mistake the Vatican institution for the Church instead of some other sort of establishment within which part of the Church "subsists" must necessarily deny that the characteristics and marks of the Church can be found anywhere today. Such ones must conclude that either the Holy Spirit has abandoned the Church, leaving it to error, or alternatively that the Church was never meant to exist for all time, or at least meant to disappear for some (hopefully brief) season before the world ends, or else they must redefine those characteristics and marks so as to deprive them of their original meanings as defined by the Church. "Infallibility" of the sort where "he is always right, except when he is wrong" is very useless and unreliable, as is "infallibility" of the sort where "he is always right, even when he is wrong."
Since the Vatican institution lacks the characteristics and marks of the Church, as demonstrated in Chapter 4, many Catholics have fallen rather neatly into those four categories. Some came to believe that the Holy Spirit has abandoned the Church, perhaps in connection with some special period in prophecy associated with the presence of the Antichrist.
Others came to believe that those characteristics and marks were mere accidents, in that a church (such a belief structure makes the concept of a "The Church" impossible) might only happen to have these characteristics and marks if things happen to be going well at the moment. When the Vatican institution lost those characteristics and marks of the Church, these people took recourse to the Old Catholics or East Orthodox.
Others, taking the heretical home-aloner position, are claiming that this current cycle of ecclesiastical crucifixion cannot be complete until every last shred of legitimacy and validity as been eradicated. When Jesus was yet to be crucified, He spoke in no uncertain terms that He would be laying down His life and taking it up again. All the disciples needed to have done then was to have listened to Him. For the present situation, what He has said is that He shall be with us always. This implies that there shall always be an "us" for Him to be "with" "always." The Resurrection of the Church is not that it somehow magically reappears after some complete eradication but rather the Resurrection life of Christ miraculously sustaining Her, in all of Her plenitude of teaching and ruling authority and sacramental power, throughout even this darkest of all periods exactly as I have documented.
Still others have redefined and reinterpreted those characteristics and marks in such a fashion as to make it sound as if the Vatican institution might still possess them. The ways in which they rationalize this are so silly and bizarre that they would be laughable if only there weren't souls out there who take those new definitions and interpretations seriously. All four of these courses are mistaken.
When the disciples came to the tomb to finish the burial of Christ, they did not find His body there, only an angel who told them, "He is not here; He is risen! See for yourselves the place they have laid Him. He has gone ahead of you into Galilee." The Body of Christ is no longer held within that modern whitewashed sepulcher, the Vatican institution. The typical Novus Ordo parish, with its false new "sacraments" and teachings, is an empty tomb without even the corpse of Christ for company. He is not to be found there at all. Instead, He has risen! He has gone to Galilee. Let us focus on the meaning of that.
In the days of the original Resurrection of Christ, the center of the Faith instituted by God was in Jerusalem. It had long been so with the Temple, the High Priests, and the Kings of the nation of Israel. Under the Christian covenant it continued there in Jerusalem until Peter took his See to Antioch, and then later to Rome. What was Galilee? What is it now? A boondock! A backwater! Nowhere important! Jerusalem had abandoned the Faith, with the Jews cooperating with the pagan Romans to crucify their Messiah, and even Peter himself running for his life, and denying his Lord. What was in Galilee? Simple, pious folk who only knew to obey God and precious little else.
What Galilee was then, Ecône is today! And not only Ecône, but Winona, Weissbad, Spokane, St. Mary's, Campos, Oyster Bay Cove, Fribourg, Acapulco, Omaha, Post Falls, Denton, and indeed every other bastion of the traditional Catholic Faith! These places, where the true Faith is taught, and where the true sacraments of the Church are dispensed precisely where and how Christ Himself wants, are where Christ Himself resides and lives in the sacraments and activities of the Church.
For I offer here a fifth alternative to the three mistaken alternatives given above: The characteristics and marks of the Church have been legally relinquished by the Vatican institution and (in lieu of any other corporate body being explicitly named) therefore formally transferred to all faithful priests and bishops who hold and teach the Catholic Faith and dispense Catholic sacraments, regardless of what relationship they might have, if any, to the Vatican institution. I claim here and now that the characteristics and marks of the Roman Catholic Church exist and live, in their fullness, throughout the entire traditional Catholic movement! Let us see how the traditional Catholic movement proves itself to be truly and completely identical to the Roman Catholic Church:
ONE: I will have to grant that Oneness is probably the most difficult mark of the Church to see in this troubled time. Yet the Oneness is clearly and strongly there for those who take the time to look carefully. Remember that Unity has never meant that all Catholics must be "buddy-buddy" pals with one another. Indeed there have been many bitter controversies throughout the history of the Church, even between saints. Did the Oneness of the Church vanish during the First Great Western Schism in the fourteenth century when there were two, and then three claimants to the Papacy? No! How was the Oneness expressed then? In their unity of Faith, Morals, and Worship. They all believed the same things; they all lived by the same rules; they all worshipped the same God using the same Mass. They all believed that the entire Church was meant to have only one visible head, the pope.
All Catholics were trying to be obedient to the Supreme Pontiff. The only problem was one of "Which one of these guys is he?" Even then, there were not two or three Catholic Churches since they all came from one and they all later returned to one. More importantly, those who mistakenly adhered to the wrong "pope," such as St. Vincent Ferrer, were not outside the Church. So it is today. Those who reach the wrong conclusion regarding the current leadership of the Vatican institution (whoever that turns out to be) are also not outside the Church. Indeed, the situation back then very closely approximates what we have today. During that First Great Western Schism, when a pope in Rome would die, their priests said Mass as if they had no pope, even though a "pope" was reigning in Avignon, and likewise when a "pope" in Avignon would die, their priests said their Mass as if they had no pope, even though a pope was reigning in Rome. How very like today, when some priests say Mass in union with their pope (?) in Rome (John Paul II), while others say Mass as if they had no pope.
Fortunately, it is Christ Himself, in His Mystical Body, who is taking action, not us ordinary believers. We may not know all of what He is planning, and how it will all work out, but we make ourselves a part of His plans by adhering to our traditional Catholic Faith and Sacraments. All traditional Catholics today are similarly united in their Faith, their Morals, and their Latin Worship. Priests from the FSSP, the ICR, the SSPX, the SSPV, the IR, the CMRI, and all other "independent" Catholic priests, all teach from the same Catechism, and say the same Mass.
One important thing which all sides of the current question have in common is the Universal and Historical Magisterium of the Church on which the various disputants all base their arguments. Such a shared basis for belief is essential since without it, their arguments would become like the example where one person states, "The Bible teaches that..." and the other person yells back, "It doesn't matter what the Bible says..." and after that it would degenerate into a shouting match. But not here! No matter how much traditional Catholic priests may disagree with each other as to how to interpret or respond to the present crisis, they all agree with each other that the Magisterium of the Church must be consulted as authoritative. It is there that they all look for principles and precedents.
Above and beyond that, all traditional Catholics are bound together in a unity of purpose, namely the restoration of the Catholic Church. What divides them is not the goal, but simply the means to attain that same goal. Those differences are merely the result of different ways the current crisis can be understood that we have come to by using our limited human minds. We presently lack the formal and papally approved answer to these questions which the next reliable pope will give to us all.
Certainly, there is at work the Satanic strategy of "divide and conquer" which definitely has a role in these painful divisions, but one must remember that what Satan (or wicked men) mean for evil, God means for good. The present crisis places the faithful remnant in a quite bizarre and unusual position. The Church needs to be several things all at once which are mutually exclusive and seemingly contradictory.
On the one hand, in the hopes of rehabilitating the Vatican establishment, She needs to encourage any inclination on their part to allow or better yet promote the true Catholic Faith. Since the current leadership refuses to show the nobility of the true shepherd by teaching the truth in season and out of season, then let them at least show the practical wisdom of the hireling by teaching the true religion which they already find much more profitable! Two competing factions cooperate within the purposes of God to bring this about: the Indult priests and their regular parishioners who serve as a fifth column within the Vatican establishment, and the SSPX which serves as the surgeon who by virtue of not being quite within their "jurisdiction" yet faithful to them is therefore in a position to perform "open-heart surgery" on the latter as an unconscious patient. It is widely conceded by those who enjoy the Indult that had not the SSPX done its job, there would be no Indult. In that case Catholic worship would have ceased to exist within the entire Vatican institution and vanished off the face of the earth. Even the Eastern Rite Liturgies would have been rewritten eventually.
But on the other hand, the Church must also be prepared to continue in the event that the Vatican establishment never gets rehabilitated, and for that reason there are sedevacantists. Both the sedevacantist groups and the SSPX serve another function by providing self-enclosed bastions of the Catholic Faith which are totally beyond the reach of the apostate members of the Vatican hierarchy. These bastions serve as a "base of operations" from which the Church raises Her children strong in the Faith and also launches Her missionary forays. They also provide the Catholic Faith and Sacraments which would otherwise be totally unavailable to those living in unfriendly dioceses which have no Indult permitted in them.
Where the Novus Ordo religion is filled with people who feel free to disobey their pope, even in the event they were to get anyone clearly and universally recognizable as such, traditional Catholics all recognize their Catholic duty of being obedient to the Supreme Pontiff, and that, in these times, is what constitutes one's attachment to the Barque of Peter. On that, one can solidly base the claim that unity can and must only continue to grow and be strengthened among the traditional Catholics as the various pockets of the Church, left behind in the backwash of that catastrophic tidal wave, Vatican II, find each other and overcome their fear and distrust of each other. As the flood waters continue to recede, it is only a matter of time before what now seems to be a number of scattered islands shall soon be seen to be the tops of mountains all of which are on the same continent.
As one can therefore readily see, God has permitted these seeming divisions in order to place his servants in a rich variety of strategic positions so as to bring about the termination of the present crisis. Already, despite the occasional "pot-shots" one traditional group may yet hurl at another, there is present a very strong bond of unity among all Catholics of the traditional Catholic movement, especially lay Catholics of the various groups who have cooperated in such things as Rosary marches and Anti-Abortion demonstrations. There is a tremendous crescendo of cries for the traditional priests and bishops to stop their bickering. It is my deepest and fondest hope that even this volume may, in its own small way, contribute towards this unity by providing its readers with the true Vision of "Where the Church Is" today.
HOLY: Where the Oneness was the hardest mark of the Church to see, Holiness is the very easiest. The traditional priest approaches the altar of God with a reverential awe appropriate for so great and humbling of an honor. He wears the liturgical vestments which all priests used to wear, and he goes on to preach a homily so good and solid and based on the readings of the day and all of the church's teaching that were such homilies to be gathered up into a book and published in the "good old days" before Vatican II, such a book would have absolutely no trouble getting an imprimatur. The holy example of the priests and bishops of the traditional Catholic movement is amply echoed in the lives of their parishioners, in whose lives all of Catholic Morals are lived and taken seriously.
Where else can one enter a Catholic church half an hour before Mass, and find the church to be completely silent and the pews full of families - - men, women, little children, teenagers - - all at prayer, and a line outside the confessional? Where else can one so favorably compare the excellent conduct and piety of the young men honored to serve at the Holy Altar against that of so many of their schoolmates and neighbors? Where else can you see a generation of young people so set apart as the Traditional Catholic youth of today, not in gangs, not living sinful lives, but trying their best to please God? Where else do you see marriages that hold together despite sickness and hard times, marriages that are truly sacramental, in which mutual sacrifice and not concupiscence is the goal? Where else do you find those who, having been away from the Church for nearly 30 years, on discovering that the Traditional Faith is still practiced, come back, make a good Confession and return to the practice of the Faith? Within and throughout the traditional Catholic movement, and nowhere else! It is only there that these holy and exclusively Catholic fruits of the Spirit are to be found, and that in rich abundance!
CATHOLIC: Traditional Catholics are universally all supremely confident that their belief is meant for all persons. When the temporal order is done away with, all persons will believe what all those of the traditional Catholic movement believe now, and it is their desire that all persons come into that knowledge now while they still have a chance to act on it. It is interesting to note that all of the schismatic dissenting groups have some secular power which created them. The Eastern heretical groups such as the Arians or the Monophysites, all became heretical under the pressure of secular rulers who wanted the Church to serve their state. When the Eastern Orthodox broke off, it was under the same sort of pressure, but exerted by secular rulers whose theology was much more orthodox. The Protestant breakaway was sponsored by the Germans, certain Swiss leaders, and the King of England. The Dutch originally persuaded the Old Catholics to break off and center their new church in Utrecht. The Chinese government, under "Chairman Mao," created the Patriotic Chinese Church. Certain German, American, and Dutch bishops, priests, and conciliar "periti," under the influence of their Protestant, Modernist, Sillonist, Communist, and Americanist puppet-masters invented the Novus Ordo religion and their new mode of worship.
In contrast to that the traditional Catholic movement exists without even so much as the sympathy of any secular power. The traditional priests and bishops and those religious and lay who follow them have all taken their stand solely and strictly on theological and doctrinal grounds. Bishop Kelly did not become a sedevacantist because the Governor of New York wants to start a "Church of New York!" and neither, for that matter, did Bishop Vezelis. On the other hand, Paul VI did install another Archbishop in Hungary while the proper Archbishop, Mindszenty, was still there in prison, so as to set up a Hungarian vernacular-mass-saying national Church which, unlike the reliable popes, had no trouble getting along with the Communist government.
The traditional Catholic movement adheres to the entirety of the Magisterium of the Church, as taught throughout all ages and in all places. That certain recent proclamations may be ignored or denied is strictly based on the fact that those particular recent proclamations are strictly disciplinary, and furthermore flatly contradict Faith or Morals, as promulgated by all reliable popes who have ever discussed the issues ever since the particular questions came up. Where the current Vatican leadership speaks in union with the Magisterium of the Church, the traditional Catholics offer no criticism, but also refuse to quote the recent proclamations in an authoritative manner. Why quote Paul VI's rare fine words in Humanae Vitae when we already have the same moral teaching far better expressed (both more precisely and more tastefully) in Pius XI's Casti Connubii?
The atmosphere at any traditional Catholic chapel, parish, or Mass center is so markedly Catholic that those who remember the Pre-Vatican II Catholic Church all unanimously recognize that uniquely Catholic atmosphere the minute they walk through the door. All the details are there, right down to blessed Holy water fonts and chapel veils for the ladies. Yes, there have been imitation Catholic Churches, but their non-Catholic status shows itself readily enough, as in the case of a "High" Episcopal Church where the worship was nearly Catholic, far more so in fact than in Fr. Bozo's nearby parish, and yet posters could be found in the back recommending the services of Planned Parenthood to pregnant girls. Those kinds of betrayals of the Faith are never found anywhere within the traditional Catholic movement! The traditionalists are Catholic through and through.
Catholic is what those in the traditional Catholic movement call themselves, because Catholic is what they are. Not just any Catholics, like Old Catholics, for example, but Roman Catholics, pure and simple. If they use the words "Traditional" or "Tridentine," it is only so as not to be mistaken for those pseudo-Catholics of the Novus Ordo Church of the People of God. If traditional Catholics are sometimes somewhat cautious in their use of the word Roman, or Rome, it is simply because they adhere only to Eternal Rome, the Rome of Peter himself, of Clement, Leo, Gregory, and Pius, but not necessarily to the Modernist infested "Rome" of the current Vatican establishment.
APOSTOLIC: If ever there was a Church which is primarily concerned with maintaining the apostolic faith, a valid apostolic succession, and the apostolic mission to reach the entire world, it is the traditional Catholic movement! The whole point of all those "illicit" consecrations of bishops is the continuation of the Apostolic Succession. If the present crisis continues much longer (and if the Eastern Rites also get destroyed) the next reliable Pope, as Bishop of Rome, will have to trace his Episcopacy to Thục, Lefebvre, de Castro Mayer, Mendez, or some combination of these, in order to be a validly consecrated bishop.
It is the traditional Catholic movement whose existence is smoothly continuous with the Catholic Church throughout the ages. There are some traditional Catholics who have gone clear through this crisis without ever missing Mass or attending a Novus Ordo "Mass" or having anything to do with the synthetic new Church of the People of God. In many cases their stand cost them a great deal of persecution, loss of friends, and severe inconveniences as they often traveled long distances or even took inferior employment in far off towns in order to continue their Catholic worship in what few places it was offered during the lean times.
The people in the traditional Catholic movement all believe that the Catholic religion is the truth and will not tolerate any treatment of other religions as though they were just as true. You will never see traditional Catholics going to Assisi to worship demons with or alongside those who don't know God (1 Corinthians 10:14-22) no matter what manner of idolatry the Vatican leadership is willing to indulge in. You will never see traditional Catholics going along with the recent directive not to evangelize the schismatic East Orthodox. Traditional Catholics seek to bring all persons into the Church, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, black or white, male or female, with no distinction. Only the traditional Catholic movement truly qualifies as Apostolic.
THE CHURCH IS THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST: The Mystical Body of Christ has in common with the actual physical Body of Christ the characteristic of the resurrection life. It cannot be killed. It may be injured at times, but it always grows back while the parts cut off simply wither up and die unless rejoined. The different parts of the traditional Catholic movement work together to bring back the full structure of the Roman Catholic Church which Vatican II has destroyed. This is true membership, as different parts of a body of various shapes, sizes, and functions are truly members of the same body. Their coordination may not be consciously planned by those involved (in most cases), but neither is it accidental. It is God Himself who has shaped the pieces of the Church so that they can one day be fitted together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Man divides, but God unites.
THE POPE IS INFALLIBLE: Only traditionalist Catholics and conservative Novus Ordo believers believe in this principle. And conservative Novus Ordo believers have unwittingly redefined Papal Infallibility to a definition which is at odds with the definition given within the Magisterium of the Church. Like traditional Catholics, conservative Novus Ordo believers believe that Papal Infallibility means that the teachings of the pope (on Faith and Morals) are authoritative and must be obeyed. So far, so good.
But Papal Infallibility does not merely mean that the Pope speaks authoritatively; there is another aspect to Infallibility. What the Pope teaches on Faith and Morals is not merely to be believed and obeyed, it is Truth! There is an objective reality "out there" which all Infallible Papal pronouncements are in full accord with, an Eternal and Unchanging Reality. A conservative Novus Ordo believer must believe that there is no such objective reality. To them, as long as Pope X teaches that A is true, then A is true and must be believed, but when Pope Y comes along and teaches that A is false, then A is false and must be denied. There is no further reality for the conservative than the current "Pope's words."
A traditional Catholic believes that if Pope X teaches that A is true, then not only is A true and must be believed, but that there is an Eternal Reality "out there" for which (or Whom) A is really true. It is therefore not the prerogative of any later pope to teach that A is false. If Pope Y comes along and teaches that A is false, then either Pope Y is speaking only as a private theologian and has not engaged his Infallibility or else "Pope Y" is not really a pope. That is in line with the definition of the Universal and Historic Magisterium of the Church. Traditional Catholics are therefore the only Catholics who really believe in Papal Infallibility as taught by the Church explicitly at Vatican I and implicitly throughout Her history.
Even the absence of a pope does not change this principle. The Charism of Infallibility rests with the Church in a latent (or potential) form whenever the Church is between popes. The Charism becomes manifest in a bishop who is given Peter's monarchical authority and jurisdiction over the entire Church and who understands and accepts the responsibilities of that office.
THE CHURCH IS INDEFECTIBLE: The faithfulness and stability of the traditional Catholic parishes, especially when set in stark contrast with the inherent instability and constant upset of the Novus Ordo Church of the People of God, is one of the most stunning and dramatic evidences that the traditional Catholic movement is the lawful recipient of this Charism of the Church. Despite seeming dangers from every side, the traditional Catholic movement has marched directly ahead in a straight line while the Novus Ordo paddles around in circles with one oar out of the water. The Roman Schism of 1964 so very directly parallels the English Schism of 1534. In each case one side marched straight ahead unchanged (but smaller) while the other side descended rather rapidly into changed and abused liturgies, frequently invalid sacraments, and religious error.
Even the questionable, or even asinine, behavior of a few traditional Catholic leaders, such as Shuckardt, has not in any way weakened the doctrine or morals of the traditional Catholic movement. It has enjoyed the same Divine Intervention of Indefectibility which protected the Church during the times of such wicked and corrupt popes as Alexander VI. Mark my words: The sedevacantists will NOT become addicted to not having a pope, nor will they be taken over by extremist political or religious factions; the Indult crowd will NOT be sucked into the Modernism of the Modernist Church; the SSPX WILL maintain its delicate balance between the Indult crowd and the sedevacantists at least until the next reliable pope comes along; all three groups WILL maintain their total adherence to the entirety of the Universal and Historic Magisterium of the Church.
THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT: Clearly, the Power of God (and nothing else) has sustained the traditional Catholic movement through this difficult and confusing time. The small size it seems to have is mostly illusory. As in the time of Prophet Elisha, the mountains are full of horses and chariots of fire, and as in the time of Judge Gideon it may seem that the Lord's army is reduced to 300 men, but those 300 men are all the Lord needs to defeat the Devil's 10,000 men. The traditional Catholic movement may seem small in numbers, but it is largely composed of spiritual warriors very much like Gideon's 300 men, and the Heavenly help the Church always receives rests upon it.
In so many ways, the Devil has tried to shut it down, with false suspensions and false excommunications, with confusion, division and discord, and even with a few personally corrupt leaders. The only result is that all parts of the traditional Catholic movement grow stronger in numbers and holiness. We are in the fire of persecution being refined like choice gold! The attacks of the Devil continue, and so does the Church. Despite the enormous blow the Church has received at Vatican II the Gates of Hell have not prevailed against it, nor can they ever!
The survival of the Church as the Traditional Catholic movement is a great and ongoing miracle which all can see for themselves. The marks and characteristics of the Church are Divine realities which CANNOT be destroyed or removed from the earth. By all human standards and knowledge, the humble sheep of the fold should have all been successfully deceived into embracing the Novus Ordo religion. They weren't! The principle at work is the one preached by Christ when He said that "the Sheep know His voice AND ANOTHER THEY WILL NOT FOLLOW!" There is no precedent for the existence of the traditional Catholic movement after so great a Death (or Separation) of the Church as that mandated at Vatican II, except for the resurrection of Jesus Christ Himself after His Death on the Cross mandated by Pontius Pilate.
So there you have it all before you, dear reader: Conclusive proof that "The traditional Catholic movement IS the Visible Unity of the Roman Catholic Church today!" I have made my proof. I have shown precisely where the personnel of the once-Catholic Vatican hierarchy have formally relinquished their exclusive claim of jurisdiction over the Roman Catholic Church, and to that extent, their hold on their respective Sees. I have documented the logical, and (at least in retrospect) predictable consequences of that schismatic event. I have demonstrated by formal test the fact that the traditional Catholic movement has all four Marks of the Church, and indeed all other characteristics of the Church as well, in rich abundance running throughout its entire length, depth, breadth, width, and extent, and furthermore that the Novus Ordo Church of the People of God entirely lacks all of those Marks and characteristics.
I have chronicled the Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church in the form of the traditional Catholic movement, holding back nothing, not even the faults and foibles of the sometimes weak and imperfect men who have led the Church through this crisis. The burden of proof now rests on those who would attempt to prove me wrong, who would attempt to prove that the Novus Ordo religion could somehow still be the religion of Popes Peter, Linus, Anacletus, Clement, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Pius V, Pius X, and all other reliable popes clear up to Pius XII!
It is reasonable to expect that there will be some who will attempt a refutation of this book. I divide such attempts into two basic categories: honest, and dishonest. As to those which are dishonest, their "case" will invariably depend on misquoting their sources, quoting them out of context, and/or faulty logic. While such an attempt may be convincing to the uninformed, the person making it shall lose all credibility as I demonstrate their culpable misrepresentation of their sources, their deceptive pseudo-logic, or else the uncatholicity of their basic outlook or premises. On the other hand, I most earnestly hope that many will attempt an honest refutation, for it is in their failure to do so that they shall have a "Road to Damascus" experience and it is from the ranks of such the Apostle Paul himself was drawn.
Many of the more likely and predictable objections some might raise are discussed and addressed in Appendix B of this book, Questions and Objections. This includes not only questions from the Novus Ordo standpoint, but also some questions those of certain traditional Catholic orders might have regarding the legitimacy of certain other Catholic orders. Those who have access to the Worldwide Web are encouraged to check out the remainder of this site, http://www.the-pope.com and its links to other sites, for further information. Finally, I make myself available for public lectures or debates on the topic of this book. I can be reached through this site.
With all that said, the sincere Catholic should now know what to do. There is no salvation outside the Church. The exact boundaries of the Church have been defined in detail here. The sincere Catholic should readily enough be able to ascertain whether they are in the Church or outside it. Is your Mass a Tridentine Mass? Alternatively, are you an Eastern Rite Catholic attending your Eastern Rite? If neither of those is true, you are outside the Church. That does not mean that you are a bad person, but merely that you have been in the same boat as all those other fine people who attend non-Catholic Churches. If you are in the Novus Ordo, God will forgive your having been led away from Him by the Vatican institution, but now that you know the truth God will hold you responsible for what you do with that knowledge. You must follow the traditional integrity wherever it leads, without qualification, with no reservations whatsoever. What it leads to is that which is truly the visible unity of the Roman Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation.
The logical step at this point is to locate a traditional Catholic Mass near you and begin attending it. If you are uncertain of the location of any Tridentine Masses near you, one of the references I strongly recommend is a directory which gives the location of all such Masses within the United States and Canada, the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses (See Bibliography or On-Line). This same reference also contains the names and addresses of persons to contact for Mass sites in other countries. If none of these are available and if you also know of no other "independent" Catholic priest or bishop near you, there may also be the last recourse of an Eastern Catholic Church which, if all else fails, you should consider officially transferring to.
Chances are you will be surprised just how near you might find Catholic worship. You may even find you have the option of two or more different Mass locations from two or more different orders! If on a given Sunday there is a traditional Mass you can travel to in one hour or less (regardless of whether you are so poor that the hour would be spent walking, or so rich that the hour would be spent flying in your own private jet), attendance at such a Mass is necessary and sufficient to fulfill your Sunday obligation. If no such worship can be found within an hour's traveling distance, you are excused from the Sunday obligation, the presence of Novus Ordo or other schismatic worship notwithstanding.
However, many traditional Catholics receive much Grace from traveling a greater distance even though they know their situation excuses them from their Sunday obligation. Some travel as much as six or seven hours each way every Sunday just to go to Mass. Others consult their traditional Roman Missal for the prayers and readings of the Mass of the day and pray them in spiritual union with all Catholic Masses they know are taking place in other parts of the world. Most Roman Missals include a prayer for those who are not in a position to receive communion at that time. That prayer, prayed at the appropriate point of one's such prayers offered privately in union with the Church and the Mass, is what is called a spiritual communion, the closest one can come to receiving Communion when physically separated from it.
However, I would doubt the sincerity of anyone who simply used the points brought out here as an excuse to avoid going to Church. Such ones might as well at least continue their attendance at a non-Catholic church, if only from the standpoint of maintaining the useful habit of going to Church every Sunday. A far better action would be to spend an hour or so each Sunday praying various devotions in a building which had once served as a Catholic Church, preferably at times other than when any Novus Ordo (or other non-Catholic) worship would be taking place. Those who live between one and two hours away from the nearest Catholic worship ought to consider going twice a month or so, and those with Catholic worship not too much beyond that should go about once a month, or at least several times a year.
Attendance at your first Catholic Mass in a long time (if ever) will be a deeply moving experience. For those who remember the Church from before "the changes" it will be a trip down memory lane as they say to themselves, "Oh that's right! I forgot about that. Yes, now I remember that, and that, and that! I never thought I'd see this again; it's just like coming home." For those who never saw the real Catholic Church before, it is a time of wonder, as the beauty and majesty of the ritual touches their spirit in places they never knew they had. It is like a person having lived all their life in darkness suddenly being put in the light for the first time and only then discovering they have eyes. Attendance at single Mass offered at any traditional Catholic chapel will do more to demonstrate the truth of its being an official parish of the Catholic Church far better than all this book and all the words and logic anyone and everyone could offer. If it is really all that remote from your location, make the pilgrimmage.
Having once again (or now for the first time) seen such beauty, one of the most frustrating and painful aspects of returning to the true Catholic Faith is inviting all of your Novus Ordo friends and family, and then having them decide not to come, or even having to leave them behind. Certainly you should invite them along. Sometimes, they might object because the Novus Ordo villains have been lying to them about the traditional Faith. I have even seem some refuse to attend an Indult Mass for fear of being "schismatic."
If their refusal to come is this fear and not merely a matter of convenience for their schedule or some other practical reason, may I make a suggestion? Give the person a copy of this book. (If this book is too large, one of the smaller recommended books listed in the Bibliography, such as the Open Letter to Confused Catholics, The Ottaviani intervention: Short Critical Study of the New Order of Mass, or The Problems With the New Mass may be used instead.) As you give them the book tell them, "Take this book and read it. I don't care whether you agree with it or not, just make sure you read it so that you can discuss its contents intelligently. Then come back to me and we'll talk about it."
That is also a good approach to use if harassed by a Novus Ordo "priest" or "bishop" or other leader who wants to pressure you into remaining in the false Novus Ordo religion. In that case I would strictly recommend only this book. Chances are they won't read it. Instinctively they sense that with this knowledge comes responsibilities and sacrifices they are not willing to make. However, so long as they don't read it you have the perfect rejoinder to their harassment: "Have you read that book yet?"
While attendance at the Mass is obligatory, or at least a valuable and Grace-filled experience for those who go even though excused from it on account of distance, a faithful Catholic should also belong to a traditional Catholic parish. With the exception of the what very few Indult parishes there are and the Eastern Rite parishes, all other Catholic parishes are operated by priests of the Church who are outside the Vatican institution. Oftentimes, Indult Masses which might be perfectly fine in and of themselves, are part and parcel of a Novus Ordo parish. While a Catholic might reasonably attend such a Mass to fulfill a Sunday obligation, their membership can only properly belong to a Catholic parish. If one lives a long distance from the nearest Catholic parish, but can find an Indult Mass a great deal closer, they should become and count themselves as a member of that far away parish and try to go there at least once or twice a year, and probably more frequently than that if possible. On other Sundays and Holy Days of obligation it is enough to attend the closer Mass.
One's primary financial support of the Church should go to their traditional Catholic parish. Any other Mass location they attend should be nominally supported with a few dollars dropped anonymously in the collection. By giving to these "independent" priests, that is how one gives to the Church, which is the lawful recipient of all tithes and offerings. Of course, such giving does not relieve anyone of their other charitable obligations. Many traditional priests operate on a shoestring budget, often traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles each Sunday to say Mass in widely separated regions. You should regard these parish priests as your regular confessors, and it is to them you would have to go for the other priestly functions such as Baptisms, Confirmations, weddings, funerals, and for burial. Giving to them is a tremendous honor, as it is giving to the Church in Her most desparate hour of need. It is like buying a stock when nobody wants it, and which you can utterly know will rise to the top, the spiritual equivalent of buying IBM stock in 1938.
While a traditional Catholic should properly belong to one parish, I strongly encourage lay Catholics to pay occasional visits to parishes and Mass centers other than their own, especially while traveling. Though priests are often bound by their parish and other commitments to serve in their particular order, laypeople are morally free to move about among all different kinds of traditional Catholic parishes and Mass centers, clear from sedevacantist through SSPX and other "independent" priests to Indult and back again. There is no more vivid method of seeing the fundamental Oneness of the Church than to view firsthand the startling uniformity of worship, belief, and atmosphere, that exists throughout all varieties of traditional parishes and Mass centers. Such consistency and unity is like a breath of fresh air after seeing so many Novus Ordo "parishes," each of which is practically a "religion unto itself."
It is true you may often encounter traditional priests who will talk as if their order is the only truly safe or "Catholic" order. The proper response is to keep in mind that when they do this they are talking not from certain knowledge (which will not exist until the next reliable pope pronounces on the question) but from his own opinion or that of his bishop or priestly order. The uncertainties of the present crisis coupled with his responsibility as a pastor of souls may also cause him to feel that he is not competent to recommend any congregation but his own. All I can ask is that, while taking such particular statements with a grain of salt, do try to be patient with him on this. If he can't handle your occasional attendance at another Catholic Mass, there is no need to rub his nose in the fact that you have attended it and found it to be utterly Catholic.
When you go to the traditional Catholic Mass, please keep in mind that a Catholic Church is a quiet and decorous place. The Blessed Sacrament is there and respect should always be shown. Talking, other than to join in the prayer of the rosary or other vocal prayers recited before and after the Mass, or to whisper such things as "Excuse me," or "Mind if I sit here?" is simply not done. There will usually be some other area nearby where the parishioners can gather and talk before and after the Mass.
Traditional Catholics dress modestly and conservatively to Church, not at all like Novus Ordo People of God. Women's skirts or dresses should be long enough to cover the knees while seated, and their dress should not show any shoulders, backs, or fronts. Slacks and pantsuits (and jeans) are not appropriate clothing for women in Church. Men's clothing should also be nice and modest, along the lines of suit and tie, although the suit (or coat) and tie themselves may be omitted in hot weather. Shorts, tank-tops, athletic clothing, and jeans are not appropriate clothing for men in Church. Those living in other cultures with different standards of Sunday dress should adapt that advice accordingly. Women are advised to wear a hat or bring a mantilla to cover their heads, although many traditional Catholic parishes will have mantillas available by the door which the women may borrow for Mass. I say this, not to establish some sort of dress code for Catholics, but so that first-time visitors would not have to endure the embarrassment of coming inappropriately dressed.
Finally, I cannot recommend strongly enough the cultivation of a strong and vibrant interior life with God. Having been thus fed with the Heavenly Food of the true Mass and true Blessed Sacrament and the true Catholic teaching and the interior life, let us convey to others what God has given us, for to whom much is given, much is to be asked. This conveying shows itself (and can be aided by) a serious living out of the Gospel, forgiving those who wrong us, helping those in need, being honest and having integrity in all that we do, and showing proper respect for the dead and for all clerics. It also involves being activists in our local communities for all that is good, the true Faith, the true Sacraments, the true Church, and the common interests of all. It is a life of self-sacrifice as we give of ourselves freely and without requiring anything back. Find and read the good Catholic books, such as The Imitation of Christ or The Spiritual Combat and many other saintly writings and be immersed in them. If possible, teach the Faith at any opportunity, even in the Novus Ordo classes if possible. For did not the Apostle Paul preach even in the Jewish synagogues?
Enough practical advice! You should learn the rest from the traditional Catholic priest who is your spiritual director, and do take the time to get to know your fellow parishioners, lay, nun, and monk alike. Welcome home, we're glad to have you!
The present crisis cannot endure forever. In 1950, everyone more or less thought that the Church would just continue to grow and expand along a roughly mathematical curve as it had for the previous several centuries. Who could have predicted that in a mere thirty years the Church would be almost three orders of magnitude smaller? The Church has a nature, expressed in Her four marks and other characteristics, which will tend to snap back to the proper form like a rubber band, once released. This era of popes (?) who resemble shifting sand much more than the Rock of Peter will have to pass one day. There will be once again a reliable pope seated on the throne of Peter.
An awareness of that fact should help to put many things into perspective. At present we lack any pope who is willing to address these complex issues. The only person who at least nominally claims that title is constantly off somewhere trying to make Zimbabwe get along with Indonesia or some other equally non-Petrine activity. There goes John Paul II, so busy gallivanting all over the landscape trying to fix the whole wide world, while his own backyard is in such a mess. The Church is confused. Is he even a pope at all? Which annulments can we trust? Why have not the faithful Catholic bishops I have written about here who trace their orders to Thục, Lefebvre, de Castro Mayer, and Mendez been given regular jurisdiction over archdioceses? Why do so many openly heretical and rebellious bishops remain undeposed?
Since we can know as an article of Faith that there WILL once again be a reliable and indisputably Catholic Successor of Peter who will solve these problems, it makes sense to view the current situation as if in retrospect from the vantage point of such a time in the future. Although we don't know the exact time or manner in which this will happen, those particulars don't matter. We may not know exactly what the pope will say about some of these questions, nor how he will phrase it, but we are not in total darkness as to the way out of the present ills. Let us take it from this standpoint: There will one day be a reliable pope; when that happens, what OUGHT he do? Certainly, a saintly pope (a truly saintly pope is needed since an unsaintly pope might never be able to rally true Catholics around him despite his orthodoxy) can be expected to do as he ought, or at least something very close to it. So what is it exactly that he ought to do?
His first order of business is to put the Rites of the Church in order. The bogus Novus Ordo "Rites" must be canceled. Ideally the work of the subversive Liturgical Movement should be entirely rooted out, restoring the Liturgy, other Sacraments, and Breviary to the forms they each had in the 1940's and 1950's before anything stemming from the Liturgical Movement had been done to them. At the very least he must go back to the 1962 Liturgical books. All bishops and priests must follow what he is mandating here or else they are suspended or excommunicated, as appropriate for each case.
Next he must revoke the entire Second Vatican Council. The first portion, from its beginning clear through the 1964 session, must be abrogated. The 1965 sessions, being the Council of a schismatic Church opposed to Rome and the Pope must be condemned, as were the Fourth Council of Ephesus and the Council of Pistoria. I know that sounds rather extreme. After all are there not many good things said in Vatican II? But why go through sifting for them? As the saying goes, "You can even dig some diamonds out of Rock and Roll," but why bother?
Most pointedly, the revocation of the Council must carry with it the acknowledgment that while it was Law, the Catholic Church only subsisted within the Vatican institution and that those portions of the Church which functioned outside the Vatican institution had been delegated jurisdiction by it, and that this revocation hereby withdraws that jurisdiction, and the Vatican institution hereby reclaims exclusive identity with the Catholic Church. It is also important that the return to Catholic Liturgy and teaching takes place at the same time or prior to this revocation of the Council. The revocation of the Council also means the end of diversity within the Western Rite; there cannot be both Tridentine and Novus Ordo worship in union with Rome. The one dangerous case would be where the Council would be revoked before or without the return of the Vatican institution to the Catholic Faith. In that case, the Vatican institution might get locked into being a Novus Ordo church, and it would simply become a non-Catholic denomination, and the Catholic Church would no longer subsist within it at all.
When Vatican II is revoked the Vatican institution will either be once again identical to the Roman Catholic Church as it was before Vatican II, or else it will be mutually exclusive to it. It all depends on whether the Vatican institution will have been returned to the Faith when the Council is revoked. If all goes well and the Council is revoked with the Vatican institution having been returned to the Faith, then all marks and characteristics of the Church will once again rest upon it. It is only at that point that there is no need for the traditional priests and bishops to continue functioning outside the Vatican institution, and indeed their jurisdiction to do so would also have simultaneously ended. If not, then the Vatican institution becomes wholly and entirely another denomination and thereby relinquishes what vestigial hold it presently retains to any claim of being at least potentially the Roman Catholic Church again.
The third duty of the next reliable pope is to attend to the problems of the members of the hierarchy. The traditional bishops and priests who have functioned outside the Vatican institution need to be welcomed back and given dioceses and parishes with full regular jurisdiction. Indeed, because of their heroic stand for the Faith, I know of no more trustworthy persons to put in all the important posts, those of Archbishops, Cardinals, Deans of Seminaries, and Curial officials. The clergymen who have been within the Vatican institution are a different story. Many of them are quite rebellious and will not obey the Pope; they must be put out. Many more never knew the true Faith or Sacraments and will have to be retrained. Many of those and others besides who are at risk of having not been validly ordained or consecrated will need to be given unquestionably valid conditional ordinations or consecrations.
The fourth duty of the next reliable pope is to convene a council for the purpose of setting straight the issues raised by the crisis recently terminated. In particular, were the doubtful popes really popes? Which group is to be regarded as having followed the correct path? What Dogmas in ecclesiology can be formally defined, as discovered throughout this crisis, so as to prevent something similar from happening again? Such a Council needs to pronounce the answers to these questions with the Supreme and extraordinary (and infallible) Magisterium of the Church.
The fifth and last duty of the Pope in restoring the Church is a change in policy towards any nation which would like to be a Catholic nation. The Pope must be once again willing to have truly Catholic nations which base their laws on the teachings of the Church. It may be some time before that happens and the reliable pope who has the pleasure of signing a Concordat with the first Catholic nation could very likely come several popes after the pope who performs the first four duties.
Some may find it hard to believe that there may ever be a reliable pope ever again. They look at the present Vatican institution and see almost no one there willing and able to become, elect, or even obey a true pope. Then when they turn to look to the sedevacantists, what are they doing to get a pope? How many cardinals do they have? However, there are several ways to get a pope.
The manner in which the Church may obtain its next reliable pope all depends on whether the Vatican hierarchy repents. A few of them already sense that Vatican II has been an unqualified disaster. Many more others have already seen that the only parts of their organization which are growing are the traditional parts, and the ability to demonstrate growth in the diocese or religious order one is responsible for while everyone else only experiences shrinkage is certainly a good recipe for advancement. Such ones are still such a tiny minority, and their success such a rebuke to those incompetents they work alongside, that Vatican politics is still totally against them, but that could change.
Either the traditional Catholic theology regains the upper hand in the Vatican institution, or else that institution must continue its descent into error. Here is how things must look if traditional Catholic theology gains the upper hand within the Vatican institution:
Their leader ("pope" or whatever he may be properly called at this time) decides to end the current crisis. He mandates a return to Catholic worship and sacraments as described above. Next, he meets with the traditional bishops who have functioned outside the Vatican institution and explains what he intends to do and secures their cooperation in returning the Vatican institution to the Catholic Faith. In the event there is doubt concerning the validity of his episcopal consecration he has himself conditionally consecrated by them. If he is to be Bishop of Rome, he must first of all be bishop. He then returns to Rome and revokes Vatican II as described above, and the rest follows logically. The crisis is over.
The one great advantage such a scenario has is that it is rather swift and painless. It could happen tomorrow. John Paul II could wake up tomorrow having come to his senses and decide to start cleaning up his own backyard by proceeding as I have just described, except of course there is no question of the validity of his episcopal consecration. And if not him, then a successor could do the same thing. Even a raving liberal of the sort many "cardinals" presently want could repent if God touches him. There is of course the other possibility, namely that the Vatican institution will continue its journey into heresy.
In that event there will come a point at which "God's Spirit shall no longer strive with Man," at which something will happen making it so that the Catholic Church will no longer subsist within it. Either Vatican II (or at least its mandate to have the Church only subsisting within the Vatican institution) gets revoked in such a manner that the Vatican institution gets itself locked into the Novus Ordo religion to the total exclusion of the Catholic Faith, or else all Catholic worship ceases within it by having the Indult revoked and the Eastern Liturgies rewritten into new false forms just like the Novus Ordo, or else officially closing up the Eastern Rite Churches and turning them over to the schismatic East Orthodox clergy.
Once it is clear that there is no longer any overlap between the Catholic Church and the Vatican institution, that is the cue for ALL traditional Catholics to become sedevacantists. All real Catholics within the Indult crowd will have to move over to traditional priests and bishops operating outside the Vatican institution, or else they are not Catholics and were never really with us. The SSPX's mission to rehabilitate the Vatican institution will have terminated at that point, a heroic failure. All such sedevacantist Catholic bishops whether newly so or not, will get together so as to elect a man to lead them. The man may either be one of them or any priest, monk, or even layman whom they would all trust to lead the Church in the Petrine office, and who is willing to be consecrated a bishop and accept such a duty.
That man, so elected, is the next reliable pope. His duties are from that point on pretty much the same as those of a pope elected by the Vatican "cardinals." In such a case, the Vatican institution will have voluntarily relinquished all claims of being the Roman Catholic Church, and thereby also all claims they have to the Vatican properties. The Catholic Church would continue to grow and the "People of God" would continue to shrink and shrivel until the point shall come that we can afford either the legal or military horsepower required to drive out whatever usurpers and squatters will have been inhabiting Vatican City by then!
For I foresee a real probability that the Vatican will soon be occupied neither by Catholics nor Novus Ordo believers, but by others (Muslims, most likely) who will sack Rome and either execute, confine, or exile the then current Vatican leadership. It is a well-known and frequently observed principle that a spiritual fall eventually leads to a military fall as well. God works that way. Such an upcoming and terrible destruction of the Vatican and all its treasures and slaughter of its personnel would at least have the good effect of rendering moot all questions which set Catholic against Catholic (such as who is legitimate and who is not, and whether or not there is a pope), and serve to make full unity among the Catholics far more attainable. There would no longer be the various camps of the Church as there are today, but merely Catholics all of whom know the Faith and desire to restore the "One Shepherd" in order that all may be in one flock, and the Mark of unity could shine again in its full glory. It is even possible that once the archives fall into the hands of the Muslims, they might hand them to their scholars and learn that the Christian Church has not in any way concealed any prophecies of their prophet, but rather that there was never any talk of anyone coming after Jesus. Perhaps it is finally time for us to see why the heresy of Islam (unlike all others) has only continued to grow and expand despite its nearly 1500 years, and with almost no converts to Christianity.
We traditional Catholics belong to Rome, the Eternal Rome of Peter, of Leo, of Gregory, and of Pius. Just as being a Father's child implies that the Father is also that child's Father, our belonging to Rome also implies that Rome belongs to us. Those who inhabit Vatican City now must either repent and return to the Faith or face an eviction mandated by none less than the Almighty Himself! Vatican City was deeded to the Roman Catholic Church which exists now exclusively as the traditional Catholic movement. Its history, heritage, and treasures are ours, NOT Fr. Bozo's.
Always remember: We are always morally free to do the right thing; We have the peace that comes from knowing.
On Easter of 1982, the twenty-five priests of the Diocese of Campos, Brazil (five of whom were Monsignori) jointly signed the following Profession of the Catholic Faith in the Face of Present Errors, to which all contemporary traditional Catholics of all stripes can adhere to without reservation:
WE BELIEVE FIRMLY in all that our Holy Mother, the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, believes and teaches, and in this Faith we wish to live and die, since only in the Church is God honored and salvation found.
We believe that Jesus Christ has founded one only Church, the Catholic hierarchical Church, whose chief pastors are the Pope and the Bishops in union with the Pope, and whose aim is to ensure that the man of all ages reach the salvation obtained for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with all the benefits that radiate from it, and to promote on earth the Reign of Our Lord (Mt. 28:19-20). To do this, the Church does not preach a "new doctrine" but, with the aid of the Divine Holy Spirit, faithfully explains the Deposit of Faith received from the Apostles and religiously preserved by her (Vatican Council I).
We profess communion with the See of Peter, in the legitimate successor to which we recognize the primacy and government over the Universal Church, pastors and faithful, and nothing in this world would separate us from the Rock on which Jesus Christ has founded His Church. We firmly believe in papal infallibility as Vatican Council I has defined it. We respect the power of the Holy Father, which is supreme even if not absolute or without limits. It is subordinate to and cannot contradict Sacred Scripture, Traditions and the definitions already proclaimed by the Church in her constant Magisterium. Moreover this power cannot be arbitrary or despotic, such as to impose unconditional obedience or absolve subjects of personal responsibility. We owe unconditional and unlimited obedience only to God.
We are Catholic, Apostolic, Roman and shall be so till death, with the grace of God, and no power or authority will drive us from Holy Church.
We profess the Catholic Faith in an integral and total manner, as it was always professed and transmitted by the Church, by the Sovereign Pontiff, by Councils, and therefore in loyal and perfect continuity and consistency, without excluding a single article of faith.
We reject and anathematize, with the same firmness, all that has been refuted and condemned by Holy Church.
Together with all the Popes, we condemn heresy and all that can favor it: we particularly condemn Protestantism, liberalism, spiritism, naturalism, rationalism, and modernism, in all forms and variants whatever, just as the Popes have done.
We reject equally, together with the Popes and in the same way they have done, all the consequences of these errors.
For these reasons we condemn the present heresy that takes the name of "Progressivism," an improper name besides, since it is nothing but the repetition of errors long ago condemned by Holy Church.
We accept therefore the entire applicability of the words of St. Paul: "Even if we ourselves or an angel from heaven preach to you a gospel different from that which we have preached, let him be anathema" (Gal 1:8).
Thus, the tendencies of whatever sort emanating even from persons of authority, whenever they be contrary to traditional Catholic doctrine as it has always been taught, giving free rein to the errors already condemned by the Popes and by the Councils, demand from our conscience a formal rejection.
We affirm in consequence that, whatever contradiction becomes manifest between what is taught today and what Tradition teaches, there is a duty to follow what was always taught by all and in every part of the Church, because only this is truly and properly Catholic.
FOR ALL THESE REASONS, and to be consistent with what the Church our Mother has always taught us in her constant Magisterium, with the Faith of our baptism, of our confirmation, of our first Communion and of our priesthood, in order not to be perjurers and contradict what we have always believed - - for all these reasons - - WE REJECT:
THE NEW MASS, whether in Latin or in the vernacular, since "it represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent" (Letter of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to Paul VI, 5/10/69). In fact the new Order of Mass obscures the expressions intended to underline the Eucharistic dogmas, bringing the Mass close to the Protestant supper and not accentuating the clear profession of the Catholic Faith.
THE NEW MORAL THEOLOGY - - subjective, opportunist, contaminated by permissive liberalism, in which little or nothing any longer constitutes a sin.
THE PROFANATION OF THE CHURCH by dress always considered immodest, just as by certain kinds of music and instruments already rejected by the Church for her places of worship.
THE NEW THEOLOGY of modernism that founds the whole Catholic religion on the evolution of the religious instinct of the first Christian communities.
THE NEW CATECHISMS, purveyors more or less covertly of the modernist errors and not infrequently vehicles of subversive political doctrines.
THE THEOLOGY OF LIBERATION, based on a new interpretation of the Gospel, completely opposed to the teachings always held by the Church, and calculated to favor Marxist machinations.
THE TREND TOWARDS SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM that manifestly contradicts the whole social doctrine of the Church and scorns the excommunications of Pius XII directed against those who collaborate in any way with Communism.
THE SECULARIZATION OF THE CLERGY, causing grave scandal to the faith and the inevitable impoverishment of Christian life.
THE CONFORMING TO THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD on the part of the clergy and faithful in complete opposition to the teaching of Our Lord and to the spirit of mortification, teaching and example of Jesus Crucified.
THE REFORM OF THE SEMINARIES, carried out in line with these new tendencies.
THE OBSESSIVE CONCERN FOR HUMAN PROGRESS that leads to disregard for the specific purpose of the Church which is the salvation of souls.
THE DILUTION of true spirituality in a vague religious sentimentalism.
THE ECUMENISM that makes the Faith grow cold and makes us forget our Catholic identity, seeking to negate the antagonism between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial (cf. II Cor. 6:14-18), and leads to a panchristianity "a most grave error and capable of destroying the foundations of the Catholic Faith at their base" (Encyclical, Mortalium Animos of Pius XI).
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, understood in the sense of an equalization of rights between truth and error, giving supremacy to a supposed subjective right of man, to the prejudice of the absolute right of Truth, of Good, of God, and as a consequence laicizing the State, rendered agnostic towards the true Religion.
THE HORIZONTALISM OF THE RELIGION OF MAN, that concretizes what St. Pius X calls the "monstrous and detestable iniquity proper to the times in which we are living, through which man substitutes himself for God" Enc. Supremi Apostolatus).
DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE CHURCH by means of a collegial government in opposition to the hierarchical and monarchical constitution given to her by Our Lord.
LAICIZATION OF SOCIETY, that brings to life once more the cry of the Jews at the death of Jesus refusing to accept His social Kingship and not even recognizing in Him the Supreme Legislator of human society.
Thus, in the name of Faith, with tranquil conscience, we reject all those who introduce the "smoke of Satan" into the Church and apply themselves to her self-destruction (cf. Paul VI, allo. of 7/12/68).
WHAT WE ARE FOR
We love, praise and adopt all the traditional practices, uses and customs of Holy Church that have contributed, and do contribute, so much to the sanctification of the faithful, among them, for example:
ESTEEM FOR THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE that ought to have pre-eminence over the active life;
USE OF THE CASSOCK AND HABIT by priests and religious, that marks so well their separation from the spirit of the world and keeps consciences alert to the spirit of Christ;
VENERATION OF IMAGES and relics of the saints;
COMMUNION RECEIVED ON THE TONGUE AND KNEELING, in token of respect and adoration;
PENANCES AND MORTIFICATIONS, internal and external;
THE ORNAMENTATION AND MAGNIFICENCE of the Churches which contribute so much to the splendor of worship;
THE SOLEMNITY AND POMP OF THEIR CEREMONIES, that so impress and move the good people and stimulates their devotion;
LATIN IN THE LITURGY, a factor of the unity and universality of the Church, a precious casket befitting the sacredness expressed by the liturgical prayers;
GREGORIAN CHANT, which has nourished piety for so many centuries.
In particular, we wish to profess and spread a deep and burning devotion to the Mother of God, in whose Immaculate Conception, perpetual virginity and universal mediation we believe. We maintain that such practices of devotion, principally the holy Rosary, have a special efficacy for the sanctification of souls and triumph of Holy Mother Church.
We profess a convinced acceptance and a sincere love of holy priestly celibacy, one of the sources of pastoral zeal that constitutes a firm response to the hedonism in which the neo-pagan society of our day is immersed.
Our position is not one of rebellion, nor of disobedience, or contestation, but of fidelity. It is a question of loyalty to the Faith of our baptism, to our priesthood, to our legitimate superiors and to the faithful.
We do not judge the consciences of others, since this judgment belongs to God, we only claim the right and exercise the duty of every Catholic. We confront what is taught today with what was always taught; we hold on to what is of the Church and refuse what serves only for her self-destruction, whoever may promote it knowingly or unknowingly.
We are not against progress if it represents an organic development of Revelation; we are against that false "progress" that is not consistent with Tradition but is in discontinuity with it.
It is not a matter of indiscriminate attachment to the past, but of clinging to the Faith which does not pass away.
We believe in the permanence of the doctrine traditionally taught by the Church and in the objective sense of the formulas that express the dogma and truth that Holy Church teaches.
We believe that the truths of Faith remain absolutely independent of the ways of thinking and living of men, since Truth comes from God through the Church and her Tradition and does not arise from the instinct and religious feeling of the people.
We have absolute certainty that out position is legitimate, not by virtue of our arguments and ideas, but because we take our stand on that which the Church herself has taught us and in such a way that we could make our own the words of St. Augustine when he exclaimed that, if what we believe were an error, then God Himself would have deceived us.
We have firm hope that within a short time the Church will have overcome the current crisis she is living through, and, dissipating the darkness of heresy will return to shine out as always, as a glorious beacon to the nations: "The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).
We love from the bottom of our hearts our Mother, the Holy Church, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman. For her we wish to give our lives if it is necessary.
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