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What Ever Happened to the Counterrevolution?
What Ever Happened to the Counterrevolution?
by Michael J. Matt
While confirming the good based on the liturgical reform wished by the Second Vatican Council and initiated by Pope Paul VI, the Church grants also a sign of understanding to those persons "attached to certain previous liturgical and disciplinary forms" (motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei, n.5). It is in this perspective that one must read and apply the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei: I desire that everything may happen in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, in full harmony with Tradition, aiming at unity in charity and loyalty to the Truth. (Emphasis added)
...Pope John Paul II, in a discourse to members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of Ecclesia Dei. Rome, October 1998.
A funny thing happened on the way to the font
Last week my sister and her husband announced the birth of their tenth child, a happy and joyful event to be sure. It was decided that little Gregory’s baptism would be held immediately after the 11:30 Indult Mass here in St. Paul at St. Augustine’s Church. Becoming an uncle for the "thirty-somethingth" time doesn’t happen every day, and so I, of course, was in attendance for the little fellow’s baptism.
My first clue that something was wrong, however, came when our pastor asked the congregating Matt family to gather at the front of the Church rather than at the usual place near the back. Everything became immediately clearer. What? No exorcism? No procession down the center aisle while reciting the Apostles’ Creed? No Latin? What happened?
Then I remembered—that’s right, the Ordinary of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, Archbishop Harry Flynn, had taken it upon himself last Spring to order that all Traditional Sacramental rites be deleted from St. Augustine’s list of Indult "privileges." So, for the first time in ten years, Novus Ordo Baptisms, Novus Ordo Nuptial Masses, Novus Ordo Funerals, etc., would become the norm without exception for the parishioners at St. Augustine’s Latin Mass community. Our pastor, Father Zweber, did his best to prevent "passage of the act," but what could he really do? After all, the Archbishop had spoken.
My sister, Joan, and her husband, Joseph, had reacted to the news with far more concern than the rest because, at the time of the Archbishop’s decision, Joan was pregnant with Gregory—she knew that her baby would be the first child in the Matt family baptized according to the New Rite. She wrote back and forth to the Ecclesia Dei Commission in Rome, but, of course, to no avail. "The new Rite of Baptism is perfect and good; don’t quibble over old vs. new rites. Think, rather, about how wonderful it is to be baptized," she was told. As is the case with everyone these days, Joan and Joe expected (and received) no sympathy from the Commission.
You want to talk about an odd feeling! There I sat in my little pew, holding in my hand a little book, which read: "New Rite of Baptism." I recalled how, for thirty years, my father had sacrificed everything—even Mass attendance in the Latin Rite, when he took refuge in the Ukrainian Rite for a time—to avoid subjecting his family to the Novus Ordo. But now, ten years after the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, here we sat preparing to bow in defeat to the victor. Modernism had won out. After all, what could we do? Mustn’t object, our fellow Traditionalists told us, lest we risk the loss of our Indult Mass. I was grateful that my father was not present that day.
All at once and before I could help it, I found myself blurting out, in perfectly audible voice and right in the middle of the baptism, that which I figured everyone must be thinking: "Well, we’ve become Novus Ordo Catholics, just as Archbishop Lefebvre predicted. They’ve finally brought us into the fold."
Rather than risk creating another scene like that one, I removed myself to the back of the Church and waited for the ceremony to come to a merciful end. After all, it’s Baptism; at least it’s valid.
My poor sister practically wept after the service. "What are we going to do?" she pleaded, "They’ve taken away what little we had." She had fought hard, but she lost, and it was heartbreaking for her. She has ten children which she must raise as Traditional Catholics, without parish life, without most of the Sacraments, with precious little Traditional Catholic "support." What’s she to do? I guess Flynn and company would have her take her brood and retreat into the Society of St. Pius X, for, obviously, no accommodations are in the works for her "rightful aspirations" at the Indult parish. After all, they’ve given her the Mass.... What more does she want? The Establishment simply says to people like my sister, "Our Sacraments are perfectly valid.... Get over yourself!"
"Mike, what are we going to do?" Joan asked. I couldn’t answer her. The only thing of which I was certain was that when my next child comes into this world, his Baptism will happen in my home or, privately, in the chapel of some priest friend who knows what all of this actually means.
Well, folks, at least here in St. Paul, it’s beginning—they’re transforming the late Archbishop Lefebvre into a prophet. He predicted this would happen way back in 1988. What else can I say? If I am to remain a faithful "indulter," my children will be baptized in the New Rite sans exorcism, they will receive the new abominable rite of Confirmation from the likes of Archbishop Weakland or Cardinal Mahony, they will be married with a New Mass after having been ordered to attend the sickening pre-Cana classes, I will receive the "blessing of the sick" months before I’m actually on my deathbed, I will receive viaticum from a nun or from some wandering homosexual, and I will be buried without a Requiem Mass. But cheer up: at least I will be canonized at my New Ordo Rite of Christian Burial.... All is not lost, you can pray to me after I pass on. In all seriousness, we can no longer live the life of Traditional Catholics here in St. Paul’s Latin Mass Community. What do you suggest we do?
Victory is Ours
Shortly after Gregory’s rather unsettling baptism, I read in a Catholic publication that we Traditionalists are "winning" the war. I was most "relieved!" Apparently, the Church will soon have a place for Traditionalism, just as she has a place for other Rites in her grand ecumenical embrace. I wondered what all that meant, but, man, it sounded pretty good. Don’t you think?
Apparently, we have a hundred "approved" Indult Masses being offered in our country now—that’s up to one percent of one percent of all Masses being offered. I guess when you’re old or when you have no children, these statistics give you quite a charge. I, however, have two babies to raise, and I have no idea how anyone could classify what my wife and I face every day in our archdiocese as a "winning" proposition. We don’t even have the slightest vestige of parish life. We’ve never known what it is like to have daily Mass. We’re outcasts who shuffle into our Indult parish every Sunday like lepers from the colony. We have no spiritual home there, despite the kindness of our pastor, who truly enjoys offering the Tridentine Mass. The situation in the Church is only growing steadily worse.
Anyway, the optimists among us tell us we’re winning. While they busy themselves counting up Indult Masses and slinging mud at "Lefebvrists" in a peculiar effort to make themselves sound oh-so-centrist, we’re supposed to be convinced that Modernism’s progress has somehow been impeded by the fact that we have access to the Mass we like.
I grew up in this movement, and, yet, I feel like a stranger in it these days. I hear sentiments expressed today that leave me wholly baffled. I’m told not to "criticize the New Mass," but rather to congratulate myself on how "beautiful the old one is." I still flinch each time I’m admonished to proclaim my indebtedness to our Modernist bishops for "allowing" that which was never outlawed in the first place, and that for which the Pope called for wide and generous application of anyway. When a few bishops obey the Pope and grant permission for an Indult Mass, I am seriously expected to fall to my knees and gush, "Thank you, Your Excellencies, we will now be your adoring lap dogs. You can count on our support." I’m experiencing a bit of difficulty playing that part!
What is all of this? What have we become? In the last ten years, no admission of guilt was ever offered by the Modernists; no ground was ever relinquished. They never made any overtures to restore the Church they have expertly ravaged; in fact, they’re still running "full steam ahead" with that agenda! A few bishops "permit" an old Mass, which they control, and which they relegate to bad neighborhoods many times, or on Saturday nights, late on Sundays, or even only once a month in some cities, and we’re expected to lay down our arms and throw a party? It seems that many of our shepherds are having a little fun at our expense, but can we still call this "winning"? Is banishing Catholic public outrage at the abomination of desolation really the best option? Is The Remnant the only Traditional Catholic apostolate that is wholly baffled by this novel strategy?
I repeat: I no longer am at home in what purports to be America’s mainstream Traditional Catholic movement. It seems to have become a club for compliant Gregorian Chant aficionados and liturgy buffs—and I confess to being neither of these. I can understand that little old ladies and kindly old men—battle-wearied and tired from fighting for the last thirty years—would find solace in this variety of "winning," but, for Heaven’s sake, where are the men? Where’s the outrage of folks my age? Under which rock has virulent anti-Modernism crawled within Traditionalism? Fine-smelling incense, great vestments, splendidly performed chant....Is that what we’re all about now? With all due respect, mainstream Traditionalism in America "ain’t no Rising in the Vendée," and that’s for dang sure!
Over the past few years, has some weird consensus been struck between bishops and centrist Traditionalists stating that the only real hindrance standing in the way of unity between those who "prefer" the Latin Mass and the Modernist Establishment is the "extremists"—you know, The Remnant, that "schismatic" Society of St. Pius X, those lunatic "independent" chapels...all those who refuse to comply with this odd flag of truce that has been hoisted, astonishingly enough, in the heat of battle?
As we have said a thousand times before, we are not lambasting the Indult Mass itself, which would be tantamount to sacrilege, since the "Indult Mass" is still just a Tridentine Mass. How can we criticize our beloved Mass just because someone gave it a goofy new label? We are, rather, floored by the compliant reaction to this Indult on the parts of some Traditionalists. We at The Remnant have attended an Indult Mass for ten years without ever compromising one iota of our resolve to the Modernists in order to protect "our Mass." In fact, The Remnant is more outspoken now perhaps than it ever was. I don’t think you can blame the Indult Mass on the fact that a significant number in our own ranks have "swallowed the Council in order to have the Mass," as Abbé de Nantes put it. This breakdown is our fault!
Some readers of The Remnant will no doubt be surprised to learn that a call has actually been put out by duped Traditionalists for a unilateral boycott of apostolates like ours. Why? Because of The Remnant’s refusal to become bed partners with Cardinal Mahony and the rest of the ecclesiastical "good ol’ boys" in this country in exchange for the Indult Mass.
"You extremists just don’t get it," they shout at us. "You fail to see that by concentrating on the goodness of the old Mass, rather than criticizing the new Mass, we will win friends in high places (even in Rome), and we will be allowed to exist with all the other ‘faith communities’ in the Church today." They resent The Remnant for its "peculiar" propensity to call a spade a spade and to regard the new Mass as the abomination that it truly is!
The Remnant has no interest in "making friends" with the Modernist-controlled Establishment in order to preserve "our" Mass or for any other reason. Does this shock you? If so, then we must ask the natural follow-up question: Have you ever actually read Pascendi?
The Remnant, which for thirty-one years has been at the forefront of this fight, is now seen as "extremist" and "reactionary" and "troublesome" by what we might call the new breed Traditionalists. The Remnant advises caution and preaches refusal to comply with Modernism, and for this "transgression" it’s targeted by its own. "Let’s cancel our subscriptions to The Remnant," they write, "and let’s encourage everyone we know to do the same"—I’ve actually read this kind of back-stabbing rot with my own eyes. It’s the strategy of lightweight little fellows who "prefer" the "old" Latin Mass. Richard Rich keeps popping up in my mind’s eye whenever I consider men such as these. Cromwell’s spiritual children need pawns, and, the Traditionalist movement is no longer lacking in Richard Rich-types to play the part of "informant."
What calls itself "mainstream" Traditionalism today is fast becoming centrist conciliarism that is marked by a genuine "attachment" to old Latin liturgies. That’s all. Our new "friends" are at the center, and they insist on lambasting those who stay to the right, where Traditionalism has always been. They spend a lot of time talking about winning; they go on and on about uniting and about finally gaining respectability within the Establishment. They wax oh-so-eloquent about a "sane" and "reasonable" approach to Traditionalism which the Modernists will not mock. They brag about newly-discovered Traditional intellectualism that will finally command the approval of the Modernists. They strike out for the moral high ground by chastising "Lefebvrists" and by ridiculing the late Archbishop, whom they never even met and who now has become the favorite piñata on their web sites and silly little newsletters. This is "Traditionalism" in 1998 and, believe me, Your Excellency, it’s "Lefebvrist-free!"
You remember Braveheart? William Wallace was betrayed by his own—by compromising Scottish nobles who hadn’t the guts for his "fanatical" conviction. Well, look out, my friends, we have our own "nobles" who are at it again in the ranks of the Catholic counterrevolution. Be careful whom you trust!
But, poor fellows, perhaps we’re too hard on them. They’re misguided men who fail to see that if the Modernists do not mock us, then we no longer pose a threat to them. If they pretend to take us "seriously," then we have complied in some way with Modernism’s agenda. If we gain their respect, then we have betrayed the Cause and have become their useful idiots. If our "intellectualism" is held in high esteem by them, then it has become tainted by their errors, and they find little in it to fear. Modernists will "respect" Catholic "intellectualism" only when they see it as capable of being honed to fit their grand agenda; i.e., the "reform of the reform" brand of centrism is taken "very seriously" (...wink... wink,...) these days by Modernists.
New Traditionalism in America has been—in a very real sense—democratized. We see ourselves as Catholics who have "rights"—we have the "right" to the Mass which we prefer—especially if we agree to refrain from criticizing the Mass others prefer. This is the American way. This is also classic phony ecumenism. "We only ask for our right to coexist with the rest in the Novus Ordo; we will not question anyone or anything...including, obviously, the whole New Order itself." And, to get our "special interest" recognized by the powers that be, we will organize ourselves into lobby groups, we will hold fund raisers, and we will conduct polls to prove that a significant number of the "electorate" wants the "old" Mass, and so their "inalienable rights" must be respected. I’m not making this stuff up—they admit it to whomever will listen!
These are the poor, misguided and democratized Traditionalists; they have been hoodwinked into believing that Modernists somehow inadvertently and quite by accident stomped the Traditional Faith into the ground, and that if only Traditionalists can articulate their "reasonable" positions more clearly and more diplomatically, the Modernist commandants will give us all a fair hearing. They have failed to recognize that Modernists hate Catholic Tradition and everything for which the Catholic Church once stood. They despise the old Mass because it represents prayer, sacrifice and worship that grew out of simple Faith—something, it would seem, most of them lost years ago. The only way that Modernists will tolerate the Traditional Mass is according to conditions which will cripple the Catholic counterrevolution and, thus, remove any blockade from the path of the wrecking machine which is ramming the walls and the foundations of the Church into dust. They’ll give permission for its use only if it is understood that it is subservient to the Novus Ordo, and only so long as all Traditionalists endorse the liturgical revolution and the Spirit of the Second Vatican Council in every regard.
Does it not seem logical, then, for us to suggest that, if Traditionalists attend an "approved" Tridentine Mass, then they have an obligation to demonstrate an increase in intensity in their full-scale attack against Modernism, despite the bishops’ papally mandated "generosity" where the Indult is concerned?
There is a tendency on the part of many among us to act as though we’re dealing with sincere (albeit, slightly misled) men in these Modernists. Consequently we plead and beg and explain our "attachment" to the old Mass, in the hopes that our "legitimate preferences" will one day be respected by "legitimate authority." We forget that that "legitimate authority" was transformed into tyrannical power, which labored for years to eradicate the Tridentine liturgy and the old Faith in the first place, and which, in the aftermath, left our lives, our families, and our parishes in shambles. Adding insult to injury, some Traditionalists regard it as the better part of valor to separate themselves from those "evil Lefebvrists" (who are unrelenting in their war on Modernism, by the way) in order to prove just how cooperative they can be, if only their "rightful aspirations" will be respected by the marauding Modernists.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a niche... a position of prominence... a respectable movement of which to be part? Wouldn’t it be great to be winners in the world’s eyes? But shouldn’t Traditionalists prepare to be losers in the eyes of the world, just as Christ was, and to be martyred rather than respected by that world? We’re not winning unless we’re clinging to the Cross upon which Christ’s Mystical Body is presently being crucified. If we grow content to see the Traditional liturgy made ecumenically "acceptable" by a Modernist Establishment (as is happening with the legalization of prostitution in the civil realm this election year), then we have dropped completely missed the point of what the Traditional Catholic counterrevolution is all about!
Victory Through Defeat
Tragic as it is to admit, the human element of Christ’s divine institution has become feebly counterproductive in the latter part of this century. Our shepherds—to the horror of faithful Catholics—have become a pack of pathetic "do-nothings," featuring among them precious few standouts who will separate themselves from the herd long enough to cry out in defense of the Church. Collegiality binds their tongues and shackles them to inaction and compliance. Could it not be that the day is at hand when, rather than thanking them profusely for obeying their boss every now and then, loyal Catholics should begin to respectfully rebuke their shepherds publicly for the weaklings that most of them have become—Indult or no? What most of our bishops have done to the Church in America amounts to ecclesiastical high treason, and no Indult will ever change the horrific history of the NCCB. So they give us the Mass that we likeÖso what? We as Catholics who have lost family and loved ones in the new church must recognize a higher calling, and we must not be satisfied until our bishops call for an end to the madness in the Church, and until they fall down on their knees and beg God’s forgiveness for what they’ve done!
I know I am not alone when I lament the fact that I have no parish life; homosexuals and lesbians ravage the sanctuaries of many of our churches; sex education teachers rape the innocence of our children in our Catholic schools; we must homeschool our children, in fact, because Catholic schools have a proven track record of destroying the Faith of our little ones; many of our priests do not believe in the Real Presence, or in the Church teaching on Hell, or even in the existence of damning sins, etc. And my bishop? He couldn’t care less. He won’t even answer our letters. I guess he’s too busy playing golf and holding interfaith prayer services with Jews. He doesn’t care if we all become sedevacantists or willing participants in the New Order—so long as we quit the resistance. Are we fanatics when, after such "shepherding," profuse gratitude to His Excellency for the Indult doesn’t flow too naturally from our lips?
Different dioceses are better or worse than ours, yet the image of the Church that we see every day here in St. Paul is enough to make a saint lose his Faith. (Gee, I wonder if the homosexuals will have a gay "mass" at Minneapolis’s pro-Cathedral this Halloween—they had one there a while back and put pumpkins on top of the altar.) The situation grows steadily worse universally, while our bishops grow steadily more insignificant.
I see little victory in the fact that I can attend an Indult Mass so long as I do as the bishops do and close an eye to the ongoing sacking of Holy Mother Church that every one of us witnesses every single day! My children have been robbed of the old Sacraments; my family is alone and isolated from the normal life of the Church; even our best priests cannot risk publicly criticizing the effects of Vatican II and the whole liturgical revolution, lest their bishops come down upon them with unholy wrath and condemn them to ten years in a Bingo hall. We are strangers in a strange land, whose "rightful aspirations" to worship according to the old Rite are being used to stifle our rightful indignation against the great sacrilege to which our children are subjected in the Church we love.
Is it really too much to suggest that all Tradition-minded Catholics should consider (as a condition for attending an Indult Mass) making a solemn promise to publicly oppose the endless abominations in their various dioceses as adamantly as they can? I don’t think this is "extremist"—do you? Traditional Catholics must not tolerate Modernist error! The New Order in the Church is a Modernist attack against the Mystical Body of Christ. How can we function as members of the Church Militant, then, if we agree to a truce with the attackers?
Are we or are we not at war here? I will continue to attend an Indult Mass for the time being (only because our priest has the Faith and is truly Catholic in his heart) but my outrage against the antics of the Establishment will only grow more pronounced. The Indult Mass is a means of survival for some disillusioned Catholics—it’s not an end in itself. The fight for the restoration of the Tridentine Mass has never been that. This is just basic Traditionalism, as defined by men of the past such as Hamish Fraser, Michael Davies, Archbishop Lefebvre, Father Paul Crane, Walter Matt, Archbishop de Castro Mayer, etc., years and years ago. There is nothing new in this, and yet it is suddenly being castigated as "extremist" by folks who sincerely believe that they are Traditional Catholics. Why? Do they understand Modernism? Are they afraid...afraid of being losers...afraid of being mocked? It’s a natural reaction, but it must be avoided like the plague. If, in our apocalyptic day and age, our lives as Catholics suddenly become comfortable, then something is wrong. The Mystical Body of Christ is being crucified....This is no time for His followers to be comfortable!
Should not opposition to the whole New Order be more desperately promoted even than gaining access to our "legitimate liturgical aspirations"? I thought this war was for souls and against the New OrderÖnot for our personal comfort and peaceful coexistence in the new order. Why are we thanking Modernists for their tolerance of our antiquated liturgical "preferences"? Why in 1998 have we raised the white flag on exposing that abomination called the New Mass? Has the New Mass been somehow improved lately? The existence of New Order priestly organizations such as Credo in Virginia should leave us with no doubt that the New Mass is only getting much, much worse. Even illustrious fixtures of "conservative" Catholicism in America, such as The Wanderer, are not afraid to go on the offensive against abusive liturgies and faithless bishops. Why, then, as things become progressively worse, have so many Traditionalists agreed to this absurd surrender?
I know priests who offer the New Mass every day, who suffer unbelievable persecution in the new Church because they will not abandon their flocks (e.g., remember Fr. Alfred Kunz?) yet who are much more willing to wage public war on Modernism than a few priests I know who offer the Tridentine Mass exclusively. Why should this be? Because permission to say the Tridentine Mass can not be used by the bishops to SHUT THEM UP! We must pray for priests who still have the Faith today—all priests—because they suffer a great deal, regardless of in which "camp" they try to live out their vocation.
Speaking of prayer, it seems obvious to us that the weapons Tradition-minded Catholics must wield today can only be ceaseless prayer, matched in intensity by a commitment to engage in incessant Catholic action against the enemy. The prospect of being outnumbered, or called "fanatics," or losing our respectability, our friends, "our" Mass, and even our comfortable lives, should not lessen this resolve.
If we apply great significance to numbers, then do we not demonstrate a shallow comprehension of the times in which we live? If we think money can conquer all, then do we really believe that this war is a spiritual one? If we seek to be true followers of Christ, shouldn’t we prepare to walk alone for His sake? Shouldn’t we even consent to become losers in an apparent lost Cause, if our sacrifice will lead other souls to see the abomination of desolation rising up before them? This is how it was in the Traditional Catholic movement in which I grew up. Why is it all changing now?
An American Problem?
Perhaps the Traditional Catholic predicament is more difficult for Americans to accept. I’ve seen much less of this odd inclination to compromise among French Traditional Catholics, whose willingness, by the way, to make a scene for the Cause shuts down a fairly large section of Paris every Pentecost weekend. In America, we’ve grown so accustomed to the notion of the quick fix. We are used to being on winning teams. We want instant gratification now...not later. We have a "right" to personal satisfaction.
Consequently, it seems that many of us have great difficulty accepting that our place as Catholics living in an anti-Catholic world today is "nowhere." We have no home. This is precisely why the temptation to become centrist is such a real threat to Americans—the enemy knows we’re homeless...he counts on it, in fact! Through the notion of centrism, we—just like the centrist Republicans in American politics—are led to believe that if we compromise just a little, we can become part of a winning endeavor, with legitimate rights and a respected voice, which will be rewarded with greater appeal among the masses. Centrism promises a winning proposition to men of conviction who face an apparent losing one. No one likes to be a loser, even for Christ. No one enjoys being homeless.
The alternative to the promised security of centrism follows a much darker and murkier path which offers no human certainties and no guarantees—but it is wholly Catholic. Instead of being escorted by Modernists in directions they choose, we’ll be forced to desperately cling to Faith and Tradition as we wander in the wilderness, waiting for God to show Himself, or at least to raise up the great saint—the new Moses—who will lead us out from the darkness some day. Centrism and conciliarism are two of the greatest threats Traditional Catholics face today, because through them, we are all promised the hearth and home of which we were robbed thirty years ago. If only Traditionalists could see, however, that this promised home is no home at all, but rather it is an apartment owned by Modernist landlords, whose aim is to control the last bastion of opposition against their foul revolution—namely, the Traditional Catholic resistance.
What’s the Alternative?
That these days would dawn was foretold by Our Lady both at Fatima and at La Salette; we knew they were coming. It’s easy to be a follower of Christ when the sun is shining. But how about now, in these dark days? How about when He’s being led to the hill of crucifixion and there is no glory for Him, let alone for His followers? How about when His followers have no alternatives...no homes...no schools...no Masses...few priests who still believe? What do we do then? Do we go dashing back over to Pilate and try to strike a deal with him? In order to appear reasonable and centrist, do we publicly criticize the little group of "extremists" at the foot of the Cross who were not afraid to risk everything—even their lives—to walk with Him one last time? Or, do we simply wander along, holding fast to the belief that He is the Messiah, and keeping the Faith until the dawn of the Third Day?
Our only hope is to keep the old Faith, and we do that—not by implied or expressed consent to declaring a cease-fire in the war against the Novus Ordo—but, rather, we accomplish this by pledging undying fealty to every tenet of Traditional Catholicism, no matter how unpopular that causes us to become. We keep the old Faith by making our children realize that martyrdom must be their irrevocable choice before compromise with the enemy is even considered. They must be weaned on an unadulterated loathing for Modernism.
I would rather see my little boy and girl never attend another Tridentine Mass again in their lives before even considering that they would ever bow to the legitimacy of the new theology, the new liturgical expressions—the new ecumenical church. Through the grace of God, my little ones can save their souls, even without the Mass (as difficult as that would be), but once they’ve learned to tolerate the profound errors brilliantly wedded to the warp and woof of new order, it matters little which Mass they attend—they still will lose the Faith when all is said and done.
The Traditional Catholic movement must recognize that whether we are "indulters," "SSPXers," in "approved" orders, or with independents, zero tolerance of Modernism is our only hope to keep the old Faith alive in our children. And if Rome laughs at us for saying this, then so be it. Faithful Catholics are still waiting for Rome to come back to the Faith, and until that happens, let them laugh. At least our children will keep the Faith—something millions and millions of Catholics are no longer able to say these days in the new church. The rosary, the Catholic family, the scapular, the Tridentine Mass wherever and whenever possible will see Christ’s disciples through this modern vale of tears. Compromise, conciliarism and centrism, on the other hand, will rip the Faith of our fathers from the hearts and souls of our children.
Here in St. Paul, we’ve already lost most of the traditional Sacraments, and, if we don’t buckle under and declare our full acceptance of the new order, we will probably lose the old Mass soon enough. But when this happens, our consolation will be that not one Modernist will ever be able to claim (please God) that any of us lost the old Faith. They know that even if we are forced to go elsewhere to worship, the old Faith will travel with us, and it will survive until the end, with God’s help. Our hope hinges not on the Indult Mass (we know the Tridentine Mass can never die), but rather on the survival of the entire body of the old Faith in our children. And someday, a descendant of a Traditional Catholic will be there when Modernism is pronounced dead and buried, null and void! We have not lost hope, and we never will, because they cannot take the Faith from us, even as they can take away the Mass. If we maintain intense aversion to Modernism, the Faith will burn brightly. This venerable flame saw countless Traditional Catholic families through the 1970s and ‘80s without the Mass, and it will see even more through to the new Millennium and beyond, so long as we keep it in our hearts and in our homes!
The conciliarists and centrists in the movement—God bless them all—are free to do as they like, quite obviously. All we humbly ask is that they either come up alongside in the trenches (where they will be welcomed and embraced as brothers) and learn how to fight, or that they take cover in some other trench. After all, there’s a war to be fought out here and, truthfully, incessant calls for compromise are becoming more than just a little annoying...they’re becoming intolerable!
Lord preserve the old Faith
all the days that we live!
Traditional Catholic Reflections