Less than one in a hundred persons who regard themselves as Catholics are even aware that the Church as they knew it before Vatican II still exists, alive and well, utterly unchanged, and if anything, healthier (albeit much smaller) than it has been in centuries. Out of that "less than one in a hundred," less than one in ten of those realize that it is their absolute right, indeed their duty as faithful Catholics, to attend, support, and receive their sacraments from those still as yet very few traditional priests who function largely as if Vatican II and all of the chaos which followed it just never happened.
It is rare enough that one even finds any mention in the modern "Catholic" media that there are still any Catholic priests who say the Latin Mass and teach sound doctrine. Even those rare mentionings are of little help since they provide no real understanding as to what any of these priests, bishops, religious, and lay Catholics are doing or why. Invariably they are mischaracterized as "extremists," "fringe," "rightists," "schismatics," or any of several other non-complimentary terms carefully calculated to be very effective in discouraging any interest in them on the part of the reader or hearer.
A case in point: The first time the traditional Catholic movement seems to have caught the international eye was the time when Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated those four new bishops back in 1988. Abp. Lefebvre was repeatedly spoken of as a "rebel," "schismatic," or "excommunicated," even by the secular press and news media. Many continue to sing that tired old song even though it has since been canonically proven and acknowledged at the highest levels that none of those vacuous charges ever applied to him at all. The second time comes fully fifteen years later when celebrity actor-turned-producer Mel Gibson decides to produce and release a truly traditional Catholic film about the Passion of the Christ, and again, though what the man did is without fault, the press did everything in its power to deceive the public into thinking of the man and the film as if they were "anti-Semitic" (of all things!).
Thanks be to God that many souls have been graced with the perception and the bravery to find and attend tridentine Masses despite that cloud of silence, calumny, confusion, and infamy with which Satan has shrouded the truth. The purpose of this book is to acquaint the reader with this traditional Catholic movement, who the key players are, how they relate to each other, what they are doing and why they are doing it, and finally to put to rest any fears devout Catholics might have about involving themselves and their families with it. It is amazing just how many supposedly devout Catholics will cheerfully attend an East Orthodox mass, an Episcopalian or Lutheran "Mass," or even a Baptist or fundamentalist service without a qualm, but invite them to a tridentine Mass said by a traditional Catholic priest and all of a sudden they get all concerned about being schismatic!
As one should be able to gather by now, this book is primarily intended for those who believe that Jesus Christ started a Church, that the Catholic Church is that Church, that union with the successor of Peter is essential to following Christ, and in all of the other things that the Catholic Church teaches. This is not an introduction to Roman Catholicism. For that, I would recommend the Baltimore Catechism, Bp. Morrow's catechism: My Catholic Faith, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, or any other standard approved catechism which has been around over at least the last fifty years and which has proven itself. I am quite sure that any reader who does not believe in God, or that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, or anything else which follows from those two facts would find themselves at quite a loss to appreciate the points brought out in this book.
Although a tremendous amount of research has gone into this volume, including the reading of numerous books, articles, periodicals, newsletters, fact sheets, booklets, brochures, tracts, and even Parish Bulletins, as well as live interviews with many of the persons mentioned herein, this is not intended to be a scholastic work. If I had, the footnotes alone would have been larger than the book itself. Only in Chapters 3, 4, and the Appendices is there any direct reliance on scholastic data. In a number of places I refer the reader to various books listed in the Bibliography. The reason I list merely the book instead of citing some page or paragraph number within it is that I have summarized and described the contents and theme of the book as a whole rather than providing some selected quotation. Such references do constitute an endorsement on my part of the books so named as reputable sources of further information on the subject being discussed at that point. To that extent, therefore, this book is also a guide to the standard traditional Catholic literature.
The remainder of the statements made here are for the most part either common knowledge to most educated Catholics, biographical and historical narrative, or else at least expected to stand on their own as being self-evident. In many cases, additional clarification can be found in Appendix B, Questions and Objections.
The second revision of this book corrected a few small details regarding the history of Apb. Thục, a number of minor grammatical errors, and also provided more up to date information regarding current events in the Church. An additional Appendix was added to round out the possible questions one might have, which is simply the file that used to be the "Miscellaneous Questions" file, previously listed under Traditional Catholic articles. Finally, the HTML had been cleaned up quite a bit and important topics in it have been indexed for easy topical subject searching. For the printed version, all HTML links and indexing do not apply of course.
This third revision fixes a few more typographical errors, factors in a bit more of an international (read "Universal" or "Catholic," not "Internationalist" or "Globalist") outlook, and adds a few more recent events of interest to the account. There are those who think of traditional Catholicism as only, or primarily, an American phenomenon, but this is simply not the case. I apologize in advance if my book seems to contain something of an accidental Amerocentrism. That would only be the result of the fact that I live in the United States and that I have drawn primarily from English Language and English-speaking sources. However, traditional Catholicism is fully as international as Catholicism itself has ever been, and the struggles of traditional Catholics in all parts of the world bear far more similarity than difference.
Some may not like the conclusions which logic invariably leads one to, but the search for truth, which I believe to be a defining characteristic of any person who is truly of good will, is what I hope will compel the honest reader to continue clear through to the end. If anyone objects to your reading of this book, please take note of the fact that no such person can ever point to any claim made in this book and prove that there is anything wrong with the logic or scholarship of that claim. If any "Catholic" wants to take issue with anything in this book, he must do so by taking a position which is not only heretical, but patently absurd.
"If anyone labors under the delusion that the (Novus Ordo) claptrap he hands out is real science (knowledge of the Faith) and wishes to dispute anything I have written, let him oppose this treatise if he dare. And let him oppose it publicly; not by whispering in corners or by refuting it before youngsters who have not the mental maturity necessary to be judges in questions of this kind. If he is looking for antagonists he will be able to find many, and not only myself (who am the weakest of the lot) but a host of others who love truth and who will be only too willing to refute his errors and instruct his ignorance." - - St. Thomas Aquinas
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