It is a mild day in September 2012. The SSPX has decided the post-Conciliar Church has now become trustworthy, and under the lead of the wise Pope Benedict XVI is going to progressively mend Her ways. Yes, they have been asked to “accept” Vatican II; but in the end, what is the risk of that? It is clear the worst excesses are behind us, and the situation will in time adjust itself by its own dynamic. They have also been asked not to publicly criticise those manifestations of Vatican II they consider questionable, but why would this be so important? If one is satisfied that a self-healing process is already at work, does it make sense to insist in accelerating this process at the price of a painful laceration within the Church? Is it not so, that the advantage of being able to gain influence from the inside vastly overweights the small disadvantage of not being able to openly criticise the mistakes of Vatican officials and other influential prelates? Furthermore, would this silence not be more then compensated by the rapid increase in followers and weight a regularised SSPX would now have?
The SSPX priests then decide that the price is worth paying: they accept the Preambolo dottrinale as modified by Pope Benedict at the last minute, and decide the price to pay is high, but the rewards for the Church will be much higher. A sizeable minority thinks this is madness, but the majority of the moderates carries the day.
Fast forward to April 2013. Benedict is not the Pope anymore; in his stead, an Argentinian obsessed with social issues Is now in charge. This man never picked a fight with the SSPX in Argentina and on many issues appears to be fairly orthodox; but liturgically speaking he is, compared to Benedict, like Donna Summer compared to Schubert. He is not new to Pinocchio Masses, and doesn’t even think he is bound by the Church’s liturgical rules, which he evidently considers stuffy and of archaeological rather than pastoral value. Around him, there is open talk of destruction, and an almost revolutionary ferment is clearly perceptible.
The SSPX priests think of the September decision, and reflect on what has become of their hopes.
The liturgical abuses are not behind them. On the contrary, they are now coming from the very top, with Muslims or women put in the place that is properly reserved for bishops, or priests, or at least laymen. Our friends cannot say anything, as this would be seen as grave insubordination; particularly so, because coming from those who were long seen as disobedient.
The wreckovation is now going on in full force, and the Society is silent. With the most prestigious and influential voice for Tradition falling away, they notice they have become accomplices of the upcoming devastation, then their silence now makes them accessories in the same sins they have been denouncing for decades.
But what about their influence? Did they have even one Cardinal in the Conclave? No, they hadn’t, and for good reason. Utterly isolated and seen as dangerous hotheads, the SSPX have no friends in the Vatican, and the Curial knives are out for them; the more sharpened, because the Society would now not be able to resist their slaughterers without losing her face and reputation.
Perhaps there are good news from the front? No, there aren’t. The reputation is gone, because there is no reason anymore to be a priest or supporter or donor of the Society. Those priests who have recognised their mistake, or had voted against the agreement but did not want to abandon ship, are now going in droves. Why should they remain, when the SSPX is not anymore what moved them to join in the first place? Then, they might as well have joined the FSSP, who will now, so much is clear, better face the wrath of the Vatican corridors.
The priests of the SSPX sit in front of the ruin of a once proudly Traditionalist organisation, reduced to self-castration, humiliation and perhaps annihilation. They have lost face, and they know it. If they were to re-rebel now, no one would give them any credibility: like virginity, credibility is lost only once, and once gone there’s no way to have it back.
It’s too late now. The ship has sailed for the wrong destination, and there’s no hope she will be able to make it to a safe heaven. The voyage begun with such high hopes and confidence in the future has now proved to be a safe recipe for shipwreck.
They realise only now that their hopes, and their delusion, was exactly the same of Vatican II.
Fittingly, The punishment also looks the same.
The Angelus Press is, as you can imagine, a very good source of sound instruction, unadulterated by the errors of our times. They also have good resources available for Kindle, which – much as I hate the faggots at Amazon – is very useful if you read whilst traveling.
Some months ago I read the “Catechism of the Crisis In The Church”, by Fr Matthias Gaudron; a well-explained, ruthless description of the devastation brought by the Council, divided in topics helping the reader to focus on particular issues (say: religious liberty, or ecumenism). I recommend this very useful book to all those desirous to learn more about the issues afflicting the Church today in a way that is still accessible in terms of time investment and accessibility of the text.
Some weeks ago I decided to follow-up with the book in the title. The latter is, so to speak, an expansion of the former, and starting from the philosophical foundations of Catholicism explains the way modernism (first the original Protestant strain; then the “Catholic” one; then the Neo-Modernism) corrupted the Catholic message and paved its way up to the very heart of the Church.
This second book will be of very easy digestion for those of you who already have studied philosophy at school or university, but it will still be accessible – albeit probably with a bit more effort – for those who don’t. This book, by Father Dominic Bourmaud, makes the philosophical premises of Modernism accessible to the “lay” reader, helping him to understand not only the genesis of this disgraceful “mother of all heresies”, but its siege and conquest of the Vatican starting from the accession of John XXIII.
You will find this book very useful both in the reading and as a consultation work, because it is laid out in a way that makes it easy to “refresh” the knowledge of the one or other major heretic, each one of whom has a chapter devoted to him.
The book, originally published in 2003, is anterior to Pope Benedict’s papacy, though it tears both his and (particularly) JP II’s theology to very minute shreds. It also sheds a very interesting light on the modernist tendencies of Pope John XXIII, and gives interesting details about the growing mistrust of Pope Pius XII for his once trusted collaborator Montini, promoted to Milan in the end but without a red hat, and never again received by the Pope after having been sent away. It is clear, though, Montini well dissimulated the extent (not the existence) of his modernist tendencies, or he would never have been made the Archbishop of Milan. Pope Montini is also depicted as a less irresolute man than he is generally considered, already fully devoted to the “cause” at the time of the council’s start and consciously initiating a coherent and aggressive work of modernist “aggiornamento” before fully grasping – at the latest with the controversy about Humanae Vitae – the extent of the problems he had created or allowed to consolidate.
Among the Neo-Modernists, Teilhard de Chardin, de Lubac and Rahner are examined in detail, whilst in the interest of the usability of the book less decisive actors – like von Balthasar, Kueng and Schillebeeckx – are given less attention. Be warned, though, that the extent of heretical influences in the thinking of the future Pope John Paul II might well sound shocking to your ears if you had no previous knowledge of the vagaries (to put it gently) of the former Popes’ thinking.
If you are interested in a digestible but accurate presentation of the plague of Modernism, you can do worse than reading this useful book.
I will not beat around the bush: I was shocked at reading the latest intervention of the Holy Father concerning what was wrong with Vatican II. His analysis boils down to the concept that whilst Vatican II was wholesome in itself, it was… the Press who disfigured it, and the planet promptly followed.
By reading this, after the first reaction of shock a second one came, and I was reminded of the wonderful scene in Blues Brothers where John Belushi explains to the angry woman he had left alone at the altar why he was not able to show up. In an astonishing piece of comedy, he tries everything from not having fuel to the dry cleaners, to his mother’s funeral, to flooding, earthquake, and the unforgettable locusts…
And seriously, this latest excuse for Vatican II would be as funny as John Belushi’s ones, if the immense importance of Church matters would not make of this a really tragic exercise in escape from reality and flight from responsibility.
The Holy Father’s excuse is, of course, not more credible than John Belushi’s ones, and he owes it to his position that his rather naive attempt at justifying the huge cracks in the edifice of Vatican II with external interventions does not cause the explosion of laughter caused by John Belushi’s locusts.
I have seldom seen a Western man with a public position so entrenched in denial as the Holy Father in this intervention. The attitude he shows reminds one of old Politburo members in the years of rapid decomposition of Communism, or of the ability to correctly analyse reality of the North Korean government.
Try to imagine any other leader of a big organisation – like Coca-Cola, or Boeing, or Fiat – saying to his stakeholders “things have gone badly in the last fifty years because the press has misrepresented what we do” and, so to speak, count the minutes until he is kicked out.
What is happening within the Vatican truly gives you the full scale of the self-delusion and – as I have pointed out often in the past – sheer incompetence that has been reigning undisturbed within the Vatican this past fifty years; and one must truly stun, and looks heavenwards in gratitude, at the greatness of the Church and the wonderful protection accorded to her by the Holy Ghost, if the tragic behaviour of the last decades at all levels (starting from the Popes, and trickling down; then we must never forget the fish always stinks from the head) has not caused Her complete destruction, which by any other organisation would most certainly have been the case.
I have sometimes thought in the past that the Conciliar Popes should have taken the name Pollyanna I (Pope Roncalli) to Pollyanna V (Pope Ratzinger), such is the sheer naïveté showed by all of them concerning the direction things were taking. But one can say that at least Pope John XXIII died before having the possibility of seeing the consequences of what he had put in motion; that Paul VI was at least painfully aware that the cause of the problems was within the Church, not outside of Her; that Pope John Paul I did not have the time to tackle the problems (and if you read “Iota Unum” you’ll realise he might have been a very energetic Pope and a man of action if he had lived); and that even John Paul II never tried to place the blame on the press, the lack of money to grab a taxi, or the locusts…
Pope Benedict’s intervention was clearly meant to leave some kind of explanation or justification for fifty disastrous post Vatican II years, and in this indirectly defend his pontificate; but frankly, he has made things worse, and has shown once again such an inability to face reality that one wonders whether the allegedly so high intelligence of this Pontiff (a man apparently able to have a great strategic plan for the next fifty years, but unable to select the right collaborators – down to his very butler – today, or to grasp simple concepts like the one that he is supposed to be in charge and no one else) was not rather overvalued the whole time.
What stands in front of us is a good, well-intentioned, but rather deluded old man in a state of complete denial concerning several decades of Church history – and, by reflection, his own papacy -; unable to even see the huge elephant in his own room, and eager to the last to say “it wasn’t our fault”. I have already written and repeat today that I am absolutely persuaded of his good intentions and love for the Church. But it is very clear to me he wasn’t right for the Papacy, and his being tarnished with Vatican II, of which he was one of the last surviving protagonists, prevents him from seeing clearly the devastation to which he has contributed.
I have more than a suspicion that the following generations will see Pope Benedict as a Paul VI plus Summorum Pontificum. After his last utterances, I am unable to see how he will be able to escape this destiny.
Important as Summorum Pontificum was, I think it is fair to say this papacy was another waste of time for the Church, whilst the Western world burns.
Please Lord, give Pope Benedict a serene and prayerful time in his courageous retirement, and give us – unworthy as we are – a Pope willing to see the devastations of Vatican II, correct them with energy, and start the fight we need to see now if we want to avoid Christianity wiped out of Europe, and perhaps North America, in the next generation.
A comment some time ago induced me to reflect on another hopefully unintended consequence of V II: the plenary indulgences to go.
Apparently, in hospitals the last rites are not really “last”, and people collect them as I collected model cars when I was a child. To the Last Rites is obviously connected the possibility of a plenary indulgence, and I can’t imagine someone thinking he can receive them every few days does not also believe that a plenary indulgence is a very easy matter.
The brutal fact is that in their assault to the Church, the generation of VII has not spared even this sacrament; which, like pretty much everything else, has been trivialised and made similar to a small tale for the very young or the very old.
Therefore, you can bet few priests will treat this sacrament other than like a kind of benediction routinely given to old people, and fewer less will explain to said old people a plenary indulgence was traditionally considered not an easy matter to obtain. This fundamental mistake will then forcibly lead to others, as very ill people form already in this life a strong consciousness of their own impending canonisation, and this thinking then transmits to their relatives; with the very probable result that the departed discovers he was not canonised after all, and his relatives do not pray for him.
Lastly, and also taking inspiration from the comment found in my comment box, this warped thinking warps the entire concept of Purgatory; then if purgatory is so astonishingly easy to avoid, then it cannot be so bad either. Again, the trivialisation of everything Catholic introduced from Vatican II extends to Purgatory.
If you ask me, the recovery of sound Catholicism must also go through a recovery of old thinking in what concerns everyday life: fear of The Lord, seriousness of sin, seriousness of the punishment merited by sin, necessity of honest work towards our salvation, etc. The fear and trembling must get in, and the self-canonisation must go out. When this happens all the other pieces fall into place, and we understand the logic behind indulgences and Purgatory in a way the mentality of the “I want it all and I want it now” will never allow us to grasp.
Fear of the Lord. Judgment. Purgatory. Hell. I do not even hear these words anymore. They are simply disappearing from the public consciousness; another sign of the progressive de-Christianisation of the West we who live in England see in such a traumatic way in these days.
I have written some days ago about the very efficient way in which the Jesuits are getting rid of themselves.
From an extremely interesting post appeared on Rorate Caeli it now appears that at least in Spain the disease is spread, with pretty much the same virulence, in many other Novus Ordo orders, some of them very traditional. The numbers do not even seem better among the Dominicans, widely considered to be on the slow way to a recovery on a global scale, but clearly with a lot of work to do in Spain. In other Western countries the figures might be somewhat different, but it is fair to assume the music is pretty much the same.
One sees the mess and wonders how these people can be so blind, or so stupid, or both, to not understand they are dying because they are infected with a deadly virus called Second Vatican Council. Surely, at this point even the dimmest intellects must have made two and two?
My personal opinion is that the problem has been clearly recognised, but there is a refusal to act because every action in that direction would endanger the power structures currently in place. Consensus among those who are in is important for those who are in as it affords a quiet life and in some cases possibilities of advancement, and who cares if there are no new entries and the order is slowly dying; many of them have probably lost the faith anyway, and therefore they do not care whether their order survives, provided they can get a comfortable life as long as they live. When the Grim Reaper gradually arrives, they will simply adequate the structures to the swindling numbers, and go on merrily with their inane waffle about social justice and peace, the gods of idiots and atheists the world over.
What does the Vatican do to counter this? Absolutely nothing, of course, and they do so because they have the exactly same problem: a Curia drenched in Vatican II cannot admit Vatican II is the disease, and will therefore not push for a general return to pre-Vatican II rules in all religious orders. Besides being very uncomfortable to religious in many cases accustomed to a rather lax observance of even the lax rules they have, such a U-turn would signal to the entire Catholic world that the Vatican hierarchy got it spectacularly wrong in the last 50 years.
This cannot happen. Therefore all those traditional orders, often rich in tradition and glory, will be allowed to either die or reduce themselves to small groups of survivors.
Like every other revolution, Vatican II is devouring its own children; which, as in every other revolution, serves them right.
I have always thought religious orders make provisions for their member’s retirement.
It appears this might not be so. On the one hand, dying orders like the Jesuits and the Franciscans surely must swim in real estate, as the swindling number of members leaves their structures unused and ready for the market; on the other hand, it appears in many cases no direct retirement capital provisions have been made, with the result that the cash-flow issues might become acute in the next years.
Perhaps I should be “charitable” here and call for the generous support of the old nincompoops from the part of the pewsitter, grateful for 50 years of mindless and shameless devastation to the point of helping those who have destroyed vocations to have a comfortable retirement for themselves. But you see, I am not sure it would be the right thing to do.
When those who have almost destroyed Catholicism discover that their idiocy is now falling directly on their heads, this can only have salutary effects for their own soul. After the attempt to pump money out of the masses they have so “joyously” instructed fails miserably, they might well ask themselves why this is so; and when even the remaining, small but growing minority of real Catholics tell them they have made their bed and should now lie in it, because the faithful’s own money will rather go to finance the brutal expansion of the likes of the SSPX, this might also be a real eye-opener for the poor chaps. At that point, they might discover poverty in a rather literal sense, and will feel nearer to the oppressed… Perhaps they will even discover some real humility, the one for example that does not lead one to think God was wrong for the last 2000 years, and needed them to establish a new religion based on stupidity and common places.
Most importantly, the experience might show them what goes around comes around, and if you destroy Catholicism to satisfy your own vanity and desire of a comfortable, conflict-free life you might discover what you have left of Catholicism is not enough to provide you with more than the bare necessities…
Sadly, it is easy to predict this is mot going to happen. The cash flow needs will be provided for, I am very much afraid to say, by the sale of the huge assets, and the poor asses will comfortably sail towards a fat retirement and, in many cases, an unrepentant death after all the devastation they have caused.
This might well be the last fat harvest the devil obtains from the Vatican II generation(s), before a new breed of real Catholics, steeled by the antics of the said V II asses, takes over.
Do not be worried, then, for the material welfare of this disgraceful generation of miserable friars. Be afraid for their spiritual one instead.
It has been rightly said that new ideas do not prevail because people are persuaded by them, but rather because the people who believed in the old ideas slowly die and are replaced by people raised with the new ideas.
We see examples of this everywhere, from the long process of “denazification” in Germany (which actually worked with the future generations much better than with those who had lived Nazism and had approved of Hitler) to the great damage inflicted to Catholic orthodoxy by a generation and a half of priests and laymen raised with common places and populist rubbish.
If this is true, then the consequences of it are rather banal: the work of rebuilding Catholic identity must start now, and how many Sixty-Eighters will jump on the train is not really relevant. If, for example, the Vatican were to announce the replacement of the Novus Ordo with the Traditional Mass (a feat which, if truly wanted, could be accomplished in a handful of years) the impact on old potheads would be probably small, but the impact this would have on growing generations and on an awful lot of now non-instructed adults would be significant.
This sound long-term thinking seems not to be the specialty of many priests, who prefer to pander to the lies and fantasies of their awfully instructed and worse disposed grey-haired pewsitters rather than to start injecting some sense into the head of at least the young. The very fact that a priest who denies confirmation to a young heathen should make headlines is an impressive testimony of where things are now.
The bishops should, of course, be the biggest part of the solution; alas, they are the biggest part of the problem: mainly Sixty-Eighters with no faith, no spine and no decency, they are appointed by Popes not much better than they (how do I know that? Because said Pope have appointed the bishops; by their deeds you’ll recognise them…) and they will simply not be the one who defend Catholicism, because they are the one who raped it. To them the same rule apply as to the other: they will largely die as faithless as they have lived, and may God forgive them the incalculable loss of souls they have aided and abetted.
Still, it seems to me – though I am the first to admit I suffer an almost pathological form of optimism – that a new generation of priests is slowly occupying the pulpits, and in time a new generation of bishops will flourish out of them. The old V II generation will soon go to their (doubtful) reward, and from them decent Cardinals and Popes might result. I think I have at least anecdotical evidence to show that a new blood is starting to flow through the Church’s veins, and in time it will not fail to bring the much-needed Catholic oxygen to the pews.
It will be a long work; it might be some time before renewal starts in earnest, meaning: with that assertiveness the secular world calls “aggressive”; we might, I fear, have to cope with indecisive, weak, or outright delusional Popes for a while, as the evil of Vatican II is evidently still running almost undisturbed within the corridors of the Vatican; but the signs are multiplying that those born today might get a much better instruction at their disposal than those born one generation. The problem is, those who might get a better instruction will be a lot less than those who would have get any form of instruction just two generations ago, so we have the situation of a smaller troop of more motivated people, instead of the bigger troop of indifferent ones.
I still think it will be an improvement: small professional armies have always worked much better than big drafted ones. In this, Lenin was probably right: a small minority of truly determined people can achieve much, and punch vastly above their weight.
I think we’ll be there one day. Let us pray for good priests and, in time, bishops.
Very strange contribution some days ago on Rorate Caeli, with Archbishop Gullickson writing about the controversy and saying that he is a friend of the SSPX, but clearly implying they are in his opinion behaving in a rather stubborn way, refusing to consider that not everything can be perfect in life and that one should be able to accept the one or other little inconvenience and injustice for the sake of a greater good.
Archbishop Gullickson is, from what I can read around, a good Archbishop and a friend of true Catholicism; but frankly, one cannot but be unpleasantly surprised at the mentality his message betrays. The idea – coming from one who described himself as their friend – that the Society would now be doing, in the end, not much less than throwing toys out of the pram for a laudable, but misguided desire of perfect justice is so out of touch with the reality of the last 40 years, that one must despair this generation of VII churchmen will be able to even get what is going on.
What the Archbishop seems unwilling to understand is that the SSPX is fighting against a very grave, fundamental corruption of the entire way the Church thinks and acts. Their opposition to the New Mass, for example, is not the result of the fact that they consider it sub-optimal, or a questionable way to celebrate the liturgy. Their opposition to the Mass is due to it being the result of a radically wrong thinking, which engendered a dumbing-down, a Protestantisation and a general loss of sacredness of which the Novus Ordo is but the most dramatic and most tragically wrong expression. Their refusal of the Novus Ordo is the result of the refusal of the entire poisonous mentality behind it. It’s not a matter pf wanting to be right in everything, or to have everything set up to perfection. It is a battle for the fundamental way in which the Church thinks and acts; or, to use an imagery I often employ, a battle waged to help the Only Church to regain soberness after the drunkenness of populism, bad or outright heretical theology and utterly manifest desire to please the world rather than convert it that we have witnessed in the last fifty years; starting with Paul VI, soon to be beatified in order than V II be beatified, and continuing (albeit in a generally less drunken way) in our own age, with Neocatechumenal Masses, Assisi III rubbish, and the like.
When, therefore, the Archbishop invites his “friends” of the Society to be a bit flexible and stop being a fuss already, he clearly misses both the nature of the problem and the concern it represents for orthodox Catholics like the brave priests of the SSPX.
For a “friend” of the Society, the Archbishop shows a rather alarming disregard of why the SSPX exists in the first place, and why the “solution” ventilated by him is utterly impracticable.
Friend or no friend, after 40 years of existence one would expect those prelates who write about the SSPX to at least have an in-depth knowledge about what the SSPX is about, instead of assuming they are making a fuss over, in the end, secondary matters.
And this is the knowledge of a friend of the SSPX, and I do not doubt a rather sincere one.
Imagine the enemies!
As the thing seems to be in the headlines again (Cardinal Dolan seems to have picked this in his effort to reestablish a good reputation), please allow me to say a couple of words about meat abstinence on a Friday.
I started again sometime in, if memory serves, early 2011, and was somewhat lucky a couple of months later the UK bishops announced the reintroduction of this beautiful “obligatory” Friday penance for all of the Kingdom. I had difficulties at first, because being single and rather forgetful I ended up forgetting rather often; but I insisted, as I was desirous to recover for myself another small piece of the beautiful Catholic world V II had taken away from me and had been part of the life of so many generations before this disgraceful one.
In time, I forgot less and less, and now I do not forget (almost) anymore.
The beauty of the exercise is that, like many other Catholic practices, it shapes one gently but irresistibly. I now have to plan my groceries in advance for the Friday, and must stop and think what day is it much more often. This way, the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary becomes more and more of a daily recurrence, something present in many small activities of the day, “sneaking” into your consciousness with far bigger frequency.
Then there are the times when it’s uncomfortable, like when you go out with friends on a Friday and are the only one not to choose that succulent steak everyone else is enjoying. This is the most useful time, because it reminds me that though He died on the cross for me, I still manage the feat of considering it a problem to pick the vegetarian plate instead. I assure you the shame that follows helps one to miss the steak a lot less.
Catholicism is made of many small things, gestures, habits. They may seem trivial at first sight, but in time they truly help us to get in spiritual shape. It’s like in many other spheres of our daily activity, where we can easily observe that – say – the best way to lose weight is to slowly change habits, and wait for time and patience to work their magic.
Sinner as I am, I pray that Christ may allow me, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, to slowly change my habits. Friday penance is a little, but effective way to do so.
How stupid was the generation who abandoned Friday abstinence from meat (together with many other salutary practices) as “old” and “out of touch”.
The old generations, they really got what is important in life. We have managed to land on the moon, and don’t think about Salvation anymore.
My suggestion is: don’t wait for the Cardinal, and start your own meatless Friday now.
In time, you’ll see how good it is for you.
One might agree that 600 odds churches are an awful lot for a city of 1.3m inhabitants, even if these inhabitants are – nominally, at least – very largely Catholic.
Still, it can’t be denied the newly announced project to reduce them to around one-quarter smells of decline, or better said decay. One could also say there was obviously a time where there was need for all the 600-odd churches; but that was before the “spirit” began to “inspire” the Church and, therefore, does not count.
The official mantra is that every one of the surviving churches will have several priests and several
masses a day; but a moment of logic reflection will lead us to conclude that the situation will not be a long-lived one, with the structure already downsizing in prevision of the decline in both priests and mass attendance to be expected in the years to come. I do not think the idea is to create big churches. I think it is to manage the decline they see coming, fast.
There could be no better demonstration of the mess caused by Vatican II than this attempt to orderly march towards self-extinction. .
Loss of priests, loss of faithful, loss of orthodoxy. The Austrian hierarchy presides over the slow destruction of Christianity in a country – and a city – that have been in the past symbols of staunch Catholicism and – in the case of Vienna – of a legendary fight against the forces of evil.
The forces of evil now sit in the archiepiscopal offices, and ravage Catholicism from the inside; what the Ottomans could not achieve, Schoenborn & Co. are managing rather fast, smiling all the way.
St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
I have barely left the keyboard after writing about the impending “Beatification of V II” and already the Vatican lets it transpire the beatification of Paul VI is rather imminent, and we will soon know what happens with John Paul I.
I will not add much to what I have already written, then I am sure many of you perfectly echo my sentiments without the need to repeat unpleasant words. In the end, beatifications are NOT expressions of the Church’s infallible Magisterium and if a Pope wants to make a pig’s breakfast of the institution this may happen without anyone being seized by Sedevacantist doubts.
I for myself will smile at this very questionable effort, very much in bad taste, of beatifying in one stroke both V II and… oneself once one has gone, and will rather wonder at who the next candidates for beatification will be. Bugnini comes obviously to mind, but Martini might be another one if time allows.
The desperate attempt to give any credibility whatsoever to an entire age of superficiality, desire of popularity and theological drunkenness must fail, because ridicule has never been able to avoid exposure by means of a couple of medals given here and there. One is reminded of those old Soviet fat cats heavy with medals no one knew how they had deserved. A big medal is on its way for Pope Paul ( a man whose escape from Hell, if actually achieved, should give great hope to everyone of us, as the consequences of our actions play on an infinitely smaller scale and we never accepted the responsibility of being Popes), but frankly it does not let him look any better than the old Politburo members.
One day, this farce will end and the Church will look with horror at a time when Popes beatified each other serially, and the Catholic world said pretty much nothing.
I would have looked with great pleasure at the beatification of Pope Pius XII, but frankly I do not know that I would be able to rejoice now that the institution begins to resemble the Nobel Peace Prize.
Not a good time to be a Catholic. When some Proddie makes a mockery of this serial papal beatification, I think I will do the wise thing and shut up. Which I don’t do very often.
This is not a scam in Medjugorje style, or a pious fantasy of old maids with an excitable fantasy.
This apparition took place at the beginning of the XVII century, and was approved by the local bishop a short time later. It was accompanied by further miraculous events at the beginning of the XX century, when the events described by the Blessed Virgin were approaching.
This apparition is very remarkable for the insistent and very precise predictions of the Blessed Virgin concerning facts that would only happen several centuries later. In this case, the predictions are – at least as far as we are concerned – so shockingly precise, that one cannot – if he has some fear of God left in him – but stop and reflect on every word the Blessed Virgin was saying several centuries ago.
In this case, the Blessed Virgin predicted a tragic, extremely upsetting (to make it clear: not a continuity, but a disruption) and long-lasting event within the Church, starting around after the half of the XX century. Look, the “advent of the Holy Spirit”, the phenomenon with “theological implications” was, in fact, accurately predicted three and a half centuries before it happened, with uncanny accuracy, by the Blessed Virgin herself, in an apparition officially approved! Ah, if only Pope Benedict and Archbishop Mueller had been around some four centuries ago, to deny the allegations!
Now, apparitions of the Blessed Virgin are private revelations and no one is bound to them. Still, those who have ears to hear and a healthy fear of the Lord will find the accusations extremely familiar, the time astonishingly precise, and the described events very well exposed. All in all, the general effect of Satan’s attack is painted in extremely vivid colours and with great richness of detail, three and a half centuries before the fact. Not bad for an apparition, and rather worrying for an approved one.
Let us see some of the highlights, and again note the uncanny precision of the prophecy, which rather resembles a chronicle:
Our Lady said that the enemies of the Church would “focus particularly on the children in order to achieve this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times!”
Many of us have children in our circle of acquaintances, or among our relatives, who are either unbaptised or utterly unaware of the very rudiments of Christianity. The sins of the parents visit the children, and how hardly they visit them in these disgraceful times! The first generation after V II was indifferent; the second is unbaptised. V II is the gift that keeps on giving.
It goes on:
Our Lady warned that the Sacrament of Marriage would come under special attack as would modesty in women.
When sluttish behaviour becomes norm and even socially encouraged (“open mentality” or “free spirit” I think it’s called nowadays) it is no surprise marriage comes under pressure. Of course, sluts have always been there; but their behaviour was stigmatised; nowadays, it is taken as a matter of no consequence, or even “modern”. As to marriage, when the sense of its sacredness – once felt even by protestants – is no longer respected, it comes only natural that people should demand to “marry” one or more persons of the same sex, or animals, or whatever they like. To them is not a sacrament, you see; not even a sacred bond; to them it’s merely an occasion to party.
During one apparition which took place in the Convent chapel, the sanctuary lamp went out leaving the chapel in darkness. Our Lady explained that this signified the “great spiritual catastrophe which would engulf the Church” .
Note the words: a) spiritual catastrophe, which b) will engulf the Church. Strong tobacco, for sure, but so true.
But when would this catastrophe happen? Perhaps it is meant by that the conservative pontificate of Pius XII, or the aggressive oppression of free spirits of a St. Pius X? No, the prophecy is about
the world-wide crisis in the Church in the late 19th Century culminating in a disaster for the Church, described by Our Lady, with great accuracy, as occurring “shortly after the middle of the 20th Century.”
We have it all here: a crisis beginning at the end of the XIX Century (obviously: Modernism), eventually exploding (obviously, as Neo-modernism) “shortly after the middle of the XX century with, of course, Vatican II. This is so precise it’s chilling, and the prophecy happened at the beginning of the XVII century!
It gets even better (or worse):
“In this supreme moment of need for the Church, those who should speak out will fall silent.”
This is, in fact, the impression I have whenever I read of the latest speech of the Holy Father about some utterly peripheral and uncontroversial theme (go on CNA and you’ll find several at any given time; you will have noticed by now I do not waste your time with platitudes and easy sound bites, so I tend to avoid them) whilst the building burns from all sides and heresy spreads all over Central Europe: silence.
Is, then, all so bad as it seems? Well yes, it is, but do not despair; then (emphasis mine)
Our Lady promised Mother Mariana that, just when everything seems lost, her hour would come when she would rescue the Church.
Things might well become even worse than they are now (and they are bad enough, I’d say); the recent appointment of a disconcerting man in more than odour of heresy as the Church’s main protector against… heresy tells us all the extent of the trouble. Can it get worse? Well, who knows what the next Pope might bring us: if the Cardinals allow the Devil to persuade them they must follow their German and Austrian colleagues on their way to either open heresy or thinly veiled Neo-modernist accommodation, I think Assisi and Mueller and not the worst we have seen, or not all we have seen of them.
Still, the Blessed Virgin will watch from heaven, and will intervene at the hardest time, “when everything seems lost”.
We should remember this chilling, but still beautiful apparition. We should remember it to draw strenght in times of crisis, and to remind ourselves that in the end it is called Our Lady of Good Success because this is what will come out of this mess in the end.
Which, in these troubled times, is no small reassurance.
From yesterday’s SSPX communique’
“doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy”, which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.”
amidst a Church in crisis and a world which distances itself farther from God and His law with each passing day.
…waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities
If I understand correctly, the chap in white with the long hair is a Catholic priest, and this horror was set in scene in a real Catholic Cathedral.
In other words, this is not a movie, or a joke. This is supposed to be the real thing.
Welcome to the Church of Paul VII.
In case you want more, here is another video about the same exercise. Note how after (or during?) the “concert” what is supposed to be Holy Communion is distributed among the “faithful”, leaving one in no doubt that this is not a joke or a videomontage, but a bona fide Vatican II mass. The priest is (cela va sans dire) in full communion, and no doubt he has the bishop’s blessing.
After this beautiful “outpouring of the Spirit” (both videos from Catholic Church Conservation) , excuse me if I terrify you with the shocking images of the schismatic Mass of a splinter group of disobedient priests, who have the unspeakable arrogance to doubt all the wonderful things the Spirit is doing for the Church.
Thankfully, the bishop clearly approved the mass (or attempt of it) of the first two videos, and I am glad to inform you the splinter group is not in full communion, and the Holy Father is allegedly very cross with them. They are disobedient, you see.
Perhaps they should buy an electric guitar and start staging such “masses”?
This would mean they are obedient to the Pope, surely?
Forgive my stupidity, I had failed to understand that the SSPX is the real problem afflicting the Church today. The only words I can say to my defence are:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Heard at a Novus Ordo Mass not many weeks ago.
” In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
“The Lord be with You”
“And with your spirit”
“Good morning everybody!”
Even here there is need for a new evangelization, which is why I propose you intensely live the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, 50 years from the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Council documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians, for the formation of our conscience. So read them, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and rediscover the beauty of being Christians, of being Church to enjoy the great “we” that Jesus has formed around him, to evangelize the world: the “we” of the Church, never closed, but always open and projected towards the proclamation of the Gospel.Benedict XVIJuly 15, 2012
I read around various posts more or less based on the fact that the degeneration (in all possible meanings) of the Church in the last 50 years is not (necessarily) due to V II, but to the changing times and the particularly hard challenges that came with it.
One would be tempted to say “yes and no” but, really, I think the answer is “no”.
Clearly, the world emerged from WWII posed great challenges to the Church. An explosion of unprecedented welfare challenged the traditional basis of society, based on charity and hope rather than on social services and long life expectancy. On the other hand, another unprecedented phenomenon took place: an entire generation grew up with a degree of instruction – at least in the traditional way instruction is measured – vastly superior to that of their parents, and as a result felt authorised to challenge their parent’s teaching in matter of religion in the same way as they challenged them in the many little ways in which a better educated person can show the less educated the error of his way. In societies traditionally based on transmission of traditional values – among which the obedience to the parents, and the awe in front of the wisdom of the elder were paramount – this had to become a powerful threat to traditional religious wisdom.
But this is only one part of the equation and is a bit – leaving political correctness aside, which I love doing – like saying that the explosion of obesity is due to the expansion of McDonald’s. With all due respect, McDonald’s never made fat anyone; fat people make themselves fat. Similarly, cars and wealth never stabbed the Church; the Church stabbed herself.
The difference between good and bad Popes, bishops and priests is not in whether they have challenges. Of course they will. The difference is seen in how they react to them. As long as he was alive (and particularly so, when he was healthy), Pope Pius XII had the situation fully under control. He could not make a trial to intentions of course, and the voices of ferments and strange thinking coming to him from various corners could not be fought more energetically than he did, considering they did not come out in the open, challenging the status quo.
But the corpse of the great Pope was, metaphorically speaking, not entirely cold that great “changes” were already planned, and clearly the modernists saw their hour coming. Still, they are not the primary cause of the mess. They were there before. The primary cause of the mess is in the people who allowed them to come out with their own subversive ideas (less so during the council; much more so after it) and these people are mainly two: Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Blaming the heretics for their undisturbed march is like blaming the mice for the infestation. I’d give a hard look at the cat.
I also know – from unimpeachable testimony of many relatives – that the Italy of the Fifties, growing in prosperity like it’s going out of fashion, also experienced a great rigidity in matter of mores, actually a much bigger rigidity than the one commonly experienced during Fascism. This is further proof growing economic security does not have to translate into moral relaxation, if there are at the helm people strong enough to understand the times and act accordingly.
The great tragedy – and unredeemable construction fault – of Vatican II consists in exactly this: that, having seen the evil coming from the new times, it chose to embrace them, in the very stupid assumption that to embrace the world means to make it more like you, whereas at the very moment they decided themselves for the embrace they had already decided they wanted to become like it.
All the tragedies that ensued derived from this fundamental initial mistake: the liturgical and spiritual atrocities of the “spirit of V II” would have never had a chance, if it had not been absolutely truethat VII ushered a spirit – not necessarily and not so openly in the official documents, mind; but in the air these documents allowed, nay, demanded to breathe – of revolutionary change. Without this “encouragement”, the “spirit of V II” would have had no more chances of sweeping the Catholic world than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
V II and its aftermath both happened, because they were wanted and the idea of the “spirit” of V II suddenly appearing as if brought by the stork and surprising everyone is naive to the utmost. Ex nihilo nihil.
It is, therefore, clear the societal changes did pose a problem and, admittedly, a rather large one. But the great damage was not made by the problem, but by the Vatican not only ceasing to fight against the problem, but becoming part of it. Think of the cat selling out and declaring that from now on there will be no enmity between the mice and him.
Fifty years later the mice are everywhere, but astonishingly so many people keep saying the cat was misunderstood, or is surrounded by wolves, or must be oh so prudent because if he angers the mice there might be… an infestation.
Unfortunately, there is no brilliant mind out there able to act in an effective, practical way. Not only there is no “Top Cat” in sight, but if we stay to the practical decisions we are very far even from the passion and zeal of Sylvester The Cat.
It will change one day of course, as we know the Gates of Hell will not prevail.
But I’d prepare myself for a long wait.
Can you imagine one of those very dangerous dogs looking at you in a threatening way whilst the scared owner says her dear animal is not dangerous?
I had to think of such episodes when I read this article; which, though it reports positive news in itself, is merely another attempt to avoid looking at reality as it is and to continue with the rather amusing tale of the “unilateral interpretations” of the Vatican II.
Vatican II has – as it is now gradually but irresistibly acknowledged – been followed by countless such “misinterpretations” but, strangely, none of these should now be traced back to the Council as their real cause. The logical fallacy of the argument appears instantly clear is we reflect that these misinterpretations held sway within the Church for decades for no other reason than because they were the logic continuation of the mentality and ideology of the Council.
The only alternative to this conclusion is the admission Vatican II caused some kind of drugged stupor in thousands of Bishops, leading them to oversee the accumulation of “misinterpretations” and overheard the voices of sensible Catholics warning about the dangers.
I can’t wait for the time we will be told it was a “misinterpretation” of the Council which led to the isolation of and open hostility towards the SSPX, at the point of forcing Archbishop Lefebvre to appoint four bishops to avoid his order to be eaten alive after his death. Of course, when we are told this we will continue to hear the same mantra: V II in itself was good, it is merely everything that happened all over Catholicism because of it that wasn’t. This sounds to me a lot like saying that Mein Kampf wasn’t bad, but was merely misinterpreted from 1933 onwards.
You can say that the link between Nazism and Mein Kampf is far stronger than the link between V II and the devastations that happened afterwards; but I would heartily disagree, exactly because the Council was called as justification for every single one of these devastations, bar none, and all this was accepted and approved by the official Church as a body for the very same reason. In case, then, you should be shocked at the comparison in itself, please note V II has damaged the Church far more than Mein Kampf ever did; the enemy within will always be more insidious than the one without.
V II can be safely compared to a vicious dog, who has gone on massacring everything in his sight for decades and of whom we are now told he just wanted to play.
Hopefully, Pope Benedict will be seen by history as the last Pontiff still trying to defend the indefensible.
Here and then one reads an interpretation – much popular in the Vatican, I think – which makes of those Conciliar Fathers who approved and pushed the V II reform a sort of well-intentioned, but vaguely naive churchmen who, persuaded as they were of the virtues of modernity, were just a tad slow in understanding the problems this marriage between Christ and the modern world would engender.
There is no way the “modernisers” within the Church can escape their responsibility for what happened, and explanations like the one given above are, as we say in Italy, an attempt to hide behind one’s finger. Let us see why:
1) The idea that the world and the Church would now be – because this was the message – happy ever after is fundamentally flawed, and flawed in such a way that no one can claim not to see the falseness of the premise. After 2000 years in which the Church has proclaimed to be the enemy of the world, this idea that suddenly the world and the Church should pedal in tandem in perfect harmony just because we happened to have computers, aeroplanes and medical advancements is more than stupid, it is criminally disingenuous. Every halfway instructed peasant with a sincere heart would have been perfectly aware of this, but the “Conciliar Fathers” apparently weren’t. Congratulations for the sleight of hand, Fathers; just don’t claim innocence.
2) The behaviour of the same “Conciliar Fathers”, of the very same people who took part to the Council, in the following years is the best evidence most of the Conciliar Fathers wanted to surrender to the world and were perfectly uncaring about the consequences. If the narrative of the “good man of God who is just a bit inattentive” had been true, once gone back to their dioceses the bishops would have started an extremely fierce fight for the defence of those values which, one way or the other, they would have seen as being not negotiable. This simply did not happen, and the West was swept by a tsunami of secular legislation against which our heroes opposed, if that, nothing more than a faint meowing. In the years of and following the council, sodomy laws were abolishes in many countries, abortion laws were introduced, and divorce laws were introduced or extended. I remember those times, as even in my country abortion and divorce were introduced in a matter of just a few years. If you think the Church staged anything similar to a fight to protect Christian values, think again. Surrender was the order of the day, and we were given to understand this be something even clever, once we had taken account of “the times”. That the times are what people make of them did not occur to them. The world was unstoppable, and there was no other choice but to bow and go with the flow.
This despicable cowardice, this complete surrender to wordly demands would never had happened, if the “modernisers” among the Conciliar Father had been in good faith. If they had been in good faith, they would have recognised immediately – and with shocking evidence as the years went by – that everything was going the wrong way, that they had castrated the Church and that it was time to grow a pair and put up a fight. Nothing of the sort happened. Instead, Archbishop Lefebvre was ordered to surrender control of his seminary, and the indecent embrace with the world went on with an accompaniment of guitars and tambourines. I remember those days. I remember many around me pointing out to this self-evident reality. I remember every idiot could see what was happening, and I am sick and tired to read those who have made all this mess possible and created immense – though not irremediable – damage treated as if they had been just a bit naive. They weren’t. They were simply, together with the world and in tune with “the times”, smoking the joint of Satan and enjoying it. Some inhaled more and some inhaled less, but all the modernising troops did inhale in some measure, Popes not excluded.
This is why I oppose the narrative of the “good intentions”. The intentions were bad from day one, because the execution proves beyond doubt what the real intentions were.
It has become nowadays fashionable to shoot at Bugnini. Shoot away, say I; but Bugnini did not live on a parallel planet, and could not have operated without the support and complicity of a vast number of his colleagues. If we point out to Bugnini’s errors, we must perforce point out to those who abetted these errors and followed him en masse.
Please let us stop with the tale of the good “modernising” bishop because he wasn’t a good bishop, but a sellout. As long as the Church does not recognises this and tries to justify the unjustifiable, we’ll carry the poison of Modernism (because this it was, in milder or shall I say cleverer form) with us.
The first time, I thought I hadn’t heard correctly. I’m a Foreigner, you know, and all that.
The priest ( a Novus Ordo priest; worse still, a Franciscan) went on blabbering as to how we have already been saved and the only think we have to do is to rejoice in the Lord, and that kind of stuff. “Sit back and relax, it’s all good”-wannabe theology for the gullible.
I knew this was a Franciscan and therefore I’d have to make allowances for the underlying heresy of their thinking, but I thought in some way some part of the homily which (perhaps; in a way; so to speak) maintains what Catholicism has always held might not have been understood correctly by me. The prevalently sixty-eighter audience (you know the type) seemed rather pleased with both the priest and themselves.
Then there was the Jesuit from that beautiful church located in that well-known locality in the outskirts of London. The Gospel reading of the day included one of Our Lords’ (actually rather frequent) mentions of Hell, and in order to avoid the sensitivities of the present to be “hurt” our man hastened to point out that when Jesus spoke about Hell he meant we should not be happy with second best (or with imperfect choices, or the like; I don’t remember the exact words, but I certainly remember their exact meaning). That left me breathless; but again, this was a Jesuit, and they know how to do heresy in the oiliest of ways. I was angry and upset, but not surprised.
Recently – at another one of those NO churches where yours truly occasionally attends to in order to take the temperature of modern everyday, wannabe cool Catholicism – it happened again, and it was not pleasant. Also, this time as soon as I smelled the theological rat I went to extraordinary extents of concentration, so I can tell you I am positive I am reporting about the homily very accurately.
Frankly, what I heard was somewhere between scary and satanic.
The Church was very well-frequented, I would call them between 350 and 400 without any doubt, and we are talking of one mass. The priest performed the longest homily I have ever heard, and at some point I thought he wanted all the people on the pews to fall asleep so as not to hear what he was saying; or, alternatively, that the good Lord had made the man so in love with himself the pewsitters fall asleep before they can be attacked by the father of lies.
I was not asleep, though, and actually I got increasingly more nervous as the never-ending blabber went on. The main points:
1) We are all saved when we are baptised, and we are saved because we are baptised. I awaited eagerly for some qualification of this statement. It did not come. The logical thinking (insofar as such a thinking can be called logical; it is actually very stupid) was as follows: Christ came to save us – when we are baptised we are saved – Jesus and the Church are there to ensure we are all saved – therefore all those who are baptised are saved – let us rejoice and be oh so good to the neighbour’s cat.
You’d think there would be the smallest caveat about damnation, mortal sin, hell, the lot. I don’t say an open reminder (that goes clearly beyond these people), but I listened with the acutest attention in order to try to spot one small hint.
It did not come.
The day I die, I hope I’ll have a better hand of cards than this chap has today.
2) The strangest kindergarten vision of humanity was depicted. It can be summarised with these concepts: we are all saved – but we are imperfect – therefore we fall short of what the Lord expects from us – so we are sorrow for our imperfections – and we march in charity toward the end of our life which is, of course, salvation, see 1) . The idea people might be, or desire, or do evil was not even contemplated.
Once again, I was eagerly awaiting for one word referring to confession. One only.
Nothing. Nada. Nil Return.
Basically, the chap blabbered about for twenty minutes and the only result he clearly achieved is to endanger the souls of those who were still awake by clearly prospecting to them a salvation already achieved several decades ago and which, therefore, doesn’t need confession or knows what to do with the very concept of mortal sin. Which, in this pervert logic, makes sense: if you think you are saved because you’re baptised, then there can be no place for mortal sin, and there is no need for confession.
It would sound like Protestantism, but I doubt even Protestants are so shallow and stupid. It is like the announcement of the Great Salvation Sale: just answer one or two short questions and you are qualified to profit from the unbelievable occasion Our Lord has in store for you.
This happened on a sunny April morning in the Year of the Lord 2012, 50 years after the opening of that Glorious Work, the Second Vatican Council.
Whilst I don’t like Luther at all, there’s one favourite saying of him I actually rather like: the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. If the fruits are so egregiously bad, the tree of V II can’t be that good, either.
Cardinal Piacenza has suggested some days ago the VII documents should be read on one’s knees, because V II is “en event of the Holy Spirit”. All 141,000 words of them, I think he meant.
I have been trying for a while to give some sense to this rather extraordinary declaration. I could not find any other possible explanation than the following ones:
1. The Cardinal is a fun-loving person, always ready for a joke. Well said, Your Grace!
2. The Cardinal loves physical exercise, and thinks it should extend to one’s knees. I am not sure about the appropriateness of this particular suggestion, but I commend the concern for our physical health.
3. The Cardinal is very fond of penance, and well aware of the redeeming virtue of sufferance. Therefore, he wants to add to our spiritual penance (the self-infliction of the V II documents in their entirety, so that we may say “never again!” with renewed conviction) a strong element of physical pain. I for myself would suggest such a penance only to the strongest souls, but again one understands where the Cardinal is headed.
On a slightly more joyous and therefore less suffering note, the Cardinal might be aware that the Society of St Pius X is on the brink of being fully reconciled to Rome; an event which, no doubt, goes to the great credit of the latter.
It would be interesting to know:
a) whether the cardinal thinks this is an “event of the Holy Spirit”, and
b) whether the Holy Father has demanded the SSPX bishops perform the above mentioned penance, seen that the V II documents were an event of the Holy Spirit…
But no, really, I think His Grace wanted to be funny.
I have written a blog post about Pope Benedict’s words concerning the Heresy in Austria.
On the same occasion, though, the Pontiff expressed himself about Vatican II in a way I feel obliged to comment upon. Those who think a Catholic blogger should not comment on Pope’s declarations other than in the most subservient of terms can click away now.
The Holy Father is at this point talking about the Austrian heresy, and asks the rhetorical question whether orthodoxy does not bring to unintended or unwholesome consequences. His words are as follows (emphases mine):
Let us ask again: do not such reflections serve simply to defend inertia, the fossilization of traditions? No. Anyone who considers the history of the post-conciliar era can recognize the process of true renewal, which often took unexpected forms in living movements and made almost tangible the inexhaustible vitality of holy Church, the presence and effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. And if we look at the people from whom these fresh currents of life burst forth and continue to burst forth, then we see that this new fruitfulness requires being filled with the joy of faith, the radicalism of obedience, the dynamic of hope and the power of love.
The thinking here, as I understand it, is as follows: if we remain orthodox we are not going to generate inertia and fossilisation (British English spelling on my blog, thanks…). This is proved by Vatican II and the years that followed it, so rich in true spiritual renewal engendered by the Holy Spirit.
I must, respectfully, disagree on this. Whenever I look, I find Vatican II and the years that followed only brought devastation, which often took entirely expected forms of heresy, contributed to countless souls being lost, almost completely destroyed Catholicism’s cultural patrimony and traditions, almost completely killed catechesis, and left a spiritual wasteland on its trail.
If you ask me, the Pontiff’s words beautifully express, and I say this in the most respectful manner but also with no falseness, everything that is wrong with the Vatican today. There is, fifty years after the catastrophe started, still no desire to see what immense disaster was put in motion when Vatican II was started. On the contrary, there are desperate attempts to still try to portray it as something positive, as a phase of renewal. Vatican II (both in its weak, approval seeking and badly worded documents and in the mentality it engendered) was, as they say, wreckovation rather than renovation. It was an unmitigated failure, a stupid (no, let me reword it: stupid) attempt at self-destruction in a senseless quest for popularity and consensus, a disgraceful selling out to secular fashions.
The Pope who spoke the words mentioned above presides over a Catholic world whose members in their vast majority do not even to go Mass; who couldn’t tell you the Ten Commandments to save their lives; who have almost no notion of the works of mercy or of other mainstay of traditional Catholic thinking; who barely know what a Rosary, or a Vesper is; who have such a superficial notion of Catholicism that they couldn’t tell you where the differences with Protestants lie; who have such a superficial notion of Christianity that they couldn’t tell you why contraception is wrong, or premarital sex; who couldn’t formulate in a halfway acceptable way why the Church does not contemplate “women priests”; who know next to nothing about Catholic teaching on wealth, capital punishment, war; who couldn’t even tell you what Mass is, or what a sin is. My dear readers, I could go on for a long time, but this is everyday experience if you live in any but the most traditionally Catholic countries, at least in the West.
All this is the fruit of Vatican II. If the Church is alive today it is not because of Vatican II, but notwithstanding it. We see the Holy Spirit at work in the Church because we saw Vatican II trying to kill Her, and failing.
This Pontiff and the men he has around him are unable – or unwilling – to see all this. They are unable to see the Vatican II “experiment” has failed, and has failed miserably. They are unable to see that it had to fail, because it was unCatholic from the start. Instead, we are dished the same rhetoric we have been fed for the last fifty years. At this point, every defence of Vatican II seriously reminds me of a North Korean PR exercise.
The long and painful, but necessary work of disintoxication from Vatican II will not start with this pontificate, possibly not even with the next. But it will come one day, and on that day Catholicism will finally behold the horror, and the immense stupidity, of it all and look back in shame at not one, but several generations of Churchmen abetting such devastation of Catholic patrimony.
I have, and no one of us conservative Catholic can have, the shadow of a doubt about the indefectibility of the Church, and the constant protection the Holy Ghost gives her.
We only have to look at Vatican II.
The blogosphere has been ablaze for some time with the (by the grace of God, ferocious) controversy now opposing the Obama administration (who wants to force Catholic employers to select health insurances who pay for “services”, like the killing of babies, the Church refuses to abet; a poisonous fruit of the “Obamacare” legislation) and the American bishops (who point out that this goes against the most fundamental freedom of religion, something the Obama administration knows absolutely nothing about).This time, it seems the fight will be long and hard, and I can’t see how the nazi-liberal can win it in the long run.
Father Blake then wonders why in the US such controversies should be so ferocious, when in Europe no one ever moved a finger. Interesting question, to which I’d like to give some attempt at answers, none of them very pleasant.
1) In Europe, from around the end of the Second World War (actually, before that in countries like Germany and Italy) the idea of having the entire population automatically covered by health incurance began to take foot. Whilst the systems were different (one state behemot in the UK, and a vast number of small structures in Italy and Germany; Italy then switched to the behemoth) the idea was not really controversial as it was purely about health. Also, in those years abortion was universally banned. Health insurance meant “healing the sick”, period.
But as always (and I have written about this very recently) when you leave something to the care of the Government, the latter will soon take care to ruin things. Besides these organisations becoming monsters of waste of public money, they were abused for every sort of overt and covert hijacking of health funds for things which had nothing to do with “healing the sick”; from paying swimming lessons to contraception to, unavoidably, abortion; and as the system was from the start thought of as “compulsory” and “universal”, once abortion was approved it was considered only natural the “universality” of the system would apply to it, too.
Therefore, a system started as “healing of the sick” became “killing of the unborn”. This is what happens when you allow the government to do things for you.
2) The question now arises: why the Church didn’t say anything? Because they were cowards, is the answer. Even in Italy, there was a decidedly toothless fight against abortion and divorce. In the wake of Vatican II, “change” was considered more or less “inevitable” ( always the pet excuse of those who don’t want to fight). The main responsible of what has happened was obviously the Vatican, with the then reigning Pope a world champion when it was about feeling sorry, whining around and complaining he was disobeyed but rather non-existent when it was about doing revolutionary things like demanding obedience, or putting up a fight. In the Seventies, fights were passe’ and Paul VI’s idea of opposition rarely went beyond a very subdued meowing about what the Church thoughts should, ideally, happen. A bit like the weak uncle sitting at table, expressing his opinion in a very low voice and firmly expecting – and secretly hoping – that he won’t be taken seriously, otherwise the discussion will have to become heated.
3) The third element is, of course, the complicity of the local church hierarchy. When the local hierarchy declares war, a war punctually erupts, as we see now in the United States. Nothing of the sort happened in most European countries, with the local bishops happy to go with the flow. More popular, you know, and we don’t want to do anything as “people won’t change their mind anyway” (another brilliant excuse for the coward; I though the bishops were there to convert, not to decide people won’t be converted. My bad, I am sure).
Therefore, we are now in a situation where even euthanasia is not a taboo anymore; where disgraceful Archbishops openly refuse to disapprove of so-called “civil partnerships”; where not even Mass obligation is transmitted to the faithful; where the priest has become the pathetic figure of an obsolete old man who tries not to be a nuisance and knows a lot of jokes, but is not seen by anyone as a moral guide, generally because he isn’t.
This, I think, is why we are where we are. Europe is old and tired, and being old still has too many old sixty-eighters around. It has contracted out the very concept of freedom to a very nazi-“liberal” wannabe elite who is stealthily stripping the population of the most elementary freedoms with the entire apparatus of “hate crime” and “sensitivity” legislation. It has slowly forgotten not only the basis of freedom, but the basis of Christianity, with those most affected (the pot-smoking, sixty-eighter generation) now in power.
The smarter part of the US population sees all this, and reacts accordingly. I do not doubt the likes of Nichols can’t even understand why they are so angry.
If one doesn’t get Christianity, or freedom, I am not surprised.
Read on Rorate Caeli the always intelligent considerations as to where the SSPX is in respect to the talks with Rome, and how this position is perfectly coherent with what Archbishop Lefebvre always did.
I found the last lines of particular interest:
The ball is on Rome’s court, where the Pope […] can, simply with his signature, confer the widest prerogatives to the work directed by the Swiss prelate from the Valais. He can eventually acknowledge this recent thesis that defended, in Rome, that, “the authority of the magisterium of Vatican II is that of a homily in the 1960s.” Had not he himself affirmed that the Council “deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council”?
Words of wisdom, I think, and after 50 years of folly perhaps it is high time to go back to the sanity of the Church as she was understood these last two thousand years.
In the matter of the Preambolo it has now transpired the first answer delivered by the SSPX to the Vatican has been considered not to the point (that is: too long-winded), and the SSPX has been requested to present a second answer, more concise and more focused on the Preambolo itself.
This second version is being examined as we speak, though of course no immediate reaction is to be expected.
What seems interesting to me from the source (the highly reputable Italian daily newspaper “La Stampa”) is that the SSPX answer is not a simple refusal of the Vatican offer, but a partial acceptance, with the clarification of what the SSPX is not ready to accept and the request of further clarifications from the Vatican as to what they mean by certain expressions.
The crux of the disagreement seems to me in the way the SSPX and (perhaps) the Vatican understand the ordinary (which means, erm, cough: the fallible) Magisterium.
For the Vatican, it would seem that
the Catholic is called to ensure a “religious submission of will and intellect” to the teachings that the Pope and the college of bishops “offer when they exercise their authentic Magisterium,” even if they are not proclaimed in a dogmatic way, as is the case with most of the documents of the magisterium.
For the SSPX, what is not in accordance with the Tradition is just plain wrong, and therefore there can be no question of religious submission to error. As a consequence,
the Lefebvrians do not intend to give their assent to the texts of the Council regarding collegiality, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and religious freedom, because they believe these to be inconsistent with tradition
As it is acutely pointed out – oh, the difference between Italian “vaticanisti” and the bunch of politically correct ignorant idiots employed by the BBC and elsewhere! –
the concept of tradition – “Traditio” – and its value, represents the crux of the debate that has characterized the talks between the Society and the Holy See. The Lefebvrians criticize some of the Council’s provisions, considering them to be at odds with the tradition of the Church.
In simple words, I will put it in this way: if your drunk father orders you to bring him more brandy, are you obliged to comply because he is your father and you are supposed to obey him? Substitute “drunkenness” with “Vatican II novelties” and you are, I think, not very far from the nucleus of this disagreement. The Vatican seems to think you still obey to papa because you owe him obedience, the SSPX says the very love and obedience you owe to your father requires that you refuse to comply. The comparison with drunkenness might seem strong, but after fifty years of Vatican II devastation I am inclined to call it gentle.
We shall see. Don’t hold your breath. Actually an Hail Mary or three is a better idea.
I can only assume, then, the Wicked Witch of the West successively took control of pretty much everything in the affairs of the Church; probably whilst the Conciliar Fathers were having their tea and cake, or their afternoon nap.
Now don’t take me wrong: I can only cheer the good Cardinal for breaking a lance for the Tridentine Mass, a sport certainly not well spread among his colleagues. What I find always more than strange is this continuous desire – one would almost say, the felt obligation – to put Vatican II as the basis of everything good and sensible and consider everything that went awry afterwards as being to do with utterly external circumstances like the above mentioned female.
The simple truth of the matter is, the Conciliar Fathers might have wanted to keep Latin as the backbone of the liturgy at the very beginning of the Council – or, say, as long as they knew Pope John XXIII wanted things to stay that way -, but they most certainly threw Latin out of the window in the course of the following years, and did so themselves in the clearest of manners, the bishops presiding over the massacre of Latin being very largely the same people who had taken part in the Council.
This of the Council being betrayed is, if you ask me, one of those legends always created to defend the indefensible (we all know the stories; for example, the imagined “good communism” or “good socialism” as opposed to the brutal reality). What happened after the council was every bit the unavoidable result of what happened during the council, and executed by the very same people.
Therefore, I welcome Cardinal Ranjith’s intervention. I only wished he would stop trying to defend the indefensible and would either say things as they are – we’ll get there in time, I am sure – or cover with a charitable silence the thorny matter of the responsibility for the catastrophe of the last fifty years. We suffer the fruit of Vatican II every day to this day and the way out is not letting us believe in some utterly implausible “good Vatican II” ( or good communism, or good socialism), but to recognise that if the fruits have been so bad the tree cannot have been good at all, particularly considering the people tending the tree and distributing its fruits have been the same all along.
From Rorate Caeli, the most clearly formulated explanation yet of why the talks between the SSPX and the Vatican failed.
I have never read anything so movingly beautiful from the SSPX than this intervention. There is no animosity there, and no acrimony. Bishop Fellay simply explain where things stand, why the proposal is not acceptable and how things could – but probably won’t for the time being – progress further.
I have read and re-read the message and could find nothing even remotely linked to the “Taleban attitude” so often moved as accusation against the Society. Once again, they might have their fair share of nutcases in the pews, but the clergy and the top brass are not irrational or fanatical – if we except Williamson, in part – at all.
This is so beautiful that is best understood if read in its entirety. I therefore invite you to click the link and make an idea for yourself on Rorate Caeli.
Next time you pray for Hitchens, think whether at that point the SSPX doesn’t deserve the same treatment, at the very least.
Now, in conclusion, our discussion returns to Vatican II, so as to make, if possible, a definitive statement about whether or not it is part of Tradition and about its magisterial quality. There is no question about the latter, and those laudatores who for a good 50 years have tirelessly upheld the magisterial identity of Vatican II have been wasting their time and ours: no one denies it. Given their uncritically exuberant statements, however, a problem arises as to the quality: what sort of Magisterium are we talking about? The article in L’Osservatore Romano to which I referred at the outset speaks about doctrinal Magisterium: and who has ever denied it? Even a purely pastoral statement can be doctrinal, in the sense of pertaining to a given doctrine. If someone were to say doctrinal in the sense of dogmatic, however, he would be wrong: no dogma is proclaimed by Vatican II. If it has some dogmatic value also, it does so indirectly in passages where it refers back to previously defined dogmas. Its Magisterium, in short, as has been said over and over again to anyone who has ears to hear it, is a solemn and supreme Magisterium.More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven.
Rorate Caeli has an interesting excerpt from an interview to Bishop Slattery. Whilst the link to the original interview is given, I prefer to link to Rorate because it focuses on one issue: the liturgy, and this gives us an excellent starting point for wider considerations.
I am pleased that Bishop Slattery unites his voice to the ones of those who say that Vatican II has caused damage to the liturgy. What I would like to point out here is that I continue to see in his words the usual mentality by which the dirty water is defended and it is said that the baby was made dirty just because the dirty water was not used in the right way. Alas, if you wash a baby with dirty water you won’t clean him much.
Let us examine his words:
What we lost in a short period of time was continuity. The new liturgy should be clearly identifiable as the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church. Changes, like turning the altar around, were too sudden and too radical. There is nothing in the Vatican II documents that justifies such changes.
Reading this phrase, one has the impression that – bluntly speaking – some asteroid had fallen from the skies, suddenly causing the end of the liturgical continuity; that the “radical changes” were something which surprised the church hierarchy rather than being tolerated and/or promoted by them; and that everything that happened after Vatican II has to do with anything at all, besides.. Vatican II.
This idea of all the problem of Vatican II not originating in Vatican II is made more clear in another observation:
it was not a wise decision to do away with Latin in the Mass. How that happened, I don’t know; but the fathers of the Council never intended us to drop Latin.
The bishop “doesn’t know” how Latin was massacred. Well, I can tell him how it was: it was because those very same conciliar fathers who didn’t touch Latin during the works set up to its destruction as soon as the official works were finished.; it was because revolutions are seldom proclaimed officially, rather they explode when those who wanted half-revolutions fail to either see the danger, or lack the will to fight against it; it was because V II set a process in motion that made its interruption unacceptable, nay, unthinkable. It was because the clergy at all levels (from Pope Paul VI down) preferred to “go with the flow” rather than to order an end to the madness.
To say that Vatican II was right and the devastation that followed was wrong is the same as to say that Castro was right and Castroism wrong, or Lenin right and Stalin wrong; it is an indication of that particular blindness that doesn’t see the evil causes, but only condemns the evil effects; it reminds one of the girl who indulges in premarital sex and upon discovering her pregnancy says, with the bishop: “How that happened, I don’t know”.
I personally find this insisted defense of the indefensible increasingly embarrassing, as if it were possible to consider Vatican II as if it had taken place in a bubble and without giving a single thought to why it was called to life in the first place, which was the cultural climate in which it started, what happened during the works and which were the unavoidable consequences of the events. Nor can it be said that the consequences of Vatican II on the Catholic world were not visible, or that it would not have been possible to foresee them. Archbishop Lefebvre and many others – even near to the top, as theOttaviani intervention proves – could very well see where all this was leading to. But really, Lefebvre & Co. weren’t the only ones: everyone could see, but most among the clergy liked what they were seeing, or conveniently chose to look away.
If you ask me, the problem with Vatican II is Vatican II; and if you ask me, until this is honestly acknowledged we will continue to wash the baby with dirty water.