Guest post from reader and frequent combox contributor Conor Foran:
Malos Male Perdet
An open letter to the Church and the World
To the faithful and unfaithful among the episcopate, clergy, and laity; greetings.
“He that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked.”
Quoting another, Thomas Aquinas wrote these words seven hundred years ago. Has there ever been a time more appropriate than now for anger? Has there ever been a crisis more severe? Has there ever been a time when teaching was more useless, judgements more unstable, crimes more unchecked? So many have been lulled to sleep by false teaching. They have been taught mercy, and forgotten justice comes before mercy. They have been taught forgiveness, and forgotten repentance comes before forgiveness. They have been taught meekness, and forgotten strength comes before meekness. We have abused mercy, assumed forgiveness, and relished in weakness, and forgotten that we must all face justice, repent our sins, and grow in virtue.
Ad omne caput viae aedificasti signum prostitutionis tuae, et abominabilem fecisti decorem tuum: et divisisti pedes tuos omni transeunti, et multiplicasti fornicationes tuas.
-At every head of the way thou hast set up a sign of thy prostitution: and hast made thy beauty to be abominable: and hast prostituted thyself to every one that passed by, and hast multiplied thy fornications.-
The most immediate crisis in the Church was precipitated in February 2013. His Holiness Benedict XVI made an announcement that sent ripples of shock running through the world as a whole. It was eight years since he had taken up the mantle of the papacy, asking his flock, “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.” It was four years since Pope Benedict had left his pallium, the symbol of his metropolitan authority as Bishop of Rome, at the tomb of Pope St. Celestine V; he who had seven-hundred fifty years earlier resigned the office of the Papacy, leaving behind all the papal dignities and renouncing his regnal name of Celestine to become once again Pietro Angelerio. It was two months since His Holiness had received into his hands a formal report about the state of the Roman Curia and the Church – a report detailing the infiltration and preemption of the whole governing apparatus of the Church by sodomites, freemasons, communists, and satanists, particularly and most infamously by that group known today as the St. Gallen Mafia. It was mere days since the United States, on behest of forces seeking a “Catholic Spring” to mirror the earlier “Arab Spring”, had cut the Vatican Bank from the international SWIFT banking network. Pope Benedict XVI indicated his intention to resign from the Papacy. Whether he had chosen to flee from the ravening wolves, or was undertaking some subtle scheme against them, the Holy Father had concluded that his power to govern the church, to exercise his sacred ministry, had waned to the point he was incapable of adequately fulfilling the duties of his sacred office.
Pope Benedict XVI, knowing full well the power and the hatred of the enemies of Christ both within and without His Church, issued his novel declaratio on 10 February 2013. The holder of the Office of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, heir to the See of Peter, spoke the following words to the whole world:
I am well aware that this office (hoc munus), due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry (ministerium) entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of the bishop of Rome (declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae… renuntiare), successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new supreme pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Knowing full well what his novel resignation of the See of Rome – his abandonment of even the attempt to exercise his ministry – would bring to his people, in his very last audience before departing the Vatican His Holiness spoke words of consolation to the people he was charged with governing, guarding, and sanctifying:
Many people who love the Lord also love St. Peter’s Successor and are fond of him; that the Pope truly has brothers and sisters, sons and daughters all over the world and that he feels safe in the embrace of their communion; because he no longer belongs to himself but he belongs to all and all belong to him.
The “always” is also a “forever” – there is no returning to private life. My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry (ministerium), does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I do not abandon the cross, but remain in a new way near to the Crucified Lord. I no longer wield the power of the office (munus) for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter’s bounds. St. Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, shall be a great example in this for me. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God.
With these last words to the flock Our Lord had charged him with protecting, Pope Benedict XVI – still, novelly, retaining his regnal name; still, novelly, retaining the Papal dignities and the Papal white; still, novelly, accepting the homage and obeisance of the Clergy and the Cardinals, even of his successor to the Bishopric of Rome – laid down the governance of the church, while acting, rightly or wrongly, in all ways as if he still had the right to the title of Vicar of Christ. He left behind confusion, and a battlefield that had been surrendered to enemies he believed he had not the power to overcome.
As a layperson, I have not the power or the authority to teach. But like all Christians I have the duty to testify to the Truth, and to question; to prove all things; hold fast that which is good. And there are many questions that may and must be asked, but which have been prevented from being asked, or have been dismissed by those who ought to have answered. What did His Holiness actually do on February 10, 2013? What did he intend to do? Has there ever been such a thing as “pope emeritus”? Can there ever be such a thing as a “pope emeritus”? Is it possible to have more than one pope? Can the papacy be bifurcated into an active and contemplative office? Is that what His Holiness intended?
Is it possible to renounce the episcopacy of Rome, without renouncing the office of the Papacy? Was the resignation freely manifested, or performed under grave fear unjustly inflicted? Was the resignation made out of substantial error? Who has the authority to rule on the declaratio, as it is only required that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone?
What would be required to prove Benedict XVI is pope? What would be required to prove Francis is pope? What proof would be required to indicate Benedict XVI is NOT pope? What proof would be required to indicate Francis is NOT pope? What is the standard of falsifiability? What is universal peaceful acceptance? What are the preconditions for universal peaceful acceptance? Does the precedent set by St. Bernard of Clairvaux speak to the events of today?
Above all, Where is Peter? Who is Peter?
These questions, asked by devout and fervent faithful Catholics, have been silenced and ignored for more than seven years. At best, the confused questioner is only met with a flat assertion – Francis is Pope!
Can these not be considered the most vital questions of our time, when there are two bishops in white in residence in Rome, and one is most certainly not a true pastor, but a destroyer?
For far too long, the Church has labored under the “guidance” of men who believe that it is an act of scandal to shed the light of truth on the evil deeds of those within the hierarchy, rather than those evil deeds being the occasion of the scandal. But all who love Christ must love Truth, and love the light. Is it not written:
This is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.
The light of Truth, the light of judgement, is no respecter of persons or offices; nor can anyone be in this day, if they testify to the truth. Far too many good Catholics, and good priests, have been mislead by their obedience to their superiors, superiors who themselves are not obedient to God; and in obeying their superiors have become unfaithful. If the Magisterium as a whole had acted at any time after Pope St Pius X promulgated the Oath against Modernism to clean up the church, to root out the well-documented freemasonic, sodomitic, communist, and satanist infiltration of the clergy, to shine the light of Truth into the darkness, we would not be in the horrific position we are today. We would not be in the position where the laity are obliged to speak against the shepherds who should be their protectors.
Naturally I do not and cannot speak any word against those brave souls that struggled to serve God in fidelity and sanctity – men like Cd. Ottovani and Abp. Lefebvre, who even if they failed at least made the attempt to safeguard the Church from her internal enemies. But today, we are not in a position where the Magisterium will be able to clean itself up. We live in a time when “Is the pope catholic?” has instead of a sarcastic rejoinder become a reproach and a byword among the nations. In our day, has not the name of God and His church been profaned among the Gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them? But while it may now take an act of God to cleanse the Church from the evil Spirit that now infests her, the spirit of harlotry and wickedness, is it not rightly said, Act, and God will act? It is incumbent upon us now more than ever to testify to the Truth, so that men may hear the voice of God.
Attendite a falsis prophetis, qui veniunt ad vos in vestimentis ovium, intrinsecus autem sunt lupi rapaces.
-Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.-
In the wake of his resignation of the ministerio Episcopi Romae, the clergy of Rome were convoked in conclave to determine the next Successor of the See of St. Peter; the next Bishop of Rome. Certain of the cardinal-clergy of Rome, most particularly those notorious sodomites belonging to the “St. Gallen Mafia”, conspired together to elect a man of their own sensibilities, Jorge Cardinal Bergolio, as the next Bishop of Rome; bringing upon themselves excommunication latae sententiae. Jorje Bergoglio, that infamous bishop – foul, depraved, heretic, blasphemer, idolater – that man not only refused to take up the title of Vicar of Christ, but rejected it and put it away in the same manner as he rejected and sent away the bones of St. Peter, the first Vicar of Christ. He immediately began, with the full cooperation and enthusiastic encouragement of the greater part of the Roman Curia, to ruin and destroy the greatest possible part of the Church and the Faithful, always covering his license and his persecution under the guise of “mercy”. Truly, it is written of him: he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor man and the beggar; and the broken in heart, to put him to death.
While it is incontrovertible that that odious man’s greatest crime – yet – is his enthronement of and worship of demons, setting up an abomination of desolation in the heart of Rome, this blasphemy is not the offense that will have the most far-reaching consequences. That distinction belongs to his most recent motu proprio, TRADITIONIS CUSTODES. This instruction to the faithful signifies an acceleration and cusp point in this stage of the spiritual warfare that assails the Church Militant. Much as the act of his predecessor Ciaphas likewise sent the temple guards to seize Our Lord precipitated the turmoil of His Passion, this motu proprio seeks to seize Our Lord from among us – and far more than one in twelve Judases among the bishops and the priesthood will be happy to betray Him once again for their thirty pieces of silver.
It is not necessary to reproduce the full text of the instruction here. Nor is it necessary to comment that the suppression of a whole rite, whether it be (for example) Ukranian Catholic or Roman – a rite consecrated by centuries of tradition, sanctity, and fidelity – calls for great deliberation and should not be the act of a single afternoon. Rather, it is sufficient to observe that this act, as with ALL acts at any time and place to suppress the Mass of the Ages, is blatantly and flagrantly illegal. Pope St. Pius V, when he codified the missal in Quo Primum during the heart of the reformation, declared thusly:
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.
Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain . . . that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force.
Unlike the “holy” council fathers at Vatican II, Pope St. Pius V was not making up a rite out of whole cloth. Rather, he promulgated a missal that had been handed down through the ages, from the time of the apostles. He did not create a rite, he protected a rite that already existed from degradation and mutation; a rite that future Popes until the innovations of Pope Paul VI, considered that they did not have the authority to alter. And in Quo Primum he promulgated this Mass not just for his time but forever. Or are we to interpret the “always” that is also a “forever” in any manner other than the literal?
We grant and concede IN PERPETUITY that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used… THIS PRESENT DOCUMENT CANNOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED, BUT REMAIN ALWAYS VALID AND RETAIN ITS FULL FORCE.
Any attempt whatsoever to suppress the Mass of the Ages is not only the work of Anti-Christ, but is utterly and absolutely illegal whenever and wherever it may happen; whether it be after Vatican II or today. Pope Benedict, in his motu proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, recognized the following:
The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage…. It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.
The Mass of the Ages was never abrogated because it was given to the faithful always; almost as if Our Lord inspired Pope St. Pius V to promulgate Quo Primum against this day, when evil men in the service of the Prince of this world conspired to take away the Mass that has been handed down to us. Pope Paul VI could not, and did not. Pope Benedict XVI could not, and did not. Neither does the current Bishop of Rome, who rejects the title of Vicar of Christ, have the authority to do so.
The second, and almost more alarming act of this motu proprio pertains to its magisterial teaching on the sacred and venerable Roman Rite. Let us review once again the magisterial teaching of His Holiness Benedict XVI in SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM:
The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi… they are two usages of the one Roman rite.
Pope Benedict clearly teaches in his motu proprio that the two masses, the Mass of Paul VI and the Mass of the Ages, are two forms of the same rite – the rite handed down throughout the ages, from the apostles until now. The Mass of Pope Paul VI is one “expression” of the rite; the Mass of the Ages is another “expression” of the same rite. But what does TRADITIONIS CUSTODES have to say about the Roman Rite?
The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the only expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.
He does not say, “the only valid expression”. He does not say, “the Roman Missal of St Pius V is abrogated; the liturgical books of St (sic) Paul VI… are now the only expression”. He says, plainly and clearly, “the only expression”. This is the magisterial teaching that Bergoglio, if he has the right, has entered into the deposit of faith.
It is a direct contradiction of the magisterial teaching of Benedict XVI; not a contradiction about a matter of discipline, but of a matter of fact pertaining to faith and morals. Novel magisterial teaching that directly contradicts existing magisterial teaching should not be possible for a man under the protection of the Petrine Promise.
Truth remains the same; yesterday, today, tomorrow. If the “liturgical books of St (sic) Paul VI… are the only expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite”, what does that make the Mass of the Ages, the Mass said from the time of the Apostles, which Popes before Paul VI did not dare to change, only to defend? This “magisterial teaching” must be interpreted not only in the light of today, but in the light of history, and the teaching of TRADITIONIS CUSTODES is clear: the Roman Rite handed down from the Apostles, and the “Roman Rite” of the Spirit of Vatican II, which is the Spirit and Prince of This World, are not the same rite. They are not the same worship.
Cum quotidie vobiscum fuerim in templo, non extendistis manus in me: sed haec est hora vestra, et potestas tenebrarum.
So far, I have not taught anything, but rather asked questions, or pointed to facts that exist in time and history and can be verified by anyone. I have restricted myself from interpretation – to point to direct contradiction is not interpretation, but observation. But to move beyond the merely legal and objective framework that composes the battlefield into the spiritual warfare now raging within it, I cannot restrict myself merely to observation, but must interpret. I have no authority to teach, and my words hereafter must be considered speculation by any who read; but the spiritual reality is the most important of all, and the spiritual battle between the Church of Christ and the Spirit of the Age, the Spirit of this World, must be considered with deep thought and fervent prayer.
Despite the irreconcilable contradiction between the magisterial teaching of SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and TRADITIONES CUSTODES, it is possible to hold these two positions simultaneously, if only by not using the same words in the same senses. It is reasonable to hold that the Mass of the Ages, the Roman Rite, and the Mass of Paul VI, the Roman Rite, are the same rite under Pope Benedict XVI’s beloved hermeneutic of continuity. It is also reasonable to hold that the Roman Rite of the Mass of the Ages, and the “Roman Rite” of the novus ordo, are not the same rite when the novus ordo is celebrated according to the “Spirit of Vatican II” – the spirit of the Prince of this world. The failure of the novus ordo springs from its very roots; it is ‘baked in’ to the new rite itself. And to discuss why this we must go back to Vatican II, and the aftermath of Vatican II.
When I was younger, a very good friend and benefactor of my family said, “Vatican II was a mistake.” I proceeded to jump down her throat and dress her down; emphasizing the necessity of obedience to the Church, by which I meant the hierarchy of the Magisterium. I can only say now for my bad judgement that I did not yet realize the extent of the betrayal, and desired to obey Christ through the teachings of His Church. I have yet to apologize to her for my reaction, which I ought to do as soon as feasible; yet I stand by the statement that Vatican II was not a mistake. It was not a mistake only in the sense that Vatican II was most certainly a premeditated crime.
Vatican II was planned by Cdl Ottovani, head of the Holy Office – today’s CDF – to be a triumph of the Church against the forces of Modernism, and that particular Bolshevik expression of Modernism called Communism. Due to the systemic infiltration of the Church, which had been ongoing for near half a century at this point – and thanks not in the least to Pope John XXIII’s choice of political ambition over the warnings of Our Lady of Fatima – Vatican II was instead a disaster for the Church on the order of the days of Athanasius contra mundum, if not worse. Cdl Ottovani was denied the ability to speak and literally laughed out of the Council by a conspiracy of infiltrators, the spiritual ancestors of today’s St Gallen Mafia.
The consequences of Vatican II, of opening the windows of the Church to the World – that same World that is under the dominion of the Prince which is the eternal Enemy of Christ and his Church – could not have been more disastrous. Even as the population of this world has grown, the number of Catholics and the number of clergy have shrunk. The number of divorced, annulled, and ‘remarried’ Catholics has exponentially grown. The number of Catholics who know the teachings of the faith has plummeted, and worse, the number who know but reject orthodoxy has soared. At the heart of this rot is the new lex orandi – the novus ordo brought about by the same men who desire a novus ordo seclorum. Lex orandi lex credendi – and the Faith is dying, in many places has died, among those who pray according to the new lex orandi.
The heresy of Vatican II was not so much a heresy of things said, but a heresy of things unsaid. Things that could not, or rather would not, be said, in order to reach a final accommodation with the World, the World that is the second of the three eternal enemies of salvation, and which is under the dominion of the first. It is the heresy of empty places, places which when they are emptied of God are filled not with nothing but with anything. The heresy and consequent destruction of Vatican II was the same destruction that was shortly visited on our churches.
In every church of the world, Our Lord and Saviour was removed from the centerpoint of focus and of worship, and exiled to a small chapel or to a side altar; the heart of the Church was ripped out, and taken away. The altar of sacrifice was moved, so that it no longer faced God; in many places, the altar was replaced with a table. From now on the Priest would not be offering sacrifice to and towards God, so much as offering the sacrifice to the congregation – to men. In many places, the ancient stained glass was demolished, and replaced by clear glass, or by “modern” stained glass. The frescoes and murals that adorned the walls were painted over with white paint, or replaced by the same kind of “art” as the stained glass, the “modern art” that is the art of modernism. The high art that was the glorification of the Beautiful and the True was replaced by the “art” that was glorification of the Ugly and the False. Pews were demolished and replaced by chairs; kneelers were forbidden. Ancient, magnificently hand-crafted organs, the queen of instruments, were thrown into passing dumpsters; they were replaced by guitars and drum sets. All of these things happened. They can be verified. In less than half a decade, the Church and the churches of the Church were gutted.
A living example can be examined right here, in St. Louis, to any who wish to see. What was robbed from us were churches of the kind of the Cathedral Basilica; what was given to us were ‘churches’ in the vein of that particular parish I shall not name, but is well known to all and sundry as the “Potato Chip Church”.
The Cathedral Basilica of St Louis
Rrrruffles have rrridges.
This violence that was done to our churches, the destruction and the desolation – that is the very same violence that was done to our liturgy. That violation of our places of worship is identical to the violation of our manner of worship, the Roman Rite, by Vatican II and its Spirit.
To truly understand the magnitude of the betrayal of Vatican II, we must step back and contemplate our liturgy, the Roman Rite itself. It is written:
And when he was come into the temple, there came to him, as he was teaching, the chief priests and ancients of the people, saying: By what authority dost thou these things? and who hath given thee this authority? Jesus answering, said to them: I also will ask you one word, which if you shall tell me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? But they thought within themselves, saying: If we shall say, from heaven, he will say to us: Why then did you not believe him? But if we shall say, from men, we are afraid of the multitude: for all held John as a prophet.
With our Lord, we must ask the chief priests and ancients of the people: The Roman Rite, the Mass of the Ages, whence was it? from heaven or from men?
As Catholics, we must believe that our Liturgy, the Roman Rite, came not from men, but from heaven. Historically, we can trace the Roman Rite in a form almost exactly identical to that promulgated in perpetuity by Pope St Pius V all the way back to Pope St Gregory the Great; and in the sixth century, it was already considered to be of great antiquity. From Pope St Gregory we can trace the Rite back to Constantine, and the earliest Councils of the Church; from there, we trace it to the Apostles themselves and their successors. There have been saints and mystics who claim even that the rite, in its form and substance, was directly given to the Apostles by Our Lord himself; that he himself did not merely inspire them, but instructed them, in the flesh, in how the sacrifice of Thanksgiving was to be offered. The Roman Rite is like a beautiful, perfect church, a temple made of living stones, descended from Heaven for the edification and sanctification of the faithful.
Yes, there have been changes to the Roman Rite in the past. A new lectern was installed in the building, a lectern called the Nicene-Athanasian Creed, in the wake of the Arian Crisis. Those prayers called the collect of the day, hung like banners from the rafters, were written to commemorate new saints as they distinguished themselves. That music called sacred chant and polyphony was gradually expanded to beautify the Liturgy, like bunting hung or flowers placed rightly to decorate the Liturgy ad majorem dei gloriam. But the structure of the liturgy, the structure of the Church sent from heaven, was not changed. The Mass of the Ages was not altered, only decorated.
Let us step back and ask the question once more. The novus ordo – is it from heaven, or from men? Those who feel attached to the “new mass” may claim that it is from heaven. If so, from whence its pedigree? Our Lord did not descend out of the heavens to the “holy council fathers” at Vatican II bearing a copy of the Missal of Pope Paul VI. No, if the novus ordo is from heaven, then it takes its claim of authenticity from the continuous tradition of the Roman Rite stretching back to the time of the Apostles – that same rite that was adulterated, redacted, and debased by the revisions of Vatican II to produce the novus ordo. But if the “new mass” is from men, then it is merely the product of the minds and imaginations of the “holy council fathers” of Vatican II. If so, why should we care what they think, or obey what they teach? It’s (current year), not 1965!
In truth, the novus ordo contains elements of both origins. It is from heaven but also from man; it is neither hot nor cold; it is lukewarm, and God will spit it out of his mouth. In one particularly infamous instance, a particular set of prayers for the novus ordo was composed on a napkin by one liturgical expert mere hours before he presented them to the council, while sitting in a café in Rome. Nothing could be more clearly from man! Looked at in one manner, the perfect mass, passed down through the generations, was mutilated and robbed of much by the council fathers, and then adulterated further by purely human invention. Her jewels were seized and taken away, her opulent robes torn from her and exchanged for rags, her limbs broken, wounded, and scarred – and then those who loved her were asked why are you angry? It’s the same mass! Looked at from a different angle – vicious robbers seized upon the mass of the ages, taking her jewels, seizing her robes, beating her severely and then leaving her for dead. And then her robes, her jewels, her place of honor, was given to an ape. Then those who loved her were shown the monkey, and were asked – why are you angry? It’s the same mass!
For 1900 years, the Church of God held fast to this teaching: the mass is not alterable. Humans do not have the authority to change what is given from heaven, not from men. When Pope St. Gregory the Great had the unmitigated gall to add – not change, but add – a single prayer, the Hanc Igitur, to the liturgy, all of Rome rose up in revolt against him. This revolt was not against some ordinary, weak man, but to one of the Saints of the church – and one of the only Saints known as “The Great”. When reforms of the liturgy were made, these reforms were always made not to make changes for the sake of changes, but to preserve the mass against corruptions that had made their way into the liturgy.
In contrast, the “reforms” of Vatican II did immense violence to the Mass, and also to the Liturgy of Hours. The prayers at the foot of the altar were eliminated. Numerous ritual gestures were eliminated. Entire prayers were eliminated from the mass – or were “rewritten” to more modern sensibilities. “Troublesome” and “difficult” portions of the sacred scriptures – like Psalm 108, Deus Laudem Meam – were redacted and completely eliminated from the Church’s cycle of prayer. The Last Gospel was stricken. Chant and polyphony were eliminated; the antiphons and graduals, which are a vital part of the worship of God and instruction of the faithful, were replaced at best by Protestant ‘hymns’ in the now-common ‘four-hymn sandwich’. Particularly in the treatment of the Holy Eucharist, the entire meaning of the Liturgy was inverted. Where in the Mass of the Ages, the Worship of God through the re-presentation of the Perfect Sacrifice of Calvary is foremost, the nuptial banquet of Heaven here on earth second, and the Community of Believers was last and least, as it should be, in the ‘new mass’ this meaning is exactly reversed. Man is placed first, Heaven a distant second, and the worship of God through the act of sacrifice is barely considered. God is an unwanted guest at His own Liturgy.
This is not to say that the novus ordo is not valid. Nor can I hold with certainty even that it is not licit, at least in the sense of being permitted, for a time. In obedience to the Vicar of Christ, it is both – at least, when it is not subject to any one of the numerous liturgical abuses that have profligated all about the world. That the rubrics of the novus ordo encourage such liturgical abuses is but another symptom of the heresy of empty spaces and unsaid things that is the fruit of Vatican II; it is difficult, if it is even possible, to consider a Mass of the Ages said according to the rubrics but abusively. Considering the fruits and the failings of the “new mass”, it is hard not to believe, that, as the Lord taught once, because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so – that the “new mass” is permitted by divine dispensation only because of the hardness of your hearts. Indeed, one might consider the “new mass” to be an “extra-ordinary form” of the “ordinary” Latin Rite; a Mass permitted “for a day” in God’s mercy, whereas the Mass of the Ages continues from the days of the Apostles to the Last Day. The novus ordo is representative of the temporary triumph of heterodoxy over orthodoxy – of “believing what I wish” over “believing what is right”.
From the beginning it was not so. Christ is the same, yesterday, today, tomorrow; the Church is the same, yesterday, today, tomorrow; the worship of the Church is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, even as the Barque of Peter navigates the currents of a changing world. Take a Catholic bishop, or priest, or layman, of one hundred years ago. Place him in the sixteenth century, alongside Pope St. Pius V. He is a Catholic, is he not? And would not the holy Pope of that time recognize and greet him as a brother in the Church? Place that man in the thirteenth century, next to St. Thomas Aquinas; in the eleventh century, next to St. Bernard of Clarvieaux; in the sixth, or the seventh, next to St. Gregory the Great; in the third century, as the Church emerges from the catacombs; even in the first century, next to the apostles and martyrs of the earliest age of the Church. Would not all of these men of these different ages recognize our theoretical Catholic from one hundred years ago as a brother in the Faith? Certainly, there would be wonder at the fruits that have grown from the seed that is the deposit of faith; but these fruits can be seen to befit the tree from which they sprang. The Catholic of an earlier age will never find contradiction in the Catholic of a later age, merely a growth and development that provides new insight into and wonder about the glory of God expressed through the ages. The Faith of the Church and the Liturgy of the Church remain the same throughout the ages.
Now take a “Catholic” of today. Take His Holiness Benedict XVI, long may he reign, and His Eminence Jorje Cardinal Bergoglio, bishop of Rome; or take His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, and His Excellency Mitchell T. Rozanski; or take yourself, and myself. Which of these men would Pope St. Pius V, or St. Thomas Aquinas, or St. Bernard of Clairveaux, or St. Gregory the Great recognize as Catholic? Which would St. Helena, or the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul? And, at the end, which will Our Lord recognize? To which of these men will he say, “well done, my good and faithful servant,” and to which will he say, “Depart from me; I never knew you?”
How many unfortunate laymen, attending or not attending the novus ordo without ever dreaming of anything better, have been mislead into their own damnation? How many realize that, when the priest at the altar utters his prayer for “Mitchell, our archbishop, and Francis, our Pope, and all those who hand on and teach the apostolic faith,” that the latter category by definition excludes the two men so named? Or will anyone dare to claim that the faith taught by either is the whole faith taught by His Holiness Leo XIII? Have Bergoglio and Mitchell taken the Oath against Modernism? This is the heresy of empty places and of empty words – that heresy that is defined not by what is said but by what is not said, not by what is handed down but by what is not handed down – and what is not handed down and taught is the fullness and perfection of the apostolic faith.
Men have no moral right to change that which is sent from heaven. They have no moral right to choose between the worship of heaven, and the worship of man. They have only the moral right and the moral duty to obey.
Malos male perdet: et vineam suam locabit aliis agricolis, qui reddant ei fructum temporibus suis.
– He will bring those evil men to an evil end; and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season.-
I wish to make something perfectly plain. I have no wish to accuse anyone of anything; unlike many modern “catholics” who have been deprived the knowledge, I know who is the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night. I want no truck with him and his.
This letter is not an accusation. This letter is a warning; a warning against the everlasting damnation which awaits the slaves of the Evil one, witting and unwitting, the ravening wolves and the faithless hirelings in the Magisterium. I do not pretend to be a good enough man to issue this warning solely for the salvation of their souls; but neither do I desire them to be damned with their master, cast alive into the pool of fire, burning with brimstone. And I especially do not wish to see those who follow them haplessly subject to the same fate.
This letter is a warning to the faithful, and an indictment of our shepherds. None of us wish to see our shepherds damned; but, as I have said previously, we are now in a situation even worse than the Arian Crisis, when it was Athanasius contra mundum. God prevailed then; He will prevail now. We are promised that he will bring forth thy justice as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday, if only we stand with Christ. But in the meantime, it is and it will be war, spiritual and temporal. We have inherited a Church which, not least due to our negligence, is infested by evil, by lax, and by weak men; men who may as well not believe, but who yet hold the offices of our pastors. These men have cared more for the institution of the church than the people of the church; they have been more concerned with the regard of men then the regard of God; if they have been concerned for the salvation of the souls at all, they have been more concerned for the salvation of those obstreperous, rapacious, and wicked in their rejection of Our Lord, rather than the very sheep they were chosen to guide. They have kept their peace when they should have spoken. They have not considered that Our Lord came not to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword; that he came as a sign of contradiction to bring division among men even as he healed the division between man and God.
If by whatever miracle you have read to this point, this may appear to you, reader, to be an indictment of your own behavior. Good. Good, not because your conscience accuses you, but good, that the warning has now been delivered. You have now been charged; you now have the opportunity to repent, and to reform your life. It is an ongoing process for all of us, is it not?
And while all of us, to some degree or another, share a part of the blame for the current state of the church – the primary offense on the part of most of the remaining faithful has been an offense against wisdom. They have accepted the “frame” of the enemy; they have let the enemy dictate how they see the battlefield, and the rules of engagement; they have let the Accuser put them perpetually on the back foot. Is it any wonder they have had small success? Fighting on a battlefield chosen by the Adversary, by his rules, always reactive, never proactive, mired in confusion and error? Not manfully standing before the foe, but conciliating and cringing from the battle? No, the only way forward out of this present darkness is to turn to the light of Christ, and to never cease to examine and reform not only our consciences but also our knowledge and wisdom. To become ever more wise as serpents and simple as doves. To enter more deeply into sancta sapientia and the Eternal Truth that is the Eternal Word. But most either will not, or cannot, be instructed, without constant effort on their part and the part of others. They will reject the Truth because they do not understand it, or do not want to understand it. Reform of the mind is as long and as arduous as the reform of the soul.
How many will reject even the consideration of these questions, whether raised here or elsewhere, not because they have found truth, but because they can manufacture answers that put their conscience and curiosity to sleep?
There are some among the bishopric and the clergy who can be trusted; but it is important to be cautious with one’s trust. Not only as is true in all ages because full faith and trust is due to Christ alone, but because of the rotten state of the Church today. In most ages, one could be confident that one’s clergy would teach rightly, even if they did not do rightly; today, we have no such guarantee. The majority of our bishops, and no small number of the secular and religious clergy, could literally die in a fire and both the world and the Church would be better off. In a world of perfect justice – which thank God we do not have – at least half of the aforementioned would burn for their crimes, and would deserve it; and better that they burn in this world, than burn in the next. Is it a wonder that the world is in such a sorry state, when we deserve chastisement so badly?
It has long been prophesied that the Church would face a passion like her Lord; and that she, too would go up Calvary to be crucified. More, it is written, they shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they shall place there the abomination unto desolation. If now is indeed that time foretold – which, if it is not, it is at least a strong foreshadowing – than the issuance of TRADITIONES CUSTODES marks the time when Ciaphas has dispatched the temple guards to seize Our Lord; and there will come a time when we do not know where they have taken him.
If we do not want this time to be the time of the Passion of the Church – understanding that that Passion may already be underway, and repentance insufficient to turn away the wrath of God – then we must act and act decisively. We must act with absolutely no regard for whatever consequences we fear or hope for, for those are in the hands of God; we must act only to act righteously. What righteousness have we not done, because of our fear of what would come of it, or our attachment to the things of this world? For it is most certain that if we do not act, God will act nonetheless – and not with us, but against us. Even as we pray that day comes quickly, is there any of dare to face that day without fear and trembling? Quantus tremor est futurus, quando Iudex est venturus, cuncta stricte discussurus!
If these are the last days, we would do well to remember the words of Our Lord: will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? Once, I believed this saying meant that the Church would be hounded and persecuted, so that all the remaining faithful on earth would be punished even unto death. I had not thought, once, that these words should indicate the Church would die of sloth, rather than in the glory of the blood of the martyrs. Is it not written, faith without works is dead? What works have we done? What fruit have we produced, individually and corporately?
A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. And he said to the dresser of the vineyard: Behold, for these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down therefore: why cumbereth it the ground? But he answering, said to him: Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig about it, and dung it. And if happily it bear fruit: but if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
For those who would yet listen, few though you may be, I pray you, listen now. Seek truth, always warring against the fear of the flesh and the pride of the spirit. Proclaim Truth boldly when you have found it, and have no fear of any man. Be willing to be instructed, in the Spirit of Truth. And take up the weapons that have been denied the faithful. Pray, with me, Psalm 108, Deus Laudem Meam, against the wickedness in high places:
O God, be not thou silent in my praise: for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful man is opened against me.
They have spoken against me with deceitful tongues; and they have compassed me about with words of hatred; and have fought against me without cause.
Instead of making me a return of love, they detracted me: but I gave myself to prayer.
And they repaid me evil for good: and hatred for my love.
Set thou the sinner over him: and may the devil stand at his right hand.
When he is judged, may he go out condemned; and may his prayer be turned to sin.
May his days be few: and his bishopric let another take.
May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children be carried about vagabonds, and beg; and let them be cast out of their dwellings.
May the usurer search all his substance: and let strangers plunder his labours.
May there be none to help him: nor none to pity his fatherless offspring.
May his posterity be cut off; in one generation may his name be blotted out.
May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered in the sight of the Lord: and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
May they be before the Lord continually, and let the memory of them perish from the earth:
because he remembered not to shew mercy,
But persecuted the poor man and the beggar; and the broken in heart, to put him to death.
And he loved cursing, and it shall come unto him: and he would not have blessing, and it shall be far from him. And he put on cursing, like a garment: and it went in like water into his entrails, and like oil in his bones.
May it be unto him like a garment which covereth him; and like a girdle with which he is girded continually.
This is the work of them who detract me before the Lord; and who speak evils against my soul.
But thou, O Lord, do with me for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is sweet. Do thou deliver me,
for I am poor and needy, and my heart is troubled within me.
I am taken away like the shadow when it declineth: and I am shaken off as locusts.
My knees are weakened through fasting: and my flesh is changed for oil.
And I am become a reproach to them: they saw me and they shaked their heads,
Help me, O Lord my God; save me according to thy mercy.
And let them know that this is thy hand: and that thou, O Lord, hast done it.
They will curse and thou will bless: let them that rise up against me be confounded: but thy servant shall rejoice.
Let them that detract me be clothed with shame: and let them be covered with their confusion as with a double cloak.
I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth: and in the midst of many I will praise him.
Because he hath stood at the right hand of the poor, to save my soul from persecutors.
May God go with you, and may you go with God. Farewell.
of the Archdiocese of St. Louis