July 2001

July 31, 2001 -- St. Ignatius, Confessor (Double)

The Known Enemy Is Better

From: Fr. Moderator
World Net Daily
Saturday, July 28, 2001
Antichrist Sign Sparks Free-Speech Holy War
CENTRAL POINT, Ore. - A billboard proclaiming the pope is the Antichrist has unleashed the wrath of the Catholic community, sparked a debate over First Amendment rights, and led to death threats against the man behind the message. The red, white and blue sign, located along Interstate-5 just north of Medford, Oregon, reads, "The Pope Is The Antichrist, Free Proof," and provides a website address for more information. The billboard along I-5 in southern Oregon has sparked outrage and death threats.

Free speech is free speech. If the Catholics were smart, they'd put up their own bulletin board. To tell you the truth, it isn't the Bob Jones fundamentalists of this world that frighten me. At least one knows where they honestly stand, and one can talk to them because they have a position, which they can articulate.

What's much more frightening is the Novus Ordo with its weasel words of duplicitious ambiguity, claiming to be the Catholic Church, whereas it is a really a facade of Catholicism, what Fr. Martin called "The Grand Illusion." That is truly frightening, as the Novus Ordo has substantially undermined what is left of the Roman Catholic Church through malice and deceits. (Isn't that just what we pray against in the St. Michael Prayer: contra nequitias et insidias diaboli?)

From the Frying Pan into the Fire

From: Paul

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I'm an old altar boy, and watching the Church being destroyed has broken my heart. I just stay away because it's too painful to witness. The Eastern Orthodox church seems very close to the traditions, and I get a lot out of it. Should I continue my conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy? I don't know where to go, I'm shaken!

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, you'd only be going from one schism and heresy to another, even more virulent, if that were possible. The right thing to do is cling to your traditional Roman Catholic Faith and fight for it, as did the Saints of so many ages. This is a test of your Faith -- of the Faith of all of us -- and whether we stand up to it courageously or bail out will show just what kind of Catholics we really are when the chips are down. All the important figures of the Old and New Testaments were confronted with their tests of faith. This is ours.

Where is the Mystery of Faith?

From: Richard

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In my research about the invalidity of the Novus Ordo Mass there was a reference to a vital change in context of the mysterium fidei. Please could you explain the importance of this for the Consecration.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

The phrase mysterium fidei, which is at the heart of the Apostolic consecratory form, was removed from that position and moved in the Novus Ordo worship service to a place just before the interpolated (non-Apostolic) text Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, etc." Thus, the "mystery of faith" is no longer positioned to refer to the Most Blessed Sacrament, and the Apostolic form of the consecration is diminished. Tampering with the Apostolic form in this way serves only to raise the most serious doubt about the Novus Ordo.

July 29, 2001 - Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

Blessing Sacramentals

From: Joseph

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Upon the conclusion of our recent pilgrimage to Rome, while our group was en route to the airport, the bishop who had accompanied us was asked to bless a number of Miraculous Medals and other sacramentals which some of us had purchased over the course of the trip.

Rather than bless each object individually, His Excellency declared that he would say one blessing over each of the medals, etc., and that this blessing would be valid for any of the medals whether directly on our person or stowed away in our luggage under the bus.

My question is: were any of these medals or sacramentals actually blessed? Put another way: what are the minimum requirements for a valid blessing (e.g., must the priest actually touch or sign the object, etc.)? I would be most grateful for your observations.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

No, it is not necessary to touch the medals, but I would be more concerned about what "blessing" was used. Since the Novus Ordo doesn't seem to have reverence for such things (I'm assuming that this was a Novus Ordo bishop), I wonder if the form used indicated that anything was really being blessed.

July 28, 2001 - St. Nazarius & Companions, Martyrs (Semidouble)

"Ecumenical" Prayer

From: Michael

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am under the impression that engaging in formal prayer with Moslems, Jews, or any other religion is in violation of the First Commandment. I now see and hear of the members of the catholic Church not only doing these things, but publishing these events as something true Catholics should embrace. I am confused, please enlighten me.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Your first thought is the correct one. Participating in communal worship services is known as communicatio in sacris and has consistently been condemned by the Church from Apostolic times. Why otherwise would the 11,000,000 Roman martyrs have died rather than joined with others in saying a prayer to the Roman emperor as a deity?

What you are hearing is not the true Catholic Faith, but a perversion of it. It is Novo-Catholicism, which is not Catholicism in the Roman Catholic sense, as it lacks any instinct for Catholic intimacy with the divine; repudiates all Roman control; doesn't see the pope as the universal bishop of the Church, rejects the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church and instead wishes to "modernize" it; instead, it sees the Church as a collection of believers who are now engaged in marching with the fellowmen toward the utopia that is to be brought about by the New Order.

Vatican II Catechism Not Catholic

From: Elizabeth

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Recently I came across an article on Original Sin (by Rev. Wm. Most) in which he mentions the loss of two gifts caused by the Original Sin of Adam and Eve. These two gifts are the gifts of integrity and grace. As integrity is a coordinating gift that regulates the various independent human drives, the loss of integrity at the Fall brought on the basic requirement for mortification. It is this integral component of the Faith - the ongoing need for mortification as taught and required by the Catholic and Apostolic Church which is at the heart of Tradition and has disappeared in the conciliar religion.

For instance, in the Vatican II Catechism (Catechismus Catholicae Ecclesiae), the word mortification does not appear. Instead "an apprenticeship of self-mastery" (CCE, para. 2339) for "whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises" (CCE, para. 2340) and not be "unhappy" is recommended.

The Roman Catechism (of the Council of Trent) gives a whole paragraph on the subject under a chapter called Practicing Purity. "But the body is to be mortified and the sensual appetites to be repressed not only by fasting, and particularly, by the fasts instituted by the Church, but also by watching, pious pilgrimages, and other works of austerity. By these and similar observances is the virtue of temperance chiefly manifested. In connection with this subject, St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, says: Every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things; and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. A little after he says: I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest, perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway (I Corinthians 9:27). And in another place he says: Make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscence (Romans 13:14)."

The most I can find in the CCE on anything close to repression of the sensual appetites is the subtext of para. 409: "...Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity."

Thanks for your thoughts.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You have put your finger on one of many indications that the Vatican II Catechism is really not a catechism of the Roman Catholic Faith, but of the Novo-Catholic Faith. It has been the latter, of course, which has done away with even the most minimal mortifications traditionally practiced by Catholics, such as the Eucharistic fast from midnight (or, at the minimum, three hours from solid food) and the Friday abstinence from meat, which is adumbrated even in Scripture.

The principal author of the Roman Catechism (of the Council of Trent) was St. Charles Borromeo, a man of deep Catholic knowledge and spirituality. His catechism is written with a clear and beautiful Latinity, carefully explaining each doctrine of the Faith first from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, then from Catholic practice and understanding.

The Vatican II Catechism is the usual committee pastiche of modernist ecclesiastics who have trouble identifying true Catholicism, as they themselves have admitted. St. Charles, with great docility, first consulted the teaching of Sacred Scripture and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. The Vatican II catechism committee admitted that their knowledge of the Sacred Languages was so poor that they were forced to relegate themselves to the babel of vulgar tongues.

This was a serious break with Tradition and allowed the committee to dump Catholic theology and substitute for it a neo-modernist theology that they concocted themselves. For example, the committee omitted any mention of the common teaching of the Church about limbo and substituted for the teaching on capital punishment a nuanced and misleading statement.

Remember that a "trial version" of the Vatican II catechism was rolled out to the public in a couple of vulgar tongues to see what kind of a response it got. As a result of "feedback," several sections of the catechism were modified before the first official Latin edition and the second vulgar edition came out.

Does this sound like Catholicism to anyone out there? Or is it a cruel joke, merely a facade of Catholicism, to pull the wool over the eyes of the faithful? Forty years have given us a clear answer to that question.

Living Latin

From: Jean

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How can there be a Latin word for internet if Latin is a classical language? Who has the authority to add new words to the language?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Latin, though certainly classical, is also mediaeval and modern. The language of the Caesars and the Popes has always been more than vibrant enough to add new terms to its vocabulary as needed. Just think how many new terms after the classical period came into Latin to describe the subtleties of philosophy in the mediaeval period, then all the scientific terms that came into the language during the Renaissance, not to speak of the new legal, commercial, musical, technological, etc., terms that have enriched its vocabulary for many centuries.

All living languages accept new words. Latin is a no exception, being a particularly productive language in coining new words as needed, sometimes based on classical words, sometimes on combinations of Greco-Latin stems and roots, sometimes by a new use of an existing word. So, for internet, the word internexus has come to be used, based upon the classical Latin term for a legal obligation, nexus with the prepositional compound inter- for between being added. Another formulation is interretia, based upon the classical Latin term for a net. For web, the classical Latin word tela, meaning a spider's web, has come to be used.

New words, as in any living language, is sanctioned by the accepted usage of the best writers and speakers. There are a number of Latin dictionaries of such words, some put out by universities, some by the Vatican, some by private individuals. These have well kept up with the needs of international communication for more than two millennia and are used in the Latin news broadcasts emanating from worldwide European Radio YLE (www.yle.fi/fbc/latini), as well as in a number of books issued each year in Latin for the international community.

July 26, 2001 - St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double of the Second Class)

What Is a Grandmother to Do?

From: Elizabeth

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What do I tell my grandchildren about the reasons why I do not attend the Novus Ordo worship service. They are not privy to Catholic education and are not really looking for it.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Tell them that the practice of the true Roman Catholic Faith is a very serious matter and that, therefore, you can't accept a pale imitation of it, which is neither one nor holy nor catholic nor apostolic. Tell them that one day in their lives, God willing, they will realize how important the true Faith is and how the lack of it or a "pretend" form of it will leave them spiritually empty. Then, be the best traditional Catholic that you can be, so that when your grandchildren grow up, they will always remember your words and example as a guide.

July 24, 2001 - Vigil of St. James the Greater


From: Jim

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Why do so many "conservative" Catholics such as Mother Angelica, Warren Carroll, Father Fessio, and others praise Pope John Paul II as one of the greatest popes of all time, when he is responsible for allowing the Church to continue its decline? The conservatives are opposed to altar girls, Holy Communion in the hand, etc., yet fail to place the blame on John Paul II. He is the only person on earth who can stop these and other sacrileges, but does nothing about them. In fact, he is the pope who approved the use of women at the altar! Why do you think these otherwise seemingly well meaning people have this blind spot?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

One can say only that their reason seems to be blinded by a kind of papolatry (worship of the pope) or some kind of personal "hero-worship," which is, of course, an extreme position, not truly Catholic. An historical example may be instructive. When we look back to the history of the 1930s, we shake our heads in wonderment that the German people, in their hero-worship of Adolf Hitler, could have turned a blind eye to the totality of what he was doing. Yet they did.

July 23, 2001 - St. Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr (Double)

Morality in War

From: Philip (Australia)

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Does the Catholic pilot who drops an A-bomb on a city, during war, say Hiroshima, do his duty, or commit a sin of murder?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There have always been specific moral principles for combat in a just war. The Americans were defending themselves after being attacked at Pearl Harbor. I know soldiers from that period who to this day offer prayers of thanks to that pilot, who spared hundreds of thousands of American and Japanese troops from being killed in the savages battles that would inevitably have occurred on the islands of Japan, had the bombs not been dropped. As you know, Australia and other countries of Oceania, would have been involved in that slaughter as well.

Unfortunately, today there is no dearth of second-guessing historical revisionists who make easy moral decisions from the comfort of their armchairs, not in the heat of war. As far as I know, there were no great number of souls being killed in the United States through abortions at that time. Now, in our "pacifistic" time, there have been (what?) 30,000,000 -- far more than the number of Japanese killed at Hiroshima.

Prostrate before the judgment-seat of Christ the King, I would rather be that pilot who was defending his country in a just war if there ever was one, than be one of the apathetic our neo-modern world who can't even be bothered to vote as the most grotesque executions are being performed in their name on millions and millions of souls totally innocent -- not tainted with the guilt of an aggressive attack that eventually took over a million lives just among the Americans, not to speak of the Japanese themselves, the Australians, the Philippinos, and all the rest.

Ut Lingua Latina Cadit, Sic Omnis Terra

From: Andrew

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What exactly is the "New Mass"? Does this mean the change from Latin to English? And wasn't Pope Paul VI responsible for Vatican II? So why does he condemn it so harshly ?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Devastating to the Church as was the move of the New Order to vulgarize the language of the once Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the "New Mass" went far beyond the linguistic question. The rejection of Latin by the New Order, which had always been considered tantamount to schism and heresy by previous Popes and Councils, directly led to the corruption (or at least ambiguation) of Catholic doctrine and worship that we now see.

Moreover, the New Order Worship Service was written by a Freemason and six Protestants and is arguably invalid on its face. That is what two prominent Cardinals high up in the Roman Curia said at the time -- and they were right. The last forty years have been disastrous to the Church. Catholicism, in any real sense of that term, has been turned in the New Order into a silly "ecumenical" Protestantism that even Martin Luther would have rejected!

Pope Paul VI was a weak man. He was overwhelmed by an internal revolution in the Church planned by the very Modernists whom Pope St. Pius X condemned and quashed. But Paul VI was not unintelligent. He knew the great error that he had committed by giving in to such unCatholic practices and died a broken man, wracked with doubt and regret (as an interview shortly before his death confirmed). In the interim, he was honest enough to call the fruits of Vatican II what they were, "the smoke of Satan."

July 22, 2001 - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

Secular Humanism

From: Douglas

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am aware that modernism is the "synthesis of all heresies" (St. Pius X), so I suppose that secular humanism is included in that group. Was Protestantism a result of secular humanism? Modern Protestantism has been destroyed by it, or modernism, and through compromise with Protestantism, the largest visible part of the Catholic Church was destroyed. My question is: Can one say that Protestantism and secular humanism destroyed most of Christendom in the 16th cecntury and finished the job 400 years later? Or, am I simplifying it too much?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Secular humanism didn't really flower until the 18th century with Voltaire and the "Enlightenment," but certainly the prelude to it was there since the Christian humanism of the Renaissance. Nor did Luther particularly build on that; it more or less developed over the succeeding centuries.

I have said in the past that Luther substantially won his points against the Catholic Church -- it just took 400 years! Yet Luther would have been shocked to see what modern-day Lutherans believe and are doing. Luther wanted the sacred languages to be retained in worship services, for example.


From: Marie

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I just received my copy of the diocesan weekly paper. I was astounded to see a very lengthy article on the "Taize" community in France, which is, to me, a very strange set-up of an "ecumenical" group of monks, both Protestant and Catholic.

I have noticed that many Catholic parishes have embraced prayers from Taize, their adoration of the Cross during Lent, hymns, etc. I find this not only weird, but anti-Catholic. How can a priest or bishop, for that matter, endorse a "pilgimage" to such a place as Taize? Would you please comment on this for me as I am really puzzled how Catholics can move away from their Faith and embrace this radical idea of "ecumenism". I have no understanding of this.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You are correct in your assessment of what Taize is. For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ10: How Do You Explain These Traditional Catholic Beliefs? But why would you be surprised that the Novus Ordo would embrace it? That is exactly what the Novus Ordo does embrace -- a rejection of the teachings of the truly Catholic Faith!

General Confession

From: Andrew

Today I went to confession, and it has been at least 12 years since my last confession. As I said to the priest, a lot has happened in those 12 years and there are many sins to confess. When I went to confession as a child I had to list the sins I wanted to confess. Today however, the priest asked for one specific area I wanted to mention and that was it. I expected to be in the confessional for quite a while, but was in reality only in for about two minutes. Was this really a confession? I was a little stunned that it took such a short time.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

You must have gone to a Novus Ordo (New Order) presbyter, as this is a grave deviation from traditional Catholic sacramental practice. A confession must be integral; that is, it must include all mortal sins that one can remember since the last confession, as well as any mortal sins that one had forgotten to confess previously. It is beneficial to confess venial sins as well.

What you wanted, in effect, is known as a "general confession." Such a confession includes not only sins committed since the last confession, but sins of one's entire life. It is a commendable spiritual practice that occurs usually before reception of a Sacrament such Marriage or Holy Orders.

I would encourage you to find a traditional priest in your area (see the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses and Resource Book for the U.S. and Canada (7th Annual Edition - 2001), "The Traditional Catholic Yellow Pages") to whom you could make such a confession. It would be a good idea to arrange it in advance because of the amount of time involved and out of consideration to other penitents.

July 21, 2001 - Our Lady's Saturday (Simple)

Fr. O'Connor's Exequies

From: Fr. Moderator

I have been informed of the sad news that Fr. O'Connor, a traditional Catholic priest who assisted Fr. Francis LeBlanc at Our Lady of the Sun Internation Shrine in Sun City, Arizona, after having earlier suffered a stroke, passed away on Thursday, July 19, at 08:00 UT. The traditional exsequial rites will take place at 03:00 UT at the Shrine, and burial will be at the Shrine.

The faithful are encouraged to offer their requiescats for Fr. O'Connor. I will be offering Mass for his intentions tomorrow. The life of a traditional Catholic priest is certainly not an easy one in these times. Therefore, in our charity, we should remember each such priest, in whatever area of the world, or of whatever traditional affiliation.

July 20, 2001 - St. Jerome Emilian, Confessor (Double)

Eucharistic Miracles?

From: Bryan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

If the Novus Ordo Worship Service is invalid, why are there eucharistic miracles such as those in Korea and maybe other places? These hosts were consecrated at a Novus Ordo service.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

There's a lot of supposition in the question. Was there a "miracle," or was it simply a natural or preternatural event? Of what nature was this "miracle"?

And, then, what about the "counter-miracles," as the one in which the hand of the Japanese nun was charred when she touched the Novus Ordo communion bread in the hand or the one when Archbishop Lefebrve was saying an outdoor Traditional Latin Mass in one tent while another group of Novus Ordoites were attending their worship service in another tent, and a cross of light appeared over the tent when the Archbishop was consecrating the Host.

One must also discern whether the events were from above or from below. Such occurrences could just as easily be diabolical, a deception to mislead the faithful from the Our Lord and His Sacraments, and to confuse their minds and hearts to make them believe that right is wrong and wrong is right. Even Pope Paul VI himself, after he had had a few years to evaluate the consequences of the Novus Ordo called it "of Satan."

When one looks around at the nonsense that passes for the supernatural today -- alleged "appearances" of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the knothole of a tree in California or in an oil slick in Mexico, to name just two -- we learn to find our port of safety where it has always been, in the fundamentals of what the Roman Catholic Church has always taught: right doctrine (orthodoxy) and right practice (orthopraxis). And these come, as they always have, from the Deposit of Faith: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and from the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as part of it.

July 18, 2001 - St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor (Double)

Cast into the Outer Darkness

From: Patricia

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I made the mistake of logging in to a "Catholic" discussion group and leaving the following message:

A few years ago, a person on this discussion group was asking to be contacted by traditional Catholics. I responded to him, but he was only interested in those that attended the Traditional Latin Mass. At that time, I thought he was somewhat narrow-minded. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. I have done a lot of research and reading on that subject and have come to the conclusion that he is right, that the only valid Mass to attend is the Traditional Latin Mass and that the current Novus Ordo "masses" are not valid. I won't go into my reasoning because I am not that good at articulating arguments, but if there are people interested, I would be happy to send them something that they can read and make up their minds themselves. What I would like is the same thing that the traditional Catholic had asked: would anyone who knows of a Traditional Latin Mass in this area please contact me?

As a result of my message, the moderator of the discussion group kicked me off , saying:

Your position re the invalidity of the Novus Ordo Mass is in serious error with the teaching of the magesterium [sic] of our Church. With the hope and prayer that you will reconsider your position, I am unsubscribing you from this list, and I am asking that our members not pursue this matter further with you either privately or within this forum.

But they leave Protestants on there, I know, because some of the letters start off stating that they are Protestants. But I am some sort of horrid anathema because I am a traditional Catholic? What would you say to his comment about the magisterium?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Obviously, you were kicked off because you are Catholic, not Protestant. You have now experienced firsthand the hypocrisy of the Novus Ordo, which shares nothing with the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church of 2000 years. Apparently, that webmaster is so ignorant of what the magisterium of the Church is that he can't even spell it correctly!

The truth of the matter, of course, is that the New Order worship service is a travesty of the Roman Catholic Faith. It specifically rejects the magisterium of the Church and substitutes for the apostolic Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of the Roman See a Protestantized service concocted by a Freemason with the assistance of six Protestants.

Pope Paul VI within just a few years was bitterly repenting that he had become involved with the New Order, calling it "of Satan." Unfortunately, he was too bereft of the assistance of the Holy Ghost with the moral virtue of fortitude to be able to do anything about it. But he knew. He repeated his statement again shortly before his death.

"His" Mass?

From: Bryan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I was speaking to an elderly layperson, who used the expression "his" mass when we were discussing liturgical matters. The emphasis was very much on "his." I believe that this was a common pre-Vatican II expression. Is it correct?

Fr. Moderator Replies.

I assume that the pronoun his is meant to refer to the priest celebrating the Mass. In that sense, the expression is correct. It is the office of a priest, any priest, to offer sacrifice. Laypeople may assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and even participate in it, but the Mass is in its essence the action of the priest. A Mass is just as complete a Mass even if there is no congregation.

July 16, 2001 -- Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Major Double)

A Latin Novus Ordo?

From: Richard

Dear Fr. Moderator:

At first I was rather confused about a Novus Ordo in Latin, thinking that a Latin Mass would be in the Traditional Roman Rite. There is even an association for the Novus Ordo in Latin, which can be misleading. Would I be right in thinking that these Latin Novus Ordos may be a cuckoo in the nest of the Traditional Mass Movement, providing a means for the Protestantized form of the Novus Ordo to be more acceptable to Traditional Catholics?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Yes. In some places the Novus Ordo (New Order) worship service is offered in Latin instead of the local vernacular. Needless to say, the Novus Ordo worship service, even clothed in Latin, is still the Novus Ordo worship service, not the Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite.

Even beyond that, our correspondents indicate that more and more "indult" Masses are becoming a hybrid of the post-Vatican II Novus Ordo worship service and the Traditional Latin Mass, in that they deviate from the traditional practices in force even in 1962. Such hybrid, or pseudo-traditional, Masses may use the vernacular, the new calendar, the new lectionary, the 1965 or later rubrics, or Communion in the hand; eliminate the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass; transfer or eliminate holydays; hold Saturday "Vigil" Masses; radically limit the traditional Eucharistic fast and traditional days of fast and abstinence; or engage in other deviations.

Such Masses are not Traditional Latin Masses and are not included in the Official Catholic Directory of Traditional Latin Masses and Resource Book for the United States and Canada, "The Traditional Catholic Yellow Pages" (2001 Edition). The faithful are advised to evaluate local "indult" Mass sites carefully on a case-by-case basis.

Sunday or Saturday?

From: Nathaniel

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In the Douay-Rheims Version (the King James Version is very similar), the Acts of the Apostles 20:7 translates:

And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, being to depart on the morrow. And he continued his speech until midnight.

But the Good News Bible: Today's English Version, translates:

On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.

According to the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Apostles gathered on Saturday; hence, they do not regard Sunday as a day of worship.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The Latin Vulgate renders the phrase as in una sabbati, which closely parallels the Greek en te mia ton sabbaton, literally "on (day) one of the week." To render sabbaton here as Sabbath would make no sense. If St. Luke had wished to say "on the Sabbath [Saturday]," he would have said en to sabbato.

In addition, St. Justin, Martyr, who writes within a few decades after St. Luke, is an early witness to the practices of the Apostolic Church and confirms in his Apologia that the Christians worshiped "on day called that of the Sun," i.e., Sunday.

Latin or English?

From: Bryan

Dear Fr. Moderator:

One traditional priest I know chooses to say the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass in Latin rather than the vernacular. Is this okay?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Absolutely. Latin is always acceptable.

July 15, 2001 -- Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

The State of the Mass

From: Fr. Malachi Martin, Interview "The Kingdom of Darkness," ca. 1995

The people who composed the [Novus Ordo] Mass originally were six Protestants and two Catholics, under the direction of a Freemason called Annibale Bugnini, who is ... an archbishop, and he lost his faith. And he was the originator of it. And the first version of the Mass, which he drew up for Pope Paul VI -- you know what happened to it. He gave it to Paul VI, and two cardinals, Ottaviani and Bacci, went to Pope Paul VI and said, "Your Holiness, if you publish this Mass, we're going to declare you a heretic." They said that. So Paul VI withdrew it. He made some small changes in it, and hence we got the Novus Ordo.
The Novus Ordo is normally invalid. You've got to make an effort to make the Novus Ordo valid. You can make it valid, but you've got to make an effort. Of itself, it seems to be invalid.... I've been to hundreds of Masses -- I make it my business -- Novus Ordos, just to notice the ritual, and the vast majority are invalid. And as to the intention of the priest, no wonder! He doesn't believe in the Sacrifice of Calvary, he doesn't believe in grace, he doesn't believe in Heaven, he doesn't believe in a Savior. He believes in having a communal celebration where everybody loves each other and kisses each other. He doesn't believe in the Mass as the salvific act of Christ on the altar with the people in veneration and adoration. He doesn't believe in that any longer.

Words of Consecration

From: Eugene

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I have been to some Novus Ordo Worship Services in churches where the "indult" Mass is said, and at some of these masses the proper words were not said! I'm not talking about the argument that the translation is wrong. I'm talking about actually saying something different from the common English translation!

I have been told by the Novus Ordo that the minimum that needs to be said at the Consecration to make the Mass valid is "This is My Body," "This is My Blood." That's it. If those words are indeed there, then the Sacrament, and thus the Mass, are indeed valid. Are, in fact, these words said at all N.O. "masses"? Aside from that, who on earth would want to offer an inferior "product" to their Creator when they can offer the perfect "product" of the traditional Latin Mass.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

There is something very mixed up here. The so-called "indult" applies to the celebration of the Traditional Roman Rite of 1962 in Latin. There is no translation involved.

As to the form (the words of Consecration), even if a translation of the traditional Latin Canon were valid (and one might question whether any English translation could correctly represent the Apostolic words of Consecration), the one given above is false. The formula for the Consecration of the species of bread above is lacking the logical connective from the traditional form; thus, we start out with a gravely illicit formula, which is specifically condemned in the Roman Missal.

The formula for the Consecration of the species of wine above is far from complete and invalid, as demonstrated St. Thomas Aquinas and many other Doctors of the Church. In his pioneering 1968 work, Questioning the Validity of the Masses Using the New, All-English Canon, P.H. Omlor demonstrated that since 1967, when the words of Consecration were changed (even before the Novus Ordo Worship Service came in), the new, all-English "mass" has been invalid.

As indicated above (and we haven't even discussed the defects of matter and intention in the Novus Ordo Worship Service, which are just as important as the form, or words of Consecration), if by some stretch of the imagination such a form were valid in any translation of the Apostolic words, let alone one as defective as that above, such a form would be gravely illicit and sacrilegious. Therefore, a true Catholic would have a positive moral obligation to absent himself from such a travesty of the true Mass of his Faith; otherwise, he would be forgetting his duty to obey the First Commandment of God.

Repetitious Prayer

From: Cody

Dear Fr. Moderator:

When looking up the Our Father in Matthew 6:9-13, I noticed that before that in 6:7, Jesus says, "And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they thing that in their much speaking they may be heard." Doesn't the Rosary violate this command? Isn't it repetitious and wordy, just like we are told not to be?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

It all depends upon the intention of the one praying. Since the Greek word battalogesate behind the expression seems to mean "babbling," or "speaking mindlessly," the problem seems to be the inattention rather than the repetition. On the other hand, Our Lord Himself commands us to pray the Pater Noster -- more than once, as the implication is! Moreover, you can find a number of passages in Sacred Scripture commanding us to pray unceasingly.

If one prays, as the Church says, digne, attente, ac devote, that is, "worthily, attentively, and devoutly," the Holy Rosary can be a most appropriate prayer. On the other hand, if one mindlessly mumbles it like a mantra, we are getting into the area that your scriptural citation is addressing.

In that case, many Catholics have found their spiritual lives rejuvenated by reciting the Rosary in Latin. It is much harder to be thoughtless in a Sacred Language. By its nature, it forces our devout attention, which the day-to-day vulgar tongue does not. Otherwise, one might consider other devotions, first of all, the recitation of all or part of the Divine Office (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline), the litanies of the Church (of the Saints, the Holy Name, the Sacred Heart, etc.), or other suitable prayers. And, of course, not only formal prayers, but also silent meditation on Sacred Scripture, the truths of the Faith and listening to God.

Cassock for a Layman

From: Jean

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Is it possible for a non-ordained male cleric to wear the black cassock and surplice when serving at the altar?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

"Non-ordained cleric" is a contradiction in terms, as a cleric is, by definition, ordained. If you mean a cleric in a Holy Order below the priesthood, the answer is yes, of course. When the individual was made a cleric at Tonsure, he was given a cassock and surplice as his religious garb. If you mean a layman serving Mass, again, the answer is yes, but only during the Mass or other sacred service, as the individual is only per modum functionis performing the role of a cleric in Minor Orders.

True Humanism

From: Julien

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I don't fully understand what humanism is, as it is often used.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Humanism can be equivalent to Secular Humanism or the Christian Humanism of the Renaissance. Secular Humanism, although it does not necessarily deny the existence of God, relegates Him to a position outside the affairs of men, except in the most general sense of originally setting some original political principles.

Such Secular Humanism is linked with the Freethinkers and Freemasons of the 18th century, such as Voltaire. Reflections of it are also found in the founding documents of the American Republic. Basically, it teaches, like the ancient Sophists, that "man is the measure of all things." It recognizes no objective, divine standard.

It is Secular Humanism that wishes to push Christianity out of the public sphere, as a consequence of which, among other things, immorality increases its grip upon society to cause mass murders, all kinds of sexual depravity, predatory business, etc. We see modern-day examples of these on the front page of today's paper: Congressman Condit's adulterous affairs with numerous women and perhaps even murder of one; Bill Gates' condemnation for trying to run his competitors out of business for greed.

You may have been thinking of Humanism in the sense of the Christian Humanism that revitalized Christianity in the Renaissance, based upon the Catholic Faith and Greco-Roman culture, which produced one of the greatest outbursts of art, music, literature, architecture, and high culture.

July 13, 2001 -- St. Anacletus, Pope & Martyr (Semidouble)

From the News....

WorldNet Daily
Cleveland Diocese Gives Grant to Abortion Rights Group
And Lies about It!

The Diocese of Cleveland has given a $30,000 grant to an Ohio grass-roots organization with ties to a national abortion-rights group. The Cleveland Diocese made the gift to a group called Grassroots Leadership Development Program/Organize! Ohio. That group was in turn affiliated with the National Abortion Rights Action League. The Cleveland Diocese also made a $30,000 donation to the same group last year, prompting protests from local Catholics. Despite those protests, however, the Diocese repeated its donation again this year to the National Abortion Rights Action League of Ohio (NARAL), "the political arm of the pro-choice movement in Ohio." NARAL does not appear on Organize! Ohio's list of members this year.

Washington Post, July 12, 2001
Vatican Quashes Weakland; Archbishop's Schismatic Tendencies Exposed

Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, of Milwaukee, has over the years tangled with the Vatican on such issues as abortion and the role of women in the church. Now, just months before his mandatory retirement, he is battling over where to put an altar and just how prominent an organ's pipes can be. The technical details of a church renovation that was to be Weakland's swan song have assumed a larger dimension after a Roman curial department took the unusual step last month of intervening on behalf of local opposition to the changes at the 148-year-old Milwaukee cathedral, St. John the Evangelist Church.

[Weakland exposed once again the schismatic tendencies against the Roman Catholic Church that have marked his tenure, saying:] "We are not a corporation with head offices in Rome and branch offices around the world; we are not a military body; we are not a monarchy." He said he had stoutly defended the $10 million renovation "because, at this particular moment of history, it is my obligation to insist on the rights and duties of a local bishop in the Catholic Church."

Critics of the project [who, according to a Milwaukee radio poll, number 98.2%], which is scheduled to be completed by February, shortly before Weakland retires from a post he has held since 1977, have said it diminishes the majesty of the church and runs afoul of canon law. They also said that Weakland is in violation of church law by allowing work to continue. Workers recently dismantled a granite canopy and removed pews. "He hasn't been obedient. They told him to stop."

Fr. Moderator Comments.

This man reminds one of what Our Lord was condemning in last Sunday's Gospel:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to mean beautiful but within are full of dead men's bones and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just: but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matthew 23:27-28/DR).

You can be sure that if some traditional Catholic went to a Traditional Latin Mass not personally approved by Weakland, the condemnation for not "obeying Rome" would be non-stop. Of course, when it comes time for Weakland himself to obey Rome, that whole concept is rejected out of hand. But what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

That is why "indult" Catholics are long overdue to reject the phony "authority" and "approval" of Novus Ordo bishops whose goal in life is to suppress the last vestige of traditional Roman Catholicism. Most of these Novus Ordo bishops are interested only in playing power politics, with themselves as the beneficiaries. They're no different from the mediaeval bishops they so detest, or the governor and president who thought that his "exalted" office allowed him to prey on women and then call down on himself the wrath of God by lying under oath.

July 12, 2001 -- St. John Gualbert, Abbot (Double)

The State of the Church

From: Fr. Malachi Martin, Interview "The Kingdom of Darkness," ca. 1995

It's very hard for people to realize that the real Church is now underground and that what we have is a facade, which Christ has deserted.... Anybody in the Catholic Church today can see in the facade, in the appearance, all the elements that were there in 1950: pope, bishops, cardinals, priests, nuns, newspapers, seminaries, institutes, publishing houses, missions, religious orders of nuns and priests. The facade is there. The terrible thing is: what most people cannot allow themselves to admit is that it is an illusion. The organization as it was then does not exist now.
Is an underground Church justified under these circumstances? Absolutely. If the only way that you can have your children go to Confession and Holy Communion, and you can hear Mass at least once a month, and receive the Body and Blood of Christ, truly, once a month, there is no question in my mind, because without that you're not going to save your soul. You won't get Sanctifying Grace.
So we're in a situation there where the institutional Church does not necessarily line up with the body of Christ. No, it does not. And remember that at the time of the Arians, as [Cardinal] Newman pointed out in his examination of the Arian heresy. What restored the Church -- remember, first of all, the Arian heresy had attracted 81% of the bishops -- Newman points out that the people who saved the Church, who finally got rid of the Arians, were not the clergy, not the pope, but the people, in their faith, finally shed them as alien material. It took three or four hundred years.... It was as pernicious as that. Similarly here, too, it will be the people themselves, God in the people, who will reject them, but then they have to turn to the lawful authority of the Church, when there is a lawful authority that consents to exercising its responsibilities and tells the people the truth of revelation.

July 10, 2001 -- Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs, & Companions, Virgins & Martyrs (Semidouble)

False Ecumenism not Part of Magisterium

From: Todd

I am currently debating someone about the issue of modern ecumenism, and I am trying to prove that the ecumenism that is practiced by the current Vatican is not part of the ordinary magisterium. Can you give me a definition of "Ordinary Magisterium" and whether ecumenism falls under it? Do we as Catholics owe assent of mind and will to the ecumenical teachings of the post-Vatican II Church?

The individual also stated that the Church's current position on ecumenism is simply an example of doctrinal development, not a contradiction of past Church teachings. Can ecumenism as being taught today be a result of doctrinal development?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The modernistic false "ecumenism" cannot be part of the Ordinary Magisterium (the consistent doctrinal teaching of the Church from the Apostles) as the post-Vatican II form of "ecumenism" directly contradicts the very clear teaching of previous popes and councils. Therefore, the continuum of teaching that is necessary back to Catholic and Apostolic teaching is broken.

By the way, you know that you are dealing with an heretical argument, because the very notion of "doctrinal development" is condemned by the popes, as it is contrary to the Apostolic constitution of the Church. This is a very common and serious error among Novus Ordoites, arising from a Protestantized concept of the Faith.

Which Bible Is Most Literal?

From: Andrea

I'm wondering which version or edition of the Bible is used by Catholic scholars and theologians. I'm curious as to which edition has the most accurate translation to the original Greek and Hebrew texts.

Fr. Moderator Replies.

Because of corruption of the Greek and Hebrew texts, the Church has consistently held for the superiority of St. Jerome's Vulgate Latin version. St. Jerome had access to Greek and Hebrew versions that are no longer extant (the earliest Greek manuscripts, for instance, are from the 5th century, whereas St. Jerome was working earlier than that). Moreover, St. Jerome spoke, wrote, and understood all three sacred languages, a skill lacking any scholar of the modern day. The most literal version of the Vulgate is the Douay-Rheims, which antedates a bit the King James Version.

July 9, 2001 -- Ferial Day

Broken Promise

From: Jeff

I think that the biggest problem conservative Novus Ordo Catholics have with criticizing the Novus Ordo in any way has to do with Christ's promise to protect his Church from "the gates of hell." They feel that since the Novus Ordo has been approved and, practically speaking, is the rite of the Church, then it must be supported. By admitting that the Novus Ordo is detrimental to our faith as Catholics would be to admit that "the gates of hell" have indeed taken over the Church. How can you counter this mentality?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Isn't that in fact what Pope Paul VI said, that "the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God," an opinion that he repeated just before his death in 1978?

It is really a question of divine authority. Christ gave no authority to the pope or anyone else to compose a "worship service" and replace the Apostolic liturgies with it. Quite the contrary. Vatican I, a dogmatic council, made it clear that the pope had no authority to innovate upon Apostolic Tradition. Moreover, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church called any pope that would do such a thing to be by that very act and attitude schismatic.

Christ also said (Luke 18:8/DR): "But yet the Son of Man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you faith on earth?" That, taken with numerous other scriptural passages, seems to indicate that the Church will finally be reduced to a remnant. Traditional Catholics holding to the Deposit of Faith and the Apostolic liturgies may well be that remnant.

In the 4th century, most of the bishops and perhaps even a pope were heretics. Did that mean that the gates of hell had prevailed against the Church? Of course not. Does the fact that most have today have fallen away from the true Roman Catholic Mass into a bastardized, Protestantized worship service mean that the gates of hell have prevailed? Of course not.

Don't forget: at one point there were as few as eleven or so Catholics. And those eleven converted the Roman Empire. Our Lord looks to quality, not quantity. The Deposit of Faith, Christ's teaching, exists objectively, whether ecclesiastics in any age are true to it or not.

True Charity

From: Russell

Our Lord has blessed me with a public denunciation (in a Novus Ordo church at a Sunday Mass and by name, no less) for "sinning against the unity of the Church" by holding to the traditional Catholic faith. Whatever my words were over whatever period of time, friends and their children have stopped going to the New Order Worship Service and started traveling quite some distance to go to the Traditional Latin Mass.

A monsignor phoned me to tell me how I would go to hell for turning people from the Church, etc., etc., ad nauseam. I was able only to ask him to promise me his prayers, as I would assure him of mine, and to promise him faithfully that he could be sure that his parishioners who left would hear no false and Protestant doctrine where they now go.

I must confess to one small lapse against charity, viz., I did say that nobody could accuse any traditional Catholic of defrauding good Catholic souls of their spiritual birthright. I asked him if he could confidently say the same of his fellow presbyters.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Our Lord didn't mince any words when confronted by the malice of the Pharisees. Naturally, we don't want to engage in hateful speech and wish personal malice upon anyone. However, it is no sin to stand up for the Faith and debate with conviction against those who, with malice (just listen to this presbyter's words; not the lovey-dovey Novus Ordo "charity" for you as a traditional Catholic, eh?), would deprive you, your family, and friends, of their Faith.

Obviously, your courageous stand and refusal to be "obedient" to error has hit this Novus Ordo presbyter hard. Perhaps you will be the cause of his rethinking his complicity with the New Order. Yours is a good example of why I say that, like Christ and His Apostles, it is much more effective to kick the dust off your shoes and leave the New Order rather than try to compromise through "indults" and half-measures. As the Fraternity of St. Peter found out, when you attempt a Mephistopholean "deal," a scorcher awaits!

July 8, 2001 -- Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Semidouble)

Home Chapels Win Federal Court Victory

From: Thomas

Here is some good news for those who maintain small chapels or missions from private homes.

Couple Wins Religious Freedom Case
By Stephen Singer
The Associated Press AP-NY-07-06-01 2318EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A federal judge said town officials violated a couple's religious freedoms by limiting the number of people who could attend prayer meetings at their home.
Citing zoning rules, town officials in New Milford said Robert and Mary Murphy could only have 24 people besides family members at their home. Neighbors in the community 65 miles southwest of Hartford had complained about cars parked on the dead-end street.
The Murphys, who had invited up to 40 participants to prayer meetings they began seven years ago, said the order violated their constitutional rights to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons ordered officials to stop enforcing the limit. "We thank God the Constitution is working," Mary Murphy said Friday.
The Murphys were represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, a legal group that focuses on family and religious issues. "This ruling sends an important message that the government cannot act as the 'prayer police' and censor legal and lawful religious expression," said Vince McCarthy, an attorney for the Murphys.

A Youth Responds

From: Joseph

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I've never written you before, but I read your comments every day, and I learn so much from them. Thank you! Your site is one of those that really was a great information source when I found out there was more to being Catholic than the fluffy Novus Ordo was telling me.

I just want to comment that I was 22 years old when I first discovered the totality of faith last year, and it was so refreshing for me. The Novus Ordo is just unappealing to me -- entirely. I was afraid of losing my faith in the Church -- the youth hunger for the traditional faith. All we need is to know that it's out there and that it truly is different from what we've been taught, and we will go after it!

The saddest thing is the way the Novus Ordo bishops handle the Traditional Latin Mass, which, even if they allow one in their diocese, they pretend doesn't exist. They never mention it. Thank the Lord, we are not reliant upon Novus Ordo bishops, but have a number of independent and traditional-organization priests who offer Mass throughout the country.

From what we were taught at Novus Ordo CCD classes growing up, you would think that the Church was only 30 years old! No mention is ever made of the ~2000 years of church history from Christ until now. It really gets to be too much if I think about it for too long.

Another sad thing reflective of our culture today: when people ask me whether I "go to church," and I reply that I am a Roman Catholic and go to the Traditional Latin Mass, the reply I often get is "oh yeah, we have a Mass in Spanish in our church too -- so you know Spanish?" Wow, the ignorance!

July 7, 2001 -- Sts. Cyril & Methodius, Bishops & Confessors (Double)

Stand up and Be Counted

From: Douglas

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Father, I am old, but I keep interested and aggravated at what is going on with the Church. It seems that only older men are interested in saving the Church. If younger people don't start reading and getting interested, all will be lost. We older people cannot do it all for them.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

I think that things are more optimistic than that. There is a real kulturkrieg going on now, and more and more people are speaking up against the junk culture of the modern world in favor of the enduring values of classical and Christian culture.

I am getting more and more messages from people who, having no experience of the Traditional Latin Mass, are fed up with the New Order Worship Service and coming over to the traditional side. I have seen estimates as high as 15,000,000 for traditional Catholics in the United States. That would be 25% of the number of purported Catholics in the United States, only 20% of whom attend Mass on any basis. Thus, there could be more actual traditional Catholics attending Mass than Novus Ordoites!

As to the youth, the biggest increase at the Traditional Latin Mass is not the old, but the young, who have previously had no experience of it. To quality youth, who are not afraid to go against the lowest common denominator of society, the Novus Ordo Worship Service does not not speak to them; it is merely silly and devoid of substance.

But remember that as an older man, the youth are looking to you for guidance. They have not have enough experience of life to know what is quality. You need to teach them about their Faith and its glorious history to counter the nonsense one hears these days about the Crusades (didn't the Church save Europe from an Mohammedan invasion?), Galileo (didn't the Church strongly support his work until he thought that he had become a biblical prophet?), and slavery (didn't the Church suppress slavery in the Catholic countries long before the Anglo-American countries did?).

What Is a Mystery?

From: Bob

Dear Fr. Moderator:

I am interested in exploring the idea of mystery. I think that the etymology and background of the word may help me to understand better what we are referring to when we say mystery.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Mystery comes from the Greek mysterion, which in turn is based upon the root mystes, meaning a religious initiate. The reference is to the so-called "mystery religions" of ancient society. One had to be initiated into these religions to learn their secrets. Ceremonies were restricted to initiates and were secret.

Initiates took an oath not to reveal anything about the ceremonies. These mystery religions came from the East (those based on Isis and Osiris from Egypt, those based on Mithras from Persia, etc.). In many ways, these ancient mystery religious are very similar to the modern Freemasonic ceremonies, which are also secret and kept under oath.

Christianity rejected the notion of secrecy and proclaimed its message publicly to all nations. Eventually, as the ancient mystery religions faded and Christianity became the religion of the Roman empire, the word mysterion came to be associated with the Sacraments of the Church (sacramentum in Latin).

July 6, 2001 -- On the Octave of Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles (Greater Double)

A Watershed Year

From: Douglas

Dear Fr. Moderator:

Did the world go crazy in 1965, or did God unleash Satan and his demons on the world as prophesied? I may have my dates slightly off, but it all happened around about this time:

Whoever thought this up obviously got this program right, to destroy Christendom and western civilization.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

I have always considered, for convenience, November 22, 1963, the assassination of John Kennedy, to be the watershed between a stable, western, classical society and, as the French say, apres le deluge. Not that there is ever any such clear dividing line in historical trends, but that one is good as an approximation.

You have pointed to what I have been long been describing with the three-legged milkstool analogy. Stability in society is generally based on three foundations: church and morality, state, and family. One one fails, the stool falls. There have been troubled periods in past history, but rarely has one involved the instability of all three foundations.

During the French Revolution, for example, the state was undermined (by the Reign of Terror). During the 14th century, the Church was undermined (by the desertion of the papacy from Rome to France). The closest parallel to the current period, in which the foundations of Church, state, and family are all undermined, is the late Roman empire, before the fall.

As a way of comprehending this situation from a Catholic point of view, I highly recommend the British Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc's "The Crisis of Civilization." For further information, see the Library of Files for FAQ5: What Traditional Books Do You Recomment?

Writing in the 1930s, Belloc clearly sees that with the loss of Catholic religious unity, the takeover of the small landowner and guildsman by huge monopolies, and the runaway imposition of usury upon the populace by now international banking and credit institutions, our society will fall, unless it can restore the Catholic principles that maintained the place of the individual, weaned Catholic society off slavery (Catholic countries were free before Protestant ones), and prevented economic monopolism against wage-slaves.

Belloc, thus, foresaw the suppression of the independent farmer under the agricultural megacorporations, the layoffs of large segments of the population after corporate consolidations, the rampant immorality under the guise of secularism, and large-scale debt of citizens under usurious credit-card and loan rates.

A Christian Burial

From: Louis

Dear Fr. Moderator:

You mentioned that funeral parlors do "gruesome things to preserve the dead body (embalming, funereal cosmetics, etc.)". What's the proper Catholic method for preparing our body for a funeral? Should it just be cleaned and dressed up?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

In the early 1960s Jessica Mitford exposed a scandal in the funeral "industry," after which a number of corrections were made. There is not the pressure to embalm any longer (it never was legally required, just pushed by the industry to get more money). The body can simply be refrigerated until it is interred or entombed.

My personal opinion, from some experience at funerals, is that all this artificial preservation of the body is contrary to a basic Catholic sense. The ancient Jewish practice was (and still is) to bury on the same day. The living remaining are not to focus upon the dead body, but rather upon prayer for the soul of the departed, and meditation upon our own end and our preparation for it by our meriting of beatitude through the Faith and the Christian virtues.

A plain, closed casket with a black pall should generally be sufficient. This method is also much less expensive, and expense is a justification often used these days for the anti-Catholic practice of cremation.

July 5, 2001 -- St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria, Confessor (Double)

Bigger than Abortion

From: Herm

Dear Fr. Moderator:

What has happened to the Roman Catholic clergy?

The Washington Times, July 3, 2001
Abortion Support Fails
By Gary Pierce, Inside Politics
An ABC News/Beliefnet poll released yesterday showed support for legal abortion in the United States slipping to its lowest level since the survey began in 1995. The poll, conducted by telephone from June 20 to 24, found that just over half, or 52 percent, of Americans said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, down from 59 percent in January. Forty-three percent said it should be illegal in all or most cases, the highest number since the poll started asking the question in 1995. The January poll found 39 percent opposed in all or most cases.
Religious beliefs or affiliation played a large role in respondents' views on abortion, the poll found.... Roman Catholics, whose leaders have assumed a leading role in opposing abortion, mirrored the public at large in their views, with 55 percent saying it should generally be legal.

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The simple answer is that the clergy you call "Roman Catholic" are not Roman Catholic. Nor, for that matter, are the majority of Novus Ordoite laypeople in the poll.

One conclusion that can easily be drawn is that the clergy of the Novus Ordo apparatus have lost the trust of their congregations, so that the congregations no longer take them seriously. Anyone who has been to a Novus Ordo Worship Service can seem ample evidence of why the Novus Ordo clergy would not be taken seriously by their congregations.

It is clear now, more than ever before, that the New Ordo Apparatus, which has taken control of the Catholic Church, has strayed far from the traditional Faith. This includes virtually every bishop, just as it did in the Great Arian Heresy of the 4th century. The impact upon Catholics' knowledge of their Faith and morals is too obvious for anyone to doubt.

Vatican II, called by Pope Paul VI satanic, has obviously been the most horrific challenge to the Catholic Faith yet. It is coming close to destroying Catholic faith and morality.

You speak of abortion, but what about rampant blasphemy (an even worse sin), sexual immorality of all kinds, covetousness of money and possessions? Abortion is only a small fraction of what is going on, even among Catholics, which cries to God for justice.

The New Sabbath

From: Nathaniel

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A Protestant friend of mine said that we have incurred a grave sin against the Ten Commandments because we do not observe Saturday as a Sabbath. Is there any biblical basis for this?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Your Protestant friend hasn't been reading his Bible! Saturday was the Sabbath under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant, Sunday is the Lord's Day, as clearly indicated in the Acts of the Apostles (20:7). The veil of the temple was rent in two to symbolize the division of the covenants and the future inapplicability of the old Jewish ceremonial law.

Marring the Body

From: Cynthia

Dear Fr. Moderator:

As regards to our bodies being the temples of the Holy Ghost, why has the Church permitted the Saints' bodies to be dismembered and/or displayed in public when, clearly, the Church's teaching obliges us not to mar our bodies and to bury the dead?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

Morally, the two cases are entirely different. In the one case, you are talking of a living body, which is being defaced in some way. In the other case, you are talking about a dead body that would eventually return to dust.

Such preservation of the remains of the Saints began in the early Church, when the remains of the bodies butchered in martyrdom were being collected to be interred. It is not surprising that, out of reverence, sometimes small parts of the remains were kept and treasured, just as a parent nowadays might keep a lock of a child's hair or tooth in a locket to show off to others. Our modern society is even worse than that: we have people trying to tear the very clothes and arms off the bodies of living people -- movie stars, rock stars, and whatever!

Moreover, what does our modern society do? Instead of at least having some reverence for a small relic that represents the venerated Saint, we do all kinds of gruesome things to preserve the dead body (embalming, funereal cosmetics, etc.). Or, in a disgusting disrespect to the body, burn it to a crisp like the pagans and cast it to the winds or into the sea.

Very often, when we look back with the broadest view, we find that the ancient and mediaeval societies in the end were much more respectful and reverent toward human values, and it is rather our modern society that is corrupt and disrespectful toward those values.

I think that you have a very provocative counterattack, next time you talk to that Protestant friend!

July 3, 2001 -- Leo II, Pope & Confessor (Semidouble)

An Inside Report from the Vatican

From: Fr. Moderator

In the recent SSPX/Vatican contretemps, a source indicates that lifting the so-called Lefrebvre "excommunications" was not much of a bargaining issue since it was pretty much a no-brainer. The big thorn was the issue of the restrictions on the Traditional Mass.

One cardinal in particular stood out as an opponent on this issue. His identify may be a surprise to many: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who, time and again, has been a paper tiger when push comes to shove. He'll say traditional-sounding things as long as it sells his books (and doesn't he seem to have been writing a lot these days?), but when action is required, he is nowhere to be found. (See the Commentary just below.)

The Vatican remembers enough theology to know that restoring the Traditional Mass requires a virtual total abrogation of Vatican II and is afraid that Novus Ordoite Catholics, now that they have tired of Vatican II and the loss of their true faith, would flock back to the Traditional Latin Mass in huge numbers, and the Vatican doesn't want that to happen.

Traditional Priest Stands up against Bishop -- and Wins!

From: Fr. Moderator

I am often asked what would happen if the Traditional Latin Mass were brought back completely to the parishes. Would the Novus Ordoists revolt? Would the churches empty? Well, here is a case study of what happened when just such a thing occurred.

Note that when the courageous priest in question reverts to the Traditional Latin Mass, the bishop castigates him, Cardinal Ratzinger sends a letter of support with no teeth, but the people rise up against the bishop in full and heartfelt support of their traditional priest -- and win the day. My personal opinion is that this is how the Catholic restoration will be achieved -- not from Catholics cowed into being "obedient" to the unCatholic Novus Ordo, not from the Vatican bureaucrats, and certainly not from the Novus Ordoist bishops, but from the people, who revolted even against Pope St. Gregory the Great when he proposed to touch the sacred Canon of the Mass.

Here it was the laypeople of the parish who confronted the bishop and demanded the true Mass. Mirabile dictu, the bishop backed down from his Novus Ordoist position! One can only wonder what would happen if the laypeople simply demanded the true Mass from their bishop and wouldn't take no for an answer. I have no doubt that most bishops would simply not risk the embarrassment of a confrontation and the loss of collection monies, but would restore the Traditional Latin Mass.

And that is another reason that the "indult" Mass is not ultimately a good solution. It simply allows the bishops to maintain control of the situation and to eke out a "Latin Mass" (often it isn't a Traditional Latin Mass) or two here or there, often corrupted with features added from the Novus Ordo. The current state of the Church does not call for compromising away our Faith in the name of false obedience to what is not Catholic, but instead standing firm, even against errant bishops.

Traditional Priest Stands up against Bishop - and Wins!
Il Giornale
January 18, 2001
Andrea Tornelli, our correspondent in Sessa Aurunca (Caserta), Italy
Father Louis Demornex, the parish priest, ... is responsible for the souls, in addition to those in his own parish [Sessa Aurunca], of those in the parishes of two other districts Corigliano and Aulpi.... This priest, who lives in real poverty ("I have nothing, my only riches are in the Tabernacle"), from the first of February, 2000, to be exact, began to celebrate the Sunday Mass in his three parishes according the ancient Tridentine rite that was [universally] in force until the Second Vatican Council. Missal of St. Pius V, prayers strictly in Latin, back to the people, Gregorian chant.
Father Louis wrote three letters to his parishioners, to explain his decision. He explained that at first it was the lack of respect towards the Eucharist which characterized, in his opinion, the new rite : "Today the consecrated fragments are profaned, the particles fall on the floor and are trampled underfoot. And then the priest does not purify his hands, or washes them and throws out the water...All that reminds one of a woman who throws her newborn child into the garbage. Whoever does this, either no longer believes that each fragment is Jesus Christ whole and entire, and that is heretical. Or they do believe and that is sacrilege."
Father Demornex made his momentous decision therefore on a matter of principle: "I cannot say Mass turned toward the people - he says - it distracts me, I risk losing my recollection...." For three months nothing happened. Even if in the churches of Fontanaradina, Corigliano and Aulpi the clock seems to have been turned back thirty years the attendance at Sunday Mass remains high. Some parishioners protest, others go to Mass elsewhere. Some, however, begin to come from neighbouring communities.
Then on May 6th past, a Saturday, the bishop of Sessa Aurunca, Antonio Napoletano, intervenes. As was predictable, he summons the portly priest from the mountain in order to deliver a letter to him, in which he accuses him of carrying out his pastoral duties in "a backward-looking and archaic manner". "I have learned," writes the bishop - that you are wandering openly away from the liturgical dispositions now in force" and are celebrating "the Eucharist with your back turned to the people of God, contravening the apostolic Constitution of Paul VI through which the reformed Missal was promulgated in keeping with the norms of the Council". Conclusion: "I invite you to review your behaviour and also your incardination in the diocese of Sessa Aurunca.... Otherwise your are free to choose another diocese which better suits your ideas". A clear invitation to change his ways or pack his bags....
The reaction of the faithful was unexpected and surprising: weeping, embraces, pleas to change his mind. The young, having just left the church, jumped in their cars and began to collect signatures in support of the priest. In scarcely two hours they collected 400 (Corrigliano has 600 inhabitants), while at Sessa Aurunca 800 signed. "First when Fr. Louis came - the letter written in the hand of the parishioners read - there were few people who went to Mass, very few frequented the sacraments. Now the participation is massive, there is great catechesis taking place, Catholic Action has been revived, so many devotions considered by many to be pastimes for the elderly which instead are aids along the road of Faith"....
The faithful insisted, organized protests in front of the Chancery of Sessa Aurunca, asking for a meeting with the bishop. Monsignor Napolitano said to them: "I did not send him away". So, after barely eight days of "exile" and so may pleas from the parishioners, the priest went back. And he continues to this day celebrating, undisturbed, the Traditional Latin Mass.
"I taught the young people to follow it and they do it willingly - explains Fr. Louis. For me the important thing is not the ancient rite, but what it contains. With the Mass of Saint Pius V it was the Church which celebrated in you. The new Mass, on the other hand, does not exist, because everyone celebrates it in his own way, with creativity, introducing variations". ...
"Since I have been saying the old Mass again I am rejuvenated.... Please, do not say that I am a follower of Monsignor Lefebvre, because it is not true. I do not belong to any party. I am and want to be, by God's grace, simply a Catholic".
Among the letters which Fr. Louis has placed on the table of the little kitchen with the cracked walls there is one missive of solidarity which arrived from the Vatican. It is from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who in his autobiography (La mia vita, San Paolo Editor, 1997) affirms: "I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today results in large part from the collapse of the liturgy...The liturgical reform has produced extremely grave damage for the Faith".
"Yes, I wrote to the Cardinal to tell him my story and the motives which drove me to celebrate with the old Missal. And he replied to me". On the 15th of July, the prince of the Church, who is the custodian of Catholic orthodoxy replied to him personally, to the priest , with the sandals who lives in the cold and bare "Nazareth" of Fontanaradina. "Your letter struck and moved me, the reply from Ratzinger to Fr. Demornex reads. What you say about the laicization of priests, about liturgical anarchy, and about the many profanations of the Eucharist is unfortunately true...."

Novus Ordo out of Synch Again

From: Fr. Moderator

It seems that the Novus Ordo is again out of synch even with its ecumenical brothers (oops - sisters), who are, it seems, now "getting religion," while the Novus Ordo loses it.

The Reform Jewish Conference has apparently seen the disaster of its past liberalist policies on Judaism and is now putting "renewed emphasis on tradition and the study of Hebrew." Meanwhile, the Novus Ordo rejects tradition (thus rejecting the truly Catholic Faith) and certainly has not been in the forefront of encouraging the study of Latin, which is skyrocketing in spite of the Novus Ordo.

The liberalist Reform Jews are the largest group of Jews, followed by the Conservatives, then the Orthodox. Modern Judaism has become so split over doctrinal and liturgical issues (sound familiar?) that the Orthodox Jews don't even consider the Reform Jews to be Jews!

Of course, the same was true in biblical times. The Jews were split into Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Essenes, Zealots, and any number of other sects. It was only Rome that was united, and, for all the carping that some (not all) of the Jews did against their Roman rulers, Rome gave Judaea what little peace it ever had.

How Do We Know?

From: Diana

Dear Fr. Moderator:

How do we know that Our Lord wants the Traditional Latin Mass said? I have tried to explain my reasons for wanting to attend the Traditional Latin Mass and have been called "dissident."

Fr. Moderator Replies:

So was Our Lord, and that certainly didn't make Him wrong!

We know what is the true Mass because that is what the Church, including the popes, have taught for 2000 years. It is the Apostolic Mass, and, as we know, the Church must be Apostolic -- it is one of the four marks of the true Church.

We know for a fact that it is the Mass of the Apostolic See, founded in Rome by Sts. Peter & Paul.

We know for a fact that the New Order Worship Service was concocted by a suspected Freemason in conjunction with six Protestant ministers. The Novus Ordo Worship Service is, therefore, clearly not Apostolic, but condemned, most recently by Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Pius XII, and even Paul VI, who called it satanic.

We know for a fact that obedience is not a virtue if one is obeying evil. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church, including St. Thomas Aquinas, taught that a Catholic must resist bishops and even popes when they are in error. They also teach that a pope that would attempt to impose a non-Apostolic worship upon the Church is a schismatic.

Your "interrogators" better get busy defending their position. Yours is ironclad.

July 1, 2001 -- Feast of the Most Precious Blood (Double of the First Class)

A Secret Work

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

A story was passed on to me regarding Allegri's Miserere. Evidently this musical piece was so cherished by the Church, that copies of it were forbidden to be reproduced. Mozart heard this composition one time and transcribed it from memory. The rest as they say, is history. Is there any truth to this account?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

You probably heard the story on TRADITIO, as I wrote on it not too long ago!

For over three centuries, Gregorio Allegri's Miserere, a polyphonic setting of Psalm 50, has been sung at dawn during Holy Week, while the Pope kneels in prayer in the candlelit Sistine Chapel. Mozart attended and later transcribed the 15 minutes of music from memory. The popes had not allowed the score to be published because it was too "spiritually stimulating." It is truly a hauntingly beautiful piece.

Mozart, who is regarded among the greatest of classical composers for his wealth of wonderful symphonies, concerti, Masses, operas, and quartets, said that he would gladly exchange all his music for the fame of having composed only the Gregorian chant for the Preface of the Holy Mass (Vere dignum et iustum est....).

A Patriot?

From: Tom

Dear Fr. Moderator:

In the film The Patriot, the Mel Gibson character marries the sister of his deceased spouse. Is this permitted?

Fr. Moderator Replies:

The impediment of what is known as "affinity," that is, impediments arising from a relationship with the relatives of one's spouse, even dead, is a complicated area in law. Sometimes the precedents of Roman law and Jewish law are not quite the same, and the ecclesiastical practices have differed.

For all practical purposes, marriage in the direct line of affinity, e.g., the mother or daughter of the wife, is prohibited. Marriage in the first degree of the collateral line, which would include one's sister-in-law, can be dispensed from for just cause.

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