Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nostra Aetate: A Clear Decree? - Louie Verrecchio

One thing that is needed in today's Catholic Church is clarity.

However, as long as the majority of the hierarchy is unable to challenge its cultural assumptions concerning the Second Vatican Council and the reforms that were implemented afterwards, a lack of clarity will remain.

Mr. Verrecchio's article (below) shows one area where there is a definite lack of clarity since the council.

Nostra Aetate: A Clear Decree?

Courtesy of Mr. Louie Verrecchio

In an interview with Catholic News Service on May 17, 2012, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, said,“The ‘Nostra Aetate’ declaration of the Second Vatican Council is a clear decree and is important for every Catholic.”
We’ll take a closer look at this notion of “clear” in just a moment.

Monday, December 30, 2013

O Schism Where Is Thy Sting? - Mr. Louie Verrecchio

Archbishop Muller has made a statement in a newspaper that in spite of the lifting of the excommunication that the sacramental one remains de facto for the schism:

“The canonical excommunication due to the illicit [episcopal] ordination was lifted from the bishops, but the sacramental one remains, de facto, for the schism; because they have removed themselves away from communion with the Church.”
Personally, I find this very puzzling, where was the formal declaration of a schism (I know a number will point to Ecclesia Adflicta, however that is a problem for a number of reasons).

Frankly, Pope Benedict XVI (emeritus) stated that the SSPX is an internal matter and there are numerous other statements to demonstrate that the SSPX is not in schism - but a state of canonical irregularity.

Perhaps His Grace is simply not being exact in his wording.

Mr Verrecchio provides a good assessment of the situation.


SSPX Rosary Crusade - Mundabor Comments

Given Pope Francis' aversion to counting rosaries, I think Mundabor's comments are to the point:

From Mundabor's blog:

... please note the following: 
1. As Francis invites you not to pray by rote, and ridicules those who count rosaries, it is the more important we react to this devotional barbarism by increasing our efforts not only to pray the Rosary, but to reestablish Tradition.  
2. From the site:...The insertion of the consecration of Russia will certainly be welcome to many of us, and might persuade the one or the other to join this crusade who are not the best fans of the SSPX.
3. ...The aim is 5 million rosaries. Just think: all that rosary counting!
This is more than enough to let the heart of a good Catholic rejoice.
Keep calm, and count your rosaries.

SSPX Rosary Crusade - 2014

Join the Rosary Crusade!

A new Rosary Crusade launched by the SSPX

The 5-million Rosary Crusade for 2014 announced recently by Bishop Bernard Fellay (SSPX Superior General) begins on January 1, 2014 and runs until June 8, 2014.
The three-fold object of this Rosary Crusade for the good of the entire Catholic Church is:
  • To implore from the Immaculate Heart of Mary a special protection for the traditional apostolate;
  • For the return to Tradition within the Church;
  • For the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the consecration of Russia.
Bishop Fellay has also suggested additional means in which we can add to the spiritual bouquet of rosaries to accomplish this object:
  1. Prayer and penance as asked for at Fatima;
  2. Sanctification through the duty of state;
  3. Spirit of sacrifice in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
In a new video interview, Bishop Fellay speaks of the importance of this Rosary Crusade for the entire Church, while USA District Superior, Fr. Arnaud Rostand, speaks of the importance of having a "crusading spirit" in a special letter.

Anyone can join the Rosary Crusade!

You can use any of these three options for keeping track of the number of rosaries offered:
If you attend an SSPX chapel: Rosary Crusade booklets are available at all of the SSPX's chapels in the USA District. You can also print out any of the above options. Please remember to turn in your rosaries totals directly to your chapel.
If you do not attend an SSPX chapel: please feel free to join the Rosary Crusade! Just print out one of the above options to keep track of your rosaries offered for the Rosary Crusade and submit it to the District Office per the instructions.

Archbishop Muller liturgy reform a success - Commentary by Louie Verrecchio

I think that the words of Archibishop Muller:  'It is precisely, ... an effective remedy against a godless culture', are amazing.

From a purely organizational culture point of view, the Novus Ordo simply indicates a major alteration in the fundamental assumptions held by Catholics.

Up to the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae, it would have been obvious as to what and Who was the focus of the Catholic Religion (God).

Now, with all the changes and communion in the hand, it is no longer that obvious.

Not to mentioned that a CARA study found that those congregations that were founded on more 'traditional' foundations (living in community, religious habit, following rule, strong identity etc) were growing, while those that lacked the above - were dying.

In personal communication with a CARA researcher, I confirmed that the attrition rate of traditional seminaries is about the same with those of the Novus Ordo Liturgy.  However, the influx of generous souls trying their vocation was much higher in the traditional culture.

Here we have an example of a great difference between two cultures - in the same National Cultural atmosphere.  It is a perfect experiment in which only one element is changed, the religious orientation.

I've done some 'back of the napkin' calculations and found that the ordinand to 'people served' ratio of the SSPX is roughly equivalent to that enjoyed by the Church prior to the 70's.

Here's a good article by Dr. Shaw about the stats on ordinations.

Here's a chart from CARA.

The difference is profound, yet few in the hierarchy realize it, or draw the correct conclusions.

I'm afraid that the facts to not agree with Archbishop Muller's conclusion.

Courtesy of Louie Verrecchio

According to a report in the Tablet today, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, credits the Second Vatican Council’s liturgy reform with stemming the tide of the de-Christianization of the West.

Latin Mass Society Chairman Blog: Is the Novus Ordo an authentic expression of the Tradition?

As a follow up to this article.

Courtesy of Dr. Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman

Is the theology of the Vetus Ordo wrong? - Dr. Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman

This analysis by Dr. Shaw is quite apropos as it gets to the heart of some objections to the Tridentine Mass.

Note: I realize that some refer to the 1962 liturgy as Vetus Ordo, ExtraOrdinary Form etc.  Given that the name seems to change (sample =2) with each pontificate, I'm going to stick with Tridentine Mass.

Back in the heady days of the promulation of Summorum Pontificum, there was resistance by the hierarchy to its implementation.  I witnessed this resistance in my own diocese.  One priest stated that he couldn't understand why the bishops were so afraid of the Tridentine Mass.

One bishop in Canada stated that the reason for his resistance was that the Tridentine Mass represented an outmoded theology.

Another went further and stated that it represented the Jewish people in an outmoded theological manner.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

The real danger of the blogosphere is that anyone (present company included) can setup a soap box for their own opinion and pass it off a fact.

Case in point is the article by Professor Robert George (Mr. Verrecchio's comments below).

One element that I would like to highlight is the following:
In particular, the SSPX rejects the teachings of “Dignitatis Humanae” (on religious liberty) and “Nostra Aetate” (on the Jewish people and non-Christian religions).
First there is an error in the citation.  The SSPX, as I understand it, does not 'reject' Nostra Aetate so much as deems it an ambiguous document that can be interpreted in the light of tradition.  In other words, Nostra Aetate doesn't say what many people think it says.

Actually, the word 'reject' is not exactly correct. The theological stance of the SSPX is that there are elements within some of the documents of the Second Vatican Council that logically contradict prior magisterium.  In total there are four points (see below) that are held to be in contradiction.

  • "The doctrine on religious liberty, as it is expressed in no. 2 of the Declaration 'Dignitatis humanae,' contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in 'Mirari vos' and of Pius IX in 'Quanta cura' as well as those of Pope Leo XIII in 'Immortale Dei' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Quas primas.'
  • "The doctrine on the Church, as it is expressed in no. 8 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius XII in 'Mystici corporis' and 'Humani generis.'
  • "The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 of 'Lumen gentium' and no. 3 of the Decree 'Unitatis redintegratio,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the 'Syllabus,' those of Leo XIII in 'Satis cognitum,' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Mortalium animos.'
  • "The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' including no. 3 of the 'Nota praevia' [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution 'Pastor aeternus'."
It is important to note that 'Nostra Aetate' is not within this list.  If Professor George were to present to the SSPX an interpretation of 'Nostra Aetate' that was consistent with prior magisterium, then I submit that the SSPX would have no problem with such an interpretation.

Attached below is Mr. Verrecchio's comments on the article.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Thick Edge of the Wedge: LMS Chairman: Ratzinger on the EF-OF Divide: Silence

Dr. Joseph Shaw has presented an article on silence in the Mass.  For a world enraptured with hyper-activism it is good (nay excellent) to recall that silence and external inactivity is an essential component prior to activity.

In the work if redemption Our Lord was largely silent and yet He was accomplishing the greatest work.

LMS Chairman: Ratzinger on the EF-OF Divide: Silence:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin - July 6, 1988

There has been some discussion (read lots) about the term 'Conciliar Church'.

I have posted this letter written by the Superior General and District Superiors of the SSPX after the 1988 Consecrations.

Of particular interest is that the 'Conciliar Church' being referred to as a system.

My paraphrase would be that the SSPX regards the 'conciliar Church' as an error within the Church.


Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin
Prefect of the Congregation
for Bishops

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thick Edge of the Wedge - The Tridentine Mass

Dr. Shaw has posted an article briefly outlining some of the differences between the Tridentine and Novus Ordo Rites of the Mass.

The way we worship affects the way we believe and has a special bearing in the presence of malevolent external forces.

If the rite of the Mass does not support the Catholic cultural identity, including its set of beliefs, assumptions etc, then the external forces will effect a change in the Catholic culture.

I think that it is safe to write that the external forces acting upon and within the Church (see FFI) are not supportive of the faith as embodied in the Tridentine Mass.

As noted by Cardinal Ottaviani:
The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any; heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery. Ottaviani Intervention
When the barriers were removed, the shift in Catholic Cultural belief began.

This, in my opinion, is one of the reasons why there is such a reaction to anything that signals a return to a culture reminiscent of a strong identity as the True Religion.

As the Church rediscovers its inheritance, rest assured, that trials will follow.  However, it is not for us to be disheartened. We need (as I heard in this mornings sermon) to maintain joy even in tribulation.



Friday, December 13, 2013

Various Churches - A Rebuttal 2

This talk about the "visible Church" on the part of Dom Gerard and Mr. Madiran is childish. It is incredible that anyone can talk of the "visible Church", meaning the Conciliar Church as opposed to the Catholic Church which we are trying to represent and continue. I am not saying that we are the Catholic Church. I have never said so. No one can reproach me with ever having wished to set myself up as pope. But, we truly represent the Catholic Church such as it was before, because we are continuing what it always did. It is we who have the notes of the visible Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. That is what makes the visible Church. - Archbishop Lefebvre
This excerpt from a talk given by Archbishop Lefebvre was recently put forward as a justification for rejecting the explanations of Fr. Laisney et al that phrase 'Conciliar church' refers to a movement within the Church.

While people can sit and debate what is the 'Conciliar church', I prefer to identify where is the Catholic Church.  Because the 'Conciliar church' is a term that if misapplied will ultimately lead a person into schism. Which is actually the content of the original question that resulted in the answer:
Question: Are you not afraid that in the end, when the good Lord will have called you to Him, little by little the split will grow wider and we will find ourselves being confronted with a parallel Church alongside what some call the "visible Church"?
I am currently writing another article in which I will discuss and review the Catholic Church's response to these questions:

  • What is the Catholic Church?
  • Where is the Catholic Church?
  • Who are its members?
  • Who are not its members?
  • What is the Visible Church?

The Chastisement of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI)

The trials of the FFI continues and may provide some insight to what is in store for the other Traditional orders that are regularized.

Rorate has more here, and I am struck by the similarity to the intervention that the FSSP experienced in the year 2000 - or there abouts.

One item that I found particularly intriguing was the desire to have the Friars et al swear an oath:
  "... he wants to impose upon the Friars a “modernistic vow” of faithfulness to the Novus Ordo Missae and to the II Vatican Council ..."
The passage in question is found in the linked letter, here is an extract:

... In addition, candidates for Orders who are presently in formation must personally subscribe to a formal acceptance of:
  • the Novus Ordo as an authentic expression of the liturgical tradition of the Church and therefore of Franciscan tradition (without prejudice to the what is permitted by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, once the current disciplinary decree of veto, ad hoc and ad tempus, is revoked for the Institute), and
  • the documents of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the authority accorded them by the Magisterium.
Any candidate who does not accept these provisions will be immediately dismissed from the ...

What I wondered is whether or not Fr. Volpi would allow the members to substitute the following in lieu of a formal acceptance of the Novus Ordo and the documents of the Second Vatican Council:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Catholic Education - A Treasure Worth Digging For! - Part 2

No sooner did I post the first note on Fisher More and Rorate posts an appeal video from my Alma Mater.

I still look back with fond memories on my years in St. Mary's, Kansas.  Although it was early days for the school, it truly is a place to dig a deep foundation for one's life.

I know that some seeds planted by the good priests and sisters did not bloom until later in life. Yet, I am eternally grateful that they did have the patience to plant them.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Hammer that Strikes the Wedge Home Splitting the Wood - The Sacrament of Penance Part 1

As strange as it may seem this is part 1 of the Sacrament of Penance Articles.

Between the protestant, non-christian religions and the Catholic Religion there stands another significant difference: the Sacrament of Penance.

While the Anglican's believe that confession is merely:

"for the unburdening of his conscience, and to receive spiritual consolation and ease of mind from him" Wikipedia
The remainder of the protestant and non-christian religions, if they include 'confession' hold some variation of this belief.

What Catholics believe stands in stark contrast:
The Sacrament of Penance is that Sacrament by which the sinner, who repents of his sins, acknowledges them sincerely and has the will to render atonement, has his sins, committed after his Baptism, remitted in the absolution pronounced by the priest. The word penance is also used to designate a particular part of the Sacrament of Penance, i.e., the satisfaction. Ott- Fundamentals of Dogma

The crux of the matter  is who God is and our relation to Him as his creatures.  He wants the best for us, which is to share in His happiness. He has set out a path for us to follow to achieve that goal and every time we deviate from that path we are making a statement.

We prefer our will to God's.  It is akin to making an obscene gesture to a person of authority. Only God is the ultimate authority, and it is this ultimate authority that we offend when we sin.

Sadly, if a person doesn't understand the 'who God is' they will not understand the gravity of sin and nor the greatness of the redemption.

This is the 'why' behind the wedge.

If you do not understand who God is you will never understand who you are and your place in creation.

Catholicism places a wedge between us and the world, the flesh and the Devil.

It places all the neutral items into their proper use and those that are evil, on the side opposite of us.

I'm going to truncate my mononlogue on this point, because Divine Providence has provided me with the foundation for this article - right from the Catechism of Trent. In other words, yesterday I reached the section on the Sacrament of Penance. The following are the key excerpts (although I strongly recommend a complete review of the whole article in the Catechism of the Council of Trent).

Interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay, Menzingen, November 2013

Bishop Fellay has issued an interview that contains a clarification on his statements concerning Pope Francis.

I know that when Bishop Fellay spoke the words 'modernist' and 'Pope Francis' in the same sentence a number of people immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion (on both sides of the divide).

The paragraph containing the clarification is reproduced below:

I used the word “modernist;”  I think that it was not understood by everybody.  Perhaps I should have said a modernist in his actions.  Once again, he is not a modernist in the absolute, theoretical sense:  a man who develops a whole coherent system;  that coherence does not exist.  There are lines, for example, the evolutionary line, which is precisely connected with action.  When the pope says that he wants a haziness in doctrine, when doubt is introduced, and not just haziness, but doubt, going so far as to say that even the great leaders of the faith, like Moses, allowed room for doubt….  I know of only one doubt of Moses:  the time when he doubted and struck the rock!  Because of that the Good Lord punished him and he was not able to enter the Promised Land.  Well then!  I do not think that this doubt is to Moses’s credit;  the rest of the time he was rather forceful in his assertions… without a doubt.
It is really surprising, this idea that there must be doubts about everything;  it is very peculiar!  I will not say that this is reminiscent of Descartes, but…  it creates an atmosphere.  And what is really dangerous is that they leave it at that in the newspapers and the media…  He is to some extent the darling of the media, he is well regarded, they praise him, they showcase him, but that does not get to the bottom of the matter.


Letter to Friends and Benefactors #81 and a new Rosary Crusade!

In his latest letter to Friends and Benefactors, Bishop Fellay (SSPX) has called for another crusade.

Personally, I have never stopped including the Rosary Crusade intentions in my family prayers!

Attached below are the letter and the intentions for the Crusade.  Note the letter provides some insight to the plight of the FFI.


2014 Rosary Crusade

January 1st until June 8th 2014
Goal: 5 million Rosaries
1)    To implore from the Immaculate Heart of Mary a special protection for the traditional apostolate;
2)    For the return to Tradition within the Church;
3)    For the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the consecration of Russia.
1)    Prayer and penance as asked for at Fatima;
2)    Sanctification through the duty of state;
3)    Spirit of sacrifice in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Cultural Dissonance, and Immune Responses


When two strong cultures clash in an organization, a war will result.

Analogically, this is an immune response, a fever if you will, in the parent organization.

Which one will win in the end? Ultimately, we have God's word that the Church will not fail.

It doesn't mean that She cannot be made ill by the virus of heresy.

The situation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is, unfortunately, a perfect example of just such an immune response.

The following links provide some insight however it suffices to say that the FFI crossed two cultural lines:

  1. Implementation of the Tridentine Mass as a norm for the conventual Masses.
  2. Beginning to question some of the cultural assumptions regarding the Second Vatican Council.
For this, they are called 'crypto-Lefebvrists' and banned from saying the TLM.

In my opinion God has protected the SSPX from a dangerous situation.  

Pray that they may be strong and guided well in their trial.


A Catholic Education - A Treasure Worth Digging For!

Having benefited from a Traditional Catholic education, I echo the call for support of Fisher More College.

Attached below is a copy of Mr. Vernnari's interview with Dr. King, President of Fish More College. (I hope he doesn't mind ...)

Dig deep and help them monetarily if you can, spiritually regardless of your financial resources.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thick Edge of the Wedge - The Tridentine Mass - Part 9 The New Mass and the Priesthood

Following the cultural theme, the changes in the Church not only altered the Catholic sense of identity in the Church at large but also, and more seriously, the hierarchy.

Those affected by this loss or alteration of their self identity include the Bishops, Priests, Religious and perhaps even the Sovereign Pontiffs.

At the root of this cultural change is the point at which their formation began and one of its primary objects the offering of the True Sacrifice and Worship to God.

Many people are seeking to fill the void created by the loss of this role identity. This would include priestesses, and lay ministers of various sorts, for if there lacks a real difference between the priest and congregation.  Logically, it seems, that these groups are asking why can't others take on the neutered role now associated with the priesthood?

Even the priests themselves seem to have a self identity more akin to a social worker / counselor than that of an Alter Christus.

Nothing can be further from the case.

Even in the Ecclesiastical confusion of today, as difficult as it may be, we must respect the priests and aid them in developing a complete cultural understanding of their identity.

They are neither social workers, nor Sacrament Dispensing Machines.

You can start with small steps: Ask your priest to bless you, kneeing before him. Do not accept an excuse such as 'the Second Vatican Council called for a more active role of the faithful' (I've heard this one directly).

Force the issue, make the priest act the role of a priest.

With practice this will have a beneficial affect on the priest in question, as well as the faithful. They will begin to treat him as a priest, not as a drinking buddy.

Eventually, introduce him to the Tridentine Mass.  This is the strongest culturally reinforcing action that I have seen that works on the priest as he relearns to say the Mass. I have seen this work on a young Jesuit.

I am confident that it will work on others as well.


Courtesy of SSPX.org

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ordinary Time, Ordinary Ministers, Ordinary Everything - A Remnant Article

The following article by a Lutheran convert provides some excellent cultural insights into the identity crisis that the Catholic Church is currently undergoing.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Closer Look at Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiagas Speech - By Louie Verrecchio

A little while ago a speech was given by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiagas, one of the group of eight Cardinals that are advising the Pope on the reform of the Curia (I doubt they will stop there).

Because the buzz words and intermingling of orthodox and modernist terms, the speech set off alarm bells throughout the Catholic world of the 'traditional' minds.

Given the Cardinal's position close to the Vicar of Christ, at a minimum it is feared that he will influence the Pope to the detriment of the Church.  At the worst, this speed reflects the mind of Pope Francis since the Pope himself has stated that he wanted to have helpers of like mind.

Mr. Verrecchio has shared his personal analysis of the speech, which I have combined with the blog posting.

I will add one item to Mr. Verrecchio's analysis, something that occurred to me as I reformated the content for blogger.

There is only one place in which you will find true worship of God, it is in the Catholic Church.  As much as it may offend the ears of some (Catholics and Non-Catholics alike), all other religions offer false worship.
The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship.Pope Pius XI  Encyclical Mortalium Animos
This is a key cultural issue.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Hammer that Strikes the Wedge Home Splitting the Wood - The Sacrament of Penance Part 3 - Instruction and Preparation for Confession



The Hammer that Strikes the Wedge Home Splitting the Wood - The Sacrament of Penance Part 2 Frequent Confession: A Neglected, Undervalued Treasure


Frequent Confession:
A Neglected, Undervalued Treasure.
Pope Pius XII said that the current disuse of the Sacrament of Penance is "contrary to the mind of Christ and very disastrous for the mystical body of the Saviour."
All those who have seriously tried frequent confession know how it can help the interior life - sometimes even more than frequent Communion.  Indeed this latter practice can quite easily degenerate into mere routine and illusion.
What alienates us from frequent confession is often that we have a "negative" outlook.  We see confession only as a "quick sweep" to clean our souls, a duty which one would willingly forego.  If a St. Francis de Sales and a St. Vincent de Paul confessed every day, it was because they had a more "positive" view.
Let us try also to discover some of the wonderful benefits of this neglected Sacrament.  Pope Pius XII in his encyclical "Mystici Corporis" reduces to eight the principal fruits of frequent Confession.

Cultural Wedges - SSPX Article on the differences between Catholic and Protestant

Further along the theme of cultural differences, here is an SSPX article that highlights some of the areas I've been discussing or hinting at.

Courtesy of SSPX.org

This popular 1982 article by Fr. Wrighton demonstrates how the "Spirit of Vatican II” is protestantizing Catholics.


"Roman Protestants" has been one of the most popular articles on SSPX.org as it was when originally published in the August 1982 issue of The Angelus, having "...evoked one of the most positive responses to any feature this year" (as reported in the December 1982 issue).
Note that the subheadings were not in the article's original publication.


Fr. Basil Wrighton (1900-1988) was an English parish priest and noted contributing author on a variety of topics, particularly (but not limited to) on the subjects of philosphy and theology. A classicist by education (which he taught at Cotton College), he was also versed in about 20 languages.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Various Churches - A Rebuttal

I had earlier posted Fr. Laisney's rebuttal of Bishop Williamson's EC281 'Various Churches' and also discussed it as an example of 'FUD'.

I have reproduced below an edited version of replies that I made as part of a discussion that I had on the now defunk Ignis Ardens forum.  While the thread was very long, I have, to date, only been able to locate two parts of my rebuttal / analysis of EC281.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thick Edge of the Wedge: The Tridentine Mass Part 3


While there are a number of Thick Edge posts already on the blog, I have finally found the time to compose this explanation of the importance of this theme.

My theory is that organizational behavior theory (background posts can be found here and here) is applicable to understand how Catholics within the Church can be brought back to a Catholic worldview.  

In essence how to effect a cultural change.

As noted by the title of these articles, I have concluded that the Tridentine Mass is the 'Thick Edge of the Wedge' that separates the Catholics from the Protestants.  The reason being that it embodies in word, action and symbolism the core beliefs and assumptions of the Catholic religion.  I further assert that it is only within the pre-conciliar liturgical forms that a person will find the depth of breadth of this teaching in motion.

Thick Edge of the Wedge : The Tridentine Mass Part 8 - Declaration against the New Mass: Fr. Calmel

Courtesy of SSPX.org

Declaration against the New Mass: Fr. Calmel

November 27, 2013 
District of the US
Written in 1969, the words of Fr. Calmel for resisting the New Mass — and the consequences of taking such a stance — remain just as true today as then.

Declaration of Fr. Calmel, O.P.

November 27, 1969
I hold fast to the traditional Mass, the one which was not composed but codified by St. Pius V in the 16th century as a custom many centuries old. I therefore refuse the Ordo Missæ of Paul VI. Why? Because in reality the Ordo Missæ does not exist. What does exist is a universal and permanent liturgical Revolution, adopted or intended by the present pope, and which has momentarily donned the mask of the Ordo Missæ of April 3, 1969. It is within the right of every priest to refuse to wear the mask of that liturgical Revolution; I consider it my duty as a priest to refuse to celebrate Mass in an equivocal rite.

Thick Edge of the Wedge : The Tridentine Mass Part 7 - Pope Paul’s New Mass: some extracts

Courtesy of SSPX.org

Pope Paul’s New Mass: some extracts

November 27, 2013 
District of the US
Pope Paul's New Mass is one of the most detailed and comprehensive books on the Novus Ordo Missae, or New Mass, in any language.
Masterfully written by traditional apologist, Michael Davies (+2004), this book is part of the 3-volume set that comprises his highly-recommended Liturgical Revolution Series. We offer below some extracts from each chapter of this excellent study concerning the problems of the modernist Liturgical Reform that begot the New Mass.

Extracts from Michael Davies' Pope Paul's New Mass


Thick Edge of the Wedge : The Tridentine Mass Part 6, The New Mass weakens notion of sacrifice

Courtesy of SSPX.org

The New Mass weakens notion of sacrifice

November 28, 2013 
District of the US
Taken from The Mass of All Time, a collection of the words of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we offer some extracts about the defects of the Novus Ordo Missae.
We offer here the first of 3 crucial points of dogma that Archbishop Lefebvre uses to explain some fundamental flaws of the New Mass.

Monday, November 25, 2013

“Where is the New Theology Leading Us?” by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

The crisis in the Church has, I believe, its roots in theological error - heresy (first class or otherwise). Quoting one of the Cardinals who should know  Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga we read:
The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council. On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue. Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person. (Thanks to Rocco Palmo atWhispers in the Loggia for providing the full text of the speech.)
The question that is unanswered is: What a truce declared or victory?  If so, which side 'won'?

To help understand the root (modernism, neo-moderism, 'New Theology') of the crisis, I have reproduced an article by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrance OP from the CFNEWS website.  I have asked for permission to copy the article - but haven't received any word at this time.  If I received a negative reply, I will remove it from my blog leaving the appropriate link.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Search this blog

I've noticed some odd behaviour in the 'search this blog' widget so I have removed it for the time being.

If you want to search the blog use the filter feature at the upper left hand corner!


Friday, November 22, 2013

I have designated communion on the tongue the 'middle of the wedge' between Protestant and Catholic culture.

Attached below is a good article on some of the practical aspects of this ancient and venerable practice of the Catholic Church.

Courtesy of SSPX.org

Communion on the tongue unsanitary?

November 22, 2013 
District of the US
Opponents of Communion on the tongue often assert that this practice is unsanitary compared to in-the-hand - but what is the reality?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thick Edge of the Wedge : The Tridentine Mass Part 5

Following the theme of the Tridentine Mass being the thick edge of the wedge between the protestant and Catholic culture, Divine Providence seems to have interceded and inspired Fr. Rodriguez.

Attached is a short article reaffirming some key points.

For more information about Fr. Rodriguez see this article.  As an aside, I understand the Fr. Rodriguez has been a guest at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery .

Courtesy of the Remnant Newspaper

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thick Edge of the Wedge : The Tridentine Mass Part 2 - SSPX Article: Theology and Spirituality of the Mass

Organizational culture is reinforced by the artifacts of the culture.  From this perspective the Mass is an artifact of the culture in that it embodies the beliefs and assumptions of the Church.

Changing the Mass will, following conventional Organizational Culture Theory, change the belief of those in the Culture.

Attached is an article from the SSPX that explains some of the beliefs and assumptions embedded within the Tridentine Mass.

(NB: When I have an opportunity I will try to reformat it to the 'blogger' interface, fonts etc)

Courtesy of: sspx.org

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thick Edge of the Wedge : The Tridentine Mass Part 4 - 62 Reasons Why In Conscience, We Cannot Attend the New Mass

While the root of the conflict between traditionalists (SSPX, FSSP et al) and ... well the rest of the world is doctrine - as noted earlier - one of the clearest signs of division (both Cultural as well as Spiritual) is the manner in which the traditionalists worship.

The following list was compiled by the priest of the diocese of Campos, Brazil, prior to their regularization.

I have highlighted in blue some of the more relevant points.


DICI - Can one speak of the ‘conciliar Church’?

While the label "conciliar Church" has it uses, it is important to avoid its misuses.

One common misuse results in people thinking that Traditionalist are the Church and that all 'modern' Catholics are outside the Church.

This logically leads them into a contradiction of the first principle noted in this post.

The SSPX has had a number of good articles clarifying the use of the phrase both by Archbishop Lefebvre as well as by the SSPX in general.

Reproduced below is a DICI article by Fr. Gleize, another article can be found here (scroll down to the second article..

Friday, November 8, 2013

Altar Boys vs Others

Came across this posting on liturgyguy  concerning the admission of girls to serving at the altar.

Like communion in the hand, altar girls was born in dissent from Church practice.

I sometimes wonder what issue of dissent will next be legitimatized.

Anyway, the link contains a good perspective on what could happen.


Is Hell Empty?

There is a prevalent opinion that Hell is empty or at least nearly so.

Just because we cannot say for certain that a specific person is damned.

Talk about optimism.

Attached is a link to a SiSiNoNo article on the topic.

Of course that the seers of Fatima saw souls falling like snow into Hell is dismissed with the statements "it is private revelation".

Rest assured, that Hell is not empty, nor is it full. There is always room for one more - ad infinitem.


Baptism - Excerpts from Various Sources

As noted earlier, I am preparing a talk on the EENS dogma and as part of my research found the compendium copied below.

It is useful to understand Baptism because it is linked with the baptism of desire and although not exactly applied equally to both the baptized non-Catholics and unbaptized provides some basis for understanding the EENS dogma.

The structure of the encyclical "Humani Generis" by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

As a traditionalist, it is a basic assumption that Neo Modernism is one of the root causes for the crisis of the Church.  Attached below (courtesy of Dr. Alan Aversa) is a review / analysis of the encyclical Humani Generis that condemned the resurgent Modernism of its time.


The structure of the encyclical
"Humani Generis"
by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
Translated from the Italian "La sintesi tomistica, (Brescia, Queriniana, 1953). pp. 541-54"
by A. Aversa
Cf. Garrigou-Lagrange's "Where is the New Theology Leading Us?"

Courtesy of Alan Aversa

The primary generator of the errors indicated in the Encyclical.

We do not try to do here a simple analysis of this pontifical document of 12 August 1950, to number the damaging tendencies of which he speaks, and also less to cite those which were admitted according to a diverse gradation.

We do try to stress the principle error from which all the others derive and, through the force of the contrast, to show which is the fundamental truth that permits avoiding these deviations, as Providence does not permit errors if not for putting the Truth in better light, as in a chiaroscuro; so too it does not permit evil and sometimes great evils, if not for a superior good that we will discover perfectly only in heaven.

Now, philosophically and theologically examining this Encyclical, one sees that the fundamental error from this condemnation is philosophical relativism, which leads to dogmatic relativism, from which necessarily derives a whole complex of deviations recorded here.

Thick Edge of the Wedge: The Tridentine Mass - Part 1 - Remnant Article: What Has Happened to the Catholic Mass?

"But wait a moment. They are making a banner out of the Mass of Saint Pius V." Cardinal Seper
These words were uttered by Cardinal Seper during Archbishop Lefebvre's audience with Bl. Pope John Paul II on the 21st of December 1978.

The greatest visible difference between traditionalists and other Roman Catholics is their attachment to the 1962 liturgy.

It is also the greatest visible difference between the traditionalists and the protestants.

Looking at the crisis in the Church from an organizational behaviour / culture point of view, I have concluded that the post Second Vatican Council changes within the Church have resulted in an organizational cultural change.

From this thesis, I would hold that the Mass, as the central act of worship, is the visible pinnacle of Catholic belief and culture (an artifact in organizational culture terminology) containing, expressing and reinforcing that belief and culture.

Given the differences between the pre and post conciliar organizational culture, it follows that the Novus Ordo Missae expresses and reinforces a culture that is not the same as the culture expressed and reinforced by the Tridentine Mass.

While doctrine is more important, the Mass is the expression of that doctrine.  It is from the Mass that the beliefs and shared assumptions of the Catholic faith naturally flow.

In the article that follows (courtesy of the Remnant Newspaper), we have a first hand account of the culture shock that is effected by the Novus Ordo Missae - upon a convert.

Concerning New Opinions, Virtue, Nature And Grace, With Regard To Americanism - Pope Leo XIII

Concerning New Opinions, Virtue, Nature And Grace, With Regard To Americanism

Pope Leo XIII


Lamentabili Sane #8 and Bishop Richard Williamson

"They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations." - 

The above quotation is the 8th modernist thesis condemned in Lamentabili Sane by Pope St. Pius X.

As a traditionalist, I obviously believe that the decrees of Lamentabili Sane are as valid today as they were almost a hundred years ago.

Before anyone accuses me of contravening this article by my support of the SSPX, I would like to know what condemnation of what congregation is being 'treated lightly' by the SSPX. In this case, I mean what doctrinal position that the SSPX holds has been explicitly condemned by a congregation.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I am preparing to give a talk on the dogma of the necessity of the Church for salvation.

One point that I was researching was the background for the following condemned thesis from the Syllabus of Errors:

17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Path

Rorate-Caeli has posted a very sobering quotation from Mediator Dei:

"[One] would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Church; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the Divine Redeemer's Body shows no trace of his cruel sufferings." Pope Venerable Pius XII, Mediator Dei
The picture of the Pope's new ferula says the rest ...

The Error of Modernism - Lamentabili Sane

While the principles of Modernism are Agnosticism, Vitam Immanence and the Evolution of Dogma, the specific errors were condemned in Lamentabili Sane.

I have reproduced it below for future reference in my studies


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Auto-Constructed Catacombs

I just saw this on Rorate Caeli.
The challenge also won’t be met by Catholic traditionalists retreating into auto-constructed catacombs." - George Weigel

I have to admit that I have not read the entire article - but ... really do I need to?

When I read the words - it struck a chord.

What do 'Traditionalists' bring as a solution to the crisis in the Church?


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Rosary - Fr. Couture SSPX

Fr. Couture SSPX, district superior of Asia has posted a semon on the Rosary.

Given that we are in the month of the Rosary, this is an excellent reminder of the efficacy of the rosary and that it is one of the weapons, that Our Lady urged us to use.


A word about 'Traditional Catholic Forums' - Part Deux

I came across some comments about me on a 'resistance' forum (abplefebvreforums.proboards.com) and decided that it warranted a response.

I duly registered and was writing a post when ... I was banned.

This is definitely a personal best.

The Catholic Life of Virtue

"It only remains, then, for the pastor to exhort the faithful to lead holy lives and practice every virtue, that thus they may be enabled to look forward with confidence to the coming of that great day of the Lord -- nay, as becomes children, even to desire it most fervently." - Cathechism of the Council of Trent (CCT)

 I started reading the CCT for study purposes, but have found it is equally a source of spiritual reading.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Archbishop Lefebvre and the Split of 1983

Speaking about principles to use in interpreting Archbishop Lefebvre, this is a conference that I read in 2011 and set me on a path of discovering the principles involved in obedience.

Archbishop Lefebvre and Rome - Long Island Conference 1983

While I was looking for some information I have, as usual, come across another item of interest.

The Mystici Corporis and The Definitions of The Church - Msgr. Fenton

Mons. Joseph Clifford Fenton

The Mystici Corporis And The Definitions Of The Church

Source: With held for moral reasons.

Questions About Membership in the Church - Msgr Fenton

Further information about the Church and its membership.

A key topic today since there is a tendency to think that everyone is Catholic and ergo saved.

Pope Pius XII and the Theological Treatise on the Church - Msgr Fenton

Following the theme of the Church - another article that I came across looking for something else ...

Church and State - Cardinal Ottaviani

I just listened to a conference given by Michael Davies - Vatican II and Christ the King (available from www.oltyn.org).

All this evening I've been coming across references to the Social Kingship of Christ - which is linked to the 'Church and State' debate.

Here's one worth posting immediately:


By Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani

Steady Principles for Unsteady Times - Concerning interpreting Archbishop Lefebvre's Writings, Conferences, Interviews etc

From my point of view, quoting a sentence of Archbishop Lefebvre from this or that sermon or conference is not a reliable means of understanding his thoughts since the selection of quotes is possibly guided by what we want to find.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Remnant Article: Romam vado iterum crucifigi Christopher Ferrara

Christopher Ferrara has published an article in the Remnant and they have thankfully posted it on their website.

He gives a good balanced view (a Catholic view) of the words issuing from the Vatican these days.

For my part I am working on an article focused on anchoring dogmas, doctrines and principles that will help to prevent people from committing the sin of schism.

God bless and keep us all!!!!


Pope Francis and Changing Organizational Culture

Steve Skojec has a good article that has been linked by Angel Queen.

In his article Mr. Skojec outlines some of the issues that Catholics should have with the way the Pope is behaving and speaking.

Some of the images are unsettling, but relevant to what is happening in the Church today.

Declaration on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations

There's been a fair amount of chatter about the declaration made by the three remaining SSPX bishops on the 25th anniversary of the consecrations.

Some aspects are related to the 6 conditions, which some see as being contrary to the faith. Other aspects relate to the nature of the source of the crisis.

The root of the crisis: Is it in only a bad interpretation of the documents or are there items within the documents that contradict prior magisterium. 

The SSPX maintains the latter assertion concerning the four points noted here.

They hold to these four points with sufficient strength of belief, that Bishop Fellay refused to accept the canonical agreement because it required, in addition to the acceptance of the Novus Ordo Missae, that complete acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

I maintain my assertion that this provides proof that the SSPX remains aligned with its founding principles.

Attached below is the entire declaration.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Psychology of Conspiracy Theories - An Explanation

Some visitors to this site may look with askance at the psychology blog that I have linked on my site.

My reason for adding this blog is to provide a counterpoint to the problematic conspiracy theory reasoning found in some regions of the traditional Catholic sphere.

While I believe that one member of the blog is associated with the skeptic association, when it comes to the assumptions underlying conspiracy theorism, such as that espoused by Bishop Williamson, they provide some useful insight.

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt - FUD

I was first exposed to this concept during a job interview with Digital (rip) Corporation for a technical sales support role.

While I did not get the job, I have never forgotten the acronym FUD that was used:
FUD is the tactic of instilling fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of potential customers about a competing product when your own product is not competitive.
This is very close to the quotation provided in the linked wiki article  and more importantly FUD is basically an "appeal to fear" fallacy.

Pope Francis and the SSPX - Part 2

A little while ago I commented on the statements issued by the SSPX concerning some of the statements made by Pope Francis.

Near the end of my post I stated:

Regardless of this last possibility, from my arguments with various online personalities that are unsatisfied with the way the SSPX is handling its criticism of the Pope, I do know one thing: The calm and patient approach is what convinces rather than the inflammatory 'conspiracy theory' rhetoric. 

Now the SSPX has released a number of english language statements (about a day after the French and German language district websites.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Catholic Church and the Second Vatican Council - SSPX ASIA

The Catholic Church and the Second Vatican Council

Conference given by Fr. Franz Schmidberger, SSPX, in Dublin, Ireland, in January, 1989


Dear Reverend Father, my dear friends, I think that the most important part of my conference is already over. The most important part of the conference was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which I celebrated with you and which summarises the whole teaching of the Church and demonstrates a hierarchy descending from heaven, giving us all graces because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass continues the Cross of Our Lord among us.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Infallibility But Were Afraid To Ask: Part 8

May 2008 Print
Si Si No No #81
Religious Liberty and the Ordinary Magisterium
Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize
In a book published in March 2007, Fr. Bernard Lucien1 devoted six studies to the question of the authority of the Magisterium and its infallibility:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A word about 'Traditional Catholic Forums'


A funny thing happened on the way to the forum ... I got banned ...

For those readers who are not aware of it, the SSPX is undergoing an internal crisis brought about by Bishop Fellay traversing the cultural assumptions of some of its members.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pope Francis and the SSPX

In all the tumult that has erupted within Church since the election of Pope Francis, one voice has been relatively silent: That of the SSPX.

I will admit that I was somewhat surprised by the lack of response (so far) to the Pope's 12,000 word 'interview'.

... or has it been?

Monday, September 23, 2013

One and Two Years after the SSPX Episcopal Consecrations

I was looking for a reference to help in a conversation that I was having.

Once I found it (see quote) I decided that I should add the references here to keep them handy.

What was I looking for?

Once again, actions speak louder than words. When we open a seminary or when we create priories, or when we open schools, when the sisters swarm and the convents multiply, that is the only way of forcing Rome to negotiate. It's not a question of my being there, it's a question of the works we do. At Rome, they're well aware that what we're doing is not nothing. The bishops get a little annoyed when we implant ourselves here and there, and so they complain to Rome and Rome knows what's going on. 
So I do not think it is opportune to try contacting Rome. I think we must still wait. Wait, unfortunately, for the situation to get still worse on their side. But up till now, they do not want to recognize the fact.
This is the response that some may not want to hear.  They are used to hearing Archbishop Lefebvre quoted as saying: Rome must convert first as in the next quotation. But here we have a different aspect that needs consideration. While in the following interview he is still very strong in his wording, it cannot be denied that the words above came only one year after the monumental event of the consecrations.

Now to the latter part of the interview that was given two years after the consecrations:
However, one day they will be obliged to recognize that the Society represents a spiritual force and a strength of the Faith which is irreplaceable and which they will have, I hope, the joy and the satisfaction to make use of, but when they have come back to their Traditional Faith.

How to reconcile these two phrases uttered but a year apart?  Does one negate the other? That does not seem likely since the first half of this later quote basically repeats the first words given a year earlier. 

As for the second half, it clearly manifests a direction for the SSPX that leads back to Rome, when Rome will make use of the SSPX with both joy and satisfaction. Some would say that this indicates that the principle of 'no regularization without a doctrinal agreement' is embodied in these words and therefore fixed.  

This mindset leads leaves unanswered more questions:

  • How would a return to the Traditional Faith be manifested?  
  • Who needs to manifest it?  The entire Church or just the Pope who is the foundation of the Church?
  • Which is the higher level of authority? The Pope or Archbishop Lefebvre?  
  • Is it lawful to refuse a legitimate command of the Pope because of these words?  
    • NB: In this condition I am writing about both the time when it was unclear for Bishop Fellay if the Pope was meeting the requirements for obedience and a future event where a Pope would follow through with such a command.

The answer to my question is actually embedded within the words of Archbishop Lefebvre from both interviews.  

When a Pope realizes the vitality and value of Tradition as embodied in the SSPX, is willing to recognize as them as they are, to allow them to continue Tradition as they are doing, (words of Archbishop Lefebvre), then that Pope will have "come back to [his] Traditional Faith."

There are words and actions to ponder enough in the consecrations and these two interviews.  But without adherence to Catholic principles and doctrine, people will go astray.