Response of Laity to Church Crisis: Learning from History…

Response of Laity to Church Crisis: Learning from History…

ImageThe following article is taken from The Remnant website – source – and gives a very good historical perspective on today’s crisis in the Church…

The post-Conciliar era has been a time of great confusion in the Church. This is largely due to popes saying and doing things contrary to Catholic Tradition. The result has been a true crisis. Like every crisis, there have been a variety of reactions from the faithful and the clergy.

 In order to sort out the best Catholic response to such a crisis, it often helps to look back at history. Sometimes one can find historical situations in the Church similar to our own. We can then take a look at how the Catholic faithful and clergy responded to a crisis in their own time to see if there are any parallels to our own day.

In this way we can discern what the proper course should be to lead us out of the crisis. The advantage of looking back is that we can see the means by which everything was resolved. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

 Who was Pope John XXII?

Pope John XXII was the second of the Avignon popes who reigned from 1316 to 1334. Pope John was a good administrator and held a keen interest in world affairs. He was also the pope who canonized the great Thomas Aquinas in 1323.

Throughout most of his pontificate, Pope John had to deal with problems. On the secular side, he had to contend with Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV. On the spiritual side, he had to contend with a rigorist band of Franciscans known as the “Spiritualists.”

For our purposes, however, the most interesting part of Pope John’s life was his last few years on earth. To elucidate what occurred during these years, I will quote extensively from an excellent article on the topic entitled John XXII and the Beatific Vision. This article was written by Fr. Victor Francis O’Daniel, O.P. and published in The Catholic University Bulletin in 1912.

A Crisis is Born

I will let Fr. O’Daniel set the stage:

…About the year 1330, disturbing reports began to be circulated abroad through the intellectual centers of Europe that the Pope was teaching or favoring a strange and erroneous doctrine concerning the state of the souls of the just after death. It was said he held that souls departing this life and needing not to pass through the cleansing fires of purgatory, and those that had already been so purified, would not be permitted to cross the threshold of heaven, or admitted to the beatific vision, before the day of the finaljudgment; that before then they would enjoy, it is true, some foretaste of the heavenly bliss, some fruit of their merits, but not until after the resurrection and the re-union of body and soul would they receive the full measure of the supernatural reward which consists in what the apostle calls the full and  direct vision of God.

To relate this story to our own time, it might be useful for us to imagine some of our Neo-Catholic[i] media and apologetic friends living in this time period. Upon hearing ordinary Catholics spreading the stories mentioned in the quote above, the Neo-Catholic personalities would no doubt balk at the mean-spiritedness of those who would dare speak of the pope in such a manner.

After all, they would tell us, nobody had yet received a confirmation from the Papal Office that these reports were true. Certainly, then, they would say it must be much ado about nothing. In any case, they would assure us that this story was certainly not news. If anything they would blame stubborn “Rad-Trads” for attempting to stir up yet another controversy against the Holy Father by spreading vague disquieting rumors.

Fr. O’Daniel continues…

At first there were only vague, disquieting rumors, but by the end of 1331 the theological world was rent by the certainty that the Head of the Church was really preaching against a Catholic teaching which had long been considered as practically of faith divine, the denial of which was tantamount to heresy.   On November 1, of that year, John preached before the assembled cardinals, prelates and theologians resident at the Papal Court, and numbers of the faithful, taking as his text:  “Mementote operum partum vestrorum quae fecerunt in generationibus suis.” During the course of his sermon, touching upon his favorite topic of the beatific vision, he gave a thinly veiled expression of his personal opinion by declaring that the souls of the just, before the general judgment, are under the altar of God, that is to say, under the protection of the glorified humanity of Christ, and enjoying the happiness of its presence. After the day of judgment, they will be placed on the altar of God, or will be admitted to the presence of His divinity, and that of the Blessed Trinity in whose direct vision man’s full and complete happiness consists.

At this point, the Neo-Catholic media would launch into full damage control mode. One can already see the headline “Did the Pope Really Preach that Souls Don’t See Beatific Vision Until General Judgment? 10 Things to Know and Share!”

After the obligatory “faulty translation” excuses (though the quote above even gave the original Latin), our Neo-Catholic apologist friends would set about reinterpreting or “fixing” poor Pope John’s unfortunate sermon for him. They would tell us that the quote above deliberately fails to employ the hermeneutic of continuity and that we must reinterpret Pope John’s analogy in the most orthodox way possible.

Thus, when John XXII says that after death, but before the general judgment, souls of the just are “under the altar of God,” our apologist friends would tell us that Pope John is simply using a metaphor. What the pope is really saying is that the souls of the just are indeed in Heaven right after death, but that the rest of the world is, in a certain sense, hidden from knowing where they are.

Then they would tell us that the phrase “on the altar of God” means that once the soul and body of the just are reunited at the general judgment, all of the world will then know that the just are in Heaven. Thus, the fact that the justified are seeing the Beatific Vision will no longer be hidden to the world “under the altar of God” but shown to all “on the altar of God!”

See Rad-Trads? Nothing to see here. Pope John is merely reiterating Traditional doctrine in a most ingenious, beautiful, and metaphoric way. At this point Neo-Catholic publishers would start selling books to help “unpack” the wisdom of Pope John’s new insight. Copies of “On the Altar of God: The Genius of Pope John” would then be sold for the medieval equivalent of $19.95 with a signed forward by Sir Scott Hahn.

 Fr. O’Daniel continues…

Growing bolder, it would seem, and determined plainly to speak out his mind on the subject, he preached again two weeks later, November 15, before the same distinguished audience. This time he took as his text: “Gaudete in Domino semper “; and laying aside all cover of metaphor and veil of mysticism, he declared himself openly in favor of the delay of the beatific vision. His words are: “I say that the souls of the faithful departed do not enjoy that perfect or face to face vision of in which, according to St. Augustine (in Psalm xc, sermon II, No. 13), consists their full reward of justice; nor will they have that happiness until after the general judgment. When, and only when, the soul will be re-united to the body, will this perfect bliss come to man, coming to the whole man composed of body and soul, and perfecting his entire being… in  [sermons], preached at a later date, he touches on the subject obiter, always manifesting a continuance of his belief in the doctrine he had taught in them. And, in 1333, he wrote a treatise in its defence: “Queritur utrum anime sanctorum ab omnibus peccatis purgate videant divinam essentiam.”” 

At this point, it would finally become clear even to the most stubborn Neo-Catholic apologist that Pope John is teaching something novel. What would be their response? Embrace it, of course! One can already imagine the Neo-Catholic apologists shifting their argument as they churn out articles stating that Pope John has just put forward an amazing new “development of doctrine.”

As for the “Rad-Trad” claim that Tradition teaches the souls of the just enjoy the Beatific Vision after the particular judgment, the Neo-Catholic apologist would remind us that we are citing Tradition as it stood in 1331. They would then kindly explain that we must understand the concept of “living Tradition!”  After all, who gets to decide what is Tradition? You? Me? Surely not!

They would tell us that no one other than the Pope himself gets to authoritatively decide what is authentic Tradition. Thus, they would say that if Pope John XXII, Christ’s own vicar, says that the souls of the just don’t see the Beatific Vision until the General Judgment, we must now understand that this view is authentically Traditional.

Thus, even though the Church taught and Catholics everywhere believed that just souls see the Beatific Vision after the Particular Judgment for 1330 years, Pope John XXII would have gloriously revealed to us that this is not the case anymore.

Our Neo-Catholic apologists would tell us that we must humbly submit our intellect and wills to the mind of the Most Holy Roman Pontiff, Vicar of Christ on Earth. We should especially not dare to contradict the Holy Father on such a matter of Faith publicly; for to do so would be to spread scandal to a great many Catholics who might be in danger of losing their fragile Faith as a result.

How Did Catholics in the 1330’s Respond?

If the Neo-Catholic apologists are correct about the concept of “living Tradition”, then we should always expect to see faithful Catholics throughout history responding to every teaching of the pope with extreme docility and submission. After all, only disobedient schismatics and heretics would publicly oppose the pope, correct?

Did Catholics in the 1330’s act as our Neo-Catholic apologist friends would expect?

Let’s take a look:

The news of such a doctrinal lapse on the part of the Church’s Supreme Head, beginning at Avignon, rapidly spread over Christendom, everywhere causing consternation and arousing great indignation. The Catholic world was profoundly stirred. Controversies waxed strong and vehement.  Quite naturally, in Avignon, where the Papal Court resided, these were of a much less pronounced character. There, indeed, the new doctrine, possibly because of hopes of preferment, found a number of ardent supporters. On the other hand, fear of incurring papal disfavor caused its opponents to be less emphatic in their denunciations. Yet, even at the very foot of the pontifical throne, there was not wanting the strong voice of protest; for there also the old traditional doctrine, sanctified by the acceptance of ages, found able and courageous defenders. Among these the theologians of the Order of St. Dominic took decidedly a leading part.

Thus, just like in our own time, a pope espousing a novel teaching caused wide spread confusion, chaos, and frustration among Catholics. A few different camps began to develop. A few individuals supported the new doctrine for hopes of personal gain. Others were personally opposed, but very measured in their criticism out of fear of the pope. And still other opponents lead a strong and more vocal protest. This latter group included the Dominicans, who earlier in John’s papacy were his staunchest allies and defenders.

How did Pope John XXII react to such protest and chaos? Read Part II here and Part III  here

[i]When I use the term Neo-Catholic in this article, I am referring to those Catholic media entities that make money off of maintaining the tragic status quo in the Church. They do this by selectively choosing not to cover news that contradicts their agenda or by filtering all Catholic news through a re-interpretive lens that protects their own interests. These media entities will go to any lengths to deny there is currently a crisis in the Church or else they will downplay its severity. I am also referring to Catholic media outlets that presume to condemn all public criticism of the pope or Vatican II. On the other hand, I am in no way referring to the large number of good, honest, and sincere conservative Catholic faithful who don’t consider themselves Traditional, but yet are doing the best they can to live an authentic Catholic life during the current crisis.  END.


What can we learn from Catholics suffering the spread of false teaching in the past? Are we doing enough to fight the current crisis? 

Comments (52)

  • Summa Reply

    What can we learn from Catholics suffering the spread of false teaching in the past? Are we doing enough to fight the current crisis?

    Well we know that history has a habit of repeating itself. We also know that most people find it difficult to step back and take a remote perspective of what is happening, so for them there is no crisis of faith. They see a Pope(s) and all is fine.

    Importantly however, precedents have gone before us. As the article shows, the apostasy is often rooted at the highest level, which is more dangerous than ever, as it gives it an unmerited authenticity that the faithful will want to believe. One thing for sure that is a dead give-away for trouble, is the point at which you are asked to believe that black is white and that to understand this, all you have to do is stop being stuck in the past and see things from a living church perspective.

    This is worse than the Orwellian doublespeak of Kasper which is dangerously ambiguous and is a grave path to apostasy, but doublethink is the point at which they tell you that 2+2=5. This is not to be confused with the Holy Mysteries firmly grounded in tradition.

    So when a Pope kisses the Koran or tells us that we all worship the same God, that is doublethink.

    The trouble is, knowing what to do with it, especially in an age of a secularised West with a generally compliant media machine up against you.

    One can only keep the faith, live the tradition and pass it on, awaiting the time when the latest bout of madness will pass. And pray of course.
    But as the question asks, is that enough? Rather than continually battle on the defensive, what can be done to go on the attack?

    The problem is, we don’t have a modern day Phillip VI.

    June 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm
  • fidelityalways Reply

    As all recent teaching is true, and authentic, and faithful to Holy Scripture the reason for the current crisis goes back jus a little further. It goes backed to those “teachings” of The Papal Office that distrusted scholarship, and reason, and whose misguided followers, who even today, seek to destroy The Church from within to fight for a Church, that never existed, and keep in place a liturgy that needed to change, as it had done in previous centuries.

    The crisis is not in the fact that the laity are undertaken their rightful vocation in The Church, but that some of the laity are the servants of evil forces, and resist the movement of The Holy Spirit.

    June 20, 2014 at 7:09 am
  • Summa Reply

    The irony of course in this, is that this whole generational debacle in the widening and reinterpretation of the sacred is in fact so utterly narrow and subjective that they have yet to see it.

    This struck me today as I finished Shippey’s fine book, Tolkien: Author of the Century

    Here Shippey discusses the Modernist attack on Tolkien’s work, but it is so illuminating for us in the Catholic Church today that it is worth reflecting on it.

    On a darkened stage, a single light is burning. A man is down on his hands and knees, crawling round in silence, obviously looking for something. Eventually a second man comes on, and says, after watching for a while, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m looking for a sixpence I dropped’, replies the crawler. The second man gets down on his hands and knees and starts to help him. After a while the second man says, ‘Just where did you drop it, anyway?’ ‘Oh, over there’, says the first one, getting to his feet and walking over to the other side of the stage, in the dark. ‘Then why are you looking for it here?’ cries the second man in exasperation. The first one walks back to his original place and starts crawling around again. ‘Because’, he replies, ‘that’s where the light is’.

    Modernism perverts because it attempts to look at everything using only one spotlight, one criterion: ie post-industrialised secular society. By doing so, it finds that Church tradition doesn’t fit in the spotlight, but because they only see things within that narrow field, they continue to search there for the truth and will invent and distort zealously to make it fit.

    June 20, 2014 at 7:53 am
  • fidelityalways Reply

    Modernism, may or may not exist, but it is evident that the later Magisterium, who are the authentic interpreters and upholders of tradition, have accepted, or even proposed, actions previously condemned by over reaching holders of the papal office.

    Further, self professed, and clearly, self “educated”, Trad’s who write here post inherent cntradictions, or even contradict themselves. Just to give some recent examples:

    1. Baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation, unless the child is to be raised by lesbains.

    2. Saint Pope John Paul, is an heretic, and amodernist, anfd hsi canonisation cannot be valid except he rightly beatified a mustic they favour, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, whose writings, and visions, are not excepted!

    3. Pope Benedict was amodernist, who couldn’t be trusted, except for his rewriting of history on The E.F., and if he comes back when the present successor of St Peter, who is a doubtful holder of the post, returns to The Lord.

    The nonsense, and the so called scholarship, is an atteck on the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church from people who would not recognise truth.

    June 20, 2014 at 9:18 am
    • Stephen Reply


      Why do you insist on trying to derail every thread? These recent examples that you state are clearly an attempt by you, to go over old ground, already blood stained, in other threads, where you keep banging the same drum to the same tune.

      Your demeaning comment Further, self professed, and clearly, self “educated”, Trad’s who write here post inherent contradictions, or even contradict themselves.… is so banal that you have gone beyond boring, my friend.

      Your posts are now nothing else but rants.

      June 20, 2014 at 9:44 am
      • fidelityalways


        I mention responses I have received as they are used to prove modernism, and that I am wrong.

        They contain inherent contradictions. Your, for example, were doing everything possible to argue I am wrong in saying baptism, can, and should be deferred, but didn’t challenge your friends who suggest a child cared for by Lesbians should not be.

        Thank You for making my point.

        June 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm
    • editor Reply


      I’m not at all surprised that you’re not keen to share any biographical details with us here because you are totally ignorant of the nature and purpose, the extent and limitations of the papal office. You just have no idea. There must be a clue as to why that is somewhere in your personal history and, realising that, you’ve decided you’d rather we didn’t know anything at all about you. No problem – I don’t know much about a lot of the bloggers and nothing at all about some, but then I don’t need to think about that because they obviously know the Faith and only ask for “fine-tuning” or to comment on the tragedy of the current crisis. You are so mixed up that I’m convinced you’ve been through a modern seminary but, hey, saying nothing, FA, because, whatever the reason, you truly do not understand the nature of the papacy. You are, to put it mildly, a papolatrist, with bells (and whistles) on, and tied with ribbons in the Vatican colours.

      So, I suggest, since there’s no point in constantly re-inventing the wheel, and none of us, myself included, has the time to keep correcting your manifest errors, that you simply write us off and leave us to our deluded meanderings on the Church.

      Oh and pray for the souls of all those who opposed Pope John XXII in his grave error about the Beatific Vision, because they, too, would be classed by you as enemies of the Church and papacy had you lived at that time. That is, if you apply the same logic to those defenders of the Faith at that time in history, as you apply to us. .

      Now, I honestly suggest that, for your own peace of soul, you desist from posting here. We just don’t have the time to keep correcting you and it must be upsetting for you to read our “attacks” on the Faith.

      Thanks for all your attempts, in good faith, to “correct” us. We appreciate your sincerity. But like a lot of “sincere” folk, you are sincerely wrong.

      I’ll be offline for a few hours now and I ask everyone to either ignore posts from FA now or continue to treat him with professional courtesy and friendliness, no matter how tempting it may be to express annoyance in the strongest terms. This, FA, is an expression of annoyance from me, because it is frustrating to debate with someone who ignores all the evidence and who simply refuses to accept when he is wrong – as in your insistence that what all Christians have believed always, everywhere can be dispensed with in our times and still be regarded as Catholic. You refuse to accept that, and so we really cannot help you. I will do my utmost to ignore your posts from now on the grounds that I have nothing new to say to help you, and I urge the other to do the same.

      God bless you.

      June 20, 2014 at 9:53 am
      • westminsterfly

        Thank you Editor, well said. FidelityAlways seems to have developed an unhealthy obsession with this blog, and one wonders why, particularly in view of the fact that he is clearly out of step with the majority of people who post here. I’m sure there are thousands of blogs that I would be out of step with, but I wouldn’t constantly comment on them, and I’m sure most balanced people wouldn’t behave in such a way. I have been finding his typo-filled, self-righteous rants very tiresome, and also VERY reminiscent of the modus operandi of a certain individual who was the subject of one of your threads some years ago. I’m sure you know to whom I am referring . . . .

        June 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm
      • editor

        Westminster Fly,

        I do, indeed, know to whom you are referring and I would not be the least surprised if FA turns out to be RW. You could, indeed, be correct. There are certainly some clues in there.

        I will scrutinise his posts most closely from now on, and if it turns out to be more likely than not that he is who we think he is, then I’ll have to re-consider his status as a un-moderated contributor because, while we are in essence an educative facility, no teacher can teach anyone who doesn’t want to learn (As “FA” knows only too well) and so, to save some cyberspace for the serious student, I may have to look again at the possibility of moderation.

        So, as they say south of the border, think on, FA. Think on. We don’t say that up here in Scotland and I don’t know if they say it in Wales – do you? Still, they do say “think on” in England, so that’ll do for now. 😀

        June 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Editor, I would definitely moderate all his comments from this point on, and leave them in moderation, as they are of no use to man nor beast anyway, whether it’s who we think it is, or not. If it is who we think it is, he isn’t genuinely interested in the salvation of others, just his own self-aggrandizement. He can’t help himself, so will probably return at some point under another guise, but he will always give himself away by his appalling typo errors, his sanctimonious ‘preachy’ style, his hatred of Abp Lefebvre, Fr Gruner – indeed anything truly traditional – and his obsession with Anglicanism (but he doesn’t like the Ordinariate, perhaps they are a little too Catholic leaning for him, as some of the priests are becoming interested in the traditional Latin Mass . . . ). I have just taken a quick skate around certain Anglican blogs, where this person is known to sometimes leave similar typo-filled rants (the Anglicans can’t bear him either). The person in question has been commenting recently on those as well, so there is a fair possibility we are right.

        June 21, 2014 at 10:30 am
      • editor

        Westminster Fly,

        I have, indeed, just placed FA into the moderation queue. Next week is going to be an exceptionally busy week for me, and I just will not have the time to monitor and correct his posts. Our team of bloggers is valiantly contending with his ignorance and spending a phenomenal amount of time and energy in the process, and I do not think it fair to leave them to his mercies any longer. Hence, the time has come to check his posts before releasing. That will mean gaps, FA, before I see them from now on and they will not routinely be released – be warned. Read on…

        I think his emphasise on the Ordinariate (see his several through to many letters to the Catholic Herald on the subject) and his repeated references to “history” (Pope Benedict allegedly rewriting same) are among the several clues that brought me to the conclusion that we are, indeed, dealing here, not with FA, but with RW sometimes known as RIW.

        Add to the above clues, the sheer volume of his posts (think emails in the good old days when I was on the receiving end) and I think we’ve nailed him.

        Don’t waste your time writing lengthy posts, FA/RW/RIW. They won’t be read on this blog unless they are sincere apologies for wasting everyone’s time and a promise to attend SSPX Masses for six consecutive weeks, not for the purpose of “catching them out” but for the purpose of obtaining the clear mind that only God’s grace can truly bring.

        As I’ve said before, quoting our English brothers and sisters, think on, FA/RW/RIW, think on…

        June 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm
    • Confitebor Domino Reply


      Why do you insist that only previous popes have erred?

      Is it not just as likely that it is the recent (post VII) popes who have ‘over-reached their authority’. After all,popes like St Pius X were of one mind with their predecessors. It’s the recent popes who have been proposing unheard of novelties.

      You seriously need to reconsider your understanding of Tradition because what you appear to think it means is profoundly erroneous. Here is a useful article to start you off:

      June 20, 2014 at 10:16 am
      • lionelandrades

        Comment removed

        June 20, 2014 at 11:31 am
      • fidelityalways

        I don’t Pope Benedict is no historian, and The Ordinariate is novel beyond belief.

        June 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm
      • Confitebor Domino


        Once again you have side-stepped the issue (surprise, surprise!).

        You know perfectly well that I was talking about doctrinal error.

        Popes are no more protected from errors in history, science, economics etc than anyone else and last time I checked Benedict doesn’t claim to be an historian. As for the Ordinariate that’s just another red herring.

        BTW, have you had a chance to read and think about the article I suggested?

        June 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm
      • fidelityalways

        No I am not avoided any issue. People insist if their chosen Pope does something it must be what God wanted, but if a Council and successive Occupants of the See of Rome, consistently, say something contrary to their favourite Pope, doubtful mystic, or an excommunicated Bishop then the Council, and the others, are wrong.

        The ordinariate is not a Red Herring as the Pope who rewrote history, and created the novelty of the .E.F., which dissenter Trad’s all favour, gave us the Ordinariate which runs contrary to everything said on ecumenism, and Anglican orders.

        June 21, 2014 at 9:51 am
      • Confitebor Domino


        I’m sorry but you are indeed avoiding the issue – not just in your replies to me but in pretty much everything you post here.

        “People insist if their chosen Pope does something it must be what God wanted …”

        Yes, there are people like that – Modernists like you, FA! You appear to have fallen into the error of Magisterialism:

        “Magisterialism is a fixation on the teachings that pertain only to the current Magisterium. Since extrinsic tradition has been subverted and since the Vatican tends to promulgate documents exhibiting a lack of concern regarding some previous magisterial acts, many have begun ignoring the previous magisterial acts and now listen only to the current Magisterium.”

        (The quote above is from from an essay entitled ‘Conservative v Traditional Catholicism’ by Fr Chad Ripperger FSSP. The whole essay is tough going but worth reading as it is one of the clearest explanations of how we got into the current mess that I have seen. You can find it here: )

        “The ordinariate …runs contrary to everything said on ecumenism…”

        Yes it does, thanks be to God, because the Modernist notion of ecumenism is contrary to traditional Catholic thought. At any rate, it has led to a large number of anglicans entering the one true fold of the Redeemer – and for that we must be thankful.

        The ordinariate structure is problematic for other reasons and I assure you that not all trads are in favour of it. But so far as my original question goes it is a red herring.

        Finally, to call the traditional Mass a novelty is perhaps the most disordered piece of thinking I’ve ever come across – and that’s saying something

        June 21, 2014 at 11:29 am
      • fidelityalways

        Liken it or not we believe in an hierarchal Church and The Magisterium, with its constituent parts, is central to that. That is not Magisterialism but Traditional, loyal, Catholicism.

        The very notion of an “Extraordinary” Form is indeed a novelty. and what is called the ordinary Form, which is part of that same novelty, is the norm, and what most people would call The Tridentine Rite was abrogated. There is only one Holy Mass, and ordinarily it is to be celebrated in The Vernacular.

        June 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm
      • Confitebor Domino


        Sorry, I may have misunderstood your point about the ‘Extraordinary Form’.

        I agree with you ❗ that the idea of an EF is indeed a novelty and an unwelcome one at that – personally I never use the term. You are also quite correct to state that the Ordinary Form is a novelty – and an even more unwelcome one.

        In stating that the Tridentine rite was abrogated you explicitly contradict Pope Benedict. But I suppose that’s OK since his views don’t suit your agenda. The words pot and kettle spring to mind.

        As you insist on mass in the vernacular I take it you are actively campaigning for an end to all these Polish masses since that language is not the vernacular of this country. And if not, why not?

        (I assume you are in the UK – if not substitute Spanish or whatever for Polish.)

        June 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm
      • fidelityalways

        It is the term Ordinary Form that is a novelty, and not the Rite itself. The Rite was mandated as were the Rites it replaced when the other others were abrogated. (If they were not abrogated the Indults listed in Summorum Pontificum need never be issued, but they clearly were and Pope Benedict by listing them contradicts his own view of history.)

        Generally, the only people who go to Polish Masses are polish, and so that would be in the vernacular for them. These foreigners, also eat Polish foods, have Polish Social Clubs etc. Xenophobia has no place in the life of a Christian.)

        If Pope Benedict believed the Rite was never abrogated why had he not argued that previously? Why not endorse what Cardinal Stickler published in 2000, at the time, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he published The Spirit of the Liturgy? Please give actual examples when, as a priest, Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal he publicly celebrated that Rite if he believed it was not abrogated?

        The man is a living saint, and is one of our greatest leaders, but he let his pastoral head, when reaching out to dissidents, rather his theological head, when he try to bring those, who Pope Paul Vl said were evil, back into the fold.

        June 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm
      • Confitebor Domino


        I made no claim that Benedict’s position was coherent merely that you were contradicting him arbitrarily.

        If Poles are in this country then Polish is not their vernacular – the vernacular is the language of the natives.

        For the avoidance of doubt, I have nothing against Poles or their language. Nor do I greatly care what language the novus ordo is said in as I don’t attend it! I was trying to get you to see the inconsistency of your position.

        If what you really mean is that a congregation can ask for Mass in any language they wish you should have said so. That’ll include Latin, right?

        Finally, if you are so sure that the Tridentine rite was abrogated you will be able to point me to the document which does so. Chapter and verse, please.

        June 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm
      • fidelityalways

        On the contrary, The Pope by listing The Indults that were published shows that regular celebrations after the Reforms mandated by The Council, was not in any way envisaged. That is surely abrogation.

        If a national group celebrates Mass, as a national group, they have a right to celebrate Mass in their own language. The Chaplains to those groups receive faculties to work as a priest, in whatever Diocese. They are perfectly licit celebrations for a national group.

        Masses celebrated by dissident priests, in Anglican Church Halls etc, without faculties have no such legitimacy..

        June 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm
      • editor

        Confitebor Domino,

        Not only do we have Masses in Polish, and every other language under the sun (it’s only Latin the hierarchy hate!) but there is now an entire industry built up under the “vernacular” umbrella with priests going off from Scotland to various European destinations to run a “ministry for English speaking communities”. Crackers.

        June 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed.

        Editor: For your information: the use of the Church’s official language (Latin) ensured that Holy Mass was as widely available as possible: in every Church in the world, in fact. I trust this resolves your confusion. God bless.

        June 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm
      • editor

        Confitebor Domino,

        “Personally, I never use the term”
        [Extraordinary Form]

        You were MADE for this blog!

        June 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm
      • Athanasius

        “The Tridentine Rite was abrogated…” That’s quite a statement, FA, not shared by Pope Benedict XVI (read Summorum Pontificum) or any of the Church’s theologians, and certainly not declared by Pope Paul VI or any of his successors. I would appreciate your presenting some evidence, then, to show how you have come to such an incredible conclusion.

        As for the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary rites. It is historically and theologically indisputable that up to 1969 the Church had only one ordinary rite of Mass – the ancient Latin rite which goes back all the way back in its essentials to St. Peter himself. This rite was correctly codified by Pope St. Pius V in perpetuity via the Papal Bull Quo Primum, with an injunction that anyone who attempted to tamper with the rite would incur the wrath of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

        So, in terms of Tradition it is the so-called Tridentine rite of Mass, the Mass of the saints and martyrs, which is the “ordinary” right of the Church. What is meant by “ordinary form” for the new vernacular Mass of 1969, then, the Mass created by Fr. Bugnini to please Protestants, the Mass which has almost eradicated the Priesthood and religious life, brought about the apostasy of millions of Catholics and caused many millions more to view their faith as a kind of extension of Reformed Protestantism, is only so-termed because it has usurped the Church’s Traditional Liturgy these past fifty years. This happened when Pope Paul VI imposed it as an alternative rite which effectively OBROGATED, not ABROGATED, the ancient liturgy of the Church.

        It is actually the New Mass of 1969, then, which is truly “extraordinary,” being, as it is, a liturgical rite that Protestants recognised immediately as after the hearts of Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer, the forerunners in obscuring Our Lord’s Sacrifice at the high altar with a meal and celebration at a table.

        June 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Pope Benedict in S.P. listed indults lifting the Universal abrogation, and as Joseph Ratzinger he never celebrated The Old Rite except, if at all, in accord with those Indults, and even after 2007 he never celebrated the so called E..F..

        No Bishop, throughout the world, was corrected when they replied to their subjects saying it was abrogated, and no Roman Congregation ever publicly corrected such claims, or replied to dissidents petitioning them to correct Bishops.

        I note, too, that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to Archbishop Lefebvre being in schism at least once publicly.

        June 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm
      • editor

        Really? Cardinal Ratzinger? Archbishop Lefebvre? Schism? Interesting.

        Cardinal Ratzinger also referred to the novus ordo Mass of which you are so fond, as a “banal, on the spot production” at least once, for all posterity to read in the Foreward of the French edition of Monsignor Gamber’s classic book on the destruction of the Roman Liturgy.


        June 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed – has been answered over and over again.

        June 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed – this error has been corrected many times by our bloggers. No cardinal has the authority to overturn infallible papal pronouncements.

        June 22, 2014 at 7:04 am
      • Confitebor Domino


        You seem determined to avoid entering into meaningful discussion.

        When asked a question you either ignore it or answer the question you wish you had been asked. You repeatedly rehash the same points ignoring, rather than trying to counter, any argument to the contrary.

        This is not the attitude of someone who wishes to engage in intelligent conversation but rather of someone who, having mounted upon their soapbox and picked up the megaphone, is determined to shout down any and all opposition. From your point of view I suppose we appear to be annoying hecklers.

        None of us here wants to heckle you. We would rather talk to you. But if that’s to happen you need to lay aside the megaphone and step down from that soapbox.

        I’m afraid I am not going to waste any more time trying to make myself heard. I will, therefore, be ignoring any and all future comments from you until such time as you show some willingness to engage in actual conversation. 🙁

        You will be in my prayers.

        Editor: your post went into moderation because you addressed “Fidelity Always” by his username and he is now in moderation – for the reasons you give. There’s only so much one can say before one runs out of things to say! So to speak!

        June 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment Removed – repetition of erroneous understanding of Church, papacy and Magisterium.

        Editor: Please FA/RW/RIW, desist from sending me anonymous emails (full of nonsense) from false addresses. Cowardly. Our bloggers DID engage with you big time. You just keep wasting our time, repeating your false teaching. If we thought for a minute we could help you, we would. As it is, we clearly can’t. Goodbye; have a happy life; goodbye. With bells on. 😉

        June 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed – error corrected many times on this blog, repeated yet again.

        June 22, 2014 at 6:41 am
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed

        June 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm
    • Athanasius Reply


      “Modernism, may or may not exist, but it is evident that the later Magisterium, who are the authentic interpreters and upholders of tradition, have accepted, or even proposed, actions previously condemned by over reaching holders of the papal office.”

      St. Pius X being considered the ‘over reacher’ par excellence. That’s why one of the first actions post-Council was to eradicate his anti-Modernist oath for newly ordained priests. Oh yes, Modernism is alive and well in the Church today!

      June 20, 2014 at 11:12 am
      • fidelityalways

        The oath was done away with a sit was never needed.

        June 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm
      • Athanasius

        So St. Pius X was a bit daft, then, insisting on an oath that wasn’t really needed. Is that what you’re saying? Why do I get the impression that you’re not very bright yourself?

        June 20, 2014 at 6:36 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Whether he was daft or not is not for me to say. It certainly daft for you to argue a case not consistent with the whole of Tradition, The Magisterium, and the fact the oath was deemed to be totally 100% unnecessary.

        June 21, 2014 at 9:47 am
    • Athanasius Reply


      Pope John Paul II kissed the Koran (wherein Our Lord’s divinity is denied and the Blessed Trinity blasphemed), he received the mark of a Hindu deity on his forehead, he called together those syncretist gatherings at Assisi which gave rise to the scandal of Buddhists placing their idol atop a tabernacle and worshiping it while Animists ritually slaughter chickens on another Catholic altar.

      I’m just scratching at the surface here, but in light of the First Commandment and the dogma extra ecclesiam what interpretation should Catholics take from these wholly unprecedented actions of the late Pope? It’s a simply question based on infallible Church teaching so I expect any response to be likewise simple and in line with infallible teaching. I’m not interested in your personal opinion or opinions sprouting from a purely pastoral Council whose teaching is generally non-infallible.

      June 20, 2014 at 11:23 am
  • Lionel Andrades Reply

    Comment removed

    June 20, 2014 at 11:27 am
  • catholicconvert1 Reply

    Last year, you may remember there was an ‘election’ in Zimbabwe, which Robert Mugabe won by a landslide. He said ‘only God can remove me now’. The same applies to the Pope. He has no earthly opposition, in the form of Catholic Monarchs, i.e the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the French Monarchy and the Portuguese Monarchy are no longer in existence. The Pope cannot be questioned by Republican Catholic leaders. Can you imagine De Valera or Salazar questioning the theology of Pius XII? The leaders in Republics have no right to oppose the Pope. Therefore, it is the duty of the laity have a duty to vote with their feet. They must be all singing off the same hymn sheet, in the local SSPX chapel. However, with Catholics, there is a shocking obsession with obedience, and an idol is made of it. Obedience is a ‘golden calf’ as it were. As long as the laity and traditionally minded clergy continue to acquiesce and blindly think, ‘he’s the Pope, he’s gotta be right’. As Archbishop Lefebvre said, ‘disobedience has been sown through obedience’. Obedience to the conciliar authorities. I say we must be disobedient to be obedient. Disobey the hierarchy at all costs, and obey tradition, not the other way around. I want nothing more than to revere the person of the Sovereign Pontiff, but when he has no dignity, is coarse, rambling and acts like a street corner banana seller, how can I? How can I obey him when he is a public heretic? Evangelii Gaudium is the most evil book I have read. When he said ‘the Jewish Covenant has not been revoked’…he clearly disobeyed the Magisterium. Has he not heard of Eugene IV and Cantate Domino, a bull issued at the Council of Florence? Eugene IV said:

    It [The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation…”

    Is that not clear enough? One think I like about tradition is the simplicity and clarity, not this fancy ‘nouvelle-theologie’ so often condemned by the Popes. Yves Congar, Karl Rahner, Teilhard De Chardin, Henri de Lubac and King Kung would have been burnt at the stake in saner times, forget the Index of Forbidden Books, it’s time we went all medieval on their hineys.


    Furious, Huddersfield.

    June 20, 2014 at 11:45 am
  • Stephen Reply

    Part III is up.

    June 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm
    • editor Reply

      Thank you Stephen – I’ve added the link to the blog article, for the record.

      June 21, 2014 at 12:18 am
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    “Thus, just like in our own time, a pope espousing a novel teaching caused wide spread confusion, chaos, and frustration among Catholics. A few different camps began to develop. A few individuals supported the new doctrine for hopes of personal gain. Others were personally opposed, but very measured in their criticism out of fear of the pope. And still other opponents lead a strong and more vocal protest.”

    I think that’s quite a good description of what is going on now except I’d say there is another group, those who are really ignorant of the faith due to the lack of proper teaching in the Church at local level today. So that means there are people who think it’s important to be faithful no matter what the pope and bishops and priests say, however much they contradict what has always been taught.

    Apart from that, I think that’s a very useful article to compare what we are going through to what previous generations went through when the Church was in an emergency situation. But those who hope for personal gain and those who actually don’t know any better will continue to go along with things, IMHO

    June 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm
  • fidelityalways Reply

    Comment deleted – personal remarks directed at editor and CT bloggers, breaching house rules.

    June 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm
    • fidelityalways Reply

      Comment removed – repeating criticisms of this blog and nothing offered to fulfil the conditions required for publication.
      Add to that the fact that FA doesn’t even know
      the name of the Church – given that he thinks “accurate history” is so important – and you will see why he needs this blog more than we need him. We’re not going round in circles, FA. Think on. Soon, there won’t be any editorial comment at all in your posts – merely “comment removed” so gerragrip.

      June 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed – more contradictory stuff in the spirit of “let’s go round in circles”… Again… And again… And again.

        June 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed

        June 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm
  • Fidelis Reply

    I think we need to be more vocal than ever in our protests these days. I’m a bit disappointed in the response of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate, they way they have just accepted the treatment from the Vatican instead of standing their ground or moving to an openly traditional association. The distinction between false obedience and the spirit of true obedience doesn’t seem to be fully recognised anywhere outside of the SSPX.

    June 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm
    • fidelityalways Reply

      Comment removed – takes us over old ground. Quoting Pope Francis talking about the importance of “thinking with the Church” when he does no such thing himself, trampling all over Catholic Tradition, so this post goes in the SN file (Sheer Nerve). Points for effort, though.

      I’ve told FA when his posts will be released for public scrutiny. So far, the conditions have not been fulfilled.

      June 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm
      • fidelityalways

        Comment removed – going round in circles. Again.

        June 22, 2014 at 6:06 pm
  • Christina Reply

    What lessons are to be learned from the reactions to John XXII’s heresy? It’s a difficult one because the body of the lay faithful as it exists today cannot be compared to that of the 1330s. For one thing, then, while the mass of people who formed the Catholic body were illiterate, their lives were centred in the church where they were instructed in the faith by their pastors. Thus the sensus fidelium was alive and well – otherwise there would not have been such widespread protests against the pope’s novel teaching. Indeed they needed educated leaders to voice their protests, and they were provided for them in the Dominicans. Today the mass of the remaining Catholic body have not been soundly catechised for over 50 years and they are well and truly adrift ‘on every wind and doctrine’ unleashed in consequence of the errors of Vatican II. The sensus fidelium seems to have been eclipsed in the majority, and so we have ridiculous claims about being faithful to the current magisterium and the condemnation of those who see the crisis for what it is. There does remain a question, though. How was it that the extremely well-catechised faithful, upon whose heads the Second Vatican Council fell like a bomb, failed to react as Catholics did in the 1300s? From experience I can only think that we had had a glorious period (in these islands anyway) following the restoration of the hierarchy, and we were totally unable to grasp that modernism had quietly been infecting academics, theologians and seminaries for over 50 years. Total bewilderment led to confusion and ultimately to the breakdown of the faith. To the young of that time, the simultaneous unleashing upon society of the moral corruption of the sixties resulted in the almost immediate collapse of the liturgy and acceptance of the new Mass with all it’s abuses, starting with guitars and pop-music. As they outgrew the latter, they forsook the Mass that was no longer of interest. So I don’t think we can really learn too much from the 1300’s. We are different cattle. We are in unprecedented times, and the final solution will be unprecedented also.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm

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