What Is A Dangerous Occasion of Sin?

What Is A Dangerous Occasion of Sin?

A Protestant reader contacted Catholic Truth to tell us about the concerns of a friend who is always amazed to find Catholic  Dangerteachers – including former seminarians – present at this social venue when he visits for a night out.

It got us thinking about the concept of “a dangerous occasion of sin” –  at one time a regular theme in sermons and in lessons in Catholic schools.

Priests and teachers would warn of the importance of  socialising carefully – in short, avoiding anyone who might lead us into sin, and any place where we might be tempted to sin. . . , 

But since we now live in an age when we are all encouraged to exercise an ‘adult faith’, does it matter where Catholics choose to socialise?  Would Catholics even know the term ‘a dangerous occasion of sin’ any more? How would you define it?

As we ponder the issues, we might spare a thought for the good Sisters of the Order of St Clare who rise every morning at 1.a.m. for the purpose of prayer and making reparation for sins committed during the hours of darkness. We might pause to offer the Prayer to St Michael, the Archangel (see below) for the intention of special graces for all those caught up in dangerous occasions of sin, whether through attendance at particular social venues or through unsavoury friendships.

If you have particular prayers, novenas or other devotions to recommend for this intention, please do so. In any event, let’s hear whether or not you think there should be more preaching and teaching about the apparently long-forgotten concept of “a dangerous occasion of sin.”

St Michael Archangel

 Prayer to St Michael the Archangel

Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen. 

Comments (86)

  • Summa

    All the more reason for building a strong Parish and wider community where our families can socialise, meet future husbands and wives, mix with those of the faith and strengthen each other.

    TV is imbued with sin and both adults and children are oblivious to it. That is why the Society of St Pius X recommends a TV free home to avoid attaining a worldly spirit where you are much more likely to fall into the trap of sin.

    But to answer your question – what is a near occasion of sin? One that is brought about more than likely by keeping bad company, going to bars and clubs, the dancin’, watching TV/Cinema, reading certain books and magazines.

    Often you find your family near sin by accident. At that point you remove yuourelf from it.

    October 19, 2014 at 11:31 pm
    • editor


      Did you look at the link to the venue in the blog article?

      I find it interesting that a Protestant is absolutely shocked at the fact that Catholic teachers socialise there so it will be interesting to see how many Catholics on this blog are likewise shocked

      We have had discussions before about TV etc and there are steps which anyone of average intelligence might take to avoid dangerous material on TV and the internet – the question has to be asked, however, why any Catholic would choose to socialise in a certain type of pub or club, and whether it is really a unique type of dangerous occasion of sin or no worse than any other social venue these days.

      October 19, 2014 at 11:36 pm
      • Summa

        Yes, I was going to comment on it but I felt nauseated at the thought.
        Unfortunately there will be many normal people attending such venues who will be further hypnotised by the liberal-modernist mindset. The very fact that the sight has medical advice for sodomites on it, speaks volumes. I’m not surprised Catholics go there, ex seminarians too. I wouldn’t be floored if we discvoverd practising priests there too or other such dens of iniquity. The Church has been infiltrated by homosexuals for years beyond years.

        October 19, 2014 at 11:43 pm
  • Athanasius

    As far as this modern world is concerned, and that includes a majority of its Catholics, the only real sins today are smoking, being judgmental and doing harm to the planet. Near occasions of sin, then, would be to keep company with smokers, Traditional Catholics or those who own less than five different coloured wheely bins.

    October 20, 2014 at 2:39 am
  • Petrus

    I think this thread is an act of charity. It should serve as an educational resource. Let’s face it, in 27 years attending a modern parish I never heard one sermon on occasions of sin. Neither was this explained to me in at school.

    Hopefully those who continue to attend these bars will have their consciences touched by this thread. Everyone makes mistakes and what is important is repentance.

    October 20, 2014 at 8:06 am
    • Athanasius


      My school days were in the 60s & 70s and I can’t remember one mention of sin during that time, either at school or in church. It didn’t take them long to bury that doctrine after Vatican II!

      As for the report about the Polo Lounge, I’m only grateful that this Protestant person didn’t mention having mixed there with a few priests, bishops and the odd Cardinal. Things are looking up!

      October 20, 2014 at 10:45 am
  • Steve

    No catholic teacher or priest or seminarian should be visiting the polo club it’s a bar for gays is it not? But then this is the problem in the eChurch today : the conflict between homosexuality and heterosexuality .. Catholic teachers are not being taught the basics of the faith our schools have no RE worth the title and our HT especially the female one are incompetent (not on account of their femininity I hasten to add). The discussion at the synod has definitely sharpened the focus of people who doubted the Gay agenda in the Vatican … Whoever and however they managed to manipulate the relation was the work of the Homosexuals.. Even the language gave them away”precious” there could be schism if this pope is not careful and as for the polo club … There are no words.. No wonder kids are messed up

    October 20, 2014 at 8:21 am
  • sixupman

    “Sin”; “Occasions of Sin”? How old fashioned!

    October 20, 2014 at 9:28 am
    • liberanos

      I am sure the Devil loves to think so.

      October 20, 2014 at 10:12 am
      • Athanasius


        Yes indeed! And as the saying goes, ‘Hell is full of people who didn’t believe in it’.

        October 20, 2014 at 10:34 am
    • Athanasius


      Yes, that’s today’s mindset. And it’s true, sin and its occasions have been around since the fall.

      October 20, 2014 at 10:41 am
      • damselofthefaith

        I think it was Bishop Fulton Sheen who famously said that “You’ll believe in hell when you get there.”


        October 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm
      • Vianney

        My granny used to say “the’ll know all about it when the fires o’ hell are licking up their backsides.”

        October 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm
  • Pat McKay

    At times one is tempted to say….’the world is determined to go its merry way to perdition, so what the hell – let it!’

    Is there an antidote to this mindset?

    October 20, 2014 at 10:24 am
    • Athanasius

      Pat McKay,

      Yes, there is an antidote. The Mass (ancient rite) and the Rosary, the two sources of immense grace that can transform hearts and minds and save the world.

      October 20, 2014 at 10:36 am
  • westminsterfly

    Yes, I agree Athanasius. The Traditional Mass, the Rosary, and also the Brown Scapular (Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), the Miraculous Medal and St Benedict’s Medal.

    The devil sows occasions of sin everywhere, particularly against the virtue of purity. Our Lady of Fatima told Bl. Jacinta Marto that more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason, and also lamented that fashions in the future would be immodest and would offend God greatly.

    The practice of custody of the eyes is an absolute MUST these days – even needed for a walk through any high street, where large images of near naked men and women are plastered all over billboards and even on the side of buses now. Adults are tempted, and children don’t stand a chance of keeping their innocence. Our Lady also prophesied this widespread loss of innocence at Quito.

    Fr Livio Fanzaga touches on the subject of occasions of sin in his book ‘The Deceiver: Our Daily Struggle with Satan’, which can be got here:- http://www.booksforcatholics.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=1929291639&Category_Code=

    This is also a good resource for those struggling with living in a society saturated with impurity:- Clean of Heart: Overcoming Habitual Sins against Purity, by Rosemarie Scott. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clean-Heart-Overcoming-Habitual-against/dp/0977223450/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413801678&sr=1-1

    October 20, 2014 at 11:50 am
    • jobstears


      What an excellent post!

      The Living Rosary Association had an outstanding article on the Occasions of Sin- unfortunately I’ve misplaced it, so can’t quote from it 🙁

      October 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm
  • dale thorn

    I clicked the link, saw the bath-house/bar or whatever it’s called these days, and I’m aghast. How could any reasonable person not shrink in horror from such an invitation? There are so many red flags in that ‘sinsational’ web page that they’ll be running across my vision in the next few nights’ dreams (or nightmares).

    October 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm
  • TLM

    I agree Dale. Why would any Catholic Christian put themselves in this kind of filth? For what reason? I have been increasingly conscious of putting myself or allowing my family to ‘put themselves in harms way’ so to speak. Maybe to the point of being scrupulous, but rather that than running such a high risk. Putting yourself into this kind of situation purposely and with full knowledge to me is sinful in and of itself. Maybe not mortally sinful, but sinful non the less. Realizing that the world is pretty much saturated with this garbage, it’s almost like we have to hide out from the world almost altogether.

    On the other hand, I have heard of Priests frequenting places like this in order to ‘evangelize’, and maybe that would be a legitimate goal, but sooooo risky. Now that’s an interesting topic for discussion:)

    October 20, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    • editor


      “On the other hand, I have heard of Priests frequenting places like this in order to ‘evangelize’…”

      That’s the excuse which was given by priests when we approached them some years ago, after being informed that they had been seen in the “gay” bar linked above. It was difficult to keep a straight face even then, if you’ll excuse the pun, but there’s a simple test or ten if you are interested in finding out whether the weight of the evidence suggests they are more likely than not to be there for social, not evangelical, reasons.

      One such test is to ask those priests where else they go to “evangelise” and watch their discomfiture. You’d be hard pressed to find any one of them willing to take on the role of Spiritual Director to a Legion of Mary group or to lead a Rosary for any intention once a week in their own parish churches, so the very idea that they would go out of their way to enter a “gay” bar for the purposes of evangelisation is nothing short of hilarious.

      But, just in case I’m being overly sceptical, next time you hear that excuse, please suggest that Father X, Y or Z takes himself up to the SSPX chapel in Glasgow on the following Sunday to evangelise all of us “schismatic” types. He has a clear duty, remember, to warn us if he truly believes our souls are in danger 😀

      PS “Catholic Christian” is an oxymoron. Catholics ARE – by definition – the only Christians. As Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman put it “The Catholic Church IS the Christian dispensation”…

      October 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm
    • jobstears


      I don’t think priests need to set foot in, much less frequent cesspools to ‘evangelize’, And yes, that would be an interesting topic for discussion!

      The Little Flower and St. Gemma brought about the conversions of hardened sinners by their personal holiness, penance and prayer, without leaving their rooms!

      October 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm
      • editor


        Or they could do what priests have been doing for generations prior to the visit from the “Holy Spirit” in 1962 – visit their parishioners in their homes, place a word in the ear of the lapsed and all these other things shall be given unto them. They’ll soon be able to rectify wrong thinking about morality, once they start evangelising in the parish – which is where they should be working, not in pubs.

        October 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm
      • jobstears


        “They’ll soon be able to rectify wrong thinking about morality, once they start evangelising in the parish”. Absolutely! But I still like the idea of eating with a spoon riddled with holes (as St. Gemma did). 😀

        October 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        I think we need to make a distinction between the contemplative life of the saints you mention and the active life which priests are supposed to lead. I agree that they (like us all) should be praying and doing penance but that is alongside going out to evangelise.

        I didn’t know St Gemma did that penance, eating with a spoon riddled with holes, but to be honest I can’t really see any point in that sort of thing. It would make more sense just to cut down on the food intake as it would take a very long time to finish a bowl of soup if the spoon was full of holes!

        October 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm
      • jobstears

        Margaret Mary,

        I agree, and I think St. Gemma would have done that too, had she been free to; she was taken in by a wealthy Catholic family after her mother and siblings died and was obliged to be present at meal times.

        As for the distinction between the contemplative and active lives, I agree with you there too. However, I don’t believe there is any need to immerse yourself in filth in order to clean it up. Priests do not need to go into cesspools to evangelize. Just a quick look at the number of priests who lose their vocations from being thrust into situations that constitute ‘occasions of sin’ will suffice to show it’s foolhardy.

        October 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm
      • Vianney

        Priests don’t have time to visit their parishioners anymore as it interferes with their social lives. They’ve got Eucharistic ministers to do the visiting for them.

        October 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm
      • Athanasius


        Yes, they’re preparing for the time, not far off, when there won’t be any ordained priesthood left. The numbers are shrinking fast!

        October 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm
  • Domchas

    Why has ct posted a link to a sinful place of recreation and socialisation. Such a link may lead a weaker member of the community to go along and see for themselves, thereby placing such persons into an occasion of sin! Is therefore ct an occasion of sin to those who continuously indulge in their fantasies and extremist views? A topic of discussion perhaps??

    October 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm
    • editor


      With all due respect, that’s the first time you’ve actually posted a meaningful comment, and made a point with some mileage in it. No need for a separate thread, feel free to discuss that issue here.

      We did, in fact, give a lot of thought to that very point before posting this thread. We came to the conclusion (which is borne out by the responses so far) that any right-thinking Catholic would be appalled by the link and be on their guard if anyone ever recommended the place to them AND, thus, be in an informed position to be able to warn others against frequenting it.

      Those who might already be frequenting it (and we have very good reason to believe some of them at least, read this blog) just might have their consciences touched when they read the reactions of the Catholics here, including your own reaction.


      October 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm
  • Petrus

    I think there’s been so many great comments so far. We need to look at this issue from the perspective of moral freedom. The world preaches a false freedom and a false sense of happiness. To be truly happy and “free” we must do exactly what we want. Don’t try to curb or tame your lustful desires, just do whatever makes you happy. This is the message of the world.

    However, the reality is somewhat different. True happiness can never be found in self gratification. It only leaves a devastating trail of unhappiness and problems. This goes for any kind of immoral sexual behaviour. What are the fruits of sexual deviance and immorality? Broken marriages, broken families, illegitimate children, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, anxiety, pornography, paedophilia, rape, alcoholism, suicide etc. Not a recipe of trye happiness and not a recipe for “freedom”. By allowing our lustful nature to run riot we actually become slaves.

    What is the antidote? The true Mass, Rosary, scapular etc but also Catholic moral teaching. The moral teaching of the Church prevents all of the problems I listed above. That’s why the SIN-odd (and odd it truly was!) last week was so downright dangerous. Catholic teaching is the only recipe for happiness, freedom and a civilised society.

    It has to be said that notwithstanding the events of the last two weeks the ministers of the Church has been woefully inept at preaching her moral teaching. How many families have been torn apart, how many lives ruined and how many souls have been cast into hell simply because the ministers of the Church have failed in their moral duty? It truly is a scandal. As a parent I wouldn’t allow my children to go near a modern parish. Sure there are good priests ploughing their trade and swimming against the tide, but they are truly in the minority.

    October 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    • Athanasius


      Every word you have written reflects exactly the teaching of the Church and her saints. Sin leads to slavery and unhappiness Keeping the Commandments leads to freedom and joy both in this life and in the life to come. It really is that simple.

      The laws of God are there for our own good, they are the boundaries within which we enjoy true freedom. A so-called freedom without boundaries is mere license and it results, as St. Paul says, in death. Sin kills all that good and innocent. The honest person looking around today at this post-Christian world cannot help but see the misery and corruption of a world without God.

      October 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm
      • Petrus

        I agree with you entirely, Athanasius. I forgot to mention earlier that Confession is also an antidote to moral corruption. To those who are tempted and have fallen into moral sin – of course I include myself in that – Confession is a lifeline. I also strongly recommend recourse to the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in times of temptation. Our Guardian Angel is also a great protector, as is St Michael the Archangel. It is a very good idea to make friends with the Holy Angels.

        October 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm
  • damselofthefaith

    What is severely lacking these days is meditation on hell.

    Meditate on the pain and tortures of hell, the loss of God, the eternity of it all and you should be able to avoid the near occasions of sin.

    Hell is eternal. There’s no going back and it’s all your own fault.

    Just a thought.

    October 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    • TLM

      LOL….Hell? Do we hear that in our Parishes anymore? The Pastors have all been given the word…….NO TALK ABOUT SIN OR HELL. (I guess they’re still afraid of driving people away or at least that’s the excuse) The SSXP is not looking quite that bad as time goes on. Yes, it’s desperately needed from the pulpit. There is no longer any motive to become as holy as possible because according to most clergy, everyone goes to heaven anyway. Hell and Sin are discussed and written about online. That’s where I and tons of other people can get true Catholic teaching, not from our Priests, Bishops or Cardinals. The importance of frequent confession and frequent Mass and Communion, praying the Rosary, and traditional devotions etc is not even on their radar. You get that online as well, NOT from the pulpit. We need to PRAY for these people to open their eyes, maybe via the internet. They will absolutely not be properly formed from their Parish Priest in all likelihood, unless they are extremely lucky. Yes, if people go to hell, it is their doing…………………………..with a little help from the Church at large. This is a subject that really gets me going for personal reasons. There are some that still totally trust their Priest and I do believe we have all been monumentally betrayed by our own Church. It’s hard for me not to still to this day get monumentally angry about.

      PRAY FOR THESE PEOPLE. Some of them are not nearly as complicit in sin as the clergy that so craftily promoted it as ‘Church Teaching.’ It’s upsetting for me to see someone who still to this day will follow a Priest or Bishop or Cardinal to hell because they were taught the mortal sin was in not following as told! I keep shouting from the rooftops to study your own faith and your own Catechism, Church History, and Scripture. THERE is where you will find truth. You can no longer follow clergy blindly.

      October 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm
  • Leo

    Lots of excellent posts so far. This thread is, I think, a very fitting follow on from one dealing with a Synod where the very idea on sin and sacrilege were effectively ridiculed.

    Westminster Fly has made a very important point about the absolute necessity of custody of the eyes these days. It hardly needs to be mentioned that Novus Ordo weddings are not the only occasions when standards of modesty go out the window. The kit on display at christenings tends to be pretty similar. From what I see from the outside, a lot of Novus Ordo Massgoers see nothing wrong with worshipping God, dressed as though they were having a summer stroll at the beach.

    I suppose we could call this a sort of aggiornamento, or opening to the world in all its hedonism. It now seems that in today’s society it is widely acceptable for women to dress like prostitutes and men to dress like drug addicts. Over the top? Just think about it, and compare the sights of today with old, or indeed not so old newsreels showing street scenes, or crowds at any public event. Just look at old family albums.

    Such is the all-pervasive contempt for chastity and the porn saturated culture of society today that I think that many have got to the stage of being all but oblivious to standards of dress. And I’m not just talking about the young wans tottering along to the local nightclub.

    Of course this all gets back to parental duties and preaching. Which reminds me. What about the following for a bit of preaching?

    “No, my dear brethren, this gracious virtue of purity is not known to those young men whose eyes and hands are defiled by glances and…Oh God, how many souls does this sin drag down to Hell!… No, my dear brethren, this beautiful virtue is not known to those worldly and corrupt girls who make so many preparations and take so many cares to draw the eyes of the world towards themselves, who by their affected and indecent dress announce publicly that they are evil instruments which Hell makes use of to ruin souls- those souls which cost so much in labours and tears and torments to Jesus Christ!… Look at them, these unfortunates, and you will see that a thousand devils surround their heads and their breasts. Oh, my God, how can the earth support such servants of Hell? An even more astounding thing to understand is how their mothers endure them in a state unworthy of a Christian! If I were not afraid of going too far, I would tell those mothers that they are worth no more than their daughters.

    “Alas! This sinful heart and those impure eyes are but sources of poison which bring death to anyone who looks at or listens to them. How do such monsters of iniquity dare to present themselves before a God Who is so holy and so set against impurity! Alas! Their poor lives are nothing but an accumulation of fuel which they amass to increase the flames of Hell through all eternity.” – The Cure of Ars, Saint John Vianney

    No pandering to the laity there!

    Women really do set the bar, so to speak, when it comes to behaviour in society. And that most certainly does not have anything to do with feminism (a grotesque misnomer) or so-called equality. I don’t think there is much need to elaborate on why and how men respond to the behaviour of women and the standards they set and expect.

    October 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm
  • Leo

    “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?” – Hebrews 1:14


    I agree completely with your comments about the need to invoke the help of the Holy Angels.

    Such is the ferocity of the attacks by the forces of lucifer in these times, both inside the Church and outside, that, as much as ever, we need to turn to the guidance, protection and aid of the Angels, and in particular that of Saint Michael the Archangel and the Guardian Angel given to each and every one of us in order to help us achieve our salvation.

    And the forces of the enemy are out there alright.

    “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

    Surely it is a mark of the attacks made by the forces of modernism, materialism, rationalism, and humanism that all thought or talk of the supernatural is being marginalised in the lives of Catholics. Insofar as they do express an opinion about Angels, most theological illiterates in these times of diabolical disorientation are likely to start talking about tarot cards, séances, and ouija boards etc.

    Let’s be in no doubt about the great providence of God in sending the Angels to our aid. They are mentioned nearly three hundred times in the Bible. Church Fathers such as Saint Jerome, Saint Augustine, and Saint Bernard testify to their protection.

    October 20, 2014 at 11:36 pm
  • Scottish priest

    I’ve not been on here for some time .. I still talk about hell and I know others do I say Mass for holy souls every Friday and always include a prayer for souls in purgatory at funeral masses and we still say st Michael prayer .. We still have rosary every day and exposition and Fatima first Saturday so @TLM try and look for the good in the Church as hard as that seems there are many priests still doing their best …

    October 21, 2014 at 8:41 am
    • editor

      Scottish Priest,

      I’m sorry that your comment went into moderation – for no reason that I can see, so apologies for that.

      Yes, there are certainly priests who are doing their best, we have to presume according to their own lights, and it is wonderful that you speak about Hell. However, I wonder if you speak unambiguously about the details of what might take us to Hell, and advise your parishioners NOT to follow the bad example or opinions of the current dreadful pontiff.

      The fact is that I’ve been appalled to be in the company of priests whom I consider(ed) to be sound priests (always with reservations re. their participation in the novus ordo crisis) and still find them quite happy or satisfied with Pope Francis’s shocking behaviour and statements. That has completely undermined my faith in the “there are still good/sound priests” school of thought. All depends on how we define a “good” or (more accurately) a “sound” priest.

      Nobody with a truly Catholic soul can fail to recognise the damage that Pope Francis has done to the Church since his election. That he is the worst pope to date, in the entire history of the Church seems clear to moi. I have no doubt that the former seminarians (and even some priests) who frequent the bar linked to this blog article, will quote his “who am I to judge” to justify their choice of social venue. I know that, in their place, I would.

      October 21, 2014 at 11:10 am
      • Pat McKay

        If truth be told, Francis is not a pope but a politician. Who could forget last year when he sent his ‘cordial best wishes’ to Hillary Clinton et al at St Andrews Uni, on the occasion of her pro-abortship’s honouring for ‘defending human rights’. A middle-finger salute to those of us who protested against it.

        Francis is more concerned about massaging powerful egos than holding and teaching the Catholic Faith that comes to us from the Apostles.

        October 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm
    • TLM

      Oh my goodness, Fr. you are a true BLESSING!! I take it you are in Scotland? Too far away from me, I am in Chicago:) Yes, I know that God has blessed us with good holy priests, they seem far and few between, but am grateful to God for the ones we do have. I am encouraged by the fact that the young priests coming out of seminary seem much more traditional. I am convinced that if we had more traditional priests in our parishes the pews would begin to fill up. The truth of Christ is attractive and acts as a magnet. Getting old is the interpretation of the Gospel of the Loaves and Fishes and how the only ‘miracle’ was the ‘sharing of the food’. And that is the very least of the ‘progressive Church’, at least here. But yes, I do realize that God has not left His Church and never will. ‘The gates of hell will not prevail’…………. Thank you for your faithfulness to Christ and His Church. I pray for all priests every day in my rosary, realizing that Satan is attacking the clergy with all the power of hell. May the Good Lord BLESS you most abundantly with every good grace, and may Our Blessed Mother shelter you in the crook of her Mantel.

      October 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm
  • Helen

    I didn’t know such a place existed in Glasgow, naive as I am, and I am truly shocked that any decent person would frequent such a place. It speaks volumes that any Catholic would enter such a den of iniquity and as no guidance is given from the pulpit, people will simply sleepwalk into perdition.

    October 21, 2014 at 10:54 am
  • Theresa Rose

    How well do priests speak on Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell? Would priests nowadays preach in a similar manner to that of Saint Leonard of Port Maurice? Or is it matter of not wanting to terrify people by speaking of hell? That is a sure way of not reminding others how easy it is to go to hell.


    October 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm
  • Leo

    I think the following very simple advice of the heroic Father William Doyle SJ, a true saint who gave his life in the care of souls amidst the mud, blood, and barbed wired of Passchendaele in 1917 merit mention in any discussion of the spiritual combats to be waged against the Devil, the Flesh and the World.

    “What must I do to become a Saint?

    1. Excite in myself an ardent desire and determination to become one, cost what it may.
    2. Beg and pray without ceasing for this grace and the desire of holiness.
    3. Take each action and duty as if it were the last and the only one of my life, and perform it with extraordinary fervour.
    4. Have a fixed duty for each moment and not depart from it; never waste a moment.
    5. The spirit of constant prayer.
    6. Relentless war against my will and inclination; agree contra at every moment in all things.
    7. The faithful practice of little mortifications.”

    On the matter of occasions of sin, I think the following are particularly relevant:

    “It depends entirely on myself whether I become a saint or not. If I wish and will to be one, half the battle is over. Certainly God’s help is secured. Every fresh effort to become holy gets fresh grace, and grace is what makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.”

    “Agere Contra! Going against self! – not in one thing, or in two, but in all things where a free choice is left us. These little words contain the life-story of the saints, as they are the weapon that gained the victory which gave them heaven.”

    October 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm
    • jobstears


      Thank you for that outstanding post!

      “Agere Contra” – not in one thing, or in two, but in all things where a free choice is left us. The sure path to perfection!

      October 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm
      • Leo


        Thank you very much.

        Anything “outstanding” there was entirely belonging to Father Doyle, an exemplar pastor of souls whose heroic virtue is truly inspirational.Don’t anyone take my word for it. Order a copy of the magnificent biography available at Carmel Books:


        Spiritual classic is definitely not an overstatement. It reads like the life of a modern day desert Father. Any of us who think that public transport or even forgoing the odd Mars bar are a bit of a penance ought to dwell on Father Doyle’s mortifications. His biography might be more of a man’s book in view of the horrors of the trenches, but I wouldn’t want to put anybody off buying it.

        “God has work for each one to do; the devil also. For each one can be an influence for good or evil to those around. No one goes to Heaven or hell alone. Unless I am holy, I may do the devil’s work. The closer I try to imitate the Sacred Heart, the holier I shall become. How can I get nearer that Divine Heart than by receiving Holy Communion often and fervently? The Sacred Heart will then be next to my own and will teach me quickest and best how to be a saint.” – Father William Doyle

        October 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm
  • crofterlady

    Scotus Priest it is very heartwarming to know that there are priests like you around. I have a question for you: what do you make of the Synod and its proposals?

    October 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm
  • Scottishpriest

    @TLM it’s always important to respond to difficulties in the. church .. Knee jerk reactions can often express a well founded frustration .Pope Benedict reminded us we can only propose the faith we cannot impose it a measured response inside and outside always keeps us talking rather than forcing people into corners in which they feel threatened. Paul and Barnabas had the same problem Paul would cause a war wherever he went and Barnabas (son of encouragement), would follow apologising for him. A relationship that eventually tired poor Barnabas and he and Paul,went in different missionary journeys both successful I might add.. To the best of our knowledge Paul and Barnabas were never reconciled and yet both preached the gospel to the Gentiles .. Some of the problems we have today need addressed and I lean towards the traditional mass although celebrate the English mass comfortably especially now the new translation is in place. I just try to be holy and faithful and to live the life I’m called to.. Sometimes it is what people see rather than what we say that changes hearts and lives for the better.. That’s my take on parish life, people want to see their priest being holy loving and a sign of Christ they don’t want us to get involved in the politics of division I’ve tried and preached often on in different ways and find the best homilies are those that break open the Word and apply it to life sometimes using documents popes and saints to illustrate the point leading people to holiness is what we are called to, do for the salvation of their souls I’d say that is enough to be getting on with.

    October 22, 2014 at 8:52 am
    • Petrus

      Scottish Priest,

      It is plain for all to see that you love your vocation and work extremely hard in your parish. It must be very difficult these days for good priests with bad bishops. You’ve now had three very bad bishops to contend with, so priests like you really need lots of prayers.

      Without being disrespectful to you as a person and to your priestly office, I have no idea what any of what you just wrote meant. It’s the kind of flowery language that I hear from many priests and bishops today. They are frightened of offending anyone and everyone so they use a lot of words but don’t really say anything.

      The time has gone for priests to be content with keeping their head down and being a good example in their own parish. We need courageous priests not afraid of martyrdom and willing to stand up to their bishop and the Pope if necessary.

      I notice you haven’t responded to the editor’s question about Pope Francis. Any priest willing to go along supporting this divisive and damaging papacy is part of the problem.

      I note that you are comfortable with the New Mass, especially since the new translation. I wonder if you have read about the origins of the Bugnini Mass? I don’t know how any priest with an authentic understanding of the sacrifice of the Mass could still feel comfortable with it. That’s before we factor in the liturgical abuses. Do you distribute Holy Communion in the hand? Do you use Extraordinary Ministers?

      As has been said several times, the enemy within is now truly out in the open. This is spiritual warfare and we need brave soldiers, lay and ordained. A “conservative” lay person or priest who is well informed (this is key) and chooses to remain within a Modernist diocesan structure is part of the problem. The Huffington Post is reporting that Cardinal Nicols is hopeful that the Church will be more welcoming to homosexuals and feels that the relatio that was rejected at the Synod did not go far enough. How outrageous! Our Lord said, “He who is not for Me is against Me.” It’s time for us all to decide which side we are on.

      October 22, 2014 at 9:47 am
    • Athanasius


      I do not doubt your sincerity, but I do question your methods. Sometimes we have to speak out boldly and take a stand for the truth, as St. Paul did with St. Peter. It’s pretty easy these days to let ourselves off with our duty by saying that we don’t want to cause division, or that example is more powerful than anything we say. But sometimes division is an unavoidable consequence of speaking the truth and acting accordingly.

      Archbishop Lefebvre, for example, refused to celebrate the New Mass and this action caused division. But as far as the Archbishop was concerned it was necessary for him as a priest of God to be true to Our Lord’s Sacrifice first and foremost and to exemplify his love for the Mass of the ages by refusing that which clearly undermined it – Bugnini’s Protestantised version which is harming souls.

      Now, you say you have no problem celebrating the New Mass, especially since it was revised under Benedict XVI, and yet the Catholic faithful are still doing all the same Protestant things they did before the revision. The fact is, revised or not, the New Mass is dangerous to faith by what it still obscures; it still wouldn’t trouble a Protestant.

      I believe that all priests have a duty before God and for the good of souls to state this fact clearly and to abandon this New Mass with all its Protestant baggage in favour of a return the rite of the saints and martyrs. But of course I know that such a decision would mean hardship for a priest, probably even persecution. That’s why we know it’s a holy course of action.

      As regards dialoguing instead of direct preaching, that’s Vatican II teaching not the perennial teaching and example of the Church. Just ask any pre-Vatican II Catholic how packed the churches used to be when missions were being preached. There was standing room only, a strange irony given that the mission fathers didn’t dialogue, they preached Hell and damnation and made no apology for hurt feelings. Then came dialoguing and the churches emptied big time as millions forgot about amidst all the “mercy”.

      October 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm
  • Scottishpriest

    @Petrus thank you for your thoughts. I thought I was being pretty clear but maybe further reflection will help. Paul and Barnabas fall out over Mark a cousin of Barnabas .. Paul wants Mark to be more aggressive in his preaching as in every town Paul gets as they say a kicking for preaching the Gospel . Paul thinks mark is soft as he ” goes home to Jerusalem ;read his mammy” Barnabas wants mark to come on next journey Paul says no two different styles of evangelizing both work but Paul and Barnabas never reconcile over it .. They agree to disagree as it were over it if you will… My point is you have to in conscience decide where you sit in theological leaning and be faithful to that . I believe it’s important to be obedient to the bishop that’s my promise. I want get drawn on liturgy as I work Around the issues you raise. I train the children to receive on the tongue . I do have extraordinary ministers. There are other issues we have as all with as well as living together contraception same sex unions abortion and a host of other issues
    I choose to follow Pope Benedicts approach to both. If you take out the Latin and the gestures from the TLM you have the current canon in English at the new mass I’m comfortable with that I don’t agree with you on the meaning of bravery and disruption in a diocese .. War is always better fought from within.. Spiritual,warfare is real and the need to be faithful and obedient is crucial or we will have schism it sounds to me that your advocating schism .. I think you have to be within it to help I think your more Paul and I’m more Barnabas if that helps
    I’d love to continue this but I’m off to learn how to be a sub deacon .. Well prob have to agree to disagree with all respect

    October 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
    • Margaret Mary

      Scottish Priest,

      I don’t think Paul and Barnabas were disagreeing over the teaching of the Church, just methods. That’s not what Cardinal Kasper is saying although he tries to give the impression the teaching won’t change if Holy Communion is given to people not accepting the Church’s teaching, but that doesn’t make sense.

      Also, I don’t think anyone would say that Cardinal Burke and the other cardinals who disagreed with Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis were outside the Church so, with respect, I think you are mistaken in your attitude to obedience.

      If your bishop tells you to give Communion to cohabiting couples and same sex couples and the divorced and remarried, will you do so because of your promise of obedience? I’d really like you to answer that question when you possibly can.

      October 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm
      • Therese

        Margaret Mary

        Exactly. Well said.

        October 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    • Petrus

      Scottish Priest

      Quite frankly your response has shocked me. As Margaret Mary and TLM have said, your first obedience is to the Faith. Your obedience to your bishop is secondary to this. When your bishop is wrong you are not obliged to be obedient. This is not schism. I’m surprised you have used that old chestnut. I thought more of you.

      I’m astounded at your claim that the New Mass is simply the Traditional Mass without the Latin or gestures. Are you being serious?

      First of all, the language used is important. It is worth noting that in Genesis the variety of languages is a consequence of sin (Genesis 11:7). The Church of Christ must always and everywhere speak the same language.

      The Council of Trent summed up the Church’s mind on Latin when it declared, “If anyone says that the Mass should be celebrated in the vernacular only let him be anathema.”

      Finally, I remind you of Dom Guernsey ‘ s chilling words, “We must admit that it is a master blow of Protestantism to declare war on the sacred language.”

      Look at the offertory of the Traditional Mass and compare it with that of the new translation.

      “Receive, O Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal, the spotless host, which I Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God for my countless sins, trespasses, and omissions
      , likewise for all faithful Christians, whether living or dead, that it may avail both me and them to salvation, unto life everlasting. Amen.”

      Compare this to:

      “Blesses are you Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you:fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.”

      Anyone who claims both Masses are the same is either misinformed or misinforming others.

      October 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm
  • TLM

    This is exactly correct Margaret Mary. We are NOT to follow ANY clergy into error out of ‘obedience’. They want you to believe that you MUST be obedient, even when what they profess is against Catholic Doctrine. It’s the only time that you may disobey, in fact the only time when you MUST DISOBEY.

    October 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm
  • Scottishpriest

    I’m not sure where to begin but to as I suggested I think well have to agree to disagree on some matters .. However I wasn’t suggesting the the Mass is is the same as the old rite merely pointing thesis continuity in the Eucharistic prayer so if I wanted to pray the mass in Latin in using the canon directly from the old rite I could and do it ad orientum. I wasn’t suggesting Paul and Barnabas were fighting over doctrine merely an approach
    I don’t give communion to same sex couple or divorced etc how would,I know anyhow .. We have so many visitors especially to,our vigil mass and yes I remind people who can and can’t receive communion as well,as remind people. Not to turn up,late or leave. Early
    As for the days when church was full I a just not convinced this those days will come back if every church was made or forced to celebrate the old rite people don’t come now and they prob wouldn’t then sadly
    I continue to,do my best and work away at teaching the asides and celebrating with dignity and reverence etc and hope,that works towards change
    As for the offertory prayers in new rite they are or should be silent anyway..

    Blessings on your day

    October 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    • Petrus


      You have yet to answer Editor’s questions about Pope Francis or another question about the proposals of the Synod… I await your answer.

      Whether or not the offertory in the New Mass should be said silently is besides the point. They are both two different rites. There is no continuity. In the strictest sense, the New Mass isn’t a Catholic rite because it hasn’t been “received” by the Church. It was a brand new concoction.

      I have to say, although I don’t doubt your good intentions, I could not send my children to your parish. They would surely lose their faith.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm
    • Athanasius


      I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but it’s decent priests like you who give respectability to the ill-fated New Mass and prolong its fratricidal reign in the Church. If more like you were to take themselves off to a Fraternity that only celebrates the ancient Mass, then we would all witness the demise of the New Mass sooner rather than later. It is inevitable!

      As for the faithful attending the Old Mass, I can tell you that every Fraternity from the SSPX to FSSP, through ICK and other Ecclesia Dei bodies, have packed churches. It’s not the old Mass that empties churches, it’s the New Mass with its serious effects on faith and Catechetics.

      October 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm
  • Eileenanne

    Patrus quoted:
    “If anyone says that the Mass should be celebrated in the vernacular only let him be anathema.”

    Who has suggested the Mass should be in the vernacular only? Certainly not anyone with any authority.

    October 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    • Petrus

      Oh here she comes the resident fly in the ointment. Ignore the issues and look for some apparent mistake.

      What do you make of this pontificate? What about the shambolic synod? What do you think of Cardinal Nicols’ support for homosexuals? What about the ex seminarians and Catholic teachers frequenting gay bars? Never do you engage so I won’t hold my breath waiting for an answer.

      October 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Whose mistake was it? Yours or the Council of Trent?

        What do you make of this pontificate?
        It’s the one the Holy Spirit has given us, so I’m fine with it.

        What about the shambolic synod?
        I don’t agree it was shambolic – it ended satisfactorily.

        What do you think of Cardinal Nicols’ support for homosexuals?
        I would need to hear his exact words IN CONTEXT before I could comment. I don’t beileve he said that homosexual practices are OK.
        What about the ex seminarians and Catholic teachers frequenting gay bars?
        I have never been there to see them and I don’t convict on hearsay evidence.

        October 22, 2014 at 11:20 pm
      • editor


        Please quote the source which gives the Church’s teaching as being that the Holy Spirit “gives” us any particular pope.

        October 23, 2014 at 12:01 am
      • editor

        You want the context for Cardinal Nichols’ comments on homosexuality?

        Watch him and listen to him at the press conference on video below, on the subject of the synod. Right at the outset, his hypocrisy shines through as he emphasises the “openness” of the synod to the media etc. Everything is sooooo “open” and “honest” – this from a man who ignores letters from anyone daring to call him to account for his various scandalous utterances and actions – notably, the Soho Masses.

        I know LOADS of letters have gone to him from various different Catholics, all highly respectful and, in my view, far too deferential, but not one of them has ever received an acknowledgement, let alone a reply. So, as I watched this performance, I (shockingly) found myself calling him a “weasel” and a “hypocrite” but say nothing, Eileenanne, cos, after all, who are you to judge?


        Takes a while to get to the homosexual bit but he gets there in due course…

        October 23, 2014 at 12:30 am
      • westminsterfly

        Actually, Editor, it was even worse than that. I can assure everyone that (then) Archbishop Nichols had a very disingenuous – some would say, utterly dishonest – approach to correspondence sent to him about the Soho Masses.
        If someone wrote to him and made a general complaint about the Masses – like a person who had read about the Masses in the media and just wanted to voice their concern, but had no first-hand evidence about dissent at the Masses, he would write back to them and assure them that all was well, and that the reality of the Masses didn’t correspond with some of the more lurid reports being circulated about them. I personally saw two or three such letters from him to different individuals.
        However, if one sent him correspondence containing hard, totally verifiable evidence of the truly shocking dissent being promoted at the Soho Masses, he never, ever, ONCE replied to such letters – because he couldn’t deny the truth he had been given. One example that springs to mind – and there were countless examples – was an official Soho Mass flyer given out at the Masses, which encouraged the congregation to go and see displays of ‘AIDS quilts’ – quilts which had been made to commemorate those who had died of AIDS. One of the venues listed to see these quilts was in a ‘gay’ porn/sex shop in London, called ‘Prowler’. So even when the Soho Mass organisers encouraged the congregation to visit a ‘gay’ porn/sex shop, which would be a grave occasion of sin, Archbishop Nichols publicly rebuked critics of the Soho Masses, telling us to ‘hold our tongues’.

        October 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm
      • westminsterfly


        “What do you make of this pontificate?
        It’s the one the Holy Spirit has given us, so I’m fine with it.”

        This error of thinking that the Holy Spirit has given us this or that Pope, bishop or whatever, is dealt with in this article by the late Dr William Marra: ‘On Papolatry’. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1275634/posts I would be interested to hear your thoughts on Dr Marra’s re-iteration of fundamental Catholic teaching.

        October 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    • Athanasius


      The Church has never said, or even hinted, that the Mass should be said in the vernacular at any time. Quite the contrary, John XXIII and Vatican II said that the Mass should remain in Latin, as it has been for 2000 years. Mass in the vernacular was a pet project of Paul VI’ against all previous Magisterial teaching. Sadly, his Modernist successors have continued to approve this abuse of authority of Paul VI by maintaining his experimental faith-destroying rite.

      We should remember when talking of the New Mass that it was completely “NEW”, invented, made up, “a banal on-the-spot fabrication”. It is not merely the old rite translated into the vernacular language.

      October 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm
    • Athanasius


      “Who has suggested the Mass should be in the vernacular only? Certainly not anyone with any authority.”

      Until Benedict XVI clarified the situation, Pope John Paul II and nearly every bishop since Vatican II said the Mass should be in the vernacular only. Remember, John Paul II permitted the Latin Mass only by personal celebrate. By instituting this permission-only celebrate he perpetuated the lie that the Latin Mass of the ages was abrogated and therefore no longer a hallowed rite free to every priest who wishes to celebrate it.

      In addition to this, I am aware of only a handful of bishops to this day who permit the Latin Mass in their dioceses. Now Pope Francis, contradicting Summorum Pontificum, has refused the Latin Mass once again to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, unless they ask for, and receive, the permission of a superior beforehand. Yes, the authorities in the Church since 1969, apart from Benedict, have made it perfectly clear that the Mass must be in the vernacular.

      October 23, 2014 at 12:36 am
  • Eileenanne


    Magisterial teaching applies only to Faith and Morals. The order of the Mass is neither and can therefore continue to evolve as it has for over 2000 years.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm
    • Summa

      Hi Eileenanne

      I have to agree with Athanasius here.

      When you change the Mass, you change the Faith because…

      When you change the Sacrifice of Our Lord, to a memorial dinner, you change the miracle of Transubstantiation to a Symbolic Ritual.

      When you adopt a Symbolic Ritual you deny the Real presence.

      When you deny the Real presence you adopt Protestantism.

      When you adopt Protestantism, you have lost the Faith.

      When you have lost the Faith, you have lost your salvation.

      October 23, 2014 at 2:01 am
      • Athanasius


        I would just point out for reasons of clarity that Transubstantiation is not absent from the New Mass, at least not where the priest has the intention of the Church to consecrate – the words of consecration being still present, albeit enshrouded in Protestant symbolism both before and after they are spoken. This having been said, the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and Communion in the hand while standing – both practices against the teaching of the Church and the Popes – exemplify just how Protestant the attitude has become in respect to Transubstantiation and the Most Blessed Sacrament.

        There has been a shocking decline in belief in the Real Presence and it has happened imperceptibly, by degrees, to the point where Catholics are no longer even aware of the enormity of the collective loss. In effect, while they protest their fidelity to belief in the Real Presence, they act as though they don’t really believe.

        October 23, 2014 at 10:51 am
      • Summa

        Yes, good point. My emphasis, though not stated was in the denial of the Real presence which in my mind precludes Transubstantiation. I may be wrong here too.

        October 24, 2014 at 4:35 am
      • Athanasius


        For many of the younger Catholics who have been denied Catechetics by their so-called Catholic priests, teachers and parents, it’s not so much about denial of the Real Presence as not having a clue what it actually means. Ditto, Transubstantiation.

        Older Catholics who were fortunate enough to be raised in less ignorant, holier times have more to answer for. In their case, there must be serious concerns regarding what actually believe now.

        For the life of me, I cannot see how anyone who truly believes in the Real Presence, actually grasping the reality of so great and holy a mystery, could ever even contemplate handling the Blessed Sacrament. Something isn’t right, that’s for sure!

        October 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm
    • Petrus


      This comment, more than any other comment, shows that you are a De facto Protestant. For a Catholic to say the Mass is not part of the Faith is really quite shocking. Even the Second Vatican Council described the Mass as “the source and summit of Christian Life.”

      The Rite of Mass has not evolved in the sense you mean. There have been small changes to the Mass over the years, usually additions. The rites of the Church must be approved and received, ie handed down. Never in the history of the Church was the rite of Mass handed down by the Church completely binned and a New Mass created from scratch.

      October 23, 2014 at 6:39 am
      • Eileenanne

        The Mass is very much part of the Faith. The Church has the power to allow any number of variations in the Rite or Order of Mass. Apart from maybe at the very beginnig of the Church, there has never been only one accepted way of celebrating Mass.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm
      • Petrus


        This is garbage. The Rite of Mass has always been almost identical, right from the very beginning. Yes, there have been different rites but they have all been almost identical to the Roman Rite of Mass, which stretches back not only to the time of St Gregory the Great but even further back to antiquity. This idea that there have been lots of very different rites is an absolute fallacy.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm
  • Athanasius



    What is at the heart of the Faith? Yes, the Mass, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Redemption. Besides that, Pope St. Pius V confirmed the Mass with Magisterial authority when he issued Quo Primum.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:47 pm
    • Eileenanne

      What is at the heart of the Faith? Yes, the Mass, the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Redemption. </i?
      Yes – quite true, regardless of which of the many acceptable and approved rites that are available.

      Pope Pius V did not allow only one version of the Mass. Even he allowed other rites to remain.

      October 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm
      • Eileenanne

        So sorry – messed up the formatting again. I think people will get the gist.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm
      • westminsterfly


        Never mind the formatting – it seems you just show up on this blog to drop bombs and move on – and seldom, if ever, satisfactorily answering any question put to you . . . did you see my post of October 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm? If so, please will you read Dr Marra’s article and I would be interested to hear your comments

        thank you

        October 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm
      • Petrus

        But those rites he allowed were almost identical to the Roman Rite.

        October 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm
  • Leo

    I don’t doubt for one second that discussion on the New Mass and the vernacular is relevant to any discussion on the subject of occasions of sin.

    As many here will know, Catholics owe an immense debt of gratitude to the late Michael Davies for his tireless scholarly endeavours in calling out the intoxicated Conciliar madness that has engulfed the Church. His book entitled, Pope Paul’s New Mass, is required reading for anyone wishing to inform themselves about the detailed and determined assault conducted against the Mass of the All Time, the Mass that was brought to these islands by Saints Augustine and Patrick. Did someone say something about razing the bastions?

    The following quotations from this book, or rather forensic study, give some very informative and incontrovertible insights and background.

    First off, the argument about pastoral necessity put forward by the liturgical Bolsheviks appears rather baseless in the light of these words which give the impression of pre-Conciliar calm and stability.

    “In an editorial on page six of the Spring 1962 issue of the Catholic Truth, official journal of the Catholic Truth Society, its editor Fr Francis Ripley, made the following remarks:

    ‘We firmly believe that most priests in this country will have sighed with relief when they read the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia issued by the Pope on 22 February forbidding attempts to supplant Latin as the language of the Church.

    ‘…This is one of the revolutions that will not be made by a militant minority. For the past few years the vernacularists have been extraordinarily vocal in certain sections of the Catholic press. Even when the late Pope said that there are many and grave reasons for retaining Latin in the Mass, they did not cease to continue their agitation.

    ‘As I travelled round the country coming into contact with hundreds of priests from every diocese, I formed the impression that a generous estimate of the strength of the vernacularists amongst the clergy would not be more than one in ten. This authoritative document from the Holy Father demonstrates how superficial and misleading the arguments against the use of Latin are. We hope and pray that the corpse of vernacularism will not be disturbed.’ (p. 90)

    “Writing in the Universe of 28 March 1969, Douglas Woodruff summarised the attitude of the faithful to the liturgy: ‘To judge by the The Universe editor’s mailbag, the great majority of the readers of The Universe have felt no need for liturgical experiments, and were deeply happy in the Church as She was up to three or four years ago.’”(p.91)

    The future liturgical commissars appeared to harbour totalitarian inclinations from the very beginning.

    “The truth is that not the least account was ever taken of whether or not the laity wanted change. Clerical bureaucrats had evolved a theory of what the liturgy ought to be like and this was what it was going to be like, even if it emptied the churches. Dom Gregory Murray typified the attitude of these bureaucrats perfectly when he wrote in The Tablet: ‘The plea that the laity as a body do not want liturgical change, whether in rite or in language, is, I submit, quite beside the point.’ He insisted that it is ‘not a question of what people want; it is a question of what is good for them.’” (p.91)

    The following words give an unsurprisingly memorable summary of the descent of the wolves on the peaceful and unsuspecting Catholic flock.

    “Writing in 1964, Evelyn Waugh commented on the fact that proponents of the changes then being imposed had been ‘with us in parts of the United States and northern Europe for a generation. We had looked upon them as harmless cranks who were attempting to devise a charade of second-century habits. We had confidence in the abiding Romanita of our Church. Suddenly we find the cranks in authority.’” (p.89)

    The testimony of one bishop, whom I quoted in a previous post, represents a not so early warning of the unprecedented destruction being unleashed.

    “Archbishop R. J Dwyer” (of Portland, Oregon) “accepted, with the benefit of hindsight, that the great mistake of the Council Father was ‘to allow the implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy to fall into the hands of men who were either unscrupulous or incompetent. This is the so-called ‘Liturgical Establishment’, a Sacred Cow which acts more like a white elephant as it tramples the shards of a shattered liturgy with ponderous abandon.’” (The Tidings, 9 July 1971), (Davies, p. 651)

    Writing in the National Catholic Register of 2 March 1975, Archbishop Dwyer described the ICEL translated New Mass as:

    “The inept, puerile, semi-literate translation which has been foisted upon us by the ICEL – the International Committee for English in the Liturgy- a body of men possessed of all the worst characteristics of a self-perpetuating bureaucracy, which has done an immeasurable disservice to the entire English-speaking Catholic world. The work had been marked by an almost complete lack of literary sense, a crass insensitivity to the poetry of the language, and, even worse, by a most unscholarly freedom in the rendering of the texts, amounting, at times to actual misrepresentation.” (Davies, pp 666-667)

    39 years later, the occupation continues, with no end in sight.

    October 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm
  • Leo

    Mention of the vernacular Mass reminded me of Father Stephen Somerville STL, who was a member, from 1964, of the Advisory Board of the International Commission on English Liturgy (ICEL) which was charged with translating the new post-Vatican II Latin liturgy in to English.

    Thirteen years ago Father Somerville, in a remarkable example of true humility, wrote an open letter by which he wished “to apologize before God and the Church and to renounce decisively my personal sharing in that damaging project.”

    I have attached a link to the full letter below, and quote a few excerpts here:

    “11 – Having just mentioned in passing the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), I now come to identify my other reason for renouncing my translating work on I.C.E.L. It is an even more serious and delicate matter. In the past year (from mid 2001), I have come to know with respect and admiration many traditional Catholics. These, being persons who have decided to return to pre-Vatican II Catholic Mass and Liturgy, and being distinct from “conservative” Catholics (those trying to retouch and improve the Novus Ordo Mass and Sacraments of post-Vatican II), these Traditionals, I say, have taught me a grave lesson. They brought to me a large number of published books and essays. These demonstrated cumulatively, in both scholarly and popular fashion, that the Second Vatican Council was early commandeered and manipulated and infected by modernist, liberalist, and protestantizing persons and ideas. These writings show further that the new liturgy produced by the Vatican “Concilium” group, under the late Archbishop A. Bugnini, was similarly infected. Especially the New Mass is problematic. It waters down the doctrine that the Eucharist is a true Sacrifice, not just a memorial. It weakens the truth of the Real Presence of Christ’s victim Body and Blood by demoting the Tabernacle to a corner, by reduced signs of reverence around the Consecration, by giving Communion in the hand, often of women, by cheapening the sacred vessels, by having used six Protestant experts (who disbelieve the Real Presence) in the preparation of the new rite, by encouraging the use of sacro-pop music with guitars, instead of Gregorian chant, and by still further novelties.

    “12 – Such a litany of defects suggests that many modern Masses are sacrilegious, and some could well be invalid. They certainly are less Catholic, and less apt to sustain Catholic Faith.”

    “16 – Dear non-traditional Catholic Reader, do not lightly put aside this letter. It is addressed to you, who must know that only the true Faith can save you, that eternal salvation depends on holy and grace- filled sacraments as preserved under Christ by His faithful Church. Pursue these grave questions with prayer and by serious reading, especially in the publications of the Society of St Pius X.”


    October 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm
  • Leo

    On the inextricable link between the Mass and Faith and Morals, the following magisterial teachings address the matter with typical pre-Conciliar clarity.

    Pope Pius XI, who stated that “it (the Mass) is the most important organ of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church”, summed up very well what has always been the mind of the Church down through the ages when he,in his 1928 Apostolic Constitution, Divini Cultus wrote:

    “No wonder then, that the Roman Pontiffs have been so solicitous to safeguard and protect the liturgy. They have used the same care in making laws for the regulation of the liturgy, in preserving it from adulteration, as they have in giving accurate expression to the dogmas of the faith.”

    “There exists, therefore, a close relationship between dogma and the sacred liturgy, as also between the Christian cult and the sanctification of the people.This is why Pope Celestine I thought that the rule of faith is expressed in the ancient liturgical.”

    Three year earlier,in his lamentably forgotten and buried Encyclical, Quas Primas, the same Pontiff explained that:

    “People are instructed in the truths of the faith and brought to appreciate
    the inner joys of religion far more effectively by the…celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any pronouncement, however weighty, made by the teaching of the Church.”

    Pope Pius XII, in his Encyclical Mediator Dei(1947),declared:

    “In the liturgy we make explicit profession of our Catholic faith;…the whole liturgy contains the Catholic faith, inasmuch as it is a public profession of the faith of the Church…This is the origin of the well-known and time-honoured principle: ‘the norm of prayer establishes the norm of belief’.”

    The Modernist wildcats who have been running amok for decades understand those words very well indeed. It’s an immeasurable tragedy that so many Catholics of good will, clergy and laity, don’t.

    October 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm
  • Eileenanne


    All perfectly true, and applicable to alll the accepted rites that the Churxch approves.

    October 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    • Petrus

      Approval is not all that is required, eileenanne. The rites of the Church have to be received too.

      October 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm
  • crofterlady

    Great posts, Leo.

    October 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm
  • Leo

    Thanks very much, Crofter Lady.

    I better pass on some commission for those words.


    With respect, the issue of the grave theological problems and dangers to the faith which surround Bugnini’s fabrication have been set out in detail on this blog time after time, after time. Therefore, I’m more than a little surprised at your comments. The new liturgy imposed in 1970 undermines faith in the Real Presence, in the propitiatory nature of the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the understanding of the unique, irreplaceable role of the ordained priest as alter Christus.

    Before calling any witnesses to the novus ordo catastrophe, I think it’s worth reminding readers that the great 19th century French Benedictine liturgist Dom Prosper Gueranger gave fair warning of danger back in 1840, in his Liturgical Institutions. The following only reinforces the point about the heretical spirit behind the Modernist attack on the Mass which erupted into open view in the 1960s.

    “The first characteristic of the anti-liturgical heresy is hatred of traditions as found in the formulas used in divine worship. One cannot fail to note this special characteristic in all heretics, from Vigilantus to Calvin, and the reason for it is easy to explain.

    “Every sectarian who wishes to introduce a new doctrine finds himself, unfailingly, face to face with the Liturgy, which is Tradition at its strongest and best, and he cannot rest until he has silenced this voice, until he has torn up these pages which recall the faith of past centuries.

    “As a matter of fact, how could Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism establish themselves and maintain their influence over the masses? All they had to do was substitute new books and new formulas in place of the ancient books and formulas, and their work was done. There was nothing that still bothered the new teachers; they could just go on preaching as they wished: the faith of the people was henceforth without defence.”

    The Mass of Annibale Bugnini was a fabrication that was not in any way shape or form an organic development from the Mass handed down over two millennia. What Luther and his fellow revolutionaries failed to do in the sixteenth century, the post Conciliar reforms succeeded in bringing about. Don’t anyone take my word for it. Dr Smith, one of the Lutheran representatives on the commission which was responsible for fabricating the new liturgy publicly boasted that “we have finished the work that Martin Luther began”.

    How about another Lutheran, Peter L. Berger, a professor of Sociology who at the Harvard Club on May 11, 1978 spoke as follows: “If a thoroughly malicious sociologist, bent on injuring the Catholic Church as much as possible, had been an advisor to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.” (taken from Michael Davies’ pamphlet, Liturgical Shipwreck, 25 Years of the New Mass)

    Professor von Hildebrand, described by Pope Pius XII a the Doctor of the Church in the twentieth century, wrote that “truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy, he could not have done it better.”- The Devastated Vineyard, p. 71 (ibid)

    Monsignor Klaus Gamber, who was not a “traditionalist”, wrote a book twenty years ago entitled The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, in which he described the new Mass as an unprecedented break with the Church’s entire liturgical tradition: “there has never actually been an actual break with Church tradition, as has happened now, and in such a frightening way, where almost everything the Church represents is being questioned.” (p. 109)

    He also wrote that “the real destruction of the traditional Mass, of the traditional Roman Rite with a history of more than one thousand years, is the wholesale destruction of the faith on which it was based, a faith that had been the source of our piety and our courage to bear witness to Christ and His Church, the inspiration of countless Catholics over many centuries. Will someone, some day, be able to say the same thing about the new Mass? Many Catholics agonize over the question: what can be done about the loss of our faith and of our liturgy?” (p. 102)

    October 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

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