“Time To Be Done With Vatican II…”?

“Time To Be Done With Vatican II…”?


The headline is taken from the closing words in the above video talk: “Time to be done with Vatican II. Time for the Catholic Church to become Catholic again.”

And so say all of us… unless you wish to disagree?

Comments (126)

  • editor

    In the above video, Michael Matt looks and sounds as totally fed up as I often feel myself and as I’m sure others here do, as well. Lay people like ourselves get tired of trying to keep the embers of the Faith alive while the religious, priests and bishops cause havoc in one way or another, whether by scandals or, in the case of those NOT causing scandals, by their determination – it seems – to keep their heads down and stay out of the firing line as much as possible. So, I do sympathise with his apparent exhaustion. Although I would add, “chin up!”

    Among the Dici news reports today, there is, as it happens, a short report on Vatican II, as it was meant to be. I publish the extract and link here to kick start this discussion:

    The Council as it ought to have been…

    Until now apologists have contrasted the Council with the postconciliar period, to condemn the second which allegedly betrayed the spirit of the first. They have denounced the “media Council” which supposedly distorted the true Council. They have pilloried the “para-Council” which is said to have obscured the brilliant insights offered by Vatican II.

    From now on we can compare the Council as it was with the one it ought to have been. Indeed, the magazine Courrier de Rome is starting to publish in French translation the schemas that had been carefully composed by the Preparatory Commission of the Council and were ruthlessly discarded at the end of the first session, on December 6, 1962. The Council Fathers were thus deprived of these preparatory works, which filled no less than 16 volumes with the schemas of 54 decrees and 15 dogmatic constitutions, amounting to more than 2,000 pages in all.

    The first volume published by Courrier de Rome, entitled Chastity, Virginity, Marriage, Family, which was composed by the Theological Commission, with Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani presiding, is already very instructive, especially if we compare it to the Instrumentum laboris or working document that is supposed to serve as the connecting thread of the Synod on the Family next October. In the one, we find clear, definite, precise expression; in the other, a vague, ambiguous, elastic compromise text.

    On the one hand, 24 pages of Scriptural, Patristic and Magisterial references; on the other, only one page of conciliar and postconciliar references, as though the Church were only 50 years old and what is preconciliar has become antediluvian! (Father Alain Lorans) Source

    August 7, 2015 at 3:35 pm
    • Gerontius

      Editor, “Time To Be Done With Vatican II…”? Lets hope OUR BISHOPS see the abomination in this video. Who would ever have believed that a pagan deity would be praised in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament by supposed catholics! Each day we seem to plumb new depths. It’s long past time for the good guys in authority to get rid of all deviants, freeks, sweetsingers and especially freemasons and money lovers from positions of power Holy Mother Church. If this is what Vatican II has led us to, how much worse is to come?
      As you can probably tell my blood is boiling over this offence to Our Lord.

      August 7, 2015 at 7:54 pm
      • editor


        “Each day we seem to plumb new depths…”

        Click here to read today’s offering, straight from the pages of The Scotsman Newspaper” – let’s hope and pray there is no foundation to the allegations.

        I’m glad your blood is boiling – too many Catholics are taking the shrug of the shoulders attitude, with a “nought to do with me” sentiment to match.

        Truly Catholic blood would definitely boil over at seeing that scandalous insult to Our Lord – praying to a false god (“goddess”!) in His Real Presence is outrageous in the extreme, shrug of the shoulders brigade take note.

        August 8, 2015 at 9:03 am
      • Gerontius

        With Holy Mother Church having to endure this troubling time of division, confusion and apostacy, replete with blasphemy and Sacrilege, the info in this article from the Rorate Caeli website I found to be both cogent and edifying. Can’t find if it has been posted before – hope not! Anyway, it certainly clarifies certain issues. Hope it helps someone who is suffering spiritually.


        August 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm
      • westminsterfly

        “Lets hope OUR BISHOPS see the abomination in this video”. I doubt if many would be overly concerned, I really don’t. Certainly not Cardinal Nichols who has already publicly offered flowers at the shrine of hindu ‘deities’:- http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100017721/archbishop-vincent-nichols-offered-flowers-at-the-altar-of-hindu-deities
        I have seen the Westminster Interfaith newsletter sent out by the diocese, and it is truly abominable. Blatant syncretism. None of this would have happened prior to Vatican II.

        August 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm
      • editor


        Sadly, I think you’re right. I remember that scandal of Archbishop Nichols offering flowers to the Hindu gods – still, he got his red hat in the end, so didn’t make any difference at all to his “career” prospects.

        I must check out the Archdiocesan website to see if I can trace the interfaith newsletter to which you refer.

        August 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm
  • Muffin Man Returns

    It doesn’t help when so called ‘conservative’ Catholics demonise and ostracise the SSPX and its supporters. The absurd irony is that, in as much as 95% of the council is satisfactorily orthodox, the SSPX accept more of the council than many modernist Catholics! The absurdity!

    I don’t think there is any hope anything will change. We can pray, but in reality, I feel that the Consecration of Russia is the only solution.

    This hilarious article would surely cheer Mr Matt up:

    (Anglican Ordinariate priest on the absurdity of forcing Catholics to accept every iota of Vatican Council II, this man is far more intelligent than most of our current prelates and theologians)


    August 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm
    • editor

      Muffin Man,

      As we emerged from Mass last night in our SSPX chapel, a man – middle-aged to elderly (I’m a hopeless judge of age, my own included, I keep thinking I’m 29 but relatives claim differently) anyway, the man was reading the notice board and called up to us that he thought the “Latin Mass” had been done away with years ago – “banned” was the word he used. We did a little bit of educating, but it’s some task. When the Faith hasn’t been taught in schools and pulpits since “that Council”, it’s hardly surprising that the politics of introducing a new Mass and falsifying the fate of the old, isn’t well known within the Catholic population.

      I agree with you that the Consecration of Russia is the only solution. Or, to be more precise, it’s the only solution that will finally end the crisis in the Church, consign Vatican II to its rightful place in Church history and restore the Faith. Roll on…

      I read the satirical article when you posted it on another thread. SO satirical that it could easily been true!

      August 8, 2015 at 9:11 am
      • Muffin Man Returns

        It could indeed have easily been true.

        Unfortunately, I think it will be lost on our neo-Catholic brethren, for they are Hegelians: whereas we view the council through the entirety of Tradition, the present in light of the past, they rather, view Tradition through the council, the past in light of the present.

        Although a few well-known chatty Catholics are becoming more sympathetic towards the SSPX, I don’t think the most hardened neo-Catholics will be changing their stance on Vatican II anytime soon, their delusion is just too powerful, and to understand why, here is an excellent article on its philosophical underpinnings:


        August 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    I wonder what the man last night would have thought of this article in the Remnant Newspaper. Would he have read it and disagreed with it? It might have given him food for thought.


    The trouble about people thinking that the Tridentine, otherwise known as the Old Latin Mass, is that Pope Paul VI and others allowed the lie be spread abroad, and without any correction that it this Immemorial Mass had never been banned.

    I agree with Muffin Man Returns that the Consecration of Russia is the only solution.

    August 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm
    • leprechaun

      Theresa Rose,

      Is there a typo in your posting? Could you please rephrase what you meant to say about the Old Latin Mass?

      The truth is that the Traditional Latin Mass was never banned.

      You seem to be saying that it was a lie that it was never banned, i.e., that it WAS banned – or so your post reads to me.

      Not saying this just to nitpick.

      August 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm
      • Theresa Rose


        Yes you are right, there indeed is a typo and I’ll try my best to rephrase it.
        And you are not nitpicking at all.

        Yes, the Tridentine Mass or as some say the Traditional Latin Mass has NOT been banned.

        Since we first saw the Mass of Pope Paul VI, if I am right in saying that the impression some priests, Bishops, maybe even Cardinals have given that the Tridentine Mass has been banned. Whether that impression was a deliberate lie on the part of those responsible – or – whether it was a mistake, it did however cause confusion amongst Catholics, and it still does.

        The Tridentine Mass has NEVER been banned. But how do you explain and teach Catholics that they have a right to attend the Tridentine Mass?

        Pope Paul VI as far as I understand never contradicted that the impression or the lie about the Tridentine Mass had never been banned.


        August 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm
      • editor

        Theresa Rose (and everyone else!)

        I’ve just had a text from a reader who alerts me to the fact that the newsletter dated 2nd August, of the Passionist priests at St Mungo’s parish in Townhead, Glasgow is apparently devoted to savaging the TLM

        I tried to access it online, but it isn’t linked. I’m posting the webpage here so if others can find a way in, please let me know what I’ve been doing wrong.

        The reader who texted was curious as to why they should be so furious about it, wondering if they are losing parishioners to the TLM. I’ve no idea, but I’m just dying to read their take on the ancient Mass. The first person to get us a copy, or through to the online version, gets a pay rise. That is a definite promise. Well, a definite “maybe” anyway 😀

        August 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm
      • Confitebor Domino


        Don’t understand what you can be doing wrong – it’s the very first thing that comes up when you click the link. Just scroll down the page and have yourself a good laugh.

        (It might change shortly – I don’t know when they post the latest newsletter (there doesn’t seem to be an archive)).

        August 8, 2015 at 10:48 pm
      • editor


        Silly me – I was looking for a link within the Newsletter Page as in our own Newsletter Page, not realising it was on the page and I had to scroll. I can be a real numpty at times. In any event, whoever wrote that nasty piece about the TLM ought to read my thoughts about his lack of skill in creating a website. Scrolling went out of fashion with the ark, or so I was reliably informed last time we updated our website. Thanks, CD for the tip…

        And, for the record, I’ve copied the nasty – and utterly ignorant – piece of nonsense here:

        “An elderly farmer, renowned for early rising, used to sit in the village church while waiting for the creamery to open. No doubt he used to pray a bit, but he also used to have a look at the newspaper. One morning the priest found him there and protested about the newspaper. “It’s OK, Father,” said the farmer, “I was reading the obituary column.” That stopped the priest in his tracks; he retreated with apologies. You can browse death in church, but not life.

        In those days everyone looked dead in church. In the Tridentine Mass there is no interaction between people, no common responses, no sign of peace. People sank into their private thoughts or devotions as soon as the Mass began; many said the rosary, and the less devout looked around them (but not behind them: that was taboo). Only the consecration bell brought them together; and for a few moments there was total silence. Then at the sixth bell there was always an outburst of coughing (that was the only common response). Few received Communion. We have forgotten how privatised the Tridentine Mass was.

        The reform of the Liturgy in the 1960s was an attempt to correct this eccentric development. There was nothing privatised about Jesus’ way of life or his way of worship. He spoke frequently of heaven as a banquet; he sat at table with all kinds of people; he miraculously fed the crowds. Sharing food is a frequent theme in the gospels, a favourite in Luke’s (see, for example, 5:29-32, and ch. 14).

        Is all privacy suppressed, then, in our religion? No, but the chasm between the private and the public is bridged. Eating is at once a private affair and very social. If we break a biscuit and you eat one half while I eat the other, my half becomes part of me and yours becomes part of you; biology is very individual in that sense. Yet eating is one of the most social of all activities; when people want to celebrate together and have joy in one another’s company, they think first of having a meal together. It is a wonderful bridging of the chasm between individual and community, between private and public, between selfish desire and unselfish. Neither is neglected or suppressed. This contains a profound wisdom about human living, and about the life of grace. My desire for God is not the enemy of my desire for my dinner, it is in continuity with it. The discontinuity is with greed, not with the natural appetite. In this sense the Eucharist is also a bridge between nature and grace.

        At the Eucharist we are not always fully present: sometimes we are half asleep; but that is not the worst kind of absence. The worst kind is when our hearts remain shut; then we are making community impossible, we are emptying the Eucharist of its meaning; and we are not allowing it to be a bridge between ourselves and our neighbour. The Lord is present on the altar so that he may be present in us; “this is my body” so that you can be my body, my bodily members, my completion. Jesus is the head of the Body, we are the members, said St Paul. The Eucharist is not only what happens on the altar, but what happens in the entire church (and what happens in our lives for the rest of the week). Listen not only to the readings and prayers, ‘listen’ also to the people around you: be aware of them, be grateful that they are there, don’t see them as strangers even if you don’t know their names, or even if you know some of them to be scoundrels. The one who said “I am the bread of life” wants us to share that bread – his life, his care, his love – with others, “so that we who are fed by God may live in God’s way” (St Cyprian).”
        (From the Newsletter, 2nd August, 2015, St Mungo’s Passionist church, Townhead, Glasgow)

        August 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm
      • editor

        I have not been able to resist the temptation to send an email to St Mungo’s – reading that scandalous piece a second time was just too much. Pat in my name is short for Patricia, not Patience. I’m copying my email here to feel good about myself – I mean, I’ve taken time from my pubbing and clubbing to write to the author of that piece of trash writing, and you all know how I hate to be late for the pubs and clubs. So, here it is – then I’m off to town!


        A reader has just alerted me to your newsletter item of 2nd August, in which you speak with the utmost nastiness and ignorance about the Traditional Latin Mass – you know, the Mass that nourished centuries of saints and gave us many martyrs. Not the song and dance routine that degrades most parishes today, but the beautiful Traditional Latin Mass which whoever wrote that nasty newsletter piece, clearly hates.

        The reader who texted to tell me about the piece, asked me why anyone, especially a priest, would hate the Traditional Mass so much, as to be able to write something like that. My reply? Because he hates what it represents, the “old” Faith – “old” to Modernists, of course, who think anything older than the latest smartphone is only fit for the dustbin. The truly educated, know that the ancient, traditional Mass is still much loved within the Church (which is why there is no fury quite like a Mass Modernist’s fury, so to speak.)

        I’ve now posted the text of this scandalous hate-filled piece of writing on our blog [link to this thread given] and I promise it space in our next newsletter because there are sound Catholics known to me who still attend St Mungo’s from time to time – I don’t, myself, despite having been baptised there, but I know others who do. This will alert them to the hatred of the old Faith now afflicting that once great parish. Gradually, more and more Catholics are having their eyes opened and their spiritual blindness cured and are fulfilling their Sunday obligation at the chapels of the Society of St Pius X. I believe your newsletter nugget will help draw in a few more…

        If you do as I recommend, and take a look at the above blog thread, it would also be worth your while watching the opening shots of the novus ordo Mass on the video, where they are praying to a pagan goddess. “Eccentric” … the ancient Mass? I’d love to hear your take on the “goddess” Mass. “Eccentric” is the least of it.

        You should be utterly ashamed of yourself for misrepresenting the Mass and the Catholic Faith to the readers of your newsletter. Utterly ashamed. And note: you will be held responsible by God, for any souls that you lead astray with your false history of this beautiful Mass, and for your manifest hatred of the true Faith which your despicable description of the ancient Mass reveals.

        Finally, I’m sorry to have to send this email. I’d much prefer to speak to the author of the nasty newsletter in person. In plain English.

        Catholic Truth

        August 8, 2015 at 11:31 pm
      • Christina

        Ach, you are too charitable to bother with such a fool, although one hopes that some of the unfortunate parishioners of St. Mungo’s will see what you have written here and stop attending a parish where the Mass has been stripped of all meaning. Well done Bugnini et al!

        I wonder what St. Paul of the Cross would think of these lamentable sentiments of his spiritual sons at St. Mungo’s, and of their shameful description of the Mass that he loved. He wrote:

        ‘Since the Mass is the renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, enter into the sentiments of compunction and love which animated the Blessed Virgin, Joseph of Arimathaea, and Nicodemus…..The Mass is the most favourable occasion to speak with the eternal Father, because then we offer Him His only Son as a Victim for our salvation. Before celebrating, reflect on the sufferings of your Redeemer; commune peaceably with Him, even in the midst of dryness: carry to the altar the needs of the entire world.’

        Compare and contrast – and then pray to St. Paul of the Cross that he might enlighten these blind Passionists.

        August 9, 2015 at 3:40 am
  • Muffin Man Returns

    The trouble with neo-Catholics is that they love the Church too much, in the sense it is an unrealistic love. I think this is the reason for their great love of the Pope, their papolatry

    We also love the Church, deeply, but they are like the husband who greatly loves his wife, but goes into denial when she becomes senile, and never visits her in the home he put her in, saying ‘she wasn’t the woman I married’.

    I think this hatred of trads is a defense mechanism. Why else would otherwise good Catholics hate traditional Catholics so much? I am of the opinion it is because we pose a threat to their delusion. They cannot admit their beloved Church could sucumb to such a predicament as it has, for they are attached to the idea of the Triumphant Church. So they accuse us of not loving the Church as much as they do, of not being part of it, of leaving it etc..

    I think this explains the pure anger I received once, when a very devout neo-Catholic shouted at me for saying I didn’t approve of guitars in the liturgy (and I was still a Novus Ordo attendee then as well). It would have been too painful for him to admit I was right, so instead he berated me. It is a defense mechanism, I am sure. They are all deluded, brainwashed even, as an SSPX priest once put it.

    When it comes down to it, some people will never be open to the arguments about the crisis. You either get it or you don’t. For this reason, I suppose those who do get it — traditional Catholics — are probably less legalistic*, more open-minded and more capable of subtlety of thought than many neo-Catholics, which is an other irony.

    August 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm
    • Muffin Man Returns

      Then of course you have the outright modernists who simply hate the church.

      August 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm
    • editor

      Muffin Man,

      Sometimes you actually do write and speak like a Fresh Cream Meringue Man. Absolutely spot on. Every word a jewel. You have hit a number of nails on their proverbial heads.

      Whataguy. What, as I say, a guy !

      August 8, 2015 at 10:37 pm
  • John Kearney

    The video was very thought provoking and I did not disagree in any way with what he presented. The ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ is something quite distinct from the Council itself. When Bishops and priests were telling their parishioners that certain changes have to be made in accordance with the Council, the people trusted them, as even my own wife chided me in the early days “What makes you think you are right and everyone else is wrong? When they caught on that something was indeed wrong however they would protest that we should do nothing and leave everything to God. The priests were still excused as were the Bishops and in our Diocese in the early days we had Bishop Warlock who was the almost the founder of the modernist Church in England. In the early days of the seventies I was not too troubled with the Mass in English, but then the false teaching started. The presence of Christ in the ‘Community’ was the Real Presence, the Church is the laity, There are two equal parts to the Mass the Scriptural and the Consecration. There was an attempt to stop saying the Hail Mary, and an attempt to stop praying to ‘bread’ in so called Adoration. These were the errors of the past and we must not ‘turn the clock back’ We did not have to kneel, for Communion is not about devotion, it is to unite the Community. We do not need to feel guilty about our sins for Jesus loves us. So Confession was restricted, and after all Jesus only taught ideals as the priests told divorced people in order to win favour. Notice how it was not so much getting away from the preconcilair Church but getting away from Jesus Himself by the emphasis on Community. THIS is what Our Lady of Fatima was warning us against. THIS is Communist errors within the Church, where the individual is mort important than the teachings of Christ and His Church. But there are hopeful sings in that many brave bishops and priests are coming forward and indeed the young priests today are not of the breed of the the past forty years and seminaries have changed. No more is a candidate asked if he would be able to work with a woman priest. Yes, there was almost a conspiracy for the English Church to defy this and admit women to the priesthood. But things suddenly changed, thank God. Now I know perhaps I have been criticising my parishioners harshly but the majority in my parish are loyal to Rome but it is like homosexual ‘coming out’ to declare yourself a Roman Catholic. I use Roman to distinguish myself from the anti-catholics who run the parish and also call themselves Catholics. But what to do, if only I had people of the SSPX calibre at the meetings I attend. Only three months ago I was at a meeting showing videos on Catholicism. One was on the authority of the Pope and Bishops. But “I have moved on” said one. “I do not trust the bishops” said another. The priest who was so interested in showing the videos that he had not watched it before hand did not allow me to speak a second time. But everyone know what I would have said anyway. There is room for co-operation at a lay level between the SSPX and ordinary fighting Catholics. Perhaps that is what we must look at – for were can certainly unite amongst ourselves despite the position of Bishops..

    August 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm
    • editor


      “When they caught on that something was indeed wrong however they would protest that we should do nothing and leave everything to God.”

      If you say that to them when they’re rattling a SCIAF of CAFOD box under your nose (God will take care of the poor…) they’d be quick enough to correct you.

      This is a common error – or rather, a common excuse to do nothing.

      August 8, 2015 at 10:48 pm
  • Petrus

    What a disgustingly evil piece on the Traditional Mass. Here’s my email.

    Dear Father,

    I write to you today regarding a piece that featured prominently in St Mungo’s newsletter dated 2nd August, 2015.  This piece regarding the “Tridentine Mass” (hereafter referred to as the Traditional Mass) was uncharitable, inaccurate and downright anti – Catholic.

    It is claimed in the piece that at the Traditional Mass:

    “People sank into their private thoughts or devotions as soon as the Mass began; many said the rosary, and the less devout looked around them (but not behind them: that was taboo).  Only the consecration bell brought them together; and for a few moments there was total silence.  Then at the sixth bell there was always an outburst of coughing (that was the only common response).  Few received Communion.”

    First of all, it should be made clear that the Traditional Mass isn’t,  in fact, “Tridentine”.  Yes, it was codified at the Council Of Trent, but stretches back, in essence, to at least the time of Pope St Gregory the Great. It is the Mass that the martyrs, including our own St John Ogilvie,  died for.  What the article in question is claiming, is that the Church got it wrong for 1900 years and the Second Vatican Council corrected this.  This doesn’t take into account that the Council did not call for a “New Mass”. 

    I have never witnessed what has been written at a Traditional Latin Mass.  The vast majority of the faithful follow the Mass in their Missal, including children.  What has been written is highly offensive to the faithful Catholics who attend the Traditional Mass. 

    It is, of course, commendable that the priests of St Mungo’s wish to develop piety and devotion.  However, this intention can only be brought to fruition by examining the piety and devotion of the lay faithful who attend the New Mass at St Mungo’s.  The last time I attended Mass at your parish I was appalled at what I saw.   The laity spoke to each other all the way through Mass, children played with toys and the lack of devotion of those receiving Holy Communion was plain to see. Indeed, this scenario is played out in most modern parishes.  I have witnessed children receiving Holy Communion in the hand and taking it back to their seat before playing with the consecrated host.  A few months back, at a First Holy Communion in a parish in the north of Glasgow, a so – called Catholic teacher took the consecrated host outside and was photographed with it in his hand.  This photograph later appeared on Twitter.  Please tell me what would Our Lord prefer: silent devotion or a pantomime, flavoured with indifference and sacrilege?

    So please refrain from posting nasty, inaccurate attacks on the Traditional Mass and those who attend it faithfully.  

    August 9, 2015 at 2:10 pm
    • editor


      Excellent email. I hope they sit up and think again now. I was telling a gentleman after Mass this morning about the piece and he replied instantly that he sometimes goes to St Mungo’s but added “not any more.”

      August 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm
  • John Kearney

    Well said Petrus. Of course he priests at St Mungo’s played their part in the Spirit of Vatican II deceits. They know they failed the people, they know that because of them thousands lapsed but they will not examine themselves and ask “Was it my fault” They are happy with their empty Churches. I went to a Catholic Primary School in the forties and we had a 10 am Mass every Sunday for children. A schoolteacher was there who explained every part of the Mass to us and led us in prayers and devotions related to the Mass which as an adult we carried on. We knew we were at the Sacrifice of Christ renewed on the altar. We did not have a Liturgy of the Word and a Liturgy of the Eucharist, we were at the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus. Go to a mainstream Catholic Church and ask the people as they leave what they have just attended. You would be amazed at the replies. So that is one thing we oldies knew why we were there and did not have to play community games. The Roasry was certainly forbidden by my parish priest, we had to pray the Mass as we were taught. But when you are struggling to sell a cheap paste instead of a real diamond you have to use all the deceptions you can use and appealing to people’s ignorance is a winner.

    August 9, 2015 at 4:40 pm
    • editor


      “Go to a mainstream Catholic Church and ask the people as they leave what they have just attended. You would be amazed at the replies.”

      That is almost word for word what my Presbyterian Minister tutor said to me when I did my post-graduate degree in Aberdeen. At the time, I was surprised and wasn’t sure – now I’m sure. He was right. With bells on.

      August 9, 2015 at 5:12 pm
  • Athanasius

    Here’s my email to the Passionists at St. Mungo’s.

    Dear Fathers,

    I am writing to express my great sorrow over your loss of love for the Holy Mass that sanctified the saints and martyrs. I speak of course of the ancient Latin Mass that you so scandalously savaged on your web page.

    In that lamentable article you write: “In the Tridentine Mass there is no interaction between people, no common responses, no sign of peace.”

    You’re right about that, of course. But neither were such activities evident on Calvary. What is recorded of that Redeeming event is precisely what you appear to despise, viz. “…People sank into their private thoughts or devotions…” The active ones were those who laid hands on Our Blessed Saviour, scourged Him, mocked Him and nailed Him to the Cross. The silent ones were the Blessed Virgin, the holy women and St. John, who contemplated the Sacrifice of the Lord in a supernatural union of love, adoration and sorrow.

    You go on to write in respect to the Mass of all time: “…Few received Communion…” Perhaps that is your recollection, it is not mine. What I can tell you is that however many received Communion did so on their knees in humility and reverence, receiving the Blessed Sacrament on their tongue from the consecrated hand of the priest, which remains the Church’s discipline to this day.

    Communion in the hand originated illicitly post-Vatican II, courtesy of Cardinal Suenens of Belgium. It has since become a much-abused Indult that has engendered a culture of irreverence and indifference towards Our Lord in His Real Presence (see Paul VI’ Memoriale Domini), and has often facilitated those with sacrilegious intent who steal the consecrated species for unholy purposes.

    If, as the Church infallibly teaches, even the tiniest particles of the Sacred Host remain the full body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord, then how do your priestly consciences sit with the multitudes of particles that fall daily to the ground and are trodden under foot at every “reformed” Mass? Do you ever think about this? Do you care?

    Given that the Blessed Sacrament Exposed sits upon a table unadorned in your church, acknowledged more reverently by some of the faithful than by the priests, who can barely manage a nod of the head in the Presence of their Lord, I have my doubts that any of you have retained the fullness of the Catholic Faith. The bitter Lutheran spirit of your web article against the Church’s ancient liturgy certainly appears to betray such a tragedy.

    And it continues with this incredible statement: “…We have forgotten how privatised the Tridentine Mass was. The reform of the Liturgy in the 1960s was an attempt to correct this eccentric development.”

    Again, don’t you realise that Luther said exactly the same thing about the Mass? He too rejected the exclusive high altar Sacrifice of Christ the Victim offered by Christ the High Priest to the Father in favour of a people’s interactive meal service over a table. In other words, he, like you, favoured a man-centred liturgy over a God-centred one, which is the clearest sign of lost supernatural faith.
    So now let us examine the reformed liturgy you champion, which Cardinal Ratzinger once referred to as a “banal, on-the-spot fabrication.”

    While His Eminence was certainly correct in his observation of banality in respect to this 1969 rite, he was a little off the mark in his assessment of when it was fabricated. In fact, it was fabricated by the Protestant Reformers back in the 16th century and merely re-worked post-Vatican II by Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, its chief architect.

    We know this from the theology underpinning the rite, which, as Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci noted in their famous ‘Intervention’ to Pope Paul VI, “represents as a whole and in its individual parts a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as codified at the Council of Trent.”

    But Mgr. Bugnini himself warned us of his treacherous intentions in a March 19, 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano when he stated clearly that: “We must remove from our Catholic liturgy and prayers all that can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.”

    Who could have guessed that very soon after the launch of his “reformed liturgy” other Protestant innovations would quickly and illicitly follow until the faith of our fathers was no longer discernible in the parishes of the universal Church.

    Well did Mgr. Bugnini publicly declare in 1974, just prior his exile to Iran, that his “reformed Mass” represents “a conquest of the Catholic Church.” These damning words surely echo those of Martin Luther many centuries before him, who declared: “Destroy the Mass and you will destroy the Catholic Church.”

    Well, what are the fruits of your favoured “reformed liturgy”? Is it not evident to you that since its debut there has been only a rapid decline in priestly and religious vocations the world over, that seminaries and religious houses have closed down in vast numbers, as have parish churches, and that millions of Catholics have apostatised from the Faith, allured more by the entertainments of the world than by Father’s local interactive liturgy.

    Can’t you see how empty and truly “banal” your new Mass is; how it has led to countless unprecedented liturgical abuses, catechetical ignorance, indifference to the sacred and a general laxity in the service of God? Indeed, do you not recognise even in your article that you use Protestant terminology, describing the Mass as a Eucharistic meal rather than the Sacrifice of Calvary that it truly is?

    Your priestly hands were consecrated to offer a priceless treasure to God the Father for the remission of sins. You have exchanged that treasure for a cheap imitation trinket, which, while still valid as a Mass when offered with the mind of the Church, is nevertheless imbued with a poisonous Protestant theology that erodes the Catholic Faith of all who embrace it.

    This fact was already evident in the mid 1970s when Pope Paul VI lamented that “through some fissure in the walls, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and set her on a path of auto-destruction.”

    What Paul VI observed at that time was the realisation of the prophetic warning of his predecessor, Pius XII, who said: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith in her liturgy, her theology and her soul.…I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past. A day will come when the civilised world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God” (Msgr. Roche, Pie XII devant l’histoire, pp. 52-53).

    As for myself, I make no apologies for cleaving to the Traditions of the Church during this time of crisis, including the Mass that sanctified the saints. If it was good enough for them, it is good enough for me.

    Having witnessed life in a modern parish during my formative years, years of superficial Catholicism, I have now, by the grace of God, turned my back forever on the “reformed liturgy,” having regained the sacred patrimony that was so cruelly stolen from me and my contemporaries by Modernist clerical innovators.

    I will pray for the priests of St. Mungo’s, but I will have nothing further to do with any of you unless and until you make public reparation for so wicked an assault on a venerable and valid liturgical rite of the Church. May Our Lady open your eyes to the spirit that incited such hate-filled invective, for it was certainly not the Holy Spirit.

    Respectfully yours in Jesus & Mary

    August 9, 2015 at 7:53 pm
    • Petrus

      Athanasius  Sometimes I do not like you! When I read your response tonight I thought,  “That’s what I wanted to write but could find the words”. An absolute masterpiece!

      Sent from my Samsung device

      August 9, 2015 at 8:02 pm
      • Athanasius


        Your own response was perfectly concise and to the point, every bit as pertinent as my own contribution. It’s all down to the grace of God how we individually put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. I just hope our combined letters will cause these poor priests to reflect on how theologically wayward they have become. These Passionists have lost their passion!

        August 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm
      • editor


        Petrus? Athanasius?

        What about me? Mine? 😯

        Offended? Me? Moi? For being ignored…. again? No way! Well, not really… 😀

        August 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm
      • Petrus

        Yours was garbage! 😉

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 9, 2015 at 10:23 pm
      • Athanasius


        I included you in “our combined letters.” But I howled at Petrus’ response. I assume that will be him on a minus salary for a while!

        August 9, 2015 at 10:31 pm
      • editor


        Your charity is impressive. Thank you for not naming me in particular, but for calling me a “combination” (more or less…!) I’ve been called plenty of names in the past, but that’s a first. Thank you!

        Presumably the slight has been noted on high – which will be why Pope Francis sent you the following personal message …


        Well, it’s gone midnight and I’m tired! What’s left of my brain after a hectic day, needs a rest! 😀

        August 10, 2015 at 12:25 am
  • Fidelis


    “that will be him on a minus salary for a while!”

    LOL !

    August 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm
  • editor

    LOL, you say? Well, I’m going to have a coffee and think about this….


    PS Will let you know when I’ve made a decision, Petrus… 😀

    August 10, 2015 at 12:05 am
  • Helen

    All those letters were good but, yes, Athanasius, yours is a masterpiece. I suggest you send it to every bishop in Scotland and to the Catholic press. It’d be a waste not to reach a greater audience.

    August 10, 2015 at 9:21 am
  • Theresa Rose

    Yes, I too agree that those letters were good. Athanasius, as Helen suggests you send yours to the press and every bishop in Scotland. Maybe Petrus should do likewise. I would like to have seen the reaction of the Passionists at St. Mungo’s to both your emails.

    August 10, 2015 at 9:39 am
    • editor

      Helen and Theresa Rose,

      Fear not – Both Athanasius’ letter and Petrus’ letter are published in the October newsletter, although it would be good if they also sent them now, to the Bishops pf Scotland, as you suggest.

      I hope you both emailed as well – doesn’t have to be lengthy, just a few lines to express your concern/annoyance/disgust/ blah blah will drive home the message. I’ve not had a reply and I suspect nobody will receive a reply – the same distorted mind behind that shocking attack on the Mass, won’t bother with the ordinary courtesies of life like acknowledging, let alone replying to, emails of complaint. And, anyway, how DOES one defend the indefensible?

      August 10, 2015 at 9:49 am
  • editor

    Here’s some very good news – although NOT for those who hate the SSPX…

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider: “there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition”

    Our partners at Adelante la Fe, who run Rorate Caeli en Español, have interviewed His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, on a wide range of topics. While the entire interview is worth reading, his remarks on the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) merit a close examination. This follows two visits to SSPX seminaries, as requested of him by the Holy See.

    Adelante la Fe: Your Excellence has recently visited the SSPX [seminaries] in the United States and France. We know it was a “discreet” meeting but, can you make an evaluation for us of what you saw and talked with them about? What expectations do you have of a coming reconciliation and which would be the main obstacle for it?

    Mons. Schneider: The Holy See asked me to visit the two [seminaries] of the SSPX in order to conduct a discussion on a specific theological topic with a group of theologians of the SSPX and with His Excellency Bishop Fellay. For me this fact shows that for the Holy See the SSSPX is not a negligible ecclesiastical reality and that it has to be taken seriously. I am keeping a good impression of my visits. I could observe a sound theological, spiritual and human reality in the two [seminaries]. The “sentire cum ecclesia” of the SSPX is shown by the fact that I was received as an envoy of the Holy See with true respect and with cordiality. Furthermore, I was glad to see in both places in the entrance area a photo of Pope Francis, the reigning Pontiff. In the sacristies there were plates with the name of Pope Francis and the local diocesan bishop. I was moved to assist the traditional chant for the Pope (“Oremus pro pontifice nostro Francisco…”) during the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

    To my knowledge there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition, meanwhile they should be accepted as they are. This was indeed Archbishop Lefebvre’s petition to the Holy See: “Accept us as we are”.

    I think the issue of Vatican II should not be taken as the “conditio sine qua non”, since it was an assembly with primarily pastoral aims and characteristics. A part of the conciliar statements reflects only its time and possesses a temporary value, as disciplinary and pastoral documents do. When we look in a two millennia old perspective of the Church, we can state, that there is on both sides (Holy See and the SSPX) an over-evaluation and over-estimation of a pastoral reality in the Church, which is Vatican II.

    When the SSPX believes, worship and conducts a moral [life] as it was demanded and recognized by the Supreme Magisterium and was observed universally in the Church during a centuries long period and when the SSPX recognizes the legitimacy of the Pope and the diocesan bishops and prays for them publicly and recognizes also the validity of the sacraments according to the editio typica of the new liturgical books, this should suffice for a canonical recognition of the SSPX on behalf of the Holy See. Otherwise the often repeated pastoral and ecumenical openness in the Church of our days will manifestly loose its credibility and the history will one day reproach to the ecclesiastical authorities of our days that they have “laid on the brothers greater burden than required” (cf. Acts 15:28), which is contrary to the pastoral method of the Apostles. All emphases in original which you can read here

    August 10, 2015 at 10:07 am
    • gabriel syme

      That is indeed good news Editor, thank you for posting it.

      +Schneider sums up the situation well and, with his clear summary of the position of the SSPX, demonstrates that there is indeed no justification for efforts to marginalise the Society.

      (Unfortunately, the place I am based for work right now blocks access to Rorate Caeli – it seems they have over-zealous software which classifies Rorate as a “adult” website; go figure! But I will check out the original later).

      August 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm
  • crofterlady

    I’ve just listened to that talk by Michael Matt. In it he says that Benedict 16th “was coerced into resigning”. Then he says “yes, Cardinal Kasper, you heard me COERCED. We all know about that”.

    Well, I don’t know! Can someone enlighten me?

    August 10, 2015 at 10:18 am
    • crofterlady

      Boo hoo, can somebody, anybody, explain, if you please?

      August 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm
      • editor


        What Michael Matt was saying was that, just as someone in a job can be forced out of the workplace because people around them make it so difficult and unpleasant for them, so with Pope Benedict. Nobody held a gun to his head and forced him (in the physical sense) to resign but my own Vatican contact at the time (cough, cough) told me that Pope Benedict had kept two things well under wraps until virtually the last minute, for fear he would be prevented from getting them out there: one was the lifting of the SSPX excommunications, and the second was Summorum Pontificum.

        In the case of the latter, if you recall, we were led to expect it on a particular day but there was a delay of a few days during which concessions had to be made to the “liberals” – I suspect the coining of the stupid term “Extraordinary Form” was one of them. I think it is reasonable to assert that so great was the fury of the “wolves” * within, that Pope Benedict was forced out of office, as a result.

        That’s all Michael Matt means. He’s letting Cardinal Kasper know that we all know that Pope Benedict did, in fact, “flee for fear of the wolves” * – who caused him, in the end, to throw in the towel and abdicate.

        * Remember. on the day of his election Pope Benedict asked us to “pray that I do not flee for fear of the wolves.”

        August 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm
    • Neil

      Crofterlady, you have made a very interesting observation – have you considered contacting Michael Matt and asking for pertinent information?

      August 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm
      • editor

        That’s a good idea. It just might be, Neil, that somebody has told Michael Matt (and nobody else in the entire world) that Pope Benedict was lying when he issued a public statement to say he was not forced or coerced into resigning. Most commentators have concluded from that, that he was too tired to continue, for whatever reason (modernists) OR that he was “forced out” as in the sense of constructive dismissal, outlined in my reply to Crofterlady above (“traditionalists”)

        Still, no harm in asking Michael Matt, Crofterlady, on the off chance that he actually IS the only person in the entire world to have a first hand reliable source who has spilled the “truth beans”. Just don’t expect a speedy reply. Michael is not known for his speedy replies to correspondence!

        We’re waiting 😀

        August 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm
  • John Kearney

    Benedict XV1 was a Pope who tried very had to reform the Roman Curia, but he was surrounded by enemies who worked against him. He had set out to replace people like Kasper but for years they had built up real influence. It is quite clear when Bishop Schneider for example questions why there had to be written consent to Vatican II by the SSPX when it was clearly nonsense that somewhere in the Vatican someone else was wielding power. I have no doubt there will be many revelations in the future on this event. One thing is clear however and that is that the Church badly needs the influence of committed Catholics like the members of the SSPX who will not just leaves things to God but realise their own responsibilities in the matter of change, I look forward to marching shoulder to shoulder with the Editor. On the Synod on Marriage. I have been here before. There was no doubt at all in the sixties that the Church ruling on contraception would change. With the smoke of Satan blowing through the Vatican and nobody shouting fire it seemed a foregone conclusion. But thee was intervention and I believe it came from heaven – the Church remained infallible and it will still be infallible after the Synod on Marriage.

    August 10, 2015 at 5:44 pm
    • crofterlady

      Mmm, we’ll see.

      August 10, 2015 at 6:27 pm
    • editor


      Sorry, but Pope Francis has no intention of replacing people like Cardinal Kasper – he’s given Cardinal Kasper a leading role in the Synod on the Family and publicly praised his dissenting beliefs.

      As for the sixties and contraception – few Catholics today, according to the statistics available, think there’s anything wrong with it. The Church’s teaching was distorted to mislead people into thinking that their “consciences” (self will in reality) could allow them to use the pills and devices which prevent conception, and the false teaching on conscience coupled with the emphasis on NFP, has changed the Church’s teaching on birth control in the minds of the majority of Catholics. It’s that same “to all appearances” that is coming with the forthcoming Synod. The Church’s teaching cannot change but it can be ignored and misrepresented by unfaithful priests and bishops. After all, the Church’s teaching on one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, didn’t stop that Canadian priest from encouraging the worship of the “goddess” Gaia at the end of his Mass, did it? How are the parishioners, especially the young, expected to comprehend the gravity of acknowledging, let alone praying to, a false god when their priest is allowing it?

      August 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm
      • anne

        “All the evils in the world are due to Lukewarm Catholics” (Pope Pius X)
        springs to mind when I look at Pope Francis and the state of the church.

        Mundabor hit the nail on the head when he said “It’s your spineless reaction that encouraged him! You are not part of the solution! You are part of the problem!
        If ten thousand good Catholic people were to boo Francis in St Peter’s square once, all this mess would end. They prefer to have a Synod in which heresy and blasphemy are put to discussion instead”.

        I am sure other religions would have acted with more fervour and a lot earlier to block this diabolical plot spear-headed by Pope Francis and the Vatican.
        I myself have been guilty of watching the church going down without defending her.
        God bless,

        August 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm
      • Fidelis


        “If ten thousand good Catholic people were to boo Francis in St Peter’s square once, all this mess would end.”

        LOL! That’s a great idea!

        August 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm
  • Semper Fidelis

    Hopefully, this site will further the work of The Church and do something special for The World Day of Prayer for The Care of Creation on September 1st each year.

    Any group in Full Communion with Rome doesn’t need special Canonical provision. Indirectly The Archbishop Schneider is confirming the fact that The SSPX is not so in Communion.

    August 10, 2015 at 6:52 pm
    • Petrus

      Spoken like a true ignoramus!

      Sent from my Samsung device

      August 10, 2015 at 7:14 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        On the contrary a Personal Prelature, for example, is created for organisations in Full Communion.

        August 10, 2015 at 7:16 pm
      • Petrus

        What does “Full Communion” mean? There’s no such thing as “partial Communion”.  Why don’t you also tell us the difference between a canonical irregularity and not being in Communion?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        Christians who are imperfect Communion, such as Anglicans, enter into Full Communion on their reception into The Church.

        You are surely aware that we recognise baptism celebrated by other Christian denominations, and some Orthodox ecclesial bodies are not in Full Communion.

        In RCIA 493, the text for the Act of Reception follows:

        N, the Lord receives you into the Catholic Church.
        His loving kindness has led you here,
        so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit
        you may have full communion with us
        in the faith that you have professed in the presence of his family.

        August 10, 2015 at 7:42 pm
      • Petrus

        You didn’t answer the question and the answer you gave was incorrect.  We don’t automatically recognise Baptism. The situation should be thoroughly investigated and if there’s any doubt Conditional Baptism should be administered.   It’s also important to say that if a Baptism is valid on a non-Catholic community then it is a Catholic baptism.  There’s no such thing as “Protestant Baptism”.  Therefore, if a child is baptised in a Protestant community and the Baptism is valid, he or she is, in fact, Catholic.  Once that child reaches an age when they can decide not to enter into the true Church, they excommunicate themselves.  So there is, in fact, no “imperfect Communion”. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        We automatically recognise certified baptism by recognised ecclesial bodies such as The Anglican Communion. Conditional baptism, in the majority of cases, would not be required if there documentary evidence.

        You are mistaken.

        August 10, 2015 at 7:52 pm
      • Athanasius

        Semper Fidelis

        There is no such thing as a certified ecclesial body apart from the Church founded by Our Lord. Non-Catholic sects may appear ecclesial to men but they are no such thing before God. His Catholic Church alone is divinely ecclesial, unless one denies the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

        As for Baptism in these Protestant sects. Assuming the form has been maintained, the Church accepts certain Protestant Baptisms because the Sacrament is Catholic and is one of only two that can be administered by lay people.

        By the way, Petrus is right, there is no such thing as partial communion with the Church. One is either a member of the Church or one is not. Schismatics and formal heretics are completely, not partially separated from the Catholic Church.

        The SSPX is neither schismatic nor excommunicated, hence the SSPX is in full communion with the Pope and the Church. Internal disputes on matters pertaining to a pastoral council cannot by any stretch of the imagination be deemed schism. Bishop Schneider makes the point very clearly, and he’s not the first senior Churchman to do so.

        August 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        I said “certified baptism” by ecclesial bodies like The Anglican Communion.

        To quote The Catechism of The Catholic Church:

        “Wounds to unity

        817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.”269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body – here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 – do not occur without human sin:

        Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271
        818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”272

        819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth”273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

        And to quote Bishop Fellay in June 2015:

        “First of all, it has a juridical and administrative effect with no implications as far as the Society’s general relations with—to put it simply—the official Church are concerned. But the secondary effects are not easy to evaluate correctly. There is no doubt that Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, had promised to help the Society obtain the Argentinian State’s recognition of our society as Catholic and that he kept his promise. So we have no choice but to think that he does consider us Catholic.”

        August 10, 2015 at 8:09 pm
      • Athanasius

        Semper Fidelis

        Much of what you have quoted from the Modernist Catechism was once more clearly expressed in the Trent Catechism. Effectively, all grace and supernatural virtue comes only through the Catholic Church, union with which is indispensable for salvation.

        What that means is that those outside the visible Church, meaning those in invincible ignorance of the true religion, who nevertheless live a good Christian life by the lights they have, are in effect united in spirit with the Catholic Church. These are called “invisible Catholics”. As the old truth declares: they can be saved by the grace of God in their false religions, but not by their false religions.

        Consequently, this quote from the new Catechism: “Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation…” is heretical, contradicting the infallible dogma “Outside the Church no salvation.”

        Your quote from Bishop Fellay is out of context and therefore has no bearing on what Bishop Schneider said.

        August 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm
      • Neil Morris


        The SSPX is neither schismatic nor excommunicated, hence the SSPX is in full communion with the Pope and the Church.

        Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison says otherwise. And so it goes, Cardinal against Cardinal, Bishop against Bishop. I came across the below article today and post it in case you are interested.


        August 11, 2015 at 8:39 pm
      • editor


        That letter from the Bishop contains plenty of howlers. I’ll leave those to Athanasius, since you address your comment primarily to him. I decided to check out all the traditional Masses which he tells readers are to be found within his diocese and found only two on Sundays; one at the unearthly hour of 7.30.a.m. (I don’t know the place but would happily place a bet that its location matches its name – out in the wilds) and the other at 11.a.m. which is at least manageable for parents trying to get small children ready and allowing travel time. And that is presuming that the church is NOT out in the wilds. Typically, however, the majority are on weekdays. That’s the trick played all the time. Allowing traditional Masses on any and every day of the week except the one day when we are obliged to attend. Priceless. Here’s the list of TLMs in the diocese, from the page which the Bishop links to his letter – emphasis added by me…

        Following are Masses in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine Mass) in the Diocese of Madison. Check with the parish to confirm Mass times.

        • St. Clement Church, 135 S. Washington St., Lancaster — 8:15 a.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

        • St. Mary Church in Pine Bluff, 3663 County Hwy. P, Cross Plains — 7:30 a.m., Sunday

        • Bishop O’Connor Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison — Pontifical Mass at the Throne celebrated on most major feast day.

        • St. Barnabas Church, 410 Cramer St., Mazomanie — 8 a.m., Saturday

        • St. Mary Church, 131 Main St., Merrimac — 7 p.m., first Thursday

        • St. Augustine Church, 135 S. Hickory St., Platteville — 8 a.m., Sunday, 6:30 a.m., Monday, Tuesday, Friday; 12 noon, Wednesday, Thursday

        • St. Mary Church, 130 W. Cedar St., Platteville — 8 a.m., Saturday

        • St. Norbert Church in Roxbury, 8944 Hwy. Y, Sauk City — 11 a.m., Sunday; HURRAH! One Sunday Mass at a reasonable time for families which include children! WOW! 6:30 a.m., Monday through  Friday. END.

        I hope those in Madison reading the Bishop’s letter can see through it, and double check the (false) information which he provides; whether he is misleading readers knowingly or not, we can’t be sure. Whatever, he is peddling false information, so let’s hope and pray that those affected by his words, are either more knowledgeable than he is, or take the time to check the facts.

        August 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm
      • Athanasius

        Neil Morris,

        Thank you for posting that link to Bishop Morlino’s column.

        You are absolutely correct in highlighting the obvious, which is that the Cardinals and the bishops continue to contradict each other in respect to the status of the SSPX. Bishop Morlino is just the latest to get it catastrophically wrong.

        At a time when many Catholics worldwide, senior prelates among them, are truly concerned by the scandal Pope Francis has caused by his Synod on the Family, a Synod which is clearly set up to open the back door to irregular marriages and sexual relationships in the Church, Bishop Morlino thinks it more important to create doubt in the minds of his faithful about the canonical status of SSPX marriages. Straining on a gnat while swallowing a camel comes to mind!

        The fact is that the Holy See has never declared against the validity of SSPX marriages and confessions, which it would be duty bound to do if there are truly serious questions arising in regard to these Sacraments. It so happens, in fact, that the Holy See handles occasional marriage annulment cases that the SSPX sends to Rome for official Church judgment. This arrangement has been going on for many years.

        As for communion with Rome, the SSPX has not altered the Faith of our fathers in the slightest way since Vatican II, unlike Bishop Morlino and the rest. Consequently, the question arises as to how those who have changed nothing of the deposit of faith can seriously be declared out of communion with the Holy See while every kind of heretic, schismatic and moral deviant in a Roman collar remains in “good standing”.

        If what bishop Morlino says is true, then every saint and martyr of the past 2000 years is now out of communion with the the Holy See. That’s not a bad company for the SSPX to be in.

        That’s our comfort when they falsely accuse us and persecute us as schismatics, etc. We know that we are not the ones who have changed the faith and brought the Church to her knees in an unprecedented crisis. Fidelity to Sacred Tradition in times of danger and confusion, say the saints, merits heaven, not hell.

        I hope this bishop Morlino is genuine in his ignorance and not just another clever liberal pretending to respect the priests and faithful of the SSPX while putting the boot in against them with unfounded and divisive allegations.

        The only thing I will agree with him on is the danger that some in the SSPX can develop a schismatic mindset over time. It’s not a big worry for the main SSPX but, as the so-called “Resistance” led by Bishop Williamson amply demonstrates, it is always a trap of the devil that some unwary souls can fall into.

        August 11, 2015 at 11:19 pm
      • Confitebor Domino

        I’ve been thinking (yes, I know it’s dangerous!) about Bp Morlino’s warning and it occurs to me that he says the following:

        (1) “It would be inaccurate to call it [i.e the SSPX] a schismatic group in a strict sense …”

        (2) “my plea to the traditionally-minded faithful of the diocese is to have nothing to do with them”

        In other words – these people are Catholics but you should have nothing to do with them!

        Well, here is the last clause of canon 751:

        “schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” (emphasis added)

        Now, I’m no canon lawyer but surely a plain reading of can. 751 implies that Bp Morlino’s warning, taken at face value, itself displays the much-dreaded “schismatic mindset”.

        Or have the modernists now decided that it’s possible to be Catholic and non-Catholic simultaneously!

        August 12, 2015 at 12:19 am
      • Athanasius

        Anglicans are not, as you put it, in “imperfect communion.” They are completely out of communion with the Catholic Church whose Vicar on earth is Peter. You are in very grave error.

        August 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        I think you should read what The Vatican has to say about that, and explain Anglicans can be ordained as Catholic priests within weeks of joining The Ordinariate.

        August 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        *explain why Anglicans can be ordained as Catholic priests within weeks of joining The Ordinariate,

        And to add explain why some have previously been conditionally ordained and not conditionally baptised. For example, a former Bishop of London in very recent years.

        August 10, 2015 at 8:17 pm
      • Athanasius

        His baptism was most likely performed according to the Catholic Church’s Sacramental matter and form. This is all the Church requires in order to uphold the validity of one of her Sacraments that lay people are permitted to administer. The seven Sacraments are Catholic; none are Anglican.

        As for conditionally ordaining former Anglicans to the Catholic priesthood, it’s a total nonsense. There is no such thing as a conditional ordination of former Anglican clerics, unless it is proved that they were originally ordained by a bishop of the ‘Old Catholics’. Anglican orders themselves are null and void by decree of Pope Leo XIII. Hence, there is no question that the greater majority of Anglican clerics who return to the true Faith will have to undergo theological assessment and first-time ordination by a Catholic bishop.

        August 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        The former Bishop of London (Leonard?) was conditionally ordained, and I believe there are others worldwide.

        August 12, 2015 at 5:17 pm
      • Vianney

        I personally know a priest of the Ordinariate and there was no way that he, or any other former Anglican minister, was ordained within weeks of conversion. They have to attend an Initial Academic Programme of Formation for Catholic Priesthood which takes around six to eight months. This is to ensure that they have a complete knowledge of the Catholic Faith, although most of them could put many Novus Ordo priests to shame in that department. In common with most converts they received a conditional baptism because there is just a chance that their Anglican baptism may have been valid, but there is no way that any of them were conditionally ordained as Anglican orders are null and void and in accepting the Catholic Faith they accept that fact and are only too willing to be ordained as real priests.

        August 11, 2015 at 10:54 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        Conditional Baptism is NOT the norm for any Christian of another Tradition, Anglican or not!

        August 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm
      • Vianney

        Yes it is. I don’t know of any convert who didn’t receive conditional baptism,

        August 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        In which case you are encountering a very specific group. It is not the norm, and would be contrary to Church teaching on baptism, and, solemn, public undertakings by The Church. Conditional baptism would normally only take place if documentary evidence of baptism is lacking.

        August 13, 2015 at 5:54 am
      • editor

        Semper Fidelis,

        Here is the Catholic Encyclopaedia Online, on the subject of conditional baptism:

        From the foregoing it is evident that not all baptism administered by heretics or schismatics is invalid. On the contrary, if the proper matter and form be used and the one conferring the sacrament really “intends to perform what the Church performs” the baptism is undoubtedly valid. This is also authoritatively stated in the decree for the Armenians and the canons of the Council of Trent already given.

        The question becomes a practical one when converts to the Faith have to be dealt with. If there were one authorized mode of baptizing among the sects, and if the necessity and true significance of the sacrament were uniformly taught and put in practice among them, there would be little difficulty as to the status of converts from the sects. But there is no such unity of teaching and practice among them, and consequently the particular case of each convert must be examined into when there is question of his reception into the Church. For not only are there religious denominations in which baptism is in all probability not validly administered, but there are those also which have a ritual sufficient indeed for validity, but in practice the likelihood of their members having received baptism validly is more than doubtful.

        As a consequence converts must be dealt with differently. If it be certain that a convert was validly baptized in heresy, the sacrament is not repeated, but the ceremonies which had been omitted in such baptism are to be supplied, unless the bishop, for sufficient reasons, judges that they can be dispensed with. (For the United States, see the First Council of Baltimore.)

        If it be uncertain whether the convert’s baptism was valid or not, then he is to be baptized conditionally. In such cases the ritual is: “If thou art not yet baptized, then I baptize thee in the name”, etc. The First Synod of Westminster, England, directs that adult converts are to be baptized not publicly but privately with holy water (i.e. not the consecrated baptismal water) and without the usual ceremonies (Decr. xvi). Practically, converts in the United States are almost invariably baptized either absolutely or conditionally, not because the baptism administered by heretics is held to be invalid, but because it is generally impossible to discover whether they had ever been properly baptized. Even in cases where a ceremony had certainly been performed, reasonable doubt of validity will generally remain, on account of either the intention of the administrator or the mode of administration. Still each case must be examined into (S. C. Inquis., 20 Nov., 1878) lest the sacrament be sacrilegiously repeated.

        As to the baptism of the various sects, Sabetti (no. 662) states that the Oriental Churches and the “Old Catholics” generally administer baptism accurately; the Socinians and Quakers do not baptize at all; the Baptists use the rite only for adults, and the efficacy of their baptism has been called in question owing to the separation of the matter and the form, for the latter is pronounced before the immersion takes place; the Congregationalists, Unitarians and Universalists deny the necessity of baptism, and hence the presumption is that they do not administer it accurately; the Methodists and Presbyterians baptize by aspersion or sprinkling, and it may be reasonably doubted whether the water has touched the body and flowed upon it; among the Episcopalians many consider baptism to have no true efficacy and to be merely an empty ceremony, and consequently there is a well-grounded fear that they are not sufficiently careful in its administration. To this may be added, that Episcopalians often baptize by aspersion, and though such a method is undoubtedly valid if properly employed, yet in practice it is quite possible that the sprinkled water may not touch the skin. Sabetti also notes that ministers of the same sect do not everywhere follow a uniform method of baptizing.

        The practical method of reconciling heretics with the Church is as follows:– If baptism be conferred absolutely, the convert is to make no abjuration or profession of faith, nor is he to make a confession of his sins and receive absolution, because the sacrament of regeneration washes away his past offences. If his baptism is to be conditional, he must first make an abjuration of his errors, or a profession of faith, then receive the conditional baptism, and lastly make a sacramental confession followed by conditional absolution. If the convert’s former baptism was judged to be certainly valid, he is only to make the abjuration or the profession of faith and receive absolution from the censures he may have incurred (Excerpta Rit. Rom., 1878). The abjuration or profession of faith here prescribed is the Creed of Pius IV, translated into the vernacular.

        In the case of conditional baptism, the confession may precede the administration of the rite and the conditional absolution be imparted after the baptism. This is often done as a matter of fact, as the confession is an excellent preparation for the reception of the sacrament (De Herdt, VI, viii; Sabetti, no. 725). Source

        August 13, 2015 at 11:03 am
      • Semper Fidelis


        The quote from Fellay was addressing the specifics. Schneider was talking generalities to a sympathetic audience.

        August 11, 2015 at 6:22 am
      • Petrus

        This post speaks volumes! Your lack of courtesy when speaking of Catholic Bishops says it all.

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 11, 2015 at 7:24 am
      • Athanasius

        Semper Fidelis

        “The quote from Fellay was addressing the specifics. Schneider was talking generalities to a sympathetic audience.”

        If you read both statements again, carefully, you will find that it’s actually the opposite way around. Bishop Schneider was very specific.

        August 11, 2015 at 8:57 am
      • Semper Fidelis

        Not so!

        One of the things that Archbishop Schneider liked was seeing pictures of the Pope, and the naming of The Local Ordinary. To quote him “Furthermore, I was glad to see in both places in the entrance area a photo of Pope Francis, the reigning Pontiff. In the sacristies there were plates with the name of Pope Francis and the local diocesan bishop.”

        Unless I am wrong the Official SSPX position is not that The See of Rome is vacant, but that it has been occupied by fools and unsaintly men since 1962.

        The Church disagrees, and no doubt so do Pope Saint John Paul, and Pope Saint John XXlll

        If he makes his judgement on superficialities and ignores the official position of The SSPX then his judgement is surely suspect.

        If the Devil can quote Scripture anyone can put hypocritically put up a picture of The Pope especially when his representative is to visit.

        August 11, 2015 at 9:54 pm
      • Petrus

        Quote one source that shows that SSPX believe that the occupants of the Chair of St Peter have been fools….

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 11, 2015 at 10:20 pm
      • Petrus

        You also commit an offence yourself by judging motive.   This is forbidden .  Repent.

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 11, 2015 at 10:21 pm
      • editor

        Semper Fidelis,

        “If [Bishop Schneider] makes his judgement on superficialities and ignores the official position of The SSPX then his judgement is surely suspect.”

        Well, since Bishop Schneider was there as the Pope’s representative, you seem to be the one calling the Pope a “fool”. After all, only a fool would choose an envoy with “suspect judgement” to represent him in such an important matter as the assessment of the SSPX, currently in an irregular situation within the Church.

        August 11, 2015 at 10:29 pm
      • Athanasius

        Semper Fidelis

        You attribute bad will and deceit to the superiors of the SSPX, accusing them of trying to trick Bishop Schneider by hypocritically hanging pictures of the Pope up in their seminaries and sacristies to impress him during his visit. That’s very serious!

        I can assure you that every SSPX church has a picture of the reigning Pontiff, and usually of the local ordinary as well.

        You’re not really interested in the truth of things, though, are you? You have other, unhealthy motives for being here and I pity you.

        August 11, 2015 at 11:30 pm
      • Athanasius


        “Spoken like a true ignoramus!”

        No! Spoken like a person of bad will.

        August 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm
      • Petrus

        “Ignoramus” was me attempting to be charitable…For a change! However, I agree with you entirely!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 10, 2015 at 7:38 pm
    • Crouchback

      LOL…..that means laugh out loud…….

      I’m laughing through my Samsung ear trumpet

      August 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm
    • Fidelis

      In Full Communion with Rome? What does that mean? Are you saying that no matter how wrong “Rome” is, we have to obey or that means we’re not in “full communion”?

      For your information,, in order to be in “full communion with Rome” today, we have to deny everything taught by “Rome” for the past two thousand years.

      You clearly don’t understand that faith is a higher virtue that a false obedience.

      August 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm
  • Athanasius

    My thanks to all who expressed kind comments about my letter. I think it best, however, not to send it to the bishops directly as it may be considered unnecessarily antagonistic. I wrote the letter very forthrightly in response to a particularly nasty attack on the old Mass by the Passionists at St. Mungo’s. I’m quite happy to let editor publish it in her newsletter next to the original Passionist article; that way the bishops will get to read it in context. Oh yes, I believe they all have a sneaky read through the Catholic Truth newsletter!


    That’s a great interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a real eye-opener for the ignorant and the bad willed who hate everything the SSPX stands for, namely, the Deposit of Faith handed down.

    August 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm
    • editor


      Yes, a great interview with Bishop Schneider.

      Only this morning I received an email from a lady in the USA who is only now really coming to understand that there is a problem with the novus ordo. In the exchange it has become clear that she doesn’t know anything about the SSPX so I am going to have to help her the best I can, in as concise a way as possible.

      Please, everyone, keep her in your prayers.

      August 10, 2015 at 8:44 pm
    • editor


      I’m quite happy to let editor publish it in her newsletter

      Not “her newsletter” … “our newsletter” …. or “the newsletter”…

      I am, after all, to be counted among the third category of persons mentioned by William Shakespeare in the following quote…

      Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

      August 10, 2015 at 9:10 pm
      • Petrus

        Whereas I am most definitely in the first category! 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 10, 2015 at 9:16 pm
      • editor


        Another quote from Shakespeare springs to mind, in your regard…

        “GLOUCESTER: I do not know that Englishman alive With whom my soul is any jot at odds, More than the infant that is born to-night: I thank my God for my humility.”

        😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

        August 11, 2015 at 12:11 am
      • Athanasius


        A mere figure of speech. I’m quite happy to go with Shakespeare in the matter!

        August 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm
  • Athanasius


    These bad-willed trolls would take it out of a saint!

    August 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm
  • Gerontius

    One of the titles of St.Michael is “The Angel of Peace” and in the reparation prayer he taught the Children at Fatima are the words “in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages and indifference with which he himself is offended.” Here, St.Michael very clearly places indifference to the Blessed Sacrament on a par with sacrilege and outrage, a VERY GRAVE SIN INDEED. We would do well to note that one of the other titles of St. Michael is ” Guardian angel of the blessed sacrament”. The words “BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID ” come to mind.

    Time to be done with Vatican 2? – certainly some things need to be rectified immediately, Communion in the hand being one of them AND UNCONSECRATED HANDS TOUCHING OUR BLESSED LORD is another one!

    As part of the ” New Evangelisation ” perhaps the Scottish Bishops will call for a day, or better still, three days of public penance and reparation to The Holy Trinity for all that Almighty God and his Holy Mother have had to endure over the last fifty years.

    Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.


    August 11, 2015 at 5:51 am
    • Petrus

      Communion in the hand is not part of Vatican II.  You won’t find it mentioned in any document.

      Sent from my Samsung device

      August 11, 2015 at 6:55 am
      • Gerontius

        I’m aware of that. The reference to Vatican 2 was made in the hope that our Bishops will begin to take steps to rectify the carnage that followed
        “in the spirit of the council.” Communion in the hand is one – the list is long!

        August 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm
  • John Kearney

    Editor, You are right, except on the point of NFP. It was never part of the Revelation of Christ that Catholics must always practice sex with a view to having children. If you can find this in the teachings of Christ and the Early Church I will apologise. Responsible parenthood means having children of course but there may be serious reasons for not having children and that could include too many. What is paramount is that sex is practiced in the Way God intended it to be practiced. If you come back to quote a Pope remember that Popes are only infallible on Faith and Morals in accordance with what was originally revealed. Outside of the Church there is no Salvation is one example where Pope Pius X contradicted other Popes. it was not part of the revealed Truth. One of the worst things that happened in the Church was the stopping of the prayers at the foot of the Altar after Mass. We prayed the prayer to St Michael to defend the Church and when it was removed the walls of the Church caved in you might say. Pope Leo XIII was aware of the rise of Freemasonry within the Church and the danger it posed. Have you ever been in a Cathedral where the seating arrangements on the altar were one large chair in the middle a couple of chairs on each side then two chairs at either end at right angles and facing inwards. I have been in such a Cathedral and I can tell you that that is the arrangement at a Freemason meeting. We fight principalities and powers, and at the coming Synod there is a great battle to take place between of you like Michael and the Archangel or God and the Devil. It is a very serious affair and the Catholic Church in its history has never faced such peril,. All I can do is cling to the promise of Christ that His Church will prevail. I know the Latin Mass Society does not kneel in prayer at the foot of the altar, I may be wrong, but in the Masses I attended they did not. I hope the SSPX still does this for this prayer to St Michael has never been more needed.

    August 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm
    • Fidelis

      John Kearney,

      Can you quote any Church Father who used the words “responsible parenthood” ?The Church has never been against abstinence if a couple think they need a break from bringing children into the world, but has never taught that NFP could be used as an alternative to contraception so that families could be better off financially etc.

      I also find your comment about Pope Saint Pius X contradicting other popes on “Outside of the Church there is no Salvation is one example where Pope Pius X contradicted other Popes. it was not part of the revealed Truth.” so could you explain this a bit more and quote the popes who taught there is salvation outside the Church.

      August 11, 2015 at 3:14 pm
  • John Kearney


    Here is my problem. I know couples who practice NFP, but I do not know any who use it as an alternative to contraception. They do not use contraception because they accept the teaching of the Church that it is WRONG. There is an awful lot of judgementalism going on here. In having sex they do nothing that is sinful and I am afraid you are judging them as sinful. May I also say that the couple I know who practice NFP already have an average of four children. Turning to Salvation outside of the Church I was not brought up to believe this. At school in the forties I was taught about the Baptism of Desire. I believe that the pushing of this by the SSPX is a reaction to the Modernists in the Ecumenical Movement who certainly accept there is no need for the Catholic Church to get to heaven. When Popes have uttered this in the past it was usually against groups of people who had fallen into heresy and were leaving the Church. Certainly to abandon the Church is a grave step for they will have chosen of their free will to do so but they will not find salvation in any other Church but the Catholic Church. A narrow interpretation of Outside of the Church there is no Salvation would lead us to say that only Catholics can go to Heaven. I believe God is a just God so this is not acceptable. It would mean a sort of predestination. So Protestants can get to Heaven but…and I repeat….but only through the Graces bestowed on Mankind by the Catholic Church. Every Mass pours grace into the world, every sacrifice we make pours grace into the world and the Holy Spirit bestows this grace where someone outside the church is worthy. This saving Grace cannot be found in Protestant Churches or any other Church so everyone outside of the Church who is saved is saved by the Church. This surely is ib accordance with the justice of God. And to deny this is to say “NO, God is not interested in the Salvation of anyone else.

    August 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm
    • Petrus

      John Kearney This has been covered hundreds of times on the blog.  It is no one’s business to judge individual cases.  However, to use NFP for an extended period, without grave reasons, is not part of Catholic teaching.  

      Sent from my Samsung device

      August 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm
    • Fidelis

      1) you have not quoted from any Church Father who says the words “responsible parenthood” or anything supportive of NFP. There is, however, infallible magisterial teaching about procreation.

      2) Baptism of desire applies to those who were going to be baptised but died before that could happen.

      3) You seem to be in agreement with Catholic teaching that nobody is saved apart from Christ’s Church even if they do not realise it. That only applies to those who do not know about Christ and his Church, not to those who don’t bother or just want to belong to another religion or denomination anyway. The SSPX didn’t make up the teaching extra ecclesia – that’s infallible dogma.

      August 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm
      • Petrus

        Fidelis  Correct.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 11, 2015 at 6:03 pm
  • John Kearney


    That is your teaching and it is not found in any Catholic document. And it does not matter how many times it is said

    August 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm
    • Petrus

      John Kearney.  You are wrong:

      “If there are serious reasons to space out births, reasons which derive from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions, the Church teaches that it is morally permissible to take into account the natural rhythms of human fertility and to have coitus only during the infertile times in order to regulate conception without offending the moral principles which have been recalled earlier” (Humanae Vitae, 16).

      Thus, the same teaching of the Church which condemns the use of the unnatural methods of birth control explicitly approves of the use of Natural Family Planning when there is a sufficient reason to avoid or postpone pregnancy. With its emphasis on the necessity of a serious reason to use even the natural methods, the Church is warning against selfishness in family planning. Sent from my Samsung device

      August 11, 2015 at 5:55 pm
    • Petrus

      John This may also help you to understand this more clearly.

      What is Natural Family Planning (or NFP)?

      This refers to the practice of achieving or avoiding pregnancies according to an informed awareness of a woman’s fertility.

      Is NFP morally acceptable for Catholics?

      NFP is only permitted under certain conditions. In addition, if it is used to avoid children, there must be a serious reason for not wanting to have a child. Without these conditions, it is gravely sinful, as Pope Pius XII said.

      Can you explain this a little more?

      Any act or thing which directly frustrates or stops conception is a serious sin in the eyes of God. This includes all artificial birth control. NFP is not directly sinful because it does not directly frustrate conception. It is not any action or thing. It is simply periodic abstinence; meaning that the married couple refrains from the marital act at certain times. Because of this, NFP must be judged in the same way as abstinence itself.

      How does the Catholic Church judge abstinence?

      When a man and woman marry, they give over to their spouse the rights over their own body to perform the marital act. In a sense, their body no longer belongs to them but to their spouse. Because of this, it is a grave sin for one spouse to deny the other the marital act when it is requested in a reasonable way. This is a grave responsibility for married couples. Abstinence from the marital act then, including periodic abstinence, can only be permitted in certain conditions for serious reasons.

      What are these conditions and reasons which are necessary for a married couple to practice periodic abstinence (or NFP?)

      The first condition is that there must be a mutual agreement to abstain from the marital act. If either spouse is unwilling, the abstinence would be forced. This means that one spouse would deny the other the right which properly belongs to him or her. It would be gravely sinful for the person who denies this right to his or her spouse.

      The second condition is that there must be no danger of either spouse sinning against chastity, either on his or her own, or with someone else. Any serious danger in this regard is enough to prohibit abstinence, whether periodic or complete. God can never justify sin, even to bring about a good effect.

      The simple fact that the two conditions related above do not pose a problem is not reason enough for a married couple to use NFP. There must also be a real and serious reason for doing so. After all, abstinence, whether periodic or complete, is not normal marital life.

      The reasons serious enough to allow the practice of periodic abstinence (or NFP) were given by Pope Pius XII. These reasons do not change with time. They are the following: serious danger of health to the mother, serious problems in the child to be conceived, very serious financial or social condition

      Sent from my Samsung device

      August 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm
  • John Kearney


    Very serious financial or social condition. At the time of Pius XII this presented little difficulty for Catholic couples who were in rented of social housing. With the attack on the family and the attack on living at home mothers through housing shortage and two wages being asked for a mortgage looking after children has become a real problem for parents. Any additional child can put a strain on the family. I think that many famous find themselves in serious financial and social conditions and an extra child can be a threat. Yet I still go back to where the Pope is infallible, I go back to the teachings of the early Church. Certainly obstructing conception was always condemned but there were no mention of planning families. You could say Pius XII has a right to his opinion but in todays world perhaps his opinion would have been different. I certainly do not believe that a family should decide on how many children they will have, but as pregnancies go on they have to be responsible not just for themselves but for the rest of the children.

    August 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm
    • Michaela

      John Kearney,

      So does that mean those who really can’t “afford” more children but accept them in a spirit of reliance on Divine Providence, are “irresponsible”?

      I can never quite follow the logic of the “planned parenthood” mindset especially when those in favour of planned parenthood are Catholics.

      August 11, 2015 at 6:47 pm
      • Petrus

        Well said. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm
    • Petrus

      An incredibly crazy post!  After all this time, John, you are still a Modernist. 

      Sent from my Samsung device

      August 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm
  • Muffin Man Returns

    Why is the post-conciliar Church so obsessed with sex?

    They even convened as synod over it. Weird.

    Andy Burnham even says he left the Church over it. Sex sex sex. How facile.

    August 11, 2015 at 6:34 pm
    • Michaela

      Muffin Man Returns,

      Personally, I think the obsession with sex comes from the devil who is trying to destroy the Church.

      August 11, 2015 at 6:48 pm
  • Therese

    While I agree that bishops should be continually reminded of their duty, in all honesty I don’t think it will do a particle of good (except to the faithful who write). If they can tolerate (and by their silence one must assume, condone) a pagan goddess being serenaded in a Catholic church in front of the Blessed Sacrament, they have lost all understanding of the Catholic Faith and have abrogated all responsibility to be faithful shepherds of Christ’s Church. I’m afraid that it is abundantly evident that many of the hierarchy are traitors to the Faith, so it’s no surprise that priests and laymen follow suit. I can understand ignorance; if one hasn’t been taught the Faith there is an excuse; but once clarification and true teaching has been given, for those Catholics – in whatever state of life they are – to ignore the truth, is a sure sign of bad will.

    I am wondering where the usual naysayers are on this thread. Semper Fidelis has appeared but made no comment about the atrocity perpetrated in the video. I would like to know his/her opinion of the blasphemy captured in that “Catholic” church? I’d also like the others who often pop in to argue their own version of the Faith to tell us how they feel about it. What a hope, eh?

    August 11, 2015 at 7:26 pm
    • Nicky

      Hear hear, Therese. Were are all the “faithful” Catholics who attack us and call us all schismatics for defending the old Mass and for sometimes criticising the pope. It’s very interesting that they don’t have a problem with a priest who allows a “hymn” to a pagan earth goddess to be sung in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. I am making the assumption that he did confect the Eucharist, so the Blessed Sacrament really and truly was present, but I don’t know and if he really thinks there’s a goddess out there, maybe I’m wrong to make the assumption.

      August 11, 2015 at 7:56 pm
  • editor

    I thought about launching another thread entitled something like “Time to be done with environmentalism?” But then I thought, what the heck, it’s all tied up with the problem of Vatican II and the “new springtime” sweeping through the Church. If ever a pun came out of nowhere, that’s it! So I decided to post the latest incredible news from the Papa Francis camp here…

    Vatican City, Aug 10, 2015 / 11:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has instituted a new day of prayer and celebration for the Church entitled the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation,” to be celebrated on September 1 each year.

    The day of prayer is in keeping with the theme of the Holy Father’s newest environmental encyclical “Laudato Si.” It is also seen as a sign of unity with the Orthodox Church, which established September 1 as a day to celebrate creation in 1989.

    “The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis said.

    He expressed hope that the day could highlight the need for all Christians to work together toward common goals.

    “We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective,” he said. “It is my hope that this Day will in some way also involve other Churches and ecclesial Communities, and be celebrated in union with similar initiatives of the World Council of Churches.”

    The day will be an opportunity to reaffirm in Christians their vocation as stewards of God’s creation, to recognize their gratitude for God’s earthly gifts, and to pray for the protection of the environment and pardon from sins against it, the pontiff said.

    The Pope’s environmental encyclical “Laudato Si,” meaning “Praise be to You,” was published in June and took its name from St. Francis of Assisi’s medieval Italian prayer “Canticle of the Sun.” In it, Pope Francis emphasized the need for a human ecology, which emphasizes the human person as the root motivation for care of the environment.

    It is inconsistent, the Pope said in his encyclical, to be concerned about nature without also showing concern for people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable among us, including unborn children.

    “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?” (Laudato Si, 120).

    On the other hand, Pope Francis reiterated in his institution of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation that the care of the environment needs to be a priority for Christians because of their care for the human person.

    “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience,” he said, referring to Laudato Si 216.

    The Pope expressed his hope that the new day will serve as a call to the faithful to an “ecological conversion” whereby their encounter with the Risen Lord is evident in their care for the world around them.

    “We need always to keep in mind that, for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for our sake, ‘the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.’” (Laudato Si, 216)

    The World Day of Prayer for the Care for Creation is meant to be celebrated “with the participation of the entire People of God: priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful,” Pope Francis said, and should “become a significant occasion for prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate lifestyles.” In ecumenical move, Pope Francis establishes World Day of Prayer for Creation.

    I mean, I ask you, seriously: could anyone, but anyone, make up this stuff?

    August 12, 2015 at 10:41 am
    • westminsterfly

      In response to your comment about the Pope establishing a World Day of Prayer for Creation, if he doesn’t get a move on and perform the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, there won’t be a lot of creation left – or many of us alive to pray about it. The writing is very clearly on the wall:- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3194745/Is-Putin-plotting-war-Europe-Experts-warn-Russia-actively-preparing-conflict-NATO-announcing-plans-4-000-military-exercises-year.html Sister Lucia of Fatima said to Father Fuentes in 1957:- “Tell them, Father, that many times the Most Holy Virgin told my cousins as well as myself, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth, that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation . . .” All this ‘earth worship’ is a diabolical distraction, an inversion of priorities, and utter insanity. “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad . . .”

      August 12, 2015 at 11:17 am
      • editor


        Agreed. The Pope is focusing on all the wrong “solutions” to world problems right now. Thanks for posting that link – it should push us all to every increased prayer and other efforts to get this pontiff to obey Our Lady.

        I meant to post my comment about the daft world day of prayer for creation at the end of this thread, so am puzzled that i posted it above. Anyway, now that you have responded to it, will have to leave it. I hope my memory’s not about to go the way of my good looks… 😀

        August 12, 2015 at 11:26 am
  • crofterlady


    I hope this hasn’t already been posted!

    August 12, 2015 at 11:15 am
    • editor

      Don’t think so, Crofterlady – looks very interesting. I will watch it later.

      Just thinking, you may not realise it but if you click on “YOUTUBE” on the video, it takes you through to – er – YOUTUBE and if you copy and then paste that link from your browser, the actual video appears here…


      One lives and one learns, Crofterlady. One lives and one learns… 😀

      August 12, 2015 at 11:27 am
      • Neil

        Editor – heads up alert – get ready for another display of ” Cardinal against Cardinal, Bishop against Bishop.


        Rev. E Sylvester Berry (1879-1954) explained in his “Apocalypse Of St. John” that the Church is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth…….”Now war arose in Heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought…but he was defeated.” i.e. chucked out of Holy Mother Church and since he can’t defeat the Church from within, off he goes to activate the Antichrist.

        I wonder if the forthcoming synod part 2 could be indicated here. Thoughts

        August 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm
      • editor


        As you say, this is the prophesy of Akita (1973) coming true before our very eyes. This synod in the autumn is going to be a turning point, one way or another. Let’s hope the fact that it is being held in the season which our friends in the USA call “The Fall” isn’t of any real symbolic significance!

        August 12, 2015 at 6:36 pm
      • Fidelis

        That’s a really good conversation – I like those short chats which give a lot of facts. They really do expose the truth about Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis and the synod.

        August 13, 2015 at 7:31 pm
  • rescuedbymary

    The Trembling Bride

    By insisting that unrepentant adulterers be received into Christian fellowship within the Church, Pope Francis has become a partaker in another man’s sin. Pity. He is doing no favor to the adulterer by patting him on the back on his way to hell. This is not compassion. It’s a damnable lie. And every Catholic knows it. The Church has always taught what our Adorable Saviour taught, that divorce was an adulterous thing to do, and to marry another was a mortal crime that kills all sanctifying grace in the soul from Baptism – A Catholic excommunicates himself from Christ when he marries outside the Church. This is the reality of the situation, I’m afraid: Mark 10:11 – Read it and weep.

    Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament of the Holy Catholic Church as instituted by Christ Himself. The Catholic cleric has no authority over this Mystery. He is merely a witness to what the two say there before him that day, and the witness there to behold it – The two become One-Flesh. The Marriage vow creates a bond that is closer than blood relations…

    Saint Paul follows his Saviour’s example when he hearkens back to the Genesis account to describe the relationship between Christ and His Church; for, “this cause” he says. What cause? For the establishment of the Sacrament of holy marriage, for without it there is no Catholic Religion!

    Genesis 3:15 is often referred to as, “THE PROTOEVANGELIUM OR FIRST GOSPEL.” I’m convinced that Genesis 2:24 is a foreshadowing of the marriage between Saint Mary and Her Joseph, just as sure as Genesis 3:15 is where we see Christ and His Mary.

    From henceforth, Genesis 2:24 will be referred to as, “THE ‘PROTOMARITO’ OR ‘FIRST MARRIAGE.”

    Hail! Full of Grace! Saint Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost to Conceive Her own Saviour, only after She was given to Saint Joseph in marriage. Mary gave Her Immaculate Heart to Her Saviour, only after She had given it in marriage to Saint Joseph. Her first Love was and always will be Saint Joseph!

    There is a dead corpse in the Church, and it stinketh; an adulterous body of death, seated right there before us. Beware. It’s got the Church by the neck, and seeks to suffocate Her to death. And how does the enemy plan to do this? By corrupting the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and causing the Church to eat damnation to Herself! The Church of God is under an attack the likes of which the world has never seen. Satan would seek to thrust a dagger forthright into the Heart of the Church, in the Sacrament of Her Matrimony, as the knight falls on his own sword. The Father has chosen to use the Bonds of Holy Matrimony as an analogy of His relationship with His Church, and right now, there are few things as important as protecting the integrity of this analogy. What we are seeing the Pope doing, on the other hand, is tearing asunder the Marriage between the Son of God and His bride. If successful, this would be a death blow to the Catholic Faith, for without Holy Matrimony, there is no Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

    The Church, Pope Francis has been quoted as having said, looks upon those in such situations with a maternal heart and, “always looks for the good and the salvation of persons,” in reference to Catholics in adulterous marriages. Really? How can there be any good in an adulterous relationship? What virtue is there in having a commitment to doing something that is wrong even if you do it with another exclusively? Can it really be a good thing to do this forever, to pray while doing it and to do it publicly? What is it that we have here? A commitment to live in gross sin exclusively with another, to do it till death, and pray while doing it. But the Church’s maternal heart can be found in the loving embrace of the tender and desirable arms of the Mother of God – The Holy, Spotless and Lovely Mary. She must be so very beautiful! Oh, if we only knew the love that my Mary has for our fallen hearts, we could not contain it. True devotion to Mary can drive heresy out of the heart of the obstinate Professed Religious heretic, by a recognition of Her Majestic authority to reveal that the Catholic Church is the True Church, and the realization that without Mary the Gospels would have never been written.

    Speaking on behalf of the young children of these adulterous unions, Pope Francis insists that there is an, “urgency of developing in our community a real welcome toward the persons who are living in such situations.” Our, “language and attitudes,” must change with the times as well it seems, as Pope Francis struggles to reconcile the Church’s responsibility to influence parents to raise their children in the faith, while they continue to live in sin, with the clear teaching of the Church that what they are doing is morally repugnant. How can these people ever hope to raise any children in the Catholic Faith if they are committing adultery right in front of their faces every day?

    Their children are illegitimate quite frankly, and he knows this right well. To, “hold them at a distance from the life of the community, as if they were excommunicated,” Pope Francis opines concerning the adulterous couple, will somehow prevent the Church from catechizing the next generation of children of these adulterous relationships which seem to be so prevalent in the Church today. This is a real dilemma for those in the Vatican who have created all these societal anomalies over the last fifty years with their Vatican 2 theology for which they now pretend to offer remedy.

    Pope Francis refers to Pope John Paul II’s, Familiaris Consortio, and demands that we must distinguish between those who caused the breakup of the initial marriage and those who endured it. This sounds so very familiar to the protestant ideology of the “innocent spouse” in such situations. The Pope is here representing Christ as replacing death with divorce, in a roundabout way. But is this not who our Jesus died for? The guilty party? This is nonsense to say that there is an innocent spouse in a divorce who is somehow thereby justified in contracting a subsequent marriage while their true spouse is still alive.

    This is not Catholicism. It is Calvinism, of the worst kind. We don’t execute the adulterer, no, we simply divorce the offending party and then go on to marry another, while the guilty spouse must eek out an existence, void of any hope as one who is “spiritually” dead. After all, we’re Catholics, and would never advocate that mortal sins in God’s Moral Government, should also be capital crimes in the civil law as well! Ladies and gentlemen, what the Pope is doing here is rotten at the foundation. It’s disgusting. No wonder he nearly got a standing ovation, “tell us what we want to hear! Or else!” the crowd jeers…

    Editor: this had to be fairly heavily edited to remove judgments about the pontiff that none of us is permitted to make. Please stick to the issues and ignore any temptation to say more. In fact, it’s always good to keep comments as concise as possible if you want to be sure of others reading what you write. In any case, I won’t be spending time editing future posts. Your posts will be deleted without reading beyond the first offensive remark. The points you make above are, frankly, all the stronger because the personal remarks have been removed. If you want to hurl personal insults at the Pope, go and join the Orange Order. They’re – ironically – in great ecumenical friendship with the hierarchy, at least in Ireland and Scotland, at the moment 😀

    August 12, 2015 at 11:41 am
  • morgana

    As the above comment states the picture of our holy Father the pope is displayed in every sspx church

    August 12, 2015 at 2:55 pm
  • rescuedbymary


    Traditional Alter Boy

    Was the post on the LMS an “over reaction”?

    Recently a couple of priests upon Facebook and their supporters stated that my post was “an over reaction”. My only question is this, how do they defend the Latin Mass society’s 20th commandment?

    It states the following:

    “Thou Shalt Obey and Honor All Superiors Even If the Head is Lucifer”

    This is Satanic, idolatrous, and blasphemous. If my previous post was – as they stated – “An overreaction” then they must explain that very quote. Is it because these people – in whom are probably modernists themselves – do not believe in the devil themselves? God forbid.

    A fellow brother in Christ has also pointed out that the courting video that I will share below has actually played music from the artist, Janis Joplin, the same artist in whom stated

    “On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone.”

    Is this a good example of chastity and purity as LMS has tried to display within their video? I don’t think so.

    Please say a rosary, a Saint Michael’s Chaplet, and 3 Hail Mary’s for this dear brother and those who work with him. Unfortunately, those within this group are deceived.

    Source: http://blog.lmsociety.com/how-to-counter-the-revolution-part-iii/



    No good deed goes unpunished…

    Editor: would you like to explain this saying because I hear it a lot, from Americans, and it doesn’t make sense – certainly not to a Catholic who knows that NO good deed goes unrewarded. So would you explain it please and thank you…

    August 13, 2015 at 11:56 am
    • rescuedbymary

      I referenced this colloquialism on behalf of Christian Rosario since it was obvious that he, “fit the bill.” Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t want to have to explain myself again…

      Superman is an American Iconic figure that represents all that is good and Chivalrous in the psyche of the American man. This is Christian Rosario. A man’s man…

      The Waiting of Superman video from Chris Daughtry helped me to illustrate my point. The fella going about doing good deeds is met with utter contempt by the very people that he is trying to help, but he goes right on doing the honorable thing anyway, for the greater good. Again – Rosario…


      Christian is being punished for attempting to influence his fellow compatriots to shun evil and seek the good. No good deed goes unpunished, in that it will inevitable be the one who tries to do the right thing that will be demonized by the guilty ones, and the recipients of the heroic acts will feel compelled and obliged to ostracize the good Samaritan in order to, “avoid a black eye”. Ahhhh!, sorry again….

      I better stop..

      August 13, 2015 at 11:21 pm
  • editor

    The following “exclusive memorandum” is from Rorate Caeli – the original written around 40 years ago, would you believe:

    Memo to:
    Fr. Berbusse
    Fr. Bradley
    Fr. Miceli
    Dr. and Mrs. von Hildebrand
    Dr. and Mrs. Marra

    Neil McCaffrey

    Bill asked us to contribute a memo about our discussion. I’d like to offer mine on the subject on which we seemed to show the least consensus, criticism of the papacy.

    1. Scripture makes no bones about the weaknesses of the Apostles and especially of Peter; which in any case were well known to the early Christians, whose faith survived the knowledge. Catholic history, from the age of the Fathers on down, provides us with the model. It was only in the 19th century that some Catholics found it necessary to refine the policies of the Holy Spirit.

    2. The papacy is given primacy from the earliest years, yet there is little evidence of papolatry until we get to the last century. The papolaters of our day would have been regarded with astonishment by the Fathers, by Dante, by St. Catherine, by Bellarmine, by Suarez, by just about anyone you can name.

    3. We can see papolatry in perspective when we put it beside its kin; and we can do that with a flying visit to Moscow or Peking. There too we are allowed to criticize underlings. Pravda does it every day. But the Leader, never.

    4. Those orthodox Catholics who feel most comfortable with the spirit of Vatican II are least comfortable with its encouragement of free speech. John [XXIII] and Paul [VI] told us to relax and speak our minds. Perhaps they meant us to make an exception about speaking of themselves, but in fact they didn’t say so. So their admirers hasten to protect the Popes from themselves. (It seems, then, that popes can make mistakes; but only a privileged few are allowed to notice them.)

    5. In this connection, the favored few allow themselves, and even an occasional unwashed Catholic, one indulgence. We are permitted to disagree with Paul’s Ostpolitik. I haven’t yet been able to divine why the Pope can be criticized about this but not about Church discipline or the liturgy or ecumania. So paradox piles upon paradox. It is possible to make a plausible (though far from compelling) case for papal policy toward Communism. We might argue that the Church expects to outline today’s tyrants; that she is trying to make life a bit easier for Catholics behind the Curtain; that she no longer has any confidence that the West will defend itself; even that life in Eastern Europe is less lethal to souls than life in the West. Whereas I have never heard a good argument for the new liturgy or for the new laxity in discipline. Even the papal cheerleaders can’t muster an argument, for the excellent reason that there is no argument that would commend itself to the orthodox. All the arguments, such as they are, come from the infidels. The papal cheerleaders can only repeat their incantation: obedience, obedience, obedience. By which, ironically, they don’t really mean obedience. They mean something else. They mean: shut up. Is it necessary, in this circle, to spell out the distinction between obedience and calling black white? (By way of underscoring the bankruptcy of papal policy, have you remarked that nobody ever talks these days about devotion to the Mass? There are no more courses on the Mass, no more books, no more private studies so that we might assist more knowledgeably and devoutly. In fact, if you so much as call it the Mass, you are a reactionary. There is a message here for the apologists of the new liturgy. But they don’t want to hear it. That would be “disloyal”. As long as we polish up the reputation of the present Pope, it would seem, we can forget about what happens to the Mass.)

    6. Which leads us ineluctably to the question of charity. I suggest that the papal cheerleaders are pursuing a policy that has the effect of destroying souls, but that masquerades as charity. They want to deny this Pope, or any living pope, the blessing of constructive criticism; and never mind what its absence may do to his soul. Never mind what the spiritual writers tell us about the duty of fraternal correction. Above all, never mind what its absence will do to the Church, and to the souls of the faithful. The caricatures that pass for charity in the Church today may be Satan’s most spectacular recent victory.

    7. We heard a lot of talk Sunday about the importance of faith when authority misbehaves, all of it sound. I think faith involves a corresponding devotion to truth, even unpalatable truth. What does a Catholic have to fear from truth? Shrinking from the truth is an indecent posture for a Catholic. Granted, tender souls need not concern themselves with high policy, and with the blunders of those in authority. That does not exonerate the mature Catholic. Moreover, if nobody concerns himself with these blunders, nobody will criticize them; and evil will flourish, unopposed.

    Not only that, but the papal cheerleaders are naïve if they suppose they can silence criticism. All they succeed in doing is suppressing it among the orthodox. So the only criticism the Pope hears (except for coarse abuse from the unbalanced Right) is from the enemies of the papacy. When we reflect that this Pope is obsessed with public opinion (‘‘human respect,” the spiritual writers used to call it), it becomes double folly to choke off constructive criticism from the loyal orthodox.

    What makes the papal cheerleaders that way? Partly, as we have seen, a counterfeit charity. Partly, I think, an unappetizing elitism that makes them think even mature Catholics can be affected in their faith if they admit to themselves that popes can suffer from the worst human weaknesses. And partly, it is fair to suspect, their own faith may not be seasoned enough to cope with this.

    Neurotics make lousy parents. Sometimes they try to make their child healthy by giving him a germ-free environment. Which only makes him prey to the first disease he encounters. Do the papal cheerleaders really suppose that stomping out every whisper of criticism is going to fortify the faith of the people they presume to speak for? It only leaves them vulnerable. They have built up no antibodies. The intelligent and charitable policy is to show innocent souls that true devotion to the Church, and to the papacy, is not incompatible with constructive criticism; indeed, demands it.

    The answer to immaturity is not perpetual childhood. A better cure is to grow up.

    P.S. What the cheerleaders are really telling us is that this Pope (any Pope?) is too vain, too irascible to accept even constructive criticism; that he is incapable of growth; that he is a crippled human being; and that he must be treated not like a father but like an Oriental despot. Q.E.D. Source

    August 14, 2015 at 11:16 am

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