Should Catholics Be Concerned About The New Forms Of The Sacraments?

Should Catholics Be Concerned About The New Forms Of The Sacraments?

Yesterday, I found myself in conversation with a reader  (we’ll call her Jo, because that’s not her name but it’s short and sweet) who has started attending the SSPX Masses in Glasgow.  We were discussing the hostility which I have personally witnessed at a number of Fatima meetings recently, when novus-attending Catholics became furiously hostile, especially at the very idea that the traditional Latin Mass needs to be restored as soon as possible. Even put a million times more tactfully than that, hostility spilled out like fresh cream in a gorgeous Dairy Sponge cake. Except there was nothing “gorgeous” about it.  Anyway,  when I asked Jo if, after attending the Society Masses for several weeks now she planned to continue, she replied, without a second’s hesitation: “yes”, because she just could not return to the novus-ordo – especially after reading the Open Letter to Confused Catholics, penned by Archbishop Lefebvre.   Got me thinking that, although we have discussed various chapters from that excellent book from time to time, we’ve never examined the chapter on the new forms of the Sacraments, so let’s check the Archbishop’s writings on that topic: do we need new forms of the sacraments? If so, why?  Or, should Catholics be concerned about these new forms of the Sacraments?

Archbishop Lefebvre writes….

The Catholic, whether he be regularly practising or one who goes to church for the great moments of life, finds himself asking such basic questions as, “What is baptism?”

It is a new phenomenon, for not so long ago anyone could answer that, and anyway, nobody asked the question. The first effect of baptism is the redemption from original sin; that was known from father to son and mother to daughter.

But now nobody any longer talks about it anywhere. The simplified ceremony which takes place in the church speaks of sin in a context which seems to refer to that which the person being baptized will commit during his or her life, and not the original fault that we are all born with.

Baptism from then on simply appears as a sacrament which unites us to God, or rather makes us members of the community. This is the explanation of the “rite of welcome” that is imposed in some places as an initial step, in a first ceremony. It is not due to any private initiative since we discover plenty of variations upon baptism by stages in the leaflets of the National Center of Pastoral Liturgy. It is called “deferred baptism.” After the welcome comes the “progression,” the “seeking.” The sacrament will be administered, or not administered, when the child is able, according to the terms used, to choose freely, which may occur at quite an advanced age, eighteen years or more. A professor of dogmatic theology, highly esteemed in the new Church, has established a distinction between those Christians whose faith and religious culture he is confident he can verify, and the others–more than three-quarters of the total–to whom he attributes only a supposed faith when they request baptism for their children. These Christians “of the popular religion” are detected during the preparatory meetings and dissuaded from proceeding any farther than the “ceremony of welcome.” This method of going on is “more appropriate to the cultural situation of our civilization.”

Recently a parish priest in the Somme department who had to enroll two children for their First Communion asked for their baptismal certificates, which were sent to him from the family’s parish of origin. He then found that one of the children had been baptized but not the other, contrary to what the parents believed.  This is the sort of situation that results from such practices. What they give is in effect only a semblance of baptism which those present take in good faith to be the true sacrament.

That you should find this disconcerting is quite understandable. You have also to face up to a specious argument which even appears in parish bulletins, generally in the way of suggestions or testimonies signed with Christian names, that is to say anonymously. We read in one of them that Alan and Evelyn state, “Baptism is not a magic rite which will efface by miracle any original sin. We believe that salvation is total, free, and for all: God has elected all men in His love, on any condition, or rather without condition. For us, to be baptized is to decide to change our life, it is a personal commitment that no one can make for you. It is a conscious decision which implies preliminary instruction, etc.” What frightful errors are contained in those few lines! They lead to the justifying of another method; the suppression of infant baptism. It is another alignment with the Protestants, in defiance of the teachings of the Church right from its beginnings, as St. Augustine wrote in the fourth century: “The custom of baptizing children is not a recent innovation but the faithful repetition of apostolic tradition. This custom by itself alone and without any written document, constitutes the certain rule of truth.” The Council of Carthage, in the year 251, prescribed that baptism should be conferred on infants “even before they are eight days old,” and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a reminder of the obligation in its Instruction Pastoralis actio, on November 21, 1980, basing it upon “a norm of immemorial tradition.”

That is a thing you should know so as to be able to insist upon a sacred right when someone attempts to refuse your newborn children their share in the life of grace. Parents do not wait until their child is eighteen years old before deciding for him his diet, or to have a necessary surgical operation. Within the supernatural order their duty is even greater, and the faith which presides at the sacrament when the child is not capable of taking on for himself a personal engagement is the responsibility you would have in depriving your child of eternal life in Paradise. Our Lord Himself has said in a most clear manner, “No one, unless he be born again of water and the Holy Ghost can enter into the Kingdom of God.”

The results of this peculiar pastoral practice were quick to appear.  In the diocese of Paris, whereas one child out of two was baptized in 1965, only one child in four was baptized in 1976.  The clergy of one suburban parish observed, without appearing concerned about it, that there were 450 baptisms in 1965 and 150 in 1976. From the whole of France, the fall continues. From 1970 to 1981, the overall figure dropped from 596,673 to 530,385, while the population increased by more than three million during the same period.

All this is the outcome of having falsified the definition of baptism. As soon as they stopped saying that baptism wipes out original sin, people have been asking, “What is baptism?” and straightaway after, “What is the good of baptism?” If they have not got as far as that, they have at least thought about the arguments that have been put to them and accepted that there was no urgency, and after all, at the age of adolescence the child could decide for himself and join the Christian community in the same way as joining a political party or a union.

The question is raised in the same way regarding marriage.  Marriage has always been defined by its first aim which is procreation and its secondary aim which is married love. Now, at the Council they sought to alter this definition and say there was no longer a primary aim, but that  the two aims of which I speak were equivalent. It was Cardinal Suenens who proposed this change and I still remem- ber Cardinal Brown, the Master General of the Dominicans, getting up to say, “Caveatis! Caveatis!–Beware! Beware! If we accept this definition we go against all the tradition of the Church and we pervert the meaning of marriage. We do not have the right to modify the Church’s traditional definitions.”

He quoted texts in support of his warning and there was great agitation in the nave of St. Peter’s. Cardinal Suenens was pressed by the Holy Father to moderate the terms he had used and even to change them. The Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et Spes, contains nevertheless an ambiguous passage, where emphasis is laid on procreation “without nevertheless minimizing the other aims of marriage.” The Latin verb, post habere, permits the translation “without putting in second place the other aims of marriage,” which would mean “to place them all on the same level.” This is what is wanted nowadays; all that is said about marriage comes back to the false idea expressed by Cardinal Suenens, that conjugal love–which was soon termed quite simply and much more crudely “sexuality”–comes at the head of the purposes of marriage. Consequently, under the heading of sexuality, everything is permitted–contraception, family planning and finally, abortion.

One bad definition, and we are plunged into total disorder.  The Church, in her traditional liturgy, has the priest say, “Lord, in Thy goodness, assist the institutions Thou hast established for the propagation of the human race…” She has chosen the passage from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, which points out the duties of the married couple, making of their joint relationship an image of the   relationship uniting Christ and His Church.  Very often the couple to be married are nowadays invited to make up their own Mass without even having to choose the Epistle from Holy Scripture, replacing it by a profane text, and taking a reading from the Gospel that has no connection with the sacrament to be received. The priest in his exhortation takes good care not to mention the demands to which they will have to submit, for fear of giving a forbidding impression of the Church or even of offending any divorced people present among the congregation.

Just as for baptism, experiments have been made for marriages by stages, or non-sacramental marriage, which scandalize Catholics. These experiments, tolerated by the episcopate, take place following lines laid down by the official organizations and are encouraged by diocesan officials. A form put out by the Jean Bart Center shows some of the ways of going about it. Here is one:

A reading from the text: “The essential is invisible to the eyes” (Epistle of St. Peter). There is no exchange of vows but a liturgy of the hands,  symbol of labor and workers’ solidarity.  Exchange of rings (without the blessing), in silence. Reference to Robert’s work:  welding,  soldering (he is a plumber).  The kiss.  The Our Father by all the believers in the congregation. Hail Mary. The newlyweds lay a bouquet of flowers at the statue of Mary.

Why would Our Lord have instituted the sacraments if they were to be replaced by this kind of ceremony devoid of everything supernatural, excepting the two prayers at the end? A few years ago, we heard a lot about liturgy in the department of Saône-et-Loire.  To justify this “Liturgy of Welcome,” it was said that they wished to give young couples the desire to come back later and get married for good.  Out of something like two hundred pseudo-marriages, two years later not a single couple had returned to regularize their position. Even if they had, the fact would remain that the priest of this parish had actually recognized officially, if not actually blessed, over a period of two years, something none other than concubinage. An official Church survey has revealed that in Paris, 23% of the parishes had already held  non-sacramental weddings for couples, one of whom if not both were non-believers, for the purpose of gratifying the families, or the couples themselves, often out of concern for social conformity.

It goes without saying that a Catholic does not have the right to attend such goings-on.  As for the so-called married couple, they can always say they have been to church and doubtless they will end up by believing their situation to be  regular by dint of seeing their friends follow the same path. Misguided Catholics will wonder if it is not better than nothing. Indifference takes over; they become willing to accept any arrangement, from a simple registry-office wedding to juvenile cohabitation (in respect of which so many parents want to show themselves to be “understanding”), and finally through to free unions. Total de-christianization lies ahead; the couples each lack the graces which come from the sacrament of marriage in order to bring up their children, if at least they agree to have any. The breakdowns in these unsanctified households have increased to such an extent as to worry the Council of Economic and Social Affairs, of which a recent report shows that even a secular society is aware that it is heading for ruin as a result of the instability of these families or pseudo-families.

Then there is the sacrament of Extreme Unction. This is no longer the sacrament of the sick or the feeble. It has become the sacrament of the old: some priests administer it to persons of pensionable age who show no particular sign of approaching death. It is no longer the sacrament that prepares one for the last moment, which wipes out the sins before death and disposes the soul to final union with God. I have in front of me a notice distributed to all the faithful in a Paris church to warn them of the date of the next Extreme Unction:  “For those who are still active, the sacrament of the sick is celebrated in the presence of the whole Christian community during the Eucharistic celebration. Date: Sunday, at the 11 o’clock Mass.” These anointings are invalid.

The same collectivist mentality has provoked the vogue of penitential celebrations. The sacrament of penance can only be of an individual nature.
By definition and in conformity with its essence, it is, as I have previously pointed out, a judicial act, a judgment.  A judgment cannot be made without having examined a cause; each one’s case has to be heard in order to judge it and then to remit or to retain the sins. His Holiness John Paul II has insisted several times on this point, notably to the French bishops on April 1, 1982 telling them that personal confession followed by  individual absolution is “a requirement of the dogmatic order.” It is consequently impossible to justify these ceremonies of reconciliation by explaining that ecclesiastical discipline has become more relaxed, that it has adapted itself to the needs of the modern world. It is not a question of discipline. There was formerly one exception: general absolution given in a case of shipwreck, war, etc.; an absolution whose value is debated by learned writers. It is not permissible to make a rule out of the exception. If we consult the Acts of the Apostolic See we find the following expressions uttered both by Paul VI and John Paul II on various occasions: “the exceptional character of collective absolution,” “in case of grave necessity,” “in extraordinary situations of grave necessity,” “quite exceptional character,” “exceptional circumstances.”

Celebrations of this type have, however,  become habitual though without becoming frequent in any one parish, due to the scarcity of faithful who are disposed to put themselves right with God more than two or three times a year.  They no longer feel the need, as was quite foreseeable since the idea of sin has been wiped out of their minds.  How many priests still remind people of the need for the sacrament of penance? One member of the faithful has told me that in going to confession in one or another of several Paris churches where he knows he will be able to find a “priest on duty” he often receives the congratulations or thanks of the priest, surprised to have a penitent.

These celebrations subjected to the creativity of the “animators” include singing, or else a record is played.  Then comes the turn of the Liturgy of the Word, followed by a litany type of prayer to which the assembly responds, “Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner,” or else by a sort of general examination of conscience. The “I confess to Almighty God” precedes the absolution given once and for all to the whole congregation, which only leaves one problem: would a person present who did not want absolution receive it just the same? I see on a duplicated sheet distributed to those taking part in these ceremonies at Lourdes that the organizer has asked himself this question: “If we wish to receive absolution, let us dip our hands in the water and make the sign of the cross upon ourselves,” and at the end, “Upon those who are marked by the sign of the cross with the water of the spring the priest lays his hands. Let us unite ourselves to his prayer and accept pardon from God.”

The British Catholic paper, The Universe, a few years ago lent its support to a movement launched by two bishops which consisted of bringing back to the Church those of the faithful who had long since given up the practice of religion.  The appeal made by the bishops resembled the public notices put out by families of runaway adolescents: “Little X, please come home. No one will grumble at you.” It was then said to the future prodigal sons, “Your bishops invite you during this Lent to rejoice and celebrate. The Church offers to all her children, in the imitation of Christ, pardon for their sins, freely and without restriction, without their meriting it, and without their requesting it. She urges them to accept and begs them to return home. There are many who wish to return to the Church after years of separation but are unable to make up their minds to go to confession.  At any rate, not straightaway…”

They could then accept the following offer: “At the Mission Mass which will be attended by the bishop in your deanery (here is given the time and the date) all those who are present are invited to accept the pardon of all their past sins. It is not necessary for them to go to confession at that moment. It will be sufficient for them to repent their sins and desire to return to God, and to confess their sins later, after having been again welcomed into the fold. Meanwhile they have only to let Our Father in heaven take them into His arms and embrace them tenderly. Subject to a generous act of repentance the bishop will grant to all those present and desiring it pardon for their sins. They may then immediately receive holy communion…”

The Journal  of the Grotto,  the bi-monthly magazine from Lourdes, reproducing this curious pastoral letter under the heading “General Absolution: Communion now, confession later,” made the following comment: “Our readers will be fully aware of the deeply evangelical spirit which has inspired it, likewise the pastoral understanding of people’s actual situation.”

I do not know what results were obtained, but that is not the issue. Can pastoral needs take precedence over doctrine to the point of undertaking to give Communion in the Body of Christ indiscriminately to people who are probably in many cases in a state of mortal sin, after so many years without the practice of religion? Certainly not. How can we so lightly consider paying for the conversion with a sacrilege, and how much chance has this conversion of being followed by perseverance? We can observe, in any case, that before the council and before this “welcoming” pastoral method there were between fourteen and fifteen thousand conversions annually in England.  They have dropped off to about five thousand. We recognize the tree by its fruit.

Catholics are just as confused in Great Britain as in France. If a sinner or an apostate, following his bishop’s advice, presents himself for collective absolution and at the holy table in these conditions, does he not risk losing his confidence in the validity of sacraments so lightly accorded, when he has every reason to consider himself unworthy of them?  What is going to happen if later on he neglects to “regularize” himself by going to confession? An unsuccessful return to the house of the Father will only make more difficult a final conversion.

That is what dogmatic laxity leads to. In the penitential ceremonies which take place, in a less extravagant manner, in our parishes, what certainty has the Catholic of being truly pardoned? He is given over to the same anxieties as Protestants, to interior torments provoked by doubt.  He has certainly gained nothing by the change.

If it is a bad thing from the point of view of validity, it is also bad psychologically.

For instance, how absurd to give collective absolution with the reservation that people with grave sins have to confess them personally immediately afterwards! People are not going to draw attention to themselves by showing that they have grave sins on their consciences, that is obvious!  It is as though the secret of the confessional were violated.

We should add that the faithful who communicate after collective absolution will no longer see the need to present themselves before the judgment of penance, and that one can understand. The ceremonies of reconciliation are not complementary to auricular confession, they eliminate and supplant it. We are proceeding towards the disappearance of the Sacrament of Penance, established like the six others by Our Lord Himself. No pastoral concern can justify this.

For a sacrament to be valid, the matter, the form and the intention are all needed.  The Pope himself cannot change that.  The matter is of divine institution; the Pope cannot say “tomorrow we will use alcohol for the baptism of infants, or milk.” Neither can he change the essential of the form. There are essential words. For example, one cannot say, “I baptize thee in the name of God,” because God Himself has settled this form:  “Thou shalt baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

The Sacrament of Confirmation has been equally maltreated. One formula current today is, “I sign thee with the Cross, and receive the Holy Spirit.” But the minister does not then specify what is the special grace of the sacrament by which the Holy Ghost gives Himself, and the sacrament is invalid.

That is why I always respond to the requests of parents who have doubts regarding the validity of the confirmation received by their children or who fear it will be administered invalidly, seeing what goes on around them.  The cardinals to whom I had to explain myself in 1975 reproached me on this and since then similar reproaches are repeated through the press on all my journeys. I explained why I carried on in this way.  I meet the wishes of the faithful who ask me for valid confirmation, even if it is not licit, because we are in a period when divine law, natural and supernatural, has precedence over positive ecclesiastical law when the latter opposes the former instead of being a channel to transmit it. We are passing through an extraordinary crisis and there need be no surprise if I sometimes adopt an attitude that is out of the ordinary.

The third condition of a valid sacrament is a right intention.  The bishop or priest must have the intention of doing what the Church wills to be done. Not even the Pope can change that.

The priest’s faith is not among the necessary elements.  A priest or bishop may no longer have the faith;  another may have it less; and another a faith that is not quite complete.  That has no direct effect on the validity of the sacraments they administer, but may have an indirect one. One remembers Pope Leo XIII’s decision that Anglican ordinations are invalid through a defect in the intention. Now it was because they had lost the faith, which is not only faith in God, but in all the truths contained in the Creed, including, “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church,” that the Anglicans have not been able to do what the Church wills.

Are not priests who lose the faith in the same case? There are already priests who no longer wish to confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist according to the Council of Trent’s definition. “No,” they say, “the Council of Trent was a long time ago.  Since then we have had Vatican II.  Now it’s trans-signification, or trans-finalization.  Transubstantiation? The Real Presence of the Son of God under the appearances of bread and wine? Not in these days!”

When a priest talks like this, he makes no valid consecration. There is no Mass or Communion. For Christians are obliged to believe what the Council of Trent has defined about the Eucharist until the end of time.  One can make the terms of a dogma clearer, but not change them; that is impossible. Vatican II did not add anything or retract anything; and it could not have done so. Anyone who declares that he does not accept transubstantiation is, in the terms of the Council of Trent, anathema, that is, cut off from the Church.

This is why Catholics in this latter part of the twentieth century have a duty to be more vigilant than their fathers were. They must not let just any idea be imposed upon them, in the name of the new theology or the new religion: for what this new religion wants is not what the Church wills. [Emphases added]
Source – The New Forms of Sacraments Baptism, Marriage, Penance & Extreme Unction


Should Catholics be concerned about the new forms of the Sacraments? 


Comments (78)

  • Fidelis

    I will need to read this thread over a few times, but for now my feeling is that there was probably not the slightest need to change the sacraments, just as there was no need to change the Mass. I think it’s all part of the diabolical disorientation in the Church but I will get back to this again when I’ve read the article right through more carefully.

    September 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Undoubtedly there should be concern over the new form of the sacraments. They are very much watered down and in practice it would be reasonable to wonder if many of them are even valid.

    I sought a traditional baptism for my young daughter, shortly after she was born – nearly 2 years ago (where does the time go?).

    To compare this ceremony with those of my nieces, who received modern baptisms around the same time, it was like night and day. The main emphasis there was on the Priests comedy routine and taking photographs.

    It seems common in modern parishes to lump several family groups in together and there is the usual, informal novus ordo atmosphere, with so much hoo-haa and carry-on you could be forgiven for not even realising a supposedly important ceremony was underway. In contrast, at my daughter’s baptism, there was no mistaking this was an important occasion, not just A.N.Other family event.

    Perhaps the most glaring fault with modern baptism is that it doesn’t even explicitly ask for faith for the candidate, as Cardinal Sarah noted in 2015. Why do not the hierarchy address this error? Pride, I assume. And they wonder why so many do not believe, or have a weak faith. It’s absurd.

    Another big difference I have noticed is at confession. Traditional priests give good advice as to how to combat faults and temptation, but the modern practice is often simply to mollycoddle the penitent to impart a “feel good” experience:

    You killed someone? Ah well, you have done a good job at evading the Police. No flies on you, eh? Go in peace!

    Thanks be to God, we will welcome a new baby at the end of this year and once again we will be seeking the traditional practice of the Church, no question.

    September 19, 2017 at 10:27 pm
  • Petrus


    I agree with every word. I think it was a grave mistake to remove the exorcisms from the Rite of Baptism.

    Could I ask for bloggers prayers for my wife? She is now in hospital, waiting to give birth to our fifth child. Like Gabriel, we look forward to a Traditional Baptism.

    September 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm
    • gabriel syme


      Could I ask for bloggers prayers for my wife? She is now in hospital, waiting to give birth to our fifth child. Like Gabriel, we look forward to a Traditional Baptism.

      What wonderful news! Many congratulations to you and your wife, and all your family.

      Rest assured, I will pray for your wife and you all.

      I am very happy for you 🙂

      September 19, 2017 at 11:30 pm
      • editor

        Breaking News…

        Petrus’ wife gave birth to a baby daughter this morning, at 02.1 2am.

        I have texted my warmest congratulations. I’m sure he’ll be on here himself in due course to boast that he is now the proud father of three boys and two girls and to divulge the new baby’s name.

        September 21, 2017 at 9:30 am
      • Petrus

        Many thanks, editor and thanks to all bloggers for their prayers.

        Catherine Rose was born today at 02.12 and is doing very well. Named after two great Dominican women – Catherine of Siena and Rose of Lima!

        September 21, 2017 at 10:40 am
      • gabriel syme

        Many congratulations to you, your wife and all the family, Petrus.

        I am delighted for you all.

        Please pass on my congratulations and best wishes to your wife.

        September 21, 2017 at 11:39 am
      • Petrus

        Many thanks, Gabriel.

        September 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm
      • Elizabeth

        Many congratulations to you both, and what beautiful names too.

        September 21, 2017 at 11:50 am
      • Margaret Mary


        My sincere congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your little girl. That’s wonderful news! And you have chosen such beautiful names, as well!


        September 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm
      • Margaret USA


        Congratulations to you and Mrs. P on the birth of your new daughter. May her heavenly namesakes always watch over her.

        Mnohaya lita! (4x)
        Vo zdravieye, vo spaseniye,
        Mnohaya lita!

        Strict translation:
        Many years! (4x)
        In health, in salvation,
        Many years!

        Less strict translation (which is how we sing it in English in church after the Divine Liturgy):

        God grant (him, her, them) many years,
        Many happy years. (2x)
        May (he/she/they) be blessed with health and salvation!
        God grant (him/her/them) many years!

        Give her a hug & kiss for me.

        Most of all, get her baptized asap!

        In Christ,


        September 22, 2017 at 4:21 am
      • Petrus

        Hi Margaret,

        Many thanks. She is being baptised in the Traditional Rite on Saturday.

        September 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    • editor


      Wonderful news. Of course your wife may rely on our prayerful support at this time. Don’t forget to come back to us with the good news; boy, girl or any one of the many (60+) genders now on offer! Hope you’ve got a gender neutral Baptismal robe at the ready 😀

      September 20, 2017 at 9:43 am
      • Margaret USA

        I think white is “gender neutral” enough, don’t you think? 😉 What would Mister Editor say if he saw that?

        September 22, 2017 at 4:24 am
    • Deacon Augustine

      The new rite of Baptism does have a rite of Exorcism within it and one in which the prayer specifically asks God to set the child free from Original Sin. If any cleric is removing this rite on his own initiative when he celebrates a Baptism (no doubt for “pastoral reasons”) then he is not following the rites of Holy Mother Church and he should be delated to his bishop. If he doesn’t do anything about it, he should be delated to Rome. If Rome doesn’t do anything about it, then its about time that the “formal correction” got done.

      More importantly, many congratulations to you and your wife and my prayers are with you for a safe delivery.

      September 20, 2017 at 8:41 pm
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        Thank you for that information. However, EARTH TO DEACON AUGUSTINE…

        The idea that by reporting a priest to his bishop, problem fixed, is beyond laughable. Believe me, that’s been tried and tested by many, if not most, of us here, over the years. You exude the kind of charity that I would kill for (in a manner of speaking…)

        Take the Baptism of a Great-Nephew which I attended some years ago in a Glasgow parish. My niece, whose baby was being baptised, heard the priest say (I paraphrase but without in any way altering the meaning) that there was no question of the baby having any kind of sin, that as long as the parents brought him up properly, knowing right from wrong, he would be fine. Forget about sin, Original or otherwise…

        I approached him later and congratulated him on his knowledge of Skinner’s Behavioural Psychology, but suggested, too, that he read up on the story of Adam & Eve and check out the Church’s teaching on Original Sin, if for no other reason that it is an article of Faith and cannot be denied – not if he wants to remain a Catholic.

        Now, even at that time, for me to write to the Archbishop to report this scandal would have resulted in promotion for said priest – trust me. I know, because, having written to the Archbishop about the scandal caused by the domestic arrangements of a senior Glasgow priest and his housekeeper, whose daughter, boyfriend and baby frequently stay over in the presbytery, I was amazed to receive his reply telling me to get someone in the parish to write, which I did, and voila! Said senior priest was further promoted!

        We’re way past writing to the hierarchy – including the upper hierarchy.

        As for that public correction – Cardinal Burke et al? Dream on. Was never going to happen, won’t happen now. I do, however, reserve the right to eat an entire box of chocolates in one go, if happen it does. It won’t though…

        September 20, 2017 at 9:45 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Fair cop, Editor. I suppose I am getting too used to working with a bishop who actually wants to Catholicize his diocese again (sinful domestic arrangements were one of the first things to get nobbled when he arrived). I am forgetting what it is like in most other places.

        On the formal correction, however, I can’t promise that it will satisfy you completely, but I am confident you will be putting on a few pounds before the year is out! If it happens on October 13th I will buy you the box of choccies myself.

        September 21, 2017 at 12:05 am
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        I’m glad you seem to be working with a bishop who takes at least that aspect of his duty seriously, but if he turns out to be one of the two with a “traditional” reputation over the border in England, I have to tell you that I had a telephone call a few weeks ago from a lady in one of those dioceses, deeply disappointed with him – won’t give the details in case I identify him which I cannot do without her permission because she was speaking to me as a friend letting off steam, not for publication. Some of my best scoops-that-never-were, came to me that way 😀

        Anyway, I never thought I’d see the day when I don’t know whether to hope that Cardinal Burke et all actually DO that public correction of not! Not to be greedy, however, no need to send a BOX of chocolates, this’ll do…

        September 21, 2017 at 9:11 am
      • Deacon Augustine

        Editor, even the best bishops we have are not traditional enough and sometimes need pressure applied in the right way to help them do the right thing. They have to watch their backs from their own apostate clergy who are waiting to get the drop on them, and they have to watch their backs with respect to Rome – especially under this sociopathic pontiff.

        However, as you can no doubt “see” my e-mail address from which I post, you know which diocese I am from. If it is my diocese which is the one concerned, and I can be of any help to your friend, then I extend the invitation for her to contact me. Can’t make any promises, but you never know….

        September 21, 2017 at 11:20 am
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        Believe it or not, for all the detective dramas I have watched over the years, I didn’t think of checking your email address! However, having now done so, I can assure you that it’s not the Bishop of that diocese, which means that with an intelligent guess you can work it out for yourself!

        Thank you though for that kind offer. Very much appreciated.

        PS I once spent some time (off my Purgatory, I hope!) in your Diocese and if we ever meet, I will tell you the comical story of my efforts to avoid being introduced to the then bishop at an educational event. It was, at that time, completely horrendous. Apostate with a capital “A” so I can imagine the need for careful strategy, until, at least, we get a fully believing pontiff. Not exactly around the corner, although that will be confirmed, no doubt, sooner rather than later. All eyes on 13th October, for now!

        September 21, 2017 at 11:59 am
      • Deacon Augustine

        I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at meeting between his nibs and your goodself! It would bring a whole new quality to the expression “Not seeing eye to eye.” 😉

        September 24, 2017 at 12:46 am
      • gabriel syme


        As for that public correction – Cardinal Burke et al? Dream on. Was never going to happen, won’t happen now.

        I fear you are right. However, I happened to see this tweet from Rorate – dated yesterday – by chance this morning:

        Remember that big news we tweeed about but couldn’t speak of? It’ll be published in a few days.

        All of the responses to the tweet seem to think it will be the correction.

        Certainly, if it turns out not to be the correction, then this teasing from Rorate will have been very irresponsible!

        September 21, 2017 at 8:21 am
      • editor

        Or, Gabriel, it may be the news that the Pope is to abdicate next year. And again I say… this time to myself: dream on!

        Also, Gabriel Syme, don’t you remember that there were at least two occasions when Rorate Caeli posted what turned out to be fake news – I can’t remember the details but I do remember saying that I would never rely on their “exclusive” reports again – and I have kept my word. I always wait for confirmation from other sources. Ditto this time. Let’s wait and see.

        September 21, 2017 at 9:04 am
      • gabriel syme


        Further to our discussion above, I noticed Fr Z has an interesting post called “Sunday News?”

        He says:

        Rumors are bouncing and binging like pinballs. Ooo the excitement! What will it be?

        He goes on to say that rumours and hype can “diminish impact”.

        Curious. This on the back of the Rorate tweet seems to suggest “something” might happen tomorrow. He hints at the possibility of a “new document”.

        It doesn’t necessarily mean its the correction, granted. Maybe Francis is deciding to abdicate or having the sistine chapel repainted in lime green (!).

        Whatever (and whenever) it is, I am concerned that Fr seems to think hubbub on the internet might lead to an anti-climax, which suggests the “new document” might be quite weak.

        September 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        That is very interesting but, don’t mind me saying (please!) you seem to have missed the really significant bit of Fr Z’s opening paragraph – I’ve put it in bold below… It made me smile to yawning levels…

        “Rumors are bouncing and binging like pinballs.  Ooo the excitement!  What will it be?  Sites are rushing to talk about sources and possibilities.   How exciting it all is.  “I’m first!”

        Why smile? Because of the regular “exclusive” reports I see on a couple of sites, where the claim to be “first” with this or that news seems to be on a par with, or even more important than, the news itself! I won’t name the sites (I’m on a “must be more charitable” drive), but it does seem a bit out of place when what is being reported, whether first, second or way down the line, is very bad news, one way or another.

        Having said that, we’ve had a couple of scoops ourselves over the years, some time back now, when contacted by people in high places, shall we say, nudge nudge, wink, wink, and said scoops were picked up by the secular/mainstream media and reported without any mention of the original source but if I sound bitter, if you imagine I went about the place tearing out my hair – don’t be fooled. I was. I did…

        September 23, 2017 at 11:06 pm
      • gabriel syme


        you seem to have missed the really significant bit of Fr Z’s opening paragraph

        I agree that competition to be “first” is meaningless and is typical of news sites of any stripe.

        But I thought the significant part was the signaling that something was going to happen, and it now has (see link in post below).

        September 23, 2017 at 11:40 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Definitely seems like something is up, but only a “tiny step”….

        September 23, 2017 at 10:44 pm
      • gabriel syme September 23, 2017 at 10:45 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        Don’t you find this teasing just a teeny weeny bit irritating? If these outlets are trying to impress readers with their “discretion”, they’ve failed, spectacularly – certainly in the case of this reader. True discretion means, if not permitted to give some meaningful information, then say nothing. Too many people have no idea how to be discreet…

        September 23, 2017 at 11:33 pm
      • gabriel syme


        Don’t you find this teasing just a teeny weeny bit irritating? If these outlets are trying to impress readers with their “discretion”, they’ve failed

        I interpreted the reports as being an effort to raise awareness, I thought the person(s) behind whatever was to happen had told the sites something was happening in order to do this.,,,,

        In any case, here it is on Rorate now:

        And So It Begins: “FILIAL CORRECTION OF POPE FRANCIS For the Propagation of Heresies”

        I haven’t read it yet, beyond the opening paragraph that this is only the first piece of the puzzle…..

        September 23, 2017 at 11:37 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Ive just had a quick glance at the signatories – Fr Robert Brucciani has signed it, as has Bishop Fellay.

        Off to have more of a look!

        September 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        I am so glad that Bishop Fellay has signed this too. I guess he has given up on the idea of a “deal” any time soon.

        Although this is only a small step, it clearly puts the charge of material heresy out there and gives the Pope the chance to refute it. If he ignores this, as he most certainly will, pertinacity in heresy will be much easier to establish further down the line……

        September 24, 2017 at 12:39 am
      • gabriel syme

        Deacon Augustine,

        If he ignores this, as he most certainly will

        From what I gather from Lifesite and Fr Z, this correction was delivered to Francis on August 11th – some 6 weeks ago.

        And so it looks that you are right that his response (as usual) will be to ignore what has happened.

        I think the hope of this document is that those with power (Cardinals?) will act upon it canonically if Francis doesn’t take any action.

        Other signatories include Christopher Ferrara, Joe Shaw (LMS), Fr John Hunwicke, Fr Claude Barthe and Professor Robert De Mattei.

        September 24, 2017 at 12:59 am
      • Athanasius

        Gabriel Syme

        I’m glad they signed it. If anything positive comes of this, which I doubt, then I hope it will include a salutary lesson in humility for all superiors that clericalist silence is not a Christ-like response to the legitimate concerns expressed by their subordinates.

        September 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Update from Joseph Shaw about adding signatures to the Correction:

        “Update: to add your name (the public list will be moderated, i.e. we are looking especially for signatories with academic qualifications etc.) please email

        or go to to support the petition.”

        September 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        That’s a disgrace, limiting this to those with academic qualifications. I have some academic certificates including two degrees, so I presume I qualify but I won’t sign. This is not a time for snobbery but for mobilising the faithful. No wonder nothing these people do succeeds. Were only those with academic qualifications permitted to enter the stable at Bethlehem on that first Christmas day?

        I refer you to my previous post, submitted just a few moments before reading your update.

        September 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Well I guess those admitted to the stable on Christmas Day had to have shepherding qualifications, so I wouldn’t have made the grade. I suspect neither would most of our bishops.

        September 24, 2017 at 3:53 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        FWIW I submitted my name, qualifications and position for inclusion in the list of signatories. These are some of the reasons why:

        1. Christ loved each of us so much that He died for each one of us personally. When He is attacked we should be ready to stand up for Him and stand by Him at every opportunity, whatever the cost.

        2. After 4 years of constant blasphemy and calumny, the Pope needs to be reminded that the Church is not his, his personal opinions do not speak for all Catholics and he is as bound to be obedient to the Catholic Faith as much as the rest of us are.

        3. While this may not have any discernible effect upon him, it is an act of charity to call him back to the true faith in order that he might be saved. Scripture teaches that if we fail to call our brother back to the true way and he is lost, we will also be judged for not acting to save him.

        4. His lackeys need to be reminded at every opportunity that the issue has not gone away, the dubia have not gone away, and we have not gone away. As long as we belong to Christ we are never going away.

        5. This correction puts the possibility of heresy out there, it names the heresies of Modernism and Lutheranism, it identifies the passages of AL that have a prima facie heretical interpretation. In terms of any further corrections to come, this may be the best we get.

        6. Knowing that previous “critics” have experienced intimidation, harrassment, lost their jobs and livelihoods, I can understand why they want to boost the front of the list with as many academics and clergy as they can. The more there are, the harder it will be to discipline them all.

        7. As for me and my house, we are on the Lord’s side.

        If Mr/Mrs/Miss Editor of Catholic Truth were to sign in his/her capacity as Editor of Catholic Truth, it would encourage far more to sign than I could influence and it would also boost the readership of Catholic Truth. as the great work you do here becomes more widely known.

        September 24, 2017 at 6:27 pm
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        “Bishops without shepherding quals” – love it!

        September 24, 2017 at 5:22 pm
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        You’re a very VERY bad man to make me feel so guilty for saying I won’t sign because I think it is wrong to limit the signatories to those with academic qualifications. After all, there’s more than one way to test intelligence:×654.jpg

        Anyway, know something? I doubt that my signature would pass the censor(s). I’m one very unpopular gal, our Deacon. I kid you not.

        However, humble as ever, I will give some thought to your brotherly rebuke – watch this space…

        Update (about the Update!) – two minutes later

        I signed!

        Further Update to the Update about the Update…

        I still object to the very idea of limiting the signatories to those with academic qualifications. It’s not right. It’s wrong. Well, obviously, if it’s not right, it must be wrong… I think… (therefore I am…!)

        September 24, 2017 at 7:24 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Editor, it was not intended as a rebuke at all – just me working through my thoughts before I threw my lofty ecclesiastical career (sic) in the bin! I also do not take offence when people disagree with me on rational grounds, so if you think I am talking a load of tripe say so – my children do all the time.

        Unpopluar? – the ninnies just don’t appreciate your charm. You will always be popular with me even if I think you are being delightfully offensive. I value people who says it how they sees it and I too occasionally get into trouble for p@@@ing people off, but it can be such fun.

        September 24, 2017 at 7:37 pm
      • Lily


        I’m glad you signed, after all. I read this thread and then logged into comment but went on to the wrong thread, LOL!

        I said that Catholic Truth doesn’t get the same press as the other Catholic blogs, although I think it should, definitely, so it would be a mistake for you not to sign – I’m glad you did!

        September 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        I didn’t take offence at all – I said “brotherly rebuke” to signal that I knew you meant well.

        Let’s hope your “ecclesiastical career” is not in danger as a result of signing; I’ve already been there, done that, did my penance in your neck of the woods for a year (what a year!) but – as the song goes – I survived.

        Still, I hope you do not suffer any reprisals from signing the Filial Correction. If so, just pray for strength cos you’ll need strength to beat the devil out of your boss… It’s the way I tell ’em…

        As for your kind remarks about moi – cheque in post, as agreed 😀

        September 24, 2017 at 7:57 pm
      • Athanasius

        Editor & Deacon Augustine,

        Just forwarded my signature for inclusion with all the others because it is important that as many as possible sign this public correction of the Pope. Still smarting at the “intellectuals only” rule, though!

        September 24, 2017 at 8:32 pm
      • Josephine


        Anyone who has read your blog comments here, knows that you are as much an intellectual as anybody with a string of degrees, so you were right to sign.

        September 24, 2017 at 9:03 pm
      • Athanasius


        Thank you for that very kind comment. I just wish these petition organisers would not place so much emphasis on intellectual standing, it seems so ostentatious. Pope Francis is more likely to be moved by the protests of ordinary Catholics than by university graduates. If they don’t know that then they don’t know him.

        September 24, 2017 at 9:46 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        I think the hype was misplaced, especially since there are very few signatories on this “Filial Correction”.

        In my considered view, a widespread advertisement of this forthcoming Correction, with a plea for as many signatures from the faithful as possible, might have proven much more effective than this secretive document, signed by only a few of the “elite”. Not impressive – not in my book. Pope Francis isn’t going to worry about what amounts to a handful of “activists” complaining – they do that all the time. Only a widespread movement of the faithful would stand a chance of making him think again.

        After all, the heretical positions mentioned in the Correction have been public for a long time. Why keep the “Correction” secret? Were the contributers really so naïve as to think that the Pope was going to say, “hey, I really need to sort this. Look – Bishop Fellay has signed it but others who are really middle of the road Catholics (one of those advocating “liturgical pluralism” for example) is a signatory as well, so I must write a humble response, recanting these heresies.”

        Really? Did they actually think that was going to happen?

        I’m afraid I’m not going to get excited about any secretive, exclusive or whatever document, speech or what-have-you until it happens. Then, hopefully, thunderous applause. Until then, we continue to pray for the Consecration of Russia!

        September 24, 2017 at 1:26 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        “but others who are really middle of the road Catholics (one of those advocating “liturgical pluralism” for example is a signatory) ..”

        Full marks for barbed wit, Editor, but appreciating irony, maybe less so… 😉

        September 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm
      • editor

        Deacon Augustine,

        Believe me, I get the irony. But if you think this “barbed wit” comes naturally to me, think again – it’s taken years of practise!

        And hey, what about my “stable at Bethlehem, first Christmas day” – irony or what?

        September 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm
      • Fidelis

        Deacon Augustine,

        I’m surprised at what you say because Archbishop Lefebvre, in the chapter at the top of this page, says:

        “But now nobody any longer talks about it anywhere. The simplified ceremony which takes place in the church speaks of sin in a context which seems to refer to that which the person being baptized will commit during his or her life, and not the original fault that we are all born with.

        Baptism from then on simply appears as a sacrament which unites us to God, or rather makes us members of the community.”

        I know that’s what children are taught in school about Baptism – Daphne McLeod has written screeds on this, the way it is taught in the Catholic school textbooks, so I’m surprised that you seem to think that the new form does mention Original Sin.

        How so? Is it possible to have it posted on here, by a link, or at least give us a quote?

        September 20, 2017 at 11:20 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Fidelis, I do not doubt that Archbishop Lefebvre had witnessed what he described. However, his letter was written in the mid ’80’s before a lot of abuses got tightened up in many places and his primary experience would have been in France. Believe it or not the “reforms” and “reformers” in France took things to far greater excess than we have witnessed on these shores. Another defect of the “N.O.” is that it has been implemented in different ways from one country to the next.

        By way of example, if you ever have the misfortune to attend a N.O. Mass in France you will notice that the priest usually uses a loose-leaf folder to say Mass rather than an Altar Missal. This is because the French Bishops approved over 600 different “Eucharistic Prayers” along with so many other options for the Mass that it is impractical to get them all into a single Missal. It is no coincidence that the SSPX and other traditional orders are so strong in France. Apart from a couple of bishops sympathetic to Tradition, the French church is dead from the neck up.

        I fully agree with what you say about Catholic Schools and what they tell, or don’t tell, children about Original Sin and Baptism. That was the catalyst that caused me to get my children out of the Catholic School system. However, the schools are not teaching them what is in the Rite of Baptism itself. Every child I have baptized has had the Rite of Exorcism and prayer for deliverance from Original Sin except one – and that exception was only because I had less than 5 miinutes to baptize him before he died.

        I haven’t got a RoB here at home with me at the moment, but if you are interested I will get hold of one tomorrow and type up the prayer. It isn’t as stong as the Exorcisms in the old rite, but it is there, nevertheless, and I suppose it is strong enough that “pastoral clerics” feel obliged to omit it – illegally.

        September 21, 2017 at 12:28 am
      • Petrus


        First of all, many thanks for your prayers.

        I have to say, that the New Rite does not include a Rite of Exorcism. There is a “Prayer of Exorcism” which goes like this:

        “Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to rescue us from the slavery of sin, and to give us the freedom only your sons and daughters enjoy. We pray now for N., who will have to face the world with its temptations and fight the devil with all his cunning. Your Son died and rose again to save us. By his victory over sin and death, cleanse N. from the stain of original sin. Strengthen him/her with the grace of Christ and watch over him/her at every step in life’s journey. We ask this through Christ our Lord.”

        Now, this isn’t, in my humble opinion, a Rite of Exorcism. It’s a prayer of protection. Yes, it mentions cleansing from Original Sin and yes it mentions the devil, but an exorcism expels the devil/wicked spirits. There’s no command in the above prayer for an unclean spirit to depart.

        In the Traditional Baptism the priest then breathes three times on the child in the form of a cross saying; “Depart from him unclean spirit and give place to the Holy Spirit, the Consoler”.

        While the priest does the “Imposition of Hands”, there is the prayer; “Free him from the snares of Satan which until now have held him.”

        Salt is then exorcized and consecrated to be “a health giving Sacrament to put the enemy to flight” and put into the mouth of the new born baby.

        Then comes the part that is called The Exorcism were the priest starts “I exorcise you, unclean spirit“. The prayer goes on to say; “Come forth, depart from this servant of God, for He Commands you, accursed and damned spirit…” “Therefore accursed devil, acknowledge your condemnation and pay homage to the true and living God…. depart from this servant of God..”

        September 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        Petrus, congratulations to you and your wife on the safe arrival of your daughter.

        I have my own opinions on the quality of the Rite which I suspect are not too different from yours. However, the Church in her rubrics does refer to this prayer as the “Rite of Exorcism”. Whether it is an actual exorcism or not is above my pay-grade, but compared to the old rite I would say it is deficient.

        Nevertheless,as you say, the prayer clearly mentions the cleansing from Original Sin, and nobody, therefore, can use the new rite as an excuse to say that “The Church no longer believes in Original Sin” (lex orandi, lex credendi and all that). Unfortunately it would not surprise me that some clergy omit even this attenuated prayer from the rite.

        Despite what some people seem to think, liturgical revisions are not “set in stone” like the Ten Commandments and we can only hope that one day corrections will be made. The present Pontiff seems to be doing an effective job of hastening the demise of the N.O. so maybe there is hope for our lifetimes.

        In the meantime if you know of a traditional priest who is looking for a home in the next couple of years, please point him in my direction.

        September 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm
      • Fidelis


        That’s interesting – you say the new rite does mention Original Sin, so I was wrong in thinking that it doesn’t get mentioned. Mea culpa!

        September 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm
  • Spiritus

    Editor, if this should be on another section please advise. I see a copy of Archbishop Levebre’s book in the intro so hopefully will be OK. SSPX were not allowed into shrine at Fatima last August as many here will know. I bumped into Leo in Knock. He was asking after you.

    September 20, 2017 at 10:22 am
    • editor


      Your link is fine here – shocking news indeed.

      September 20, 2017 at 11:46 am
      • Spiritus

        Also on st. Pius feast day thread.

        September 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    • editor


      Gabriel Syme had posted the same link over on our General Discussion thread the other day, and he has included an email address for us to protest; here’s an extract from Gabriel Syme’s post:

      “The article notes that the shrine rector, a Fr Gibbons, often allows anglicans, presbyterians and muslims to participate in and even lead services at the shrine.
      Fr Gibbons email is for anyone wishing to send feedback on his mean-spirited, un-Christian decision.

      I have now emailed Fr Gibbons. I urge others to do so as well.

      September 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm
      • chloe

        Hi Editor,

        Just emailed Fr Gibbons to protest at his decision.


        September 20, 2017 at 7:14 pm
      • editor

        Thank you, Chloe. It’s a terrible scandal and the more people who write to tell him so, the better. These modernists have been getting away with destroying the Church for far too long.

        September 20, 2017 at 9:47 pm
  • Lily

    I hadn’t thought about the new rites of the sacraments before but what struck me reading the above chapter, was the statement “One bad definition, and we are plunged into total disorder”, when explaining the difference in teaching about marriage since the changes came in. He is right, all talk now is of “sex” – the very idea that marriage is for procreation, bringing children into the world, has gone out of the window.

    I’ll need to read more of the article, as I’ve only had time to read about half of it, but it is rivetting.

    From what I’ve read so far, I’d say it was a very bad thing to change the forms of the sacraments, definitely.

    September 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm
  • Helen

    I also emailed Fr. Gibbons. He doesn’t seem to know that Pope Francis has granted faculties to the SSPX to perform marriages, Confessions etc. I wonder why Father is so agin them?

    September 20, 2017 at 9:01 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for emailing Fr Gibbons. If you look at him in the photo (see the link provided by Spiritus to the article – he’s identified as the young priest in the centre of the photo) he’s far too young to ever have been taught the Faith properly. That’s the scandal of these young priests – God help them, they haven’t been taught the Faith, and have been brainwashed into thinking they’re leading the Church into a new era of peace perfect peace. All that went before, bad. All the “new” stuff, good.

      I concluded my email to Fr Gibbons with the link to the video below – and suggested he spend the 7 or so minutes required to watch it in order to educate himself about the SSPX.

      Let’s hope our emails help him to re-think what he’s been led to believe about the Church and the Mass.


      September 20, 2017 at 9:50 pm
      • Helen

        He’s certainly older than me and I think I have a reasonable grasp of the Faith!

        September 21, 2017 at 7:18 pm
      • Lily


        I’d say, anyone born in the sixties, can’t know the faith unless they’re self-taught. It stopped being taught in Catholic schools and seminaries right after the council.

        September 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm
      • Helen

        Yes, I suppose you’re right. My family are very Catholic and with it where abuses are concerned. I well remember the embarrassment of watching my father taking issue with every PP we ever had! My siblings and myself used to dread the end of Mass. As we got older we saw the wisdom of his ways. His father, my grandfather, was exactly the same, always taking issue with the catechism being taught etc.

        September 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Thanks a lot! 😀 Yours truly was baptized and confirmed the same day that Pope Paul VI issued the Credo of the People of God.

        My CCD (now called ECF) classes were taught by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate (SSMI). I had classes up to 5th grade. Then my parents took us out saying that we had enough catechism. (Imho, that’s like saying you can’t have enough water, but I was much younger back then 😉.)

        I wanted to learn more about the Faith so I looked for good Catholic books. I hate to say this, but I probably know more about the Catholic Faith than *most* Catholics (everyone here obviously excluded!).

        Otherwise, I agree with you.

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        September 22, 2017 at 4:40 am
  • RCAVictor

    Catholics should be very concerned about the new forms of the Sacraments, but they won’t be, because those new forms came from Popes and the hierarchy – i.e. those who can allegedly do no wrong – no matter how obviously destructive to the Faith their changes are, and no matter how obviously false are their claims that those changes were called for by Vatican II.

    A Sacrament is a “sensible sign” of a Heavenly grace and Heavenly operation in and upon our souls, ordained by Our Lord and with matter, forms and rubrics used by the Church to “clearly signify the grace bestowed.” (Spirago & Clarke)

    According to Rev. Nicholas Gihr in The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Dogmatically, Liturgically and Ascetically Explained, the Sacraments “produce and awaken, …preserve and strengthen, …heal and restore, …increase and perfect the higher, supernatural life of the soul, that mystical life of grace of the children of God.” (pg. 92)

    Well, this emphasis on the supernatural just will not do for a Church which has altered herself to be acceptable to the profane, because, after all, that supernatural stuff is just too Catholic. So what the new Sacraments have done is to obscure that golden thread leading to Heaven, by covering it with a gross slimy coating of casual earthly narcissism, of men worshiping themselves. This was essential for the process of creating a new identity for the Church, one which places it harmlessly among all the other major religions of the world.

    As we watch with horror the continuing Passion of the Church, I fear the Sacraments will undergo further changes in the name of “accompanying” sinners and keeping up-to-date with the perversity and insanity of the modern world. The new ecumenical Mass is just the beginning.

    September 20, 2017 at 11:28 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Excellent quotes – the Spirago & Clarke definition reminds me of the very simple one I learned as a schoolgirl: “A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, ordained by Jesus Christ, by which grace is given to our souls.”

      Your final paragraph is chilling. I fear you are correct – unless, by the grace of God, the Consecration of Russia is carried out as specified by Our Lady of Fatima. As we near the 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun on the 13th October, let that be our sincere prayer.

      September 21, 2017 at 12:02 am
  • John R

    One abuse of a Sacrament which really angers me is the so-call “Healing Mass” during which the Sacrament of Extreme Unction is given to all and sundry who simply queue up to receive this “healing” regardless of their medical condition. It is understood that the Sacrament actually forgives sin when received by someone who is seriously ill but for some reason is unable to confess their sins. Now this actually encourages some who do not bother to go to Confession but turn up for a Healing Mass and then trot up to receive Holy Communion! I kid you not!
    The whole thing seriously debases Extreme Unction as a Sacrament.
    I have seen three year olds in the queues, brought up by their parents!
    What kind of an example is being set by that behaviour?

    September 21, 2017 at 3:33 am
    • editor

      Yes, John, this is how the Sacrament of the Sick, as it is now termed in the diocesan parishes, is used and abused. Congregations gather to receive it and it has completely devalued and trivialised the sacrament. I’ve even heard priests say that 90 year old patients in hospital reject Extreme Unction when offered because they think God is all-merciful and so they are OK, thank you very much. I would dearly have loved to have been able to listen in to their private judgment, to hear them explain to Our Lord why they considered themselves above and beyond the need of His forgiveness and grace, so close to meeting Him!

      September 21, 2017 at 9:20 am
      • Margaret USA

        In the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Mystery of Anointing (aka Extreme Unction/Anointing of the Sick) is not just for the dying but those who are physically or spiritually ill.

        Once I had food poisoning and was quarantined in the hospital for 4 days. My only solace was watching EWTN on the hospital TV. The third day I was there, I asked the nurse if a Catholic priest could hear my confession, give me Holy Communion and anoint me. She called for the priest. He heard my confession, gave me Holy Communion and anointed me. Although he was Catholic, he knew the Ukrainian formula of absolution and gave me absolution in Ukrainian. (I wanted my absolution to be valid as I was becoming more aware of the crisis in the Church and the sacraments as described in this article.) The fourth day I was discharged from the hospital.

        The second time I received the Mystery of Anointing was about 10-15 years ago. I was going through a deep spiritual crisis and asked a Byzantine rite Catholic priest I knew if he could give me the Mystery of Anointing, which he was kind enough to do (and did it very reverently).

        The Mystery of Anointing should NOT be confused with myrovania (the holy anointing which we receive after the Divine Liturgy on big holy days like Pascha/Easter. Those are throughout the year.

        In Christ the King,


        September 22, 2017 at 4:55 am
  • editor

    Since this thread is about the Sacraments, and Amoris Laetitia is about undermining the Sacrament of Marriage even further, I think this is the best place to post this update on Amoris Laetitia, from the SSPX website: click here to read it.

    September 21, 2017 at 9:25 am
  • Margaret Mary

    The Archbishop says this in his book:

    “Marriage has always been defined by its first aim which is procreation and its secondary aim which is married love. “

    I can’t help wondering if it is easy to separate out married love and procreation like that. I can’t really see many couples thinking they want to get married to have children and then,” but I also love you”, thrown in, LOL!

    I maybe am misunderstanding, but I would welcome somebody putting me right, if that is the case.

    September 21, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    • Deacon Augustine

      Margaret Mary, I was at a seminar in Rome in 2015 where Prof. Roberto de Mattei gave a lecture on how Vatican II effectively subverted the traditional ends of marriage. The Church has always taught that the primary end of marriage is procreation, because this end derives from the NATURE of what marriage is in itself. Conjugal love is the secondary end of marriage because it serves the good of the PERSONS who are party to that marriage.

      In the order of God’s creation human NATURE and all the attendant natural law related to it comes prior to the human PERSON. It has been part of the modernist strategy all along to invert the order of nature taking precedence over person so that conscience can be elevated over natural law and thus become the sole arbiter of morality.

      Prof de Mattei explains it all very well and the consequences of what happened after Vatican II. He explains it far better than I can so please do read his lecture here:

      September 21, 2017 at 9:51 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Deacon Augustine,

        Thank you SO much for that link to Professor Roberto de Mattei’s lecture. I will need to read it again (probably more than once or twice!) but already I have found it very helpful indeed. I found myself engrossed in it right away, and it all makes sense. Modernism is really insidious, it had me doubting the ends of marriage as traditionally taught. The lecture is very clear. I will read it again and again, as there is so much in it to take in.

        September 21, 2017 at 10:56 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        You are welcome. To be honest I knew that the ends of marriage had been inverted and knew that Archbishop Lefebvre had been a stong critic of it, but I had never heard him explain exactly why it was so dangerous. Prof. de Mattei helped open my eyes to the consequences.

        September 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm
      • Fidelis

        Deacon Augustine,

        You put your finger on something that has been in my mind a lot, that there are things which people say are wrong, not traditional, but they often don’t explain why, at least not clearly enough. I agree with you about that – we need clear explanations, not just bald statements.

        September 23, 2017 at 1:58 pm

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