Why did the Catholic Church suddenly change mid-20th century?
From the time of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) Catholics have been asking this question, seeking answers from priests and bishops – and even from the Vatican. Indeed, one layman (later Media Officer with Catholic Truth) was present in Rome during the Council. Like other lay people, he wrote regularly to priests, bishops, and various Roman Congregations with concerns about the major shift in Catholic culture following Vatican II. All too often, these letters of concern were ignored, or the writers treated to lectures about the need to be more charitable. Most worryingly, ineffectual responses arrived from Rome.
Thus, in 1998, a small group of concerned Catholics gathered in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, to agree a means of publicising our concerns, to alert the Catholic community to the serious situation where Catholic religious and moral teachings were being undermined and even attacked by clergy in pulpits and in the Catholic and secular print and broadcasting media.
The Catholic Truth Newsletter was then launched as a “sample” one-page edition in January 1999, with a limited distribution to priests and laypeople. Positive feedback encouraged us to launch the first official edition in March 1999, to mark the Feast of St John Ogilvie, Scotland’s only canonised Reformation martyr.
What does Catholic Truth do today?
We continue to report on the crisis in the Church, primarily as it affects Scotland. This has made us very unpopular, chiefly due to our “last resort” naming of unfaithful clergy who are living double lives of sexual immorality. As a result, we are accused of being “unChristian”. Yet, we know that Our Lord spoke bluntly, with crowds gathered, to correct those guilty of hypocrisy, and those who heard Christ condemn the hypocrites of His day would certainly have known the identities of those whom He so publicly admonished. Contrary, then, to the shallow cult of niceness prevalent today, it is not uncharitable to correct – publicly if necessary – those who hold positions of authority within the Church. They are in spiritual danger themselves and may cause other souls to be lost, if left unchecked.
As well as distributing our bi-monthly newsletter, we arrange occasional conferences and public rosaries. We encourage all Catholics to attend the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments. The wholesale change in Catholic culture, especially the new Mass, since the Second Vatican Council has been disastrous for the faithful. Young people growing up have no real knowledge and understanding of authentic Catholicism, and members of the older generations have largely forgotten what they were taught. We are conscious, therefore, that our apostolate, which is essentially to provide a forum where Catholics may become educated or re-educated in the Faith, is more essential than ever.
Why is Catholic Truth more essential than ever?
As well as educating Catholics to recognise the problems within the Church, it is crucial to alert them to the secular culture engulfing both the Church and the world. We frequently remind readers of the Fatima apparitions – the most important event in the 20 century – where Our Lady forewarned that Communism would overtake every nation. So, as well as seeking to restore the traditional Faith in our land, we work hard to battle secularism. We do this by interpreting the geo-political situation in the light of Catholic teaching and history, and by promoting the urgent Fatima Message. We pray that the Pope will consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart as she prescribed, to stop the spread of Communism. The world is in the grip of the “diabolical disorientation” repeatedly mentioned by Sr Lucia, one of the three Fatima seers; it is important, therefore, for Catholics to join up the dots – that is, to recognise the political machinations at work in western societies today which are taking us into totalitarian governance. Communism, as foretold at Fatima, is spreading fast across the world, in our times. Catholic clergy, at every level, remain silent. In effect, they are co-ooperating in this evil. Catholic Truth, then, more than ever, must speak out.
In the case of the [Catholic Truth] publication there is no more fearless example of lay opinion challenging episcopacy in the English- speaking world. Catholic Truth believes, essentially, that the Scottish Catholic Church has become Protestant…
Professor Gerard Carruthers, The Role of the Catholic Laity in the Next Ten Years, Newman Association, 70 Anniversary Dinner, Anniversary Supplement, 2012